Subject: General Tech | June 17, 2013 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, clover trail, tegra 3
ARM might be in for more of a fight than we had thought if they want to keep their market share for the next generation of cellphones, assuming of course that they are sold in North America. The Register posted about research recently done contrasting performance and power efficiency between several phone CPUs; the Lenovo K900 with a 2.0GHz Atom Z2580, a a Samsung Nexus 10 with a dual core 1.7GHz Cortex-A15, a Galaxy S4 phone running a "big.LITTLE" Exynos Octa with paired quad-core Cortex-A15 and Cortex A7 and even a Asus Nexus 7 with an Nvidia Tegra 3. Those phones give a good representation of current generation technology and it seems that while the performance for the top phones was very similar, Intel's new ATOM did it with 2/3 the amperage, specifically an average of 0.85A as opposed to the 1.38A of the second lowest competitor. ATOM seems to have finally found a market segment it can do very well in as long as the price is right.
"The industry analysts at ABI Research pitted a Lenovo smartphone based on Intel's Atom-based Clover Trail+ platform against a quartet of ARM-based systems, and Chipzilla's system not only kept pace with the best of them, but did so using less power."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Optimized Binaries Provide Great Benefits For Intel Haswell @ Phoronix
- Samsung releases PCI-Express SSD for ultrabooks @ The Inquirer
- Intel 2014 Haswell-E to pack 8 cores, DDR4, X99 PCH and more @ VR-Zone
- Microsoft unleashes wave of Azure mobile updates @ The Register
- Critical Java SE update due Tuesday fixes 40 flaws @ The Register
- Blackberry 10.2 will support Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean apps @ The Inquirer
- Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie to come in late October, also optimized for older phones @ VR-Zone
- Letting Bluetooth take the wires out of your headphones @ Hack a Day
- Adding WiFi to a kid’s tablet @ Hack a Day
- Intel bakes smaller, slower flash memory. Aah, now that's progress @ The Register
- TRENDnet AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter (TEW-805UB) Review @ Madshrimps
- Computex 2013 Madshrimps Style @ Madshrimps
- AMD Today & Beyond Event @ SilverSpoon, Publika @ TechARP
- ModSynergy 10-Year Celebration Contest - USA and International Edition
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 18, 2013 - 03:39 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, nvidia, geforce, frostbite 3, ea, dice, amd
The original source article at IGN.com has been updated with some new information. Now they are saying the agreement between AMD and EA is "non-exclusive and gamers using other components will be supported."
The quote from an EA rep says as follows:
DICE has a partnership with AMD specifically for Battlefield 4 on PC to showcase and optimize the game for AMD hardware," an EA spokesperson said. "This does not exclude DICE from working with other partners to ensure players have a great experience across a wide set of PCs for all their titles.
END UPDATE #3
This could be a huge deal for NVIDIA and AMD in the coming months - according to a story at IGN.com, AMD has entered into an agreement with EA that will allow them exclusive rights to optimization for all games based around the Frostbite 3 engine. That includes Battlefield 4, Mirror's Edge 2, Need for Speed Rivals and many more games due out this year and in 2014. Here is the quote that is getting my attention:
Starting with the release of Battlefield 4, all current and future titles using the Frostbite 3 engine — Need for Speed Rivals, Mirror's Edge 2, etc. — will ship optimized exclusively for AMD GPUs and CPUs. While Nvidia-based systems will be supported, the company won't be able to develop and distribute updated drivers until after each game is released.
Battlefield 4 will be exclusive optimized for AMD hardware.
This is huge news for AMD as the Frostbite 3 engine will be used for all EA published games going forward with the exception of sports titles. The three mentioned above are huge but this also includes Star Wars Battlefront, Dragon Age and even the next Mass Effect so I can't really emphasize enough how big of a win this could be for AMD's marketing and developer relations teams.
I am particularly interested in this line as well:
While Nvidia-based systems will be supported, the company won't be able to develop and distribute updated drivers until after each game is released.
The world of PC optimizations and partnerships has been around for a long time so this isn't a huge surprise for anyone that follows PC gaming. What is bothersome to me is that both EA and AMD
are saying are rumored to have agreed that NVIDIA won't get access to the game as it is being developed - something that is CRUCIAL for day-of driver releases and performance tweaks for GeForce card owners. In most cases, both AMD and NVIDIA developer relations teams get early access to game builds for PC titles in order to validate compatibility and to improve performance of these games for the public release. Without these builds, NVIDIA would be at a big disadvantage. This is exactly what happend with the recent Tomb Raider release.
AMD called me to reiterate their stance that competition does not automatically mean cutting out the other guy. In the Tomb Raider story linked above, Neil Robison, AMD's Senior Director of Consumer and Graphics Alliances, states quite plainly: "The thing that angers me the most is when I see a request to debilitate a game. I understand winning, I get that, and I understand aggressive companies, I get that. Why would you ever want to introduce a feature on purpose that would make a game not good for half the gaming audience? The thing that angers me the most is when I see a request to debilitate a game. I understand winning, I get that, and I understand aggressive companies, I get that. Why would you ever want to introduce a feature on purpose that would make a game not good for half the gaming audience?"
So what do we take away from that statement, made in a story published in March, and today's rumor? We have to take AMD at its word until we see solid evidence otherwise, or enough cases of this occurring to feel like I am being duped but AMD wants us all to know that they are playing the game the "right way." That stance just happens to be counter to this rumor.
NVIDIA had performance and compatibility issues with Tomb Raider upon release.
The irony in all of this is that AMD has been accusing NVIDIA of doing this exact thing for years - though without any public statements from developers, publishers or NVIDIA. When Batman: Arkham Asylum was launched AMD basically said that NVIDIA had locked them out of supporting antialiasing. In 2008, Assassin's Creed dropped DX 10.1 support supposedly because NVIDIA asked them too, who didn't have support for it at the time in GeForce cards. Or even that NVIDIA was disabling cores for PhysX CPU support to help prop up GeForce sales. At the time, AMD PR spun this as the worst possible thing for a company to do in the name of gamers, that is was bad for the industry, etc. But times change as opportunity changes.
The cold truth is that this is why AMD decided to take the chance that NVIDIA was unwilling to and take the console design wins that are often noted as being "bad business." If settling for razor thin margins on the consoles is a risk, the reward that AMD is hoping to get is exactly this: benefits in other markets thanks to better relationships with game developers.
Will the advantage be with AMD thanks to PS4 and Xbox One hardware?
At E3 I spoke in-depth with both NVIDIA and AMD executives about this debate and as you might expect both have very different opinions about what is going to transpire in the next 12-24 months. AMD views this advantage (being in the consoles) as the big bet that is going to pay off for the more profitable PC space. NVIDIA thinks that AMD still doesn't have what it takes to truly support developers in the long run and they don't have the engineers to innovate on the technology side. In my view, having Radeon-based processors in the Xbox One and Playstation 4 (as well as the Wii U I guess) gives AMD a head start but won't win them the race for the hearts and minds of PC gamers. There is still a lot of work to be done for that.
Before this story broke I was planning on outlining another editorial on this subject and it looks like it just got promoted to a top priority. There appear to be a lot of proverbial shoes left to drop in this battle, but it definitely needs more research and discussion.
Remember the issues with Batman: Arkham Asylum? I do.
I asked both NVIDIA and AMD for feedback on this story but only AMD has replied thus far. Robert Hallock, PR manager for gaming and graphics, Graphics Business Unit at AMD sent me this:
It makes sense that game developers would focus on AMD hardware with AMD hardware being the backbone of the next console generation. At this time, though, our relationship with EA is exclusively focused on Battlefield 4 and its hardware optimizations for AMD CPUs, GPUs and APUs.
Not much there, but he is also not denying of the original report coming from IGN. It might just be too early for a more official statement. I will update this story with information from NVIDIA if I hear anything else.
What do YOU think about this announcement though? Is this good news for AMD and bad news for NVIDIA? Is it good or bad for the gamer and in particular, the PC gamer? Your input will help guide or upcoming continued talks with NVIDIA and AMD on the subject.
Just so we all have some clarification on this and on the potential for validity of the rumor, this is where I sourced the story from this afternoon:
END UPDATE #2
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 02:33 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: wwdc, video, titan, podcast, oculus rift, nvidia, FX, apple, amd, a10-6800k, 5ghz
PC Perspective Podcast #255 - 06/13/2013
Join us this week as we discuss AMD's 5 GHz Processor, 1080p Oculus Rift, and more news from Computex!
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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 57:27
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:49:00 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2013 - 08:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X40, Kraken X60
[H]ard|OCP recently tried out the two new Kraken coolers from NZXT, the non-i versions of the X40 and X60. The smaller X40 will possibly be more popular as its smaller size will allow it to be used in conjunction with more cases but the X60 should not be shunned just because it is big. You might shun it because of its higher price, arguably there are better coolers at the same price point. The X40 on the other hand walked away with a gold award as not only does it perform well, its price is similar to some high end air coolers. Check them out here.
"Pardon the cliche', but it must be done. NZXT RELEASES THE KRAKEN! Now since that is out of the way, we take a long [H]ard look at NZXT's new line of Kraken branded sealed system water coolers for your CPU. This type of cooler is quickly becoming the norm for many enthusiasts looking for a quick and easy cooling solution."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Closed Loop Cooler Roundup @ AnandTech
- Noctua NH-U12S and NH-U14S Single Tower CPU Coolers Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Noctua NH-U14S & NH-U12S CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Thermaltake Urban S31 Mid Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Enermax ETS-T40-White Cluster CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX Cpu cooler @ Rbmods
- Cooler Master Seidon 120M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case @ Kitguru
- GELID The Black Edition CPU Cooler Review: Man in Black @ X-bit Labs
- Scythe Mugen 4 review: finally a good successor to the Mugen 2 @ Hardware.info
- Noctua NH-U12S @ techPowerUp
- First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek @ SPCR
- Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe @ SPCR
- Noctua NF-S12A Series Fans Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Silverstone Argon AR03 @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Spike @ techPowerUp
- Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Cooler Master N200 Review @ OCC
- Corsair Obsidian 350D Windowed Edition Case @ Kitguru
- CM Storm Scout II review: too little, too late @ Hardware.info
- ENERMAX HOPLITE ST ECA3261-W ATX Case @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 02:54 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.
- Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920x1200 24-inch IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $449.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99 - use coupon code W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- Dell Inspiron 15R 3rd Gen Core i7 Touchscreen Laptop for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $1,169.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Apple iPhone 4S [2-year AT&T contract] (Certified Like-New) for $49.99 with free shipping.
- 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 ).
- 21.5" Dell S2240T 1080p Multi-touch LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $339.99 with free shipping (normally $399.99 - use coupon code $PX1BGTSZ3G635 ).
- 50% off Webroot SecureAnyWhere Products.
- Realspace Calusa Mesh Task Chair for $84.99 with free shipping (normally $189.99 - use coupon code 1SWS81789Z348C ).
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: Motherboards | June 17, 2013 - 06:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, z87, Z87-A
You have a lot of choice in motherboard if you are thinking of moving up to Haswell as there are a huge amount of models available. At their core the different implementations of the Z87 are very similar, it is the materials used for construction and the add-ons which make a board stand out. ASUS added 5k long life capacitors, rust proofing on the I/O panel, the new Realtek ALC1150 onboard audio and an ASMedia USB controller to increase the number of available ports, to name just a few features. Head over to [H]ard|OCP for the performance review of the $150 ASUS Z87-A motherboard.
"We start today with reviewing new Z87 chipset motherboards, which we will surely see a lot of, with ASUS' new Z87-A motherboard. Before we even got the box open we had to stop for a second and enjoy the simplicity of the name. But don't let the name fool you. There is plenty going on here to keep your enthusiast attention."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H @ The Tech Report
- MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H @ eTeknix
- Asus Z87-A @ Kitguru
- MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Review @ OCC
- Overclocking Haswell on ASUS' 8-Series Motherboards @ AnandTech
- Asus Z87 Gryphon and Armor Kit @ LanOC Reviews
- ASUS Z87-DELUXE Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASUS GRYPHON Z87 (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
- ASRock Z87 Extreme 6 @ Kitguru
- Exclusive Asus Z87 Pro @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z87-A Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASUS Z87-DELUXE Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Asus' Z87-PRO @ The Tech Report
- ASUS Maximus VI HERO Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI Z87 MPower @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX @ Kitguru
- ASUS Republic Of Gamers Maximus VI Hero Intel Z87 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP5-TH @ [H]ard|OCP
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI-E Compliance Mode @ TechARP
- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | June 17, 2013 - 01:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The prices of large format 1080p TVs have dropped sharply from their initial release, however with an additional $200 off the 50" Sharp Aquos is an exceptional deal. For those with a room large enough this deal from LogicBuy and Dell is a great excuse to finally get that big TV you have dreamed about. Those wanting 3D support or a higher resolution are going to have to wait, or spend a wee bit more money for their TV.
- 50" Sharp Aquos LC-50LE442U 1080p LED HDTV + $200 Gift Card for $548 with free shipping (normally $748).
- 14" HP ENVY 4t-1200 Core i3 Ultrabook for $401.24 with $9.99 shipping (normally $474.99 - use coupon code SVD8492 ).
- Dell Vostro 270s 3rd-gen Core i5 Quad-Core Slim Desktop w/1TB Hard Drive, Win 7 Professional for $499 with free shipping (normally $599 - use coupon code).
- 27" HP ENVY 27 IPS-panel LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/ Beats Audio for $375.99 with free shipping (normally $469.99 - use 20% coupon code MT2617 ).
- Dell Precision M4700 Mobile Workstation starting $1,019 with free shipping.
- Realspace Dorra Leather Task Chair for $59.99 with free shipping (normally $99.99).
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).
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 18, 2013 - 07:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Whether you are looking for a professional level display with 99% Adobe colour gamut or a large 1440p display (sorry not quite 4k) to game on, at $765 the Dell UltraSharp U2713H 27" IPS display is a great deal. The USB 3.0 connectors are a nice touch but they do add to the size of the bezel for those with enough lucre to consider running more than one of these displays.
- 27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2713H 2560x1440 IPS-panel LCD Monitor (Flagship 2013 Model) for $764.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 - use BOTH coupon codes $PX1BGTSZ3G635 and W7HWC5Q9S4V6VH ).
- HP ENVY 700-030qe 4th-gen Intel Core i7 "Haswell" Desktop w/12GB RAM, 2TB Hard Drive, Radeon HD 7670, 2-year warranty, Photoshop Elements 11 Bundle, Beats Audio & Windows 8 for $849.99 with $9.99 shipping (normally $999.99 - use 15% coupon code DT6382 ).
- Dell XPS 14 Core i5 + 900p Gorilla Glass, Windows 7 Ultrabook for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,199.99).
- Sony HDR-AS15 HD Action Camcorder for $199.99 with free shipping (normally $269.99 - use coupon code SONYACAM ).
- 27-inch HP Pavilion 27xi 1080p IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $271.99 with free shipping (normally $339.99 - use coupon code MT2617 ).
- Serta Ergonomic Leather Multifunction Managers Chair (Black) for $159.99 with free shipping (normally $209.99).
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