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Microsoft, Sony Clash Over Vista Turbo Memory 161

Anonymous writes "Sony is claiming that the current release of Vista does not support Intel's Turbo Memory technology, but Microsoft has dismissed the allegation. If Microsoft is telling the truth then all is well. But if Sony is right, Microsoft has opened itself to being sued for deceptive marketing practices."
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Microsoft, Sony Clash Over Vista Turbo Memory

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  • From TFA: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sunburnt ( 890890 ) * on Sunday June 10, 2007 @10:38AM (#19457915)
    Sony's specific allegations:

    [T]he omission of Vista support for Turbo Memory arose to avoid further delay of the OS released. Vista currently cannot recognize which kinds of processes and files need to be preloaded into Turbo Memory, [Sony's David] Spaeth said.

    vs. Microsoft's vague assurances:

    "Windows Vista supports Intel's Turbo Memory, and Microsoft and Intel have worked together to ensure that Turbo Memory works with Windows Vista technologies. There are no issues which we are aware of that would prevent [manufacturers] from adopting Turbo Memory for great performance results with Windows Vista."

    Guess who seems more confident in their assertion?

  • Sony is not dying .. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @10:52AM (#19457985)
    "Sony is dying because of the way they've been treating their customers lately"

    "By attacking one of the few companies more hated than them, they're trying to re-direct some of their bad karma" []

    was: Re:Its all marketing...
  • Re:So, sue me (Score:5, Informative)

    by arthurs_sidekick ( 41708 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @11:06AM (#19458059) Homepage

    In all likelihood, buckets of money. Compare MS' or Sony's ADVERTISING budget to the ENTIRE budget allocated to the DOJ's antitrust division:

    • MS []: $945M (reportedly)
    • DOJ []: (2003) $140M

    My google-fu on financial info breakdowns for publicly traded companies is obviously weak, but Nintendo said they were going to spend $200M on marketing the Wii *alone*, so it's likely that Sony's advertising budget for the PS3 ALONE is on the order of the entire allocation for the DOJ's antitrust division.

  • From TF (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @11:23AM (#19458149)
    Tests run on customer reference boards and preproduction latest generation Intel® Centrino® processor technology with optional Intel® Turbo Memory enabled against like systems without Intel Turbo Memory. Results may vary based on hardware, software and overall system configuration. All tests and ratings reflect the approximate performance of Intel® products as measured by those tests. All testing was done on Microsoft Windows Vista* Ultimate (build 6000). Application load and runtime acceleration depend on Vista's preference to pre-load those applications into the Microsoft ReadyBoost* cache. See y.htm [] for more information.

    Which in turn yields:

    Performance measurements collected on pre-production Lenovo ThinkPad* T61 with pre-production BIOS. Detailed Notebook Configurations

      PCMark05 Test from FutureMark is an application-based benchmarking tool used to measure overall PC performance. By using portions of real applications, this benchmarking tool can assess PC performance. (+36% improvement)

      Google* Earth loading a fly through of a national park followed by Adobe Photoshop* Elements 5.0 creating a slideshow showing pictures from the same park. The input files for Adobe Photoshop Elements are 48 digital photos with a resolution of 10 MPel. (+127%)

    Performance tests and ratings are measured using specific computer systems and/or components and reflect the approximate performance of Intel products as measured by those tests. Any difference in system hardware or software design or configuration may affect actual performance. Buyers should consult other sources of information to evaluate the performance of systems or components they are considering purchasing. For more information on performance tests and on the performance of Intel products, visit or call (U.S.) 1-800-628-8686 or 1-916-356-3104.

    But Sony is trustworthy, they'd never lie.
  • by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @11:57AM (#19458347)
    No, it's not Vista-only. It can be used by ANY operating system. It's designed as a way to allow parts of an OS, or indeed applications within an OS, to persist when the host computer is off, allowing, say, the OS to boot from that faster memory than a hard disk. If drivers were written for it in Linux, then Linux could use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @12:12PM (#19458437)

    To keep it simple, it is flash memory (slower then ram (regular memory), cheaper then ram, not as long lasting as ram) that is added as an extra cache.

    That is it, nothing more. Just a file cache. The OS controls it and has to tell it what to cache and what not.

    Cacheing in itself is pretty simple and its speed increase is pretty damn obvious to all those of us who have lived through the age of the minimal/full setup for games. The game/data comes on the CD, with it being optional to "cache" it to the HD. The more you cache on the HD, the faster the game will load its data.

    Now there are problems with cacheing. What to keep, and what to loose.

    Take again a game. Say I a racing game. As I drive around the track new scenery comes up and has to be taken into memory. If it is full then old scenery needs to dropped out. Obviously the machine that has enough memory to take the ENTIRE track into memory will perform the best. Next will be the machine that can at least load it from something like an HD, preferrably a special cache file of the track that combines all the needed data in one handy arrangement, slowest will be the machine that is forced to read the track data from the CD as you drive around.

    Turbo Memory(cache) is designed to load frequently used data(applications are data as well) into its memory, so that it can be loaded into main memory faster then if it had to be loaded from HD.

    And there is its problem. HD's ain't slow, and it still got to be loaded from the cache into memory. The game engine itself barely benefits from this, it just might reduce the loading time IF your OS deems the game engine to be fit to be loaded. The game data itself will be too big to load. In a linear game you wouldn't even have much to cache, either stuff is needed constantly, and needs to be in main memory OR is used once, and there is no point in cacheing it.

    This kind of tech ain't knew. Were it excells is in reducing the startup time of many small often run applications. Were it sucks donkey balls is when it comes to big run once, stay loaded type apps.

    What is even worse, AI in OS'es generally just isn't very good and often gets it wrong. In trying to guess what you are doing it will often guess wrong and actually hurt performance.

    Turbo Memory works with certain workflows were you would be better off with just more memory and or faster HD but can't have/afford that.

    I am therefore not suprised at the Sony and MS reaction. Both are absolutly correct. Sony tested it with their set of tests, and found it not worth the cost. Very likely they just have a certain workflow they test for with memory setups that are designed for that. (Might Sony make more money from selling main memory, then turbo memory) MS will have tested for different circumstances, perhaps those that favor their cacheing system and with the knowledge that MS does NOT sell main memory?

    So what does this mean to you? Make sure you check that any review of technology like this resembles what YOU do with your computer. Always run the same apps that stay active, handfull of large apps and can afford/have enough main memory, then don't bother. Are you someone who runs countless little apps, constantly closing them and reopening them and just don't have enough or can't enough main memory, then it might work for you. IF Vista properly regonizes what you are doing and can use the cache as it is intended.

    So no Sony OR MS bashing needed here. Simply different views of how users us their computer.

  • by kungfoolery ( 1022787 ) <> on Sunday June 10, 2007 @12:23PM (#19458523)

    According to several articles regarding this subject, the questionable utility of Turbo Memory is not the fault of MS alone: []

    TG Daily reports that Intel's showcasing of Turbo Memory included benchmarks that's anything but real-world applicable: "The benchmark appeared to slam several pictures at lightning speed into Photoshop, something that would play to the strengths of flash memory because the pictures would already be stored in flash for fast opening by Photoshop. Realistically though, we think the average user wouldn't capture dozens of pictures and then open them all in Photoshop in one fell swoop."

    Which leads to an Anandtech article showing that in many cases, performance suffered as a result of Turbo Memory implementation - particularly with boot and hibernation times. Now these are cases where users are MOST likely to notice performance differences.

    Finally, in the cases where Turbo Memory would seem useful, it appears that HP discovered that using far more versatile, ubitquitous flash solutions such as SD and USB drives (not to mention just adding regular system memory (what a concept!)) yielded similar and more economically sensible results: []

    Maybe if Vista didn't need such obscene amounts of memory, this wouldn't be an issue; but I digress.

  • by nneonneo ( 911150 ) <spam_hole AT shaw DOT ca> on Sunday June 10, 2007 @12:43PM (#19458641) Homepage
    A better plan would be to look at the relative value of the stock (due to a stock split in 2000). Apple's stock is provided as reference. q=b&c=AAPL []
  • Re:The Turbo Button! (Score:3, Informative)

    by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @07:20PM (#19460917)
    Funnily enough, the TURBO button was always on, except when it was used to slow down the PC in case you wanted to play an old dos game whose speed depended on the clock speed. So effectively it was more a slow-down button. Ah the days. Also I had stickerbooks with TURBO stickers in it, probably also glittering. Intel should've called it Hybrid memory. It would've probably also been true in a way and is much more contemporary.

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