AMD Exposes Richland
When we first heard about “Richland” last year, there was a little bit of excitement from people. Not many were sure what to expect other than a faster “Trinity” based CPU with a couple extra goodies. Today we finally get to see what Richland is. While interesting, it is not necessarily exciting. While an improvement, it will not take AMD over the top in the mobile market. What it actually brings to the table is better competition and a software suite that could help to convince buyers to choose AMD instead of a competing Intel part.
From a design standpoint, it is nearly identical to the previous Trinity. That being said, a modern processor is not exactly simple. A lot of software optimizations can be applied to these products to increase performance and efficiency. It seems that AMD has done exactly that. We had heard rumors that the graphics portion was in fact changed, but it looks like it has stayed the same. Process improvements have been made, but that is about the extent of actual hardware changes to the design.
The new Richland APUs are branded the A-5000 series of products. The top end is the A10-5750M with HD-8650 integrated graphics. This is still the VLIW-4 based graphics unit seen in the previous Trinity products, but enough changes have been made with software that I can enable Dual Graphics with the new Solar System based GPUs (GCN). The speeds of these products have received a nice boost. As compared to the previous top end A10-4600, the 5750 takes the base speed from 2.3 GHz to 2.5 GHz. Boost goes from 3.2 GHz up to 3.5 GHz. The graphics portion takes the base clock from 496 MHz up to 533 MHz, while turbo mode improves over the 4600 from 685 MHz to 720 MHz. These are not staggering figures, but it all still fits within the 35 watt TDP of the previous product.
One other important improvement is the ability to utilize DDR-3 1866 memory. Throughout the past year we have seen memory densities increase fairly dramatically without impacting power consumption. This goes for speed as well. While we would expect to see lower power DIMMs be used in the thin and light categories, expect to see faster DDR-3 1866 in the larger notebooks that will soon be heading our way.
Subject: General Tech | March 5, 2013 - 02:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: web browser, mobile, chrome, Android
Chrome for Android will allegedly be getting a speed boost thanks to a new SPDY-assisted proxy service. If a recent patch is any indication, future versions of Chrome may adopt a proxy service similar to Opera Turbo, Amazon Silk, or BlackBerry Proxy. Google would take advantage of its SPDY protocol to compress and multiplex web sites. We requests would be sent through Google, where Google would take the HTTP/HTTPS pages, compress and otherwise optimize them, and send them to your Android smartphone.
While on Wi-Fi or a wired connection, the performance merits of such proxy services are minimal at best (and at worst can actually slow down page loads). With that said, over a mobile network--especially if you are living in an area with (at best) 3G speeds, the new SPDY proxy service could make a huge difference in page load times. If my experiences using Opera and its Turbo proxy service over a 3G connection for the past month is any indication of the potential benefits of such a setup, some pages will load much faster, a few sites will actually load slower than browsing without the proxy, and the majority of websites will fall somewhere in between those two extremes, providing a slightly faster web browsing experience. Google may be taking things a step further by introducing its SPDY protocol to speed up the HTTP requests, which is an interesting tactic beyond the basic compression and/or caching that the existing alternatives employ.
Details on the hinted-at Google-run SPDY proxy service are scarce, but I hope that it holds true. There are some privacy considerations, but if you are just reading articles and have resigned yourself to the fact that Chrome/Google tracks you anyway (heh) it is a nice optional feature to have!
Subject: General Tech | March 3, 2013 - 04:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, mobile, laptop, hard drives, 7200 rpm
Seagate Technology, the world’s second largest hard drive manufacturer (by market share), recently announced that it will be ceasing production on notebook hard drives featuring 7200 RPM spindle speeds. According to X-Bit Labs, Seagate Director of Marketing and Product Management David Burks stated that “We are going [to] stop building our notebook 7200rpm hard disk drives at the end of 2013.”
Stopping production of high-end notebook hard drives is a curious move for a company that is still dependent on hard drives to survive--with just a toe in the Solid State space with its hybrid hard drives. On the other hand, the market for such high-end notebook drives is likely feeling pressure from Solid State drives for pure performance at any price, cheap hard drives paired with a small mSATA caching SSD, and high-capacity 5400 RPM drives at extremely cheap prices. Users that would have traditionally favored 7200 RPM drives for an extra price during laptop configuration are now faced with more choices on the performance at modest price increases front with caching options. Further, with the advent of interfaces like Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, it is now more acceptable to go with a low capacity, cheaper, Solid State Drive for the operating system and applications while using external hard drives for your storage needs without incurring a transfer speed bottleneck that USB 2.0 exhibited.
Reportedly, Seagate will stop production of its Momentus 7200.4, Momentus 7200.2, and Momentus Thin notebook drive lineups. Further, the storage company will put more focus into further fleshing out its Momentus XT drives. The XT series features a spindle hard drive and small bit of SLC NAND flash for caching frequently accessed files. Hopefully the renewed focus on its hybrid hard drive series will result in drives with larger caches. That may necessitate the move to MLC flash to keep costs down, but I think a HHD with 32GB+ of MLC or TLC flash would be an acceptable compromise.
What do you think of the move? Customers will likely be able to get their hands on 7200 RPM mobile drives well into 2014 thanks to stock on hand at the various OEMs and retailers (and alternative options from other HDD manufacturers), so the fallout is likely to be minimal. Still, is it the right move for Seagate?
Subject: General Tech, Networking, Storage, Mobile | January 8, 2013 - 09:00 AM | Morry Teitelman
Tagged: wi-fi, Voyager Air, NAS, mobile, corsair, CES
The newest member member of the Corsair Voyager family of devices, the Voyager Air, drives Corsair's entry into the home networking arena with their all-in-one mobile drive and home NAS (network attached storage) solution.
Courtesy of Corsair
The Voyager Air is as versatile as it is sleek, with support for the following hiding beneath its stylish hood:
- Up to 1TB capacity drive
- Rechargeable battery
- Wi-Fi (802.11n/b/g), GigE Ethernet, and USB 3.0 support built-in
- Wireless hub support for shared internet support via passthrough technology
Courtesy of Corsair
The Voyager Air comes in a variety of colors as well, more than enough to match anyone's sense of style. According to Corsair, the Voyager Air units should be accessible at an electronics retailer near you in a 500GB model for $179.99 MRSP and a 1TB model for $219.99 MSRP.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Displays, Mobile | January 6, 2013 - 06:00 PM | Morry Teitelman
Tagged: windows 8, thinkvision, mobile, LT1423p, Lenovo, CES
Not one to be left out of the fray, Lenovo latest mobile announcement for CES comes in the form of a 13.3 inch, Windows 8 touch optimized mobile monitor.
Courtesy of Lenovo
The ThinkVision LT1423p Mobile Monitor is being markets as a touch enabled secondary screen to be used by on-the-go professionals wanting the added productivity that a touch screen provides for the Windows 8 experience. The screen is an AH-IPS LED-based display with an edge to edge Gorilla Glass coating for added strength and durability. The monitor also support both wired and wireless forms of connectivity for added versatility.
Courtesy of Lenovo
- Windows 8 touch optimized wired mobile monitor
- 10 point multi-touch Gorilla Glass screen with anti-reflection and anti-fingerprint surfaces
- One USB3.0 interface for its signal and power or optional WiFi wireless connectivity for ultra-mobility
- Digitizer pen with 256 pressure, 2540lpi resolution, and a 133pps data rate
- 4-directions wide viewing angle supported by latest 13.3 inch AH-IPS LED viewing panel
- Ultra slim design ranging from 0.3 inch at its thinnest point to 0.6 inch at its thickest
Courtesy of Lenovo
The touch screen monitor is only 1/2 an inch thick, weighing a mere 1.6 lbs. Not only is this sized to fit in the same bag as your ultrabook or laptop, but will not add much weight to that shoulder bag either.
Courtesy of Lenovo
In addition to its 10 point multi-touch support, the ThinkVision LT1423p supports use of an stylus-type touch pen device for finer touch control.
Technical Specifications (provided by Lenovo)
|500 : 1|
|10 point multi-touch|
|Digitizer with 256 pressure transducers|
Cover / Stand
|Cover with stand to support landscape and portrait use|
|Starting at 1.6 pounds (730g)|
|0.28 inches thin (7.1 mm thin)|
|Starting at USD$349|
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2012 - 01:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: razer orochi, razer, PC, mouse, mobile, laptop, gaming
Razer has been on an updating kick this month with a number of its gaming mice being refreshed with better hardware and support for Synapse 2.0 (cloud syncing) software. This time, Razer is turning to its mobile lineup and giving the Orochi an upgrade for a 2013 release.
The ambidextrous mouse can be used in a wired or wireless configuration. While the original Orochi featured a 4000 DPI laser sensor, the updated model upgrades the sensor to 6400 DPI. Further, Razer has bumped up the Bluetooth radio to one rated at Bluetooth 3.0 specifications. Powered by two AA batteries, Razer has reportedly improved battery life by a significant margin. The company rates the mobile gaming mouse at up to 30 hours of continuous gaming, and three months of normal use.
The refreshed mouse maintains the traditional LED-lit scroll wheel, mouse buttons, and two side buttons of the original Orochi. Interestingly, it comes in a shinier "chrome" colored variant in addition to the standard black blade addition.
The refreshed Orochi 2013 is available for pre-order now for $69.99. According to the Razer website, the blade edition will ship in 1-2 weeks and the chrome variant will ship in a little over a month.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 7, 2012 - 09:36 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: video, trinity, msi, mobile, laptops, Ivy Bridge, Intel, gaming notebook, gaming, computex, amd
MSI has been busy at this year’s Computex trade show. In addition to the company’s graphics cards and motherboard displays, MSI is showing off four new G Series gaming notebooks. Three of them are running Intel Ivy Bridge processors while the fourth machine is powered by a top-end AMD Trinity APU. Included in the new G series is the GT70, GT60, GE70, GE60, and GX60. The only AMD system is the GX60. Let’s take a look at that one first.
The GX60 has a similar exterior build as the other G Series notebooks, but has vastly different internals and does not appear to have the same audio technology as the Intel-based notebooks. The desktop replacement class (read: heavy and not so great battery life heh) laptop features an AMD A10-4600M APU, AMD A70M chipset, and AMD Radeon 7970M graphics card. Other features include MSI’s “SuperRAID” storage with up to two SSDs in RAID and a mechanical hard drive, Steelseries keyboard, and a Killer E2200 gaming network card. Another interesting feature is the system’s ability to output to up to three displays with AMD Eyefinity technology. The system was able to pull a respectable 30 frames per second on the Unigine Heave benchmark and will have an MSRP of around 1,000 British Pounds (~$1,557.70 USD). According to eTeknix, the AMD Trinity-based notebook will be available soon.
The Intel Ivy Bridge based systems get a bit more love than the AMD Trinity system with SuperRAID support, up to 32GB of RAM, MSI Audio Boost (powered by Dynaudio or THX TruStudiio Pro depending on model), gold-plated audio connectors, Turbo Drive Engine and NVIDIA discrete graphics. The Intel and AMD G series laptops all get 1080p displays and custom backlit keyboards built by SteelSeries. The AMD system may well have MSI Audio Boost, gold plated connectors, and the like but MSI did not seem to tout them on the GX60 like they did for the Intel ones. The GX60 does at least get the SteelSeries keyboard and SuperRAID tech. Anyway, onto the Intel gaming rigs.
MSI GT70 and GT60
The MSI GT 70 is the largest and fastest gaming notebook at the MSI booth with a 17” 1080p display, quad core Core i7 processor, SuperRAID storage, THX certified Dynaudio sound, Turbo Drive Engine, Killer E2200 NIC, and a NVIDIA GTX 680M mobile GPU with GDDR5 RAM. The GT70 utilizes MSI’s SuperRAID to the fullest with two SSDs and a mechanical hard drive for up to 700MB/s read speeds. The system further features a backlit keyboard from SteelSeries that has five LED pattern modes (Normal, Gaming, Wave, Breathing, and Dual Color) and various selectable colors to choose from. The GT70 was pulling about 45 frames-per-second on the Unigine Heaven benchmark and P20,000 on 3DMark Vantage. Consumers should expect it to be available for around 2,500 British Pounds (~$3,894.25 USD).
The MSI GT70 gaming notebook
The GT60 is a smaller version of the GT70 with 15.6” chassis, slightly slower Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor at 2.9GHz, and only a GTX 670M graphics card. It features the same MSI technology as its bigger brother, the GT70, but may not have the exact SuperRAID setup. Otherwise it has Dynaudio, 1080p display, the backlit SteelSeries keyboard, and lots of other goodies. No price info on this one to report, unfortunately.
MSI GE70 and GE60
The two MSI GE branded gaming laptops are the budget versions of the GT70 and GT60. They feature slower IVY Bridge processors, a downgrade in the Intel chipset to H76M, and a GPU downgrade to a NVIDIA GT650M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The displays are still 1080p, but they do not have Dynaudio (only THX TruStudio Pro), and the SteelSeries keyboards are not backlit. Of the two, the GE70 has a slightly faster Intel processor. They do both feature Turbo Drive Engine technology and likely SuperRAID though the setups are likely limited versus the bigger GT70’s chassis. Again, no word on how much these will cost or when they will be shipping.
All the notebooks have a nice black finish to them and the SteelSeries keyboard looks pretty nice. I’m interested in the AMD GX60 myself as I find Trinity neat. The Intel-based systems are definitely power houses though, especially the GT70 and although I don’t expect battery life to be anywhere near great these would be a good choice for gamers that demand the portability of a laptop platform.
Update: the press release does clarify that the GT70 and GE70 have 17.3” 1080p screens while the GT60 and GE60 have 15.6” 1080p screens. It also lists USB 3.0 compatibility on the Intel-based notebooks along with a built-in 720p 30fps webcam for video conferencing.
Subject: Mobile | May 24, 2012 - 03:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: n56, mobile, laptop review, laptop, Ivy Bridge, asus
You are likely already familiar with the ASUS N56VM from Matt's review, if not you really should check it out. He was not the only one to receive this laptop to test out though, as The Tech Report also recently published a look at this powerful notebook. The new Core i7-3720QM really stands out and tops the performance charts, while the Nvidia GeForce GT 630M helps this notebook stand out for moderate gaming duties. They were disappointed with the battery life as it is not noticeably improved from the previous generation, however it will get a lot more done in the time that it has a charge to run on.
"Join us as we take a 15.6" notebook with a quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU and discrete GeForce 600M graphics through our mobile test suite."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Samsung Series 7 (NP700G7C-S01US) Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 Android Tablet Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Asus G75VW-DS71 Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS Zenbook Prime (UX21A) Review: The First of the 2nd Gen Ultrabooks @ AnandTech
- Lenovo IdeaPad Y480 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- The Archos G9 Tablet Reviews: Fast Enough @ AnandTech
- Genius Ring Presenter Wireless Device @ Pro-Clockers
- Cooler Master ARC Macbook and iPad Stand @ Benchmark Reviews
- WiMAX vs. LTE: Should You Switch? @ TechReviewSource
- HTC One X Android Smartphone Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Android to the Maxx, DROID Razr Maxx @ LanOC Reviews
- Blackberry Curve 9320 @ The Inquirer
- HTC One V @ The Inquirer
Introduction, Design, User Interface
When Ivy Bridge was released Ryan did a deep-dive and desktop review while I worked on a review of the mobile processor. My mobile review was based on a reference laptop known as the ASUS N56VM. Although considered a “reference platform,” the laptop is really a production product and successor to the outgoing ASUS N55. We held off on a full review to provide coverage of the new G75, but now it’s time to revisit the N56.
This is an important product for ASUS. The 15.6” laptop remains a sales leader and the N56 will likely be the company’s flagship in this arena for the coming year. This means it won’t be a high-volume model, but it serve as a “halo product” – an example of what ASUS is capable of. If the company follows its usually modus operandi we’ll see this same chassis used as the basis for a number of variations at different price points with different hardware.
As you may remember from our Ivy Bridge for mobile review, the model we received is equipped with a Core i7-3720QM processor. It’s hard to say if this is a mid-range quad given the limited number of Ivy Bridge products available so far, but it probably will end up in that role. What about the rest of the system? Well, take a look.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 16, 2012 - 10:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 680m, gpu, mobile, kepler
Videocardz.com managed to get their hands on some rumored details about an upcoming NVIDIA mobile graphics card–the GTX 680M. According to rumors, the mobile chip will be launched at Computex 2012 in Taiwan next month.
There aren’t many details about the mobile chip, but it is set up to be a scaled down version of it’s Kepler based GTX 680 desktop counterpart. The GTX 680M will have approximately half as many CUDA cores at either 744 or 768 cores depending on the source. Either way, the card keeps the same 256-bit memory interface and can support SLI configurations. In addition, the 680M will be able to have up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Reportedly, it can use as much as 100 Watts of power.
When paired with an Intel Core i7 3720QM processor, the GPU was able to get a score of 4,905 points in 3DMark 11’s Performance present benchmark. It is supposed to be as much as 37 percent faster than the GTX 670M, which is not surprising considering that chip has only 336 CUDA cores and is clocked at 598 MHz (no word yet on what the GTX 680M will be clocked at).
No matter what the GTX 680M turns out to be, you can bet it will only be found in the highest end gaming notebooks where performance is more important than battery life. Until then, feel free to brush up on your Kepler architecture knowledge by visiting our GTX 680 (desktop) review.