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Benchmark dev says Snapdragon X CPU is off to a good start — 6.5% of Geekbench 6 benchmarks in the past month run on Snapdragon X devices

Geekbench shared the percentage of processors that ran its Geekbench 6 benchmark in the past 30 days. Out of the 81,081 tests done on a Windows PC between June 16 and July 16, 2024, 5,304 were conducted on a device running the Snapdragon X SoC. It might be small compared to Intel’s 48,970 and AMD’s 26,807, but we must remember that these laptops launched on June 18.The Snapdragon X isn’t the first chip designed for Windows on Arm, but it’s the first to gain massive support from Microsoft and its partners like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. Furthermore, these chips are touted to have better efficiency than Intel and AMD offerings, with testing showing them to last more than 15 hours on a single charge.Apple’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have lasted longer, at 17 hours, but they have larger batteries, 70 and 100Whr (compared to the 66 and 54Whr on the 15-inch and 13.8 Surface Laptops). Aside from the longer battery life, Qualcomm Snapdragon X laptops are the first to get the Copilot+ PC mark from Microsoft.We looked at over 82,000 Geekbench 6 for Windows results uploaded to the Geekbench Browser over the last 30 days. Intel CPUs powered 59.2% of results, AMD CPUs powered 32.4%, and Qualcomm Snapdragon X SoCs powered 6.4%. Snapdragon X is off to a good start. pic.twitter.com/qw9hamdzOLJuly 19, 2024Although AMD’s upcoming Ryzen AI 300 processors exceed the 40 TOPS minimum requirement that Microsoft set, it’s still not getting the Copilot+ branding at launch. Instead, Microsoft’s AI features will arrive on Ryzen AI 300-powered laptops later this year via a free Windows update.However, the Snapdragon X launch didn’t go without a hitch. The most interesting Copilot+ feature, Windows Recall, was removed before launch because of its lack of privacy and security. Snapdragon X Elite laptops suffer compatibility issues, with Intel’s integrated Arc graphics performing way better. Many software developers still do not support on-device AI processing, making the Snapdragon X’s (and most new processors’) NPU cores moot and academic.Nevertheless, the entrance of a new player in the Windows processor market is crucial for consumers. Much like how Apple silicon transformed the laptop market, pushing AMD and Intel to produce more efficient chips, the Snapdragon X will move the two largest processor makers to make more innovations for users who want a Windows PC; otherwise, they risk being overtaken by Qualcomm.Qualcomm is still far from delivering the performance many enthusiasts and power users expect from their computers. But they’re making strides in that direction. Unless the Snapdragon X encounters some nasty issues that Qualcomm can’t address quickly, we hope the market share between these companies will eventually be balanced.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Windows 3.1 saves the day during CrowdStrike outage — Southwest Airlines scrapes by with archaic OS

Southwest Airlines, the fourth largest airline in the US, is seemingly unaffected by the problematic CrowdStrike update that caused millions of computers to BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) because it used Windows 3.1. The CrowdStrike issue disrupted operations globally after a faulty update caused newer computers to freeze and stop working, with many prominent institutions, including airports and almost all US airlines, including United, Delta, and American Airlines, needing to stop flights.Windows 3.1, launched in 1992, is likely not getting any updates. So, when CrowdStrike pushed the faulty update to all its customers, Southwest wasn’t affected (because it didn’t receive an update to begin with).The airlines affected by the CrowdStrike update had to ground their fleets because many of their background systems refused to operate. These systems could include pilot and fleet scheduling, maintenance records, ticketing, etc. Thankfully, the lousy update did not affect aircraft systems, ensuring that everything airborne remained safe and were always in control of their pilots.Delta, United, American Airlines flights are all grounded right now.The reason Southwest is not affected is because they still run on Windows 3.1.https://t.co/ezFubvKVNAJuly 19, 2024Southwest was often criticized for its outdated systems, but an old but proven operating system saved it (and its customers) from the stress that most other airlines were experiencing. Nevertheless, Southwest passengers weren’t 100% unaffected by the CrowdStrike crash, as many airports also encountered system issues.Aside from Windows 3.1, Southwest also uses Windows 95 for its staff scheduling system. It is a newer operating system — about three years younger than Windows 3.1 — but it’s ancient compared to today’s tech. Many of the airline’s staff have been complaining about it already.However, the CrowdStrike global outage might discourage Southwest from upgrading its systems. These systems do not receive upgrades, so the company is sure it won’t ever receive one and cause an unexpected crash that could disrupt operations. After all, as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”But as computers age and need replacing, the airline might need to upgrade its systems soon. One X user suggested that the company switch to Windows XP—it’s also no longer updated, and it can run Windows 3.1 applications via compatibility mode.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.Whatever the case, Southwest’s use of outdated technology saved it when most of the world, which relied on newer systems, suffered a major IT crash. This is also precisely why military aircraft, like the Air Force One, still use needles, dials, and gauges—you cannot beat the reliability of older systems that have already been put through the wringer. […]

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39 million motherboards expected to be sold in 2024 — shipments recover to pre-pandemic levels

The four biggest motherboard manufacturers, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock, will deliver 38.8 million motherboards in 2024. According to a DigiTimes report, the combined manufacturers will revive the PC market after the precarious drops in sales from 2020 through 2022 caused by the global pandemic.The first drop in sales happened in 2020 when motherboard and GPU shipments hit a record low as the world shut down in March. In 2022, nearly three years after the start of the global lockdowns, the motherboard market saw an even more significant contraction, with sales falling by 10 million units — or a nearly 25% drop year-on-year.However, the market has seemingly recovered the following year, with an estimated total delivery of nearly 37 million motherboards. The four big motherboard makers are also on track for record sales this year, with expected sales of 15 million units for Asus, 10.3 million for Gigabyte, 9.3 million for MSI, and 4.2 million for ASRock, totaling 38.8 million. The last time the motherboard market hit this number was in 2019, when the total sales hit 37.6 million units.One factor that led to this recovery was China’s finally reopening its borders in 2023 after nearly three years of travel restrictions. Aside from this, the bevy of new desktop processors coming in 24H2 is also anticipated to push new motherboard sales. AMD’s Ryzen 9000-series desktop processors will hit store shelves on July 31, while Arrow Lake Intel chips are expected to arrive by October.While AM5 motherboards will still support the Ryzen 9000 processors, AMD also announced X870 and X870E chipsets that extend USB 4.0 and PCIe 5.0 support. This will give Ryzen 9000 customers more reasons to upgrade their existing motherboards. On the other hand, the Intel Core Ultra 200 series processors will leverage the new LGA1851 socket, so motherboard manufacturers are preparing new 800-series motherboards for Intel’s next-generation processors.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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New massive liquid cooling radiator weighs over 35lbs, holds nine 200mm fans — MO-RA IV 600 costs close to $600

German water-cooling specialist Watercool introduced its latest line of massive radiators designed for high-end overclocked gaming PCs, workstations, and servers. The MO-RA IV series comes in two colors (either black or white) and three variants: 200, 400, and 600. The 200 starts at $250; you could get the 400 version for $327. But if you need the most fans, you’ll need to shell out $600 for the 600 variant. All MO-RA IV radiators are 75mm thick, but what’s impressive is the number of 200mm fans you can install on them.The MO-RA IV 200 accepts up to two 200mm fans, the 400 variant can get up to four 200mm fans, and the MO-RA IV 600 would hold an astounding nine 200mm fans. Aside from its massive cooling capacity, the modular design of these MO-RA radiators means you can place them practically anywhere—attached to your (rather large) case, freestanding, or even mounted on a wall.The included 200mm fan frame and fan grille attaches to the radiator via Quick Mount, meaning you don’t need a screw to secure it in place. The fan frame also has a cable management system, ensuring your build will look neat and clean, with no stray cables hanging about your radiator. It is especially crucial if you pick the MO-RA IV 600, with its nine fans (which could mean nine different fan cables).Swipe to scroll horizontallyHeader Cell – Column 0 Dimensions (L x W x H)WeightMax # of FansCapacityPriceMO-RA IV 600700 x 662 x 75mm15.9kg9 (200mm)3.04LEU549.95 (US$600)MO-RA IV 400500 x 452 x 75mm8.7kg4 (200mm)1.35LEU299.95 (US$327)MO-RA IV 200300 x 452 x 75mm6kg2 (200mm)0.81LEU229.95 (US$250)MO-RA3 420475.5 x 430 x 66mm7.7kg9 (140mm) / 4 (200mm)1.4LUS$395MO-RA3 360415.5 x 383 x 66mm6.5kg4 (180mm) / 9 (120mm)1.1LN/AAll variants of the MO-RA IV offer optional passive and active control extensions. The Passive controller lets the motherboard control the fans and pumps in your water-cooling system. In contrast, the Active controller adds more functionality, including fill level monitoring, digital temperature readouts, and even an alarm function if something is not working correctly.Of course, the company did not forget the RGB lovers among us. If you choose to add that to your radiator, both the Passive and Active Control options could also customize your MO-RA IV’s ARGB.Note that these radiators won’t fit in your typical PC case. You’ll likely be hard-pressed to find a suitable mounting spot for the MO-RA IV 600 on the Obsidian 9000D. You’ll likely find these radiators in custom PC builds, larger workstations, or server-type PCs that run 24/7/365. But if you plan to overclock every possible component on your computer and then push it to its limits playing on triple 4K monitors while using Intel’s and Nvidia’s hottest chips, you likely need one of these placed near an exhaust vent to keep your PC (and your room) at a bearable temperature.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Enthusiast ejects failing Lenovo laptop keyboard, upgrades system with custom titanium case and mechanical keyboard

YouTube creator Marcin Plaza redesigned and rebuilt his five-year-old Lenovo Yoga laptop after the built-in keyboard broke a second time. Interestingly, he said his replacement keyboard and the keyboard on his brother’s identical laptop failed simultaneously. Marcin suspected that there must be a problem with the keyboard design, so he took things into his own hands.

I Put a Mechanical Keyboard INSIDE My Laptop – YouTube

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The donor Lenovo Yoga is a little worse for wear, with its power button torn out of its PCB connection, the screen bent a little out of shape, and the keyboard beginning to die. But instead of chucking the device into the recycle bin and buying a new laptop, Plaza decided to be creative and upgrade his old device.First, he chose a Redragon low-profile mechanical keyboard and a USB hub to connect to his laptop’s motherboard. Then, he spent over 12 hours designing a new case that he sent to PCBway. The company then delivered a new, thicker titanium case to upgrade his Lenovo laptop.With the new titanium case in his hands, you might think that all he needed to do was to assemble things — but that cannot be further from the truth. Plaza had to do some soldering to allow the keyboard’s USB-C cable to connect to the USB hub he installed inside the case. Once he verified that the keyboard connection worked, he used double-sided tape to secure the hub to the case and super-glued an L-bracket to prevent it from sliding around.He also super-glued aluminum plates to the titanium case to secure the trackpad, although the trackpad itself is mounted on studs secured on the aluminum plates. With the trackpad, keyboard, and USB hub in place, Plaza added another aluminum plate to keep them in place.From there, he discovered that the screen’s hinges were too long, so he had to trim them to fit the new case. He next secured them to the plate with a couple of screws, which, impressively, are the only screws visible on the exterior of the case.With everything installed, he used Lexan with several holes drilled into them for airflow to close his ‘new’ laptop. You could see the battery, motherboard, and everything else he added with the clear cover. And although his “clacktop” is now thicker than ever, it at least sports a low-profile mechanical keyboard and extra USB and HDMI ports. He also replaced the missing power button with a mechanical key switch.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.Even though his build isn’t as sleek as the MSI Titan 18 HX (and definitely not as powerful), it still looks nice and clean on the outside. He also gets a sense of fulfillment as he can add more years to his old but still somewhat useful device. […]

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Microsoft’s new Xbox Game Pass Standard Tier is a ‘degraded product’ according to FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a document at the US Court of Appeals saying that Microsoft’s price increases for Game Pass subscriptions and new entry-level Game Pass Standard tier is a “degraded product”. Why? Because the new $14.99 Xbox Game Pass Standard will not include day one games, however it will include multiplayer.New Game Pass users will not be able to sign up to the previous $10.99 Game Pass for Console, which included day one access. The FTC said, “Microsoft’s price increases and product degradation—combined with Microsoft’s reduced investments and product quality via employee layoffs—are the hallmarks of a firm exercising market power post-merger.”Here’s a comparison of the old and new prices of Microsoft’s subscription tiers and how they will change after September 12:Swipe to scroll horizontallyTierOld PriceNew Price% IncreaseXbox Game Pass Core (Annual)$59.99$74.9925%Xbox Game Pass for Console$10.99Discontinued-Xbox Game Pass StandardN/A$14.9936.4%Xbox Game Pass for PC$9.99$11.9920%Xbox Game Pass Ultimate$16.99$19.9917.7%The base tier Xbox Game Pass Core, which was previously called Xbox Live Gold, retains its monthly price of $9.99. However, its annual subscription cost jumps by 25% to $74.99 from $59.99. You still get about 37.5% off if you purchase Game Pass Core yearly, but it’s no longer the massive 50% discount you previously got.On the other hand, Xbox Game Pass for Console has dropped in favor of Game Pass Standard. This new tier is 36.4% more expensive than the previous subscription it replaces, but you also get less benefits, like no access to day-one games. You do get an additional benefit with Game Pass Standard, though, in the form of multiplayer access (which previously required Xbox Game Pass Core or Ultimate). Game Pass for PC and Ultimate are also getting price hikes of 20% and 17.7% respectively.These price increases are exactly what the FTC is alleging will happen if Microsoft’s acquisition of the Activision-Blizzard pushes through. The deal has been finalized in 2023 after a California court ruled in favor of Microsoft. Nevertheless, the FTC filed an appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court, but with no ruling coming out of it yet, the agency cannot do anything about Microsoft Game Pass changes yet.On the other hand, some say that it’s natural for Microsoft to increase its subscription fees, especially as many consider Game Pass great value for the games it offers. Furthermore, Microsoft’s expensive acquisitions, including the $69 billion Activision-Blizzard purchase, are probably adding pressure to Xbox Game Pass. So, if these expenses do not result in massive userbase growth, Microsoft would have no choice but to raise its prices to keep its game subscription services sustainable.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Acer EEC filing reveals Radeon RX 7900, 7800, and 7700 non-XT versions may be on the way

Acer recently filed a list of GPUs it may be preparing to sell in EEC (Eurasian Economic Commission) countries. Among the well-known and established graphics card models, it was quite surprising to see the company’s submitted document included non-XT versions of AMD’s Radeon RX 7900, 7800, and 7700 discrete GPUs. Both Acer’s value-focused Nitro and premium-level Predator Bifrost brands are slated to get these new GPUs, delivering a notch-lower performance than their XT counterparts. Please keep in mind that EEC filings do not always precipitate product releases.Aside from the three new non-XT variants of the 7900, 7800, and 7700, the EEC lists nearly all the Radeon RX 7000-series GPUs, including the GRE versions that used to be China only. However, the 7900 XTX is notably missing from the list — even in the more expensive Predator Bifrost line. The five member states of the EEC are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Russia is the biggest member of the commission, but it has been under sanctions by much of the Western world due to its aggression in Ukraine. That’s probably one of the reasons why the most powerful XTX variant of the 7900 isn’t included in this list.Aside from that, the EEC could see a couple of Intel GPUs from Acer — the A750 and A770 — in both standard and overclocked versions. This pretty comprehensive list may mean that gamers and PC enthusiasts in the EEC region would have plenty of Acer brand GPUs to choose from. AMD leaks point to a January 2025 launch for its next-gen RX 8000-series video cards, so there’s still quite some time for the 7000-series cards to be the major focus of red team GPU pickers. Looking at the previous generation, AMD released 15 SKUs for the 6000-series Radeon GPUs, including non-XT versions of mid-range GPUs like the 6800 and 6700. Currently, the 7000-series only has seven official distinct SKUs, even after more than a year and a half since it launched. At the time of writing the only non-XT version Radeon 7000-series GPU that is actually available to customers is the AMD Radeon RX 7600.As EEC product filings do not always correlate with actual product releases, Acer could likely be hedging its bets that AMD would somehow release non-XT versions of its top-tier and mid-range graphics cards in this filing. That way, if it does so, Acer could immediately release them in the EEC area without having to go through another round of regulatory red tape.AMD hasn’t dropped any hints or leaks if it’s working on non-XT versions of the 7700, 7800, and 7900. With the massive drop in gaming revenue AMD has seen, it may feel the need to do something to take back the ground Nvidia has gained in recent years. Maybe the company is trying to create more affordable versions of its GPUs, but only time will tell if it will officially launch these non-XT products. But even if they do so, would it be enough for AMD to claw back some gaming market share from team green? Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Asus revises its entry-level Nvidia gaming GPU again — Dual RTX 4060 V3 becomes even more compact

Asus just released the third iteration of its twin-fan RTX 4060 graphics card. The Asus Dual RTX 4060 V3 uses a simpler fan shroud design and smaller fans compared to earlier versions, but it also delivers a slightly smaller design. Nevertheless, it has the same clock speed and recommended power supply as the older versions.Here’s the comparison of the three generations of the Asus Dual RTX 4060, plus a couple more 4060 GPUs from other brands.Swipe to scroll horizontallyGPUStandard / OC Clock Speed (MHz)Recommended PSU (W)Dimensions (mm)SlotsAsus Dual GeForce RTX 40602490 / 2535550227.2 x 123.24 x 49.62.5Asus Dual GeForce RTX 4060 V2 2490 / 2535550202.2 x 120.3 x 40.12Asus Dual GeForce RTX 4060 V3 OC Edition2490 / 2535550202 x 120 x 40.12Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4060 Windforce 2460 / 2475450192 x 120 x 412MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Gaming 2475 / 2610550247 x 130 x 412As you can see, the Asus Dual RTX 4060 cards have retained the same performance specification levels across all three generations. However, Asus made improvements to the GPU’s cooling with every version. The V2 was around 25mm shorter, 3mm thinner, and 9mm smaller than the previous generation.The Asus Dual RTX 4060 V3 has almost the same dimensions as the V2 version, but the company made some changes to the heatsink and used smaller fans. It’s available in both standard and overclocked editions, so you can get a bit more power from your 4060 GPU fresh out of the box if you’re willing to spend a few more dollars.If you want even more power, you could pick MSI’s RTX 4060 Gaming X. It is substantially larger in length and width compared to even the first version of the Asus Dual RTX 4060, although it keeps the two-slot height of the other GPUs. But if you plan to build a Small Form Factor PC, it might be better to go with Gigabyte’s RTX 4060 WindForce for its smaller dimensions.Image […]

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Print your own ITX desktop PC case — enthusiast shares free download for 3D model SFF case

You can now download a Small Form Factor (SFF) PC case on Printables for free. This allows you to print it using small 3D printers like the Prusa MINI or Bambu Lab A1. The creator of the 3D file, WhoIsLudwig, uploaded the Kubic case, which was inspired by the GameCube and Power Mac G4 Cube. WhoIsLudwig uploaded the creation under the Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution-Non-Commercial license, allowing anyone to use it for free.In addition to accommodating an ITX motherboard, you could also put in a discrete GPU up to two slots thick and 220 mm long. It might not be enough for the beefiest RTX 4090s, but you could fit in a two-fan RTX 4060. It also takes up to four SATA drives for all your storage needs.Image […]

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Huawei officially opens its 2,600-acre R&D center in Shanghai, will accommodate over 35,000 scientists and engineers

Huawei just completed its Shanghai Qingpu project and was given the official name of Huawei Lianqiu Lake R&D Center. EE Times China (via machine translation) says this sprawling facility costs over 10 billion Yuan (almost $1.4 billion) and covers 2,600 acres. The company also constructed over 40,000 offices, which is expected to house 35,000 Huawei personnel.The Lianqiu Lake R&D Center is located about 30 miles West-Southwest of the center of Shanghai, and it’s expected to gather all of Huawei’s research and development efforts, including work on HiSilicon, wireless technologies like 5G-A/6G, Huawei smartphones, automobiles, and digital energy research. The R&D Center is divided into eight districts and will have roads, trains, and elevated overpasses to connect each one to another.The project started in September 2021 and took the company over three years to complete. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said that the company used the Chicago Lakeside Complex as inspiration for the project. He added that the Yangtze River Delta is a beautiful environment suitable for foreigners, where the seven or eight hundred foreign scientists working at Huawei won’t feel like they are in a different country.(Image credit: Shanghai Municipal People’s Government)The Huawei Lianqiu Lake R&D Center is the highlight of the Xicen Science and Technology Innovation Center, situated in the Yangtze River Delta Integration Demonstration Zone. This is part of China’s push to develop its homegrown technologies as it tries to separate itself from the West.Huawei needs to strengthen its research and development, especially as it bore the brunt of America’s sanctions in the ongoing chip war between Beijing and Washington. By combining many of its R&D centers into one monolith, the company could streamline its operations and make collaboration between different departments much easier.This flagship project also shows how much Huawei is investing in future technologies. The Huawei Lianqiu Lake R&D Center is so large that it eclipses the facilities of some of the biggest tech companies in the world. The massive area covered by the project is larger than Apple Park and the Microsoft Redmond Campus combined, which only measure 175 acres and 502 acres, respectively.Aside from investing in office and real estate, Huawei is also doing its best to attract top talent. Huawei is offering competitive salary packages, especially as it can no longer hire American citizens and green card holders. As other foreign high-tech companies are also slowly being pushed out of China because of U.S. bans and sanctions, the company must now offer deals to attract Chinese talent from abroad and get them back home.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]