Categories
Computing

Intel’s Core i5 vs. i7

Intel’s Core i5 and i7 CPUs are still the most popular processors you can buy — and for good reason. But what’s the difference between them? Like most computer components, there are dozens of models at each tier to choose from, and it can get a little overwhelming.

It’s worth noting before we get started that we’re talking specifically about Intel’s 10th-generation Comet Lake and 11th-generation Tiger Lake chips here. A lot of the information applies elsewhere, but the newer chips tend to provide noticeable features and performance improvements over previous generations. You won’t save a lot of money buying CPUs older than these generations, and most PC builders and laptop buyers will want to stay away from earlier Core i5 and Core i7 offerings.

Should you buy a Core i5 or a Core i7?

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

The i5 processors sit in a sweet spot of price versus performance. For most users, an i5 is more than enough to handle day-to-day tasks, and they can even hold their own when it comes to gaming. The most recent i5 chips top out at six cores on desktop and four cores on mobile with boost clock speeds north of 4GHz.

You can run some intensive applications, such as Adobe Premiere, on an i5, but will see more of a benefit with an i7 than you might in gaming. The latest desktop i7s, in particular, offer more cores and threads, as well as boost frequencies above 5GHz. For video and audio editing, an i7 is ideal, even if you can handle some light tasks with an i5.

If you want to play games, browse the internet, and dip your toes into applications like Premiere or Photoshop, stick with an i5 (assuming you have a decent GPU backing it up). Those using professional applications frequently will want to opt for an i7 (or even upgrade to an i9, especially if you’re dealing with motion graphics and running simulations).

Intel Core i7 on Amazon

Core i5 vs. Core i7 on the desktop

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Short of a few early processors in Intel’s current branding scheme, i5s haven’t typically supported hyperthreading. A higher thread count was reserved for the more expensive i7s and i9s. However, to stay competitive with AMD’s Ryzen chips, Intel decided to bring hyperthreading down to i5s and even i3s with its 10th-generation Comet Lake desktop processors.

That makes Comet Lake i5s much more suitable for 3D modeling, video editing, and heavy multitasking than even some i7s from generations past, even if 10th-generation Core i7 CPUs will beat most i5s at all of these tasks. There are a lot of options in Intel’s current i5 lineup, though most of them are purpose-built for system integrators. As far as commercially available chips, Intel has three options, some with variations: The i5-10400, i5-10500, and i5-10600. All three have six cores and 12 threads, with the $260 i5-10600 setting itself apart with a 4.8GHz boost clock. For around $20 more, you can also buy the “K” version of this processor, which is unlocked for overclocking, and offers some of the highest performance potential of its entire generation.

The i7 lineup is more limited, based around the i7-10700 and its corresponding unlocked chip. If you don’t plan on overclocking, the i7-10700 is an excellent choice. It’s around $40 more than the i5-10600 while coming with eight cores and 16 threads (plus a 4MB boost to Intel’s Smart Cache). The unlocked version is less impressive because it’s around $80 more expensive than the competing unlocked i5, and $100 more expensive than the locked one. An overclocked 10600K is a more cost-effective chip for gamers, though workstation users could benefit from the extra cores of an i7.

As model numbers and price increase, so does performance. For around $150, you can stick with i5-10400, which is still a great processor for gaming and multitasking. If, however, you’re not interested in overclocking and already planning on spending $250 to $300 on a processor, it’s worth springing for the i7-10700. It’s only slightly more expensive than the competing i5-10600 while offering a boost to core and thread count, as well as cache size.

Core i5 vs. Core i7 on laptops

Dell XPS 13 9370 review | Laptop partially closed facing away from the camera at an angle showing lid and trim
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Intel usually begins its generations with the mobile market first, and the 11th-generation of Intel processors is no different. The new Tiger Lake mobile chips are just starting to make the rounds. Although Tiger Lake laptops aren’t commercially available yet, they will be soon, with notebooks like the MSI Prestige 14 showing off Intel’s latest generation through the end of 2020 and into 2021.

The lineup is fairly straightforward. There are two i5 processors, the i5-1130G7 and 1135G7, each of which comes with four cores and eight threads. Similarly, there are three i7 processors — the i7-1160G7, i7-1165G7, and i7-1185G7 — and they all match the same core and thread count as the i5s. The difference: Each of the processors has a slightly different boost clock speed, starting at 4.0GHz with the i5-1130G7 and topping out at 4.8GHz with the i7-1185G7.

As with desktop chips, Core i7 CPUs tend to be a lot more expensive. If you were buying a Surface Book 2, for example, a Core i7 CPU can cost as much as $500 extra in an otherwise identical configuration.

Minus a change in cache size — from 8MB on the i5s to 12MB on the i7s — the two ranges are mostly the same. A higher clock speed is better, but you can get by with a lot less (especially considering how much more expensive i7s can be in mobile configurations). If you have the extra cash, though, an 11th-gen i7 is a great option. The i7-1185G7 consumes the same amount of power as the i5-1135G7 while boasting a higher boost clock speed, making it ideal for high-performance, thin and light laptops.

It’s also worth mentioning Intels older Ice Lake chips. They’re based on the same 10nm process as the newer-gen Tiger Lake chips and were a major graphical upgrade over the 8th generation, but can’t hold a candle to Tiger Lake’s Xe graphics. General compute performance isn’t much worse, though, so if you want to save some money, opting for a higher-tier Ice lake CPU instead of a Tiger Lake alternative may be a good way to stay within your budget.

To make things even more confusing, Intel also offers 10th-generation Core i5 and Core i7 Comet Lake chips. General compute performance is much higher than Ice Lake’s thanks to higher clock speeds, but graphical performance is worse again.

If you’re not interested in gaming, these slightly older chips can save you a few bucks (especially if you browse the secondhand market). Tiger Lake processors come with Intel’s new Xe graphics, though. Integrated graphics aren’t ideal for gaming, and Xe doesn’t change that. However, Intel is a lot closer to matching entry-level gaming laptops with Xe, climbing toward 60 frames per second at medium settings in games like Battlefield V and Civilization VI. 

What about Core i9?

Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs might be powerful, but they’re mainstream, consumer-targeted CPUs. Intel’s higher-end Core i9 chips are typically aimed more at professionals or the most affluent of gamers who need even more power, with most chips bearing that moniker having cost upward of $1000 in the past. However, with Intel’s eighth- and ninth-generation processors, it introduced some Core i9 CPUs that are worth considering too.

The Core i9-8950HK made its way into laptops like Apple’s MacBook Pro and, after some throttling issues were fixed, proved to be a powerful chip indeed. It sports six cores and 12 threads, and can turbo clock up to 4.6GHz on a couple of cores at a time. Not many laptops offer it as an option, but it’s one of the most powerful mobile chips available today.

In the desktop space, the Core i9-9900K is a real monster. With eight cores, 16 threads, and a clock speed that can reach 5GHz on a couple of cores at a time, it’s a powerful processor. The newer i9-10900K, however, is the best gaming CPU available today. It tops out at 5.3GHz with 10 cores and 20 threads, verging into Intel Extreme Edition territory. It comes with a price tag to match, though. Stock is low, so although the processor technically retails for $530, as of late 2020, you’ll end up spending around $650.

That extra price buys you extra performance, but only a little bit. By comparison, the i5-10600K offers six cores and 12 threads, and with some manual overclocking, you can achieve gaming results on par with the i9-10900K. Even better, Intel’s leading 10th-gen i5 costs less than $300.

Are more cores and threads necessary?

There’s now a smaller gap between i5 and i7 processors with Intel’s most recent round of offerings, particularly for desktop users. Your processor can process more information at once, thanks to more threads and cores. Instead of stressing a single core or thread, the processor spreads out the workload. So, the benefit of more cores and threads is clear: It allows the processor to better handle multitasking.

As you’re probably well aware, all computer components are pretty complex. Some applications are explicitly optimized to capitalize on multiple threats, in conjunction with most file compression and decompression, Adobe Premiere, and Handbrake apps.

Nowadays, only a limited number of applications depend on a single thread or core. However, a few of these are developed in a way that allows them to take full advantage of your processor’s threads and cores.

When you purchase the latest generation of i5 or i7, you’re receiving approximately four cores and eight threads. This amount is plenty for surfing the Internet or performing light productivity jobs.

When it comes to gaming, six and eight cores are the best option. Anything more than that, and the only benefits you’ll see are in production applications such as video editing and transcoding.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Security

How to Track a Laptop

Losing your laptop or being a victim of theft can have disastrous consequences. There are steps you can take to protect your laptop and prevent a security breach if you were to lose this device.

Besides protecting your device with a password, we recommend using one of the built-in tracking tools offered by Windows and Apple. Enabling these features is quick and easy, and they provide you with a reliable way of tracking a lost or stolen laptop.

Finding a Windows laptop

With Windows 10, Microsoft includes a Find My Device ability for devices using the operating system. Enable this feature to help track your laptop when it goes missing.

Step 1: Go to Update & Security in Settings

Head to your Start menu and type in Settings, then select the Settings option that appears. Once there, look for the section that says Update & Security, and select this.

Step 2: Click Find My Device

screenshot

Look to the sidebar menu and find the option that says Find My Device and select it. In the window that appears, look for the header that says Find My Device:  ___ and see if it says on or off. If it says off, then select the Change button below to turn it on.

Step 3: Sign with Microsoft account.

Microsoft Account Find my device screenshot
screenshot

Whenever you want to locate your laptop, head to the Microsoft account page and sign in with your account information. When you’re logged in to your Microsoft account, select the section labeled Devices. On the Devices page, select the device you want to locate. On your laptop’s page, select Find my device.  You’ll then be taken to a page in which Microsoft will give you a map location for your device of where it was last detected, and when it was last detected. On the left side of the screen, if you click on the name of your device, a menu will pop up that may show more information about the laptop’s last known location as well as two options you can select: Find and Lock. Find will let you search for your laptop’s current location, not simply its last known location.

Finding a Mac laptop

On Macs, the tracking feature is called Find My Mac, and it enables you to pinpoint the location of your laptop on a map for retrieval or reporting. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Go to iCloud settings

Find My Mac Settings

On your Mac, head to your menu and select System Preferences. Here, go to the iCloud icon: This may require you to log in with your Apple account information if you haven’t already done so.

Step 2: Click on Find My Mac

Locating MacBook

Review your iCloud features and look for the option to Find My Mac. Make sure the checkbox is selected to enable this feature. If not, check it, and then select Allow when iCloud asks you if you are sure.

Step 3: Go to iCloud.com

Now that the feature is turned on, you can locate your laptop by logging into iCloud.com with your Apple account. Once logged in (you may have to verify that you trust the device you are working on), select Find my iPhone to get started.

Step 4: Find it on the map

You should now be able to find a menu of all the devices associated with your account. Select your MacBook from this list, and iCloud will bring up a map showing you where it is. You can choose to have your Mac play a sound if you want to find it, or display a custom message on the screen, or you can even remotely lock your Mac with a password to prevent access.

Extra tracking and protection apps

Prey Tracker

The native functions for both Windows and MacOS are fine if you want a quick way to track your laptop. However, they don’t offer a lot of extra security features. If you want enhanced protection, additional software downloads are crucial. You’ll also need to set up a complete tracking program. More thorough defenses are incredibly helpful in case of theft, but possibly overkill in terms of at-home devices. Regardless, we can recommend a couple of options you can use to get started.

PreyProject’s Prey: Prey is a super helpful application where you can add several devices approved for tracking. If you lose one of them, the app will track it for you as well as lock the device. It can also retrieve data, and it can set off an alarm to help you find it. Should it become necessary, you can use Prey to completely clear any and all data from your device—ultimately saving your privacy in case someone else gets their hands on it. 

The app can also create evidence reports with information on the device’s location to help track criminals. A report can even feature images taken from the device’s camera, which the police can use to help recover your belongings. Prey offers multiple service tiers, but the basic free package tracks up to three devices.

Hidden: Hidden is another impressive tracking app exclusive to MacOS and iOS devices, so MacBook users might want to check it out. It can track location, take images, log keystrokes, record spoken messages, and enable remote access, among other things. You can remotely manage all information on your devices with Hidden, including deleting sensitive data. Hidden’s Personal package covers up to three Apple devices at a monthly price of $2.99, but for only $1.67 a month, you can cover a single Apple device.

There are many native functions, apps, and other downloads that can help you track any laptop you own. This list features some of the best device tracking services on the market that will protect your computer against your own carelessness or someone else’s maliciousness.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

A closer look at the AI Incident Database of machine learning failures

The failures of artificial intelligent systems have become a recurring theme in technology news. Credit scoring algorithms that discriminate against women. Computer vision systems that misclassify dark-skinned people. Recommendation systems that promote violent content. Trending algorithms that amplify fake news.

Most complex software systems fail at some point and need to be updated regularly. We have procedures and tools that help us find and fix these errors. But current AI systems, mostly dominated by machine learning algorithms, are different from traditional software. We are still exploring the implications of applying them to different applications, and protecting them against failure needs new ideas and approaches.

This is the idea behind the AI Incident Database a repository of documented failures of AI systems in the real world. The database aims to make it easier to see past failures and avoid repeating them.

The AIID is sponsored by the Partnership on AI (PAI), an organization that seeks to develop best practices on AI, improve public understanding of the technology, and reduce potential harm AI systems might cause. PAI was founded in 2016 by AI researchers at Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft, but has since expanded to include more than 50 member organizations, many of which are nonprofit.

[Read: How Netflix shapes mainstream culture, explained by data]

Past experience in documenting failures

In 2018 the members of PAI were discussing research on an “AI failure taxonomy,” or a way to classify AI failures in a consistent way. But the problem was there was no collection of AI failures to develop the taxonomy. This led to the idea of developing the AI Incident Database.

“I knew about aviation incident and accident databases and committed to building AI’s version of the aviation database during a Partnership on AI meeting,” Sean McGregor, lead technical consultant for the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, said in written comments to TechTalks. Since then, McGregor has been overseeing the AIID effort and has helped develop the database.

The structure and format of AIID was partly inspired by incident databased in the aviation and computer security industries. The commercial air travel industry has managed to increase flight safety by systematically analyzing and archiving past accidents and incidents within a shared database. Likewise, a shared database of AI incidents can help share knowledge and improve the safety of AI systems deployed in the real world.

Meanwhile, the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE), maintained by MITRE Corp, is a good example of a database on software failures across various industries. It has helped shape the vision for AIID as a system that documents failures from AI applications in different fields.

“The goal of the AIID is to prevent intelligent systems from causing harm, or at least reduce their likelihood and severity,” McGregor says.

McGregor points out that the behavior of traditional software is usually well understood, but modern machine learning systems cannot be completely described or exhaustively tested. Machine learning derives its behavior from its training data, and therefore, its behavior has the capacity to change in unintended ways as the underlying data changes over time.

“These factors, combined with deep learning systems capability to enter into the unstructured world we inhabit means malfunctions are more likely, more complicated, and more dangerous,” McGregor says.

Today, we have deep learning systems that can recognize objects and people in images, process audio data, and extract information from millions of text documents, in ways that were impossible with traditional, rule-based software, which expect data to be neatly structured in tabular format. This has enabled applying AI to the physical world, such as self-driving cars, security cameras, hospitals, and voice-enabled assistants. And all these new areas create new vectors for failure.

Documenting AI incidents

Since its founding, AIID has gathered information about more than 1,000 AI incidents from the media and publicly available sources. Fairness issues are the most common AI incidents submitted to AIID, particularly in cases where an intelligent system is being used by governments such as facial recognition programs. “We are also increasingly seeing incidents involving robotics,” McGregor says.

There are hundreds of other incidents that are in the process of being reviewed and added to the AI Incident Database, McGregor. “Unfortunately, I don’t believe we will have a shortage of new incidents,” he says.

Visitors can query the database for incidents based on the source, author, submitter, incident ID, or keywords. For instance, searching for “translation” shows there are 42 reports of AI incidents involving machine translation. You can then further filter the research down based on other criteria.

ai incident database translation query

Putting the AI incident database to use

A consolidated database of incidents involving AI systems can serve various purpose in the research, development, and deployment of AI systems.

For instance, if a product manager is evaluating the addition of an AI-powered recommendation system to an application, she can check 13 reports and 10 incidents in which such systems have caused harm to people. This will help the product manager in setting the right requirements for the feature her team is developing.

ai incident database recommendation system

Other executives can use the AI Incident Database to make better decisions. For example, risk officers can query the database for the possible damages of employing machine translation systems and develop the right risk mitigation measures.

Engineers can use the database to find out the possible harms their AI systems can cause when deployed in the real world. And researchers can use it as a source for citation in papers on the fairness and safety of AI systems.

Finally, the growing database of incidents can prove to be an important caution to companies implementing AI algorithms in their applications. “Technology companies are famous for their penchant to move quickly without evaluating all potential bad outcomes. When bad outcomes are enumerated and shared, it becomes impossible to proceed in ignorance of harms,” McGregor says.

The AI Incident Database is built on a flexible architecture that will allow the development of various applications for querying the database and obtaining other insights such as key terminology and contributors. In a paper that will be presented at the Thirty-Third Annual Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI-21), McGregor has discussed the full details of the architecture. AIID is also an open-source project on GitHub, where the community can help improve and expand its capabilities.

With a solid database in place, McGregor is now working with Partnership on AI to develop a flexible taxonomy for AI incident classification. In the future, the AIID team hopes to expand the system to automate the monitoring of AI incidents.

“The AI community has begun sharing incident records with each other to motivate changes to their products, control procedures, and research programs,” McGregor says. “The site was publicly released in November, so we are just starting to realize the benefits of the system.”

This article was originally published by Ben Dickson on TechTalks, a publication that examines trends in technology, how they affect the way we live and do business, and the problems they solve. But we also discuss the evil side of technology, the darker implications of new tech and what we need to look out for. You can read the original article here.

Published January 23, 2021 — 10:00 UTC



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Intel Core i3 vs. Core i5

As impressive as Intel’s high-end Core i7 and Core i9 CPUs are, the value of performance per dollar is much better on the lower end of things. Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs offer powerful cores for gaming and work at a much more modest price than their higher-end counterparts. But which is best for your next system?

To help you decide, we put together a deep-dive look at the newest and best CPUs from Intel in both the Core i3 and Core i5 range. Whether you want to game all night on a prebuilt system or build a new PC for work-related productivity, this guide will help you find the right CPU for you.

If you’d prefer just look at the best CPUs on the market, here are Intel and AMD’s top chips.

What’s out there?

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Before we dig into the minutia of the individual processors and what they can do, let’s take a broad look at the latest range of CPUs from Intel on desktop and mobile for both Core i3 and Core i5 designs.

Desktop

Intel’s desktop range of CPUs has lost some ground to AMD in recent years, but they’re still excellent for gaming and work and, thanks to the increased competition, have more cores and higher clocks than ever. Additional features include Thunderbolt 3 ports, improved A.I. performance, and significant wireless speed improvements. All of the current desktop processors are listed below, though note that Intel is rumored to launch its 11th generation of desktop processors in either late 2020 or early 2021.

Cores Threads Base clock Boost clock Graphics TDP  Cost**
Core i5-9600K* 6 6 3.7GHz 4.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.15GHz 95W $220
Core i5-9600 6 6 3.1GHz 4.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.15GHz 65W $210
Core i5-9500* 6 6 3.0GHz 4.4GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W $155
Core i5-9500T 6 6 2.2GHz 3.7GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 35W $192
Core i5-9400* 6 6 2.9GHz 4.1GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W $155
Core i5-9400T 6 6 1.8GHz 3.4GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 35W $182

Core i5-10400T

6 12 2.0GHz 3.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 35W $182

Core i5-10500

6 12 3.1Ghz 4.5GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W $236

Core i5-10600T

6 12 2.4GHz 4.0GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 35W $241

Core i5-10400

6 12 2.9GHz 4.3GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W $182

Core i5-10600 

6 12 3.3GHz 4.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W $261

Core i5-10600K*

6 12 4.1GHz 4.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 95W $320

Core i5-10500T 

6 12 2.3GHz 3.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 35W $192
Core i3-9350K* 4 4 4.0GHz 4.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.15GHz 91W $215
Core i3-9320 4 4 3.7GHz 4.4GHz UHD 630 @ 1.15GHz 62W $190
Core i3-9300 4 4 3.7GHz 4.3GHz UHD 630 @ 1.15GHz 62W $167
Core i3-9300T 4 4 3.2GHz 3.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 35W $143
Core i3-9100* 4 4 3.6GHz 4.2GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W $89
Core i3-9100T 4 4 3.1GHz 3.7GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 35W $122

Core i3-10320

4 8 3.8GHz 4.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W $190
Core i3-10300 4 8 3.7GHz 4.4GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W $177
Core i3-10300T 4 8 3.0GHz 3.9GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 35W $143

Core i3-10100

4 8 3.6GHz 4.3GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W $150
Core i3-10100T 4 8 3.0GHz 3.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 35W $143

* These CPUs are also available as an “F” variant. That means they ship with no onboard graphics. All other specifications are identical to the original version.

** All prices for major CPUs were correct at the time of this writing based on active listings at major retailers. “T” chips, however, are not on sale to the general public. The cost is based on MSRP at launch.

Laptop

Dell XPS 13 2019
Riley Young/Digital Trends

Intel’s laptop processors have been much more impressive over the past year, with new 10nm options with excellent onboard graphics, as well as higher-clocked 14nm alternatives.

Cores Threads Base clock Boost clock Graphics TDP 
Core i5-1035G7 4 8 1.2GHz 3.7GHz Iris Plus (11th generation) @ 1.05GHz 12-25W
Core i5-1035G4 4 8 1.1GHz 3.7GHz Iris Plus (11th generation) @ 1.05GHz 12-25W
Core i5-1035G1 4 8 1.0GHz 3.6GHz UHD @ 1.05GHz 13-25W
Core i5-1030G7 4 8 0.8GHz 3.5GHz Iris Plus (11th generation) @ 1.05GHz 12W
Core i5-1030G4 4 8 0.7GHz 3.5GHz Iris Plus (11th generation) @ 1.05GHz 12W
Core i3-1005G1 2 4 1.2GHz 3.4GHz UHD @ 0.9GHz 13-25W
Core i3-1000G4 2 4 1.1GHz 3.2GHz Iris Plus (11th generation) @ 0.9GHz 12W
Core i3-1000G1 2 4 1.1GHz 3.2GHz UHD @ 0.9GHz 12W
Core i5-10210U* 4 8 1.6GHz 4.2GHz UHD 620 @ 1.10GHz 10-25W
Core i3-10110U* 2 4 2.1GHz 4.1GHz UHD 620 @ 1.00GHz 12.5W
Core i5-9400H 4 8 2.5GHz 4.3GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 45W
Core i5-9300H 4 8 2.4GHz 4.1GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 45W
Core i5-8500B 6 6 3.0GHz 4.1GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 65W
Core i5-8400B 6 6 2.8GHz 4.0GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W
Core i5-8400H 4 8 2.5GHz 4.2GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 45W
Core i5-8300H 4 8 2.3GHz 4.0GHz UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 45W
Core i5-8279U 4 8 2.4GHz 4.1GHz Iris Plus 655 @ 1.15GHz 28W
Core i5-8269U 4 8 2.6GHz 4.2GHz Iris Plus 655 @ 1.10GHz 28W
Core i5-8259U 4 8 2.3GHz 3.8GHz Iris Plus 655 @ 1.05GHz 28W
Core i5-8257U 4 8 1.4GHz 3.9GHz Iris Plus 645 @ 1.05GHz 15W
Core i3-8100B 4 4 3.6GHz N/A UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 65W
Core i3-8100H 4 4 3.0GHz N/A UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 45W
Core i3-8109U 2 4 3.0GHz 3.6GHz Iris Plus 655 @ 1.05GHz 28W
Core i3-L13G4
5 5 0.8GHz 2.8GHz UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 7W
Core i3-10110U
2 4 2.1GHz 4.1GHz UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 15W
Core i3-10110Y
2 4 1.0GHz 4.0Ghz UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 7W
Core i3-8145U
2 4 2.1GHz 3.9GHz UHD 630 @ 1.00GHz 15W
Core i5-10310Y
4 8 1.1GHz 4.10GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 7W
Core i5-10210Y
4 8 1.0GHz 4.0GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 7W
Core i5-10300H
4 8 2.5GHz 4.5GHz UHD 630 @ 1.05GHz 45W
Core i5-10400H 4 8 2.6GHz 4.6GHz UHD 630 @ 1.10GHz 45W
Core i3-1110G4 2 4 1.8GHz 3.9GHz UHD Graphics (for 11th generation processors) @ 1.10GHz 15W
Core i3-1115G4 2 4 3.0GHz 4.1GHz UHD Graphics (for 11th generation processors) @ 1.25GHz 28W
Core i5-1130G7 4 8 4.0GHz N/A Iris Xe (12th generation) @ 1.10GHz 15W
Core i5-1135G7 4 8 4.20GHz N/A Iris Xe (12th generation) @ 1.30GHz 28W

* These two CPUs are part of the Comet Lake generation, which is still classified as 10th-generation, though it uses a 14nm process, giving it higher clock speeds than the other 10th-generation Ice Lake CPUs. Its graphics are far weaker, however, and the CPUs aren’t as impressive clock for clock.

Intel’s laptop lineup is far more expansive than its desktop generation at this time, as it contains four (somewhat) distinct generations of CPUs. The 8th-generation is the most populous and is slowly being replaced by the two 10th-generation architectures. The 9th-generation didn’t make much of a dent in Intel’s mobile business, but it’s still available in a limited form. The newest additions are the four 11th-generation. The two i3s have already launched, but the i5s have only been announced. They should show up soon, though.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but several general rules apply, which we’ll address individually below.

How many cores and threads do you need?

Whether you’re looking at a desktop or mobile CPU, one of the most important considerations is how many cores and threads you need. They can be one of the most apparent differences between higher-end Core i5 and lower-end Core i3 CPUs and can contribute significantly to cost, power demands, and thermal output.

Modern PCs, whether desktop or laptop, are great at performing multiple tasks at once, and having separate cores and (to a lesser extent) different threads to handle those tasks makes for a much faster PC experience. So, if you’re a heavy multitasker who likes to browse the web with lots of tabs open at once, or wants to stream games while playing them, or watch Netflix while working, more cores and threads can help.

There’s no hard and fast rule, as everyone’s needs and uses are different, but here are some general tips:

  • Serious gamers should have, at a minimum, a quad-core CPU, but there is some benefit to having six and even more cores. Higher thread counts are less important, but there is a slight benefit to them. A Core i5 CPU is essential when it comes to gaming. Higher clock speeds and more physical cores boost performance in games with a lot of A.I.-driven NPCS — like Hitman 2 and Civilization VI. 
  • For work and productivity tasks like video editing, transcoding, photo editing, or heavy web browsing, higher thread counts are a real benefit. Six cores are excellent, but you’d also do well with four cores and eight threads if you opt for a CPU with hyperthreading.
  • For general web browsing and media viewing, you can get away with a dual-core CPU with four threads. A full quad-core (even with just four threads) will give you more multitasking performance, but either way, a Core i3 will be more than enough.

Having more cores than you need does provide some measure of future-proofing, but in the here and now, buying what you need is a good idea.

What about clock speed?

The next primary consideration when it comes to system performance is clock speed. That’s the Gigahertz (GHz) rating. For comparable CPUs in the same generation with the same core counts, clock speed has the most significant impact on their capabilities.

If you are looking to perform tasks that need quick bursts of high power, like photo editing, then a higher boost clock (a temporary higher frequency during heavy system load) is going to be of some benefit. If you want more sustained performance, like for gaming, a higher base clock (the lowest clock the chip will run at) is worth aiming for.

Core i5 CPUs tend to have higher clock speeds overall and will deliver more exceptional performance, but there are some Core i3 chips which clock pretty high too — especially on desktop.

Clock speed is more of a linear improvement than core and thread counts. Just about everything is faster with higher clocks, but more cores will deliver more exceptional multithreaded performance than a higher top clock speed in most cases.

11th vs. 10th vs. 9th vs. 8th generation

It’s a confusing time to buy an Intel CPU because there are five different generations of CPUs to pick from: An 11th generation, two 10th generations, a 9th generation, and an 8th generation. There are some unique aspects to each generation, and there is plenty of crossover for even more confusion. But as with other aspects of these CPUs, there are some general rules to consider.

The 8th generation is the oldest and, in general, has the worst performance and efficiency, but that’s not always the case. CPUs from the 9th and 10th generations with comparable specifications will be faster, but an 8th-generation Core i5 chip may still beat a Core i3 from the newer generations in most cases.

On the desktop, 10th-gen is king. There is little point in going back to the eighth-generation unless you find a particularly good deal. The 10th-generation CPUs on desktop launched in April 2020 and differ greatly from same-generation offerings on mobile.

As for those 10th-generation chips on mobile, the Core i5s are far more capable, with much faster clock speeds, making them excellent for gaming and heavy editing tasks. For general web browsing and entry-level gaming, Core i3s are perfectly acceptable. In terms of Ice Lake versus Comet Lake, the latter tends to be faster thanks to higher clock speeds, but the onboard graphics aren’t as good.

Mobile users have access to Intel’s 11th-generation processors, too. In addition to onboard Iris Xe graphics — more on that in the next section — the new Tiger Lake mobile CPUs showcase a massive leap in performance, despite being based on the same architecture as Ice Lake.

In short, the latest is the best. On desktop, that’s 10th-gen Comet Lake, and on mobile, that’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake.

Onboard graphics

Stock photo of Intel 9th gen core processor
Intel Newsroom/Intel Corporation

If you don’t plan to have a graphics card in your PC, then you need to make sure that your CPU has onboard graphics, or you won’t be able to display anything on your monitor(s). Make sure to avoid the CPUs with “F” in their name, as their graphics chip is disabled.

In terms of the Core i5 versus Core i3 debate, desktop chips are pretty much all the same. There’s a few megahertz (MHz) in it, but all the UHD 630 solutions are roughly as fast as each other. They’re suitable for entry-level gaming, but don’t expect great detail or high frames per second.

The new 11th-generation mobile Intel processors include Iris Xe graphics, which is the same architecture Intel plans to use in its upcoming discreet GPUs. Although we don’t have any performance numbers for on-board Iris Xe chips, they’re a significant step up for integrated graphics. A recent benchmark of an Xe-LP chip — the design Intel is using for integrated graphics — showed about 2.3 teraflops for the chip, roughly equaling the performance of a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti.

Of the four new mobile processors, only the two i5s feature Intel’s new graphics tech. Although any form of on-board video is still a far cry from a dedicated graphics card, the new i5s certainly have an edge when it comes to gaming.

If you’re just looking to browse the web and watch Netflix and YouTube, any Core i3 will do. It might be better to hold off until the upcoming Rocket Lake desktop processors hit the market, though. These processors should come with Xe graphics.

Power and thermals

If you want a desktop PC that doesn’t push its cooler(s) too much, then lower-wattage Core i3 CPUs are the way to go. Core i5s will still work with the stock cooler, but with more cores and higher clock speeds (the K-series especially) comes a higher TDP, which means greater demand on your power supply and your cooler. That may make for a noisier PC and could warrant an aftermarket cooler to keep temperatures and noise levels low.

TDP is arguably more important on mobile because it has an impact on weight, size, noise levels, and battery life. Lower TDPs typically means better battery life and a lighter, more portable build, though not always. That would suggest a Core i3 would be better, but it’s essential to take note of the new-generation i5s. Many of those have a broader range of TDP depending on what you’re doing, meaning that they are more efficient and can help extend battery life and keep thermals low through smart power management.

Core i3s will do for most, but don’t discount a Core i5

Making a choice comes down to what you need from your CPU, but Intel doesn’t make it easy with so many available options. Any generation Core i3 CPUs are solid chips for general use that can handle light workloads, media viewing, web browsing, and entry-level gaming with ease.

Modern onboard graphics accompany the 10th-generation CPUs and can significantly outstrip earlier versions and the 11th-generation mobile.

If the Core i3 isn’t up to par with your expectations, you can turn to the Core i5. Although the Core i5 is a greater expense, it proves its worth in improved performance, speed, increased cores, and threads.

It’s important to mention that the Core i5 often comes with higher power and thermal requirements. That being said, make sure that you only purchase what you need or what you will only be using for a short time. Anything additional will future-proof your system; however, it’s also likely that you’ll wind up wasting valuable resources or have more power and thermal obligations than you originally desired.

Editors’ Choice




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Tech News

Razer’s $69 Power Up pack saves you a bundle on awesome gaming gear

Gamers and Razer go together like peas and carrots and today’s deal has everything a budding Cyberpunker needs to get started: Walmart is selling the Razer Power Up Bundle, which includes a gaming keyboard, ambidextrous mouse, and headset, for just $69, a fantastic price for everything you’re getting. Each of these items bought on their own would cost you around $40 each, so you’re saving close to 50 percent.

The keyboard is the Cynosa Lite. We haven’t reviewed this model, but it’ll do nicely for beginning gamers. It’s not a mechanical keyboard, but it does have a spill-resistant design, built-in key rollover and anti-ghosting, programmable macros, and Razer includes a two-year warranty. You also get the Viper ambidextrous mouse, which is a top-notch Razer gaming mouse that works for both right- and left-handed people. It has a very nice ergonomic feel, a 16,000 DPI sensor, Chroma RGB lighting, and eight programmable buttons.

Rounding out the bundle is the Kraken X Lite gaming headset. We didn’t review this version, but we did look at the original Kraken X no-frills headset, giving it 3.5 out of five stars. The Kraken X Lite features 7.1 support, 40mm drivers, a bendable microphone, and it’s around 40 percent lighter than competing headsets.

So whether you’re buying this for yourself or an awesome gift for the novice gamer in your life, this is a solid starter pack at a great price.

[Today’s deal: Razer Power Up gaming peripherals bundle for $69 at Walmart]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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AI

Cloak your photos with this AI privacy tool to fool facial recognition

Ubiquitous facial recognition is a serious threat to privacy. The idea that the photos we share are being collected by companies to train algorithms that are sold commercially is worrying. Anyone can buy these tools, snap a photo of a stranger, and find out who they are in seconds. But researchers have come up with a clever way to help combat this problem.

The solution is a tool named Fawkes, and was created by scientists at the University of Chicago’s Sand Lab. Named after the Guy Fawkes masks donned by revolutionaries in the V for Vendetta comic book and film, Fawkes uses artificial intelligence to subtly and almost imperceptibly alter your photos in order to trick facial recognition systems.

The way the software works is a little complex. Running your photos through Fawkes doesn’t make you invisible to facial recognition exactly. Instead, the software makes subtle changes to your photos so that any algorithm scanning those images in future sees you as a different person altogether. Essentially, running Fawkes on your photos is like adding an invisible mask to your selfies.

Scientists call this process “cloaking” and it’s intended to corrupt the resource facial recognition systems need to function: databases of faces scraped from social media. Facial recognition firm Clearview AI, for example, claims to have collected some three billion images of faces from sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Venmo, which it uses to identify strangers. But if the photos you share online have been run through Fawkes, say the researchers, then the face the algorithms know won’t actually be your own.

According to the team from the University of Chicago, Fawkes is 100 percent successful against state-of-the-art facial recognition services from Microsoft (Azure Face), Amazon (Rekognition), and Face++ by Chinese tech giant Megvii.

“What we are doing is using the cloaked photo in essence like a Trojan Horse, to corrupt unauthorized models to learn the wrong thing about what makes you look like you and not someone else,” Ben Zhao, a professor of computer science at the University of Chicago who helped create the Fawkes software, told The Verge. “Once the corruption happens, you are continuously protected no matter where you go or are seen.”

You’d hardly recognize her. Photos of Queen Elizabeth II before (left) and after (right) being run through Fawkes cloaking software.
Image: The Verge

The group behind the work — Shawn Shan, Emily Wenger, Jiayun Zhang, Huiying Li, Haitao Zheng, and Ben Y. Zhao — published a paper on the algorithm earlier this year. But late last month they also released Fawkes as free software for Windows and Macs that anyone can download and use. To date they say it’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

In our own tests we found that Fawkes is sparse in its design but easy enough to apply. It takes a couple of minutes to process each image, and the changes it makes are mostly imperceptible. Earlier this week, The New York Times published a story on Fawkes in which it noted that the cloaking effect was quite obvious, often making gendered changes to images like giving women mustaches. But the Fawkes team says the updated algorithm is much more subtle, and The Verge’s own tests agree with this.

But is Fawkes a silver bullet for privacy? It’s doubtful. For a start, there’s the problem of adoption. If you read this article and decide to use Fawkes to cloak any photos you upload to social media in future, you’ll certainly be in the minority. Facial recognition is worrying because it’s a society-wide trend and so the solution needs to be society-wide, too. If only the tech-savvy shield their selfies, it just creates inequality and discrimination.

Secondly, many firms that sell facial recognition algorithms created their databases of faces a long time ago, and you can’t retroactively take that information back. The CEO of Clearview, Hoan Ton-That, told the Times as much. “There are billions of unmodified photos on the internet, all on different domain names,” said Ton-That. “In practice, it’s almost certainly too late to perfect a technology like Fawkes and deploy it at scale.”

Comparisons of uncloaked and cloaked faces using Fawkes.
Image: SAND Lab, University of Chicago

Naturally, though, the team behind Fawkes disagree with this assessment. They note that although companies like Clearview claim to have billions of photos, that doesn’t mean much when you consider they’re supposed to identify hundreds of millions of users. “Chances are, for many people, Clearview only has a very small number of publicly accessible photos,” says Zhao. And if people release more cloaked photos in the future, he says, sooner or later the amount of cloaked images will outnumber the uncloaked ones.

On the adoption front, however, the Fawkes team admits that for their software to make a real difference it has to be released more widely. They have no plans to make a web or mobile app due to security concerns, but are hopeful that companies like Facebook might integrate similar tech into their own platform in future.

Integrating this tech would be in these companies’ interest, says Zhao. After all, firms like Facebook don’t want people to stop sharing photos, and these companies would still be able to collect the data they need from images (for features like photo tagging) before cloaking them on the public web. And while integrating this tech now might only have a small effect for current users, it could help convince future, privacy-conscious generations to sign up to these platforms.

“Adoption by larger platforms, e.g. Facebook or others, could in time have a crippling effect on Clearview by basically making [their technology] so ineffective that it will no longer be useful or financially viable as a service,” says Zhao. “Clearview.ai going out of business because it’s no longer relevant or accurate is something that we would be satisfied [with] as an outcome of our work.”

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Security

Dozens of Al Jazeera journalists targeted in apparent iOS spyware attack

36 personal phones belonging to Al Jazeera journalists, producers, anchors, and executives were hacked in a spyware campaign between July and August 2020, a new report from Citizen Lab alleges. The attacks reportedly used Pegasus technology provided by the Israeli firm NSO Group, and are thought to be the work of four operators. Citizen Lab says it has “medium confidence” that one is working on behalf of the UAE government and another for the Saudi government.

The attacks are worrying not just because they appear to show politically-motivated targeting of journalists, but also because they’re part of a trend of using increasingly advanced methods that are harder to detect. According to Citizen Lab, the attacks seem to have used a zero-click exploit to compromise iPhones via iMessage, meaning the attacks happened without the victims needing to do anything, and leave much less of a trace once a device is infected. In July 2020, the exploit chain was a zero-day.

Citizen Lab’s report says “almost all iPhone devices” which haven’t been updated to iOS 14 appear to be vulnerable to the hack, meaning the infections it found are likely to be a “miniscule fraction” of the total number. It has disclosed its findings to Apple, and the company is looking into the issue. Citizen Lab’s analysis suggests the spyware can record audio from a phone (including ambient noise and audio from phone calls), take photos, track location, and access passwords. Devices updated to iOS 14 don’t appear to be affected.

Citizen Lab discovered one of the hacks after Al Jazeera journalist, Tamer Almisshal, allowed the organization to install a VPN on his device because he was worried it might have been compromised. Using this software, Citizen Lab, noticed that his phone visited a suspected installation server for NSO Group’s spyware. Seconds later, his phone uploaded over 200MB of data to three IP addresses for the first time.

As well as the Al Jazeera employees, Citizen Lab reports that a journalist with Al Araby TV, Rania Dridi, was also the victim of hacks using NSO Group’s spyware. These attacks date back to October 2019, and appear to include two zero-day exploits.

This is not the first time allegations have emerged that spyware from NSO Group has been used to target journalists. The Guardian reports that the software has allegedly been used to target journalists in Morocco, as well as political dissidents from Rwanda and Spanish politicians.

When contacted for comment a spokesperson for NSO Group told The Verge that Citizen Lab’s report was based on “speculation” and “lacks any evidence supporting a connection to NSO.”

“NSO provides products that enable governmental law enforcement agencies to tackle serious organized crime and counterterrorism only, and as stated in the past we do not operate them,” the spokesperson said. “However, when we receive credible evidence of misuse with enough information which can enable us to assess such credibility, we take all necessary steps in accordance with our investigation procedure in order to review the allegations.”

As a result of its investigation, Citizen Lab is calling for more regulations over the use of surveillance technology, and for a global moratorium on its sale and transfer until safeguards are put in place to guard against its misuse.

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Computing

Acer Swift 5 (2020) review: This MacBook Air alternative plays Fortnite

Now that Apple’s M1 chip has raised the bar for lightweight laptop performance, there’s a question every ultraportable PC maker must address: Why would someone buy this instead of a MacBook Air?

Well, here’s an answer for the new Acer Swift 5: It’s fast enough to play Fortnite and a bunch of other games that are absent from Apple’s platform, but it still weighs only 2.3 pounds and gets stellar battery life for work or web browsing. It also has a touchscreen and a bunch of useful ports, including HDMI out and USB-A, none of which you’ll find on Apple’s thin-and-light.

That’s not to say it’s any cheaper. With a starting price of $1,000 (and $1,300 on Amazon for our review unit), the Acer Swift 5 is very much a premium ultraportable PC. But with no huge flaws and lots of upsides, it’s well worth putting on your short list.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

Acer Swift 5 specs and features

The $1,300 Acer Swift 5 model we tested (SF514-55TA-74EC) has the following specifications:

CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU

RAM: 16 GB of LPDDR4X RAM

Storage: 1 TB NVMe SSD storage

Display: 14-inch 1080p IPS touchscreen

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Tech News

Pinterest’s new AR feature lets you try on virtual eyeshadow

Shopping online is the primary way people get most of the items they want or need, but there are some downsides: you can’t try on clothes to make sure they’ll fit right and it’s not easy to determine whether a particular makeup color will look good on you. Pinterest has introduced another feature that addresses the latter problem, one that lets you virtually try-on eye shadow before buying it.

The feature is called ‘AR Try on,’ and it is now available for eyeshadows from a few brands: NYX Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Lancome, and YSL. Eyeshadow products listed on Pinterest that are included in this feature will show a small ‘Try on’ button in the bottom right corner of the image, as well as a camera icon.

Tapping this will pull up your phone’s camera in the app, where you’ll be able to scroll through different eyeshadow color options and see them realistically overlaid on your eyelids. The feature is powered by Pinterest’s Lens feature and is available on both iOS and Android.

The platform includes options for filtering the results to specific brands, price ranges, and color, as well as seeing similar products and saving items to a board. The new feature joins Pinterest’s Try on feature for lipstick, which works in the same way and currently includes more than 4,000 lipstick shades.

Users who decide to purchase a product they try on will be directed to the retailer’s website for the transaction, Pinterest notes. This is the latest expansion of the company’s augmented reality features, the most notable being its Lens tool. With this, users can point their phone’s camera at an object, then browse through results featuring similar content.

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Categories
AI

University of Pisa leans into the I/O challenge AI applications create

At a time when workloads that employ machine and deep learning algorithms are being built and deployed more frequently, organizations need to optimize I/O throughput in a way that enables those workloads to cost-effectively share the expensive GPU resources used to train AI models. Case in point: the University of Pisa, which has been steadily expanding the number of GPUs it makes accessible to AI researchers in a green datacenter optimized for high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

The challenge the university has encountered as it deploys AI is that machine learning and deep learning algorithms tend to make more frequent I/O requests to a larger number of smaller files than traditional HPC applications, University of Pisa CTO Maurizio Davini said. To accommodate that, the university has deployed NVMesh software from Excelero that can access more than 140,000 small files per second on Nvidia DGX A100 GPU servers.

While Davini said he generally views AI applications as just another type of HPC workload, the way AI workloads access compute and storage resources requires a specialized approach. The NVMesh software addresses that approach by offloading the increasingly frequent I/O requests, freeing up additional compute resources on the Nvidia servers for training AI models, Davini said.

“We wanted to provide our AI researchers with a better experience,” he said.

University of Pisa CTO Maurizio Davini

Above: University of Pisa CTO Maurizio Davini

Excelero is among a bevy of companies that are moving to address the I/O challenges IT teams will encounter when trying to make massive amounts of data available to AI models. As the number of AI models that organizations build and maintain starts to grow, legacy storage systems can’t keep pace. The University of Pisa deployed Excelero to make sure the overall IT experience of its AI researchers remains satisfactory, Davini said.

Of course, more efficient approaches to managing I/O only begin to solve the data management issues organizations that build their own AI models will encounter. IT teams have tended to manage data as an extension of the application employed to create it. That approach is the primary reason there are so many data silos strewn across the enterprise.

Even more problematic is the fact much of the data in those silos conflicts because different applications might have rendered a company name differently or may not have been updated with the most recent transaction data. Having a single source of truth about a customer or event at any specific moment in time remains elusive.

AI models, however, require massive amounts of accurate data to be trained properly. Otherwise, the models will generate recommendations based on inaccurate assumptions because the data the machine learning algorithms were exposed to was either inconsistent or unreliable. IT organizations are addressing that issue by first investing heavily in massive data lakes to normalize all their data and then applying DataOps best processes, as outlined in a manifesto that describes how to automate as many data preparation and management tasks as possible.

Legacy approaches to managing data based on manual copy and paste processes are one of the primary reasons it takes so long to build an AI model. Data science teams are lucky if they can roll out two AI models a year. Cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer products such as Amazon SageMaker to automate the construction of AI models, increasing the rate at which AI models are created in the months ahead.

But not every organization will commit to building AI models in the cloud. That requires storing data in an external platform, which creates a range of potential compliance issues they might rather avoid. The University of Pisa, for example, finds it easier to convince officials to allocate budget to a local datacenter than to give permission to access an external cloud, Davini noted.

Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate the data management friction that has long been a plague on IT by adopting a set of DataOps processes that are similar in nature to the DevOps best practices widely employed to streamline application development and deployment. However, all the best practices in the world won’t make much of a difference if the underlying storage platform is simply too slow to keep up.

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