The TR Podcast 121: APUs, GPUs, and SSDs

The Tech Report Podcast Date: October 14, 2012

Time: 1:29:54

Hosted by Jordan Drake

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

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Show notes

This episode starts off with Jordan’s harrowing tale of bird wranglers and avian escapes, followed by three listener mail questions, including one from a graphic designer who’s chewing through hard drives. (Jordan suspects a unsafe home environment.) Another listener dares to ask two questions in the same episode, both of which we answer, because we’re nice. Then, after a quick revisitation of the iPhone 5, it’s back-to-back AMD talk with a look at the tablet-targeted Z-60 APU, Scott’s deep-dive review of the Trinity desktop APUs, and an overview of desktop CPU prices throughout the past three years. Then, Cyril breaks down the performance of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti, Geoff rounds out the episode with a look at the latest SSD price declines.

PS: Here is a picture of the owl, as promised.

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail/tweets:


Dead hard drives? – from Jon – (0:04:23):

“I am a graphic artist and have hundreds of clients with hundreds, if not, thousands of files that are manipulated, created or deleted daily. Over the past 10 years I have noticed that I burn through a hard drive once a year for the past 5 years or so. I’m using up less than 1/2 of the capacity on these drives and they go bad almost yearly. I’ve used WD Black and Green, Seagate drives seam to last a wee bit longer, but I wouldn’t recommend a Hitachi drive to anyone. I’d prefer the 7,200 RPM drives, but I’ve traditionally used the slower drives for my Data drives. I try to defrag the drives once a week, run CCleaner to clean up temporary files and internet cache, etc. But eventually, the bad sectors will start showing up and rebooting the machine will cause the Windows Disk Checker to run on startups and I notice that it finds and fixes some, but it’s a tell-tale sign that things are going tits up when Outlook or Chrome take well over 5 minutes to load up along with the various graphic applications that I use. Is there ANYTHING that I am missing, or is this just what I have to look forward to when working the hard drive as much as I am required to do? I do back up with Carbonite and make monthly images to offline drives monthly, so re-imaging a new drive is quick. But, there is always that risk of something not working when an image is read for the first time in the Windows environment.”

Two questions – from P Jones – (0:12:18):

“1. In regards to the new Win8 hardware especially the Intel atom Clover Trail SOC and the AMD Hondo solution, what are your thoughts. How come no one is talking about the slow eMMC controller on the atom SOC and the 2GB limitation on either Intel and AMD, the $500+ price tag of intel based SOC tablets. I don’t remember the last time, 2GB would suffice for simple multiple tab web browsing. I really like all the other spec (i.e. IPS screens, digitizers, mobile base band radio, etc.).

2. Are these really significantly different platforms: Quad Core Snap Dragon, TI OMAP, Intel atom Clover Trail, Nvidia Tegra 3, AMD Hondo, Intel IVB/Haswell 10W. Doesn’t usually always come down to power efficiency. What’s the point of a power sipping solution if it doesn’t do much!? Next years solutions seem to be the better option from both performance and price!”

Tech discussion:

    The case for the iPhone 5? – (0:22:57)

    AMD aims Z-60 APU at Win8 tablets, hybrids – (0:30:22) – Read more

    AMD’s A10-5800K and A8-5600K ‘Trinity’ APUs reviewed – (0:34:57) – Read more

    As AMD struggles, Intel chip prices stagnate – (0:51:38) – Read more

    Review: Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti graphics card – (1:01:10) – Read more

    SSD prices continue tumbling in Q3 – (1:15:12) – Read moreOCZ warns of ‘significant’ Q2 net loss

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

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    Not going to Apple hate here Scott, but it always seemed to me if I had to really struggled with a decision to buy a product, then I didn’t really want it that badly anyways.

    But assuming you wanted to stay in the same ecosystem and you had a 4…then it would be a huge upgrade for you–congrats! I’m assuming you’re an AT&T customer if you have the 4–did the prospects of a Windows phone even pique your interest?

      • jdrake
      • 7 years ago

      I think the pull of the ecosystem can’t be understated. Anyone who already has an iOS device – when faced with a new product acquisition (whether it’s an tablet or a phone) has to consider the $$ they’ve invested in apps for that ecosystem. Plus, if you’ve setup your mobile life via iTunes, it’s daunting to think of having to move to another digital platform. Whenever a relatively novice tech user asks me about iPhone vs. Android, I usually base my advice on whether or not they already have an iPod touch or iPad. If they don’t, then I’ve been known to suggest Android if they want certain features/price-points.

        • dashbarron
        • 7 years ago

        Two thoughts Jordan

        1) I think the prospect of wasting $$ you invested in the ecosyste is more hurtful than the actual amount you spent. Realistically, we’re spending hundreds of dollars on a smartphone and thousands a year on a plan. An extra $25 for the apps you have to replace isn’t a drop in the bucket in the long run; consider it like a console upgrade in the days of old

        2) I didn’t think about migrating data over. Apps? Docs? Music? I assume music would be easy to switch over but I’m not sure about everything else, honestly. What kind of work is involved? Personally though, I’d be delighted to move away from iTunes (have a Touch), it’s such a horrible, horrible program (on Windows).

          • jdrake
          • 7 years ago

          $25? Hardly. I’ve been using an iOS device since 2008 – that’s four years and hundreds of apps. Easily $200+ all things considered.

          I agree iTunes isn’t great. Ultimately it’s a $/hour problem. We’re all worth some kind of billable rate. When you think it might take 10-15 hours to replicate what I have on my iPhone with an Android system – plus the $200 in apps I use regularly. It’s not worth my time. At all.

          Again, if I’m talking to someone who is asking for my input – someone who isn’t particularly tech savvy – I like the fact that they can go to any Apple Store and have someone else fix their problems at another billable rate (covered by Applecare). So if they’re even partially invested in an iPad or iTouch… it’s more savvy to stay on that platform.

          Thankfully, I’m overall very happy with my iOS experience. Not tempted to switch.

            • dashbarron
            • 7 years ago

            That’s a good point–Applecare. There isn’t really a comparable service available for Android (or Windows, I think*).

            I suppose the investment is person-to-person. Myself, I spend sparingly on apps but others might not (and you might too but after four years…).

            I’d still be interested in the transferring work/process, but I’m not calling you out or really care for huge details, as it’s not a huge deal for me.

            Thank you for your two cents Jordan. Enjoy your podcasts as always.

            • jdrake
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah – I might try and get an Android phone and do the conversion one of these days… you know, for science.

            • dashbarron
            • 7 years ago

            Why else do we buy high-dollar tech products if not for science? 🙂

    • aim18
    • 7 years ago
    • travbrad
    • 7 years ago

    For the person with all the failing hard drives, have you tried using SpinRite? It helps prevent/repair bad sectors on your drives in a much more intensive/low-level way than chkdsk or similar utilities.

    I agree with everything said on the podcast though. Drives should not be failing that often even if they are being heavily used, so it seems like something else is causing these problems. The fact that its happening to different models/brands of drives makes me even more certain that there is a problem outside of the drives failing.

    You should try as many of the recommended solutions as possible, since it’s going to take awhile to know for sure whether the issue is resolved. It may be a hassle having to buy a new PSU and UPS, but if your drives end up lasting 5x as long it will easily pay for itself (not to mention all the time/headaches avoided)

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    +so, what kind of stunts does the owl do and has he ever been in any major motion pictures ?

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Rides a motorcycle through a flaming hoop over a shark invested pool of water.

        • south side sammy
        • 7 years ago

        oh, an amateur stunt owl. hardly worth the time.

    • mjaybird
    • 7 years ago

    another great podcast. I would like to say I have always liked AMD for its performance per dollar. I just got the AMD FX 4170 to replace my AMD 64 x2 3800+ witch is a 7 year old chip, the 4170 is a quad core 4.2 and it is fast. For the money AMD is great and good for budget gamers.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    what the heck jordan, you bailed on my question! talk about favoritism… ;( that’s me crying irl.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]You can get lost fast[/quote<] Bwuahahahaha

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    Based on the huge purple flare ruining the photo, I am assuming Jordan has an iPhone 5 (haven’t listened yet)

      • jdrake
      • 7 years ago

      I do not. That’s a misapplied Instagram filter.

        • Damage
        • 7 years ago

        Is there any other kind? 😀

          • jdrake
          • 7 years ago

          How dare you.

    • Farting Bob
    • 7 years ago

    That owl needs more instagram filters.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 7 years ago

    Live Ostrich in the studio? 😮

    • jdrake
    • 7 years ago

    I’m just going to go ahead and beat any comments to the punch… The reason the title at the beginning is so messed up is because I accidentally recorded in the studio as, “episode 120”. Had to use some editing trickery to turn, “120”, into, “121”.

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