July 27, 2011 - 11:46 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are hoping for fine cognac or fast storage you may be disappointed to find out that the Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC is a modified 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT, but if you are into high performance automotives then you've another reason to come to QuakeCon. There will be 100 tickets available for the draw, which you will have to win during QuakeCon, perhaps even through the CaseMod contest that PC Perspective is judging again this year!
July 27, 2011 (Rockville, MD) – Ventrilo, the premier group voice communication program used in tournaments and multiplayer games, will once again participate in QuakeCon 2011, with the sponsorship its 4th annual “Ultimate Power Up” Sweepstakes at QuakeCon. In addition, the Company will also sponsor their newly added “Ventrilo RAGE Quick Drive” contest.
This year, one lucky attendee will drive away from QuakeCon 2011 in a brand-new 2011 Molten Orange Ford F-150 Raptor SVT, complete with the Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC upgrade package. Attendees will also have the chance to win their share of $10,000 cash as they compete in the “Ventrilo RAGE Quick Drive” contests held throughout the event. The 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC, valued at approximately $69,719, will be on display in the main exhibition area throughout the event.
“Once again we’d like to say a special thank you to Brian Knapp and everyone at Ventrilo for giving QuakeCon attendees the chance to drive home on Sunday with panache,” said Todd Hollenshead, president of id Software. “This brand new, 600 HP Super Cab Ford F-150 is not only 4WD, but is also supercharged for the best performance on roads or off—and in bandit infested Wastelands.”
“It is an honor to be a major sponsor of QuakeCon once again. We could not ask for a better opportunity to give back to the community that spawned the creation of Ventrilo.”said Brian Knapp, president of Flagship Industries. “The Ford F-150 Raptor SVT was specifically designed to run in the Baja 1000 desert race but can be used for every day street driving. Those wasteland bandits will never catch you when you have 600 horsepower at your disposal.”
The “Ultimate Power Up” winner will be randomly selected after the final “Ventrilo RAGE Quick Drive” contest at 9:30pm CST on Saturday, August 6th as part of the tournament finals event on the QuakeCon Dell Main Stage. A total of 100 coveted tickets for the Ford F-150 Raptor SVT Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC will be awarded to attendees throughout each day of the show in QuakeCon contests, random drawings, and other events.
July 21, 2011 - 11:35 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
You still have a while to wait before the start of Quakecon in Dallas, and then even longer to wait until the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop starts of and you can act like the maddest fool around in order to win prizes. That doesn't mean that Houston is quiet, indeed [H]ard|OCP and AMD just hosted the Texas GamExperience there this past weekend. They posted pictures of the event, including an awe inspiring EyeFinity Experience. Click through to see the rest of the pictures.
"AMD and HardOCP got together this past weekend in Dallas to put together an event that was focused on giving back to the enthusiast computer hardware community that has given so much to us."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- New tablet from Lenovo for both fun and business @ SemiAccurate
- Hands on pictures of ASRock's new Gen3 motherboards @ VR-Zone
- Apple OS X Lion Review @ TechReviewSource
- Intel reports (mostly) solid revenue growth @ The Register
- A pound of flesh: how Cisco's "unmitigated gall" derailed one man's life @ Ars Technica
July 16, 2011 - 06:49 PM | Ryan Shrout
Yes, I am still gaming away and getting destroyed in some StarCraft II but at least we are having fun. In between ass-whoopings I have been wandering around the BYOC looking for some interesting case mods. Here are a few I found interesting.
These aren't really mods but I like the idea of bringing a BYOC stand that puts the case and computing components over the display in use, saving space on the table and moving the heat closer to the ceiling.
Here is another example of the design but with a brightly lit overclocked and water cooled SLI configuration.
Probably my favorite for the event has been this Lego case that took about 2 years to create according to the owner. The crane on the left is fully workable and controllable via some software running on the system. My favorite part though: the HDD LED is routed to look like a Lego guy's welding light on the front!!
This Gigabyte branded case mod uses the company's new G1 Killer branded motherboards and focuses heavily on the green motif. The skull shape reservoir really completes the ensemble.
Finally, here is a random shot of some people lining up to play a game of "LAN Pong" involving tossing tennis balls into a bucket. The prizes were impressive though: a pair of NVIDIA Tegra 2 powered tablets.
July 16, 2011 - 12:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
If you are a PC gaming and live near or around the Portland, OR area you are familiar with the concept of PDXLAN - one of the most popular (but still cool and underground) LAN events in the country. The primary event is going on this weekend and I am here to both game and take a look at what the sponsors are showing off.
MSI has a lot of stuff going on including a look at the latest version of the Afterburner overclocking tool, the 3GB version of the GTX 580 Lightning (that Josh is currently working on a review of) and even a NVIDIA Surround based Dirt 3 sim seat.
Gaming laptops are still taking off here in the US and MSI has a couple on display including a HUGE 18-in mode (on the right) with a keyboard that lights up with various colors of LEDs, configurable.
The Sapphire guys are here as well and are showing off much of what AMD for gamers including Eyefinity configurations like the very popular 5x1 portrait mode. This is something that only AMD offers currently and in this demo we were looking at Dragon Age II. It was definitely grabbing some attention!
Showing that AMD's HD3D technology does indeed have legs Sapphire was showing off the new Samsung SyncMaster SA950 that has a nice external design. I am going to spend some more time with it today to see how it performs, so check back for more!
If you are here, you can also find me getting butt kicked at various games. This is the machine I'll be on, a Maingear built GTX 580 SLI right with an overclocked Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor and 30-in display. I know, it sucks to be me, but someone has to sacrifice and play on it, right?
More from PDXLAN later today!
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 21, 2011 - 06:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Huawei, CommunicAsia, Android 3.2
There seems to always be a trade show going on at some corner of the ellipsoid world particularly at this time of the year. Down in Singapore the CommunicAsia 2011 exhibition is on until the 24th and news is starting to trickle out about advancements in communication technology. If you were holding your breath until Android reached version 3.2 on devices you can almost finally exhale, if you are still conscious because you can at best hold your breath for like 8 minutes and Android products are not that quick to ship. Yet.
Seventh floor… going up… ... WHAMMY BAR!!!
Huawei announced on the 21st that they are releasing a 7-inch tablet based on Android’s 3.2 release. The tablet will feature a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor from Qualcomm but no mention of how much system RAM it will contain as it still allegedly depends on partners. The capacitive touchscreen will be IPS-based at a 217 PPI pixel density. After a little trigonometry: a 7-inch screen will have a resolution somewhere between 1280x720 and 1366x768 if its pixel density is 217 pixels per inch. The unit itself is capable of outputting 1080p to an external display through HDMI. There are currently no details towards a price, but Huawei stated that there are no plans for a Wifi-only version. The unit is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year.
Introducing the AMD FSA
At AMD’s Fusion 11 conference, we were treated to a nice overview of AMD’s next generation graphics architecture. With the recent change in their lineup going from the previous VLIW-5 setup (powered their graphics chips from the Radeon HD 2900 through the latest “Barts” chip running the HD 6800 series) to the new VLIW-4 (HD 6900), many were not expecting much from AMD in terms of new and unique designs. The upcoming “Southern Isles” were thought to be based on the current VLIW-4 architecture, and would feature more performance and a few new features due to the die shrink to 28 nm. It turns out that speculation is wrong.
In late Q4 of this year we should see the first iteration of this new architecture that was detailed today by Eric Demers. The overview detailed some features that will not make it into this upcoming product, but eventually it will all be added in over the next three years or so. Historically speaking, AMD has placed graphics first, with GPGPU/compute as the secondary functionality of their GPUs. While we have had compute abilities since the HD 1800/1900 series of products, AMD has not been as aggressive with compute as has its primary competition. From the G80 GPUs and beyond, NVIDIA has pushed compute harder and farther than AMD has. With its mature CUDA development tools and the compute heavy Fermi architecture, NVIDIA has been a driving force in this particular market. Now that AMD has released two APU based products (Llano and Brazos), they are starting to really push OpenCL, Direct Compute, and the recently announced C++ AMP.
Continue reading for all the details on AMD's Graphics Core Next!
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 16, 2011 - 02:41 PM | Ryan Shrout
The AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 is set to begin at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT and promises to bring some interesting and forward looking news about the future of AMD's APU technology. We are going to cover the keynotes LIVE right here throughout the week so if you want to know what is happening AS IT HAPPENS, stick around!!
June 15, 2011 - 09:14 PM | Scott Michaud
If you are a developer of applications which requires more performance than a CPU alone can provide then you are probably having a gleeful week. Today Microsoft announced their competitor to OpenCL and we have a large write-up about that aspect of their keynote address. If you are currently an OpenCL developer you are not left out, however, as AMD has announced new tools designed to make your life easier too.
General Purpose GPU utilities: Because BINK won't satisfy this crowd.
(Logo trademark Apple Inc.)
AMD’s spectrum of enhanced tools includes:
- gDEBuger: An OpenCL and OpenGL debugger, profiler, and memory analyzer released as a plugin for Visual Studio.
- Parallel Path Analyzer (PPA): A tool designed to profile data transfers and kernel execution across your system.
- Global Memory for Accelerators (GMAC) API: Lets developers use multiple devices without needing to manage multiple data buffers in both the CPU and the GPU.
- Task Manager API: A framework to manage scheduling kernels across devices.
These tools and utilities should make the development of software easier and allow more developers to take the risk on the new technology. The GPU has already proven itself worthy of more and more important tasks and it is only a matter of time before it is finally ubiquitous enough that it is a default component as important as the CPU itself. As an ironic aside, that should spur the adoption of PC Gaming given how many people would have sufficient hardware.
June 15, 2011 - 05:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
During this morning's keynote at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, Microsoft's Herb Sutter went on stage to discuss the problems and solutions involved around programming and developing for multi-processing systems and heterogeneous computing systems in particular. While the problems are definitely something we have discussed before at PC Perspective, the new solution that was showcased was significant.
C++ AMP (accelerated massive parallelism) was announced as a new extension to Visual Studio and the C++ programming language to help developers take advantage of the highly parallel and heterogeneous computing environments of today and the future. The new programming model uses C++ syntax and will be available in the next version of Visual Studio with "bits of it coming later this year." Sorry, no hard release date was given when probed.
Perhaps just as significant is the fact that Microsoft announced the C++ AMP standard would be an open specification and they are going to allow other compilers to integrated support for it. Unlike C# then, C++ AMP has a chance to be a new dominant standard in the programming world as the need for parallel computing expands. While OpenCL was the only option for developers that promised to allow easy utilization of ALL computing power in a computing device, C++ AMP gives users another option with the full weight of Microsoft behind it.
To demonstrate the capability of C++ AMP Microsoft showed a rigid body simulation program that ran on multiple computers and devices from a single executable file and was able to scale in performance from 3 GLOPS on the x86 cores of Llano to 650 GFLOPS on the combined APU power and to 830 GFLOPS with a pair of discrete Radeon HD 5800 GPUs. The same executable file was run on an AMD E-series APU powered tablet and ran at 16 GFLOPS with 16,000 particles. This is the promise of heterogeneous programming languages and is the gateway necessary for consumers and business to truly take advantage of the processors that AMD (and other companies) are building today.
If you want programs other than video transcoding apps to really push the promise of heterogeneous computing, then the announcement of C++ AMP is very, very big news.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Shows and Expos | June 14, 2011 - 08:06 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: vliw, trinity, llano, fusion, evergreen, cayman, amd, AFDS
Well that was an interesting twist... During a talk on the next generation of GPU technology at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, one of the engineers was asked about Trinity, the next APU to be released in 2012 (and shown running today for the very first time). It was offered that Trinity in fact used a VLIW4 architecture rather than the VLIW5 design found in the just released Llano A-series APU.
A shader unit from the VLIW4-based Cayman architecture
That means that Trinity APUs will ship with Cayman-based GPU technology (6900 series) rather than the Evergreen (5000 series). While that doesn't tell us much in terms of performance simply because we have so many variables including shader counts and clocks, it does put to rest the rumor that Trinity was going to keep basically the same class of GPU technology that Llano had.
Trinity notebook shown for the first time today at AFDS. Inside is an APU with Cayman-class graphics.
AMD is definitely pushing the capabilities of APUs forward and if they can stay on schedule with Trinity, Intel might find the GPU portion of its Ivy Bridge architecture well behind again.