Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2013 - 01:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, webgl
Tools for web developers are pretty astonishing these days. You are able to investigate the driving elements and objects as they are being executed within the browser -- and even modify them. This typically means that you can play around with the various functions and parameters while the app is loaded. You receive immediate feedback about your changes.
Web Standards continue to encompass 3D and other game-related tasks. As a result, developer tools are beginning to take advantage of their browser's managed architecture making it easier to tweak and debug content. In other words: you can poke your 3D scene as it is being rendered.
Now this is quite interesting. Basically all of the GPU's involvement in drawing a 3D scene comes down to two scripts (at least for WebGL 1.0): a vertex shader and a fragment shader. These are operations that run once for every vertex in a scene and once for every pixel an object in a scene occupies, respectively. Together they form a "program" which gives an object's geometry something tangible for users to see.
Here is an example of Unreal Engine 3 being modified at runtime.
The developer tools within Firefox 27 will allow you to modify these scripts at runtime and even turn specific draw calls on or off. This should vastly speed up the rate at which developers modify their effects especially when it comes to fine tuning specific variables such as the rate that waves flow in a water material.
Firefox 27 is expected to be the release version in early February; it is currently in the Aurora channel.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 11, 2013 - 05:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: frame pacing, frame rating, amd, southern islands, 4k, eyefinity, crossfire, microstutter
The frame pacing issue has been covered at our website for almost a year now. It stems from the original "microstutter" problem which dates back over a year before we could quantify it. We like to use the term "Frame Rating" to denote the testing methodology we now use for our GPU tests.
AMD fared worse at these tests than NVIDIA (although even they had some problems in certain configurations). They have dedicated a lot of man-hours to the problem resulting in a driver updates for certain scenarios. Crossfire while utilizing Eyefinity or 4K MST was one area they did not focus on. The issue has been addressed in Hawaii and AMD asserted that previous cards will get a software fix soon.
The good news is that we have just received word from AMD that they plan on releasing a beta driver for Southern Islands and earlier GPUs (AMD believes it should work for anything that's not "legacy"). As usual, until it ships anything could change, but it looks good for now.
The beta "frame pacing" driver addressing Crossfire with 4K and Eyefinity, for supported HD-series and Southern Islands-based Rx cards, is expected to be public sometime in January.
Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2013 - 02:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sure, it is obvious that an SSD will speed up your boot time and the loading speed of programs but will it actually make your in game experience better? [H]ard|OCP tested a Western Digital 640GB Black Edition HDD against a Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB in five different games. The results are as you might expect; consistency, framerate and gameplay performance differences all fall within the margin of error showing that in game the SSD will not have much effect. On the other hand load times for both the game and saves are vastly improved.
"We've upgraded all our video card test systems to SSDs recently. But does it actually make a difference in real world gaming performance? Today we are going to test the claim that an SSD will improve your gameplay experience compared to a spinning hard drive. We test several games apples-to-apples on our video card test system."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Brawling my way through Batman: Arkham Origins @ The Tech Report
- More-o-wind: Skywind Puts Morrowind in Skyrim @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Interview: No Man’s Sky And Procedural Generation @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review @ Techgage
- Sharper Shadows: Thief Gold HD Mod Released @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Q&A: Doom’s Creator Looks Back on 20 Years of Demonic Mayhem @ Wired
- 1 Game 1 Cup: New South Park: The Stick Of Truth Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Xbox One vs PS4 head to head @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2013 - 12:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: interconnect, fibre optics, 32 Gbps, HPC
With new emphasis on building modular HPC machines from multitudes of low powered processors working in parallel interconnect technology needs to provide immense amounts of bandwidth. This is becoming much closer to reality as 32 Gbps channel is undergoing standardization and will likely be quickly accepted and certified. Products using this standard are still a year or more from market but will likely be quickly adopted by companies who depend on large arrays of VMs. According to the roadmap on The Register 64 Gbps is already starting development with 2016 as a possible goal for its standardization process to begin.
"The Association has let it be known that the “INCITS T11 standards committee has recently completed the Fibre Channel Physical Interface - sixth generation (FC-PI-6) industry standard for specifying 32 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Fibre Channel and will forward it to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for publication in the first quarter of 2014."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Apple, Microsoft, Google and others ask for less NSA snooping @ The Inquirer
- $40 Lens Hack Gives Your FLIR Higher Resolution @ Hack a Day
- AT&T strikes deal to offer LTE data roaming in Canada @ Engadget
- My best Oculus Rift experiences to date @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 10, 2013 - 02:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, iVektor, atx case
The Enermax iVektor is an ATX case with quite a few drive bays, all tool-less installation and space at the top of the case for a radiator if you prefer watercooling. Three 5.25" bays and seven 3.5" of which four can be converted to 2.5" for SSDs ought to give you enough space for storage and controllers. Up to six 120mm fans can be installed, that number drops to four if you install a 240mm radiator at the top of the case. [H]ard|OCP were impressed with both the thermal performance and low noise of the case as well as the with customization possible, earning this ~$80 case a Gold Award.
"Enermax has long been an enthusiast brand associated with some of the best computer power supplies made in the industry. Over the last couple of years it has also developed a very strong following in computer case arena with DIYers. Today we look at the iVektor case designed by Enermax and it looks to be a strong contender for your next build."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Enermax iVektor Casemod @ Hardware Asylum
- Cooler Master Cosmos SE Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- SilverStone Fortress FT04 @ Phoronix
- BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Case @ SPCR
- Chenbro SR30169 Mini-ITX Server Chassis @ SPCR
- Fractal Node 304 White Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- CaseLabs Mercury S5 Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Graphite Series 230T @ Kitguru
- Fractal Design Define XL R2 Computer Case @ NikKTech
- Corsair Graphite 230T Battleship Grey Mid Tower Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- BitFenix Prodigy M mATX Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Aerocool GT-S Black Edition @ techPowerUp
- 120mm Water Cooler Round Up w/ Cooler Master, Scythe and Zalman @ Legit Reviews
- 120mm Water Cooler Round Up Part 2 - Looking Inside @ Legit Reviews
- Scythe Kaze Chrono @ Funky Kit
- Noctua NH-U14S Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Noctua NH-U14S @ [H]ard|OCP
- Scythe Mugen 4 @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2013 - 12:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's UltraSharp U2412M is a 16:10 format 1920x1200 24" IPS display with a response time of 6ms which makes it quite acceptable for gaming duties. The colour gamut is good enough for some professional work and is quite good for the asking price. It also comes with a 3 year warranty which might make it more attractive than ordering a display from Korea for anyone worried about dead pixels or other possible issues.
- Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" 1920 x 1200 LED-backlit IPS LCD Monitor for $249.99 with Free Shipping (normally $369.99 - use coupon code: VRK785QMF?V1T4).
- Creative Fatal1ty Circumaural Gaming Headset for$24.99 with Free Shipping(normally $49.99).
- Western Digital 4TB Red IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive for $179.99 with Free Shipping(normally $219.99 - use coupon code: EMCWVWX49).
- Acer G226HQLBbd 21.5" LED-backlight LCD Monitor for $99.99(normally $219.99 - use coupon code: EMCWVXP87).
- Pinnacle MB10000+ 1000-Watt Audiophile 5.1 Speaker System for $299.99 with free shipping(normally $1,299.99).
- Samsung UN46EH5000 46" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $597.99 with free shipping(normally $699.99).
- ThinkGeek Coupon: 50% off 12 Best-Selling Items(use coupon code: 10ONSALE).
Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2013 - 01:35 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z87, xfire, video, shield, R9 290X, podcast, pcper, nvidia, litecoin, grid, frame rating, eyefinity, crossfire, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #280 - 12/12/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GRID Beta, R9 290X Custom Coolers, 2TB SSDs and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 12, 2013 - 04:03 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nzxt, kraken, gpu cooler
NZXT has a new cooling product coming out next week that caught my attention recently. Called the KRAKEN G10, it is a bracket and fan assembly that allows users to attach All In One (AIO) water coolers – those traditionally aimed at CPUs – to graphics cards. The Kraken G10 consists of a steel bracket with a CPU waterblock mounting hole, 92mm fan, and water tube routing space.
The Kraken G10 is a stylish approach to pairing cheap sealed water coolers to graphics cards with reference PCBs – a feat that has traditionally been limited to adventurous enthusiasts armed with zip ties and a good deal of patience. The bracket is compatible with many recent GPUs from both AMD and NVIDIA, and it allows enthusiasts to mount AIO water coolers from NZXT as well as other manufacturers. The water cooler is then able to efficiently cool the GPU while the pre-installed 92mm fan works to keep the VRM and memory areas of the graphics card cool. The G10 bracket measures 177 x 32.5 x 110.6 mm (WxHxD) and comes in white, black, or red with white fan blades and NZXT logos on the side and fan.
Specifically, the KRAKEN G10 supports the following graphics card models (with reference PCBs only).
Further, users can use the G10 to mount the waterblocks of the following sealed loop water coolers.
|KUHLER H2O 920V4||H110||KRAKEN X60||Water 3.0 Extreme||LQ-320|
|KUHLER H2O 620V4||H90||KRAKEN X40||Water 3.0 Pro||LQ-315|
|KUHLER H2O 920||H55||Water 3.0 Performer||LQ-310|
|KUHLER H2O 620||H50||Water 2.0 Extreme|
|Water 2.0 Pro|
|Water 2.0 Performer|
It is a niche, but useful, product that can allow users to more easily upgrade the cooling of their graphics cards to allow for higher overclocks and/or quieter operation. The NZXT KRAKEN G10 will be available on December 16, 2013 for $29.99 from NZXT’s website.
Are you planning to unleash the Kraken G10 on your GPUs (I expect crypto currency miners might be especially interested in this product heh).
Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2013 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: flying car, e-volo, octadecacopter
You may remember a video featuring an unholy combination of an excercise ball and a quadrocopter from a company called e-volo. Over the past two years they have made a lot of progress towards creating a real electric flying car by teaming up with a variety of companies each with their own technical specialties. The carbon fibre composite frame and props were developed by an established sail plane company while the fail safe ballistic parachute was designed by a German aviation company. Many other companies have tried developing everything in house which is likely why you don't see M400X's everywhere by now. As you can see by the design the VC200 is similar to a scaled up quadrocopter with brushless electric motors powering the 18 props; far more than are actually needed so that you will remain in the air even if some fail. Other safety features include a backup battery which can only be used to land and the aforementioned parachute which does not have to worry about rotor placements like on a traditional helicopter. You can see some of the development history at Hack a Day.
"The e-volo VC200 has made it’s maiden unmanned flight. Does the craft above look a bit familiar? We first reported on the e-volo team back in 2011. Things have been going great for the team since then. They’ve created an 18 motor (Octadecacopter?) prototype dubbed the VC200."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Labs cooperates with Asustek to improve cloud computing storage @ DigiTimes
- Xbox One Headset 2.5 mm Plug Adapter @ Hack a Day
- Exploits no more! Firefox 26 blocks all Java plugins by default @ The Register
- How's it going, Microsoft users? Patching your PCs? You SHOULD be @ The Register
- Nvidia ShadowPlay Gameplay Recording Software @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2013 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Just look at that elegant flip-hinge design on the new Dell XPS 12 with it's 1080p touchscreen for use with Windows 8. It is powered by an i5-3317U, 4GB DDR3-1600 and a 128GB SSD which will be perfect for mobile usage. Plenty of wireless connectivity is available and if you wish you can upgrade to a more powerful model.
- Dell XPS 12 Core i5 Convertible 1080p Touchscreen Tablet w/ Windows 8 for $849.99 with Free Shipping (normally $1,199.99 - use coupon code: WD0RTDJWM4QC1F).
- Corsair Raptor M40 Wired Optical 4000 DPI Gaming Mouse for $35.99 with Free Shipping(normally $59.99).
- Symantec Norton 360 Version 2013 (3-PC DL) for $28.00 with Free Shipping(normally $59.99).
- Samsung S27C390H 27-Inch LED-Backlight LCD Monitor for $179.99(normally $219.99 - use coupon code: MASTERPASS).
- Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" 240GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $143.99 with free shipping(normally $204.99 - use coupon code: MASTERPASS).
- VIZIO E320I-A0 32" 720p Smart LED HDTV for $288.00 with free shipping(normally $328.00).
- Star Wars Darth Vader USB Hub for $23.99 with free shipping(normally $34.99).
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