It’s easy to be seduced by the latest and greatest graphics cards, but you can sometimes find excellent deals in older-generation cards that can still keep up with today’s shader-heavy PC games. Gigabyte’s 260 GTX SuperOC is a good example.
To make the cards, Gigabyte starts with cherry-picked 260 GTX chips from the factory. Then it clocks the GPUs at 680MHz, more than 100MHz faster than the standard 576MHz. Similarly, the SuperOC pushes the shader clock to 1,466MHz, instead of the stock 1,350MHz. Rounding off the performance push is 896MB of GDDR3 running at 1.25GHz instead of 1GHz. Gigabyte delivers these rarefied clock rates at slightly less than $200.
With the $1.25 billion settlement between Intel and AMD the talk ot the tech industry, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang used the situation as an opportunity to take more potshots at Intel and call out its business practices in the mobile sector.
"Intel's tactics with Ion have been the most aggressive we've seen from a competitor. They have offered the Atom [a total of three chips] for $25, but when the one-chip Atom is used with Ion, it sells for $45," Huang said in a statement to CNet. "A customer can't even choose to resell the chipset and use Ion instead. What's the point of Nvidia getting an Intel bus license if it's impossible to overcome Intel's pricing bundles?"
Huang went on to say that "further action needs to be taken to protect consumers," but Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy says Nvidia's CEO is only telling part of the story.
"He's playing a trick of numbers," said Mulloy. "He's giving you a $45 list price -- that nobody pays -- for a part and then a negotiated price (which is more realistic). He's mixing apples and oranges. We have scrubbed and continue to scrub our pricing practices as it relates to chipsets and processors. It's all above cost. And that meets the legal standard worldwide."
Intel and Nvidia have publicly criticized the other on numerous occasions, most often relating to chipset licensing issues. Huang at one point went so far as to declare the CPU a decaying business, while Intel released a document bashing Nvidia's Ion platform.
Need a new portable media player? We're giving away a Zune HD 16GB (Black), courtesy of Nvidia. This kick-ass video and music player is powered by Nvidia's Tegra APX 2600 system-on-a-chip, a sports a vibrant 3.3" OLED screen. This Zune also comes with a custom engraving on the back. But enough of the technical babble. We're going to make it super easy for you to enter the contest, so hit the jump to get the full scoop on getting your name in the random drawing. In fact, you may already be entered!
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The site also claims to have been tipped about some of the tablet's specs. According to Engadget's "credible" sources, the tablet currently runs Windows CE and features a resistive touchscreen. It went on to add that an Android-based variant, also featuring a capacitive touchscreen, is in the works. Apparently, the plan is to have the tablet ready for a March 2010 launch. The site even named T-Mobile as a likely carrier.
While giving a speech at the American University of Dubai, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang held nothing back in declaring his affection for Macs (while taking a dig at Intel in the process).
"Apple uses the best technology for their [computers]," Huang said. "Apple says to their customers: 'If you buy a computer from us, you can be sure we have selected the best technology inside for you.' Their promise to consumers isn't 'we've selected the best technology for you with the exception of what Intel allows us to use'. And that's why I'm all Apple! At home it's just Macs everywhere. It's Nvidia's technology in all of them but I use Macs. My son has two Macs, my daughter has a Mac, there's an extra Mac just in case, and my wife has a Mac. It's just Mac, Mac, Mac!"
Call us crazy, but we get th feeling Huang likes Macs. And that's well and good, so long as Nvidia keeps churning out high-powered videocards for those of us content to be controlled by Intel on the Windows-based PC platform.
On a side note, there's been a bit of buzz over the slick looking tablet pictured in front of Huang. The outspoken CEO didn't say a word about it -- or at least no one's reporting that he did -- leaving us to speculate. Could it be the long-rumored Apple tablet? Is it a Tegra-powered handheld? Maybe both.
Like everyone else, we're chomping at the bit to see what Nvidia's next-gen Fermi graphics chipset (GT300) brings to the table, so we're a little bummed it's been pushed back until Q1 2010. The delayed launch, however, isn't expected to negatively impact Nvidia's sales for the remainder of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
When Fermi does ship, Nvidia will position the GPU into three different product lines, including the GeForce brand, Quadro, and Tesla, according to company CEO Jen-Husn Huang.
While the delay is unlikely to hurt Nvidia's bottom line, that could change if Fermi gets pushed back a second time, some analysts warn. They say Nvidia could start to lose some of its market share should Fermi arrive in April 2010, as AMD will in all likelihood have already started shipping its entry-level Radeon HD 5600 and 5300 GPUs.
No matter what we've been hearing, a x86 CPU just doesn't appear to be in the cards for Nvidia, at least according to the company's outspoken CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.
"No," he said when asked if there was any truth to the rumor. "Nvidia's strategy is very, very clear. I'm very straightforward about it. Right now, more than ever, we have to focus on visual and parallel computing."
Rather than allocate resources into developing a x86 chip to, say, compete at the low end where Intel's Atom processors have the market nearly all to themselves, Huang says the best opportunities for growth will come from pushing the GPU "into all kinds of platforms," such as servers for parallel computing, super-computing, and cloud-based computing, and in lower power platforms, like the Zune HD.
Speculation about Nvidia taking on Intel in the x86 market began much earlier in the year when Micheal Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications, said getting into the x86 business was a matter of 'when,' and not 'if.'
It’s no secret that Nvidia and Intel are having a dispute over chipset licenses. Now it seems like Nvidia is getting a little fed up with the whole situation. On a new Nvidia website called “Intel’s Insides”, you’ll find a series of editorial style cartoons with some sharp criticisms of chip maker Intel.
The cartoons take aim mostly at Intel’s legal woes, which have gotten that much more severe with new US federal action this week. The US case is related to the same scandal that ended with Intel receiving massive fines in the EU. Intel is accused of bribing OEMs to keep them from using rival AMD’s chips. It all makes for some good cartoon fodder.
Editorial cartoonist Steve Lait creates the cartoons for Nvidia. The site explains that the series “is intended to be a parody of events occurring within the semiconductor sector, with particular focus on its largest and most commented-upon competitor." In all honesty, the cartoons aren’t that funny. But really, how amusing can the nuances of the semiconductor world be?
Around this time last year, the topic of Nvidia included faulty GPUs, which ultimately ended up costing the firm millions of dollars, and stiff competition from a suddenly revitalized ATI. Now it's all about Nvidia's upcoming Fermi graphics and revenue gains.
Ending the third quarter on a positive note, Nvidia reported revenue of $903.2 million. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that marks an increase of 16 percent over the previous quarter, and is slightly up from this same time last year when the graphics chip maker posted revenue of $897.7 million.
"We continued to make progress in the third quarter with healthy market demand across the board," said Jen-Hsun. "Revenue was up from a year ago, with improvement in each of our PC, professional solutions, and consumer businesses. It's great to see us shipping orders with our Tegra mobile-computing solution, and growing enthusiasm for our Tesla platform for parallel computing in the server and cloud-computing markets."
Nvidia CFO David White added that the company's GPU business was up almost 25 percent sequentially.
Gigabyte will soon start shipping its Booktop M1305 ultraportable that was first shown back in June, and peering over the spec sheet, there doesn't appear to be much to get excited about. Not until you look closer, anyway.
The M1305 will come equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Pentium, or Celeron ULV processor. Pushing pixels on the 1366x768 display is Intel's 4500MHD integrated graphics. It will also come with 4GB of DDR3 memory, 320GB or 500GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.3MP webcam, slim-type DVD burner, fingerprint reader, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and Windows Home 7 Premium.
But where this ultraportable stands out from the crowd is with the included docking station. The docking station brings NVidia's GeForce GT220 graphics to the table, giving the M1305 a major boost over its integrated chipset, and includes a bunch of I/O ports. Sure, lugging around the docking station might defeat the purpose of an ultraportable, but leave the thing at home and unwind with a bit of gaming goodness after a busy day on the road.