It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.
Having already moved on to its 9-M series GPUs, Nvidia presumably has solved whatever problem led to an "abnormal failure rate" in the what the company still contends only affects a limited batch of previous generation GPU and MCP products. Exactly how limited that batch is might never be fully disclosed, but it appears the problem may be more widespread than consumers were led to believe.
Just over a week ago Dell made available a list of its notebooks that could possibly be affected by the GPUs believed to be suffering higher than expected failure rates and is recommending owners update their BIOS to reduce their risk of running into a problem. The updated BIOSes modify the fan profile to help regulate GPU temperature fluctuations, but as Dell notes, the new parameters won't help customers who are already suffering video-related issues.
Dell isn't alone, and now HP has also released a list of models that qualify for 'Warranty Service Enhancement' (curiously absent is the DV97xx series). And like Dell, HP is also recommending its owners update their BIOS as a preventive measure.
So are all G84 and G86 parts bad like The Inq surmised early in July? No one but Nvidia knows for sure, but looking over the list of affected models would seem to indicate the allegation could hold some merit.
Did Nvidia drop the ball harder than they're letting on?
The next time anyone tells you that PCs will soon become obsolete in a world filled with media centers and gaming consoles, feel free to give them a wedgie. And while you're tugging at their skivvies, be sure and let them know the real truth about PC sales, which are not only in no danger of disappearing, but are boasting stronger than expected sales.
"How strong?," the wedgie recipient asks, appearing more surprised at the news than he is of his underwear being pulled higher than it every has been before.
Tell him $127 billion, which represents global semiconductor chip sales for the first half of 2008, or 5.4 percent above the H1 2001 result. Then let him know that June 2008 sales climbed 8 percent from June 2007's numbers, settling in at $21.6 billion compared to $20 billion.
Hit the jump to find out why memory manufacturers aren't sharing the same enthusiasm.
One of the biggest hurdles preventing solid state drives from bursting into the mainstream continues to be the relatively high price points compared to traditional hard drives. Recent strides have started to reverse this trend, with OCZ pushing its lower cost Core series and Super Talent slashing the price tag on its MasterDrive MX line, but SSDs still have a ways to go if they're to challenge HDDs for the bang-for-buck crown.
Stepping to the plate is Micron, who today announced it will ship a series of speedy SSDs up to 256GB in capacity as part of its next-generation RealSSD line. But the real story here is that Micron's new line will check in at one third the price per gigabyte of existing drives.
Hit the jump to see what Micron has to say about the RealSSD's pricing strategy after the jump.
Beating out 38 other contestants representing 19 countries, Chinese duo Xu Gang and Susie have won the title of AOCC 2008 Champions. Over 3,000 people attended the two day Advanced Overclocking Championship in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and saw the Chinese team take first place in all three categories of the competition.
"It is a great honor for us to win the Championship, and we think that constant practice and upgrading on overclocking knowledge are key factors that contributed to our victory," Xu Gang and Susie said. "In addition, the components that were used for overclocking were vital, and we found that Asus' hardware, and all other components from the different sponsors of AOCC, were exceptionally stable and top-notch in terms of quality. Overclocking is increasing in popularity back in China, and we think that 1-2 percent of the whole population are currently overclocking today!"
While the team gave Asus the biggest shout-out, components from Intel, Nvidia, Kingston, FSP, and Western Digital were also part of the event. Xu Gang and Susie were awarded $5,000 for their efforts.
Not on the ticket was a side competition involving LN2. Catch the YouTube video here, and definitely do not try this at home. Or anywhere else.
Wi-Fi theft is turning into a menace of inordinate proportions and home-based wireless networks are sitting ducks for bandwidth thieves, a demographic that now also includes wily terrorists. A case that has come to light in India will insure that some of the benevolent Wi-Fi hosts will never turn off their firewalls or show vacuous disregard towards bandwidth theft.
He is fortunate that the cyber experts of the ATS bought his plea, that his Wi-Fi might have been used by the terrorists to send the e-mail without him being in the know. Of course, their preliminary investigation also seems to suggest the same, as he hasn’t been booked under any law. However, he has been told not to leave the country until further notice.
Several fear-mongers have prophesied about the threat cyber terrorism poses. This isn’t the deadly manifestation of cyber terrorism that they talk about, it is a sinister beginning all the same.
64-bit operating systems are certainly nothing new and when they first launched they weren’t even highly anticipated. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition only created a small amount of excitement and that died a quick death when the complaints about driver issues, Windows Explorer bugs in 64-bit mode, and 16-bit programs being unsupported started to roll in.
It was just too green to be of any real use to me, despite my 64-bit processor. I love to tinker with my PC, but I also want it to be stable and work well with lots of peripherals.
With the release of Service Pack 1 for Vista I decided to give it another try with my workstation and was pleasantly surprised, both by Vista (not the evil, vile monster it was at launch) and 64-bit computing. It seems that others are beginning to share that feeling.
Make the jump to see how many more Vista 64-bit OSs are hitting Windows Update
PC World reports that Dell is trying to trademark the term ‘cloud computing’, which is usually used to describe a type of computing where IT-related capabilities are provided as a service. Basically an application runs somewhere on the ‘cloud’ and you use it as a service. Skype, or peer-to-peer services should come to mind. SETI or Folding@ Home are other examples.
Dell’s application has made it to the Notice of Allowance phase where they receive a written notification that a mark has survived the opposition period and that other parties have had a chance to object to the application. This is just another step along the way to getting the trademark. Dell doesn’t quite have it yet.
I am truly surprised that the big corporations that have been working with cloud computing models haven’t said anything to Dell’s application. Red Hat, Microsoft, Google, and many other players have had interests in cloud computing.
Perhaps we will someday have to come up with a new name for cloud computing, or have to mention Dell and Cloud Computing™ together.
Maybe you need to break off your long distance relationship but don't want the guilt that will come from a lengthy conversation. Or perhaps Aunt Gertrude is in bed by the time you remember it's her birthday. Or maybe you just lack the people skills to carry on a conversation. Whatever your reason may be, chances are there's been a time when you wanted to get a message to someone without actually talking to them. Timing your call so you know you'll get through to voicemail can be tricky, but thanks to a new beta service, you can take the guesswork out of it and leave a message whenever you want.
Aptly named Slydial, the free service lets you connect directly to someone's voicemail from any landline or mobile phone, and it works with "all major U.S. wireless providers." The recipient will show a missed call with your caller ID information, but they won't actually get a chance to answer the phone.
To use Slydial, just dial 267-SLYDIAL (267-759-3425), enter the recipient's phone number, and after sitting through a short in-call advertising speel (a paid premium service eliminates this annoyance), you'll be connected to voicemail.
AMD's acquisition of graphics chip maker ATI continues to be a sour point whenever the company talks about its finances, most recently coming up when AMD said it would take a near billion dollar charge in the second quarter. Given AMD's financial status, it's easy to criticize the company's decision to overpay for a company that has yet to benefit impatient investors. That could change if AMD's Fusion ends up revolutionizing the PC landscape.
Up to this point, AMD hasn't gone into specifics regarding its upcoming CPU+GPU chip, but according to TGDaily, industry sources aren't being as tight-lipped. If the rumblings are to be believed, the first Fusion processor (code-named Shrike) will consist of a dual-core Phenom CPU and an ATI RV800 GPU core, Previous rumors had the first run Fusion chips built around a dual-core Kuma CPU and RV710 graphics chip, but those plans appear to have gone by the wayside as AMD has had more time to develop a low-end RV800-based core.
The sources also indicate that Fusion will likely be introduced as a half-node chip built around a 40nm manufacturing process, and will later move to 32nm, possibly by the beginning of 2010.