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  • Tech|Inferno News, Reviews & Guides

    The latest and most interesting news, reviews and guides found on Tech|Inferno and elsewhere.

    Brian
    Well, 2016 sure flew by quickly but it was a pretty interesting year in technology with the release of NVIDIA Pascal, the announcement of Nintendo Switch, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster and much more. We also lost some iconic actors like Carrie Fisher and elected a new President of the United States who is set to take office this month which should make 2017 quite a year to remember.
     
    To all of our loyal visitors, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2017, thank you for sticking with us. 
    We previously mentioned that Ubisoft was giving away free games to celebrate it's 30th anniversary and in case you missed out on any of them, now is your chance to get them all as a bundle! There are a total of 7 games which include Rayman Origins, The Crew, Tom Clancy Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Beyond Good & Evil, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and last but not least Assassins Creed III. 
     
    You will need uPlay and an Ubisoft account to redeem this bundle so if you're interested in free games courtesy of Ubisoft, check out this link. 
    For those that are not already aware of the issue, the folks at Futuremark seem to be struggling to keep a consistent product in the latest 3DMark benchmark. In particular, Fire Strike. Sometime around the release of Time Spy things started getting screwy with Fire Strike and now it seems with every Fire Strike GUI version update the effect is progressively decreasing benchmark scores, and specifically the physics portion of the benchmark.
     
    Kudos to @Papusan for noticing this months ago and asking me to have a look at it. He has been going back and forth with Futuremark about the problem and it seems they are either ignoring him or perhaps they do not view it as a high priority issue. Or, maybe because most people running Fire Strike are not observant enough to notice, care, or ask questions they feel they don't need to fix it.
     
    Some people might say you cannot compare results across benchmark software versions, but that shouldn't hold water here. There is a leaderboard and searchable database of results that basically every benching enthusiast and PC reviewer relies on, and if there is not a very high degree of consistency between GUI versions the results in their database will become irrelevant, as will their leaderboard. The search filter does not have a field to filter by GUI version, so we can expect the results from the database and leaderboard to be increasingly misleading, inaccurate and unreliable over time. This certainly is not a desirable thing for what is supposedly the current defacto standard in PC benchmarks.
     
    You will notice from the examples posted below that with each new version of Fire Strike the scores get lower and lower. These examples are consecutive runs on the same day, same machine, and identical CPU and GPU settings. The only thing that changes is Fire Strike benchmark results degrade with newer versions. We need Futuremark to understand and correct this.
     
    http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/11047304/fs/11047179/fs/11047154
     
     
    Here is a similar example from @Papusan: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/11036017/fs/11035883
     
    If you agree this is a problem and want it to be fixed, please complain to Futuremark and let them know they need to put the brakes on and not do anything else with 3DMark until they have this mess under control. Gimmicky features are one thing, but inconsistent benchmark results makes 3DMark unreliable.
     
    If you would like to do your own testing to validate the issue before contacting Futuremark, older versions of 3DMark are available for download from the TechPowerUp.com web site. 
     
    In case you're not good at simple math, here is a visual aid to show what the fuss is about.
     

     
    Update 12/13/2016:
    We would like to acknowledge that a representative of Futuremark has responded promptly to this article and provided an email address for those interested in communicating with them about the issue. We appreciate the accountability and responsiveness. 
    Update 12/15/2016:
    We sincerely are grateful for Futuremark's responsiveness. I provided additional test results to Mr. Kokko to corroborate the findings of @Papusan and they have released an update that is expected to resolve the issue. See the message from James below for more details.
    UPDATE 12/15/16: Ubisoft is now giving all 7 games away together in a bundle this weekend from December 15th to December 18th. Check out the link below to get them now. 
     
     
    ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
     
    Ubisoft in celebrating their 30 years of making video games is giving away a new item everyday until December 23rd. Thanks to some sleuths on Reddit, we now know what they will be giving away each day. You can grab these items by having a registered Ubisoft account (we recommend uPlay) and grabbing the items from there. Today (12/7/16) they're giving away Assassins Creed 3 for the PC. After that it is mainly just wallpapers and miscellaneous items until December 15-18 when they give away some nice games including The Crew, Prince of Persia, Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell. 
     
    Here's the full calendar below courtesy of Reddit:
    Date Offer Nov 24 RAYMAN CLASSIC on Mobile Nov 25 30% off Ubisoft Games Nov 26 Exclusive Collection of E3 2016 Cards Nov 27 Ubi30 Exclusive GIF Nov 28 For Honor GIFs Nov 29 Ubi30 360 Image Nov 30 Just Dance Greeting Card Dec 1 Ubisoft DIY Advent Calendar Dec 2 Steep Wallpaper Dec 3 Exclusive Digital Posters from E3 2016 Dec 4 Rabbids HoliDec Goodies Dec 5 WWW Wallpaper Dec 6 Ubisoft Cocktail Recipes Dec 7 Assassin's Creed 3 on PC Dec 8 Ubisoft Wrapping Paper Dec 9 300 Game Giveaway Dec 10 Watch_Dogs 2 Wallpaper Dec 11 Ubisoft Gift Tags Dec 12 Ubisoft Dessert Recipes Dec 13 Ghost Recon GIFs Dec 14 Wallpaper for Mobile Dec 15 Prince of Persia on PC Dec 16 Rayman Legends on PC Dec 17 Splinter Cell on PC Dec 18 The Crew on PC Dec 19 Rayman GIF Dec 20 Steep GIF Dec 21 Exclusive 2017 Digital HoliDec Cards Dec 22 Ubi30 Wallpaper Dec 23 Ubisoft HoliDec Decorations    
    Today Nintendo announced it's brand new gaming system dubbed the Switch which will go on sale March 2017. The Switch features a tablet sized screen with detachable controllers called Joy-Cons allowing it to be docked to a unit at home to serve as a traditional console or have the controllers attach to the side of the screen giving gamers the ability to take the system with them on the go.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    (image: Polygon)
     
    In addition, the Switch will utilize mini cartridges as a medium for its games although it remains to be seen whether it will have built in storage to accommodate downloadable games and/or content. There are no details yet about online gaming although given the fact that it's 2016 and the emphasis in the trailer (see below) is on social gaming, it would be a huge oversight not to include it. 
     

                                                                                                                                                                (image: Polygon)
     
    Unlike Nintendo's previous Wii U console which saw poor partner support, Nintendo today announced a fairly healthy list of developers for their new console which include EA, Activision, Bethesda, Capcom, Sega, Ubisoft, Square Enix, From Software, Warner Brothers, Codemasters and Atlus.
     

     
    Finally, it was rumored that NVIDIA would be behind the Switch and today it was confirmed that they are indeed the ones that engineered the Switch in conjunction with Nintendo - the full press release by NVIDIA is available at the end of this article. 
     
    The Nintendo Switch in action:
     
    NVIDIA press release regarding Nintendo Switch:
     
    Come join us in discussing the future of MXM in gaming notebooks, especially if you are a recent Clevo owner. With the release of NVIDIA's new 10 series graphics cards, they have ushered in a new era where full desktop cores are ported to gaming notebooks. One would think we are living in a golden era of notebook gaming but that couldn't be further from the truth as these new Pascal graphics cards are no longer offered in MXM format by NVIDIA and instead it is left up to Clevo and other OEMs to design their own modules. Unfortunately, as of right now, these modules are proprietary and offer no backward compatibility with recent notebooks that used MXM modules like the 980.  -Brian
     
     
    Blaise Pascal
     

     
    N17E-Gx 'MXM III' VERSIONS
     
     
     
    CLEVO REFRESH MODELS
     
    P870DM2/3(-G) aka 'PHOENIX 2.0'
     
     
     
     
    P775DM2/3(-G) aka 'WINGMAN 2.0'
     
     
     
     
    P75xDM2(-G) aka 'BATMAN 3.0'
     
     
     
     
    P6xxRS/RP6(-G) aka 'WINGLING'
     
     
     
     
    Join us in the ongoing discussion here and let us know what you think:
     
    Specs:
    11 TFLOPS FP32 44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instruction) 12B transistors 3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz (versus 3,072 cores at 1.08GHz in previous TITAN X) Up to 60% faster performance than previous TITAN X High performance engineering for maximum overclocking 12 GB of GDDR5X memory (480 GB/s)  
    https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/07/21/titan-x/
     
     
     

    Due to a stupid accident by me, I acquired a 980m with a chunk knocked out of the core. Not wanted to scrap a perfectly good top end PCB for parts, I wanted to replace the core. You can see the gouge in the core to the left of the TFC918.01W writing near the left edge of the die.
     
    First I had to get the dead core off:
     

     
    With no sellers on ebay selling GM204 cores, my only option was to buy a full card off ebay. With no mobile cards under $500,I had to get a desktop card. And with this much effort involved to do the repair, of course I got a 980 instead of a 970.
     
    Below is the dead 980 I got off ebay:
     

     
    You can see for some reason someone removed a bunch of components between the core and PCI-E slot. I have no idea why anyone would do this. I tried the card and it was error 43. PCB bend seemed to be too little to kill the card, so those missing components had to be it.
     
    GPUs can be dead because someone removed or installed a heatsink wrong and broke a corner of the core off, so buying cards for cores on ebay is a gamble. This core is not even scratched:
     

     
    Preheating the card prior to high heat to pull the core:
     

     
    And core pulled. It survived the pull:
     

     
    Next is the 980 core on the left cleaned of solder. On the right is the original 980m core:
     

     
    Next I need to reball the 980 core, and lastly put it on the card. I am waiting for the BGA stencil to arrive from China. It still has not cleared US customs:
     
    https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?tLabels=LS022957368CN
     
    When that shows up expect the core to be on the card in 1-2 days.
     
    So some potential issues with this mod besides me physically messing up:
     
    I believe that starting with Maxwell Nvidia started flashing core configuration onto the cores, like intel does with CPUID. I believe this because I found laser cuts on a GK104 for a 680m, but could not find any on two GM204 cores. In addition, Clyde figured out device IDs on the 680m and K5000m. They are set by resistor values on the PCB. The 980m has the same resistor configuration as the 680m for the lowest nibble of the Device ID (0x13D7), but all of the resistors are absent. Filling in these resistors does nothing. Resistors do exist for the 3 and D in the device ID. Flashing a 970m vBIOS on my 980m did not change the device ID or core configuration. If this data is not stored on the PCB through straps or the vBIOS, then it must be stored on the GPU core.
     
    So I expect the card with the 980 core to report its device ID as 0x13D0. The first 12 bits pulled from the PCB, and last 4 from the core. 0x13D0 does not exist. I may possibly be able to add it to the .inf, or I may have to change the ID on the board. With the ID's 0 hardset by the core, I can only change the device ID to 0x13C0, matching that of a desktop 980.
     
    An additional issue may be that the core may not fully enable. Clyde put a 680 core on a K5000m and never got it to unlock to 1536 CUDA cores. We never figured out why.
     
    Lastly, there was very tough glue holding the 980m core on. When removing this glue I scraped some of the memory PCB traces. I checked with a multimeter and these traces are still intact, but if they are significantly damaged this can be problematic for memory stability. I think they are OK though, just exposed.
     
    Due to Clyde's lack of success in getting his 680 core to fully unlock I am concerned I might not get 2048. If I don't at least I should still have a very good chip. Desktop chips are better binned than mobile chips (most 980s are over 80% ASIC quality, while most 980ms are below 70%). In addition this 980 is a Galax 980 Hall of Fame, which are supposedly binned out of the 980 chips. Having a 90%+ ASIC would be great to have. The mid 60s chips we get in the 980m suck tons of power.

    I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Fox. This card was originally his. He sent me one card to mod and one to repair. I repaired the broken one and broke the working one. The broken one is the one I've been modding.
     
    Article update: SUCCESS!
    Core finally reballed. If the mount is poor I will be very very angry...

     
    Card cooling. New brain installed.

     
    So it actually works with the 980m vBIOS. I tried modding too soon. I just needed to reinstall the driver. I only ran a very lightweight render test because right now the card is only running on 2 phases. I'm pulling the phase driver from my 980m now to get the 3rd phase back up.

     
     
    Follow the rest of the discussion here:

     
    Miscreated by Entrada Interactive LLC, is a gorgeous survival crafting game using the latest version of CryEngine. Currently the game is in alpha state and at times it shows. The game has issues with staying connected to servers, freezing and crashing but the buyer should obviously understand this buying an early access game. There is a screen even warning the player of such matters after launching the game. Updates are far and few between but once an update is released it's of a large scale usually including numerous fixes and twice as many features.     Miscreated takes place after a nuclear fallout and nature is slowly taking the world back. Weather can be harsh, from down pouring and lightning to intense fog. In fact, the fog is sometimes so dense that you can't see more than 6 to 7 feet in front of you.  If you think that's the worst of it then you'd be wrong because the game also has tornadoes, yes you read that right, tornadoes.   If you survive the weather then you must face the wildlife. As of right now in the current state of the game, wolves are the only hostile wildlife but as this team seems to be focusing more on PvE than PvP, I am willing to bet we'll be seeing a lot more wildlife aiming to serve you up as supper. If that doesn't already make survival seem harsh, there's also areas of radiation which give off a faint glow and poison you and then you need to quickly scavenge for anti-rad pills or face a slow miserable death.   The game also has a sparse amount of loot available in the game world and unlike Day Z, you don't quickly find weapons laying around everywhere. Food and water is pretty easily found throughout the world so getting the bare essentials is at least feasible. Like H1Z1, there are stores scattered throughout the map with barren shelves that sometimes contain enough canned food and water to help you survive. If you happen to run out of canned food you can always hunt for your food and eat it raw or use a campfire to cook it. Water is even easier to find as you will come across plenty of canteens in your journey which you can refill at any large water source such as a river.   Once you have sufficient food and water to survive a few days and nights, your next course of action is to seek out better clothing such as backpacks, shirts, and cargo pants to help you hold more loot. There are also helmets, hats and beanies for your head as well as masks. Currently, as of patch #36, clothing does not have an armor value but will soon. Once it has been included finding something as little as steel toe boots will make a difference. You're going to need armor for those wildlife and mutant attacks. Oh yes, mutants rather than zombies, original right?      Mutants are far and few in between. This is largely in part due to the game being in such an early alpha state and the developers waiting on Crytek to update the engine to better handle AI by consuming less CPU cycles and allow bigger maps with increased server stability. Currently there are only two types of mutants in the game, a normal mutant and a hunter mutant which is much faster and stronger. Mutants can be dealt with pretty simply by running from them if you do not feel like confronting them as they will only chase you for a short distance and disappear back to their original locations. I hope this is something that will change in later builds of the game.     There are also vehicles in the game you can find but get ready to work for them. As most will need spark plugs, a battery, fuel, drive belt and tires. Tires aren't needed as you can drive without them just at a slower pace.     As it stands, in my opinion, this game is shaping up to be a DayZ and/or H1Z1 killer. Hopefully I'm not let down by what seems to be a bright devlopment team. These types of survival games have been done many times over and while this game isn't entirely original, it takes what has been done and seemingly improves on it. In addition, unlike other survival games like DayZ, this game seems to be focusing more on the PvE aspect which may entice players to band together instead of killing a new player on sight for no reason other than the sake of PvP. If you're interested in this game,  I highly suggest snagging this title and following each update as they roll out. And maybe I'll see you in the wasteland.
    NVIDIA announced it's newest Pascal based GTX 1060 today that is expected to go on sale July 19th for $250 and $300 for the Founder's Edition. The GTX 1060 will feature 1280 CUDA cores, 6 GB DDR5 memory with a boost clock of 1.7 GHz which NVIDIA claims can easily overclock to 2 GHz. In addition, NVIDIA claims the 1060 is on average 15% faster and over 75% more power efficient than the closest competitive product at stock speeds which would be the AMD RX 480. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The following is their PR release: 
     
    Media:

    Subnautica by Unknown Worlds brings a whole new light to survival crafting games. We've all played them, cut down a tree, gather some rocks, build a home, loot or craft weapons. But all of this is done on dry land with relatively easy to find resources and stereotypical enemies. Zombies, bears, wolves and other human like NPC's.  Subnautica is different. Subnautica adds a whole new, strange and alien world to the survival mix. You start the game crash landing in an escape pod onto an uncharted alien water world with nothing but some water and food in the escape pods storage.
     
     
     
     

     
    From there you're on your own. No tutorial, no hints, just you and your fabricator bench that tells you little about the items you can craft, only what you need to make them. Stepping outside of your pod is breath taking. You may think a water world isn't much to look at, why should it be? There are no radiated zones to conquer, no naked men running around trying to beat you to death with a rock, no green men without any arms exploding next to you. It isn't the waters surface that will get you going but rather what is underneath it.
     
    Once you dive below you will see a thriving ecosystem with mostly non-lethal life. Corals, alien fish, seaweed and just about anything else you can think of. That doesn't mean you should let your guard down. There are hostile sea creatures lurking in the shadows, some of them are easily dealt with. Others you want to do everything you can to avoid.
     

     
    As you find blueprints and resources and begin to get on your feet you will be forced to go into more dangerous areas with these creatures to find better resources but the resources within these areas are well worth it. Eventually you will build your own underwater base that can extend up well beyond the surface of the water if you feel a need for such things. You can make a greenhouse in one area, storage another, aquarium in another to house fish to eat for later.
     
    As I played the game my goal was to build the largest sub you can get in the game called the cyclops. You can potentially use this as your base if you'd like. You can even make a small fish tank for food inside of it. I don't want to spoil too much. Just get to work gathering and crafting items and a base to call home. Be careful with storage as items do not stack and will take up all of your storage before you know it. Also jump on getting your communications relay operational as soon as possible. Some interesting things start happening as a result. All in all I have to say that Subnautica is the most interesting survival I've played to date and for only being in early access I would still pay as if it was a fully released game. Head to steam and check it out.
    For starters I'll get this out of the way. Yes Street Legal Racing Redline is an old game that is littered with bugs and hiccups. From release SLRR has never been a stable game and most likely always never will be with new operating systems and hardware that it was never meant to run on. Luckily there are two website in which I've found with an extremely dedicated community that is willing to help anyone with any problems. They are currently working on complete rebuilds of the game itself to bring it up to date, you can see this here: http://streetlegalmods.com/index.php and http://vstanced.com/page.php?id=407 .
     
    Now on to the game itself. It's hard to find a starting point as the game is very in depth and offers hours of gameplay due to the fact that you build a car from the frame up. You must build the engine, drivetrain setup and even match tire sizes to the wheel. Once you have built a car you can start tuning it or upgrading it by stripping it for weight or adding turbos or superchargers. Once you start adding mods the possibilities are endless.
     
     

     
    So you begin with little cash and must go to the used car dealership to obtain your first vehicle. These cars will always have problems whether it be a blown engine, tranny or entirely missing both. Money management is crucial at first; get this car in running order and hit the street. There are three tiers to move up in, green, blue and then into red. To move up you must challenge people to races around the city during the day that either you or the AI will set a route for. Once your reputation has built up a bit you can then go into the night time drags. These races are what move you up the bracket within each tier until you eventually hit the top and you may also race for pinks in these. But beware as you may lose your ride and if you do and don't have the money to build a new one your game will be finished.
     

     
    Once you do you will be able to enter the RoC (Race of Campions) after paying a fee to enter. The RoC is a desert race with a large cash pot and car as prize. And you may do this race as many times as you like as the game never ends. Graphic wise the game isn't the best. After all it is from 2003, developed by Invictus and published by Activision. The game presents a very early step into soft body damage physics and does so nicely considering what was available in 03. Making mistakes such as sliding sideways into a curb or tail whipping a tree has large repercussions.  This on top of the AI traffic and police chases make for some very exciting and very frustrating moments. Overall I would say the game is worth a shot. Despite all of its issues the game can be fun. Whether taken seriously or using cheats to just build cars and go drifting on the test track. There is something in it for every driver.
     
     
    AMD's new RX 480 $200 graphics card is out and delivers GTX 970/R390 performance as promised. However, there are some conflicting reports of the new Polaris GPU drawing more power from the PCI-e slot than it is rated. According to Tom's Hardware, the RX 480 draws 86 watts peak from the motherboard's PCI-e slot although the official ceiling is 75 watts.
     
     
    After Tom's Hardware published their report, other websites such as PCPer followed up with their own testing and reported similar findings: 
     
     
    Additionally, there are some users that reported potential issues with their motherboards that arose after using the RX 480 in their systems:

     
    Keep in mind both of those reports do not 100% confirm the problem is the RX 480 but given the reported issues with it's power draw and these users boards experiencing problems after installing an RX 480, there is a strong possibility that it is the cause.
     
    There is a reddit thread in r/AMD on this topic and AMD's Robert Hallock has issued the following response:
     
     
    We're awaiting AMD's full official response which should hopefully be coming soon. 
     
    UPDATE: TechPowerUp contacted AMD and received the following official response:
     
    So according to PC Gamer, they have a "source" who tells them NVIDIA will be readying it's newest Pascal chips for the mobile form factor and they will be released sometime in August/September of this year.  In addition, the rumor is these new GPUs will not be cut down M variants but be full-fledged desktop GPUs crammed into high performance notebooks (e.g. MSI and Clevo) but just clocked lower to fit the TDP and power envelope. That shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone since NVIDIA crammed a 165W desktop 980 in notebooks last year and with GTX 1070 only sipping 150W and GTX 1080 at 180W, it makes sense to release these as soon as possible.
     
     
    Despite what PC Gamer says, we may yet still see M variants with different names down the line as there are a lot of gamers out there that still want high performance chips but with thinner profiles and longer battery lives but that will probably come sometime after the 1080/1070 are released for notebooks. In addition, we've still got AMD's newest Polaris coming and with the 480 only consuming 150W, AMD could easily shoehorn that into a notebook just as NVIDIA is doing so we expect both companies to announce availability of their newest notebook graphics chips soon. 
     
     
    For the month of June 2016 anyone who likes the Eurocom Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EurocomTechnology/) is eligible for $100 off an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M upgrade kit for any supporting laptop.
     
    If you already LIKE Eurocom on Facebook you are already eligible for $100 off an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M upgrade kit as well.
     
    Eurocom provides everything for an easy upgrade including the X-bracket, screws, thermal pads, and thermal paste and can provide heatsinks that may be needed to handle the 980M card. 
     
    Having an upgradeable laptop is essential if the user wants to extend the lifespan of the system through repairs or performance increases. 
     
    “Breathe the life back into your laptop with the performance of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M upgrade kit” Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.
     
    Eurocom is offering upgrade solutions for phased out laptop models to allow consumers and companies alike to extend the life span of their systems while benefiting from enhanced performance and usage of new software that requires new graphics.
     
    Eurocom and several other laptop developers integrate MXM 3.0b technology into their high performance notebooks and gaming laptops because it allows those systems to support the most powerful graphics technology on the market while allowing for possible upgrade options.
     
    Notebooks or laptops that incorporate MXM 3.0b can be easily upgraded with newer or higher performing cards of the same standard. This allows users who have purchased an upgradeable system to improve the performance and increase the lifespan of their system with an easy upgrade.
     
    How to place an order with the $100 discount on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M upgrade kit:
    1.      Like the Eurocom Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/EurocomTechnology/
    2.      Purchase the 980M upgrade kit by selecting
    a.      “GPU Upgrade”
    b.      Select the Laptop you own
    c.       Choose the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M upgrade kit
    d.      Click “Order”
    e.      Enter all relevant information
    f.        In the “Configuration Instructions” box write:
                                                                  i.      I liked Eurocom on Facebook!
                                                                ii.      My Facebook name is: 
                                                              iii.      The link to my Facebook Page is:
    3.      Click “order”
     
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Specifications:
    ·         8GB DDR5;
    ·         MXM 3.0b;
    ·         100W
    ·         28nm
    ·         5200 million transistors
    ·         256 bit
    ·         2500 MHz memory speed
    ·         1536 CUDE Cores
     
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Videos:
    MSI GT 72 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Guide: https://youtu.be/ghe4tFuC7jE
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI Upgrade Guide in EUROCOM X8 - P377SMA / SAGER NP9377: https://youtu.be/EXDsr2TV3L8
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade in EUROCOM Racer 2 - P150EM - P170EM-NP9170-NP9150: https://youtu.be/NMmQ6FH_IRY
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M & 970M Alienware 17 (r5) Upgrade Guide: https://youtu.be/fh8ockwbDiE
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M install in EUROCOM Panther 5 Mobile Supercomputer: https://youtu.be/b2yH4BD3ID0
     
    Eurocom laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Kits
    P5 Pro
    P7 Pro
    Sky DLX7 Unlocked
    Sky X4
    Sky X6
    Sky X9
    Sky X9E Unlocked
    X7 Extreme
    Neptune
    P150EM Racer 2
    P170EM Neptune 2
    P170SM Neptune 3
    P370EM Scorpius
    Panther 5
    X3
    X3 R2
    X8 Extreme
     
    MSI Laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Kits
    MSI GT70 2PC
    MSI GT70 2PE
    MSI GT70 0NC
    MSI GT70 0ND
    MSI GT70 20C
    MSI GT70 2OD
    MSI GT72
    MSI GT80 2QE
    MSI GT780DX
     
    Dell Laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Kits
    Dell Precision M4800
    Dell Precision M6500
    Dell Precision M6600
    Dell Precision M6700
    Dell Precision M6800
    Dell Precision 17 7000
     
    Alienware laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Kits
    Alienware M17x R4
    Alienware 17 (R5)
    Alienware M18x R2
    Alienware 18 (R3)
     
    Clevo Laptops with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Upgrade Kits
    CLEVO P150EM / SAGER NP9150
    CLEVO P170EM / SAGER NP9170
    CLEVO P170SM / Sager NP8278
    CLEVO P150SM-A / SAGER NP8268
    CLEVO P157SM-A / SAGER NP8258
    CLEVO P177SM / SAGER NP8290
    CLEVO P177SMA / SAGER NP8298
    CLEVO P170SMA / SAGER NP8278
    CLEVO P770ZM / SAGER NP9772
    CLEVO P770DM / Sager NP9778
    CLEVO P770ZM / SAGER NP9772
    CLEVO P750ZM / SAGER NP9752
    CLEVO P750DM / SAGER NP9758
    CLEVO P750DM-G / SAGER NP9758-G
    CLEVO P870DM
    CLEVO P375SM / Sager NP9390
    CLEVO P370SM / SAGER NP9380
    CLEVO P370SM3 / SAGER NP9380
    CLEVO P370EM/SAGER NP9370/XMG P722 Pro
    CLEVO P377SMA / SAGER NP9377
    CLEVO P570WM / SAGER NP9570
    NVIDIA has officially lifted the NDA for the GTX 1070 which will be priced at $379 for the non-reference  I mean non-Founders Edition card and $449 for the Founders Edition. Starting June 10th, we should see Founders Edition cards hit the market first which will then be followed by custom AIB cards that will vary in price anywhere from $380 to $450+. The GTX 1070 has a 256 bit bus like it's bigger sibling the 1080 but has 8 GB GDDR5 ram clocked at 8 GHz giving it less bandwidth than the 1080. In addition, the GTX 1070 has been gutted by NVIDIA and is left with 15 SM (streaming processors) and 1920 CUDA cores. It also features 120 TMU (texture mapping units) and 64 ROPs (render output unit/raster operations pipeline) with a peak fillrate of approximately 202 Gigatexels/sec. 
     
    Comparison of GTX 1080/1070/980 Ti GPU GTX 1080 GTX 1070 GTX 980 Ti GPU architecture Pascal Pascal
    Maxwell Node 16 nm 16 nm 28 nm Transistor Count 7.2 billion 7.2 billion 8 billion Core Frequency 1607-1733 MHz 1506-1683 MHz 1000-1076 MHz Memory Frequency 10 Gbps 8 Gbps 7 Gbps Memory Type GDDR5x GDDR5 GDDR5 Memory Bus 256 bit 256 bit 384 bit Memory Size 8 GB 8 GB 6 GB ROPs 64 64 96 Shaders 2560 1920 2816 GFLOPS 8,873 6,463 6,060 Texture Units 160 120 176 Texel Fill Rate 277.3 GigaTexels/sec 201.9 GigaTexels/sec 176 GigaTexels/sec TDP 180W 202W 250W External Power 8 pin 8 pin 8 + 6 pin  
    Like the GTX 1080, the 1070 starts at a fairly high base clock of 1506 MHz with boost speeds of 1683 MHz and utilizes NVIDIA's newest Boost 3.0 technology. The cooling unit is pretty much the same between the 1080 FE and 1070 FE that features the new polygonal shaped shroud and fan blower. Like the 1080 FE, the 1070 FE comes with a backplate which theoretically helps keep components cooler. The power delivery system of the 1070 has been cut down a bit more compared to the 1080 and is equipped with a 4-phase dual-FET design. 
     

     
    NVIDIA has stated that the GTX 1070 is as fast as a Titan X in most cases which means it should match or exceed a base 980 Ti in nearly ever metric. Based on the reviews below, it seems NVIDIA was right on the mark. 
     
    Here is a round-up in no particular order of current 1070 reviews:
    Linus TechTips:  Gamer's Nexus:  Hard|OCP: http://hardocp.com/article/2016/05/29/nvidia_geforce_gtx_1070_founders_edition_preview/#.V0uByfkrIuU TechSpot: http://www.techspot.com/review/1182-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070/ PCPer: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/GeForce-GTX-1070-8GB-Founders-Edition-Review Hexus: http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/93050-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-16nm-pascal/ SWECLOCKERS: http://www.sweclockers.com/test/22153-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070/10#content Hardware Canucks: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/72689-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-review.html Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-8gb-pascal-performance,review-33567.html GameSpot: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-review/1100-6440307/
    With NVIDIA having now officially launched their next generation Pascal based GTX 1070 and 1080 GPUs, there are a number of AIB partner boards coming to the market soon. We have a video today by YouTuber Actually Hardcore Overclocking that examines different custom PCBs and helps break down the differences between the various boards and their power delivery designs. If you've read about additional power phases that will be available on AIB cards that are lacking in Founder's Edition but never quite knew what that meant, this video should help. 
     
     
    New updated deals from GMG for the early May Madness promotion as well as early June releases, check them out:
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Total War: Warhammer -Released May 24th  with 20% Off with code - MAY25 - deal expires Friday 27th.
     
    Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet Edition - Releases June 9th, get 25% Off with code - MAY25 - deal expires Friday 27th. 

     
    Stellaris -  Released May 9th, get 25% off all 3 titles (standard, Nova, Galaxy editions) all come with pre-purchase goodies (including creatures of the void and name in to space) - use code MAY25. This deal expires Friday May 27th.

     
    Mirrors Edge Catalyst - Releases June 9th, get 25% Off with code - MAY25 - deal expires Friday 27th. 

     
    Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remastered - Released May 12th, get 25% Off with code - MAY25 - deal expires Friday 27th. 

    TweakTown just released a new story claiming that NVIDIA rather than AMD will be the one powering Nintendo's new NX console which is scheduled for release in early 2017. More specifically, it was rumored that AMD's new Polaris in combination with an x86 CPU or part of an APU was the brains behind the new NX. Instead, the rumor is that the NX will be utilizing an NVIDIA Tegra SoC that uses the newest Pascal architecture. 
     
    To add a little more salt to the rumor, Emily Rogers, an online journalist that has supposedly been privy to this sort of information in the past, is now stating the NX is not powered by an x86 architecture but rather a custom design that utilizes "modern chips". She doesn't specify what those "modern chips" are but if you take what TweakTown claims in addition to what she said and Nintendo's history of not chasing after the most powerful hardware, there's some plausibility to all of this. 
     
     

     

     
    I guess we'll find out soon enough if Nintendo did choose to go with NVIDIA this time around and if so, expect a nice boost to NVIDIA stock if all this turns out to be true.