Hardware, Reviews

VisionTek GRX 240GB PCIe SSD Review

VisionTek GRX 240GB

Introduction Over the last couple of years, SSDs have taken the market by storm. Once we leave the lowest budget segments of the market, a SSD is almost always part of a modern PC build. SSDs noticeably boost a PCs performance mainly due to their random data access times being orders of magnitude lower than on traditional rotation hard disk drives which makes them so desirable for the user. Transfer rates also increased beyond what hard disk drives are capable of and quickly hit the limits of what the Serial ATA interface is capable of. This led to the introduction of novel form factor SSD


Business, Graphics, Hardware

GDC 2014: Intel Announces Breadth of New CPUs for 2014


As a bit of a surprise yesterday Intel dropped the veil on all pending consumer launches planned for the year. While the announcement at GDC doesn’t mark a formal product introduction, it paints a clearer picture of the plans of the company we already discussed in our silicon technology outlook earlier this year. Intel’s Lisa Graff, who is their VP of Client Desktop gave the presentation and started off by talking about how important desktop has been to Intel as a company, including the fact that it was one of the places where PC grew within Intel last year. The first of the new products will be


VR World

Exclusive: AMD's Carrizo APU Details Leaked – SoC for The Mainstream


In January AMD launched the Kaveri APU, which is the first APU product with HSA support. While until today only two desktop SKUs have been launched, with more planned down the road as well as a full notebook lineup, AMD is already working hard on the next generation APU. The new chip’s codename is Carrizo and I had the chance to look at a document aimed at developers "Preliminary BIOS and Kernel Developer?s Guide (BKDG) for AMD Family 15h Models 60h-6Fh Processors?, which documents some of the new features of this APU. The CPU cores will be upgraded from Steamroller to Excavator. Thanks to a


Graphics, Hardware

AMD Announces Cost-Efficient AM1 Platform for April


Yesterday AMD pre-announced their AM1 platform, which is scheduled to become available on April 9th. The AM1 platform revolves around a socketed version of the Kabini SoC running under the classic Athlon and Sempron brands and is slated to bring cost-efficient computing in a socketed form factor to the table. The actual socket of the platform is called FS1b and features 721 pins. The AM1 name was probably chosen for simplicity reasons, but should not be confused with the AM2/AM3 desktop platforms from AMD. The APUs come in a lidded PGA form factor that measures 35mm x 35mm. Previous products based on Kabini came in a


Business, Enterprise, Hardware

Intel Introduces Xeon E7v2 with Massively Improved Performance


On Tuesday Intel introduced the next iteration of the Xeon E7 family targeted that the enterprise computing segment. As we discussed in our silicon technology outlook, this chip was already ripe for introduction. We took the time to discuss this family of CPUs in detail in the following paragraphs. Due to the longer product cycles in this segment, Intel skipped the tock and moved straight to the next tick. This describes what the jump from the 32nm Westmere-EX to the 22nm Ivy Bridge-EX basically is. The chip is also known as Ivytown since Intel discussed its design at the recent ISSCC conference. As a consequence


Apple, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware

Silicon Technology Outlook Analysis for 2014


In this feature article, we present the roadmaps for the ongoing year of a few major semiconductor companies that are important for the server, PC, tablet and to some extent mobile markets. The companies presented here are sorted alphabetically. Especially for the mobile markets we could have included a number of additional vendors but we opted not to due to scarcity of information about upcoming products.  AMD The year already began with a few product introductions by AMD. The company already introduced it’s Kaveri APU at the beginning of the year, which we covered in ample detail already. Kaveri is the first chip of AMD


Business, Enterprise, Hardware

AMD Introduces ARM-based Opterons, Outlines Bullish Business Goals


During today’s Open Compute Summit keynote, AMDs Andrew Feldman, corporate vice president and general manager at AMD, introduced the Opteron A-series server SoC that is codenamed Seattle. Before coming to the meat of the matter, Andrew talked a lot about a huge market opportunity of connecting the remaining 2/3 of the worlds population to the Internet and increasing the number of smartphone users, that currently hovers just short 1 billion. However, most of these smartphones are pretty dumb unless connected to datacenters and this is where AMD comes in. Andrew also pointed out that at this point AMD is not particularly interested into providing products


Business, Enterprise, Hardware

AMD Extends Opteron 6300 Series with 99W Warsaw CPUs


AMD today introduces two new Opteron processor models, that extend the current lineup of 12- and 16-core CPUs. The CPUs were formerly codenamed Warsaw and first detailed in AMD’s server strategy update of last year. Although the chips had their own codename Warsaw, the truth of the matter is that they aren’t a tangible improvement over the Abu Dhabi core in the other Opteron 6300 processors. The innards are the same Piledriver microarchitecture that AMD introduced into this segment at the end of 2012. When discussing the matter with AMDs Andrew Feldman back when we were briefed for the strategy update, he explained a switch to


Audio/Video, Entertainment, Graphics, Hardware, Rumors

What to Expect From Kaveri: A Detailed Predictive Analysis


Editors note:This article was originally published by Juan Ramón González Álvarez at http://juanrga.com/en/AMD-kaveri-benchmark.html It represents a very well-informed estimate of the performance of future APUs from AMD based off the Kaveri core. These estimates are based off the bits of information AMD disclosed both about Kaveri itself and the Steamroller architecture. Furthermore it includes some assumptions that are sensible but may not equate to the actual specifications. As any performance estimate, they could be off substantially because we are dealing with incomplete information. For this reason you should take the benchmark numbers with a grain of salt. However we believe the point of view presented


Hardware, Software Programs

AMD Announces hQ Technology for Seamless Heterogenous Computing


Yesterday, AMD unveiled a key technology for it’s Heterogenous System Architecture (or short HSA) called heterogenous Queuing (hQ). AMD considers hQ to be a building block to make HSA designs efficient. The first HSA-enabled design aimed at consumers is codenamed Kaveri and due out towards the end of the year. HSA is all about using all the computing potential available in an APU chip. Some workloads are better suited for traditional CPU cores, while others work better on GPU cores. In pre-HSA designs you would have to move data back and forth between the CPU and the GPU, which is a costly operation ? so


Business, Hardware, Reviews

BeQuiet! Dark Power Pro 750W Review – Whisper Quiet Yet Powerful


While Be Quiet! Has been a leading provider of power supplies in Germany for several years, now it aims to target the North American market with high quality products. The Dark Power Pro 10 series power supplies have been introduced to the North American market a few months ago and in this review we will take a closer look at one of these. The Power Supply The Dark Power Pro 10 series is available in models with 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W, 1000W and 1200W. All of those received the 80Plus Gold certification (except the 850W model which is even rated Platinum) and share a set


Business, Cloud Computing, Enterprise, Hardware

Verizon Deploys AMD SeaMicro Systems for Novel Cloud Services


On Friday Verizon announced their new cloud services Verizon Cloud Compute and Verizon Cloud Storage, with the public beta starting in the fourth quarter of the year. Today AMD and Verizon jointly announced that AMDs Seamicro SM15000 system is being deployed as part of the new infrastructure Verizon puts into their datacenters. We actually had a unique opportunity earlier this year to get a tour of Verizon’s own NOCC for San Diego and Imperial Counties where some of these systems might be housed. Verizon’s cloud services are aimed at enterprise customers and try to offer capabilities previously unseen in the cloud ecosystem. While to people familiar with


Business, Cloud Computing, Entertainment, Hardware

Intel Galileo Puts Quark X1000 on Arduino boards


Today Intel together with Arduino announced the Intel Galileo development board, the first product featuring the Quark SoC first introduced at this years IDF opening Keynote in San Francisco a few weeks ago. During the announcement Massimo Banzi, co-founder of Arduino, welcomed Brian Krzanich on stage during the Maker Faire Rome opening conference which signifies the importance of this announcement for Intel. The Quark X1000 powering the system is a single-core 32-bit Pentium-ISA compatible system on a chip. This information was already available from Intel around IDF, as we were able to confirm with no less than Diane Bryant, Senior Vice President and General Manager


Business, Entertainment, Software Programs

Blizzard to Remove Auction Houses From Diablo III


Blizzard officially announced that they plan to remove the auction houses that operate both with real money and ingame currency by March 18th, 2014. The company decided that the extensive use of the auction houses to acquire items was detrimental to the game experience and thus decided to do away with it. On their forums a detailed FAQ on the matter can be found. The developers even put the effort into recording a small video explaining the change When Diablo III features were detailed over two years ago, the auction houses, especially the real money auction house (RMAH), were touted as a safe and efficient


Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

AIDA64 3.20 Brings Customized Sensor Panels


Today FinalWire announced the release of AIDA64 3.20, the next release of the well-known system information and benchmarking tool. To keep pace with current developments, support for new operating systems, current and upcoming hardware and various other improvements. The new version can be downloaded on their website. The tool now allows the creation of customized sensor panels. The feature announcement page of AIDA64 3.20 shows a very nice panel as an example, that can be downloaded from their forums (registration required). Given the nature of this feature it is aimed at advanced users as there is no graphical interface for creating the panel. Other than that most


Business, Enterprise, Graphics, Hardware

The Current State of 14nm Tech at Intel


Unlike previous technology steps as we can exemplarily show with 22nm in 2011, Intel did not give a technology briefing about their 14nm process yet. Even though at the 14nm step Intel did not disclose any special innovations such as 3D transistors (or FinFETs) or High-K Metal Gate (HKMG), introducing a new reduction in feature size is always a major announcement for the company. With this scarcity of information we went into IDF last week and looked at what bits and pieces the company would give to the public with regards to their upcoming manufacturing technology. What We Know About 14nm at Intel CEO Brian


Business, Entertainment, Graphics, Hardware

Intel Launches Bay Trail: Atom 3000 Series for Mobile


We have already talked quite a bit about Intel’s Silvermont architecture when Intel


Business, Graphics, Hardware

EVGA Launches miniITX Enthusiast Chassis


Right before Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, EVGA announces the Hadron Air mini ITX chassis, which is designed for small form factor systems that aim for high performance. The chassis, which measures 169 mm x 305 mm x 308 mm (W x H x D), is able to house full size double slot graphics cards up to a length of 267mm. While this excludes some of the lengthier high-end cards like AMDs Radeon 7970, it is able to house a NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan. The chassis comes with a 500W gold-rated power supply unit (PSU) with a maximum current of 40A on the 12V


Graphics, Hardware

Gigabyte reveals Motherboards for Delayed AMD Kaveri Processors


According to numerous statements made by senior executives, successor to the Trinity and Richland APU’s was supposed to launch in 2013. As recently reported by VR-Zone and confirmed by AMD, Kaveri will not see the light of day before 2014 and it is unsurprising to see companies like GigaByte coming out with completed parts. After all, the development cycle of the motherboards is tied to original roadmaps, not the actual execution of the company. Gigabyte’s new motherboards are one of the very first products featuring the yet unannounced A88X chipset from AMD. Socket FM2+ is a requirement for upcoming Kaveri APU’s and as expected –


Cloud Computing, Enterprise, Hardware

AMD Server Strategy Update – HSA and ARM Show Up in 2014


Update: AMD informed us that the ARM CPU Seattle actually supports up to 128GB RAM and provided us with an updated slide. Also they released updated roadmaps on their investor relations website, which we incorporated to give a better overview of the timeline of these products. Today AMD is announcing an updated server roadmap for 2014, which will introduce a number of new products. AMD will attack the market with new multi-socket x86 CPUs, a HSA-enabled server APU and the debut of their first ARM-based chip. In the following paragraphs we will discuss each of the innovations AMD has in store. Berlin CPU/APU ? Kaveri