The AnandTech Podcast: Episode 24

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 8/3/2013 11:45 AM EST


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  • sherlockwing - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the Podcast. Any update on when you will have that podcast with Ian about Z87 boards? Reply
  • speconomist - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    This could be the best podcast ever...
    Shamesung and so many other interesting topics.
  • Krysto - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    2 hours? Any reason you guys aren't doing a video podcast, like a Hangout or something, or just film yourselves. It's a little more entertaining to sit and watch 2 hour of podcast than just listen to it. Reply
  • Mondozai - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Uh, no.

    2+ hours of podcasts are great for my commute, it's plenty for both the way there and back.

    I was recently flying to Singapore and I had specficially loaded up on episode 22 and 23 the days before and saved them for the flight. It was a lifesaver. If you don't have enough concentration to listen and absorb over 2 hours then either spread it out or go somewhere where 40 min podcasts - barely enough to cover any real ground - is the norm.

    Anandtech is about in-depth coverage of tech. One part of that is simply a function of time. Compare Brian's HTC One review with the equivalents of most other sites. Since he goes into so much more detail, it also takes a lot longer to read those kinds of reviews.

    But that's why we're at Anandtech, it's a quality technology site.
    Or at least that's why I am here. Why are you here?
  • B - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    ^ I agree these are awesome for commutes as is. Reply
  • Bull Dog - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    I also agree I prefer audio only as it allows me to do other things while enjoying this great content rather than being stuck to my computer the whole time. Reply
  • Bakes - Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - link

    I agree as well. Audio only is preferable. Reply
  • augustofretes - Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - link

    Not mutually exclusive, dude. Reply
  • lilmoe - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Was that the same Andrei who's also doing the Perseus Kernel for the i9500? Because he's been calling Samsung out since June.

    (Changelog for his Aplha 1 release):
  • lilmoe - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    *alpha1 Reply
  • dylan522p - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Yup that would be him. Reply
  • Someguyperson - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    I know you guys went really, really long, but I was looking forward to a discussion about the Nvidia Shield. I am still undecided whether to get a Shield or a new Nexus 7 and I was hoping Brian's level of enthusiasm would help with that. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    I am in the same boat. I was surprised at how many reviewers love the Shield. The Nexus 7 is a great device too.

    I think I'm leaning towards the Nexus 7.

    I looked at iFixit's tear down of the Shield and they noted how uniquely complicated it is. The nexus 7 just seems more polished.

    The next version of NVIDIA's shield will include an implementation of Kepler which should provide better performance while the Shield gets a nice makeover.

    There still is no good way to use the touch screen and I want a good gaming and tablet experience into one form factor.
  • Krysto - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    I hope Nvidia continues with Shield 2.0 and mobile Kepler next year. But they need to drop that price somehow, at least to $250, although $200 would really be the sweet spot, but not sure if that's doable.

    But if they could be even slightly profitable on $200, they should do it, because they would sell a lot of them and it would be very good marketing for them. They can start getting profitable with next-generations, by maintaining some of the specs the same (with lower cost every year).

    For example they can keep the 720p screen for next year. The resolution is fine on such a small screen. They could even make the screen a bit bigger. Plus, you WANT a lower (but not too low) resolution on a gaming device. At 1080p the FPS would be cut in half, and would make the device cost more, and also reduce battery life. Just use a higher quality IPS panel perhaps, but keep the resolution.
  • lilmoe - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Interesting. Just got a stability update on my SGS4 (i9500) yesterday, and my Antutu score dropped to 24000. Seems like Samsung removed that "booster". Reply
  • Mondozai - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    "Interesting. Just got a stability update on my SGS4 (i9500) yesterday, and my Antutu score dropped to 24000. Seems like Samsung removed that booster."

    Interesting indeed.
  • lilmoe - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Actually, what's more interesting is while the score dropped, the device now feels much smoother and snappier than before. The battery lasts longer too. Reply
  • jiffylube1024 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Love the podcasts. I've listened to all 23 so far! Keep em up - I love the depth you guys go into. Reply
  • thestryker - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Greatly enjoyed the podcast, and when I grabbed it I didn't even realize what a long one I was in store for to say the least. Looking forward to hearing you guys discuss the Shield and the place you think it may (or may not) have in the market.

    A question I've been wondering about for a while after listening to the podcasts regarding your general acceptance for 7-8" android/ios tablets and decrying the 10-11" android/ios tablets. I want to say that personally I wish my tablet had a lot better usage situation where it actually could replace a laptop (maybe surface pro v2), however at the same time with 5" smartphones is doubling screen area (7" tablet) enough to make you reach for your tablet instead of just using your smartphone?

    For myself it wasn't until hitting the 10" mark that it became worthwhile, but I don't need a laptop for anything productivity related so the downsides of an android/ios tablet don't effect me right now. I use mine primarily for web, video and comics so the 10" size does make a direct impact on what I'm doing.
  • Zink - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    I agree, with the 5" size becoming standard for flagship smartphones and 5.5" - 6.5" screens on large smartphones a 7" tablet doesn't provide much benefit. I also prefer 4:3 at 10" (Retina iPad and HP Touchpad) to widescreen tablets for reading PDFs and web browsing which is about all I use my tablet for.
    For Windows 8 tablets I can see 10"-12" 16:9 making some sense because of the way apps run full screen with no button or menu bars at the top or bottom. Widescreen in this case allows for multitasking in landscape but the aspect ratio and size almost completely wreck portrait use.
  • et20 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Do you listen to yourselves?

    First you say that you must use benchmarks to quantify performance because manufacturers only pay lip service to user experience.
    And in the next breath you admit the tools you use are hopelessly inadequate at actually measuring real life performance.
    Who's just paying lip service again?

    You are not entitled to screw up the mobile industry like you did the desktop industry with your reductive tests and braindead charts. I applaud the manufacturers for not letting you poison consumers with ridiculous, reductive and irrelevant test results simply because your engineering background biases you to try.

    If you have any doubt about whether that actually happened you only need look at the recent state of the quality of input and output devices on desktops and laptops. The lack of clear cutting numbers and charts doomed critical parts of the user experience for the better part of a decade. We had to suffer through decreasing quality of displays and keyboards and stagnating battery life because they were at most an afterthought in the face of the almighty performance and price.
    The primary reason for that was because performance and price were the easiest to benchmark and chart.

    The bottom line is that user experience does not belong on charts. Never has and never will.
    Trying to put it there is the reason why most people hate or feel stupefied by desktops and love their tablets and smartphones.

    What's the point of you trying to replicate the benchmarking of components the manufacturers do internally? That is "simply wrong", not the people questioning your use of benchmarks.
    In mobile you are dealing with integrated products. The more you try to dig deeper and look separately at hardware or software components, the less useful your reviews will be for informing purchase decisions because mobile products win exactly by being much more than the sum of their parts.

    So stop. You are trying to make things worse for everyone except a ridiculously small minority of people who get their kicks out of feeling superior for being able to buy or recommend worse products that can score higher on some arbitrary test.
  • jimbo2779 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    What in the flying flip-flop are you talking about?

    There isn't a single site on the net that breaks down technology like Anandtech does and to try and shift some sort of blame for whatever imaginary problems you have with the industry is just insane. You are correct in that AT probably does the most quantitative testing out of all of the different tech sites but I do not see that as an issue when it is accompanied by the most qualitative tests and descriptions.

    You are really in the wrong place to be pointing fingers as this site really does give by far the most in depth reviews of all and although sometimes these can be full of intricate details of the inner workings of whatever device they are reviewing they ALWAYS talk about the user experience in just as much depth.
  • Razorbak86 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    "You mad, bro?" Reply
  • Mondozai - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    My thoughts exactly reading his long, incoherent rant. Reply
  • This Guy - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    These guys would have focused more on the positive features of the Moto X if your marketing gurus stopped using jargon to lie about specifications.

    AnandTech always concludes a review of a deivce with comments on it's user IO. Many reviews have pages dedicated to the quality of it's display. Poor buttons/keyboards/trackpads and screens always get criticised.

    As for internals, SSDs, batteries, low voltage chips, capacitive screens, digital pens and higher tier wifi solutions can make a significant improvement to user experience in certain devices when compared to cheaper solutions.
  • Excors - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    On the mobile benchmarking, there was a comment that you're limited in what you can do in two days before a phone is released - there's no chance of rooting the phone to get a better understanding of what it's doing internally.

    I assume getting a review up quickly is vital for catching the buzz when a new phone comes out - but the phone's lifespan can be around a year (at least for the Galaxy S series) and most people don't buy it immediately after release. Wikipedia claims the S4 sold 10M after the first month and 20M after the second month, and the S3 sold 20M in three months and 50M in ten months - the sales don't drop off extremely sharply.

    So perhaps there is enough interest to justify a followup review of a phone, several weeks after its release, to inform people who are making purchasing decisions after that point? That would give time to go deeper - running more thorough tests, looking further into the internals, reading and verifying feedback from early adopters, etc - and then combine all the information into a new comprehensive review (not just a fragmented series of articles). That review probably wouldn't make a big splash but it'd be pretty useful in the long term for the majority of people who end up buying the device, so maybe it'd be worth spending the time on something like that.
  • xTRICKYxx - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    I feel like you guys should develop your own benchmark for Android and possibly iOS. I understand your frustration and perhaps an in-house benchmark would be a good alternative and be supplemental to the 3rd party benchmarks that you currently use. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    That's actually a good idea. I'm sure they considered it before, but maybe not too seriously. But now AnandTech is respected enough in the industry and popular enough with readers, that if they have the money, they could start doing that. The readers could keep nagging OEM's to test their devices with AnandTech's benchmarks before releasing them, if they want to be taken seriously regarding their performance/battery life claims. Reply
  • willis936 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Hey guys. This is my first post on anandtech but I've been reading for a year or two. I'm a junior in EE and work at a lab run by my uni doing interop and conformance testing of networking equipment. My consortium actually tests the phy and protocol of mobile cameras and displays so my first glimpse into any industry is the mobile one but I'm also keeping a close eye on storage and WiFi. I've been to a face to face spec meeting and have been paying close attention to up and coming hardware and how it's embedded in phones. This podcast was really insightful for sifting through the bs, getting the big (hardware/kernel/os/application interplay in performance) picture and figuring out why things the way they are in phones today.

    I personally have a rooted N7 gen. 1 that's been slowing down. I ran fstrim through a play store app on the data, cache, and system partitions. I wouldn't have believed it was eMMC I/O performance chugging the UI if I hadn't seen the difference myself.

    It's nice to hear a level voice about this stuff and I look forward to more podcasts. The entire internet has been silent about 802.11ac the past month. It's due to be finalized in November and I'm sure official 11ac IP will be in products for the holidays. If you guys have any more to say about that, Intel HD5200 laptops, silvermont, or UWB I'd definitely listen in.
  • willis936 - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    As a quick addendum: I've been excited about the moto x since I first heard rumblings about it a few months ago and most of my friends don't even know about it yet. The thought of that kind of very silent rumbling might have something to do with the marketing budget hadn't even entered my mind. It's an interesting thought.

    My opinion of the moto x right now was formed the instant I read the paragraph about pricing and availability in your preview. $200 on contract, carrier exclusives. I'm off the boat full stop. That's not what I was expecting from Google's divine intervention. Yes the gimmicks are cool and introduce innovation in an otherwise uncreative and stagnant market but when I first heard about moto x my impression was that it would bring nexus to the masses. I'm on a two year old HTC thunderbolt. I have unlimited LTE that I'm very closely guarding so an upgrade is out of the question. I'm now in the very tough spot of finding a decent phone on VZW. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed but that doesn't exist, and it hasn't for years. Nexus is supposed to rip the carrier's hands off of the android experience because right now it's suffocating under VZW's massive bureaucratic and profit making weight. The moto x missed this vision and not by any small amount. To me it looks like another Motorola phone, not the first vertically integrated Google phone.
  • watersb - Sunday, August 04, 2013 - link

    Show title: "I Wanted a Fire!" (crazy boost) Reply
  • watersb - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    Also: I couldn't decide if Brian were more likely to be found face-down in a gutter outside The Buffet dive bar, or wandering around on Mt. Graham muttering to himself. But then I realized he's been traveling so much, he probably just cleans out the mini-bar in the hotel room.

    Stay away from code reviews, Brian! #cantbeunseen #ifearforyou
  • fefoEng - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    Amazing podcast as usual. Keep doing what you're doing, I love seeing the academic/scientific approach to product reviews that you guys do. Reply
  • neocobb - Monday, August 05, 2013 - link

    Awesome podcast. I am not an electoronics major; your podcasts make me want to know more.
    Again, Brian, you are awesome :-)
  • slayernine - Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - link

    I would LOVE to read an article on SD Card reliability and longevity. Reply
  • Kenneth Qvarfordt - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed listen to this episode. You guys rock! I also love the simple style. No dumb intro or anything just right at the goodies! Only problem is it was too short! I'd love for even longer pod casts. Keep up the good work! Reply
  • GokieKS - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Brian's rants in this episode are fantastic. And I agreed with him on pretty much all of them. Reply
  • LucasTech - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    Excellent podcast. I heard Brian Klug on the Vector podcast with Rene Ritchie, and that lead me to this podcast. I listen to tech podcasts all the time, and this is my single favorite podcast I have ever listened to. The honesty and expertise in explanations, especially on Brian's part was simply outstanding. I will definitely be listening more in the future. Reply
  • errorr - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    So I was bored and out of podcasts and was listening to some old ones and Anand made a perfect prediction of benchmark boost gate whatever.

    On episode 15 at 1:04:58 Anand says: "Is this when they start to do app detects and wait for someone to fire up Antutu or something and, and then just go all A15s.

    Now the comment was more about the heuristics in the kernel of when the exynos 5 octa switches between A7'sand A15's.

    The chip, the maker, and the benchmark. Impressive to say the least.
  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    Wow Reply
  • ESC2000 - Monday, August 12, 2013 - link

    I have a question about something you guys said while discussing the aspect ratios of the nexus 7 2013 versus the mini. Anand said the mini is better for reading/viewing webpages because it's 4:3 while the nexus is better for video with its 16:9 ratio. I get the general premise of that, especially with regard to PDFs, but doesn't the nexus 7 2013 display more text on its screen because the mini has only 34% of the pixels of the nexus? The mini has 25% or so more screen real estate but the nexus' significantly more pixels means way more text is shown on the mini (because you can see much smaller text on the nexus clearly).

    I know I'm conflating aspect ratio and number of pixels and screen real estate but I keep hearing this argument about why the mini is better and I want to nail down the truth.
  • skiboysteve - Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - link

    Modern OSs scale up content for high DPI displays. So even though you have more pixels you might see the same amount of content as a lower resolution display... Its just much nicer looking (usually.. There are some details here...) Reply
  • rudolphna - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    These podcasts are great for me on roadtrips, I like to listen to them when driving. They really are great to have. Keep them coming guys! Listened to them on the way to ohio from upstate NY, and to Baltimore as well. I need more! Reply
  • F1shbone - Friday, August 30, 2013 - link

    Hey! I'm pretty new to podcasts overall and this one is my favourite thus far. You have a really nice dynamic and mutual respect between yourselves, which makes the podcast quite pleasant to listen to. And your knowledge of the things you talk about, of course. You've made yourselves one (more) fan in Finland already waiting for the next one. Great work! Reply
  • kmob - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    Just wanted to thank you guys for a fantastic podcast. It's very refreshing to listen to your very knowledgeable commentaries and insights. Wish it was a bit more regular, but I certainly understand that it takes a lot of time to put this together. Reply

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