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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 1021 declined, 402 accepted (1424 total, 28.23% accepted)

+ - Intel Integrated Iris Pro Graphics Closes The Performance Gap Vs. AMD->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Over the years, Intel's integrated graphics engine in their Core series processor haven't exactly been known to be very robust. Before Intel's Haswell series processors arrived, it could be argued that Intel integrated graphics weren't good for much more than some video rendering and maybe some low resolution, entry-level gaming at best. However, with Intel's recent Haswell release with Iris Pro 5200 Graphics on board, the company appears to have dramatically closed the gaming and graphics performance gap between their solutions and competitive integrated solutions from AMD and even entry level discrete graphics performance. In the benchmarks with the new Gigabyte BRIX Pro small form factor system, Intel's Core i7-4770R with Iris Pro 5200 Graphics on board, is actually able to maintain very playable frame rates in recent DX11 titles, right up to 1080p resolution, even with a bit of AA turned on. It will be interesting to see what Intel's follow-on Broadwell chip can do at 14nm. If Intel can maintain consistent driver updates the future looks bright for Intel integrated graphics."
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+ - Titanfall Developer Claims Xbox One Doesn't Need DX12 To Improve Performance->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "One of the hot topics in the wake of Titanfall's launch has been whether or not DirectX 12 would make a difference to the game's sometimes jerky framerate and lower-than-expected 792p resolution. According to Titanfall developer Jon Shirling, the new Microsoft API isn't needed to improve the game's performance, and updates coming down the pipe should improve Xbox One play in the near future. This confirms what many expected since DX12 was announced — the API may offer performance improvements in certain scenarios, but DX12 isn't a panacea for the Xbox One's lackluster performance compared to the PS4. It's an API that appears to mostly address scenarios where the CPU isn't able to keep the GPU fed due to draw call bottlenecks."
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+ - AMD Launches Monster, Liquid-Cooled Dual Hawaii Radeon R9 295X2 Graphics Card->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "For the past few weeks, AMD has been strategically dropping hints about the product they just launched today, the ultra high-end Radeon R9 295X2. The Radeon R9 295X2's specifications note that the card is essentially two Radeon R9 290X GPUs crammed onto a single PCB, though the Radeon 295X2's peak GPU clock is actually a bit higher (1018MHz vs. 1000MHz). Technically, the Radeon R9 295X2 is MORE powerful than a pair of Radeon R9 290X cards running in CrossFire. The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is a complete departure from previous-gen Radeons. Gone are the plastic fan shrouds, in favor of all metal construction. And cooling each GPU is a closed-loop, liquid cooling system with dual heat plates and a 120mm radiator assembly. There is still a fan on the card itself, but it is used to cool the VRM and other surface mounted components. The two GPUs combined equate to roughly 12.4B transistors and offer compute performance of up to 11.5 TFLOPs. There are a total of 5632 stream processors (2816 per GPU), with 8GB of GDDR5 memory (4GB per GPU) running at 5Gbps, linked to the GPU on dual 512-bit memory interfaces. In the benchmarks, the AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is the fastest single graphics card tested to date. With that said, a dual-card GeForce GTX 780 Ti SLI configuration put up higher scores, more often than not for roughly the same $1500 price point or a little less."
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+ - Qualcomm Announces Next-Gen Snapdragon 808 And 810 SoCs->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Qualcomm has announced two fundamentally new chips today with updated CPU cores as well as Qualcomm's new Adreno 400-class GPU. The Snapdragon 808 and the Snapdragon 810 have been unveiled with a host of new architectural enhancements. The Snapdragon 810 will be the highest-end solution, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 paired alongside four Cortex-53 CPUs. The Snapdragon 808 will also use a big.Little design, but the core layouts will be asymmetric — two Cortex-A57's paired with four Cortex-A53's. The Cortex-A57 is, by all accounts, an extremely capable processor — which means a pair of them in a dual-core configuration should be more than capable of driving a high-end smartphone. Both SoC's will use a 20nm radio and a 28nm RF transceiver. That's a major step forward for Qualcomm (most RF today is built on 40nm). RF circuits typically lag behind digital logic by at least one process node. Given that RF currently accounts for some 15% of the total area and 30-40% of the PCB, the benefits of moving to a smaller manufacturing process for the RF circuit are significant."
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+ - Google Project Ara Design To Employ Electro-Permanant Magnets To Lock In Modules->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Google's Project Ara, an effort to develop a modular smartphone platform, sounded at first as much like vaporware as anything but Google is actually making it happen. In a whimsical upbeat video, Dave Hakkens (the guy who created the Phonebloks design that appears to be the conceptual basis for Project Ara) visited the Google campus to see what progress is being made on the project. The teams working on Project Ara have figured out a key solution to one of the first problems they encountered, which was how to keep all the modules stuck together. They decided to use electro-permanent magnets. In terms of design, they've decided not to cover up the modules, instead making their very modularity part of the aesthetic appeal. 3D Systems is involved on campus, as they're delivering the 3D printing technology to make covers for the modules."
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+ - Qualcomm's New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Today, Qualcomm is announcing full support for a new wireless transmission method that could significantly boost performance on crowded networks. The new standard, MU-MIMO (Multiple User — Multiple Input and Multiple Output) has a clunky name — but could make a significant difference to home network speeds and make gigabit WiFi a practical reality. MU-MIMO is part of the 802.11ac Release 2 standard, so this isn't just a custom, Qualcomm-only feature. In SU-MIMO mode, a wireless router creates time slices for every device it detects on the network. Every active device on the network slows down the total system bandwidth — the router has to pay attention to every device, and it can only pay attention to one phone, tablet, or laptop at a time. The difference between single-user and multi-user configurations is that where SU can only serve one client at a time and can therefore only allocate a fraction of total bandwidth to any given device, MU can create groups of devices and communicate with all three simultaneously."
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+ - 500GB To 1TB On An mSATA Stick - Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Shortly after 2.5-inch versions of Samsung's SSD 840 EVO drives hit the market, the company prepared an array of mSATA drives featuring the same controller and NAND flash. The Samsung SSD 840 EVO mSATA series of drives are essentially identical to their 2.5" counterparts, save for the mSATA drives' much smaller form factor. Like their 2.5" counterparts, Samsung's mSATA 840 EVO series of drives feature an updated, triple-core Samsung MEX controller, which operates at 400MHz. The 840 EVO's MEX controller has also been updated to support the SATA 3.1 spec, which incorporates a few new features, like support for queued TRIM commands. Along with the MEX controller, all of the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA series drives feature LPDDR2-1066 DRAM cache memory. The 120GB drive sports 256MB of cache, the 250GB and 500GB drive have 512MB of cache, and the 750GB and 1TB drives have 1GB of cache. Performance-wise, SSD 840 EVO series of mSATA solid state drives performs extremely well, whether using synthetic benchmarks, trace-based tests like PCMark, or highly-compressible or incompressible data."
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+ - AMD Announces FirePro W9100: Hawaii Goes Workstation ->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "After AMD launched its Hawaii-based R9 290 and R9 290X last fall, it was only a matter of time before the company followed up with a new set of workstation cards. Today, it's rolling out the FirePro W9100 — a new, R9 290X-based workstation GPU that slots in just above the older W9000. This new FirePro supports up to six monitors via DisplayPort, 44 compute units (2816 shader cores), and whopping 16GB of 5GHz GDDR5 memory. The W9100 is being positioned as a simultaneous GPU compute and 3D rendering solution, particularly for 4K work. AMD has also worked with Adobe to add OpenCL support to Premiere Pro and other content production applications. That's an effort that likely got a substantial kick from winning the Mac Pro's design — Macs may not sell in huge numbers compared to Windows systems, but they're heavily preferred in content creation applications. The other major announcement is AMD's new FirePro workstation certification program, with specific hardware and GPU options. It's not clear how much of an impact this will have on vendors, since companies like BOXX are already familiar with the rigors of workstation building. Still, this dovetails with AMD's general efforts to improve its software design and ISV support."
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+ - NVIDIA Unveils Next Gen Pascal GPU With Stacked 3D DRAM And GeForce GTX Titan Z

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off today in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies. Two new NVIDIA innovations will be employed in their next-gen GPU technology, now know by its code named "Pascal." First, there's a new serial interconnect known as NVLink for GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU communication. Though details were sparse, apparently NVLink is a serial interconnect that employs differential signaling with embedded clock and it allows for unified memory architectures and eventually cache coherency. It's similar to PCI Express in terms of command set and programming model but NVLink will offer a massive 5 — 12X boost in bandwidth up to 80GB/sec. The second technology to power NVIDIA's forthcoming Pascal GPU is 3D stacked DRAM technology.The technique employs through-silicon vias that allow the ability to stack DRAM die on top of each other and thus provide much more density in the same PCB footprint for the DRAM package. Jen-Hsun also used his opening keynote to show off NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card to date, the absolutely monstrous GeForce GTX Titan Z. The upcoming GeForce GTX Titan Z is powered by a pair of GK110 GPUs, the same chips that power the GeForce GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti. All told, the card features 5,760 CUDA cores (2,880 per GPU) and 12GB of frame buffer memory—6GB per GPU. NVIDIA also said that the Titan Z's GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and feature dynamic power balancing so neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck."

+ - NVIDIA Unveils Next Gen Pascal GPU With Stacked 3D DRAM And Dual-GPU GeForce GTX->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off today in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies. Two new NVIDIA technology innovations will be employed in their next-gen Graphics Processor, now know by its code named "Pascal." First, there's a new serial interconnect known as NVLink for GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU communication. Though details were sparse, apparently NVLink is a serial interconnect that employs differential signaling with embedded clock and it allows for unified memory architectures and eventually cache coherency. It's similar to PCI Express in terms of command set and programming model but NVLink will offer a massive 5 — 12X boost in bandwidth up to 80GB/sec. The second technology to power NVIDIA's forthcoming Pascal GPU is 3D stacked DRAM technology.The technique employs through-silicon vias that allow the ability to stack DRAM die on top of each other and thus provide much more density in the same PCB footprint for the DRAM package. Jen-Hsun also used his opening keynote to show off NVIDIA's most powerful graphics card to date, the absolutely monstrous GeForce GTX Titan Z. The upcoming GeForce GTX Titan Z is powered by a pair of GK110 GPUs, the same chips that power the GeForce GTX Titan Black and GTX 780 Ti. All told, the card features 5,760 CUDA cores (2,880 per GPU) and 12GB of frame buffer memory—6GB per GPU. NVIDIA also said that the Titan Z's GPUs are tuned to run at the same clock speed, and feature dynamic power balancing so neither GPU creates a performance bottleneck."
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+ - Intel Outs Haswell-E and Devil's Canyon CPUs, Ready Mode Technology->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Intel used the backdrop of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to make a handful of interesting announcements that run the gamut from low-power technologies to ultra-high-end desktop chips. In addition to outing a number of upcoming processors—from an Anniversary Edition Pentium to a monster 8-core Haswell-E—Intel also announced a new technology dubbed Ready Mode. Intel's Ready Mode essentially allows a 4th Gen Core processor to enter a low C7 power state, while the OS and other system components remain connected and ready for action. Intel demoed the technology, and along with compatible third party applications and utilities, showed how Ready Mode can allow a mobile device to automatically sync to a PC to download and store photos. The PC could also remain in a low power state and stream media, server up files remotely, or receive VOIP calls. Also, in a move that's sure to get enthusiasts excited, Intel revealed details regarding Haswell-E. Similar to Ivy Bridge-E and Sandy Bridge-E, Haswell-E is the "extreme" variant of the company's Haswell microarchitecture. Haswell-E Core i7-based processors will be outfitted with up to eight processor cores, which will remain largely unchanged from current Haswell-based chips. However, the new CPU will connect to high-speed DDR4 memory and will be paired to the upcoming Intel X99 chipset. Other details were scarce, but you can bet that Haswell-E will be Intel's fastest desktop processor to date when it arrives sometime in the second half of 2014. Intel also gave a quick nod to their upcoming 14nm Broadwell CPU architecture, a follow-on to Haswell. Broadwell will be the first Intel desktop processor to feature integrated Iris Pro Graphics and will also be compatible with Intel Series 9 chipsets."
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+ - Crucial Launches New M550 Series Solid State Drives->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Long-time memory maker Crucial, a division of Micron, is launching a new line of solid state drives today, dubbed the M550 series. The Crucial M550 is targeted at performance-minded, but budget-conscious enthusiasts and will be offered in array of form factors, including mSATA and M.2 flavors, with capacities at 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. The drive is built around Marvell's 88SS9189 SATA 6Gbs controller and is outfitted with 20nm IMFT MLC NAND. The drives are rated at 550MB/s max read and 500MB/s max write performance and in the benchmarks they perform right up there with the latest offerings from Intel and Toshiba's OCZ Technology Group high-end products. Better still, at .67 - .77 per GiB, the M550s are some of the most affordable SSDs on the market currently."
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+ - Asus Chromebox Based On Haswell Core i3 Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The Asus Chromebox is a tiny palm-sized machine similar in form and footprint to Intel's line of NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini PCs. One of the higher-end Asus Chromebox variants coming to market employs Intel's 4th generation Haswell Core series processor architecture with Integrated HD 4400 graphics. The machine is packed with fair number of connectivity options including four USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports, HDMI and DisplayPort output, a microSD Flash card slot, 802.11n dual-band WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. It also sports a 1.7GHz dual-core Core i3-4010U processor with Hyper-Threading for four logical processing threads and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. Finally, the onboard 16GB SSD storage might be appear a bit meager, but it's backed up by 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for 2 years. In testing, the device proved to be capable in some quick and dirty browser-based benchmarks. For the class of device and use case that the Chromebox caters to, Google has covered most of what folks look for with the Chrome OS. There's basic office productivity apps, video and media streaming apps, and even a few games that you might care to fire up. The Asus Chromebox handles all of these usage types with ease and it's also barely audible while consuming only about 18 Watts under load."
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+ - NVIDIA Unveils Lineup of GeForce 800M Series Mobile GPUs, Many With Maxwell->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The power efficiency of NVIDA's Maxwell architecture make it ideal for mobile applications, so today's announcement by NVIDIA of a new top-to-bottom line-up of mobile GPUs—most of them featuring the Maxwell architecture—should come as no surprise. Though a couple of Kepler and even Fermi-based GPUs still exist in NVIDIA's new line-up, the heart of the product stack leverages Maxwell. The entry-level parts in the GeForce 800M series consist of the GeForce GT 820M, 830M, and 840M. The 820M is a Fermi-based GPU, but the 830M and 840M are new chips that leverage Maxwell. The meat of the GeForce GTX 800M series consist of Kepler-based GPUs, though Maxwell is employed in the more mainstream parts. NVIDIA is claiming the GeForce GTX 880M will be fastest mobile GPU available, but the entire GTX line-up will offer significantly higher performance then any integrated graphics solution. The GeForce GTX 860M and 850M are essentially identical to the desktop GeForce GTX 750 Ti, save for different frequencies and memory configurations. There are a number of notebooks featuring NVIDIA's GeForce 800M series GPUs coming down the pipeline from companies like Alienware, Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI and Razer, though others are sure the follow suit. Some of the machines will be available immediately."
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+ - Titanfall May Still Get Post-Release Patch For 1080p On Xbox One->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Expectations are high for the imminent launch of Titanfall. The game is a major test for Microsoft's Xbox One — its one of the biggest exclusive projects, its beta was well-reviewed, and gamers have been looking for a game that would clarify just what the Xbox One is capable of when compared against the PlayStation 4. The game's beta ran an odd resolution — 1408x792 — but according to an interview with lead engineer Richard Baker, an upgrade could still be in the cards. Baker notes: " One of the big tricks is how much ESRAM we're going to use, so we're thinking of not using hardware MSAA and instead using FXAA to make it so we don't have to have this larger render target. We're going to experiment. The target is either 1080p non-anti-aliased or 900p with FXAA. We're trying to optimize... we don't want to give up anything for higher res." The jump from 1600x900 to 1920x1080 isn't small — that's a 44% leap in total number of pixels, and it's downright odd that the performance gap between FXAA and no antialiasing whatsoever might require the Titanfall team to drop the resolution so drastically. But there's a potential answer to this question that dovetails with what we've heard from other sources — the Xbox One's EDRAM cache might be a little too small."
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