If you're a subscriber to Maximum PC magazine, turn to page 8 in this month's issue (and for everyone else, hit the subscription link) and read Gordon Mah Ung's take on Intel and Nvidia's Secret War. Gordon discusses the issues preventing users from being able to run SLI on an Intel chipset, and what roadblocks might be in place for future Nehalem support on upcoming Nvidia chipsets. In other words, you might end up having to choose a side. Sound familiar?
Now there's talk of Nvidia want to support Intel's Atom processor, and whether or not you care about the low-cost PC and MID market, it might be in your best interest if the two sides can come to an agreement. But can they? Earlier in the year Nvidia and VIA entered into an alliance, and speculation suggests it was forged to compete against Intel's Atom. Now it appears Nvidia's intention all along may have been to gain a bargaining chip to convince Intel to let its Atom processor support Nvidia's MCP73 IGP chipset. If Intel agrees, DigiTimes reports Nvidia will then terminate its alliance with VIA and its Nano processor. And while VIA might not be too pleased with the idea (rebound relationships never work out anyway), an agreement over licensing terms in the low-cost PC market might open the door to better communication in the mid- to high-end desktop sectors.
As previously rumored, Asus' new Eee PC 904 will sport both a larger keyboard and bigger chassis akin to the Eee PC 1000, while also carrying a comfortable price tag of just £269 when it ships in the UK in mid-July. But in order to reach the low price point (and perhaps cope with Intel's Atom shortage), the new model will feature an Intel Celeron M processor instead of the popular Atom chip. Asus previously indicated the shortage of Atom processors would continue through September, a scenario which has low-cost panel makers more than a little bit nervous.
But the Atom chip isn't the only component playing a disappearing act; Asus plans to go with an 80GB hard drive for storage duties instead of a speedier SSD commonly found on other Eee PCs. Rounding out the spec sheet will be 1GB DDR2 RAM and Windows XP instead of the oft used Linux OS.
No word yet on when U.S. residents can expect to see the 1.4kg ultraportable on store shelves.
With weak demand from the digital photo frame market - in part possibly as a result of pre-existing malware infestations - LCD panel makers are hoping low-cost notebooks will pick up the slack and drive sales of medium-sized shipments in the second half of the year. But according to DigiTimes, a growing concern among panel makers is that a shortage of Intel Atom processors might affect their July shipments of 7- to 10-inch panels, the same ones used in low-cost notebooks and several mobile internet gadgets. Painting an even gloomier picture, Asus president Jerry Shen said last month the Atom shortage could last until September, giving LCD panel makers a major case of the summertime blues.
Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
Blighted chip maker AMD has something to cheer about as it has made some significant gains in the global microprocessor market in the last one year. According to research firm iSuppli, AMD accounted for 13% of the global revenue share, which, although down 1.1% from Q4, is an improvement of 2.2 points from Q1 of 2007.
While AMD hangs in there with long term gains, Intel witnessed good growth in Q1, 2008. Intel’s global revenue market share stood a 79.7%, up 1.2% from the preceding quarter. But there is a slight blemish for Intel as it yielded 0.7% share to its archrival over a year’s span.
The next twelve months present a huge opportunity to chip makers as the ultra-portables market beckons with its promise of riches. But AMD hasn’t still fully divulged its plans for the lucrative low-voltage processor market.
Let's set aside Crysis, heavy encoding, and the few other specialized tasks capable of making a high end rig writher in agony. For everything else, we're at a point where the software needs to catch up with the hardware, and that hasn't always been the case. Remember when your anti-virus program would kick in, preventing you from being able to open a Word document or perform other mundane tasks with any sense of urgency? Neither Intel's brute-force, gazillion stage pipeline nor AMD's Rainman approach to efficiency were enough to get over the performance hump, and it took the advent of mulitple core processors to blow the doors open to multitasking.
Now that dual- and quad-core processors are mainstream parts, the roles have been reversed. There exists only a handful of programs developed to intelligently utilize additional cores, and even less that take advantage of the additional computing power effectively. Toss benchmarking by the wayside and you probably won'tt be able to discern between a dual-core E8200 (2.66GHz) system, and one equipped with a quad-core Q9450 (2.66GHz). For that to change, developers must learn how to program for not only today's hardware. but tomorrow's too.
Find out what 'unwelcome advice' Intel has for developers after the jump.
AMD’s Phenom line gets some new additions with three new CPUs. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition which is now AMD’s fastest quad-core CPU at 2.6GHz is joined by the Phenom X4 9350e at 2.0 Ghz and the X4 9150e at 1.8 Ghz.
A few of the specs for these processors:
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor) L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor) L3 Cache Size: 2MB (shared) Memory Controller Frequency: Up to 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Interested in hearing how some intitial overclocking went on the 9950BE? Make the Jump for details!
Intel and VIA are concentrating their resources on developing the least power-sapping processors to wrest the lucrative ultra-portables market. But they might soon have to contend with a late entrant. A leaked slide on Gottabemobile.com suggests that AMD is going to enter the low-voltage processor race with its Shrike platform.
Assuming the authenticity of the slide and veracity of Gottabemobile, the Shrike platform will be the first manifestation of AMD’s exciting Fusion platform, and so, will have a GPU and CPU on the same dye. The slide proudly proclaims Shrike to be the first Accelerated Processing Unit. If this does head to ultra-portables then it will certainly spruce up their limited graphical capabilities.
It pays to be an Intel fan these days. You have not only the supremely powerful Penryn CPU in your corner, but also a host of performance-oriented, feature-packed motherboards to choose from. Contributing to the bounty are two recently released enthusiast core-logic chipsets—Intel’s own X48 and Nvidia’s nForce 790i Ultra SLI—which represent the pinnacle of LGA775 computing. But which should you choose? Even two chipsets that offer similar features can differ markedly in performance. And the variations even persist within different mobos using the same chipset. That’s why we’ve called in four of the hottest Intel-based motherboards currently available, two representing X48 and two representing 790i. We’ll put these boards through their paces to determine a winner in each camp—and ultimately, the superior chipset.
The complete feature, including links to reviews, benchmarks, and more after the jump!
Intel’s new Atom mobile processor has been adopted by Panasonic which has incorporated it into their new UMPC the Toughbook CF-U1. The Atom Z520 with it’s power sipping 1.33GHz processor is living with it's new friends a Solid State Drive, WIndows OS, and 1024MB of DDR2 RAM, in the ultra mobile rugged U1 with it’s magnesium alloy chassis, spill-dust resistant, sealed, all weather enclosure. It is sure to be a hit with anyone that likes it rough. The backlit QWERTY keyboard and a 5.6" WSVGA sunlight-viewable touch screen, makes it usable in almost any lighting conditions. It sounds like just the thing, I need to replace my poor laptop that I beat to death and keep resurrecting.
According to eWeek.comit is expected to go on sale in August with a starting price of $2,499.