Vigile writes: When OCZ purchased Indilinx back in March, there were a lot of questions as to what the SSD vendor would do with a controller company that seemed so far behind the performance leaders like Intel and SandForce. Today, with the release of the OCZ Octane, those questions are answered as the new Everest controller is in fact a performance beast. According to the testing done over at PC Perspective, the Octane is able to beat out even Intel's controllers in terms of low latency and high IOs per second, a feat no other controller had done, while also offering average sequential read speeds as high as 505 MB/s! Pricing is very competitive as well with the 256GB model MSRP set at $370 and a pending release of a 1TB 2.5-in model!
Vigile writes: Co-founder of id Software and one of the better interviews in the industry, John Carmack sat down with PC Perspective during Quakecon 2011 to talk about technology for gaming going forward. Collected in this ~30 minute video interview are thoughts on the GPU hardware race (hardware doesn't matter but drivers are REALLY important), integrated graphics solutions on Sandy Bridge and Llano (with a future of shared address spaces they may outperform discrete GPUs) and of course some thoughts on infinite detail engines (uninspired content viewed at the molecular level is still uninspired content). Carmack does mention a new found interest in ray tracing and how it will "eventually win" the battle for rendering in the long run. As usual, there is a lot of information collected in a short time span so pay attention!
HansonMB writes: He started out as a producer on the zany BBC magazine show “That’s Life!” But over the years, in his free-form documentary tours of the politics of science, consumerism, and fear, Adam Curtis has become a kind of smarter, wittier Michael Moore, making the argument – in a way that manages to be digestible – that we are never as free as we think we are. In his latest series of films, “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace,” currently being shown in four parts on the BBC, he’s turned his attention to the Internet, a topic simply begging for his medium-is-the-message critique: aside from the car, it’s hard to think of a technology that has been as pervasive – and as laden with expectation – as a tool for individual freedom and expression.
cHALiTO writes: "Beloved science fiction and fantasy writer Terry Pratchett has terminal early-onset Alzheimer's. He's determined to have the option of choosing the time and place of his death, rather than enduring the potentially horrific drawn-out death that Alzheimer's sometimes brings. But Britain bans assisted suicide, and Pratchett is campaigning to have the law changed. As part of this, he has visited Switzerland's Dignitas clinic, an assisted suicide facility, with a BBC camera crew, as part of a documentary will include Britain's first televised suicide. Pratchett took home Dignitas's assisted suicide consent forms."
coondoggie writes: "Continuing its love of all things green, Google today said it was building a $280 million fund to help businesses and home owners finance solar panels. Specifically, Google said it was investing $280 million to create a fund that will help SolarCity finance solar installations across the country. Google added that the investment was its largest clean energy project investment to date and brings our total invested in the clean energy sector to more than $680 million."
bob.grigoryan writes: Teardown specialist iSuppli has carried out its regular "bill of materials" analysis on the Samsung Series 5 laptop, the first Chromebook available in the US Market, and found out that the total cost of materials including manufacturing costs was just shy of $335, leaving the retailer, the manufacturer and other third parties to share the estimated $165 profits.
Phopojijo writes: "AMD kicked off their AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 today and reviews of their new Llano APU are starting to trickle out. The thought is that combining a GPU on the CPU decreases the barrier to entry to having a decent GPU in your system. While the CPU performance seemed to be a bit behind Intel's offering the GPU performance is definitely a step or more above Intel's offering."
auld_wyrm writes: "The fabless SSD controller manufacturer Indilinx has been acquired by one time DRAM mogul now turned solid state storage leader, OCZ. It seems that OCZ won't be quitting it's Vertex relationship nor will Indilinx stop it's partnership with other vendors, which should lead to a rich and possibly diverse lineage. This obviously has nothing to do with the recent drop in price of the 240GB Vertex 2."
Vigile writes: StarCraft II is the most anticipated PC game in a long time and after waiting over a decade since the release of the first iteration, it's not hard to see why. The new version moves from the world of 2D into 3D even though much of the game play and style remains the same. With the beta nearing completion and the full retail release just a short week or so away, PC Perspective posted a performance review of the game to demonstrate how different graphics cards perform in the new engine. It turns out that only NVIDIA cards will currently work with anti-aliasing and while the performance hit for enabling it is steep, the game is generally running quickly enough even on $200 GPUs for it to not be an issue. There is more good news for PC gamers as the article finds that even the aging Radeon HD 4850 is more than capable of allowing users to play 1080p resolutions.
Vigile writes: While $1200 graphics cards might get a lot of attention from enthusiasts, the majority of PC gamers fall into the sub-$200 world and NVIDIA's latest graphics card fits perfectly into that niche. The GeForce GTX 460 comes in both 1GB and 768MB versions and will sell for $229 and $199 respectively. Based on a new design of the existing GPU, the GF104 chip also goes through a fairly dramatic architecture shift that includes rebalancing CUDA cores (shaders) in relation to the tessellation engines and texture units. In the end though what matters is performance and value and the GTX 460 delivers on both counts handily beating the $199 HD 5830 from AMD.
Vigile writes: Sometimes it is tough to really tell what graphics card is the best for PC gamers with all the various options out there. Not so today with the introduction of the $1200 ASUS ARES that combines a pair of Radeon HD 5870 GPUs running at full speed (850 MHz core, 4.8 GHz memory) onto a single PCB to create the fastest consumer graphics card period. While other dual-GPU Radeon cards exist the ARES offers clock speeds as much as 30% higher and was able to do so with a quieter stock cooling solution. The card does require three separate power connections and uses noticeably more power than AMD designs but the performance is unrivaled for a single graphics card. And yes, I did say $1200.
Vigile writes: The rise of multiple monitor gaming really has gained traction thanks to the release of the AMD Radeon HD 5000-series of graphics cards back in September of last year. The initial options supported three displays per card and could power resolutions as high as 7680x1600 across those monitors but a later Eyefinity 6 Edition GPU could run 6 displays for some really unique gaming! NVIDIA is just now coming to the party with its Surround and 3D Vision Surround features that support a maximum of three displays but require a pair of GPUs in an SLI configuration to run. The requirement for SLI definitely increases the entry price for multi-monitor gaming but it also provides more than enough processing power for super-high-resolutions or even 3D gaming at 5760x1080. PC Perspective has a full review of the new technology in both 2D and 3D mode that includes performance numbers for GTX 480s and impressions of the 3D Vision effects across three panels — is it really worth more than $2200 for the technology though?
Vigile writes: PCI Express-based solid state drives are not new but getting one at a price a consumer might be willing to pay IS new. OCZ's RevoDrive combines a pair of SandForce 1200 controllers behind a basic RAID controller and eventually terminates at a PCI Express x4 connection with a capacity as high as 240GB. The key to the product is not just its absurdly impressive performance that nearly matches the ioXtreme card from Fusion-io and pushes almost 500 MB/s but also its price. The RevoDrive will cost almost the same as a standard SandForce-based 2.5-in SSD making it the fastest consumer storage option for the price. PC Perspective has a full performance evaluation that compares the RevoDrive to other PCIe SSDs and 2.5-in models to give a balanced view and still comes away truly impressed with the unit.
Vigile writes: Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox 360 S console at E3 this month and without delay the new machine has been dissected and tested. The most dramatic change is the move to a single chip CPU/GPU hybrid processor that is apparently being built on the 45nm process technology from GlobalFoundries, AMD's spun-off production facilities. With the inclusion of the new processor the Xbox 360 S uses much less power (about 30-40%) compared to previous generation machines and also turns out to be much quieter as a result of a single, larger fan. PC Perspective has photographic evidence of the tear down with comparisons between this Valhalla platform and the older Falcon system along with videos of the reconstruction process and noise comparisons.
Vigile writes: After impressing the storage world with raw speed, certain models of Sandforce-based SSDs may be able to get a free upgrade in capacity of about 20%. OCZ has worked with the SSD controller vendor to tweak the firmware in such a way to permit less overprovisioning on the flash memory without incurring a drop in performance. PC Perspective has tested one such prototype drive that has the exact same design but is provisioned at 120GB rather than 100GB all with a firmware update. Even better, OCZ claims that users of their Sandforce-based drives will likely be able to upgrade their own drives soon as well.