The TR Podcast Episode 62: Fermi in the flesh, new VelociRaptors, and emptying the mail bag

The Tech Report Podcast Date: April 8, 2010

Time: 1:22:06

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

Download: MP3 (59.2MB) | M4A (80.5MB)

Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Listen now:
Sponsored by Gigabyte. Check out Gigabyte’s selection of USB 3.0 motherboards, including the X58A-UD5.

Show notes

This episode of the TR podcast is a bang-for-buck compilation of listener mail and hardware reviews. To top it off, we’re delivering it to you four days earlier than usual! Jordan, Scott, Geoff, and Cyril start off with several listener questions covering everything from USB 3.0 to the progression of CPU technology and the latest GPU drivers. In the second half of the episode, Scott delves deep inside Nvidia’s latest graphics architecture, and Geoff gives us the lowdown on Western Digital’s newest 10,000-RPM hard drive.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. – jdrake@techreport.com

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

Intel and USB 3.0? – from Matt – (0:02:03):

“Why is it taking Intel so long to release a USB 3.0 controller? How are companies like NEC, Via, and ASMedia able to get theirs out to market before Intel. I would think that Intel has more money and resources to get this done.”

Clock speed vs. cores? – from Cliff a.k.a Hoser – (0:10:50):

“With both AMD & Intel hitting the proverbial wall with regards to clock speed & both sides focusing on how many cores they can cram into a chip, do you see them changing their focus back to clock speed anytime soon? It seems to me that unless they start making the dies bigger they’ll hit a wall in the number of cores they add to a chip soon.”

GPU drivers? – from Anonymous – (0:17:05):

“I would like to hear a conversation on the different driver packages from Nvidia and AMD/ATI. (note; I’m not JUST referring to the latest issues with nvidia so please do not focus on that). Such as what is the impact of the package (footprint, changes, ability to modify settings, etc.) This is a direction TR hasn’t really addressed, beyond mentioning version numbers, and linking reviews in the short bread. I would value Scott/Geoff/Cyril/Jordan’s opinions on “what the drivers do” as relates to your needs. Maybe, you each need to spend a week or two with one example of Nvidia/ATI video cards as your primary display to really get a feel for it. I would also suggest you each run at least 2 monitors at the time. “

Tech discussion:

    Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 and 470 graphics processors (0:29:56)- Read more

    Western Digital’s VelociRaptor VR200M hard drive (0:59:48)- Read more

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

Comments closed
    • dragmor
    • 10 years ago

    I downloaded this for my drive back home last night…. The stupid ipod decided that it was time for its battery to die…. 6 hours of driving with nothing to listen to….

    • alphaGulp
    • 10 years ago

    Where is everyone? It feels eerily quiet. . .

    Anyhow, I thought Cyril brought up a good point on Intel’s lack of USB 3.0, how it coincides with the current lack of competition in Intel chipsets. It seems that this time around, it wasn’t practical for Intel to pursue USB 3.0 in a timely fashion. That’s nice.

    None of us can know why exactly Intel is so far from its traditional role of spearheading the next USB standard, but that’s kind of the whole point of competition, consumer choice and survival of the fittest: we never know and all we can do is buy shit when they make it available.

    That, and rely on anti-trust law to make sure that the market is as competitive as can be…

      • alphaGulp
      • 10 years ago

      Aha! It must be that everyone is so busy playing post-apocalyptic games that it’s as if I were the only person left on the planet!

      Man! The apocalypse is tough. Boring, really.

    • alphaGulp
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the excellent podcast! I liked the inclusion of the viewer mail, for all that I might have skipped the 3rd question for being too long-winded (ha!) – not that you didn’t make an interesting discussion of it.

    Anyhow, I can’t help but wonder how much money, if any, nVidia is making on each GF480/470 sold. nVidia recently had a long series of financially bruising quarters, from what I recall, and they need to make a lot of money back after sinking so much into Fermi. I hope the sales to the compute side makes up for it, although I don’t see them shipping any silicon for that now or next week…

    More significant than that though is how the radeon 5870 is able to run at a core clock that is 150MHz higher (which is so fricking huge) while at the same time running so much cooler. There is no way that the larger die size is responsible for that big a discrepancy.

    It’s pretty amazing that even after all this time working with the 40nm process at TSMC, nVidia is still having so much trouble with it. As pure conjecture, I wonder if the difference comes in part from the synergies of the AMD-ATI acquisition. One way or another though, nVidia can’t afford to remain this far behind AMD, process-wise.

    To make things worse, nVidia’s proprietary approach to its APIs makes it unlikely that developers will write code that leverages its better architecture in games (physX, dammit!), so the architectural advantages, which are present *right now* and which developers could be coding for *right now* are all staying out of reach of end users, since there is not a single PC game developer out there who is willing to develop something exclusively for nVidia hardware. Gimme a break nVidia: not gonna happen! Seriously, they need to get back to earth on that one.

    nVidia: I know it’s tough to watch AMD/ATI get the benefit from the hard work and money you put into making physX what it is today, but you are hurting yourself way more than your competitor by keeping things like this. And for what? It’s only a matter of time before there is a decent open source or Windows alternative (say 3 years, max)…

    Having an architecture that runs ‘regular’ sequential code well is a *huge* advantage, and yet nVidia is making it so that nobody is able to take advantage of it in a significant way in games, the only type of software that’s likely to drive sales of GF480/GF470’s.

    • Jigar
    • 10 years ago

    Cyril, best of luck on your first review, i will be waiting to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Shinare
    • 10 years ago

    21:53 – Microsoft “whickle” process?

    Lol, never heard WHQL “pronounced” before. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • mbutrovich
      • 10 years ago

      I’ve only ever heard it pronounced that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Damage
        • 10 years ago

        Novice!

          • TaBoVilla
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t know anyone to whom I would say WHQL in a conversation, I just don’t have enough geek friends =(

          Would have said W, H, Q, L. Whickle sounds like calling USB oosb!

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Whickle can be a close relative of scussy!

            • indeego
            • 10 years ago

            Scuzzyg{<.<}g

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            Scussy has always sounded cussier.

          • DrDillyBar
          • 10 years ago

          Are you the seeooh, or CEO? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • sigher
      • 10 years ago

      I’d pronounce it ‘quality lab tax nonsense’, since it brings no stability nor quality whatsoever but only gives MS some steady cash inflow.

      โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜ Skip this part if you are (too) sensitive โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜

      But of course I only listened to the techreport podcast once because they are trying too hard to be proper, like kids with their mom and dad present, and I experienced it a bit too painful to listen to and think it’s best to wait a few years for the guys to grow up a bit, so what I’d say is not what they’d say in their attempt to be conformist.

      โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜โˆ™โˆ˜

      Told you to skip it, dammit ๐Ÿ™‚

      • PrincipalSkinner
      • 10 years ago

      Try pronouncing GWT, SQL, WSDL.

        • sigher
        • 10 years ago

        The trick I think is to say the words with a W full to avoid the breaking effect of the W.
        So it becomes ‘web-sdl’ and ‘windows-HQL’ andsoforth, but that only works if the W is the first letter, and sometimes the last, but not if it’s the middle one.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        I just say the letters…I thought that’s what everyone did and never even considered that people would try to pronounce what are really unpronouncable acronyms.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    Whattttt my question wasn’t brought up. Guess it wasn’t good enough. Oh well.

    • mi1stormilst
    • 10 years ago

    One things about graphic drivers to keep in mind in my experience is to never expect a ton of improvements over time. Generally speaking what is delivered at launch is mostly what you get during the life of the product. Sure there might be some specific improvements to individual games…I am speaking in generalities here ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would like to hear some discussions about mobile computing. The iTouch the iPad the HP Slate, Viliv and more. I am sold on the Viliv format with the UMPC style, but they are not quite there )-:

      • flip-mode
      • 10 years ago

      Dunno. I’ve been pretty darn impressed with the performance gains that Nvidia and, to a bit lesser extent, ATI have been able to bring with driver improvements.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 10 years ago

        You know what would be cool? An article that compares performance of a 4800-series Radeon benches at launch w. benches of today. Same treatment for gt200 parts. You might not have to run new tests, either.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Thankfully that wasn’t true for the GeForce 8 series, which had Vista performance so atrocious that even the die-hard greenies such as myself were revolting, particularly over windowed gaming performance (for example, WoW) which, probably due to girl fights with Aero, was so terrible there were no words for it. It wasn’t uncommon to see 20-30% performance improvement drivers flying left and right until everything stabilised.

        • BoBzeBuilder
        • 10 years ago

        Gawd the bad grammar hurts my eyes. Learn to use dots!

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 10 years ago

        q[

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          At least I’m a cannibal and will readily attack when a wild Prime1 appears.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    Alright, alright, if no one else will take first, I guess I will.

    GF100 might be impressive in theory, but in practice I’d call it depressive.

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