Friday, August 22, 2008

Underclocking the E7200

After reading a article over at Tom's Hardware titled Athlon Vs. Atom: Duel of The Energy Savers I decided to see how far I could under clock my E7200 on my P43 motherboard. I manged to drop it down to a meager 911MHz at 1.120v from it's default clock speed of 2.53GHz that's quiet the drop a 64% underclock in fact on the reverse side the same processor will overclock to 3.7GHz at 1.3v resulting in a 32% overclock. It's quite the versatile cpu it seems.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AltTab Mouse Shortcut

Alt Tab Mouse Shortcut is simple program that allows you to alt+tab with your mouse how it works is you press and hold the left mouse button then you right click to the application you wish to switch to and when you release the left mouse button it automatically switches to the program you've selected. It's a very convent program worth checking into if you switch programs a lot..

Minimalism and performance

If your like me and you just want pure performance and/or minimalism then I strongly suggest you take a look at bbLeanless. So what exactly is bbLeanless? Well it's trimmed down version of bbLean which is a minimalistic build of blackbox. So what's blackbox? Well blackbox is a minimalistic shell replacement to the windows explorer.exe gui. You might be wondering why you'd want to bother replacing the normal windows shell and it boils down to two reason essentially. The first reason would be for the look and feel of windows perhaps you want something different looking and feeling than how windows natively works. The second reason is performance and windows default explore.exe shell is a bit of a resource hog by changing over to a more minimalistic shell you can save cpu and ram requirements which in turn can then be used for more important things such as the programs your trying to run. Now audio workstations can be resource hogs and more available system memory and cpu cycles matter especially if your trying to prolong the life of a computer. Minimalistic shell replacements make perfect sense for audio workstations it might just give you that extra bit of juice you need to run that very demanding VSTI soft synth of yours or a extra VST pluggin effector or make your program feel more responsive in general.

Physx gets integrated into leading engine

Nvidia gains further support

EMERGENT HAS announced plans to further partner with Nvidia on the company's Gamebryo development platform.

In an announcement which can be seen as a sizeable win for Nvidia, Emergent will integrate Physx technology into all upcoming versions of the 'industry-leading' Gamebryo.

The next release of Emergent's Gamebryo, is scheduled for this Autumn and thus will ship with the Nvidia Physx engine directly integrated into the platform.

Gamebryo has been optimised for development on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and PC .

It was most recently selected as the development platform for the console titles Civilization Revolution by Firaxis and Splatterhouse by BottleRocket.

Gamebryo is also being used by EA-Mythic for its upcoming game, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning as well as Divinity 2: Ego Draconis from Larian Studios.

Emergent has stated that to date, Gamebryo has been used in more than 200 shipped games titles ranging from massively multiplayer online games, high-end retail games across multiple genres, and casual games.

It makes sense for Gamebryo to use Physx as an underpinning technology - Physx can work across all major gaming platforms, including the above consoles, and the PC, and can be accelerated by both the CPU and any CUDA general purpose parallel computing processor - and obviously Nvidia's own Geforce GPUs

By Dean Pullen: at

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nvidia drivers for OpenGL 3.0

NVIDIA has released a new set of beta drivers for developers with support for the OpenGL 3.0 API and GLSL 1.30 shading language.

Just two days after the Khronos Group officially released the OpenGL 3.0 specifications, NVIDIA has deployed its first round of beta drivers (version 177.89) with support for the new API. By default, the new features are disabled and must be activated using NVIDIA’s NVemulate utility. In order to activate OpenGL 3.0 and GLSL 1.30 functionality, you must be using a GeForce 8 series or higher or one of several Quadro FX cards. Cards from both desktop and notebook lines are supported.

The drivers are available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista and will integrate into the standard ForceWare driver releases following the SIGGRAPH 2008 conference as part of NVIDIA’s Big Bang II.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How RAM works on a dual-GPU card

Current dual-gpu cards work by using load balancing between two gpu cores on a video card. The current designs on these dual-gpu cards don't have shared memory so each gpu core uses the required amount of vram per gpu core to render and load balance two scenes together seamlessly. Shared memory wouldn't actually give you any more ram, but rather better management of how the gpu core's could handle the provided available on board ram.

With a shared memory dual-gpu you could do more things with the same amount of on board ram essentially. For example card with 1GB shared vram and 1 gpu core could be using 256vram for one application while the other core was using 768vram for another application. Now with a 2x512MB even though the card has 1GB worth of total ram on board your restricted to 512MB per core so that same situation wouldn't be possible. Shared memory is more economical and flexible, but more complex to design which is likely the leading contributing factor as to why it isn't yet used in dual gpu cards. I hope that helps answer your question.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Biostar TP43D2-A7 6.x Review

I recently bought a Biostar TP43D2-A7 6.x motherboard it's based on one of Intel's latest chip sets the P43 which is a derivative of the P45. The difference between the two is mostly just a lower fsb wall on the P43 and lack of crossfire support, but neither of which is a noteworthy deal to a lot of users as even a lot of casual and modest overclockers will find the Biostar TP43D2-A7 a suitable overclocking board thanks to it's solid capacitors and bargain entry price point. It's fully PCI-E 2.0 compliant which if your like me who came from a SRock 4CoreDual-VSTA you'll find handy as your new 8800GT and other newer PCI-E 2.0 video cards are future compatible for the motherboard hopefully adding to it's long term longevity if you plan on keeping it awhile and/or reusing it. It also has on board1000Mbps lan and on board 6 channel audio. It supports 4×240pin ddr2 1066 up to 8GB of memory total. It supports the latest 45nm Intel wolfdale & penryn processors. It has 6 on board sata connections and 6 USB 2.0 connections. 2 PCI Express x1 slots and 3 pci slots.

Now that I've told you a bit about the board and it's features time to share my experiences with the board well I've had it for a good solid two months and haven't had any hiccups related to the board itself yet it's a rock solid motherboard and excellent performer. I'm sure what you really want to know is the how well does it overclock? Well I've managed to overclock my E7200 to 3.7GHz rock stable at 1.3V on semi stock air cooling so not bad at all I'd say. The reason I say it's semi stock cooling is it's a Intel stock cooler, but from a previous Intel 65nm E4300 C2D processor which was about double the mass size of the newer E7200 stock coolers Intel bundles and has a copper center opposed to a aluminum one. Now the Intel stock cooler on the E4300 was pretty respectable for a bundled cooler, but certainly can't compare to a higher quality after market cooler in the cooling department. It's my belief that with a good aftermarket cooler 3.8GHz stable with a E7200 on the TP43D2-A7 might be possible since I'm able to post into windows at 3.8GHz with the (semi stock) Intel cooler. Also for anyone curious the my FSB wall for the board was 420FSB beyond that and I'm unable to post, but hey 420FSB for a board this cheap yet so feature packed is very respectable if you ask me and more than I need for overclocking anyway. There's a nice variety of overclocking options inside the bios as well as other bios options much better than my previous motherboard bios provided. If you have some high quality ram you'll be able to tighten up the timings on them very nicely if they can handle it of course. The on board audio sounds good for it's intended use, but it's certainly no E-MU1212M if you want a top a quality soundcard audio interface that's the thing to go with believe me. For regular usage though th on board audio is just fine in fact I didn't even bother switching my E-MU1212M over even though I probably should since it's defiantly a high quality product being a after market audio interface soundcard. Well anyways I wouldn't buy the TP43D2-A7 motherboard though unless you want a rock solid feature packed motherboard with positive reviews at a bargain price point expect these boards to be flying off the shelfves once more word gets out about them.

Grab it now while supplies last!

BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 ATX Intel Motherboard

BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 ATX Intel Motherboard

BIOSTAR TForce TP43D2A7 LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard (Mail In Rebate $10.00 Expires 08/31/2008)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Computer tech

So recently I got a new motherboard cpu ram and video card so essentially a new computer and so figured I'd blog about it and let people know what I've thought about the new rig. The E7200 CPU itself felt much beefier than the allready fast C2D E4300 I upgraded from on top of that it overclocks phenomonally can push 3.7GHz with ease on air and pretty nominmal 1.3v voltage. The motherboard was a big upgrade and just bargin price for the quality of the product TP43D2-A7 it overclocks like a champ for it's cheap price point and is rather feature packed. For the ram upgrade I went from 2GB ddr800 to 4GB ddr1066 and it was a good solid improvement a lot more ram so less pagefiling plus either higher bandwidth and/or much tighter ram timings either way a win situation. Last of course was the video card went from a Geforce 6800 w/128mb ram 256bit to 8800GT 1GB ram 256bit and it was a massive ginormous step up the card is a beast by comparison.

About Me

Buxton, Maine, United States
Home studio producer/musician and computer and music tech product reviewer as well as avid gamer. I was born, raised, and am living in Maine. Music equipment includes a digital audio workstation, a keyboard controller, a midi pad, mics, guitars, harmonicas, and various software to accompany it.
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