AMD RX 6700 XT Announcment, 3DFX Voodoo Mod, Hardware Unboxed YT Issues
Eric Hamilton• • views: 0
This week, we have a lot of general industry news pertaining to the supply and manufacturing of semiconductors. There’s news on how the drought in Taiwan is affecting chipmakers, Europe looking to establish a certain amount of semiconductor self-reliance, and some discussion on interconnects limiting chip scaling.
We also have news on the AMD RX 6700 XT, Fry’s Electronics ceasing operations, HP acquiring HyperX, and more. At GN, we recently reviewedNvidia’s RTX 3060,Fractal’s Meshify 2 case,and revisited the GTX 960 in 2021.
As always, video embed and article follow below.
Quick GN x Cat Angels Update
Start video at 1:11
With all the bad news lately -- not just in tech, but in general -- we wanted to open on a positive note here. Any of you who’ve been watching us for a while now know that we work with a few charity organizations every year, often in the form of charity auctions or limited shirts where the revenue goes toward them. We often work with a local no-kill cat shelter that we’ve personally visited (called Cat Angels), Eden Reforestation Projects, Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Hospital (around $20K donated from the shirt drive after the bushfires!), and a couple of others.
Cat Angels is by far the smallest out of all the charities we’ve worked with and they sent us some photos and an update this week. They’re in a hole-in-the-wall shopping center with volunteer staff so that all the money goes toward caring for, rescuing, and adopting-out rescued cats and kittens. GN and its community raised a lot of money for all these groups last year, but the impact is disproportionately huge for Cat Angels. They emailed us out of the blue this week to tell us that some of our viewers have visited to adopt cats and kittens and that they’ve received donations from all over the world since we started working with them for our Cat-themed PC build for the shelter in 2019. Cat Angels was telling us that they always know when the donations are from our community because they’re not just local. They said the following:
Hi Stephen, I just wanted to check in after the holidays and send very special thanks to you and your community. Because GamersNexus community members have sent us so many gifts AND have been applying to adopt from us, we have been able to rescue and adopt out more kitties recently. Here is an update on a few. We are incredibly grateful for your support. Even your smallest mentions garner a huge impact on Cat Angels.
We’ll put the rest of the email up on the screen in the video in case you want to pause and read it. It’s some wholesome news that this community can be proud of, in between all the bickering about which GPU vendor is the most evil at any given time.
AMD RX 6700 XT Official Announcement Announced
Start video at 4:12
AMD’s RX 6700 XT GPU announcement was officially announced by AMD’s Radeon twitter page, marking March 3rd as the launch date for the card. The 6700 XT will be the fourth installation into the RX 6000 lineup, preceded most recently by the RX 6900 XT at $1000, then the 6800 XT at $700 and RX 6800 at $570. The RX 6700 XT shown had a revised dual-axial reference design that will supposedly exist, although AMD has occasionally created renders for partner-only launches. Regardless, the render will continue to exist for as long as Nintendo doesn’t know about it.
The RX 6700 XT announcement announcement said the card will be revealed at 11AM Eastern on March 3rd, but “reveal” and “launch” are different -- it’s likely the launch will be later.
Hardware Unboxed Shadowbanned on YouTube
Start video at 5:50
This next topic is more of a YouTube platform issue, but it affects someone in our community. Hardware Unboxed recently posted on its community page about a shadowban that YouTube has put in place as a result of “suspicious activity.” The Hardware Unboxed YouTube Community page has the full details, but we spoke with Steve and Tim and are also in contact with our own YouTube rep to try and help with this issue. Since Hardware Unboxed is limited in its ability to reach its own audience right now, we wanted to bring some light to this issue and try to reach their audience on their behalf.
If you’re not aware of what’s going on, HUB’s videos are (at time of filming) not visible on the YouTube search results page, in notifications, or in the recommended feed, and is only available directly via the videos page. This also happened right when Steve from HUB tried to take a vacation, so we personally feel for how stressful this must be and how it’s ruining his break. He’ll need another vacation after this one.
HUB said that this is a YT protection mechanism to try and protect the channel from “suspicious activity.” HUB has noted that it has confidence in its account security and has asked YouTube for specifics on the “suspicious activity” so that it can investigate further, but YouTube has thus far been slow and unhelpful in its correspondence. We’ve seen some lunatics on reddit jumping to some really crazy conspiracy theories, and just to be clear, this is almost certainly a matter of an automated YouTube process doing what it thinks is right. We’ve been on the receiving end of that as well. The problem isn’t that it happened, because this is actually a good and valuable protection mechanism (and a better alternative than being shut-down entirely), but the real problem is that YouTube has such slow and generally unhelpful support for creators. It always seems like no one knows what’s going on at YouTube, probably because of how big the company is and how much of it is automated.
Rest assured that HUB’s team seems to be in contact with the right people and that they have others in the tech creator community looking out for them. This is very much a “who’s next?” situation and is exactly the kind of thing we are here to help with. It looks like they’re holding publication on videos until this is resolved, as almost no one will see them. This has nuked channel performance, as expected, and is a terrifying reminder of what it’s like to live on someone else’s platform. For us, it’s meant a wakeup call that we really need to find the time to spec-out and fix our old website to get it operational again. It’s funny, too, because one of the reddit comments was exactly about how this type of action on large platforms would encourage a 90s-era re-boom in internet publishing. I guess we can throw this out there while we’re at it: We’re not ready yet, but if you’re a particularly talented web developer who would be able to get our charts working in a non-PNG format in articles, we’d love to talk to you. We might not reply to all inquiries and will apologize in advance.
In the meantime, be sure to check HUB’s twitter feed and YT Community page for updates.
Taiwan Drought Affecting Foundries
Start video at 12:50
Taiwan has been facing a unique climate crisis, in which the island has seen a great reduction in both typhoons and annual rainfall. Like the weather in Texas that shut down semiconductor plans two weeks ago, this is influencing silicon production in Taiwan. For the first time in more than half of a century, not a single typhoon landed on Taiwan in 2020.
Taiwan’s water levels in several reservoirs are at or below 20%, and the government has requested that companies reduce water usage by 7% to 11%. As Taiwan implements greater water restrictions, foundries like TSMC and UMC are trucking in water to fabs on the island. According to Reuters, chipmakers based in Taiwan (TSMC, UMC, VIS) have been able to stave-off reductions in production by importing water.
Foundries typically recycle and reuse a great portion of their wastewater and Taiwan has particularly strict environmental laws. We showed some of this in our factory tours in Taipei. An extended water shortage could certainly intensify an already pervasive global semiconductor shortage.
HP Acquires HyperX
Start video at 14:08
HP Inc has announced that it has agreed to acquire HyperX, Kingston Technology’s gaming brand. HP will buy HyperX from Kingston for $425 million, with an expected closing date landing sometime in Q2’2021, pending regulatory approval. The caveat, however, is that HP is only acquiring HyperX peripherals; Kingston will retain the HyperX NAND Flashand DRAM segment.
The press release is somewhat sparse on how the deal will play out, but presumably HyperX will exist alongside HP’s Omen line, rather than be folded into it.
Kingston spawned the HyperX brand way back in 2002, with its inaugural memory tester and DDR-400 modules. The company has expanded that brand into headsets, microphones, keyboards, mice, console accessories, and more. HP will use the brand to gain a better foothold in the ever growing gaming market, assuming it doesn’t consume and digest the brand altogether.