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Manufacturer: AMD

DisplayPort to Save the Day?

During an impromptu meeting with AMD this week, the company's Corporate Vice President for Visual Computing, Raja Koduri, presented me with an interesting demonstration of a technology that allowed the refresh rate of a display on a Toshiba notebook to perfectly match with the render rate of the game demo being shown.  The result was an image that was smooth and with no tearing effects.  If that sounds familiar, it should.  NVIDIA's G-Sync was announced in November of last year and does just that for desktop systems and PC gamers.

Since that November unveiling, I knew that AMD would need to respond in some way.  The company had basically been silent since learning of NVIDIA's release but that changed for me today and the information discussed is quite extraordinary.  AMD is jokingly calling the technology demonstration "FreeSync".

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Variable refresh rates as discussed by NVIDIA.

During the demonstration AMD's Koduri had two identical systems side by side based on a Kabini APU . Both were running a basic graphics demo of a rotating windmill.  One was a standard software configuration while the other model had a modified driver that communicated with the panel to enable variable refresh rates.  As you likely know from our various discussions about variable refresh rates an G-Sync technology from NVIDIA, this setup results in a much better gaming experience as it produces smoother animation on the screen without the horizontal tearing associated with v-sync disabled.  

Obviously AMD wasn't using the same controller module that NVIDIA is using on its current G-Sync displays, several of which were announced this week at CES.  Instead, the internal connection on the Toshiba notebook was the key factor: Embedded Display Port (eDP) apparently has a feature to support variable refresh rates on LCD panels.  This feature was included for power savings on mobile and integrated devices as refreshing the screen without new content can be a waste of valuable battery resources.  But, for performance and gaming considerations, this feature can be used to initiate a variable refresh rate meant to smooth out game play, as AMD's Koduri said.

Continue reading our thoughts on AMD's initial "FreeSync" variable refresh rate demonstration!!

CES 2014: Razer Project Christine & Nabu... Because CES.

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 03:30 AM |
Tagged: razer, Project Christine, Nabu, CES 2014, CES

Razer has a long history of announcing odd products at any given CES. Some of those products win prestigious awards such as Best of Show. A few of them also never see the light of day. This year, the company has two major announcements: a wristband computer called "Razer Nabu" and a modular computer concept called "Project Christine". The last one feels more like their April 1st announcements.

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First: the wristband. The Razer Nabu (isn't it ironic that the god of wisdom and writing is a homonym of JarJar's home planet) is said to be somewhere between a Nike+ FuelBand and a smartwatch. Track the number of steps you take, calories you burned, floors you climbed by stairs, distance you traveled, hours you slept, and do some stuff with location data. They can sense one another, if someone nearby is also wearing theirs, and optionally share information. It is also expected to connect to Razer Comms at some point. It is unclear how many of these applications can be done directly with the device and how many require an Android or iOS smartphone nearby.

Razer is currently accepting requests from developers looking to purchase the device for $49 USD. That may or may not be the final consumer price for whenever it makes a real launch.

The other product is a little less, concrete.

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Project Christine reminds me of that period where the tech world went nuts over the thought that Apple would design a modular Mac Pro. The thought is that you could swap modules in and out for upgrading purposes with peace of mind that you never need to open anything. Everything is external connections to black boxes. Razer seems to have taken that idea and run with it. Suffices to say, I am highly skeptical. I can think of about a dozen complications ranging from bandwidth to inventory to relative need compared to other solutions.

Sure, it looks cool, but just think about it (if it ends up being a legitimate project rather than a CES talking point). Are you really going to have Razer versions of every possible upgrade SKU? Would you really save anything over a custom solution or paying someone to do the technical work?

Interesting thought experiment, if nothing else, but I would be fairly shocked if we even see this mentioned again more than 8 months from now.

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!

Source: Razer

CES 2014: Corsair Flash Voyager GO - closer look

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 02:20 AM |
Tagged: usb, On-The-Go, Flash Voyager GO, flash, corsair, CES 2014, CES

Earlier today, Corsair announced the Flash Voyager GO combination micro USB (OTG spec) / USB 3.0 (standard connector) drive. Being the storage nut that I am, I got a closer look while the rest of the PCPer gang were checking out the new cases, keyboards, and power supplies. Here are some more detailed pics for your viewing pleasure:

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Connected to an Android smart phone:

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Connected to a laptop:

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Yes, you're seeing things correctly. The 'back' end opposite the micro-USB port is actually another USB port supporting USB 3.0 speeds.

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!

CES 2014: OCZ shows Barefoot/Toshiba powered Vertex 460 and new Z-Drive 4500

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 01:56 AM |
Tagged: z-drive, toshiba, ssd, ocz, CES 2014, CES, barefoot 3

Earlier today we swing by OCZ for a look at what was new. First up is a fresh launch, the Vertex 460:

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This new SSD will sport a Barefoot 3 M10 controller driving Toshiba 19nm flash. With OCZ's recent acquisition by Toshiba, this makes things handy, as OCZ can now source this flash at a much lower cost. I suspect much of OCZ's lineup will make a similar transition as time goes on.

Also up is a few changes in the enterprise sector:

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The Intrepid (center) sticks around, while the PCIe solutions get a bit of a shuffle. To the left is the Z-Drive 4500, which is a shorter iteration of OCZ's previous enterprise offerings.

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The Z-Drive XL (right) may look a bit familiar from the back. It's actually a slight repackage of the Z-Dive R4. The main tweaks here were cooling optimizations and a heatsink that keeps the same form and function as the smaller 4500.

We will have a review of the Vertex 460 up in a few weeks time, and we are happy to see OCZ won't be going anywhere any time soon.

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!

CES 2014: PEPCOM Tidbits: Western Digital and Linksys

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 01:20 AM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, router, linksys, CES 2014, CES, 802.11ac

Western Digital:

Last night at the PEPCOM Digital Experience, we swung by Western Digital's booth. While there are no new launches at CES, it's always nice to see the full spread all laid out on display:

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4TB Green and Black, 1TB Blue, Ultra Slim drives, and of course the Black2.

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The other table shifts to backup and external storage, scaling up through the My Cloud to the larger EX4.

Linksys:

My eye was also caught by the behemoth of a router that is the Linksys WRT1900AC!

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This beast is way more than an evolution on the old WRT54G. While there are four antennas, the dual band Marvell radios are only 3x3 capable. They can, however, choose among the four antennas to achieve the best possible throughput. The '1900' rating comes from 1300Mbps (5GHz) + 600Mbps (2.4GHz). This router will be Open-WRT capable out of the box, so you can expect the folks like DD-WRT and Tomato to have usable firmware built very shortly after launch, which is expected sometime around April of this year. Let's check out the ports:

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Not only is there USB3, but we also have eSATA for even faster connectivity. Throughput to connected storage should be stellar as the on-board CPU will be a 1.2 GHz dual core ARM. Radios and CPU will be cooled by a built-in fan, and Linksys also noted they will be launching an 8 port Gigabit switch in a matching (and stackable) form factor. Open source firmware buff tech note: 128MB Flash, 256MB RAM. MSRP: $299.

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!

CES 2014: Micron makes further advances in DDR4 memory

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 12:57 AM |
Tagged: ram, micron, memory, ddr4, CES 2014, CES

While the Crucial did not have much in the way of new flash memory product launches this year, Micron as a whole has been busily churning out further revisions of DDR4 memory. While our visit last year only revealed a single prototype for us to look at, now we have all of the typical form factors covered:

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From top down we have enterprise, enthusiast, OEM, and SO-DIMM form factors, all populated with DDR4 parts. All that needs to happen now is for motherboard and portable manufacturers to get on board with the new technology. As with all chicken-and-egg launches, someone needs to take the first plunge, and here we can see Micron has certainly been on the leading edge of things. That enterprise part above is a full 16GB (not bits!) of DDR4 capacity.

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!

Source: Micron DRAM

Cooler Master Glacer 360L CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2014 - 11:35 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, Intel, Glacer 360L, cooler master, CES 2014, CES, amd

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The Glacer 360L CPU cooler is the latest all-in-one cooler from Cooler Master. With a 3x120mm radiator and the ability to add new components into the existing cooling loop, this cooler is sure to make a splash.

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The Glacer 360L CPU Cooler builds on the design of Cooler Master's previous generation all-in-one cooler, the Glacer 240L, with enhanced cooling surface area and the promise of expandability. This all-in-one cooler features a copper and brass based 3x120mm radiator and a powerful 3500 RPM pump, integrated into the CPU block housing. The CPU block itself is copper based to ensure the best heat transfer capabilities and minimize galvanic corrosion with the radiator. Additionally, Cooler Master has designed the Glacer 360L to be upgradeable, allowing for user addition of other cooling apparatus to the loop.

 

Cooler Master has not yet released pricing information or retail availability information for the Glacer 360L CPU cooler at this time. Please go here for additional information.

Additional information after the break.

 

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!

EVGA TORQ X10 Carbon Gaming Mouse

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 11:09 PM |
Tagged: TORQ X10, mouse, evga, CES 2014, CES

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Courtesy of EVGA

The latest product release from EVGA adds to their gaming peripheral arsenal - the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse. This mouse features a mix of high end components with the looks and features to match.

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Courtesy of EVGA

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Courtesy of EVGA

EVGA designed the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse with an Avago 9800 series laser spec'd at a maximum DPI of 8200 with up to a 1000MHz polling frequency and with Omron switches, touting a 20 million click lifespan, so that you are never caught unawares during those life and death gaming sessions. The mouse is ambidextrous to appeal to any gamer with a carbon fiber coating for the sleek look and comfortable feel.

 

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Courtesy of EVGA

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Courtesy of EVGA

Additionally, EVGA includes their custom driver control panel, allowing you to optimize the look, feel, and function of the mouse with both profile setting and macro support. The mouse has a multiple LEDs that are color configurable via the driver control panel as well.

Features and specs

  • Ambidextrous grip supporting left and right handed gamers.
  • Moveable mechanism allows for proper support of various hand sizes.
  • Avago 9800 laser provides up to 8200 DPI with up to 1000Hz polling rate.
  • Highest quality Omron switches with a lifespan of over 20 million clicks.
  • Supports up to 9 programmable buttons.
  • Fully customizable RGB LED.
  • Built in 512KB memory for profile storage.
  • Metal base provides solid construction.
  • Weight control system allowing you to customize the weight to your liking.
  • 6ft silver coated USB cable with braided surface.
  • Driver control panel
    • Allows full control of the EVGA TORQ X10.
    • Designed with usability in mind.
    • Heads up display shows key settings at a glance.
    • Flexible macro and profiling system.
    • Adjustable LED color and brightness.

EVGA has not yet released pricing information or retail availability information for the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse at this time. Please go here for additional information.

Additional information after the break.

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!

Source: EVGA

CES 2014: Corsair AX1500i Announcement

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: PSU, corsair, CES 2014, CES, Arc Welding, 1500W PSU

Yadda yadda arc welding yadda Allyn yadda yadda podcast bingo.

For the last seven or eight years, Corsair has released a boatload of power supplies, running the whole gamut of potential customers, since their initial HX620W release in 2006. Their current line-up is broken into eight distinct series. Some are modular, some are fully modular, and others are not. Several models hold the lowercase "i" suffix which signify USB connectivity to monitor and adjust the unit from their Corsair Link utility.

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Today, Corsair is announcing the AX1500i fully modular power supply. At 1500 watts, this should be an effective upper limit on desktop power consumption. The real news is its efficiency: 94% efficient at half load on 115V input (North America). The PSU exceeds the specification set out for 80 PLUS Platinum and falls within the current draft of 80 PLUS Titanium (consumer).

It is also designed to be quiet and even fanless when drawing under 450 watts.

The suffix on the AX1500i signifies that it also integrates with Corsair Link through USB. Temperature, draw, loads, fan speed adjustments, and power efficiency are exposed to the user who wants to see a few more graphs in their secondary monitors... because if you have a single 1080p panel then you are doing something wrong somewhere.

The AX1500i is expected to retail for $449.99 in Q2 2014 and is backed by a 7-year warranty.

Press blast after the break!

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!

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Flash Voyager GO is On-The-Go (OTG)

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: OTG, On-The-Go, Flash Voyager GO, corsair, CES 2014, CES

So this makes sense, finally. USB On-The-Go is a specification which allows for devices to perform as either a USB Host or a USB Slave at will. In other words, your can plug your phone into your PC via its MicroUSB 3.0 (Update: It looks like I'm wrong and it's Micro USB 2.0) connection to synchronize files and charge it and then, later, have that same port accept USB thumb drives. Of course, that requires a USB storage device with a MicroUSB 3.0 2.0 plug.

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The Corsair Flash Voyager GO USB OTG is one such thumb drive. It has the ability to plug into MicroUSB 3.0 2.0 ports on Android OTG-compatible phones and tablets. For convenience, it also has the ability to plug into full-sized USB 3.0 making it useful for both phone and laptop or desktop. USB 2.0 is also supported. It registers as a standard USB Mass Storage Device so no special software is required for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux.

I find this very interesting albeit I am not a mobile user. I do wonder when we will see large capacity harddrives using this standard. It seems like a natural progression as demand for phones with video-out increases. Flash memory is nice but, when compared to microSD cards which are not vulnerable and hanging out of the USB port, I am not sure if there is enough capacity. Again, I am not a mobile user. I know that someone out there already has their credit card out.

The Flash Voyager GO will be available in 16 GB ($19.99 USD), 32 GB ($29.99 USD), and 64 GB ($49.99 USD) variants. It is rated to transfer at up to 135 MB/s over USB 3.0.

Press release after the break.

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!

Source: Corsair