Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

The Basics

Introduction

If you have been visiting PC Perspective at all over the last week there is no doubt you have seen a lot of discussion about the currently running Battlefield 3 beta.  We posted an article looking at performance of several different GPUs in the game and then followed it up with a look at older cards like the GeForce 9800 GT.  We did a live stream of some PC Perspective staff playing BF3 with readers and fans, showed off and tested the locked Caspian Border map and even looked at multi-GPU scaling performance.  It was a lot of testing and a lot of time, but now that we have completed it, we are ready to summarize our findings in a piece that many have been clamoring for - a Battlefield 3 system build guide.

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The purpose of this article is simple: gather our many hours or testing and research and present the results in a way that simply says "here is the hardware we recommend."  It is a the exact same philosophy that makes our PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard so successful as it gives the reader all the information they need, all in one place.

Continue reading our guide for building a system for Battlefield 3!!

PCPer Live! Battlefield 3 Beta Party and Discussion @ 10:30pm EST

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 29, 2011 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: radeon, pcper live, nvidia, geforce, bf3, battlefield 3, amd

Look, there isn't any football on tonight, so what else are you going to do?  Rather than watch a rerun of Seinfeld, why not stop by here at http://pcper.com/live to hang out and not only watch us play some Battlefield 3 but also participate yourself by calling in on Skype, using Google+ Hangouts or even just chatting on our IRC server (welcome back to 1998, amiright?).

We are going to start the show at 10:30pm EST and plan on running until midnight at least, but it all depends on participation levels from YOU! 

What all do we have on the agenda?  Well, it is going to be pretty informal as we are still getting our feet wet with this whole "live" thing but here is what we are planning:

  • Watch Ryan and Ken get destroyed over and over in Battlefield 3 and watch as we attempt to sneak our way into the password protected Caspian levels with vehicles, 64 players and a new game type (oh my!).
  • Skype call ins from readers and gamers that want to talk about BF3 and their experiences with the game so far.  How does it run on your hardware?  Discussion like this will help others that might not have the beta figure out what they might want to upgrade in the near future.  (Be prepared to give us your Skype handle in the chat so we can call you!)
  • Trying some group games via our PC Perspective Platoon, the Fragging Frogs!  (Head over and apply to join or become a fan!)  You can also find me on EA Origin or in the Battlelog system as "ryanshrout".
  • We will discuss our brainstorming sessions for what hardware we will recommend for certain gaming resolutions and specific image quality settings in a future article...all live!
  • Maybe some surprise guests from the PC Perspective staff and beyond...??  

We will be streaming the festivities live on our Justin.tv channel (embedded below) and will have a chat widget here as well for those of you that would rather use IRC than the integrated Justin.tv chat.

In short, we are planning on having a good time playing some games and talking hardware so if you are into that, then I think you should be sure to stop by and say hello!!  Let us know in the comments if you have anything else you want to see or any more ideas for our live show.  Thanks!!!

 

Source: PCPer

More Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Results: GTX 460, Radeon HD 5850 and 9800 GT!

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 29, 2011 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: bf3, battlefield 3, nvidia, amd, geforce, radeon, gtx 460, hd 5850, 9800 gt

I just wanted to drop a quick note here on the home page to let you know that we haven't been just playing around on Battlefield 3 all day - instead we have been playing around on BF3 all day in order to bring you some more information about performance in the game!  Earlier this afternoon I updated my Battlefield 3 Beta Performance article with a new page that focuses on results from the GeForce GTX 460 1GB, the AMD Radeon HD 5850 1GB and the GeForce 9800 GT 512MB card for those of you that are really behind the curve in the upgrade cycle.  

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What's this?  The Caspian map?  Performance results soon!

I would recommend you check out that new content to see where you hardware might fall and hopefully over the weekend we are going to be putitng together a system guide similar to our own Hardware Leaderboard but targetted at the BF3 gaming experience.  Stay tuned!!

Source: PCPer

Watch the Top StarCraft II Pros Face Off in an Epic E-Sports Battle to the Top

Subject: Shows and Expos | September 29, 2011 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: starcraft 2, nvidia, geforce.com

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—September 15, 2011—Calling all StarCraft II fans! NVIDIA is bringing together the e-sports community to watch the GeForce StarCraft II professional championship matches with live premier streaming video and BarCraft events scheduled for Thursday, September 29th from 6pm to 9pm PDT.

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The GeForce StarCraft 2 Pro/Am tournament is the first of its kind on GeForce.com where over 9300 players will have competed over 12 weeks to win more than $22,000 in cash and prizes. The live premier streaming video event will feature world-renowned StarCraft II shoutcasters, Husky and Day[9] of The Game Station, commentating the final three professional matches to crown the champion.

“The GeForce StarCraft II Pro/Am tournament has been a great success for us and we deeply appreciate the support of the StarCraft II players, spectators, and our sponsor ASUS,” said Drew Henry, general manager of the GeForce business unit at NVIDIA. “We’ve had over 70 professional and over 9300 amateur players compete and over seven million spectator views of the Husky and Day[9] shoutcasts to date. We applaud the StarCraft community for gathering around the GeForce StarCraft II Pro/Am tournament and making it one of the largest tournaments to date.”

NVIDIA is providing three exciting ways for StarCraft fans to enjoy the championship videos all on the same time and date:

· A live premier video will be streamed on GeForce.com as well as on www.Twitch.tv.

· For gamers in the San Francisco, California Bay Area, a live BarCraft event will be held at the Mad Dog in the Fog bar at 530 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117.

· A virtual BarCraft event featuring the Xmobb technology will be hosted on GeForce.com. Xmobb enables fans to gather in a 3D theater and view their favorite videos together, while interacting via text chat and other fun features.

Stay tuned to GeForce.com for up to date information on the GSPA tournament and its September 29th finale.

Source: NVIDIA

Podcast #172 - 1.6TB PCI-E SSD from OCZ, the Battlefield 3 beta, a PCI GT520, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2011 - 11:31 AM |
Tagged: podcast, pci, nvidia, Intel, gt520, gaming, battlefield 3, battlefield, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #172 - 9/29/2011

Join us this week as we talk about a 1.6TB PCI-E SSD from OCZ, the Battlefield 3 beta, a PCI GT520, 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, Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:10:45

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:32 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:28 OCZ Z-Drive R4 1.6TB PCIe 2.0 x8 SSD Full Review - 8 SF-2200's Can't Be Wrong!
  6. 0:17:11 Battlefield 3 Beta Performance Testing and Image Quality Evaluation - Day 1
  7. 0:32:41 AD BREAK
  8. 0:33:36 Intel Core i7 2700K Will Cost More Than 2600K
  9. 0:35:00 Internet Machines' PCI-Express Patent Lawsuit Targets Numerous System Vendors
  10. 0:37:53 ZOTAC Announces A75-ITX WiFi
  11. 0:40:52 ZOTAC Expands Value GeForce GT 520 lineup
  12. 0:44:54 PC Gaming to Surpass Console Gaming in Revenue by 2015
  13. 0:52:04 Don’t touch my wife! VIA sues Apple for patent infringement
  14. 0:55:25 FeTRAM is higher and lower; gives the best of both worlds
  15. 1:01:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Battlefield 3 Beta - gets you some tomorrow!
    2. Jeremy: ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 560
    3. Josh: Nice, inexpensive speakers that sound real good:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290203
    4. Allyn:  Blue Man Group
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

Source:

It's confirmed, NVIDIA won't be leading with the big Kepler

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2011 - 08:39 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GK107

As SemiAccurate reported back on the 21st, Kepler will be arriving in the form of a bottom to top release, not the top down that many enthusiasts were hoping for.  The reason for this is a popular topic of speculation, the most likely suspect being that this is not only a process change, to 28nm; it is also an architecture refresh and pulling off both of those together is a tricky proposition at the best of times.  VR-Zone also provides insight into the code names, with the P suffix indicating a lower powered chip, likely a replacement to the GT 500M while the E suffix denotes an enthusiast mobile chip more in line with what the GTX600M is currently.  More spoilers available in their post.

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"GK107 is set to feature in four mobile GeForce SKUs - N13P-LP, N13P-GS, N13P-GT and N13E-GE. If these codenames sound familiar, it is because they have previously appeared in a leaked 28nm mobile GPU line-up. GK107 features a 128-bit memory interface, and supports DDR3 and GDDR5 memory. The first three GK107 based SKUs (with a "P" suffix) will likely succeed the GeForce GT 500M series, and will presumably be branded GeForce GT 600M series. The top GK107 part, N13E-GE, may succeed GTX 560M and be part of the GTX 600M series, as denoted by the "E" suffix (Enthusiast). In addition, GK107 will also be part of mobile Quadro SKUs - N14P-Q1 and N14P-Q3."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: VR-Zone
Author:
Manufacturer: EA

The Battlefield 3 Beta

Update 2 (9/30/11): We have some quick results from our time on the Caspian Border map as well if you are interested - check them out!

It was an exciting day at PC Perspective yesterday with much our time dedicated to finding, installing and playing the new Battlefield 3 public beta.  Released on the morning of the 26th to those of you who had pre-ordered BF3 on Origin or those of you who had purchased Medal of Honor prior to July 26th, getting the beta a couple of days early should give those of you with more FPS talent than me a leg up once the open beta starts on Thursday the 29th.

My purpose in playing Battlefield 3 yesterday was purely scientific, of course.  We wanted to test a handful of cards from both AMD and NVIDIA to see how the beta performed.  With all of the talk about needing to upgrade your system and the relatively high recommended system requirements, there is a lot of worry that just about anyone without a current generation GPU is going to need to shell out some cash.  

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Is that a justified claim?  While we didn't have time yet to test EVERY card we have at the office we did put some of the more recent high end, mid-range and lower cost GPUs to the test.  

Continue reading our initial performance results with the Battlefield 3 beta!!

ZOTAC Expands Value GeForce GT 520 lineup

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 27, 2011 - 09:30 AM |
Tagged: zotac, nvidia, low power, GT 520

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HONG KONG – Sept. 27, 2011 – ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and channel manufacturer, today expands the value GeForce GT 520 lineup with new PCI and PCI Express x1 form factors for users with pre-built systems that have limited expansion capabilities. The new ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards breathe new life into older systems by delivering a performance punch and new video capabilities.

“Upgrading your graphics card is the easiest way to boost your system performance and gain new capabilities. The new ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards shows that you can experience good graphics without upgrading the rest of your system,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International.

The ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards provide DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs with dual simultaneous independent display support for an instant dual-monitor upgrade. The low-profile form factor enables the ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI express x1 graphics card to easily fit in compact pre-built systems with height limitations in addition to expansion limitations.

It’s time to play with the ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics card.

ZT-50610-10L_image2.JPG

General details

  • New ZOTAC GeForce GT 520 PCI and PCI Express x1 graphics cards
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 GPU
  • Engine clock: 810 MHz
  • 48 unified shaders 
  • Shader clock: 1620 MHz
  • 512MB DDR3 memory
  • Memory clock: 1333 MHz
  • 64-bit memory interface
  • DVI, HDMI & VGA outputs
  • DirectX 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
  • OpenGL 4.1 compatible
  • NVIDIA CUDA technology
  • Full HD video playback

ZT-50610-10L_specs.JPG

Source: Zotac

Podcast #171 - X79 Motherboard Show and Tell, a 5th Core in NVIDIA's Kal-El, Weekly News, Viewer Questions and more!

Subject: Editorial | September 22, 2011 - 12:49 PM |
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, podcast, nvidia, kal-el, Intel, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #171 - 9/22/2011

Join us this week as we have a X79 Motherboard Show and Tell, a 5th Core in NVIDIA's Kal-El, Weekly News, Viewer Questions 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, Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:13:36

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:36 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Stay Tuned for a contest!!
  6. 0:02:05 X79 Show and Tell!
  7. 0:13:00 NVIDIA Reveals a 5th CPU Core in Upcoming Kal-El Tegra SoC
  8. 0:24:33 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. 0:25:47 IDF 2011: Intel Many Integrated Core (MIC) Knights Corner
  10. 0:28:12 IDF 2011: Knights Ferry Shown 8-Deep Running Ray Tracing
  11. 0:31:15 Corsair is a vengeful beast: K90, the (Black)Widow’s maker?
  12. 0:37:58 Corsair Returns With A Vengeance (Line Of Gaming Headsets)
  13. 0:39:00 This newcomer to SSDs holds a new iteration of a familiar controller
  14. 0:45:00 New Intel Core i7 2700K Revealed In MDDS Will Take Top Spot In Company Lineup
  15. 0:47:11 Kepler has arrived ... sort of
  16. 0:51:13 Email from Pete about Windows 8 and SSDs
  17. 0:56:00 Email from Nabokovfan87
  18. 1:02:00 Email from Rahul about Ultrabooks
  19. 1:04:00 Win a Free Drobo Storage Device at PC Perspective!!
  20. 1:04:52 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Gorillapod
    2. Jeremy: Ray Tracing ain't dead  fine, ruin my pick then  Cartel
    3. Josh: Looks very interesting:  http://shopping1.hp.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/WW-USSMBPublicStore-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewProductDetail-Start?ProductUUID=UUIQ7EN5PMEAAAEyle0CBwpd&CatalogCategoryID=yP4Q7EN5.w0AAAEu6fw.zwd2
    4. Allyn: VMWare 8
  21. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  22. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  23. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  24. Closing

Source:
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Tagged: vsmp, tegra, nvidia, kal-el

Kal-El Tegra SoC to use 5 cores

Recent news from NVIDIA has unveiled some interesting new technical details about the upcoming Kal-El ARM-based Tegra SoC.  While we have known for some time that this chip would include a quad-core processor and would likely be the first ARM-based quad-core part on the market, NVIDIA's Matt Wuebbling spilled the beans on a new technology called "Variable SMP" (vSMP) and a fifth core on the die.

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An updated diagram shows the fifth "companion" core - Courtesy NVIDIA

This patented technology allows the upcoming Tegra processor to address a couple of key issues that affect smartphones and tablets: standby power consumption and manufacturing process deviations.  Even though all five of the cores on Kal-El are going to be based on the ARM Cortex A9 design they will have very different power characteristics due to variations in the TSMC 40nm process technology that builds them.  Typical of most foundries and process technologies, TSMC has both a "high performance" and a "low power" derivative of the 40nm technology usually aimed at different projects.  The higher performing variation will run at faster clock speeds but will also have more transistor leakages thus increasing overall power consumption.  The low power option does just the opposite: lowers the frequency ceiling while using less power at idle and usage states.  

kalel2.png

CPU power and performance curves - Courtesy NVIDIA

NVIDIA's answer to this dilemma is to have both - a single A9 core built on the low power transistors and quad A9s built on the higher performing transistors.  The result is the diagram you saw at the top of this story with a quad-core SoC with a single ARM-based "companion."  NVIDIA is calling this strategy Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing and using some integrated hardware tricks it is able to switch between operating on the lower power core OR one to four of the higher power cores.  The low power process will support operating frequencies up to only 500 MHz while the high speed process transistors will be able to hit well above 1-1.2 GHz. 

Keep reading for more on the 5-core quad-core Kal-El SoC from NVIDIA!!