The TR Podcast 88: Exposing the midrange

The Tech Report Podcast Date: May 30, 2011

Time: 1:13:09

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

MP3 (67.9MB) | M4A version unavailable due to technical difficulties

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Show notes

Despite some technicial difficulties, we join you for another lively episode of tech reporting with Jordan, Scott, Geoff, and Cyril. After answering some listener mail, our panel discusses Scott’s new computer and his aging software toolset, which includes Microsoft Office 2000, an old copy of Paint Shop Pro, and other legacy programs like Homesite 5. Then, it’s on to two gaming stories: Duke Nukem Forever going gold (we never thought we’d see it) and the hauntingly artistic trailer for Dead Island, which is followed by a gameplay demo that has our panelists divided.

Geoff had to leave early for this episode, so we bid him farewell right after he details the Z68 chipset’s new Virtu d-Mode, which fixes some problems we encountered in our Z68 review. To wrap things up, we look at the GeForce GTX 560, an impressive enclosure from Corsair, and Antec’s Rockus 3D speakers.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. –

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

Resolution/GPU sweet spot? – from Dash – (0:01:11):

“What is the sweet spot, the ideal monitor size and resolution to aim for when buying a new monitor to support a new GPU? I think a lot of people can’t afford to have a massive monitor and play at the top resolutions when they need to buy the latest, greatest, and most expensive GPU every year. Is there a monitor size and resolution you suggest people to aim for if they want to play at higher graphic settings without sacrificing performance, for 2-3 years?

I currently run an aging SLI 8800GT on a 19inch @ 1280×1024. I know I’m behind in terms of GPU power, monitor size, and resolution. What monitor and resolution should I and other people on a budget keep in mind for, if we only want to upgrade GPUs every 2-3 years?”

Android Benchmarking? – from Ben – (0:06:40):

“Love the podcast….quick question about benchmarking. I just entered the Android world, and unfortunately there isn’t much proof when it comes to concept based on benchmarks. When I ask, “What size should I partition my swap,” I get more hear-say and no proof. I’m interested in knowing the process to benchmarking you use. Do you take the average of many tests? Do you take the first test? I’ve formulated a good process for Android when it comes to setting up the phone, but I don’t want my benchmark proof to be subverted by formality and process critiques. Thanks for the help.”

Tech discussion:

    Scott’s new computer woes (0:14:31)- Read more

    Duke Forever goes gold, hell freezes over (0:25:05)- Read more

    Video Game Algorithm Smooths Out Pixelation (0:26:15)- Read more

    Dead Island video shows open world, teases co-op (0:30:32)- Read more

    Virtu d-Mode puts discrete GPUs first, QuickSync second (0:36:19)- Read more

    Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 graphics processor (0:40:25)- Read more

    Corsair’s Obsidian Series 650D enclosure (0:49:10)- Read more

    Antec’s Soundscience Rockus 3D|2.1 speakers (0:57:26)- Read more

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

Comments closed
    • 3keepmovingforward3
    • 9 years ago

    This is Ben, yeah the one who asked the question. The benching I was doing specifically was to compare ROMs, so same phone, different ROMS. Here are my findings.

    ROM Comparison
    [url<][/url<] Swap Findings [url<][/url<] I hope I did the computer industry proud (read MaximumPC since I was 5)... I go to FSU for Computer Engineering 😀

      • bdwilcox
      • 9 years ago

      “read MaximumPC since I was 5”

      You poor, poor soul. You missed the glory days of MaximumPC when it was [i<]boot[/i<] magazine. A wizard by the name of Andrew Sanchez cast spells in that magazine that put most tech authors to shame. Andrew Sanchez, RIP.

    • dashbarron
    • 9 years ago

    Interesting response to the monitor question, I didn’t think a 460 would last a few years out though, especially with titles like Battlefield 3 coming in the fall (thankfully a game to push the PC).

    Great listening though I enjoyed the entire podcast.

    Thanks! 😀

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    I love having a .edu email address for software needs. Either get stuff free or at a greatly reduced price. I have Win7 and Office 2010 and didn’t have to pay much at all.

    I am with Scott regarding the cases. The 650D is much, much more attractive to me than the 600T. Sharp lines and metal win me over every time.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 9 years ago

    Many software installers unnecessarily advise you to reboot.

    Simply ignore these messages and try to run the program. Worst case it will pop up an error message and you have to reboot for it to work.

    However I feel your pain about installing bloatware. This is why I have migrated to cloud services whenever possible.

    Besides Steam + Steam Games the only thing i have on my computer are media codecs and playback applications.

      • travbrad
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah it’s extremely rare that you actually need to reboot to get a program to work. About the only thing that requires a reboot is updates to Windows itself (and only some of those). Even GPUs/sound card/etc drivers installs don’t require reboots these days.

    • bored_and_agitated
    • 9 years ago

    I think you mean 16:10? instead of 19:12?

      • ShadowTiger
      • 9 years ago

      I think he meant 1920 x 1200 pixels

    • wiak
    • 9 years ago

    you guys should check out LibreOffice
    [url<][/url<] works with many office formats notepad++ has syntax highlighting 🙂 [url<][/url<]

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Yeah I know I slammed it back when the show first started but I actually *missed* the cheesy intro music. :/

    • IHTurbo
    • 9 years ago

    When it comes to software, it is basically the old IT adage; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    I believe that THIS is what you are talking about.

    The basic question for software is; does it do what I want?

    If this is true, then all other questions are almost moot; how old it is, etc.

    Why SHOULD you be embarrassed for still using HomeSite 5 (I HAVE heard of it BTW, although not used it, but then I’ve been around IT a lo-o-o-ong time!)

    I personally can recommend CSE HTML Validator Lite, which is what I have been using for some time.

    I have also been using PHP Designer for some time, but mainly for PHP, rather than HTML, although it DOES do HTML.
    I cannot comment on drag-and-drop images in either of these 2 pieces of software, as I have not needed this requirement previously.

    It also does MOST scripting-type languages, such as; JavaScript, VBScript, Perl, Python, Ruby & also Java & C#.

    Version 2007 was a free, lite version, as defined by a Personal & a Pro version, but I think it may be pay-only now.

    I still use this IDE for PHP, because it does what I want.

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      Haha, I used Homesite from 1.0 around 1996 to 5.5. While I understand clinging to a know IDE if coding is not one’s primary job, the learning curve to familiarize oneself with a more powerful development environment hugely pays off for a professional Web developer. And things like SVN integration are nowadays simply required in team projects. Eclipse, PHPStorm, Komodo and to some degree coda for the Mac (lacks code completion for variables and custom functions, but man, those Java based IDEs are just so very fugly) are tools far, far superior to Homesite – which will however always hold a special place in my heart…

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    Jordan, you need to break though the Apple RDF and learn how to edit and produce a podcast when you don’t have your trusty mac with you. ALSO not a fan of DUKE!!!! Shame on you.

    All kidding aside, good job on what you had to work with I thought the podcast was fine. Made my 10 mile hike go by with good entertainment. Keep up the good work.

    • 2cans
    • 9 years ago

    somthings amiss fine fellows

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