With Intel bracing itself for the discrete GPU market with its upcoming Larrabee chip, Nvidia and AMD are expected to make an earnest attempt at luring millions of users of integrated graphics with their low-end discrete graphics solutions – quid pro quo. ATI/AMD has launched its low-end offerings HD 4350 and HD 4550 with integrated graphics’ users in sight. The new GPUs are priced between $40 and $55.
The cards are based on AMD’s 55 nm 4800 series architecture and are claimed to hold an edge over Nvidia’s low-end 9400 series. Both the GPUs have 80 stream processors and are clocked at 600 MHz. The HD 4550 will come with either 256 MB or 512 MB GDDR3 memory. On the other hand, HD 4350 will only be available with 256 MB of DDR2. The GPUs are only going to consume 20 watts of power, which is 2/5 of the appetite for power of Nvidia’s 9400 series.
The Netbook movement, if it may be labeled as such, has received a shot in the arm in the U.S with the launch of Sprint’s XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore. The launch effectively ushers in the WiMax epoch in the U.S.
Subscribers will have unabated mobile broadband access throughout Baltimore as the XOHM network envelopes the entire city. Sprint is claiming downlinks speeds of 2-4 Mbps, effectively faster than 3G.
Netbooks are expected to become more practical and even indispensable to a fair degree as more cities appear on the WiMax map in coming months. Moreover, netbook are beginning to make much more sense due to the financial meltdown.
"Here's the problem right now; the person who is savvy enough to want to have a good PC to upgrade their video card, is a person who is savvy enough to know Bittorrent to know all the elements so they can pirate software. Therefore, high-end videogames are suffering very much on the PC."
"Right now, it makes sense for us to focus on Xbox 360 for a number of reasons. Not least PCs with multiple configurations and piracy."
And finally, when questioned about a PC port for our jump-suit clad selves of the future:
But along with giving me one extra reason to cry myself to sleep at night -- as well as driving a nice, fat stake into GFW's termite-infested coffin -- Bleszinski's comments raise an interesting question: What's worse? Tearing open a game box only to find the sour scent of DRM sulking its way into your nostrils, or never being given the chance to purchase (or "rent," for the more bitter among you) a game at all?
If you bought music from Walmart.com before February 2008 (when Walmart.com started selling MP3 music), your ability to move music files from PC to PC has a very short shelf life. How short? Try October 9, 2008. That's the date that Walmart.com will shut down the DRM servers that control your ability to play non-MP3 music purchased from Walmart.com.
After 10/9/2008, you won't be able to move your music to another computer or access the songs on your system if you upgrade to another operating system or reinstall your current OS after a crash or to refresh its bits and bytes.
Fortunately, there's a bit of good news. While there's no way to extend the shelf life of that half-gallon of milk you lost a month ago in the back of your refridgerator, Walmart "strongly recommend[s] that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer."
It's almost enough to make you agree with BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow, who posted Walmart.com's message (excerpted above) and added this rejoinder:
Boy, the entertainment industry sure makes a good case for ripping them off, huh? Buy your media and risk having it confiscated by a DRM-server shutdown. Take it for free and keep it forever.
My answer? I buy CDs and rip them myself. What's yours? Hit the jump for your chance to sound off.
You'll often hear enthusiasts describe an overclock as being Prime stable, meaning the system is able to pass the Prime95 stress test for an extended length of time without any errors. But even though it's become a common a torture test, Prime95 was designed primarily as part of a bigger project - the pursuit of prime numbers.
Today the distributed computing project called GIMPS, or Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, has confirmed it has discovered the largest prime number ever at almost 13 million digits long. The number in question is 243,112,609-1, or listed out in millions of digits is, well, let's not do that. The discovery means the project can now claim a $100,000 bounty offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was offered to the first to find a prime number in excess of 10 million digits.
Fun fact: Only 45 Mersenne primes have ever been found, with the GIMPS project responsible for 12 of them. A Mersenne prime is one that can take the form of 2n-1 rather than writing out all the digits.
Fun fact 2: The prime number in question was discovered by a UCLA computer, with the GIMPS software installed and maintained by Edson Smith. Don't be surprised to see this appear in a future edition of Trivial Pursuit.
There's a major disappointment resonating from Redmond, and really, you're the only one that can do anything about it. you see, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn't like "not being No. 1," but that's exactly the position his company takes in the search arena. If that's to change - and Ballmer believes Microsoft may be the only company with a fighting chance - he says it will take several more years and lots of cash.
It's going to take us a while," Ballmer said during a speech at the Churchhill Club. "It's a five-year task. We've got a lot to do."
Ballmer went on to say that the Microsoft will have to figure out a way to fundamentally change both the experience and economics of the search industry, claiming his company has "taken some steps in that direction." Of course, we're sure Google would have a different outlook, but ultimately it's you, the web searcher, who decides the outcome. So if you refuse to use Live Search because it sucks compared to Google, at least consider switching so Ballmer can sleep more soundly at night at not having to be not No. 1.
No matter what we may have thought as children, along with growing up comes the sad realization that we'll probably never own a full on replica of the customized Pontiac Trans-Am David Hasselhoff cruised the television airwaves with all through the mid-80s as Michael Knight. But don't despair, because you don't need a near three-decade old sports car to get your geek on as a modern day Knight Rider.
Radioshack on Friday announced it has secured exclusive rights to the Mio Knight Rider GPS. The $270 device comes with a 4.3-inch antiglare touchscreen LCD complete with voice synthesized lights adorning the left and right-hand sides that move in sync with actor William Daniels' (KITT) guidance. And best of all, you can choose from over 150 male and female names, including Michael if you want to get in full character.
Anyone else spellbound by this? How about by this?
As far as moral victories in the browser wars go, Apple's Safari web browser can now claim one of them. The Safari 4 beta scored a perfect 100/100 on the brutal Acid3 web standards test, becoming the first browser to pass all four conditions of the test (browser must use default settings, animation has to be smooth, score must end on 100/100, and must produce a pixel perfect copy of the reference rendering).
In theory, this would make Safari the dominant browser, with Opera 9.52 scoring 84 points, Firefox 3.0.3 at 71 points, and IE7 and IE8 posting rather dismal scores at 14 and 21 points respectively. Somewhat marring Safari's achievement is that whole market share thing, in which Microsoft's Internet Explorer, despite lagging way behind the competition in Acid3's testing, still dominates by a wide margin.
The question is, do you care about the Acid3 test?
Less than two months ago, a class action lawsuit was filed in a Califorina court against AMD/ATI and Nvidia alleging that the two had "conspired to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize prices of graphics processing chips and cards." Giving the allegation widespread media attention, news and review site TomsHardware managed to obtain a handful of legal documents for the filing, including a few interesting email exchanges among ATI's and Nvidia's top brass.
According to reports, Nvidia has now offered a settlement agreement to the tune of $1.7 million. As outlined, the agreement would have Nvidia and AMD/ATI splitting the total fund, with each company paying $850,000. Not yet a done deal, there aren't any reports of AMD/ATI confirming the settlement agreement, and as detailed in the 8-K form that was filed on September 24, the agreement would still be "subject to court approval."
If it does go through, the money will go to the certified class who brought about the suit, which can include anyone who purchased a graphics card direct from Nvidia or ATI in the U.S. between December 4, 2002 and November 7, 2007.
One of the first questions new system builders ask centers around the amount of RAM to invest in, and it wasn't very long ago when the decision came down to 1GB or 2GB. With the emergence of Vista, and particularly the 64-bit version, the big question now is whether or not to go with 4GB. How long will it be before we see 16GB rigs in quantity?
It could be sooner than you think, and at least one company has already begun preparations. Samsung said it has started sampling 50nm DDR3 devices that ultimately will enable memory modules up to 16GB in capacity. The samples consist of 2Gb (that's lowercase 'b') chips with double the density of current 1Gb parts, while also cutting back on power by over 40 percent.
According to Samsung, the new small form factor paves the way for 8GB RIMMs and 4GB SODIMMs, equating to 16GB and 8GB respectively in dual-die packages. Next up - finding mainstream applications capable of feasting on hordes of memory.
Samsung said it will begin mass producing the 2Gb chips by the end of the year and make 2Gb DDR3 its primary DRAM process technology in 2009. As for pricing? We'll have to wait and see.