Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2014 - 03:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLAN party, kick ass, gaming, fragging frogs
Saturday August the 9th you should stock up on snacks and beverages as the seventh Virtual LAN Party kicks of at 10AM EDT and goes until the last member drops! WarSam can't make it but we are putting pressure on amd_Roy to show up so you can take potshots at one of your favourite vendors. Once again the prizes will be bountiful but this time they are a secret so if you even want to know what is being given away, let alone win anything you are going to have to show up! Not only that but you must registered at the PCPer forums and post to this thread to confirm your attendance; we run a very strict pond after all.
The thread also contains the list of suggested games, the IP addresses of servers, a link on how to connect to the (upgraded) PCPer TeamSpeak server and most especially the names of those people you should thank for putting in the massive amounts of effort required to put these events together. See you there!
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Playing StarCraft On An ARM @ Hack a Day
- Epic Team Deathmatch: New Unreal Tournament Video @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Fleet Battles And Friendly AI: Shallow Space @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Take My Etc: Firefly Online Reunites TV Cast @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Marginally Beta Price: Elite Dangerous Standard Beta Out @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Win a Mionix PC gaming hardware bundle @ HEXUS
- Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle @ The Register
- Destiny hands-on @ The Inquirer
- First impressions of Nvidia's Shield Tablet @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2014 - 10:49 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, nvidia, shield tablet, amd, freesync, crucial, M550, mx100, Oculus, DK2, logitech g402, evga, TORQ X10
PC Perspective Podcast #311 - 07/31/2014
Join us this week as we discuss AMD FreeSync, NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, Crucial M550 SSD 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
Hey, we have a contest, stay tuned!!
Week in Review:
0:42:25 EVGA Contest
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Ryan: Logitech G402 Mouse
Allyn: Oculus - needs to happen sooner!!!
Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2014 - 10:41 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, seattle, developer, arm, opteron a1100, Cortex A57
AMD has been teasing us with Seattle, their first ARM based CPU which Josh described back in May after AMD's presentation. The AMD Opteron A1100 series will come in 4 and 8 core versions with each core being a Cortex A57 that has up to 4MB of shared L2 and 8MB of shared L3 cache, support for DDR3 or DDR4, 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0, up to 8 SATA3 ports and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. The newly announced Dev Kit will ship with a 4 core version and it can be yours for a mere $3000 if your application is accepted by AMD. It will be very interesting to see how these are integrated into existing server rooms and applications though it is a pity we will have to wait for HSA support. Check out more at The Inquirer.
"AMD HAS RELEASED a developer kit for its AMD Opteron A1100 server processor series that features the first 64-bit ARM-based chips codenamed "Seattle"."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil" @ "Slashdot"
- Bloodthirsty Apple fanbois TEAR OPEN new Macbook, bare its guts to world+dog @ The Register
- Intel to see difficulties shipping 40 million tablet CPUs in 2014 @ DigiTimes
- Apple to lay off 40 percent of Beats staff following $3bn acquisition @ The Inquirer
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Adds "Live Folders", Expands Cortana Support @ DailyTech
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2014 - 05:54 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: TORQ X10, podcast, hadron air, giveaway, evga, contest
A big THANK YOU goes to our friends at EVGA for hooking us up with a couple of hardware items to give away for our podcast listeners and viewers this week. First, if you watch tonight's LIVE recording of Podcast #311 (10pm ET / 7pm PT at http://pcper.com/live) you'll be able to win an EVGA Torq X10 mouse! (See our review of the mouse here.)
For everyone that can't make the live version of the show, you'll have a week to enter to win an EVGA Hadron Air Mini ITX Case! (See our review of the case here.)
How do you enter? Well, on the live stream contest for the Torq X10, just watch the live stream and you'll know exactly what to do. For the Hadron Air case though, just fill out the form on this news post (form will be enabled AFTER tonight's recording) and you'll be entered. I will announce the winner during next week's episode of the PC Perspective Podcast!
We'll draw a random winner next week, anyone can enter from anywhere in the world - we'll cover the shipping. Good luck, and once again, thanks goes out to EVGA for supplying the prizes!
If you haven't checked out EVGA's 15th Anniversary Event with more than $70,000 in prizes, do yourself a favor and do so now!!
Subject: General Tech | July 30, 2014 - 04:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dvorak, led backlight, DIY
You have refined taste when it comes to keyboards and have exacting qualifications as to the models you want but have now developed a taste for LED backlighting. The models you find acceptable don't incorporate LEDs or do so in a way you find distasteful. There is a solution but it is one that will take a long time to pull off. MAKE:Blog has linked to a project which will take a lot of soldering and more than a little effort but if you want the coolest Dvorak or Sinclair ZX keyboard on the block it might just be worth it.
"Regardless of the hesitation to recommend this project, the final result is quite nice. The final keyboard layout is a Dvorak simplified keyboard, and the wiring is hidden under the keys."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Raspberry Pi Model B+ @ The Inquirer
- Easy Steps to Make GNOME 3 More Efficient @ Linux.com
- Security researcher finds exploitable flaws in 14 major anti-virus engines @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations @ The Register
- ASUS RP-AC52 Dual Band Wireless AC750 Range Extender @ Kitguru
- Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu @ The Register
- Android 'supermalware' can impersonate any app? @ The Inquirer
- Blackberry buys 'anti-eavesdropping' mobile security firm Secusmart @ The Inquirer
- How To Switch The Location Of The Apple iTunes Backup Folder @ TechARP
Optical + Accelerometer
When I met with Logitech while setting up for our Hardware Workshop at Quakecon this year, they wanted to show me a new mouse they were coming out with. Of course I was interested, but to be honest, mice have seemingly gone to a point where I could very rarely tell them apart in terms of performance. Logitech promised me this would be different. The catch? The G402 Hyperion Fury includes not just an optical sensor but an accelerometer and gyro combo.
Pretty much all mice today use optical sensors to generate data. The sensors are, basically, taking hundreds or thousands of photos of the surface of your desk or mouse and compare them to each other to measure how far and how fast you have moved your mouse. Your PC then takes that data from the mouse at a USB polling rate, up to 1000 Hz with this mouse, and translates it into mouse movement on your desktop and in games.
There is an issue though - at very high speeds of mouse movement, the optical sensor can fail. It essentially loses track of where it is on the surface and can no longer provide accurate data back to the system. At this point, depending on the design of the mouse and driver, the mouse may just stop sending data all together or just attempt to "guess" for a short period of time. Clearly that's not ideal and means that gamers (or any user for that matter) is getting inaccurate measurements. Boo.
To be quite honest though, that doesn't happen with modern mice at your standard speeds, or even standard "fast" gaming motions. According to Logitech, the optical sensor will start to lose tracking somewhere in the 150-180 IPS, or inches per second. That's quite a lot. More precisely that is 3.8 meters per second or 8.5 miles per hour.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | July 29, 2014 - 06:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vesa, nvidia, g-sync, freesync, DisplayPort, amd
Dynamic refresh rates have two main purposes: save power by only forcing the monitor to refresh when a new frame is available, and increase animation smoothness by synchronizing to draw rates (rather than "catching the next bus" at 16.67ms, on the 16.67ms, for 60 Hz monitors). Mobile devices prefer the former, while PC gamers are interested in the latter.
Obviously, the video camera nullifies the effect.
NVIDIA was first to make this public with G-Sync. AMD responded with FreeSync, starting with a proposal that was later ratified by VESA as DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync. AMD, then, took up "Project FreeSync" as an AMD "hardware/software solution" to make use of DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync in a way that benefits PC gamers.
Today's news is that AMD has just released an FAQ which explains the standard much more thoroughly than they have in the past. For instance, it clarifies the distinction between DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync and Project FreeSync. Prior to the FAQ, I thought that FreeSync became DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync, and that was that. Now, it is sounding a bit more proprietary, just built upon an open, VESA standard.
If interested, check out the FAQ at AMD's website.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 29, 2014 - 05:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, graphics drivers, shield tablet, shield
Alongside the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet launch, the company has released their GeForce 340.52 drivers. This version allows compatible devices to use GameStream and it, also, is optimized for Metro: Redux and Final Fantasy XIV (China).
The driver supports GeForce 8-series graphics cards, and later. As a reminder, for GPUs that are not based on the Fermi architecture (or later), 340.xx will be your last driver version. NVIDIA does intend to provided extended support for 340.xx (and earlier) drivers until April 1st, 2016. But, when Fermi, Kepler, and Maxwell move on to 343.xx, Tesla and earlier will not. That said, most of the content of this driver is aimed at Kepler and later. Either way, the driver itself is available for those pre-Fermi cards.
I should also mention that a user of Anandtech's forums noted the removal of Miracast from NVIDIA documentation. NVIDIA has yet to comment, although it is still very short notice, at this point.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | July 29, 2014 - 04:24 PM | Scott Michaud
You might remember Allyn say that Samsung's 850 Pro is the closest to total saturation of SATA 6Gbps. The other option that we have seen is the bunch of SSDs that are attached to a PCI Express bus. HGST, formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, has just SAS'd back (that was a terrible pun... which I refuse to apologize for) with a Serial Attached SCSI 12 Gbps model (pdf link). They claim a maximum read throughput of 1100 MB/s, with 64K chunks, and 130,000 IOPS, with 4K random accesses.
The drives will be based on Intel 20nm enterprise-grade NAND with two bits per memory cell (MLC). Its durability is rated at 25 full driver writes per day for 5 years. Models will range from 100GB, all the way up to 1600GB (1.6TB).
While I am limited to Google Translate, there does not appear to be any price or availability information provided. They are enterprise drives, however, so I expect it to be above typical consumer drives.
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2014 - 03:55 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ubisoft, watch_dogs, watch dogs, pc gaming
Today, Ubisoft has issued a patch for Watch_Dog that fixes bugs and performance issues. Mainly, it is designed to reduce stuttering with higher levels of texture quality, especially "High Textures". "Ultra Textures" could still have problems for "some players", but Ubisoft suggests that future updates to reduce stutter are in progress.
Without knowing much about the internal workings of the patch, I expect that it addresses hiccups when swapping textures. Loading textures into memory can take a significant amount of time, and overhead, but it is necessary if the one you need is not in there. As the size of each individual texture increases, fewer can be stored in the same memory space, leading to more swapping required (especially when it is difficult to tell what a user can see at any given point in time). Ubisoft might have found a more efficient organization (for lack of a better word that I can think of) for textures that allow "High Textures" to stay below their target memory footprint, but not "Ultra Textures", at least not frequently enough to call it fixed.
Of course, I could be entirely wrong.
This patch also addresses bugs with multiple network adapters, crashes, and error messages. According to Ubisoft forums, it is available now. It is not yet on their news blog, though.
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