More rumours on AMD's multi-aliased next generation GPU

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2011 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: amd, GCN, southern islands, HD7000

 Over at SemiAccurate you can find some information on AMD's next generation of GPU, some call it Graphics Next Core, HD7000 is likely and Southern Islands is common parlance as well ... just don't call it Tim.  The biggest news is the 384-bit memory bus which continues AMD's opposition to NVIDIA's lowered RAM size; there will be 3GB cards for those with monitors large enough to benefit from the larger memory size.  They also have pricing; subject to much change of course.

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"AMD logoIt looks like AMD (NYSE:AMD) is planning on launching desktop HD7000 GPUs in January, and SemiAccurate just got a few more bits about them. There isn’t much new, January launch for Tahiti XT, followed by Tahiti Pro a month later, then Pitcairn XT in March, Pro in April."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Microsoft's Surface is almost here and it is less than $10,000

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2011 - 01:09 PM |
Tagged: surface

You may remember news about Microsoft's Surface, a large sized touchscreen PC intended originally for use as a point of sales device, drop a smart device on Surface and it would bring up all the available information on that device.  It didn't take long for the rest of us to realize just how incredibly spiffy this large scale table was.  From taking pen and paper role playing games to a level old DMs have only dreamed of to bringing a Star Wars game to the next level.

Well, according to DailyTech you can start making preorders for the 40" Microsoft Surface at the low low price of $8,400.   It looks to be a big win for AMD, this Surface is powered by a Athlon X2 245e, a 2.9GHz low power chip and the graphics are provided by an HD6570M.  It is running Windows 7 and Surface 2.0 software though surely future products will sport a Win8 interface.  No word on the shipping date unfortunately.

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"Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) surface multi-touch slab (slab = huge tablet) first showed up in prototype form in May 2007, more than a year before Apple, Inc. (AAPL) was rewarded a patent for multi-touch gestures, and a full three years before the market launch of the iPad.

But the device is finally here (dubbed the "SUR40"), and you can buy one for the lowly price of $8,400 USD (roughly 17 10-inch iPads)."

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Source: DailyTech

Free Stuff Wednesday: Gigabyte G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Giveaway!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards | November 16, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: X58, giveaway, gigabyte, contest

We have been on a roll recently, trying to clear out as much stuff give away as much stuff to our readers as possible!!  We handed out a free copy of Skyrim and linked you to a contest for a Radeon HD 6870 from XFX just last week. 

Next on our list is a high-end enthusiast level motherboard from Gigabyte, the G1.Assassin X58!!

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This is a great board to upgrade your current LGA1366 system or a great start to build a new one at prices that are likely lower than you expect. 

What do you need to do enter to win this motherboard?  Couldn't be easier!!

  1. Make a comment on this post thanking Gigabyte for this kick ass contest!!  That's pretty simple right?  You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
  2. Like Gigabyte on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTE.US
  3. Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
  4. Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
    1. (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)

We will pick a random winner in our pool of entries on Friday, the 18th of November in the afternoon, EST!  Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one!  If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.

Thanks for reading PC Perspective and good luck!!!

UPDATE: We have a winner!!!!  After a quick stop to Random.org the person going home (or at least getting shipped) the Gigabyte X58 G1.Assassin motherboard is...."slugbugg55"!!!  Congratulations, an email is on the way to asking for your shipping information!!

Stay tuned to PC Perspective as we head into Thanksgiving week for more contests and giveaways!!

Need For Speed: The (30fps) Run

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2011 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: skyrim, need for speed, gaming, games, elder scrolls V, consolitis

[H]ard|OCP has been having a hard go of it with recent game releases.  CoD Modern Warfare 3 was described as being useless for benchmarking as any mid range GPU can play at maxed settings even at high resolutions.  That discovery came after the Rage incident, when benchmarked it hit 60fps and refused to move, no matter what hardware was thrown at it.  Picture the expression on the reviewers face when they fired up Need For Speed: The Run expecting the Frostbite 2 engine of Battlefield 3 fame to torture their test bench only to find a similar result to Rage, except locked at 30fps.

Thankfully for the continued sanity of their review team, [H] also got hold of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to benchmark.  Benchmarking this game was much more productive, especially in multi-GPU setups and it also revealed a small oddity with the games auto-detection of graphics settings.

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"Need for Speed: The Run was released today, utilizing the Frostbite 2 engine, same as Battlefield 3, it should have some pretty good graphics. However, after we dove into this game this morning, we found that it falls rather flat for a PC game. We'll talk about performance and image quality in this article."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Bulldozers at Knights Corner; duelling server chips

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2011 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: xeon e5, xeon, servers, opteron, knights ferry, knights corner, interlagos, hp, dell, bulldozer, acer

As you would expect, no sooner does AMD release news on its new line of Bulldozer era Opterons, Intel follows suit with news on their next generation of server chips.  AMD hit the news and the server room first thanks to interest shown by Dell, HP and Acer.   These vendors have based a series of 2U servers on AMD's new chip as well as a family of blade servers.  Dell's Poweredge C6145 was probably the most ambitious, with 4 sockets you can have 128 cores and 1TB of DDR3 in a 2U rack mount server and FusionIO was suggesting the inclusion of their 1.2TB Iodrive Duo card to ensure your storage media can keep up.

Intel also spoke with The Inquirer and other news sites about their new Xeon E5 processor family as well as providing more information about Knights Bridge. Intel has reached out to a different set of clients for the new Xeon, focusing on NVIDIA's latest target market of High Performance Computing (that HPC acronym you see hanging around Fermi).  They tout over 10,000 chips sold, some of which are sitting pretty in the TOP500.  Also on display was their Knights Ferry accelerator board, again targeted for the HPC crowd that NVIDIA has been courting.

So this processor generation we have Intel and NVIDIA fighting it out for HPC customers, while AMD seems to be without major competition in high density computing, although ARM has certainly been making inroads into that market.  

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"AMD's partners have shown a small but impressive array of Bulldozer Opteron kit. Dell's 2U eight socket beast was arguably the most impressive of the lot on show in Munich, but AMD will know it needs more than just one vendor in its fight against Intel. Thankfully it has the might of HP also showing that its traditional rackmount and blade servers can make use of AMD's Bulldozer silicon."

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Source: The Register

The Intel 32 in 32 Challenge on Facebook

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2011 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: newegg, Intel, contest, 32 in 32

Win an Incredible Intel Unlocked PC & More On Facebook

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32 in 32 Challenge Win weekly unlocked prize packages from Intel and Newegg starting November 14. Take home the grand prize and you'll fly to Newegg HQ for a chance to build your own Intel Enthusiast PC valued at over $5,000. Weekly prize bundles include Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processors, Intel Desktop Boards, Intel Solid-State Drives, and other system components.

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Each week is a chance to win a different unlocked prize package. To win the grand prize, create and submit a video explaining in about 32 seconds why you deserve to a chance to build your ultimate unlocked PC.

For complete rules and entry details, check out Intel’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Intel?sk=app_151472421569461

Source: Intel

Want all the benefits of a gaming mouse without the price tag?

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2011 - 01:51 PM |
Tagged: gaming mouse, logitech, G300

Check out the Logitech G300, a smallish mouse with an adjustable DPI from 200 to 2500DPI, LEDs on the side with eight choices of colour (including off) and nine programmable buttons with three saved profiles possible.  Not too shabby for $40, eh?  You do miss out on adjustable weights and some may find the mouse too small for their hands, but neither of those facts detracted from Techgage's final judgment.  The lack of Linux support did cause some consternation and the unique placement of the side buttons could be a concern for some, but this is still a great way to expand your mousing potential for a small investment.

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"There are many gaming mice on the market that sell for well over $60, but Logitech delivers an option at a mere $40 that it believes will cater to a huge number of gamers out there. It features a small, light design, a total of nine completely configurable buttons, a 2500 DPI sensor, comprehensive support for macros and more."

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Source: Techgage

Attack of the 65" tablet

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2011 - 12:57 PM |
Tagged: touchscreen, Android

Check out what MAKE:Blog found!  A 65" tablet-like Android powered touch screen prototype from ARDIC Technology out of Turkey.  It is still a prototype so it will not hit the market any time soon, nor does it have a price tag yet.  The display uses a docked Android tablet for connectivity but once connected you interface solely through the large touchscreen.  Watch the video for the biggest fruit ninja game you've ever seen.

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"The folks at Ardic Technologies in Istanbul seem to have developed a prototype for the ultimate tablet user experience. Isn’t this what we all secretly wish our handsets and tablets would do out of the box? Didn’t you expect you’d be able to smoothly transition from mobile device to a massive touchscreen effortlessly, like ten years ago? In any case, if Ardic can get their device to market, they’ll have one of the nicer presentation tools out there. I imagine this would go well with some of the newer apps from Adobe and Autodesk."

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Source: MAKE:Blog

Dual and quad socket goodness from Tyan for 16 core Bulldozers

Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2011 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: tyan, opteron 6200, bulldozer

SemiAccurate has a picture of a nice looking serverboard for the new Opteron 4200 series of processors from AMD.  The new server chips are designed for use in multiples of either two or four and as they have up to 16 cores each that gives you a very respectable amount of processing power for your server, which could be the only home for the Bulldozer.  Plenty of new power saving options are available, from two different ways of implementing Turbo Core to a BIOS setting which allows you to set the maximum power draw from the server, which it will stick to by downclocking or turning off unused cores.

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"AMD (NYSE:AMD) has again leapfrogged Intel when it comes to the number of cores in a single server processor. The latest Opteron 6200 series has versions available with up to 16 cores and supports 4 sockets per board, whereas the 4200 series supports a maximum of two sockets with 8 cores each."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Sells 6.5 Million Copies In 24 Hours

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2011 - 09:43 PM |
Tagged: modern warfare 3, gaming, call of duty

The Call of Duty franchise has always sold well, especially on the consoles.  The Modern Warfare series specifically has managed to pull off some impressive sales numbers.  The previous release, Call of Duty: Black Ops managed to make $350 at launch, and the series' latest first person shooter has made a record 400 million dollars in the first 24 hours of its release.

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It seems that despite the lackluster graphics, the issue of the Call of Duty Elite service, and being more of the same game, Call of Duty is still something that gamers are willing to play and shell out top price for.  According to Giant Bomb, the latest Modern Warfare game has more explosions than a Michael Bay movie and the gun-play is still sharp, so there are some positives to be had.  Those positives make the game desirable for a lot of people with Activision selling 6.5 million copies at launch!

What do you guys think of the latest Call of Duty?  Let us know in the comments!