Plus: AMD's commitment to high-end CPUs, DDR4, 5-way GPU support, 20nm GPUs, and more!
In a bit of a surprise to us, AMD and Origin PC wanted to come in together for episode 231 of the No BS Podcast. As you may recall, this is surprising considering that last October, Origin PC’s Co-founder and CEO Kevin Wasielewski announced that it would be dropping AMD graphics cards from its systems, stating, “This decision was based on a combination of many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from our support staff,” and whom also then added, “Based on our 15+ years of experience building and selling award winning high-performance PCs, we strongly feel the best PC gaming experience is on Nvidia GPUs.”
We play through the first 100 turns of Firaxis' next Civ game
We're still a couple months away from the retail release of Civilization: Beyond Earth (C:BE), but publisher 2K Games couldn't hold back the horde any longer. We've been eager to try it out because it's Civ, but also because it feels like a spiritual sequel to Alpha Centauri, which itself dealt with a nagging question from earlier entries in the series: What happens when you win the game by launching an interstellar ship into space? Where do those people go? At first glance, C:BE looks like a sci-fi Civilization V with an exotic color palette, but a number of new layers unfolded during our time with it.
HTC doesn't seem to care that its Desire 510 rocks a 64-bit chip
You can add the Desire 510 to HTC's family of smartphones. HTC announced the LTE device, which sports a 4.7-inch display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. In case you're not familiar, the Snapdragon 410 features four Cortex A53 CPU cores clocked at 1.2GHz and an Adreno 306 GPU. It's a speedy chip, but perhaps what's most interesting is that it's a 64-bit capable part, though you wouldn't know it from reading through HTC's press materials.
Phising has become the top network security concern for enterprises
Hewlett-Packard sponsored a study conducted by research organization Ipsos Observer that shines a light on the number one concern for enterprises today. According to the study, almost 70 percent of IT professionals experience phishing attacks at least once a week, with customer data cited most often as the type of data attacked. After that, phishers are most interested in financial information.
HTC One M8 for Windows will land at T-Mobile this fall
It came as a bit of a surprise when Microsoft and HTC announced a cloned version of the One M8 handset running Windows Phone 8.1 software. After all, it's HTC's flagship Android smartphone, and by porting it over to Windows Phone 8.1, HTC claims it marks the first time that an iconic flagship device has been offered on multiple operating systems. But what about multiple carriers? Well, you can add T-Mobile to the list of wireless carriers getting the One M8 for Windows.
Diehard Windows XP fans are having a hard time bidding the legacy operating system farewll -- by the numbers, it's estimated that some 15 percent (StatCounter) to just under 25 percent (Net Applications) of desktops are still running Windows XP. Save for businesses that pay a fee, Microsoft killed off support for Windows XP back in April, though one developer is determined to keep it alive with a new (and unofficial) Service Pack.
Industry's first 3D TSV-based DDR4 modules go into mass production
The desktop isn't the only place you'll find interesting things happening with double data rate-4 (DDR4) memory. Samsung this week said it has begun mass producing what it claims is the industry's first 64GB DDR4 RDIMMs using three dimensional "through silicon via" (TSV) package technology intended for enterprise servers, cloud-based applications, and other data center solutions.
Following successful runs in Google's Dev, Beta, and Canary channels, the 64-bit version of Google's Chrome browser for Windows is now available as a stable release (Chrome 37). That means you can have all the benefits of the 64-bit version without the risks of instability that come from running pre-release software. According to Google, 64-bit Chrome offers a bunch of benefits for speed, stability, and security.
Some Surface Pro 3 tablets are prone to overheating
A limited number of Surface Pro 3 owners have been reporting issues with their tablets overheating, even when running light tasks or simple sitting at idle. In turn, this has led to the cooling fan ramping up to excessive noise levels. Microsoft is aware of the overheating issue and has promised Surface Pro 3 owners that a fix will be issued "as soon as possible." It's unclear if that means it will come on Patch Tuesday (September 9), before, or after.
One thing Intel won't have any trouble doing in the coming months is moving low-cost laptop CPUs. That's because Microsoft and Intel are making concerted efforts with vendors to sell entry-level notebooks priced from around $200 to $250 in order to fend off the Chromebook push. As a result of this new focus, Intel is seeing a rise in the proportion of entry-level notebook CPUs, particularly its Pentium and Celeron chips.