How about a battery free RAMdrive? The Viking ArxCis-NV writes to flash if it loses power

Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2011 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged: Viking, ramdisk, DRAM to SLC, flash, super cap

Move over Fusion-io and RAMdisks with battery back up, Viking Technology has a surprise in store for you.  Their DDR3 ArxCis-NV works as a standard DIMM in your machine, making installation and compatibility a snap.  The difference is the super capacitor, available in a variety of sizes, which provides power long enough for the entire contents of the DIMM to be dumped to SLC flash for non-volatile storage in the case of a power outage or expected shut down.  Once power is restored the contents of the SLC flash is dumped back to the DIMM and once again your storage media is back to running at DDR3 speeds.  The slowest part of your storage will be the flash drive!  If that sounds like something you'd like to know more about head to The Register.

arxcis.jpg

"Viking Technology is a division of Sanmina-SCI, and its DDR3 ArxCis-NV is a DIMM that comes in 2, 4 and 8GB capacity points and operates at DRAM speed. It integrates into industry-standard x86 motherboards and functions in the host environment as a JEDEC standard DDR3 registered DIMM. If there is a power failure, or a host driven command, the ArxCis-NV will save all data in the DRAM to SLC (single-level cell) flash; upon power being restored, the data is written back to the DRAM ready for the system to access immediately following boot-up, provided there's sufficient operating system-level support for such a restore."

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Source: The Register

Giving Skyrim fans a tease

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2011 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: gaming, bethesda, elder scrolls, skyrim

For those anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls, Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has something you might want to see.  Not one, not two, but three whole previews of the game as one of their lucky reviewers plays through a few hours of the game.  This latest instalment features our hapless previewer sneaking around in a cave full of bandits in the hopes of determining if that object he saw in the corner of the cave was indeed an anvil.  Did he succeed?  Read on to find out.

RPS_skyrimalc.jpg

"Last week, I played three hours of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at my leisure and free to go and do whatever I could. I’m telling a series of anecdotes based on what I saw and did; here’s the first, here is the second and below is the cowardly third."

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Jon Peddie sees IGPs dying in the next year

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2011 - 12:23 PM |
Tagged: jon peddie, igp, egp, hgp

Jon Peddie refers to the SandyBridge family as EGPs, embedded graphics processors, and AMD's Llano series as HPGs, heterogeneous graphics processors, but whatever the label they may sound the death knell for IGPs. He does not see any sign that this new industry practice of including a usable GPU in their CPU having much effect on the discrete graphics card market, apart from the bumps when they were first introduced.  Compared to the IGPs of previous generations both Llano and Core i3 graphical capabilities are far beyond anything we have seen, but compared to the current generation of graphics cards they cannot stack up.  While it seems obvious that the discrete market will stay, not only because of the current generations power but also because of the faster evolution of the GPU compared to the CPU, one segment of the graphics card market will likely be disappearing.  NVIDIA and AMD have been fighting for the sub-$100 market, flooding that price point with a variety of cards that differ by as little as $5 between models.  Now that your new CPU will have the equivalent graphical processing power, why would someone toss money away on a low cost GPU?  Hopefully this does not mean a resurgence of GPUs that cost $1000+.

JPR_mobileGPU.jpg

"In 2011, with the full scale production of scalar X86CPUs with powerful multi-core, SIMD graphics processing elements, a true inflection point has occurred in the PC and related industries. And, as a result, the ubiquitous and stalwart IGP- integrated graphics processor, is fading out of existence. For several reasons, many people believed (and some hoped) the CPU and the GPU would never be integrated:

  • GPUs are characterized by a high level of complexity, with power and cooling demands, and dramatically different memory management needs.
  • GPU design cycles are faster than those of the CPU.
  • The GPU has grown in complexity compared to the CPU, exceeding the transistor count, and matching or exceeding the die size of the CPU.
  • The x86 has steadily increased in complexity, power consumption, and become multi-core."

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PhysX In Batman: Arkham City - A First Look

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2011 - 11:55 AM |
Tagged: gaming, batman, arkham city, PhysX

"NVIDIA’s GeForce.com has posted the first footage from the PC version of Batman: Arkham City. Included are general shots of the game running on a GTX 560 and several side-by-side scenes showing the Hardware Accelerated PhysX effects enabled and disabled."

 

Keep an eye on the floor as that is where most of the paper fluttering and dust stomping action happens. You can also get a play by play of the action at GeForce.com, which points out what the CUDA cores are doing during the gameplay footage.  You'll have to wait until November 15th to try it for yourself.

Source: NVIDIA

The tragic comedy that is Bulldozer

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2011 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: bulldozer, amd

It is hard to know exactly what to say about Bulldozer.  It is not a complete fail for in multithreaded applications it sits in between the performance of the i5-2500 and i7-2600, which it was intended to.  Power consumption at idle has been improved but not at load which hurts, but not as much as the poor single threaded performance which is far worse than we had hoped.  SemiAccurate traced the long 5+ year history of the Bulldozer to see where AMD went astray from the dream that was.  The length of the story is certainly a part of it, 5 years is too long for silicon to languish especially when part of the delay was due to problems with the 45nm process.  Read on to hear about the struggles AMD underwent to get this chip to market as well as what corners were cut, or at least rounded, to get the chip on shelves.

SA_Bulldozer_Excavator1.jpg

"The story of Bulldozer and why it does what it does, both good and bad, can be summed up as death by 1000 cuts. There isn’t really any high point to the architecture, nor are there any really low points. To make matters worse, there isn’t any obvious smoking gun as to why things ended up so, well, meh. What you can get now, what you should have been able to get, and what you will be able to get from this new architecture is a long and complex story. Lets get started."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Somebody bleached the R.A.T. 7 mouse!

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: input, Mad Catz, Cyborg R.A.T.7 Albino, gaming mouse

The Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T.7 gaming mouse is already the strangest looking mouse on the market.  The amount of customization possible just for the physical layout of the mouse is incredible, this goes far beyond just adjusting weight and DPI, the entire mouse can be reshaped for your hand.  Not content with having only one type of these oddball devices, Mad Catz have created an albino version which will certainly stand out on any desk.  RealWorldLabs needs more than just a colour change before they recommend a mouse, they need to game with it as well.

RWL_rat_7_albinoa.jpg

"With an lightning fast next gen 6400DPI twin-eye laser sensor, a more elegant white color (Apple fans) and the same impressive set of features as the original R.A.T.7 the latest Albino version is very close to being the ultimate gaming mouse to date aimed at the most hardcore of gamers."

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Not quite older than dirt; the microprocessor turns 40

Subject: General Tech | October 17, 2011 - 11:47 AM |
Tagged: microprocessor, history

Intel's 8080, 8086 and 8088 might ring a few bells for some readers, but how many remember the 4-bit 4004 that started it all 40 years ago.  SemiAccurate takes a quick trip down memory lane, recalling the VIC-20 which was powered by Motorola's 6500, the 16-bit TMS9900 that was inside the Texas Instruments 99/4(A) and other chips which have taken us from 740kHz to the multi-gigahertz chips of today. It isn't just speed that has improved, think of the 16 address values of the 4-bit processors and compare it to the 264 addresses available now (18,446,744,073,709,551,616).  It can be argued the F-14 Tomcat's Central Air Data Computer did beat the 4004 by a year, but as it was not publicly available and indeed classified until the late 90's it was never really in the competition.  The same would go doe calculators and industrial control units which were purpose built and not capable of general processing.

4004.jpg

"This fall it is exactly 40 years since the first microprocessor saw the day of light. Intel has of course provided us with a press kit that we will make good use of, but complement it with additional information."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Thermaltake's Shock One headset is virtually 5.1 surround sound

Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2011 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: audio, thermaltake, shock one, 5.1 headset

It can be difficult to implement true surround sound into a headset without having a serious amount of speakers located all over the headband and ear cups, however simulated surround sound can be produced from just two speakers.  The technology behind virtual surround sound has matured and [H]ard|OCP's testing could get realistic surround sound from these headphones, after a fashion.  They needed to do quite a bit of tweaking in order to properly get the environment to sound correct but had nothing but trouble with dialog; voices were indistinct when they utilized the virtual 5.1 surround settings.  The gaming performance was also sub-par, which leads them to recommend avoiding these headsets in lieu of similarly priced competitors models.

H_Shock_One.jpg

"While Thermaltake is a familiar brand name to PC enthusiasts, the company is one of the newest competitors in the PC gaming headset market. We take its USB model, featuring DTS Surround, for a spin to tell you if it is worth your hard earned dollar or if the competition in this segment of the PC audio market is simply too steep already."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Overclocking the next generation of Intel CPUs

Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2011 - 11:24 AM |
Tagged: sandy bridge-e, overclocking, lynx point, Ivy Bridge, Intel, haswell

 Perhaps not everybody has fond memories of overclocking past architectures with jumpers on motherboards and needing to be able to do math to determine what overclock you want and more importantly if it took or if the system bailed back to default clocks.  Those days are behind us now, as the BIOS becomes the UEFI and you can use a mouse to affect changes on your system timings.  Bulldozer does offer some complexity to those looking for a challenge but for most it is the unlocked Sandy Bridge processors that are the go to chip for overclockers.  According to information VR-Zone picked up at IDF, overclocking the upcoming families of processors will be even easier.  Intel has changed quite a bit over recent years, from the extreme of locking all their processor frequencies to making it easy for the enthusiast to push their CPU beyond design specs.

VRZ_ocing.jpeg

"Ivy Bridge CPUs decouple the main clock finally, following what the coming Sandy Bridge - E Socket 2011 is also implementing. Now, you can overclock the cores and memory without worrying about affecting the I/O and PCIe clocks. But then comes the more interesting piece news. A year later, in early 2013, the pinnacle of Intel's 22 nm process show off, the initial Haswell processor, is expected to go another step further, where CPU core, GPU, memory, PCI and DMI ratios are all set independently here, on top of fine grain BCLK base clock available within the Lynx Point chipset."

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Source: VR-Zone

Podcast #174 - AMD FX Processor launch, New products from Corsair, Viewer Questions and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 14, 2011 - 12:02 AM |
Tagged: podcast, Intel, FX, corsair, bulldozer, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #174 - 10/13/2011

Join us this week as we talk about the AMD FX Processor launch, New products from Corsair, 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano

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

Program length: 57:42

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:40 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. 0:02:04 AMD FX-8150 Processor Review - Can Bulldozer Unearth an AMD Victory?
    1. Bulldozer Impressions: That was... interesting
  6.  0:29:19 Video Perspective: AVADirect $1000 Gaming System Review
  7.  0:30:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  8. 0:31:15 Corsair Releases High Capacity Force GT and Force 3 SSDs
  9. 0:33:00 Corsair Launches New H40 and H70 CORE Sealed Loop Water Coolers
  10. 0:35:23 Corsair Announces Availability of $139 Gaming PC Case
  11. 0:37:55 Samsung and Micron Developing Hybrid Memory Cube Technology
  12. 0:41:35 A quick and easy way to duplicate your drives
  13. 0:45:32 Email from Jeff about SSD slow down
  14. Email from Kent about SSD reviews
  15. 0:50:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Novatel Mifi Verizon 4G LTE
    2. Jeremy: MDK2HD!
    3. Josh: Sup Com and SC: FA on Steam now!  Cheeeap.  http://store.steampowered.com/sub/11732/
    4. Allyn: Sysinternals tools (namely Process Explorer)
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

Video coming soon!

Source: