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+ - AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series Solid State Drives With OCZ->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD is launching a new family of products today, but unless you follow the rumor mill closely, it's probably not something you'd expect. It's not a new CPU, APU, or GPU. Today, AMD is launching its first line of solid state drives (SSDs), targeted squarely at AMD enthusiasts. AMD is calling the new family of drives, the Radeon R7 Series SSD, similar to its popular mid-range line of graphics cards. The new Radeon R7 Series SSDs feature OCZ and Toshiba technology, but with a proprietary firmware geared towards write performance and high endurance. Open up one of AMD's new SSDs and you'll see OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 controller on board—the same controller used in the OCZ Vector 150, though it is clocked higher in these drives. That controller is paired to A19nm Toshiba MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND flash memory and a DDR3-1333MHz DRAM cache. The 120GB and 240GB drives sport 512MB of cache memory, while the 480GB model will be outfitted with 1GB. Interestingly enough, AMD Radeon R7 Series SSDs are some of the all-around, highest-performing SATA SSDs tested to date. IOPS performance is among the best seen in a consumer-class SSD, write throughput and access times are highly-competitive across the board, and the drive offered consistent performance regardless of the data type being transferred. Read performance is also strong, though not quite as stand-out as write performance."
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+ - Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store is Full of Scamware and It Doesn't Seem to Care

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "Windows 8 brought a lot to the table, with one of its most major features being its app store. However, it's not a feature that Microsoft seems too intent on keeping clean. As it is today, the store is completely littered with misleading apps and outright scamware. The unfortunate thing is that to find any of it, all you have to do is simply open the store and peruse the main sections. Not so surprisingly, no Microsoft software seems to be affected by this, but many open-source apps can be found at the store from unofficial sources that have a cost, or will lead the user to download a third-party installer. It's only a matter of time before malware sneaks its way in, if it's not there already."

+ - Windows 8.1 Update Crippling PCs With BSOD, Microsoft Suggests You Roll Back->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Right on schedule, Microsoft rolled-out an onslaught of patches for its "Patch Tuesday" last week, and despite the fact that it wasn't the true "Update 2" for Windows 8.1 many of us were hoping for, updates are generally worth snatching up. Since the patch rollout, it's been discovered that four individual updates are causing random BSoD issues for its users, with KB2982791, a kernel-mode related driver, being the biggest culprit. Because of the bug's severity, Microsoft is recommending that anyone who updated go and uninstall a couple of the specific updates, or rollback using Windows Restore. You can uninstall these updates in much the same way you uninstall any app; the difference is that once you're in the "Programs and Features" section, you'll need to click on "View installed updates" on the left. While it's mostly recommended that you uninstall 2982791, you may wish to uninstall the others as well, just in case."
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+ - NVIDIAs 64-bit Tegra K1: The Ghost of Transmeta Rides Again, Out Of Order->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Ever since Nvidia unveiled its 64-bit Project Denver CPU at CES last year, there's been discussion over what the core might be and what kind of performance it would offer. Visibly, the chip is huge, more than 2x the size of the Cortex-A15 that powers the 32-bit version of Tegra K1. Now we know a bit more about the core, and it's like nothing you'd expect. It is, however, somewhat similar to the designs we've seen in the past from the vanished CPU manufacturer Transmeta. When it designed Project Denver, Nvidia chose to step away from the out-of-order execution engine that typifies virtually all high-end ARM and x86 processors. In an OoOE design, the CPU itself is responsible for deciding which code should be executed at any given cycle. OoOE chips tend to be much faster than their in-order counterparts, but the additional silicon burns power and takes up die area. What Nvidia has developed is an in-order architecture that relies on a dynamic optimization program (running on one of the two CPUs) to calculate and optimize the most efficient way to execute code. This data is then stored inside a special 128MB buffer of main memory. The advantage of decoding and storing the most optimized execution method is that the chip doesn't have to decode the data again; it can simply grab that information from memory. Furthermore, this kind of approach may pay dividends on tablets, where users tend to use a small subset of applications. Once Denver sees you run Facebook or Candy Crush a few times, it's got the code optimized and waiting. There's no need to keep decoding it for execution over and over."
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+ - Intel's 14nm Broadwell-Y Core M Processor For Tablets And Hybrids Unveiled->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's latest processor design and manufacturing effort marks a first for the semiconductor industry. No other semiconductor manufacturer is building chips at the level of Intel's 14nm process node. Today, Intel has offered more details on the processor they're rolling out for a first volume production vehicle at 14nm, code named "Broadwell" and now known officially as Core M. Broadwell and the Intel Core M family is what Intel refers to as a "tick" in their product design cadence, where a 'tick" generally marks a die shrink optimization. Intel is unveiling their first Broadwell-Y platform variant that will be available in a range of tablets and other ultra-mobile devices in Q4 this year. Broadwell-Y is the lowest power Broadwell processor, with a 3.5 Watt to 4.5 Watt TDP. There will be higher powered versions for all-in-ones and small form factor desktop designs, but these version won't start arriving until the first half of 2015. At a high level, Broadwell will offer a 5 percent IPC improvement at the CPU core, along with up to 20 percent more GPU resources on chip for better graphics performance. However, Broadwell-Y, with its ultra-low power operation, will be able to hit a 3.5 — 4.5 Watt TDP with 25-percent reduction in package area as well, making it suitable for tablet designs and 2-in-1 hybrids. This chip could really put Intel on the map in tablets, where previously Intel Atom-based designs have had a hard time competing with the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung and NVIDIA."
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+ - Intel Lifts Veil On 14nm Broadwell-Y Design For Tablet and 2-in-1 Market->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel's latest processor design and manufacturing effort marks a first for the semiconductor industry. No other semiconductor manufacturer in the world is building chips at the level of Intel's 14nm process node. Today, Intel has offered more details on the processor they're rolling out for a first volume production vehicle at 14nm, code named "Broadwell," and now known officially as Core M. Broadwell and the Intel Core M family is what Intel refers to as a "tick" in their product design cadence, where a 'tick" generally marks a die shrink optimization. Intel is unveiling their first Broadwell-Y platform variant that will be available in a range of tablets and other ultra-mobile devices in time for the Q4 holiday shopping season. For reference, Broadwell-Y is the lowest power Broadwell processor, with a 3.5 Watt to 4.5 Watt TDP. There will be higher powered versions for all-in-ones and small form factor desktop designs, but these version won't start arriving until the first half of 2015. At a high level, Broadwell will offer a 5 percent IPC improvement at the CPU core, along with up to 20 percent more GPU resources on chip for better graphics performance. However, Broadwell-Y, with its ultra-low power operation, will be able to hit a 3.5 — 4.5 Watt TDP with 25-percent reduction in package area, making it suitable for tablet designs, as well as ultra-light 2-in-1 products. This chip could really put Intel on the map in tablets, where previously Intel Atom-based designs have had a hard time competing with the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung and NVIDIA."
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+ - China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, And Other Apple Products For Government Use-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "China seems to be on a mission to isolate itself from the world, at least in terms of technology. After banning Windows 8 on government PCs and raiding several of Microsoft's offices in China as part of an anti-trust investigation, Chinese officials have now prohibited to purchase of several Apple products for government use. The list of banned Apple products include the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and half a dozen other items, all of which were left off of a final government procurement list distributed in July. This is a potentially big hit to Apple, which generated around 16 percent of its $37.4 billion in revenue last quarter from China. Apple saw its iPad sales jump 51 percent and Mac sales boosted 39 percent in China."
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+ - AMD Launches New Higher-End Kaveri APUs A10-7800 And A6-7400K->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD updated its family of Kaveri-based A-Series APUs for desktop systems recently, namely the A10-7800 and the A6-7400K. The A10-7800 has 12 total compute cores, 4 CPU and 8 GPU cores, with average and maximum turbo clock speeds of 3.5GHz and 3.9GHz, respectively. The A6-7400K arrives with 6 total cores (2CPU, 4 GPU) and with the same clock frequencies. All of the new Kaveri-based APUs launched have configurable TDPs, and support for AMD proprietary technologies like TrueAudio and Mantle, and they have HSA (Heterogenous System Architecture) features as well. The AMD A10-7800 APU's performance is somewhat mixed, though it is a decent performer overall. Its Steamroller-based CPU cores do not do much to make up ground versus Intel's processors, so in the more CPU-bound workloads, Intel's dual-core Core i3-4330 competes favorably to AMD's quad-cores. And in terms of IPC and single-thread performance Intel maintains a big lead. Factor graphics into the equation, however, and the tides turn completely. The GCN-based graphics engine in Kaveri is a major step-up over the previous-gen, and much more powerful than Intel's mainstream offerings. The A10-7800's power consumption characteristics are also more desirable versus the Richland-based A10-6800K."
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+ - Performance Preview: NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet, Fastest Android Tablet Available->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Last week, NVIDIA officially announced the SHIELD tablet (powered by the Tegra K1 SoC) and its companion SHIELD wireless controller. The SHIELD tablet's specifications include NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC (clocked at up to 2.2GHz), paired to 2GB of RAM and an 8", full-HD IPS display, with a native resolution of 1920x1200. There are also a pair of 5MP cameras on the SHIELD tablet (front and rear), 802.11a/b/g/n 2x2 MIMO WiFi configuration, GPS, a 9-axis motion sensor, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE. As it turns out, early units are shipping now to the press and initial benchmark testing shows the SHIELD Tablet and NVIDIA's Tegra K1 performance to be very strong. In fact, it could very well be the fastest Android tablet on the market currently, hands down, especially with respect to gaming."
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+ - Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Game developer Crytek's problems have been detailed recently from various source, and it's now clear that it wasn't just the company's UK studios that were affected. Crytek announced today that it has officially moved development of its F2P shooter "Hunt: Horrors of the Guilded Age" to a German developer, ignoring the fact that the majority of the US team had apparently already quit the company. The problem? Just as in the UK, the US employees weren't getting paid. In a separate announcement, Crytek also declared that development of the Homefront series had passed entirely to developer Deep Silver. The company has stated, "On completion of the proposed acquisition, the Homefront team from Crytek's Nottingham studio would transfer their talents to Koch Media in compliance with English law and continue their hard work on upcoming shooter, "Homefront: The Revolution". Both parties hope to finalize and implement a deal soon." It's hard to see this as good news for Crytek. The company can make all the noise it wants about moving from a development studio to a publisher model, but Crytek as a company was always known for two things — the CryEngine itself, adapted for a handful of titles and the Crysis series. Without those factors, what's left?"
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+ - Stanford Researchers Claim They Found "The Holy Grail" Of Battery Life->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "A research team at Stanford University is claiming to have pulled off a scientific coup that really would be a quantum leap over existing battery technology — and they've done it, supposedly, by solving a very old problem. Right now, the batteries we refer to as "lithium ion" use lithium in the electrolyte, the fluid that surrounds the anode and cathode. Electrons flow from the anode into the attached device, then back into the battery via the cathode. The reason we use lithium for the electrolyte fluid but not the anode itself is simple; lithium anodes tend to expand when they come into contact with their electrolyte solutions. As it expands, it forms tendrils of metal that cause short circuits and destroy the anode's ability to function effectively. This leads to extremely nasty problems, problems with names like "Thermal runaway" and "Explosion.". The Stanford team claims to have discovered a method for using hollow polystyrene nanospheres to isolate the electrolytic solution and the anode. This barrier layer of carbon isolates the anode and would allow the battery to be charged and discharged repeatedly without risk of explosion. If the team is correct, and we could build lithium anodes, it would open the doors for batteries 5-6x more dense than current models. Cell phones, at that point, could possibly last days on a single charge, while a car like the Tesla Model S could comfortably make a New York to LA trip without stretching for more than an overnight trickle charge."
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+ - Microsoft to Finally Pull the Plug on Windows RT

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner (1037894) writes "A lot of people have never been able to understand the logic behind Microsoft's Windows RT, with many urging the company to kill it off so that it can focus on more important products, like the mainline Windows. Well, this is probably not going to come as a huge surprise, especially in light of mass layoffs announced last week, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that his company will be working to combine all Windows versions into a unified release by next year."

+ - AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To The Test

Submitted by Dputiger
Dputiger (561114) writes "It has been almost two years since AMD launched the FirePro W9000 and kicked off a heated battle in the workstation GPU wars with NVIDIA. AMD recently released the powerful FirePro W9100, however, a new card based on the same Hawaii-class GPU as the desktop R9 290X, but aimed at the professional workstation market. The W9100’s GPU features 2,816 stream processors, and the card boasts 320GB/s of memory bandwidth, and six mini-DisplayPorts, all of which support DP1.2 and 4K output. The W9100 carries more RAM than any other AMD GPU as well, a whopping 16GB of GDDR5 on a single card. Even NVIDIA's top-end Quadro K6000 tops out at 12GB, which means AMD sits in a class by itself in this area. In terms of performance, this review shows that the FirePro W9100 doesn’t always outshine its competition, but its price/performance ratio keep it firmly in the running. But if AMD continues to improve its product mix and overall software support, it should close the gap even more in the pro GPU market in the next 18-24 months."

+ - Chinese State Media Declares iPhone A Threat To National Security->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forth last year with US government spying secrets, it didn't take long to realize that some of the information revealed could bring on serious repercussions — not just for the US government, but also for US-based companies. The latest to feel the hit? None other than Apple, and in a region the company has been working hard to increase market share: China. China, via state media, has today declared that Apple's iPhone is a threat to national security — all because of its thorough tracking capabilities. It has the ability to keep track of user locations, and to the country, this could potentially reveal "state secrets" somehow. It's being noted that the iPhone will continue to track the user to some extent even if the overall feature is disabled. China's iPhone ousting comes hot on the heels of Russia's industry and trade deeming AMD and Intel processors to be untrustworthy. The nation will instead be building its own ARM-based "Baikal" processor."
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+ - Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth The Investment?->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Back in the day (which is a scientific measurement for anyone who used to walk to school during snowstorms, uphill, both ways), integrated audio solutions had trouble earning respect. Many enthusiasts considered a sound card an essential piece to the PC building puzzle. It's been 25 years since the first Sound Blaster card was introduced, a pretty remarkable feat considering the diminished reliance on discrete audio in PCs, in general. These days, the Sound Blaster ZxR is Creative's flagship audio solution for PC power users. It boasts a signal-to-noise (SNR) of 124dB that Creative claims is 89.1 times better than your motherboard's integrated audio solution. It also features a built-in headphone amplifier, beamforming microphone, a multi-core Sound Core3D audio processor, and various proprietary audio technologies. While gaming there is no significant performance impact or benefit when going from onboard audio to the Sound Blaster ZxR. However, the Sound Blaster ZxR produced higher-quality in-game sound effects and it also produces noticeably superior audio in music and movies, provided your speakers can keep up."
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