Upgrading from an Intel Core i7-2600K: Testing Sandy Bridge in 2019

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One of the most popular processors of the last decade has been the Intel Core i7-2600K. The design was revolutionary, as it offered a significant jump in single core performance, efficiency, and the top line processor was very overclockable. With the next few generations of processors from Intel being less exciting, or not giving users reasons to upgrade, and the phrase ‘I’ll stay with my 2600K’ became ubiquitous on forums, and is even used today. For this review, we dusted off our box of old CPUs and put it in for a run through our 2019 benchmarks, both at stock and overclocked, to see if it is still a mainstream champion.

Google Announces Pixel 3a & Pixel 3a XL – Mid-Range Phones With Flagship Camera

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Google’s Pixel smartphone line-up has been a mainstay of the industry for a few years now. We’re all familiar with devices such as the latest Pixel 3 which is Google’s latest entry in the high-end flagship market. In particular Google puts a lot of emphasis on the cameras of the Pixel devices, and last year in particular, Google, along with Huawei, have raised the bar in terms of what is possible to achieve thanks to computational photography.

While the Pixel devices definitely have their strengths, one inarguable competitive weakness of the phones is their pricing. At an official MSRP and current Google store price of $799 for the Pixel 3 and $899 for the 3 XL, Google demands quite a lot, especially in view of other newer possibly more attractive options from the competition.

In an attempt to widen its product range and adhere to a more price-sensitive audience, today we see the introduction of the new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. The two new phones are very much placed at more mid-range price-points, yet without compromising much on what Google sees as the keystone of the Pixel phones: the camera.

Going over the specifications of the two new phones:

Google Pixel 3a’s
  Pixel 3a Pixel 3a XL
SoC Snapdragon 670

2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
@ 2.0GHz 
6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz

Adreno 615

DRAM 4GB LPDDR4X
Display 5.6" OLED
2220 x 1080 (18:9)
6.0" OLED
2220 x 1080 (18:9)
Size Height 151.3 mm 160.1 mm
Width 70.1 mm 76.1 mm
Depth 8.2 mm 8.2 mm
Weight 147 grams 167 grams
Battery Capacity 3000mAh 3700mAh
Wireless Charging
Rear Cameras
Main 12.2MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PDAF
f/1.8 76° lens with OIS
Telephoto
Wide
Extra
Front Camera 8MP 1.12µm
f/2.2 84° lens; fixed focus
Storage 64GB
I/O USB-C
3.5mm headphone jack
Wireless (local) 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 LE + NFC
Cellular UE Category 11 (DL) / Category 5 (UL)
600Mbit/s DL (3xCA 2×2 MIMO)
75Mbit/s UL
Other Features Dual Speakers, 18W Fast Charging
Dual-SIM 1x nanoSIM
Launch Price $399 / £399 $479 / £469

At the heart of both phones we find a new Snapdragon 670 SoC from Qualcomm. The chip was announced last August and comes with a 2+6 CPU core configuration consisting of 2 Cortex A75 cores at 2GHz and 6 Cortex A55 cores at 1.7GHz, accompanied by an Adreno 615 GPU. The chip is manufactured on Samsung’s 10LPP process node.

It’s actually quite odd to see Google go with the Snapdragon 670, given that Qualcomm offers a slew of other newer options such as the Snapdragon 675. Here it’s possible that the Pixel 3a phones just come at an odd timing between generations and weren’t able to employ the newer SoC.

Google fits the Pixel 3a’s with 4GB of LPDDR4X, which is a fair for mid-range devices. In terms of storage, the devices comes with a single 64GB option without expandable storage.

Design-wise, both phones looks night identical to the smaller Pixel 3, using the same design language and characteristic features. It’s interesting that for the bigger Pixel 3a XL, Google also opted to use the notch-less design, avoiding this much critiqued aspect of the Pixel 3 XL.

Both phones continue to employ OLED panels. The smaller Pixel 3a comes with a 5.6” 18:9 screen with a resolution of 2220 x 1080. The larger 3a XL has a 6.0” screen with the same resolution.

Instead of using a glass back like on the Pixel 3 series, the new Pixel 3a’s come with unibody polycarbonate designs. On one hand, this reduces the weight of the phones, with the Pixel 3a coming in at 147g and the XL at 167g, but also should result in a more scratch prone phone.

Battery capacity for the smaller 3a is 3000mAh while the XL gets a notably larger 3700mAh battery.

Even though Google removed the port 2 years ago in the Pixel 2, the new Pixel 3a sees the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. We live in quite the weird world today where vendors decide that removing a feature on t

Shuttle XPC slim DH370 mini-PC Review: A Compact Digital Signage Powerhouse

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Small form-factor (SFF) machines have predominantly used 5W – 45W TDP processors. The introduction of the mini-STX form-factor standardized a compact form factor for systems with processors having a TDP up to 65W. However, the mini-STX form-factor along with the associated cooling system is still too bulky for certain use-cases. Shuttle’s XPC slim line aims to serve the market segment requiring standard desktop processors in a compact form factor. These computers are a fit for a variety of business and commercial use-cases. Today’s review takes a look at the Shuttle XPC slim DH370, a barebones PC platform that can accommodate the Intel 8th Gen. desktop processors.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Review, Feat. Zotac: Fighting Brute Force With Power Efficiency

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Following up on last week’s launch of NVIDIA’s new budget video card, the GeForce GTX 1650, today we’re taking a look at our first card, courtesy of Zotac. Coming in at $149, the newest member of the GeForce family brings up the rear of the GeForce product stack, offering NVIDIA’s latest architecture in a low-power, 1080p-with-compromises gaming video card with a lower price to match.

The LG G8 Review: Solid, But Not Great

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Only a few years ago LG was largely considered one of the top smartphone brands, competing alongside Samsung and the likes of HTC for marketshare. In the last few years however, LG has had quite a bit of a rough time, unable to deliver differentiating products and sometimes failing to deliver on some important basics in a smartphone.

Today, the new LG G8 ThinQ is the newest iteration in LG’s line-up, bringing the newest technologies to the table and improving on last year’s model. One important thing to note about the G8 is that LG is no longer positioning the phone as the company’s flagship product, a position which now officially belongs to the V-series such as the upcoming V50.

The G8 thus doesn’t try to be revolutionary, and instead focuses on improving on some of the core aspects of what makes it a smartphone, with some gimmicks thrown in in an attempt to differentiate itself. Arguably, the most important distinction for the G8 is that this is the first phone in the series that comes with an OLED screen which represents a major shift in terms of LG’s past product segmentation between the G and V series.

ASRock DeskMini A300 Review: An Affordable DIY AMD Ryzen mini-PC

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Small form-factor (SFF) machines have emerged as a major growth segment in the desktop PC market. Performance per watt is an important metric for such systems. Intel has pretty much been the only game in town for such computers, given that AMD platforms prior to the launch of Ryzen could barely compete on that metric. The NUC (UCFF) and mini-STX (5×5) were introduced by Intel as the standard motherboard sizes for the SFF market. We have previously seen AMD-based NUC-like platforms (namely, the Zotac ZBOX CA320 nano back in 2014), and earlier this year, ASRock became the first vendor to announce an AMD-based mini-STX system – the DeskMini A300. Read on to find out how the DeskMini A300 stacks up against other contemporary SFF PCs.

The Acer Predator Triton 500 Laptop Review: Going Thin with GeForce RTX 2080

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Gaming laptops continue to be a bright spot in the PC market, and practically every manufacturer offers some sort of system targeted at gamers. Some of them more successfully target the market than others, offering features that improve gameplay and visuals, and others focus more on what I’ll politely call the “gaming laptop aesthetic” which includes a myriad of multi-colored LEDs, and generally angular design cues. Diving head-first into that subject, today we’re taking a look at Acer’s gaming-focused Predator Triton 500 laptop. Although Acer has touched on a couple of the aesthetic design choices, they’ve kept it subtle, and still offer all of the accoutrements expected in a premium gaming laptop design.

Hands On with the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom: 6.6-inch OLED with No Notch and Popup Selfie Camera

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There are two distinct lines of development in the modern high-end smartphone space: the move to full screen devices, and the premium feature that makes a user go ‘wow’. For the new OPPO Reno series of smartphones, it succeeds on both fronts: it has a no-notch front display, and in order to provide that selfie camera, it has a motorized pop-up camera that comes out of the top. The question is if it is enough to draw users into buying the smartphone.

The Huawei P30 & P30 Pro Reviews: Photography Enhanced

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The last year has been extremely exciting period for Huawei and its products: Starting with the P20, the company’s flagships have been truly transformative in terms of their camera photography capabilities. The P20 and P20 Pro last year were extremely intriguing products for the industry, as they ushered in the first step towards an ever more prevalent aspect of modern cameras: computational photography.

Huawei had pioneered the technique to bring new innovative use-cases such as the introduction of multi-frame combination mechanism for low-light capture (a.k.a. Night Mode), which really raised the bar and lead the way in terms of what we expect smartphone cameras be capable of in low light. Huawei didn’t only innovate in terms of software, but also using quite exotic hardware camera sensors, such as the 40MP units in the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro.

This year, Huawei doubled down on the photography aspects of its predecessors with the introduction of the new P30 and P30 Pro. The two new flagships pick up where the P20s left off, and provide yet again a new set of generational improvements to the camera setups. This year, along with software optimisations, we yet again see big changes in the hardware of the cameras, with the introduction of an industry first RYYB 40MP main camera sensor, as well as the addition of an even more exotic 5x telephoto camera module that is enabled via a prism mirror and a 90° sensor layout.

Naturally, the P30 and P30 Pro also bring overall improvements and redesigns in the other aspects of what makes them flagship smartphones, with larger batteries, new screens, and overall design revamps.

Sony Teases Next-Gen PlayStation: Custom AMD Chip with Zen 2 CPU & Navi GPU, SSD Too

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After years of speculation about what could be and what Sony may be up to, the company is finally starting to ramp up the long launch cycle for their next-generation PlayStation console. In an exclusive article published this morning via Wired, Sony games guru and system lead system architect Mark Cerny laid out a few tantalizing tidbits about the still unnamed console, offering some basic information on the underlying system architecture while promising that it’s “no mere upgrade.”

The focal point of Wired’s article is, as many AnandTech readers would expect, on the chip at the heart of the system. Cerny and Sony (and AMD) are now confirming that yes, AMD is once again putting the console’s central processor together. The cutting-edge chip will be built on an unnamed 7nm process, and will incorporate all of AMD’s latest Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU technologies. And while neither Cerny nor AMD are going quite so far as to call it an APU – AMD’s favored name for a chip with CPU and GPU cores integrated – it’s clear that this is very much a single chip, and seemingly an APU in everything but name.

The Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano Fanless mini-PC Review: A Promising HTPC Platform

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Zotac is a major player in the SFF PC space, and the emergence of the ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) NUCs has broadened the available market for ther mini-PCs. The company markets their passively-cooled machines under the C-series moniker. Their C-series nano units adopt a form-factor very similar to Intel’s NUCs, providing performance and thermal efficiency commensurate with their size.

The company’s latest models, the CI6xx nano units, are based on the Kaby Lake-Refresh U-series SiPs, and they aim to improve on the older C-series units by adopting a larger form factor and adding more platform features. Today, we are taking a look at the ZBOX CI660 nano – Zotac’s flagship in the CI6xx lineup.

The GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI Motherboard Review: A Sturdy $200 Surprise

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On Intel’s desktop Z390 chipset, there are around 7 different ATX sized motherboards to choose from in the $180-200 price bracket. This not only puts pressure on manufacturers to deliver a high blend of premium features for a better price than the competition and use unique visuals like a peacock’s plume to entice users. GIGABYTE’s Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI is one with its $195 price tag. The Aorus brand is aimed squarely at gamers and the Z390 Aorus Pro WIFI looks to stake GIGABYTEs claim in a highly contested segment with a premium feature set at an affordable price.

AMD Launches 2nd Gen Ryzen Pro & Athlon Pro APUs

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AMD on Monday introduced four new processors aimed at commercial laptops. The new AMD Ryzen Pro 3000-series and AMD Athlon Pro 300-series processors pack up to four x86 cores as well as AMD’s Radeon Vega integrated graphics. Because of improved power efficiency, AMD says that laptops powered by its latest Ryzen Pro APUs will work for up to 12 hours when used for general office workloads.

Intel’s Bean Canyon (NUC8i7BEH) Coffee Lake NUC Review – Ticking the Right Boxes

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Intel’s NUCs have managed to develop a strong market for ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) machines since they were introduced in the early 2010s. Each CPU generation has seen Intel put out stronger versions of the NUC (both in terms of performance and features) in a regular cadence. In parallel, we have seen experiments with slightly larger form-factors (such as the Skull Canyon and Hades Canyon NUCs). Today, we are looking at Intel’s flagship in their regular NUC category – the Core i7-based Bean Canyon (NUC8i7BEH).

Intel Launches the Xeon D-1600 Family: Upgrades to Xeon D-1500

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Even if you’ve been keeping track of Intel’s Xeon family lines, the Xeon D family could probably give you cause for confusion. The same ‘generation’ of products spans a wide range of processors, from the dense ECC-enabled server all the way through to a big bustling cryptography and a network acceleration chip, when in actual fact each of these products is built on different internal microarchitectures. Today Intel is at it again, with the new Xeon D-1600 family.

The Intel Second Generation Xeon Scalable: Cascade Lake, Now with Up To 56-Cores and Optane!

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The cadence of Intel’s enterprise processor portfolio is designed to support customers that use the hardware with a guarantee of socket and platform support for at least three years. As a result, we typically get two lots of processors per socket: Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, Broadwell and Haswell, and now Cascade Lake joins Skylake. Intel’s new Second Generation Xeon Scalable (the official name) still comes in the new ‘Platinum / Gold / Silver / Bronze’ nomenclature, but this time offering up to 56 cores if you want the processor equivalent of Wolverine at your disposal. Not only is Intel offering more cores, but there’s Optane support, faster DRAM, new configurations, and better specialization that before. Intel also surprised us with better-than-expected hardware support for Spectre and Meltdown mitigations while still providing higher performance overall.

Intel’s Enterprise Extravaganza 2019: Launching Cascade Lake, Optane DCPMM, Agilex FPGAs, 100G Ethernet, and Xeon D-1600

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Today is the big day in 2019 for Intel’s Enterprise product announcements, combining some products that should be available from today and a few others set to be available in the next few months. Rather than go for a staggered approach, we have it all in one: processors, accelerators, networking, and edge compute. Here’s a quick run-down of what’s happening today, along with links to all of our deeper dive articles, our reviews, and announcement analysis.

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ Snapdragon & Exynos Review: Almost Perfect, Yet So Flawed

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We’ve been in 2019 for a while. Although we’ve covered one or two smartphones in the last couple of months of the calendar year, the true “2019 flagship” phone season is really only starting now. Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is among the first releases in this new wave of phones, and for many markets it outright is the very first of a brand-new generation.

Samsung mixed things up this year by announcing the Galaxy S10 in San Francisco instead of the usual Mobile World Congress event. Though not unprecedented, the big reason here for the change in venues was to reflect Samsung’s close collaboration with US carriers such as Verizon on 5G and other matters. Indeed 5G has been pretty much the buzzword for the last year or more, and the last few months have been especially busy in this regard. To that end, there will be a 5G model of the S10, however with its limited availability it doesn’t have nearly the same mass-market appeal as the new mainstream variants of the Galaxy 10.

As we’re nearing this upcoming transition period in technology, the new Galaxy S10 models have instead needed to double-down on the fundamental aspects of the phones in order to entice consumers who are increasingly holding on to their smartphones for three years or more. Here the introduction of a new screen, powerful hardware, bigger batteries, as well as a brand new triple camera setup gives users quite a number of reasons to upgrade.

Today we’ll be reviewing the lead member of the Galaxy S10 family, the Galaxy S10+. And in true AnandTech tradition, we’re going to look at both variants of Samsung’s king of phones: the North American Snapdragon 855 model, as well as the European Exynos 9820 model. With Samsung using different SoCs for what are otherwise (nearly) identical phones, this gives us a unique opportunity to take an in-depth look at the two new processors and compare & contrast them under very similar circumstances. And of course, there’s a great deal to dig into with the Galaxy S10’s new screen and triple-module camera setup. This is going to be a long piece so prepare yourselves!

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