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    Anandtech: The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Feature Focus

    Windows 10 has finally settled into a groove. We are just over two years from the initial release of Windows 10. Part of the promise of Windows 10 was Windows as a service, or in other words, continual updates to Windows rather than monolithic version releases every couple of years. However, the haphazard schedule of feature updates was not pleasing to one stable customer of Microsoft’s. Businesses don’t love surprises, and they need time to plan ahead, and test, in order to deliver the vision that Microsoft has envisioned for Windows 10 going forward, so 2017 is the first year we get to see the new spring and fall updates, first with the Creators Update on April 11, 2017, and now the Fall Creators Update which became widely available on October 17, 2017.


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    Anandtech: Cryorig Releases the Taku 'Monitor Stand' ITX Case

    At Computex in 2016, Cryorig, better known for its cooling and peripherals, unveiled a PC monitor stand that doubles as an ITX case, dubbed the Taku. Fast forward to November of 2017, well after its initial projected availability, and the case is finally being released. The Taku has been under development for over two years in-house plus a year of co-development with manufacturing partner Lian-Li. The unit itself is a hybrid PC Monitor stand and an ITX form factor PC case. It is designed so that a monitor sits on top, a complete ITX size PC (including a full-size video card) is inside the case, and full-size keyboard hides underneath the solid wood supported chassis.
    The chassis only comes in silver and is made out of anodized sandblasted aluminum with the legs handcrafted from solid wood. The front panel is very clean with only a large power button on the right side. The top and bottom have ventilation holes cut out for cooling the components inside with the top vents closer to the edges of the case allowing the monitor, up to 15kg/33lbs, to fit in the middle and heat to escape through the top. The sides are also vented. The right side of the case users will find two USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) ports along with microphone and headphone jacks.
    One of the unique features the case has is an internal system tray which slides out via a push opener and locks into place when pushed in. It can also be detached from the chassis by pushing down on the two safety buttons on the rail (appears to be similar to racked servers in that respect).
    Internally, there is support for a Mini-ITX sized motherboard and SFX or SFX-L power supplies. Graphics card support is up to 280mm in length, 40mm tall (dual slot), and 134mm wide (from PCIe slot to top) so many full-size video cards are able to fit in the small case. That said, once it gets past around 140mm it appears the 2.5” drive cage needs be removed to allow for longer GPUs or use a single slot GPU if the 2.5” storage is needed. CPU cooler compatibility is up to 48mm while the maximum height for memory is up to 52mm of which most DRAM modules will not have an issue with. Storage wise, the Taku has space for two 2.5” HDD/SSD and one 3.5” HDD/SSD. The case includes a single 92mm fan for air circulation. Cable management was also a consideration as Cryorig have cable routing ports on the top front portion, one on each side. Their location allows for running cables from the back to the front while keeping the cables hidden.
    Pricing for the Taku is $299 and will be released first in select markets including USA, Japan, and Taiwan starting in December. Other markets are planned for release in the first half of 2018. If you happen to be one of the 138 Kickstarter backers, there is an option to pre-order and will be guaranteed shipping beginning December 1st and no later than December 31st.
    Cryorig Taku ITX Chassis and Monitor Stand
    Model Taku
    Case Type ITX Chassis / Monitor Stand
    Dimensions (H)142mm x (W)570mm x (D)310mm
    Color Anodized Silver
    Body Material Anodized Aluminum
    Net Weight 5.3kg
    External Drive Bays None
    HDD/SSD Bays 3 (1 x 3.5" + 2 x 2.5")
    Expansion Slots 2
    Motherboard Type Mini-ITX
    System Fan 1 x 92 mm (included)
    I/O Ports 2 x USB3.0
    3.5" HD Audio
    VGA Card Support (L) 280mm x (D) 134mm x (H) 40mm
    (Dual Slot PCIe)
    CPU Cooling Support (H)48mm
    PSU Support SFX and SFX-L
    Radiator Support N/A
    Related Reading


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    Anandtech: Colorful Announces a Bay Trail Mining Motherboard with 8+1 PCIe Slots

    This week Colorful has introduced a uniquely designed motherboard, created specifically for the professional miner. One of the first things most will notice is this doesn’t look like most motherboards we see on the market. Instead of conforming to any particular form factor, the C.J1900A-BTC Plus V20 breaks that mold and gives us a markedly rectangular shaped board with a total of nine full-length PCIe slots. Eight of the slots can be used for installing mining graphics card of choice while the blue slot in the middle is where the Celeron J1900 SoC resides on its own PCIe card. The SoC itself has a DDR3 SO-DIMM slot, a mSATA slot, and regular SATA for storage; it also contains the board’s connectivity like networking, USB, and video output.
    With the price of a single bitcoin breaking the $7000 barrier recently, GPU mining has not lost its draw of profitability, especially with alt-coins. We have seen a few Intel board partners come out with purpose made mining motherboards cramming in well over a dozen PCIe x1 slots on a single ATX form factor board in order to reduce the per-system cost of mining infrastructure. The lower the outgoing cost, the quicker miners are able to get their money back.
    To that end, Colorful introduced the C.J1900A-BTC Plus V20 with enough room for eight cards without the use of riser cables. The board offers double slot spacing between each slot and looks to be around 16-inches in length and almost 7-inches wide throwing aside any standard form factor out of the way. Power is delivered to the cards through a total of sixteen 6-pin PCIe power connectors with eight located on one end and eight around each of the GPU slots.
    According to the specifications, the Celeron J1900 SoC is based on Intel's Bay Trail and is a quad-core processor with a base frequency of 2.00 GHz, a burst frequency of 2.42 GHz, and fits within a 10W TDP. It has one DDR3L SO-DIMM slot supporting DDR3L 1066/1333MHz. Graphics duties are handled by integrated GPU (HD Gen 7) with speeds up to 854 MHz. Regarding I/O and expansion, there is one mini PCIe M-SATA slot, as well as a single SATA port and a 4-pin EPS 12V for power. Other connectivity includes two Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit LAN ports, HDMI output, and two USB2.0 ports.
    Colorful C.J1900A-BTC Plus V20
    Warranty 1 Year
    Model C.J1900A-BTX Plus V20
    Chipset Intel Bay Trail
    Processor Integrated Celeron J1900
    4C/4T, Up to 2.42 GHz, 10W TDP
    PCIe x16 8
    LAN 2 x Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit LAN
    Audio N/A
    SATA 6 Gb/s 1 x mSATA
    1 x SATA
    USB 3.1 Gen 1(Back/Front) N/A
    USB 2.0 4
    6-pin PCIe Power Headers 16
    Form Factor Approximately 15 x 7 in.
    Pricing nor availability was listed at the time of this writing. We expect it to be available within the coming months for Colorful customers, although retail availability is unknown.
    Buy Colorful C.H81A-BTC V20 on Newegg
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    Anandtech: EKWB Releases 420mm and 560mm CoolStream Slim Radiators

    EKWB has completed its 140mm slim radiator lineup releasing two additional SKUs, the EK-Coolstream SE 420 and EK-Coolstream SE 560. These new radiators come on the heels of the recently released 140 and 280mm CoolStream SE radiators about a month ago. Both radiators utilize 140mm fans; 3x140mm on the SE 420 and 4x140mm on the SE 560. The two larger devices carry over the same slim dimensions with zero overhang of the radiator frame measuring in at exactly 140mm wide. The frame matching the exact fan size can help with compatibility in some tight fitting applications.
    Outside of being able to wear skinny jeans, the radiators have a matte black finish on the aluminum/steel housing. Other aesthetic features include the name of the product in white lettering, while down at the bottom by the ports is the dime-size EWre symbol. The inside of the radiator is made of brass ensuring a mixed metal-free environment. The SE lineup uses parallel flow cooling chambers which are said to reduce hydraulic flow resistance. All Coolstream SE radiators use a 22 GPU fin density as well as standard G1/4” ports.
    The overall dimensions of the 420 SE measure (L)460 x (W)140 x (H)28mm (18.1” x 5.5” x 1.1”) and weighs 1.58kg(~3.5lbs). The 560 SE is (L)600 x (W)140 x (H)28mm (23.6” x 5.5” x 1.1”) weighing 1.93kg. The fan mount thread type is UNC 6-32 and will fit any standard size 140 x 140 x 25mm fan. Included is the radiator with two pre-installed G1/4” extenders, flat-head UNC 6-32 screws (30mm and 5mm) as well as a 2.5nn Allen key. Fans are sold separately.
    Both the EK-CoolStream SE 140 and CoolStream SE 280 are available now for purchase through the WK Webshop and their Partner Reseller Network.
    EKWB EK-CoolStream SE 420 and CoolStream SE 560
    MSRP (incl. VAT) / USD
    EK-CoolStream SE 420 89.95€ / $89.99
    EK-CoolStream SE 560 109.95€ / $109.99
    Buy EK-CoolStream SE 420 on Newegg
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    Gallery: EK CoolStream SE 420 and 560 Radiators


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    Anandtech: Intel Releases Graphics Drivers for Windows 15.60: HDR10 and Windows Mixed

    In light of the recent feature-filled Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, this week Intel has released their Graphics Driver 15.60, bringing HDR10 and Windows Mixed Reality support to a number of their modern integrated graphics processors (IGPs). As a WDDM 2.3 driver, 15.60 meets the latest WDDM version supported in the Fall Creators Update, and additionally brings support for Wide Color Gamut. Coupled with game-specific optimizations and general fixes, 15.60 is a notable integrated graphics driver release, oriented for the numerous new features of the Fall Creators Update.
    HDR support only comes to Coffee Lake Core processors with UHD Graphics 620 or better, as well as Kaby Lake Core processors with HD Graphics 620 or better, and in the form of HDR10-over-HDMI and HDR10 playback/streaming capabilities. In real world terms, this brings Netflix HDR and YouTube HDR support to higher-end Intel integrated graphics, along with HDR content creation applications, games, and video files.
    Note that there may be a number of peripheral requirements for consuming HDR media on supported Intel IGPs. As an example, Netflix 4K HDR requirements include a display with HDCP 2.2 output support, Intel MEI drivers, the latest BIOS, and, as of the Fall Creators Update, separate installation of a HEVC media extension. More detailed instructions and information can be found in Intel’s separate “HDR on Intel Graphics” whitepaper.
    For Windows Mixed Reality, Intel formally offers Kaby Lake Core i5 processors with HD Graphics 620 or better. As one of the marquee features of the Fall Creators Update, Mixed Reality brings a more standardized Windows 10 based VR/AR platform, although it is too early to describe its relevance. As Windows Mixed Reality requires a compatible headset and Windows 10 Fall Creators Update system, Intel’s higher-end IGPs are only one piece of the puzzle, but the prevalence and accessibility of iGPUs makes it a notable one.
    On the more technical side, 15.60 includes general security improvements and an updated Display Audio Driver. The driver also brings support for DXIL, including DX12 shader model 6.0 and 6.1, as well as video processing and video decode acceleration in DX12.
    Alongside memory usage improvement for OpenCL applications, 15.60 resolves a number of game-related issues. Intel has resolved intermittent crashes or hangs in DOTA 2 (running under Vulkan) when switching to lower resolutions on embedded display panels, and brought general playability and performance improvements for Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Graphical anomalies in Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 have also been resolved. Additionally, Intel has fixed graphical anomalies during Bluray playback on Cyberlink PowerDVD.
    While this graphics driver update differs from the typical AMD or NVIDIA releases, recent events have shot Intel’s graphics aspirations to the forefront. In the previously covered Intel graphics driver release, we highlighted Intel pushing out AI and machine learning capabilities to their IGPs as part of a bigger push into deep learning in edge devices, continuing to bring related improvements and features directly to their public graphics drivers. But today, well beyond the Fall Creators Update’s relevance to GPUs, we are contending with the following announcements, in order of increasing incredulity:

    In a span of three days, Intel has become extremely relevant to high-end discrete graphics space, past, present, and future. Ostensibly, Intel is looking to square off in the deep learning and high performance computing markets with NVIDIA, who themselves just had yet another record financial quarter. But with Intel explicitly emphasizing their high-end discrete graphics endeavors as an extension of their existing iGPUs, the potential consumer implications are clear, and not just in terms of edge and IoT devices. In the very possible scenario that Intel has a discrete graphics project currently in the pipeline, there is a good chance that the GPU microarchitecture will resemble the Gen 9.5 microarchitecture of Kaby Lake’s and Coffee Lake’s IGPs, the crux of this week’s 15.60 driver release.
    Wrapping things up, 15.60 supports Iris, Iris Pro, Iris Plus, UHD, and HD Graphics on Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake processors, as well as on Apollo Lake SoCs. Details of specific product support can be found on the 15.60 driver download page.
    The updated drivers for Intel products are available on their driver download page, and drivers may also be updated through Intel’s Driver & Support Assistant. More information on 15.60 and further issues can be found in the release notes.


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    Anandtech: The AnandTech Podcast, Episode 42: Intel with Radeon Graphics

    Every so often, the technology industry goes crazy. To get three events along those lines in the same week just blows the mind. On this podcast, Ian and Ryan discuss the critical stories: Intel buying custom GPUs from AMD, Raja Koduri leaving AMD, Raja Koduri joining Intel, Intel to create custom GPUs, and Qualcomm announcing Centriq 2400.
    The AnandTech Podcast #42: Intel with Radeon Graphics

    Recorded on November 10th 2017
    Edited by Gavin Bonshor


    RSS - mp3, m4a
    Direct Links - mp3, m4a
    Total Time: 1 hour, 14 minutes 50 seconds
    Outline (hh:mm:ss)
    00:00:00 – Introduction
    00:00:15 – Intel, with Radeon Graphics
    00:30:10 – Raja Koduri leaves AMD: What happens to RTG?
    00:38:15 – Raja Koduri joins Intel: Intel to make discrete graphics
    01:00:29 – Qualcomm Launches Centriq
    01:11:50 – FIN
    Relevant Links

    00:00:15 - Intel to Create new 8th Generation CPUs with AMD Radeon Graphics with HBM2 using EMIB
    00:30:10 - Raja Koduri, AMD’s Radeon Tech Group Leader, Resigns
    00:38:15 - Intel to Develop Discrete GPUs, Hires Raja Koduri as Chief Architect & Senior VP
    01:00:29 - Qualcomm Launches 48-core Centriq for $1995: Arm Servers for Cloud Native Applications

    Apologies for the audio compression of Ian's audio, it was inherent in the original recording. We now have an editor on staff who will be assisting with the audio setups in future podcasts.
    Also On AnandTech This Week

    [guide] Best CPUs for Gaming 2017
    [review] Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X 750GB Hands-On
    [review] The Xbox One X Review: Putting A Spotlight On Gaming
    [news] Colorful Announces a Mining Motherboard with 8+1 PCIe Slots
    [news] NVIDIA Announces Earnings of $2.6 Billion for Q3
    [news] GIGABYTE’s GC-AQC107 10G Ethernet PCIe Card Launched and Listed
    [news] NVIDIA Launches Star Wars Themed Titan Xp Collector’s Edition Graphics Cards
    [news] Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $105 Billion Bid for Qualcomm
    [news] BenQ Launches the SW271 Display: 27-inch 4K with HDR and DCI-P3


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    Anandtech: Micron Announces 32GB DDR4 NVDIMM-N Modules

    Micron is announcing today their next generation of NVDIMM-N modules combining DDR4 DRAM with NAND flash memory to support persistent memory usage models. The new 32GB modules double the capacity of Micron's previous NVDIMMs and boost the speed rating to DDR4-2933 CL21, faster than what current server platforms support.
    Micron is not new to the Non-Volatile DIMM market: their first DDR3 NVDIMMs predated JEDEC standardization. The new 32GB modules were preceded by 8GB and 16GB DDR4 NVDIMMs. Micron's NVDIMMs are type N, meaning they function as ordinary ECC DRAM DIMMs but have NAND flash to backup data to in the event of a power loss. This is in contrast to the NVDIMM-F type that offers pure flash storage. During normal system operation, Micron's NVDIMMs use only the DRAM. When the system experiences a power failure or signals that one is imminent, the module's onboard FPGA-based takes over to manage saving the contents of the DRAM to the module's 64GB of SLC NAND flash. During a power failure, the module can be powered either through a cable to an external AGIGA PowerGEM capacitor module, or by battery backup supplied through the DIMM slot's 12V pins.
    Micron says the most common use cases for their NVDIMMs are for high-performance journalling and log storage for databases and filesystems. In these applications, a 2S server will typically be equipped with a total of about 64GB of NVDIMMs, so the new Micron 32GB modules allow these systems to use just a single NVDIMM per CPU, leaving more slots free for traditional RDIMMs. Both operating systems and applications need special support for persistent memory provided by NVDIMMs: the OS to handle restoring saved state after a power failure, and applications to manage what portions of their memory should be allocated from the persistent portion of the overall memory pool. This can be addressed either through applications using block storage APIs to access the NVDIMM's memory, or through direct memory mapping.
    Micron is currently sampling the new 32GB NVDIMMs but did not state when they will be available in volume.
    Conspicuously absent from Micron's announcement today is any mention of the third kind of memory they make: 3D XPoint non-volatile memory. Micron will eventually be putting 3D XPoint memory onto DIMMs and into SSDs under their QuantX brand, but so far they have been lagging far behind Intel in announcing and shipping specific products. NVDIMMs based on 3D XPoint memory may not match the performance of DRAM modules or these NVDIMM-N modules, but they will offer higher storage density at a much lower cost and without the hassle of external batteries or capacitor banks. Until those are ready, Micron is smart to nurture the NVDIMM ecosystem with their DRAM+flash solutions.


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    Anandtech: FreeTail EVOKE Pro SDXC UHS-II Memory Card Capsule Review

    Digital cameras and camcorders employ memory cards (flash-based removable media) for storage of captured content. There are different varieties of memory cards catering to various performance levels. CompactFlash (CF) became popular in the late 90s, but, has now been overtaken by Secure Digital (SD) cards. Many computing systems (PCs as well as smartphones) also support SD cards for augmenting local storage capabilities. We recently started in-depth evaluation of the performance of various memory cards. FreeTail sent over their UHS-II card for inclusion in our performance database.

    We looked at some of the CF cards in the EVOKE series from FreeTail Tech back in June. FreeTail also markets various other memory cards under this tag. Today's review looks at the FreeTail EVOKE Pro 1000x SDX UHS-II card.
    SD (Secure Digital) cards were introduced in 1999, as an update to the existing MultiMediaCards (MMCs). It gained traction even in areas where CompactFlash had been preferred, thanks to its small size. Its popularity is evident by the fact that it has spawned two follow-ups in the same form factor - starting with the SDSC in 1999 for capacities between 1MB and 2GB, we got SD High Capacity (SDHC) in 2006 (up to 32GB) and SD eXtended Capacity (SDXC) in 2009 (up to 2TB). The cards also come in various sizes - standard, mini, and micro. In addition to the capacity aspect, the performance levels have also gone up. While UHS-I had an upper theoretical limit of around 100 MBps, UHS-II added more pins and increased the theoretical limit to around 312 MBps.
    FreeTail's SDXC UHS-II/U3 lineup comes under the EVOKE Pro category, and has three members - 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Today's review takes a look at the 128GB version
    Buy FreeTail EVOKE Pro 256GB UHS-II SDXC Card on
    Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

    Evaluation of memory cards is done on Windows with the testbed outlined in the table below. The USB 3.1 Type-C port enabled by the Intel Alpine Ridge controller is used for benchmarking purposes on the testbed side. It connects to the Z170 PCH via a PCIe 3.0 x4 link. SD cards utilize the Lexar Professional Workflow SR2 SDHC / SDXC UHS-II USB 3.0 Reader. The reader was placed in the Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 hub and uplinked through its USB 3.0 port with the help of a USB 3.0 Type-A female to Type-C male cable.
    AnandTech DAS Testbed Configuration
    Motherboard GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH ATX
    CPU Intel Core i5-6600K
    Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 4 F4-2133C15-8GRR
    32 GB ( 4x 8GB)
    DDR4-2133 @ 15-15-15-35
    OS Drive Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 NVMe 256 GB
    SATA Devices Corsair Neutron XT SSD 480 GB
    Intel SSD 730 Series 480 GB
    Add-on Card None
    Chassis Cooler Master HAF XB EVO
    PSU Cooler Master V750 750 W
    OS Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thanks to Cooler Master, GIGABYTE, G.Skill and Intel for the build components
    The full details of the reasoning behind choosing the above build components can be found here.
    Sequential Accesses

    FreeTail claims speeds of up to 240 MBps, but real-world speeds are bound to be lower. In fact, writes can sometimes be much slower. That said, a V60 rating is also claimed, indicating that a minimum sustained 60 MBps write rate can be expected. For most applications, these claimed numbers don't really matter as long as the card is capable of sustaining the maximum possible rate at which the camera it is used in dumps data. We use fio workloads to emulate typical camera recording conditions. We run the workload on a fresh card, and also after simulating extended usage. Instantaneous bandwidth numbers are graphed. This gives an idea of performance consistency (whether there is appreciable degradation in performance as the amount of pre-existing data increases and / or the card is subject to wear and tear in terms of amount and type of NAND writes). Further justification and details of the testing parameters are available here.
    There is not much difference in the actual rate between the fresh and the used passes. In the latter, the writes sometimes dip to around 60 MBps, but, on the whole, the consistency is remarkable when compared to some of the other cards in our performance database.
    AnandTech DAS Suite - Performance Consistency

    The AnandTech DAS Suite involves transferring large amounts of photos and videos to and from the storage device using robocopy. This is followed by selected workloads from PCMark 8's storage benchmark in order to evaluate scenarios such as importing media files directly into multimedia editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Details of these tests from the perspective of memory cards are available here.
    In this subsection, we deal with performance consistency while processing the robocopy segment. The graph below shows the read and write transfer rates to the memory card while the robocopy processes took place in the background. The data for writing to the card resides in a RAM drive in the testbed. The first three sets of writes and reads correspond to the photos suite. A small gap (for the transfer of the videos suite from the primary drive to the RAM drive) is followed by three sets for the next data set. Another small RAM-drive transfer gap is followed by three sets for the Blu-ray folder. The corresponding graphs for similar cards that we have evaluated before is available via the drop-down selection.
    Small files tend to bring down the write rates, but, that is typical of almost all memory cards. The important takeaway here is that there is no consistency issue between two passes for the same data.
    AnandTech DAS Suite - Bandwidth

    The average transfer rates for each workload from the previous section is graphed below. Readers can get a quantitative number to compare the FreeTail EVOKE Pro SDXC UHS-II 128GB SD card against the ones that we have evaluated before.
    Photos ReadPhotos WriteVideos ReadVideos WriteBlu-ray Folder ReadBlu-ray Folder WriteExpand All
    We see that the performance is quite predictable. The FreeTail EVOKE Pro matches the SanDisk Extreme Pro, while letting the ADATA Premier ONE lead the pack in the read workloads. In the write workloads, it comes behind those two, but, comfortably surpasses all the UHS-I cards in our database.
    We also look at the PCMark 8 storage bench numbers in the graphs below. Note that the bandwidth number reported in the results don't involve idle time compression. Results might appear low, but that is part of the workload characteristic. Note that the same testbed is being used for all memory cards. Therefore, comparing the numbers for each trace should be possible across different cards. PCMark workloads are sometimes skewed by caching effects, but, in general, we see the trend from the robocopy benchmarks being repeated here.
    Adobe Photoshop Light ReadAdobe Photoshop Heavy ReadAdobe After Effects ReadAdobe Illustrator ReadAdobe Photoshop Light WriteAdobe Photoshop Heavy WriteAdobe After Effects WriteAdobe Illustrator WriteExpand All
    Performance Restoration

    The traditional memory card use-case is to delete the files on it after the import process is completed. Some prefer to format the card either using the PC, or, through the options available in the camera menu. The first option is not a great one, given that flash-based storage devices run into bandwidth issues if garbage collection (processes such as TRIM) is not run regularly. Different memory cards have different ways to bring them to a fresh state.Based on our experience, SD cards have to be formatted using the SD Formatter tool from the SD Association (after all the partitions are removed using the 'clean' command in diskpart).
    In order to test out the effectiveness of the performance restoration process, we run the default sequential workloads in CrystalDiskMark before and after the formatting. Note that this is at the end of all our benchmark runs, and the card is in a used state at the beginning of the process. The corresponding screenshots for similar cards that we have evaluated before is available via the drop-down selection.
    We do not see much difference between the used and refreshed cases, but, as we noted earlier, the performance loss in the used state is minimal.
    Concluding Remarks

    The FreeTail EVOKE Pro 1000x SDXC UHS-II card successfully completed our intensive benchmarking routines. It showed great performance consistency, but, only emerged as an average performer with respect to the raw benchmark numbers. In addition to raw performance and consistency, pricing is also an important aspect. This is particularly important in the casual user and semi-professional markets, where the value for money metric often trumps benchmark numbers.
    The table below presents the relevant data for the FreeTail EVOKE Pro SDXC UHS-II 128GB SD card and other similar ones that we have evaluated before. The cards are ordered by the $/GB metric.
    SD Cards - Pricing
    Card Model Number Capacity (GB) Street Price (USD) Price per GB (USD/GB)
    ADATA Premier Pro SDXC UHS I 64GB ASDX64GUI3CL10-R 64 41 0.64
    FreeTail EVOKE Pro SDXC UHS-II 128GB FTSD128A10 128 95 0.74
    ADATA XPG SDXC UHS I 64GB ASDX64GXUI3CL10-R 64 80 1.25
    Lexar 1000x 128GB LSD128CRBNA1000 128 170 1.33
    ADATA Premier ONE SDXC UHS II 128GB ASDX128GUII3CL10-C 128 206 1.61
    SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS II 128GB SDSDXPK-128G-ANCIN 128 250 1.95
    The FreeTail card has the least price of all the UHS-II cards that we have evaluated so far - both in terms of $/GB and actual pricing. Based on the data in hand, we have no qualms in recommending the FreeTail EVOKE Pro SDXC UHS-II 128GB card to cost-conscious consumers. Out of all the cards that we have evaluated, it has the best balance of performance and cost.
    Buy FreeTail EVOKE Pro 256GB UHS-II SDXC Card on


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    Anandtech: North American Pre-Orders Opened for TPCast’s Wireless Adapter for HTC Viv

    TPCast has finally begun to take North American pre-orders for its wireless headset adapter for the HTC Vive. Already released in China, the unit offers untethered operation of the HTC Vive for five hours as well as minimal latencies. The cost for this wireless motion is $299.99, and the company plans to begin shipments of the device later this month.
    TPCast’s wireless adapter for Vive uses 60 GHz and other radios to connect the VR headset to the PC and thus eliminate cables, one of the major drawbacks of today’s high-end VR gear, and enables a greater freedom of movements for gamers. Common sense for most users put wireless connections as having a higher input lag that wired interconnections which may affect user experience, although TPCast claims to have solved this. It claims that the wireless adapter has an input latency of 2 ms, which is lower than “

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    Anandtech: Qualcomm Rejects Broadcom Offer to Buy the Company for $105 Billion

    Qualcomm has announced today that the Board of Directors has rejected Broadcom’s proposal to acquire the company for around $105 billion. The BOD believes that Broadcom’s offering undervalues Qualcomm and its growth perspectives in the upcoming 5G era.
    Last week Broadcom offered to buy all of the outstanding shares of Qualcomm for $105 billion in total for cash and stock. Under the terms of the deal, shareholders of Qualcomm would get $60 in cash and $10 in Broadcom’s stock for each share, which would be a 28% premium over the price of a Qualcomm share on November 2, 2017.
    Broadcom wanted to buy Qualcomm primarily because of its LTE and 5G technologies to complement its other telecommunication assets. Qualcomm itself is in process of taking over NXP Semiconductor. The latter is a leading supplier of electronics for automobiles and when Qualcomm gets NXP, it will be particularly well positioned to become a leading maker of chips for self-driving and electric vehicles.
    “No company is better positioned in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm. “We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G.”
    Shares of Qualcomm have been declining in value in the recent quarters, which is why Broadcom made its proposal. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is a larger company than Broadcom is — it earns $23 billion a fiscal year (vs. $16.93 billion earned by Broadcom) and it has 33,800 employees (vs. 15,700 employed by Broadcom).
    Qualcomm’s board believes that Broadcom’s proposal not only undervalues the company but also “comes with significant regulatory uncertainty”. The latter claim may indicate that Qualcomm’s Board Of Directors may not be interested in the potentially record-setting transaction even if Broadcom increases its bid.
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