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Comment Re:Still not Stallman-approved. (Score 2) 126

But take for example the Radeon driver (the so called open source one). It takes almost a meg of main memory. The closed source one takes even more memory. Its running all the time that your system is up.

Clearly its not just firmware we are talking about here.

The main memory aspect is taken up by the open source driver code. The firmware blob goes straight to the hardware.

Comment Re:Sony Hackstation (Score 1) 457

So how trivial will it be to slurp the OS out onto a AMD card enabled PC and have our own "HackStation4"?

I'm assuming they meant using an AMD based PC because the drivers already in the PS4 OS might be compatible (which is not particularly likely). Alternatively if you want NVIDIA, they already have an official driver for FreeBSD that you could try hacking into Orbis. Neither case requires a custom Linux-FreeBSD shim.

Comment Re:Newer hardware + vsync = less load = less heat (Score 1) 154

Haswell is not 4 times faster than Ivy Bridge.

But it might be 4 times as fast as what you're running now, especially if you skipped a generation of Intel CPU. Is it four times as fast as Sandy Bridge? Nehalem?

You seem to have completely missed my point. I said Haswell doesn't change anything with regards to thermal challenges in building such SFF systems, the point of comparison is to Ivy Bridge. And it's certainly not even remotely close to being 4 times faster than Nehalem.

Comment Re:Newer hardware + vsync = less load = less heat (Score 1) 154

Say your old machine can do 60 fps at a given heat rate, but the new one can do 240 fps.

Haswell is not 4 times faster than Ivy Bridge. Also, most modern games struggle to get over 60fps - even on an older game like Crysis: Warhead, the Titan behemoth card can't break 60fps at 1080p max settings. If you're running a low end game at 240fps, then you're better off with an AMD Fusion chip to save on power consumption over an NVIDIA 670.

And that's ignoring that modern multithreaded game engines tend to decouple the render loop and gameplay loop so vsync doesn't necessarily cause the CPU to idle.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume I'm completely wrong on all points above. Let's do some rough math. 25% of the time running at load TDP and 75% at idle... My i5-3570k Ivy Bridge tends to idle around 20W (max TDP 77W), so that's averaging 0.25*77 + 0.75*20 for an average of 34.25W. Haswell has a higher TDP at load, i5-4670k rated around 88W. AnandTech have done power consumption benchmarks which indicates that the Haswell platform as a whole idles 10W lower overall, which includes power savings in the chipset and other motherboard aspects but let's call that a 10W CPU idle. Average power consumption would be 0.25*88 + 0.75*10 for an average of 29.5W. A savings of 5W due to Haswell in your scenario pales in comparison to the 170W NVIDIA 670 sitting in the corner, so no, even then Haswell doesn't change the thermal envelope appreciably such that these SFF platforms suddenly become viable. Besides, they still need to be built to cool the system under full load conditions anyway and that certainly hasn't changed.

Comment Thermal Challenge (Score 1) 154

but until now, squeezing in components that were powerful enough for the enthusiast gamer was a significant thermal challenge. Intel's recent Haswell Core processor release, as well as NVIDIA's GeForce 670 series graphics cards have changed the game considerably though

Uh... Haswell doesn't change anything in this regard. Haswell doesn't change the thermal envelope under load, which is what it's doing when gaming. It only reduces power consumption under idle conditions.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 2) 271

I've studied thermodynamics and I'm aware of how the various refrigeration cycles work. My point is that the now widespread vapor-compression cycle does not use a heating element, the old deprecated vapor absorption cycle is what used a heating element of some kind (such as a kerosene wick).

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 271

I'm sure there's a wikipedia article you can read before trying to "correct" people with ignorant gut instinct. If not just google "refridgeration cycle". In the 1950s my parents has a kerosene fridge - heat input from a wick to keep the gas moving and the compressor was a tank of water with the ammonia pipes going through it. Just like the modern ones it's using heat as the power source. The modern ones have an electrical resistance heating element instead of a kerosene wick.

You mean like this one? Modern ones use a compressor, they don't use a heating element.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 271

The low-powered, RISC space is where AMD needs to go. It doesn't necessarily have to be ARM. Instead, there's a market for low-powered x86, which is where Intel is going with Haswell. AMD needs to get ahead of the game and create something that is capable of power sipping (which obviously won't be x86), but is also capable of running legacy x86 code at reasonable speeds.

Look into Bobcat and derivative architectures from AMD.

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