Sunday Shortbread

The Fearsome Foursome

  1. VR-Zone reports AMD A-series / E-series desktop roadmap revealed
  2. Fudzilla reports AMD’s Phenom II X6 to EOL by Q1 2012
  3. X-bit labs: Intel’s next-generation Extreme processors to retain Core i7 trademark
  4. ATi-Forum reviews Duke Nukem Forever (in German)


Sunday

  1. Phoronix has final benchmarks of Project Dirndl
  2. Fudzilla reports Samsung releases 30nm DDR3
  3. C|Net: Can we ‘grow’ a new generation of audiophiles?

Hardware

  1. Tech ARP’s BIOS option of the week – SDRAM row cycle time
  2. HardwareOC reviews ECS H67H2-I (in German)
  3. KitGuru reviews Razer BlackWidow keyboard
  4. InsideHW reviews 1000W OCZ ZX series PSU
  5. Technic3D reviews Lancool PC-K59 case (in German)
Comments closed
    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]C|Net: Can we 'grow' a new generation of audiophiles? [/quote<] No, i checked, the author isnt who i thought it was..

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      Please don’t, it was hard enough to wait for the last crop to die off. Just let people with too much money and too little good judgement buy apple products like nature intended.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 9 years ago

        There is a tremendous difference between the clowns that buy monster cable and actual audiophiles.

          • DancinJack
          • 9 years ago

          What? Monster cables don’t make everything look and sound better? I have been mistaken all this time.

        • Goty
        • 9 years ago

        How is being a PC enthusiast any different than being an audiophile? We spend tons of money on the best hardware just to be able to play our games at the highest detail settings or get the best scores on some random benchmark whereas and audiophile spends money to get the best listening experience possible. I’d even venture to say that audiophiles get a better return on their money since their systems aren’t considered slow and out of date within a year.

          • UberGerbil
          • 9 years ago

          PC enthusiasts don’t spend tons of money on pixels that that aren’t really there but they nevertheless claim to see, or on CPU enhancements that are entirely imaginary. “Creamy smoothness” aside, the features and benefits that PC enthusiasts purchase are objectively and independently verifiable.

            • jpostel
            • 9 years ago

            Umm… so you can tell the diff between 127 FPS and 137 FPS? Because pretty much every commenter on video card reviews think that is worth going to battle over. How about between an OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Crucial C300? ATI vs Nvidia? Intel vs. AMD? Windows vs. Mac? Fanboys and trolls exist in both the PC and audio world.

            Substitute the proper nouns from any serious technical audio review and PC tech review and they would be almost indistinguishable.

            • Goty
            • 9 years ago

            Your problem is an understanding of who and what audiophiles really are. An audiophile is in no way the kind of person who goes out and buys a $200 Monster Cable power cable and expects it to make their music sound better. In general, they’re much more intelligent than you seem to give them credit for.

            • willmore
            • 9 years ago

            You seem to want to redefine the term to make your point. I won’t bite. Audiophile isn’t a synonym for ‘high end audio enthusiast’.

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            You seem to >be< operating under an erroneously RE_defined meaning of the term.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 9 years ago

            Not to be a dick but how do you explain the KillerNIC with your hypothesis?

            SMP rigs were generally referred to as creamy smoothness back before multicores made them ubiquitous.

          • Deanjo
          • 9 years ago

          That one is easy to answer. When you buy the best PC hardware there is real life performance gains that the end user can actually see and utilize. The “audiophiles” however tend to walk outside of reality a lot of times claiming they can tell differences in products that even test equipment has a hard time telling the difference. The differences in the product is so small that any detected difference is made by a placebo observation.

            • PenGun
            • 9 years ago

            Go listen. It’s the only way. Find a high end store and take your favorite CD and they will play it for you. That is also how you can choose a system by what sounds best to you. If you can find vinyl of the same music take it too to see what is possible.

            • Deanjo
            • 9 years ago

            I am very well aware of what is possible. I’m not saying that all audio equipment sounds the same just that most “audiophiles” BS so much that they actually start believing what they say like “coaxial spdif is better the optical”, “99.9% oxygen free wire sounds better then 99% oxygen free wire””, etc. Especially when put to blind AB comparisons in reality they couldn’t tell the difference from a high end wire from a clothes hanger.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 9 years ago

          It seems that the folks answering you have an image in their mind as to what an audiophile is and are just spreading their uninformed opinion around. Sure there’s crackpots everywhere. I can’t even afford most of the stuff I’ve heard (for sure none of the stuff that is car to house expensive).

          When you go into a high end stereo place and listen to your favorite music on something that costs oodles of cash you begin to really appreciate the differences. Doesn’t mean most people can tell because look at most pc audio – highly compressed, lossy, and most times over some realtek piece of garbage. It takes awhile to develop an ear.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 9 years ago

            I think the problem is that you underestimate the number of “crackpots” who claim to be audiophiles.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 9 years ago

            That may be true as well. I remember folks swearing that drawing a green ring in marker on cds made them sound better. I tried not to offend them and politely disagreed.

            One of my teachers talked about speaker design and talked about something called a whizzer that was essentially a cone placed over the inner circle of the speaker which had been marketed as making the speakers that had them have better frequency response. We had a good chortle at that.

            Part of it is very successful marketing and none of us are entirely immune from ridiculous claims.

            That said, there is a very significant difference between a 100, 1000 and a 10000 stereo system. Some can hear it, some can’t. Sure some of it is snake oil and the emperor’s new clothes, but not all or even most of it.

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            “That said, there is a very significant difference between a 100, 1000 and a 10000 stereo system. Some can hear it, some can’t. Sure some of it is snake oil and the emperor’s new clothes, but not all or even most of it.”

            … and the audible difference between a 100, 1000, 10000 system usually results from an >aggregate<
            of factors of higher end systems, not any one ‘magic bullet’ factor (ie: green CD marker treatments and oxygen free cables). While oxy free cables can contribute to better sound (via reduced unwanted capacitance), it would need to be applied consistently throughout an entire audio signal chain from program source to voice-coil windings… True audiophiles understand this, and while they might strive for/clamor for products that are oxy free, they don’t over emphasize their significance to such a degree as to waste money on them in lieu of more significant contributions to audio degradation.

            We need a new term for the “Oxy-morons”, “green-goobers”, and “Monster-mashers” crowd: AudioFollis

            • Goty
            • 9 years ago

            It’s simply bigotry in the same vein as bigotry by or against religious peoples. Comparing the statements in either argument is actually pretty interesting.

            • willmore
            • 9 years ago

            Yes, ‘bigotry’ in that one side has objective, verifiable data while the other has self servinging opinions. You’re right, it’s *exactly* like that.

            • Goty
            • 9 years ago

            Bigotry: “Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

            Since I don’t seem to see anything referencing “objective, verifiable data” in that definition, yes, it’s bigotry.

            • willmore
            • 9 years ago

            You’re asserting that people who find these extreme audiophiles to be intolerable do so because of a difference in belief system. That is an interesting assertion, but not one I have made. Nice strawman, BTW.

            What I’m saying is that some people find extreme audiophiles intolerable because of the behaviors of that latter group–namely in ignoring reality when it comes to determining the desirability of audio equipment. Secondarily, because this promotes a whole ecosystem that feeds these irrational people.

          • Farting Bob
          • 9 years ago

          You make an interesting point, we are both enthusiasts for a piece of technology (and no doubt there is some overlap between the 2 groups) but most people here probably spend less than $1000 every few years on their PC. You need to invest much more than that if you want to really enter the audiophile territory. Sure you can get by with good sound for less, but in the same way you can get by with low end graphics to play the latest games.

          Also, it helps that most PC componants can be measured and give a definite improvement. High end audio is almost entirely subjective, which is why you have insanely priced stuff that costs more than a car or pure snake oil to coat your vinyl in.

            • willmore
            • 9 years ago

            Audio can be measured just as objectively as any PC hardware. What makes an audiophile an audiophile is *ignoring* those objective measurements and asserting their own subjective ones.

            Just like any nVidia/ATI, AMD/Intel, Apple/PC fanboy, their rejection of objective reality is what sets them apart.

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            re: “Audio can be measured just as objectively as any PC hardware. What makes an audiophile an audiophile is *ignoring* those objective measurements and asserting their own subjective ones.”

            Boy, do you have the cart before the horse. True audiophiles do NOT ignore objective measurements. They simply aren’t totally/exclusively governed by them in purchasing decisions, nor should they be. You seem to be pitting audiophilism against objective ‘purism’ in some false dichotomy. It just doesn’t work that way. Audiophiles who determine what is ‘good sound’ totally by scope readouts, and TIM/THD ratings are not true ‘audiophiles’, but misguided ‘purists’ in search of an ever elusive goal and are never truly content because they (more often than not) can’t find what they want because they’re such a dull lot overly concerned about ‘specs’. In short, they’re tail-wags-dog types.

            Audiophiles generally tend to know what they want, and are governed more by subjective determinations. Although they value objective readout data, they aren’t governed by them in making purchasing decisions for their listening environment. They use objective listening/testing to accurately quantify what their listening preferences are so as to be able to achieve those preferences in additional/future purchasing/integration decisions. They also tend to be micro-managerial at the component level, just as PC tweakers are.

            Yes, we audiophiles >do< prefer a slight compromise in THD, w/minimal compromise in TIM distortion, and consider damping factors, slew factors and slew rates of components, some of us still prefer discrete components over IC op-amps. Yes, we do prefer valve/tube amplifiers for some applications over SS amps, yet at the same time we embrace digital where it makes sense to do so.
            Some of us prefer using tube based pre-amps for live vocals before going into a digital based stagebox on a digital system. Some of us prefer working in the analog realm in live sound, while others are more digital purists.

            By whatever definition you seem to think governs the proper use of the term, one thing audiophiles have in common is that they know what sounds good – not your beloved Apple-topian values. True audiophiles are those who seek to truly understand their equipment and why it works the way it does, but also prefer to have the latitude to modify/tweak their hardware to coax what they want out of it.

            Apple products, while good, are simply out of their element trying to cater to true audiophiles because they are designed by a company run by a close-minded myopic ‘my way or the highway’ CEO who seeks to impose his vision on everyone with shiny play-toy widget-thingies.

            If Apple were to try to spin off an ‘Apple Audio’ company – they’d be a spectacular FAIL in any product past the digital signal processing stages as soon as they hit DACs. Besides, they couldn’t even begin to pull it off in light of the competition they’d be facing from companies with far more experience then they have in audio, beyond any general consumer level, but could never cater to audiophiles of semi or prosumer levels.

            • willmore
            • 9 years ago

            [b<]True audiophiles do NOT ignore objective measurements. They simply aren't totally/exclusively governed by them in purchasing decisions, nor should they be. You seem to be pitting audiophilism against objective 'purism' in some false dichotomy. It just doesn't work that way. Audiophiles who determine what is 'good sound' totally by scope readouts, and TIM/THD ratings are not true 'audiophiles', but misguided 'purists' in search of an ever elusive goal and are never truly content because they (more often than not) can't find what they want because they're such a dull lot overly concerned about 'specs'. In short, they're tail-wags-dog types.[/b<] That's very nicely said, but good writing doesn't sufficiently hide that you just said that "facts don't matter, our subjective beliefs do." [b<]Audiophiles generally tend to know what they want, and are governed more by subjective determinations. Although they value objective readout data, they aren't governed by them in making purchasing decisions for their listening environment. They use objective listening/testing to accurately quantify what their listening preferences are so as to be able to achieve those preferences in additional/future purchasing/integration decisions. They also tend to be micro-managerial at the component level, just as PC tweakers are.[/b<] Restated, "they want what they want and only use objective data to support their exisiting beliefs" in a nice case of confirmaiton bias. [b<]Yes, we ... [deleted]... prefer working in the analog realm in live sound, while others are more digital purists.[/b<] [b<]By whatever definition you seem to think governs the proper use of the term, one thing audiophiles have in common is that they know what sounds good - not your beloved Apple-topian values. True audiophiles are those who seek to truly understand their equipment and why it works the way it does, but also prefer to have the latitude to modify/tweak their hardware to coax what they want out of it.[/b<] You can keep putting airs on, but what you're saying is "we know what we want and data will not get in our way." You're also incorrect in thinking I'm an apple fan. [b<]Apple products, while good, are simply out of their element trying to cater to true audiophiles because they are designed by a company run by a close-minded myopic 'my way or the highway' CEO who seeks to impose his vision on everyone with shiny play-toy widget-thingies.[/b<] See, who ways we can't agree on some things? [b<]If Apple were to try to spin off an 'Apple Audio' company - they'd be a spectacular FAIL in any product past the digital signal processing stages as soon as they hit DACs. Besides, they couldn't even begin to pull it off in light of the competition they'd be facing from companies with far more experience then they have in audio, beyond any general consumer level, but could never cater to audiophiles of semi or prosumer levels.[/b<] Here, we would disagree. I think apple will probably sell a lot of anything they design. For two reasons. First, becuase they'd find a way to integrate it into their existing products in some arguably useful way. Secondly, because they'd put it in a brushed Al box with a glowing apple on it. That's worked for them so far.

        • mutarasector
        • 9 years ago

        re: “too little good judgement buy apple products like nature intended.”

        I already have an ‘apple’ product (of sorts) – a 30 year old McIintosh tube amp. Just recently re-tubed/biased it, and it still works/sounds great. Apple could never make anything that rivals it or my Conrad Johnson.

    • yogibbear
    • 9 years ago

    This is a shortbread I can get my teeth around.

    • ET3D
    • 9 years ago

    “AMD’s Phenom II X6 to EOL by Q1 2012” – hopefully Bulldozer will be out by then.

    “E-series desktop roadmap” – looks like AMD has a lot of E-350 chips which don’t fit into the thermal envelope, so plans to sell them as either E-350D or E-300.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      I’m sure Bulldozer will be out well before then. But some of the chips on that roadmap look pretty impressive. The A8-3800 is a 2.7 GHz quad-core with a 600 MHz 6550 GPU with 400 shaders – all in a 65W package. Very nice; ideal for routine home/office applications. Now I just wish they’d take the A8-3850, which is a 2.9 GHz quad-core with a 100W envelope and see just how much more graphics power they could squeeze into it while sticking to 125W. I’ll bet it would make a great all-around package that could do a perfectly acceptable job of all but the most extreme games, and in a total-package that would be a fraction of the cost of doing it with discrete components.

      Next spring’s TR System Guide is going to be very interesting…

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        Actually it’s a waste of the GPU for home/office applications…it’s overkill, so not ideal.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        “Now I just wish they’d take the A8-3850, which is a 2.9 GHz quad-core with a 100W envelope and see just how much more graphics power they could squeeze into it while sticking to 125W.”

        You’d need like 2.4 GHz RAM to see it accomplish anything. It’s not that you can’t do it. It’s that OEMs won’t, and that’s who these CPUs were made for.

        “I’ll bet it would make a great all-around package that could do a perfectly acceptable job of all but the most extreme games…”

        I assume your’e referring to desktops. It’s just right for 1366×768, like most laptops, but that hasn’t been a standard pixel count for desktops since 1280×1024, years back. 1080p is double that pixel count. Llano has an integrated PCIe controller for a very legitimate reason:

        “…and in a total-package that would be a fraction of the cost of doing it with discrete components.”

        The point of Llano is not to kill off non-high end video cards – it is to work [i<]with[/i<] them for better functionality in common PCs. Llano will Crossfire with video cards that have a comparable GPU, and completely shut the card off when it's not in use. That's how they plan for it to work as a general purpose + midrange "gaming" platform rolled into one. That class of video card has already been standard at the $600 price point for over a year, including in laptops, so it doesn't significantly impact prices. Radeon 5750s, and cards in that range, like the 4850 and 4770, have been $100 for two years now, and are more than twice as powerful as Llano. There will be equivalent $50 cards within a few months. A much better graphics card isn't going to kill your wallet, and it still pairs well with Llano even if it completely outclasses it.

          • dpaus
          • 9 years ago

          Great explanations; thanks!

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      Yet they can stay in it with the E-450 and bump the clocks. Once they ship, I’d be curious to see if there’s a new mask revision in the E-450s to explain the improvement–or if it’s just binning.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        My guess is binning from process variance. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense to have a part with slower clocks (for both CPU and GPU) and higher TDP.

          • willmore
          • 9 years ago

          Could be. The normal way to address that is to clock those parts lower and fill the lower SKU bins. But, I guess if you don’t have much demand for those and it actually works at the higher clocks, then why not? You know someone just going to overclock it to that speed anyway. 🙂

            • DancinJack
            • 9 years ago

            There isn’t enough performance at lower clocks. I wouldn’t want a Bobcat at 700MHz.

            • Goty
            • 9 years ago

            I would imagine they could use such chips for embedded systems if they really wanted to.

            • DancinJack
            • 9 years ago

            The lowest TDP listed of those chips is 18W. Even if they cut the clocks, they’re probably still too power hungry for embedded systems. I don’t even know if the physical size of the chip would make that less attractive.

            • Palek
            • 9 years ago

            [quote<]The lowest TDP listed of those chips is 18W. Even if they cut the clocks, they're probably still too power hungry for embedded systems. I don't even know if the physical size of the chip would make that less attractive.[/quote<] Did you miss all the news about the sub-6W dual-core parts that still clock at 1GHz? [url<]http://www.amd.com/US/PRODUCTS/NOTEBOOK/APU/Pages/tablet.aspx#3[/url<]

            • mutarasector
            • 9 years ago

            … and those ~6W parts are still 40nm – wait until next year’s 28nm shrink. USS AMD is on the right course heading with these things.

    • basket687
    • 9 years ago

    Shortest shortbread ever…:)

      • FormCode
      • 9 years ago

      more like a mini-bread :))

        • Mr.Lif
        • 9 years ago

        I’d say more akin to a crumpet

          • yogibbear
          • 9 years ago

          Bread crumbs

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      Wow this is more like Timbits.

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