what is cloud computing and how does it work

Before explaining what is cloud computing and how does it work, it is important to know the back end story of this new technology. Today, cloud computing technology is used in a wide variety of Web services and applications, for both personal and business purposes. It’s quite possible that, without realizing it, you’re using a cloud service every day. For example, using email on your smartphone or online storage service.

what is cloud computing and how does it work
what is cloud computing and how does it work

“Wondering! what is cloud computing and how does it work? Cloud computing is a technology and business service that enables users to access a variety of functionality, software and applications to more efficiently manage their data or that of their business and store their information on remote servers rather than on a local computer.”

Data privacy and security in cloud computing

In order to prevent the loss of information in the event of a failure of one of the network computers, copies are made in several places so that one copy of the information can always be accessed. Everything stored in the cloud is encrypted, providing security and preventing hackers from taking action.

To make it easier, let’s give an example, think of a service like Gmail. You can access it from any device without having to download it to your computer, tablet or mobile phone or worry about the storage capacity of your computer. Everything is processed, managed, updated and stored in the cloud over the Internet.

In addition, major steps have been taken in recent years to make the use of cloud computing services fully accessible to every type of user. As mentioned earlier, we will often use applications that use the cloud for multiple tasks without having to configure anything.

 

Because you don’t have to rely on local computers to store information, your business data is available in real-time from anywhere with an Internet connection. This has a number of benefits in managing communications and working time that translate into higher productivity. But what is behind this technology, how can our information be available from any device? Let’s take a look at how cloud computing essentially works.

Cloud Computing, how does it work?

There are 3 key elements to understanding how cloud computing works:

Frontend: the “client” side from which we interact with cloud computing services, either through a web browser or a specific application on each device. In most cases, it will be an interface that allows us to execute requests and actions, even if they are actually executed in the cloud.

Internet connection: the channel through which we can access cloud computing services from the front end. Sometimes there are applications that allow us to work offline and, when we reconnect to the network, synchronize our work and information with the cloud.

Backend: the “server” side, the computers that run the cloud computing applications and services and store the data. They are typically distributed across one or more data centers. A common scheme is to have a central server responsible for managing traffic and incoming requests commonly referred to as middleware.
In short, when we use a cloud computing service, as users we interact with the frontend (a web browser or application) that is connected over the Internet to the backend, where our requests are processed, the relevant applications and processes are executed, and a response is given to the frontend.

what is cloud computing and how does it work

What applications does Cloud Computing have?

There is a wide variety of cloud-based computing solutions, such as:

  • Email
  • Agendas and Calendars
  • Business management programs (ERP, CRM)
  • File storage and backup systems
  • Collaborative work equipment
  • Office suites
  • Virtual Desktops
  • E-commerce
  • Warehouse management and accounting programs

According to the simple operational concept described above, there are applications that take advantage of the possibilities of this technology to offer complete solutions that offer advantages such as ubiquity, high availability or data security. Whether you want to deploy a cloud computing application in your organization or migrate much of your enterprise’s technology infrastructure to the cloud, there are many services that can help.

Review: ASUS Chromebox 3 available in two variants

Asus has officially launched its new Mini-PC, the Chromebox 3. This is a new model that uses the Chrome OS as its operating system and also includes the Play Store. This is the first in the series that includes it. So users who buy this device can install Android applications on what offers many options.

Chromebox 3
As a Mini-PC it is the smallest in size measuring only 14.8 x 14.8 x 14.8 centimeters, making it very easy to place anywhere. It allows the simultaneous connection of two computers independently of each other.

Asus Chromebox 3 offers all the necessary requirements of the modern technology. The brand has done a great job in this area and presents a complete model that offers users many possibilities. These are the complete specifications:

Chromebox 3 Specifications

 

  • Operating system: Chrome OS
  • Processor:  Intel Celeron 3865U / Intel Core i3-7100U / Intel Core i5-8250U / Intel Core i7-8550U
  • RAM memory:  2 x SO-DIMM, DDR4 from 4 GB to 16 GB of memory
  • Internal storage:  M.2 SSD from 32 to 256 GB of memory, expandable with microSD Card
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD 610 or Intel HD 620
  • Connectivity:  Wi-Fi Intel dual-band 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.2
  • Front connections:  1 slot for micro SD; 1 audio connector, for headphones or microphone; 2 x USB 3.1
  • Side connections:  1 x Kensington Lock
  • Rear connections:  2 x USB 2.0 and 3 x USB 3.1 Gen. 1; 1 x USB 3.1 Gen. 1; 1 x USB 3.1 type C; 1x Input DC 1 x LAN; 1 x HDMI
  • 65 W adapter: Celeron 3865U or Core i3-7100U
  • 90 W adapter: Core i5-8250U or Core i7-8550

So you can see, this is a model that stands out for its power. ASUS has selected the highest level Intel processors for its Chromebox 3. However, security updates also play an important role as they will be very common. This ensures that the user is protected at all times.

As of today, this Mini-PC will be available in stores. There will be two versions available, which are different in price. These are the versions of the Mini-PC: Celeron version 3865U:

Celeron version 3865U, 4GB RAM and 32GB memory: 299 Euro
Version with Core i3-7100U RAM of 4GB and 64Gb memory: 499 Euro

 

 

IFA 2018 Berlin: 8K race for Samsung and LG. Who will win?

Concerning 8K equipment manufacturers, it is difficult to say that which one will win a certain amount of consumers because ultimately they will be involved in technological progress if they equip themselves with equipment that meets the new standard.

8K

This year’s IFA in Berlin is outstanding proof of the conspicuous landfill of 8K devices. The German capital has become an arena in which two producers are the most important.

Samsung presented its 8K resolution Q900R TV with Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence) upscaling at IFA. HDR10+ is the standard for this manufacturer’s high-end TV. The latest range of the best-equipped household appliances will include 65″, 75″, 82″ and 85″ flat screen TVs. Of course, the manufacturer does not dispense with the familiar functions of Ambient Mode or the automatic recognition of the connected peripheral devices. It is important that these models will soon appear in the shops, and their price is good. It will most likely be an unaffordable one, the first customers looking for an 8K TV will pay a considerable “tax on novelties”.

8K – what about the LG?

8K
At the same time, the LG surprised all. At the beginning of IFA, LG Display, a subsidiary, had an 8K and 88-inch OLED TV. The above display has already been introduced, although it is the first device equipped with it. Of course, the LG show is a relaxation of muscles and no clear statement about an offensive in the home entertainment market. Some people think that Samsung and LG want to tempt service providers and TV providers as well as broadcasters to improve their infrastructure and thus achieve a higher standard. The longer the development of 8K by content providers continues, the longer TV manufacturers wait for the actual harvest – at this point it is basically pointless to equip themselves with such devices.

8K

Interestingly, the LG assumes that the company will be able to sell up to 5 million TV sets with OLED 8K panels by 2022. These are very courageous predictions – if you take them for granted, you can assume that just around the corner there is a revolution that is closely linked to the transition to a higher standard.

8K will not share the fate of 3D on TV. Finally, we will all move to a higher standard

There are voices according to which 8K can share the fate of 3D, which has been so strongly promoted by the largest TV manufacturers in the past. However, the difference between 8K and 3D is that the first standard is an evolution of the previous standard, which is finally accepted by the market (although Full HD is still the most widely used standard), while 3D is, in fact, a variation of the way content is consumed. Consumers simply saw no point in watching films or series in this way, and it was not easy for content providers or authors to implement this standard.

8K

As content providers begin to move to a higher standard, consumers will see the point of buying a new TV that is already equipped with the ability to deliver 8K video to the user. The official opening Samsung and the LG – the muscles are probably the best proof that this revolution will take place – whether consumers are confident or not.

The difference between consumers and producers is that the latter generates the “needs” of the market. The latter, on the other hand, are eagerly adopted by the former. There is a lot of talk about the fact that already 4K is “enough” in terms of image quality and a jump to the next level is no longer necessary; everything above 4K is already a production fader. However, it should not be forgotten that the same was said in games and movies, and there are still differences between content played at a higher and a lower frequency. 8K is above all a higher resolution and therefore better attention to detail (naturally limited by the distance to the screen). The higher standard also means better surround sound, more information about the file, etc. Let us not forget that – these are very important questions.

But the 8K standard is not only a more or less important advantage. They are also challenges – the need to modernize the infrastructure of providers (not only the content but also, for example, the Internet). Video transmission in 8K standard requires very fast transmission channels. So for the revolution not only those who produce images for us but also intermediaries between television/creators on the Internet and us (means ISP) must prepare. This revolution will happen anyway, but we will have to wait a while for it to happen. Right now, however, we are treating 8K as an absolute novelty – if we buy an 8K TV, we are now condemned to spend huge sums of money and….. may not be able to realize its potential.

Windows Live Essentials is still alive and you can install it on Windows 10

Things are tough in the world of software. Featuring how difficult it is to make your program or game successful and we find ourselves in confusing situations like closing Messenger (also known as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger), a very popular messaging application that died before his time due to Microsoft’s decision to give Skype priority.

Windows Live Essentials is still alive and you can install it on Windows 10

Similar situation lived the Windows Live Essentials or Windows Essentials package, a Microsoft combination that includes the mentioned Messenger, but also SkyDrive (now OneDrive), a photo application, another to write, a mail manager of popular Movie Maker, a home application for editing videos in Windows.

As such, it was launched in 2005 and had several versions with different applications. The last version was released in 2012. From then on, it was decided to partially integrate it into Windows 8 and no longer offer it separately. But outside of integration was Movie Maker.

Microsoft’s last action was to remove the executable from the servers in early 2017. But as in fiction, nothing dies in the software world through the Internet and the repositories of old software.

The most drastic example is the possibility to test older versions of Windows and MacOS in your browser.

Well, then. Ghack’s managers discovered that the Windows Essentials Installer was still available on the Internet, more specifically in the Internet Archive, a virtual library that stores not only books, movies and music, but also versions of websites and software from yesterday and today.

Although Microsoft stopped offering official support on January 10, 2017 and suggested that alternatives be published in its Microsoft Store, we can download Windows Live Essentials from the Internet archive and run it on Windows 10.

Download Microsoft Windows Live Essentials 2012

The Internet Archive tab on Windows Live Essentials contains all the information you need. The installer and included applications are compatible with Windows 7 and higher.

The package includes Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Messenger, Writer, and OneDrive. The most useful is Movie Maker and Photo Gallery, while Mail doesn’t work well and Messenger doesn’t have a network of servers to make it work.

Windows Live Essentials is still alive and you can install it on Windows 10

On the other hand, OneDrive has been updated several times and Writer still works, but we can choose a more recent version, although it was not developed by Microsoft as before.

There are two ways to download Windows Live Essentials, via Torrent or via direct download.

Run Windows Live Essentials on Windows 10

We said before about Windows Live Essentials 2012, the last known version, was released for Windows 7 and Windows 8 in August of that year.

Apart from the fact that some components of this suite no longer work for obvious reasons, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, and Writer open perfectly under Windows 10.

The plant has no secrets and more than one will remember them from the past. We select the components to install and follow the instructions.

Windows Movie Maker is easy and free to use (as opposed to payment options such as Adobe Premiere) and offers many advanced features such as voiceover, audio mixer, H.264 / MP4 support in the latest version, export to Vimeo or YouTube…..

Windows Photo Gallery can be used to manage, organize, and edit photos in most formats, including RAW formats for digital cameras. With the latest version, you can create collages with up to 50 images and upload videos to Vimeo.

Writer or Windows Live Writer is the tool for creating web pages and publishing them to blogs. It is compatible with Blogger, WordPress, and others and allows uploading text, images, and even maps.

One of the advantages is that you can edit articles offline and then upload them. You can also manage labels and preview how they will look when they are published.

Windows Live Essentials may have better alternatives today, but it was so successful that many will find it useful to recover applications like Photo Gallery or Windows Media Maker and run them normally on Windows 10.

New GeForce RTXs – NVIDIA lightning Ray

NVIDIA has officially registered the name Turing and the brands GeForce RTX, and Quadro RTX, a declaration of intent directly related to the next generation of graphics cards and accompanied by a new specification filtration.

New GeForce RTXs - NVIDIA lightning Ray Tracing

From the very beginning, we start to provide an appropriate contextualization of this new information to better understand it. NVIDIA has always been committed to developing proprietary technologies to enhance the graphics of games in a special way, a reality that we can now perfectly represent in GameWorks.


Since the beginning of the year, the green giant has publicly demonstrated its interest in ray tracing for video games, a technology called NVIDIA RTX, which will be included in the PC version of Metro Exodus, one of the most anticipated next-generation games.

New GeForce RTXs - NVIDIA lightning Ray Tracing

In previous articles, we told you that the next generation of NVIDIA graphics cards will be able to maintain Volta’s core sensors and dedicate them to a ray tracing system. This would significantly improve performance over the Pascal-based GeForce GTX 10 while giving the company the ability to run raytracing.

A way to justify the generation change

Let’s face it, developments focused on PS4 and Xbox One have put a heavy strain on the PC gaming industry. Compatibility adjustments are associated with minor improvements and do not really exploit the potential of the next generation hardware, a situation that has extended the update cycles to such an extent that a high-end graphics card can still be played in 1080p from 2012 to 2018.

Against this background, we can understand why NVIDIA wants to introduce concrete advances that demonstrate the superiority of the PC and justify a generation change. At the moment, anyone with a GTX 970, GTX 1060 3GB or higher has no compelling reasons to update their graphics card, neither are they going to be with the advent of the next generation of graphics cards, as console-centric developments and hardware-level requirements are maintained.

 

With the emergence of raytracing and its introduction as a “new” technology unique to GeForce RTX, it could be the revival NVIDIA needs to “sell” its new generation of graphics and convince users that they need to update their graphics card, which would be a particularly good approach for players who have a larger budget and always want ” state of the art “.

The average user would be less interested in raytracing and will probably choose to keep their current graphics card and wait directly for the arrival of Xbox Two and PS5, two next-generation consoles that will lead the way in game development and determine their requirements.

GeForce RTX – Underperforming

Those of you who read us every day know that Turing is the name of the architecture that will use the new generation GeForce and that it is a simple update of the Volta architecture. The latest information reinforces this idea and leaves us with some unfavorable data, as this new generation would be far below expectations in terms of gross profit.

For better understanding, we provide you with a summary of the comparison performance we expect and filtered in the latest information:

  • TITAN RTX: We expected it to be 30% more powerful than the GTX TITAN V, but it will only exceed it by 15%. It will cost 50% more than the GTX 1080 IT and about $3,000.
  • GeForce RTX 2080: Based on the TU104 kernel, we expected up to 40% more performance than the GTX 1080 TI, but it will only exceed it by 8%. It will be 50% more powerful than the GTX 1080 and cost between $500 and $700.
  • GeForce RTX 2070: based on the TU106 kernel, we thought it would run at the level of a GTX 1080 IT, but it will be below. It will be 17% better than a GTX 1080 and 40% better than a GTX 1070. It’s between $300 and $500.
  • GeForce GTX 2060: based on the TU116 kernel. We expected a similar performance as a GTX 1080, but it will be 7% slower than a GTX 1070 and 27% more powerful than a 6GB GTX 1060. It’s between $200 and $300.

GeForce GTX 2050: based on the TU118, we thought it would work like a 6GB GTX 1060, but it will be 17% slower than that. It will outperform the GTX 1050 IT by 50% and cost about $150-200.

New GeForce RTXs - NVIDIA lightning Ray Tracing

Please note that GeForce GTX 2000 models (theoretically) have no pulling cores and are not optimally suited for working with NVIDIAs ray tracing. The attached table also shows the date of availability of each model and its assumed graphics memory configurations.

Conclusion: Which one is the best?

This information has had a great impact by changing the nomenclature, but the truth is that it should not surprise us. The issue of beam tracking and train cores is not new, and their arrival on the PC at the level of general consumption has not taken place overnight either.

In general, everything we said makes sense. The introduction of a part of the next generation graphics system, such as GeForce RTX, distinguishes it more clearly from the current generation, with which it will theoretically coexist indefinitely.

On the other hand, the smaller difference in gross performance between the GeForce RTX-GTX 20 and GeForce GTX 10, which saves performance in ray tracing, will help maintain interest in Pascal and facilitate inventory streamlining in the months following the introduction of the new generation of NVIDIA.

We’re looking for the first performance tests so you know what the new Turing-based GeForce has to offer. Before I finish, here’s a summary of how the GeForce GTX 900 would look like compared to the GTX 20 series:

  • GeForce GTX 980 TI: It would be a little more than a GTX 2060.
  • GeForce GTX 980: It surpasses a GTX 2050.
  • GeForce GTX 970: reaches approximately the level of a GTX 2050.
  • GeForce GTX 960: They are well below a GTX 2050.

Review of Xbox One X, the most powerful console with 4K and HDR

The new Xbox One X is already among us, and you can buy it worldwide for a not inconsiderable amount of 499 Euros.

Xbox One X

The Xbox One X, entitled “the world’s most powerful console”, marks the next evolutionary step in the console market with 6 teraflops of performance, native 4K, 60 FPS, Dolby Atmos sound and HDR support, all with full access to all Xbox One and Xbox One S games and accessories.

With an undeniable performance and a very simple design, with matt surfaces and slightly smaller than the Xbox One S, the latest console from Microsoft is doomed to success. This is what players expect from Redmon, who has described this new game console as “a bridge machine that opens the doors to the future, with the most advanced technology of the moment, applied to Xbox One games”.

Technical data, weight, and size

The Xbox One X is powered by a powerful 2.3GHz custom X86 eight-core processor. This chip offers up to 6 teraflops of performance or 6 billion calculations per second, making the new Xbox One X 31% faster than the Xbox One and 43 times faster than the Sony CPU with its 4.2 teraflops). The heart of the new Microsoft Beast is a 6 teraflops AMD Radeon GPU and 40 custom arithmetic units at 1172 Mhz, allowing the console to operate at high speed. In addition, it will have 326GB/s memory bandwidth and a 1TB 2.5-inch hard disk. The Xbox One X is not only more powerful than the PS4 Pro, it also features a 4K UHD Blu-ray player.

In addition, the device has 12 GB of GDDR5 memory, which is standardized at 6.8 GHz on a 12-channel 32-bit memory interface (a total of 384 bits). This does not directly affect the performance of the console, but ends the separation of RAM and ESRAM from Xbox One and makes it easier for developers to create their games for this console, as its structure is more similar to that of PC and PS4.

Of this 12 GB of memory, 8 GB is available to developers and 4 GB is reserved for the system. From here we conclude that Xbox One X has reserved 1 GB more memory for Xbox One, an extra needed to move games to native 4K resolution. In this section, the games have 60% more memory and the 1TB hard drive 50% more bandwidth to ensure constant loading times.

Xbox One X can play Blu Ray UHD movies (with 4K and HDR resolution). In addition, we have been able to download applications for digital video streaming such as Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu since the release date.

Xbox One X

These applications also achieve maximum resolution but require a separate subscription. The device is sound compatible with the most demanding standards on the market, such as Dolby Atmos (the application is free for home cinema and paid for headphones) and DTS X. When it comes to Blu Ray content, the console can play Dolby Digital 7.1.

On the other hand, the Xbox One X can centralize different media sources thanks to its HDMI input connector.

Here is a comparison of the features of Xbox One X compared to its direct competitors.

 

XBOX ONE X PS4 PRO XBOX ONE S
CPU AMD, X86 architecture 8 custom cores 2.3GHz AMD 8 Jaguar 2.1GHz cores AMD 8 cores Jaguar 1,75GHz
GPU 40 “personalized” units at 1,172MHz 36 Radeon GCN at 911MHz 12 Radeon GCN at 914MHz
MEMORY 12GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 1GB DDR3 8GB DDR3 32MB ESRAM
TFLOPS 6 4.2 1.4
BANDWIDTH 326GB / s 218GB / s 219GB / s
HDD 1TB in 2.5 inch format 1TB in 2.5 inch format 1TB / 500GB in 2.5 inch format
UNITY 4K UHD Blu-Ray Blu-Ray 4K UHD Blu-Ray
PSU 245W 289W 120W
Dimensions 30x24x6cm 32,7×29,5×5,5cm 29.5x23x6.5cm
Weight 3.8 kilos 3,3 kilos 2.9 kilos
Price 499 euros 400 euros 250 euros

Design and Development

As I said, the new Xbox One X is quite compact, 30 x 24 x 6 cm, slightly smaller than the Xbox One S, although it is much heavier, 3.8 kg.

From left to right are the HDMI input, output and power cable, two USB 3.0 ports (plus one on the front), an IR receiver, a digital SPDIF audio port and an Ethernet port.

Xbox One X Connections

The disc tray not only plays Xbox games but also 4K Blu-ray, so you can enjoy this kind of content as if it were a home theater.

The design is matt, straight and, in short, rather elegant for an extremely calm body. To give you an idea of this statement, the sound of the Xbox One X is 25~26 decibels, more or less the sound of a whisper, while the PS4 Pro displays about 40 decibels, about as much as a conversation between two adults.

Another aspect that worries every good player the most is the warm-up, in this sense, we can say that the Xbox One cools very well. After one hour of play, the temperature rose from 25 to 43 degrees Celsius, and this data must be seen in perspective, as it shows a temperature 3 degrees lower than the PS4 Pro, resulting in lower energy consumption.

Microsoft has improved heat dissipation through steam cooling with a turbine. The heat sink used by the console to prevent heating consists of thin aluminum sheets containing the vapor/liquid content.

The operation is easy when the console is fully loaded, the liquid heats up in the chamber and becomes steam, which rises to the top, where it is cooled and re-condensed. It then returns in its liquid state to the lower zone and the process is repeated. A rather ingenious (and quiet) way of collecting the heat generated and then releasing it again. To support the entire process, and here the Xbox One X is special, the heatsink turbine collects cold (external) air through one of its sides to support the steam condensation process. This cold air is then “pulled” against the cooling chambers and the warm air is blown out on the other side.

The control is the same as on the Xbox One S but in matt black instead of white. The difference to the gamepad of the first Xbox One is that the underside is rough: just as ergonomic as the original, but non-slip. It is one of the best wireless controllers ever developed, so there was no need to change anything. The only disadvantage is that it runs on two AA batteries (included with the machine), although it allows us to buy a charging and play kit. Also, note that Xbox One X will support keyboard and mouse control in the not too distant future.

The console package

The Xbox One X Basic Pack includes the device, a high-speed HDMI cable compatible with 4K and HDR content, the power cord – the source is inside the console itself – and a control knob. It also contains codes that allow us to test access to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass.

The cables on the Xbox One X are the same as on the S model, so if you replace one machine with another, you don’t need to replace it. In this case, you can also install the games on an external hard drive, which makes it easier to move from one computer to another. The following explains how to transfer the profile between the two Xboxes.

Xbox One X-Controller

All Xbox One games and accessories are compatible with Xbox One X, but if you want to connect Kinect, you will need an accessory that is sold separately.

Advanced Xbox One X Games

So far, the Xbox One X is presented as the best option on the market, but the space on the 1TB hard drive is limited, very limited, so it seems important to have an external hard drive.

Many Xbox One games are about 50 GB in size or even larger, like those optimized under the Xbox One X Enhanced program, which can double this number.

And despite Microsoft’s efforts to shorten download times, if you don’t have a fast Internet connection, you’ll probably have to wait a few hours to download certain games.

When we introduce a game for the first time, in our case Gears of War 4, we have to do a double installation. 43.09 GB of game information will be installed from the hard disk and a 60.03 GB patch with the improvements that are only available on the new console. Not only native 4K resolution and HDR output is available, but also in a variety of formats.

AMD B450 vs B350 vs X470: Differences between chipsets

With the arrival of the AMD Ryzen 2000 processors, we have introduced a new generation of motherboards with the AMD 400 chipsets, which so far only contain the X470 and B450 chipsets, so we will analyze the differences between them and the previous models. AMD B450 vs B350 vs X470, differences between chipsets.

AMD B450 vs B350 vs X470: Differences between chipsets

First of all, we need to understand the importance of the chipset on the AM4 platform. Ryzen processors are based on a SoC (System on a chip) design so that the processor itself integrates a large part of the logic required for its operation. The processor contains everything necessary for its operation, but it is too restricted for its users. This means that we do not see any motherboards without chipsets, although it should be technically possible to run one of these processors on a motherboard without chipsets.

The AM4 motherboards are divided into three different ranges with the X, B, and A series chipsets, while the lowest is the A series chipsets, which is why AMD has decided not to launch a new model in this second generation. The new X470 and B450 chipsets complement the existing X370 and B350 in addition to the low-end A320, all Ryzen processors are compatible with all motherboards and offer high assembly flexibility. The top model, the Ryzen 7 2700X, can be perfectly mounted on the cheapest motherboard on the market, although it is not recommended as the VRM of this model is not designed for such a powerful processor.

The following table summarizes the main features of the chipsets for the AM4 platform:

Chipset X470 X370 B450 B350 A320
USB 3.1 Gen 2 2 2 2 2 1
USB 3.1 Gen 1 6 6 2 2 2
USB 2.0 6 6 6 6 6
SATA III 4 4 2 2 2
PCIe 3.0 2 2 1 1 1
PCIe 2.0 8 8 6 6 4
GPU 1 × 16/2 × 8 1 × 16/2 × 8 1 × 16 1 × 16 1 × 16
Overclock Yes Yes Yes Yes Do not
XFR2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Precision Boost Overdrive Yes Do not Yes Do not Do not
Store MI Yes Do not Yes Do not Do not

B450 is a slight circumcision of the X470 to be cheaper to produce.

X470 is the new high-end chipset, the model that brings the most advanced and expensive motherboards to life. The main difference between this chipset and the midrange B450 is that it offers four additional USB 3.1 ports as well as two additional SATA III ports and additional PCI Express lanes for high-end graphics cards and NVMe storage drives. This makes the X470 a better chipset for users who use multiple graphics cards on a single PC or want to use a large number of NVMe drives. Another difference is that the B450 only allows CrossFire configurations, while the X470 allows CrossFire and SLI.

AMD B450 vs B350 vs X470: Differences between chipsets

Please note that both the B450 and X470 let the processor overclock, although the X470 motherboards are usually equipped with a more robust and better cooled VRM, making them better suited for demanding to overclock, although this difference is due to factors outside the chipset. It is also possible that the BIOSes on X470 motherboards have more overclocking parameters, which allows fine-tuning. These differences in overclocking will only be noticeable to more experienced users, so for most players, both chipsets offer the same thing.

Little innovation compared to the previous generation

The differences between X470 and X370 and B450 and B350 are very small. In addition to supporting Ryzen 2000 processors without BIOS upgrade, they include new Store MI and Precision Boost Overdrive technologies. The first is to use an SSD to accelerate a mechanical hard disk, just like Optane. The goal of Precision Boost Overdrive is to enable processors to achieve slightly higher operating frequencies by relying on advanced algorithms to achieve their full potential.

At this point we are in doubt whether it compensates the change from an AMD 300 motherboard to one of the new AMD 400 motherboards, our conclusion is that it is not worth it, because the best you get are very few and do not compensate the economic effort to wait better for the third generation.

This includes our article on AMD B450 vs B350 vs X470, differences between chipsets. Remember that you can share it on social networks so we can share it with more users who need it. You can also leave a comment if you want to add something.

Review: Surface Go, Microsoft’s best specification at low price

Microsoft officially launches a new tablet in its Surface range, the Surface Go. This 2-in-1 device makes headlines because of the promise of a “Low-Cost Surface”.

Review: Surface Go, Microsoft

 

Surface Go: Microsoft’s first one with USB Type-C port

The Surface Go is the first Surface product in which the company has installed a USB-C connection. That’s a little surprising, because last year Microsoft said USB-C wasn’t mass-produced. Despite the USB C port, power is still supplied via the usual surface-connect connection. Microsoft does not give any concrete information about the size of the battery – but Microsoft promises about nine hours running time with one charge.


This Surface Go is the smallest, lightest and most affordable model in the Surface range. It features a 10″ screen and has a thickness of 8.3 mm for a weight of 521 grams.

Surface Go: 10.8-inch display in the magnesium housing

With Surface Go, Microsoft sticks to its design philosophy: The device basically looks like a slightly shrunken Surface Pro with a 10.8-inch instead of a 12-inch pixelsense display – and the 165-degree swivel-mounted stand is also part of the package. The 3:2 display has a resolution of 1,800 x 1,200 pixels and supports 4,096 pressure levels for pen input.

Its PixelSense 3:2 display supports the Surface Pen. Like the other Surface models on the market, it can be connected to a “Covers” transforming it into a laptop.

Surface Go, details

As we announced before the official announcement, its powertrain is based on an Intel platform.

We find a 7th generation Pentium Gold 4415Y processor with a Fanless design. Clearly, the cooling of the chip is ensured without the use of ventilation.

RAM and Processor details

Microsoft has integrated an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y dual-core chip as the processor, which belongs to the Kaby Lake series. However, in terms of performance, it is not expected to match the performance of a Core i5 or Core i7 processor installed in the Surface Pro series. Depending on the model, the processor is supported by four to eight gigabytes of RAM and 64 or 128 gigabytes of internal flash memory. The memory can be expanded via a MicroSD card slot. It should be mentioned that the smallest and cheapest model is equipped with eMMC memory, while the more expensive variants have real SSDs.

Review: Surface Go, Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Go Tablet

There are many possibilities on the RAM and storage side. You can choose between 4 or 8 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMc or 128 or 256 GB SSD. The equipment includes a microSD card reader which provides up to 1 TB of additional storage.

Review: Surface Go, Microsoft

The surface Go is equipped with the USB Type-C and includes a 5-megapixel front camera with Windows Hello for biometric authentication. A Wifi module is in the game and an LTE version is planned by the end of the year.

Microsoft Surface Go Specifications

From a technical point of view, the Surface Go specifications do not bring any major surprises that were not known in advance. The 10-inch tablet from Microsoft is equipped with an Intel Pentium dual-core processor, which is located above Atom and Celeron, but below the cheapest core CPU. In terms of performance, the device will be at about the level of an older Core i3 or m3.

  • Display:  10-inch 1800 x 1200, 3: 2 PixelSense display
  • Processor:  Intel Pentium 4415Y (Gold)
  • Random access memory: 
    • 4 gigabytes 1866MHz LPDDR3
    • 8 Gigabyte 1866MHz LPDDR3
  • Speicher:
    • 64 gigabytes of eMMC
    • 128 gigabytes SSD
    • 256 gigabytes SSD
  • Connectors:  Surface Connect, USB Type-C 3.1, MicroSD, 3.5mm Audio
  • Connectivity:  WLAN ac, Bluetooth, NFC, LTE (optional, not available for startup)
  • Cameras:  5 megapixel webcam, 8 megapixel rear camera
  • Features:  Windows Hello Face Recognition, Dolby Audio Premium
  • Battery life:  up to 9 hours
  • Weight:  521 grams
  • Depth:  8.3 millimeters

Surface Go, Pricing and Availability

The tablet will be available from August 2 next. Pre-orders are already possible with a price starting at 399 dollars. The conversion into a laptop computer requires the purchase of an optional “cover” charged $99.

It is important to underline that this Surface Go is delivered with a special version of Windows 10, Windows 10 in mode S. It limits the uses of the user by prohibiting the Win32 programs while obliging a compulsory passage by Microsoft Store for all the purchases.

The Surface Go is announced in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Review: Surface Go, Microsoft

Surface Go delivery date and market launch

Not only the price in Europe differs from the USA, but also the Surface Go delivery date in this country is significantly later. The small tablet from Microsoft will be delivered on August 28th. In the USA, the device will be launched on August 2.

This means that European customers have to wait almost a month longer for the 10-inch tablet.

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

Finally, a new generation of virtual reality glasses entered the market. The glasses from Lenovo, Acer, HP, Asus, Dell and Co. are all based on the same technology licensed by Microsoft. Therefore, with the exception of the Samsung headset, which does not appear in Europe, all glasses have identical specifications, although the specifications for the Field of View differ from time to time.

The differences can result from the design or from different measurement methods. But back to the topic: Today we look at the Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality Headset. This may not be representative of the glasses of other manufacturers, but we do not expect any serious differences between the VR glasses currently on the market.

Lenovo Explorer: Processing and construction

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

 

Lenovo’s Windows-Mixed-Reality-Glasses are in a plain black and only three simple logos decorate the front. The padding on the face, forehead and back of the head can be removed and, if necessary, cleaned or replaced. Unfortunately, however, the padding on the sides is relatively narrow, which meant that a little light could penetrate all testers, leading to unsightly reflections. Depending on the head shape, this problem will occur to varying degrees, but the Rift, Vive and PSVR also often do not provide complete shielding.

A hinge between the headband and the glasses allows you to fold up the entire front by 90 degrees. So if you want or need to take a look into the real world, the Windows Mixed Reality Headsets are extremely comfortable. The first folding tests require a little more force than you would expect, but after a few hours the bracket has worn off.

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

The glasses are attached in a similar way to the PlayStation VR. A ring provides the necessary support and distributes the weight comfortably so that the glasses do not feel front-heavy. The user can quickly adjust the size with a rotary knob at the back of the glasses, whereby even an extremely small circumference as for example with children is possible.

With the enclosed controllers, Lenovo, Acer, HP, Asus and Dell use the standard version from Microsoft, but with a small company logo. The controllers house small LEDs that are not only used for tracking but also display the current status.

Overall, the system makes a good impression. The workmanship is clean and the glasses do not feel too cheap. However, Lenovo glasses cannot compete with the workmanship and materials of the Oculus Rift.

The special thing about the construction of the glasses is definitely the Inside-Out-Tracking, which all Windows Mixed Reality Headsets use. The cameras on the front ensure stress-free and fast use, even if you take the glasses with you to friends.

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

The Windows-Mixed-Reality-System is extremely portable and all necessary parts fit in one hand and therefore in every backpack. In addition, the latest Windows Creators Update will ensure that every Windows 10 PC is ready to connect the glasses in the future. Presenting virtual reality to the world has never been easier. But what would life be without its dark sides? Windows Mixed Reality glasses do not come with a Bluetooth dongle, so you always need to carry a dongle or hope your friends are equipped with gaming notebooks.

Lenovo also misses a big opportunity and delivers the glasses without integrated headphones. Although many gamers like to use their own headphones, the comfort suffers significantly when additional hardware is connected.

Inside-Out-Tracking in the practical test

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

For Positional Tracking to work, you don’t have to lift a finger. The glasses automatically recognize the room and thus your position in the room. Only if you need a grid that keeps you from running against a wall, then you need to set a playing area. This works by simply moving your glasses down the outer areas of the game area.

The tracking proved to be extremely robust during the test, even when people walk through the room. Although the headset may detect such moving obstacles, they are not visualized during gambling.

But the glasses track not only their own position but also the position of the controllers. In general, this works well in the test and the tracking area is significantly higher than the field of view. For example, if you shoot to the left and look to the right, the gun will only shoot approximately in the direction you intended.

If the controllers leave the complete field of vision of the glasses, it transforms itself into a Gear VR Controller and only the Rotational Tracking remains. In practice, we have not yet noticed this negatively, but the current software selection is also extremely limited.

But what happened now and then: it can happen that the glasses do not recognize their space. In this case, you will need to reset the boundaries of the game area if you need Room Scale.

The controllers

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

The controllers are on! Really light! But the small input devices are not only visually appealing. While they don’t match the quality workmanship and comfort of the Oculus Touch Controllers, you don’t have to cramp your hands either. Because the controllers have both a touchpad and a thumbstick, Oculus Touch content and HTC Live games should be highly portable.

A direct comparison with the touch controllers also showed that the vibration of the mixed reality controllers is significantly weaker. This is probably not only due to the engine, but also to the position. Currently, the trigger on the index finger vibrates directly, but at this point, no fixed connection is established between controller and hand. The handle of the control element itself does not vibrate separately.

Two AA batteries per unit are required to operate the controllers; these are also included in the package.

 

Few titles to start with

Microsoft caused a bumpy mixed reality start yesterday. The glasses of the partners are sometimes difficult to get and also the Windows platform has brought Microsoft only yesterday on the suitable version for the mixed reality fun. The number of games in the MS-Store is still very manageable. Although there are classics that everyone should have played, if Microsoft can’t top up and/or the SteamVR update is delayed, the air should be gone quickly. Currently, only games from the Microsoft Store can be played with Windows Mixed Reality glasses.

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

Even with exclusive content, Microsoft seems to have quickly recycled something rather than creating a serious incentive.

Visual impression

The Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Lenovo, Acer, HP and Dell use LC displays with a resolution of 1440 x 1440 pixels per eye. Theoretically a whole corner more pixels than the Rift and Vive. But in the test no better picture impression results from it.

Review: Lenovo Explorer Windows Mixed Reality tested

The Field of View of Lenovo Explorer glasses is much rounder than the Field of View of the Rift, giving you the feeling of looking into the mixed reality world through a toilet roll. The field of vision is comparable to that of Gear VR and Daydream.

But despite a smaller field of view and more pixels, a structure (space between the pixels) is still visible and texts are difficult to read at a distance. Although the structure is less visible than with the rift and the legibility of the texts is higher, these improvements fizzle out due to the smaller appearing field of view.

In addition, the sweet spot of the lenses is much smaller. If you look with your eyes into the peripheral areas of the field of vision, then the Lenovo glasses quickly become very blurred. A small movement of the glasses is also sufficient to lose the sweet spot. In comparison: The Rift and the HTC Vive offer a much more stable image and thus a better overall impression.

So it may be true that the mixed reality glasses can theoretically show a better picture, but the narrow sweet spot and the smaller field of view destroy the plan. On the positive side, however, the LC displays are doing a very good job and we could not notice any noticeable differences compared to the Rift with identical play. Means: No smearing during fast movements and the colours and black values are definitely ok.

 

Conclusion

Microsoft shows with its Windows Mixed Reality glasses that Virtual Reality can also be portable without exploding in price. The Lenovo Explorer glasses are offered for 449 Euro including two controllers and for this price you get a high-quality mixed reality system that doesn’t have to hide from the Rift, Vive and PSVR glasses.

However, at least the Lenovo Explorer glasses cannot keep up with the current competition when it comes to image printing, even if the resolution is higher. The small Field of View and the narrow sweet spot don’t spoil the fun, but here the competition offers a little more.

So if you are looking for small, lightweight and easy to install VR glasses, you can theoretically use a Mixed Reality Headset from Windows without hesitation when the Mixed Reality SteamVR update is available. Until then there are only a few contents and interested can wait until then whether the prices fall.

Review: Apple iPad Pro Tablet – The iOS 11 Beast

The new Apple iPad Pro 12.9 promises more performance, a more brilliant display and increased productivity with the iOS 11 update. Above all, the new 120 Hz technology and the P3 colour space are intended to benefit both the eyes and the Apple Pencil. In the test, we take a closer look at the top model of the 2017 generation iPad Pro and draw our first conclusion.

Powerful refresh with many technology upgrades

Review: Apple iPad Pro Tablet - The iOS 11 Beast

Visually, the new iOS tablet shows only minor changes to the variants from last year. The front remains glazed as usual and merges into the aluminium unibody with a ground side edge. At the back, we can see modified and now more discreet antenna strips in the LTE socket of the iPad Pro 12.9 and the camera standing slightly out of the housing together with the LED flash. Haptics and finish are on a very high level, as we expected and know from Apple.

Even with rough handling, distortions are limited, which is not a matter of course in such a large format with an overall height of 6.9 millimetres. The weight is also impressive: Depending on the chosen equipment we are between 677 and 692 grams.

The new Apple iPad Pro generation is available with up to 512GB of storage capacity, providing enough space for photos, videos, documents and music. In addition, there is an improved 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture, which was taken from the iPhone 7. The same applies to the 7 megapixel FaceTime HD camera at the front.

So if you’ve been annoyed about too bad cameras in tablets so far, you’ll get your money’s worth here. Still on board: WLAN-ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC for Apple Pay as well as an optional 4G LTE Advanced module including matching SIM card slot and additionally integrated Apple SIM.

Review: Apple iPad Pro Tablet - The iOS 11 Beast

The iPad Pro 12.9 includes fast wireless connections as well as the impressive sound of the four built-in speakers. For us, the best sound currently available in the tablet sector. Our iOS device is loaded via the well-known Lightning port, which, thanks to USB 3.0 support, can also accommodate a wide variety of adapters. As usual, the security is taken care of by the fast TouchID fingerprint scanner at the front of the iPad.

New form factor, higher brightness & more colours

With the introduction of the new generation of Pro-Tablets, Apple has not only introduced the 10.5-inch format but has also technically brought its form factors up to date. Both models now feature a Retina display (264 ppi) with an extended P3 colour space, HDR, True Tone adjustment, a brightness of over 600 cd/m² and a high frame rate of 120 Hz.

The latter makes iPad Pro even smoother to use, especially when surfing the Internet or playing supported games. Apple calls this technology ProMotion, which also has a positive effect on the latency of the Apple Pencil. Handwritten input is now much slower and we feel more and more like writing on a real piece of paper.

Review: Apple iPad Pro Tablet - The iOS 11 Beast

These technical details and inputs are processed by the new Apple A10X Fusion chip. The six-core with additional M10 co-processor offers 30 percent more system performance and 40 percent more graphics performance compared to the previous iPad Pro generation with A9X chip.

Selected benchmarks can be found in the lower section of our review. The iPad Pro 12.9 is therefore easy to use. Subjectively speaking, apps open faster, installations are processed faster, and calculations in demanding programs are performed with virtually no waiting time. In general, we rarely have the feeling that we need more power when operating the iPad Pro. The high transfer rates of the flash memory and the 4 GB LPDDR4 memory also ensure this.

Even better with Apple iOS 11

Currently, all iPads are shipped with the iOS 10 operating system. In September the update to iOS 11 will follow, which is especially worthwhile for the Pro models and will also be rolled out free of charge. Among other things, a new dock will accompany you, which can carry more applications and favour frequently used apps.

In parallel, Apple introduces the Files app, which works similar to the Finder under macOS and gives you access to all your files stored internally and externally. It also integrates your iCloud storage and third-party cloud folders such as Dropbox.

Review: Apple iPad Pro Tablet - The iOS 11 Beast

With the help of a new App Switcher, improved multitasking and cross-app drag & drop functionality, iOS behaves more and more like a macOS optimized for tablets. Productivity is significantly increased and the choice between a Windows 2-in-1 or the iPad Pro becomes even more difficult.

The decision controller is moving further and further in the direction of the iOS devices, especially because the Apple Pencil is also being equipped with more and more functions. If you want to see the new iOS 11 operating system for yourself, you can currently (end of June 2017) install the public beta of the software.

Finally, we would like to talk about the battery life of our iPad Pro 12.9. Apple itself promises 10 hours of creative and productive use. The US company can keep this promise as usual. In most cases, the manufacturer’s own data were even exceeded. Running times of 12-14 hours are not uncommon, depending on display brightness and the load of the WLAN / LTE modules.

We are also always amazed at the low power consumption in standby mode. While Windows and Android devices discharge quickly after a few days of non-use, the Apple iPad Pro could probably last for weeks with one charge.

Conclusion

Apple has managed a very good refresh of the iPad Pro line-up, whose path will be smoothed even further by the upcoming update to iOS 11. Whether you choose the 10.5″ or 12.9″ version, the technical features and future compatibility are convincing in both models. In addition to significantly increased performance, more memory and an improved camera, we are particularly pleased with the touchscreen upgrades of the 2017 generation.

Not just the technology fan, but also the normal consumer as well as the Apple Pencil enthusiast will be pleased about the very bright and high-contrast 120 Hz retina displays, the P3 colour space including HDR support and the True Tone feature. The differences to the 2016 models can therefore not only be seen on the data sheet or in the benchmark values but can actually be seen and felt. If the upcoming productivity upgrades of the iOS 11 operating system can hold their own, the Apple iPad Pro should be a very good and flexible alternative to the classic laptop.