Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 8, 2013 - 08:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: thunderbolt, nab 13, Intel, falcon ridge, DSL4510, cactus ridge
Way back in July of 2012 Tim Verry wrote a news story on PC Perspective discussing the upcoming Falcon Ridge and Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers, due out in 2014 and 2013 respectively. It appears this is coming to fruition at the NAB Show 2013 this week in Las Vegas, with two new variants of Thunderbolt on display by Intel.
Cactus Ridge, now known as the DSL4510 and 4410 controllers will add support for DisplayPort 1.2 when connected to native DisplayPort displays while also improving power management and lowering the implementation costs for hardware designers.
Maybe more exciting is the prototype of next-generation silicon for Thunderbolt, code named Falcon Ridge, that runs at 20 Gbps, double that of current Thunderbolt implementations. Intel promises that this will enable 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously. As expected, production will start in late 2013 with ramping in 2014.
Thunderbolt's integration into the consumer market has been slower than expected but professionals are seeing more and more uses for this kind of extreme bandwidth as the video production pipeline prepares for large scale 4K distribution. We are using Thunderbolt internally at PC Perspective for our Frame Rating capture based graphics testing running at nearly 800 MB/s we have been happy with the results.
Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2013 - 07:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, intel hd, Intel, hd 4000, hd 2500
Intel recently released an updated graphics driver for Ivy Bridge processors sporting either HD 4000 or HD 2500 GPUs. The new 188.8.131.5271 (or 184.108.40.206.3071 for those running a 64-bit OS) driver features several under-the-hood optimizations to reduce CPU overhead and improve the driver architecture itself.
The driver architecture improvements have also led to improved game performance. Intel claims up to 10% better performance in StarCraft II, Batman: Arkham City, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (among others).
The chip giant also notes that the new driver supports OpenCL 1.2 for GPGPU calculations. The graphics driver update is only for Ivy Bridge hardware, and is compatible with Ivy Bridge hardware and both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you are running Intel's Driver Update Utility, you should get the new driver automatically.
Otherwise, you can grab the new driver from the following link, depending on your OS.
Unfortunately, these drivers are generic Intel HD graphics drivers. If your OEM computer is running Windows with an OEM-customized version of Intel's drivers, you are out of luck. You will need to wait for your OEM to update its driver package in order to take advantage of the performance improvements.
Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2013 - 06:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: haswell, Intel, usb 3.0, oops
Hardware.Info has recently had confirmation of the rumours we have heard about Intel's USB 3.0 chipset in Haswell; the problem exists and it will cause delays. Many readers may find this remeniscent of the issues with the Marvell 88SE9123 SATA controller from back in the days of P55 boards. This time however the issue has been caught before a single board was sold and while it is upsetting that we will be waiting even longer for Haswell perhaps it is better to get a working product late. It could be quite annoying to lose all your peripherals every time your machine goes into S3. Follow the links from their post for more details.
"Intel now officially admits there is a problem with USB 3.0 in Haswell products, and that solving the issue will affect delivery times of various products"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- High speed circuit design for quantum physics light sensing @ Hack a Day
- Has Europe finally passed Peak Disk? @ The Register
- Bitcoin-mining malware ENSLAVES computers @ The Register
- Litecoin, the GPU Mining Alternative to Bitcoin @ hardCOREware
- Open source 3D patches appear for Nvidia's Tegra SoC @ The Inquirer
- ActiveX Filtering In Internet Explorer 9 and 10 Kills Flash Player @ TechARP
- How To Install Windows 8 Guide @ OCC
- How to Enable 64-bit Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 7 @ NGOHQ
Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2013 - 02:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: lga 2011, Ivy Bridge-E, Intel, 22nm
Many enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the next generation of Intel processors to use LGA 2011, which is supposed to be Ivy Bridge-E. Especially after seeing rumors of a 10 core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge-EP CPU, I think many users expected at least an eight core Ivy Bridge-E part.
Unfortunately, if a slide posted by VR-Zone China is any indication, LGA 2011 users will not be getting an eight core processor any time soon. The slide suggests that Intel will release three new Ivy Bridge-E CPUs in the third quarter of this year (Q3'13). However, the top-end part is merely a six core CPU with slight improvements over the existing Sandy Bridge-E 3960X chip.
Specifically, the slide alleges that the initial Intel release will include the Core i7 4820, Core i7 4930K, and the Core i7 4960X. An Ivy Bridge-E equivalent to the SB-E 3970X is noticeably absent from the lineup along with several of the other rumored (higher core count) chips.
Rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips:
|Clockspeed||Core Count||L3 Cache||Manufacturing Process||TDP|
|Core i7 4960X||3.6GHz (4GHz Turbo)||6||15MB||22nm||130W|
|Core i7 4930K||3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||6||12MB||22||130W|
|Core i7 4820K||3.7GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||4||10MB||22||130W|
Existing Sandy Bridge-E equivalents:
|Clockspeed||Core Count||L3 Cache||Manufacturing Process||TDP|
|Core i7 3960X||3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||6||15MB||32nm||130W|
|Core i7 3930K||3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)||6||12MB||32nm||130W|
|Core i7 3820||3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)||4||10MB||32nm||130W|
All of the chips allegedly have 130W TDPs, 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, support for quad-channel DDR3-1866 memory, and are built on Intel's 22nm manufacturing process. The low end i7 4820 is a quad core chip clocked at 3.7 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo with 10MB L3 cache. The i7 4930K is an unlocked six core part with 12MB L3 cache and clockspeeds of 3.4 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo. Finally, the Core i7 4960X is rumored to be the highest-end chip Intel will release (at least, initially). It is also a six core part clocked at 3.6 GHz base and 4 GHz turbo. It has 15MB of L3 cache. These chips are the Ivy Bridge-E equivalents to the 3820, 3930K, and 3960X chips respectively. The new processors feature higher clockspeeds, and are based on 22nm 3D transistor technology instead of SB-E's 32nm manufacturing process. It seems that Intel has extended unlocking to the lower-tier LGA 2011 chip, as it is listed as the Core i7 4820K. Having an unlocked multiplier is nice to see at the low end (the low end of the enthusiast platform, anyway). Curiously, the TDP ratings are the same, however. That suggests that the move to 22nm did not net Intel much TDP headroom, and the higher clocks are bringing them up to similar TDP numbers. At least the TDP ratings are not higher than SB-E, such that you motherboard and HSF should have no problems accepting an IVB-E CPU upgrade (with a BIOS update, of course).
It will be interesting to see how the new Ivy Bridge-E chips stack up, especially considering Intel may also be unveiling the consumer-grade Haswell processor this year. On one hand, Ivy Bridge-E offers up a CPU upgrade path for existing systems, but on the other hand pricing and the performance of Haswell (and lack of higher core count Ivy Bridge-E chips like previous rumors suggested) may see enthusiasts instead opt for a motherboard+CPU overhaul instead of simply recycling the LGA 2011/X79 motherboard. At this point, if this new slide holds true it appears that Ivy Bridge E/LGA 2011 will become even more of a niche solely for workstations that need the extra PCI-E lanes and quad channel memory. I say this as someone running a Lynnfield system who is itching for an upgrade and torn on going for the enthusiast platform or waiting for Haswell.
What do you think about the rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips, are they what you expected? Do you think they will be worth a CPU upgrade for your LGA 2011-based system or are you leaning towards Haswell?
Read more about Ivy Bride-E at PC Perspective, including: Ivy Bridge-E after Haswell: I think I've gone cross-eyed.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 31, 2013 - 08:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nuc, Intel, impactics, europe, d1nu
Impactics is the latest company to launch its own small form factor case for Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) platform. More heatsink than chassis, the new D1NU chassis sandwiches an Intel NUC motherboard and other internals between two aluminum fin heatsinks. The D1NU measures 170 x 114 x 67mm and weighs 1380g.
The D1NU supports Intel's D33217GKE and DCP847SKE motherboards. The motherboard and other components are attached to a solid piece of precision milled 99.99% electrolytic copper (220g), and then to an aluminum heatsink.
The case seals the components between a top and bottom heatsink and then a 4mm aluminum front bezel and a rear chromium steel bezel with EM shield. The D1NU case/heatsink supports a 25W TDP, and has an MSRP of 99 euros. The front bezel hosts a power button with blue LED and space for a single USB port. The rear of the case can support the outputs of either Intel's Golden Lake or Ski Lake boards. A VESA mount is also in the works. The D1NU comes in silver or black.
According to Fanless Tech, the passive NUC case is now available in Europe for €100 Euros from Case King or £87 pounds from Systo.co.uk. No word yet on whether it will show up on this side of the pond, but (although it is a bit pricey) it is certainly a cool NUC heatsink/case (heh)!
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | March 28, 2013 - 12:51 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, GDC 13, GDC
GDC 2013 is where the industry comes together to talk about the technology itself. Intel was there, and of course the big blue just had to unveil developments to help them in the PC gaming space. Two new major rendering extensions and updated developer tools debut. And, if you are not a developer, encode your movies with handbrake quicker!
First up is PixelSync, a DirectX extension for Intel HD Graphics. PixelSync is designed to be used with smoke, hair, and other effects which require blending translucent geometry. With this extension, objects do not need to be sorted before compositing.
Next up is InstantAccess. This DirectX extension allows CPU and integrated GPUs to access the same physical memory. What interests me most about InstantAccess is the ability for developers to write GPU-based applications which can quickly access the same memory as its CPU counterpart. Should the integrated GPU be visible alongside discrete GPUs, this could allow the integrated graphics to help offload GPGPU tasks such as physics while the CPU and discrete GPU handle the more important tasks.
Also updated is their Graphics Performance Analyzers toolset. If you are interested in performance optimization on your software, be sure to check those out.
And for the more general public... Handbrake is now set up to take advantage of Quick Sync Video. Given the popularity of Handbrake, this is quite a big deal for anyone wishing to transcode video using popular and free encoders.
Subject: Motherboards | March 19, 2013 - 04:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, qualcomm
The slowdown of PC sales has finally even impacted Intel's supply chain as they reduce the number of chips stocked in inventory. Even after these years of domination over AMD on the desktop Intel has not been reducing their supplies of chips as they were still selling them at a brisk pace. It is obvious that has changed over the past year as the lowering sales of PCs and laptops finally lead to Intel reducing the number of chips they have on hand. They were not the only ones to make this move, with AMD and others also reducing their stocks somewhat. One area The Register did not report on is GPUs, with the short lifespan of a GPU the stocks of new silicon are also goign to be quite reduced and you should see more discounts on lower end GPUs as resellers try to offload them. As we have seen before people are still buying electronics, just smaller, more portable devices; Qualcomm's available stock has had to increase by 24% over the same time period.
"Bean counter iSuppli reckons the major manufacturers acted swiftly to prevent expensive backlogs of baked silicon forming: the average number of days between producing inventory and selling it declined five per cent. The value of the inventory piles also fell five per cent, or $600m, from Q3 to Q4 of 2012, we're told."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How Fusion-io redlined its PCIe flash motor to hit 9.6 MEEELION IOPS @ The Register
- EA Origin vuln puts players at risk @ The Register
- Oracle Virtual Box Virtual Machine Tips @ PCSTATS
- Win an Asus GeForce GTX 650 Ti TOP Graphics Card @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2013 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, Intel, rumour, running gag
Once again the old rumour has resurfaced and discussions of what will happen to the market if Apple chooses Intel to manufacture their mobile chips. As we heard at the end of last year, Intel might be willing to fab ARM processors for iPhones if Apple is willing to move to x86 processors for other larger mobile products. Today via The Register we heard more about the possibility of the two companies working together, though no real confirmation has yet been made. This move makes sense for Intel who are not making revenue from the mobile market and even more sense for Apple who are in the midst of suing their current chip provider Samsung in multiple cases across the planet.
"Rumors are again swirling that Apple and Intel are in discussions about Chipzilla baking the chips Cupertino uses to power its iDevices.
"A source close to one of the companies says Intel and Apple executives have discussed the issue in the past year but no agreement has been reached," Reuters reported on Thursday."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD looks to HSA Foundation to avoid AMD64 mistakes @ The Inquirer
- Real multifunction “Sonic Screwdriver” @ Hack a Day
- BGA rework station @ Hack a Day
- Mmmm, TOE jam: Trev shoves Intel's NICs in his bonkers test lab @ The Register
Subject: Systems | March 5, 2013 - 09:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: shuttle, SFF, PC, Intel, ds47, celeron
If various sources are to be believed, Shuttle will be launching a new small form factor PC in April called the DS47. The new PC will be powered by an Intel Celeron 847 processor and features a fan-less design.
The Shuttle DS47 measures 200mm x 29.5mm x 165mm and weighs in at 2.05 kg. The internals include a motherboard with UEFI BIOS, dual core Intel Celeron 847 processor clocked at 1.1 GHz (2MB cache, 18W TDP), HD 2000 processor graphics, up to 16GB of RAM via two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, and a 2.5” HDD or SSD. The motherboard supports SATA 3 6Gbps, and there is space for a single laptop-sized internal drive. The system also includes a Mini-PCI-E slot for half-size cards and a mSATA port for an SSD.
For such a small PC, it packs quite a bit of port options. The Shuttle DS47 includes the following external IO:
- 1 x SD card reader
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet jacks
- 2 x RS232 connections
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 2.1 channel analog audio output
The DS47 has a nice feature set, and the dual Ethernet ports opens up the possible applications. Thanks to the DS47 opting for the Celeron over an Atom processor, it could easily operate as a file server, NAS, firewall, router, HTPC, or simply a low power desktop computer for example.
Pricing will be where the DS47 succeeds or fails as it aims to strike a balance between the Intel NUC and Atom-powered PCs. Unfortunately, there is no word on just how much this SFF PC will cost. It is rumored for an April launch, however so expect to see official pricing announced shortly.
Read more about small form factor systems at PC Perspective!
Subject: General Tech | February 21, 2013 - 07:58 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: titan, Tegra 4i, tegra 4, ssd, ps4, podcast, nvidia, Intel
PC Perspective Podcast #239 - 02/21/2013
Join us this week as we discuss NVIDIA GTX TITAN, PlayStation 4 Hardware, SSD Endurance and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 0:59:53
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0:49:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
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