The TR Podcast 116: The Nexus between Batman and Korean IPS displays

The Tech Report Podcast Date: August 5, 2012

Time: 1:59:09

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

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Show notes

With a trifecta of tech reviews to discuss and an epic film trilogy to review on top of that, it’s a monster of an episode this time around on the Tech Report Podcast. We kick off with some quick video game discussion (Jordan wants to weigh in on Max Payne 3 and the latest Battlefield 3 DLC) and then segue into listener mail. Afterwards, we round up the latest news and controversy surrounding Windows 8, which has both Valve and Blizzard not the least bit pleased. Then, Geoff offers his take on the 7″ Nexus tablet from Google, Cyril compares the latest hardware video transcoding implementations, and Scott has his hands on the famous Korean IPS displays we discussed on the last episode. Finally, after finishing the program with Geoff and Cyril, Jordan and Scott add in a review of The Dark Knight Rises—which is not spoiler free. You’ve been warned!

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail/tweets:

NAND and RAM? (0:07:33) – from Tom:

“I have a P67 system with 8GB of ram, 2500k and a 560ti. Toshiba just cut their NAND production by 30%, should I upgrade to 16GB while its still cheap or is that unnecessary for the duration of my build?”

DPC Latency Testing? (0:09:42) – from Zaphod Beeblebrox:

“A few years ago, I paid over $100 for a top of the line Linksys N
wireless adapter. But because of frequent DPC latency spikes, playing
music on my computer with it installed caused the music to skip every
few seconds. Irritating! And I also had an Asus DVD drive that caused
massive spikes of DPC latency above 30,000 μs (mu), causing any music
or video being played to abruptly interrupt. Unplugging the hardware
of either of these devices from my motherboard, or disabling them in
my Device Manager, solved the problems. However, it would have been
nice to know this before purchasing.

For the listeners, an explanation of the phenomenon and download link
for a free DPC latency checker can be found at

One of the things I love about your team is that you find new and
better ways to quantify important things that others gloss over. For
example, your method of measuring graphics card performance with
frame-times is really cool. One measurement that is sorely missing
from reviews is the affected DPC latency. Would you be able to
implement it into product reviews?”

Tech discussion:

    Jordan chimes in on Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3 DLC – (0:02:03)

    Windows 8 news and controversy round-up – (0:15:17) – Windows 8 hits RTMGabe Newell’s commentsBlizzard chimes in

    Google’s Nexus 7 tablet reviewed – (0:29:54) – Read more

    A look at hardware video transcoding on the PC – (0:51:31) – Read more

    Those 27-inch IPS displays from Korea are for real – (1:13:18) – Read more

    Scott and Jordan review The Dark Knight Rises (warning: spoilers) – (1:41:19)

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

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    I enjoyed every bit of content in this podcast (usually 1/2—2/3 of the content I listen too) — thank you!

    Also…if you want to increase listening Jordan, use Batman audio bits in every podcast.

      • jdrake
      • 7 years ago

      Haha – I’d love to – but unless we review the Dark Knight Rises every episode (and thus get fair use protection) – I’m not going to be able to keep including copyrighted music;-)

      • nciaootu
      • 7 years ago
    • spangler
    • 7 years ago

    I am not sure why all of the fuss about the ARM version. They had to know it would be run like all of the other tablets, through a store. The regular desktop versions should be the same as always and a large percentage of Surface tablets sold will be the x86 so they should be good there as well. The x86 tablets seem to be the more interesting than the ARM based ones anyway. The lack of explanation does not win me over either.

    • glynor
    • 7 years ago

    You said you didn’t know what the “deal was” with distribution on Windows 8. Here’s what the deal is, and why Valve and Blizzard are scared/annoyed. It comes down to ARM. There’s basically two issues:

    1. [b<]Windows RT (Windows On Arm) is Metro-Only:[/b<] Well, not Metro, since they aren't/can't use that name anymore, but you know what I mean. Windows RT does not support any virtualization or emulation of x86/64 code, [b<]and[/b<] developers cannot port existing x86/64 applications to Windows RT. From [url=<]Stephen Sinofsky's post on the subject[/url<]: [quote<]Application (in)compatibility. Third party Win32/Explorer style applications--that is, all applications sold and made today, will not work on WOA systems. They cannot be ported to WOA, and cannot be made available in any way to WOA users. In WOA, Microsoft is only providing the basic desktop features from Windows 8 (file management, task manager and so on), the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, and special versions of key Office 15 applications (see below). Furthermore, WOA systems will not support running x86-based applications in emulation or virtualization (and Hyper-V is not part of the WOA versions of Windows Cool. Get the message? Only a tiny subset of desktop applications will work on WOA, and all of those will ship with WOA systems, from Microsoft only.[/quote<] If you dig down into the details, it is really quite clear. If you buy a Windows RT device, like the forthcoming Surface, it will not now, or ever (unless they back down), run [b<]any[/b<] application in the Desktop Environment that does not come from Microsoft. This does not mean, "it isn't easy to port applications". It means "you cannot do it". The full Windows API is not available on ARM, only a subset targeted at allowing back-end code to work. As a developer, you must re-write and do everything from within Metro, and you must use only the "Metro-friendly" subset of the API. 2. [b<]Metro Applications are Windows Store Only:[/b<] From the same blog post: [quote<]WOA PCs will be serviced only through Windows or Microsoft Update, and consumer apps will only come from the Windows Store, so you never have to worry if a program will run because you are not downloading or installing from a DVD outside of the store experience.[/quote<] That's pretty clear. Windows Store is Apple's App Store for iOS, brought to Windows. And, just like Apple on its ARM-based devices, Microsoft is requiring that all metro applications come from the Windows Store. Those two things together mean a situation that could end up being much worse for independent developers on Windows 8 than they have on Mac OS and iOS. The issue is, essentially, that Microsoft is sort-of unifying Windows across x86 and ARM based platforms. So, if you are a developer on the Mac, you have two choices: (A) just give up and sell through the Mac App Store (losing 30% of the cut, which means Steam et all can't use it, because that eats up all their profit margin); or (B) sign your code with the freely-provided signature tool and it will continue to run on all Macs fine with the default security settings (Mountain Lion is NOT Mac App Store only, the new security feature simply requires that applications be from the App Store OR be signed, or else the user has to jump through some hoops to launch it the first time). But, if you choose to go with B, you aren't hampered by the fact that iOS devices won't have access to your application. They wouldn't have access to them anyway! It is a separate device with a separate App Store and a separate OS. If you want to run on iOS, that would be a separate application. On Windows, you can either (A) continue to develop your x86 code, which runs in a "desktop environment" ghetto on Windows 8 and which will not run on any new ARM-based Windows device, now or ever; or (B) learn to stop worrying and love the Windows Store (which means Steam goes out of business). However, since Microsoft is marketing the ARM-based Windows devices as "a real PC", users are going to expect you to port something over to ARM, which means Metro, which means Windows Store. It is not a separate OS (even though it is). Microsoft is telling everyone, it's a PC. There is no simple separation between a "desktop computer" and a "mobile computer" with separate Stores and policies for each. So, the problem comes down to this: If Windows RT devices like the ARM Surface sell (and that's a big "if" IMHO), then developers will be locked out of those devices if they don't move to Metro. However, since Metro applications aren't ARM-specific or Intel-specific (the are one and the same), these Metro restrictions will apply across all Windows 8 devices, whether ARM-based tablet or high-end Intel-based desktop. And, as a nice double-whammy, Microsoft is not back-porting Metro to Windows 7. So, you get to continue developing your "legacy" x86 applications in parallel if you want to support your existing customers who don't upgrade. Plus, the x86-friendly Desktop Environment is clearly designed to be hidden from most users, and is obviously "undesirable" in Microsoft's mind. What is the future in that? [b<]If you assume that ARM-based and ARM-like devices are the future,[/b<] then the situation for [i<]all[/i<] Windows developers will be essentially suddenly identical to those for iOS developers. Mac developers, at least, have an "easy out". Sign your code. Sell it the way you always were from your website or in stores. Everything is fine. Windows developers? Hope that Windows RT based devices fail in the marketplace and that Microsoft reverses course with Windows 9, I guess?

    • Silus
    • 7 years ago

    Sad to hear that TR staff has some bias in the whole Windows 8/Valve/Blizzard thing…

    First, Steam didn’t make things better, if anything it reduced the choice we had in the past! I have nothing against Steam in what it represents. More choice is always better. But as time went by, the number of retail copies got smaller and smaller to a point where it’s non-existent for certain games. In what world is limiting the number of choices, “making things better” ???
    You really need to stop living in your closed world called USA and disregard that Steam sucks EVERYWHERE else. This is especially true, when prices are concerned for new games. The games that are available on both Steam and retail, have the digital version cost MORE than the retail copy, with discs, box, manual, etc…
    Also Origin isn’t worse than Steam. Sure it isn’t perfect (nor is Steam) but there’s nothing that makes it worse than Steam. There were complaints about some portions of Origin’s EULA, that are also present in Steam’s EULA (the portion about the user not being able to start class action suits). With Origin, this was “the WORST thing ever”…now that that is on Steam too, “it’s ok”. That’s the hypocrisy that really needs to go away…

    As for Valve / Blizzard, it’s all about money as that’s all they care for. Valve wants its 30% cut on ALL sales through Steam and Blizzard wants 100% through sales over their platform. Windows 8 threatens this, because Microsoft might want its usual 30% cut too. Valve’s hypocrisy is the biggest of course, especially given recent news where they come up with ludicrous schemes to help indie developers, when all they needed to do was to lower their especially high margins for indie developers…Point is, no company WITHOUT their own app store, came out and criticized Windows 8…only those with an app store did. Coincidence ? No, there are no coincidences, especially when money and huge margins are involved.

      • travbrad
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Also Origin isn't worse than Steam.[/quote<] Just a few ways Origin is worse than Steam: -You can't backup games easily in Origin. In Steam you right-click>backup game. -You can't join friends games directly through Origin even in EA games (BF3 for example). -There is no built-in voice chat in Origin. Steam does have a better selection of games too (neither of them has EVERYTHING though of course). The last game I bought on Steam (ARMA2) isn't even sold on Origin. Then there's Origin's data collection which isn't optional, whereas Steam's is. I don't have a problem with this one personally, but I know some people want absolute privacy.

        • Silus
        • 7 years ago

        Origin is brand new and Steam has been here for quite a while, so the point about a better selection of games is unfair. Give it time and Origin will get there. As for the other points, Steam didn’t have those in its infancy either. Again, give it time!
        As someone that was forced to use Steam ever since it was released (I bought HL2), Steam was much, much worse in its infancy than what Origin is in its infancy.
        Plus, Origin allows you to do things that Steam doesn’t, like import friends from other networks such as Xbox Live and PSN.

        And thinking that Steam doesn’t keep your data is way too naive. Steam (like Origin) is DRM and it tracks your every move as soon as you connect. There’s no privacy nor will there ever be in such a system! That’s what it was built for!

        Most people that hate Origin, never even used it! Some people just hate on it, write on forums that they hate it and others follow, without ever using it! This is not new to Origin, but it is the same with products, platforms or systems that have a large following in the community and they just HATE competition! So they criticize everything that competes with their favorite platform!

    • WillBach
    • 7 years ago

    RAM prices are going to go up, not because of the a move to DDR4, but because of manufacturer consolidation. Micron acquired Elpida, which had filed for bankruptcy, ending a brutal price war between manufacturers.

    • glacius555
    • 7 years ago

    You should seriously consider voicing the Hollywood trailers, especially horror movies 😛

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago


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