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Subject: Storage | January 20, 2014 - 05:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sdhc, FlashAir Wi-Fi, toshiba, sd card
Toshiba's FlashAir Class10 is a Wi-Fi enabled SD Card which thankfully supports a number of security protocols which should make it easy for you to get pictures from your camera without sharing them with the world. Madshrimps like the bundled FlashAir software which allows you to tweak functionality up to and including setting up Internet Pass Thru Mode. Check out the surprisingly fast transfer rates in their full review.
"The FlashAir Wi-Fi SDHC from Toshiba is available in different capacities of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB, features a well-developed interface for easy access from both our PC and mobile devices without the need of using an extra app and is also built with the Internet Pass Thru functionality for being able to browse the web while being connected to the newly connected network."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Flash Voyager GO 32GB micro-USB Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Patriot Spark 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
- Icy Dock ToughArmor MB992SK-B 3.5" SATA Mobile Rack Review @HiTech Legion
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-121CL-U3 HDD Docking & Clone Station @ NikKTech
- Thecus N2310 NAS Server Network Storage @ Benchmark Reviews
- Western Digital Red (WD40EFRX) 4 TB NAS Hard Disk Drive @ TechARP
- Plextor M6e PCI Express 512GB SSD @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile | January 20, 2014 - 05:28 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop
MSI is launching two new laptops, the GX70 Destroyer and the GX60 Destroyer, in their gaming lineup. Both are based on the AMD A10-5750M Richland APU and R9-M290X 2GB discrete graphics. MSI included the fastest AMD mobile graphics processor available which targets just above 30FPS in true 1080p Battlefield 4 on Ultra settings. Of course, this could change to some extent when Mantle appears. They also allow access to the APU's HD8650G graphics portion for power-saving while driving three monitors.
The main difference between the two is that the GX70 houses a 17.3-inch 1080p screen while the GX60 contains a 15.6-inch 1080p display. Both contain the same processor, both can be configured with up to 16 GB of RAM, and both have the same aforementioned GPUs standard. They both even have BluRay writers for optical media (seemingly standard at that). They also have keyboards designed by SteelSeries and Ethernet ports designed by Qualcomm (Killer / BigFoot).
|Model||GX70 Destroyer||GX60 Destroyer|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1|
|CPU||AMD A10-5750M 3.5GHz|
|Memory||Up to 16GB DDR3-1600 (2 DIMMS)|
|Graphics||AMD R9-M290X 2GB + HD8650G|
|Display||17.3-inch 1080p LED||15.6-inch 1080p LED|
|Video Out||1x mini Display-Port, 1x HDMI 1.4b, 1x VGA|
Still no word on pricing or availability.
Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2014 - 12:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, 3.13, amd, radeon
There is a new Linux kernel in the wild today and it comes with a lot of enhancements. IPTables has been replaced with the NFTables packet filtering and firewall engine, with backwards compatibility for those who actually forced IPTables to behave. There is a new scalable block layer to deal with the previously unreachable I/O that PCIe SSDs can reach and designed specifically for multi-core systems. There is much more but the update many are most excited about is the performance improvements to Radeons of the 7000 family and new models. The benchmarks that Phoronix posted are very impressive but that is only half the story, there are updates to HDMI audio and Radeon Dynamic Power Management is now enabled by default. Check out the full list of updates here.
"Linux kernel 3.13 has been released. This release includes nftables (the successor of iptables); a revamp of the block layer designed for high-performance SSDs; a framework to cap power consumption in Intel RAPL devices; improved squashfs performance; AMD Radeon power management enabled by default and automatic AMD Radeon GPU switching; improved NUMA and hugepage performance; TCP Fast Open enabled by default; support for NFC payments; support for the High-Availability Seamless Redundancy protocol; new drivers; and many other small improvements."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD is being sued by investors over Llano expectations @ The Inquirer
- AMD Kaveri: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers @ Phoronix
- AMD readies ‘native’ 16-core chips based on ‘Steamroller' @ Kitguru
- Specs and highlights of Intel’s 9-series chipset revealed @ Kitguru
- Intel confirms it will axe 5,400 workers in 2014 @ The Register
- HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' @ [H]ard|OCP
- How To Fix Keychain Corruption In OS X Mavericks @ Tech ARP
- The Android Experiment: I miss the Windows windows @ The Inquirer
- How-To: Kill Your Phone @ MAKE:Blog
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 20, 2014 - 04:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: maxwell, nvidia
Well this is somewhat unexpected (and possibly wrong). Maxwell, NVIDIA's new architecture to replace Kepler, is said to appear in Feburary with the form of a GeForce GTX 750 Ti. The rumors, which sound iffy to me, claims that this core will be produced at TSMC on a 28nm fabrication technology and later transition to their 20nm lines.
As if the 700-series family tree was not diverse enough.
2013 may have been much closer than expected.
Swedish site, Sweclockers, have been contacted by "sources" which claim that NVIDIA has already alerted partners to prepare a graphics card launch. Very little information is given beyond that. They do not even have access to a suggested GM1## architecture code. They just claim that partners should expect a new videocard on the 18th of February (what type of launch that is is also unclear).
This also raises questions about why the mid-range card will come before the high-end. If the 28nm rumor is true, it could just be that NVIDIA did not want to wait around until TSMC could fabricate their high-end part if they already had an architecture version that could be produced now. It could be as simple as that.
The GeForce GTX 750 Ti is rumored to arrive in February to replace the GTX 650 Ti Boost.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Memory, Systems | January 20, 2014 - 02:40 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: corsair, overclocking
I rarely overclock anything and this is for three main reasons. The first is that I have had an unreasonably bad time with computer parts failing on their own. I did not want to tempt fate. The second was that I focused on optimizing the operating system and its running services. This was mostly important during the Windows 98, Windows XP, and Windows Vista eras. The third is that I did not find overclocking valuable enough for the performance you regained.
A game that is too hefty to run is probably not an overclock away from working.
Thankfully this never took off...
Today, overclocking is easier and safer than ever with parts that basically do it automatically and back off, on their own, if thermals are too aggressive. Several components are also much less locked down than they have been. (Has anyone, to this day, hacked the locked Barton cores?) It should not be too hard to find a SKU which encourages the enthusiast to tweak some knobs.
But how much of an increase will you see? Corsair has been blogging about using their components (along with an Intel processor, Gigabyte motherboard, and eVGA graphics card because they obviously do not make those) to overclock. The cool part is they break down performance gains in terms of raising the frequencies for just the CPU, just the GPU, just the RAM, or all of the above together. This breakdown shows how each of the three categories contribute to the whole. While none of the overclocks are dramatic, Corsair is probably proud of the 5% jump in Cinebench OpenGL performance just by overclocking the RAM from 1600 MHz to 1866 MHz without touching the CPU or GPU.
It is definitely worth a look.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | January 19, 2014 - 11:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Keyboards, keyboard
Peter Bright down at Ars Technica wrote an editorial about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. His opinion is that keyboard developers should innovate in ways that "doesn't undermine expectations". Replacing a row of physical keys for a software-controlled touch strip is destructive because, even if the change proved invaluable, it would ultimately be inferior because it clashes with every other keyboard the user encounters. He then concludes with a statement that really should have directed his thesis.
Lenovo's engineers may be well-meaning in their attempts to improve the keyboard. But they've lost a sale as a result. The quest for the perfect laptop continues.
That is the entire point of innovation! You may dislike how a feature interacts with your personal ecosystem and that will drive you away from the product. Users who purchased the laptop without considering the keyboard have the option of returning it and writing reviews for others (or simply put up with it). Users who purchased the laptop because of the keyboard are happy.
I mainly disagree with the article because it claims that it is impossible to innovate the keyboard in any way that affects the core layout. I actually disagree with it for two reasons.
My first issue is about how vague he is. His primary example of good keyboard innovation is the IBM ThinkPad 701c and its "butterfly keyboard". The attempt is to increase the keyboard size to exceed the laptop itself to make it more conventional. Conventional for who? How many people use primarily small laptops with shrunken keyboards compared to people who touch-type function keys?
The second critique leads from the first. The PC industry became so effective because every manufacturer tries to be a little different with certain SKUs to gain tiny advantages. There could have easily been a rule against touchscreen computers. Eventually someone hit it out of the park and found an implementation that was wildly successful to a gigantic market. The QWERTY design has weathered the storm for more than a century but there is no rule that it cannot shift in the future.
In fact, at some point, someone decided to add an extra row of function keys. This certainly could undermine the expectations of users who have to go between computers and electronic typewriters.
It will be tough, though. Keyboards have settled down and learning their layouts is a significant mental investment. There are several factors to consider when it comes to how successful a keyboard modification will become. Mostly, however, it will come down to someone trying and observing what happens. Do not worry about letting random ideas in because the bad ideas will show themselves out.
Basically the point is: never say never (especially not that vaguely).
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 18, 2014 - 08:44 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: camera, mouse, camera mouse, Japan
Have you ever been sitting at your laptop or desktop thinking, "I really need a selfie right about now and this webcam simply will not do"? I have no idea what is wrong with you. Do you not have a cellphone if spontaneous self-photography means that much?
But at least a Japanese company has your back... or is it front?
For the love of... it's even being held the wrong way!!!
Introducing the Camera Mouse. It is a mouse with a camera in it. It is useful if you want to take pictures of things with your mouse. It will be sold by King Jim Co., LTD. which is one of the largest office supplies manufacturers in Japan.
While I have been thinking about this news story, I have been thinking about legitimate use cases. It has been a struggle. I just cannot understand why someone would want to purchase a 1600x1200 camera which is hard-wired to their computer. Thus far, I have only come up with a single possibilities (although it would require significant software development resources that I doubt they intend to provide). The only way I could see myself purchasing this mouse is if it came with OCR and translation software so that I could point it at my monitor and automatically translate any text on screen.
Even then, I expect the vast majority of foreign language content would be in a web browser and two of those automatically translate text anyway. It would help for text in images or text in videos but otherwise I could not see the point even then. Moreover, all of this assumes the software even exists in a reasonable package (Bluestacks running Google Translate is probably no more useful than a cell phone).
But who knows. I could be missing the bigger picture. I could be missing the subtle nuances of their target audience. Maybe I just need to see things at two megapixels from under a sweaty palm.
Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2014 - 12:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: quarterly earnings, Intel, financial results, earnings
Intel has released financial results for the full year and fourth quarter of 2013. According to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, the company had a "solid fourth quarter." Although full year revenue and net income fell, there was a slight increase in Q4 net income and revenue YoY compared to Q4 2012.
In 2013 Intel had $52.7 billion in total revenue along with $12.3 billion operating and $9.6 billion net income. Compared to the previous year (2012), Intel's revenue fell 1% while operating income and net income fell 13% and 16% respectively. Specifically of interest to the PC Perspective readers, the PC Client Group had 2013 revenue of $33.0 billion which was down 4% versus 2012.
|Q4 2012||Q4 2013||YoY Change||2012||2013||YoY Change|
All $ figures are in billions (USD).
As far as the previous quarter (Q4 2013) alone, Intel made revenue of $13.8 billion which was a 3% increase versus the same quarter in 2012. Quarterly net income also increased 6% YoY to $2.6 billion.
Looking forward into 2014, Intel estimates revenue for the first quarter (Q1 2014) to be $12.8 billion. Unfortunately, Intel plans to cut approximately 5,000 jobs (specifically 5% of its workforce) in 2014 despite the "solid" company performance.
You can find more information in this Intel press release.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 17, 2014 - 09:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, thermaltake, full tower, eatx, core v71
Thermaltake recently launched the Core V71, which is an attractive full tower case with a modular drive bay design and plethora of cooling options. The cold rolled steel (SPCC) chassis is all black with large mesh front and top panels. A large side panel window and LED fans show off the internals.
The full tower Core V71 measures 23" x 9.1" x 22" (583x230x560mm) and supports E-ATX motherboards, 8 PCI slots, 185mm tall CPU coolers, up to 400mm long graphics cards (with hard drives removed, 310mm with the drives installed), two 5.25" drive bays, and eight 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives. The drive cages are tool-less and can be completely removed from the case. In fact, users can take out the drive cages and support bar to completely rid the PC of drive bays. Alternatively, users can utilize two hidden drive bays on the back of the motherboard tray to maintain a clean design without completely sacrificing 3.5" storage.
The case has a spot for a standard ATX PSU in the bottom of the case and numerous rubber grommets for routing and hiding cables behind the motherboard tray.
As far as cooling, users can go with water cooling radiators and/or air cooling. The cooling possibilities work out as follows:
- Top: 2 x 200mm / 140mm or 3 x 120mm
- Front: 2 x 200mm / 140mm or 3 x 120mm
- Rear: 1 x 140mm / 120mm
- Bottom: 2 x 120mm
That works out to as many as nine 120mm fans or four 200mm fans and three 120mm fans if you opt for air cooling. On the water cooling front, users could put as many as two 420mm (or smaller) radiators, one 240mm radiator, and one 120mm radiator. This would be a good use case (heh) for NZXT's Kraken G10 GPU water cooling mount with allows users to cool their GPU(s) using CPU-style closed loop water coolers in 120mm and 240mm varieties or even going all out with a custom water cooling loop for every component in the system. There are a lot of possibilities with this full tower case!
In all, the Core V71 appears to be a really nice full tower option with decent looks, tool-less bays, and ample cooling mounts. The case will be available soon with an MSRP of $160 in the US. For a new full tower that's not bad and has my interest!
Subject: Displays | January 17, 2014 - 06:35 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vg248qe, nvidia, gaming, g-sync, DIY, asus
NVIDIA's new G-Sync variable refresh rate technology is slowly being rolled out to consumers in the form of new monitors and DIY upgrade kits that can be used to add G-Sync functionality to existing displays. The first G-Sync capable monitor to support the DIY upgrade kit path is the ASUS VG248QE which is a 24" 1080p 144Hz TN panel. The monitor itself costs around $270 and the you can now purchase a G-Sync DIY upgrade kit from NVIDIA for $199.
The upgrade kit comes with a replacement controller board, power supply, HDMI cable, plastic spudger, IO shields, and installation instructions. Users will need to take apart the VG248QE monitor, remove the old PCBs and install the G-Sync board in its place. According to NVIDIA the entire process takes about 30 minutes though if this is your first time digging into monitor internals it will likely take closer to an hour to install.
The NVIDIA G-Sync DIY kit below the ASUS VG248QE monitor.
For help with installation, NVIDIA has posted a video of the installation process on YouTube. If you find text and photos easier, you can follow the installation guides written up for PC Perspective by Allyn Malventano and reader Levi Kendall. Both DIY kit reviews stated that the process, while a bit involved, was possible for most gamers to perform with a bit of guidance.
You can order the DIY upgrade kit yourself from this NVIDIA page.
Alternatively, ASUS is also releasing an updated version of the VG248QE monitor with the G-Sync board pre-installed in the first half of this year. This updated G-Sync monitor will have an MSRP of $399.
With the G-Sync kit at $199, will you be going the DIY path or waiting for a new monitor with the technology pre-installed?
Read more about NVIDIA's G-Sync display technology at PC Perspective including first impressions, installation, and more!
Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2014 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Xubuntu, TAILS, SUSE, Red Hat, Lubuntu, linux, DouDou, Bodhi
If you've never tried Linux or are looking for a new distro to try then check out Linux.com's top 7 distro list for 2014. If beauty is what you seek then Bodhi is a good choice as it has modified the Enlightenment window manager into something a little more manageable. For Ubuntu users there are two variants you could try, Xubuntu for desktops and Lubuntu for older less powerful laptops. For the security conscious there is TAILS, which automatically routes traffic through TOR and constantly deletes any tracking info from local storage as well as being specifically designed to run from a bootable USB drive. For the geeky parents out there, or for those looking for a very simple to understand distro is DouDou. It comes preloaded with an array of childrens learning software and Dan's Guardian to somewhat limit internet sites of a nature unsuited for the very young.
"The Linux avalanche is rolling and gathering mass and momentum. Linux won, so what's next? Amazing growth is what's next: we're at the bare beginning of the Linux juggernaut rolling into existing markets and blazing into new ones. All this growth and progress is the result of years of hard work by tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars of investment. It has reached critical mass and there is no stopping it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel treads water despite drowning PC biz clinging to Chipzilla's legs @ The Register
- Microsoft should just rename Windows XP as Windows 9 @ The Inquirer
- ASUS RT-AC56U & USB-AC56 802.11AC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Americans To FCC Chair: No Cell Calls On Planes, Please @ Slashdot
- You can snag a 39" 4K display for $404 @ The Tech Report
- NuForce Worldwide Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, steelseries, siberia elite, gaming headset
The Siberia Elite USB Gaming Headset replaces the familiar Siberia V2 but has a lot of work cut out for it considering it's $200 price tag. It uses Dolby Pro Logic IIx to create virtual 7.1 surround sound and has a response range of 16Hz to 28 KHz and ships with a USB Soundcard V2 accessory for those who do not already possess a decent audio codec. One unique feature that Benchmark Reviews pointed out is the 3.5mm jack present on the headphone which allows you to daisy chain headphones together so you can share music with a friend; some would choose to just use speakers but to each their own. The headset isn't perfect but overall Benchmark Reviews left with a positive attitude and a recommendation to pick these up if you are in the market for decent quality gaming headphones.
"SteelSeries peripherals and headsets are well known for their sleek design, high quality and excellent functionality among enthusiasts and gamers alike. Today Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at the newest line from SteelSeries; The Siberia Elite Gaming Headset (model# 51151). We will put them through their paces in a variety of scenarios including watching films, listening to music, and of course – gaming."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bitfenix Flo Gaming Headset @ Kitguru
- Sennheiser G4ME Zero Headset @ Kitguru
- Corsair Raptor HS30 Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- A.M.P Pulse Wireless Mobile Headphones @ NikKTech
- ARCTIC P402 BT Bluetooth Headset @ Funky Kit
- ASUS Xonar U7 Echelon Edition @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, crystal cove, not fair
The Tech Report got a chance to play with the new Oculus Rift prototype called Crystal Cove, proving once again life is anything but fair. The 720p LCD has been replaced with a 1080p AMOLED display with significantly reduced pixel response times which should reduce the nausea and vertigo experienced by users of the previous prototype. That is not the only upgrade, they've created a low persistence mode which helps mitigate the ghosting present on previous models and implemented variable refresh rates though they declined to discuss the technology used to acheive that effect. Check out more in the full article but expect to end up jealous.
"The absolute highlight of last year's CES was getting a first look at an Oculus Rift prototype. Strapping on a Rift for the first time is a mind-blowing experience. It will change your view of what's possible in gaming in the next 5-10 years.
Naturally, then, when it came time to plan for CES 2014, I made sure to schedule some time with the folks at Oculus to see what they—and especially new Oculus CTO John Carmack—have been doing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft reanimates Windows XP's corpse @ The Inquirer
- Security holes in Word, the Windows kernel and Adobe Flash. Party like it's Patch Tuesday again @ The Register
- Oracle spoils your day with NEARLY 150 patches @ The Register
- Rarin' to buy an Ubuntu phone? Maybe not until 2015, Canonical man says @ The Register
- TSMC expects another record year @ DigiTimes
- Starbucks digital wallet app for iPhone has a major security flaw @ The Inquirer
- Sony Smartwatch 2 @ The Inquirer
- Tenda W1800R Wireless AC1750 Dual-Band Gigabit Router @ NikKTech
- Techies CAN sue Google, Apple, Intel et al accused of wage-strangling pact @ The Register
- U Mobile Announces New Surprises For The New Year!
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2014 - 03:19 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, Steam Dev Days, Steam Controller, CES 2014, CES
Valve has always been a company based on experimentation and it looks like the Steam Controller is not the lighthouse which guides SteamOS through the fog. Just a week after presenting the prototype at CES, a 3D mockup of a new one makes not-insignificant changes. Gone is the touchscreen and the first revealed button placement. Frankly, just about the only things untouched on the front face are the twin touchpads and the palm grips.
Image Credit: Leszek Godlewski (Twitter)
To fully understand the breadth of the changes, the announcement image is included below. There is basically no discussion about the back so that aspect might be untouched.
The changes were apparently made to assist compatibility with games ported from more traditional input schemes. Looking at the original prototype, there was no obvious mapping from a Sony or Microsoft-based controller to those buttons spread out for both the left and right thumbs to access. The new setup is the typical four face buttons on the right and four more buttons on the left as a surrogate directional pad. If they continue to iterate down this path I hope that the directional pad is more effective than most from the last two generations. It looks like the four directions are separated from one another which does not inspire confidence.
There are two stories which entangle on this one. The first is that Valve is willing to perform rapid iteration until they achieve what they consider a maximum. That is the method to quickest success especially since it allows cross-pollination between designs.
The second is that it also makes the public a little bit nervous.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 16, 2014 - 02:42 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nzxt, h440, fn v2, 140mm
NZXT unveiled a new mid-tower chassis called the H440 that eschews the archaic 5.25” drive bays in favor of improved cooling and a simpler design. The PC case comes in two color schemes: white with black accents and black with red accents.
The new H440 measures 220mm x 510mm x 475.3mm (approximately 9” x 20” x 19”) and features a sleek design with a shrouded PSU and ample cable routing grommets. There are no 5.25” bays, but users can install up to eight 3.5” or 2.5” drives in removable sleds. There is a large cutout for installing aftermarket CPU coolers up to 180mm tall, seven PCI expansion slots, filtered vents on the front and rear, and support for up to seven fans. A massive side panel window shows off the hardware while hiding the PSU and hard drives along with the majority of cables coming off of the PSU. Users can install graphics cards up to 294mm with the hard drive sleds intact or 406.2mm with the drive sleds removed.
On the cooling front, NZXT is including one 140mm and three 120mm FN V2 fans with the case. The FN V2 fans are NZXT's latest design and driven by the company's fan controller. The case can support water cooling radiators on the top, front, and rear of the case or users can add to the included front and rear fans by installing up to three 120mm (or two 140mm) fans on the top of the case.
The NZXT H440 case has a flat front case panel, but there are filtered vents along the left and right side of the front panel to draw in air. The front IO panel consists of two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two audio jacks. There is an LED-lit power button the left-front side of the H440.
The black and red SKU in particular looks rather sharp, and offers up useful features at a decent price.
Specifically, the new H440 will be available soon in two SKUs (CA-H440W-W1 and CA-H440W-M1) with a MSRP of $119.99 USD. The case comes with a 2 year warranty.
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2014 - 12:26 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, R9 290X, podcast, msi, Kaveri, gsync, gigabyte, freesync, benq, amd, a8-7600, 290x
PC Perspective Podcast #283 - 01/16/2014
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Kaveri APU Launch, Gigabyte's New Slim Gaming Notebook, and CES 2014 Wrapup!
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
Week in Review:
0:22:45 AMD A8-7600 Kaveri APU Review
News items of interest:
0:59:35 Zotac has spherical SFF PC
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2014 - 11:56 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: r9 m290x, r7 m265, r5 m230, mobile gpu, GCN, amd
AMD recently took the wraps off of its latest mobile GPU series in the form of the R5 M200, R7 M200, and R9 M200 series. Currently, there is one GPU in each respective Rx M200 series including the AMD Radeon R5 M230, R7 M265, and R9 M290X. Do not get too excited, however. All of the new mobile GPUs are based on desktop versions of Volcanic Islands and not AMD's new Hawaii GPUs. As such, the Rx M200 series are essentially rebrands of the Radeon HD 8000M series (which was in turn OEM rebrands of the HD 7000M series) based around AMD's Graphics Core Next 1.0 architecture and specifically the Pitcairn GPU implementation.
All of the Rx M200 series support DirectX 11.2 Tier 1, up to 4GB GDDR5 memory, and at least 320 GCN shader cores. Informatin on the mid-range R7 M265 is scarce, but AMD has released information on the low and high end chips. Further, Computer Base has managed to put together specifications for the R5 M230 and R9 M290X. In short, the R5 M230 is a rebranded HD 8570 with higher clockspeeds and support for more memory while the R9 M290X is a rebranded HD 8970M with official support for DirectX 11.2 Tier 1 (the HD8970M technically supports it as well). A more detailed breakdown is as follows.
The R9 M290X features 1280 shaders clocked at 850MHz/900MHz (base/boost), 80 texture units, and 32 ROPs. OEMs can pair the GPU with up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1,200 MHz on a 256-bit bus.
The R5 M230 has 320 shaders clocked at 855MHz, 20 texture units, and 4 ROPs. This GPU can support up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory at 1,000MHz over a 64-bit bus.
Users will be able to get the new Rx M200 series graphics cards in mobile systems from Alienware, Clevo, Lenovo, and MSI. Other manufactures should pick up the new GPUs soon as well. The new series is not terribly exciting being nearly identical to the existing HD 8000M counterparts, but it does update the lineup to AMD's new naming and branding scheme. Notably, should AMD release a Hawaii-based mobile GPU, it has not left itself much room as far as naming goes (R9 M295X?).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 15, 2014 - 06:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zalman, LQ315, liquid cooling system
Zalman's new LQ315 liquid CPU cooler will fit just about any modern socket except for LGA775 and sports a compact 38x153x120mm heat exchanger. 11mm OD rubber tubing and a Propylene Glycol based coolant move the heat from your CPU to that exchanger and its single 120mm fan. FrostyTech tried it with two fans and saw some additional improvements but still felt the shape of the exchanger might have been holding back performance somewhat. The performance was decent but FrostyTech prefers the LQ320 to this model.
"Zalman released three water coolers in the hand of PC enthusiasts earlier this year, in this review Frostytech is testing out the LQ315 model - the middle child as it were. The LQ315 ships fully assembled, plumbed and filled with a coolant. It installs onto Intel socket LGA115x/1366/2011 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 processors. It uses a 120mm wide aluminum heat exchanger equipped with a single 120mm PWM fan that operates at 2000-900RPM. The pump/waterblock is built around a novel micro-skived copper base plate that is connected to the heat exchanger via a 30cm length of flexible rubber tubing."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Coolermaster Seidon 120V Liquid Cooling System Review @ Frostytech
- be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler Review @HiTech Legion
- CORSAIR Hydro Series H105 CPU Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- Top 5 Liquid Cooling CPU Heatsinks - At A Glance @ Frostytech
- Nanoxia Deep Silence 4 @ techPowerUp
- Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Cooler Master CM 690 III @ Kitguru
- BitFenix Ronin @ dvhardware
- Cooler Master COSMOS SE Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2014 - 03:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Swarm, Oxide Games, Nitrous, Mantle, gaming, amd
Without having seen Frostbite run in Mantle there is still some supposition as to the true effect of the new technology; will it increase the performance of high end PCs and allow lower end ones to do things they cannot under DirectX? Engadget has a video of a different Mantle based engine called Nitrous, displaying a demo called Star Swarm which can display thousands of objects simultaneously on screen. In the video they switch to DirectX to show you how much the demo slows down and what effects need to be disabled to be able to make it perform as it does under Mantle. If this translates to real game performance Mantle could totally change RTS and most other types of games by a huge margin. Let's hope it arrives soon now that Kaveri is out!
"Some RTS games set the limit at 50-70 units, while others can cope with as many as 500, but a new game engine called Nitrous takes things up a level: It uses AMD's Mantle programming tool to speed up communication between the CPU and GPU, allowing up to 5,000 AI- or physics-driven objects (i.e., not mindless clones or animations) to be displayed onscreen at one time."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wot I Think: Long Live The Queen @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Importance of AMD TrueAudio in Thief explained by Eidos Montreal @ HEXUS
- White Heat: White Night Is Beautifully Unnerving @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- OpenMW Brings Morrowind To Cross-Platform Engine @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2014 - 12:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: CES 2014
If you have read all of our coverage of CES 2014 and are in need of more then The Tech Report can help you get your fix. This roundup has dozens of links all broken down by category. From Cases and Cooling through Input devices there should be just about everything you could need to know about. There are even a good half dozen links covering one of the hottest recent topics, the Steam Machine.
"We did this last year, and you guys seemed to enjoy it, so we've done it again. Here's a handy, shortbread-style list of every single news item we posted for this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Old news stories can normally be found here in our archive, but isn't this much nicer?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Shelves Cutting-Edge Arizona Chip Factory @ [H]ard|OCP
- Secure Blackphone handset promises to thwart NSA snooping @ The Inquirer
- The INQUIRER Android Experiment: Phablets and 10in tablets
- DRAM supplies to remain tight through 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Google is developing flight 'price comparison thing' with us, claims Ryanair boss O'Leary @ The Register
- Micron: Hot DRAM. We don't need no steenkin' PCM @ The Register
- What Google Really Gets Out of Buying Nest for $3.2 Billion @ Wired
- Exclusive Kaveri interview with Nicolas Thibieroz of AMD @ Kitguru
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- An Arduino Library for the PS4 @ Hack a Day
- Your Mouse Is A Terrible Webcam @ Hack a Day
- The TR Podcast 148: Not quite live from Las Vegas
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