AMD Ryzen Threadripper Enthusiasts CPUs Go on Sale in India Starting at Rs. 55,999

AMD has already announced pretty much everything there is to know about its high-performance Threadripper CPU line, and now the products have finally been launched. The 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X is priced at Rs. 55,999 excluding GST in India, while the flagship 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X will cost Rs. 69,999 excluding GST. The 8-core, 16-thread Threadripper 1900X which was added to the lineup after the former two, will become available on August 31 and its India price will be announced at that time.

Indian retailers PrimeABGB and MD Computers are already listing the two high-end CPUs, with identical MRPs of Rs. 65,488 for the Threadripper 1920X and Rs. 82,008 for the Threadripper 1950X at both stores. Judging by its US dollar price of $549, our calculations estimate that the Threadripper 1900X should come in at around Rs. 38,499 before GST and Rs. 45,500 MRP.

Threadripper is AMD’s answer to Intel’s Core-X series, more commonly known as Extreme Edition processors. AMD is hoping to upset Intel’s dominance by offering more cores per dollar, just like it has done with its Ryzen 7 (Review), Ryzen 5 (Review) and Ryzen 3 CPUs so far this year. The launch of the Threadripper models completes AMD’s top-to-bottom desktop CPU lineup – though more variants within each family could still be launched.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Enthusiasts CPUs Go on Sale in India Starting at Rs. 55,999AMD is aiming Threadripper at content creators, gamers and overclockers who want the best performance without spending too much. These CPUs are physically much larger than mainstream ones, and use a different socket called TR4. They support quad-channel DDR4 RAM and feature 64 lanes of PCIe bandwidth for high-speed components such as graphics cards and SSD arrays. They have a much higher 180W TDP rating and need specific coolers. Because the Zen architecture is common between Ryzen product families, Threadripper CPUs are based on the same Infinity Fabric interconnect between internal clusters called Core Complexes, and have the same benefits including XFR which boosts speed beyond the rated limits when thermal conditions allow it, and SenseMI which adjusts operating parameters dynamically using hundreds of embedded sensors.

Threadripper-compatible X399 motherboards are available from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock. They will also show up in pre-built systems from a number of boutique builders. Dell is the exclusive big-brand OEM at launch time, and has already announced several Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition models.

It has been a busy year for AMD, which hasn’t had a competitive CPU lineup in nearly a decade. The company has so far launched the entire Ryzen desktop CPU line as well as Ryzen Pro variants for businesses, Epyc server processors, and the Radeon RX 500 (Review) series of graphics cards. High-end Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are set to launch over the next few weeks, and Ryzen Mobile and APU products with integrated graphics are in the pipeline as well.

Lenovo Posts First Quarterly Loss Since 2015 on Higher Costs, Slowing PC Market

Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group posted a first-quarter loss on Friday citing higher costs and slower growth in the personal computer market, and said the outlook was challenging due to supply constraints.

Lenovo, which lost its position as the world’s largest PC maker to HP in the quarter through June, lost $72 million compared with a profit of $173 million for the same period last year.

It was the company’s first quarterly loss since September 2015 and lagged forecasts for a profit of $5.29 million, according to the average of 8 analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll.

“Looking forward, the supply constraint of key components in the industry and cost increases will continue to bring short-term challenges to the group’s business environment,” Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“Market conditions remain challenging in the short term, notably the component supply shortage and cost hike are expected to continue pressuring business operations.”

Revenue was flat at $10.01 billion (roughly Rs. 64,205 crores), in line with an estimate of $10 billion.

Lenovo has suffered from a global decline in PC demand as consumers turn to smartphones and tablets, particularly in its home market of China. Gartner forecast the global PC market will shrink by 3 percent in volume in 2017.

Lenovo Posts First Quarterly Loss Since 2015 on Higher Costs, Slowing PC MarketLenovo’s PC shipments declined 6 percent, after two quarters of growth. That compared with a 3 percent drop for the industry, Lenovo said in its filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Its market share dropped 0.6 percentage points year-on-year to 20.4 percent.

Shortages of memory chips added to costs and dragged down margins, it said.

Revenue from the PC and smart devices business, contributing almost 70 percent of the total, increased 0.2 percent to $7.01 billion in the quarter.

The operating loss from the group’s struggling mobile business narrowed to $129 million, from a loss of $163 million a year ago. It turned in revenue of $1.75 billion on a 1 pct rise in smartphone shipments.

Its data centre business group recorded an operational loss of $114 million, versus a loss of $31 million a year ago.

Nixeus EDG 27 IPS Freesync 144Hz Gaming Monitor Review: Hitting The Sweet Spot

Introducing The Nixeus EDG 27

Los Angeles-based Nixeus has been working with AMD on FreeSync since the project’s inception. Nixeus was among the first companies to offer an affordable, Full-HD FreeSync monitor with a wide adaptive-sync frequency range and one of Nixeus’ monitors was used in AMD’s initial FreeSync demos all the way back in 2014. Now the company is readying a brand-new FreeSync-compatible display, the Nixeus EDG 27, that features an IPS panel, 2560×1440 WQHD resolution, and a price point that undercuts competing offerings.

That all sounds very appealing, but Nixeus obviously had to make some concessions to bring a product like the EDG 27 to market. The company did, however, make some smart decisions with this display and hits a sweet spot that will likely compel many hardcore gamers to take a long hard look it when it ships next month.

Take a look at the Nixeus EDG 27’s full list of features and specifications below and then we’ll dig in a little deeper and see if this display hits the mark…


edg27 style

Specifications & Features
Screen Size 27″ IPS (AHVA) Panel
Maximum Resolution 2560 x 1440 (WQHD)
Backlight LED
Aspect Ratio 16:09
Color Support 16.7 Million (True 8 bit)
Brightness 300cd/m2 (Typical)
Native Contrast Ratio 1000:01:00
Viewing Angles 178° horizontal/178° vertical
Refresh Rate 144Hz (AMD FreeSync Range 30Hz to 144Hz)
Response Time 4ms (Gray to Gray)
Pixel Pitch 0.233mm
Input Port DisplayPort 1.2a (up to 144Hz), HDMI 2.0 (up to 144Hz), HDMI 1.4 (up to 60Hz), Dual-Link DVI (up to 60Hz)
Speakers Stereo Speakers
Stand Height Adjustable, Pivot, Tilt and Swivel
Audio Input Port 3.5mm Audio Jack (when using with VGA and DVI connections)
Audio Output Port 3.5mm Audio Jack for use with external speakers or headphones.
Accessories DisplayPort Cable (5ft), Quick Start Guide, 3.5mm Audio Cable, Power Supply

As its names implies, the Nixeus EDG 27 is built around a 27” IPS (AHVA) panel. That panel features a native resolution of 2560×1440 with a .233mm pixel pitch, LED backlighting, a typical brightness level around 300cd/m2, and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. Like most other IPS panels, horizontal and vertical viewing angles are rated at 178 degrees, but what sets this display apart from more common mainstream displays is its wide adaptive refresh range of 30Hz to 144Hz. Its 4ms gray to grey response time is relatively good as well, for a high-resolution IPS panel.

edg27 front2

Before we look a little closer at the display, we should mention what comes bundled with it. Along with the monitor itself, Nixeus includes an external power brick, basic lit pack, a 3.5mm stereo audio cable, and a short 5-foot DisplayPort cable. The stand and a quartet of screws are also included in the box, and have to be attached to the main assembly, but that’s par for the course and not really part of the bundle. The audio cable can be used to pump audio into the Nixeus EDG 27’s built-in stereo speakers when a typical VGA or DVI connection is used, but audio is supported natively over HDMI and DisplayPort as well.

Microsoft’s Skype Gets An Extensive Snapchat Inspired Makeover

It seems as though there’s a lot of copycattin’ going on in the world of messaging apps. In recent months, Facebook has been accused of “stealing” heavily when it comes to adding functionality original found in Snapchat into its own communications apps Instagram and Messenger. Now we can add Microsoft to that list thanks to the ground-up redesign of its Skype app.

skype redesign

Interestingly, this all-new Skype experience isn’t coming to Microsoft platforms first. Instead, Microsoft will first launch the new chat app on Android. The company’s mission is to make sure that “chatting is front and center”.

One of the first things that you will notice with this redesign is that the messaging interface has been broken into three main sections: Find, Chat and Capture. Find obviously allows you to quick search through your chat history, while Chat gives you the conversation view that you are familiar with. The third section, Capture, is where the first Snapchat comparisons come into play, giving you the ability to quick snap photos or video. Capture content can then be spruced up with sticker and text

There’s also a new feature called Highlights, which seems like a watered own version of Snapchat Stories:

Highlights lets you create a highlight reel of your day with photos and videos, so you can share everyday moments. To post a Highlight, swipe to access your camera, take a photo or video, then post it to your Highlights or send it directly to your contacts or groups. Once you post a Highlight, your friends and family can react to it with emoticons or by jumping into a conversation. The new Skype is your canvas, and now you’re free to share in more expressive ways with your closest friends, family and groups.

As we mentioned earlier, the new Skype is rolling out first for Android starting today. The new design will then be rolled out in stages to users on Windows, macOS and iOS.

Nintendo Switch Online Gaming Service Launching In 2018 With Bargain Pricing

If you cringe at the thought of paying $60 a year for an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus (or slightly lower if you scour the internet for deals), Nintendo is driving a hard bargain with its upcoming online gaming service for the Switch. The company announced that Nintendo Switch Online will be priced at just $19.99 per year.

switch red blue

Nintendo Switch gamers have been waiting to hear how much the Japanese gaming giant would charge for the service, but gamers weren’t exactly in any hurry — the service is currently operating with reduced features for free until the full-blown service is operational. Nintendo says that it will release a companion app for the Switch over the summer that will allow gamers to invite friends, chat, setup gaming appointment and initiate gaming sessions.

$19.99 is a small price to pay for a year’s worth of online gaming, but Nintendo is still offering two other payment options for the timid. You can get a one-month subscription for $3.99, while a three-month subscription will set you back $7.99. But trust us; just pay the $19.99 and be done with it.

As an added bonus, Nintendo will provide [limited] access to its back catalog of games, with new multiplayer capabilities added in for good measure. Although Nintendo doesn’t want to play its hand early on the full catalog of games that will be available, it does state that Switch gamers will be able to download and play title like Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario for as long as they want — as long as they have an active subscription Nintendo Switch Online.

Nintendo hasn’t given a more detailed timeline for when “Switch Online” will become active other than to say that it will arrive in 2018, but we hope that it’s sooner rather than

Need for Speed Payback Drifts Onto PC, Xbox One And PS4 This November

The next Need for Speed installment is headed to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this fall and it looks to bring with it plenty of metal carnage and mayhem. A taste of the upcoming high-speed action can be seen in the official reveal trailer that Electronic Arts just released, which contains nearly a minute and half of fast action, gnarly collisions, and a dose of drama for good measure.

Need for Speed Payback

Need for Speed Payback is all about revenge. It is set in the fictional underworld of Fortune Valley where you, as the protagonist, reunites with your crew as you go in search of vengeance against The House, a nefarious cartel that has the city’s casinos, criminals, and even its cops all under its thumb.

“Your car is at the center of everything you do. Craft unique rides with deeper performance and visual customization than ever before. From intense missions to high stakes car battles to jaw dropping set piece moments, Need for Speed Payback delivers an edge-of-your-seat, action-driving fantasy,” Electronic Arts explains.

Need for Speed Payback will have five distinct car classes—Race, Drift, Off-Road, Drag, and Runner. You’ll be able to find abandoned vehicles scattered throughout Fortune Valley that you can clean up and customize. Along the way you’ll also have the opportunity to collect, win, or buy after market parts as you build out your ultimate garage.

The game will release to PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on November 10, though you can place your pre-order now if you want (hit the source link). There are two versions: Standard Edition and Deluxe Edition. The Standard Edition runs $60 and includes the full game plus the platinum car pack, which gives you access to a 2008 Nissan 350Z 2008, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS, 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, 2016 Ford F-150 Raptor, 2016 Volkswagon Golf GTI Clubsport, and exclusive platinum blue tire smoke.

There is a $20 up-charge for the Deluxe Edition. It comes with the same goodies, plus three days of early access, a story mission pack, exclusive NOS color, exclusive license plate, exclusive leaderboard icon, five shipments, 5 percent rep bonus, and a 10 percent discount on in-game purchases.

ASUS Delivers AMD Ryzen Glory With ROG Strix X370-F And B350-F Gaming Motherboards

With the 10-core and higher AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors incoming, it is easy for our eyes to become glazed over with regards to the already-released Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 family of processors. As we reported earlier this morning, AMD has dropped prices across the board on the Ryzen 7 family, and is even offering up some interesting combo discounts on Ryzen 5 processors.

With the new lower pricing, those that are looking to score a new Ryzen 7 have some new ASUS motherboard offerings to choose from. Both the ROG Strix X370-F Gaming and the ROG Strix B350-F Gaming feature accommodations for water cooling, an onboard RGB lighting zone, two 5050 headers two control your RGB strips (up to two-meters long), SupremeFX audio coupled with the exclusive Realtek S1220A codec and Sonic Studio software, Intel’s I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller, along with plenty of hookups for fans to keep your machines cool for insane overclocks.


ASUS ROG Strix X370-F

Getting to the specifics, the Strix X370-F, as its name implies, is based on AMD’s X370 chipset. The motherboard supports DDR4-3200 memory via four DIMM slots, has an onboard M.2 slot capable of supporting PCIe Gen 3 SSDs, eight SATA ports, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (supporting both USB-A and USB-C connectors). There’s also a nice variety of USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 2.0 ports spread throughout the motherboard (or accessible via a front-panel connector).


ASUS ROG Strix B350-F

Further down on the totem pole is the Strix B350-F, which is based on the AMD B350 chipset. Unlike the Strix X370-F, only top PCIe slot on the Strix B350-F is capable of running at x16 speeds. If a card is placed in the secondary slot, you’ll drop down to x8 speeds. The onboard M.2 slot has access to four PCIe lanes, and you’ll find six SATA ports onboard along with four DIMM slots (DDR4-3200 supported). There are also two USB 3.1 Gen 2, four USB 3.1 Gen 1, and two USB 2.0 ports on the rear I/O panel. Unfortunately, the standalone ASUS PRO Clock base clock generator is MIA on the Strix B350-F.

Pricing is not available on either the ROG Strix X370-F Gaming and the ROG Strix B350-F Gaming, but they both should be available via online retailers within the next few weeks.


Gigabyte’s Aorus X9 laughs at affordability

When Gigabyte, a Taiwan-based gaming hardware company, says it’s launching a premium brand, you tend to listen. It’s not that its current range of gaming laptops aren’t premium — from the prosumer Aeros to the sort-of-budget Sabre range, Gigabyte laptops don’t mess around. But the Aorus range is slightly different.

It takes things even further, a passion project for Gigabyte designers to entice the super high-end, money-is-no-object buyers among you. Gigabyte first showed of the Aorus X9, the king of the Aorus range, at CES 2017 as a prototype, but the hands-on model on display at Computex 2017 came with the announcement you’d be able to buy it later this year.

Well, it’ll be on sale, anyway.

Key specs

  • 17-inch UHD 4K screen (or a 3K screen with 120Hz refresh rate)
  • Dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
  • RGB backlit mechanical keyboard
  • 30mm tall

And… that’s pretty much all that’s been announced publicly so far. Safe bets are an Intel i7 core processor and SSD/HDD combined storage. Gigabyte is claiming the dual GTX 1070 setup will give you 30 percent better graphics performance than a single 1080. It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to test on a show floor, but it certainly looked very impressive. There’s no word on price yet, but given Gigabyte’s regular range, I’d expect something around $2,500 (around AU$3,370, £1,950).

The keyboard bears the programmable RGB backlighting that seems to be an industry standard now (though it’s per-key, as opposed to panels, which is the latest trend), but what was really impressive was getting mechanical switches and two full GPUs in something that size. Travel was a little shallow, but the keys felt good and the wide frame meant spacing wasn’t an issue.

What is new is some additional little design flourishes like the LED trim on the front corners (below) and the eagle-shaped vents on the bottom.

hines, from the brushed, sweeping curves to the trimmed, carefully cut exhaust vents on top and bottom. It’s fitting, because you can look at this sort of computational overkill like you would a performance vehicle. Your average person may not need it, or even know how to use it. But damn, do they want it.

Logitech’s MX Master 2S mouse adds magic to your multitasking

Logitech made a mouse that could actually change how you get work done.

The MX Master 2S is absolutely loaded with customizable buttons and wheels to help you get more done without lifting your hand off its ergonomically sculpted body. And like the original MX Master, it can be connected to up to three computers at the same time. But with the 2S, you can seamlessly slip from one computer to another and back again without so much as a button press.

The $100 mouse along with its travel-friendly linemate, the $80 MX Anywhere 2S, are the first to use Logitech’s new Flow software that ends the need to physically switch the mouse over to another computer to control it. Connect the mouse to each computer you’re using, either by Bluetooth or with the company’s Unifying USB adapter, and turn Flow on. The software hunts down the connected systems and completes the setup. The one hitch: The computers have to be on the same wired or wireless network.

With Flow enabled, you can just move your cursor to the edge of one screen and control will jump to the other computer. It works with Windows, Mac or a mix of the two. You can even copy and paste documents, text, images and other files between computers. Also, if you have one of Logitech’s multi-device keyboards like the K780, you can use Flow to move the keyboard from computer to computer, too.

Though the design itself doesn’t change much from the original Master MX, the 2S does have an increased resolution to 4,000 DPI and up to 70 hours of battery life from its built-in rechargeable battery.

The Logitech MX Master 2S will be available later in June. Pricing wasn’t announced for the UK or Australia, but the US price converts to approximately £80 or AU$135.

What does Computex mean for the next year in tech?

The sun’s going down on the last incredibly humid day of Computex 2017 in Taipei. As I’m preparing to fly home, back to Sydney in glorious winter, I’m thinking about the past week. The phenomenally slim laptops I saw, the visionary keynotes I listened to, the obscene gaming rigs that were tempting me to start my Season 5 placement matches for Overwatch on a convention show floor.

That’s the good thing about Computex. It isn’t as bogged down in early prototypes as are some other tech shows. There’s immediate impact. You’ll be able to spot trends, and know what the next 12 months has in store for you. Here’s what those trends mean for you.

I’ve always been iffy on gaming laptops, but the MSI GT75VR shut me up.Aloysius Low/CNET

It’s all about the game and how you play it

If you like those chunky, angular, portable-in-name-only gaming laptops, boy is Computex the show for you. While there was a trend towards slimming down laptops without sacrificing power, the really exciting gaming laptops went the other way, ignoring any sort of size constraints to chase desktop-level performance.

And, would you look at that, the MSI GT75VR Titan reckons it got there. The Taiwanese PC maker had the most impressive machine I saw performance-wise, but their new cooling systems and display panels are set to trickle down their range and mean that even affordable gaming machines are set to get a boost.

The ROG Zephyrus squeezes in a GTX 1080 using Nvidia’s new Max-Q architecture.Claire Reilly/CNET

Discrete graphics are popping up in more places, like Dell’s new all-in-one range, and dedicated gaming laptops are squeezing full-sized GPUs inside. Zephyrus, I’m looking at you. Aorus, you haven’t been forgotten.

It’s not just multiple GPU setups in laptops or Intel’s new 18-core i9 processor. There was a focus on innovative new cooling systems and quality of life designs. All that raw power means there’s a rising tide of performance. The middle is falling out of the PC market, with tablets and 2-in-1s doing everything your home desktop used to do, and prosumers and gamers chasing spec-heavy machines at the top end.

This isn’t even taking into account the range of peripherals I saw. Wireless charging mousepads? Sure. Analogue keyboard switches? Yup. My favourite slim keyboard getting even slimmer? Okay, that one is just for me. But this is all stuff you’ll see in the next 12 months.

Okay, let’s pretend you want something you can actually carry around. That was the other big shift that’ll unfold over the coming year. It felt like every major manufacturer wanted to tout something thin. And, credit to them, they did.

We saw the Flip S, the thinnest 2-in-1 ever made, and a laptop housing a GTX 1080 graphics card that was just 18mm thick. I’m honestly not sure how that even works, having held the enormous 1080 in my hands before. I couldn’t help but think about the Asus ROG laptop I had at home (forsaken when I finally caved and built a tower), and how these machines measured up and outstripped the clunky old thing.

I’d point to Nvidia Max-Q design as the thing that’ll make that happen. It already turned up in a few laptops on the show floor, and the graphics company says you’re looking at machines three times thinner and three times as powerful. And since you can’t get away without an Applecomparison today, the sound bite is “gaming laptops as thin as a MacBook Air.”

Come on down (in price)

Speaking of Nvidia, that same Max-Q architecture is going to get prices down, down, down. Nvidia itself threw out the $1,200 figure, but it wasn’t the only company to go for budget machines for mainstream customers who wanted to get a little PC gaming in.

Dell’s Inspiron range wowed with price, offering up a very upgradable gaming desktop and two VR-ready all-in-ones that ran at only a few hundred more than current flagship phones. Gigabyte, another local player, are pushing their budget-friendly Sabre range with the SabrePro 15, a laptop that still has that premium gaming feel.

Rather than going all in on performance, or price or design, Computex made me feel like 2017 was the year I could have my cake and eat it too. Because really, what else is the point of all that cake?