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+ - NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 And GeForce GTX 970 GPUs->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA has launched two new high-end graphics cards based on their latest Maxwell architecture. The GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 are based on Maxwell and replace NVIDIA's current high-end offerings, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780, and GTX 770. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 are somewhat similar as the cards share the same 4GB frame buffer and GM204 GPU, but the GTX 970's GPU is clocked a bit lower and features fewer active Streaming Multiprocessors and CUDA cores. The GeForce GTX 980's GM204 GPU has all of its functional blocks enabled. The fully-loaded GeForce GTX 980 GM204 GPU has a base clock of 1126MHz and a Boost clock of 1216MHz. The GTX 970 clocks in with a base clock of 1050MHz and Boost clock of 1178MHz. The 4GB of video memory on both cards is clocked at a blisteringly-fast 7GHz (effective GDDR5 data rate). NVIDIA was able to optimize the GM204's power efficiency, however, by tweaking virtually every part of the GPU. NVIDIA claims that Maxwell SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors) offer double the performance of GK104 and double the perf per watt as well. NVIDIA has also added support for new features, namely Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR), Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA), and Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI). Performance-wise, the GeForce GTX 980 is the fastest single-GPU powered graphics card ever tested. The GeForce GTX 970 isn't as dominant overall, but its performance was impressive nonetheless. The GeForce GTX 970 typically performed about on par with a GeForce GTX Titan and traded blows with the Radeon R9 290X."
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+ - Netropolitan Is A Facebook For The Affluent, And It's Only $9000 To Join->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Facebook has become too crowded and too mundane. With around 1.3 billion Facebook users, it's understandable to be overwhelmed by everything and want to get away from it all. However, unlike Facebook which is looking to connect everyone to the internet, there is a new site called Netropolitan that focuses more on exclusivity and privacy. The site was founded by composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra James Touchi-Peters who wanted to provide a social media site for affluent and accomplished individuals. People wishing to join need only pay a mere $9,000 to join. Of that amount, $6,000 is the initiation fee and the remaining $3,000 is for the annual membership fee which users will continue to pay. So what does the initiation and annual fee get you? For starters, Netropolitan will offer an ad-free experience and will not promote any kind of paid promotions to its members. However, it will allow the creation of groups by businesses in which members can advertise to each other under certain guidelines. $9K just to join? There must be another hook..."
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+ - Intel Launches Xeon E5 v3 Series Server CPUs With Up To 18 Cores->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel took the wraps off it's Xeon E5 v3 server line-up today and the chip, based on Intel's Haswell-EP architecture, is looking imrpessive. Intel's previous generation Xeon E5 V2 chips, which were based on Ivy Bridge, topped out at 12 cores per socket. The new Xeon E5 v3 processors, in contrast, are going to push as high as 18 cores per socket — a 50% improvement. The TDP range is pushing slightly outwards in both directions; the E5 V2 family ranged from 50W to 150W, whereas the E5 V3 family will span 55W — 160W in a single workstation configuration. The core technologies Intel is introducing to the E5 V3 family pull from the Haswell architecture, including increased cache bandwidth, improved overall IPC, and new features like AVX2, which offers a theoretical near-doubling of floating point performance over the original AVX instructions. Full support for DDR4 DRAM memory is now included as well."
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+ - Intel Unveils MICA "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" Smart Bracelet->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "With a few companies introducing smartwatch products at IFA in Berlin, Intel's taking a slightly different approach. The chip-maker's wearable debut in Berlin is far different than those being issued by LG, Samsung, and Motorola, focusing on fashion instead of nuts-and-bolts. It's called MICA, which is short for "My Intelligent Communication Accessory," and Intel's calling it a "feminine accessory blending seamlessly into everyday life." While it handles text messages, push alerts, and other notifications like most other smartwatches, it's also snazzed up on the design front. Details are murky in terms of operating system, etc., but make no mistake: Intel's entry into the wearables arena is a piece like no other."
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+ - Dell-Alienware Revamps Area-51 Gaming PC With Unique Trapezoid Chassis Design->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell's enthusiast Alienware brand has always stood out for its unique, other-worldly looks (sometimes good, sometimes, not so good) and there's such a thing as taking things to the next level, this might be it. However, there's more to this refresh than just shock value. It's actually a futuristic aesthetic with a rather purposeful design behind it. Today Alienware gave a sneak peek at their completely redesigned Alienware Area 51 desktop system. This refreshed system is unlike any previous Alienware rig you've seen. With a trapezoidal shape to its chassis, Dell-Alienware says you can place the Area-51 against a wall and not have to worry about thermals getting out of the control. That's because there's a controlled gap and a sharp angle to the chassis that ensures only a small part of the system actually rests near the wall, leaving extra room for hot air to escape up and away. This design also offers users easy access to rear IO ports. Despite the unique design, there's plenty of room for high end components inside. The retooled chassis can swallow up to three 300W double-wide full-length graphics cards. It also brings to the table Intel's latest and greatest Haswell-E in six-core or eight-core options, liquid cooled and nestled into Intel's X99 chipset. No word from Dell on the price but the new Area-51 is slated to start shipping in October."
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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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+ - 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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+ - Cat Snoops Neighborhood Wi-Fi With 'WarKitteh' Smart Collar->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Security researcher Gene Bransfield, with the help of his wife's grandmother's cat, decided to see how many neighborhood WiFi access points he could map and potentially compromise. With a collar loaded with a Spark chip, a Wi-Fi module, a GPS module, and a battery, Coco the cat helped Gene identify Wi-Fi networks around the neighborhood and then reported back. The goal here is obvious: Discover all of the unsecured, or at least poorly-secured, wireless access points around the neighborhood. During his journey, Coco identified dozens of Wi-Fi networks, with four of them using easily-broken WEP security, and another four that had no security at all. Gene has dubbed his collar the "WarKitteh", and it cost him less than $100 to make. He admits that such a collar isn't a security threat, but more of a goofy hack. Of course, it could be used for shadier purposes."
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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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+ - Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The ongoing battle between Netflix and ISPs that can't seem to handle the streaming video service's traffic boiled over to an infuriating level for Colin Nederkoon, a startup CEO who resides in New York City. Rather than accept excuses and finger pointing from either side, Nederkoon did a little investigating into why he was receiving such slow Netflix streams on his Verizon FiOS connection, and what he discovered is that there appears to be a clear culprit. Nederkoon pays for Internet service that promises 75Mbps downstream and 35Mbps upstream through his FiOS connection. However, his Netflix video streams were limping along at just 375kbps (0.375mbps), equivalent to 0.5 percent of the speed he's paying for. On a hunch, he decided to connect to a VPN service, which in theory should actually make things slower since it's adding extra hops. Speeds didn't get slower, they got much faster. After connecting to VyprVPN, his Netflix connection suddenly jumped to 3000kbps, the fastest the streaming service allows and around 10 times faster than when connecting directly with Verizon. Verizon may have a different explanation as to why Nederkoon's Netflix streams suddenly sped up, but in the meantime, it would appear that throttling shenanigans are taking place. It seems that by using a VPN, Verizon simply doesn't know which packets to throttle, hence the gross disparity in speed."
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+ - 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."

+ - Gamestop's Brilliant Idea: Require Preorders To Unlock Custom Game Content->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the great universal truths of modern gaming is that preorders suck. The term refers to the practice of ordering a title at some point before it actually ships in order to get access to a variety of minor outfit tweaks, a few starting weapons, or boosts to early game play. Today, some publishers take this practice to truly ridiculous levels; the recent game Watch Dogs has no fewer than nine pre-order options. GameStop, perhaps sensing that there's pressure building against the model, wants to turn the dial up to 11 — and create preorder-locked, GameStop-specific content. According to financial analyst Colin Sebastian, "[GameStop] indicates that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it. For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay." GameStop is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment. The company has captured a greater share of the Xbox One and PS4 market than it held at this point in the console cycle last time around and it's clearly looking to increase the attractiveness of its own business. That's fine but this kind of arbitrary lopping off of content to boost sales at particular shops simply isn't going to sit well with most gamers."
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+ - ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Developers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the trickiest aspects to launching a new platform update is the chicken and egg problem. Without any hardware to test on, developers are leery of committing to supporting new hardware features. Without software that takes advantage of new hardware capabilities, customers aren't willing to pay for new equipment. This is the crux of the issue with respect to the ARMv8 architecture and enabling development for 64-bit Android platrforms. As such ARM is readying their Juno development platform that combines several of ARM's most advanced technologies on a single board. The product supports big.Little in an asymmetric configuration; each board ships with two Cortex-A57s, four Cortex-A53s, and a modest Mali T-624 core. All this hardware needs an OS to run on — which is why ARM is announcing a 64-bit port of Android as part of this new development board. By including AOSP support as well as additional hooks and features from Linaro, ARM wants Juno to be a sort-of one-stop shopping product for anyone who needs to test, prototype, or design a 64-bit product for the ARM ecosystem. The Android flavor that's coming over is based on Linaro Stable Kernel 3.10. At launch, Juno will support OpenGL-ES 3.0, on-chip thermal and power management, up to 8GB of RAM (12.8GB/s of bandwidth), an optional FPGA, and USB 2.0. OpenCL 1.1 will be added in a future product update. The project is positioned as a joint ARM / Linaro launch with ARM handling the hardware and Linaro taking responsibility for the software stack."
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