Tom's Hardware's CES 2016 Top Picks

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Onus

Titan
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Quick take. Mostly critical, but in many case more information would be very helpful. There is one absolute marketing fail in here though.

ASRock's Mini-STX Motherboard And Mini-PC
Does indeed have "cool" written all over it.

OCZ Technology RevoDrive 400 1 TB
"Users will experience higher frame rates..."

Oh really?????????

Linksys WUSB6100M
I remain unconvinced of the adequacy of the antennas in these tiny dongles.

HTC Vive Pre
Ok.

Huawei Mate 8
Insufficient information. How long is the "outstanding" battery life? Is the battery user-replaceable?

In Win's H-Frame 2.0
In Win's H-Frame 2.0 chassis will retail for a heavy price of $799...
Stop right there; for people with more money than sense.

Kingston E1000 NVMe Enterprise SSD
Ok. More data needed.

Dell UltraSharp 30 Ultra HD 4K OLED Monitor
For $5K? Very niche, and perhaps for those who buy In Win's H-Frame 2.0.

Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill
Ok. If the price is reasonable...

CyberpowerPC's ProStreamer Series Gaming Desktops
Interesting concept, but ...Cyberpower? More information needed to determine quality and value, or lack thereof.

QNAP TBS-453A
Best NAS? Looks like its total capacity will be way too low. Gimmick.

PowerVR Wizard
Nice to see some new graphics tech. Ray-tracing is conceivably a great way to get realistic lighting.

Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook And Razer Core GPU Dock
Insufficient information. It appears to have been selected in part based on suppositions.

Jaunt VR
Interesting. Might produce some great content.
 

RedJaron

Splendid
Moderator
I'll back Joe on this. How can QCZ qualify their claim that a SSD will result in higher frame rates?

I rather like that OLED monitor, though. Yeah, it's crazy expensive, but first adopter products tend to be. I hope this marks mfrs taking OLED seriously and trying to make them cheaper through a bigger production scale.
 

Math Geek

Champion
Herald
the razor ultrabook/gpu dock thingy is probably the most interesting thing i have seen from CES this year.

the idea of the low power ultrabook for when i'm on the move that simply plugs into the base for with all my peripherals already ready to go for high power gaming sessions. don't know all the details as a lot is still unknown but overall i could see myself getting a lot of use from such a combo.

could replace the fact that i have a laptop and a desktop if done right. can't wait for more info on this product and the similar stuff i have seen on the horizon as well.
 

turkey3_scratch

Polypheme
Herald


I was under the impression that OLED displays were flexible, but I guess that changed? Is OLED basically just the LED replacement, or does it have anything related to flexibility?
 

synphul

Polypheme
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Some oled can be flexible but that's not the main difference. The difference is an 'led' display is still an lcd display but with led's for backlights rather than fluorescent bulbs. Some led monitors are capable of lighting leds in groups/clusters rather than a full backpanel of constant light (which inevitably bleeds through causing grays rather than blacks). Led's are also smaller and more power efficient resulting in thinner displays than older lcd.

Going back to oled, each pixel has its' own light source which is even more finely detailed lighting than led was compared to original lcd. Rather than having a constant area of backlight behind a 'black' pixel it can actually turn off.

Basically you get richer blacks, better contrast, more accurate picture from wide viewing angles, when pixels are lit the brightness is more uniform. It's due to the difference in panel tech. None of those features have to do with being flexible.
 

FritzEiv

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Onus: Most of the things we covered in this piece we ALSO wrote about more extensively. Probably a "fail" is that we didn't link to some of those articles. I'll take that one on the chin (but also add that we all got very little sleep -- Seth & I averaged about 4 hours per night), and then we produced this on the very last night and got it ready today, making it our 101st story from CES (literally). So that's my excuse :). Still, these are "impression" based and the point is to give a quick glimpse into what we saw and what stood out, not full-out specs. Sorry you felt let down.
 

alextheblue

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I'll back Joe on this. How can QCZ qualify their claim that a SSD will result in higher frame rates?
Higher frame rates*

*Enables streaming of a higher frame rate of raw uncompressed 4K video than would be possible with a slower solution.
 

alex davies

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Onus: There is a link on the Mate 8 page to our previous coverage of this phone where we show PCMark battery-life benchmark test results.
 

CRamseyer

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The higher frame rate part on the OCZ (or most SSDs) will be clarified in a few weeks. I've spent a lot of time developing a new test with HDDs and SSDs. One of the tests looks at stutters that most of us have experienced in games before. If you game on a big powerful PC the issue isn't as pronounced. $400 and $500 machines are a different story. I started out looking at performance on a low cost system and then added different price grades of storage components. It started out as an experiment for TLC-based SSDs that are very low cost and went in several directions from there.

I wouldn't go as far as to say my findings were groundbreaking but everyone will learn something new from the results.

To be fair it was not OCZ's claim, it is mine.
 

cst1992

Dignified
I'd sure like to know more about that PowerVR card. Is it a full-fledged graphics card, and if not, what is it then? And what are they doing that NVIDIA and AMD are not?
 

turkey3_scratch

Polypheme
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It's work seems more like it'd be useful in a cheap workstation environment, perhaps.
 

clonazepam

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I think its mostly smoke and mirrors.

In their CES 2016 video, its the PowerVR Wizard chip. A few months earlier, they refer to it as hybrid rendering, where they are adding ray tracing to their PowerVR Rogue architecture. He also mentions that this level of ray tracing is coming to their product line in 2-3 years, but now there's a head to head?

At CES 2016, the presenter goes on record stating its their first time demoing ray tracing. More accurately, it might be their first time showing a head to head competition type demo with a "competitor".

Another factor is how the test is programmed. Thanks to Anandtech, I've learned a little about FP16, FP32 and the trade-offs. Are we talking about FP16 instructions here?

We know Maxwell's double precision is 1/32 the speed of single precision.

I can't help but think this 'demo' is very cleverly created to exploit multiple weaknesses in an off the shelf, consumer graphics card, and the hardware that's whomping it isn't really much to be excited about once you factor in the test, the test results, and how any of it relates to more real world applications.

Don't get me wrong, they have some amazing demos. I was really impressed with the technology for store owners. Overhead cam feed is processed by their GPUs to create a ton of useful metadata, interpreting body posture / movements, etc, to gather which products produce the most interest, what marketing displays are working and which aren't, facial recognition / expressions, etc. Those may be more a function of the software, but such low power GPUs processing it in near real-time is great.

Lastly, I'm obviously just the average joe trying to understand why I'm seeing this ray tracing pop out of a 10 watt passively cooled pcie card, when a $650 msrp consumer graphics card struggles, so go easy on me lol.
 

Alexandru Voica

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I'd sure like to know more about that PowerVR card. Is it a full-fledged graphics card, and if not, what is it then? And what are they doing that NVIDIA and AMD are not?
It's a full-blown PowerVR GPU that has dedicated ray tracing hardware; you can read this blog article I wrote which offers a high-level overview of the architecture
http://blog.imgtec.com/powervr-developers/powervr-gr6500-ray-tracing

Based on the GR6500 design, we then built a chip and integrated it on a PCIe card together with memory and other I/Os.

Regards,
Alex.
 

Alexandru Voica

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I think its mostly smoke and mirrors.


I think its mostly smoke and mirrors.

In their CES 2016 video, its the PowerVR Wizard chip. A few months earlier, they refer to it as hybrid rendering, where they are adding ray tracing to their PowerVR Rogue architecture. He also mentions that this level of ray tracing is coming to their product line in 2-3 years, but now there's a head to head?

At CES 2016, the presenter goes on record stating its their first time demoing ray tracing. More accurately, it might be their first time showing a head to head competition type demo with a "competitor".

Another factor is how the test is programmed. Thanks to Anandtech, I've learned a little about FP16, FP32 and the trade-offs. Are we talking about FP16 instructions here?

We know Maxwell's double precision is 1/32 the speed of single precision.

I can't help but think this 'demo' is very cleverly created to exploit multiple weaknesses in an off the shelf, consumer graphics card, and the hardware that's whomping it isn't really much to be excited about once you factor in the test, the test results, and how any of it relates to more real world applications.

Don't get me wrong, they have some amazing demos. I was really impressed with the technology for store owners. Overhead cam feed is processed by their GPUs to create a ton of useful metadata, interpreting body posture / movements, etc, to gather which products produce the most interest, what marketing displays are working and which aren't, facial recognition / expressions, etc. Those may be more a function of the software, but such low power GPUs processing it in near real-time is great.

Lastly, I'm obviously just the average joe trying to understand why I'm seeing this ray tracing pop out of a 10 watt passively cooled pcie card, when a $650 msrp consumer graphics card struggles, so go easy on me lol.
 

Alexandru Voica

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Other companies tackle ray tracing as a GPU compute problem and use OpenCL, CUDA or other compute APIs to accelerate ray tracing tasks. Unfortunately, this approach doesn't work because maintaining coherency when shooting many rays becomes a huge problem.

Our approach in PowerVR Wizard is different. We've added dedicated ray tracing hardware to take care of the coherency problem while also keeping the bandwidth traffic low.

The hybrid rendering technique is a combination of rasterization and ray tracing that runs on Wizard GPUs. It can be implemented for example in game engines as a way to render realistic effects (shadows, reflections, transparency etc.) However, the Wizard architecture can also deliver the performance required for fully ray traced scenes in real time (e.g. path tracing).

Hope this answers your questions.

Regards,
Alex.
 

akula2

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I reckon InWin H-Frame 2.0 is expensive, yet it's a good design.
I'd give a pass on that Dell Monitor.
That QNAP model is the best NAS? It's highly subjective, IMO.
PowerVR is cool but am not surprised because their designs are widely acclaimed.
I won't lose my sleep over new SSD and other Enterprise storage products.

Actually, I was expecting to read more about Input devices. E.g.,

a) R&D prototypes in STEMM domain; meters, scopes, scanners etc
b) Gaming products such as Racing Wheels (a bit bored with Logitech)
c) Simulators (Cessna private pilot by hobby)
d) Document Writer tools
e) photography and astronomy (hobby)
 
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