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About Shaksaw

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  1. A total of 2,531 of the top 3 million websites (1 in 1,000) are running the Coinhive miner, according to new stats from analytics firm Red Volcano. BitTorrent sites and the like were the main offenders but the batch also included the Ecuadorian Papa John's Pizza website [see source code]. JavaScript-based Coinhive crypto-mining software on websites is bad news for surfers because the technology can suck up power and resources without user consent. Coinhive launched a service in September that allowed mining of a digital currency called Monero directly within a web browser. The simplicity of the Coinhive API integration made the approach successful but partly due to several initial oversights – most notably through a failure to enforce an opt-in process to establish user consent – the technology has been widely abused. Some less than salubrious web portals started to run the Coinhive API in non-throttled mode, tying up users' machines in the process. In other cases hackers planted code crypto-mining software on third-party websites, a practice known as either crypto-jacking or drive-by mining. Instances of crypto-mining code on webpages or buried within rogue smartphone apps keep rolling in. Security vendor Ixia warns two games on the Google Play store, Puzzle and Reward Digger, by AK Games are actively mining cryptocurrency from thousands of infected Android mobile phones. Android cryptocurrency mining malware can be quite lucrative for cybercriminals. For instance, total profits earned on one specific Magicoin wallet are equal to $1,150 at current exchange rates, according to Ixia's report. This makes cryptominers the next generation of adware software, Ixia concluded. Elsewhere Netskope discovered a Coinhive miner installed as a plugin on a tutorial webpage for Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive for Business. The offending website –[.]net – removed the Coinhive plugin after it was notified about the issue. "The tutorial webpage hosted on the website was saved to the cloud and then shared within an organisation," according to Netskope. Microsoft told El Reg that its "security software detects and blocks this application". Ad blockers and antivirus programs have also added features that block browser mining but few security watchers think this alone will bring the issue to heel. The opportunity to coin in cryptocurrency by enslaving the machines of others is just too tempting for unscrupulous websites and black hats.
  2. You know the graphics card market is in a bad place when vendors resort to rereleasing five-year old graphics cards. Kuroutoshikou, a Japanese vendor, has announced that its GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (GF-GTX1050Ti-E4GB/SF/P2) will hit the domestic market in mid-March. In reality, the GF-GTX1050Ti-E4GB/SF/P2 is a rebranded version of Palit's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti StormX. Based on the GP107 (Pascal) silicon, the graphics card is equipped with 768 CUDA cores with a 1,392 MHz boost clock and 4GB of 7 Gbps GDDR5 memory. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is rated for 75W so it doesn't require any external PCIe power connectors, making it a good plug-n-play option for entry-level gamers, even though it is no longer among the best graphics cards. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti's revival isn't a coincidence though. It was Nvidia itself who decided to replenish its partners with Pascal GPUs in the middle of the ongoing graphics card crysis. Nvidia's actions also paved the way for other vendors to get rid of their old Pascal stock, including Palit who might launch new specialized GeForce GTX 1060 models for cryptocurrency mining. We've already started seeing more GeForce GTX 1050 Ti availability here in the U.S. Sadly, the pricing leaves much to be desired. While Kuroutoshikou's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti will arrive in Japan with a price tag of ¥20,727 (~$190.97), custom models in the U.S. market currently retail between $330 and $600. That's pretty insane since the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti has five years under its belt now and had launched for $139. With how ridiculous pricing is right now and the graphics card shortage, picking up a pre-built PC, especially one of the best gaming PCs, suddenly doesn't sound like a bad idea anymore.
  3. HP México has inadvertently revealed the specifications for AMD's forthcoming Ryzen 5000 (Cezanne) desktop APUs. Hardware detective momomo_us spotted the deets in a document for the HP Pavilion gaming desktop TG01-2003ns. AMD has been diligently transitioning its entire processor portfolio over to the latest Zen 3 microarchitecture. The desktop APU and Threadripper product lines are the last ones on the list to receive the Zen 3 treatment. Similar to the Ryzen 5000 mobile variants, desktop Cezanne will exploit the Zen 3 microarchitecture, but still retain the old Vega graphics engine. However, we expect the latter to feature some improvements in terms of better clock speeds. While we've seen countless leaks of the Ryzen 5000 APUs, this is the first time that we're getting information from a solid source. As expected, AMD has prepared three Ryzen 5000 APUs to replace the current Ryzen 4000 (Renoir) APU lineup. Logically, the Ryzen 7 5700G will be the flagship APU and the Ryzen 5 5600G is the middle man, while the Ryzen 3 5300G is the entry-level part. screenshot-2021.04.01-02_49_10.jpg Ryzen 5000 will stick to the same core count as its predecessor. The APUs will max out at eight Zen 3 cores. However, Ryzen 5000 will offer double the L3 cache across the board. The Ryzen 7 5700G and Ryzen 5 5600G have 16MB of L3 cache at their disposal, while the Ryzen 3 5300G is limited to 8MB. The improvement in clock speeds isn't significant, but Zen 3's true value lies within its IPC. In terms of operating clocks, Ryzen 5000 appears come with a 200 MHz higher base and boost clocks in comparison to their Ryzen 4000 counterparts. The Ryzen 7 5700G arrives with eight cores and 16 threads. The octa-core part boasts base and boost clock speeds of 3.8 GHz and 4.6 GHz, respectively. The Ryzen 5 5600G, on the other hand, comes wielding six cores and 12 threads. HP listed the Ryzen 5 5600G with a 3.9 GHz base clock and 4.4 GHz boost clock. The Ryzen 3 5300G will round off the Ryzen 5000 lineup. The APU seemingly checks in with a 4 GHz base clock and 4.2 GHz boost clock The jury is still out on whether AMD will make the Ryzen 5000 desktop APUs available to the public. In case you've forgotten, Ryzen 4000 desktop APUs were limited to OEMs. While you could still buy one from the black market, it was a hassle due to the overseas shipping and the fact that you're buying a product that doesn't come with a warranty. We've seen when Zen 3 can do in AMD's Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) processors, and it would be a shame if AMD left APU enthusiasts out to dry again.
  4. DigiTimes today reported that TSMC is set to begin volume production for its 4nm process in the fourth quarter of 2021, rather than early 2022 as originally planned. The report also indicated that Apple has contracted initial production using this node for use in future versions of the custom silicon found in some of its Mac products. TSMC announced in January that it planned to spend up to $28 billion in 2021 to increase production for its N5 and N7 processes while it started risk testing its N3 process. China Renaissance Securities then said in February that N5 capacity was at roughly 55,000~60,000 wafer starts per month (WSPM); that's expected to double this year. N5 doesn't necessarily refer to a single process—it actually covers the N5, N5P, and N4 processes. The first two are 5nm processes and the last is the upcoming 4nm process. It gets bundled with its predecessors because it's expected to have a smaller impact than the 3nm process (N3) expected to debut in late 2022. It seems the increased capital expenditure for 2021 is pushing N4 along faster than TSMC expected. The company said in August 2020 that its 4nm process was supposed to enter risk production in 4Q21 and volume production in 2022. According to DigiTimes sources, however, volume production should begin this year. The first Apple chips based on that 4nm process shouldn't be too far behind. Apple is TSMC's largest customer by far, and its shift to custom silicon in the Mac lineup is expected to make it an even bigger part of TSMC's business. So it's no surprise that Apple has, per DigiTimes, already contracted initial production for the 4nm process. DigiTimes reported that TSMC will begin production of the N5P-based A15 chip, which is expected to debut in the iPhone 13 later this year, sometime in May. An upgraded version of that SoC will likely be added to future iPad models later, but Apple is said to be jumping straight to N4 for the next SoC designed for Mac. This accelerated timeline could allow Apple to switch every Mac over to its custom silicon earlier than anticipated. The company said in November 2020 that it wanted to have its own SoCs across the Mac lineup by 2022. TSMC's ability to begin volume production of the N4 process should make it that much easier to beat that goal. In somewhat related news, Intel today released the latest CPUs based on its 14nm process, with plans to introduce the first desktop 10nm processors later this year and 7nm CPUs following in 2023. That should give it plenty of time to put out a commercial claiming that, when it comes to process nodes, bigger is better. Right?
  5. XMG today announced its first laptop equipped with Intel's new Rocket Lake processors, interchangeable RTX 30 Series graphics, and a bevy of other features that are supposed to ease the pain enthusiasts have suffered because of the ongoing chip shortage. It's called the Ultra 17, and the first units could reach consumers as early as May. Let's start with the CPU. The XMG Ultra 17 can be configured with 10th Gen Core processors for people willing to sacrifice performance for affordability, but the focus is on the 11th Gen CPUs that debuted today. XMG offers seven models: the i5-11500, 11600, and 11600K; the i7-11700 and 11700K; and the i9-11900 and 11900K. Check out our review of the i9-11900K and the i5-11600K for details on their performance. The company offers fewer graphics options—just the GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB), 3070 (8GB), and 3080 (16GB). But there's a lot of flexibility here, too, with XMG claiming that "this GPU takes the form of an interchangeable card, opposed to being soldered into the mainboard," and that it's "the first graphics card in the mobile sector that is already connected via a full 16 PCI Express 4.0 lanes" and capable of a TGP of 165W. XMG also offers a bunch of M.2 SSD storage options between 200GB and 2TB from a variety of manufacturers, two different Wi-Fi modules, and support for up to 128GB (4 x 32GB) of DDR4-3200 memory from Samsung. (As well as smaller kits from Crucial.) The keyboard features per-key RGB back-lighting and is available in many languages, too, in case you worried the company had forgotten to add pretty lights. But the main arguments for the Ultra 17 being a desktop replacement—aside from the CPU and GPU of course—are the laptop's display and connectivity options. There are two 17.3-inch display options: a 1080p version with a 300Hz refresh rate and a 4K version with a 60Hz refresh rate that also covers 100% of the Adobe RGB spectrum. Both versions of the display offer Nvidia G-Sync support as well. screenshot-2021.03.31-05_03_27.jpg XMG equipped the Ultra 17 with a lot of ports as well. There are two Thunderbolt 4, one HDMI 2.1, and two Mini DisplayPort 1.4 ports for external monitor support; one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 and three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports as well as an SD card slot for accessories; and separate audio ports for headphones and a microphone. Oh, and there's also a 2.5Gb Ethernet port to complement the built-in Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. There are some caveats. XMG said that utilizing the Ultra 17 to its full potential requires it to be connected to a pair of 280W power supplies in addition to the battery. The system is limited to 110W on a single power supply and restricts the CPU to just 30W. Performance would be further limited on the internal battery, of course, so we suspect most people will actually treat it as a desktop. That could be enough in today's market. The ongoing chip shortage has made it harder than ever to find CPUs, graphics cards, and other components, and even when they're available, there's a good chance they're going to be exorbitantly priced. (Assuming one can even find them before cryptocurrency miners buy 'em up.) This might actually be one of the easiest ways to build a system with the latest parts. The Ultra 17's price will of course vary based on the configuration. XMG's default configuration features an Intel Core i7-11700K, GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory, 500GB of storage via the Samsung 980 PRO, and the 1080p display; it costs roughly $3,300 (€2,799) before shipping via Bestware. The retailer estimates that configuration will be available in mid-April with a shipping time of 3-5 weeks.
  6. As tweeted by @momomo_us; it appears that ASRock has teased a brand new RX 6900XT model in Asia called the Formula OCF 16G. We don't know much, but we can assume it comes with 16GB of GDDR6. Presumably this will be ASRock's flagship model of the RX 6900 XT, built specifically for overclocking. If you are unfamiliar with the "Formula" branding, it's something ASRock came up with years ago for its motherboard lineup. These boards were targeted specifically towards overclockers, with excellent power delivery systems, and extra features targeted towards bringing users the best overclocking experience possible from the company. From what we can see, the RX 6900 XT Formula OCF 16G is a beefy triple slot card with a triple-fan cooler and a heatsink that covers the full length of the card. Aesthetically the card is rather neutral in color, with a grey and black theme, but there are yellow accents on the side of the card, showing off this is a Formula product. The only RGB we can see is a small light bar on the side of the card, right next to the Radeon branding. Looking at the PCB, we can see what seems to be a BIOS switch, so hopefully, this means the Formula will be packing multiple BIOS. We will probably see one BIOS optimized for quiet operation and the other for pure performance, like other dual BIOS graphics cards. Unfortunately, we don't know actual specs for clock speed and things such as power delivery. So hopefully ASRock will release more info on this card soon. But like all graphics cards currently, good luck trying to purchase one of these cards at all.
  7. The official Rocket Lake launch isn't even here yet, but professional overclockers are already pushing the Core i9 11900K past 7GHz. As Tweeted by APISAK, one overclocker called 'ROG-Fisher' so far has achieved this overclock on a ROG Maximus XIII Apex motherboard with a crazy-high voltage of 1.873v. That makes this score the highest frequency overclock on Rocket Lake--at least for right now. screenshot-2021.03.30-05_54_35.jpg Another overclocker in India has already begun work overclocking a 11900K. But for now, they have 'only' achieved 6.5Ghz, at a much lower vcore of 1.678v. This is just the beginning for Rocket Lake. It will take time for overclockers to feel out these new chips to see where they can be pushed. At least, for now, 7GHz seems to be the clock speed barrier to beat with liquid nitrogen cooling. Compare that to Intel's Comet Lake-S chips, which could hit well in excess of 7GHz. In-fact, with one CPU-Z validation, one overclocker almost hit the 8GHz mark. However, with Rocket Lake being the first-brand new architecture from Intel in over 5 years (and one of the only backported architectures), it makes us wonder if Rocket Lake will have any extra frequency headroom from the changes Intel has made to the architecture (compared to Comet Lake). Only time will tell. For more details on Rocket Lake, check out our coverage here. The official Rocket Lake launch is tomorrow so stay tuned for our review. Perhaps we'll see chips like the 11900K join the ranks as some of the best CPUs you can buy in 2021. And 'can buy' might be a key consideration. Given that Intel fabs its own CPUs, it seems unlikely the chip giant will suffer the same stock issues that have plagued AMD since the Ryzen 5000 launch last year.
  8. Intel has accidentally unveiled a host of details about its upcoming discrete graphics cards, including confirmed core counts and memory speeds. The new cards, created to rival AMD and Nvidia in gaming GPUs, are called Intel Xe HPG. I know, not the most inspiring or dynamic of names, but it's better than the DG2 codename, which stands for discrete graphics 2. I mean, at least it's not another lake. Whatever it's called, @KOMAchi_Ensaka (via Videocardz) has dug up a bunch of reference material on itself, which is surprisingly just searchable from the homepage. The documents unearthed from a quick 'DG2' search are only accessible if you have an authorised log in for the Intel resource center. Meaning you can get in only as an OEM partner, or such, but there is still a surprising amount of information given in the titles and snippets for the docs themselves. The most interesting is the official confirmation that there will indeed be a full-fat 512 execution unit (EU) version of the DG2 GPU. That's the 4,096 core-analogue which could potentially deliver the same sort of overall performance as the recently launched Radeon RX 6700 XT. Intel's own documentation also details 128 EU and 384 EU versions of the DG2 GPUs, which would equate to 1,024 and 3,072 core-analogue chips. There are no other actual core details dished out in the doc titles, but they do note a total of five different GPU SKUs specifically for the notebook side. That could mean there are only three different core counts, but differing levels of memory support. Or, that the rumours of 96, 128, 196, 256, 384, and 512 EU versions of the DG2 are true, and they'll all find a place in the PCs and laptops of tomorrow. Well, later on this year anyways. Videocardz has also found references to the different sockets that the 512 and 128 EU GPUs will use, with the former soldered into a 2660-pin ball grid array (BGA) socket, and the latter in a 1379-pin BGA socket. The site suggests, through a reference to DG2 in Tiger Lake H laptops, that DG2 will debut with those machines launching later this year. Tying the initial availability of its new discrete GPUs to its 11th Gen gaming laptops makes some sense as it allows Intel to tightly control the entire system from the get-go. With an add-in card launch first, the Intel Xe HPG cards would be at the mercy of the myriad systems the PC platform is home to, and who knows what difference older CPUs, different motherboards, and strange memory configurations might have on the brand new GPUs. Launching in a laptop first would make it far easier for Intel to validate and optimise the GPUs and drivers for those exact systems before they get in the hands of reviewers or the general public. The final piece of the puzzle unearthed in these doc titles and snippets is a note about graphics memory. The Intel Xe HPG cards will launch with support for GDDR6 and can operate with data rates of 14 GT/s up to 18 GT/s. So, what does all this mean? Basically, it's happening, it's really happening. I don't know if I genuinely thought Intel would get to the point where it was going to release an actual discrete gaming GPU, at least not this year. Even when Jacob had the DG1 in his hands, I still struggled to believe that there would be a gaming-capable follow-up that might actually hit my test rig. But from the teaser trailer to the first Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt (where all the prizes have already been claimed, whatever they were), and the increasing number of details hitting the internets, we're surely not going to have to wait much longer to actually find out if there really is a third way out of the current graphics card crisis.
  9. It might be difficult to get a desktop gaming PC at a good price right now, but you can still buy some of the best gaming laptops around without spending an absurd amount of money. Or you can try to find a real bargain, like this one. Right now, one Gateway laptop with a Ryzen 5 processor and GTX 1650 is on sale for just $599.00, a savings of $300 from the normal cost. That's one of the cheapest laptops we've seen yet with a dedicated graphics card. The model on sale is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, a 6-core/12-thread APU with integrated Radeon graphics. You also get 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD for Windows and games, and a 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS screen that maxes out at 120Hz. A high refresh rate display on a laptop this cheap is rare. For graphics, this laptop uses an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. That's a lower-end graphics card, but it's still enough to play most modern games comfortably at 1080p, as long as you lower the quality settings. Check out our GTX 1650 review for more details, but keep in mind we reviewed the desktop model—the laptop card is slightly slower due to thermal constraints.
  10. We hear you all asking the same question — “Gateway is still a thing?” Yes, it is, and as it turns out, it knows a thing or two about gaming laptop deals. It may be called the Gateway Creator Series, but everything from the 120Hz display and 10th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU to the RTX 2060 GPU just screams “gaming.” This tech might be last-gen at this point, but this still an impressive machine, seeing as it's selling for under $800! Catching our team off guard with its sheer value for money, the Gateway Creator Series features a 15.6-inch FHD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and audio tuned by THX for an immersive experience. Under the hood, you’ll find an Intel Core i5-10300H processor with a clock speed up to 4.5GHz, alongside an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and 6GB GDDR6. Multitasking is handled with 8GB DDR4 RAM. The 256GB NVMe SSD is on the smaller side, but we’ll forgive that at such a low price point. Besides, you can just boost the storage with an external SSD.
  11. Samsung has announced that it has developed the industry's first 512GB memory module using its latest DDR5 memory devices that use high-k dielectrics as insulators. The new DIMM is designed for next-generation servers that use DDR5 memory, including those powered by AMD's Epyc 'Genoa' and Intel's Xeon Scalable 'Sapphire Rapids' processors. Samsung's 512GB DDR5 registered DIMM (RDIMM) memory module uses 32 16GB stacks based on eight 16Gb DRAM devices. The 8-Hi stacks use through silicon via interconnects to ensure low power and quality signaling. For some reason, Samsung does not disclose the maximum data transfer rate its RDIMM supports, which is not something completely unexpected as the company cannot disclose specifications of next-generation server platforms. An interesting thing about Samsung's 512GB RDIMM is that it uses the company's latest 16 Gb DDR5 memory devices which replace traditional insulators with a high-k material originally used for logic gates to lower leakage current. This is not the first time Samsung has used HKMG technology for memory as, back in 2018, it started using it for high-speed GDDR6 devices. Theoretically, usage of HKMG could help Samsung's DDR5 devices to hit higher data transfer rates too. Samsung says that because of DDR5's reduced voltages, the HKMG insulating layer and other enhancements, its DDR5 devices consume 13% less power than predecessors, which will be particularly important for the 512GB RDIMM aimed at servers. When used with server processors featuring eight memory channels and two DIMMs per channel, Samsung's new 512GB memory modules allow you to equip each CPU with up to 8TB of DDR5 memory, up from 4TB today. Samsung says it has already started sampling various DDR5 modules with various partners from the server community. The company expects its next-generation DIMMs to be validated and certified by the time servers using DDR5 memory hit the market. "Intel's engineering teams closely partner with memory leaders like Samsung to deliver fast, power-efficient DDR5 memory that is performance-optimized and compatible with our upcoming Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Sapphire Rapids," said Carolyn Duran, Vice President and GM of Memory and IO Technology at Intel.
  12. Two upcoming professional graphics cards from Nvidia — the RTX A4000 and the RTX A5000 — have received an OpenCL 1.2 certification from the Khronos Group, the consortium that oversees that API. The submission for certification indicates that Nvidia is getting ready to release these products commercially. Nvidia submitted its yet-to-be-launched RTX A4000 and RTX A5000 proviz graphics cards along with appropriate drives to Khronos Group back in mid-February, as noticed by @KOMAchi_Ensaka. By now, the organization has tested the boards and found that they conform to the OpenCL 1.2 specification. It is noteworthy that the new professional graphics cards were submitted to Khronos Group along the RTX A6000 board and all three were submitted as Quadro RTX A6000/A5000/A4000 products despite the fact that Nvidia started to phase out its Quadro brand last October and ceased to use it with Ampere-based proviz boards. However, these are professional GPUs so we don't expect them to compete with the best graphics cards for gaming or carry the GeForce branding. Nvidia's RTX A6000 professional graphics card is based on the GA102 GPU with 10752 active CUDA cores as well as 48 GB of memory. Specifications of Nvidia's RTX A4000 and RTX A5000 products are unknown. The GPU developer only used its TU102 and TU104 for its Quadro RTX family launched in 2018. If it follows the same approach with the RTX A-series cards, then both the RTX A4000 and the RTX A5000 will be powered by the GA104 chip. Theoretically, Nvidia could use the GA106 for the RTX A4000. Neither RTX A4000 nor the RTX A5000 boards have been formally announced, and Nvidia does not typically comment on rumors, so we'll have to wait for an official announcement for confirmation of these specs and models.
  13. Intel's new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, has just given us a glimpse of the new Meteor Lake processors, with a prospective launch in 2023... now that the 7nm production process has been fixed. Talking with passion about the potential within Intel's manufacturing and design capabilities, as well as announcing a whole new wing of the business with the creation of Intel Foundry Services, Gelsinger reiterated his belief that its best years are ahead of it. Launching in 2023, Intel Meteor Lake will be a next-gen follow up to the Alder Lake chips launching this year. Like Alder Lake we're expecting a mixed core design, with both 7nm Ocean Cove and 10nm Gracemont sitting on the same package, but Meteor Lake is likely the first desktop processor to use the Foveros packaging technology to stack tiles on top of each other. screenshot-2021.03.24-03_27_18.jpg Gelsinger claims that this is Intel's competitive advantage going forward, where the tiles can work far better than the chiplets AMD is using to great effect in its Ryzen CPUs. Instead of having to go between chiplets the use of stacked tiles allows each individual component to act as though it's on a single chip. Those tiles will include a GPU tile and probably a dedicated AI tile too, as we're promised Meteor Lake will include what Intel is calling XPU IPs. Meteor Lake hitting the 'tape in' phase before the summer this year indicates how far down the road it is with its first 7nm client processor. This phase is where the different parts of the final chip are brought together for the first time in one package ahead of a final 'tape out' design just before manufacturing. We're still expecting a 10nm Alder Lake refresh in 2022, ahead of Meteor Lake, code named Raptor Lake. And then Meteor Lake will be followed by a similarly 7nm Lunar Lake family of chips, with Intel aiming for a yearly cadence and to re-establish the tick-tock strategy. The announcement came at tonight's Intel Unleashed: Engineering the Future livestream where Gelsinger also announced a radical change to its business creating a standalone foundry model alongside its own internal manufacturing. With the launch of Intel Foundry Services it's looking to rival the 80 percent of chip creation coming out of Asia, to secure capacity around the globe. As Gelsinger says, "the world needs more semiconductors," and Intel is looking to help provide the capacity to ensure that chip supply remains strong from a global standpoint. What we didn't hear any more about—despite Twitter teasers last week, and an Xe HPG Scavenger Hunt kicking off on Friday March 26—were Intel's new graphics cards being promised for the end of the year. As well as potentially providing a way out of the chip supply problems in the future (far in the future as it takes a while to build up a contract manufacturing arm and build a couple new $20bn fabs in Arizona), the new Xe HPG graphics cards could offer a way out of the GPU crisis. And it might be able to do it this year. However, Intel's first discrete gaming cards aren't going to be made in-house, and will be manufactured by TSMC on its own 7nm node. In fact Gelsinger promised it would be looking to increase the amount it uses external foundries throughout its business despite ostensibly setting up a rival contract foundry business of its own. Gelsinger looks to be going back to Intel's roots, and indeed claimed that "the old Intel is the new Intel" as he signed off the livestream. By doubling down on its manufacturing strengths and engineering background, and a commitment to execute on its roadmap, Intel looks to be on a strong path going forward. Though it may well take a while to get there yet.
  14. Are you looking to upgrade? The Gigabyte G27Q is an impressive gaming monitor currently on sale for $290 on Amazon this week. This FreeSync display typically lists for $330, but Amazon has slashed the price to a low of $290. The G270Q sports a native resolution of 2560x1440, DisplayHDR 400, and comes with a ton of valuable features. That 1440p resolution at 165Hz (144Hz via HDMI) hits the sweet spot that we recommend for gaming. It's an excellent gaming monitor if you manage to snag yourself one of those new AMD RX 6800 GPUs or want to play your Xbox Series X at 2K/60Hz or 1080p/120Hz. The 27-inch IPS panel is also the size we recommend to give you a nice window into your games without taking over your entire desk. I'm not the biggest fan of one of the specs here: DisplayHDR 400, which makes colors look washed out on most games supporting it. It's not true HDR, which requires a much brighter (and much more expensive) panel. I am a fan of a $290 price point, so I am willing to forgive the G27Q's weak HDR. Kizito's review of the display praises the G27Q's vibrant and smooth picture but knocks it for mundane design, which I don't entirely disagree with. Those thick bezels aren't the most flattering look in 2021. There's also a pair of helpful USB 3.0 ports along with a host of features like built-in hardware monitors that display fps, temperatures, and more.
  15. A YouTuber by the name of Vassi Tech has received his unlocked Core i9 Intel Rocket Lake desktop CPU a week prior to the official launch, which means we have new unboxing footage showing off Intel’s weird new packaging and what you can expect to get with your chip. Vassi Tech unboxed is the Core i9-11900K, which is the top-of-the-line Rocket Lake CPU, and it has a box to match. While a post from Intel shows that other Rocket Lake boxes will have typical rectangular shapes, the i9-11900K instead has a jagged, angular outer appearance with stylized transparent plastic that resembles an iceberg on the inside. This marks the latest in a trend within Intel’s latest processor generations to make the box for its best CPU stand out visually. Note the trapezoidal elements in the i9-10900K box or the d20 look on the i9-9900K box. Aside from the box design, there’s not too much else here to surprise you. You will get some stickers with the new Intel logo on them and an instruction booklet with your processor, but don’t expect a free cooler or the like because Intel doesn't include a cooler with its unlocked chips. If you’re a collector, though, the box definitely stands out. Especially since the top of the box mentions that Intel is an official partner of the Olympics, which is a bit amusing to see as the fate of the Tokyo Olympics is still uncertain after the pandemic.