The TR Podcast 27: Attack of the fanboys, the Crushinator, and crack… on crack

Date: Dec 6, 2008

Time: 1:34:30

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

Listen now:
Download: MP3 (65.0MB) | M4A (76.2MB)

Subscribe with RSS | Subscribe with iTunes

Sponsored by TheJewelStore.com, your online source for unbeatable diamond, gemstone and wedding jewelry with expert personal service.

 

Show notes

After a brief Thanksgiving hiatus, the TR Podcast is back in action with one of our best sounding episodes yet (no really, it is). The holidays are fresh on our minds as we start the show, and Scott jokes about the geekiness himself and others display by using LED Christmas lights. We go on to talk about our latest TR poll, a sneak preview of Scott’s super-high-end GPU benchmarks, this season’s new games, and the Christmas TR system guide (which includes the infamous Crushinator configuration, inspired by the namesake robot in Futurama).

Moving on to the latest TR review articles, Scott and Geoff dive into our Core i7 memory speed analysis, and they discuss Intel’s blazing fast X25-E Extreme solid-state drive. Finally, Cyril talks fondly of his new 24″ LCD monitor, and the intriguing tale of AMD’s RV770 GPU unfolds with colorful insight from Scott.

Email us with your questions and comments. – jdrake@techreport.com

Tech discussion:

    Christmas tree lights: LED vs. tungsten (0:04:06)- Read more

    Poll: How will the Phenom II do against the competition? (0:11:44)- Read more

    Scott prepares to benchmark the latest games (0:23:12)

    TR’s Christmas 2008 system guide (0:42:08)- Read more

    Exploring the impact of memory speed on Core i7 performance (0:47:47)- Read more

    Intel’s X25-E Extreme solid-state drive (1:01:34)- Read more

    HP’s LP2475w monitor: IPS at a bargain price (1:09:20)- Read more

    AMD’s engineers recount the RV770’s development (1:18:47)- Read more

That’s all, folks! Check back on December 13 for the next TR podcast.

Comments closed
    • leor
    • 11 years ago

    well it was worth a shot, but no one took advantage of the newegg coupon.

    literally.

    not one purchase made on thejewelstore.com from TR in the 8 weeks we ran the ad, I’m curious if anyone gave the site a look?

      • Pachyuromys
      • 11 years ago

      What coupon? I didn’t see any coupon. I just followed the link in the article post on the front page. Still didn’t see any. Went to Newegg. Still didn’t see any. If there’s a coupon, it’s not easy to find.

      Just a thought, as well: Perhaps, just maybe, girlfriend-less hardware junkies and other assorted geeks are not the best market demographic for jewelry?

        • Farting Bob
        • 11 years ago

        Yea as soon as they started the sponsoring, i thought it was an odd choice. Maybe TR can get a sponsor who is more relevant next time that might actually get some business out of it?

      • _Sigma
      • 11 years ago

      I did, but nothing is even close to being in my price range.

        • DrDillyBar
        • 11 years ago

        ditto

          • glynor
          • 11 years ago

          -[

      • glynor
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve given it some more thought, and I think I do actually have some more specific feedback (for both TR and thejewelstore.com) if anyone cares…

      I can totally see why you thought advertising on TR’s podcast could be a good market for your products. While it isn’t directly related to the topic at hand in the “show”, that’s okay (and the same would be true of most advertisements on TV) because it is reaching a fairly reliable section of your target audience. The podcast attracts (probably, I’m guessing here, but it is likely right) a mostly younger (18-34) male demographic. Just about the right people for the “marrying age” (and those with girlfriends) but not as many folks who have children yet. Men are your target for obvious reasons. (Again, these are gross demographic assumptions, and guesses, and there are bound to be substantial exceptions to the rule.)

      The issues I can see with this come down to a couple things:

      1) Timing. My guess is that your business is a largely event/holiday-driven business. Other than engagements, you have Christmas, Valentines day, and birthdays mostly. You covered some popular birthday months (September and October), I’ll give you that, but holiday shopping for Christmas has only just begun and I didn’t hear anything different in the weeks leading-up to the holiday. It was the same-old deal.

      On that note… To TR: Skipping the Thanksgiving holiday podcast was a bad idea from this point of view. First of all, you missed a potentially bigger audience… Holidays are when I have the MOST possible time to listen to podcasts. People driving long distances in their cars and whatnot are all good opportunities for “new or occasional” podcast listeners (who might subscribe to and download the shows, but not actually listen to them that often). Plus, that week was a particularly important one to your advertiser.

      Couple that with the fact that your entire run of the advertisements was during the height of the presidential election season (I listened to tech podcasts less and politics podcasts more, though I always still listened to every TR one) with the recent economic downturn and it just plain wasn’t the best timing.

      I understand that the holidays are a very busy time of the year, and it is when it is easiest and most desirable to take the time off. However, that weekend also happens to be when people are making a lot of tech buying decisions. Games were being released at a frantic pace, and everyone was thinking a lot about your topic.

      2) Your target audience isn’t here to think about what you’re selling. Quite the opposite, in fact. For example, like many (most) TR readers I’m a deeply involved “tech junkie”. I spend a lot of time reading sites like TR and listening to podcasts about technology news and reviews. I have some disposable income, but not a huge amount (I’m not building a Core i7 quad-Crossfire box anytime soon), so reviews of the latest ultra-high-end hardware isn’t directly relevant to my buying decisions. I come here for knowledge about the industry directions, but also for entertainment and escapism. Thinking about buying a gift for my wife doesn’t figure high on my priorities when visiting TR or turning on a TR Podcast in my car. In this way, advertising on TR is similar to advertising on a sports-car enthusiast site, or a motorcycle-enthusiast site, or audiophile site.

      That doesn’t mean that advertising to that market is useless. It just means that you have to use a more creative “way in”. The Newegg coupon was a good start, but it didn’t capture my “anti-thinking-about-wife/life-escapism” attention away. It generated more of a “well that’d be good if I was going to actually buy something like that”.

      Instead, I think something more along the lines of what Leo Laporte does for Audible would be a more successful move. For example, most of us probably know a LOT more about GPUs than we do about gemstones and jewelry. Why not take your 5 minutes an episode and teach us something about a specific “recommended” piece of jewelry each time. Most of that same target audience probably shops at a conventional jewelry store because they need to ask the sales people questions, being otherwise clueless. Instead of a conventional ad, why not do an almost TR-review like segment (we obviously like that kind of thing anyway, which is why were here) on a different piece of jewelry each time. Or spend a segment talking about what different pieces are appropriate for different events. Do a segment with tips on how ring sizing works and what types of necklaces there are (and how sizing works). All brought to you by thejewelstore.com where you can get a $50 Newegg gift certificate with your purchase.

      The TR ads were all the same, and I (honestly) often FF-ed past them after the first couple (sorry, but it is true). I actually listen to Leo Laporte’s Audible book reviews because they actually have some real content. Even though it isn’t “on topic”, it is still worth listening to. Podcasting requires a different kind of advertising than Television and Radio. It is micro-targeted advertising, and must be treated differently.

      And guess what? I’ve bought a few books from Audible. I haven’t ever “signed up for the plan” that Leo is selling (and probably won’t) but they’ve made some collateral one-off sales.

      I hope this helps. I really like the podcast and I want to see it succeed. I’m sure Damage isn’t doing it for the fun of it though, and wants to get some ad-revenue in as well.

        • _Sigma
        • 11 years ago

        Well said! You pretty much summed up my thoughts on this topic. Also should note that it’s exam time in university so I don’t have all that much time for shopping.

        • leor
        • 11 years ago

        wow, what a response!

        it was a calculated risk on my part, these guys are doing something new, and i wanted them to get some exposure. they were definitely a victim of circumstance as much as the product having nothing to do with the subject matter.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 11 years ago

    Good podcast.
    I find myself playing Sins of a Solar Empire and Hellgate London more then anything else lately. FarCry2 fell by the wayside a while ago.
    And are you going to put an Intel SSD in your two new test systems after Geoff finishes his RAID tests? Man I wish I could afford two of those suckers (capacity is still way too low).

    • travbrad
    • 11 years ago

    I just want to say nice job on the podcast. It was the first one I’ve listened to and it was entertaining (for a geek such as myself anyway) and informative. I look forward to your next one.

    I’ve been reading TR for over 7 years and built my first PC largely based on your benchmarks/reviews to help me choose what to get (XP1900+ and Radeon 8500 if you were wondering). Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • gosh
    • 11 years ago

    *[

    • ChangWang
    • 11 years ago

    Just wanted to chime in on the gaming front.

    Jordan: I agree with you about Mass Effect. Its one of the few games I bought twice (360 and PC) and have played through 3 times already.

    Fallout 3: I never got a chance to get into the previous Fallout games, but I really dig this one. I took a week off after it launched, I prolly have about 60 hours into that game! I didn’t always stick with the primary quest and explored ALOT though. I haven’t played it as much since Lich King launched, but I’m gonna try and finish it up this week so I can start a new game and play the evil destructive bastage this go around.

    About the AMD segment:

    I, for one, am just optimistic that AMD will hopefully catch up in terms of performance per $. I will admit that I’m a fanboy, but I’ve always used whats best for my $ and not just buy ish out of blind loyalty. Either way, its not like I would just go out and replace my current rig (E8400, P5Q Deluxe, 8GB and HD4850 CrossfireX) with an AMD one just because they caught up to the Penryns. Now if I were building a second machine, I might consider going the Phenom II route

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    Another great show, really enjoyed some of the awkward silences after Jordan’s jokes, especially the Christmas bonus one!

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    Meadows is an NVidia /[

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      I generally only have bias against the following:

      – Apple
      – Intel
      – Anything Adi just said

      …but I also happen to join many a discussion here and there that (optimally) have nothing to do with them. My old nVidia fanness comes from bad past experience with ATI, but that was quite long ago so it’s getting loose (my recent experiences are much better). The only major things I disagree with are rushed and buggy “monthly driver releases” with half a dozen hotfixes in their wake, and under-spinning fans making their cards hotter (but not much more silent – they should increase fan speed by 5-10%) and often fail.

        • Konstantine
        • 11 years ago

        If you haven’t had an ATI card for a long time, then how could you know how it performs…..spammer?
        I’ve had only ATI cards since my 5200 joke and I’ve never been disappointed with any of the cards I’ve owned.
        I own a sapphire 4870 1G now and the card is 100% solid, stable and cool..Haven’t had any crashes or problems till now.

        The fact is that without ATI/AMD, you, N-vidia fanboiz, would have not been able to get a gtx260 for less than 250$ or a gt280 for less than 450$.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          Because I build all my relatives’ PCs, dear troll. I have experience with both intel and AMD, nVidia and ATI.

            • Konstantine
            • 11 years ago

            You obviously have no experience with ATI cards, and probably with none of what you mentioned.

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            You’re a ban candidate.

    • slayerized
    • 11 years ago

    Looks like the economy has caught up with the podcast sponsors too…I hope that doesn’t affect your weekly podcasts. Keep up the good work.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    Oh bender… you didn’t touch the Crushinator did you?

    Of course not! A lady that fine you have to romance first!

    • MaxTheLimit
    • 11 years ago

    About the only new PC game release I haven’t played yet is Far Cry 2, and so far I’ve had the most fun with Left4Dead. Tight group of friends I play with on a private server, with public games also thrown in make it awesome. The AI in single player is always passive, but it’s still pretty fun. My only qualm is that it’s 50 bucks, while the greater portion of the game is multiplayer. I’d consider more like 30-35 bucks the price for a game like this…when you consider the price for Team Fortress 2.

    I can’t get into DeadSpace as much as I’d like, Crysis Warhead is good but it’s only just got working again for me because of DRM troubles. STALKER: Clear Sky is buggy as hell, Fallout 3 doesn’t have multiplayer and thus the singleplayer should be damned long, but I’ve seen all but everything now (exempting the evil storyline).

    I totally recommend MassEffect as the storyline is compelling and I’d say the gameplay is like an improved faster paced gunplay style of Knights of the old republic….which in itself was a good series.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    Damage, you have made judicious use of the ban stick so far. I trust your judgement.

    Regarding “shills” or whatever you want to call them, I am especially in favor of banning that type of poster.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    You guys really need to start testing some real coolers. Thermaltake as a recommendation? Really? They just knock off Zalman in their designs (hell, it’s actually probably a licensing agreement). Try Thermalright, the new Sunbeam Core Contact, or Xigmatek. Zalman hasn’t had a performance or silence lead in ages and Thermaltake? Yeah…

      • not@home
      • 11 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing.
      I have a Xigmatek and I love it. It is very efficient and keeps my processor below 35 C even when OC’ed to its limit. At least the limit imposed by my lack of OC skills (although searching the net everyone else seems to get similar OC’s as I do).

      • glynor
      • 11 years ago

      I’d really like to see some good cooler reviews done with TR-style attention to detail as well. For a couple of reasons, but mainly to see if there really is a substantial difference between different models (in performance or noise) at all. Does 2deg C make a difference if it costs $30? What options are good and what ones are poorly made?

      So many of the other reviews don’t seem to scientifically compare the different coolers to one another in ways that are quantifiable. A TR CPU cooler roundup (and maybe some aftermarket-GPU cooler stuff too) that investigates value, performance, noise, and availability would be great!

        • Skrying
        • 11 years ago

        The best two heatsinks on the market are actually around the $30 point. Which really makes the TR mentioning of the Thermaltake V1 all that more sad. The Xigmatek S1283 and Sunbeam Core Contact are both cheap and leading the pack. In comparison the Thermaltake V1 is nearly double the cost and has worse performance AND worse noise levels, how is that a heatsink even close to being worth recommending? Again, the Zalman mentioning as well says the guys at TR need to actually look over the market. Besides as a low profile option Zalman has nothing but over priced, under performing parts these days.

        I highly recommend people check out Frostytech. Their reviews follow the same format for every heatsink, they also test three thermal levels (150W, 125W, 85W) so you get a real idea of how a heatsink does at all levels. They also provide great noise level readings, and because they’ve reviewed basically every major heatsink you know where each one stands.

        §[< http://www.frostytech.com/<]§

          • glynor
          • 11 years ago

          Great link and tips. Thanks!

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    Regarding the colour dithering with the Dell 3007WFP-HC. One possible reason is the the monitor lacks a 10 or 12 bit lookup table and the display controller may be dithering the image to make up for it. I believe this should only really occur if you’ve altered colour settings or applied a colour profile to the screen. Pro graphics monitors generally have the 12-bit LUT required for smooth gradients, which I think the Dell is missing.

    A wide gamut monitor is going to exacerbate the problem since there is a greater range of colours to represent within the same 8-bit dynamic range. It’s the same reasoning behind why people hesitate to use wide gamuts like ProPhoto RGB when they’re working with 8bpc images.

    • MaxTheLimit
    • 11 years ago

    I thought the Poll was a general comment of CPUs that we’ll see over the next while, rather than pure performance comparison. Because a couple of the new Phenom II processors will allow people to possibly keep their existing mobo, possibly moving from a lower end AM2 CPU to the newer Phenom II without upgrading anything else. Whereas the new socket for the Corei7 CPU will require probably new ram (which is priced obnoxiously high right now), and a new motherboard (which are also right up there in cost). To upgrade it’s going to cost a minimum of like 800bucks (CAD). If you want to do overclocking by getting faster ram, and looking at going triple channel with 6Gigs of ram you are over a grand. I’m betting the Phenom II is going to be priced rather competitively, and with the low cost of upgrade I think they are going to sell about as well as some of the lower end Corei7 offerings (which will probably also be the higher selling of the Corei7) That being said I’ve got socket 775 right now so I’m staying Intel, and the improved performance is also a big draw for me.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    LOL @ 20min, 30sec:

    Damage: “I’ve banned a few people an’ I’ve banned a few more people–I’m thinking about banning more people.”

    Gold.

    My take: Lately I’ve been more smart-ass and less thoughtful-discussion, I’ll work on that. I’d like to think that I’m not part of the “noise” crowd, but feel free to let me know if I am.

      • Nitrodist
      • 11 years ago

      Meadows.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        But when you really think about it; /[

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          Glad to know I rock your world.

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 11 years ago

            You know, after I wrote that I realized that you *do* push Windows Vista/Windows 7 fairly heavily. You’ve _[

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Can’t recall any posts in particular, but I do remember a Prime contributor being present in each, murmuring his pre-written hypocritic mantras (he’s a major anti-Vista guy yet he didn’t switch back to XP, go figure out his mind).

            For the record, almost everyone pushes Windows 7, but my specific Vista opinion merely comes from not one, not two, but nearly ten computers of absolutely varying hardware configurations (from P4 Celerons with 512 MiB RAM to Phenom X4s with 8 gigs, both ATI and nVidia, both integrated and discrete; except intel integrated, oh lord save us from them) – I set up all of them, and it has showed me that OEM installing lemmings are either doing something wrong, or Microsoft is giving low-binned Vistas to them (har, har), but there’s nothing inherently wrong with the OS – except a few things I’m unable to encounter, like network transfer issues which are non-critical anyway. I generally believe that such user experience (as opposed to a single system accidentally working right) gives slightly more right to recommend the system to others, provided they also know how to set up one.

        • Pachyuromys
        • 11 years ago

        2nded

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    The V1 cooler got excellent reviews on its release,nice to see that confirmed by The Boss….you managed to get 2 Extreme Edition Core i7s?
    Nice to have such clout 🙂

    • mbutrovich
    • 11 years ago

    Sound quality was great.

    • Konstantine
    • 11 years ago

    Lets hope for the phenoms to be at least competitive with the 45nm core 2s for the sake of competition.

    • Skrying
    • 11 years ago

    “Beat it” means a lot of things. I don’t expect AMD to capture the performance crown… ever. I would have really liked a 7th option that was 7.) My AM2+ board, which cost $70, will support a Phenom II and therefore the value of a Phenom II is so much higher than anything Intel offers I can’t be bothered with the near zero performance, in games, difference. I’ve stated this a few times already that when I built my new system I could get a $70 motherboard + $55 CPU compared to a $125 + $80 combo, and when you’re within a strict budget you have to like the AMD options. So, from a value perspective, which I think matters the absolute most, AMD could beat Intel. Would I love a Core i7? Hell f–king yes. But there is no way I could justify $1000+ on a system for a minimum gain in gaming performance for the most part. It was VERY hard going with an AMD option simply because I know it is not the top performing part, but I have to live within the reality of my budget more than the reality of performance, if that makes any sense at all.

    So the real problem? People don’t read your questions all the way (what’s new, right?). I voted the option that was a bit less than the Penryn’s, which I fully expect to be reality.

    EDIT: I fully support the banning of those who mindlessly support products with no reasoning behind their support.

      • not@home
      • 11 years ago

      I totally agree with Skrying about the Phenom II. It is the reason i built this AMD system and will be the reason i buy every system i will ever buy. I also am a bit optimistic because if AMD goes under, we are all going to be paying ridiculous prices for nothing. Intel will slow development down and bleed us dry. I cannot say i am a fanboy of either Intel or AMD since about half of my computers are each.

      Also, Kudos to the higher quality audio. I greatly appreciated it, even if it took an extra 6 hours. I thought is sounded a lot more professional and pleasant on the ears. I am hard at hearing and have to have the audio turned up a bit to hear. This amplifies all the blips and squeals that have given me second thoughts about listening to previous episodes. This episode was no problem.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Hahaha. I’m not even finished with the podcast but props to Scott and Geoff for calling out Pluscard.

    Edit: Now that I’m done.

    Scott, would your new test systems happen to include Antec Skeleton’s? Even so, I think maybe a photoblog post would be make a lot of us here needing drool-bibs. Do it!

    I voted in that 31% majority, mainly because I’m a very optimistic person. One can always hope, and besides I won’t really be let down or disappointed if it falls short. I’m holding off on my potential new build for Phenom II. The worst that happens is that Phenom II isn’t the better choice, and I make my Core 2 build (with potentially lower prices… though unlikely). It is a win-win either way, so I don’t mind waiting and hoping.

    • danny e.
    • 11 years ago

    I believe there was a little too much unscripted conversation in this one. .. at least for my taste.

    • axeman
    • 11 years ago

    I voted that Phenom II would beat Core 2, for the reason someone put forth in the podcast, maybe if I wish it would, it will, but this isn’t likely to happen.

    On another point, I for one am getting sick of the Vista versus XP, Mac versus PC, and AMD versus Intel flaming going on. I don’t like Vista ( I prefer not to use Windows altogether if possible), but I think I am far from the worst offender.. I for one wouldn’t complain about more bans. The s/n ratio to here went up after Shintai and what’s his head got banned, maybe it’s time to clean house again?

      • Konstantine
      • 11 years ago

      It could match/compete, but….not beat the 45nm core 2s.According to some early benchmarks posted on ATI forums, the phenom 2 is 15%-20% faster than the previous phenoms at the same clock speed.
      Im not a AMD fan.But, im a huge ATI fan.

    • Game_boy
    • 11 years ago

    Concerning the AMD segment, I agree with your position that AMD supporters are optimists with regards to future performance but I think the poll was misleading for another reason: the lowest Core i7 (2.66GHz) in some cases is lower than the 3.0GHz Penryn. The optimists can therefore think that Phenom II will beat the 2.66GHz Core i7 (and therefore choose the second option) but not believe they will beat the Penryn quads.

    Also, a reason for AMD fans’ support of AMD is the belief (which I share) that if AMD doesn’t recover very soon, they will go bankrupt and the entire computer industry will be in trouble (no one else can make competitive x86 CPUs and the GPU industry would be less competitive).

    Finally, the optimism is warranted, since Phenom II could improve over the next year: Phenom II has HT3 which the Opterons didn’t; it will have DDR3 in Q1 which could give another 5%+ IPC in some apps, and finally it is a good overclocker (4GHz on air for non-cherrypicked CPUs according to AMD) which could translate into speed bumps of 3.2 or even 3.4GHz soon. It won’t catch the 3.0GHz Penryn or Core i7 in my opinion though.

      • ybf
      • 11 years ago

      Without AMD, Montalvo would have found a value space for its black-box copy of the x86.

      With AMD’s insane loss-leader, perpetual price-war, market-share preservation strategies, Montalvo had to make the hard decision to shut down their operation without bringing silicon to market.

      “Competition is always good” is a false generalization.

      Once AMD goes under, the market can get back to rational competition.

    • marvelous
    • 11 years ago

    Obviously majority of the people here don’t even read what’s available for them when they voted for Phenom poll.

    I know I voted for not quite catching upto core 2 Quad.

    Scott was talking about people having sense. Some people just don’t. :*(

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      There are two ways to interpret that response to the poll:

      1.) Will AMD catch Intel? They have to. If you vote for anything other than beating Phenom, you’re voting against AMD’s continued survival. It’s not up to Intel to falter here; it’s up to AMD to catch up. Those who voted that it would beat Core i7 are voting for AMD’s survival.

      2.) Will AMD catch Intel? Realistically, no. There’s no way the DDR3 Phenom will catch Core i7. Intel watched AMD introduce on-chip memory controllers in x86-64 CPU’s and then figured out how to do it right. Those who did not vote for beating Core i7 are realists.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This