The TR Podcast 121: APUs, GPUs, and SSDs

Plus a bird in our studio, listener mail, and more
— 12:37 AM on October 15, 2012

The Tech Report Podcast Date: October 14, 2012
Time: 1:29:54

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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


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Show notes
This episode starts off with Jordan's harrowing tale of bird wranglers and avian escapes, followed by three listener mail questions, including one from a graphic designer who's chewing through hard drives. (Jordan suspects a unsafe home environment.) Another listener dares to ask two questions in the same episode, both of which we answer, because we're nice. Then, after a quick revisitation of the iPhone 5, it's back-to-back AMD talk with a look at the tablet-targeted Z-60 APU, Scott's deep-dive review of the Trinity desktop APUs, and an overview of desktop CPU prices throughout the past three years. Then, Cyril breaks down the performance of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 Ti, Geoff rounds out the episode with a look at the latest SSD price declines.

PS: Here is a picture of the owl, as promised.

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

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

Listener mail/tweets:

Dead hard drives? - from Jon - (0:04:23):

"I am a graphic artist and have hundreds of clients with hundreds, if not, thousands of files that are manipulated, created or deleted daily. Over the past 10 years I have noticed that I burn through a hard drive once a year for the past 5 years or so. I'm using up less than 1/2 of the capacity on these drives and they go bad almost yearly. I've used WD Black and Green, Seagate drives seam to last a wee bit longer, but I wouldn't recommend a Hitachi drive to anyone. I'd prefer the 7,200 RPM drives, but I've traditionally used the slower drives for my Data drives. I try to defrag the drives once a week, run CCleaner to clean up temporary files and internet cache, etc. But eventually, the bad sectors will start showing up and rebooting the machine will cause the Windows Disk Checker to run on startups and I notice that it finds and fixes some, but it's a tell-tale sign that things are going tits up when Outlook or Chrome take well over 5 minutes to load up along with the various graphic applications that I use. Is there ANYTHING that I am missing, or is this just what I have to look forward to when working the hard drive as much as I am required to do? I do back up with Carbonite and make monthly images to offline drives monthly, so re-imaging a new drive is quick. But, there is always that risk of something not working when an image is read for the first time in the Windows environment."

Two questions - from P Jones - (0:12:18):

"1. In regards to the new Win8 hardware especially the Intel atom Clover Trail SOC and the AMD Hondo solution, what are your thoughts. How come no one is talking about the slow eMMC controller on the atom SOC and the 2GB limitation on either Intel and AMD, the $500+ price tag of intel based SOC tablets. I don't remember the last time, 2GB would suffice for simple multiple tab web browsing. I really like all the other spec (i.e. IPS screens, digitizers, mobile base band radio, etc.).

2. Are these really significantly different platforms: Quad Core Snap Dragon, TI OMAP, Intel atom Clover Trail, Nvidia Tegra 3, AMD Hondo, Intel IVB/Haswell 10W. Doesn't usually always come down to power efficiency. What's the point of a power sipping solution if it doesn't do much!? Next years solutions seem to be the better option from both performance and price!"

Tech discussion:

    The case for the iPhone 5? - (0:22:57)

    AMD aims Z-60 APU at Win8 tablets, hybrids - (0:30:22) - Read more

    AMD's A10-5800K and A8-5600K 'Trinity' APUs reviewed - (0:34:57) - Read more

    As AMD struggles, Intel chip prices stagnate - (0:51:38) - Read more

    Review: Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card - (1:01:10) - Read more

    SSD prices continue tumbling in Q3 - (1:15:12) - Read more - OCZ warns of 'significant' Q2 net loss

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

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