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AMD Trinity Internal Benchmarks Surface

"Trinity" is the codename of AMD's next-generation performance accelerated processing unit (APU) family. Based on the new socket FM2 package, these chips will take advantage of AMD's next-generation Piledriver processor core architecture and VLIW4 GPU stream processor architecture. Together, Trinity promises increased general, visual, and parallel compute performance. Some of the slides detailing AMD's own performance estimates were put up by DonanimHaber in their recent video bulletin. We screen-grabbed the performance graphs from the low-resolution video, hence the grainy images.

To begin with, AMD is promising noticeable performance improvements over the current "Llano" APU. It spread its benchmarks across three categories: visual performance (using 3DMark Vantage), general performance (using PCMark Vantage), and parallel compute (GPGPU) performance (calculated CTP SP GFLOPs). With 3DMark Vantage, Trinity A8 (quad-core), A6 (triple-core), and A4 (dual-core) APUs are seeing a roughly 32% improvement over their respective Llano-based counterparts; with general performance, the improvement is a candid 13.8% on average; but with GPGPU performance, the improvement is a massive 56.3% on average. This could be attributed to the VLIW4 architecture. Lastly, there are notable CrossFire dual-graphics performance improvements.


Source: DonanimHaber

Windows 8 Secure Boot Feature: Not So Secure?

We have brought you the potential perils of the upcoming UEFI Forum-implemented - www.uefi.org - Windows 8 secure boot feature here, here and here. However, it appears that it may not be so 'secure' after all, since there appears to be a surefire way to circumvent it, at least for the moment, while it's in development.

Softpedia has scored an exclusive interview with security researcher Peter Kleissner, who has created various Windows (XP, Server 2003 etc) "bootkits", which allow OS infection at the highest privilege level, giving unrestricted access to the whole of the PC. His latest one, called Stoned Lite, shows how the Windows 8 secure boot process, still in development, can be subverted, as it stands. He is planning to release details of how the code works at the upcoming International Malware Conference (MalCon) - http://malcon.org - that will take place in India on November 25th. It appears that the real vulnerability exists in the legacy BIOS boot procedure, not in Microsoft's implementation of secure boot, as Kleissner said:
The problem with the legacy startup is that no one verifies the MBR, which makes it the vulnerable point. With UEFI and secure boot, all the boot applications and drivers have to be signed (otherwise they won’t be loaded). You can compare it to TPM, although Arie van der Hoeven from Microsoft announced that the secure boot feature is mandatory for OEMs who want to be UEFI certified. It is a good message that security is not an option.

AMD 11.11 WHQL Catalyst driver CAP 2 Now Available

AMD has now released the CrossFireX Catalyst Application Profiles 2 for their latest 11.11 WHQL drivers. The improvements apply to just two games:
New profiles added to this release:

- Saints Row 3: Resolves stuttering seen when playing in CrossFireX mode. Also provides Single GPU and CrossFireX performance improvements when running in lower resolution configurations
- Gothic 4 Arcania: Fall of Setarrif: Improves CrossFire performance
There's nothing yet for hit game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in this release, unfortunately. CAP 2 can be downloaded here.

SB-E: Enthusiast Full 8 Core Dual Socket Monsters On The Way Early 2012

The latest Sandy Bridge-E 6 core processors have just been released, to excellent reviews. However, the architecture is designed for 8 cores, so these current i7-3960X & i7-3930K processors actually contain those 8 cores, but with two turned off in order to enable them to fit within a manageable 130 W power envelope. Hence there's quite a bit more potential to be released and soon. Therefore, anyone looking to invest in the premium-priced SB-E platform right now, should note that these processors are at the initial C1 stepping and have the VT-d hardware virtualization issue and PCI-E 3.0 compatibility uncertainty. The VT-d problem will be a real show stopper where hardware acceleration of a virtual machine is a must, so it shouldn't be ignored.

VR-ZONE brings us news that the fully unlocked SB-E 8 core chips will be released as the long awaited Xeon E5 family of processors, which will be built on the C2 stepping, solving the above issues. However, being 8 core, these will be very power hungry indeed, consuming around 150 W at just 3 GHz with all 8 cores active and 20 MB of L3 cache. At 2.5 GHz though, the new processors are expected to fit within the 95 W power envelope.

AMD Catalyst 11.11 WHQL Driver Suite Released

Well, this 11.11 release doesn't list any performance improvements unfortunately. It contains just one new unexciting feature and a few fixes, but still has quite a long list of known issues. The new feature is Adobe Flash Player 11 hardware accelerated graphics support, including the A-series and E-series APUs. Fixes include things like Rage texture corruption, bezel compensation working correctly in Far Cry 2 and a screen tearing fix for displays in clone mode. Therefore, if your setup is working fine, there's no rush to update to this driver in case it breaks something. Note the following CAP 1 profile updates added to this release:

- Battlefield 3: Tweaks to the CrossFire profile
- Global Ops: Commando Libya: Improves CrossFire performance
- Driver San Francisco: Disables CrossFire

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.11 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit

DOWNLOAD: Release Notes

The Technology Behind AMD's New Liquid Cooling Based Heatsinks

Following our article yesterday about AMD using new high performance liquid cooling technology for their upcoming 7900-series graphic cards, TechPowerUp can now bring you a detailed insight into how this technology works, which has been developed by Vapro Inc. The following slides will help to explain this technology.

By using liquid cooling based heatsinks, the following performance advantages are achieved: improvement of thermal resistance, handling of high heat flux and power and easy to manufacture.

The New EVGA Dual GTX 560 Ti That Thinks It's A GTX 585

EVGA has just announced a new dual GPU card based on the GF114 GPU – check out the product launch page here and the product page here. If their performance graph on that launch page is accurate, then the card is around 30% faster than a GTX 580 when running the Unigene Heaven benchmark. The output panel contains three DVI connectors for NVIDIA 3D Surround, along with a mini HDMI port. The cooler has three fans, which should make for a well-cooled and reasonably quiet card. The marketing blurb says:
Introducing the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win
It may not be called a GTX 585, but it's the next best thing. This card harnesses the power of two EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU's for blistering fast DirectX 11 performance, including tessellation performance that destroys the competition. Experience a whole new level of interactive gaming and combine up to three displays off a single card for the ultimate in 3D entertainment, or disable Surround and combine up to four displays for maximum productivity. With these features and more, the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win gives you double the GPU's and double the win!
Translated, this means that your life isn't worth living without one of these babies in your rig. Apparently.

R&D: Memristors And Bendy Memory

Memristors are a fourth class of electric circuit, first hypothesized way back in the 1970's, which are a new addition to the transistors, capacitors, resistors etc that go into making a silicon chip. HP has put a great deal of resources into developing this technology and is expected to release memory-like memristor products in 2013, so it's not far off from commercial deployment. Now however, the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have found a way to use memristors to make what they describe as a "fully functional" flexible resistive random access memory (RRAM). This memory is built on a plastic substrate and can be randomly accessed, written to and erased. However, as this substrate is flexible, it can be bent and rolled up easily, opening up possibilities for use that haven't even been thought of yet.

Revised GF110-based GTX 560 Ti On The Way: a GTX 570 In Disguise?

Those on a budget looking to upgrade their graphics cards might do well to wait a little while, NVIDIA is preparing an upgraded GTX 560 Ti. The current model is based on the GF114 GPU which has 384 CUDA cores, 32 TMUs, a 256-bit memory interface and 1GB VRAM. However, the new model discards the GF114 GPU and replaces it with the beefier GF110 GPU that's used on the GTX 570 & GTX 580 cards. As one would expect, this GPU will be cut down compared to its bigger brothers, featuring 448 CUDA cores, 56 TMUs, a 320-bit memory bus and likely 1280MB VRAM. Another improvement comes in the form of two SLI connectors, allowing 3-card setups to be built, but the cost compared to using more powerful cards must of course be considered before such a build is attempted. The new card will be called the "GTX 560 Ti (448 Core)", which follows a similar convention that was used with the GTX 260 when NVIDIA upgraded it to the GTX 260 (216 Core). Given that the memory bus and memory size are now the same as that of the GTX 570, it brings with it the intriguing possibility that such cards may be unlocked to full GTX 570 performance by enterprising enthusiasts who are not afraid of risking their warranty in their unending quest for better performance.

AMD Catalyst 11.10 Version 3 Preview Driver

The driver updates for Rage and the upcoming Battlefield 3 are coming thick and fast now, with every full and preview releases - great news for fans of these games. Note that the BF3 improvements are specified for the beta release, but should also apply to the release version and more will of course follow. Other improvements include Eyefinity 5x1 display implementation on Radeon 6000 & 5000 cards, along with CrossfireX interface enhancements. See the full rundown after the jump!

Got A Virus? It's Your Fault Says Microsoft

Yes, that's right the maker of notoriously vulnerable software is now blaming you, the user, should you get a virus, trojan or other malware infection on your Windows computer. However, it does look like they have some justification for saying this. For those with long attention spans, Microsoft have just released their 168 page Microsoft Security Intelligence Report 6MB PDF, with the stated aim of providing:
An in-depth perspective on software vulnerabilities and exploits, malicious code threats, and potentially unwanted software in the first half of 2011
The first thing to note about the report is that it is limited to its Malicious Software Removal Tool and Microsoft's other anti-malware products. Zero-day attacks that it can't detect are not included in the findings. So, surely it can't all be the user's fault then? It also means that the security angles from third party security vendors such as Kaspersky, Norton and McAfee aren't represented here.

Bulldozer Aims For 50% Improvement By 2014: Is This Really Enough To Counter Intel?

The reviews are now out for AMD's brand new Bulldozer architecture, in the form of the Zambezi FX 8120 & FX 8150 processors and they don't paint a pretty picture of these flagship products. The chips use lots of power, run hot and significantly underperform compared to their Intel competition. On top of that, they are being marketed as 8 core processors, when they are actually 4 core with an advanced form of multi-threading, due to the siamesed nature of each dual processor module. Perhaps to counter this negative publicity and try to restore some faith in the AMD brand, they have released a roadmap for the planned improvements to the architecture, all the way to 2014 – an ambitious timeline, given how much and how unexpectedly things can change at the cutting edge of the technology world.

Modern Warfare 3 new trailer, Redemption SP. Graphics as good as BF3?

There’s a great new single player trailer just out for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It continues the story from the previous game and looks excellent, as you might expect. However, since it’s coming out at the same time as Battlefield 3, one can’t help compare the graphics quality between the two. MW3 seems to look like an evolutionary improvement, but still looks like "computer generated graphics", while BF3 appears to define a whole new level of realism which isn’t that hard to mistake for the real thing if it's not looked at closely. Go watch it over at Guru3D at 720p and decide for yourselves. Note that watching the video directly on YouTube requires a free account registration due to the strong nature of the content, but not on Guru3D.

Source: Guru3D
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