Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 13, 2013 - 04:17 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 13, dell, alienware, alienware x51
The launch of Haswell led to many new product launches, and so did E3. The overlap? The Alienware X51 gaming desktop has been refreshed with some very compelling components at a surprisingly compelling price.
Unfortunately, there is a slight difference between the Canadian and the American offerings; it is not a case of one citizen paying more than the another, however, as things are more shuffled around than outright better. Our Canadian readers start with a base price of $1499.99, and Americans start out at $1449.99. Americans can spend an extra $100 to upgrade their DVD reader to a Blu-Ray drive, Canadians get Blu-Ray by default. Therefore, if you desire a Blu-Ray drive, it is $50 cheaper to be Canadian; otherwise, it is $50 cheaper to be American.
Whether you are Canadian or American, I would personally recommend spending the extra $100 upgrading your RAM from 8GB to 16 GB. Sure, 8GB is a lot, but the extra can go a long way especially with the direction that web browsers have been heading. You each, also, have the option of spending $300 and receiving a 256GB SSD albeit also at the expense of, beyond the $300, reducing your 2TB HDD down to a slower, 5400RPM 1TB drive.
In all, this actually looks quite compelling for someone who wishes to have a console-esque form-factor near their TV. Unfortunately there are currently no Ubuntu-based options for this X51, although you may freely ($0) choose between Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and Windows 8 64-bit.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Shows and Expos | June 13, 2013 - 02:26 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 13, amd
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the biggest event of the year for millions of gamers. The majority of coverage ends up gawking over the latest news out of Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, and we certainly will provide our insights in those places if we believe they have been insufficiently explained, but E3 is also a big time for PC gamers too.
5 GHz and unlocked to go from there.
AMD, specifically, has a lot to say this year. In the year of the next-gen console reveals, AMD provides the CPU architecture for two of the three devices and have also designed each of the three GPUs. This just leaves a slight win for IBM, who is responsible for the WiiU main processor, for whatever that is worth. Unless the Steam Box comes to light and without ties to AMD, it is about as close to a clean sweep as any hardware manufacturer could get.
But for the PCs among us...
For those who have seen the EA press conference, you have probably seen lots of sports. If you stuck around after the sports, you probably saw Battlefield 4 being played by 64 players on stage. AMD has been pushing, very strongly, for developer relations over the last year. DICE, formerly known for being an NVIDIA-friendly developer, did not exhibit Battlefield 4 "The Way It's Meant to be Played" at the EA conference. According to one of AMD's Twitter accounts:
— AMD Radeon Graphics (@AMDRadeon) June 12, 2013
On the topic of "Gaming Evolved" titles, AMD is partnering with Square Enix to optimize Thief for GCN and A-Series APUs. The Press Release specifically mentioned Eyefinity and Crossfire support along with a DirectX 11 rendering engine; of course, the enhancements with real, interesting effects are the seemingly boring ones they do not mention.
The last major point from their E3 event was the launch of their 5 GHz FX processors. For more information on that part, check out Josh's thoughts from a couple of days ago.
Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 08:47 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: E3, razer, blade, haswell, gtx 765m, geforce
With the launch of Intel's Haswell processor, accessory maker-turned notebook vendor Razer announced a pretty slick machine, the Blade. Based on a quad-core, 37 watt Core i7 Haswell CPU and a GeForce GTX 765M GPU, the Razer Blade packs a lot of punch.
It also includes 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, an mSATA SSD and integrates a 14-in 1600x900 display. The design of the unit looks very similar to that of the MacBook Pro but the black metal finish is really an attractive style change.
The embedded battery is fairly large at 70 Whr and Razer claims this will equate to a 6 hour battery life when operating non-gaming workloads. With a weight just barely creeping past 4 lbs, the Razer Blade is both portable and powerful it seems.
The price tag starts at $1799 so you won't be able to pick one of these up on the cheap, but for users like me that are willing to pay a bit more for performance and style in a slim chassis, the Blade seems like a very compelling option. There are a lot of questions left to answer on this notebook including the thermal concerns of packing that much high frequency silicon into a thin and light form factor. Does the unit get hot in bad places? Can the screen quality match the performance of Haswell + Kepler?
We are working with Razer to get a model in very soon to put it to the test and I am looking forward to answering if we have found the best gaming portable on the market.
Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 08:24 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Oculus, oculus rift, VR, E3
I have been a big proponent of the Oculus Rift and its move into the world of consumer-ready VR (virtual reality) technology. I saw it for the first time at Quakecon 2012 where Palmer Luckey and John Carmack sat on stage and addressed the new direction. Since then we saw it at CES and finally got in our own developer kit last month for some extended hands-on.
While I have definitely been impressed with the Rift in nearly every way while using it, the first thing anyone says when putting on the headset for the first time is about the graphics - the resolution of the unit was just too low and it creates a "screen door" effect because of it. As I wrote in my first preview:
I will say that the low resolution is definitely a barrier for me. Each eye is only seeing a 640x800 resolution in this version of the kit and that close up you can definitely see each pixel. Even worse, this creates a screen door effect that is basically like looking through a window with a screen installed. It's not great but you could get used to it if you had to; I am just hoping the higher resolution version of this kit is closer.
At E3 2013 the team at Oculus was able to put together a very early prototype of an HD version of the screen. By using a new 1920x1080 display each eye is able to see 960x1080; roughly twice the pixel density of the initial developer kit.
I got to spend some time with the higher resolution model today and I have to say that the difference is striking - and instantly noticeable. Gone was the obvious screen door effect and I was able to focus purely on the content. The content itself was new as well - Oculus and Epic were showing the Unreal Engine 4 integration with a custom version of the Elemental demo. The colors were crisp, the effects were amazing and only in a couple of rare instances of solid white color did we notice the black lines that plagued the first version.
As of now Oculus doesn't have plans to offer an updated developer kit with the 1080p screen installed but you just never know. They are still looking at several different phone screens and haven't made any final decisions on which direction to go but they are definitely close.
When I inquired about improvements on head tracking latency and accuracy to aid in motion sickness concerns (like I seem to have) Oculus was hesitant to say there was any single fix. Instead, a combination of lower latency, better hardware and even better thought out content were key to reducing these effects in gamers.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 12, 2013 - 08:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ultrabook, sandisk, Samsung, pci-e ssd, Marvell, MacBook Air, macbook, haswell, apple
As Scott covered earlier this week, Apple quietly announced an update to the MacBook Air line along side the headline-grabbing Mac Pro redesign preview. Being a MacBook Air user for the past 2 years, I decided it was time to replace my Sandy Bridge-based model with some new Haswell goodness. Today marked the first day of retail store availability, and I picked up an 11" model with 256GB SSD.
Naturally, when I got back to the office there was only one route to take, installing Windows and disassembling it. While Anand uncovered the fact that these MacBooks were hiding a new unadvertised option, in a PCI-Express based SSD, I wanted to check it out for myself.
When I did some digging, I discovered that while Anand found a Samsung based SSD in his MacBook, mine actually contained a model by Sandisk. I did a quick initial benchmark in OS X, and proceeded to inspect the hardware itself.
Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 07:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: wqxga, wqhd, monoprice, ips, E3, 2560x1440
While wandering the halls at E3 to talk with NVIDIA and AMD about the future of gaming, I ran across a small booth with Monoprice in it. If you don't know Monoprice, it is an online seller of electronics and cables and much of its merchandise can be found throughout the offices at PC Perspective.
In recent months Monoprice made news with PC gamers as one of the first major retailers to begin selling the low-cost 27-in 2560x1440 monitors shipping from Korea. While the monitors are likely very much the same, buying from a local company in the US rather than trusting an eBay buyer in Korea brings a lot of peace of mind to the transaction. Getting a dead pixel and 1 year warranty along with it helps too.
On hand at E3 was the Monoprice IPS-ZERO-G Monitor that runs at a 2560x1440 resolution with a single dual-link DVI input. This is an updated to the first model Monoprice shipped with a newer, thinner design and an even better $390 price point.
Monoprice also is offering a model with an internal scalar that allows the display to include additional inputs like HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort. The 27-in IPS-G Pro will sell for $474 and will also be tuned for AdobeRGB and sRGB options.
In addition to the two 27-in models, Monoprice also has added 30-in 2560x1600 monitors: the IPS CrystalPro and the IPS Pro with the same primary differentiation - input support.
I am looking forward to getting my hands on these Monoprice display options to see if they can live up to the levels of the other Korean-built displays we have in the office. If they do, then I think we have a new reason for PC gamers to celebrate.
Another interesting find at the booth were some new HDMI cables using a RedMere controller on the connector to allow for extremely thin (and long) runs. First shown at CES in 2008, the RedMere RM1689 chip runs solely on the power provided by the HDMI output and allows cables to use much less copper to create thinner designs. They will obviously cost a bit more than standard options but you can see from the photo above the difference is striking.
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2013 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: freespace, gaming, interplay
Interplay were the original owners of the Freespace IP and sold it off to THQ, who did absolutely nothing with it and apparently did not see any value in it as THQ just sold it back to Interplay for a mere $7500. This is not necessarily good news as Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN points out Interplay is not necessarily the healthiest company right now. So far there is no news about future releases nor really anything apart from the transfer of ownership, but at least we know Freespace is still somewhat alive.
"Yes, Interplay, the company who’s only slightly more existent than THQ at this point. The publisher sealed the deal with a cool-as-an-airless-vacuum sum of $7500, which is a disturbingly small amount of my total yearly rent. If I moved someplace else, I could own Freespace. Right now. I will carry this regret to my deathbed."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- No Force Can Prevent There Being A Warhammer 40K MMO @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Metro: Last Light Review @ OCC
- Metro: Last Light Review @ Techgage
- The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing @ Kitguru
- 10 E3 Trailers You Don't Want to Miss @ Wired
- Borderlands 2 Step By Step Modding Guide @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2013 - 01:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, wwdc
The Tech Report spent some time thinking about Apple's keynote yesterday and decided that it demonstrated a big change in Apple's corporate philosophy. Over the past year Apple has been bereft of direction after spending so much time with a single person at the helm and at the keynote they finally seemed to have found a new set of core values to lead their business. It seems that Craig Federighi is a much more personable leader, willing to stray from the script and poke fun at himself which is drastically different from the serious soliloquies which has represented Apple's pubic face for so long. Read on to see what they think these changes could imply for the future of Apple.
"There was something different about Apple during yesterday's WWDC keynote. According to TR's Cyril Kowaliski, that something was Apple's new soul—a new identity based not on one man's ego, but on human ideals we can connect with."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Giving an RC tank a fire control computer @ Hack a Day
- iOS 7 interactive guide @ The Inquirer
- Toshiba announces Q series SSDs for laptop upgrades @ The Inquirer
- KEEP CALM and Carry On: PRISM itself is not a big deal @ The Register
- Computer Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know @ TechSpot
- Symantec claims a Linux kernel exploit has been ported to Android @ The Inquirer
- Pandora to hit airwaves with terrestrial radio station buy @ The Register
- And the Winner of Next-Gen is: PlayStation 4 (Unless Microsoft Fixes Things) @ Techgage
- Disease Outbreak Threatens the Future of Good Coffee @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2013 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There is another Haswell based notebook on sale today, though this one packs significantly more graphical power. The Alienware 14 on special sports a i7-4700MQ with a top speed of 3.4GHz, 8GB DDR3-1600 and a GT750M to power the 1366x768 screen with a 750GB HDD for storage. It also has a Killer NIC to help you out during fast paced gaming online either wired or on WiFi.
- Just-released Alienware 14 Core i7 "Haswell" Gaming Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, GeForce GT 750M graphics for $1,149 with free shipping (normally $1,199 - use $50 coupon code BHW1L0MX0D?MCX ).
- 256GB Crucial M4 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD (CT256M4SSD2) for $184.99 with free shipping (normally $229).
- 14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7 Ultrabook w/8GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive + 32GB SSD, 1GB Radeon HD 7570M & built-in Optical Drive for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $1,188.99 - use coupon code R8C7B72VL7JKD1 ). 24" Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920x1200 IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $458.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99 - use BOTH coupon codes $PX1BGTSZ3G635 and W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- HP Spectre XT 15t-4000 TouchSmart 15.6" Core i7 1080p Ultrabook for $1,049.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $1,199.99 - use coupon code NEWPC150 ).
- Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 (5 User) for $29.99 (normally $79.99).
A necessary gesture
NVIDIA views the gaming landscape as a constantly shifting medium that starts with the PC. But the company also sees mobile gaming, cloud gaming and even console gaming as part of the overall ecosystem. But that is all tied together by an investment in content – the game developers and game publishers that make the games that we play on PCs, tablets, phones and consoles.
The slide above shows NVIDIA targeting for each segment – expect for consoles obviously. NVIDIA GRID will address the cloud gaming infrastructure, GeForce and the GeForce Experience will continue with the PC systems and NVIDIA SHIELD and the Tegra SoC will get the focus for the mobile and tablet spaces. I find it interesting that NVIDIA has specifically called out Steam under the PC – maybe a hint of the future for the upcoming Steam Box?
The primary point of focus for today’s press meeting was to talk about the commitment that NVIDIA has to the gaming world and to developers. AMD has been talking up their 4-point attack on gaming that starts really with the dominance in the console markets. But NVIDIA has been the leader in the PC world for many years and doesn’t see that changing.
With several global testing facilities, the most impressive of which exists in Russia, NVIDIA tests more games, more hardware and more settings combinations than you can possibly imagine. They tune drivers and find optimal playing settings for more than 100 games that are now wrapped up into the GeForce Experience software. They write tools for developers to find software bottlenecks and test for game streaming latency (with the upcoming SHIELD). They invest more in those areas than any other hardware vendor.
This is a list of technologies that NVIDIA claims they invented or developed – an impressive list that includes things like programmable shaders, GPU compute, Boost technology and more.
Many of these turned out to be very important in the development and advancement of gaming – not for PCs but for ALL gaming.
Subject: Storage | June 11, 2013 - 08:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Seagate, NAS
CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) today took the wraps off its new Seagate® NAS HDD—a cutting-edge drive custom-built for always-on, one- to five-bay network attached storage (NAS) systems. Engineered with performance and reliability in mind, the new drives are available in multiple capacity points including a 4TB option—the industry’s highest capacity NAS hard disk drive (HDD) solution available—and strong industry support from nine NAS system partners.
“Today about 50 percent of NAS arrays are sold diskless meaning that customers are challenged with identifying and installing the right storage for their system. By developing a drive like NAS HDD, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it and made it easy for customers to identify the right drive for their system,” said Scott Horn, Seagate vice president of marketing. “By collaborating closely with a variety of partners who specialize in NAS systems, we’re making what was a confusing effort into a plug-and-play one.”
Featuring up to 4TB of storage the drive now enables NAS systems, such as those utilized in homes and small to midsize businesses (SMB), to provide up to 20TB of data in a five-bay NAS array. And with over 30 percent capacity improvement over competitive offerings, the NAS HDD 4TB drive delivers the highest capacity available on the market.
Cost effective drives built specifically for NAS solutions, the 4TB option has the capacity to store over 819,000 photos, 1 million songs or nearly 500 hours of high-definition (HD) video content—more than enough space for the average household. It is also ideal for small businesses with large enough capacities to support CAD files, medical images and databases.
“QNAP is thrilled to be teaming up with Seagate to offer our customers a high-performance storage solution optimized for NAS systems,” said Meiji Chang, general manager of QNAP. “The Seagate NAS HDD allows us to deliver the highest capacity storage offering on the market while providing our customers with a huge boost in performance and a reliable business level NAS solution for 24x7 operations.”
“Households and SMBs continue to generate a significant amount of data, and need fast and reliable storage solutions,” said John Rydning, IDC's research vice president for hard disk drives. “Rather than taking hours or days to transfer a large amount of digital content over the internet to a cloud storage service provider, Seagate’s new NAS HDD provides a high-capacity solution for fast data transfers and backups on-premise over local networks.”
Built to provide up to 10 percent performance advantage over the competition for 24x7 NAS applications, the NAS HDD is engineered for performance in always on applications and can support multiple HD video streams and user profiles. The drive boasts near silent acoustics operating below the range of audible sound for the human ear with as low as 1.9 bels, providing optimized acoustics for the home or SMB environment. It also features Seagate’s own NASWorks™ technology which improves drive reliability by supporting features that limit drive vibrations and support extended error recovery controls for better data integrity.
Seagate NAS HDDs are built and tested to provide industry-leading performance for small NAS systems. Key features of the NAS HDD include:
- Industry’s Highest Capacity NAS Drive—up to 4TB available, the NAS HDD offers a 30 percent capacity advantage over the competition.
- Best Performance for 1- to -5-bay NAS Systems—built and tested to provide industry-leading performance, NAS HDDs offer the industry’s highest throughput to deliver the performance demanded by NAS solutions.
- NASWorks—supports error correction via customized error recovery controls, power management and vibration tolerance for optimal performance and reliability in a 1- to 5-bay solution.
- Improved Vibration Tolerance—dual-plane balance supports the unique weighted motor design minimizing vibration that can be amplified in multi-drive systems improving the drive’s performance and system reliability.
- Advanced Power Management—supports multiple user-selectable power profiles that can optimize power usage for different workloads to minimize power consumption while maintaining high-availability performance.
- Quiet Drive Operation—enhances the end customer experience with near-silent acoustics for low-noise environments like living rooms or office spaces.
Designed with compatibility in mind, Seagate NAS hard disk drives have been rigorously tested by some of today’s top NAS providers and flawlessly integrated into their NAS solutions. For more information on the Seagate NAS HDD and qualified OEM partners please visit www.seagate.com/www/nashdd.
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2013 - 03:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ubuntu touch
At Slashdot you can see some a preview of Ubuntu Touch, the new version of the OS meant to be used on cellphones and tablets. Following the link will take you to a slideshow that displays some of the screens and dialogue boxes to expect from the new mobile OS, which will include a terminal program as you can see below. Unfortunately there is little in the way of information as to what hardware will support this new mobile OS, but hey it's Linux and half the fun is getting it to run on hardware that it has never run on before!
"The first developer preview of Ubuntu Touch – aka 'Ubuntu for Phones and Tablets' – was unveiled just a few short months ago. And, just a few weeks back, it was announced that the team was shooting for having a fully functional (aka "can use it as your actual phone, on a daily basis") version by the end of May. May is now over, so Bryan Lunduke published some screenshots and analysis of the core features of the Ubuntu OS for smartphones and tablets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 2013 MacBook Air: PCIe SSD and Haswell ULT Inside @ AnandTech
- Xbox One vs PS4 specs comparison @ The Inquirer
- iOS 7 specs and features: Everything you need to know @ The Inquirer
- US$99 7-inch tablets may appear in 3Q13 @ DigiTimes
- Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard @ The Register
- Chance to win bequiet! Pure Power L8 power supplies @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2013 - 12:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The new ENVY series is shipping with a Haswell chip inside, specifically the i7-4700MQ @ 3.4GHz boost, 8GB DDR3 and a 1TB HDD with no optical drive which allows for a weight under 5lbs and dimensions of 4.94 x 9.87 x 1.18". The 15.6" screen is 1366 x 768 which may disappoint some prospective buyers however with HDMI out you should be able to use the HD4600 to send 1080p to an external display.
- 15.6" HP ENVY 15t-j000 Quad Edition 4th-gen Core i7 "Haswell" Laptop for $724.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $799.99 - use coupon code NEWPC75 ).
- 29" Dell UltraSharp U2913WM panoramic 2560x1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $479.99 with free shipping (normally $699.99 - use coupon code FNR?FNNWG4T1FD and W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- True Innovations Sport Mesh Mid-Back Chair for $64.99 with free shipping (normally $145.99 - use coupon code 1SWS81789Z348C )
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, Radeon HD 7570 & 23" UltraSharp Monitor for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,174.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Rare discount! 7" HP Slate 7 8GB, Android 4.1 Tablet w/1.6GHz ARM Cortex A9 Processor, Beats Audio, Accelerometer & 1024x600 Multi-touch screen for $149.99 with free shipping (normally $169.99 - use coupon code LOGICBUY20 ).
- LG Escape 4G LTE 4.3" Android Smartphone [w/new 2-year AT&T contract] for $0 with free shipping (normally $349.99 without contract).
- Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013 (5 User) for $29.99 (normally $79.99).
Subject: Processors | June 11, 2013 - 11:13 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: vishera, TWKR, piledriver, FX-9590, FX-9370, Centurion, amd
We have all heard the rumors, but it appears to be true. We had originally heard about a “Centurion” product which would be for extreme overclockers on the AMD side, running at 5 GHz with a 220 watt TDP. Now we finally get to see what all the fuss is about. AMD is releasing two new Vishera based processors that, for the time being, will be limited to system integrators and will be available later this summer.
The top end product is the FX-9590 which has a top turbo speed of 5 GHz. This will be a full four module implementation with the 8 MB of L3 cache. AMD did not give any other details for this particular part. We do not know what the base clock is, we do not know what the TDP is, and we can only assume that the northbridge/L3 cache will be clocked at the standard 2.2 GHz that we have seen on previous Vishera parts.
The second product is the FX-9370 which is again a four module part that has a top turbo speed of 4.7 GHz. Remember that the four modules each have two “cores”, so it is still considered an eight core part. These processors are unlocked, so they can be further overclocked if one so desires. TDP and other details were again skipped for this particular part.
These parts will be going to system integrators first, and I am not entirely sure that AMD will sell them on the market direct to consumers. If AMD does in fact sell to consumers (not implied at all in the press release) then they likely will have to bundle it with a very robust cooler. Probably something along the lines of what we saw with the original FX-8150 LCS bundle.
Consider that the FX-8350 is a 4 GHz base clock product with a max turbo of 4.2 GHz and having a TDP of 125 watts, we probably have to assume that the 220 watt number bandied about is accurate. A pretty beefy air cooler would be required, or the aforementioned liquid cooling system. AMD also likely had GLOBALFOUNDRIES change the “mix” when fabricating these parts. These batches probably feature more leaky transistors that can achieve higher speeds without an extreme amount of voltage.
This is an interesting move by AMD. Remember those TWKR chips that they released that were designed for LN2 use? There were a very limited number of those units, and we can imagine that while the FX-9000 series will be in greater numbers they still will not be commonplace on the retail market. SI’s like Maingear will be introducing systems this summer featuring these chips. Performance will be good with these solutions, but the tradeoff is of course power consumption and heat production as compared to similarly performing (and stock clocked) Intel i7 3770K and 4770K parts.
AMD is doing their best to address the enthusiast market, but until Kaveri hits the streets we will not see any major upgrades beyond these parts.
We received some further info about this chip. The TDP is up in the 220 watt region. It utilizes Turbo Core 3.0 to help achieve those speeds, so it seems that some of the work that went into Richland has made it into these latest FX processors. BIOS updates are probably a must. These chips will only be going to system integrators (SIs) and will be bundled with a liquid cooling system. We have no idea what the price will be since these will only be sold to SIs. Systems should be available after July 16.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 11, 2013 - 04:06 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: wwdc 13, MacBook Air, Mac Pro, apple
Sometimes our "Perspective" is needed on Apple announcements because some big points just do not get covered by the usual sources. Other times, portions of the story can be relevant to our readers. This is one of those days where both are true. Either side should review our thoughts and analysis of Apple's recent ultrabook and, especially, their upcoming desktop offerings.
The MacBook Air has been, predictably, upgraded Intel's Haswell processors. Battery life is the first obvious benefit of the CPU, and that has been well reported. The 11-inch MacBook Air gains an extra four hours of battery life, usable for up to 9 hours between charges. The extra space on the 13-inch MacBook Air allows it to last 12 hours between charges.
Less discussed, both MacBook Airs will contain Intel's Iris iGPU more commonly known as Intel HD 5000. You cannot get Intel HD 5000 graphics without selecting a BGA socket component which you would install by soldering it in place. While there are several better solutions from competing GPU vendors, Apple will have one of the first shipping implementations of Haswell's canonical graphics processor. Iris is said to have double the performance of previous generation Ivy Bridge graphics for a fraction of its power consumption.
Also included in the MacBook Air is an 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi network adapter and Bluetooth 4.0. Apple is not typically known to introduce new standards and often lags severely behind what is available on the PC unless they had a hand in trademarking it, USB 3.0 being the obvious and recent example.
The specifications will be somewhat customizable, the user is able to select between: an i5 and an i7 processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128, 256, or 512GB SSD. It has shipped the day it was announced with base prices ranging between $999 for an entry-level 11-inch and $1099 for an entry-level 13-inch.
But now we move on to the dying industry, desktop PCs, where all innovation has died unless it is to graft a touch interface to anything and everything.
"Can't innovate any more, my ass", grunts Phil Schiller, on the keynote stage.
Whether you like it, or think "innovation" is the best word, it's a legitimate new design some will want.
While the new Mac Pro is not a system that I would be interested in purchasing, for issues I will outline soon, these devices are what some users really want. I have been a very strong proponent of OEM devices as they highlight the benefit of the PC industry: choice. You can purchase a device, like the new Mac Pro, from a vendor; alternatively, you can purchase the components individually to assemble yourself and save a lot of money; otherwise, you can hire a small business computer store or technician.
We need more companies, like Apple, to try new devices and paradigms for workstations and other high-performance devices. While it is less ideal for Apple to be the ones coming up with these redesigns, Apple's platform encourages applications to be vendor-specific (only run on a Mac), it can still benefit the PC industry by demonstrating that life and demand still exists; trying something new could reap large benefits. Not everyone wants to have a full ATX case with discrete components but still want workstation performance, and that is okay.
Now when it comes to actual specifications, the typical coverage glossed over what could be easily approximated by a trip to Wikipedia and Google. Sure, some may have been in a rush within the auditorium, but still.
The specifications are:
- Intel Xeon E5-2600 V2-class CPU, Ivy Bridge-E, 12 cores max (suggests single-socket)
- 4-channel DDR3 ECC RAM, apparently 4 DIMMS which suggests 4x16GB (Max).
Dual FirePro GPUs, 4096 total shaders with 2x6GB GDDR5.
- Pretty clearly based on FirePro W9000
- Seems to be slightly underclocked, losing about 0.5 Teraflop per GPU.
- PCIe SSD
- Thunderbolt 2, USB3.0, and WiFi ac (+ a/b/g/n??), Bluetooth 4.0
Now the downside is that basically anything you wish to add to the Mac Pro needs to be done through Thunderbolt, Bluetooth 4.0, or USB 3.0. When you purchase an all-in-one custom design, you forfeit your ability to reach in and modify the components. There is also no mention of pricing, and for a computer with this shoplist you should expect to pay a substantial invoice even without "The Apple Tax", but that is not the point of purchasing a high-end workstation. Apple certainly put in as close to the best-of-the-best as they could.
Now could people stop claiming the PC is dead and work towards sustaining it? I know people love stories of jarring industry shifts, but this is ridiculous.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 10, 2013 - 07:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gtx 770, msi N770 Lightning, overclocking
[H]ard|OCP liked the new GTX 770 Lightning from MSI but thought they would like it better overclocked, perhaps even more than a GTX 680 or HD7970. The triplets below are, from top to bottom, the GTX 680, the GTX 770 and the HD7970, all from the overclocked Lightning family. By using MSI's Afterburner utility [H] pushed the card to 1241MHz on the core and 7.8GHz effective for the RAM, higher than the factory overclock. That speed boost put its performance on par with the overclocked GTX680 but it seems that the impressive speeds that the 7970 Lightning is capable of leaves it comfortably in the lead.
"We take the new MSI N770 Lightning and overclock it to its maximum potential. We will compare it with a highly overclocked MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning and GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7970. Each GPU is getting its best chance to show us how well it can perform, as all of these GPUs are highly overclocked."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GALAXY GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GTX 770 2GB @ eTeknix
- NVidia GTX 770 Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 @ Bjorn3D
- EVGA GTX 770 SC 2GB with ACX Cooler Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte GTX 650Ti BOOST 2GB OC Video Card @ HiTech Legion
- MSI N770 Lightning Overclocking @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reviewed in 2-Way SLI and NVIDIA Surround @ Legit Reviews
- Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 780 review: almost a Titan @ Hardware.info
- ASUS GTX 670 Direct CU Mini @ Kitguru
- Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 660 @ Hardware.info
- EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Superclocked ACX Cooling Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte GTX 780 WindForce OC 3GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 OC WindForce 3x 2GB @ eTeknix
- iXBT Labs Review: i3DSpeed, May 2013
- Gigabyte HD 7790 2GB @ Bjorn3D
Subject: Mobile | June 10, 2013 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: acer, phablet, liquid s1
The Liquid S1 is Acer's challenger in the chimeric market segment that bridges both tablets and phones, often referred to as a phablet. Measure 83mm across (3.2") and 9.6mm thick this 195g device is almost all touchscreen, a bigger screen than the Galaxy Note 2 by a few centimeters and sporting a 1250x720 resolution. It is running Android Jelly Bean with the Butter upgrade as well as Acer's proprietary interface tweaks. Inside you will find a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB of storage, though The Inquirer did not specify the exact make of the CPU.
"The Acer Liquid S1 looks to challenge the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which has a 5.35in display, with its even larger 5.7in HD touchscreen. We got some time with the device to see how a phone of this size fares in the hand."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- BlackBerry Z10 @ LanOC Reviews
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 @ The Inquirer
- Sony Xperia Tablet Z @ The Inquirer
- Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery Software @ Funky Kit
- Acer Iconia W3 with Windows 8 @ The Inquirer
- Samsung ATIV Book 7 series review: with and without touch @ Hardware.info
- Dell Inspiron 15z (I15z-4801SLV) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Samsung's Sleekest 13.3-inch Ultrabook Notebook Reviewed @ PCSTATS
- Gigabyte U2442F Ultrabook @ XSReviews
- OPPO Find 5 @ AnanadTech
- Acer C7 Chromebook (C710-2055) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Sony Vaio Pro 13 @ The Inquirer
- Logitech T650 Wireless Touchpad @ Benchmark Reviews
- Brando Workshop Sony Xperia Z Accessories Presentation @ Madshrimps
- Quirky Converge Universal USB Dock Review @ TechReviewSource
- Corsair Voyager Air Wireless Mobile Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Cooler Master NotePal U2 Plus Laptop Cooling Pad Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus @ LanOC Reviews
- Thermaltake Luxa2 H1-Touch Premium Holder Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand II Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus Cooling Pad Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2013 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, ios 7, mac, wwdc
If you are wondering what is going on in the computer world on the other side of the fence, you are either watching the live stream from Microsoft (which will not always be on, regardless of their slogan), or you are wearing a black turtleneck and counting down the hours until the big reveal. Apple is, as always, rather secretive about what the next new release is but The Inquirer has a few well informed hypothesis about what you can expect. The most interesting will probably be the new operating systems, the new iOS, the first mobile interface designed by Jony Ive and likely to be somewhat different from previous incarnations. Desktop devices will also be seeing a new interface with the arrival of OS X 10.9, this will likely not change to the extent of the mobile version but it might arrive on a peice of new hardware for you to salivate over. Their last informed guess is the arrival of iRadio to compete with Spotify and other streaming providers, though completely conjoined to your iTunes account
"SOFTWARE GIANT Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is just a few hours away, with excitement building over what analysts are calling Apple's most important announcements to date.
The firm is widely expected to unveil its next generation iOS and Mac operating systems, as well as its long-awaited Spotify rival, so here's a rundown of what we can expect."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 135: All's well that's Haswell
- Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy Note 12.2 leaks, set for third quarter release @ The Inquirer
- Google To Buy Waze For $1.3 Billion @ Slashdot
- Live from Microsoft's Xbox E3 2013 press conference
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2013 - 12:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS claims a 6ms response time which makes it suitable for gaming, as well as offering superior colour support. As it is a new model it supports HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, DVI-D and mini DisplayPort inputs as well as acting as a 4-port USB 3.0 hub.
- 24-inch Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920x1200 IPS Monitor (2013 model) w/USB 3.0 hub, DisplayPort, miniDisplayPort & 3-year warranty for $458.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99 - use BOTH coupon codes $PX1BGTSZ3G635 and W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- 1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA 6Gbps 3.5" Internal Desktop Hard Drive (ST1000DM003) for $62.99 with free shipping (normally $69.99 - use coupon code 6XR$VZZ$QF35T9 ).
- 17.3-inch HP ENVY 17t-j000 4th-gen Core i7 "Haswell" Laptop for $749.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $899.99 - use coupon code NEWPC150 ).
- 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15R 3rd-gen Core i5 Touchscreen Laptop for $649.99 with free shipping (normally $799.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- HP ENVY h8-1360t Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-core Desktop w/ Windows 7 for $549.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $949.99 - use coupon code NEWPC150 ).