Hardware

Torvalds on HDDs: "Get thee behind me, Satan."

By Published October 17, 2012 at 6:34 am

Hard drives are the spawn of hell. They clunk, tick, and kerdunk their way to inevitable death. The very nature as a mechanical devices makes them unreliable and slow, and for high-end use, there's no reason not to get an SSD.

hdds-from-hell

Magnetically-inclined demons is what they are. At least, that's what one of the most intelligent, wacky, animated contributors to the technology industry says.

Linus Torvalds, the man behind the Linux and a driving factor in the open-source movement, has admitted that he outright refuses to use systems with magnetic spindle drives. Slashdot hosted a chat session between its users and Torvalds last Thursday, where Torvalds -- the very one who eloquently quipped, "NVidia, fuck you!" -- showed his hate for hard drives.

amd-fx-cpuAn unnamed source recently informed Reuters that AMD is to experience layoffs "close to a range of 10 percent to 20 percent" of their global workforce. Other news agencies have reported 20-30 percent. If these reports are true, it won't be a first for AMD; the company previously cut 10 percent of its workforce in November 2011, and as of February this year, was resting at just under 12,000 employees.

With thousands of employees potentially at risk of losing their jobs -- including those in engineering and marketing positions -- we can clearly see that AMD is no longer the competitive powerhouse it was in the Athlon64 days. In fact, AMD warned investors about its Q3 revenue showing a 10 percent decline, previously forecasted at 1 percent.

The large drop in revenue was "due to weaker than expected demand across all product lines, caused by the challenging macroeconomic environment," reported AMD. The recent surge in tablet and mobile interest could be a catalyst of this decline.

The announcement, which noted that impending product lines could be impacted by the layoffs, rapidly spooked investors, causing a 42 percent decrease in AMD's stock. This brought their share down to $2.78, a three-year low. Intel's stock wasn't immensely affected by the decline in the PC market, but has been in decline since April. Intel, though, is a much more resilient company than AMD because of its significant lead in the market; at the time of this article's writing, Intel's market cap is about 56 times higher than AMD's.

New Ultrabooks May Change PC Gaming Marketshare

By Published October 09, 2012 at 12:42 am

Ultrabooks: You’ll be seeing more of them, just you wait. As mobile processors continue to adopt powerful integrated graphics chips, as we've seen in AMD's Trinity and Intel's 3rd Generation CPUs, portable equipment will be more viable than ever as mini-gaming platforms. A recent study by NPD DisplaySearch predicts that ultrabook sales will skyrocket in the coming years, despite a rocky and dissatisfying initial reception.

ultrabook-resurgence

Super Skyrim Bros: Mario Mod for Skyrim

By Published October 04, 2012 at 1:32 pm

If the Minecraft-like Retro mod wasn't enough for you -- and if that Gangnam Style Skyrim animated dance didn't fill an empty void in your heart -- we've now spotted a "Super Skyrim Bros" mod that turns Bethesda's Skyrim into... well, Super Mario Brothers.

skyrim-bros-slider

The mod is a total conversion/mini-game mod for Skyrim and adds new enemies, items, mechanical interactions, and an entirely new "kingdom." The mod introduces the player to a separated mini-game within Skyrim, but the worlds are individual and will otherwise not interact; that means you can install this mod and play in the Mario world without impacting your Skyrim settings. Continue on for the video.

Robot Entertainment has done it again! Their model for Orcs Must Die! 2 slowly churns out DLC at a consumable rate, in theory, while still attempting to provide enough content to keep players interested: With (what we hope is) quality content being released on a regular basis for $5 per "booster pack," the team is putting a lot of effort into keeping players coming back to try out new traps, weapons, levels, and combos.

So far, it's working -- at least, it is for our team. Continue on for a video.

omd-family-ties-slider

Insurgency 2: Everything We Know So Far (Interview)

By Published September 24, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Realistic shooters are something else -- they require a level of patience and dedication that, unsurprisingly, can make for brutal inch-by-inch firefights. It's a nice break from twitch-shooters, and while both have their place, realism-focused environments are much more rare in their success and have a tendency to scare newer players off.

insurgency-2-slider

GTX 660, GTX 650 Explored & Detailed

By Published September 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

In continuing the 'nextgen' line of gaming-grade GPUs, nVidia has officially unveiled their more budget-friendly GTX 660 and GTX 650 graphics processors, part of the Kepler lineup. After the GTX 660 Ti kicked the doors down, those of you who are still looking for new technology (but would like to save some money on a video card) may find sanctuary in the GTX 660 and GTX 650 options.

gtx-660-650-explored

Let's compare the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 650, and the three high-end cards, the 670, 680, and 690:

For those who have been following Castle Story since we first did this video of it, any Kickstarter and PayPal backers will be happy to hear that the small studio behind the game has started sending out registration emails!

cs header

OMD!2 Fire & Water Playthrough, Gameplay, and Thoughts

By Published September 07, 2012 at 4:34 pm

When paired up with DrGong and given a new game to play, I never know what sort of off-the-wall commentary we'll hear from our eccentric Chilean friend. Well, in this playthrough of Orcs Must Die! 2's Fire & Water expansion/DLC -- apart from being asked about my life as "a children" -- we had about an hour of fun with some of the new traps and mobs. And in that hour, we learned many new life skills, for instance: Jumping off of cliffs before the round starts is bad.

omd2-fire-water

You can view each of the levels below to get a feel for the game -- I've included some of my thoughts pertaining to the expansion after these clips.

Kepler's initial GTX 670 and GTX 680 may have been prohibitively expensive for some gamers, but the GTX 660 Ti is now here, and we've got the specs comparison of the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, and GTX 680.

gtx-660-slider

The 660 Ti is nVidia's new mid-range GPU, planned to ship at $300, and nVidia has a lot to live up to -- the company said at its announcement that the GTX 660 Ti is the "best card per watt ever made," and at 150W, the 28nm CUDA microarchitecture with similar core structure to the GTX 670 may mean that's true.

We moderate comments on a ~24~48 hour cycle. There will be some delay after submitting a comment.

Advertisement:

  VigLink badge