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Submission + - AMD Unveils The Liquid-Cooled, Dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 At $1,500 (

wesbascas writes: This morning, AMD unveiled its latest flagship graphics board: the $1,500, liquid-cooled, dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2. With a pair of Hawaii GPUs that power the company’s top-end single-GPU Radeon R9 290X, the new board is sure to make waves at price points that Nvidia currently dominates.

In gaming benchmarks, the R9 295X2 performs pretty much in line with a pair of R9 290X cards in CrossFire. However, the R9 295X2 uses specially-binned GPUs which enable the card to run with less power than a duo of the single-GPU cards. Plus, thanks to the closed-loop liquid cooler, the R9 295X doesn’t succumb to the nasty throttling issues present on the R9 290X, nor its noisy solution.

Submission + - OnePlus One Has Snapdragon 800 SoC, CyanogenMod Supported For Two Years (

wesbascas writes: Last week, Chinese handset manufacturer OnePlus announced that its flagship smartphone, the One, will retail for less than $400. Today, the company announced that the One will ship with Qualcomm's current flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 800, as opposed to the recently announced Snapdragon 801 that is set to power most other 2014 flagship devices, such as Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5.

Meanwhile, the CyanogenMod team announced on the OnePlus forums that they would be supporting the device for two years. The team also let slip that the One will debut a few brand new features for the aftermarket Android ROM. More announcements are scheduled in the coming weeks, and the company appears to still be on track for a Q2 2014 release, as originally intended.

Submission + - AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, And R7 260X: Old GPUs, New Names (

wesbascas writes: Today we get our first look at hard performance numbers for AMD's newly re-branded Radeon lineup of desktop graphics cards. Unfortunately, other than re-worked branding, there isn't much "new" to this first set of cards. The R9 280X, R9 270X, and R7 260X are all based on the same Tahiti, Pitcairn, and Bonaire GPUs that power the existing HD 7970 GHz Edition, HD 7870, and HD 7790 (respectively).

The results are a mixed bag, with the only real consistency being the price-to-performance ratio. The $140 R7 260X equals the HD 7790 in both performance and price, though the newer model has TrueAudio enabled. For the R9 270X, AMD is asking $20 more than the $180 HD 7870, but the newer cards performs commensurately better. On the other hand, the R9 280X gives up a little ground to the HD 7970 GHz Edition, but sells for $30 less.

Overall, the new Radeons are essentially the same as the old Radeons. That said, the R9 280X still sports a 7970-class Tahiti GPU, and now priced at just $300. Plus, current 7970 owners can add an R9 280X to their existing card/s for CrossFire. While it seems that Nvidia still owns the high-end, like its predecessor, the 280X hits the right price/performance sweet spot for gaming at 2560x1440. Meanwhile, entirely new AMD silicon is expected to arrive in the form of Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X cards soon.

Submission + - Intel's 12-Core Xeon With 30 MB Of L3: The New Mac Pro's CPU? (

wesbascas writes: Tom's Hardware just posted yet another set of leaked CPU benchmarks, this time from the 12-core Intel Xeon E5-2697 V2. The 22nm workstation chip boasts a whopping 30 MB of L3 cache and is rumored to be the SKU powering Apple's upcoming cylindrical Mac Pro.

While an early submission to Geekbench showed the 12-core Xeon achieving a score of under 24,000, or just 9% faster than the current Westmere-EP-based Mac Pro, that test was run using the 32-bit version of the benchmark on a pre-release build of OS X Mavericks. Meanwhile, Tom's achieved a more expected score of over 30,000 points using the 64-bit version of Geekbench in Windows — or about 25% more than the previously-leaked 32-bit/Mavericks result.

Moving on to other benchmarks, the Xeon E5-2697 bests the competition in all multi-threaded apps (sometimes punishingly), but loses out to chips with fewer cores and higher clock speeds in less-intensive, single-threaded workloads. Overall, Intel's Ivy Bridge-EP presents a solid upgrade to the company's current enterprise-grade offerings — provided you're running apps that can utilize all those cores. As for early reports of the new Mac Pro having absolutely no teeth: doubtful.

Submission + - Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked (

An anonymous reader writes: It seems as though the day belongs to Mozilla. First, actual Firefox OS smartphones, then news of no option to disable JavaScript in Firefox 23 (beta). Now, it appears that the current version of Mozilla's browser has finally managed to usurp Chrome in the ongoing benchmark battle. Over the weekend, the crew at Tom's Hardware was busy testing the just-released Firefox 22 versus Chrome 27, IE10, and Opera 12, along with the new Chromium-based build of Opera Next (AKA Opera 15).

For the first time, Firefox 22 pulls off a truly decisive win against Google's browser. Chrome, once known for starting up instantly, has become the slowest browser to launch, allowing Firefox 22's lightning-fast startup times to create a wide spread between these two otherwise equally-matched browsers. Chrome's historically poor ability to properly render many pages at once also became a problem for the world's new favorite web browser, as Firefox 22 sees the return of rock solid reliable page renders. Google's minor edge over Mozilla in other metrics just isn't nearly enough for Chrome to fend off the fox.

As most would expect, Opera Next performs essentially like Diet Chrome, with superior WebGL performance being the only area where the new Opera stands above its new Chromium-cousin. IE still sucks.

Submission + - Intel Core i7-4770K Review: Haswell Is Faster; Enthusiasts Yawn (

wesbascas writes: Haswell. It's finally here. Spearheading the rollout of Intel's 4th generation Core processors is the $340 quad-core 3.5 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo) Core i7-4770K. Just as leaked copies of the chip have already shown, the i7-4770K only presents an incremental ~10% performance increase over the Ivy Bridge-based Core i7-3770K. Overclocking potential also remains in the same 4.3 GHz to 4.6 GHz ballpark. Haswell's highly-touted energy efficiency and graphics muscle is likewise underwhelming, with the 4770K sometimes consuming more power than the 3770K and the HD 4600 graphics being an appropriately-named successor to HD 4000.

Maybe Haswell's low TDP and Iris Pro Graphics 5200 can be a game-changer in the mobile sector, but for the system-building enthusiast, this release presents even less performance gains than Ivy Bridge had over Sandy — with Sandy Bridge-E remaining top dog. Nevertheless, the Core i7-4770K naturally inherits the 3770K's recommendation for its price.


Submission + - Crysis 3 Performance, Benchmarked On 16 Graphics Cards (

wesbascas writes: Crysis 3 is benchmarked on 16 graphics cards, at a number of different resolutions and quality settings. Along with average frames per second, results also include minimum FPS, frame rate over time, and frame time variance. Visual differences between detail levels, along with the effect of FX, MS, and TX anti-aliasing filters are examined as well. Unlike the console-limited sequel, the third game in the Crysis series lives up to the original in terms of awe-inspiring and hardware-crushing graphics splendor. It looks like this title will be a graphics benchmark for the foreseeable future — may the "But can it play Crysis 3?" comments begin! Solid article, stunning game engine.

Submission + - Review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti Benchmarked! (

An anonymous reader writes: The Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti has finally arrived. This graphics card is the follow-up to the Fermi-based GTX 560 Ti, an enthusiast favorite from the last generation of graphics cards. At $300, the GTX 660 Ti occupies a price gap that Nvidia has so far been unable to fill with Kepler silicon. The same GK104 processor as the higher-end GTX 670 ($400) is inside the GTX 660 Ti, but with a 192-bit memory bus as opposed to the more expensive card's 256-bit bus. The GTX 660 Ti also has one of the GPU's four render back-end clusters disabled. The new card was benchmarked against a handful of cards from both Nvidia and AMD in the latest PC games and OpenCL tests. While the GTX 660 Ti is only slightly slower than the AMD Radeon HD 7870 (also $300) in gaming, like all Kepler-based graphics cards, the GTX 660 Ti cannot compete with AMD's lineup in general compute workloads. On the bright side, Nvidia's latest Ti runs cool, stays quiet, and sips power for its class.

Submission + - GeForce GTX 680 2 GB Review: Kepler Sends Tahiti On Vacation (

wesbascas writes: "The Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 launches today. As the first card to sport the new Kepler architecture, the GTX 680 is a highly-anticipated release for PC gamers everywhere. After running the reference design through Battlefield 3, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, DiRT 3, Skyrim, HAWX 2, and WoW: Cataclysm, this $500 dual-slot card proves to be the fastest single-GPU gaming solution on the planet right now. And by comfortable margins versus the Radeon HD 7970, AMD's Tahiti-based flagship. However, if you're looking to replace that GTX 480 or Quadro, the GTX 680 isn't the answer. It simply cannot compete in general-purpose computing benchmarks, where the AMD Radeon HD 7970 shines. If it's low power consumption you're after, the GTX 680 provides fantastic performance per Watt, although the $360 AMD Radeon HD 7950 is still where it's at for a low ceiling. Overall, the GTX 680 is a gamers delight, and the shortcomings it has in general-purpose computing only hint at yet an even higher-end card coming down the pike. Look for Kepler to flip the script on AMD in 2012."

Submission + - Web Browser Grand Prix 9: Chrome 17, Firefox 10, And Ubuntu (

An anonymous reader writes: The latest Web browser benchmarks from Tom's Hardware are out. Last month TH ran these tests in OS X on a MacBook, this time they ran the top five Windows 7 browsers against the top three for Linux (on Ubuntu 11.10). Testing includes page load time, start time, memory, reliability, JavaScript, CSS, DOM, Flash, HTML5, hardware acceleration, WebGL, Java, and standards conformance. The Windows 7 standings are pretty much the same as last month, but now have IE9 solidly in last place, and Chrome almost stealing first. Chrome did manage to steal the show on Ubuntu, while Firefox actually performs the worst of the three Linux browsers. In contrast to a recent cross-platform benchmarks of Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7 (where Ubuntu actually wins a majority of the tests), the Linux browsers just didn't stand up to their Windows versions. The author calls the combo "a meaningless victory and a defeat" for Linux.

Submission + - Pico Projector That Adapts to Surface, Can Use Random Objects as Input Devices (

jpwilliams writes: This tiny projector can use random surfaces to project an image. Using a webcam, it adapts to the surface, not just by adjusting keystone, but also following that surface and displaying different amounts of information (in certain cases). The guy in the video also uses a coffee mug as an app changer.
Open Source

Submission + - Canonical puts Ubuntu on Android smartphones ( 1

nk497 writes: "Canonical has revealed Ubuntu running on a smartphone — but the open source developer hasn't squashed the full desktop onto a tiny screen. Instead, the Ubuntu for Android system runs both OSes side by side, picking which to surface depending on the form factor. When a device — in the demo, it was a Motorola Atrix — is being used as a smartphone, it uses Android. When it's docked into a laptop or desktop setup, the full version of Ubuntu is used. Files, apps and other functionality such as voice calls and texting are shared between the two — for example, if a text message is sent to the phone when it's docked, the SMS pops up in Ubuntu, while calls can be received or made from the desktop."

Submission + - Mathematical parrot reveals his genius with posthumous paper (

ananyo writes: Even in death, the world’s most accomplished parrot continues to amaze. The final experiments involving Alex – a grey parrot trained to count objects – have just been published. They show that Alex could accurately add together Arabic numerals to a sum of eight and three sets of objects, putting his mathematical abilities on par with (and maybe beyond) those of chimpanzees and other non-human primates (abstract

Submission + - AMD Radeon HD 7770 & 7750: Cape Verde Unveiled (

wesbascas writes: The veil has lifted on Cape Verde, AMD's latest entry-level GPU. Cape Verde is the low-end follow-up to December's high-end 28nm Tahiti GPU. The first two cards will be available later on today: the Radeon HD 7770 runs $160, and the Radeon HD 7750 is $110. While both cards are aimed at the budget-oriented gamer, the 7770 and 7750 are two vastly different products. The 8.5-inch 7770 is a dual-slot card requiring 80W and an extra 6-pin power connector. The 7750 is a 6.5-inch single-slot card which only needs 50W (no extra power connections). The 7770 has the distinction of being the first GPU to run 1 GHz stock (the 7750 is throttled down to 800 MHz), and both cards carry 1 GB of 1,125 MHz GDDR5. After testing, both cards deliver on the promise of better power efficiency, but the price/performance ratio is where the other show drops for the $160 Radeon HD 7770. The author pans the larger card for running akin to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 — a year and a half old card! The smaller, cheaper Radeon HD 7750 receives the Tom's Hardware Recommended Buy for nearly matching the performance of Nvidia’s larger and more expensive GeForce GTX 550 Ti. At $110, the Cape Verde-based Radeon HD 7750 is a top pick for new HTPC builds.

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