Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2013 - 06:16 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wp8, Qualcomm MSM8960, nokia, lumia 928, lumia
Nokia will be launching a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone next week that trades in the traditional colorful Lumia designs for a sleek black or white finish. The Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone will be available on Verizon Wireless in the US.
The smartphone features a 4.5” WXGA OLED display with a resolution of 1280x768. The front of the phone resembles a flat rectangle with slightly rounded corners while the back is slightly curved. On the front below the display are capacitive buttons and above the display is a 1.2MP webcam that is capable of shooting still images or 720p HD videos. Three high amplitude microphones are also included. The Nokia 928 smartphone also uses a rear PureView 8.7MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics capable of shooting 1080p30 HD video. This main camera has optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash for still images (and a LED flash for video).
On the inside, the Nokia Lumia 928 is powered by a dual core Qualcomm MSM8960+WTR processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 2000mAh battery. Wireless charging and an NFC radio are also included. Of course, the Lumia 928 is running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system.
The Lumia 928 will be available at Verizon (both in-store and online) for $149. A $50 mail in rebate will bring that price down to $99. On top of that, for a limited time, you can get $25 of Windows Store credit to spend on apps and games. From the specifications, it seems like a decent midrange smartphone so long as you do not need any Android or iOS exclusive applications.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2013 - 09:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: seasonic, haswell, Power Supplies, PSU, 0.05A
Following the announcements from other power supply manufacturers, Seasonic has now released a list of its own power supplies that are compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processor. The new Haswell CPUs, set to launch June 3rd, incorporate new C6 and C7 sleep states that draw as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. Because of the low load, some existing power supplies will have issues with the new sleep states and could result in system instability. In light of that, many manufacturers are validating their existing lineups to determine which ones are compatible.
As of the time of publication, the following power supplies from Seasonic are compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states.
Platinum Fanless Series
M12 II Evo Edition Series
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on PSU and Haswell compatibility.
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2013 - 08:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon hd 7850, ICEQ Turbo, his, hd 7850, GCN, amd
HIS has launched a new factory overclocked graphics card based on AMD's Radeon HD 7850 "Pitcairn" GPU called the IceQ X^2 Turbo. The new card uses a custom PCB and IceQ X^2 cooler.
The IceQ X^2 cooler uses two 75mm fans to cool an aluminum fin stack that is connected to the copper GPU contact plate with copper heatpipes. The HSF is surrounded by a black shroud. HIS claims that its custom cooler runs at a quiet 28dB when the card is idle.
The HIS HD 7850 IceQ X^2 Turbo is a factory overclocked card. HIS has taken a standard HD 7850 GPU with 1024 stream processors and clocked it at 1GHz, which is a 140MHz overclock over the reference 7850 clockspeed. The card is further paired with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at the reference 1200MHz (4800MHz effective) on a 256-bit bus. An 8-phase VRM keeps the overclocked components fed with stable power. It offers up a single DVI, one HDMI, and two mini-DisplayPort video outputs.
Because of the custom cooler, it should be possible to push the HD 7850 GPU even higher, although exactly how much higher will depend on the individual card.
The HIS IceQ X^2 Turbo does not have any official pricing information yet, but it should be priced somewhere around $220 since the already-available single fan IceQ X Turbo card is currently priced at approximately $210 at online retailers.
Also read: The AMD Radeon HD 7850 gets frame rated!
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 07:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, sentry, sentry mix 2, fan controller
NZXT has launched its new Sentry Mix 2 fan controller. Featuring an audio equipment theme, the Sentry Mix 2 fits into a single 5.25” bay. It features a matte black bezel with six glossy black sliders that are recessed into the bezel to ensure compatibility with PC case doors. Below the fan speed sliders are LEDs that can be changed to one of five colors (white, blue, green, orange, red).
The Mix 2 is the successor and replacement of the original Mix fan controller, and it uses a redesigned PCB. The controller has six sliders that are connected to six 4-pin fan outputs. The fan controller is powered by two 4-pin Molex power connectors and can draw a maximum of 180W. Each fan channel can draw a maximum of 30W. The sliders are analog rheostats that are also compatible with PWM controlled fans.
The Sentry Mix 2 comes with a 2 year warranty. The fan controller should be available soon with an MSRP of $29.99. More information can be found on NZXT’s website. As far as fan controllers go, I could see myself using this one as it keeps the LED bling to a minimum.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2013 - 07:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: titan, radeon hd 7990, nvidia, amd
If you have been wondering how the two flagship GPUs fare in a battle royal of pure frame rate you can satisfy your curiousity at [H]ard|OCP. They have tested both NVIDIA's TITAN and the finally released HD7990 in one of their latest reviews. Both cards were force to push out pixels at 5760x1200 and for the most part tied, which makes sense as they both cost $1000. The real winner was Crossfired HD 7970's which kept up with the big guns but cost $200 less to purcahse.
If that isn't extreme enough for you, they also overclocked the TITAN in a seperate review.
"We follow-up with a look at how the $999 GeForce GTX TITAN compares to the new $999 AMD Radeon HD 7990 video card. What makes this is unique is that the GeForce GTX TITAN is a single-GPU running three displays in NV Surround compared to the same priced dual-GPU CrossFire on a card Radeon HD 7990 in Eyefinity."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon HD 7990 @ The Tech Report
- Diamond BV750 Low Profile 7750 @ Bjorn3D
- XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition 1GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 2GB review: does another 1GB make a difference @ Hardware.info
- PowerColor HD 7790 Turbo Duo 1GB Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire HD7790 2GB OC @ Kitguru
- XFX R7790 Black Edition 1GB Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7790 TurboDuo OC 1GB @ eTeknix
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB and HD 7970 GHz Edition Video Cards in CrossFireX @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB Dual GPU Video Card Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- 15-Way Open vs. Closed Source NVIDIA/AMD Linux GPU Comparison @ Phoronix
- ASUS GTX650-E-2GD5 @ Hardware.info
- EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked Video Cards in SLI Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Inno3D iChill GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SuperClocked 2GB @ Tweaktown
- ZOTAC GTX Titan AMP! Edition @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS GTX 650 Ti Boost DCII @ Bjorn3D
- Asus GTX 670 DirectCU Mini 2GB @ eTeknix
Subject: Mobile | May 10, 2013 - 06:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: clover trail, asus, VivoTab Smart ME400C, atom
While the new Atom processors that we discussed are a long way off you can still pick up some interesting devices powered by the current generation. The ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400C has a Z2760 @ 1.8GHz, 2GB DDR2 and a 64GB eMMC SSD which is not too shabby for a $400 device. The 1366x768 resolution screen might not be the best but at 10.1" it is a reasonable choice for ASUS to make. The Tech Report's testing showed you can expect about 10 hours of battery life and it is capable of running Windows 8 and legacy x86 software as opposed to the ARM powered WinRT tablets it competes with. They do recommend you purhase the TranSleeve and a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo seperately as you will save a good amount of money doing so.
"This Windows 8 tablet has an Atom processor, solid battery life, and a $430 price tag. Is it compelling as a tablet, and can it really double as a productivity PC?"
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- MSI GT70 0NE @ Hardware.info
- Microsoft Surface Pro @ Hardware.info
- Toshiba Kirabook Review @ TechReviewSource
- CyberPowerPC FangBook @ AnandTech
- Acer Aspire R7 @ The Inquirer
- ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400 10.1 inch Windows 8 Tablet Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte P2742G Gaming Laptop @ Modders-Inc
- Acer Aspire S7-191 Touchscreen Ultrabook @ Tweaktown
- Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS VivoBook X202E Laptop @ Hardware Secrets
- Acer Aspire E1-531 Laptop Review @ Madshrimps
- AVATAR Mercury Ultrabook AVIU-145A2 Review @ OCC
- Acer Aspire S7-391 Touchscreen Ultrabook @ Tweaktown
- Samsung 5-Series NP540U3C-A01 13.3-inch Ultrabook Notebook Review @ PCSTATS
- Samsung Galaxy Note II Phablet @ Tweaktown
- Sony VAIO Fit 14 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Giada Q11 Android OS Mini PC @ techPowerUp
- Cooler Master NotePal A200 Laptop Cooling Pad Review @ Ninjalane
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 Review @ Legit Reviews
- Spire Power Bank 4000 Battery Charger Review @ Legit Reviews
- Thermaltake GOrb II Portable Laptop Cooler @ Tweaktown
- TYLT PowerPlant Portable 5200mAh Battery Pack @ Tweaktown
- Noreve Sony Xperia Z Leather Case (Tradition - 21038T) Review @ Madshrimps
- BlackBerry Q10 @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 head to head @ The Inquirer
- Samsung Galaxy S4 @ Hardware.info
- Samsung Galaxy S4 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 05:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: eranings, Q1 2013, nvidia, jen-hsun huang
NVIDIA seems to have completely ignored the economic downturn that has affected so many tech companies and posted gains in both revenue and profit for Q1 2013. The entire PC market may have shrunk by 10% but NVIDIA's profits were up 16.7% compared to 12 months ago, though when looking at GPU sales alone they did see about a 5% decline. Now that NVIDIA has branched out into mobility and HPC however, their total sales are up by 3%. The Register postulates that part of the reason their sales did not decline as much as other manufacturers is their focus on high end GPUs which are immune to the erosion being caused by sales of mobile devices such as tablets. Get the whole set of numbers here.
"In the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended on April 28, Nvidia's overall sales rose by 3.2 per cent to $954.7m. Big Green was able pull $77.9m to the bottom line, up 16.7 per cent compared to the year-ago period – even while investing in a substantial bump-up in research and development costs – thanks to a shift to higher margin products in both the discrete graphics and Tesla GPU coprocessor lines."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft plasters IE8 hole abused in nuke lab PC meltdown @ The Register
- Tripping on microdoses of Dyad @ The Tech Report
- Power2U AC/USB wall outlet @ LanOC Reviews
- Plugging into the Puzzle @ Techgage
- Casio G-SHOCK GA-110-1AER Watch @ NikKTech
- 8 Free to Play Games That Are Too Good to Be True @ Techspot
- ModRight Xtreme Super Large Anti-Static Mod-Mat @ Modders-Inc
Power and Value
We have seen our fair share of mini-ITX cases and system builds over the last six months, including rigs from Digital Storm and AVADirect. They attempt to offer a balance between performance, power, noise and size and some do it better than others. With the continued development of the mini-ITX form factor more users than ever are realizing you can get nearly top-end performance for gaming in a smaller package.
Today we are taking a look at the iBuyPower Revolt, in particular the Revolt R770, the highest end base offering of the system. Built around a small, but not tiny, PC chassis iBuyPower is able to include some pretty impressive specifications:
- Intel Core i7-3770K processor
- Custom built Z77 mini-ITX motherboard
- NZXT CPU water cooler
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics cards
- 8GB DDR3-1600 memory
- 120 GB Intel 320 Series SSD
- 1TB Western Digital Blue hard drive
You get all of this in a case that is only 16-in x 16-in x 4.5-in built with a glossy black and white color scheme. The company claims that the Revolt was "designed to be a gaming system for any location" including a home theater, a dorm room or in your study. It includes "vents and air channels positioned precisely to deliver cool ambient air exactly where it is needed" and "integrated atmospheric lighting system is customizable in color."
Check out or quick video review below and then follow on to the full post for more photos of the system and a quick check of performance!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 10, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: c6, c7, haswell, PSU, corsair
I cannot do it captain! I don't have the not enough power!
We have been discussing the ultra-low power state of Haswell processors for a little over a week and how it could be detrimental to certain power supplies. Power supply manufacturers never quite expected that you could have as little as a 0.05 Amp (0.6W) draw on the 12V rail without being off. Since then, companies such as Enermax started to list power supplies which have been tested and are compliant with the new power requirements.
|AXi||AX1200i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX||AX1200||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX||HX1050||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX-M||TX850M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX||TX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS||GS800||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS700||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS600||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX-M||CX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX||CX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS||VS650||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS550||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS450||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS350||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
Above is Corsair's slightly incomplete chart as of the time it was copied from their website, 3:30pm on May 10th, 2013; so far it is coming up all good. Their blog should be updated as new products get validated for the new C6 and C7 CPU sleep states.
The best part of this story is just how odd it is given the race to arc-welding (it's not a podcast so you can't Bingo! hahaha!) supplies we have been experiencing over the last several years. Simply put, some companies never thought that component manufacturers such as Intel would race to the bottom of power draws.
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" is powered by a i5-3230M 2.6GHz, 8GB 1600MHz RAM and a 2GB Radeon HD 7730M. The screen is 1080p as it should be for a machine capable of gaming and the audio is also better than average, Waves MaxxAudio 4 + Skullcandy speakers.
To get our recommended Inspiron 15R Special Edition configuration, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Add to cart button at the top
3. Add to cart
4. Apply coupon code: 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C in shopping cart and proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: Storage | May 10, 2013 - 03:48 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ramdisk, ram drive, ram, radeon ramdisk, amd
In light of AMD’s latest memory release and Radeon RAMDisk push, I decided to take a look at the latest version 4.1.0 of the RAMDisk software to see what had changed since the last time I tested it out. Improved installation and logging along with a couple of new features are all part of the new RAMDisk software.
AMD has simplified the installer since the previous version to the point that only a few clicks are necessary to get setup. Although you can jump into the advanced settings and change the installation path, the default options are basically just to accept the ToS and click next. Other GUI tweaks include a new Logging tab that scans the last 1,000 entries in the Windows Event Log and shows only those related to the RAM Drive.
The biggest change is the addition of new options in the load/save tab. Because of the nature of RAM, the RAMDisk created by the software is not persistent across reboots. However, you can save the disk image to a file on persistent storage (a hard drive, SSD, et al). Then, you can save the RAM Drive and its contents to a file and reload that disk after a restart.
The paid version of Radeon RAMDisk takes this a step further by allowing background updating of the RAMDisk data. With the Load in Background option, the RAMDisk will be immediately available to the operating system after a restart. The software will automatically start transferring data from the image stored on the hard drive to the portion of RAM set aside for the RAM disk instead of making the user wait fro the entire disk to be recreated before it can be accessed. Any data requested that has not yet been transferred to the RAM disk will be transparently pulled from the hard drive image.
Further, AMD offers up a background update option that will run in the background and continuously write RAMDisk changes to the *.img file stored on the hard drive. This eliminates the need to wait for the entire RAMDisk to be written to disk before shutting down the computer or stopping the RAM Drive. Considering the wait times to read and write data from/to the hard drive is one of the major limitations of RAM drives, this is a really useful feature that certainly adds some incentive to springing for the paid version.
The free version doesn’t get background updating, but it does still have the AutoSave feature that will write data out to the image file periodically which will help prevent data loss due to power failure or kernel panic.
Heh, the SSD is pegged but the RAMDisk utilization peaked at 4% when copying a 1.51GB Kerbal Space Program (with a few mods installed) folder from an Intel X25-M to a 4GB RAMDisk ;).
In my brief testing yesterday, I had some trouble getting the software to create a FAT32 formatted disk, where it kept changing to unformatted before creating the disk. Eventually I opted to format the drive myself using Windows’ Disk Management utility. Aside from that hiccup, I think the new version is worth updating to if you have not already--especially if you have the paid version (so that you can get the background data transfer features).
For specific details on exactly what has changed, an AMD-provided change log is below:
Feature Highlights of AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk release 4.1
- Updated GUI improvements .NET
- Updated installer package – Fewer clicks required to install
- Improved GUI event logging
- Improved management of options when setting Load/Save
Performance Highlights of AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk release 4.1
- Performance gains on AMD Radeon™ RAMDisk 32GB and 64GB
- Vastly improved load and save mechanics allowing for background update and background loading of the RAMDisk. Reduces wait times for load and save. “Background Update” and “Load in Background” enabled (registered users only)
- Faster PC startup and shutdown while RAMDisk is enabled.
Improved IO performance on multi-processors and multi-core systems
- Evenly distributed load among the CPUs. Allows for more system efficiency.
Subject: Mobile | May 10, 2013 - 03:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, project shield, nvidia
After the initial announcement at CES in January, NVIDIA has been trying hard to keep excitement and interest about Project Shield going. The upcoming Tegra 4-powered mobile Android-based gaming machine will be launched sometime in the summer; both Computex and E3 would make perfect timing.
NVIDIA passed us a photo of the mold for the casing of Project Shield and though you don't really get any awesome new information out of it, I thought I would share.
The photo you see below shows the production mold that's used to craft the ergonomic casing that houses Project SHIELD's high-powered components: Tegra 4, 5-inch 720p HD retinal touchscreen, Stereo Bass Reflex Speakers, WiFi, accelerometer, gyro, a massive battery, and more.
To create the casing, we inject a polycarbonate material into the RHCM (Rapid Heat Cycle Molding) tool at 10,800 PSI and 300 degrees Celsius. We use a polycarbonate mixture comprised of 90% Sabic 500ECR-739 PC and 10% glass. This material and injection molding process ensures a sturdy yet lightweight casing that will deliver hours of gaming with no fatigue.
In case you are behind on what Project Shield is, you should check out the hands-on video we made during our time with the device last January.
What do you think...are you excited about the launch of this device? Do any of its features really make you want to buy it once available?
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 07:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tegra 4, nvidia, grid, financial results
NVIDIA has released the results of its first fiscal quarter of 2014. Overall, NVIDIA had a positive first quarter with total revenue of $954.7 million and a net income of $77.9 million. During Q1 2014 the company announced its Grid VCA for enterprise customers and Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i for the mobile market. NVIDIA’s shareholders saw an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of 13 cents, which is up 30% versus the same quarter last year. Interestingly, NVIDIA has announced that it will be returning $1 billion to shareholders through increased dividends and buying back shares.
Q1 2014 is an interesting quarter, as it is up year over year, but down significantly versus the previous quarter (Q4’13). NVIDIA’s Q1’14 revenue of 954.7 million is up YOY 32% from $924.9 million in Q1’13, but down 13.7% from $1.1 billion in the previous quarter. The dip is likely attributable to the fact that its Q1’14 is the quarter after the holiday rush at the end of Q4. Considering it is still up versus last year, the dip versus last quarter shouldn’t be taken as a bad sign. Net income follows a similar pattern, with net income down 53.2% versus last quarter’s $174 million, but up 29% YOY (Q1’13 net income was $60.9 million).
The financial results seem to indicate that NVIDIA is continuing to grow and remain profitable. According to NVIDIA, the company expects to see operating expenses and revenue increase in Q2’14 to $448 million in and approximately $975 million respectively. Further, NVIDIA expects growth to continue throughout 2014 as it launches new Tegra 4(i) SoCs and expands its server/business offerings with its GRID technologies.
You can find NVIDIA's full financial report on the company's website.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 01:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ddr3, DRAM
It looks like the days of cheap RAM may be coming to a close, not just for the consumer but also for manufacturers of graphics cards, cellphones and anything else with onboard RAM. What began as a slow rise in prices is now becoming a shortage, something guaranteed to bring prices up. In Acer's case they will be out of stock by the end of the month while ASRock stockpiled RAM in this quarter to retain supplies to sell over the coming quarter. As DigiTimes points out, competition is going to become fierce and you can expect both lower supplies and higher prices on the new components you want to buy over the summer.
"Commenting on the issue, Acer chairman JT Wang pointed out that DRAM prices are likely to continue rising as many DRAM makers have switched their production lines to manufacturing smartphone DRAM, leaving insufficient capacity to supply the PC industry. Even If DRAM makers decide to switch back capacity, it will still take about 3-4 months for the process to be completed, Wang said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 'Quantum network? We've had one for years,' says Los Alamos @ The Register
- Facebook crashes into networking with open switch @ The Register
- Tool Reveals iPad and iPhone User Locations @ Slashdot
- Deep, deep dive: Hyper-V @ The Register
- Raspberry Pi housed inside a computer monitor @ Hack a Day
- Spotify spews 'unencrypted' FREE MP3s all over creation @ The Register
- Buffalo AirStation N600 Dual-Band Wireless Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- Graham Linehan announces a one-off special of The IT Crowd @ The Inquirer
- Win NZXT and Phanteks hardware! @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | May 9, 2013 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sometimes it is much easier to buy a complete gaming system than to build one yourself for a variety of reasons, perhaps one good reason would be a two year warranty so you won't have to worry about spending your quality time with a recalcitrant PC. The Alienware X51 sports some nice components for the price tag such as a Core i7-3770 @ 3.4GHz, 8GB DDR3, a 2TB SATA III Hard Drive, and Blu-ray. Perhaps the only possible letdown is the GeForce GTX 660 1.5GB, but consider the price and the form factor before you dismiss the system. Also worth noting, it ships with Win7 64bit, not Win8.
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Buy button at the top
3. Add to cart
4. Apply coupon code: BHW1L0MX0D?MCX in shopping cart and proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 11:30 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Volcanic Islands, ssd, silvermont, Seagate, podcast, pcper, iris pro, iris, Intel, haswell, gamer memory, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #250 - 05/09/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Haswell Iris Graphics, Intel Silvermont, AMD HD 9000 Series Rumors 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:19:46
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Jeremy: BitTorrent Bundle
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | May 8, 2013 - 11:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, live, frame rating, fcat
Update: Did you miss the live stream? Watch the on-demand replay below and learn all about the Frame Rating system, FCAT, input latency and more!!
I know, based solely on the amount of traffic and forum discussion, that our readers have really adopted and accepted our Frame Rating graphics testing methodology. Based on direct capture of GPU output via an external system and a high end capture card, our new systems have helped users see GPU performance a in more "real-world" light that previous benchmarks would not allow.
I also know that there are lots of questions about the process, the technology and the results we have shown. In order to try and address these questions and to facilitate new ideas from the community, we are hosting a PC Perspective Live Stream on Thursday afternoon.
Joining me will be NVIDIA's Tom Petersen, a favorite of the community, to talk about NVIDIA's stance on FCAT and Frame Rating, as well as just talk about the science of animation and input.
The primary part of this live stream will be about education - not about bashing one particular product line or talking up another. And part of that education is your ability to interact with us live, ask questions and give feedback. During the stream we'll be monitoring the chat room embedded on http://pcper.com/live and I'll be watching my Twitter feed for questions from the audience. The easiest way to get your question addressed though will be to leave a comment or inquiry here in this post below. It doesn't require registration and this will allow us to think about the questions before hand, giving it a better chance of being answered during the stream.
Frame Rating and FCAT Live Stream
11am PT / 2pm ET - May 9th
So, stop by at 2pm ET on Thursday, May 9th to discuss the future of graphics performance and benchmarking!
Subject: Motherboards | May 8, 2013 - 09:51 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: asus, K7M, Irongate, AMD-751, VIA 686a, retro, Slot A, K7, athlon
It might not be entirely obvious to viewers, but I love old hardware. I came across a stash of old machines at my workplace that we were going to just throw away. I was able to grab a couple of pretty interesting products from years past that I wanted to share and chat about. The first of this series should be very familiar to most of you, especially those around when Ryan started his first website.
It is fun to reminisce about old hardware. The K7M is a classic.
The Asus K7M was one of the first Slot A motherboards out. It was arguably the most fully featured of the group. Its primary competition was the FIC SD-11 and the Gigabyte GA-7IXE. If you remember that monster of a board (with one very strange layout) then you most certainly have fond memories of what Asus was able to bring to the table.
The K7M was based on the AMD “Irongate” northbridge (AMD-751). This was a pretty fully featured chip at the time. It supported SDRAM up to 100 MHz and featured AGP 2X. This chip was rumored to contain IP from VIA, but it had distinctly better performance than the competing AGP 2X chipsets from VIA at the time. I distinctly remember having fewer AGP issues with these boards than products from VIA. The K7M eschewed the AMD 756 southbridge and instead used the VIA 686A controller. This was an updated (and fixed) southbridge from VIA that supported up to ATA-66 speeds and USB 1.1.
Integrated audio was still uncommon back in the day. If you thought mobo audio quality is bad now...
The K7M was a decent overclocker for the time, but little was known about the EV-6 bus and how it reacted to overclocking. Bus speeds up to 107 MHz or so were common, but anything above that got pretty flaky fast. Later BIOS revisions helped a bit, but the 751 was not going to be pushed much further. It was not until official 133 MHz support came in did we see some legroom with overclocking.
The K7M was a very solid board for being an introductory product. One thing that always amused me greatly was that Asus, Gigabyte, and other motherboard manufacturers would refuse to show Slot A boards on the floor of Comdex because they feared that Intel would come down upon them like a ton of bricks. If a person wanted to see a Slot A board, they would have to go into a back room and view it from there, but only upon request. It was not until the next year that some manufacturers cautiously showed off their AMD offerings.
Name that mini-slot above the AGP!
I ran this particular board for a while. I believe I ran the SD-11 longer. I was doing reviews all the time, so I was swapping out motherboards pretty frequently. The Asus had a luxury feel about it as compared to the FIC and Gigabyte offerings. It even had integrated audio and a game port. Few other products of the time included such a perk. AMD was on a roll with the original K7 Athlon, and Asus was one of the first partners to really produce a world class motherboard for the architecture.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | May 8, 2013 - 09:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Volcanic Islands, radeon, ps4, amd
So the Southern Islands might not be entirely stable throughout 2013 as we originally reported; seismic activity being analyzed suggests the eruption of a new GPU micro-architecture as early as Q4. These Volcanic Islands, as they have been codenamed, should explode onto the scene opposing NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 700-series products.
It is times like these where GPGPU-based seismic computation becomes useful.
The rumor is based upon a source which leaked a fragment of a slide outlining the processor in block diagram form and specifications of its alleged flagship chip, "Hawaii". Of primary note, Volcanic Islands is rumored to be organized with both Serial Processing Modules (SPMs) and a Parallel Compute Module (PCM).
So apparently a discrete GPU can have serial processing units embedded on it now.
Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) is a set of initiatives to bridge the gap between massively parallel workloads and branching logic tasks. We usually make reference to this in terms of APUs and bringing parallel-optimized hardware to the CPU. In this case, we are discussing it in terms of bringing serial processing to the discrete GPU. According to the diagram, the chip within would contain 8 processor modules each with two processing cores and an FPU for a total of 16 cores. There does not seem to be any definite identification whether these cores would be based upon their license to produce x86 processors or their other license to produce ARM processors. Unlike an APU, this is heavily skewed towards parallel computation rather than a relatively even balance between CPU, GPU, and chipset features.
Now of course, why would they do that? Graphics processors can do branching logic but it tends to sharply cut performance. With an architecture such as this, a programmer might be able to more efficiently switch between parallel and branching logic tasks without doing an expensive switch across the motherboard and PCIe bus between devices. Josh Walrath suggested a server containing these as essentially add-in card computers. For gamers, this might help out with workloads such as AI which is awkwardly split between branching logic and massively parallel visibility and path-finding tasks. Josh seems skeptical about this until HSA becomes further adopted, however.
Still, there is a reason why they are implementing this now. I wonder, if the SPMs are based upon simple x86 cores, how the PS4 will influence PC gaming. Technically, a Volcanic Island GPU would be an oversized PS4 within an add-in card. This could give AMD an edge, particularly in games ported to the PC from the Playstation.
This chip, Hawaii, is rumored to have the following specifications:
- 4096 stream processors
- 16 serial processor cores on 8 modules
- 4 geometry engines
- 256 TMUs
- 64 ROPs
- 512-bit GDDR5 memory interface, much like the PS4.
20 nm Gate-Last silicon fab process
- Unclear if TSMC or "Common Platform" (IBM/Samsung/GLOBALFOUNDRIES)
Softpedia is also reporting on this leak. Their addition claims that the GPU will be designed on a 20nm Gate-Last fabrication process. While gate-last is considered to be not worth the extra effort in production, Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator (FD-SOI) is apparently "amazing" on gate-last at 28nm and smaller fabrication. This could mean that AMD is eying that technology and making this design with intent of switching to an FD-SOI process, without a large redesign which an initially easier gate-first production would require.
Well that is a lot to process... so I will leave you with an open question for our viewers: what do you think AMD has planned with this architecture, and what do you like and/or dislike about what your speculation would mean?
Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2013 - 07:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, headset, Eagle Tech, Urban Zen, Samurai Song
Eagle Tech have certainly chosen a side in the form versus function debate with the visually impressive Arion Urban Zen: Samurai Song headset. While you can use them with a PC to listen to audio these are more aimed at the mobile market as it sports a single jack and the mic will not work on a PC. LANOC were happy with the performance of these headsets for the $50 asking price, with decent audio and a good foldable design, the only warning they offer is that when watching a movie or TV show you might find that conversations sound distant, not an echo so much as sounding as if the speakers are far away.
"I have reviewed quite a few audio products lately each of them have their perks and quirks, but one thing always missing is a bit of customizability, something to set you apart from other users who buy the same product. Eagle Tech has recently began releasing its like or Arion branded products, and amongst those is a headset named the Urban Zen. The Zen headsets come in four different designs and a few different colors. Finally we have some options to set ourselves apart from everyone else. It is nice that we can change things up, but how will the headphones actually perform when it comes down to crunch time?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Eagle Tech ET-ARHP300FS-BK Urban Zen Headphones @ NikKTech
- Razer Kraken Pro Headset @ Modders-Inc
- Gigabyte Fly Headphones Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- TRITTON XBOX 360 Detonator Stereo Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Arion Foldable Bluetooth Headset @ LanOC Reviews
- ASUS Orion Pro Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- Hercules Wireless Audio Experience W.A.E. Portable Bluetooth Speaker System @ eTeknix
- Tech-Life BeatBlock Premium Bluetooth Wireless Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Genius SP-960BT Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ModSynergy
- Ineo Alienvibes W401 Speaker System @ Benchmark Reviews
- Wavemaster Stax Speakers @ Kitguru
- Ineo AlienVibes W601 Speaker System @ Benchmark Reviews