All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 25, 2014 - 07:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, shield, grid, shield tablet, Psychonauts, red faction: armageddon
Last Tuesday, NVIDIA launched the November SHIELD update with Android 5.0 Lollipop, The Green Box promotion, and a refreshed GRID service. Regarding the last part, which is a game streaming service, they also committed to adding at least one extra title per week. Now, seven days later, they pushed two titles to the service: Psychonauts and Red Faction: Armageddon.
While I have never played Red Faction: Armageddon, I did purchase Psychonauts for the Xbox and, later, the PC. It is a fun, linear narrative about kids in a summer camp that specializes in telekinetic/telepathic education for gifted individuals. If you have a SHIELD device, and you are able to play it on GRID, try it. Like it or not, it's free and does not require an installation.
As will be the case until June 30th, access to the service is free for owners of the SHIELD and SHIELD Tablet. Future titles are expected to be announced on Twitter via the “#GRIDTuesday” hashtag. We will probably have a news post about them, too.
Subject: Systems | November 25, 2014 - 03:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, STRIX GTX 980, i5-4670K, scythe, Kotetsu, quiet computing, Z97-PRO
Silent PC Review has put together their recommendations on how you can build a powerful computer which runs very quietly. The recommended component list certainly lives up to a high powered gaming machine, a STRIX GTX 980, a 3.4GHz i5-4670 and 8GB of DDR3-1866 running on the Asus Z97-PRO. For cooling they chose an air cooler, specifically the Scythe Kotetsu as in their opinion most of the AIO watercoolers have loud fans on their radiators which defeats the purpose of this build. The enclosure of choice is the sound dampened Fractal Design Define R4 with a be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W as opposed to a passively cooled PSU as the excess heat would mean the rest of the fans would need to spin faster to dissipate it. Check out the full article for their alternative suggestions as well as the finished results of the builds.
"The first of our quiet gaming build guides for the season is an ATX tower featuring the highly efficient NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. Join us as we plan, build, and stress test this beast, while trying to keep it quiet enough to satisfy our own high standards. A sneak preview: We managed to keep it under 20 dBA@1m under all test conditions!"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- MSI GS30 Shadow and GamingDock Preview @ Kitguru
- ECS LIVA White Edition 64GB Mini PC Kit @ Legion Hardware
- Shuttle Barebone XH81 Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 25, 2014 - 12:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, h60, AIO, water cooler
It is somewhat surprising to realize that the Corsair H60 has not been updated since 2013 and even more surprising that it remains relevant even after what equates to a huge slice of time in the component industry. It retails for $60 and is compatible with every modern AMD and Intel socket and thanks to its compact design it can fit in smaller systems that the competitions larger coolers cannot. The H60 now falls towards the middle of [H]ard|OCP's performance charts with larger coolers providing a better result but only in systems which they can fit into and also commanding a much higher price than the H60. It may no longer be at the top of the cooler rankings but when you look at the price to performance and flexibility the H60 remains a viable choice for those shopping for an aftermarket cooler.
"Today we are re-reviewing an older All-in-One CPU from Corsair that is surely a stalwart in the CPU cooling industry. The H60 AIO CPU cooler is a cost effective choice for those enthusiasts looking for a good solution at a good price. The redesigned H60 has been in the market place for 2 years now, which is saying something if it is still competitive."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone Tundra TD02 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Comparison of Arctic Silver 5 vs. Arctic MX4 Thermal Paste @ Tech ARP
- IN WIN D-FRAME MINI Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Design Core 3300 Mid Tower Case Review @HiTech Legion
- Thermaltake Core V51 Mid-Tower @ Benchmark Reviews
- Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Review @ OCC
- Fractal Design Define R5 Mid-Tower @ Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Design Define R5 Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- be quiet! Silent Base 800 Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Corsair Obsidian 250D @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2014 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: osx, ubuntu 14.10, linux, apple, OS
Over at Phoronix you can see a comparison between the new Apple OS X 10.10 and the newest release of Ubuntu 14.10. This offers an interesting comparison in performance as both OSes were tested on the same system, a 2013 Macbook Air with a Haswell i5-4250U with onboard HD 5000, 4GB of DDR3-1600MHz and the Apple branded SSD. For content creators and those with no interest in running Windows it highlights the contrasts you can expect between the two operating systems in data transfer and graphics applications. Right from the start you can see that the contest is somewhat one sided, the first benchmark, PostMark, showed the disk with Ubuntu installed performing three times as fast as with OSX. The results get a little closer in some benchmarks but overall Linux outpaces OSX significantly.
"While I delivered some OS X 10.10 Yosemite preview benchmarks back in August, here's my first tests of the official release of Apple OS X 10.10.1 compared to Ubuntu 14.10 Linux. Tests were done of OS X 10.9.5 and OS X 10.10.1 against Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn when running the benchmarks under both GCC and LLVM Clang compilers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ARM seeing troubles penetrating into PC, server industries; IoT becomes new battlefield for Intel, ARM @ DigiTimes
- BitTorrent users are 170 percent more likely to download legally than non-torrenters @ The Inquirer
- Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist @ Slashdot
- Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies @ Slashdot
- You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes @ The Register
- Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray @ The Register
Subject: Storage | November 24, 2014 - 04:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, sata, PS3110-S10, phison, Neutron XT, corsair, 256GB
Allyn recently reviewed the Corsair Neutron Series XT but as it is a brand new controller it is always worth a second opinion. The Tech Report also recently tested this SSD, with its four core PS3110 controller and A19 variant of Toshiba's 19-nm MLC NAND. Three of those cores are devoted to behind the scenes tasks such as garbage collection which should help performance when the drive starts to approach full capacity. When testing performance they did see improvements from the first Phison controlled drive, the Force Series LS which sits at the bottom of their performance ranking. That was not all that held back this drive, lack of support for features which have become common such as Microsoft eDrive put this drive behind the top competition and if Corsair is to make this drive a contender they are going to have to think very carefully about what the MSRP will be.
"Corsair's new Neutron Series XT pairs a quad-core Phison controller with Toshiba's latest MLC NAND. We've taken the 240GB version for a spin to see if it can hang with the big boys."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Neutron XT (240GB) @ The SSD Review
- ADATA SP610 512GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Synology Diskstation DS115J 1-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-653 Pro NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Western Digital My Passport Pro 2 TB Portable (Thunderbolt) @ TechARP
- OWC Thunderbay 4 mini Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure @ The SSD Review
Subject: Displays | November 24, 2014 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 2560x1440, mva, benq, BL3200PT, 32, professional monitor
Displays using Multi-domain Vertical Alignment, aka MVA, offer better response times than standard IPS panels and better viewing angle and colour than ones using TN, sitting somewhat in the middle of these two standards in quality and price. BenQ has released an 32", LED backlit 2560x1440 A-MVA display called the BL3200PT with a 100% colour gamut and 1.07 billion colours, aimed at the professional designer on a bit of a budget. The MSRP of $800 makes it far more affordable than many of the 4K monitors on the market and the use of MVA instead of IPS also helps lower the price without sacrificing too much quality. The connectivity options are impressive, HDMI, DisplayPort, dual-link DVI, and D-Sub, along with audio, two USB plugs and a card reader should ensure that you can connect this display to the necessary resources and it can be adjusted vertically as well as tilt and swivel and is capable of portrait mode. Check out Hardware Canucks full review here.
"BenQ's BL3200PT combines a massive screen size with an Advanced-MVA panel to create a monitor that's a perfect fit for optimizing workflow while delivering good color reproduction."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- AOC U2868PQU 4K UHD 28 inch LCD Monitor Review @ NikKTech
- AOC U3477PQU 34 inch 3440x1440 IPS @ Kitguru
- ASUS RoG SWIFT PG278Q 27-inch G-SYNC Monitor Review @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2014 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Intel, 3d nand
Great news flash fans, Intel will be increasing the storage density of SSDs quite significantly over the next few years. They will be using the 3D NAND technology we have just been introduced to to stack flash memory with 32 planar layers for 32GB per cell with MLC and 48GB per cell if TLC flash is used. This increased density could lead to 10TB SSDs by 2017 as well as mobile devices with 1TB of local memory that runs at higher speeds than the current generations as well. As The Register noted this will have to be accompanied by price reductions as at $1.00/GB no one would even dream of a 10TB drive and even at $0.50 it would be far too expensive. Perhaps Ryan's dreams of low cost flash storage are not as far out there as some seem to feel, indeed he may not be aiming low enough for price per GB. You can also get a peek at what Samsung, Hynix and Sandisk will be up to in the same article.
"IMFT, Intel Micron Flash Technologies, a partnership between Intel and Micron, has a 3D MLC NAND technology, which will be used to build 10TB SSDs in two years."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Linux distributor SUSE delves into software-defined storage @ The Inquirer
- Intel decides to keep tablet subsidies, say sources @ DigiTimes
- Mozilla remembers 2013. Y'know, back when it still gobbled at the Google money-trough @ The Register
- Digitimes Research: Samsung, Apple, LG rank as top-3 smartphone vendors in 3Q14 @ DigiTimes
- KitGuru visits Logitech’s G Labs in Switzerland
- First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you @ The Register
- Tech ARP 2014 Mega Giveaway Contest
Subject: Processors | November 21, 2014 - 04:08 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: quad core, pentium, gaming, far cry 4, dual-core, dragon age inquisition, cpus, budget, athlon
A new report covering dual-core woes with Far Cry 4 paints a "bleak future" for budget gamers.
Image credit: Polygon
For a while now the dual-core Pentium processors have been a great option for budget gaming, with the Pentium G3220 and newer G3258 Anniversary Edition taking center stage in a number of budget gaming builds. Today, we may be nearing the end of the road for dual-core CPUs entirely as a couple of high-profile games now require a quad-core CPU.
Is the anniversary really...over?
Far Cry 4 won't even open with a dual-core CPU installed, and while the game will load when using dual-core CPU's with hyper-threading enabled (for 4 total "cores") the performance isn't very good. PC World's article points to users "reporting that Far Cry 4 flat-out refuses to work with 'straight' dual-core PCs - chips that don’t use hyperthreading to 'fake' having additional cores." The article references a "black-screen 'failure to launch' bug" being reported by users with these dual-core chips.
This should come as good news for AMD, who has embraced quad-core designs throughout their lineup, including very affordable offerings in the budget space.
Image credit: AMD
AMD offers very good gaming performance with a part like the Athlon X4 760K, which matched the Pentium G3220 in our budget gaming shootout and was neck and neck with the Pentium in our $550 1080p gaming PC article back in April. And the Athlon 760K is now selling for just under $77, close to the current best-selling $70 Pentium.
Ubisoft has made no secret of their new game's hefty system requirements, with an Intel Core i5-750 or AMD Phenom II X4 955 listed as the minimum CPUs supported. Another high-profile new release, Dragon Age: Inquisition, also requires a quad core CPU and cannot be played on dual-core machines.
Image credit: Origin
Looks like the budget gaming landscape is changing. AMD’s position looks very good unless Intel chooses to challenge the under $80 price segment with some true quad-core parts (and their current 4-core CPUs start at more than twice that amount).
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2014 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gladius, ASUS ROG, gaming mouse
ASUS has tried something new with their Gladius mouse, detachable USB cables and swappable switches. The mouse ships with a 2 meter braided cable and a 1 meter rubber cable which uas a standard microUSB connector to connect to the mouse, theoretically allowing a wide variety of other possible cabling choices. As well the switches for the top and side buttons are also changeable, you can replace them with a variety of Omron D2F and D3FC Series switches if you so desire. This is definitely aimed at games, the mouse supports 2000Hz USB polling rates and the Pixart 3988 optical sensor has a 6400dpi resolution. Read Benchmark Reviews article here to see what they thought of this mouse that should fit most right hands.
"The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of products is no stranger to gaming peripherals, however recently, ASUS has turned to it’s newer product line, Strix, to release most of it’s gaming oriented products. This made the release of the ASUS ROG Gladius mouse confusing at first, but after realizing that this is ASUS’ premium mouse option it only made sense to put it in ASUS’ most prominent line of products. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the ASUS ROG Gladius Gaming Mouse."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS Strix Claw gaming mouse and Strix Glide Speed mat @ eTeknix
- Cooler Master Mizar Gaming Mouse Review @ OCC
- Zowie FK1 gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- Aorus Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ Modders-Inc
- GAMDIAS Aegis Multi-Function Gaming Set @ eTeknix
- Tesoro Tizona Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2014 - 01:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: unreal engine 4, game jam
Update 3: Day 3 is live. Clearly not going to be done before the Game Jam, but it sounds like this should be a regular thing that I do.
Update 2: Day 1 is starting just after 2 PM EST (~10-15 minutes from now). Stream is up. Link in first update.
Update: Live in less than five! Join me at Twitch.tv/ScottMichaud
It is all for fun, right?
Last week, the official Unreal Engine Twitter account tweeted about an online game jam being held, which starts this Friday (November 21st) at midnight and ends just 72 hours later. In that time, participants will attempt to create a full video game. All art, music, code, and so forth must be created in that short window. Existing engines, libraries, and utilties are allowed though, and they are actively encouraged with several license of Unreal Engine 4, Unity Pro, Clickteam Fusion, and GameMaker: Studio being provided to contestants. There are no prizes, except that the top ten, highest-voted entries will be featured in a PewDiePie YouTube video. He is the host of this game jam.
The theme of this game jam is, “Fun to play and fun to watch”. Funny is a bonus.
Oh why not? I have an idea for a quick-ish Unreal Engine 4-based game. While expectations should be kept low, I will enter the jam and I intend to stream the whole development process live on Twitch. Whether or not I am successful, I hope that it will be fun and entertaining for everyone involved. Drop in! Talk in the chat room! Say your opinion! Give suggestions! Embrace exclamation points!
I am not, by any metric, a professional game developer, but it should be a good weekend!
Barring technical issues, the stream will start at around 11:55 PM on Thursday, November 20th, 2014. I will probably work for a few hours that night outlining the concepts and creating assets. I hope you will attend! (Details will be available before the event both here and on Twitter).
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2014 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Tech Report have put together a collection of what they have found to be the most interesting mobile devices you can get your hands on for yourself or to give to others. With the new Broadwell based Core-M available they've recommended a few convertible laptops for your gifting needs in addition to more traditional style laptops including a very inexpensive Bay Trail powered model. If you would rather a device which is neither fish nor fowl then their four tablet recommendations which includes NVIDIA's Shield or the recommended phablets would intrigue you more than a convertible laptop. In keeping with their tradition, no one is recommended to injure themselves or others with the purchase of a Chromebook thanks to the continued draconian limitations on application support on these ChromeOS powered devices.
"Quite a lot has changed since we spun off the mobile section of the TR System Guide into our first mobile staff picks. In just five months, we've seen the arrival of the Core M, Android 5.0, iOS 8.0, and a fresh batch of Nexus hardware and iDevices. All of this calls for a new edition."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop @ The Register
- DerpTrolling hacker group leaks thousands of PSN, Windows Live log-ins @ The Inquirer
- Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP @ The Register
- Asus RT-AC87U 4×4 (Bridge Mode) @ Kitguru
- As Insomnia i53 kicks off explore its origins with Craig Fletcher: KitGuru TV
Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2014 - 10:10 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: yahoo, mozilla, google, firefox
Mozilla, developer of the Firefox web browser, has been mostly funded by Google for the last decade. Between 2005 and 2011, the search giant slowly ramped up its contributions from around $50 million USD for a single year to just over $100 million for the last year. All of this money was to keep the default search engine set to Google for the location and search bar. At that time, journalists were voicing their concerns that Mozilla would be cut off after the success Google saw with their Chrome browser.
In December 2011, Google and Mozilla surprised the world with a different announcement, $300 million dollars per year until November 2014, or almost three times their previous annual contributions. I could not help but feel it was like a light bulb that flares before it extinguishes, although later rumors claimed that Microsoft and Yahoo drove up Google's bid with high counter-offers. Of course, that deal ends this month and Google is no longer the winning bid, if they even proposed a deal at all.
This time, Yahoo won for the next five years (in the US) with a currently undisclosed sum. Yandex will be the default for Russia, and Baidu has been renewed as the default in China.
Yahoo also committed to supporting the Do Not Track (DNT) header for Firefox browsers. If your settings have DNT enabled, the search engine will adjust its behavior to acknowledge your request for privacy. One thing that has not been mentioned is how they will react to your request. This could be anything from treating you as completely anonymous, to personalizing your search results but not your ads, to personalizing your ads but not your search results, to only looking at the geographic location of your IP address, and so forth.
The search experience is not what you will get by going to the Yahoo homepage today; the new site was developed in collaboration with Mozilla and will launch for Firefox users in December. It will go live for every other Yahoo user in 2015.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 20, 2014 - 07:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sli, NVIDA, GTX 970
The contestants are lined up in [H]ard|OCP's test bench, at around $700 you have a pair of GTX 970's and in the same weight class are a pair of R9 290X cards, next weighing in at just under $550 are two R9 290s, and rounding out the completion are a pair of GTX 780's who punch somewhere between $800 to $1000 depending on when you look. The cards are tested for their ability to perform on a 4K stage as well as in the larger 5760x1200 multi-monitor event. After a long and gruelling battle the extra work the 290X put into trimming its self down and fitting into a lower weight class has proven to be well worth the effort as they managed to show up the 970's in every performance category although certainly not in power efficiency. Any of these pairings will be powerful but none can match a pair of GTX 980's who are also in a price class all by themselves.
"We take 2-Way NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 SLI for a spin and compare it to R9 290X CF, R9 290 CF, GTX 780 SLI at 4K resolution as well as NV Surround on a triple-display setup. If you want to see how all these video cards compare in these different display configurations we've got just the thing. Find out what $700 SLI gets you."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition @ Bjorn3d
- MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Review @ OCC
- Gigabyte GTX 970 WindForce 3X @ HardwareOverclock
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI Overclocked @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G @ Bjorn3D
- Raijintek Morpheus VGA Cooler Review @ Hardware Asylum
- AMD Radeon Gallium3D Is Catching Up & Sometimes Beating Catalyst On Linux @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2014 - 03:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nexus 9, nokia n1, lollipop
Sticking with the Lollipop theme of today is a comparison of two large tablets which will be competing for the same market, both powered by the 64 bit version of Lollipop. They are both fairly large, the Nokia N1 is 201 x 139 x 6.1mm (7.9 x 5.4 x 0.25") and a weight of 318g, the Nexus 9 is 228x154x7.9mm (9 x 6 x 0.3") at a weight of 425g. Both of the tablets have IPS displays with a resolution of 1536 x 2048, obviously the smaller Nokia has a slightly higher pixel density. It is when you examine the internals that the differences really start, Nokia has gone with a quad-core 2.3GHz Atom Z3580 while the Nexus is powered by a dual-core 2.3GHz Tegra K1. The Nokia is the tablet of choice for those who take selfies as the front facing camera is 5MP though both have an 8 megapixel camera on the back. The Nexus will likely last longer on the run with a 6,700mAh battery compared to Nokia's 5,300mAh battery. The Inquirer has not had a chance to run benchmarks but there is one final statistic worth noting, the Nexus 9 is to retail for $400 while the N1 is planned to sell for about $250.
"MICROSOFT-FREE Nokia unveiled the Lollipop-powered Nokia N1 tablet this week, which looks to steal buyers away from Google's Nexus 9 with its stock Android 5.0 software, 64-bit Intel chip and fully aluminium design."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet @ The Register
- Nexus 6 @ The Inquirer
- ThL 5000 Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Diamond USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Mini Ultra Dock Review @ OCC
- LUXA2 PL3 10400mAh Leather Power Bank Review @ NikKTech
- Best iPhone 6 Cases @ The Inquirer
- Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2014 - 02:40 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, msi, am3+, windows 10, Inateck, corsair, Neutron XT, nvidia, mfaa, shield, grid, gigabyte, raptr, Dell 4K
PC Perspective Podcast #327 - 11/20/2014
Join us this week as we discuss NVIDIA MFAA, Corsair's Neutron XT SSD, New Dell 4K Monitors
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: 1:33:45
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Ryan: ProClip for your car
Subject: Processors | November 20, 2014 - 01:31 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: amd, APU, carrizo, Carrizo-L, Kaveri, Excavator, Steamroller, SoC, Intel, mobile
AMD has certainly gone about doing things in a slightly different manner than we are used to. Today they announced their two latest APUs which will begin shipping in the first half of 2015. These APUs are running at AMD and are being validated as we speak. AMD did not release many details on these products, but what we do know is pretty interesting.
Carrizo is based on the latest iteration of AMD’s CPU technology. Excavator is the codename for these latest CPU cores, and they promise to be smaller and more efficient than the previous Steamroller core which powers the latest Kaveri based APUs. Carrizo-L is the lower power variant which will be based on the Puma+ core. The current Beema APU is based on the Puma architecture.
Roadmaps show that the Carrizo APUs will be 28 nm products, presumably fabricated by GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Many were hoping that AMD would make the jump to 20 nm with this generation of products, but that does not seem to be the case. This is not surprising due to the limitations of that particular process when dealing with large designs that require a lot of current. AMD will likely be pushing for 16 nm FinFET for the generation of products after Carrizo.
The big Carrizo supposedly has a next generation GCN unit. My guess here is that it will use the same design as we saw with the R9 285. That particular product is a next generation unit that has improved efficiency. AMD did not release how many GCN cores will be present in Carizzo, but it will be very similar to what we see now with Kaveri. Carrizo-L will use the same GCN units as the previous generation Beema based products.
I believe AMD has spent a lot more time hand tuning Excavator instead of relying on a lot of automated place and route. This should allow them to retain much of the performance of the part, all the while cutting down on transistor count dramatically. Some rumors that I have seen point to each Excavator module being 40% smaller than Steamroller. I am not entirely sure they have achieved that type of improvement, but more hand layout does typically mean greater efficiency and less waste. The downside to hand layout is that it is extremely time and manpower intensive. Intel can afford this type of design while AMD has to rely more on automated place and route.
Carrizo will be the first HSA 1.0 compliant SOC. It is in fact an SOC as it integrates the southbridge functions that previously had been handled by external chips like the A88X that supports the current Kaveri desktop APUs. Carrizo and Carrizo-L will also share the same infrastructure. This means that motherboards that these APUs will be soldered onto are interchangeable. One motherboard from the partner OEMs will be able to address multiple markets that will see products range from 4 watts TDP up to 35 watts.
Finally, both APUs feature the security processor that allows them access to the ARM TrustZone technology. This is a very small ARM processor that handles the secure boot partition and handles the security requests. This puts AMD on par with Intel and their secure computing solution (vPro).
These products will be aimed only at the mobile market. So far AMD has not announced Carrizo for the desktop market, but when they do I would imagine that they will hit a max TDP of around 65 watts. AMD claims that Carrizo is one of the biggest jumps for them in terms of power efficiency. A lot of different pieces of technology have all come together with this product to make them more competitive with Intel and their process advantage. Time will tell if this is the case, but for now AMD is staying relevant and pushing their product releases so that they are more consistently ontime.
Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2014 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, lollipop, google play, shield
As you have no doubt heard, Android 5.0 aka Lollipop has been released, with NVIDIA's Shield picking it up immediately and most users having no issues whatsoever. Nexus devices have also started to download and install it although that process is not going as smoothly as The Inquirer reports that many users are finding their devices almost unusable after they installed the new OS. We shall see over the coming days if that is a rare occurrence or if the problems are widespread. There was also an update to Chrome which brings stable 64bit performance to Apple users and some changes to the way bookmarks are handled in the beta version as well as numerous bugs which were found and bounty was paid on. There are even more updates to Google Play, maps, wallet and other products which you can catch up on at The Inquirer.
"YEE-HAW AND HOWDY pardners. In the week when it began to rain Lollipops in earnest, it's time to hit the trail for the Google Round-Up."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Finally light bulb's Tesla tech gives LEDs a worthy rival @ The Tech Report
- AMD's Carrizo APUs look to boost laptop and all-in-one performance @ The Inquirer
- A Raspberry Pi in a Game Boy Advance SP @ Hack a Day
- Asustek hosts event to showcase cloud computing, IoT solutions @ DigiTimes
- How SanDisk is Becoming an Open Source Player @ Linux.com
- Commentary: Who will win in race for Apple A9 chip orders? @ DigiTimes
- Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand @ The Register
Subject: Displays | November 20, 2014 - 10:50 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: TN, Samsung, nvidia, monitor, ips, g-sync, freesync, amd
We have been teased for the past few months about when we would see the first implementations of AMD’s FreeSync technology, but now we finally have some concrete news about who will actually be producing these products.
Samsung has announced that they will be introducing the world’s first FreeSync enabled Ultra HD monitors. The first models to include this feature will be the updated UD590 and the new UE850. These will be introduced to the market in March of 2015. The current UD590 monitor is a 28” unit with 3845x2160 resolution with up to 1 billion colors. This looks to be one of those advanced TN panels that are selling from $500 to $900, depending on the model.
AMD had promised some hand’s on time for journalists by the end of this year, and shipping products in the first half of next year. It seems that Samsung is the first to jump on the wagon. We would imagine that others will be offering the technology. In theory this technology offers many of the same benefits of NVIDIA’s G-SYNC, but it does not require the same level of hardware. I can imagine that we will be seeing some interesting comparisons next year with shipping hardware and how Free-Sync stacks up to G-SYNC.
Joe Chan, Vice President of Samsung Electronics Southeast Asia Headquarters commented, “We are very pleased to adopt AMD FreeSync technology to our 2015 Samsung Electronics Visual Display division’s UHD monitor roadmap, which fully supports open standards. With this technology, we believe users including gamers will be able to enjoy their videos and games to be played with smoother frame display without stuttering or tearing on their monitors.”
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | November 19, 2014 - 07:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: x86, restructure, mobile, Intel
Last month, Josh wrote about Intel's Q3 earnings report. The company brought in $14.55 billion USD, of which they could keep $3.31 billion. Their PC group is responsible for $9 billion of that revenue and $4.12 billion of that profit, according to the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, their mobile division is responsible for about $1 million – and it took over a billion to get that million. This has been the trend for quite some time now, as Intel pushes their square battering ram into the mobile and tablet round hole. Of course, these efforts could benefit the company as a whole, but they cannot show that in a quarterly, per-division report.
And so we hear rumors that Intel intends to combine their mobile and PC divisions, which Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesperson, later confirmed in the same article. The new division, allegedly called the “Client Computing” group in an internal email that was leaked to the Wall Street Journal, will handle the processors for mobile devices but, apparently, not the wireless modem chipsets; those will allegedly be moved to a “wireless platform research and development organization”.
At face value, this move should allow Intel to push for mobile even more aggressively, while simultaneously reducing the pressure from investors to give up and settle for x86 PCs. Despite some differences, this echos a recent reorganization by AMD, where they paired-up divisions that were doing well with divisions that were struggling to make a few average divisions that were each treading water, at least on paper.
The reorganization is expected to complete by the end of Q1 2015, but that might not be a firm deadline.