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Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2015 - 02:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webgl, pc gaming
gorescript is a first person shooter that runs in a browser through WebGL (via Three.JS). Its developer, Time Invariant Games, has not mentioned a business model, if there is one, but the first three levels, three guns, and two monsters can be instantly played at their GitHub site for free. The source code, including a map editor for levels and a map editor for monsters, weapons, and powerups, is also on their GitHub under an MIT (permissive) license.
From a technical standpoint, it is not the most impressive game that I have played in a browser -- that would be a toss-up between Unreal Tournament 3 (they had a demo at Mozilla Summit 2013) or Dead Trigger 2. In gorescript on Firefox 35, I was getting about 80-110 FPS, although that begun to crawl down to around 20-30 FPS with some dips down to ~10 FPS; it was probably averaging ~45 FPS when all is said and done.
(Note: Especially if you have a high-refresh panel, the maximum frame rate of Firefox can be adjusted in about:config with the layout.frame_rate variable. Mine is set to 120.)
Again, it is free and it should amuse you for a little while. Maybe we can get it to blow up with third-party content? Even as it is, I think it is worth a mention for anyone who wants a Doom/Quake throwback.
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2015 - 01:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, Cougar, 700m, gaming mouse, dexter
The Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse is a right handed gaming mouse offers a serious amount of adjustments and options as well as a design which certainly stands out. The DPI is programmable from 50 to 8200 and with the software it seems you can actually specify different levels to your X and Y axis if you so desire. It comes with weights and the height of the pad on the rear of the mouse can be adjusted to ensure it fits your hand comfortably as well as a headlight of varying colours. Techgage gave the mouse and software a try in their latest review, check out what they thought of it here.
"Mice – there is never a shortage of options in the gaming market. They range from $10, to well over $100 – some are a tremendous value, some are not. COUGAR is no stranger to this market and have put its best foot forward with the 700M Gaming Mouse. How did it fare? Follow me, I’ll show you!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cougar 600M Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Gaming Sabre Optical RGB gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- Cougar 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Neoseeker
- COUGAR 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2015 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: steam, linux, idiots
If you move the Steam home directory of $STEAMROOT in Linux then you are running the risk of running rm -rf on your user directory, which in the case of this unfortunate person on Slashdot included their attached USB hard drive. This is rather nasty bug and one which is easily avoidable by the use of proper syntax but unfortunately the command rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/"* contains an unnecessary / and without an error checking facility included if there is no $STEAMROOT directory the command run is rm -rf "/"*. As it is in your home folder you do not even need to be running as root so for the time being it would be very wise to leave your Steam files in their default location and to realize that anything plugged into your machine is not a true backup until removed from your system.
"I launched steam. It did not launch, it offered to let me browse, and still could not find it when I pointed to the new location. Steam crashed. I restarted it. It re-installed itself and everything looked great. Until I looked and saw that steam had apparently deleted everything owned by my user recursively from the root directory. Including my 3tb external drive I back everything up to that was mounted under /media."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Xen Hypervisor 4.5 arrives with 64-bit ARM processor support @ The Inquirer
- Medic! Intel can't staunch bleeding from mobile chip biz @ The Register
- Ex-Apple, Intel, Google geeks in line for $415m over wage-fix pacts @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2015 - 11:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, pc gaming
Whoops! It looks like I forgot about Raptr's list for November. In it, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launched at 10th place and 17th place, respectively. World of Warcraft also jumped from 8.53% to 15.61% of total play time, which is significant and almost equal to League of Legends. Spider Solitaire also made November's list at 19th place.
This month, Dragon Age: Inquisition climbed from 10th to 6th, because it had a full month of play, while Call of Duty fell off completely (along with PAYDAY 2 and Spider Solitaire). Also, World of Warcraft did not lose its gain, but actually built upon it by a small amount. It did not grab mindshare from League of Legends though, because that game rebounded from its losses in November and was even more popular than it was in October.
That's about all that I found interesting however.
Subject: Processors | January 15, 2015 - 03:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Pentium G3258, overclock, Intel
You just don't see CPU overclocking guides much anymore, the process has become much easier over the years as Intel and AMD both now sell unlocked CPUs that they expect you to overclock and the motherboard tools and UEFI interfaces do a lot of the heavy lifting for you now. No longer are you doing calculations for frequency ratios or drawing on your CPU with conductive ink. Overclockers Club is revisiting those heydays with a guide on how to make your $70 3.2GHz Pentium G3258 into a more serious beast with a speed well over 4GHz. The steps for overclocking are not difficult but for those who do not have a background in overclocking CPUs, the verification testing steps they describe will be of great value. If you are already well versed in the ways of MemTest86 and Prime95 then perhaps it will be a nice reminder of the days of the Celeron and the huge increases in frequency that family rewarded the patient overclocker with.
"To reach 4.7GHz was a cinch once I adjusted all the smaller voltage settings. Like all overclockers, it was a journey with many failures along the way. One day it would boot and run Prime95, and the next time Windows would not load. It took a while to sort it out by backing down to 4.5GHz and raising each setting until I settled on the below settings."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Pentium J2900 CPU Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Athlon 5150 CPU Review @ Hardware Secrets
- AMD FX-9590 @ Benchmark Reviews
- AMD FX-8320E @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2015 - 02:09 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, gtx 960, nvidia, maxwell, amd, r9 380x, corsair, carbide, 300R, CES, ces 2015, ECS, Z97-Machine, Intel, crucial
PC Perspective Podcast #332 - 01/15/2015
Join us this week as we discuss GTX 960 and R9 380X Rumors, Corsair Carbide 300R Titanium, and our CES 2015 wrap up
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: 1:11:25
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2015 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: IBM, mainframe, power8
IBM has just released a new mainframe based on their new 5GHz 22nm Power8 based Processing Units with some models supporting up to 10TB of RAM, the minimum you can run is a mere 64GB. It can not only run IBM's zOS but is also capable of directly supporting Linux and can be managed with a Blade running Windows if you so desire. These fancy looking little mainframes are set up with drawers of either 39 or 42 PUs, so you can upgrade as your usage requires although 2 are actually spares and 6 are System Assist Processors, the remaining PUs can be assigned to varying roles as in previous IBM Z models. These machines are designed to handle large amounts of data traffic, providing real time encryption on up to 2.5 billion transactions per day. The Register feels that the most likely usage scenario will be to provide secure mobile data traffic, something which is certainly needed. You can also glean more information from this blog entry if you are curious about the architecture and capabilities of this mainframe.
"Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the market, but IBM will be hoping that the billion dollars it's poured into developing the new z13 mainframe will get the big end of town as excited as Big Blue itself is."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung dismisses 'groundless' talk of $7.5bn BlackBerry buyout @ The Inquirer
- Acer slips Wang Andresen into senior Euro slot @ The Register
- PAPAGO! GoSafe 272 Dashcam GS272-US @ Benchmark Reviews
- BAPCo TabletMark v3 Benchmark Presentation @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2015 - 03:41 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows, extended support
According to Microsoft's lifecycle calendar, Windows 7 left mainstream support on the 13th of January and has entered “Extended Support”. This means that the operating system will still receive security updates, but not non-security ones, and “requests to change product design and features” will not be accepted. While the OS is over five years old, it is still very popular, especially among PC gamers.
My concern is that this occurred while we anticipate major changes to the Windows platform. While I never really expected that Microsoft would release DirectX 12 for Windows, there was still hope that we would see a pre-release or developer build while Windows 7 was still in mainstream support (despite being several driver models behind). Now that the window has closed, so to speak, that hope is diminishing. Windows 8.1, on the other hand, might be okay, but I have no idea why you would want to stick with it over Windows 10, especially if it is a free/cheap update.
Besides DirectX 12, I am also concerned about Microsoft cutting off first-party web browsers at IE11. Sure, it is a much better place to end than IE8 on Windows XP, and the end-user could always install a third-party browser, but it could lead to problems for web developers. It is much easier to say “keep Internet Explorer up to date” (heck, even Microsoft is saying it) than the alternative, “use a different browser”. There are still many features under consideration (Shadow DOM being the most interesting for me) that would be nice to have, and not need to worry about the fraction of a fraction.
But at least it will be kept secure until 2020.
Subject: Storage | January 14, 2015 - 04:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ocz, torture, ARC 100
The Tech Report has already shown a variety of SSDs can survive long after their write life cycle has been exceeded and that some drives can continue past 2 petabytes. Kitguru is performing a very similar test, specifically with OCZ Arc 100 SSD and have now passed the 100TB mark with the five drives they are testing. Not a single one of these consumer level drives have died and only one of the drives has reported an error and that was one single bad block. While they have had problems with a specific controller in the past, they no longer use that controller and claims that all of their drives are tarnished is a bit of an exaggeration. A specific performance was also finally addressed, but they are certainly not the only manufacturer that has needed to be called out to address performance degradation over time. You can see the current results here.
"The drives all passed the warranty figure of 22TB at the close of December – our next test was to get them all past the 100TB mark. Would any fail?"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Silicon Power Slim S80 480GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- Western Digital My Passport Pro 2 TB Portable (Thunderbolt) @ Tech ARP
- QNAP TS-431 @ Legion Hardware
- Synology DS415play NAS Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2015 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ubisoft, sad, gaming, farcry 4
[H]ard|OCP recently put out a pair of articles covering Far Cry 4, the first of which covered the various new graphics features, many of which are only available to NVIDIA users and others like the Godrays which have such a performance impact on AMD GPUs that they may as well be NVIDIA only. The second will be of more interest to gamers as they benchmark a dozen GPUs, covering NVIDIA from the GTX 750Ti through to the GTX 980 and AMD from the R7 260X through to the R9 290X. They also had a chance to test SLI performance but unfortunately as Ubisoft decided to disable Crossfire completely in the game there could not be any multiple AMD GPU setups tested. Perhaps the most telling conclusion from [H]ard|OCP is also the most obvious, even though this is an evolution of the FarCry3 engine there have been numerous issues with the game since launch and even after six patches major issues with the game and the continued refusal to support Crossfire are hurting this games performance. If you still plan to play the game you can read [H]'s full performance review to see how your GPU should perform in Ubisoft's latest ... release.
"We play Far Cry 4 on no less than twelve different GPUs for this in-depth look at what graphics settings are playable in Far Cry 4. We will talk about playable settings and show apples-to-apples so you know what to expect in this game and what upgrading your video card may do for you in this new game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- New Baldur’s Gate Set Between 1 And 2 Coming This Year @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Ger ‘Alt Of Here With These Witcher 3 System Specs @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Skywind Continues To Move Morrowind Into Skyrim @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Alien: Isolation Safe Haven DLC launches on Steam @ HEXUS
- Not So Long: Pillars Of Eternity Release Date Is March 26th @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- It’s Time: Total War – Warhammer Confirmed @ Rock, Paper,SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2015 - 12:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: history, cpu, errata, dan luu
A question was asked of Dan Luu about what new tricks silicon has learned since the early days of the eighties. The answer covers a gamut of what tools those who work on low level code such as drivers and UEFI/BIOS now have at their disposal. It is far more than just the fact that we have grown from 8 bit to 64 bit or the frequencies possible now that were undreamed of before but delves into the newer features such as out of order instructions and single instruction, multiple data instructions. If you are not familiar with how CPUs and GPGPUs operate at these low levels it is a great jumping off point for you to learn what the features are called and to get a rough idea of what tasks they perform. If you know your silicon through and through it is a nice look back at what has been added in the last 25 years and a reminder of what you had to work without back in the days when flashing a BIOS was a literal thing. You can also check the comments below the links at Slashdot as they are uncharacteristically on topic.
"An article by Dan Luu answers this question and provides a good overview of various cool tricks modern CPUs can perform. The slightly older presentation Compiler++ by Jim Radigan also gives some insight on how C++ translates to modern instruction sets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CES 2015: Dell, Lenovo and HP showcase potential of Intel’s 5th-gen Core chips @ The Inquirer
- Insert 'Skeleton Key', unlock Microsoft Active Directory. Simples – hackers @ The Register
- Lego Avengers Assemble to the Helicarrier! @ Hack a Day
- TechwareLabs CES 2015 Event Coverage: Thermaltake
- Toshiba tosses out uber-slim THREE TERABYTE HDD @ The Register
- BlackBerry adopts the iPhone for promotional Twitter campaign @ The Inquirer
- The BenQ W1080ST+ & W1070+ Home Cinema Projector Launch Event @ TechARP
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 14, 2015 - 10:49 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rumors, NVIDA, leak, gtx 960, gpu, geforce
The GPU news and rumor site VideoCardz.com had yet another post about the GTX 960 yesterday, and this time the site claims they have most of the details about this unreleased GPU with new leaked photos from a forum on the Chinese site PCEVA.
The card is reportedly based on Maxwell GM206, a 1024 CUDA core part recently announced with the introduction of the GTX 965M. Clock speed was not listed but alleged screenshots indicate the sample had a 1228 MHz core and 1291 MHz Boost clock. The site is calling this an overclock, but it's still likely that the core would have a faster clock speed than the GTX 970 and 980.
The card will reportedly feature 2GB of 128-bit GDDR5 memory, though doubtless 4GB variants would likely be available after launch from the various vendors (an important option considering the possibility of the new card natively supporting triple DisplayPort monitors). Performance will clearly be a step down from the initial GTX 900-series offerings as NVIDIA has led with their more performant parts, but the 960 should still be a solid choice for 1080p gaming if these screenshots are real.
The specs as listed on the page at VideoCardz.com are follows (they do not list clock speed):
- 28nm GM206-300 GPU
- 1024 CUDA cores
- 64(?) TMUs
- 32 ROPs
- 1753 MHz memory
- 128-bit memory bus
- 2GB memory size
- 112 GB/s memory bandwidth
- DirectX 11.3/12
- 120W TDP
- 1x 6-pin power connector
- 1x DVI-I, 1x HDMI 2.0, 3x DP
We await official word on pricing and availability for this unreleased GPU.
Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2015 - 04:20 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: GTA5, GTA Online, consolitis
The fifth major release of Grand Theft Auto was launched sixteen months ago on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, without the PC. Eventually, Rockstar announced next-gen versions for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which explained why the PC was missing before: it was considered a next-gen platform. Those platforms launched a year after the initial release, but the PC was pushed into January 2015. Now it has been pushed again, into late March (the 24th to be precise).
It's not like we're not trying!
Again, I hope that the extra time will be worth it -- and it might be, too. The game was overwhelmingly successful from a sales standpoint, but Grand Theft Auto Online (its multiplayer component) was criticized for a wide range of issues: service connectivity, glitches including loss of characters and progression, and some even claim a lack of content. Maybe, just maybe, it will be polished by the time it gets to us. And hey, Rockstar even claims that it will launch with Heists (which could be considered a running joke in itself).
They also claim that Grand Theft Auto Online for the PC will support 30 players. Nice.
The system specifications were also released, and they're fairly modest (unlike other recent titles). At a minimum, you will need a 64-bit OS with 4GB of memory and 65GB of drive space, which might be a stumbling block for some. Besides that? Core 2 Quad Q6600 and a GeForce 9800 GT. Its recommended specs push the CPU up to an Ivy Bridge Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 660.
It is interesting to see that only quad cores (or higher) are supported, but fairly old ones. Unless something like Far Cry 4 happens, there should be plenty enough performance in a dual-core Pentium Anniversary Edition to keep up. Hopefully Rockstar doesn't error-out machines if they do not detect at least four threads.
Subject: Mobile | January 13, 2015 - 05:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xiaomi, redmi note, android 4.4
We hear a lot about Xiaomi products here in North America but as they are not commonly found for sale by the major providers we do not tend to see them in action. Madshrimps recently reviewed the 5.5" Redmi Note, one of their lower priced offerings. The screen is 720p, powered by a 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 series CPU and using the Adreno 305 GPU along with 2GB of low power DDR3 and 8 GB of onboard storage. The base OS is a modified version of Android 4.4 and it comes with a wide variety of apps installed, including many now popular fitness apps. If you are curious how a Xiaomi phone priced under $200 without contract performs and just what it comes with, check out the review here.
"The Redmi Note 4G smartphone has impressed us positively because if offers a lot for its value; the incorporated Snapdragon 400 MSM8928 SoC from Qualcomm may not have a very powerful 3D component but it compensates with good CPU performance, quite decent power consumption and thanks to that we did not have the feeling that the smartphone discharges pretty fast right in front of our eyes as we have seen with some MTK6592 units which have reviewed in the past."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Kolina K100 + V6 Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- UleFone Be One Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- LG G Watch R Smartwatch Review @ TechwareLabs
- Asus Chromebook C300 @ Kitguru
- Cyberpower Fangbook Edge 4K Laptop @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2015 - 03:52 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: set-top box, remote access, pc game streaming, nzxt, DOKO
The new DOKO device from NZXT is an interesting spin on the living room streaming box, and it's a lot more than another Netflix player.
So what exactly is it? According to NZXT "DOKO is a low latency (50-80ms), 1080p 30 FPS PC streaming device that brings you the full functionality of your PC, anywhere in your home."
The DOKO provides the interface to remotely connect to computers over your network, providing access to whatever resources you have on your PC. The DOKO has USB ports to connect peripherals and though there is no proprietary hardware required, the company has compiled a “recommend” list of compatible keyboards, mice, and game controllers on their site.
The DOKO interface
And NZXT is making the gaming aspect of the streamer’s capability a big part of the product, though with a 30 FPS limit it isn't as exciting as it could be.
“DOKO brings you unrestricted, latency-free gaming direct to your TV. Experience a new way to play your favorite PC games, with complete access to ALL of them, whether they are from Steam, Origin, Uplay or any other source.”
In-home streaming is already a part of Steam, but the idea of an agnostic gaming experience without a second computer is attractive if it works as well as advertised. The company also points out the advantage of being able to do everything your PC can do… (Uh, we’re talking about spreadsheets, right?)
The DOKO will be available exclusively from NZXT’s online store (sorry, online "Armory") for $99, and will start shipping January 28.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 13, 2015 - 02:28 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rumors, nvidia, multi monitor, mini-ITX GPU, leak, HDMI 2.0, gtx 960, gpu, geforce, DisplayPort
The crew at VideoCardz.com have been reporting some GTX 960 sightings lately, and today they've added no less than three new cards from KFA2, the "European premium brand" of Galaxy.
The reported reference design GTX 960 (VideoCardz.com)
Such reports are becoming more common, with the site posting photos that appear to be other vendors' versions of the new GPU here, here, and here. Of note with these new alleged photos on what appears to be a reference design board: no less than three DisplayPort outputs, as well as HDMI 2.0 and DVI:
Reported GTX 960 outputs (VideoCardz.com)
This would be big news for multi-monitor users as it would provide potential support three high-resolution DisplayPort monitors from a single card in a strictly non-gaming environment (unless you happen to enjoy the frame-rates of an oil painting).
The reported mini-ITX GTX 960 (VideoCardz.com)
The other designs shown in the post include a mini-ITX form-factor design still sporting the triple DisplayPorts, HDMI and DVI, and a larger EXOC edition built on a custom PCB.
Reported EXOC GTX 960 (VideoCardz.com)
The EXOC edition apparently drops the multi-DisplayPort option in favor of a second DVI output, leaving just one DisplayPort along with the lone HDMI 2.0 output.
With the GTX 960 leaks coming in daily now it seems likely that we would be hearing something official soon.
Subject: Memory | January 13, 2015 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ddr4, ddr4-2800, corsair, Corsair Vengeance LPX, X99
With the release of the X99 chipset came the introduction of DDR4, which is not seeing the same uptake as DDR3 did at launch, though it is still selling well. Part of this may be the pricing, DDR3 was expensive when it first launched but even stalwart early adopters may balk at the $340 asking price for the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz. The other main reason for the mild reception is the minimal performance gains which DDR4 offers, you can see a slight difference in synthetic benchmarks but when it comes to gameplay the performance increase is minuscule for the price you pay. If you do have an X99 board then this kit is a good choice for you, not only can you often find similar kits on sale for significantly less that $300, Overclockers Club overclocked these DIMMs to 3200MHz at timings of 16-16-16-30. Check out their review here.
"Packed full of promise, the latest modules in the Vengeance series of Corsair's DDR4 memory lineup deliver excellent performance when tweaked to get the tightest timings. Out of the box they come with 16-18-18-36 primary timings using just 1.2v to run the modules. By tweaking the applied voltage a little bit you can get the timings much tighter at the rated speed and even when running at my max overclock of 3200MHz. At this speed I was able to run the timings at 15-15-15-28 2T using over 1.4v applied to the modules."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB Memory Kit Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHZ 16GB Quad Channel Memory Kit @ Bjorn3D
- Corsair DDR4 16GB Vengeance LPX 2800C16 Memory Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- Avexir Core Series 1600MHz CL9 memories with orange LEDs @ HardwareOverclock
Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2015 - 12:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win7, extended support, the cycle of life, inevitable
Sigh, the end draws nigh for that most common of desktop operating systems, Windows 7, has moved into Extended Support. This follows the move at Halloween from an active product to one no longer available but is not the final straw for the OS which is currently scheduled for 2020. The Inquirer quotes a source which places the current market share of Win7 at just over 56% globally, far above the currently selling Win8.1 but this number will slowly begin to fall, likely at a quicker pace than did WinXP's share. When a Windows product reaches Extended Support it still receives security patches and serious bug fixes, albeit at a slower pace than when it is current so don't worry that your Win7 boxen will be dying any time soon but it does make it even more worthwhile to familiarize yourself with Windows 10 as new machines will be running that OS very soon. Drop by The Inquirer for other upcoming dates, such as the final nail in Vista's coffin.
"WINDOWS 7 has reached an important milestone that begins its long, slow descent into obscurity and eventually end of life, where it will doubtless continue to command more market share than its successor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The 4 Best New Linux Distributions to Watch in 2015 @ Linux.com
- How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads @ Slashdot
- IBM: Hey, Intel and pals. Look on our massive patent pile and despair @ The Register
- Quantum dot materials still an issue, say observers @ DigiTimes
- Making better Li-ion battery membranes @ Nanotechweb
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 13, 2015 - 12:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: rumor, radeon, r9 380x, 380x
Spotted over at TechReport.com this morning and sourced from a post at 3dcenter.org, it appears that some additional information about the future Radeon R9 380X is starting to leak out through AMD employee LinkedIn pages.
Ilana Shternshain is a ASIC physical design engineer at AMD with more than 18 years of experience, 7-8 years of that with AMD. Under the background section is the line "Backend engineer and team leader at Intel and AMD, responsible for taping out state of the art products like Intel Pentium Processor with MMX technology and AMD R9 290X and 380X GPUs." A bit further down is an experience listing of the Playstation 4 APU as well as "AMD R9 380X GPUs (largest in “King of the hill” line of products)."
Interesting - though not entirely enlightening. More interesting were the details found on Linglan Zhang's LinkedIn page (since removed):
Developed the world’s first 300W 2.5D discrete GPU SOC using stacked die High Bandwidth Memory and silicon interposer.
Now we have something to work with! A 300 watt TDP would make the R9 380X more power hungry than the current R9 290X Hawaii GPU. High bandwidth memory likely implies memory located on the substrate of the GPU itself, similar to what exists on the Xbox One APU, though configurations could differ in considerable ways. A bit of research on the silicon interposer reveals it as an implementation method for 2.5D chips:
There are two classes of true 3D chips which are being developed today. The first is known as 2½D where a so-called silicon interposer is created. The interposer does not contain any active transistors, only interconnect (and perhaps decoupling capacitors), thus avoiding the issue of threshold shift mentioned above. The chips are attached to the interposer by flipping them so that the active chips do not require any TSVs to be created. True 3D chips have TSVs going through active chips and, in the future, have potential to be stacked several die high (first for low-power memories where the heat and power distribution issues are less critical).
An interposer would allow the GPU and stacked die memory to be built on different process technology, for example, but could also make the chips more fragile during final assembly. Obviously there a lot more questions than answers based on these rumors sourced from LinkedIn, but it's interesting to attempt to gauge where AMD is headed in its continued quest to take back market share from NVIDIA.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 12, 2015 - 02:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: swiftech, H220-X, AIO, watercooler
Swiftech has taken a new generation of their MCR radiators and paired it with the tried and tested Apogee XL waterblock in their new AIO watercooler, the H220-X. At ~$170 it is more expensive than many competitors solutions and so will need to perform at higher levels in order to get a recommendation from [H]ard|OCP. The cooler does offer some extras which the competition does not which helps justify the pricing, you can power up to eight fans with the included adapter which makes sense as the modular design of the H220-X allows you to add to the cooling loop if you so desire. The performance was quite good especially when you consider how quiet the cooler operates at full load but as [H] mentions in their conclusion, the price is quite high and they saw the MSRP at a much lower $130.
"Swiftech is a standard name in the computer hardware enthusiast arena. Today we review its answer to an enthusiast All-In-One CPU cooler. As you might guess it is strong on hardware, design, and purpose. The H220-X CPU Liquid Cooling Kit focuses on little to no noise while providing excellent cooling."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Kelvin S24 @ techPowerUp
- Noctua NF-A Fan Series Features Roundup @ Neoseeker
- Reeven Six-Eyes II Fan Controller Review @ OCC
- New 92mm-fan Tower Coolers from Noctua @ Silent PC Review
- SilentiumPC Grandis XE1236 @ techPowerUp
- Noctua NH-U9S CPU Cooler Review: Undersized but Over-performs @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair Graphite 780T Full Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
- Thermaltake Core V31 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Lian Li PC-O5S @ Legion Hardware
- Cooler Master Silencio 652S @ Benchmark Reviews
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake Core V21 MATX Case @ Modders-Inc