01:21 | GN Updates: Fan Tester on the Way
Check the video for this one!
07:11 | HP Deftly Leaks RTX 3080 Super
HP’s recent Envy 34 all-in-one has received a free marketing push at NVIDIA’s expense, unless it’s all part of the plan.
The Envy 34 “creator” focused AIO PC listed an RTX 3080 Super in its specs table. The Super refresh is most likely to launch sometime between December and February, likely launching alongside or shortly before other Super-series refreshes. These will be incremental improvements on existing products, in theory, and will likely de-cluster the cluster of memory configurations currently available on NVIDIA.
08:08 | Airflow is In: Thermaltake TG Divider Air Case Launch
Thermaltake just announced a new upcoming ATX tower case in the “Divider” family. If you remember our Thermaltake marketing grievances from previously, you may remember the Divider -- or, at least, the groans we emitted upon seeing yet another completely suffocated case.
Thermaltake has heard the interest for more airflow, and so it updated the Divider line with the Divider 500 TG Air. Aside from the marketing about the..... Uh, avant-GRADE panels all over the page, the focus mostly directs attention toward the “T” logo stamped all over the front panel. This is a big improvement over solid glass or steel, although the porosity is low relative to the surface area.
Thermaltake divides the panel in half in a genuinely unique way. We haven’t seen this many other places, other than some early attempts from Cyberpower in prebuilts. The left panel looks like it has optional full glass or ventilated glass + steel, although we’ll have to test how much that vent matters at its weird angle. The right side has optional glass or ventilation, which would align at least partially with a radiator -- although it looks somewhat obstructed.
We’ve requested one and expect one in soon.
11:16 | Gigabyte Announces Chair that Blows Up
In its quest to continue launching products that blow up, Gigabyte recently posted on its German twitter page these photos of an inflatable chair.
We’re actually not sure if this is real or not. If it were April 1st, we would genuinely think it’s a joke. But this, we’re not clear on. The chair is inflatable, as indicated both by the two air valves and by the self-reply tweet where Gigabyte uses the hashtags “#gaminglife” and “#inflatable,” although we wouldn’t recommend looking through the #inflatable hashtag while at work.
Although we are known critics of “gaming chairs,” this might actually be worse than all of them that we’ve seen -- but it is the most creative.
We look forward to buying Gigabyte’s inflatable chair to see if it blows up.
12:33 | China-Based Manufacturing Hubs Shutdown Amidst Power Suspension
China’s manufacturing industry has been hit with a wave of mandated shutdowns, likely foreshadowing yet more global supply constraints. The power crunch comes as China is reportedly looking to hit aggressive energy and emissions goals, as well as trying to mitigate spiking prices for coal and natural gas.
The power crunch will likely have a ripple effect that will acutely affect the already sensitive global supply-chain, as many companies across the globe rely on China’s manufacturing hubs -- particularly companies in the electronics and technology markets. Companies like Nvidia, Apple, Tesla, NXP, Qualcomm, and more, all have key suppliers in China, some of which have already reported halts in production due to the temporary power shutdowns. In fact, one of the factories we work with has been delayed because it can only operate certain days of the week.
For instance, Eson Precision Engineering, a supplier and assembler for Apple and Tesla, said it had stopped production at its facilities in Kun1shan1, China.
"The company will leverage its inventory to maintain the operation while production is halted. We expect to arrange production on the weekends or in the upcoming holidays [next month] to meet customers' needs,” Eson stated in a filing with the Taiwan stock exchange (via Nikkei Asia).
Similarly, Unimicron Technology stated that its subsidiaries in the cities of Suzhou and Kunshan in Jiang1su1 Province also had to halt production. Unimicron Technology is a huge PCB manufacturer serving multiple markets, and again, is a key supplier for massive companies like Apple. Other key suppliers in the area that were affected are Concraft Holding and Pegatron.
Chang Wah Technology has also been forced to stop production, through at least the end of the month. Chang Wah Technology is a packaging company, with key clients like NXP Semiconductor and Infineon. Additionally, according to the report from Nikkei Asia, several key suppliers for Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm were also forced to suspend production.
Of course, the wave of power and production stoppages comes as the industry is gearing up for peak electronics consumption as we head into the last quarter of the year. Multiple industries -- electronics and automotive in particular -- have suffered unprecedented disruptions in supply this past year, and this will be yet another compounding factor as we close out the year.
16:29 | Silicon Lottery Closing Its Doors By October 31st, 2021
Silicon Lottery, the company that has been offering professional binning, overclocking, and delidding services for a number of years now, has announced that it will be closing shop by October 31, 2021.
Silicon Lottery states that after seven years in business, the company has decided that it is no longer viable to keep its doors open, citing a number of reasons, the foremost of which is the fact that overclocking headroom has been dwindling. The amount of headroom left for manual overclocking has been declining for some time now, as manufacturers such as Intel and AMD are opting to leave very little performance on the table, and instead looking to monetize every ounce of frequency they can squeeze out of silicon.
As Silicon Lottery points out, this has come in the form of higher stock frequencies out of the box, aggressive boosting algorithms, and tighter bins between SKUs. On the point of tighter bins, this is something Intel has been doing for a while now, offering highly binned variants in an effort to segment its product stack. Intel’s i9-9900KS was essentially a heavily binned i9-9900K, and Silicon Lottery highlights the continued trend with Intel’s Rocket Lake.
“The 11900K is essentially a binned 11700K, so with the 11900K we’re binning what has already been fairly heavily binned. This type of product segmentation is nothing new, but having such minor differences between two models is a more recent shift,” says Silicon Lottery.
Also, Intel moving away from polymer TIM and opting for a solder TIM has eroded the thermal benefits of delidding and applying liquid metal TIM, not to mention the additional challenge of delidding a soldered IHS. Silicon Lottery also points to constant challenges in the supply chain, which it says precedes the pandemic.
“In addition, supply issues have taken a major toll on us, even before the pandemic started. Our orders with distributors for the last few releases have been nightmares of delays upon delays.”
Silicon Lottery notes that while the company is closing its doors, those same doors could also reopen, should the market climate change in a meaningful way.
“While we will be closed for the foreseeable future, it’s not necessarily goodbye forever. If things change in the market, in particular if overclocking headroom and variation increases for whatever reason, it’s possible we will get things rolling again.”
Silicon Lottery notes that any orders placed for its delidding service will need to be done so by November 30th in order to be completed. Additionally, Silicon Lottery states that for warranty service beyond October 31st, customers should contact them via the email address included on their packing slip.
20:24 | AMD Targets 30x CPU Efficiency Boost By 2025
AMD has announced a lofty goal for its Epyc CPUs and Instinct GPU accelerators. AMD wants to increase the efficiency for products as it relates to AI training and HPC applications by 30x by 2025. AMD claims the expected improvement is 2.5X in the same time.
AMD also points out that its 30x goal would save billions of kilowatt hours of electricity by 2025, and reduce the required power for accelerated compute nodes to complete a single calculation by 97% over five years.
AMD set a similarly lofty goal back in 2014, known as its 25x20 energy efficiency initiative. That initiative put AMD on a course to improve the efficiency of its mobile chips by as much as 25x by 2020, a feat that it went on to not only achieve, but exceed, thanks to Zen and Ryzen.
AMD stated via media that it set its baseline for measurement based on the aggregate performance of an existing 2020 system using four MI50 GPUs and one EPYC Rome 7742 CPU, and will focus on FP16 or BF16 FLOPS performance. Tom’s Hardware also received additional comments from AMD on how it aims to hit the 30x mark. The company said:
"We used internal AMD lab measurements of MI50 paired with an AMD EPYC 7742 CPU which produced 5.26TF per MI50 on 4k matrix DGEMM with trigonometric data initialization, and 21.6TF of FP16 on 4k matrices. Summing up the rated power for 4 MI50s (300W TBP), the 225W TDP for EPYC and include 100W for DRAM, plus power conversion losses and overheads to get 1582W for the compute node.
HPC perf/W baseline = 4*5.26TF/1582W
AI training perf/W baseline = 4*21.56TF/1582W
Average these two metrics for the aggregate baseline."
22:04 | GameBall, BSI’s Gaming Trackball Mouse, Is Available For Purchase
The GameBall gaming trackball mouse, which has been in development for five years at this point, is finally available for purchase. The GameBall trackball mouse is a product of Blue Sun Innovations, and is reportedly being manufactured in the United Kingdom by a company with years of experience with trackball mice.
The GameBall is a bit of an oddity, as it attempts to mesh both the worlds of trackball and gaming mice. Trackball mice are a popular -- and even a necessary -- option for those who don’t like the strain and fatigue that a conventional mouse puts on the wrist. That said, trackball mice aren’t usually an apt choice for gaming, and there aren’t too many options for trackball mice that also have gaming in mind.
That said, it’s that absence in the market that BSI is attempting to address with its GameBall mouse. The GameBall of course has the trackball, but is also ambidextrous. Additionally, it also features a custom PixArt optical sensor, with native CPI/DPI resolutions of 400, 800, 1200, 2000, and 3000, alongside ceramic bearings, standard Omron switches, and a 1000 Hz polling rate.
If you’re curious about how gaming would work on a trackball mouse, GameBall founder Eric Anders has a couple of YouTube videos demonstrating how playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Valorant would work.
The GameBall can be had for $148, plus shipping, and that includes a one-year warranty.
23:56 | Amazon's New World Released, Promptly Kills More RTX Cards
Amazon’s long awaited New World MMO has finally launched, and the game wasted little time in reverting back to its old GPU killing ways, promptly claiming the life of at least a few unsuspecting GeForce RTX cards. While we don’t have an exact number of bricked cards to report, there are reports of users with dead RTX 3090, 3080 Ti, and 3080 cards.
The bricked cards not only span a number of models, but also vendors, and aren’t limited to EVGA. Back in July, when New World was available via closed beta, the game unceremoniously overheated and bricked a couple dozen of EVGA's GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra cards. EVGA later chalked it up to faulty soldering around the MOSFETs, and the game itself also reportedly suffered from the lack of an in-game frame limiter that seemingly burned cards alive while in certain parts of the game, like menu screens.
WinFuture reported that the publication’s Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 had failed while testing the game, and users on Reddit are reporting that the game has bricked their RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3080 cards as well. At this time, we haven't seen any reports of AMD cards being affected.
If you’re in possession of an RTX 30-series card, it may be best to avoid New World until we know more. As of this writing, Amazon Games has not publicly commented on the matter.
Host, Editorial: Steve Burke
Editorial: Eric Hamilton
Video: Keegan Gallick