Deathspawner writes: Sony's PS4 Pro hasn't even been available for a week yet, but it's already flying off the shelves, helping to boost overall PS4 sales after a few months of tepid action. With its 4K and HDR capabilities, the allure of the Pro is high, but what about performance other than gaming? Techgagedecided to find out, and discovered what most were expecting: that the Pro isn't that much faster outside of the improved gaming performance (or quality). The Pro includes a 1TB model of the same hard drive, so no gains there are seen, although the boosted CPU speed does seem to make improvements in load times in some rarer cases. What can really make a difference is upgrading the console to an SSD, which the site also explored.
Deathspawner writes: Sony's latest and greatest PlayStation 4 has just hit store shelves. Called Pro, Sony is targeting this particular model squarely at 4K and HDR televisions, although those with 1080p displays can still see some benefits. All told, the Pro sports a 31% faster CPU and 227% faster GPU, and as of the launch, most games will be targeting 4K resolution in lieu of increased detail of framerates. So far, reception to the console has been good, with Ars Technica saying that it will make games look crisper, especially when using PS VR. Techgage, meanwhile, believes the console leaves a lot to be desired — at least right now. One thing seems to be generally agreed-upon, though: the PS4 Pro is an ideal choice for those who don't own the original, or those who own PS VR, as both performance and fidelity can be improved significantly there.
Deathspawner writes: Intel's Basis has just sent an email to customers who own a Basis Peak smartwatch with some bad news: it's being recalled. In mid-June, Basis admitted that its flagship (and only) smartwatch had the chance to overheat, and then asked them to wait for a firmware update. Ultimately, a firmware update couldn't have been issued that wouldn't have compromised the user experience, and as such, the company is asking for every single Basis Peak to be returned for a full refund — it will even handle the shipping.
Deathspawner writes: At the ongoing SIGGRAPH 2016 conference, held in Anaheim, California, NVIDIA had a bevy of announcements to make, including a big one: Pascal-based Quadro professional workstation cards are en route. Similar to the latest TITAN X which was announced last week, the new top-end Quadro P6000 is based on the same GP102 architecture, but contains 256 more cores. This makes the P6000 an effective 12 TFLOPs (FP32) graphics card. Also announced was the 8.9 TFLOPs Quadro P5000, as well as updates to the company's Iray render (for VR), its DGX-1 deep-learning machine, and also its mental ray plugin for Autodesk Maya users.
Deathspawner writes: At a special artificial intelligence gathering at Stanford University on Thursday, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled the world's fastest graphics card: the second-generation GeForce TITAN X. Based on the company's latest Pascal architecture, the new top-end card features 3,584 CUDA cores clocked at 1.53GHz, 12GB of GDDR5X, and is spec'd at 11 TFLOPs, which is at least 2 TFLOPs higher than the company's recently released GTX 1080. Jen-Hsun also touted for the first time a metric called TOPS (INT8), a deep-learning inferencing instruction. The new GTX TITAN X officially hits 44 TOPS. NVIDIA has said that its second-gen TITAN X will retail for $1,200, and will become available on August 2.
Deathspawner writes: NVIDIA has today released a Game Ready GeForce driver that introduces its interactive screenshot tool 'Ansel'. Named after famed photographer Ansel Adams, this new tool requires a developer to integrate up to a couple of hundred lines of code to give players the ability to pause their game, move around the environment, and then capture a more "artistic" image. To further that artistic value, users will have the ability to apply filters as well as capture an image in high-res 360 mode so that they can be viewed properly with a VR headset. Currently, Ansel supports only a single game, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, but NVIDIA promises that many more supported titles are on the way.
Deathspawner writes: Intel first teased their forthcoming NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini PC, codenamed Skull Canyon, back at CES in January. However, systems have only just started shipping earlier this month. Styled with a new, thinner (but longer) all black chassis and Intel's classic Skull-branded logo, this NUC is targeted squarely at enthusiasts. The Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK not only boasts a Skylake quad-core CPU that boosts to 3.5GHz, but also Intel's fastest Iris Pro Graphics 580 integrated graphics core with 128MB of on-chip eDRAM (embedded DRAM). With the Skylake platform, Skull Canyon also sports DDR4-2133MHz memory, up to two M.2 NVMe Solid State Drives, four USB 3 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port and a built-in SD card reader. It's a fair amount of computing horsepower in a roughly 8-inch by 4-inch, by 1-inch thick form factor. NUCs have been fairly popular in the market due to their size and convenience, though they've historically not be designed for higher-end workloads and gaming. However, in testing, this performance-built NUC, with its DX12 compatible graphic core, showed the ability to run most current-gen game titles at up to 1080p resolutions with medium image quality. The barebones kit is a bit on the pricey side at $650 street, but it's definitely one of the faster tiny PCs on the market.
Deathspawner writes: At last week’s GPU Technology Conference, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled the Tesla P100 data center accelerator. The Pascal-based GPU at the heart of the Tesla P100 is codenamed the GP100 and it promises to be a very different animal versus the previous gen Maxwell. If NVIDIA’s past GPU naming convention rings-true, the GP100 will be the “big” version of Pascal, and presumably scaled down iterations of the chip will power consumer-class GPUs. Based on what we know so far about the GP100, it is an absolute beast of a GPU. It’s got roughly 3x the compute performance, 5x the GPU-to-GPU bandwidth and 3x the memory bandwidth of NVIDIA’s previous generation high-end products. The base clock is an impressive 1348MHz, with a boost clock of 1480MHz, and a 300 watt TDP. Considering how young TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process is, seeing clocks this high on such a big chip bodes well for NVIDIA. As configured, the GP100-powered Tesla P100 offers 5.3 TFLOPs of double-precision performance, 10.6 TFLOPs full-precision and 21.2 TFLOPs at half precision. Inside the GP100, 56 active SMs house a total of 3584 FP32 cores or 1792 FP 64 cores. The GPU links to its 16GB of HMB2 memory via a 4096-bit interface, which offers up 720GB/s of peak bandwidth. Finally, the GP100 will feature 16GB of Chip on Wafer on Substrate (CoWoS) HBM2 and support for NVLink. With NVLink, 160GB/s of serial bi-directional bandwidth is available between GP100 GPUs and up to eight GP100-based Tesla P100 boards can be interconnected. If this big iron version of Pascal is any indication, consumer GeForce versions will offer potent desktop graphics performance when they hit later this year.
Deathspawner writes: Last March, Canada's regulatory agency for all things broadcasting, CRTC, ruled that cable TV providers would soon be forced to offer $25/mo packages. With enforcement having kicked-off on March 1, these inexpensive packages have now been made available. As Techgage has discovered, though, the first packages out-of-the-gate pack a number of caveats, and in some cases, are outright misleading. And, despite a simple framework to worth with, the two largest providers in the country, Rogers and Bell, offer vastly different packages, and ultimately vastly different values to the consumer.
Deathspawner writes: There's never a lack of stuff to be impressed by in Minecraft, but rarely does that impressive stuff involve a corporation. Recently, Verizon teamed up with some prolific Minecraft streamers to design a mod that takes interactivity to a new level. After building an in-game smartphone and cellular tower, the gamer is not only able to browse the Web on the device, but also video call, all in a humorously low resolution. Verizon has created a GitHub page to explain how the magic is done.
Deathspawner writes: WD today announced a new helium filled enterprise drive that allows for 10TB densities without using the SMR method, sticking to industry standard PMR. SMR, or Shingled Magnetic Recording drives can not typically be used natively by the OS or disk controllers, and instead often require extra software and/or firmware updates. This makes their broad adoption limited, since the drives are not drop-in replacements for the far more ubiquitous Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR). WD’s latest enterprise drive, sold as the HGST Ultrastar He10, uses the PMR storage method, and as such is a full drop-in replacement for any standard hard drive..
Deathspawner writes: The ubiquitous WiFi wireless networking standard is commonplace in just about all of our gadgets. With technologies like 802.11ac, we're transferring data over the air at fantastic speeds. However, Professor Harald Haas, hailing from the University of Edinburgh, has invented Li-Fi, which uses VLC or visible light communication to transmit data wirelessly at even higher speeds. In its current iteration, Li-Fi uses LED lights which flicker at a rate that is imperceptible to the human eye to transmit data. Researchers from the University of Oxford were recently able to hit bi-directional Li-Fi speeds of 224 Gbps in a lab setting. To put that in perspective, those speeds would allow 18 high definition movies to be download in a just one second. In addition, researchers at Velmenni based in Estonia have moved past lab trials into a pilot program which uses an even faster version of Li-Fi in a commercial setting. Instead of mere 224Gbps speeds, Velmenni was able to top 1 GBps, roughly 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technology.
Deathspawner writes: The Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have been available for a few weeks now. Many of the new features, like the improved iSight and Facetime cameras, new 3D Touch capabilities, fast storage, and iOS 9 have been discussed quite a bit already, but the A9 SoC (system on a chip) inside the devices deserves some additional attention. Although the A9 packs only dual processor cores, it is able to compete very favorably against even the 8-core SoCs used in devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 or S6 Edge+ in multi-threaded workloads. And with single-threaded workloads, Apple’s A9 simply dominated. The graphics core in the A9 is similarly powerful, and clearly outpaced the best Samsung and Qualcomm currently have to offer in most benchmarks.
Deathspawner writes: The Internet and Web browsers are an ever-changing congruous mass of standards and design. It's a delicate balance between features, security, and performance. Through extensive browser performance testing, some similarities do crop up in the results. If you are in a business environment that's rolling out Windows 10, and the only browsers you have access to are Edge and IE, there's an easy answer: go with Edge. If you do have a choice, then there are perhaps better options to consider, depending on your use case. The performance differences between browsers currently are admittedly quite small, and there is no dominant browser generally speaking, but for Web standards like HTML5, Blink browsers (Chrome, Opera and Vivaldi) still have the upper-hand, even beating the rather vocal and former Web-standards champion, Mozilla.
Deathspawner writes: It wasn't that long ago that Samsung unveiled its super-fast SM951 M.2-based SSD, capable of delivering read speeds of 2GB/s. Today, the company one-upped itself with its 950 Pro. Taking advantage of an x4 PCIe 3.0 lane and brand-new V-NAND MLC chips, this drive is able to deliver read performance of 2.5GB/s, and a staggering IOPS performance of 270,000.