Alienware updates Area 51 gaming desktop with AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper, Intel Core X-Series processors


Alienware Area-51 gaming PC

Alienware is embracing AMD’s latest attempt to compete with Intel in the gaming PC market, announcing at the E3 expo that it will be the first manufacturer to sell a pre-built system using the new Ryzen ThreadRipper processor.

Dell’s gaming arm will be refreshing its Area-51 desktop with the new 16-core CPU, but Intel won’t be completely shut out. The Area-51 will also be available with the latest Core X-Series chips when they are release later in the summer.

With its new Ryzen processor family, AMD hopes to reinvigorate its presence in the performance PC space, as it’s largely seceded it to Intel’s Core lineup. The firm’s first-quarter revenues were up due to demand for Ryzen, and…

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HP embraces VR with Omen X Compact Desktop, adds external graphics dock solution


HP Omen X Compact Desktop

With virtual reality set to explode, HP is making sure it’s positioned to reap the benefits from the need for hardware to power the VR revolution. Its latest announcements include a backpack PC that will finally be available to consumers, along with a new headset for developers to use to create the next generation of VR apps.

Last year, HP released the Omen X VR PC Pack, a PC that could be worn on your back as you navigate through virtual worlds. At the time, this Omen was only available for developers who needed to test out their software. But yesterday the company announced the Omen X Compact Desktop, an updated version of its original backpack PC that will now be available for…

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Computex 2017: Dell launches first Inspiron gaming desktop


Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop

PC gamers should be thrilled about the renewed interest that’s being given to performance desktops, as AMD’s Ryzen processors have been matched by Intel’s new Core i9 and Core-X CPUs. While the high end is always claiming the most attention, most gaming isn’t done by those who can afford $3,000 systems.

Dell is hoping to cater to gamers whose wallets contain a more modest pile of cash with its new Inspiron gaming desktop, launched this week at Computex. The computer giant has long had its XPS line of high-performance desktops, and has previously rolled out an Inspiron gaming laptop (not to mention its Alienware lineup of boutique PCs). But this is the first time it’s released a…

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​Computex 2017: AMD stakes its claim to the high ground


It’s already been a big year for AMD. By the time it arrived in Taiwan, the chipmaker had already released its first Ryzen processors, announced the Epyc server line, unveiled its first Vega graphics card and teased a 16-core desktop chip dubbed Threadripper.

Even with all these new products, AMD arguably doesn’t have the fastest CPU core or the fastest single GPU. But it has certainly come a long way and at its press conference the company made a solid case that the combination of its new processors and graphics–on platforms that deliver more memory bandwidth and I/O–can deliver the best overall system performance at a given price.

Despite the earlier announcements, AMD still managed to break some news at Computex. Perhaps the most…

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​Computex 2017: Always Connected PC sounds great, but we'll have to wait

New ARM processors for mobile devices tailored to AI and VR

In separate events at Computex, Qualcomm and Microsoft made a compelling case for a new class of thin, fanless laptops with broadband wireless, significantly longer battery life, and the full Windows 10 experience. And, as expected, the companies announced that several major OEMs, including Asus, HP, and Lenovo, will be delivering the first Always Connected PCs. The concept sounds great, but none of these were on display in Taiwan, and for now, the companies are offering no details on the devices.

Cellular laptops with an x86 processor and a separate modem — generally from Qualcomm — have been around for a decade. The Always Connected PC is different because it is based on a 10nm…

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Computex 2017: Intel rediscovers the desktop

Intel Computex Gregory Bryant

In recent years Intel has used Computex to try to shake up the laptop market. The chipmaker announced the Ultrabook and later coined the term 2-in-1 here in Taiwan, and more recently it has been pushing concepts such as true wireless computing.

Not all of these initiatives have worked but Intel and its partners have certainly succeeded in making laptops notably thinner, lighter and more attractive (some of these were on display during today’s opening keynote). This hasn’t been enough, however, to reverse the long slide in the overall PC market.

One rare bright spot has been the high-end systems for gaming, virtual reality and content creation. Intel says sales of its unlocked desktop processors have been growing 20 percent year-on-year. So…

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​Computex 2017: ARM has designs on more than mobile

ARM Nandan Nyampally

ARM owns the mobile market. Last year the semiconductor IP firm’s processor designs were used in some 16 billion chips, including those at the heart of nearly ever smartphone. Its Mali graphics, which hasn’t been around as long, crossed the one-billion mark in 2016, giving it around half of the phone market.

But the industry is changing. Smartphones are pushing in new directions such as VR and console-quality gaming. The rapid adoption of machine learning is spurring designs capable of running these models at the edge in everything from video cameras to self-driving cars. These applications are in turn placing steep demands on data centers, forcing companies to be more innovative with servers and networking infrastructure.

These applications…

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HP's updated Spectre x2 will compete against new Surface Pro


HP Spectre x2

Lost amid yesterday’s launch hoopla for Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro hybrid tablet was HP’s announcement the day before of a refreshed Spectre x2 convertible that will squarely face off against the more-hyped device.

With its 12.3-inch display and digital pen-based input, the Spectre x2 is clearly gunning for the same target buyer as the Surface Pro. But how does it compare? It wins on screen resolution (3,000×2,000 versus 2,736×1,824) and its base model uses a seventh-generation (Kaby Lake) Core i5 processor whereas the new cheapest Surface Pro settles for an updated Core m3 chip.

The base Spectre x2 will also outdo the new Surface Pro when it comes to RAM, doubling the 4GB that comes…

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​Nvidia makes the case for GPU accelerators

The rebirth of artificial intelligence over the past five years has led to rapid progress in challenging areas such as computer vision and speech recognition. As computers begin to learn about the world around them, this is in turn opening up new possibilities in fields such as healthcare, transportation and robotics.

“Machine learning is one of the most important computer revolutions ever,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said at last week’s annual GPU Technology Conference, “Computers are learning by themselves.”

The emergence of deep learning is the result of three factors: smarter algorithms, lots of data, and the use of GPUs to speed up training. The world’s largest cloud companies are increasingly relying on GPUs to develop their own models and…

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