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
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