Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Intel Core i9 leak points to Intel's first new processor line in years

Let's be honest, Intel hasn't released anything particularly exciting in a long while now. It's the reason my primary desktop is still rocking an Intel Core i7-4790K Devil's Canyon processor released several years ago. Sure, I could scamper over to an X99 configuration, but at this point it makes more sense to see what Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X bring to the table. That remains to be seen, though if the latest rumor is to believed, at minimum we can expect new branding, at least for Skylake-X.

A forum member at AnandTech posted what is purported to be an internal slide outlining a new crop of Core i9 processors. The photo is blurry and low quality, of course, because for whatever reason every leaker in the world seems to own a Fisher Price camera and has an aversion to screenshots. But criticisms over the quality of the leak aside, it looks like Intel is readying a potent lineup.

If information is accurate, Intel's Kaby Lake-X processors will stick with Intel's Core i7 branding. There will be two chips in this tier, including:

Core i7-7740K: 4C/8T, 4.3GHz to 4.5GHz, 8MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
Core i7-7640K: 4C/4T, 4GHz to 4.2GHz, 6MB cache, 112W, 16 PCIe lanes
The other four processors shown in the slide are all Skylake-X chips with Intel's new Core i9 branding. It's a sensible change, with Intel moving all new 6-core and higher processors to the new brand. The i9 parts consist of the following:

Core i9-7920X: 12C/24T, unknown clocks, 16.5MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7900X: 10C/20T, 3.3GHz to 4.3GHz, 13.75MB cache, 140W, 44 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7820X: 8C/16T, 3.6GHz to 4.3GHz, 11MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
Core i9-7800X: 6C/12T, 3.5GHz to 4GHz, 8.25MB cache, 140W, 28 PCIe lanes
The two middle SKUs will also feature Turbo Max support with both the Core i9-7920X and Core i9-7900X being able to hit 4.5GHz in some situations. None of the other processors leaked here list Turbo Max support, though it's possible the Core i9-7920X will, since no clockspeeds were provided.

All the Core i9 Skylake-X and Core i7 Kaby Lake-X CPUs will run on Intel's upcoming X99/LGA2066 platform. That includes support for quad-channel DDR4-2666 memory, according to the slide.

None of this is official, of course, but if the specs do end up being accurate, it is interesting that Intel will again slash the number of PCIe lanes on its lower end enthusiast processors. That could push power users to purchase a higher end part even if the additional physical cores and threads aren't needed. Meanwhile, it looks like AMD may take a different approach with its Ryzen 9 series for enthusiasts, all of which are rumored to offer 44 PCIe lanes.

In related news, Guru3D dug up some supposed benchmarks of the Core i9-7900X and Core i9-7920X. In UserBenchmark, the former scored 107 points in single-core performance and 1,467 points in multi-core performance, whereas the latter scored 130 points and 1,760 points, respectively. As a point of reference, Intel's Core i7-6950X scored 117 points in single-core performance and 1,526 points in multi-core performance.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Surface Laptop hands-on: Microsoft transforms the Surface Pro 4 into a mainstream laptop

Two things will immediately strike you about the new Surface Laptop: It’s amazingly light and sturdy, and it borrows a lot of its look and feel from Surface Pro 4.
Microsoft debuted two classes of devices for education at its event Tuesday morning: a number of third-party, rugged inexpensive clamshell devices for elementary and middle-school classrooms to compete with Chromebooks; and the Surface Laptop, designed for college students. We went hands-on with the latter after the event concluded.
Think of the Surface Laptop as Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook Air: pricey, thin, and with battery life that goes on and on and on. It’s not a Chromebook competitor, but a far more premium experience. It does, however, run the new Windows 10 S: essentially Windows 10, but limited to apps from the Windows Store. 
Microsoft Surface Laptop
Mark Hachman / IDG
A nearly invisible hinge secures the dispay to the base. 
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop, which will begin shipping June 15, starts at $999, and quickly goes up from there: the Core i5/4GB RAM/128GB SSD model is priced at $999, the Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD is priced at $1,299, the Core i7/8GB RAM/256GB SSD is priced at $1,599, and the Intel Core i7/16GB RAM/512GB SSD is priced at a whopping $2,199.  But those prices don’t include a Surface Pen, or an even more optional accessory, the Surface Dial.
20170502 121603
Mark Hachman / IDG
The Laptop seems to recline a bit further than the Surface Book, which I’m in favor of.
Just open the Surface Laptop from a folded position (where it’s just 0.57 inches thick at its thickest point) to reveal the fantastic 4:3, 13.5-inch Surface display:  At a resolution of 2256x1504, with 201 PPI, it looks absolutely gorgeous—but that’s what we expect of a Surface display, right? 
Below that display lies the keyboard, which looks like it was lifted from the Surface Pro 4, and then infused with some additional backbone. It’s both strong and sturdy, allowing you to grasp and support the entire device from the bottom, with just your fingers holding one edge. The Surface Laptop weighs 2.76 pounds, about a half pound more than a Surface Pro 4 and its associated Type Keyboard. It also appears to recline slightly farther than a Surface Book, which is a step up in my book.
Microsoft Surface Laptop
Mark Hachman / IDG
Both the keyboard and the trackpad feel like the Surface Pro 4.
Microsoft said the keyboard’s key travel is about 1.5mm, consistent with the SP4. The laptop uses the same Alcantara fabric as the Surface Pro 4’s Signature Type Cover, and the keys are about the same size, too. Like other Surfaces, the trackpad looks and feels fantastic.
At the back of the keyboard resides a pair of Dolby Pro-quality speakers. Traditionally, the speakers hide behind the display. But by placing them behind the keyboard, Microsoft freed up additional room behind the display for batteries: enough to deliver 14.5 hours of video playback, according to Microsoft. That’s simply amazing.
Microsoft Surface Laptop
Mark Hachman / IDG
There’s a surprising lack of ports on the Surface Laptop.
If there’s anything about the Surface Laptop that will give you pause, it’s the port selection. On the left side you’ll find the Surface connector, a mini DisplayPort port, and a single USB 3.0 connector—no SD card slot, no USB-C output. Microsoft engineers said they had to make some tough decisions about what to exclude, including both of those features. Of course, using the same Surface connector allows Microsoft to maintain charger compatibility. 
I’m not a huge fan of the Alcantara fabric, and it remains to be seen how significant an omission the USB-C connector is. For folks who have already bought into the Surface ecosystem, these issues are probably minor.
So far, Microsoft hasn’t announced a cheaper Core m version of the Surface Laptop; I suspect that will arrive at some point to entice the student crowd who live off day-old pizza and beer, and not their parents’ credit card. Still, the Surface Laptop feels great in the hand, seems quick and responsive, and offers the Surface an important entry into the mainstream market. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Accenture: Preference for watching TV shows on televisions plummets from 52% to 23% as PCs take over

The percentage of people who prefer watching TV shows on televisions plummeted 55 percent from 52 percent to 23 percent in the past year, according a survey by Accenture.
Laptops and desktops have overtaken TVs as the preferred devices for watching TV shows, according to Accenture’s 2017 Digital Consumer Survey. That’s an astounding change in sentiment in just one year, and it reflects a years’-long trend toward digital “anytime, anywhere” viewing. Accenture released the survey at the start of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas.

Above: TV show watching on TVs has plummeted.
Image Credit: Accenture
The global online survey of 26,000 consumers in 26 countries revealed that consumers increasingly prefer to watch TV shows on devices such as laptop and desktop personal computers and smartphones. More than four in 10 consumers (42 percent) said they would rather view TV shows on a laptop or desktop, up from 32 percent in last year’s survey. Thirteen percent said they prefer watching TV shows on their smartphones, compared with 10 percent last year.
The decline in TV viewing over the past year is part of a four-year trend. As recently as 2014, the survey revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers preferred the TV set for viewing TV shows.

Above: Computers have overtaken TVs for watching TV shows.
Image Credit: Accenture
The most recent findings show that only one in five consumers (19 percent) now prefers to watch sports games on their TVs, down from 38 percent in the prior-year survey.
“The dominance of the TV set as the undisputed go-to entertainment device is ending,” said Gavin Mann, global managing director for Accenture’s broadcast business, in a statement. “While a great number of people still watch plenty of TV shows on TV sets, our research uncovers a rapid acceleration in their preference for viewing on other digital devices — especially laptops, desktops, and smartphones.”
In India, the trend was very sharp. The percentage of Indians who watch content on TVs dropped 78 percent — from 47 percent to 10 percent. In the U.S., the number fell 57 percent (from 59 percent to 25 percent), and in the U.K. it dropped 55 percent (from 56 percent to 25 percent).
“Driving this rapid shift in consumer preferences is the growing convenience, availability, and quality of more personalized and compelling content on laptop and desktop personal computers and smartphones,” Mann added. “The massive and accelerating push by communications and media companies to provide ubiquitous content — TV everywhere, including over-the-top — has empowered consumers to access high-quality content across multiple devices.”
While consumers increasingly prefer to watch TV shows on laptops and desktops, the smartphone is becoming the preferred device for watching short video clips. In the most recent survey, more than one-third (41 percent) of consumers said they would rather view these clips on their mobile handsets, a substantial increase from 28 percent last year.

Above: Smartphone viewing of TV shows is on the rise.
Image Credit: Accenture
Meanwhile, the number of consumers who said they would rather watch video clips on their laptops and desktops dropped slightly, from 47 percent to 44 percent over the last year, while the number who said they prefer to view these clips on their TV sets dropped even more, from 16 percent to only 5 percent.
The report recommends that media companies should respond by identifying new ways to engage consumers with more personalized video content across more types of screens. It also says media companies should use granular consumer data, segments, and predictive analytics to help anticipate consumer preferences and find content they desire. And it suggested that companies focus more on their target audiences to identify exactly what content their viewers want to receive.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

8 of the Best UI Design Websites For Inspiration in 2017

Mockplus Team                                                      

The essence of excellent user interface or UI design for website is to help users complete a given task as simple and time-efficient as possible. There is no wonder that attractive interface and impressive images are of great importance, but the core part of making a good UI design is to deliver users an intuitive and smooth experience. Many people keep hunting for the best user interface websites to get started into the industry, with different preferences and requirements. Here, I've rounded up the top 8 UI design websites in 2017 where you can get to know the most current trends, design inspiration, designer works & news, UI packs, etc. Please comment below if I've missed out your favorite one.

1. UI Parade

Ui Parade, an inspirational UI design directory website, is committed to sharing the works of UI designers across the website. It provides the most outstanding works of world's leading designers in meant to give richer & better reference for designers in need. Meanwhile, there are premium design tools for designers to pick up.

2. UI Cloud

On UI Cloud, designers can search and discover a wealth of UI design materials website. There is a good collection of the best UI designs, and the keyword search function makes it user-friendly & hassle-free. More importantly, those resources are available for free download. The eye-catching interface and rich resources make it a go-to option for most designers.

3. Fltdsgn

This UI design website is devoted to providing the HTML5, Apps and websites templates for designers. It's a great place to get inspired and stimulate creative thinking, with the support of email subscription. It updates on daliy basis with creative and interesting UI templates.

4. LovelyUI

As its name implies, LovelyUI is a platform that looks lovely for numerous UI designers to share design works and resources, but mainly for the mobile interface UI designs. Its classifications are easy-to-understand and navigate, allowing designers to view UI design works though in different categories by search. The mobile interface to some degree can be like the cooking chef. If you want to make delicious food beloved by others, then you firstly need to have an attracting recipe. Likewise, the App interface needs to attract the eyes of users to provide a good user experience. If you want to learn UI skills and improve the design ability, then this website cannot be missed out.

5. CreativeMarket

As an independent UI design website, CreativeMarket brings together the hand-crafted designs from all over the world. It's a collection of graphic design resources, including UI packs, logos, UI patterns as well as UI templates, etc. This might be the one-stop website for your choice.

6. SmashingMagazine

Founded in September 2006, SmashingMagazine is a technology blogging websites where designers can find various types and styles of designs. Its blogs are mainly related to web design materials, tutorials and business news, providing innovative information for developers as well.

7. Designrfix

Designfix is a UI website that provides the most trendy web & graphic tutorials. With it, designers can find high-quality design works and then share across their network. A highlight is Designrfix keep updating a set of UI topics & tricks on a regularly basis.

8. Mockplus

Mockplus includes a selection of UX/UI design resources recommended for designers, product & project managers as well as developers. For now it has over 60,000 subscribers, and the RSS Feed is also available for users to keep current with the newest updates. Meanwhile, it's an all-inclusive prototyping tool to make interactive mockups on App, web, and desktop.
source https://www.mockplus.com/