RAGE on, PC: PCGamer interviews John Carmack

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 11, 2011 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: john carmack, id, E3

John Carmack was and is one of the biggest faces in videogame engine development since Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. He was at E3 to promote his company, iD Software’s, RAGE: their nearest upcoming release. While he was there, PCGamer managed to corner him for a 22 minute interview ranging from RAGE; to the current and future state of PC gaming; to the perceptive effect of input latency and how framerate affects it.

Look at how stable the framerate is!

Some points of interest from the interview include:
  • Texture resolution and memory limitations on consoles
  • Higher end PCs being approximately 10-fold higher performance than the consoles
  • Sandy Bridge is finally barely good enough for integrated graphics to be viable GPUs for games
  • DirectX and OpenGL APIs hold the PC back, looking forward to new movements to access GPU better
  • His interest focuses on the toolset to let the artists do more with less effort
  • PC Gaming is still viable but a minority
  • Input latency is longer than people expect, sometimes up to 100ms and beyond
  • The exciting yet not necessarily crucial nature of newer rendering technologies

John Carmack always has interesting interviews from his very down to Earth and blunt tone. If you have a free half hour and want to hear one of the best game programmers in the world talk about his trade, this is definitely an interview for you.

Source: PCGamer

Is the InFocus 55" a wall tablet? Do you want it anyway?

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Systems | June 11, 2011 - 03:31 AM |
Tagged: wall tablet, InFocus

InFocus is branding their 55-inch touch-screen TV with Windows 7 embedded as a “Wall Tablet”. The writers down at HotHardware seem to take offense to a 55-inch device being called a tablet and I must agree. My duration working in high schools and acquiring an education degree grew me well acquainted with SMART boards and this product definitely recalls those memories much more vividly than my experience playing around with tablet devices.

The problem with touch screens in schools is that every screen is treated like one thereafter.

(Video from BusinessWire)

It is quite obvious that InFocus spent quite a large amount of time developing their user interface to dress up Windows 7 as a more whiteboard friendly operating system. Their interface has a custom file browser with annotation capabilities, a custom web browser, a digital whiteboard application, and a video conferencing solution that can interface with open protocols such as Google Talk and more proprietary ones such as Cisco. The unit itself has a 720p video camera and a screen resolution of 1920x1080 with multiple touch recognition, something that most (but not all) SMART boards are incapable of.

It is highly unlikely that you will have one of these $6000 devices in your house unless you happen to require it for professional reasons. For those in the education, training, research, or corporate management fields: a device like this could make your life much easier particularly if you were already considering installing a mass of SMART boards for this purpose. They are expected to ship to interested customers in July.

Source: HotHardware

Do yourself a favour and look up Kevin Warwick ... if you don't know who he is

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 05:45 PM |
Tagged: friday, forum

With all the news from E3 it seems topical to check out the Fragging Frogs and the Gaming Forum, as there is a lot of buzz there right now. You can share your thoughts on a game who's release was once predicted to herald the end of the universe and the latest incarnation of a game that ranks among the favourite of the Frogs, Battlefield 3.   (Not that it should be 3, not even counting Bad Company or addons there are more than three Battlefield titles.)  That release is a perfect reason for you to play with fellow forum members on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 8PM EDT, where you can get in a real flame war with them!   Not everything is good news however, if you own a Codemasters game you should know they've joined PSN in the 'Recently Hacked Club'.

In the General Forum is a fellow looking for a PC to go to college with, so don't recommend a mobile GTX560.  The Motherboard Forum is hopping as well; not only because of the new Intel Z68 board but also because of AMD's new 990 chipset ... though there isn't much action in the CPU Forum as AMD released the new chipset and socket but we are still awaiting the arrival of the Bulldozers.  The Cases & Cooling Forum members are quite excited by the new self contained water cooling systems Corsair announced at Computex and the Storage Forum is up in arms about the problems with OCZ's Force 3 SSDs, though you nust admit that OCZ has done a stellar job of letting people know what happened and providing a fix.

The people in this Forum may seem a little 'off", but once you get to know them they are a friendly and funny bunch, while all the serious people looking for a debate are hanging out at The Lightning Round.  On the other hand, if your fingers are tired out after a long week, why not grab a pint and sit back and watch the newly bottled PC Perspective Podcast, this week we take it to #158!

RAGE delayed a month, lives up to name

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 04:55 PM |
Tagged: rage, id, delayed

RAGE, which was originally expected to launch September 13th on the PC, 360, and PS3, is now expected to be available on October 4th according to their official website. Neither Bethesda nor iD Software published a press release yet to confirm the release date push yet being on the game’s official website there seems to be little doubt that RAGE will end up being an October release.



(Image from iD Software)

Without a press release there is still only speculation about the cause of the delay. Tom’s Hardware speculates that the planned release of Gears of War 3 a week after the original date for RAGE pushed up the release date into October to avoid Epic Games’ behemoth release. It is also possible that the one month delay was completely development driven. iD was long known for the old-school PC game development “done when it is done” mentality and they have no problems delaying a release to get it to the state that they desire it to be at.

Are you looking forward to RAGE? Discuss in the comments.

In Win Commander II, 1200W of victory?

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | June 10, 2011 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: in win, 1200w

When you have a beastly computer you need a decent power supply to keep up with it. While I personally seem to be comfortable with a single-rail 750W power supply some people might need more wattage than that. Anandtech recently reviewed the In Win 1200W power supply with its “Japanese Industrial Grade Capacitor” which should be plural and “Strict Voltage Regulation (+/- 5%)” which is only as strict as the ATX spec.


It’s designed to blend in with your case.

(Image from Anandtech)

Anandtech had a few complaints about the power supply. Firstly, they complained that the provided cable is only able to carry 10A which is insufficient if you actually intend to draw its rated levels of amperage. They also complained about the price being too high though acknowledge that the price might drop to around the $200 mark though even then it would be up against comparable competition. Check out Anandtech for their review.

Source: Anandtech

When the world's largest motherboard maker says your time is come, you'd best pay attention

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 11:43 AM |
Tagged: wintel, ubiquitous computing, asus

ASUS is currently the largest motherboard manuacturer on the planet, almost single handedly started the netbook craze and is now working on moving up in the rankings of those companies making tablets and full sized notebooks.  So when the chairman of Asustek states that the Wintel era is over, both Microsoft and Intel had better pay attention.  Some of us remember the good old days when Cyrix and AMD first started making inroads on Intel's market share and it seemed that the CPU market was going to open wide up.  That might not have happened in the way some hoped but we are now seeing a second renaissance, the market is expanding not just beyond Intel and AMD but beyond the chip architecture that has been dominant for so long. 

They might not be making motherboards for ARM processors in the near future but from what DigiTimes discovered they are likely to start selling products that have non x86 based products in the very near future.


"The so-called Wintel era is over with no CPU or OS vendors to be able to dominate the PC, tablet PC or handset markets as they did before, according to Asustek chairman Jonney Shih. The breakup of the Wintel alliance offers a brand new opportunity for system vendors to thrive again in the IT market, Shih said.

Shih pointed out that system vendors, which have innovations in design, capabilities in technology R&D, and are closer to the market, will be able to achieve success in the new IT era. Asustek is currently learning from vendors such as Apple and Sony, and is aiming to own a market position within the new IT era, in which the boundaries between the notebook, tablet PC and handset markets are already turning blurry.

Although the rise of tablet PCs is expected to provide system vendors opportunities, it may also significantly reshuffle the ranking of the whole IT market.

Commenting on Acer's recent downward performance, Shih pointed out that Asustek already improved its inventory management system after experiencing the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008, and its retail channel partners all have healthy inventory levels. Asustek is currently checking its downstream partners' inventory levels every Thursday to ensure their supply management.

For the future, company president and CEO Jerry Shen estimates that the company's third quarter performance will be stronger than the second with the IT market in 2011 to return to its usual pattern of having stronger sales in the second half than the first."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Webian OS: Like Chromebook, just Chromeless

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 04:09 AM |
Tagged: webian, mozilla, chromeless

Google Chromebooks have been talked about quite a bit lately particularly with the announcement of Samsung and Acer varieties nearing retail. You may believe that Google will be your only option as Microsoft and Apple are ignoring the stripped down OS market but you would be wrong. Webian OS has recently been released in preview form and combines Mozilla’s Chromeless project-based Webian Shell with openSUSE to make a self-contained OS similar to Google ChromeOS


Tired of what Simon says?

Webian Shell has a very minimalist interface with a tab-focused taskbar, the closest analog to application switching in a web-based operating system. Beyond the tab taskbar there is just a location bar which doubles as a progress bar; combined stop, go, and reload button; a clock; and the site itself. The project is not near completion yet as the developers anticipates to add home screen, widgets, onscreen keyboards, and other features as need arises. Have ideas or wish to contribute? Check out their website and GetSatisfaction.

Source: Mozilla Labs

PC Perspective Podcast #158 - MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 06:47 PM |
Tagged: podcast, Intel, computex, amd, 990fx

PC Perspective Podcast #158 - 6/09/2011

This week we talk about the MSI P67-GD80 Motherboard review, Antec Performance P280 case, Corsair Force 3 SSD recall 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: 1:00:43

Program Schedule:


  1. 0:00:33 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:50 AMD 990FX/SB950 Release: Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX and the MSI 990FXA-GD80
  6. 0:04:10 MSI P67A-GD80 LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard Review
  7. 0:06:42 MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK Graphic Card Review
  8. 0:14:23 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. 0:15:02 PowerColor Shows Off New 4GB AMD Graphics Card With Two Stock Clocked 6970 GPUs
  10. 0:20:18 Antec Performance P280 Case First Look at Computex
  11. 0:23:40 ECS Motherboards on display at Computex 2011
  12. 0:27:02 MSI shows Gen3 PCIe, X79 Motherboard and GTX 580 Extreme
  13. 0:33:12 Thermaltake Level 10 GT White, Frio GT and BigWater coolers and USB Power Strip
  14. 0:39:05 AMD Brings Back FX Branding For High-End CPUs and Motherboards at E3
  15. 0:40:18 Corsair recalls entire Force Series 3 SSD line, cites hardware defects
  16. 0:44:05 PNY and Asetek Team Up to Deliver Sealed-Loop Water Cooling for CPUs and Graphics Cards
  17. 0:48:30 Just Delivered.  Large, nifty video card. - MSI N580GTX Lightning Extreme
  18. 0:49:45 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
  19. 0:51:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Gold bar USB 3.0 drive
    2. Jeremy: Still like the newstweak, but if'n I used it up then IPv6 didn't destroy the world!
    3. Josh: Boston Lager Cut!  http://www.samueladams.com/promos/lager-and-beef/lagercut.aspx
    4. Allyn: Intel 320 Warranty = 5 years
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. 0:59:23 Closing




Tweak your SSD: Notice the difference, and frown

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 9, 2011 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: tweak, ssd

The people who stick an SSD in their PC are typically the type of people who would want to optimize their performance as best as possible. Particularly with the larger investment of the earlier SSDs tweak guides were quite common to squeeze every IO/s and MB/s out of their device. Tom’s Hardware has just posted a list of common tweaks and a series of benchmarks performed on the tweaked system. According to their findings, you may wish to undo your tweaks.


Don’t do it!

Some tweaks saw the occasional increase in performance though on the whole performance suffered by some extent. Tweaks that were designed to reclaim capacity gave you back quite a bit of space however, though you should expect that if your drive is not storing system restore points, file system indexes, or your swap file that you would have more usable space on your drive. The hit on performance from the performance tweaks typically were not too great with the exception of write caching on Intel drives bringing their write speeds to single digit MB/s. Check out Tom’s Hardware’s full guide for more information.

Acer shows trust in AMD, orders 80K Z-Series APUs from AMD

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2011 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: acer, amd, desna, bobcat core, APU, AMD z-series, brazos

AMD's C-series and E-series of APUs have been selling quickly, with an estimated 1/2 million processors sold already to tablet and SFF PC builders and putting plenty of pressure on Intel's Atom+ION lineup.  AMD has made themselves so popular by providing better performance at a lower TDP and power draw, mostly because of the age of the Oak Trail based CULVs, once Huron River arrives we may see that change drastically.

Now we learn that Acer has orders in for 80K of the new dual core 1GHz APU, with a TDP of 5.9W.  Obviously AMD and the OEMs purchasing the chips are intending these for tablets and SFF PCs running Windows.  There will be no need to wait for Win8's ARM architecture support if you are looking to run a Win7 ultramobile PC right now.  ARM, Tegra and even Intel's announced Moorestown pull less power and are more appropriate for smart phones, so don't expect to be seeing Desna in that particular form factor.

Check out DigiTimes coverage here.


"Acer has recently placed orders for 80,000 Z series APUs from AMD for use in tablet PCs, targeting the enterprise market, according to sources from upstream component makers. However, both Acer and AMD did not confirm the orders.

In addition to Acer, Micro-Star International (MSI) is also developing tablet PC models using AMD's APU.

Since Google Android 3.0 currently still has issues which need to be resolved, while the next-generation Android operating system codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich will not appear until the end of 2011, some tablet PC vendors have decided to launch Windows 7-based tablet PCs targeting the enterprise market to maintain their shipments.

Since Intel's Oak Trail-based Atom processor is higher in both price and power consumption, several notebook vendors have already started considering AMD's platform. In addition to Acer and MSI, some vendors have also started inquiring about AMD's Z series APU.

AMD's Z series APU is produced through Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) 40nm process and is already shipping, targeting the Windows-based tablet PC market, noted the sources adding that they expect shipments of Z series APUs to reach at least 500,000 units in the second half of 2011, creating strong pressure on Intel's Oak Trail processor."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes