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June 2022
Misc Pics (21 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 24-June-2022  14:10:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to Axe and Simon this week!

Friday Morning Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 24-June-2022  00:30:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Razer Leviathan V2 gaming soundbar on Guru3D.
MOONDROP Chu In-Ear Monitors Review - $20 ticket to Hi-Fi Audio on TechPowerUp.
FiiO FD3 Single Dynamic In-Ear Monitors on NikKTech.

Samsung T7 Shield 1TB External SSD Review - Armored Up on Tweaktown.
ADATA SE880 Portable Solid State Drive on ThinkComputers.
ADATA Elite SE880 1TB External Solid State Drive on APHNetworks.
Silicon Power XS70 M.2 2280 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD on MadShrimps.

EK-Quantum Surface S360 Radiator Review - Class Leading! on TechPowerUp.
EK-Quantum Surface X360M Radiator on TechPowerUp.

Gigabyte UD750GM 750 W Review - No Lightning This Time on TechPowerUp.
ASUS ROG Strix B660-i Mini ITX Motherboard on HWAsylum.
XMG NEO 15 E22 Laptop (i7-12700H/RTX 3080 Ti) + OASIS External Liquid Cooling System on TechPowerUp.
Crucial DDR5-4800 32GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
HyperX Pulsefire Haste Wireless Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.

Quake Epsilon (6 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 19-June-2022  14:47:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU Forums member metamorphosis has a long-running project called Quake Epsilon which has been completed now. Note that early images in that thread are broken, but there's a recent update here and more info on the project page here.

click for the update!

In essence, this is a fully-standalone Quake release with new levels, HD textures and a 2-hour dark-industrial soundtrack (which you can also purchase separately here to support the project). Looks like a fantastic modern re-imagining of a genuine retro classic game. My son and I have been getting into the Quake/DooM side of things a lot lately and I'll definitely be adding this to the collection.

Sunday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 19-June-2022  13:44:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
EPOS H6PRO Open & Closed Acoustic Gaming Headsets on NikKTech.
Quick Look: Tripowin LeŠ Budget In-Ear Monitors on TechPowerUp.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX Gaming Headset on APHNetworks.

T-FORCE CARDEA ZERO Z440 2TB SSD Gaming Review on BabelTechReviews.
inland Platinum External SSD 1TB SSD Review - Native USB Speedster on Tweaktown.
Ritz Gear SD Express SDXC Express SD Card 256GB w/ Reader on Tweaktown.

Motherboard & CPU:
AMD Ryzen 5 5600 Review - Fantastic Choice for Upgrades from older Ryzens on TechPowerUp.
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ELITE AX DDR4 Motherboard on FunkyKit.
ASUS ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi Z690 Motherboard on APHNetworks.
Fractal Design Lumen S36 & S36 RGB CPU Water Cooling Systems on NikKTech.

Input Etc:
SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse on MadShrimps.
DeepCool KG722 65% Mechanical Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
Fantech Helios XD3 V2 Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.
SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse on ThinkComputers.
DeepCool MG350 Optical Mouse on APHNetworks.
Quick Look: Jelly Key 8-Bit Series III Neon Era Artisan Keycap on TechPowerUp.

XPG Spectrix D45 16GB DDR4 4133MHz CL19 Dual-Channel Kit on NikKTech.
Kingston FURY Beast DDR5-5200 32GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.

Montech Sky One Mini Micro ATX Chassis on FunkyKit.
Phanteks Eclipse G360A on TechPowerUp.

Power Supply:
Cougar Polar 1200 W Review - Great Performance on TechPowerUp.
APC BR1600SI Back-UPS Pro on NikKTech.

Video Cards:
ASRock Radeon RX 6750 XT Phantom Gaming D 12GB OC on FunkyKit.
ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula on TechPowerUp.

Raijintek Calore Elite CA360 Radiator on TechPowerUp.
Arctic P14 Slim PWM PST fans on OCInside.
Alphacool Eisbaeur Aurora HPE 360 LCS cooler on Guru3D.
SilentiumPC Fera 5 Dual Fan CPU cooler on OCInside.
be quiet! Silent Loop 2 360mm AIO on MadShrimps.

Portable & Prebuilt:
GEEKOM Mini IT8 Mini PC on TechPowerUp.
Apple Mac Studio Review: Evaluating Value And Performance Vs PC Alternatives on HotHardware.
ASRock DeskMeet B660 Small Form Factor PC on Tweaktown.
Prebuilt or DiY? PC Gamerz Blue Elixer vs. a Top PC on BabelTechReviews.

EnGenius ECW220S 2x2 Cloud Access Point on Guru3D.
eero Pro 6e Wi-Fi 6e Tri-band Mesh Router on Tweaktown.

AQIRYS Ymir Gaming Chair Review - A Gaming Chair with a Fabric Cover on TechPowerUp.

Maintenance (8 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 18-June-2022  23:46:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I'm going to be performing some maintenance late tonight / early tomorrow which will temporarily take the forums offline. Not sure how long it will take, but I'll bring everything back up again as soon as I can.

Misc Pics (14 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 17-June-2022  15:05:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to Matt and Axe this week!

Sunday News Part 2 (8 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 12-June-2022  21:27:24 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

Loongson claims its cpu's IPC will rival AMD's ZEN 3 by 2023. Loongson is using its own instruction-set architecture; these aren't x86-64 compatible CPUs. The architecture is home-grown from the ground up, although EE Times China notes that the new chips feature the "introduction of overseas technologies," at least if Google Translate is to be believed. No clue on what that might be.
Naturally, software support is a concern for any CPU using an unusual instruction set, but Loongson is understandably eager to note that it has basically everything open-source running on its chips, and it also has a translation layer for x86 to LoongArch, though there's no word about how fast it is. Loongson is expecting to release the 3A6000 and 3C6000 CPUs next year, with an MCM 32-core model coming later in the year.

AMD have released their GPU roadmap featuring RDNA 3. AMD's claims of 50% higher performance per watt are a best-case scenario. It could mean RDNA 3 is 50% faster while using the same power as RDNA 2, or it could mean it's the same performance while using 33% less power. Generally speaking, actual products are likely to land between those two extremes, and it's a safe bet that not every comparison will show a 50% improvement in performance per watt.

AMD also released their CPU roadmap. Lisa Su sure is a busy CEO lately. Interestingly, AMD is planning on using both 5nm and 4nm processes for the Zen 4 family. We already know that Ryzen 7000 and Genoa are slated to use one of TSMCís 5nm processes, and that Zen 4c chiplets are set to be built on the HPC version of N5. So itís not immediately clear where 4nm fits into AMDís roadmap, though we canít rule out that AMD is playing a bit fast and loose with terminology here, since TSMCís 4nm processes are an offshoot of 5nm (rather than a wholly new node) and are typically classified as 5nm variants to start with.

Apple didn't want AMD and Loongson to have all the attention, so they released their M2 chips. Much like the original M1 chip, the new M2 uses Appleís custom Arm silicon, and itís built on a 5nm process complete with 20 billion transistors ó 25 percent more than the original M1. All of these transistors should boost performance, and Apple is promising a 18 percent faster CPU, and 35 percent faster GPU inside the M2 compared to the original M1

Apple also have news of upgraded M2 Pro and Max chips on TSMC 3nm node later this year. Apple will continue with TSMC as its Apple Silicon chip supplier. The Taiwanese semiconductor company is expected to start mass production of Apple's new "M2 Pro" chip later this year, which reportedly will be built on the 3-nanometer process. The difference here is that the upcoming M2 is being made on second-gen 5nm at TSMC... while the beefed-up M2 Pro and M2 Max will be made on the next-gen 3nm process node at TSMC.

The Register have their take on the new M2 chip. By its own admission, Apple may not have the fastest CPU in the industry for an ultra-light laptop. But its bigger emphasis on the GPU and neural engine lends to the growing trend in the compute world that having a faster central brain may be less important than having dedicated accelerators for increasingly important areas like AI and graphics

Qualcomm's CEO reckons it'll have the fastest CPU on the market by late-2023. "we're aiming to have performance leadership in PC on the CPU, period" - which implies they're going to jump from their current status as slouch, to overtaking AMD's and Apple's impressive CPUs. The timeline for such a leap is late-2023. Normally you'd laugh at this and carry on with your day, but don't forget that Qualcomm owns Nuvia, which was a startup founded by ex-Apple CPU design chief Gerard Williams, who worked on the A7 to A12 CPUs, who poached a bunch of Apple's senior CPU engineers (much to Apple's disgust) before getting acquired by Qualcomm

Intel says that its new Xeon Sapphire Rapids CPU's are been delayed, with volume ramp expected 'later than originally forecasted'. This isn't the first delay, but now the second that Intel is putting Sapphire Rapids through since it was meant to debut in Q1 2021 this year, with Intel shipping initial SKUs to customers a few months ago and they're still being validated. But now, Intel is building in more platform and product validation time, with a delayed production ramp deeper into 2022.

Finally some good news from chipzilla. Intel Smooth Sync aims to fix V-sync's biggest issue for gamers. Intel is looking to reduce screen tearing for gamers who own a PC without adaptive sync support with its new technology, Smooth Sync. The new tech will be incorporated with its Arc "Alchemist" GPUs.

Sunday News Part 1 (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 12-June-2022  21:11:08 (GMT +10) - by MUTMAN

A new ultra-stealthy Linux backdoor isnít your everyday malware discovery. So far, thereís no evidence of infections in the wild, only malware samples found online. Itís unlikely this malware is widely active at the moment, but with stealth this robust, how can we be sure?

Apple M1 PACMAN security flaw exposes chips to spectre-style attacks. MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) researchers say they have discovered an unpatchable vulnerability affecting Apple's custom Arm-based M1 silicon at the chip's last level of defense. Since it is not possible to patch out the flaw, are owners of M1 devices sitting ducks? Not necessarily.
Note that this doesn't affect all Arm processors. Apple's M1 SoC is the first desktop processor to support Arm Pointer Authentication, which is a security mechanism that verifies software using a cryptographic hash called Pointer Authentication Code (PAC).

Intel has Optane chip hoard with no plans to develop the tech. Itís estimated that Intel has about two yearsí worth of XPoint chip inventory, and that means gen 2 four-deck 3D XPoint, as used in the Optane PMem 200 series products. The company has publicized a roadmap with third- and fourth-generation Optane products, both Persistent Memory (PMem) and SSD.

This article took my fancy, and while it's not new (2021) it does have some great technical detail on what faster and smarter hbm memory means for systems. In general, HBM memory allows for four, eight, or twelve DRAMs to be stacked atop each other and linked to each other with through-silicon vias, or TSVs, which is a finny way of saying wires that are built up in the DRAM memory dies themselves and linked to each other in the stack through the same kind of microbump connections that are used to link chips to each other and to motherboards. With HBM, an interposer is used to link the compute elements to the memory.

Even if you're enjoying gloriously fast broadband at home wherever you live in the world, you're still going to be a long, long way behind the new record for data transmission: an incredible 1.02 petabits per second. To put it another way, there's enough bandwidth here to transmit not just one 8K video feed, or a hundred or a thousand 8K video feeds, but 10 million 8K video feeds simultaneously. That's a lot of Netflix.

Kiwi Broadband infrastructure wholesaler Chorus has demonstrated symmetric fibre to the premises service that is rated at 25 gigabits per second, running over its existing passive optical fibre (PON) network. The demonstration in Auckland achieved 21.4 Gbps throughput, tested simultaneously on the same strand of fibre that ran an 8 Gbps symmetric HyperFibre connection, and a 900/550 Mbps UFB link. Chorus chief technology officer Ewen Powell said the 25 GPON service demonstrated "a future-proofed technology." Although two-wavelength 50 Gbps service is appearing as a choice for providers, with 100 GPON on the horizon, Chorus is betting that the 25 Gbps variant will offer the best cost benefit overall for providers, as it can use existing optics equipment.

Have you ever wondered what an iPod would look like under a CT scanner? Me either, but they're glorious. This month we explore the evolution of the iPod from the inside out with our Lumafield Neptune CT scanner, guided by none other than Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod and the founder of Nest.

Over in the Retro Forums you can relive your iPod, Zune or PAP from years gone-by with Vanne. Hadn't been charged since at least 10 years.. works a treat.. and then started going through the old music..

Someone called Agg bought a new keyboard recently and along the way found some interesting information.
The history of Cherry Keyboards and switches. Cherry keyboards are known for precision engineering in their legendary switches, so it might be surprising to learn that Cherry had a humble beginning. Hereís the story of how Cherry keyboards grew out of a restaurant basement to become a global leader in mechanical keyboards and switches.
Also, some p
eople are spending $7500 on keyboards. In 2018, William Pham started looking for a new keyboard after his $40 model broke. Now he owns eight custom mechanical keyboards, one of which costs more than $7500. The custom mechanical keyboard market has exploded since the start of the pandemic as people across the world have poured time and money into personalised ďbuildsĒ.

Misc Pics (12 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 10-June-2022  14:38:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again - enjoy the long weekend if your state has it. :)

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 10-June-2022  00:43:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Xtreme WaterForce on TechPowerUp.
Biostar Z690 Valkyrie Motherboard on OCInside.
ASRock Z690 Taichi RAZER EDITION Motherboard on FunkyKit.

Video Cards:
MSI + SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 6950 XT GPUs: Head-to-Head Overclocking on Tweaktown.
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6750 XT OC on Tweaktown.

Noctua NH-D12L CPU Cooler on Guru3D.
Thermaltake TOUGHLIQUID Ultra 360 All-in-One Liquid Cooler on APHNetworks.

Audio Visual:
AQIRYS ANDROMEDA Blue Gaming Headset on MadShrimps.
Wemax Vogue Pro 1080P 4-Channel LED Home Theater Projector on TechPowerUp.
Tronsmart MEGA PRO Portable Speaker on NikKTech.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Gaming Headset on Tweaktown.
OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Great Sound, No-Frills Value on HotHardware.
final UX3000 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones on TechPowerUp.
Raptgo Hook-X In-Ear Monitors Review - Planar + Piezoelectric Power on TechPowerUp.
ROCCAT Torch Microphone on Tweaktown.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Falcon Northwest Tiki 2022 Review: Tiny Gaming PC That Slays on HotHardware.
SilverStone TS16 Docking Station on APHNetworks.
Ryzen 6000 And ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 Laptop Review: Revisiting Performance on HotHardware.

Input Etc:
Genesis Thor 660 RGB 60% Gaming Keyboard on FunkyKit.
Redragon M991 Enlightenment Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.

Silicon Power XPOWER XS70 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD on Guru3D.
SK Hynix Platinum P41 2 TB Review - Faster than Samsung and WD on TechPowerUp.

Gigabyte UD850GM 850 W PSU on TechPowerUp.
Neo Forza MARS 64GB (2x32GB) 4000MHz C19 DDR4 Memory Kit on MadShrimps.
DJI Mini 3 Pro Review: A Great Compact Drone With Big Features on HotHardware.
Thermaltake Tower 500 case on TechPowerUp.

Retro Gaming June 2022 (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 5-June-2022  02:00:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This month's "Retro Let's Play" is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night from 1997. Metroidvanias have large worlds with extensive maps that must be explored in a non-linear fashion. Much of the game forces players to back-track to previously inaccessible areas once theyíve received critical upgrades that allow them to traverse the landscape. Less obvious than a simple door key in a game like Doom, these upgrades enhance the playerís ability, sometimes in the form of higher jumps, faster running, armor to protect against a certain element, a new weapon to bypass a specific enemy, etc.

click for the thread!

Meanwhile this month's "Retro Racing" game is Destruction Derby from 1995. Destruction Derby is a vehicular combat racing video game developed by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis. Based on the sport of demolition derby, the game tasks the player with racing and destroying cars to score points. The developers implemented simulated physics to make the results of collisions easier to predict, and they kept the game's tracks small to increase the number of wrecks.

click for the thread!

Misc Pics (21 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 3-June-2022  14:32:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to MUTMAN this week!

Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 2-June-2022  21:51:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
B660 AORUS Master DDR4 Motherboard on Tweaktown.
ASRock Z690 Steel Legend Wi-Fi 6E Motherboard on Tweaktown.
ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition Motherboard on Tweaktown.
MSI MPG Z690 Carbon EK X Motherboard on Tweaktown.

Audio Visual:
1MORE EVO Active Noise Cancellation TWS Earphones on TechPowerUp.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Headset Review: Great Battery Life And Fidelity on HotHardware.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. C CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Noctua NH-D12L CPU cooler on Vortez.
Noctua NH-D12L CPU Cooler on APHNetworks.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Comino GRANDO RM-S Liquid-Cooled Multi-GPU Workstation Review - Ä37,000 Computer Tested on TechPowerUp.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop on HighPerformanceLaptops.

Sabrent Rocket 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5 Memory Kit on MadShrimps.
Patriot Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 CL40 2x 16 GB on TechPowerUp.
Neo Forza FAYE 64GB DDR4 3600MHz CL18 Dual-Channel Kit on NikKTech.
Patriot Viper Venom RGB DDR5-6200 2x16GB DDR5 on APHNetworks.

Input Etc:
Cooler Master MK721 65% Wireless Mechanical Keyboard on NeoSeeker.
XVX M84 Coral Sea Theme Mechanical Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
Gamesense MVP Wireless Gaming Mouse on TechPowerUp.

AQIRYS AQUILLA Mid-Tower on NikKTech.
Hyte Y60 chassis on Guru3D.

God of War: FSR 2.0 Review on TechPowerUp.
Farming Simulator 22: FSR 1.0 vs. FSR 2.0 vs. DLSS Comparison Review - The Second Game with FSR 2.0 on TechPowerUp.
AMD FSR 2.0 Takes On NVIDIA DLSS In Deathloop, Believe The Hype on HotHardware.

Power Supply:
Cooler Master XG850 80 Plus Platinum PSU on NeoSeeker.
ASUS ROG Thor 1000W Platinum II (1000W PSU) on Guru3D.
Gigabyte UD1000GM PG5 Power Supply on FunkyKit.

HP FX900 Pro 2TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD on FunkyKit.
Icy Dock MB516SP-B ToughArmor 16x SSD dock on OCInside.
XPG ATOM 50 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD on NikKTech.
Silicon Power Marvel Xtreme M80 1TB USB 3.2 Gen2 Flash Drive on MadShrimps.

Liectroux ZK901 Rev.B Robot Vacuum Cleaner on NikKTech.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 WIFI6E router on Guru3D.


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