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Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 05:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: catalyst, graphics drivers, catalyst 13.4, Catalyst 13.5 beta
AMD Catalyst 13.4 includes all of the latest performance optimizations and fixes available in AMD Catalyst 13.3 Beta 3, and is Microsoft logo certified.
AMD Catalyst 13.5 Beta includes additional performance improvements and fixes not found in AMD Catalyst 13.4
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 13.4
Includes support for the for the AMD Radeon HD 7990 Series and AMD Radeon HD 7790 Series
AMD Catalyst 13.4 includes support for the following OpenGL 4.3 features:
- GL_ARB_compute_shader o GL_ARB_multi_draw_indirect
- GL_ARB_shader_storage_buffer_object o GL_ARB_arrays_of_arrays
- GL_ARB_clear_buffer_object o GL_ARB_ES3_compatibility
- GL_ARB_explicit_uniform_location o GL_ARB_fragment_layer_viewport
- GL_ARB_invalidate_subdata o GL_ARB_program_interface_query
- GL_ARB_shader_image_size o GL_ARB_stencil_texturing
- GL_ARB_texture_buffer_range o GL_ARB_texture_query_levels
Performance Highlights of AMD Catalyst 13.4 (vs. AMD Catalyst 13.1): Includes all of the performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 13.3 Beta 3 on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
- Resolved issue highlights of AMD Catalyst 13.4 (vs. AMD Catalyst 13.1) AMD Catalyst 13.4 includes all of the fixes found in AMD Catalyst 13.3 Beta 3
- Significantly improves latency performance in Skyrim, Boderlands 2, Guild Wars 2,Tomb Raider and Hitman Absolution
- Resolves Texture flickering seen in DirectX9.0c applications.
- Resolves slight corruption seen in Tomb Raider with TressFX enabled for CrossFire and single GPU configurations
- Fixes graphical corruption on objects and textures in Call of Duty - Black Ops 2
AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile:
AMD Catalyst 13.4 CAP1 (Can be used with AMD Catalyst 13.4 and AMD Catalyst 13.5 Beta – note, the CrossFire profiles are already included in AMD Catalyst 13.5 Beta )
AMD Catalyst Application Profiles include support for AMD single GPU, AMD CrossFire, AMD Dual Graphics, and AMD Enduro Technology configurations
- The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct: Fixes image quality issues when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center
- Crysis 3: Improves CrossFire performance in 3 and 4 GPU configurations
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Improves CrossFire performance
- Unigine Heaven: Improves CrossFire performance in 3 and 4 GPU configurations ·
- Hitman Absolution: Resolves application issues when running application at 1680x100 with 8xAA enabled
AMD Enduro Technology profile updates:
- Alien Colonial Marines – acm.exe
- BioShock Infinite – BioShockInfinite.exe
- Crysis 3 – Crysis3.exe
- GodMode – GodMode.exe
- Grid 2 – grid2.exe
- Hawken – HawkenLauncher.exe
- Neverwinter – gameclient.exe
- SimCity – SimCity.exe
- Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army – NZA.exe
- The Walking Dead Survival Instinct – WalkingDead.exe
- Tomb Raider – TombRaider.exe
- Kapersky Anti-virus - avt.exe
The latest available AMD Catalyst CAP can always be found here:
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 13.4 Linux Driver:
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new features: RHEL 6.4 production support OpenCL console mode support Kernel 3.7 and 3.8 support
AMD Catalyst™ 13.5 Beta high-lights (vs. AMD Catalyst 13.4/AMD Catalyst 13.3 Beta) on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series.
Download the driver here: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/AMDCatalyst13-5WINBetaDriver.aspx
· AMD Catalyst 13.5 Beta Includes support for the for the AMD Radeon HD 7990 Series and AMD Radeon HD 7790 Series
Resolved Issues: · Tomb Raider: Corruption is no longer seen on the AMD Radeon HD 7790 when Tress FX is enabled
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 05:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: torrent, sync, p2p, folder sync, file sync, cloud storage, bittorrent
BitTorrent took the wraps off of its Sync application yesterday. The new Sync service uses the BitTorrent P2P protocol to sync encrypted files across all of your devices. It is a service that I have been wanting to see for a long time now, in fact, which was why I was ecstatic when I found out about the BitTorrent Labs program. I managed to get into the private alpha a couple of weeks ago, and have been testing it ever since. Being in an alpha state, it is still a bit rough around the edges but it shows promise and while I encourage everyone to read the full review for more details, I think it is something I can at least recommend that you should try out!
BitTorrent Sync creates a folder in your home/user folder called SyncApp, and any files or folders that you place in that folder are synced across your devices. Additionally, you can choose existing folders to sync outside of the default SyncApp folder, which is really nice.
The encryption is a bit complicated, but you are given a secret code (decryption key) when you choose to sync a folder, and you need to enter this code on any devices you want to sync. One cool feature of this setup is that you can also generate secret codes that allow temporary and/or permanent read-only access. The master code will allow read and write access, and temporary codes can also be given write access, which would be good to share files for a limited time when collaborating on a project. Even better, the Sync application will allow you to use a custom (base64 encoded) key that is longer than 40 characters if you feel the default keys are not long/secure enough.
The BitTorrent Sync app for Windows--The SyncApp folder is the folder it syncs by default.
The application will sync over WAN or LAN, with a preferrence towards syncing with computers on the same local network. Changes and file syncs are initiated almost instantly, though the actual transfer speed will depend on your network connections.
It is a free app that allows you to sync as many files and folders as you want securely, and it's worh a look in my opinion. Combined with a VPS that allows P2P applications (Backupsy is one that will make an exception for Sync users), you can create your own Dropbox-like sync solution without those pesky file size limits. (Though, currently, you would be missing out on Dropbox's versioning functionality. I hope to see that remedied in future releases.)
You can find more information as well as download links for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux versions of Sync on the BitTorrent Labs website.
Yes, you may be able to tell from this post that I'm excited about Sync--I am. I'm glad someone that can actually code (as in, not me) has finally put together a program that I've been wanting for a long time, and that it generally works well from what I've been able to test so far. It's just my opinion though, if you do try it out let me know what you think of Sync!
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ARES II, amd, radeon, hd 7990, malta, tahiti
We've seen tests of dual 7970s in CrossFire simulating a 7990 and ASUS released the ARES II which was the closest we had until today with the release of the reference HD 7990. There are many reviews to chose from when looking at this new flagship card, such as from a pure performance perspective such as [H]ard|OCP's which did not come out well for AMD's new card. If you are more interested in our new Frame Rating process then there are two reviews to read, one that deals with the 7990 on the publicly available driver and perhaps more interesting is a prototype driver provided to Ryan that is intended to fix Crossfire stuttering on single displays but not for EyeFinity
"Today marks the launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7990. The Radeon HD 7990 is a dual-GPU video card that has its two GPUs down on a single PCB that uses CrossFire to operate the two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs. We will test this video card in the latest games, comparing it to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition CrossFire. "
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 Review: 7990 Gets Official @ AnandTech
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB Dual GPU @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB Malta Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- AMD HD 7990 Review; Malta Arrives @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 @ Legion Hardware
- AMD Radeon HD 7990 @ TechSpot
- AMD HD7990 Malta @ Kitguru
- XFX R7790 Black Edition OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Diamond HD 7790 1GB @ LanOC Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 2GB OC Edition Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte HD 7790 1GB OC @ LanOC Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 2GB OC Review @ OCC
- XFX R7790 Black Edition Overclocked Review @ OCC
- Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux Comparison Shows Shortcomings @ Phoronix
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB Boost Twin Frozr @ Tweaktown
- EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked @ Tweaktown
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost & SLI Performance @ Techspot
- EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked @ Tweaktown
- EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked Video Cards in SLI @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 3-Way SLI @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 02:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Dark Souls II, consolitis, masochism
Dark Souls made a name for its self as one of the toughest and most unforgiving games going and built a huge following because of that. The sequel will be coming to PC as well but the one major negative comment many gamers had about the original will no longer be applicable, according to the developers this version will not suffer from consolitis. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has about as much information as is available on this game but to truly understand what this game will be like you should check out the YouTube preview below.
"A word of warning: I have never played Dark Souls, and this information is coming from French website GameKult’s interview with a Yui Tanimura, the Japanese game director of Dark Souls II. I am merely an information conduit. A nexus from them to you, with news that the complaints of the horrible, nasty port job of the previous game was noticed and taken into account. Dark Souls II is being developed as a PC game. Hooray!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Jagged Alliance: Flashback @ KickStarter
- Homeworld space RTS rights bought by Gearbox for $1.35m @ Hexus
- That Much-Delayed 2k Marin Shooter Is Not An EXCOM @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Post-Modern – ‘Call Of Duty: Ghosts’ Busted @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Totally Teutoburgic: Tons Of Rome II In-Game Footage @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Injustice: Gods Among Us @ The Inquirer
- Gears of War: Judgement Xbox 360 @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Steve Scott, nvidia, HPC, tesla, logan, tegra
The Register had a chance to sit down with Steve Scott, once CTO of Cray and now CTO of NVIDIA's Tesla projects to discuss the future of their add-in cards as well as that of x86 in the server room. They discussed Tegra and why it is not receiving the same amount of attention at NVIDIA as Tegra is, as well as some of the fundamental differences in the chips both currently and going forward. NVIDIA plans to unite GPU and CPU onto both families of chips, likely with a custom interface as opposed to placing them on the same die, though both will continue to be designed for very different functions. A lot of the article focuses on Tegra, its memory bandwidth and most importantly its networking capabilities as it seems NVIDIA is focused on the server room and providing hundreds or thousands of interconnected Tegra processors to compete directly with x86 offerings. Read on for the full interview.
"Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of Nvidia has been perfectly honest about the fact that the graphics chip maker didn't intend to get into the supercomputing business. Rather, it was founded by a bunch of gamers who wanted better graphics cards to play 3D games. Fast forward two decades, though, and the Nvidia Tesla GPU coprocessor and the CUDA programming environment have taken the supercomputer world by storm."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD pins future growth to embedded marketplace @ The Register
- AMD announces new embedded G-series SoC @ DigiTimes
- TSMC captures almost 50 percent of foundry market thanks to 28nm demand @ The Inquirer
- $45 BeagleBone Black Keeps Eyes on the Pi's @ Linux.com
- BlackBerry OS 10.1 leaks its secret goo over all the web @ The Register
- Samsung MV900F Wi-Fi 16.3MP Digital Camera Review @ ModSynergy
- i’m Watch: A Smartwatch Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2013 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For $790 which is $450 off of the retail price you can get your hands on an impressive gaming laptop from Dell, the Inspiron 15R Special Edition. This 15.6" 1080p laptop is powered by an Intel i7-3632QM @ 2.2GHz, 8GB DDR3-1600, a 32GB SSD cache drive partnered with a 1TB HDD and a 2GB Radeon 7730M. With Waves MaxxAudio 4 and Skullcandy speakers, HDMI out and 4 USB 3.0 ports this machine will also function as a desktop replacement in case you need to make some sort of justification for spending your money on a gaming laptop.
To get our recommended Inspiron 15R Special Edition configuration, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Add to cart button at the top
3. Add to cart
4. Apply coupon code: BXV1FC3ZFJ95DG in shopping cart and proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 23, 2013 - 08:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, obsidian, Obsidian 990D, super tower
If you are looking for a housing for a super system, Corsair's monumental new Obsidian 900D, aka Super Tower, might be for you. The midget in the picture below is the 200R mid-tower, cowering in front of the 40lb, 27.3"H x 10"W x 25.6"L 900D. Triple TITANS and terabytes of storage are nothing to this case, it will swallow them and leave plenty of elbow room for you to tweak a fully installed system. You really have to read [H]ard|OCP's full review to understand just how many features have been added to this case; certainly enough to win it a Gold Award.
"Corsair is finally pulling back the review embargo sheets on its new "Super Tower" 900D PC case. Details and pictures have been leaking out for months, but now we finally get to see if all the hype is justified. If you are wondering what a "super tower" is, well let's just say there will be a lot of desks that the 900D will not fit under."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Enermax Ostrog Giant Mid-Tower @ Tweaktown
- Thermaltake Chaser A31 @ FunkyKit
- Fractal Design ARC Midi R2 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Lian Li PC-7HX @ eTeknix
- Corsair Obsidian 900D 'Godzilla' Full Tower PC Case Review @ Legit Reviews
- Iron Man Helment Case Mod @ Modders-Inc
- Thermaltake A31 Chassis @ eTeknix
- InWin GT1 Mid-Tower Chassis @ Tweaktown
- NZXT Phantom 630 @ Modders-Inc
- Cooler Master Storm Power-RX @ LanOC Reviews
- Thermaltake A 41 Chaser Chassis @ eTeknix
- Case Smithing: Personalized Acrylic Etching and Engraving @ Tweaktown
- Fractal Design Define Mini Case Review @ AnandTech
- Affordable Gaming Cases: Corsair Carbide 200R and Thermaltake Chaser A41 @ X-Bit Labs
- SilverStone AP123 120mm Case Fan @ eTeknix
- Antec Kuhler H2O 1220 Liquid CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Antec Kuhler 1220 H20 Watercooling kit @ Rbmods
- Swiftech H220 Liquid CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Cooler Master Eisberg Prestige 240L @ Kitguru
- Noctua NH-U12S CPU cooler @ Hardwareoverclock
- Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake NiC C5 Untouchable Cool CPU Cooler @ Tweaktown
- Thermaltake NiC C5 Untouchable CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Scythe ASHURA CPU Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- GELID Solutions The Black Edition @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2013 - 06:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, Creative, Sound Blaster ZxR
Ah the good old days of soundcards and assigning specific IRQs to specific PCI slots; don't you miss them? Onboard chipsets have come a long way from their roots, with full Dolby 5.1 sound and a minimal impact on CPU load available on almost every motherboard but there is still a market for soundcards, albeit a much reduced market. Creative have not been releasing a lot of new Sound Blaster models recently, at least until very recently. The Creative Sound Blaster ZxR is more than just a single card, you have a PCIe card as well as an optional daughterboard to provide optical out and a line in as well as a Audio Control Module which contains an array mic, volume control and both 3.5mm to 1/4″ inputs for a headset with microphone. Is it $250 better than onboard audio? Custom PC Review has the answers here.
"That being said, today we’ll be reviewing the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR, which is the flagship soundcard in the Sound Blaster Z series of soundcards. Now a couple months ago, we reviewed the Sound Blaster Z, which is a fantastic soundcard that offered a good balance between sound quality and price, but it’s merely the entry level soundcard in the Sound Blaster Z..."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- RHA MA450i Earphones Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- TteSports Shock & Shock One PC Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Steelseries Siberia V2 PC Headset Frost Blue Special Edition @ eTeknix
- AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Headphones With Mic Review @ NikKTech
- Oblanc NC2-3 U.F.O Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Review @ NikKTech
- Plantronics Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth Headset Review @ NikKTech
- RHA SA950i On-ear Headphones @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Obsidian 900D review: taking it to the next level @ Hardware.info
- AZiO Levetron GH808 USB Gaming Headset @ Tweaktown
- How To Set Your Bluetooth Headset As The Default Audio Device @ TechARP
- HMDX Jam Portable Bluetooth Speaker @ Funky Kit
Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2013 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: slight exaggeration, Samsung, dram market
We have been reporting on the declining global sales of the traditional desktop PC; with one of the major culprits being the increase in sale of smart or super phones which can do just about everything some mainstream consumers want. Samsung's Galaxy series certainly contribute to this decline and also the decline of Apple's iPhone sales as according to DigiTimes almost 1 of every 3 phones sold globally was made by Samsung. Apple claims a mere 17.3% of the global market for those who are curious. The increase is not only from stealing customers from providers such as Lenovo, the market its self is growing and will likely continue to do so as new phones and promotions are launched throughout the year.
"In the first quarter of 2013, smartphone shipments increased steadily worldwide, with total shipments reaching 216.4 million units for a 9.4% on growth. Since the beginning of 2012, smartphone shipment figures have been up every quarter despite seasonality, indication the electronic device is here to stay, according to DRAMeXchange."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Java still vulnerable despite recent patches @ The Register
- Amino acids allow bacterial 'nanowires' to conduct electricity @ NanoTechWeb
- SanDisk '2-3 years' away from mass-producing 3D flash chips @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy S4 first impressions @ Hardware.info
- Weekly Giveaway - LG 42-inch CINEMA 3D 1080p LED HDTV thanks to Deals2Buy @ Tweaktown
- Win a Thecus N2200EVO NAS Server @ eTeknix
New GeForce Game-Ready Drivers Just in Time for 'Dead Island: Riptide,' 'Star Trek', 'Neverwinter'; Boost Performance up to 20%
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 23, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce, 320.00 beta
GeForce 320.00 beta drivers are now available for automatic download and installation using GeForce Experience, the easiest way to keep your drivers up to date.
With a single click in GeForce Experience, gamers can also optimize the image quality of top new games like Dead Island: Riptide and have it instantly tuned to take full advantage of their PC’s hardware.
Here are examples of the performance increases in GeForce 320.00 drivers (measured with GeForce GTX 660):
- Up to 20% in Dirt: Showdown
- Up to 18% in Tomb Raider
- Up to 8% in StarCraft II
- Up to 6% in other top games like Far Cry 3
For more details, refer to the release highlights on the driver download pages and read the GeForce driver article on GeForce.com.
Enjoy the new GeForce Game Ready drivers and let us know what you think.
Windows Vista/Windows 7 Fixed Issues
The Windows 7 Magnifier window flickers. 
Games default to stereoscopic 3D mode after installing the driver. 
[GeForce 330M][Notebook]: The display goes blank when rebooting the notebook after installing th e driver. 
[Crysis 3]: There are black artifacts in the game. 
[Dirt 3]: When ambient occlusion is enabled, there is rendering corruption in the game while in split-screen mode. 
[3DTV Play][Mass Effect]: The NVIDIA Cont rol Panel “override antialiasing” setting does not work when stereoscopic 3D is enabled 
[Microsoft Flight Simulator]: Level D Simulations add-on aircraft gauges are not drawn correctly. 
[GeForce 500 series][Stereoscopic 3D][Two World 2]: The application crashes when switching to windowed mode with stereoscopic 3D enabled. 
[GeForce 660 Ti][All Points Bulletin (APB) Reloaded]: The game crashes occasionally, followed by a black/grey/red screen. 
[Geforce GTX 680][Red Orchestra 2 Heroes of Stalingrad]: Red-screen crash occurs after exiting the game. 
[GeForce 6 series][Final Fantasy XI]: TDR crash occurs in the game when using the Smite of Rage ability. 
[SLI][Surround][GeForce GTX Titan][Tomb Raider]: There is corruption in the game and the system hangs when played at high resolution and Ultra or Ultimate settings. 
[3D Surround, SLI], GeForce 500 Series: With Surround enabled, all displays may not be activated when selecting Activate All Displays from the NVIDIA Control Panel- > Set SLI Configuration page. 
[SLI][Starcraft II][3D Vision]: The game crashes when run with 3D Vision enabled. 
[SLI][GeForce GTX 680][Tomb Raider (2013)]: The game crashes and TDR occurs while running the game at Ultra settings. 
[SLI][Starcraft II][3D Vision]: The game cras hes when played with 3D Vision and SLI enabled. 
SLI][Call of Duty: Black Ops 2]: The player emblems are not drawn correctly.
Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Dell PowerEdge T110 is the first server deal we have seen from LogicBUY, currently selling for $338 off the regular price. Inside you will find a quad-core Xeon E3-1220v2 @ 3.1GHz Quad-core Server with 4GB DDR3 and a 500GB HDD. This will not be a gaming machine, but it could certainly host games or a file share or many other tasks more suited to a Xeon processor than a desktop processor. For the price, you get a lot of possibilities.
To get our recommended PowerEdge T110 II deal, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell.com direct store
2. Customize as per needs (optional), click Continue button in the right
3. Add to cart
4. Proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 23, 2013 - 10:05 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, never settle, never settle reloaded, bundle
While browsing around on Twitter today I saw mention of a leaked slide on the Tech Report forums that seems to point in the direction of upcoming games to be included in future AMD Never Settle gaming bundles. AMD has been knocking the ball out of the park when it comes to bundled software with graphics card releases as they have gotten essentially every major PC game in the last 12 months.
This slide indicates that Grid 2, Company of Heroes 2, Rome: Total War II, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Lost Planet 3, Battlefield 4, Raven's Cry and Watch Dogs will all eventually make their way to the AMD bundle list at some point this year. Whether it will be in one mega-bundle or several different promotions throughout the year isn't known, but AMD is serious about keeping up appearances in the PC gaming front.
Today Western Digital launched their new 5mm 2.5" Blue. This model will only come in 500GB. Capacity options are limited presumably due to a single 500GB platter, which is about all you can fit into a housing that's only 5mm thick.
The drive launches at an MSRP of $89.00, but don't rush out to buy one just yet. The new drive will require a purpose-built installation, as it uses a new SFF-8784 edge connector to receive data and power from the host system. You're basically going to need a laptop that has a bay designed for just this drive, which may take a while.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 22, 2013 - 06:16 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Kickstarter, oculus rift, Virtuix Omni
Even if you no-one watches you game, this device would probably be difficult to store in a closet.
Team Fortress 2 is a fun game and one of the first with support for the Oculus Rift VR headset. But why stop there? The Omni is an omnidirectional treadmill which allows users to move within the device and have that motion translate into computer input. This means that running, strafing, and apparently jumping in your containing vessel will control a videogame character.
How the heck they expect to Scout double-jump? Beats me.
The company is currently in preparation for a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. Under the assumption that no trickery is going on, this could be a leap forward for VR.
Perhaps a small-business arcade might like to get a few gaming PCs set up? To me, it sounds like an interesting novelty previously reserved for theme parks and traveling mall demonstrations. If it works as planned, it might even be a better technology.
Still no word on price or predicted availability, but I expect that will come soon.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Displays | April 22, 2013 - 05:34 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: LG, ips, hack
Operators are standing by...
Of course Apple is not a primary manufacturer of LCD panels; like everyone else, they buy their panels from someone like LG. Due to how much Apple loves IPS technology, which I cannot blame them for, they in fact do purchase their displays from LG.
If you have an itchy soldering iron, so can you.
According to EmertHacks, the LG part number for retina iPad screens is LP097QX1-SPA1. The blog post states that he could find the panel for as cheap as $55, but my own digging game up with costs between $60 and $200 plus shipping. These panels are mostly destined to iPad repair shops, but you can give it a better home.
With under $20 of other parts, this panel could be attached to a DisplayPort connection. All said and done, you could have a 2048x1536 9.7" display with an 800:1 static contrast ratio for about $70.
Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2013 - 02:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: opteron, history, get off my lawn, amd, 64-bit
AMD64 arrived a decade ago with the launch of the first Opteron processor in April of 2003, back in the days when NVIDIA made motherboards and ATI was a separate company. In those days AMD looked like serious competition for Intel as they were out innovating Intel and competing for Big Blue's niche markets as they were first to cross the GHz line and the first to offer a 64bit architecture on a commercially available platform. At that point Intel actually licensed AMD64, re-branded it as x86-64 and used it on their Xeon processor line, a huge victory for AMD. Unfortunately there was not much in the way of consumer software capable of taking advantage of 64-bit architecture and unfortunately remains so to this day, apart from peoples ability to benefit from the enlarged RAM pool allowed. Take a walk down memory lane at The Inquirer, and remember the good old days when AMD was prospering.
"A DECADE AGO AMD released the first Opteron processor and with it the first 64-bit x86 processor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel pushing adaptive all-in-one PCs with new components @ DigiTimes
- ASUS PCE-AC66 review: 802.11ac via PCIe @ Hardware.info
- Garmin nuvi 2597LMT Review @ TechReviewSource
- The TR Podcast 132: BioShock, bundles and big SSDs
Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2013 - 01:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
How does 500GB of bandwidth saturating SSD for a mere $0.65/GB sound to you? The Samsung 840; yes, the non-Pro version which will have little to no effect on observable performance, is a mere $325 from LogicBuy today. Since it is the 500GB model you not only experience increased speed over smaller model, you actually have a large pool of available storage without a sceond HDD. Your desktop or laptop will love you for this!
Deal Description: Samsung 840 Series 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD
BuyDig offers Samsung 840 Series 500GB SATA 6Gb/s 7mm 2.5" SSD (MZ-7TD500BW) for $324.99 ($0.65/GB) with free shipping. You save over $125.00 from retail list price.
Today Western Digital launched a new line of Hard Disk Drives. The Xe is very similar to their VelociRaptor, with the same 2.5"-3.5" heat sink adapter plate. The primary difference, however, is these units feature Dual Port SAS connectivity.
The new drives feature a 5-year warranty and will come in 300, 600, and 900GB capacities. With SAS HDD's becoming scarce lately, there is a definite gap developing in existing legacy SAS systems. We're glad to see a lower power SAS-connected 10,000 RPM offering to help bridge that gap.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | April 20, 2013 - 07:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows, start button, Metro
The latest rumors, based on registry digging and off-the-record testimony, claims that Windows 8.1 will including the option of booting directly into the desktop. A bold claim such as this requires some due diligence. Comically, the attempts to confirm this rumor has unearthed another: the start button, but not necessarily the start menu, could return. On the record, Microsoft also wants to be more open to customer feedback. Despite these recent insights into the future of Windows, all's quiet with the worst aspect of modernization.
Mary Jo Foley, contributor to ZDNet and very reliable bullcrap filter for Microsoft rumors, learned from a reliable source that the Start Button might have a place in the modern Windows. Quite the catch while fishing to validate a different rumor; she was originally investigating whether Microsoft would consider allowing users to boot direct to desktop via recently unearthed registry keys. Allegedly both are being planned for at least some SKUs of Windows 8.1, namely the Professional and Enterprise editions.
But, as usual for Microsoft, the source emphasized, "Until it ships, anything can change." No-one was clear about the Start Button from a functional standpoint: would it be bound to display the Start Screen? Would it be something more?
Personally, I liked the modern Windows interface. Sure, it is messed up on the modern-side when it comes to multiple monitor support, but that can easily be fixed. As you will note, I am still actively boycotting everything beyond Windows 7 and this news will not change my mind. We are bickering over interface elements when the real concern is the deprecation of user control. Outside of the desktop: the only applications you can use are from the Windows Store or Windows Update; the only websites you can browse are ones which Internet Explorer can render; and the only administrator is Microsoft.
Imagine if Microsoft is told by a government that its citizens are not allowed encryption applications.
The Windows Store is clearly modeled by, and about as messed up as, the Xbox Marketplace. Even if your application gets certified, would Microsoft eventually determine that certification fees should be the burden of the developer? That is how it is on the Xbox with each patch demanding a price tag of about $40,000 after the first-one-free promotion. That would be pretty hard to swallow for an open-source application or a cute game that a teenage woman makes for her significant other as a Valentine's gift.
Microsoft's current Chief Financial Officer, Peter Klein, stated in his third quarter earnings release that Windows Blue, "Further advances the vision of Windows 8 as well as responds to customer feedback." Despite how abrupt this change would seem, the recent twitchy nature should not come as a surprise; Microsoft has had a tendency to completely change course on products for quite some time now. Mary Jo mentioned how Microsoft changed course on UAC but even that is a bad example; a better one is how Microsoft changed from its initial assertions that Windows 8 Developer Preview would not be shaped by customer feedback.
A lot has changed between Developer Preview and RTM.
Then again, we can hope that Microsoft associates this pain with love for the desktop. I would be comfortable with the modern Windows if we were given a guarantee that desktop x86 applications would forever be supported. I might even reconsider using and developing applications if they allow loading uncertified metro-style applications and commit to never removing that functionality.
I can get used to a new method of accessing my applications. I can never get used to a middle-man who only says "no". If Microsoft is all ears, I hope we make this point loud and clear.
Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 07:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sshd, Seagate, Hybrid Drive, 500gb
We have seen many hybrid drives come and go, most of which only benefited desktop users who were accessing certain files often enough that they were cached on the flash memory. Seagate has introduced a new iteration of the SSHD specifically for laptops, uniting 500GB of 5400 RPM platter based storage with 8GB of MLC NAND and a 64MB cache which [H]ard|OCP recently benchmarked. They didn't forget desktop users as they released 1TB and 2TB models at 7200 RPM but it is the laptop version which is perhaps more interesting as not many models allow the installation of a second drive like desktops do. The testing results were mixed, with several obvious benefits interspersed with odd performance changes after multiple runs, however the small price differential between a standard HDD and a SSHD might just convince you to pick up this new breed of hybrid drive.
"Seagate has introduced the next generation of Solid State Hybrid Drives, commonly referred to as "SSHD." These drives use a small amount of MLC NAND to accelerate the performance of a 5400 RPM spinning disk. Today we test the mobile version against other available SSD caching solutions."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Crucial's M500 SSD @ The Tech Report
- SuperSSpeed S301 Hyper Gold SLC Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- Consumer (Samsung and OCZ) vs. Enterprise (SMART Optimus) SSD Performance Analysis @ SSD Review
- Hardware.Info tests lifespan of Samsung SSD 840 250GB TLC SSD
- Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ADATA XPG SX900 128GB with SandForce B02 controller SSD @ Tweaktown
- SMART Storage Systems CloudSpeed 500 Enterprise SSD @ Tweaktown
- Samsung SM843 Enterprise SSD Review (240GB) @ SSD Review
- Plextor M5M (256GB) mSATA @ AnandTech
- Samsung PM841 512GB mSATA SSD @ SSD Review
- Intel 525 120GB mSATA SSD @ Hardware.info
- Thermaltake BlacX Duet 5G USB 3.0 Docking Station @ Tweaktown
- Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB Portable Hard Disk Drive @ TechARP
- ADATA DashDrive Elite UE700 USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Pro-Clockers
- ICY DOCK MB662U3-2S Dual Bay USB 3.0 RAID Enclosure @ Tweaktown
- Icy Dock ICYRaid MB662U3-2S Dual-HDD Enclosure Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Infortrend EonNAS Pro 510 @ Legion Hardware
- Asustor AS 602T @ Kitguru
- QNAP TS879-Pro 8-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Thecus N7510 7-Bay NAS @ eTeknix