Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 Review: A convertible with very few compromises

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Call the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 the triple threat. It offers awesome performance in an amazingly tiny package (and it’s convertible, too). It’s also one of the first laptops to sport Intel’s new 10th-gen Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7, based on a new 10nm process technology. 

The XPS 13 2-in-1 also has a few features that are likely to steam up some fans. That potential drama aside, this laptop is just about perfect.

dell xps 13 hinge 2 Gordon Mah Ung

The 360-hinge tells you the XPS 13 2-in-1 can be flipped back.

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Intel maps out Optane’s future and says Penta Level Cell NAND is in the works

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In a massive storage data dump, Intel laid out its Optane roadmap and claimed an edge in Penta Level Cell NAND technology. That’s not even mentioning the company’s plans for fatter SSDs, and how long it’ll take to get persistent memory to consumer PCs.

The announcements were made Thursday morning at a storage event in Seoul, South Korea, where Intel showed off some new technology coming down the pike. Intel also announced that, after the very public and amicable divorce from Micron, it’s moving its Optane development to Rancho Rio, New Mexico.

Optane Roadmap: Barlow Pass

If you’ve had a hint that Intel’s been closely aligning its storage efforts with its CPU efforts, that hint turned into a nudge on Thursday: Intel confirmed that its upcoming Cooper Lake and Ice Lake CPUs will have support for its 2nd-generation Optane DC Persistent Memory modules. Codenamed Barlow Pass, the Optane modules will be closely tied with the upcoming Xeon CPUs. And yup, a yet unnamed, but rumored-to-be-called Crow Pass will be tied with its upcoming Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs. 

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Samsung’s ultra-fast new PCIe 4.0 SSDs ‘never die’

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Samsung said new software for its latest PCIe 4.0 SSDs make them so reliable, they can essentially “never die.”

Three new software features were announced in total, with two tied to data integrity: a virtualization technology dubbed “V-NAND machine learning technology” to verify data, and “fail-in-place.” Officials said FIP allows an SSD continue running normally even during chip-level failures.

Fail-in-place can detect a failed or failing NAND chip, check for damaged data, and then move that data to undamaged parts of the drive. Samsung cited its 30.72TB PM1733 SSD, which contains 512 NAND chips inside. If any of those 512 chips failed, lit would continue to roll along.

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Are Huawei laptops safe? Intel, Microsoft promise support, but the future remains uncertain

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As the U.S. Government’s ban on Huawei grinds on, the biggest questions consumers likely have are whether that Matebook laptop on Amazon is safe to buy, or whether the Huawei machine they’ve already bought is safe. After all, if Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and other U.S. tech companies can no longer sell chips to the Chinese tech company, isn’t the company basically dead to you?

The answer likely depends on whether you care about Huawei’s future as a PC maker, or if you only care about your particular future with a Huawei laptop.

What the U.S. ban on Huawei means

The ban on Huawei, enacted in May, essentially forbids U.S. companies from doing business with the tech giant. Obviously, if Huawei is unable to buy CPUs from Intel or AMD, or graphics chips from AMD or Nvidia, let alone memory and storage from other U.S.-based companies, it likely means any future Huawei PC laptops are in limbo.

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Intel’s 2nd-gen Optane Memory M15 upgrades storage performance speeds

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Buried among 10th-gen Core laptop CPU news, Intel unexpectedly dropped an update to its Optane Memory platform that ups storage performance, but doesn’t increase capacity.

Intel describes Optane Memory M15 as a 2nd-generation version of the original Optane Memory M10 released last year. Optane Memory exists mostly as a caching-style technology that helps speed up the responsiveness of your most commonly accessed files on larger hard drives and SSDs. It’s not intended for use as a primary drive.

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Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible validation flunks over 94% of FreeSync monitors. Here’s why

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There’s good news for gamers hoping to pair their favorite FreeSync monitor with a GeForce graphics card: 28 panels now meet Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible validation requirements, unlocking the silky-smooth gaming benefits of adaptive sync technology without any headache, hassle, or extra work. 

The bad news? Nvidia says that 475 of the 503 adaptive sync panels it examined as part of of “phase 1” of its G-Sync Compatible testing failed. That’s essentially like having 5 percent a class pass the test and graduate. Ouch.

Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible initiative supplements the company’s first-party G-Sync displays. G-Sync Compatible monitors are non-G-Sync displays that support the adaptive sync standard for variable refresh rates while gaming—AMD FreeSync monitors, essentially. Only models that meet Nvidia’s stringent standards achieve the label, and have variable refresh rates automatically unlocked on GeForce GPUs.  

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Kill ATX? The radical Asus Prime Utopia looks like a PC plucked from an alternate timeline

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What piece of technology are you still using from 1995? Your computer case. Yes, if you run a desktop tower, it’s likely built on the Intel ATX specification first introduced in 1995—almost 25 years ago. But Asus’s radical Prime Utopia prototype re-imagines what could be with an out-of-this-world concept PC.

Definitely watch the video above to see this beast in action. Asus decided to relocate the graphics card from its standard PCIe slot to the back of the computer. It’s mounted vertically along the motherboard for added stability when shipping or moving the system.

With the GPU moved to the back, Asus uses the freed-up front space to mount four M.2 solid-state drives and a 7-inch touch OLED. The screen comes with Wi-Fi enabled, so you can detach it and put it on your desk as well.

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AMD flexes 7nm muscle with a 12-core Ryzen 9 CPU and Radeon RX 5000 graphics cards

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The coremageddon has begun: AMD Monday dropped its long-awaited 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X at Computex on Monday, saying that it will outpace Intel’s 12-core CPUs for almost a third to half the price—and that’s just an inkling of AMD’s 7nm onslaught against Intel and Nvidia.

“To be a technology leader, you have to make big bets,” said Lisa Su, AMD’s chief executive, speaking at her first Computex keynote. AMD’s biggest bet was in developing its chips for 7nm, and those bets are beginning to pay off.

During the kick-off keynote for Computex, AMD CEO Lisa Su unveiled:

  • “RDNA,” AMD’s new graphics architecture brand for its next-gen “Navi” core, which will be called the Radeon RX 5700 graphics card and go head-to-head with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070.
  • An 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 3700X with stupidly good power efficiency of 65 watts.
  • An 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 3800X that all but erases any gaming deficits the CPUs have had versus the Intel competition.
  • The world’s first PCIe 4.0-ready PC parts
  • A dual-processor “Rome” Epyc server running laps on a dual-processor Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 server.

The most anticipated news, though, was AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X CPU. Su said the 12-core Ryzen 9 will have a boost clock of 4.6GHz with a base clock of 3.8GHz. The Ryzen 9 3900X will also pack in 70MB of cache and cost just $499.

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