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3DMark 11 Sneak Preview
Written by Michael Schuette   
Oct 17, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Over the past decade, we have had a very close relationship with Futuremark and even its predecessor Remedy Studios that essentially brought us the first comprehensive graphics benchmark in the form of FinalReality 1.01. I have met Markus Mäki, Tero Sarkinen, and more people than I can remember with Finnish names that I could not pronounce if my life depended on it. Needless to say, they were all good guys and hard drinkers.

All of that aside, Futuremark has been the industry graphic benchmark for more than a decade and I have been lucky enough to get a bit of insight in the inner workings of the company that has taken it upon itself to establish some kind of competition to whatever standards organizations are out there that are more or less 5 years behind the curve. The inner workings of Futuremark are pretty well hidden from the outside but any company willing to contribute a relatively minor membership fee can have some input in the form of feedback or else have access to the source code, which incurs a somewhat steeper price tag. But nothing compared to the monthly advertising cost on a prime hardware review site.

Last Updated ( Dec 28, 2010 at 01:42 AM )
AMD's Phenom II and Athlon II Refresh
Written by Michael Schuette   
Sep 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

In all the hype surrounding the upcoming release of the next generation of processor, that is Bobcat and Bulldozer in the AMD camp and Sandy Bridge from Intel, the evolution of the existing processor lineup is still advancing. There is nothing spectacular about the new offerings, however, refinements in the process technology happen all the time and that by itself is reason enough to shift the SKU alignment upwards by a notch, that is, adding faster speed grades running at slightly lower power than their predecessors.

Along these lines, AMD released six new CPUs into the wild, each one representing a new flagship with the exception of the Thuban core-based Phenom II X6 1075T, which is positioned between the '1090T and the '1055T.

Last Updated ( Jul 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM )
A.C. Ryan PlayOn! HD and Mini
Written by Michael Schuette   
Sep 13, 2010 at 12:46 AM

Call me entertainmentally challenged. What I mean is that you can give me a box of junk, electronics or auto parts doesn’t matter and I’ll figure out a way to build something that runs. Registry hacks, puh … been there, done that 15 years ago. Oh, and give me a good stereo or surround sound system and I’ll figure out a way to make it even better just by tuning it a bit.

When it comes to home theaters, though, I am incompetent. Part of this relates to the poor quality of the early systems out there, where the big screens looked to me like they had gaps between the pixels; and projectors - thanks but no thanks, there is something about my eyes that doesn’t harmonize with those things at all. I mean, I still have to see a single one that does not look blurry. And thanks for all those corporate presentations in PowerPoint that completely pass me by because of their poor visual quality.

Last Updated ( Sep 27, 2010 at 05:47 AM )
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