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AMD Combat Crate Bundle Leaked

In quite a surprise today, a seller on Amazon has leaked the "AMD Combat Crate." According to the listing the bundle is in stock now, and includes a Ryzen 5 1600 CPU, and MSI Gaming RX580 GPU, and an MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard for $599. This is likely a mistake in the listing, as the reviews appear to be for the processor itself, and not the "Combat Crate."
WOW! This was unexpected, and a really good value. Not to mention this helps cards get into the hands of gamers. I'd love to see the next iteration be a "build a box" kind of thing. Give me an APU and motherboard to build a new HTPC out of paired with a Vega 64 to put in my gaming rig please.

The AMD Combat Crate comes stocked with the essential hardware you need to push your game to the next level and lay waste to the competition. With a lightning fast Ryzen processor, powerful Radeon RX graphics backed by revolutionary Radeon Software Adrenaline Edition and a future-ready MSI motherboard - the AMD Combat Crate is the ultimate arsenal for gamers

Posted by rgmekanic April 23, 2018 8:41 PM (CDT)

MSI X370 Motherboard UEFI Support for Precision Boost 2

I reached out to MSI last week to see when and if it would be updating its X370 chipset motherboards to support Precision Boost 2, that we found to work so good on our water cooled Ryzen 2700X, and it tells us that the support is already in all its X370 EFI. That seems like it happened fairly quickly, but I guess that is a good thing.

The X370 BIOS on the website [already] supports AMD Precision Boost 2.

Posted by Kyle April 23, 2018 8:08 AM (CDT)

AMD May Release a Ryzen 7 2800X CPU "Someday"

According to Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, AMD did not bother releasing a 2800X because the recent Ryzen lineup (2600X and 2700X) already covers all current performance and price points. He does admit that a 2800X is not out of the question, which has led some to think that it will be used to counter Intel’s rumored 8C/16T CPU.

"We felt like, with the 2700X and 2700 at the performance and price points, we had that space covered. We just felt that with those two SKUs we had it sufficiently covered where we wanted to position the product. That doesn’t preclude a 2800X someday, right, maybe. But for now we believe those two SKUs cover the space well."

Posted by Megalith April 22, 2018 3:00 PM (CDT)

James Cameron Hopes for "Avengers" Fatigue

While the legendary director of "Terminator" and "Aliens" admits that he enjoys the occasional comic book movie, part of him hopes that they come to an end soon, as they are dominating the sci-fi genre but all tell a similar story with comparable set pieces and themes. James Cameron hopes to diversify things with his Avatar sequels, which he describes as family dramas akin to "The Godfather."

"I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon," Cameron said. "Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!"

Posted by Megalith April 22, 2018 2:35 PM (CDT)

Net Neutrality Rules Expire Monday, as Lawmakers Push for Paid Data Prioritization

Net Neutrality rules will officially be repealed tomorrow. Coincidentally, US Representative Marsha Blackburn championed the idea of paid data prioritization at a hearing last week, effectively urging ISPs to charge customers more for fast lanes. Experts say that service providers will probably wait before screwing us, however.

I would also point out that in real life, all sorts of interactions are prioritized every day. Many of you sitting in this room right now paid a line-sitter to get priority access to this hearing. In fact, it is commonplace for the government itself to offer priority access to services. If you have ever used Priority Mail, you know this to be the case. And what about TSA pre-check? It just might have saved you time as you traveled here today.

Posted by Megalith April 22, 2018 11:20 AM (CDT)

Hilton Panama’s Alienware Room for Game-Crazy Travelers

Dell has partnered with The Hilton in Panama to create a special den for PC gamers vacationing or doing business in the Central American country: room 2425 has been outfitted with a plethora of Alienware-branded products, including a PC, laptop, and lighting system. There is even a 65-inch 4K OLED TV, Oculus Rift, and gaming simulator chair with NASA technologies.

Apart from all the gaming goodness, the room, in fact, has two king beds along with other luxurious amenities to make the stay as comfortable as possible. The bathroom and shower sections also have visible influences of the Alienware theme all around. If you are already a big fan, Hilton Panama is opening the Alienware Room April 19 onward for $349 per night.

Posted by Megalith April 21, 2018 1:30 PM (CDT)

Microsoft Releases Windows Defender Browser Extension for Chrome

Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender to Google Chrome with an all-new extension that aims to protect users from phishing, malicious software, and other online threats. Some are claiming that it sends your entire web browsing history to Microsoft, however.

If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft.

Posted by Megalith April 21, 2018 11:20 AM (CDT)

AMD Wraith Prism Stock Cooler Eye Candy

No matter your stance on Frag Harder Disco Lights, I have to admit after I got this new Wraith Prism cooler up and running, I thought it was worth a little video coverage. Our review of the Ryzen 2700X is here, and this cooler comes with the 2700X. We are getting testing down now with just how Precision Boost 2 works with the 2700X on stock settings compared to our most awesome XSPC custom loop.
Posted by Kyle April 20, 2018 5:30 PM (CDT)

Don't Have Amazon Prime? No Star Wars VIII on Disc For You

ExtremeTech is reporting that if you want to purchase a physical copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Amazon for your collection, you are out of luck unless you are an Amazon Prime member. Both the Blu-ray and DVD copies of the movie are listed as "Exclusively for Prime members" on Amazon, in addition Beauty and the Beast, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are all restricted to Prime members and Prime members only.
Interesting choice by Amazon for sure, ExtremeTech makes an interesting argument in the quote below. Fortunately though The Last Jedi sucked, so the chances of actually wanting to buy it are slim.

Best of all, Amazon knows that while you may wind up going to Target or Best Buy eventually, you’ll visit Amazon first. The company’s overwhelming domination of the online sales market give it the effective right of first refusal - by which we mean that if shoppers default to checking Amazon first, Amazon is essentially "deciding" if it wants those visitors as shoppers.

Posted by rgmekanic April 20, 2018 4:42 PM (CDT)

AMD Releases New Chipset Drivers

Just one day after the 2nd Generation Ryzen processor launch, AMD is now releasing updated chipset drivers for all AM4 chipsets, as well as X399. In addition they have also released the AMD RAID installer, as well as AMD StoreMI software for the new X470 chipset. You can grab the new drivers and software here.
Posted by rgmekanic April 20, 2018 4:11 PM (CDT)

AMD Confirms Precision Boost 2 on X370 Motherboards

If you missed our review of the 2nd Gen Ryzen 2700X CPU, you missed a lot! While I thought the 2nd generation Ryzen was going to be little more than a popcorn fart, AMD came out swinging...again. The star of the show is AMD's new Precision Boost 2 dynamic clocking technology. In some ways, AMD is doing a better job at "overclocking" the CPU than we can. And I hate saying that, but the numbers support it, if you are not grinding away in full core workloads. Many of you currently own X370 chipset motherboards, and have asked, "Will Precision Boost 2 work on my X370 motherboard?" We spoke to AMD about this and got a solid answer.

Yes, with the appropriate firmware, it [Precision Boost 2] will work with X370.

So there you go. AMD has given motherboard makers the ability for PB2 to work, but if we will see that on X370 motherboards, pushed out with UEFI updates is another question. Trust us, we will be asking ASUS, GIGABYTE, and MSI if this will be the case. Ongoing Discussion
Posted by Kyle April 20, 2018 2:42 PM (CDT)

Americans Ready for Tougher Privacy Rules on Big Tech

According to a national survey of 2,500 adults in the US at least 83% of those surveyed want tighter rules on companies like Facebook that have their personal data. Also, the same percentage of those surveyed think companies that have their information should be legally responsible in the event there's a breach. One other item of note is the fact that 55% of those surveyed believe there is political bias and censorship alive and well on Facebook. There are lots of other survey results and I recommend you read about them and make up your own mind.

It wasn’t all bad for the technology sector. Sixty-three percent of Americans perceive technology to be a "good force", with 68% perceiving it to have a "positive impact on the world". However, when they were asked about specific companies, none received majority approval for being "good for democracy".

Posted by Montu April 20, 2018 12:55 PM (CDT)