Subject: General Tech | July 25, 2012 - 10:19 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thunderbolt, falcon ridge, thunderbolt controller, displayport 1.2, optical cable, redwood ridge, haswell
Intel’s Thunderbolt technology came to the Windows PC side of the computer market in a big way with high end desktop motherboards and add-in cards. The current generation “Cactus Ridge” Thunderbolt controller is able to offer up to 10Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth with either two or four PCI Express lanes as well as a DisplayPort connection that does not interfere with file transfer bandwidth. In 2014, that bandwidth may double to 20Gbps with a new Falcon Ridge controller.
With current-gen tech, Thunderbolt is based on using copper cables and electronics on either end of the cable. Right now, the cables are still fairly expensive at $50, but with new vendors the prices will hopefully go down soon. Next year we should see the Cactus Ridge successor Redwood Ridge. According to DigiTimes, this Thunderbolt controller will add support for DisplayPort 1.2 but will otherwise be very similar with 10Gbps and copper cables. It is slated for a 2013 release, and a release coinciding with Intel’s Haswell processors and motherboards sounds logical.
Will Falcon Ridge finally give us optical-based Thunderbolt at retail?
In 2014 we will reportedly see the release of a fourth-generation Thunderbolt controller called Falcon Ridge that will offer up to 20Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth. While the cables will likely be even more expensive, I’m excited to see Thunderbolt progressing as it is a high performance transfer medium for professionals and enthusiasts. One thing that is not clear is whether Intel will be able to get DisplayPort + 20Gbps bi-directional bandwidth from copper cables. With Falcon Ridge we may well see the company finally make the move to optical cabling, which would return Thunderbolt to its initially-planned roots.
What would you do with the extra bandwidth provided by Falcon Ridge?
If you haven’t already, please check out our Thunderbolt coverage.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 20, 2012 - 01:11 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: transformer prime, transformer pad, transformer infinity, tablet, asus
ASUS recently announced that they will be bringing the latest version of Google's Android operating system – Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" to its line of Transformer tablets. Among the tablets to receive the update are the ASUS Transformer Pad, ASUS Transformer Pad Prime, and ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity. They will be getting the updates within the next couple of months, and more specific release dates will be announced closer to launch, according to the company.
The Transformer Prime tablet with keyboard dock
ASUS further stated that they are continuing to evaluate the feasibility of upgrading other devices to Jelly Bean, but there is nothing official in regards to devices that will for sure get it beyond the tablets listed above.
In an email, Senior Technical marketing Manager Gary Key stated the following:
"At ASUS, one of the key commitments we make to our customers is a relentless drive to deliver the best user experience. We constantly strive to achieve this goal through our ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy that includes regular software and firmware updates for our products."
While I don't have a Transformer tablet myself, It's great to see that they are continuing to support their devices, unlike a certain smartphone manufacturer (heh, yeah I'm still jaded over my Infuse 4G's update situation). If you have a ASUS tablet, be on the lookout (or follow PC Per!) for the Jelly Bean updates as it has some really neat new features.
For now though, you will have to settle for watching Ryan ogle over his Nexus 7 on this week's podcast :).
Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2012 - 02:59 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: windows 8, ssd, shimian, podcast, origin, nvidia, Intel, eon11, catleap, amd, 7970
PC Perspective Podcast #210 - 07/19/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
Program length: 1:02:09
- 0:00:30 Introduction
- 0:01:30 PC Per moving to pcper.com/live
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:03:10 Quakecon - Hardware Workshop @ pcper.com/workshop (August 4th, 2012 time TBD)
0:04:50 Join me next weekend at Fry's!!
- Fry's Electronics, 1077 East Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:20:10 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:22:00 New Radeon HD 7000-series pricing
- 0:25:30 GPU Stock Update for July 17th
- 0:32:15 6GB Sapphire TOXIC Edition 7970 GHz - 1200 MHz boost speed
- 0:36:55 PoV launches overclocked GT 640
- 0:37:35 Microsoft Office 2013 (aka Office 15) Customer Preview,
- 0:41:30 Blue Prolimatech Megahalems HSF prototype
- SSD Stuff
- 0:47:50 Retina MacBook Pro from a PC Perspective
- 0:53:00 Desktop Trinity APUs delayed
- 0:57:15 Microsoft Releasing Upgrade/OEM Editions for sale on October 26, 2012
- 0:58:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 01:02:10 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- 01:02:55 http://pcper.com/podcast
- 01:03:00 http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 01:03:30 Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
- 01:04:15 Closing/outro
Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2012 - 09:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, software, operating system, microsoft, metro ui
As the summer continues to fly by, Microsoft is hard at work on wrapping up its upcoming Windows 8 operating system and getting it ready for final release. While the company has indicated previously that the Metro UI-powered OS would be available sometime in October, it release a more specific date today. Specifically, upgrade editions of Windows 8 as well as Windows 8-powered OEM machines will be available for purchase on October 26th, 2012.
The announcement was made at an annual sales meeting by Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky today. Interestingly, the Windows Team Blog that reported on the announcement is noticeably absent of a mention for retail (not upgrade) editions of the Windows 8 operating system. That may well mean that physically packaged retail versions will not be available until a bit later in the year. Also missing is pricing; there is still no word on how much a full retail version of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro will cost. Even so, considering Microsoft is making upgrade editions available to anyone with a previous (licensed) version of Windows for $39.99, the retail versions are going to be pretty difficult to justify as they will likely cost much more than the upgrades.
Are you ready for Windows 8?
Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2012 - 03:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, pci 3.0, gaming
[H]ard|OCP has some bad news for current or expecting Ivy Bridge users; that whole PCIe 3.0 thing is not going to make your games run faster. It is not unexpected that a newly introduced technology has little to no impact when first released but since this was an update to a basic piece of architecture there were hopes that we would see an effect. During their testing only two games showed any improvement and those could be attributed to the Ivy Bridge processor its self and not PCIe 3.0. There are other reasons to upgrade to Ivy Bridge but if your main drive is to take advantage of a PCIe 3.0 compliant GPU, CPU and motherboard then you might want to hold off. PCIe SSDs on the other hand should show some differences when contrasted with the previous architecture.
"Wondering about upgrading to the new Ivy Bridge CPU and PCI Express 3.0 platform? Curious to know if you'll be gaining or losing performance? We compare single, dual-GPU, triple-GPU, single, and multiple display configurations on Ivy Bridge PCIe 3.0 and Sandy Bridge on PCIe 2.0 platforms."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dark Age of Camelot dev bringing back Ultima IV as Ultima Forever @ Ars Technica
- OnLive Cloud Gaming Console Review @ eTeknix
- EA confirms Battlefield 4 beta for autumn 2013 @ HEXUS
- Valve confirms Steam for Ubuntu on new Linux Blog @ Hexus
- Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection PS3 Review @ eTeknix
- Dungeon Twister @ Kitguru
- Bellator: MMA Onslaught (PSN) @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2012 - 02:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phase, phase change memory, micron, 45nm
Phase Change Memory is not new, Allyn listened to Intel talk about a breakthrough in this technology almost three years ago, but it is not common on the market. It offers two major benefits over the current RAM on the market, the first being its lack of volatility as the crystals it forms will remain even after power is cut off, the second is more dear to computer enthusiasts as it should be faster than DRAM. It may seem odd that a technology which requires the formation of crystals would be faster than the electronic flipping of bits but Micron claims that the trickle of voltage supplied creates seed crystals which speed the formation process during write cycles. The good news is that we should see real world testing soon as The Inquirer has heard that Micron has a good supply of PRAM to sell which means benchmarks are not far behind.
"MEMORY MAKER Micron has announced high volume availability of its 45nm phase change memory (PCM) chips.
Micron has been pushing the development of PCM chips with Intel for a number of years and is finally at a stage where it can offer chips to its customers. The firm announced that its 45nm PCM chips are available in a 1Gb PCM plus a 512Mb LPDDR2 package for mobile devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Hacking Skype for Better Teleconferencing @ Make
- Intel grazes Q2 numbers, but 'growth will be slower' in Q3 @ The Register
- Intel CEO Otellini promises $699 ultrabooks by fall @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 17, 2012 - 04:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sony, tim, thermal paste, thermal sheet
Say goodbye to messy thermal paste and the time you spent cleaning up the goop that ended up somewhere it shouldn't thanks to Sony's new thermal sheet. In fact it looks like this new thermal interface material is so easy to use you could do it blindfolded! The demonstrated performance is equal to that of traditional thermal paste, with Sony claiming a much longer effective lifespan. At 0.3mm thick it will also provide a thinner layer of TIM than even the most practised of us cannot match by hand. Check out more at Slashdot and try to avoid the rootkit jokes.
"Sony has demonstrated a thermal sheet that it claims matches thermal paste in terms of cooling ability while beating it on life span. The key to the sheet is a combination of silicon and carbon fibers, to produce a thermal conductive layer that's between 0.3 and 2mm thick. In the demonstration, the same CPU was cooled by thermal paste and the thermal sheet side-by-side, with the paste keeping the processor at a steady 53 degrees Celsius. The sheet achieved a slightly better 50 degrees Celsius. The actual CPU used in the demonstration wasn't identified. Sony wants to get the thermal sheet used in servers and for projection units, but I can definitely see this being an option for typical PC builds, too. It's certainly going to be less messy and probably a lot cheaper than buying a tube of thermal paste."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Make your own magnetic ink @ Hack a Day
- The Evolution Of NVIDIA's Kepler Driver Performance @ Phoronix
- Intel gobbles Lustre file system expert Whamcloud @ The Register
- Mozilla releases Firefox 14 and encrypts Google searches by default @ The Inquirer
- Symantec update killed biz PCs in three-way software prang @ The Register
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-PL550D 500Mbit/s Powerline Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
Following the successful launch of its HS1 headset, Corsair has come back with a Vengeance line of gaming peripherals including three new headsets. Included in the new lineup are the 1100, 1300, and 1500 gaming headsets.
The Vengeance 1100 is the smallest of the three gaming headsets, and features a behind-the-head headphone design using 40mm drivers and an unidirectional boom microphone extending from the left speaker. The 1100 can be connected via two analog 3.5mm audio jacks or by USB with the included adapter.
Subject: General Tech | July 17, 2012 - 06:56 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: office, microsoft, windows, Metro, windows 8, software, outlook, office 2013, customer preview
Microsoft’s next generation Windows 8 operating system is due out later this year, which generally means a refreshed version of Microsoft Office – the company’s productivity software – is also on its way. To show off the new interface and updated features, Microsoft has decided to release what it is calling a Customer Preview of Office 2013 that will allow you to try out the new versions of Access, Excel, Word, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word.
The new Office programs feature a refreshed interface that does away with the aero glass windows in favor of the flat metro look, and integrates into Microsoft’s Skydrive cloud storage service. By default, you log into your Skydrive account during installation, and from then on it will store your documents and other files in your Skydrive folder. In addition, Office will allow you to log into the various social networks to retrieve contact data, which is a nice addition to the Outlook email client (in my opinion). You can also utilize the chat features to communicate with friends or coworkers from within the Office 2013 applications. Of course, being designed for Windows 8, Office 2013 has several new ways to interact with the applications using touch controls or a stylus.
The other major change with Office 2013 is the introduction of several new subscription service. While Microsoft has had the Office 365 subscription brand for awhile, they have not really advertised it. With Office 2013, you can choose from four tiers including Office 365 Home Premium, Small Business Premium, ProPlus, and Enterprise. The Home Premium tier is the one that will interest the majority of people as it provides an extra 20GB of Skydrive storage space, a synced Office experience on up to five computers, the ability to stream the Office 2013 applications to another Internet connected computer with Office on Demand, and sixty minutes (every month) of Skype calling minutes. From there, the Small Business Premium and above tiers add business-centric features like HD conferencing, encrypted email, archiving, and other goodies.
Outlook 2013. As you can see, Office 2013's interface has been heavily influenced by Windows 8's Metro UI.
We’ll be playing around with the Office 2013 Customer Preview this week and will report back, so stay tuned. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can grab the Customer Preview download from the Microsoft website (an Internet connection is required during installation). It can be installed on computers running either Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Also, according to Tom’s Hardware, a version of Office 2013 – specifically Office Home and Student 2013 RT – will come pre-installed on all Windows 8 RT (ARM-based) computers, so that is a nice touch (especially since it’s basically the only traditional desktop application that the ARM tablets will be able to run, at least at launch).
Subject: General Tech | July 16, 2012 - 02:35 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: deal of the day
SSD prices keep going down and today's deal keeps that trend moving!
Head over though this link to pick up an OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD for $90 with free shipping!!
More deals below!!
17.3" Dell Inspiron 17R-2nd Gen Core i5-2450M 2.5GHz Dual-core Laptop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD & Adobe Elements 9 Bundle for $675 with free shipping (normally $849 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
15.6" Asus A54C-TS31 Core i3-2330M 2.2GHz Dual-core Laptop w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $400 (normally $480 - use coupon code UJJ65794).
12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Dual-core Ultra-portable Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $747 with free shipping (normally $1,485 - use coupon code X230SAVE).
Dell Vostro 260 Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-core Desktop w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD & 20" LCD Monitor for $549 with free shipping (normally $848 - use coupon code W9D06J14FX10WM).
HP Pavilion Elite h8-1380t Core i7-3820 3.6GHz Quad-core Desktop w/10GB RAM, 2TB HDD, Radeon HD 7570 & Adobe Elements 10 Bundle for $900 with free shipping (normally $1,200 - use coupon code DTF9725).
HP Pavilion h9-1210t Core i7-3770 3.4GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Desktop w/10GB RAM, 2TB HDD, Blu-ray, Radeon HD 7670, Beats Audio & Liquid Cooling for $975 with free shipping (normally $1,300 - use coupon code DTF9725).
24" Dell P2412H Professional 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor w/3-year warranty for $218 with free shipping (normally $299 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
24" Acer G245HQ5ms 1080p LCD Monitor for $130 (normally $160).
120GB OCZ Agility 3 2.5" Internal SSD (AGT3-25SAT3-120G) for $90 with free shipping (normally $120 - use this form).
32GB Patriot Axle USB 2.0 Flash Drive (PSF32GAUSB) for $13 with free shipping (normally $35 - use this form).
D-Link DIR-655 Extreme Wireless-N Gigabit Router w/ USB Port for $80 with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code JJK65170).
Dell 2150cn Color Laser Printer for $256 plus free shipping (normally $350 – use coupon code B>RX$T7MTF1$BLB8).
Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor for $100 with free shipping (normally $149).
ArmA 2: Combined Operations [PC Download] for $20 (normally $30).
60" Samsung UN60EH6000 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $1,300 with free shipping (normally $1,500).
WD TV Live Streaming WiFi Media Player (WDBHG70000NBK-HESN) for $80 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).
Personal Portables & Peripherals:
10MP Canon ELPH 530 Black Digital Camera for $270 with free shipping (normally $329 - use coupon code LOGICBUY10).
Brookstone ZX Crossbow for $10 (normally $25).
Brookstone USB Desktop Missile Launcher for $40 (normally $50).