The TR Podcast 144: Flagship cards and broken backs

The Tech Report Podcast

Date: October 28, 2013
Duration: 2:00:56

Hosted by: Jordan Drake

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

MP3 (87.1MB)

RSS (MP3) | RSS (M4A)
iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (M4A)

Show notes

Be warned. This episode is long. We cover, in depth, Apple’s latest and greatest tablets and notebooks. Scott expounds on his adventure with AMD’s impressive (if a bit noisy) Radeon R9 290X. Nvidia’s G-Sync is also of interest, as is Geoff’s review of the Asus Transformer Book T100. We wrap things up with Cyril’s discovery of the glorious Steelcase Leap chair.

Send in listener mail, and we’ll answer on the podcast. – [email protected]

Follow us on Twitter – ScottJordanGeoffCyrilThe Tech Report

Listener mail/tweets:

Is Scott a Dungeon Master? – from Phil:

“I have been listening to the “Nerd Poker” dungeons and dragons podcast recently. There was something strangely familiar about it that I couldn’t put my finger on until today. I can’t help but notice that the “Scott” dungeon master sounds identical to the “Scott” of your podcast. The last names are different, yet suspiciously similar (Wasson vs. Robison – perhaps one is a pseudonym?). Can you do some sleuthing and expose his double life in your next podcast?”

[email protected]? – from Chris:

“Good day to you Mr. Wasson and Mr. Drake. I was wondering if it would be possible to get a mention during the next Podcast focusing on the TR [email protected] team and our project for October? A lot of us are all folding under the TRFrankenbot name as a team effort for the Halloween Holiday. Frankie only gets used during October of each year then goes back to sleep at the end of October until its time next year. Our goal this year is to earn 20 million points. Last year Frankie earned 5 million points from the group effort. However, after doing some rough math, it looks like we are going to come up short on our goal unless we get some more help. I am hoping a little PR from the TR team will push us over the top.”

Tech discussion:

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

Comments closed
    • dashbarron
    • 9 years ago

    Really enjoyed all topics this round. Great job guys.

    • Great_Big_Abyss
    • 9 years ago

    That’s probably because they’re kettle cooked chips. Mmmmmm….kettle cooked chips…

    • Great_Big_Abyss
    • 9 years ago

    So…. you’re editing this on a Mac?

    I suddenly have lost all confidence in the world!

    • Geonerd
    • 9 years ago

    OK, installed [email protected] on my ‘mighty’ Thuban.

    I’ve looked at the Franken-Forum, but cannot see how to assign my system to the team.
    (I’m sure one of the many links will eventually lead me to the answer, but I don’t want to waste the time…)

    Anyone, WTF is the TEAM NUMBER please?!


    EDIT 2630, right?

    Yea, I’m cranky, but FFS a volunteer shouldn’t have to hunt down the frigging answer.

    • jdrake
    • 9 years ago

    As I intended:-)

    • alphacheez
    • 9 years ago

    I started laughing when I heard you first open the bag, and even harder at the big crinkle later in the podcast.

    • jdrake
    • 9 years ago

    People… I edit each minute of this podcast with a fine tooth comb… do you really think the comedic chip noise blooper was an accident?

    • jdrake
    • 9 years ago

    The new Garageband is very, very, very stupid.

    • Ryhadar
    • 9 years ago

    I laughed when you were mashing on the chips when you all were talking about Apple.

    I wouldn’t have been listening otherwise, haha.

    (Not trolling, I just have no interest in Apple stuff.)

    • danny e.
    • 9 years ago

    hmm Fridge reviews sounds like fun!

    • the
    • 9 years ago

    Arg… cut out/mute your mic for the jalapeno chip eating. It sounds so much better without.

    One quirk of the Retina MacBook Pro with Iris Pro 5200 graphics is that OS X does not seemingly recognize the L4 cache. I was at an Apple store recently and I could not find a reference to the extra cache anywhere. (sysctl –a hw. does not indicate explicit or implicit L4 cache under OS X 10.9).

    The low end Mac Pro isn’t using a Taihiti chip. Rather it is using the same GPU’s found in the Radeon 7870.

    Apple is doing some weird things with its port configuration. They explicitly state that it’ll support only three 4k resolution displays. This is the same limitation AMD lists on their FirePro cards but the Mac Pro has two. Thus it appears that all the Thunderbolt ports are being driven from a single card. However, there is a 7th video out port: an HDMI 1.4 port which can drive a 4k display as well. All 7 output can reportedly be in use simultaneously.

    The reason why Apple has had difficulties of migrating users off of OS X 10.6 is that it is the last version that supports legacy PowerPC applications (the last PowerPC based machines were sold in 2006). In addition, OS X 10.7 (and subsequently OS X 10.8) breaks some applications even on the Intel side. Thus there has been a continual need to keep OS X 10.6 around. The free upgrade is a clear signal that it is time to upgrade.

    Per the DP spec, even older Radeon cards should be able to handle a single large surface 4k display. The issue isn’t the pixel rate from the GPU but rather the logic inside of the monitors. Manufactures have simply found it easier/cheaper to use MST internally to drive 4k as two logical surfaces.

    The DSP audio block in the Xbox One is actually a custom design from Microsoft. The history of Sony’s DSP block hasn’t leaked to the public but it could be the same licensed technology as AMD. It’ll be interesting to see if True Audio uses similar API’s as the next-gen consoles.

    The DMA engine on AMD’s Hawaii is catching up to what nVidia has. The Quadro/Tesla cards not only support DMA between graphics card but also other device entirely. Infiniband networking interfaces area popular citation by nVidia for this technology.

    Moving to PCI-e for Crossfire should provide a major bandwidth improvement. While I see moving to PCI-e as the primary means for data transfer, the CrossFire bridge could be used to further augment bandwidth. This could be useful for running on older hardware, say a Core i7 2600k where 8 lane PCI-e 2.0 is available. Latency benefits crop up in multisocket systems as the GPU’s may not share a common host bus controller.

    Well we be seeing high frame rate recording of a GSYNC and non-GSYNC panels side by side to help illustrate the benefit of this technology?

    • Cyril
    • 9 years ago

    Technical issue. Here’s a relevant chat log from last night:
    [quote<] (9:19:52 PM) Jordan: new Garageband... (9:19:55 PM) Jordan: won't let me add chapters (9:20:06 PM) Jordan: I'm just going to have to put out mp3 for now (9:20:13 PM) Jordan: too late to figure this out and it's already taken me 15 minutes (9:20:15 PM) Cyril: are you holding it wrong [/quote<]

    • Great_Big_Abyss
    • 9 years ago

    Why no ‘times’ in the ‘table of contents’? I listen to the podcast in bits and pieces at work, and it’s nice to have the times so I know when all the segments begin.

    • jdrake
    • 9 years ago

    Hey, what’s wrong with a little bit of subtle SFX humor?

    • TwoEars
    • 9 years ago

    Damn you, now you made me hungry for junkfood!

    Great podcast as usual!

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t really think much of those jalapeno potato chips. They taste just like regular potato chips, and they’re not even all that hot.

    They certainly sounded extremely crunchy though. In the middle of that other guys sentence. 😉 “blah blah blahCRUNCHblCRUNCHahCRUNCHblahCRUNCH”

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Ugh, Jordan… tell me you’re trollin with those potato chips. Bad podcasting decorum!!

    • ThorAxe
    • 9 years ago

    iPads….meh. May as well review fridges. 🙂

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