Valve Publishes Packages For Their Linux Distribution and more
Posted on: 04/02/2013 12:14 PM
Here today's reviews and articles, including Valve Publishes Packages For Their Linux Distribution, The Perfect Server - CentOS 6.4 x86_64 (nginx, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3), Frame Capture and Analysis Tools Review, AMD touts unified gaming strategy, and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review
Valve Publishes Packages For Their Linux Distribution @ Phoronix
For Valve's forthcoming Linux-based Steam gaming console the first packages are starting to emerge within a package repository on the SteamPowered web-server.
Valve's "Steam Box" will likely be shipping with a customized version of Debian/Ubuntu Linux at its heart. I've already written some early details about their Linux-based hardware gaming console for the living room based upon details I've known of within this article since talking with Gabe Newell last year at Valve about their Linux plans. For months I have been saying that their software platform will likely be based upon Ubuntu, likely "Ubuntu Core" and obviously an LTS release.
Anyhow, it was tipped off to Phoronix there's now a "hometest" Debian APT repository that has been public the past few days on the SteamPowered.com server. This repository is different from what's found in the public/default "steam" package repository.
Read more: Valve Publishes Packages For Their Linux Distribution @ PhoronixThe Perfect Server - CentOS 6.4 x86_64 (nginx, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)
This tutorial shows how to prepare a CentOS 6.4 x86_64 server for the installation of ISPConfig 3, and how to install ISPConfig 3. ISPConfig 3 is a webhosting control panel that allows you to configure the following services through a web browser: nginx web server, Postfix mail server, MySQL, BIND nameserver, PureFTPd, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, Mailman, and many more. Since version 3.0.4, ISPConfig comes with full support for the nginx web server in addition to Apache; this tutorial covers the setup of a server that uses nginx, not Apache.
Read more: The Perfect Server - CentOS 6.4 x86_64 (nginx, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC edition review @ Guru3D
In this article, we review the EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC edition review with that SC for superclocked. The product is fairly reference looking but does come with EVGA's own styled cooler design, it has 2GB of memory. With both that memory and the core base-clock overclocked quite significant. Overall an interesting product at an interesting price in the lower segment of the mainstream market. The GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost edition. It is their answer to the Radeon HD 7790 that AMD unleashed recently. Is entry level finally reaching mid-range? Can the card play your most favorite games at 1920x1080/1200? Well, yes it does, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti deserves some explanation though, as the entire 650 range itself now is getting a little flooded with products that differ quite a bit from each other.
See when you take the regular GeForce GTX 650 it comes castrated a bit with just 384 shader cores whereas the regular Ti model is released with a far better 768 CUDA cores (shader processors) and a 925 MHz GPU clock (for the reference products). So that's already nearly double the processing performance and allows the product to compete with the Radeon HD 7770. With the Radeon HD 7790 being roughly a third faster than 7770, NVIDIA needed to out a product that can keep up with that rather significant performance boost -- and as such the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost edition now is introduced. So budget graphics card series for gamers therefore just got a little more interesting. Albeit we say that 175 USD/EUR should not exactly really carry the mark of being low budget.
With that price tag the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost positions itself smack-down in-between AMD's Radeon HD 7790 and 7850, and that really is a comfortable spot to be in for many of you as Full HD gaming (a monitor resolution of 1920x1080) is now becoming a viable option. Obviously NVIDIA did not want to make yet another separate chip. So The GTX 650 Ti Boost is the very same one used on the regular GTX 660, yup the GTX 650 Ti Boost is using the "GK106" silicon opposed to the GK107 being used on the regular 650 model (it's confusing as heck, we know). The GK106 silicon is armed with 768 active shader processor cores divided over four processor clusters running at a 980 MHz base clock on the reference products. That means that the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost packs decent enough punch. There is a distinct difference though, Boost or better yet, dynamics clocking has been added to this model.
Read more: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SC edition review @ Guru3DFrame Capture and Analysis Tools Review @ OCC
A tremendous amount of data is created during the capture and analysis process including charts that plot out the 95th and 99th percentile frame rates as well as charts that show the observed FPS versus the FRAPS FPS. Below are some representations of the data presented showing that yes, even with the latest drivers AMD is struggling with some frame time issues that drive the FPS delivered down to a level below that reported by FRAPS. Looking at the Frame Time chart you can see that when run in a CrossfireX configuration the frame time data is all over the board whereas NVIDIA's multi GPU solution delivers a consistent line across the chart. Slightly wider than the single GPU line but still much improved over the AMD configurations. Another look using the percentile chart illustrates this a little differently, showing that as the outliers are removed the FPS takes a downward swing. The results from one game do not tell the whole tale so looking at BF3 as well as Far Cry 3 provides a pair of results to illustrate the point with a little larger base of video cards.
Read more: Frame Capture and Analysis Tools Review @ OCCAZIO GM-2000 Gaming Mouse Review @ Hardware Canucks
Gaming mice currently occupy one of the most hotly contested product categories around. While so-called “gaming” peripherals used to be the sole focus of only a few companies like Razer, Logitech and the fondly remembered Gravis, it seems like ever company is now making a foray into this lucrative product space. Azio and their new GM-2000 simply represent another stab at creating a mouse that will appeal to gamers, without being too specific or laser targeted in its focus.
One of the main challenges facing peripheral manufacturers is whether to design their product so it excels in offering a narrow spectrum of specialized abilities or make a one size fits all solution. The broad focus approach has worked well in the past and that’s exactly what Azio is offering with the $40 GM-2000.
Read more: AZIO GM-2000 Gaming Mouse Review @ Hardware CanucksIneo Alienvibes W601 Speaker Review @ Hi Tech Legion
So, now that you have your music with you, you may want a way to listen to it other than through headphones. Listening on your smartphone just really isn’t an option for enjoyable playback, you need something a bit bigger. Ideally, the speaker setup in your entertainment center or computer would have a second input to allow you to simply plug in and play. More ideally, these speakers would actually be built to audiophile type designs and actually sound good. While we are at it, it would be nice if you could just pop a USB flash drive or SD card in the front of it and have it play the music stored on it. Well, that’s where something like Alienvibes’ flagship W601 system comes in.
Alienvibes W601 2.2 speakers from ineo technologies absolutely adhere to audiophile starting points on how to build a good speaker set. Right off the bat, the Alienvibes W601 features all wooden enclosures with piano black plastic trim, satellites with 2 x 3” midrange and 1” tweeter, plus a pair of 5.25” drivers in a vented enclosure handling the lows. The amp built into the sub enclosure pumps out 15w RMS x 2 to the satellites and 50w RMS mono to the subs with an active crossover. The face of the sub enclosure has an easy to use interface for vol/bass/treble/input/mute as well as USB and SD card inputs. Simply insert a USB or SD card with music files and the W601 can play them back with full control plus an EQ with eight factory tuned presets. Dual inputs for RCA and 3.5mm allow for multiple sources to be used, making the W601 a great audio piece for an entertainment center.
Read more: Ineo Alienvibes W601 Speaker Review @ Hi Tech LegionGigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review @ PC Stats
We really liked what we saw from Gigabyte's Intel Z77 based GA-Z77X-UD4H motherboard -- the board graciously offers up a comprehensive feature set, its layout and implementation are well executed and the build quality is first rate. he board offers up two PCI Express x16 slots for two-way graphics card set ups in x8/x8 mode, single graphics cards will run in x16 mode. Graphics cards will run at PCI Express Gen 2.0 or PCI Express Gen 3.0 support depending on the CPU architecture and videocard.
Read more: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review @ PC StatsAMD touts unified gaming strategy @ The Tech Report
Last week at GDC, AMD held an event for the press highlighting its commitment to gaming and graphics while dropping a series of newsy bits along the way. We've already reported on some of the news items, but the firm also had a broader picture to paint.
Read more: AMD touts unified gaming strategy @ The Tech ReportSteelSeries Siberia V2 Cross-Platform Headset Review @ Hardware Secrets
The Siberia V2 is one of the flagship gaming-grade audio products from SteelSeries. Now the company releases the Cross-Platform model, a headset that is compatible across the board with PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. It's a wise choice for the user who plays on the PC and on one of those next-generation consoles (or perhaps on both of them.) The Siberia V2 Cross-Platform is a big headset with closed ear headphones and 50 mm drivers, but at the same time is surprisingly lightweight and features a retractable microphone. We'll look at the physical characteristics first, and then we'll review the product's performance.
Read more: SteelSeries Siberia V2 Cross-Platform Headset Review @ Hardware SecretsBioshock Infinite Tested, Benchmarked @ Techspot
Developed using a modified version of Unreal Engine 2.5 and enhanced with Havok Physics, we were blown away by the original BioShock when it launched back in September 2007. Our performance review at the time concluded that the title had "jaw-dropping visual effects" and that you'd need one of the finest graphics cards of the day if you intended on playing at 1920x1200 -- or even 1600x1200 for that matter.
Given our first impression with the first entry, we didn't hesitate to take BioShock 2 for a spin a couple years later. However, as is often the case, the second title was less of a technical showpiece. It also used a modified build of Unreal Engine 2.5 and looked similar to its predecessor with no major improvements. In turn, the game could be run on max quality at 1920x1200 with a relatively affordable graphics card.
Read more: Bioshock Infinite Tested, Benchmarked @ TechspotGPU Reviews: Why Frame Time Analysis is important @ Vortez
Analysing a graphics card's performance has been debated for years. In fan boy threads across the world wide web, debates have continually thrown up the question - which is best?
How do you measure what is 'best'? Image quality? Driver support? Price? The one area which is generally agreed that can separate two graphics cards is Frames Per Second. This method has been used for years and for the most part is/was the accepted method to measure graphics card performance. Indeed, we use this method ourselves currently. There is however a change afoot whereby FPS is no longer the sole method for measuring how good a GPU is.
Read more: GPU Reviews: Why Frame Time Analysis is important @ VortezLenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review @ HotHardware.com
Lenovo's first ThinkPad tablet was a bit of a disappointment to be candid. Even the best Android Honeycomb tablets were severely lacking on a number of fronts, back in the day. What was the use of a business tablet that couldn't run business apps? Well, forget all that. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a real business tablet, and one that actually feels like a ThinkPad--albeit one that has a detachable keyboard. It runs Windows; not Windows RT, not Android, not Windows XP, but real Windows 8 (or Windows 8 Pro). It has a gorgeous 10.1-inch 1366x768 LED IPS multitouch screen, an optional active digitizer stylus, optional mobile broadband, and ThinkPad good looks (if you're into that). Its optional keyboard dock is not really a dock and not really optional, but we'll get to that in just a bit.
Read more: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review @ HotHardware.comLogitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
The mouse is perhaps the only PC peripheral that has changed a virtually countless number of times since its introduction almost 50 years ago. Sure the basic concept has remained the same even after 50 years but the technology and design have not and although most of us grew up using the rather old PS/2 ball mice we now have both optical and laser USB/wireless mice which are many times faster, can be used on most surfaces and usually have more than just two primary buttons. Gaming mice are even more advanced with better precision/accuracy, increased speeds, many buttons (usually with high quality switches) and several features that can help gamers dominate the battlefield with ease. The G600 MMO Gaming Mouse by Logitech which we have here with us today was designed and manufactured specifically for gamers who play Massive Multiplayer Online games and thus require more buttons than normal single player games to use as shortcuts in order to effectively improve their response times (naturally since you are going up against countless enemies controlled by real people).
Read more: Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTechDeepCool Frostwin Heatsink Review @ FrostyTech
The DeepCool Frostwin heatsink ships with two 120mm PWM fans that rotate at 1500-900RPM and move upwards of 55CFM each. According to Frostytech's real world sound measurements, the heatsink produces between 37-50dBA noise. DeepCool's Frostwin heatsink installs onto Intel socket LGA2011/1366/1155/1156/775 processors and the complete line up of AMD chips (socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2).
Read more: DeepCool Frostwin Heatsink Review @ FrostyTechSamsung SSD Magician and Data Migration Review @ Vortez
Samsung have been at the forefront of the solid state drive market since the beginning although relatively unknown until the past year or so with the release of the Samsung 830 Series into the mainstream, it could be considered a shock to know that Samsung are the biggest producer of flash memory in the world today. Samsung are one of the only companies on the market to produce all the parts for themselves, when you buy a Samsung SSD, you get a Samsung SSD. With Samsung’s utilization of the highly sought after NAND controller, their competitive pricing and fantastic performance it’s really no surprise to hear that they are among some of the most reliable and reputable brands in the world.
Read more: Samsung SSD Magician and Data Migration Review @ VortezSatechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub UH3-10P Review @ Legit Reviews
The Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub measures in at 8.69" x 1.75" x 1.06" and is very light at just 4.125 ounces. The hub has three sets of three SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, and each set of ports can be independently controlled by a power switch on the left side hub. When the ports are switched on, they're lit up blue. You might notice that there are just nine USB 3.0 ports, but that is because there is a "charge only" USB 3.0 port at the end of the unit...
Read more: Satechi 10-Port USB 3.0 Hub UH3-10P Review @ Legit ReviewsADATA DashDrive HV610 1TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.org
When it comes to all of these new devices such as tablets and Ultrabooks is that they do have a limited storage space. Whenever I am on the road or traveling I always have a portable hard drive with me. It gives me that extra storage space when I need it. Today we are taking a look at one of ADATAâ€™s USB 3.0 portable hard drives. The DashDrive HV610 not only has a large capacity up to 1TB and super fast USB 3.0 transfer speeds it also has a cool cover that doubles as a holder for the USB 3.0 cable. Letâ€™s see if this is the perfect portable hard drive to add to your travel bag.
Read more: ADATA DashDrive HV610 1TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.orgThree AMD 990FX-Based Motherboards For Enthusiasts @ Tom's Hardware
AMD's flagship FX-series processors squarely target enthusiasts with sub-$1,000 system budgets, and it's hard to get there with an expensive motherboard. We requested every vendor's top-value solution, and received three boards for your consideration.
Read more: Three AMD 990FX-Based Motherboards For Enthusiasts @ Tom's HardwareASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II OC Video Card Review @ HardOCP
ASUS has delivered a factory overclocked GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II OC to our doorstep to run through the wringer. We match this ASUS video card up against AMD's Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7850 to see which will prevail in the battle of the mainstream cards. There are good values at this price point.
Read more: ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II OC Video Card Review @ HardOCPPowerColor PCS+ AX7850 2GBD5-2DHPP Radeon HD 7850 2GB @ Bjorn3D
The PowerColor HD 7850 PCS+ is the fastest factory overclocked HD 7850 on the market. The card features PowerColors own custom cooler with 5+1+1 phase power design, DrMos and IR Digital PWM that allows enthusiasts to push it even further. And the mixture of ports and the bundle makes it one of the best HD 7850 available on the market today.
Read more: PowerColor PCS+ AX7850 2GBD5-2DHPP Radeon HD 7850 2GB @ Bjorn3DAMD roadmap shows Steamroller-based Opterons on track for 2013 @ Engadget
AMD gave us a tease of its next-generation Steamroller architecture in 2012, but things weren't looking good for pro users when the initial timeline had current-generation Piledriver technology as the focus for Opterons in 2013. Thanks to a newer investor presentation, there's a glimmer of hope for the workstation and server users among us. Its roadmap shows Steamroller-equipped Opteron variants arriving this year, with an Excavator follow-up coming at an undetermined point in the future.
Read more: AMD roadmap shows Steamroller-based Opterons on track for 2013 @ EngadgetQNAP TS-569 Pro @ techPowerUp
Today, we get to fully evaluate another high-end SMB NAS server from QNAP. The TS-569 Pro can accommodate up to five HDDs for a total of 20TB storage with 4TB drives. This NAS is also compatible with QNAP's new feature, the HD Station, which transforms it into a fully capable media player.
Read more: QNAP TS-569 Pro @ techPowerUp