Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, AZiO, Levetron GH808
Gaming headsets are about more than just decent 40mm drivers which provide decent sound. We have seen virtual and physical 5.1 headphones, a wide variety of earcup and headband materials and occasionally vibration features so that when the artillery starts falling you can feel as well as hear it. AZiO's new Levetron GH808 sports that latter feature with a 30mm vibration driver which will indeed rattle your brains. HiTech Legion liked the volume control wheel integral to the headset but they would have liked one to control the vibration as well instead of it being all or nothing. At an MSRP of $55 they are not a major investment if you are curious about how this headset would feel.
"AZiO’s Levetron GH808 is a USB headset designed for gaming. The Levetron GH808 headset is plug-and-play, only requiring USB port on a Windows or Mac OS X system to use. Optional software can be downloaded from AZiO’s website, providing control of the GH808’s features from the desktop. Equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers and an additional 30mm “vibration” driver, the AZiO Levetron GH808 brings pulse-pounding excitement straight to gamers’ ears. Should you need to chat with your online buddies while playing, a unidirectional microphone can be pulled out from the left ear cup. The AZiO GH808 also includes a volume control knob as well as a toggle switch for enabling or disabling the bass enhancement feature."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MadCatz Cyborg F.R.E.Q.7 Headset @ eTeknix
- Steelseries Flux In Ear Pro Headset @ LanOC Reviews
- MadCatz F.R.E.Q.5 Red PC Headset @ eTeknix
- AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones With Mic Review @ NikKTech
- Edifier MP15 Audio Candy Plus review: affordable quality @ Hardware.info
- Arion ET-AR602R-BK Floor Standing Speakers Review @ TechwareLabs
- Philips docking speaker DS3205 review: Lightning dock @ Hardware.info
- Oregon Scientific Boombero Wireless Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Ineo Alienvibes W402 Speaker Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Edifier Spinnaker e30 Speakers @ Kitguru
- Orbitsound M9 soundbar @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | March 21, 2013 - 03:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: PAX East 2013, PAX East, PAX, logitech
Despite recent incidents with a genetic lifeform and disk operating system, we PC gamers love our science. Yesterday, Logitech claims they renewed their commitment to both PC gaming and science just in time for PAX East 2013.
Let us just hope the pi's not a lie. Hehehe, that rhymes.
While the commercial looks and sounds like the "G" stands for "Gatorade", it really beckons the launch of eight new accessory products: four new mice, two new keyboards, and two new headsets.
Logitech G700s Rechargeable Gaming Mouse
13 programmable controls
Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse
Dual-mode scroll wheel
Logitech G400s Optical Gaming Mouse
"Delta Zero" sensor technology
8 programmable controls
Logitech G100s Optical Gaming Mouse
"Delta Zero" sensor technology
Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard
12 programmable "G-keys"
Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard
18 programmable "G-keys"
Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
7.1 surround sound
Logitech G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
3.5mm stereo audio and mic
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z77a-g45 thunderbolt, video, tegra, quadro, podcast, GTX 690, GTC 2013, DDR3-3000, Crosshair V Formula Z, 2tb ssd
PC Perspective Podcast #243 - 03/21/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z, MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt, 2TB SSDs 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, Morry Teitelman, and sometimes Ken Addison
Program length: 1:18:24
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:38:40 Solidata 2TB 2.5: SSDs
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2013 - 01:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: galileo, newton, akasa, nuc, case, thin mini-itx
FanlessTech recently spotted two new fan-less and small form factor cases from Akasa ahead of the official launch. The Akasa Galileo and Akasa Newton are compatible with thin Mini-ITX and Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) motherboards respectively.
Both cases are constructed of aluminum, have VESA mounting holes, and double as a fan-less heatsink for your components. The Galileo is 37mm thick and can cool processors rated up to a 35W TDP. The Newton is a small case with fins around the sides to increase surface area (for better cooling capability), and aesthetic flair.
According to Fanless Tech, the two PC cases will be officially unveiled at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this summer. There is no word on pricing or when they will be available for purchase, however.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 12:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vengeance K70, corsair, cherry mx red
FREMONT, California — March 21, 2013 — Corsair, a worldwide designer of high-performance PC gaming peripherals, today announced the Vengeance K70 fully mechanical gaming keyboard.
The new Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard is built on a rugged, brushed, aluminum chassis and features highly responsive Cherry MX Red mechanical switches under every key. The high performance switches combined with the keyboard's 100% anti-ghosted matrix, 20-key rollover and 1000Hz reporting rate provide fast, accurate input for gaming.
The Vengeance K70 gaming keyboards are available in two color schemes: silver aluminum with blue backlighting, and anodized black with deep red backlighting. Overall backlighting can be adjusted to four levels of intensity and each key is individually backlit, enabling the lighting for each key to be independently enabled or disabled. The key-by-key lighting customization allows users to highlight just the keys they need to emphasize and then save the setting directly to the K70's onboard memory. In addition, the Vengeance K70 comes with alternate colored, contoured keycaps for the WASD and 1-6 keycaps to allow additional customization.
"When we launched the Vengeance K60, customers loved the look and quality, but some wanted a backlit version," said Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of the Peripherals Business Unit at Corsair. "In typical Corsair fashion, we over-delivered and created Vengeance K70 with key-by-key backlighting, mechanical switches on every key, and two color schemes."
The Vengeance K70 also features dedicated multimedia controls to allow users to play, stop, pause, skip tracks and adjust volume. An extra USB connector is provided for attaching to USB devices such as a Vengeance gaming mouse or headset. A removeable soft-touch wrist rest provides comfort for long gaming or typing sessions.
See Vengeance K70 at PAX East from March 22-24
The Vengeance K70 keyboard will make its public debut at Corsair's booth at PAX East in Boston from March 22-24. Corsair is located in booth 1062.
Pricing and Availability
The Corsair Vengeance K70 will be available in April at suggested price of $129.99.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, price cuts, Richland, a4-4000
It might be worth waiting until next month if you are going to be building a low cost AMD based system as prices on the A8-5600K, FX-8320, FX-6300 and FX-4300 will be dropping in April. You can also expect to see the A4-4000 hit stores the following month at a very low price according to DigiTimes but don't have anything new to report about the release date of the Richland chips. It is nice to have low cost CPUs available on the market, but it seems odd when even the lowest priced motherboard will run you about twice as much as the CPU you will be putting on it.
"AMD plans to cut some of its APU prices at the end of April to welcome its next-generation Richland APUs, set for launch in early June, according to sources from PC players.
Prices of AMD's APUs including A8-5600K, FX-8320, FX-6300 and FX-4300 will see 8-15% drops and the CPU maker will also start shipping its A4-4000 in mid-April for sales in mid-May priced at US$40."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Poking Holes In Samsung's Android Security @ Slashdot
- Nvidia and ARM: It's a parallel, parallel, parallel world @ The Register
- Skype tips up for Blackberry 10 as it hits 100,000 apps @ The Inquirer
- Google’s Note-Taking Service Keep Is Live, And It’s Wonderful @ Gizmodo
- Windows 8 Outperforming Ubuntu Linux With Intel OpenGL Graphics @ Phoronix
- Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through @ OCC
- Team AU Overclocking in Perth with Liquid Nitrogen - Deanzo's Thoughts @ Tweaktown
GTC 2013: Cortexica Vision Systems Talks About the Future of Image Recognition During the Emerging Companies Summit
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 20, 2013 - 09:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: video fingerprinting, image recognition, GTC 2013, gpgpu, cortexica, cloud computing
The Emerging Companies Summit is an series of sessions at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) that gives the floor to CEOs from several up-and-coming technology startups. Earlier today, the CEO of Cortexica Vision Systems took the stage to talk briefly about the company's products and future direction, and to answer questions from a panel of industry experts.
If you tuned into NVIDIA's keynote presentation yesterday, you may have noticed the company showing off a new image recognition technology. That technology is being developed by a company called Cortexica Vision Systems. While it cannot perform facial recognition, it is capable of identifying everything else, according the company's CEO Ian McCready. Currently, Cortexica is employing a cluster of approximately 70 NVIDIA graphics cards, but it is capable of scaling beyond that. Mcready estimates that about 100 GPUs and a CPU would be required by a company like eBay, should they want to implement Cortexica's image recognition technology in-house.
The Cortexica technology uses images captured by a camera (such as the one in your smartphone), which is then sent to Cortexica's servers for processing. The GPUs in the Cortexica cluster handle the fingerprint creation task while the CPU does the actual lookup in the database of known fingerprints to either find an exact match, or return similar image results. According to Cortexica, the fingerprint creation takes only 100ms, though as more powerful GPUs make it into mobile devices, it may be possible to do the fingerprint creation on the device itself, reducing the time between taking a photo and getting relevant results back.
The image recognition technology is currently being used by Ebay Motors in the US, UK, and Germany. Cortexica hopes to find a home with many of the fashion companies that would use the technology to allow people to identify and ultimately purchase clothing they take photos of on television or in public. The technology can also perform 360-degree object recognition, identify logos that are as small as .4% of the screen, and identify videos. In the future Cortexica hopes to reduce latency, improve recognition accuracy, and add more search categories. Cortexica is also working on enabling an "always on" mobile device that will constantly be indentifying everything around it, which is both cool and a bit creepy. With mobile chips like Logan and Parker coming in the future, Cortexica hopes to be able to do on-device image recognition, which would greatly reduce latency and allow the use of the recognition technology while not connected to the internet.
The number of photos taken is growing rapidly, where as many as 10% of all photos stored "in the cloud" were taken last year alone. Even Facebook, with it's massive data centers is moving to a cold-storage approach to save money on electricity costs of storing and serving up those photos. And while some of these photos have relevant meta data, the majority of photos taken do not, and Cortexica claims that its technology can be used to get around that issue, but identifying photos as well as finding similar photos using its algorithms.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more GTC coverage!
Additional slides are available after the break:
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors, Shows and Expos | March 20, 2013 - 06:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows rt, nvidia, GTC 2013
NVIDIA develops processors, but without an x86 license they are only able to power ARM-based operating systems. When it comes to Windows, that means Windows Phone or Windows RT. The latter segment of the market has disappointing sales according to multiple OEMs, which Microsoft blames them for, but the jolly green GPU company is not crying doomsday.
NVIDIA just skimming the Surface RT, they hope.
As reported by The Verge, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was optimistic that Microsoft would eventually let Windows RT blossom. He noted how Microsoft very often "gets it right" at some point when they push an initiative. And it is true, Microsoft has a history of turning around perceived disasters across a variety of devices.
They also have a history of, as they call it, "knifing the baby."
I think there is a very real fear for some that Microsoft could consider Intel's latest offerings as good enough to stop pursuing ARM. Of course, the more the pursue ARM, the more their business model will rely upon the-interface-formerly-known-as-Metro and likely all of its certification politics. As such, I think it is safe to say that I am watching the industry teeter on a fence with a bear on one side and a pack of rabid dogs on the other. On the one hand, Microsoft jumping back to Intel would allow them to perpetuate the desktop and all of the openness it provides. On the other hand, even if they stick with Intel they likely will just kill the desktop anyway, for the sake of user confusion and the security benefits of cert. We might just have less processor manufacturers when they do that.
So it could be that NVIDIA is confident that Microsoft will push Windows RT, or it could be that NVIDIA is pushing Microsoft to continue to develop Windows RT. Frankly, I do not know which would be better... or more accurately, worse.
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 20, 2013 - 01:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tesla, tegra 3, supercomputer, pedraforca, nvidia, GTC 2013, GTC, graphics cards, data centers
There is a lot of talk about heterogeneous computing at GTC, in the sense of adding graphics cards to servers. If you have HPC workloads that can benefit from GPU parallelism, adding GPUs gives you computing performance in less physical space, and using less power, than a CPU only cluster (for equivalent TFLOPS).
However, there was a session at GTC that actually took things to the opposite extreme. Instead of a CPU only cluster or a mixed cluster, Alex Ramirez (leader of Heterogeneous Architectures Group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center) is proposing a homogeneous GPU cluster called Pedraforca.
Pedraforca V2 combines NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with low power ARM processors. Each node is comprised of the following components:
- 1 x Mini-ITX carrier board
1 x Q7 module (which hosts the ARM SoC and memory)
- Current config is one Tegra 3 @ 1.3GHz and 2GB DDR2
- 1 x NVIDIA Tesla K20 accelerator card (1170 GFLOPS)
- 1 x InfiniBand 40Gb/s card (via Mellanox ConnectX-3 slot)
- 1 x 2.5" SSD (SATA 3 MLC, 250GB)
The ARM processor is used solely for booting the system and facilitating GPU communication between nodes. It is not intended to be used for computing. According to Dr. Ramirez, in situations where running code on a CPU would be faster, it would be best to have a small number of Intel Xeon powered nodes to do the CPU-favorable computing, and then offload the parallel workloads to the GPU cluster over the InfiniBand connection (though this is less than ideal, Pedraforca would be most-efficient with data-sets that can be processed solely on the Tesla cards).
While Pedraforca is not necessarily locked to NVIDIA's Tegra hardware, it is currently the only SoC that meets their needs. The system requires the ARM chip to have PCI-E support. The Tegra 3 SoC has four PCI-E lanes, so the carrier board is using two PLX chips to allow the Tesla and InfiniBand cards to both be connected.
The researcher stated that he is also looking forward to using NVIDIA's upcoming Logan processor in the Pedraforca cluster. It will reportedly be possible to upgrade existing Pedraforca clusters with the new chips by replacing the existing (Tegra 3) Q7 module with one that has the Logan SoC when it is released.
Pedraforca V2 has an initial cluster size of 64 nodes. While the speaker was reluctant to provide TFLOPS performance numbers, as it would depend on the workload, with 64 Telsa K20 cards, it should provide respectable performance. The intent of the cluster is to save power costs by using a low power CPU. If your sever kernel and applications can run on GPUs alone, there are noticeable power savings to be had by switching from a ~100W Intel Xeon chip to a lower-power (approximately 2-3W) Tegra 3 processor. If you have a kernel that needs to run on a CPU, it is recommended to run the OS on an Intel server and transfer just the GPU work to the Pedraforca cluster. Each Pedraforca node is reportedly under 300W, with the Tesla card being the majority of that figure. Despite the limitations, and niche nature of the workloads and software necessary to get the full power-saving benefits, Pedraforca is certainly an interesting take on a homogeneous server cluster!
In another session relating to the path to exascale computing, power use in data centers was listed as one of the biggest hurdles to getting to Exaflop-levels of performance, and while Pedraforca is not the answer to Exascale, it should at least be a useful learning experience at wringing the most parallelism out of code and pushing GPGPU to the limits. And that research will help other clusters use the GPUs more efficiently as researchers explore the future of computing.
The Pedraforca project built upon research conducted on Tibidabo, a multi-core ARM CPU cluster, and CARMA (CUDA on ARM development kit) which is a Tegra SoC paired with an NVIDIA Quadro card. The two slides below show CARMA benchmarks and a Tibidabo cluster (click on image for larger version).
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more GTC 2013 coverage!