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Submission + - NVIDIA Drops Surprise Unveiling Of Pascal-Based GeForce GTX Titan X (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Lenovo And Motorola Launch Moto Z And Moto Z Force Droids With Moto Mods (hothardware.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.

Submission + - NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX 1060 To Take On AMD's Radeon RX 480 (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Micron Announces 9100 MAX NVMe PCIe Enterprise Solid State Drives (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Micron Launches 9100 MAX NVMe PCI Express SSD At 3GB / Sec (hothardware.com)

bigwophh writes: Micron just launched its new 9100 Series NVMe solid state drives today, which come in multiple flavors and form factors. The Micron 9100 PRO series targets read-centric environments, while the 9100 MAX targets mixed-use cases. 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 / 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 that peak 3GB/sec bandwidth number easily.

Submission + - Microsoft Xbox Project Scorpio Puts Out 6 TFLOPs On Par With Current Gaming PCs (hothardware.com)

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."

Submission + - AMD Launches New Radeon RX 480, Benchmark Numbers Are In (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Windows 10 Anniversary Update To Take Hassle Out Of Reactivating After Upgrades (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Self-Driving Cars To Someday Face Moral Dilemma Of Who Lives And Who Dies (hothardware.com)

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.

Submission + - Intel Ships 72-Core Knight's Landing Xeon Phi Processors (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: It has been nearly two years since we first heard about Intel's next generation Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors, which are designed for High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. The processors are a big part of Intel's Scalable System Framework (SSF) and are built on using general-purpose x86 architecture and open standards. Today, Intel announced that its Xeon Phi processors are finally available to customers, nearly a year after the company's originally-quoted launch date. Intel Xeon Phi processors feature double-precision performance in excess of 3 teraflops along with 8+ teraflops of single-precision performance. All Xeon Phi processors incorporate 16GB of on-package MCDRAM memory, which Intel says is five times more power efficient as GDDR5 and offers 500GB/s of sustained memory bandwidth. MCDRAM can effectively be used as a high-speed cache or as a complimentary addition to the system DDR4 memory. Intel is targeting its Xeon Phi as a more competitive solution versus NVIDIA's dedicated Tesla GPU accelerators, citing up to a 5.2x performance advantage in visualization, up to a 2.7x in mathematical modeling, and up to a 5x increase in life sciences apps. The Xeon Phi is available in four basic configurations with 64 to 72 cores, and with processor frequencies ranging from 1.3GHz to 1.5GHz. All four support up to 384GB of DDR4 memory, but the base Xeon Phi 7210 is limited to the 2133MHz variety. Intel notes these are the company's first bootable host processors specifically designed for highly parallel workloads.

Submission + - More Details Surface On AMD 32-Core Server Chip Code Named Naples (hothardware.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AMD is hoping their next generation Zen processor architecture will be able to go toe-to-toe with the best that Intel has to offer and AMD is reportedly working on a high-end server variant of Zen as well, codenamed Naples. Naples would have a total of 32 cores, with a cluster of Zen cores sharing an 8MB pool of L3 cache. Total L3 shared cache is pegged at a stout 64MB and Naples will be capable of executing 64 threads while operating within a 180W power envelope. Naples reportedly will support eight independent memory channels and up to 128 PCIe Gen 3 lanes. In addition, a 16x10 GbE Ethernet controller is integrated into the chipset and Naples will use an SP3 LGA socket. The first server-based Zen processor could possibly squeak by for a late 2016 introduction, but odds are that we won't see widespread availability until 2017. At that time, you should expect Zen server processors in dual-, quad-, 16- and 32-core variants, with TDPs ranging from 35 watts to 180 watts. This is the second sighting of a 32-core AMD Zen variant. Earlier this year a CERN Engineer had details corroborating its existence in a presentation he was giving.

Submission + - More Details Emerge On 32-Core AMD Zen Server Chip Code Named 'Naples' (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: AMD is hoping their next generation Zen processor architecture will be able to go toe-to-toe with the best that Intel has to offer and AMD is reportedly working on a high-end server variant of Zen as well, codenamed Naples. Naples would have a total of 32 cores, with a cluster of Zen cores sharing an 8MB pool of L3 cache. Total L3 shared cache is pegged at a stout 64MB and Naples will be capable of executing 64 threads while operating within a 180W power envelope. Naples reportedly will support eight independent memory channels and up to 128 PCIe Gen 3 lanes. In addition, a 16x10 GbE Ethernet controller is integrated into the chipset and Naples will use an SP3 LGA socket. The first server-based Zen processor could possibly squeak by for a late 2016 introduction, but odds are that we won't see widespread availability until 2017. At that time, you should expect Zen server processors in dual-, quad-, 16- and 32-core variants, with TDPs ranging from 35 watts to 180 watts. This is the second sighting of a 32-core AMD Zen variant. Earlier this year a CERN Engineer had details corroborating its existence in a presentation he was giving.

Submission + - First Impressions Of The Alienware 13 Laptop With QHD OLED Display (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Dell's Alienware 13 gaming notebook has been popular among gamers and power users that want a little more horsepower in a relatively light 4.5 pound 13-inch machine. However, over the past couple of years, Alienware hasn't changed-up the design much, until today that is. The company is officially making the OLED display equipped Alienware 13 available today, that they debuted back in January at CES. Initial testing and review impressions show that, as expected, that OLED display sure is gorgeous. Although, the new Alienware 13 — OLED is also representative of a full revamp (except for the skins), including a 6th generation Intel Skylake Core series processor and an NVMe Solid State Drive. The real kicker, however, is that Alienware's 13.3 QHD (2560X1440) OLED display offers great saturation and contrast with an extremely crisp 1ms pixel response time that delivers beautiful image quality, whether working in content creation, or in fast moving action while gaming. Viewing angles with the display are also superior to high-end IPS panels including Dell's own XPS 15 with its near-bezelless Infinity Edge panel.

Submission + - Intel Announces Xeon E7 v4 Processors Supporting Up To 24TB Of Memory, 8 Sockets (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel recently unveiled their new top-end server chip offering, dubbed Xeon E7 v4, which leverages their Broadwell-EX architecture for mission-critical server applications, big data analytics, and the cloud. Servers with Intel Xeon Processor E7 v4 series processors can support up to 24TB of memory (3TB per socket), which is double the previous generation. The chips also support up to 8 sockets in a single system and are drop-in compatible with existing Brickland-based platforms, after a BIOS / microcode update. In most segments, Xeon Processor E7 v4 series processors typically feature more cores and cache than their previous-generation counterparts, and occasionally higher clocks as well. Xeon E7 v4 series processors with up to 24 physical cores (48 threads) and 60MB of cache will be available.In a 4-socket Brickland-based server powered by a quartet of E7-8890s, in comparison to last year's Xeon E7 v3 series parts, the new Xeon E7 v4 series is an average of about 30% faster across the board. SPECvirt-DC 2013 shows the largest gain of about 35%, while SPECfp shown an uplift of 19%.

Submission + - Lenovo And Motorola Unveil PHAB2 Tango AR And Modular Moto Z Smartphones (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Google has been teasing its Project Tango augmented reality (AR) platform for years but no OEMs have stepped up to the plate to deliver Tango-enabled hardware until now. Lenovo just came out with its PHAB2 Pro 6.4-inch phablet smartphone which packs a full-fledged AR experience. The PHAB2 Pro will be the first commercially available Lenovo smartphone in the US and it leverages Tango AR technology in three ways. The smartphone's "eye" uses motion-tracking to determine its location in 3D. Area learning can also feed location information to the phone, and depth perception allows the phone to analyze the world around it. The PHAB2 Pro is also huge with a 6.4" QHD display covered in 2.5D curved glass. Powering the PHAB2 Pro is a Snapdragon 652 processor with 4GB of RAM, a generous 64GB of storage and a microSD slot. There's also a 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera and a 4050 mAh battery. Lenovo's Motorola Mobility division also announced the Moto Z and Moto Z Force, which are next generation Android flagships. The Moto Z is the standard model and measures just 5.2mm thick and comes with a 5.5" QHD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. Its 13MP rear camera features optical image stabilization and laser autofocus, while its 5MP front camera with wide-angle lens takes care of selfies. Then there's the new Moto Z Force, which ups the ante with a 3500 mAh battery, a 21MP rear camera and a shatterproof screen. But what truly makes the Moto Z and Moto Z Force stand out are Moto Mods. These are modular accessories that attach to the back of the smartphones via four magnets and a 16-pin connector. It's much more elegant than what LG has employed with the G5 (which requires you to remove the bottom of the smartphone). Instead, Moto Z users can simply attach an accessory, like the JBL SoundBoost Mod which brings high-end sound, with a quick snap.

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