Puppy Day Shortbread

PC hardware and computing

  1. Sager NP8156 gaming laptop review @ Tom's Hardware
  2. Simulating AMD Ryzen 5 1600X, 1500X gaming performance @ TechSpot
  3. SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless gaming headset review @ Legit Reviews
  4. Toshiba P300 3TB HDD review @ KitGuru
  5. Review: Scan 3XS Vengeance Ti @ Hexus
  6. Gigabyte Aorus AX370-Gaming 5 review @ bit-tech

Games and VR

  1. Anonymous sources say Apple wants to evolve with AR @ Upload VR
  2. Volumetric capture is the swift kick in the butt VR so desperately needs @ Ars Technica
  3. Nintendo says there is no design issue causing left Joy-Con connection drops @ Nintendo Life

Science, hacks, makers and gadgets

  1. Fish evolve to reap the rewards of protected waters @ New Atlas (simulated fish anyway)
  2. Dartboard watches your throw; catches perfect bullseyes @ Hack A Day
  3. Over-reliance on GPS could cause brain regions to switch off @ New Atlas
  4. Why American farmers are hacking their tractors with Ukrainian firmware @ Slashdot (nothing EULAs like a Deere)

Cheese, memes, and RGB LEDs

  1. Limited-edition shoe from Adidas Golf is pimento-cheese inspired @ golfdigest.com
  2. Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4 memory review @ Guru3D
Colton Westrate

I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 3 years ago

    Had to take my puppy out and now I’m not first.

    • I.S.T.
    • 3 years ago

    It’s Puppy Day and y’all didn’t include any pictures of puppies or links to them? Way to drop the ball, folks.

      • drfish
      • 3 years ago

      That’s not how the Shortbread works.

        • UberGerbil
        • 3 years ago

        That’s not how any of this works.

        • I.S.T.
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah I know, but Puppy Day!

    • Voldenuit
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]Nintendo says there is no design issue causing left Joy-Con connection drops @ Nintendo Life[/quote<] Riiight. So the device loses signal, and the fix for that is to glue in a conductive strip which acts as an antenna booster, but it's totally not a design isssue, folks, honest!

      • willmore
      • 3 years ago

      I think they’re trying (not to) say that it’s a manufacturing issue. Sure, any manufacturing issue could be blamed on a design that didn’t prevent the manufacturing people from messing up, but those guys are really clever and can always find a way to mess up even the best design.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Clearly, you are a QE, or at least have been a production supervisor.

          • willmore
          • 3 years ago

          SEI/CMM level 5 FTW.

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      They probably catched it with QA, but choose to release it in the wild to launch on time. Same for the bent/scratching dock. Or the poor performance of BotW – basically, their only game in an almost ready state – where a few more months of development would have been of great help.

        • RAGEPRO
        • 3 years ago

        I could be wrong of course, but I don’t think a few more months of development was gonna help Breath of the Wild run any better, heh. The Switch hardware is not really much more powerful than the Wii U (it has drastically less memory bandwidth, for one thing). Frankly it’s shocking that a game of that scope that looks as good as it does runs as well as it does on such absolutely [i<]meager[/i<] hardware.

          • I.S.T.
          • 3 years ago

          The GPU is far, far better, at the very least. Recall that the Wii U’s GPU is about the level of a Radeon HD 4650 or so. Doesn’t take much to go past that in this day and age. The chip in the Switch is basically a Tegra X1, and that one is based off of Maxwell. Even with the same configuration in terms of ALUs, TMUs and ROPs a Maxwell GPU will be faster than an RV7x0 GPU. It’s just better setup due to the continuing advances of tech(The same could be said if you subbed any gen of GCN for Maxwell).

          [url<]http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-wii-u-graphics-power-finally-revealed[/url<] Wii U's GPU. [url<]http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-custom-tegra-processor-inside-switch-outed-as-standard-tegra-x1[/url<] Switch's GPU.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            The GPU is faster to be sure. However, it’s primarily much more -efficient-, while not actually being all that much [i<]faster[/i<]. It has less shaders and the same number of TMUs and ROPS running at a lower clock speed (at least while in handheld mode.) Maxwell is certainly a revelation compared to the old original-Terascale GPU design, but clever design can only make up for so much. The Switch has faster memory overall (and probably a smarter memory controller), but the Wii U also has 32MB of eDRAM to use for the framebuffer. The Wii U also only has 1GB of usable RAM for games. When you compare the Cortex-A57s in the Tegra chip to the three PowerPC cores in the Wii U things aren't as far apart as you might think again due to low clock rates. No doubt the Tegra X1 in, say, the Nvidia Shield Android TV is much faster than the Wii U. The Switch is not the NSATV though. Nintendo made up a lot of performance versus the NSATV with a highly customized OS and game environment (Android is, as is well-documented, terrible for games), but even still I doubt we're going to see anything on Switch that looks all that much better than, say, [url=http://i.imgur.com/sv8vHFf.jpg<]Halo 4.[/url<]* [sub<]*[i<]and that game ran at 60 FPS![/i<][/sub<]

            • Spunjji
            • 3 years ago

            nVidia’s designs have done more work with fewer shaders than AMD’s for years now, though, and rarely more so than when AMD was still running the Terascale architecture. Based on loose estimates by comparing desktop GPUs those 320 shader cores in the WiiU are at best equivalent to 192 Kepler cores at a similar clock speed – which shakes out to something like a slow-clocked Tegra K1. Standard X1 gives a roughly 50-75% boost over a standard K1, so even the down-clocked X1 variant Nintendo are running should still show at minimum a 50% improvement over the WiiU’s graphics chip when docked, and therefore should easily be breaking even in portable mode.

            I’m not sure the TMU and ROP performance is directly comparable between the older AMD and newer Nvidia architectures either. They’re definitely clocked faster when docked, at least, and there are some reasons to assume some decent performance gains have been made there:
            [url<]https://gfxbench.com/compare.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&did1=22296930&os1=Windows&api1=dx&hwtype1=dGPU&hwname1=AMD+Mobility+Radeon+HD+4650&D2=NVIDIA+Shield+Android+TV[/url<] So, yeah. All indications are that in terms of raw power, the switch ought to be a fair bit faster than the WiiU when docked. No guessing on how the eDRAM affects things in practice, though.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            I don’t know that the GFXBench link is very meaningful because we’re talking about different hardware in both cases, completely different software stacks, and so on. TMUs and ROPs are fairly standard fixed-function bits inside a GPU and modern GPUs tend to skew pretty close to their theoretical maximums on pixel and texel fillrate.

            I do think that it’s rather telling that Breath of the Wild actually runs worse when docked than in portable mode, because when docked it runs at 1600×900 but on the go it runs in 1280×720. That speaks to me of a bandwidth limitation. The 128-bit DDR3-1600 it uses for both system and graphics memory would not have been very impressive ten years ago. (The Xbox 360 has 22.4GB/sec of memory bandwidth.) A little block of eDRAM or even on-package DRAM (ala Intel Crystalwell) could have gone a long way toward improving the performance of the Switch.

            In any case, I don’t really disagree with you save perhaps on the size of the difference. There’s no question that the Switch is more powerful than the Wii U, particularly when docked. I do think that even still, the Switch is grossly underpowered (even for a mobile device), and I think Nintendo made a horrible error choosing the hardware it did for the machine. It’s a compromise made for a feature nobody wanted and the result is only downsides. It’s really a shame that Zelda: Breath of the Wild is locked to such awful hardware, whereever you play it.

            • Spunjji
            • 3 years ago

            That’s a very fair point re: GFXBench. When making the comparison initially I was looking entirely at desktop GPU equivalents; that was my attempt at crossing the streams.

            One thing I just realised is that we don’t have any info on whether Nintendo have enabled / are recommending use of half-precision. In theory that could net a significant performance boost, but the resultant downgrade in visuals would probably be too apparent on a television.

            I also agree entirely about memory bandwidth. The clock speed differences between docked and portable should easily make up for the resolution increase when docked; on the other hand the WiiU version has similar issues and it’s only ever running at 1280×720.

            Whatever the cause, I do agree that they made a poor hardware decision.

      • bacondreamer
      • 3 years ago

      Because it was designed with the range of a japanese room in consideration, basically a shoe box…

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      I notice companies usually deny there’s anything wrong with their products these days. AMD denies there’s anything wrong with the Ryzen, Apple denies everything, Nintendo denies there’s anything wrong with Switch, etc. etc.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]A manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con. Moving forward this will not be an issue, as the manufacturing variation has been addressed and corrected at the factory level.[/quote<] Good job reading the headline and not the article. Nintendo says its a manufacturing issue, not a design issue.

        • Voldenuit
        • 3 years ago

        If a design does not work with your manufacturing tolerances, then it’s bad design.

        Note that [url=https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/03/teardown-shows-antenna-design-causing-switchs-joy-con-connection-issues/<]enlarging the antenna[/url<] seems to fix the issue, and people have reported getting back new joycons from Nintendo with an extra foil strip to fix this. ars' article suggests that the original bluetooth antenna was being blocked by users' hands, so it very much sounds like bad initial design in the first place.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 3 years ago

      “Working as intended” or “It’s not an issue, but we can fix it anyway.”

    • whm1974
    • 3 years ago

    I’m siding with the farmers about them hacking their OWN tractors they brought and paid for. Seriously these kinds of EULA should be illegal.

      • superjawes
      • 3 years ago

      To be fair, those kinds of provisions in the EULA are generally tossed out when put in front of a judge.
      /not a lawyer

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      All EULAs should be illegal, and all governmental consumer protection laws should be applied in these sorts of cases.

        • NovusBogus
        • 3 years ago

        You’re gonna be waiting a long time if you expect a government body to actually care about something that’s not actively bribing the officials. Sure there’s the mighty farm lobby, but that’s dominated by big companies that actually like the idea of Tractor-as-a-Service (TaaS) so they won’t push the issue.

        Better bet is for farmers to buy a competitor’s product. Money talks.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      You think that’s bad? For some crops, [url=https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5142-seed-laws-that-criminalise-farmers-resistance-and-fightback<]EULAs prevent farmers[/url<] from gathering and sharing or replanting the seeds from the crops they grow.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<] Anonymous sources say Apple wants to evolve with AR [/quote<] So a literal reality distortion field?

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      Well, it’s their expertise after all.

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