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Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2014 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, smartphones, edison
As part of their keynote address at CES 2014 Intel introduced Edison, a dual core x86 machine the size of an SD card. This chip will be used not for powering smartphones but for wearable technology as well as for the so called 'Internet of Things'. As it is WiFi enabled it can be accessed wirelessly to allow fridges to order food or as in the provided example, start a baby bottle warming before you arrive with your hungry child. With this new focus and the poor performance of Intel's smartphones overseas the rumours that DigiTimes are reporting on seem to be probable. Their deal with Lenovo to provide phones has ended and while they do have a current relationship with Asustek, that could end as soon as 2015. The chances of North Americans getting hold of a phone with Intel Inside seem to be diminishing.
"A rumor circulating in the upstream supply chain in Taiwan has Intel reportedly questioning whether it should quit the smartphone market in 2015 if it continues to see weak performance in its handset business in 2014, according to sources from the upstream supply chain, though Intel has not yet commented on the rumor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Is Google building SKYNET? Ad kingpin buys AI firm DeepMind @ The Register
- AMD Kaveri's Open Radeon Performance Now Multiple Times Faster @ Phoronix
- Samsung trumps Apple by selling 86 million smartphones in the fourth quarter @ The Inquirer
- A Deep Dive Into NES Tetris @ Hack a Day
- How to Kill the Caps Lock on your Linux Desktop @ Linux.com
- Sync'n'steal: Hackers brew Android-targeting Windows malware @ The Register
- Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ Starter Kit @ NikKTech
- Beginners Guide: Hi-Resolution Panoramic Images with MSFT ICE @ PCSTATS
- PCSTATS TechTip - Automatically Shut Down Windows at a Certain Time @ PCSTATS
- Win a red hot prize with Gigabyte and KitGuru
Subject: Systems | January 27, 2014 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: shuttle, XPC Barebone, SZ87R6
Shuttle has updated their XPC Barebone system with Haswell parts. At 332x261x198mm (13x10.2x7.8") it is not the smallest chassis on the market but is small enough to fit in most spaces and with a style that would not look out of place among stereo components. It ships with a Z87 motherboard and a 500W PSU as well as a custom CPU cooler but you get to pick and choose which components you will be putting in this machine, it is a Barebone system after all. MadShrimps put a full system together using this as the base and were impressed by the cooling performance and overall look of the system.
"Shuttle has refreshed its latest XPC Barebone with a new configuration featuring the Z87 chipset, for allowing installation of the Intel Haswell processors and also features plenty of connectivity options. Thanks to the 500W power supply, we should not have a lot of issues when choosing a high performance video card, two 3.5’’ drives and a CPU with a rated TDP up to 95W."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- MESH Elite Mini Gamer Plus System @ Kitguru
- HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8 @ SPCR
- Supermicro 7047AX-TRF/72RF SuperWorkstation @ Kitguru
- Intel NUC KIT D54250WYKH Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zotax Zbox Nano AQ01 Plus Review @ Bjorn3D
Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2014 - 02:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, debian, valve, free
Valve has an obvious favourite flavour of Linux as revealed by the free games they will be showering Debian developers with. Any and all Valve published games, past or future, will be made available to developers for free. This makes sense as SteamOS is branched from Debian 7.1 "Wheezy", making it very worth Valve's time and money to make friends with developers for Debian. Maybe it is time to update your coding skills and become a developer; The Register didn't specify that Half Life 3 will be out first on Linux but do you really want to run that risk?
"Games vendor Valve has offered a surprise present to the Debian Linux community, in the form of subscriptions that give Debian project members free, unlimited access to all Valve game titles – past, present, and future – forever."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 149: Kaveri ain't just a river in India
- Microsoft slices Azure prices just days after Amazon's cloud shave @ The Register
- Samsung firmware update borks third-party accessories @ The Inquirer
- A look at the Raspberry Pi @ Kitguru
- Open-Source NVIDIA Driver Is Still Sour For Some GPUs @ Phoronix
- Cisco quietly slips out new all-flash arrays – perhaps it doesn't want EMC, NetApp to notice @ The Register
- A Collection of Secret Linux Humor @ Linux.com
Subject: General Tech, Processors | January 27, 2014 - 03:24 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: overclocking, Kaveri, amd
HCW does quite a few overclocking reviews for both Intel and AMD processors. This time, Carl Nelson got a hold of the high-end AMD A10-7850K and gave it a pretty healthy boost in frequencies. By the time he was done with it, the CPU was operating a whole gigahertz above stock simultaneous with a 300 MHz boost to its integrated graphics.
Image Credit: HCW
3DMark 2013 Fire Strike scores gained 27%.
One again, they break down tests along a suite of different games of varying engines and add some OpenCL tests to round things out. In real-world applications, the increase was not quite as dramatic as the one seen in 3DMark but still significant. This overclock allowed certain games to jump from 720p to playable at 1080p. Apparently this silicon is a decent little overclocker.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | January 26, 2014 - 09:28 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: AM1, Kabini, amd
Chinese VR-Zone published claims that AMD will have up to four processors planned for AM1. This is the brand of socket designed for the upcoming Kabini APUs that we have discussed since the CES time frame. Three of the upcoming processors will be quad-core with one dual-core for variety. Regardless of core count, all four processors are listed at 25 watts (TDP).
Kabini pairs Jaguar cores, for x86-based serial processing, with a GCN-based graphics processor supporting DirectX 11.1. Users planning to purchase Kabini for use with Windows 8.1 should expect to miss out on some or all of the benefits associated with DirectX 11.2 (along with everyone on Windows 8 and earlier). Little of value would be lost, however.
These products are expected to be positioned against Bay Trail-D which powers Intel's Pentium and Celeron lines. The currently available products from Intel are classified at 10W TDP and around 2 GHz.
Kaveri and socketed Kabini at CES 2014
AMD is pushing lesser-clocked (and higher TDP) products based on Jaguar against Intel's Silvermont. I am not sure sure how the two architectures compare although I would expect the latter to win out clock-for-clock and watt-for-watt. Then again, cost and graphics performance could be significantly superior with AMD. Ultimately, it will be up to the overall benchmarks (and pricing) to see how they will actually stack up.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 25, 2014 - 07:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Lenovo, IBM, x86, servers
Lenovo will take (or purchase) the x86 torch away from IBM in the high-end server and mainframe market, too. The deal is worth $2.3 billion of which $2 billion will be cash, the remains will be paid to IBM in stock. IBM walked away from talks with Lenovo last year in a deal that was believed to be similar to this one.
Lenovo, famously, took over IBM's PC business in 2005.
... which is increasingly not IBM.
x86-based servers have been profitable, even for IBM. This is yet another example of a large company with a desire to increase their margins at the expense of overall profits. This is similar to the situation with HP when they considered getting out of consumer devices. Laptops and desktops were still profitable but not as much as, say, an ink cartridge. Sometimes leaving money on the table tells a better story and that is okay. Someone will take it.
Lenovo will also become an authorized reseller of IBM cloud computing and storage solutions (plus some of their software). IBM will continue to operate their server and mainframe businesses based on their own architectures (such as Power and Z/Architecture).
Approximately 7,500 of IBM's current employees will be hired by Lenovo as a part of this agreement. Unfortunately, I do not know how many current employees are affected. 7,500 could be the vast majority of that workforce or only a small fraction of it. Hopefully this deal will not mean too many layoffs, if any at all.
Subject: Motherboards | January 24, 2014 - 04:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z87I GAMING AC, mini-itx, z87
MSI's Z87I GAMING AC is a mini-ITX board suitable for a small mobile gaming machine thanks to a 16x PCIe 3.0 port and both a KillerNIC for wired connectivity and dual band WiFi thanks to the onboard Intel 7260 chip. Also worth noting is the PS/2 port, aka the gaming port, which has been modified to accept a polling rate of 1000Hz for either a mouse or keyboard. [H]ard|OCP had some small difficulty with the extra drivers for the KillerNIC and Command Centre but as they are optional that did not concern them overly; especially once they got around to overclocking with this board. Check out the full review here.
"With gigantic towers going the way of the dinosaur and power coming in smaller and smaller configurations mini-ITX gaming oriented motherboards are more attractive than ever before. We put the Z87I GAMING AC to the test and find out if good things come in small packages or big headaches do. "
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI Goes Mini! Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Mini ITX Gaming Review! @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte G1 Sniper Z87 @ eTeknix
- ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Z87 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Asrock Z87 Extreme11/ac @ Legion Hardware
- ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Motherboard Review @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte F2A88XM-DS2 @ Kitguru
Subject: Storage | January 24, 2014 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 19nm, Indilinx Barefoot, ocz, sata, ssd, vertex 460
Legit Reviews also had a chance to try out the new OCZ 460 that Al reviewed recently, on a system with a different Z77 motherboard and slightly slower processor. Not many of the benchmarks overlap so you can gain a bit more insight into the performance of this drive before you purchase it. In the end their conclusion is similar, this is one of the best SSDs they've encountered and should be available at a very decent price per gigabyte.
"Legit Reviews is checking out the new OCZ Storage Solutions Vertex 460 SSD today! We received a 240GB version this time around for evaluation which is pretty much the typical size of a review sample anymore. The Vertex 460 carries the same Barefoot 3 M10 controller we saw in the Vertex 450 and is now paired with 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND. The performance specifications are impressive for what is essentially an entry-level ‘performance’ drive with reads hitting 545MB/s max and 525MB/s writes max. Read on to see how it performs!"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 460 SSD @ The SSD Review
- Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SATA 3.0 SSD @ Phoronix
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD Review @ TechwareLabs
- VisionTek 120GB mSATA SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Toshiba PX02SMF020 200GB SAS SSD @ NikKTech
- Western Digital Black Gen. 2 4 TB Hard Disk Drive @ TechARP
- Western Digital WD10EZEX @ Phoronix
- Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review @ PCSTATS
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB Flash Drive @ Funky Kit
- Kingston DataTraveler 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2014 - 01:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: google, chrome, snooping, mic
If you have never heard the phrase "Those who eavesdrop hear nothing good about themselves" you are in good company as Google Chrome has not either. A developer by the name of Tal Ater has discovered that Chrome can enable your microphone when you view certain malicious websites without your knowledge. According to Google's online documentation, when Chrome enables your microphone you should see both a blinking red light appear in the tab you are viewing and a persistent icon in the system tray. Unfortunately when The Register saw a test, the site created a pop-under window which displayed the red light and was not visible until the other browsing session was closed or moved, nor was there a system tray icon. Even more worrying, the initial specification called for recording to be disabled when the tab with access to the mic was not active but was never implemented.
"A design flaw in the Chrome browser allows malicious websites to use your computer's microphone to eavesdrop on you, one developer has claimed, although Google denies this is the case."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- As the Apple Mac turns 30, we need another computer revolution @ The Inquirer
- A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life @ Slashdot
- The Android Experiment: The Android doctor rides again @ The Register
- 2014: The year of the cloudy biz bankruptcy... or maybe it isn't? @ The Register
- AverMedia ExtremeCap U3 Video Game Capture Device Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 23, 2014 - 06:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, asus, R9 290X DC2 OC, overclocking
[H]ard|OCP has had a chance to take the time to really see how well the R9 290X can overclock, as frequencies get lower as heat increases a quick gaming session is not enough to truly represent the performance of this new GPU. The ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC offers a custom cooler which demonstrated the overclocking potential of this GPU on air cooling, or at least this specific GPU as we have seen solid evidence of performance variability with 28nm Hawaii GPUs. You should read the full review to truly understand what they saw when overclocking but the good news is that once they found a sweet spot for fan speed and voltage the GPU remained at the frequency they chose. Unfortunately at 1115MHz the overclock they managed was only 75MHz higher than the cards default speed and while that could beat a stock GTX 780 Ti, the NVIDIA product overclocked higher and proved the superior card.
"We will take the ASUS R9 290X DC2 OC custom AMD R9 290X based video card and for the first time see how well the 290X can overclock. We will also for the first time compare it to an overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti video card head-to-head and see who wins when overclocking is accounted for."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire R9 290 4GB TRI-X OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost 2GB @ eTeknix
- Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X 4GB @ eTeknix
- Powercolor R9 280X TurboDuo 3GB @ eTeknix
- ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 290X WF OC Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- Sapphire Radeon R7 260X OC Review @ TechwareLabs
- EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified 3072 MB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti GHZ Edition Review! @ Bjorn3D
Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2014 - 02:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: opengl, linux, amd, nvidia
If you are a Linux user who prefers to use OpenGL graphics there is still a huge benefit to choosing NVIDIA over AMD. The tests Phoronix just completed show that the GTX680, 770 and 780 all perform significantly faster than the R9 290 with even the older GTX 550 Ti and 650 GPUs outperforming AMD's best in some benchmarks. That said AMD is making important improvements to their open source drivers as that is where they are lagging behind NVIDIA. The new RadeonSI Gallium3D for the HD7000 series shows significant performance improvements when paired with the new 3.13 kernel though still falling a bit behind the Catalyst driver they are now much closer to the performance of the proprietary driver. For older cards the performance increase is nowhere near as impressive but some certain benchmarks do show this Gallium3D driver to provide at least some improvements. Pity the Source engine isn't behaving properly during benchmarks which is why no tests were run on Valve's games but that should be solved in the near future.
"In new tests conducted last week with the latest AMD and NVIDIA binary graphics drivers, the high-end AMD GPUs still really aren't proving much competition to NVIDIA's Kepler graphics cards. Here's a new 12 graphics card comparison on Ubuntu."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Testing Out The Configurable TDP On AMD's Kaveri @ Phoronix
- Lenovo shares in trading halt ahead of 'disclosable transaction' @ The Register
- BT's breakneck broadband test hits unimaginable speeds over plain ol' fiber @ Engadget
- NETGEAR CES 2014 New Products Showcase @ Benchmark Reviews
- Symantec uncovers malware that uses Windows to infect Android devices @ The Inquirer
- Windows 8.1 update 'screenshots' leak: Metro apps popped into classic desktop taskbar @ The Register
- AMD starts year, checks watch, hurries out Warsaw Opterons @ The Register
- Luxa2 H5 Premium Car Phone Mount @ eTeknix
- Nvidia Grid – Is It The Future Of High Performance Computing? @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | January 23, 2014 - 02:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, ocz, vertex 460, asus, direcuii, 270X, 280x, titan black, gtx 790
PC Perspective Podcast #284 - 01/23/2014
Join us this week as we discuss the OCZ Vertex 460, ASUS DirectCUII R9 270X and 280X, TITAN Black and GTX 790 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
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 23, 2014 - 03:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ShadowPlay, nvidia, geforce experience
NVIDIA has been upgrading their GeForce Experience just about once per month, on average. Most of their attention has been focused on ShadowPlay which is their video capture and streaming service for games based on DirectX. GeForce Experience 1.8.1 brought streaming to Twitch and the ability to overlay the user's webcam.
Until this version, users could choose between "Low", "Medium", and "High" quality stages. GeForce Experence 1.8.2 adds "Custom" which allows manual control over resolution, frame rate, and bit rate. NVIDIA wants to makes it clear: frame rate controls the number of images per second and bit rate controls the file size per second. Reducing the frame rate without adjusting the bit rate will result in a file of the same size (just with better quality per frame).
Also with this update, NVIDIA allows users to set a push-to-talk key. I expect this will be mostly useful for Twitch streaming in a crowded dorm or household. Only transmitting your voice when you have something to say prevents someone else from accidentally transmitting theirs globally and instantaneously.
GeForce Experience 1.8.2 is available for download at the GeForce website. Users with a Fermi-based GPU will no longer be pushed GeForce Experience (because it really does not do anything for those graphics cards). The latest version can always be manually downloaded, however.
Subject: Processors | January 22, 2014 - 11:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: server, piledriver, opteron 6300, amd, 32nm
AMD has updated its Opteron 6300 series lineup with two new processors with lower TDPs. Previously code-named "Warsaw," the Opteron 6370P and Opteron 6338P boast 99W TDPs and 12 and 16 Piledriver cores respectively.
The chips are similar to the existing Opteron 6300-series chips including the 32nm manufacturing process, dual die design, and the use of AMD's older Piledriver CPU cores instead of the latest Steamroller cores found in AMD's new Kaveri APUs. According to Supermicro, the lower 99W TDP parts offer up to 27% higher performance/watt compared to the existing "Abu-Dhabi" 6300 CPUs.
The Opteron 6338P is a twelve core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz base and 2.8 GHz turbo. The Opteron 6370P is a sixteen core part clocked at 2.0 GHz base and 2.5 GHz turbo. As such, the chips are two six and two eight-core silicon dies in one package respectively. The chips have 16MB of L3 cache and support the same instruction sets as the existing 6300 lineup including FMA3, BMI, and F16c. The new chips use AMD's Socket G34 which supports up to 4 sockets (dual die processors) per motherboard.
The new 99W 12-core 6338P and 16-core 6370P are available now for $377 and $598 respectively. The chips will be used in servers from Supermicro and Sugon, and purchasable directly from system integrators including Avnet and Penguin. AMD is aiming these chips at large data centers and cloud computing tasks. While the drop to 99W from the top-end series' 140W TDP does not seem like much, it makes a dramatic difference in the data center world where the electricity costs for racks of servers adds up rapidly.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | January 22, 2014 - 09:41 PM | Scott Michaud
AMD had a decent quarter and close to a profitable year as a whole. For the quarter ending on December 28th, the company managed $89 million dollars in profits. This accounts for interest payments on loans and everything else. The whole year averaged to a $103 million dollar gain in operating income although that still works out to a loss of $74 million (for the year) all things considered. That said, a quarterly gain of $89 million versus an annual loss of $74 million. One more quarter would forgive the whole year.
This is a hefty turn-around from their billion dollar operating loss of last year.
This gain was led by Graphics and Visual Solutions. While Computing Solutions revenue has declined, the graphics team has steadily increased in both revenue and profits. Graphics and Visual Solutions are in charge of graphics processors as well as revenue from the game console manufacturers. Even then, their processor division is floating just below profitability.
Probably the best news for AMD is that they plan the next four quarters to each be profitable. Hopefully this means that there are no foreseen hurdles in the middle of their marathon.
Subject: Motherboards | January 22, 2014 - 08:55 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, mini ITX, J1800I, Intel, celeron, Bay Trail-D, Bay Trail
MSI is preparing to release a new Mini ITX motherboard that comes with a pre-installed Intel bay Trail-D processor. The new motherboard is the MSI J1800I and will be available for around $100 USD.
The Mini ITX form factor board features two DDR3 1333MHz SO-DIMM slots, two SATA III 6Gbps ports, and a single PCI-E x1 expansion slot. The aspect that sets this mini ITX board apart is the inclusion of a dual core Intel Celeron J1800 processor clocked at 2.4GHz. This CPU is a Bay Trail-D based on the Silvermont (Atom) micro-architecture. The chip has a 10W TDP and is passively cooled by a bundled aluminum heatsink.
IO options on the MSI J1800I motherboard include:
- 2 x PS/2
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x GbE
- 3 x Audio
The board could make for a small home server or media box in the living room. The Bay Trail-D processor carries Intel's "Celeron" branding, but is is effectively an OoOE Atom chip. The motherboard+CPU combo should retail for just under $100 and be available soon. More information can be found on this MSI product page.
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2014 - 02:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, microsoft, G4WL
With the ending of Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service many people are understandably worried that they will no longer be able to access games that they have legitimately purchased. Some games, such as BioShock 2 have been made available via Steam and so will continue to be available but there is a long list of other games for with the future is uncertain. The list HEXUS provides is far from complete as many companies have yet to respond to inquiries about the future of their games and for quite a few the only thing we know is that the game is not currently slated to be removed. Check the current list and keep your eyes open for updates.
"We last mentioned the closure of the Games for Windows Live (G4WL) service back in October when we heard about BioShock 2 being updated and the main game and all its DLC being made available upon Steam so it could continue to be enjoyed."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Thief System Specs Sneak Out, Don’t Induce Fear @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Father (Dis)Figure: Octodad – Dadliest Catch Out Jan 30th @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag PC @ eTeknix
- GTA 5 for PC goes up for pre-order, likely will ship on 31 March @ The Inquirer
- StarCraft 2 Custom Maps Now Free For Anyone To Play @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2014 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ocz, toshiba
Toshiba's acquisition of OCZ has been completed though for many consumers it will not be noticeable as they will retain the OCZ brand name for their storage products. From what can be inferred from DigiTimes coverage here there will be little change in OCZ's structure and branding, the changes will be behind the scenes and will hopefully lead to a much more profitable company. As you can see from Al's review, the internals of the new OCZ drives will use Toshiba's flash to provide storage but will keep the familiar Indilinx Barefoot controller. One can only hope Toshiba can continue to provide some of OCZ's previous purchase incentives.
"Toshiba has finalized the purchase of all assets of OCZ Technology, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary. Effective immediately, the subsidiary will operate independently as OCZ Storage Solutions specializing in high-performance solid state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Players, insert coin: PlayStation 4, Xbox One top up AMD's coffers @ The Register
- AMD to launch FS1B processors in February, say motherboard makers @ DigiTimes
- IBM trudges onward despite hardware weight around its neck @ The Register
- The Android Experiment: Meet the gang @ The Inquirer
- And the winner of the most reliable disk drive award is ... @ The Register
- FUNC Shows Off Complete Gaming Line at CES 2014 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Flir E6 Thermal Infrared Camera Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 22, 2014 - 02:12 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: linux, intel hd graphics, haswell
Looking through this post by Phoronix, it would seem that Intel had a significant regression in performance on Ubuntu 14.04 with the Linux 3.13 kernel. In some tests, HD 4600 only achieves about half of the performance recorded on the HD 4000. I have not been following Linux iGPU drivers and it is probably a bit late to do any form of in-depth analysis... but yolo. I think the article actually made a pretty big mistake and came to the exact wrong conclusion.
Let's do this!
According to the article, in Xonotic v0.7, Ivy Bridge's Intel HD 4000 scores 176.23 FPS at 1080p on low quality settings. When you compare this to Haswell's HD 4600 and its 124.45 FPS result, this seems bad. However, even though they claim this as a performance regression, they never actually post earlier (and supposedly faster) benchmarks.
So I dug one up.
Back in October, the same test was performed with the same hardware. The Intel HD 4600 was not significantly faster back then, rather it was actually a bit slower with a score of 123.84 FPS. The Intel HD 4000 managed 102.68 FPS. Haswell did not regress between that time and Ubuntu 14.04 on Linux 3.13, Ivy Bridge received a 71.63% increase between then and Ubuntu 14.04 on Linux 3.13.
Of course, there could have been a performance increase between October and now and that recently regressed for Haswell... but I could not find those benchmarks. All I can see is that Haswell has been quite steady since October. Either way, that is a significant performance increase on Ivy Bridge since that snapshot in time, even if Haswell had a rise-and-fall that I was unaware of.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 22, 2014 - 01:27 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, SteamOS
When Valve launched SteamOS, it was definitely a beta product. Its installer prompted Ryan to make a troubleshooting video on our Youtube channel. It also apparently required a computer equipped with a UEFI which only became common about two or three years ago. It is also very difficult to install as a dual-boot configuration which complicates its coexistence with Windows (because Microsoft will certainly not support it from their end).
Thankfully, most or all of these issues are being addressed in the latest beta SteamOS ISO... at your own risk. They are very careful to highlight that this beta has not been properly tested. Given that their initial release could nuke a random hard drive full of data, I would take that warning seriously.
These changes come from the project, "Ye Old SteamOSe". I am not sure that it solves the USB overwrite issue that we experienced (unless it was already fixed at some point) but I would expect that custom partitions and dual-boot would be impossible if that bug still existed. The highlighted features, according to the announcement's comments, are:
- Non-EFI support
- DVD install support
- Custom partitions in Expert mode (cannot resize NTFS partitions).
- Dual-boot in Expert mode.
If you would like to give SteamOS installation another shot, on a machine that you feel comfortable testing software with, then check out the Steam Universe thread.
Get notified when we go live!