Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2013 - 08:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Light Peak
We received Thunderbolt, on the PC at least, a year ago. While not yet ubiquitous, we will be receiving an update to the interface sooner than you would expect. The main advantages of Thunderbolt is the ridiculous bandwidth and ability to daisy-chain with displays. Thunderbolt 2 looks to advance both of those features.
Thunderbolt is based around a PCI Express signal for data and DisplayPort for video, both combined down a single cable. The cable, in fact, is compatible with Mini DisplayPort adapters and devices if used exclusively for video. The upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 advances the video standard to DisplayPort 1.2; as a result, Thunderbolt 2 devices will be capable of driving a 4K monitor (supposedly with sound) without requiring multiple cables to be connected.
In terms of strict bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 will provide double the data rate of the original Thunderbolt. Instead of 10Gbps, new devices will be able to transfer at 20Gbps. This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...
As expected, there is not really any talk about specific prices yet (I would expect that depends on implementation) but you should look forward to it landing either really late this year or early next year. As for the original Thunderbolt? Well, the new standard is backwards compatible but there is concern whether new devices would be fairly crippled without the new standard.
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 03:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Alpha, Prison Architect
The makers of DEFCON have come up with another very original game idea which they are currently developing and which is available in an alpha version on Steam. Prison Architect is a game which is exactly as it's name implies, you attempt to run a prison and keep the guards safe and the prisoners controlled. This is not about abusing prisoners but instead is an exploration into the dynamics of the prison system and how difficult it can be to run a safe prison. As an example of how the prisoners work the designers revealed to TechSpot that "50% of prisoners plead innocent to their crimes, and about 5% of all prisoners are actually innocent" which has an effect on their behaviour. Check out the interview to see if you might be interested in trying out the alpha.
"Prison Architect is like 'SimPrison', if there ever was one, made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics. The game is from the indie studio Introversion, who have also made the saddest/best game about nuclear war.
Here's a brief interview with Introversion's own architects about their newest work. They served up some fascinating answers about the possibilities of a game about building and running a prison."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mirror’s Edge 2 Is Probably A Thing Again @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- A Slash From The Past: Shadow Warrior Free On Steam @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Microsoft and 343 Industries announce Halo: Spartan Assault @ The Inquirer
- AMD Aiming To Smooth Ports Between PC And Console @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Computex 2013: Gigabyte Shows Off GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+ Motherboard That Hints At 5GHz AMD FX Processor
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | June 5, 2013 - 02:13 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gigabyte, ga-990fx-ud7, computex 2013, computex, amd fx, amd, am3+
Gigabyte is showing off quite a few motherboards at Computex 2013. One of the most interesting motherboards on display is the GA-990FX-UD7 for AMD AM3+ desktop processors. This is a high-end motherboard for enthusiasts and is packed with features.
The GA-990FX-UD7 features an 8+2 power phase, AM3+ CPU socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots, six PCI-E 2.0 x16 (physical) slots, one legacy PCI slot, and eight SATA 3 6Gbps ports. It has a black and glossy orange color scheme with large finned heatsinks around the CPU socket and over the southbridge. The board uses a Realtek ALC889 chipset for onboard audio that supports Dolby Home Theater and has a 108dB SNR rating. Further, the GA-990FX-UD7 supports 4-way SLI or CrossFire, Gigabyte's UEFI DualBIOS, and 3X power which allows faster battery charging for supported USB-connected mobile devices.
The Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7 at Computex 2013 as spotted by Sweclockers (Click for larger image).
Rear IO includes a single coaxial S/PDIF and six analog audio outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA+USB combo ports, and a RJ45 LAN jack.
Interestingly, Gigabyte's Computex display mentions that the new AM3+ motherboard is compatible with AMD's 5GHz AM3+ processor, which lends credibility to previous rumors of a Piledriver-based eight core “Centurion” AMD FX processor clocked at 5GHz with a 220W TDP. That chip was rumored for a summer 2013 release in limited quantities, and it looks like enthusiasts might be able to get their hands on that chip later this year after all!
Although AMD is not talking, Sweclockers has managed to put together a list of preliminary specifications for the codenamed Centurion processor. Rumors have it that the Centurion chip will be officially named the AMD FX-9000, and that it is a 4-module, 8-core part with a 4.8 GHz base clock and 5.0 GHz turbo clockspeed. It has a total of 8MB L2 cache, and 8MB of L3. Further, this 220W TDP part will support a maximum of DDR3-1866 (officially, before overclocking) and is build on AMD's 32nm SOI HKMG manufacturing process. You will need a beefy air cooler at the minimum to keep this chip happy, but otherwise it should be a fun chip for enthusiasts to tinker with!
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, haswell, ubuntu 13.04, i7-4770k
The story is familiar as you can quickly see from this quote in Phoronix's review of Haswell on Linux, "Polished Haswell support coming to an "out of the box" Linux desktop won't really be there until later in H2'2013." However that does not mean it does not work at all, they tested several kernels and versions to find the most stable way to run Haswell and to take advantage of the internal GPU. They successfully tested with Linux 3.10 kernel, Mesa 9.2, GCC 4.8.1, and LLVM 3.3 and found performance improvements across the board when compared to Ivy Bridge processors which could be a good reason to consider holding out on an Ivy Bridge CPU as an upgrade choice, as Intel is working to improve Haswell support and it is a much improved CPU compared to previous generations.
"This past weekend I shared the first experiences of running Intel's new Haswell CPU on Linux. While Intel Haswell is a beast and brings many new features and innovations to the new Core CPUs succeeding Ivy Bridge, there were a few shortcomings with the initial Linux support. It still appears that the Core i7 4770K is still being finicky at times for both the processor and graphics, but in this article are the first benchmarks. Up today are benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 4770K when running Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.10 kernel."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel's plan for Haswell, Silvermont, Bay Trail: WORLD DOMINATION @ The Register
- A quick look at LSI's Syncro CS, HA DAS Collaboration with Microsoft
- Meeting The Men Behind Haswell @ TechARP
- Haswell Xeons bring brawn to microservers, media servers, more @ The Register
- Eyeing the gaming market: Q&A with ECS executive Sam Yeh @ DigiTimes
- Stuffa Jacket @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you want to be one of the first kids with a Haswell machine on your block then you can pick up the Dell XPS 8700 at a great price. Not only do you get a quad core i7-4770 the system also comes with an HD7570 for light gaming duties. This is a Win8 machine so you might want to consider personalizing the system with one of the multi-touch screens for the best possible user experience.
- Dell XPS 8700 Core i7-4770 3.4GHz "Haswell" Quad-core Desktop w/8GB RAM, 1TB SATA III Hard Drive & Radeon HD 7570 for $749.99 with free shipping (normally $874.99 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- Ending tonight! 17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition Core i7 1080p 3D Laptop w/ Blu-ray, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD, 2GB GeForce GT 650M Graphics, Backlit Keyboard & 3D Glasses for $1,219.99 with free shipping (normally $1,538.99 - use coupon code ?SWK4RL9BTX1MD ).
- Alienware M18x Core i7 Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/ Dual 2GB GDDR5 GeForce GTX 680M SLI for $3,004 with free shipping (normally $3,554 - use coupon code NLZ5145HLZF?FL ).
- 39" Sharp Aquos LC-39LE440U 1080p LED HDTV + $50 Gift Card for $399.99 with free shipping (normally $499.99).
- Dell PowerEdge T110 II Intel Xeon E3 Quad-core Server for $489 with free shipping (normally $912 - use coupon code HF9X1212V3TKTK ).
- Realspace Lundey Mid-Back Mesh Chair for $129.99 with free shipping (normally $189.99 - use coupon code 15894765 ).
An new era for computing? Or, just a bit of catching up?
Early Tuesday, at 2am for viewers in eastern North America, Intel performed their Computex 2013 keynote to officially kick off Haswell. Unlike ASUS from the night prior, Intel did not announce a barrage of new products; the purpose is to promote future technologies and the new products of their OEM and ODM partners. In all, there was a pretty wide variety of discussed topics.
Intel carried on with the computational era analogy: the 80's was dominated by mainframes; the 90's were predominantly client-server; and the 2000's brought the internet to the forefront. While true, they did not explicitly mention how each era never actually died but rather just bled through: we still use mainframes, especially with cloud infrastructure; we still use client-server; and just about no-one would argue that the internet has been displaced, despite its struggle against semi-native apps.
Intel believes that we are currently in the two-in-one era, which they probably mean "multiple-in-one" due to devices such as the ASUS Transformer Book Trio. They created a tagline, almost a mantra, illustrating their vision:
"It's a laptop when you need it; it's a tablet when you want it."
But before elaborating, they wanted to discuss their position in the mobile market. They believe they are becoming a major player in the mobile market with key design wins and outperforming some incumbent system on a chips (SoCs). The upcoming Silvermont architecture pines to be fill in the gaps below Haswell, driving smartphones and tablets and stretching upward to include entry-level notebooks and all-in-one PCs. The architecture promises to scale between offering three-fold more performance than its past generation, or a fifth of the power for equivalent performance.
Ryan discussed Silvermont last month, be sure to give his thoughts a browse for more depth.
Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2013 - 02:48 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, notepal u2 plus, mobile, laptop cooler, laptop, cooler master, computex 2013
Cooler Master has released a new notebook cooler called the NotePal U2 Plus that is the latest model in the NotePal U-series. This cooler supports up to 17" laptops and allows you to move the two included fans for optimal cooling (ie, actually put the fans over the vents).
Other features of the NotePal U2 Plus include raised feet that lift up your laptop at a slight angle to make long typing or gaming sessions more comfortable, according to Cooler Master. The cooler feet also aid in cable management by allowing you to loop your long cords around the included hooks. Finally, the NotePal U2 Plus can attach to your laptop and be carried with along using an elastic strap and the cooler feet to hold your notebook in place.
The new Cooler Master notebook cooler is available now with an MSRP of $29.99.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 4, 2013 - 11:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex 2013, computex, X-Gene, mitac, ARMv8, appliedmicro, 7-star, 64-bit
During Computex, MiTAC announced a new high density "7-Star" ARMv8 server. Aimed at the enterprise market, the 7-Star platform is a 4U server that holds up to 18 compute cards. Each compute card contains an eight-core ARMv8-based X-Gene processor from AppliedMicro, two DDR3 DIMM slots, and space for two 2.5"/3.5" internal storage drives (SSD or HDD). The compute cards use a 10G SFP+ and a single Gigabit Ethernet port for networking purposes.
Of course, the interesting bit about the 7-Star is that it is one of the first server to use processors based on ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. MiTAC worked with ARM and AppliedMicro on the project, and it should be available later this year. It is currently being shown off at the ARM Holdings demo suite in Taipei, Taiwan. I'm intested to see how well these 64-bit ARM servers do, especially with new low power chips from Intel and AMD on the way!
Read more about ARMv8 at PC Perspective.
The full press release is below:
Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2013 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If last Friday's deal was a little too rich for your blood try today's deal for a slightly smaller and much less expensive Dell display. The 2,560 x 1,400 resolution IPS panel is not quite 4k in quality but certainly tops 1080p and the USB 2.0 ports might not be as quick but at least they will work with Haswell. Check out this deal as well as deals on several other sizes of Dell display here.
27-inch Dell UltraSharp U2711 2560x1440 LCD Monitor for $599 with free shipping (normally $999 - use coupon code, ends 6/5)
- Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" Core i5 1080p Laptop w/ 2GB Radeon HD 7730M, Backlit Keyboard for $599.99 with free shipping (normally $899.99 - use coupon code 0R98V3CQ7RPQ40 ).
- 14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i5 Ultrabook for $519.99 with free shipping (normally $888.99 - use coupon code 30FMBN5VQ4S920 ).
- Pinnacle MB6000 Microburst Home Theater System for $224.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99).
- Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 Desktop + 23" UltraSharp IPS Monitor for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,174.98 - use coupon code 0H9Q3PQ6L3744C ).
- 15.6" HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition Core i7 Quad-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive, GeForce GT 630M & Windows 7 for $638.49 with $9.99 shipping (normally $779.99 - use coupon code SVD8492 ).
- 4TB Seagate Expansion USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $159.99 with free shipping (normally $199.99).
- HP Officejet 6700 Premium E-All-In-One Printer for $119.99 with free shipping (normally $169.99 - use coupon code LOGICBUY20 ).
Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2013 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win8, win 8.1, microsoft
Microsoft has moved from promoting Win 8.1 for consumers and is now trying to convince Enterprise users that the coming upgrade makes Win8 business friendly. From The Register we heard about improvements to BYOD support, something that many Enterprise sized businesses are fighting tooth and nail to resist. Near Field Communication, and Wi-Fi Direct sharing are touted as something that Enterprise should want, thus making internet enabled printers even more of a security risk and while Miracast offers a way to connect to displays wirelessly it is unlikely that many users will have hardware which supports WiDi or the upcoming HSA standard. Workplace Join will allow limited access to the corporate network for machines that are not actually members of the domain but at least Biometric authentication support is improved which could make that less of a risk. The automatic launching of VPN when a network resource is requested while the user is outside of the corporate network could be useful with automatic authentication, something not commonly implemented in Enterprise level VPNs.
The Inquirer tells of a few other features, from the boot straight to desktop that has cheered many consumers and a confirmation of the date of June 26th being the initial preview release. They do mention native device encryption being bundled in Win8, perhaps the only feature in this list that Enterprises might see as advantageous as it would mean they would not need additional software to encrypt machines; Endpoint Encryption is a common solution and as Microsoft now owns the security vendor the migration to native encryption could theoretically be quick and easy.
"Much of Microsoft's marketing push for Windows 8 has focused on consumers, but Redmond took time at its annual TechEd conference in New Orleans to explain that its forthcoming Windows 8.1 update will include lots of new enhancements for enterprises, as well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- PowerShell daddy on Windows Server 2012 R2: Cloudy cloud cloud @ The Register
- Dead simple jamming gripper design @ Hack a Day
- Foxconn signs on to build Firefox OS devices for clients @ The Register
- Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD Review @ TechReviewSource
- Hardware Canucks Tours Lian Li’s Factory in Taipei @ Hardware Canucks