Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 14, 2013 - 07:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: never settle forever, never settle, battlefield 4, amd
UPDATE (11/14/2013): After many complaints from the community about the lack of availability of graphics cards that actually HAD the Battlefield 4 bundle included with them, AMD is attempting to clarify the situation. In a statement sent through email, AMD says that the previous information sent to press "was not clear and has led to some confusion" which is definitely the case. While it was implied that all customers that bought R9 series graphics cards would get a free copy of BF4, when purchased on or after November 13th, the truth is that "add-in-board partners ultimately decide which select AMD Radeon R9 SKUs will include a copy of BF4."
So, how are you to know what SKUs and cards are actually going to include BF4? AMD is trying hard to setup a landing page at http://amd.com/battlefield4 that will give gamers clear, and absolute, listings of which R9 series cards include the free copy of the game. When I pushed AMD for a timeline on exactly when these would be posted, the best I could get was "in the next day or two."
As for users that bought an R9 280X, R9 270X, R9 270, R9 290X or R9 290 after the announcement of the bundle program changes but DID NOT get a copy of BF4, AMD is going to try and help them out by offering up 1,000 Battlefield 4 keys over AMD's social channels. The cynic in me thinks this is another ploy to get more Facebook likes and Twitter followers, but in truth the logistics of verifying purchases at this point would be a nightmare for AMD. Though I don't have details on HOW they are going to distribute these keys, I certainly hope they are going to find a way to target those users that were screwed over in this mess. Follow www.facebook.com/amdgaming or www.twitter.com/amdradeon for more information on this upcoming promotion.
AMD did send over a couple of links to cards that are currently selling with Battlefield 4 included, as an example of what to look for:
As far as I know, the board partners will also decide which online outlets to offer the bundle through, so even if you see the same SKU on Amazon.com, it may not come with Battlefield 4 as well. It appears in this case, and going forward, extreme caution is in order when looking for the right card for you.
END UPDATE (11/14/2013)
AMD announced the first Never Settle on October 22nd, 2012 with Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and 20% off of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The deal was valued at around $170. It has exploded since then to become a choose-your-own-bundle across a variety of tiers.
This bundle is mostly different.
Basically, apart from the R7 260X (I will get to that later), all applicable cards will receive Battlefield 4. This is a one-game promotion unlike Never Settle. Still, it is one very good game that will soon be accelerated with Mantle in an upcoming patch. It should be a good example of games based on Frostbite 3 for at least the next few years.
The qualifying cards are: R9 270, R9 270X, R9 280, R9 280X, R9 290, and R9 290X. They must be purchased from a participating retailer beginning November 13th.
The R7 260X is slightly different because it is more familiar to Never Settle. It will not have access to a free copy of Battlefield 4. Instead, the R7 260X will have access to two of six Never Settle Forever Silver Tier games: Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Sniper Elite (V2), Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, DiRT 3, and (for the first time) THIEF. It is possible that other silver-tier Never Settle Forever owners, who have yet to redeem their voucher, might qualify as well. I am not sure about that. Regardless, THIEF was chosen because the developer worked closely with AMD to support both Mantle as well as TrueAudio.
Since this deal half-updates Never Settle and half-doesn't... I am unsure what this means for the future of the bundle. They seem to be simultaneously supporting and disavowing it. My personal expectation is that AMD wants to continue with Never Settle but they just cut their margins too thin with this launch. This will be a good question to revisit later in the GPU lifecycle when margins become more comfortable.
What do you think? Does AMD's hyper-aggressive hardware pricing warrant a temporary suspension of Never Settle? I mean, until today, they were being purchased without any bundle what-so-ever.
Qualifying R9-Series Cards (purchased after Nov 13 from participating retailers) can check out AMD's Battlefield 4 portal.
Qualifying R7 260X owners, on the other hand, can check out the Never Settle Forever portal.
Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2013 - 07:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Graphite Series 230T, atx
You may recognize the Corsair Graphite Series 230T ATX from the Halloween contest which has yet to be won, Ryan promises to do it soon. While you wait you can read [H]ard|OCP's review of this case and their thoughts on its construction. As you can see from the picture below the case can hold GTX 280 cards, it is 505x210x440mm (19.9x8.3x17.3") which gives you quite a bit of space to work with. It is not often you see a case that costs less than $90 picking up a Silver Award.
"Corsair has been known for RAM for well over a decade now, but it has become a big player in the computer case market in the last few years. The Corsair Graphite Series 230T ATX case is designed for "fast and straightforward system building, by design." Its list of features is impressive, so let's see how it hold up under pressure."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Lian Li PC10-N Mid-Tower Case Review @HiTech Legion
- Fractal Arc Midi R2 Midtower Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- In Win H-Frame Mini mITX Aluminium Chassis @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Prodigy M Micro-ATX Chassis @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Ronin @ techPowerUp
- Raidmax Vampire Case Review @ OCC
- Enermax Ostrog Limited Edition Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- NZXT H230 @ techPowerUp
- Enermax iVektor Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- SilverStone Kublai KL04 Mid-Tower ATX Chassis @ Benchmark Reviews
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo: Giant Tower Case @ SPCR
- SilverStone Raven RV04 Case Review @ OCIA
- Fractal Design Adjust 108 Fan Controller Review@ TechwareLabs
- Lamptron FC-10 fan controller @ DVHardware
- Raijintek Ereboss CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- CoolerMaster Glacier 240L @ LanOC Reviews
- Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
- Noctua NH-U12S Cooler & NF-F12 Fan @ Funky Kit
- Thermalright HR-22 CPU @ SPCR
- Project Build: Lunchbox v3 Part 3 @ LanOC Reviews
- Antec Kuhler H2O 650 AIO CPU Water Cooler @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2013 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Looking for the easiest way to get a powerful gaming machine and have more money that patience? The Alienware Aurora r4 is a custom built watercooled PC with a fairly impressive list of internals. From the Core i7-4820K @ 3.7GHz and 16GB of DDR3 to the pair of GTX 680's in SLI you will be able to play most new games at the highest settings. Storage is handled by a 3TB drive so you might want to consider getting an SSD and reloading the included Win7 64-bit Home onto it.
- Alienware Aurora r4 4th-gen Core i7 Gaming Desktop (Liquid-cooled) w/ Dual GTX 680 SLI for $2,099.00 with free shipping (normally $2.374.00 - use coupon code: KHK36BLFWDM9LH).
- Toshiba Satellite C50T-AST2NX2 15.6" Core i3 Touch Laptop w/6GB RAM, 750GB HDD for $519.99 with Free Shipping (normally $769.99).
- XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB DDR5 Video Card + 3 FREE PC Games for $269.99 with Free Shipping (normally $369.99).
- Nikon Coolpix AW110 16MP Waterproof Digital Camera w/ Built-in GPS & WiFi for $239.00 (normally $299.00 - use coupon code: LOYALTY10 ).
- XtremeMac InCharge X3 Docking Station for iPod/iPhone/iPad for $69.00 with free shipping (normally $99.99).
- Samsung UN60F6300 60" 1080p 240CMR LED Smart HDTV + $200 Dell eGift Card for $1,497.99 with Free Shipping(normally $1,900.99).
Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2013 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: running gag, microsoft, azure, cloud, office 365
Microsoft's Azure and its applications such as Office 365 are quickly gaining a reputation and it is not a very good one. On November 11th Azure suffered an outage on some of its services across the entire planet and last night saw the Lync and email servers die. That doesn't seem to have stopped companies from adopting the service, though perhaps that is more a decision being made by beancounters than it is by people who understand what is meant by "that is not a lot of 9s". Since email is considered by most users to be the absolute most critical business service there are going to be a lot of complaints; at least you won't hear them until after Microsoft gets onmicrosoft.com working again. The Register will post more on this as they receive confirmation but for now the hypothesis it was a DNS issue.
"Numerous other sub-domains of onmicrosoft.com were also affected, we've verified, and the issue appeared to be briefly widespread. It was initially feared a DNS cockup was to blame, but we're still investigating."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mantle to power 15 Frostbite games; DICE calls for multi-vendor support @ The Tech Report
- AMD reveals 2014 APU roadmap for tablets, convertibles @ The Tech Report
- AMD’s Project Discovery sneak peak @ Kitguru
- Nokia Lumia 1520 specs, release date, price and where to buy @ The Inquirer
- The TRUTH about mystery Trojan found in SPAAACE @ The Register
- Red Hat announces it has cooked up Fedora 20 'Heisenbug' Beta @ The Inquirer
- ASUS RT-AC56U Gigabit Router @ LanOC Reviews
Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2013 - 12:38 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, gtx 780ti, Vector 150, ocz, r9 290, R9 290X, 290, 290x, WD, My Cloud, EX 4
PC Perspective Podcast #277 - 11/14/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the GTX 780Ti, OCZ Vector 150 SSD, Details about Kaveri, and much more from APU13!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the 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
Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2013 - 05:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: topre, Type Heaven, input, electrostatic capacitive switches
Keyboards bring to mind data entry, review writing and possibly gaming if you have the time but not usually transcendental bliss, unless you are Topre. In that case you release a high end mechanical keyboard called the Type Heaven. The Tech Report got their hands on this keyboard, one of the least expensive models from Topre and let their fingers experience heaven. This is not a mechanical keyboard such as we have become used to, instead it is a conical spring covered with a rubber dome and when you depress the key the spring is pushed down onto an electrode which builds capacitance until a critical threshold is reached at which point the keystroke is sent and the rubber dome collapses giving a snappy ending to that keystroke. Learn more about electrostatic capacitive switches in the full review.
"Once marginalized by their extravagant pricing, Topre mechanical keyboards have now entered (somewhat) more affordable territory. How does the $150 Topre Type Heaven stack up against other mechanical keyboards based on the more popular Cherry MX switches? We investigate."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Celluon Epic Keyboard @ Legion Hardware
- Genius GX Manticore Gaming Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 Gaming Keyboard for PC Review @ Madshrimps
- Zowie Celeritas Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Pro Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Topre Type Heaven Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Genius KB-G265 Gaming Keyboard Review @HiTech Legion
- GAMDIAS ZEUS GMS1100 Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Tt eSPORTS THERON Infrared Gaming Mouse Review @ Neoseeker
- Roccat Kone Pure Optical Mouse @ eTeknix
- ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ OCC
- Genius Wireless Energy Mouse @ Funky Kit
- Genius All-in-One Camera Mouse @ FunkyKit
- Gigabyte Force M7 Thor Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Mionix Avior 8200 Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- Gigabyte Uranium Wireless Mouse & Ghost Station @ eTeknix
- Gaming Mice Roundup 2013: Corsair, Steelseries, Gigabyte, Logitech and Razer @ Techgage
- ROCCAT Raivo Stealth Black Mousepad Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2013 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: source engine, linux, gaming
By now you should have heard about the Linux version of Valve's Source Engine which allows you to play any of the games based on that engine on the open source OS. Phoronix has just completed a battery of tests showing the performance of both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in these games as a prelude to what you can probably expect from the Steam Machine. AMD's older cards performed at a higher level than did NVIDIA's legacy GPUs as well as taking top spot overall with the HD 6870. Check out both reviews to see how your silicon will handle TF2, CS:Source and other favourites.
"For your viewing pleasure today is a 13-way AMD Radeon graphics card comparison when testing out the open-source Radeon Gallium3D drivers on the wide spectrum of ATI/AMD GPUs while looking at the performance for Valve's Source Engine with Counter-Strike: Source and Team Fortress 2. Given the imminent arrival of Steam Machines and SteamOS to push Linux gaming into its long-awaited spotlight, is AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver capable of delivering a reasonable level of performance?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Of course you don't like Call of Duty, you're a gamer @ Kitguru
- Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season @ Techspot
- Assassin's Creed III 1-Year Later Review @ OCC
- Blizzard Talks Diablo III’s New Path, Defends Online Req @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Save The Whales. Or Drill Them. In Windforge @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- No-One Expects A 30 Minute Video Of Dragon Age Inquisition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bye, Life: FTL Getting Free, Avellone-Penned Expansion @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- So I Thought I’d Play Battlefield 4′s Single Player. About That. @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Gameplay trailer released for Rambo: The Video Game @ HEXUS
- PS4 @ Polygon
Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2013 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Today's Alienware 14 model is slightly less expensive and slightly less powerful as it uses a Core i5 as opposed to a Core i7 processor. It does still have the other components present in the higher end model, 8GB RAM, a 750GB HDD and a 1GB GeForce GT 750M along with wireless connectivity and a KillerNIC for wired connections. It also still runs Win7 64-bit so you won't have to worry about mouse issues.
- Alienware 14 "Haswell" Core i5 Gaming Laptop w/ GeForce GT 750M for $1,029.00 with free shipping(normally $1,099.00 - use coupon code: 80W?MH81W7PS0G).
- Dell P2714H 27" 1080p IPS Anti-glare LED-backlit LCD Monitor + $100 Gift Card for $369.99 with Free Shipping (normally $499.99).
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 Haswell Core i3 Convertible Touch Ultrabook for $539.00 with Free Shipping (normally $799.00).
- Sharp Aquos LC-50LE650U 50" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $748.00 (normally $999.99).
- Toshiba Qosmio X70-ABT3G22 17.3" 4th Gen "Haswell" Core i5 Laptop w/3GB GeForce 770M for $999.99 with free shipping (normally $1,499.99).
- Razer Chimaera 5.1 Wireless Gaming Headset for $159.99 wifh Free Shipping(normally $199.99).
Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2013 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mtbf, hdd
One thing you can do when you have 25,000 consumer level HDDs running is to amass accurate data on the failure rates of drives. Backblaze has done exactly that and published their findings which match fairly closely to the predicted MTBF pattern of a spike in the beginning of the life cycle as flawed drives fail, a long period of reliability followed by another rise in failures as drives age beyond their expected lifespan. They have told the Register that they intend to follow up with tests on enterprise grade disks to see if the premium you pay is a good investment.
"Cloud backup outfit Backblaze has cobbled together all the data it's gathered from the 25,000 or so disk drives it keeps spinning and drawn some conclusions about just how long you can expect disks to survive in an array."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Readies for Internet of Things Invasion with Linux @ Linux.com
- Pentagon Readies Contingency Plans Due To BlackBerry's Uncertain Future @ Slashdot
- 100,000 gullible hipsters botnetted in Instagram scam @ The Inquirer
- Britain's Conservatives Scrub Speeches from the Internet @ Slashdot
- Makerbot vows to plonk a 3D printer in every one of Uncle Sam's schools @ The Register
- Win A Raijintek Ereboss, Themis or Aidos CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 12, 2013 - 07:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Lucidlogix, GameXtend
I can smell a Post-PC joke waiting to pounce (and that smells like Starbucks).
LucidLogix has, for desktops and laptops, used its research into GPU virtualization to accomplish a large number of interesting tasks. With Hydra, they allowed separate GPUs to load balance in a single game; with Virtu, fast (and high wattage) graphics can be used only when necessary leaving the rest for the integrated or on-processor offering; one unnamed project even allowed external graphics over Thunderbolt. Many more products (like Virtual VSync) were displayed and often packaged with motherboards.
Now they are dipping their toe into the mobile space. The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 has licensed their technology, GameXtend, to increase battery life. While concrete details are sparse, they claim to add two to three hours of battery life by tweaking power settings according to the actual game workload.
The unsung news is that, now, LucidLogix has a few mobile contacts in their address book (although a lot of that is probably due to the merger with CellGuide). Knowing Lucid, this could be the beginning of many products addressing an array of small problems typically centered around utilizing one or more GPUs.
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