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Submission + - Valve releases SteamVR Perf Test to measure your PC (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: Valve took another step to prepare the world for VR gaming by releasing the SteamVR Performance Test today. This application that is free to download through Steam, runs a portion of the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo originally built for the HTC Vive VR headset, and reports back performance metrics and a grade for your PC's hardware. Scores include a Not Ready, Capable and Ready result as well as an "average fidelity" numeric score that is even more interesting. Valve integrated a dynamic fidelity feature "that adjusts image quality of the game in a way to avoid dropped frames and frame rates under 90 FPS" — a target for an acceptable VR experience. Early results put the GeForce GTX 980 Ti at the top of the GPU stack though AMD's Radeon products do very well at every price point below $600. Is your wallet ready?

Submission + - Samsung Returns to 2D, releases 250GB 750 EVO for $75

Vigile writes: Even with Samsung pushing forward into 3D NAND with 32-layer technologies used in SSDs like the 850 Pro and the recently released M.2 PCIe NVMe 950 Pro, there is still plenty of traditional 2D planar memory being fabbed on production lines. To utilize that inventory Samsung is shifting its low capacity SSDs back to it, announcing the 750 EVO drives today available in 120GB and 250GB capacities. Though based largely on the very popular, but sometimes troubled, 840 EVO specs, the new drives are faster and start with some impressively low prices. The starting MSRP for the 250GB 750 EVO will be just $75.

Comment Re:You forgot something (Score 3) 73

PC Perspective's new testing demonstrates the triple RAID-0 array having just 1/6th of the latency of a single drive.

That was with a queue depth of 16. Not exactly representative of a normal desktop user.

It's reasonable for peak power user load. Folks running / considering triple SSD RAIDs are not exactly 'typical desktop users' :)

Comment Re:This is retarded. (Score 4, Informative) 73

The SSD controller already does a form of this, as it is talking to multiple flash memory dies over multiple channels. RAID is just another layer to get even more performance out of more parallelism (and as we figured out in testing, to considerably drop the latency under load).

Allyn Malventano
Storage Editor, PC Perspective

Submission + - Triple M.2 NVMe RAID-0 Testing Proves Latency Reductions

Vigile writes: The gang over at PC Perspective just posted a story that looks at a set of three M.2 form factor Samsung 950 Pro NVMe PCIe SSDs in a RAID-0 array, courtesy of a new motherboard from Gigabyte that included three M.2 slots. The pure bandwidth available in this configuration is amazing, breaching 3.3 GB/s on reads and 3.0 GB/s on writes. But what is more interesting is a new testing methodology that allows for individual storage IO latency capturing, giving us a look at performance of SSDs in all configurations. What PC Perspective proved here is that users often claiming that RAIDs "feel faster" despite a lack of bandwidth result to prove it, are likely correct. Measurements now show that the latency of IO operations improves dramatically as you add drives to an array, giving a feeling of "snappiness" to a system beyond even what a single SSD can offer. PC Perspective's new testing demonstrates the triple RAID-0 array having just 1/6th of the latency of a single drive.

Submission + - Samsung 950 Pro Brings NVMe to M.2, over 2.5GB/s

Vigile writes: Samsung just released its first non-OEM, consumer level NVMe enabled SSD, the 950 Pro series. This drive will ship in an M.2 form factor rather than a 2.5-in drive size that is the standard for users today, allowing installation into notebooks, small form factor PCs and desktop PCs that have at least one M.2 slot on-board. It peaks at 512GB capacity today but Samsung promises a 1TB version using 48-layer VNAND in 2016. The NVMe protocol allows much better performance directly over the PCIe bus without the overhead of the AHCI protocol used in hard drives and previous SSDs. PC Perspective's review has performance breaking the 2.5GB/s read speed level while also introducing an entirely new type of performance evaluation for SSDs centered around latency distribution of IOs. By measuring how long each IO takes, rather than reporting only an average, the performance of an SSD can be determined on a per-workflow basis and drives can be compared in an entirely new light. There is a lot of detail on to be read over and digested but again the new NVMe Samsung 950 Pro impresses.

Submission + - Fable Legends DX12 Benchmark Stressing High End GPUs

Vigile writes: In preparation for the release of the free-to-play Fable Legends game on both Xbox One and PC this winter, Microsoft and Lionhead Studios released a benchmark today that allows users to test performance of their PC hardware configuration with a DirectX 12 based game engine that pushes the boundaries of render quality. Based on a modified UE4 engine, Fable Legends includes support for asynchronous compute shaders, manual resource barrier tracking and explicit memory management, all new to the DX12 API. Unlike the previous DX12 benchmark, Ashes of the Singularity, that focused mainly on high draw call counts and mass quantities of on-screen units, Fable Legends takes a more standard approach, attempting to improve image quality and shadow reproduction with the new API. PC Perspective has done some performance analysis with the new benchmark and a range of graphics cards, finding that while NVIDIA still holds the lead at the top spot (GTX 980 Ti vs Fury X), the AMD Radeon mid-range products offer better performance (and better value) than the comparable GeForce parts.

Submission + - The AMD Radeon R9 Nano - Flagship Performance at 6 Inches

Vigile writes: Back when AMD announced it would be producing an even smaller graphics card than the Fury X, but based on the same full-sized Fiji GPU, many people wondered just how they would be able to pull it off. Using 4096 stream processors, a 4096-bit memory bus with 4GB of HBM (high bandwidth memory) and a clock speed rated "up to" 1000 MHz, the new AMD Radeon R9 Nano looked to be an impressive card. Today PC Perspective has a review of the R9 Nano and though there are some quirks, including pronounced coil whine and a hefty $650 price tag, it offers nearly the same performance as the non-X Radeon R9 Fury card at 100 watts lower TDP! It is able to do that by dynamically adjusting the clock speed from ~830 MHz to 1000 MHz depending on the workload, always maintaining a peak power draw of just 175 watts. All of this is packed into a 6 inch PCB — smaller than any other enthusiast class GPU to date, making it a perfect pairing for SFF cases that demand smaller components. The R9 Nano is expensive though with the same asking price as AMD's own R9 Fury X and the GeForce GTX 980 Ti.

Submission + - DirectX 12 Performance Tested in Ashes of the Singularity

Vigile writes: The future of graphics APIs lies in DirectX 12 and Vulkan, both built to target GPU hardware at a lower level than previously available. The advantages are better performance, better efficiency on all hardware and more control for the developer that is willing to put in the time and effort to understand the hardware in question. Until today we have only heard or seen theoretical "peak" performance claims of DX12 compared to DX11. PC Perspective just posted an article that uses a pre-beta version of Ashes of the Singularity, an upcoming RTS utilizing the Oxide Games Nitrous engine, to evaluate and compare DX12's performance claims and gains against DX11. In the story we find five different processor platforms tested with two different GPUs and two different resolutions. Results are interesting and show that DX12 levels the playing field for AMD, with its R9 390X gaining enough ground in DX12 to overcome a significant performance deficit that exists using DX11 to the GTX 980.

Submission + - Intel's Skylake Architecture Comes to Enthusiasts First, Reviewed

Vigile writes: The Intel Skylake architecture has been on our radar for quite a long time as Intel's next big step in CPU design. We know at least a handful of details: DDR4 memory support, 14nm process technology, modest IPC gains and impressive GPU improvements. But the details have remained a mystery on how the "tock" of Skylake on the 14nm process technology will differ from Broadwell and Haswell. That changes today with the official release of the "K" SKUs of Skylake — the unlocked, enthusiast class parts for DIY PC builders. PC Perspective has a full review of the Core i7-6700K with benchmarks as well as discrete GPU and gaming testing that shows Skylake is an impressive part. IPC gains on Skylake over Haswell are modest but noticeable, and IGP performance is as much as 50% higher than Devil's Canyon. Based on that discrete GPU testing, all those users still on Nehalem and Sandy Bridge might finally have a reason to upgrade to Skylake.

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