E3 12: E3 2012 starts Tuesday with pre-coverage on Monday

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2012 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: E3, E3 12

The 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2012) is taking place next week from Tuesday through to Thursday. Monday will start the week with four press conferences. Stay tuned for as much PC-centric coverage as we can feed you with over the week including expected Unreal Engine 4 news.

If you work in an electronic entertainment retailer -- prepare to be asked weird questions next week.

E3 2012 is kicking off next week and a lot of announcements are expected to come out it. We here at PC Perspective are most interested in learning more about Unreal Engine 4 which is expected to be publicly announced at the expo. We expect that there will be something else which will surprised us as well.

Unreal-Engine-4-3.jpg

You better be here next week!

Monday will kick off E3 with four press conferences:

  • Microsoft from 12:30PM EST to 2PM EST
  • EA from 4PM EST to 5PM EST
  • Ubisoft from 6PM EST to 7PM EST
  • Sony from 9PM EST to 10:30PM EST

Nintendo will take the stage the following day with a Tuesday at Noon EST conference.

Apart from Unreal Engine news I am very excited to find out what Valve has in store for E3. Valve has a private meeting room this year which they skipped for E3 2011. In E3 2010 they demonstrated Portal 2 and this year it is possible that we will see little more than DOTA 2 -- but there is always hope for something more.

What are you guys and girls hoping to see? Unreal 4? Valve cake? Beyond Good and Evil 2?

Source: PCPer

ASUS would like to clear the air on just who is the fastest of them all

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | June 1, 2012 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: asus, maximus v gene, p8z77-V deluxe, overclocking, smackdown

GBimage001.png

Earlier this week, we and several other sites reported that a Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motherboard managed to take the Ivy Bridge i7-3770 with a single core enabled all the way to 7.03GHz and ASUS would like to know what all the fuss is about.  It seems that on January the 5th, ASUS took the i7-3770 to 7.06GHz on a P8Z77-V Deluxe which not only beats Gigabyte's overclock but did so long enough ago we needed to be reminded of it.

ASUSimage004.jpg

That was not even the best overclock that ASUS managed, the tiny Maximus V Gene could support a speed of 7.07GHz.  That speed was hit yesterday by Andre Yang and seems to demonstrate that for extreme overclockers it is ASUS' Z77 boards which you should be counting on. 

ASUS image005.png

Hopefully this little correction will start an overclocking war between the two manufacturers, as both host events for overclockers as does MSI who have not chimed in to this contest yet.  LN cooling is not for the faint of heart but it is what you need to practice in order to compete at this level.  Gigabyte does seem to have one record which does still stand, DDR3-3280 MHz is quite spectacular.

ASUS master overclocker Andre Yang has managed another benchmarking world record, once more using the Intel Z77-based ROG Maximus V GENE mATX. Utilizing a quad-core/eight threaded Intel i7-3770 Ivy Bridge processor, Andre was able to overclock the CPU to an impressive milestone frequency of 7074.7MHz, again breaking the fabled 7GHz processor threshold and overtaking the previous record of 7.06GHz ( which was previously set and held by ASUS with the P8Z77-V Deluxe ). The CPU multiplier and BCLK were set to 112.69 x 63. The Maximus V GENE had 4GB of G.Skill DDR3 RAM, clocked to 1197.8MHz. The graphics card used was an ASUS GeForce GTX 680, set to 705MHz/3004MHz. Keep in mind quad-core and eight-threaded overclocking presents a much tougher challenge than more traditional single-core and double-threaded tuning in terms of stability and consistency, making the feat even more impressive.

 

Source: ASUS

Can you spot the difference between Windows 8

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2012 - 11:51 AM |
Tagged: win8, microsoft, release preview

The Developer Preview of Windows 8 has been around quite a while now, yesterday's release of the almost final version of Windows 8 is what is now creating the online buzz.   Visually they indistinguishable, Metrosexual lucky Charms are still your main interface with a vastly increased amount of touch interface options for those who are using a device with that capacity.  It also has an integral pop-up keyboard and a lock screen, making it incredibly similar to a smart phone.  TechReviewSource did not delve below the surface to examine the technical changes to the OS but you can be assured that there will be information forthcoming on PCPer's front page in the near future.  In the mean time take a look at some of the new interface options in TRS' article.

TRS_336445-windows-8-touch-keyboard.jpg

"This is an early look at Windows 8 Release Preview, Build 8400, installed on a slick and slim Samsung Series 9 ultrabook. Our take on the latest publicly available version of the next Microsoft operating system follows, but at the outset you should realize one thing: In appearance, it's nearly identical to the Consumer Preview released late last February."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Gigabyte Launches Ultra Portable Notebook Lineup

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 1, 2012 - 10:24 AM |
Tagged: x11, ultrabook, u2442, u2440, notebook, gigabyte

Gigabyte, a company mostly known for its motherboard manufacturing, has announced a new lineup of small and lightweight notebooks. Among the new systems are the X11, U2442, and U2440 notebooks. Running Windows 7 and powered by Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors, the ultra-portables pack plenty of power.

Gigabyte X11.jpg

The X11 is an ultra-lightweight 11.6” notebook at 975 grams and .3cm at it’s thinnest point (1.65cm at its thickest point). Constructed of carbon fiber, it was built using a woven diamond technique that resulted in it being lightweight while maintaining rigidity. It is powered by an Intel Ivy Bridge processor and 128GB SSD. It further comes with USB 3.0 and Bluethooth 4.0 connections. A 16:9 LED backlit display connected via an aluminum hinge is another feature of this laptop. Intel’s Rapid Start and Anti-Theft technologies and a Smart Recovery system are also built in.

Gigabyte U2442.jpg

For those that require dedicated graphics, Gigabyte has also launched a 14” notebook with NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M or GT 640M graphics cards. The U2442 weighs in at 1.57kg and ranges in thickness from 18.5-21mm. The computer also uses Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, but the larger form factor has allowed Gigabyte to give the notebook a dual vent design for the GPU and CPU respectively. It also comes with a 1600x900 LED backlit display, backlit keyboard, and THX TruStudio Pro audio technology. The U2442 notebook further has a 128GB mSATA SSD paired with a 750GB hard drive as well as WiFi, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI 1.4 connectivity. The “Champagne Gold” colored cover has a brushed aluminum texture that looks nice as well. No carbon fiber here, but it does look to be all aluminum.

Gigabyte U2440.jpg

Finally, the U2440 is designed to be less powerful–but more portable–than the U2442. This 14” notebook comes with an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, NVIDIA GeForce 630M graphics card, optical disc drive, 1TB mechanical hard drive, and a mSATA slot for SSD upgrades. The system has taken a downgrade on display resolution versus the U2442 with only 1366x768 pixels. It supports up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, 802.11n WiFi, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. Further, the U2440 has 1 USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, RJ45, microphone input, and headphone output ports. The U2440 comes in a dark gray colored chassis with a brushed aluminum texture on the notebook lid.

As far as pricing and availability, the X11 carbon fiber notebook will be available in July with street prices ranging from $999 to $1299 USD. The U2442 will also retail for between $999 and $1299 USD, but it will be available sooner–towards the middle of June. The U2440 isn’t as light as the X11, or as powerful as the U2442 but it has both of those systems beat on price. The U2440 will have street pricing that starts at $699 USD before tax and will be available for purchase at the end of June.

They seem like interesting systems, and they look nice as well. What do you guys think of the Gigabyte notebooks?

Source: Gigabyte

Bethesda Reveals The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Dawnguard Trailer

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: skyrim, bethesda, trailer, video, canwehavethisnow?

Today, Bethesda released the trailer for the upcoming expansion for The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, titled Dawnguard. 

I want this - now.  But Xbox 360 users will get it first.  I don't like Xbox Skyrim gamers anymore.

That is all.

Source: YouTube

Podcast #204 - ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: video, synology, ssd, podcast, ocz, nvidia, iosafe, diskstation, agility4

PC Perspective Podcast #204 - 05/31/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:10:29

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:00:50 Random Sound Card Discussion
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:06:30 Take the PC Perspective Survey, win prizes!!
  7. 0:08:40 ioSafe SoloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+ Review - Disaster-proof Networked Storage
  8. 0:18:38 Tegra 3 to see 30 devices this year, LTE support
  9. 0:20:25 NVIDIA claims GTX 680 sales outpacing GTX 580 sales
  10. 0:27:30 NVIDIA shows ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD
  11. 0:29:50 HP has 27,000 too many employees
  12. 0:32:00 Dell leaks Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet
  13. 0:34:40 Dell promotes their "Copper" ARM-based servers
  14. 0:39:30 OCZ Launches Agility 4 based on Indilinx Everest 2
  15. 0:51:20 Intel shows you how to make a processor
  16. 0:54:00 Time for a GPU Stock Update?
  17. 0:57:00 Crysis 2 back on Steam? EA and Valve make up?
  18. 0:59:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless headset $149
    2. Jeremy: The best way to blow $10,000
    3. Josh: Faster Internets... Worth it!  http://west.optimum.com/services/high-speed_internet/optimum_online_boost/
    4. Allyn: is lame
  19. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. Closing

Microsoft prepares Skype to be preinstalled on Windows 7 PCs They also ignore the latest version of Skype

Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 31, 2012 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: skype, OEM, bloatware, crapware

Just after their $99 Signature service has been announced, Microsoft has provided OEMs with a version of Skype to be pre-installed on Windows 7 PCs. I wonder if they will take it off again if you pay them?

Just… give me a minute…

So Microsoft hates bloatware unless it is theirs. OEM partners have been paid by software vendors to provide demos of products integrated and pre-installed for the end-user. Commonly you will see a few game demos, the Kindle software, an antivirus trial, and Skype. Earlier in the month Microsoft created a service at their retail outlets to scrub computers clean of the bloat for $99.

And now that they own Skype they desire for OEMs to integrate it with Windows 7…

Skype.png

Here’s my dotted line for your Signature.

More humorous is that they will integrate Skype 5.8 rather than the newer Skype 5.9. Granted, it is unsurprising that a company would be slightly behind in versions particularly since the latest dot-release is less than two months old. Skype has been known to be slightly less desirable as you increase in version number and as such makes me crack a smirk either way. The latest release in particular has allegedly been the cause of minor glitches in recent podcasts with TWiT studios recommending rolling back to 5.8.

If anything this makes me slightly curious about Windows 8.

Source: ZDNet

Leaking low end Kepler specs

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 01:08 PM |
Tagged: leak, nvidia, kepler, gt610, gt620, gt640

We will have to wait until the scheduled Computex release for verification but for right now Kitguru seems to have an idea of just what the lower end of NVIDIA's Kepler line will be like.  They are not sure of the connectivity options, especially the number of displays a single card can manage but as far as the size of the memory interface, clock speeds and size of the cards Kitguru seems fairly certain they are at least close to the actual specs.  Check out the whole list they published here.

geforce-gt-640-3qtr-682x342.png

"So far, nVidia’s launch of the Kepler range has gone smoothly. The only real hiccups have come with stock and the re-branding for some of the old 5xx cards into the 610 and 620. With the low and high ends sorted, focus for Bryan Del Rizzo moves to the mid-range and those pesky 7000 cards hanging out below £100. KitGuru spies hang around outside nVidia’s favourite KFC to see what can be overheard."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Kitguru

Microsoft Releasing Windows 8 Release Preview May 31st

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 11:37 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, windows, software, release preview, operating systems, microsoft

Update: The Windows 8 Release Preview is now official. You can download the ISO images here. If you are following our installation guide, you will need to use the following CD Key to complete the installation: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF.

According to The Verge, Microsoft fans will be getting a nice surprise tomorrow when the company releases the Release Preview of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system. What was first set to debut in early June, sources are indicating that Microsoft will officially release it tomorrow–a week early.

Windows-8-Start-Screen.png

The Release Preview is Microsoft’s third official build for public consumption, following the Developer and Consumer previews respectively. This build is said to include hints at what the aero-less desktop will look like (though users won’t see the full UI changes until the final retail build) as well as built-in Adobe Flash in the Metro UI version of Internet Explorer. Although I can’t say I’m thrilled about the many changes in Windows 8, I’ll still be downloading the new Release Preview to give Microsoft another chance to make me like Windows 8 (hopefully they can). If you do download it, don’t forget about our Windows 8 Virtual Machine installation guide.

Will you be checking out the Release Preview?

In other Windows 8 news:

Source: The Verge

Noctua Announcing PC Fans With Active Noise Cancellation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 09:58 PM |
Tagged: quiet, pc case, noise cancellation, noctua, fans, air cooling

Enthusiast PC fan manufacturer Noctua has announced a partnership with RotoSub to produce fans with active noise cancellation technology. They two companies have already developed a prototype chassis fan that uses fan blade modulation and a series of stationary blades in addition to the moving fan blades to improve performance while keeping the noise down. The noise canceling fan prototype will be shown off at Computex 2012 in Taipei next month (booth J1312 in Exhibition Hall 1F).

In a recent press release, RotoSub and Noctua have announced a “strategic partnership” to develop and market a line of Noctua fans with a new noise cancellation technology from RotoSub. The technology in particular is called the RotoSub Acive Noice Control (R-ANC). It uses phase cancellation principles to cancel out the annoying hum (or whine in those smaller server fans that sound like jet engines) given off by the fans. The fans do this by slightly modifying how the blades spin using proprietary algorithms (hopefully they will release more information on exactly what is going on there), and by including physical features like the stationary set of fan blades behind the moving set of blades.

noctua_nf_f12_rotosub_anc_testing.jpg

The prototype Noctua NF-F12 fan that will be on display at Computex 2012.

Mårten Oretorp, RotoSub CTO stated that the company is aiming to achieve 80% more airflow and 120% greater static pressure than the Noctua NF-F12 fan by incorporating the company’s ANC technology. Noctua is licensing the RotoSub technology, which is claimed to deliver better noise-per-performance ratios than can be accomplished by physical aerodynamic improvements alone.

Further, Noctua CEO Roland Mossig stated “it has always been our goal to push the boundaries of acoustic optimisation and this partnership will allow us to reinforce our technology leadership in the field of premium grade PC cooling equipment.”

RotoSub hasn’t detailed the algorithms but they do have hints of information on their page including a video demonstration of the fan and an animation that shows the “anti-sound” being generated by the fan itself to cancel out the annoying fan noises that it produces. The video can be seen below.

It is an interesting concept, and I hope that it works. While moving to watercooling has cut down on the number of fans I’m using in my desktop, it is still not anywhere near what I would call quiet. Stay tuned for more information once the prototype is shown off at Computex 2012.

Source: Rotosub

Know CPUs were made of sand? Yes, but I like your video.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors | May 30, 2012 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged: Intel, fab

Intel has released an animated video and supplementary PDF document to explain how Intel CPUs are manufactured. The video is more “cute” than anything else although the document is surprisingly really well explained for the average interested person. If you have ever wanted to know how a processor was physically produced then I highly recommend taking about a half of an hour to watch the video and read the text.

If you have ever wondered how CPUs came to be from raw sand -- prepare to get learned.

Intel has published a video and accompanied information document which explains their process almost step by step. The video itself will not teach you too much as it was designed to illustrate the information in the online pamphlet.

Not shown is the poor sandy bridges that got smelted for your enjoyment.

Rest in got

My background in education is a large part of the reason why I am excited by this video. The accompanied document is really well explained, goes into just the right amount of detail, and does so very honestly. The authors did not shy away from declaring that they do not produce their own wafers nor did they sugarcoat that each die even on the same wafer could perform differently or possibly not at all.

You should do yourself a favor and check it out.

Source: Intel (pdf)

It's like Spore in space... even though that was in space too. Kinetic Void Kickstarter almost over but not at goal yet.

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: Kickstarter

Kinetic Void is a PC single player space adventure game looking for funding on Kickstarter. They are currently at $47,000 out of their $60,000 goal with approximately 6 hours to go. If you have a 2GHz CPU and GeForce 8800 GPU or better and would like to back the project then do so like -- right now. You will only be billed for your pledge if they reach their $60,000 goal.

Update (5/30/2012): They're funded -- but if you want to keep donating to give them more development funds I'm sure they could use it.

Yet another awesome looking indie project is looking for crowd-funding.

There are probably a bunch of fans of space sims in our audience -- and I know there are a bunch of fans of PC games in our audience. Most of these games will only be possible with crowd funding and Kinetic Void is teetering on the edge of expiring. If you like it -- the next 6 hours is basically your last chance to back it so do not wait.

When I started writing this article it was at $46,000… so it’s possible. Hop to it if you want it.

The expected system requirements for the game is quite lean with just a 2.0 GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, and GeForce 8800 GPU needed to play. They recommend a multi-core CPU which is still very reasonable these days to say the least. It is not the prettiest game but that is not the point.

$10-or-more will get you the full game when it is launched in late 2012 or early 2013 -- or if you spring for $20+ you can get Beta access as well.

But only if it is funded… so go to Kickstarter if it seems interesting to you.

Source: Kickstarter

Pedestrians, you have 30 seconds to reach safety; Stainless Kickstarts Carmageddon Reincarnation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: cunning stunt, carmageddon reincarnation

The game that was condemned by the Pope and used by the media as the posterchild for how violent video games should be strictly controlled is back thanks to the love of the original creators and help from a very successfull Kickstarter campaign.  Soon you will be able to run amok among pedestrians, setting them on fire, zapping them with your Electro-Bastard Ray or even colliding into them with your car.  They have a lot of work to do if they want this game to live up to its predecessors as this was the first game featuring damage to your car and physics processing to handle collisions.  You have until June 6th to donate funds to the Carmageddon Reincarnation kickstarter, with a variety of rewards available depending on how much you donate ... $15 to get the game.

 

"Max Damage is back! Carmageddon: Reincarnation is going to reintroduce the gaming world to the original freeform driving sensation, where pedestrians (and cows) equal points and your opponents are a bunch of crazies in a twisted mix of automotive killing machines. It’s the racing game where racing is for wimps."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

A very specialized but completely open source CUDA-like program for image manipulation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: CUDA, open source, opengl

Hack a Day linked to a program that could be of great use for anyone who manipulates and processes images, or anyone who wants to be able to make fractals very quickly.  Utilizing the OpenGL Shader Language Reuben Carter developed a command line tool that processes images using NVIDIA GPUs.  As we have talked about in the past on PC Perspective, GPUs are much better at this sort of parallel processing than a traditional CPU or the CPU portion on modern processors.  Below is one obvious use of this program, the quick creation of complex fractals but this program can also process pre-exisiting images.  Edge detection, colour transforms and perhaps even image recognition tasks can be completed with his software at a much faster speed than CPU bound image manipulation programs.  If you are in that field, or looking to decorate your dorm room,  you should grab his software via the GitHub link in the article.

RJC_Mandelbrot.jpg

"If you ever need to manipulate images really fast, or just want to make some pretty fractals, [Reuben] has just what you need. He developed a neat command line tool to send code to a graphics card and generate images using pixel shaders. Opposed to making these images with a CPU, a GPU processes every pixel in parallel, making image processing much faster."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Hack a Day

OCZ launches Agility 4 SSD based on Indilinx Everest 2

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Agility 4

OCZ Technology Group launched their latest entry in the Agility 4 line of Solid State Drives. The drive will make use of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller over a SATA 6Gbps interface. It is rated to provide 400MB/s reads with up to 85,000 write IOs per second. Unlike its 5-year Vertex 4 brethren the Agility 4 will be backed by a 3-year warranty.

Just a couple of months ago Al posted his review of the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive which he found to be aggressively priced and with good potential depending on firmware support.

OCZ has just released the Agility 4 to complement their new product line with a slightly cheaper and slightly lower performance option compared to the Vertex. Both drives are based on the same Indilinx Everest 2 controller with transfer rates being the main divisor between the two products. Retail price of the Agility 4 is placed much more aggressively and flirts even closer with the $1 per gigabyte line than the Vertex 4.

OCZAgility4.png

Almost time to get change our metric to cents per gigabyte. ... Yay!

The Agility 4 is rated to perform with consistent read bandwidths of 400MB/s which is below the Vertex 4’s rated 535 MB/s sequential reads throughput. The write IOPS is rated at 85,000 random transactions per second and exactly matches that metric with the Vertex 4.

OCZ is covering the Agility 4 with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. It is on back-order from NCIX with an expected retail value of $259.20 for the 256GB version which might as well be called a dollar per gigabyte. Newegg has yet to list the product or its expected value.

Source: OCZ

Take the PC Perspective Survey - Win Prizes!

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: survey, ocz, giveaway, corsair, contest

Every once in a while take an opportunity to learn about YOU, our faithful fans of PC Perspective.  Today is one of those days as we have setup a small survey to help point us in the right direction for the future of the website.  We can learn a lot from your help with this:

  1. We learn about you.
  2. We learn what you want to read on PC Perspective.
  3. We learn what you don't want to read on PC Perspective.
  4. We learn what you want to see as the future of PC Perspective.

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over what is going to happen here, so wield it wisely.  If you write in the comments section that we should fire Josh then we'll probably do it probably not do it. 

Other than the obviously great feelings you'll receive from helping out your friends at PC Perspective, we decided that to entice you to spend the 5 minutes on the survey that it will require we are going to offer up a handful of prizes as well!

survey-vertex4small.jpg

1 x OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD

survey-corsairc70.jpg

1 x Corsair Vengeance C70 Military Green Chassis

survey-gigabyte.jpg

1 x Gigabyte Z77 G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard

All you have to do to win one of these great prizes is:

  1. Fill out our survey.
  2. Wait for us to pick you as a winner.

Man, we pride ourselves on making our contests and sweepstakes easy, but this is ridiculous!  The competition is open to ALL people around the world though you can ONLY enter one time!  The survey will run through the 8th of June, so get your entries in!

Good luck and thank you so much for being a part of PC Perspective!

Continue on to the survey for your chance to win and support PC Perspective while doing it!

How consoles would have gouged Diablo 3 over $44 million

Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2012 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: diablo iii, consoles, blizzard

Matt Ployhar of Intel has posted on their Software Blogs about how much money in royalties would be given to Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo if Diablo 3 were published on a console platform. Activision-Blizzard along with a couple of other publishers recently pocket the difference -- but unlike the consoles it is not an actual cost so the publishers can, and many do, lower their prices to the $50 point at launch. It really shows how expensive the seemingly cheaper console platforms really are.

So who would make a device for $805 to sell it for $499 after billions in research, development, and marketing?

Sony does and they get that money back from you in good time -- subtly.

The perception of consoles being a cheaper gaming platform than the PC is just a perception. Over the lifespan of the platform you can pay less for a better experience with a somewhat larger upfront cost on the PC. You are paying a premium with the consoles to experience exclusive titles that are only exclusive because you allowed the platform to charge you to pay the publisher to make it exclusive. Imagine how that cost grows if you own multiple consoles?

5-depressing.png

But I find good value in paying extra so that others cannot play too.

Matt Ployhar of the Intel Software Blogs does a very rough calculation of how much Blizzard would have paid Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo had their game been on a console platform. With 6.3 million units of Diablo 3 sold in the last two weeks and a typical royalty rate of $7-10 per game sale for console platforms the platform owner would take $44-63 million away from Blizzard.

This means that you would have been paying the platform owner $44-63 million to have Diablo 3 be placed on a platform which will be unsupported probably long before you finish with your game.

Blizzard has been selling Diablo 2 since the Nintendo 64 era. Consoles are paid to be disposable, the PC is not.

Source: Intel Blog

Red Hat gives Enterprise Linux a new Fedora

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: Red Hat, linux, Fedora, Beefy Miracle

Ubuntu certainly steals the show for end users but on the enterprise side it is Red Hat's that is the star, with Fedora being its flavour more suited to personal use.  A brand new release has arrived today, which will give home sysadmins a bit of work to test for compatibility with their current systems.  Thankfully the base kernel has not changed much, this release deals with patches that have been fully tested over the past six months along with updates to the software which comes with Fedora.  The Inquirer makes mention of Ovirt, a virtual machine management program, JBoss Application Server 7 and enhancements in Openstack, all of which should be well received by professionals.  They will also be happy to know that Red Hat's Beefy Miracle has stuck with the Gnome interface instead of switching to Unity.

its-a-beefy-miracle.png

"The Red Hat sponsored Fedora project serves as the proving ground for new features that eventually end up in the firm's Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Now Red Hat has announced that it has released Fedora 17 including updates to Gnome, Eclipse, GIMP and Openstack along with numerous patches."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

AMD and Intel both need to improve their Linux support

Subject: General Tech | May 28, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: linux, Intel, amd, Ivy Bridge, llano, opencl

Two different stories today focus on how both major CPU vendors have allowed their support for the new features present in their architectures to fall behind for Linux OSes.  From The Inquirer we hear about the how poor OpenCL support from AMD is leaving APU accelerated computing for Linux to lag behind Windows development.  This goes far beyond purely graphical tasks and the complaints we have heard from gamers as OpenCL is a computing language that can handle far more than just pushing pixels.  The two most common OpenCL applications that people are familiar with are the GPU clients for BOINC and Folding@Home, which enable you to chug work units on your graphics card or the graphics cores on your CPU.  AMD's Neal Robinson who is the current senior director of Consumer Developer Support has taken up the challenge of promoting Linux OpenCL support from within AMD, so keep your eyes peeled for news from his team.

Intel's Ivy Bridge is no better according to Phoronix, as testing shows very little improvement on the default Ubuntu Unity desktop with Compiz.  That is what allows Ubuntu users to show the iconic Desktop Cube on the Gnome desktop environment and using it shows negative effects on the general performance of the system.  Switching to KDE and OpenGL generally resulted in better performance as did Xfce.  Phoronix does not hold out much hope for the improvement of Compiz on Ivy Bridge processors or Intel's open source drivers for the near future, either for graphics or GPU accelerated computation.

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"For AMD flaky Linux support isn't just a matter of gamers complaining, but now with its APUs, standard applications are simply not making use of the compute power that AMD needs to compete with Intel."

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Source: The Inquirer

HP to cut 27k jobs over 2 years. More depressing layoff news.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 26, 2012 - 03:10 AM |
Tagged: hp

ZDNet reports that HP will cut 27,000 jobs over the next two years which represents approximately 8 percent of their global staffing. The company claims that it will take those savings -- which are expected to be slightly over 3 billion dollars -- and re-invest them in research and development.

Yes that is right: 27k as in 27,000 jobs over two years.

CEO Meg Whitman made a statement that over the next couple of years HP will cut around eight percent of their workforce to refocus on research and development. They expect that with their projected cuts they will be able to recover $3-3.5 billion from wages to spend on their research into “cloud and big data” technologies.

Let us hope that they can keep their projected revenue even with the lessened workforce.

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So many printers -- but none print money.

And let us just think about the announcement for another second. The expectation is to lay off all those employees over the course of two years to reduce the short-term morale dip.

So instead you have practically all of your employees dust off their resumes in case their Russian roulette chance is not an empty chamber?

Congratulations HP -- you now probably have a company full of paranoid personnel.

Once again the loss of jobs is under 10 percent and thus I hesitate to make any guesses about the health of HP as a company. My general rule of thumb is that you can very loosely tell how bad a company is off depending on how many employees they lay off percentage wise. Up to approximately 10 percent is tragic but somewhat standard restructuring for a larger company. Up to 30 percent is seriously hard times. Approximately 100 percent means the company is either attempting to reboot or get picked apart for liquidation.

Again, that is just my rule of thumb when I look at these stories.

Source: ZDNet