3D, Apple, Companies, Gaming, Software Programs

Croatia: World of Warcraft beats iPhone 3G

After all the media fanfare about iPhone 3G and the goodness that the gadget brings, we have heard reports about T-Com demanding 6-month subscription in advance and similar consumer-unfriendly tactics. However, mainstream media didn’t exactly show in droves to see more several thousand people that waited in Zagreb and hundreds of people in several other cities in Croatia – these people waited for World of Warcraft: The Wrath of Lich King add-on. The price was set at $60 for the regular and $120 for the Collector’s Edition – and yes, there were many happy faces walking off with the Collector’s Edition. However, during the great

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Business, Gaming, Hardware, Software Programs

OCZ Brain-thingie hits $99 for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

One of major obstacles that any new revolutionary technology has to overcome is the question of affordability. Recently, I published my four-months-and-counting experience with the OCZ’s NIA, and in the end of the review, my only advice to OCZ was to target $99 price-point as the magical mark. Earlier today, a good friend of mine from Sacramento pinged me and told me that NIA hit $99 on Newegg after MIR check comes at your door. I went to Newegg and checked it out, and is true – now you can get NIA for $119.99 with a $20.00 check “is in the mail” http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=26-100-006 . Now,

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3D, AMD, Companies, Graphics, Software Programs

Nvidia plans to bridge the 32-bit and 64-bit divide

When you are designing a workstation product, you’re not designing what your engineers want, but rather what the customer will buy.  Workstation market is much more conservative than consumer one, and a lot of design changes have to be made in order to accomodate this, still much smaller market. Currently, the biggest headache in the workstation world is 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. While the FX community already went for 64-bit operating system, a lot of organizations are resisting to change and remain in the 32-bit world with its applications and broad compatibility. This was a big challenge for both ATI and Nvidia, who went

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

AMD’s Folding performance explained, future development revealed

Following the article about Top graphics cards for Folding@Home, it seems that I managed to get some doors opened and receive answers  from the people closely involved with the project. I had that luck of being contacted by people who were or still are involved with the project, and thus their answers were quite interesting. Names will remain unrevealed, of course.;-) In order to keep the clarity of the article, I’ve dumbed down some items that came up in discussions  – I will try to keep it both technical and simple. Impossible task, I know. Onto the matter then – the reason for ATI’s problems

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Gaming, Hardware, Software Programs, Uncategorized

Is OCZ’s NIA the most important thing in IT industry?

Two weeks ago, a very high, S-level exec from the automotive industry asked me about upcoming technologies, since he didn’t understand the importance of new interfaces that are coming in mainstream computing. I was shocked, since operating the car interface while driving should require minimum attention. Drive on the highway in Germany at 150 mph and play with BMW’s i-Drive, Mercedes’es non-touch COMMAND or Audi’s Futuremark-designed MMI3D and you’ll see where you feel the safest (hint, the one that cannot be benchmarked, but still comes from a benchmark maker ;-). There is an obvious need for development of true user-friendly computer interfaces. In this long

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Business, Companies, Intel, Microsoft, Software Programs

Microsoft to release Windows 7 in August ’09 for “Back-2-School”!?

Even though the company management does not want to admit it, Vista is a dud. Just like Intel execs neatly forgot the crappy marchitecture that NetBu(r)st was and started touting otherwise brilliant Core 2 architecture, don’t expect that Ballmer & Co. will say “Sorry for Vista” until Windows 7 comes out. Just like during PDC 2008 conference, Microsoft will be giving away pre-beta build of Windows 7. What makes this conference announcement important is the following tagline: WinHEC is the only chance for you to engage with the team at this level – there is not another WinHEC planned before Windows 7 is released. This

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Intel, Software Programs

Nvidia’s $50 card destroys ATI’s $500 one or “Why ATI sucks in Folding?”

As you might already know, I am a bit enthusiastic when it comes to distributed computing. I’ve been looking for aliens through SETI@home, later with BOINC… but then, Folding@Home showed up and I became an enthusiast for this valuable project from Stanford University. My family had some share of dealings with Alzheimer’s (aka AD) and Parkinson’s diseases (aka PD) and I won’t go here into what psychological and ultimately financial stress that families around the world, including my own – have to endure. Folding@Home is also a project that pioneered the use of GPUs for distributed computing (if I am wrong on this one, feel

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3D, AMD, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Intel, Software Programs

Badaboom’s CPU utilization issue explained

After the first look here, I managed to again speak with Sam and Mike of Elemental fame, who got back to me regarding my comments on high CPU utilization. I’ve experienced close to 100% load on AMD’s dual-core processor, while AMD’s quad-core worked normally. According to Elemental, CPU utilization can be high on a dual-core processor if you do low-resolution transcodes (which is kinda the natural purpose of this application). This is a natural latency between the CPU and the GPU that happens during moving frames between the GPU video memory and the CPU and its (system) memory. Guys haven’t experienced this on Intel platform,

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3D, CPU, Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, Mobile Computing, Software Programs, Uncategorized

UPDATED: Elemental’s video transcoder rocks the world

Back in May 2008, Nvidia’s Editors Day hosted a presentation by young guys from Elemental Technologies Inc (ETI). The demonstrated software was Badaboom, CUDA-powered video transcoder that demolished Intel’s Core 2 Quad processor when used in conjuction with GeForce 8800GTS. Months have passed, and guys worked hard on developing Badaboom in order to be ready for August release. But, their second project, RapiHD encoder for Premiere CS4 Pro needed some engineering help. So, the guys pushed back the release of Badaboom and Badaboom Pro until after the launch of CS4. It was a tough call, but with the release of Adobe Creative Studio 4 over

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia makes a “stupid” call with brilliant RapiHD

With the release of Adobe Creative Studio 4, Elemental Technologies finally launched their own RapiHD CUDA-accelerator for Premiere Pro. As team of users of Sony 1080p and RED One (4K FTW!) camera, my guys expected that RapiHD will be a brilliant add-on to my configuration consisted out of two 4-core Intel Xeons@3 GHz, brilliant ASUS Skulltrail-lite motherboard and Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 SDI. SDI is a paramount when working with HD signal and RED camera, since it tremendously speeds up the workflow. I am first to admit that I am not exactly at home with video production per se, but I well know what to

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Business, Companies, Graphics, Intel, Memory & Storage Space, Microsoft, Software Programs

Best buy introduces custom design notebooks from HP, Toshiba

In a bid to win more customers, Best Buy introduced Blue label series of products. Starting with two notebooks, BB is introducing products that were designed based upon customer feedback. BB received feedback from their sales spots and decided to do something about it. It seems that most customers demanded discrete graphics card, 4GB of memory, baclkit keyboard improved battery life and a 64-bit operating system. Said – done. First two Blue label products are HP Pavilion dv3510nr and Toshiba Satellite E105-S1402. Both notebooks come with similar features and boast more than four hours of battery life. Personally, I like HP more due to integrated

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3D, Software Programs

The ultimate picture stitch/texture maker app is here!

If you ever worked with combining multiple pictures or creating textures, most of you remember what royal PITA it was. But, with imageSynth utility from Luxology that became a thing of the past – and it didn’t stop there. Luxology just announced imageSynth 2, application that works either as plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS3/CS4, or as a stand-alone application. Maker claims that imageSynth brings 10x speed increase over previous version, but we wonder how that could be if the company is not supporting GPU acceleration. Well…the secret lies in the fact that Luxology works hard on optimizing threading on all the CPUs, so a quad-core

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3D, AMD, Business, Companies, CPU, Graphics, Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, Microsoft, Software Programs

New “nForce for AMD” chipsets take shape under GeForce name

Last week, Chinese site Expreview.com published a story about the new generation of nForce chipsets for AMD processors. We managed to find more details through course of the weekend. For starters, the lineup will consist out of three (not two) chipsets with various capabilities. MCP82-S1, MCP82-S2 and MCP82-S3 will round the lineup, all targeting their respective markets (high-end, mainstream and entry-level). The S1 and S2 will support SLI, while S3 targets lucrative OEM/ODM deals – our sources indicate that this variant will be pitched as a successor to GeForce 6150 line that conquered many Dells, HPs and Acers out there. MCP82-S1 targets the high-end, with

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3D, Business, Companies, Gaming, Microsoft, Software Programs

Spore and Warhammer Online rule the sales charts

I’ve been following NPD Sales charts for ages now, and it was always interesting to see how long can a title hold on them. Blizzard and EA/Maxis are long standing legends – in the past eight years, there haven’t been a weekly or monthly sales chart where at least one title from these companies didn’t occupy spot or two. NPD Group decided to combine their weekly charts into monthly ones, probably for easier tracking – and making annual reports will be much more easier. But getting back on the subject, sales results for North America are quite interesting: Top 5 PC Games for September 2008

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3D, Hardware, Software Programs, VR World

Folding@Home team update, new stats page ;)

I’ve been a fan of distributed computing since late 1990s, with SETI@Home running on every computer that I ever had. However, the real attractive proposition to me was running distributed computing applications on graphics cards. GPUs are much more efficient in stream computing than any CPU you could find, and I’ve tried DC apps on computers with DEC Alpha, Intel Pentium onwards, AMD K6-II onwards etc etc., but biggest jump in performance was Folding@Home on ATI Radeon X1800XTX graphics card. With the launch of this blog and the new website, I’ve decided to launch a new group, number 69864. Current name is the name of

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3D, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia’s new drivers will finally fix 4 year old “bug”

One of key issues with multi-GPU configurations is the lack of dual-monitor capability. Now, this is not a new issue – ever since SLI and CrossFire came out in 2004/5, we were promised earth-shaking gaming experience omitting the fact that more users have two monitors than they have two graphics cards. So, if you were a high-end user and had for instance, GeForce 6800 Ultra or GTX 280 in SLI, result was unchanged – second monitor would remain blank. Same thing was the case with ATI’s CrossFire. All in all, “user-unfriendly” solutions. A while ago, I reported about Nvidia making Big Bang II drivers, drivers

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3D, Gaming, Software Programs

Looking forward to Left 4 Dead

I just got news from Doug Lombardi that Left 4 Dead is available for pre-purchase. All that I can say is – YES!!! It’s been a while since we saw a good co-op game that will shake up small LAN parties (such as office brawls), and this game has everything that’s needed. I had the opportunity to play the game at this years’ E3 Summit in Los Angeles, and honestly – I was delighted. The game has everything that’s needed to be great: it is fun, fast-paced, survival horror themed game. Of course, Left 4 Dead has single player and multiplayer modes, but the real

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3D, Software Programs

Adobe ships GPU-accelerated Creative Studio 4, Flash Player 10

After reading countless previews and hearing the marketing buzz about some GPU-accelerated aspects of Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and others, Adobe Systems announced immediate availability of whole CS4 package (Amazon.com still thinks these versions will be available in November). CS4 is divided into six new versions, as well as stand-alone versions. Adobe divided the packages to suit different content creators, thus package is divided into following: CS4 Design Premium CS4 Design Standard CS4 Design Web Premium CS4 Design Web Standard CS4 Design Production Premium CS4 Design Master Collection As you can imagine, these packages somewhat nothing else but “Premiere-in, Premiere-out” and so on. Professionals will

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Software Programs

Microsoft abandons Vista name, welcome Windows 7

After Windows 2002 being named XP and Windows 6 becoming Vista, I thought Microsoft was thoroughly lost in the world of consumer naming. But luckily, the company decided to do a U-turn on naming convention and Windows 7 will become known as – “Windows 7”. In a newsletter send to members of partnering community, Microsoft stated that on PDC 2008 conference in Los Angeles, the company will give out pre-beta versions of their new operating system, “Windows 7”. This name was confirmed by Mike Nash, VP for Windows Product Management. You can read more on TG Daily.

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Software Programs

OpenOffice 3.0 brings Sun servers to their knees

It looks like Sun has finally found a package that will bring its servers to their knees. The company just released OpenOffice 3.0 package of office applications and found their servers to barely handling heavy load from thousands of interested users. While loading www.openoffice.org, I was greeted with HTML 1.0 looking page and a following statement: “Apologies – our website is struggling to cope with the unprecedented demand for the new release 3.0 of OpenOffice.org. The technical teams are trying to come up with a solution.” All in all, not exactly unexpected. OpenOffice 3.0 is the most popular office package after Microsoft Office, and it

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