Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2013 - 12:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Xi3, valve, Steam Box, piston, pc gaming, gaming
It may or may not be Valve's Steam Box, but Xi3 is the closest thing to a small form factor PC gaming console running Steam on the radar so far. The Xi3 PISTON is now up for pre-order with an intended holiday 2013 launch.
The PISTON starts at $899 and increases in price from there depending on the amount of internal storage included. Basic specifications of the Piston include an AMD APU (likely the A10-4600M) clocked at 2.3GHz (3.2GHz turbo), Radeon 7660G processor graphics (384 shaders), 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 128GB solid state drive. For an extra $340, Xi3 will swap in a 256GB SSD, and for $750 the company will include a 512GB option. Of course, that would bring the price of the living room TV up to $1649, which is far from cheap.
For that kind of money you could build a much more powerful mid tower that could actually run Steam games at 1080p with all the details cranked up. The Xi3 box will be lucky to average 30FPS at 1080p with the latest games. With that said, it is a start and I hope to see continued development of these "Steam Box-esque PCs. Hopefully once mass production, competing options, and economies of scale kick in, consumers will be able to get their hands on cheaper Steam Boxes!
If you can't wait for the official Steam Box, however, you can head over to the Xi3 website to reserve your own PISTON.
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2013 - 11:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: GTC 2013, gpu analytics, gpgpu, fuzzy logix
Fuzzy Logix, a company that specializes in HPC data analytics, recently unveiled a new extension (to the Tanay Zx library) called Tanay Rx that will GPU accelerate analytic models written in R. R is a programming language commonly used by statisticians. It is reportedly relatively easy to program, but has an inherent lack of multi-threading performance and memory limitations. With Tanay Rx, Fuzzy Logix is hoping to combine the performance benefits of its Tanay Zx libraries with the simplicity of R programming. According to Fuzzy Logix, Tanay Rx is "the perfect prescription to cure performance issues with R."
Tanay Zx allowed the use of many programming languages to run models with .net, .dll, or shared object calls on the GPU, and the new Tanay Rx extension extends that functionality to statistical and analytic models run using R. Models include those data intensive tasks as matrix operations, Monte Carlo simulations, data mining, financial mathematics (equities, fixed income, and time series analysis). Fuzzy Logix claims to enable R users to run over 500 analytic models up to 10 to 100-times faster by harnessing the parallel processing power of graphics and accelerator cards such as NVIDIA's Quadro/Tesla cards, Intel's MIC, and AMD's FirePro cards.
As an example, Fuzzy Logix states that calculations for intra-day risk of equity, interest rate, and FX options amount to approximately 1 billion future scenarios can be performed in milliseconds on the GPU. While some conversions may be more intensive, certain aspects of R code can be sped-up by replacing R functions with Fuzzy Logix' own Tanay Rx functions.
As per Fuzzy Logix's website.
Industry solutions implementing Tanay Rx for the financial, healthcare, internet marketing, pharmaceutical, oil, gas, insurance, and other sectors are available now. More information on the company's approach to GPGPU analytics is available here.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 26, 2013 - 06:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: workstation, nvidia, GTC 2013, BOXX, 3dboxx 8950
Boxx Technologies recently launched a new multi-GPU workstation called the 3DBoxx 8950. It is aimed at professionals that need a fast system with beefy GPU accelerator cards that they can design and render at the same time. The 8950 is intended to be used with applications like Autodesk, Dassault, NVIDIA iray, and V-Ray (et al).
The Boxx 3DBoxx 8950 features two liquid cooled Intel Xeon Ed-2600 processors (2GHz, 16 cores, 32 threads), up to 512GB of system memory (16 DIMM slots), and seven PCI-E slots (four of which accept dual slot GPUs, the remaining three are spaced for single slot cards). A 1250W power suppy (80 PLUS Gold) powers the workstation. An example configuration would include three Tesla K20 cards and one Quadro K5000. The Tesla cards would handle the computation while the Quadro can power the multi-display ouput. The chassis has room for eight 3.5" hard drives and a single externally-accessible 5.25" drive. The 8950 workstation can be loaded with either the Windows or Linux operating system.
Rear IO on the 8950 workstation includes:
- 5 x audio jacks
- 1 x optical in/out
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x serial port
- 2 x RJ45 jacks, backed by Intel Gigabit NICs
The system is available now, with pricing available upon request. You can find the full list of specifications and supported hardware configurations in this spec sheet (PDF).
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2013 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, nvidia, Tegrazone
Remember Project Shield from CES and before? The Inquirer has managed to get their hands on an actual console at the Game Developers Conference and played a bit of Need For Speed streamed from a PC onto the Shield. Project Shield its self is a Tegra 4 powered controller running Android 4.2 with a 5" 720p display attached and wireless connectivity. The actual game is streamed wireless from a PC with a Kepler GPU via the Tegrazone application, so the real performance limit occurs from latency, similar to the company once known as Onlive. While The Inq was not quite ready to toss their money at Project Shield, but it was close.
"CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia caused something of a stir at CES when it announced the Project Shield handheld games console, and with its launch nearing, the firm is letting people try its first own-brand game console, which we managed to get our hands on at this week's GDC gaming conference in San Francisco."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Installing GLaDOS in the ceiling of your house @ Hack a Day
- Maybe don't install that groovy pirated Android keyboard @ The Register
- Backing your Apple Mac up with Time Machine @ Tweaktown
- The Best Servers for Linux in 2013 @ Linux.com
- Ninjalane Podcast - GTX Titan, Free 2 Play and Cooler Master Interview
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | March 26, 2013 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Computing Hardware & Peripherals
Linksys AE6000 Wireless-AC Dual-Band USB Adapter for $56.99 with free shipping (normally $60 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
HDTVs & Theater
LG 60LS5700 60" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $1,378.00 with free shipping (normally $2,000).
LG 47LM6700 47" 1080p 120Hz 3D LED HDTV $899.00 with free shipping (normally $1600).
Samsung UN40EH6000 40" 1080p LED HDTV for $597.99 with free shipping (normally $850).
Samsung HW-E450 2.1-Channel Soundbar System (refurbished) for $174.99 with free shipping (normally $300 - use coupon code: DIG5).
Klipsch QUINTET 5.0 Speaker System for $343.19 with free shipping (normally $550).
Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 25, 2013 - 05:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: monoprice, ips display, ips monitor, ips
Tim did a post on cheap 27" IPS 1440p monitors from Monoprice within the opening days of the calendar year. These panels are derivative of the type you would see on Dell Ultrasharp or Apple Cinema Displays. We say derivative because LCD panel manufacturing is very imprecise: completed panels get graded, bin-sorted, and sold to bidders. A panel which does not grade high enough for Dell, Apple, HP, and other professional companies is probably still a perfectly good panel and suitable for other bidders. Monoprice is putting their branding on one of those bidders and selling it for under $400, about a third of the cost of the A+-sorted panels.
And they're gone.
Now, almost three months later, Monoprice has caught up and will start shipping the new batch as early as tomorrow. How long that will last, who knows? If you wish to have a high end monitor on the cheap, you will probably want to run and not walk.
The Monoprice CrystalPro WQHD monitor is available for $390.60. Monoprice advertises the display to be perfect for Eyefinity setups... except that it is limited to one per customer. Oh well, troll well.
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bioshock infinite, geforce, GeForce 314.22, nvidia, gaming
BioShock Infinite launches tomorrow and promises to be an exciting third installment to the award-winning franchise.
GeForce gamers today can get ready for a great Day 1 experience with BioShock Infinite by upgrading to our new GeForce 314.22 Game Ready drivers. These drivers are Microsoft WHQL-certified and available for download on GeForce.com.
Our software engineers have been working with Irrational Games over the past two years to optimize BioShock Infinite for GeForce users and, as a result, these drivers offer game-changing performance increases of up to 41 percent.
Also, with a single click in GeForce Experience, gamers can optimize the image quality in BioShock Infinite and have it instantly tuned to the capability of their PC’s hardware.
GeForce 314.22 drivers also offer several other significant performance increases in other current games. For more details, refer to the release highlights on the driver download pages and read the GeForce driver article on GeForce.com.
GeForce 314.22 Highlights
Delivers GeForce Game Ready experience for BioShock Infinite:
- Up to 41% faster performance
- Optimal game settings with GeForce Experience
- Microsoft WHQL-certified
Increases gaming performance in other popular titles:
- Up to 60% faster in Tomb Raider
- Up to 23% faster in Sniper Elite V2
- Up to 13% faster in Sleeping Dogs
- Adds new SLI and 3D Vision profiles for upcoming games.
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 12:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: spintronics, racetrack, pram, molybdenum, micron, memristor, IBM, hp, graphene, flash
Over the past several years we have seen actual production of phase change memory from Micron, though no benchmarks yet, transistors whose resistance can be altered to be used as non-volatile storage which HP has dubbed Memristors and IBM's Spintronic Racetrack Memory; all of which claim to be the replacement for NAND. There is no question we need a new type of flash, preferably non-volatile, as it is likely that there will be a limit on effective speed and density reached with traditional NAND. It is also true that the path to our current flash technology is littered with the carcasses of failed technology standards, whether RAMBUS is willing to admit it or not.
Now there is more details available on yet another possible contender based on molybdenum disulfide which sports a charge-trapping layer to make it non-volatile. The Register was told that by layering MoS2 between layers of graphene they get a NAND cell smaller than traditional cells but unfortunately there was no report of the speed of these cells. We may soon be living in interesting times, with process shrunk traditional flash and these four technologies competing for market share. You can bet that they will not be compatible and that each will likely spawn their own breeds of controllers and make purchasing SSDs and other flash storage devices much more complicated, at least until one standard can claim victory over the others.
"A Swiss government research lab has reinvented flash memory using graphene and molybdenite in a way that should be faster, scale smaller, use less energy and yet more flexible than boring old NAND.
Molybdenite is MoS2, molybdenum disulfide, which is similar to graphite and also has a lubricating effect. Atomically it is a layer of molybdenum atoms between top and bottom layers of sulfide atoms. It is a semiconductor and can be used to create transistor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel to release new SSDs for enterprise and datacenter applications @ DigiTimes
- Rival bidders emerge for Dell @ The Inquirer
- Testers Say IE 11 Can Impersonate Firefox Via User Agent String @ Slashdot
- How to survive a UEFI BOOT-OF-DEATH on Samsung laptops @ The Register
- Mining bitcoins on a Nintendo @ Hack a Day
- Twitter, Hotmail, LinkedIn, Yahoo Open To Hijacking @ Slashdot
- MSI MPOWER OC Event @ Madshrimps
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Blackberry Q10 specs comparison @ The Inquirer
- ARM's new CEO: You'll get no 'glorious new strategy' from me @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy S4 interactive @ The Inquirer
- 18 days of hottish Pebble love @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 24, 2013 - 03:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 8, Blue, windows blue
It was only a matter of time before Windows Blue was leaked, like just about every other version of the operating system in recent memory. Internally, Blue is a transition for Microsoft into an annual release schedule for Windows products; externally, Blue is the first feature-release for Windows.
Yes, Sean Bean, win'ders has come.
Zac from WinBeta, embed above, got hold of the operating system, apparently leaked today, and played around with the changes for all of YouTube to see.
New split-screen App options. (Unclear whether multi-monitor app support is fixed)
- Minor clarifications for user instruction.
- New tile sizes.
- Swipe up from Start Screen to access list of apps.
- More personalization options.
- Picture frame mode.
- New App: Calculator.
- New App: Alarm.
- New App: Sound Recorder.
- New App: Movie Moments... apparently a new, confidential, video editing application.
- Internet Explorer updated to version 11.
Personally, despite sticking with Windows 7 for political reasons, the new App options seem like they would be the most engaging feature for Windows Blue. For being such a core segment of the "modern" Windows experience, apps are surprisingly annoying to manage as they currently exist on Windows 8. If you have two or more monitors then you are probably having a nightmare with anything outside of Windows 8's desktop mode.
We now know that app support is being looked at, so there is some hope that multiple monitor users will be considered too.