GN Hardware Editor Patrick Stone recently had to purchase a DVI Dual-Link cable for high resolution output; for those unfamiliar, DVI Dual-Link cables (as opposed to Single-Link) are used for resolutions that exceed 1080p. For anyone running a high-resolution display without an HDMI or DisplayPort cable, a DVI Dual-Link cable is a requirement. They are sold in both DVI-I (digital/analog) and DVI-D (digital only) variants. Dual-Link DVI cables host an additional two columns of pins (six total pins) in the center of the DVI header, single-link cables do not have these pins. The extra pins are what enables the bandwidth of a high-resolution display.
During our search for a cable, we discovered that many manufacturers sell fake dual-link cables; that is, the pins required for dual-link are present, but the pins aren't actually wired within the cable. They're just for show. Attempting to use one on a high-resolution output simply wouldn't work. They can normally be spotted (if not through reviews) by their thinner cable housing.
Now that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and "Cyber Week" (yes, really) are over with, I guess we're looking at "Cyber Winter!" Hell, why not Cyber Year, right? That's certainly how sales work.
Regardless, I've once again scoured the web to find the best weekly deals out there. For this week's article, we've got a cheap (ish) 8GB kit of RAM, a high-end CPU, budget gaming case, and more. Christmas is right around the corner, so let's see what presents we have for you.
We recently posted about an alleged slide leak from AMD that, if real, seemed to suggest the end of the line for FX-series CPUs and the AM3+ socket. The slide stirred a great deal of concern throughout major social networks and enthusiast websites, and so I attempted to bring things back down to earth in our original analysis. I reached out to AMD for comment prior to publication, but we weren't able to speak with the company until yesterday.
AMD Manager of APU/CPU Product Reviews James Prior was quick to negate the slide's legitimacy: "I've never seen that slide before, I don't know where that came from," he told me in our call, and quickly followed-up by stating that "it's not real. FX is not end-of-life." Prior pointed-out that it's rare to ever see more than a year into the future with roadmaps, and that the real AMD roadmap looks like this:
As the year nears its end and our gaming PC guides get their yearly revamp (see: CPU, video card, & case buying guides), it's time for a new Enthusiast's Holiday Gift Guide. Similar to our "What Next? Post-Build Upgrades" article, this guide explores expansion and upgrade options for your recently-completed PC build. If you've got people who don't know what to buy for your gaming PC, send 'em this way and give them some ideas.
We'll cover functional and aesthetic upgrade options in this guide. This page will be dedicated to more aesthetic-focused components; page 2 contains video cards, coolers, mechanical keyboards, mice, gaming headsets, and CPUs.
Let's get started with our Gifts for PC Gamers holiday hardware guide!
A new USB standard revision promises to introduce orientation-neutral USB connectors, finally eliminating the fumbling when attempting to plug in a USB device. The new USB 3.1 Type-C connectors will be thinner and can be connected to the socket in either direction, which has more implications than just convenience.
The thinner standard, the USB Promoter Group says, will enable still-smaller devices with high throughput potential. The Type-C connector standard will be approximately the size of USB2 micro-b connectors, as used for most camera-to-PC connections.
Update: AMD has commented on the slide.
Rumors abounded earlier this year that AMD would be ditching high-end / enthusiast-class CPUs in favor of a heavier focus on APUs and mainstream CPUs. With large thanks to its console adaptation, AMD posted its first profit since 2012 in Q3 this year, making for a promising future for the company. The same earnings report indicated that AMD's desktop computing solutions have dwindled in profitability over the course of the last year, meanwhile their GPU and APU solutions have nearly doubled in revenue.
Given this information, the rumors earlier this year made sense: If AMD can pump its R&D into graphics and hybrid solutions (Mantle, HSA, and Hybrid Graphics are all promising), then perhaps the best move would be to cut the FX line. Intel hasn't produced a mainstream mid-range or better processor without an IGP in several years (the i-series CPUs are effectively APUs, though Intel doesn't define the fusion as such); buying one of the go-to Intel CPUs (4670K or 4770K) also means you're getting an IGP with it that, frankly, very few readers in our audience even want or care about.
A new leaked slide allegedly from AMD could indicate that the company is terminating their FX line of CPUs and the AM3+ socket type, and with speculation whirling, let's bring some reality to the scene.