World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Laptop Graphics Shootout With Variable Rate Shading

About two years ago, NVIDIA started talking about a shader rendering method that applied varying levels of quality to different objects in the game world. That method was called Variable Rate Shading, or VRS. When applied skillfully and artfully in different areas of a scene that are less prominent in the gamer's field of view, the resulting rendered image quality wouldn't look all that different than if the whole scene had been fully shaded, though the graphics workload savings would improve performance significantly. Fast forward a year or so, and benchmarks became available for measuring...

AMD Unveils Precision Boost Overdrive 2 To Amp-Up Ryzen 5000 Performance Even Further

AMD introduced Precision Boost Overdrive, or PBO, a couple of years back to make extracting additional performance from its Ryzen processors, in systems with additional power and thermal headroom, as simple as a few clicks in Ryzen Master. And today, the company just updated the feature with a couple of new wrinkles to boost performance of Ryzen 5000 series processors even further. Unlike a manual overclock which can lock cores at a particular frequency, with Precision Boost Overdrive SenseMI is left in control of the processor, so frequencies and voltages can still dynamically scale up and down...

Radeon RX 6800 & RX 6800 XT Review: AMD’s Back With Big Navi

For the past few weeks, PC gamers have been eagerly anticipating the launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series, a.k.a. “Big Navi”. NVIDIA shook up the GPU market over the last few months with its Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30-series cards, which offer significantly more performance and value than their predecessors. But, limited availability of GeForce 30-series cards has left a large contingent of enthusiasts in the lurch, with a pile of cash burning a hole in their pockets, itching to upgrade. So, when AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series was officially unveiled in late October and it...

Radeon RX 6800 XT And RX 6800 Hands-On Tour: AMD Big Navi In The Flesh

AMD has a lot of to prove with its next-generation Radeon RX 6000 Series of high-end enthusiast graphics cards. NVIDIA has gone pretty much unchallenged in the high-end sector for the past two years; however, AMD is now looking to fight fire with fire and we've got the first pieces of hot hardware in our hands right now. We're of course talking about the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT, which we just recently took possession of. The Radeon RX 6800 is most directly comparable to the GeForce RTX 3070, while the Radeon RX 6800 XT will be facing the GeForce RTX 3080; AMD...

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X And 5900X CPU Review: Zen 3 Dominates

AMD made some bold claims when it unveiled the Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series during its event early last month. Terms like “historic IPC uplift”, “fastest for gamers”, and “leading power efficiency” -- among a few other superlatives -- were bandied about with impunity. Over the course of the announcement, however, as AMD disclosed actual performance data and ran a few live demos, it became clear the company wasn’t kidding. If all of AMD’s claims proved true, the Ryzen 5000 series would be poised to lead the industry in content creation and gaming...

AMD Unveils Three Powerful Radeon RX 6000 Series Big Navi Cards To Topple NVIDIA's Best

Earlier this month, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su took to the stage and officially unveiled the company’s high-performance Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series processors. Towards the end of that event, Dr. Su also snuck in a few juicy tid-bits of information regarding the company’s upcoming high performance RDNA 2-based Radeons, often referred to as “Big Navi”. After that initial sneak peek, which showed a Radeon RX 6000 series card trading blows with a GeForce RTX 3080, some speculated that AMD may have been playing coy and holding something back for today’s bigger reveal, which...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Review: Breakout Performance At $499

NVIDIA is expanding its line-up of Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series cards today, with the relatively affordable GeForce RTX 3070. Although the card was announced alongside the higher-end GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 during NVIDIA’s GeForce Event hosted by CEO Jensun Huang last month, and was originally due to be arrive a bit sooner, NVIDIA decided to hold off on the official launch until its partners could ramp production and ensure shelves were adequately stocked upon launch. The more powerful flagship GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 sold out in a blink the moment they became available....

Samsung T7 Portable SSD Review: Blazing Fast, Portable Storage

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled the privacy-minded Portable SSD T7 Touch. This external USB-C storage device delivered high capacities up to 2TB and impressive read-write speeds over USB 3.2 Gen 2. Its headlining feature, however, was an integrated fingerprint reader to effortlessly unlock the drive’s AES 256-bit encryption. Not everyone needs this one-touch access to their files though, and would prefer a more straightforward external storage solution. For these users Samsung has released a non-touch variant of the T7 to shed some cost, but keep the rest of the goodness intact. Samsung...

NVIDIA Reflex Tested: Low Latency, Precision Gaming At 360Hz

A few weeks back, we showed you NVIDIA’s Reviewer Toolkit, which gives publications like ours the ability to quantify GPU performance, power, and system latency in finer detail than we could before. One of the main components of the Reviewer Toolkit is a small device, dubbed LDAT, or the Latency Display Analysis Tool. LDAT connects to a system via USB and features an integrated photoelectric luminance sensor, along with a direct connection to the left mouse button on a modified Logitech G203 gaming mouse. When connected to a system and mounted to the proper location on a monitor, LDAT can...

AMD Ryzen 5 5600U 6-Core Zen 3 Mobile Chip Rumored At 4.2GHz With Vega GPU

Zen 3 is coming, and it's close enough that we can just about taste it. While the Ryzen 5000 family of CPUs just might squash just about every architecture before it in single-threaded performance, every member of AMD's new processor family we've seen so far has been a desktop chip. A couple of recent leaks, however, start to paint a picture of the Red Team's coming mobile lineup, which seems to have some twists and turns among it.  We'll start with the good news: Zen 3 APUs are apparently coming to laptops as part of the Ryzen 5000 product line. Over on Twitter, a leaker going by Executable...

Microsoft Readies Hardware-Accelerated AV1 Windows 10 Codec Requires Iris Xe, Ampere Or Navi 21

The AV1 video codec created by the Alliance for Open Media promises big gains in video quality for a given bitrate. The new codec also delivers an open, royalty-free standard that the consortium hopes to use to replace Motion Picture Entertainment Group's (MPEG) H.264 and Google's VP9. AOM says that AV1 can achieve 50% better compression with the same image quality compared to H.264, so it's bound to save some bandwidth. Video encoded with AV1 has been out there for a while, but has required CPU intervention to decode. Now AV1 can be accelerated by graphics hardware, but the requirements are kind...

Intel Tiger Lake-H And Alder Lake 8-Core 16-Thread CPU Platforms Detailed In Extensive Leak

Intel's ultra-portable Tiger Lake aspirations got off to a great start and reset the playing field for laptop performance, once retail examples broke cover last week. We've all been interested in seeing what the company would do for an encore in segments where power budgets are higher. Current speculation is that Intel might be ready to talk about Tiger Lake-H processors around CES, and perhaps in conjunction with its first discrete GPUs in more than 20 years. However, we might already know quite a bit more than that about the world's biggest x86 chip maker's plans, thanks to leaks inside notebook...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Review: BFGPU Benchmarks Unleashed

What happens when you take the burly GPU powering the GeForce RTX 3080, enable a couple thousand more cores, widen the memory interface, more than double the memory capacity, boost the texturing capabilities, and outfit the beast with a quiet, oversized, high-performance cooler? Well, we’ll tell you. You end up with the GeForce RTX 3090, or the “BFGPU” as NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang called it during its official unveiling. If you’re unfamiliar with the Doom BFG reference there, we’ll let you look it up. Rest assured, the BF doesn’t stand for Best Friend....

Samsung SSD 980 Pro Review: Blazing Fast PCIe 4.0 Storage

We first caught a glimpse of the Samsung SSD 980 Pro all the way back at CES in early January. The highly-anticipated drive was tucked away in a display case in Samsung’s massive booth on the show floor, but other than the branding, some early claimed performance data, and the fact that drive had a native PCIe 4.0 interface, details were scant. All that changes today, though. We’ve gotten our hands on a couple of shiny, new Samsung SSD 980 Pro drives – in 250GB and 1TB flavors – and are finally able to give you the full scoop. The Samsung SSD 980 Pro series of solid state...

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements Are In And They’re Surprisingly Lenient

CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most hotly-anticipated games of recent years. The Witcher developer's take on the dystopian Cyberpunk tabletop RPG series promises to merge tons of action, series lore, and amazing graphics into a huge open-world adventure through Night City. From the screenshots we've seen over the last couple of years, it had appeared that the game might require a hefty PC. However, CDPR released the system requirements, and they're lighter than most people thought they'd be.  The game's official Twitter account tweeted minimum and recommended specs, and it seems...

Intel Tiger Lake And Xe Graphics Benchmarks: Laptops Will Roar

Intel has been showcasing its forthcoming Tiger Lake mobile processor line-up since its public debut in January of this year at CES. However, more recently the company disclosed the architecture powering the 11th Gen Core series CPUs at its Architecture Day 2020 event and then followed-up quickly with a full product stack unveil. To say anticipation is high for this product would be an understatement. Intel has a lot riding on Tiger Lake, with its Willow Cove cores and more importantly perhaps, its 10nm SuperFin transistors and Xe Graphics technologies that will underpin a whole new family of products...

Palit GeForce RTX 3080 GamingPro OC Review: Big, Custom Ampere

The Ampere-based NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review embargo lifted yesterday and immediately got hardcore gamers and GPU enthusiasts buzzing. Cards may not be in the hands of consumers just yet, but witnessing the power and performance of the GeForce RTX 3080 alongside NVIDIA’s and AMD’s now previous-gen flagships, it is plain to see that Ampere is giant leap forward. The $699 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 skunked even the ultra-high-end Titan RTX and it blew past the similarly-priced GeForce RTX 2080 Super. What about AMD you ask? Well, for all intents and purposes, the GeForce RTX 3080 was...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Review: Ampere Is A Gaming Monster

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang officially unveiled the GeForce RTX 30 series based on the company’s Ampere architecture a couple of weeks back, to much fanfare. According to Jensen, who owns more spatulas than any human realistically should, the GeForce RTX 30 series represents the greatest generational leap in the company’s history. During the presentation, Jensen claimed the GeForce RTX 3080 would offer double the performance of its predecessor, with better efficiency, and it would feature leading-edge technology throughout its design, from its chip packaging, to its PCB, a new cooling solution,...

NVIDIA $40B Arm Acquisition Creates Chip Superpower In Largest Semiconductor Deal Ever

After months of rumors and a report yesterday that said that a deal was imminent, NVIDIA announced today that it plans to acquire Arm in a massive deal valued at $40 billion, in what is the largest deal in semiconductor industry history. The two companies have reached a “definitive agreement” in which SoftBank will also take a 10 percent ownership stake in NVIDIA. The transaction represents an big shakeup in the tech industry with NVIDIA now wielding influence over the Arm microarchitecture that has shaped and powers nearly every aspect of modern electronics, from...

TONOR Q9 USB Microphone Kit Review: Affordable, Quality Audio

This is undoubtedly the year of video conferences and virtual meetings. Perhaps nothing makes one of these conferences more insufferable than someone’s scratchy, low-quality integrated microphone -- and the last thing you want is for that scratchy mic to be yours. Fortunately, upping your microphone game can be very easy. You do not need to dive into the expensive world of audio interfaces, mixers, and XLR cables to see a massive improvement. The TONOR Q9 USB microphone kit we'll be showing you here provides everything necessary to step up your audio production quality for a very attractive...

NVIDIA Reviewer Toolkit: Preparing For Ampere, Exploring Perf, Power And Latency

A couple of days after NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang officially unveiled the company's Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series of GPUs, the company held a few additional briefings to give press and analysts a deeper dive into its latest innovations. Should you have missed NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 series event and our additional coverage of Ampere’s architecture and new features, we’d suggest checking out those articles to set the stage for what is in store over the next few weeks. Intermingled with one of NVIDIA’s follow-up talks, company officials also unveiled a new set of tools...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series: Under The Hood Of Ampere

NVIDIA held some virtual briefings yesterday to provide some additional color to CEO Jensen Huang’s GeForce RTX 30 series event from earlier this week. There weren’t many significant new announcements made, but a number of the slides Jensen presented were fleshed-out a bit more, with additional details and a few new visuals revealed, that paint a more complete picture of Ampere and the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080, and RTX 3070. If you haven’t already read our coverage of the launch event, we strongly suggest checking that out. There overview provided will lay the foundation...

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