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There's Allegedly a "Quiet Hostility" Between Apple and Nvidia

A report from Apple Insider last week suggests that Apple and Nvidia aren't on the best terms. As it points out, the companies have a long history going back to the early 2000s, but the trouble started in 2004 when Nvidia failed to produce the GeForce 6800 Ultra Apple needed. Following some other controversies and lawsuits, an Apple insider told Apple Insider that negotiations between Apple and Nvidia were "extremely bitter" in 2009. Now, a decade later, the publication's insider sources claim that those relations are still sour. The developers say that Nvidia driver support on Macs is basically non-existent because there's a "quiet hostility" between the companies, and that someone at Apple doesn't want that to change.

"It's not like we have any real work to do on it, Nvidia has great engineers," said one developer in a sentiment echoed by nearly all of the Apple staff we spoke with. "It's not like Metal 2 can't be moved to Nvidia with great performance. Somebody just doesn't want it there." For sure, somebody at Apple in the upper echelons doesn't want Nvidia support going forward right now. But, even off the record, nobody seemed to have any idea who it is. The impression we got is that it was some kind of passed-down knowledge with the origin of the policy lost to the mists of time, or an unwritten rule like so many in baseball.

Posted by alphaatlas January 21, 2019 10:44 AM (CST)

Verizon Is Quietly Testing Its Own Netflix-Style Cloud Gaming Service

Yet another corporate behemoth has embraced cloud gaming: The Verge has learned that Verizon is recruiting players for "Verizon Gaming," a new game-streaming service currently being tested on the NVIDIA Shield and destined for other Android devices. Titles such as Fortnite, Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Battlefield V, and Destiny 2 are evidently available.

For Verizon, cloud gaming could be a showcase for 5G broadband both in the home and on the go. The low latency and fast data speeds of 5G could solve for many of the hurdles that game streaming apps -- such as Sony’s PlayStation Now -- are dealing with today. And it’s easy to envision Verizon Gaming being an add-on to the company’s home internet or mobile data services.

Posted by Megalith January 12, 2019 1:15 PM (CST)

AMD Quietly Launched 8 Core EPYC CPU with 64MB L3

AMD quietly launched an interesting addition to the EPYC line, which Servethehome spotted yesterday. The EPYC 7261 has just 8 cores and 16 threads. But, unlike the existing EPYC 7251, the 7261 has all 64MB of its L3 cache enabled, as well as a significantly higher base clock, a TDP of 170W instead of 120W, and support for DDR4 2666. For reference, AMD's 8 core Ryzen desktop CPUs only have 16MB of L3, and Intel's new i9-9800X has 16.5MB. That is a truly massive amount of cache for an 8-core CPU, which makes the 7261 an interesting option for expensive, I/O intensive software that's licensed by the core.

This chip quietly launched in June 2018, but we missed it since there was no announcement of the part. We have seen it available from major OEMs such as Dell EMC, HPE, and Supermicro. Pricing wise, we are still looking to get the official figure, but it seems to be a ~$150 price increase on most configurators over the EPYC 7251 which would put it about in the price range of the AMD EPYC 7281 16 core 32MB part

Posted by alphaatlas November 01, 2018 11:21 AM (CDT)

AMD Quietly Releases New A8-7680 Carrizo APU for Socket FM2+

FM2+ may be on the older side, but AMD is apparently still invested in the "ancient" socket: an official product master and e-tailer listings confirm that a successor to the A8-7600, the A8-7680, is genuine. Many are questioning the point of this release.

It would appear the main difference between the two, noting that the A8-7680 specs are not formally released yet, is a 400 MHz increase on the base clock bringing it up from 3.1 GHz on the A8-7600 to 3.5 GHz on the A8-7680. Sadly, the boost clock remains the same at 3.8 GHz as noted at various e-tailers.

Posted by Megalith October 27, 2018 3:45 PM (CDT)

The Academy Is Quietly considering Streaming the Oscars

With less people watching both award shows and television in general, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is contemplating streaming the Oscars after their current deal with ABC expires. "TV is going nowhere. So why don’t we just get our money [from a streaming deal], not worry about ratings, and call it a day?" Netflix had approached the Academy last year, expressing interest in hosting the show.

By 2022, 20% of U.S. adults will have ditched their cable or satellite TV subscriptions, according to eMarketer. By 2028, when the Academy’s deal with ABC expires, who knows where we’ll be? Netflix could own a sizable theater chain by then, and Amazon could be green-lighting shows based on what Alexa overheard Jordan Peele say at breakfast.

Posted by Megalith September 22, 2018 2:50 PM (CDT)

Microsoft Quietly Shuts Down Surface Plus Financing Program for Consumers

Microsoft has terminated its Surface financing program for consumers. Originally introduced in August 2017, "Surface Plus" allowed individuals to buy new Surface Pros for $34 per month for 24 months; Surface Laptops for $42 per month for 24 months; and Surface Books for $63 per month for 24 months. Those who are already enrolled will see no changes and can continue making payments as planned.

The business version of this program, known as Surface Plus for Business, doesn't seem to be shutting down -- at least based on its web page. I've asked Microsoft why it decided to shut down the Surface Plus program. No word back so far. I'm wondering whether Microsoft may be moving Surface Plus financing to another financier, such as Dell Preferred, which is the company behind the Xbox All Access financing program.

Posted by Megalith September 02, 2018 2:45 PM (CDT)

Corsair Teases Hydro X Series Water Cooling

If you click over to Corsair's homepage, you will be presented with two hard-tubes with a purple coolant flowing freely through them, fashioned in a nice big X. Then you get "Hydro X Series, Just Add Water." Is Corsair telling us that they are using the talents they recently poached from EK, and putting those to use in preparing its own line of Corsair custom cooling loop products? Yeah, that is exactly what that means. Being that Cosair is using talent from EK, we at least know they have a grasp on what not to do when it comes to water cooling, and that is probably a good lesson to have in the bag. The only other thing of interest on the page, is "Coming Soon" text and a "Notify Me" button.
Posted by Kyle August 22, 2018 11:55 AM (CDT)

Project "Fuchsia": Google Is Quietly Working on a Successor to Android

The existence of Google’s Fuchsia project is nothing new, but Bloomberg has managed to squeeze new details out of the team responsible for the secretive OS. One discovery is that Fuchsia will be capable of running all of Google’s in-house gadgets (e.g., Pixel phones and smart speakers), as well as third-party Android or Chrome OS devices. If all goes to plan, Fuchsia will replace Android entirely.

According to one of the people, engineers have said they want to embed Fuchsia on connected home devices, such as voice-controlled speakers, within three years, then move on to larger machines such as laptops. Ultimately the team aspires to swap in their system for Android, the software that powers more than three quarters of the world's smartphones, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

Posted by Megalith July 22, 2018 11:05 AM (CDT)

Corsair T2 Road Warrior Gaming Chair Build and Size

It's a gaming chair, and you sit in it. And we are going to do just that. Sit in it. Then I will tell you how my tushy feels after a month.
Posted by Kyle June 25, 2018 8:01 PM (CDT)

Microsoft Quietly Cuts Off Windows 7 Support for Older Intel Computers

Despite Microsoft’s promise of support until 2020, Windows 7 users running older hardware are getting the shaft: those with a Pentium III, for instance, will no longer be able to install monthly rollups or security-only patches. This is related to a bug that Redmond is allegedly ignoring, leading some to believe that MS is "already killing off Windows 7."

Up until June 15, Microsoft was promising that it would fix the bug that prevented Win7 Monthly Rollups and Security-only updates from installing on older pre-SSE2 machines. After June 15, Microsoft wrote off the pre-SSE2 population, without notice or fanfare, and retroactively changed the documentation to cover its tracks.

Posted by Megalith June 23, 2018 4:00 PM (CDT)

EVGA Quietly Changes Warranty Policy

Long praised for their customer service, and transferable warranty, EVGA has apparently, and very quietly changed their warranty policies as it pertains to used hardware. Any piece of EVGA hardware, including video cards, motherboards, power supplies, cases, laptops or peripherals that were purchased on or after May 25th will need the original invoice in order to make a warranty claim. The exact wording on EVGA's warranty page states:

Subject to the terms and conditions of this Limited Warranty, the Transferable Limited Warranty is available to second-hand purchasers with a valid proof of purchase from a reseller.

While that is somewhat unclear, a post from a moderator on the EVGA forums clarified that the original owner can give a copy of their invoice to the second owner for the proof of purchase. While I can understand EVGA's reasoning for this, especially with the flood of mining cards that has been hitting the market, I have to assume that this will hurt EVGA's sales. Nearly every recommendation for EVGA products come because of their customer service and warranty policies, and with that gone, there isn't much keeping buyers tied to the brand. Thanks to [H]ardOCP reader Steven for the story.

EVGA Corporation ("EVGA") warrants that the Product (defined below) delivered hereunder to the original purchaser ("Original Purchaser") from or an EVGA Authorized Reseller (each an "Authorized Reseller") will be free from material and workmanship defects that adversely affect the performance of the Product under normal use, pursuant to the terms outlined below. This Limited Warranty is only valid for the Original Purchaser, is non-transferable and does not extend to any used Products or Products not purchased from or an Authorized Reseller.

Posted by rgmekanic June 06, 2018 6:39 PM (CDT)

Corsair Frag Harder Disco Lights RAM Harder

I am fairly sure that Corsair's new VENGEANCE RGB PRO RAM comes with a pair of welding goggles.
Posted by Kyle June 05, 2018 7:16 PM (CDT)