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Samsung Galaxy S20 low-light camera samples compared to Galaxy S10

10 Feb 2020

Posted by Falkes in Community News


The Galaxy S20 leaks keep on coming. The device is scheduled to be officially announced in just over 24 hours from now, but leaks keep ruining whatever surprise Samsung has planned for the event. This time around, leakster @MaxWinebach has posted some low-light photos from the Galaxy S20. He has also posted photos from the Galaxy S10's camera for comparison purposes.

The photos do a great job of showing the improvement that the Galaxy S20's camera will bring to the table in low-light scenarios when compared to the Galaxy S10. What's immediately noticeable between the Galaxy S10 and S20 photos is that images from the latter are brighter. A bit of a pixel peeping shows the Galaxy S20 photos as having more details as well. Do note that these photos have been taken in Night mode and not in regular mode

The difference might not seem like much at first glance but at this stage, smartphone cameras have become so good that we are only going to see incremental improvements in image quality.

Max has also posted some photos from the Galaxy S20+ including one with 30x zoom. The latter image is grainy and noisy and there's not much to talk about it, though it was taken indoors where most phones with digital or optical zoom tend to struggle.

Do remember that these photos are from the Galaxy S20 which is rumored to come with a 12MP 1.8um f/1.8 shooter. For comparison, the Galaxy S10 features a 1.4um 12MP f1/.5 primary shooter. So, while the S20 might come with a bigger camera sensor, the smaller aperture limits the amount of light reaching it.

The bigger Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is expected to come with a primary 108MP shooter which will make use of 9:1 pixel binning to deliver even better low-light photos. It remains to be seen just how much better photos the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be able to capture than its smaller siblings.

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AMD announces Radeon Pro W5500 and Radeon Pro W5500M GPUs

10 Feb 2020

Posted by Falkes in Community News


AMD has announced the Radeon Pro W5500 and Radeon Pro W5500M graphics cards aimed at workstations and mobile workstations respectively. The GPUs are designed primarily to meet the needs of Design & Manufacturing and Architecture, Engineering & Construction professional, according to AMD.

Some of the highlights of the new products include a redesigned geometry engine that enables up to 25% higher performance-per-clock than older previous-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The more powerful AMD Radeon Pro W5500 also improves multitasking performance with a 10x better application workflow than the competition. Despite AMD’s claims of better performance than the competition, the Radeon Pro W5500 consumes 32% less power than the competition.

Talking about the new GPUs, Scott Herkelman, corporate vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group at AMD, said:

“Designers and engineers require a professional graphics solution that delivers the performance and efficiency to meet today’s unique challenges. Nothing is more stressful than a deadline, and AMD professional graphics keep performing when you need them most. The AMD Radeon Pro W5500 graphics card delivers exceptional power efficiency and leadership performance for 2D and 3D design applications, enabling them to better visualize and interact with their designs in real time, explore new immersive workflows like virtual reality and maximize productivity.”

In terms of availability, the AMD Radeon Pro W5500 will be available from mid-February for $399. The AMD Radeon Pro W5500M GPU is expected to be available in “professional mobile workstations” from spring. The AMD Radeon Pro W5500 will also be showcased at AMD booth 208 at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 from February 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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10 Best Features in Linux 5.5, Out Now

27 Jan 2020

Posted by Falkes in Community News


Linux 5.5 features a host of changes and worthwhile improvements, and this post we spotlight the best of them!
Check out the 10 best features in the latest #Linux kernel release

Serving as the latest stable version of the Linux kernel, the Linux 5.5 release was announced on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) by Linus Torvalds, who said: “Despite the slight worry that the holidays might have affected the schedule, 5.5 ended up with the regular [release candidate] cadence and is out now.”

He goes on to describe the release as being “really tiny” — make of that what you will — and has named it “Kleptomaniac Octopus”.

Linux 5.5 is likely to be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release, which is due for release in mid April. This kernel version will also be back-ported to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS later in the year as part of the Ubuntu HWE stack.

If you want to install the mainline kernel on Ubuntu or another Linux distribution right now you can — but doing so is not recommended, comes with no support, and may break your system (but don’t worry: you get to keep both halves if it does).
Linux 5.5 Features


1. Raspberry Pi 4 Support

Linux 5.5 comes with improved support for the Raspberry Pi 4 (more specifically the Broadcom BCM2711 chip used in it). This means that the latest and greatest version of the famous single-board computer (SBC) now works “out of the box” on mainline Linux — nice!

The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only SBC to pick up support in this release. Linux Kernel 5.5 also features better compatibility with the NanoPi Duo2, 4, RK3308, and Ugoos AM6 boards.

2. SSD Temperature Info

Anyone rocking an NVMe SSD on their Linux machine will appreciate a new mainline driver for reporting SSD temperature via HWMON in sysfs, negating the need for any bespoke root-level user-space utilities.

3. Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard

Linux 5.5 includes a driver for two of Logitech’s older gaming keyboards, namely the first version Logitech G15 and the second version Logitech G15, thanks to code committed by Red Hat’s Hans de Goede.

Whilst neither of these keyboards are new — the G15 v1 was released in 2005 — they remain popular among gamers due to an array of premium-level features, macro buttons, backlight modes, and a nifty built-in LCD screen.


4. Several ext4 Tweaks

As arguably the most widely used file system in Linux systems, Linux 5.5 ships with some new features for the ext4 filesystem — though few will result in any user-visible changes.

The ext4 filesystem picks up support for encryption on file systems where the block size is less than the page size; reworks journal credit handling to avoid instances where the journal might run out of space; and gains direct I/O via iomap.


5. Faster btrfs Copying

Keeping with file systems for a moment, this kernel release gains support for three and four copy modes in RAID1 on btrfs file systems. Up from two copy modes previously, this change allows data to be replicated across more drives simultaneously.


6. ExFat Finesse

As far as I can make out — do correct me in the comments if I’m writing — the much hyped Linux kernel driver for Microsoft’s exFAT filesystem continues to be improved …albeit in the staging branch.

There’s nothing major to report on that front here, with just minor code clean ups, fixes, and polishing — however an entirely newer (and potentially better) exFAT driver is being prepped for possible inclusion in Linux 5.6.

7. Chromebook Privacy Mode

Among various Chromebook-specific merges included in the latest kernel is support for an electronic privacy screen mode in an as-yet unreleased Chromebook model.

The electronic privacy filter allows users to press a button on the keyboard to instantly “mask” their display to anyone looking over their shoulder. It works using a combination of backlight and a special film coating on the physical display.

Other notable additions for Chromebook owners include ‘wake on voice’ support for select devices that support it; support for Dell’s USB PowerShare Policy control; and keyboard backlight LED support on a crop of upcoming models.


8. System76 ACPI Driver

System76 Linux laptop owners benefit from the inclusion of the System76 ACPI driver in main, saving folks using Coreboot on their devices from needing to download or install it separately.

What does the System76 ACPI driver actually do? Well, it adds support for function (Fn) key combinations, the keyboard backlight, and airplane mode LEDs.

9. Graphics

As you’d expect of any new kernel releases there is a glut of GPU related goodies on offer, including more effort to get AMD Arcuturus Vega-based graphics cards up and running, as well as Intel ‘Tiger Lake’ GPUs.

ARM fans will appreciate the improved Allwinner Cedrus driver, which now includes HEVC/H.265 video decoding (courtesy of a 2018 crowdfunding campaign).

Another niche highlight in this update is support for AMD OverDrive clocking on Navi GPUs. If you happen to have a Radeon RX 5000 graphics card, and you don’t mind potentially breaking it, get overclocking from the command line!



10. Thunderbolt 3

I can’t imagine there are too many modern MacBook owners running Linux (what with the can-it/can’t-it debate over the Apple’s t2 technology chip) but those who do may be interested to know that Linux 5.5 includes initial Thunderbolt 3 support.

Thunderbolt 3 is a USB Type-C port that can handle data transfer, video output and charging via a single connector. It’s not exclusive to Apple devices but, in this kernel release, only Thunderbolt 3 on Apple devices gains software connection manager support.


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AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 'Review': The Most Troubled Launch Ever?

27 Jan 2020

Posted by Falkes in Community News



We're in the last couple of hours before AMD lifts its NDA for the new Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card, something the company unveiled at CES 2020 -- and now have 'launched'. Now, I say 'launched' because it has been one of, if not the most troubled launch of a graphics card that I can remember.

I was working hard on the review and then hit a snag... a really, show-stopping snag. But before we get into that, this is what AMD's new Radeon RX 5600 XT is all about. We have a new card that has some beefy specs, but I'll talk about the drama in the next few pages.

But what AMD is doing here is nailing the sub $300 graphics card market with its RDNA architecture and Navi GPU, with a replacement card for the Radeon RX 590 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, all while kicking some serious ass in AAA and esports games.

AMD's new Radeon RX 5600 XT can easily provide close to 90FPS average in AAA games at 1080p, including The Division 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Gears 5, and The Witcher 3. If we're talking about esports games, then you can enjoy over 120FPS average in games like Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Overwatch.

NVIDIA is in a similar territory to the new Radeon RX 5600 XT with its Turing-based GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, but AMD Is offering up more performance across the board with its new card. It has superior performance in virtually all games at 1080p.

Then there's the case of the slightly higher-end GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER, with the new Radeon RX 5600 XT beating that card, too. We're looking at around 15% more performance in AAA games over the GTX 1660 SUPER, and 5% more performance in esports titles. But, these results are from AMD... my results are further in this review.

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