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Is the New Old Already? Far Cry 6 Raytracing Exclusive to PC Version, PS5 and Xbox Series Left Out

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Stephanie Brenham, Team Lead Programmer for Ubisoft's upcoming AAA Far Cry 6, recently spoke to WCCFTech on the upcoming Far Cry installment. Stephanie went into some detail regarding the graphics and performance options, and an interesting fact that surfaced was that neither Sony's PS5 nor Microsoft's Xbox Series consoles will feature ray tracing enabled on their respective versions of the game. Apparently, ray tracing will be a PC-exclusive feature, as console versions of the game are targeting higher render resolution and more fluid framerates over expensive graphics options such as ray tracing. And even on PC, it'll be a hybrid form of it, and not a full implementation: ray tracing is supported for both shadows and reflections, but Ubisoft opted for a hybrid approach here, marrying traditional rendering with ray tracing so as to improve performance in mainstream PC hardware.

"Ray tracing is a PC-only feature," Stephanie Brenham said. "On console, our objective has been to take advantage of new hardware capabilities, optimizing performance targeting 4K and achieving 60 FPS." This does somewhat fall in the face of performance expectations set by both Sony and Microsoft; both companies made (and still make) extensive use of ray tracing support on the marketing campaigns for their consoles. However, as we've seen in the past, enabling ray tracing comes with severe performance penalties in even the latest and greatest PC hardware (sometimes not to best effect, even), which still outclasses even the latest consoles' powerful innards (compared to their predecessors, of course).

Gigabyte's Z690 Motherboard SKU Names Leak

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Once again, the Eurasian Economic Commission has provided us with a look into a wide range of upcoming motherboard models and this time it's Gigabyte's Z690 lineup. The company appears to be reading no less than 17 DDR5 models and 10 DDR4 models, which is simply a massive amount of motherboards. There are two models that caught our eye, firstly the Aorus Tachyon, which continues HiCookies overclocking SKU from the current Z590 Aorus Tachyon and secondly the Aorus Elite Stealth, which may or may not be a passively cooled board, suggesting the Z690 chipset might be coming with active cooling.

We'd hazard a guess and say that not all SKUs will be available at launch, since it's unlikely that there will be a demand for this many different models. A few other noteworthy mentions here include the Z690M Aorus Elite DDR4 (with or without Wi-Fi), which seems to be a higher-end mATX model and it looks like we're getting three Mini-ITX models with the Z690I Aorus Ultra, the Z690 Aero D and the Z690I A Ultra DDR4. Also gone is the Vision name, as it has been replaced with Aero, a brand Gigabyte has used for some of its AMD boards. Time will tell what actually lands in the various markets at the end, as it might be that some of these SKUs are region specific as well.

(PR) Trust Gaming Launches the GXT 255+ ONYX Professional Microphone

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Leading value-for-money digital lifestyle accessories brand, Trust Electronics Ltd, is pleased to introduce its GXT 255+ ONYX professional microphone with arm. The GXT GXT 255+ ONYX professional membrane microphone with cardioid record pattern allows users to stream content smoothly in the highest and purest sound quality, making it ideal for podcasts, vlogs, voice-overs, music recording or streaming on YouTube, Twitch and Facebook. The Trust Gaming GXT 255+ ONYX Streaming Microphone is available from Amazon for £174.99. Currently on pre order with availability from the 25th Sept.

With a cardioid audio pattern, a shock mount, zero-latency monitoring and a steel boom arm included, the Trust Onyx Professional Microphone delivers everything required for studio-quality audio recording. Plus, the adjustable LED lighting ring with six colours, brings quality recordings to life. Recording is instant and effortless with the Onyx thanks to its simple USB connection. A hub with one additional USB port is also included for extra convenience.

(PR) ADATA XPG Unveils CRUISER Super Mid-Tower Chassis

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announces the XPG CRUISER super mid-tower chassis. The CRUISER is a full-size E-ATX chassis that supports E-ATX motherboards with dimensions (H x W x D): 493 x 234 x 466 mm (19.40 x 9.21 x 18.35 in). It also sports XPG's Exoskeleton design and a host of other great features gamers and PC enthusiasts will love. They include versatile I/O ports, such as a high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connection, a removable dust filter, and three XPG VENTO 120 ARGB fans, to name a few.

XPG's Exoskeleton design is a visual language unique to XPG. It maintains XPG's signature balance between airflow intake efficiency and ARGB aesthetics. The XPG CRUISER's front glass panel enhances airflow intake while allowing the included XPG VENTO 120 ARGB fans to shine through the front of the chassis. For convenience, a magnetic dust filter on the top of the chassis is detachable for quick removal and hassle-free cleaning.

Intel's Beast Canyon NUC Appears in Retail With a Steep Price Tag

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

We've already covered the Intel Beast Canyon NUC in quite some detail over the past few months and it's finally available to buy, that is if you have more money than sense, as the starting price on Amazon for the barebone version is no less than US$1,769.95. For this, you get an Intel Core i9-11900KB CPU, a 650 W 80+ Gold PSU and of course the chassis itself. We did find it for slightly less elsewhere online, but even at that US$1,599 price point, it seems like a pretty bad deal to us.

Amazon is also offering a range of customization options, starting at US$1,839.95, which includes 16 GB of unspecified DDR4 RAM and a 250 GB Samsung 980 SSD. The maxed out configuration, which doesn't come with a dedicated GPU, tops out at US$3,139.95 with 64 GB of RAM and a pair of 2 TB Samsung 980 Pro SSDs. These prices do include Windows 10 Pro pre-installed and configured. Not sure about you, but this looks like a terrible deal to us.

Playstation 3 Emulator RPCS3 To Implement AMD FSR Upscaling Tech

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

AMD's Fidelity Super Resolution (FSR) tech is being implemented in RPSCS3, one of the foremost emulators for Sony's Playstation 3. The emulator allows PC users to play otherwise PS3-exclusive games via software emulation. The nature of this emulation, however, leads to a couple important aspects. One pertains to performance: emulating non-existent hardware is one of the most resource-hungry workloads one can think of, and is highly dependent on the emulator's coding quality. Another is that since this is a software solution, it does allow to changes in maximum render resolution, for example, or the addition of visual effects or other modifications to the rendering pipeline. One limitation of this approach is that game support has to be added almost manually, checking and correcting the emulators' behaviors according to the software being played.

AMD's FSR tech been received with a rather enthusiastic response. This is in part due to its open source nature, but also because of its apparent ease of implementation and its higher compatibility with graphics cards new, old, and from the competition - unlike NVIDIA's DLSS, which requires specific hardware (Tensor cores) to be present in the GPU chip, locking it to only the latest NVIDIA products. This nature of FSR has led to its integrationn on the RPCS3 emulator, promising a relatively easy to implement performance and image quality increase compared to the original rendering pipeline, including 4K upscaling. Check after the break for a video of the tech in action (spoiler: the quality difference isn't nearly as close as what the thumbnail implies).

Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake" Beats Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX at Cinebench R23 nT

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

An alleged Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" sample is shown beating the 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX HEDT processor at AMD's favorite benchmark, Cinebench R23, in its multi-threaded (nT) test. At this point it's not known whether the i9-12900K is overclocked, but the CPU-Z instance in the screenshot reads 5.30 GHz, which could very well be the processor's stock Thermal Velocity Boost frequency. The sample scored upward of 30000 points, putting it above the Threadripper 2990WX reference score in Cinebench.

The 2990WX is based on the "Zen+" microarchitecture, and released in 2018, but is a 32-core/64-thread chip that should have ripped through this rendering workload. The i9-12900K, on the other hand, has eight "Golden Cove" performance cores that have HyperThreading, in addition to 8 "Gracemont" efficiency cores that lack HTT. This benchmark was run on Windows 10, which lacks awareness of the Intel Thread Director, a hardware component that optimizes utilization of the two kinds of CPU cores. Windows 11 is known to feature better awareness of hybrid core architectures. The i9-12900K sample is possibly installed on a Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Ultra motherboard, and has 32 GB of DDR5-5200 memory (two modules, logically four 40-bit channels).

(PR) DRAM Prices Projected to Decline by 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21 Due to Rising Level of Client Inventory, Says TrendForce

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Following the peak period of production in 3Q21, the supply of DRAM will likely begin to outpace demand in 4Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations (the surplus of DRAM supply is henceforth referred to as "sufficiency ratio", expressed as a percentage). In addition, while DRAM suppliers are generally carrying a healthy level of inventory, most of their clients in the end-product markets are carrying a higher level of DRAM inventory than what is considered healthy, meaning these clients will be less willing to procure additional DRAM going forward. TrendForce therefore forecasts a downward trajectory for DRAM ASP in 4Q21. More specifically, DRAM products that are currently in oversupply may experience price drops of more than 5% QoQ, and the overall DRAM ASP will likely decline by about 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21.

Although WFH and distance learning applications previously generated high demand for notebook computers, increasingly widespread vaccinations in Europe and North America have now weakened this demand, particularly for Chromebooks. As a result, global production of notebooks is expected to decline in 4Q21, in turn propelling the sufficiency ratio of PC DRAM to 1.38%, which indicates that PC DRAM will no longer be in short supply in 4Q21. However, PC DRAM accounts for a relatively low share of DRAM manufacturers' DRAM supply bits, since these suppliers have allocated more production capacities to server DRAM, which is in relatively high demand. Hence, there will unlikely be a severe surplus of PC DRAM in 4Q21. It should also be pointed out that, on average, the current spot prices of PC DRAM modules are far lower than their contract prices for 3Q21. TrendForce therefore expects an imminent 5-10% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21, with potential for declines that are even greater than 10% for certain transactions, as PC OEMs anticipate further price drops in PC DRAM prices in the future.

HP Announces Pair of New USB-C Monitors for Productivity

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Slowly but surely, USB-C seems to be gaining popularity with the display makers and HP's most recent offerings, the U32 4K HDR monitor and the M34d WQHD curved monitor both feature USB-C ports with DP Alt mode and 65 W power delivery. As the product name implies, the U32 sports a 3840x2160 pixel resolution at 60 Hz and the M34d comes in at 3440x1440 pixels, although here you get a variable refresh rate of 48-100 Hz.

The U32 comes with a 31.5-inch 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) IPS panel with what we presume is a peak brightness of 400 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Connectivity consists of a DP 1.2 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, the aforementioned USB-C port, three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports (aka USB 3.0) and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The U32 uses an external power brick, so there's also a barrel plug type power jack.

(PR) Intel to Break Ground on Two New Leading-Edge Chip Factories in Arizona

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

With its IDM 2.0 strategy, Intel is committed to investing in manufacturing capacity to support the surging global demand for semiconductors. The company recently announced plans to build two new leading-edge chip fabs at its Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Ariz. The new factories will support expanding requirements of Intel's products and provide committed capacity for foundry customers.

On Friday, Sept. 24, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger will be joined by government and community leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the largest private-sector investment in Arizona history: a $20 billion project that will bolster U.S. semiconductor leadership and help bring geographical balance to the global supply chain.

(PR) Intel Processors Selected to Power Next-Gen DOE Supercomputers

Wed, 22 Sep 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) selected next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named "Sapphire Rapids") to power the supercomputers used within NNSA's Life Extension Program for mission-critical efforts in stockpile stewardship. The NNSA's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory awarded a subcontract to Dell Technologies to supply the Intel-powered computing systems that will be deployed at the NNSA's Tri-Labs (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories).

Today's news supports the NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program operated at the NNSA's Tri-Labs. The Commodity Technology Systems contract (CTS-2) awarded today will enable these three national laboratories to build more powerful, energy-efficient computing systems that will focus on performing extensive modeling and simulation capabilities in support of NNSA's stockpile stewardship program.
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