The TR Podcast 85: French fries and system guides

The Tech Report Podcast Date: April 10, 2011

Time: 1:12:35

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

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Sponsored by XFX.

XFX has not only sponsored this episode of the podcast, but also donated a brand-new Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition graphics card, which is clocked at 940MHz and cooled by dual fans. We’re giving that card away as part of our latest contest. To enter, you’ll need to listen to the podcast and answer a couple of related questions.

Show notes

We’re back with another episode of the podcast, which kicks off with listener mail concerning the iPad 2’s competition (or lack thereof) and a new project from one of our loyal listeners. (Be sure to check out ssidbroadcast’s new iOS game, Super Block Party.)

After listener mail, we spend a solid chunk of this episode going over our latest TR system guide, partially because of the return of Sandy Bridge… and because Jordan is planning to build himself a new PC. Scott and Geoff also discuss some of the readers’ comments and objections related to the guide. After that, the panel switches gears and discusses a pair of new Radeon graphics cards, a dual-core Sandy Bridge notebook, and Geoff’s latest solid-state drive review.

As mentioned above, this podcast is also tied to our latest giveaway, as part of which we’re giving out an XFX Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition. Head over to this page for more details.

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

iPad 2 competitor – from Gabriel – (0:04:36):

“On the last episode, you talked about the iPad 2, what do you mean no one is competitive at that price point? I give you the Elocity A10, a tablet with great user suport, highly moddable, 10 inch screen, 4gb on board storage , dual 1ghz cortex A9 tegra2 CPU, microsd slot, hdmi slot, 1.3MP webcam – $450 at a high priced retailer. It’s not that there aren’t competitors, it’s that they don’t have $50 billion advertising budgets…this has been out a couple weeks now and IMHO runs circles around a ipad2. Minus the lame front video only camera…which serves no real use.”

Check out my first iOS game! – from Cassidy a.k.a. ssidbroadcast – (0:15:38):

“Cassidy, a long time listener and reader, wrote to us to let us know about his first iOS game – check out Super Block Party!”

Tech discussion:

    Is Android 3.0 a bust? (0:12:23)- Read more

    TR’s Spring 2011 system guide (0:20:18)- Read more

    AMD’s Radeon HD 6450 graphics card (0:43:06)- Read more

    AMD’s Radeon HD 6790 graphics card (0:54:58)- Read more

    Asus’ K53E dual-core Sandy Bridge notebook (1:04:17)- Read more

    Crucial confirms m4 SSD pricing (1:07:19)- Read more

    Intel’s 320 Series solid-state drive (1:07:54)- Read more

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

Comments closed
    • mi1stormilst
    • 9 years ago

    HA! I got the “Pat of colors” comment … It’s Pat! I am just sure everyone else didn’t get it or they are more politically correct. I thought it was funny 🙂

    • Darkmage
    • 9 years ago

    It’s weird how things fall together sometimes. I’m listening to podcast on the drive yesterday and the consternation about the place for the 6450 in the video card marketplace… and I look over at the AMD 5450 that I bought this weekend (and was returning to Best Buy on the way home).

    Years ago, I built a server to run MS Sharepoint so my wife (SWMBO) could explore some of the more advanced administration tasks, play with CSS, that sort of thing (and thanks to some fellow TR forum members for selling me parts). I set it up to dual boot with WinXP in case the wife wanted to print something (no printer drivers for Server 2003) It ran happily for years.

    So… this weekend, SWMBO expresses a desire to run dual monitors from the WinXP side of things. The integrated graphics (Intel GMA 3100, I think) drivers don’t support dual monitors, so off to the store I go.

    Let us consider: I’m upgrading an old PC with a modern cheap-ass graphics card to gain improved 2D capability. I am the market for the AMD 6450. That is, assuming it actually works and doesn’t prevent my server from getting through POST like this last card. 🙁

    Granted, people in my situation have got to be an extremely small segment of the marketplace. But it’s out there.

    • ThorAxe
    • 9 years ago

    Why would anyone want an iPad 2?

    Correct me if I am wrong but I understand that it has no tabbed browsing, no flash player and is $325 worth of hardware for waay too much.

    An overpriced, over-sized iPod Touch? No thanks.

      • glynor
      • 9 years ago

      It has “tabbed” browsing the same way any iOS device does. It just doesn’t use actual up-top tabs, but… Having actually [i<]used[/i<] a Xoom, I think that's a very good thing.

        • ThorAxe
        • 9 years ago

        I’m still using an iPod Touch (I feel so dirty) and I would hardly call what Safari does “tabbed” browsing, more like pain in the @$$ browsing. 🙂

          • glynor
          • 9 years ago

          I’m not suggesting [i<]at all[/i<] that the way the iPhone and iPod Touch handle multi-page browsing is perfect (the iPad is a bit different, by the way, but also not perfect). But I don't think stapling on the desktop-designed "tab" mechanism ala-Honeycomb is the answer. How would this even work on a 3.5-4" screen? It doesn't. I've used other browsers on iOS that implement true tabbed browsers, and they're terrible. Tabs are semi-usable on a larger screen like the Xoom, but there are a bunch of problems with that system too. I don't think we've seen the perfect answer yet.

            • ThorAxe
            • 9 years ago

            You would obviously be limted to the number of tabs you would be able to use on an iPod Touch due to the small screen, however I don’t think this would be as much of an impediment on a 7 – 10″ screen.

            However, you do raise some fair points.

    • mcnabney
    • 9 years ago

    I would be really curious what the SKU breakdown of iPad2s that were sold.

    Remember, the Xoom has 32GB of storage and 3G/4G wireless modems, so it isn’t comparable to the basic $500 iPad2 with WiFi only. What percentage of the iPad2 sales are more expensive and include the 3G/4G radio?

    If 95% of the iPad2s sold were WiFi only there really isn’t much of a difference between Apple and Motorola.

    • demalion
    • 9 years ago

    oooh…Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Discovered them a few years ago, and while I knew about them on the East Coast, including one nearby, I also stumbled upon one in CA by surprise. Long line, too.

    On the technical side: I don’t know why an issue was made about 4 USB ports not being enough, unless maybe there was no on-board header for case USB ports to be enabled?…and if a case didn’t have USB ports to use a header, that would seem more like a case problem to me.

    Printer/Keyboard/Mouse/USB Hub thingy if necessary (my monitor fills that role, along with a card reader on the internal header, my keyboard if I wanted, with my actual USB Hub no longer used), and the case USB ports able to cover any temporary plugins and/or cover the “USB Hub thingy” spot (if, for example, in the case of the discussed motherboard, you wanted to use one of the rear USB 3.0 ports for an external hard drive or something).

    The lack of Firewire/eSata, or whatever, are more serious if you have a specific need for them, of course, but I find it confusing to have that attached to a theoretical econo-box build “just in case”, as they can adjust the build accordingly.

      • Darkmage
      • 9 years ago

      Eh, adding a USB card reader pushes the price of the system up to the realm of the better motherboard, so I think it’s a wash.

      I was a little taken aback by the dissing of lack of RAID support on the motherboard-not-taken. Who builds a cheap web surfing box and then puts a multi drive backup system in it? More to the point, who builds a cheap box and then later adds RAID?

      Five Guys started in Arlington, VA a few miles from my parents’ house. Man, it was a dive but the food was always top notch. The line was usually out the door when they were just one restaurant, too.

    • jensend
    • 9 years ago

    Disappointed in your reaction to readers’ comments about the system guide.

    -Using ages-old anecdotal evidence to “shoot the messenger” about the lower-cost mobo issue (if you don’t like the particular boards guardianl mentioned, that doesn’t refute his point at all, since there are plenty of other good boards at more econobox-worthy prices)
    -Repeating the same H61 complaints you threw out in the comments to dismiss the idea that a H61 board might be appropriate while ignoring my rebuttal telling why these complaints are irrelevant for a budget box
    -Dismissing the $100 increase in the Econobox’s price target as a “ten dollar reach” – the steady increase in the Econobox’s price over the past couple years has, in conjunction with falling system costs in general, made this box no longer worthy of its name

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t know. I’ve build several systems for myself/friends/family based on the econo to sweet stuff from the system guides, and they all were rock solid systems* that I felt good about both after purchase and years after purchase. I’m going to weigh on TR’s historical accuracy here for picking quality first, go for saving money as a secondary concern.

      *- Minus the one time I built a Vista32 system for the first Crysis. I had many issues with Vista and Product activation on that build, and I really wish I’d gone with Vista64.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    I’m going to listen to the podcast on my way home tonight, but three things I see about the eLocity tablet mentioned by the listener right away:

    1. It was announced back at CES, but STILL isn’t available yet, so it is disqualified.
    2. The one mentioned (a10.4) is Android 2.2, so it is doomed.
    3. Specs check-lists do not a better product make. How does that CPU/GPU/RAM combination actually perform using that OS? What apps are available that make it worthwhile? Does it have the Android Marketplace and other Google-branded apps like Gmail? (Spoiler, probably not.)

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    [b<]WOW[/b<] thanks guys! I hope all of you like my game!

      • glynor
      • 9 years ago

      Just bought it a minute or two ago, and will try it out later tonight. Looks pretty cool! I’ll be sure to come back and leave feedback on iTunes after I test it out.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah dude the ratings/review feedback helps me out a ton!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      BUY THIS GAME

    • guardianl
    • 9 years ago

    The anecdote about Biostar refusing to recall a board that clearly doesn’t run to spec is disturbing to say the least. I think this highlights the need to review boards that don’t get sent-in to you by companies in general though.

    Judging by the comments on the system guide, I suspect it would be helpful to frame the debate on investing in a motherboard by surveying the readership with a few direct questions, i.e.

    1) How many systems have you built, and how many CPUs have you upgraded on your existing systems without replacing the motherboard?

    and maybe for ATX vs smaller motherboards:

    2) How many expansion slots are you currently using on your motherboard?

    3) Have you ever run crossfire/SLI videocards?

    With answers to these, we could really get a sense of what TR readers are actually doing with their computers, and that would help guide decisions for a system guide for TR readers.

    • thill9
    • 9 years ago

    my iPhone is telling me ” “The TR Podcast 85: French fries and system guides” cannot be played on this iPhone”
    It’s enough to make baby Jesus cry.

      • jdrake
      • 9 years ago

      hmmm…. which version? the iTunes enhanced version?

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        Enhanced version worked fine for me here. I downloaded it via iTunes though, not directly through the phone.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      plays fine on my wp7.

    • sweatshopking
    • 9 years ago

    SSID, let me know when you get it ported to WP7, and i’ll pick it up!\

    Oh! and I lol’d when i saw the podcast says “copyright Tech report 2008”

      • jdrake
      • 9 years ago

      Where are you seeing the (c) 2008? Would love to fix that… but I’m not sure where you’re seeing it.

        • apertur3
        • 9 years ago

        It’s definitely not in the metadata/ID3. Says 2001 in there. At least in the MP3 version I have.

        • DancinJack
        • 9 years ago

        He’s talking about on the podcast page in iTunes. At least that’s where I see it. Right under the subscribe button on the left side of the Store page.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          yep, i actually saw it on the zune page too.

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    If I had an iOS device ssid, (which I will soon) I’d support your efforts. GJ and keep up the good work.

    Jordan is following me on Twitter now. Life is good.

    This is a PC hardware [i<]enthusiast[/i<] site. If you're going to put together a PC, there just could be no way I'd recommend using a motherboard that lacks the features that you're able to nit pick by building your own PC. That is the whole reason I build my own computers rather than ordering from HP or Dell.

      • jdrake
      • 9 years ago

      What is your twitter handle? I want to connect a username with the @:-)

        • DancinJack
        • 9 years ago

        @adammengel

        Yeah, I hope I don’t confuse anyone now that you all know Jack isn’t my name.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Super Block Party’s description starts with a typo right in the first sentence.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 9 years ago

      Holy crud. I’ll fix that today.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Awesome.

      • wibeasley
      • 9 years ago

      You’ve found a productive use, and an appreciative audience, for your proofing skills.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        Always. I also keep Cyril on his toes.

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