Computers

NVIDIA launches the new RTX 2000 series

Promises movie-like quality for games

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Throughout the years, video games have slowly edged closer to movie-like picture quality. As of late, cinematic video games — like The Last of Us — have begun their long renaissance. Now, NVIDIA has unveiled a new series of graphics cards that pushes that boundary even further.

The newly launched GeForce RTX 2000 series leaps miles apart from NVIDIA’s long-reigning GTX 1080 video card. Specifically, the series comes in three variants — the RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti.


Powered by the Turing architecture, the new series attempts to solve the industry’s problems. Most importantly, the RTX 2000 series highlights ray tracing, a feature missing from video cards before now.

Traditionally, video games have trouble rendering lighting. Usually, games fall into two categories: terribly drawn lighting which clashes haphazardly with stunning textures, or power-hungry graphics that tank your frames-per-second rate to single digits.

Ray tracing vastly improves how light interacts with surfaces. With the feature, the series brings professional-level graphics to a mass market. In terms of performance, the RTX 2000 cards promise six times the capabilities of the previous GTX 1080.

For starters, the RTX 2070 comes with 2304 CUDA cores and 8GB GDDR6 RAM. The midrange RTX 2080 offers 2944 CUDA cores and the same amount of RAM. Finally, the flagship RTX 2080 Ti boasts 4352 CUDA cores and 11GB GDDR6 RAM.

Already, the series promises support for upcoming games: Battlefield V, Metro Redux, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Upon launch, the RTX 2070 retails for US$ 499. The midrange RTX 2080 sells for US$ 699. Finally, the RTX 2080 Ti sells for US$ 999. All three cards will also come with Founders Edition variants selling for US$ 599, US$ 799, and US$ 1,199, respectively. The series will officially launch on September 20.

SEE ALSO: NVIDIA Titan V breaks benchmarks and banks

Computers

Apple iMac now with new Core i9 processor, gets 2x performance boost

With improved graphics, too!

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Apple iMac | Image credit: Apple

After the new iPads, Apple is now shifting the focus to desktops. The Cupertino company has blessed its iMac lineup with new processors and graphics for improved performance. For the first time, it now has the option for ninth-generation Intel processors and new Radeon Pro Vega graphics.

Physically, the 2019 iMac remains the same. It’s an all-in-one computer encased in aluminum and glass enclosure with two display sizes: 21.5- and 27-inch. Complete with a matching keyboard and mouse, the new iMac still delivers an uncluttered desktop experience.


For the new iMac, it’s what inside that counts. The 21.5-inch iMac now features Intel’s eight-generation six-core processors, while the bigger 27-inch iMac can offer up to an eight-core Intel Core i9 processor which promises 2.4 times faster performance.

Apple iMac 21-inch (left) and 27-inch (right)

Graphics-wise, this year’s iMac is a powerful desktop machine. Both the 21.5- and 27-inch iMac feature new Radeon Pro Vega graphics. The new graphics of the updated iMac will be able to deliver up to 80 percent better graphics performance, according to Apple.

The new iMacs will come equipped with high-quality 4K and 5K Retina Displays featuring 500 nits of brightness and P3 wide color gamut. Of course, the latest macOS Mojave comes pre-installed on all of the new models.

All of these new specs don’t come cheap, though. The new 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display starts at US$ 1,299 in the US or SG$ 1,899 in Singapore. Meanwhile, the new 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display starts at US$ 1,799 or SG$ 2,599.

Both are available to order starting today from Apple’s website and the Apple Store app. Physical Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers will have them on display next week.

SEE ALSO: New iPad Air and iPad mini improve on performance, add Pencil support

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CES 2019

LG’s UltraWide and UltraGear monitors are coming to CES 2019

Meant for productivity and gaming

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LG UltraWide

CES 2019 is almost here, and when it begins, we’ll have new monitors from LG to enjoy.

The first one is the 49-inch UltraWide monitor (model name 49WL95), which has a long 32:9 aspect ratio. That’s like have two standard 16:9 screens combined!


It has a 5120 x 1440 resolution that spans the immersive curved IPS panel. With its 99 percent sRGB colors space and support for HDR10, it’s ideal for both work and play. There’s even a USB-C port that can charge a connected laptop or smartphone with 85W of power.

LG UltraGear

Next is the 38-inch UltraGear (38GL950G), a more manageable 21:9 monitor that’s geared towards gaming. It’s backed by NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology for smoother gameplay on the 144Hz refresh rate, as well as its 3840 x 1600 resolution and curved Nano IPS panel.

To give it a more gamer feel, Sphere Lighting is available to light up the back of the monitor with six color settings for you to choose from. This complements the 98 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut in front.

No pricing or availability details have been provided by LG, but both monitors will be shown at CES 2019, happening from January 8 to 11.

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Computers

ASUSPRO D340MC is designed with budget-conscious workers in mind

Prioritizes security and endurance

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ASUSPRO is known for producing reliable laptops, but did you business-grade desktop computers are part of its portfolio, too?

The D340MC is an example of this, and it delivers on several fronts. It may seem like a standard boxy PC at first, but most of the features are on the inside.


But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this is how it looks:

It definitely has a strong presence on any desk

Check out that port selection and DVD drive

The keyboard and mouse are part of the package

There’s lots of ventilation for cooling

Here’s a closer look at its ports

It’s easy to upgrade as needed

This is certainly a no-frills, get-the-job-done type of PC. Fortunately, it comes with good specs to show off: an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, up to 32GB of memory, 1TB of HDD storage, and a simple GeForce GT 720 graphics card to get you going.

But should really interest you are the reliability and endurance. The company claims the unit goes through rigorous quality tests in diverse environments, uses solid capacitors to lengthen lifespan, and produces little noise thanks to the thermal design.

The ASUSPRO D340MC starts at around US$ 600, but with its upgradability, it’s easy to give it more power when needed.

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