After a week on hiatus (no podcaster’s strike, we promise you), the gang is back to report and share their thoughts on this week’s big tech happenings. Will and Gordon drop their two cents on the Intel-Nvidia feud, and the team lays out the benefits on Vista SP2. Will also shares his experience debating MacLife’s Robbie Baldwin on the ABC News Now cable show. Along with listener questions, Gordon’s rant of the week also returns, filled with more rage than ever. This week’s targets: Shakespeare, Microsoft Outlook and office thievery.
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With the introduction of four new specialized Atom processors (as well as two new system controllers to accompany them) Intel is looking to put their wildly popular Atom processor into more platforms. Notably, they’re making a push for internet-pones and in-car devices.
The processors, which are made from the same 45nm manufacturing process as their siblings, aren’t too different from the others that already exist. The processors, which will clock between 1.1GHz and 1.6GHz will consume very little power, and fit perfectly into a whole myriad of industrial options.
So who knows, perhaps in the coming years not only your computer, but your car might have Intel inside.
If you’ve tried to research the differences between Intel’s top-end Core i7-965 Extreme Edition and the midrange 940 and budget 920 parts, you’re probably as confused as us. And we even have direct access to Intel. But the technical differences between these parts are enormously important for system builders when you consider the price disparity -- $1000 for a Core i7-965 compared to under $300 for a Core i7-920.
What we do know is that the Core i7-965 has unlocked multipliers going up and down (although we have to point out that we have not seen any motherboards with multipliers that let you actually set it higher. You can only do that by increasing the Turbo Mode ratio.)
One other known fact is that you cannot set the Turbo Mode ratios on the 940 and 920. OK fine. But what else is different? Intel told us as recently as two months ago that the QPI was locked at 4.8GT/s to prevent you from running it at the Extreme’s 6.4GT/s speed. Memory ratios, however, are supposed to be unlocked.
Holy high stakes, Batman, is Psion really seeking $1.2 billion from Intel in defending its claim to the netbook trademark? The answer is yes, and in addition to seeking compensation for all of "Intel's profits resulting from infringement, unfair competition, and unfair trade practices," as Psion alleges, the company also wants to collect punitive damages. Psion is also seeking to pluck the domain name www.netbook.com from Intel's hands.
If you haven't been following, Psion's trademark claim is based on a pair of ARM-based "netBook" and "netBook Pro" computers launced in 1999, which it appears to have stopped selling in 2003. Psion renewed the trademark in 2006, and then last December the company started sending out cease-and-desist notices to various OEMs and other firms over use of the term "netbook." Nobody listened, but it didn't matter, because it appears Psion was simply laying the groundwork for the suit we're seeing today.
Two weeks ago Dell filed a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asking that it cancel Psion's netbook trademark, for which Intel endorsed. Among the reasons listed is that "Psion has abandoned the 'netbook' mark" and does not currently offer laptops under the Netbook trademark. But Psion says this isn't true and has offered up a table of netBook-based revenue from 1999 through 2009, which as ArsTechnica points out, the numbers "are somewhat suspect." For example, according to Psion's numbers, customers purchased $2 million in accessoris for just $135,000 worth of netBooks.
Predictions on how it will all unfold? Hit the jump and tell us what you think!
If going strictly by the spec sheet, Eurocom's Phantom i7 notebook would nail every boutique OEM right between the eyes. This is the most decked out notebook we've ever seen, and also one you're likely never to see unless Eurocom decides to position the Phantom beyond workstation and server markets.
We're talking either a Core i7 965 Extreme or a not-yet-announced Core i7-based Xeon X5580 (3.2GHz) processor, up to 12GB of triple-channel memory at debut and twice that much later in the year, up to FOUR hard drives in a RAID 0, 1, or 5 array, and either an Nvidia GeForce Go GTX 280M 1GB or Quadro FX3700M discrete graphics to push pixels on the 17-inch, 1600 x 1050 LCD display.
It all adds up to a 12-pound monster with a maximum power consumption rated at about 220 watts. Eurocom spokesman Matt Bialic says the Phantom i7 will last about 60 minutes before needing to recharge the battery.
Look for the Phantom i7 to ship by the end of March starting at $3,000. A fully configured Phantom will cost more than $5,000.
It wasn’t long ago that Intel first started talking about programmable matter (their concept for an amorphous blob formed from microscopic glass spheres that can take any shape). Thanks to a video from CNN, the idea makes a lot more sense by showing the concept in action.
Now, the video is all pre-rendered, the concept still remains. The short video shows a group of designers messing with the frame of a car, as well as changing its color and even cracking it open to check out the seat configuration.
The video also mentions that Intel is “on the edge of discovery” with programmable matter. So, while it’s admittedly the thing that dreams are made of today, it won’t be for quite some time that this is a readily available resource.
Intel plans to rollout a couple of new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of next month, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The processors are part of Intel’s CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) family of processors. The website’s informants identified the two processors as the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6 GHz) and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz). The price of the SU9600 has been revealed to be $289 in thousand-unit tray quantities, and for the latter it is said to be $249. Also, Intel is reportedly planning to diversify its CULV processor range into three subclasses.
The war of words and bad blood between Intel and Nvidia continues to spiral out of control, and Intel is back at it again. After making some rather pointed remarkets about Ions shortcomings, Intel decoded the time was right to warn the geek masses about Nvidia’s impending doom at the Goldman Sachs Technology conference in San Francisco. According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, Nvidia is merely trying to defend the status quo, and that Larrabee will be the future choice for those in search of powerful dedicated graphics solutions. Oddly enough, Intel choose its words very carefully and mysteriously made no mention of AMD’s ATI division.
Most enthusiasts I’m sure see these statements as a bit overconfident, and the 2010 release of Larrabee is the real wild card in the equation. Even if Intel manages to churn out the most powerful GPU, it’s unlikely they would have the type of driver optimization, developer support, or backwards compatibility that have made the ATI/ Nvidia GPU’s the most important component in any gaming PC. Clearly however, dedicated GPU companies should be concerned over CPU+GPU solutions for mainstream users. If GP-GPU applications don’t take hold in time to win over the mainstream consumer, Nvidia and ATI risk find themselves severing a much smaller niche market that could be devastating to both companies.
What do you think? Is this just corporate posturing at its best? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
For some time Nvidia has been telling us that we’d be looking at an Ion based desktop sometime this Spring, but we hadn’t had any reason to believe this given that it has yet to show up in any consumer hardware. That is until recently, when some leaked slides displaying an Acer nettop, were released.
The slides tell us very little about the machine, but what we will know is that it’ll be based off of Intel’s Ion, have HDMI output, will have a wireless controller/mouse, and will supposedly be able to hang from the back of a LCD TV. As for substantial information goes, there wasn’t anything to be found.
Now, none of this has been confirmed by any sources, but there are plenty of convincing slides. So, if you want to take a gander at them and be the judge, check them out here.
Once Intel turned its spat personal with Nvidia by slamming the GPU maker's Ion platform, which came after Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang charged Intel with attempting to "stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business," which came after Intel sued Nvidia over a Nehalem license, which came after what looked to be a truce between the two companies when Nvidia finally loosened its license on SLI technology for use on Intel's X58 chipset...where were we again? Ah yes, it was Nvidia's turn to publicly respond to Intel's Ion bashing in "Oh no he didn't!" fashion, and so the GPU maker has fired back with a 13-page document in defense of Ion.
While Intel's document pleads with vendors to not buy the hype surrounding Ion, Nvidia's document, titled "Nvidia Response to Intel Claims on Ion," says that the Ion gives a "faster, more feature rich, better experience." The company also dedicates three pages to quotes from Microsoft, software and game developers, and technical publications in an attempt to refute Intel's claim about a lack of support for Ion.
It's not quite the 'go-for-the-throat' verbiage we've recently come to expect from these two companies, though Nvidia did take a few jabs at Intel's Atom platform. Nvidia referred to its MCP79M/MCP7A-based Ion as a "modern 2 chip solution" compared to Intel's "4-year-old 3 chip design." Nvidia also contends that Intel's upcoming Pineview, an Atom chip with an on-die IGP, will just force consumers to use Intel graphics rather than improve performance and expand CPU support like the second-gen Ion will do.
Oh, and Nvidia did include a giant VIA Nano logo next to four smaller Intel CPU logos, which in geekville is the equivalent of flipping someone the bird. Atta boy, Nvidia.