Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2011 - 12:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Intel, nvidia
In some sort of bizarre voyeuristic hardware love/hate triangle AMD, Intel and NVIDIA are all semi-intertwined and being observed by Microsoft. Speaking with The Inquirer the VP of product and platform marketing at AMD, Leslie Sobon, stated that there was no chance that Intel would attempt to purchase NVIDIA as AMD did with ATI. AMD's purchase was less about the rights to the Radeon series as it was taking possession of the intellectual property that ATI owned after a decade of creating GPUs and lead directly to the APUs that AMD has recently released which will likely become their main product. Intel already has a working architecture that combines GPU and CPU and doesn't need to purchase another company's IP in order to develop that type of product.
There is another reason for purchasing NVIDIA though, which has very little to do with their discreet graphics card IP and everything to do with Tegra and Fermi which are two specialized products which so far Intel doesn't have an answer for. A vastly improved and shrunken Atom might be able to push Tegra off of mobile platforms and perhaps specialized SandyBridge CPUs could accelerate computation like the Fermi products do but so far there are no solid leads, only speculation.
If you learn more from your failures than your successes then Intel knows a lot about graphics.
"CHIP DESIGNER AMD believes that it is on a divergent path from Intel thanks to its accelerated processor unit (APU) and that Intel buying Nvidia "would never happen"."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Find Out if Your Passwords Were Leaked by LulzSec Right Here @ Gizmodo
- Adobe patches critical bugs in Flash and Reader @ The Register
- Umi, we hardly knew ye: contemplating the fate of the videophone in 2011 @ Ars Technica
- 'A SHARK attacked my ROBOT', gasps ex-Sun exec @ The Register
- We’ve got a real bone to pick with this mouse @ Hack a Day
- Fun Quotes from the AFDS Media Roundtable @ SemiAccurate
Subject: Motherboards | June 14, 2011 - 06:35 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x79, rumor, lga 2011, lga 1366, Intel, cpu
Xbit Labs recently detailed a new rumor concerning Intel’s upcoming X79 chipset. According to a leaked document viewed by them, X79 will support both Intel’s current and upcoming high end processors sockets in the form of LGA 1366 and LGA 2011. What this means for the end user is that they will be able to purchase a x79 based motherboard that will support either Nehalem or Sandy Bridge-E processors, unless motherboard manufacturers decide to splurge and include both sockets on one board like the Asus’ concept board shown at Computex 2011. This means that while DIY enthusiasts and gamers are not likely to use these motherboards as an upgrade path to Sandy Bridge (as a CPU upgrade would likely still necessitate a motherboard upgrade due to both sockets not being physically present), IT departments will likely appreciate the continued support of the older 1366 processors on new motherboards as it will make replacement parts easy to find for high end 1366 based workstations.
On the other hand, manufacturers will benefit the most from the X79 chipset supporting multiple sockets, and thus reducing costs. This cost reduction may then allow for cheaper end-user costs.
Intel itself is planning to manufacture two X79 motherboards named the DX79SI and DX79TO, will each support LGA 1366 and LGA 2011 respectively. Xbit Labs reports that the DX79SI board is planned to be a feature packed LGA 2011, no-compromise affair, with support for up to 64GB of RAM (eight DIMM slots), three PCI-E 3.0 slots for multi-GPU configurations, 12 SATA (six SATA 3 6GB/s, six SATA 2 3GB/s) ports, four USB 3.0, 14 USB 2.0, 8-channel audio, Wifi and Bluetooth, and two Gigabit Ethernet connections.
In contrast, the DX79TO will feature a LGA 1366 socket, and brings two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, 8 SATA connectors (likely four SATA 3, four SATA 2), 2 USB 3.0, 6-channel audio, a single Gigabit Ethernet connection, and DDR3 memory support (there are no details on the exact DIMM configuration supported yet).
By lowering the cost of supporting two high-end CPU lines and platforms, Intel, motherboard manufacturers, and consumers likely have a win-win-win situation, providing that the rumor comes to fruition.
Subject: Editorial, Processors, Shows and Expos | June 14, 2011 - 05:09 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, heterogeneous, fusion, arm, AFDS
Before the AMD Fusion Developer Summit started this week in Bellevue, WA the most controversial speaker on the agenda was Jem Davies, the VP of Technology at ARM. Why would AMD and ARM get together on a stage with dozens of media and hundreds of developers in attendance? There is no partnership between them in terms of hardware or software but would there be some kind of major announcement made about the two company's future together?
In that regard, the keynote was a bit of a letdown and if you thought there was going to be a merger between them or a new AMD APU being announced with an ARM processor in it, you left a bit disappointed. Instead we got a bit of background on ARM how the race of processing architectures has slowly dwindled to just x86 and ARM as well as a few jibes at the competition NOT named AMD.
As is usually the case, Davies described the state of processor technology with an emphasis on power efficiency and the importance of designing with that future in mind. One of the interesting points was shown in regard to the "bitter reality" of core-type performance and the projected DECREASE we will see from 2012 onward due to leakage concerns as we progress to 10nm and even 7nm technologies.
The idea of dark silicon "refers to the huge swaths of silicon transistors on future chips that will be underused because there is not enough power to utilize all the transistors at the same time" according to this article over at physorg.com. As the process technology gets smaller then the areas of dark silicon increase until the area of the die that can be utilized at any one time might hit as low as 10% in 2020. Because of this, the need to design chips with many task-specific heterogeneous portions is crucial and both AMD and ARM on that track.
Those companies not on that path today, NVIDIA specifically and Intel as well, were addressed on the below slide when discussing GPU computing. Davies pointed out that if a company has a financial interest in the immediate success of only CPU or GPU then benchmarks will be built and shown in a way to make it appear that THAT portion is the most important. We have seen this from both NVIDIA and Intel in the past couple of years while AMD has consistently stated they are going to be using the best processor for the job.
Amdahl's Law is used in parallel computing to predict the theoretical maximum speed up using multiple processors. Davies reiterated what we have been told for some time that if only 50% of your application can actually BE parallelized, then no matter how many processing cores you throw at it, it will only ever be 50% faster. The heterogeneous computing products of today and the future can address both the parallel computing and serial computing tasks with improvements in performance and efficiency and should result in better computing in the long run.
So while we didn't get the major announcement from ARM and AMD that we might have been expecting, the fact that ARM would come up and share a stage with AMD reiterates the message of the Fusion Developer Summit quite clearly: a combined and balanced approach to processing might not be the sexiest but it is very much the correct one for consumers.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | June 14, 2011 - 02:47 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, haswell
Intel’s new processor lines come in two flavors: process shrinks and new architectures. Each revision comes out approximately a year after the prior one alternative between new architectures (tock) and process shrinks (tick). Sandy Bridge was the most recent new architecture which will be followed by Ivy Bridge, a process shrink of Sandy Bridge, and that will be succeeded by Intel’s newest architecture: Haswell.
I can Haswell?
The instructions added by Intel for their upcoming Haswell architecture are useful for a whole range of applications from image and video processing; to face detection; to database manipulation; to the generation of hashes; as well as arithmetic in general. As you can see the addition of instructions in this revision is quite wide in its scope. Keep in mind that the introduction of a new instruction set does not mean that programs will be optimized to take advantage of the added benefits for some time. However, when programs do start optimizing for the newer architectures it looks as though Haswell’s new offerings will speed up otherwise complicated tasks into a single instruction.
What task would you like to see a speedup on? Comment below.
Subject: Processors, Systems | June 12, 2011 - 08:57 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, Intel, htpc, hd, DIY, atom
Habley has recently shown off a new small, embedded computer dubbed the SOM-6670E6XX. The new computer is the size of a post-it note; however, it sports an Atom E600 processor running at 1.0Gh as well as an integrated GMA600 graphics core. To be more specific, the motherboard in question measures 70mm x 70mm.
The CPU and GPU blend is able to support two displays and pipe two HD video streams to each. Using Media Player Class Home Cinema 1.5, the computer is able to play both a 1080p MPEG4 trailer of the X-Men First Class film and a HD FLV version of SpiderWic simultaneously. While playing both films, the CPU saw around 93% usage and 210 MB of RAM from the Windows Embedded 2009 operating system. Further, while playing an HD FLV film trailer while also watching an HD YouTube clip, the processor was again pegged at 93% usage; however, in this test the RAM usage was much higher, at 422 MB. The test system used, in addition to the SOM-6670, it consisted of a SOMB-073 Carrier board (which provides the various IO including video and audio output, mouse and keyboard input, and SATA ports), 1GB of on-board RAM, and a 5400RPM laptop form factor (2.5”) 120GB hard drive.
Including the two monitors, at 1280x768 (over HDMI) and 1920x1080 (SDVO) respectively, the system drew 18 watts during usage. You can see the test system of the small HD-capable computer in action in the video below. What uses do you have in mind for a micro-sized computer such as this?
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2011 - 11:21 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wintel, microsoft, Intel, asustek
DigitTimes reports that the so called “Wintel” era is over. With Wintel representing the fusing of a Windows operating system on Intel x86 processors, Asustek Jonney Shih believes that the time period where Windows and Intel processors dominated the PC, tablet PC, and handset markets have passed. This is due in part to the rise of Android and ARM on the mobile front and increased mind share (and in some cases competitive market share) of the Mac OSX and iOS ecosystems on the PC and mobile platforms respectively. Shih further stated that the rising market share of once-smaller operating systems from competitors encourages healthy competition and innovation in the industry.
As mobile hardware advances to once-unprecedented levels of performance, Asustek sees the lines between what constitutes mobile handsets, ultra-portable computing devices and traditional computers breaking down. All these devices will soon start to coalesce into a new IT market where computing is more about productivity and entertainment more so than choosing differing classes of hardware as they will all be “good enough” machines.
DigiTimes states that the rise of the tablet PC will likely increase manufacturers abilities to try new things and sell numerous units; however, it will also impact and “significantly reshuffle the ranking of the whole IT market.”
With Microsoft currently commanding approximately 88.69% of the client OS market share (according to Net Market Share at time of writing), and Intel being the leading manufacturer of x86 CPUs, the “Wintel” relationship still has a good deal of weight to throw around and influence the market; however, on the mobile front the market is much more competitive with other operating systems and hardware advancing rapidly. Will the mobile market have an effect on traditional computing, and do you feel as though the Wintel era is coming to an end?
Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2011 - 04:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sandybridge, lga1155, Intel, h61, gigabyte
Gigabyte is on a roll lately as far as cranking out new motherboard series, and their latest unveiling introduces a new lineup that the company has dubbed its “Super4” motherboard series. The new motherboards amount to a budget Sandy Bridge platform that is positioned to save budget PC gamers a few bucks compared to the more feature-full, and more expensive, P67 and H67 chipsets by cutting out features that they do not necessarily need.
The GA-H61M-USB3-B3 Model Is Part of the New Super4 Series.
To be more specific, the new Super4 series is a new line of Gigabyte motherboards based around Intel’s H61 Express chipset, and supporting Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge socket 1155 processors. This chipset is fairly similar to it’s higher-end H67 brethren; however, it features only a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, 10 USB 2.0 ports, and four SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) ports versus the two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, 14 USB 2.0 ports and six Sata II ports of H67. (A full comparison by Intel of the two chipsets can be found here. Another differentiator between the two chipsets is the number of RAM DIMM slots available. Whereas H67 boards could support four DIMM slots, H61 boards will only include two slots.
Gigabyte has then further added USB 3.0 support to their specific motherboards by including two USB 3.0 ports on the rear IO panel powered by an Etron EJ168 chip. Realtek Audio and Gigabit Ethernet is also included and accessible via the rear IO. As far as expansion slots, on the GA-H61M-USB3-B3 for example, Gigabyte has laid out the expansion slots as follows: One PCIe 2.0 x16 (running at x16) slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and two PCI slots. As the motherboards are based on Intel’s “H” chipset variant, their are the traditional DVI-D and VGA video outputs for the Intel processor graphics.
The new Super4 motherboard roll-out currently includes the following models: GA-P61-USB3-B3, GA-P61-DS3-B3, GA-HA65M-D2H-B3, GA-H61M-USB3-B3, GA-H61M-D2-B3, and GA-H61M-S2V-B3.
Gigabyte’s marketing team has appeared in full force, presenting the new Super4 series as “Super Safe, Super Speed, Super Savings, and Super Sound,” where the four pillars make up the motherboards “Super4” moniker. The boards will likely retail for under $100 USD and will be priced lower than P67 and H67 based boards due to the fewer ports and supported PCIe x16 slots reducing the manufacturing cost. For single graphics card gaming rigs with only one or two storage drives, the new H61 motherboards may well prove to be a viable option. You can learn more about the boards by perusing the press release as well as by staying tuned to PC Perspective.
PC Perspective Podcast #158 - MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall and more!
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 06:47 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, Intel, computex, amd, 990fx
PC Perspective Podcast #158 - 6/09/2011
This week we talk about the MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 0:00:33 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:01:50 AMD 990FX/SB950 Release: Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX and the MSI 990FXA-GD80
- 0:04:10 MSI P67A-GD80 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review
- 0:06:42 MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK Graphic Card Review
- 0:14:23 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:15:02 PowerColor Shows Off New 4GB AMD Graphics Card With Two Stock Clocked 6970 GPUs
- 0:20:18 Antec Performance P280 Case First Look at Computex
- 0:23:40 ECS Motherboards on display at Computex 2011
- 0:27:02 MSI shows Gen3 PCIe, X79 Motherboard and GTX 580 Extreme
- 0:33:12 Thermaltake Level 10 GT White, Frio GT and BigWater coolers and USB Power Strip
- 0:39:05 AMD Brings Back FX Branding For High-End CPUs and Motherboards at E3
- 0:40:18 Corsair recalls entire Force Series 3 SSD line, cites hardware defects
- 0:44:05 PNY and Asetek Team Up to Deliver Sealed-Loop Water Cooling for CPUs and Graphics Cards
- 0:48:30 Just Delivered. Large, nifty video card. - MSI N580GTX Lightning Extreme
- 0:49:45 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
- 0:51:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Gold bar USB 3.0 drive
- Jeremy: Still like the newstweak, but if'n I used it up then IPv6 didn't destroy the world!
- Josh: Boston Lager Cut! http://www.samueladams.com/promos/lager-and-beef/lagercut.aspx
- Allyn: Intel 320 Warranty = 5 years
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:59:23 Closing
Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2011 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Research@Intel Day, CMOS
Intel has been obsessed with shrinking all of their processes recently, be it flash storage or their processors and the basic transistor inside their CPUs. They have a new success story that they will be sharing during their Research@Intel Day, they are the first to shrink their analog CMOS technology below 65nm. The new process will be 32nm, the same process as their current CPU generation which brings several benefits but the most important one being that they can move that circuitry directly onto the same die as the digital circuitry. Read more at SemiAccurate.
"It’s June and for those of you following the computing industry you know that Intel is having its yearly Research Day. This year Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) shows off about 40 different research projects – and we will dig more into them tomorrow after the doors have opened.
However, we thought that you should have a sneak peek at one of the most interesting research projects: 32nm analog CMOS design."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Oracle patches some Java flaws carrying the highest possible threat @ The Inquirer
- Adobe rushes out patch for all-platform Flash vuln @ The Register
- 3DMark 11 1.0.2 Released @ NGOHQ
- Top 5 features of Mac OS X Lion @ t-break
- Top 5 features of iOS 5 @ t-break
- iOS 5 Jailbroken @ Slashdot
- ASUS WL-330N3G 6-in-1 Wireless-N Mobile Router Review @ ThinkComputers
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX9V Review @ TechReviewSource
- Kingston Releases HyperX SSD IN Blowout "WOW" Fashion @ The SSD Review
- Linksys E4200 Wireless N Router @ Maximum CPU
- Liveblog: Nintendo's E3 press conference on June 7 @ Ars Technica
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of MSI
In 2011, MSI has based their enthusiast-level Sandy Bridge motherboards on two main features: novice and advanced overclocking and stable and reliable hardware components. We had the opportunity in March to evaluate the sub-$200 P67A-GD65, which flexed its muscles in several benchmarks including PC gaming and general PC tasks and applications.
Courtesy of MSI
The P67A-GD80 adds a few more ultra-enthusiast features and an additional PCIe x16 slot, which pushes the price of this high-end motherboard to around $229 (before mail-in rebate at Newegg). This board sports Intel's P67 chipset that supports their latest LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge processors. It also has three PCIe x16 slots that are compatible with CrossfireX and SLI graphics card configurations to make this board a fantastic solution for triple-monitor, high-resolution gaming.