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You might recall from our last report (that Xbox One actually runs Windows 8) that we have in our possession the complete slide deck of Microsoft’s Build 2014 Tech Presentation. We went through it and decided the post some very important information that Media Outlets failed to report. One such faucet is the existence of Xbox One ERA States and the details on just how exactly Xbox One uses it for Process Lifetime Management.

Cover Image

Xbox One uses ERA States for efficient Resource Optimization and Seamless Gaming

Before I go into ERA States, let me just go over what a “Seamless Gameplay Experience” is and why 1080p @60 is just one part of it. Frank Savage in his presentation talked about the changing trends of the current generation (of people ), and how we are moving towards multitasking integrated into our very lives. Since the resources of a console are limited, efficient use of the same becomes of critical importance since you are going to be doing multiple things at once. Say you are playing a game, you pause and switch to listen to music or watch a movie, then resume back into the game. Just how exactly will the Xbox One cope with that without slowing down one thing or another? The answer lies in Process Lifetime Management and more importantly Xbox One’s ERA States. Now to be sure, ERA States is a buzzword for resource optimization, and interestingly Frank Savage failed to mention what exactly ‘ERA’ is an abbreviation for. Although I can take a guess: ‘Efficient Resource Allocation”

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force Z97 Motherboards
Hardware

Gigabyte has unveiled their upcoming Z97 motherboards which will include their top tier Gaming G1 and OC Force products aimed towards gamers and overclocking enthusiasts in the respective order. The Gaming line from Gigabyte is a new addition to their motherboard lineups which will be focused towards gamers while oc series would be built for overclocking in mind.Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force Z97 Motherboards

Gigabyte  Z97 Motherboards – OC and Gamer Boards Pictured

The Gigabyte Z97 motherboards exposed belong to two separate lineups, the OC series motherboards are built for enthusiasts and overclocks who want the best performance from the product. Built with high quality and an Ultra Durable design, the motherboard features several overclocking goodies which will be detailed in the article moving onwards. The G1 lineup as you may remember is part of Gigabyte’s own gaming tier products and has been renamed to simply Gaming which includes the flagship G1 Black Edition motherboard.

  • Gigabyte GA-Z97X-G1 Gaming Wi-Fi Black Edition
  • Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SOC Force
intel_thunderbolt-logo
Hardware

According to sources, a new upgrade for the Intel Thuderbolt connectors is underway. The upgrade is rumored to double the bandwidth of the existing product and is aimed at 4K displays. Currently, the Thunderbolt, codenamed “Falcon Ridge” is able to reach 20Gb/s, utilizies the PCIe 2.0 and supports TB and Diplay Port 1.2 nodes.

intel_thunderbolt_alpine_ridge_40gbps-1024x730

Thunderbolt upgrade, codenamed ‘Alpine Ridge’ to get significant bandwidth, bus and display support upgrades.

Details have surfaced, including the slide above which show the specifications of the rumored update. The updated thunderbolt will have an increased bandwidth of 40 Gb/s per single cable. This will be double the bandwidth which the current versions support. Bus support will also be upgraded, to PCIe third generation from the PCIe 2.0 which is currently in use. The support of 40Gb/s by the new interface will be done by using a variety of nodes including the Display Port 1.2, USB 3.0 and the HDMI 2.0. If these specifications hold up then ‘Alpine Ridge’ will allow greater control over Ultra HD video streams during production. There are two expected SKUs : Alpine Ridge 4C with a Dual Port Connector and Alpine Ridge LP with a Single Connector. The newer models are also expected to reduce power consumption by 50%.

We have been telling you about this in our previous leaks for quite some time now, but the official confirmation (by VR Zone) comes no less the sweeter. All our previous Haswell Refresh and Intel 9 Series Chipset leaks have been more or less confirmed, and not only that, but the dates for the Intel Haswell, 9 Series Chipset and Devil’s Canyon has been confirmed.Intel Haswell Refresh Devil's Canyon

Intel Haswell Refresh and 9 Series Chipset launching on May 11th – Devils Canyon and Pentium K Following 2nd June 2014

I guess I don’t really have a lot of information for this particular post apart from the fact that I can now completely confirm the launch dates of all the upcoming Intel SKUs. Basically the Intel 9 Series Chipset Z97 and H97 will be launching along with the Haswell Refresh lineup. The Devils Canyon ‘K’ Unlocked Haswell Refresh will be following along with their Pentium ‘K’ counterparts on the second day of June 2014. Several Z97 motherboard lineups have so far been leaked which include MSI’s Z97 Gaming, ASUS Z97 ROG, ASUS Z97 TUF, ASUS Z97 Legacy and Gigabyte’s Gaming lineup. The Intel Haswell Refresh processors launching on 11th May are listed below:

A few months back, many news outlets reported that Xbox One runs 3 Operating Systems. They further went on to claim that the one was a stripped down version of Windows 8, one was the Xbox One OS and the last was a switching layer between the two. Well they were wrong. Xbox One does indeed run three operating systems but the correct ones are: a full fledged windows 8, a stripped down windows 8 and a Host OS (RTOS). The implications for this are immediate and stunning and we will go upon each in this article.Xbox One runs Windows 8

Xbox One Games and Apps Actually run on Windows 8

We recently received the slides from Frank Savage’s presentation at Build 2014 along with the audio of the same. And we noticed something that many news outlets failed to report. The fact that Xbox One runs Windows 8. Not only that, but we realized that so many of the news outlets had gotten the initial leak completely wrong. Because if you run a game or an app on the Xbox One, it will either run in the full Windows 8 or  the stripped down version of Windows 8. Either way it runs on Windows 8. Let me start by explaining the three operating systems present in Xbox One.

The first tier ‘Host OS’ and the ‘to-the-metal- operating system present in Xbox One dubbed the ‘Host OS’ is an RTOS (Real Time Operating System) has complete control over the entire Xbox One hardware and resources. In Frank Savage’s words “… owns where everything and how everything works…. owns CPU…GPU”. This is your basic Xbox One Operating System. However the thing is , this particular OS only handles tasking and the security layer. It does not run any game or application. It does however host (in a non – hyper-v form) the ‘OS’ and the ‘Exclusive OS’, which is Windows 8 and the stripped down Windows 8.

asus_logo
Hardware

With the ASUS ROG and TUF Z97 motherboards detailed, what remains is their Legacy lineup which include their long running Deluxe series and Workstation series boards. The ASUS Z97 Workstation while not aimed specifically for consumers is the most feature rich product of the series followed by the Z97 Deluxe.ASUS Z97 Motherboards

ASUS Z97 Motherboards – Legacy Lineup Pictured and Detailed

So the third and last lineup we will detail is ASUS’s Z97 TUF Legacy motherboard lineup which are aimed towards enthusiasts, overclockers and budget users. Built with top of the line components and feature packed, the line-up is aimed towards all performance users and gamers including enthusiasts. The new motherboards from ASUS include some interesting features this round such as  Intel Ethernet, LAN Guard, DIGI+ Power Control, Turbo App, Turbo LAN, Crystal Sound 2, HomeCloud (802.11ac B/G/N) and an interesting new design scheme for next-gen Intel platform. The ASUS Z97 motherboards ‘Legacy’ lineup includes the following products which will be detailed below:

  • ASUS Z97-WS
  • ASUS Z97-Deluxe
  • ASUS Z97I-Pro
  • ASUS Z97-Pro
  • ASUS Z97-A
ASUS TUF Logo
Hardware

While you must have enjoyed feasting your eyes on ASUS ROG Z97 motherboards, you’ll also enjoy the sight of their TUF series which has been updated with new products. In addition to the Sabertooth MARK 1, we’re also going to show you the MARK 2 and Gryphon motherboards in all their glory.ASUS Z97 TUF Motherboards

ASUS Z97 Motherboards – TUF Lineup Pictured and Detailed

The second lineup we will detail is ASUS’s Z97 TUF “The Ultimate Force” motherboard lineup which are aimed towards enthusiasts, overclockers. Built with top of the line Military Grade Components, the Z97 TUF series will include longer and stable performance and take overclocking to the next step. The new motherboards from ASUS include some interesting features this round such as  Intel Ethernet, LAN Guard, TUF Components, DIGI+ Power Control and the latest TUF Frontier thermal shield and barrier for additional cooling and stability to the board layout. The ASUS Z97 motherboards ‘TUF’ lineup includes the following products which will be detailed below:

  • ASUS Sabertooth Z97 MARK 1
  • ASUS Sabertooth Z97 MARK 2
  • ASUS Gryphon Z97
Asus-Rog
Hardware

Yesterday, we showed you few of the upcoming Z97 motherboards from ASUS which include their ROG, TUF and Legacy tier products. Today, we have managed to find pictures of the entire motherboard lineup from the same event along with more detailed information.ASUS Z97 Motherboards Complete

ASUS Z97 Motherboards – ROG Lineup Pictured and Detailed

The first lineup we will detail is ASUS’s Z97 ROG motherboard lineup which includes ASUS’s Republic of Gamers branded products which are aimed towards enthusiasts, overclockers and gamers. The new motherboards from ASUS include some intresting features this round such as  Intel Ethernet, LAN Guard, GameFirst III, Supreme FX, Sonic Radar II, KeyBot, TrueVolt USB and Gamer’s Guardian which will come in handy for easier connectivity and accessibility. The ASUS Z97 motherboards ‘ROG’ lineup includes the following products which will be detailed below:

  • ASUS ROG Maximus VII Hero
  • ASUS ROG Maximus VII Gene
  • ASUS ROG Maximus VII Ranger
Galaxy S5 Water Resistance
Hardware

Samsung Galaxy S5 water resistance ability:

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S5 was globally launched this month with a plenty of new features. Fingerprint sensor and water resistance were two definitely getting the most eyeballs. However, following the breaking news of hackers being able to get into Samsung Galaxy S5 with a faux fingerprint, here comes the reports of users finding the Galaxy S5 water resistance tech failing on them.

Recommended read: Samsung Galaxy S5 Deals being Offered by Carriers and Retailers

Samsung Galaxy S5 was released with an IP67 water resistance certification. According to the Korean giant, you can keep your latest flagship smartphone submerged into around 3.2 feet water for up to 30 minutes. Later, we also saw Galaxy S5 water resistance tests which proved the smartphone to be even sturdier than earlier thought as the SGS5 stayed in for a good hour with no damage.Galaxy S5 water resistance

However, the latest user reports claims that Samsung Galaxy S5 leaks water and is unable to sustain the 3.2 feet

Introduction

Gaming headsets are a thriving niche of the market and every significant company is targeting every possible price point. However the company from which I am going to review this headset today is a pretty big name in Germany but are only beginning to expand to the international market, so you will be pardoned if you have not heard of them. However expect great things from them and at great prices too as you will see today. However where True 5.1 Surround Sound is concerned, the Speed Link Medusa 5.1 Headset has probably no real competitor at this price point.

ASUS_ROG_Striker_GTX_760_Platinum_04
Hardware

Two weeks ago we broke the news of ASUS planning to launch the ROG Striker GTX 760 Platinum graphics card which was to bring the ROG design and and overclocking capabilities to enthusiasts. Well ASUS  announced the Sriker GTX 760 Platinum this Friday and as expected, the card is powered by the Nvidia GTX 760 GPU. The card is available in Standard and Platinum and is expected to be the fastest GTX 760 on the market. It also features impressive cooling and overclocking capabilities due to a variety of components including ASUS’s new Direct CU II cooler fans, one of which is a Cool Tech Fan. DIGI+ based Voltage regulation module and Super alloy power components also add to the mix.

ASUS_ROG_Striker_GTX_760_Platinum_01

The Striker GTX 760 Platinum to feature factory base GPU overclock of 1088 and Boost clock of 1150MHz.

The Platinum version of the series feature hand picked GPU cores, resulting in a GPU base over clock of 1088 MHz and boost overclock of 1150 MHz. This gains 105 and 117 MHz on the reference unit. All of these provide the platinum version with a 10% performance increase. The Standard Version of the series features a 980 MHz base and 1033 MHz boost clocks.  Both the cards are based on Nvidia’s 28nm Kepler GK104 GPU. They also pack 1152 CUDA cores, 96 TMUs and 32 ROPs. However, what sets both the cards apart from other cards on the market is the 4GB of GDDR5 which clocks at an impressive 6008 MHz. This allows for smooth gaming experiences and support of resolutions up to 2560 x 1600.

asus_logo
Hardware

ASUS Z97 motherboard lineup has been leaked which include their upcoming Z97 ROG, Sabertooth and Legacy series products. We also have details regarding the features which ASUS’s next generation Z97 motherboards feature for gamers and overclockers.ASUS Z97 Motherboards

ASUS Z97 Motherboard Unveiled – ROG Maximus, Sabertooth and Deluxe Boards

The ASUS Z97 motherboards lineup includes a total of 6 new leaked products which range in different tiers. Starting with the flagship ROG (Republic of Gamers) overclocking lineup which includes three motherboards:

  • ASUS Maximus VII Hero
  • ASUS Maximus VII Gene
  • ASUS Maximus VII Ranger
nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

NVIDIA may very well be preparing their Maxwell based GM204 GPU as spotted in a leak posted by Videocardz. The leak which shows shipment data from Zauba.com (via 3DCenter) lists several GPUs along with their naming codes which means that NVIDIA may be currently testing their next generation graphics processing units.NVIDIA Maxwell

NVIDIA Maxwell GM204 GPU Spotted In The Wild, Kepler GK210 In Works

The first chip spotted is the GM204 GPU which is based on NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. How do we know if its based on Maxwell architecture? Simple, the naming scheme and the ‘M’ moniker which is used to represent the specific architecture of the chip is used for the Maxwell generation of GPUs, e.g. GM107 (GeForce Maxwell), GK 104 (GeForce Kepler, GF104 (GeForce Fermi). The chip is codenamed GM204-GB3-256 which is pretty interesting since it brings up some speculation, the 256 at the end could mean a 256-bit bus interface which might seem true since NVIDIA’s GM204 predecessor, the GK104 featured a 256-bit bus or it could just be one of those odd naming schemes (GK104-225-A2).

It is not confirmed what process would the GeForce Maxwell GM204 GPU would be based on but if the card is planned for launch in early 2H 2014 then we will be looking at a 28nm architecture otherwise we will most likely see 20nm Maxwell GPUs. We recently reported how AMD is going to stick with 28nm across their products this year so they same may be true for NVIDIA. Both companies can wait and perfect their 20nm GPUs for launch next year. The new Maxwell cards would be released as the GeForce 800 series as reported several times before since the GeForce 700 series is over crowded with several GK110 chips. The first two GPUs, presumably the GTX 880 and GTX 870 could both be based on the GM204 GPU but that remains to be seen until officially confirmed. NVIDIA did release their first GeForce Kepler cards on the GM104 architecture and only launched their higher performance GK110 a year later as the GeForce GTX Titan and now we have a lineup that has several GK110 cards.

Disclaimer: The conclusion and guidance given at the end has been given in a completely non-professional capacity. Since this is not intended to be professional investment advice, we cannot be held liable in any way.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) has just reported its Q1 Results for 2014. About 3 months back, I advised against investing (short) because of my forecast of a significant decrease in revenue next quarter. And as far as shorts are concerned, the chipmaker has infact reported a loss. Interestingly however, the reported GAAP diluted LPS (Loss Per Share) of 0.03$ and consequently the reported non-GAAP diluted EPS of 0.02$ is higher than analysts expectation of a  break even on non-GAAP.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) nets Loss Per Share of 3 Cents on GAAP basis – SCRYPT Mining Sales Drying Off, CPU Portion in Decline while GPU portion sees Significant Growth

AMD StockNumbers aren’t everything, because even though the numbers might make it appear as if this Quarterly Report depicts a bad result, the reality is quite different. What we are seeing are signs of an actual, possible company turnabout. I.e. this report could be the first sign that the Profit of Q4 FY13 was not a mere fluke.

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During their quarterly earnings call for Q1 2014, AMD revealed that they would stick with 28nm across all their products as opposed to 20nm which is the process reserved for their future products. Many have their eyes on AMD’s next generation of graphics cards which will feature new and improved 20nm process technology but we have to wait a bit more to see those GPUs in action.AMD 20nm

AMD To Stick With 28nm Across All Products This Year

Lisa Su (Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units at AMD) revealed that their graphics and semi-custom business products are both on 28nm. We have seen several 28nm products across AMD graphics and processors designs which include the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series for graphics while Steamroller, Jaguar powering AMD’s processors and accelerated processing units. The transcript of the session can be seen below:

Lisa Su – SVP and General Manager of Global Business Units

Sure, Chris. So let me take that and give you a little bit of our thinking.

So in terms of product and technology selection, certainly we need to be at the leading-edge of the technology roadmap. So what we’ve said in the past is certainly this year all of our products are in 28-nanometer across both, you know, graphics client and our semi-custom business. We are, you know, actively in the design phase for 20-nanometer and that will come to production. And then clearly we’ll go to FinFET. So that would be the progression of it.

Lisa Su – SVP and General Manager of Global Business Units

David, I think what I said earlier sort of what we’re doing in terms of technology strategy, we are 28 this year, we have 20-nanometer in design, and then FinFET thereafter. So that’s the overall product portfolio. via Seeking Alpha



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