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+ - Micron SSDs with MLC/SLC Conversion Technology Tested

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Earlier this month Micron announced a technology called Dynamic Write Acceleration in the new M600 SSD models that is able to swap NAND flash from MLC and to SLC (multi- and single-level cell) on the fly in order to improve performance in low cost solid state drive implementations. In short, a new and empty M600 SSD will have its dies in SLC mode. While the SSD will appear to the user at its rated capacity, the actual flash capacity in SLC mode is half of what it would be if all dies were in MLC mode. As the SSD is filled past 50% capacity, the controller intelligently switches dies from SLC to MLC, shuffling data around as necessary in the background to briefly empty a given die before switching its mode. In PC Perspective's testing though, the hardware was very inconsistent in write speeds, even at the same capacity fill levels, and would often run at a much lower throughput level than expected. Read speeds are not affected by the DWA feature. While interesting in theory it appears the dynamic flipping technology needs a bit more work."

+ - GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 Bring Unseen Power Efficiency->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Launching today is a new GPU from NVIDIA along with two new graphics card that utilize it. GM204, the second chip released based on the Maxwell architecture, brings an incredibly high level of power efficiency to high-end enthusiast level graphics cards. The GeForce GTX 980, reviewed by PC Perspective, with 2048 CUDA cores, a 256-bit memory bus, 4GB of GDDR5 running at 7.0 GHz and a base clock over 1100 MHz, is able to outperform cards like the GeForce GTX 780 Ti and the AMD Radeon R9 290X and will sell for $549. Maybe most impressive is the power draw difference — the GTX 980 uses 130 watts LESS POWER than the R9 290X under a full load. The GTX 970, with 1664 CUDA cores, the same memory configuration and a base clock of 1050 MHz runs at even lower power, outperforming the Radeon R9 290 and using 80 watts less power and has an MSRP of just $329. Faster GPUs using less power — it's pretty impressive. New features of the GTX 900 series include MFAA (multi-frame AA), Dynamic Super Resolution and full DX12 feature set support. And the fact that we were able to overclock the GTX 980 to nearly 1500 MHz doesn't hurt either."
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+ - AMD Releases new Tonga GPU, Lowers 8-core CPU to $229

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "AMD looks to continue addressing the mainstream PC enthusiast and gamer with a set of releases into two different component categories. First, today marks the launch of the Radeon R9 285 graphics card, a $250 option based on a brand new piece of silicon dubbed Tonga. This GPU has nearly identical performance to the R9 280 that came before it, but includes support for XDMA PCIe CrossFire, TrueAudio DSP technology and is FreeSync capable (AMD's response to NVIDIA G-Sync). On the CPU side AMD has refreshed its FX product line with three new models (FX-8370, FX-8370e and FX-8320e) with lower TDPs and supposedly better efficiency. The problem of course is that while Intel is already sampling 14nm parts these Vishera-based CPUs continue to be manufactured on GlobalFoundries' 32nm process. The result is less than expected performance boosts and efficiency gains."

+ - Intel Core i7-5960X Brings 8 Haswell Cores to Enthusiasts->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Today Intel released its updated E-class, enthusiast platform based on Haswell, known previously as just Haswell-E. The Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition CPU is an 8-core processor (addressing 16 threads with HyperThreading) that doubles core count over mainstream Haswell parts and jumps from the 6-core parts in previous E-class platforms. That not only turns into dramatic performance increases in highly threaded applications like rendering and encoding, but Haswell-E is also the first consumer platform to integrate a quad-channel DDR4 memory controller, with frequencies starting at 2133 MHz. The top two tiers of Haswell-E processors also include 40 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 while the lower cost Core i7-5820K will be limited to 6-cores and 28 lanes of PCIe. New motherboards based on the new X99 chipset are required as well and include additional storage options like 14 USB ports and 10 SATA 6.0 Gbps channels. Clearly this is the fastest consumer platform tested but as with all E-class releases, the cost is higher. The Core i7-5960X will set you back $999 and expect to pay at least $500 for a motherboard and 4 DIMMs of the new DDR4 as well."
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Comment: Re:Cheaper drives (Score 4, Insightful) 183

by Vigile (#47663157) Attached to: Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

No, no particular technical difficulty, just another step in gradually falling prices. We have seen drives hit $0.39/GB as well with standard Amazon.com pricing. The Crucial M550 (a bit faster) is at $407 for 1TB model today, for example: http://amzn.to/1kBpIs1

+ - Intel Core M Processor: Broadwell Architecture and 14nm Process Reveal

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Intel continues to plug along with new processor architectures and new process technologies in an effort to stay ahead in the consumer and enterprise markets (against AMD) as well as gain ground in the mobile space against the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung. The new 14nm process technology being detailed for the first time results in a 0.65x area scaling rate, an improvement over other generational shifts. Yield appears to be slightly behind where 22nm was at this point in its life cycle but Intel sees it catching up rather quickly before products ship late this winter. Also detailed was information on Broadwell-Y, the lower power version of the Broadwell microarchitecture. With a die size of just 80 mm^2 (compared to the 130 mm^2 of Haswell-Y) and some changes to the packing of the dies themselves, Intel is enabling much smaller form factors (as low as 7mm) with fanless designs. A feature called Duty Cycle Control enables lower "effective" clock speeds than would be possible with current voltage minimums on the process to enable lower power consumption for low performance requirement tasks. PC Perspective covered the released information on both the 14nm process technology as well as the Broadwell CPU/GPU changes and it looks like Intel could be dramatically reinventing itself once again."

+ - Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "In Silicon Valley they think differently, and if that leads to arrogance, so be it. At least that’s what Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joel Stein implies in his long meditation on the area’s outlook on technology, money and changing the world. Stein set out to examine the underlying notion that Silicon Valley’s and San Francisco’s tech entrepreneurs are feeding a backlash by being, in a word, jerks. His conclusion seems to be that they may well be jerks, but they’re misunderstood jerks. He doesn’t deny that there’s sexism and boorishness at play in the young tech community, but he sees the industry trying to make itself better. He sees a lot of egotism at work, too but, he observes, if you’re setting out to change the world, you’re probably going to need a big ego to do it. But tell that to other people in Northern California: undoubtedly, you’ve read about the tempest in San Francisco recently, where urban activists are decrying the influx of highly paid tech professionals, who they argue are displacing residents suddenly unable to keep up with skyrocketing rents."
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+ - First Retail Ready Variable Refresh Rate Monitor Released

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "NVIDIA G-Sync, though announced back in October of 2013, is finally getting its first wave of releases in the consumer market. The ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q combines a 144 Hz refresh rate on a 2560x1440 resolution 27-in TN panel with NVIDIA G-Sync support. PC Perspective tested out the variable refresh technology which sends data to the monitor at rate set by the GPU rather than by the display, allowing games to be played without the stutter often seen with V-Sync enabled and without the horizontal tearing seen with V-Sync disabled. The monitor's TN panel limits viewing angles somewhat but less thant traditional TN panel users might anticipate, providing one of the fastest response time monitors with a 2560x1440 resolution. Unfortunately connectivity is limited only to DisplayPort on the PG278Q as it is a requirement of G-Sync, but other features like an integrated USB 3.0 hub and Ultra Low Motion Blur / LightBoost support help justify the rather high $799 price tag."

+ - SHIELD Tablet $299 Android Gaming Tablet Reviewed->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "Last week NVIDIA announced the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller but reviews are finally hitting of the devices this morning. Based on the high performance Tegra K1 SoC that integrates 192 Kepler architecture CUDA cores, benchmarks reveal that that the SHIELD Tablet is basically unmatched by any other mobile device on the market when it comes to graphics performance — it is more than 2.5x the performance of the Apple A7 in some instances. With that power NVIDIA is able to showcase full OpenGL versions of games like Portal and Half-Life 2 running at 1080p locally on the 19x12 display or output to a TV in a "console mode." PC Perspective has impressions of that experience as well as using the NVIDIA Game Stream technology to play your PC games on the SHIELD Tablet and controller. To go even further down the rabbit hole, you can stream your PC games from your desktop to your tablet, output them to the TV in console mode, stream your game play to Twitch from the tablet while overlaying your image through the front facing camera AND record your sessions locally via ShadowPlay and using the Wi-Fi Direct powered controller to send and receive audio. It is incredibly impressive hardware but the question remains as to whether or not there is, or will be, a market for Android based gaming devices, even those with the power and performance that NVIDIA has built."
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+ - Microsoft takes down NOIP claiming cybercrime

Submitted by GoodNewsJimDotCom
GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) writes "Hello,

I just released a game yesterday that used NOIP and today people can't use the cloud saves because Microsoft took down NOIP.

Cybercrime on Microsoft windows wouldn't be a problem if Microsoft just designed their Operating System to be virus resistant.

From what I can tell, Microsoft acted without a court order."

+ - Samsung release first SSD with 3D NAND->

Submitted by Vigile
Vigile (99919) writes "As SSD controllers continue to evolve, so does the world of flash memory. With the release of the Samsung 850 Pro SSD announced today, Samsung is the first company to introduce 3D NAND technology to the consumer. By using 30nm process technology that might seem dated in some applications, Samsung has been reliably able to stack lithography and essentially "tunnel holes" in the silicon while coating the inside with the material necessary to hold a charge. The VNAND being used with the Samsung 850 Pro is now 32 layers deep, and though it lowers the total capacity per die, it allows Samsung to lower manufacturer costs with more usable die per wafer. This results in more sustainable and reliable performance as well as a longer life span, allowing Samsung to offer a 10 year warranty on the new drives. PC Perspective has a full review with performance results and usage over time that shows Samsung's innovation is leading the pack."
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+ - New Permission System Potentially Makes Android Much Less Secure 1

Submitted by capedgirardeau
capedgirardeau (531367) writes "An update to the Google Play store now groups app permissions into collections of related permissions making them much less fine grained and potentially misleading for users. For example the SMS permissions group would allow an app access to both reading and sending SMS messages. The problem is that once an app has access to the group of permissions, it can make use of any of the allowed actions at anytime without ever informing the user. As Google explains: "It’s a good idea to review permissions groups before downloading an app. Once you’ve allowed an app to access a permissions group, the app may use any of the individual permissions that are part of that group. You won’t need to manually approve individual permissions updates that belong to a permissions group you’ve already accepted.""

+ - Amazon Dispute Now Making Movies Harder To Order->

Submitted by trazom28
trazom28 (134909) writes "Hachette books aren't the only products that are now harder to order on Amazon — the online retailer is going after movies, too. Amazon has turned off the preorder function for DVDs of prominent Warner Bros. films as it seeks to raise pressure on the company during negotiations.
"The Lego Movie," for example, is listed as "currently unavailable" on Amazon. Set for release in the home video marketplace on June 17, there is no option to place a preorder."

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+ - Gecko feet inspire hand-held Spider-Man paddles

Submitted by ygslash
ygslash (893445) writes "DARPA is developing hand-held paddles that can be used to scale vertical walls. The adhesion technology employed in the paddles is based on Van der Waals force, inspired by the feet of certain species of geckos known for their excellent climbing ability. In a recent test, a man weighing almost 100 kg (220 lbs) and carrying a heavy pack that added about 23 kg (50 lbs) of additional weight, was able to scale a vertical glass wall almost 8 m (25 ft) high using the paddles. However, the paddles are reported to be 'not battlefield-ready yet'. Apparently, smooth glass walls are not usually what you need to climb in real battlefield conditions."

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