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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #9891

    Anandtech: Western Digital to Exit Storage Systems: Sells Off IntelliFlash Division

    Western Digital this week announced that it has made a strategic decision to leave the market for dedicated storage systems, as further development of its IntelliFlash and ActiveScale businesses would require additional investments and management focus. The company will sell off its IntelliFlash business to DDN (a specialist in storage systems, AI, and big data) and will explore various strategic options for ActiveScale.
    The storage systems market is rather lucrative, but extremely competitive. Over the years, both Western Digital (as well as its HGST division) and SanDisk acquired numerous companies that specialized on hardware and software for datacenter storage, as well as on all-flash storage arrays in order to build highly-competitive storage systems (more details in our coverage of the Western Digital - SanDisk acquisition). Because many product families overlapped each other when Western Digital took over SanDisk in 2016, numerous lineups were divested.
    At present, Western Digital only offers IntelliFlash all-flash and hybrid storage systems as well as ActiveScale cloud storage systems. While both product lines look solid in general, they have to compete against broad families of storage systems designed by such giants as Dell EMC, HPE, IBM, NetApp, and Hitachi that control over 50% of the market (according to IDC). Competing against multi-billion enterprises is tough. Moreover, Western Digital supplies its products to many developers of storage systems and the latter certainly do not appreciate it when their suppliers compete against them.
    After closing out its storage systems business, Western Digital will continue to offer its storage servers (including JBOX, JBOD, hybrid, and specialized machines) for customers with their own software and infrastructure. Furthermore, the company will keep developing its scalable and flexible OpenFlex NVMe-over-Fabric composable architecture. Essentially, Western Digital will refocus from storage systems to storage platforms, which is a more hardware-centric business.
    Here is what Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer of Western Digital, had to say:
    “As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success. By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation.”
    Under the terms of the agreement with DDN (DataDirect Networks), the latter will buyout the entire IntelliFlash business unit for an undisclosed sum. Furthermore, the two companies will expand their current collaboration through a multi-year strategic sourcing contract, under which DDN will increase its purchase of Western Digital’s HDDs and SSDs.
    Western Digital and DDN expect the deal to close later this year.
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    Source: Western Digital



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    #9892

    Anandtech: A Day with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro: Kirin 990 and 7680 FPS Slow Motion Test

    Last week Huawei launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 30 Pro, featuring its latest Kirin 990 chipset. At the heart of the new hardware is a waterfall wrap-around screen, as well as new camera tools to help it record slow motion video up to 7680 frames per second, above and beyond what is currently available. The new smartphones will not come with the Google Play Store and applications, due to the US-China trade war and Huawei being placed on the US Entity List, however Huawei has promised to look into unlocking the boot loader and injecting $1B into its own App Store to drive new applications. 5G versions of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are due out later this year, but we managed to get access to a device for a day or so for some hands-on experience.

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    #9893

    Anandtech: Huawei CEO Richard Yu Q&A: “Politicians are Playing Games”

    As the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, the growth of Huawei over the last decade has been immense. Last year the company overtook Apple with smartphone unit sales, despite not being in the US market, by offering some of the best hardware and user experiences in a very competitive market. However, being placed on the US Entity List earlier this year has put a dent in that momentum, especially when it comes to talking about flagship smartphones. Huawei launched its new Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro smartphones this week, without Google Play Store apps, with CEO Richard Yu committing over $1B to enhance the Huawei app ecosystem. After the launch event, Richard sat down with a group of press and took some questions.

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    #9894

    Anandtech: Intel’s Comet Lake U&Y 495 Chipset Datasheet: x8 Link, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Suppo

    Intel has published datasheet of its upcoming Intel 495-series chipsets revealing their key features. As it turns out, the family will feature two chipsets aimed at different types of premium laptops, one for Y series and one for U series.
    Intel’s 495 chipsets will be compatible with ‘Premium-U’ and ‘Premium-Y’ processors featuring an OPI x8 interface with up to 4 GT/s data transfer rate. Intel’s 495-series PCH will also support up to 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, up to three Serial ATA ports, up to six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10 Gbps), up to 10 USB 2.0 connectors, an integrated GbE MAC, a built-in Wi-Fi MAC that requires a CNVi module, and all the other familiar features of Intel’s modern chipsets (e.g., RST, AMR, TXT, VT, etc.).
    Intel does not disclose in its document codenames of CPUs to be supported by its 495 chipsets, but it is likely that the new PCH will support the company’s latest 10th Generation Core processors known as Ice Lake and Comet Lake. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen which Intel’s chipsets support the manufacturer’s upcoming desktop CPUs.
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    Source: Intel


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    #9895

    Anandtech: The GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme Motherboard Review: Fanless AM4

    The introduction of the X570 chipset has heralded some of the most impressive and feature-rich desktop motherboards for an AMD platform in recent times. One prime example of this is the GIGABYTE X570 Aorus Xtreme which includes an Aquantia powered 10 GbE NIC, Intel's Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax wireless interface, and has support for up to three PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 drives. Looking to live up to the Xtreme naming, there's a 16-phase power delivery with dual BIOS for the more extreme enthusiast, whereas users looking to create a clean looking RGB laden system will appreciate the right-angled 24-pin motherboard power input. The X570 Aorus Xtreme is also the only current motherboard to include a passively cooled chipset heatsink, with GIGABYTE looking to make its flagship model unique and to stand out from the crowd.

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    #9896

    Anandtech: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Hits the US on September 27th

    Samsung will start sales of the latest iteration of its highly-anticipated Galaxy Fold smartphone in the US this week. Two colors are set to be available, Cosmos Black and Space Silver, and the device is expected to also make a showing in South Korea around the same time. There is a catch though: the product will be available only in select retail locations initially.
    Samsung had to delay the launch of its flagship smartphone from April after journalists who evaluated the unit revealed that that its hinge needed reinforcements, and the top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display was erroneously mistaken as an optional protective layer, and so had to be remade to make it obvious that it was a part of the handset, not a protective film. All the refinements had been made by late July, so Samsung is now on track to make the phone available this calendar year. In the US and South Korea, the Samsung Galaxy Fold will be available starting on September 27th.
    The foldable handset will be available at select AT&T stores, select Best Buy stores, and Samsung Experience Store locations. In its press release covering availability dates, Samsung never mentions its own online stores or large online retailers like Amazon.
    It is unclear why Samsung has not specified if it will its Galaxy Fold online initially. Perhaps the company plans to offer the smartphones at retail stores only to ensure that each sale comes with a sales pitch to teach the customer how to operate it, and how not to break it.
    The price of the Samsung Galaxy Fold in the USA when bought without a contract is expected to be at around $1980.
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    Source: Samsung


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    #9897

    Anandtech: Razer's Blade Pro 17 Gets a 4K 120 Hz Monitor

    When Razer introduced its revamped 17.3-inch Blade Pro 17 laptops earlier this year, one of the things that caught the eye was the absence of models with an Ultra-HD display, a strange design decision considering positioning of these machines for demanding gamers and prosumers. This week the company unveiled a new version of its Blade Pro 17 notebook with a 4K display featuring a 120 Hz refresh rate.
    Being the flagship model in the lineup, Razer’s Blade Pro 17 4K UHD 120 Hz will be offered in only one configuration powered by Intel’s six-core Core i7-9750H processor (2.6 GHz – 4.5 GHz) paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, 16 GB of DDR4-2667 memory (user upgradeable to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 memory) as well as a 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD (expandable to 2 TB) SSD. Just like the rest notebooks in the lineup, the Ultra-HD version comes with Intel’s Wireless-AX200 802.11ax + Bluetooth 5 solution, a 2.5 GbE port, a Thunderbolt 3 connector, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, an HDMI 2.0b output, a UHS-III SD card reader, 1MP/720p webcam with IR sensors for Windows Hello, an array microphone, and Dolby Atmos-supporting stereo speakers, and an 3.5mm audio jack.
    The addition of a touch-sensitive display with a 3840×2160 resolution, 400 nits brightness, and a 120 Hz refresh rate did not have any impact on design or weight of the notebook. The machine made of black aluminum is 19.9 mm thick and weighs 2.75 kilograms. It is also equipped with a 70.5 Wh battery, though Razer says nothing about the battery life on one charge.
    The Razer Blade Pro 17 General Specifications
    RZ09-02876*92 RZ09-02877*92 RZ09-02878*92 RZ09-03148*92
    Display Diagonal 17.3"
    Resolution 1920×1080 3840×2160
    Response Time ? ms
    Brightness 300 cd/m² 400 cd/m²
    Refresh Rate 144 Hz 120 Hz
    Color Gamut sRGB: 100% AdobeRGB 100%
    CPU Intel Core i7-9750H processor:
    6C/12T,
    2.6 GHz Base
    4.5 GHz Turbo
    12 MB
    RAM 16 GB DDR4-2667
    Upgradeable to 64 GB DDR4-3200
    Graphics RTX 2060
    6 GB GDDR6
    RTX 2070
    8 GB GDDR6
    RTX 2080
    8 GB GDDR6
    Storage 512 GB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs
    Spare M.2 slot for PCIe or SATA SSDs
    1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD
    Spare M.2 slot
    Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ax Wi-Fi module
    Bluetooth BT 5.0
    General Ports 1 × Thunderbolt 3 for data, display output
    1 × USB 3.12Gen 2 Type-C
    3 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
    1 × HDMI 2.0b
    1 × 2.5 GbE
    Other I/O HD webcam with IR,
    TRRS connector for audio,
    speakers,
    microphone array,
    SD UHS-III card reader
    Dimensions (W × D × H) 395 × 260 × 19.9 mm
    15.55 × 10.24 × 0.78 inches
    Weight 2.75 kg | 6.06 pounds
    Battery 70.5 Wh
    Price $2,499 $2,799 $3,199 $3,699
    Razer’s Blade Pro 17 with an Ultra-HD 120 Hz display will be available in the US and China starting September 23, whereas in the UK and Germany the product will hit the market sometimes in the fourth quarter. In the US the product will cost $3,699.99, whereas in Europe it will be priced at €3,999.99.
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    Source: Razer


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    #9898

    Anandtech: AMD Ryzen 5 3500 & 3500X Support Spotted

    Three partners of AMD this week on their respective websites have begun to list two new yet unannounced Ryzen 5 3000-series processors. The new six-core CPUs — the Ryzen 5 3500 and the Ryzen 5 3500X — look set to be cheaper than already available Zen 2-based processors when they are available.
    MSI added support for AMD's Ryzen 5 3500X CPU to its MEG X570 Godlike motherboard revealing some of its specifications. In the meantime, Amazon began to list HP’s Pavilion gaming desktop based on the Ryzen 5 3500 and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB graphics card that is currently available for pre-order. The system will ship on October 20, 2019.
    As it turns out, according to the listings, the six-core Ryzen 5 3500X processor operates at 3.6 GHz default frequency, has a 3 MB L2 cache, 32 MB of L3 cache, and a 65 W TDP. The six-core Ryzen 5 3500 has similar features, but it works at 3.4 GHz and does not support AMD’s XFR technology, according to the listing at Amazon.com.
    Considering that the Ryzen 5 3500 processor is already listed by a major PC maker, it is likely that it is either already shipping, or is about to ship. Menwhile, it is unclear when AMD plans to start shipments of the Ryzen 5 3500X, but it reasonable to expext that it will become available around the same time as the Ryzen 5 3500 model.
    When it comes to pricing, AMD’s Radeon 5 3500 and 3500X processors will sit below the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X CPUs, so think about price points at around or below $200.
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    Sources: Amazon, MSI (via Twitter/momomo_us)



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    #9899

    Anandtech: Intel Ethernet 800 Series To Support NVMe over TCP, PCIe 4.0

    Today at the SNIA Storage Developer Conference, Intel is sharing more information about their 100Gb Ethernet chips, first announced in April and due to hit the market next month. The upcoming 800 Series Ethernet controllers and adapters will be Intel's first 100Gb Ethernet solutions, and also feature expanded capabilities for hardware accelerated packet processing. Intel is now announcing that they have implemented support for the TCP transport of NVMe over Fabrics using the Application Device Queues (ADQ) technology that the 800 Series is introducing.
    NVMe over Fabrics has become the SAN protocol of choice for new systems, allowing for remote access to storage with just a few microseconds of extra latency compared to local NVMe SSD access. NVMeoF was initially defined to support two transport protocols: Fibre Channel and RDMA, which can be provided by Infiniband, iWARP and RoCE capable NICs. Intel already provides iWARP support on their X722 NICs, and RoCEv2 support was previously announced for the 800 Series. However, in the past year much of the interest in NVMeoF has shifted to the new NVMe over TCP transport specification, which makes NVMeoF usable over any IP network without requiring high-end RDMA-capable NICs or other niche network hardware. The NVMe over TCP spec was finalized in November 2018 and opened the doors to much wider use of NVMe over Fabrics.
    Software-based NVMe over TCP implementations can use any network hardware, but for the high-performance applications that were originally the focus of NVMe over Fabrics, hardware acceleration is still required. Intel's ADQ functionality can be used to provide some acceleration of NVMe over TCP, and they are contributing code to support this in the Linux kernel. This makes the 800 Series Ethernet adapters capable of using NVMe over TCP with latency almost as low as RDMA-based NVMe over Fabrics. Intel has also announced that Lightbit Labs, one of the major commercial proponents of NVMe over TCP, will be adding ADQ support to their disaggregated storage solutions.
    Unrelated to NVMe over Fabrics, Intel has also announced that Aerospike 4.7 will be the first commercial database to make use of ADQ acceleration, and Aerospike will be publishing their own performance measurements showing improvements to throughput and QoS.
    The Intel Ethernet Controller E810 and four 800 Series Ethernet adapters will be available from numerous distributors and OEMs over the next several weeks. The product brief for the E810 controller has been posted, and indicates that it supports up to a PCIe 4.0 x16 host interface—to be expected from a 100Gb NIC, but not something Intel PR is keen to highlight while their CPUs are still on PCIe 3.0.
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    #9900

    Anandtech: The Black Shark 2 Review: A Gaming Phone's Existential Crisis

    Over the last 1-2 years we’ve seen a new type of smartphone category start carving itself a niche in the market: the gaming smartphone. Last year, the original Black Shark was amongst the first devices to try to cater to a gaming audience, offering characteristic “gaming designs” as well as promising to offer software features to differentiate itself from the more usual smartphone offerings.
    This year, Xiaomi has updated its Black Shark line and brand with the new Black Shark 2. The phone is very much a continuation of what we saw last year with the Black Shark, but offering the newest hardware innards and iterative improvements to the design and features.

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