It was a disappointing day for enthusiasts when OCZ announced it was ditching the DRAM market to focus on SSDs, but on the bright side, it's not as if the RAM market is dead. Those who choose to stick it out will continue to release new kits, including Exceleram, which just launched its new Rippler Memory line intended for Sandy Bridge platforms. Here's an overview of the new line:
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1333, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1333, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1333, 7-10-10-24, 1.5V
Exceleram's sales director, Martim Reis Silva, says each kit is "tested by hand on different mainboards in Germany." The new kits are available now, though they're a bit hard to find in the U.S.
MSI just announced the North American availability of its new GT680R notebook, which is the company's first gaming laptop built around Intel's recently launched Sandy Bridge platform.
This 15.6-inch notebook packs an Intel Core i7 2630QM processor clocked at 2.0GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB of storage space by way of two 500GB hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration, Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M graphics, DVD writer, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 7-in-1 memory card reader, Windows Home Premium 64-bit, and a 9-cell battery.
Also present is MSI's Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) technology, which allows for software overclocking of the CPU and GPU, USB 3.0, HDMI, and a built-in webcam.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm says you can throw overclocking caution to the wind with its new pint-sized Enix system built around Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.
"By disregarding the common wisdom that bigger is better, the Enix's small profile takes full advantage of the Micro ATX format," Digital Storms says. "Overclocks of 4.7GHz and above are easily achieved thanks to the Enix's vertically cooled chassis and Intel's new powerful Sandy Bridge architecture."
Further helping your overclocking adventures, Digital Storm says the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees, aiding heat's natural tendency to rise.
"Enix's design is a dramatic departure from any system we've ever built in the past. By rethinking conventional PC design the Enix provides our customers with every imaginable advantage over other machines," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "Accessibility to all the components is unparalleled and the vertically designed chassis keeps everything cool and quiet. Couple that with an outrageously overclocked Sandy Bridge chip and you have one of the most efficient and powerful machines on the market."
Pricing starts out at $1,132 and includes an Intel Core i3 2100 (3.10GHz), 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM, Asus P8P67-M motherboard, 750W power supply, 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, DVD writer, GeForce GT 220 graphics, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Digital Storm also says it will overclock the processor to between 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz at no charge, between 4.0GHz and 4.7GHz for $49 (cooling upgraded recommended), and between 4.7GHz to 5.2GHz for $99 (liquid cooling upgrade recommended).
Custom system builder AVADirect this week announced new desktops and notebooks built around Intel's recently released Sandy Bridge platform, paving the way for more affordable configurations with increased performance.
"We always knew the day would come when hybrid solutions were much more affordable within the boundaries of bleeding-edge performance," said Misha Troshin, a broken hearted Cleveland Cavaliers fan and CMO and co-owner of AVADirect. "We offer products that catch the interest of any consumer: desktops, notebooks, workstations, servers, all-in-one, and small form factors that already have numerous prestige characteristics that cannot be found anywhere else; Sandy Bridge is simply the 'icing on the cake.'"
There are several customizable configurations to choose from, including an entry-level Sandy Bridge desktop that starts out at around $485. That gets you an Intel Core i5 2300 (2.8GHz) processor, Gigabyte GA-H67M-D2 motherboard, 2GB of Kingston DDR3-1066 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, DVD burner, a basic case, and a 585W Orion power supply. Tack on another $100 for Windows 7 Home Premium, or rock out with Linux (various distros available ranging from $11 to $25).
Who came up with the concept of a vertically oriented motherboard that positions the graphics cards upright so the tremendous heat they generate vents straight up?
It’s hard to say who first had the idea—we’ve seen cases that feature this design, and the Main-Gear Shift PC that we reviewed in June 2010 took the same approach. But Falcon Northwest claims it had a stake in the original idea and has even provided time-stamped images of its prototypes of the inverted design from 2002. That certainly predates the aforementioned examples, as well as Voodoo’s luxurious but elusive Omen.
Intel’s chip plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel, is about to be upgraded to 22nm production capability, the chip maker said at a news conference. The upgrade will see the company invest around $2.7 billion, including a $210 million grant that was recently approved by the Israeli government. The fab is expected to begin production on 22nm process technology in December, which is in keeping with the late 2011/early 2012 launch of Ivy Bridge processors -- 22nm die shrink of Sandy Bridge. A few months back, Intel announced that it would spend up to $8 billion on similar upgrades to four of its existing plants in Oregon and Arizona and the construction of a new 22nm fab in Oregon.
At some point, you have to think Acer will become a major player in the emerging tablet market, just as the company blitzed the netbook segment full force. But perhaps wisely, the PC maker has, for the most part, taken a wait-and-see approach.
In the coming months, look for Acer to start selling two or three tablet PCs as it now looks to move beyond netbooks, ComputerWorld reports.
"They are aimed at phasing out netbooks," said Lu Bing-hsian, sales manager at Acer Taiwan. "That's the direction of the market.
Acer isn't ditching the netbook market completely, but will shift its focus to basic models and cut back on the number of shipments. As for the tablets, Acer plans to tap into Intel's Sandy Bridge platform coupled with Google's Android OS. According to Acer, these powerful 10-inch slates will run faster than Windows-based laptops.
Acer got in touch with us to reaffirm that it is not phasing out netbooks, hinting that Lu Bing-hsian may have been misquoted.
"According to recent statement from Sales Manager based in Taiwan, Acer Inc. confirms that the company is not aiming to phase out netbooks in favor of tablets," the company told us. "Mobility, which has always been part of Acer’s DNA, finds a new form of expression in the range of tablets on offer, which feature various display sizes and models designed to fit different kinds of usage scenarios. Acer recognizes that the computer market is changing: As PCs are no longer used to only create content but are more and more becoming consumption tools, new devices and new form factors are appearing. This means the range of devices available to users is getting wider and tablets are just another piece of the mosaic. Therefore they will find their space next to netbooks and notebooks, without taking over."
The annual technology stress-storm that is CES has finally passed, and the No BS Podcast is back with episode 164. Nathan and Gordon return from the show floor and team up with Alex and Andy to discuss the shows' many wonders, including Sandy Bridge, the Iconia, and the Kegputer.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
Been waiting for Sandy Bridge? Well, you can stop waiting and start building around Intel's latest processor architecture, as a handful of online vendors are now selling Sandy Bridge chips.
Street pricing shakes out like this:
Core i5 2300 (2.8GHz) - $185
Core i5 2400 (3.1GHz) - $195
Core i5 2400S (2.5GHz) - $205
Core i5 2500 (3.3GHz) - $210
Core i5 2500K (3.3GHz) - $225
Core i7 2600 (3.4GHz) - $300
Core i7 2600K (3.4GHz) - $330
All of these are quad-core chips built around Intel's new Socket 1155, which means you can't drop them into your existing LGA1156 or 1366 motherboard. You'll notice three of the processors have a letter after the model number -- the K represents an unlocked processor, and the S denotes a 65W TDP (compared to 95W on the other chips). Intel also launched models with a T designation, which denotes a 45W TDP (quad-core) or 35W TDP (dual-core).
PC vendors at CES have been busy unveiling new products built around Intel’s latest generation of Core processors (Sandy Bridge). Unwilling to be left behind, Toshiba too announced a Sandy Bridge-inspired overhaul of its Qosmio and Satellite family of laptops. According to the company, it will begin rolling out new premium and mainstream laptop models with the latest Intel processors later this month.
The high-end Qosmio X505 is among the notebooks that will shortly be receiving new models. Starting at $1,299.99, the new Qosmio X505 laptops feature an 18.4-inch diagonal HD TruBrite widescreen display, the new Core i7 or Core i5 processors, 8GB DDR3 memory, GeForce GTX 460M graphics with up to 1.5GB of discrete DDR5 graphics memory, and a hard drive that spins at 7200 RPM.
The Satellite A660, M640, L650, and E305 notebooks will also be available in completely fresh flavors. However, while Core i7-toting Qosmios and Satellites will be available in January, new Satellite models with the new Intel Core i3 and Core i5 processors will only become available in February 2010.