AMD Releases Statement on Zen 2 IPC Performance Uplift Article

AMD has released a statement explaining the Zen 2 IPC performance uplift numbers noted in press release footnotes. According to AMD, “The data in the footnote represented the performance improvement in a microbenchmark for a specific financial services workload which benefits from both integer and floating point performance improvements and is not intended to quantify the IPC increase a user should expect to see across a wide range of applications.” The full statement is below.



“As we demonstrated at our Next Horizon event last week, our next-generation AMD EPYC server processor based on the new “Zen 2” core delivers significant performance improvements as a result of both architectural advances and 7nm process technology. Some news media interpreted a “Zen 2” comment in the press release footnotes to be a specific IPC uplift claim. The data in the footnote represented the performance improvement in a microbenchmark for a specific financial services workload which benefits from both integer and floating point performance improvements and is not intended to quantify the IPC increase a user should expect to see across a wide range of applications. We will provide additional details on “Zen 2” IPC improvements, and more importantly how the combination of our next-generation architecture and advanced 7nm process technology deliver more performance per socket, when the products launch.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – AMD Releases Statement on Zen 2 IPC Performance Uplift Article

Path of Exile: Betrayal Expansion Is Coming in December

The Path of Exile: Betrayal expansion will bring back the Bestiary game play and meld it with new features based around syndicates. There are 4 syndicate divisions and after defeating a member of the syndicate; gamers will have a choice to bargain, execute, interrogate or induce them to betray each other. Your goal is to gain intelligence that leads to the captains of each division, and ultimately uncover the identity of the Immortal Syndicate’s mastermind.



Members of the Immortal Syndicate can drop items with new Veiled Modifiers. Take these to Jun to Unveil the item and pick from one of three properties for the item to receive. As you Unveil specific modifiers, you learn the ability to craft these onto other items and can work towards unlocking higher-level versions of these properties. We have revamped the entire process of Mastercrafting, from the user interface to the way you acquire new crafting options. Individual Mastercrafting options are now unlocked by completing specific content, such as Incursion rooms or Delve encounters, rather than by grinding Master levels.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Path of Exile: Betrayal Expansion Is Coming in December

Windows 10 Version 1809 Is Getting a Re-Release Today

Microsoft has announced that the October update is getting a re-release. Those who previously missed out on the excitement of losing their files, will have a chance to update to the seminal Windows 10 version 1809 experience today. Finally all of the NVIDIA RTX 2000 series owners will be able to experience DirectX Raytracing (DXR) from the comfort of their home.



On November 13, 2018, we will begin the re-release of the Windows 10 October Update (version 1809), Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server, version 1809. We encourage you to wait until the feature update is offered to your device automatically.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Windows 10 Version 1809 Is Getting a Re-Release Today

Intel Opens Development Center in India

The Telangana government announced that Intel is opening a technology development center in Hyderabad, India. The new research center will host 1500 employees in its initial stages, with “potential to grow significantly.” Raja Koduri, a former leader of AMD’s graphic’s division who just recently joined Intel, commented on the new center, saying Intel’s “Bangalore leadership is only one hop away,” and that they “can help grow it to cover our Graphics and throughput computing hardware and software ambitions.” Intel is reportedly working on discrete graphics cards of their own, and its possible that some of the chip’s development could take place in India now.



ill be a major development centre…ideal as our Bangalore leadership is only one hop away and can help grow it to cover our Graphics and throughput computing hardware and software ambitions

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Opens Development Center in India

Activsion-Blizzard Stock is Tumbling

These last two months have been pretty hard on the stock market in general, but Activision-Blizzard seems to be faring worse than everyone else. Their stock price has plummeted from a high of about $83.3 in October to about $53 right now. For a company as large as Activision-Blizzard, that’s bad. The Know drills down on why the stock is tanking in the video below:



BlizzCon’s Diablo Immortal announcement dropped Activision’s stock by 6.74%, but after a recent investor call their stock took yet another big hit. Hosted By: Brian Gaar and Jenn VanGemert Edited By: Aaron Porter

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Activsion-Blizzard Stock is Tumbling

WinStar Sponsors eSports Club

Marking “the first time that a U.S. esports organization has designated a casino as its official sponsor,” VentureBeat reports that WinStar World Casino and Resort is sponsoring the esports club Complexity Gaming. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones currently owns Complexity Gaming, and the CEO of the company pointed out that esports are starting to go mainstream. WinStar seems to agree, as they say esports are “one of the fastest growing genres of mainstream entertainment.” Nike signed a deal with an esports athlete just last month, and VentureBeat thinks all this is a sign that gaming, gambling, and sports are rapidly converging.



While ages 18 to 34 comprise the largest demographic, esports viewership is beginning to skew older, with nearly one in three esports viewers being between the ages of 35 to 54, according to market researcher Interpret. Additionally, online streaming platforms, like Twitch and YouTube have a larger audience base – for gaming alone – than HBO, Netflix, and ESPN have combined, according to a report by Goldman Sachs.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – WinStar Sponsors eSports Club

Waymo to Launch the World's First Autonomous Car Service in December

According to Bloomberg, anonymous sources say that Waymo is going to launch the world’s first commercial driverless car service in early December 2018. The name of the service is a closely guarded secret at this time and will serve the Phoenix, Arizona area where Waymo has been testing autonomous vehicles. Some vehicles will have backup drivers initially to keep customers at ease, but the vehicles will be operated autonomously 99.9% of the time. Current volunteers in the testing program will receive cars without a backup driver to test new features. Waymo has recently been granted approval to begin testing autonomous cars in California’s Silicon Valley.



Waymo is just beginning to experiment with pricing models. For now, the program is more about learning how to safely scale driverless cars than making money. At launch, Waymo will offer straightforward fares that are competitive with Uber and Lyft. Pricing may become more nuanced as Waymo collects more data from the commercial program. Once the backup safety drivers are taken out of the equation and Waymo figures out how to charge for in-ride entertainment and advertising, analysts expect base fares to drop.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Waymo to Launch the World’s First Autonomous Car Service in December

Fallout 76 is Online Now

Fallout 76 was supposed to launch tomorrow, as Bethesda’s own website says it will be available on November 14. The PlayStation site has a “countdown to launch” timer, and right now it says the game is launching in 11 hours. But once again, Fallout 76 is apparently up a little earlier than planned, as players are streaming the game on Twitch, and Eurogamer verified that it’s up on the PS4. Fallout’s launch date could be based on Asian time zones, or maybe they made a bet with DICE. Regardless, it appears that you can jump into Fallout 76 right now. Bethesda posted a launch letter on their website yesterday, where they reflect on the game’s development and outline plans to support the game in the future.



A huge thanks to everyone at Bethesda and ZeniMax who supported us in making this game. Creating a new style of game has taken the best from not just our own producers, programmers, artists and designers – but great efforts from across the company. Special thanks to our friends at ZeniMax Online, id and Arkane who helped us. And thanks to everyone in publishing, IT, Bethesda.Net, Customer Service, Admin and our incredible partners in QA. And a special thank you to all our fans who participated in the B.E.T.A. With your help we’ve made the game better each week. And this is just the beginning. We have an incredible list of updates we’ve begun work on – from C.A.M.P. building improvements, new quests and events, new Vaults opening, character respecing, a faction-based PvP system, and much more.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Fallout 76 is Online Now

Reviewers Don't Trust Facebook's Portal

Reviewers have had their hands on Facebook’s Portal for some time, and the verdict is pretty much the same everywhere: Portal is one of the best video calling devices ever made. The Wall Street Journal calls it the “most immersive video-chatting experiences I’ve ever had,” while CNET praises the camera’s tracking ability, screen quality, and camera quality, saying it feels like you’re in the same room as the other person. However, almost every review I came across had one major caveat: they simply don’t trust the device. The same Wall Street Journal reviewer who praised the Facebook device refused to even bring a Portal into her home. A New York Times reviewer was frustrated by how easy the device was to setup, and how amazing it was, as he couldn’t shake the feeling that it was “some kind of digital Eye of Sauron.” In spite of their substantial efforts, Facebook seems to have broken the trust of the press, and its possible that feeling could filter down to consumers this holiday season.



That was my biggest problem – and likely Facebook’s most difficult hurdle to overcome when selling the Portal. It was the idea that I was putting an always-on camera in my home, connected to Facebook, 24 hours a day. There was no shaking the feeling that I was being watched.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Reviewers Don’t Trust Facebook’s Portal

PUBG is Coming to the PS4

On the Playstation blog, Sony announced that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to the Playstation 4 on December 7. Preorders of the Playstation 4 versions of the game come with a Nathan Drake Skin and Ellie’s Backpack from The Last of Us, and prices seem to be the same as other platforms. However, the official announcement didn’t mention anything about cross platform play. Epic Games recently strong-armed Sony into backing down from their strict no-crossplay policy, and seeing how Fortnite is easily PubG’s biggest competitor, it’ll be interesting to see if the devs eventually squeeze it in. Check out the promotional launch video below:



One of most memorable moments while developing PS4 PUBG was the first time we had 100 people join a test match. Before the test, the dev team’s mission was to deliver the finished product this year – it was a big challenge and it felt almost impossible. But as soon as we had 100 people drop in for the test, our confidence started to build and and we pushed ourselves harder to make everything happen. We are proud of the game we have created and can’t wait to get it into your hands!”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – PUBG is Coming to the PS4

Students Revolt Against Facebook Sponsored "Summit Learning" Curriculum

Students at Brooklyn’s Secondary School for Journalism staged a walkout in protest of the adoption of Facebook sponsored educational tools. Summit Learning is a web-based curriculum designed by Facebook engineers and is financially backed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Students complained that they felt as if they were learning on their own as the teachers assigned to the program didn’t know the answers to their questions.
Students only have access to their teachers during weekly 10 to 15 minute, one-on-one mentoring sessions and spend most of their day studying on laptops. Ninth and tenth grade teachers are being trained using Summit Learning and it has been adopted by other schools in the state. Parents have concerns about data privacy after the recent Facebook data breaches.



But senior Kelly Hernandez, 17, who organized the walkout, said her Environmental Science teacher wasn’t trained, leaving kids adrift. “It was bad enough that we were lost, the teachers were lost,” Kelly said. “We have done absolutely nothing in that class.” David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor, said the online system “fits the Facebook business model,” but came into city schools with little input or review. “It’s educational experimentation on our kids,” he said.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Students Revolt Against Facebook Sponsored “Summit Learning” Curriculum

Amazon Announces New Headquarters in Virginia and New York

On its website, Amazon officially announced the locations of its new headquarters. As previous rumors suggested, Amazon is splitting its new operations between locations in Arlington, just outside of Washington DC, and in Long Island City, at the western tip of Queens, New York City. Amazon claims that both headquarters will host about 25,000 high paying jobs, and Amazon will start hiring in 2019 if you’re interested. Amazon is also building a new “Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville, Tennessee. Apparently, Amazon’s new headquarters has already sparked a real estate boom in Long Island City, and Arlington and Tennessee will undoubtedly benefit from the new developments too.



As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, New York and Long Island City will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Amazon Announces New Headquarters in Virginia and New York

Intel Core i9-9900XE Extreme Edition Review

As usual, we try to take a bit of a different tack when reviewing CPUs. In our Intel Core i9-9980XE vs AMD Ryzen Threadripper review we do what you might think, and compare the newest Intel HEDT processor against every HEDT processor that AMD currently produces. Where does the 9980XE sit in the stack?



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Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Core i9-9900XE Extreme Edition Review

Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Review

As usual, we try to take a bit of a different tack when reviewing CPUs. In our Intel Core i9-9980XE vs AMD Ryzen Threadripper review we do what you might think, and compare the newest Intel HEDT processor against every HEDT processor that AMD currently produces. Where does the 9980XE sit in the stack?



Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition Review

Mobile SoC Manufacturers are Putting ARM Chips in Notebooks

Qualcomm already uses the Snapdragon 850 in some Windows PCs, and rumors indicate that they’re cooking up a larger chip designed specifically for larger devices. But, according to “industry sources” in contact with Digitimes, they aren’t the only mobile SOC manufacturer trying to push into the PC market. Apple, Samsung, HiSilicon, and Unisoc may be working on “a spate of 7nm chips for slim notebooks set to be unveiled in 2019.” The source said that the major barrier to entry is Windows software support, and once they work that out with Microsoft, “it will be highly feasible for new-generation slim notebooks to adopt mobile chip platforms instead of CPUs in the future.” Samsung already pushed out some Exynos-based Chromebooks, and analysts have been predicting Apple’s entry into the market for years. But a 2019 release would mean that notebook chip development is already well underway.



Along with growing AI applications, global new-generation smartphone SoCs have integrated the functions of CPU, GPU and NPU. This, coupled with the support of advanced 7nm process that will become mainstream node for mobile SoCs in 2019, will create a larger leeway for business expansion by global mobile chip suppliers, the sources indicated. Accordingly, the sources commented that leading chipmakers are aggressively strengthening AI function and power-saving performance for their 7nm mobile chipsets, and such chip solutions will become a new choice beyond Intel and AMD processors for notebook makers.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Mobile SoC Manufacturers are Putting ARM Chips in Notebooks

Bethesda Launcher Won't Uninstall Fallout 76 B.E.T.A.

Yesterday, various news outlets reported that players are running into issues trying to uninstall the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. VG247 says that the launcher would ask for login info when trying to uninstall the game. Upon entering the login info, players would receive a message saying “You do not have access to this game,” with no option to uninstall the game afterwards. The game goes live tomorrow, but’s its unclear if that will fix the launcher issues.



The general consensus is between players is that due to the servers not being live, people are unable to log on to delete the content, so once all the servers are up for the launch you should be able to do so… For fans who are planning on playing Fallout 76 at launch, the beta file will be updated with the full game. If you have managed to uninstall it, then it’ll be a much larger download file. Any progress you made in the beta will be automatically carried over to the full version at launch, so you won’t need to create a new character unless you want to.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Bethesda Launcher Won’t Uninstall Fallout 76 B.E.T.A.

Apple Confirms That the T2 Chip Blocks User Repairs

Last month, we reported that Apple’s “T2” chip would block repairs of Apple products, citing documents obtained by Motherboard. But iFixit got their hands on a Macbook Pro around that same time, and found that they could switch displays and logic boards without the T2 chip locking them out. However, users recently discovered that Linux won’t boot on T2 enabled devices, and yesterday, Apple told The Verge that the T2 chip does block 3rd party repairs. So what gives? While Apple told The Verge that a logic board swap should require Apple authorization, they also said “Apple could not provide a list of repairs that required this or what devices were affected. It also couldn’t say whether it began this protocol with the iMac Pro’s introduction last year or if it’s a new policy instituted recently.” In the words of iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, the T2 chip is “‘a guillotine that [Apple is] holding over product owners,” and is something that they could activate at any time via a software update.



Apple confirmed to The Verge that the display assembly should not require the diagnostic tool, but it is unclear why iFixit was able to swap logic boards and still boot the machines. One possible explanation is that iFixit used components already validated by Apple, and the diagnostic tool may only be required for brand-new, unused components. iFixit speculates that the software could be a mechanism for checking that third-party repair shops are using the correct components and not overcharging customers and using cheaper parts to make money on the side. It could also be for calibration purposes. But O’Comb says that Apple may want to have more end-to-end control over how Mac computers are repaired, what parts are used, and how much those repairs cost the customer.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Apple Confirms That the T2 Chip Blocks User Repairs

Intel Core i9-9980XE vs AMD Ryzen Threadripper

Today Intel is kicking off its newest High End Desktop processor, the Intel Core i9-9980XE Extreme Edition. This 14nm Skylake-X CPU boasts 18 Cores and 36 Threads and has an expected retail price of $1979. We compare the i9-9980XE to AMD’s entire line of Threadripper CPUs to see where the 9980XE sits in the HEDT stack.

Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Core i9-9980XE vs AMD Ryzen Threadripper

China Unicom Hijacks the Internet…Again

Users attempting to access Google, Snapchat, Spotify, Nest, Google Cloud, and a myriad of other Alphabet hosted or related websites were met with unresponsive or slow connections. These intermittent availability issues were due to web traffic being rerouted through Russia, Nigeria, and China after a successful Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Hijacking attack.



In very basic terms, BGP Hijacking occurs when an Autonomous System (the physical infrastructure used by an ISP) advertises to the traffic conductors of the internet highway that their own infrastructure will be a better pathway for packets to travel than everyone else’s. In most cases this is an accidental configuration error that lasts seconds. In today’s case it went on for over an hour.

You may be wondering what a nation state or government-controlled telecom could do with over an hour of redirected web traffic. Well wonder no more. Traffic sniffing, data manipulation, data exfiltration, disabling web based platforms and APIs are all possible. Keep in mind that we aren’t setting any precedence here. In late October we referred to a report entitled “China is Hijacking the US Internet Backbone” which can be found here.

Google had this to say:

The issue with Google Cloud IP addresses being erroneously advertised by internet service providers other than Google has been resolved for all affected users as of 14:35 US/Pacific. Throughout the duration of this issue Google services were operating as expected and we believe the root cause of the issue was external to Google. We will conduct an internal investigation of this issue and make appropriate improvements to our systems to help prevent or minimize future recurrence.

Ironically, this is all possible because the internet was built with the understanding that the entities that conduct traffic on its super highways are trustworthy. If only it knew… Thanks to Joe Wood for the reporting!

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Source: [H]ardOCP – China Unicom Hijacks the Internet…Again

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Adds New HPC Clusters

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has added a new high performance computing (HPC) cluster called Corona in partnership with Penguin Computing that features AMD and Mellanox Technologies. The unfinished HPC cluster will allow researchers and industry partners to explore data science, machine learning and big data analytics. The system will feature AMD EPYC processors, AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs, and a Mellanox HDR 200 Gigabit InfiniBand network. The HPC will be used by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) and Computing (ASC) program. It will be dedicated to partnerships with American industry. “The cluster consists of 170 two-socket nodes incorporating 24-core AMD EPYC 7401 processors and a PCIe 1.6 Terabyte (TB) nonvolatile (solid-state) memory device. Each Corona compute node is GPU-ready with half of those nodes utilizing four AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 GPUs per node, delivering 4.2 petaFLOPS of FP32 peak performance. The remaining compute nodes may be upgraded with future GPUs.”

In other HPC news, the Sierra HPC supercomputer has taken the 2nd slot on the list of fastest supercomputers. It is also housed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is an IBM/NVIDIA system for the NNSA that “reached 94.6 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point operations per second) on the High Performance Linpack (HPL), a benchmark test that TOP500 uses to determine a system’s speed. The score, up from 71.6 in June, pushed Sierra past China’s Sunway TaihuLight, a system developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC).” This means that 5 Department of Energy supercomputers are in the top 10 of the TOP500 list. Sierra uses IBM POWER9 processors featuring CPU-to-GPU connection via NVIDIA NVLink interconnect for maximum memory bandwidth to feed the 17,000 Tesla Tensor Core V100 GPUs.



“AMD welcomes the delivery of the Corona system to the HPCIC and the selection of high-performance AMD EPYC processors and AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators for the cluster,” said Mark Papermaster, AMD’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. “The collaboration between AMD, Penguin, Mellanox and Lawrence Livermore National Labs has built a world-class HPC system that will enable researchers to push the boundaries of science and innovation.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Adds New HPC Clusters