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Intel's own benchmarks suggest its still king in the face of AMD Ryzen 3000

26 August 2019 - 07:16 PM

Intel is trying to hold onto its standing as the processor (CPU) champion after the launch of AMD's Ryzen 3000-series processors, and the company's latest attempt comes in the form of benchmarks comparing the Intel Core i7-9700K to the Ryzen 9 3900X, MSPowerUser reports.

Intel's benchmark comparisons come in the form of a slideshow, and they show the Intel CPU winning in most cases. The benchmarks include SYSmark, MobileMark, WebXPRT and 16 video game titles.

The choice of benchmarks appears aimed at "a realistic day-in-a-life" according to one slide and a "better indicator of mainstream PC experience" according to another. SYSMark runs actual applications like Microsoft Office programs, and both MobileMark and WebXPRT perform some typical computer tasks.

Then, Intel claimed "on par or better" performance in a variety of video games, with the Ryzen processor only winning out in Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Intel claimed Final Fantasy XV, Far Cry 5, CS:GO, PUBG, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, among other games, for itself.

Missing or obscuring the point

While what Intel is claiming in its slides may well be the case, there's plenty of information absent, and some important considerations left unmentioned.

For instance, in the video game benchmarks, Intel claims on par or better performance, but doesn't indicate which of the games were only on par, thereby giving itself a victory for what may only be a draw. It's also worth noting that many of the games it lists are older, like Grand Theft Auto V, CounterStrike: GO, and Crysis 3.

Another important consideration is system configuration. We don't see a slide showing the exact configuration of the Ryzen machine, and while Intel likely built similar machines, Ryzen CPU performance can vary significantly depending on the RAM installed.

Then there's the big elephant in the room: use case. Intel emphasizes realistic use cases, but fails to acknowledge the Intel Core i7-9700K and Ryzen 9 3700X aren't CPUs for typical computer users who just want to browse the web and crank out spreadsheets. They are high-performance components meant for folks with serious computing needs. Benchmarks like Cinebench show just how much raw performance people can get out of a machine, and core counts can really come in handy when it comes to creative workloads.

There are extras for Ryzen 9 3900X to consider as well, like PCIe 4.0 support, an included cooler, and the possibility that future games and programs will offer improved support for more cores and threads as chip makers like AMD and Intel continue to boost those numbers.

Intel may be posting a win for itself here, but we're still standing by our ranking of the best CPUs, which sees the Ryzen 9 3900X squarely at the top.

Via XFastest

Dell Labor Day sale: save up to 40% on laptops, 4K TVs, monitors and more

26 August 2019 - 05:26 PM

Labor Day is fast approaching, and aside from a long holiday weekend, it also means massive savings from your favorite retailers. Dell is kicking things off with its Labor Day Early Access sale that starts today and lasts through September 4. You can save up to 40% on laptops, TVs, desktops, headphones and more with new doorbuster deals added every day.

Dell's top deals include the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones on sale for $299, the Alienware 25 gaming monitor on sale for $407.96, and the Inwhich is 15 5000 2-in-1 laptop that's on sale for $699.99 and includes a $100 Visa prepaid card.

Our top early access pick is the LG 70-inch 4K TV that's on sale for $669.99. That's a $530 discount and Dell is including a $100 Dell eGift card to sweeten the deal. The big-screen TV delivers a life-like picture with bold colors and stunning accuracy thanks to the quad-core processor and 4K Active HDR format. The smart TV also features ThinQ AI technology which works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant to become your smart home hub. You can browse movies, adjust the channel, launch shows, and control other smart home devices using just your voice.

Shop more of Dell's early access Labor Day sale below and keep this page bookmarked as we'll be adding new doorbuster deals throughout the week. 

Dell Labor Day deals:

You can shop more TV deals with our roundup of the best cheap TV sales and 4K TV deals happening now.

You can also shop more cheap laptop deals and cheap monitor deals that are currently available.

OnePlus ushers in Rs 1,000 crore investment for its biggest global R&D facility in...

26 August 2019 - 05:10 PM

OnePlus, on Monday inaugurated its first global research and development (R&D) center in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The R&D facility was inaugurated by Pete Lau, Founder & CEO of OnePlus along with Former Minister of Telangana, K. T. Rama Rao and Principal Secretary for IT and Industries, Jayesh Ranjan.

Over the course of the next three years, OnePlus intends to put as much as Rs 1,000 crore into creating its biggest R&D center, right here in Vamsiram's Sohini Tech Park, Nanakramguda, Hyderabad. 

Why Hyderabad?

OnePlus decided to establish an R&D centre in Hyderabad as it is a major centre for startups and MNCs. It wouldn't be wrong to call it one of the biggest IT hubs in India. Moreover, the Chinese electronics maker believes that the city attracts a lot of talent in the area of emerging technologies and as such, it will help generate more employment opportunities. 

The company already has a workforce of 200 people for its Hyderabad R&D center and Lau mentioned that some of  the Product Managers are being relocated to Hyderabad to assist in a more inclusive development.

OnePlus also conducts a campus hiring program in major premiere universities and institutes of India like the IITs, to provide opportunities and nurture young talents. The R&D centre will warpcharge this program with an aim to generate more interest amongst youngsters.

What will the OnePlus R&D center do?

Lau also revealed that the R&D facility will be home to three OnePlus Labs. These include the camera lab, networking and communications lab and automation lab.

The new R&D facility will headline development of India exclusive features for OxygenOS and drive 5G network deployment for India, Europe and the UK. But, that's not all. The centre will also work on global product development, improving cameras, AI and performance tests. 

OnePlus has a dedicated camera lab in Taiwan and the company now wants to set up a second and an equally compelling lab in India.

Vikas Aggarwal, General Manager OnePlus India, stated that the company will be taking part in the 5G spectrum trials sometime later this year. The Hyderabad R&D center is expected to play a major role in testing 5G connectivity for its products but we don't have a definite timeline for the same, yet.

What's more for India?

OnePlus currently holds the top position in the premium smartphone segment in India. It has captured 43% of the segment in India and 2% globally, which is enough for it to be listed amongst the top five premium smartphone companies of the world.

While discussing the company's plans for India, Pete Lau said, “In three years, we plan to grow the new R&D centre in Hyderabad into our biggest globally. We plan to re-focus our R&D efforts on a large scale and drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on the software side with special emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, 5G and IoT.”

Apart from its online exclusive partnership with Amazon India, OnePlus is also present in the offline space with 15 OnePlus experience stores and over 1500 partner stores.

The company is also looking at large format experience stores as a viable option in its expanding offline strategy. The first OnePlus experience store is also being constructed in Hyderabad and is expected to be fully functional by the next quarter.

OnePlus plans to take this concept of large format super experience stores to major metro cities in the next 2-3 years. Besides, now that the R&D centre is operational, OnePlus wants to produce and source more components locally, in line with the Indian government's Make in India strategy.

New Rise of Skywalker trailer, Marvel TV shows headline Disney’s D23 expo

26 August 2019 - 04:59 PM

The Disney D23 Expo has become a font of information for breaking Disney news, and this year’s event - which took place over the weekend - was no different. 

In fact, D23 2019 might’ve been one of the biggest ever in the company’s history as it brought us new trailers for Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian and tons of Marvel shows, plus new details on Disney Plus, the company’s streaming service that launches on November 12.

Want a quick recap of the weekend’s biggest Disney announcements? Here’s a handy guide to Disney D23 2019. 

Disney Plus details 

The star of Disney’s D23 Expo was most definitely Disney Plus. The House of Mouse announced that attendees would be among the first to be able to subscribe to the service at a discount (if they didn’t mind signing a three-year agreement) before giving us some details on the quality and quantity of the streams at a special panel. We know now that the service will support up to four simultaneous streams in 4K / Dolby Vision at the base monthly package price of $6.99. 

In terms of timing, we learned that Disney Plus will release new episodes of its shows weekly rather than in one season chunks like Netflix, which could give the service time to catch up with competitors who already have massive catalogues (cough, Netflix) and keep users coming back for more. 

In some less good news, Disney reiterated that the service will be available in the US, Canada, The Netherlands and Australia on November 12, but still didn’t mention a UK release date - sorry folks.

The Mandalorian trailer 

That said, you can’t talk about Disney Plus without talking about its flagship Star Wars title, The Mandalorian, which got its first trailer during this year’s D23 event.

The series will be set after the fall of the Empire post-Return of the Jedi (aka Episode 6) and stars a lone bounty hunter donning traditional Mandalorian armor, looking like a color-swapped Boba Fett. The series was created by director/producer Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and Chef), which bodes well for an interconnected Star Wars TV universe, and stars Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martel from Game of Thrones and Javier Peña on Narcos). 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer 

The Mandalorian wasn’t the only piece of Star Wars content that came out over the weekend - we also got a new trailer for Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker that’s set to debut in December. 

You can see the full trailer down below, but in it we see a quick recap of the Skywalker storyline throughout the last eight episodes that concludes with Rey battling Kylo Renon atop the remains of the Death Star II that was destroyed in Episode 6. It’s a scene that hearkens back to the battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan in Episode 3, and it’s going to be awesome.

Speaking of old Ben, actor Ewan McGregor confirmed that he will reprise his role in an untitled Star Wars series that will debut on Disney Plus with filming set to begin next year.

Marvel TV Shows 

The end of the last Avengers film might have wrapped everything up in a nice little bow, but don’t worry, Disney Plus will unravel everything with a slate of new shows that will introduce new villains - and heroes - to the Marvel cinematic universe. 

Among these shows are The Falcon and The Winter Soldier which will debut in 2020 and star Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, respectively, as well as WandaVision, Loki and What If…, which will all make their debut in 2021. 

Disney also announced new series for She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, which will debut on the service at some point in the future.

Marvel Movies 

While Disney’s slate of serialized content is growing in scale, it hasn’t forgotten about its movie-going fans. To that end, Disney divulged new details about Black Panther 2 (that’s now set to release on May 6, 2022) and a new film called The Eternals at D23. 

According to Disney, the cast of Marvel Studios’ The Eternals includes "Richard Madden, who portrays the all-powerful Ikaris; Kumail Nanjiani, who plays cosmic-powered Kingo; Lauren Ridloff, who portrays the super-fast Makkari, the first deaf hero in the MCU; Brian Tyree Henry, who plays the intelligent inventor Phastos; Salma Hayek, who plays the wise and spiritual leader Ajak; Lia McHugh, who portrays the eternally young, old-soul Sprite; Don Lee, who plays the powerful Gilgamesh; and Angelina Jolie, who stars as the fierce warrior Thena." 

The President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige revealed concept art images of each character, before announcing three additional cast members: Sersi, to be played by Gemma Chan; aloof loner Druig, to be played by Barry Keoghan; and non-Eternal Dane Whitman, who’ll be played by the King in the North, Kit Harington. 

We’ll get a full look at the film when it comes out on November 6, 2020.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis: which Amazon ereader should you buy?

26 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

If you’re looking for a great ereader, you've probably scoped out the Amazon Kindle range, a diverse series that touches a lot of price points. Amazon is one of, if not the, biggest name in ereader market with the largest virtual library around, so you’re definitely not making a mistake by checking out its Kindles.

If you're hunting for a great reading experience and want to save all your money for ebooks, perhaps the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is what you’re looking for – it sits far shy of the top of Amazon’s Kindle range, but is still a great reading experience at a relatively low price.

But if you’re a serious reader with money to burn, you’re probably looking towards the higher end of the series to the Amazon Kindle Oasis, with its premium design and broad array of features.

To help you work out the difference between the two Kindle ereaders, and point you in the right direction for your new book-centric tablet, we’ve run through the differences between the slates.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis price

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s highest-end ereader, so it goes for a fitting price. The baseline 8GB storage space costs $249.99 / £229.99 / AU$399, while the 32GB option is priced at $279.99 / £259.99 / AU$449. For four times the storage space that’s only an increase of $30 / £30 / AU$50, so if you’re planning to download loads of books at once, we’d recommend the latter option.

If those prices make you weak in the knees, perhaps the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a better deal for you. An 8GB Paperwhite will cost you $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$199, and 32GB will set you back $159.99 / £149.99 / AU$249, making it a lot more affordable than the Oasis.

Bear in mind, you’re going to be paying a bit more cash for Amazon Kindle Unlimited, or to buy your ebooks individually, so your expense doesn’t stop at the hardware itself.

Design and display

When you think of an Amazon Kindle ereader, you probably envision the standard flat rectangle design found in most tablets these days - and that’s exactly what the Kindle Paperwhite looks like. It’s got a plastic body framing the display, and is a touch bigger than your standard smartphone, so it gives a different ‘feel’ than just reading on Google Play Books.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Oasis has a far more intriguing design: on the back of the body is a large ridge that offers a natural hand-hold to make the ereader easy to grip in a range of situations (like walking, or laying on your back). For its premium price tag you get a range of other improvements on the Paperwhite, like the metal body and physical buttons to help you navigate pages quickly.

In terms of screens, the Paperwhite has a 6-inch display, which is short of the Oasis’ 7-inch screen but both have the same 300 pixel-per-inch resolution. The Oasis really shines (pun intended) through its range of extra display options, like a high max brightness and an optional orange ‘warm light’ intended to reduce eye strain when reading.

The Kindle Oasis has the superior design and display over the Paperwhite, and this makes it a better device for certain audiences, like people who constantly bash or drop their device, or have sensitive eyes, but the design improvements might not be necessary for all users.

Battery life

While we don’t have exact battery sizes for the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis, during the course of our review we made a few estimations based on how long they lasted and how quickly the battery dropped. This isn’t quite a scientific or empirical way of measuring the battery life of either device, but without specs it’s the closest we can do – and the winner is pretty clear.

The Amazon Kindle Oasis with its hand-hold ridge

The ridge on the back of the Kindle Oasis isn't just a handgrip – it houses the ereader’s chunky battery, so you can expect the device to last a long time. In our review, we estimated the Oasis could last about six weeks if used for half an hour a day, which meets Amazon’s official estimations.

The Kindle Paperwhite, on the other hand, seems to last about three weeks if used the same amount of time, depending of course on how bright the display is.

So it seems like the Kindle Oasis lasts for twice as long; although both last for such a long period of time that the difference is kind of moot. It's far less annoying than having to recharge your smartphone every day.

Other features

Both the Amazon Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite run Amazon’s Kindle operating system, which lets you rent or buy books on the Amazon Store, and there’s not much difference in terms of software.

Neither ereader has a 3.5mm headphone jack though, so if you want to listen to an audiobook, you’ll have to do it with a wireless headphone.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Talking of ports, both the Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis charge up using micro USB. That’s quite an outdated socket, so the devices are quite slow to charge.

In fact, the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite have most features in common, and once you’ve looked past the surface appearances, they’re rather similar devices.


The main differences between the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis lie in their designs and displays. The Oasis aims to be easy to hold in your hand, and even easier to drop without worrying about it breaking, thanks to its metal chassis.

Screen versatility is a big difference too, and the Oasis’ warm light, as well as its increased max brightness, make it a better device for reading in the dark or in bright sunlight.

Beyond that, the two devices are rather similar in terms of operating system and user interface, so you’re not going to get a terrible experience on the Paperwhite compared to its premium-priced sibling.

So if you’ve got a lot of money to spend on a new device, or the design or display features of the Oasis are vital to you, it’s definitely the device to look for, but if you just want to buy an ereader tablet to get through all your books and comics, then the Paperwhite may be a more viable - and certainly more affordable - choice.