In this hardware news episode, we're announcing our charity drive to support Australian wildlife affected by bushfires, including a special charity auction modmat, and we're also covering notable topics in the industry. Cyberpunk 2077 gets coverage, X670 / 600-series chipsets for AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs are up for discussion, big Navi rumors are debunked, Microsoft is going carbon negative, and more.
Show notes continue after the video.
GamersNexus Charity Drive for Animals Affected by Australian Bushfires
In our news video, we announced a charity effort to raise money for wildlife recovery and rescue operations in Australia. Specifically, we're going to be donating toward Wildlife Rescue South Coast and Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Hospital, two non-profit organizations focused on saving animals near bushfires. We've listed a special Large Modmat autographed by several YouTubers and overclockers on eBay, and will be donating 100% of its sales revenue toward Wildlife Rescue South Coast in Australia. Separately, we've also donated $1500 USD toward the organization and invite our viewers to match us collectively. As another option to support the charities, for those of you who were planning to buy something from us anyway, we will also be donating 10% of our total GN store revenue through February 19, 2020 toward these two charities. Of course, if you'd rather give straight to the organization and bypass us, we are 100% OK with that and have provided helpful links below. If you were planning to buy our stuff anyway, though, now is a good time.
Charities we are supporting for wildlife recovery in Australia are listed below. We are going to list other charity auction items over the next few weeks. They will take turns benefiting the different charities and rescue organizations listed below:
This is more game news, but it relates to hardware since so much of the industry is building around Cyberpunk’s launch. Cyberpunk 2077, as you’ve all heard by now, has been delayed past its April launch and toward a September 17, 2020 launch. The game has been in development for what feels like forever, and CD Projekt Red recently released a statement saying:
“We are currently at a stage where the game is complete and playable, but there’s still work to be done. Night City is massive -- full of stories, content, and places to visit, but due to the sheer scale and complexity of it all, we need more time to finish playtesting, fixing, and polishing. We want Cyberpunk 2077 to be our crowning achievement for this generation, and postponing launch will give us the precious months we need to make the game perfect.”
Similar to when AMD delayed its 3950X launch and a lot of commenters were irate, we’d like to remind everyone that, ultimately, this is what the game and hardware industries need: We constantly complain about products that needed fixes that could have been done if the company had only waited a few month, and this is a company realizing that. Of course, now that CDPR has said the game is “complete” and only needs “polishing,” there’s a lot more pressure to make sure it’s not buggy or poorly performing at launch. Scrutiny will increase knowing that they’ll have most of the year to clean things up.
Without knowing further details, we do think that it’s the right decision, in general, to delay products to ensure they don’t suck when they launch.
Rumor: Xbox Series X SSD Could Use Phison Controller
A recent report from Digitimes claims that Phison has reportedly “broken into the supply chain of Microsoft's Xbox,” which goes on to suggest that Microsoft’s next console will have SSDs based on Phison controllers. We could also further speculate that the controllers would support PCIe 4.0.
Phison was the first to market with a client-oriented PCIe 4.0 SSD controller, taking the form of the PS5016-E16. We also know Phison is prepping the more high-end PS5018-E18 that is supposedly capable of 7GB/s throughput. Then there’s the more mainstream PS5019-E19T that’s supposed to offer around ~4 GB/s throughput.
Both controllers are due sometime in 2020, and the NVMe SSD that comes with the Xbox Series X could end up sporting a controller modeled after one of them, if we were guessing. Or, it could be based on some variant of Phison’s E16 controller, which has already proven popular. Given that Phison was first to market with PCIe 4.0 and has already had at least one controller on the market for sometime now, it does put the company in an advantageous position to supply next-gen consoles.
Another report by Digitimes has pegged AMD’s next 600-series chipset as landing by the end of 2020, despite the fact that we’ve still not seen B550 or A520 -- those chipsets are purportedly slated for Q120, but at this point, we’ll believe it when we see it.
However, according to Digitime’s sources, ASMedia has already secured contracts to build AMD’s 600-series chipsets that should accompany Ryzen 4000. Ryzen 4000 is rumored for release in the second half of the year, likely late summer, after Computex. So, these two rumors do align, to an extent.
ASMedia is also working on a USB 4 chip, which it plans to bring to market this year. It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, that has on AMD’s next AM4 chipset. AMD’s X570 heralded the arrival of PCIe 4.0 for consumers, and AMD could very well offer the first motherboards supporting the new USB standard.
In an online landscape that is becoming increasingly more concerned with privacy -- and it should be -- it seems Verizon would like a piece of that pie, because of course it does.
Verizon’s newest venture seemingly positions the company -- the same one that routinely violates net neutrality and has been caught red-handed selling the data of its wireless customers to third parties -- as your next privacy provider. Verizon has also staunchly opposed legislation aimed at strengthening the level of privacy afforded to consumers, such as obtaining opt-in consent from customers before ravaging their data for monetary purposes. But hey, giant telecom conglomerates can change, right? After all, privacy is nothing if not profitable.
We’ll take this opportunity to remind you that DuckDuckGo is a better option.
If you’ve noticed that a lot of electronic devices have stopped shipping with chargers, sometimes only including cables, that’s overall a good thing. Most devices trust that, by now, you probably have at least one trusted charger for small devices, if not a drawer full of them. The waste produced by chargers is tremendous, and a recent report by the European Parliament indicates that device chargers alone produce 51,000 metric tons of e-waste annually. The European Union believes that unifying charging under one standard would reduce this waste, and it’s probably right.
If only there were some sort of… universal standard. Like a universal bus of some kind. That’s probably it: UBS -- Universal Bus of Some Kind. Well, anyway, Apple is currently the primary company threatened by the EU’s desire to enforce a single charging standard on mobile devices.
Apple likes to think itself a sophistocrat, of course, and so we suspect it’ll probably find a way to comply with the potential new law while also still acting in its usual sanctimonious ways. Switching fully to inductive charging wouldn’t surprise us: Apple hates efficient things and likes generating as much e-waste as possible, so they’ll probably ship inductive charging stations and blast the batteries to wear them out faster. Alternatively, moving everything to USB Type-C would be great.
Microsoft posted a blog update about its plans to become carbon negative in just ten years, not planning to stop at being carbon neutral. The company, formerly helmed by Gates who presently has investments in renewable energy and carbon capture companies, announced that it hopes to lead by example, stating the following:
“The world’s climate experts agree that the world must take urgent action to bring down emissions. Ultimately, we must reach ‘net zero’ emissions, meaning that humanity must remove as much carbon as it emits each year. While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint.”
Microsoft published exhaustive detail on the subject, noting that it’s taking a scientific approach to the problem. Microsoft already levies internal carbon fees on its organizations, sort of a self-imposed internal carbon tax, which helps force its engineering groups to find solutions to power consumption and reduction of emissions. This also benefits the consumer, extending battery life, extending product lifecycles, and reducing accessories that end up in the trash.
Microsoft will invest $1 billion into a new fund called the Climate Innovation Fund, which aims to accelerate carbon capture technology to help bring emissions negative. Of course, we already have technology to capture carbon that’s been evolved over billions of years -- that’d be trees, which we regularly plant through Eden Reforestation Projects -- but at this point, the problem requires a multi-pronged approach.
Microsoft will also be publishing new environmental sustainability reports to provide transparency on its emissions. Microsoft indicated interest in “supporting public policy” toward acceleration of carbon reduction, which would indicate potential for lobbying.
Microsoft published additional studies and data on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and GDP as mapped against global temperature increases that affect the sensitivity of ecosystems.
If you’re interested in reading an in-depth document that provides some links to even deeper studies on the problems at hand, we’ll link Microsoft’s pledge in the description below.
This is a matter where every single person has to take initiative, not just governments and multi-nationals. Our viewers did that by working with us to plant about 90,000 trees through Eden Reforestation Projects last year. We hope to remain active in working with the community to reduce e-waste, encourage refurbishment and re-use of electronics, and restore ecosystems where possible. We have some more efforts on the roadmap for the next few months, so keep an eye out for more of these efforts and partnerships.
Rumor mills grabbed ahold of a recent name filing with the Eurasian Economic Commission, or EEC, which named some new AMD cards as “RX 5950 XT,” “RX 5950,” and “RX 5800 XT.” The purveyors of rumors also indicated that “AFOX” made these filings.
A few things: First of all, AFOX doesn’t presently make any current-generation AMD video cards, so that’s a big jump right away. Secondly, the EEC filings are not filed by AMD, as a lot of people thought, and they also aren’t filed by the board vendors. Igor’s Lab retrieved a statement from AFOX that indicated one of its Russian distribution partners filed the names and listings for future import.
Basically, these listings were created in anticipation of something that might exist at some point, but not by a company that actually has product in-hand.
Given AMD’s naming conventions, it’s possible that a 5800 or similar could exist, but we’d be guessing and so too were the people who filed these reports with the EEC. It would be a good guess, basically, and that’s not us being coy about knowing something and not sharing it -- we genuinely have no information from AMD about new Navi GPUs whose numerical numbering exceeds 5700.
At CES 2020, EVGA outed a pair of cards with the “KO” moniker, dubbed the RTX 2060 KO and the RTX 2060 KO Ultra. These cards were already widely viewed as a response to AMD’s RX 5600 XT, as the cheaper card (RTX 2060 KO) was coincidentally announced with the same $279 price tag as the RX 5600 XT. Unfortunately, the KO has already increased in price again: EVGA promised that it’d be under $300, and technically, $0.01 is enough to put it below at $299.99. Or, as normal people call it, $300. It was a lot more interesting at $280, but we’ll see how the two compare in our 5600 XT review.
Now, it seems AMD has further forced Nvidia to show its hand, so to speak, as Nvidia is preemptively cutting prices on the RTX 2060. Nvidia sent out a note to press reminding everyone that RTX 2060 cards could now be found for $299.
That seems to include Nvidia’s Founder Edition RTX 2060, which is currently listed at $299, reflecting the price shift. Also, with Nvidia steering pricing, its AIB partners are sure to follow suit.