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Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2012 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: valleyview, shark bay, PowerVR, Ivy Bridge, haswell GT3, haswell, atom
Phoronix has been investigating the open source driver code which was recently released, designed to power Intel's Haswell chips. The news is not as good as some had hoped; there were rumours that a Gen8 Haswell GT3 IGP would appear in Haswell but according to the hardware IDs that were found in the code that is not going to be true. Instead you are looking at refined Gen7 Haswell GT1 and GT2 IGPs and so will be an improvement over Ivy Bridge but not a completely new chip. Check out the rest of the secrets revealed by the code here.
"While Intel's Ivy Bridge launch is imminent, and I'm still digging through information concerning today's Intel Valleyview code drop that brings Ivy Bridge graphics to their next-generation Atom as they do away with PowerVR graphics for their SoCs, more graphics driver code to enable Haswell support has landed this evening."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- What's New in Linux 3.3? @ Linux.com
- Japan's once-proud semis learn size DOES matter @ The Register
- Globalfoundries ships 250,000 32nm wafers @ The Inquirer
- First-tier motherboard makers drop 7 series motherboard prices @ DigiTimes
- Intel Valley View: Atom SoC With Ivy Bridge Graphics @ Phoronix
- Weekly Giveaway #24: Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 and Saphira Mouse @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2012 - 11:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PSU, power supply, antec, 80 Plus Platinum
Popular case and power supply manufacturer Antec recently released a new PSU, or Power Supply Unit, that represents the first 1,000 watt PSU to be certified by 80+ for Platinum efficiency. The new Antec High Current Pro 1000 Platinum is rated to deliver 1000 watts of power, features four +12 volt rails at 40 A per rail, and a modular cable design.
The PSU uses Japanese capacitors to deliver 40 A of DC output with low ripple and noise. In addition, it uses a modular cable design with dark colored cables to aid in cable management. Currently the PSU supports the following connectors.
- 1 x 20+4 Pin ATX
- 1 x 8 Pin 12V EPS
- 6 x 6+2 Pin PCI-E
- 9 x SATA
- 6 x Molex
- 1 x Floppy
- 1 x 4+4 Pin ATX/EPS
With regards to the 80 Plus (80+) Platinum rating, the new Antec PSU means that it is capable of delivering a minimum efficiency of 89 % at 20 to 100 percent load. At it's best, the PSU can run as efficiently as 94%. Global Marketing Director at Antec Mafalda Cogliani stated that "we designed a highly versatile, practical cabling to maximize cable management options and pushed High Current Pro to Platinum-certified efficiency to create a PSU package unrivaled by competitors at this wattage class."
Antec's High Current Pro Platinum is now on sale at Newegg, NCIX.com, and several other major retailers in the United States and Canada. Europe will be getting the HCP-1000 Platinum on April 9th. The power supply carries an MSRP of $269.95, and features a seven year warranty. More information is available on this product page.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 21, 2012 - 09:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pelly wants revenge, nvidia, leak, gtx 680, fermi, 28nm
Not to be outdone by NCIX, NewEgg also managed to jump the gun on the GTX 680 earlier today. The screengrab that was sent tp Bright Side of News shows their pricing of the soon to be released GTX 680 with models ranging from $500 to $535. The specs are there for all to see, a GPU running at 1.006GHz, Shader clock of 2.012GHz, effective memory of 6.008GHz and 1536 Stream Processors. Contrast that with the last GTX 580 that Josh reviewed which had a 782 MHz core, 1.564GHz shader, memory at 4.008GHz and 512 SPs and you can see it is a big step up!
If you visit NewEgg now you will be greeted with a different result, a page describing the GTX 680's various features and a Buy Now button which unfortunately doesn't work at this moment. That is a situtation which obviously cannot last as NewEgg would not have put it up. Of course the realization that you can pick up a pair of GTX 570's for the same price might just mean some recalculations will be in order once we see the performance of the actual card.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2012 - 04:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, wing commander, mod
There is some incredible news for those of you who have purchased old Wing Commander games from GOG, as well as those of you who've though about it but prefer the memories of the game they've already formed. A group of modders has taken the engine behind FreeSpace 2 and created Wing Commander Saga, which spans a time period from just before the beginning of Wing Commander 3 and takes you through to the end of the Terran-Kilrathi War. On top of the vastly improved graphics and features like autopilot are dozens of cinematics throughout the game, thousands of lines of original dialog and large scale fleet battles. Do not despair if this is the first you are hearing about it for the release date is tomorrow! Check out Wing Commander Saga: The Darkest Dawn here.
"Any old-school PC gamer worth his salt has spent some time dogfighting in space in Wing Commander, or at least is familiar with the series that first took flight in 1990. Heck, even Mark Hamill (better known as Luke Skywalker) lent his voice acting talents to the third installment, Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. If you have fond memories of flying through space in the 1990s, you'll be happy to know that fans of the franchise are nearly finished with a massive followup."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- APB Reloaded (Free-to-Play) PC Review @ eTeknix
- Dare we believe it? Blizzard locks in May 15 launch date for Diablo 3 @ Ars Technica
- Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to give first two games a modern update @ Ars Technica
- Why, That Must Be Another Far Cry 3 Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (XBOX 360) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Twisted Metal (PS3) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Rayman Origins (PS Vita) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- umines: Electronic Symphony PlayStation Vita @ Tweaktwon
- Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 @ Kitguru
- XBOX720 and PS4 Consoles Revive PC Gaming @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2012 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: IBM, power 7+, interposer, packaging
In the typically bass ackwards way of technology, an interposer actually acts as an interface for electrical signals to be routed or spread as opposed to something which acts as a barrier between two objects. Today SemiAccurate's camera caught a picture of an engineering sample of IBM's Power 7+ chip which, according to them, represents a huge step forward in a direction only IBM is going in. That interposer allows a huge amount of bandwidth between the four cores on the larger chip below, without specifications it is hard to say how much but it is quite possibly be more effective than either Intel or AMD's current solutions. As SemiAccurate points out, the interposer is just begging to be filled with cache memory.
"Every once in a while, a company will do something really unexpected, like IBM’s laying down the law in packaging last week. Yes, they showed off a chip, two actually, that does things no one else is even talking about doing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Micron reportedly offers US$1.5 billion to take over Elpida @ DigiTimes
- HP poised to merge printer, PC divisions? @ The Register
- Birdwatching Meets a Computer-Controlled Water Cannon, Awesomeness Ensues @ Hack a Day
- Trial finds EIGHT WAYS to defeat Google, PayPal and other SSOs @ The Register
- Cinavia DRM: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Blu-ray’s Self-Destruction @ AnandTech
- Austin Case Modders Take Their Exotic PCs and a Giant LAN Party to SXSW (Video) @ Slashdot
- Print your own Supercaps @ Hack a Day
- AMD releases open source Linux driver to support Southern Islands GPUs @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 11:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pelly, nvidia, leak, gtx 680, fermi, 28nm
The gang over at Tweaktown managed to get pictures of a retail Gigabyte GTX 680, which is not only better than candid snaps from Las Vegas making it to the web, it also solidifies a few facts. For instance, as you can see below there are two 6-pin PCIe power connectors which pegs the maximum supplimental power that this card can draw at 150W. That is a big difference from the two 8-pin PCIe connectors that could deliver up to 275 to a GTX 580; NVIDIA has obviously made a huge step forward in power savings with the move to 28nm regardless of any design or manufacturing problems they may have had to overcome to deliver this card to retailers.
Tweaktown didn't stop there either GPU fans; it seems that the online\brick and mortar computer chain NCIX made a little mistake and let the GTX 680 appear on their wishlist app. Both an EVGA and an MSI model of the GTX 680 could be added to your wishlist ... for the price of $578.20 USD plus delivery. That same retailer currently sells HD 7970's for between $564.99 USD to $619.99. If only there had been some leaked benchmarks which might indicate which way AMD might have to adjust their pricing.
Lucas is so going to sue you!
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 08:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Sim City
Sim City will arrive in 2013 only on PC, with some level of mod support, and some level of awesome.
The new Sim City was officially unveiled a couple of weeks ago at Game Developers Conference accompanied by a teaser trailer. Apparently Will Wright, the original creator of Sim City, will not be involved with the project. A second video was released yesterday which outlines the simulation rules which govern gameplay. It is worth your time to see.
Looks like they have the Wright idea...
It appears as though Maxis has spent the majority of their development focus with their GlassBox engine on the interactions between aspects of the city. Buildings such as fire stations can be upgraded and resources such as coal and water are finite. It is up to you to not just manage your city, but have it properly laid out.
Towards the end of the GDC teaser, it was hinted that your city would neighbor others. While the game would be functional as a single player experience, within multiplayer your city influences its neighbors. Beware the trade winds.
The game will only be available on Microsoft Windows and will include some level of mod support. Employees at Maxis have claimed that they will use the same mod package format as The Sims and SimCity 4. It appears as though EA might be taking another stab at a pure PC title. I hope they do it well, and it serves them well.
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 02:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows on arm, windows 8, microsoft, arm
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been out for a few weeks now, and despite the controversy around the new interface it does seem to be coming along nicely as far as development and bug testing is concerned. While the Windows On ARM has received much less attention and Microsoft has publicly released very little about it, we can only assume that the company is working hard on getting it up and running on upcoming ARM tablets.
There have been several reports on release time frames, and the general consensus for the Windows 8 release will be Q4 2012 at the latest. Alternatively, if Bloomberg's sources "with knowledge of the schedule" are to be believed, the public will be getting both Intel and ARM versions of Windows 8 a bit earlier than expected. Specifically, Microsoft has chosen their upcoming operating system to "go on sale around October." Microsoft will also be releasing more specific dates during an event for its hardware partners in April.
Apparently, Microsoft has been rather strict with device makers in regards to hardware configurations allowed for launch devices that are to be powered by the Windows on ARM version of Windows 8. Of the ARM launch devices, only three of them will be tablets. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows business, has stated that both the ARM and Intel/AMD versions of Windows 8 will be released at the same time, and that “I wouldn’t be saying it’s a goal if I didn’t think we could do it.” Microsoft restricting the designs is likely the reason they are able to get WoA out of the door at the same time as the tried and true x86 and x64 versions.
More information on Windows 8 can be found around the site:
- Set up Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual machine
- Windows on ARM details
- No more Start Button in Windows 8
- Windows 8 Defender at risk of anti-trust violation?
- Windows 8 news via the "windows 8" tag!
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TSMC, nvidia, amd, southern islands, kepler, 28nm, maxwell, llano
TSMC's 28nm process has been in the news for a long time, sometimes this was a good thing but more often it was not. Back in May of 2009 the first announcements of TSMC's brand new 28nm process hit the news with major production slated to start in early 2010. That didn't happen on time, much to several companies dismay as Josh unhappily discussed towards the end of 2010. This set a trend for TSMC's 28nm process for a while, for instance AMD did not quite meet their promise of readily available 28nm GPUs in 2011, though a late December launch for the HD7970 did meet the spirit of the agreement. The delays and issues on TSMC's 28nm lines had a variety of causes, perhaps one of the worst being TSMC's overly optimistic attitude about their production capabilities especially when AMD had a surprise for them. Add to that the long line of woes during the development and production of NVIDIA's 28nm Kepler GPU as well as the recent shutdown of the production line, and you can see why TSMC's 28nm process has spent a lot of time being maligned in the news. It almost makes you forget about the 40nm process woes, but that is ancient news.
All that effort is not going to waste as DigiTimes reports that TSMC is planning on expanding their 28nm capacity this year and expects that process to account for 10% of their 2012 revenue. The next question on most peoples minds is the progress on TSMC's 22nm process which in 2010 they announced would be ready by Q3 2012, something which NVIDIA's Maxwell team is probably anticipating with great anxiety.
"With current capacity for 28nm processes filled up, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is likely to expand the leading-edge process capacity later in 2012, according to industry sources.
TSMC reportedly is running at full capacity at its 12-inch fabs due to strong orders for 28nm as well as 40nm and 65nm designs. In order to avoid orders to rivals such as United Microelectronics (UMC) and Samsung Electronics, TSMC will have to speed up the pace of its leading-edge capacity expansion in particular its 28nm capacity, the sources said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD releases single-processor AM3+ Opteron 3200-series chips @ The Inquirer
- D-Wave Announces Commercially Available Quantum Computer @ Slashdot
- Intel launches over 100 Xeon E5-2600 motherboard and chassis SKUs @ The Inquirer
- ARM's ultra-low-power fridge-puter chips: Just what the CIA ordered @ The Register
- Windows 8 to debut on both x86 and ARM devices in October, report says @ Ars Technica
- Interview with XFX Sales VP Cy Brown @ Kitguru
- Windows 8 tablet freezes in Microsoft keynote demo @ The Register
- Samsung shows 14nm and 20nm wafers @ SemiAccurate
- ASUS Masters of Overclocking Competition 2012 UK with HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2012 - 01:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: finance, computer, apple
Apple inc, the popular consumer electronics and computer company behind such brushed aluminum products as the MacBook and iPad is currently sitting on a huge pile of cash. Specifically, they have $97.6 billion dollars on hand in cash and securities (!). Allegedly, former CEO Steve Jobs maintained these liquid assets in the event that they needed to buy out a company to make any problems go away.
Apparently, current CEO Tim Cook has other ideas about what to do with the company's money, including giving a small portion of it back to shareholders in the form of dividends. In light of this announcement, the company expects their stock price a grow over the long term. After generating $31 billion in cash last year (September to September), and on track to rake in even more profits this year Tim Cook does not foresee a dividend having any negative impact on their liquid assets. The quarterly dividend in question is set to be $2.65 per share stating July 1, 2012.
Apple is further instituting a $10 billion share buyback program that is reportedly being implemented to offset shares issues to employees. The buyback program will last for three years and begins on September 30, 2012.
After the release of the
iPad 3 new iPad (sigh) and positive reaction to dividend announcement, their stock price is rising and they are still sitting on quite the pile of money even with the new dividend!
Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2012 - 11:58 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Virus, Trojan-Spy.Win32.Lurk, ram virus, Kaspersky Labs, javaw.exe, fud
A lovely little electronic beastie was spotted by Kaspersky Labs on Russian ad servers recently which uses a Java exploit (long since patched) to corrupt javaw.exe while it is running on system memory, infecting machines without any installation required whatsoever. While this sounds quite bad, the fact is that in your memory it can infect running programs but not move out of the memory without triggering an installation process and will not survive a system reboot. That is why as soon as this malware finds its self on a systems RAM it immediately tries to install the Lurk Trojan, which is when your problems would start and when your anti-virus/anti-malware protection should notice something amiss.
By its self the new virus poses little direct risk but it represents a new attack vector for drive by infections, which could get into protected space and be able to launch an attack from within the systems memory, a much faster and more intimate way of attacking than coming over the network. With home systems sporting more that 4GB of RAM, there is a lot more space for this type of virus to work with than there was just a few years ago. Read on at The Register, if you dare.
"The researchers aren’t quite sure how unusual it is, describing it as both “unique” and “very rare”, but no matter how scarce this type of malware is it does sound rather nasty as it “… uses its payload to inject an encrypted dll from the web directly into the memory of the javaw.exe process.” That mode of operation means Windows and MacOS are both affected by the exploit, which is hard for many antivirus programs to spot given it runs within a trusted process."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fujitsu's supercomputing MONSTER thrashes Top 500 rivals @ The Register
- IBM shows off 14nm wafer @ SemiAccurate
- Linux 3.3 Released @ Slashdot
- Intel Sandy Bridge Shapes Up On GCC 4.7 Compiler @ Phoronix
- Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro5500 @ Overclockers Online
- Ninjalane Podcast - New Servers Games Games Games Travel Gadget
Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2012 - 11:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: OS, linux kernel 3.3, linux, kernel, Android
Linux kernel 3.3 has recently been released for public consumption, and it features quite a few new features and improvements. The kernel is the code that developers than build upon to create all the various Linux distributions such as Fedora, Mint, and Arch Linux (among others).
This latest release, version 3.3 includes various improvements to the file system, btrfs, networking, architecture, and EFI BIOS support. In regards to the file system, the Linux 3.3 kernel supports improved balancing and the ability to re-stripe between different RAID (redundant array of independent disks) levels. Further, the kernel will now allow an x86 boot image to be processed by EFI firmware in addition to the traditional BIOS microcode boot that is present in the majority of today's machines. Also, Kernel 3.3 improves the networking aspects by improving the ability to bond multiple NICs to improve networking throughput and/or to provide redundant connections. Support for a new architecture has also emerged such that Linux kernel will work with Texas Instruments C6X based chips. These chips include the "family of C64x single and multicore DSPs."
The above improvements are just the tip of the iceberg, however. The most talked about new feature is likely going to be the inclusion of Android code from Google's Android OS project. According to the Kernel Newbies website, the disagreements between Linux kernel developers and Google have been "ironed out," and code from the Android project will now start to be rolled back into the Linux kernel. They expect that Android coming home to traditional Linux will make developing code and end user software easier for everyone, and they expect further Android and Linux integration in the future.
More information on the latest Linux kernel release is available here.
Subject: General Tech | March 17, 2012 - 05:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, gearbox, borderlands 2
Gearbox advertises an enhanced PC experience for Borderlands 2 in the form of a love letter.
It takes a lot of devotion, effort, and trust to make a compelling game for the PC. Apparently Claptrap is willing to take all the time necessary to get into our pants -- or wherever else you carry your credit card. It is somewhat sad how stories like these are newsworthy. This kind-of calls to attention how half-assed most games are these days in general, for all systems, especially when it comes to optimizing for platform-specific traits.
Actually on second thought, maybe we will need some Penicillin.
The list of PC-specific enhancements is quite long, but most entries are based on interface and Steam integration features:
- FOV slider
- “100%” mouse usable menus/mouse wheel scrolling
- Remappable keybindings for keyboard/mouse
- PC specific UI
- Native multiplayer matchmaking
- Push to talk
- Logitech keyboard support ((I assume they mean LCD screen information))
- LAN support (including OFFLINE mode)
- Control pad support
- Integrated v-sync option
- Support for higher resolutions
- Mouse smoothing options (can be disabled completely)
- Cloud save support
- Achievement support
- Friends list support
- No port forwarding required
Is there any feature that you wish would be included for the PC version? Personally I would like the option for splitscreen support especially for those with Eyefinity setups. How about you?
Subject: General Tech | March 17, 2012 - 04:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nexus tablet, google, Android
The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets are two low cost Android tablets that are arguably the first Android tablets to be very successful, especially as gifts during this past holiday season. The $500+ iPads are nice, but not everyone is willing to pay that much money for a secondary computing device (the PC isn't dead yet!). There is also the form factor issue in that many consumers prefer the smaller and more portable 7" tablets that Apple has yet to provide.
Image via techiser
It seems as though Google has taken notice of the success of the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet and is ready to throw it's weight around and show manufacturers how to replicate that success with a reference 7" tablet of their very own. Much akin to the Google Nexus smart phones that Google released to act as a base / vanilla platform for manufacturers to base their designs on; Google is planning to release a Google Nexus Tablet. Recent rumors suggest that such an Android tablet is a "done deal" according to sources within Google's supply chain. Further, the Nexus tablet will allegedly feature a 7" form factor and will be powered by a TI OMAP 4 processor to keep costs low (versus using NVIDIA's Tegra 3). In addition, the Nexus Tablet would run an updated version of Android, specifically Android 4.1.
Speaking of costs, the Verge has stated that the new Nexus Tablet will retail for $199 USD, though there may be other varied SKUs that come in at lower/higher price points depending on the amount of RAM and storage.
The Google Nexus smart phones never really caught on with the majority of consumers, but many tech savvy people appreciated the vanilla Android experience that did not involve waiting months for OS updates (I'm looking at you, Samsung). If anyone can create a low cost tablet to replicate the success of the Kindle Fire, it's Google. What are your thoughts on these recent rumors?
Subject: General Tech | March 17, 2012 - 02:01 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: opswat, software, mse, antivirus
OPSWAT, a company founded in 2002, has released it's latest quartlerly report on software market share. The new report indicates that as of March 2012, the free Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus application has made the biggest gains in users this year.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus program developed by Microsoft that has been on the market for just over 2 years (since September 2009). Despite not having the best detection rates, it is a program that is non-intrusive and lightweight on resources. Because of the automatic updating (via Windows Update) and being essentially "set it and forget it," it has garnered quite the following from tech enthusiasts that use it on their computers along with a bit of common sense browsing to stay safe. In addition, it makes for a good choice for family members as it is easy to install and requires little maintenance along with not costing any money. Also, If you have a friend or relative that refuses to pay for AV yet also refuses to stop visiting certain areas of the web, having some kind of free antivirus is better than nothing!
Specifically, the Microsoft software has managed to snag 10.08% of the worldwide antivirus market, putting it under the three big A's of antivirus: Avast with 16.26%, Avira with 11.65%, and AVG Technologies with 10.96%. Close behind Microsoft is ESET antivirus with 10.06%. Microsoft has increased their worldwide market share to 10.08% from 7.27% a year ago. They are further ahead of Symantec who holds 9.97% of the market.
|Trend Micro, Incorporated||2.22%|
In terms of the North American market, Symantec actually pulls ahead of Microsoft, and holds the number one position at 16.09%. Microsoft then holds the second position in North American market share with 14.92%. The MS software saw big gains from last year, moving from fourth position to second position and 9.94% to 14.92% respectively. AVG holds third place at 13.22% while Avast has 11.96% of the North American market and fourth place. You can see the remaining top 10 vendors' market share in North America below.
|Trend Micro Incorporated||3.10%|
Drilling down beyond vendor market share to the specific programs' market share Microsoft Security Essentials holds 14.58% of the North American market as of March 2012. Also, MSE holds 9.96% of the worldwide market in March 2012. In terms of ranking, the individual software that is MSE is is number one in North America and second place worldwide. Microsoft Security Essentials holds 14.58% in North America and 9.96% globally, putting it just under AVAST! Free Antivirus which is the number one AV product worldwide with 11.91% of the market. These numbers are a bit more telling, as they indicate Microsoft is doing pretty darn well with their AV program, and it is really helping them (market share wise) to have just one main SKU/program in their lineup.
Interestingly, their report indicates that the top 10 antivirus makers hold the great majority of the market with 87.46% of worldwide market share. Of the top 10 (listed in chart 1) global AV vendors, only Trend Micro is a new addition at number 10 thanks to overtaking PC Tools with a total of 2.22% market share. The top 10 has further gained more of the total market compared to last year. In 2010, the top 10 vendors held 86.57% of the market, and they now hold 87.46%. Individual product wise, the top 10 companies' applications hold 64.94% of the worldwide market and 63.08% of the North American Market (this is for specific programs only, while the previous total numbers are for top 10 AV companies as a whole).
Further, OPSWAT states that the free offerings continue to dominate the charts with the most number of installations and market share. In North America, they identified 81 antivirus companies and 257 antivirus software applications. Globally OPSWAT detected 87 vendors and different programs. That makes the fact that the top 10 vendors hold approximately 87% of the market even more impressive. More information on the recent OPSWAT report is availabe in the PDF format here.
Subject: General Tech | March 16, 2012 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tri-gate, FinFET, silicon nanowires
We've just met Intel's Tri-Gate transistor technology, which offers significant improvements in power efficiency as well as reducing waste hear but researchers have already moved onto the next new technology. Referred to as silicon nanowire transistors in this story at The Register, the next generation of transistor may have no gates whatsoever, or be made entirely of gates, depending on how you look at it. The wire will be wrapped in a silicon oxide, high-K metal gate making the transistor cylindrical and not limited in the number of gates possible in the same way that planar or 3D transistors are. The development of this technology is in its infancy but could well help us see chips go below 5nm as it matures.
"The next step in transistor architecture will likely be silicon nanowires – extremely thin silicon wires that will form the transistor's chanel, surrounded on all sides by a wrap-around silicon oxide, high-K metal gate.
"It's the ultimate fully-depleted device," the director of IBM's Semiconductor Research & Development Center, Gary Patton, said during his keynote address at Wednesday's Common Platform Technology Forum 2012 in Santa Clara, California. "You don't have a gate on just two sides, or three sides – it's fully encapsulating the silicon nanowire device."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Thunderbolt may become standard for PCs in 2013 @ DigiTimes
- WD releases Thunderbolt drive @ The Register
- Sophos warns about fresh Windows exploit @ The Inquirer
- I bought a Kindle Touch, and it's pretty great @ The Tech Report
- Scosche reVOLT c2 Dual USB Car Charger Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 10:36 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sapphire, radeon, HD 7970, gpu, amd, 7970
Sapphire Technologies recently launched a new factory overclocked version of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. The new Radeon HD 7970 OC Edition promises to combine the performance of AMD's 7970 GPU (you can find our review of the 7970 here) with Sapphire's own Dual X two fan heatpipe cooler.
The Sapphire HD 7970 GPU is powered by one 8 pin and one 6 pin PCI-E power connection, and supports the PCI-E 3.0 standard and Microsoft's DirectX 11.1 technology. Other specifications include 3 GB of GDDR5 memory, a 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU core, a 384-bit memory interface, and a dual BIOS switch depending on whether you want to run at stock clock speeds or use the factory overclocked profile.
Specifically, the Sapphire HD 7970 GPU features a dual bios switch that allows customers to switch between default clock speeds of 950 MHz core and 1425 MHz memory and the factory overclocked speeds of 1 GHz (1,000 MHz) core and 1450 MHz memory. When using the overclocked BIOS, the graphics card will employ more a more aggressive fan profile and also allows raises the maximum limits for overclocking the core, memory, and voltage values.
Further, the Sapphire GPU uses their own Dual X cooler that features a dual slot aluminum heatsink connected to the GPU core by five copper heatpipes. This heatsink is then cooled by two large fans, that Sapphire claims will enable quiet operation even while under load.
Accessories wise, Sapphire provides one DVI, one HDMI, and two mini Display Port video outputs. In the retail packaging, Sapphire provides an Active mini Display Port to single-link DVI adapter, HDMI to DVI adapter, DVI to VGA adapter, two PCI-E to molex power adapters (one molex to PCI-E 8 pin and one molex to PCI-E 6 pin), a mini Display Port to Display Port adapter, a 1.8 meter HDMI 1.4a cable, and a CrossFire bridge.
The new Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition is available now from authorized retailers, and is retailing for between $580 and $630 at several retailers at the time of writing.
Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 01:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, kepler, Ivy Bridge, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #193 - 03/15/2012
Join us this week as we talk about our Kepler Mobile preview, GTX 680 Rumors, Zenbook talk and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- NCAA 2012: PC Perspective Bracket Competition!!
- HP dm4t Beats Edition Notebook Review: Branding Gone Wild
- Nvidia GeForce GT 640M Review: Kepler Arrives For Mobile
- Unreal Engine Samaritan Demo Running On Single NVIDIA Kepler GPU
- Alleged NVIDIA GK104 Kepler GTX 670 Ti Photo Leaked
- GTX 680, Turbo Cores, and Cuda Cores!
- A possible GTX 680 specs leak?
- Asus Updating Zenbook Line With UX31A and UX21A Ultrabooks
- Lian Li Releases Official Photos of PC-QO5 Case
- The new MAINGEAR Solo all-in-one PC series
- ARM Cortex-MO+ Lowest Power Processor Yet At 9µA/MHz
- Give me a Marauder MAD-5M with original armour and I am good to go
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, haswell, lynx point
This morning DigiTimes suggests a more concrete launch schedule for Ivy Bridge, which slates the processor to begin hitting the streets by the end of next month. The initial launch in April should see all of the announced Core i7 models become available as well as the middle member of the Core i5 line. By June we should see more of the Core i5 models become available but those looking for a low cost Core i3 will be waiting until the end of summer before they can purchase a new processor. It will be this time next year before Haswell and Lynx Point become available if you are planning to hold off on upgrading until that generation of processor becomes available.
"Intel is set to announce its next-generation 22nm-based Ivy Bridge processors by the end of April with 11 models including Core i7-3770K, Core i7-3770, Core i7-3770S, Core i7-3770T and Core i5-3550, expected to appear in the initial launch, while several models including Core i5-3470, Core i5-3470S, Core i5-3475S, Core i5-3570 and Core i5-3570S will be released in early June, according to sources from upstream component players.
As for Ivy Bridge-based entry-level Core i3 and Pentium series processors, Intel is expected to release the CPUs in August with 7 series chipsets to appear in early April."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft shows off Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 Metro @ The Inquirer
- Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer @ The Register
- Boffins render fibre obsolete @ The Register
- Final CeBIT Roundup @ XSReviews
Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 08:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: webM, web browser, mozilla, html5, h.264, firefox
Mozilla executives working for the foundation behind the Firefox web browser today announced that they would be giving in to the H.264 codec as the open WebM VP8 codec has lost the war. The H.264 and VP8 (part of WebM) codecs are used to encode and decode video files, and are especially important on mobile devices as Flash support is less ubiquitous (or totally absent if you're using Apple products). In the absense of flash, the web turned to the HTML5 standard which provides <code><video></code> tags that allow direct embedding of videos into websites. Also important is that H.264 has wide support for being hardware accelerated on many mobile devices, enabling smart phones to smoothly playback high quality files that the low power CPU portion of ARM SoCs would otherwise struggle with. This situation is also available to desktop users, but is less of an issue as processing power is not as scarce and can, ah, accommodate Adobe's Flash plugin (heh).
The downside, and where all the controversy arises from, is that the H.264 codec is not free and requires manufacturers or sites that stream H.264 videos for a fee to license it as well as users, though the actual cost for licensing is generally rolled into the cost of the OS, device, or other piece of purchased software. Further, because the HTML5 standard does not specifically define a set video codec, there is room for fragmentation. Adobe, Mozilla, and Google eventually would jump behind what is now known as the WebM standard, which is an open (and free) video codec (VP8) that would not require expensive licensing restrictions. On the other hand, Apple backed the H.264 standard. Mozilla would roll WebM into their browser but not H.264, meaning that users could view HTML5 videos using Firefox but not HTML5 videos encoded with the H.264 codec. Google, Apple, and Microsoft would support the H.264 codec for HTML5 videos, despite Google developing WebM (and the included VP8 video codec) and giving word of mouth support for WebM. This meant that Chrome users could view both WebM and H.264 based HTML5 video.
According to the article, Google promised to drop support for H.264 and move solely to the WebM VP8 codec to entice websites to move to the open codec. Unfortunately, the company never came through with that promise, and has continued to offer dual support while Mozilla was left holding the open source support banner and causing their users to suffer as a result. The article references a study by MeFeedia that suggests that as of December 2011, H.264 based HTML5 video accounts for 80% of the market, implying that WebM has already lost the war. Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer noted that WebM needed support from a larger entity than Mozilla, and it needed that support in the beginning. Especially with Apple heralding H.264, for mobile site publishers, WebM really needed heavy backing to compete with Apple's market share and influential support of H.264 to have a chance. He further stated that:
"it might not have worked then, even with Google on-side. Now, with just Mozilla going it alone, all we do is kill our mobile initiatives in order to appear pure...That does not serve our mission or users."
Mozilla is now looking to support H.264, if a bit grudgingly. At this point, not supporting H.264 is only hurting their users and market share and not furthering their push for WebM. After all, if users are forced to look at other browsers just to play videos, it will not be WebM that is the only open source software forgotten (rather, the entire Mozilla web browser will wain).
Granted, Google is not the only company to blame for VP8 not catching on, Adobe also failed to properly push the codec. Also, Google is allegedly continuing to develop VP8 and WebM. Right now; however, losing Mozilla's support seems to be the final nail in the WebM coffin and the recognition that H.264 is the dominant format. More information is available here.