A new day is here, with some new reviews to help you pass the time. There is a look at the SilverStone Kublai KL05B-Q case, which is a budget model that still features plenty of advancements and options for expansion. If you need plenty of storage and at a fast speed, then perhaps the Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD, with its Phison quad-core, eight-channel PS3110-S10 controller, is the one for you. Finishing up for today is the Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse, which is the replacement for the MX Performance mouse that offers high-end performance without any gaming-centric features.
The title says it all; Rockstar has released a new trailer for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V that runs at 60 frames per second. This is the latest example of the upgrades the game is receiving for its PC release. Just last week 4K screens were released, and while they are wonderfully detailed, this may be what more of us hope to experience, come April 14, when the game releases.
Make sure you are using a browser or device new enough to render 60 FPS video. Video options are 360p60, 720p60, and 1080p60.
Quantum computing is being developed in large part because quantum computers would be able to perform computations traditional computers simply cannot. This includes algorithms that could be used to defeat commonly used encryption standards. To protect against this, researchers at Washington State University have been working on an old code that even a mighty quantum computer may struggle to crack.
Public key encryption is a somewhat standard tool in protecting data today, as the computational power needed to defeat it is far beyond what a normal computer could achieve of thousands if not millions of years. Quantum computers however, with special algorithms could crack these codes very quickly, which could be a problem one day. To secure our data for the future, the Washington researchers turned to the past and resurrected the knapsack code. The knapsack problem was first developed in 1897 and asks that if you have one large number (the knapsack) and many smaller numbers, what subset of these smaller numbers would fill the sack? In the 1970s it was considered for encryption, but the knapsack code was broken by two methods, so people moved on. These researchers however are fixing its weaknesses.
With those fixes, the new knapsack code should be able to stand against more attacks, and potentially even those of a quantum computer. Outside testing is still needed to confirm these fixes, but it still could be promising for future security systems.
It was recently reported that ASUS was actively developing a new GTX 980 that would be known as the ROG Matrix Gold Edition. The development of the card seems to be complete, as ASUS has officially unveiled the actual name of the card, the GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition. The ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition, which marks the company’s 20 years of presence in the PC graphics card market, features a black and gold color scheme, a DirectCU II cooler with matte-black aluminum fins and matte-black copper heat pipes, and two 100mm fans that only spin once the card reaches 65-degrees Celsius. The card also features a 14-phase Digi+ VRM by ASUS that draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, an independent 4-pin Molex-powered defrost circuit, and a water-repelling material applied to the PCB.
ASUS is claiming that the GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition card is the fastest GTX 980 currently available, with its ability to avoid temperature-triggered clock-speed throttles on its 1317MHz core clock, 1431MHz boost clock, and 7.00GHz memory.
According to recently released data that compares motherboard shipments between four different motherboard players, GIGABYTE has officially overtaken ASUS has the leading motherboard vendor. GIGABYTE successfully shipped roughly 4.7 million motherboards in the first quarter of this year, while ASUS managed to deliver around 4.5 million motherboards. While demand for motherboards in areas such as China has been steadily declining, GIGABYTE and ASUS, which together make up 80 percent of the motherboard market in China, are expected to ship nine million units each in the first half of this year alone. This number is quite different than the target of 20 million units slated by each company for the same time period, but when compared to MSI and ASRock, which are estimated to ship roughly 3 million units each in the first half of this year, GIGABYTE and ASUS are doing quite well as motherboard vendors.
The AMD news has been coming out fairly often of late, and today is no exception. A new APU is supposedly in the works that will use up to 16 Zen cores and a Greenland GPU to bring the gaming potential. Greenland was mentioned yesterday as the rumored codename of part of the RX 400 series, maybe the high-end line. However, with this new APU, Greenland and maybe the entire Arctic Islands line will be reserved for APUs, as this new APU is said to use HBM, just like Greenland. As for the capability of 16 Zen cores, this doesn't mean it will use all 16, but could. The new APU may be that rumored HPC APU, but it could also be in the running for a server product. Zen is the codename for AMD's APU line launching sometime next year or in 2017, and is said to have PCIe 3.0 and quad-channel DDR4 support.
It all sounds like the makings of a high-powered APU, but remember all of this is just rumor, and this 16 core APU could just be for the server market. The desktop market would probably top out at 8 cores, but you never know what could change in the next year or so.
April Fool's Day is here, as is the middle of the week, but today we have reviews for you and not pranks. We start with a look at the ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer motherboard, which has uniquely designed heat sinks and the promise of high overclockability. There is also the BitFenix Colossus mini-ITX case that has a clean look about it and a small size to fit jus about anywhere. A new article examines how we still have 28nm GPUs and why none have switched over to 20nm yet. Finishing off for the day is the Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum gaming keyboard, with its Kailh mechanical switches and full RGB backlighting.
Apple has modified the reversible USB Type-C port and made a new USB 3.1.X standard, which features a directional bias. That's right, while you can still plug in a device up or down, you will get different speeds for which way the data is going. For faster uploads to the device, make sure the top is up, and for faster speeds taking from the drive, just flip it over. The port and device will still transfer data in both directions, no matter the alignment, but by dedicating additional resources to just one side, Apple claims it can ensure a better experience. The company said that as most people only use their devices for one thing at a time, this bias seemed only natural. Power transfer is unaffected, so you can plug in the Apple Watch whichever way you wish, as often as needed.
What has not yet been specified is if special USB Type-C adapters/devices will be required, or if this feature of USB 3.1.X is compatible with standard USB 3.1 devices. If you are concerned about knowing the best way to connect a USB 3.1.X-supported device, Apple says not to worry. The company revealed that the port will monitor the behavior of the device and will instruct the user to try it the other way, if it will improve performance.
After conducting research that revealed that a wealth of parents tag their partner in pictures of their children in order to share the photographs with friends and family, Facebook has introduced a new feature known as Scrapbook. The feature allows parents to choose a tag for their children and share it with others in a customizable scrapbook. The scrapbook, which can be co-owned with a partner on Facebook and can only feature tags from parents, allows memories to be shared in a single environment that various people can view. In order to get started, Facebook users simply need to go to the "Family and Relationships" section of the social networking service, and click on the invitation to create a scrapbook.
The new scrapbook feature offered by Facebook is available for immediate use in the United States on desktop, iPhone, and Android platforms.
Many say that public speaking is the scariest thing to them, and while I cannot say that is the case for me, I know I could be better at it. Knowing how to improve public speaking skills is tricky though, especially if you are up there, in front of a crowd. Researchers at the University of Rochester, however, have developed a system to help in that situation, using the wearable technology Google Glass.
For those who do not know, Google Glass is a wearable piece of technology with an optical head-mounted display. What the Rochester researchers have done with it is added a piece of software they developed named Rhema; the Greek word for 'utterance.' Rhema is able to record a speaker talking, send the information server, and then present results about the speaker's volume and rate to them, in realtime. After much testing, the researchers discovered it was best for the display to tell the speaker what to do in words every 20 seconds, so it would tell the person to be louder or slower. They also tried displaying graphs and colors like a traffic light at different intervals, but found these were not preferred.
The speakers overall stated that they did feel it helped them, and the Mechanical Turk workers used as an audience reported back that their performance appeared to be undiminished by the feedback. The researchers are planning to put it to a more rigorous test in the future though, with members of Toastmasters International. For now though, Rhema is freely available to download.
John Koller, the Vice President of Platforms Marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, has just revealed a limited edition Batman: Arkham Knight PS4 bundle. The bundle, which features an MSRP of $449.99, includes a limited edition Steel Grey PS4 system chassis with a custom Batman: Arkham Knight faceplate, a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller in Steel Grey, and Batman: Arkham Knight. In addition to the limited edition bundle, Koller also announced that a standard edition of the Batman: Arkham Knight PS4 bundle will be available for $399.99. This cheaper option includes a PS4 system and DualShock 4 controller in Jet Black, as well as Batman: Arkham Knight.
The standard and limited edition Batman: Arkham Knight PS4 bundles will launch on June 23, 2015, but can be pre-ordered starting today.
A new update has been released for the mobile version of the popular streaming service known as Twitch. The update, which is available for immediate download from the App Store and the Google Play Store, includes a persistent player that allows viewers to watch a video while simultaneously browsing other content. The feature is quite similar to how YouTube currently offers its content, as users can even swipe away the persistent player if they want to stop watching a video. The latest update for the Twitch mobile application also brings an audio only mode to Android users, allowing them to listen to broadcasts while their device is locked or while Twitch is running in the background. The feature does need to be turned on through the video options menu, but should prove to be highly utilized by individuals who enjoy the audio side of Twitch streams.
Google has announced several new Chrome OS based devices from Haier, Hisense, and ASUS. Available immediately are the Haier Chromebook 11 and Hisense Chromebook, both of which come in at a price point of $149. The Haier will be available on Amazon while the Hisense will be carried at Walmart. The Haier model has an 11.6" screen and is powered by a Rockchip 3288, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, and an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU. Google claims that it will have up to ten hours of battery life. The Hisense was listed as having similar specs to the Haier with 8.5 hours of battery life.
The pair of devices from ASUS are a bit more intriguing and offer more than conventional laptops. The Chromebook Flip has a 10.1" touch screen display "that flips around for things like gaming and apps." The Flip weighs in under two pounds and is also powered by a Rockchip 3288 with options for 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC or 4GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD. Both models have an ARM Mali 760 quad-core GPU, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and up to ten hours of battery life. The ASUS Chromebit is a full computer in a form factor resembling a USB stick, or as Google put it, "smaller than a candy bar." The Chromebit can turn any display into a computer and is powered by similar specs to the base model Flip. The Flip will have an MSRP of $249 and will be available in Spring while the Chromebit will cost under $100 and arrives in the Summer.
April Fool's Day isn't quite here, but that isn't stopping Google from getting in on the fun. The folks in Mountain View have a little surprise in store when you check out a location in Google Maps: PAC-MAN! You can now play PAC-MAN in the city streets in Google Maps, with different locations offering up the chance to eat a bunch of dots and avoid Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde. PAC-MAN works on both computers and mobile devices, but only in certain areas.
Which areas exactly? Well, Google is letting us figure that out, as a series of clues help point us to the spots. Some are a little more obvious than others, and some Google is keeping under wraps for right now. Either way, if you want to have some fun and say bye-bye to the day's productivity, load up Google Maps and get after those dots!
Silicon remains the dominant material in our electronics, and while it is reaching its limits, that does not mean it is running out of uses. Researchers at Brown University have recently found a way to grow new nanomaterials of silicon telluride, and these materials could have applications in electronics.
Silicon telluride is a pure, p-type semiconductor with a layered structure that could be used for in battery electrodes. What the Brown researchers found is a way to grow it in 2D nanomaterials. They started by vaporizing silicon and tellurium in a furnace and letting it react with a precursor compound on a substrate, causing the silicon telluride to grow on the precursor. By controlling the temperature and the treatments of the substrate, the researchers were able to make nanoribbons from 50 nm to one micron wide, and 10 microns long, as well as nanoplates that were either lying on the substrate, or standing up. Each of these shapes have different orientations to their crystalline structure, which means they also all have different properties. The researchers also found they could dope the silicon telluride structures by using substrates made of different materials.
Though it will have some competition, these silicon telluride nanostructures could be used to bring 2D materials to our electronics. They do have a stability issue in the environment, but the researchers already have a plan to fix that by oxidizing them and then baking off the tellurium. This will leave a coating of silicon oxide to protect the material.
Nearly a year ago Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3, which was a high-powered tablet aimed at replacing a high-end laptop. The Surface Pro 3 does a great job at that, but its high cost means not everyone is willing or able to pick one up. That is where we are today, as Microsoft has announced the Surface 3, a powerful tablet that does not carry a powerful price. The Surface 3 runs the full version of Windows, along with all the programs and app you can want, and is even available with a 4G LTE radio. The best part is the Surface 3 starts at $499.
The Surface 3 features the same design as the Surface Pro 3, but in a more compact frame. It has a 10.8" touchscreen instead of 12", and weighs a mere 1.37 pounds. Oh, and it's also just 8.7mm thin. The 3:2 aspect ratio is the same, but instead of 2160x1440, we get 1920x1280. Powering the whole thing is the new Intel Atom x7 processor, a quad-core SoC that should deliver plenty of power while not draining the life out of the battery. No fan is required to help keep it and the Surface 3 cool, which helps make this tablet so thin and lightweight. Storage is either 64 or 128GB on the Surface 3. It also has the kickstand with three preset positions to give you the best viewing angle during use.
A 3.5 megapixel camera is on the front of the Surface 3, while an 8 megapixel is on the rear. Both can capture 1080p video, plus the rear camera has an autofocus feature to take even better photos than past models. A full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, and a microSD reader are also on the Surface 3. Charging the tablet is done via a Micro USB charger, so you can use either the included adapter or your smartphone's adapter to keep the device running. Microsoft claims 10 hours of video playback on the battery, and most likely more during less demanding tasks.
Windows 8.1 will ship with the Surface 3, and can be 8.1 Pro for business users. You can also upgrade to Windows 10 for free within the first year the new OS is available. Microsoft is packaging each Surface 3 with a one-year subscription to Office 365, which includes full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote, as well as 1TB of storage on OneDrive.
Accessories for the Surface 3 are plentiful, and include the Type Cover to give you the full laptop experience while also protecting the screen; the Docking Station to connect a monitor, printer, mouse, and keyboard; and the Surface Pen, which has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and comes in red, blue, black, and silver colors.
The Microsoft Surface 3 will launch on May 5 for $499, with pre-orders starting today. Microsoft Stores will get the tablet in tomorrow for prospective buyers to experience in-person.
The AMD Radeon R300 series still isn't out yet (maybe in June for Computex), but there is already a rumor concerning the next series. AMD's Greenland GPU is expected to launch next year, which will be part of the R400 series of video cards. The R400 line is rumored to be called the Arctic Islands family, while the R300 is supposedly the Pirate Islands family. If you're wondering, the R200 line is the Volcanic Islands family. As for the R400 and the Greenland GPU itself, it will make use of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), much like the expected R300 top dog. Whether only the high-end Greenland GPU will use HBM or the entire R400 line was not mentioned in the rumor. The recently leaked AMD roadmap showed HBM appearing on some APUs, so perhaps the entire R400 line will indeed benefit from HBM.
There is also a chance the R400 series will be a graphics architecture used in APUs, much like how Kaveri APUs carried a GCN core for Mantle gaming. If that is the case, then maybe the R400 cards won't be discrete cards at all and only appear in APUs. Whatever the case may be, first we need some solid word on the R300 series and what exactly those will bring. Either way, it is nice to see AMD planning for the future, even with a low research budget.
DirectX 12 will be the way to go on Windows 10, and it should offer plenty of improvements over DirectX 11, at least according to early reports. AMD has another piece of news concerning DirectX 12, and it is one that may shock and impress. In a DirectX 12-enabled version of 3DMark and with the newest AMD drivers, the AMD Radeon R9 290X narrowly beats out the NVIDIA Titan X when comparing the draw calls (a request from the CPU and game engine to draw and render an object) done by the API. Those numbers also match up when looking at DirectX 11 and Mantle performance, so it looks like AMD has a winner on its hands with the newest drivers.
When the test is switched to the next highest in NVIDIA's lineup, the R9 290X outperforms the NVIDIA GTX 980 by an even bigger margin in DirectX 12. Under DirectX 11, the tests are not as favorable for AMD, so it seems the company's newest driver is ideal for boosting DX12 performance. One interesting thing to note is how DirectX 12 scales well up to six cores in a processor, but beyond that there is not much of a gain. If Hyper Threading is enabled, performance is actually a little lower than with it off. So if you have a processor with over six cores/threads, right now it looks like high-end quad-core and six-core CPUs offer the best results.
What is important to remember about these tests is they are synthetic results and are not always indicative of real world performance. AMD looks to have a winner on its hands with DirectX 12 and the latest drivers in benchmarks, but things are still early, and we still do not have any DX12 games. Once we do, it will be interesting to see how the numbers stack up.
The final day of March is here, and if you're in need of storage, do we have you covered today. There are multiple looks at the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 and mSATA SSDs, including ones up to 1TB in capacity. We also have the Crucial BX100 SSD, which should appeal to those constantly on the lookout for the best price/performance drive. Shifting gears a little is the HIS Multi-View X2 USB Docking Station, which can run two extra displays and also features more ports to keep your laptop well-connected. Finishing off for the day is a look at 20 of the worst PC setups from the month of March.
When Grand Theft Auto V releases for the PC in April, it will feature a number of changes. While the improved graphics are probably what most people are focused on, the PC release will also include a new in-game radio station named The Lab. Now some of the music that station will play can be pre-ordered at iTunes, as part of the Welcome To Los Santos album.
The album was created and compiled by Alchemist and Oh No, and includes 14 original tracks. The music spans various artists and genres, including hip-hop, electronica, rock, and more. It will be available on CD, digital download, and vinyl on April 21, one week after the GTA V releases for the PC.
The displays for our phones and computers are our windows into the virtual and real worlds, so naturally we want to always have access to them and have them always look good. To that end, many are working on new technologies, including some to make flexible screens you can unroll when desired. Often such displays use organic components, but researchers at Tel Aviv University have gone a bit farther with that by employing DNA-like molecules.
For this work, the researchers started with peptides, short protein fragments essential to all life on Earth, attached to DNA elements. The DNA was to give the new molecules the ability to self-assemble, and three of those developed did so in just minutes. The resulting structures are similar in form to actual DNA, but still possess peptide properties. The researchers next tried adding fluorescent dyes that will bind to the DNA fragments, but it turned out this was not necessary, as the molecules naturally fluoresced at every color, instead of just one, and did so in response to a voltage.
These molecules naturally have applications with opto-electronics, such as new, organic displays. As the molecules can directly emit any color of light, this would allow the pixel layer to be just one layer thick, unlike modern displays, while also being flexible. That single layer also helps keep the costs down.
Google has pushed an update for its Android Gmail application, bringing various improvements to those who utilize the service. The biggest improvement included with the latest Gmail update is a unified inbox that houses all email accounts, allowing users who have multiple Gmail addresses, POP/IMAP mail, and even Exchange server mail to view everything from one area. Users who want the ability to separate messages based on which account they are associated with can still do so from an easy to access drop-down menu. The updated version of Gmail for Android also includes faster and more intelligent autocomplete results for search, refined animations throughout, and larger preview attachments that allow users to view documents and media without actually opening the files.
It was recently reported that NVIDIA is actively working on the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, a modified version of the recently released GM200-powered TITAN X. The card is expected to feature 6GB of memory, different clock speeds, and custom PCBs and cooling solutions from video card manufacturers, offering consumers with outstanding performance. According to sources, NVIDIA has recently adjusted the launch of its latest card to sometime after the summer season is over. While no official word has been given in regards to the reasoning behind the adjusted launch time frame, the decision to push back the release of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti may be due to the upcoming release of the Radeon R9 390X, which is currently scheduled to be available in June or July.
While the launch time frame of the upcoming GeForce GTX 980 Ti has been changed, pricing information still remains unavailable at this time.
ASUS has revealed through social media that it is currently working on a new flagship NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 that will feature the company’s renowned ROG branding. The upcoming graphics card, which is being labeled as a 20th anniversary gold edition, will apparently feature core clock speeds even greater than the fastest GeForce GTX 980 currently available from ASUS. Currently, the ROG Matrix Platinum GTX 980 that features a base clock of 1241MHz and a boost clock of 1342MHz if the fastest GTX 980 that the company offers, but with ASUS asking its social media fans to “guess the core clock” on its upcoming GPU, the ROG Matrix Gold Edition GeForce GTX 980 is likely to feature even higher clock speeds.
The Knights Landing Xeon Phi co-processor is the latest entry from Intel into the high performance computing market, taking on established products such as the NVIDIA Tesla and IBM Power8. Knights Landing will be available in three products, a co-processor, a standalone processor, and a standalone processor with integrated fabric. All three units will be able to achieve double precision floating point performance in excess of 3 teraflops using a Many Integrated Core design built with up to eight billion transistors. The 14nm chips are from the Silvermont family and will have access to up to 16GB of on-board DDR4 memory with a maximum bandwidth of 400GB/s. The Knights Landing products are expected to be available in the second half of this year.
Kingston has announced the fourth generation HS4 All-In-One Media Reader, capable of reading all major flash memory formats. The HS4 improves on the previous generation by adding support for the latest SD card speeds including UHS-I, UHS-II, and CompactFlash Type I and II. The USB 3.0 interface provides for transfer speeds up to 5Gb/s, while backwards compatibility ensures that users with older systems can also use the HS4. As part of the announcement Kingston also revealed the addition of a 64GB version of the CF Ultimate 600x card, offering transfer speeds up to 90MB/s. Flash memory business manager Jean Wong said, "HS4 All-In-One Media Reader is a great device to quickly move data between multiple devices whether at home or on the road."
Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks in the world, but even though they would have only lost a minute since the Big Bang, researchers are still pushing for still more accurate versions. One way to achieve that is to entangle the atoms used by the clock, but entangling more than just pairs of atoms is difficult. Researchers at MIT however have found that they can entangle some 3000 atoms at a time, with a single photon.
Atomic clocks work by exploiting the fact that atoms will vibrate at a specific frequency, under the right circumstances. These vibrations are measured by firing a laser through a cloud of atoms. By adding more atoms to the cloud, the accuracy of the clock is increased, but normally the increase is related to the square root of the number of atoms. That is unless the atoms are entangled, and then the increase is directly proportional. What the MIT researchers did is fire a very weak laser beam through a cloud of atoms and watched the atoms' polarizations. They reasoned that any deviation to a photon's polarization is the result of it interacting with the atoms' spins, and the amount it changes depends on the number of atoms spinning in one direction or the other. Occasionally though the researchers detected a photon that had its polarization made perpendicular, which had to have been done by the ensemble of atoms, and by detecting that photon, the ensemble would enter a strong entangled state.
While the researchers were looking for ways to improve atomic clocks, this research could have implications in other quantum systems, such as quantum communication and the sensing of magnetic fields.
Sony's Music Unlimited service closed its doors yesterday, which paved the way for Spotify to take its place. A couple months back, a partnership between Sony and Spotify was announced, and today things have come to fruition. Spotify is now available on the PlayStation 4 and PS3, bringing with it all the music you can possibly desire. PS4 users will find PlayStation Music with Spotify directly on the launcher, while PS3 users will need to navigate to the Music section on the XMB. Once you load up the app, you can sign up for an account, or either log in through Spotify Connect on your smartphone or by entering your username and password. You can then link up your accounts to bring over all your playlists, saved music, and enjoy any benefits of a subscription, if you have one.
The Spotify interface should be familiar to anyone already using Spotify, and of course any PS4 users. You start off in the "Browse" section that can highlight new artists or the different genres, but can jump over to "Your Music" to access playlists and the like. However, you can't sort by artist in the "Your Music" section; only by playlist. The search function is full featured and extensive, so you can find whatever artist or song that way.
On the PlayStation 4, you can listen to music while you're gaming and get a custom soundtrack going for nearly every game. If you've played a game for the hundredth time and want some new music playing, now you're able to. That alone should make many PS4 users very happy, since the system cannot play music CDs and you're effectively stuck with whatever music the game comes with. PS3 users won't be able to take advantage of that feature, but everything else between the consoles is the same. Sadly there is no mention of Spotify for the PS Vita, and with Music Unlimited gone, hopefully you have some music stored on a memory card.
Former subscribers of Music Unlimited can receive two months of Spotify Premium for free, while any new Spotify users get one month of Premium for free. Both Sony and Spotify have plans to expand the service on PlayStation, so maybe before long we'll be able to sort by artists when going through our music.
AMD was recently at the PC Cluster Constorium in Osaka, Japan, and revealed its CPU, APU, and GPU roadmap for the next five years. It is a rather nice look at what exactly AMD has in store, and while the pictures aren't of the greatest quality, it does provide a look into what the company has up its sleeves. A pair of CPUs has been planned to arrive early next year, with Zen being an x86 64-bit part, and the K12 a 64-bit ARMv8 part. Both products will be 14nm FinFET CPUs aimed at the server, embedded, semi-custom, and client markets.
The interesting thing about these two products is how they'll support "many threads," which should mean AMD is adding in simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) instead of clustered multi-threading (CMT) like on the Bulldozer line. SMT essentially allows for one fast thread and one slower thread, while CMT allows for two equally fast threads. For single-thread applications, SMT is the way to go, while CMT is best for mutli-threaded apps. With the new CPUs apparently supporting many threads, maybe AMD is using SMT to support more than just that one extra thread, which could put it above Intel.
On the GPU side, it sadly does not cover the discrete cards, but rather how the GPUs will be updated in the APUs. AMD is planning to update its GPU architecture in the APUs every two years, so don't freak out by that because it does mean a new discrete card line will launch every two years; this is strictly for APUs. Arriving in 2017 will be something called a High Performance Computing APU, or HPC as seen on the roadmap. The HPC APUs will evidently have a TDP between 200 and 300 watts, which definitely puts them up there in terms of powerful CPUs. A high-powered APU was not attempted before due to memory limitations, but with the likes of stacked High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), like expected on the company's upcoming graphics cards, an HPC APU is certainly possible.
Roadmaps with greater detail should be coming in May during AMD's Financial Analyst Day event, so keep it tuned for that.
The last couple days of March are upon us, and we have plenty of reviews to help kick off the week. There is a look at the SilverStone Raven RV01 case, an updated version of the original model that looks to refine it. We also have the HyperX Predator 480GB M.2 PCIe SSD, which offers plenty of storage and fast speeds in a fairly small size. If you need even more storage, then the Silicon Power Stream S06 4TB USB 3.0 HDD is the one for you. The Tt eSPORTS Black V2 gaming mouse gets tested to see how this improved model can help out your games. Finishing off for the day is a comparison of NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, and exactly how the two technologies are different.