Apple’s battery cases return for the iPhone XS and XR

There’s no shortage of iPhone cases out there, of course. But for those who absolutely must have Apple’s stamp on their accessories, the company just dropped a couple of official charging cases for its latest round of handsets — the XS,  XS Max and XR.

The cases, first spotted by MacRumors, maintain a similar design language as their predecessor, marking its return for the first time since the iPhone 7. The familiar battery bump is back, but it now encompasses the whole of the rear, which should make holding it a little less awkward — and at the very least is a bit better looking.

This time out, the silicone covers are available in black and white and will work with Qi chargers, without having to pull the case off. 

The new smart charging cases are priced at $129, regardless of model, and should add between 33 (for the XS) and 39 (for the XR) hours of additional talk time. As Apple notes, there are some marked advantages with going first party on this one, including intelligent battery status, which is displayed in the notification center and on the phone’s lock screen.

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Twitter’s de-algorithmizing ‘sparkle button’ rolls out on Android

After launching on iOS, Twitter is giving Android users the ability to easily switch between seeing the reverse-chronological “latest tweets” and the algorithmic “top tweets” feeds on their home page. The company announced the rollout at a media event in New York.

The “sparkle button” is a way for Twitter to appease long-time power tweeters while also shifting more of its user base to the algorithmic feed which the company says has served to increase the number of conversations happening on the platform.

You can read more about the company’s algorithmic feed thinking here:

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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation release date, news, and rumors

Now that AMD has revealed its its first 7nm Ryzen 3rd Generation processors, what will the future look like for Threadripper 3rd Generation – its next line of HEDT processors?

Now that AMD Ryzen is nearly two years old at this point, and we’ve seen Team Red come out with winning CPU after winning CPU, we’ve been asking ourselves where things go from here. 

AMD announced its 7nm Zen 2 architecture at CES 2019, and it should dramatically improve performance, while keeping power consumption low. This is definitely exciting news for the Ryzen 3rd Generation processors, but we’re here specifically for the next line of Threadripper chips.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? AMD’s next line of HEDT processors 
  • When is it out? Likely Summer 2019
  • What will it cost? TBD

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation release date

While AMD hasn’t come out and announced the release date for its next Threadripper chips, the last two Threadripper generations have been pretty consistent, so we have a basis for speculation. 

Both the original Threadripper and Threadripper 2nd Generation launched in August of 2017 and 2018, respectively. We’re fairly sure that AMD is going to follow the same general release schedule this time around, but, obviously we don’t know that for sure. 

AMD showed off its Zen 2 architecture at CES, launching mid-2019, likely in Q2 or Q3, in the form of consumer-focused Ryzen chips. AMD didn’t have any information regarding Threadripper, but we still think that Threadripper will at least be teased at Computex 2019, with a release date showing up sometime this summer.

We’ll update this article as soon as we hear more substantial rumors about the release date.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation price

Now, so far ahead of AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation’s launch, we don’t have any official pricing information, but we can look at past generations to get an idea of what AMD’s next HEDT chips will cost. 

The original lineup of Threadripper topped out with the $999 (£999, AU$1,439) AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, but the second generation introduced surprisingly lower priced replacements. There were also two higher specced – and higher priced – additions. We believe Threadripper 3rd Generation will follow the latter model.

The prices of AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation chips are as follows: 

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX: $1,799 (£1,639, AU$2,679)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX: $1,299 (£1,159, AU$2,039)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: $899 (£809, AU$1,415)
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2920X: $649 (£583, AU$1,019)

AMD could very well surprise us and introduce an even higher-end SKU, but we don’t think that’s likely. Stay tuned, and we’ll update this page as soon as we hear any Threadripper 3rd Generation price information.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation specs

With AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation, we expect to see a huge bump in core counts, efficiency and per-core performance with Threadripper 3rd Generation. If you need a refresher on last year’s Threadripper lineup’s specs they’re as follows:

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2920X: 12-cores, 24-threads, clocked at 3.5GHz to 4.3GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X: 16-cores, 32-threads, clocked at 3.5GHz to 4.4GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX: 24-cores, 48-threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.2GHz
  • Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX: 32-cores, 64-threads, clocked at 3.0GHz to 4.2GHz

We’re sure that with the move to 7nm, AMD is going to massively improve specs. But, with Threadripper 3rd Generation, or Castle Peak, rumors are thin on the ground. However, there is plenty of buzz about the AMD Ryzen 3000 series, not to mention the 64-core AMD Epyc server CPU.

While we’ve seen speculation that suggests a 16-core Ryzen 3000 processor, that hasn’t been confirmed. What has been confirmed, though, is a new 8-core Ryzen processor that matches the Intel Core i9-9900K’s Cinebench score, getting 2,023 points.

AMD also showed off the system power in its test, the whole system ran at just 130W during the Cinebench run, compared to the Intel system’s 180W. We don’t know what frequency this chip was running at, but this high performance combined with the high efficiency is promising for whatever Threadripper chips come from Zen 2. 

What’s more, the chip AMD showed off revealed that 8-core chiplets are smaller than the IO die. What this means for Threadripper is many more cores in the same amount of space. It’s possible that we could see a 64-core Threadripper chip in 2019.

It wouldn’t even be the first 64-core processor in AMD’s lineup. AMD recently showed off its latest Epyc processors, based off its Rome microarchitecture, with up to 64-cores. 

If AMD is able to bring those high core counts to Castle Peak HEDT processors, we could see AMD absolutely dominate Intel’s Basin Falls Refresh. And, if Intel can’t answer with anything but 14nm silicon, AMD might claim the HEDT throne like it did when it topped Intel’s mainstream sales.

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