AMD to return to mid-range CPU’s – FM2+ as the great unifying platform

AMD has a problem: The AM3+ platform with its 9xx chipset is an evolutionary dead-end whose feature-set is not going to be improved and is barely competitive in the low-end, let alone the mid-range where it purports to belong. Worse still, it is tied to a processor ranger that does not have the performance to compete at the mid-range (>£120), and no longer has the cachet of a halo product in public consciousness. Taken together, CPU and chipset form a platform that is heavily integrated into technologies now defunct on the desktop, such as hypertransport, with high manufacture costs combined with low returns.
JBT_AMD_FXA

In short, it does nothing for its future, represents only a support cost in the present, and some nostalgia in the past. AM3+ is dead.

Continue reading

Crimea And The Folly Of A Fading Empire – Hitting the buffers

Ukraine is an endless source of fun. The play-thing of a Mad God and yet safely removed from the possibility of further Western Adventures. But, perhaps this time Putin has overplayed his hand, forcing a response that Russia’s petro-export economy can ill afford.

Image

Perhaps not. Rather a price that has been judged worth paying:

Continue reading

We Could Do With Another War – Syria and Geopolitics #2

Previously I have held to the view that the Iraq war at the same time as Afghanistan has threatened to wreck the traditional British consensus on liberal intervention. I saw parliamentary control of war as being the best mechanism we have to ensure an active foreign policy in future, it represents the best opportunity we have to keep the public engaged in what Lindley-French describes as our missionary Foreign Policy. From the point of view of an effectively communicated geopolitics I was happy see the PM retain this power, but feared it would only be a faster route to Belgium.

Image

However, Alistair Burt has given me pause to reconsider, and to refine my thoughts on Parliament’s role.

Continue reading

Thoughts on the enduring weakness of the eurozone

The German Finance Ministry is a little peeved with US criticism of the mercantilism of its economic policy. This, in pursuing a strategy that suppresses domestic demand and feeds their mighty export machine. Bad as this is, equally important is its rejection of the responsibilities that accrue to stronger members of a polity.

Image

Having ones cake, and expecting to eat it too:

Continue reading

The Linux Steambox Cometh – A new franchise model for ‘console’ gaming

And lo, the promised land hove into view, and the future looked brighter for PC games. First there was the Steam gamepad/controller, then there was the Steam linux beta, after that followed Steam big-picture for a console style interface on HDTV’s, now the final piece of the puzzle falls into place that ties them all logically together. Console hardware. Who will make it, what will it contain, and how will you buy it?

alien_steam

Valve will retail their ‘own’ hardware, it will contain standard PC hardware and software, and you’ll find 3rd party licensed versions.

Continue reading

Thoughts on the Successor Deterrent – CMC is in.

Nick Harvey – “The idea that you should produce weapons of mass destruction in order to keep 1,500 jobs going in the Barrow shipyard is simply ludicrous,”

You hear some foolish statements on occasion, but considering this one comes from an ex MoD minister it is an absolute pearler! The Barrow jobs preserve the sovereign and strategic capability that is nuclear submarines, regardless of whether they contain ballistic missiles or not. And the British Defence Industrial Strategy regards nuclear submarines as a strategic industry over which we must retain sovereign control.

That said, foolish statement aside I believe he is on the money when he talks of “nukes in the cupboard”.

Continue reading

AMD has confirmed that they won the WiiU – What about the Xbox720 and PS4?

Q – Why do consoles massively outperform their PC equivalent hardware?

A – Because they use a streamlined software stack and optimised hardware.

Let’s ignore the former for it doesn’t tell us anything interesting, for while every real console (i.e. not ouyu), will seek optimised software and hardware only the latter will help us with the big questions. Consoles are machines specifically designed to pump out graphics so the determining factor will be the GPU, and from a console vendors perspective what is the prime consideration when choosing a GPU?

Image

Price/performance. A combination of the number of transistors and their clock speed.

Continue reading