The TR Podcast 69: Answering the mailbag, living with the Pre, and the terabyte showdown

Plus Scott's iPhone 4 woes, GPU value, and more...
— 3:09 AM on August 2, 2010

The Tech Report Podcast Date: August 1st, 2010
Time: 1:23:24

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Cyril Kowaliski, Geoff Gasior

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Show notes
We start this week's episode by answering a healthy helping of listener mail questions, covering everything from home file servers to e-books. Geoff and Scott follow with parallel smartphone stories—Geoff pleased with his new Palm Pre, while Scott is somewhat disappointed with his iPhone 4.

Later, Geoff summarizes his roundup of an assortment of 7200-RPM terabyte hard drives. Then, after our panel covers three Nvidia-related news stories, Scott takes a look at Intel's newest Xeon processors, and Cyril has our latest GPU value article results.

Send in listener mail, and we'll answer on the podcast. -

Follow us on Twitter - Scott - Jordan - Geoff - Cyril - The Tech Report

Listener mail:

Home storage servers - from Keanan - (0:01:13):

"First let me start by saying that I love the show and think you guys do a great job with the podcasts. I have a question in regards to file servers. I've noticed that in several podcasts both Scott and Geoff make mention that they have file servers tucked away in closets at their house. Could you discuss the OS of choice you use for your servers ie (windows XP, server, or Linux ), the hardware (cpu, hdd, dedicated raid card or integrated like ICH9), and how you have them configured to service you and your family needs? Would you also consider the possibility of adding a how to article like you did for overclocking and building a PC?

Is optical media dead? - from Renoir - (0:06:14):

"I was wandering what you guys think about the future of optical media for backup purposes? I used to do all my backups to CD & DVDs but have now completely switched over to using hard drives, thumb drives & online backup (dropbox). I just find it so much more convenient not to mention faster. I plan to just transfer my data across to new drives every few years so the long term longevity of hard drives is a non issue for me. On a related note my primary computer is a laptop & I'm looking forward to having an SSD in place of the optical drive. Do any of you still use optical media for backup and if so why?

TR and Tablets? - from Darkmage - (0:08:52):

"The Tech Report is a site that follows & reviews PC hardware. From components such as graphics cards, CPUs, system cases, to office chairs and occasionally hand models, you guys are pretty much on top of the home PC market. Your in-depth reviews are probably only matched by manufacturer’s internal testing and many a component has been broken upon the back of the TR test rig. But what about the future? Several manufacturers have announced that they will be releasing tablet PCs soon. And I’m not talking about mobile-OS based tablets such as the iPad or the latest Android variant. I mean touch-lovin’, HDMI-out sportin’, SD Card adaptin’, honest-to-Megatron tablet PCs running Windows 7. Has the staff of TR given a thought to how they will test such beasts? What in your current test suite is irrelevant? What do you think you will need in order to properly give a tablet the once-over? Are you planning to test tablets at all? Will you compare them to desktop PCs? To laptops? To their mobile-OS based brethren? What does TR plan to do with the tablet revolution?

Graphics driver comparison? - from Tyler - (0:16:07):

"This question/suggestion goes to Cyril... but however not limited to Cyril He had mentioned that Nvidia driver revisions have increased the FPS performance of games on the GF100 graphics cards. I was wondering if maybe there would be a comparison of FPS of the original drivers vs the newest drivers out today. I feel this would be a good showing of how far Nvidia/Ati has/hasn't (that order wasn't planned haha) come with enhancing and maturing these new architectures. It would be interesting to see who has made the most strides in performance and in what games. (battle of the software driver teams)

eBooks? - from Sean (alphacheez) - (0:19:53):

"Just wondering if any of you read ebooks and what devices and software you might use to read them. I only do a little ebook reading and tend to use the Kindle or the Shakespeare app on my iPhone 3g. The Kindle getting a wifi only version for $139 looks pretty compelling but I'd like to know what you all think.
Again, great podcast. I listen frequently. I was just surprised there was not more coverage on the points above."

Tech discussion:

    Wading into the smartphone world with a Palm Pre (0:23:44)- Read more

    Scott's iPhone 4 woes (0:31:15)

    7,200-RPM terabytes from Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate, and WD face off (0:37:46)- Read more

    Mercury Research: AMD outshipped Nvidia last quarter (0:46:09)- Read more

    Businessweek: Nvidia's future hinges on Tegra, Tesla (0:48:46)- Read more

    Nvidia warns on second quarter results (0:55:56)- Read more

    Intel's Xeon 5600 processors (0:57:42)- Read more

    GPU value in the DirectX 11 age (1:06:10)- Read more

That's all, folks! We'll see you on the next episode.TR

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