Seagate and Samsung, the defragmentation of the storage market continues

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2011 - 11:51 AM |
Tagged: Seagate, Samsung, sale, partnership, hdd, 1 billion

 

While it is not a true merger or sale, it seems that the operations side of Samsung's HDD branch is being pruned off and sold to Seagate for over $1billion of cash and shares.  The reports inidicate this will be more of a partnership, with Samsung continuing to develop technologies for HDD and retaining full ownership of its flash based storage assets.  Drop by The Tech Report for more.

samsung-seagate-logo.jpg

"Seagate and Samsung have announced a "broad strategic alignment," as part of which Seagate will take over Samsung's hard-drive operations in exchange for a cool $1.375 billion (paid half in cash, half in stock). The deal also involves a NAND flash memory supply agreement as well as "expanded cooperation" on enterprise storage."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Wireless touch mouse roundup

Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2011 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: input, mouse, keyboard, mouse pad, touch mouse, wireless, roundup

The touch mouse is a species very different from gaming mice, eschewing total size as well as the number of buttons to provide a very mobile but still functional mouse.  The main solution that these mice use is to incorporate the functionality of a touch pad, like those found on laptops, directly onto the mouse.  TechSpot grabbed three of the main contenders, Microsoft’s Arc Touch, Mad Catz's Eclipse, and SpeedLink’s Cue Wireless Multitouch to see how well these mice do the job.

touch-mouse-review.jpg

"When it comes to input peripherals and more specifically pointing devices, the options available to the end user are near limitless. Our most recent mouse reviews and roundups have had a heavy focus on gamers and enthusiasts, but it’s important to remember that not everyone falls into these particular demographics.

Today we'll be looking at three mice that aren’t necessarily as high-end or feature-packed as some we have previously tested. These wireless mice are smaller and simpler in what they entail, yet they all feature one distinct characteristic – touch sensitivity."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: TechSpot

Bottles are good, bottlenecks are bad. How well does your GPU and CPU match up?

Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, LN2, gpus, cpu, bottleneck

If you have heard the term "bottleneck" when you have been describing your dream PC on the forums and wonder why people are referring to your CPU as the weak link when your GPU is so powerful that the CPU shouldn't have to do anything?  Unfortunately it is not that simple and a powerful GPU can be held back by a CPU that can't keep up with it.  Drop by Funky Kit for a look at bottlenecking by a serious overclocker who is quite used to overpowering CPUs.

bottleneck.jpg

"In the DIY computer world a lot of people are concerned about a video card (GPU) "bottlenecking" on a given CPU, or a given CPU bottlenecking a GPU. In this article I will explain what it is that they are talking about, as well as discussing whether or not it's worth being worried about. First off is the answer to the question "What is this bottlenecking you speak of?!"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Funky Kit

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: OCZ Technology Vertex 2 120GB SSD!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 18, 2011 - 11:11 AM |
Tagged: vertex, ssd, ocz, giveaway, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift over the weekend to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The first prize: a 120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 SSD!!

vertex2_new_angle_1.jpg

What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking OCZ for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick a winner tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Android is number one in China ... at getting an infection

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2011 - 11:56 AM |
Tagged: Virus, Malware, China, Android

"Android handsets used in China accounted for 64.1% of global virus/malware attacks in the first quarter of 2011, according to China-based mobile security solutions provider NetQin Mobile.

There were 2.53 million Android handsets infected by viruses or malware around the world during the first quarter, and most were in China due to the popularity of white-box Android handsets in the country, NetQin indicated. US ranked second with 7.6%, followed by Russia with 6.1%, India with 3.4%, Indonesia with 3.2%, Hong Kong with 2.7% and UK with 2.1%. In the first quarter, there were 1,014 new malware items and 101 new viruses, NetQin said.

Of the infected Android handsets globally, 57% were through downloading applications from Android Market, followed by using unbranded handsets with 17%, downloading applications from WAP or www. websites with 14%, using Bluetooth with 7% and using memory cards with 3%, it said.

A breakdown of the attacks by Android version shows that 1.6 and previous versions accounted for 5%, 2.1 34%, 2.2 45% and 2.3 16%."

InfectedAndroid.jpg

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Windows 8 to offer OS-on-a-thumb-drive portability

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2011 - 10:14 AM |
Tagged: windows, windows 8

This is pretty cool news that has found its way out with the first leaked released of Microsoft's Windows 8 prototype: integrated into the OS is support for "portable workspaces" that will allow a user to take a 16GB or larger USB thumb drive and build a bootable environment to take with them on the go.

win8portable.jpg

Source: Winrumors

The soundcards search for a new place in the world; external USB device?

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2011 - 12:18 PM |
Tagged:

Soundcards have fallen hard from their mighty perch, once they were an absolute necessity to a PC user.   For a while they were simply a better choice by far than onboard sound, both in quality of sound and the efficiency of processing.  Now most people don't even look for a soundcard, modern motherboards happily provide 7.1 sound with almost no hit to the CPU for processing.  Overclockers Club investigates a new attempt by Diamond to draw people back to buying soundcards with their Diamond Xtreme External 7.1 USB Sound Card.  At $40, it turned out to have some interesting features to add to any type of system and was stellar on laptops.

 

"The main excelling point for the Diamond card is the analog music playback, which was due to its ability to up-mix 2 channel stereo, up to 8 channels, which, was 6 in my case. It did a great job at making the room offer a fuller music experience, while the onboard sound without 3rd party software can only play in 2 channels. Everything else was very similar in quality and it was difficult to tell a difference between the two options since movies and gaming are easily configured for 5.1 or 7.1 through the onboard sound."

Intel quietly cries "Me too!" about USB 3.0

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2011 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged:

It seems that about the same time that AMD was basking in the glow of full certification for their implementation of USB 3.0 on their soon to be released Hudson platform, Intel was announcing that Ivy Bridge will also natively support USB 3.0.  The problem is that we aren't expecting to see hide nor hair of Ivy Bridge for about 12 months.  Hopefully some time before then we will see ThunderBucket or LightPeak on an Intel system, even if only a copper version.  The Inquirer has the scoop over here.

 

 

"Intel's announcement that its 2012 Ivy Bridge chipsets will support USB 3.0 came on the same day that the USB Association revealed that AMD will be incorporating USB 3.0 support into A75 and A70M Fusion chipsets. The Ivy Bridge decision means that eventually Intel mainboard vendors won't have to use third party silicon to provide USB 3.0 support."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

PCMark 7 Release Date Announced, Preordering Begins

Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2011 - 11:22 AM |
Tagged:

HELSINKI, FINLAND – APRIL 14, 2011 – Futuremark® today confirmed that PCMark® 7, a new benchmark offering complete PC performance testing for Windows 7, will be released on May 3, 2011. PCMark 7 will be available in 3 editions: the Basic Edition, a free download offering unlimited runs of the main PCMark test, the Advanced Edition which includes all 7 PC tests and the Professional Edition which unlocks all features and is the only edition licensed for commercial use. The Advanced and Professional Editions can be pre-ordered now from http://www.pcmark.com.

PCMARK 7 BASIC EDITION – Free, available from May 3, 2011

  • Free PC test offering unlimited runs of the main PCMark test suite
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Store one result online

PCMARK 7 ADVANCED EDITION - $39.95 – PRE-ORDER NOW

  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Unlimited online results storage Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service

PCMARK 7 PROFESSIONAL EDITION - $995.00 – PRE-ORDER NOW

  • Licensed for commercial PC system testing
  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  •  Command line automation
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  •  Unlimited online results storage
  • Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service
  • Priority support

PCMark 7 provides a set of 7 PC tests for measuring different aspects of PC performance with a high degree of accuracy. Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark test. The Lightweight test measures the capabilities of entry level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the full PCMark test. Common use performance is measured by the Entertainment, Creativity and Productivity tests. Component performance is measured by the Computation and Storage hardware tests. The Storage test is ideal for testing SSDs and external hard drives in addition to the system drive.

This one can test SSDs.
 

PCMark 7 will be released on May 3, 2011. PCMark 7 Advanced and Professional Editions can be pre-ordered now from http://www.pcmark.com.

Source: PCMark

A PC gamer is finally reunited with Shift 2 Unleashed

Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2011 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged:

Over at The Tech Report is a PC gamer with a bit of console envy, as they are a fan of racing games which is a genre that tends to be poorly implemented on the PC.  Spotting a copy of Shift 2 Unleashed for sale on Steam, at $10 less than the console version, he picked it up to try it out.  Unfortunately it was as graphically unimpressive as he feared, not ugly but certainly not able to push his hardware to the limit. However, once getting into the game he found a wide selection of cars and decently immersive gameplay.  If you are a fan of racing games it seems that Shift 2 Unleashed should be on your list of must play games.

"In his latest blog post, TR's Geoff Gasior digs into the PC version of Shift 2 Unleashed to see if it's a worthy challenger to dominant console driving sims like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Folding@Home on AMD GPUs takes a leap forward

Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2011 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged:

The Folding@Home distributed computing program has long been able to run on GPUs, but the latest optimizations are for GPUs that support CUDA.  As CUDA is a relatively closed source architecture from NVIDIA, that leaves AMD GPU users in the cold; with long time users still using CAL/Direct3D to power their GPU Folding efforts.  According to a news story Hardware Canucks spotted, this is about to change as Stanford is working on optimizing F@H for OpenCL and the tests show almost a doubling of performance.  Do keep in mind that F@H results can change from day to day but this is definitely a good sign.

If you have not yet encountered Folding@Home or are unclear as to why people give their spare processing cycles to the project you should drop by this thread in our own Folding@Home Forum which describes many of the reasons people choose to fold.  If you feel the cause is worthy enough for you to join up, it would be a great idea to join the Folding Frogs, our own PC Perspective Folding@Home team.  You can learn all about the Folding Frogs and how to join in this thread, if you already fold and would like to jump aboard then we are Team 734.

"A few weeks ago, Stanford introduced the new Core 16 Project 11293 work units which are specifically tailored towards OpenCL-supporting AMD graphics cards. But do they bring the hoped-for increase in Folding@Home performance or is this yet another step towards disappointment?"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

More mid-ranged 6000 family GPUs coming from AMD

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged:

If you are in the market for a mid-range GPU and don't mind waiting a week, AMD will be releasing the 6670, 6570 and 6450 next Tuesday.  You will want to exercise some caution when purchasing the cards however as this is the level of card most popular with OEM system builders and they will be receiving DDR3 based cards not GDDR5 based cards.  If a particular model claims to have more memory that others without a change in price it will most likely be using DDR3 which will be slower, though not to a snails pace. 

Thanks to DigiTimes for the scoop.

"AMD is set launch three new graphics card under its Radeon HD 6000 series - 6670, 6570 and 6450 on April 19, targeting the entry-level and mid-range markets, according to sources from graphics card makers.

The sources pointed out that AMD's recently launched Radeon HD 6790 graphics card currently has a better market impression than Nvidia's GTX 550 Ti mainly because of its friendly price; therefore, AMD is set to launch more graphics cards with low price to gain market share.

Although AMD has already released the OEM version of the three new graphics cards, the new version will adopt GDDR5 memory, instead of DDR3 memory, which is used in the OEM versions.

With its Radeon HD 6000 series product lines fully filled, AMD is already in preparation for the next generation Radeon HD 7000 series (Southern Islands) GPUs and is set to mass produce the GPU in May this year."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Digitimes

The performance growth of AMD GPUs on Linux

Subject: General Tech | April 11, 2011 - 12:51 PM |
Tagged:

Phoronix set out to benchmark the changes to Ubuntu and the Linux kernel as it relates to graphical performance using AMD GPUs, specifically the ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 128MB.  The review tracks the changes from Ubuntu 9.4 to 11.4 and the 2.6.28 to 2.6.38 kernels as well as a variety of graphics drivers, both MESA and Gallium 3D.    Check out what they found in the full article.

"The open-source ATI/AMD Radeon Linux driver stack has made a lot of improvements in recent times with their Gallium3D drivers becoming mature across all generations and support for new features (such as DRI2 page-flipping) landing in the mainline code and beginning to make its way to users. The time required to bring up support for new generations has also been reduced greatly and with the Radeon HD 8000 series there should be a turning point for their open-source strategy. In this article, we are providing an updated look at the course of the open-source driver's performance for the past two years."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Phoronix

Travel back in time 52 years on this date and you can prevent COBOL

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2011 - 06:24 PM |
Tagged:

When PC Perspective Forum members get asked their opinions on powerful machines they tend to aim for the ultimate gaming machine.  That is not always the best choice for people looking at rendering machines and other tasks, as you can see here.  That type of machine belongs on a completely different battlefield and while the players will be familiar the particular needs can be very different and no less interesting than building a gaming machine.  Just ask the Folding Folks and the frogs in the BOINC forums about building servers, the Overclocking Forum is a place to go great info for the gamer; if you do take their advice you should drop by the Cases and Cooling forum as you will need some serious cooling. 

No matter what you use the computer for, an LCD three way is always sexy, just image our faces blown up that large as you watch the latest PC Perspective Podcast.

Roccat Alumic, an anodized aluminium ice rink for your mouse

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2011 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged:

While there is something to be said for the style of a leather mouse pad, but with use the edges will begin to curl up and the relatively light weight means that the pad can move around the desk on occasion.  So how about a double sided, 331x272mm aluminium mouse rink with four non-slip rubber feet, one at each corner. It won't be sliding on your desk thanks to the weight and Hardware Heaven felt it was large enough that you don't need to worry about falling off.

"Every good mouse needs a good surface to achieve optimal performance and todays review product is Roccats attempt at creating an ideal companion for high performance mice. So lets take a look at what the Roccat Alumic has to offer..."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Lucid's Virtu gets validated

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2011 - 12:04 PM |
Tagged:

We have been talking about Lucid for quite a while, first with the bridge chip that allowed mixed vendor multi-GPU SLIFire/CrosSLI setups to work and more recently about their Virtu software that would allow a PC with SandyBridge and a discreet GPU to switch between the two on the fly depending on which was best suited for the task.  Today they received some very good news, as their virtualization software has completed the validation process and has been deemed perfectly compatible with the Radeon HD6000 family.  Check The Inquirer for more.

 

"SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Lucid has announced that its Virtu GPU virtualisation software has been validated to run on Intel's Sandy Bridge chips and AMD's Radeon HD6000 series GPUs."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

MSI's 890FXA-GD65, a study in the proper way to make a budget board

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2011 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged:

Many companies that aim to hit the sub-$150 market take a hacksaw to an existing board layout and pare off enough expensive components to keep the price down.  MSI took a different approach with the 890FXA-GD70, designing the board from scratch with the trimmed down features while still keeping important ones such as their Military Class components.  What they ended up with was not only a board Josh liked, it was one he could even afford to buy for himself!

"MSI has created a fine board. It certainly appears to have had a real teething process, but now the BIOS support has caught up and we are seeing a very fast and mature product on the marketplace. The current price makes this one of the more exciting AM3 motherboard out there, especially for the budget enthusiast. MSI has scored nicely with the 890FXA-GD65."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

  Motherboards

 

Good news for Linux cheats, Gnome 3 is here

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2011 - 12:10 PM |
Tagged:

If you tend to use Linux through a GUI and only use the command line to supplement your usage and are pretty sure the web was not meant to be viewed in text only with Lynx then a brand new desktop for Linux is good news.  Gnome has hit version 3, with a few new features and some serious streamlining, some good and some strange.  For instance re-sizing windows with your scroll wheel is interesting, removing the minimize and maximize buttons are odd. 

Overall Ars Technica was impressed, liking it more than KDE in some cases.

 

"The developers behind the GNOME project have announced the official release of GNOME 3.0, a significant redesign of the open source desktop environment. The update introduces a new desktop shell that offers a streamlined window management workflow and a more modern look and feel. The new version also represents a major architectural overhaul, with many important enhancements to the GNOME platform's technical underpinnings."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Ars Technica

... but we didn't have early access to the game; Dragon Age II version

Subject: General Tech | April 6, 2011 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged:

When [H]ard|OCP first tested out NVIDIA's GPUs on Dragon Age II, they lost handily to the AMD Radeon equivalent irrespective of the price disparity.  NVIDIA has rolled out a beta driver that [H] got hold of to test and see if NVIDIA's claims that they couldn't perfect the performance because they didn't have access to early versions of the game.  While the driver did up performance noticeably; by 30% in some cases and often pushing a hair above the competition it did not help the pricing disparity.  For some though, an extra 6% performance is worth $25.

 

"After the disappointing showing in our Dragon Age 2 Gameplay Performance Review, NVIDIA has responded with a new BETA driver that claims to alleviate the game-crippling performance problems that its customers were experiencing. We evaluate performance improvements and again compare to AMD's."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

10 cores soon behind your server room door, the new Xeons are coming

Subject: General Tech | April 6, 2011 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged:

Not exciting news to most enthusiasts except when they are at their day jobs, Intel has announced the new Xeon family of processors.  This is a big family with lots of 32nm cousins, the branches being the E7-8800 E7-4800 and the E7-2800.  The most powerful members of the family will be the the 10 10-core E7-8800 series, of which the top three models all top out at 2.4GHz with a TDP of 130 watts.  That series has cousins like the 10-core low-voltage E7-8867L at 2.13GHz with a TDP of 105 watts, or an octo-core E7-8837 that hits 2.67GHz with a TDP of 130 watts.  You will also see Xeon E3-1200 family aimed for low cost server builders but with many advantages over the previous generation.   DigiTimes even has information on the pricing, "The Xeon processor E7-8800/4800/2800 families range in price from US$774 to US$4,616 in quantities of 1,000. The Xeon processor E3-1200 family ranges in price from US$189 to US$612 in quantities of 1,000."

"Based on Intel's leading 32nm process technology, the new Intel Xeon processors have up to 10 cores with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, and deliver up to 40% greater performance than the Intel Xeon 7500 series processor. Concurrently, a new energy-saving feature reduces the power draw of idle portions of the chip. Beginning today, more than 35 systems based on the Intel Xeon processor E7 family are expected to ship from manufacturers around the world."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Digitimes