Tech News

  • The IBM PC Turns 40 and PCMag was there, both then and now

    Published: Thursday, August 12, 2021 | By: Dennis

    For those of you following the Hardware Asylum YouTube channel you may have noticed that I have gotten on a "retro kick" lately and started checking out some of the old hardware I have collected over the years, including some new stuff.

    Well, even I have my limits.  The IBM 5150 is/was an iconic machine that set the tone for what the Personal Computer was and how companies like Apple where going to change that perspective.  It was slow, had very little memory and limited usage due to the software packages available.

    But, we had to start somewhere!

    From PCMag -----------------

    In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the IBM personal computer introduced in August 1981, PCMag digs into the print archive of PC Magazine to our first print edition interview with Bill Gates to discuss the advent of the IBM PC. He anticipated IBM would be able to move approximately 200,000 units and we verified that IBM did in fact end up selling between 175,000 and 200,000 PCs in 1982.

    Read the interview with Bill Gates: 
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/heres-what-bill-gates-told-pcmag-about-the-ibm-pc-in-1982 

    We also dug into the IBM PC Model 5150—the family name of the first IBM PC. You can see the lovely glamor shots as we marvel at the 40-year old computer in our teardown piece.

    Check out our visually beautiful teardown:
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/teardown-inside-pc-labs-ibm-pc-model-5150 

    Reporting for PCMag, Michael J. Miller also takes a look at the important steps the IBM PC took to make itself the dominant PC in the market and set the tone for the PC market to evolve.

  • Funky Kit Review - Acer FA100 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD

    Published: Sunday, August 8, 2021 | By: Dennis

    You wouldn't know it by looking but Acer is a pretty big company and it seems they are also modest in that they don't throw around that they are a big company and prefer their products do the talking.

    Or building...

    When I visit Taipei Taiwan for Computex the hotel I stay at is just down the street from a tall office building with an Acer sign on top.  I have used that building as a beacon when I am out wandering around so I know how to get back "home".  Cheezy I know but, it works and seems to be the ONLY way that Acer has impacted my life.

    The Acer FA100 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD is an interesting option for the more demanding user who's searching for a decent storage upgrade, or simply after another SSD for gaming. The FA100 is fast yet inexpensive at the same time.  For me, this is the most important factor deciding on the product purchase, so I'm sure the Acer FA100 will be a successful product. 

    Summer 2021 appears to be all about SSD storage, makes you wonder what September and the fall season will bring.

  • ARCTIC MX-5 Thermal Compound Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Sunday, August 8, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Ok so here is a review that I haven't seen done in a while.  Arctic MX-5 thermal compound.  This is the stuff you can get EVERYWHERE and is actually halfway decent.  As I remember it isn't going to win any thermal performance contests and just about everyone who follows the Angry Millennial on YouTube will physically attack you for considering that bargain thermal compound is any good.

    Well, I am rather confident in knowing that without high-precision thermal testing equipment there is no discernable difference between most high-end thermal compounds out there so it really comes down to usability and price.

    The ARCTIC MX-5 is a high-performance non-electrically conductive thermal paste that comes at a seriously awesome price.

    Gotta love the super short "hooks" to keep you reading.  I would skip the quote here and at least read the opening paragraph; it is pretty good.

  • MSI Spatium M480 2 TB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Sunday, August 8, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Did you know that MSI sells SSDs??  I knew that Gigabyte had some SSDs in their catalog along with some pretty lack-luster memory modules but, I never figured MSI as the company who would sell SSD drives.

    Turns out this drive is rather good, sporting some PCI Express 4.0 goodness, fancy cooler/cover thing and according to TechPowerUp, a Phison E18 controller.

    The MSI Spatium M480 is a flagship SSD based on the Phison E18 controller, featuring support for the fast PCI-Express 4.0 interface. Inside the box, you'll find a heatsink that looks fantastic and very sleek to provide cooling for this 7 GB/s monster.

    In terms of performance it seems very similar to the Patriot Viper VP4300 I just did a review for, check it out of you are curious.

  • 3Dfx Makes its move and it is so bad, it is laughable

    Published: Thursday, August 5, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Update*

    The Twitter account @3dfxofficial has been removed and all content related to the account has been deleted.  I suspect that NVIDIA might have stepped in finally and took action (like they should have done in the beginning).  Of couse the only thing left is whatever anyone downloaded including the image in this news post.

    It was a fun ride but, it was a sham from the beginning and the bored netizens tried to keep the hype train going when they should have just let it go.

    ------------------------------------------

    For those of you who are in the dark on this.  Someone claims to have bought the rights to the 3Dfx name and is planning to bring the company back after 20 years of being bankrupt and consumed by NVIDIA.

    On the @3dfxofficial twitter they teased that a product roadmap would bew announcement on Aug 5th.  Well, they delivered.

    According to this list you can see they are planning a bunch of stuff including a phone, video card, TV, bluetooth speaker, tablet and 5.1 surround sound system.

    There are a number of things that jump out to indicate that this is simply hype, fake and a total waste of time.

    • Voodoo 6 PCI - PCI is what Voodoo2 and Voodoo3 used to add the video accelerator to existing systems.  With the advent of PCI Express it has become a dead format so building a card for that interface with that standard would be a waste of money, even to the retro crowd.
    • Smartphone - Unless it is a white box rebrand building a new phone from scratch is pointless. and how does a smart phone relate to the "old" 3Dfx??
    • Bluetooth speaker - Every BT Speaker on the market is a whitebox rebrand and not a mainstream item anyone would buy.
    • 5.1 Surround Sound System - "Maybe" if this was 2008 but these days nobody buys 5.1 channel sound, they buy 7.1.2 and then only install 5.1 speakers.  (cause: people are dumb)
    • 128GB Tablet - See the smartphone entry
    • SmartTV - Again, see the smartphone entry

    The last item on the list is that why will show at CEC 2022.  This is an attempt to fool people into thinking it is CES as there is no CEC show. 

    Overall I applaud whoever planned this and given that 3Dfx went under before twitter was a thing means that someone squatted on the twitter handle and is just now thinking it would be fun to troll the Internet.  Ultimately shame on NVIDIA for not securing their purchased property and allowing this to happen.

  • AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series Launch Day

    Published: Thursday, August 5, 2021 | By: Dennis

    The AMD APU has been a driving force in the PC market allowing users to build an affordable computer and still get enthusiast class graphics performance.  In the past the APU was somewhat limited by the "market" and treated as a specialized AIO platform designed to provide out of box performance that may only need DRAM and Storage to be installed.  The built in GPU and AMD processor would do the rest.

    In my opinion the first several generations of APU systems from AMD were total failures because there was no market and very little demand.  These days the APU systems would be replaced by a Raspberry Pi, which in some instances is a better platform so why bring it back?.

    It would seem that AMD is rebuilding the APU image by harnessing the power of the Zen 3 architecture and Radeon Graphics to create the Ryzen 5000 G-Series.  According to AMD this new processor can offer incredible 100 FPS performance in gaming and high-speed content creation while not leaving any of the other AMD technologies behind such as AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution, Radeon Boost, AMD Smart Access Memory and more.

    Having such a powerful combination is the key to building an affordable PC and while many enthusiasts will skoff at the notion of gaming on an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) there are many that welcome the opportunity to build their systems in stages with the option to upgrade graphics at a later time.

  • Cooler Master Launches The NR200P In 4 New Colorways

    Published: Friday, July 30, 2021 | By: Dennis

    One of the coolest cases I have reviewed was the Cooler Master NR200.  It is a simple case supporting Mini ITX motherboards, full sized video cards and SFX PSUs however, the build quality and fittment is off the charts.

    The case features thick metal panels, and aside from a few internal components there is no plastic anywhere.

    Well, it woudl seem they are now expanding the line to support more colors!

    The popularity of the original NR200(P) was made possible only by the community’s support. Having garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews and shifting an industry to make m-ITX builds more accessible, Cooler Master has decided that it is time to celebrate. All 4 colors are debuting during Cooler Master’s Summer Summit 2021:



    Flamingo Pink


    Caribbean Blue


    Sunset Orange


    Nightshade Purple

    To be honest, I'll be sticking with the basic white or black as I find that to be a better canvas for custom color based mods.  (aka, Painting!) but, for those looking to build a nice custom PC this case should be on your list, now in more colors!!

  • Redragon K552-R Kumara Keyboard @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Friday, July 30, 2021 | By: Dennis

    This company name always makes me chuckle, I know it isn't a 1:1 but, I am easily reminded of the "Flaming Dragon" scene in Tropic Thunder and how nobody believes who they are because their group has an unfamilar name.

    Names aside, the keyboard looks pretty much like a keyboard with some new lighting effects.

    What happens when you combine a minimalist design, gaming keyboard features, TKL form factor, and great price? You end up with the Redragon K552 Kumara, a budget-prioritizing keyboard that aims to replace your OEM keyboard at not much more in cost, but way more in functionality and customization.

    I'm not sure I would call a "10-key-less" keyboard a minimalist design but I do like how the keyboard switches are clear offering a new way for the RGB light to leak out around the keycaps.  Not a new idea and would likely offer a ton of glare but, it makes the keyboard look pretty good from a distance.

  • Noctua presents CPU coolers for Intel’s LGA4189 Xeon platform

    Published: Friday, July 30, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Vienna, July 29th 2021 – Noctua today presented four CPU coolers and a separate mounting kit for Intel’s LGA4189 platform. The new NH-U14S DX-4189, NH-U12S DX-4189, NH-U9 DX-4189 and NH-D9 DX-4189 4U are ideal for creating whisper-quiet high-end workstations using Intel’s just-announced Ice Lake-64L based W3300 series Xeon processors for LGA4189. In addition to the new DX-4189 coolers, the NM-i4189 mounting kit allows Noctua DX-3647 and TR4-SP3 series coolers to be installed on LGA4189.

    “DX line CPU coolers have become a default choice in premium grade quiet cooling solutions for Intel Xeon processors”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “The latest revision for LGA4189 comprises 14, 12 and two 9cm models, covering anything from spacious workstation cases to 4U rack-mount servers.”

    The new NH-U14S DX-4189, NH-U12S DX-4189, NH-U9 DX-4189 and NH-D9 DX-4189 4U are dedicated, customised solutions for Intel’s professional LGA4189 platform (Whitley), which makes them an ideal fit for both Ice Lake-SP based 3rd generation Xeon Scalable CPUs (Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze) and W-3300 series Xeon processors for workstations (Ice Lake-64L). Whereas the large 14cm NH-U14S DX-4189 and 12cm NH-U12S DX-4189 are an excellent choice for tower-style cases and thus lend themselves to use in high-performance quiet workstations, the smaller NH-D9 DX-4189 4U and NH-U9 DX-4189 fit 4U cases, which makes them perfect for more compact workstations as well as 4U class rack-mount servers that need to run as quietly as possible. While the 14cm model relies on a single NF-A15 PWM fan to achieve maximum performance, thanks to its large surface area, the 12cm and 9cm models use dual fan configurations with two NF-A12x25 (NH-U12S DX-4189) and NF-A9 (NH-D9 DX-4189 4U and NH-U9 DX-4189) fans to ensure outstanding performance despite their smaller size and surface area.

    While the NH-U9’s direction of airflow is perpendicular to the long axis of the LGA4189 socket, the NH-D9’s direction of airflow is parallel to the long axis of the LGA4189 socket. This makes the NH-U9 ideal for workstation builds where the top PCIe slot must not be blocked and this orientation is required for having the cooler exhaust towards the I/O panel. By contrast, the NH-D9 is a great choice for server builds where the cooler’s fans should work in tandem with the airflow inside the chassis, or for workstation builds where this orientation is required for having the cooler exhaust towards the top of the case.

    Integrating standard Intel parts such as the anti-tilt mechanism, Torx® T30 PEEK nuts and the LGA4189-4 (P4) CPU carrier frame, the coolers’ SecuFirm2™ mounting system is fully compliant with Intel’s installation guidelines and provides a familiar mounting procedure for experienced LGA4189 users. A Torx® T30 mounting tool is included.

    In addition to the new DX-4189 coolers, the NM-i4189 mounting kit allows Noctua DX-3647 and TR4-SP3 series coolers to be installed on LGA4189.

  • Amazon is Killing off Nvidia GPUs with its new MMO

    Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 | By: Dennis

    I've never been into playing MMO, there is something about the monthly fee and pressure to play that doesn't make it fun.  Then you have to deal with "other people" messing with your stuff and I aint got time for that.

    But, that is just my opinion and I know there is a HUGE group of people who not only disagree but have extra time to devote to playing a game with friends.  Funny thing is, I have been known to play a little Golf which is basically the real world version of a MMO, esp if you throw in Country Club fees.

    Anyhow, I digress because the new Amazon MMO has been cited as killing off high end RTX 3090 cards due to unchecked framerates in many of the loading screens.  Normally the NVIDIA hardware will monitor this but, something in the game is bypassing those checks and killing the VRM.

    Here is a clip from PCGamer.com who has been following the story.

    New World makes standard DirectX calls as provided by the Windows API. We have seen no indication of widespread issues with 3090s, either in the beta or during our many months of alpha testing.

    The New World Closed Beta is safe to play. In order to further reassure players, we will implement a patch today that caps frames per second on our menu screen. We’re grateful for the support New World is receiving from players around the world, and will keep listening to their feedback throughout Beta and beyond."

    Update:
    An Amazon customer service rep acknowledged an issue with "Nvidia RTX 3090 Series & 100% GPU Usage" in a forum post on Wednesday. The developer recommends turning off "the overrides in the driver settings," but the only specific instruction given is to set 'Max Frame Rate' to 'Off' in the Nvidia control panel (its default state) and rely on the in-game frame rate limiting option.

    The post does not respond to claims that the issue has broken certain RTX 3090s.

    They go on to say that things like "overclocking" and "voltage tweaks could be a contributing factor along with being mostly isolated to EVGA RTX 3090 cards.

    This would not be the first time that EVGA cards have been singled out, or maybe it should be the EVGA "users" doing what EVGA "users" do that should be to blame.