Author: admin

AMD announces SSD NVMe RAID support in the X399 platform for Threadripper

The absence of native support for the creation of RAID groups on NVMe units was one of the most important shortcomings with the AMD X399 platform for RYZEN Threadripper processors. It could be done through software, but this made mounting RAID systems and installing operating systems impossible for this type of drives, since we could not boot them from the drive itself.

ASUS X399 platform

Fortunately, during the launch of the new Threadripper 1900X, AMD has announced that it will launch a free driver for the X399 platform that will support RAIDs of up to 10 NVMe devices with internal booting support.

The update will arrive on September 25th, if there is no setback, and will allow you to create RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 type sets with high speed NVD SSD.

It is clear that a RAID like this, with this type of SSD, is not very common and we doubt it’s practical in a home computer, but don’t forget that Threadripper is a platform for experienced users who might be interested in high-performance configurations with NVD SSD in RAID 0.

Tips for improving your laptop performance

A professional portable computer is a key work tool for any company, so it should be taken good care of, so it can not only have a long life, but also provide optimal performance throughout its life cycle.

laptop performance

In this article, we will go through a series of tips that we will explain in detail and that will help you take good care of any and every laptop you use at work.

This advice will also help to improve the device performance and, if applied correctly, will also restore laptops that have suffered an efficiency loss over time, due to overuse.

1. – Restrict the number of launch programs.

A measure both simple and effective, because it speeds up the system’s boot times and reduces the number of active programs in the background when we start up Windows 10.

To make this adjustment, we have to right-click in the taskbar, select “Task Manager” > “Startup” and then click on “Disable” in the “Status” option.

2. – Keep the operating system and drivers updated.

Operating system updates are fundamental for the computer’s protection, because the latest security patches are received through them.

Also, new features are introduced with some updates and, in the case of Windows 10, they extend the support period of the operating system. They are fundamental, since they extend the support, extend the device’s capabilities and also improve its protection.

Drivers also play a very important role, since they are responsible of the good operation of the system and can help improve performance and security, so every professional laptop should keep them up to date.

3. – Defragmenting the storage unit.

If your company uses laptops with hard drives, using the defragmentation tool periodically can help improve the overall performance of the computer.

Every laptop uses the storage unit to perform read and write operations, so the hard drive is a basic piece of equipment on which the performance of the entire system depends.

In case the hard drive is fragmented, the performance will drop considerably and we will notice it during load times when running applications or opening documents and files.

With the defragmentation tool, this problem is solved by running an ordering process that allows faster load times on the drive, although it is not necessary to do so on SSD drives.

4. – Keep your computer clean.

In this article we talked about how important it is for a correct laptop maintenance to keep the device clean, but we must keep in mind that it is also important to run an internal cleaning process.

Laptops usually accumulate dust and dirt in their interior after several years of continuous use, a fact that can end up affecting negatively the general performance of the system and generate problems of excess heat.

The IT department should perform periodic cleanings inside the laptops to ensure optimal operation for a longer period of time.

5. – Adjust different energy configuration depending on the situation.

A professional laptop should have a correct balance between power and mobility, this is an issue that we have also had the chance to deal with in this article, but there are situations where we may need to break that balance for greater performance.

If we use Windows 10 we can boost the system performance in a very simple way by changing the system’s power plan to “high performance”. Keep in mind that, while improving performance, this will also increase consumption and reduce autonomy.

To change this option simply type “Edit Energy Plan” in the search bar and select the option “Advanced Energy Settings”.

Three keys to choosing a professional laptop

When choosing a professional gaming laptop under 500, we must consider many elements before making a decision. The first one is to realize the specific hardware that we need so we can work with the set of tools required by our company or our professional activity.

Obviously, the needs to be met by a professional laptop in a law firm working mostly with light office applications and web browsers are not the same as the needs in a company dedicated to graphic design, which uses applications that demand a high processing power.

professional laptop

We must also take into account two things: the built-in OS, as important aspects like the supported applications ecosystem depend on it, and the display size and resolution, which are key elements that greatly determines comfort when it comes to working. (more…)

Asus introduces the world’s fastest WiFi router

With an announced bandwidth of 4804 Mbit/s at a frequency of 5 GHz, this device is capable of outperforming all other available WiFi routers. The only problem is that no terminals are currently compatible with it.

This announcement went somewhat unnoticed during the IFA trade show, but it is still very much worth looking into. During this show, the manufacturer, Asus, presented its RT-AS88U, an ultra-fast WiFi router – probably even the fastest in the world. This new device is indeed the first to comply with the 802.11ax standard which will revolutionize WiFi connectivity within our homes.

If fact, this new standard should be able to exceed the 10 Gbit/s theoretical bandwidth limit thanks to its modulation and reception technologies derived from the domain of 4G connectivity, such as OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-division multiple access), MU-MIMO (Multiple Users Multiple In Multiple Out) and Uplink Resource Scheduler. These new technologies should be able to ensure that connections remain fast even when a Hotspot is under heavy load.

A Broadcom chipset

The RT-AS88U – which makes use of a Broadcom chipset – promises to deliver a 4804 Mbit/s bandwidth at a frequency of 5 GHz, which is around three times faster than what the best commercially available 802.11ac routers are able to deliver. At a frequency of 2.4 GHz, the difference with the competition is less spectacular. Asus’s device claims to provide a 1148 Mbit/s bandwidth, whereas other currently available 802.11ac devices can already provide 1000 Mbit/s.

Asus did not announce a release date for its device. At any rate, there is no hurry since for the moment, there are currently no terminals which use the 802.11ax standard and Broadcom’s 802.11ax chipsets have only been around since mid August. Furthermore, the standard has not even been finalized yet, and will not be finalized until 2019. So, this technology is still a few years away, but this presentation was a good opportunity for Asus to showcase its technical ability.

IFA 2017: the new Yoga 720 and 920 presented by Lenovo

The Yoga name designates a line of Lenovo products which have a hinge linking the keyboard and display that is able to pivot over 360 degrees, thus transforming the PC into a tablet. Two new convertible computers were presented by Lenovo at the IFA trade show – which takes place in Berlin – and we were at their stand to see them both.

Yoga 720

The more modest of the two, the Lenovo Yoga 720, has a 12 inch touchscreen and a rather conventional configuration: Intel Core i5-7200U processor and between 4 to 12 GB of RAM. Windows 10 runs on an SSD disk of up to 512 GB capacity, depending on the configuration. It also has a fingerprint reader and two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0 and the other USB-C. (more…)

Linksys launches the WRT32X AC3200 router ready to get the best of the Killer network adapters

Linksys’ new WRT32X AC3200 router looks similar to the WRT3200, but it is entirely black. This new router has a dual-core processor with a 1.8 GHz frequency, 512MB of DDR3 memory, and 256MB of flash memory for its OS.

Its Wi-Fi features are also the best on the market, with dual-band at 5 GHz (802.11ac) and a single band at 2.4 GHz that provide a bandwidth of up to 3,200 Mbps together. It has a 3×3 MU-MIMO configuration with two antennas dedicated to 2.4 GHz.

WRT32X AC3200

It has a Gigabit switch with four LAN ports and a WAN port with a NAT throughput of about 900 Mbps, allowing it to have Internet access compatible with any current or mid-term connection. It also has two ports, one of them being a USB 3.0 port for connecting hard drives and for sharing files or downloads.

The router is specifically optimized to work along with systems featuring Killer wireless/wired network adapters, where we can combine Wi-Fi and LAN to significantly increase bandwidth, but it is perfectly compatible with any other device on the market that supports its standards. The launch price is around 300$, a fairly usual price for this type of high-end routers.

The Dell XPS 13 now includes quad core Intel Core Coffee Lake processors

One of the best Ultrabooks in the market, the Dell XPS 13, will get a major revamp, incorporating the new 8th generation Intel Core processors, codenamed Coffee Lake.

Dell XPS 13

Presented a few weeks ago, the low consumption “U” version of these CPUs doubles last generation’s number of cores, along with a redesign in their architecture and faster processing, making them 44% more powerful. (more…)

ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe (UX490UA-XS74-BL) Review: superb, powerful, this ultrabook has only one shortcoming

The ZenBook 3 Deluxe is one of the three new ultralaptops that Asus has added to its product line in this second half of the year. This very good looking and (very) high-end computer offers some serious advantages, but does not satisfy the trifecta of “aesthetics, performance and autonomy”.

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe:

First announced during CES 2017 – later confirmed during Computex 2017 – we have finally got a hold of Asus’s ZenBook 3 Deluxe. Incarnating “the most prestigious ultrabook in the wold” according to its creator, this PC is indeed one of the most luxurious that we have seen in a long time (putting aside MacBooks). While its measurements correspond to a 13.3 inch device, its display is even bigger than that of other comparable computers! In fact it measures 14 inches, diagonally, and has relatively thin and discrete borders around the edges of its display panel. This PC appears to be superlative in all regards, all that remains now is for us to test it to make sure that it is worthy of its accolades and that its 1700 dollars price tag is fully justified.

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe:

With its new ZenBook 3 Deluxe, Asus hopes to satisfy users looking for a PC that brings together good performance, compactness as well as a luxurious finish. Of course, it is a matter of taste, but it must be said that this computer’s regal blue and gold color scheme is quite appealing. However, if you do not find it to your taste, you should be aware that it is also available in a quartz gray and gold color scheme. (more…)

The PowerVR architecture is 25 years old

This summer, Imagination Technologies, initially going by the name VideoLogic, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its PowerVR architecture as well as its Tile Rendering. The company took advantage of this occasion to publish a series of posts on its blog about its history in the field of 3D technology.

The first of these posts speaks about the company’s beginnings in 1997 and the first card it developed on the basis of FPGA Altera – a company bought by Intel in 2015 – and Xilinx. Due to their lack of computational power, these cards were not able to render textures, something that the Midas 1 was capable of since it made use of dedicated ASICs, one of which was dedicated to texture rendering. Just like the first 3dfx Voodoo cards, the Midas 1 made use of a VGA pass trough; the 2D card was connected to the 3D card via VGA and the 3D card was then connected to the display. Midas 3 did away with this solution by allowing the transfer of data to the 2D card via the PCI bus.

In association with NEC, it is with the PCX1 (1996) and PCX2 (1997) that VideoLogic first began to use the name PowerVR for its chips and to become known among the general public. These 3D acceleration chips, with 500 or 350 nm etching, operated at 60-66 MHz and had a fillrate of 60-66 megapixels and a bandwidth of 0.48 to 0.528 GB/s (!!!!), the specific advantage of the PCX2 being its bileniar texture filtering support, something which was sorely lacking on the PCX1 compared to the Voodoo Graphics. These chips found their way onto 3D acceleration cards (such as the Matrox M3D, VideoLogic Apocalypse 3D) as well as on the Apocalypse 5D which also incorporated a 2D chip – by Tseng Labs – the ET6100. (more…)

Intel launches 8th generation Core processors with major innovations

8th generation intel

They have finally arrived. The new Coffee Lake platform for Intel Core processors is here and this time it seems that Intel got its act together since it states that the new platform is about 40% faster than the current Kaby Lake and even two times more powerful than the platform used 5 years ago.

The new Intel Core processors seem more willing to face AMD than ever before, especially since there was nobody on par with AMD for many years until now. However, the picture has changed considerably and providing an update giving you only an extra 15% of performance is not enough nowadays. Now what prevails is multitasking and we all know what that means: more cores and more threads. (more…)