I've been out in California for the past week for IDF, followed by some extra meetings with the usual suspects: AMD, Intel and NVIDIA. The information I gained from these meetings will show up in articles over the next few weeks, months and even years. I really enjoyed covering the show this year not only because of the information we had access to but also because of the new team members I was able to cover it with. This was the first IDF for both Brian and Vivek. AMD even made this IDF an awesome experience by giving us great access to Zacate after our initial encounter. I have to say that for the first time in a while I'm actually looking forward to the next tradeshow. 
 
For those of you who don't know, I don't employ any sales people at AnandTech. The company is strictly editorial. We have an exclusive advertising partner who handles all sales/marketing for the site. We own no share in them, and they own no share in us. While out here I met with our advertising agency who came to me with a request. They have a potential advertiser that wanted to know if we had any success stories from our readers to share with them. They are looking for stories about how reading something on AnandTech impacted you, particularly with regards to enterprise hardware/software decisions. While the request was for enterprise stories, I'm interested to hear them all if you've got one. Again what I'm looking for is a story about how something you read here impacted you or your hardware/software decisions in any way.
 
The stories will be shared with the potential advertiser so be sure to leave out any information that you don't want public. They are simply looking for more anecdotal evidence of the impact of AnandTech. I don't like asking for favors, but if you do have a story to share I'd appreciate it. 
 
I'm back in the office next week, have a great weekend!
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  • name99 - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Based on what I've read in AnandTech I took a flutter on the Seagate hybrid drive (Momentus XT 500 GB) --- which is adequate but disappointing, largely because I am not convinced their caching firmware is as near as good as it could be with a different algorithm.
    I also plan to buy a RunCore 4 128GB for my MacBook Air this weekend.

    It also goes the other way of course. I've been happy enough to read the tech details of the successive Intel chips since Penryn, but have felt no compelling need to buy a new iMac based on any of them, since they all seem to promise basically what I already have, only with more cores.

    Now my favor request to you. While you are at the GPU show in San Jose next week --- I assume you will be there (!) can you swing by the Wolfram Research booth and try to get any info you can from them about their future parallelism plans.
    What Wolfram do right now as of Mathematica 7 is
    - dense floating point linear algebra and floating point FFTs are parallelized
    - there are some nice primitives for parallel computation, but these primitives are designed for cluster use, have some overhead, and require a lot of setup in terms of exporting the various pre-requisites to a calculation from the "driving" Mathematica kernel to the other kernels.
    What Wolfram have announced (in a video that was so noisy as to be basically useless) is that they are working with nVidia to do neat things on GPUs; some of which may involve graphical work like voxel processing, but they've not said much more than that.

    What it would be nice to know is: given that CPU speed has basically stood still for ten years now, does Mathematica plan to make rather more aggressive use of all the parallelism that is available on modern computers in a USER-TRANSPARENT fashion for Mathematica 8?

    For example:
    - where it makes sense aggressively using SSE (and soon AVX). This could be used in situations like plots, multi-dimensional numerical integration, and perhaps random number generation. Are there ways in which special function computations (eg power series and pade approximations) can utilize vector units even for calculation of a single value? [Doing so for, as I said, integration and plotting is rather easier.]

    - have the main work horse functions inside the kernel run on multiple cores. The main Mathematica kernel is probably difficult to parallelize, but many of the functions that it calls out to are basically one form or another of searches in a large space which can be parallelized. And of course again numerical integration and plotting.

    Let them know that I, for one, would be quite happy to accept a few incompatibilities with the past, or cases where patterns are matched and resolved in a different order, or suchlike, if this would give me a Mathematica that was substantially faster.
    Reply
  • nermie - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    My favorite articles are the ones involving a mistake on the part of the manufacturer and seeing how quickly and honestly they respond. The recent example of AMD allowing Anand full control of their machine to set up a benchmark just shows how much they trust their product. I like to buy from companies that take pride in their work. This website is one of the best for not only benchmarking hardware performance, but also for insight into a company's character. Reply
  • infiniteset - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    I own a small and growing design business. we primarily use photoshop to work on large image files. When we started I built my own computers to save on $. Then I decided it was a waste of time and started buying dells. Then the dells started breaking and i decided it's time to start building them again. When I decide to choose parts I browse Anandtech to make decisions. i.e. most recent build was i7-950,gtx460(for future 30in monitors), wd ssd 120gb, gigabyte mobo, 12gb ram. I've been building the same setup for the last few iterations, but come here to refine the parts list, the product reviews are unbiased and factual and there is very little fluff. Reply
  • manandeman - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    I've been reading this site for about 6 years now...and I visit it frequently. The reviews, analyses, recommendations, insights, et al, are very helpful. For example, recently, I wanted to know which Intel processor system I should build...LGA1156 or LGA1366? My main concern has to do with Graphics bandwidth. Will two PCIe 8x lanes on Lynnfield suffice for now and in the future? I want to do 3D gaming, especially flight simulators.

    Anand has the right article on the Lynnfield vs. Bloomfield PCIe scaling. This has given me enough information for me to build a system...and just waiting for Thanksgiving.

    The information on minimum frame rate, power/noise, efficiency are very useful.

    I would suggest to Anand to also test 3D gaming using the same configuration as his previous article...just to see if the PCIe bandwidth is sufficient on either platform.

    Thanks,
    Manandeman
    Reply
  • B.B - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Since I browsing your site a few years ago, I havent stopped. I visit it almost every day to see whats new. I assemble PC computers for myself, friends and co-workers here in Denmark where I live. I very rerely buy any component before checking out what you have to say about it. Why?
    1. You know your stuff or you find out
    2. You are impartial (You would make a very good journalist btw)
    3. Your reviews are thourough and consistant and stuctured (IE high quality)
    4. Your articles goes very much into detail/depth about the tech and theory, but I, as a reader, am still able to choose how much detail I want to read without it taking away the essence of the article.

    This may sound like a lot of praise, but honestly I can understand why companys send you their best stuff to review.
    I would like to see 1 thing on your site though. When Im looking for new "stuff" sometimes I have to browse for a while to find out what the current best is atm. F.ex, Im looking for a new SSD. I know the sandforce based ones are some of the best at the moment, but it would be nice if I could just click on a link and it would bring me to all the SSDs you reviewed and the specs/score so I know what to get(OCZ Vertex 1 or 2? X-25M? ect).

    Keep up the good work
    Reply
  • Ryestag - Saturday, September 18, 2010 - link

    Click on BENCH on the top right (under the search box) and then select SSD. Here's a link :)

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU/88
    Reply
  • spunlex - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    My first encounter with Anandtech was when I built my first computer a few years back. I was trying to decide which video card to buy which at the time was either an 8800gt or a 3870. I was trying to understand how Nvidia parts could have so few stream processors and still compete with ATI. The only place I found an answer was here at Anandtech, and to this day I think that was one of the most helpful articles have ever read before making a purchase. As I kept researching parts for my build Anandtech would come up over and over again, and when I finally got my new rig up and running I was visiting Anandtech on a daily bassis. Since then I have almost completed a computer engineering degree and although my level of computer expertise and knowledge has increased dramatically, I still get the best information for Anandtech in my opinion.
    I never make a major PC hardware purchasing decision without consulting Anandtech first. It ranks right up there with google and wikipedia for me.
    Also bench is just awesome when you know what you need and want a quick way to find out what would be the best match for those needs.
    This is a great site, and I hope you keep up the good, we can never have too many in depth reviews.
    thanks for all the help and info over the years.
    Reply
  • strolfey - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    I check anandtech at least a few times a week to see the newest developments and trends in computing technology. At the every least, I try to keep tabs on which products are the best in several categories and why.

    Most recently, the Asus VG236H interested me for its bundling of the nVidia 3D vision kit. At the time, I had a regular 24" monitor from a few years back. Earlier this month, the backlight gave out, and I remembered the article, so I ordered one from newegg. I am quite happy with the result, and I do agree that its weakest point is the stand.

    I have also been looking forward to the release of the ASRock Vision 3D 135B. I've been looking for a blu-ray htpc or media box that would also handle hulu for quite a while. My latest interest in vision 3d things also tacked on the requirement that it can do HDMI 1.4 or be vision 3d capable. I'm looking forward to reading the full review on this machine when it's available, as I'm fairly sure this is what I've been waiting for. If it has any significant flaws, I might just have to wait for another model to come along. I know you guys are going to do a review on it, because one of your reviewers posted in a forum that a review would be coming soon.

    I was also impressed by the test results on the iPhone 4 antenna and reception issues. At the time, nobody had really released any scientific results other than losing a few bars here or there.

    Keep up the good work, I really do appreciate the time you guys put into reviewing products. It influences my purchases and recommendations to others heavily.
    Reply
  • AnAnandUser - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    Firstly, I noticed the improper usage of the word "impacted." One can say that something had an impact, but it is incorrect to say something was impacted. I see this frequently- it is not just Anandtech that is guilty!

    Now on to something productive! Anandtech Bench has been very useful for me to compare CPUs, GPUs, and SSDs. I can easily find information about performance and value which I have found very helpful for purchase decisions. I now have an SSD in my system and found that I really don't need to upgrade my CPU or GPU any time soon.

    I am also happy to state that I enjoy reading many of the technical articles that have been posted, such as the workings of DDR memory. In depth articles about CPU architecture and SSD technology also provide interesting reads.

    Anandtech is one of the few sites I visit daily and I commend them for their efforts to bring technical information to the layman (me.)
    Reply
  • Sahrin - Friday, September 17, 2010 - link

    What purchasing behaviour *doesn't* AT impact?

    I built my first rig in 2003. For just about every day since that time, I have leaned *heavily* on AT for hardware news and analysis. I can remember learning, at the time, about this small upstart of a company called AMD - which aside from the generally derrogatory tone taken by salespeople at big-box retailers I generally viewed as inferior to AMD. Over the process of a few months (in the summer of '03), I learned from AT that not only was this back-bencher not inferior to the mighty marketing behemoth that was Intel, but that their Barton-cored Athlon XP offerings were *superior* to Intel's Northwood-B P4's. In July, when time came to select a CPU - it was a Barton 2500+ with 512k of L2 that went into my rig, over the P4B 2.6Ghz.

    But that's not the only benefit that Anandtech's work provided me. Another product I learned about was nVIdia's nForce 2 chipset. I learned that among all competitors, nForce 2 had the best perfoming memory controller, the best featureset, the best all-around performance, and the best onboard audio (in the form of the mythical beast: Soundstorm). This information actually drove me to spend a bit *more* on my motherboard, buying a high-end Asus model (A7N8X-Deluxe) as opposed to a bargain basement offering from the likes of Abit or Jetway).

    The most valuable information comes from Anandtech is the comprehensive technical understanding of platforms. It was from Anandtech that I learned that clock frequencies should be symmetrical - that running your CPU and FSB at 400Mhz but your memory at 333Mhz would actually *hurt* performance and memory bandwidth. You needed to be able to synchronize your platform; and that for K7 - the entire architecture of which is designed around responsivity - even more important than the bandwidth is low access latency. This prompted me to spend a little extra on a Dual Channel kit of Geil Golden Dragon DDR400 with CL2.0 (remember when you could buy CAS2 RAM?) (if you never saw this stuff, it was something to behold - they printed a dragon circuit pattern on the PCB. I keep them around for their artistic value) as opposed to ValueRAM rated at the minimum spec on the platform. Having that general understanding is what makes me able to make truly informed decisions about what I buy from a hardware perspetive - and it is also what makes Anandtech unique.

    It's that credibility that the site lends that creates advertising value. When I read an article on Anandtech, I genuinely (perhaps foolishly) consider the ads on their article pages; partially because they are often contextually valuable - but just as much because of the credence just appearing next to such authoritative information provides. It's hard for me to argue against the value of an SSD when I'm staring at an advertisement offering me 10% off of list prices alongside performance data that shows the SSD flattening mechanical drives.

    The other, tertiary benefit that AT provides though is my business itself. For example, in reviewing Sandy Bridge (and upcoming K11 articles) if appears that CPU performance is about to take another 20-30% step forward. Without an Anandtech with reproducible scientific data and analysis showing not just *that* a new CPU is better (the review), but *why* (in such a way that a layman can comprehend and feel *good* about shelling out for it) (the analysis articles like "Sandy Bridge Exposed" and "Designing RV870"), I would not buy computer hardware the way I do now. Do I spend as much as the Tier 1's would have me? Absolutely not, but as a system builder I spend a *heck*of a lot more on hardware than I would without Anand's analysis to show me that there is value in the higher levels
    Reply

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