Podcast #238 - Thinkpad Tablet 2, Raspberry Pi, Nonvolatile DIMMS and more!

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2013 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: podcast, NVDIMMS, Raspberry Pi, Thinkpad, tablet 2, nvidia, amd, southern islands, Solar System, Crysis 3, Intel

PC Perspective Podcast #238 - 02/14/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the Thinkpad Tablet 2, Raspberry Pi, Nonvolatile DIMMS 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 Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:13:52

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:00 Crysis 3 Live Game Stream - Win Free Stuff!!
    2. 0:04:10 Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Preview
    3. 0:09:15 Rosewill Tachyon Series 1000 watt power supply
    4. 0:12:00 Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 Preview
  2. 0:16:18 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:17:50 Reports of no new AMD cards for 2013
    2. 0:26:40 Windows is feeling "blue"
    3. 0:32:15 Nonvolatile DIMMs
    4. 0:38:08 Raspberry Pie 5MP camera module
    5. 0:43:55 NVIDIA bundles credits for free to play games
    6. 0:49:30 Corsair Acquires Simple Audio
    7. 0:53:00 Intel confirms upcoming set top box
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:56:45 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: A Raspberry Pi device
      2. Jeremy: ping -p 32 -s 1110 x.x.x.x
      3. Josh: System Shock 2 on GOG.com
      4. Allyn: ioSafe N2
  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!!

 

Pick up a GTX660 GC and get close to its value in online currency

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 12, 2013 - 05:33 PM |
Tagged: galaxy, GTX 660 GC, factory overclocked, nvidia

For those unable or unwilling to spend over $200 on a GPU, the non-Ti Galaxy GTX 660 GC comes with a nice factory overclock of 6GHz on its 2GB of RAM and a core of 1006MHz with a boost of 1074MHz as well as a custom dual fan cooler.  You are not going to be maxing out Crysis 3 with it, at this level of power perhaps online gaming is the way to go in which case NVIDIA's new bundle of in game currency might make a lot of sense for you.  [H]ard|OCP tested it against the similarly priced HD7850 as well as the slightly more expensive HD7870.  In the tests the 660 GC beat the HD7850 by enough that it is not really worth your consideration and traded wins with the slightly more expensive HD7870.  In this particular case it might be the bundle that decides you, do you want in game currency or free full games?

H_660GC.jpg

"GALAXY has a factory overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 complete with a custom cooler. Today, we have it on our test bench to run against an AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and an AMD Radeon HD 7850 to see which is the go-to card at the $200 price point now in the latest games with the latest drivers."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA Joins the Bundle Game: Up to $150 in credit on Free-to-Play games for all GTX buyers

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 11, 2013 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: world of tanks, planetside 2, nvidia, Hawken, gtx, geforce, bundle

AMD has definitely been winning the "game" of game bundles and bonus content with graphics cards purchases, as is evident from the recent Never Settle Reloaded campaign that includes titles like Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider.  I made comments that NVIDIA was falling behind and may even start to look like they have moved away from a focus on PC gamers since they hadn't made any reply over the last year...

After losing a bidding war with AMD over Crysis 3, today NVIDIA is unveiling a bundle campaign that attack at a different angle; rather than including in bundled games NVIDIA is working free-to-play titles.  How do you give gamers bonuses by including free to play games?  Credits!  Cold hard cash!

bundle1.png

Starting today if you pick up any GeForce GTX graphics card you'll be eligible to get free in-game credit to use in one of the three free-to-play titles partnering with NVIDIA.  A GTX 650 or GTX 650 Ti will net you $25 in each for a total bonus of $75 while buying a GTX 660 or higher, all the way up to the GTX 690 results in $50 per game for a total of $150.

Also, after asking NVIDIA about it, this is a PER CARD bundle so if you get an SLI pair of anything, you'll get double the credit.  A pair of GeForce GTX 660s for an SLI rig results in $100 per game, $300 total!

bundle3.png

This is a very interesting approach that NVIDIA has decided to take and I am eager to get feedback from our readers on the differences between AMD's and NVIDIA's bundles.  I have played quite a bit of Planetside 2 and definitely enjoyed it; it is a graphics showcase as well with huge and expansive levels and hundreds of people per server.  World of Tanks and Hawken I am less familiar with but they also are extremely popular.

bundle2.png

Leave us your comments below!  Do you think NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX gaming bundle for free-to-play game credits can be successful! 

If you are looking for a new GeForce GTX card today and this bundle convinced you to buy, feel free to use the links below. 

Podcast #237 - 750W Power Supply Reviews, the new 3DMark, AMD's Newest Game Bundles and more!

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2013 - 04:10 PM |
Tagged: podcast, pcper, 3dmark, ice storm, fire strike, titan, evga, 750w, seasonic, never settle, Crysis 3, amd, nvidia, Intel, adata

PC Perspective Podcast #237 - 02/07/2013

Join us this week as we discuss two 750W Power Supply Reviews, the new 3DMark, AMD's Newest Game Bundles 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 Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:10:21

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:10 EVGA SuperNOVA NEX750G Gold Power Supply
    2. 0:03:30 Seasonic Gold Series X-750 Power Supply
    3. 0:07:00 ADATA XPG SX900 128GB SSD Review
    4. 0:16:00 New 3DMark Benchmark and Futuremark Interview
      1. MSI 3DMark Challenge with Prizes!
  2. 0:28:20 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:29:45 Win Free Stuff from Seasonic!
    2. 0:31:30 Newegg saves the shopping cart
    3. 0:35:10 Never Settle Reloaded Bundle from AMD is pretty awesome
    4. 0:39:55 Lenovo has record breaking results
    5. 0:42:25 Fanless Mintbox PC
    6. 0:43:45 Dell is going private with help from Microsoft
    7. 0:48:00 Hard Drive Industry may see declines
    8. 0:56:00 Far Cry 3 with your SSD?
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:01:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Cisco Small Business 5-port Gigabit Router
      2. Jeremy: This thing has been frustratingly fun
      3. Josh: Improved drivers and Bundle!
      4. Allyn: Plasti-Dip (spray)
  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!!

 

 

Podcast #236 - New Intel mSATA SSDs, NVIDIA Project Shield, Crysis 3, and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2013 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: podcast, Intel, msata, 525, project shield, nvidia, Crysis 3, UP7, haswell

PC Perspective Podcast #236 - 01/31/2013

Join us this week as we discuss new Intel mSATA SSDs, NVIDIA Project Shield, Crysis 3, 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 Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:15:43

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:00 Seasonic 660 watt Platinum PSU
    2. 0:06:00 Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Case Review
    3. 0:08:15 Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Motherboard
    4. 0:16:45 Intel SSD 525 Series Full Capacity Roundup - Intel Sweeps mSATA
  2. 0:26:55 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:28:30 I can Haswell Overclock?
    2. 0:31:10 NVIDIA to start making white-label tablets and phones
    3. 0:39:30 Crysis 3 MP Beta On-going - Live Stream
    4. 0:42:45 RIM is going through changes...
    5. 0:48:20 NVIDIA Project SHIELD Development Detail
    6. 0:55:15 Details of AMD and Apple Finances
    7. 1:00:00 Question from Antonio in Wisconsin
      1. I have a different kind of question for you. I have an HIS HD6850 that has been damaged. Six surface mounted capacitors and three resistors have been knocked off the back side of the board and were lost forever. With little to lose I removed one cap, measured the voltage, took a dead geforce 7600 and salvaged caps of approximately the same value to put Humpty back together again. To my astonishment the card works... kinda. It cooperates until I install the driver then becomes very unstable and struggles to go any further than the windows loading screen.
      2. I don't know the capacitance of the original components and cannot find any schematics online for any card ever created. I do not need the card but this has become a bit of a challenge. Any ideas or thoughts on how I might be victorious and declare dominance over this wreckage?
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:04:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Zotac Nano XS AD13
      2. Jeremy: Why wouldn't you want stereo Tesla coil speakers?
      3. Josh: Finally for Android! Sorta...
      4. Allyn: Weller BP860MP Battery-Powered Soldering Iron
  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!!

 

NVIDIA Project SHIELD Development Detailed - Idea to Launch in One Year

Subject: Mobile | January 30, 2013 - 06:13 PM |
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, nvidia

A very interesting blog post by NVIDIA's Brian Caulfield tells the story of "How Project SHIELD Got Built" and you might be surprised about the timeline they were on.  In the story Caulfield details the team's move from idea to the CES release in under 12 months:

In less than a year, SHIELD has grown from an idea dreamed up by Jen-Hsun, Tony, and a handful of others into a conspiracy involving hundreds of gaming fanatics across every department at NVIDIA. “We’ve been talking on and off about building something for more than five years, maybe 10,” says Tony.

shield1.jpg

Caulfield goes on to detail several steps in the process including design, production, the first module shown to Huang, NVIDIA CEO, and more.  After realizing that they had the hardware with Tegra 4 and the software (both GeForce Experience and the controller drivers used by games from the TegraZone store), Tony Tomasi surmised that the company should "just build a device with a great controller built in."

The first prototype, assembled in early 2012, was little more than a game controller fastened to a smartphone with wood. From that crude beginning, NVIDIA’s team of industrial designers sculpted a device that could fit in a user’s hands. No outsourcing required: NVIDIA has a team of veterans who have already shaped the look of a number of products built around NVIDIA’s processors, such as the drool-worthy GeForce GTX 690.

Unfortunately no images of that wood-clad version of the SHIELD were shared, but the idea is amusing none the less.  NVIDIA does admit that the killer feature of the device is the ability to stream PC games from a GeForce powered machine to the SHIELD remotely.

Streaming games from PCs equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or better GPUs puts cutting-edge games on SHIELD on day one. As NVIDIA’s smart, funny marketing VP Ujesh Desai put it, when cynical gamers ask the eternal question – ‘but can it play Crysis’ – NVIDIA will have a simple answer ‘yes it does.’

And apparently some developers have been "lobbying" NVIDIA to make a console for years - a fact that I find both interesting and hilarious. 

shield2.jpg

Overall the post is incredibly insightful, if a bit overly "marketing-ish" about the product it discusses.  With such a tight timeline on the design and build I am curious to see if NVIDIA will be able to meet the deadline of release they set during CES: Q2 2013.  Also, many lines in the blog post are obviously meant to temper the fact that NVIDIA chips will find their way into exactly zero (0) consoles this generation and it is becoming more and more obvious that SHIELD is a reaction to that fact. 

We are eager to learn more and get our hands on it again!

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA to start producing tablets and smartphones for white-labeling

Subject: Mobile | January 28, 2013 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: white label, tegra 4, tegra, tablet, shield, nvidia, cell phone

If you thought that NVIDIA's entry into the world of the mobile entertainment and gaming device market was odd with the announcement of the Shield Android-powered unit, we have some more rumors sneaking up from Droidlife.com about a possible move to develop and manufacture cell phones and tablets as well. 

nvidia_ces.jpg

While many SoC vendors often create proof of concept designs based around their own chips, none of the major players are in the business of building devices meant to find their way into consumers hands.  NVIDIA appears to be taking a page from its own book in the world of retail graphics cards and is planning on producing nearly complete cell phones and tablets to be rebranded and sold directly to consumers.  PC users are used to this practice already and you can see if happen with ever nearly every GPU launch - graphics cards that have the same specs and design with only a different sticker on the cooler. 

The process of white labeling is very frequent in today's laptop designs as well and it is how companies like AVADirect, MAINGEAR and iBuyPower are able to produce and sell custom notebooks. 

From what is in the report, NVIDIA has their eyes set on both tablets and smartphones, with plans to start designing and creating their devices around May or June of this very year. If all goes according to plan, we will begin to see a ton of cheap (but not any less in quality terms) 7-10″ tablets hitting the market, all running NVIDIA chipsets.

If this process does take hold in the mid-2013 time frame you can start to expect a lot of low cost options based on Tegra SoCs to hit in the holiday time frame.  There are concerns to be dealt with though if in fact NVIDIA attempt the white label move.  First, there is potential for "cheap" products, and by that I mean cheaply built, ruining the Tegra name and brand that NVIDIA has been building over the last few years.  Also, NVIDIA could offend and upset other vendors like Samsung and ASUS with whom they depend on to make the "high-end" products that many enthusiasts lust over. 

tegra2.jpg

As a small player though (in terms of pure sell through) NVIDIA is looking for anyway it can to improve its market share and starting up a white label market for smartphones and tablets is definitely something that could open up new opportunities. 

Podcast #235 - AMD Hardware in the PS4, a GK110 NVIDIA product, Corsair 200R case and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2013 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: video, titan, ps4, podcast, nvidia, kavari, Kabini, H80i, gk110, GCN, corsair, APU, amd, 200r

PC Perspective Podcast #235 - 01/24/2013

Join us this week as we discuss potential AMD Hardware in the PS4, a GK110 NVIDIA product, Corsair 200R case 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 Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:16:39

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:25 Corsair Hydro Series H80i Taken Apart
    2. 0:03:45 Video: Corsair Carbide 200R Overview
    3. 0:10:30 Silverstone Zeus 1350 watt power supply
  2. 0:13:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:15:15 Corsair Launches 140mm and 280mm coolers
    2. 0:17:50 Catalyst 13.1 drivers released
    3. 0:19:30 SimCity Beta Weekend
    4. 0:25:00 NVIDIA GK110 Titan Rumored for February
    5. 0:30:50 Intel to exit motherboard business after Haswell
    6. 0:38:00 But ASUS says its okay...
    7. 0:41:30 PS4 Hardware discussion
  4. Closing:
    1. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Pegasus R4 with Thunderbolt
      2. Jeremy: Not since the Sumosac has there been something more sure to get you the ladies!
      3. Josh: Just built a machine with one of these
      4. Allyn: Zip Snip ($20 at Lowes)
  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!!

 

As promised, 8GB of GTX 670 SLI performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 03:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB, sli

When they first tried ASUS' new GTX 670 Direct CU II with 4GB of memory on its own, [H]ard|OCP had difficulty recommending it over a 7970 but they planned to try two cards in SLI to see if that would improve the comparative performance.  The competitors are a pair of 2GB 670s, a pair of 3GB HD7970's, a pair of 2GB 680s and of course two 4GB 670s, all powering a system at 5760x1200.  Unfortunately the quote from the conclusions spells out the results "It's like putting beefy off-road tires on a Yugo", so while it will give you the ability to use some higher graphics settings, overall you are still better of with HD7970s or GTX680s.

H_SLI_ASUS670s.jpg

"We review two ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards in SLI under NV Surround resolutions. We'll answer the question as to the value and validity of 4GB of RAM on a GeForce GTX 670 GPU video card in SLI. Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and all our other games will be taken to the extreme to get to the bottom of 4GB GTX 670 cards."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rumor: NVIDIA GK110 based GeForce GPU 'Titan' to be released late February

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, gk110, titan, rumor

A combination of rumors and news pieces found online and in some recent conversations with partners indicates that February will see the release of a new super-high-end graphics card from NVIDIA based on the GK110 GPU.  Apparently using the name "Titan" based on a report from Sweclockers.com, this new single GPU card will feature 2688 CUDA cores, compared to the 1536 in the GeForce GTX 680. 

gk110.jpg

If true, the name Titan likely refers to the Cray super computer of the same name built using GK110 Kepler Tesla cards.  Sweclockers.com's sources are quoted with the clocks of this new super-GPU as well: 732 MHz core clock and 5.2 GHz GDDR5 memory clock.  While those numbers are low compared to the 1000+ MHz speeds of the GK104 parts out today, this GPU would have 75% more compute units and presumably additional memory capacity as well.  The memory bus width of 384-bits is a 50% increase as well which would indicate another big jump in performance over current cards.  The CUDA core count of 2688 is actually indicative of a GK110 GPU with a single SMX disabled as well.

teslagpu2.jpg

The NVIDIA Titan card will apparently be the replacement for the GeForce GTX 690, a dual-GK104 card launched in May of last year.  The performance estimate for the Titan is approximately 85% of that GTX 690 and if the rumors are right it would see an $899 price tag.

Based on other conversations I have had recently you should only expect those same partners that were able to sell the GTX 690 to stock this new GK110-based part.  There won't be any modifications and you will see very little differentiation between vendors branding on it.  If dates are to be believed, we are hearing that a Feb 25th (or at least that week) launch is the current target.