ADATA Releases the XPG SX8100 SSD: Make It Fast & Hold the Bling

While many gaming-branded components come adorned in RGB LEDs, there is thankfully still a market for plainer and saner products. To that end, ADATA has introduced its new family of high-end SSDs — the XPG SX8100 — that promises leading-edge performance without any unnecessary bling.


Intending its XPG SX8100 SSDs as high-end parts aimed at performance-demanding consumers, ADATA will offer them in 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB configurations. The drives are based on Realtek’s RTS5762 controller (8 NAND channels, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3, LDPC, etc.) and 3D TLC NAND, and like virtually all mainstream NVMe drives, the SX8100 comes in M.2-2280 form-factor. The new family of SSDs is ADATA’s second lineup of drives (after the XPG Spectrix S40G) to use Realtek’s top-of-the-range controller.



As far as performance is concerned, ADATA rates the drives for up to 3.5 GB/s sequential read speeds and up to 3 GB/s sequential write speeds when SLC caching is used (data based on CDN benchmark, other benchmarks show lower numbers, more information is available here). As for random performance, the SX8100 drives can hit up to 300K/240K random read/write 4K IOPS, which is a bit lower when compared to the XPG Spectrix S40G.


One of the possible reasons why ADATA rates random performance of the XPG SX8100 below that of the blingy XPG Spectrix S40G could be because the new drives are not equipped with a heat spreader. While these are not necessary for moment-to-moment usage, they can help to sustain performance under high loads when these high-end controllers get hot. The upside to forgoing a heatsink however is that it allows the XPG SX8100 to be used with laptops, as well as any other devices that can’t fit an M.2 drive with a heatsink.



When it comes to endurance and reliability levels, ADATA’s XPG SX8100 drives are covered with a five-year warranty and are rated for 320 TB, 640 TB or 1280 TB written, depending on the drive’s capacity. Overall, the drives are good enough for around 0.3 DWPD over a five-year period, which in line with other modern consumer-grade SSDs.





















ADATA XPG SX8100 Specifications
Capacity 512 GB 1 TB 2 TB
Model Number ASX8100NP-512GT-C ASX8100NP-1TT-C ASX8100NP-2TT-C
Controller Realtek RTS5762
NAND Flash 3D TLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3
Sequential Read 3500 MB/s
Sequential Write 2400 MB/s 3000 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 300K IOPS 290K IOPS 290K IOPS
Random Write IOPS 240K IOPS 240K IOPS 240K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer Yes, using Realtek’s Partial DRAM Firmware Architecture

Actual capacity is unknown
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management DevSleep, Slumber (0.14 W).
Warranty 5 years
MTBF 2,000,000 hours
TBW 320 TB 640 TB 1280 TB
MSRP $89.99 $159.99 $329.99
Additional Information Link

ADATA will start sales of its XPG 8100 SSDs in the near future for $89.99 – $329.99 depending on capacity. Expect real-world prices of these drives to be below those of the XPG Spectrix S40G (which uses the same controller) and more or less in line with those of the XPG 8200 Pro (which offers similar performance).


Related Reading:


Source: ADATA



Source: AnandTech – ADATA Releases the XPG SX8100 SSD: Make It Fast & Hold the Bling

Western Digital to Exit Storage Systems: Sells Off IntelliFlash Division

Western Digital this week announced that it has made a strategic decision to leave the market for dedicated storage systems, as further development of its IntelliFlash and ActiveScale businesses would require additional investments and management focus. The company will sell off its IntelliFlash business to DDN (a specialist in storage systems, AI, and big data) and will explore various strategic options for ActiveScale.


The storage systems market is rather lucrative, but extremely competitive. Over the years, both Western Digital (as well as its HGST division) and SanDisk acquired numerous companies that specialized on hardware and software for datacenter storage, as well as on all-flash storage arrays in order to build highly-competitive storage systems (more details in our coverage of the Western Digital – SanDisk acquisition). Because many product families overlapped each other when Western Digital took over SanDisk in 2016, numerous lineups were divested.


At present, Western Digital only offers IntelliFlash all-flash and hybrid storage systems as well as ActiveScale cloud storage systems. While both product lines look solid in general, they have to compete against broad families of storage systems designed by such giants as Dell EMC, HPE, IBM, NetApp, and Hitachi that control over 50% of the market (according to IDC). Competing against multi-billion enterprises is tough. Moreover, Western Digital supplies its products to many developers of storage systems and the latter certainly do not appreciate it when their suppliers compete against them.


After closing out its storage systems business, Western Digital will continue to offer its storage servers (including JBOX, JBOD, hybrid, and specialized machines) for customers with their own software and infrastructure. Furthermore, the company will keep developing its scalable and flexible OpenFlex NVMe-over-Fabric composable architecture. Essentially, Western Digital will refocus from storage systems to storage platforms, which is a more hardware-centric business.


Here is what Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer of Western Digital, had to say:


“As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success. By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation.”


Under the terms of the agreement with DDN (DataDirect Networks), the latter will buyout the entire IntelliFlash business unit for an undisclosed sum. Furthermore, the two companies will expand their current collaboration through a multi-year strategic sourcing contract, under which DDN will increase its purchase of Western Digital’s HDDs and SSDs.


Western Digital and DDN expect the deal to close later this year.


Related Reading:


Source: Western Digital



Source: AnandTech – Western Digital to Exit Storage Systems: Sells Off IntelliFlash Division

AMD: Next Gen Threadripper and Ryzen 9 3950X, Coming November

In a shock email late on Friday, AMD has released a statement to clarify the situation it is in with its latest Ryzen processors. There’s a positive, that the next generation of Threadripper processors will enter the market in November, but the negative is that AMD is delaying its release of the 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X until November as well, citing a high demand for these parts and time is needed to ensure that sufficient stock is available.


The statement from AMD says:


We are focusing on meeting the strong demand for our 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors in the market and now plan to launch both the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and initial members of the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor family in volume this November. We are confident that when enthusiasts get their hands on the world’s first 16-core mainstream desktop processor and our next-generation of high-end desktop processors, the wait will be well worth it.


As far as we understand, this is nothing to do with recent reports of TSMC requiring 6 months for new 7nm orders: the silicon for these processors would have been ordered months ago, with the only real factor being binning and meeting demand. It will be interesting to see how the intersection of the 16 core with next gen Ryzen will play out. 


Related Articles:




Source: AnandTech – AMD: Next Gen Threadripper and Ryzen 9 3950X, Coming November

Western Digital Launches iNAND IX EM132: eMMC SSDs For Embedded Industrial Applications

Western Digital this week has introduced its first family of embedded eMMC storage devices for industrial and IoT applications. Based on the company’s 64-layer BiCS3 3D TLC NAND memory, the new iNAND IX EM132 drives offer up to 310 MB/s read speeds as well as enhanced endurance and reliability by supporting various features designed specifically for embedded, commercial, industrial, and similar environments.


Western Digital’s iNAND IX EM132 embedded flash drives are based around an in-house controller that supports an eMMC 5.1 HS400 interface along with an advanced ECC, wear leveling, bad block management, and RPMB (replay protect memory block). The eMMC drives also support smart partitioning (multiple partitions with different features and purposes to provide device makers some additional flexibility), auto/manual data refresh (automatically rewrites all the information to ensure that even rarely accessed data is available when needed), as well as all the usual management and monitoring interfaces you’d expect from a contemporary SSD.


Available in an industry-standard BGA package that measures by 11.5×13×1 mm, Western Digital is offering capacities between 16 GB and 256 GB. When it comes to performance, the eMMC drives are rated for up to 310 MB/s sequential read speeds, up to 150 MB/s sequential write speeds, and up to 20/12.5K random read/write IOPS. As for endurance, the drives are rated for up to 693 TB to be written, though that rating is likely based on the high-capacity SKUs.


Western Digital will offer Commerical, Industrial Wide as well as Industrial Extended versions of its iNAND IX EM132 eMMC drives. The Industrial Wide devices feature an operating temperature rating between -25°C and 85°C, whereas the Industrial Extended can operate in the most extreme environments with temperature ranges between -40°C and 85°C.














Western Digital’s iNAND IX EM132 Embedded Flash Drives
  General Specifications
JEDEC Specification v5.1, HS400
Flash Type 64-layer BiCS3 3D TLC NAND
Density 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB
Sequential Read/Write 310 MB/s

150 MB/s
Random Read/Write 20K / 12.5K
Operating Temperature Industrial Wide: -40°C to 85°C

Industrial Extended: -40°C to 85°C
TBW up to 693 TB
Core Voltage 2.7 V – 3.6 V
I/O Voltage 1.7 V – 1.95 V or 2.7 V – 3.6 V
Package 153-ball FBGA (11.5 × 13.0 × 1.3 mm)

Related Reading:


Source: Western Digital



Source: AnandTech – Western Digital Launches iNAND IX EM132: eMMC SSDs For Embedded Industrial Applications

HP’s E344c: A 34-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Productivity Monitor

Having launched a variety of curved ultrawide displays for gamers in the recent years, HP is rolling out similar monitors for business and professional users from many industries who want to boost their productivity. This week along with its flagship S430c curved LCD, HP introduced its more mainstream E344c Curved Monitor, which brings numerous contemporary features to the table and is aimed at a much broader commercial audience.



Offering a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio, the HP E344c Curved Monitor relies on a 34-inch SVA panel with a 3440×1440 resolution, 300 nits brightness, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a 16 ms GtG response time, a 60 Hz refresh rate, and 178°/178° viewing angles. HP has designed this price-friendly monitor as a day-to-day work horse, so there is no factory calibration to speak of or support for wide color gamuts; in fact the company doesn’t even officially disclose the monitor’s sRGB gamut coverage. In which case, it’s not unreasonable to guess that it may not cover 99% of it like some other models.



When it comes to connectivity, the E344c Curved Monitor resembles contemporary displays designed for professionals, offering one DisplayPort 1.2 input, one HDMI 2.0 port, and one USB Type-C input (DP alt mode). The LCD also has a dual-port USB 3.0 hub that is fed by a USB Type-B upstream port.



Since we are dealing with a display designed purely for work, HP did not equip it with speakers or even a headphone output. For those who do not want to use an external speaker system, HP proposes to get its S101 Sound Bar that attaches to the bottom of the monitor and uses a USB Type-A connector.



As far as ergonomics is concerned, like many other displays for office/home office environments, the HP E344c features a stand that can adjust height and tilt.




















HP’s 34-Inch Curved Display
  E344c Curved Monitor
Panel 34″ SVA
Native Resolution 3440 × 1440
Brightness 400 cd/m²
Contrast 3000:1
Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Response Time 16 ms GtG
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Curvature ?
Pixel Pitch 0.233 mm
Pixel Density 109 ppi
Anti-Glare Coating ?
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2

1 × HDMI 2.0

1 ×USB Type-C (with up to 22.5W PD)
USB Hub 2-port USB 3.0 hub
Stand Height: +/- 150 mm

Tilt: -5 to +20°

Swivel: ?
Audio none
Launch Price $599

HP will start sales of its E344c Curved Monitor on October 7. As expected from a ‘working horse’ type of displays, the LCD will not be too expensive and will carry a $599 price tag.


Related Reading:


Source: HP



Source: AnandTech – HP’s E344c: A 34-Inch Curved Ultra-Wide Productivity Monitor

CXL Consortium Formally Incorporated, Gets New Board Members & CXL 1.1 Specification

Over four years ago, Intel started to develop what is now known as Compute Express Link (CXL), an interface to coherently connect CPUs to all types of other compute resources. Over time, Intel collaborated with other industry behemoths, and early this year nine companies organized the CXL Consortium to jointly develop the technology as a new open standard. Over the past few months, dozens of additional companies have joined the consortium, and now the consortium itself has been formally incorporated this week, marking a major step in the development of CXL as an industry standard.


While incorporation itself doesn’t change matters for CXL from a technical perspective, incorporating a group like the CXL Consortium is a fairly big deal, because this typically only happens with an industry standards group gets large enough and gains enough traction that its members are very confident the technology is soon to go into widespread use. This means that the CXL Consortium has been elevated to the same level as the USB-IF, VESA, and other standard groups. Which is to say, all signs point to CXL eventually winning the war of cache-coherent interconnects, and becoming a major, long-term industry standard.


Meanwhile, wasting no time, the newly-incorporated organization has named five additional members of its board of directors, and it has released version 1.1 of the CXL specification.


Support Growth & New BOD Members


Being a CPU-to-everything cache-coherent interconnect protocol, CXL competes in one way or another against such technologies as CCIX, Gen-Z, Infinity Fabric, NVLink, and OpenCAPI, so broad industry support is tremendously important for the technology. Originally founded by Alibaba, Cisco, Dell EMC, Facebook, Google, HPE, Huawei, Intel, and Microsoft, the CXL Consortium has gained over 50 additional members over the past few months. The consortium now counts nearly 70 companies and organizations in its ranks, from developers of CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, SSDs, interconnects, servers, and other hardware as well as from software developers and cloud service providers.


Among the companies that recently joined the CXL Consortium are AMD, Arm, IBM, and Xilinx. To that end, the organization appointed five new members to its board of directors from AMD, Arm, IBM, Microchip, and Xilinx. The expanded board of directors now includes 13 members and looks as follows.

















CXL Consortium: Members of the Board
Company Person Position
Alibaba Di Xu ?
AMD Nathan Kalyanasundharam Senior Fellow at AMD
Arm Dong Wei Standards Architect and Fellow
Cisco Sagar Borikar Principal Engineer, Data Center Systems Engineering
Dell EMC Kurtis Bowman Director of Technology and Architecture in Dell’s Server CTO Office
Facebook Chris Petersen Hardware Systems Technologist
Google Rob Sprinkle Technical Lead for Platforms Infrastructure at Google
HPE Barry McAuliffe ?
IBM Steve Fields Fellow and Chief Engineer of Power Systems
Intel Jim Pappas Director of Technology Initiatives, Intel’s Data Center Group.
Microchip Larrie Carr Fellow, Technical Strategy and Architecture, Data Center Solutions
Microsoft Leendert van Doorn  Distinguished Engineer
Xilinx Gaurav Singh Corporate Vice President

CXL 1.1 Published


Back in March, the nine founding members of the CXL Consortium published version 1.0 of the specification. By now, several refinements have been made, so this week the organization published version 1.1 of the spec. Unfortunately, the organization does not publicly disclose what changes it brings; though coming this soon after 1.0, it’s likely little more than minor tweaks to address underdefined behavior and satisfy the needs of some of the new members.


As a refresher, CXL is designed to enable heterogeneous processing (by using accelerators) and memory systems (think memory expansion devices), the low-latency CXL runs on PCIe 5.0 PHY stack at 32 GT/s and supports x16, x8, and x4 link widths natively. CXL supports three protocols within itself: the mandatory CXL.io as well as CXL.cache for cache coherency, and CXL.memory for memory coherency that are needed to effectively manage latencies. When it comes to performance, a CXL-compliant device will enjoy 64 GB/s bandwidth in each direction when installed into a a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot. In addition, the protocol also supports degraded mode at 16.0 GT/s and 8.0 GT/s data rates as well as x2 and x1 links.


Related Reading:


Source: CXL Consortium



Source: AnandTech – CXL Consortium Formally Incorporated, Gets New Board Members & CXL 1.1 Specification

The TeamGroup L5 LITE 3D (480GB) SATA SSD Review: Entry-Level Price With Mainstream Performance

The TeamGroup L5 LITE 3D is an older SATA drive that has consistently been one of the cheapest drives on the retail market. Since it doesn’t cut corners with a DRAMless design, it is a step up from entry-level drives and is still a reasonable alternative to mainstream SATA SSD from the top tier brands.



Source: AnandTech – The TeamGroup L5 LITE 3D (480GB) SATA SSD Review: Entry-Level Price With Mainstream Performance

Samsung’s PCIe Gen 4 Enterprise SSDs Get Reliability & Performance Boost

Almost a year after outlining their first roadmap for PCIe 4.0 SSDs, Samsung’s first two models are in mass production: the PM1733 and PM1735 high-end datacenter SSDs. Details about these new models have been slow to come out, but Samsung is now talking about three major improvements they bring over earlier SSDs in addition to the raw performance increases enabled by PCIe 4.0. The list of improvements includes fail-in-place (FIP) technology to boost reliability of drives, SSD virtualization technology to guarantee consistent performance for VDI and similar use cases, as well as V-NAND machine learning technology to predict and verify characteristics of NAND cells.


Fail-In-Place


Samsung’s fail-in-place (FIP) technology promises to allow the SSD to robustly handle hardware failures that would otherwise be fatal to the SSD, up to the failure of an entire NAND die. For the highest-capacity 30.72TB PM1733, the drive can keep running more or less normally even with the loss of any one of its 512 NAND flash dies. The drive will scan for corrupted or lost data, reconstruct it and relocate it to a still-working flash chip, and continue to operate with high throughput and QoS. In essence, this is like a RAID-5/6 array running in degraded mode instead of the whole array going offline. It’s still wise to eventually replace a SSD after it suffers such severe malfunction, but Samsung’s FIP technology means that replacement can be done at the operator’s convenience instead of the problem causing immediate downtime.


The addition of fail-in-place doesn’t change the fact that the PM1733 and PM1735 have write endurance ratings of 1 and 3 drive writes per day, respectively. The overall lifespan is still comparable to the previous generation of drives, but the chance of a premature death due to causes other than normal NAND wear has been greatly reduced.


Virtualization


Next up, Samsung has added virtualization technology to the PM1733 and PM1735 SSDs. Samsung has implemented the optional NVMe virtualization features based on Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), allowing a single NVMe SSD controller to provide numerous virtual controllers (up to 64 in the case of Samsung’s drives). Each virtual controller can be assigned to a different VM running on the host system, and provide storage to that VM with no CPU overhead—the same as if the entire drive had been assigned to a single VM with PCIe passthrough. Storage capacity on each SSD can be flexibly allocated to different namespaces that can in turn be attached to the relevant virtual controller.



Machine Learning


The third technology introduced by Samsung is V-NAND machine learning. The company does not disclose precise details about how they are making use of machine learning, but only says that it is used to predict and analyze characteristics of flash cells, including by detecting variations among circuit patterns. With 3D NAND, it is increasingly difficult to get by with one size fits all strategies for cell programming, reading and error correction. Even tracking the P/E cycles each block has been through isn’t enough; there can be significant variation between layers near the top and bottom of the 3D stack, and from one die to another. Samsung is hardly alone in turning to machine learning strategies to tackle these complexities. The new capability will ensure consistent performance and improved reliability of today’s drives powered by TLC V-NAND, but its importance will grow dramatically in the case of QLC V-NAND-based drives.



The first drives that can take advantage of the new features are already shipping to interested parties. The PM1733 and PM1735 are based on a common hardware platform. The PM1733 is rated for 1 DWPD and offers capacities up to 30.72 TB, while the PM1735 has more overprovisioning and lower usable capacities to reach 3 DWPD. Both models are available in either U.2 or PCIe add-in card form factors. The U.2 form factor gives a few more capacity options, while the add-in card versions have a PCIe 4.0 x8 interface to enable 25% higher sequential read performance (for other workloads, PCIe 4.0 x4 is fast enough to not be the bottleneck).


 


Related Reading:


Source: Samsung



Source: AnandTech – Samsung’s PCIe Gen 4 Enterprise SSDs Get Reliability & Performance Boost

GIGABYTE’s Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB Launched: Up to 15 GB/s

After originally showcasing it at Computex a bit earlier this year, GIGABYTE has officially introduced its quad-SSD PCIe 4.0 adapter card, the AORUS Gen4 AIC. Designed house up to 4 NVMe SSDs, the card is essentially a multi-way M.2 adapter, allowing a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot to be used to drive four x4 SSDs. Fittingly, with so many high-end SSDs on a single board, the card also features an active cooling system to ensure that the drives run at consistent speeds even under high loads. Fully populated with PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the card is rated to provide up to a staggering 15 GB/s of throughput – at least, if you can come up with a workload that can saturate such a setup.


GIGABYTE’s Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB is a PCIe 4.0 x16 board with eight PCIe Gen 4 re-drivers. The card in turn carries four 2 TB M.2-2280 SSDs based on Phison’s PS5016-E16 controller, which remains the only client SSD controller with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. The card also features a sophisticated cooling system comprising of a large copper heatsink, a 5-cm ball bearing fan, and a baseplate, along with eight thermal sensors to monitor everything. That monitoring, in turn, is provided by the Aorus Storage Manager software, which can also configure the cooling on the card and supports three fan operating modes, including Silent, Balanced, and Performance.



When running in RAID 0 mode, the Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB offers up to 15 GB/s sequential read/write speeds, as well as 430K/440K read/write IOPS. It goes without saying that this is a throughput-focused card, as outside of the difficulty in even coming up with that many IOPS in a client workload, RAID modes don’t really improve IOPS.



While the sequential performance of the Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB looks extremely attractive, there is a caveat. The only enthusiast-class PCIe Gen 4-supporting platform today is AMD’s Ryzen 3000, and these CPUs only support 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes: x16 for an add-in-card, x4 for an NVMe SSD, and x4 to connect to the chipset. As a result, to make full use of the card you have to give up a board’s sole PCIe 4.0 x16 slot for the SSD, which makes this a niche product for systems that don’t need a powerful dGPU. Otherwise, installing the drive into a PCIe x16 slot controlled by AMD’s X570 chipset would cause it to be bottlenecked by the PCIe 4.0 x4 link between the chipset and the CPU.


That said, the Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB can show itself in all the glory either in a workstation based on AMD’s EPYC 7000-series processor with up to 128 PCIe Gen 4 lanes, or, presumably, in a future high-end desktop based on next-generation AMD Threadripper CPU.


Related Reading:


Source: GIGABYTE (via Hermitage Akihabara)



Source: AnandTech – GIGABYTE’s Aorus Gen4 AIC SSD 8 TB Launched: Up to 15 GB/s

Huawei Launches Mate 30 & Mate 30 Pro 4G and 5G Variants: First Step Away From Google

Today at Huawei’s global launch event in Munich, the company has detailed its new Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro flagship devices. The two new phones continue Huawei’s focus on innovating in the photo capture departments, with the new Mate 30 Pro introducing innovative camera features and hardware. Naturally, as is tradition with the Mate series, it represents Huawei’s pioneer series in which it introduces the newest technologies, such as the new brand-new Kirin 990 as well as Kirin 990 5G. The new Mate 30 also introduce new designs and hardware builds – increasing battery life and minimising weight of the phones.


The Mate 30 Pro in particular introduces a new true edge-to-edge display that curves to the sides up to 90° – representing a brand-new form-factor and new ergonomics as Huawei makes away with physical buttons. Beyond all the hardware, the biggest news about Huawei’s newest devices is the fact that they will not come out of the box with Google Play or Google services preinstalled, representing a tectonic shift in the industry that’s bound to have reverberations for the next several years.





























Huawei Mate 30 Series
  Mate 30 Mate 30 Pro

(Mate 30 Pro 5G)
SoC HiSilicon Kirin 990


2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.86 GHz

2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.09 GHz

4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.86 GHz

(HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G)


2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.86 GHz

2x Cortex-A76 @ 2.36 GHz

4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.95 GHz

GPU Mali G76MP16 @ 600MHz


(Mali G76MP16 @ 700MHz)

DRAM 8GB LPDDR4X 8GB LPDDR4X
Display 6.62″ OLED

2340 x 1080 (19.5:9)


 

6.53″ OLED

2400 x 1176 (18.4:9)


edge-to-edge

Size Height 160.8 mm 158.1 mm
Width 76.1 mm 73.1 mm
Depth 8.4 mm

(9.2mm)
8.8 mm

(9.5mm)
Weight 196 grams 198 grams
Battery Capacity 4100mAh (Rated)

4200mAh (Typical)


40W charging

4400mAh (Rated)

4500mAh (Typical)


40W charging

Wireless Charging 27W charging + reverse charging
Rear Cameras
Main 40MP f/1.8 OIS

RYYB sensor


27mm equiv. FL
40MP f/1.6 OIS

RYYB sensor


27mm equivl. FL
Telephoto 8MP f/2.4 OIS

3x Optical zoom

80mm equiv. FL
Wide 16MP f/2.2

Ulta wide angle

17mm equivl. FL


 

40MP f/1.8

RGGB sensor

Ultra wide angle

18mm equivl. FL

720p7680fps video capture

Extra 3D Depth Camera
Front Camera 24MP f/2.0 32MP f/2.0
Storage 128 / 256GB

+ proprietary “nanoSD” card
I/O USB-C
3.5mm headphone jack
USB-C
Wireless (local) 802.11ac (Wifi 5),

Bluetooth 5.1
Cellular 4G LTE

(4G + 5G NR NSA+SA Sub-6GHz)

Splash, Water, Dust Resistance IP53
(no water resistance)
IP68
(water resistant up to 1m)
Dual-SIM 2x nano-SIM
Launch OS Android 10 w/ EMUI 10

without Google services

Launch Price 8+128 GB: 799€


 

8+256 GB: 1099€


(5G 8+256GB: 1199€)


Starting off with the heart of the phone, we’re seeing both the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro powered by the new Kirin 990 chipsets. As we’ve covered the silicon in more detail a few weeks ago at its launch, this year we’re actually talking about two distinct new chips: The regular Kirin 990, and the Kirin 990 5G. As the name reveals the difference, the 5G variant of the chip includes a new integrated modem with support of Sub-6GHz 5G NR connectivity.


The company this year was conservative in terms of the IP of the new Kirin chipset, as this year again unfortunately the release timing of the silicon wasn’t in sync with the newest generation designs from Arm. Thus the chip again makes use of the existing Cortex-A76 CPU core, but this time around it bumps up the frequency up to 2.86GHz in the two fastest CPU cores. Depending on whether you get the regular or the 5G variant you’ll end up with a further two A76 efficiency cores at either 2.09GHz or 2.36GHz, and the same differences are found in the A55 small cores, coming in a quad-core configuration with 1.86GHz or 1.95GHz. The GPU core configuration is a Mali-G76MP16 at either 600MHz or 700MHz. HiSilicon is able to use the higher frequencies on the 5G model as it’s manufactured on TSMC’s new N7+ manufacturing node which makes use of EUV, whereas the regular variant remains on the existing N7 node.


Huawei was able to increase the battery sizes of the phones to up to 4200mAh for the Mate 30 and 4500mAh for the Mate 30 Pro by increasing the density of the battery cells. This generation, Huawei has also paid more attention to the resulting weight of the phone, managing to remain under 200g at respectively 196g and 198g for the non-pro and Pro models.




Mate 30 Pro


The Mate 30 Pro is certainly the most interesting of the two new devices when it comes to their designs. The Mate 30 Pro employs a new true edge-to-edge OLED screen which curves around to 90° around the edges – essentially making this the first actually bezel-less phone out there as you’ll be seeing pure screen when viewing the phone from the front. Unfortunately, it seems Huawei this year has opted to go back to 1080p-class screens for the Pro Mate model, reducing it from the 1440p that was uniquely shipped last year with the Mate 20 Pro. Either the Mate 30 Pro will have outstanding battery life, or Huawei still hasn’t figured out how to efficiently implement 1440p in their phones.




Mate 30


The 30 Pro comes at a slightly weird resolution of 2400 x 1136 which results in an aspect ratio of 18.4:9. The reason for this is that there’s actually some pixels which are going to be part of the wrap-around part of the screen. The regular Mate 30 has a more traditional 2340 x 1080 19.5:9 resolution and aspect ratio.


Even though the Mate 30 Pro lists a 6.53” diagonal screen size, because of the wrap-around aspect of it, it’s only actually 73.1mm wide which is slightly smaller than the usual “large” form-factor we’re used to, similar to the Mate 20 Pro last year, which was 0.8mm narrower.


Both phones still come with display notches, however Huawei was able to reduce their size notably, and rationalises by having the full plethora of sensors available, including a 3D depth camera, the usual ambient & proximity sensors, the 32MP or 24MP front-facing camera, as well as introducing a new gesture sensor.


The big stars and a big part of the presentation today were the phone’s cameras. The Mate 30 was more conservative in this regard, and essentially, we’re seeing the same camera setup as on the P30, with the exception of the addition of OIS on the main sensor. The main camera sensor for both phones is again the 40MP RYYB sensor employed in the P30 series, however the Mate 30’s pictures will notably improve thanks to a newer generation ISP in the Kirin processors. The aperture on the Pro unit is larger f/1.6 while the regular Mate 30 will make due with f/1.8 optics.



The telephoto module on both phones is the trusted and good 3x telephoto lens and 8MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. Personally I wasn’t too convinced of the periscope 5x module of the P30 Pro so I’m glad Huawei stuck around with the more traditional module in the Mate 30’s.


It’s in the wide-angle lens where the two phones drastically differ. While the Mate 30 has seemingly the same 16MP f/2.2 module as on the P30, the new Mate 30 Pro introduces a brand-new and industry first sensor of its type. The Mate 30 Pro’s wide-angle is makes use of a new equally large sized 1/1.54” sensor with a 40MP resolution. The sensor is a regular Bayer RGGB layout, unlike the RYYB 40MP main camera sensor. It employs a wide f/1.8 aperture with a wide-angle view equivalent focal-length of 18mm.



The new sensor however no only serves as the wide-angle eyes for the phone, but also has unique video recording capabilities. Huawei now finally introduced 4K60 recording, and also supports HDR+ video formats. The most eye-brow raising feature of the new module however is its quoted 7680fps slow-motion capture. Huawei demoed 2000fps samples at the presentation, and lists the 7680fps mode as being able to be recorded at 720p.


No Google Play Services or Play Store


Probably the biggest and most important announcement today wasn’t the Mate 30 or Mate 30 Pro as devices, but the fact that the new units will not be released with Google’s services such as the Play Store or Play Services preinstalled on the phone. Unfortunately this is the end result of the ongoing trade-war between the US and China, with Huawei considering themselves as being used as bargaining chips and pawns by the US’s decision to block the company from all commercial interaction with US companies, something the company describes as having nothing to do with security or even 5G infrastructure concerns.



The implications here are huge both for Huawei as for the overall industry, and there will be no clear winners on either side, and on the long-term, it seems Google and the Android ecosystem has more to lose. Huawei is pushing forward with a full replacement of Google’s services, with the alternative being called “Huawei Mobile Services”, or HMS, in order to offer the same functionality that were offered by Google’s GMS.


In a follow-up interview with Richard Yu clarified one important question in regards to how users will have control over the software they’ll be able to install on the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro; beyond offering their own app store called the “Huawei App Gallery”, Yu said that it might be possible for users to install the GMS core onto the phones through either third-party app stores or websites. Huawei here is likely to resist as little as possible in terms of limitations as to what users will be able to do with their phones, and he also confirmed that users will be able to unlock the bootloaders for the Mate 30 and 30 Pro.


In case that the trade sanctions imposed by the US were to be lifted, Richard Yu explained that they’d be ready to “immediately” reintegrate the Google services and applications onto their firmware and push out updates to their phones.


In the meanwhile, Huawei is planning long-term and investing into their own HMS ecosystem. In order to attract developers and to gain traction, the company is making a available a $1bn fund for developers, ecosystem and marketing to offer alternatives for their users. Yu described one way to attract developers is that they will adopt a 15/85% share on app purchases, giving developers a larger piece of the pie than the 30/70 share that currently is in place for the Play Store and the iOS App Store. Huawei explains that they don’t want to do this, but given the circumstances, they’re forced to.


Availability & Pricing


The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro will be available in October in China and select European markets, with remaining European countries availability coming a bit later. The Mate 30 comes in a 8+128GB configuration for 799€, the Mate 30 Pro coming in a 8+128GB configuration for 1099€, and finally the 5G variant of the Mate 30 Pro coming at 1199€.


Related Reading:




Source: AnandTech – Huawei Launches Mate 30 & Mate 30 Pro 4G and 5G Variants: First Step Away From Google

Sony’s Micro LED-Based Ultra-HD TVs Available to Consumers: 2K to 16K Resolutions, up to 790-Inches

Sony this month started to offer its Micro LED-based displays to well-funded consumers. Officially branded as Crystal LED direct view display systems (aka CLEDIS), these ultra high-end products were previously only available for commercial installations. Designed to offer superior contrasts, brightness levels, and viewing angles, Sony’s Crystal LED TVs are designed to replace projector-enabled home theaters and will be available in 2K, 4K, 8K, and 16K versions with sizes of up to 790 inches.


Sony’s Crystal LED display systems rely on bezel-less Micro LED modules that are built using 0.003-mm² individually-controlled LEDs. The modules offer up to 1000 nits peak brightness, around 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, up to a 120 Hz refresh rate, as well as nearly 180° viewing angles. According to Sony, such a display can cover 140% of the sRGB color space or around 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.


Since the micro LED modules are rather large – even though they’re the fraction of the size of a normal LED, the large number of micro LEDs adds up – the size of a Full-HD Crystal LED display system is around 110 inches in diagonal. Meanwhile the 4K unit doubles that, to 220 inches. Since we are dealing with devices that are designed to replace projection-powered home theaters, such sizes are well justified, but they are naturally too large for an average home.








Sony’s Consumer Crystal LED Display Systems
  Full HD 4K 8K 16K
Number of CLED Modules 18 72 288 576
Diagonal 110-inches 220-inches 440-inches 790-inches
Dimensions (W×H) 8 ft × 4 ft

2.43 m × 1.22 m
16 ft × 9 ft

4.87 × 2.74
32 ft × 18 ft

9.75 × 5.48
63 ft × 18 ft

19.2 × 5.48
Approximate Price of CLEDs at $10,000 per unit $180,000 $720,000 $2,880,000 $5,760,000

Sony’s Crystal LED-based display systems for residential installation will be available through a select group of individually trained and certified Sony dealers. The devices will be supported by Sony’s technicians, who will be able to remotely monitor displays after their installations to provide ongoing service.


Sony is not publicly quoting prices for its consumer Crystal LED products, but there are estimates that each module costs around $10,000 per unit. This would mean that a Full-HD version, which consists of 18 modules, costs over $180,000, whereas a 4K system will be priced at over $720,000.


Related Reading:


Sources: Sony, TechHive



Source: AnandTech – Sony’s Micro LED-Based Ultra-HD TVs Available to Consumers: 2K to 16K Resolutions, up to 790-Inches

The Huawei Mate 30 Launch Event Live Blog (Starts at 8am ET/12:00 UTC)

The busy fall period for smartphone launches continues. Today in Munich, Germany, Huawei is holding their launch event for their Mate 30 family of smartphones, the latest generation of flagship phones from the company. The underlying Kirin 990 SoC was already announced a couple of weeks back at IFA, and now we’ll get to see the rest of what Huawei has in store for their next generation of smarphones.



Source: AnandTech – The Huawei Mate 30 Launch Event Live Blog (Starts at 8am ET/12:00 UTC)

Western Digital Reveals 18 TB DC HC550 'EAMR' Hard Drive

Marking an important step in the development of next-generation hard drive technology, Western Digital has formally announced the company’s first hard drives based on energy-assisted magnetic recording. Starting things off with capacities of 16 TB and 18 TB, the Ultrastar DC HC550 HDDs are designed to offer consistent performance at the highest (non-SMR) capacities yet. And, with commercial sales expected to start in 2020, WD is now in a position to become the first vendor in the industry to ship a next-generation EAMR hard drive.


18 TB Sans SMR


The Western Digital Ultrastar DC HC550 3.5-inch hard drive relies on the company’s 6th Generation helium-filled HelioSeal platform with two key improvements: the platform features nine platters (both for 16 TB and 18 TB versions), and they using what WD is calling an energy-assisted magnetic recording technology (EAMR). The latter has enabled Western Digital to build 2 TB platters without using shingled magnetic recording (SMR).


Since we are dealing with a brand-new platform, the Ultrastar DC HC550 also includes several other innovations, such as a new mechanical design. Being enterprise hard drives, the new platform features a top and bottom attached motor (with a 7200 RPM spindle speed), top and bottom attached disk clamps, RVFF sensors, humidity sensors, and other ways to boost reliability and ensure consistent performance. Like other datacenter-grade hard drives, the Ultrastar DC HC550 HDDs are rated for a 550 TB/annual workload, a 2.5 million hours MTBF, and are covered by a five-year limited warranty.


MAMR? HAMR? EAMR!


The research and development efforts of the hard drive manufacturers to produce ever-denser storage technology has been well documented. Western Digital, Seagate, and others have been looking at technologies based around temporarily altering the coercivity of the recording media, which is accomplished by applying (additional) energy to a platter while writing. The end result of these efforts has been the development of techniques such as heating the platters (HAMR) or using microwaves on them (MAMR), both of which allow a hard drive head to write smaller sectors. With their similar-yet-different underpinnings, this has lead to the catch-all term Energy-Assissted Magnetic Recording (EAMR) to describe these techniques.


Being a large corporation, Western Digital does not put all of its eggs into one basket, and as a result has been researching several EAMR technologies. This includes HAMR, MAMR, bit-patterned media (BPM), heated-dot magnetic recording (HDMR, BPM+HAMR) and even more advanced technologies.


At some point in 2017, the company seemed to settle on MAMR, announcing a plan to produce MAMR-based HDDs for high-capacity applications. Still, while the company focused on MAMR and, presumably for competitive reasons was publicly downplaying HAMR for a while, WD did not really stop investing in it.


Ultimately, having designed at least two EAMR technologies, Western Digital can now use either of them. Unfortunately, for those competitive (and to some degree political) reasons as before, the manufacturer also doesn’t really want to disclose which of those technologies it’s using. So while the new Ultrastar DC HC550 HDDs are using some form of an EAMR technology, WD isn’t saying whether it’s HAMR or MAMR.


As things stand, the only thing that the company has said on the matter is telling ComputerBase.de that the new drivers do not use a spin-torque oscillator, which is a key element of Western Digital’s MAMR technology.


Here is an official statement from Western Digital:


“The 18 TB Ultrastar DC HC550 is the first HDD in the industry using energy assisted recording technology. As part of our MAMR development, we have discovered a variety of energy assisted techniques that boost areal density. For competitive reasons, we are not disclosing specific details about which energy assist technologies are used in each drive.”


With MAMR apparently eliminated, it would seem that WD is using a form of HAMR for the new drives. However at least for the time being, it’s not something the company is willing to disclose.


IOPS-per-TB Challenge


Ultimately, whether HAMR or MAMR, the end result is that WD’s EAMR tech has allowed them to increase their drive platter density and resulting drive capacities. Density improvements are always particularly welcome, as it should allow the HC550 to offer higher sequential performance than existing 7200 RPM hard drives. However, since the new storage devices feature a single actuator that enables around 80 IOPS random reads, IOPS-per-TB performance of the new units will be lower when compared to currently available high-capacity 10 – 14 TB HDDs (think 4 IOPS-per-TB vs. 5.7 – 8 IOPS-per-TB) and will require operators of large datacenters to tune their hardware and software to guarantee their customers appropriate QoS.


Unlike Westen Digital’s flagship 20 TB shingled magnetic recording (SMR) hard drive for cold storage applications, the company’s 16 TB and 18 TB nearly HDDs use energy-assisted conventional magnetic recording (CMR), which ensures predictable performance both for random read and write operations. As a result, while the Ultrastar DC 650 SMR HDD will be available only to select customers that can mitigate peculiarities of SMR, the Ultrastar DC 550 hard drives will be available to all clients that are satisfied with their IOPS-per-TB performance and will have qualified them in their datacenters.


Samples & Availability


Western Digital will ship samples of its EAMR-based Ultrastar DC HC550 16 TB and 18 TB hard drives to clients late this year and plans to initiate their volume ramp in 2020. One additional thing to note about the 16 TB EAMR-enabled HDDs is that these drives will likely be used primarily for technology validation, as there are commercial 16 TB CMR+TDMR available today that do not need extensive tests by operators of datacenters.


Related Reading:


Source: Western Digital



Source: AnandTech – Western Digital Reveals 18 TB DC HC550 ‘EAMR’ Hard Drive

Logitech Unveils G604 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse: 15 Programmable Controls

Ever the purveyor of peripherals, Logitech is once again expanding its G series of mice with a new high-end wireless mouse for gamers. The Logitech G604 Lightspeed features the company’s latest high-precision sensor as well as 15 fully programmable controls that makes the mouse particularly useful for enthusiasts who play games that benefit from macros.


The Logitech G604 Lightspeed is based on the company’s Hero sensor, which a tracking resolution up to 16,000 DPI. That sensor is being paired with a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M-powered SoC, and on the communications side of matters the wireless mouse supports both Bluetooth and Logitech’s proprietary Lightspeed wireless technology. The latter is designed to offer more performance and lower latency than standard Bluetooth, with Logitech offering much greater polling rates – up to 1000 Hz – when using Lightspeed.


In fact this same platform is used for other mice from Logitech, and as a result, the G604 supports the usual Logitech G-series features, such as automatic surface tuning. And that extends to battery life as well; Logitech is promissing a very long battery life for the mouse, rating it to run for up to 240 hours on a single AA battery.



From ergonomics point of view, the G604 Lightspeed is a successor of Logitech’s G602 launched several years ago. The new mouse features a similar shape, however Logitech says that they have refined the design to make it more comfortable and provider a better grip. Logitech’s G604 Lightspeed has 15 controls (including six thumb buttons for high demand actions) each of which can be reprogrammed.



Logitech will start sales of the G604 Lightspeed this fall at a price of $99.99.



Related Reading:


Source: Logitech



Source: AnandTech – Logitech Unveils G604 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse: 15 Programmable Controls

HP Launches Their S430c 43.4-Inch Ultrawide Curved Display

Along with their new Elite Dragonfly notebook, today HP is also rolling out its first ultra-wide curved display, which is being aimed at replacing dual-display setups used by business customers. The S430c Curved Ultrawide Monitor boasts a sizable 43.4-inch diagonal size, which is laid out in a 32:10 aspect ratio with an ultra-wide 4K resolution. Meanwhile, with its roots firmly in the business side of HP’s lineup, the company is also outfitting the monitor with a bevy of business-focused features, such as docking capabilities and a pop-up webcam with IR sensors.



Internally, the HP S430c curved ultrawide monitor uses a 43.4-inch VA panel, which offers a 3840×1200 resolution framed in an 1800R curve. The monitor offers a max brightness of 350 nits, a 3000:1 contrast ratio, a 5 ms GtG response time, 178º/178º vertical/horizontal viewing angles, a 60 Hz refresh rate, and to top things off, the screen has an antiglare coating. Seeing as this isn’t a video-focused monitor, HP is sticking just covering the sRGB color gamut (99%), which is the primary color space used by office and productivity applications.



Moving on, for connectivity the display has a DisplayPort 1.2 input, a HDMI 2.0 port, and two USB Type-C (DP alt-mode) inputs, allowing the monitor to be connected to virtually any PC. Both USB-C ports can deliver up to 85 W of power to their host laptops (with a total limit of 100W), meaning the monitor can charge even higher-performance 15.6-inch machines. Those USB-C ports also feed the monitor’s built-in USB hub, giving the monitor four downstream USB Type-A ports.


Meanwhile for extra features, the S430c includes a pop-up Full HD webcam with IR sensors for Windows Hello, as well as two microphones. The display also supports HP’s Device Bridge technology, which allows the user to control two PCs at the same time on a split screen without a dedicated KVM.



Like other monitors for professionals, the HP S430c comes with a stand that can adjust height and tilt. Meanwhile, HP will also offer a VESA mount adapter for those who need it.



Sales of the HP S430c Curved Ultrawide Monitor will start on November 9. The monitor will retail for $999.


























The S430c Curved Ultrawide Monitor
  General Specifications
Panel 43″ VA
Native Resolution 3840 × 1200
Maximum Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Response Time 5 ms
Brightness 350 cd/m²
Contrast 3000:1
Backlighting LED
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Curvature 1800R
Aspect Ratio 32:10
Color Gamut sRGB: 99%
Dynamic Refresh Rate Tech
Pixel Pitch 0.274 mm²
Pixel Density 92.7 PPI
Inputs 1 × DisplayPort 1.2

1 × HDMI 2.0

2 × USB 3.1 Type-C (w/ 85 W PD)
Audio speakers (?)

3.5-mm audio jack
Webcam Full-HD IR webcam with microphones
USB Hub 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A connectors
Stand Height adjustment

Tilt: -5~20 degree
Power Standby: 0.5 W

Typical: 80 W

Maximum: 220 W
MSRP US: $999

Related Reading:


Source: HP



Source: AnandTech – HP Launches Their S430c 43.4-Inch Ultrawide Curved Display

The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Review: Bezeless Zoom

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom is another Snapdragon 855-based phone that was released earlier in the year, and while we did a quick hands-on test of the device back in May, we never really got to fully reviewing the unit until now. Beyond putting the Reno 10x through our usual testing suite, what’s interesting is that in this time Oppo has had the opportunity to refine the software, and we’ve seen particular improvements on the side of the camera with the introduction of a new low-light photography mode.

The device has two key characteristics: A full-screen minimal bezel display which is enabled by housing the front-camera in a mechanical motorised slide-out mechanism, and a triple-camera setup amongst which we find a “periscope” zoom camera module. Both of these features separately aren’t unique to the Reno 10x, however their combination is unique to Oppo.



Source: AnandTech – The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Review: Bezeless Zoom

Intel Core i9-9900KS TDP Details: ASUS Maximus XI Apex Support

Intel announced plans to launch its eight-core Core i9-9900KS processor along with its performance specifications quite a while ago, but the company did not disclose the TDP. As the processor will have an all-core base frequency of 4.0 GHz and an all-core turbo of 5.0 GHz, this number is vitally important for motherboard support. This week ASUS released a new BIOS version for some of its motherboards that adds support for the Core i9-9900KS and revealed the number. 


The Intel Core i9-9900 processor has a base frequency of 4.0 GHz as well as an all-core turbo frequency of 5.0 GHz, which essentially makes it an eight-core Coffee Lake Refresh silicon binned to hit higher clocks when cooling is good enough. As it turns out, in a bid to enable higher frequencies, Intel has increased the TDP all the way to 127 W (according to a listing at ASUS.com), which is considerably higher when compared to any existing (or historical) Intel’s CPU for mainstream platforms.



One thing that should be noted is that Intel only guarantees base frequency at a rated TDP (e.g., 4.0 GHz at 127 W), so everything above base (i.e., turbo clocks) means a higher power consumption. As a result, not only will the Core i9-9900KS require a motherboard that can supply 127 W of power and a cooling system that will dissipate 127 W of power, but it will need an advanced platform to hit the turbo clocks. Fortunately, there are plenty of high-end motherboards and coolers around to support the Core i9-9900KS. 









Intel 9th Gen Core 8-Core Desktop CPUs
AnandTech Cores Base

Freq
All-Core Turbo Single

Core Turbo

Freq
IGP DDR4 TDP Price

(1ku)
i9-9900KS 8 / 16 4.0 GHz 5.0 GHz 5.0 GHz UHD 630 2666 127 W ?
i9-9900K 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 4.7 GHz 5.0 GHz UHD 630 2666 95 W $488
i9-9900KF 8 / 16 3.6 GHz 4.7 GHz 5.0 GHz 2666 95 W $488
i7-9700K 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.6 GHz 4.9 GHz UHD 630 2666 95 W $374
i7-9700KF 8 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.6 GHz 4.9 GHz 2666 95 W $374

One thing to keep in mind is that the information about the TDP of the Core i9-9900KS comes from a third party (albeit a very reliable one), not from Intel. Intel has confirmed that the new Core i9-9900KS will be released in October.


Related Reading:


Source: ASUS




Source: AnandTech – Intel Core i9-9900KS TDP Details: ASUS Maximus XI Apex Support

AMD’s New 280W 64-Core Rome CPU: The EPYC 7H12

If there’s something that gets everyone excited, it is more performance. On the Enterprise side, AMD has made big strides with its latest EPYC processor stack, featuring up to 64 cores per socket with 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes and 8-channel memory, featuring a very high performance per dollar in the marketplace. In order to coincide with the launch of the processor line-up in Europe today, AMD is unveiling a new chip to act as the new Halo product: the EPYC 7H12.



Source: AnandTech – AMD’s New 280W 64-Core Rome CPU: The EPYC 7H12

HP’s Unveils Elite Dragonfly Laptop: 13.3-Inch Convertible With a 24.5 Hour Battery Life

HP this morning is introducing its new flagship 13.3-inch convertible laptop, which the company is calling the Elite Dragonfly. The Project Athena-class laptop is designed to check all of the boxes for a high-end, compact laptop, offering premium features, a very low weight, and most interesting of all, an optional high-capacity battery that HP claims will run the laptop for over 24 hours.



The HP Elite Dragonfly notebook comes in a CNC-machined magnesium alloy chassis, which has allowed HP to reduce its weight to around 990 grams (in case of the low-weight SKU with a 38 Wh battery) and maintain a 1.61 cm z-height. According to HP, the chassis also meets the durability requirements for the MIL-STD 810G standard (including spill resistance), so it looks like HP has been able to cut down on weight without compromising the durability of the laptop. Meanwhile, the entire chassis is covered with an oleophobic coating, to make the entire laptop resistant to fingerprints and smudges.


Front and center of the convertible notebook is the 13.3-inch touch-enabled display, which is available in Full HD (1080p) or Ultra HD (4K) resolutions, and options include a version of the FHD panel that incorporates Intel’s 1 Watt panel tech. The display panel itself is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, and for the privacy-minded, HP is also offering their SureView privacy screen as an option.



HP says that it has taken it a long time to engineer a laptop that could include all of the Elite Dragonfly’s features, and to that end it has to stick to Intel’s proven low-power 8th Gen Core i3/i5/i7 processors (Whiskey Lake). Despite usage of a previous-generation CPU, the Elite Dragonfly is compliant with Intel’s Project Athena requirements, so overall experience should be in line with other laptops designed for that program. The CPU is accompanied by up to 16 GB of soldered-down dual-channel LPDDR3-2133 memory as well as an SSD with capacities going up to 2 TB. Higher-end SKUs will use a PCIe 3.0 x4 drive, whereas cheaper or specialized models will come with a SATA drive, allowing HP to offer a FIPS 140-2-certified drive to customers who need it.



Communications are critical for business these days, so this is where the Elite Dragonfly excels. The convertible laptop comes with Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 adapter, an optional Intel XMM 7360/7560 4G/LTE modem with 4×4 antennas, and an optional GbE adapter. Meanwhile, when it comes to wired connectivity the laptop includes a Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C port, a stand-alone USB-C port, a USB Type-A port, a full-size HDMI port, and a 3.5-mm audio connector. Speaking of audio, when not using headphones the PC has four Band & Olufsen-badged speakers as well as a microphone array as its disposal.



Being an Elite-branded laptop, the HP Dragonfly supports all the key security features that the manufacturer has to offer. In addition to HP SureView privacy screen as well as a 720p Privacy Camera (with or without IR sensor), the convertible supports HP’s Sure Sense, Sure Recover, and Embedded Reimaging technologies, a TPM 2.0 module, and an Absolute persistence module.



Meanwhile, when it comes to battery life, HP is making some bold claims, stating that that an Elite Dragonfly equipped with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 128 GB SSD, and a 1-Watt Full-HD display, and a 56.2 Wh battery can last for up to 24 hours and 30 minutes on a single charge. These results are based on MobileMark 2014, a relatively light workload, so results will vary with the workload used. Meanwhile, machines with other configurations (e.g. a smaller battery) will last for a shorter amount of time.



HP intends to start sales of its Dragonfly laptops on October 25. Prices for the entry-level Dragonfly convertibles will start at $1,549, but higher-performance SKUs will cost significantly more. In addition the the PC itself, the company will offer a travel mouse as well as a leather sleeve.



Related Reading:


Source: HP



Source: AnandTech – HP’s Unveils Elite Dragonfly Laptop: 13.3-Inch Convertible With a 24.5 Hour Battery Life

GIGABYTE’s Aorus CV27Q Curved ‘Tactical’ Monitor: 165 Hz QHD With FreeSync 2

GIGABYTE has introduced a new display aimed at hardcore gamers, incorporating a multitude of capabilities aimed at the target audience. Dubbed the ‘Tactical Monitor’, the Aorus CV27Q is a QHD curved LCD that’s able to run at up to 165Hz, and includes support for AMD’s FreeSync 2 refresh rate technology. The gaming-focused monitor also includes active noise canceling, GameAssist OSD functions, and RGB stripes that can be controlled using the company’s software.


The GIGABYTE Aorus CV27Q is based on an 8-bit 27-inch curved VA panel featuring a 2560×1440 resolution, 400 nits peak brightness, a 3000:1 static contrast ratio, a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz, a 1 ms MPRT response time, and 178°/178° viewing angles. The panel also sports a 1500R curvature, which means that it provides a wider field of view than most 27-inch LCDs available today.



As mentioned previously, the Aorus CV27Q is an AMD FreeSync 2-certified monitor, meaning that the display meets AMD’s minimum requirements for HDR contrast ratios and color gamuts, as well as supporting direct-to-display tonemapping, and low framerate compensation (LFC) mode. Officially, the monitor is able to hit 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and while it meets the requirements for HDR it only hits the minimum, with an HDR brightness of 400 nits (and matching DisplayHDR 400 certification). Judging from Gigabyte’s specifications, it looks like this is an edge-lit monitor – Gigabyte doesn’t list how many zones it has – which would be consistent with that performance level. As for FreeSync 2 range, the manufacturer says it is between 48 Hz and 165 Hz.


Meanwhile, GIGABYTE has informed us that they have also submitted the device to NVIDIA for G-Sync Compatible certification, so that the monitor’s variable refresh modes can be used with GeForce cards. Whether this happens is ultimately up to NVIDIA – which is why GIGABYTE isn’t advertising it as a feature quite yet – but as the company already has other monitors that have been certified by NVIDIA, GIGABYTE should have the expertice to pass certification here as well.



Moving on to gaming-specific features of the Aorus CV27Q, one of the capabilities that GIGABYTE is especially proud of is its 2nd Generation active noise canceling (ANC) technology. Here, ANC uses a special chip along with a dual mic setup to remove ambient noises from the background of the microphone feed. Meanwhile on the output side of matters, GIGABYTE claims that the monitor offers a 120 dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), with the monitor able to support high impedance headphones up to 600 Ohm.


Another interesting capability is Black Stabilizer 2.0 that promises to improve details of dark parts of a scene without affecting other areas. This sounds vaguely like local dimming, however with an edge-lit monitor it’s not clear that this monitor will have enough zones to use it effectively. Other features driven by the firmware include crosshair, aim stabilizer (which reduces motion blur in fast-paced scenes, though GIGABYTE does not disclose how it does it), timer & counter, as well as OSD Sidekick that allows to tune the monitor to a particular game or situation.



To connect the GIGABYTE Aorus CV27Q to PCs and consoles, the monitor has one DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 connectors. Furthermore, the LCD has a dual-port USB 3.0 hub as well as as 3.5-mm audio jacks for headphones and a mic. As far as ergonomics is concerned, the display comes with a stand that can adjust height, tilt, and swivel.
























The GIGABYTE Aorus CV27Q
  General Specifications
Panel 27″ 8-bit VA
Native Resolution 2560 × 1440
Maximum Refresh Rate 165 Hz
Response Time 1 ms MPRT
Brightness 400 cd/m² (peak)
Contrast 3000:1
Backlighting ELED (Edge-Lit LED)
Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
Curvature 1500R
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Color Gamut >?% sRGB/BT.709

90% DCI-P3

16.7 million colors
DisplayHDR Tier 400
Dynamic Refresh Rate Tech AMD FreeSync 2

NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible (applied for official certification which is yet to be received)
Pixel Pitch 0.3114 mm²
Pixel Density 91.79 PPI
Inputs 1 × DP 1.4

2 × HDMI 2.0
Audio 3.5 mm input and output
USB Hub 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A connectors

1 × USB 3.0 Type-B input
USB Hub Tilt: -5° ~ +21°

Swivel: -20° ~ +20°

Height: +/- 130 mm
MSRP $459.99

Set to be available shortly, the GIGABYTE Aorus will cost $459.99, which is a tad higher when compared to other mid-range FreeSync 2 curved displays, but extra features tend to come at a premium.


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Source: GIGABYTE’s Aorus



Source: AnandTech – GIGABYTE’s Aorus CV27Q Curved ‘Tactical’ Monitor: 165 Hz QHD With FreeSync 2