MojoKid writes: AMD took the wraps off its latest pro graphics solutions at Siggraph today, and announced three new professional graphics cards in the new Polaris-based Radeon Pro WX Series. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 is the entry-level model with a half-height design for use in small form-factor workstations. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 is the middle child, while the Radeon Pro WX 7100 is AMD's current top-end WX model. The Radeon Pro WX 7100 has 32 compute units, offers 5 TFLOPs of compute performance, and is backed by 8GB of GDDR4 memory over a 256-bit memory interface. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 offers 28 compute units and 4 TFLOPs of performance along with 8GB memory over the same 256-bit interface and the Radeon Pro WX 4100 is comprised of 16 compute units at 2 TFLOPs of perf with 4GB memory over a 128-bit memory link. The Radeon Pro WX 4100 has four mini DisplayPort outputs, while the Radeon Pro WX 5100 and 7100 each have four full-size DisplayPort connectors. None of these cards will be giving the new NVIDIA Quadro P6000 a run for its money in terms of performance, but they don't have to. The Quadro card will no doubt costs thousands of dollars, while the Radeon Pro WX 7100 will eek in at just under $1,000. The Radeon Pro WX 5100 and 4100 will slot in somewhat below that mark. AMD also announced the Radeon Solid State Storage Architecture and the Radeon Pro SSG card today. Details are scant, but AMD is essentially outfitting Radeon Pro SSG cards with large amounts of Solid State Flash Memory, which can allow much larger data sets to reside close to the GPU in an extended frame buffer. Whereas the highest-end professional graphics cards today may have up to 24GB of memory, the Radeon Pro SSG will start with 1TB, linked to the GPU via a custom PCI Express interface. Giving the GPU access to a large, local data repository should offer significantly increased performance for demanding workloads like real-time post-production of 8K video, high-resolution rendering, VR content creation and others.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA Stepped out at Siggraph today and announced yet another monster GPU, this time for the professional graphics market. The Quadro P6000 is even a step beyond the recently announced Titan X, with 3840 CUDA cores and 12 TFLOPs of compute power at its disposal. You won't find next-generation High Bandwidth Memory here (aka HBM2) like the P100, but the professional graphics card does pack in a healthy 24GB of 10GHz GDDR5X memory. The card is also equipped with four DisplayPort 1.4 ports and one DVI connector and can support up to four displays at 4092x2160 @ 120Hz or four displays at 5120x2880 @ 60Hz. In addition to the new 16nm Pascal-based Quadro cards, NVIDIA also announced that it is extending its VRWorks SDK to include the acceleration of 360-degree video stitching. Additional capabilities are coming to NVIDIA's DGX-1 server as well.
MojoKid writes: Details just emerged from NVIDIA regarding its upcoming powerful, Pascal-based Titan X graphics card, featuring a 12 billion transistor GPU, codenamed GP102. NVIDIA is obviously having a little fun with this one and at an artificial intelligence (AI) meet-up at Stanford University this evening, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang first announced, and then actually gave away a few brand new, Pascal-based NVIDIA TITAN X GPUs. Apparently, Brian Kelleher, one of NVIDIA's top hardware engineers, made a bet with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, that the company could squeeze 10 teraflops of computing performance out of a single chip. Jen-Hsun thought that was not doable in this generation of product, but apparently, Brian and his team pulled it off. The new Titan X is powered by NVIDIA's largest GPU; the company says it's actually the biggest GPU ever built. The Pascal-based GP102 features 3,584 CUDA cores, clocked at 1.53GHz (the previous-gen Titan X has 3,072 CUDA cores clocked at 1.08GHz). The specifications NVIDIA has released thus far include: 12-billion transistors, 11 TFLOPs FP32 (32-bit floating point), 44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instructions), 3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz, and 12GB of GDDR5X memory (480GB/s). The new Titan X will be available Aug. 2 for $1,200 direct from NVIDIA.com.
MojoKid writes: Lenovo and Motorola launched the Moto Z Droid, Moto Z Force Droid and their companion snap-on Moto Mods today, which are a new series of Android smartphone devices that offer something unique among other Android smartphones. The base specs of both the Moto Z Droid and Moto Z Force Droid read like a top-shelf Android device should, with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 820 SoC and a healthy 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB storage options, along with microSD card expansion up to another 2TB. Both Moto Z Droids have essentially the same base platform, but differ significantly in a couple of areas. The Moto Z Droid is a thin (5.19mm) variant with a 2600 mAh battery and a 2560X1440 QHD AMOLED display. The Moto Z Force Droid sports that same QHD display, but it is sheathed behind Moto ShatterShield technology making it virtually indestructible. Motorola guarantees it not to crack or shatter if dropped. ShatterShield, along with the phone's larger 3500 mAh battery, make the Moto Z a somewhat thicker device. However, what's truly standout are Moto Mods, which are snap-on back-packs of sorts that add new features, like the JBL Speaker, Moto Insta-Projector and Incipio OffGrid Power Pack (2220 mAh) mods. Integration of the mods is excellent through Moto's patented rear magnetic and pin connector technology. Even the fairly complex projector mod fires up in seconds and works really well.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA just launched their answer to AMD's Radeon RX 480 mainstream card today, dubbed the GeForce GTX 1060. The GP106 GPU at the heart of the GeForce GTX 1060 has roughly half of the resources of NVIDIA's current flagship GeForce GTX 1080. NVIDIA claims the GTX 1060 performs on par with a previous generation high-end GeForce GTX 980 and indeed this 120W mainstream offers an interesting mix of low-power and high-performance. The new GeForce GTX 1060 features a new Pascal derivative GPU that's somewhat smaller, called the GP106. The GP106 features 10 streaming multiprocessors (SM) with a total of 1280, single-precision CUDA cores and eight texture units. The GeForce GTX 1060 also features six 32-bit memory controllers, for 192-bits in total. GeForce GTX 1060 cards with either 6GB or 3GB of GDDR5 memory will be available and in benchmark testing offered performance that just misses the mark set by the pricier AMD Radeon R9 Nano but often outran the 8GB Radeon RX 480. The GeForce GTX 1060 held onto its largest leads over the Radeon RX 480 in the DirectX 11 tests, though the Radeon had a clear edge in OpenCL and managed to pull ahead in Thief and in some DirectX 12 tests (like Hitman). The GeForce GTX 1060, however, consumes significantly less power than the Radeon RX 480 and is quieter too.
MojoKid writes: Following rumors of a more powerful console in Sony's not-too-distant future, one that will be capable of playing games at a 4K resolution, the Japanese electronics maker last month opted to confirm it is indeed in development. Called PlayStation 4 Neo, the upgraded system will bring better hardware to the console scene to meet the needs of gaming on a television with four times as many pixels as a Full HD 1080p display. What's it going to take to game at 4K in the living room? A leaked internal document outlines some very interesting specs of the new model PS4 console. Assuming the leaked document is up to date with Sony's current plans, the PS4 Neo will use the same Jaguar cores as the original PS4, but clocked 500MHz faster, with 8 cores at 2.1GHz (up from 1.6GHz). The more significant upgrade will be the GPU. According to the slide, the PS4 Neo will use an improved version of AMD's GCN compute units (CUs), with twice the number of CUs at 36 instead of 18. They'll also be clocked faster—911MHz versus 800MHz. The net result is a 2.3x improvement in floating point performance.
MojoKid writes: Nintendo has just announced its NES Classic Edition console, which is a miniature version of the blockbuster Nintendo Entertainment Center console that debuted in the early 80s. The original NES was the very first introduction to home video gaming for many Americans and holds a tremendous amount of nostalgia. Nintendo is playing up on that nostalgia, as the newly announced NES Classic Edition comes bundled with a single controller and both are dead ringers for the originals, except the system itself is now palm-sized. Nintendo also had the forethought to make the controller compatible with the Wii and Wii U. Simply plug the NES Classic Controller into a Wii Remote and you can use it to play Virtual Console NES games. The NES Classic Edition comes with 30 classic NES games built in so that you can instantly start busting bricks in Super Mario Bros or catch some serious air in Excitebike.
MojoKid writes: Micron just launched its new 9100 Series NVMe solid state drives which come in a number of capacities, configurations and form factors. The Micron 9100 PRO series targets read-centric environments, while the 9100 MAX targets mixed workloads. Capacities for the drives range from 800GB on up to 3.2TB, though all of the drives are outfitted with a similar Microsemi 16-core / 16-channel controller and 16nm Micron MLC NAND flash memory. The fastest drives in the series are rated for peak sequential read and write throughput of 3GB/sec and 2GB/sec, respectively. In testing, the drives generally outpace Intel's DC 3700 series drive, but can't catch Intel's higher-end SSD DC P3608 in some read tests, though the Micron drives did outpace Intel's flagship in some write tests and can hit their peak 3GB/sec specified bandwidth number easily.
MojoKid writes: In May, NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 1080. The company followed up on that beastly chip in June with slightly cut down GeForce GTX 1070 and that trickledown effect is now reaching the mainstream market with the arrival of the GeForce GTX 1060. The GeForce GTX 1060 can be seen as a direct response to the AMD Radeon RX 480, which offers a ton of performance at the $200 price point. While still built using a 16nm FinFET process, the GP106 core on the GTX 1060 features 1280 CUDA cores; exactly half that of the GTX 1080. Base clock for the GPU is 1506MHz, while the boost clock is 1708MHz (NVIDIA is quick to point out, however, the GPU core can easily be overclocked to 2GHz+). The GTX 1060 features a 192-bit memory bus and comes with 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 8Gbps. The card has a single 6-pin power connector and a 120W TDP. NVIDIA claims that the GTX 1060 is on average 15 percent faster than its closest competitor, the Radeon RX 480. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 will be available starting July 19th from a wide variety of third-party partners including ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac etc. with a starting price of $249. The NVIDIA-built GeForce GTX 1060 Founder Edition will be available for $299.
MojoKid writes: Microsoft is hoping to usher in a new era in console gaming just over a year from now. While the company is just a month away from launching the Xbox One S refresh in the US, Project Scorpio is the console that really has gamers talking. During E3, Microsoft provided scant details on the console, only cluing us in to the fact that it would support virtual reality, 4K gaming, and push 6 TFLOPs of computing power. Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, CD Projekt Red's Principal Narrative Designer, had a few things to say about that last bullet point regarding compute performance. If you recall, AMD's newly introduced Radeon RX 480 offers peak performance of 5.8 TFLOPs, which puts it in close proximity of Microsoft's Project Scorpio. But of course, trying to compare consoles to PCs using this stat alone isn't exactly apples to oranges, though Tomaszkiewicz explains, "For sure it [Scorpio] will have better looking games," Tomaszkiewicz said. "If this was available when we were working on Wild Hunt, I would expect similar quality that we have on PC right now or even better maybe."
MojoKid writes: AMD launched its new Radeon RX 480 graphics card today, based on the company's all new Polaris GPU architecture. The card is powered by the Polaris 10 GPU which is outfitted with 36 Compute Units, with a total of 2,304 shader processors. Reference specifications call for boost and base GPU clocks of 1266 MHz and 1120 MHz, respectively, and either 4 or 8GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit interface. All told, the Radeon RX 480 offers up a total of 5.8 TFLOPs of compute performance with up to 224GB/s of peak memory bandwidth and the card requires only a single 6-pin PCIe power feed. The Radeon RX 480 is only about 9.5" inches long and sports a typical dual-slot form factor. It offers strong performance in its price segment ($199 — $239) as well. In comparison to NVIDIA's more expensive GeForce GTX 970, AMD's Radeon RX 480 fares very well. The Radeon RX 480 also offers roughly 85-95% of the performance of the more expensive previous gen Radeon R9 390 and was able to overtake it with some basic overclocking. The Radeon RX 480's power characteristics were slightly better than the GeForce GTX 970 as well but when you consider the almost two-year old NVIDIA GPU is manufactured using a 28nm process, versus the 14nm FinFET process of Polaris 10, AMD's Radeon RX 480 power characteristics are less impressive.
MojoKid writes: If you're among the many Windows customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8 that are sick of the Windows 10 nag screens along with unprompted upgrades, you'll be happy to hear that at least one "little guy" has won a battle against Microsoft in court. Teri Goldstein claims that her computer was forced into upgrading to Windows 10 shortly after it became available during the summer of 2015 — all without her authorization. "I had never heard of Windows 10," Goldstein told The Seattle Times. "Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update." Windows 10 left her computer unstable and prone to frequent crashes. According to Goldstein, her computer became unusable, which is problematic considering that she uses the machine to run a travel agency. So Goldstein decided to do what the majority of other hapless Windows 10 victims were unwilling to do: sue Microsoft. She decided to battle MSFT in court, citing lost wages and the need to purchase a replacement computer. Much to the surprise of Microsoft, Goldstein actually won her case. Goldstein was awarded damages in the amount of $10,000.
MojoKid writes: Microsoft is cooking up some nifty feature enhancements to Windows 10 that will roll out with the much anticipated Anniversary Update later this summer. One of the newest tweaks will make it easier to perform hardware upgrades, such as a motherboard or hard drive, as you won't have to dial up a support representative and explain why your license should still be valid. The activation tweak is also being rolled out preview build 14371 to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. It's part of what Microsoft is calling the "Activation Troubleshooter," which is intended to address user feedback from Windows Insiders who've run into activation issues on Genuine Windows devices after making certain hardware changes. You can launch the tool by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and select Troubleshoot.
MojoKid writes: While the AI present in today's experimental self-driving cars can navigate city streets, change lanes, avoid accidents and are for the most part fairly competent "drivers", what happens when it comes to an "us versus them" scenario? What if a self-driving car is presented with no-win situation — no matter what the outcome of a collision, someone will likely die? Does the self-driving car protect its passengers at all costs with no regard for the lives of others, or should the car instead put its passengers in harm's way to avoid a higher number of casualties? That's the subject of a new study published in Science, entitled, "The Social Dilemma of Autonomous Vehicles." 1,928 participants were surveyed on a number of scenarios in which a self-driving car is faced with a moral dilemma that would result in the death of one or more people. The survey results showed that people overwhelmingly decided that self-driving cars should take a "utilitarian approach" in which casualties are minimized, even it means that passengers within the car must have their lives sacrificed for the greater good. But on the flip side, these same participants said that if they were shopping for a car to purchase or were a passenger, they would prefer to be within a vehicle that would protect their lives by any means necessary. Participants also balked at the notion of the government stepping in to regulate the "morality brain" of self-driving cars.
MojoKid writes: Students at ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts took to the fast lane and developed an electric vehicle that's capable of going 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just 1.513 seconds, or roughly equivalent to a 0 to 60 miles per hour measurement (62.1371 MPH to be exact). The student team set a new world record in acceleration for an electric car. Hitting 100 km/h in just 1.513 seconds took just 30 meters of track at the Dübendorf air base near Zurich. It took less than a year for a group of 30 students to build the car called Grimsel that weighs just 168 kilograms, or a little over 370 pounds. Grimsel is a four-wheel drive electric racing car with four specially developed wheel hub motors capable of generating 200 HP and 1,700 Nm (1,202 pounds per foot) of torque.