Desktop and notebooks featuring first generation graphics-enabled microprocessors (GEMs) – chips that combine CPU and GPU cores on the same die - from chip-making giants like Intel and AMD are still fairly new to the market, but market research firm iSuppli expects GEMs like Intel Sandy Bridge and AMD Fusion to establish firm control over both the desktop and notebook PC segments by the end of 2011. Hit the jump for more on iSuppli’s GEM outlook for 2011 and beyond.
Sandy Bridge has been back in the news this week in a very big way, with just about every manufacturer launching all new dual core laptops with Core i3, i5, and i7 branded processors. You might make the argument that Sandy Bridge laptops have been around for ages now, but as Engadget points out, only those on the market for quad cores were finding a match up until this week. Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Sony have all hopped on the bandwagon giving you plenty of new machines to pick from.
Hit the jump for a list of this week's notebook releases.
The fallout from Intel's Sandy Bridge snafu is almost a thing of the past. Most OEMs have already begun shipping new systems built around revised Sandy Bridge boards, and you can add both Asus and Gigabyte to that list as well. Both companies, along with MSI, have B3 revision 6-series motherboards shipping in retail channels, and later this month, the first two will start shipping new systems unaffected by the earlier bug.
Intel this week announced the launch of its second generation Core vPro processor family intended for business. Built around Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, these latest vPro chips also come with several security features baked into the platform, including a so-called 3G 'poison pill' option that gives users the ability to disable a lost or stolen laptop to keep prying eyes from seeing sensitive documents.
Acer didn't forget about its ultra-thin Timeline family of notebooks, the company was just waiting for the whole Sandy Bridge situation to settle down. Now that it has, and now that Intel has been shipping revised 6-series boards to OEMs, Acer is getting ready to refresh its Timeline notebooks with a release scheduled for sometime in April.
The whole Sandy Bridge situation is finally starting to settle down, allowing Intel to put the chipset snafu behind them and move on. So too can OEM system builders, who have been receiving corrected 6-series motherboards since mid-February. That includes Puget, who announced it's now shipping systems using the corrected B3 revision motherboards.
Sequels are almost never as good as the original. There are exceptions, of course, and boutique system builder iBuyPower would like you to keep this in mind following its relaunch of gaming rigs with new Intel 6-series chipsets based on the B3 revision. What that means to Joe Gamer is he won't have to worry about any of the SATA 3Gbps ports flaking out over time.
We'll assume you're up to speed on the whole Sandy Bridge situation that's been covered at length here and elsewhere on the Web, but when new boards do start rolling off the assembly line, how can you be sure you're getting the newest revision? With regards to MSI, the company plans to slap a B3 revision sticker on updated P67 and H67 motherboards. There's another way you can ensure you don't get stuck with old inventory.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Nvidia has been virtually unaffected by Intel's initially flawed 6-series chipset and is still on the same schedule to ship Sandy Bridge-based products, CNet reports. Huang made the comments during a conference call earlier ths week, and in a change of pace from what we've come to expect from the candidly outspoken CEO, he even heaped on a bit of praise for the company he once promised to "open a can of whoop-ass" on.
Often, a budget build means buying parts that are a little past their prime—and don’t get us wrong, you can find great deals there. But for this month’s build, I knew I wanted to explore Intel’s hot new Sandy Bridge architecture—and, if I could swing it, one of AMD’s new Radeon 6800 series GPUs—while keeping my total budget under $1,000.