"Customers need clear and reliable measurements to understand the expected performance and value of their systems," Nigel Dessau, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at AMD, said in a statement. "AMD does not believe SM2012 (SYSMark 2012) achieves this objective. Hence AMD cannot endorse or support SM2012 … Read more
A security firm says it's found a vulnerability in the WebGL technology for building accelerated 3D graphics into the Web, a problem that could enable attacks through code executed on a computer's graphics chip.
Attacks could take two basic forms, according to a blog post by Context Information Security. In one, a computer could be rendered useless by visiting a Web page that would execute WebGL software that simply brings the machine to its knees.
In the other, "dangers with WebGL...put users' data, privacy, and security at risk," Context said--specifically, graphics-related information. It posted a … Read more
Every now and then you may experience problems with odd video output on a Mac system. Recently we reported on an ongoing issue in which some Mac systems have been displaying snow output when screen adapters are used. At other times people have reported problems with display output, including blank screens, odd output patterns, and unexpected color output on their displays. Display problems are nothing new for computer systems old or new, and can stem from faults with the monitor and its connections, the OS version or other software configuration, and hardware malfunctions.
Possible problems and options If you're … Read more
Be careful venting your frustrations with modern technology when using the latest version of Google Chrome, released today. Chrome 11 (download for Windows | Mac | Linux) comes with the ability to convert your speech to text, which could prove to be a big boon to people who have difficulty with keyboards as well as providing on the go translations when used with Google Translate.
The new feature, based in HTML5, requires a microphone icon embedded in the Web page. Click the icon and then speak into your computer's mic. The input records as text, and the browser automatically inserts the … Read more
After installing the OS X 10.6.7 update, a number of people running nVidia Quadro 4000 graphics cards in their Mac Pro systems have found issues with performance problems, odd graphical quirks when scrolling or viewing video, and some problems with managing and running secondary displays.
MacFixIt reader "Alex" wrote in with such an issue:I'm experiencing full screen white flashes/screen redraws after invoking certain GPU targeted functions in PS CS5 and Final Cut Pro (latest)--averages about every 20-30 seconds--stops when above operations stop [using an early 2008 Mac Pro with a Quadro 4000]. … Read more
In the latest MacBook Pro systems from Apple (including some before the aluminum "Unibody" design), many models contain two GPUs: a discrete GPU and an "onboard GPU." The discrete GPU is a dedicated high-performance graphics chip for processing graphics data without impeding on the system's RAM and other resources. On the other hand the onboard GPU is an embedded graphics option that shares system RAM and other resources. As a result it is a slower graphics processing option, but when used the system can turn off the discrete GPU and thereby save more battery life.… Read more
An interface coming with the forthcoming Honeycomb version of Android will open up a new ability for programmers who want to tap into hardware power unlocked by low-level programming.
The new interface, is called Renderscript, said R. Jason Sams, an Android performance and graphics programmer at Google. He didn't say so in so many words, but the goal for the feature has to be better games on Android. It's a broader feature, though: it's used in Honeycomb's YouTube and Books apps.
"The target audience is the set of developers looking to maximize the performance of … Read more
Our utilities update report is a list of updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This past week there were updates with a number of maintenance and optimization utilities, in addition to an update for a useful multi-GPU management tool.
The clock is now ticking for consumers to file claims against Nvidia for defective graphics processors. As a result of a class action settlement, consumers were allowed to begin filing their claims related to the cost of repairing laptops that contained the defective chips on Thursday and have until March 14 to file a claim. But this settlement shouldn't be confused with a series of large payouts by Nvidia to PC makers dating back to July 2008.
Nvidia's problems began back in 2007, as CNET has reported, when defective Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) began showing up in laptops from Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell--among others.
Nvidia responded for the first time officially in July 2008. At that time, Nvidia took a charge of $196 million. The company took additional charges over the next two years, which, in total, were close to half a billion dollars.
No small part of this money has been allocated for PC makers (also referred to as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs) that, over the last few years, have been making repairs to laptops from Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell. Most laptops affected are older models shipped in 2008.
So, then, what is the class action about? This is settling consumer claims, which Nvidia describes as a "group of customers who wanted remedy [because they] didn't get a repair from their OEM, or they didn't know to get a repair from their OEM, or they felt that their repair wasn't satisfactory," according to a statement from an Nvidia spokesman. (A list of the affected models is here.)
Symptoms are described as (PDF) "distorted or scrambled video on the notebook computer screen...No video on the notebook computer screen even when the notebook computer is on...Random characters, lines or garbled images on the notebook computer screen," among other issues.
In response to the settlement dated August 12, 2010, Nvidia issued this statement.… Read more
Graphics-chip supplier Nvidia says it will do just fine despite claims by Intel that its next-gen chip will offer a higher-octane gaming experience.
Slated to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 5, the Second Generation Intel Core--aka, "Sandy Bridge"--boasts improved graphics performance, allowing PC makers to offer low-cost laptops that are more adept at games and multimedia. In short, no extra graphics chip from Nvidia or Advanced Micro Devices will be required in certain laptop models.
But Rene Haas, general manager, notebook products, at Nvidia, says the need for standalone GPUs, or graphics processing units, … Read more