The First Custom R9 290X
It has been a crazy launch for the AMD Radeon R9 series of graphics cards. When we first reviewed both the R9 290X and the R9 290, we came away very impressed with the GPU and the performance it provided. Our reviews of both products resulted in awards of the Gold class. The 290X was a new class of single GPU performance while the R9 290 nearly matched performance at a crazy $399 price tag.
But there were issues. Big, glaring issues. Clock speeds had a huge amount of variance depending on the game and we saw a GPU that was rated as "up to 1000 MHz" running at 899 MHz in Skyrim and 821 MHz in Bioshock Infinite. Those are not insignificant deltas in clock rate that nearly perfectly match deltas in performance. These speeds also changed based on the "hot" or "cold" status of the graphics card - had it warmed up and been active for 10 minutes prior to testing? If so, the performance was measurably lower than with a "cold" GPU that was just started.
That issue was not necessarily a deal killer; rather, it just made us rethink how we test GPUs. The fact that many people were seeing lower performance on retail purchased cards than with the reference cards sent to press for reviews was a much bigger deal. In our testing in November the retail card we purchased, that was using the exact same cooler as the reference model, was running 6.5% slower than we expected.
The obvious hope was the retail cards with custom PCBs and coolers would be released from AMD partners and somehow fix this whole dilemma. Today we see if that was correct.
A not-so-simple set of instructions
Valve released to the world the first beta of SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system built specifically for PC gaming, on Friday evening. We have spent quite a lot of time discussing and debating the merits of SteamOS, but this weekend we wanted to do an installation of the new OS on a system and see how it all worked.
Our full video tutorial of installing and configuring SteamOS
First up was selecting the hardware for the build. As is usually the case, we had a nearly-complete system sitting around that needed some tweaks. Here is a quick list of the hardware we used, with a discussion about WHY just below.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4670K - $222|
|Motherboard||EVGA Z87 Stinger Mini ITX Motherboard - $257|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1866 MHz (2 x 4GB) - $109|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB - $999
EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB SuperClocked - $349
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO Series 250GB SSD - $168|
|Case||EVGA Hadron Mini ITX Case - $189|
|Power Supply||Included with Case|
|Optical Drive||Slot loading DVD Burnder - $36|
|Peak Compute||4,494 GFLOPS (TITAN), 3,213 GFLOPS (GTX 770)|
|Total Price||$1947 (GTX TITAN) $1297 (GTX 770)|
We definitely weren't targeting a low cost build with this system, but I think we did create a very powerful system to test SteamOS on. First up was the case, the new EVGA Hadron Mini ITX chassis. It's small, which is great for integration into your living room, yet can still hold a full power, full-size graphics card.
The motherboard we used was the EVGA Z87 Stinger Mini ITX - an offering that Morry just recently reviewed and recommended. Supporting the latest Intel Haswell processors, the Stinger includes great overclocking options and a great feature set that won't leave enthusiasts longing for a larger motherboard.
A slightly smaller MARS
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 was released in June of 2013. Based on the same GK104 GPU as the GTX 680, GTX 670 and GTX 770, the GTX 760 disabled a couple more of the clusters of processor cores to offer up impressive performance levels for a lower cost than we had seen previously. My review of the GTX 760 was very positive as NVIDIA had priced it aggressively against the competing products from AMD.
As for ASUS, they have a storied history with the MARS brand. Typically an over-built custom PCB with two of the highest end NVIDIA GPUs stapled together, the ASUS MARS cards have been limited edition products with a lot of cache around them. The first MARS card was a dual GTX 285 product that was the first card to offer 4GB of memory (though 2GB per GPU of course). The MARS II took a pair of GTX 580 GPUs and pasted them on a HUGE card and sold just 1000 of them worldwide. It was heavy, expensive and fast; blazing fast. But at a price of $1200+ it wasn't on the radar of most PC gamers.
Interestingly, the MARS iteration for the GTX 680 never occurred and why that is the case is still a matter of debate. Some point the finger at poor sales and ASUS while others think that NVIDIA restricted ASUS' engineers from being as creative as they needed to be.
Today's release of the ASUS ROG MARS 760 is a bit different - this is still a high end graphics card but it doesn't utilize the fastest single-GPU option on the market. Instead ASUS has gone with a more reasonable design that combines a pair of GTX 760 GK104 GPUs on a single PCB with a PCI Express bridge chip between them. The MARS 760 is significantly smaller and less power hungry than previous MARS cards but it is still able to pack a punch in the performance department as you'll soon see.
Subject: Displays | December 16, 2013 - 09:09 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: vg248qe, nvidia, gsync, giveaway, g-sync, contest, asus
I know that LOTS of you have been clamoring for information on how you can get your hands on one of those DIY G-Sync upgrade kits for yourself and I have some good news. Though I can't tell you where to buy one or how much it will cost, I can offer you 1 of 5 FREE G-Sync upgrade kits through a giveaway we are hosting at PC Perspective!
Here are the rules for the sweepstakes:
- You must already own an ASUS VG248QE monitor
- We need you to supply feedback on the G-Sync experience after the upgrade
- Sorry, this is only available in the US and Canada
Now, the real question is, how can you enter to win as long as you meet those above requirements? It's pretty simple!
- Fill out the form below with name and email information
- You have to include a link to a picture of your existing VG248QE monitor. Include text on it (or on a sheet of paper in the photo) that mentions this contest! Use Imgur if you need an image host.
- Leave a comment on this post that describes WHY you want G-Sync technology
- Hey, if you subscribe to our YouTube channel that won't hurt your chances either. Leave your YouTube name in the comment as well!
Our thanks goes to NVIDIA for supplying the kits and good luck to all participants! We'll pick our winners on December 23rd and have the units out by the end of the year.
Subject: Displays | December 16, 2013 - 09:11 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, vg248qe, nvidia, gsync, g-sync, asus
It looks like some G-Sync ready monitors are going to be on sale starting today, though perhaps not from the outlets you would have expected. NVIDIA let me know last night that they are working with partners, including ASUS obviously, to make a small amount of pre-modified ASUS VG248QE G-Sync monitors available for purchase. These are the same monitors we used in our recent G-Sync preview story so you should check that article out if you want our opinions on the display and the technology.
Those people selling the displays? Digital Storm, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, and Overlord Computer. This creates some unfortunate requirements on potential buyers. For example, Falcon Northwest is only selling the panels to users that either are buying a new Falcon PC or already own a Falcon custom system. Digital Storm on the other hand WILL sell the monitor on its own or allow you to send in your VG248QE monitor to have the upgrade service done for you. The monitor alone will sell for $499 while the upgrade price (with module included) is $299.
This distribution model for G-Sync technology likely isn't what users wanted or expected. After all, we were promised upgrade kits for users of that specific ASUS VG248QE display and we still do not have data on how NVIDIA plans to sell them or distribute them. Being able to purchase the display from these resellers above is at least SOMETHING before the holiday, but it really isn't the way we would like to see G-Sync showcased. NVIDIA needs to get these products in the hands of gamers sooner rather than later.
NVIDIA also prepared a new video to showcase G-Sync. Unlike other marketing videos this one wasn't placed on YouTube as the ability for it to run at a fixed 60 FPS is a strict requirement, something that YouTube can't do or can't do reliably. For this video's demonstration to work correctly you need set your display to a 60 Hz refresh rate and you should use a video player capable of maintaining the static 60 FPS content decoding.
To grab a copy of this video, you can use the link right here that will download the file directly from Mega.co.nz. It should help demonstrate the effects us using a G-Sync enabled display for users that don't have access to see one in person.
Oh, and I know that LOTS of you have been clamoring for information on how you can get your hands on one of those DIY G-Sync upgrade kits for yourself and I have some good news. Though I can't tell you where to buy one or how much it will cost, I can offer you one of 5 FREE G-Sync ASUS VG248QE upgrade kits through a giveaway we are hosting at PC Perspective! Check out this page for the details!!
What is the Hardware Leaderboard
What is a Leaderboard? If you have to ask you really haven't clicked on enough of the tabs at the top of PC Perspective! The Leaderboard consists of four different systems, each with a price target and are updated monthly. They start with the ~$500 budget system which is for general family or dorm usage but not for heavy gaming usage, though it can certainly handle many online games without issue. The Mid Range machine can be yours for around $1000 and packs enough power under the hood to handle productivity software and can give a console a run for its money when gaming. Things start getting more serious when you look at the High End machine, even while keeping the price around $1500 you start to see serious performance that will show you why PC Gaming is still far more popular than some would have you believe. Finally is the Dream Machine which doesn't have a specific price cap but is limited by a certain amount of common sense; you can slap four GPUs in the system but you really will not be getting a great return on your investment as the performance scaling does not continue to increase at a linear pace.
You may notice several components missing from the HWLB and there is a reason for that. Enclosures are a very personal choice for system builders and no ones desires are exactly the same. Dremel owners with a good imagination want a case that is easily moddable while pet owners want washable filters on their systems. Some may want a giant white case while others an unobtrusive and quiet enclosure and who can tell where you prefer your front panel connectors to be but you? Cooling solutions are again a personal choice, do you plan on getting the biggest chunk of metal you can find with three 140mm fans strapped to it or were you thinking of using watercooling, either a self contained CPU cooler or a custom built cooling loop that incorporates multiple components? The same applies to monitors with some gamers preferring to sacrifice colour quality and viewing angle for the refresh rates of a TN display while others have a need to pick up a professional quality display at over $1000 for when they are working. Size is always personal; just how big can you fit in your place? (Editor's note: we did include a couple of case recommendations in the build guide summary tables, in case you are interested though.)
So continue on to see the components that make up the current four builds of the Hardware Leaderboard. Once you have all your components you can reference Ryan's videos covering the installation of the parts into the case of your choice as well as installing your OS and Steam so you can get right to gaming and surfing.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 18, 2013 - 04:25 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: GeForce GTX 780 Ti, DirectCU II, asus
There has not been too many custom coolers for top-end NVIDIA graphics cards as of late. Starting with the GeForce GTX 690, NVIDIA allegedly demands AIB partners stick to the reference designs for certain models. Obviously, this is a problem as it limits the innovation realized by partners when they are forced to compete on fewer metrics (although the reference designs were pretty good regardless). This is especially true because the affected models are the upper high-end where pricing is more flexible if the product is worth it.
This is apparently not the case for the top end GTX 780 Ti. ASUS has just announced the GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II graphics card. ASUS claims this will lead to 30% cooler operating with 3x less noise. A 6% bump to performance (as measured in Battlefield 4) will accompany that cooler and quieter operation as the full GK110 GPU will boost to 1020MHz.
ASUS makes custom GPUs for both AMD and NVIDIA. Be sure to check out our review of another high-end DirectCU II card, with 100% less NVIDIA, very soon. It will definitely be a great read and maybe even an excellent podcast topic.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 15, 2013 - 04:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, google, arm
Amazon, Facebook, and Google are three members of a fairly exclusive club. These three companies order custom server processors from Intel (and other companies). Jason Waxman of Intel was quoted by Wired, "Sometimes OEMs and end customers ask us to put a feature into the silicon and it sort of depends upon how big a deal it is and whether it has to be invisible or proprietary to a customer. We're always happy to, if we can find a way to get it into the silicon".
Now, it would seem, that Google is interested in developing their own server processors based on architecture licensed from ARM. This could be a big deal for Intel as Bloomberg believes Google accounts for a whole 4.3% of the chip giant's revenue.
Of course this probably does not mean Google will spring up a fabrication lab somewhere. That would just be nutty. It is still unclear whether they will cut in ARM design houses, such as AMD or Qualcomm, or whether they will take ARM's design and run straight to TSMC, GlobalFoundries, or IBM with it.
I am sure there would be many takers for some sizable fraction of 4.3% of Intel's revenue.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 16, 2013 - 09:17 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, Haswell-EP, Broadwell-EP, Broadwell
Intel has made its way on to our news feed several times over the last few days. The ticking and the tocking seem to be back on schedule. Was Intel held back by the complexity of 14nm? Was it too difficult for them to focus on both high-performance and mobile development? Was it a mix of both?
VR-Zone, who knows how to get a hold of Intel slides, just leaked details about Broadwell-EP. This product line is predicted to replace Haswell-EP at some point in the summer of 2015 (they expect right around Intel Developer Forum). They claim it will be Intel's first 14nm Xeon processor which obviously suggests that it will not be preceded by Broadwell in the lower performance server categories.
Image Credit: VR-Zone
Broadwell-EP will have up to 18 cores per socket (Hyper-Threading allows up to 36 threads). Its top level cache, which we assume is L3, will be up to 45MB large. TDPs will be the same as Haswell-EP which range from 70W to 145W for server parts and from 70W to 160W for workstations. The current parts based on Ivy Bridge, as far as I can tell, peak at 150W and 25MB of cache. Intel will apparently allow Haswell and Broadwell to give off a little more heat than their predecessors. This could be a very good sign for performance.
VR-Zone expects that a dual-socket Broadwell-EP Xeon system could support up to 2TB of DDR4 memory. They expect close to 1 TFLOP per socket of double precision FP performance. This meets or exceeds the performance available by Kaveri including its GPU. Sure, the AMD solution will be available over a year earlier and cost a fraction of the multi-thousand-dollar server processor, but it is somewhat ridiculous to think that a CPU has the theoretical performance available to software render the equivalent of Battlefield 4's medium settings without a GPU (if the software was written with said rendering engine, which it is not... of course).
This is obviously two generations off as we have just received the much anticipated Ivy Bridge-E. Still, it is good to see that Intel is keeping themselves moving ahead and developing new top-end performance parts for enthusiasts and high-end servers.
Subject: General Tech | December 18, 2013 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, 2014, beema, Kabini, FS1B
DigiTimes has put together an overview of AMD's plans to take back market share over the coming year, though of course AMD is not confirming or denying the accuracy of their report. First off will be the coming of the 28nm Kaveri family in January with availability planned to follow quickly. Beema, which will be based on the Puma+ architecture should arrive in the summer but there is also a Kabini-based series for the new socket, FS1B, which will get limited release in some areas. FS1B will be used for up coming Sempron and Athlon models designed for low power usage scenarios though don't expect to see AM3+ or FM2 disappear any time soon. You will have to wait for 2015 before Carrizo and Nolan make an appearance.
"AMD has been enhancing the marketing of its processors in DIY markets and aims to increase its global DIY market share from about 30% currently to 40%, and to reach a DIY market share above 45% in China in particular, at the end of 2014, according to Taiwan-based motherboard makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NVIDIA Optimus On Ubuntu 13.10 Linux vs. Windows 8.1 @ Phoronix
- Microsoft admits: We WON'T pick the next Steve Ballmer this year @ The Register
- Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all @ The Register
- Bogus Firefox add-on FORCES WITLESS USERS to join vuln-hunting party @ The Register
- Samsung, TSMC to share Apple 14/16nm chip orders @ DigiTimes
- Half of IT pros plan to use Windows XP after support ends in 2014 @ The Inquirer
- Porsche Proves MPAA Wrong By Letting You Download a Car @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 19, 2013 - 07:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, firepro, SPECviewperf
SPECviewperf 12 is a benchmark for workstation components that attempts to measure performance expected for professional applications. It is basically synthetic but is designed to quantify how your system can handle Maya, for instance. AMD provided us with a press deck of some benchmarks they ran leading to many strong FirePro results in the entry to mid-range levels.
They did not include high-end results which they justify with the quote, "[The] Vast majority of CAD and CAE users purchase entry and mid-range Professional graphics boards". That slide, itself, was titled, "Focusing Where It Matters Most". I will accept that but I assume they did the benchmarks and wonder if it would have just been better to include them.
The cards AMD compared are:
- Quadro 410 ($105) vs FirePro V3900 ($105)
- Quadro K600 ($160) vs FirePro V4900 ($150)
- Quadro K2000 ($425) vs FirePro W5000 ($425)
- Quadro K4000 ($763) vs FirePro W7000 ($750)
In each of the pairings, about as equally-priced as possible, AMD held decent lead throughout eight tests included in SPECviewperf 12. You could see the performance gap leveling off as prices begun to rise, however.
Obviously a single benchmark suite should be just one data-point when comparing two products. Still, these are pretty healthy performance numbers.
Subject: General Tech | December 18, 2013 - 06:20 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, Type Heaven, topre, keyboard
I don't consider myself a keyboard guru, but I sure do go through a lot of them in my line of work. At any of five different workstations in our office I'll be using a different keyboard. And we tend to interchange them often enough that I would guess I have typed on as many as 15 different keyboards this year. Some for longer periods of time than others of course, but the ones that make it to my main desk get quite a workout.
When our friends at Seasonic told us they wanted to send along a Topre Type Heaven keyboard for us to try out, I told them to feel free; but in my head I was thinking "oh geez another keyboard." Turns out I didn't give this brand and this keyboard enough credit out the gate.
(Note: Seasonic is the official distributor of the Topre keyboard brand in the US now and offers a 2 year warranty on the units!)
With a price tag of $150 on Amazon.com, there are going to quite of few of you that just instantly turn off. Understandable. Others though will appreciate the need for a high quality input device if you do any appreciable amount of typing for work or pleasure. Using a technology called electrostatic capacitive key switches, Topre combines benefits of Cherry and standard membrane keyboards in one package.
Check out my video above for some sound comparison as well as my thoughts on using the keyboard long term. Not to spoil it: but I'm keeping this keyboard on my desk despite me missing the multimedia controls of my previous keyboard.
Introduction and Features
Be Quiet! has been a market leader for PC power supplies in Germany for seven years straight and in 2013 they are continuing to expand their PC power supply lineup into North American markets. Earlier this year, we reviewed Be Quiet!’s top-of-the-line Dark Power Pro 10 850W PSU and the value-minded Pure Power L8 Series with very good results. Now we are going to take a look at the new Power Zone Series, sprecifically the Power Zone 1000W PSU. The Power Zone Series features a 135mm Be Quiet! SilentWings fan, are certified for 80Plus Bronze efficiency, come with all-modular cables, and are backed by a 5-year warranty.
Be Quiet! is targeting the Power Zone Series towards discerning gamers and PC enthusiasts seeking high power, top performance and great features.
Here is what Be Quiet! has to say about their Power Zone Series: “The Power Zone Series provides the winning combination of superior performance, rock-solid stability, and advanced cooling. Whether you are assembling a high power PC or multi-GPU gaming system, your build will benefit from the Power Zone features. The Power Zone 1000W hits the sweet spot with granite stability, advanced cooling features, low noise and great value.”
Be Quiet! Power Zone 1000W PSU Key Features:
• 1000W of continuous power output @ 50°C
• Massive +12V rail design is ideal for overclocking
• Full cable management supports maximum build flexibility
• Quiet operation: 135mm SilentWings fan with 6-pole motor
• COOL*OFF feature runs fans for 3 minutes after system shutdown
• Connect up to three case fans for optimized system cooling
• 80Plus Bronze certification (up to 90% power conversion efficiency)
• Meets Energy Star 5.2 Guidelines
• Fulfills ErP 2013 Guidelines
• Supports Intel’s Deep Power Down C6 mode
• Sleeved cables for improved cooling and more attractive looks
• NVIDIA SLI Ready and AMD CrossFireX certified
• Up to six PCI-E connectors for multi-GPU support
• 5-Year warranty
• German product conception, design and quality control
Subject: General Tech | December 19, 2013 - 03:15 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, ROG, podcast, nvidia, mars 760, gtx 760, gsync, DirectCU II, aus, 290x
PC Perspective Podcast #281 - 12/19/2013
Join us this week as we discuss our NVIDIA GSYNC Preview, ASUS ROG MARS 760, Custom Cooled R9 290Xs and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
1:04:00 Intel Roadmap Leaks
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Jeremy: Yes I would, would you?
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 17, 2013 - 05:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, ShadowPlay, geforce experience
Another update to GeForce Experience brings another anticipated ShadowPlay feature. The ability to stream live gameplay to Twitch, hardware accelerated by Kepler, was demoed at the NVIDIA event in Montreal from late October. They showed Batman Origins streaming at 1080p 60FPS without capping or affecting the in-game output settings.
GeForce Experience 1.8.1 finally brings that feature, in beta of course, to the general public. When set up, Alt + F8 will launch the Twitch stream and Alt + F6 will activate your webcam. Oh, by the way, one feature they kept from us (or at least me) is the ability to overlay your webcam atop your gameplay.
Nice touch NVIDIA.
Of course the upstream bandwidth requirements of video are quite high: 3.5Mbps on the top end, a more common 2Mbps happy medium, and a 0.75Mbps minimum. NVIDIA has been trying to ensure that your machine will not lag but there's nothing a GPU can do about your internet connection.
GeForce Experience 1.8.1 is available now at the GeForce website.
Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2013 - 03:24 AM | Scott Michaud
Have you been trying, unsuccessfully, to install SteamOS? If you get the '/dev/sda device or resource is busy' error: check out the fix on our Youtube channel!
Some people do not have wrist cartilage anymore. Somehow Michael Larabel has already managed to install SteamOS, run several benchmarks across eight separate NVIDIA GPUs, and type five pages about the results. Remember your carpal-tunnel exercises!
Note that none of these benchmarks were using the Source engine. He briefly references two other articles to explain why before continuing on with the bar charts. The GeForce Titan and the GTX 780 Ti were the only two cards to push Unigine Heaven 4.0 past 60 FPS (mind you they almost reached 80 FPS).
He expects to release a second article, within the next couple of days, to compare SteamOS performance to other Linux distributions. He also discusses using the Steam Controller in another, already released, article.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 19, 2013 - 04:05 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, haswell
In another review from around the net, Carl Nelson over at Hardcoreware tested the dual-core (4 threads) Intel Core i3-4340 based on the Haswell architecture. This processor slides into the $157 retail price point with a maximum frequency of 3.6GHz and an Intel HD 4600 iGPU clocked at 1150MHz. Obviously this is not intended as top-end performance but, of course, not everyone wants that.
Image Credit: Hardcoreware
One page which I found particularly interesting was the one which benchmarked Battlefield 4 rendering on the iGPU. The AMD A10 6790K (~$130) had slightly lower 99th percentile frame time (characteristic of higher performance) but slightly lower average frames per second (characteristic of lower performance). The graph of frame times shows that AMD is much more consistent than Intel. Perhaps the big blue needs a little Fame Rating? I would be curious to see what is causing the pretty noticeable (in the graph, at least) stutter. AMD's frame pacing seems to be very consistent albeit this is obviously not a Crossfire scenario.
If you are in the low-to-mid $100 price point be sure to check out his review. Also, of course, Kaveri should be coming next month so that is something to look out for.
Subject: General Tech | December 16, 2013 - 02:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Need a laptop for school but are on a tight budget? This Dell Inspiron 17 contains i3-3227U and a 500GB HDD along with 4GB DDR-1600, unfortunately shipping with a single DIMM but offering the chance of a future doubling of RAM. Add in an HD 8650M and you can even get some light gaming in after finals.
- Dell Inspiron 17 17.3" 900p Core i3 Laptop w/ Windows 7 & 2GB Radeon HD 8650M Graphics for $499.99 with Free Shipping (normally $549.99).
- Sceptre X505BV-FMDR 50" 1080p LED HDTV for $389.00 with Free Shipping(normally $599.99).
- HP ENVY Rove 20-k014us 20" 4th-gen Core i3 "Haswell" Mobile Desktop for $934.99 with Free Shipping(normally $979.99 - use coupon code: LOGICBUY15HP).
- Sony Portable Party Speaker w/Bluetooth & NFC for $299.99(normally $349.00).
- Roku LT Streaming Media Player (2013 Model) for $36.99 with free shipping(normally $49.99).
- In Stock! Amazon offers Xbox One console for $499.99 with free shipping
Subject: General Tech | December 20, 2013 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win 8.1, pixel, high ppi
In their latest commentary The Tech Report looks at the nasty way that Win 8.1 renders its GUI on high pixel per inch displays, for instance the majority of high end laptops. 1366x768 panels don't look to bad but if you were to pick up a 13.3" 1920x1080 laptop or for that matter a reasonably sized 4k display you are going to notice blurry text and icons as Win 8.1 is not great at recognizing and scaling for monitors with dense pixels. Some 3rd party applications are better than others but for the most part you are going to feel like you are starting to lose your sight. They offer some workarounds that mitigate the issue somewhat, but like proper mouse support this is something the new flavour of Windows really should have gotten right immediately.
"Displays with high pixel densities are pretty much standard in tablets, and we're all waiting for them to become standard in notebooks. Take a trip to your local Best Buy, though, and chances are a majority of systems in the laptop aisle will have 1366x768 panels—even large notebooks that really have no business with a display resolution that low."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Haswell Linux Performance Improved A Lot In 2013 @ Phoronix
- ARM server chip upstart Calxeda bites the dust on road to 64-bit glory @ The Register
- Globalfoundries adjusts global workforce @ DigiTimes
- How to Install SteamOS and Configure Wifi and Audio @ Linux.com
- TP-LINK 300Mbps AV500 WiFi Powerline Extender Starter Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- World’s first full-size Lego car can hit 20 mph, powered by insane, 1048-piston compressed air engine @ ExtremeTech
- Macbook webcams CAN spy on you - and you simply CAN'T TELL @ The Register
- Netgear R6100 Wi-Fi Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it? @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | December 18, 2013 - 01:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's Alienware 14 deal is for a 14" 1080p laptop with quite a bit inside of it's compact chassis. A core i7-4700MQ, 8GB DDR3-1600 and a 1GB GeForce GTX 750M offer decent performance and connectivity includes Bluetooth and a KillerNIC handling WiFi. Storage is a 750GB 7200RPM HDD and a DVD Burner you can upgrade to a BlueRay if you so desire. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installed. More powerful and expensive units also available by following the link.
- Alienware 14 "Haswell" Core i5 Gaming Laptop w/ GeForce GT 750M for $979.00 with Free Shipping (normally $1,099.00 - use coupon code: 80W?MH81W7PS0G).
- Dell Venue 7 16GB Android 4.2 Tablet + Extra 32GB SanDisk Memory Card for $149.99 with Free Shipping(normally $187.98).
- Dell Inspiron 660s Core i3 Slim Tower Desktop for $399.99 with Free Shipping(normally $519.99).
- LG 55LN5600 55" 1080p LED HDTV for $729.99(normally $949.99).
- Samsung HT-F4500 3D Blu-ray 5.1 Home Theater for $197.99 with free shipping(normally $249.99).
- Symantec Norton 360 Version 2013 (3-PC DL) for $28.00 with free shipping(normally $59.99).
- 1 of 2
Get notified when we go live!