Monday, July 26

Computers

How to Download and Install Windows 8.1 for Free (Updated)
Computers

How to Download and Install Windows 8.1 for Free (Updated)

Update 7/19/2021:  Windows 8.1 is long outdated, but technically supported through 2023. If you need to download an ISO to reinstall the full version of the operating system, you can download one from Microsoft here.If you are still using Microsoft Windows 8.1, we recommend you at least begin considering what OS you will use in the future. It’s mid-2021 and Win 8.1 will shuffle off the mortal coil in January 2023. You can still qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10 if you own a valid Windows 8.1 license, despite the fact that Microsoft formally ended its upgrade program five years ago. Additionally, Windows 10 has the same system requirements as Win...
Alder Lake Leak: Intel Core i9-12900K Offers 5.3GHz Boost Clock, Lower PL2
Computers

Alder Lake Leak: Intel Core i9-12900K Offers 5.3GHz Boost Clock, Lower PL2

Specifications for Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake have leaked, and they imply a CPU that’s at least somewhat more power-efficient than its predecessors without giving up any top-end clock. As always, all leaks should be taken as rumors, not facts.These leaks, from the Chinese forum Zhihu, suggest the Core i9-12900K will match the 5.3GHz top clock on the Core i9-11900K, with an all-core boost frequency of 5GHz. The CPU’s PL1 is 125W and its PL2 is 228W. The PL1 value is in line with other Intel processors currently in-market, while the PL2 of 228W is down somewhat from the 250W of current Intel chips. This could indicate that Intel has improved...
Intel in Talks to Buy GlobalFoundries for $30 Billion: Report
Computers

Intel in Talks to Buy GlobalFoundries for $30 Billion: Report

Intel is said to be in talks to buy GlobalFoundries in a deal worth as much as $30 billion dollars. This would be an enormous acquisition for Intel if the rumor is true. As always, such rumors should be taken with a grain of salt.The Walt Street Journal is reporting this particular rumor, which comes as GlobalFoundries is planning an IPO. The WSJ notes that whatever Intel is considering, “talks don’t appear to include GlobalFoundries itself as a spokeswoman for the company said it isn’t in discussions with Intel.”The WSJ goes on to explicitly note that GlobalFoundries might continue with its plans for an IPO, which raises the question of whether ...
Russia to Build 8-Core RISC-V CPUs for Laptops, Government Systems
Computers

Russia to Build 8-Core RISC-V CPUs for Laptops, Government Systems

RISC-V has attracted a great deal of interest across the computing industry for its open-source instruction set architecture and rapidly evolving ecosystem. There are reports that Russia plans to build new RISC-V based CPUs by 2025. The new chips would be built in a three-way agreement between Rostoc (a technology investment firm), server company Yadro, and the design firm Syntacore. The total cost of the project is estimated at ~$400 million USD or approximately 30 billion rubles.The goal is to build 60,000 eight-core CPUs clocked at 2GHz for government systems, Anandtech reports. The project budget will be provided by anchor customers and the Russian gover...
DRAM Price Increases in Q3 May Be Smaller Than Expected
Computers

DRAM Price Increases in Q3 May Be Smaller Than Expected

Good news for anyone anticipating buying DRAM in the next few months. While DRAM prices spiked in Q2 2021 thanks to high demand and limited supply, the bulk of the price increase is thought to be behind us. While Trendforce expects prices to increase in Q3 2021, the jump should be smaller than typical.Trendforce now predicts DRAM contract prices to grow by 3-8 percent in Q3, down from 18-23 percent in Q2 2021. The company also believes that DRAM supply will continue to grow in Q3 and Q4 of this year, which should limit further price increases.While mobile demand has been aggressive, PC manufacturers are holding a consistent 8-10 weeks of inventory. Trendforc...
TSMC Mulls On-Chip Water-Cooling for Future High-Performance Silicon
Computers

TSMC Mulls On-Chip Water-Cooling for Future High-Performance Silicon

Every few years, a major microprocessor manufacturer or research institution dives into the world of radical CPU water-cooling. TSMC recently gave its own presentation on the topic, in which it explored three different methods of potentially cooling a chip with on-die water cooling.Companies and organizations keep returning to this idea because an integrated, affordable on-die water cooling system could solve a lot of other problems in advanced chip manufacturing. AMD is working on a version of its Zen 3 CPU core with 128MB of integrated L3 cache, but the company had to carefully position the cache chips to avoid causing hot spot problems within the Ryzen di...
If You Want to Get Excited About CPUs Again, Start Creating With One
Computers

If You Want to Get Excited About CPUs Again, Start Creating With One

When I decided to teach myself something about video editing and AI-powered upscaling at the beginning of 2020, I hoped I’d learn something useful about editing and improving images and video. I didn’t expect the project to change my own perspective on high-performance computing in the process.At some point over the last two decades, CPU performance got a bit, well, boring. This is partly because the market spent some six years in the same, static configuration with quad cores + SMT in the top mainstream consumer bracket, and with quad-cores, 2C/4T, and dual-core CPUs waterfalling down from there. Market segmentation stagnation, however, is only ...
Intel May Build Chip Facilities Across Europe as Part of $20B Foundry Plan
Computers

Intel May Build Chip Facilities Across Europe as Part of $20B Foundry Plan

Intel is still talking up the potential benefits of an EU partnership as it lobbies European nations to support a new leading-edge foundry facility. The company has pledged to spend $20B on a facility or facilities, with a lifetime investment of up to $100 billion in the project over several decades. This is not necessarily unusual — foundries are expensive to build and most companies upgrade them multiple times — but it speaks to Intel’s long-term willingness to invest in a plant.According to the Financial Times, Intel executives are willing to build multiple facilities in several member states to secure funding and support. “We could put ...
Even Backup Storage Provider Backblaze Can’t Make Money Farming Chia
Computers

Even Backup Storage Provider Backblaze Can’t Make Money Farming Chia

When the storage-based cryptocurrency Chia came out, hard drive prices shot up as a surge of demand took scarce product away from store shelves. SSDs turned out to be pretty minimally impacted — Chia plotting eats consumer drives like candy — but large-capacity HDD prices were definitely affected.The bulk storage provider and backup company Backblaze has published its own evaluation of whether the company could make money mining Chia. We’ve seen companies take advantage of unique positioning to earn a lot more money via cryptocurrency than you’d typically expect. The Greenridge Power Plant near Seneca Lake, NY is currently using 87 pe...