Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 28, 2014 - 07:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Mantle, BF4, amd
A number of sites have reported on Toshiba's leak of the Catalyst 13.35 BETA driver. Mantle and TrueAudio support highlight its rumored changelog. Apparently Ryan picked it up, checked it out, and found that it does not have the necessary DLLs included. I do not think he has actual Mantle software to test against, and I am not sure how he knew what libraries Mantle requires, but this package apparently does not include them. Perhaps it was an incomplete build?
Sorry folks, unlike the above image, these are not the drivers you are looking for.
The real package should be coming soon, however. Recent stories which reference EA tech support (at this point we should all know better) claim that the Mantle update for Battlefield 4 will be delayed until February. Fans reached out to AMD's Robert Hallock who responded that it was, "Categorically not true". It sounds like AMD is planning on releasing at least their end of the patch before Friday ends.
This is looking promising, at least. Something is being done behind the scenes.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 28, 2014 - 04:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: gigabyte brix, gigabyte, amd
If you feel a little déjà vu while reading this, it is because this system is identical to the MAINGEAR SPARK. Both devices are powered by an AMD A8-5557M APU backed with an AMD Radeon R9 M275X mobile discrete GPU. They even use the same case with the same color scheme. The only difference that I could find is the MAINGEAR logo on the front versus the GIGABYTE logo on the top. I think we could safely say that both devices are made at the same place. I expect that GIGABYTE was the OEM for MAINGEAR's Steam Machine.
Check out Tim's post about the SPARK.
Check out GIGABYTE's product page for the BRIX Gaming.
When Tim published his post about the SPARK for CES, back on January 6th, little was known about the R9 M275X (beyond its 2GB of GDDR5). That is still the case. AMD has not said anything further about the mobile GPU. The press release from GIGABYTE claims that it will support DirectX 11.1 (which implies it will not support DirectX 11.2) and OpenGL 4.1 (which implies a lack of support for OpenGL 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4). GIGABYTE also claims that it will support "the latest OpenCL 1.1 standard" (which implies lack of support for OpenCL 1.2).
I seriously doubt that this is true.
I cannot see AMD regressing that heavily on API compatibility. OpenGL 4.2 has been supported since the HD 5000 (desktop) and HD 6000M (laptop) series. OpenCL 1.2 has been supported since the HD 5000 (desktop) and HD 7000M (laptop) line. One of the main features of OpenCL 1.2 is the ability share resources with DirectX 11 (OpenCL 1.1 shares with DirectX 10). In fact, I cannot find a single chip that AMD produced which supports OpenGL 4.1 and OpenCL 1.1 and fails to support OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2.
I would not trust GIGABYTE's press release when it comes to the R9 M275X.
Still nothing on pricing and availability for the GIGABYTE BRIX Gaming. Its product code will be the "GB-BXA8G-8890", which totally rolls off the tongue, so we have that going for us. It is a very interesting device. I wonder if we will see it, and other BRIX entries, find their way into the catalogs of other system builders.
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: 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: 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: 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!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Week in Review:
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Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
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