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Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 07:57 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sapphire, factory overclocked, r9 295x2, 4k, gaming, hawaii, dual gpu
Early last month, AMD launched a new flagship dual GPU graphics card called the Radeon R9 295X2. This new card features two Hawaii-based GPUs paired with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. Since the launch, several partners have come forward with reference cards of their own. One piece of the "world's fastest graphics card" puzzle that has been missing, until now, is a vendor daring enough to take the beastly R9 295X2 and push it even further by offering up a factory overclocked edition. It looks like Sapphire is the first to attempt such a feat by offering up the factory overclocked Sapphire R9 295X2 OC.
The upcoming Sapphire card will join the existing reference design R9 295X2 and ratchets up both the GPU and memory clockspeeds. Sapphire is clocking both Hawaii GPUs at up to 1030 MHz and running the 8GB of GDDR5 memory at 5.2 GHz. These factory overclocks are modest from a numerical standpoint, but considering cards running at stock clocks of 1018 MHz for the GPU and 5.0 GHz for the memory are already pushing a 500W TDP and over the ATX PSU spec, seeing any overclock is notable.
In all, we are looking at 5,632 stream processors (Hawaii architecture), 128 ROPs, and 352 TMUs. Each GPU uses a 512-bit bus to 4GB of graphics memory. This factory overclocked graphics horsepower rounds out to a smidgen more than 11.5 TFLOPS of single precision performance.
Sapphire is utilizing the same hybrid heatsink design as the reference cards which uses a centered fan and fin stack along with a AIO water cooler with a 120mm radiator.
Sapphire has not released pricing or availability on the overclocked model, but the stock-clocked R9 295X2 has an MSRP of $1,499. You can expect the R9 295X2 OC to come in at a premium, especially considering it is the first factory overclocked version that should hit the streets.
I'm excited to see this card come to market and push the boundaries of performance.
In the meantime, Ryan got a bit crazy with two stock R9 295X2 cards in quad crossfire and two power supplies. If you've got a few grand burning a hole in your pocket (or only wish you did), see what such a drool-worthy setup can get you in terms 4K gaming at PC Perspective!
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 07:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mechanical keyboard
Carl Nelson of HCW reviewed the Deck Hassium Pro and the Deck Francium Pro mechanical keyboards. These keyboards are named after the element with the same Atomic Number as its number of keys. The Hassium has 108 keys and the tenkeyless Francium has 87 keys.
Because Breaking Bad is popular?
Apparently the font used for the keycaps stood out to Carl. It has similar design characteristics as Papyrus and Comic Sans. Hear that? It's the sound of a UX designer crying (you might be able to hear it over the Cherry MX Brown switches -- but maybe not the MX Red).
If you look at anything in the review, make sure it is the second page where he shows the various key lighting modes. There are a few unique modes, such as slowly fading keys after they are pressed and a few animations. It is definitely interesting to watch for a few minutes. He does not really like the quality of the backlight, which he questions the choice of PBT plastic as the cause, but the keyboard still lets light through.
In short, he enjoys how well it is made but is timid about the price.
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 06:34 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: halo pc, halo, gamespy, gameranger
Unlike the discontinuation of Xbox Live in April 15, 2010, the PC has a few more options. Some games have been ported to Steamworks by their original developers, other games can be directly connected by a console command, and Halo PC can now be attached to GameRanger. Sure, it is a third-party application, but it functions. For fans of Halo, GameRanger also supports Halo: Custom Edition for gamers who want mod support. It even supports the demo for some reason.
I can still play online Halo 1... Anniversary Edition... until 360 Xbox Live is shut down too.
(Note: Yes, Halo: Combat Evolved for the original Xbox *never* had online.)
Sure, it would be better for the platform to evolve in the direction of true perpetual support. We can all hope for, and work toward, that future. Also, we can do that while sniping drivers out of Warthogs.
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 05:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows xp
The recent Internet Explorer remote code vulnerability has been fixed for all affected versions of IE, on every affected platform. Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 on Windows XP, both 32 and 64-bit versions of the OS, have received the update, despite being unsupported (EOL). The fixes are available on Windows Update.
According to Microsoft's official statement, these updates were pushed to Windows XP because it is close enough to April 8th, XP's EOL date, that it made sense to. Another possible reason is that, since IE6 (and later) are still supported on Windows Server 2003, the update is not entirely tied to Windows XP. It is not like the update was made exclusively for paid "Custom Support" users, IE 6, 7, and 8 are still supported products somewhere.
In any case, Microsoft is still clear with XP users that they are on borrowed time. They encourage users of Windows XP to migrate to Windows 7 or 8.1, and install IE 11 while they are at it. This will not be the bug to bite you, though.
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 12:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tape, backup, sony
Sony has just raised the bar on tape backup after creating a new process which can create strings of uniformly orientated nanocrystals in a layer less than five micrometers thick, giving the tape a storage density of 148 Gb per square inch. Compare that to the current market standard of 2Gb per square inch on LTO-6 high-end LTO Ultrium tapes. Unfortunately there are two questions left unanswered by the statement that The Register linked to; what I/O speeds can this media maintain and what its expected lifetime is.
"Researchers at Sony have developed a new kind of magnetic tape that can store 74 times the data of current designs, dramatically cutting the amount of room needed for backup libraries."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows XP market share dips just 1.4 percent following April end of life @ The Inquirer
- OpenSSH No Longer Has To Depend On OpenSSL @ Slashdot
- Canonical kills Ubuntu pocket PC for Android @ The Inquirer
- Trying Out The Jetson TK1, NVIDIA's High-End Tegra K1 Board @ Phoronix
- Super-Simple Mod Gives Your DSLR Nine Hours of Battery Life @ MAKE:Blog
- Google in NOT EVIL shocker: Bins student email ad scanning @ The Register
- OpenBSD 5.5 Released @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 11:47 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: nvidia, shield, Portal, GTC, Cake, lie
Sometimes I feel like this job just keeps getting stranger and stranger. Today is no expection.
After reciving just a tracking number, and no additional information from NVIDIA earlier this week, the mystery package finally arrived today. Upon initial inspection we had no idea what to expect.
When we opened the box, we were greeted by a polystyrene cooler with the logo of Bake Me a Wish, which only served to confuse us more.
As we opened the cooler, and the subsequent box inside of it, things started to make more sense.
Inside the box, we were greeted by a chocolate cake, accompanied by a card from NVIDIA.
As you may remember at this year's GTC Conference, NVIDIA announced that they had ported Valve's Portal to Android and would be releasing it for SHIELD. Today we were greeted with a reminder of that, and the message that we should be able to try it for ourselves.
A teaser from this year's GTC Keynote
While we can't talk about our experiences with Portal just yet, stay tuned to PC Perspective for more coverage of the NVIDIA SHIELD and Portal very soon!
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 11:27 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, charity, falcon northwest, phil scholtz
In January of this year, an NVIDIA employee named Philip Scholz died while successfully saving the life of a man who was on the tracks at a Caltrain station in Santa Clara. His family started the Philip Scholz Memorial Foundation to provide scholarship opportunities to needs based youth and promote physical activity, especially baseball. The Foundation has been taking donations directly but now his friends at NVIDIA have raised the bar and are auctioning off an impressive system from Falcon Northwest with the proceeds going to the charity.
Check out the video below and consider putting your money towards a great cause!
We’re now auctioning this amazing system to raise funds for the Philip Scholz Memorial Foundation, honoring an NVIDIA brother who was tragically killed earlier this year when he heroically removed an individual from train tracks and was hit.
The Foundation bearing Phil’s name provides scholarships to needs-based youth and promotes outdoor physical activities involving his favorite pastime, baseball.
This amazing PC uses all the latest technology to deliver absolutely raging performance in a cool, quiet platform.
It starts with the award-winning GeForce GTX Titan Black – the world’s fastest single GPU.
And it includes Intel’s latest Core i7 CPU, the 4770K, running on an ASUS z87 Maximus motherboard loaded with 16GB of GSKILL DDR3 memory. The storage system is based on two 1TB M50 SSDs from Crucial. And it’s all wrapped up in the most impressive chassis available today – the Tiki -- custom designed in NVIDIA green, with a laser cutout window so everyone can see the beast that lives within.
This entire system is fully warranted by Falcon Northwest.
To learn more about Phil and the way he changed those around him, see this story from San Jose Mercury News.
The direct auction link is here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=151292393844
Podcast #298 - Next Generation Intel Motherboards, Crossfire R9 295x2s, Corsair AX1500i Power Supply, and more!
Subject: General Tech | May 1, 2014 - 09:35 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, r9 295x2, podcast, nvidia, Next Generation, Intel, corsair, AX1500i, amd, 295x2
PC Perspective Podcast #298 - 05/01/2014
Join us this week as we discuss Next Generation Intel Motherboards, Crossfire R9 295x2s, Corsair AX1500i Power Supply, and more!
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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Morry Tietelman
there is a video, and it will be streamed
Week in Review:
0:40:00 Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 1, 2014 - 05:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Mantle, amd
As our readers are well aware, Mantle is available for use with a few games. Its compatibility begun with the beta Catalyst 14.1 driver and an update for Battlefield 4. AMD was quite upfront about the technology, even granting a brief interview with Guennadi Riguer, Chief Architect of the API to fill in a few of the gaps left from their various keynote speeches.
What is under lock and key, however, is the actual software development kit (SDK). AMD claimed that it was too immature for the public. It was developed in partnership with DICE, Oxide Games, and other, established developers to fine-tune its shape, all the while making it more robust. That's fine. They have a development plan. There is nothing wrong with that. Today, while the SDK is still not public and sealed by non-disclosure agreement, AMD is accepting applications from developers who are requesting to enter the program.
If you want to develop a Mantle application or game, follow the instructions at their website for AMD to consider you. They consider it stable, performant, and functional enough for "a broader audience in the developer community".
AMD cites 40 developers already registered, up from seven (DICE, Crytek, Oxide, etc.).
If you are not a developer, then this news really did not mean too much to you -- except that progress is being made.
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 10:57 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, stalker, lost alpha, kick ass
Reviving old games with new mods has become a popular past time for programmers and gamers alike, with one popular target being S.T.A.L.K.E.R. which has seen it's original form released for free as well as other rather impressive mods. After a long six year wait, there is another huge mod for the game now available, the Lost Alpha Standalone which does not even require you to own the full game to play as it uses the released original game. There will be bugs, you will suffer some pain but wasn't that the best part about the game? Head to Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for links to a preview movie and the official torrent.
"It’s been in development for five years and is now available, slightly earlier than originally planned. There are download links (including an official torrent) over at Moddb and you won’t need to have the original game installed to play. I want to spend my day in the Zone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Mantle Patch for THIEF on Intel 3570K CPU @ Legit Reviews
- PC Gaming on Ubuntu Linux @ Benchmark Reviews
- Global PC games market revenue overtakes consoles @ HEXUS
- Cramming: Deus Ex ‘Re-imagining’ Mod Coming Soon-ish @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Golly Gee: BioShock And Deus Ex Sure Look Nice In UE4 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Trials Fusion Review: Future Stunt Biking, Slightly Exaggerated @ Techgage
- How much RAM do I really need for gaming? @ PC Review
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 09:59 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, ssd, tlc
Samsung has been working with TLC flash for a while now, both the original 840 and the 840 EVO utilize that type of flash, the increased yields offer lower pricing at the cost of a reduced number of writes before the flash begins to fail. The Register has posted their announcement of a new product line aimed at the data centre; the PM835T family will come in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB models and will also use TLC flash, with pricing predicted to be comparable to consumer level drives. With Samsung's 10nm-class TLC flash the experts at SMART suspect a 500 phase/erase cycle lifetime however depending on how Samsung has designed the drives the actual number could be much higher, they do offer a 3 year warranty on their current TLC drives. For now Samsung is not releasing an official expected lifetime for these drives which raises a question, will enterprise feel the short term cost savings are worth the long term replacement costs?
"Triple-level cell (TLC) flash chips mean fabs can extract more flash capacity from a silicon wafer, and so production costs are lower than for two-level cell MLC technology. Samsung says it gets "a 30 per cent increase in manufacturing efficiency compared to SSDs that use 2-bit NAND flash components."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 30, 2014 - 07:05 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: hadron air, hadron, gtx 750, giveaway, evga, contest
Congrats to our winner: Pierce H.! Check back soon for more contests and giveaways at PC Perspective!!
In these good old United States of America, April 15th is a trying day. Circled on most of our calendars is the final deadline for paying up your bounty to Uncle Sam so we can continue to have things like freeway systems and universal Internet access.
But EVGA is here for us! Courtesy of our long time sponsor you can win a post-Tax Day prize pack that includes both an EVGA Hadron Air mini-ITX chassis (reviewed by us here) as well as an EVGA GeForce GTX 750 graphics card.
Nothing makes paying taxes better than free stuff that falls under the gift limit...
With these components under your belt you are well down the road to PC gaming bliss, upgrading your existing PC or starting a new one in a form factor you might not have otherwise imagined.
Competing for these prizes is simple and open to anyone in the world, even if you don't suffer the same April 15th fear that we do. (I'm sure you have your own worries...)
- Fill out the form at the bottom of this post to give us your name and email address, in addition to the reasons you love April 15th! (Seriously, we need some good ideas for next year to keep our heads up!) Also, this does not mean you should leave a standard comment on the post to enter, though you are welcome to do that too.
- Stop by our Facebook page and give us a LIKE (I hate saying that), head over to our Twitter page and follow @pcper and heck, why not check our our many videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel?
- Why not do the same for EVGA's Facebook and Twitter accounts?
- Wait patiently for April 30th when we will draw and update this news post with the winners name and tax documentation! (Okay, probably not that last part.)
A huge thanks goes out to friends and supporters at EVGA for providing us with the hardware to hand out to you all. If it weren't for sponsors like this PC Perspective just couldn't happen, so be sure to give them some thanks when you see them around the In-tar-webs!!
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2014 - 12:52 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, gamepad, firefox
After three years' reign, the orange Firefox button has been retired by Mozilla. Firefox 29 introduces the new Australis interface, with its curved tabs and a simple menu button comprised of three horizontal lines (the "Hamburger Icon"). The interface missed its targets a few times but is finally here.
Obviously, Australis makes the browser look more like Google Chrome (and less like Opera). Users of Mozilla's Thunderbird will also find it more familiar as that program skipped Firefox 4's direction and immediately adopted parts of Australis as they developed. Thunderbird still lacks a few bits and pieces, its development having slowed since its transition to Extended Support. But this is not about Thunderbird -- it is about Firefox.
In terms of actual features, Australis brings a new Bookmarks button, which is basically two buttons, and is pretty slick to both add and access links to favorite web addresses. The little star-dropping animation is a subtle hint to the user that a bookmark has been added to the list, accessed by the right-most button. Many users will be upset by the removal of the Add-on Bar, a place where extensions can leave a button or two without clogging the rest of the interface. Mozilla seems to expect that extensions, if they absolutely must leave a button, will cram it next to the gigantic location bar (or less-gigantic search bar); that, or affected users will just install an Add-on Bar extension.
Also in Firefox 29 is the finalized, and enabled by default, Gamepad API. With it, web games can be controlled with devices such as the Xbox 360 controller. If you want to see a geeky example, one is available at html5gamepad.com. This website lists every compatible game input device and their current state. In my testing, Firefox 29 was able to detect both my Xbox 360 controller and my Thrustmaster T-16000M joystick -- and register their inputs independently.
There's not really anything, from the technical side of things at least, to prevent split-screen gaming in the browser. Detecting the input devices did not even require restarting the browser, although that is a good troubleshooting step, as Firefox detected it immediately after I plugged it in and pressed a button. The flight stick, probably because it has never been attached to this instance of Windows before, required the good old unplug and replug of its USB cord after Windows "Add New Hardware" finished in order to register input. It is not perfect, but still pretty good.
Firefox 29 launched in the middle of the night on Tuesday, April 29th. It is free and, if Firefox is set to automatically update, you probably already have it. If not? Get it.
Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2014 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 4k, amd, crossfire, quad crossfire, r9 295x2, radeon, video
Ryan isn't the only crazy one out there stringing 2 PSUs together to power a pair of AMD's massively powerful 295X2s in CrossFire; the gang at [H]ard|OCP did as well after taking the Mickey with a certain Brian. As with Ryan's experiment they required a second PSU, in this case a 1350W plus an 850W in order to stop the rig from crashing. Their test components also differed somewhat, a Maximus V Extreme instead of a P9X79 Deluxe and slightly different RAM and Win 8.1 installed on their SSD. The other reason to check them out is the Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 tests in addition to the 4K tests.
"Got extra PCIe slots and have no idea what in the world you can do with those? Well if you have $3000 burning a hole in your pocket, wiring in your house that is up to code, a good air conditioning system, and a Type C fire extinguisher that you are not using, AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 QuadFire may be just what the fire marshal ordered."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Custom-cooled Radeon R9 290X cards from Asus and XFX @ The Tech Report
- Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 Tri-X OC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X (Tri-X) OC 3GB @ eTeknix
- XFX Radeon R7 250 Core Edition Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
- GeForce 700 vs. Radeon Rx 200 Series With The Latest Linux Drivers @ Phoronix
- 13-Way Low-End GPU Comparison With AMD's AM1 Athlon @ Phoronix
- EVGA Backplate Install for the GTX 780 Ti Classified @ Hardware Asylum
- Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti WindForce 2X OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- ASUS GTX 750 Ti OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- TKFA2 GTX 750 Ti OC 2GB @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2014 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TrustZone, security, Puma+, Mullins, mobile, Kabini, Jaguar, boost, beema, amd, AM1
Beema and Mullins have arrived and by now you must have read Josh's coverage but you might be aching for more. The Tech Report were present at the unveiling and came prepared, with a USB 3.0 solid-state drive containing their own preferred testing applications and games. Not only do you get a look at how the Mullins tablet handled the testing you can see how it compares to Kabini and Bay Trail. Check out the performance results as well as their take on the power consumption and new security features on the new pair of chips from AMD which come bearing more gifts than we had thought they would.
"A couple weeks ago, AMD flew us down to its Austin, Texas campus for a first look at Mullins and Beema, two low-power APUs aimed at the next wave of Windows tablets and low-cost laptops. Today, we're able to share what we learned from that expedition—as well as benchmarks from the first Mullins tablet."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD launches third generation Mullins and Beema APUs @ The Inquirer
- AMD Beema and Mullins APU Performance – 3rd Generation APUs @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Mullins & Beema Mobile APUs Preview @ Hardware Canucks
- Drink me: Adobe pours Flash Player bug squash @ The Register
- Über-secure Blackphone crypto-mobe spills its silicon guts @ The Register
- inksys PLEK500 500Mbps Powerline Homeplug AV2 Kit @ NikKTech
- Testing NVIDIA Optimus / DRI PRIME On Ubuntu 14.04 @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2014 - 03:40 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: subscription, skydrive, onedrive, microsoft, cloud storage
Today, Microsoft has announced changes to their OneDrive for Business storage solution. A regular, free OneDrive account comes with 7 GB of storage. For $5 per user, per month, Microsoft added a 25 GB option. That 25 GB option is now a tiny bit larger: 1 TB. It will also be included in several Office subscriptions. The official announcement claims Office 365 ProPlus (formerly requiring a $1.50 per user per month upgrade) but that is, apparently, an incomplete list.
According to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, any Office 365 plan which includes OneDrive for Business will be upgraded to 1 TB. I expect that Office 365 Pro Plus was mentioned in the press release because, as far as I can tell, it did not have OneDrive for Business, minus the aforementioned upgrade, until now. The rest of the options already had OneDrive for Business, just a much larger one now. I have compiled the relevant information in a table, below.
(Per User Per Month)
|OneDrive for Business (Standalone)||
($2.50/user until September)
|Office 365 ProPlus||$12||
(5 PCs or Macs)
(5 extra devices)
|Office 365 Small Business||$5||25||No|
|Office 365 Small Business Premium||$12.50||25||Yes|
|Office 365 Midsize Business||$15||300||Yes|
|Office 365 Enterprise E1||$8||Unlimited||No|
|Office 365 Enterprise E3||$20||Unlimited||Yes|
|Office 365 Enterprise E4||$22||Unlimited||Yes|
I must say that OneDrive is looking to have all of the features of Dropbox, at least the ones that I use, with significantly higher storage. While the 7 GB, free plan would probably be sufficient for my uses, a whole terabyte for a few dollars per month is definitely tempting if I had a reason to fill it. Not too long ago, I was paying $100 USD per year to Dropbox for 100 GB.
Note: The $5-per-user-per-month fee is the price after September. Until then, it is 50% off.
While not all of Microsoft's websites have been updated yet, the upgrade seems to take effect today. Check out OneDrive for Business, or one of the applicable Office plans, to see whether a terabyte of cloud storage is worth it for your needs.
Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2014 - 09:27 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: internet explorer, windows, microsoft
We have another IE flaw, one which applies to IE6 though IE11 and officially all versions of Windows since Vista; unofficially it will also effect the non-supported legacy OS versions as well. This particular issue is not a memory overflow but instead is what is referred to as use-after-free which does make it somewhat harder to craft a webpage to take advantage of. Corporate users of the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit should make sure their users are up to date while the rest of us who are using IE should consider Protected Mode or upping your Security to high. Pop by The Register for a link to the full description of the vulnerability.
"The flaw means the browser “may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer"."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 27, 2014 - 01:22 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, linux, amd
GPU drivers have been a hot and sensitive topic at the site, especially recently, probably spurred on by the announcements of Mantle and DirectX 12. These two announcements admit and illuminate (like a Christmas tree) the limitations of APIs on gaming performance. Both AMD and NVIDIA have their recent successes and failures on their respective fronts. This will not deal with that, though. This is a straight round-up of new GPUs running the latest drivers... in Linux.
In all, NVIDIA tends to have better performance with its 700-series parts than equivalently-priced R7 or R9 products from AMD, especially in low-performance Source Engine titles such as Team Fortress 2. Sure, even the R7 260X was almost at 120 FPS, but the R9 290 was neck-and-neck with the GeForce GTX 760. The GeForce GTX 770, about $50 cheaper than the R9 290, had a healthy 10% lead over it.
In Unigine Heaven, however, the AMD R9 290 passed the NVIDIA GTX 770 by a small margin, coming right in line with it's aforementioned $50-bigger price tag. In that situation, where performance became non-trivial, AMD caught up (but did not beat). Also, third-party driver support is more embraced by AMD than NVIDIA. On the other hand, NVIDIA's proprietary drivers are demonstrably better, even if you would argue that the specific cases are trivial because of overkill.
And then there's Unvanquished, where AMD's R9 290 did not achieve triple-digit FPS scores despite the $250 GTX 760 getting 110 FPS.
Update: As pointed out in the comments, some games perform significantly better on the $130 R7 260X than the $175 GTX 750 Ti (HL2: Lost Coast, TF2, OpenArena, Unigine Sanctuary). Some other games are the opposite, with the 750 Ti holding a sizable lead over the R7 260X (Unigine Heaven and Unvanquished). Again, Linux performance is a grab bag between vendors.
There's a lot of things to consider, especially if you are getting into Linux gaming. I expect that it will be a hot topic, soon, as it picks up... ... Steam.
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | April 27, 2014 - 12:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, sheild, shield 2, AnTuTu
VR-Zone is claiming that this is the successor to NVIDIA's SHIELD portable gaming system. An AnTuTu benchmark was found for a device called, "NVIDIA test model(SHIELD)" with an "NVIDIA Gefroce(Kepler Graphics)" GPU, typos left as-is. My gut expects that it is valid, but I hesitate to vouch the rumor. If it even came from NVIDIA, which the improper spelling and capitalization of "GeForce" calls into question, it could easily be an internal prototype and maybe even incorrectly given the "SHIELD" (which is properly spelled and capitalized) label.
Image Credit: AnTuTu.com
As far as its camera listing, it would make sense for the SHIELD to get one at standard definition (0.3MP -- probably 640x480). The fact that the original SHIELD shipped without any, at all, still confuses me. The low resolution sensor still does not make sense, seeming like an almost pointless upgrade, but it could be used by NVIDIA for a specific application or built-in purpose.
Or, it could be an irrelevant benchmark listing.
Either way, there are rumors floating around about a SHIELD 2 being announced at E3 in June. It is unlikely that NVIDIA will give up on the handheld any time soon. Whether that means new hardware, versus more software updates, is anyone's guess. The Tegra K1 would have been a good launching SoC for the SHIELD, however, with its full OpenGL 4.4 and compute support (the hardware supports up to OpenCL 1.2 although driver support will apparently be "based on customer needs". PDF - page 8).
Waiting. Seeing. You know the drill.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | April 26, 2014 - 10:50 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: unreal engine 4, ue4, epic games
Epic Games has just incremented the minor version number of their popular engine by releasing Unreal Engine 4.1 to all subscribers. While the dot-zero was available privately for quite some time, it was made public barely a month ago. Its headlining feature is a few extra platforms: Linux, SteamOS, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Each of these are included in the 19$ per month and 5-percent royalty agreement -- excluding outside fees, such as those required to become a registered developer with Sony and/or Microsoft, obviously.
You will also need a capable Windows PC to deploy a game to Playstation 4, Xbox One, Linux, or SteamOS... "for now". This implies that development on other platforms is being considered. Development from OSX seems likely, as does Linux, but creating games on an Xbox One or Playstation 4 seems a bit far-fetched. Who knows though? If any company has good enough relationships with Sony and Microsoft to make it happen, it would be Epic.
— Ray Davis (@EpicRayD) April 25, 2014
I am guessing... Dreamcast support is a "no". It was not that ahead-of-the-curve.
The actual update notes are just shy of 7000 words and about 20 pages long, so platforms are not everything. Epic has been adding a lot of content and templates to the engine and their marketplace, including the Elemental demo first seen at E3 2012. The editor was also updated with numerous improvements, such as better FBX importing (FBX is a cross-application 3d file format).
Also, it is available now.
Get notified when we go live!