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Jon Sutton
on 19 April 2018 at 17:36

Microsoft is looking for what appears to be new developers for future Xbox consoles. A job listing has already gone up for a senior electrical engineer to take on the role of DRAM Memory Lead, with all signs pointing towards it being Microsoft’s successor to the Xbox One X.

The candidate will be responsible for leading up DRAM solutions for the Xbox console hardware development team. This includes being well versed in DDR3, GDDR5, GDDR6, and any upcoming DRAM technologies. This is the first solid hint we’ve had from Microsoft that it will be using GDDR6 memory as the standard for its upcoming console, which we’ll call Xbox Two for simplicity’s sake.

Neil Soutter
on 18 April 2018 at 15:54

ASUS has announced ‘AREZ’, the first of its new AMD Radeon-focused gaming graphics cards. The new range has been announced in response to Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program, which restricts GeForce graphics cards from being marketed under the same branding as AMD cards.

The ASUS AREZ GPUs have been created as a loophole to get around Nvidia’s restrictions, and will effectively form a new sub-brand for ASUS going forward. They’re the first AIB partner to announce a new branding range since Nvidia announced its controversial initiative. The name stems from ‘Ares’, the Greek god of war, with a ‘Z’ thrown in there for that full gamer effect.

Jon Sutton
on 18 April 2018 at 12:42

AMD has at long last responded to Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program (GPP) with a charged statement; a call to arms if you will. It sounds as if Team Red is none too pleased with marketing decisions it deems antithetical to PC gaming. Nothing sums this up more than the closing statement of Scott Herkelman from Radeon Technologies Group, who declares “We believe that freedom of choice in PC gaming isn’t a privilege. It’s a right.”

Nvidia GPP, to borrow from what Stu explained yesterday, is a program that Nvidia’s OEM and AIB partners can sign up to in order to get their hands on the latest innovations, work with Nvidia’s engineering teams, and also engage in cross-brand marketing. Partners also benefit from discounted prices and priority allocations of GPUs versus those who don’t sign up to become GPP partners.

Jon Sutton
on 17 April 2018 at 17:29

Intel’s just announced a pretty neat trick - the ability to use its integrated GPUs to help eliminate any potential malware without impacting CPU performance. This threat detection enhancement comes after Intel faced a lot of criticism for its Meltdown and Spectre security flaws earlier this year, and is one of these two new methods of threat detection announced today.

"Our value to the industry is really to understand how we can use our silicon to improve these outcomes," said Rick Echevarria, VP of Intel’s software and services group. "Malware is one of the fastest evolving workloads we're dealing with. It's evolving to evade threat detection."

Stuart Thomas
on 17 April 2018 at 16:10

Uh oh, things may be about to get a bit messy for Nvidia. DigitalTrends is suggesting that antitrust regulators may be investigating Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program (GPP) over fears it could be engaged in anti-competitive practices.

Nvidia’s GPP is a program that Nvidia’s OEM and AIB partners can sign up to in order to get their hands on the latest innovations, work with Nvidia’s engineering teams, and also engage in cross-brand marketing. Partners also benefit from discounted prices and priority allocations of GPUs versus those who don’t sign up to become GPP partners.

Neil Soutter
on 17 April 2018 at 14:05

Quite a curious thing has just popped up on the interwebs. It looks as if Intel may be preparing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Intel 8086, its first ever x86 processor, with the launch of a 40th Anniversary Intel Core i7-8086K special edition CPU.

The Intel 8086 was a bit before my time, but it turns 40 in June and Intel looks to have something special in the pipeline to celebrate this fact.

Stuart Thomas
on 17 April 2018 at 11:20

The escalating prices of Flash NAND memory could be set to decline heading into Q2 2018. Prices of 3D Flash NAND have been steadily escalating since 2016, pushing up the cost of solid-state drives in the process. The primary reason for this is escalating demand from the smartphone markets, each phone manufacturer driving up the average NAND Flash memory per phone in an effort to compete. The knock-on effect has meant more expensive SSDs and M.2 drives.

However, memory market research analyst DRAMeXchange has identified a slight oversupply of the NAND Flash market throughout the first quarter of 2018. This oversupply is expected to remain throughout Q2 2018, causing the prices to decline.

Neil Soutter
on 16 April 2018 at 14:20

Some lucky mites have already got AMD’s new Ryzen 2000 processors in their mitts ahead of their official launch this Thursday, and they’ve been doing what’s only good and right and overclocking the bejesus out of them.

Both the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and the Radeon 5 2600X have been overclocked to an impressive 5.8GH already. Not bad at all for a first attempt.

Stuart Thomas
on 15 April 2018 at 14:17

Take a smidgen of salt with this, but HardOCP ‘s Kyle Bennett has suggested that both Dell and HP have resisted Nvidia’s strong-arming over its Nvidia GeForce Partner Program (GPP). Considering that collectively these two are responsible for 36.8% of PC sales on the planet, it seems safe to say they hold some serious sway over the graphics hardware market.

Nvidia aims to unite AIB partners under Nvidia’s great green banner. Add-in-board manufacturers can sign up to become GPP partners in order to get their hands on the latest innovations, work with Nvidia’s engineering teams, and also engage in cross-brand marketing. However, the murkier side to all of this is that for AIB partners to sign up to Nvidia GPP, their gaming brands must be “aligned exclusively with GeForce". If we were to take Dell as an example, signing up to the GPP would mean its Alienware Area-51 desktops would have to be GeForce only, and separate branding would be required if Dell wanted to release AMD variants.

Neil Soutter
on 13 April 2018 at 15:05

Worldwide sales of PCs are continuing to slip and slide, marketing the 14th consecutive quarter of continuous declines. Sales of PCs reached 61.7 million units for Q1 2018, down 1.4% year on year. Sales of PCs have been on a constant decline since the second quarter of 2012 according to research from Gartner.

"The major contributor to the decline came from China, where unit shipments declined 5.7 percent year over year," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "This was driven by China's business market, where some state-owned and large enterprises postponed new purchases or upgrades, awaiting new policies and officials' reassignments after the session of the National People's Congress in early March.”