Much has been made over Intel's Atom processor, the 45nm wonder-chip finding its way into more netbooks than production can seemingly keep up with. But lest the world forget, VIA also has a low power chip of its own, one the company claims delivers "truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment, and connectivity applications."
VIA's 65nm Nano processor saw an official launch a full two months ago, but it's Intel's Atom that keeps getting the attention. Is it justified? A pair of review sites looked to answer that question by pitting an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz) against a VIA Nano L2100 (1.8GHz), and both sites came to the same conclusion: VIA's Nano is the faster processor.
Clocked 12.5 percent faster the Atom chip, it should come as no surprise to see the Nano L2100 churn out better performance numbers, but it's the margin of victory that might turn a few heads. In some cases, the Nano chip outpaced the Atom by a margin of 15 to 20 percent, showing it deserves more attention than just as an also-ran.
Of course, it's all for naught if VIA can't win the one contest that matters most: Vendor support.
An "abnormal failure rate" among Nvidia's 8M series GPUs hasn't stopped the graphics chip maker from moving forward; the Santa Clara company expanded its lineup last week with the GeForce 9800M and 9700M parts for notebooks. If you've been waiting for these parts to reach the market place, you can now whip out the credit card and place your order.
Best Buy already stocks Toshiba's sexy Qosmio X305-Q701, which comes equipped with Nvidia's 9700M GTS GPU sporting 512MB GDDR3 memory. According to DigiTimes, over 20 other notebook vendors are expected to soon follow suit, including other top tier vendors. Gaming notebooks have also been announced from the likes of Sager, CyberSystem, Infinity, Pioneer Computers Australia, and other regional PC companies.
If Toshiba's Qusmio isn't your style, look forward to a flurry of other 9M based notebooks to make their debut as Intel's Centrino 2 platform emerges full force.
Paypal and relative newcomer Google Checkout will both face off against a new contender in the online payment arena as Amazon jumps into the ring with a service of its own. Called Checkout by Amazon, the new service gives online retailers the option of letting Amazon manage their payments, along with some compelling reason for letting them do so.
Surfers who already have an account registered with Amazon (and who doesn't?) will be able to pay for goods at sites using Checkout by Amazon using billing and shipping details already on file with the mega e-tailer. Sites using the service can also offer customers the same '1-Click ordering' as Amazon, order tracking and management, Amazon's purchase protection policy, and other nuances associated with shopping directly at Amazon.
Learn about fees and another payment service being launched after the jump.
Forget about sliced bread; USB might be the single greatest invention ever. Just don't tell the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (now just called IEEE), who recently approved a new 1394-2008 specification that supports bumping the bandwidth up to 3.2 Gb/s.
"The new standard includes all of the amendments, enhancements, and more than 100 errata which have been added to the base standard over the last 12 years," said Les Baxter, chair of the working group which developed the standard. "This update provides developers with a single document they can rely upon for al of their application needs."
Firewire has fallen in recent years from the high speed interface of choice, particularly for DV transfers, to one that is now used mainly in professional environments. But that could change with the new spec, which introduces support for S1600 (1.6 Gb/s) and S3200 (3.2 Gb/s) while also being backwards compatible with current S400 and S800 ports. And the IEEE isn't finished, as looking ahead it's expected that Firewire will scale to 6.4 Gb/s.
For its part, USB isn't remaining idle and will receive an upgrade to 4.8 Gb/s in version 3.0, though exactly when still remains unknown.
Symantec website rating tool called Norton Safe Web is now undergoing beta trial and will complement its upcoming Norton Internet Security 2009 and Norton Antivirus 2009 security tools, also in beta. Norton Safe Web will blow the whistle on malicious websites just like other website rating tools that are currently available. The Safe Web beta can be downloaded once you have already signed-up for the Norton Internet Security 2009 beta. If you don't intend to download the tool then you can check any website’s rating on the web-based version of Safe Web, which is essentially a community website that also allows users to rate websites based on the perceived security threat.
Think a 30-inch monitor at 2560x1600 resolution is amazing? Then you haven’t seen Merdian’s 810 Reference Video System that gives you a 4096 x 2160 projected image for the low price of $185,000. But we have.
We got to touch and see the 810 up close and personal last week in a private demonstration held at Dolby Laboratories headquarters. Why Dolby? The company has a famous 90-seat theater in its main building in San Francisco that’s actually nicer than most small screens at the multiplex. And how does this monster of a projector perform? Read on to find out!
Click through to read our impressions of the 810 Reference Video System
What are you playing right now? FPS? RTS? Peggle? Who developed it? Do you even care?
I imagine you do; as a presumably-hardcore gamer, you've likely cultivated a few brand alliances here and there. But what happens when we change the question up a little? Do you think your favorite developer cares about you?
No, I don't mean on an individual, person-to-person basis. What I'm asking is: do you think those oh-so-dreamy devs slave over games for their fans, or for themselves? Yes, yes, gaming is a business, and there's certainly money involved. But at the end of the day, do you think the aforementioned designers look at themselves in the mirror and nod in satisfaction because they created a game for you, or because they calmed the cries of their wild inner artist? Sound off in the comments section. Let's start a discussion that doesn't involve sarcasm and commas (though both are certainly allowed)!
Anyway, today's Roundup shines the spotlight on developers of both breeds, though some trumpet their allegiance louder than others. If you'd like to find out who's who, what's what, and which of them might soon end up in the pit of Microsoft's belly, read on.
Last week, we showed you which parts you would want to buy to construct a killer $2500 PC. The purpose of that machine was power computing – serious audio/video editing and high-bitrate media transcoding. We got a lot of flak about a few of our choices (most noticeably the CPU), but we stand by our picks. That PC configuration was meant for Power Users, and not hardcore gamers (though we recognize that those aren’t mutually-exclusive groups). For someone who primarily uses their PC for gaming, and won’t accept framerate dips in 120Hz games, we have different recommendations. The following components make up our ideal $2500 hardcore gaming rig (prices as listed on Newegg). If it’s not what you’d buy, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
The results of Microsoft's Project Mojave, in which Microsoft demoed Windows Vista under a code name for 120 Vista skeptics in the San Francisco area, are now avaiable online, the Windows Vista blog reported today, and also explained some test details:
The focus group took place over three days in San Francisco and was conducted earlier this month.
All participants were either Mac, Linux, or users of versions of Windows that came before Windows Vista.
Respondents were chosen from the focus group organizer's database, called at random, but then selected based on having a low perception of Vista (<5 rating on a scale of 1-10).
The participants were given a demo by a trained retail salesperson - geared towards the experiences they seemed most interested in following a series of interviews. While the retail salesperson drove the demo, it was geared by the interests and direction of the participant.
We did not use some geeked out or custom built PC. We used an HP Pavilion DV2500. It had 2GB of RAM and was running an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7500 @ 2.20GHz. The OS was a 32 bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate.
Of the 120 respondents* polled, on a scale of 1:10 where 10 was the highest rating, the average pre-rating for Windows Vista was 4.4. After they saw the demo, respondents rated Mojave an average of 8.5.
*84% of respondents use Windows XP; 22% use MacOS; 14% use versions of Windows before XP; 1% use Linux.
To see the interviews for yourself, head over to the Mojave Experiment website.
To learn more about the history of hidden-camera marketing campaigns, and to find out who might have suggested it first, see us after the jump.