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February 2022
Sunday Afternoon News (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 27-February-2022  14:53:49 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Intel are opening the doors to select members of the press. The clean room has to be insanely clean, and is also continuously cleaned. As a result, all the clean room equipment we have to wear is freshly laundered, and there are personal hygiene requirements too, such as limited deodorant and no hair product.

They're also opening up to customer chips. Intel's Foundry Services (IFS) is accepting customers from around the globe, and the company will make chips with your choice of ISA: x86, Arm, RISC-V, or whatever.

As we approach the practical physical limits of silicon-based semiconductor manufacturing, researchers have been frantically searching for the next advancement that will allow us to continue producing faster and faster chips. Researchers from the German research lab at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have experimentally demonstrated what was only a theory before—putting Gallium arsenide under tensile strain increases its performance as a semiconductor medium. Essentially, it's just like when you made a cup phone as a kid and discovered that it doesn't work unless you pull it taut. The tighter the material is stretched, the more easily electrons can flow through it.

Telstra and TPG Telecom have signed a billion-dollar deal that will see the pair share portions of their networks with each other. "Compared with TPG Telecom's current arrangements, there will be no material increase in total network costs, while the 98.8% population coverage will be achieved at a significantly lower cost than building an equivalent network," TPG said.
Telstra said it would maintain one million square kilometres of coverage for itself as a "competitive advantage" as no other operators have infrastructure there.

Elon Musk said that Tesla is working to make Steam’s library of video games work on its onboard vehicle computer. In the Twitter thread, Musk reiterated his goal to make Cyberpunk, a demanding game graphic-wise, work on the upcoming Cybertruck.

Is it too early to begin thinking about a Steam Deck 2? Not if you're Valve. It's a tough time to try and build or upgrade a gaming PC, which is undoubtedly pushing more sales in the direction of prebuilts and dedicated consoles.

Bary White wants you to know Grand Theft Auto VI is in Development. With every new project we embark on, our goal is always to significantly move beyond what we have previously delivered — and we are pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series is well underway.

Misc Pics (20 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 25-February-2022  14:08:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again!

Thursday Night News Catch-Up (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-February-2022  22:03:39 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Kingston lay claim to the overall fastest Phison E18 SSD ever made. What sets the KC3000 apart from the rest is that so far only Kingston is running its flash at 1,600 MT/s while the rest are running at 1,200 MT/s.

Meta have announced they are putting the finishing touches on the world's fastest AI supercomputer. RSC will enable new AI models that can learn from trillions of examples, understand hundreds of languages, and more.

Premium laptops have been getting thinner and lighter over the years, and one reason why is the removal of chunky ports. While the laptop itself does not have any ports, it does come with a "PortsHub" accessory that magnetically attaches to the back of the system. This is actually a wireless charger with built-in ports. According to Craob X, this has never been done before.

Telstra is set to invest up to $1.6 billion into a pair of fibre infrastructure projects, one for extra capacity and route diversity between capital cities, and the other to support a Viasat satellite system. It will enable express connectivity between capital cities up to 55Tbps per fibre pair capacity (over six times today’s typical capacity of 8.8Tbps per fibre pair).

Cops on a marijuana drug bust discover an illegal GPU And ASIC mining farm instead. Cryptocurrency mining is perfectly legal in Spain, but you’re naturally expected to pay for the electricity yourself. These crypto miners tapped into public electricity instead. The police agents initially thought the buildings were being used to cultivate marijuana, since both operations need lots of power. However, the massive cooling and ventilation equipment used led to other suspicions.

LethalCorpse found these videos of an interview with Rand Miller. Very cool Rand Miller chat on the technological limitations Cyan needed to overcome when making Myst. Looks like it's part of an extended interview, here.

Sunday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 20-February-2022  23:51:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme on TechPowerUp.
MSI Z690 EDGE WIFI (DDR4) on Guru3D.
ASRock Z690 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB4 Motherboard on FunkyKit.

inland Gaming Performance Plus 2TB SSD on Tweaktown.
Acer Predator GM7000 2TB NVMe PCIe SSD on FunkyKit.
Acer Predator GM7000 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD on NikKTech.
Kioxia Exceria SATA SSD 1 TB on TechPowerUp.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra And S22+ Review: Ultimate Android Flagships on HotHardware.
Ryzen 6000 And Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Laptop Review: An All-AMD Powerhouse on HotHardware.
MSI Katana GF76 review (12th Gen Intel) on HighPerformanceLaptops.
Huawei MateBook X Pro on HighPerformanceLaptops.
Asus Vivobook 16X OLED on HighPerformanceLaptops.

Video Cards:
Inno3D GeForce RTX 3050 TWIN X2 OC 8GB on Tweaktown.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB STRIX OC Review - 20% more VRAM on TechPowerUp.
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB on Tweaktown.

Fractal Torrent Compact PC Case on Modders-Inc.
Sharkoon REV300 ATX PC Case on NikKTech.
Fractal Torrent Compact on Vortez.
Phanteks Evolv Shift XT Case on TechPowerUp.
Corsair 5000T RGB TG - PC chassis on Guru3D.
Corsair iCUE 5000T RGB Mid-Tower Smart Chassis on Tweaktown.
Corsair iCUE 5000T RGB Case on TechPowerUp.
SilverStone SETA Q1 Computer Case on APHNetworks.
Fractal Torrent Nano mITX on Guru3D.
Fractal Design Torrent Compact RGB TG Light Tint on TechPowerUp.
Fractal Design Torrent Nano RGB TG Light Tint on TechPowerUp.
Fractal Design Torrent Compact Case on ThinkComputers.
Lian Li x DAN A4-H2O on TechPowerUp.

Audio Visual:
MSI Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic on LanOC.
LETSHUOER EJ07M Tribrid In-Ear Monitors on TechPowerUp.
Quick Look: aune BU2 Portable Bluetooth DAC/Amplifier on TechPowerUp.
Razer Kaira X for PS5 and PC Headset on MadShrimps.

Input Etc:
Zaunkoenig M2K Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.
Corsair K70 PRO RGB keyboard on Guru3D.
Mionix Castor Pro mouse on TechPowerUp.
Ducky One 3 SF Keyboard Review - QUACK Mechanics! on TechPowerUp.
Razer DeathAdder V2 X Hyperspeed Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.

Total War: Warhammer III Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis on TechPowerUp.
Cyberpunk 2077: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison on TechPowerUp.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human Gameplay And Performance on HotHardware.

IOGear Dock Pro 60 USB-C docking station on NeoSeeker.
NETGEAR Orbi RBK853 WiFi 6 System on TechPowerUp.
Patriot Viper Steel Low Latency 16GB DDR4-4000 CL16 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.
SilverStone AR12-TUF CPU Cooler on APHNetworks.

Misc Pics (28 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 18-February-2022  14:23:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to Axe this week! Also, enjoy this random musical thing I found which is pretty cool, with a bit of a Game of Thrones vibe to it. Have a good weekend!

Thursday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-February-2022  18:42:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This news post comes courtesy of MUTMAN. Thanks MUTMAN!

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has hit Sportsbet with a fine of AU$2.5 million. The biggest ever issued in Australia for spam offences. The gambling provider sent more than 150,000 marketing messages and emails to over 37,000 consumers who had tried to unsubscribe, and over 3,000 marketing texts that had no unsubscribe function.

AMD's $35B Power Move To Acquire Xilinx Just Cleared All Regulatory Hurdles. The deal apparently didn't draw the same level of regulatory scrutiny that ultimately led to NVIDIA calling off its $40 billion Arm acquisition from Software. Discussion in this thread.

Toshiba is prepping some major HDD storage capacity upgrades - 30TB, with 40TB on the way. Sure, SSDs are blazing fast. But as far as capacity goes, HDDs still rule.

Apple is never far from the headlines. Apple’s AirTag tracking device has garnered a bit of negative attention since its release as privacy and safety concerns have arisen. The device is intended to be attached to personal belongings that are liable to be lost, so that their rightful owners may find them again. Apple claims that it has received written accounts of “countless” stories of AirTags helping users recover lost items.

Can Intel help push GPU pricing down? Intel is investing in blockchain technology and will be releasing a specialized computing chip designed for just that. The usage of the chip will presumably include Bitcoin mining in as efficient a manner as possible. Intel's announcement here.

Elvis has been posting info about a digital cultural conference currently happening. "Play it Again" is an Australian group of researchers and academics who concentrate on Australian and New Zealand digital heritage, particularly around computer software and video games from the 1980s and 1990s written by Australian and New Zealand developers. Their 2022 conference is on soon, starting on Wednesday the 16th and going for three days. It will be concentrating on what's called "born digital" content - i.e.: content that's not things like paper or film, but was created and distributed on computers, and the challenges of preserving these items as time and technology moves forwards.

And in a great way to kill hours, see what's going on in the forums by hitting the New Posts link.

Thursday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-February-2022  18:41:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Tripowin x HBB Olina In-Ear Monitors on TechPowerUp.
Maono WM820 Dual Transmitter Wireless Microphone System on FunkyKit.
1MORE ComfoBuds 2 True Wireless Bluetooth Earphones on APHNetworks.
HIFIMAN HE400se Headphones Review - Budget Excellence on TechPowerUp.

Crucial P5 Plus 2TB PCIe M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 Gaming SSD on MadShrimps.
Neo Forza eSports NFP425 M.2 2280 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD on MadShrimps.
Patriot P400 1TB SSD on Tweaktown.

Dying Light 2: DLSS vs. FSR Comparison Review on TechPowerUp.
Dying Light 2 Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis Review on TechPowerUp.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Alienware x14 Laptop Review: Potent, Petite Gaming Prowess on HotHardware.
Sony Xperia 5 iii Review: Petite Android Phone With Camera Chops on HotHardware.

Asgard Aesir DDR5 32GB 4800MHz Kit on PCTestBench.
DELTA RGB DDR5 6400MHz on BabelTechReviews.
Patriot Viper Steel Low Latency 16GB DDR4-3600 CL14 Memory Kit on FunkyKit.

Power Supply:
be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 1000W Power Supply on APHNetworks.
Fractal Design Ion+ 2 Platinum 760W Power Supply Unit on NikKTech.
be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 850 W on TechPowerUp.
Be Quiet! Pure Power 11 FM - 1000W PSU on Guru3D.
be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 1000W Power Supply Unit on NikKTech.

Tineco Floor One S5 Smart Cordless Vacuum & Wash on NikKTech.
Tesoro Alphaeon S3 Gaming Chair on NikKTech.
Mionix Naos Pro Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.
SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.

Sunday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-February-2022  20:42:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel Core i3-12300 Review - The Fastest i3 on TechPowerUp.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme on ThinkComputers.

NFP035 M.2 2280 512GB NVMe SSD on NeoSeeker.
NFS10 480GB SATA SSD on NeoSeeker.
Neo Forza NFP425 1TB & 2TB M.2 NVMe SSDs on NikKTech.
Neo Forza eSports NFP425 M.2 2280 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD on MadShrimps.
Neo Forza NFP400 Series NFP455 1 TB SSD on TechPowerUp.
Quick Look: iStorage datAshur SD Encrypted USB Drive on TechPowerUp.
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus B47R 2TB SSD Review - Hyper Class Performance on Tweaktown.

Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black CPU cooler on LanOC.
Thermaltake UX210 ARGB CPU cooler on OCInside.
Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A CPU cooler on TechPowerUp.

Input Etc:
CORSAIR K70 RGB PRO Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro keyboard on NeoSeeker.

Video Cards:
The RTX 3050 Entry-Level VR on BabelTechReviews.
MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X 8G Graphics Card on ThinkComputers.
MSI RTX 3050 Gaming X 8G on LanOC.

Misc Pics (19 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-February-2022  13:22:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again!

Thursday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-February-2022  00:24:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I really should post news more often.

It's not quite dinosaurs mating but there's been some big movements in the games industry, with Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard last month and Sony buying Bungie last week. Sony Interactive Entertainment today announced a deal to acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion, the latest in a string of big-ticket consolidation deals in the games industry. Discussion of the Microsoft / Activision-Blizzard deal here and the Sony / Bungie deal here.

The Raspberry Pi OS is now available in 64-bit flavour. From powering DIY electronics projects to functioning as cheap PCs for learning programming, the Raspberry Pi series can do it all, and now another significant upgrade has arrived: a 64-bit version of the default operating system. Discussion here, and OCAU's review of the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 is here.

Techradar have an article about the fight to archive the internet. On the same day in 1996, Brewster Kahle founded two separate but closely connected organizations. The first went on to make him very wealthy, and the second has earned him not a single dime.

NVIDIA's plan to purchase ARM has been shelved. NVIDIA’s year-and-a-half long effort to acquire Arm has come to an end this morning, as NVIDIA and Arm owner SoftBank have announced that the two companies are officially calling off the acquisition. Citing the current lack of regulatory approval of the deal and the multiple investigations that have been opened up into it, NVIDIA and SoftBank are giving up on their acquisition efforts, as the two firms no longer believe it will be possible to receive the necessary regulatory approvals needed to close the deal. In lieu of being able to sell Arm to NVIDIA (or seemingly anyone else), SoftBank is announcing that they will instead be taking Arm public.

HardwareAsylum have gone truly retro, back to the days of MFM/RLL HDDs. In place of the removed IDE drives I am using an SD to IDE card adapter that is mounted on a custom 3D Printed bracket and the famous Microscience HH-1060 RLL 5.25” half height RLL hard drive. This drive will be controlled by a Seagate ST22 with the floppy controller disabled.

MUTMAN wants to get to the point. Today's time waster goes straight to the point ...

Retro Gaming February 2022 (3 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 5-February-2022  22:38:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This month's "Retro Let's Play" is the true classic Galaga from 1981. Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade developed and published by Namco in 1981 and in North America it was released by Midway Manufacturing. It is the sequel to Galaxian (1979) which was Namco's first major video game hit in arcades. Controlling a spaceship, the player has to destroy the Galaga forces in each stage while avoiding enemies and projectiles. Some enemies can capture a player's ship via a tractor beam, which can be rescued to turn the player into a dual fighter with extra firepower.

Click for the thread!

Meanwhile the "Retro Racing" game for February 2022 is Need for Speed Underground 2 from 2003. The game entails tuning cars for street races, resuming the Need for Speed: Underground storyline. Need for Speed: Underground 2 provides several new features, such as broader customization, new methods of selecting races, set in a city known as Bayview. Brooke Burke is the voice of Rachel Teller, the person who guides the player throughout the game. The game's storyline is presented in a comic book strip. The Nintendo DS port introduces a new feature in which the player can design custom decals to adorn any vehicle in the game.

Click for the thread!

I'm also going to give a shout out to Quake III Arena on Steam. The demo is a free download (of 45MB, lol) and works fine on the various modern machines in the Agg household. You can even start a local multiplayer game for some LAN-based action and, for example, beat your teenage children 20-nil in the first game and thus prove it is in fact the crappy console controllers which are the reason why they relentlessly thrash you in Call of Duty! Ahem.

Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 5-February-2022  17:04:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Sapphire Pulse RX 6500 XT on LanOC.
MSI GeForce RTX 3050 GAMING X 8G on Tweaktown.
AMD Radeon Pro W6400 Review: Low Power RDNA 2 For Budget Workstations on HotHardware.

Neo Forza Faye DDR4-5000 2x 8GB on TechPowerUp.
MSI MAG B660M Mortar WiFi DDR4 on TechPowerUp.
ADATA XPG Lancer DDR5-5200 2x16GB Memory Kit on NeoSeeker.

Team Group T-FORCE M200 2TB Portable USB3 SSD on Guru3D.
Patriot Burst Elite 1.92TB SSD on NikKTech.
PS5 Storage Upgrade with Corsair MP600 PRO LPX 2TB NVMe SSD on NeoSeeker.
WD Black SN770 SSD Review: Killer Gen 4 Storage For Gamers on HotHardware.
WD Black SN770 1TB SSD Review - Performance That Matters on Tweaktown.
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX 2TB SSD Review - PS5 Heatsink
Corsair MP600 Pro LPX 2 TB Review - Superb Game Load Times on TechPowerUp.

Streacom BC1 V2 Open Benchtable on TechPowerUp.
Phanteks Evolv X on TechPowerUp.

Input Etc:
Cooler Master SK653 Bluetooth Mechanical Keyboard on APHNetworks.
Genesis RX85 RGB Mechanical Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
MSI Vigor GK50 Low Profile TKL keyboard on Guru3D.
MSI VIGOR GK50 Low Profile TKL Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard on Tweaktown.
Winwing Orion Throttle F-16EX on Modders-Inc.

Audio Visual:
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Multi-Channel Gaming Soundbar on HWAsylum.
ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air headphones on Vortez.
Lypertek PurePlay Z5 Hybrid ANC TWS Earphones on TechPowerUp.
Creative Sound Blaster X4 Review - A Great Sound Card, Now Even Better on TechPowerUp.
COUGAR Screamer-X Microphone on NeoSeeker.
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT Gaming Headset on Tweaktown.

AQIRYS Calypso Gaming Chair on TechPowerUp.
God of War Benchmark Test & Performance on TechPowerUp.
CTECHi ST2000 2000W Power Station on TechPowerUp.
Noctua Fan Upgrade in a Retro PC Power Supply on HWAsylum.

Misc Pics (48 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 4-February-2022  14:16:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Happy Birthday you-know-who!

RetroNAS (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 2-February-2022  21:51:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A really impressive project has emerged from the Retro Forum - elvis has been working on RetroNAS, with help from the community.

RetroNAS aims to provide a user-friendly way to install a wide range of tools that support Network Attached Storage ("NAS") for older / retro systems.

RetroNAS can be installed on a Raspberry Pi (or a small Virtual Machine), and through a simple user menu individual items can be installed to provide network file sharing to a wide array of old computers and consoles, while also allowing modern computers access so that the contents of the NAS can be easily managed, or new tools and software added as required.

The project page is here and there's a lot more info including videos in the thread.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 1-February-2022  00:40:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA recently released the RTX 3050, the new mainstream card which replaces the GTX 1650. Here's some reviews from the news box:

EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC BLACK on Tweaktown.
MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X on TechPowerUp.
MSI GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming X 8G on Guru3D.
MSI RTX 3050 Gaming X (video review) by OCClub.
GeForce RTX 3050 Review With EVGA: Potent, Mainstream PC Gaming on HotHardware.
ASUS ROG GeForce RTX 3050 STRIX OC on Guru3D.
Ampere At $249: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming on TechGage.
EVGA RTX 3050 XC Black on LanOC.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Black Gaming on NeoSeeker.
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3050 Gaming OC on TechPowerUp.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Black on TechPowerUp.
Palit GeForce RTX 3050 StormX OC on TechPowerUp.
ASUS GeForce RTX 3050 STRIX OC on TechPowerUp.

Discussion continues in this thread.


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