Podcast #210 - Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, ssd, shimian, podcast, origin, nvidia, Intel, eon11, catleap, amd, 7970

PC Perspective Podcast #210 - 07/19/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:02:09

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:01:30 PC Per moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:03:10 Quakecon - Hardware Workshop @ pcper.com/workshop (August 4th, 2012 time TBD)
  7. 0:04:50 Join me next weekend at Fry's!!
    1. Fry's Electronics, 1077 East Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:05:40 Achieva Shimian high res Korean monitor review
    2. 0:14:40 Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headset review
    3. 0:15:30 Origin EON 11-S (m11x successor) review
  1. 0:20:10 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  1. News items of interest:
    1. 0:22:00 New Radeon HD 7000-series pricing
    2. 0:25:30 GPU Stock Update for July 17th
    3. 0:32:15 6GB Sapphire TOXIC Edition 7970 GHz - 1200 MHz boost speed
    4. 0:36:55 PoV launches overclocked GT 640
    5. 0:37:35 Microsoft Office 2013 (aka Office 15) Customer Preview,
    6. 0:41:30 Blue Prolimatech Megahalems HSF prototype
    7. SSD Stuff
      1. 0:42:40 Intel adds 240GB 330-series SSD, lowers prices
      2. 0:44:00 Possible MSI SandForce SSD
        1. Allyn believes this may just mean the company will integrate a mSATA SSD with it's mobos.
      3. 0:44:30: New OCZ/Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD Controller
    8. 0:47:50 Retina MacBook Pro from a PC Perspective
    9. 0:53:00 Desktop Trinity APUs delayed
    10. 0:57:15 Microsoft Releasing Upgrade/OEM Editions for sale on October 26, 2012
  1. Closing:
    1. 0:58:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Vertex 4 special tease!!
        1. VTX4-25SAT3-64G - $69.99
        2. VTX4-25SAT3-128G - $104.99
        3. VTX4-25SAT3-256G - $199.99
        4. VTX4-25SAT3-512G - $529.99
      2. Jeremy: I really dislike installing heatsinks
      3. Josh: A kickin card for cheap
      4. Tim: Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, in the steam sale today!
  1. 01:02:10 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. 01:02:55 http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. 01:03:00 http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. 01:03:30 Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
  5. 01:04:15 Closing/outro

 

 

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - July 17th, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2012 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: stock check, radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

7970ge.jpg

AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB - Out of Stock
Starting at $499

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $429

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $349

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $299

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $239

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $124

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - Out of Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

In a stunning change of fate, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 has been steadily in stock for the last few weeks but the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition that we reviewed on June 24th has yet to show its face.  Yes, you can find HD 7970 cards running at 1000 MHz core clock speeds (and higher) though they don't have the 6.0 Gbps memory speeds nor the "PowerTune with Boost" technology that really set the new version of the GPU apart. 

When asked, AMD told us to expect Sapphire and XFX models in stock early next week - so we'll definitely keep an eye on the online retailers for that. 

The only other changes are some more price drops on the AMD side.  You can now get a standard HD 7970 for $80 less than the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7950 for $50 less than the GTX 670.  AMD knows that with NVIDIA's great branding and marketing they needed to make a case for their GPUs over the competition and these types of price cuts really give gamers two great options for their gaming dollar.

We are still waiting on NVIDIA's answer for sub-$399 GPUs based on Kepler - hopefully we won't be waiting long.

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

New HD7970 GHz Editions and new pricing for all models

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 13, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, radeon, hd7970, hd 7970 ghz edition, hd 7870 ghz edition, hd 7870, amd

AMD today announced that the HD7970 GHz Edition will be available on July 16th for a MSRP of $500.  As well there will be a 7870 GHz Edition as well, retailing for around $300 which is a rather nice price point for a premium model of the 7870.  As far as changes to existing models, the Radeon HD 7970 will be available for $429 and the HD 7950 will be available for $349.  While these prices may disappoint early adopters, perhaps the fact that a CrossFire setup has become more affordable will give some comfort.

image001.png

These new prices will come in conjunction with AMD's "Three-for-Free promotion" which will allow you to choose three DX11 games to acquire for free along with your purchase of a Tahiti based Radeon GPU.  For those on a lower budget, the 7870 GHz Edition will net you a free copy of DiRT Showdown.

Source: AMD

Desktop Trinity may be retarded

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: amd, trinity, fm2, A10-5800k

After launching the mobile version of Trinity, AMD let desktop users know that they could expect to see Socket FM2 processors released in the summer.  That may no longer be the case according to a report that DigiTimes heard about which puts the timeline closer to October.  Even worse, this delay is due to them making some changes to the processors design which hints at all sorts of horrible possibilities of which the best you can hope is that they are having yield problems.  Hoping that AMD just wants to see existing stock of Llano processors sold makes little sense, none of the major tech companies seems to feel any regret at pushing out new designs over top of old ones no matter how much stock currently exists.

Worth noting is that in October, assuming we do see Trinity launch, AMD will have current generation chips and motherboards using AM3, AM3+ (Vishera), FM1 (Llano), FM2 (Trinity) and FT1 (Brazos 2.0).  To say that this is going to confuse customers is an understatement. 

amd-trinity-600.jpg

"AMD has reportedly postponed the launch of its Trinity processors for desktop platforms from August to October in order to make some adjustments to the processors' designs. Downstream motherboard makers are also rushing to make adjustments to their new motherboard projects set to release in the second half, according to sources from motherboard makers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AMD Social Media Reviewers Wanted - 2000 AMD APUs Available Free!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | July 12, 2012 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, comiccon

If you are in the San Diego area today or tomorrow, you should make it a point to stop by Belo San Diego (http://www.belosandiego.com/ 438 E Street), a night club near the convention area, to visit with the AMD and the Geek and Sundry group.

day.jpg

Felicia Day, most popular for her role in the web-series The Guild, will be part of the on going event between 10am and 2am both today (the 12th) and tomorrow sponsored by AMD.  She is excited to be there - just look!

If you stop by the Belo nightclub during those hours you can take home a FREE AMD A8-3870K APU (with accompanying motherboard) if you agree to use your social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook) to tell your friends about the experience.  You will in fact become an AMD Social Media Reviewer!

Sorry, if you aren't in the San Diego area, you are out of luck on this promotion.  This is just another reason why attending ComicCon is so enticing!

Source: AMD

Podcast #209 - Thunderbolt on Windows, Western Digital Red Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2012 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: WD, ThunderFX, thunderbolt, ssd, red, podcast, Intel, gtx 680, gpu, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #209 - 07/12/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Thunderbolt Performance on Windows, the new Western Digital Red Hard Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:15:06

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Quakecon - we need Tshirt ideas!!
  6. 00:05:45 Thunderbolt Performance on Windows with ASUS P8Z77-V Premium
  7. 00:17 Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard Review
  8. 00:18:30 AMD, Vishera and Beyond!
  9. 00:26:45 HP Envy 14 Spectre Review
  10. 00:28:30 Western Digital Red 3TB NAS HDD Review
  11. 00:41:51 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  12. 00:42:45 Passively cooled GTX 680 anyone?
  13. 00:45:45 Windows 8 Pro will run you $39
  14. 00:50:00 Overclocking makes your system less stable...duhhh
  15. 00:57:00 ASUS and Gigabyte raise warranty times
  16. 00:58:30 Mid-range Kepler rumors
  17. 01:03:03 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: ThunderboltEX from ASUS
    2. Jeremy: I like this Lenovo X220 work stuck me with
    3. Josh: Like I need another time sink
    4. Allyn: WD Red
  18. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. Closing

​For those of you that prefer the video version, see below:

AMD's second quarter is more than a little off target

Subject: General Tech | July 10, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly earnings

While AMD predicted the second quarter of 2012 to be up 3 per cent, plus or minus 3 per cent compared to last quarter, total revenue instead fell by 11%.  This is blamed on the slowed global economy, not just in North America but in other major markets like China and Europe, as opposed to a loss in market share to competitors.  This is not the news AMD was hoping for but because at least some of the loss is due to a reduction in sales volume across the marketplace there is still hope for AMD to turn a profit because the gross margins may remain the same.  Heavy cost reduction at AMD could make the difference in profitability in this economic downturn but that is not really a long term solution if they want to remain innovative and profitable.  The Register has the acutal numbers handy here.

amdlogo.jpg

"The bean counters at AMD have done a first pass on the company's second quarter, and it is not looking so good.

The company said in a statement after Wall Street called it a day on Monday that revenues in the second quarter ended in June would fall by approximately 11 per cent sequentially from the first quarter."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

AMD and NVIDIA are sticking with TSMC

Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2012 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, Samsung, amd, nvidia, 28nm, rumour

All of the speculation about the problems TSMC has had with their 28nm process and the possible issues they might have producing enough wafers to meet their clients demands.  Today we hear from DigiTimes that Qualcomm is going to switch to Samsung, possibly because TSMC was focusing on AMD and NVIDIA, but this is pure speculation at the moment.  What seems more reliable is that GPU vendors are stating that both AMD and NVIDIA are sticking with TSMC which makes a lot of sense, even if TSMC has problems delivering it is a better alternative than AMD or NVIDIA redesigning their graphics processors to be compatible with Samsung's process.  The story also mentions that in 2013 Brazos 2.0 and Hondo will be moved to a 28nm design, again likely sourced at TSMC.

waffle.jpg

"While Qualcomm has reportedly switched foundry orders for its 28nm-based Snapdragon S4 processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Samsung Electronics because TSMC's 28nm capacity has failed to meet its needs, Nvidia and AMD may not follow suit, according to graphics card makers.

TSMC has the upper hand over Samsung in 28nm technology, yield rate and price and therefore changing foundry partnership involves high risks, the sources said. In addition, Nvidia is expected to consider Samsung's ARM-based processors in competition with its Tegra 3 processors, the sources indicated."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Rumor: 7950 GHz Edition with GPU Boost Coming Soon?

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2012 - 05:07 AM |
Tagged: rumor, hd 7950 GHz edition, graphics card, gpu boost, gpu, amd

An interesting rumor floating around the internet concerns a new AMD 7950 graphics card. Specifically, a forum post over at EXPReview hinted at a new GHz Edition 7950 card. They reference a source and a photo of a graphics card with GHz Edition markings and two six-pin PCI-E power connectors. They further quoted a source that said AMD would be releasing a fourth card to its 7000-series lineup. In other words, there was not a whole lot to go on.

AMD Radeon 7950 GHz Edition Graphics Card.jpg

The alleged AMD Radeon HD 7950 GHz Edition graphics card.

I saw the rumor a couple of days ago, but decided to let it sink in for a bit before writing about it. After some thought and internal conversations, I think a 7950 GHz edition is plausible, and certainly a possibility. With the addition of the HD 7970 GHz Edition (which we recently reviewed), AMD now has a 7900 series part with its new GPU Boost (aka Powertune Boost) technology. Unfortunately, that tech can not simply be rolled out to the other existing 7900 series cards meaning that the original 7950 and 7970 are stuck without boost, leaving a gap in its lineup. Because of that, it seems logical that AMD would want to fill in that gap with a refreshed 7950 part that has higher clocks and GPU boost.

The 7970 GHz Edition helped AMD stay competitive with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and enabled AMD to (re)claim it had the fastest single GPU card. That card was enabled by AMD finding extra headroom and higher bins in its 28nm GPUs. The current Radeon HD 7950 runs at an 800 MHz GPU clock speed and a 5GHz GDDR5 effective clock speed. It is unclear if the company’s chips have enough headroom that they are able to overclock 7950 oriented silicon or if they are simply reworking the bins such that the 7950 GHz Edition is either using silicon that just barely can’t make the cut as a 7970 GHz Edition or AMD is artificially locking down 7970 GHz chips to make these proposed 7950 GHz GPUs. Apart from the increased clock speeds and GPU Boost, the rumored card is said to maintain the same hardware specifications as the existing 7950. Mainly, that means 1,792 stream processors, 112 texture units, and the same number of transistors – 4.31 billion – on a 28nm process. In comparison, the 7970 has 2,048 stream processors and 128 texture units.

As mentioned above, such a chip sounds like a logical step for AMD. By refreshing the 7950 with higher clock speeds and adding GPU Boost functionality it will be fight with the GeForce 670 for the performance crown, and may even come close to 680/7970 performance when overclocked further. I do have a couple of questions about this rumored card, however. Specifically, I am wondering if AMD will simply refresh the 7900 series cards and let the original releases fade out as the stock dwindles or if they will keep them around. I’m leaning towards the later but it will still be interesting to see, and it also makes me wonder how much a 7950 GHz Edition will cost me.

I’m curious what you think about the rumor though, do you think it has any merit? And assuming this is legit, where do you think it will stand performance-wise versus NVIDIA’s products?

If you are curious about how AMD’s new GPU Boost technology works, be sure to check out our Live Review of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with AMD’s Evan Groenke where we are given a live demonstration showing how it works and some background on the technology.

Source: EXPReview
Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer: AMD

Less Risk, Faster Product Development and Introduction

There have been quite a few articles lately about the upcoming Bulldozer refresh from AMD, but a lot of the information that they have posted is not new.  I have put together a few things that seem to have escaped a lot of these articles, and shine a light on what I consider the most important aspects of these upcoming releases.  The positive thing that most of these articles have achieved is increasing interest in AMD’s upcoming products, and what they might do for that company and the industry in general.

fx_chip.jpg

The original FX-8150 hopefully will only be a slightly embarrasing memory for AMD come Q3/Q4 of this year.

The current Bulldozer architecture that powers the AMD FX series of processors is not exactly an optimal solution.  It works, and seems to do fine, but it does not surpass the performance of the previous generation Phenom II X6 series of chips in any meaningful way.  Let us not mention how it compares to Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge products.  It is not that the design is inherently flawed or bad, but rather that it was a unique avenue of thought that was not completely optimized.  The train of thought is that AMD seems to have given up on the high single threaded performance that Intel has excelled at for some time.  Instead they are going for good single threaded performance, and outstanding multi-threaded performance.  To achieve this they had to rethink how to essentially make the processor as wide as possible, keep the die size and TDP down to reasonable sizes, and still achieve a decent amount of performance in single threaded applications.

Bulldozer was meant to address this idea, and its success is debatable.  The processor works, it shows up as an eight logical core processor, and it seems to scale well with multi-threading.  The problem, as stated before, is that it does not perform like a next generation part.  In fact, it is often compared to Intel’s Prescott, which was a larger chip on a smaller process than the previous Northwood processor, but did not outperform the earlier part in any meaningful way (except in heat production).  The difference between Intel and AMD in this aspect is that as compared to Prescott, Bulldozer as an entirely new architecture as compared to the Prescott/Northwood lineage.  AMD has radically changed the way it designs processors.  Taking some lessons from the graphics arm of the company and their successful Radeon brand, AMD is applying that train of thought to processors.

Continue reading our thoughts on AMD, Vishera, and Beyond!!