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Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Chipsets | June 13, 2014 - 06:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: x86, restructure, gpu, arm, APU, amd
According to VR-Zone, AMD has reworked their business, last Thursday, sorting each of their projects into two divisions and moving some executives around. The company is now segmented into the "Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom Business Group", and the "Computing and Graphics Business Group". The company used to be divided between "Computing Solutions", which handled CPUs, APUs, chipsets, and so forth, "Graphics and Visual Solutions", which is best known for GPUs but also contains console royalties, and "All Other", which was... everything else.
Lisa Su, former general manger of global business, has moved up to Chief Operating Officer (COO), along with other changes.
This restructure makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, it pairs some unprofitable ventures with other, highly profitable ones. AMD's graphics division has been steadily adding profitability to the company while its CPU division has been mostly losing money. Secondly, "All Other" is about a nebulous as a name can get. Instead of having three unbalanced divisions, one of which makes no sense to someone glancing at AMD's quarterly earnings reports, they should now have two, roughly equal segments.
At the very least, it should look better to an uninformed investor. Someone who does not know the company might look at the sheet and assume that, if AMD divested from everything except graphics, that the company would be profitable. If, you know, they did not know that console contracts came into their graphics division because their compute division had x86 APUs, and so forth. This setup is now more aligned to customers, not products.
Subject: Mobile | June 13, 2014 - 03:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Massive TM, laptop cooler
The Thermaltake Massive TM is more than just a laptop cooler with a pair of 120mm fans to keep your temperatures in line, it can also track the temperature of your laptop as well. The cooler is USB powered but does offer USB pass through so you do not end up down one plug when you are using the Massive TM. HiTech Legion's testing showed an average drop in temperature of around 4C, if that is worth $40 to you then pick one up.
"The Thermaltake Massive TM is a 17” laptop and notebook cooler that comes with a little extra. The Massive TM by Thermaltake uses 4 temperature sensors that can each be repositioned to track temps on different parts of your laptop."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Fujitsu Lifebook T904 @ The Inquirer
- Nokia Lumia 630 @ The Inquirer
- iOCEAN X8 octa-core Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Moto E @ The Inquirer
- LG G3 @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2014 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: OpenVR, oculus rift, DIY
Owning an Oculus Rift is enough to make your gamer friends turn green with envy but what if it was an open sauce Rift you built yourself? The specs for this build specifies
two one 5.6″ 1280×800 LCDs which will give you resolution on par with the Facebook owned version and the casing is 3D printed which offers you a chance to personalize your own model. The steps for setting up the hardware are available by following the link from Hack a Day as well as a link to the source code on GitHub. The price is right and you not only get a working VR headset you get the credit for building it as well!
"The Oculus Rift is a really cool piece of kit, but with its future held in the grasp of Facebook, who knows what it’ll become now. So why not just build your own? When the Oculus first came out [Ahmet] was instantly intrigued — he began researching virtual reality and the experience offered by the Oculus — but curiosity alone wasn’t enough for the $300 price tag."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How to Rescue a Non-booting GRUB 2 on Linux @ Linux.com
- Firefox 31 beta brings Firefox OS apps to Android @ The Inquirer
- AMD announces new business and personnel alignments @ DigiTimes
- Intel prepared for emerging industries, says company president Renee Jame @ DigiTimes
- Kids hack Canadian ATM during LUNCH HOUR @ The Register
- Intel prods PC market's corpse, corpse shouts 'I'M NOT DEAD!' @ The Register
- Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em @ The Register
Subject: Systems | June 12, 2014 - 07:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zotac, SFF, htpc, Sphere OI520
Inside this unique casing you will find a Core i5 4200U, up to 16GB of DDR3 and room for an mSATA and a 2.5" drive; but not a GPU. The onboard HD4400 can output to HDMI or DisplayPort and in addition to the connections you can see below there is indeed 802.11ac and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. The power supply is external so there is only one rather quiet fan to be found inside the ball, perfect for HTPC usage as you won't be very impressed by its ability to game. Check out Bjorn3D's full review and the reason they expect this will be available for well under $1000.
"There was a time when a computer in most cases consisted of a big beige box that you certainly did not want to show off or which took up a lot of space on your desk. Those days are gone and today we have a lot more variety both how computer looks and how big they are. Zotac is a company that for quite some time have been pumping out smaller mini-PC’s under their ZBox brand and today we are taking a look at their new round ZBox Sphere OI520."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- ECS LIVA Mini PC Kit @ techPowerUp
- CyberPower Achilles Pro System @ Kitguru
- TR's May 2014 System Guide
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 12, 2014 - 06:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: overclocking, nvidia, gtx titan z, geforce
Earlier this week I posted a review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card, a dual-GPU Kepler GK110 part that currently sells for $3000. If you missed that article you should read it first and catch up but the basic summary was that, for PC gamers, it's slower and twice the price of AMD's Radeon R9 295X2.
During that article though I mentioned that the Titan Z had more variable clock speeds than any other GeForce card I had tested. At the time I didn't go any further than that since the performance of the card already pointed out the deficit it had going up against the R9 295X2. However, several readers asked me to dive into overclocking with the Titan Z and with that came the need to show clock speed changes.
My overclocking was done through EVGA's PrecisionX software and we measured clock speeds with GPU-Z. The first step in overclocking an NVIDIA GPU is to simply move up the Power Target sliders and see what happens. This tells the card that it is allowed to consume more power than it would normally be allowed to, and then thanks to GPU Boost technology, the clock speed should scale up naturally.
Click to Enlarge
And that is exactly what happened. I ran through 30 minutes of looped testing with Metro: Last Light at stock settings, with the Power Target at 112%, with the Power Target at 120% (the maximum setting) and then again with the Power Target at 120% and the GPU clock offset set to +75 MHz.
That 75 MHz offset was the highest setting we could get to run stable on the Titan Z, which brings the Base clock up to 781 MHz and the Boost clock to 951 MHz. Though, as you'll see in our frequency graphs below the card was still reaching well above that.
Click to Enlarge
This graph shows clock rates of the GK110 GPUs on the Titan Z over the course of 25 minutes of looped Metro: Last Light gaming. The green line is the stock performance of the card without any changes to the power settings or clock speeds. While it starts out well enough, hitting clock rates of around 1000 MHz, it quickly dives and by 300 seconds of gaming we are often going at or under the 800 MHz mark. That pattern is consistent throughout the entire tested time and we have an average clock speed of 894 MHz.
Next up is the blue line, generated by simply moving the power target from 100% to 112%, giving the GPUs a little more thermal headroom to play with. The results are impressive, with a much more consistent clock speed. The yellow line, for the power target at 120%, is even better with a tighter band of clock rates and with a higher average clock.
Finally, the red line represents the 120% power target with a +75 MHz offset in PrecisionX. There we see a clock speed consistency matching the yellow line but offset up a bit, as we have been taught to expect with NVIDIA's recent GPUs.
Click to Enlarge
The result of all this data comes together in the bar graph here that lists the average clock rates over the entire 25 minute test runs. At stock settings, the Titan Z was able to hit 894 MHz, just over the "typical" boost clock advertised by NVIDIA of 876 MHz. That's good news for NVIDIA! Even though there is a lot more clock speed variance than I would like to see with the Titan Z, the clock speeds are within the expectations set by NVIDIA out the gate.
Bumping up that power target though will help out gamers that do invest in the Titan Z quite a bit. Just going to 112% results in an average clock speed of 993 MHz, a 100 MHz jump worth about 11% overall. When we push that power target up even further, and overclock the frequency offset a bit, we actually get an average clock rate of 1074 MHz, 20% faster than the stock settings. This does mean that our Titan Z is pulling more power and generating more noise (quite a bit more actually) with fan speeds going from around 2000 to 2700 RPM.
At both 2560x1440 and 3840x2160, in the Metro: Last Light benchmark we ran, the added performance of the Titan Z does put it at the same level of the Radeon R9 295X2. Of course, it goes without saying that we could also overclock the 295X2 a bit further to improve ITS performance, but this is an exercise in education.
Does it change my stance or recommendation for the Titan Z? Not really; I still think it is overpriced compared to the performance you get from AMD's offerings and from NVIDIA's own lower priced GTX cards. However, it does lead me to believe that the Titan Z could have been fixed and could have offered at least performance on par with the R9 295X2 had NVIDIA been willing to break PCIe power specs and increase noise.
UPDATE (6/13/14): Some of our readers seem to be pretty confused about things so I felt the need to post an update to the main story here. One commenter below mentioned that I was one of "many reviewers that pounded the R290X for the 'throttling issue' on reference coolers" and thinks I am going easy on NVIDIA with this story. However, there is one major difference that he seems to overlook: the NVIDIA results here are well within the rated specs.
When I published one of our stories looking at clock speed variance of the Hawaii GPU in the form of the R9 290X and R9 290, our results showed that clock speed of these cards were dropping well below the rated clock speed of 1000 MHz. Instead I saw clock speeds that reached as low as 747 MHz and stayed near the 800 MHz mark. The problem with that was in how AMD advertised and sold the cards, using only the phrase "up to 1.0 GHz" in its marketing. I recommended that AMD begin selling the cards with a rated base clock and a typical boost clock instead only labeling with the, at the time, totally incomplete "up to" rating. In fact, here is the exact quote from this story: "AMD needs to define a "base" clock and a "typical" clock that users can expect." Ta da.
The GeForce GTX Titan Z though, as we look at the results above, is rated and advertised with a base clock of 705 MHz and a boost clock of 876 MHz. The clock speed comparison graph at the top of the story shows the green line (the card at stock) never hitting that 705 MHz base clock while averaging 894 MHz. That average is ABOVE the rated boost clock of the card. So even though the GPU is changing between frequencies more often than I would like, the clock speeds are within the bounds set by NVIDIA. That was clearly NOT THE CASE when AMD launched the R9 290X and R9 290. If NVIDIA had sold the Titan Z with only the specification of "up to 1006 MHz" or something like then the same complaint would be made. But it is not.
The card isn't "throttling" at all, in fact, as someone specifies below. That term insinuates that it is going below a rated performance rating. It is acting in accordance with the GPU Boost technology that NVIDIA designed.
Some users seem concerned about temperature: the Titan Z will hit 80-83C in my testing, both stock and overclocked, and simply scales the fan speed to compensate accordingly. Yes, overclocked, the Titan Z gets quite a bit louder but I don't have sound level tests to show that. It's louder than the R9 295X2 for sure but definitely not as loud as the R9 290 in its original, reference state.
Finally, some of you seem concerned that I was restrticted by NVIDIA on what we could test and talk about on the Titan Z. Surprise, surprise, NVIDIA didn't send us this card to test at all! In fact, they were kind of miffed when I did the whole review and didn't get into showing CUDA benchmarks. So, there's that.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 12, 2014 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bequiet!, purewings 2, shadow rock 2, air cooling
The 120mm BeQuiet PureWings 2 that comes on the Shadow Rock 2 heatsink has a unique look with ripples on all the blades and can be mounted on any side of the cooler which could be handy for those with tall DIMM heatspreaders. The heatsink weighs in just over a 1.1 kg and measures 159x122x149mm (6.25x4.8x5.8") with the fan attached which could be a tight squeeze in some systems. FrostyTech hooked it up to their testbed and found it to be a very quiet cooler, especially on the low fan setting and relatively decent performance. It is unlikely to show up on a top 10 list as it offers only reasonable performance and is quite expensive.
"In this review Frostytech is checking out the boxy BeQuiet's Shadow Rock 2 heatsink which stands 159mm tall and weighs in at 1120grams. This heatsink has a footprint of 122x122mm without a fan, 122x149mm with the supplied 1600-800rpm, 120mm PWM fan installed."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Noctua NH-D15 Review @ OCC
- Cooltek ITX30 Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Xigmatek Midgard III Review @ OCC
- Updated NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler Review @ Frostytech
- Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual Ultimate Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
- Fractal Design ARC XL water cooled system build @ Hardwareoverclock
Subject: Editorial | June 12, 2014 - 02:28 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z97X-SOC Force, video, titan z, radeon, project tango, podcast, plextor, nvidia, Lightning, gtx titan z, gigabyte, geforce, E3 14, amd, 4790k, 290x
PC Perspective Podcast #304 - 06/12/2014
We have lots of reviews to talk about this week including the GeForce GTX TITAN Z, Core i7-4790K, Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force, E3 News 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Maleventano
Pimp Next Week Events
0:03:45 Podcast #305 with David Hewlett!
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
0:57:40 Ryan: Ken's Switching Hardware
1:02:15 Josh: This saved me last weekend.
1:04:00 Allyn: Sony DSC-RX10
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2014 - 12:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: memristor, hp, the machine
HP is thinking of the long term as evidenced by their estimate of 2016 as the release date for the first viable DIMMs using memristors. Their plans are much larger than a new type of memory, they are planning a scalable architecture dubbed The Machine which will take advantage of the high speed and lower power needs of memristors to develop a new type of system which will need to use photonic interconnects to keep up with the memristors. They see this scaling from tiny devices and mobile phones with 100TB of storage to supercomputers whose speeds will make a mockery of the current record holder, the Fujitsu K. Of course many of the claims The Register heard HP make should be taken with a grain of salt, after all the memristor was originally predicted to hit the market a year ago. It is something to look forward to, who doesn't want faster, denser and more power efficient storage?
"The beleaguered IT giant plans to rejuvenate itself with a set of advanced technologies that, when combined, make a device called "The Machine" that can be as small as a smartphone and as large as a 160-rack supercomputer, the company announced at its HP Discover event in Las Vegas on Wednesday."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mozilla To Sell '$25' Firefox OS Smartphones In India @ Slashdot
- Console OS will let you run Android on a Windows PC or tablet @ The Inquirer
- Gigabyte sees over 50% growth in 2013 profits @ DigiTimes
- Evernote taken out by DDoS attack @ The Register
- New Version of 3DMark Basic Edition (2013) Now Available on NGOHQ
- Net Neutrality: FCC Hack is a Speed Bump on the Internet Fast Lane @ Hack a Day
Subject: Memory | June 11, 2014 - 07:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: CAS latency, ddr3-1600, ddr3-1866
X-bit Labs did testing of a variety of memory speeds on Haswell to determine if there is a point of diminishing returns at which point your well earned money is no longer bringing you better performance. By setting up tests of two different DIMMs at set speeds, in this case DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1866 and varying the CAS Latency they tested to see if higher speeds or lower latency gave the best performance. Using both synthetic benchmarks as well as gaming tests they determined that frequency is the key to better performance which makes sense considering the theoretical top frequency of 2933 MHz. Check out all the benchmarks in their full review.
"The development of the new processor microarchitectures goes on and frequencies of contemporary types of DDR3 SDRAM grow as well. Is there any sense in using high-speed memory with modern Haswell processors? To answer this question, we have analyzed DDR3 frequency and timings influence on LGA 1150 platform performance."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- G.Skill ARES F3-2400C11D-8GAB 2x 4GB DDR3 @ techPowerUp
- Team Group Xtreem 32GB PC3 17000 DDR3 2133 Memory Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB DDR3-1866 CL10 @ Funky Kit
- ADATA XPG V2 2600 MHz RAM Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2014 - 02:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Survios, oculus rift, razer hydra
With E3 2014 in full swing there are a lot of demos and trailers whetting our appetite and if the past is any proof, setting us up for disappointment as release dates move and features get dropped. You can immediately scroll down to the long list below but first you really should take a look at Survios, once called Holodeck and then Prime, which uses an Oculus Rift, Razer Hydra, and PlayStation Move to immerse you in a zombie survival game; literally in first person. The movie showing off the gameplay that Slashdot has linked to doesn't quite do justice to what the game will be like while wearing a Rift but the display behind does intimate just how much fun this style of gaming will be once it begins to mature.
"Ben Lang from Road to VR goes hands on and heads in with virtual reality technology company Survios' newest version of untethered VR system 'Prime 3'. He moves around the virtual space, holding and reloading weapons as you would in real life. 'At one point while playing, I was wielding the shotgun with two hands, with the table of weapons was on my right side. Several zombies were approaching and I needed a bit more fire power. I dropped the shotgun, reached over with my right hand to grab the tommy gun off the table, then virtually tossed it from my right hand to my left hand (because I'm a lefty), then pulled my pistol out of the holster with my right hand and continued to shoot both weapons.'"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Civilization V Officially Available On Linux For SteamOS @ Slashdot
- Humble Bundle: PC and Android 10 Review @ OCC
- Soulier Than Thou: Dragon Age – Inquisition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Next-Gen Tetronimoes: Ubisoft Announce Tetris Ultimate @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Store Wars: GOG Launching Its Own Steam-Like Service @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- InSomnia Has Old-School RPG Style, Modern Graphics @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Witcher 3 Gets Release Date, Bonkers New Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Doom E3 trailer teases upcoming reveal at QuakeCon 2014 @ HEXUS
- Ubisoft abandoned women assassins in co-op because of the additional work @ Polygon
- A Little More Faith: Mirror’s Edge 2 E3 Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Grapplewatch 2014: Far Cry 4 Gameplay Swings Away @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Beyond Seven Minutes Of Civ: Beyond Earth @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2014 - 12:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, virtualization, linux, container, Linux Containerization, docker, Red Hat, ubuntu
Docker has put the libcontainer execution engine of their Linux Containerization onto Github, making it much easier to adopt their alternative virtualization technology and modify it for specific usage scenarios. So far Google, Red Hat and Parallels have started adding their own improvements to the Go based libcontainer; adding to the Ubuntu dev team already at work. This collaboration should help containerization become a viable alternative to virtual machines and hopefully be included as a feature in future Linux distros. Read more over at The Register.
"Docker has spun off a key open source component of its Linux Containerization tech, making it possible for Google, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Parallels to collaborate on its development and make Linux Containerization the successor to traditional hypervisor-based virtualization."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Semiconductor boffin: 3D NAND don't need NO STEENKIN' TSVs @ The Register
- Alienware's Alpha Steam Machine will arrive running Windows 8.1 @ The Inquirer
- Sosecure seeks funding for world's first smartphone controlled SSD @ The Inquirer
- Stuff Wireless Charging Into a Nook’s Crannies @ Hack a Day
- EnerPlex Kickr II Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | June 11, 2014 - 02:44 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Steam Machine, E3 14, E3, dell, alienware alpha, alienware
While "Steam Machines" are delayed, Alienware will still launch their console form-factor PC. The $550 price tag includes a black Xbox 360 wireless controller (with receiver) and Windows 8.1 64-bit. Alienware has also designed their own "Console-mode UI" for Windows 8.1, which can be navigated directly with a controller. It will ship Holiday 2014.
Apparently PC-based consoles equate to dubstep and parkour.
About the "Console-mode UI", it will apparently be what the user sees when the Alpha boots. The user can then select between Steam Big Picture, media, and programs. They also allow users to boot into the standard Windows 8.1 interface.
As for its specifications:
|Base Model ($550)||Upgrade Options|
|Processor||Haswell-based Intel Core i3||Core i5, Core i7 (user accessible)|
|GPU||"Custom" Maxwell-based, 2GB GDDR5
(see next paragraph)
|(none) (not user accessible, soldered on)|
|System Memory||4GB at 1600 MHz||8GB (user accessible)|
|HDD||500GB SATA3||1TB or 2TB (user accessible)|
|Wireless||Dual-band 802.11ac||(user accessible)|
The GPU is not specified, or even given a similar part to refer to. PC World claims that it will be comparable to the performance found on the two next-gen consoles. Since the 750 Ti has around 1.3 TeraFLOPs of performance, this GPU is probably near that, or slightly above it. PC Gamer says that it will be based on mobile Maxwell, so it might be similar to an current or upcoming laptop GPU.
One thing that has not been addressed is the HDMI-in port. We know that it supports passthrough for low latency, but we do not know what it will do with the input video. Alienware has several of these set up at their booth on the show floor, so we might hear more soon. While its specifications are a bit on the light side, particularly on the default amount of RAM (although that is easily and cheaply upgraded), its $550 price, which includes a wireless controller and its adapter, is also pretty good.
For a mere $100 you can pick up the 256GB model or for $200 you can double that to 512GB. That certainly makes the drives attractive but the performance is there as well, often beating its predecessor the MX500 series. If reliability is a concern the onboard RAIN feature guards against writes to bad flash, there are onboard capacitors to allow writes to finish in the case of power outages and a 3 year warranty. Check out the full review at The Tech Report if you need a second opinion after Allyn's review.
"The Crucial MX100 is the first solid-state drive to use Micron's 16-nm MLC NAND. It's also one of the most affordable SSDs around, with the 256GB version priced at $109.99 and the 512GB at $224.99. We take a closer look at how the two stack up against a range of competitors, and the results might surprise you."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Crucial MX100 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB SSD @ NikKTech
- Samsung 845DC EVO @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 460 240GB Review @ OCC
- OCZ RevoDrive 350 480GB PCIe SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Vantec EZ SWAP M3500 Series Review @HiTech Legion
- Netgear ReadyNAS RN312, RN314 & RN316 @ Legion Hardware
- Thecus N4560 SOHO/Home NAS Server Review @ Madshrimps
- Thecus N7710-G @ techPowerUp
- ADATA XPG SDXC UHS-1 U3 Card @ The SSD Review
Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2014 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, 3PAR 7450
If you are looking for extreme storage you can't top HP's 3PAR 7450 server at this time. With a total capacity of 460TB you can have the largest and fastest commercially available storage for whatever you need stored. There are some very interesting enterprise level features on this device, from deduplication to Adaptive Sparing which allows the 7450 to recover some of the over-provisioned storage on the drive used to replace failed flash. They also offer a 5 year warranty on the drives inside as well as guaranteeing six 9's of reliability which works out to less than a minute of downtime per year. According to what HP told The Register you can expect to pay $2/GB; it is nice to dream isn't it?
"The drives actually have 1.6TB of raw flash capacity but, using this aforementioned technology, HP says it can recover some of the over-provisioned storage – so the effective capacity of the 7450 SSDs is up to 1.92TB. Note the “up to” in HP’s statement; a cue for lots of fierce examination of Megsco’s capacity uplifting claims by competing suppliers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 9, 2014 - 11:31 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, GTA5, GTA Online
So my best guess is that Rockstar was waiting on the "next-gen" assets before they bothered releasing Grand Theft Auto V on the PC. The game will be released this fall, alongside Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports. They do not mention distribution platforms, but Steam is a fairly safe assumption, at least now that Games for Windows has been given its final rest.
Hopefully, this delay in releasing a PC version will be a temporary hiccup due to the overlapping console generations. With Grand Theft Auto IV, the same could not be said. The problem is, with how secretive Rockstar is, we cannot really tell whether the above assumption is true, or whether they were just non-committal to the PC platform until now. At either rate, until the PC version is launched, Rockstar has not and will not get my money. Of course, there is always that danger that, by the time the game does launch, I will not be able to afford its time or expense.
That's why you should always release the PC version as early as possible.
Subject: General Tech, Memory, Storage | June 9, 2014 - 11:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: kingston, ssd, hyperx
Kingston, known primarily for RAM, flash drives, and SSDs, discussed the health of their company. VR-Zone reported on the interview and highlighted the company's sentiments about the PC industry. Long story short, Kingston sees growth in sales of PC gaming hardware -- apparently 20% year-over-year. The company expects that this growth comes primarily from SSD upgrades, either from rotating media or, they claim, replacing years-old, entry-level SSDs with more modern (probably in both speed and size) options.
Nathan Su, APAC (Asia-Pacific) director of Kingston, believes that "many users" have experienced low-tier SSDs and, it seems, would be willing to invest in the full thing. He does not clarify what he means, whether he is talking about SSD caching, or just a really small (or slow) SSDs from drive generations past.
There is a bit of a concern that SSD prices will continue to fall, with some drives reaching under 40c/GB in recent sales. As a consumer, I (selfishly) hope that prices continue to drop, while still remaining profitably sustainable for the manufacturers. Hopefully Kingston is accounting for this and will continue to see growth at the same time.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 9, 2014 - 09:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, GOG, gog galaxy
Good Old Games (GOG), a subsidiary of CD Projekt RED, is releasing an online gaming manager similar to Steam and Origin. The difference is that everything about it is DRM-free and completely optional. Galaxy will manage game updates, provide achievements, and host communication between friends... if you want. If you don't? That's okay. Have fun.
Obviously, their most popular competitor is Valve. Steam has a history of being nice to their customers and erring on their side. GOG, historically, takes it to the consumer-friendly extreme. If it lives up to their statements, this is no exception. The hope seems to be just that people will remember GOG more often and have more happy customers.
Basically, most platforms are give-and-take. This is take what you want.
When will it launch? What will it look like? Who knows. We will get more news this year, which suggests that we will not get the software until at least next year. Hopefully they will take their time and get it right. I mean, it is not like they need to rush. It is not a mandatory DRM platform - it is not a DRM platform at all. I do expect they will try to target The Witcher 3's launch window (February 2015) for marketing purposes, though.
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 05:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sentey, gaming keyboard, Phoenix Extreme Gamer Series, input
Overclockers Club offers an alternative look at the extreme gaming keyboard market which most seem to have accepted as a reasonable product now. There are many who will pay a high price for a mechanical keyboard with good switches as they do make a difference for frequent typers though arguably not as much for gamers. Then there are the $50 gaming keyboard with common gel switches but a fancy exterior, eye catching colours and backlighting which generally come with bottle openers and fridge magnets. The Sentey Phoenix Extreme Gamer is one such keyboard and if you consider it reasonable to spend $50 on a pretty keyboard you probably don't want to read this review. Those who agree with the author and would rather kill 5 generic keyboards over time will probably crack at least one smile while they read.
"The keyboard ultimately is a joke to my hands and for the $50 asking price, I'd rather burn through five generic builder series keyboards instead. This keyboard has no home on my desk and shouldn't on yours either. I'm happy to be done with the review, simply for the sake of never using it again. Fortunately, the carry bag will prevent me from picking up shattered keys in my driveway later; good thinking Sentey."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Deck 87 Francium Pro Mechanical Keyboard @ NikKTech
- Roccat Siru gaming mousepad @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Laser Mouse @ Kitguru
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse @ Legit Reviews
- Gamdias Demeter GMS5010 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- EVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Mionix NAOS 7000 and NAOS 8200 Review @HiTech Legion
- SteelSeries RIVAL Optical Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- Mionix NAOS 7000 gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- iRocks M05 Spirit Cocoon Mouse @ Kitguru
- Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Hybrid Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse Review – A Serious Gamer’s Tool @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 04:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3 14, E3, beta, battlefield hardline, battlefield
Quick message: The Battlefield Hardline Closed Beta is accepting applications now on a first-come-first-serve basis. Hardline is Battlefield in a cops and robbers universe. Think of PayDay 2 with Battlefield 4 graphics and gameplay elements, basically. It is developed by Visceral Games, the studio known for Dead Space.
Note: The signup page is a bit glitchy, likely because of server load. If you are interested, hop in quick, before all of the slots are gone. The beta is open now, although it apparently takes a little bit of time before Origin recognizes that you are in it. You will know you are in when you get an email "invoice" for the Battlefield Hardline beta with a $0 transaction.
Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2014 - 03:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: E3, E3 14, steelseries, sentry
SteelSeries has announced Sentry, a device which tracks the user's eye movement. Since so much of professional gaming is perception and attention, it can be valuable to acquire feedback on how your eyes scan the display. This is not exactly a new service for teams. Some StarCraft 2 tournaments have even broadcast eye-tracking data to the audience.
This is obviously a niche product, but that is not reason to discredit it. One of the leading reasons for purchasing a high-speed camera is to analyze golf swings (I avoided the "driving reasons" pun, for your sanity). More subtly, SteelSeries is a major sponsor of several gaming teams. They might consider their personal needs as a form of subsidization, depending on if their business arrangement with Tobii and their investment in the Sentry. If it is not significantly more expensive than licensing a different service for their players, or that service is missing critical features, then why not make it and sell part (or all) of it as a product?
Currently no pricing or availability yet.
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