Even More NVIDIA ShadowPlay Features with 1.8.2

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 23, 2014 - 03:29 AM |
Tagged: ShadowPlay, nvidia, geforce experience

NVIDIA has been upgrading their GeForce Experience just about once per month, on average. Most of their attention has been focused on ShadowPlay which is their video capture and streaming service for games based on DirectX. GeForce Experience 1.8.1 brought streaming to Twitch and the ability to overlay the user's webcam.

This time they add a little bit more control in how ShadowPlay records.

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Until this version, users could choose between "Low", "Medium", and "High" quality stages. GeForce Experence 1.8.2 adds "Custom" which allows manual control over resolution, frame rate, and bit rate. NVIDIA wants to makes it clear: frame rate controls the number of images per second and bit rate controls the file size per second. Reducing the frame rate without adjusting the bit rate will result in a file of the same size (just with better quality per frame).

Also with this update, NVIDIA allows users to set a push-to-talk key. I expect this will be mostly useful for Twitch streaming in a crowded dorm or household. Only transmitting your voice when you have something to say prevents someone else from accidentally transmitting theirs globally and instantaneously.

GeForce Experience 1.8.2 is available for download at the GeForce website. Users with a Fermi-based GPU will no longer be pushed GeForce Experience (because it really does not do anything for those graphics cards). The latest version can always be manually downloaded, however.

AMD Introduces Two New Low Power Opteron 6300 Series Processors

Subject: Processors | January 22, 2014 - 11:12 PM |
Tagged: server, piledriver, opteron 6300, amd, 32nm

AMD has updated its Opteron 6300 series lineup with two new processors with lower TDPs. Previously code-named "Warsaw," the Opteron 6370P and Opteron 6338P boast 99W TDPs and 12 and 16 Piledriver cores respectively.

The chips are similar to the existing Opteron 6300-series chips including the 32nm manufacturing process, dual die design, and the use of AMD's older Piledriver CPU cores instead of the latest Steamroller cores found in AMD's new Kaveri APUs. According to Supermicro, the lower 99W TDP parts offer up to 27% higher performance/watt compared to the existing "Abu-Dhabi" 6300 CPUs.

The Opteron 6338P is a twelve core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz base and 2.8 GHz turbo. The Opteron 6370P is a sixteen core part clocked at 2.0 GHz base and 2.5 GHz turbo. As such, the chips are two six and two eight-core silicon dies in one package respectively. The chips have 16MB of L3 cache and support the same instruction sets as the existing 6300 lineup including FMA3, BMI, and F16c. The new chips use AMD's Socket G34 which supports up to 4 sockets (dual die processors) per motherboard.

The new 99W 12-core 6338P and 16-core 6370P are available now for $377 and $598 respectively. The chips will be used in servers from Supermicro and Sugon, and purchasable directly from system integrators including Avnet and Penguin. AMD is aiming these chips at large data centers and cloud computing tasks. While the drop to 99W from the top-end series' 140W TDP does not seem like much, it makes a dramatic difference in the data center world where the electricity costs for racks of servers adds up rapidly.

Source: Ars Technica

Is AMD Showing Decent Recovery?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | January 22, 2014 - 09:41 PM |
Tagged: amd

AMD had a decent quarter and close to a profitable year as a whole. For the quarter ending on December 28th, the company managed $89 million dollars in profits. This accounts for interest payments on loans and everything else. The whole year averaged to a $103 million dollar gain in operating income although that still works out to a loss of $74 million (for the year) all things considered. That said, a quarterly gain of $89 million versus an annual loss of $74 million. One more quarter would forgive the whole year.

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This is a hefty turn-around from their billion dollar operating loss of last year.

This gain was led by Graphics and Visual Solutions. While Computing Solutions revenue has declined, the graphics team has steadily increased in both revenue and profits. Graphics and Visual Solutions are in charge of graphics processors as well as revenue from the game console manufacturers. Even then, their processor division is floating just below profitability.

Probably the best news for AMD is that they plan the next four quarters to each be profitable. Hopefully this means that there are no foreseen hurdles in the middle of their marathon.

Source: Ars Technica

MSI Launching J1800I Mini ITX Motherboard With Intel Bay Trail-D Processor

Subject: Motherboards | January 22, 2014 - 08:55 PM |
Tagged: msi, mini ITX, J1800I, Intel, celeron, Bay Trail-D, Bay Trail

MSI is preparing to release a new Mini ITX motherboard that comes with a pre-installed Intel bay Trail-D processor. The new motherboard is the MSI J1800I and will be available for around $100 USD.

The Mini ITX form factor board features two DDR3 1333MHz SO-DIMM slots, two SATA III 6Gbps ports, and a single PCI-E x1 expansion slot. The aspect that sets this mini ITX board apart is the inclusion of a dual core Intel Celeron J1800 processor clocked at 2.4GHz. This CPU is a Bay Trail-D based on the Silvermont (Atom) micro-architecture. The chip has a 10W TDP and is passively cooled by a bundled aluminum heatsink.

MSI J1800I Bay Trail-D Mini ITX Motherboard.png

IO options on the MSI J1800I motherboard include:

  • 2 x PS/2
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x GbE
  • 3 x Audio

The board could make for a small home server or media box in the living room. The Bay Trail-D processor carries Intel's "Celeron" branding, but is is effectively an OoOE Atom chip. The motherboard+CPU combo should retail for just under $100 and be available soon. More information can be found on this MSI product page.

Source: MSI

What will survive from Games for Windows Live?

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2014 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: gaming, microsoft, G4WL

With the ending of Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service many people are understandably worried that they will no longer be able to access games that they have legitimately purchased.  Some games, such as BioShock 2 have been made available via Steam and so will continue to be available but there is a long list of other games for with the future is uncertain.  The list HEXUS provides is far from complete as many companies have yet to respond to inquiries about the future of their games and for quite a few the only thing we know is that the game is not currently slated to be removed.  Check the current list and keep your eyes open for updates.

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"We last mentioned the closure of the Games for Windows Live (G4WL) service back in October when we heard about BioShock 2 being updated and the main game and all its DLC being made available upon Steam so it could continue to be enjoyed."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: Hexus

OCZ Technology is dead; long live OCZ Storage Solutions!

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2014 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: ocz, toshiba

Toshiba's acquisition of OCZ has been completed though for many consumers it will not be noticeable as they will retain the OCZ brand name for their storage products.  From what can be inferred from DigiTimes coverage here there will be little change in OCZ's structure and branding, the changes will be behind the scenes and will hopefully lead to a much more profitable company.  As you can see from Al's review, the internals of the new OCZ drives will use Toshiba's flash to provide storage but will keep the familiar Indilinx Barefoot controller.  One can only hope Toshiba can continue to provide some of OCZ's previous purchase incentives.

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"Toshiba has finalized the purchase of all assets of OCZ Technology, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. Effective immediately, the subsidiary will operate independently as OCZ Storage Solutions specializing in high-performance solid state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

(Phoronix) Intel Haswell iGPU Linux Performance in a Slump?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 22, 2014 - 02:12 AM |
Tagged: linux, intel hd graphics, haswell

Looking through this post by Phoronix, it would seem that Intel had a significant regression in performance on Ubuntu 14.04 with the Linux 3.13 kernel. In some tests, HD 4600 only achieves about half of the performance recorded on the HD 4000. I have not been following Linux iGPU drivers and it is probably a bit late to do any form of in-depth analysis... but yolo. I think the article actually made a pretty big mistake and came to the exact wrong conclusion.

Let's do this!

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According to the article, in Xonotic v0.7, Ivy Bridge's Intel HD 4000 scores 176.23 FPS at 1080p on low quality settings. When you compare this to Haswell's HD 4600 and its 124.45 FPS result, this seems bad. However, even though they claim this as a performance regression, they never actually post earlier (and supposedly faster) benchmarks.

So I dug one up.

Back in October, the same test was performed with the same hardware. The Intel HD 4600 was not significantly faster back then, rather it was actually a bit slower with a score of 123.84 FPS. The Intel HD 4000 managed 102.68 FPS. Haswell did not regress between that time and Ubuntu 14.04 on Linux 3.13, Ivy Bridge received a 71.63% increase between then and Ubuntu 14.04 on Linux 3.13.

Of course, there could have been a performance increase between October and now and that recently regressed for Haswell... but I could not find those benchmarks. All I can see is that Haswell has been quite steady since October. Either way, that is a significant performance increase on Ivy Bridge since that snapshot in time, even if Haswell had a rise-and-fall that I was unaware of.

Source: Phoronix

SteamOS Beta Non-UEFI Support & Other Untested Features

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 22, 2014 - 01:27 AM |
Tagged: valve, SteamOS

When Valve launched SteamOS, it was definitely a beta product. Its installer prompted Ryan to make a troubleshooting video on our Youtube channel. It also apparently required a computer equipped with a UEFI which only became common about two or three years ago. It is also very difficult to install as a dual-boot configuration which complicates its coexistence with Windows (because Microsoft will certainly not support it from their end).

steam-os.png

Thankfully, most or all of these issues are being addressed in the latest beta SteamOS ISO... at your own risk. They are very careful to highlight that this beta has not been properly tested. Given that their initial release could nuke a random hard drive full of data, I would take that warning seriously.

These changes come from the project, "Ye Old SteamOSe". I am not sure that it solves the USB overwrite issue that we experienced (unless it was already fixed at some point) but I would expect that custom partitions and dual-boot would be impossible if that bug still existed. The highlighted features, according to the announcement's comments, are:

  • Non-EFI support
  • DVD install support
  • Custom partitions in Expert mode (cannot resize NTFS partitions).
  • Dual-boot in Expert mode.

If you would like to give SteamOS installation another shot, on a machine that you feel comfortable testing software with, then check out the Steam Universe thread.

Rumor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Black and GTX 790 Incoming

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 21, 2014 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: rumor, nvidia, kepler, gtx titan black, gtx titan, gtx 790

How about some fresh graphics card rumors for your Tuesday afternoon?  The folks at VideoCardz.com have collected some information about two potential NVIDIA GeForce cards that are going to hit your pocketbook hard.  If the mid-range GPU market was crowded wait until you see the changes NVIDIA might have for you soon on the high-end.

First up is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Black Edition, a card that will actually have the same specifications as the GTX 780 Ti but with full performance double precision floating point and a move from 3GB to 6GB of memory.  The all-black version of the GeForce GTX 700-series cooler is particularly awesome looking.  

gtx790pic.jpg

Image from VideoCardz.com

The new TITAN would sport the same GPU as GTX 780 Ti, only TITAN BLACK would have higher double precision computing performance, thus more FP64 CUDA cores. The GTX TITAN Black Edition is also said to feature 6GB memory buffer.This is twice as much as GTX 780 Ti, and it pretty much confirms we won’t be seeing any 6GB Ti’s.

The rest is pretty much well known, TITAN BLACK has 2880 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs and 48 ROPs.

VideoCardz.com says this will come in at $999.  If true, this is a pure HPC play as the GTX 780 Ti would still offer the same gaming performance for enthusiasts.  

Secondly, there looks to be an upcoming dual-GPU graphics card using a pair of GK110 GPUs that will be called the GeForce GTX 790.  The specifications that VideoCardz.com says they have indicate that each GPU will have 2496 enabled CUDA cores and a smaller 320-bit memory interface with 5GB designated for each GPU.  Cutting back on the memory interface, shader counts and even clocks speeds would allow NVIDIA to manage power consumption at the targeted 300 watt level.  

gtx790table.jpg

Image from VideoCardz.com

Head over to VideoCardz.com for more information about these rumors but if all goes as they expect, you'll hear about these products quite a bit more in February and March.

What do you think?  Are these new $1000 graphics cards something you are looking forward to?  

Source: VideoCardz

Finding the best wireless speakers

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2014 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: audio, bluetooth, wireless audio

Wireless speakers are being advertised everywhere, from TV commercials featuring Beats Audio shaped like a pill you really don't want to take to the floors of CES.  Such a glut of products is a good thing for consumers, assuming they are able to determine the best speaker for their usage.  The Inquirer took a look at over 10 different portable speakers, from the Q-bopz Green which uses a suction cup to attach to any glass surface to the Scosche Boombottle which claims to be able to handle any weather you might need to listen to music in.  Most use Bluetooth though NFC is utilized as well, check out which one is right for you and your travels.

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"BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS have replaced the now somewhat redundant 'i-dock', as the market has become saturated with an army of wireless boom boxes in all shapes, sizes and prices due to people prefering to use their smartphones and tablets for audio playback."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: The Inquirer

Thanks for the warning LogMeIn

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2014 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: logmein, remote access

If you are a user of the free version of LogMeIn you may have received an email today informing you that the free version of this product has been discontinued, immediately.  Even if you didn't get the email, logging in to the service will display the warning below.  For the more technically inclined this may be meaningless or a great excuse to finally set up SSH on a Linux box.  For those relatives who purchased a decent version of Windows, Remote Desktop Connection is also a reasonable choice, assuming you can set up a user on that machine and properly configure your network to allow RDP to connect successfully.

However as the commentators on Slashdot are quick to mention this won't help you with old aunt Bessie who lives on the other side of the country.  You can't get to her machine to configure the proper settings nor is she going to be willing to have to interact with the machine in order to allow you to connect any more than she has in the past.  In some cases join.me will suffice for now, keep in mind it is also a free service from LogMeIn and could also disappear without warning at any time if today's move is any indication of their plans.   Alternatives such as TeamViewer and Crossloop may be able to fill in for LogMeIn in those situations; have you had any experience with those solutions or have other suggestions for remote assistance of those less technically inclined friends and relatives we all have in abundance?

lmi.png

"The remote desktop service LogMeIn sent an email to its users today notifying them that 'LogMeIn Free' will be discontinued — as of today. This is a major shock with minimal warning to the millions of users who have come to rely on their service, made all the more surprising by the fact that 'consensus revenue estimates for LogMeIn in 2014 are $190.3 million,' suggesting that their system of providing both free and paid accounts for what is ultimately a straightforward service that could be duplicated for well under $1 million was already doing quite well."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: Slashdot

64-bit Android is Down By the Bay

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | January 21, 2014 - 04:14 AM |
Tagged: x86, Intel, Android, 64-bit

Given how long it took Intel to release a good 64-bit architecture, dragged ear-first by AMD, it does seem a little odd for them to lead the tablet charge. ARM developers are still focusing on 32-bit architectures and current Windows 8.1 tablets tend to stick with 32-bit because of Connected Standby bugs. Both of these should be cleared up soon.

Also, 64-bit Android tablets should be available this spring based on Bay Trail.

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According to Peter Bright of Ars Technica, Android will be first to 64-bit on its x86 build while the ARM variant hovers at 32-bit for a little while longer. It would not surprise me if Intel's software engineers contributed heavily to this development (which is a good thing). I expect NVIDIA to do the same, if necessary, to ensure that Project Denver will launch successfully later this year.

The most interesting part about this is how the PC industry, a symbol of corporate survival of the fittest, typically stomps on siloed competitors but is now facing the ARM industry built on a similar Darwin-based logic. Both embrace openness apart from a few patented instruction sets. Who will win? Well, probably Web Standards, but that is neither here nor there.

Source: Ars Technica

HP: Save Your PC & $150 USD with Windows 7?

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 21, 2014 - 03:39 AM |
Tagged: windows xp, Windows 7, hp

Windows 7 is not available to purchase at retail, officially, but system builders are still allowed to integrate it into their PCs until at least October. At the same time, Windows XP is nearing its end of life of April 8th (the day of its last security update). A third coincidence, modern Windows could easily be compared to modern art because it is made by someone who tells you what is legitimate and, when you actually attempt to admire it, makes no sense unless the designer explains everything.

HP took these three points as an opportunity.

hp-win7-promo.jpg

If you purchase from a set of select new desktop or laptops, HP will ship it with Windows 7 installed by default. On top of needing to physically choose Windows 8.1, the default Windows 7 install also comes with a $150 USD discount. The models are spread between Pavilion and Envy desktops and laptops.

I believe this is a very smart move for HP. You may soon have a mass of customers looking to replace expired devices and they may want the closest analogy to what they are used to. They will still have Windows 8-based options but they want to capitalize on anyone looking for something else.

Personally, trolling aside, I actually do not mind the interface of Windows 8.1. My only complaint is the reliance upon Windows Store and its potential future problems especially if it becomes the only way to install software. Could you imagine if someone like the NSA forced Microsoft to not certify encryption apps (or worse, tamper with them)? One of a million problems that mandatory certification, and the interest groups who abuse it, brings.

Source: HP

Valve Virtual Reality Project at Steam Dev Days

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | January 20, 2014 - 11:35 PM |
Tagged: valve, virtual reality

Steam Dev Days was last week. At it, Valve announced a redesign of their Steam Controller and the removal of Steam Greenlight, among other notables. This was a press-free event, officially. Of course, due to Twitter and other social media platforms, everyone can decide to be a journalist on a whim. Things are going to leak out.

Other things are going to be officially released, too.

Valve-VR-heroish.jpg

Michael Abrash held a speech at the event discussing his virtual reality initiative within Valve. Both it and the Steam Machine project was in question when the company released Jeri Ellsworth and several other employees. After SteamOS was announced and castAR, Jeri's project at Valve, had its Kickstarter, it was assumed that Valve gave up on augmented reality. Despite this, they still kept Michael Abrash on their staff.

I would speculate, completely from an outside position, that two virtual reality groups existed at one point (at least to some extent). The project seems to have been sliced into two parts, one leaving with Jeri and one continuing with Michael. I seriously doubt this had anything to do with the "High School Cliques" that Jeri was referring to, however. She said it was "longtime staff" (Michael was newly hired around the end of Portal 2's development) and not within her hardware team.

valve-vr-specs.jpg

These are the specs that Valve has developed prototypes to.

1K x 1K per eye is about 100x less than they would like, however.

Ooo... 100 megapixels per eye.

I just believe it all shook out to an unfortunate fork in the project.

Politics aside, Michael Abrash sees virtual reality affecting "the entire entertainment industry" and will be well supported by Steam. I hope this would mean that Valve will finally drop the hammer on music and movie distribution. I have been expecting this ever since the Steam infrastructure was upgraded back in July 2011. Of course, neither server or software will solve content availability but I am still expecting them to take a shot at it. Remember that Valve is creating movies, could they have plans for virtual reality content?

valve-vr-room.jpg

The latest prototype of the Oculus Rift uses camera tracking for low-latency visibility.

This looks like Valve's solution.

The PDF slide deck is publicly available and each page includes the script he heavily followed. Basically, reading this is like being there, just less fun.

Source: Valve

CoolerMaster has a liquid surprise for you

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 20, 2014 - 07:36 PM |
Tagged: coolermaster, Nepton 280L, liquid cooling system

FrostyTech have seen a lot of coolers over the years, lately there has been a large influx of liquid cooling systems to review which for the most part all perform relatively the same.  It has been a long time since they saw a new product offer a big increase in performance but Coolermaster came through with their new Nepton 280L.  Part of the great performance is likely due to the heat exchanger, 30mm thick and 311x140mm in size with a pair of 140mm PWM fans to allow you to choose the most powerful cooling possible or to reduce fan noise at the cost of temperature.  On high nothing could touch this cooler and even better, it stayed near the top when running quietly and you can pick it up for $150

nepton280L_pspc.jpg

"Coolermaster's Nepton 280L is the best performing all-in-one CPU watercooler Frostytech has tested... thus far. More surprisingly for us, the Nepton 280L managed to rise to the top of the 200W Intel LGA2011, 150W & 85W Intel LGA115x/775 and 125W AMD synthetic thermal heatsink test results charts. After testing +750 CPU thermal solutions, it's kind of nice to be surprised."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: FrostyTech

The handiest SD Card?

Subject: Storage | January 20, 2014 - 05:46 PM |
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.

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"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:

Storage

Source: MadShrimps

MSI's GX70 & GX60 Destroyer Notebooks with R9-M290X

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile | January 20, 2014 - 05:28 PM |
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.

MSI-GX70-2014.jpg

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).

System Specifications
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
I/O
  • 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • 802.11 B/G/N, Bluetooth 4.0, Killer LAN
  • SDXC Card Reader
Battery 9-Cell (7800mAH)

Still no word on pricing or availability.

Source: MSI

Linux kernel 3.13 and Radeon users rejoice

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2014 - 12:31 PM |
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.

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"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:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

GeForce GTX 750 Ti May Be Maxwell... and February?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 20, 2014 - 04:19 AM |
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.

nvidiamaxwellroadmap.jpg

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.

Source: SweClockers

Corsair Quantifies the Benefits of Overclocking

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Memory, Systems | January 20, 2014 - 02:40 AM |
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.

intelupgrade.jpg

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.

Source: Corsair