Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2013 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, thunderbolt, falcon ridge, DSL4510, DSL4410
As promised, the new Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt controller will be arriving soon, bringing improvements to Thunderbolt. There will be two different updates supplied by Intel, the first is a doubling of bandwidth to 20Gbit/s which will significantly outpace eSATA and may help drive adoption of the new standard. Less attractive for the consumer but interesting to businesses is a new revision of the current 10Gbit/s standard which will require less power to do the same job as the current controller. The Inquirer also mentions that Intel is still looking to replace the copper with fibre optics, though what that will do to the already high price of Thunderbolt cables is unknown as of yet.
"CHIPMAKER Intel has announced an update to its Thunderbolt bus boosting bandwidth to 20Gbit/s while introducing 10Gbit/s controllers with lower power consumption."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Can Outperform Apple OS X 10.8.3 @ Phoronix
- Synthesizing graphene in your basement laboratory @ Hack a Day
- TTexas Instruments previews H.265 codec on eight-core Keystone DSP @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft's security apps still trip up on Windows 8 @ The Register
- Website Problems With Internet Explorer 10? Switch Modes @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2013 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tried of your old printer with its cord running from your PC and wanting one that is worth more than the price of the ink cartridges inside of it? HP's LaserJet Pro 200 M251nw colour printer is capable of being connected wirelessly which clears up a bit of your cord clutter and makes it easy to connect to several machines at home. Currently you can pick it up at less than half price.
HP LaserJet Pro 200 M251nw Color Printer
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Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 8, 2013 - 04:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: thunderbolt, nab 13, Intel, falcon ridge, DSL4510, cactus ridge
Way back in July of 2012 Tim Verry wrote a news story on PC Perspective discussing the upcoming Falcon Ridge and Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers, due out in 2014 and 2013 respectively. It appears this is coming to fruition at the NAB Show 2013 this week in Las Vegas, with two new variants of Thunderbolt on display by Intel.
Cactus Ridge, now known as the DSL4510 and 4410 controllers will add support for DisplayPort 1.2 when connected to native DisplayPort displays while also improving power management and lowering the implementation costs for hardware designers.
Maybe more exciting is the prototype of next-generation silicon for Thunderbolt, code named Falcon Ridge, that runs at 20 Gbps, double that of current Thunderbolt implementations. Intel promises that this will enable 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously. As expected, production will start in late 2013 with ramping in 2014.
Thunderbolt's integration into the consumer market has been slower than expected but professionals are seeing more and more uses for this kind of extreme bandwidth as the video production pipeline prepares for large scale 4K distribution. We are using Thunderbolt internally at PC Perspective for our Frame Rating capture based graphics testing running at nearly 800 MB/s we have been happy with the results.
Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2013 - 03:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, intel hd, Intel, hd 4000, hd 2500
Intel recently released an updated graphics driver for Ivy Bridge processors sporting either HD 4000 or HD 2500 GPUs. The new 18.104.22.16871 (or 22.214.171.124.3071 for those running a 64-bit OS) driver features several under-the-hood optimizations to reduce CPU overhead and improve the driver architecture itself.
The driver architecture improvements have also led to improved game performance. Intel claims up to 10% better performance in StarCraft II, Batman: Arkham City, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (among others).
The chip giant also notes that the new driver supports OpenCL 1.2 for GPGPU calculations. The graphics driver update is only for Ivy Bridge hardware, and is compatible with Ivy Bridge hardware and both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you are running Intel's Driver Update Utility, you should get the new driver automatically.
Otherwise, you can grab the new driver from the following link, depending on your OS.
Unfortunately, these drivers are generic Intel HD graphics drivers. If your OEM computer is running Windows with an OEM-customized version of Intel's drivers, you are out of luck. You will need to wait for your OEM to update its driver package in order to take advantage of the performance improvements.
Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2013 - 01:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, ubuntu 13.04, fedora 18, win7, opengl, Ivy Bridge
One major barrier to switching to Linux for many users is the graphical performance of the OS; Steam may be releasing a variety of games which will run on Linux but if the performance is awful there are not going to be many who think about making the switch. Phoronix has been a close eye on the development of OpenGL drivers for Linux, this time specifically the onboard Intel graphics present on Ivy Bridge chips. With one driver available for each OS the tests were easily set up, except for the aforementioned Steam games as there is a bug which prevents Phoronix from collecting the performance data they need. Check out the performance differences between Ubuntu 13.04, Fedora 18 and Win7 in the full article.
"Last month Phoronix published Intel OpenGL benchmarks showing Windows 8 outperforming Ubuntu 13.04 with the latest Windows and Linux drivers from Intel. I also showed that even with the KDE and Xfce desktops rather than the default Unity/Compiz desktop to Ubuntu, Windows 8 still was faster on this Intel "Ivy Bridge" platform. The new benchmarks to share today from this Intel Ultrabook are the Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04 results but also with performance figures added in from Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1 x64 and Fedora 18."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel is sampling Avoton Atom chips ahead of IDF Beijing @ The Inquirer
- HP announces low-power Moonshot system based on an Intel Atom chip @ The Inquirer
- The Surprising SUSE Linux @ Linux.com
- AMD to fully replace FM1 with FM2, AM3 with AM3+ in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Solar powered robot mows your lawn while you chill indoors @ Hack a Day
- Microsoft to slap 9 patches on Windows junkies on Tuesday @ The Register
- ASUS AiCloud: A Fresh Face for Networking @ Bjorn3D
- Gadget Show Live 2013 – The Public Event @ Kitguru
- DIY MultiCopter - Part 1. @ Metku.net
Subject: General Tech, Displays | April 8, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are shopping around for a 24" IPS LCD then today's deal might be custom made for you. The Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" IPS is currently discounted $165 and comes with free shipping. It is a full 1920x1200 display with HDMI, DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs and even better it has a ghosting time of 11 ms and an input lag so low as to be undetectable which makes it perfect for gaming.
Dell UltraSharp U2410 24" IPS-panel LCD Monitor with HDMI & DisplayPort
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Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Mobile | April 7, 2013 - 10:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: DirectX, DirectX 12
Microsoft DirectX is a series of interfaces for programmers to utilize typically when designing gaming or entertainment applications. Over time it became synonymous with Direct3D, the portion which mostly handles graphics processing by offloading those tasks to the video card. At one point, DirectX even handled networking through DirectPlay although that has been handled by Games for Windows Live or other APIs since Vista.
AMD Corporate Vice President Roy Taylor was recently interviewed by the German press, "c't magazin". When asked about the future of "Never Settle" bundles, Taylor claimed that games such as Crysis 3 and Bioshock: Infinite keep their consumers happy and also keep the industry innovating.
Keep in mind, the article was translated from German so I might not be entirely accurate with my understanding of his argument.
In a slight tangent, he discussed how new versions of DirectX tends to spur demand for new graphics processors with more processing power and more RAM. He has not heard anything about DirectX 12 and, in fact, he does not believe there will be one. As such, he is turning to bundled games to keep the industry moving forward.
Neowin, upon seeing this interview, reached out to Microsoft who committed to future "innovation with DirectX".
This exchange has obviously sparked a lot of... polarized... online discussion. One claimed that Microsoft is abandoning the PC to gain a foothold in the mobile market which it has practically zero share of. That is why they are dropping DirectX.
Unfortunately this does not make sense: DirectX would be one of the main advantages which Microsoft has in the mobile market. Mobile devices have access to fairly decent GPUs which can use DirectX to draw web pages and applications much smoother and much more power efficiently than their CPU counterparts. If anything, DirectX would be increased in relevance if Microsoft was blindly making a play for mobile.
The major threat to DirectX is still quite off in the horizon. At some point we might begin to see C++Amp or OpenCL nibble away at what DirectX does best: offload highly-parallel tasks to specialized processing units.
Still, releases such as DirectX 11.1 are quite focused on back-end tweaks and adjustments. What do you think a DirectX 12 API would even do, that would not already be possible with DirectX 11?
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | April 6, 2013 - 05:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webkit, Blink, Android, Google Chrome, ChromeOS
There once was a web browser named Konqueror which was quite common in the Linux community. At its core was the KHTML rendering engine, a nice standards-compliant layout package; KHTML was so nice that Apple decided to create WebKit based on it. Since then, WebKit has been the basis of Google Chrome and other applications such as Steam as of a few years ago.
And even though the project maybe never be done, Google stuck a fork in it.
Blink is a new layout engine, based on WebKit, soon to be implemented in Google Chrome. By soon, I mean practically the next release. It stands to reason, too: a forked project by definition starts out looking nearly identical because they both start from the same point. The two projects will be able to evolve in different directions as each begin to differ in needs and desires.
So what does it mean? Firstly, web developers do not need to worry about a new vendor-prefix until at least Google starts to worry about one. According to their above Q&A, they currently seem more interested in reducing prefix support rather than adding new ones. Personally, I expect that at some point they will likely need to add some as standards evolve.
In terms of the future: I feel that multiple rendering engines will only be better for the future of the web. Sure, it can be difficult for web developers to test their products across a variety of devices but that is a drop in the bucket compared to the misery caused when a dominant player gets complacent. A noncompeting player will stop innovating and maybe pull away from open standards.
Then again this pretty much always happens: no-one is satisfied with monopolies. Thankfully the WebKit license made it easy for dissatisfied parties to take action. In turn, WebKit can benefit from many of these developments at their leisure, particularly before their products look too dissimilar.
Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2013 - 02:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: haswell, Intel, usb 3.0, oops
Hardware.Info has recently had confirmation of the rumours we have heard about Intel's USB 3.0 chipset in Haswell; the problem exists and it will cause delays. Many readers may find this remeniscent of the issues with the Marvell 88SE9123 SATA controller from back in the days of P55 boards. This time however the issue has been caught before a single board was sold and while it is upsetting that we will be waiting even longer for Haswell perhaps it is better to get a working product late. It could be quite annoying to lose all your peripherals every time your machine goes into S3. Follow the links from their post for more details.
"Intel now officially admits there is a problem with USB 3.0 in Haswell products, and that solving the issue will affect delivery times of various products"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- High speed circuit design for quantum physics light sensing @ Hack a Day
- Has Europe finally passed Peak Disk? @ The Register
- Bitcoin-mining malware ENSLAVES computers @ The Register
- Litecoin, the GPU Mining Alternative to Bitcoin @ hardCOREware
- Open source 3D patches appear for Nvidia's Tegra SoC @ The Inquirer
- ActiveX Filtering In Internet Explorer 9 and 10 Kills Flash Player @ TechARP
- How To Install Windows 8 Guide @ OCC
- How to Enable 64-bit Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 7 @ NGOHQ
Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2013 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking for a decent midrange card with a good selection of outputs and enough VRAM to handle multiple screens at reasonable resolutions but can't spend more than $200 then consider this GTX 660. It is a decent upgrade for current owners of GTX 560 Ti or even the GTX 570 with a Core clock of 1020MHz, 1085MHz Boost and 2GB of 6GHz GDDR5. Also, it will be featured in Ryan's next frame rating article for those who need a refresher on its performance.
ASUS GeForce GTX 660 2GB GDDR5 Video Card @ $168.99 + FREE SHIPPING
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