It's not a gaming mouse, the Microsoft Touch Mouse works for a living

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2011 - 04:51 PM |
Tagged: input, mouse, gestures

With so many companies focusing on gaming peripherals, the mouse you use at your day job really hasn't changed very much.  You can see the design is very plain but that has the added benefit of making the mouse equally comfortable for lefties and righties.  It is wireless, using two AA batteries to power it and it is able to transmit up to 10' away from the receiver and work on most surfaces.  TechReviewSource mention several of the gestures that will work with the mouse, from minimizing and maximizing to acting as an alternative to ALT-TAB.  If you are looking to give your desk at work something special, check out the review here.

MS_touchmouse.jpg

"The Microsoft Touch Mouse combines a traditional mouse with multitouch gestures to make navigating and using Windows 7 on a desktop computer just like a notebook with a touchpad. While a little expensive, it is very responsive, comfortable to use and intuitive."

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GLOBALFOUNDRIES 20nm tape out

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2011 - 12:34 PM |
Tagged: tape out, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, amd, 20nm

When then discussion turns to a chip taping out, we are referring to an obsolete practice where a chip would be designed on a large scale and then reduced through photolithography.  Originally, once a chip design was finalized on paper it went to the artwork stage where an engineer would literally tape out and glue the design to create a photomask which would allow light through in a variety of ways or utterly block it.  That light was focused to create a smaller version, which then was used to make an even smaller version ... until it was of a size to etch the physical components of the chip onto the wafer and with a bit of luck and a lot of skill you would end up with a chip that worked to the specs you expected.

You can't exactly do that anymore, as the current generation of chips coming out of GLOBALFOUNDRIES uses a 20nm process, smaller than even extreme UV wavelengths and the magnitude of size reduction would be insurmountable.  Thankfully there is CAD and many other more mature ways of creating chips than the old cut and paste method.  This puts AMD in a good position to transfer to a 20nm process in the future, smaller than Intel's 22nm process but lacking the Tri-Gate three dimensional transistors that Intel will be implementing.  Drop by The Inquirer for more.

globalfoundries_wafer.jpg

"CHIPSHOP Globalfoundaries has announced that it taped out a test chip using its 20nm process node.

Globalfoundaries, best known for being the main chip fab partner of AMD, has been working to get its 28nm and 20nm process nodes up and running. For Globalfoundaries and its customers - in particular, AMD - having a mature 20nm process is desirable to show it has possibilities for die-shrinkage in the near future."

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Source: The Inquirer

Turtle Beach is still alive and kicking bass

Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2011 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: audio, headset, turtle beach, DPX21, 7.1

Old time techies will remember Turtle Beach fondly, as there was once a time when they were the only choice in sound cards other than Creative.  ASUS blew that market wide open and now we see many other manufacturers releasing sound cards, even if the majority of users now depend on onboard codecs.  Turtle Beach does still make sound cards, the Riviera being their current model, but they've also expanded into headsets.  The newest Turtle Beach headset is the DPX21 which is a package containing the PX 21 headset and the Ear Force DSS controller which allows you different connection choices as well as a host of controls.  The Ear Force has separate volume controls for the game and chat, and bass tuning, there are also two controls that tbreak suggests you avoid, one which is a sound ‘expander’ and an option to force Dolby-esque surround sound.  If you leave those two controls alone though, tbreak loudly proclaims their love of the virtual 7.1 surround sound and feel it is worth the $150 investment .

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"While the name may evoke imagery of cute turtles and soft sunny beaches, for the techie among us, the name Turtle Beach only evokes one picture: kick-ass surround sound gaming headsets. And what a lovely picture that is. Turtle Beach have been at the game for a long time, making a name for themselves by churning out impressive, high quality headsets for the current gen consoles."

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Source: tbreak

Cedar Trail preview, can it keep Intel's netbook lineup alive?

Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2011 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: cedar trail, Intel, Atom N2800

If you haven't run across them yet, VR-Zone just released a sneak peek at Intel's new ultramobile chip lineup, which we know as Cedar Trail.  The benchmarks that they found are a little odd, consisting of 3DMark 2006 and PCMark 2005 so the results need to be taken with that context in mind.  Still the Atom N2800 manages to triple the performance of the previous Atom generation so there have been some noticeable improvements.  The problem is the netbook form factor its self, as tablets and even smart phones can replicate the tasks that the netbook was intended for.  That could mean that no matter how good Cedar Trail is, the form factor it is set to dominate may be going extinct.  They do offer HDMI out now though.

VR_Z_CedarTrail_benchmarks.jpg

"We're not sure how much life there's left in the netbook market, but considering that Intel is looking to offer some very affordable next gen Atom processors, its upcoming Cedar Trail processors might just be what the netbook market space needs to catch a second wind. VR-Zone can exclusively unveil the first benchmark figures for Intel's upcoming mobile Atom processors and although they're unlikely to blow anyone's mind, they're a huge improvement over the previous generation."

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Source: VR-Zone

Happy Birthday Rick Hansen

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2011 - 05:11 PM |
Tagged: friday

Even we at PC Perspective have been hit with data loss, for instance quiet a few of the older podcast recordings were sent to silicon heaven when Ryan's RAID array bit the big one, which is why it is always nice to see new options for backing up data safely and securely. You can read about a new option in the Networking and Security forum which one member has had experience with.  Head to the Motherboard Forum for a different members in depth analysis of the Gigabyte A75M-D2H which will prove a perfect base for a Llano build. 

The Overclocking Forum is seeing some action as well, with two different members writing about their experiences overclocking their systems, one of whom even provides pictures.  Not as many pictures as in this system build though

If you are more in the mood for socializing, the Fragging Frogs would love to have you join them for a gaming session so that you will be fresh for the arrival of Battlefield 3 or you could vist The Lightning Round for battle of a different type. You can chat with the Folding Frogs or the Killer Frogs BOINC team as well as donate your spare CPU cycles to a good cause or just poke through the Trading Post to see what kit you can pick up from fellow members.  As well don't forget this weeks podcast, where we don't talk about Steve Jobs.

Firefox Designer Says Mozilla Will Be Keeping Version Numbers

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2011 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: mozilla, browser, firefox

We reported earlier that Mozilla would be removing the version number from the About page due to a posting by Asa on the bugzilla page; however, designer Alex Faaborg has come forth to clear up the issue with the statement that “there are no plans to adjust the version number. It will remain in its current place in the about window, and we are going to continue with the current numbering scheme.”

firefoxversion.png

That statement was in the mozilla.dev.usability group, which you can read here. Further in the thread, Alex notes that the confusion began from within the Mozilla UX design group, and Asa defended the design team with his posting on what he thought the final decision was. If the UX team had been playing a joke on Asa, it would have been perfectly executed, says Alex “that’s what I mean when I say significant confusion.”

With development that is done in public, some confusion is to be expected seems to be the sentiment of the thread. All said and done, are you happy to hear that the versioning will remain the same (as of now), or did you want to see them removed from the about screen?

Source: Mozilla

Mod a dial that goes to 11 onto your AMD graphics card

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2011 - 10:31 AM |
Tagged: DIY, overclocking

One of the favourite features on the high powered graphics cards that Ryan has been reviewing this week is the ability to manually overclock the card while running it.  Instead of having to use the built in software tools of the driver to first modify the speed and then running a test cycle it is possible to raise the frequency manually using controls on the card.  The changes occur on the fly, without the software first testing to ensure stability which necessitates the presence of a reset button to take you back to stock frequencies.  Thanks to Hack a Day you can now see how it is now possible to build your own paddle switch to do the same thing as the high end cards without having to spend the money or reach inside your case.  Check out this project which will give you a paddle that not only upclocks your cards memory and GPU separately, it can also reset you back to default speeds if you go too far.

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"[Fred] likes to squeeze every cycle possible out of his graphics card. But sometimes pushing the clock speed too high causes corruption. He figured out a way to turn a knob to adjust the clock speed while your applications are still running.

The actuator seen above is a Griffin Powermate 3.0. It’s a USB peripheral which is meant to be used for anything you can imagine. [Fred] uses an AutoHotKey script that he wrote to capture the input from the spinner, process that information, then adjust GPU clock speed in the background. Since the clock on his ATi Radeon 5800 can be adjusted using the AMD GPU clock tool, it’s an easy choice for this application. Now better graphics are at the tips of his fingers. See for yourself in the video after the break."

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Source: Hack a Day

GameStop pulls Deus Ex: Human Revolution From Shelves

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, deus ex 3

Yesterday the news broke that GameStop had opened new copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC games, and removed OnLive coupons before selling the games as new. Today, Ars Technica reports that the brick and mortar game retailer has responded to the backlash by taking their ball and going home (as the expression goes) by pulling all copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from store shelves.

According to a screenshot of an email posted by GameLife (shown below), GameStop has sent out an email to employees to pull all Regular PC Edition of Deus EX: Human Revolution, and place them in storage to be returned to the vendor in the future. The company further stated that the reason for pulling the copies of the game is due to the included OnLive coupon competing with their own Spawn Labs Gaming Division. “We are returning all copies of the PC regular edition to the vendor in agreement with Square Enix.”

Fortunately, any customers who had the game reserved will still be able to purchase the game if they still wished to. Returns of the game will also be honored for those with a receipt.

deus-ex-update-660x495.jpg

While this move has been supported (publicly) by Square Enix, it is sure to only further enrage customers, and result in bad PR. The issue for most customers is not the removal of the free OnLive coupon included in the package in and of itself, but the fact that GameStop represented these games and new and unopened to customers. When customers found out that their new games, which they paid a new premium price for, were actually opened (and had materials removed) prior to them purchasing them many were understandably displeased over the mis-communication.

While pulling all copies is well within the companies right, as is removing the coupons (so long as the games are not then advertised and sold as new and unopened) it is not going to help calm the waters. It is hardly my place to suggest to the company how they conduct opertions; however, as a consumer I feel that they should know their practice and recent reactions are a bit unnvering.  Do you think GameStop is handling the situation correctly? What would you like to see the company do to assuage its customers?

Source: Ars Technica

AMD Names Rory P. Read President and CEO

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 12:14 PM |
Tagged:

After 8 months without a CEO, AMD has finally made a choice and allowed Thomas Seifert to step back into the role of Senior VP and CFO, which he has stated was his preferred role in the company.  The new CEO is Rory Read, who comes from the role of COO and President of Lenovo, the company made famous by taking over IBM's hardware business at the end of 1994 for $1.75 billion.   Rory presided over Lenovo for the past year and was with the company in other roles for a period of 5 years, following a 23 year career at IBM.  The 2009-2010 year for Lenovo has seen growth that took them to acquire their largest share of the PC market ever, a fact which should reassure anyone worried about his management abilities.

Lenovo is an odd beast, with their teeth further into the design process than some of their competitors.  Those familiar with ThinkPads may have encountered the pricing of replacement parts, as in some cases a generic part will not fit.  The same goes for ThinkCenters and their obnoxiously proprietary PSUs.  That does not mean that he will bring that type of philosophy with him to AMD; it belongs to a system retailer not a hardware manufacturer.  Instead try and focus on the fact that while running a company that is targeted at a niche market, he shoved the competition to the side and took his company further than it ever had been.

Also, some guy in a turtleneck side stepped from CEO to chairman.

RR_photo_hires.jpeg

"SUNNYVALE, CA, Aug 25, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Rory P. Read, 49, President and Chief Executive Officer of AMD, effective today. Mr. Read has also been appointed to the Company's board of directors.

Read joins AMD from Lenovo Group, Ltd., where he was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for leading day-to-day global operations while overseeing the development and implementation of the company's growth strategy."

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Source: AMD

AntiBumpday 8/24/2011: Party collapsed from low HP?

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2011 - 02:32 AM |
Tagged: bumpday

Last week we saw HP announce the end of the WebOS hardware development during their end-of-quarter investor conference call. Last week also saw the most ridiculous bump, so old that names on the forum even fail to be recognized. There is only one way to cancel a division by zero: let us push it to the limit with the world’s shortest bumpday!

Bumpday2.png

Palm, point on the dolphin where HP Touchpad you.

Less than a week ago, discussion about HP’s future was pushed to our forums from a source that was not us.  We will overlook the short-sightedness, of course, as they were no doubt too busy short-selling HP stock. For those shareholders unlucky enough to ride the wave they ended up more washed-up than HP has been in the last 6 years. We shall ignore the cross-Atlantic cruise missiles and end with the hope of a new Destruction Derby or Wipeout game on the PC. Mmm -- nostalgia.

Source: PCPer Forums

Deus Ex gives beautiful performance on cards costing less than $250

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 12:24 PM |
Tagged: gaming, deus ex

[H]ard|OCP received a preview of Deus Ex and we at PC Perspective might be jealous but we will still give a nod to them for putting together a preview of the performance you can expect.  Using a base of an ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution, a Core i7 920 overclocked to 3.6GHz, and 6GB of Corsair DDR3-1600, they tested a GTX 580 and GTX 570 and an HD 6970 and HD 6950.  The good news is that even the unmodded HD 6950 could play at an average above 30fps with every option at maximum at a resolution of 2560x1600, AMD's cards using MLAA and NVIDIA utilizing FXAA.  That is great news for those with a single monitor and single GPU setup, but Deus Ex is able to accept up to 5 monitors in EyeFinity or NVIDIA Surround which means you did not waste your money.

See what happens when you don't render tessellated water underground and turn concrete barriers into works of art Crytek?

H_Quality.png

"We secured an advance copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution so that we could show our readers how the game will perform when it launches later today. We've given it a quick once-over with four different video cards. We have a full run-down of the game coming after it officially launches, but this is here to whet your appetites now!"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

We now know about NVIDIA's New Years presents

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 11:09 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, fermi, kepler, leak

There is good news and bad news out of SemiAccurate about NVIDIA today.  The bad news is that the chips are all Fermi, they have simply been shrunk to 28nm from 40nm.  That makes the idea of mobile variants arriving first very probable with the respectably low TDP shown on the leaked chart.  There at the bottom, in the row with the most question marks are the higher powered chips.   The good news is that the list is incomplete, there is more in store for consumers in the same time frame.  They will likely be 40nm but they will definitely not be Kepler chips.

semiacc_Nvidia_mobile_GPUs.png

"What does Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) have coming up for the post-Christmas GPU line? You have heard a lot about the 28nm parts, and here is what you will be seeing.

The short story is this, Nvidia is putting out a bunch of Fermi shrinks on 28nm, and you will likely see the mobile variants first. They are as follows, with some information a bit blurred to protect the exact sub-species of mole involved."

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Source: SemiAccurate

Crytek releases an epic competitor to UDK, CryENGINE 3 Free

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2011 - 02:36 AM |
Tagged: crysis, CryENGINE 3, crytek, epic, udk, unreal, sdk

There exists a common thought that developing a game is a relaxed experience involving playing all day. Creating games is really a difficult experience; the majority of entry-level jobs consist of creating trees and rocks for the latest Nickelodeon or Disney movie tie-in for 80-hour weeks on end. While there exist some levels of exceptions to that rule and some people who do not mind that lifestyle there is quite a bit of churn in the industry as people simply burn out. Outside the typical distribution chains there exists the independent movement similar to that seen in the 90’s where smaller companies can publish with a much lower overhead now thanks in majority to the internet. For those who wish to develop their own smaller titles there exists many options with Crytek adding one more to the ring; CryENGINE 3 has gone free for non-commercial use with royalty options for commercial applications.

crymod.png

The little engine that cryed is getting the royaltyment

CryENGINE 3, like the UDK, does not include native source code access (full game-code access though) which is to be expected from a modern commercial engine: there are likely quite a few sections of the source code that Crytek cannot legally release to the public because it was written by other individuals and companies. Also as should be expected from an engine like this, regular updates are promised including an update to allow the same DirectX 11 features as was recently patched into Crysis 2 to make your jersey barriers look stunningly lifelike.

Source: CryDev

The Sharkoon glides again

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2011 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: mouse, sharkoon, input, fireglider

Once you get over the name, the Sharkoon Fireglider turns out to be a decent mouse.  7 buttons of which 6 are programmable, 6 DPI settings with a colour indicator and weight which is adjustable all put it in the same league as other gaming mice.  XS Reviews found the mouse comfortable to use and the software to be easy to figure out as well.  See the review in full here.

XS_sharkoon.jpg

"The Sharkoon Fireglider is the most tragically whimsical name I’ve ever heard a mouse being given. When your friends ask you, “So, what mouse are you using?”, the answer “Sharkoon Fireglider” is not one you can give with a straight face. Don’t bring up its slogan either, “Procure the best advantage possible with the SHARKOON FireGlider!” That’s right, “procure” it."

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Source: XSReviews

Be careful the next time you hit Download.com

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2011 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: freeware, bloatware, download

In a move similar to the one that made Adobe so popular, Download.com no longer lets you just download your desired file, instead you must first install their downloader software.  Download.com and Cnet are no longer as popular as they once were, but were still a good repository for freeware and trialware.  Now you need to install their software to get at the programs you want and it is even better than you might think, you will get the software you want as well as a brand new toolbar and changes to your home page and default search engine.  Thankfully it is opt out, but for many people who are not paying attention, installing the next piece of software from Cnet will also involve uninstalling a toolbar and switching your browsers defaults back to what you chose for yourself.  The only good news is that programs won't get the wrapper until the next time the version is updated.  Catch the reaction at Slashdot.

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"At Download.com, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site's mailing list. Bothersome, perhaps, but certainly not inexcusable. They've got to make money off the site somehow, after all, and banner ads don't always do the job. Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in its own proprietary installer. Not only will this cause the reputation of free, legitimate software to be tarred by Cnet's bloatware toolbars, homepage changes, and new default search engines — but Cnet is even claiming that their installer wrapping is 'for the users.'"

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Source: Slashdot

Will Windows 8 be for the tablet or the ultrabook?

Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2011 - 11:56 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, tablet, windows 8, microsoft, Intel

Two contrasting opinions appeared this morning on the internet, concerned with not only the future of mobile computing in a possibly post-PC market but also touching on the impact Microsoft's Windows 8 could have on that choice.  DigiTimes has a report from Wistron, an original design manufacturer based in Taiwan, which is concerned with the ultrabook.  They see the coming year as dominated by the contentious ultrabook platform which Intel has been talking up recently.  The company managed US$21.1B in revenue last year, so they are neither a small player nor uninformed about the industry.  That does leave one wondering how they plan on making a profit if the bill of materials is as high as some manufacturers have claimed.  Still, that is where the manufacturer sees Windows 8 making the most difference to the market.

Ars Technica sees a different path for Microsoft to take, one that would be very different from the theory discussed by DigiTimes and very different from anything Microsoft has previously done.  In this article, Ars suggests that the PC market is at a standstill because we have hit a post-PC market thanks to the tablet.  While Microsoft has always considered the tablet to be a PC in a different form factor, Apple and other successful tablet marketers have visualized a completely different model.  While Apple may have taken it to the most extreme, with no visible OS nor even a USB connector so you can transfer files directly from a camera or thumbdrive, nor hook up a wired peripheral.  Other manufacturers have taken a less extreme approach but still hide the OS and have removed associated tasks like driver installation.  That is very different from Microsoft's version of a tablet or phone which runs a trimmed down but still very recognizable OS and tends not to sell very well.

The question becomes one of design incompatibility; if Microsoft wants to release a Windows 8 which emulates the successful tablet OSes of the competition it will have to design something so different from their past OSes that it would be unrecognizable as a PC.  In order to hide the OS and offload applications onto the cloud to make a perfect tablet the design choices would limit the effectiveness of Win8 as a PC OS.  On the flip side, if they choose to design for the Ultrabook, risky in that we still have yet to hear the end of the pricing issues, the OS will be much lighter than previous versions but will still have a recognizable file system, the ability to update or customize drivers and all the other features common to netbooks through laptops.  It will however not be a successful tablet OS, as history has shown with the failures of Microsoft's tablets and phones, some of which died before every being released.

The one thing that they can't do is try to make Windows 8 do both service as a laptop and a tablet OS.  If they go that way, users on both sides of the divide will likely lose as you end up with an OS not customizable enough to do duty on a more powerful notebook or desktop.  As well, it will have an interface which is similar to previous attempts by Microsoft to sell tablets which to this date have all failed against the competition.

windows-8-start-screen.jpg

"The launch of ultrabooks and Microsoft's Windows 8 OS will serve as growth drivers for the notebook industry in 2012, according to Simon Lin, chairman of Taiwan-based notebook ODM Wistron.

Shipments of ultrabooks will account for 10-20% of Wistron's total notebook shipments in 2012, Lin estimated.

 

Despite current economic turbulence touched off by debt issues in Europe and the US, Wistron's target to ship 30 million notebooks in 2011 remains unchanged, said Lin, who added that notebook Wistron's shipments will grow by a single-digit rate sequentially in the third and fourth quarters.

However, the company has slashed its LCD TV shipment target for the year to 8.5 million units, from 10 million units projected previously, while also scaling down the target for mobile devices from 10-12 million units to nine million.

Wistron has reported net profits of NT$4.5 billion (US$154.77 million) for the first half of 2011, down 20.44% from a year earlier. The earnings translated into an EPS of NT$2.28 for the six-month period."

 

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Source: DigiTimes

Intel returns to upgrade cards for more of their crippled parts

Subject: General Tech, Processors | August 20, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: upgrade, Intel

It has almost been a complete year since Intel decided to sell $50 upgrade cards for their processors. Ryan noted that the cost of upgrade between the two processors was just $15 (at the time) which made the $35 premium over just outright purchasing the higher-end CPU seem quite ludicrous. Whether or not you agree with Intel’s methodology is somewhat irrelevant to Intel however as they have relaunched and expanded their initiative to include three SKUs.

intelupgrade.jpg

DLCpu: Cash for cache!

Ryan was deliberately trying to pose the issue in question-form because it really is business as usual when it comes to hardware companies to artificially lock down higher SKUs for a lower price-point. The one thing he did not mention was that this upgrade seems to be designed primarily for processors included in the purchase of a retail PC where the user might not have had the choice of which processor to include.

As for this upgrade cycle there are three processors that qualify for the upgrade: the Pentium G622 can be upgraded to the Pentium G693, receiving a clock-rate boost; the Core i3-2102 can be upgraded to the Core i3-2153, receiving a clock-rate boost; the Core i3-2312M can be upgraded to the Core i3-2393M, receiving both a clock-rate boost as well as extra unlocked cache. There is no word on if each SKU would have its own upgrade card or even the cost of upgrading apart from the nebulous “affordable”. Performance is expected to increase approximately 10-25% depending on which part you upgrade and what task is being pushed upon it, the Pentium seeing the largest boost due to this unlock.

Do you agree with this initiative?

Source: Intel

Battlefield 3: This is what the PC players will be enjoying

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Shows and Expos | August 19, 2011 - 09:06 PM |
Tagged: gamescom, battlefield 3

DICE was at Gamescom in Germany showing off an assortment of new Battlefield 3 details through their booth and a short keynote speech. The vast majority of the keynote consisted of the two speakers playing Battlefield 3 co-op on the console. Aside from the live co-op demo there was a trailer from a more classic Battlefield map inhabited with 64 players and fighter aircraft. Check it out below, preferably in high resolution and fullscreen. You can then check out the unofficial BF3Blog for the complete weapon list with claymores and mortar launchers.

So Call of Duty was leaving a bar and the pub server asked, “Gotta jet?”

It was also recently revealed that Battlefield 3 would be locked to 30 frames per second on the consoles which drew fire from Activision who runs their game at 60 FPS. Their claim was that the added framerate is required to have a more responsive experience. Unfortunately as our previous article reporting on Mozilla’s stance on responsiveness shows: it is not as simple as 33.3ms versus 16.7ms latencies. Even under the assumption that the framerate is at its maximum you cannot tell the exact duration between input and TV draw without the use of a high-speed camera looking at both player-controller and monitor. Many frames could go by without even looking at the input loop and all the other dependent code on parallel out-of-sync threads that finally alter the state of the threads that draws what you should see. Be careful what you read folks; while yes, higher framerate gives the higher potential for lower latency between press and draw it is not necessarily the case. All of that said we will be on the PC which has its own set of methodologies for how to handle multi-process (there are still latencies inherent with any multiprocess game, but with different limits) and thus this is entirely irrelevant to us, but still a good learning experience regardless.

Thermaltake expands their headset lineup with the affordable Shock Spin

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2011 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: headset, 2.1 headset

Thermaltake decided to think big with their new Shock Spin headphones, increasing the size of the drivers from 40mm to 50mm, which should help the quality of the low end.  It connects via 3.5mm plugs as opposed to USB and sports an in-line volume controller as well as microphone which is separate from the headset, it is intended to clip onto your shirt.  The audio quality did indeed benefit from the larger drivers but Bjorn3D felt that more effort could have gone into the physical design of the headset.

bj3d_spin.gif

"The Thermaltake Spin currently is the only headset in the Tt eSport line with 50mm Neodymium drivers and comes in three colors: shining white, diamond black, and royal red. All three headsets come at a rather affordable price of $64.99 on Newegg.com, with the red one costing as low as $60.99. The cushioning around the drivers is made from velvet, as was previously observed in Shock One, and is designed to provide comfortable experience even after hours of gameplay. While our expectations of the headset are rather high, let's take a closer look in order to see if this headset is truly worth the price."

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Audio Corner

Source: Bjorn3D

Intel steps out of line to show off 3D transistors

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2011 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: Intel, transistor, tri-gate, Ivy Bridge

Back in May Intel released an interesting video showing off Tri-Gate technology, which brings a third dimension to transistors.  That will allow transitions to happen with much less voltage, reducing power requirements and heat generation and allowing for increases in transistor density.  Ivy Bridge was suggested as the likely suspect for Intel to first utilize Tri-Gates and over at SemiAccurate you can see the proof as well as the process.  Intel is claiming a 37% performance increase at low voltages or about half the power usage if you keep the same performance.  Read on to see the difference between FINFets that will be in the competitions chips and the Intel-only three dimensional transistors.

Planar_vs_Tri-Gate.jpg

"Intel is set to become the first company to mass produce non-planar transistors with their upcoming 22nm process. Others are talking about FD-SOI, FINFets, and several related structures, but only Intel is set to produce anything in the near future.

There has been a lot of talk about what Intel is doing, and a lot of incomplete or incorrect information put forward from many different sources. What Intel is making is called Tri-Gate transistors, something that is a radical departure from planar ’2D’ transistors, and distinct from FINFets in a very important way."

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Source: SemiAccurate