2018 iPad Pro to rock an improved A12X chip with a faster GPU for more powerful graphics

Apple’s upcoming iPad Pro tablets for 2018 will use an Apple-designed A12X Bionic chip, which is an enhanced version of the regular A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS/XS Max/XR smartphones feature a more powerful GPU for faster graphics.

Now that a Chinese regulatory filing has all but confirmed a new iPad-focused Apple media event this month, fresh new details pertaining to the upcoming refresh continue trickling in on an almost daily basis. According to Brazilian iOS developer Guilherme Rambo, the 2018 iPad Pro refresh will include a new Apple-designed A12X Bionic system-on-a-chip.... Read the rest of this post here


"2018 iPad Pro to rock an improved A12X chip with a faster GPU for more powerful graphics" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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The 6 Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores for Saving Money

Looking for new computer parts is really good fun. Well, at least it used to be until computer hardware became more expensive and prices stopped dropping. Luckily, there are several decent options if you’re looking for cheaper hardware, both brand new and second-hand. In no particular order, here are some of the best online stores for finding cheap(ish) computer parts when repairing your machine or looking to build a new one from scratch. Caution When Buying Cheap Computer Parts You can only expect so much regarding cheap computer components. If they’re too cheap, you have to ask yourself “Why?” Why…

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores for Saving Money

Looking for new computer parts is really good fun. Well, at least it used to be until computer hardware became more expensive and prices stopped dropping. Luckily, there are several decent options if you’re looking for cheaper hardware, both brand new and second-hand.

In no particular order, here are some of the best online stores for finding cheap(ish) computer parts when repairing your machine or looking to build a new one from scratch.

Caution When Buying Cheap Computer Parts

You can only expect so much regarding cheap computer components. If they’re too cheap, you have to ask yourself “Why?” Why can one store afford to sell it at a significantly cheaper price than their competitors?

The answer is usually “It’s a scam.”

There are other issues, too. The price of RAM has only increased in the past few years, making any “cheap” parts now look like the regular deals of yesteryear. Similarly, cheap CPUs don’t exist unless you buy second-hand, and even then, some CPUs are surprisingly expensive.

Case in point: I thought about making a minor CPU upgrade for my main system. It has a decent i5 3570K that has never let me down, but I wanted to bump to the i7 3770K for the extra capacity. Intel 3xxx CPUs hit the market in 2012. And the price of a new i7 3770K? Exactly the same as six years ago; I should have just splashed a little bit extra back then.

Adding to the problem is the cryptocurrency mining boom. The price of Ethereum and other GPU-mined cryptocurrencies might have dropped, but the demand for new GPUs for mining rigs remains steady. That said, GPU prices are at least lower than they were at the peak of the crypto-mining market.

Second-hand parts, refurbished parts, and cut-price deals are the way to go if you need cheap hardware—either that or an unbranded Chinese import.

1. For Wholesale Computer Parts: AliExpress

ali express discount cheap ram

Best for: Cheap unbranded hardware, cheap wholesale components, computer part stores, RAM, HDDs, SSDs, PSUs.
Avoid: CPUs, GPUs.

Let’s start with the last thing mentioned above: Chinese imports. China is one of the largest global manufacturers of computer hardware. AliExpress is an enormous online marketplace where you can find all manner of hardware, branded or otherwise. Branded hardware still costs roughly the same as a U.S. or E.U.-based vendor, but hardware from manufacturers you’ve never heard of can cost significantly less.

RAM, HDDs, and SSDs are worth investigating, depending on your budget and desire for a deal. However, off-brand GPUs don’t exist, and the same goes for CPUs.

Now, does it cost less because the hardware isn’t as good? Or is it simply the weight of the brand that adds to the cost of other hardware? The answer is somewhere in the middle. AliExpress sellers are either companies or individuals, but it is different from Amazon in that it doesn’t directly sell any products itself.

2. For Refurbished Computer Parts: eBay

Best for: Brand new hardware, refurbished hardware, second-hand parts, computer part stores.
Avoid: Any deal that is too good to be true—because it probably is!

Next up, eBay, an excellent site for tracking down cheaper computer hardware. The trick to finding a great eBay deal is patience and persistence. Set yourself a realistic price point for the hardware you want, stick to it, and wait it out. At some point, your product will appear at the price you want, within reason. (You’re not picking up a GTX 1080 Ti for $100 unless there’s something wrong with it or it’s a scam.)

Like AliExpress, you can find unknown manufacturers in among the other listings, as well as brand new, second hand, and refurbished parts.

3. For End-of-Season Clearance Sales: Newegg

Best for: End-of-season clearance sales, big budget discount, wide-range of hardware, customer service.
Avoid: Spending all of your money on end-of-season clearance sales, making forum posts before searching for similar questions.

Newegg is a name synonymous with great computer hardware deals. You can find a range of new and refurbished computer parts, as well as the traditional Newegg deals. Deals vary day to day, so if you have some specific hardware in mind, it is worth checking back periodically. To help you out, you can add those components to your wish list, and Newegg will ping you an email if it goes on sale.

Newegg has a few other good points, too. For instance, their forums are very active. Other users will direct you toward the right hardware for your PC build or otherwise. Also, hardware manufacturers are known to browse and actively respond to users with issues to ensure everything is running smoothly, while their YouTube channels make decent videos comparing various bits of hardware you might want to pick up.

4. For Huge CPU Discounts: Micro Center

Micro Center for cheap CPUs

Best for: CPU discounts, major hardware discounts, bricks-and-mortar store, real-world assistance.
Avoid: Not much!

Micro Center is a special choice for this list. Why? Because it is the only option with an actual bricks and mortar store you can pick up your hardware from. (Forget Fedex Pickup Locations!) Also, if you’re struggling to figure out what hardware you need, their in-house teams are usually knowledgeable, and not just looking for another sale. Oh, and they’ll usually match prices between the online and real-world stores, too.

But it isn’t just bricks and mortar stores that make the difference. Micro Center has a long and well-regarded history for excellent hardware discounts, especially on CPUs.

5. For Cheap-ish RAM: Amazon

Best for: Return policy, Black-Friday discounts, ever-changing hardware discounts, cheap-ish RAM.
Avoid: Higher prices for certain items, price increases before large sales.

I’m keeping the Amazon section short and sweet. Amazon does have some fantastic deals on hardware; given its size, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Furthermore, you can switch between purchasing directly from Amazon, or using an Amazon verified third-party seller. The latter can often give you extra discounts, along with some of the protections of using Amazon (return policy, customer services, and vendor communication).

However, keep an eye on the prices around the headline sales, such as Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Prices for certain hardware components have been known to creep upwards in the days before, so as to make the discounts appear even larger during the sale event. (Use these apps to track price changes and make sure you’re getting the best price!)

6. For Weekly Computer Part Deals: SuperBiiz

superbiiz online cheap computer component

Best for: Discount bundles, weekly deals, open-box.
Avoid: Costly shipping practices, somewhat shady return policies.

SuperBiiz is a handy computer hardware site with decent discounts on a wide range of components. The site has regular open-box sale products that you can strike lucky with, and you can sometimes grab a little extra through their mail-in rebate scheme. Furthermore, if you’re looking for some slightly older hardware, SuperBiiz’s Super Steals section has some deep discounting and great deals on offer.

The flipside to the great deals is the somewhat questionable customer support, seemingly random delivery times (depending on where you are, regardless of what delivery method you choose), and a returns policy that appears in reviews for all the wrong reasons.

In that, you should note that any hardware you want to return, other than DOA hardware, should not be removed from its box at all. Once you open the box, SuperBiiz makes it difficult to get your money back. Be aware!

Huge Shoutout: PC Part Picker

Okay, so PC Part Picker isn’t a store. But it is a fantastic tool for tracking down PC components as well as making sure they are compatible. PC Part Picker shows a range of online stores and their current price alongside the hardware you choose. You can make a genuinely informed decision about whether to shop around for individual parts, or simply buy every component at a single outlet.

The Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores

As mentioned in the cheap PC hardware lowdown section, finding genuinely cheap PC hardware is difficult. The amount of discount usually lies in the hardware you want to buy. Looking for a brand new Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080? You will struggle to find a discount on that.

ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 AMP 8GB GDDR6 256-bit Gaming Graphics Card Triple Fan Metal Backplate LED - ZT-T20800D-10P ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 AMP 8GB GDDR6 256-bit Gaming Graphics Card Triple Fan Metal Backplate LED - ZT-T20800D-10P Buy Now At Amazon $839.99

Thinking about picking up a slightly older GTX 980? There’s a strong chance one of the sites above will have it in stock with a nice discount.

Another way to save cash on components is to really dig down into what you want to use your computer for. If you only need a machine for internet browsing, reading and sending email, and word processing, you can build a very cheap system, regardless of extra discounts or cheap hardware deals.

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Computer Parts Stores for Saving Money

Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need?

i3-i5-i7

The processor is the brain of a computer, but understanding the difference between processors requires a lot of brainpower of your own. Intel has a confusing naming scheme, and the question we get asked most often is: What’s the difference between an i3, i5, or i7 processor? Which one should I buy? It’s time to demystify that. In this article, we won’t be touching on Intel’s other processors like the Pentium series or the new laptop-centric Core M series. They’re good in their own right, but the Core series is the most popular and confusing, so let’s just focus on…

Read the full article: Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need?

The processor is the brain of a computer, but understanding the difference between processors requires a lot of brainpower of your own. Intel has a confusing naming scheme, and the question we get asked most often is: What’s the difference between an i3, i5, or i7 processor? Which one should I buy?

It’s time to demystify that. In this article, we won’t be touching on Intel’s other processors like the Pentium series or the new laptop-centric Core M series. They’re good in their own right, but the Core series is the most popular and confusing, so let’s just focus on that.

The Differences Between Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3

Intel Core i3 vs. Core i5 vs. Core i7

An Intel Core i7 is better than a Core i5, which in turn is better than a Core i3. The trouble is knowing what to expect within each tier. Things go a little deeper.

First, i7 does not mean a seven-core processor! These are just names to indicate relative performance.

Typically, the Core i3 series has only dual-core processors, while the Core i5 and Core i7 series have both dual-core and quad-core processors. Quad-cores are usually better than dual-cores, but don’t worry about that just yet.

Intel releases “families” of chipsets, called generations. The current one is the 8th-generation series called Kaby Lake Refresh. Each family, in turn, has its own line of Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 series of processors.

You can spot which generation a processor belongs to by the first digit in its four-digit model name. For example, the Intel Core i3-8250 belongs to the 8th generation.

Pro Tip: Here’s a useful rule of thumb. The other three digits are Intel’s assessment of how the processor compares to others in its own line. For example, an Intel Core i3-8145U is superior to the Core i3-8109U because 145 is higher than 109.

What Intel’s Model Numbers Mean: U vs. Q vs. H vs. K

Intel's processor naming scheme

As you can see, the model number will typically be followed by one, or a combination of the following letters: U, Y, T, Q, H, G, and K. Here’s what they mean:

  • U: Ultra Low Power. The U rating is only for laptop processors. These draw less power and are better for the battery.
  • Y: Low Power. Typically found on older generation laptop and mobile processors.
  • T: Power Optimized for desktop processors.
  • Q: Quad-Core. The Q rating is only for processors with four physical cores.
  • H: High-Performance Graphics. The chipset has one of Intel’s better graphics units in it.
  • G: Includes Discrete Graphics. Typically found on laptops, this means there is a dedicated GPU with the processor.
  • K: Unlocked. This means you can overclock the processor above its rating.

Understanding these letters and the numbering system above will help you know what a processor offers just by looking at the model number, without needing to read the actual specifications. Of course, before making a buying decision, it’s advisable to check the details at ark.intel.com.

You can find the meaning of other suffixes at Intel’s guidelines on processor numbers.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: Hyper-Threading

The physical cores largely determine the speed of a processor. But with how modern CPUs work, you can get a boost in speed with virtual cores, activated through a system called Hyper-Threading Technology.

In layman’s terms, hyper-threading allows a single physical core to act as two virtual cores, thus performing multiple tasks simultaneously without activating the second physical core (which would require more power from the system).

If both processors are active and using hyper-threading, those four virtual cores will compute faster. However, do note that physical cores are faster than virtual cores. A quad-core CPU will perform much better than a dual-core CPU with hyper-threading!

The Intel Core i3 series has hyper-threading. The Intel Core i7 series supports hyper-threading, too. The Intel Core i5 series does not support it.

However, recent reports suggest Intel might be dropping hyper-threading on all its processors except the fastest Core i9 series.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: Turbo Boost

The Intel Core i3 series does not support Turbo Boost. The Core i5 series uses Turbo Boost to speed up your tasks, as does the Core i7 series.

Turbo Boost is Intel’s proprietary technology to intelligently increase a processor’s clock speed if the application demands it. For example, if you are playing a game and your system requires some extra horsepower, Turbo Boost will kick in to compensate.

Turbo Boost is useful for those who run resource-intensive software like video editors or video games, but it doesn’t have much of an effect if you’re just going to be browsing the web and using Microsoft Office.

Intel Core i7 vs. i5 vs. i3: Cache Size

How cache size of processor impacts speed

Apart from Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, the one other major difference in the Core lineup is Cache Size. Cache is the processor’s own memory and acts like its private RAM. It’s one of the little-known specs that slows down your PC.

Just like with RAM, more cache size is better. So if the processor is performing one task over and over, it will keep that task in its cache. If a processor can store more tasks in its private memory, it can do them faster if they come up again.

The Core i3 series typically has up to 3MB of cache. The Core i5 series has between 3MB and 6MB of cache. The Core i7 series has between 4MB and 8MB of cache.

Intel Graphics: HD, UHD, Iris, Iris Pro or Plus

Ever since graphics were integrated on the processor chip, it’s become an important decision point in buying CPUs. But as with everything else, Intel has made the system a little confusing.

There are now typically three levels of graphics units: Intel HD, Intel Iris, and Intel Iris Pro or Iris Plus. You’ll see a model name like Intel HD 520 or Intel Iris Pro 580… and that’s where the confusion begins.

Here’s a brief example of how mind-boggling it can be. Intel HD 520 is a basic graphics chipset. Intel Iris 550 is better than Intel HD 520, but also basic. But Intel HD 530 is a high-performance graphics unit and is better than Intel Iris 550. However, Intel Iris Pro 580 is also a high-performance graphics unit and better than Intel HD 530.

The best advice for how to interpret these? Just don’t. Instead, rely on Intel’s naming system. If the processor’s model ends with an H, you know it’s a model with high graphics performance. If it ends with a G, that means there is a dedicated GPU, not one of Intel’s chips.

Choosing Between Intel Cores i3 vs. i5 vs. i7

Intel-core-i3-i5-i7-table-comparison

Generally speaking, here’s who each processor type is best for:

  • Intel Core i3: Basic users. Economic choice. Good for browsing the web, using Microsoft Office, making video calls, and social networking. Not for gamers or professionals.
  • Intel Core i5: Intermediate users. Those who want balance between performance and price. Good for gaming if you buy a G processor or a Q processor with a dedicated graphics processor.
  • Intel Core i7: Power users. You multi-task with several windows open at the same time, you run apps that require a lot of horsepower, and you hate waiting for anything to load.

How Did You Choose?

This article provides a basic guide for anyone looking to buy a new Intel processor but is confused between Core i3, i5, and i7. But even after understanding all this, when it’s time to make a decision, you might need to choose between two processors from different generations because they’re priced the same.

When you’re comparing, my best tip is to head to CPU Boss where you can compare both processors and get a detailed analysis, as well as ratings. If you don’t understand the jargon, just go with the rating and the basic advice. Even if you understand jargon, CPU Boss has all the details you’ll need.

Note: Most People Don’t Need Intel Core i9

Intel also has a top-end, high-performance range of processors called the Intel Core i9. Typically, these have more cores (10 to 18 on desktop), leading to higher speed. But for most people, the extra performance is not really worth it.

The Core i9 is only useful if you’re a hardcore gamer who also streams live, or a video editor working on multiple tasks. For everyone else, the Intel Core i7 should be good enough, and maybe even the Intel Core i5. If you’re curious, here’s what you need to know when deciding between Intel Core i9 vs. Core i7 vs. Core i5.

Read the full article: Intel Core i3 vs. i5 vs. i7: Which One Do You Really Need?

Manually set your Mac’s cooling fan speeds with Macs Fan Control

You can manually configure your Mac’s fan speeds with a useful free utility called Macs Fan Speed. We show you how to use it.

If you own an Apple computer, especially a modern one, then you’ve probably come to notice how particularly thin these machines have become. Despite that, most Macs still sport internal cooling fans to keep the CPU and GPU temperatures in check.

By default, Apple’s internal cooling fans run as silently as possible for a quiet user experience, but this isn’t without its caveats. Thinner machines like the MacBook Pro are more susceptible to heat soak because the cooling capabilities of such a compact chassis are limited; this is something you’ve undoubtedly felt while the machine sits on your lap during intensive tasks.... Read the rest of this post here


"Manually set your Mac’s cooling fan speeds with Macs Fan Control" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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What Is Foreshadow? How This Intel CPU Vulnerability Might Affect You

The Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities continue to haunt Intel, AMD, and other microprocessor manufacturers. After the initial revelations and ill-fated patches, Intel hoped their deep-rooted issues would remain dormant. Unfortunately that’s not the case, and consumers, businesses, and CPU manufacturers face yet another microprocessor vulnerability. Foreshadow is its name, and here’s what it means for your computer. What Is the Foreshadow Vulnerability? Foreshadow, alternatively known as the L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF), is the latest exploit to hit Intel Core CPUs. The Foreshadow announcement brings the total number of speculative execution vulnerabilities for Intel CPUs to three, on top of the previous…

Read the full article: What Is Foreshadow? How This Intel CPU Vulnerability Might Affect You

The Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities continue to haunt Intel, AMD, and other microprocessor manufacturers. After the initial revelations and ill-fated patches, Intel hoped their deep-rooted issues would remain dormant.

Unfortunately that’s not the case, and consumers, businesses, and CPU manufacturers face yet another microprocessor vulnerability. Foreshadow is its name, and here’s what it means for your computer.

What Is the Foreshadow Vulnerability?

Foreshadow, alternatively known as the L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF), is the latest exploit to hit Intel Core CPUs. The Foreshadow announcement brings the total number of speculative execution vulnerabilities for Intel CPUs to three, on top of the previous two Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

There are three aspects to Foreshadow. The first one specifically targets Intel’s Security Guard Extensions (SGX), a feature in Intel 7th generation chips that, ironically, is designed to protect code from unauthorized modification. The other two affect nearly all other Intel CPU generations.

Foreshadow is the result of the independent collaborative security research of two teams: imec-DistriNet at KU Leuven, and a combined team from the University of Michigan, the University of Adelaide, and CSIRO’s Data61.

“What our attack does is it uses techniques that are very similar to the Meltdown attacks from six months ago,” explains Professor Thomas Wenisch from the University of Michigan. “But we discovered we could specifically target a lock box within Intel’s processors. It would let you leak any data you want out of these secure enclaves.”

The main issue is clear: Foreshadow lets an attack access secret information held in the computer’s memory. Intel’s technical manuals state that areas of memory can be marked as off-limits, but the opposite is true. A machine running malicious code, or a guest virtual machine on a cloud server, can access areas of memory they shouldn’t be able to, thereby exposing sensitive data.

“We are not aware of reports that any of these methods have been used in real-world exploits,” reads a blog post on Intel’s website. “But this further underscores the need for everyone to adhere to security best practices.” The blog continues, elaborating on how future processors would not suffer the same vulnerabilities.

The Three Aspects of Foreshadow

There are three separate vulnerabilities in Foreshadow, and each has its own CVE code:

  • CVE-2018-3615: The Software Guard Extensions (SGX) vulnerability. A system using SGX “may allow unauthorized disclosure of information residing in the L1 data cache.”
  • CVE-2018-3620: Affects operating systems and system management modes (SMM). Systems that use “speculative execution and address translations may allow unauthorized disclosure of information residing in the L1 data cache.”
  • CVE-2018-3646: Affects virtual machine and hypervisors. Specifically, the vulnerability “may allow unauthorized disclosure of information residing in the L1 data cache to an attacker with local user access with guest OS privilege.”

The Intel CVE descriptions page also features a complete list of Intel-based platforms potentially affected by the Foreshadow vulnerabilities. Double-check the list for your CPU model.

Is My Intel Computer Vulnerable to Foreshadow?

First things first: so long as you keep your system completely up to date, you are safe. The research teams that made the initial discovery of Foreshadow separately disclosed details of the vulnerability to Intel back in January. As such, Intel has had a long time to develop and release a patch.

Furthermore, the researchers and Intel are keen to stress that attacks of this nature are extremely rare in the wild. The expertise and cost required to perform this attack outside make it difficult conceive as a payload. Regular malware attacks and phishing techniques are much easier to use. As such, they also come with an almost guaranteed return on investment.

“Intel has worked with operating system vendors, equipment manufacturers, and other ecosystem partners to develop platform firmware and software updates that can help protect systems from these methods.”

Furthermore, most users aren’t even using the Intel SGX feature, so you wouldn’t store your sensitive data there anyway. Also, “Foreshadow does not leave traces in typical log files” so you wouldn’t necessarily realize an attacked accessed the data, let alone an attacker skilled enough to implement such an attack “can probably alter the log buffer” to erase traces.

How Does Foreshadow Affect Virtual Machines?

You may be using a virtual machine (VM) on your computer to emulate another operating system. VMs are handy for trying out new Linux distributions or booting up an old Windows version to use a specific program.

VMs see a huge amount of use in cloud server environments, such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. Running concurrent VMs lets a provider offer an expanded service using the same physical hardware. However, it is incredibly important that the virtual machines within the cloud server environment remain isolated from one another.

And that’s exactly what Foreshadow does. It breaks through the aforementioned isolation, allowing a virtual machine to read data from other virtual machines.

Will Intel’s “Chipocalypse” Ever End?

Intel, AMD, and other microprocessor manufacturers affected by Spectre, Meltdown, and now Foreshadow, have an incredibly tough time on their hands. CPU development has taken advantage of speculative execution for decades—thankfully—and it makes our system that much faster for it.

But the crux of the biscuit is that speculative execution is now vulnerable and as such CPU manufacturers are heading back to the drawing board to ensure that future CPU generations do not suffer the same issues.

The saving grace for consumers like you and I is that, for the most part, we’re too small fry to be worth the catch. That is, vigilance against regular malware, against phishing and banking fraud, and other common attacks will keep you safe. Just remember to keep your system up to date, and the CPU patches will install as they arrive.

Image Credit: ifeelstock/Depositphotos

Read the full article: What Is Foreshadow? How This Intel CPU Vulnerability Might Affect You

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Phones: Should You Upgrade?

qualcomm-snapdragon-845-phones

Every year, smartphones get faster and more powerful. But that’s not all that happens. The Snapdragon 835 processor was all about battery life. 2017 high-end phones weren’t just fast and sleek—many could actually hold a charge for the entire day. So what’s special about the newer Snapdragon 845? Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Features Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 845 to the world in December 2017. Here’s some of what the company promised: An AI platform: Smart assistants are popping up everywhere. The Snapdragon 845 better supports on-device AI processing, reducing the need to offload effort onto remote servers. Better photos: The Snapdragon…

Read the full article: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Phones: Should You Upgrade?

qualcomm-snapdragon-845-phones

Every year, smartphones get faster and more powerful. But that’s not all that happens.

The Snapdragon 835 processor was all about battery life. 2017 high-end phones weren’t just fast and sleek—many could actually hold a charge for the entire day.

So what’s special about the newer Snapdragon 845?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Features

Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 845 to the world in December 2017. Here’s some of what the company promised:

An AI platform: Smart assistants are popping up everywhere. The Snapdragon 845 better supports on-device AI processing, reducing the need to offload effort onto remote servers.

Better photos: The Snapdragon 845 debuts an all-new, second-generation Spectra 820 Image Signal Processor. Look for improved multi-frame noise reduction (think of the Google Pixel 2’s HDR+ mode). The chip can capture up to 60 16MP images per second. Other enhancements include better electronic image stabilization.

More video options: The new chip offers built-in support for both slow-motion video and high-speed performance capture. There’s also HDR recording and the ability to superimpose a still image on a moving background.

Faster speeds: The Snapdragon 845 offers a Kryo 385 CPU on Cortex-A75 (with clock speeds up to 2.8GHz) and Cortex-A55 cores. One handles power, while the latter is for efficiency. The Adreno 630 GPU also saw improvements to power and efficiency, which will help with pushing out pixels. So unless Android and apps require more power this year, you can expect the next round of flagships to offer faster performance.

A focus on extended reality: Manufacturers are using already using mobile chipsets such as the Snapdragon 835 to develop the current generation of virtual and augmented reality. The Snapdragon 845 integrates a parallax-based depth-sensing system that can judge the distance of objects using two lenses, much like human eyes. It can manage a higher resolution per-eye in VR headsets, supporting up to 2K x 2K at 120 frames per second.

Faster download speeds: Your internet service provider can pump blazing speeds into your home, and your mesh Wi-Fi may be able to handle it, but that doesn’t matter if your phone can’t. Snapdragon 845 brings support for peak download speeds of 1.2Gbps.

Increased security: The Snapdragon 845 uses a new Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit that provides vault-like security for personal data. Phones can also store biometric data used for authentication in isolation.

Note that these are only Qualcomm’s promises. Actual experience also depends on how well manufacturers implement the chipset into their phones. (If I lost you at some point along the way, see our article on understanding smartphone jargon.)

Notable Phones With Snapdragon 845

The Snapdragon 845 is what manufacturers are cramming inside their best phones of 2018. All these devices range from $500 to $1,000. Here are some to keep in mind.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Samsung develops its own competing Exynos 9 Series 9810 chip for the Galaxy S9, but in the US, the phone uses the Snapdragon 845. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ were the first phones to bring the Snapdragon 845 to market.

Notable features include a Quad HD+ Curved Super AMOLED display, improved dual 12MP rear-facing cameras (capable of capturing super slow-motion video), and a fingerprint sensor that’s in a more convenient location compared to last year’s model. Unlike many other flagships, the S9 still has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

What to know more? Here’s an in-depth look at what the Galaxy S9 and S9+ bring to the table.

Sony Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact, and XZ2 Premium

The Xperia XZ2 line offers Snapdragon 845-powered phones that look much different from previous generations. Its glass back has a curve that makes it a bit wobbly on flat surfaces, but it does support wireless charging.

The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact both offer HD+ displays, which in this case means 2160 x 1080. Meanwhile, the XZ2 Premium comes with a bigger 4K display, plus a larger battery. There’s also support for super slow-motion video recording.

While the two smaller models provide a single 19MP rear camera, the Premium edition comes with not one rear camera, but two.

Interested? Our Xperia XZ2 review has a lot more to say.

LG G7 ThinQ and V35 ThinQ

LG’s Snapdragon 845 flagship phone offers a 6.1-inch QHD+ (3120 x 1440) display. It comes with a top notch akin to that of the iPhone X, Essential Phone, and other high-end devices. It is the second LG device to use the ThinQ branding.

ThinQ is pronounced as “thin Q” (not “think”), but it nonetheless has a dedicated button for Google Assistant. It also communicates with LG appliances. Plus, there’s an AI Cam that tries to harness machine learning to improve your pictures.

If you don’t like notches, go for the V35. It has an OLED screen (versus the G7’s LCD). You do give up the dedicated AI button, in case that’s something that matters to you.

OnePlus 6

People turn to OnePlus to get top-quality specs at a relatively low price, and this year’s model delivers as usual. You get a 2280 x 1080 AMOLED display, at least 6GB of RAM, 20MP and 16MP rear cameras, plus a minimum of 64GB of storage. The top model offers 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

There’s a notch at the top of the the display, as is now common. The frame is made of metal, while the back has Gorilla Glass.

HTC U12+

HTC designers appear to have had some fun with this year’s flagship. The U12+ comes in several colors, one of which is a translucent blue that shows some of the phone’s interiors.

The device lacks any physical buttons. Instead, you have pressure-sensitive buttons that provide tactile feedback. Like the Pixel 2, you can squeeze your phone—only HTC has added in gestures such as holding and tapping.

But That’s Not All

The above brands are the major brands here in the US, but other companies have embraced the Snapdragon 845 this year. Xiaomi has the Mi Mix 2S. Asus has shipped the ZenFone 5Z as well as the distinct Republic of Gamers smartphone.

You can also expect the Google Pixel 3 to join this list after its presumed launch sometime in the fall.

What About the Snapdragon 855 and 1000?

The Snapdragon 855 is what we expect to see in next year’s flagship phones. The 845 maintains a 10-nanometer design like the 835 before it, while the 855 is expected to become the world’s first 7-nanometer chip to enter mass production. Look for improved performance and energy efficiency when Qualcomm makes an announcement at the end of this year.

Meanwhile, a Snapdragon 1000 chip is in the works not for phones, but for PCs. Microsoft wants to see Windows on ARM devices due to the faster boot times, longer battery life, and better connectivity.

This won’t be the first Snapdragon chip inside a Windows computer, as the 1000 follows both the 835 and the 850. However, more information isn’t expected to arrive until at least next year.

Should You Upgrade to the Snapdragon 845?

How’s your current phone? If you have a device with the Snapdragon 835 that still does everything you need, hold on to it. Sure, the Snapdragon 845 may be better, but (more than likely) so will the Snapdragon 855.

If you have an older phone, or if you play a lot of demanding games, you won’t go wrong grabbing the Snapdragon 845—assuming you’re prepared to spend at least $500 on a phone.

Read the full article: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Phones: Should You Upgrade?

Intel adds to the 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling controversy

The so-called “thermal throttling” issue affecting some 2018 MacBook Pro models just got a little bit more interesting. Intel’s apparently okay with this.

A new week hasn’t ended the so-called “thermal throttling” controversy that’s been swirling around the newly released 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro. ExtremeTech is now reporting that Intel had long ago said it was okay for manufacturers such as Apple to deviate from stated specifications. In doing so, it makes you wonder whether you can even count on reported clock speeds for some of the most expensive laptops on the market. ... Read the rest of this post here


"Intel adds to the 2018 MacBook Pro thermal throttling controversy" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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