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October 21, 2021

Daily Tech News 21 October 2021

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  • Apple's M1 Max GPU has raw compute performance and memory bandwidth similar to the RTX 3060 Mobile but does much better than that in several OpenGL benchmarks. (Tom's Hardware)

    It can often match the mobile RTX 3080 and RX 6800M.

    If you compare the ALU and Driver Overhead benchmarks on the table, you can see what's probably going on: Apple's drivers on M1 hardware only need to target a single graphics architecture, and are much more efficient for this kind of benchmark than Windows.

    That might not translate well to real apps; if the ALU benchmark is representative the raw power of this chip really is 3060 class and not even close to the 3080.

    But a win is a win; if that driver efficiency works well for your use case, the performance gain is real no matter where it is coming from.

    The CPU also provides very good multi-threaded performance. (Geekbench)

    Yes, Geekbench is rubbish, but for what it is the multi-threaded score is interesting. I suspect that the win for Apple here is because there's no separate GPU chip, when the load is mostly on the CPU they can allocate their entire power budget there. AMD provides 8 core laptop chips that can run at 15W, but when you run on all 8 cores the clock speeds throttle down pretty hard.

    Again, not a miracle of design, but a useful tradeoff.

    Plus having pretty much sole use of TSMC's 5nm, as I mentioned before. But that just explains the efficiency, it doesn't make it any less real.

Tech News

  • Meanwhile the Ryzen 6000 mobile chips have been spotted with their own new high performance - though not that high performance - integrated graphics. (Tom's Hardware)

    This one is an engineering sample and the results are a bit of a jumble; it's five times faster than Intel's Xe graphics on one test, and then slower on another. We'll have to wait and see how it shapes up; if the leaks so far are accurate I expect it will turn out twice as fast on average as AMD's current integrated graphics.

  • Also meanwhile TSMC expects to have 3nm in mass production in Q1 of 2023. (AnandTech)

    Among other advances this delivers 70% more transistors in a given area, and that's on top of a 70% gain going from 7nm to 5nm. So you can look forward to 24 core laptop CPUs in a couple of years.

  • Windows 11's Android support is now available to those enrolled in the Beta release channel. (Bleeping Computer)

    It sounds like it's really a beta release and needs some improvement before it's comfortable to use. It comes bundled with the Amazon app store, which doesn't seem to have the latest Kairosoft games, or, let's see, okay, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Chrono Trigger are all there. Potentially not a waste of time once they get the emulator working smoothly.

    Developers enrolled in the Dev channel are unimpressed. Though to me this feels like a Beta feature and not a Dev feature.

  • The Huawei Matebook 16 has a 45W Ryzen CPU limited to 35W that spends most of its time at 20W. (AnandTech)

    This doesn't actually cost a lot in performance - around 6% on average - and significantly extends battery life. The reviewer's complaint is not that it does it, but that it doesn't tell you that it's doing it. Which is entirely fair.

  • Windows 10 on my old notebook has decided that the Deluge BitTorrent client - which I have been running for years - is PUA, a Potentially Unwanted App.

    Potentially is correct, but this is Microsoft, so the only options I have available are to delete the app, quarantine it, or turn off that protection entirely.

    A security measure that is so annoying that you simply turn it off is worse than no security at all.

  • Another day, another bundle: I just picked up Corel Painter 2021 for about 90% off. (Humble Bundle)

    The catch, as you might expect, is that the current version is 2022. But if you buy the bundle and then upgrade you still save 40%.

    And that's ignoring the five other applications and the thirty content packs included in the bundle.

    It's not Photoshop, but the perpetual license is the price of a three-month subscription to Photoshop. (Though you have to sign up with Adobe for a full year to get that price.)

    I generally buy every second release of these apps when they show up on Humble Bundle, which is fine for applications you use once a week. I have no hesitation in paying for the full JetBrains IDE subscription, because I live in those apps.

    (And they're also relatively cheap, and provide you a perpetual fallback license if you cancel your subscription. You just stop getting new versions.)

  • The Senate Expropriations Committee has instructed NASA to spend billions on a second contract for the new lunar lander and given them $100 million to do it with. (Space.com)

    After Jeff Bezos first complained to NASA and was rejected, and then filed a federal lawsuit and lost, he clearly cried havoc and let slip the lobbyists of war.

Disclaimer: And damn'd be him that first says, "Dude, where's my stuff?"
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