Podcast #152 - ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Motherboard, EVGA GTX460 2Win, NVIDIA Synergy and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2011 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: synergy, sony vaio, podcast, nvidia, gtx 460, asus, asrock, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #152 - 4/28/2011

This week we talk about the ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Motherboard, EVGA GTX460 2Win, NVIDIA Synergy, AMD quarterly earnings, Viewer questions and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes 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

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:09:40

Program Schedule:

Source:

Battlefield 3 footage looks impressive, will it appease PC gamers?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 28, 2011 - 11:36 AM |
Tagged: graphics, battlefield 3, battlefield

Got 12 minutes to spare?  No, how about at least a few?  I promise you'll be pretty impressed by what you see.  I think I am late to the game in posting this but EA released a 12 minute video showing gameplay of the upcoming Battlefield 3 game.  While we don't know anything about the minimum specifications of the game yet, we can assume that it will indeed take advantage of some of the latest graphics hardware.  

Take a look!  And if you are really tight on time, just to the 2:30 mark.

Considering that many people were disappointed in the appearance of the recently released Crysis 2, the considerable work being put into the Battlefield 3 PC game is going to be well appreciated.  In fact, this quote from developer DICE really proves our point that "building for consoles" is stupid:

"So for our target of what we want to hit, we are now using the more powerful platform to try and prove what we see gaming being in the future rather than using the lowest common denominator, instead of developing it for the consoles and then just adding higher resolution textures and anti-aliasing for the PC version. We’re do it the other way around, we start with the highest-end technology that we can come up with and then scale it back to the consoles."

Source: YouTube

Feeling Wii envy? Razer has developed motion control for the PC

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: wii, razer, motion control, hydra

If you don't have the time or the skills to hack a Wii-mote or Kinect system to work with your PC but do want to play with motion control then the Razer Hydra might be the thing for you.  Previously known as Sixense, it is a wired motion controller which sports enough buttons to be useful for gaming.  Slashdot heard tell of the release date and packaging which you can see here.

gizmag_razer-hydra.jpg

"While motion controllers are becoming a staple for console gamers with the release of the Wii, PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect, PC gamers have been left wanting. Razer is looking to change that with its Hydra motion controller which has been developed specifically for PC gamers. Unlike console-based motion control systems, the Hydra uses magnetic tracking technology by way of a base station that emits a magnetic field that Razer says allows the exact location and orientation of the handheld controllers to be detected with millimeter accuracy."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

AMD Catalyst 11.4 for Windows released

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: driver, catalyst, amd

 

amdgame.jpg

Grab it from AMD Game

Highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 Windows release include:

Enhancements to the AMD VISION Engine Control Center / AMD Catalyst Control Center

  • New task based Display Management controls
    • Simplifies the configuration of displays and display settings ·
  • New Eyefinity setup group
    • Setting up an Eyefinity group has never been easier
  • AMD Catalyst update notification (found within the Information Center)
    • This feature notifies users that new AMD Catalyst software packages are available

GPU Compute enhancements:
The OpenCL runtime (included in AMD Catalyst 11.4) includes performance enhancements supporting zero-copy on APUs and increased performance for PCIe transfers between a CPU and discrete GPU.

Performance highlights
The AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series and AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series of products will see the following performance gains:

  • Call of Duty Black Ops – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single GPU configurations
  • Battleforge – gains of up to 15% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Batman Arkham Asylum – gains of up to 20% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Aliens vs. Predator – gains of up to 8% with Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Civilization 5 – gains of up to 15% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Far Cry 2 – gains of up to 6% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Just Cause 2 – gains of up to 9% on single and multiple GPU configurations
  • Lost Planet 2 – gains of up to 10% on single and multiple GPU configurations

Resolved issue highlights

  • The GPU no longer shows high GPU usage after when running Firefox 4 with hardware acceleration enabled.
    Bioshock no longer displays random tearing and screen corruption with Vsync and MLAA enabled.
  • Water textures no longer flicker in Two Worlds II in Crossfire mode.
  • Bulletstorm lightshafts no longer appear broken when running on a HD 6970 series product.
  • Bulletstorm no longer displays random texture corruption when running in Crossfire mode.
  • FI 2010 no longer slows down intermittently when in Crossfire mode.
  • PowerDVD no longer crashes if Crossfire is enabled / disabled during playback of a BD title.
  • Running the Heaven benchmark no longer displays graphics corruption during DirectX 11 tests.

Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include:

This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)

Source: AMD

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Another OCZ Technology Vertex 2 120GB SSD!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | April 27, 2011 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: contest, giveaway, ocz, ssd, vertex

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The seventh (!!) prize is another 120GB OCZ Technology Vertex 2 SSD!!

vertex2_new_angle_1.jpg

What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking OCZ for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: OCZ

Which browser should you use for the things you don't want people to know you did

Subject: General Tech | April 27, 2011 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: flash. lso, firefox, extension, do not track, chrome

The new versions of IE, Firefox and even Opera have a do not track feature that is intended to block tracking cookies from landing on your system and letting advertisers and others get a feel for where you've been and what you've done online.  Arguing whether having a browsing experience without any targeted ads is a huge step in the name of privacy when there is far more information available from your Google and Facetwitter accounts seems pointless, but it is nice to know that you have that button.  Of course it doesn't work very well on the local shared objects on your machine, dumped there by Flash during your browsing experience, as evidenced very well by the online side scroller by the name of "You Only Live Once".  Google has yet to put a do not track button on their Chrome browser, for reasons obvious to many, but according to The Inquirer they have included tools to easily remove your local shared objects.  Exciting until you realize that Firefox has had an extension which can delete these 'super cookies' for quite a while now.

Shoulder-surfing.jpg

"THE LATEST VERSION of Google's Chrome web browser has made it much easier to delete user behavioural information, but there's still word on whether it will provide a 'Do Not Track' feature like those already offered by Firefox and Internet Explorer."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

AMD's been having a very busy start to the year

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2011 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, wichita, krishna, llano, amd

If DigiTimes sources are right and they usually are, you should have no trouble securing a Llano part when they are released in June/July. With an expected 3,000,000 parts headed out the door there will be plenty of APUs for everybody.  Even better news is that the 28nm Southern Island parts have been taped out which indicates very good things for that process technology and the chips it will produce.

lotsofllano.jpg

"AMD is ready to start selling its new Llano-based APUs as soon as June or July and has set a goal of shipping three million units in the third quarter of 2011, accounting for 40% of AMD's total CPU shipments in the quarter, according to sources from motherboard makers.

AMD responded by stating it does not comment on unannounced products.

AMD's better-than-expected APU shipments helped the company to achieve on-year growth of 98% and on-quarter growth of 36% for its first-quarter net profit, which reached US$510 million.

The sources pointed out that the AMD's APU platform's low price has helped it receive supports from many of AMD's partners and the company in the first quarter already shipped about three million Brazos-based CPUs with 50% of the shipments being used for notebook platform.

The sources pointed out that AMD's new Llano APU will have a great chance to raise AMD's share in CPU market from around 20% in 2010 to 30%.

Taiwan-based Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have all already prepared several different motherboard models designed specifically for Llano. Since AMD's APU offers a better price, but has a similar performance as Intel's same-grade products, the competition may trigger Intel to consider a price cut to counter, the sources noted.

In addition to Llano, AMD's 28nm products including Krishna- and Wichita-based APUs and Southern Island GPU are already under tape-out."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3 Motherboard

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards | April 25, 2011 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: p67 b3, maximus iv extreme, giveaway, contest, asus

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The sixth prize is truly a killer motherboard, the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3!

asusmaxivextreme.jpg

This motherboard from ASUS has just about anything an enthusiast could ask for including:

  • ROG Connect: Plug and Overclock - Tweak it the hardcore way!
  • ROG iDirect : Tune your PC from your iPhone or iPad now!
  • RC Bluetooth: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • Extreme Engine Digi+: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • USB BIOS Flashback: Refresh the BIOS can never be that easy

How can you win this wonderful piece of engineering that currently sells for more than $360???

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking ASUS for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as any ideas you have for the NEXT super-motherboard.  What other features would you like to see from ASUS? 

You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick the winners soon and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: ASUS

Roll your own Linux firewall with fwbuilder

Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2011 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: firewall, router, linux, dd-wrt

You may have heard mention of DD-WRT on the PC Perspective Podcast, which enables you to flash a compatible router into a Linux based firewall with significanly more capabilities than it originally had.  There is another tool out available call Fwbuilder which lets you make a PC running Linux into a powerfull firewall with an easyto use graphical interface for those not up on their VIM skills.  Drop by Linux.com for a look.

linuxdc_fwbuilder_firewall.png

"Fwbuilder is a unique graphical firewall tool that allows the user to create objects and then drag and drop those objects into firewalls, to build a powerful security system for a single PC or a network of PCs. Fwbuilder supports a wide range of firewalls (Cisco ASA/PIX, Linux iptables, FreeBSD's ipfilter, OpenBSD's pf, and more), so its rules can be deployed on multiple platforms. Let's take a look at using Fwbuilder on Linux, which might just become a life-long affair with a powerful security system."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Linux.com

The year is looking bright for AMD

Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2011 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: amd, income, billion, ATIC, quarter

It might not seem like good news that AMD's entire sales for this quarter don't match Intel's profits but that just exemplifies the size discrepancy between the two companies.  It most certainly is good news, showing an improvement from this time last year partly thanks to ATIC, a partner with AMD in GlobalFoundries, purchasing Chartered Semiconducter and improving AMD's income on the books, if not through actual exchange of cash.  The Register's report tells of improvements on sales of APU/CPUs but not so much from GPUs.

scroogemcduck.jpg

"Advanced Micro Devices is no longer a fabricator of chips, but it is still benefitting from spinning out its wafer-baking unit to GlobalFoundries.

In the first quarter ending April 2, AMD's sales were up a modest 2 per cent, to $1.61bn, but all of its costs were on the rise, and its operating income fell by 70 per cent, to $54m."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register