Samsung Announces The Galaxy S10: 10th Anniversary Trio

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It’s hard to believe, but it’s actually been 10 years now since Samsung released the first iteration of the Galaxy line of phones. The Galaxy S started a wave of success for Samsung that continued on in its various iterations over the years.

Today, in a slight change of pace, Samsung is holding the launch event of the new Galaxy S10 out in San Franciso – a few days earlier than the usual Barcelona/MWC unveiling.

The Galaxy S10 represents a new design iteration for Samsung, updating the “characteristic” look that the company tends to maintain for two generations. This year, Samsung does not only change venue as well as its product design, it also mixes up the traditional model line-up with the introduction of a new lower-end Galaxy S10 model.

Today’s announcement covers the new Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+, representing a trio of devices celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Samsung’s flagship line-up.

As is tradition, the easiest way to talk about what’s announced today is to present the specification sheets of the three models and dive into the differentiation factors between the different models:

The Samsung 983 ZET (Z-NAND) SSD Review: How Fast Can Flash Memory Get?

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Samsung’s 983 ZET is a high-end enterprise SSD and the first retail drive to feature Samsung’s low-latency SLC Z-NAND flash memory. Designed for highly performance-bound workloads that favor IOPS and minimal latency above all else, the 983 ZET is designed to compete with the likes Intel’s Optane SSDs and their underlying 3D XPoint memory. Meanwhile, by building a drive with some of the best flash memory ever designed, Samsung is giving us an up-close look at the answer to a very interesting question: just how fast can flash memory get?

The Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Review: Absolutely AMD – Ryzen Plus Polaris

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Today we are taking a look at the Acer Nitro 5, which is one of the least expensive ways to get into a gaming laptop. Acer offers several models, with the lowest cost offering coming in at just $669.99 MSRP, while the top of this range capping out at $999.99. Regardless of the price range you are looking at, all of the Acer Nitro 5 models offer pretty reasonable feature set, with a dGPU at least 8 GB of RAM, and other than the lowest-priced tiers, SSD storage as well. There’s a lot of laptop here for the price, and Acer has options for this entire end of the market with the Nitro 5.

Exploring Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Performance, Feat. PowerColor’s Gaming Station & Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano

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Thunderbolt 3 has enabled a number of interesting use-cases that were simply not possible with earlier high-speed external interfaces. The technology allows for four lanes of PCIe 3.0 to become available over a USB Type-C interface, which can be further combined with power, DisplayPort video, and other forms of data. As a result, one of the most prominent use-cases for Thunderbolt 3 has been using it to attach an external GPU. DIY enthusiasts have previously tried this with Thunderbolt 2 enclosures, but, there was no official support from the vendors. This changed with Thunderbolt 3 and the creation of an official eGFX standard.

These days, a number of eGFX enclosures are already available in the market. For today’s review we’re taking a look at PowerColor’s Gaming Station eGFX enclosure and their Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano GPU. Along with looking at the eGFX setup itself, we’re also using the chance to take a look at identifying how the performance of the same eGFX solution can vary across systems with different capabilities, to give us an idea of how much the host system influences performance versus GPU or bandwidth bottlenecks.

Tiny at $200: ASUS Z390-I Gaming vs. ASRock Z390 Gaming-ITX/ac Review

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With the popularity of small form factor systems ever increasing, today we reviewing two of the most attractive and high-end mini-ITX motherboards on the Z390 chipset which sit happily in an optimum price bracket. Both the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-I Gaming and the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac are around the $200 mark, which is a very popular enthusiast price point for small form factor high powered motherboards. Both motherboards also share similar features, including dual M.2 slots for storage and 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi modules. Nonetheless, there are differences between the two worth examining.

The AMD Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X CPU Review

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Despite AMDs resurgence to kick it with the high end of mainstream processors, the biggest volume sales occur more in the mid-range where the parts are often competitively priced. In the segment, AMD currently has the Ryzen 5 2600 and the 2400G at retail, but OEMs can use two others: the 2500X and the 2300X. We don’t know if we’ll ever see these at retail, but we obtained both CPUs for a review.

The Apple iPhone XR Review: A Different Display Leads To Brilliant Battery Life

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The latest generation of iPhones have been out for a couple of months now – we’ve extensively reviewed the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max shortly after their official release. Missing in the review was the lower-tiered iPhone XR – the main reason for this being Apple deciding to release this variant a month after the original XS models had become available. Today, albeit a bit late, we finally got the chance to get our hands on a unit, and investigate some of the differentiating factors of the iPhone XR – such as the LCD screen and the phone’s overall battery life.

The AMD Radeon VII Review: An Unexpected Shot At The High-End

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After releasing a late-generation product refresh in November in the form of the Radeon RX 590, we had expected AMD’s consumer side to be done for a while. Instead, AMD made a rather unexpected announcement at CES 2019 last month: the company would be releasing a new high-end consumer card, the Radeon VII (Seven). Positioned as their latest flagship graphics card for gamers and content creators alike, it would once agian be AMD’s turn to court enthusiast gamers. Now launching today – on the 7th, appropriately enough – we’re taking a look at AMD’s latest card, to see how the Radeon VII measures up to the challenge.

The Intel Xeon W-3175X Review: 28 Unlocked Cores, $2999

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Intel has always ensured that its high-end server platforms, one where multiple CPUs can act as a single system, have the highest core count processors. These servers go into the most expensive deployments, so they can afford the most expensive silicon to produce. The consumer market by contrast is very price sensitive by comparison, so consumers get fewer cores. However, consumers have always asked for a way of getting all of those cores, preferably in an overclockable chip, at more reasonable prices. Intel has answered your call, with the Xeon W-3175X. All 28-cores, all the time. This is our review.

 

CES 2019 Question and Answer Session with AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su

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One of the major highlights of CES was the reveal of AMD’s next generation Matisse processor. With the cores built on TSMC’s 7nm process, the demonstration of the eight core processor showed performance parity with Intel’s latest eight core, 5 GHz consumer processor – all while consuming less power than the Intel part. AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, was on stage to present both Matisse, due for launch in the middle of 2019, and the new line of Radeon VII graphics cards, also using TSMC’s 7nm. We caught up with Lisa for part of a roundtable Q&A session after the keynote presentation.

Honor Launches The View20: A 48MP Camera Review

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Last week Honor launched its new 2019 flagship device: the Honor View20. The new flagship phone is the follow-up to last year’s View10, a new segment entry in Honor’s usual line-up. The View series is characterised by their early adoption of full-screen, minimalistic bezel designs; last year’s View10 was one of the early devices bringing 18:9 aspect ratio screens to the masses, while this year’s new View20 further improves the screen-to-body ratio with the introduction of a hole-in-display front-camera setup.

While the hole-in-display camera setup of the View20 is certainly its first striking design characteristic, Honor is also positioning the View20 as a special camera phone as it is one of the first of a wave of 48MP camera sensor devices sporting Sony’s new IMX586.

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: A New High-End Challenger

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Today we’re taking a look at the latest addition in HyperX’s arsenal of gaming peripherals, the Alloy Elite RGB. Based around genuine Cherry MX RGB Red switches, the latest version of the Alloy Elite mechanical keyboard goes well beyond its predecessor, adding advanced programmability options, improved software, and RGB lighting. As a result, HyperX’s latest keyboard is a much stronger contender for the high-end mechanical keyboard market.

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus (250GB, 1TB) NVMe SSD Review: 96-Layer 3D NAND

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Samsung is updating its mainstream NVMe SSD with a new generation of 3D NAND that brings improved performance and power efficiency. The new ‘Samsung 970 EVO Plus’ keeps the same controller as last year’s 970 EVO, but the upgrade to 96-layer 3D TLC NAND is important enough to deserve the new product name. In our review, we’ve been testing the 250GB and 1TB NVMe M.2 models.

The Western Digital WD Black SN750 SSD Review: Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?

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Last year Western Digital overhauled their WD Black NVMe SSD with an upgrade to 3D NAND and a new in-house SSD controller, transforming the product line from one of the slowest NVMe drives to one of the top high-end competitors. Now the third generation WD Black SSD is here, with the model number SN750 to avoid confusion with its predecessors. (Internally, last year’s model was known as the SN700, and the OEM version was the SN720.) The new WD Black SN750 is an incremental update over last year’s model, keeping the same basic controller and 64L 3D NAND combination but refining the firmware and adding a 2TB option. Western Digital is also shifting their marketing efforts more toward gamers with the addition of SKUs featuring a large heatsink.

The Snapdragon 855 Performance Preview: Setting the Stage for Flagship Android 2019

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As we get ever closer to the releases of various Android vendor’s newest generation devices, Qualcomm continues its tradition of showcasing the performance of its newest generation SoC ahead of time, giving us a preview and a glimpse of what to expect of the upcoming commercial devices. This year, the company has shuffled the schedule around a bit, and instead of hosting the event at their San Diego headquarters, and we were able to get a hands-on with the Snapdragon 855 at CES before the show had started. Today we’re be looking in quite extensive detail on how exactly the new Snapdragon chipset performs, as well as shedding some light on some important unanswered technical questions on some aspects of the SoC.

The $60 CPU Question: AMD Athlon 200GE or Intel Pentium Gold G5400? A Review

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In the course of our reviews, when we get a chance to get hands on with random processors, we run our test suite and add the data to our database. Sometimes that doesn’t materialize directly into a review, but at least we have the data. Two very similar CPUs have come across my desk recently: AMD’s dual core Athlon 200GE, and Intel’s Pentium G5400. Both chips are around the $60 mark, have some form of integrated graphics, and are aimed at the cheapest systems.

AMD Reveals Radeon VII: High-End 7nm Vega Video Card Arrives February 7th for $699

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As it turns out, the video card wars are going to charge into 2019 quite a bit hotter than any of us were expecting. Moments ago, as part of AMD’s CES 2019 keynote, CEO Dr. Lisa Su announced that AMD will be releasing a new high-end, high-performance Radeon graphics card. Dubbed the Radeon VII (Seven), AMD has their eyes set on countering NVIDIA’s previously untouchable GeForce RTX 2080. And, if the card lives up to AMD’s expectations, then come February 7th it may just as well do that.

Today’s announcement is interesting in that it’s just as much about technology as it is the 3D chess that is the market positioning fights between AMD and NVIDIA. Technically AMD isn’t announcing any new GPUs here – regular readers will correctly guess that we’re talking about Vega 20 – but the situation in the high-end market has played out such that there’s now a window for AMD to bring their cutting-edge Vega 20 GPU to the consumer market, and this is a window AMD is looking to take full advantage of.

At a high level then, the Radeon VII employs a slightly cut down version of AMD’s Vega 20 GPU. With 60 of 64 CUs enabled, it actually has a few less CUs than AMD’s previous flagship, the Radeon RX Vega 64, but it makes up for the loss with much higher clockspeeds and a much more powerful memory and pixel throughput backend. As a result, AMD says that the Radeon VII should beat their former flagship by anywhere between 20% and 42% depending on the game (with an overall average of 29%), which on paper would be just enough to put the card in spitting distance of NVIDIA’s RTX 2080, and making it a viable and competitive 4K gaming card.

Intel’s Keynote at CES 2019: 10nm, Ice Lake, Lakefield, Snow Ridge, Cascade Lake

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This year it seems that Intel is finally ready to talk about 10nm. After next-to-nothing on the subject at CES 2018, Intel is now talking about three new processor families: Ice Lake, Lakefield, and Snow Ridge. Despite the naming, it looks like Intel might be coming in out of the cold, to finally let it go, and roadmaps on upcoming products are being discussed.

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AMD Radeon Series Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon VII AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 AMD Radeon RX 590 AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
Stream Processors 3840
(60 CUs)
4096
(64 CUs)
2304
(36 CUs)
4096
(64 CUs)
ROPs 128 64 32 64
Base Clock ? 1247MHz 1469MHz N/A
Boost Clock 1800MHz 1546MHz 1545MHz 1050MHz
Memory Clock 2.0Gbps HBM2 1.89Gbps HBM2 8Gbps GDDR5 1Gbps HBM
Memory Bus Width 4096-bit 2048-bit 256-bit 4096-bit
VRAM 16GB 8GB 8GB 4GB
Single Precision Perf. 13.8 TFLOPS 12.7 TFLOPS 7.1 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Board Power 300W? 295W 225W 275W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 7nm GloFo 14nm GloFo/Samsung 12nm TSMC 28nm
GPU Vega 20 Vega 10 Polaris 30 Fiji
Architecture Vega
(GCN 5)
Vega
(GCN 5)
GCN 4 GCN 3
PCIe 4.0 x16
3.0 x16
3.0 x16 3.0 x16 3.0 x16
Transistor Count 13.2B 12.5B 5.7B 8.9B
Launch Date 02/07/2019 08/14/2017 11/15/2018 06/24/2015
Launch Price $699 $599