In the line of fire - Techwatch 20120229

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:48 pm
Game Server Admin
1555 Posts
About In the line of fire - TechWatch:  I decided to start writing this article on about a monthly basis (for now).  The article will mainly focus on PC hardware and software, but we might include other tech as well from time to time.  We'll talk about tech that is hitting store shelves as I write about them, as well as techs still in, or entering R&D.  The name "In the line of fire" seemed appropriate for a website dedicated to FPS games.

Around the corner:  Windows 8.  Most searches are leading to articles about todays release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  One source predicts a September-October release. That corresponds to previous Q3-Q4 predicitons, and leaves a 6+ month window for MS to work out some of the bugs - "Consumer Preview" is just code for "Beta", right?

Off in the horizon:  11 things about PRAM...and counting 00, that's four states that one cell of PRAM can hold, as opposed to the standard 2 states:  0 and 1.  So does that mean that each byte will now contain 4 bits, or is that 2 bits per cell?  My head is spinning.  Not that memory speed is exactly the first place you'd look for a bottleneck, but PRAM could increase memory speed anywhere from none at all, to several orders of magnitude.  Even if the latter is true, speed isn't PRAM's most attractive feature, it's longevity.  The PRAM is being eyeballed as a possible replacement for both DRAM and NAND (flash) RAM.  I have a stick of internal RAM burn out every, say...10 or 20 years or so.  I haven't had any flash devices burn out yet.  I have some numbers here that say consumer flash RAM starts deteriorating after cells sustain 5K-10K writes, with enterprise class flash RAM devices holding out for up to 100K writes.  IBM claims it's PRAM can sustain 5M writes.  Of course, my grandfather claimed that when he was a kid, he walked to school everyday, barefoot, in the snow, up hill, both ways.

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