Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 08:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, E3 13, E3
So heading up to E3, Microsoft decided to drop their DRM bombshell so it would get buried over the next couple of days. In terms of permissiveness, the Xbox One is not nearly as bad as feared; of course, it is still terrible in certain ways.
Microsoft will allow games to be played offline on the Xbox One... for 24 hours. If your internet connection has been offline for longer than that period (unclear whether the timer starts when internet goes out or from last update) then your system will be locked to live TV and disc-based movies. Games and apps, even ones which should have no online functionality, will cease to function until you reconnect with Xbox servers.
This also means that if the Xbox servers have an outage lasting between 24 hours and "taken offline forever", all gaming and apparently apps will cease to function on the Xbox One.
It's like if Wall-E grew a Freddie Mercury
But at least they will allow some level of used-game transfer... if the publisher agrees. Check out this statement from Microsoft Studios:
In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.
So this will be an interesting experiment: how will revenue and profitability be affected for game publishers who deny used game sales? I honestly expect that used game sales actually promote the purchasing of more games and that initiatives to limit used game transfers will reduce user engagement. Of course Microsoft is now taking all of the flak from Sony, who may or may not be considering the same practice, but I am sure at least Microsoft is hoping that everyone will forget this when shiny new trailers erase the collective gamer memory.
In return, however, Microsoft is being fairly permissive when it comes to how many users can be licensed on a single disk. Up to ten family members are allowed access to your collective library.
And, after all, it should not be a surprise that a console game disappears when Microsoft shuts down their servers: consoles were always designed to be disposable. I have been proclaiming that for quite some time. The difference is now, people cannot really deny it.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 05:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: unreal engine 4, ue4, E3 13, E3, computex
We are bleeding through the overlap between Computex and E3 media windows; this news has a somewhat relevant fit for both. Unreal Engine 4 is coming and I expect we will see one or more demos and UE4-powered titles over the next week. In fact, I would be fairly shocked if we do not see the end of the Elemental Demo with the Xbox One E3 keynote. We may also potentially see Unreal Engine 4 running on mobile devices and maybe even HTML5 at some point throughout the tradeshow, either canonically through Epic or via a licensee product.
This morning, Epic opened the Unreal Engine 4 Integrated Partners Program (IPP). Of course they already have a couple of members, most of which were partners with Unreal Engine 3.
The founding IPP partners are:
Wwise from Audiokinetic
- Manages large databases of sound effects and voice-overs
- Manages subtitles and multiple dubbings of voice clips
Autodesk Gameware from Autodesk
- Contains multiple packages including Beast, Navigation, and Scaleform
- Scaleform is a Flash rendering engine for HUDs, menus, etc. developed using Flash Professional in 2D or 3D. It is what StarCraft II, Mass Effect, and Borderlands uses.
- Beast is a lighting toolkit for global illumination, radiosity, etc.
- Navigation is an AI solver, predominantly for pathfinding.
Simplygon from Donya Labs
- Reduces polygon count of models so they take up less processing resources especially as they get further away from the camera.
Enlighten from Geomerics
- Another Global Illumination solver, most popular usage being Battlefield 3.
SpeedTree for Games from IDV
- Makes a bunch of efficient trees so studios do not need to hire as many minimum wage peons.
Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB) from Intel
- Helps developers manage C++ threading for multicore systems.
- Deals with memory management and scheduling tasks
morpheme from NaturalMotion
- Animation and physics software for designers to create animations
- Works with NVIDIA PhysX
euphoria from NaturalMotion
- Simulates animations based on driving conditions via the CPU, most popular usage being GTA IV.
PhysX and APEX from NVIDIA
- You probably know this one.
- GPU-based rigid body, soft body, fluid, and cloth solvers.
- Allows for destructible environments and other complex simulations.
Oculus Rift from Oculus VR
- You probably also know this one, especially if you keep up with our Video Perspectives.
- Head-mounted display with motion tracking for VR.
Bink Video from Rad Game Tools
- ... is not included! Just kidding, that stuff'll survive a nuclear apocalypse.
- Seriously, check in just about any DirectX or OpenGL game's credits if it includes pre-rendered video cutscenes or video-textures.
- I'll wait here.
- In all seriousness, Rad Game Tools has been licensed in over 15,500 titles. It's been a meme to some extent for game programmers. This should be no surprise.
Telemetry Performance Visualizer from Rad Game Tools
- Allows developers to see graphs of what their hardware is working on over time.
- Helps developers know what benefits the most from optimization.
RealD Developer Kit (RDK) from RealD
- Helps game developers create stereoscopic 3D games.
Umbra 3 from Umbra Software
- Determines what geometry can be seen by the player and what should be unloaded to increase performance.
- Sits between artists and programmers to the former does not need to think about optimization, and the latter does not need to claw their eyes out.
IncrediBuild-XGE from Xoreax
- Apparently farms out tasks to idle PCs on your network.
- I am not sure, but I think it is mostly useful for creating a pre-render farm at a game studio for light-baking and such.
We still have a little while until E3 and so we do not know how E3 will be, but I highly expect to see Unreal Engine 4 be a recurring theme over the next week. Keep coming back to PC Perspective, because you know we have a deep interest in where Epic is headed.
Subject: Processors, Mobile | June 6, 2013 - 04:01 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, computex 2013, Intel, haswell, Ivy Bridge, k900, Lenovo, baytrail, silvermont, ultrabook, acer, aspire s7
Intel had a host of new technologies to show off at Computex this year, starting of course with the Haswell processor launch. Hopefully you have read our review of the Core i7-4770K LGA1150 CPU already but thanks to some video sent our way, we have other interesting bits to share.
Below you will see Intel demonstrating four new products. First is the Acer Aspire S7 using a Haswell dual-core platform playing back 4K content. Next up is an Ivy Bridge tablet that is running completely fanless (passive) thus generating no noise at all while still offering impressive CPU and graphics performance. Intel then pulls a Lenovo K900 Android smartphone out of its pocket powered by the Clovertrail+ enabled Atom Z2580 SoC. Finally, we get a sneak peak at the next-generation of SoC designs with a look at a Silvermont-based Baytrail tablet running at 2560x1440.
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 03:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Chromebook
Don't hold your breath but AMD might be looking to expand their mobile market share by supplying Chromebook OEMs with AMD processors. This would be a big win for AMD who have seen Intel taking their mobile customers but will also be a big win for the consumer as the mobile devices would have better graphics and be available at a lower price. DigiTimes also mentions discussions with Baidu, Tencent and China Mobile about server chips but as of yet there are no firm plans to move into the handset market.
"As the IT market is gradually stepping into a generation filled with mixed platforms, AMD is reportedly planning to join Google's Chromebook supply chain, hoping to penetrate Intel's dominance in the notebook market with better price/performance ratio products, according to market watchers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dell says Intel's Xeon turbo boost causes thread synchronisation problems @ The Inquirer
- Calxeda lines up ODM partners for EnergyCore ARM server chips @ The Register
- LSI SandForce Codename Griffin NGFF Ultrabook Version ADATA SSD Piks & Specs @ SSD Review
- WD Executive Summit: Trends in data storage @ Hardware.info
- BlackBerry wants to see rivals' phones with BBM preinstalled @ The Register
- Canon PowerShot Elph 130 IS Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS Zenbook Infinity: Hands On with the Most Beautiful Notebook at Computex @ AnandTech
- Computex: Phanteks exposes the Enthoo Luxe to KitGuru
- Class Action Suit Goodies Await Tech Users @ Slashdot
- Fake Mt. Gox Pages Aim To Infect Bitcoin Users @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 01:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, haswell, gtx 770, amd, Richland, nvidia, computex, asus, Transformer, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #254 - 06/06/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!
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, Allyn Malventano and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:41:16
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:56:20 AMD wants you to BE INVINCIBLE
Jeremy: Something I have to test for work
Allyn: Humble Indie Bundle 8
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Continuing this weeks theme of monitor deals is the Dell U3014 30" IPS display, an updated version of their long running Ultrasharp 30" series. The specs remain similar to the old U3011 with new connectivity options, a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, DisplayPort 1.2 and mini-DisplayPort 1.2 along with legacy connections. With a $250 instant rebate now is a good time to jump on this deal if you were planning on moving your display up to the big leagues.
- Massive 30" Dell U3014 UltraSharp 2560x1600 LED-backlit IPS LCD Monitor for $1,124.99 with free shipping (normally $1,499.99 - use coupon code RJ6T0D4489P6T3 ).
- 15.6" HP ENVY 15t 4th-gen Core i7 "Haswell" Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $722.94 with $9.99 shipping (use 5% coupon code SVD8492 ).
- 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 ).
- 50" Samsung UN50F5500 1080p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV + $150 Gift Card for $947.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 without gift card).
- HTC Windows Phone 8X Smartphone 8GB [w/new 2-year AT&T contract] for $0.99 with free shipping (normally $49.99).
- Realspace PRO Quantum Mesh Task Chair for $249.99 with free shipping (normally $329.99 - use coupon code 15894765 ).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2013 - 10:31 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: evga, minibox, mini-itx, gtx titan, gk110, gaming, computex, computex 2013
First shown off at CES 2013, the EVGA Minibox is a small form factor chassis for Mini-ITX systems that can accommodate large graphics cards. EVGA has managed to enable users to pack a lot of hardware into this tiny form factor chassis. As a demonstration of the case's capabilities, the company showed off the latest version using a full system build with Core i7-4770K and GTX TITAN interals at Computex this week in Taipei.
The Minibox chassis itself is a dark brushed metal case with two USB 3.0 ports on the front IO and space for a slot loading optical drive. The MiniBox chassis further features a motherboard tray that supports Mini-ITX boards, two 2.5" SATA hard drive bays – and best of all – enough room to install full size GPUs. In order to support lengthy graphics cards, EVGA is including a small form factor 500W power supply that is mounted on the floor of the case..
HEXUS reporters spot the EVGA Minibox at Computex 2013. Look how small it is!
There will be at least two SKUs of the Minibox, depending on whether you want to go with air or water cooling. According to Bit-Tech.net, the air cooled version will use two 92mm fans in the top of the case and one 80mm fan for the bottom-mounted PSU. The water cooled SKU will be slightly larger but have enough room for a water cooling radiator (likely 240mm). Beyond that, details are scarce, but the air cooled version is said to be available as soon as next month with water cooled options becoming available later this year.
The Minibox looks to be one of the better Mini-ITX cases out there (although the price is still unknown), and should be popular among enthusiasts wanting a small box that does not sacrifice gaming potential.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 03:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, Windows 8.1, windows blue
Jensen Harris, member of the Windows User Experience (UX) team at Microsoft, performed a video walk-through of the new Windows interface. Of course, as I always say when discussing Windows 8, the real problems will arise with the Windows Store and certification requirements; interface problems annoy, censorship problems harm.
But, disclaimer aside, the interface of Windows 8.1 seems much more useable.
First and foremost is the Lock Screen. People enjoy digital photo frames and a locked tablet certainly looks more classy than any other that I have seen. It will collage photos together, stored locally and shared from a phone or Skydrive over wireless, with a thin font date and time. Combined with a decent resolution IPS display, that could be an interesting way to encourage users to leave their device on its charger. Not to mention, the frame would continually synchronize with Skydrive and thus receive new photos without end-user interaction; it is useful, for instance, for the family of an elderly person who wants to keep in touch but actively rejects technology.
The All Apps screen lists all applications installed on screen. This allows users to take a little weight off of the Start Screen and, instead of using it as a launcher, use the All Apps screen as a launcher and use the Start Screen as a nexus of important information. If you wish to use the Start Screen as a launcher, similar to pinned icons for Windows 7, you will have more choice in icon size to either fit more apps or give tiles with relevant information more space.
Screen splitting was pretty horrendous in Windows 8. An application could either be in full screen, be a sidebar app, or take up the room not taken by a sidebar app. If you have multiple monitors, bringing up the Start Screen would shuffle everything around pretty much ensuring that you do not have more than a couple of apps focused at any given time. Windows 8.1 allows you to split apps directly down the middle and, if you have a large display, allow you to fit three or four applications on screen at once.
Unfortunately, and I contacted Paul Thurrott last week to confirm I was up to date, there does not seem to be any multiple monitor enhancements in Windows 8.1. If you have want to punch through your second display because of applications from the Windows Store, keep using the desktop.
Or, if you wish to try it out for yourself, Windows 8.1 will be available for public preview on June 26th.
Not Computex 2013: StarCraft II is changing. Free to play (with friends) and potential new Steam-like Battle.net
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 02:40 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, HoTS
Big news for fans of Blizzard titles, as if we did not have enough news items. While the majority of this news pertains to fans of StarCraft II, Diablo and Warcraft players should pay attention. You have more to digest than the crumbs Kerrigan let fall to the ground.
The first news is most relevant if you have not yet played StarCraft II yet have a friend or friends who keeps nagging you to play with him, her, or them. A new feature, called "Spawning", allows Battle.net accounts to piggyback on the expansion level of party members. Actually, they even encourage it with XP boosts and a custom CarBot-illustrated achievement. This will also upgrade the free StarCraft: Starter Edition in a party with a Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm owner to whatever expansion level is highest in the party. Starter can be promoted to Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm, and Wings of Liberty can be promoted to Heart of the Swarm until the party breaks up.
The only restriction that I feel is worth mentioning: you, still, are only able to select the Starter Edition race (currently Terran) if you only have a Starter Edition account.
Of course there are other restrictions. You are unable to play the campaign, for instance. But, for the most part, the rest seem quite logical. This might also have some indirect relevance beyond Starcraft. If successful, I can see Blizzard implementing Spawning into their other franchises such as Diablo. Of course, this is just speculation of what might be at this point.
The other story comes from mmo-champion who posted screenshots of a unified Battle.net launcher. I was immediately suspicious, but after checking out the linked Battle.net Support Pages I am more convinced. The launcher looks quite a bit like Steam and that is really the only way to describe it. Each page is laid over a faded background image and players can choose from one of over a hundred avatars.
We then of course enter into the question, "Why would Blizzard spend so much effort for their handful of games?"
Who knows... yet, at least.
Subject: Memory | June 5, 2013 - 09:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, haswell
Fountain Valley, CA -- (June 5, 2013)-- Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced a series of Intel® XMP-validated HyperX® memory solutions for the ‘Haswell’ 4th generation Core™ i7, i5 and i3 processors and Z87 chipset-based platforms.
Kingston® has HyperX memory in frequencies ranging from 1600MHz to 2666MHz, in various kits of two and four. The complete list of HyperX XMP-validated memory can be found here. More information on Kingston’s offerings for this new platform can be found here. HyperX memory is backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.
Kingston is celebrating 25 years in the memory industry. The company was founded on October 17, 1987, and has grown to become the largest third-party memory manufacturer in the world. The 25th anniversary video can be found here along with more information, including a timeline of Kingston's history. In addition, HyperX memory is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The first HyperX high-performance memory module was released in November 2002.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2013 - 08:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Light Peak
We received Thunderbolt, on the PC at least, a year ago. While not yet ubiquitous, we will be receiving an update to the interface sooner than you would expect. The main advantages of Thunderbolt is the ridiculous bandwidth and ability to daisy-chain with displays. Thunderbolt 2 looks to advance both of those features.
Thunderbolt is based around a PCI Express signal for data and DisplayPort for video, both combined down a single cable. The cable, in fact, is compatible with Mini DisplayPort adapters and devices if used exclusively for video. The upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 advances the video standard to DisplayPort 1.2; as a result, Thunderbolt 2 devices will be capable of driving a 4K monitor (supposedly with sound) without requiring multiple cables to be connected.
In terms of strict bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 will provide double the data rate of the original Thunderbolt. Instead of 10Gbps, new devices will be able to transfer at 20Gbps. This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...
As expected, there is not really any talk about specific prices yet (I would expect that depends on implementation) but you should look forward to it landing either really late this year or early next year. As for the original Thunderbolt? Well, the new standard is backwards compatible but there is concern whether new devices would be fairly crippled without the new standard.
Subject: Processors | June 5, 2013 - 04:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLIW4, trinity, Richland, piledriver, fm2, APU, amd, a10, 6800K, 6700
Richland is here, in the form of the A10-6800K with a 4.1GHz base clock and 4.4GHz Turbo clock, support for DDR3-2133 and an improved GPU called the 8670D with 384 shaders and a 844MHz clock speed ... all for $142! Computationally you can compare it to a Core i3 or a slower Core i5 but graphically this CPU is head and shoulders above the competition as you can see in X-Bit Labs' testing. You really need to keep the price in mind, as it may not provide as much power as a Core-i5 it costs about half as much which can mean a lot to someone on a tight budget, especially when they can skip purchasing a discrete GPU altogether.
Make sure to check out Josh's reivew where he contrasts the last few generations of AMD chips.
"AMD decided to refresh their Socket FM2 platform and release a new generation of hybrid processors for it based on Richland design. This is exactly the one that earned the “Elite Performance APU Platform” title in the mobile segment."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Elite A-Series A10-6800K APU (Socket FM2) @ techPowerUp
- AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 APU Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Richland APU Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Review @ OCC
- AMD A10-6800K / A10-6700 @ Hardware.info
- AMD A10-6800K and 6700 A-Series "Richland" Processor Review @ HiTech Legion
- AMD A10-6800K APU Richland Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
- AMD Richland APU - Release Day Coverage @ Overclockers.com
- AMD Richland Desktop Review; A10-6800K & A10-6700 Benchmarked @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD A10-6800K and A4-4000 Richland APU @ TechSpot
- Intel Core i7-4770K @ Legion Hardware
- Choosing a Gaming CPU at 1440p: Adding in Haswell @ AnandTech
- Intel Core i7-4770K CPU Review. Intel Haswell for Desktops: Ruin of Our Hopes? @ X-bit Labs
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Alpha, Prison Architect
The makers of DEFCON have come up with another very original game idea which they are currently developing and which is available in an alpha version on Steam. Prison Architect is a game which is exactly as it's name implies, you attempt to run a prison and keep the guards safe and the prisoners controlled. This is not about abusing prisoners but instead is an exploration into the dynamics of the prison system and how difficult it can be to run a safe prison. As an example of how the prisoners work the designers revealed to TechSpot that "50% of prisoners plead innocent to their crimes, and about 5% of all prisoners are actually innocent" which has an effect on their behaviour. Check out the interview to see if you might be interested in trying out the alpha.
"Prison Architect is like 'SimPrison', if there ever was one, made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics. The game is from the indie studio Introversion, who have also made the saddest/best game about nuclear war.
Here's a brief interview with Introversion's own architects about their newest work. They served up some fascinating answers about the possibilities of a game about building and running a prison."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mirror’s Edge 2 Is Probably A Thing Again @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- A Slash From The Past: Shadow Warrior Free On Steam @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Microsoft and 343 Industries announce Halo: Spartan Assault @ The Inquirer
- AMD Aiming To Smooth Ports Between PC And Console @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
JJ pays PC Perspective a visit!
In case you hadn't heard, on June the 4th, (world famous) JJ Guerrero from ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to help host a live stream focused on Z87 platforms and the Intel Haswell processor. Since Intel decided to launch on a Saturday morning, you might have missed the boat: the Core i7-4770K was reviewed right here on PC Perspective and the results are pretty good.
Motherboards, we got motherboards here!!
Along with Haswell though is the release of the new Z87 chipset and with THAT, about 100 different ASUS motherboards. I exaggerate, but only a little. In our live stream that aired for about 4.5 hours, JJ and I discussed about 20 different motherboard ranging from Mini-ITX options to the budget-minded Z87-A and even the ROG Maximus VI Extreme!
Below you will find an on-demand version of the stream, broken up into five segments.
ASUS Z87 Motherboard Segmentation
This first segment details the mindset ASUS had when creating the four different motherboard product lines: Mainstream, Workstation, TUF and ROG. Why do they need all of these options and what features and quality points are common across the entire families?
ASUS Mainstream Z87 Motherboard Lineup
ASUS' new mainstream line of motherboards with the z87 chipset range from the Z87-A to the Z87-Deluxe/Dual. JJ talks about the features that are added as you move up the product stack so that you can find the option that fits your platform needs and budget.
Computex 2013: Gigabyte Shows Off GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+ Motherboard That Hints At 5GHz AMD FX Processor
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | June 5, 2013 - 02:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gigabyte, ga-990fx-ud7, computex 2013, computex, amd fx, amd, am3+
Gigabyte is showing off quite a few motherboards at Computex 2013. One of the most interesting motherboards on display is the GA-990FX-UD7 for AMD AM3+ desktop processors. This is a high-end motherboard for enthusiasts and is packed with features.
The GA-990FX-UD7 features an 8+2 power phase, AM3+ CPU socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots, six PCI-E 2.0 x16 (physical) slots, one legacy PCI slot, and eight SATA 3 6Gbps ports. It has a black and glossy orange color scheme with large finned heatsinks around the CPU socket and over the southbridge. The board uses a Realtek ALC889 chipset for onboard audio that supports Dolby Home Theater and has a 108dB SNR rating. Further, the GA-990FX-UD7 supports 4-way SLI or CrossFire, Gigabyte's UEFI DualBIOS, and 3X power which allows faster battery charging for supported USB-connected mobile devices.
The Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7 at Computex 2013 as spotted by Sweclockers (Click for larger image).
Rear IO includes a single coaxial S/PDIF and six analog audio outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA+USB combo ports, and a RJ45 LAN jack.
Interestingly, Gigabyte's Computex display mentions that the new AM3+ motherboard is compatible with AMD's 5GHz AM3+ processor, which lends credibility to previous rumors of a Piledriver-based eight core “Centurion” AMD FX processor clocked at 5GHz with a 220W TDP. That chip was rumored for a summer 2013 release in limited quantities, and it looks like enthusiasts might be able to get their hands on that chip later this year after all!
Although AMD is not talking, Sweclockers has managed to put together a list of preliminary specifications for the codenamed Centurion processor. Rumors have it that the Centurion chip will be officially named the AMD FX-9000, and that it is a 4-module, 8-core part with a 4.8 GHz base clock and 5.0 GHz turbo clockspeed. It has a total of 8MB L2 cache, and 8MB of L3. Further, this 220W TDP part will support a maximum of DDR3-1866 (officially, before overclocking) and is build on AMD's 32nm SOI HKMG manufacturing process. You will need a beefy air cooler at the minimum to keep this chip happy, but otherwise it should be a fun chip for enthusiasts to tinker with!
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, haswell, ubuntu 13.04, i7-4770k
The story is familiar as you can quickly see from this quote in Phoronix's review of Haswell on Linux, "Polished Haswell support coming to an "out of the box" Linux desktop won't really be there until later in H2'2013." However that does not mean it does not work at all, they tested several kernels and versions to find the most stable way to run Haswell and to take advantage of the internal GPU. They successfully tested with Linux 3.10 kernel, Mesa 9.2, GCC 4.8.1, and LLVM 3.3 and found performance improvements across the board when compared to Ivy Bridge processors which could be a good reason to consider holding out on an Ivy Bridge CPU as an upgrade choice, as Intel is working to improve Haswell support and it is a much improved CPU compared to previous generations.
"This past weekend I shared the first experiences of running Intel's new Haswell CPU on Linux. While Intel Haswell is a beast and brings many new features and innovations to the new Core CPUs succeeding Ivy Bridge, there were a few shortcomings with the initial Linux support. It still appears that the Core i7 4770K is still being finicky at times for both the processor and graphics, but in this article are the first benchmarks. Up today are benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 4770K when running Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.10 kernel."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel's plan for Haswell, Silvermont, Bay Trail: WORLD DOMINATION @ The Register
- A quick look at LSI's Syncro CS, HA DAS Collaboration with Microsoft
- Meeting The Men Behind Haswell @ TechARP
- Haswell Xeons bring brawn to microservers, media servers, more @ The Register
- Eyeing the gaming market: Q&A with ECS executive Sam Yeh @ DigiTimes
- Stuffa Jacket @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you want to be one of the first kids with a Haswell machine on your block then you can pick up the Dell XPS 8700 at a great price. Not only do you get a quad core i7-4770 the system also comes with an HD7570 for light gaming duties. This is a Win8 machine so you might want to consider personalizing the system with one of the multi-touch screens for the best possible user experience.
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, 1TB SATA III Hard Drive & Radeon HD 7570 for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $874.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Ending tonight! 17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition Core i7 1080p 3D Laptop w/ Blu-ray, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, 2GB GeForce GT 650M Graphics, Backlit Keyboard & 3D Glasses for $1,219.99 with free shipping (normally $1,538.99 - use coupon code ?SWK4RL9BTX1MD ).
- Alienware M18x Core i7 Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/ Dual 2GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 680M SLI for $3,004 with free shipping (normally $3,554 - use coupon code NLZ5145HLZF?FL ).
- 39" Sharp Aquos LC-39LE440U 1080p LED HDTV + $50 Gift Card for $399.99 with free shipping (normally $499.99).
- Dell PowerEdge T110 II Intel Xeon E3 Quad-core Server for $489 with free shipping (normally $912 - use coupon code HF9X1212V3TKTK ).
- Realspace Lundey Mid-Back Mesh Chair for $129.99 with free shipping (normally $189.99 - use coupon code 15894765 ).
Computex 2013: Sony Unveils New Haswell-Powered VAIO Duo 13 Tablet and VAIO Pro 11" and 13" Ultrabooks
Subject: Systems, Mobile | June 5, 2013 - 09:53 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vaio pro, vaio duo 13, vaio, tablet, sony, computex 2013, computex
Tablets and ultrabooks are proving popular devices at Computex, and Sony recently joined the release party with three new Haswell-powered VAIO notebooks. The VAIO Pro 11 and VAIO Pro 13 are thin and light laptops while the VAIO Duo 13 is the company's first Haswell-powered convertible tablet (slider style).
All three new mobile devices share Full HD 1920 x 1080 Bravia Triluminos touchscreen displays, ClearAudio+ sound, Haswell processors, and respectable battery life.
The VAIO Duo 13 is a 13" notebook that can be converted into a slate tablet by sliding the screen forward and having it lay on top of the keyboard. The keyboard is back-lit and sits above a tiny trackpad that is much wider than it is tall. Other features include a stylus, 8MP camera with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software called CamScanner, and a claimed 15 hour battery life according to Sony and as tested by MobileMark 2007.
Internal specifications match those of the VAIO Pro series, with a dual core 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 128GB SSD, and a beefy 6,320 mAh battery.
Aside from the small trackpad, this looks like a solid device that matches Intel's "It's a laptop when you need it; it's a tablet when you want it” mantra. At the very least, it looks like a worthy (and improved) successor to the company's existing VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet.
The VAIO Duo 13 will be available for purchase in Carbon Black or Carbon White later this month for $1,399.
Sony has also announced two new thin-and-light ultraportable VAIO Pro notebooks. As the product names suggest, they are 11” and 13” ultrabooks.
The VAIO Pro 11 weighs in at an ultra-light 1.92 pounds (0.87kg) and offers up a 1920 x 1080 display, backlight keyboard, trackpad (again, rather tiny), and decent internals.
Specifically, the base model Pro 11 notebook is powered by an Intel 4th Generation Core i5-4200U (dual core at 1.6GHz) processor, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. For a bit more, you can upgrade to a Core i7-4500U and a 256GB SSD. The base model has an MSRP of $1,150.00 USD.
Sony's VAIO Pro 13 steps up to a larger 13” display (albeit still 1080p). The larger form factor is still only 2.33 pounds (1.06kg), however which is nice to see. The base model contains a Core i5-4200U processor, 4GB RAM, and a 128GB PCIe SSD. Users can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD, however. The MSRP for the base model is $1,250.00 USD.
For only $100 over the base VAIO Pro 11, you can get a larger screen and faster storage drive which is pretty good. Judging by the reviews, such as this one by The Verge, the Pro 13 is the one to get as the Pro 11 is almost too small with a hard-to-read screen and cramped keyboard. On the other hand, if you need portability however, it is hard to beat the Haswell-powered Pro 11.
Both the VAIO Pro 11 and VAIO Pro 13 will be available later this month for $1,150 and $1,250 respectively.
What do you think about Sony's new offerings? Any Duo 11 users out there wishing for a larger form factor?
Trinity... but Better!
Richland. We have been hearing this name for a solid nine months. Originally Richland was going to be a low end Trinity model that was budget oriented (or at least that was the context we heard it in). Turns out Richland is something quite different, though the product group does extend all the way from the budget products up to mainstream prices. We have seen both AMD and Intel make speed bin updates throughout the years with their products, but that seems like it is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, AMD is refreshing their Trinity product in a pretty significant matter. It is not simply a matter of binning these chips up a notch.
Trinity was released last Fall and it was a solid product in terms of overall performance and capabilities. It was well worth the price that AMD charged, especially when compared to Intel processors that would often be significantly slower in terms of graphics. The “Piledriver” architecture powers both Trinity and Richland, and it is an improved version of the original “Bulldozer” architecture. Piledriver included some small IPC gains, but the biggest advantage given was in terms of power. It is a much more power efficient architecture that can be clocked higher than the original Bulldozer parts. Trinity turned out to be a power sipping part for both mobile and desktop. In ways, it helped to really keep AMD afloat.
It turns out there were still some surprises in store from Trinity, and they have only been exposed by the latest Richland parts. AMD is hoping to keep in front of Intel in terms of graphics performance and compatibility, even in the face of the latest Haswell parts. While AMD has not ported over GCN to the Trinity/Richland lineup, the VLIW4 unit present in the current parts is still very competitive. What is perhaps more important, the software support for both 3D applications and GPGPU is outstanding.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2013 - 07:47 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: XL-ATX, fractal design, computex 2013, computex, case, arc xl, arc mini r2
Fractal Design is using Computex 2013 to launch two new cases, called the ARC XL and ARC Mini R2. As their names suggest, the ARC XL is a massive brushed aluminum case capable of supporting motherboards up to XL-ATX in size while the ARC Mini R2 is a Micro ATX case that is compatible with Micro ATX and Mini ITX motherboards.
Fractal Design ARC XL
The ARC XL chassis measures 232 x 572 x 552mm and weighs 13.8kg. The full tower case features a texturized aluminum exterior with a clear side window and top-mounted IO panel. The front of the case holds a large mesh grill with white Fractal Design logo. Above the front intake are four 5.25" drive bays. The front IO panel is mounted on the top of the case and includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out jacks, and power/reset buttons.
Internally, the ARC XL chassis supports motherboards up to XL-ATX in size, up to eight 3.5" hard drives, and space for two 2.5" solid state drives behind the motherboard tray. In total, the case supports seven 140mm fan positions. Fractal design includes three Silent Series R2 case fans with the chassis. Dust filters in the front, top, and bottom fan vents. Water cooling enthusiasts will be pleased to know that they can install 360mm radiators on top and 240mm radiators in the front of the case (with the hard drive cages removed). Other features include 9 PCI expansion slots, space for a bottom mounted PSU, integrated 3-fan 3-speed fan controller, and space for cable routing behind the motherboard tray.
Fractal Design's ARC XL case will be available in July or early August with an MSRP of $129.95 USD (119.95 EURO).
Fractal Design ARC Mini R2
The ARC Mini R2 is a miniature version of the ARC XL suitable for smaller systems using Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards and either water or air cooling.
The Mini R2 has a large mesh grill on the front panel as well as two optical drive bays. The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports, audio in/out, power and reset buttons, and the fan controller switch. The case measures 210 x 405 x 484mm and weighs 9kg.
Internally, the ARC Mini R2 supports Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboards, up to six 3.5" hard drives, two 2.5" SSDs (behind motherboard tray), and 4 PCI expansion slots. Graphics cards up to 260mm are supported with the hard drive cage installed, or 400mm with it removed. There is space for cable routing behind the motherboard and water cooling grommets on the back of the case to support external radiators.
Cooling is handled by three bundled Silent Series R2 fans controlled by an included fan controller. The case can support a total of seven fans, including:
- Front: 2 x 120mm (1 included)
- Rear: 1 x 120mm (1 included)
- Top: 1 x 120mm plus 2 x 140mm (1 included)
- Bottom: 1 x 120mm
Watercooling support includes the ability to mount a thin 360mm radiator on top as well as a 240mm radiator over the front intake (with the optical drive and hard drive bays removed respectively). Fractal Design includes removable dust filters over the front, top, and bottom vents.
The Micro ATX ARC Mini R2 will be available for $89.95 (79.95 EURO) in August or early September.
In all, they look like decent cases, though I would have loved to see some additional color options on the ARC Mini R2! (heh).