Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

[H] Enthusiast Archives: January 2017 Archive Listing

Tuesday January 31, 2017

AMD confirms Ryzen and Vega launch timetables.

During the fourth quarter earnings call today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that the consumer Ryzen CPU lineup will be launching in early March. The server based lineup is code named Naples and will launch in the second quarter of 2017. The AMD Zen based APU code named Raven Ridge is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2017. And finally the Vega GPU lineup will launch in the second quarter of 2017. Who is ready for the new AMD CPU and GPU hardware to install into the AM4 motherboards showcased earlier? Lisa Su even hinted that they were working on 7nm technology and there is a Zen 2 & Zen 3 in development!

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"There will be widespread system availability from day one," Su said during the call. Channel vendors will receive the first Ryzen chips, along with system integrators. More traditional hardware vendors will come later, Su added.

That statement implies that vendors like Dell or HP (neither of which have been officially confirmed to be using the Ryzen chip) will be asked to wait, while AMD caters to boutique PC vendors. Ryzen will take on Intel’s highest-end Core chips, specifically the Core i5 and Core i7 processors, Su said.

Discussion

Drobo 5C Self-Managing USB-C Storage Solution Review

Today Servethehome is taking a look at the updated Drobo 5C, and it seems like they quite like the device. Drobo have certainly made a name for themselves as RAID devices for people who don't like to mess around with RAID.

If I weren't the type to want to build my own, and I wanted to buy a Drobo, this would certainly be the one to get. This 5 disk model supports dual disk redundancy, a must in my opinion, as well as relatively high transfer speeds of almost 240MB/s via its single C type USB3 connector. It really stands out by having an internal battery backup allowing it to save in-process writes to disk in the case of a power outage, a feature that is usually reserved for higher end enterprise gear.

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We will go through the eight pages here for reference, but it really boils down to inserting your drives, plugging it in, connecting your USB cable and installing the Drobo DashBoard software. It is very simple and straightforward.

Discussion

2K Beats Lawsuit Over Biometric Face-Scanning

In today’s news story about how companies increasingly own your data, a judge has ruled in favor of video game publisher 2K, which was being sued because two guys didn’t like the idea of having their facial scan data kept on servers indefinitely. This case would have been a lot more interesting if there wasn’t an EULA involved and went beyond the mere issue of proving damages, as it could have been an opportunity to see what the judge really thought about how far companies may go in terms of keeping sensitive data such as biometrics. Funny enough, the game did a crappy job of duplicating your face to begin with.

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Take-Two was hit with a lawsuit in October 2015 over the "MyPlayer" feature of its NBA 2K series of games. To create avatars, the system uses cameras connected to PS4 and Xbox to scan the gamer's face and head. The process takes about 15 minutes, and gamers doing this have to agree to terms and conditions noting that the face scan will be visible to others. Afterward, Take-Two allegedly stores the biometric information indefinitely on its servers. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed the company had failed to obtain their informed consent. They alleged not fully understanding Take-Two's practices with respect to biometric information upon purchase and not having any recourse to return the game once they did. Even if they could get back their money, the suing gamers say that Take-Two failed to inform them in writing how the facial scans would be retained and disseminated.

Discussion

Nintendo Has Killed The Wii U

Out with the old, in with the newآ—especially if the old didn’t perform that well. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was pondering getting the Zelda: Wind Waker bundle, but I am pretty sure I will not bother at this point. The original story was that the Wii U was only terminated in its home county, but Gamespot got a spokesperson to admit that the system is being killed off globally. Nintendo is obviously shifting all their attention to the Switch, which is supposedly seeing a boost in production to meet pre-order demandsآ…

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آ…Nintendo confirmed last year that Wii U production would end soon in Japan. At the time, Nintendo also said that, as of November 2016, it had sent all of its Wii U shipments to North American retailers for the current fiscal year, which ends in March 2017. It's no secret that the Wii U has come up short. The system, which went on sale in November 2012, has sold 13.56 million units around the world as of December 31, 2016. This compares to more than 101 million units sold for the Wii. The Wii, of course, was a massive, global hit, and matching that success was always going to be a challenge for the Wii U.

Discussion

Witcher 3 Dev Forums Hacked, 1.8 Million Accounts Stolen

Those of you with CD Projekt RED forum accounts better check this story out, as 1.8 million accounts have allegedly been leaked from the site. The compromised information includes usernames, emails, and passwordsآ—although there is some "good news," in that the latter was encrypted. Interestingly, the developer did post about this predicament back in December, but some folks are mad because it was "tucked away" in a sub-forum. There is also the fact that the hack supposedly happened way before that, in March 2016آ…

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Polish game development studio CD Projekt RED has had more than 1.8 million user credentials stolen from its online forum, according to data breach notification website 'Have I Been Pwned?'. The studio, which is famous for developing the highly successful Witcher franchise, was breached in March 2016 when hackers targeted its online forum, leading to a leak of usernames, passwords and email addresses. Those signed up to notifications through Have I Been Pwned? were alerted to the breach by email this morning, with users recommended to change their passwords "immediately."

Discussion

AMD Meet the Experts

Here is a partial slide deck from the AMD "Meet the Experts" meeting held this morning. These should give you a bit of insight into upcoming Ryzen compatible motherboards. You can see plenty of other ASUS and MSI specific slides at this imgur gallery. 1337 13D haxors unite!

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Discussion

Supercomputer Outwits Humans In Poker Rematch

I don’t know a damn thing about Poker, but I can tell you that losing to a computer in front of a crowd must be pretty embarrassingآ—yet with the way things are advancing, maybe that isn’t anything to be too ashamed about, as we are seeing such monumental gains in AI that getting owned by software is becoming more and more ordinary. In this case, four of the "world’s best" poker players were defeated by Libratus, an artificial intelligence robot. I don’t know what is worse, getting beat by AI or sitting there playing poker for 20 days straight.

An artificial intelligence called Libratus has beaten four of the world’s best poker players in a gruelling 20-day tournament that culminated late on Monday. The Brains vs Artificial Intelligence competition saw four human players آ– Dong Kim, Jason Les, Jimmy Chou and Daniel McAulay آ– spend 11 hours each day stationed at computer screens in the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh battling a piece of software at no-limit Texas Hold’em, a two-player unlimited form of poker. Libratus outmanoeuvred them all, winning more than $1.7m in chips. (Thankfully for the poker pros, they weren’t playing with real money) It’s a crushing defeat for humanity, but a major milestone for artificial intelligence.

Discussion

Next Chapter of Elder Scrolls Online - Live

I know we have a lot of Elder Scrolls Online fans around [H]. Bethesda is streaming a live broadcast entitled "Discover the Next Chapter of ESO," at 1pm CST. Twitch has the stream. Or displeasure depending on how much of a hate-boner you have for Bethesda.

Discussion

[H]ardware Round-Up II

Corsair Bulldog 2.0 Barebones 4K & VR Living Room Gaming PC Review @ Legit Reviews

Micron 5100 MAX 960GB and ECO 1920GB Enterprise SSD Review @ PCPer

Intel Pentium G4600: A Surprising 3.6GHz Kabylake CPU For $90 @ Phoronix

MSI GE62VR 7RE Apache Pro Review @ Vortez

Nanoxia CoolForce 1 Case Review (German) @ Technic 3D

Ben Affleck Will Not Direct "The Batman"

The next Batman film was being hyped to high heaven due to Affleck’s directorial involvement, but that is no more, as Ben has left the chair and proclaimed that it is all just too much for him to handle. Supposedly, the decision has nothing to do with the fact that his latest directing effort "Live by Night" bombed both critically and financially, but it really seems to me that he is playing things safeآ—I mean, how would he even recover if he were to make a disappointing Batman movie? The memes alone would kill him. I heard that Joel Schumacher is availableآ…

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Ben Affleck has decided to step down as director of "The Batman" and remain on as a producer and star of the project. Affleck is still on board to play the superhero, but sources close to the talent said Affleck and Warner Bros., after discussing how to best make the film possible, came to the decision together. "There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions," Affleck said in a statement. "Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world."

Discussion

The Biggest Upgrade You Can Make To Your Gaming PC Is A Curved Monitor

Well, [H]? Is he right? ( At least, in a literal sense? ) I have already given my thoughts on curved screens, but while my next TV will definitely not be curved, I am willing to give that feature a chance in regard to near-field displays. However, I remain convinced that visual distortion will still be pretty noticeable despite closer viewing distances. Strangely, this guy never brings that anomaly up, although he does address that other problems, such as screen reflections, are less of a concern with curved monitors than televisions. Personally, my biggest concern when it comes to display shopping is still panel typeآ—maybe it is just my imagination, but I like how I am seeing VA panels more and more.

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There’s a straightforward technical reason for why I found Battlefield much more enjoyable on a curve. Most first-person games condense a wide field of view into the narrow window of a screen because that gives the player more information to work with. That generates a dissonance: you’re looking through a circumscribed box, but seeing more than the box should properly show you. Curved, ultrawide monitors feel more realistic when rendering game environments because they can unfurl the visual information across a wider space, and instead of making the things on the player’s right or left sit directly in front, they can position those more appositely. That’s my theory, anyhow.

Discussion

8TB, HGST Disks Show Top Reliability, Racking Up 45 Years Without Failure

Backblaze is back with its hard drive findings for 2016, and Ars’ analysis points out the impressive performance of certain Toshiba and HGST disks, which made it through a year without failure. One Seagate drive also managed that honor, although it remains to be seen just how reliable it really is, as it was introduced only fairly recently. Analysis of that model should be pretty interesting because it is an enterprise driveآ—the results may show whether hard drives meant for professional settings are truly worth the additional cost.

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The standout finding: three 45-disk pods using 4TB Toshiba disks, and one 45-disk pod using 8TB HGST disks, went a full year without a single spindle failing. These are, respectively, more than 145 and 45 years of aggregate usage without a fault. The Toshiba result makes for a nice comparison against the drive's spec sheet. Toshiba rates that model as having a 1-million-hour mean time to failure (MTTF). Mean time to failure (or mean time between failures, MTBFآ—the two measures are functionally identical for disks, with vendors using both) is an aggregate property: given a large number of disks, Toshiba says that you can expect to see one disk failure for every million hours of aggregated usage. Over 2016, those disks accumulated 1.2 million hours of usage without failing, healthily surpassing their specification.

Discussion