Tech News

  • Fry's Electronics suddenly calls it quits

    Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Fry's is/was the last major big box electronics store and on Feb 24th annoucned that it will be closing all 31 stores and shuting down permanently.  They had the following to say on their website.

    After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.



    The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.

    This news makes me increadbly sad and yet I am not suprised.  When visiting LA, Vegas and Seattle I would make a point of visting the local Fry's to check out what deals they had and maybe buy an electronics kit.  It was an awesome experence and reminded me of visiting CompUSA back in the day.

    Sadly, it was extremely clear that Fry's must have done the bulk of their business on holidays because during the week the store(s) were dead.  Most of the shelves were empty, demo units were damaged and the prices were 10-15% more than what you would pay online. 

    It would seem that "the situation" is what killed this iconic chain of electronic stores leaving a huge void in that retail space.

  • The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure

    Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021 | By: Dennis

    The interesting thing about Jets is that they work well when they have a single purpose.  Airliners work well at moving people and things.  Bombers work well at carrying heavy things and dropping things on things.  Fighters like to fight even if their only reason for existence is the threat of fighting.

    When the lines between what a user wants a product (jet) to do and what the product (jet) can do well is when you run into problems.  Personally, I never liked the F-35, from a visual standpoint it was an ugly jet and when I heard it was going to be used across all branches of the military that seemed like a good idea but had my doubts it would ever become a reality.

    Case in point, there has always been a huge backlash from the community when there are announcements that the F-35 was going to be stationed at a nearby airfield.  People complained it would be too loud, fly too low, etc..

    Thing is, jets are loud, get over it.

    But, I digress

    One of the other issues with the F-35 (from my opinion) is that we had one company designing it and 100's of contractors building the parts.  They claim it was to make the jet cheaper, create jobs and make the manufacturing process faster.  Well, if that was the case we wouldn't be 14 years later with only a handful of jets, millions of complaints and the following comment from the military.

    The Air Force has announced a new study into the tactical aviation requirements of future aircraft, dubbed TacAir. In the process of doing so, Air Force chief of staff General Charles Q. Brown finally admitted what’s been obvious for years: The F-35 program has failed to achieve its goals. There is, at this point, little reason to believe it will ever succeed.

    -- snip --

    “I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft,” the general said. “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our high end, we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight… We don’t want to burn up capability now and wish we had it later.”

    In my memory the last time there was a jet shared by all branches of the military it was the F-4 Phantom and we (the US) were in the middle of the Vietnam War.  The jet is iconic, pilots complained about it but, it was cheap to fly and operate, they made a ton of them and some are still in use today.

    It makes you wonder if the reluctance to embrace new technology is centered on inflated operating costs, inflated price tags or the realization that the Cold War is over but the arms race is still in full effect and not properly funded or run by the right people.  I’m pretty sure the budgets are right and I will be the first to agree that we need new planes but we also need cheap planes if, the companies and entities using these planes insist on flying them non-stop and using up their operational budget in the process.

  • Fractal Meshify 2 Compact Launch Day

    Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Be sure to check out our review of the Fractal Meshify 2 Compact.  The design is quite good and features a realistic number of features instead of the typical "over the top, look at me ma I made the big time" overindulgence.

    Web Reviews
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact chassis @ Guru3D
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Computer Case Review @ APH Networks
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    I'm sure there are more but, the phj34r of the Google ban hammer is strong with the review world.

  • GeForce Is Made for Gaming, CMP Is Made to Mine

    Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | By: Dennis

    We’re limiting the hash rate of GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs so they’re less desirable to miners and launching NVIDIA CMP for professional mining ~NVIDIA

    One thing that gamers know is that drivers are key.  When a new game is released the first thing a good gamer does is download the latest driver in hopes that it will give you the best performance.  Drivers are weird like that too.  In some cases a new driver will boost one game while making other games suffer.  The same is true when benchmarking when your driver choice can make or break your run.

    Thing is, drivers can also limit a card and is what NVIDIA is doing with the new RTX 3060 that launches later this week.  Given that this is a new card NVIDIA can limit performance however they want and unless you reverse engineer the driver there isn't much you can do about it.

    RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.



    That only makes sense. Our GeForce RTX GPUs introduce cutting-edge technologies — such as RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and many more — tailored to meet the needs of gamers and those who create digital experiences.



    To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we’re announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining.



    CMP products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.

    Finally, NVIDIA is addressing the demand of GPU mining by offering a dedicated mining card that not only will address what miners are looking for but also NOT impact GPU supply to gamers.  They will be doing this by detecting algorithms used by miners and then shut down the card by 50%.

    To offset this NVIDIA is also launching cards that use the same GPU but have no video output.  They will be worthless to gamers and won't be limited to miners which is what I call a Win Win.

    Check out the blog post for more information.

    Of course, now the question remains.  Why didn't NVIDIA do this sooner?  I mean ASUS had dedicated mining cards back when the 10 series launched and the 20 Series was released during the great cryto bubble burst so what made them think it wouldn't come back?

  • be quiet! Silent Base 802 Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, February 15, 2021 | By: Dennis

    I will admit this is one HUGE computer case and comes with all the bells and whistles.

    The be quiet! Silent Base 802 is a Goliath-sized mid-tower case that truly offers users the ability to change up their build on the fly. 

    One nice thing about cases like this is that they do allow you to reconfigure just about everything.  You can't make the case magically smaller but you can move things around inside and add all sorts of cooling options.

    The real question is, what will you do with all the extra room?

  • SSUPD Reinvents the ITX Case with Meshlicious?

    Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | By: Dennis

    February 9, 2021, Taipei, Taiwan - SSUPD, the sister brand of LIAN LI and developer of high-end PC cases introduces Meshlicious — a revolutionary ITX PC case built in collaboration with Ncase — that features three full mesh panels and a tempered glass panel to deliver unbeatable cooling while displaying the PC’s internals. An optional fourth 1 mm thick steel full mesh panel can be snapped on to encase the PC in full mesh for maximum airflow with a functional, minimalist aesthetic. The Meshlicious is available in matte black and white finishes.

    "For years, small form factor cases have been on the market for users looking for low-key, compact PC builds." says Ssu, Founder of SSUPD. “But with the Meshlicious, we aimed to push the boundaries of what’s possible in a PC build by surrounding it in mesh. It’s aiming to be the top full mesh-capable ITX case, and designed with user-friendliness in mind to the smallest details. With a clean and stripped down look and excellent cooling, DIY enthusiasts can take their PC builds in exciting new directions.”

    Meshlicious handles raw power and breaths cool
    The Meshlicious supports high-performance water cooling configurations, including CPU air coolers of up to 72mm, two AIOs (all in one) 120mm or one AIO of 240mm or 280mm. It supports up to a 4 slot GPU card of up to 320mm for serious gaming or design rendering. The GPU mounting strut is adjustable vertically, allowing for adjustments to the space available for the cables that are connected to the GPU. The motherboard tray functions as a divider splitting the available space between the motherboard and CPU side with the GPU side. The motherboard rear I/O offers easy access to the CPU, and a 90 degree HDMI cable is included for easy connections to the HDMI port. It supports an ATX Power Supply of up to 160mm, with SFX and SFX-L power supplies also both supported.

    Meshlicious is small but versatile
    The Meshlicious is small enough to save space while satisfying both gamers and designers in compute-intensive tasks. It can handle serious storage, supporting configurations of up to three 2.5” SSD drives when paired with a vertical GPU. It also supports storage configurations of three 2.5” SSDs, two 3.5” HDDs, or four 2.5” SSDs for users requiring additional storage in their ITX build. The clean minimal design makes room for two USB ports on the front, one USB Type-A and one Type-C. In keeping user-friendliness in mind, it features a no-headache assembly with just ten easy steps.

    Meshlicious saves space on desktops
    The Meshlicious is small enough to be portable (360mm x 245mm x 166.4mm) and at 14.67 liters it’s large enough for components that pack a punch. With a footprint of only 245mm x 166.4mm, users can maximize desk or floor space to create a modern, minimalist decor in their workstation or gaming station. With the included glass panel, users can show off their impressive internals, or with the purchase of an additional mesh panel, they can build a full mesh PC case that reaches new levels of cooling.

    Pricing and availability
    ?The Meshlicious will be available in matte black for pre-order starting February 9th, 2021, at MSRP $119 USD. Accessories will be available in mid March, including an additional side mesh panel, a tempered glass panel, a HDMI/Displayport cable, and a PCIe 4.0/3.0 riser cable. A full mesh Meshlicious case will be released in black and white, in May for $129, with pre-order starting in April.

  • Lexar Announces New Professional 1066x SDXC UHS-I Card SILVER Series

    Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 | By: Dennis

    On the heels of the successful MicroSDXC Silver that we reviewed last month we have the new UHS-1 card available for devices that require the larger format and want the same speed.

    ----

    San Jose, USA, February 9, 2021— Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, is proud to announce the new Lexar® Professional 1066x SDXC™ UHS-I Card SILVER Series.

    Designed for professional photographers and videographers, the 1066x SDXC™ UHS-I Card SILVER Series lets you accelerate workflow from start to finish to maximize creativity. With speeds up to 160MB/s read, and up to 120MB/s write, the 1066x SDXC™ UHS-I Card is designed for your DSLR or mirrorless camera and allows you to quickly capture and transfer high-quality photos, including Full-HD and 4K UHD video with ease.

    Key Features:

    • High-speed performance – rated UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30) for your DSLR or mirrorless camera
    • Leverages UHS-I technology to deliver read speeds up to 160MB/s (1066x) 1
    • Quickly capture high-quality images and extended lengths of Full-HD and 4K UHD with write speeds up to 120MB/s
    • High-capacity options –– up to 512GB
    • Designed for durability in harsh conditions

    This Class 10 card leverages UHS-I, UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) and Video Speed Class 30 (V30) technology giving you the high-speed performance you need to stay on top of all the action even with sequential burst mode shots.

    The new 1066x SDXC™ UHS-I Card also provides the performance and durability needed to capture and store valuable data in a variety of elements as they are built to be water, shock, vibration and X-ray proof.

    “We are excited to announce the new Lexar® Professional 1066x SDXC™ UHS-I Card SILVER Series. This technology provides photographers and videographers the performance and reliability they demand, and with capacity options up to 512GB, they can capture and share more of what they love,” said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar.

    Lexar® Professional 1066x SDXC UHS-I cards SILVER Series is available this month for purchase online at an MSRP of $17.99 USD (64GB), $33.99 USD (128GB), $64.99 USD (256GB), and $139.99 USD (512GB).

  • XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Sunday, January 31, 2021 | By: Dennis

    I have a hard time following the ADATA memory train.  First they claim to be the largest memory maker in the world and now have the best gaming hardware in the industiry.  Thing is, I actually have to do a specific search just to find ADATA products at my local e-tailer and rarely get a call back when asking for samples to write articles on. 

    You'd think a company this grand would be on point when it comes to global sales and marketing.  But, they, TechPowerUp has a review of their 2TB NVMe drive so, I guess that is something.

    The ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite is one of the most affordable PCIe Gen 4 SSDs on the market, with a price of $260 for the 2 TB version. In our testing we saw great random IO results, for both read and write. Thanks to a preinstalled heatsink, temperatures remain low, even when heavily loaded.

    PCI Express 4 and priced at $260!!  That is pretty impressive.

  • SilverStone SUGO 14 mITX Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Sunday, January 31, 2021 | By: Dennis

    I have a review of this case coming out in just a few hours so be sure to check it out.  The case is quite good, small and yet has room to become a real gaming powerhouse supporting large AIO coolers, triple slot video cards and the latest in Mini ITX motherboards.

    Despite its small appearances, the SilverStone SUGO 14 is a well-built chassis that can hold a power-packed PC with very little compromises.

    I think cooling could be improved but, considering what the case is and how differently people will use the case the current design is solid!

  • Patriot presents EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards

    Published: Sunday, January 24, 2021 | By: Dennis

    4K recording under extreme temperature and harsh environments Now available in capacities of 32GB/64GB/128GB.

    FREMONT, CALIFORNIA — January 14th, 2021 – PATRIOT™, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals, and flash storage solutions, today is excited to announce the market launch of its EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards. These new microSDHC/XC cards are designed for video recording devices needing to operate under extreme weather conditions and harsh environments with outstanding reliability and durability. This new series fully supports Class 10, V10/V30, and offers improved write speed reaching 30MB/per sec to meet the most demanding recording circumstances. The EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards can achieve a sustained 95MB/per sec transfer for superior stability and playback of FHD or UHD videos. Now available at major retailers with 32GB/64GB/128GB capacities.

    "The EP series High endurance microSDHC/XC cards are tested under rugged conditions, and their specifications have been reinforced, which include high levels of vibration, shock resistance, extreme temperatures, and endurance under a wide range of temperature fluctuations. These cards are also waterproof, dust resistant, and immune to X-ray radiation," said Roger Shinmoto, Vice President of Patriot Memory. "Patriot is dedicated to bringing a total solution with outstanding reliability for the professional user who needs to capture video in a variety of extreme environments, including security system cameras, dashcams, and home monitoring. These cards will work even if you are recording video in the arctic or desert."

    An SD card's read and write performance can affect stability and overall system performance, especially in apps dealing with ultra-high-density video. Professional users demand a lot from their devices and need them to work without compromising performance, regardless of weather and environment. The Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC has a wide operating temperature of -40°C to 85°C and can deliver 95MBps reads and up to 30MBps writes to eliminate lag while playing ultra-high-density videos in 4K.

    Backed by Patriot's customer service and 5-year warranty, Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDXC is a trustworthy solution for capturing crucial videos from the dashcam, home monitoring, or security system and ultra-high-definition across multiple platforms. Our high endurance microSD cards are part of our great reviewer award winning EP Series line.

    FEATURES:

    • SDA 6.X/ 5.X/ 3.0
    • Video speed class : C10/V10/V30
    • Read Speed up to 95MB/s
    • 4K Video recording supported
    • Wide temp supported: -40°C to 85°C
    • Water proof
    • Shock proof
    • High and low temperature cycle work
    • Enterprise grade endurance
    • TBW: 48TB-192TB
    • SD Adapter included

    To learn more about the Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards: Click here

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