Download: SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3 15.96
SANDRA will provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what's really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, ODBC Connections, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
1/100 ms accuracy for disk benchmarks (Physical Disks, File System, Optical Drives), which should be useful when testing SSD, flash or DRAM-based drives.
GPGPU asymmetric load balancer: If you have different GPGPUs in your system, Sandra will now balance the load between them with significant performance increase. In the past if you had, say, a 9600GT + 9400 you would get ~ 2x 9400 performance; now you get ~ 90% (9600 + 9400) performance as you'd expect.
AMD STREAM 1.4* support through Catalyst 9.2 and later.
nVidia CUDA 2.1 support through ForceWare 182.xx and later. CUDA 2.2 to be supported when WHQL driver will be released.
Note: CrossFire no longer needs to be disabled for multi-GPGPU support; however we have found some memory performance issues w/GPGPU mode ATI is investigating if you leave it enabled. So if you want best GPGPU performance disable CrossFire when testing GPGPU, naturally enable it for DirectX/OpenGL.
GPGPU multi-card performance with Hyper-Threading: threads for each GPGPU card are now scheduled on physical processors first, then cores, etc. Thus if you have a 2 card setup on a 2x SMP system, each card will use a physical processor, rather than being on the same processor/core.
Download: click here.
AMD Phenom X4 945 and 955BE processor review
Today AMD is releasing two processors in the Phenom II line-up, the Phenom II 955BE and the Phenom II X4 945 processor. Both processors can be considered and positioned in AMDs high-end segment, yet will be priced friendly. Yields are good, clock frequencies go up, performance goes up. And that's nice as the Phenom II series processors offer great performance for the money you have to lay down on the table. AMD Phenom series processors are slowly ripening, and are aging like fine wine (they get even better over time).
Guru3D brings you an in-depth performance review and architectural overview on both these processors. Oh yea .. and we'll overclock the living daylights out of it as well.
Check out the Guru3D review here.
Daily deals April 22 2009 - Storage
Time for a new update on some good deals. For today I wanted to focus on HDD storage. It's amazing how much volume versus price you can pourchase these days. I come from an era where I purchased a 100MB HDD for 600 USD. And yeah .. that's MB not GB ;)
Here's a HDD overview with good pricing:
- Seagate Barracuda 1500 GB Hard Drive - 1500 GB for 199 USD. Dang, times certainly changed. 7200 RPM. Go check it out $119.99
- Samsung Spinpoint F1 1000GB Hard Drive - A TB drive for under 100 bucks, we actually spotted this one for $88.99
- WD Caviar Blue 500GB Hard Drive - 16MB cache on this one with a 500 GB capacity. Just spotted for $54.99
For the more high performance freaks among us:
- Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB Hard Drive - It's hard to beat WD Raptor drives really. It's also hard to swallow the price $99.99
- VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS Internal 150GB - HDD wise, this is my personal favorite. $168.00
- WD VelociRaptor 300GB Hard Drive - Pure sweetness really - $228.00
Oh and of course I should mention at the very least my most favorite SSD series:
Gigabyte launches Ultra durable GTX 275
Gigabyte today announced latest GIGABYTE in-house design GV-N275UD-896H with GIGABYTE unique technology Ultra Durable VGA. Built with NVIDIA's latest processors-GTX 275, GIGABYTE GV-N275UD-896H features 896 MB GDDR3 memory and 240 stream processors. In addition, GV-N275UD-896H is equipped with the latest NVIDIA SLI
Complete T-Mobile Cellphone Network Failure in Germany
Around 4 p.m. this afternoon, Germany experienced the biggest cellphone network failure to date. T-Mobile, current market leader in Germany, experienced a complete network failure and left 39.1 million people without a cellphone connection for about four hours. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. this evening, first parts of the network came back online and accessible again.
In a press release, published on their web site, Guenther Ottendorfer, technical CEO of T-Mobile Germany said that the cause for the problem has been identified in form of a software problem in the Home Location Register (HLR). The HLR is responsible to establish a connection between the cellphone and cellphone radio stations.
Certain parts of the network are still experiencing system overloads and congestions, but those problems are currently being addressed and more than likely fixed within the next few hours.
IBM Develops New Memory Technology Called Racetrack
All the latest buzz is about SSDs in terms of new and faster storage solutions compared to the still dominant HDDs. While magnetic hard disk drives offer fairly large capacities at very reasonable prices, they are mechanical devices and subject to slow access times and possible failure. Solid state drives are already quite a bit faster, but this speed comes bundled with a hefty price tag. Especially, if you are interested in an SLC SSD.
IBM seems to have an interesting new technology, based on recently discovered spintronic phenomena, in the works that could change all that:
"One of these is a means of using spin currents to directly manipulate the magnetic state of nano-scale magnetic regions
AMD cuts prices on processors range
Effective immediately actually AMD has launched price-cuts for its desktop CPUs in the Athlon X2, Phenom and Phenom II range. The price cuts are dealing with Athlon X2 model 7750, Phenom X3 models 8750, 8650, 8450 and Phenom II X4 940.
More interesting is the price cut on the the current flagship product Phenom II X4 940 which now dips under 200 USD. AMD clears out the deck because it will introduce three new products, including the much Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition.
BTW check back tomorrow for a review of some of the new processors ;)
|X2 7750||2x 2,7 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$66||$60||-10%|
|X3 8450||3x 2,1 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$81||$74||-8%|
|X3 8650||3x 2,3 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$86||$79||-8%|
|X3 8750||3x 2,4 GHz||2 MiB||95 W||$122||$90||-26%|
|II X4 940||4x 3,0 GHz||6 MiB||125 W||$225||$195||-13%|
Microsoft Windows 8 already in the works
GeForce GTX 295 Quad SLI setup interfering with garage door remote
Over at the EVGA Forums from a guy who complains his new GeForce GTX 295 Quad SLI setup is interfering with his garage door remote. Apparently, the graphics cards are emitting just the right radio frequencies to interfere with the garage door opening system.
He claims that the problem resolves itself when he shuts off his system and notes that the problem never occurred in the past with any other GPUs, all while using the same power supply unit. He also mentioned that the system, located in his office room, is on another circuit from the garage's power, so the problem is certainly not likely to be an outside variable.
The observation at hand begs the question of just how valid the FCC's safety and electromagnetic interference rating approvals might be. We know that EM fields can do strange things, but as Skydive states, "[the card] has to be pushing acceptable levels by the FCC if it can jam your garage door remotes."
So .. I'm just calling a new CUDA function here !
Download: Realtek HD Audio 2.22 Driver
The latest download of Realtek's HD audio driver version available for Windows XP and Vista, it supposedly runs under Windows 7 too.
The HD audio driver version for Realtek chips is available for download on our server. This download offers both the Windows XP and Vista binaries, the files contain drivers for the 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions. All Realtek HD audio chips, which are common on many motherboards and in notebooks, are supported.
Download - click here.
Download: nHancer 2.5 beta 3
There's a new beta out of nHancer, which apparently addresses some important Forceware 185.xx issues.
But it's such a powerful and handy tool, even for the average guy. So another aspect of nHancer is to improve the handling of those profiles by adding many features that the normal control panel doesn't offer at all and improving the ones that it does offer.
Important notes - This version requires .NET 3.5! and ONLY works with drivers from the 185 series or those > than (e.g. 185.66/68, 186.xx, etc.)
Most important changes since 2.4.5:
- Switched to .NET 3.5
- Using the now officially documented NVAPI to detect nVidia cards,
the installed driver and the current SLI configuration. This should now
allow a very robust SLI detection.
- Added an elaborate new "Show GPU info" function\Added Ambient Occlusion options
- Adapted SLI Anti-Aliasing options to the current driver
- Replaced the deprecated "Forceware" name with "GeForce driver"
throughout the project.
- Removed the support for all drivers older than 185.x. The result is
a much cleaner code.
- Added new icons from Michael Wenz
- Updated all AntiAliasing compatibility flags descriptions to the
current driver (185.68)
- Removed handling for pre-G80 cards. All cards are now treated the
- Removed workaround for the driver's incorrect handling of the
"OpenGL driver extension limit" setting since the current driver does this
correctly now. (Thanks to Michael for reporting that!).
- Bugfix: OpenGL games are now also affected when VSync is forced
through nHancer (this bug must have been in nHancer since its inception...
and nobody noticed it, including me... L ).
- Improved auto-import of profiles after a new driver has been
installed. This should fix the reoccurring appearance of the auto-import
window after nHancer's is started.
Download - click here
NVIDIA Releases First OpenCL Driver
Developers participating in the "OpenCL Early Access Program" now have access to Nvidia's first OpenCL driver and the software development kit (SDK) since yesterday. Being still a beta version though, it will be improved through the feedback form the developers.
In a press release, published on Nvidia's web site, Andrew Humber, Senior PR Manager for Nvidia, writes: "The OpenCL standard was developed on NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA was the first company to demonstrate OpenCL code running on a GPU," said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of technology and content at NVIDIA. "Being the first to release an OpenCL driver to developers cements NVIDIA
Oracle Buys Sun
We reported about a possible acquisition of Sun by IBM, but Sun's board rejected the offer from the industry giant close to two weeks ago. Well, as it turns out, instead Oracle tied the knot with them yesterday and bought Sun for $7.4 Billion, although Sun brings $1.8 billion of net cash to the deal, making the net cost to Oracle as low as $5.6 billion.
"We're thrilled to be acquired by Oracle and have our technologies, innovations and communities as part of the Oracle vision," Scott McNealy, Sun's chairman, said.
The acquisition will allow Oracle to combine enterprise hardware and software into a total solution, it said. "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system -- applications to disk -- where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves," Ellison said. "Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability and security go up."
ECS GeForce GTS 250 1024MB review
A couple of weeks ago NVIDIA made some small modification to it's mid-range line-up, in specific their GeForce 9800 GTX+ product. These design changes are related to PCB board design, power efficiency and bringing the overall cost of the product down. As a result the GeForce 9800 GTX+ had what you can call an extreme makeover. Same features, same performance .. yet less power consumption and NVIDIA was able to shave off roughly 25%~35% of the sales price, bringing the GeForce 9800 GTX+ from just over 200 USD, towards sub 150 USD with 1024MB of videocard memory. All that is now labeled under the new product name, GeForce GTS 250.
Today the turn goes to the folks at ECS. Ever since the last year or two, they have been trying hard to get a grip in the e-tail and retail channel, and as a brand they are certainly growing. With a creative product design and marketing team they present us some fairly special designs and concepts.
You can read this Guru3D review right here.
MSI Launches N260GTX Lightning Fast Graphics Cards
MSI has reelased two GeForce GTX 260 video cards today. The first one being the MSI N260GTX Lightning, and the second one a N260GTX Lightning Black Edition.
Both products where already showcased at CeBit this year. The trick is that these probably are the most feature rich products you can find on the web. First iff, MSI N260GTX Lightning has twice the standard GeForce GTX 260 GDDR3 memory - 1792 MB and then utilizes a Twin Frozr cooling with heatpipes, dual slot heatsink and two big fans.
Apparantly the card design is Phase PWM, with 8 phases are reserved for the GPU and 2 phases for the memory. Furthermore, this graphics card has important overclocking features like V-Check points to measure the voltage.
Though you spot two versions, pretty much both are similar. The Lightning Black Edition is paired with the company's AirForce Panel, an external touch panel that can change the card's voltages and clock speeds on the fly. It is not included in the Lightning edition.
- Digital Sensors
- Flying OC Panel
- 8-way Heatpipes
- Exclusive 2-slot+
- 10-phase Power Supply
- Digital Sensors
WD launches 2 TB GreenPower HDDs
Western Digital Corp. today expanded its enterprise family of hard drives to include the next-generation 2 TB capacity, the largest and only 2 TB enterprise-class hard drive shipping today. Combining industry-leading 64 MB cache, dual processors, and increased areal density, WD RE4-GP hard drives yield twice the processing power resulting in as much as 25 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
WD's GreenPower technology platform is the first 3.5-inch hard drive platform designed with power savings as the primary attribute. These drives reduce average drive power consumption by up to 50 percent over currently available competitors' drives and are ultra-cool and quiet, all while delivering solid performance.
The new WD RE4-GP 2 TB hard drive provides enterprise-class reliability for storage-hungry applications, such as cloud-computing infrastructure, large-scale data centers, data archive and tape replacement systems, commercial video surveillance and digital video editing houses, with an energy- and money-saving solution that combats the challenges facing the enterprise IT sector -- limited available drive slots, maximum capacity required, and limited power and budget. Addressing the growing high-capacity enterprise market, WD RE4-GP 2 TB drives are reliability-rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF (mean time before failure) in high duty cycle environments.
Exclusive Intelligent Drive Technology
WD RE4-GP hard drives with GreenPower technology deliver exceptional power conservation, run ultra-cool and quiet, while providing solid performance. Following are several technologies responsible for the performance enhancements:
- Faster - 64 MB cache, dual processors, and increased areal density yield twice the processing power resulting in as much as a 25 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.
- Greener - Improvements in our power-conserving technologies -- IntelliSeek, IntelliPark, and IntelliPower - deliver up to an average 25 percent reduction in power consumption over our previous generation of WD RE-GP drive.
- Improved Rotary Vibration Tolerance - Advanced mechanical and servo control optimization along with system characterization and validation enable rock solid performance under extreme vibration conditions, with negligible impact to performance, substantially more robust than the previous generation, making this drive ideal for the most industrial IT applications
- Active Power Management - WD drives with GreenPower technology monitor work load and automatically invoke idle mode whenever possible to further reduce unnecessary power consumption by up to an additional 40 percent. Drive recovery time from idle mode is less than one second, providing seamless power management between the drive and the host controller.
- StableTrac - Secures the motor shaft at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking, during read and write operations.
- RAID-specific Time-limited Error Recovery (TLER) - Pioneered by WD, this feature prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
- Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) - This second generation WD RE-GP model increased rotational frequencies up to 1500 Hz, therefore optimizing operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone multi-drive systems such as rack mounted servers or in systems deployed at industrial type locations.
Availability and Pricing The WD RE4-GP 2 TB hard drive (model WD2002FYPS) is available from select e-tailers and distributors. MSRP is $329.00 (U.S.). The WD RE4-GP 2 TB will also be shown by WD partners AMCC (booth number SL13007) and Promise (booth number SL12008) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, NV.
OCZ announces SLC based Vertex SSD drives
NVIDIA starts mass production of 40nm GPUs
There's a lot of activity among graphics chipset designers for sure lately. Nvidia sets GPU outsourcing to TSMC and UMC for 2Q09, says paper.
Nvidia recently set its outsourcing schedule with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) for the second quarter, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.
In addition to expanding its 55nm GT200b GPU outsourcing, the company will also start mass production of the 40nm entry-level GT218, high-end mobile GT215 and mainstream GT214 and GT216 GPUs in mid to late second quarter, according to the paper.