News Posts matching "improvement"

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AMD "Zen" CPU Core Block Diagram Surfaces

As a quick follow up to our older report on AMD's upcoming "Zen" CPU core micro-architecture being a reversion to the monolithic core design, and a departure from its "Bulldozer" multicore module design which isn't exactly flying off the shelves, a leaked company slide provides us the first glimpse into the core design. Zen looks a lot like "Stars," the core design AMD launched with its Phenom series, except it has a lot more muscle, and one could see significant IPC improvements over the current architecture.

To begin with, Zen features monolithic fetch and decode units. On Bulldozer, two cores inside a module featured dedicated decode and integer units with shared floating-point units. On Zen, there's a monolithic decode unit, and single integer and floating points. The integer unit has 6 pipelines, compared to 4 per core on Bulldozer. The floating point unit has two large 256-bit FMAC (fused-multiply accumulate) units, compared to two 128-bit ones on Bulldozer. The core has a dedicated 512 KB L2 cache. This may be much smaller than the 2 MB per module on Bulldozer, but also indicate that the core is able to push through things fast enough to not need cushioning by a cache (much like Intel's Haswell architecture featuring just 256 KB per core). In a typical multi-core Zen chip, the cores will converge at a large last-level cache, which routes data between them to the processor's uncore, which will feature a DDR4 IMC and a PCI-Express 3.0 root complex.
Source: Planet3DNow, Many Thanks to qubit for the tip.

NZXT Announces CAM 2.0 Monitoring Software

NZXT is proud to announce the launch of its advanced CAM version 2.0 PC monitoring software. Now equipped with double the data detection, a customizable interface and a highly functional FPS overlay, CAM 2.0 makes it easier than ever to monitor and maintain your PC.

CAM offers a wealth of information for both new and advanced users alike that are interested in maximizing the efficiency of their PC. With its all-encompassing approach to PC health, CAM actively monitors and records all essential statistics including network speeds, storage space, component temperatures and load usage over time. Additionally, new advanced detection offers comprehensive data on CPU / GPU specifications, motherboard voltages, HDD S.M.A.R.T. data and much, much more.

PC Leaders Continue Growth And Share Gains As Market Remains Slow: IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), a year-on-year decline of -2.4%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted both year on year and in comparison to the third quarter. Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volume inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year - the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining. On an annual basis, 2014 shipments totaled 308.6 million units, down -2.1% from the prior year.

Although the U.S. and Europe remained stronger than other markets, growth in these mature regions slowed from earlier in the year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) continued to strengthen, seeing only a very slight increase in volume as a number of public projects and improving consumer demand helped stabilize the market. Similarly, commercial demand, which boosted growth earlier in the year, has slowed while consumer demand is gradually coming back. Nevertheless, the market progress has been fueled by low-priced systems, including growth of Chromebooks and promotion of Windows 8 + Bing. Constraints on Bing promotions, such as limits on larger-sized devices, could remove a key market driver while some fourth quarter production was attributed to getting ahead of holiday-related production constraints in Asia in the first quarter, effectively shifting volume from early 2015 into the end of 2014.

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 14.9 WHQL Driver Suite

AMD rolled out the Catalyst 14.9 WHQL driver suite, its quarterly release of WHQL-signed drivers for AMD Radeon discrete- and integrated GPUs. The drivers add support for some of the newer Radeon GPUs, such as the R9 285; and introduce a large list of game-specific performance improvements. The drivers also introduce AMD Eyefinity mixed-resolution modes, Eyefinity display alignment, new video-color and display settings in Catalyst Control Center, an updated AMD Mantle API runtime, and JPEG decoding acceleration for certain GPUs.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 14.9 WHQL for Windows 8.1/7/Vista 64-bit | AMD Catalyst 14.9 WHQL for Windows 8.1/7/Vista 32-bit

The change-log follows.

AMD Details Plans to Deliver 25x APU Energy Efficiency Gains by 2020

AMD today announced its goal to deliver a 25x improvement in the energy efficiency of its Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) by 2020.1 Details including innovations that will produce the expected efficiency gains were presented today by AMD's Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster during a keynote at the China International Software and Information Service Fair (CISIS) conference in Dalian, China. The "25X20" target is a substantial increase compared to the prior six years (2008 to 2014), during which time AMD improved the typical use energy efficiency of its products more than 10x.

Worldwide, three billion personal computers use more than one percent of all energy consumed annually, and 30 million computer servers use an additional 1.5 percent of all electricity consumed at an annual cost of $14 billion to $18 billion USD. Expanded use of the Internet, mobile devices, and interest in cloud-based video and audio content in general is expected to result in all of those numbers increasing in future years.

Intel Launches Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture

Intel Corporation today took the wraps off its brand new, low-power, high-performance microarchitecture named Silvermont. The technology is aimed squarely at low-power requirements in market segments from smartphones to the data center. Silvermont will be the foundation for a range of innovative products beginning to come to market later this year, and will also be manufactured using the company's leading-edge, 22nm Tri-Gate SoC manufacturing process, which brings significant performance increases and improved energy efficiency.

"Silvermont is a leap forward and an entirely new technology foundation for the future that will address a broad range of products and market segments," said Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer. "Early sampling of our 22nm SoCs, including "Bay Trail" and "Avoton" is already garnering positive feedback from our customers. Going forward, we will accelerate future generations of this low-power microarchitecture on a yearly cadence."

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 Released

TechPowerUp released version 0.6.7 of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. The new release brings some feature-additions, support for more graphics processors, and stability improvements. To begin with, we made room in the GPU-Z window to display TMU (texture memory unit) count. Support for a large number of recently-launched GPUs, including Radeon HD 7870 "Tahiti LE," mobile GeForce 600 series MX, and from Quadro family, were added.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 also brings a few UI enhancements. To begin with, GPU-Z remembers window position from its previous session, cutting you time for positioning it right for screenshots. Next up, when minimized, its tray icon does more than just show you the app is running. Its tooltip (visible when hovered), displays some important sensor data. A new "-tab" command line parameter allows proverclockers to script-launch GPU-Z showing a specific tab. Among the bugs fixed are one related to a crash occurring on CrossFire setups (a Catalyst-related bug), another crash occurring on NVIDIA setups when updating sensor data (GeForce driver-related bug), temperature reading on AMD "Llano" APUs is improved.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7, TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 306.97 WHQL Drivers

In wake of GeForce GTX 650 Ti launch, NVIDIA posted the latest WHQL-signed version of its GeForce software suite, version 306.97 WHQL. Recommended for Windows 8, the driver adds support for the newly-launched GPU, and is said to go well with Borderlands 2, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. New performance and stability improvements are said to cover a variety of games. 3D Vision profiles were added or improved for a large number of games.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 306.97 WHQL (International) for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit

EIZO Launches FORIS FS2333 Gaming PC Monitor

Eizo Nanao Corporation today introduced the FORIS FS2333, a 23-inch full high-definition (1920 x 1080 native resolution) home entertainment monitor. The FORIS FS2333 is designed for gaming as well as other leisure activities such as watching movies and editing photos. It features all-new tone mapping technology called "Smart Insight" with five settings for RTS (real time strategy) and FPS (first person shooter) games that EIZO co-developed with Fnatic, one of the world's leading professional esports teams.

Smart Insight automatically identifies dark areas of an image and improves visibility. Important details in the shadows such as the location of an opponent become easier to spot so gamers can react more quickly. Because Smart Insight uses tone mapping, it improves visibility in dark areas while preserving image details without reducing contrast. This is a significant improvement over conventional gaming monitors which attempt to achieve improvements in visibility by applying gamma correction uniformly across the image resulting in blur and low contrast in dark areas.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Improves IC Reliability with Customized Circuit Checks

Mentor Graphics Corp. today announced that GLOBALFOUNDRIES is helping its customers improve reliability checking by adding Calibre PERC to select 28nm bulk CMOS design enablement flows. Calibre PERC will give designers access to the new reliability verification rules developed by the IBM Semiconductor Development Alliance (ISDA), augmented with GLOBALFOUNDRIES specific checks to help prevent external latch-up. Using Calibre PERC’s unique architecture, complex reliability rules that require the integration of logical (net list) and layout (GDS) information can be fully automated, eliminating manual spreadsheet-based efforts and reducing the chances of design errors.

“In the past, verification of latch-up immunity depended on manual layout checks and rough approximations of device and interconnect resistance using traditional mechanisms,” said Bill Liu, vice president of design enablement at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Now our customers can perform accurate measurements and analysis automatically using Calibre PERC’s data integration capability. For example, some of our customers are currently using PERC to accurately determine the resistance of the paths in complex output driver arrays as a function of device spacing. This allows them to easily and accurately detect points in the circuit where latch-up could be an issue and to make appropriate improvements.”

Dell Launches 12th Generation PowerEdge Servers

Dell today announced additions to the PowerEdge portfolio with new blade, rack and tower servers designed to deliver value and performance in demanding enterprise and mainstream environments. The new blade servers offer strong performance gains and improved efficiencies from the shared power, cooling and network infrastructure, and professional IT services. The new tower and rack servers are built to enhance customer IT infrastructures with enterprise-class capabilities and tailored chassis designs for small and midsize businesses.

Dell introduced industry-leading innovations in the PowerEdge 12th generation servers based on input gathered from more than 7,700 customer interactions in 17 countries across four continents. The company was the first-to-ship servers based on the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family with the first wave of PowerEdge 12th generation servers in March 2012.

FLA Secures Commitment to Limit Work Hours, Protect Pay at Apple's Largest Supplier

After a thorough, independent investigation found significant issues with working conditions at three factories in China operated by Apple's major supplier Foxconn, the Fair Labor Association secured groundbreaking commitments that will reduce working hours to legal limits while protecting pay, improve health and safety conditions, establish a genuine voice for workers, and will monitor on an ongoing basis to verify compliance. The nearly month-long investigation found excessive overtime and problems with overtime compensation; several health and safety risks; and crucial communication gaps that have led to a widespread sense of unsafe working conditions among workers.

"The Fair Labor Association gave Apple's largest supplier the equivalent of a full-body scan through 3,000 staff hours investigating three of its factories and surveying more than 35,000 workers. Apple and its supplier Foxconn have agreed to our prescriptions, and we will verify progress and report publicly," said Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, a coalition of universities, non-profit organizations and businesses committed to improving the health, safety, fair treatment and respect of workers worldwide.

Palit Makes GeForce GTX 680 JetStream Official

Palit Microsystems Ltd, the leading graphics card manufacturer, announced a brand new Jetstream series at the GeForce GTX 680 The Palit Jetstream series of graphics cards features innovative cooling and an optimized product design to deliver gamers the ultimate gaming experience. As the latest and most powerful GPU in the series, the Palit Jetstream GeForce GTX 680 Jetstream guarantees gamers cutting-edge performance and an explosive new gaming experience.

The factory overclocked Palit GeForce GTX 680 Jetstream is at boost clock 1150 MHz that is +92 MHz than the standard speed and 2GB GDDR5 memory clock is set at 6300 MHz (+292 MHz higher). Equipped with the Jetstream cooler and optimized product design, Palit GeForce GTX680 Jetstream performs 12.5% higher at 3DMark11 Xscore and average 10% higher among all hot gaming titles.

Intel Announces Atom CE5300 Media Processor Aimed at Media Gateways

Today Intel announced the Intel Atom CE5300 Media Processor aimed at the next generation of set-top boxes and media gateways. Performance, graphics, power management and user interface improvements in this new product family enables service providers to deploy comprehensive and immersive connected experiences such as the new Amino Freedom Live media gateway which can deliver content seamlessly to TVs, smartphones and tablets around the home. Inside Scoop has more details about this next wave of silicon for platforms supporting the “smart TV experience.” For more information, read the inside scoop on the Atom CE5300.

Firefox 11 Launches Today

Over two months after launching Firefox 10, and backing it up two two security updates (10.0.1 and 10.0.2), Mozilla is almost ready with the stable version of Firefox 11, which it is reportedly launching later today. Mozilla posted what was supposedly Firefox 11 stable on its FTP, before redacting it, citing that the build is not actually stable, and that QA was still on.

Firefox 11 will introduce several new features, including performance improvements. To begin with, Firefox 11 supports the SPDY protocol, all pages are loaded on SSL with SPDY, which is both faster and more secure. Firefox' bookmarks and preferences migration assistant will now support Google Chrome, letting users migrate from Chrome to Firefox. Firefox Sync will now also synchronize addons between sync'd PCs. Lastly, Firefox 11 is said to include more feature-rich developer tools. The Android version of Firefox 11 will ship with Adobe Flash, for Android 2.3 and earlier.Source: PCWorld

A Faster Internet, By Google

Boffins at Google are looking at ways of speeding up the internet. Not by making the underlying physical network faster, but by improving the efficiency of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that underpins the internet. This will have the benefit of making all networks that use the new improved version faster and being more scalable with improvements to the underlying physical network. The new TCP stack will be compatible with the old one by running alongside it and only kicking in when both client and server have it installed. This is currently implemented in the Linux kernel and is in the process of becoming the TCP standard.

There are four basic ways that they're looking at improving TCP: 1) Increase the number of TCP packets sent at the beginning of a TCP connection from three to ten. This reduces latency. 2) Reduce packet loss timeout from three seconds to one ie shorten the time between retries, which is more appropriate for modern high speed networks. 3) Use TCP Fast Open (TFO) a faster way for a web browser to initiate a connection with a website and 4) Use Proportional Rate Reduction for TCP (PRR) which is a more efficient way to deal with traffic congestion.

The research team are also looking at improved transmission recovery (data loss) in noisy mobile environments. Full technical details are available at the Google blog.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Ubisoft Loosens Restrictions. Slightly

Last week we brought you news of Ubisoft's hard three machine activation limit on Anno 2070 and how it scuppered a review by Guru3D when they swapped out graphics cards. Guru3D's post then went viral on the web and it appears that this has put sufficient pressure or 'heat' on Ubisoft to relax the restrictions just a tiny bit, since they weren't going to use any more Ubisoft games for benchmarks. So what have they done? Allowed an unlimited number of graphics card swaps. That's it, everything else stays the same, so if other components such as the CPU, motherboard etc are changed, then one will still run into this frustrating brick wall and have to get in touch with customer support to reset the activations.

New Windows 7 Bulldozer Patches Available.

Very quietly Microsoft has released two new patches available for the Bulldozer platform. According to the AMD blog these patches seem to offer little more then a 10% boost but the do improve over all performance. This is what Adam Kozak a product marketing manager at AMD had to say,

"Some of you may remember that AMD FX processors use a unique dual-core module architecture codenamed “Bulldozer”, which current versions of Windows® 7 were not specifically architected to utilize. In essence, for those with an AMD FX-8150 Processor, for example, Windows 7 sees the eight available cores and randomly assigns threads to them.

In initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, we’ve seen performance improvements of up to 10% in some applications, when compared to Windows 7. This is because the system correctly recognizes the AMD FX processor architecture and cores. Thanks to close collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, Microsoft recently completed back-porting some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors into a hotfix for Windows 7."

World's Smallest Silicon Wire Leads To Atomic-Scale Computing, Moore's Law Continues

News of quantum breakthroughs seem to be coming every few months now, edging ever closer towards the hallowed goal of building a quantum computer using quantum qubits rather than classical bits and bringing colossal improvements in computational power. This will eventually lead to applications that we can't even imagine now and possibly a true artificial intelligence of the kind one sees in the movies. Also, it would allow calculations that would normally take longer than the lifetime of the universe on a classical computer to be made in just a few seconds or minutes on a quantum one. A goal well worth striving for.

The latest breakthrough comes from the University of New South Wales, Melbourne University and Purdue University who have developed the smallest wire yet. It's a silicon nanowire, having the tiny dimensions of just one atom high and four atoms wide. This is a feat in itself, but the crucial part is that the wire is able to maintain its resistivity even at this atomic level, making it far easier for current to flow, thereby preventing the tiny wire from becoming useless. This will help with the continuation of Moore's Law, giving us ever more powerful computers at the present rate and opens the door to quantum computing within the next decade.

TechEYE has a more detailed article about this development. This is based on an ABC Radio interview with Michelle Simmons from the University of New South Wales and makes for fascinating listening.

HD 7970 Overclocked to 1.26 GHz: 28 nm Tech Really Stretches Its Legs

Welcome to the first TechPowerUp news post of 2012! Read on for a couple of impressive overclocking feats with the HD 7970 graphics card.

It looks like the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 could be a bit of a dark horse and a lot more potent than its stock specifications would suggest – excellent for creating a competitive graphics card market. The reviews at stock speeds show the flagship HD 7970 to be around 10-15% faster than NVIDIA's flagship GTX 580, which doesn't seem all that impressive since the GTX 580 has been on the market for over a year now. However, what the reviews haven't really shown, is what kind of an overclocking monster the HD 7970 is. It definitely looks like AMD could have easily beaten the GTX 580 by a much bigger margin than they did, had they wanted to and it makes one wonder why they didn't.

VR-Zone have spent the New Year weekend overclocking this beast, having reached a whopping 1.26 GHz core clock speed with their HD 7970 - and decent benchmark improvements to go with it. Also, with the fan at 100%, the card never got above a very comfortable 68 degrees centigrade while running Furmark, which is amazing considering how this test is specifically designed to heat a graphics card to the max - but please see the update at the bottom of the article. The stock cooler may be noisy, but it's certainly very effective: an excellent result which will prolong the working life of the card.

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

Radeon HD 7970 Tessellation Performance Figures Surface

Among the bits and pieces (read: slides) of AMD's press presentation that we're getting, a slide that's definitely missing is performance against competitive or previous generation graphics cards across a range of applications/games. Instead, there's a slide detailing tessellation performance improvements of the Radeon HD 7970 over the previous-generation HD 6970. On average, AMD is looking at about 1.5x (50%) improvements in the tests that it run. One has to also take in to account that the HD 7970 is a faster GPU overall, compared to HD 6970, and of course, that these are AMD's figures.


Source: ComputerBase.de

Windows 8 'Irrelevant' For PC Users

Well, it looks like the Windows 8 flagship feature, the Metro interface, isn't going down too well with PC users, according to leading market research firm International Data Corp. On top of that, there aren't really any killer improvements in the operating system that make shelling out for a new version compelling. The Metro interface, while suited to a smartphone or tablet, really doesn't do anything for a desktop PC, because it's operation is very restrictive compared to the standard desktop that's been around for over 15 years on Windows and is now a very refined and sophisticated user interface. Also, the fact that many organizations have only recently migrated to Windows 7 and are not looking to spend money in the current economic climate and go through the pains of another upgrade cycle again isn't helping. The poor economy looks like it will hamper sales of Windows 8 on its target devices, tablets, too. Finally, IDC said: "(T)here will be intense scrutiny on Microsoft’s ability to deliver a successful tablet experience aboard both x86-based tablets and on devices running ARM processors. This is a tall order for Microsoft, and while the x86 tablet strategy makes sense as a transitional solution for today’s PC users, it will be the ARM-based devices that need to shine and clear a high bar already set by Apple."

Sources: xbit labs, zdnet

IBM to Produce Micron's HMC in Debut of First Commercial, 3D Chip-Making Capability

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Micron Technology, Inc. announced today that Micron will begin production of a new memory device built using the first commercial CMOS manufacturing technology to employ through-silicon vias (TSVs). IBM's advanced TSV chip-making process enables Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) to achieve speeds 15 times faster than today's technology.

Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube features a stack of individual chips connected by vertical pipelines or “vias,” shown above. IBM’s new 3-D manufacturing technology, used to connect the 3D micro structure, will be the foundation for commercial production of the new memory cube.

IBM will present the details of its TSV manufacturing breakthrough at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting on December 5 in Washington, DC.

Ivy Bridge Official Benchmarks – Markedly Better Performance Than Sandy Bridge

Previous preliminary reports have suggested that the forthcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs will have single threaded performance on par with the existing Sandy Bridge CPUs and will mainly deliver improvements to power consumption and integrated graphics - nothing for PC enthusiasts to get excited about. However, in leaked documents sent to partners, Intel have now revealed official performance figures for IB and they look rather good. They've produced a raft of benchmarks, which reveal improvements such as 56% in ArcSoft Media Expresso, 25% in Excel 2010 and a 199% gain in the 3D Mark Vantage GPU benchmark. Unfortunately, they haven't released any benchmarks based on high performance 3D games, but it's probably safe to say that they will be similarly improved. Now, on to the benchmarks, which compare their new 3.4 GHz i7-3770 (4 cores + HT) with the current 3.4 GHz i7-2600, also with 4 cores + HT:

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