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AMD and Nvidia Must Do More To Stop Shortages and Gouging

An article from CNBC is calling out AMD and Nvidia for not doing something to combat the product shortages and price gouging occurring in the GPU market. Speaking about the shortages, Shrout Research's Ryan Shrout wrote in an email "Because of that, many enthusiasts and DIY builders are putting off system builds and upgrades completely, setting up an unfortunate situation for all other component vendors from processors to motherboards to storage."
I'm honestly shocked that CNBC is reporting on this, that is pretty bad press for AMD and Nvidia. I really like what Ryan Shrout had to say as well, I never thought about the crypto-craze harming other segments of the PC market, but it makes complete sense. It's nice that AMD made a statement when contacted by CNBC, but it feels little more than lip service when Vega 64's are going for $1,300.

Nvidia declined to comment for this story. AMD sent the following statement when asked about the graphics card shortages for PC gamers due to the cryptocurrency mining: "The gaming market remains a priority for AMD and gamers are a primary focus across our GPUs, CPUs and semi-custom game console products."

Posted by rgmekanic January 23, 2018 12:03 PM (CST)

INTEL SSD 760P SERIES M.2 SSD Launches Today

The new Intel SSD 760p Series combines Intel 3D NAND technology with Intel’s world-class quality leadership to deliver PCIe performance, high capacity and low power consumption for desktop and mobile platforms.
I have uploaded the complete Press Briefing (PDF) for your viewing pleasure. Discussion
Posted by Kyle January 23, 2018 10:05 AM (CST)

Linus Torvalds Rips Into Intel

In a public email chain, the Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, and David Woodhouse, engineer at Amazon in the UK discuss Intel's "fix" for Meltdown/spectre. Never one to pull punches Torvalds exclaims "the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE."
I can't even pretend to understand the technical parts of Linus' emails, but it's pretty obvious to see, the man isn't happy with what Intel is doing to fix the problem. From what I can gather, Intel is putting things in the patch that are unnecessary or redundant to make it look more substantial, while having the actual fix not be enabled by default. Linus' speculation on why it is not enabled by default is it would make Intel "look bad in benchmarks." Thanks to fightingfi for the story

All of this is pure garbage. Is Intel really planning on making this shit architectural? Has anybody talked to them and told them they are f*cking insane. Please, any Intel engineers here - talk to your managers. If the alternative was a two-decade product recall and giving everyone free CPUs, I'm not sure it was entirely insane.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 4:51 PM (CST)

Intel Patches Causing Big Reboot Issues Confirmed

As we reported back on January 12th, there were widespread reports of Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patches causing spontaneous reboots on systems. (I think we have dealt with the issue here once in the past week.) Now Intel is suggesting that you NOT roll out those patches as those seem to be causing more problems than good at this time.

Root Cause of Reboot Issue Identified; Updated Guidance for Customers and Partners We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior. For the full list of platforms, see the Security Center site.

And since Intel can't run the proper testing due to all their systems rebooting, they are asking for partner help. Maybe they could run those on AMD EPYC servers? Oh, nevermind.

We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release. We expect to share more details on timing later this week.

Posted by Kyle January 22, 2018 3:10 PM (CST)

Microsoft Releases $189 Laptops For Schools

Microsoft is unveiling 10 new Windows 10 devices for schools starting at $189, challenging the Chromebook to keep teachers and students using Windows. The least expensive if the group is the Lenovo 100e, which is an 11.6" rugged laptop, with an unspecified Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processor, 2 or 4 GB of LP-DDR4, 32-64GB of eMMC storage, and weighing in a 2.7 lbs.
Affordable laptops isn't the only thing that Microsoft is announcing today for schools. They also go into free Professional Development for schools using Microsoft 365 Education, to train teachers how to get the most from the new technology. As well as additional learning tools, Minecraft: Education Edition, a curriculum using Mixed Reality and HoloLens, and more. It makes sense to get kids into the Windows environment as early as possible from a business standpoint to get them into the ecosystem early, although that didn't work with me and the Apple II's my school had.

With all of these new experiences available in time for the upcoming school year, there’s never been a better time for schools to try Microsoft Education. We will continue to work hard to deliver innovative technology for educators around the world to unlock limitless learning for students of all abilities.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 11:43 AM (CST)

GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Preview

Considering that we can't buy video cards any more due to AMD and NVIDIA selling all those to miners, sometimes directly in the form of naked GPUs, maybe streaming cloud gaming is the answer. NVIDIA's streaming gaming service, GeForce Now, went into beta a couple weeks ago, and there is a wait list currently for access if you are interested. The video below is covering actual gameplay using GeForce Now.

Everyone knows gaming looks best on a PC, and especially so on a gaming desktop. We also know that gaming PCs are not cheap, but what if there was another option--where you could get play the newest games at the highest graphics, but on an older desktop computer or laptop. Nvidia's GeForce Now gives us a glimpse of the future with the concept of cloud gaming.

Posted by Kyle January 22, 2018 9:39 AM (CST)

Playboy Sues Boing Boing for Linking to a Playmate Centerfold Collection

In February 2016, Boing Boing (blog of "mostly wonderful things") published a post linking to an Imgur page featuring "every Playmate Centerfold ever." Now, nearly a year later, the site is facing legal action from Playboy, which seems to believe that "it is illegal to link to material posted by others on the web."

Rather than pursuing the individual who created the allegedly infringing archive, Playboy is pursuing a news site for pointing out the archive’s value as a historical document. In so doing, Playboy is seeking to change the legal system so that deep-pocketed opponents of journalism can shut down media organizations that displease them.

Posted by Megalith January 21, 2018 3:40 PM (CST)

Intel Has a Big Problem. It Needs to Act Like It

The chastising of Intel continued this week with another round of articles criticizing the company’s allegedly trivial attitude in light of Meltdown and Spectre. Bloomberg advises that Intel should probably adopt some "real humility, not cheap theatrics," as the company is expected to face the wrath of regulators who seem dead set on consumer protection suits and antitrust investigations.

Future designs will include hard-wired fixes that speed things up, but the first versions of those won’t appear until later this year, the company says. All of this puts Intel in a tough spot. The company is a nonfactor in the smartphone-chips business, and rival NVIDIA has taken a commanding lead in the fast-growing market for graphics chips used in artificial intelligence applications. Now, Meltdown and Spectre threaten the core of Intel’s business.

Posted by Megalith January 21, 2018 2:00 PM (CST)

Overwatch League Pro Suspended for Homophobic Insult against Opponent

The Overwatch League is suspending pro player Felix "xQc" Lengyel for four games and fining him $2000 after he blasted an opponent with anti-gay remarks. His own team, the Dallas Fuel, is supporting the league’s decision with a suspension of their own. This is more fuel for the critics out there who believe that eSports has plenty of growing up to do.

Wilmot used the line "rolled and smoked" during the OWL stream, a crack that Lengyel is known for, which led Lengyel -- who didn't play in the match -- to react angrily in a post-match stream. "No, you didn't smoke sh*t. Shut your f*cking mouth," Lengyel said. "Go back there, suck a fat cock. I mean, he would like that."

Posted by Megalith January 21, 2018 1:30 PM (CST)

Amazon Chooses 20 Finalists for Second Headquarters

The selection process for Amazon’s new HQ is winding down, as the winner is expected to be announced later this year. The majority of favored cities are in the Midwest and the South and East Coasts: these include Indianapolis, Miami, and Philadelphia. Detroit, Phoenix, and San Diego have been rejected.

"Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough -- all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity," Ms. Sullivan, Amazon’s head of economic development, said in a statement. "Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation."

Posted by Megalith January 20, 2018 2:00 PM (CST)

NVIDIA Wants Retailers to Sell GeForce GPUs to Gamers, Not Miners

NVIDIA has publicized some of their thoughts on the GPU pricing situation: speaking with ComputerBase, spokesman Boris Bohles thinks that gamers, not miners, are more deserving of their products and that retailers should better meet their needs. There is no indication that NVIDIA will actually engage trading partners to ensure this happens, however.

"For NVIDIA, gamers come first. All activities related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience. To ensure that GeForce gamers continue to have good GeForce graphics card availability in the current situation, we recommend that our trading partners make the appropriate arrangements to meet gamers’ needs as usual. "

Posted by Megalith January 20, 2018 10:50 AM (CST)

Gigabyte Offers Sneak Peek at a Future AMD Motherboard

Gigabyte is showing off a new X470 motherboard for the upcoming second generation Ryzen processors. While AMD has provided few details on what X4700 will bring. Some notable features are finned heatsinks on the VRMs, a slew of Frag Harder lights, power and clear CMOS buttons on the built-in I/O shield, and the one I like the most, a sockets BIOS chip that can be field-swapped.
I have to say the new board looks great. Seeing what Gigabyte has been doing, and playing with one in our cooler test system, I'm seriously thinking my next build will have a Gigabyte motherboard in it. How has it taken so long for an easily swappable BIOS chip!?

A strategically-placed piece of electrical tape prevented us from seeing the board's full name, but we can confidently say that this is the Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 WiFi. The most immediately evident (and welcome) change on this board relative to recent Gigabyte designs is the return of skived aluminum fins on its VRM heatsink.

Posted by rgmekanic January 19, 2018 5:25 PM (CST)