The TR Podcast 98: Of Bulldozers and Rage

The Tech Report Podcast Date: October 16, 2011

Time: 2:09:59

Hosted by Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Cyril Kowaliski, Geoff Gasior, and special guests Raja Gill and Juan J. Guerrero of Asus

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Show notes

We’ve got a monster episode of the TR Podcast this week, starting with three listener mail questions that cover everything from Ubisoft game releases to GPU shopping on a budget. Scott and Cyril cover the pros and cons of id Software’s newest game, Rage, and we briefly discuss the legacy of Steve Jobs. Then, Geoff interviews Raja Gill and Juan J. Guerrero of Asus, discussing the latest developments in EFI, digital power management, and more. Finally, Scott gives us the complete scoop on AMD’s new Bulldozer processors.

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

Ubisoft delays – from Sean – (0:01:42):

“Heard you guys talking about the PC version delay of Batman Arkham
City, and thought I could shed some light on the situation. Every PC
version Ubisoft published games for the last few years has been
delayed at the last minute, and the only logical reason people can
find is it’s to prevent piracy. If there’s no PC version out, the rush
of buyers upon first release can’t just download the pirated version
instead of buying the console one. Joystiq.com even has articles mentioning this fact.

It’s not a cool practice, and I think if anything it hurts PC sales
even more by making people who own both choose console just to not
have to wait. It probably does slow piracy, and maybe that’s worth the
loss for Ubisoft.”

GPUs on a budget – from Luke – (0:03:33):

“Hello to everyone on the podcast, I’m a big fan.

I have a question about getting the most value for my money put into graphics cards, which ties in to their upgrade cycle. Long term, I can allot about $5 a month to save for a new graphics card.

Do you think it be best to buy a $60 graphics card every year, a $120 graphics card every other year, $180 every three years, or $240 every four years? (Or on some other timeline based on the upgrade cycle, sticking to $5 a month.) Is this the best way to look at it from a poor enthusiast’s perspective?

SLI issues – from Dash – (0:09:54):

“Hey Jordan. I need a quick unbiased opinion. I came into a pair of GTX 570’s which are running in SLI with my aging Penryn Q9450 @ 2.66GHz. I’m concerned my FPS might be bottlenecked by my CPU but I’m not entirely sure or how to find out; does this pair send off red flags and sound like an unlikely pair? Would a considerable overclock to 3-3.2GHz be a worthwhile adventure? I know this is a hard thing to ask but I’m looking for a broad unbiased opinion. Appreciate the feedback and keep doing these podcasts! “

Tech discussion:

    Rage update addresses PC issues (0:13:09)- Read more

    Steve Jobs dies (0:29:57)- Read more

    Interview with Raja Gill and Juan J. Guerrero of Asus (0:45:23)- Read more

    AMD’s FX-8150 ‘Bulldozer’ processor (1:16:58)- Read more

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

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    Thanks for the reply.

    It’s really disheartening to play games like Rage which push the technical boundaries or offer something new to the gaming industry (mechanics, story, or otherwise) and then they fail to carry the momentum or execute some aspect of their game all the way through to the end. I’ve played so many games that look good then drop the ball later on.

    I felt this way with Amnesia, good build up but the end-game story could have been better.

    (Btw Amnesia is on sale for Halloween).

    • Peldor
    • 8 years ago

    There was some commentary on AMD’s Bulldozer ‘speed-demon’ approach vs a ‘brainiac’ that I don’t understand. The comment was made that in theory you could reduce voltage (and ultimately power) by going to a longer pipeline with fewer transistors per stage. Admittedly my electronics knowledge is pretty hazy at this point, but I don’t see how you get lower voltage with the transistor [b<]count[/b<]. Doesn't a transistor pretty much require a given potential to switch at a given speed regardless of how many cohorts it has? Lower amperage I could see, and ultimately if you could use few enough transistors, lower power because of the lower amperage. It's a fair chance I'm just confused, but if anyone can point me at a longer explanation I'd appreciate it.

    • Aussienerd
    • 8 years ago

    Hey Jordan, Still loving these podcasts, I have been listening to heaps of other tech podcast during my 3 hour daily commmunte and man this is still by far the best. It is sharp and easy to listen to as well as the detail level is perfect.

    On another note being such a huge fan of this podcast and site, I love it when others quote or refer to Scott’s, Geof’fs or Cyril’ reviews.

    Keep up the good work

    • ieanaconda
    • 8 years ago

    Hopefully useful feedback
    I find it increasingly difficult to tell when you are selling your sponsors products vs reviewing products.
    my trust in your reviews has waned, but hopefully you guys will improve on this.
    I loved your reviews, but now I take them with a grain or two of salt.
    same thing happened with with another review site when they created an company branded section of their site, but they seem to have changed tack and have since removed it.
    I like your site but please don’t let the sponsors color people’s perception of your hard work.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting how they break down the aspirations for success contained in the bulldozer architecture. Sad to see how botched the product ended up being. It seems that many of the features are at odds with eachother.

    • codedivine
    • 8 years ago

    Was nice to hear from the Asus mobo guys. More interviews would be welcome. Was a bit surprised to see it in this episode though, given that there was already a lot of important content this time. Not complaining however, good content is welcome anytime 🙂

    Also was a little disappointed that no mention was made of Dennis Ritchie’s unfortunate passing 🙁

    • tbone8ty
    • 8 years ago

    great podcast as always…definitely made my Monday go by faster!

    unfortunately it wasn’t talking about what Rage and Bulldozer should of been. ah well

    you guys mentioned about doing further testing with bulldozer… even though this is a disappointing showing by AMD I would definitely like to see what you guys find out. It still is perplexing as to why it has such poor performance in certain areas and further examine bulldozers mysteries.

    be cool to compare Win8 beta with Bulldozer and see for yourselves if this improves performance at all.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      Windows 8 tests:

      [url<]http://nl.hardware.info/reviews/2382/31/amd-fx-8150--8120--6100--4100-bulldozer-review-windows-8[/url<] [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8150-zambezi-bulldozer-990fx,3043-23.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/article/1000220/AMD-FX-8150-Bulldozer-CPU-Review/7#axzz1aqoeQc33[/url<] It would still be interesting to see TR test it though.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Thanks for the kind words, Scott. Nailed it. For a long time, I didn’t really care or think about Steve Jobs. But the more I read about his story and the more Apple succeeded, the more I realized just what an amazing life story it really is. A titan of industry has fallen.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah I didn’t like him or his products, but I can admit he had a huge influence on the whole industry, and even created entirely new markets where others had failed before. He was such a unique individual too, and seemed to have a “magic touch” everywhere he went.

      I do find it slightly disturbing how little Dennis Ritchie has been mentioned though. I know he’s not a “rock star” but it’s hard to think of anyone who made more significant contributions to our current computer technology.

    • Pancake
    • 8 years ago

    Still gaming on my 9600GT. Can play Fallout: New Vegas at 2560×1600! Decided to spend this year’s budget on a crazy bargain Ultrasharp 3011 – maybe next year I can afford something to do it justice 🙂

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    @Rage “bug” which adjust texture quality in order to maintain 60 fps, it’s not a bug, it’s Carmack’s feature! They took a bad decision, textures should never be tweaked to boost fps dinamicly during gaming, if i choose High settings and i have 40 fps, i’m ok with it. I don’t need id to tell me oh noes u droped under 60 fps, quick smear sh*t on the screen so you can haz more frames!

      • Sencapri
      • 8 years ago

      “quick smear sh*t on the screen so you can haz more frames!” I laughed so hard that I dropped my glass of milk all over my keyboard. 🙁

    • StuG
    • 8 years ago

    Bulldozer and Rage in the same headline….ironic.

      • Arclight
      • 8 years ago

      I think i have just pirced through the fabric of time and space and found the ultimate truth – IRONY!

    • redwood36
    • 8 years ago

    Great Podcast in general, only recently found this website and went back and listened to all of them. I also have you on the rss feed. I like ur guys style.

    However the talk today about how great rage looks reminded me that you guys never said 1 word about witcher 2 even tho thats gotta be the best looking game of the year. yet not one comment? whats up?

    also big fan of asus here as far as hardware. nice to see that they are trying to work on their software. Ive turned off their programs just because they were just terrible looking I had no faith in what it could do. One was a big floating circle. Really? anyone know if the p6t deluxe v2 has this uefi, Ill try and see if i can enable it when i go home today.

      • Damage
      • 8 years ago

      Haven’t played it, personally. May have a look at it if I can, though, if it’s that good!

        • redwood36
        • 8 years ago

        its fantastic, plus they have a no drm policy and no dlc that is to say FREE DLC, once u buy the game they still release content for free. they just came out with 2.0 which released dark mode, which is another difficulty and more weapons and stuff. anyway yeah its most revolutionary game in years IMO.

        • dashbarron
        • 8 years ago

        If you enjoyed Witcher 1 you’ll love Witcher 2. They took everything from the first game, mechanics, gameplay, graphics, and buffed or tweaked them so everything in the second game is a little different and better.

        I recommend it to anyone looking for a good, different sort of action-adventure.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 8 years ago

        For what it’s worth, I think it’s DX11.

          • Mikael33
          • 8 years ago

          Witcher 2 also doesn’t perform that well for the visuals it provided imo.

    • Metalianman
    • 8 years ago

    In regards to the question from Luke there are a couple of things I would like to say. I updated my rig back in late 2009 getting a Core i7 860, 8GB of RAM, and MSI GD-65 mobo and an ATi XFX 5850. I already had a 24″ 1920×1200 monitor and although I changed it later on buying a Dell U2410f the size and resolution remained the same. Two years later my rig is exactly the same, only changing hard drives but with no overclocking and I have no problems what-so-ever! I play any game on full effects with full AA and AF and I expect to do so for the next year or so. The only bottleneck I have at the moment comes from the hard drive, lacking SATA 3 support and not having an SSD drive results in quite a loss of performance at times. Verdict? I spent about £1200 and haven’t spent a penny after that (exception is the hard drives, I need about 4TB a year just for storage) resulting in the best choice of build I’ve ever done. I will be leaving this computer to my younger brother the next few months, since I’ll be moving back to UK and cannot afford to take my desktop with me, but I’m confident that this computer will be performing perfectly for at least one more year at which point I expect spending the same amount of money to get a new one.

    So, 5$ a month for a GPU for 3 years seems just about right, I went for the £25 a month for 3 years last time around and now I opted for a better spec rig going for ~£40 a month for 3 years just because I’m considering a 27″-30″ screen. When it comes to gaming it depends a lot on the resolution and the timing you pull the trigger. Most importantly, I found that upgrades on a rig (like buying more RAM or getting a better GPU later on) is the worse pit hole you can get yourself into. While the upgrade at the time will have a significant performance boost, it will hamper your performance when you change platform later on and will affect your decision too. Starting fresh is always the way to go on a rig and if you pull the trigger 2 years later instead of 3 you might get a very good value for your rig in the second-hand market!

    • DrDillyBar
    • 8 years ago

    Great Podcast as always.
    38 minutes rings true.
    😉

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