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Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 08:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox one, E3 13, E3
So heading up to E3, Microsoft decided to drop their DRM bombshell so it would get buried over the next couple of days. In terms of permissiveness, the Xbox One is not nearly as bad as feared; of course, it is still terrible in certain ways.
Microsoft will allow games to be played offline on the Xbox One... for 24 hours. If your internet connection has been offline for longer than that period (unclear whether the timer starts when internet goes out or from last update) then your system will be locked to live TV and disc-based movies. Games and apps, even ones which should have no online functionality, will cease to function until you reconnect with Xbox servers.
This also means that if the Xbox servers have an outage lasting between 24 hours and "taken offline forever", all gaming and apparently apps will cease to function on the Xbox One.
It's like if Wall-E grew a Freddie Mercury
But at least they will allow some level of used-game transfer... if the publisher agrees. Check out this statement from Microsoft Studios:
In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.
So this will be an interesting experiment: how will revenue and profitability be affected for game publishers who deny used game sales? I honestly expect that used game sales actually promote the purchasing of more games and that initiatives to limit used game transfers will reduce user engagement. Of course Microsoft is now taking all of the flak from Sony, who may or may not be considering the same practice, but I am sure at least Microsoft is hoping that everyone will forget this when shiny new trailers erase the collective gamer memory.
In return, however, Microsoft is being fairly permissive when it comes to how many users can be licensed on a single disk. Up to ten family members are allowed access to your collective library.
And, after all, it should not be a surprise that a console game disappears when Microsoft shuts down their servers: consoles were always designed to be disposable. I have been proclaiming that for quite some time. The difference is now, people cannot really deny it.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 05:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: unreal engine 4, ue4, E3 13, E3, computex
We are bleeding through the overlap between Computex and E3 media windows; this news has a somewhat relevant fit for both. Unreal Engine 4 is coming and I expect we will see one or more demos and UE4-powered titles over the next week. In fact, I would be fairly shocked if we do not see the end of the Elemental Demo with the Xbox One E3 keynote. We may also potentially see Unreal Engine 4 running on mobile devices and maybe even HTML5 at some point throughout the tradeshow, either canonically through Epic or via a licensee product.
This morning, Epic opened the Unreal Engine 4 Integrated Partners Program (IPP). Of course they already have a couple of members, most of which were partners with Unreal Engine 3.
The founding IPP partners are:
Wwise from Audiokinetic
- Manages large databases of sound effects and voice-overs
- Manages subtitles and multiple dubbings of voice clips
Autodesk Gameware from Autodesk
- Contains multiple packages including Beast, Navigation, and Scaleform
- Scaleform is a Flash rendering engine for HUDs, menus, etc. developed using Flash Professional in 2D or 3D. It is what StarCraft II, Mass Effect, and Borderlands uses.
- Beast is a lighting toolkit for global illumination, radiosity, etc.
- Navigation is an AI solver, predominantly for pathfinding.
Simplygon from Donya Labs
- Reduces polygon count of models so they take up less processing resources especially as they get further away from the camera.
Enlighten from Geomerics
- Another Global Illumination solver, most popular usage being Battlefield 3.
SpeedTree for Games from IDV
- Makes a bunch of efficient trees so studios do not need to hire as many minimum wage peons.
Intel Threading Building Blocks (TBB) from Intel
- Helps developers manage C++ threading for multicore systems.
- Deals with memory management and scheduling tasks
morpheme from NaturalMotion
- Animation and physics software for designers to create animations
- Works with NVIDIA PhysX
euphoria from NaturalMotion
- Simulates animations based on driving conditions via the CPU, most popular usage being GTA IV.
PhysX and APEX from NVIDIA
- You probably know this one.
- GPU-based rigid body, soft body, fluid, and cloth solvers.
- Allows for destructible environments and other complex simulations.
Oculus Rift from Oculus VR
- You probably also know this one, especially if you keep up with our Video Perspectives.
- Head-mounted display with motion tracking for VR.
Bink Video from Rad Game Tools
- ... is not included! Just kidding, that stuff'll survive a nuclear apocalypse.
- Seriously, check in just about any DirectX or OpenGL game's credits if it includes pre-rendered video cutscenes or video-textures.
- I'll wait here.
- In all seriousness, Rad Game Tools has been licensed in over 15,500 titles. It's been a meme to some extent for game programmers. This should be no surprise.
Telemetry Performance Visualizer from Rad Game Tools
- Allows developers to see graphs of what their hardware is working on over time.
- Helps developers know what benefits the most from optimization.
RealD Developer Kit (RDK) from RealD
- Helps game developers create stereoscopic 3D games.
Umbra 3 from Umbra Software
- Determines what geometry can be seen by the player and what should be unloaded to increase performance.
- Sits between artists and programmers to the former does not need to think about optimization, and the latter does not need to claw their eyes out.
IncrediBuild-XGE from Xoreax
- Apparently farms out tasks to idle PCs on your network.
- I am not sure, but I think it is mostly useful for creating a pre-render farm at a game studio for light-baking and such.
We still have a little while until E3 and so we do not know how E3 will be, but I highly expect to see Unreal Engine 4 be a recurring theme over the next week. Keep coming back to PC Perspective, because you know we have a deep interest in where Epic is headed.
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 03:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Chromebook
Don't hold your breath but AMD might be looking to expand their mobile market share by supplying Chromebook OEMs with AMD processors. This would be a big win for AMD who have seen Intel taking their mobile customers but will also be a big win for the consumer as the mobile devices would have better graphics and be available at a lower price. DigiTimes also mentions discussions with Baidu, Tencent and China Mobile about server chips but as of yet there are no firm plans to move into the handset market.
"As the IT market is gradually stepping into a generation filled with mixed platforms, AMD is reportedly planning to join Google's Chromebook supply chain, hoping to penetrate Intel's dominance in the notebook market with better price/performance ratio products, according to market watchers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dell says Intel's Xeon turbo boost causes thread synchronisation problems @ The Inquirer
- Calxeda lines up ODM partners for EnergyCore ARM server chips @ The Register
- LSI SandForce Codename Griffin NGFF Ultrabook Version ADATA SSD Piks & Specs @ SSD Review
- WD Executive Summit: Trends in data storage @ Hardware.info
- BlackBerry wants to see rivals' phones with BBM preinstalled @ The Register
- Canon PowerShot Elph 130 IS Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS Zenbook Infinity: Hands On with the Most Beautiful Notebook at Computex @ AnandTech
- Computex: Phanteks exposes the Enthoo Luxe to KitGuru
- Class Action Suit Goodies Await Tech Users @ Slashdot
- Fake Mt. Gox Pages Aim To Infect Bitcoin Users @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 01:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, haswell, gtx 770, amd, Richland, nvidia, computex, asus, Transformer, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #254 - 06/06/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:41:16
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:56:20 AMD wants you to BE INVINCIBLE
Jeremy: Something I have to test for work
Allyn: Humble Indie Bundle 8
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Continuing this weeks theme of monitor deals is the Dell U3014 30" IPS display, an updated version of their long running Ultrasharp 30" series. The specs remain similar to the old U3011 with new connectivity options, a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, DisplayPort 1.2 and mini-DisplayPort 1.2 along with legacy connections. With a $250 instant rebate now is a good time to jump on this deal if you were planning on moving your display up to the big leagues.
- Massive 30" Dell U3014 UltraSharp 2560x1600 LED-backlit IPS LCD Monitor for $1,124.99 with free shipping (normally $1,499.99 - use coupon code RJ6T0D4489P6T3 ).
- 15.6" HP ENVY 15t 4th-gen Core i7 "Haswell" Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $722.94 with $9.99 shipping (use 5% coupon code SVD8492 ).
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, Radeon HD 7570 & 23" UltraSharp Monitor for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,174.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- 50" Samsung UN50F5500 1080p 120Hz LED Smart HDTV + $150 Gift Card for $947.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99 without gift card).
- HTC Windows Phone 8X Smartphone 8GB [w/new 2-year AT&T contract] for $0.99 with free shipping (normally $49.99).
- Realspace PRO Quantum Mesh Task Chair for $249.99 with free shipping (normally $329.99 - use coupon code 15894765 ).
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2013 - 03:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, Windows 8.1, windows blue
Jensen Harris, member of the Windows User Experience (UX) team at Microsoft, performed a video walk-through of the new Windows interface. Of course, as I always say when discussing Windows 8, the real problems will arise with the Windows Store and certification requirements; interface problems annoy, censorship problems harm.
But, disclaimer aside, the interface of Windows 8.1 seems much more useable.
First and foremost is the Lock Screen. People enjoy digital photo frames and a locked tablet certainly looks more classy than any other that I have seen. It will collage photos together, stored locally and shared from a phone or Skydrive over wireless, with a thin font date and time. Combined with a decent resolution IPS display, that could be an interesting way to encourage users to leave their device on its charger. Not to mention, the frame would continually synchronize with Skydrive and thus receive new photos without end-user interaction; it is useful, for instance, for the family of an elderly person who wants to keep in touch but actively rejects technology.
The All Apps screen lists all applications installed on screen. This allows users to take a little weight off of the Start Screen and, instead of using it as a launcher, use the All Apps screen as a launcher and use the Start Screen as a nexus of important information. If you wish to use the Start Screen as a launcher, similar to pinned icons for Windows 7, you will have more choice in icon size to either fit more apps or give tiles with relevant information more space.
Screen splitting was pretty horrendous in Windows 8. An application could either be in full screen, be a sidebar app, or take up the room not taken by a sidebar app. If you have multiple monitors, bringing up the Start Screen would shuffle everything around pretty much ensuring that you do not have more than a couple of apps focused at any given time. Windows 8.1 allows you to split apps directly down the middle and, if you have a large display, allow you to fit three or four applications on screen at once.
Unfortunately, and I contacted Paul Thurrott last week to confirm I was up to date, there does not seem to be any multiple monitor enhancements in Windows 8.1. If you have want to punch through your second display because of applications from the Windows Store, keep using the desktop.
Or, if you wish to try it out for yourself, Windows 8.1 will be available for public preview on June 26th.
Not Computex 2013: StarCraft II is changing. Free to play (with friends) and potential new Steam-like Battle.net
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 02:40 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, HoTS
Big news for fans of Blizzard titles, as if we did not have enough news items. While the majority of this news pertains to fans of StarCraft II, Diablo and Warcraft players should pay attention. You have more to digest than the crumbs Kerrigan let fall to the ground.
The first news is most relevant if you have not yet played StarCraft II yet have a friend or friends who keeps nagging you to play with him, her, or them. A new feature, called "Spawning", allows Battle.net accounts to piggyback on the expansion level of party members. Actually, they even encourage it with XP boosts and a custom CarBot-illustrated achievement. This will also upgrade the free StarCraft: Starter Edition in a party with a Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm owner to whatever expansion level is highest in the party. Starter can be promoted to Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm, and Wings of Liberty can be promoted to Heart of the Swarm until the party breaks up.
The only restriction that I feel is worth mentioning: you, still, are only able to select the Starter Edition race (currently Terran) if you only have a Starter Edition account.
Of course there are other restrictions. You are unable to play the campaign, for instance. But, for the most part, the rest seem quite logical. This might also have some indirect relevance beyond Starcraft. If successful, I can see Blizzard implementing Spawning into their other franchises such as Diablo. Of course, this is just speculation of what might be at this point.
The other story comes from mmo-champion who posted screenshots of a unified Battle.net launcher. I was immediately suspicious, but after checking out the linked Battle.net Support Pages I am more convinced. The launcher looks quite a bit like Steam and that is really the only way to describe it. Each page is laid over a faded background image and players can choose from one of over a hundred avatars.
We then of course enter into the question, "Why would Blizzard spend so much effort for their handful of games?"
Who knows... yet, at least.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2013 - 08:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Light Peak
We received Thunderbolt, on the PC at least, a year ago. While not yet ubiquitous, we will be receiving an update to the interface sooner than you would expect. The main advantages of Thunderbolt is the ridiculous bandwidth and ability to daisy-chain with displays. Thunderbolt 2 looks to advance both of those features.
Thunderbolt is based around a PCI Express signal for data and DisplayPort for video, both combined down a single cable. The cable, in fact, is compatible with Mini DisplayPort adapters and devices if used exclusively for video. The upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 advances the video standard to DisplayPort 1.2; as a result, Thunderbolt 2 devices will be capable of driving a 4K monitor (supposedly with sound) without requiring multiple cables to be connected.
In terms of strict bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 will provide double the data rate of the original Thunderbolt. Instead of 10Gbps, new devices will be able to transfer at 20Gbps. This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...
As expected, there is not really any talk about specific prices yet (I would expect that depends on implementation) but you should look forward to it landing either really late this year or early next year. As for the original Thunderbolt? Well, the new standard is backwards compatible but there is concern whether new devices would be fairly crippled without the new standard.
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Alpha, Prison Architect
The makers of DEFCON have come up with another very original game idea which they are currently developing and which is available in an alpha version on Steam. Prison Architect is a game which is exactly as it's name implies, you attempt to run a prison and keep the guards safe and the prisoners controlled. This is not about abusing prisoners but instead is an exploration into the dynamics of the prison system and how difficult it can be to run a safe prison. As an example of how the prisoners work the designers revealed to TechSpot that "50% of prisoners plead innocent to their crimes, and about 5% of all prisoners are actually innocent" which has an effect on their behaviour. Check out the interview to see if you might be interested in trying out the alpha.
"Prison Architect is like 'SimPrison', if there ever was one, made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics. The game is from the indie studio Introversion, who have also made the saddest/best game about nuclear war.
Here's a brief interview with Introversion's own architects about their newest work. They served up some fascinating answers about the possibilities of a game about building and running a prison."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mirror’s Edge 2 Is Probably A Thing Again @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- A Slash From The Past: Shadow Warrior Free On Steam @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Microsoft and 343 Industries announce Halo: Spartan Assault @ The Inquirer
- AMD Aiming To Smooth Ports Between PC And Console @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Computex 2013: Gigabyte Shows Off GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+ Motherboard That Hints At 5GHz AMD FX Processor
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | June 5, 2013 - 02:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gigabyte, ga-990fx-ud7, computex 2013, computex, amd fx, amd, am3+
Gigabyte is showing off quite a few motherboards at Computex 2013. One of the most interesting motherboards on display is the GA-990FX-UD7 for AMD AM3+ desktop processors. This is a high-end motherboard for enthusiasts and is packed with features.
The GA-990FX-UD7 features an 8+2 power phase, AM3+ CPU socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots, six PCI-E 2.0 x16 (physical) slots, one legacy PCI slot, and eight SATA 3 6Gbps ports. It has a black and glossy orange color scheme with large finned heatsinks around the CPU socket and over the southbridge. The board uses a Realtek ALC889 chipset for onboard audio that supports Dolby Home Theater and has a 108dB SNR rating. Further, the GA-990FX-UD7 supports 4-way SLI or CrossFire, Gigabyte's UEFI DualBIOS, and 3X power which allows faster battery charging for supported USB-connected mobile devices.
The Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7 at Computex 2013 as spotted by Sweclockers (Click for larger image).
Rear IO includes a single coaxial S/PDIF and six analog audio outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA+USB combo ports, and a RJ45 LAN jack.
Interestingly, Gigabyte's Computex display mentions that the new AM3+ motherboard is compatible with AMD's 5GHz AM3+ processor, which lends credibility to previous rumors of a Piledriver-based eight core “Centurion” AMD FX processor clocked at 5GHz with a 220W TDP. That chip was rumored for a summer 2013 release in limited quantities, and it looks like enthusiasts might be able to get their hands on that chip later this year after all!
Although AMD is not talking, Sweclockers has managed to put together a list of preliminary specifications for the codenamed Centurion processor. Rumors have it that the Centurion chip will be officially named the AMD FX-9000, and that it is a 4-module, 8-core part with a 4.8 GHz base clock and 5.0 GHz turbo clockspeed. It has a total of 8MB L2 cache, and 8MB of L3. Further, this 220W TDP part will support a maximum of DDR3-1866 (officially, before overclocking) and is build on AMD's 32nm SOI HKMG manufacturing process. You will need a beefy air cooler at the minimum to keep this chip happy, but otherwise it should be a fun chip for enthusiasts to tinker with!
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, haswell, ubuntu 13.04, i7-4770k
The story is familiar as you can quickly see from this quote in Phoronix's review of Haswell on Linux, "Polished Haswell support coming to an "out of the box" Linux desktop won't really be there until later in H2'2013." However that does not mean it does not work at all, they tested several kernels and versions to find the most stable way to run Haswell and to take advantage of the internal GPU. They successfully tested with Linux 3.10 kernel, Mesa 9.2, GCC 4.8.1, and LLVM 3.3 and found performance improvements across the board when compared to Ivy Bridge processors which could be a good reason to consider holding out on an Ivy Bridge CPU as an upgrade choice, as Intel is working to improve Haswell support and it is a much improved CPU compared to previous generations.
"This past weekend I shared the first experiences of running Intel's new Haswell CPU on Linux. While Intel Haswell is a beast and brings many new features and innovations to the new Core CPUs succeeding Ivy Bridge, there were a few shortcomings with the initial Linux support. It still appears that the Core i7 4770K is still being finicky at times for both the processor and graphics, but in this article are the first benchmarks. Up today are benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 4770K when running Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.10 kernel."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel's plan for Haswell, Silvermont, Bay Trail: WORLD DOMINATION @ The Register
- A quick look at LSI's Syncro CS, HA DAS Collaboration with Microsoft
- Meeting The Men Behind Haswell @ TechARP
- Haswell Xeons bring brawn to microservers, media servers, more @ The Register
- Eyeing the gaming market: Q&A with ECS executive Sam Yeh @ DigiTimes
- Stuffa Jacket @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you want to be one of the first kids with a Haswell machine on your block then you can pick up the Dell XPS 8700 at a great price. Not only do you get a quad core i7-4770 the system also comes with an HD7570 for light gaming duties. This is a Win8 machine so you might want to consider personalizing the system with one of the multi-touch screens for the best possible user experience.
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, 1TB SATA III Hard Drive & Radeon HD 7570 for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $874.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Ending tonight! 17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition Core i7 1080p 3D Laptop w/ Blu-ray, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, 2GB GeForce GT 650M Graphics, Backlit Keyboard & 3D Glasses for $1,219.99 with free shipping (normally $1,538.99 - use coupon code ?SWK4RL9BTX1MD ).
- Alienware M18x Core i7 Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/ Dual 2GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 680M SLI for $3,004 with free shipping (normally $3,554 - use coupon code NLZ5145HLZF?FL ).
- 39" Sharp Aquos LC-39LE440U 1080p LED HDTV + $50 Gift Card for $399.99 with free shipping (normally $499.99).
- Dell PowerEdge T110 II Intel Xeon E3 Quad-core Server for $489 with free shipping (normally $912 - use coupon code HF9X1212V3TKTK ).
- Realspace Lundey Mid-Back Mesh Chair for $129.99 with free shipping (normally $189.99 - use coupon code 15894765 ).
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 02:48 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, notepal u2 plus, mobile, laptop cooler, laptop, cooler master, computex 2013
Cooler Master has released a new notebook cooler called the NotePal U2 Plus that is the latest model in the NotePal U-series. This cooler supports up to 17" laptops and allows you to move the two included fans for optimal cooling (ie, actually put the fans over the vents).
Other features of the NotePal U2 Plus include raised feet that lift up your laptop at a slight angle to make long typing or gaming sessions more comfortable, according to Cooler Master. The cooler feet also aid in cable management by allowing you to loop your long cords around the included hooks. Finally, the NotePal U2 Plus can attach to your laptop and be carried with along using an elastic strap and the cooler feet to hold your notebook in place.
The new Cooler Master notebook cooler is available now with an MSRP of $29.99.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 4, 2013 - 11:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex 2013, computex, X-Gene, mitac, ARMv8, appliedmicro, 7-star, 64-bit
During Computex, MiTAC announced a new high density "7-Star" ARMv8 server. Aimed at the enterprise market, the 7-Star platform is a 4U server that holds up to 18 compute cards. Each compute card contains an eight-core ARMv8-based X-Gene processor from AppliedMicro, two DDR3 DIMM slots, and space for two 2.5"/3.5" internal storage drives (SSD or HDD). The compute cards use a 10G SFP+ and a single Gigabit Ethernet port for networking purposes.
Of course, the interesting bit about the 7-Star is that it is one of the first server to use processors based on ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. MiTAC worked with ARM and AppliedMicro on the project, and it should be available later this year. It is currently being shown off at the ARM Holdings demo suite in Taipei, Taiwan. I'm intested to see how well these 64-bit ARM servers do, especially with new low power chips from Intel and AMD on the way!
Read more about ARMv8 at PC Perspective.
The full press release is below:
Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2013 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If last Friday's deal was a little too rich for your blood try today's deal for a slightly smaller and much less expensive Dell display. The 2,560 x 1,400 resolution IPS panel is not quite 4k in quality but certainly tops 1080p and the USB 2.0 ports might not be as quick but at least they will work with Haswell. Check out this deal as well as deals on several other sizes of Dell display here.
27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2711 2560x1440 LCD Monitor for $599 with free shipping (normally $999 - use coupon code, ends 6/5)
- Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" Core i5 1080p Laptop w/ 2GB Radeon HD 7730M, Backlit Keyboard for $599.99 with free shipping (normally $899.99 - use coupon code 0R98V3CQ7RPQ40 ).
- 14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i5 Ultrabook for $519.99 with free shipping (normally $888.99 - use coupon code 30FMBN5VQ4S920 ).
- Pinnacle MB6000 Microburst Home Theater System for $224.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99).
- Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 Desktop + 23" UltraSharp IPS Monitor for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,174.98 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- 15.6" HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition Core i7 Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, GeForce GT 630M & Windows 7 for $638.49 with $9.99 shipping (normally $779.99 - use coupon code SVD8492 ).
- 4TB Seagate Expansion USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $159.99 with free shipping (normally $199.99).
- HP Officejet 6700 Premium E-All-In-One Printer for $119.99 with free shipping (normally $169.99 - use coupon code LOGICBUY20 ).
Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2013 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win8, win 8.1, microsoft
Microsoft has moved from promoting Win 8.1 for consumers and is now trying to convince Enterprise users that the coming upgrade makes Win8 business friendly. From The Register we heard about improvements to BYOD support, something that many Enterprise sized businesses are fighting tooth and nail to resist. Near Field Communication, and Wi-Fi Direct sharing are touted as something that Enterprise should want, thus making internet enabled printers even more of a security risk and while Miracast offers a way to connect to displays wirelessly it is unlikely that many users will have hardware which supports WiDi or the upcoming HSA standard. Workplace Join will allow limited access to the corporate network for machines that are not actually members of the domain but at least Biometric authentication support is improved which could make that less of a risk. The automatic launching of VPN when a network resource is requested while the user is outside of the corporate network could be useful with automatic authentication, something not commonly implemented in Enterprise level VPNs.
The Inquirer tells of a few other features, from the boot straight to desktop that has cheered many consumers and a confirmation of the date of June 26th being the initial preview release. They do mention native device encryption being bundled in Win8, perhaps the only feature in this list that Enterprises might see as advantageous as it would mean they would not need additional software to encrypt machines; Endpoint Encryption is a common solution and as Microsoft now owns the security vendor the migration to native encryption could theoretically be quick and easy.
"Much of Microsoft's marketing push for Windows 8 has focused on consumers, but Redmond took time at its annual TechEd conference in New Orleans to explain that its forthcoming Windows 8.1 update will include lots of new enhancements for enterprises, as well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- PowerShell daddy on Windows Server 2012 R2: Cloudy cloud cloud @ The Register
- Dead simple jamming gripper design @ Hack a Day
- Foxconn signs on to build Firefox OS devices for clients @ The Register
- Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD Review @ TechReviewSource
- Hardware Canucks Tours Lian Li’s Factory in Taipei @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards, Processors | June 4, 2013 - 10:40 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: z87, video, overclocking, live, i7-4770k, haswell, ASUS ROG, asus
While we run around with our hair on fire trying to get ready for the Intel Haswell and Z87 product launch this weekend, I wanted to let everyone know about a live stream event we will be holding on Tuesday, June 4th. JJ from ASUS, a crowd favorite for sure, will be joining us LIVE in studio to talk all about the new lineup of ASUS Z87 motherboards. We'll also discuss performance and overclocking capabilities of the new processor and platform.
ASUS Z87 and Haswell Live Stream
10am PT / 1pm ET - June 4th
Be sure you stop by and join in the show! Questions will be answered, prizes will be given out and fun will be had! Who knows, maybe we can break some stuff live as well?? On hand to give away to those of you joining the live stream, we'll have these prizes:
- 2 x ASUS Z87 Motherboards
- 1 x ASUS Graphics card
Methods for winning will be decided closer to the event, but if you are watching live, you'll be included. And we'll ship anywhere in the world!
ASUS and I also want the event to be interactive, so we want your questions. We'll of course being paying attention to the chat room on our live page but you'll have better luck if you submit your questions about the ASUS Z87 products and Haswell processors before hand, in the comments section below. You don't have to register to ask and we'll have the ability to read them beforehand!
I'll update this post with more information after the reviews and stories start to hit, so keep an eye here for more details!!
Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 4, 2013 - 05:40 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Kabini, Intel, haswell, gigabyte, computex 2013, computex, brix, amd
Earlier this year, Gigabyte showed off a new small form factor (SFF) mini PC called the Brix during its New Idea Tech Tour. Those initial models came equipped with Intel Ivy Bridge processors, two SO-DIMM slots (a maximum of 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory), one mSATA slot, and one mPCI-E connector for storage and wireless networking respectively. The Brix hardware is housed in an aluminum chassis that doubles as a heatsink. However, since the Brix's debut, both Intel and AMD have come out with new more power efficient processors. In light of this, Gigabyte is not only showing off the original Brix PC at Computex 2013, but a new SKU called the GB-XM1 that comes equipped with your choice of Intel Haswell or AMD Kabini processors.
The new 4.5 x 4.2 x 1.2" Gigabyte Brix XM1 PC supports mSATA, mPCI-E, dual display outputs, USB 3.0, and is VESA mountable. The Haswell variant's processor options range from a Core i3-4010U to a Core i7-4500U. On the AMD side of things, the GB-XM1 is available with options ranging from the E1-2100 to the A4-5000. All of the AMD "Kabini" chips are outfitted with 12 Radeon cores, but they differ from there. The highest-end chip, the A4-5000, is a quad core with 2MB of L2 cache while the lower tier chips are dual cores with only 1MB of L2 cache. The following chart outlines all of the Haswell and Kabini CPU choices.
|GB-XM1 (Haswell)||GB-XM1 (Kabini)|
For more information on Kabini, check out our review of the AMD A4-5000 Kabini processor. If you need a refresher on Intel's Haswell architecture, you can also find a review of the Core i7-4770K here.
Gigabyte has not released pricing or availability information on the GB-XM1, but expect the Kabini models to be noticeably cheaper than the Haswell counterparts. Thankfully, it is not all bad news for Kabini users, as the Radeon cores help the low power processor accomplish 3D and media playback tasks, as noted in Josh's review.
For those interested in the mini Brix PC as a media center box or low-power desktop PC, Engadget reports that Gigabyte is also experimenting with specialized Brix SKUs, including a wireless charging pad for mobile devices and another Brix with a Pico projector. These accessories are merely prototypes at this point and may not go into mass production.
I'm glad to see Gigabyte moving forward with its Brix lineup to provide a useful alternative to Intel's NUC.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2013 - 04:36 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z87, ROG, Maximus VI Formula, maximus vi, Intel, haswell, gaming, g30, crosschill, computex 2013, computex, asus
During an ASUS ROG press conference at Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS launched a number of new bits of hardware aimed at PC gamers and overclocking enthusiasts. In addition to the mini ITX Maximus VI Impact launch, ASUS showed off the ASUS Maximus VI Formula motherboard, OC Panel accessory, and ROG G30 desktop. The available details on each piece of hardware is as follows:
ASUS Maximus VI Formula Motherboard
While ASUS hinted at several of its Z87 motherboards last month by allowing us to post teaser photos ahead of the launch, until today enthusiasts have not seen the latest "Formula" motherboard. However, now that the board is official, you can see the new Z87 motherboard in high resolution photos below!
The board comes in red and black colors, and surprisingly, comes equipped with ASUS' thermal armor accessory which includes a plastic shroud for the front of the motherboard and a SECC back-plate with thermal pads to aid in cooling and supporting the motherboard (even with heavy CPU HSFs). In addition to the thermal armor, the board has finned heatsinks on the PCH and VRM hardware. The VRM heatsink in particular uses the company's CrossChill technology which allows user to integrate the VRM heatsink into their water cooling loop or leave it as air-cooled. The board also features a diagnostic display and start/reset buttons.
The ASUS Maximus VI Formula features a LGA 1150 CPU socket, four dual channel DDR3 DIMM slots, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots and a total of 10 SATA 3 6Gbps ports.
The rear IO panel includes a mPCI-E Combo II card that supports 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless radios along with a M.2 NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor) SSD slot at the top. Other IO includes:
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports (one used for BIOS flashing)
- 6 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x HDMI video outputs
- 1 x S/PDIF connector
- 1 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN
- 6 x analog audio jacks
Overclocking technology includes ASUS' Extreme Engine DIGI+ III power delivery that incorporates 60A BlackWing chokes, (90% efficient) NexFET MOSFETs, and 10K Black Metallic capacitors.
Finally, ASUS has also added a SupremeFX chipset for quality onboard audio. This audio chip is capable of 120dB SNR, a headphone amplifier for 600 ohm cans, EMI shielding, and quality OpAMPs.
ASUS OC Panel Overclocking Accessory
The ASUS OC Panel is a hardware accessory for the company's ROG Maximus VI Extreme motherboard. It allows you to adjust the BCLK and other settings related to overclocking your processor in real time. It also provides CPU temperature feedback on the top of the LED display.
According to the press release, overclockers Andre Yang and Shamino managed to push a system with a Maximus VI Extreme motherboard, 32GB RAM, and a Core-i7 Haswell processor to 7GHz CPU and 4200MHz clockspeed using liquid nitrogen cooling. It looks like a cool accessory that will allow you to easily adjust the overclocking settings without rebooting into the UEFI BIOS. Pricing and availability have not been announced, but expect it soon.
ASUS ROG G30 Gaming Desktop
The ROG TYTAN G30 desktop PC features a stylized case with red LEDs and a front door with ROG and ASUS logos. Internals include an Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" processor and a NVIDIA GTX 780 graphics card. Even better, ASUS is using liquid cooling for the CPU, and offers a 1-button overclock of all four CPU cores to 4.1GHz. The PC also integrates ASUS' SonicMaster and AudioWizard technology which reportedly enhances in-game audio.
Again, pricing and availability for the haswell gaming PC are still unknown.
What do you think of ASUS' recent ROG product announcements? Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Computex 2013 news throughout the week!
- ASUS Maximus VI Impact ROG Mini-ITX Motherboard @ PC Perspective
- ASUS Z87 Motherboard Lineup Preview @ PC Perspective
- ASUS "We Transform" Press Conference: Mobile devices, tablets, VivoPC, and more! @ PC Perspective
- ASUS VivoPC and VivoMouse Details @ PC Perspective
- ASUS Working On GTX 770 Poseidon With Hybrid Air/Water Cooler @ PC Perspective
- ASUS G750 Gaming Notebook With Haswell and GTX 700M Hardware @ PC Perspective
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | June 4, 2013 - 03:44 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: WCS, starcraft 2, HoTS
A little eye-rest before another barrage of Computex news...
Blizzard took over the canon StarCraft II tournament scene as of last year. The goal was to create a unified ranking system between every tournament and help participants deal with scheduling, a problem in recent years. Throughout the entire year, Blizzard is hosting the 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series. They seem to like breaking rankings into seasons and the 2013 series, alone, will incorporate three of them leading to the year's grand finals in November.
One year per series; three seasons and a grand finals per year; three regional tournaments and a finale per season. This season's finals will take place this weekend, June 8th and 9th, in South Korea.
Tournaments in Europe, Korea, and North America chose the 16 competitors for the 2013 Season 1 Finals this weekend in Korea. The top five competitors in each tournament (top six for Korea) earned their invite. In all: 3 Protoss, 5 Terrans, and 8 Zerg will be participating. I guess their hearts are only half of the swarm.
If the regional matches were any indication, the seasonal finals should be a very entertaining bridge between Computex coverage and E3 2013. Players are getting much better at the game mechanics while still being able to surprise their opponents and even the audience with unusual strategies. Players exploit windows of weakness in their opponents with a moment of strength; the entertainment mostly comes from seeing each player attempt to delay or lengthen those windows all while hiding their own weak periods into times where the opponent is unable to reasonably exploit it.
What are your opinions of "eSports"? Good concept, bad name?