Apple has touted using the "Power of the GPU" with the OpenCL API, but how does it run in practice? Very few current applications are coded to use Apple's new OpenCL API that is included with Snow Leopard; however, recently there have been several benchmarks that tests some of the OpenCL capabilities, showing the potential for impressive speed gains. While these programs are only demonstration uses of OpenCL, they offer a view into what can be done with the technology.… Read more
Editors' note: This guest column was originally published on Bill Gurley's blog. See his bio below.
Many are speculating that the year 2009 represents a fundamental turning point for the venture capital industry. Some are arguing that the industry is in dire straits after years of poor performance. Others have argued that the math simply does not work for the industry's current size.
Another theory suggests that permanent challenges with the market for initial public offerings call into question the fundamental economics of the VC industry. Lastly, some credible authors have suggested that things are so bad that … Read more
SiSoftware Sandra provides a robust package of diagnostic tools for testing your system and teasing out its problems--or potential headaches.
This download launches a cheerfully designed interface with an array of colorful--one might even say sprightly--icons for each of its tools. Its arrangement of tools was nicely categorized for the user's benefit: Computer Maintenance, Module Types (Benchmarks, Hardware, Software, Support), and Program Maintenance. Across the top of the window are tabs for each category that match the icons, and each tab provides access to a set of focused tools. We were very pleased with SiSoftware Sandra's performance during … Read more
Firefox 3.5 brings the world's second-most popular browser up to speed with current browsing technology and trends, and perhaps nudges it just a bit ahead of the competition. However, it is by no means the leap ahead that its predecessor Firefox 3 was, and it's clear that the competition isn't going away anytime soon.
Available for Windows, Windows Portable, Mac, or Linux, Firefox 3.5 nevertheless represents the best Firefox we've yet seen from Mozilla. This comes as no surprise, and with a testing process that involved four beta builds, three release candidates, and a … Read more
Updated, June 17: The sandboxing of plug-ins, such as Flash, in Safari 4 will be limited to users running Mac OS X 10.6, which will be available this fall. The feature is currently not available, nor will it be available to Windows users. Windows users should also note that changing the default search provider is limited to either Google or Yahoo.
The public version of Safari 4 was released Monday amid all the iPhone noise at WWDC, and Apple confirmed what those who played around with the beta version already knew: Safari is now a serious browser for serious … Read more
The two computers I used were a Windows Vista Service Pack 1 desktop with a Pentium 4 processor running at 3.00 GHz and 2 GB of RAM, and a Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3 laptop with a Core Duo T9400 … Read more
Medium-format digital cameras, which have larger sensors and higher price tags than even high-end SLRs, didn't fare so well in earlier tests of sensor quality by measurement firm DxO Labs, but Phase One's newly tested top-end technology has risen to the top of the DxOMark Sensor test.
Phase One's 60-megapixel P65+ camera scored 89.1 on the test, edging out the Nikon D3X, which scored 88, according to data released Thursday. In addition, the 51.7-megapixel Hasselblad H3DII 50, an older model than Phase One's, scored 78.2. Click here to compare the two models and Nikon's D3X.
The DxOMark sensor test measures a camera sensor's dynamic range, color depth, and low-light performance. DxO Labs cautions that differences of less than 5 points aren't really distinguishable, and of course many other factors including price, lens quality, autofocus, and resolution factor into overall camera quality.
The P65+ features the best color performance yet, but DxO Labs said its comparatively good performance in low-light conditions helped it carry the day. … Read more
We'll admit that we were very intrigued by this free Firefox add-on, which promises a way to see and compare results from multiple search engines. But after we put it to the test, we found some of its features vague and its user interface awkward to navigate.
Right off the bat, we found several issues with SearchAll's user interface. A single search field and a single button are introduced in a completely new toolbar that seemed to take up more space than it needed. A three-panel display is used to show search results, but there wasn't enough … Read more
This free diagnostic program tests your processor speed, but the unreliable readings and error messages left a lot to be desired.
MSC CPU Benchmark 2008's user interface displays a graph that appears to display your CPU usage, along with your system's processor, model, type, and the availability of physical and virtual RAM. There are options along the left side of the interface for testing your processor speed, configuring the settings, and showing past and present test results. The program doesn't include any kind of temperature gauge commonly found in similar tools. From the Configurations menu, you can … Read more
Three midrange Sony SLRs now are included in DxO Labs' measurements of image sensor performance, and the Alpha A700 proves to be reasonably competitive.
Sony's A700, which costs about $1,100 with an 18-70mm lens, has a score of 66.3 on the test, which calculates how well the sensor handles color, a range brightness and darkness, and low-light shooting. That puts it behind the top-scoring camera with a comparably sized sensor, the Nikon D90, almost ties it with the Pentax K10D and Nikon D300, and gives it a a few points' lead over Canon's 40D and 50D.
Meanwhile, the A200 scores 62.9 and the A300 an even 64, according to the DxOMark Sensor test results that were updated Tuesday. A five-point difference makes a difference of about 1/3 stop in exposure, DxO says, meaning that a higher-scoring camera can attain the same raw image quality as a rival even though the higher-scoring camera is using a faster exposure or higher ISO.
DxO Labs, a French company, makes a business of measuring camera image quality, developing technology for image-processing hardware and software, and selling software to convert the raw files produced by higher-end cameras into less flexible but more convenient formats such as JPEG. The DxOMark score measures sensor performance based on the raw file, a foundation for overall image quality but only a facet of a camera's overall performance. … Read more