Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2011 - 01:17 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: battlefield 3
A non-disclosure agreement is created for those times where certain people need to receive information, get demonstrations, and so forth before the organization wishes to release to the public. We respect the wishes of the individuals and organizations that provide us with information that assists us with our jobs. Currently Battlefield 3 is undergoing private Alpha testing for a select number of invitees – I am not one of those invitees (at least, as of the time of this writing) and thus have no obligation to keep silent on information that was leaked to the public. That is convenient, of course, as some information leaked out on system benchmarks with a wide variety of video cards and processors pitted against DICE’s upcoming shooter.
The first thing to realize, and one of the main reasons for the non-disclosure, is that development builds are development builds: optimizations will be made that will speed things up; enhancements will be made that may make things possibly slower but better for some reason or another. Do not assume that these numbers will even closely reflect the finished product, just the state of the game as it exists right now.
That said and in mind: to expect a smooth experience at 1080p you should anticipate having a GTX 460 or Radeon 5830 as your minimum and a GTX 560 Ti or a Radeon 6950 if you want to hover at around 60 FPS. The GTX 590 actually fell well below the GTX 580 and even fell below the GTX 570 which means that SLi is not yet supported… which should be no surprise for an unreleased game! On the CPU side of things, while no Sandy Bridge processors were tested it looks like performance will hit a bit of a plateau around the 6-core Phenom IIs, upper Core i5, and lower Core i7 parts. Battlefield 3 Alpha really looks as if it appreciates four or more cores thumbing its nose at all the dual core offerings tested. If you would like to see more, check out GameGPU’s page.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | July 30, 2011 - 03:53 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: usb computer, Raspberry Pi
I must say, that unlike cake: pie is the foundation of everlasting relationships – like circumference and diameter! That, and cake always seems to end up in lies (yes, that horse is still twitchin’). While my personal favorite flavor is blueberry I might just become fond of Raspberry Pi in the near future. We originally reported on the organization dedicated to providing computing technology to the masses a few months ago when they showed off their prototype computer-in-a-usb-stick. More progress on the logistics as well as a firm specification on the PCB have occurred since then and it aligns nearly perfectly with original predictions.
That… doesn’t really look edible…
(Picture from Raspberry Pi)
The original prediction was a $25 device 700 MHz device backed by 128MB of RAM and an OpenGL ES 2.0 1080p-capable GPU. While that is still true, a second model will be released for $35 with double the RAM and an extra USB port for peripheral connectivity due to the addition of the SMSC LAN9512 two-device USB hub. The alpha board is slightly larger than the final design due to the ports required for debugging purposes and contains an extra couple layers on the PCB that will not be present in the final version. It is still expected to ship within the next 9 months (12 from original post) with the target narrowed slightly to likely sometime in 2011.
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2011 - 01:29 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: duke nukem
You know that part of Portal 2 where you slowly advance in time throughout Aperture Science’s history? That is kind-of what I feel like whenever I play Duke Nukem Forever or it decides to show up in one way or another. At various points in the game you feel like you are walking around through a confused mess of references to Duke Nukem 3D, Half Life, Halo, Team America, and World of Warcraft. With the latest DLC it looks like you have dug up to the year 2007 as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Team Fortress 2 get their turn for parody.
(Image from Gearbox Software)
The DLC, aptly called the “Parody Pack”, will contain four maps each with their own characteristic weapon. The first map is a typical modern urban map called “Call of Duke” where you will be given the option to wield the “N00b T00b” as your custom weapon. “Sandbox” is just like it sounds: you fight in a sandbox with children’s toys – and sticky bombs. “Inferno” appears to be one of those old-fashioned teleporter maps where you physically cannot get from point to point without warping at least once; for newer gamers, think somewhat like a Chiron TL34 from Halo only likely less enclosed -- and with a “DFG” for a weapon, whatever that is. Lastly we get the TF2 parody “2Forts1Bridge” where you can mow down people with a minigun. Three game modes are also included: “Freeze Tag” where you must freeze and shatter your opponents, “Hot Potato” which is like keep-away with a woman, and “Hail to the King” which rounds out any classic shooter with free for all deathmatch. It will be available in the autumn for free if you pre-ordered Duke though there is no word on the price if you are not in the “First Access Club”.
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2011 - 11:22 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: lcd, solder, capacitor, DIY
Over at The Tech Report you will find a handy guide on restoring a monitor with busted caps to working condition, for not much money nor effort. A bit effort is all that you need to track down a dead capacitor on the circuit board, identified by the bulge which will be apparent at the top of the cap. Once you've found it you just need to desolder it and swap in a new one and your once broken monitor will be working again. Even better, this procedure can resurrect any peice of equipment you have which is suffering from failed capacitors. If you've never used a soldering iron to fix something, this would be a great place to start.
"In his latest blog post, our own David Morgan shows how to bring a monitor back from the dead with a simple capacitor transplant."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google launches Page Speed Service optimiser @ The Inquirer
- Hackers' Flying Drone Now Eavesdrops On GSM Phones @ Slashdot
- Ask the Experts: Enterprise & Cloud Computing Questions Answered, Part 1 @ AnandTech
- Compro IP 70 Network Camera @ AnandTech
Subject: General Tech | July 29, 2011 - 02:35 AM | Scott Michaud
Minecraft, the insanely popular videogame from independent developer Mojang, follows in the PC gaming history of providing customers with constant free content updates along with the usual bug-fix patches. Many developers have been swayed recently by the thought of micro-transactions and have to some extent pushed their customers toward paying for whatever content was not on the disk, and sometimes even paying extra for that too. Notch, the most high-profile member of Mojang, has been teasing about possible additions to be made in upcoming patches: the possibility of boss fights and a screenshot of an enigmatic new mob.
I wonder if the bosses will have derpy eyes too.
One thing that has become a common view about Minecraft is that it will kill you and aggravate you in many annoying ways unless you are very careful (and often when you are). The creeper is often considered annoying by Minecraft players due to its ability to spawn or move into difficult to deal with spots, be even more difficult to deal with when there, and cause demolish your creations when there. Many players got frustrated enough to the point of disabling the mob or its destructive capabilities altogether. A development screenshot posted by Notch on his Google+ a new experimental mob doing what many fear could be the new creeper: hold a block! Where did (s)he get the block? What will (s)he do with it? Could the game itself grief you? No other details are available yet but it certainly puts players off ease for the possibilities… but not necessarily in a bad way.
See this? This is someone’s nightmare.
(Image from Notch, Mojang)
Mojang has wanted to lead Minecraft more towards a more typical game model as an alternative to a tool for creation without much else to do thereafter. Due to an admiration of another Minecraft-like game, Terraria, Notch has mentioned the desire to add boss battles to the game. The catch is that, like Terraria, you would have the ability to create the terms for the boss battle rather than be guided to a game designer’s creation until you either quit playing or overcome it and move past it. I should also say that there have been plenty of additions to Minecraft that have been planned or worked on in the past that ultimately get scrapped so there is no guarantee that anything in this news story will end up in the game proper.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | July 28, 2011 - 06:50 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Sandy Bridge-EP, Intel
Since we got back together with Sandy B we have played a few games, made a couple home movies together, and went around travelling. Now that our extended vacation is over Sandy decided it is time to get a job. Sandy B was working part-time as a server and apparently like her job because Intel brought her to a job opening in Jaketown. Intel has apparently released details on their server product, Sandy Bridge-EP “Jaketown” that will debut in Q4, to replace the current server line of up-clocked desktop parts with disabled GPUs.
According to Real World Tech, Intel’s server component will contain up to 8 cores and sport PCI-Express 3.0 and Quick Path Interconnect 1.1. Rumors state that the highest-clocked component will run at up to 3GHz with the lowest estimated to be 2.66GHz. The main components of the CPU will be tied together with a ring bus, although unlike the original Sandy Bridge architecture the Sandy Bridge-EP ring will be bi-directional. Clock rates of the internal ring are not known but the bidirectional nature should decrease travelling distance of data by half on average. The L3 cache size is not known but is designed to be fast and low latency.
Intel looks to be really focusing this SKU down to be very efficient for the kinds of processes that servers require. There is no mention of the Sandy Bridge-EP containing a GPU, for instance, which should leave more options for highly effective x86 performance; at some point the GPU will become more relevant in the server market but Intel does not seem to think that today is that day. Check out the analysis at Real World Tech for more in-depth information.
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2011 - 05:16 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ssd, podcast, ocz, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #164 - 7/28/2011
This week we talk about Intel and AMD Earnings, Intel MLAA, 28 nanometer GPUs, Viewer Questions and more!
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
- 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
- 0:00:43 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:02:13 Intel and AMD Provide Positive Earnings
- 0:13:35 Bulldozer will be on time, missing CEO or not
- 0:14:45 Intel MLAA: Matrox had the right idea, wrong everything else
- 0:23:00 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:24:04 Intel reproduces '8MB bug', fix coming soon.
- 0:32:20 Video Perspective: AMD Steady Video Technology on AMD A-Series APUs
- 0:35:28 Phone in your overclocking, MSI Afterburner App for Android
- 0:37:00 OCZ wraps both its ARMs around a new SSD controller and gives it a little TLC
- 0:40:55 AMD CFO States They Will Have 28 Nano-meter GPUs Out This Year
- 0:45:45 Apple is da bomb! Vulnerability found in battery circuitry
- 0:54:05 Email from Tom about Eyefinity
- 0:59:06 Email from Greg about Eyefinity again
- 1:05:05 Email from Luke about SSDs
- 1:10:08 Email from Jesse about SRT notebooks
- 1:14:05 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
- Tshirts, prizes, stuff!
- Win a truck: http://www.pcper.com/news/Shows-and-Expos/QuakeCon-2011-Arrive-clunker%E2%80%A6-leave-beast
- 1:16:32 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Evernote
- Jeremy: isostick ... 1/2 way through the kickstart process even
- Josh: dirt cheap USB 3.0 16GB
- Allyn: Sony DSC-HX100V
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 1:25:46 Closing
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2011 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, sandisk ultra
SanDisk is releasing a line of SSDs, called the Ultra series. They are not aimed at the high end market, they use the older SATA 2 interface and claim sequential transfer speeds of 280MB/s read and 270MB/s write. The prices should range from $130 for the 60GB product to $450 for the 240GB model, which puts them about middle of the road for pricing. They also list expected lifetime in terms of the amount of data written to them; 40TB of data written for the 60GB up to 120TB of total data written to the 240GB. The Register covered the release here.
"SanDisk has a new Ultra line, a cruise flash missile aimed at taking out PC and notebook hard drives and replacing them with much faster SanDisk SSDs.
These are 2.5-inch format, 2-bit multi-level cell flash drives, coming in 60, 120 and 240GB capacity points. The Ultra brand is used by SanDisk for consumer flash products such as SDHC cards, and now a trio of SSDs will be sold under the Ultra name."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Three out of four rootkit infections are on Windows XP @ The Inquirer
- Google explains its real name commitment on Google+ @ The Inquirer
- TSMC slowing down capacity expansion; revises 2011 capex @ DigiTimes
- Netgear N600 DGDN3700 Wireless N ADSL2+ Modem Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- State of the PC in 2015: An Ars Technica Quarterly Report
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 28, 2011 - 02:12 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: sony, S2, S1
So part one and part two of Sony’s “Two Will” campaign went off to advertise the upcoming launch of the S1 and S2 Honeycomb tablets over the last couple months with promise of three more on the way. Recently Sony made good on that promise and posted the third last “Two Will” video to Youtube and this one was substantially different from the ones before it. Titled “Filled with fun”, this one has much less of a dark and bleak atmosphere trading the harsh shadowing with light and color.
I don't think it's legal to romance a tablet; well, maybe in Japan.
While rails still play an important role, there is much less emphasis on impressing you with perfectly timed plungers pressing the touchscreen as it zips past. Instead, “Filled with fun” passed by various stations which symbolize the various roles of the tablet: music, movie consumption, literature consumption, and games. There is also a strong emphasis on portability and love in the themes of each of their videos.
Why do you think Sony keeps referencing love in these videos? What is the significance of the couch just before the domino “to be continued”? (Registration not required to comment.)
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | July 27, 2011 - 09:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: bumpday, DOSSHELL
This week (actually today) Jeremy went back in time and drug out the old DOSSHELL out of the 80’s and early 90’s and recounted Microsoft’s rise as a software platform company. The personal computer caught on quickly with DOSSHELL getting replaced for Windows, then Windows 95 and so forth to the present. And while Jeremy has fond memories of Wing Commander I just cannot help but see his Kilrathi raise him a Privateer.
… so I installed a bump in your bump so you can bump while you bump.
Just ten days before Halloween 2003 the fifth stepson of Newton had an important report to write for his history class, so we think. Xzibit then proclaimed that Microsoft pimped DOS Auto. Wait, what is this? Did Jim put the bump in my bumping bumpday bump? (Who put the RAM in the eighty-eighty-six slot?) But yes it is true, it is amazing to see how far we, especially the old farts, have come.