PC & Tech Authority June 2018

PC & Tech Authority is Australia's premier computer magazine and the ultimate monthly technology buyer’s guide. Every issue is packed with the latest products, reviewed by an expert team of technical writers and guarantees more Aussie exclusives and first looks than any other Australian PC magazine. Delivering expert reviews, group tests and in-depth features we cut through the hype so you know that you’re getting the best tech for your money.

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in this issue

3 min
the green stink

There’s a scandal brewing, one that could quickly evolve into lawsuits and even anti-competitive government investigations. And Nvidia is at the center of it. It all centers around a new contract Nvidia has recently rolled out known as the GeForce Partner program (or GPP). It’s a contract between Nvidia and OEM graphics card companies (i.e. Asus, MSI etc.), and it requires that these partners cease selling competitor products under their gaming brands. So, that would mean, for example, that Asus could no longer sell AMD Radeon products under its premium and much-loved ROG brand. Why Nvidia would do that is clear and sadly obvious. It’s purely to hurt AMD in the market. But why an OEM partner would even consider signing the GPP contract is where it gets really evil. According to…

4 min

CPU PATCH SLOWDOWNS I have applied the Microcode Updates to an Ivy Bridge laptop with Intel RST RAID in mirror mode (RAID 1) Performing a RAID initialization I noticed a massive decrease in performance while the array was being initialised due to the high number of read and write operations (at least 30% longer). These microcode patches will bite if there are a large number of disk operations being performed. Intel RST is a software RAID solution, therefore it uses the CPU to do its RAID functions. This means a lot of system calls to the OS to allow reading and writing to the array. I would hate to see what the performance impact would be on other software based RAID solutions using older x86-64 processors with other RAID levels. I am very suspicious…

4 min
facebook data: how far has it leaked?

THE LATEST TRENDS AND PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY The facebook data scandal could be the tip of the iceberg, according to privacy experts, who warn that the social network’s willingness to hand over users’ data will result in further leaks. In an investigation led by news organisations, researchers discovered that psychoanalytical influencer Cambridge Analytica had gained access to huge swathes of Facebook users’ data, which was originally collected by a personality testing app on the social network. That information was sold to Cambridge Analytica, who allegedly used it to target voters who might be sympathetic to Donald Trump. According to experts, the fact that Facebook allows app developers to access so much data makes scandals inevitable. “What Cambridge Analytica is doing is just what you can do with this kind of…

3 min
how normal is cheating at pubg in china? very

THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY During Dell’s launch of its 8th-gen laptops in Beijing, which PCTA attended, the Account Director and assigned spokesperson for Dell’s gaming range, Sally Zhang, gave a presentation about the new gaming laptops and talked for at least five minutes about how “plugins” (her name for cheats) demand greater CPU power in the game “Chicken Dinner” (PUBG). She spoke of how Chinese gamers are the most innovative and dominant in the world by using “plugins” to, for example, run faster than other players, or blow up ten cars at a time, and that these top gamers can really use 8th-Gen power to “run more plugins to win more at Chicken Dinner”, and that the top players run the most ‘plugins’ so that’s where 8th-gen Dell power gives them the…

4 min
chip news

CPU RYZEN 2 HITS A SIXER With new Ryzen 2 processors hitting the market, many owners and reviewers alike will of course be pushing them to the limits to see how well they overclock. With regular 24/7 overclock voltages of around 1.25v it seems 4.0 or 4.1GHz is obtainable (on all cores). Typically, a couple of hundred better than the first-generation Ryzen parts. For some folks though, this isn’t enough. Asus invited some of the top overclockers in the world, including Der8auer and Neo, to its headquarters in Taiwan to try and smash some records, namely the 5.9GHz clock speed record from a previous gen six core Ryzen. Using an Asus ROG Crosshair VII HERO motherboard, they managed to get an R7 2700X up to an amazing (but unstable) 6009MHz whilst pumping in…

4 min
most wanted

DJI RONIN-S While we’re in filmmaking mode, here’s a handheld gimbal for your fancy compact cinema camera. Gimbals like this use the technology developed first for drones and then for professional gimbals used in industry, and shrink the tech while keeping most of the functionality. MOST WANTED: The Ronin-S bridges the divide between consumer gimbals like the Osmo, which work fine but have limited capability when it comes to add-ons and mounting to other tracking systems, and expensive and bulky professional gimbals which aren’t really onehanded. The idea is to combine the convenience of a consumer gimbal with the flexibility of a pro system. You can add focus control, lighting, microphones, transmitters, whatever. NOT WANTED: DJI actually has quite a bit of competition in this space, and has a lot riding on the…