Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 11:37 PM | Tim Verry
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.
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:
- Microsoft Taking out DVD Playback (codecs) in Windows 8
- Windows Media Center a Pro-only paid add-on
- Dell tablet running Windows 8 news
- Install Windows 8 In a Virtual Machine
Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 09:58 PM | Tim Verry
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.
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.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors | May 30, 2012 - 06:42 PM | Scott Michaud
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.
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 | Scott Michaud
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.
Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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:
- The RPS Verdict: Diablo III
- Diablo III (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Pinky: Doom 3 Gets “BFG Edition”, Mounted Flashlight @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Laptop Graphics Face Off: Diablo III Performance @ AnandTech
- Super Monday Night Combat - PC Review @ eTeknix
- DiRT Showdown (PC) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Win TERA, the MMORPG hit PC game @ HEXUS
- Saw Red: Frozen Synapse Expands, Gains Co-op @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Mad Riders (XBLA) Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Max Payne 3 PlayStation 3 @ Tweaktown
Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 12:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- Hard disk drive prices quick to rise, slow to fall @ The Register
- Microsoft's New User Agreement Bans Class Action Lawsuits @ NGOHQ
- AIDA64 v2.50 is released @ FinalWire
Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 06:53 PM | Ryan Shrout
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:
- We learn about you.
- We learn what you want to read on PC Perspective.
- We learn what you don't want to read on PC Perspective.
- 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!
All you have to do to win one of these great prizes is:
- Fill out our survey.
- 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!
Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2012 - 05:04 PM | Scott Michaud
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?
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.
Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- Globalfoundries looks to Mentor Graphics for 20nm fill techniques @ The Inquirer
- Building your own eye in the sky @ Hack a Day
- Rumblings of tight Intel Pineview supply in IPC supply chain @ DigiTimes
- Icron USB Ranger 2211 Range Extender @ Benchmark Reviews
- Sitecom N750 X6 WLR-6000 Wireless Gigabit Router Review @ Madshrimps
- The TR Podcast 112: By Kepler's beard, it's Trinity!