Wednesday, December 23, 2015

IT News Head Lines (Overclockers Club) 24/12/2015

Overclockers Club



Just Cause 3 Review


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Oculus Begins Shipping Rift VR Headset to Developers
Back in June at E3, Oculus announced that it planned to release the Rift Consumer VR Headset in the first quarter of 2016. The company still plans to meet that deadline and it is beginning to ship the final version of the Rift to developers this week. Developers that wish to participate "should submit their VR apps through the standard Oculus dev portal," after which the company will "be in touch with next steps." The Oculus Rift software also reached a significant milestone this week with the release of version 1.0 of the Software Development Kit (SDK). Version 1.0 represents a point of stability in the software whereas previous versions often carried "substantial changes in the way developers have to have their apps interact with the Rift hardware." This year is shaping up to have a great deal of potential in the VR space, and it will be interesting to see what Oculus competitors have to offer as well.
Source: Ars Technica


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LG Planning CES Reveal for webOS 3.0
The Consumer Electronics Show 2016 will take place in Las Vegas next month, and LG is planning to officially unveil version 3.0 of the webOS smart TV platform. LG Home Entertainment president and CEO Brian Kwon described the update stating, "The new webOS 3.0 is a major update since this advanced TV platform technology was first introduced in 2014. The webOS story of simple connection, simple switching, and simple discovery has really connected with customers and illustrates very clearly our commitment to securing a leadership role in the smart TV market with innovation and creativity." Version 3.0 will bring a number of new features designed to "simplify the process of finding and switching between content options, including broadcast TV, streaming services, and external devices." The new features include Magic Zoom, Magic Mobile Connection, Magic Remote, Channel Plus, and Channel Advisor. The three Magic features will allow users to magnify on-screen objects, display mobile apps on your TV, and control your entire entertainment system from a single device. Channel Plus "provides a wide range of over-the-top content in a user-friendly format" while Channel Advisor will monitor your usage patterns and make recommendations accordingly.
Source: PC Magazine


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, December 22, 2015, Edition
A new day begins with some more potential gift ideas, either for you to get for yourself or others to get for you. There is a review on the SilverStone TD03 Slim AIO Liquid Cooler, a super thin CPU cooler that could be perfect for builds where space is at a premium. If you need a way to broadcast your tunes on the go, perhaps the Sound Blaster Roar 2 portable Bluetooth speaker is for you. On the laptop and tablet side of things, we have a look at the Microsoft Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 to see just what kind of advancements each one offers.
CPU Cooling

SilverStone TD03 Slim AIO Liquid Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Laptops/Tablets

Microsoft Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 @ PC Perspective
Speakers/Headphones

Sound Blaster Roar 2 @ LanOC Reviews


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Rumor Is AMD Greenland GPUs Are Coming Next Summer
As with any highly anticipated release, rumors are coming out about AMD's next flagship GPU named Greenland. This new GPU is set to be the company's first made using 14 nm FinFET nodes and HBM2, which should offer significantly greater speed while also being more efficient. The latest rumor is that it should be entering mass production at the end of Q2 2016, which would have it ready for launch at the end of Summer.
Current AMD GPUs are built on a 28 nm node and by making the jump down to 14 nm or 16 nm, the transistor density will increase greatly. This will result in greater performance and lower power consumption, as the smaller components packed more closely together will require less power to operate and communicate with each other. Greenland is also expected to use HBM2, which offers superior memory bandwidth to the GDDR5 on most modern graphics cards, and double that of the first generation HBM found on AMD's Fury-series cards. Basically Greenland is expected to surpass anything AMD has now and represent a true generational shift.
Other outlets (South Korea’s Electronic Times and Reuters) are reporting that Samsung has signed on to produce 14 nm CPUs and GPUs for AMD, along with Globalfoundries. While this information comes from unnamed sources, it makes this look like more than just a rumor.
Source: WCCFtech


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New Transparent Metal Film Developed to Compete With ITO
Indium tin oxide, or ITO, is a transparent conductor that is used in a great many displays, but because indium is a rare and expensive material, researchers have been searching for a replacement for years now. Many alternatives have been created, but none have quite matched the optical and electrical properties needed to replace ITO. Now researchers at Penn State have discovered that a class of materials that can compete with ITO, while being significantly cheaper.
These materials are known as correlated metals, which differ from conventional metals because of how their electrons flow. In normal metals the electrons move like particles in a gas, but in a correlated metal they can interact with each other, like particles in a liquid. This actually grants the materials high optical transparency and metal-like conductivity, and when light shines on it, it becomes even more transparent. The two materials the researchers specifically worked with were strontium vanadate and calcium vanadate, but the work could lead to other correlated metals being discovered.
Right now a kilogram of indium costs about $750, and as we use the limited supply, its price will increase even more, while vanadium, which is far more common, costs just $25 per Kg, and strontium is even cheaper. Combined with the potential of being able to just replace ITO with strontium vanadate in the manufacturing process and it becomes an even more enticing alternative.
Source: Penn State


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Video Cards and the Ever-Increasing Memory Power Consumption Adventure
Video cards and memory go hand in hand, with the more power a card has, the more memory it carries with it. Memory keeps on increasing as the power of the cards reach new heights, and even more so with HBM jumping into battle. However, there is one thing that's an issue regardless of GDDR or HBM: power consumption of the memory. Video card TDP typically tops out at 250W for NVIDIA and 275W for AMD, but jumps up higher on the dual-GPU monsters like the TITAN Z (375W) and R9 295X2 (500W). The memory TDP ranges from 8W to 32W on the NVIDIA side and 10W to 36W on the AMD side, with those dual-GPU cards again jumping things to 60W on the AMD side (curiously NVIDIA's TITAN Z still is at 32W memory TDP). The percentage totals of memory TDP to total TDP is anywhere from 8.4 to 14.5% for NVIDIA and 5.3 to 15.3% for AMD. It may not seem like much, but when the bandwidth starts to increase we can run into power problems and huge demands.
Right now, the bandwidth for NVIDIA tops out in the 336GB/s range, with AMD hitting 512GB/s with HBM. NVIDIA plans to move to HBM2 in its next line of cards, bringing even more power (and higher bandwidth) than it has now. When the bandwidth jumps into the thousand and beyond GB/s area, things can get quite dicey when it comes to memory power consumption. We could see cards with the memory alone pulling in 100W of power, shoving the card's total TDP beyond the 250-275W mark. HBM is more economical than GDDR5, as evidenced by the Fury cards featuring a 15W memory TDP despite the 512GB/s bandwidth. Scaling up from there, an HBM card pulling 120W of memory TDP would feature a staggering 4200GB/s bandwidth. Things don't always scale linearly, so if we put the bandwidth around 20-25GB/s per watt, we're looking at a (still impressive) 2400GB/s bandwidth. Of course this is all based on current trends and efficiency, so things can change over time as move further into the future.
So, where does this leave us? Well, NVIDIA and AMD can work on power efficiency with HBM to improve its capabilities. Intel, Rambus, and Micron are all working on new technologies, too, with new standards of their own that can really kickstart the memory power consumption numbers. Right now bandwidth and the memory power consumption will hit a wall, where either the bandwidth reaches a certain level and companies refuse to take it higher to save on power, or we see high-end video cards pushed to the absolute limit and feature TDPs in the 400+W range. We can also see huge advances in memory power consumption, either with HBM2 and beyond or in a new technology.
Source: WCCFtech


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Linux Exploit Attacks Grub2 With Backspace Key
A pair of researchers, Hector Marco and Ismael Ripoll, from the Cybersecurity Group at Universitat Politècnica de València have discovered an exploit in versions 1.98 to 2.02 of the latest GRand Unified Bootloader, Grub2. Considering the widespread use of Grub2 and the fact that these versions extend back to 2009, the researchers said the flaw results in an "incalculable number of affected devices." The exploit is executed by simply pressing the backspace key 28 times when Grub2 prompts for a username. Vulnerable machines will bring up a shell that grants full administrative privilege "to load customised kernels and operating systems, install rootkits, download the full disc or destroy all data on a machine." The exploit is caused by a pair of functions susceptible to integer overflow that causes the system to attempt to erase nonexistent characters, resulting in out of bounds memory errors. The researchers have alerted major Linux vendors and an emergency patch can be found on Github, and users should be sure to patch their systems as soon as possible. If there is one thing that could lessen the impact of the exploit, an attacker needs physical access to your machine in order to press the backspace key.
Source: ZDNet


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NVIDIA Adds Virtual Reality SLI Support to GameWorks
NVIDIA has announced the release of its latest Game Ready drivers, and with it comes support for GameWorks VR 1.1. As part of this update, NVIDIA has added VR SLI support for OpenGL applications and the latest Oculus SDK. Support is made possible through the "GL_NVX_linked_gpu_multicast" OpenGL extension that improves High-performance stereo head-mounted display (HMD) rendering speed. The new extension grants the ability to control multiple GPUs in an SLI setup through a single OpenGL context. Autodesk saw a 1.7x speedup in its VRED software when used with HMDs and close to a 2x speedup with stereo displays and projectors. Users will have access to this technology in both GeForce and Quadro drivers version 361.43 and newer. NVIDIA offers a simplified explanation of how everything works stating, "With the OpenGL multicast extension, it’s possible to upload the same scene to two different GPUs and render it from two different viewpoints with a single OpenGL rendering stream. This distributes the rendering workload across two GPUs and eliminates the CPU overhead of sending the rendering commands twice, providing a simple way to achieve substantial speedup ."
Source: NVIDIA


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, December 21, 2015, Edition
A new week is upon us, with the holidays approaching fast, so if you need some last minute gift ideas, we're here to help. We have a review of the ASUS X99-E WS/USB 3.1 motherboard, a new Workstation model that features an all-black PCB and plenty of PCIe slots for all your video card needs. There is a look at the OCZ Trion 100 480GB SSD to see how this budget-friendly model compares to some higher priced storage solutions. If you're looking for a new tablet or laptop and aren't sure which to get, perhaps the Microsoft Surface Book is the one to get. For those needing some water cooling help, the next part in the Water Cooling 101 guide has been posted to help you inspect your gear and get everything prepped for the install.
Motherboards

ASUS X99-E WS/USB 3.1 @ PC Perspective
Cooling

Water Cooling 101: The ThinkComputers WC101 Rig – Product Overviews @ ThinkComputers
Storage/Hard Drives

OCZ Trion 100 480GB SSD @ Madshrimps
Laptops/Tablets

Microsoft Surface Book @ TechSpot


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GTA Online Begins Its Festive Surprise 2015
GTA Online Begins Its Festive Surprise 2015
Some of you may have noticed the holiday season infiltrating several games by now, with snowy maps and giveaways. GTA V and Grand Theft Auto Online is no exception and its Festive Surprise 2015 has begun. This collection of treats is available for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One until January 5.
The free seasonal clothing and accessories you can find include new Santa outfits and pajamas, masks of several holiday characters, three Christmas themed car horns, and Christmas trees in owned properties and Legion Square. The content from the previous Festive Surprise and original 2013 Holiday Gifts are also available. There is also a Snapmatic contest going on, where players can post holiday-themed Snapmatic pictures to the Social Club for a chance to win GTA$1M and be featured on the Newswire. You can find the details and a link to the official rules at the source link.
Additionally, tomorrow starting (December 22) at 5 PM EST, there will be the second annual Official GTA Online Holiday Party Livestream on Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
Source: Rockstar Social Club


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Smallest Inkjet-Printed Color Image Made
Smallest Inkjet-Printed Color Image Made
If you peruse the Guinness World Records you are certainly going to find some unusual entries, and one of the new ones is the world's smallest inkjet-printed color image. The image of clown fish around sea anemones is just 80 micrometers by 115 micrometers, which is small enough to require a special microscope to see. It was printed using 3D NanoDrip technology developed at ETH Zurich, and has now been spun off to the company Scrona.
To create the 24 bit color image, the quantum dots were used, which are nanoparticles that can be designed to emit specific colors. The colors were put down in layers of red, green, and blue dots with their thicknesses controlled with sub-nanometer precision. The distance between each pixel is 500 nm, so the image itself is 25,000 DPI.
Currently quantum dots are finding uses in displays, thanks to their intense colors, and with this level of precision having been achieved we could see some new and interesting applications for them in electronics and optics. Right now though, the precision is being used to print images and you can have one made for you by backing Scrona's Kickstarter, which ends January 9.
Source: ETH Zurich


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Available Tags:LG , webOS , Hardware , AMD , Linux , NVIDIA

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