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AMD Investor Slides Confirm 2019 CPU Releases

On their investor website, AMD recently published a set of slides that confirm the release of 3rd generation Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs some time in 2019. Pro variants of the 2nd generation Ryzen APUs are slated to come out this Spring, while 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors are scheduled for a "mid-year" 2019 release.
3rd generation Threadripper CPUs didn't get a release date more specific than "2019," and AMD's 7nm "Navi" and 7nm+ "Next-Gen" GPU architectures are said to be coming sometime between now and 2020. The company also reitarated that the somewhat mysterious "Radeon Vega Mobile" GPU which, as far as I know, has only popped up as an optional upgrade in the Apple Macbook Pro, is still part of their 2019 product stack. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 07, 2019 10:05 AM (CST)

YouTube Is Trying to Prevent Angry Mobs from Abusing "Dislike" Button

YouTube could be getting rid of the "Like" button, or, at least, minimizing its visibility to some degree to combat "dislike mobs," viewers who "slam the dislike button on a video before watching the whole thing, or even watching the video at all." The undertaking was likely prompted by the company’s 2018 Rewind video, which was supposed to be a fun, proud moment for YouTube. Instead, it was downvoted to oblivion by 15M viewers. Critics say that creators should just upload content that doesn’t suck, while others suggest it’s a genuine, complicated issue.

One of the new options YouTube has talked about is making those ratings invisible by default, so you wouldn't be able to see the number of likes or dislikes a video has. Other options include asking users to provide more information about why they disliked a video (possibly in the form of a checklist), removing the dislike count across the board, and removing the dislike button entirely. Leung acknowledges that all of these options have pros and cons, and YouTube may not implement any of them after testing.

Posted by Megalith February 09, 2019 2:55 PM (CST)

FreeSync vs. G-Sync Compatible: Unexpected Input Lag Results

YouTuber Battle(non)sense decided to test whether there were any differences between running an ASUS VG258Q monitor in FreeSync mode vs. G-Sync mode on NVIDIA and AMD cards. They appear to perform quite comparably, although certain combinations (e.g., AMD GPU + FreeSync) appear to offer lower delay. One interesting find was input lag of 10ms or more with NVIDIA when adaptive sync was turned off entirely.

You can now use an adaptive-sync aka. FreeSync monitor on an Nvidia graphics card without any workarounds or hacks as the Nvidia driver now comes with native adaptive-sync support. So I set out to test if there is any difference between running a monitor in FreeSync, or G-Sync Compatible mode. What did look like a fast and straight forward test turned out to be quite a challenge which lead to some interesting results and raised more questions about adaptive sync monitors on Nvidia graphics cards.

Posted by Megalith January 27, 2019 1:00 PM (CST)

Slightly Mad Studios Reveals the Final Design of the Mad Box

Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell has decided on the final design for his PlayStation and Xbox competitor, the Mad Box. Images tweeted allude to a futuristic-looking console with neon lighting and a front-panel display that offers information on the media being played, as well as notifications. Many remain convinced this is a ruse or a failure in the making.

Although it's more than 3 years away, the Mad Box will be a powerhouse equivalent to a high-end PC from 2021, Bell asserts, with specs to enable native 4K gaming. The box sounds like an incredibly risky idea that could tank the games developer. Even if it manages to make the hardware and hit the promised specs, the system will ultimately fail without a strong cohesive ecosystem of services and games to sell.

Posted by Megalith January 12, 2019 11:15 AM (CST)

Nvidia Expands G-Sync Support to Approved Adaptive Sync Monitors

At CES 2019, Nvidia announced that they're expanding G-Sync support to a handful of FreeSync and Adaptive Sync compatible monitors. In order to "improve the experience for gamers," Nvidia is testing monitor compatibility on a case-by-case basis, and only enables VRR support in the drivers once the monitor has passed their validation tests. Fortunately, there's a switch in the driver control panel to enable VRR support on untested monitors, the company says "G-SYNC Compatible" monitors will support VRR on both 2000 and 1000 series GPUs. For "the most demanding gamers," Nvidia also announced a separate G-SYNC Ultimate HDR standard. Monitors that carry this branding have to pass a rigorous certification process that includes " 300 tests for image quality," and will feature "a full refresh rate range from 1 Hz to the display panel's maximum rate, plus other advantages like variable overdrive, refresh rate overclocking, ultra-low motion blur display modes and industry-leading HDR with 1,000 nits, full matrix backlight and DCI-P3 color."

Support for G-SYNC Compatible monitors will begin Jan. 15 with the launch of our first 2019 Game Ready driver. Already, 12 monitors have been validated as G-SYNC Compatible (from the 400 we have tested so far). We'll continue to test monitors and update our support list. For gamers who have monitors that we have not yet tested, or that have failed validation, we'll give you an option to manually enable VRR, too.

Posted by alphaatlas January 07, 2019 7:59 AM (CST)

Slightly Mad Studios Begins Development of a Gaming Console

Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell has announced that the game development studio known for blockbuster hits such as the Project Cars series and Need for Speed: Shift is working on a powerful gaming console. The Mad Box will be capable of VR gaming and will be equivalent to a "very fast PC 2 years from now." Ian Bell's predictions for the console include 4K gaming, VR gaming at 60FPS per eye, and a completely free; cross platform development engine. He doesn't have plans to pay developers incentives to create exclusives on the platform. Slightly Mad Studios already has investors inquiring about providing the capital to bring the device to fruition, but no deals have been made. Pricing is expected to be "competitive with upcoming console prices."

"What is the Mad Box?" Bell wrote. "It's the most powerful console ever built... It's literally 'Mad'... You want 4k, you want VR at 60FPS? You want a full engine for free to develop your games on it? You have it." "It will be a worldwide console," Bell wrote. "And we're already in early talks with areas that are, let's say, not particularly open to other vendors at this moment."

Posted by cageymaru January 03, 2019 8:44 AM (CST)

Apple Confirms Some iPad Pros Ship Slightly Bent, but Says It's Normal

2018 iPad Pro owners are discovering the tablet bends easily under use (or worse, it comes out of the box that way), but according to Apple, it is a normal side effect caused by the way the device is manufactured. Apple's VP of hardware engineering says the tablet, which costs up to $1,899, "meets or exceeds" all of Apple's quality and precision standards.

Relative to the issue you referenced regarding the new iPad Pro, its unibody design meets or exceeds all of Apple's high-quality standards of design and precision manufacturing. We've carefully engineered it and every part of the manufacturing process is precisely measured and controlled. Our current specification for iPad Pro flatness is up to 400 microns which is even tighter than previous generations.

Posted by Megalith December 22, 2018 10:15 AM (CST)

G-Sync Reduces SLI Performance

Some Nvidia forum posters claim that turning on G-Sync reduced performance when using SLI. The folks over at ExtremeTech grabbed a pair of 1080s to put that theory to the test, and the results were interesting. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, for example, dropped from 49.5 FPS to 44.6 FPS when turning G-Sync on in DX11 mode, but it had absolutely no effect in DX12 mode. Meanwhile Far Cry 5 seemed to suffer more of a G-Sync deficit as anti-aliasing was cranked down. It seems that G-Sync does affect SLI performance in certain games, but the reason for that drop is still unclear.

Nonetheless, the pattern here is clear. Turning G-Sync on and using SLI is not guaranteed to tank your frame rate. We also tested Metro Last Light Redux with a forced AFR2 rendering profile, and that game showed no performance drop at all between G-Sync enabled and disabled. Deus Ex Mankind Divided reported a small penalty that vanished in DX12, while Hitman takes too much of a performance hit in that mode when using SLI to ever justify it. Three games, three different performance models. It's always dicey to try and test forum reports, not because forum commenters are liars, but because most don't provide sufficient technical information to be sure you're reproducing a problem correctly. I don't have an explanation for this issue at the moment and I realize that "timing problem" is extremely vague. It's a theory that happens to fit some common-sense facts. Our results collectively suggest that the issue is real and that the performance gaps could be as large as Nvidia users say, particularly if they continue to worsen as frame rate increases

Posted by alphaatlas October 23, 2018 9:48 AM (CDT)

Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot Is Coming to the Magic Leap One

Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot is a new game for the Magic Leap One Creator's Edition AR headset that was developed in partnership with the AR/VR studio Resolution Games and Rovio Entertainment. Head-tracking and the ability to use the Magic Leap One's controller as a bow adds immersion to the game. The characters in the game fall off surfaces in the user's home and interact with them if they get close. Explosives are hidden on the backside of the structures in the game to encourage movement around the play area.

The Magic Leap headset went on sale in August in a half-dozen U.S. cities for $2,295 a pop. Magic Leap hasn't announced how many of the units have sold, but has said they're deliberately targeting what they call "creators," be they game makers, artists, designers, programmers, or alt-reality aficionados. The decision to release a major "Angry Bird" game on such a limited-release, expensive piece of hardware seems to fly in the face of the game's origin, which saw the game hit 4 billion downloads since its 2009 release thanks in part to how easy it was to get.

Posted by cageymaru September 20, 2018 4:36 PM (CDT)

Slime Rancher Is Getting a Free VR Update and Collector's Edition

Slime Rancher is one of the highest rated games on Steam as it currently has a 95% rating. Developer Monomi Park has announced that the game is getting a free VR update later this year. The free VR Playground DLC will allow gamers to use their VR headsets and wands to vac, feed, and play with slimes like never before! If your kids *cough* are really into the colorful cuteness of the Slime Rancher experience, consider getting a physical collector's edition copy with a slimepedia manual for only $80.

Experience the Adorable Slimes of Slime Rancher--in VR! For the last couple of months we've been working with VR Studio, 3lb Games, to create a fun, new way to experience the Far, Far Range! We're really excited to announce that you will be able to play with some of your favorite slimes in our free VR Playground DLC!

Posted by cageymaru September 19, 2018 1:08 PM (CDT)

Nvidia Turing GPU "RTX Quadro" Slideshow from SIGGRAPH 2018

Here is a little slideshow that I made from the Nvidia SIGGRAPH 2018 livestream. Hope you like it!
"The Speed of Light" Porsche 911 Speedster Concept demo running in Unreal Engine.

Porsche, NVIDIA and Epic Games reveal "The Speed of Light," created with Unreal Engine 4 using real-time ray tracing and NVIDIA RTX technology at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Ongoing Discussion
Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 11:05 AM (CDT)

Sling TV is Losing Steam

Dish Network is losing satellite TV subscribers like crazy and their Sling TV streaming service isn't making up the difference. DirecTV satellite service is losing customers as well, but their DirecTV Now streaming service is more than making up lost volume. DirecTV Now has 1.8 million subscribers compared to 2.21 million for Sling TV. You would think Sling TV would be further ahead since they've been around almost two years longer than DirecTV Now. If this trend continues for Sling TV they are in trouble. The big difference between the two is number of channels/locals and DirecTV Now blows Sling TV away for just a little more money per month. This is why I picked them. You better get on the ball Dish.

Meanwhile, AT&T is also using its wireless business to push DirecTV Now subscriptions, with some plans offering $15 per month DirecTV Now discounts and free HBO. Given those advantages, it’s not hard to imagine DirecTV Now leaping into first place among live TV streaming services by the end of this year.

Posted by Montu August 03, 2018 1:45 PM (CDT)