Posts Tagged ‘cpu’

Hard Choices: How To Choose The Right CPU

By Jeremy Laird on September 11th, 2014.

Apparently, some of you don’t dedicate every waking hour to keeping up with PCI Express lane counts, silicon production nodes and CPU socket redundancy. I know, some people, eh? But with that in mind, plus the tendency for product-driven reportage to get a bit jargon heavy, not to mention some significant recent CPU-related developments from Intel of late, now feels like a good moment to stick a peg in the sand, pull all the current CPU options together, outline the key technologies and issues and then point you in the direct of a few best buys. It’s time for another semi-newbie’s guide to CPUs.
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Week In Tech: Intel’s Haswell-E Is Actually Interesting

By Jeremy Laird on September 4th, 2014.

Remember when Intel’s top platform was relevant? When proper CPUs didn’t come with nonsense like integrated graphics and the Core i7-920 D0 was the weapon of choice for gamers and PC enthusiasts in the know? Good times. More recently, the LGA2011 socket and its CPUs have been irrelevant unless you had money to hose about with nonchalant abandon. Yeah, yeah, they’ve been the fastest PC platforms you could buy. But at a premium that massively outweighed the real-world benefit. No longer. Those good times are back. With its new ‘Haswell-E’ Core i7s, the new X99 chipset and revised LGA2011-v3 socket, Intel has finally delivered the goods that I, at least, have been waiting for. Haswell-E is something you’ll actually want to buy. Ride your rodents to the other side to find out why.

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Week in Tech: Intel Shrinks Desktop Apathy Down To 14nm

By Jeremy Laird on August 14th, 2014.

22nm apathy to the left, 14nm on the right

Spool up the apathy drive and buckle in for yet another family of unexciting new CPUs from Intel. The 14nm Broadwell generation is nearly upon us and Intel has begun the slow drip feed of info about a CPU hardly anyone will notice or care about in desktop PCs. It’ll be a while yet before we get full speeds and feeds. But we already know enough to say that Broadwell is more of the same. No more cores, barely any additional CPU performance, better graphics and battery life. Deathly dull and disappointing? Yup, except possibly for mobile gaming. It’s all too familiar. Of course, if it’s exciting desktop stuff you crave, Intel’s Haswell-E is, surprisingly, shaping up rather nicely. Pity I can’t tell you any more about that, for now…
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Week in Tech: Intel Loves You, VR, $3,000 Graphics

By Jeremy Laird on March 27th, 2014.

The golden age of detachable twangers returns...

Right, then, it’s been an intriguing week or so in PC gaming tech. The virtual reality roadmap just got a rocket up the bum with the news that social network and moneybags megacorp Facebook has snapped up Oculus VR while Sony has injected additional momentum by showing off its own prototype headset for the PS4. Meanwhile, remember when you could buy a cheap Intel chip and overclock the twangers off it? Those days may be returning. Intel has apparently decided that it cares about we PC enthusiasts after all. Well, kinda. Oh, and Nvidia has another catastrophically expensive video card which you won’t be buying. Same old.

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Week in Tech: The PC is Doomed, Long Live the PC!

By Jeremy Laird on November 21st, 2013.

Transparent aluminum?!

Or maybe it’s the other way round. Anyway, the Xbox One only has 16 ROPs. I know, 16 ROPs. The humiliation. The humanity! Nvidia’s GeForce 6800 had 16 ROPs in 2004. No idea what I’m on about? It’s cheap point scoring from a smug PC evangelist, of course, but also just a single entry in a long list of reasons why the PC is looking pretty clever now the new consoles are roaming the wild. On the other hand, I’ve had a grope around the latest factoids and rumours relating to PC processors for the next year or so and the shape of things to come feels awfully familiar. Maybe the prophets of doom are right, after all… Read the rest of this entry »

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Week in Tech: Ultra-SFF Gaming FTW?

By Jeremy Laird on October 3rd, 2013.


Could it be true? That here in my mortal hand I do hold a nugget of purest gaming? Not exactly. It’s the latest and tiniest NUC, Intel’s so-called ‘Next Unit of Computing’. It’s a full-function PC with Intel’s best graphics ever. And it’s claimed to sport pukka gaming chops. Meanwhile, Valve has been punting SteamOS, the whole Steam Box thang is still on – as far as I know – and Xi3’s Piston has been priced up at a preposterous $1,000. Chuck all that into the mix and you might wonder whether the NUC looks a lot like a entry-level Steam Box, on the hardware side at least. And if so, does the small-form-factor gaming thing add up? Read the rest of this entry »

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Week In Tech: Haswell Mobile, AMD Goes GHz Gaga

By Jeremy Laird on June 17th, 2013.

Some of you were a teensy bit miffed by my unceremonious defenestration of Intel’s new Haswell CPUs as desktop chips. In fairness, when you’ve only played with the desktop iterations, that’s going to influence your outlook. And Intel really was asking for it. Anyway, while I mentioned Haswell has some serious mobile chops, it’s worth having a closer look at what it all means for mobile gaming and what you should be looking out for when bagging a laptop. In other news, AMD has annouced a 5GHz processor. Surely this can’t be the beginning of a new GHz war…? Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard Choices: Intel’s ‘Orrible New Haswell Chips

By Jeremy Laird on June 3rd, 2013.


Move along. There’s absolutely nothing to see.

Still here? Fine. Intel’s new Haswell CPUs are a non-event for the desktop PC. In fact, with Haswell Intel’s indifference to the desktop might just have been upgraded to spite. If you really must have an explanation, here it is. Read the rest of this entry »

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Week In Tech: Hands On With Those New Games Consoles

By Jeremy Laird on May 27th, 2013.

Ha, sorry. Not really. But it got your attention. And there’s a thin tendril of truth in it. It’s been a busy week in hardware and in my mortal hands I hold a laptop containing AMD’s Jaguar cores. The very same cores as found in the freshly minted games consoles from Microsoft and Sony. So what are they like and what does it mean for PC gaming?

Meanwhile, Nvidia drops a price bomb of the bad kind and Intel has some new chips on the way. Read on for the gruesome details. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard choices: The Week In Tech

By Jeremy Laird on November 29th, 2012.

It's a barren, featureless desert out there, Darling: The future for the PC?

Couple of questions for you hardware freaks to ponder this week. Is it time to think the unthinkable, to do the undoable and ditch the hallowed keyboard n’ mouse control interface for PC gaming? Oh, and is the desktop PC dead? The former’s something I’ve wondered for a while in relation to PC interfaces in general, but now somebody is actually having a proper stab at bettering ye olde rodent and fiddlestick. The latter bombshell, meanwhile, follows rumours Intel will stop selling desktop CPUs in a little over a year. That sounds bad. Fortunately, the reality isn’t altogether catastrophic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard choices: The Week In Tech

By Jeremy Laird on November 22nd, 2012.

Pay attention!

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something doomed. That’s the remit, chaps, keeping you updated with all things hard and gamey every week. I’ll stick the best of the latest kit and most RPS-relevant trends under your snouts, a mix of kit I’ve tried, stuff I haven’t got my hands on yet but looks interesting and other things wot you need to know. This week, some sexy new screens, a new SSD from Intel, a pint-sized gaming portable, AMD on the ropes and more. So much more. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard Choices Update: Mobile Gaming On The Cheap

By Jeremy Laird on November 14th, 2012.

The good ol' days of mobile gaming for cheap...

We’ve dabbled with mobile gaming machines in Hard Choices passim. Gaming lappies are great, but they’re also punitively pricey. What if laptops with tolerable gaming chops were on the verge of an epic price drop? That might just be the case courtesy of Intel’s upcoming Haswell processors and a funky little software layer from a little known third party. For clarity, the context here is relatively low-end gaming portables, not full-on desktop replacement sorts. But if you’re strapped for cash or just looking for something casual for away days, read on.

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Hard Choices: AMD CPU update

By Jeremy Laird on November 8th, 2012.

Points and very possibly a prize...

Bulldozer and Zambezi begat Piledriver and Vishera. Say that three times before bed for a month and you might just remember AMD’s latest chips. So it goes with silly CPU code names. Completely lost you? AMD has just tweaked its FX-branded PC processors. Out goes the AMD FX 8100 series, in comes the AMD FX 8300 series. But am I bovered? And should you care? Read on to find out.

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