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Submission + - AMD Ryzen 7 Series Processor Independent Reviews Live, Zen Looks Strong Vs Intel (

MojoKid writes: AMD has finally lifted the veil on independent reviews of its new Ryzen series of desktop processors that bring the company's CPU architecture back more on competitive footing versus its rival, Intel's Core series. The initial family of Ryzen processors consists of three 8-core chips, the Ryzen 7 1800X at 3.6GHz with boost to 4.1GHz, the Ryzen 7 1700X at 3.4Ghz with boost to 3.8GHz and the Ryzen 7 1700 at 3GHz with boost to 3.7GHz. Each has support for 2 threads per core, for a total of 16 threads with 16MB of L3 cache on-board, 512K of L2 and TDPs that range from 65 watts for the Ryzen 7 1700 at the low-end, on up to 95 watts for the 1700X and 1800X. In comparison to AMD's long-standing A-series APUs and FX-series processors, the new architecture is significantly more efficient and performant than any of AMD's previous desktop processor offerings. AMD designed the Zen microarchitecture at the heart of Ryzen with performance, throughput, and efficiency in mind. Initially, AMD had reported a 40% target for IPC (instructions per clock) improvement with Zen but actually realized about a 52% lift in overall performance. In the general compute workloads, rendering, and clock-for-clock comparisons, the Ryzen 7 1800X either outperformed or gives Intel's much more expensive Core i7-6900K a run for its money. The lower clock speeds of the Ryzen 7 1700X and 1700 obviously resulted in performance a notch behind the flagship 1800X, but those processors also performed quite well. Ryzen was especially strong in heavily threaded workloads like 3D rendering and Ray Tracing, but even in less strenuous tests like PCMark, the Ryzen 7 series competed favorably. It's not all good news, though. With some older code, audio encoding, lower-res gaming, and platform level tests, Ryzen trailed Intel – sometimes by a wide margin. There's obviously still optimization work that needs to be done – from both AMD and software developers.

Submission + - Scientific American column: It's Not Cold Fusion... But It's Something

An anonymous reader writes: Scientific American magazine has published a guest column on low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The article puts into context the history of what was mistakenly referred to as cold fusion and what happened. The bottom line is that there is compelling cumulative evidence for nuclear reactions taking place, including shifts in the abundance of isotopes, element transmutations, and localized melting of metals. Furthermore, those reactions do not have the characteristics of either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Despite sharp criticism from much of the scientific community after the 1989 announcement by Fleischmann and Pons, the Department of the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and other reputable organizations continued the research and published many papers.

The column was co-written by the author and editor of a three book series describing the history of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, from 1912 to the present. Lost History describes the early chemical and electrical transmutations observed between 1912 and 1927. Fusion Fiasco tells the story of what happened when Pons and Fleischmann made their astonishing announcement in 1989, and the fiasco that ensued. Hacking the Atom continues the story from 1990 to the present.

Submission + - Skylake Power Management Not Fully Implemented in Linux (

jones_supa writes: One of the reasons why someone might have a laptop to be able to do things like use it on battery, and power consumption is an important part of that. Intel Skylake CPU architecture continues the trend from Haswell of moving to an System on Chip -type model where clock and power domains are shared between components that were previously entirely independent. This means that the system cannot enter deep power saving states unless multiple components all have the correct power management configuration. Well, on Linux they do not, finds out Matthew Garrett. The deepest power saving state he can get into is PC3, despite Skylake supporting PC8. Because of this, he estimates using about 40% more power than should be necessary. Nobody seems to know what needs to be done to fix this, and public documentation on the power management dependencies on Skylake is missing.

Submission + - Intel Layoffs Coming?

cleara writes: According to an Oregonian article ( that is so-far not paywalled; Intel is planning a currently unknown number of layoffs company-wide. The article does have a redacted copy of the layoff letter going to affected employees

Feed Google News Sci Tech: European Space Agency may have found lost Rosetta Philae lander - NY City News (


European Space Agency may have found lost Rosetta Philae lander
NY City News
The European Space Agency announced on Thursday that its engineers say that its Philae lander undoubtedly landed on the comet, prior to becoming inactive because of lack of sufficient batteries. According to information from the European Space Agency,...
Rosetta's Philae Lander Discovered On Surface of Comet?Viral Global News
Has the ESA finally located Philae, its missing comet lander?Morning Ticker
Have We Found Rosetta's Lost Philae Lander?Universe Today
The Standard Daily-Benchmark Reporter-National Monitor
all 98 news articles

Submission + - Leaked details, if true, point to potent AMD Zen CPU ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: For more than a year, information on AMD’s next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed Zen, has tantalized the company’s fans — and those who simply want a more effective competitor against Intel. Now, the first concrete details have begun to appear. And if they’re accurate, the next-generation chip could pack a wallop.

Submission + - SpaceX are looking for help with "Landing" video

Maddog Batty writes: SpaceX recently made the news by managing to soft land at sea the first stage of rocket used to launch its third supply mission to the International Space Station. Telemetry reported that it was able to hover for eight seconds above the sea before running out of fuel and falling horizontal. Unfortunately, due to stormy weather at the time, their support ship wasn't able to get to the "landing" spot at the time and the first stage wasn't recovered and is likely now on the sea bed.

Video of the landing was produced and transmitted to an aeroplane but unfortunately it is rather corrupted. SpaceX have attempted to improve it but it isn't much better. They are now looking for help to improve it further.

Submission + - Is id Software a "sinking ship?"

An anonymous reader writes: All is not well at the house that Doom built. Gamecrastinate reports that a string of comments by current and former employees of id Software reveal long-standing problems with upper-level management. The most recent, made in December, shortly after the departure of id co-founder John Carmack, describes the company as a "sinking ship", one that has lost over a hundred people, including Carmack, in the prior two years. The anonymous whistle-blower lays the blame squarely upon the "incompetence" of id's managers, and their tendency to "re-invent" projects after as few as six months of work. Last year, Kotaku reported on the troubled development history of Doom 4, a game that was first announced in 2008, and one that has been rebuilt from scratch at least once. In February, id began offering beta access to the upcoming game, now simply titled Doom , as an incentive for pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order. When it finally gets here, will it be enough to pull id out of their downward spiral, or is the company going to hell for real?

Submission + - Intel, AMD, NVIDIA Working To Reduce OpenGL Overhead

jones_supa writes: Key OpenGL engineers from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA will be presenting next month at the 2014 Game Developers Conference about reducing driver overhead with OpenGL. They will hold a GDC 2014 presentation called Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today's OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead — by up to ten times or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. This is certainly very relevant to Linux gamers, and it is also interesting because for months now AMD has been pushing their Mantle graphics API underlining the benefit of low API overhead. The Mantle competition may have accelerated the interest to optimize OpenGL like this. We will find out in just about four weeks what kind of tricks the GPU vendors are doing to combat OpenGL driver overhead with an increasing number of games using OpenGL instead of Direct3D for working towards Linux/SteamOS compatibility.

Submission + - AMD's Mantle API Benchmarked With Battlefield 4 Versus DirectX (

MojoKid writes: AMD has been working on a new set of drivers which enable their Mantle API and a number of other features as well. AMD's Catalyst 14.1 betas are the first publicly available drivers from AMD that support Mantle, AMD’s “close to the metal” API that lets developers wring additional performance from systems equipped with GCN-based GPUs. The new drivers also add support for the HSA-related features introduced with the recently released Kaveri APU, and will reportedly fix the frame pacing issues associated with Radeon HD 7000 series CrossFire configurations as well. With the first round of benchmark numbers from Battlefield 4, Mantle has a significant impact on performance. On the GPU-bound A10-7850K, when tested with its on-processor Radeon R7 graphics, BF4’s performance increased roughly 10%. Pop in a powerful discrete GPU, however, and the gains are much larger. When the A10-7850K was paired to a Radeon R9 290X, utilizing Mantle resulted in a 28% increase in performance over DirectX. Performing the same test with that Radeon R9 290X installed in the Core i3-4330-based system showed Mantle outperforming DirectX by about 13%. Gaming conditions and systems that are CPU as well as GPU-limited seem to benefit the most, as evidenced by the huge gains seen in Star Swarm benchmarks. What’s also clear is that Microsoft hasn’t done enough to optimize graphics performance on the PC. DirectX has evolved greatly over the years and has enabled developers to create some fantastic looking games. But with overheard so high, there’s too much performance being sacrificed, likely for no good reason.

Submission + - AOL Sells Winamp And Shoutcast Music Services To Online Radio Aggregator Radiono (

VISBOT NETWORK writes: Some more detail on the fate of Winamp and Shoutcast, the legacy digital music services that owner AOL originally planned to shut down but then halted pending a sale. The properties are instead being acquired by Radionomy — an international aggregator of online radio stations headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Submission + - SeaWorld canvasses employees for online poll

Jim Efaw writes: Probably just par for the course these days: Orlando Business Journal held an online poll asking "Has CNN's 'Blackfish' documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?" (a show that was previously discussed on Slashdot). SeaWorld decided to respond by going to "team members" and "encourage them to make their opinions known". 54% of votes cast were from the same SeaWorld IP address. Turns out that even without that IP, less than 10% had said it changed their perception, but no word on whether the other voters were just SeaWorld staff from somewhere else. Since the canvassing story broke, however, the votes have gone heavily towards "Yes". (I don't suppose having it on Slashdot will help, either.)

Submission + - The analyst who predicted the 10% PC decline thinks 2014 will be much better (

mattydread23 writes: Ben Bajarin was more pessimistic than other analysts at the beginning of 2013, believing that the PC market would drop 10% or more. He was exactly right. But he thinks 2014 won't be so bad. Consumers still need one desktop PC at home to sync all those smartphones and tablets they bought, and a lot of those PCs are getting long in the tooth. But he warns that it will just be "a bump," with dire times returning after this refresh cycle is over.

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