Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category
After a brief tease earlier this summer, AMD just announced pricing and availability for its new market-leading FirePro W9000 graphics processing unit — the $3,999 GPU is available now through AMD resellers, and is compatible with Supermicro SuperWorkstations. Joining that “world’s most powerful” rig are the W8000, W7000 and W5000, which sell for $1,599, $899 and $599, respectively, and can each power six 30-inch 4K displays.
Power-hungry pros will want to opt for the top-of-the-line model in order to take advantage of four TFLOPs single precision or one TFLOP double precision, along with 6 gigs of high-speed GDDR5 RAM. The W8000, on the other hand, offers 3.23 TFLOPs single precision and 806 GFLOPs double precision, followed by the W7000 with 2.4 TFLOPs / 152 GFLOPs, both with 4 gigs of RAM, along with the W5000, which packs 1.27 TFLOPs single and 80 GFLOPs double, with 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM.
Design pros with slightly more modest demands may find the FirePro A300 APU more in line with their budgets — we don’t have precise pricing to share, since third parties will ship their own configs, but terms like “entry-level” and “mainstream” make it clear that you won’t be drawing in more than a couple zeros in the checkbook to make your purchase. The integrated solution utilizes AMD’s Turbo Core tech, supports Eyefinity and Discrete Compute Offload, and can power horizontal display arrays of up to 10,240 x 1,600 pixels.
SOURCE via AMD
Plextor’s newly launched M5 Pro is angling to be the top dot on the SATA III SSD spec charts — and looks like it will mostly succeed. The Marvell Monet controller lets the unit hit a continuous 540 MB/s read and 450 MB/s write speeds for the larger models, as well as a hefty 94,000 read and 86,000 write IOPS. Those figures would put it ahead of or alongside most of its competitors except in steady write speeds, but Plextor claims that hustle is not the model’s only trick. It also makes use of “True Speed” tech to minimize performance drops with age, uses 128-bit error correction to eliminate data inaccuracy and offers 256-bit full-drive encryption. The 128GB, 256GB or 512GB drives will be available mid-August for prices that have yet to be determined, but it’s likely to be well north of its budget namesake, the M5S.
It’s been almost exactly a year since we first heard about NVIDIA’s Maximus technology, and today the firm’s just announced an update. The second generation of the platform is now supported by Kepler-based GPUs. This time around computational tasks get ferried off to the SMX-streaming K20 GPU ($3,199 MSRP,) leaving the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution-supporting Quadro K5000 GPU ($2,249) to tackle the graphical functions. Want to know when you can get your hands on the goods? Well, NVIDIA says starting December, with the Quadro K5000 available as a standalone in October.
Following a first leak of the 660 Ti courtesy of TweakTown, which is on a mission to break release dates to get Nvidia’s attention, we recently got confirmation the card is, in fact, on its way to stores.
A Swedish retailer posted a pre-order opportunity of the Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II graphics card hinting to a price of just under $400 for this card.
Based on Kepler architecture, the 660 Ti will run on 1,344 cores and integrate 2 GB of GDDR5 memory using a 192-bit memory bus (with 144.2 GB/s bandwidth). The card is nearly identical in its specs to the GTX 670 (which has a 256-bit memory interface with 192.2 GB/s bandwidth), which sells in the $400 neighbourhood as well, but we expect the new card to use less power and distance itself in price. The price mentioned on the Swedish site may be a pit premature and optimistic. A $350 target for volume cards seems more realistic to us, but we’ll find out soon.
SOURCE via videocardz
The final price may end up being more than the initially proposed $186 million, but Seagate has successfully acquired a controlling share of LaCie stocks. The provisional price of €4.05 per share could increase to €4.17 if Seagate manages to accumulate 95 percent of the company’s stocks in the next six months. As of now, however, it hold just shy of 65 percent, enough to take control of the French manufacturer. With LaCie and its valuable consumer business under its belt and Samsung’s SSD expertise, the move to reject a Western Digital take over is looking better and better. After all, consumer choice is the engine of capitalism and now Seagate has more than enough ammunition to take on WD and its Hitachi properties.
It’s been a while since ARM announced its next generation of Mali GPUs, the T604 and T658, but in the semiconductor business silence should never be confused with inactivity. Behind the scenes, the chip designers have been working with Khronos — that great keeper of open standards — to ensure the new graphics processors are fully compliant with OpenCL and are therefore able to use their silicon for general compute tasks (AR, photo manipulation, video rendering etc.) as well as for producing pretty visuals.
Importantly, ARM isn’t settling for the Embedded Profile version of OpenCL that has been “relaxed” for mobile devices, but is instead aiming for the same Full Profile OpenCL 1.1 found in compliant laptop and desktop GPUs. A tall order for a low-power processor, perhaps, but we have a strong feeling that Khronos’s certification is just a formality at this point, and that today’s news is a harbinger of real, commercial T6xx-powered devices coming before the end of the year. Even the souped-up Mali 400 in the European Galaxy S III can only reign for so long.
Solid-state drives cost just a fraction of what they did a few years ago, but with prices that can still exceed $1,000, you could hardly label them as cheap. Crucial still aims to put solid-state storage within reach of those on a budget, however, releasing its 2.5-inch v4 drive with pricing that starts at $50. That entry-level model will net you just 32 gigs of storage — hardly a lust-worthy sum — but the series is also available in configurations of 64GB ($70), 128GB ($100) and 256GB ($190), offering read speeds of up to 230 MB/s and write speeds of up to 190 MB/s with SATA 2-capable desktops and laptops. The v4 joins Crucial’s higher-end m4, which offers much speedier performance and Ultrabook-friendly configurations to boot.
SOURCE via Crucial
We suppose after a reasonably high-profile defection of one of AMD’s own to Apple, the Sunnyvale company had to exact revenge. That payback was announced today in the form of Jim Keller, the now former platform architecture head in Cupertino, who will be joining AMD as corporate vice president and chief architect of its microprocessor unit. In a statement, the company said that Keller will be leveraging his “low-power design expertise,” possibly as part of its oft-rumored ARM plans. Keller previously worked as VP of design at P.A. Semi before being brought into the Apple fold where he played an important role in the development of the processors inside the iPad, iPhone and Apple TV. With AMD struggling to keep pace with Intel in both the desktop and laptop space, a move into low-powered mobile chips could be a plan to stave off more dire days.
The GHz Edition was supposed to deliver a significant mid-cycle performance bump to AMD’s flagship 7970, without any attendant rise in cost. Instead, according to AnandTech, it looks like third-party vendors are looking to exploit the GE has a chance to max out every other spec in addition to the updated silicon and then charge a premium. Sapphire’s new Toxic card is a case in point — a 6GB double-helping of VRAM and a “Lethal” BIOS mode that takes base clock up to 1150MHz and memory clock to 6.4GHz (compared to 6GHz on the stock card). Those who can splutter up $699 will surely love it, but it’s no substitute for the $499 upgrade that AMD originally intended.
SOURCE via Anandtech
AMD has been suffering a conspicuous brain drain, with executives like ATI veteran Rick Bergman and CTO Eric Demers crossing over to tangentially or directly competitive companies like NVIDIA and Qualcomm. Chalk up another one for the list — strategic development VP Bob Feldstein has bounded towards NVIDIA’s (literally) greener pastures. The blow cuts deeper than usual through Feldstein’s responsibility for graphics in most of the consoles from the past few years: he headed up work behind the Xenos chip in earlier Xbox 360s and the Hollywood core in the Wii, and he likely had some say in the Wii U’s video hardware as well. While the staff shuffle won’t directly affect AMD’s Fusion processors or Radeon cards, it’s hard to see much of a positive for AMD’s future in video gaming, even in the light of rumors that the next PlayStation and Xbox might use some of Feldstein’s work.
SOURCE via Wall Street Journal