Dell UltraSharp 4K Webcam Review: Up Your WFH Video Quality

The humble webcam has seen a surge to prominence fueled by the rise of web conferencing and remote work, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a few short years ago, a webcam could be buried away below the display of a laptop and few users would complain or even notice. With those days behind us, consumers and professionals alike have been scrambling to improve their on-screen presence to the point of creating a shortage of the now critical device. That same demand has drawn more players into the discrete webcam space, including Dell. Dell's recently released 4K-capable UltraSharp Webcam aims...

Intel Architecture Day 21: Alder Lake, Arc, Sapphire Rapids And More Revealed

Intel held its annual Architecture Day earlier this week, and it’s safe to say that members of the press and analyst communities were waiting with baited breath for the deep dive disclosures on the company’s next-gen silicon architectures and products that are typically unveiled at the event. This year, Intel gave us a densely-packed view of what it has in store for PC consumers, the enterprise and data centers. From Alder Lake to Intel Arc, Sapphire Rapids, Ponte Vecchio and more, Intel laid down the gauntlet in fair detail on a number of fronts. As usual, there was a lot to digest,...

AMD Radeon Pro W6600 Review: RDNA 2 Pro-Vis GPU For Less

Embargos lifted on Radeon RX 6600 XT reviews this morning, but that mainstream gaming GPU isn’t the only one AMD is pushing out the door today. The Radeon Pro W6600, which was announced back in early June alongside the more powerful Radeon Pro W6800, is also launching today. As its name implies, the Radeon Pro W6600, like its gaming-class Radeon RX 6600 XT counterpart, is a professional workstation GPU that targets more mainstream price points and performance levels than the W6800. The Radeon Pro W6600’s feature set is right in-line with higher-end RDNA 2-based offerings, however, and...

HP ZBook Firefly 14 G8 Review: A Premium Mobile Workstation

Mobile workstations come in all shapes and sizes. Recently we took a look at the HP ZBook Fury 15 G7, a powerful mobile workstation with ISV-certified drivers that could replace many desktops, but in a more portable form factor. Many engineers need the type of power and reliability offered by a machine the size of the ZBook Fury 15 G7, to work with the latest 3D modeling apps, not to mention content creators that need all the video editing punch they can get, with some portability as well. However, many others in the same organization may need the same ISV-certified drivers with more portability...

Intel SSD D7-P5510 Review: Ultra-Fast PCIe 4 Enterprise Storage

Intel has been making noise in virtually all segments of the storage market as of late. A few weeks back, we took a look at the Optane Memory H20, which combines 3DXpoint media with traditional NAND on hybrid M.2 device to accelerate the storage subsystem in mainstream notebooks and PCs. More recently, we evaluated the blazing-fast, ultra-pricey Optane SSD P5800X for high-performance workstations, and we can't forget about the budget friendly SSD 670p that arrived in early March. Today, we’ll shift our focus to the enterprise space and inspect Intel’s recently-announced PCIe Gen 4 SSD...

Intel Optane SSD P5800X Review: The Fastest SSD Ever

When we reviewed the Intel Optane SSD 905P back in 2018, despite a significant price premium over NAND-based SSDs, we gave the drive and Editor’s Choice award due to its exceptional performance where it mattered most for consumers, e.g. access times and random transfers at low queue depths. Intel Optane solid state drives typically offer much better latency characteristics, more consistent and predicable performance with a variety of workloads -- regardless of how much drive capacity is being used – and their endurance ratings are off the charts. The only caveats with the 905P were...

Radeon Pro W6800 Review: AMD RDNA 2-Infused Workstation Muscle

AMD is expanding its line-up of RDNA 2-based GPUs today, with a trio of new Radeon Pro graphics cards targeting the professional workstation market. These new Radeon Pro cards leverage the same GPU architecture as their consumer-class Radeon RX-branded counterparts, but Radeon Pros feature completely different designs, go through additional qualification and are certified for a myriad of pro-vis applications. The new line-up is spearheaded by the Radeon Pro W6800. The Radeon Pro W6800 is packing AMD’s current top-end Navi 21 GPU and a beefy 32GB of GDDR6 RAM with ECC support. Though the Radeon...

Marvell Announces Bravera SC5 PCIe 5.0 SSD Controller Ripping 14GB/s Of Blistering Bandwidth

Up until today, there had not existed a solid state driver controller that takes advantage of the PCI Express 5.0 specification. That just changed, however, with Marvell's introduction of the Bravera SC5, the industry's first SSD controller to support PCIe 5.0 and NVMe 1.4b, to potentially double the performance of PCIe 4.0 SSDs. That claim comes by way of the bandwidth that PCIe 5.0 affords. In terms of raw speed, PCIe 5.0 doubles the transfer rate from PCIe 4.0 from 16GT/s to 32GT/s (that's GigaTransfers per second). That translates to around 4GB/s per lane, so in a x16 configuration, we're looking...

Samsung Debuts Innovative CXL Module Enabling DDR5 Memory Upgrades Via A PCIe 5 Slot

Data centers have a new high-tech toy to play with, courtesy of Samsung. Called the CLX Memory Expander, it sort of looks like an external storage device (from the renders) in the vein of Samsung's T7 Portable SSD, but it is nothing of the sort. This is essentially a memory expansion device that leverages the new Compute Express Link (CLX) interconnect standard. Why not just stick with conventional DDR-based memory? Well, there is a limitation imposed by memory channels, whereas Samsung's CXL-enabled module scales memory capacity to terabyte levels, in DDR5 form to boot. In addition, Samsung says...

HP ZBook Fury 15 G7 Review: A Potent Mobile Workstation

Normally when people think of "business-class laptops" they envision moderately powerful systems that handle office productivity tasks and web browsing duties with plenty of performance to keep employees productive, but without frivolous cost-adding features. On the flip side, workstations conjure images of tremendously powerful beasts with all the right kinds of excess: plenty of cores, tons of memory, and high-end professional graphics with certified drivers for powerful, mission-critical applications. Somewhere in the middle is the mobile workstation market, where hybrid laptops like the HP...

New Spectre Chip Security Vulnerability Found That Leaves Billions Of PCs Still Defenseless

Back in 2018, a processor security vulnerability called Spectre appeared, affecting all modern CPU architectures from Intel, AMD, and even ARM in the last 20 years. Since then, major players and semiconductor OEMs have worked hard to patch out the vulnerabilities in a cybersecurity whack-a-mole game, in some cases leading to performance loss and other issues. Today, unfortunately, University of Virginia Researchers have now found a way to circumvent all of the original Spectre security mitigations, essentially resurrecting the ghostly security flaw that will now again haunt billions of...

PasswordState Password Manager Leaks Enterprise Customer Credentials In Embarrassing Facepalm

When it comes to password management, users really have just a handful of options, and all of them have their caveats. If we choose to just use memorable passwords and recycle them between accounts, one account becoming compromised can lead to a group of them being in a bad state. On the other hand, relying on a cloud service to store passwords puts our security credentials on someone else's servers, and we're subject to whatever tracking those services may entail. Lastly, if we host our own password management solutions, one bad update can leak our credentials to the world. This third option is...

NVIDIA Grace Next-Gen Arm CPU Delivers 10x Performance Lift For Giant-Scale AI And HPC Workloads

During its GTC 2021 keynote today, NVIDIA unveiled a new product for high performance computing (HPC) clients, its first-ever data center CPU called Grace. Based on Arm's architecture, NVIDIA claims Grace serves up 10x better performance than the fastest servers on the market currently, for complex artificial intelligence and HPC workloads. To be clear, though this is NVIDIA's first data center CPU, it is not intended to compete head-to-head against Intel's Xeon lineup and AMD's EPYC processors. NVIDIA made a point to say this, noting it continues to provide full support for all big iron server...

Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Launched: 10nm Ice Lake-SP To Supercharge Data Centers

Intel is launching its first server products built using its advanced 10nm manufacturing process today: the 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable family of processors. 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors are based on the Ice Lake-SP microarchitecture, which incorporates a number of new features and enhancements. For example, core counts have been significantly increased; Intel 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors feature up to 40 cores per processor versus 28 cores with 2nd gen offerings. The 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor platform also supports up to 8 channels of DDR4-3200 memory, up to 6 terabytes of...

Lenovo ThinkStation P620 Review: Beastly 64-Core Performance

When it comes to high-end content creation, time is money. Businesses with employees that are stuck sitting around waiting for compute-intensive tasks to finish, simply can't get as much accomplished as those with speedy hardware that can power through the most demanding tasks. Tons of parallel processing power and professional-tier graphics cards for these scenarios don't come cheap, but they can certainly pay dividends in terms of efficiency and time saved. That's the story of Lenovo's ultra-powerful ThinkStation P620 workstation, which is on our test bench today.  Breaking this system from...

Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Ice Lake-SP CPUs Launch April 6, What We Know Now

Intel has a couple of notable events coming up. The first is a webcast scheduled for tomorrow (March 23), in which Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger will discuss a "new era of innovation and technology leadership." Then in a couple weeks from now, Intel is planning to formally introduce its latest 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors based on Ice Lake-SP. Intel's Xeon launch event, titled "How Wonderful Gets Done 2021," is scheduled for April 6 at 8:00 am Pacific (11:00 am Eastern). Intel's Navin Shenoy, executive vice president in the Data Platforms Group, and Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president in...

AMD EPYC 7003 Series Unveiled: Big Iron Zen 3 Takes Flight

AMD just launched its next-generation EPYC server processors, codenamed Milan, based on the company’s leading Zen 3 microarchitecture. The new EPYC 7003 series is an important milestone for AMD. The company has made significant in-roads in servers and data centers in recent years, and the arrival of the EPYC 7003 series brings with it significantly improved IPC and per-core performance, better multi-core scaling, and more flexible memory configuration options (among other new features), in a package that’s socket compatible with previous-gen offerings – existing EPYC platforms...

Zoom Like A Pro With This Video Conference Home Studio Optimization Guide

Whether you're streaming, video podcasting, or working from home to join meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams, visual fidelity is important. Video calls are hard to handle when we can't understand each other and body language is important. Streams on Twitch or  YouTube video with poor quality are an easy pass, as well. We've previously talked about improving audio quality with some simple-to-use USB microphones, so now it's time to improve your video production value as well. Be Sure To Check Our Best USB Microphones For Audio Fidelity As Well Camera Setups That Look Great We've been setting...

Microsoft Warns Web Shell Attacks That Maliciously Harness Servers Increased Dramatically In 2020

As long as computers have been around, there have been hackers who have progressively improved and become sneakier at exploiting them. Last year, Microsoft used Microsoft 365 Defender data to find that web shell attacks, which are simple yet effective pieces of malicious code embedded into a web server, are rising. This year, they found that trend “not only continued, it accelerated: every month from August 2020 to January 2021.” Web shells, as Microsoft describes, are just “a small piece of malicious code,” that “allows attackers to run commands on servers to steal...

Microsoft Azure And HP Partner To Bring AI-Powered Cloud Computing To Space

Today, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise announced a partnership to bring Azure and edge computing to the ultimate edge: space. This will allow Azure workloads, local computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to be leveraged on the International Space Station (ISS). As Tom Keane, Corporate VP of Azure Global, explains, “Astronauts and space explorers deserve access to the best cloud computing technologies and advanced processing.” When it comes to working and computing in space, “Sometimes analysis needs to be done immediately at the edge,” or “other...

Here’s Samsung DeX Wirelessly Connecting A Galaxy S21 To Windows In Cross-Platform Harmony

Samsung has long dreamed of the modern smartphone extending its usefulness to more PC-like use cases, such as functions you might otherwise drive on a desktop or laptop. To that end, the company has poured resources into DeX, a Chrome OS-like interface that works remarkably well with a traditional keyboard and mouse. Last fall, we really dug this feature as part of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, where DeX added tons of utility to an otherwise-barren Android tablet landscape. DeX isn't just for tablets, though; the Galaxy S phone lineup has long supported it. A new feature of Samsung's new Galaxy...

Intel Sapphire Rapids Enterprise CPUs Confirmed With On-Package HBM Memory Support

The end of the year is typically thin on interesting news in the technology sector, as companies opt to wait for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January to make any major announcements or product unveils. There are exceptions, however. Just before we ring in another year, Intel has posted an interesting document that essentially confirms its upcoming Xeon Scalable processors based on Sapphire Rapids will support on-package high bandwidth memory (HBM). While previously rumored, this is a feature Intel has not explicit stated up to this point. During its Architecture Day 2020 event this past...

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