Archive forTechnical

Java, how I hate thee!

i’m sitting in Java class right now. Who does Java think they are? They are pissing me off. They are changing all the code around from the good old default code that people learn from C++, php, perl, ect. I think they are trying to make programming easier, but what was easier than basic? Another thing that pisses me off. Capital letters. Java makes it hard to do anything because some functions have capital letters while some are just normal lower case. Ohh great, now you have to remember twice the amount of functions. Great. Like you don’t have enough in php or C++. The only thing Java has going for it, it that you can run Java on anything with the Java Runtime environment.

Java is evil!

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Dual Rail Power Supply Units rundown

I will be using these units:
Watts (W)
Volts (V)
Amps (A)

With these equations:
W = V * A
A = W/V

Well, to understand how a rail works, you need to understand how power works. 1 PSU with a 36A rail will be able to yield 432W (W = +12.0V * 36A). A single 20A rails will be able to produce 240W (W = +12.0V * 20A). Two of these together would produce 480W. If you want to over clock, then yes, you will want to increase your +12V rails. Your CPU draws from the +12V rail so having a solid +12V rail is very much needed! Lastly, all these Watt figures are the measurements of the total or peak power of your power supply.

Here’s a list of what rails your devices generally run off.
CPU: +12V
Motherboard: +3.3V, +5V, +12V
Hard Drives: +5V, +12V
CD/DVD Drive: +5V, +12V
Video Card: +3.3V +5V, +12V
Memory: +5V

As you can see, every device uses different power, but most of these tend to run off the +12V rails. A common system will use about 250W – 300W. This would be from a midgrade video card, a single hard drive, 2 CD drives, and a midgrade CPU.

Now that you understand how the power system works, it’s easy to understand how the dual, and even quad rail power system work. The idea of increasing the rail number is to balance the load of the PSU. To do this, most power companies run the CPU and motherboard under one rail with the other rails running the peripherals. At first glance, this looks HORRIBLE! But hold on one second! Most of the devices don’t draw from only the +12V rail. Take a look at my graphics unit, the XFX GeForce 7800 GT. It runs at 200 W under full load. ~50% of this power is drawn from the +5 V rail though. I am using about 8.3A (A = 100W / +12V) from the +12V rail and about 20A (A = 100W / +5V) from the +5V rail. Now, this number is not 100% accurate. I am probably using closer to 120W. I’m basing the numbers off the common trend for video cards because I can’t find the draw anywhere. So with only an 8A draw from the +12V rail, you will probably be ok with a solid dual rail system with a two 18A rails. Since the CPU takes up about 100W (all from the +12V rail), it needs at least 9A to be stable. If you have a dual core CPU (like me), your CPU will probably take up to 200W under full load. That needs a beefy 18A rail with some play room for over clocking.

One more thing about dual rails before you should make your decision. When you have two rails working less to produce the same amount of power, you will see less heat generated. Think of it this way. Say you have three people. Person A can run a mile in five minutes while person B and C can run a half mile in 5 minutes. The total distance ran by person B and C combined was one mile, but they worked half as hard so they are half as tired. At the same rate, you are now dependent on both rails to run at full. On rail cannot supply its power to the other rail. So if person B was to fall behind, person C couldn’t just run faster to pick up the slack.

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CPU Installed!

So, Ed and I finally got our new CPUs in our computers Friday. I am very impressed with how it performs. I can handle very heavy loads on my CPU with minimal latency. The Opteron sports a nice triple coherent Hyper Transport Link to the RAM. It might not handle one application better than the Athlon, but a multi tasker will see great performance increase with the Opteron. Think about it, you will be able to run your heavy resource eaters while playing your music and other media so you don’t get bored. Fantastic! Now, for the heavy duty gamer, the Opteron might not be that prefect buy. A gamer needs to crunch out the numbers as fast as it can.

When I performed the 3D Mark 06 benchmarks, my CPU scores doubled, my SM 2.0 score rose 50 and my SM 3.0 increased by 150. Not too bad. That’s about what I expected. The FX-60 showed a slight lead by breaking my CPU Score by about 100 points. I would assue it would because it is clocked 200 MHz faster. Then again, he was using 1600.1200 while I was using 1280×1024. Well actually, I think 3D Mark uses a default for the the CPU rendering tests. The FX-60 is fast, but I need something that can move large amounts of data in a very short time.

I just bought a new toy for Photoshop called Fluid Mask. It’s a very neat tool that can making masking easy within Photoshop. It takes the image and chops up the image into colors and areas so you can remove a certian part of the image. It was a bit pricey, but it is a very useful program, but it eats a significant amount of resources. The real reason I got it is because I wanted to see how much my computer could handle. I DivX encoded a DVD at 1400 Kb/s with lossless AC3 audio, rendered an image with 5728 colors, uploaded a few files to my web server at 650 kb/s while downloading BF2142 from EA, and I had CounterStrike: Source running in the background. With all this, I was still seeing good response times from the CPU.

My one beef with buying new computer parts, is I have to reformat. With pretty much any operating system, you will need to reformat after a major hardware change. Since I changed the whole core of the computer, I think it was a good idea to avoid any hardware issues. It usually takes a good four hours to get everything back the way you OS was before the reformat. It’s not that big of a deal, but when you get a new piece of hardware you want to test it out and do your system benchmarks and stability tests.

In my own Opinion, I would suggest a gamer going with the FX-60 for those reasons. The gamer needs the ability to crank out a number fast and send it to the other devices as fast as it can. The Opteron was built for load, not speed. As it may be close to the same speed as the FX-60, it doesn’t have that full 2 GHz FSB, but it has three 1 GHz links for fast transfer covering multiply links. Only get the Opteron if you plan on running 10+ programs most of the time. The FX-60 will be slightly better for running maybe a video encoder with music playing, or maybe a game and a downloading service.

Load times. Dual cores don’t really decrease load times. There might be an increase in about two seconds, but not enough to make you jump for joy.

To make Dual core work for XP, Microsoft released a patch you can install. When XP was designed, they didn’t have dual cores on the brain, so to speak. To get the patch, visit Microsoft’s Website and download their dual core patch. I’m sure non of you are running pirated software, but if any of you guys need this and can’t download it for any reason, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

The time is ripe for the final upgrade in 939. Right now, we basically need to build new computers if we want to upgrade. There’s nothing left. Only more AMD pulling out some BS and changing their socket ten times… This is getting old AMD. They have so many sockets because they think it’s better to make a new socket than to have others try to stick an AM2 CPU in the 939 edition board. They are completely different chips and can’t be run on the same board. That’s one thing Intel got right. Keep the same socket, only upgrade it. For the most part, it works. I don’t know why AMD can’t make their chips work together.

With that, I bid you farewell. Until next time.

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The xBox 360 Vs The PS3

The PS3 is a power house. It’s cell processor will kill anything out there now. If you look at the PS3 closly, you will see some faults in it though.

The PS3 has a cell processor that uses a general PPE (Power processor element) 64 bit core with 512 KB system L2 cache at 3.2 GHz and seven SPE (Synergistic Processing Elements) 128 bit cores at 3.2 GHz each. I’m not 100% on how the cell processor works because it is brand new. IBM, Sony and Toshiba have been working on it for some 5 or so years now. From what I understand, the Cell processor’s main core basically delegates it’s calculations to the other 7 cores. Each core is actually designed to “fetch” a job. It asks for a job from the main processor and executes the process and then syncs back up with the PPE (the main processor unit aka Power Processing Element). So you have a huge list of jobs in a large list on the PPE and core units that will take jobs from the main core and process them and tell the PPE that it has done it’s job and it wants a new one. It can even select a certian type of job. This is good and bad. Now you can make 7 SPEs that can do a specific job faster than a general CPU (like the one in your computer now!) can do because it is made to handle that type of code. The bad thing is that if the SPE does not have a process it can do, it will try to do a job it doesn’t know so well and it will take much longer.

The xBox 360 has a different approach to the whole CPU deal. They have a triple core design running at 3.2 GHz on each core with a shared 1MB cache. It is basically like the dual core CPUs with another core for general processor power. I have been saying general processor power in great volume but I never went ahead and told you what it was. Well, a general processor is a processor that can carry out many many tasks while a specific processor (like a graphics processing unit) can carry out a specific task faster and better. Say you have a GPU and you want to try to run a physics calculation or an audio stream through it. The GPU will take much much longer. I’m not going to go into technicals here. If you want to know more about how the general processors work, let me know. Since the general processor is built to handle many types of code, it is ideal for gaming. However, a well built cell processor should be able to crush a system running 3 general processors.

General Processors are better for gaming because games are coded in a combination of integers, floating-point, and vector math with a direct connection to the system cache. Since the PS3′s SPEs (the thing that does most of the work on the processor) don’t have a direct link to the cache, it has to ask for it from the PPE. Dot products are also critical in games because they are used in 3D math to calculate vector lengths, projections, and transformations. The xBox 360 CPU has the dot product instruction per core, where the Cell processor must emulate dot product using multiple instructions.

The PS3 has the RSX graphics chip from Sony and nVidea running at 550MHz. The RSX chip is called the reality synthesizer. The technology was taken from the 6800 GTX chip. It sports a 128-bit memory interface, 1.2 Billion Vertices/sec (this number will affect the MSAA abilities), 136 shader operations/clock with 74.8 billion shader operations/sec and 8 ROPs (Rendering Output Units), with a total of 33 billion dot products/sec all running off 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It’s a beast, but I’m sad to say that the xbox 360 has a slightly better GPU.

The 360’s GPU is a custom made processor from ATI. It sports a 128-bit memory interface, 1.6 Billion Vertices/sec, 160 shader operations/clock with 96 billion shader operations/sec and 8 ROPs, with a total of 33.6 billion dot products/sec all running on 512 shared memory on the unified memory bus.

The last thing you want to look at is the memory bandwidth. This will show you how much memory can be shoved through the system. The higher here the better. You want to have more than you need. As your memory bandwidth usage increases, you will see a performance loss even if you have not hit the max amount of bandwidth. The PS3 has 48 GB/sec of total memory bandwidth. 25.6 GB/sec of that coming from the main system RAM and 22.4 GB/sec coming from the Video RAM. The xBox 360 has over five times that of the PS3. 278.4 GB/sec with 22.4 GB/sec coming from the memory interface bus bandwidth, 256 GB/sec coming from the memory bandwidth to EDRAM.

In conclusion, the 360 is a better gaming console than the PS3 because it sports the triple core general purpose processor, it has a better video unit and higher bandwidth. The Triple core general processor has 128 vector registers per hardware thread and one dot product instruction while the PS3′s cell processor’s vector registers are most inside the SPEs themselves. So again, the SPEs will be waiting on the PPE.

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