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Computing

Intel Raptor Lake unleashes monstrous power requirements

While we already know that Intel Raptor Lake is likely to introduce some hefty power requirements, it seems that Intel may have a plan to deliver even more performance — at a staggering cost.

According to a new leak, Intel will allegedly add a factory overclock mode to the flagship Core i9-13900K, bringing the performance up to a new level alongside a monstrous power limit of 350 watts.

Wccftech

First reported by ProHardver, this extreme power limit comes as a surprise, but perhaps not entirely. We’ve already seen 13th-gen Intel processors hitting quite high overclocks, and the Core i9-13900K was spotted reaching higher numbers than any of them, maxing out at 345 watts. The difference is that this was all done through manual overclocking, and today’s leak suggests something else entirely — a factory mode prepared by Intel that will help you push your new CPU to the very limit.

The Raptor Lake-S CPU is said to support the 350-watt power limit on top of the default power limits that max out at 241 watts. This won’t be available on all motherboards. Intel’s next-gen CPUs remain backward compatible with current Intel 600-series motherboards, but to make use of the new power limit, users will presumably need one of the high-end 700-series boards instead. On these motherboards, you will have the option to boost your Core i9-13900K up to 350 watts.

With that feature enabled, the overall performance of the CPU is said to increase by up to 15%, which is pretty massive. Considering that Intel Raptor Lake is already said to bring in significant performance gains over Alder Lake, we could have an intensely powerful processor on our hands in just a few months.

Intel itself is yet to confirm the official specs for the new flagship, but most rumors point toward it being decked out with 24 cores (eight P-cores and 16 E-cores) and 32 threads as well as a clock speed of up to 5.8GHz. That frequency will likely be challenged by overclockers — we’ve already seen the Core i7-13700K breaking past the 6GHz barrier in an early benchmark, and these are still just engineering samples.

Left:
Under the power and current unlimited setting.
(default frequency, almost 340-350w)
Right:
Under the power limited setting.
(default frequency, almost 250w) pic.twitter.com/rxISzs55eU

— Raichu (@OneRaichu) August 7, 2022

This type of power comes at a price — 350 watts is a lot. You’ll need one beefy power supply unit (PSU) and appropriate CPU cooling to be able to support this kind of power consumption. If you pair the Core i9-13900K with one of Nvidia’s next-gen RTX 4000-series graphics cards, the power requirements are really going to be quite staggering. A 1,200-watt PSU will probably be a necessity in such a setup.

Intel is likely to reveal the lineup during its upcoming Intel Innovation event on September 27, and until then, the above will remain nothing but an exciting rumor. AMD is also readying its Zen 4 processors, which are now rumored to release on September 27 — the same day as the Raptor Lake announcement.

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Computing

Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPU requirements are raising eyebrows

Intel has released the requirements for its Arc Alchemist range for desktops, which reveal a rather peculiar tidbit.

Team Blue’s Arc Alchemist desktop series of GPUs will seemingly require a Resizable BAR feature in order to ensure “optimal performance.”

As reported by VideoCardz, the aforementioned document lists support for a total of three Intel CPU series, including its 12th-gen Core Alder Lake and 600 series motherboards, the 11th-gen Core Rocket Lake and 500 series, and the 10th-gen Core Comet Lake series and the 400 range of chipsets.

The guide naturally doesn’t make specific mention of any other platforms from competitors, but VideoCardz suggests that AMD-powered Smart Access Memory systems could be supported as “support for more platforms will be added at a later time.”

As for the Resizable BAR requirement that was listed in the document, the feature is a necessity to deliver ‘optimal performance in all applications’.

However, Intel has not confirmed whether the Arc Alchemist lineup of GPUs for desktops will function without Resizable BAR. This question is understandably worrying for the GPU community considering the fact that ReBAR is not something that is enabled on every single motherboard, as noted by VideoCardz.

As such, this could cause some confusion among those who buy an Arc Alchemist GPU in the future.

Elsewhere, the document shows how motherboards will need to offer a full-size PCI Express 3.0 (or newer) x16 slot in order to be compatible with Arc boards.

An Intel Arc Alchemist laptop with the Arc logo displayed.
Intel

What’s going on with Arc Alchemist?

Intel’s Arc Alchemist launch for both laptops and desktops has not gotten off to a great start, and that’s putting it lightly. After what can only be described as a botched release pattern for its mobile version of Arc GPUs, the highly anticipated ranges of Team Blue’s desktop GPUs were delayed for an umpteenth time.

The Arc A3 GPU series is set to usher in the desktop lineup, although they can only be acquired by buying a pre-built PC. Furthermore, they are only available in China before expanding into other regions, which has yet to materialize.

And with Intel deciding to forgo the recent Computex event, which was a perfect event to re-introduce Arc Alchemist to the world, you have to start wondering what the real story is behind Arc’s unprecedented launch troubles.

In any case, time is running out: Next-gen graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD are due for a launch in the coming months, and they will, by all accounts, offer a much more attractive GPUs for similar prices to the Arc range.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

God of War PC requirements revealed: What you’ll need for top performance

Next month, we’ll see what is almost certainly the biggest Sony PC release yet. After bringing Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone to PC, Sony will be bringing 2018’s God of War to the platform in January. Today, Sony’s Santa Monica Studio revealed the PC specifications for the game, and it looks like it will run on a rather large array of configurations.

Santa Monica Studios/Sony

Minimum specs and maximum performance

Sony Santa Monica shared lists for five different specifications today, starting with the minimum required specifications ranging all the way up to the hardware needed to run God of War at ultra settings. As you might imagine, there’s a pretty big disparity between those two specs, with “recommended,” “high,” and “performance” specs in between.

The minimum required specifications will be good enough to run the game on the low graphics preset in 720p at 30fps, which isn’t great. Still, we work with what we’ve got in the world of PC gaming, and if you have at least an NVIDIA GTX 960 (4GB)/AMD R9 290X (4GB) GPU in your rig along with an Intel Core i5-2500k/AMD Ryzen 3 1200 CPU and 8GB of RAM, it’s good enough to run God of War.

Compare that to the ultra specification, and you’ll see just how big the difference between the minimum and maximum are. In order to run God of War on the ultra graphics preset in 4K at 60fps, you’ll need an RTX 3080 (10GB)/RX 6800 XT (16GB) along with an Intel Core i9-9900k/AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and 16GB of RAM. Considering how hard it is to get both the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT, we’re guessing that most gamers will probably have to settle for a lower spec.

Santa Monica Studios/Sony

Thankfully, that’s what is required to run the game at 4K60, so lower resolutions will ease up on the hardware requirements a fair amount. You can check the other specifications in the image we’ve embedded above, but hardware specifications aren’t the only thing Sony’s Santa Monica Studio revealed about the PC version of God of War today.

The studio also confirmed today that God of War will support NVIDIA DLSS in rigs with an RTX GPU, which uses supersampling to allow the game to run at higher resolutions without sacrificing framerates. The game will also support NVIDIA Reflex to cut back on system latency, though that requires at least a GTX 900-series GPU. Finally, God of War will support AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution, so Sony Santa Monica’s partnership with NVIDIA doesn’t mean that AMD users have to be left out in the cold.

You can see a sampling of God of War‘s PC features in the trailer above. Otherwise, look for God of War to land on Steam and the Epic Games Store on January 14th, 2022.

Sony’s PC game port plans

God of War screenshot

Sony/PlayStation Blog

In March 2020, PlayStation Worldwide Studios head Herman Hulst confirmed Sony’s plan at the time to bring Horizon Zero Dawn to PC (via PS Blog). The port raised new questions about the company’s plans for future major PlayStation exclusive games and whether they, too, would eventually make their way to desktop. At the time, Hurst reassured PlayStation fans that Sony is “very committed to dedicated hardware” and “very committed to quality exclusives.”

With that said, Hurst also went on to note that the company was “going to be very open to experimentation,” one example of which was the eventual Horizon Zero Dawn PC release. The studio’s leader indicated bringing a major PS game to PC served as a way to “introduce more people to PlayStation,” potentially making them aware of the kinds of games they can enjoy if they pick up a PlayStation console.

Hurst went on to state that “releasing one first-party AAA title to PC doesn’t necessarily mean that every game now will come to PC.” The statement left many doubtful that select other major PlayStation titles — including God of War — would make their way to PC. Fast-forward nearly two years and it’s clear Sony is continuing with this plan, though if the trend holds, it looks like PC gamers can expect to wait a couple of years after a major game’s release before it (potentially) makes its way to desktop systems.

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Tech News

Windows 11 feature-specific requirements revealed

This week Microsoft revealed Windows 11 and a whole bunch of new feature-specific requirements for new machines. The vast majority of features revealed this week for Windows 11 will work with most machines. Most of the stuff you’ve seen in the preview and promo videos for Windows 11 will work on your average PC. Today we’re taking a peek at the list of features Microsoft calls out in their “Windows 11 Specifications” for “Feature-specific requirements for Windows 11.” This goes beyond the minimum!

Connectivity Requirements

A lot of the features listed on Microsoft’s requirements list are fairly obvious. The first – alphabetically – is 5G support. To be able to access 5G features, a user requires a 5G capable modem.

If you’re attempting to connect to Wi-Fi 6E, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router. You’ll also need new WLAN IHV hardware and the latest drivers for said hardware.

If you plan on connecting to the Xbox app and playing games either locally or in the cloud, you’ll need an Xbox Live Account. This sort of account is not available in all regions of the world. You may also need an active Xbox Game Pass subscription to use some features in the Xbox app.

Display Stuff

If you’re going to work with “Auto HDR” in Windows 11, you’re going to need a monitor that’s capable of displaying HDR. You’ll need a display that’s at least 1920 pixels (effective pixels) or greater to work with three-column layouts with Snap.

If you want to use any and all Touch features in Windows 11, you’ll need a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch. You can’t just touch your display and expect it to work like a touchscreen unless you actually have a touchscreen in the first place.

Windows Projection in Windows 11 requires a display adapter with full support for Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0. You’ll also need a Wi-Fi adapter with support for Wi-Fi Direct.

Audio / Video Requirements

If you’re planning on using Cortana, you’ll need a microphone and speaker – either connected to your PC or built-in. At the time this article is set to be published, Cortana is available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States. If you want to use Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA), you’ll also need a microphone and speaker.

You’ll need a video camera, speaker, and microphone to use Intelligent Video Conferencing. You’ll also need hardware and software that specifically supports Spatial Sound if you plan on using Spatial Sound with Windows 11 – the app and the speakers, that is.

You’ll need a video camera, a speaker, and a microphone in order to use “Mute/Unmute from Taskbar.” You’ll also need to MAKE SURE that the app you’re attempting to mute is compatible with global mute/unmute. We must assume that most apps will be compatible with this feature right out the gate – otherwise, this could lead to some embarrassing issues.

If you’re using Teams in Windows – any version of Windows – you’ll need a video camera, microphone, and at least one speaker. You’ll also need a microphone in or connected with your PC in order to use Voice Typing.

Windows 11 Wake on Voice feature requires that your PC have a microphone. Wake on Voice ALSO requires a machine that is capable of supporting Modern Standby – but chances are that if you have a PC that supports Windows 11, it’ll also support Modern Standby. That’s not guaranteed, but it is likely.

Next-Gen Sensors

Windows 11 “Presence” will require that you have a sensor that can detect human “intent to interact” with your device OR human distance from device.

Two-factor Authentication can be used in multiple ways – you could just have a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. You could also just use a PIN code, or your PC could have biometric login tech, including a fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared camera.

Working with Windows Hello does not require biometric sensors, and can instead use a PIN or portable Microsoft compatible security key. If you want to use biometric authentication with Windows Hello, you’ll need a PC with a fingerprint reader or camera configured for near infrared (IR) imaging.

Storage and Keys

To use BitLocker to Go, you’ll need a USB flash drive. You’ll need Windows Pro (or higher) to use this feature in the first place. You’ll also need Windows Pro and above editions to work with Client Hyper-V, which also requires a processor with second level address translation capabilities (also known as SLAT).

DirectStorage will require that you have an NVMe SSD to store and run games using a “Standard NVM Express Controller” driver – you’ll also need a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support. If you’re looking for DirectX 12 Ultimate action you’ll need a graphics chip that specifically supports said tech – and a game that makes use of DirectX 12 Ultimate, too.

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Tech News

Windows 11 TPM and other requirements added to PC Health Check

PC Health Check was given an update this week shortly after complaints by Windows 11 seekers on reveal week. This being the week in which Windows 11 was first revealed, PC Health Check was a very popular download from Microsoft. Microsoft provides PC Health Check as a simple means for automatic checking many things, including requirements for a PC’s future upgrade to Windows 11.

Before PC Health Check was updated today, users would potentially see a relatively vague message with “This PC can’t run Windows 11”. All the alert would add after this was “While this PC doesn’t meet the system requirements to run Windows 11, you’ll keep getting Windows 10 updates.” The application linked the user to a Windows 11 requirements page online, but required that users do their own research from that point on.

The new version of PC Health Check makes the whole process more instantly actionable. If the user checks their PC for compatibility with a potential upgrade to Windows 11 and their PC does not meet requirement, a slightly more detailed explanation of the reasons why it does not meet requirements is shown.

Microsoft Director of OS Security David Weston revealed the update this afternoon with several examples of results users might seen when checking their PC for Windows 11 compatibility. A user may see the message “the PC must support Secure Boot” or “the processor isn’t supported for Windows 11” or “the system disk needs to be 64 GB or larger.”

The most likely candidate for a “can’t run Windows 11” message is “TPM 2.0 is a requirement for running Windows 11.” Even the most powerful and connected PCs aren’t compatible with Windows 11 if they do not have TPM 2.0. The Trusted Platform Module tech overview page at Microsoft shows more about what TPM does and which machines work with said technology.

You might also want to take a peek at why TPM 2.0 is non-negotiable for Windows 11. Microsoft isn’t budging on this one.

A wide variety of PC makers have released PCs in the last few years with support for TPM 2.0. Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Acer, ASUS, and Microsoft itself have created TPM 2.0 capable devices. If you’ve purchased a PC in the last half-decade, you probably have a PC that’s capable of using TPM 2.0, or already has TPM 2.0 switched on by default – provided you have the most recent firmware update for your machine.

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Categories
Game

Diablo 2: Resurrected PC requirements shouldn’t shock you (yet)

PC requirements for the game Diablo 2: Resurrected are not particularly monstrous. If you run Diablo 2 on your computer right now, chances are you’ll be able to run Diablo 2: Resurrected with little change or upgrade. This is, of course, for the most basic and low-resolution version of the game, but still – it’s none too wild!

Blizzard revealed the PC specification requirements to the masses this week as they confirmed several suspicions held by those players of the original. We found out that the new game would not simply replace the old game. We found out the new game will have its own new servers so the gamers who play the original will not be thrown off their game when the new game is released.

Specification minimum requirements (720p):
• Operating System – Windows 10
• Processor: Intel Core i3-3250/AMD FX-4350
• Graphics (GPU): NVIDIA GTX 660/AMD Radeon HD 7850
• Memory: 8 GB RAM
• Storage: 30 GB
• Internet: Broadband Internet connection
• Resolution: 1280 x 720

Specification minimum requirements (1080p):
• Operating System – Windows 10
• Processor: Intel Core i5-9600k/AMD Ryzen 5 2600
• Graphics (GPU): NVIDIA GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
• Memory: 16 GB RAM
• Storage: 30 GB
• Internet: Broadband Internet connection
• Resolution: 1920 x 1080

If we’re waiting beyond the suggested timeframe for release for this game, per the Battle.Net shop preorder, it’ll be a shock. The game is basically the same as the original with vastly improved graphics – surely the launch won’t be too taxing on Blizzard’s developer crews. It’s suggested by Blizzard that Diablo II: Resurrected will be released “on or before December 2021.”

ALSO of note: You’ll need an internet connection (as noted above), but you’ll also need the official Blizzard Battle.net desktop app to load this game, even if you purchase any sort of physical edition. You’ll also need a Blizzard registration to play.

Now, if we find out that the game can be played with a far, far larger display with many, many more pixels and magically vastly improved graphics with the newest in new graphics processors, then, THEN we’ll be shocked. It’ll be a real trick making this old (and classic, and still very playable) game look like new – we shall see!

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