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Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2013 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vint cerf, Intel, sdn, software defined networking, tha internets, open network summit, Seacliff Trail
Vint Cerf has been talking about the current topic on the minds of many network admins, software defined networking, sometimes referred to as smart networks. While his original design was great at providing much cheaper connectivity than telcos, with the entire network being effectively dumb and not requiring any expensive routing equipment during transfer, that benefit is no longer as compelling as it used to be. Moving from a model of only having routing equipment at the very edge of your network to placing equipment en route can offer advantages to security, speed and reliability. He is quick to bring up a topic that is near and dear to anyone working in infrastructure; no matter how smart the equipment is, if there are no established standards which can operate between vendors and protocols then we will be worse off than we are now.
One company that has the power to bring SDN to the market and do so with enough backing to create standards and enforce them is Intel. They are also at the Open Network Summit and are presenting their plans for SDN, virtual switches and even physical hardware. Over at The Register you can see some of the slides that they presented along with information on new chipsets and ASICs that have been developed by Intel for use in a variety of networking applications.
"As you get to the point where you want to have something big happen, spend some time working on getting agreement on standards,” Cerf is quoted as saying. Standards encourage innovation because everyone can work to the standard, as “happened in the creation of the Internet—and these standards often create a certain amount of stability.
“Stability is your friend in networking environments. If you can’t rely on some stable point in the architecture, you’ll have some trouble in making things work reliably."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Botched Security Update Cripples Thousands of Computers @ Slashdot
- TSMC 16nm FinFET to enter mass production within one year after 20nm ramp-up, says Chang @ DigiTimes
- Foxconn to pay Microsoft for production of Android/Chrome devicesFoxconn to pay Microsoft for production of Android/Chrome devices @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft offers Outlook, Skype and Xbox users two-step authentication @ The Inquirer
Subject: Processors | April 17, 2013 - 09:48 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: overclocking, intel ivr, intel hd graphics, Intel, haswell, cpu
During the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China the X86 chip giant revealed details about how overclocking will work on its upcoming Haswell processors. Enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the new chips do not appear to be any more restrictive than the existing Ivy Bridge processors as far as overclocking. Intel has even opened up the overclocking capabilities slightly by allowing additional BCLK tiers without putting aspects such as the PCI-E bus out of spec.
The new Haswell chips have an integrated voltage regulator, which allows programmable voltage to both the CPU, Memory, and GPU portions of the chip. As far as overclocking the CPU itself, Intel has opened up the Turbo Boost and is allowing enthusiasts to set an overclocked Turbo Boost clockspeed. Additionally, Intel is specifying available BCLK values of 100, 125, and 167MHz without putting other systems out of spec (they use different ratios to counterbalance the increased BCLK, which is important for keeping the PCI-E bus within ~100Mhz). The chips will also feature unlocked core ratios all the way up to 80 in 100MHz increments. That would allow enthusiasts with a cherry-picked chip and outrageous cooling to clock the chip up to 8GHz without overclocking the BCLK value (though no chip is likely to reach that clockspeed, especially for everyday usage!).
Remember that the CPU clockspeed is determined by the BCLK value times a pre-set multiplier. Unlocked processors will allow enthusiasts to adjust the multiplier up or down as they please, while non-K edition chips will likely only permit lower multipliers with higher-than-default multipliers locked out. Further, Intel will allow the adventurous to overclock the BLCK value above the pre-defined 100, 125, and 167MHz options, but the chip maker expects most chips will max out at anywhere between five-to-seven percent higher than normal. PC Perspective’s Morry Teitelman speculates that slightly higher BCLK overclocks may be possible if you have a good chip and adequate cooling, however.
Similar to current-generation Ivy Bridge (and Sandy Bridge before that) processors, Intel will pack Haswell processors with its own HD Graphics pGPU. The new HD Graphics will be unlocked and the graphics ratio will be able to scale up to a maximum of 60 in 50MHz steps for a potential maximum of 3GHz. The new processor graphics cards will also benefit from Intel’s IVR (programmable voltage) circuitry. The HD Graphics and CPU are fed voltage from the integrated voltage regulator (IVR), and is controlled by adjusting the Vccin value. The default is 1.8V, but it supports a recommended range of 1.8V to 2.3V with a maximum of 3V.
Finally, Intel is opening up the memory controller to further overclocking. Intel will allow enthusiasts to overclock the memory in either 200MHz or 266MHz increments, which allows for a maximum of either 2,000MHz or 2,666MHz respectively. The default voltage will depend on the particular RAM DIMMs you use, but can be controlled via the Vddq IVR setting.
It remains to be seen how Intel will lock down the various processor SKUs, especially the non-K edition chips, but at least now we have an idea of how a fully-unlocked Haswell processor will overclock. On a positive note, it is similar to what we have become used to with Ivy Bridge, so similar overclocking strategies for getting the most out of processors should still apply with a bit of tweaking. I’m interested to see how the integration of the voltage regulation hardware will affect overclocking though. Hopefully it will live up to the promises of increased efficiency!
Are you gearing up for a Haswell overhaul of your system, and do you plan to overclock?
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2013 - 06:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, bioshock infinite
As is their wont, [H]ard|OCP focuses on performance when reviewing the game, leaving examination of the game its self to sites dedicated to that type of content. The half dozen contestants represent the top 3 single GPU cards from NVIDIA and AMD and the drivers used were released this March. The game is DX11 through and through but tesselation is conspicuosly absent as is MSAA, only FXAA is available; even when enabled at the driver level they saw no differences. Both companies cards could play the game at 1080p with all settings maxed out but for higher resolutions we saw NVIDIA's performance pull ahead somewhat. Check out the image quality of BioShock Infinite in the full review.
"BioShock Infinite is here, delivering a colorful and dynamic world with the help of a customized Unreal Engine 3. BioShock Infinite has an improved PC gaming experience, we will test this game's performance among 8 video card configurations, and look at image quality of this immersive and colorful new game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bioshock Infinite Review @ OCC
- Squad Chat: Jagged Alliance – Flashback Interview @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- You’re The Boat Boss: Leviathan’s Smoooooooth Moves @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Please Watch This Dumb Blood Dragon Live-Action Short @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Antichamber just blew my mind @ The Tech Report
- Space Hulk Studio To Make Turn-Based Jagged Alliance @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Defiance @ LanOC Reviews
- Roundup of the 6 New Gaming Platforms Launching in 2013 @ eTeknix
- Smashing Dolphins: Planet Punch Redefines Self-Loathing @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Resident Evil 6 - Too Much Action for Horror? @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2013 - 01:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At 20% off, both the 17.3" HP ENVY dv7t-7300 Quad Edition laptop deals are a bargain, though the more expensive 1080p model at $840 might be a bit preferable to the $720 model with a 1600x900 screen. The base specs to both models are the same, with an Ivy Bridge i7-3630QM @ 2.4GHz, 8GB DDR3 and a 750GB HDD inside, running Windows 8 64-bit Edition. For extras you get Beats Audio and an HD camera and mic built in, a 2 year warranty and discounts on some software and tools available from HP.
To get base HP ENVY dv7t-7300 Quad Edition deal, use 20% coupon code, follow these steps:
1. Start here at HP Home direct store
2. Select Customize button
3. Click View Summary button at the top, add to cart
4. Apply coupon code NB7361 during checkout
This HP dv7 Quad Edition deal: $899.99 - 20% coupon code = $719.99 + $9.99 shipping. shipping & 2-year warranty.
To get HP ENVY dv7t-7300 Quad Edition with 1080p LCD, use 20% coupon code, follow these steps:
1. Start here at HP Home direct store
2. Select Customize button
3. Choose 17.3-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080) +$150
4. Click View Summary button at the top, add to cart
5. Apply coupon code NB7361 during checkout
This HP dv7 Quad Edition deal: $1049.99 - 20% coupon code = $839.99 + $9.99 shipping & 2-year warranty.
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2013 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, otellini, earnings
The downturn in the PC market has depressed the earnings of Intel during Paul Otellini's last quarter as head of the company, but not as badly as many companies thanks to decent sales of data centre products. Their overall earnings are down $1bn from this quarter last year with their PC sales down 6.6% but their data centre sales up 7.5% when compared to Q1 2012. The numbers are not so rosy when you look at the last year of sales, PC down 6% and data centre down 6.9%, in line with expectations but far from good news. Intel has come a long way since 1974 when he first joined the company but even they are not immune to the decline in sales which has been hurting the industry recently. Get the full sales numbers at The Register.
"After 39 years at Chipzilla and over 80 earnings calls Paul Otellini has just finished his final one before stepping down in May. He didn't so much leave with a bang as a whimper.
The company booked $12.6bn in revenue for Q1 2013, down nearly a billion from the last quarter, and profits dropped 25 per cent to $2bn, over half of which will be given out as a dividend and another $553m used to buy back 25 million Intel shares. The results were broadly in line with analyst's expectations and Intel stock is up slightly in late trading."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 16, 2013 - 10:24 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, metro last light, Metro
Late this evening we got word from NVIDIA about an update to its game bundle program for GeForce GTX 600 series cards. Replacing the previously running Free to Play bundle that included $50 in credit for each World of Tanks, Hawken and Planetside 2 title, NVIDIA is moving back to the AAA game with Metro: Last Light.
Metro: Last Light is the sequel to surprise hit from 2010, Metro 2033 and I am personally really looking forward to the game and seeing how it can stress PC hardware like the first did.
This bundle is only good for GTX 660 cards and above with the GTX 650 Ti sticking with the Free to Play $75 credit offer.
NVIDIA today announced that gamers who purchase a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or above would also receive a copy of the highly anticipated Metro: Last Light, published by Deep Silver and is the sequel to the multi award winning Metro 2033. Metro: Last Light will be available May 14, 2013 within the US and May 17, 2013 across Europe.
The deal is already up and running on Newegg.com but with the release date of Metro: Last Light set at May 14th, you'll have just about a month to wait before you can get your hands on it.
How do you think this compares to AMD's currently running bundle with Bioshock Infinite and more? Did NVIDIA step up its game this time around?
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2013 - 07:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: roccat, input, Isku FX
There is a new keyboard from the company that Ryan loves to try to pronounce; ROCCAT's new Isku FX is more than just a gaming keyboard with multimedia buttons and LED backlighting. With the configuration software installed you can change the Caps Lock key to modify the macro and thumb keys to give you a total of 16 macro keys, remap the multimedia keys or even change up what ROCCAT refers to as the Easy Zone. For aesthetic purposes you can choose from 16.8 million distinct colours in the backlighting. There are also apparently achievements you can unlock with this keyboard if you have become addicted to those thanks to Steam. If this sounds like something you might like you should check out the full review at Techgage.
"At the time of writing, the Isku FX is ROCCAT’s range-topping keyboard. Appropriately it’s packed to the gills with features and capabilities lesser keyboards tend to eschew. No, it’s not a mechanical keyboard, but despite this is it still worth your hard-earned dollars? Read on and find out!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ROCCAT Isku FX Multicolor Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- SPEEDLINK ATHERA Multi-Profile Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
- AZiO Levetron Mech5 Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte AiVia Osmium Keyboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Your Wireless Mouse Or Keyboard Acting Up? Blame USB 3.0! @ TechARP
- Corsair Vengeance M95 Performance MMO & RTS Laser Gaming Mouse @ Tweaktown
- Func MS-3 Gaming Mouse @ Rbmods
- FUNC MS-3 Gaming Mouse @ Modders-Inc
- Leetgion El'Druin "Optimized for Diablo" Gaming Mouse @ Tweaktown
- Steelseries Sensei Limited Edition Mouse @ eTeknix
- Razer ONZA Xbox 360 PC Tournament Edition Pro Gaming Controller @ eTeknix
Subject: Mobile | April 16, 2013 - 03:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tap 20, sony vaio, hybrid, convertible tablet
Sony has joined the convertible tablet market with the new Tap 20 and Legit Reviews had a chance to work with one. They come in a wide variety of prices and internals, from $850-$1250, all using a 1600x900 IPS display but with CPUs ranging from Core i5's with 4GB of DDR3 to i7's with 8GB DDR3. Every model comes with a hard drive for local storage and you can expect almost 3 hours of battery life; since the battery is in the tablet portion you do not get longer life from docking it to the keyboard. There were a few strange omissions on the tablet as well as some attractive features which you can read about in the full review.
"The Sony VAIO Tap 20 is a very interesting Hybrid PC that runs Windows 8 with 10 finger touch capabilities. The internal battery is rated to last 2 hours 45 minutes, which actually isn't bad for a device like this. Having the ability to unplug the PC and move it around the home is actually rather nice and really makes the PC experience group friendly. The Sony VAIO Tap 20 can be used in tablet mode with it lying on the table and you can play touch games on it versus a friend or share photos and videos with a group..."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Acer Aspire V5-571P @ XSReviews
- Sony VAIO T14 Ultrabook Review - Out With Express Cache In With DataPlex For SandForce Driven Speed @ SSD Review
- Toshiba Qosmio X875-Q7390 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Envy X2 11-G010NR Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus VivoTab Smart (ME400C) Windows 8 Tablet @ Kitguru
- Rightware Basemark X Tested on Several Popular Mobile Devices @ Tweaktown
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with 4G LTE @ LanOC Reviews
- Asus Padfone 2 @ The Inquirer
- HP ElitePad 900 Review @ TechReviewSource
- ZTE Geek hands-on @ The Inquirer
- ASUS PadFone 2 @ Hardware.info
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 16, 2013 - 03:01 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: vsync, stutter, smoothness, microstutter, frame rating, animation
We are running a poll in conjunction with our Frame Rating: Visual Effects of Vsync on Gaming Animation story that compares animation smoothness between fixed 30 FPS and 60 FPS captures and Vsync enabled versions.
If you haven't read the story linked above, these questions won't make any sense to you so please go read it and then stop back here to answer the polls!
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2013 - 01:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TMS RamSan, IBM, FlashSystem, flash, 1 billion
IBM has invested $1 billion in SSD research and development, creating a project called IBM FlashSystem. They will create a dozen 'competency centres' across the globe this year to help customers understand scenarios in which flash storage will help their business. To show off their prowess they created a 500TB system based on their FlashSystem 820; you can see a video of the system at The Register. IBM has already signed a deal with Sprint to build 9 storage systems and there will be more customers soon. IBM is also redesigning their system software to take advantage of the speed of flash which will make the transition even more attractive to companies.
"Say goodbye to TMS RamSan and hello to IBM FlashSystem. Back in 2001, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner said IBM would spend a billion dollars to boost its Linux business and that billion paid itself off within two years. In 2002, the firm splurged the same amount on Java tools, and in 2006, pumped $1bn into information management. Fast-forward seven years and Ginny Rometty's IBM is going to spend a billion dollars to boost its flash solid state storage business."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2013 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's deal is not something you see every day, a WiFi enabled console sized Alienware PC running Ubuntu. At that $600 price you get a Core i3-3220 @ 3.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD burner, a 1GB GTX 645, and pre-installed UBUNTU Linux 12.04. It also comes with a one year warranty which could come in handy if you are unfamiliar with Linux. This might not be the Linux powered Steambox of rumour, but it will certainly function as one and will provide more fun than speculating on when or if that device will ever be released.
Alienware X51 Compact Core i3 Gaming PC w/ Ubuntu Linux & GeForce GTX 645 @ $599
To get the cheapest Alienware X51 Core i3 deal, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Click Review & Checkout button at the top
3. Proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2013 - 06:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: seasonic, Seasonic X-Series, 850W, PSU, modular psu
One drawback to impressing [H]ard|OCP with the quality of one of your PSUs is that the bar is now set that much higher for the next model they review. Seasonic is one such company that has a great reputation that they have to live up to with their new X-850 PSU. The half dozen PCIe 6+2 power plugs are a good start, as is being able to provide up to 99% of total power to the four 12V rails and the fully modular cabling is always appreciated. The real question is how it fared on the test bench, so go find out if it just makes it or if it passes the torture test with flying colours.
Seasonic is a long time favorite of HardOCP editors as you will find a Seasonic PSU in many builds we have done over the years. Today Seasonic pushes its X-Series forward just a bit more building its first gold efficiency rated fully modular enthusiast power supply. But will it blend?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Silverstone Strider Essential ST50F-ES 500 W @ techPowerUp
- Corsair CX430M Modular Power Supply Review - What $25 Can Buy @ Legit Reviews
- Corsair Builder Series Modular CX600M @ Kitguru
- Fractal Design Newton R3 1000 Watt 80-PLUS Platinum Power Supply Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- In Win Commander III 700W Power Supply Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Enermax NAXN ADV 650-Watt 80 PLUS Bronze Power Supply @ Tweaktown
- Compact Power: Review of Five Low-Profile PSUs from Seasonic and Enhance @ X-bit Labs
- Fractal Design Integra R2 650W Power Supply Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- CyberPower PR1500ELCDRTXL2U Professional Rackmount Series UPS Review @ NikKTech
The WindForce 450W GPU cooler was not the only piece of hardware Gigabyte showed off at its New Idea Tech Tour event in Berlin, Germany. The company also detailed a new small form factor PC called BRIX. The Gigabyte BRIX computer is set to compete with Zotac's Nano and Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) PCs. There is no word on pricing or availability, but GIgabyte did delve into specifications of the tiny desktop PCs.
Computerbase.de was on hand at the New Idea event in Berlin.
The Gigabyte BRIX PC is similar to Intel's NUC with a small motherboard, Intel CPU, mSATA connector for storage, Mini PCI-E slot for a Wi-Fi card, and a small case. The BRIX system is slightly smaller than both the NUC and Zotac's Nano systems, though the BRIX motherboard itself is a bit larger than the NUC's. The BRIX motherboard measures 100 x 105mm and the case with internals measures 114.8 x 108 x 29.5mm and weighs 404 grams.
Internal specifications on the BRIX include an Intel ultrabook-class processor with sub-17W TDPs, two SO-DIMM slots (a maximum of 16GB at 1600MHz), one mSATA port, and one Mini PCI-E slot. The BRIX further comes with a Wi-Fi card and VESA mount. Processor options include:
- Intel Celeron 1007U
- Intel Core i3-3227U
- Intel Core i5-3337U
- Intel Core i7-3537U
The top-end Core i7-3537U gives you a dual core processor with hyper-threading clocked at 2GHz and 3.1GHz max turbo and 4MB cache. Pretty impressive for such a tiny PC!
The Gigabyte BRIX features a single USB 3.0 port on the front of the glossy black case. Rear IO includes an additional USB 3.0 port, one HDMI port, one DisplayPort video output, and a single Gigabit LAN port.
The Gigabyte BRIX looks to be a decent system that will give Zotac and Intel some needed small form factor competition. Here's hoping Gigabyte will allow custom cases, as I would love to see a passively-cooled option!
Computerbase.de has further details on the Gigabyte BRIX PC as well as a gallery of photos from the event.
Subject: Memory | April 15, 2013 - 04:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, hyperX beast, DDR3-2400
At a speed of DDR3-2400 timings of 11-13-13-30 @ 2T are more than impressive and hint at the overclocking potential of these DIMMs. They also come with two XPM settings, the one just mentioned which runs at 1.65V and a 2133 MHz mode which runs at 1.6V and similar timings. Once TechPowerUp got their hands on the DIMMs they managed to hit 2634 MHz and tighten up the Command Rate to 1T. Keep in mind those pretty heatspreaders may make your life difficult if your motherboard is crowded around the socket and your heatsink doesn't have much clearance. That exact kit does not appear at NewEgg but a very similar 16GB kit does.
"A rabid animal hungry for food, the Kingston HyperX Beast stampedes into the overclocking scene, ripping through our benchmarks like no other. Clocked in at 2400 MHz out of the box, these beasts are ready to take on whatever you want to feed them."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 2400MHz 16GB @ Bjorn3D
- Crucial Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR3 PC3-12800 memory module @ Rbmod
- 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR3 SDRAM Memory Kits from G.Skill @ X-bit Labs
- Team Xtreem DDR3-2666 C11 8GB Memory Kit @ Funky Kit
- Adata XPG 16GB DDR3-1600 / DDR3-2133 kits # Hardawre.info
- Team Xtreem LV 2133MHz CL9 8GB Memory Kit @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 15, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rumor, nvidia, kepler, gtx 700, geforce 700, computex
Recent rumors seem to suggest that NVIDIA will release its desktop-class GeForce 700 series of graphics cards later this year. The new card will reportedly be faster than the currently-available GTX 600 series, but will likely remain based on the company's Kepler architecture.
According to the information presented during NVIDIA's GTC keynote, its Kepler architecture will dominate 2012 and 2013. It will then follow up with Maxwell-based cards in 2014. Notably absent from the slides are product names, meaning the publicly-available information at least leaves the possibility of a refreshed Kepler GTX 700 lineup in 2013 open.
Fudzilla further reports that NVIDIA will release the cards as soon as May 2013, with an official launch as soon as Computex. Having actual cards available for sale by Computex is a bit unlikely, but a summer launch could be possible if the new 700 series is merely a tweaked Kepler-based design with higher clocks and/or lower power usage. The company is rumored to be accelerating the launch of the GTX 700 series in the desktop space in response to AMD's heavy game-bundle marketing, which seems to be working well at persuading gamers to choose the red team.
What do you make of this rumor? Do you think a refreshed Kepler is coming this year?
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2013 - 02:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fud, sales
Last week we saw a report describing the downturn in PC sales and it has been repeated today in a report from Gartner. With a global decline of sales this quarter totalling over 10% compared to the first quarter of 2012 the trend of falling PC sales continues for the fourth quarter in a row. It seems that tablets and smartphones are making headway into the market and many people who would have purchased an inexpensive TV for surfing and other light-duty tasks are satisfied with a smaller mobile device. In the US the decline was a hair under 10% and only Apple and Lenovo showed any growth. Get the full global breakdown at DigiTimes.
"Worldwide PC shipments totaled 79.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, a 11.2% decline from the first quarter of 2012, according to Gartner. Global PC shipments went below 80 million units for the first time since the second quarter of 2009. All regions showed a decrease in shipments, with the EMEA region experiencing the steepest decline."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Increase the range of your wireless network @ Hardware.info
- Microsoft Windows 8 and Metro UI: The (d)evolution of the world's most popular OS @ Tweaktown
- Server Update April 2013: Positioning the HP Moonshot 1500 @ AnandTech
- CASIO Edifice EF-558D-1AVEF Review @ NikKTech
- Rosewill RSL-113 Solar Infrared LED Lights @ Benchmark Reviews
- Antec a.m.p Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2013 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Looking for a new TV, but not a 72" monster? Want 120MHz for smooth performance when hooked up to a PC plus support for 3D movies? How about a 55" 1080p TV for $650 plus free shipping which can access the internet for streaming video! The VIZIO E552VLE 55" 1080p 120Hz WiFi LCD HDTV is on sale right now.
- 1080p Resolution
- 100,000:1 contrast ratio
- 6.5ms response time
- 120Hz Refresh Rate
- Vizio Internet Apps (VUDU, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter)
- 4 HDMI, 2 USB, Composite, VGA ports
- ECO HD exceeds the current ENERGY STAR Guidelines
Subject: Networking | April 15, 2013 - 02:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: skydog, gigabit router, 5GHz wifi
A new piece of networking hardware from PowerCloud Systems recently emerged on popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Aimed at consumers, the Skydog router is paired with a web interface and mobile application that makes managing your home network extremely accessible.
The Skydog router hardware itself has already passed regulatory certifications, and the super early bird backers will each get one of 250 pre-production units. The router features five Gigabit Ethernet ports (one port is for the WAN), a USB port, and a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi radio. The Wi-Fi radio can operate on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, and has a maximum rated throughput of 300Mbps per band. The router chassis measures 17 x 11 x 2.5cm and includes a number of blue indicator LEDs on the top-front edge. The USB port is not currently supported, but is there for future feature updates.
Where Skydog differentiates itself from the crowd is in the software. After connecting the router to your modem and computers, you can log into the web interface. It will prompt you for either a Google or Skydog account, and then will reportedly automatically configure itself. The software supports Quality of Service (QoS) features that will allow you to prioritize certain traffic and/or to give bandwidth priority to certain users. The web interface will show you network statistics, connected devices, device signal strength, track and notify users of network issues (for example, the internet going down) via the Skydog mobile app, and track and restrict the websites users visit. Further, the administrator can set up schedules on a per-user basis. The schedules can restrict usage by approved time slices and by bandwidth limits. It will notify users when they are approaching the allotted time or bandwidth limit via the mobile app. Real time notifications include ISP connection issues, guests requesting access to the network, and the above-mentioned bandwidth limit notifications.
According to the Kickstarter FAQ, the Skydog Home Network (which consists of the router and management software) will cost approximately $149 for three years or $199 for five years without a monthly fee. The wording suggests that a model with a lower hardware cost but monthly charge might also be available. The cloud service is a bit worrisome, and I'm not sure if I like the idea of essentially renting the router via monthly or yearly fees. This router is not going to be for everyone, but it does have some useful and inventive features for families. This would be a router that I could see the various ISPs offering up as a rental device and that I might set up for my friends or relatives with kids so that they could easily manage the network and restrict the kids access to certain times of the day and age appropriate sites.
With 29 days left in the Kickstarter, the project has 543 backers, and $51,905 pledged of the 75,000 goal. It certainly looks like it is going to be funded, and I hope that the Kickstarter leads to a successful retail product launch.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 14, 2013 - 07:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windforce, nvidia, gtx titan, gtx 680, gpu cooler, gigabyte
Earlier this week, PC component manufacturer Gigabyte showed off its new graphics card cooler at its New Idea Tech Tour even in Berlin, Germany. The new triple slot cooler is built for this generation's highest-end graphics cards. It is capable of cooling cards with up to 450W TDPs while keeping the cards cooler and quiter than reference heatsinks.
The Gigabyte WindForce 450W cooler is a triple slot design that combines a large heatsink with three 80mm fans. The heatsink features two aluminum fin arrays connected to the GPU block by three 10mm copper heatpipes. Gigabyte stated during the card's reveal that its cooler keeps a NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics card 2°C cooler and 23.3 dB quiter during a Furmark benchmark run. Further, the cooler will allow these high end cards, like the GTX Titan to achieve higher (stable) boost clocks.
ComputerBase.de was on hand at Gigabyte's event in Berlin to snap shots of the upcoming GPU cooler.
The company has not announced which graphics cards will use the new cooler or when it will be available, but A Gigabyte GTX 680 and a custom cooled-Titan seem to be likely candidates considering these cards were mentioned in the examples given in the presentation. Note that NVIDIA has prohibited AIB partners from putting custom coolers on the Titan thus far, but other rumored Titan graphics cards with custom coolers seem to suggest that the company will allow custom-cooled Titans to be sold at retail at some point. In addition to using it for the top-end NVIDIA cards, I think a GTX 670 or GTX 660 Ti GPU using this cooler would also be great, as it would likely be one of the quieter running options available (because you could spin the three 80mm fans much slower than the single reference fan and still get the same temps).
What do you think about Gigabyte's new 450W GPU cooler? You can find more photos over at Computer Base (computerbase.de).
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 14, 2013 - 02:22 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: never settle, never settle reloaded, amd, far cry 3
So when AMD reloaded their Never Settle bundles, they left an extra round in the barrel.
Some of my favorite games were given to me in a bundle with some piece of computer hardware. You might remember from the PC Perspective game night that I am a major fan of the Unreal Tournament franchise. My first Unreal Tournament game was an unexpected surprise when I purchased my first standalone GPU. My 166MHz Pentium computer also came bundled with Mechwarrior 2 and Wipeout.
As we discussed, AMD considers bundle-offers as a way to keep the software industry rolling forward. The quantity and quality of games which participate in the recent Never Settle bundles certainly deserve credit as it is due. Bioshock: Infinite is a game that just about every PC gamer needs to experience, and there are about a half-dozen other great titles as a part of the promotion depending upon which card or cards you purchase.
As it turns out, AMD negotiated with Ubisoft and added Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon to their Never Settle bundle. The coolest part is that AMD will retroactively email codes for this new title to anyone who has redeemed a Never Settle: Reloaded code.
So if you have ever Reloaded your Never Settle in the past, check your email as apparently you can Never Settle your reloads again.