Where is NVIDIA heading with High Performance Computing hardware? Ever since Intel announced Xeon Phi Knights Landing as a stand-alone processor integrated at the board level as a full compute unit, I've been wondering what NVIDIA would do along these lines. It just makes sense that they would do something similar since getting the GPU off of the PCIe bus and tightly integrated with plentiful system memory would be a huge step forward for usability and performance. Here's my guess about where NVIDIA is heading.
I had the pleasure of attending the NVIDIA Graphics Technology Conference ( GTC ) last week. Wonderful conference! If you have any doubts about the quality of the conference you are in luck. They have most of the content on-line, you can check it out yourself ...
Just over a year ago I wrote how Solid State Drives (SSD) were soaring in popularity. At that time we offered a number of SSD models from Intel. But due to production constraints, we were on the verge of adding a few Samsung SSDs to the mix. Around this same time we began fielding a number of requests for Samsung SSDs. Once considered a luxury item, SSDs have moved into the mainstream within the past two years. Our customers tend to be tech savvy and performance demanding to the core. So I wasn't surprised to find widescale adoption of SSDs as I dove into the sales data.
I spent yesterday attending the Seattle stop of the VMware User Group (VMUG) Conference. It was a totally worthwhile event for catching up with all that is going on in the VMware world. If you didn't already know Puget Systems has been a VMware Partner for quite some time now, we even use a number of their products to run Puget Systems.
We thought it would be fun to compare a few of the statistics gathered by Netmarketshare to those we track through Google Analytics for visitors to Puget Systems. According to Netmarketshare, they are the standard in tracking technology usage market share. They have been collecting and analysing data since 1999 and, while not without controversy, are highly regarded in their approach to ranking the most popular operating systems and web browsers.
I posted a few weeks ago regarding my move to Linux. I received some great feedback from our readers, and encouragement to continue posting about my experiences. If there is something specific about the Linux experience you would like me to discuss, feel free to email me at email@example.com. Hopefully, you will find these posts helpful. Two weeks have passed since I walked away from Windows and a couple of things have really struck me in that time.
Windows 8 has been out for about a year and a half now, and it is common knowledge that Microsoft's newest operating system has received mixed reactions. The new start screen (I still have to stop myself from calling it Metro!) is a jolting departure from the user interface that Windows users have been accustomed to using since 1995. One unique thing we do here at Puget Systems, is we reach out to nearly all of our customers after they have had a chance to use their new PC. We ask them how it is working for them, and what we could have done better. We learn a LOT. So, what do our customers have to say about Windows 8, and what is Puget Systems doing to respond?
By now, most folks have seen Apple’s updated Mac Pro - or as I like to call it, the trash can. I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, though, we are often asked how our workstations - like the Genesis line - compare to the hardware Apple has put in the new, miniature Mac Pro. Read on to find out...
This weekend I did something I never thought I would do: I moved away from Windows. I ran Windows 7 on a Traverse laptop since I came to work here almost 18 months ago, and personally since I was a kid, starting with Win 3.1x. After all that time amd experience I can't take it anymore. I have jumped ship and I am not coming back. This weekend I wiped my Windows install and loaded Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onto my primary drive. Physically, installing the new OS was easy; only after installing the OS did I realize there was a psychological effect I had not really counted on.
I recently attended an industry event with speakers representing a number of the largest technology companies in the world. An executive from Lenovo kicked off the event with a presentation that explained how their future was dependent on how well they could sell smartphones. I don’t doubt his sincerity because a few weeks later Google off-loaded their Motorola handset business to Lenovo for a few billion and pocket change. Not long after this event Lenovo purchased IBM’s server business to take on Dell and HP which have expressed varying degrees of interest selling PCs over the past few years. Depending on the week, HP is either “all in” on smartphones or leaving them behind to focus on something new and exciting. It’s getting nearly impossible to say who is selling what anymore. Many of the traditional PC companies appear to be selling everything except PCs! Which brings me to the point of this post: Focus is difficult.
At Puget Systems, we build extremely high end PCs each and every day. Some of our PCs are used as high powered workstations, where they are pushed to their limits every hour of every day. Others might be the expensive play-things for those of whom price is no object. Is there a such thing as a PC that is TOO high end?
The time has come. The time is now. And with apologies to Marvin K. Mooney, it’s time to consider running Windows 8 on your desktop or laptop computer. Although there’s no shortage of opinion surrounding Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8 remains somewhat of an enigma. I’ve spoken to people who have told me the following: 1. Windows 8 is for touchscreens only. 2. Windows 8 is worthless for desktop users. 3. Microsoft is forcing a tablet OS on us. 4. Windows 8 is nothing more than Windows 7 with spiffy skin.
A few months ago, I packed up my family and left the lush, green, and often damp area of Seattle for the warmth and sun of southern Utah. I still work for Puget Systems, but have moved into a different role where I spend my days gathering insight from customers on how we can continue to improve our products and service.
This is going to be an unusual blog post, because I'm going to try and talk you out of one of our most impressive (and expensive) products. This isn't the sort of thing you'd normally see on a commercial website, but I guess we're not your normal commercial blog either. Today I'm going to try and convince you that you don't need a fully liquid cooled system.
We field A LOT of calls here from people wanting to spec out a custom PC. Their needs range from a list of specific parts to “give me a great computer”. Here to help at Puget Systems our consultants can work with any level of experience (or maybe not-so-experienced) to come up with a great Puget System. In the marketplace of custom computers you literally have thousands of choices. I know…it makes my head hurt thinking about it too. So, to start, we have done some narrowing down of the selection to a list of the very best parts available. See, it’s going to get better. Now, you can help us spec out a great custom system for you by considering three things...
It wasn’t long ago that Solid State Drives (SSD) were considered a luxury item, reserved for those who demanded drive speeds only SSDs can deliver. The first generation of SSDs were not only limited in capacity (40 and 60 GB models were popular) but were very expensive, often costing more than $500. That makes for a difficult sell when a mechanical drive could be had for about half the the price and nearly 10x the capacity.
Starting in the first quarter of 2011, companies such as Intel, Corsair, Samsung and other began dropping prices on their SSDs. At Puget Systems we’ve found Intel to build a reliable and fast SSD at a reasonable price and have consolidated our offerings around their main lines.
For many years my computing universe orbited around my Windows PC. For instance, the first time I searched Google, updated my status on Facebook or replied to an email I was using a PC.
But that’s not the case for many kids today where their first interaction with a computer is an iPod Touch, tablet or smartphone. Their computing universe resides on a small touch screen, and is dominated by apps. My world recently clashed with that of my 11-year old daughter when I asked for her email address and she replied that nobody emails anymore.
As a sales representative at Puget Systems, I’m often asked by customers considering a new PC if they should have us install Windows 7 or the new Windows 8 operating system. When I began running Windows 8 a few months ago, I kept a running list of features I enjoyed along with a few I found perplexing. Over time, my list has grown and contracted, but a few items on each side of the coin have remained.
One of my coworkers has already put together a helpful list of new features while another helps you decide if Windows 8 is right for you. I’m going to take a different approach by sharing my Windows 8 experience with those of you whom I don’t get to speak or email with each day.
Windows 8 launches this fall, on October 26th to be precise, and it is shaping up to be the most controversial Windows edition ever. Past versions like Vista and Millennium Edition were underwhelming, certainly, and others like Windows 95 and XP changed the face of Windows dramatically - but each new version has generally been an attempt to improve the user experience. Some focused on better performance, others on a newer and sleeker interface... and while there were both successes and failures Microsoft has managed to maintain dominance in the PC operating system market.
The latest version of Windows, however, has a lot more to it than just a shiny new taskbar or updated applications: it represents a shift in the whole interface from a traditionally mouse-centered approach to a touch-centric design. The last time that Microsoft tried to add an interface option to Windows was Media Center, which was introduced part-way through the life-cycle of Windows XP and brought a ‘ten foot’ interface designed for use in a living room. That was simply an added interface option on top of the normal Windows UI, though, while Windows 8 has completely removed large parts of the traditional interface that PC users have become accustomed to.
After driving a number of older, less reliable and unquestionably ugly cars during my years in college, I was proud to show my grandfather my nearly new burgundy Acura Integra. I began by pointing out the plush interior, sunroof, and, of course, the stereo system.
I explained how I’d spent the afternoon polishing the body, cleaning the windows and scrubbing the wheels to make them especially shiny.
My grandfather took it all in as he walked around the card. Finally, he stepped back and said, “It will get you from point A to point B just like any other car.”
Intel is nearing the release of their third-generation Core Processor platform, and in preparation they have launched several new motherboard chipsets this week. For desktops, there are four variants: Z77, Z75, H77, and B75 - with a couple more coming later in the year. What's the difference? We'll tell you!
Over the next few months I plan to share with you specific products and services that help me be more productive. I prefer simple, elegant solutions to complex products bogged down by every feature imaginable.
It wasn’t long ago that the task of moving files from one computer to another required a CD burner, flash drive, or emailing them to yourself. If you were savvy, maybe you shared files over a network. Today that scenario is made more complicated with the proliferation of smart phones and tablets that often do not share the same file structure or network protocols.
I have a PC at home and another at work along with a smartphone and tablet. There are times when I want to access a spreadsheet from my tablet that I created on my work PC. Or maybe I have pictures on my home PC that I’d like to show a friend from my smartphone.
Dropbox is the product that makes it happen.
One of the services we offer here at Puget Systems, aimed at high-end gamers and enthusiasts, is overclocking. It is a practice that has been around for quite some time which involves pushing the processor in a computer beyond its rated clock speed. This can provide an additional performance boost without the need to spend more money on a faster processor, though there are some trade-offs involved: additional heat and stress above and beyond what the CPU may have been designed to handle.
Puget Systems has been in the business of building computers for 11 years now, and we know what we are doing when it comes to assembling top-notch custom computers. It is a bit insulting, then, when a parts manufacturer puts out a warning which appears - on the surface - to indicate something we do is resulting in anything other than the highest performance possible. Yet here I am, to let you know about just such a notice that nVidia's latest driver software is giving when using their graphics cards in certain configurations.
Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor architecture is turning 6 months old in July, and has been a major seller in the PC market in these few short months. There was a slight hiccup a month after it was released, when it was found that there was a defect in the SATA controller of the chipsets designed to work with these processors, but that has long since been resolved and no further problems have arisen.<< Older Posts