A quick look at the data on Apple's Fusion Drive

Subject: Editorial, Storage | October 24, 2012 - 08:26 PM |
Tagged: hybrid, fusion drive, fusion, apple

Yesterday, amongst a bunch of other announcements, Apple mentioned a 'new' technology that was built into OSX (10.8.2 and up).

fusion drive 1-.png

Dubbed 'Fusion Drive', this tech enables the late 2012 Mac Mini and iMac models to have a pseudo-hybrid drive. There's been a lot of speculation today on just how this technology will work, but I've cut through the chaff to try and shed some proper light on just how this new thing works, and how it is so different than any other 'hybrid' solution out there.

First, it's not a hybrid drive. The iMac or Mac Mini comes with an SSD and a HDD. Two individual SATA devices. Both devices appear as individual drives, even in Disk Utility. Where the magic happens is that OSX can be configured (and is pre-configured in these new systems) to combine the two drives into one drive that presents itself to the user as a single logical volume. The important point is that the drives are 'fused' together, not merged or mirrored. The SSD and HDD each have their own partition, and OSX can reach beneath the Fusion layer and shift files back and forth between the two as it sees fit. Frequently used apps and files can be shifted back and forth between the SSD and HDD, as seen in the below pic:

fusion drive 2-.png

The biggest differences are in that since it's not a mirrored hybrid solution, where the SSD space is not available, and a failure of the HDD causes loss of all data. Fusion Drive combines the two volumes and *adds* the space together, and the apps or files will sit on either device (but not both). All files written go to the SSD first and are later shifted to the HDD in the background. This is actually a very smart way to handle things. The entire OSX install always stays on the SSD, so there is no concern of OS files 'rolling off' of the SSD cache, causing intermittent slowdowns. More (perhaps most) importantly, if the HDD fails on a Fusion Drive setup, OSX should theoretically just keep on chugging, albeit without access to the files or apps that were stored on the HDD. On the flip side, if the SSD were to fail, the HDD could simply be mounted in Target Mode under another Mac, and all files stored to that drive could then be recovered. Sure you won't get everything back in these scenarios, but it provides *much* more flexibility for data recovery, and it's worth repeating the fact that an HDD failure in any other hybrid solution results in the loss of ALL data.

A couple of other quick gotchas: You can still dual boot with boot camp under a Fusion Drive setup, but the boot camp partition will only be at the end of the HDD, not on the SSD. Windows will not only run slower because it's on the spinning disk, it will run slower because the latter portions of a HDD typically see about half of the throughput as compared to the start of that disk. Also, you are only allowed *one* additional (non-Fusion) partition on the HDD, which can be used for another OSX install *or* for the Boot Camp Windows install. Users who prefer to boot greater than two operating systems on their newer Mac will have to do so with Fusion Drive disabled.

More to follow as more data comes in. For now I'm only working off of the other speculation and the Apple Support Page on the matter.

Join us tomorrow for a LIVE Unboxing and First Impressions of the ASUS Vivo Tab RT!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | October 22, 2012 - 06:22 PM |
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, nvidia, video, live

If you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon and would like to be one of the first to see the upcoming ASUS Vivo Tab RT based on the Windows RT operating system and the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, you should set your calendar for 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT and join me on the PC Perspective Live! page.

asusvivotab.jpg

While we won't have any insight on our long term experiences with the device at that time tomorrow, you can see our initial impressions and anything/everything that occurrs with our intial setup and usage!

If you have questions or thoughts on the device that you want addressed during the live stream, you can leave them here in our comments or hang around in our chat room during the event as well.  We want this to be interactive so your input is requested!

Again, that is 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT at the PC Perspective Live! page.

Hitman: Absolution PC Features Video - AMD ExtravaLANza

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video

We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.  We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features.  I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.

The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:

  1. DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
  2. A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
  3. AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
  4. Eyefinity and HD3D

There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above.  IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.

Deals for October 19th - Klipsch Energy RC Micro 5.0 Home Theater System Bundle for $280

Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2012 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Today Only! Klipsch Energy RC Micro 5.0 Home Theater System Bundle for $279.99 plus free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $800 – use coupon code WEV73894).

K55-1188-KIT_chiclet01_er.jpg

Laptops

17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition 17.3" 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Laptop for $949.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,138.99 – use coupon code J$WNJV54BQ3N4Q).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 470 Core i7 Desktop w/ 8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $779.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code 909$K?5V4?C2LP).

Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ 2TB Hard Drive for $699.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $1,119.00 – use coupon code V48PR?HP99J3D?).

Computer Components

Today Only! OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $60 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $200 - Use this form).

OCZ Vertex Plus R2 2.5" SATA 3Gb/s 120GB SSD for $60 with shipping (normally $110 - Use this form).

24.1"ASUS PA248Q IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor + $30 Gift Card for $289.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $369.99 - Use this form).

27" Dell S2740L 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $379.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $400).

Iomega Helium 500GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive for $50 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $100 - Use coupon code EMCJNJB47).

VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5 Video Card for $360 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $450 - Use coupon code VISTEK).

Linksys EA6500 Smart Wireless-AC Dual-Band Gigabit Router for $194 with free shipping @ BuyDig (normally $220 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).

Accessories

Sharper Image Set of 2 Battling RC Choppers for $84.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).

Sharper Image App-Controlled Car for $74.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $89.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).

Source: LogicBuy

Win an AMD Llano A8-3870K APU from PC Perspective!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 08:09 PM |
Tagged: contest, video, giveaway, amd, llano, APU

In a self-serving attempt to increase awareness about the PC Perspective YouTube channel, we are running another contest where you can win one of four AMD Llano A8-3870K APUs simply by leaving a comment and being a subscriber.

That's right, there are two steps:

  1. Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel
  2. Leave a comment on the YouTube contest video

We'll pick our winners on October 24th!  Good luck!

Deals for October 18th - WD Caviar Blue 1TB HDD for $70

Subject: Editorial | October 18, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALX 1TB Hard Drive for $70 with shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $100 - Use this form and this form).

deal1018.jpg

Laptops

17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R 3rd Gen Core i5 17.3" Laptop for $629.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $863.99).

12" Dell XPS 12 Convertible 1080p Tablet w/ Windows 8 for $1,199.99 with free shipping @ Dell

Desktops

Asus 3rd Gen Core i7 3.4GHz Desktop PC w/ 8GB Ram (CM6431-US-3AA) for $699.99 @ TigerDirect (normally $799.99).

Computer Components

23" Dell S2340L 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $199.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $249.99).

24" Dell S2440L 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $259.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $299.99).

WD My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for $162 with free shipping@ NewEgg (normally $180).

Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $155 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $250).

Crucial M4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $180 with free shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $250 - Use coupon code DigFallSave5).

EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Memory Video Card for $90 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $135 - Use this form).

EVGA GeForce GTX 650 1GB GDDR5 Video Card for $99.99 with shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $110 - Use this form).

Cooler Master Elite 371 ATX Mid-Tower Case for $20 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $45 - Use this form).

Accessories

GoPro 11MP HD HERO2 Motorsports Edition Camera for $200 with free shipping @ B&H (normally $300).

Sharper Image HD Camcorder Watch for $154.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $169.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for October 17th - Windows 8 Pro with $30 Amazon Credit for $69

Subject: Editorial | October 17, 2012 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Pre-order: Microsoft Windows 8 + $30 Amazon Credit for $69.99 @ Amazon (normally $199.99).

deal1017.jpg

Laptops

17.3" Pre-order: Toshiba Satellite L870D-ST3NX1 quad-core Laptop w/Windows 8 for $579.99 with free shipping @ Toshiba Direct (normally $649.99).

 

Desktops

Dell Vostro 270s Core i5 Ivy Bridge Slim Tower Desktop for $529.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).

 

Computer Components

OCZ Agility 3 2.5" 512GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $280 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $380).

Intel 330 Series 2.5" 180GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $99.99 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $170 - use this form).

Samsung USB External Portable Blu-ray Writer for $90 with free shipping @ Meritline (normally $110).

 

Accessories

Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset for $100 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $150 - Use coupon code EMCJNJD73 and Usethis form).

Sony MDRV55 DJ Style Headphones for $85 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $100 - Use coupon code 7BRL7?2ZDK?H4G).

Nike+ Fuelband for $149 plus free shipping @ Nike (normally $249).

Panasonic ES-RT51-S Wet/Dry Pivoting Head Shaver for $39.99 plus free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $79.99 – use coupon codeEMCJNJD222).

Dell Energy 17" Messenger w/ Headphones & Mouse Bundle for $74.99 plus free shipping @ Dell (normally $109.99).

Source: LogicBuy

Can't Wait for Far Cry 3? Like Minecraft? Read On.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 17, 2012 - 03:35 AM |
Tagged: Minecraft, far cry 3, crossover

Ubisoft crafted an olive branch for their PC gaming fans, and Mojang’s fans too…

Far Cry 3 might be coming to North America in early December but Ubisoft thinks you might need something to tide you over until then. Of course, Assassin’s Creed III could have held us over if it were launching alongside its console brethren but - oh never mind. I guess I should cut Ubisoft some slack. They probably did not have a whole lot of Olive planks for the Olive branches. I mean they probably had to spend four on the crafting table alone and then there was that creeper so Ubisoft totally needed that wood sword.

Lost? Oh! Where are my manners?

In an effort to promote the release of Far Cry 3 for the PC - a simultaneous release with the other platforms - Ubisoft created a Minecraft mod team. The order: create a map in Minecraft themed like Far Cry 3.

Crysis2.jpg

Get my agent! I want to star in an Indie PC cross-over mod too! One with pigs!

Machine for Pigs? I’m having a hard time remembering that… but if you say it is popular…

The team consists of Michael Lambert with Axel Janssen and Yohann Delcourt providing texture work. Michael, known as Sacr3 to the Minecraft community, made a name for himself with his large city build, Novax. He replied to a comment on his World Trade Center video three months ago when confronted about his activity:

I'm working on something big right now, i'll get back to this map once i'm done my other project.

I would say so.

So I buried the lead long enough - what is the mod about? The environment is themed and textured based on the aesthetic of the game. Accompanying the custom map are a new set of weapons and tools with themes rooted in the game. You will be able to find Vaas, Citra, and the protagonist Jason all in Minecraft style along with 50 Easter Eggs. If anything it is an interesting tactic to draw brand recognition especially with such a PC-centric strategy. I am guessing Ubisoft knows where their brand has been tarnished most and especially wants to recover it with the Far Cry property. Well done Ubisoft.

The mod is expected to be released on October 26 at their official Far Cry website.

Source: PC Gamer

Deals for October 16th - Netgear NeoTV 1080p Wireless Media Player for $49

Subject: Editorial | October 16, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Netgear NeoTV NTV300 1080p Wireless Media Player for $49.99 @ Dell (normally $59.99).

deal1016.jpg

Laptops

14" Dell Inspiron 14z slim Core i3 Aluminum Laptop + Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $349.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $599.99 - use $150 coupon code JLB0XQGQ8B6DDC).

Desktops

Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop w/ 2TB Hard Drive for $799.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $999.00 - use $100 coupon code V48PR?HP99J3D?).

HP ENVY 23-1050t 23" Core i5 Ivy Bridge All-in-one PC for $899.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,099.99 - use $50 coupon code SAVE50LOGIC).

Computer Components

Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (ST1500DL003) for $49.99 with free shipping @ CompUSA (normally $129.99 - Use this form).

Logitech Rechargeable Wireless Touchpad T650 w/ Windows 8 Multi-touch Navigation for $67.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $79.99 - use coupon code 7BRL7?2ZDK?H4G)

27" Planar PX2710MW 1080p 2ms LCD Monitor for $209.99 with Free Shipping @ Dell (normally $469.99).

OCZ Vertex 4 2.5" 128GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $99.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $150).

256GB Samsung 830 Series SATA III SSD w/ Laptop Kit for $180 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $230).

Intel 330 Series 2.5" 180GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $150 @ TigerDirect (normally $170).

MSI Twin Frozr III GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1280MB GDDR5 Video Card for $180 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $220 - Use this form).

MSI GeForce 8400 512MB PCI Video Card w/ HDMI out HDCP Ready for $10 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $33 - Use this form).

Accessories

Star Wars Darth Maul Electronic Helmet for $13.00 @ Target (normally $27.99).

Sharper Image Magic Wand Remote Control for $74.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $89.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for October 15th - RC Photo Helicopter for $85

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 15, 2012 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Sharper Image Video Photo Chopper for $84.99 @ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 - use $15 coupon code ENT2010).

deal1015.jpg

Laptops

13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $629.24 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $838.99 - use $150 coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 270 Core i5 Ivy Bridge Desktop for $499.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $849.00 - use $50 coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).

Computer Components

27" Planar PX2710MW 1080p 2ms LCD Monitor for $209.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $469.00).

27" LG E2742V-BN 1080p LED-Backlit Monitor for $260 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $370 - use coupon code EMCYTZT2353)

OCZ Agility 4 512GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $340 @ Tiger Direct (normally $360 - Use this form).

Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $160 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $200 - use coupon code EMCYTZT2359).

OCZ Agility 4 128GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $80 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $220 Use this form).

XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card + Free PC Game for $142 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $180 - Use coupon code HARDOCP1X1XC and Use this form).

Accessories

Canon PowerShot A1300 16MP Black Digital Camera for $109 with shipping @ Abt (normally $200)

Canon PIXMA MG2120 Inkjet Photo All-In-One Printer for $29.00 @ Walmart (normally $38).

Source: LogicBUy

Deals for October 12th - OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD for $140

Subject: Editorial | October 12, 2012 - 03:34 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

256GB OCZ Agility 4 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD for $140 @ TigerDirect | Originally $199 | Use this form.

deal1012.jpg

Laptops

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 1080p Core i7 Laptop for $849.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,139.99 - use $150 coupon code QH3XW509GT$BBL).

13.3" HP ENVY Spectre XT 13t-2000 Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" Ultrabook for $849.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,000.00 - use $150 coupon code NB9301).

Desktops

Toshiba All-in-One LX830-ST2N01 23" Core i3 Desktop for $699.99 with free shipping @ Toshiba Direct (normally $900).

Dell Vostro 470 "Ivy Bridge" Core i5 Desktop for $499.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $599.00 - use $50 coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).

Computer Components

WD My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (WDBY8L0020BBK-NESN) for $164.00 with free shipping @ B&H (normally $179.00).

Moneual MU230ED 23" LED-Backlight Monitor for $129.99 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $139.99).

TRENDnet TEW-652BRP 300Mbps Wireless-N Home Router for $19.99 with $2.99 shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $49.99).

Actiontec 500Mbps Powerline Network Adapter Kit (PWR511K01) for $49.99 @ TigerDirect (normally $89.99).

Accessories

Cisco WVC210 Wireless-G Security IP Camera for $123.49 @ Cisco (normally $299.99 - use 5% coupon code HSDISH5).

Roku HD Wireless Media Player for $59.97 with Free Shipping @ PC Richard & Son (normally $79.97).

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for October 11th - Linksys N600 Dual-Band Gigabit Router $42

Subject: Editorial | October 11, 2012 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Linksys App-Enabled Wireless N600 Dual-Band Gigabit Router Refurbished (EA2700) for $42.74 with Free Shipping@ Cisco (normally $120 - use coupon code HSDISH5).

deal1011.jpg

Laptops

14" Dell Alienware m14x r2 Core i7 Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,100.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).

Desktops

Alienware X51 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" mini Gaming PC w/ 2TB Hard Drive, GeForce GTX 555 for $1,049.00 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,200.00 - use $50 coupon code 9Q057LWVMPGG41).

Dell Inspiron 660s Dual-core Slim Tower w/ Logitech MK550 Wireless Keyboard + Mouse for $336.75 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $449.00 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).

Computer Components

Corsair Force Series 3 240GB SSD for $140 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $200 - Use this form).

Samsung 830 Series 512GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $509 with free shipping @ BuyDig (normally $600).

Crucial M4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $189 with free shipping @ B&H Photo (normally $250).

OCZ Vertex 4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $184.99 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $220).

Antec Nine Hundred Two V3 Black Steel Computer Case for $70 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $120 - Use coupon code EMCYTZT2330 and Use this form).

XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card + Free PC Game for $142 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $180 - Use coupon code HARDOCP1X1XC and Use this form)..

Portables

Red Beam Laser Pointer Keychain for $0.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $2.99 – use coupon codeMLCK110RNL1).

Logitech H800 Wireless Headset for $30 plus shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $100 - Use this form).

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for October 10th - Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD for $169

Subject: Editorial | October 10, 2012 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Intel 520 Series 2.5" SATA III 240GB SSD for $169.99 with Free Shipping@ TigerDirect (normally $240 - use $30 mail-in rebate).

deal1010.jpg

Laptops

15.6" Asus A54C-TB91 Pentium Dual-Core Laptop for $349.99 @ TigerDirect (normally $369.99).

14" Toshiba Satellite L840-BT2N22 Core i3 Laptop (Customizable) for $449.99 with free shipping @ Toshiba Direct (normally $769.99).

14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/ 8GB RAM, 32GB SSD for $897.74 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,188.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).

HP ENVY 17t-3200 3D 1080p Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Quad-core Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $1,049.99 with free shipping @ HP (normally $1,849.99 - use $50 coupon code SAVE50LOGIC).

Desktops

Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" Desktop (White Chassis) w/ 12GB RAM, 32GB SSD, Radeon HD 7770 for $999.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,299.99).

Dell Optiplex 3010 Core i5 Mini Tower + 24" U2412M UltraSharp LCD Monitor for $749.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,259.00).

Computer Components

D-Link DIR-615 Wireless-N Router for $30 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $60 - Use coupon code EMCJNNF39).

Western Digital 500GB My Passport Edge USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for $90 @ TigerDirect (normally $99.99).

Crucial v4 SATA 3Gb/s 64GB 2.5" SSD for $55 with shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $70).

Entertainment

50" Toshiba 50L2200 1080p LED HDTV for $674.00 with free shipping @ Beach Camera(normally $1000 - Use coupon code BCSurfnSave25).

60" Panasonic Viera TC-P60U50 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV for $898 @ Walmart (normally $1,200).

Yamaha RX-V373BL Digital A/V Receiver + Sony SAVS310 5.1 Speaker Package Bundle for $259.99 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $559 - Use $100 mail-in rebate).

Portables

Ematic EGLXL102B 4GB 10" Android 4.0 Tablet for $89.99 with $0.97 shipping @ Walmart (normally $149.98).

Sony HDR-PJ200 5.3MP HD Flash Memory Camcorder for $389.00 plus free shipping @ BuyDig (normally $449.99).

RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).

Source: LogicBuy

Deals for October 9th - Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD for $199

Subject: Editorial | October 9, 2012 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD (MZ-7PC256B) for $199.99 @ CompUSA (normally $240).

deal1009.jpg

Laptops

15.6" Asus A54C-TB31 Core i3 Laptop for $379.99 with $8.96 shipping @ CompUSA (normally $449.99).

17.3" Toshiba Satellite C870-BT2N11 Dual-core Laptop for $412.49 with shipping based on location @ Toshiba Direct (normally $640).

13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop for $629.24 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $838.99 - use 25% coupon code ?$QNC1?HSKNR9F).

Monitors

24" LG 5ms HDMI LED-Backlit Monitor (E2442V-BN) for $179.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $249.99 - use $20 coupon code EMCJNNA28).

Computer Components

Linksys E2500 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (refurbished) for $33.24 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).

Linksys WET610N Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band for $56.99 with free shipping @ Cisco (normally $89.99 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).

Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" 240GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $199.99 with free shipping @ NewEgg (normally $249.99).

Entertainment

46" Samsung UN46EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $150 Gift Card for $799.99 with free shipping @ Dell(normally $880 with no gift card).

51" Samsung PN51E550 3D 600Hz 1080p Plasma HDTV for $847.99 with free shipping @ Abt (normally $950).

Slingbox SOLO SB260-100 Internet TV Broadcaster for $99.99 with free shipping @ Best Buy (normally $179).

Jamo S426HCS3 5pcs Home Theater Speaker System for $249 with free shipping @ TigerDirect (normally $500 - use coupon code FXQ72652).

Portables

Ematic EGL25BL 4GB 7" Android 4.0 Tablet for $69.99 with $0.97 shipping @ Walmart (normally $99.98).

Sharper Image Pocket Breathalyzer for $79.99 plus free shipping@ Sharper Image (normally $99.99 – use with coupon code AFFRSHP for free shipping).

Choken Bako Coin Eating Dog Piggy Bank for $9.99 plus free shipping @ Meritline (normally $14.99 – use coupon code MLCK108PNL1).

RoboCop Trilogy Blu-ray for $21.49 @ Amazon (normally $59.99).

Source: LogicBuy

Happy Fun Time with Electronic Arts

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 1, 2012 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: editorial, ea, battlefield 3

You know, I used to love Electronic Arts.  There was a time in my younger days where seeing their name emblazoned on a PC game box as I wandered the aisles of Electronics Boutique was all I needed to see to buy it.  I can still remember the scrolling colors through the big "E C A" on my Commodore 64 as I anxiously waited for Bards Tale or Racing Destruction set to load.  Ah...the good old days.

01_ECA_Loading.jpg

Sadly, that warm and fuzzy feeling is long gone, and over the years I've come to dislike just about everything about EA and what they've become.  My most recent foray into the mess that is EA has killed any nostalgia I had for them.  Let's walk through the fun.

I love the BattleField series of games, and have been an avid fan of them ever since the days of BF 1942.  Some of my best memories of LAN parties were BF 1942.  Whether it was driving like mad in a Jeep from one end of Wake Island to the other to try to stop a flag capture, or jumping into a T-34 in Kursk, it was about as much fun as I can recall having with a video game.  Over the years I've picked up most of the BF incarnations and when Battlefield 3 came out, I picked up a copy on release day for my XBox.  I generally like playing games on PC's over consoles, especially First Person Shooters, but I had a few friends that were playing on XBox and we all wanted to jump in and play together.  Even though I'm awful using the controller to play, we had a blast, but after a few months we stopped playing.

02_BF3_XBox_Cover.jpg

Fast forward to the other day and the PcPer crew decides they want to play BF3 after the recent podcast.  I definitely can't pass up the option to get in on some Battlefield goodness, so even though I've already forked over $60 for the game and another $20 for the first expansion pack to EA on my XBox, I'm stuck with having to buy another copy of the game, just so I can play on a different platform.  Off to Amazon and another $35 funnels into EA's coffers.  Two hours and a 10 GB download later the install starts and up comes...

03_Origin_Setup.jpg

Ugh...Origin...really?  I can understand why EA wants its own online game distribution system, but c'mon!  I already have a ton of games through Steam and everything works without a hitch.  Origin is a mess and I've had nothing but problems with it in the past.  I dislike using it so much that I won't buy a game if I know I have to install and use Origin to play.

But I digress.  I've already thrown another $35 at EA and we're going to play tonight, so I guess I'll just deal with it.  Hoping to fire it up and get my keybindings setup and a little bit of practice in I double click on the BF3 icon and a browser window opens.  What in the heck?  A browser?  Where's the game?  I close the browser figuring something is wrong, double click on the game icon again and up pops the browser.  Jeezalou.  I struggle for a few minutes trying to remember my ID and password for EA's site and when I finally do get in I'm looking at my stats page for my soldier.  My soldier on the XBox.  Clicking through the menus I vainly try to find a button that will let me launch the game when I notice a little drop down arrow under my Soldier name that says "BF3 XBOX".  Click on that and there's "BF3 PC".  Seriously?  I have to start over and lose all my unlocks?  My google-fu finds that there's no way to merge the two, because apparently EA doesn't understand the concept of a shared database.

Regardless, I eventually find a button labeled "Quick Match" and here we go...

04_Quick_Launch_Button.jpg

<Click>

05_Browser_Error.jpg

Holy batsnots, seriously?  In this day and age, I can't play a AAA title video game on my PC because my default browser is 64-bit?  Good lord!  I really don't want to change my default browser just to play this game, so I end up having to fire up a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer, copy and paste the link into that just so I can try to launch the game.  Error message doesn't pop up, but now I apparently need a few plugins.  At this point I had to replace my keyboard as the head bashing knocked a few keys off.  Once I get all the plugins installed I click on the "Quick Match" button again and...

Waiting...

Waiting...

Still waiting...

Continue reading our editorial on the pains of Battlefield 3 on the PC...

Minecraft Creator Takes a Notch Out of Microsoft

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile | September 29, 2012 - 11:33 PM |
Tagged: Windows Store, windows 8, censorship

And by the way -- Windows Store will censor apps. More on that later.

So around the same time as my future of Windows editorial became published PC Mag published a related piece: Notch from Mojang outrages over certification for Windows Store. Mojang voiced his concerns for the platform and its attempts to “ruin the PC as an open platform.”

I have, and continue to, claim that Microsoft appears to want to close the Windows platform in a near-future revision of the platform. Once there is enough software available through Windows Update and Windows Store it seems highly likely that Microsoft will remove all other ways on to your device -- as they have done with Windows RT. The concept of a cross-device, controlled, and secure platform is just too tempting.

Win8_End_Mic.png

Loyal, but not stupid.

But backwards compatibility is not the only concern with going metro. Everything must be certified.

Indeed - as of the latest July 2012 certification requirements for Windows Store - Microsoft will predictably be censoring applications just as they do with the Xbox. Section 5.8 and 6.2 of the aforementioned certification requirements clearly state: applications must not contain excess or gratuitous profanity and applications must also not contain adult content. Of course this is aimed squarely at the various niches of adult graphic novels (correction: I apparently meant visual novels, not graphic novels - but I'm sure those would not be let on the Windows Store either) and similarly themed interactive content and the message is clear: get out and stay out.

I can think of a couple of countries where that will not fly.

To be fair Microsoft has addressed the issue in the very same section with the following clause:

We understand that in some cases, apps provide a gateway to retail content, user generated content, or web based content. We classify those apps as either Storefront apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and sell third party media or apps, or Streaming apps, whose primary function is to aggregate and stream web-based images, music, video or other media content. In some cases, it may be acceptable for a Storefront or Streaming app to include some content that might otherwise be prohibited in a single purpose app.

The clause functionally means: “Yeah we know web browsers cannot prevent themselves from surfing to the wrong side of the internet’s metaphorical tracks. This is not an excuse to ban them.” It also does not limit the censorship that Microsoft is clearly imposing.

And frankly the issue is not even with adult content; the issue is with the certification itself. We are at a point where Microsoft seems to want us to accept and migrate to their closed platform where everything is certified.

But what if future certification seriously limits or disables 3rd party modifications to software like attempted with Games for Windows Live? What if Microsoft decides to charge developers tens of thousands of dollars just to certify a patch? These are all serious issues to think about.

While you are thinking - consider a plan to simply ditch the Windows platform altogether and go with an open platform we can actually trust.

Source: PC Mag

OCZ's Ryan Peterson Resigns

Subject: Editorial | September 17, 2012 - 06:32 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Ryan Peterson, ocz, CMO, CEO, Alex Mei

OCZ started in a strip mall making heatsinks and fans in 2002.  Not exactly an auspicious beginning to a company that now is a dominant force in the SSD industry.  The guy that has helped the company make the massive jumps it has is Ryan Peterson.  Today OCZ has announced his resignation.  Alex Mei, current CMO (chief marketing officer) is taking over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

New_OCZ_Logo_Vector.jpg

It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago OCZ sprang into existence.  A few quick exposes from other tech sites revealed a small company that was situated in a strip mall.  Back in those years there was some questionable marketing tactics that the company used to present themselves as a much larger organization than they actually were (their website showed large, modern buildings and automated memory manufacturing equipment- neither of which the company had).  Through perseverance, decent technical support, and some really interesting products at a time where enthusiast style memory was starting to grow, the company thrived and expanded.

The memory market has softened, and seemingly OCZ was well aware of where the market was going.  They transitioned from being a memory company to a full blown SSD manufacturer.  Along the way they picked up Indilinx and are now finally starting to produce their first custom silicon.  The company continued to grow, and at the head of it all was Ryan Peterson.  Often known as a polarizing figure, he nonetheless helped to lead OCZ into a position of significance and authority when it came to SSD technology.

It seems that the recent downturn in the company’s profits, and the seeming failure of the sale to Seagate of the company, Ryan submitted his resignation and the board of OCZ accepted it.  Not much else is included in the release, other than thanking Ryan for his dedication to the company and wishing him and his family the best of luck.

This must be a hard day for Ryan, as he was truly a driving force in taking OCZ from the strip mall to the high rise.  Change is inevitable though, and rarely do we see CEO’s like AMD’s Jerry Sanders last for decades at the helm of a company.  The market is changing, and perhaps OCZ needs a new vision.  Still, OCZ is now synonymous with the growing SSD market, and their acquisition of Indilinx allows them some flexibility and differentiation in what is now a very crowded area.  Their introduction of inexpensive “server” style PCI-E SSD devices was another milestone, and it provided an inexpensive (and powerful) solution that competed well with other much more costly products from companies such as FusionIO.

It will be very interesting to see where the company goes, but we wish Ryan the best of luck.

The entire press release can be found here.

Source: OCZ

Live Borderlands 2 Launch Event with PC Perspective and NVIDIA!!

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | September 17, 2012 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: pcper, nvidia, live, giveaway, contest, borderlands 2

I hope your day is going to be free tomorrow - we have some big stuff planned!  In cooperation with NVIDIA, Gearbox and PC Perspective, we'll be hosting a multi-hour live streaming launch party for Borderlands 2!  We'll be going over some of the unique PC-exclusive features, showing off gameplay in the crazy co-op mode and we'll have some giveaways for viewers as well including a pair of Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!

bl2-3.jpg

Tomorrow, Sept 18th, from 4pm ET until at least 8pm ET, staff from PC Perspective and NVIDIA will be using our PC Perspective Live! channel to discuss and show off the new "shoot and loot" title from Gearbox. 

Come join us to see Borderlands 2 in action, hang out with PC Perspective and NVIDIA reps and enter for a chance to win one of two Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards!

zotaccard.png

Be sure to set your calendars and join us for the Borderlands 2 launch live streaming celebration!!

  • PC Perspective Live! channel - pcper.com/live
  • Start time: 4pm ET / 1pm PT

bl2-1.jpg

bl2-2.jpg

Frictional Games Doesn't Have Too Much Friction over Piracy

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | September 11, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: Amnesia, piracy, DRM

Frictional Games, the developers behind the Penumbra and Amnesia franchises, commented on the two years since the release of The Dark Descent through their company blog. Frictional has finally released the development budget for Amnesia which rings in at just $360,000 USD which is less than a tenth of their revenue. They also have not even thought about piracy in over a year: they are paid in sales not piracy figures – and paid they have been.

It is so nice when common sense prevails.

As I have discussed in my “Video Games Do Not Want to Be Art?” column, there are some developer-publishers who find their content intrinsically valuable and aim for long-term steady sales. Frictional Games appears to be one of those companies. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is possibly the most terrifying game in existence without compromising on their highly engaging story.

They also have not even thought about – let alone get frightened of – piracy in over a year.

amnesia.jpg

Or maybe after making Amnesia these Swedes are not scared by anything lurking in shadows.

There is room for both blockbuster titles as well as enduring content with intrinsic value. Over the course of the last two years Amnesia has sold just shy of 1.4 million units. Amnesia currently – 2 years after its release – sees a steady 10,000 units sold each month excluding bumps in sales due to discounts. This revenue is over ten-fold larger than the $360,000 development budget.

The developer kept the topic of piracy brief with a simple statement:

It has been over a year since we even thought about piracy. With sales as good as above we cannot really see this as an issue worth more than two lines in this post, so screw it.

That is literally all that has been written about piracy.

Whenever I discuss piracy I feel the need to preface my statements with, “The solution is not to condone piracy.” I do not condone piracy nor has Frictional Games. If you wish to acquire a game – pay for it. If you do not wish to acquire a game – ignore it. Still, from the developer or publisher’s point of view, do not concern yourselves with piracy figures. Piracy figures are horrifically inaccurate and – most importantly – not a measurement that pays you one way or the other.

Worry about what will increase your sales – such as adding mod tools or design to sell your product indefinitely – because that will be what puts the roof over your head.

If you lose customers because of your paranoia – companies like Frictional will be there. Good on them.

Live Blog: Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2012 Keynotes

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors | September 11, 2012 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: Intel, idf, idf 2012, keynote

The Intel Developer Forum is one of the best places in the world to get information and insight on the future of technology directly from those that creat it.  Join me as I live blog (Wi-Fi connection dependent as always!) the keynotes from all three days at http://pcper.com/live!!

logo.png

Be sure to stop by our PC Perspective Live page at 9am PT on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!!