The PCGuide Weekly Roundup – September 6th

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Amazingly, we’re in September already and what’s even more surprising is that the first week has come to an end. As usual, though, we’re prepped and ready to give you the weekly roundup.

This week has been a big one with Nvidia officially announcing the worst kept secret in the computing world – the RTX 3000 series GPUs. We saw the power and price of these RTX 3090, 3080, and 3070 Ampere architecture cards as well as some game footage showcasing performance. Based on this, we’ve published a bunch of articles on the site to either get you up to speed with the latest news or provide you with all the links required to get your preorder in.

However, while Nvidia has taken the limelight, there’s also being a bunch of other breaking news stories with Intel announcing 11th generation CPUs, Zoom profits continuing to skyrocket, Amazon spying on its workers, as well as much more.

As always, we’ll run you through the key details of these articles but if you want to read the full stories, head to their dedicated article pages.

We have to start with Nvidia so let’s give you a quick rundown of what happened in their event.

The new GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs – RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090 were announced. These new models apparently account for a huge generational leap for NVIDIA, according to Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia.

The new processors are built on the Ampere architecture, as opposed to the Turing architecture used on the RTX 2000 series, and are said to deliver some of the biggest generational improvements in NVIDIA history.

While these were the big-hitting announcements, there was a bunch of other smaller tech to accompany the already insanely powerful RTX 3000 series GPUs. There was Nvidia Reflex, which lowers latency to 30 ms or less, huge compared to the 100ms of latency gamers usually have to put up with.

Nvidia Reflex will be available for the GeForce RTX 30-Series GPUs and G-Sync monitors and will be supported by the likes of Valorant, Fortnite, Apex Legends – but this is by no means a definitive list. Fortnite was also part of another announcement, for RTX Ray Tracing, which aims to “dramatically improve the fidelity and detail of Fortnite’s stylized world”.

Alongside these gaming enhancements were some key software reveals for video game streamers – Nvidia Broadcast and Omniverse Machinima. NVIDIA Broadcast allows broadcasters to remove any unwanted background noise like the washing machine whirring or any construction outside. It also has virtual background effects and an auto frame feature, which focuses on your head, always keeping it in the center of the frame (kind of like an actual cameraperson). Omniverse Machinima aims to build storytelling through a universal design tool asset exchange with a viewer, based on photorealistic path tracing. The engine is designed to be physically accurate simulating light physics material and artificial intelligence.

That rounds up all of Nvidia’s announcements, let’s talk about Intel.

They launched their 11th generation Tiger Lake processor. This processor will feature Thunderbolt 4 support, Wi-Fi 6, as well as updated power/frequency algorithms which allow for separate power and clocks.

You’re looking at the usual Intel i3, i5, and i7 variants with the i7 having a single-core turbo of 4400MHz, the i5 having 4000Mhz, and the i3 having 3000MHz.

Intel also showcased its new branding, with a more simplistic logo and a slight variation in colors.

For you Intel enthusiasts, we’re sure these announcements pricked your ears up, and hopefully, these CPUs deliver when they ship.

So, Zoom has been a big hit while lockdown was in effect but has it continued its rise since? Profits suggest so.

In the second quarter, ending July 31, Zoom saw a 355% growth in revenues to hit $663.5 million, with profits hitting $186m. That’s higher than the firm’s total revenue in 2019 and a big leap from the 270% growth the company saw in the growth after the pandemic hit.

The exponential growth, which was apparently down to their ability to add paying customers, led to a surge in share prices, too, which went up by as much as 47% to $478 in morning trade, reported on Tuesday.

Zoom blasted past analyst predictions, who expected a quarterly revenue of some $500m, but experts warn that the growth might not last. According to Reuters, J.P.Morgan analyst Sterling Auty, of a pullback in revenue as the pandemic eases, stating “The surge in growth has come increasingly from the riskiest customer segment,” he said. “Customers with less than 10 employees reached 36% of total revenue in the quarter.”

Let’s see if Zoom can continue to thrive or whether we’ll start to see a slow down in the coming months.

It seems Amazon has been spying on its workers using a surveillance tool to monitor their social media posts.

Amazon Flex drivers are the target of the spying who deliver Amazon packages and Whole Foods groceries in more than 50 US states as well as globally. A report by Motherboard found that Amazon had been keeping tabs on these workers by observing and recording their social media posts, including those in closed Facebook groups.

After the company posted a job listing – supposedly “in error” – for two intelligence analysts to track “labor organizing threats” within the company, Motherboard was able to access internal documents, reports, and an online social media monitoring tool which they say allowed Amazon to sophisticatedly and secretly spy on its workers.

This is a clear example of privacy being well not so private and it’s clear that Amazon wanted to keep this well under wraps. Hopefully, the fact that this was exposed will put a stop to the spying but we won’t hold our breath.

These are the top news stories of the week but as usual, we’ve published a whole lot more. Here are some examples:

As well as the news, again, we’ve published features and some how-to guides this week. For the features we’ve looked at if home working is right for everyone, or is it having detrimental effects, as well as a, peek into online games and how they’ve had a positive impact on kids during lockdown. For the how-tos we’ve focused on mice, looking at how to turn off mouse acceleration and how to right-click without a mouse.

For this week’s giveaway we’re giving you the chance to win the Logitech G443 headset, so head over to the giveaway page and get your free entry in!