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Subject: General Tech, Mobile | March 26, 2013 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Computing Hardware & Peripherals
Linksys AE6000 Wireless-AC Dual-Band USB Adapter for $56.99 with free shipping (normally $60 - use coupon code: HSDISH5).
HDTVs & Theater
LG 60LS5700 60" 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $1,378.00 with free shipping (normally $2,000).
LG 47LM6700 47" 1080p 120Hz 3D LED HDTV $899.00 with free shipping (normally $1600).
Samsung UN40EH6000 40" 1080p LED HDTV for $597.99 with free shipping (normally $850).
Samsung HW-E450 2.1-Channel Soundbar System (refurbished) for $174.99 with free shipping (normally $300 - use coupon code: DIG5).
Klipsch QUINTET 5.0 Speaker System for $343.19 with free shipping (normally $550).
Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 25, 2013 - 05:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: monoprice, ips display, ips monitor, ips
Tim did a post on cheap 27" IPS 1440p monitors from Monoprice within the opening days of the calendar year. These panels are derivative of the type you would see on Dell Ultrasharp or Apple Cinema Displays. We say derivative because LCD panel manufacturing is very imprecise: completed panels get graded, bin-sorted, and sold to bidders. A panel which does not grade high enough for Dell, Apple, HP, and other professional companies is probably still a perfectly good panel and suitable for other bidders. Monoprice is putting their branding on one of those bidders and selling it for under $400, about a third of the cost of the A+-sorted panels.
And they're gone.
Now, almost three months later, Monoprice has caught up and will start shipping the new batch as early as tomorrow. How long that will last, who knows? If you wish to have a high end monitor on the cheap, you will probably want to run and not walk.
The Monoprice CrystalPro WQHD monitor is available for $390.60. Monoprice advertises the display to be perfect for Eyefinity setups... except that it is limited to one per customer. Oh well, troll well.
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bioshock infinite, geforce, GeForce 314.22, nvidia, gaming
BioShock Infinite launches tomorrow and promises to be an exciting third installment to the award-winning franchise.
GeForce gamers today can get ready for a great Day 1 experience with BioShock Infinite by upgrading to our new GeForce 314.22 Game Ready drivers. These drivers are Microsoft WHQL-certified and available for download on GeForce.com.
Our software engineers have been working with Irrational Games over the past two years to optimize BioShock Infinite for GeForce users and, as a result, these drivers offer game-changing performance increases of up to 41 percent.
Also, with a single click in GeForce Experience, gamers can optimize the image quality in BioShock Infinite and have it instantly tuned to the capability of their PC’s hardware.
GeForce 314.22 drivers also offer several other significant performance increases in other current games. For more details, refer to the release highlights on the driver download pages and read the GeForce driver article on GeForce.com.
GeForce 314.22 Highlights
Delivers GeForce Game Ready experience for BioShock Infinite:
- Up to 41% faster performance
- Optimal game settings with GeForce Experience
- Microsoft WHQL-certified
Increases gaming performance in other popular titles:
- Up to 60% faster in Tomb Raider
- Up to 23% faster in Sniper Elite V2
- Up to 13% faster in Sleeping Dogs
- Adds new SLI and 3D Vision profiles for upcoming games.
Subject: General Tech | March 25, 2013 - 12:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: spintronics, racetrack, pram, molybdenum, micron, memristor, IBM, hp, graphene, flash
Over the past several years we have seen actual production of phase change memory from Micron, though no benchmarks yet, transistors whose resistance can be altered to be used as non-volatile storage which HP has dubbed Memristors and IBM's Spintronic Racetrack Memory; all of which claim to be the replacement for NAND. There is no question we need a new type of flash, preferably non-volatile, as it is likely that there will be a limit on effective speed and density reached with traditional NAND. It is also true that the path to our current flash technology is littered with the carcasses of failed technology standards, whether RAMBUS is willing to admit it or not.
Now there is more details available on yet another possible contender based on molybdenum disulfide which sports a charge-trapping layer to make it non-volatile. The Register was told that by layering MoS2 between layers of graphene they get a NAND cell smaller than traditional cells but unfortunately there was no report of the speed of these cells. We may soon be living in interesting times, with process shrunk traditional flash and these four technologies competing for market share. You can bet that they will not be compatible and that each will likely spawn their own breeds of controllers and make purchasing SSDs and other flash storage devices much more complicated, at least until one standard can claim victory over the others.
"A Swiss government research lab has reinvented flash memory using graphene and molybdenite in a way that should be faster, scale smaller, use less energy and yet more flexible than boring old NAND.
Molybdenite is MoS2, molybdenum disulfide, which is similar to graphite and also has a lubricating effect. Atomically it is a layer of molybdenum atoms between top and bottom layers of sulfide atoms. It is a semiconductor and can be used to create transistor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel to release new SSDs for enterprise and datacenter applications @ DigiTimes
- Rival bidders emerge for Dell @ The Inquirer
- Testers Say IE 11 Can Impersonate Firefox Via User Agent String @ Slashdot
- How to survive a UEFI BOOT-OF-DEATH on Samsung laptops @ The Register
- Mining bitcoins on a Nintendo @ Hack a Day
- Twitter, Hotmail, LinkedIn, Yahoo Open To Hijacking @ Slashdot
- MSI MPOWER OC Event @ Madshrimps
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Blackberry Q10 specs comparison @ The Inquirer
- ARM's new CEO: You'll get no 'glorious new strategy' from me @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy S4 interactive @ The Inquirer
- 18 days of hottish Pebble love @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 24, 2013 - 03:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 8, Blue, windows blue
It was only a matter of time before Windows Blue was leaked, like just about every other version of the operating system in recent memory. Internally, Blue is a transition for Microsoft into an annual release schedule for Windows products; externally, Blue is the first feature-release for Windows.
Yes, Sean Bean, win'ders has come.
Zac from WinBeta, embed above, got hold of the operating system, apparently leaked today, and played around with the changes for all of YouTube to see.
New split-screen App options. (Unclear whether multi-monitor app support is fixed)
- Minor clarifications for user instruction.
- New tile sizes.
- Swipe up from Start Screen to access list of apps.
- More personalization options.
- Picture frame mode.
- New App: Calculator.
- New App: Alarm.
- New App: Sound Recorder.
- New App: Movie Moments... apparently a new, confidential, video editing application.
- Internet Explorer updated to version 11.
Personally, despite sticking with Windows 7 for political reasons, the new App options seem like they would be the most engaging feature for Windows Blue. For being such a core segment of the "modern" Windows experience, apps are surprisingly annoying to manage as they currently exist on Windows 8. If you have two or more monitors then you are probably having a nightmare with anything outside of Windows 8's desktop mode.
We now know that app support is being looked at, so there is some hope that multiple monitor users will be considered too.
Subject: General Tech | March 23, 2013 - 04:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: bioshock infinite
So The New York Times wrote an editorial about Irrational Games to lead-off the upcoming release of Bioshock: Infinite. The piece is fairly typical, describing co-founder Ken Levine along with the very nondescript studios nestled away within Quincy, Massachusetts. The piece focused on how much the team cares for their game Bioshock: Infinite...
... and then it speculated a quantity for how much they cared, citing unnamed analysts.
Of course this could not help but become a minor controversy like just about everything else surrounding Bioshock: Infinite these days. The piece reported a budget that was "upward of $100 million", excluding marketing which could add an extra $100 million to that figure. Naturally, $200 million dollar stories began to spring up online.
200 million for Infinite? Did someone send some checks to the wrong address? #unnamedanalyst
— Ken Levine (@IGLevine) March 22, 2013
This prompted a tweet-based response from Ken Levine, because who needs a PR firm when you got Twitter? Anyway, the man has a sarcastic sense of humor and this is no different.
While funny, this is not actually a denial. Games are quite expensive to produce and can be very expensive to market. Sure, the NYT figure is still probably an overshoot even if you were to zealously round up, but I would still hesitate to mock.
Subject: General Tech, Displays | March 22, 2013 - 07:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Two (2) Dell UltraSharp U2312HM 23" IPS Monitors with Dual Monitor Stand for $436 with free shipping (normally $570 - use coupon codes: 6DBNK$ZJLR$L4J and 9B47MSNVFNNKB2). - this link will be fixed soon!
Computing Hardware & Peripherals
29" Dell UltraSharp U2913WM panoramic 2560 x 1080 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $566 with free shipping (normally $699 - use coupon codes: 2SWVM6553NQ6F7 and VNVC57F?X1269L).
27" Dell UltraSharp U2713H 27" 2560 x 1440 IPS-panel LCD Monitor (Flagship 2013 Model) for $765 with free shipping (normally $1000 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).
24" Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $450 with free shipping (normally $600 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).
21.5" Dell U2212HM UltraSharp 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitor with DisplayPort for $198 with free shipping (normally $260 - use coupon code: VNVC57F?X1269L).
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, gaming headset, AZiO, Levetron GH808
Gaming headsets are about more than just decent 40mm drivers which provide decent sound. We have seen virtual and physical 5.1 headphones, a wide variety of earcup and headband materials and occasionally vibration features so that when the artillery starts falling you can feel as well as hear it. AZiO's new Levetron GH808 sports that latter feature with a 30mm vibration driver which will indeed rattle your brains. HiTech Legion liked the volume control wheel integral to the headset but they would have liked one to control the vibration as well instead of it being all or nothing. At an MSRP of $55 they are not a major investment if you are curious about how this headset would feel.
"AZiO’s Levetron GH808 is a USB headset designed for gaming. The Levetron GH808 headset is plug-and-play, only requiring USB port on a Windows or Mac OS X system to use. Optional software can be downloaded from AZiO’s website, providing control of the GH808’s features from the desktop. Equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers and an additional 30mm “vibration” driver, the AZiO Levetron GH808 brings pulse-pounding excitement straight to gamers’ ears. Should you need to chat with your online buddies while playing, a unidirectional microphone can be pulled out from the left ear cup. The AZiO GH808 also includes a volume control knob as well as a toggle switch for enabling or disabling the bass enhancement feature."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MadCatz Cyborg F.R.E.Q.7 Headset @ eTeknix
- Steelseries Flux In Ear Pro Headset @ LanOC Reviews
- MadCatz F.R.E.Q.5 Red PC Headset @ eTeknix
- AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Headphones With Mic Review @ NikKTech
- Edifier MP15 Audio Candy Plus review: affordable quality @ Hardware.info
- Arion ET-AR602R-BK Floor Standing Speakers Review @ TechwareLabs
- Philips docking speaker DS3205 review: Lightning dock @ Hardware.info
- Oregon Scientific Boombero Wireless Speaker Review @ NikKTech
- Ineo Alienvibes W402 Speaker Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Edifier Spinnaker e30 Speakers @ Kitguru
- Orbitsound M9 soundbar @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | March 21, 2013 - 03:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: PAX East 2013, PAX East, PAX, logitech
Despite recent incidents with a genetic lifeform and disk operating system, we PC gamers love our science. Yesterday, Logitech claims they renewed their commitment to both PC gaming and science just in time for PAX East 2013.
Let us just hope the pi's not a lie. Hehehe, that rhymes.
While the commercial looks and sounds like the "G" stands for "Gatorade", it really beckons the launch of eight new accessory products: four new mice, two new keyboards, and two new headsets.
Logitech G700s Rechargeable Gaming Mouse
13 programmable controls
Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse
Dual-mode scroll wheel
Logitech G400s Optical Gaming Mouse
"Delta Zero" sensor technology
8 programmable controls
Logitech G100s Optical Gaming Mouse
"Delta Zero" sensor technology
Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard
12 programmable "G-keys"
Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard
18 programmable "G-keys"
Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
7.1 surround sound
Logitech G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
3.5mm stereo audio and mic
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z77a-g45 thunderbolt, video, tegra, quadro, podcast, GTX 690, GTC 2013, DDR3-3000, Crosshair V Formula Z, 2tb ssd
PC Perspective Podcast #243 - 03/21/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z, MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt, 2TB SSDs and more!
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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, Morry Teitelman, and sometimes Ken Addison
Program length: 1:18:24
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:38:40 Solidata 2TB 2.5: SSDs
1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2013 - 01:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: galileo, newton, akasa, nuc, case, thin mini-itx
FanlessTech recently spotted two new fan-less and small form factor cases from Akasa ahead of the official launch. The Akasa Galileo and Akasa Newton are compatible with thin Mini-ITX and Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) motherboards respectively.
Both cases are constructed of aluminum, have VESA mounting holes, and double as a fan-less heatsink for your components. The Galileo is 37mm thick and can cool processors rated up to a 35W TDP. The Newton is a small case with fins around the sides to increase surface area (for better cooling capability), and aesthetic flair.
According to Fanless Tech, the two PC cases will be officially unveiled at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this summer. There is no word on pricing or when they will be available for purchase, however.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 12:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vengeance K70, corsair, cherry mx red
FREMONT, California — March 21, 2013 — Corsair, a worldwide designer of high-performance PC gaming peripherals, today announced the Vengeance K70 fully mechanical gaming keyboard.
The new Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard is built on a rugged, brushed, aluminum chassis and features highly responsive Cherry MX Red mechanical switches under every key. The high performance switches combined with the keyboard's 100% anti-ghosted matrix, 20-key rollover and 1000Hz reporting rate provide fast, accurate input for gaming.
The Vengeance K70 gaming keyboards are available in two color schemes: silver aluminum with blue backlighting, and anodized black with deep red backlighting. Overall backlighting can be adjusted to four levels of intensity and each key is individually backlit, enabling the lighting for each key to be independently enabled or disabled. The key-by-key lighting customization allows users to highlight just the keys they need to emphasize and then save the setting directly to the K70's onboard memory. In addition, the Vengeance K70 comes with alternate colored, contoured keycaps for the WASD and 1-6 keycaps to allow additional customization.
"When we launched the Vengeance K60, customers loved the look and quality, but some wanted a backlit version," said Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of the Peripherals Business Unit at Corsair. "In typical Corsair fashion, we over-delivered and created Vengeance K70 with key-by-key backlighting, mechanical switches on every key, and two color schemes."
The Vengeance K70 also features dedicated multimedia controls to allow users to play, stop, pause, skip tracks and adjust volume. An extra USB connector is provided for attaching to USB devices such as a Vengeance gaming mouse or headset. A removeable soft-touch wrist rest provides comfort for long gaming or typing sessions.
See Vengeance K70 at PAX East from March 22-24
The Vengeance K70 keyboard will make its public debut at Corsair's booth at PAX East in Boston from March 22-24. Corsair is located in booth 1062.
Pricing and Availability
The Corsair Vengeance K70 will be available in April at suggested price of $129.99.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2013 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, price cuts, Richland, a4-4000
It might be worth waiting until next month if you are going to be building a low cost AMD based system as prices on the A8-5600K, FX-8320, FX-6300 and FX-4300 will be dropping in April. You can also expect to see the A4-4000 hit stores the following month at a very low price according to DigiTimes but don't have anything new to report about the release date of the Richland chips. It is nice to have low cost CPUs available on the market, but it seems odd when even the lowest priced motherboard will run you about twice as much as the CPU you will be putting on it.
"AMD plans to cut some of its APU prices at the end of April to welcome its next-generation Richland APUs, set for launch in early June, according to sources from PC players.
Prices of AMD's APUs including A8-5600K, FX-8320, FX-6300 and FX-4300 will see 8-15% drops and the CPU maker will also start shipping its A4-4000 in mid-April for sales in mid-May priced at US$40."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Poking Holes In Samsung's Android Security @ Slashdot
- Nvidia and ARM: It's a parallel, parallel, parallel world @ The Register
- Skype tips up for Blackberry 10 as it hits 100,000 apps @ The Inquirer
- Google’s Note-Taking Service Keep Is Live, And It’s Wonderful @ Gizmodo
- Windows 8 Outperforming Ubuntu Linux With Intel OpenGL Graphics @ Phoronix
- Unigine Valley 1.0 Benchmark Tool Walk Through @ OCC
- Team AU Overclocking in Perth with Liquid Nitrogen - Deanzo's Thoughts @ Tweaktown
GTC 2013: Cortexica Vision Systems Talks About the Future of Image Recognition During the Emerging Companies Summit
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 20, 2013 - 09:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: video fingerprinting, image recognition, GTC 2013, gpgpu, cortexica, cloud computing
The Emerging Companies Summit is an series of sessions at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) that gives the floor to CEOs from several up-and-coming technology startups. Earlier today, the CEO of Cortexica Vision Systems took the stage to talk briefly about the company's products and future direction, and to answer questions from a panel of industry experts.
If you tuned into NVIDIA's keynote presentation yesterday, you may have noticed the company showing off a new image recognition technology. That technology is being developed by a company called Cortexica Vision Systems. While it cannot perform facial recognition, it is capable of identifying everything else, according the company's CEO Ian McCready. Currently, Cortexica is employing a cluster of approximately 70 NVIDIA graphics cards, but it is capable of scaling beyond that. Mcready estimates that about 100 GPUs and a CPU would be required by a company like eBay, should they want to implement Cortexica's image recognition technology in-house.
The Cortexica technology uses images captured by a camera (such as the one in your smartphone), which is then sent to Cortexica's servers for processing. The GPUs in the Cortexica cluster handle the fingerprint creation task while the CPU does the actual lookup in the database of known fingerprints to either find an exact match, or return similar image results. According to Cortexica, the fingerprint creation takes only 100ms, though as more powerful GPUs make it into mobile devices, it may be possible to do the fingerprint creation on the device itself, reducing the time between taking a photo and getting relevant results back.
The image recognition technology is currently being used by Ebay Motors in the US, UK, and Germany. Cortexica hopes to find a home with many of the fashion companies that would use the technology to allow people to identify and ultimately purchase clothing they take photos of on television or in public. The technology can also perform 360-degree object recognition, identify logos that are as small as .4% of the screen, and identify videos. In the future Cortexica hopes to reduce latency, improve recognition accuracy, and add more search categories. Cortexica is also working on enabling an "always on" mobile device that will constantly be indentifying everything around it, which is both cool and a bit creepy. With mobile chips like Logan and Parker coming in the future, Cortexica hopes to be able to do on-device image recognition, which would greatly reduce latency and allow the use of the recognition technology while not connected to the internet.
The number of photos taken is growing rapidly, where as many as 10% of all photos stored "in the cloud" were taken last year alone. Even Facebook, with it's massive data centers is moving to a cold-storage approach to save money on electricity costs of storing and serving up those photos. And while some of these photos have relevant meta data, the majority of photos taken do not, and Cortexica claims that its technology can be used to get around that issue, but identifying photos as well as finding similar photos using its algorithms.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more GTC coverage!
Additional slides are available after the break:
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors, Shows and Expos | March 20, 2013 - 06:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows rt, nvidia, GTC 2013
NVIDIA develops processors, but without an x86 license they are only able to power ARM-based operating systems. When it comes to Windows, that means Windows Phone or Windows RT. The latter segment of the market has disappointing sales according to multiple OEMs, which Microsoft blames them for, but the jolly green GPU company is not crying doomsday.
NVIDIA just skimming the Surface RT, they hope.
As reported by The Verge, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was optimistic that Microsoft would eventually let Windows RT blossom. He noted how Microsoft very often "gets it right" at some point when they push an initiative. And it is true, Microsoft has a history of turning around perceived disasters across a variety of devices.
They also have a history of, as they call it, "knifing the baby."
I think there is a very real fear for some that Microsoft could consider Intel's latest offerings as good enough to stop pursuing ARM. Of course, the more the pursue ARM, the more their business model will rely upon the-interface-formerly-known-as-Metro and likely all of its certification politics. As such, I think it is safe to say that I am watching the industry teeter on a fence with a bear on one side and a pack of rabid dogs on the other. On the one hand, Microsoft jumping back to Intel would allow them to perpetuate the desktop and all of the openness it provides. On the other hand, even if they stick with Intel they likely will just kill the desktop anyway, for the sake of user confusion and the security benefits of cert. We might just have less processor manufacturers when they do that.
So it could be that NVIDIA is confident that Microsoft will push Windows RT, or it could be that NVIDIA is pushing Microsoft to continue to develop Windows RT. Frankly, I do not know which would be better... or more accurately, worse.
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
HP Wireless Audio for $54.99 with Free Shipping (normally $100 - use $150 Coupon Code: 15LOGICBUY).
15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition Core i5 + 2GB Radeon HD 7730M Laptop w/Backlit Keyboard, 8GB RAM for $550 with free shipping (normally $650 - use coupon code: 2Q?XNXR2DXQ13G).
60" Sharp LC-60E69U 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $698.00 with free shipping (normally $1,100).
20" HP Pavilion 20xi 1600 x 900 IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $105 with free shipping (normally $130 - use coupon code: 15LOGICBUY).
HP bd335i Blu-ray Burner (Retail) for $105.00 with free shipping (normally $130- use coupon code: 15LOGICBUY).
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 20, 2013 - 01:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tesla, tegra 3, supercomputer, pedraforca, nvidia, GTC 2013, GTC, graphics cards, data centers
There is a lot of talk about heterogeneous computing at GTC, in the sense of adding graphics cards to servers. If you have HPC workloads that can benefit from GPU parallelism, adding GPUs gives you computing performance in less physical space, and using less power, than a CPU only cluster (for equivalent TFLOPS).
However, there was a session at GTC that actually took things to the opposite extreme. Instead of a CPU only cluster or a mixed cluster, Alex Ramirez (leader of Heterogeneous Architectures Group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center) is proposing a homogeneous GPU cluster called Pedraforca.
Pedraforca V2 combines NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with low power ARM processors. Each node is comprised of the following components:
- 1 x Mini-ITX carrier board
1 x Q7 module (which hosts the ARM SoC and memory)
- Current config is one Tegra 3 @ 1.3GHz and 2GB DDR2
- 1 x NVIDIA Tesla K20 accelerator card (1170 GFLOPS)
- 1 x InfiniBand 40Gb/s card (via Mellanox ConnectX-3 slot)
- 1 x 2.5" SSD (SATA 3 MLC, 250GB)
The ARM processor is used solely for booting the system and facilitating GPU communication between nodes. It is not intended to be used for computing. According to Dr. Ramirez, in situations where running code on a CPU would be faster, it would be best to have a small number of Intel Xeon powered nodes to do the CPU-favorable computing, and then offload the parallel workloads to the GPU cluster over the InfiniBand connection (though this is less than ideal, Pedraforca would be most-efficient with data-sets that can be processed solely on the Tesla cards).
While Pedraforca is not necessarily locked to NVIDIA's Tegra hardware, it is currently the only SoC that meets their needs. The system requires the ARM chip to have PCI-E support. The Tegra 3 SoC has four PCI-E lanes, so the carrier board is using two PLX chips to allow the Tesla and InfiniBand cards to both be connected.
The researcher stated that he is also looking forward to using NVIDIA's upcoming Logan processor in the Pedraforca cluster. It will reportedly be possible to upgrade existing Pedraforca clusters with the new chips by replacing the existing (Tegra 3) Q7 module with one that has the Logan SoC when it is released.
Pedraforca V2 has an initial cluster size of 64 nodes. While the speaker was reluctant to provide TFLOPS performance numbers, as it would depend on the workload, with 64 Telsa K20 cards, it should provide respectable performance. The intent of the cluster is to save power costs by using a low power CPU. If your sever kernel and applications can run on GPUs alone, there are noticeable power savings to be had by switching from a ~100W Intel Xeon chip to a lower-power (approximately 2-3W) Tegra 3 processor. If you have a kernel that needs to run on a CPU, it is recommended to run the OS on an Intel server and transfer just the GPU work to the Pedraforca cluster. Each Pedraforca node is reportedly under 300W, with the Tesla card being the majority of that figure. Despite the limitations, and niche nature of the workloads and software necessary to get the full power-saving benefits, Pedraforca is certainly an interesting take on a homogeneous server cluster!
In another session relating to the path to exascale computing, power use in data centers was listed as one of the biggest hurdles to getting to Exaflop-levels of performance, and while Pedraforca is not the answer to Exascale, it should at least be a useful learning experience at wringing the most parallelism out of code and pushing GPGPU to the limits. And that research will help other clusters use the GPUs more efficiently as researchers explore the future of computing.
The Pedraforca project built upon research conducted on Tibidabo, a multi-core ARM CPU cluster, and CARMA (CUDA on ARM development kit) which is a Tegra SoC paired with an NVIDIA Quadro card. The two slides below show CARMA benchmarks and a Tibidabo cluster (click on image for larger version).
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more GTC 2013 coverage!
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tomb raider, tressfx, gaming
Tomb Raider is as divisive a game as Halo, either you love the series or can't understand why people are interested in it at all. As is usual, [H]ard|OCP put the gaming considerations aside to take a look at the technology showcased in the game as well as finding the settings which provide the best gaming experience on several different single and dual GPU systems. Those who want to experience AMD's new TressFX feature will be glad to hear that you can enable that setting even on a GTX 660Ti. As far as general performance, high end card owners will be able to use Super Sample AA while others will have to content themselves with FXAA, for resolutions over 1080p you are going to want a pair of GPUs as single GPU solutions struggled to meet even 1080p with high or ultimate settings. Read on to see how your system will perform and discover which side of the fence [H] is on when it comes to Lara Croft.
"Tomb Raider is the first game to sport AMD's new TressFX feature. This DX11 effect creates a new sense of realism in-game with each strand of Lara's hair reacting to her movement and environmental features like wind and rain. Crystal Dynamics has worked hard to advance our expectations as gamers and enthusiasts alike!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Waaagh-Face: Slitherine Announce Turn-Based 40K Game @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- StarCraft II Heart Of The Swarm @ Kitguru
- 150 Mods at Once (And a $1,500 PC) Give Skyrim a Next-Gen Makeover @ Wired
- Firaxis Talk Us Through Civilization V’s Brave New World @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Crysis 3 @ eTeknix
- SimCity Tested, Benchmarked @ Techspot
- Battlefield 4 unveiling teased for 27th March @ HEXUS
- Duke Is Out: Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Gears of War: Judgement @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2013 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DRAM, micron, ssd, Samsung, Hynix
It is perhaps not obvious to many because of the huge number of DRAM resellers but there are only three major manufacturers of DRAM left at this point. Apart from Micron, who claim top spot in this article on The Register, Samsung and Hynix are the only other big players left supplying DRAM. Considering the instability of memory and SSD pricing it seems odd that it is a component with only three possible sources, the instability could be coming from the fact that many of the mergers are still rather recent or in the case of Elpida, not quite complete yet. One very interesting comment from Kipp Bedard, Micron's investor relations VP, might also explain the volatilty of flash, "there simply isn't enough NAND fab capacity to store even 20 per cent of the data people are generating." If demand outstrips supply by that order of magnitude you can dictate almost any price you wish.
"When I first started at Micron, there were about 40 to 50 DRAM companies in the space," said Bedard. "And we spent most of the '80s with the Japanese deciding they wanted to own the DRAM space which they went from 10 per cent market share to about 90 per cent, [and] took all of the US companies out except for two, us and Texas Instruments."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
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- Netatmo review: weather station with app @ Hardware.info