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Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2013 - 05:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sales, workstation
The Tech Report put up an editorial which discusses the recent reports on the shrinkage of PC sales and point out that it is not necessarily Personal Computer sales which are slowing but only the workstation sales. You may feel that a PC is a desktop and only a desktop but the market has changed to the point where a watch can qualify as a personal computer and your smartphone definitely does. The term post-PC may be applicable but at the same time limiting your definition of a PC to a desktop and possibly laptops is not as accurate as it once was. The term workstation is accurate for those of us who actually do work which requires the power of a multicore system with dedicated daughterboards, but the vast majority of users do not need the power of a full system. Enthusiasts and professionals will always need the power of a full workstation but perhaps it is time to realize we may be in the minority, which is why sales of traditional workstations have declined. Ask makers of ARM devices if their sales are declining; the main stream market is shifting to devices that many of us would not consider a "real PC".
"PC shipments suffered their greatest decline ever last quarter, in spite of Windows 8 and all those tablet-notebook hybrids. Some say there's no hope, but I disagree. Because the PC is booming—just not the PC we know."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google smashes analyst expectations with 31 percent revenue climb @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft CFO quits as quarterly results fail to sparkle @ The Register
- AMD posts mediocre numbers, cites 'difficult market environment' @ The Register
- Cupertino funk, part II: No joy in iVille @ The Tech Report
- Java 8 Delayed To Fix Security @ Slashdot
- Rosewill Ultra-Slim HDMI RedMere Cable Review @ Legit Reviews
- Intel Chipset Codenames Cross-Reference Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Bad Microsoft patch trapped you in a boot loop? Here's your fix @ The Register
- Win Tt eSPORTS Gaming Gear @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2013 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's special is a 29", 2560 x 1080 IPS LED backlit LCD with an HDCP compliant Dual-link DVI, DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI, and D-Sub inputs as well as USB 3.0 and audio. It claims an 8ms response time and from the TFTCentral testing it lives up to the hype and is capable of gaming with little to no ghosting whatsoever. Free shipping and a 3 year warranty is also something that makes this deal even more attractive.
Deal Description: Dell UltraSharp U2913WM panoramic 29" 2560 x 1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor
Dell Home is offering 29-inch UltraSharp U2913WM 2560 x 1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $539.99 with FREE shipping. Use $100 instant savings and extra 10% coupon code: ?K0N8$SDH1ZF0P to get final price. Backed by 3-year Advanced Exchange Warranty and Premium Panel Guarantee.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 19, 2013 - 02:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: raja koduri, apple, amd
Interesting information has surfaced today about the addition of a new executive at AMD. Raja Koduri, who previously worked for ATI and AMD as Chief Technology Officer, departed the company in 2009 for a four year stint at Apple, helping to turn that company into an SoC power house. Developing its own processors has enabled Apple to stand apart from the competition in many mobile spaces and Koduri is partly responsible for the technological shift at Apple.
Starting on Monday though, Raja Koduri is officially back at AMD, taking over as the CVP (Corporate Vice President) of Visual Computing. This position will result in more complete control over the entirety of the hardware and software platforms AMD is developing including desktop discrete, mobile and APU/SoC designs. This marks the second major returning visionary executive in recent memory to AMD, the first of which was Jim Keller in August of 2012 (also returning from a period with Apple).
It will take some time for Koduri to have effect on AMD's current roadmap
Having known Raja Koduri for quite a long time I have always seen the man as an incredibly intelligent engineer that was able to find strengths in designs that others could not. Much of the success of the ATI/AMD GPU divisions during the 2000s was due to Koduri's leadership (among others of course) and I think having him back at AMD at an even more senior role is great news for both discrete graphics fans and APU users.
In a discussion with Koduri recently, Anandtech got some positive feedback for PC gamers:
Raja believes there’s likely another 15 years ahead of us for good work in high-end discrete graphics, so we’ll continue to see AMD focus on that part of the market.
Koduri sees 15 years more GPU evolution
So even though this hiring isn't going to change AMD's position on the APU and SoC strategy, it is good to have someone at the CVP level that sees the importance and value of discrete, high power GPU technology.
In many talks with AMD over the last 6 months we kept hearing about the healthy influx of quality personnel though much of it was still under wraps. Keller was definitely one of them and Koduri is another and both of the hires give a lot of hope for AMD as a company going forward. Some in the industry have already written AMD off but I find it hard to believe that this caliber of executive would return to a sinking ship.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 19, 2013 - 08:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, case fan, fan controller, fan hub, cooling, grid
NZXT has announced that it is making its Grid fan hub available to the masses. No longer only available with certain NZXT cases, the Grid fan hub takes a single Molex power cable and provides 3-pin power outputs for up to ten fans.
The NZXT kit will come with the Grid hub, a 200mm long Molex power adapter, a single 200mm long (3-pin) female-to-female adapter cable, and two 200mm (3-pin) fan extension cables. NZXT is also including five black cable ties to assist with cable management.
Unfortunately, the Grid does not provide functionality to allow adjustable fan speeds. All fans connected to the Grid hub will run at 100% unless other means (such as resistors) are used inline to slow them down. If you only care for speed, and are in a situation where your motherboard does not support enough fan headers but you cannot justify a full fan controller the Grid might be for you. For the price, it is serviceable in that regard.
Speaking of pricing, the Grid fan hub will be available soon with a MSRP of $11.99. More information is available on NZXT's product page.
Is the Grid something that you could see yourself using?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 19, 2013 - 07:03 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PC-Q28, PC-Q27, mini-itx, Lian Li, aluminum case
PC Chassis manufacturer Lian-Li has launched two new mini-ITX cases that will be available next month. The PC-Q27 and PC-Q28 are both brushed aluminum cases that accommodate a single graphics card, a mini-ITX motherboard, at least one case fan, and several hard drives.
The PC-Q27 is the smallest of the two cases at 7.8” x 11.8” x 9.4.” The case is constructed of aluminum and the outside features a black or silver brushed aluminum finish. The front of the case features a single 5.25” optical drive bay, a LED-lit power button, and two USB 3.0 ports on the right side of the case. Internally, the PC-Q27 case uses Lian-Li’s rail motherboard mounting system for mini-ITX boards. It can host a single graphics card up to 195mm in length, two 3.5” hard drives, and one 5.25” drive. The case is cooled by a single 120mm bottom-mounted fan when the hard disk drive bay is removed. To facilitate airflow, the case has vents along the bottom and rear of the case. The case is held up by case feet to allow the fan to pull in cool air.
Meanwhile, the PC-Q28 is a bit larger and wider at 8.9” x 12” x 13.5.” IT also comes in a silver or black brushed aluminum design. This case is the successor to Lian-Li’s PC-Q18. It can hold a mini-ITX motherboard, a single GPU up to 290mm in length, and up to seven 3.5” hard drives. The mini-ITX case features two removable hard drive cages and two fans. There is a single 140mm fan located on the bottom of the case that acts as an intake (and includes a dust filter to keep the case internals clean), and one 120mm exhaust fan on the top of the case. The outside of the case features four case feet to lift the case off the ground, rounded corners, and a simple front panel that host a power button and 5.25” drive bay. The right side of the case hosts two USB 3.0 ports and two analog HD audio jacks.
Both of Lian-Li’s new mini-ITX cases will be available sometime in May. The smaller PC-Q27 has an MSRP of $78.99 while the PC-Q28 will cost $118.99.
Read more about the Mini-ITX form factor at PC Perspective!
Subject: Storage | April 19, 2013 - 06:10 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trim, ssd, sandforce 2281, sandforce, ROG, raidr, raid, PCIe SSD, asus
ASUS is reportedly adding two new PCI-E Solid State Drives (SSD) to its Republic Of Gamers lineup. Dubbed RAIDR, the new PCI-E SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash driven by two SandForce 2281 controllers. In turn, the two SandForce drives are put into a hardware RAID 0 configuration for maximum speed. The RAIDR SSD internals are encased in a stylized EMI shield along with a ROG-branded back-plate. In all, ASUS’ RAIDR SSDs measure 157 x 120 x 20mm.
The ASUS RAIDR drives show up as a single disk driven by a standard AHCI controller, which allows the two RAID 0 SSDs connected via the PCI-E bus to be boot-able and support the TRIM command. Both RAIDR solid state drives also support Native Command Queuing (NCQ), SMART, Secure Erase, Windows 8 Secure Boot.
According to specifications provided by Sweclockers, ASUS is launching 120GB and 240GB versions of the PCI-E SSDs. Both capacities feature 100,000 IOPS, 128-bit AES encryption, and 620,000 MTBF ratings.
The 120GB RAIDR SSD supports up to 765MB/s sequential reads and 775MB/s sequential write speeds. On the other hand, the 240GB RAIDR drive supports up to 830MB/s sequential reads and 810MB/s sequential writes.
Additionally, ASUS is bundling its RAIDR drives with Kaspersky Antivirus 2013 and a number of ASUS utilities (including SSD TweakIt). The drives should be available sometime next month, but pricing is still unknown. Adding PCI-E SSDs is an interesting move by ASUS that should help the company diversify and expand its ROG branding. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how the drives stack up when they are released (and hopefully a PC Perspective review)!
Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2013 - 04:15 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: metro: last light, gaming, deep silver
Metro: Last Light is nearing completion, with an expected release date of May 17th for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Developer Deep Silver – famous (or perhaps infamous) for the STALKER game series – has taken over the project from THQ.
According to Bit-Tech, publisher 4K Games has announced the game’s system requirements. It seems that Metro: Last Light will continue the system-punishing trend that its Metro: 2033 predecessor started. In order to play the game with all the eye candy, gamers will reportedly need at least a NVIDIA GTX 690 or GTX Titan video card. Notably absent from the requirements list is an AMD equivalent, but the AMD Radeon HD 7990 would be the closest match.
The Optimum system requirements represent PC that will be able to crank up all the details. At least a quad core CPU clocked at 3.4GHz, 8GB of RAM, a GTX 690 (or GTX Titan), and Windows 7 or higher is recommended.
The Recommended system requirements suggests hardware used to play the game with most details turned on and at at least 1920 x 1080 resolution. 4K Games recommends at least a 2.6GHz quad core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a DirectX 11 compatible GPU equivalent to at least a NVIDIA GTX 580, GTX 660 Ti, or AMD HD 7870.
Interestingly, even the minimum system requirements are pretty steep compared to other modern titles. A computer running the 32-bit version of Windows XP or higher is needed along with at least a 2.2GHz dual core CPU, 2GB of system RAM, and a DirectX 9 Shader Model 3 compatible video card such as the NVIDIA GTS 250 or AMD HD 4000-series.
The suggested system requirements (especially the optimum level) are impressive, and do suggest that Metro: Last Light is a game that will take full advantage of PC hardware. (I am curious to see whether the system requirements are mostly due to graphical prowess or code optimization issues though. In other words, I hope that the game is more-stable than the STALKER series.)
One thing is for sure: my unlocked AMD 6950 is looking rather dated in light of the new Metro: Last Light specifications!
Subject: Systems | April 19, 2013 - 03:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: servers, project moonshot, microserver, hp, arm, Applied Micro Circuits, 64-bit
A recent press release from AppliedMicro (Applied Micro Circuits Corporation) announced that the company’s X-Gene server on a chip technology would be used in an upcoming HP Project Moonshot server.
An HP Moonshot server (expect the X-Gene version to be at least slightly different).
The X-Gene is a 64-bit ARM SoC that combines ARM processing cores with networking and storage offload engines as well as a high-speed interconnect networking fabric. AppliedMicro designed the chip to provide ARM-powered servers that will reportedly reduce the Total Cost of Ownership of running webservers in a data center by reducing upfront hardware and ongoing electrical costs.
The X-Gene chips that will appear in HP’s Project Moonshot servers feature a SoC with eight AppliedMicro-designed 64-bit ARMv8 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, four ARM Cortex A5 cores for running the Software Defined Network (SDN) controller, and support for storage IO, PCI-E IO, and integrated Ethernet (four 10Gb Ethernet links). The X-Gene chips are located on card-like daughter cards that slot into a carrier board that has networking fabric to connect all the X-Gene cards (and the SoCs on those cards). Currently, servers using X-Gene SoCs require a hardware switch to connect all of the X-Gene cards in a rack. However, the next-generation 28nm X-Gene chips will eliminate the need for a rack-level hardware switch as well as featuring 100Gb networking links).
The X-Gene chips in HP Project Moonshot will use relatively little power compared to Xeon-based solutions. AppliedMicro has stated that eh X-Gene chips will be at least two-times as power efficient, but has not officially release power consumption numbers for the X-Gene chips under load. However, at idle the X-Gene SoCs will use as little as 500mW and 300mW of power at idle and standby (sleep mode) respectively. The 64-bit quad issue, Out of Order Execution chips are some of the most-powerful ARM processors to date, though they will soon be joined by ARM’s own 64-bit design(s). I think the X-Gene chips are intriquing, and I am excited to see how well they fare in the data center environment running server applications. ARM has handily taken over the mobile space, but it is still relatively new in the server world. Even so, the 64-bit ARM chips by AppliedMicro (X-Gene) and others are the first step towards ARM being a viable option for servers.
According to AppliedMicro, HP Project Moonshot servers with X-Gene SoCs will be available later this year. You can find the press blast below.
Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2013 - 12:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows blue, windows 8, windows, microsoft, leaked build
A new build of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.1 (also known as “Windows Blue”) operating system has leaked to the Internet. Build 9369 is the build in question, and it adds quite a few new features to the Start Screen.
My Windows 8 Start Screen.
The new Windows 8.1 build features further integration with the company’s SkyDrive cloud storage service as well as new applications and synching options. The new SkyDrive integration includes the ability to save files to SkyDrive by default, as well as a new “Files” application on the Start Screen (Metro, Modern UI, whatever-it’s-called-this week interface) that allows users to browse local and SkyDrive files in a Windows Explorer-like fashion without leaving the Start Screen.
Microsoft has also tweaked the Start Screen search function to allow users to begin typing on the Start Screen and get search results on the right-hand side of the display without leaving the Start Screen icons. Personally, I would have liked to see Microsoft revamp the Start Screen search to show all results by default and let me filter afterwards rather than only showing applications by default and letting me remove the filter by clicking a button. It should be the other way around in my opinion, but I suppose the current changes so far are still positive ones (even if they are not the changes I was hoping for).
Build 9369 also adds new sync-able settings that includes synching mouse, Start Screen, and file explorer settings across your Windows PCs. Microsoft has also added a click-able button to the Start Screen that allows non-touchscreen users to easily bring up the Apps List. Once viewing the list of all installed applications, the build allows users to sort the apps by name, install date, or by the frequency of use.
Microsoft has also made a multitude of smaller tweaks to existing functionality. You can find a full list of changes and a video walk-through of the new build over at WinBeta. Windows 8.1 is shaping up to be a better operating system, though it remains to be seen whether or not it is worth paying a subscription price for.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | April 18, 2013 - 08:52 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, seiki, se50UY04, hdtv, hdmi 1.4, displays, 4k, 3840x2160
This just in! We have a 4K TV in the PC Perspective Offices!
While we are still working on the ability to test graphics card performance at this resolution with our Frame Rating capture system, we decided to do a live stream earlier today as we unboxed, almost dropped and then eventually configured our new 4K TV.
The TV in question? A brand new SEIKI SE50UY04 50-in 3840x2160 ready display. Haven't heard of it? Neither have we. I picked it up over the weekend from TigerDirect for $1299, though it actually a bit higher now at $1499.
The TV itself is pretty unassuming and other than looking for the 4K label on the box you'd be hard pressed to discern it from other displays. It DID come with a blue, braided UHD-ready HDMI cable, so there's that.
One point worth noting is that the stand on the TV is pretty flimsy; there was definitely wobble after installation and setup.
Connecting the TV to our test system was pretty easy - only a single HDMI cable was required and the GeForce GTX 680s in SLI we happened to have on our test bed recognized it as a 3840x2160 capable display. Keep in mind that you are limited to a refresh rate of 30 Hz though due to current limitations of HDMI 1.4. The desktop was clear and sharper and if you like screen real estate...this has it.
The first thing we wanted to try was some 4K video playback and we tried YouTube videos, some downloaded clips we found scattered across the Internet and a couple of specific examples I had been saving. Isn't that puppy cute? It was by far the best picture I had seen on a TV that close up - no other way to say it.
We did have issues with video playback in some cases due to high bit rates. In one case we had a YUV uncompressed file that was hitting our SSD so hard on read speeds that we saw choppiness. H.265 save us!
And of course we demoed some games as well - Battlefield 3, Crysis 3, Skyrim and Tomb Raider. Each was able to run at 3840x2160 without any complaints or INI hacks. They all looked BEAUTIFUL when in a still position but we did notice some flickering on the TV that might be the result of the 120 Hz interpolation and possibly the "dynamic luminance control" feature that SEIKI has.
We'll definitely test some more on this in the coming days to see if we can find a solution as I know many PC gamers are going to be excited about the possibility of using this as a gaming display! We are working on a collection of benchmarks on some of the higher end graphics solutions like the GeForce TITAN, GTX 680s, HD 7990 and HD 7970s!
If you want to check out the full experience of our unboxing and first testing, check out the full live stream archived below!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 18, 2013 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, HD 7850 DirectCU II
With a custom cooler, 1 DP port, 2 DVI-I connectors, and 1 HDMI connector and only requiring a single PCIe 6 pin power connector the ASUS 7850 DirectCU II is a great blend of efficiency and flexibility for those looking for a card which costs around $200. On the other hand if you have no plans to overclock the card, the GTX660 which [H]ard|OCP compared this card to is slightly more powerful, costs the same and is a better choice for those who are planning on running dual GPUs. Check out the overclocked performance of this HD7850 in the full review.
"ASUS has refreshed its AMD Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU II video card with DirectCU and DIGI+ VRM with Super Alloy Power, poised to give you a robust video card with an improved overclocking experience. We will see whether this new revision brings new value to the Radeon HD 7850 GPU and we will compare it to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 PCS+ Review @ OCC
- Asus Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC 1GB @ eTeknix
- XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition OC 1GB @ eTeknix
- XFX R7790 Black Edition OC @ LanOC Reviews
- Club3D Radeon HD 7790 13Series 1GB @ eTeknix
- GIGABYTE Radeon HD 7790 1GB & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Review @ Techgage
- ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- 23 AMD Radeon HD 7870 / 7950 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 / 660 Ti graphics card round-up @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon Gallium3D More Competitive With Catalyst On Linux @ Phoronix
- Diamond BizView 750 @ LanOC Reviews
- History of the GPU, Part 3: The Nvidia vs. ATI era begins @ Techspot
- History of the Modern Graphics Processor, Part 4: The GPGPU era arrives @ TechSpot
- iXBT Labs Review: i3DSpeed, March 2013
- ASUS GTX670 DirectCU Mini OC @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Roundup @ Hardware Canucks
- GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI @ LanOC Reviews
- Palit GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB OC @ Tweaktown
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 650 TI Boost Edition @ Modders-Inc
- EVGA GTX 650 Ti Boost SC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Twin Frozr Edition Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- MSI GTX 650Ti Boost Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost GS Dual & GTX 660 GS Dual @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Editorial | April 18, 2013 - 01:55 PM | Scott Michaud
So, news which might excite our readers: we are going to try reviewing video games.
Of course, the first thing which needs to be addressed when reviewing games is our grading system. Games, in particular, are a very artful medium and as such it does not entirely make sense to quantize its qualities.
The simple answer is, we will not.
Step back and consider how we review hardware: we run some benchmarks, we discuss the features in often numbing detail, and we assign an award-badge to the product according to our opinion. A hardware could receive no merit; it could receive a bronze, silver, or gold medal; finally, the truly extraordinary products will receive an Editor's Choice Award. If you think about it, these can transfer quite easily to video game reviews.
Our expectation is to apply two ratings to every review: a badge and a number.
A badge is very good at qualifying our assessment of a product whereas numerical scores are very good at quantifying a derivable value. We, collectively as PC gamers, have certain expectations for games and they usually demand more than the impressions of a typical console gamer. Simultaneously, we tend to be an afterthought for a lot of titles; yes, I am being generous even with that statement. Many games are outright broken, crippled by DRM, or otherwise demonstrate in very obvious terms that our money is somehow inferior. On the other hand, there are games which go above and beyond reasonable expectations held by PC gamers, and even some unreasonable ones, and are rarely hailed for it.
We are not able to judge the artistic qualities of a game using a numerical score, but we can judge its technical merits using a numerical rubric.
And so exists our planned review metric. The main point is that there will not be any definite rank-order to each game, at least from an artistic standpoint. A game is allowed to really well on one category and really terribly on another. If you are concerned with the game itself, keep more of an eye toward which award we gave it. If you are concerned about how well the game exists as a PC title, take a look at the numerical score.
There are of course caveats to this method. A viewer who looks solely at the numerical score will not know much, if anything, about the game itself. The numerical score is just a gauge for the level of effort put into the PC version.
Then again, would you expect any less from a website called "PC Perspective" which reviews products with a blend of explanation of its qualitative features mixed in with strict quantitative benchmarking?
Lastly, this is not about whether a game is "better" on a PC or on a console. Developers are free to focus on whatever platform they desire. A game designed around a console and ported to the PC will still get a great score if the finished result exhibits a "great" level of care. Likewise, even if your game is PC-exclusive, do not expect us to give it a great score if it cannot alt-tab worth a damn and is wrapped in DRM which roots our system using kernel-mode drivers.
It is not particularly hard to make a great PC experience, all it takes is effort. Fortunately, that is a property that we can assign an honest grade to.
We would really like to hear your feedback on this. Drop a line in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2013 - 01:46 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vsync, vertex 3.20, podcast, pcper, overclocking, ocz, haswell, gtx 780, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, gigabyte brix, frame rating
PC Perspective Podcast #247 - 04/18/2013
Join us this week as we discuss Frame Rating and Vsync, the future of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the OCZ Vertex 3.20 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:07:41
0:01:08 Win the Roccat ISKU Keyboard
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Jeremy: support Full Control not just because they're nordic
Allyn: (portable headsets that don't suck)
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech | April 18, 2013 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
At $395 off the full price, the Toshiba Qosmio X870-BT3G23 is a rather powerful Win8 gaming laptop or desktop replacement for $1300. It has a proper 1080p LCD, an i7-3630QM, 8GB DDR3, a 1TB HDD, Blu-ray burner and a 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M. With four USB 3.0 ports and HDMI out this is easily used as a desktop replacement as well as giving you great gaming performance while mobile though even Optimus won't save your battery if you are getting in a few BF3 games while waiting for a plane.
Toshiba Qosmio X870-BT3G23 17.3" Core i7 Laptop w/3GB GeForce 670M, Blu-ray RE, 1080p, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD
ToshibaDirect now offers new loaded Qosmios including the Qosmio X870-BT3G23 Laptop starting at just $1,299.99 with free shipping. You also save $100 off in instant savings, plus $295 in component rebates (8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Blu-ray RE, 1080p).
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:
- Oracle critical patch plugs 128 security vulns @ The Register
- How to Install and Configure a Dedicated PhysX Video Card @ Hardware Secrets
- Google Drive and Gmail go down for some @ The Inquirer
- PLA4201 Powerline Ethernet Adapter @ VelocityReviews
- Magellan Switch Review @ TechReviewSource
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?