Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 14, 2013 - 09:06 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, project shield, nvidia
Solid information about the NVIDIA Shield (no longer called Project Shield) is finally becoming available with a blog post written up today on NVIDIA's website. The company will begin accepting pre-orders from users that have previously signed up for the Shield mailing list while the rest of you will have to wait until May 20th to plop down your money.
The cost? $349. Newegg, Gamestop, Micro Center and Canada Computer will carry it.
If you want to sign up for official June release schedule of the Tegra 4 powered mobile Android gaming device, you'll have to head over to shield.nvidia.com.
NVIDIA does point out in the blog that the PC game streaming feature that I truly believe is the one thing that makes Shield a compelling gaming device, will be launching as BETA feature.
And GeForce game streaming, launching as a beta feature, will give SHIELD the power to access your NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU-powered computer from the comfort of your couch. We’re working on streaming your favorite PC games to SHIELD, including great titles from Steam.
High level features of the device, for those of you that are unaware, include:
- Tegra 4 – The world’s fastest mobile processor delivers rich graphics and unbeatable performance thanks to 72 GPU cores, four CPU cores and 2GB of RAM
- Console-grade controller – Precise control thanks to dual analog joysticks, a full-sized D-Pad, left and right analog triggers, full-sized bumpers and A/B/X/Y buttons
- Multi-touch display – 5-inch, 720p retinal multi-touch display for high-fidelity visuals
- Integrated speakers – Custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system – we think this is SHIELD’s sleeper feature
- Wi-Fi – 802.11n 2X2 MIMO game-speed Wi-Fi for seamless game streaming
- Pure Android – Latest Android Jelly Bean operating system from Google, for access to Android games and apps
- There’s more – We put into SHIELD everything we would want in a premium mobile gaming device: 16 GB memory, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0, a microSD storage slot, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack. See the full spec sheet, here.
We took a look at the NVIDIA Shield device at CES this year and posted a video of our experiences, so check it out below.
NVIDIA has also posted a separate blog that talks about some of the upcoming Android games that will highlight the power of the Tegra 4 mobile processor including Broken Age and Costume Quest from Double Fine, Chuck's Challenge from Niffler and more.
I think many people at NVIDIA as well as in the media are very curious to see what the reaction of Shield will actully be upon its release. I am very excited to test it out in real-world, long term usage models but I definitely have doubts about the market's desire for another mobile gaming platform.
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!!
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2013 - 11:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sony, semi-custom business unit, ps4, gaming, financial report, amd
Sony, a company with an annual profit of 436 billion Yen ($458 million USD) in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 saw PS3 and PS2 sales decline and a slight bump up in PSP and PS Vita sales. In a recent earnings call covered by Euro Gamer, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Masaru Kato stated that the company expects this year to be even better with the launch of its upcoming PlayStation 4 console. Sony does not believe it will incur any significant losses with the PS4 and that sales will "increase significantly." Unlike the PS3 which used a Cell chip that was expensive to develop, the PlayStation 4 uses mostly-traditional PC hardware. With the upcoming console, AMD did the majority of the development legwork which saved Sony money. As a result, Sony believes that the PS4 will turn a profit much faster than it took the PS3.
Looking into Sony's next fiscal year ending March 2014, the company is putting a renewed focus on smartphones and smart TVs. In the previous year, Sony saw combined PS3 and PS2 sales decline to $16.5 million from $18 million the prior year. Sony expects to sell approximately $10 million worth of PS3s in the upcoming fiscal year. While the company's PS2 console had a wild ride, it is no longer included in the company's sales forecast. Sales of Sony's mobile PSP and PS Vita gaming consoles are expected to decrease to a mere $5 million as well. Basically, Sony has a lot riding on its PlayStation 4 console. It expects to see its next-generation console make up for the decreased sales of its existing hardware.
Either way, a profitable Sony is a good thing, and I hope that the upcoming console is priced to sell while also resulting in a tidy profit for the company. I expect the Xbox-PS3-PC gamer flame-war to be especially entertaining this year, as the consoles are essentially using lower-end PC hardware (heh) and the two consoles specs are more-similar than ever.
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2013 - 10:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x86, SoC, semi-custom chip, Patent, ip, APU, amd
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has an extensive intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The company has a range of products from CPUs and graphics cards to video acceleration hardware. It is also the only other major player to have a license to build chips with the x86 ISA. With the launch of its Semi-Custom Business Unit, AMD plans to take advantage of the engineering experience and patent portfolio to create a new revenue stream. AMD will work with other companies to create customized processors that integrate custom IP cores and technology but use AMD's existing products as a base to cut down on engineering time and R&D costs.
The first such customized chip is the System on a Chip used in Sony's PlayStation 4 gaming console. AMD intends to market its modular SoC technology and custom IP integration services to makers of set top boxes, smart TVs, tablets, PCs, networking hardware, and High Performance Computing applications. AMD argues that using its Semi-Custom Business Unit to create a customized SoC is cheaper and faster to design and produce than a fully-custom design, which makes sense since most of the engineering work is already done. AMD could stand to make quite a bit of extra money here, especially if it can land design wins for governmental and industrial design contracts. Intel's x86 license scarcity may actually benefit AMD here, in fact.
AMD's Semi-Custom Business Unit consists of an engineering team led by AMD Corporate Vice President and General Manager Saeid Moshkelani. I think doing this is a smart move for the x86 underdog, and it will be interesting to see how well the division does for the company's bottom line.
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2013 - 06:16 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wp8, Qualcomm MSM8960, nokia, lumia 928, lumia
Nokia will be launching a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone next week that trades in the traditional colorful Lumia designs for a sleek black or white finish. The Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone will be available on Verizon Wireless in the US.
The smartphone features a 4.5” WXGA OLED display with a resolution of 1280x768. The front of the phone resembles a flat rectangle with slightly rounded corners while the back is slightly curved. On the front below the display are capacitive buttons and above the display is a 1.2MP webcam that is capable of shooting still images or 720p HD videos. Three high amplitude microphones are also included. The Nokia 928 smartphone also uses a rear PureView 8.7MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics capable of shooting 1080p30 HD video. This main camera has optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash for still images (and a LED flash for video).
On the inside, the Nokia Lumia 928 is powered by a dual core Qualcomm MSM8960+WTR processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 2000mAh battery. Wireless charging and an NFC radio are also included. Of course, the Lumia 928 is running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system.
The Lumia 928 will be available at Verizon (both in-store and online) for $149. A $50 mail in rebate will bring that price down to $99. On top of that, for a limited time, you can get $25 of Windows Store credit to spend on apps and games. From the specifications, it seems like a decent midrange smartphone so long as you do not need any Android or iOS exclusive applications.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2013 - 09:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: seasonic, haswell, Power Supplies, PSU, 0.05A
Following the announcements from other power supply manufacturers, Seasonic has now released a list of its own power supplies that are compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processor. The new Haswell CPUs, set to launch June 3rd, incorporate new C6 and C7 sleep states that draw as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. Because of the low load, some existing power supplies will have issues with the new sleep states and could result in system instability. In light of that, many manufacturers are validating their existing lineups to determine which ones are compatible.
As of the time of publication, the following power supplies from Seasonic are compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states.
Platinum Fanless Series
M12 II Evo Edition Series
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on PSU and Haswell compatibility.
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2013 - 08:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon hd 7850, ICEQ Turbo, his, hd 7850, GCN, amd
HIS has launched a new factory overclocked graphics card based on AMD's Radeon HD 7850 "Pitcairn" GPU called the IceQ X^2 Turbo. The new card uses a custom PCB and IceQ X^2 cooler.
The IceQ X^2 cooler uses two 75mm fans to cool an aluminum fin stack that is connected to the copper GPU contact plate with copper heatpipes. The HSF is surrounded by a black shroud. HIS claims that its custom cooler runs at a quiet 28dB when the card is idle.
The HIS HD 7850 IceQ X^2 Turbo is a factory overclocked card. HIS has taken a standard HD 7850 GPU with 1024 stream processors and clocked it at 1GHz, which is a 140MHz overclock over the reference 7850 clockspeed. The card is further paired with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at the reference 1200MHz (4800MHz effective) on a 256-bit bus. An 8-phase VRM keeps the overclocked components fed with stable power. It offers up a single DVI, one HDMI, and two mini-DisplayPort video outputs.
Because of the custom cooler, it should be possible to push the HD 7850 GPU even higher, although exactly how much higher will depend on the individual card.
The HIS IceQ X^2 Turbo does not have any official pricing information yet, but it should be priced somewhere around $220 since the already-available single fan IceQ X Turbo card is currently priced at approximately $210 at online retailers.
Also read: The AMD Radeon HD 7850 gets frame rated!
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 07:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nzxt, sentry, sentry mix 2, fan controller
NZXT has launched its new Sentry Mix 2 fan controller. Featuring an audio equipment theme, the Sentry Mix 2 fits into a single 5.25” bay. It features a matte black bezel with six glossy black sliders that are recessed into the bezel to ensure compatibility with PC case doors. Below the fan speed sliders are LEDs that can be changed to one of five colors (white, blue, green, orange, red).
The Mix 2 is the successor and replacement of the original Mix fan controller, and it uses a redesigned PCB. The controller has six sliders that are connected to six 4-pin fan outputs. The fan controller is powered by two 4-pin Molex power connectors and can draw a maximum of 180W. Each fan channel can draw a maximum of 30W. The sliders are analog rheostats that are also compatible with PWM controlled fans.
The Sentry Mix 2 comes with a 2 year warranty. The fan controller should be available soon with an MSRP of $29.99. More information can be found on NZXT’s website. As far as fan controllers go, I could see myself using this one as it keeps the LED bling to a minimum.
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 05:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: eranings, Q1 2013, nvidia, jen-hsun huang
NVIDIA seems to have completely ignored the economic downturn that has affected so many tech companies and posted gains in both revenue and profit for Q1 2013. The entire PC market may have shrunk by 10% but NVIDIA's profits were up 16.7% compared to 12 months ago, though when looking at GPU sales alone they did see about a 5% decline. Now that NVIDIA has branched out into mobility and HPC however, their total sales are up by 3%. The Register postulates that part of the reason their sales did not decline as much as other manufacturers is their focus on high end GPUs which are immune to the erosion being caused by sales of mobile devices such as tablets. Get the whole set of numbers here.
"In the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended on April 28, Nvidia's overall sales rose by 3.2 per cent to $954.7m. Big Green was able pull $77.9m to the bottom line, up 16.7 per cent compared to the year-ago period – even while investing in a substantial bump-up in research and development costs – thanks to a shift to higher margin products in both the discrete graphics and Tesla GPU coprocessor lines."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft plasters IE8 hole abused in nuke lab PC meltdown @ The Register
- Tripping on microdoses of Dyad @ The Tech Report
- Power2U AC/USB wall outlet @ LanOC Reviews
- Plugging into the Puzzle @ Techgage
- Casio G-SHOCK GA-110-1AER Watch @ NikKTech
- 8 Free to Play Games That Are Too Good to Be True @ Techspot
- ModRight Xtreme Super Large Anti-Static Mod-Mat @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 10, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: c6, c7, haswell, PSU, corsair
I cannot do it captain! I don't have the not enough power!
We have been discussing the ultra-low power state of Haswell processors for a little over a week and how it could be detrimental to certain power supplies. Power supply manufacturers never quite expected that you could have as little as a 0.05 Amp (0.6W) draw on the 12V rail without being off. Since then, companies such as Enermax started to list power supplies which have been tested and are compliant with the new power requirements.
|AXi||AX1200i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX||AX1200||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX||HX1050||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX-M||TX850M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX||TX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS||GS800||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS700||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS600||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX-M||CX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX||CX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS||VS650||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS550||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS450||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS350||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
Above is Corsair's slightly incomplete chart as of the time it was copied from their website, 3:30pm on May 10th, 2013; so far it is coming up all good. Their blog should be updated as new products get validated for the new C6 and C7 CPU sleep states.
The best part of this story is just how odd it is given the race to arc-welding (it's not a podcast so you can't Bingo! hahaha!) supplies we have been experiencing over the last several years. Simply put, some companies never thought that component manufacturers such as Intel would race to the bottom of power draws.
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2013 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" is powered by a i5-3230M 2.6GHz, 8GB 1600MHz RAM and a 2GB Radeon HD 7730M. The screen is 1080p as it should be for a machine capable of gaming and the audio is also better than average, Waves MaxxAudio 4 + Skullcandy speakers.
To get our recommended Inspiron 15R Special Edition configuration, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Add to cart button at the top
3. Add to cart
4. Apply coupon code: 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C in shopping cart and proceed to final checkout/payment