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Comment: Re:It is moving to one standard internal (Score 1) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49331901) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

Overhead on the CPU and in terms of interconnect latency. Because USB is higher level, it incurs a decent amount of load on the CPU. No big deal for basic use, but you wouldn't want it for your main drive or the like. Also USB's latency isn't great, on the order of 100 microseconds or so. Fine for many uses, but high by SSD reckoning and not something you want time critical system components on. PCIe latency is so low you tend to measure it in cycles, not in time.

Also 20Gbit/sec doesn't cut it for some of the internal shit. Graphics and compute hang on 16x slots those are 16GByte/sec in the 3.0 spec (half that in 2.0) per direction (it is completely full duplex). That's 128gbits/sec. For all that it is still extremely performance limiting if you regularly have to use it to access system RAM.

Really interfaces usually are designed for purpose, and not everything is compatible. When you are trying to balance cost, speed, complexity of implementation, complexity of signaling, distance, etc, etc something has to give. There's reason to have PCIe for internal connections, USB for devices, and Ethernet for network, and not try to cram all that in to one bus that is not well suited to them.

Comment: It is moving to one standard internal (Score 1) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49325391) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

These M.2 drivers are PCIe. It is a different slot form factor, but it is just PCIe.

USB would not be desirable for internal system use, too much overhead. It is well designed for the purpose it has but you wouldn't want it for everything.

There are reasons to want multiple transports, different ones are good at different things.

Comment: Why would you care? (Score 2) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49324131) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

It went from "faster than matters" to "even faster than matters". All SATA drives are fast enough, you don't notice the difference between normal ones and ultra fast ones.. I have a Samsung XP941 (the "proprietary" drive that you can easily buy) and a regular 840 Pro in my desktop. You can benchmark the difference easily, but you don't notice it, at all, in day to day operation.

Comment: Not really new on Windows either (Score 4, Interesting) 178

by Sycraft-fu (#49318349) Attached to: Gaming On Linux With Newest AMD Catalyst Driver Remains Slow

While AMD fans cry foul, it really is true that AMD drivers are worse on Windows than nVidia drivers. It isn't the massive gap like on Linux, but it is there. OpenGL stuff sees particular issues, with slower performance or even stuff outright failing to run on AMD cards, but other issues as well. My 7970M in my laptop has been headaches since I got the thing and only recently got up to a competent level.

Problems aside, they are just slow with updates for things like Crossfire. Multi-GPU support generally requires game specific profiles to work well, or even work at all. nVidia is quite fast at getting their SLI profiles out, but AMD hasn't had an update to Crossfire profiles since 2014.

AMD just doesn't focus on the software side of things like nVidia does. Their hardware development team seems to be top notch but their software development is lacking.

Comment: Because people are whiny about Windows 8 (Score 0) 209

by Sycraft-fu (#49312369) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

That's the only reason. A number of people, in particular geeks that are Windows haters in general, have decided Windows 8 is horrible, unusable, etc, etc and thus refuse to upgrade to it. So something like this is a Big Deal(tm) for them. Of course if any of them actually just quit complaining and used it they'd find it works great. The interface is a big uglier with the whole flat style (Window Blinds and ShadowFX fix that if you really care) and the start screen is less efficient than the start menu (Start 8 fixes that nicely) but it isn't a big deal. The OS itself is compatible with essentially everything (between home and work I've tested a lot of stuff on it) and it is fast and stable.

However this is a case of feels over reals so they complain, hence why you are hearing about this.

Comment: Which isn't surprising considering (Score 1) 209

by Sycraft-fu (#49312359) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

It is time to stop selling 7 now. Windows operates on a 10 year lifecycle, split in half. After the first 5 years it goes in to "extended support" meaning patches but no new features. So that's a good time to stop selling it. Also, you don't want to sell a laptop with an OS that will go completely out of support right away and require an upgrade. Again, a reason to stop selling it.

Hence new systems are going 8 only for support.

Also, despite the whining, it is a fine OS. It's only real issue is the start screen is inefficient to us. Not impossible, not insurmountable, just inefficient. You can use a system with it just fine. What's more, it is a real easy problem to fix. Buy Start 8, or get Classic Shell for free and you're done, a classic start menu that works nice.

It makes sense to only support and ship 8 (or rather 8.1) on systems these days.

Comment: No, it'll get praise no matter what (Score 1) 215

by Sycraft-fu (#49294991) Attached to: Gabe Newell Understands Half-Life Fans, Not Promising Any Sequels

Valve is one of those devs that can do no wrong in most people's eyes. They'll get high scores because of who they and, and because of what people want Halflife to be.

You want an example of shit like that happening? Look at Civilization 5. It wasn't a great Civ game. It wasn't BAD, but it was a step down from 4 in most ways. Realistic scores would have been 7/10 or so. However all the reviews were glowing. Why? Because reviewers WANTED it to be good. They love Civ, have loved it for a long time, and have an emotional investment in it being good. So they reviewed the game they wanted it to be, not what it was.

Unless HL3 was complete shit, it would get off the charts good reviews because people want it to be good so badly.

Comment: Also the games they do make are nothing special (Score 1) 215

by Sycraft-fu (#49294937) Attached to: Gabe Newell Understands Half-Life Fans, Not Promising Any Sequels

Yes DOTA 2 and CS:GO are very popular, but innovative they are not. CS:GO is just Counterstrike. New graphics and some tweaks, but same game it ever way. DOTA 2 is just another MOBA, one of very many, not the biggest out there (that's League of Legends) and it borrows heavily from other games. They are popular not because they are amazing new titles doing never before seen stuff, they are popular because it is the same shit people like, well executed and pushed on the most popular PC game store.

Not hating on that, but this idea that Valve is some sort of amazin' developer that only puts out revolutionary titles is a false one. Lately all they've "pumped out" are rehashes that are popular for doing what has been done before and people liked, not because they moved in a new direction.

Comment: Re:Valve isn't the savior people thought they were (Score 1) 215

by Sycraft-fu (#49294889) Attached to: Gabe Newell Understands Half-Life Fans, Not Promising Any Sequels

That's more lucky than good though. Steam does very little to make sure shit works. Older games are notorious for problems whereas other services (like GOG) make sure they are fixed to work on modern systems. If you ever do need support, Steam is a nightmare.

I agree that needing less maintenance is better than having good maintenance support, but you need a large sample size to be able to tell if that is the case or if you just got lucky. For example I have needed maintenance on precisely zero of my LG appliances, whereas I have needed maintenance on one of my Kenmore appliances... thing is I have owned a grand total of two LG appliances and one Kenmore appliance. That doesn't tell me anything, we are WAAAY below any sort of statistical significance.

On the other hand at work I can say we use Seagate and HGST enterprise drives because we have had zero failures across about 200 drives, as compared to WD RE drives which have had about 40 failures across 400 drives. That is a large enough sample set that the results are meaningful.

I've needed Steam support precisely once, and was unable to get it. I've needed Origin support zero times, but not necessarily because it is problem free but because I have been lucky.

It's easy to write off customer service and praise a brand if you've been lucky and never had problems, but you discover how very important it can be when a problem does occur, and nothing in this world is problem free.

Comment: Re:Need a reason? (Score 4, Insightful) 215

by Sycraft-fu (#49293217) Attached to: Gabe Newell Understands Half-Life Fans, Not Promising Any Sequels

Ya there's plenty of reason to do it, it is just clear Valve has lost interest. They seem to suffer from "Oooo shiny!" syndrome pretty bad, which they can afford to do since Steam makes them more money than they know what to do with. They'll play with a project for awhile, get bored, and move on to something else.

I mean I can respect not making a sequel just for a sequel's sake. If the series has run its course, it sucks to tell the creative people "You have to make another one, no I don't give a shit how much it doesn't fit!" Clearly not the case here, they had more story to tell so the creative types should be happy to continue it.

Likewise I can understand not making a sequel if it is going to be a commercial failure. No matter how much you'd like to continue something, if the market isn't interested it is a bad idea to do. Again, not the case here, the game could be crap and it would still make money because so many people want it bad (not that it matters because of Steam).

So there's no reason not to do it here, only that Valve is flighty and isn't interested in it anymore for whatever reason. I mean all the crap about innovation is bullshit. Valve is happy to do things that are just more of the same. See Left 4 Dead 2, DOTA 2, and CS:GO. Left 4 Dead 2 was really just an expansion pack sold as a new game, DOTA 2 is just a MOBA, one of a shit ton of them and one that borrows heavily from others, and CS:GO is, well, Counterstrike. No problem, I'm not hating, but trying to claim that they somehow have to be really innovative with their games is crap. They have been happy to release games lately that are just rehashes of existing stuff.

I guarantee if the Steam money pit dried up they'd be looking to make HL3 really fast. However they don't have to care right now, they can just play around since they make shit tons of money for doing nothing but being a middleman.

It also shows lack of commitment to their projects, specifically the Steam Machine. Valve really is half-assing it (as is obvious from the timeline, that there is on QA on the various platforms, and so on) if they really wanted to try and drive it, HL3 would be there and be used. Make that a Steam Machine/SteamOS exclusive people would give a shit. Even if it was just short term, and then it comes to Windows, it would massively push sales having an exclusive title that people really, really want. Existing console makers know this, and always try to have a killer franchise. Were Valve really committed to their new toy, they'd have HL3 ready to go for it.

Comment: Not necessiarly (Score 1) 169

by Sycraft-fu (#49251495) Attached to: Swedish Authorities Offer To Question Assange In London

It is still a crime to flee bail, regardless of the merit of the original charges. So the UK may still want to prosecute, particularly since he has flaunted it for years staying in an embassy. They can decide to drop it, of course, but they may not. They don't want to encourage the idea that it is ok to skip bail and run if you think you are innocent. You still need to obey the police.

Comment: Oh no! Please don't encrypt my WoW files! (Score 2) 73

by Sycraft-fu (#49245649) Attached to: New Crypto-Ransomware Encrypts Video Game Files

I mean it isn't like it is an online game where Blizzard stores all your character data, key settings, macros and other stuff on the server! Oh, wait, yes it is.

Seriously, why would they do WoW? You just run a repair in the Blizzard client, redownload any mods, and you are up and running. They do it so you can easily play on multiple computers.

Comment: Also with regards to state schools (Score 3, Informative) 606

by Sycraft-fu (#49219385) Attached to: YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure

Clubs are held to a higher standard. The general student body can get away with a whole lot. You can go and have a racist rant out in public every day and so long as you aren't disruptive, threatening, etc then they can't do anything, they have to let you stay and if a teacher were to retaliate grade wise they could get in trouble. However clubs, like frats, have additional rules imposed on them if they wish to remain school recognized clubs. The school doesn't have to allow them, so they can choose what additional restrictions they face.

Now you are free to have a club not recognized by the campus, but then you won't be able to use campus facilities, participate in official campus events, and so on.

Comment: These stories are always non-sensical (Score 4, Insightful) 161

by Sycraft-fu (#49209019) Attached to: Ultralight Convertibles Approaching Desktop Performance

Yes, laptops, even smartphones, are always "approaching desktop performance"... for some older definition of desktop performance. Same shit is true even of super computers. The original super computer, the Cray 1, pulled about 80 Mflops of performance. Most high end smartphones these days pull in the realm of 500+ Mflops. So they are more powerful than a supercomputer!!!! ... well than a super computer from the 70s.

Same deal with this laptop and desktops. Yes even small laptops compete with desktops of a few years ago. However that isn't what desktops of today are like. Those are moving targets as well and they've gotten much faster. How useful that is you can argue and can vary person to person, but trying to act like these small laptops are anywhere near them is silly. You can get desktops today with 8 cores, 64GB of RAM, and multiple large video cards if you wish. No ultralight is coming anywhere near that. Now in 5-10 years? They may well be there... and desktops will be somewhere else.

Desktops will always be more powerful simply because they have a higher electrical and thermal budget. Sticking a 90-150 watt CPU and 200+ watt GPU in a desktop is no big deal. Trying to stick that in a laptop is a recipe for disaster.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.