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Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2014 - 01:49 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, nvidia, shield tablet, amd, freesync, crucial, M550, mx100, Oculus, DK2, logitech g402, evga, TORQ X10
PC Perspective Podcast #311 - 07/31/2014
Join us this week as we discuss AMD FreeSync, NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, Crucial M550 SSD 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
Hey, we have a contest, stay tuned!!
Week in Review:
0:42:25 EVGA Contest
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Ryan: Logitech G402 Mouse
Allyn: Oculus - needs to happen sooner!!!
Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2014 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, seattle, developer, arm, opteron a1100, Cortex A57
AMD has been teasing us with Seattle, their first ARM based CPU which Josh described back in May after AMD's presentation. The AMD Opteron A1100 series will come in 4 and 8 core versions with each core being a Cortex A57 that has up to 4MB of shared L2 and 8MB of shared L3 cache, support for DDR3 or DDR4, 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0, up to 8 SATA3 ports and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. The newly announced Dev Kit will ship with a 4 core version and it can be yours for a mere $3000 if your application is accepted by AMD. It will be very interesting to see how these are integrated into existing server rooms and applications though it is a pity we will have to wait for HSA support. Check out more at The Inquirer.
"AMD HAS RELEASED a developer kit for its AMD Opteron A1100 server processor series that features the first 64-bit ARM-based chips codenamed "Seattle"."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil" @ "Slashdot"
- Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog @ The Register
- Intel to see difficulties shipping 40 million tablet CPUs in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Apple to lay off 40 percent of Beats staff following $3bn acquisition @ The Inquirer
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Adds "Live Folders", Expands Cortana Support @ DailyTech
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2014 - 08:54 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: TORQ X10, podcast, hadron air, giveaway, evga, contest
A big THANK YOU goes to our friends at EVGA for hooking us up with a couple of hardware items to give away for our podcast listeners and viewers this week. First, if you watch tonight's LIVE recording of Podcast #311 (10pm ET / 7pm PT at http://pcper.com/live) you'll be able to win an EVGA Torq X10 mouse! (See our review of the mouse here.)
For everyone that can't make the live version of the show, you'll have a week to enter to win an EVGA Hadron Air Mini ITX Case! (See our review of the case here.)
How do you enter? Well, on the live stream contest for the Torq X10, just watch the live stream and you'll know exactly what to do. For the Hadron Air case though, just fill out the form on this news post (form will be enabled AFTER tonight's recording) and you'll be entered. I will announce the winner during next week's episode of the PC Perspective Podcast!
We'll draw a random winner next week, anyone can enter from anywhere in the world - we'll cover the shipping. Good luck, and once again, thanks goes out to EVGA for supplying the prizes!
If you haven't checked out EVGA's 15th Anniversary Event with more than $70,000 in prizes, do yourself a favor and do so now!!
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2014 - 07:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dvorak, led backlight, DIY
You have refined taste when it comes to keyboards and have exacting qualifications as to the models you want but have now developed a taste for LED backlighting. The models you find acceptable don't incorporate LEDs or do so in a way you find distasteful. There is a solution but it is one that will take a long time to pull off. MAKE:Blog has linked to a project which will take a lot of soldering and more than a little effort but if you want the coolest Dvorak or Sinclair ZX keyboard on the block it might just be worth it.
"Regardless of the hesitation to recommend this project, the final result is quite nice. The final keyboard layout is a Dvorak simplified keyboard, and the wiring is hidden under the keys."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Raspberry Pi Model B+ @ The Inquirer
- Easy Steps to Make GNOME 3 More Efficient @ Linux.com
- Security researcher finds exploitable flaws in 14 major anti-virus engines @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations @ The Register
- ASUS RP-AC52 Dual Band Wireless AC750 Range Extender @ Kitguru
- Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu @ The Register
- Android 'supermalware' can impersonate any app? @ The Inquirer
- Blackberry buys 'anti-eavesdropping' mobile security firm Secusmart @ The Inquirer
- How To Switch The Location Of The Apple iTunes Backup Folder @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | July 29, 2014 - 09:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vesa, nvidia, g-sync, freesync, DisplayPort, amd
Dynamic refresh rates have two main purposes: save power by only forcing the monitor to refresh when a new frame is available, and increase animation smoothness by synchronizing to draw rates (rather than "catching the next bus" at 16.67ms, on the 16.67ms, for 60 Hz monitors). Mobile devices prefer the former, while PC gamers are interested in the latter.
Obviously, the video camera nullifies the effect.
NVIDIA was first to make this public with G-Sync. AMD responded with FreeSync, starting with a proposal that was later ratified by VESA as DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync. AMD, then, took up "Project FreeSync" as an AMD "hardware/software solution" to make use of DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync in a way that benefits PC gamers.
Today's news is that AMD has just released an FAQ which explains the standard much more thoroughly than they have in the past. For instance, it clarifies the distinction between DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync and Project FreeSync. Prior to the FAQ, I thought that FreeSync became DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, and that was that. Now, it is sounding a bit more proprietary, just built upon an open, VESA standard.
If interested, check out the FAQ at AMD's website.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 29, 2014 - 08:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, graphics drivers, shield tablet, shield
Alongside the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet launch, the company has released their GeForce 340.52 drivers. This version allows compatible devices to use GameStream and it, also, is optimized for Metro: Redux and Final Fantasy XIV (China).
The driver supports GeForce 8-series graphics cards, and later. As a reminder, for GPUs that are not based on the Fermi architecture (or later), 340.xx will be your last driver version. NVIDIA does intend to provided extended support for 340.xx (and earlier) drivers until April 1st, 2016. But, when Fermi, Kepler, and Maxwell move on to 343.xx, Tesla and earlier will not. That said, most of the content of this driver is aimed at Kepler and later. Either way, the driver itself is available for those pre-Fermi cards.
I should also mention that a user of Anandtech's forums noted the removal of Miracast from NVIDIA documentation. NVIDIA has yet to comment, although it is still very short notice, at this point.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | July 29, 2014 - 07:24 PM | Scott Michaud
You might remember Allyn say that Samsung's 850 Pro is the closest to total saturation of SATA 6Gbps. The other option that we have seen is the bunch of SSDs that are attached to a PCI Express bus. HGST, formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, has just SAS'd back (that was a terrible pun... which I refuse to apologize for) with a Serial Attached SCSI 12 Gbps model (pdf link). They claim a maximum read throughput of 1100 MB/s, with 64K chunks, and 130,000 IOPS, with 4K random accesses.
The drives will be based on Intel 20nm enterprise-grade NAND with two bits per memory cell (MLC). Its durability is rated at 25 full driver writes per day for 5 years. Models will range from 100GB, all the way up to 1600GB (1.6TB).
While I am limited to Google Translate, there does not appear to be any price or availability information provided. They are enterprise drives, however, so I expect it to be above typical consumer drives.
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2014 - 06:55 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubisoft, watch_dogs, watch dogs, pc gaming
Today, Ubisoft has issued a patch for Watch_Dog that fixes bugs and performance issues. Mainly, it is designed to reduce stuttering with higher levels of texture quality, especially "High Textures". "Ultra Textures" could still have problems for "some players", but Ubisoft suggests that future updates to reduce stutter are in progress.
Without knowing much about the internal workings of the patch, I expect that it addresses hiccups when swapping textures. Loading textures into memory can take a significant amount of time, and overhead, but it is necessary if the one you need is not in there. As the size of each individual texture increases, fewer can be stored in the same memory space, leading to more swapping required (especially when it is difficult to tell what a user can see at any given point in time). Ubisoft might have found a more efficient organization (for lack of a better word that I can think of) for textures that allow "High Textures" to stay below their target memory footprint, but not "Ultra Textures", at least not frequently enough to call it fixed.
Of course, I could be entirely wrong.
This patch also addresses bugs with multiple network adapters, crashes, and error messages. According to Ubisoft forums, it is available now. It is not yet on their news blog, though.
Subject: Mobile | July 29, 2014 - 06:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, memo pad ME176C, android 4.2.2, Bay Trail
Powered by a Bay Trail Atom Z3745, 1GB LP DDR3-1066, 16GB eMMC, with support for up to a 64GB SD card and a 7" 1280x800 IPS display the ASUS Memo Pad ME176C is rather impressive for under $150. Shipping with Android 4.2.2 or 4.4 the Memo Pad is not quite as powerful as NVIDIA's new tablet but is nowhere near as expensive either. The Tech Report rather liked this device, as did Ryan; for those on a tight budget the new Memo does just about everything you need for basic usage at an acceptable level of performance.
"Despite its $149 asking price, Asus' Memo Pad ME176C tablet has a quad-core Bay Trail SoC, a 7" IPS display, and little extras like a Micro SD slot and GPS functionality. We take a quick look at this budget slate to see how well Android runs on x86 hardware--and whether a $149 tablet can deliver a good experience."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- EVGA Tegra NOTE 7 & ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T Review @ Neoseeker
- Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+ Android Tablet @ Benchmark Reviews
- Festival tech: Leading the charge @ The Inquirer
- Patriot Fuel+ Mobile Rechargeable Battery Review @ HiTech Legion
- Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Review @ Legit Reviews
- Nokia Lumia 520 Smartphone Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2014 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, Nixeus, MODA, mechanical keyboard, Kailh, brown
Nixeus is not a household name by any means but they could heat up competition in the mechanical keyboard market as a new player using relatively new Kailh Brown switches. Like many ten-keyless gaming boards it has extra blue key caps to make your board more interesting, gold plated USB connectors, a 1000Hz Poll Rate and 6 Key Roll-over. The Kailh Brown switches are clones of Cherry MX Brown switches and felt almost the same when Legit Reviews tested them. The keyboard is similar to many already on the market but should appeal to those who prefer simplicity over media buttons and LEDs.
"Founded in California of 2009, Nixeus is still a bit of a newcomer to the PC hardware industry looking to build up a bigger name in the world of monitors and peripherals. Their aggressively priced 1440p monitors which carry the same LG panels found in the iMac displays have been their mainstay for much of that time, but recently Nixeus is expanding to the PC gaming market including the Moda mechanical keyboard being reviewed here on Legit Reviews. Read on to see how this keyboard performs!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GAMDIAS HERMES Ultimate Black Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Tt eSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard @ TechwareLabs
- Cooler Master Quick Fire Rapid-i Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
- Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 Review @ Techgage
- Gamdias Hermes Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- GAMDIAS HERMES Essential GKB2000 Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gamdias Aegis gaming set @ Kitguru
- XTracGear Carbonic Mouse Pad @ Benchmark Reviews
- Aorus Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse and Thunder P3 Gaming Pad Overview + Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 29, 2014 - 02:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gtx 780, R9 290X DC2 OC, sli, crossfire, STRIX GTX 780 OC 6GB, R9 290X
We have seen [H]ard|OCP test ASUS' STRIX GTX 780 OC 6GB and R9 290X DirectCU II before but this time they have been overclocked and paired up for a 4k showdown. For a chance NewEgg gives the price advantage to AMD, $589 versus $599 at the time of writing (with odd blips in prices on Amazon). The GTX 780 has been set to 1.2GHz and 6.6GHz while the 290X is 1.1GHz and 5.6GHz, keep in mind dual GPU setups may not reach the same frequencies as single cards. Read on for their conclusions and decide if you prefer to brag about a higher overclock or have better overall performance.
"We take the ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC 6GB video card and run two in SLI and overclock both of these at 4K resolutions to find the ultimate gameplay performance with 6GB of VRAM. We will also compare these to two overclocked ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II CrossFire video cards for the ultimate VRAM performance showdown."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GTX 780 STRIX OC 6GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 (GV-N770OC-2GD) vs. ASUS Matrix Platinum (R9280X-P-3GD5) Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Ice-cold Temperature Killa: Arctic Accelero Hybrid II-120 GPU Cooler Review @ Techgage
- Examining AMD’s Driver Progress Since Launch Drivers: R9 290X & HD 7970 @ eTeknix
- HIS Radeon R7 250X and 260X iCooler @ Funky Kit
- Sapphire Dual-X R9 280 3GB OC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Radeon R9 280X Round-up @ Legion Hardware
- HIS R9 280 IceQ X2 OC 3GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Vapor-X 4 GB @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 28, 2014 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, V650S, modular psu, 650W, 80 Plus Gold
With a total rated power of 650W and two PCIe 6+2 power connectors the CM V650S seems to be aimed at entry level gaming systems but the $180 price tag suggests a high end PSU. It is partially modular and it bears an 80 Plus Gold rating but perhaps the price also comes from Cooler Master's use of a new OEM, Enhance? [H]ard|OCP did find it at a much more reasonable $80 on Tiger Direct but it is now out of stock and it does not seem to appear on NewEgg at all right now. Overall there is a lot of good things to be said about the internals of the PSU but on the outside there is much left to be desired. Check out the review but perhaps wait for the second version of the V650S before purchasing one.
"Cooler Master has been off the enthusiast radar in terms of computer power supplies for a while now. It simply walked a different line than much of the rest of the field. Today however we have one of Cooler Master's second foray back into the high end with a mid-level PSU rated for operation at 650 watts."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Silverstone Nightjar 520 W @ techPowerU
- BitFenix Fury 550G Alchemy-Sleeved Power Supply @ Benchmark Reviews
- Wireless Number: 312-241-6506 @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake ToughPower Grand TPG-0750M 750W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Antec HCP-850 850W Power Supply Review @ NikKTech
- Rosewill Capstone Modular 1000 W @ techPowerUp
- Seasonic Platinum Series 1200 W @ techPowerUp
Subject: Storage | July 28, 2014 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: adata, SP610, corsair, Force LX, 512GB
Two drives are competing for the budget segments money on Legit Reviews, the $250 Corsair Force LX 512GB and the $240 ADATA SP610 512GB SSD. 512GB should be enough for most budget users to store their needed software on and save them the cost of an HDD but which will offer the most value for the money? Both drives have Silicon Motion's SM2246EN controller and 20nm Micron MLC NAND, the same 3 year warranty and the same physical measurements. Does one stand out over the other? Read the full review to see.
"Solid-State Drive (SSD) have been steadily growing in capacity and thanks to improvements to the manufacturing processes the price of NAND and SSD controllers has been falling at an impressive rate. This means that fairly large SSDs are now fairly affordable and something the for the average consumer can justify purchasing."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Force LX 256GB SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- Crucial MX100 256GB @ eTeknix
- ADATA SP610 SSD Review (512GB) @ The SSD Review
- Plextor M6S PX-256M6S 256GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB SATA SSD @ Custom PC Review
- Crucial MX100 512GB SSD Review @ TechwareLabs
- Kingston SSDNow V310 960GB SSD Upgrade Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB @ Kitguru
- Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series 240GB Enterprise SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Intel P3700 NVMe SSD Installed In a Win 8.1 Consumer PC – Drivers Benched @ The SSD Review
- Samsung 845DC PRO 400GB SATA SSD @ Custom PC Review
- SSD Throughput, Latency and IOPS Explained – Learning To Live With Flash @ The SSD Review
- ALLONE Cloud Disk Drive 101 RAMDisk Review (32GB) – 500K IOPS of DDR3 Storage @ The SSD Review
- Silicon Power Superior SDXC UHS-1 64GB Review @ Madshrimps
- Patriot STELLAR 64GB USB/microUSB 3.0 OTG Flash Drive Review @ OCC
- Lexar JumpDrive P10 64GB @ Funky Kit
- Toshiba Nearline MG04ACA500A 5TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
- Thecus N2520 2-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Synology DS414j Budget-friendly 4-bay NAS Server Review @ Madshrimps
- QNAP TS-451 @ Legion Hardware
- Synology DS415play @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2014 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oculus rift, DK2, oled, kick ass
The two top improvements in the second Oculus rift are aimed to reduce the screen door effect by changing the display to a full 1080p OLED screen and the inclusion of Valve's low persistence of vision feature to reduce the image smearing that DK1 users reported. There is a brand new way of tracking your heads position in 3D with the DK2, a camera tracks the motion of hidden onboard IR LEDs to track translational movement in addition to the rotational tracking existent on the DK1. You will need 2 free USB ports and it connects to an HDMI or DVI port on your GPU, wireless video streaming is still a hurdle for many applications let alone the Oculus Rift. Check out the comments on Slashdot and follow the link for a full preview.
"The hotly anticipated Oculus Rift DK2 has begun arriving at doorsteps. The DK2s enhancements include optical positional tracking and a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile-matrix OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 158: Planet of the Shield Tablets
- NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all @ The Register
- New Surface to come into production in August, say Taiwan maker @ DigiTimes
- A Better Google Glass For $60 (This One Folds) @ Hack a Day
- Amazon opens its own 3D Printing Store @ The Inquirer
- Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 28, 2014 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: raptr, pc game streaming
Raptr seems to be gaining in popularity. Total playtime recorded by the online service was up 15% month-over-month, from May to June. The software is made up of a few features that are designed to make the lives of PC gamers easier and better, ranging from optimizing game settings to recording gameplay. If you have used a recent version of GeForce Experience, then you probably have a good idea of what Raptr does.
Today, Raptr has announced a new, major update. The version's headlining feature is hardware accelerated video recording, and streaming, for both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Raptr claims that their method leads to basically no performance lost, regardless of which GPU vendor is used. Up to 20 minutes of previous gameplay can be recorded after it happened and video of unlimited length can be streamed on demand.
Notice the recording overlay in the top left.
The other, major feature of this version is enhanced sharing of said videos. They can be uploaded to Raptr.com and shared to Facebook and Twitter, complete with hashtags (#BecauseYolo?)
If interested, check out Raptr at their website.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 25, 2014 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, raven rv05
The newest Raven from SilverStone is the RV05 which continues the unique look and motherboard orientation of the Raven series. The filtration system continues in the same pattern as previous models with most of the removable screens accessible without needing to disassemble the case. At 9.5"W x 20.8"H x 19.6"L it is smaller than the previous models which has reduced the number of 2.5" and 3.5" drives which will fit into the case; you will have to decide if the smaller size is worth the sacrifice. Check out the sound and temperature levels of this case in [H]ard|OCP's full review.
"The SilverStone Raven series of cases long ago broke the mold when it comes to "normal" computer chassis. Its design execution has always been good and the Ravens' airflow characteristics are excellent. Today SilverStone pushes the new Raven RV05 out there a little bit further in terms of design and function."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide Series Spec-01 Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Core 3300 Mid Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
- Silverstone Raven RV05 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Obsidian Series 450D @ [H]ard|OCP
- BitFenix Neos Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Raidmax Scorpio V Review @ OCC
- Fractal Design Core 3500 @ Benchamrk Review
- Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Mid-Tower @ [H]ard|OCP
- Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Case @ Kitguru
- Phanteks Enthoo Pro Full-Tower Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Aerocool Dead Silence DS200 Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Phanteks Enthoo Luxe @ techPowerUp
- BitFenix Recon 5-Channel Touchscreen Fan Controller Review @HiTech Legion
- DeepCool Gabriel Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake NiC C5 @ techPowerUp
- Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- CRYORIG C1 Top-Down CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2014 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: commodore 64, gaming, arduino nano, Tapuino
Over at Hack a Day is a link to a project which will warm the hearts of old gamers everywhere, a tape reader emulator for the C64. Built using a Arduino Nano V3 with an added SD card reader and with a rather low level of difficulty to build there is now a way to relive your misspent youth assuming you still have a working C64 on display somewhere. The total build will cost less than $20 making this great for folks looking to get into programming Arduino and building their own electronics. Check it out here.
"One of the machines that didn’t make it into his collection until recently was a Commodore 64 with Datasette and 1541 drive. With no tapes and a 1541 disk drive that required significant restoration, he looked at other devices to load programs onto his C64."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN @ The Register
- Amazon Fire Phone is harder to fix than the Galaxy S5, iPhone 5S @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade @ The Register
- Researchers herald the coming of the 1TB smartphone @ The Inquirer
- Poetry For Sysadmins: Shall I Compare Thee To a Lumbering Bear? @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 24, 2014 - 10:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shield tablet, shield, nvidia
Just a small note to continue with our SHIELD Tablet coverage. It turns out that the $299 (16GB) SHIELD Tablet, its cover, and its wireless controller are all available for pre-order on Amazon. The unit will actually be available on July 29th, but we were not aware that pre-orders would be possible until now.
While Ryan wrote a preview for the SHIELD Tablet, he is not giving a final word until he gets it into his lab and is capable of giving a full review. Also, we do not know how many units will be available. Whether you should pre-order, or wait for Ryan's final word, is up to you.
Thanks to our fans for alerting us of this availabilty in the IRC during TWiCH.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 24, 2014 - 07:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 880
Many of our readers were hoping to drop one (or more) Maxwell-based GPUs in their system for use with their 4K monitors, 3D, or whatever else they need performance for. That has not happened, nor do we even know, for sure, when it will. The latest rumors claim that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870 and 880 desktop GPUs will arrive in October or November. More interesting, it is expected to be based on GM204 at the current, 28nm process.
The recent GPU roadmap, as of GTC 2014
NVIDIA has not commented on the delay, at least that I know of, but we can tell something is up from their significantly different roadmap. We can also make a fairly confident guess, by paying attention to the industry as a whole. TSMC has been struggling to keep up with 28nm production, having increased wait times by six extra weeks in May, according to Digitimes, and whatever 20nm capacity they had was reportedly gobbled up by Apple until just recently. At around the same time, NVIDIA inserted Pascal between Maxwell and Volta with 3D memory, NVLink, and some unified memory architecture (which I don't believe they yet elaborated on).
The previous roadmap. (Source: Anandtech)
And, if this rumor is true, Maxwell was pushed from 20nm to a wholly 28nm architecture. It was originally supposed to be host of unified virtual memory, not Pascal. If I had to make a safe guess, I would assume that NVIDIA needed to redesign their chip to 28nm and, especially with the extra delays at TSMC, cannot get the volume they need until Autumn.
Lastly, going by the launch of the 750ti, Maxwell will basically be a cleaned-up Kepler architecture. Its compute units were shifted into power-of-two partitions, reducing die area for scheduling logic (and so forth). NVIDIA has been known to stash a few features into each generation, sometimes revealing them well after retail availability, so that is not to say that Maxwell will be "a more efficient Kepler".
I expect its fundamental architecture should be pretty close, though.
Subject: General Tech | July 24, 2014 - 05:28 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: battlefield, battlefield hardline
Yeah, I will admit it, the title is a joke. EA can annualize Battlefield as much as they like (as long as quality does not drop). The point is that Battlefield: Hardline has been delayed until early 2015. It is only a few extra months, which haters can still it to be a yearly release schedule, but it will not be under your tree, at least not this year.
Apparently, release dates are not hard lines...
DICE (not Visceral??) made the announcement on their Battlefield blog. Three areas will be worked on with the free time: Multiplayer "Innovation", Single Player Story "Depth", and Stability. I could remember a time, prior to ubiquitous internet access, that "stability" was a certification requirement, not a stretch goal. That was also a time that some platform owners could push you out of their first-party release windows to increase their own sales. I guess, give and take?
Battlefield: Hardline is now set for a launch in early 2015. That should be one less distraction from your Grand Theft Auto V PC experience.
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