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Subject: General Tech | April 4, 2013 - 03:39 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, oculus rift, Ivy Bridge-E, gtx 700M, GTX 670 Mini, giveaway, frame rating, bioshock infinite
PC Perspective Podcast #245 - 04/04/2013
Join us this week as we discuss more Frame Rating, Ivy Bridge-E, Oculus Rift 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:18:58
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
1:05:45 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech | April 4, 2013 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At $500+tax with free shipping and Windows 8 included, the Dell Inspiron 15R is a good choice for anyone looking for a reasonably powerful and lightweight laptop. It is powered by a 1.8GHz Core i5-3337U, has 6GB RAM, a 500GB HDD and integral DVD burner, with a 15.6" 1366 x 768 LED-backlit LCD powered by the HD4000 on the i5. Not exactly a gaming PC but at 4.9lbs it is an easy way to bring your work with you wherever you go and have more processing power than a tablet will offer.
Use $109 instant savings and extra $80 coupon code: HCV9LCWDGXR7WZ to get final price.
Subject: General Tech | April 4, 2013 - 01:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: memristor, non-volitle RAM, mlc, PCIe SSD, hitachi, hp, dell
The Register assembled a brief look at the near future of flash storage products from HP, Hitachi, Dell and NetApp. HP expects to be shipping memristor based storage devices by the end of the year as well as photonic inter-node backplanes which will offer much faster transfer than copper based solutions. Hitachi Data Systems believes they have made a breakthrough in MLC flash and controller technology which will not only extend the usable life of the memory but they expect price parity with high end SAS HDDs by the end of 2015. Check out those stories as well as Dell's server plans and NetApp's new OS right here.
"In every minute;
- More than 600 videos are uploaded to YouTube
- More than 13,000 hours of music are streamed via Pandora
- 168 million emails are transmitted
- 695,000 status updates are added to Facebook
- 695,000 Google searches are also made."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Non-Volatile DIMMs To Ship This Year @ Slashdot
- How to Run Linux on ODROID-U2: A Monster of an ARM Machine @ Linux.com
- Customer designed ARM chips will give Intel headaches @ The Inquirer
- Open-Source 3D Support For NVIDIA's Tegra @ Phoronix
- A guide to Windows Blue / Windows 8.1 @ Hardware.info
- How to Install Windows 7 Guide @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 06:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, mechanical keyboard, gigabyte, Aivia Osmium, cherry mx red
Gigabyte has added another mechanical keyboard to their family, the Aivia Osmium which uses the quiet Cherry MX Red switches preferred by gamers who don't want a click to slow down their button mashing. It is definitely aimed at gamers with backlighting, audio in and about and a USB 3.0 port on the side along with sound and brightness wheels at the top. The Tech Report was very impressed with the macro capability of this keyboard, not bound by a certain set of dedicated keys but instead a full program which allows up to 25 programmed macros which can include both mouse and keyboard input. Head on over and check out the full review.
"Most high-end keyboards combine mechanical switches with LED backlighting and programmable macro keys. Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium adds a new twist: USB 3.0 connectivity. We take a closer look at this unique keyboard to see what's what."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Tweaktown
- Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
- SteelSeries APEX Gaming Keyboard @ Tweaktown
- Cooler Master Storm Trigger w/Green Keyswitches @ LanOC Reviews
- AZiO Large Print Tri-Color Backlight Keyboard Review @ OCC
- ROCCAT Isku FX Illuminated Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @LanOC Reviews
- Ducky Zero DK2108 Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub UH3-10P Review @ Legit Reviews
- Func Surface 1030 XL mousepad @ Rbmods
- Func MS-3 Mouse & 1030XL Mouse Mat @ techPowerUp
- G600 MMO Gaming Mouse @ LanOC Reviews
- Razer Ouroboros Elite Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Vengeance M65 FPS Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- A4TECH V3 Bloody Gun3 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Vengeance M65 FPS Laser Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Guild Wars 2 Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- AZIO GM-2000 Gaming Mouse Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Tesoro SHRIKE HL2 Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Func MS-3 Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Genius Gila GX Series Gaming Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 04:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
One of the best SSDs from a dollar per gigabyte perspective is the Samsung 840 series; you can see it in action here in Allyn's review of the 250GB model. It uses Triple Level Cell flash, which is what helps keep the cost down, but won't have an effect on the performance for most users.
Samsung 840 Series 120GB SATA 6Gb/s 7mm 2.5" SSD (MZ-7TD120BW) @ $100
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 3, 2013 - 02:57 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thermaltake, full tower, e-atx, urban s71
Thermaltake recently launched the Urban S71 full tower chassis to round out its Urban line of cases (like its Urban S21 mid-tower). The S71 is constructed of SECC steel, weighs approximately 24 pounds, and measures 21 x 8.4 x 23-inches (534 x 213 x 584mm). The black brushed metal design is aesthetically pleasing and sound dampening foam reduces noise. Thermaltake is offering up two models: the VP500M1W2N with a side panel window and the VP500M1N2N without a window (and with more sound dampening foam).
The Urban S71 chassis features a brushed aluminum front door that conceals three 5.25" bays and one 3.5" drive bay. The top of the case hosts a docking station for a 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive. The top-front of the case includes the following IO options:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x Mic In
- 1 x Headphone Out
- 1 x Power button (plus LED)
- 1 x Reset button (plus LED)
Pre-installed cooling options include two 200mm fans (at the front and top vents) and one 120mm high speed rear fan. The case includes removable dust filters on the top, front, and bottom vents. There is also room for a fan in bottom of the case, but is not included out of the box.
The interior of Thermaltake's Urban S71 chassis includes support for motherboards up to E-ATX in size and graphics cards up to 344mm in length. Cable routing and water cooling grommets are included on the motherboard tray and rear IO respectively. There are also eight total expansion slots and 6 3.5" drive bays (one externally-accessible). The top case ventilation slot(s) can support up to a 240mm water cooling radiator as well (like the Corsair H100).
In all, the Urban S71 is an impressive case with quite a few useful features. There is no word on pricing or availability yet, however.
Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 01:43 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wireless display, Raspberry Pi, paperwhite, mobile, kindle, e-ink
The Raspberry Pi makes for a cheap and low power media PC, file server, or desktop but the lack of a display means that it is not very portable. Recently a hack was posted online by Max Ogden that enables the Rasbperry Pi to be used on the go by pairing it with an Amazon Kindle and its e-ink display. His wireless display setup was actually based on a previous hack that allowed the Pi to be paired with the 3rd-generation Kindle. Ogden's hack takes things a step further by supporting the latest Paperwhite versions as well as no longer requirig a wired connnection between the display and the Raspberry Pi.
By loading the Raspberry Pi with Raspian Linux and adding a terminal emulator to the Kindle, the Kindle connects to the Pi over an SSH session where the Pi console and any keyboard input can be seen on the Kindle's e-ink display. The hardware needed to make the setup work includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, a Wi-Fi USB NIC, The Raspberry Pi, a supported Kindle, and a battery pack with enough juice to power everything. A wired or wireless keyboard and Wi-Fi dongle can be added to the Raspberry Pi Model B, bu Model A users will need to add a USB hub as the $25 model only supports a single USB port on the device itself.
Max Ogden shows off his new portable battery-powered Raspberry Pi with wireless e-ink display.
There are some limitations to this setup. One is a bit of latency between typing and seeing the characters appear on the screen due to the low refresh rate inherent in e-ink displays and the wireless connection. Ogden estimates that this delay is around 200ms, and is noticeably but bearable while typing. The other major limitation is that the display can currently only be used to display the Pi console, and not the GUI of Raspian. For writing code or articles, you could get by with a command-line text editor like nano or vi--at the very least it would be a distraction-free writing environment as you could not procrastinate and browse Reddit or watch videos even if you wanted to (heh).
If you are interested in setting up your own wireless Raspberry Pi display, you should check out Ogdens blog for a list of recommended hardware as well as Rod Vagg's tutorial on configuring the Kindle Paperwhite with the correct software.
This is one of the more-useful Raspberry Pi hacks that I've seen so far. Hopefully, a future hack will come along that will also allow one of these e-ink devices to display the GUI desktop environment and not just the terminal.
Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gpu, DRAM, ddr3, price increase
It has taken a while but the climbing price of memory is about to have an effect on the price you pay for your next GPU. DigiTimes does specifically mention DDR3 but as both GDDR4 and GDDR5 are based off of DDR3 they will suffer the same price increases. You can expect to see the new prices last as part of the reason for the increase in the price of RAM is the decrease in sales volume. AMD may be hit harder overall than NVIDIA as they tend to put more memory on their cards and buyers of value cards might see the biggest percentage increase as those cards still sport 1GB or more of memory.
"Since DDR3 memory prices have recently risen by more than 10%, the sources believe the graphics cards are unlikely to see their prices return to previous levels within the next six months unless GPU makers decide to offer promotions for specific models or launch next-generation products."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Memory vendors pile on '3D' stacking standard @ The Register
- History of the GPU, Part 2: 3Dfx Voodoo, the game-changer @ Techspot
- Intel releases OpenCL SDK for upcoming Haswell chips @ The Inquirer
- Linux Foundation Training Prepares the International Space Station for Linux Migration @ Linux.com
- Microsoft releases Exchange 2013 update @ The Register
- Canon PowerShot A2600 Review @ TechReviewSource
- AMD Releases Open-Source UVD Video Support @ Phoronix
- Win An Amazing PC Specialist Gaming System @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 3, 2013 - 11:24 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660 Ti, 660 ti
Two new photos recently popped up on Cowcotland, showing off an unreleased "Dragon Edition" GTX 660 Ti graphics card from ASUS. The new card boasts some impressive factory overclocks on both the GPU and memory as well as a beefy heatsink and a new blue and black color scheme.
The ASUS GTX 660 Ti Dragon will feature a custom cooler with two fans and an aluminum heastink. The back of the card includes a metal backplate to secure the cooler and help dissipate a bit of heat itself. However, there is also a cutout in the backplate to allow for (likely) additional power management circuitry. The card also features the company's power phase technology, NVIDIA's 660 Ti GK-104 GPU, and 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The graphics core is reportedly clocked at 1150MHz (no word on whether that is the base or boost figure) while the memory is overclocked to 6100MHz. For comparison, the reference GTX 660 Ti clocks are 915MHz base, 980MHz boost, and 6,000MHz memory. The new card will support DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI video outputs.
There is no word on pricing or availability, but the Dragon looks like it will be one of the fastest GTX 660 Ti cards available when (if?) it publicly released!
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 3, 2013 - 10:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, mini-itx, gtx 670, GK104, directcu mini, asus
ASUS has finalized the design for its Kepler-based DirectCU Mini graphics card. The new card combines NVIDIA's GTX 670 GPU and reference PCB with ASUS' own power management technology and a new, much smaller, air cooler. The new ASUS cooler has allowed the company to offer a card that is a mere 17cm long. Compared to traditional GTX 670 graphics cards with coolers at approximately 24cm, the DirectCU Mini is noticeably smaller.
The DirectCU Mini features a GTX 670 GPU clocked at 928MHz base and 1,006MHz boost. It also has 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus. The card requires a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector. Video outputs include two DVI, one DisplayPort, and a single HDMI port. The ASUS cooler includes a copper vapor chamber and a single CoolTech fan. According to ASUS, the DirectCU Mini is up to 20% cooler and slightly quieter than previous GTX 670 cards despite the smaller form factor.
This new card will be a great addition to Mini-ITX-based systems where saving space anyway possible is key. It is nice to know that gamers will soon have the option of powering a small form factor LAN box with a GPU as fast as the GTX 670. Even better, water cooling enthusiasts will be happy to know that the card still uses a reference PCB, meaning it is compatible with existing water blocks made for the current crop of GTX 670 cards.
Pricing and availability have not been announced, but the small form factor-friendly GPU is now official and should be coming sometime soon.
Subject: Processors | April 3, 2013 - 08:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mobile, Lenovo, electrical engineering, chip design, arm
According to a recent article in the EE Times, Beijing-based PC OEM Lenovo many be entering the mobile chip design business. An anonymous source allegedly familiar with the matter has indicated that Lenovo will be expanding its Integrated Circuits design team to 100 engineers by the second-half of this year. Further, Lenovo will reportedly task the newly-expanded team with designing an ARM processor of its own to join the ranks of Apple, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Huawei, Samsung, and others.
It is unclear whether Lenovo simply intends to license an existing ARM core and graphics module or if the design team expansion is merely the begining of a growing division that will design a custom chip for its smartphones and Chromebooks to truly differentiate itself and take advantage of vertical integration.
Junko Yoshida of the EE Times article notes that Lenovo was turned away by Samsung when it attempted to use the company's latest Exynos Octa processor. I think that might contribute to the desire to have its own chip design team, but it may also be that the company believes it can compete in a serious way and set its lineup of smartphones apart from the crowd (as Apple has managed to do) as it pursues further Chinese market share and slowly moves its phones into the United States market.
Details are scarce, but it is at least an intriguing protential future for the company. It will be interesting to see if Lenovo is able to make it work in this extremely-competitive and expensive area.
Do you think Lenovo has what it takes to design its own mobile chip? Is it a good idea?
Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 06:53 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ice storm extreme, ice storm, Futuremark, benchmarking, Android, 3dmark
Futuremark recently unveiled its latest 3DMark benchmarking suite for Android devices. Compatible with over 1,000 devices, the new 3DMark is a free benchmark that incorporates both the Ice Storm and Ice Storm Extreme tests. The benchmark was developed by Futuremark in cooperation with a number of industry companies including Broadcom, Imagination Technologies, Intel, NVIDIA, and Qualcomm. The Ice Storm Extreme test is also coming to the Windows version of 3DMark, and the tests can be used to compare benchmark scores across platforms.
Both the benchmarking tests are based on OpenGL ES 2.0. Ice Storm runs through two graphical tests to stress the GPU and one physics test to measure CPU performance. The ice Storm Extreme benchmark takes things further by bumping up the resolution to 1080 and swapping in higher quality textures and post processing effects.
The benchmark is compatible with a number of mobile smartphones and tablets running Android 3.1 or higher. It is a free download from the Google Play store.
The iOS and Windows RT versions of 3DMark are still in development. More information can be found in the press release.
Read more about Futuremark's 3DMark benchmarking suite at PC Perspective.
Subject: Storage | April 3, 2013 - 06:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, 1TB Platter, 4TB, Hard Drive, storage
Seagate recently took the wraps off of a new 4TB hard drive. The new drive uses the company's 1TB platters, and the ST4000DM000 uses four 1TB platters. Other characteristics include a 7,200 RPM spindle speed, 64MB cache, and support for the SATA III 6 Gbps interface.
According to the company, the 4TB drive boasts an average read/write data rate of 146MB/s (which is good for a mechanical hard drive), max sustained transfer speed of 180MB/s, and sub-8.5ms and 9.5ms average seek times for read and write operations respectively.
The drive is compatible with Seagate's DiskWizard technology, allowing the full 4TB to be used on legacy operating systems. At 4TB, this drive is perfect for digital pack rats and media enthusiasts.
The 4TB Seagate drive can be found for around $190 USD online for the bare-bones drive, or approximately $205 for retail packaging. You can find more information on the 4TB mechanical hard drive on this Seagate data sheet (PDF) or the drive's product page.
I have to admit that I'm tempted by this, despite not having filled my 2TB drive yet.
AMD has announced that is will be hosting an event for fans in San Francisco this weekend. The AMD Fan Day is free with registration (register here), and fans will give enthusiasts a chance to go hands-on with the company's 2013 hardware lineup, play several newly released (and some not-yet-released) games, talk with industry experts, check out modded PCs, and have a chance to win free hardware and swag from AMD, Corsair, and Gigabyte.
Gamers will get a chance to speak with the developers for Bioshock Infinite, Far Cry 3, Crysis 3, Devil May Cry (DMC), and Tomb Raider as well as AMD representatives. VIZIO, IGN, Ubisoft, Sapphire, and Logitech will also be attending the AMD fan day to show off their latest products.
The event will held at City View at Metreon (address below) at 5:30pm on Saturday, April 6th. Best of all, the first 1,000 registered attendees in the door will get a free AMD A8 5600K APU. The first 120 attendees will win both an A8 5600K APU and an A85X motherboard.
One of the modded PCs that will be on the event floor.
If you're going to be in the area this weekend and are interested in going, be sure to head over to the AMD site and register. It sounds like it should be a fun time, and the free hardware doesn't hurt!
The AMD Fan Day will be held at the following address:
City View at Metreon
135 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94013
Will you be checking out the AMD fan day to enjoy some gaming and PC hardware?
Subject: Motherboards | April 2, 2013 - 11:27 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, p9x79-e, workstation, Sandy Bridge E, quad sli, quad crossfire, lga 2011
Earlier this year at CES, ASUS showed off a high-end workstation board called the P9X79-E WS. The board is meant for Sandy Bridge-E processors, but will likely be compatible with Ivy Bridge-E as well. Unlike Wolverine and Zeus, the P9X79-E WS is a motherboard that will actually see the light of day and has been officially launched. It will be available sometime in May at an as-yet-unannounced price.
The P9X79-E hosts a single LGA 2011 processor, up to 64GB of 2400MHz DDR3, the Intel X79 PCH, and support for 4-Way SLI or CrossFire on four of its seven total PCI-E 3.0 slots. The workstation board uses a 10-layer PCB, ASUS DIGI+ with 10+2 power phases, DR Power PSU monitoring, ASUS SSD Caching II, solid capacitors, and fanless heatsinks connected via copper heatpipes.
Storage options include six SATA 6Gbps ports, four SATA II 3Gbps ports, and two eSATA ports coming from the front panel header. The rear IO has changed a bit since the board seen at CES, however. The now-official ASUS P9X79-E WS includes the following rear IO options:
- 1 x PS/2 combo port
- 10 x USB 2.0 ports (one can be used for BIOS flashing)
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x eSATA ports
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports backed by Intel i210 GbE controller
- 6 x Analog audio ports
- 1 x Optical S/PDIF port
The board can accommodate up to four dual slot graphics cards or seven single slot expansion cards (like PCI-E SSDs and RAID controllers). As a workstation board, it is likely to be pricey, but for those that need 4-way SLI and LGA 2011 (possibly for Ivy Bridge-E though its hard to say for sure if that will work yet) it is shaping up to be a good option. As mentioned above, the P9X79-E WS will reportedly be available for purchase in about a month. Sometime in early May or late April, according to Slash Gear.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 2, 2013 - 07:50 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle reloaded, live, crysis, bioshock infinite, amd
UPDATE: If you missed the live stream...sorry, better luck next time! However, you can still view the on-demand version below to see the Bioshock Infinite game play!
On April 2nd on the PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some game action of Bioshock Infinite. Easily the most well received and reviewed game of the year, I am probably more excited to play this game than other we have stream to date!
We will be teaming up with AMD once again to provide a fun and exciting PCPer Game Stream that includes game demonstrations and of course, prizes and game keys for those that watch the event LIVE!
Bioshock Infinite Game Stream
5pm PT / 8pm ET - April 2nd
Warning: this one will DEFINITELY have mature language and content!!
The stream will be sponsored by AMD and its Never Settle Reloaded game bundles which we previously told you about. Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy, you could get some amazing free games including:
Radeon HD 7900 Series
- FREE Crysis 3
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
Radeon HD 7800 Series
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
- FREE Tomb Raider
Radeon HD 7900 CrossFire Set
- FREE Crysis 3
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
- FREE Tomb Raider
- FREE Far Cry 3
- FREE Hitman: Absolution
- FREE Sleeping Dogs
AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as helping me with some co-op gaming!
Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Bioshock Infinite Game Stream:
- 1 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC 2GB card
- 1 x MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB card
- 3 x Combo codes for both Tomb Raider AND Bioshock Infinite
Pretty nice, huh? All you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winners!
Stop in on April 2nd for some PC gaming fun!!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 2, 2013 - 06:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, phantom 630
The NZXT Phantom 630 is much more expensive than many of their models, the $180 price tag puts it in contention with many other long standing high end case manufacturers. This price is justified in many ways, especially the sheer size of the 12.3kg (27.1lb) case which measures 245x627x600mm (9.7x24.7x23.6") and can accept a 170mm tall CPU cooler even with the 200mm side panel case fan installed. Perhaps not the most unobtrusive of cases but it provides enough elbow width to make installing a system much more comfortable. It also gives enough space to either set up watercooling or to depend on aircooling as this case accommodates up to four 140 or 120mm fans and four 200mm fans of which three can be swapped for a higher number of 140 or 120mm fans to accommodate radiators with different fan sizes. Check out the drive capacity and more at [H]ard|OCP.
"NZXT's new enthusiast computer case, the Phantom 630, looks to be truly designed for the computer hardware enthusiast and does not just carry the label like so many other products. NZXT has built the chassis with the end user in mind that wants to take things up a notch and not be annoyed when trying to accomplish his build goals."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- nWin D-Frame Limited Edition Open-Air Chassis @ Tweaktown
- Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master HAF XB Chassis @ eTeknix
- Enermax Ostrog GT Chassis @ eTeknix
- In Win GT1 Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Antec GX700 @ Hardware.info
- Fractal Design Define R4 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- In Win BP655 Chasis @ LanOC Reviews
Azza Silentium 920 Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Compact Liquid Cooling Systems Roundup. Part II: Front Runners @ X-bit Labs
- Cooler Master Seidon 120XL @ techPowerUp
- Gelid Slim 12 UV and PL Blue 120mm Fan @ eTeknix
- Xigmatek XAF Series F1255 120mm Fan @eTeknix
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX @ Kitguru
- DeepCool Neptwin Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Phanteks PH-TC14PE & PH-TC12DX CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Phanteks PH-TC12DX @ Funky Kit
- Zalman FX100 review: passive Ivy Bridge CPU cooler@ Hardware.info
- Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile @ Modders-Inc
- Thermalright True Spirit 120M CPU Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- Evercool Venti HPQ-12025 @ Funky Kit
- DeepCool Frostwin Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Gelid The Black Edition CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2013 - 05:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, FinFET, 16nm, TSMC, Cortex-A57
While what DigiTimes is reporting on is only the first tape out, it is still very interesting to see TSMC hitting 16nm process testing and doing it with the 3D transistor technology we have come to know as FinFET. It was a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 chip that was created using this process, unfortunately we did not get much information about what comprised the chip apart from the slide you can see below.
As it can be inferred by the mention that it can run alongside big.LITTLE chips it will not be of the same architecture, nor will it be confined to cellphones. This does help reinforce TSMC's position in the market for keeping up with the latest fabrication trends and another solid ARM contract will also keep the beancounters occupied. You can't expect to see these chips immediately but this is a solid step towards an new process being mastered by TSMC.
"The achievement is the first milestone in the collaboration between ARM and TSMC to jointly optimize the 64-bit ARMv8 processor series on TSMC FinFET process technologies, the companies said. The pair has teamed up to produce Cortex-A57 processors and libraries to support early customer implementations on 16nm FinFET for ARM-based SoCs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wiping a Smartphone Still Leaves Data Behind @ Slashdot
- ARM processor competition to fire up @ DigiTimes
- Physicists bang the drum for quantum memory @ The Register
- Intel Haswell Socket H Heatsink Requirements and Overclocking Thoughts @ Tweaktown
- Killing Your Internet with Killer Ethernet @ Techgage
- Backdoors Found In Bitlocker, FileVault and TrueCrypt? @ TechARP
- Win ASRock FM2A85X Extreme 6 & Seasonic M12II-850 @ Kitguru
- Win Enermax Goodies From Insomnia i48 @ eTeknix
- NikKTech & Synology Joint Giveaway - One DiskStation DS213+ Up For Grabs
- The TR Podcast 131: News from GDC and FCAT attacks
- Dispatches from the Nexus @ The Tech Report
- AMD touts unified gaming strategy @ The Tech Report
- Intel gets serious about graphics for gaming @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2013 - 10:59 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: lga 2011, Ivy Bridge-E, Intel, 22nm
Many enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the next generation of Intel processors to use LGA 2011, which is supposed to be Ivy Bridge-E. Especially after seeing rumors of a 10 core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge-EP CPU, I think many users expected at least an eight core Ivy Bridge-E part.
Unfortunately, if a slide posted by VR-Zone China is any indication, LGA 2011 users will not be getting an eight core processor any time soon. The slide suggests that Intel will release three new Ivy Bridge-E CPUs in the third quarter of this year (Q3'13). However, the top-end part is merely a six core CPU with slight improvements over the existing Sandy Bridge-E 3960X chip.
Specifically, the slide alleges that the initial Intel release will include the Core i7 4820, Core i7 4930K, and the Core i7 4960X. An Ivy Bridge-E equivalent to the SB-E 3970X is noticeably absent from the lineup along with several of the other rumored (higher core count) chips.
Rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips:
|Clockspeed||Core Count||L3 Cache||Manufacturing Process||TDP|
|Core i7 4960X||3.6GHz (4GHz Turbo)||6||15MB||22nm||130W|
|Core i7 4930K||3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||6||12MB||22||130W|
|Core i7 4820K||3.7GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||4||10MB||22||130W|
Existing Sandy Bridge-E equivalents:
|Clockspeed||Core Count||L3 Cache||Manufacturing Process||TDP|
|Core i7 3960X||3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)||6||15MB||32nm||130W|
|Core i7 3930K||3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)||6||12MB||32nm||130W|
|Core i7 3820||3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)||4||10MB||32nm||130W|
All of the chips allegedly have 130W TDPs, 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, support for quad-channel DDR3-1866 memory, and are built on Intel's 22nm manufacturing process. The low end i7 4820 is a quad core chip clocked at 3.7 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo with 10MB L3 cache. The i7 4930K is an unlocked six core part with 12MB L3 cache and clockspeeds of 3.4 GHz base and 3.9 GHz turbo. Finally, the Core i7 4960X is rumored to be the highest-end chip Intel will release (at least, initially). It is also a six core part clocked at 3.6 GHz base and 4 GHz turbo. It has 15MB of L3 cache. These chips are the Ivy Bridge-E equivalents to the 3820, 3930K, and 3960X chips respectively. The new processors feature higher clockspeeds, and are based on 22nm 3D transistor technology instead of SB-E's 32nm manufacturing process. It seems that Intel has extended unlocking to the lower-tier LGA 2011 chip, as it is listed as the Core i7 4820K. Having an unlocked multiplier is nice to see at the low end (the low end of the enthusiast platform, anyway). Curiously, the TDP ratings are the same, however. That suggests that the move to 22nm did not net Intel much TDP headroom, and the higher clocks are bringing them up to similar TDP numbers. At least the TDP ratings are not higher than SB-E, such that you motherboard and HSF should have no problems accepting an IVB-E CPU upgrade (with a BIOS update, of course).
It will be interesting to see how the new Ivy Bridge-E chips stack up, especially considering Intel may also be unveiling the consumer-grade Haswell processor this year. On one hand, Ivy Bridge-E offers up a CPU upgrade path for existing systems, but on the other hand pricing and the performance of Haswell (and lack of higher core count Ivy Bridge-E chips like previous rumors suggested) may see enthusiasts instead opt for a motherboard+CPU overhaul instead of simply recycling the LGA 2011/X79 motherboard. At this point, if this new slide holds true it appears that Ivy Bridge E/LGA 2011 will become even more of a niche solely for workstations that need the extra PCI-E lanes and quad channel memory. I say this as someone running a Lynnfield system who is itching for an upgrade and torn on going for the enthusiast platform or waiting for Haswell.
What do you think about the rumored Ivy Bridge-E chips, are they what you expected? Do you think they will be worth a CPU upgrade for your LGA 2011-based system or are you leaning towards Haswell?
Read more about Ivy Bride-E at PC Perspective, including: Ivy Bridge-E after Haswell: I think I've gone cross-eyed.
Subject: General Tech | April 2, 2013 - 07:25 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x86 emulator, rpix86, Raspberry Pi, gaming, dos
The Raspberry Pi is proving to be a popular destination for all manner of interesting software projects and open source operating systems. The most-recent Pi project I've come across is a DOS PC emulator by Patrick Aalto called rpix86. A port of DSx86, which ran on the Nintendo DS handheld console, rpix86 is now up to version 0.04 and emulates a 90's X86 computer with enough hardware oomph to run classic PC games!
Rpix86 is an emulator that runs from the console (not within the X GUI desktop environment) on the Raspberry Pi. It emulates the following X86 PC specs:
|Processor||80486 @ ~ 20 MHz (inc. protected mode. No virtual memory support)|
|Memory||640 Kb low memory, 4 MB EMS memory, 16 MB XMS memory|
|Graphics||Super VGA @ 640 x 480 w/ 256 colors|
|Audio||Sound Blaster 2.0 (+ AdLib-compatible FM sounds)|
|Input Devices||US keyboard, analog joystick, 2 button mouse|
|Misc||Roland MPU-401 MIDI Support via USB MIDI Dongle|
Patrick Aalto added support for analog USB joysticks and foot pedals (4 buttons, 4 analog channels) as well as 80 x 50 text mode (required by some MIDI software and Little Big Adventure's setup program) to the recent 0.04 update. He also stripped out debug code, which cut the program size approximately in half.
The developer has stated on his blog that he is working on allowing rpix86 to be used from the terminal within X and adding support for intelligent MPU MIDI mode. A port to the Android operating system called ax86 is also in the works. You can grab the current version of the Raspberry Pi X86 emulator on the developer's website.
With this emulator, you can run most of the DOS games you grew up with (Wolf3D and Digger anyone?), which is definitely a worthy use for the $25 or $35 Raspberry Pi hardware! At the very least, it is an interesting alternative to running DOSBox, and much smaller and more power efficient than running an old X86 PC dedicated to running classic games. Getting those floppies to work with the Pi might be a bit of an issue though, assuming they are still readable (heh).
Read more about the Raspberry Pi computer at PC Perspective.