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Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2013 - 03:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, arkOS, cloud, DIY
Over at MAKE:Blog is an interesting little project for those looking for ideas on what to do with your Raspberry Pi. Using arkOS, a lightweight Linux-based operating system specifically designed for hosting applications you can build your own private cloud without a huge investment of money. Once you have the basics running, installing Jacob Cook's open-source Genesis application provides you a web based interface for running all your apps. If you are relatively familiar with Linux and Raspberry it shouldn't take you that long to be fully functional.
"Twenty-three-year-old Jacob Cook is on a mission to help you create your own small piece of cloud on the internet, freeing you from other providers for services like file storage and sharing, web hosting, e-mail, calendars, music, and photos."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Linux Routing Subnets Tips and Tricks @ Linux.com
- Keep Your SD Cards Data Safe with the SD Locker @ Hack a Day
- Yet ANOTHER IE 0-day hole found: Malware-flingers already using it for drive-by badness @ The Register
- D-Link DIR-868L review: extremely fast router @ Hardware.info
Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking for an upgrade to your home theatre and don't need the full 4K resolution nor are worried about 3D but do want the smoothness of a 120Hz capable TV then the bundle today might be what you want. Perhaps you are picking up one of the new consoles and as they are not capable of using those extra features getting a 55" TV with a soundbar will get you gaming in no time and that $200 Gift Card doesn't hurt either.
- LG 55LN5790 55" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + Sound Bar + $200 Dell Gift Card for $849.99 with free shipping(normally $1,600.99).
- Dell Inspiron 15R 4th-gen Core i5 "Haswell" Touchscreen Laptop for $549.99 with Free Shipping (normally $939.99 - use coupon code: 5D?0D15W9LP822 ).
- Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard for $39.99 with Free Shipping (normally $59.99).
- Seagate Expansion 3TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $99.99 (normally $124.99).
- Polk Audio Monitor60 Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker (Black) for $99.99 with free shipping (normally $299.99)
- Dell Venue 8 Pro 32GB Windows 8.1 Tablet for $299.99 wifh Free Shipping
Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2013 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, azure, red dog, cloud
The Register had a chance to conduct a brief interview with the Windows Azure general manager, Mike Neil, about what caused the recent global Azure failure. The beginning was an update pushed to the Red Dog front end software which customers interface with and which communicates to load balancers for resource scheduling which started to break the ability of some admins to move VMs from staging to production. While the problems were limited and intermittent, they were occurring in all regions of the globe which did not speak well of the systems partitioning. Microsoft has realized that Red Dog is a single point of failure and will be working to modify that for the future and also discussed some of the other underlying technologies here.
"Windows Azure suffered a global meltdown at the end of October that caused us to question whether Microsoft had effectively partitioned off bits of the cloud from one another. Now we have some answers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Lands Open-Source "Hawaii" GPU Driver Code @ Phoronix
- Windows, Office zero-day vuln must wait for next Patch Tuesday, says MS @ The Register
- International Space Station Infected With Malware Carried By Russian Astronauts @ Slashdot
- BlizzCon 2013 Coverage @ Legit Reviews
- Xbox One price, release date and availability @ The Inquirer
- $5 Smartphone Projector @ MAKE:Blog
- Group test: 13 printers and all-in-ones @ Hardware.info
- TteSPORTS "Which Gamer Are You?" Giveaway @ eTeknix
- Sandberg Worldwide Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech
- Win Phanteks Enthoo Primo and more with KitGuru
Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2013 - 03:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Thanks to the low power of the Haswell i3-4000M and the included HD4600 GPU PCs can come in more interesting form factors and if you are going to use Win8.1 an all-in-one touchscreen PC is the form factor to get the best experience from it. With 6GB DDR3 and a 1TB HDD this tiny little Dell Inspiron 23 has enough storage to be useful and enough power to act as an HTPC or as a Skype machine and is small enough to sit almost anywhere.
- Dell Inspiron 23 4th-gen Core i3 23" 1080p Touch All-in-one PC for $899.99 with free shipping(normally $999.99 - use coupon code: ?2D3L91PRSW$4F).
- Kingston HyperX 3K 2.5" 120GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $78.99 with Free Shipping (normally $99.99).
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST SuperClocked 2GB GDDR5 Video Card + Free $75 value in-game coupon for $159.99 with Free Shipping (normally $179.99).
- Samsung UN32EH4003 32" 720p LED HDTV + $125 Dell eGift Card for $267.99 (normally $320.99).
- WD TV Live Streaming WiFi Media Player (Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, YouTube Streaming) for $89.99 with free shipping (normally $109.99)
- Sony CyberShot DSC-RX100 20MP Digital Camera Bundle w/ FREE 64GB Memory Card for $598.00 wifh Free Shipping(normally $649.99)
Subject: Storage | November 8, 2013 - 06:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vector 150, toshiba mlc, ssd, ocz, 19nm, Indilinx, barefoot 3
OCZ's newest contribution to the SSD market is the Vector 150 with 19nm flash and a tiny footprint perfect for today's ultra-mobile devices. One of the most welcome advances in this family is increased over-provisioning of flash storage which allows increased lifespan by letting the drive retire more flash as it slowly becomes unusable without shrinking the size of the drive. As far as the performance goes it beats out almost all previous drives we have seen and while The Tech Report is a little worried about the lifetime of the Barefoot controller the 5 year warranty mitigates that concern somewhat.
You can also see how well it survived Al's torture testing here.
"There's a new SSD in town. OCZ's Vector 150 combines the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller with 19-nm Toshiba NAND and additional spare area. We take a closer look at how it measures up."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vector 150 SSD @ Benchmark Reviews
- OCZ Vector 150 240GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vector 150 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- OCZ Vector 150 @ Techspot
- OCZ Vector 150 240GB @ Kitguru
- iStarUSA BPN-2535DE-SA and BPU-124DE-SS HDD Docks @ Pro-Clockers
- Western Digital 2.5″ Red 1TB NAS HDD @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 8, 2013 - 04:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 780 ti, gk110, geforce
Here is a roundup of the reviews of what is now the fastest single GPU card on the planet, the GTX 780 Ti, which is a fully active GK110 chip. The 7GHz GDDR5 is faster than AMD's memory but use a 384-bit memory bus which is less than the R9 290X which leads to some interesting questions about the performance of this card under high resolutions. Are you willing to pay quite a bit more for better performance and a quieter card? Check out the performance deltas at [H]ard|OCP and see if that changes your mind at all.
You can see how it measures up in ISUs in Ryan's review as well.
"NVIDIA's fastest single-GPU video card is being launched today. With the full potential of the Kepler architecture and GK110 GPU fully unlocked, how will it perform compared to the new R9 290X with new drivers? Will the price versus performance make sense? Will it out perform a TITAN? We find out all this and more."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780 Ti @ The Tech Report
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780Ti Review @HiTech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti Video Card Review @ Hardware Asylum
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti review: Titan killer @ Hardware.info
- Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition 3GB @ eTeknix
- Nvidia GTX780Ti @ Kitguru
- Nvidia GTX 780 Ti @ LanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti @ Benchmark Reviews
- Nvidia GTX 780 Ti 3GB @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X @ Legion Hardware
- AMD R9 290 4GB @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2013 - 04:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: oops, blame canada
Drop the politics for a minute and sit back and read about the technical side of the failures at healthcare.gov. It's not about what the site is or what it represents, it is a look at how a poorly designed and implemented site plan can cause huge problems. If you are involved in this type of work it will give you a chance to feel smug about your own successes and if you are thinking about getting into this line of work you can get an idea of the possible problems you will face trying to set up and maintain a major website. Blaming Canada and CGI Federal can be fun but perhaps not the complete story though you can be sure some of the Slashdot comments will.
"The War Room notes catalog IT problems — dashboards weren't showing data, servers didn't have the right production data, third party systems weren't connecting to verify data, a key contractor had trouble logging on, and there wasn't enough server capacity to handle the traffic, or enough people on the help desks to answer calls. To top it off, some personnel needed for the effort were furloughed because of the shutdown. Volunteers were needed to work weekends, but there were bureaucratic complications."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11 ... soon they'll have NO choice @ The Register
- Nvidia CEO: Android 'the most disruptive operating system in decades' @ The Register
- Microsoft might sell Xbox and drop Bing if Elop gets CEO job @ The Inquirer
- Samsung to launch smartphones with 64-bit CPUs in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Credit Card Numbers Still Google-able @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2013 - 03:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Just look at that elegant flip-hinge design on the new Dell XPS 12 with it's 1080p touchscreen for use with Windows 8. It is powered by an i3-4010U, 4GB DDR3-1600 and an 8GB SSD which will be perfect for mobile usage. Plenty of wireless connectivity is available and if you wish you can upgrade to a more powerful model.
- Dell XPS 12 Core i3 "Haswell" Convertible 1080p Touchscreen Ultrabook for $949.99 with free shipping(normally $999.99 - use coupon code: 5D?0D15W9LP822).
- Acer G226HQLBbd 21.5" LED-backlight LCD Monitor for $109.99 with Free Shipping (normally $159.99).
- Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" Hard Drive (WD30EZRX) for $118.99 with Free Shipping (normally $199.99).
- Toshiba Satellite C50-ABT3N11 15.6" Laptop w/750GB HDD (customizable) for $299.99 (normally $479.99).
- AtGames Sega Genesis Classic Game Console for $39.99 with free shipping (normally $49.99)
- iPhone Remote Controlled Enzo Ferrari for $99.95 wifh Free Shipping
AMD Releases Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 Driver To Correct Performance Variance Issue of R9 290 Series Graphics Cards
Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | November 8, 2013 - 02:41 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: R9 290X, powertune, hawaii, graphics drivers, gpu, GCN, catalyst 13.11 beta, amd, 290x
AMD recently launched its 290X graphics card, which is the new high-end single GPU solution using a GCN-based Hawaii architecture. The new GPU is rather large and incorporates an updated version of AMD's PowerTune technology to automatically adjust clockspeeds based on temperature and a maximum fan speed of 40%. Unfortunately, it seems that some 290X cards available at retail exhibited performance characteristics that varied from review units.
AMD has looked into the issue and released the following statement in response to the performance variances (which PC Perspective is looking into as well).
Hello, We've identified that there's variability in fan speeds across AMD R9 290 series boards. This variability in fan speed translates into variability of the cooling capacity of the fan-sink. The flexibility of AMD PowerTune technology enables us to correct this variability in a driver update. This update will normalize the fan RPMs to the correct values.
The correct target RPM values are 2200RPM for the AMD Radeon R9 290X "Quiet mode", and 2650RPM for the R9 290. You can verify these in GPU-Z. If you're working on stories relating to R9 290 series products, please use this driver as it will reduce any variability in fan speeds. This driver will be posted publicly tonight.
From the AMD statement, it seems to be an issue with fan speeds from card to card causing the performance variances. With a GPU that is rated to run at up to 95C, a fan limited to 40% maximum, and dynamic clockspeeds, it is only natural that cards could perform differently, especially if case airflow is not up to par. On the other hand, the specific issue pointed out by other technology review sites (per my understanding, it was initially Tom's Hardware that reported on the retail vs review sample variance) is an issue where the 40% maximum on certain cards is not actually the RPM target that AMD intended.
AMD intended for the Radeon R9 290X's fan to run at 2200RPM (40%) in Quiet Mode and the fan on the R9 290 (which has a maximum fan speed percentage of 47%) to spin at 2650 RPM in Quiet Mode. However, some cards 40% values are not actually hitting those intended RPMs, which is causing performance differences due to cooling and PowerTune adjusting the clockspeeds accordingly.
Luckily, the issue is being worked on by AMD, and it is reportedly rectified by a driver update. The driver update ensures that the fans are actually spinning at the intended speed when set to the 40% (R9 290X) or 47% (R9 290) values in Catalyst Control Center. The new driver, which includes the fix, is version Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 and is available for download now.
If you are running a R9 290 or R9 290X in your system, you should consider updating to the latest driver to ensure you are getting the cooling (and as a result gaming) performance you are supposed to be getting.
Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 is available from the AMD website.
- AMD Radeon R9 290X Hawaii - The Configurable GPU?
- AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB Review - Trip to Hawaii for $399
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the Radeon R9 290 series GPU performance variance issue as it develops.
Image credit: Ryan Shrout (PC Perspective).
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2013 - 05:12 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z87X-UD5H, video, R9 290X, r9 290, podcast, nvidia, gtx 780, grid, ec2, amd, amazon
PC Perspective Podcast #276 - 11/07/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon R9 290, Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H, SSD Torture tests 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
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | November 7, 2013 - 03:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, IE11, AFA 2013
Marketing decisions at Microsoft can be... different. If you include internal videos, you might see Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in a Volkswagon parody ad. They abandon a Sun workstation on the side of a road with trash. I guess electronics recycling was not a thing back then.
The large white characters over the big monster at the end, "つづく", means "[to] be continued".
Expect more of these (perhaps at Anime Festival Asia?)
Internet Explorer Tan mixes the weirdness of Microsoft with the peculiarity of Anime culture. Inori Aizawa (藍澤 祈) is the semi-personification of Internet Explorer. The character describes herself as slow, clumsy, and awkward when she was younger. She stars in a two-minute cartoon created, apparently internally, by Microsoft Singapore. They snuck in more than a few subtle references.
For a bit of humor, her first name (祈, given names follow family names in Japanese) is romanized to Inori (祈り) as above. That word means "prayer" (and without the suffix, "praying" apparently). Again, this was created internally by Microsoft.
And, you know what? I believe that a well maintained Internet Explorer, if Microsoft can successfully focus on devices and services, will be their grace. Trident (IE's rendering engine) caught up to the standards-compliant ones and, if they continue to push the pack forward, can sell devices on its great experience. The other browsers need Internet Explorer to keep them innovating just as much as IE needs them.
It makes me smile. That could be my brain stuck in a bootloop, but it makes me smile. Almost every frame I look at has a reference to something. Still don't really understand it though.
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2013 - 02:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: upnp, SMART
An unintended and dangerous side effect of smart devices is being discussed at Fujitsu, specifically the threat posed by internet connected light bulbs but it applies to all networked devices. The hypothetical problem is a massive DDoS attack launched by malware that has infected light bulbs causing much more damage than one launched by infected computers seeing as how most people have many more light bulbs than they do electronic devices. There were also concerns raised about the possibility of nefarious people getting a hold of the usage data and determining when the best time to break into a house would be. Read this story over at The Register and never look at a lightbulb the same way again.
"Fujitsu’s CTO has sketched a nightmare vision of lightbulbs turning on their human masters in massive denial of service attacks if industry doesn’t get a grip on the security of the “internet of things”."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2013 - 01:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
More Win8 touchscreen deals today from LogicBuy, a more powerful model of Inspiron 15with an i5-4200U and HD4400 graphics, 6GB DDR3 and a 750GB HDD. It is less than an inch thick in most spots, weighs a mere 4.5 lbs and is made of aluminium and Gorilla Glass making it very portable. Road warriors with clean fingers should check this deal out.
- Dell Inspiron 15 (7000-series) 4th-gen Intel Core i5 "Haswell" Touch Laptop for $699.99 with free shipping(normally $849.99).
- ASUS VS239H-P 23" 5ms HDMI IPS Panel LED-Backlight Monitor for $139.99 with Free Shipping (normally $199.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXN74).
- WD My Passport Essential 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for $69.99 with Free Shipping (normally $119.99 - use coupon code: EMCYTZT4777).
- oshiba Satellite L70-ABT3N22 17.3" "Haswell" Core i3 Laptop (Customizable) for $499.99 with free shipping (normally $679.99).
- D-Link DIR-850L Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router for $69.99 with free shipping (normally $129.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXN86)
- Microsoft Surface 2 32GB Windows RT Tablet for $449.00 wifh Free Shipping
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2013 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, modular psu, CS-M Series, corsair
Fremont, California — November 7, 2013 — Corsair, the most awarded PC power supply brand in the world1, today announced the new line of CS Series Modular power supplies (PSUs) in 450, 550, 650 and 750 watt models. Designed to be exceptionally energy efficient and simple to install, the new CS Series are the most affordable 80 PLUS Gold certified PSUs in Corsair’s line of high-performance PC components.
The CS Series Modular PSUs are designed to deliver stable, continuous power with 80 PLUS Gold certified power efficiency to minimize energy waste and lower electrical bills. The new PSUs are cooled with a 120mm sleeve bearing fan that runs at low speeds during typical loads, keeping the PSU nearly silent during everyday tasks. The CS Series meet the latest ATX power specifications and are compatible with the latest AMD and Intel processors, with full support for the low-power modes of the latest 4th Generation Intel Core processors.
The CS Series PSUs feature a semi-modular cable system with the core motherboard power cables (24 pin and 8 pin EPS12V) permanently attached and include modular flat cables that can be attached for powering other devices such as graphics cards, SSDs, hard drives, and fans. The modular design enables users to add just the cables required for their PC, which combined with the black flat cables, creates PCs with reduced cable clutter, a cleaner look, and better airflow.
“The CS Series Modular PSUs deliver 80 Plus Gold efficiency and Corsair quality at Bronze level prices,” said Aaron Neal, Corsair’s global product manager of PSUs. “They are perfect for users that want reliable, energy efficient power for their PCs at a price that won’t break their budget.”
Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The CS Series Modular PSUs are available immediately from Corsair's worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. They are backed with a limited 3-year warranty and Corsair’s excellent customer service and technical support.
Subject: General Tech | November 7, 2013 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The "world's largest multinational semiconductor chip maker" Intel has authorized the building of 30 of their absurdly small and powerful Intel® NUC computers for military gaming charity Operation Supply Drop. The donation will to be sent out as a part of Operation Supply Drop's end-of-the-year 8-Bit Salute fundraising drive to build video game stuffed care packages for soldiers deployed to combat zones and recovering in military hospitals!
These 30 4 inch-by-4-inch micro computers are being loaded for bear, showcasing donated Kingston RAM upgrades to make them zip along the internet or play games on Steam without breaking a sweat, but are still the perfect size to throw in a rucksack with plenty of room to spare.
“Intel is proud to partner with Operation Supply Drop to provide NUC based PCs to troops overseas and recovering at home,” says Joel Christensen, general manager of the Intel division that created the Intel NUC. We appreciate the sacrifices that these men and women are making and if we can support them by providing some cutting-edge computing to entertain and de-stress, we are happy to do it.
For more information about how you or your organization can get involved in helping out with this year's "8-Bit Salute" to get video games to the men and women of the Armed Forces, please visit OperationSupplyDrop.org.
Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2013 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, rampage iv black edition, lga2011
Fremont, CA (November 7th, 2013) - ASUS today announced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Rampage IV Black Edition, an E-ATX gaming and overclocking motherboard designed to unleash the full potential of Intel LGA 2011 Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E processors is available for pre-order at select sites.
Based on the Intel X79 Express chipset, the Rampage IV Black Edition includes all of the best ROG technologies and innovations for unrivaled gaming and overclocking performance. With its four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots and eight DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB of overclocked DDR3 DRAM, the Rampage IV Black Edition has near limitless expansion possibilities, including support for both 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX.
Every Rampage IV Black Edition includes a free copy of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, allowing gamers to take advantage of premium ROG hardware and software features right out of the box.
Born to push limits and break records
ASUS designed the Rampage IV Black Edition for those who demand the ultimate feature set. It includes the OC Panel, a real-time system-monitoring and tuning console that is great for gamers and a huge advantage for overclockers. It can be mounted internally for everyday monitoring of temperatures, base clock and fan speeds while also offering one-click CPU Level Up for an instant speed boost. Externally, it can be used to monitor and control multiple parameters in real-time via onboard buttons. Extreme overclocking has never been easier.
Prior to becoming widely available, world-class overclockers have already demonstrated the Rampage IV Black Edition’s record-breaking capabilities as it currently holds chart-topping scores in top benchmarks and numerous other world records on the X79 platform.
Built for the most demanding games and gamers
In order to be able to push the limits, ROG engineers combined thoughtful design with superior quality components.
The Rampage IV Black Edition’s Extreme Engine DIGI+ III voltage-regulator module (VRM) provides highly precise and stable power delivery by employing NexFET MOSFETs, 60A (amp) chokes and high-endurance Japanese-made 10K black metallic capacitors. The motherboard’s black-themed heat-sink is exclusively and cleverly integrated with the MOSFET area to extend to the input/output (I/O) cover for even better cooling and stability.
Built-in SupremeFX Black technology provides sound quality that is on par with high-end dedicated sound cards. Premium components such as ELNA audio capacitors and German-made WIMA film capacitors deliver impeccable clarity, while high-fidelity op-amps (operational amplifiers) and a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC (digital/analog converter) deliver lossless audio and a brilliant 120dB SNR (signal-to-noise ratio).
ROG’s Sonic Radar on-screen overlay provides fans of first-person shooter (FPS) games with an ear to the ground, as it displays the precise direction and origin of in-game sounds such as gunshots, footsteps and call-outs — giving ROG gamers a leg-up when trying to pinpoint the enemy.
Ultra-fast Intel Gigabit Ethernet with ROG’s GameFirst II utility optimizes network traffic to keep latency to a minimum and reduce all-important ping times. The ROG RAMDisk utility allows up to 80% of a computer’s available RAM to be used as a high-speed virtual drive — lending a strong performance boost to many modern games that regularly read or write data during gameplay.
Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2013 - 05:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, battlefield 4
EA may have released the minimum and recommended specs but until properly tweaked and benchmarked it is never clear how much power BF4 wants. Thankfully TechSpot has gone through all of that work for you, testing over 2 dozen video cards and their performance in BF4 at three different resolutions. They didn't parse the performance by every single graphics option switching between enabled and disabled but the benchmarks are informative enough to give you an idea where to start.
"With roots that stretch back more than a decade and enough fans to justify new content every year, Battlefield is among the handful of franchises that needs no introduction around here. Even if you hate EA's approach modern military madness, you can typically expect Battlefield's graphics to raise the bar."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Assassin's Creed Revelations 2-Years Later Review @ OCC
- Assassin's Creed II 4-Years Later Review @ OCC
- Assassin's Creed Brotherhood 3-Years Later Review @ OCC
- Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag @ The Inquirer
- Wayne Good Deals: Latest Humble Bundle Is Positively Batty @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Batman: Arkham Origins Review @ Techgage
- Wot I Think: Call Of Duty: Ghosts – Single Player @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Satellite Of Love: Syndicate Remake On Show @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Soren Song: Civ IV Designer Founds Mohawk Games @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The Ultimate Gaming Portable: NVIDIA SHIELD Review @ Techgage
- Gamestick Android Games Console @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2013 - 04:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, Malware, TIFF, windows
A newly discovered flaw in the handling of TIFF image files effects machines running Windows Vista or Server 2008 as well as Office 2003 to 2010 and Microsoft Lync products on WinXP and Win7 with Windows 8 being the only one that does not contain this vulnerability. According to The Register attack code is launched when the image is display with tricks the "OS into copying malicious code stashed in the file into memory and then hijacking the processor to execute it."
"The software giant said the flaw allows attackers to remotely execute code and install malware on a vulnerable system by sending an email or instant message or convincing a user to open a specially crafted webpage."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- FLASH, AH-AAAH! Saviour of the universe Rackspace cloud? @ The Register
- Samsung promises 4K smartphone screens for 2015 @ The Inquirer
- Google Nexus 5: So easy to fix, it's practically a DIY kit - except for ONE thing @ The Register
- Google Ends Internet Explorer 9 Support In Google Apps @ Slashdot
- The iPad Air, Customer Dynamics, and Planned Obsolescence @ TechwareLabas
- 250 Hard Drives Used To Make One Epic F1 Car @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
This Dell XPS 8700 Special Edition comes with an i7-4770, 16GB DDR3 and a GTX 660 along with a 32GB SSD and a 2TB HDD for long term storage. All in all a great family machine, as long as you stay away from First Person Shooters. Win8 comes pre-installed, make sure to upgrade to 8.1 if you don't have a spare Win7 license.
- Dell XPS 8700 Special Edition 4th-gen Core i7 "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/ 16GB RAM, GTX 660 for $1,099.99 with free shipping(normally $1,399.99 - use coupon code: L62CZ5S42FJZ1R).
- Acer S231HLBbid 23" Widescreen LED-Backlight Monitor for $129.99 with Free Shipping (normally $209.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXR47).
- MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card + Free 3 PC Games for $298.49 with Free Shipping (normally $349.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXR23).
- Logitech K400 Wireless Touch Keyboard for $29.99 with free shipping (normally $39.99).
- WD My Passport 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for $79.99 with free shipping (normally $119.99 - use coupon code: EMCWWXR54)
- Pacific Rim (Blu-ray+DVD+UltraViolet Combo Pack) for $23.99 wifh Free Shipping(normally $35.99).
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems | November 5, 2013 - 09:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, grid, AWS, amazon
Amazon Web Services allows customers (individuals, organizations, or companies) to rent servers of certain qualities to match their needs. Many websites are hosted at their data centers, mostly because you can purchase different (or multiple) servers if you have big variations in traffic.
I, personally, sometimes use it as a game server for scheduled multiplayer events. The traditional method is spending $50-80 USD per month on a... decent... server running all-day every-day and using it a couple of hours per week. With Amazon EC2, we hosted a 200 player event (100 vs 100) by purchasing a dual-Xeon (ironically the fastest single-threaded instance) server connected to Amazon's internet backbone by 10 Gigabit Ethernet. This server cost just under $5 per hour all expenses considered. It was not much of a discount but it ran like butter.
This leads me to today's story: NVIDIA GRID GPUs are now available at Amazon Web Services. Both companies hope their customers will use (or create services based on) these instances. Applications they expect to see are streamed games, CAD and media creation, and other server-side graphics processing. These Kepler-based instances, named "g2.2xlarge", will be available along side the older Fermi-based Cluster Compute Instances ("cg1.4xlarge").
It is also noteworthy that the older Fermi-based Tesla servers are about 4x as expensive. GRID GPUs are based on GK104 (or GK107, but those are not available on Amazon EC2) and not the more compute-intensive GK110. It would probably be a step backwards for customers intending to perform GPGPU workloads for computational science or "big data" analysis. The newer GRID systems do not have 10 Gigabit Ethernet, either.
So what does it have? Well, I created an AWS instance to find out.
Its CPU is advertised as an Intel E5-2670 with 8 threads and 26 Compute Units (CUs). This is particularly odd as that particular CPU is eight-core with 16 threads; it is also usually rated by Amazon at 22 CUs per 8 threads. This made me wonder whether the CPU is split between two clients or if Amazon disabled Hyper-Threading to push the clock rates higher (and ultimately led me to just log in to an instance and see). As it turns out, HT is still enabled and the processor registers as having 4 physical cores.
The GPU was slightly more... complicated.
NVIDIA control panel apparently does not work over remote desktop and the GPU registers as a "Standard VGA Graphics Adapter". Actually, two are available in Device Manager although one has the yellow exclamation mark of driver woe (random integrated graphics that wasn't disabled in BIOS?). GPU-Z was not able to pick much up from it but it was of some help.
Keep in mind: I did this without contacting either Amazon or NVIDIA. It is entirely possible that the OS I used (Windows Server 2008 R2) was a poor choice. OTOY, as a part of this announcement, offers Amazon Machine Image (AMI)s for Linux and Windows installations integrated with their ORBX middleware.
I spot three key pieces of information: The base clock is 797 MHz, the memory size is 2990 MB, and the default drivers are Forceware 276.52 (??). The core and default clock rate, GK104 and 797 MHz respectively, are characteristic of the GRID K520 GPU with its 2 GK104 GPUs clocked at 800 MHz. However, since the K520 gives each GPU 4GB and this instance only has 3GB of vRAM, I can tell that the product is slightly different.
I was unable to query the device's shader count. The K520 (similar to a GeForce 680) has 1536 per GPU which sounds about right (but, again, pure speculation).
I also tested the server with TCPing to measure its networking performance versus the cluster compute instances. I did not do anything like Speedtest or Netalyzr. With a normal cluster instance I achieve about 20-25ms pings; with this instance I was more in the 45-50ms range. Of course, your mileage may vary and this should not be used as any official benchmark. If you are considering using the instance for your product, launch an instance and run your own tests. It is not expensive. Still, it seems to be less responsive than Cluster Compute instances which is odd considering its intended gaming usage.
Regardless, now that Amazon picked up GRID, we might see more services (be it consumer or enterprise) which utilizes this technology. The new GPU instances start at $0.65/hr for Linux and $0.767/hr for Windows (excluding extra charges like network bandwidth) on demand. Like always with EC2, if you will use these instances a lot, you can get reduced rates if you pay a fee upfront.
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