AMD Catalyst 11.4 for Windows released

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: driver, catalyst, amd

 

amdgame.jpg

Grab it from AMD Game

Highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 Windows release include:

Enhancements to the AMD VISION Engine Control Center / AMD Catalyst Control Center

  • New task based Display Management controls
    • Simplifies the configuration of displays and display settings ·
  • New Eyefinity setup group
    • Setting up an Eyefinity group has never been easier
  • AMD Catalyst update notification (found within the Information Center)
    • This feature notifies users that new AMD Catalyst software packages are available

GPU Compute enhancements:
The OpenCL runtime (included in AMD Catalyst 11.4) includes performance enhancements supporting zero-copy on APUs and increased performance for PCIe transfers between a CPU and discrete GPU.

Performance highlights
The AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series of products will see the following performance gains:

  • Call of Duty Black Ops – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single GPU configurations
  • Battleforge – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Batman Arkham Asylum – gains of up to 20% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Aliens vs. Predator – gains of up to 8% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Civilization 5 – gains of up to 15% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Far Cry 2 – gains of up to 6% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Just Cause 2 – gains of up to 9% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Lost Planet 2 – gains of up to 10% on single and multiple GPU configurations

Resolved issue highlights

  • The GPU no longer shows high GPU usage after when running Firefox 4 with hardware acceleration enabled.
    Bioshock no longer displays random tearing and screen corruption with Vsync and MLAA enabled.
  • Water textures no longer flicker in Two Worlds II in Crossfire mode.
  • Bulletstorm lightshafts no longer appear broken when running on a HD 6970 series product.
  • Bulletstorm no longer displays random texture corruption when running in Crossfire mode.
  • FI 2010 no longer slows down intermittently when in Crossfire mode.
  • PowerDVD no longer crashes if Crossfire is enabled / disabled during playback of a BD title.
  • Running the Heaven benchmark no longer displays graphics corruption during DirectX 11 tests.

Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include:

This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)

Source: AMD

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

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | April 27, 2011 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: contest, giveaway, ocz, ssd, vertex

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently 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 seventh (!!) prize is another 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!

Source: OCZ

Which browser should you use for the things you don't want people to know you did

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: flash. lso, firefox, extension, do not track, chrome

The new versions of IE, Firefox and even Opera have a do not track feature that is intended to block tracking cookies from landing on your system and letting advertisers and others get a feel for where you've been and what you've done online.  Arguing whether having a browsing experience without any targeted ads is a huge step in the name of privacy when there is far more information available from your Google and Facetwitter accounts seems pointless, but it is nice to know that you have that button.  Of course it doesn't work very well on the local shared objects on your machine, dumped there by Flash during your browsing experience, as evidenced very well by the online side scroller by the name of "You Only Live Once".  Google has yet to put a do not track button on their Chrome browser, for reasons obvious to many, but according to The Inquirer they have included tools to easily remove your local shared objects.  Exciting until you realize that Firefox has had an extension which can delete these 'super cookies' for quite a while now.

Shoulder-surfing.jpg

"THE LATEST VERSION of Google's Chrome web browser has made it much easier to delete user behavioural information, but there's still word on whether it will provide a 'Do Not Track' feature like those already offered by Firefox and Internet Explorer."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

AMD's been having a very busy start to the year

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2011 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, wichita, krishna, llano, amd

If DigiTimes sources are right and they usually are, you should have no trouble securing a Llano part when they are released in June/July. With an expected 3,000,000 parts headed out the door there will be plenty of APUs for everybody.  Even better news is that the 28nm Southern Island parts have been taped out which indicates very good things for that process technology and the chips it will produce.

lotsofllano.jpg

"AMD is ready to start selling its new Llano-based APUs as soon as June or July and has set a goal of shipping three million units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 40% of AMD's total CPU shipments in the quarter, according to sources from motherboard makers.

AMD responded by stating it does not comment on unannounced products.

AMD's better-than-expected APU shipments helped the company to achieve on-year growth of 98% and on-quarter growth of 36% for its first-quarter net profit, which reached US$510 million.

The sources pointed out that the AMD's APU platform's low price has helped it receive supports from many of AMD's partners and the company in the first quarter already shipped about three million Brazos-based CPUs with 50% of the shipments being used for notebook platform.

The sources pointed out that AMD's new Llano APU will have a great chance to raise AMD's share in CPU market from around 20% in 2010 to 30%.

Taiwan-based Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have all already prepared several different motherboard models designed specifically for Llano. Since AMD's APU offers a better price, but has a similar performance as Intel's same-grade products, the competition may trigger Intel to consider a price cut to counter, the sources noted.

In addition to Llano, AMD's 28nm products including Krishna- and Wichita-based APUs and Southern Island GPU are already under tape-out."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3 Motherboard

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards | April 25, 2011 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: p67 b3, maximus iv extreme, giveaway, contest, asus

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently 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 sixth prize is truly a killer motherboard, the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3!

asusmaxivextreme.jpg

This motherboard from ASUS has just about anything an enthusiast could ask for including:

  • ROG Connect: Plug and Overclock - Tweak it the hardcore way!
  • ROG iDirect : Tune your PC from your iPhone or iPad now!
  • RC Bluetooth: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • Extreme Engine Digi+: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • USB BIOS Flashback: Refresh the BIOS can never be that easy

How can you win this wonderful piece of engineering that currently sells for more than $360???

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking ASUS for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as any ideas you have for the NEXT super-motherboard.  What other features would you like to see from ASUS? 

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 the winners soon and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: ASUS

Roll your own Linux firewall with fwbuilder

Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2011 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: firewall, router, linux, dd-wrt

You may have heard mention of DD-WRT on the PC Perspective Podcast, which enables you to flash a compatible router into a Linux based firewall with significanly more capabilities than it originally had.  There is another tool out available call Fwbuilder which lets you make a PC running Linux into a powerfull firewall with an easyto use graphical interface for those not up on their VIM skills.  Drop by Linux.com for a look.

linuxdc_fwbuilder_firewall.png

"Fwbuilder is a unique graphical firewall tool that allows the user to create objects and then drag and drop those objects into firewalls, to build a powerful security system for a single PC or a network of PCs. Fwbuilder supports a wide range of firewalls (Cisco ASA/PIX, Linux iptables, FreeBSD's ipfilter, OpenBSD's pf, and more), so its rules can be deployed on multiple platforms. Let's take a look at using Fwbuilder on Linux, which might just become a life-long affair with a powerful security system."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Linux.com

The year is looking bright for AMD

Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2011 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: amd, income, billion, ATIC, quarter

It might not seem like good news that AMD's entire sales for this quarter don't match Intel's profits but that just exemplifies the size discrepancy between the two companies.  It most certainly is good news, showing an improvement from this time last year partly thanks to ATIC, a partner with AMD in GlobalFoundries, purchasing Chartered Semiconducter and improving AMD's income on the books, if not through actual exchange of cash.  The Register's report tells of improvements on sales of APU/CPUs but not so much from GPUs.

scroogemcduck.jpg

"Advanced Micro Devices is no longer a fabricator of chips, but it is still benefitting from spinning out its wafer-baking unit to GlobalFoundries.

In the first quarter ending April 2, AMD's sales were up a modest 2 per cent, to $1.61bn, but all of its costs were on the rise, and its operating income fell by 70 per cent, to $54m."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure

Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 22, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, hdd, giveaway, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift last 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 fifth set of prizes is a pair of Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 external hard drive enclosures!

max5g.jpg

It has lights, it has fans AND it runs at USB 3.0 speeds.  What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as your plans for using such a cool USB 3.0 external drive dock.  What other features would you like to see on external enclosures like this? 

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 the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Thermaltake

Corsair's HS1a, a new take on their gaming headset

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2011 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: corsair, headset, audio, analog

Like their predecessors the HS1As are large with full earcups and a solid head piece.  They do change cosmetically with a full black look instead of silver on the earcups as the previous model sported.  The big difference is that these are analog not USB based, so while the previous model pretty much carried its own built in soundcard with it these are intended to be used with a soundcard with audio outputs.  [H]ard|OCP were impressed by them, read on to see if you are as well.

H_corsairheads.jpg

"Corsair is back with a new HS1A analog headset sporting massive 50mm drivers, closed-back ear cups, and memory foam ear pads primarily designed for gaming. But Corsair tells us that these do not sacrifice "precision audio response (for) your favorite media." Let's see if these hold up in gaming as well as movies and music."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Corsair Gaming Audio Series HS1 Headset

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 21, 2011 - 04:28 PM |
Tagged: hs1a, hs1, giveaway, corsair, 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 fourth set of prizes is a pair of Corsair Gaming Audio Series HS1 Headsets!

corsairhs1.png

Winners of this contest will be able to choose if they prefer the HS1 USB-based model or the HS1A analog connection model.  Check out the review I linked above as these are some very nice headphones with an MSRP of $99!!

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

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Corsair for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as the worst audio configuration you have ever owned!  Fess up, what junk have you bought at Best Buy for $9.99??

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 the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Corsair

Podcast #151 - HD 6670 and 6570, Seagate and Samsung deal, 20nm Flash memory, Viewer questions and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 21, 2011 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, Samsung, podcast, HD6670, HD6570

PC Perspective Podcast #151 - 4/21/2011

This week we talk about AMD's new HD 6670 and 6570, the Seagate and Samsung deal, 20nm Flash memory, Viewer questions and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:12:48

Program Schedule:

Source:

Just Delivered: Rii Mini wireless USB HTPC Remote

Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 21, 2011 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: remote, htpc

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

Every once in a while I get a wild desire to buy some junk from Amazon.  Actually, it's more like every day.  This time though, the item that I got in actually seems to be somewhat reasonable in terms of price, function and quality.  

One of the biggest headaches for HTPC (home theater PC) users is that controlling the PC remotely with any kind of precision is hard to do.  There are TONS of remotes and wireless keyboard/mouse combinations on the market but I happened to come across one called the "Rii Mini" on Amazon that only cost $35 and seemed to be a perfect, yet simple solution.

rii1.jpg

Yes, it is a cheap Chinese knock-off on the Logitech coloring and branding, but that isn't our problem.  The unit combines a keyboard, touchpad and laser pointer (what??) in a small form factor with some impressive features that have made it useful in my limited testing time thus far.

More photos and details after the break!

16 core Cortex A15s coming soon?

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2011 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: servers, cortex, arm

We have been hearing of a little something called Project Denver that ARM has been working on, which they claim will have them selling chips to the server market.  The new Cortex A15 will be a 32bit chip with 40bit physical addressing, and multiple cores capable of reaching 2.5GHz, all while using the same amount of power as the previous Cortex A9 generation.  Maybe Intel and AMD do have something to worry about.  Drop by The Register for more.

Elreg_arm_cortex_a15.jpg

"ARM Holdings' high-performance, low-power Cortex-A15 processor design will appear in products in late 2012 or early 2013, when it will begin to muscle in on territory long dominated by Intel's x86 architecture."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake Challenger Ultimate Gaming Keyboard

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 20, 2011 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, 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 third set of prizes is a pair of Thermaltake esports Challenger Ultimate Gaming Keyboard!

ttakekeyboard.jpg

These babies have just about everything you want on a keyboard and probably more.  Backlight? Check.  On-board audio jacks and USB ports?  Yup.  A FAN??? Yessir.

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

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as what you want to see most on your next keyboard.  I want a drink holder. 

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 the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Thermaltake

Just Delivered: 24GB (6 x 4GB) of Corsair DDR-1333 Memory

Subject: General Tech, Memory | April 20, 2011 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: delivered, corsair

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.  

When building a video editing rig, it is important to have some incredibly powerful specifications like faster processors, lots of cores, speedy storage and of course, lots and lots of memory.

24gbcorsair.jpg

To address this issue and to help us bring more high quality video content readers faster, we just received a set of six 4GB DDR3-1333 modules for a total of 24GB of memory.  Our processor layout includes a pair of quad-core Xeon processors with HyperThreading (thus, 16 threads) with each CPU getting 12GB all their own.  

Source: Corsair

Time for a second Portal meme to spread

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2011 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: Portal 2

You might have heard that a popular game had a new version released over Steam and in stores.  Portal 2 has been released, though the time and effort those who picked up the Potato Sack were not rewarded with much more than a 2 hour jumpstart in North America though the Brits who participated got it 2 days earlier.  Hardware Canucks have had it long enough to cover both the single and muliplayer facets, so if you haven't had a chance to play it head over for a look.

HC_coop2-thumb.jpg

The timer is a lie!

"With the original Portal selling millions of copies, it was only natural that a sequel would be in the cards. Valve has now finally released this eagerly anticipated title and from all indications, it is even more addicting than the first."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Visiting Global Foundries Fab 8

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2011 - 12:09 PM |
Tagged: video, global foundries, foundry, fab 8

[H]ard|OCP were gifted with a chance to visit Global Foundries Fab 8 facility which is being built in central New York state.  [H] took along a video camera to let you see some of the facilities as they stand now.  Not only is this impressive because of the size of the Fab, it is also one of the biggest construction jobs, period.

H_GloFoVisit.jpg

"GLOBALFOUNDRIES was kind enough to let HardOCP into its new Fab 8 facility in Malta, New York. While far from finished, this 28/20nm plant will be ramping to full production in 2012. Check out the video to understand the sheer scale of the largest construction project currently underway in the United States."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: A Pair of Corsair Hydro H60 Water Coolers!

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2011 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: hydro, h60, giveaway, corsair, 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 second prize is in fact PRIZES since Corsair is going to be handing out a Hydro H60 CPU water cooler to TWO lucky PC Perspective readers!

corsairh60.png

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

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Corsair 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 the winners tomorrow and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: Corsair

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