The TR Podcast 130: A series of grunts about convertible tablets

The Tech Report Podcast

Date: March 17, 2013
Duration: 1:27:46

Hosted by: Jordan Drake

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

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Show notes

After a three-week break, we’re back with a fresh episode of your favorite tech podcast. After answering some listener mail and tweets, we wade through the PR disaster that is EA’ latest Sim City release. Then, Scott explains why Crysis 3 is the first of the “next-gen” games. Jordan digresses to share his recent experience with hi-tech sports gear in the Colorado Rockies, and then Cyril relates his brush with Samsung’s 700T convertible tablet—and his reservations about that entire device category. Finally, Geoff and Scott explain the ins and outs of AMD’s new Richland APU.

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

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail/tweets:

Two Questions – from P Jones – (0:01:59):

“Hey Guys, I picked up AMD trinity 65W (A8-5500) mini itx config with 2×2, 2133 ddr3 memory. Two questions:

1. Mobo is having a difficult time with stable 1866. One dim is problematic. Suggestions? Voltage stepping on mobo for mem is 150mV, recommended setting is 1.65V

2. Playing Dirt3 on 720 projector but only getting 30 fps. If I want 60 fps or at lest 45 FPS and low cost upgrade, should I get a dual config (i.e. APU + compatible discrete AMD GPU). Is the 1866 memory always the bottleneck. I thought the lower resolution would help FPS.”

Tweet: Problem with tablets? – from @kj_pda – (0:08:45):

“spend time on “problem with win tablets”. talk about today, tomorrow and 1-2 years from now. provide your best guess! Thx”

Tweet: AMD’s Roadmap – from @kj_pda – (0:08:45):

“how does AMDs mobile roadmap work in 2013?”

Tech discussion:

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

Comments closed
    • sarahNL93144
    • 7 years ago
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    The whole Crysis thing is hilarious. I can’t beat crisis 2 because I’ve encountered this glitch:

    [url<]http://www.mycrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=19631[/url<] Never Aknowledged or fixed.

    • ThorAxe
    • 7 years ago

    I 100% agree with you Scott. I am on my second play through now because of how much fun I had the first time. Some of the reviews I have seen are borderline idiotic. I thought to myself, if you want a great story why are you playing video games?? Go read Joseph Conrad or Tolstoy.

    I was very pleased and somewhat surprised that the magazine version of [url<]http://www.pcauthority.com.au[/url<] gave Crysis 3 a 6/6. They understood that you can still have fun and look awesome at the same time.

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 7 years ago

    Talking about Crytek, you kind of made my point that we are in a period where “better graphics” really doesn’t matter anymore. In the “next gen games” article, the author himself wrote that he actually had to point out the improvements in Skyrim over Oblivion.

    Graphics, I feel, are now just a huge sinkhole for man-hours, draining time and effort to no real effect, as huge amounts of time are taken making every little tiny detail, then making all the little tiny details work together harmoniously, all so you can have a pretty game who’s features… nobody really actually notices, beyond some occasional glance, quickly forgotten. Really, the days of improved graphics making a huge difference in the game are over. As of now, better graphics just offers more detail to graphics that already have a lot of detail, and this detail is increasingly close to the limits of our nearsighted eyes to notice them without effort.

    The price of this sinkhole seems to be the game-play itself, where the game itself is exceedingly short, the world is small, or keeps you on “rails”, or the character AI, personality, and story development are rudimentary.

    This is what I feel about the situation, anyhow. Let the flames of wrath commence! Let Loose The Trolls of War! Internet Flame War, that is! 😉

      • auxy
      • 7 years ago

      Um. (・`ェ´・)つ

      [b<]No.[/b<] [super<]Aw, size tags don't work on the comments?[/super<]

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Dude that guy is missing an ear. Is that your Van Gogh emoticon?

      • axeman
      • 7 years ago

      It’s also causing the “Hollywood” syndrome in video games. Games like movies, cost so much to produce, the studios won’t gamble on *anything* remotely different because they can’t afford to gamble with their investment. Stick to the same old formula and reap the profits, it’s all profits driven. Luckily the barrier to entry isn’t as high as the film industry, (sure there are indy films, but it’s not like I can pay 8 bucks to see them on the big screen, at least not anywhere around here) and there is a really a lot of great games out there from indy devs with really good gameplay, even if the graphical eye candy isn’t as great. Personally, I’m much more interested in games with gameplay, and an artful style. Meh on new improved blockbuster shooter of the week. OTOH, I found Braid mind-blowing.

        • esterhasz
        • 7 years ago

        But also: some of the tech that is financed with the endless sequels is currently trickling down to smaller studios and indies that can use middleware like Unity to make OK looking games that are innovative and less risk aversive.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      Of the games that I’ve sunk many hours in (over 100), Plants vs Zombies, Defense Grid: The Awkening, Borderlands, Borderlands 2 and Fallout 3, none of them were leading graphics wise and some of them go out of their way (Borderlands) to NOT show fancy graphics.

      I LOVE good eye candy and want game devs to continue moving forward with graphics, but if the game doesn’t engage me (Battlefield, CoD) and doesn’t pull me in with a good story, I’m not gonna play it. It seriously can’t cost that much to hire a good writer…

    • dragosmp
    • 7 years ago

    @DDR1866 on APU question: after checking is one of the sticks is actually faulty (flip meme slots, try each one by itself) and relaxing the timings I’d try a slight overvolt of the CPU-NB (0.05-0.1V); increasing the trfc subtiming could also help. Also the BIOS of the motherboard should be the latest possible.

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