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Subject: Editorial, General Tech | February 19, 2014 - 06:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: bioshock infinite
The team behind the original BioShock and Bioshock: Infinite decided to call it quits. After seventeen years, depending on where you start counting, the company dissolved to form another, much smaller studio. Only about fifteen employees will transition to the new team. The rest are provided financial support, given a bit of time to develop their portfolios, and can attend a recruitment day to be interviewed by other studios and publishers. They may also be offered employment elsewhere in Take-Two Interactive.
The studio formed by the handful of remaining employees will look to develop games based on narrative, which is definitely their strength. Each game will be distributed digitally and Take-Two will continue to be their parent company.
While any job loss is terrible, I am interested in the future project. BioShock: Infinite sold millions of copies but I wonder if its size ultimately caused it harm. It was pretty and full of detail, at the expense of requiring a large team. The game had a story which respected your intelligence, you may not understand it and that was okay, but I have little confidence that it was anywhere close to the team's original vision. From budget constraints to the religious beliefs of development staff, we already know about several aspects of the game that changed significantly. Even Elizabeth, according to earlier statements from Ken Levine, was on the bubble because of her AI's complexity. I can imagine how difficult it is to resist those changes when seeing man-hour budgets. I cannot, however, imagine BioShock: Infinite without Elizabeth. A smaller team might help them concentrate their effort where it matters and keep artistic vision from becoming too dilute.
As for BioShock? The second part of the Burial at Sea DLC is said to wrap up the entire franchise. 2K will retain the license if they want to release sequels or spin-offs. I doubt Ken Levine will have anything more to do with it, however.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 19, 2014 - 04:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: geforce, gm107, gpu, graphics, gtx 750 ti, maxwell, nvidia, video
We finally saw Maxwell yesterday, with a new design for the SMs called SMM each of which consist of four blocks of 32 dedicated, non-shared CUDA cores. In theory that should allow NVIDIA to pack more SMMs onto the card than they could with the previous SMK units. This new design was released on a $150 card which means we don't really get to see what this new design is capable of yet. At that price it competes with AMD's R7 260X and R7 265, at least if you can find them at their MSRP and not at inflated cryptocurrency levels. Legit Reviews contrasted the performance of two overclocked GTX 750 Ti to those two cards as well as to the previous generation GTX 650Ti Boost on a wide selection of games to see how it stacks up performance-wise which you can read here.
That is of course after you read Ryan's full review.
"NVIDIA today announced the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 video cards, which are very interesting to use as they are the first cards based on NVIDIA's new Maxwell graphics architecture. NVIDIA has been developing Maxwell for a number of years and have decided to launch entry-level discrete graphics cards with the new technology first in the $119 to $149 price range. NVIDIA heavily focused on performance per watt with Maxwell and it clearly shows as the GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB video card measures just 5.7-inches in length with a tiny heatsink and doesn't require any internal power connectors!"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI GTX 750 Ti Gaming Video Card Review @HiTech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS GTX 750 OC 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GTX 750 Ti Gaming 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti the Arrival of Maxwell @HiTech Legion
- Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX Dual 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- The GTX 750 Ti Review; Maxwell Arrives @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti vs. AMD Radeon R7 265 @ Legion Hardware
- MSI GTX750Ti OC Twin Frozr @ Kitguru
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti "Maxwell" On Linux @ Phoronix
- A quick look at Mantle on AMD's Kaveri APU @ The Tech Report
- Sapphire Radeon R9 Tri-X OC video card @ Hardwareoverclock
- AMD Radeon R9 290: Still Not Good For Linux Users @ Phoronix
- AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon R7 260X OC 2GB Graphics Card Review @ Techgage
- XFX Double Dissipation R9 280X @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2014 - 04:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, titanfall, modding
If you didn't get lucky enough to get in on the Titanfall demo then all you can do is read the previews and wonder if what you are missing out on is really as good as people say it is. The reviews we've seen have been very positive and describe what seems to be a new style of online shooter. The basics remain the same and we have all seen footage of the 3 storey mechs which give the game its name but Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN also describes how parkour is a big part of the game and is easier to get used to than Mirror's Edge. The launch process also sounds like an improvement, when starting you end up in a private area which makes it easy to pick who you play with if you have a group of up to 12 people together. Even with the limit of 6 players per side the map won't feel empty thanks to the designed inclusion of bots on both teams. It is also nice to hear that Respawn is already acknowledging the modding community for the PC version of their game.
"There are a lot of different ways to make videogame fights meaningful. Singleplayer games do it by couching your shotgun blasts and pistol whips in the context of a story. Multiplayer games do it by emphasising competition via scoreboards, and by layering XP bonuses and equipment progression on top as rewards for each kill. Titanfall aims to do it with a mixture of all of the above, and based on its limited beta, finds mixed success."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft kicks off a week of Xbox 360 game price cuts @ The Inquirer
- > HACK INFO ON DISRUPT ONTO RPS FRONT PAGE @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Irrational Games, developers of BioShock series, to close @ HEXUS
- Jacking Into The Matrix: EVE And Oculus’ Utopian Dreams @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Mein Gott: Wolfenstein Preorders Secure DOOM Beta Access @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Mobile | February 19, 2014 - 02:25 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, viewsonic, viewpad 10i, tablet, celeron n2910, Bay Trail, android 4.2
ViewSonic is launching a new 10-inch tablet called the Viewpad 10i. The tablet is powered by an Intel bay Trail processor and it offers a dual boot configuration of Windows 8 and Android 4.2 operating systems. The slate tablet weighs 650 grams. It is available online for around $500 USD.
The Viewpad 10i has a 10.1” IPS capacitive multi-touch display with a resolution of 1280x800. ViewSonic has also included two 2MP cameras (front and rear), a built-in speaker, and a dedicated Windows button below the display. External connectivity includes micro USB and micro SD ports in addition to 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless radios.
Internal specifications on the Viewpad 10i include an Intel Celeron N2910 “Bay Trail” processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD. The Bay Trail processor is a 7.5W TDP (4.5W SDP) part with 1.6 GHz quad core CPU, Intel HD Graphics GPU clocked at 756 MHz, and 2 MB of cache. A 7,000 mAh battery offers up to six hours of battery life.
You can find more photos of Viewsonic's new tablet here.
The ability to dual boot Windows and Android is neat, but it does come at a premium versus competing 10-inch Bay Trail tablets that run a single OS out of the box. Is the approximately $500 price tag worth it?
Read more about Intel's Bay Trail architecture at PC Perspective.
Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2014 - 12:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, router, TheMoon
A worm known as TheMoon has been in the news recently but the actual infection of Linksys routers has likely been spreading for quite a while now. You may have also read about the backdoor on Linksys/Cisco and Netgear routers which as been open for almost a decade and can be as simple as connecting to port 8083 if you can get direct access to the router. Some of these vulnerabilities can be mitigated by turning off remote administration and uPNP services but it seems your consumer level router is still a huge security risk. Your best bet is to spend a weekend and follow the advice of most Slashdot commentators; flash your router with OpenWRT or a version of Tomato and you will have better security and control over your router. Just don't do it to the modem your ISP provided you with.
"The remote-access management flaw that allowed TheMoon worm to thrive on Linksys routers is far from the only vulnerability in that particular brand of hardware, though it might be simpler to call all home-based wireless routers gaping holes of insecurity than to list all the flaws in those of just one vendor. An even longer list of Linksys (and Cisco and Netgear) routers were identified in January as having a backdoor built into the original versions of their firmware in 2005 and never taken out."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Oops: Security Holes In Belkin Home Automation Gear @ Slashdot
- Intel unveils Xeon E7 v2 for data centres with focus on data analytics @ The Inquirer
- Ignore the pie-in-the-sky storage roadmaps. This is what's REALLY afoot @ The Register
- How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog @ The Register
- How to Operate Your Spycams with ZoneMinder on Linux (part 1) @ Linux.com
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | February 19, 2014 - 03:28 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, SoC, atom, haswell, Haswell-E, Airmont, Ivy Bridge-EX
Every few months, we get another snapshot at some of Intel's products. This timeline has a rough placement for every segment, from their Internet of Things (IoT) product, the Quark, up to the Xeon E7 v2. While it covers from now through December, it is not designed to be a strict schedule and might contain an error or two.
Image Credit: VR-Zone
First up is Ivy Bridge-EX (Xeon E7 v2). PCMag has an interesting rundown on these parts in depth, although some aspects are a little fuzzy. These 22nm-based chips range from 6 to 15 cores and can access up to 1.5TB of memory, per socket. Intel also claims they will support up to four times the I/O bandwidth for disk and network transactions. Naturally, they have all the usual virtualization and other features that are useful for servers. Most support Turbo Boost and all but one have Hyper-Threading Technology.
Jumping back to the VR-Zone editorial, the timeline suggests that the Quark X1000 will launch in April. As far as I can tell, this is new information. Quark is Intel's ultra low-end SoC that is designed for adding intelligence to non-computing devices. One example given by Intel at CES was a smart baby bottle warmer.
The refresh of Haswell is also expected to happen in April.
Heading into the third quarter, we should see Haswell-E make an appearance for the enthusiast desktop and moderately high-end server. This should be the first time since Sandy Bridge-E (2011) that expensive PCs get a healthy boost to single-threaded performance, clock for clock. Ivy Bridge-E, while a welcome addition, was definitely aimed at reducing power consumption.
Ending the year should be the launch of Airmont at 14nm. The successor to Silvermont, Airmont will be the basis of Cherry Trail tablets and lower end PCs at the very end of the year. Moorefield, which is Airmont for smartphones, is not listed on this roadmap and should not surface until 2015.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 19, 2014 - 12:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, gaming evolved, amd
The AMD Gaming Evolved App updates your drivers, optimizes your game settings, streams your gameplay to Twitch, accesses some social media platforms, and now gives prizes. Points are given for playing games using the app, optimizing game settings, and so forth. These can be exchanged for rewards ranging from free games, to Sapphire R9-series graphics cards.
This program has been in beta for a little while now, without the ability to redeem points. The system has been restructured to encourage using the entire app by lowering the accumulation rate for playing games and adding other goals. Beta participants do not lose all of their points, rather it is rescaled more in line with the new system.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 18, 2014 - 09:03 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, gtx titan black, geforce titan, geforce
NVIDIA has just announced the GeForce GTX Titan Black. Based on the full high-performance Kepler (GK110) chip, it is mostly expected to be a lower cost development platform for GPU processing applications. All 2,880 single precision (FP32) CUDA Cores and 960 double precision (FP64) CUDA Cores are unlocked, yielding 5.1 TeraFLOPs of 32-bit decimal and 1.3 TeraFLOPs of 64-bit decimal performance. The chip contains 1536kB of L2 Cache and will be paired with 6GB of video memory on the board.
The original GeForce GTX Titan launched last year, almost to the day. Also based on the GK110 design, it also featured full double precision performance with only one SMX disabled. Of course, no component at the time contained a fully-enabled GK110 processor. The first product with all 15 SMX units active was not realized until the Quadro K6000, announced in July but only available in the fall. It was followed by the GeForce GTX 780 Ti (with a fraction of its FP64 performance) in November, and the fully powered Tesla K40 less than two weeks after that.
For gaming applications, this card is expected to have comparable performance to the GTX 780 Ti... unless you can find a use for the extra 3GB of memory. Games do not display much benefit with the extra 64-bit floating point (decimal) performance because the majority of their calculations are at 32-bit precision.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Black is available today at a price of $999.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | February 17, 2014 - 08:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: passive cooling, cooling
Somewhere in the world, someone is developing a passively-cooled desktop made up of copper water pipes. Thirty-six (36) of them pass through what looks like an aluminum block attached to the socket LGA 1155 heatsink mount. As the copper pipes heat up, it passes to the air within it. Convection forces this to exhaust upward through the copper chimney and replaces it with cool air from below.
All Images, Credit: "Monster", CoolEnjoy.net Forums
From the 3D prototype, it looks like two passively-cooled discrete GPUs are intended to fit just above the elbow in the chimney. Even from the rendering, it is clear that quite a lot of thought and effort has gone into this project. I cannot tell how they intend to access PCIe slots from up there, be it a larger motherboard or an extension adapter, but options probably exist.
Initial testing with a Core i5-4440 (stock frequencies) show around 65 deg C at full CPU load. This should be in line with a typical air-based cooler.
Either way, this is the most impressive "SuperPipe" cooler that I have seen.
Your move, MSI.
Subject: Storage | February 17, 2014 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: western digital, Black, 4TB, hdd
There are still many times when having a huge amount of storage at a low price is more important than having the speed of an SSD and the Western Digitial Black family of drives is perfect for those scenarios. This 7200RPM HDD has five 800GB platters and a 64MB cache in the 4TB model TechARP reviewed though you can get smaller models if you so desire. While the drive will not compete against and SSD you can see in the review that this drive tops the other platter based models performance by a noticeable margin. If you need a large amount of space but can't pay around $1.00/GB then don't forget that HDDs are also still evolving.
"The new-generation Western Digital Black family differs from the previous generation by its use of Advanced Format Technology, which allows for greater capacity and throughput. The new Western Digital Black family now consists of five models, which differ only in their storage capacities."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Synology DS214SE @ Kitguru
- QNAP HS-210 Silent and Fanless 2-bay NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Asustor AS-302T 2-bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Thecus N2310 Network Attached Storage (NAS) Review @HiTech Legion
- Asus SATA Express Hands-on Preview @ Kitguru
- Vantec IDE/SATA and NexStar eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapters Review @HiTech Legion
- Matsunichi 500GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- EDGE Memory diskGO Pocket USB 3.0 SSD @ SSD Review
- MyDigitalSSD OTG (On The Go) Pocket SuperSpeed USB 3.0 SSD @ SSD Review
- MyDigitalSSD Super Cache 2 M.2 SSD @ SDD Review
- Mach Xtreme MX-LX 128GB USB3.0 Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- Silicon Power Jewel J10 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2014 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gila, genius, GX, gaming mouse
Gaming mice have been changing over the past few years, no longer is having adjustable DPI enough to satisfy gamers, they want to be able to modify the X and Y axis independently and want huge amounts of programmable buttons. The Gila from Genius is capable of both, indeed it can have 72 different mappings for the 10 buttons thanks to the 32K of onboard storage. The MSRP is $65, if that is within your budget head over to Hi Tech Reviews to see their opinion of the mouse.
"The Gila by Genius, a part of their GX Gaming line of PC gaming peripherals, is a mouse designed for MMO and RTS gaming. Genius, using the brand GX Gaming, has released the Gila gaming mouse which has eight additional buttons, adjustable weight, and adjustable DPI, from 200 up through 8200. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Shogun Bros. Ballista MK-1 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Speedlink Decus 5000dpi Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Mionix Avior 7000 Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- 12-Way Gaming Mouse Roundup @ Legion Hardware
- CM Storm Reaper Mouse from the Aluminum Gaming Series Review @ Modders-Inc
- Mionix Avior 7000 Optical Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- FUNC KB-460 Mechanical Keyboard Review @ TechwareLabs
- MSI GK-601 Cherry Red mechanical keyboard @ Kitguru
- Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2014 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cloud, vmware, vcloud connector
Getting familiar with virtualization, especially VMWare's take on the technology is a wise decision for anyone planning on starting or continuing a career in IT. Even if you never end up hosting your own cluster of VMs, being aware of what they are capable of will help you deal with vendors and salespeople. It is now even easier to expand your knowledge of how multiple virtual machine clusters can communicate as VMWare has made their tool free to use. This does assume you have VSphere and ESX based clusters but as that software is also available at no cost, that is not a tough prerequisite to meet. Check out the links from The Register to see about creating your own interlinked cloud, or perhaps hooking into a friends.
"VMware has released version 2.6 of its vCloud Connector tool, and dropped its price to $0. At current exchange rates that's £0 and $AUD0, for UK and Australian readers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- An Introduction to the AWS Command Line Tool @ Linux.com
- Nokia reportedly to launch Android variant smartphones @ DigiTimes
- Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis? @ Slashdot
- Kickstarter kicked by attack @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2014 - 03:10 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: web browser, Google Chrome, chromium
This stutter was 628 milliseconds, or about 38 consecutive frames at 60 FPS.
Image Credit: Chromium Project Blog
Web browsers are designed under the assumption that a single thread of instructions will weave through every task, one by one, until everything is done. At some point, since the early 1990s, computers have been give multiple cores (and some of those designs can have multiple threads shoved through at once). The problem is now that, since "Task A" was designed to occur before "Task B", doing them separately... can break stuff good.
A simplified browser execution flowchart. Execution follows the arrow.
Image Credit: Mozilla
In case you are wondering, Mozilla started to move compilation to a background thread as of Firefox 21. Firefox 29 will move the entire just-in-time (JIT) compilation process off the main thread. This is currently in their "Aurora" release channel. To the rest of the world: it's an alpha.
This optimization is currently available in Google Chrome Beta (33).
Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2014 - 10:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows 7
You cannot purchase a retail copy of Windows 7 at this point, officially. The last day of retail availability was October 30th, 2013. System builders can still include the operating system in their PCs, however, until October 31st, 2014.
Windows 7 Professional is the exception.
The Windows lifecycle website claims that OEMs can include Professional in PCs until a to-be-announced date. That date will be at least one year after whenever they decide to announce it. As of February 16th, the date is still listed as "Not yet established".
I should note that Volume Licensing customers have downgrade rights and installation media available for the two versions prior to whatever is current. In short, they have their own timeline.
Basically, we know that preinstalled Windows 7 Professional availability is on a countdown timer. We know that timer is at least one year long. We do not know how much longer than a year it will be. We also do not know when the announcement will be made and thus, when the timer will start ticking.
The Ars Technica article claims that this Windows 7 Professional OEM extension is for business users. That said, a fair amount of those users are on volume licensing. Another possibility is that Microsoft wants to bridge the gap between Windows 7 and the rumored "Windows 9" for enthusiasts. "Threshold", as it is codenamed, is supposed to address users who are primarily in the desktop interface. Professional would give them devices to purchase until then, without the general public purchasing a cheap Windows 7 machine and intending to use it for a decade (potentially beyond Windows 7's EOL in 2020).
Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate will no longer be preinstalled in PCs on October 31st, 2014. Windows 7 Professional will be available for some unannounced time afterward.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | February 16, 2014 - 03:37 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: toshiba, hdd, 5TB
We may see an internal hard drive with up to 5TB of storage from Toshiba. This is an enterprise SKU but, either way, it is a step beyond the tyranny of 3TB models dotted with 4TB options at a higher price per gigabyte. For example, Newegg.com lists a 3TB Caviar Green at $114 with the 4TB version going for $164.
You might just be, Toshiba. You might just be.
The push to 3TB was fairly difficult, due mostly to software limitations in addressing more than about 2.2TB per drive. 3TB was uncommon for internal storage, although external USB drives avoided the issue. And then came the flood. Back in 2011, disastrous flooding exploded prices of hard drives. The world was cut to a fraction of its production. With standard 2TB drives over doubling in price, the industry took forever to return. Ryan, at the time (October 2011), noted that the days of 2TB for $89 would be gone for a while; that is the exact price which Newegg lists, today. Even worse, we basically did not see 4TB until almost 2013.
It is a good step, though. I hope this reaches other companies and the consumer space in reasonable time. While I am dreaming, just maybe it could push down prices on existing models? I am looking at you, 4TB disks.
Toshiba's MG04 series drives will be available in both SAS and SATA models with sizes up to 5TB. Samples will begin to ship this month.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | February 15, 2014 - 11:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: motorola, Lenovo, acquisition
According to Bloomberg, Lenovo's CEO has recently made a claim in a phone interview that, "In a few quarters we can turn around the business [Motorola]". Google is currently in the process of selling a subset of Motorola to Lenovo for $2.9 billion USD. When it was first announced, I assumed the deal was based on Motorola's brand power and their relationship with wireless carriers around the world.
Now, two weeks later, Lenovo outlines their plan. The company expects to push Motorola into China, emerging markets, and even existing ones. Lenovo's CEO, Yang Yuanqing, believes that customers will positively identify with the brand, especially in China. They are planning to relaunch the brand in China and become a stronger third-place competitor (globally).
The company also disclosed that approximately 3,500 employees would carry over with this acquisition.
Subject: Systems | February 14, 2014 - 06:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, nuc, Bay Trail
If you are thinking of saving some money when picking up a NUC by skipping Windows and using Linux instead then Phoronix has two articles you should be reading before you order. The initial testing on the Bay Trail processor did not go as well as hoped even if the architecture is based on Haswell but now that they have been on the market for a bit it is time to revisit them. If you are just concerned about the performance then quickly pop over and read this article. On the other hand if you want the full story then not only should you read that article but make sure to catch their full review here.
"With the early Atom "Bay Trail" hardware being disastrous for Linux, when Intel recently announced their Bay Trail based NUC Kit we were anxious and decided to give this unit a go. The Intel NUC Kit DN2820FYK packs an Intel Celeron N2820 Bay Trail CPU and motherboard supporting up to 8GB of DDR3L system memory and 2.5-inch HDD/SSD in a 116 x 112 x 51 mm form-factor. In this article is a rundown of the Phoronix experience so far for this Atom NUC Kit and how well it's running with Ubuntu Linux."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Intel NUC Kit (Haswell edition) @ The Inquirer
- Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D54250WYKH - "H" is for 2.5" HDD Mount Review @MissingRemote
- Intel NUC DN2820FYKH Bay Trail System Review @ Legit Reviews
- Falcon Computers Dead Silence Kaveri Gaming BattleRig @ Kitguru
- CompuLab Utilite: A Tiny, Low-Power, Low-Cost, ARM Linux Desktop @ Phoron
- Cyberpower PC ‘Ultra Fusion’ AMD Gaming System @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 14, 2014 - 06:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: supply shortage, shortage, R9 290X, podcast, litecoin, dogecoin, bitcoin
UPDATE (Feb 14th, 11pm ET): As a commenter has pointed out below, suddenly, as if by magic, Newegg has lowered prices on the currently in stock R9 290X cards by $200. That means you can currently find them for $699 - only $150 over the expected MSRP. Does that change anything about what we said above or in the video? Not really. It only lowers the severity.
I am curious to know if this was done by Newegg voluntarily due to pressure from news stories such as these, lack of sales at $899 or with some nudging from AMD...
If you have been keeping up with our podcasts and reviews, you will know that AMD cards are great compute devices for their MSRP. This is something that cryptocurrency applies a value to. Run a sufficient amount of encryption tasks and you are rewarded with newly created tokens (or some fee from validated transactions). Some people seem to think that GPUs are more valuable for that purpose than their MSRP, so retailers raise prices and people still buy them.
Currently, the cheapest R9 290X is being sold for $900. This is a 64% increase over AMD's intended $549 MSRP. They are not even the ones receiving this money!
This shortage also affects other products such as Corsair's 1200W power supply. Thankfully, only certain components are necessary for mining (mostly GPUs and a lot of power) so at least we are not seeing the shortage spread to RAM, CPUs, APUs, and so forth. We noted a mining kit on Newegg which was powered by a Sempron processor. This line of cheap and low-performance CPUs has not been updated since 2009.
We have kept up with GPU shortages, historically. We did semi-regular availability checks during the GeForce GTX 680 and 690 launch windows. The former was out of stock for over two months after its launch. Those also sometimes strayed from their MSRP, slightly.
Be sure to check out the clip (above) for a nice, 15-minute discussion.
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2014 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, roundup, headphones
The Inquirer has put together a list of the 14 best headphones released so far this year, including both on ear and over the ear styles. You won't find a single Beats model in this roundup but you will hear about a wide range of best in class headphones from a wide variety of uses from the cheapest pair that still sounds good to the best ones for travelling. Just don't buy the ones with frogs on them.
"Long gone are the days when people felt too embarrassed to wear a hefty pair of cans on their heads in the fear that they'd be accused to trying to look like an Ibiza DJ wannabe. The hype about on-ear headphones has helped convince the masses that, "Actually, these clumsy looking music accessories are pretty cool," or, "Why shouldn't I wear them with pride on the Tube after forking out hundreds for them?""
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bitfenix Flo Gaming Headset Review @ Madshrimps
- Ozone Onda Pro Headset @ Rbmods
- SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset Review @ Legit Reviews
- SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset @ NikKTech
- Fanny Wang WangBuds Review @ TechwareLabs
- Antec pulse Bluetooth Wireless Headphone Review! @ Bjorn3D
- Func HS-260 Gaming headset Review! @ Bjorn3D
- Thermaltake eSPORTS Cronos Gaming Headset Review @ Modders-Inc
- Func HS-260 Stereo Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Corsair Vengeance 2100 Dolby 7.1 Wireless Gaming Headset Review @ Madshrimps
- CM Storm Pitch In-Ear Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Creative T4 2.1 Wireless Speaker System with NFC Review @ Madshrimps
- Edifier Luna Eclipse e25 2.0 Speakers @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2014 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Kabini
As you may have heard mention of on the podcast last night, AMD has a habit of crowding the lower end of the CPU and GPU markets with a wde variety of choices of product separated by very little money. While this can lead some entry level PC buyers to a bit of confusion at first, having a wide variety of choices is a good thing for the consumer. DigiTimes reported on an interesting decision made by AMD which bucks that trend, at least in China. It would seem that instead of releasing Kabini there, AMD is depending on the deep price cuts they've applied to previous generations of APU to compete against Intel as those price cuts would make Kabini much less attractive in that market. As a bonus we also received confirmation that Beema is still on schedule for the second half of this year.
"AMD is expected to ship 300,000 Kabini processors in the first quarter of 2014, 1.2 million units in the first half, and 3.8-3.9 million units in the whole year, the sources indicated."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How about a Radeon R9 290X for 900 bucks? @ The Tech Report
- Samsung ramping up 25nm production for DRAM @ DigiTimes
- The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7 @ The Register
- Lenovo cracks its first ever $10bn quarter @ The Register
- Indonesia market: BlackBerry to stage a turnaround with Jakarta model @ DigiTimes
- Win MSI GTX760 Gaming and Z87I Gaming ITX combo! @ Kitguru
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