Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 14, 2013 - 01:55 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: opteron, arm, amd
The ARMv8 architecture extends the hardware platform to 64-bit. This increase is mostly useful to address massive amounts of memory but can also have other benefits for performance. I think many of us remember the excitement prior to x86-64 and the subsequent let-down when we realized that, for most applications, typical vector extensions kept up in performance especially considering the compatibility issues of the day. It needed to happen but it was a hard sell until... it was just ubiquitous.
AMD has not kept it secret that they are developing 64-bit ARM processors for data centers but, until this week, further details were scarce. Under the codename, "Seattle", these processors will be available in four and eight cores. The Opteron branding will expand beyond x86 to include these new processors. The pitch to enterprises is simple: want both ARM and x86? Why bother with two vendors!
Seattle will also support up to 128GB of ECC memory and 10 Gigabit Ethernet for dense, but power efficient, compute clusters. It will be manufactured on the 28nm process.
The majority of AMD's blog post proclaimed its commitment to software support and it is definitely true that they hold a very high status in both the Linux and Apache Foundations. ARMv8 is supported in Linux starting with kernel 3.7.
Seattle is expected to launch in the second half of 2014.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 13, 2013 - 08:49 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, haswell
Intel will begin to refresh their Haswell line of processors, according to VR-Zone, starting in Q2 and continue into Q3. This will be accompanied by their 9-series of motherboard chipsets. The Intel Core i7-4770 and Core i7-4771 will be replaced, not just surpassed, by the Core i7-4790. That said, the only difference is a 100MHz bump to both the base and turbo CPU frequencies.
The K-series processors will come in Q3 and are said to be based on Haswell-E with DDR4 memory. I find this quite confusing because of previous reports that Broadwell-K would appear at roughly the same time. I am unsure what this means for Broadwell-K and I am definitely unsure why some Haswell-E components would be considered part of the Haswell refresh instead of the Haswell-E launch.
Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2013 - 06:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: valve, steam os, Gabe Newell
Well it is December 13th and as promised you can get your hands on Steam OS, more or less. We've tried starting the download a few times here at PC Perspective and are running into a few difficulties but maybe you will have better luck. Click onto this link to head to the SteamDB site and you just might be able to get your hands on Valve's new operating system. We have been lead to believe it will bear a lot of resemblance to the already familiar Steam Big Picture though as we have yet to get a working image to install on a machine that is hard to verify. There is a secondary repository you can try as well.
And a new magnet link torrrent just popped up which should help you a lot! Magnet link for torrent download.
As they state on the page "Valve is having server issues (no wonder), download will probably fail." but you probably expected that anyways. Of course you will not be able to download a Steam Machine, unless you are one of those lucky so-and-so's who got in on the beta. Once we have succeeded in installing Gabe's new plaything on a machine you can expect an update but until then why not try it on your own. No word on if this will support badgers or not.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 13, 2013 - 05:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webgl, ue4, UE3, asm.js
Its shortcoming is the difficulty and annoyance when hand coding (without compiling it from another language). The browser is used more by encouraging the adoption of web standards through discouraging the usage of web standards. You can see where the politics can enter.
Still, it makes for great demos such as the cloth physics applet from James Long of Mozilla or, more amazingly, Unreal Engine 3. The upcoming UE4 is expected to be officially supported by Epic Games on asm.js (and obviously WebGL will be necessary too) but, of course, Epic will not prevent UE3 licensees from doing their own leg-work.
NomNom Games, a group within Trendy Entertainment (Trendy is known for Dungeon Defenders), became the first company to release a commercial 3D title on these standards. Monster Madness, powered by Unreal Engine 3, runs in web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome without plugins (although it will fail-down to Flash 11.6 if your browser is unsupported for the web-native version). Monster Madness is a top-down cell shaded shoot'em-up.
You can play, for free, with an anonymous token here. You can also visit their website to learn more about the closed beta for registered accounts. It is natively supported on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. I am not entirely sure why IE11 is not supported, now that Microsoft supports WebGL, but there is probably a customer support or performance reason for it.
Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2013 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's deal is a Dell XPS 15 running Win7 and featuring a Core i5-3230M, 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive with a 32GB mSATA SSD and a 1GB GeForce GT 630M. The screen is a full 1080p and the aluminium machine weighs a mere 5.8lbs for extra portability.
- Dell XPS 15 Core i5 1080p Ultrabook w/ GeForce GT 630M & Windows 7 for $749.99 with Free Shipping (normally $1,369.99 - use coupon code: WD0RTDJWM4QC1F).
- Today Only! Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360) for $34.99 with Free Shipping(normally $59.99).
- LG 23.6" LED-Backlit Monitor (24EN33TW-B) for $121.49 with Free Shipping(normally $189.99 - use coupon code: MASTERPASS).
- Sharp Aquos LC-50LE442U 50" 1080p LED HDTV for $598.00(normally $748.00).
- Dell Inspiron One 2330 23" Dual-core 1080p All-in-one PC for $549.99 with free shipping(normally $699.99).
- Fab Boombox Mugs (Set of 2) for $12.00 with free shipping(normally $20.00).
Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2013 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, mobile gaming, geomerics
Geomerics may not be a name that springs immediately to mind when you think of gaming but they are the ones behind the lighting effects in the last two Battlefield games as well as Medal of Honour. Today we hear that ARM has just bought that company lock, stock and barrel which could mean very good things for gaming on mobile devices using ARM processors. The company should be able to optimize high end tricks like global illumination and reflections for ARM processors to give the next generation of games impressive visuals without too much of a hit on performance. As The Inquirer points out, the most popular mobile game remains Angry Birds; maybe the next update will feature god rays.
"ARM bought Geomerics, which specialises in lighting for the games development industry, for an undisclosed sum with a view to adding further to its mobile development capabilities."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Valve releases its Steam operating system (sort of) @ The Inquirer
- Wikipedia's Lamest Edit Wars @ Slashdo
- TSMC moves 16nm FinFET to risk production @ DigiTimes
- Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear @ The Register
- A Look at Mac Hypervisors: Parallels Desktop 9 & VMware Fusion 6 @ Techgage
- SCREEECH! Dell spins in public cloud U-turn – now it'll resell Google, Azure @ The Register
- Win a LSI Nytro™ MegaRAID® 8120-4i PCIe 3.0 800GB Card @ SSD Review
Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2013 - 02:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SAPPHIRE TOXIC, r9 280x
Changing up the reference cooler on an R9 280X is bound to have an effect on both the noise produced as well as the temperature of the GPU and hence the frequency that the GPU runs at. The reported 'base clock' of the GPU is 1100MHz with a top speed of 1150MHz and an effective memory speed of 6.4GHz with controllable voltage to ensure that enough juice is getting to the GPU. [H]ard|OCP saw a significant decrease in the temperature of the GPU and when they overclocked the card they did see an increase in performance, you can see exactly how much in the full review.
"The SAPPHIRE TOXIC R9 280X is here and is screaming to be overclocked. This bad boy is suited with the new SAPPHIRE Tri-X cooling system, a hefty factory overclock, and is built to push overclocking to the next level. It will have some fierce competition going head to head with the ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II and its overclocking ability."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- VisionTek Radeon R9 270X 2GB Gaming Graphics Card @ TechwareLabs
- HIS R7 250 iCooler Boost Clock 1GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- NZXT Kraken G10 GPU Water Cooler Review on a Radeon R9 290X @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte Radeon R9 270X OC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs AMD Radeon R9 290X at 4K Ultra HD @ Legit Reviews
- PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor R9 270X 2GB Devil Edition Video Card Review @HiTech Legion
- ASUS R9 270X DC II TOP 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270X WF OC (GV-R927XOC-2GD) Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- XFX R7950 Double Dissipation Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- 21-Way Open-Source AMD/Intel/NVIDIA GPU Benchmarks On Linux @ Phoronix
- 27-Way NVIDIA & AMD Graphics Card Benchmarks On Linux @ Phoronix
- Ultra HD 4K Linux Graphics Card Testing @ Phoronix
- Are retail Radeon R9 290X cards slower than press samples? @ The Tech Report
- MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3GB @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Palit GTX 780 Ti JetStream 3 GB @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2013 - 02:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win 8.1, touchscreen, notebook, fail
It is going to be hard for Microsoft to flog its new OS when notebook manufactures are not interested in selling touchscreen notebooks. Apparently the idea of greasy fingers obscuring your view of Metro just hasn't caught on as was predicted by the GUI geniuses behind Win8. Though DigiTimes does not specify which vendors are abandoning touchscreens, first tier vendors include all of the names you are familiar with. The decision is financial, not spiteful, as a touchscreen does add around 10% to the cost of producing a notebook and as no one is buying them it is foolish to continue to produce them.
"Some first-tier notebook brand vendors have recently adjusted their notebook roadmaps for 2014 and will delay the releases of touchscreen conventional notebooks to focus on non-touchscreen models, which have a pricing advantage, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 147: Amazon airlifts, 4K goes mainstream, and 290X goes wobbly @ The Tech Report
- Rambus versus Micron FINALLY OVER @ The Register
- Just when you were considering Red Hat Linux 6.5, here comes 7 @ The Register
- TSSDR Holiday Giveaway – Win Crucial M500 240GB, 480 and 1TB SSDs
Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2013 - 01:35 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z87, xfire, video, shield, R9 290X, podcast, pcper, nvidia, litecoin, grid, frame rating, eyefinity, crossfire, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #280 - 12/12/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GRID Beta, R9 290X Custom Coolers, 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: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Scott Michaud
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 11, 2013 - 05:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: frame pacing, frame rating, amd, southern islands, 4k, eyefinity, crossfire, microstutter
The frame pacing issue has been covered at our website for almost a year now. It stems from the original "microstutter" problem which dates back over a year before we could quantify it. We like to use the term "Frame Rating" to denote the testing methodology we now use for our GPU tests.
AMD fared worse at these tests than NVIDIA (although even they had some problems in certain configurations). They have dedicated a lot of man-hours to the problem resulting in a driver updates for certain scenarios. Crossfire while utilizing Eyefinity or 4K MST was one area they did not focus on. The issue has been addressed in Hawaii and AMD asserted that previous cards will get a software fix soon.
The good news is that we have just received word from AMD that they plan on releasing a beta driver for Southern Islands and earlier GPUs (AMD believes it should work for anything that's not "legacy"). As usual, until it ships anything could change, but it looks good for now.
The beta "frame pacing" driver addressing Crossfire with 4K and Eyefinity, for supported HD-series and Southern Islands-based Rx cards, is expected to be public sometime in January.
Get notified when we go live!