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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (4/22/23) | Main | EMT 4/23/23
April 23, 2023

Daily Tech News 23 April 2023

Top Story

  • The 7730U isn't a 6800U, but the 7735U is. AMD's 7000-series numbering is even worse than I thought.

  • We all contribute to the municipal sewage system. Should we get paid? (Tech Crunch)

    Actually they're talking about AI, but the same principle applies. If your output had any value, you would have been paid already.

    Sam Altman-Fried, CEO of OpenAI, thinks sewer-contributors should be paid. This is because his company has an intrinsic value in the millions but a temporary market cap in the billions, and he wants urgently to pull up the ladder behind him before anyone else can climb up and shove him off the ledge.

Tech News

  • HP's Omen 17 has the best keyboard layout of any laptop. (Notebook Check)

    It not only has the Four Essential Keys, but a full desktop cursor section (thirteen keys in total) and six programmable macro keys to the left of the main keyboard section.

    Other than that there's either a 16-core 13700HX or a 24-core 13900HX CPU - both of them power-hungry beasts, but this is a 17" gaming laptop so that is rather what you'd expect to find, a choice of Nvidia RTX 4060/70/80/90 graphics, up to 64GB of RAM and 16TB of SSD (if you install your own), and a 2560x1440 165Hz or 240Hz screen covering close to 100% of sRGB. Not perfect for artists or video editors, but just fine for most users.

    Large and heavy (2.8kg) but that goes with the territory.

    I hadn't noticed before that this has the six macro keys; that's true of last year's model as well, which is currently selling at 30% off with a 3080 Ti.

  • But this is probably not the year to spend big on a hot and heavy gaming laptop, because next year everything is going to change. (WCCFTech)

    AMD's Zen 5 chips will be coming out in the latter half of 2024, both desktop and laptop.

    Fire Range will replace Dragon Range in high-end laptops, swapping 16 Zen 5 cores for the current 16 Zen 4 cores. Nothing dramatic but probably about 25% faster.

    Strix Point will replace the current Phoenix chips for mid-range laptops, upping the current 8 Zen 4 cores to 12 Zen 5 cores, and 12 RDNA3 graphics cores to 16 RDNA3+ cores. That will give a nice graphics boost - comparable to a dedicated RTX 3050 - and a huge CPU boost, bringing next year's midrange just behind the fastest laptops available today.

    And then there's Strix Point Halo. This will offer 16 Zen 5 cores, 40 RDNA3+ graphics cores, and a 256-bit memory bus. That should be able to match not an RTX 3050 but a (laptop) RTX 4070. The laptop 4070 is basically a desktop 4060 which is comparable to a 3070 Ti, or if that's too complicated for you, it should be faster than an Xbox Series X or Playstation 5.

    This chip will use 90W of power, but in a gaming laptop with an Intel CPU and Nivida graphics, both of those chips are using more than 90W of power right now.

    It's very unlikely we'll see this in a laptop with upgradeable RAM - they rarely include even one DIMM slot, so four is out of the question - but with the 256-bit bus manufacturers will finally be forced to include at least 32GB.

  • Speaking of laptop manufacturers, we hates them. I'm still looking for a laptop that fits my needs:

    - A 13" or 14" QHD+ screen (that is, 2560x1440 or higher)
    - The Four Essential Keys
    - Upgradeable RAM or at least 32GB of fixed RAM
    - Graphics that don't entirely suck - at least equal to AMD's 6800U's integrated graphics

    What is actually available?

    - HP's new Pavilion Aero, with a 13" 2560x1600 screen, a 6800U processor, exactly the keyboard layout I want, and a maximum of 16GB of RAM

    - Also from HP the Pavilion Plus 14, with a 2880x1800 OLED screen, a 12700H processor, exactly the keyboard layout I want, and a maximum of 16GB of RAM

    - From Gigabyte the Aero 14 (the industry ran out of names and has to recycle), with a 14" 2880x1800 OLED display, a 13700H processor, Nvidia RTX 4050 graphics, exactly the keyboard layout I want, and a maximum of 16GB of RAM

    - From Asus the Rog Zephyrus G14, with a 14" 2560x1600 screen, an AMD 7940HS processor (which already has integrated graphics that are fast enough for me), Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics as well, 16GB of fixed ram but also a free slot for another 16GB or 32GB, four programmable macro keys... And no sign of the Four Essential Keys.

    - Also from Asus the Zenbook 14, with another 14" 2880x1880 OLED screen, an Intel 13900H CPU, Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics, 32GB of fixed RAM... And neither macro keys nor the Four Essential Keys.

    - Also from Asus the Zenbook Pro Duo 14, with yet another of those 14" 2880x1800 OLED screens plus a 2880x864 LCD touchscreen, an Intel 13900H processor, Nvidia RTX 4050 graphics, 32GB of fixed RAM, no Four Essential Keys but with that second touch screen you can configure as many keys as you want... But not only is it expensive but with that second screen there is no palm rest so it's basically impossible to use unless you're sitting at a desk and if I was sitting at a desk I wouldn't need a laptop. (Except for a couple of days a year.)

    - The Framework Laptop, with a 13" 2256x1504 display, a selection of CPUs with Zen 4 chips on the way, up to 64GB of RAM and whatever SSD you want, configurable I/O ports, and 21 available keyboard layouts not a single one of which includes the Four Essential Keys.

    - From Lenovo the ThinkPad L14 G3, with a Ryzen 5875U CPU, up to 64GB of RAM, the Four Essential Keys albeit not quite where I would like them, and a truly mediocre 14" 1080p screen. (The same colour problems I mentioned with Acer's laptops.)

    - Lenovo's ThinkPad E14 Intel edition, with the 4EK and upgradeable RAM, but a mediocre screen and a mediocre CPU, though they do have the option of mediocre dedicated graphics.

    - Lenovo's ThinkPad T14s, again with the 4EK but a mediocre screen and 16GB of soldered RAM.

    - Lenovo's ThinkPad Z13 which is 30% off right now, with a Ryzen 6850U, up to 32GB of fixed RAM, a 13" 2880x1800 OLED display (there's a lot of that going about), and unlike every other ThinkPad ever made no sign of the Four Essential Keys.

    - Lenovo's ThinkPad P14s Gen 3 AMD, with - wait. That option wasn't there yesterday. With the Four Essential Keys though not in my preferred layout, a Ryzen 6850U CPU so solid performance and good integrated graphics at low power, up to 32GB of soldered RAM, a good selection of I/O ports including wired Ethernet, and a build-to-order option of a 14" 3840x2400 colour-calibrated display covering 100% of DCI-P3.

    Only problem is, it is not 30% off right now, with all the build-to-order options it costs A$4000.

    - And finally Lenovo's - yes, again - ThinkPad P14s Gen 3 Intel edition, with a 1240P CPU, Nvidia T550 workstation graphics which are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to workstation graphics but are about as fast as the integrated graphics in the Ryzen 6850U above which means at least passable, 8GB or 16GB of soldered RAM but also a free RAM slot so you can go up to 40GB albeit not in dual-channel mode - and is 30% off right now.

    Lenovo alone sells 76 models of 13" and 14" laptops, and even they only come close to getting it right when you go through every single build-to-order option.

    Also, they're the only major manufacturer in Australia that still does build-to-order.

    I think the solution is to buy two laptops. It's actually cheaper to buy two mass-produced 16GB models than one built-to-order 32GB model with the specs I want.

  • The best small tablets you can buy today. (ZDNet)

    Spoiler: It's the iPad Mini and a bunch of suck.

I Need a Little Pick-Me-Up After Spending Four Hours Combing Through Laptop Specs Anime Music Video of the Day

Disclaimer: If you can't always get what you want, want the thing you have.
digg this
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