New Lab Hardware

We’ve added a bit of new hardware to our test lab inventory, as we often do. First off is an LG K3 phone running Android 6.0.1, remarkable mainly for its small 4.5” screen and accompanying low resolution display (854×480). The phone was requested for a specific project, and we were happy to accommodate; it will also be available for general mobile testing, like most of our devices. This also showcases one of the features of our test labs – we often receive requests for testing on hardware that we do not have, and in many cases we are able and willing to accommodate these requests. In fact, it’s one of the methods that we use to drive hardware acquisitions, and often leads to a greater device diversity than we’d obtain by making purchases based just on popularity (although we certainly do that too). There are certainly some limits on what we’re willing to purchase on an as-needed basis, but we have a remarkably good record of being able to meet specific requests for hardware testing – we don’t have to say ‘no’ very often.

We also just finished building our first new AMD-based system in a while – a Ryzen-7 1700 CPU with 16 GB physical RAM and an AMD RX-580 video card. While the system is capable of running multiple video cards in a Crossfire array, we chose to keep it to a single card for the moment. It’s easier to change out components when there’s only a single video card to keep track of, and adding a second, matched card for Crossfire testing is pretty straightforward. The new system will be limited to 64-bit Windows 10 due to the motherboard being used, a structure that is likely to become more common with new hardware.

We’re actually kind of excited about the Ryzen CPU – early benchmarks for them have been interesting, and it would be nice to see AMD have more of a presence in the desktop market again. Maybe we’ll run some of our own benchmarks and post them; check back later if you are interested.

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