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About Bruceleeon

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    The Big Chimichanga
  • Birthday 11/19/1977

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  1. Manli All-in-One Mining System, P104-100

    11 December, 2017 – Manli Technology Group Limited, one of the major Graphics Cards, Mining Systems, Mining Cards and other components manufacturer, today announced the latest mining system, P104-100. Follow of the immense response on previous Manli mining system versions, P106-090 and P106-100. Manli released the latest mining system, P104-100 which has better hash rate and power consumpt View the full article
  2. ThinkComputers Podcast #121

    In this episode of our weekly tech podcast we talk about our three reviews this week, NVIDIA announcing the "Volta" based TITAN V, the war going on between Amazon and Google, Bitcoin and much more! View the full article
  3. Last year, we covered the announcement of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. We noted that, because the game takes place in 3015, it would have a fairly-reduced equipment set compared to what we have seen in MechWarrior 3 and 4. Apparently that’s not entirely accurate, as a new batch of info has dropped during Mech_Con 2017 in Vancouver. According to reports, like this one from Engadget, the game starts in 3015, but lasts about 35 in-game years. But the game won’t really have a linear story, as seen in the previous entries. Rather than having the player run a scripted narrative, the intent is to let them build their own mercenary squad and do contracts for the Great Houses on their own terms (and with four-player co-op, although AI companions can be used if desired). I… don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, it could be an interesting, unique experience. On the other hand, I kind-of want a new, linear story in the Battletech universe. Also, they mentioned that it will support user-created mods. Given that it's based on Unreal Engine 4, that should be a fairly large level of mod support. This will apparently include new missions, environments, and so forth. It was also re-announced that MW5 will launch in 2018 – now more specifically: December. read more View the full article
  4. The Khronos Group Releases SYCL 1.2.1

    The specification for SYCL 1.2.1, which is based on OpenCL 1.2, has been finalized and released on the Khronos website. The describe it as a major update over the previous standard, SYCL 1.2, and it is. Since May 2015, when SYCL 1.2 was finalized, The Khronos Group added features from C++11, C++14, and C++17, including the ISO C++17 Parallel Standard Template Library (STL). In other words, you can create C++17 Parallel STL applications with SYCL 1.2.1, single-source, that are able to offload to OpenCL 1.2 devices. Beyond that, the specification changes also help machine learning. The Khronos Group mentions that Google’s TensorFlow supports SYCL, bringing the framework to OpenCL devices. They want to continue updating the specification in this area, along with Safety Critical applications, such as automotive. They also want to keep updating the standard with ISO C++ features. In other words? SYCL is being adopted, and they intend ongoing support to match. You can read the press release at their website. read more View the full article
  5. QacQoc GN30H Premium USB-C Hub review

    We have another quick review today: a jack-of-all-trades USB-C hub. Designed for the MacBook, Chromebook Pixel and other USB-C devices, this hub allows you to turn a single port into eight: you can connect three USB 3.0 devices, connect a monitor or projector via HDMI, connect to wired networks via ethernet, plug in Micro SD or SD cards and even charge your device using USB-C Power Delivery at the same time. It’s a pretty sweet list of features, but how does it actually work? Specs & Features USB-C Power Delivery pass-through for MacBook, Chromebook & other devices 3x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, gigabit ethernet, Micro SD card slot, SD card slot HDMI supports 4K at 30Hz Available in silver, gray, gold, rose gold 105 x 48.5 x 11.5mm Design The GN30H is a compact device, constructed from an aluminium alloy and festooned with ports on all sides. Its look matches the MacBook exactly, but it looks fine plugged into other USB-C devices as well. You’ve got the permanently attached USB-C lead on one end, with the ethernet port and USB-C passthrough port on the other. On the longer sides, you have the three USB 3.0 ports and HDMI on one side, and the Micro SD and SD card slots opposite. It’s a sensible layout, requiring free space only in one or two directions — handy for cramped working conditions like a small desk or train tray table. The entire device can be stored in a bag (provided), to keep dust and other muck out of the many ports. Even inside this bag, you can still fit the hub inside a large jeans pocket. Testing We tested the GN30H with our XPS 15 9560 laptop and Note 8 smartphone. We found that the Note 8 could recognise all of the hub’s many inputs simultaneously, as long as power was provided down the USB-C pass-through cable. The XPS 15 laptop fared a little worse, with all peripherals working but our USB-C power adapter wasn’t able to provide enough charge to keep the laptop’s battery from slowly trickling away. However, this isn’t the fault of the hub, and it still massively expanded the laptop’s range of ports. One other limitation is the HDMI port. While it is possible to connect a 4K monitor, you’re limited to half of the standard 60Hz refresh rate. 30Hz is fine for most video content, but it’s very noticeably choppy for work tasks — even watching your text appear at 30Hz is disconcerting. If you’re looking to connect to a monitor for work or games, then it’s worth getting a dedicated 4K / 60Hz adapter like this one from Anker. Wrapping up Apart from these minor limitations, we could find no flaws with the GN30H. The build quality is solid and each of the ports and card slots worked as described. The hub gets a little hot while it’s being used, but it didn’t ever reach dangerous levels. The price is reasonable too. At £60 / $72, this hub is cheaper than most on Amazon, making it our top recommendation for a do-everything USB-C hub. Buy on Amazon.com Buy on Amazon.co.uk View the full article
  6. Today we’re looking at the flagship of Aukey’s mechanical keyboard range, the KM-G4. It comes with a full layout of mechanical switches and fancy RGB backlighting. We’re looking at the model with Brown Cherry MX style switches, although these particular switches were made by Outemu. Let’s see what you get for your £56 or $65. Design The G4 has a military or industrial-inspired design, with the keys floating atop a thin plate of green-ish aluminium with visible screw holes throughout. The keycaps are backlit ABS, a standard budget choice, with laser-etched legends that allow the LEDs below to shine through. The legends are in the standard ‘gamer-friendly’ stenciled font, but they’re not too disagreeable. It’s worth noting that the keyboard is available only in a US / ANSI layout, so if you are used to a UK / ISO layout you will find a few keys are different sizes or have swapped places. However, this does mean finding replacement keycap sets is much easier, so it’s not a dealbreaker for me. The LEDs themselves are RGB, which means you can switch between multiple colours, and there are plenty of lighting modes as well. These modes and colours can be changed without needing to install any software using keys on the keyboard. You also get rapid access to media playback and volume controls. Testing We used the G4 for a one week period at work, as well as at home for a few hours of gaming. We found that the keyboard worked well; the repeated or missed keys reported by some Amazon reviews didn’t appear to afflict our unit. The Outemu Brown switches worked just fine, providing good tactile response without being super loud or requiring much force to actuate. However, the ABS keycaps aren’t as pleasant as the PBT keycaps found on higher-grade keyboards (or in custom keycap replacement sets). The full size of the keyboard means you get full access to the numpad, which is handy for doing your taxes or maybe your job, but it also stretches out your arms uncomfortably — I prefer less wide tenkeyless layouts for this reason. The backlighting was strong and fun to mess around with, although we ultimately settled on a single static colour. Usually you only get a single button to switch linearly through a list of modes, so it was nice to have dedicated keys for each effect. Wrapping up In conclusion, the Aukey KM-G4 is a fairly average keyboard. It comes with a full layout, a good range of switches and it has some nice effects. The build quality is solid enough, and it has no game-breaking quirks. However, it doesn’t differentiate itself from its competitors in any meaningful way either — there are plenty of similar keyboards which offer the same range of features, including some at lower price points. If the price drops much below £40 / $45 it could be a winner, but as it stands Aukey’s mech isn’t worth springing for. Something like the Reidea RGB could be a better fit! View the full article
  7. Google Chrome is by far the most popular internet browser on the planet for PCs, but with that popularity has come a reputation for being a memory (and battery) hog. Microsoft has pointed out this discrepancy on numerous occasions while promoting its Edge browser in Windows 10. Unfortunately for Chrome users that want an even more secure View the full article
  8. Lots of people have a new computer on their Christmas list and if you want to save some loot on buying those computers, Microsoft has some sweet deals running right now. Microsoft kicked off the 12 Days of Deals back on December 6 and each day through December 17. A new deal will go live each day at 12:00 AM ET. Today's deal is on some nice View the full article
  9. McLaren has built a new car and named it in honor of legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna and it is definitely an interesting vehicle. The car was clearly not designed with an eye towards aesthetics; from the side the car is not very attractive. This happens at times when a car is built more for function than what looks good to the artist’s eye. View the full article
  10. We have known for some time that AMD is planning to roll out another round of Ryzen processors in 2018, known as Pinnacle Ridge, followed by yet another release in 2019 codenamed Matisse. However, the details of these launches have been rather sparse, consisting of a roughly outlined roadmap. That is, until now. A leaked slide highlights some View the full article
  11. AMD ha confermato che nei primi mesi del 2018, introdurrà sul mercato una nuova serie di processori Ryzen, che andranno lentamente a sostituire quelli dell’attuale generazione. I nuovi processori chiamati Ryzen 2000 Pinnacle Ridge sono un piccola evoluzione dell’attuale architettura Zen che viene chiamata Zen+ e che si basa su un processo produttivo di 12 […] Continua a leggere AMD Ryzen 2000 in arrivo per fine febbraio 2018!. View the full article
  12. Jonsbo, a Shenzhen based case manufacturer founded in 2010 has unleashed a new stylish flagship mid tower called the UMX5. The new case measures 507mm x 224mm x 485mm and is constructed of a steel frame wrapped in anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy and tempered glass. The new case has a ribbed design that runs vertically over the top and front panels. Jonsbo claims that the valleys have been sandblasted to dull their look while the 5.5mm tall wiredrawn peaks/ribs have been polished to enhance the contrast and catch the eye. There is a gap of 3.5cm between the bottom of the main chamber of the case and the foot for ventilation and looks (it is under-lit with RGB LEDs of course). The back panel is fairly plain though they have opted for a honeycomb style fan grill for the included 120mm exhaust fan. The side panels steal the show with 5mm thick double sided tempered glass on both sides of the case to show off all of the internals (I am less sold on the idea of the right-side panel being glass as that means I would have to actually cable manage and not just hide it all behind the motherboard tray! Custom sleeved PSU cables that are the exact length needed are going to be essential to making builds in this case look good. The tempered glass does have a bit of a tint to it though so it's not the end fo the world.) The front 1/3 or so of the left side panel is overlaid by a honeycomb pattern that can be illuminated by a RGB LED. Front I/O includes the usual two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks as well as a button to change the LEDs color scheme or to turn them off completely. Users can set the case LEDs to color change mode where it will cycle through 264 colors, to a single color of red, green, blue, yellow, purple, pink, turquoise, or orange, to a (red only) breathing mode, or set to off. The UMX5 is designed for ATX motherboards, but it can work with a small number of E-ATX models (305mm x 265mm maximum). Further, the UMX5 mid tower supports CPU coolers up to 166mm tall and graphics cards up to 325mm long. There are four 3.5” hard drive bays with red anodized aluminum sleds as well as room for two 2.5” drives behind the motherboard tray. The PSU sits vertically behind the motherboard tray and hidden towards the front of the case behind a glass cover along with the hard drives. As far as cooling, there are fan mounting points in the top, bottom, and rear though Jonsbo only includes a single 120mm rear fan. Users can add up to two 120mm fans to the top and two 120mm fans to the bottom. If they are water cooling, they can use up to two 240mm radiators top and bottom and a single 120mm in the rear. If using a thick radiator, you can mount the bottom fans outside of the case in the 35mm ventilation chamber gap. Jonsbo’s UMX5 is a decent looking case that will come in either black (with red accents on the HDD trays and around the left side panel) or silver. The case has an MSRP of 199.99 € (Euro) including 19% VAT (~$235 USD sans VAT). I can’t seem to find it available online anywhere quite yet, but it should hit Europe shortly. It’s not clear how long it will be (if ever) until it hits the US, however. In general, I like the look of the case, though I wish the red drive trays and side panel could be swapped out for different colors. The silver UMX5 is a bit better in this respect as it does not have the red border on the left side panel (it’s all silver except the drive trays which are red), but the black UMX5 is stuck with the red border which is okay if you are also using red LEDs but just looks odd if you are going with any other color. Beyond that the case is on the pricier side of things, but if the build quality (and cable management) is truly there the modders and enthusiasts will come! read more View the full article
  13. Toshiba recently took the wraps off of a new hard drive series aimed at the enterprise market. What makes the MG07ACA series interesting is that Toshiba is offering a 14 TB 3.5” drive without resorting to using Shingled Magnetic Recording. Instead, the new MG07ACA series uses standard recording methods (CMR) and nine ~1.556 TB PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) platters in an helium filled hermetically sealed enclosure to hit 40% more capacity and up to 50% better power efficiency than the previous MG06ACA (10 TB) series. The new drives are also important because they represent the first foray into helium filled hard drives for Toshiba following the company pushing air breathing drives to the limit with its seven platter models. The new drives are standard 7200 RPM models with 256 MB of cache and a SATA 6 Gbps interface. The 14 TB model is able to hit 260 MB/s sustained transfer while the slightly lower areal density of the 12 TB model puts it at a 250 MB/s transfer speed maximum. They are able to hit 167 random 4K read IOPS and 70 random 4k write IOPS (which is fun to compare to even the slowest SSDs today, but these drives aren't for random workloads). Toshiba rates the drives at a fairly industry standard 550 TB per year workload and 2.5 million hours MTBF with a five year warranty. Toshiba is reportedly using its own laser welding technology to seal the drives and keep the helium contained. The MG07ACA drives are offered in emulated 512 (512e) and 4k native sectors with the 512e models featuring Toshiba Persistent Write Cache technology to prevent data loss in the event of power failure while the drives are executing read-modify-write operations. The power loss protection (PLP) is important for enterprise customers using these drives to upgrade the storage in their legacy software and hardware setups. The MG07ACA series includes 14 TB 9-disk and 12 TB 8-disk drives. That’s a lot of platters in a single drive, but Toshiba claims that going this route with CMR / PMR reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) for enterprise customers that are buying up high capacity drives for their cloud storage and big data storage needs. The drives are allegedly more power efficient and trusted in the enterprise market as opposed to the newer shingled drives. John Rydning, Research Vice President for hard disk drives at IDC was quoted in the press release in saying: "While enterprise server and storage customers realize that shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology can improve HDD capacity, the adoption of SMR HDD products into server and storage systems is a transition that will take several years," Interestingly the drives offer 1.5 TB / platter in the 12 TB model and a bit more than 1.55 TB / platter in the 14 TB drive. With SMR technology hitting up to 1.75 TB / platter so far, using that could get a 14 TB drive with just 8 platters, but that is still fairly close that I suppose going with the longer track record of non shingled PMR and its reliability is more important to the enterprise customers. In order to cram 9 platters into a standard 3.5" drive, Toshiba had to make the platters thinner and move to helium instead of air. Specifically, Toshiba is using 0.635mm Showa Denko (SDK) PMR platters that are a mere 1.58mm apart! The drives have Nidec motors on the top and bottom as well as environmental sensors and RVFF (Rotation Vibration Feed Forward) vibration compensation technology which is important when you have nine platters spinning at 7200 RPM in each drive and then hundreds of drives are placed in close proximity to each other in server racks and SANs. The move to helium and thinner platters is a big part of the power savings in this drive with the platters being easier to spin up and exhibiting less flutter moving through the much less dense helium versus air. Toshiba claims that the MG07ACA series uses up to 7.6 watts in normal operation and 4.6 watts at idle (0.32W/GB). According to AnandTech, Toshiba will begin sampling the new hard drives later this month and will sell the drives to its large enterprise customers within the first half of next year. Once demand from the big data crowd has been met, Toshiba will being selling the drives through distributors which means enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on the drives through normal channels by the end of 2018. Exact pricing and availability have not been announced at this time. Also read: Western Digital Launches 14TB Enterprise Hard Drive for Big Data Western Digital Launches 12TB Gold Hard Drive To Consumers WD and HGST Refresh Enterprise SSDs to Include 8TB, Push HDDs to 12TB and Beyond Western Digital MAMR Tech Pushes Future HDDs Beyond 40TB Seagate BarraCuda Pro 10TB Review - Massive Helium Client HDD read more View the full article
  14. Blue Yeti

    Yeti may be old in terms of its age but why change something that keeps on going and offers what the gamers, streamers, music performers and such need! View the full article
  15. On the opening day of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, the company brought AMD on stage and announced a partnership that would see AMD use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon LTE modems alongside Ryzen Mobile SoCs to enable always connected Windows devices. PC Perspective’s Ryan Shrout and Ken Addison attended the event and gleaned a few more details about the announcement. According to Ryan on the podcast, AMD plans to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon LTE modems in Ryzen Mobile-powered laptops and tablets. While road warriors will be able to enjoy cellular connected AMD laptops, Ryan notes that these devices may not support the new “connected standby” standard where a Windows PC is able to keep the cellular connection and the PC in a very minimal power state to download notifications, emails, and other updates in the background while the PC is otherwise sleeping. Reading this announcement piqued my interest though for the future of this partnership. While the first devices are likely to include the Qualcomm modem on the motherboard, in the future AMD may be allowed to integrate the modem into its mobile APUs which would help AMD to compete with Intel in this space. Qualcomm is a big player and could give AMD a strong and competitive wireless solution without AMD having to navigate the murky patent waters and huge R&D costs involved with coming up with its own in-house modems. What are your thoughts on this Qualcomm and AMD partnership? Also read: Qualcomm, HP, and ASUS announce first Windows on Snapgdragon devices read more View the full article