All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: Motherboards | March 8, 2013 - 06:30 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: roundup, motherboards, mini-itx, celeron 847, APU, amd e-450
While high end motherboards and processors tend to get the most attention from enthusiasts, sometimes less is better (*waits for Josh to stop laughing on the podcast). More often than not seen integrated in small form factor OEM boxes, there are a few motherboards out there that come as a bare board and integrated processor to be the basis of low power desktops, network devices, and home theater PCs. Both Intel and AMD have hats in the low power game, and Hartware.de has pitched four such low power boards against each other. The MSI C847MS-E33-847 and Biostar NM70I pack Intel Celeron 847 CPUs, The Zotac D2550-ITX WIFI hosts an Intel Atom D2550 processor plus a NVIDIA GT 610 IGP, and the ASUS E45MI-M Pro is powered by an AMD E-450 APU.
Hartware.de puts several low power boards into the thunderdome to see which one(s) reign supreme.
As it turns out, the results are nearly in line with what one might expect. The Atom D2550-powered system was the slowest, the APU and ASUS motherboard was the fastest, and the Celeron was somewhere in the middle. The AMD E-450 APU used the most power, and the system was one of the most expensive, however. Interestingly, the Atom system was not all that much more power efficient than the Celeron despite the lower performance and weaker hardware. The Celeron 847 chip had decent CPU performance, and mid-range power and some of the best thermals. All of the configurations were able to playback media, but the AMD system gave the most fluid results.
If you are in the market for low power system parts, the review is worth checking out.
Here are some additional Motherboard reviews from around the web:
- GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi Mini-ITX @ TweakTown
- ASRock Z77 Pro4-M LGA 1155 @ HardOCP
- Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 FM2 @ PC Perspective
- ASRock's Z77E-ITX Mini ITX @ The Tech Repot
- ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 @ OCaholic
I'm pleasantly surprised at all the Mini-ITX motherboards being made lately.
Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2013 - 05:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: valve, Steam Box, steam, pc gaming, gaming, console, big picture mode
In talking with the BBC, Valve CEO Gabe Newell revealed several details regarding the company’s upcoming Steam Box gaming PC. The console competitor will go up against Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 successor. So far we know that the Steam Box will utilize Valve’s Steam distribution service and its Big Picture Mode user interface. Valve will be manufacturing its own reference design, but third parties will also be allowed to construct Steam Boxes that will tap into Valve’s gaming library. Xi3 in particular looks to be at least one of the likely Steam Box partners to produce hardware.
Newell indicated that Valve would be sending prototype devices to customers within “the next three to four months.” The designs are not yet finalized, however, as evidenced by Newell’s statement that the prototypes would be used to gather feedback, and Valve is still working on balancing heat, noise, and performance.
“We're working with partners trying to nail down how fast we can make it.” - Gabe Newell in an interview with BBC before receiving an award for Portal 2.
Further, Valve has not yet determined exactly what it wants the controller to be. It will reportedly be shipping several different prototype controllers along with the Steam Box PCs. One area that Newell is particularly interesting in is in gathering bio-metric data -- such as heart rate -- and using that data to change the game experience for the gamer. This would be one area that Valve could focus on and have an advantage over other consoles. As a fully-fledged PC, the Steam Box could tap into existing bio-metrics technology and easily have the horsepower to effectively parse the bio-feedback. I can only think of a few situations in which such data would be useful (horror games, party/dancing/exercise games), but I do see it as being at least as beneficial as the Kinect was/is to the Xbox.
With that said, we still do not know much about the Steam Box. Much like the PS4, we still do not know what the actual hardware will look like (though we have at least been shown the PS4 controller). Pricing is also one of the major unknowns, and BBC reporter Leo Kelion quoted an industry analyst Lewis Ward (IDC) as noting that Valve will likely not be able to subsidize the hardware nearly as much as the other major console players (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) are able to. The Steam Box is inevitably going to be priced more in like with PCs than with consoles, as a result. On the other hand, gamers that buy a Steam Box can look forward to getting games that are much cheaper than the console equivalents. Give Steam Box gamers a couple of Steam holiday sales and they will easily make up the price difference!
What do you expect the Steam Box to be, and will it finally take PC gaming to the masses?
Subject: Storage | March 8, 2013 - 12:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: synology, storage, networked attached storage, NAS, dsm 4.2
Synology recently took the wraps off its latest NAS management software, called DiskStation Manager (DSM) 4.2. The new software suite is available as a free update for a number of its products.
Diskstation Manager provides a number of features for home and business uses. Business users are now able to take advantage of Synology High Availability duplication on all x86-based NAS products. A RAIDIUS server, SSL encryption between devices and Diskstation Cloud, and two step authentication are among the available security features with DSM 4.2.
DSM 4.2 comes with a web-accessible user interface and desktop-like environment. You can access all its features in a GUI, see disk/RAM/CPU usage, schedule tasks, and even PXE boot other networked machines. Some of the updated software bits include Cloud Station, Photo Station, File Station, Video Station, and Audio Station.
Cloud Station now has 52% faster file transfers to Mac OSX computers. Further, DSM 4.2 supports almost-unlimited user accounts, LDAP, Active Director, and Amazon’s Glacier backup service. File station now supports hot keys. Video Station has a revamped user interface that supports MKV subtitles, HDHomerun DVB-T tuners with mutli-channel TV streaming and recording. Users can also watch movies over the network on DLNA devices or Apple’s AirPlay. DSM 4.2 supports the use of smartphones as remote controls to control playback of media. Finally, Audio Station has added Bluetooth A2DP streaming support, and Photo Station supports file drag and drop and improved thumbnail generation speeds.
DiskStation Cloud now supports automatic backup and file synchronization of media stored on iOS and Android devices. DiskStation Video adds support to stream media to smartphones and DiskStation Photo+ has the Dropbox-like automated backup of photos from your smartphone. DSM 4.2 further features QuickConnect, which takes care of port forwarding automatically. QuickConnect is compatible with DS Photo+, DS Audio, and DS Cloud.
According to Synology, the following devices are eligible for a free update to DSM 4.2. Users can update by manually downloading and applying the update or by going through the updater in the DSM software itself.
"Synology DSM 4.2 is free to download for users who own a DiskStation or RackStation x09 series and onward. Supported models include: DS213+, DS413, DS213, DS413j, DS213air, DS2413+, DS713+, RS10613xs+, RS3413xs+, DS712+, DS212, DS212+, DS212j, RS212, RS812, DS1512+, DS1812+, DS3612xs, RS3412xs, RS3412RPxs, DS112j, DS112, DS412+, RS812+, RS812RP+, RS2212+, RS2212RP+, DS112+, DS3611xs, RS3411xs, RS3411RPxs, DS2411+, RS2211+, RS2211RP+, DS1511+, RS411, DS411, DS411+II, DS411+, DS411j, DS411slim, DS211+, DS211, DS211j, DS111, DS1010+, RS810+, RS810RP+, DS410, DS410j, DS710+, DS210+, DS210j, DS110+, DS110j, DS509+, RS409+, RS409RP+, RS409, DS409+, DS409, DS209+II, DS209+, DS209, DS209j, DS109+, DS109, DS109j, and DS409slim"
Also read: ioSafe N2 - The Performance NAS is now Disaster-proof @ PC Perspective.
Subject: Storage | March 7, 2013 - 07:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Sandforce SF2281, adata, sx900
Allyn reviewed the ADTA SX900 back in February which might make you question why we are revisiting this drive in this [H]ard|OCP review. The reason lies in the controller as the SSD Al reviewed contained the SF-2281VB1-S0C while the drive [H] received contains a 2281VB2-SPC controller. [H] had many of the same worries as Al, with ancient firmware being the most relevant, with [H] specifically stating that '5.0.2a firmware does not have working TRIM functionality,' which should cause concern for anyone considering this drive. They also notived power usage above 10W which they felt was odd on a drive marketed as having improved power consumption and ended up unable to recommend this drive.
"The ADATA SX900 128GB SSD came to us with a surprise under the hood, the new B02 version of the SandForce SF-2281 controller. This new stepping is designed to provide revolutionary improvements in power efficiency with no loss of speed. We test the SX900 and the SF-2281VB2-SPC controller to see how it stacks up against the competition."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Monster Digital Daytona 240GB @ Tweaktown
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M5 Pro 256GB SSD with Xtreme 1.02 Firmware @ Tweaktown
- Samsung SM843 Pro Data Center Series 240GB @ Tweaktown
- How to Maximize Storage Space Guide @ OCC
- ioSafe N2: A Disaster-Resistant Synology DS213 @ AnandTech
- Vantec NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock Review @ Techgage
- Toshiba STOR.E SLIM 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ NikKTech
- ADATA DashDrive Air AE400 @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2013 - 04:00 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, sony, tap20, vaio, iosafe, n2, synology, NAS, Z77, dragon, msi, pata, apacer, seasonic, thermaltake, urban
PC Perspective Podcast #241 - 03/07/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the Sony VAIO TAP 20, ioSafe N2 NAS, new Z77 motherboards and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:04:57
Podcast topics of discussion:
- 0:01:25 We did a Tomb Raider stream
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:22:2 00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:24:25 ASUS PadFone Infinity from MWC
- 0:27:10 Apacer Launches New PATA SSDs
- 0:32:00 Seagate will cease 7200 RPM mobile HDDs this year
- 0:34:50 Thermaltake launches Urban S21 case
- 0:38:55 Double your HDD density with HGST
- 0:43:00 MSI has new gaming series of MB coming out, based on Z77
- 0:49:30 NVIDIA refreshes Quadro with Kepler GPUs
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Mobile | March 7, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, win8, digital audio converter, ultrabook
Samsung's ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T is a convertible tablet with aspirations to be an ultrabook, it is 1.97 lbs, with an 11.6" 1080p touchscreen powered by a Core i5-3317U with 4GB of DDR3-1600 in single channel configuration. For connectivity you get a a MicroSD port, a single USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports on the dock, Micro HDMI and analog audio with Wi-Fi, WiDi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Tech Report tested its battery life for both surfing and playing 720p video, seeing 6 hours in the first case and 5 hours in the second with very little difference when tested docked. The final verdict was mixed, while it is almost an ultrabook and almost a convertible tablet in many ways it inherited the worst of both worlds; though if you find yourself needing both devices in your life this ATIV might be a good compromise for you.
"This Windows 8 convertible has x86 ultrabook guts, an 11.6" 1080p display, and speedy solid-state storage. Attach it to the bundled keyboard dock, and it turns into a quasi-ultrabook. Is this the ultimate Windows 8 mobile machine, and is it worth the nearly $1,200 asking price?"
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- MSI GX60 1AC-021US Review @ TechReviewSource
- Lenovo IdeaPad S400 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Tablets of 2013: Nexus vs. Surface vs. iPad @ Techspot
- DeepCool M3 Notebook Cooling Pad @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS S56C 15.6-inch Ultrabook Review @ Techgage
- Toshiba Satellite C875-S7340 Review @ TechReviewSource
- ACER Aspire S7 11.6 inch Touch Enabled Ultrabook Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS G75VW-DH72 Gaming Notebook Review @ TechwareLabs
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Cygnett Metalicus Silver Aluminium Case for iPhone 4 & 4S Review @ Madshrimps
- Nokia Lumia 620 vs. HTC 8S vs. Huawei Ascend W1 @ Hardware.info
- HTC One vs iPhone 5 head to head video @ The Inquirer
- Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD Smartphone @ Benchmark Reviews
- Caterpillar Cat B15 hands-on @ The Inquirer
- HTC One X+ vs Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2013 - 01:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, office 2013
As many expected Microsoft has made an about face for the single machine licensing for Office 2013 which would permanently tie an Office 2013 serial number to a single machine. In fact the licensing was so strict that an OS reinstall on a machine with an Office license would invalidate that license. Now this would seem to be a way to convince customers to move to the subscription based Office 365 which has much a more lax licensing agreement when it comes to multiple machines. Now all versions of Office 2013, barring the OEM version which has always had a rather draconian license, will allow the transfer of licenses as long as that license is only ever active on one single machine. You can get more details on Microsoft's change of heart at The Register.
"Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another," Microsoft's Jevon Fark said in a blog post on Wednesday. "This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia announces Physx and Apex support for Playstation 4 @ The Inquirer
- So everyone's piling into PCIe flash: Here's a who's who guide @ The Register
- Chrome, Firefox, IE 10, Java, Win 8 All Hacked At Pwn2Own @ Slashdot
- A real thermal imaging camera for $300 @ Hack A Day
- Google to offer 'same-day delivery' Amazon Prime killer - report @ The Register
- New IBM storage chief Ambuj Goyal: I like all-flash and I cannot lie @ The Register
- HP Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One review: portable all-in-one @ Hardware.info
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2013 - 11:56 AM | PCPer Staff
15.6" Dell Inspiron 15z Core i7 + GeForce GT 630M Ultrabook for $800 with Free Shipping (normally $1,200 - use coupon code: K68WP34HM7M44T).
17.3" HP ENVY dv7t Quad Edition Core i7 + Blu-ray Laptop for $720 with Free Shipping (normally $900 - use coupon code: NB13245).
3.3" Dell XPS 13 Core i7 + 128GB SSD Ultrabook w/ Gorilla Glass Display for $1,000 with Free Shipping (normally $1,150 - use coupon code: NN30DKD858CW9$).
Dell Latitude 10 32GB Windows 8 Tablet for $499.99 with Free Shipping(normally $599.99)
Kiwi U-Powered Solar Portable Power Source for $24.99 with Free Shipping (normally $39.99 - use coupon code: GREEN15).
StarShip Frisbee for $17.65 with Free Shipping (normally $27).
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 6, 2013 - 08:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: quadro, nvidia
Be polite, be efficient, have a plan to Kepler every card that you meet.
The professional graphics market is not designed for gamers although that should have been fairly clear. These GPUs are designed to effectively handle complex video, 3D, and high resolution display environments found in certain specialized workspaces.
This is the class of cards which allow a 3D animator to edit their creations with stereoscopic 3D glasses, for instance.
NVIDIA's branding will remain consistent with the scheme developed for the prior generation. Previously, if you were in the market for a Fermi-based Quadro solution, you would have the choice between: the Quadro 600, the 2000, the 4000, the 5000, and the 6000. Now that the world revolves around Kepler... heh heh heh... each entry has been prefixed with a K with the exception of the highest-end 6000 card. These entries are therefore:
- Quadro K600, 192 CUDA Cores, 1GB, $199 MSRP
- Quadro K2000, 384 CUDA Cores, 2GB, $599 MSRP
- Quadro K4000, 768 CUDA Cores, 3GB, $1,269 MSRP
- Quadro K5000, 1536 CUDA Cores, 4GB + ECC, $2,249 MSRP
This product line is demonstrated graphically by the NVIDIA slide below.
Clicking the image while viewing the article will enlargen it.
It should be noted that each of the above products have been developed on the series of GK10X architectures and not the more computationally-intensive GK110 products. As the above slide alludes: while these Quadro cards are designed to handle the graphically-intensive applications, they are designed to be paired with GK110-based Tesla K20 cards to offload the GPGPU muscle.
Should you need the extra GPGPU performance, particularly when it comes to double precision mathematics, those cards can be found online for somewhere in the ballpark of $3,300 and $3,500.
The new Quadro products were available starting yesterday, March 5th, from “leading OEM and Channel Partners.”
Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2013 - 02:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, space hulk, kick ass
This is a good year for a certain subset of gamers who bear a love-hate relationship with Games Workshop. Not only have we heard tell of Blood Bowl 2 and a free to play Blood Bowl: Star Coach which will resemble a blood soaked Football Manager but finally Space Hulk will be arriving thanks to Full Control. A classic turn based game pitting Space Marine Terminators against unlimited amounts of Genestealers that is almost impossible to win. Players often brag about their most memorable losses than their occasional victories but either can be guaranteed to be full of guts, Flamers and Power Fists. Keep your eyes on Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for more details as they may be the only ones more excited about this than I.
"SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Performance and IQ @ [H]ard|OCP
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag @ The Inquirer
- Crysis 3 Performance Test: Graphics & CPU @ Techspot
- Gears of War: Judgement @ The Inquirer
- Need for Speed Most Wanted PC @ eTeknix
- Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Review – Too Automated to be Simulated? @ Techgage
- Wot I Think: Tomb Raider @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Torment 2: What Can Source The Nature Of A Crowd? @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Infinite Excitements: Eye-Spy Thief IV Screenshots @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Garry’s Mod Earns $22m, Gives Most Of It To The Taxman @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Latest Xbox 720 rumours suggest absence of Blu-ray drive @ Hexus
Subject: General Tech | March 6, 2013 - 01:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zrtp, sip, xmpp, voip, skype, open source, Jitsi, encryption
Jitsi seems to be a lot of things, from an IM Client agglomerator such as Pidgin or Digsby, a combined XMPP and SIP VoIP client to a videoconferencing hub with all traffic encrypted using ZRTP. This Open Source software also claims integration with Microsoft Outlook and Apple Address Book, putting it in competition with Skype on more than one front. Unfortunately it will not connect to all online SIP or XMPP provider but Jitsi does offer an open XMPP bridge to host video calls and as it is open source there is no reason you could not construct your own. With the release of version 2.0 a host of new features and improvements have been added which you can read about by following the links at Slashdot. They have also partnered with the FMJ Project to allow recording of sessions as well as other possible customization thanks to the developers Wiki.
"Among the most prominent new features people will find quality multi-party video conferences for XMPP, audio device hot-plugging, support for Outlook presence and calls, an overhauled user interface and support for the Opus and VP8 audio/video codec. Jitsi has lately shaped into one of the more viable open Skype Alternatives with features such as end-to-end ZRTP encryption for audio and video calls. The 2.0 version has been in the works for almost a year now, so this is an important step for the project."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Seagate ships 'affordable' desktop hybrid drive @ The Register
- Intel Dishes On What Makes H.265 Worth Waiting For @ Techgage
- Samsung takes a three percent stake in Sharp for $105m @ The Inquirer
- Testing Batteries for Sulfation @ MAKE:Blog
- TP-LINK TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wireless N Range Extender Review @ Madshrimps
- P-LINK TL-WDR3500 Wireless N600 Router @ Legit Reviews
- Leave Six Strikes Alone! @ Techgage
- Win Phanteks and NZXT hardware @ Kitguru
- Giveaway - GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WIFI @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 07:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, GA-Z77N-WiFi
It seems hard to figure out how Gigabyte can sell the GA-Z77N-WiFi for about $20 less than other Z77 boards; it bears a full PCIe 16x slot along with 4 SATA ports, two of them 6Gbs ports, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and Bluetooth, WiFi and dual ethernet for connectivity. They also included a DVI port and a pair of HDMI ports plus WiDi support, giving it incredible video output flexibility. The Tech Report tested the motherboard to see if there was anywhere that Gigabyte might have reduced functionality and apart from some issues with the BIOS they were happy to find this board a solid and steady component perfect for HTPC duties.
"Gigabyte's GA-Z77N-WiFi is the most affordable Mini-ITX board based on Intel's Z77 Express platform. We take a closer look to see what this potential bargain has to offer."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD4 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Asus P8Z77-V LK @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Review: OC Oriented Orange Overkill @ AnandTech
- BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z77X @ Tweaktown
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H @ Tweaktown
- GUGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi @ Tweaktown
- ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP @ Tweaktown
- BIOS Option Of The Week - No-Execute Memory Protect @ TechARP
- ASRock FM2A85X-ITX Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ECS A85F2-A Golden for AMD Socket FM2 APUs @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 03:24 PM | PCPer Staff
HP ENVY TouchSmart 4t-1200 14" Core i3 Ultrabook for $599.99 with Free Shipping (normally $750 - use coupon code: NB3313).
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 5, 2013 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, graphics drivers
After evaluating the evolution of AMD's drivers over 2012, [H]ard|OCP has now finalized their look at NVIDIA's offerings over the past year. They chose a half dozen drivers spanning March to December, tested on both the GTX680 and GTX 670. As you can see throughout the review, NVIDIA's performance was mostly stable apart from the final driver of 2012 which provided noticeably improved performance in several games. [H] compared the frame rates from both companies on the same chart and it makes the steady improvement of AMD's drivers over the year even more obvious. That does imply that AMD's initial drivers for this year needed improvement and that perhaps the driver team at AMD has a lot of work cut out for them in 2013 if they want to reach a high level of performance across the board, with game specific improvements offering the only deviation in performance.
"We have evaluated AMD and NVIDIA's 2012 video card driver performances separately. Today we will be combining these two evaluations to show each companies full body of work in 2012. We will also be looking at some unique graphs that show how each video cards driver improved or worsened performance in each game throughout the year."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD EyeFinity - Issues with Triple-Screen setups and 120Hz Refresh Rates @ Tweaktown
- Low-End NVIDIA/AMD GPU Comparison On Open-Source Drivers @ Phoronix
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti: frametimes @ Hardware.info
- Radeon Gallium3D Can Beat AMD's Catalyst In Select Workloads @ Phoronix
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 OC GHz Edition @ Funkykit
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 680: frametimes review @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- GTX TITAN: The beast to unseat the best! @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN: The Most Advanced Single-GPU Video Card Ever Made @Hi Tech Legion
- GTX TITAN Single Card @ Bjorn3D
- sus GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II OC 2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX Titan 6GB @ eTeknix
- Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 3-way/4-way SLI review incl 5760x1080 and frametimes @ Hardware.info
- Sparkle GeForce GTX 650 Ti Dragon Series @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: virtualization, shadow defender, light virtualization
Light Virtualization is essentially a sandbox tool for those who do not have the equipment available to set up a full virtual machine server. It allows you to create a virtualization buffer or partition on your system drive which will not save any changes made to the system unless specified, perfect for testing software or patches as well as for ensuring almost any malware infections will not survive a reboot. Shadow Defender is light virtualization software which has been around for a while but has not been updated for about two years, until very recently when a major update arrived. This update encompasses many of the recent changes to hardware such as TRIM support for SSDs and even support for Win8. While it won't stop an infection from hitting your PC, as long as you do not save any of the changes made to the virtualized portion of your drive any rootkit or other such malware will not survive a reboot. Take a look at how to use the software and how effective it is over at Tweaktown.
"Shadow Defender (or SD for short as it is known among its dedicated fans) has been enjoying a great reputation among Light Virtualization fans during the last few years. There has been a barren period of two and a half years where development was interrupted, leaving v220.127.116.115 (which was released back in February 2010) as the last known good version."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Need an army of killer zombies? Yours for just $25 per 1,000 PCs @ The Register
- NetApp could use Microsoft to beat off VMware's virtual tool @ The Register
- ASRock introduces Haswell Z87/H87/B85 motherboards @ Hardware.info
- USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0 Flash Drives On Linux @ Phoronix
- TP-Link TL-WDR4900 review: TP-Link's best router yet @ Hardware.info
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 5, 2013 - 07:57 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb 3.0, mid tower, fractal design, core 1000 usb 3.0, atx case
Fractal Design has announced an updated Core 1000 USB 3.0 Micro ATX case that adds USB 3.0 support to the front panel. The new Core 1000 USB 3.0 chassis measures 175mm x 355mm x 420mm and weighs approximately 9 lbs (4.1 kg).
The micro ATX case supports motherboards of the Mini-ITX, DTX, and Micro ATX flavors. Further, it can support graphics cards up to 350mm in length and CPU coolers up to 148mm in height. Two optical disk drives, either three vertically mounted 2.5” SSDs or two 3.5” HDDs, and four PCI expansion slots round out the storage and expansion options.The hard drives feature anti-vibration grommets, and the fan spots include dust filters.
On the outside, the Core 1000 USB 3.0 case is flat black with a large mesh front panel and side panel vent. The right side of the case holds the front IO panel, which consists of:
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 1 x USB 2.0
- 2 x Audio jacks
- 1 x HDD activity indicator light
- 1 x Power button
- 1 x Reset button
The inside of the case is rather spartan. There are no cable routing holes, water cooling grommets, CPU cutouts, or other fancy features. It has an ATX power supply spot at the top of the case, motherboard standoffs, and drive cages. Just enough to get the job done, in other words.
Fractal Design includes a single Silent Series R2 120mm intake fan, but the case can actually support a total of three fans. There are spots for:
- 1 x 120mm (front intake)
- 1 x 92mm (rear exhaust)
- 1 x 120mm (side panel)
There is no word on pricing or availability yet, but expect it to run around $40-50. More photos and specifications are available on the Fractal Design website.
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 06:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: security, patch, mcrat trojan, Java, exploit
Java developer Oracle recently released a patch to its Java Platform Standard Edition client to address two exploits used by attackers to install the McRAT trojan onto users machines. Specifically, Oracle is issuing the patch for vulnerabilities CVE-2013-1493 and CVE-2013-0809.
The vulnerabilities were related to Java running in a web browser. When users visit a malicious web site with vulnerable versions of Java installed, attackers are able to remote execute the McRAT trojan. That trojan was subsequently used to download additional malware to further compromise the machines in question. According to Oracle, the vulnerability was first discovered on February 1st, 2013 but did not make it in time to be rolled into that month’s scheduled update. As a result, Oracle slated it for inclusion in the Java platform update on April 16, 2013, but reconsidered after seeing exploits using these vulnerabilities in the wild. While servers and standalone Java installations are not affected, consumers will need to apply the patch via Java SE’s automatic updater or by manually installing the patch from this page. Currently, all Java SE versions prior to this patch are affected, including JDK and JRE 7 Update 15, 6 Update 41, and 5.0 Update 40 (or earlier).
Oracle states that the patch is a critically important update, and users should update as soon as possible. If you have not already applied the update (or given up on Java and uninstalled it completely--heh), start up Java and check for updates to grab the patch.
Subject: Systems | March 5, 2013 - 04:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: shuttle, SFF, PC, Intel, ds47, celeron
If various sources are to be believed, Shuttle will be launching a new small form factor PC in April called the DS47. The new PC will be powered by an Intel Celeron 847 processor and features a fan-less design.
The Shuttle DS47 measures 200mm x 29.5mm x 165mm and weighs in at 2.05 kg. The internals include a motherboard with UEFI BIOS, dual core Intel Celeron 847 processor clocked at 1.1 GHz (2MB cache, 18W TDP), HD 2000 processor graphics, up to 16GB of RAM via two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, and a 2.5” HDD or SSD. The motherboard supports SATA 3 6Gbps, and there is space for a single laptop-sized internal drive. The system also includes a Mini-PCI-E slot for half-size cards and a mSATA port for an SSD.
For such a small PC, it packs quite a bit of port options. The Shuttle DS47 includes the following external IO:
- 1 x SD card reader
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet jacks
- 2 x RS232 connections
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 2.1 channel analog audio output
The DS47 has a nice feature set, and the dual Ethernet ports opens up the possible applications. Thanks to the DS47 opting for the Celeron over an Atom processor, it could easily operate as a file server, NAS, firewall, router, HTPC, or simply a low power desktop computer for example.
Pricing will be where the DS47 succeeds or fails as it aims to strike a balance between the Intel NUC and Atom-powered PCs. Unfortunately, there is no word on just how much this SFF PC will cost. It is rumored for an April launch, however so expect to see official pricing announced shortly.
Read more about small form factor systems at PC Perspective!
Subject: General Tech, Networking, Motherboards | March 5, 2013 - 03:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: qualcomm, msi, killer nic, Intel Z77
MSI says “JUST GAME!”... but... I must write up their announcement first...
The computer components company would like us to “JUST GAME!” on their gaming motherboards, of course. This press release is for the MSI Killer Z77 gaming motherboard. The board supports the DDR3-3000, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema with Crystalizer, OC Genie II, and Military Class III initiatives.
But to call yourself Killer, you got some big shoes to fill.
Yes MSI, we get it. Challenge accepted.
What makes it a “Killer” announcement is the addition of a Killer E2200 LAN chip from Qualcomm's Bigfoot Networks. We have a fair amount of experience with the gamer networking hardware company; Ryan wrote a review all the way back in 2006. Since then, the company found themselves scooped up by Qualcomm where they found their technology integrated into motherboards from various manufacturers. They have also dabbled into wireless technology.
MSI proclaims with the E2200 LAN chip, their motherboard will have to use less space to house the chip when compared to the earlier Killer E2100. Also, for users running Windows 8, the E2200 was designed to support that operating system. Linux gamers? You too, but not until the second half of 2013.
If you want to see what the PR people have to say, check out Qualcomm's blog post.
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 02:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: web browser, mobile, chrome, Android
Chrome for Android will allegedly be getting a speed boost thanks to a new SPDY-assisted proxy service. If a recent patch is any indication, future versions of Chrome may adopt a proxy service similar to Opera Turbo, Amazon Silk, or BlackBerry Proxy. Google would take advantage of its SPDY protocol to compress and multiplex web sites. We requests would be sent through Google, where Google would take the HTTP/HTTPS pages, compress and otherwise optimize them, and send them to your Android smartphone.
While on Wi-Fi or a wired connection, the performance merits of such proxy services are minimal at best (and at worst can actually slow down page loads). With that said, over a mobile network--especially if you are living in an area with (at best) 3G speeds, the new SPDY proxy service could make a huge difference in page load times. If my experiences using Opera and its Turbo proxy service over a 3G connection for the past month is any indication of the potential benefits of such a setup, some pages will load much faster, a few sites will actually load slower than browsing without the proxy, and the majority of websites will fall somewhere in between those two extremes, providing a slightly faster web browsing experience. Google may be taking things a step further by introducing its SPDY protocol to speed up the HTTP requests, which is an interesting tactic beyond the basic compression and/or caching that the existing alternatives employ.
Details on the hinted-at Google-run SPDY proxy service are scarce, but I hope that it holds true. There are some privacy considerations, but if you are just reading articles and have resigned yourself to the fact that Chrome/Google tracks you anyway (heh) it is a nice optional feature to have!