The TR Podcast 99: New PC builds for a new Battlefield

The Tech Report Podcast Date: October 30, 2011

Time: 1:15:41

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

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Show notes

We kick off this episode of the TR Podcast with a slew of listener questions. Those inquiries prompt us to discuss DDR4 memory, new hardware coming next March, and how the next generation of consoles will affect PC gaming. Then, our panel talks at length about Battlefield 3, on which we’ve finally gotten our hands after months of anticipation. Finally, Cyril, Geoff and Scott break down our latest TR system guide, and Scott explains the Bulldozer thread scheduling story.

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail:

Dual-boot OS issues – from Ahad – (0:01:24):

“I have a dual-boot Ubuntu/Windows 7. I want to remove Ubuntu and I do not have a Windows 7 disc repair CD. What would be the simplest and safest way to remove Ubuntu?”

DDR4? – from Boris – (0:04:57):

“Could you please explain what point-to-point memory is, and why DDR4 will be using this instead of multi-channel memory? Also, any news, speculation, or gossip you have about DDR4 would be fun to hear.”

New hardware in March, 2012? – from Craig – (0:08:52):

“I have a friend who is planning on doing basically a full system upgrade before Diablo 3 is released (so sometime early next year). What do you think we can expect in the way of new hardware that will be out by, say March 2012? Will AMD and Nvidia have a new generation of graphics cards anytime soon? And perhaps more importantly, do you think Ivy Bridge will be out by then? FYI, I know he won’t need the latest and greatest tech to play Diablo 3, that’s just the game he’s most excited about right now, and it matches up to when he’ll have the budget to do the upgrade.”

Next-gen consoles? – from Michael – (0:10:42):

“There’s rumours of a 2013 launch for the next consoles. How do you think this will affect PC gaming? Also, do you think developers will follow DICE (with BF3) and start developing on PC as lead platform?”

Tech discussion:

    Our thoughts on Battlefield 3 (0:20:47)

    TR’s fall 2011 system guide (0:44:04)- Read more

    A quick look at Bulldozer thread scheduling (1:04:19)- Read more

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

Comments closed
    • TardOnPC
    • 8 years ago

    The scripted nonsense has to stop. In one mission you are forced to knife a guy at a certain point, two steps behind him to initiate a script. If you get to closer than necessary the game would instantly kill you. No shots fired from anyone, no trap that you stepped on, no nothing. It would just kill you because you did not press the knife button at a certain point. Why? If you press the knife button when the game tells you to the enemy notices you and you have a small scripted “fight” with him (where you have to press or click the correct buttons) before you kill him. This is just ridiculous. Let me f’ing knife the guy and move on. What is the point of this restrictive nonsense?

    I agree with Jordan about the interface or experience with BF3; it is an abomination. Yes the interface has been improved with the latest patch but what about the overall experience? Things could have been integrated better, Origin, Battlelog, or the game. This game has no VOIP. Battlelog party/voice channels work great for people you know and have on your friends list but what about team play with random strangers? It is non existent. You can not VOIP to ANYONE in the game.

    You need to
    1. Add random players in your squad to Battlelog
    2. Pray they EXIT THE GAME and accept the request
    3. Then create/send invites to a party to get VOIP working
    4. Repeat this for every round and server or squad you join?

    The game is half awesome. Graphics, sound, effects, etc., but the “team play” is non existent. Also, extremely buggy, crashes, and as said by Jordan joysticks and gamepads don’t work.

    • Jason181
    • 8 years ago

    Was it Jordan that was having trouble getting the xbox controller recognized? Do you have a Saitek keyboard? If so, those keyboards conflict with a lot of controllers, including xbox (I just replaced my saitek eclipse for that very reason; if I had the keyboard connected, need for speed: hot pursuit wouldn’t recognize the controller; some games even refused to start with both connected, like Darksiders).

    Hope that helps!

    • Welch
    • 8 years ago

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me to why audio recordings such as this are still called PodCasts? They are exclusive to the iPod or any other Apple product? Just curious, seems odd to call it that considering it can be streamed, downloaded in MP3 and other formats… Is it merely for search engine optimization purposes?

      • ThorAxe
      • 8 years ago

      You raise a valid point. However, Apple didn’t invent the word “Pod” or “Cast” so PodCast can be used for whatever you want (at least I am not aware of any copy-write).

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    I’m with Jordan on this one. The BF3 browser is HORRIBLE. The single fact that I have to load a browser to play the game single player is completely unacceptable. I will not get into my rant about all the crap that I had to do just to get the game installed (browser add on really?) It’s a good thing that BF3 is such a great game. I don’t remember the last time I had to deal with so much crap just to play a game.

    That said, BF3 is a fantastic game and DICE did a great job. Here’s to fraggin’

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      qq

      • Aphasia
      • 8 years ago

      I saw somewhere that you can run the campaign directly by using
      “C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 3\bf3.exe” -mode campaign
      And yeah, they could’ve added a shortcut in the startmenu for that.

      The only beef I have is the decision to not have any in-game voice and base it on the party-feature in battlelog, that totally destroys any chance of teamwork on pubbie-servers.

      As for the rest, compared to the old ingame server browser, its incredibly snappy and easy looking at the servers your friends are playing on, you can open several windows at one to look for the detailed server options, look for available spots, etc. Not to mention its very nice to have the upcomming unlocks and server browser and friend list available on the second monitor while playing, or on a smartphone/pad on the side of the pc… not to mention alt-tabbing is probably the snappiest in any full-screen game ever. Its actually very well executed and works perfectly in both IE9 and Chrome.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        and after installing the patch, opera!

    • WillBach
    • 8 years ago

    “And it turns out that even though we have four different price configurations, that Bulldozer didn’t make it into any of them. So, Cyril, when you started looking at it, the picture was what?”
    “Well, I, uh, I reached for a bottle of Scotch and, you know, I started drinking, cause…”

    I love you guys. I’m so happy that you’re all back to making podcasts. 🙂

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    “The pc has a long history of horrible in game server browsers” WOW that is not true at all. DICE has a long history of horrible server browsers!

    • macintoshci
    • 8 years ago

    You guys f*** up on using expansion capabilities as an example. “I didn’t know PCI-E & PCI-E were different expansions capabilities.” I know what you meant though PCI and PCI-E. or you guys don’t know what are talking about, and you you call yourselves tech people.

      • Damage
      • 8 years ago

      Ah, perhaps I misspoke. Was tired, end of a long week. Glad to hear you understood anyway.

      • Arclight
      • 8 years ago

      I noticed that too, just wished you used a kinder tone to express that.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        yeah. dick tones man. be loving.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]"I know what you meant though PCI and PCI-E."[/quote<] And yet you still complain. Two types of people in this world: 1. People that complain. 2. People that deal with their grievances.

    • srg86
    • 8 years ago

    “When I cared about Linux”

    That’s a shame.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Everyone “cares” about Linux whether they know it or not. They care about IOS and WIndows also. These OS’s are driving the industry, whether or not you use them directly, indirectly, or not.

        • srg86
        • 8 years ago

        Here Here

        It’s just a shame he moved away from it, kinda the opposite of my direction. Then again, I’m not a gamer.

          • Ringofett
          • 8 years ago

          The only shame in it is that it couldn’t satisfy his needs as well as other options.

      • Vivaldi
      • 8 years ago

      I felt compelled to comment on this, as a user of all operating systems, especially Linux. I value the information I find on this site and through the podcasts. Overall, I think they are high in quality and well run.

      I’m not going to lie to you when I say, after I heard this statement and especially the tone that was used to say it, I immediately found myself with an uncomfortable feeling of being unwelcome, followed by general disinterest and disgust. Further, I found myself questioning the validity of everything being said after (by him).

      The general implication I received, was that Linux is a joke and it doesn’t deserve one’s time. Therefore, I made the mental-leap that Linux-users are, therefore by association, also not to be taken seriously. I’m certain others had a similar, initial reaction.

      I’m not calling for an apology or a retraction. Perhaps, next time you could say something like “back when I had the time to invest in learning Linux”–far more polite and less room for unintentionally marginalizing some of your listeners, as few as they may, in fact, be.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        I don’t really understand this position. I think he’s merely stating that it’s not that really that wonderful on desktop. OBVIOUSLY he cares about it on servers. OBVIOUSLY he cares about it in the world of mobile, as it’s the #1 mobile OS kernel. HOWEVER it’s not reat on desktops for 99% (really) of users. that’s all he was saying. I think if you’re reading more into it than there really is there, or looking to have your feelings hurt when it’s not really insulting. Mental leaps are generally a bad thing, if they’re leading you to have your feelings hurt.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 8 years ago

    TR podcast …sponsored by Nvidia.
    Is that likely to survive a poor product review?

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 8 years ago

      They’ve had several sponsors over the years.

      • Arclight
      • 8 years ago

      I know what you’re saying, idk if it’s by chance or design but it was painful for me to listen to the part of the podcast when they talked about the reasons they chose nvidia over AMD (gfx) in the system guide. I hope it’s just coincidence though….

      • WillBach
      • 8 years ago

      I was very suspicious myself. They spoke very slowly while talking about NVIDIA vs AMD, so I suspected they had reservations or were under the influence of Sodium Pentothal, but then they talked about how sleep deprived they were, and I realized there was probably some Bulldozer-related hangover in play, so I reevaluated.

      The key thing that makes it believable is the fact that one of the editors had to pull his AMD GPU just to play Rage. We’re seeing the reemergence of OpenGL which has been a weak spot for AMD for a long time. They may have wanted to say one nice thing about NVIDIA before AMD hits 28 nm 🙂

      Disclaimer: I personally own a NVIDIA GPU because of the 3D vision support, even though I think I would have gotten better bang for my buck with an AMD GPU.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah I like the podcast a lot, and like that it gets sponsors… it’s still kinda awkward though hearing them talk about how they switched to Nvidia in the System Guide, but I think they made a decent case when it comes to driver support in recent titles (Rage, BF3).

      What I thought was more jarring was last episode, when Geoff started abruptly talking about Trackmania 2 for a whole segment. Felt out of place when next to a segment about a AAA title like the BF3 beta–Trackmania is just a casual-game cash cow. idk… [s<]I think maybe TR got a boost from the devs to bring up Trackmania 2. I like the podcast, but I kindof have mixed feelings about that.[/s<] Edit: After some thought I figured there wasn't anything behind it. Just a reviewer talking about a game he likes.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      why do people always get mad about nvidia sponsorships? they’ve sponsored many times before…

      edit: that being said, i thought that it was an unusual change in regards to geometry and shaders suddenly being worth buying geforces for. IMO that makes less sense than phsyx. if they both get equal fps on games, who cares how much better the geometry throughput is? It never was a reason to buy nvidia before, why is it suddenly now?

      I’m NOT saying i think he’s taken the nvidia bribes, i’m just asking why he thinks it’s more important now, than it was before.

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