AMD 300 series specifications

AMD have finally released, at least on paper, their latest range of cards. The lineup consists of the following; The flagship R9 Fury X, R9 Fury, R9 390 X, R9 390, R7 380, R7 370 and the R7 360

Perhaps unremarkably the only real ‘new’ chip is the Bermuda based R9 Fury cards, with all the rest being rebranded 200 series chips aka Hawaii, Tonga etc etc…

So to the specifications. The top end Fury cards pack 4096 stream processors, 64 GCN compute units, 4GB of VRAM and a GPU speed up to 1050MHz. It will also be the first AMD card to feature high bandwidth memory, or HBM for short. The Fury X is also the only one that’s watercooled and you can guarantee it will require quite a hefty PSU!

The R9 390X and 390 use more bog standard GDDR5 memory, although you’ll at least get a full 8GB of the stuff. The 390X will feature 2816 stream processors 176 TMUs and 64 ROPs with the GPU speed set at 1050MHz, memory speed is clocked at 1500MHz (6GHz QDR) across a 512 bit bus. The 390 non-x version comes with 2560 stream processors 160 TMUs and 64 ROPs. This card will have a stock GPU speed of 1000MHz and the memory clocked at 1500MHz, or 6GHz QDR with a 384 bit bandwidth. Price for the 390 X is around $430 with the 390 coming in at around $330.

Onto the R9 380 series. Here we have three Antigua or Tonga Pro based cards. All feature 1792 stream processors with 112 TMUs and 32 ROPs. Clock speeds should be 970MHz and memory is clocked at 1375 MHz on a 256 bit bus. These cards will come with either 2 or 4GB of memory, with prices being around the 200 dollar mark.

The R7 370 series utilises 1024 stream processors, 64 TMUs and 32 ROPs. This card is essentially the same design as the R7 265. Clock speed will be 975 MHz with memory coming in at 1425 MHz. Prices are expected to be around the $150 mark.

Last up in the lineup is the Tobago based R7 360. It comes with 768 stream processors and is essentially a rebadged Bonaire Pro chip. The GPU core is clocked at 1050 MHz and comes with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6.5GHz across a 128 bit bus.

Internet shopping, killing the high street?

Ah the internet! Such a brilliant invention, so addictive, so impressive, but when will it stop ruining things? Not so long ago you could wander down to your local High Street and it would be awash with people bustling around, merrily filling their baskets and trolleys with a myriad of wonderful goods.

How times have changed, nowadays it’s a totally different kettle of fish, what with boarded up shops and areas with literally whole streets looking like ghost towns. The statistics don’t lie either, as of September 2011 fourteen-and-a-half per cent of town centre shops in the UK were vacant, this figure is up by over 5% at the end of 2008. The demise in our High Street stores cannot all be blamed on internet shopping, a big chunk of the population has been financially hit hard by the recent recession, and of course you’ve got the huge, somewhat overpowering out of town shopping centres. However the rise and rise of internet shopping seems to be doing its level best to totally destroy our once loved High Streets.

Who can blame us though? We can happily browse from the comfort of our living rooms whilst watching the latest episode of Eastenders (insert woeful soap opera of choice here), add to our baskets and then just wait for the sound of the doorbell a few days later. Not only that, but the unwanted gifts that we so ungratefully received at Christmas can now be offloaded easily enough using the likes of Ebay. There’s even sites that don’t charge you for the privilege of getting rid of your tat, for example you can sell items with OLX totally free of charge!

So how are we to reverse this ever growing trend? Well I really don’t think we can. It would require millions of us to vote with our feet and embrace total inconvenience on an almost daily basis, along with actually having to move off of our comfy sofas in our comfy warm living rooms. I’m afraid to say the end could well be nigh for our beloved High Street, RIP….

The Coupon That Will Not Die

Over on my side of the pond (The New World) coupons for merchandising are ingrained in the American culture. A more accurate statement would be ingrained in the North American culture. My neighbors to the north in Canada can spell the word: Special Sale in both English and French. South of the border the supermarkets issue customer barcodes for discounts and customer tracking like any of the American supermarkets or sporting good stores.

Clearly this is not just a North American phenomena. Chances are even if you are using a language translator to read this article, you can spell, Groupon.

What I’m about to say may sound like I am slamming Groupon. Nothing could be further from the truth. This time last week I found a great new hoagie shop thanks to Groupon and I’m writing to you on a 32 inch display purchased from Groupon Goods. I hardly use it at all as a 3-D TV, which is what it was sold as. However the display and specs were so sharp, with its four HDMI ports, and DisplayPort adapter it makes a great monitor.

And Groupon may have met its match in PassJoy.

Currently, PassJoy is an iPhone app. Since it is IOS, there is no reason it couldn’t be used on an iPad (I haven’t tried that).

Both the merchant and consumer can think of PassJoy as little synchronized webpages. The operative word here is synchronized. In other words a coupon from a merchant that morphs over time. So here we have a coupon from a merchant that changes, does not expire.

In other words, a dynamic customer loyalty program with nothing for the consumer to manage.

This is huge.

While here at the focus is a fresh look at technology and PassJoy certainly passes that test I want to close with a warning to those of you who market specials with coupons.

15 years ago I was out of town on a training job. My motel had a kitchen and I was buying groceries for 10 days. The nearest store was an Albertsons, so I went there. It was a 24 hour store and it was certainly off-hours. I did not have an Albertsons “loyalty card”, i.e. barcode stamped on me. I explained I was from out of town. I had picked some items off-the-shelf where the tags standing out perpendicular to the products were “on sale”. Since I didn’t have a barcode, I wasn’t worthy of the sale price.

That was 15 years ago or more. It’s not only safe to say I have not darkened the door of an Albertsons store since. In fact, my blood pressure goes up a few points when I see their logo.

Coupons are great. And they’re worthless without employee training.


Your Choice: More Efficiency and/or More Enjoyment….

Here’s the deal. I only write here about things I am enthusiastic about. Occasionally, I become super enthusiast.

And this is one of those posts.

I am driven to make every moment count. Even if that means a moment of enjoyment. Whatever it is, I like to do it full out. Even if it is something as mundane as taking a shower. In years past I had a water resistant FM radio that hung the shower. That way, at least I can catch up with the news and weather as I’m getting clean.

Surely, I’m not alone or they wouldn’t have made water resistant shower radios. Well it’s 2013 now and technology has marched forward. Kohler, the plumbing folks have gotten into the electronics business.

Take a look at the KOHLER K-9245-CP 2.5 GPM Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker.

It is Bluetooth enabled so, no cord snaking out. I’m looking to pair it to my HTPC which I put Windows Media Center on when I upgraded to Windows 8. This will let me listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, or use a Text-To-Speech program so I can have webpages read to me (or e-books or anything else).

I really like the fact that the speaker pops out of the showerhead so I can continue listening and take it with me out of the shower. The only downside to this is it can eat into the seven hour battery charge. Of course the flipside is it makes it dang easy to recharge.

The head itself is available only in white, while the enclosure itself in theory comes in both white and chrome. As Amazon is offering both, I still have to make a decision. The one decision made is, based on the reviews, I’m getting one.

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” ― Leonardo da Vinci