CES 2014 Podcast Day 2 - ASUS, Lucid, Valve, Seagate and more!!

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 02:21 AM |
Tagged: video, valve, SteamOS, Seagate, podcast, lucid, LaCie, iosafe, CES 2014, CES, asus

CES 2014 Podcast Day 2 - 01/06/14

It's time for podcast fun at CES!  Join us as we talk about the second day of the show including new products from ASUS, Lucid, Valve, Seagate 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, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison

Program length: 57:03

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

LucidLogix Virtu MVP 2.0 Software Suite Now Available

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 20, 2013 - 09:49 AM |
Tagged: lucid, virtu MVP, virtu, hyperformance

As promised at CES, Lucidlogix has released their Virtu MVP 2.0 for purchase to anyone who wants to buy it.  Their GPU Virtualization software for SandyBridge and IvyBridge based systems with a discrete card allows you to jump back a forth between the embedded GPU on your processor and the graphics card without needing to move monitor cables or reboot.  That allows you to save your laptops battery life when the discrete GPU is not needed but to instantly enable it the second you fire up a compatible game, the list of which has grown since the release of their original Virtu MVP.  They have also improved their Virtual VSync and Hyperformance features which we reviewed last summer on an Origin laptop

The move to selling the product directly to consumers is beneficial as previously you could only get the software and updates from the manufacturer of your motherboard or your laptop.  As anyone who has dealt with the infrequency graphics driver updates from manufacturers is well aware, the updates are few and far between.  It is much better to be able to acquire the software from the vendor who creates it in the first place.  Head over to Lucidlogix to read more and perhaps buy one of the three versions available.

lucidlogix.png

"The optimal system specifications Virtu MVP 2.0 include an Intel® Core™ i5 (Sandy Bridge) on an Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge motherboard with an NVIDIA® Geforce 460GTX or similar or better AIB and 2GB or more memory running Windows® 7 or Windows 8 in either 32-bit or 64-bit modes.

With special launch prices, Virtu MVP 2.0 is now available in three models: Basic with GPU virtualization for $34.99 (USD), Standard with Virtual Vsync for $44.99 and Pro with Hyperformance and Virtual Vsync for $54.99."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Lucidlogix

10-phase riser card powered mini-ITX Ivy Bridge from ASUS

Subject: Motherboards | February 5, 2013 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: asus, Intel Z77, P8Z77-I Deluxe, mini-itx, lucid

The most instantly noticeable thing about the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe has to be the riser card sporting an array of capacitors and providing 8+2 power phase VRMs.  What isn't as noticeable until you use the motherboard is the Intel SRT support, Lucid Virtu and the overclocking options available in the UEFI BIOS.  Being a Mini-ITX board, the singly PCI Express x16 slot and dual memory slots are to be expected but the spacing is such that you should have no problems with full sized DIMMs or oversized GPUs, depending on the cooler and case you choose.  The included dual Wi-Fi antennas are a nice bonus from ASUS as well.  Drop by The Tech Report to see this board in action

TR_board.jpg

"The P8Z77-I Deluxe packs a lot of goodness into a tiny package. We take a closer look at the board's features, performance, and overclocking potential."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Podcast #231 - Intel NUC, AMD 8000M GPUs, Building a Hackintosh and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 20, 2012 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: video, virtu, VIA, tegra 4, Samsung, radeon, podcast, nvidia, nvelo, nuc, lucid, Intel, hackintosh, gigabyte, Dataplex, arm, amd, 8000m

PC Perspective Podcast #231 - 12/20/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the Intel NUC, AMD 8000M GPUs, Building a Hackintosh 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, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:13:41

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. 0:01:50 We are going to try Planetside 2 after the podcast!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:50 Intel Next Unit of Computing NUC
    2. 0:17:55 Corsair AX860i Digital ATX Power Supply
    3. 0:19:00 HP Z1 Workstation All in One
    4. 0:25:00 Building a Hackintosh Computer - A Guide
  3. 0:32:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:33:30 Cutting the Cord Complete!
    2. 0:36:10 VIA ARM-based SoCs in upcoming ASUS tablet
    3. 0:42:00 Lucid MVP 2.0 will be sold direct
    4. 0:44:50 Samsung acquires NVELO SSD Caching Software
    5. 0:49:00 AMD announces mobility 8000M series of GPUs
    6. 0:54:15 Some NVIDIA Tegra 4 Details
    7. 0:58:55 NEC Unveils Super Thin Ultrabook
    8. 1:00:30 Win a Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Edition FleX!!
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:02:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Panasonic GH2 Micro 4/3 Camera
      2. Josh: Preparation is key!
      3. Allyn: Cheap RAM
      4. Chris: Had solar panels installed this week
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 Coming Soon and Will Be Sold Directly to Consumers

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 14, 2012 - 02:07 PM |
Tagged: virtu MVP, virtu, lucid, ces 2013, CES

In preparation for the upcoming CES 2013 show in January we have started having some pre-meeting discussions with various companies, one of which was Lucid.  While speaking with them we learned some interesting news about the upcoming v2.0 release of their Virtu MVP software including new features and a new availability option.

Lucid's Virtu MVP software is the technology that allows DIY PC builders and notebook vendors to easily accommodate utilization of both integrated and discrete graphics in a single system without the need to adjust settings or to move monitor cables around.  With Virtu MVP you can take advantage of the QuickSync technology of your Ivy Bridge processor but still utilize the performance of a discrete graphics card for gaming.  This can all be managed and handled on a single display with a single cable. 

Other additions like Virtual Vsync and HyperFormance were added in MVP and aim to improve the gaming experience in the same way that Virtu enhances the overall user experience.  And while Matt Smith liked the results from the software in his recent testing with an Origin laptop, there were a couple things that bugged us: the interface and the inability to get the software on your own.

mvp1.jpg

Next month Lucid will be launching the new version 2.0 of its software that should increase the responsiveness of the interface while also drastically improving the visuals and style.  Also included will be native Windows 8 support.

mvp2.jpg

Perhaps the most interesting news is that Lucid will soon start offering the software directly to consumers as a download instead of requiring that you get it from your motherboard or system vendor.  This is great news for users that have purchased motherboards without Virtu software and those of you that might want to buy a really low cost board that would lack those features as well.  You will apparently be able to buy it in Q1 from www.lucidlogix.com and the price should be "under $30" which likely indicates a $29.99 starting offer. 

What we don't know is how this will affect Lucid's motherboard partners - will they stop carrying the software as a bundle going forward or will they still offer it on select SKUs?  Lucid wouldn't divulge any of that yet but I assume we'll find out more at CES next month.

Origin is embracing Lucid's Virtu MVP on their laptops

Subject: Mobile | October 19, 2012 - 01:01 PM |
Tagged: origin, EON11-S, lucid, virtu MVP, virtual vsync, hyperformance

As we read about in Matt's review of the Origin EON11-S the new Lucid Virtu MVP technology can really help a moderately powered laptop perform above its class when gaming.  The two technologies, Virtual Vsync and the poorly named Hyperformace both work to give a much better gaming experience than you might expect from a Core i7-3616QM paired with an NVIDIA GT 650M 2GB.  On the other hand because of the nature of the technology it makes properly measuring performance quite difficult.  The Tech Report were up to the challenge of testing games that support both Virtu MVP technologies as well as games which do not support Virtual Vsync.  They found that older games received a better performance boost, with many newer games suffering a variety of problems when Hyperformance is enabled.  As you can always turn off these features, they were quite impressed with the Origin ultrabook and see only benefits from having a system with Lucid's Virtu MVP.

TR_originlaptop.jpg

"Origin's Eon laptops are the first to offer Lucid's Virtu MVP Mobile virtualization scheme. We've taken the 11.6" representative of that lineup for a spin to gauge the technology's benefits in a mobile context."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

Podcast #219 - NVIDIA GTX 660 and 650, Luicid Dynamix technology, A85 Motherboards and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2012 - 11:57 AM |
Tagged: podcast, gtx 660, gtx 650, 660ti, lucid, dynamix, a85, gigabyte, fm2, trinity

PC Perspective Podcast #219 - 09/20/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the NVIDIA GTX 660 and 650, Luicid Dynamix technology, A85 Motherboards 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:13:13

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:00 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
    2. 0:16:30 Corsair HX850 Power Supply
    3. 0:17:23 Lenovo IdeaPad U410
  2. 0:18:18 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:19:10 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
    2. 0:22:20 Trinity APUs to be binned as CPU only?
    3. 0:24:50 Lucid Dynamix adjusts quality in real-time
    4. 0:32:30 ASUS Skills Challenge contest
    5. 0:34:40 Intel NUC PCs coming soon
    6. 0:37:15 You missed our Borderlands 2 event Tuesday!
    7. 0:38:10 OCZ CEO heads out the door
    8. 0:44:10 Gigabyte A85 motherboard spotted
    9. 0:47:30 AMD Sea Island 8800 series leaks
    10. 0:51:35 ASUS Tablet pricing leaks
    11. 0:54:15 Helium in upcoming hard drives
    12. 0:58:05 Intel WiDi 3.5 with Miracast Launched
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:02:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Apple Ear Pods
      2. Jeremy: Scotch tape, what can't it do?
      3. Josh: Still so cheap. Watch for Specials!
      4. Allyn: RushMyPassport.com
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

 

Lucid Dynamix adjusts mobile gaming quality in real-time

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile | September 13, 2012 - 03:42 PM |
Tagged: lucid, dynamix, ultrabook

Lucid has a history of fast product development as a software company.  It wasn't too long ago that Lucidlogix was a fabless semiconductor company that made chips for motherboards to enabled multi-GPU solutions across card models and GPU vendors.  Since then we have seen them move to GPU virtualization tasks like enabling discrete and integrated GPUs to work seamlessly without user interaction on the same notebook. 

The Lucid MVP software is the most recent version of that track and it has been very well received, find its way onto most motherboard brands and recently the Origin gaming notebook line

While huddling in San Francisco during IDF, we stopped by Lucid's suite to see what new stuff they were cooking up.  One of the products was called Dynamix and it has the goal of adjusting the image quality of games in real time to help users hit minimal gaming experience levels.  Lucid isn't adjusting the settings on your games but rather is intercepting calls from the game to the graphics solution (integrated or discrete) and altering them slightly to adjust performance.

dynamix_ui.jpg

Above you'll see the beta user interface for Dynamix that allows the user to configure it and assign which titles it should operate on.  Two sliders, one for a frame rate and one for a somewhat subjective "quality" level can be moved in order to alter the algorithms Lucid has set in the place. 

When you set the minimum frame rate, that is the "threshold" with which you would like to make sure all of your games run at.  The default was 30 FPS when I played with it and left the quality slider where it started as well.  If you start a game that does NOT run at 30 FPS with the settings you have (or maybe it won't with any settings) Lucid's software will attempt to change some quality and rendering settings completely transparently to bring the frame rate up.

In our demo we saw Crysis 2 running on a Dell Ultrabook at 1366x768 and a reported frame rate of 9 from FRAPS.  Obviously a game at that frame rate is pretty much unplayable, so when you enable the Dynamix software via a hotkey it attempts to bring up the frame rate; not by adjusting settings in the game engine but rather by changing DX calls to the GPU itself.

Examples given were that Dynamix might change the color depth requested by the game, or it might lower the texture resolutions and anti-aliasing passes.  It gradually degrades image quality until it is close to reaching your desired minimum frame rate.  When I enabled it on Crysis 2, my frame rate went from 9 to 28 or so - a sizeable difference that made the game mostly playable.

It's not magic though - there are degradations in quality that are visible.

dynamix_off.jpg

Here you can see a close up of the game running without Dynamix at work.  The quality is good but the frame rate was again at 9 FPS or so.

dynamix_on.jpg

This image shows the game after enabling Dynamix, with a frame rate of 28 or so.  You can definitely see blurrier textures, less sharpness around the gun and the foliage quality has gone done some as well. 

So why is this even interesting?  There are several reasons.  First there are some games that may not have quality settings low enough to run on an Ultrabook with HD 2500 graphics; kind of like Crysis 2.  Lucid is able to change things that the developer might not have thought of (or might not have wanted) with its access to the graphics pipeline. 

Secondly, as the name implies, the software is dynamic.  If you already running a game OVER your minimum threshold then the software will not change anything.  But if you are running in an indoor area at 40 FPS and then drop to 20 FPS when you go outdoors, the software will kick in and attempt to adjust quality to get you back up to the 30 FPS mark. 

Finally, the UI remains untouched - the informational points that were part of the game's interface were untouched so you don't have to worry about blury text or anything like that.  Lucid's capability to know about the back end of the 3D engines allows them to tweak things like this pretty easily.

Lucid says the goal is to make games that would otherwise be unplayable on a system, playable for consumers.  Without a doubt the target is Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge notebooks and the somewhat limited performance of the HD 2500 graphics system.  While this could also be applied to discrete graphics system from AMD and NVIDIA, I don't see that being necessary. 

Currently the software works with DX9 and DX10 games though they are still working to get DX11 covered completely.  And while the software worked find our demo, we only tried out one game on one notebook - there is still a lot of proving that Lucid needs to do for us to buy in completely.  If Lucid's bragging was anything to judge by though you should see Dynamix in quite a few major notebook brands later this year. 

What do YOU think?  Is this a technology you are interested in and do you see a place for it?

Podcast #218 - Gigabyte Z77X-UD7, Apple A6 SoC, Thunderbolt GPU Tech from Lucid, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2012 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: z77x-ud7, z77n-wifi, WD, thunderbolt, SoC, podcast, lucid, idf 2012, Hybrid Drive, haswell, gpu, gigabyte, arm, a6

PC Perspective Podcast #218 - 09/13/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the Gigabyte Z77X-UD7, Apple A6 SoC, Thunderbolt GPU Tech from Lucid, 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malvantano and Scott Michaud

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:01:33

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:50 Live Recap: Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 & Z77N-Wifi Preview
    2. 0:11:11 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review
    3. 0:16:20 Apple A6 SOC: Cortex A15 Hits the Market
    4. 0:21:30 IDF 2012: Intel Haswell Architecture Revealed
      1. Intel Haswell CPUs as low as 10W TDP
  2. 0:28:05 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:28:45 IDF 2012: Lucid External GPUs?
    2. 0:32:05 IDF 2012: Intel Dives in to Oil!
    3. 0:35:45 IDF 2012: Western Digital Hybrid Hard Drives - 5mm 500GB
    4. 0:38:00 AMD Steamroller -- Shrunk Die Without a Die Shrink?
    5. 0:39:50 Firefox OS Interface: Sept 6, 2012.
    6. 0:42:30 CiiNow Sounds Like Wii... also AMD Investment.
    7. 0:47:15 Valve Big Picture Mode for Steam
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:50:36 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Jeremy: SLI\CrossFire PSU for dirt cheap, NewEgg not quite so good
      2. Josh: Not terrible. Hopefully it actually works for the S3
      3. Allyn: WD MyBook VelociRaptor Duo
      4. Scott: Back to school? For the love of God, laser printers.
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

Lucid to Let You Plug in to Boost Your Laptop GPU?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | September 12, 2012 - 04:20 PM |
Tagged: lucid, external graphics

Lucid looks to utilize Thunderbolt and its PCIe-format interface with external video cards. Their ideal future would allow for customers to purchase Ultrabook or other laptop device to bring around town. Upon reaching home the user could sit the laptop on their desk; plug in a high-end video card for performance; and surround their Ultrabook in other monitors.

While there are situations for acceleration hardware to be inside the device that is not necessary.

There have been numerous attempts in the past to provide a dockable graphics accelerator. ASUS, AMD, Vidock, as well as many others have attempted this feat but all had drawbacks and/or difficulty getting to market. Just prior to Intel Developer Forum, Laptop Magazine was given a demonstration from Lucid with their own attempt.

How about some Thunderbolt?

Mobile GPUs are really the only thing keeping a good laptop from being a gaming machine.

There’s good need for desktop CPUs with lots of RAM – but these days, not to game.

I have been excited each time a product manufacturer claims to have a non-proprietary method to accelerate laptop graphics. Laptops are appealing for so many purposes and it is frustrating to have devices come so close but fall so short of being a reasonable gaming machine.

The demo that Lucid showed off ran 3DMark 06 on an Intel HD 4000 with an external AMD Radeon HD 6700. On integrated graphics the gaming performance hovered just south of 30 FPS. With the Radeon HD 6700 – as expected – performance greatly increased to almost 90 FPS.

It should be much more compelling for a PC store to say “For somewhere near the price of a console, you could dock your laptop which you already own into this box when you want to game and instantly have all PC gaming and Home Theatre PC benefits.”

And it should have happened a long time ago.