AnandTech Stories August 31, 2014

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AnandTech founder and EiC Anand Shimpi announced last night via a post on the site that he had decided to retire from technology journalism, but didn’t specify what he’d be doing instead. Today, Re/code reports that Shimpi will be going to Apple, as confirmed by the tech firm’s representative, though his exact role is still unknown.

Earlier this year AnandTech’s Brian Klug also left the site for a role at Apple with a focus on building mobile processors for the company’s iOS lineup. It’s possible and perhaps likely that Shimpi will be taking up a similar role in quality assurance or marketing.

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AnandTech Stories October 2, 2013

Report finds almost all Android OEMs, not just Samsung, cheat on benchmarks

When Apple SVP Phil Schiller pointed us to a story earlier this week that Samsung was artificially inflating benchmark scores for its new Galaxy Note 3, many were quick to point out it wasn’t the first time Samsung had been caught engaged in such a practice. The same issue was discovered by AnandTech for the Galaxy S4 back in July, and today the site has an extensive report showing that almost every Android smartphone manufacturer is shipping devices that do the same.

As pictured in the chart above, that includes the HTC One, HTC One mini, LG G2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and many others. In fact, the only companies that appear to not be using the method is Apple and Motorola, as well as Google with its Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 devices:

We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It’s a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung…  None of the Nexus do, which is understandable since the optimization isn’t a part of AOSP. This also helps explain why the Nexus 4 performed so slowly when we reviewed it – this mess was going on back then and Google didn’t partake.

As noted in the report, the gains that OEMs are experiencing from the inflated scores are probably not worth the press they’ve been receiving. AnandTech points out that most of the inflated scores provide under a 10% increase in GPU and CPU performance benchmarks:

The hilarious part of all of this is we’re still talking about small gains in performance. The impact on our CPU tests is 0 – 5%, and somewhere south of 10% on our GPU benchmarks as far as we can tell. I can’t stress enough that it would be far less painful for the OEMs to just stop this nonsense and instead demand better performance/power efficiency from their silicon vendors.

You can check out the full report here, which offers in-depth analysis on the optimizations it found for several devices across various benchmark tests.

AnandTech Stories September 12, 2013

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AnandTech dug into the FCC filings for the new iPhones to reveal that the iPhone 5s battery offers approximately 10 percent more capacity than its predecessor, while the 5c battery offers a more modest 5 percent gain. That’s a different size battery (5.96Wh vs 5.92Wh) than we’d seen in supposed 5s prototypes …  expand full story

AnandTech Stories June 24, 2013

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In its extensive review of the new 2013 MacBook Air, AnandTech notes an issue with the machine’s new 802.11ac WiFi capabilities that it says is limiting the faster Wi-Fi chip’s potential. While it was able to get an average of 533Mbps using the iPerf networking tool, Anand found real world file transfers would only get 21.2MB/s or 169.6Mbps:

I disabled all other wireless in my office. Still, no difference. I switched ethernet cables, I tried different Macs, I tried copying from a PC, I even tried copying smaller files – none of these changes did anything. At most, I only saw 21.2MB/s over 802.11ac. I double checked my iPerf data. 533Mbps. Something weird was going on. I plugged in Apple’s Thunderbolt Gigabit Ethernet adaptor and saw 906Mbps, clearly the source and the MacBook Air were both capable of high speed transfers. What I tried next gave me some insight into what was going on. I setup web and FTP servers on the MacBook Air and transferred files that way. I didn’t get 533Mbps, but I broke 300Mbps. For some reason, copying over AFP or SMB shares was limited to much lower performance. This was a protocol issue.

According to the review, the problem is likely with the OS X networking stack that is for some reason artificially limiting the capabilities of 802.11ac: expand full story

AnandTech Stories May 28, 2013

If you’re fed up with Time Capsule and looking for a reliable, feature-filled NAS solution that also packs in some killer iOS companion apps and AirPlay support, we’re huge fans of Diskstation NAS Enclosures from Synology. We’ve reviewed the Synology NAS experience in the past, such as the two bay SD212 Diskstation, but today the company has announced its latest 8-bay unit with the launch of the new “DS1813+” model.

The new unit is similar to the 5 bay DS1513+ model it launched earlier this month, features the same screwless drive bays supporting 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, but also includes four GbE ports and speeds up to 350 MBps reads and 200 MBps writes. On top of some nice iOS, web, and Android apps for managing all of your content, Synology also offers apps for printer sharing, VPN server, ERP software, mail server, web server, anti-virus, and network video surveillance built-in.  expand full story

AnandTech Stories June 12, 2012

After posting initial benchmark data yesterday for the new Retina MacBook Pro’s SSD and USB 3.0, AnandTech published a longer analysis today about the notebook’s display. The report first took a closer look at the new resolution preferences for Retina MBP users and described the advantages of the different scaling options displayed in the gallery above:

Retina Display MBP owners now get a slider under OS X’s Display Preferences that allow you to specify desktop resolutions other than 1440 x 900. At 1440 x 900 you don’t get any increase in usable desktop resolution compared to a standard 15-inch MacBook Pro, but everything is ridiculously crisp… Even at the non-integer scaled 1680 x 1050 setting, the Retina Display looks a lot better than last year’s high-res panel. It looks like Apple actually renders the screen at twice the selected resolution before scaling it to fit the 2880 x 1800 panel (in other words, at 1920 x 1200 Apple is rendering everything at 3840 x 2400 (!) before scaling… Everything just looks better.

As illustrated in the images above showing benchmark data, the review found greatly improved viewing angles, black levels, and contrast when compared to the previous generation high-res MacBook Pro model. AnandTech then looked at Apple’s claims that the new MacBook Pro display reduces glare by 75 percent from previous generations:

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AnandTech Stories June 11, 2012

Benchmarks for SSDs and USB 3.0 performance in new MacBooks

Even before Apple’s unveiling of the all-new Retina MacBook Pros, refreshed previous-generation MacBook Pros, and MacBook Air lineups today, we knew most of Apple’s new Macs would receive performance improvements courtesy of new SSDs and USB 3.0. We are now getting our first look at benchmark data for the two new features—thanks to a Retina MacBook review unit benchmarked by AnandTech.

As for SSDs, we told you before that the new MacBook family would probably receive Samsung’s speedy 830 series. AnandTech’s report seems to narrow down the 830 series as the most likely scenario noting his review unit appears to be running a Samsung drive approaching read speed of 500MB/s, and writes close to 400MB/s:

The same updated SSD is present across all of Apple’s lineup: from the MacBook Air to the next-gen MacBook Pro. Based on the model number in Apple’s System Report I’d guess my review sample features a Samsung based drive… I ran a few tests using Quick Bench to validate Apple’s claims. In general it looks like read speed approaches 500MB/s, while sequential writes are closer to 400MB/s

When it comes to initial benchmarks for USB 3.0 performance, the chart to the right speaks for itself by showing a remarkable jump in performance over USB 2.0 on the early 2011 MacBook Pro:

USB 3.0 performance is much improved over the previous generation MacBook Pro. I used an Apricorn SATA to USB 3.0 adapter to measure copy time to/from a 512GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD. The performance gap between USB 2.0 and 3.0 is nothing short of significant.

AnandTech Stories May 7, 2012

From 9to5Toys.com:

Apple today lowered the prices of its refurbed iPads across the board. The Original iPad 16GB Wifi is now down to just $279.  Meanwhile, iPad 2s are down to starting a base price of just $319, a price drop of $30 over previous $349 clip.  Higher capacity iPads are dropped as low as $50 over prices set when Apple debuted the new iPad in March.

One reason for a drop could be Apple’s move to a “new iPad 2” with increased battery life due to its more efficient processor which may be worth more than a $50 premium at #499.

It is going to be hard to find an excuse not to get mom that white iPad 2 now, isn’t it?

MacRumors has the full list of reductions,  below. expand full story

AnandTech Stories April 17, 2012

We already took a look at Hitachi’s G-Technology’s Thunderbolt solutions at CES in January but today they are finally available to the public. The Thunderbolt version features two Thunderbolt ports, rather than the eSATA, FireWire, and USB ports found on the regular version of the G-RAID. As for the hard drives inside, there are two SATA 3Gb/s Hitachi Deskstar hard drives, which can be configured in a 4TB, 6TB, or 8TB setup, each running at 7200RPM. All three versions of the drive are priced at $700, $850, and $1,000 respectively. You can see more technical specs below, as laid out by AnandTech.

With two Thunderbolt ports, these drives can be daisy-chained together to build-out the ultimate storage solution. Currently, the G-Technology competes against four other companies in the space: LaCie, Promise, Western Digital, and Seagate. The G-Raid is the only drive that features 8TB of storage, however.

We compared the drive during this year’s CES with a few others:

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AnandTech Stories March 26, 2012

There are two interesting pieces of information this morning on the new iPad.

If used solely as an LTE MiFi, AnandTech got a mind-numbing 25.3 hours of Verizon LTE hotspotting out of the new iPad. That is equal to about five to seven MiFis.

Now for the killer. If you have an iPad on Verizon’s LTE network and use it as a personal hotspot (not currently possible on the AT&T version), it will last you roughly 25.3 hours on a single charge. Obviously that’s with the display turned off, but with a 42.5Wh battery driving Qualcomm’s MDM9600 you get tons of life out of the new iPad as a personal hotspot.

By my calculations, that means you could download 182GB of data at 2MB/sec on LTE through a single charge or over 18 times Verizon’s highest data plan in a single day.

In addition, PCWorld tested the heat on the new iPad and compared it to the ASUS Eee Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab under the same conditions. Without the charger plugged in, the new iPad was actually cooler than the Samsung Galaxy Tab—even with a bigger battery after playing a game for an hour.

The point is that the new iPad runs only slightly hotter than high-end Android tablets and only when charging. The cool champion is still the iPad 2 when playing graphic intensive games.

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AnandTech Stories October 11, 2011

iPhone 4S clocked at 800MHz, still crushes iPhone 4 (and everyone else) as advertised

The first SunSpider and BrowserMark benchmarks 9to5Mac told you about yesterday confirmed the iPhone 4S as being “twice as fast”, per Apple’s tagline. Today, AnandTech published a more thorough analysis based on Javascript, CPU and GPU benchmarks of Apple’s latest handset. Thanks to the dual-core A5 chip first outed with iPad 2 this Spring, Javascript […]

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