PC PowerPlay #263 News

PCPP 263 News

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A new way to measure and rank PSU efficiency

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You know those 80 Plus ratings on power supplies that are supposed to let you know how efficient they are? There’s now an alternative rating scheme from a company called Cybenetics called ETA and LAMDA that they say offer greater accuracy than the 80 Plus ratings we’ve come to know and love. The ETA rating measures power efficiency via “a unique, custom-made application to account for the efficiency results of thousands of different load combinations through a unique proprietary application” and assigns a rating of A+ for the most efficient and D for the power supplies least efficient. LAMDA certification tests for noise levels – the quietest of PSUs gets an A++, with noisy clunkers getting an E. Respected power supply manufacturer Seasonic is already on-board, embracing the ETA and LAMDA ratings for its flagship Prime units.

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Intel to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into upcoming CPUs

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Thunderbolt is finally getting the love it deserves from Intel, who will start integrating Thunderbolt 3 right into its processors. OEMs will no longer need to shell out for an extra chip just to support Thunderbolt. This means if a motherboard or laptop manufacturer wants to include Thunderbolt 3 support on their product, all they do is hook a port up to the chipset, instead of buying and adding another chip just for it. This effectively makes Thunderbolt 3 support “free”. In addition to this, Intel is also making Thunderbolt 3 available on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis. This allows third party chip makers to make Thunderbolt-compatible chips, lowering the price and placing the standard in more creative packages – so for end devices (e.g: external SSDs, video capture devices, docking stations) that want to include Thunderbolt 3 support, doing so will be easier and cheaper. Expect to see many more TB3 devices around mid-to-late 2018 thanks to this new approach from Intel.

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New high-end cases and testbenches from Lian Li

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Lian Li has some new fancy computer cases for your perusal. First up is the PC-O11WGX has two chambers for more efficient cooling, is compatible with motherboards in the E-ATX form-factor, can fit in nine storage devices in drive form-factor, three 360-mm radiators and has a USB 3.1 Type-C header on its front panel. It’s themed with ASUS ROG motifs, if you’re into that sort of thing. The PC-O12 takes things a step further and includes three chambers – one houses the motherboard, another accommodates up to two vertically mounted graphics cards and the third is where a PSU and up to eight storage devices go. For those constantly swapping parts in and out of their rigs, the PC-T70 test bench might be more your style. The open frame case makes swapping Micro-ATX to E-ATX motherboards a piece of cake and can support liquid cooling hardware, namely an up to 360mm radiator, a reservoir, and a pump.

[TITLE]The RX560 and GT1030 – new budget graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia[BODY]

Budget gamers rejoice, for there are some new cheap GPUs for you to enjoy. AMD has quietly launched the Radeon RX560, which it pitches as a cost and power effective way to enjoy various Esports titles such as Overwatch, with 2.5 times the performance of the previous Radeon R7 360 at 1080p with medium quality settings. 2GB versions of the RX560 should sell for around $150-$160. But if that’s too expensive for you, Nvidia’s got your back. The GT 1030 is a graphics card based on the same Pascal architecture as the GTX 1080 and designed to be a step up from the integrated graphics on Intel CPUs, with Nvidia claiming double the performance of Intel’s HD Graphics 530. The GT 1030 will have a price of around $100-$120 and is in stores now.

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Say hello to AMD’s ThreadRipper CPU, all 16 cores and 32 threads of it

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16-core, 32-thread versions of AMD Ryzen CPUs have been announced and will go head to head with Intel’s Broadwell-E and upcoming Skylake-E CPUs, together with a new motherboard platform called Whitehaven. These new high-end desktop CPUs are dubbed “Threadripper”, due to the insane amount of threads (i.e: parallel tasks) they can handle. The flagship Threadripper CPU is the Ryzen 9 1998X, with 16-cores, 32-threads, a base frequency of 3.5Ghz and a boosted clock speed of 3.9GHz in a toasty 155W TDP. The entire Ryzen 9 lineup supports up to 44 lanes of PCIe bandwidth and four DDR4-3200 channels. There’s not as much detail about the Whitehaven X390 platform, which will be soft-launched at Computex this month. AMD’s Ryzen 9 ThreadRipper CPUs should hit the market in the US summer – which is June to August, for those of us not in the northern hemisphere.

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Microsoft renames Beam, is now called Mixer

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Microsoft has renamed the Beam streaming service it purchased almost a year ago. Beam shall now be referred to as Mixer. Mixer is pretty much Twitch, but by Microsoft. The main reason to use Mixer is that it’s baked right in to Windows and has low-level system integration thanks to its inclusion in the latest Windows 10 Creator’s Update. This level of integration allows you to do funky things such as “co-streaming”, where up to 4 streamers can combine their streams into a single viewer split screen experience. The streamers in the party can each be doing different things, they don’t even need to be playing the same game. Mixer also distinguishes itself by touting “livestreaming that’s actually live” with minimal one or two second latency, a huge advantage over Twitch’s 10 to 15 seconds for non-partners. With low latency, conversations between streamer and audience can be a lot more natural.