Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | October 31, 2011 - 02:22 PM | Matt Baynum
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, Intel, bf3, battlefield 3, APU, amd
Everyone is playing Battlefield 3 these days; we even had a virtual LAN party this weekend where forum members and PC Perspective team members played from about 10am until well after 1am ET. We have done more than our fair share of Battlefield 3 articles as well including hardware performance on high end graphics cards, multi-GPU scaling and more.
We had some requests and questions about what was the lowest priced hardware you could play the game on and while we had run some tests on the GeForce 9800 GT, I decided to take a stab at running BF3 at its lowest settings with integrated graphics on Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and AMD's A-series APU. Here were our test settings:
We ran at a fairly low resolution of 1366x768 (both indicative of mobile resolutions as well as low-end hardware restrictions) and the Low in-game preset. As it turns out this was the level at which the A8-3850 Llano APU was able to maintain an average around 30 FPS while the Intel Core i3-2105 (both priced around $140) was able to reach only a third of that.
With both systems coming in at the ~$450 mark, this could qualify as the lowest priced PC that is capable of getting you into the BF3 action!
You can see our full comparison right here in this short video!
Subject: Editorial | October 28, 2011 - 05:27 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Q3 2011, ontario, llano, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, bulldozer, brazos, amd
Unlike Intel, AMD was unable to report record revenues. What they were able to report was a small profit. They also were able to show some growth above that expected by most analysts, and even those in AMD. Earlier this quarter AMD warned that revenues might not be as high as expected, but in the end AMD seemed to have done ok.
The company had a gross revenue of $1.69 billion, which is well above the expected $1.66 billion many analysts were predicting. Net profit for the quarter came in at a reasonable $97 million. This is a big improvement from Q3 2010, which had a net income of -$118 million. Being positive for a quarter is a big accomplishment for AMD. Controlling costs as a fabless semiconductor company is a lot easier as compared to running multiple Fabs and researching and implementing next generation process nodes. Margins increased to 45%, but are still a far cry from the 60% plus that Intel achieves. ASPs are also down due to the large amount of low priced, 45 nm parts that AMD still sells.
The primary movers for the positive results for AMD are their lineup of APUs. The “Bobcat” based APUs have been a success for quite a few months, and with their superior performance and features as compared to the competing Intel Atom series, AMD is making a tidy sum off of them. The big winner in the APU sector is of course Llano. The uptake on this processor in the mobile space has been tremendous. AMD has seen a 35% increase in mobile sales, and when combined with the already strong Brazos/Ontario platform, AMD is finally a factor in the mobile market. The only real issue in this market that AMD is facing is that of continued poor yields on Llano processors.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2011 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hd 6950, amd, gigabyte, msi, xfx, factory overclocked
Heading to The Tech Report will bring you to a round up of HD6950's including Gigabyte's GV-R695OC-1GD, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC and the XFX HD-695X-ZDDC. The GPU clocks range from 830MHz to 870MHz and RAM ranging from the stock 1250MHz to 1350MHz, with the MSI and XFX offering their own overclocking tools and Gigabyte relying on the Catalyst Control Center for further overclocking. MSI's offering came out looking very good, with the best performance and the best power efficiency and thanks to a mail in rebate it picks up the best ratings in the round up. It is a close race though with the cards performing very similarly, as you can see in the review.
"We've gathered three souped-up Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards from Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX. Which one delivers the most bang for your buck?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Great Value from Sapphire: Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition and Radeon HD 6850 Vapor-X @ X-bit Labs
- Inexpensive Hi-End: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1 GD5 Power Edition/OC @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition Review @ OCC
- AMD’s flagship HD6990: is silent air cooling possible? @ kitguru
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ X-bit Labs
- EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified 3 GB @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte GTX580 Super Overclock @ OC3D
- Palit GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo 1GB @ Tweaktown
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti Video Card Drawing @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti @ Phoronix
- Palit GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2011 - 12:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, FX 8150, linux
With the lacklustre performance we saw from AMD's new Bulldozer CPUs on Windows except in seriously multi-threaded applications; it is with a hopeful heart that Phoronix tests the performance of the FX-8150 under Ubuntu 11.04. There are a lot of benchmarks to go through, from general performance to specific AMD-centric tests to those focusing specifically on multi-threaded performance and even a look at the bundled watercooler. Read through the benchmarks they've run themselves as well as user submitted test and then realize that this is only the first of a series of articles they are working on ... so for now they hold judgment on AMD's newest product.
"Two weeks ago AMD introduced the Bulldozer FX-Series CPUs to much excitement, although many were letdown by the initial results, and it was months after showing the first Linux benchmarks of an AMD Dual-Interlagos pre-production system. In the days that followed I delivered some initial AMD FX-4100 Linux benchmarks when securing remote access to a low-end Bulldozer system running Ubuntu 11.04 (and there were also some Linux benchmarks from independent Phoronix readers), but then last week a Bulldozer kit arrived from AMD. The centerpiece of this kit is an eight-core AMD FX-8150 CPU, which is now being used to conduct a plethora of AMD Bulldozer benchmarks on Linux."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD FX-4100 Bulldozer On Linux @ Phoronix
- Multi-Core Scaling Performance Of AMD's Bulldozer @ Phoronix
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5 GHz CPU Review @ Legit Reviews
- Intel Core i7 Processors for LGA1156, LGA1155 and LGA1366 @ iXBT Labs
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2011 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gpu, amd, nvidia, southern islands, kepler, TSMC, 28nm
While most enthusiasts are living up to the name as far as the build up to the coming GPU refreshes from both AMD and NVIDIA is concerned, the manufacturers are quite the opposite. There are several probable reasons for this attitude, not least of which are the number of HD 6570s and GTS 450s that are still in their stock. Remember those cards from back in the spring of this year, which were the high end of a huge range of GPUs from both companies spanning $20 to either side of $100? Think that with the current generation of Llano and SandyBridge that any knowledgeable person is going to purchase one, let alone when you consider how close the release of next generation of APUs is? The two major players in the discrete GPU market not only updated the top end of their cards quickly over the past several quarters there was a widening of the market which saw current generation cards available from ~$75 to ~$750 with some segments separated by as little as $10. That translates to huge inventories at the manufacturer level which they then have to convince resellers and retailers to purchase for stock to sell to the consumer and many of those cards are still sitting there collecting dust. No wonder these same companies are leery of purchasing more stock before finding a way to recover some profit from the stock they have now.
To make things even worse there exist doubts about the 28nm process from TSMC, which DigiTimes discusses here. While AMD is still claiming delivery of HD7000 family cards before the coming year, the troubles that NVIDIA seems to be having with the same process concerns those who need to be able to buy large volumes of chips in order to turn a profit selling graphics cards. Even worse is the realization that the first cards NVIDIA will be releasing are simply a die shrink, without architectural changes. When two companies go to the same source for the same thing and one reports getting apple cider and the other apple vinegar, you really have to start to wonder what is really going on.
"While Nvidia and AMD are poised to use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) 28nm technology to produce the GPUs Kepler and Southern Islands respectively, most Taiwan-based graphics card makers hold a conservative attitude about the new GPUs with some makers cautiously watching the market status before making any further decisions, according to industry sources.
Compared to the makers' eagerness for the previous-generation GPUs, graphics card makers are rather conservative about the upcoming 28nm chips due to concerns such as TSMC's weak 40nm process yield rate issues may re-occur in its 28nm process and weakening demand for graphics cards and lower-than-expected gross margins."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Did Nvidia have to spin their 28nm GPU shrinks? @ SemiAccurate
- PARC, Thinfilm unveil first printed, flexible CMOS computer circuit @ ExtremeTech
- AIDA64 v2.00 is released !
- Linus Torvalds discusses ARM issues at Linuxcon Europe @ The Inquirer
- KDE 4: Leader of the Semantic Pack @ Linux
- IBM names Ginni Rometty prez and CEO @ The Register
- Samsung Announces PM830 Prices in NYC Gala Event With Batman @ SSD Review
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2011 - 06:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, ultrabook, Deccan, Kerala
Not to be deterred by the issues that Intel has run into trying to out Macbook Apple, AMD will also be jumping on a notebook similar to the Ultrabook. The successors to Brazos will be competing against Ivy Bridge and Haswell, so hopefully the statement that DigiTimes makes about vastly improved performance and power usage reduction are true. AMD is also lookign to refresh the chips they've designed for use in tablets which you should be able to get your hands on before the end of the year, if GLOBALFOUNDRIES can produce enough chips.
"AMD has made plans for ultrabook-like products for the next two years – in 2012, AMD will launch the Deccan platform to replace Brazos and will launch Kerala in 2013.
Since AMD's share in the global CPU market has been around 20% in recent years while the company has about 10% share in the global notebook CPU market, AMD is preparing plans for ultra-thin notebooks hoping to raise its share in the notebook CPU market.
In June 2012, AMD is set to launch Deccan, featuring Krishna and Wichita-based APUs and will upgrade to Kerala featuring Kabini-based APUs. With the upgrades, the overall performance and power consumption of AMD's platforms are expected to see an extraordinary improvement, allowing AMD to compete against Intel's Ivy Bridge platform in 2012 and Haswell platform in 2013.
For the traditional notebook market, AMD has already launched its Llano-based Sabine platform to replace Danube, but due to Globalfoundries' weak 32nm yield rates and production issues, supplies of Llano APUs has been limited, which should impact AMD's future plans for the notebook market. However, within AMD's latest plans, the company is set to launch the Comal platform, featuring Trinity-based APUs, for 2012 and will upgrade to the Indus platform in 2013 using Kaveri-based APUs.
As for the tablet PC market, AMD will push the Brazos platform with Windows operating system to target the enterprise market in 2011. In the second quarter of 2012, AMD will launch the Brazos T platform that features Hondo APUs and in 2013 will release the Samara platform, which features a similar architecture as its ultra-thin platform."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC ramps volume production of 28nm process @ DigiTimes
- Desktop dreams: Ubuntu 11.10 reviewed @ Ars Technica
- World's stealthiest rootkit gets a makeover @ The Register
- Netgear Universal WiFi Range Extender WN3000RP Review @ MissingRemote
- Getting acquainted with Arduino @ The Tech Report
- Configure Android as Wi-Fi Internet Hotspot @ Benchmark Reviews
- OC3D & Be Quiet @ LITS 2011
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 24, 2011 - 03:06 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, nvidia, geforce, bf3, amd
I know that you might have Battlefield 3 overload by now, but I wanted to make sure you all remembered to take a look at our BF3 Performance Guide from a couple weeks back to make sure your PC is ready for what might be the most anticipated and talked about PC titles in years.
Here is a summary of the content we have written based on the game - make sure you know ALL of it so you can get your system prepared for the pending battle!!
- Battlefield 3 (BF3) System Build Guide - What you need to succeed
- Come see our easy suggestions for building a system for BF3 (or upgrading) based on your target resolution and quality settings.
- Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Testing and Image Quality Evaluation - Day 1
- We test quite a few graphics cards to see where your setup currently stands with Battlefield 3.
- More Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Results: GTX 460, Radeon HD 5850 and 9800 GT!
- We added some lower end cards to the performance article as well including the very popular 9800 GT.
- PCPer Live! Battlefield 3 Beta Party and Discussion @ 10:30pm EST
- You missed it, but it was fun and we are going to be doing more next weekend!
- Battlefield 3 Beta: Caspian Border Performance and Screenshots
- Come see the performance results from our 64-player testing on the Caspian Border map!
- Battlefield 3 (BF3) Beta Performance: Quality Preset and SLI Scaling
- Here you can see how performance scales from Ultra to High, Medium and Low presets as well as how much performance gain you can expect from SLI scaling.
Keep checking back at PC Perspective as we are planning on doing some more fun live streaming of our BF3 matches and be sure to sign up for the official PCPer "Fragging Frogs" platoon in Battlelog!
Subject: Editorial | October 20, 2011 - 09:17 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, Intel, amd, 3dvision, 3d vision
PC Perspective Podcast #175 - 10/20/2011
Join us this week as we talk about the NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Launch, Intel Earnings, News of the week and more!
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
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 0:00:40 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:01:35 MSI Z68A-GD80 G3 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review
- 0:07:02 3D Vision Gets Updated with LightBoost, Larger Panels and New Glasses
- 0:13:19 Corsair HX1050 Professional Series Power Supply Review
- 0:13:55 ASUS N55 Core i7 15.6-in Notebook Review: Can One Laptop Do It All?
- 0:15:44 Intel Reports Q3 2011 Earnings
- 0:26:15 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:27:20 Overclocking the next generation of Intel CPUs
- 0:31:05 ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe GEN3 Board Spotted with PCI Express 3.0 Support
- 0:32:45 Salt + electrons = 6x increase ialn HDD platter density?
- 0:37:38 AMD May Release 28nm 7000 HD Series GPU In December
- 0:41:35 EVGA Demos X79 Classified Motherboard at GeForce LAN 6
- 0:44:30 Not quite older than dirt; the microprocessor turns 40
- 0:48:05 Benchmarking Bulldozer and taking the GPU out of the picture
- 0:52:02 SandForce finally patches elusive 2200 series SSD controller bug. OCZ issues firmware, others soon to follow.
- 0:58:00 Jon Peddie sees IGPs dying in the next year
- 1:01:50 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: "Take Ownership" tool
- Jeremy: Beefing up your laptop’s gaming chops with an external GPU
- Josh: For Thief lovers out there: http://www.thedarkmod.com/main/
- Allyn: Siri (fan boy)
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2011 - 05:29 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: sandy bridge, Q3 2011, Intel, earnings, bulldozer, atom, amd
This should come as a shock to no one. Intel made a lot of money this past quarter. We again have seen new records in both gross revenue and net income. GAAP revenue for the quarter came in at an astounding $14.2 billion. Essentially that is the net revenue for AMD during a three year span. Net income is again impressive at $3.5 billion. In AMD terms that would be gross revenue for three quarters. Truly there is a tremendous disparity between the two companies who are very bitter rivals. It is no wonder AMD is starting to really fall behind.
All of the internal groups, except for one, have shown tremendous growth over the past year. Notebooks have really lead the charge as of late, but both desktop and server markets have shown very favorable growth for the company. Even the McAfee and Intel Communications divisions provided upwards of $1 billion to the bottom line. The only area that Intel is lagging in is the Atom line.
When we look at the product offerings of Intel in server, desktop, and notebook markets we see they have a sizeable advantage in both process technology and performance per watt. Intel has been shipping 32 nm chips for well over a year and a half. On the desktop this has translated to modestly priced processors that have a much smaller die size yet comparable (and even superior) performance to the AMD products which are much larger in size and more expensive to produce. On the server side we really have not seen AMD make any inroads since Intel took over that market in a big way once they released the QPI based designs which took away AMD’s last architectural advantages; HyperTransport and integrated memory controllers.
Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2011 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bulldozer, amd
It is hard to know exactly what to say about Bulldozer. It is not a complete fail for in multithreaded applications it sits in between the performance of the i5-2500 and i7-2600, which it was intended to. Power consumption at idle has been improved but not at load which hurts, but not as much as the poor single threaded performance which is far worse than we had hoped. SemiAccurate traced the long 5+ year history of the Bulldozer to see where AMD went astray from the dream that was. The length of the story is certainly a part of it, 5 years is too long for silicon to languish especially when part of the delay was due to problems with the 45nm process. Read on to hear about the struggles AMD underwent to get this chip to market as well as what corners were cut, or at least rounded, to get the chip on shelves.
"The story of Bulldozer and why it does what it does, both good and bad, can be summed up as death by 1000 cuts. There isn’t really any high point to the architecture, nor are there any really low points. To make matters worse, there isn’t any obvious smoking gun as to why things ended up so, well, meh. What you can get now, what you should have been able to get, and what you will be able to get from this new architecture is a long and complex story. Lets get started."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ultrabook players to adopt hybrid HDD to save cost @ DigiTimes
- Drawing Circuits in Conductive Ink @ MAKE:Blog
- SSL creator warns of further attacks @ The Inquirer
- iCloud on the Desktop: A Look at OS X 10.7.2 and iCloud for Windows @ AnandTech
- Apple iOS 5 @ AnandTech