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Comment Re:Motherboard compatibility? (Score 1) 53

Necessary, sadly. They moved the VRM back out of the die, which necessitates a socket change. Naturally the team working on what's supposed to be its successor was the one who moved into the die in the first place, so they intend to put it [i]back[/i] for their revision. No such thing as reusing a perfectly good motherboard in Intel country.

Comment Re:Slower in games, faster in vector maths (Score 1) 53

In fairness Piledriver did a tolerable job against Sandy Bridge... The problem is that Intel hasn't exactly stood still since 2012, and between three generations of minor but cumulative performance and power improvements and the platform updates that came with them, there's a huge difference even in the consumer market. AMD doesn't have an answer to Haswell-E, and Opterons have languished in the same three year old doldrums as their FX cousins. Zen will be a make or break proposition; they can't continue the way they have been.

Comment Re:Slower in games, faster in vector maths (Score 4, Informative) 53

If there was ever a true multi-threaded application AMD would take the prize. As such Intel dominates because of single threaded applications.

There are embarrassingly well-threaded applications where AMD does well. The x264 encoder does a fantastic job and hammers all 8 of the cores in my FX-8320 at >90% utilization, and it was cheerfully faster at that than the i5 3570K I used to keep around. But IPC does ultimately win out, and Haswell's AVX2 support is sufficient to let an i5 4690K generally pull out ahead of my FX. That's especially true on interlaced media, where the deinterlacer's essentially single-threaded and the rest of the chip's basically waiting for that single core to finish before tackling the rest of the workload. For most other uses it's somewhere around a Nehalem quad core: certainly fast enough for what I do, but the overall performance outside of niche applications isn't impressive in absolute terms. At least it took to undervolting well, and it's a friggin' behemoth for virtualization.

Comment Re:Adobe Flash Installer Download Knows About Thes (Score 5, Insightful) 203

It's galling, isn't it? "We know our software's as safe on the unprotected web as a Craigslist hookup, so be sure to keep this software rubber handy." And it might not be so insulting if McAfee was good at anything besides eating hardware resources...

Comment Re:Something Suspicious (Score 5, Insightful) 203

It's a problem born from software bloat. It was originally intended to be a means of drawing vector graphics and simple animations, but there was a void in functionality in the days before PCs were fast enough to handle Javascript (or even had browsers that could cope with the highly abstracted pages written now). So more functionality was added, and with that came layer after layer of gooey, exploitable cruft. Now Flash doesn't just offer vector graphics. It's a multimedia environment with DRM, a method of offering rich internet applications, a video player, and a buttload more besides. All that bloat's been encouraged because Adobe wants Flash to be used by as many people as possible - it's publicly traded, you've got to show investors and stockholders where all that money's going - and we've now arrived at the point where it's a suppurating pile of vulnerabilities and patched-together functionality with legacy support, far more trouble than it's worth for most users.

Comment Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 189

You can still occasionally find a DIP switch on overclocker-friendly motherboards to ratchet up clock speeds and apply a corresponding voltage bump; the vagaries of that are handled by the BIOS/UEFI. But the only jumpers I ever see are for CMOS flashing, and maybe once in a blue moon to enable or disable an integrated component. It's definitely not 1995 any more.

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213

I'm not wasting any more time chasing your moving goal posts. I could point out that you can pretty easily find cheap, working computers on Craigslist, and frequently for well under $100, but then you'd quail that those aren't new. You've clearly made an ideological commitment to this position. Who would I be to unmoor you?

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213

OK, fine; I'll concede that point. But let's remember the inflation that's occurred since the time around my birth: $200 in 1980 would be just over $600 now. Even if we knock 20% off the effective buying power of that money, $500 in 2014 will buy a computer that's 100% ready to connect to a television and run an overwhelming majority of applications, including Visual Studio Express.

Comment Re:Coding where? (Score 1) 213

So look on Amazon for a Raspberry Pi kit, with case, (micro)SD card, and a few other various & sundries. Once it's arrived in the mail, put it together, sit down with the kids, and figure out how to shoehorn an OS onto the thing. I can't imagine setting up and effectively using a ZX Spectrum would be easier than a Raspberry Pi or Banana Pi.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval