For the second time in a row, Asus has come out ranked No. 1 in reliability for personal computers, according to Rescuecom's 2009 Second Quarter Top 5 Computer Reliability Report.
"Because Asus just introduced the newest version of the EEE Laptop last fall, the original predicted computer reliability of this laptop has been somewhat up in the air," says David A. Milman, Rescuecom's founder and CEO. "However, a good eight months later, we're still receiving the fewest calls for computer repair and support with Asus, while their market share is increasing."
Rescuecom ranks computer reliability based on the number of computers a company ships versus the number of computer repair and service calls Rescuecom receives. According to the report, of the top 5 companies, Rescuecom received the fewest number of calls for Asus at 0.6 percent. Apple, which ranked No. 2 on the list, received the third most calls with 2.2 percent, which is more than Asus and IBM/Lenovo combined.
USB 2.0 rated at 480Mbit/s sounded great when it was released back in April 2000, but more than 9 years later its becoming pretty easy to saturate with our never-ending collection of high speed external drives. USB 3.0 clocks in at a much more respectable 4.8 Gbit/s, but those patiently awaiting hardware will have to cool their heels just a bit longer.
According to the Inquirer, Asus is cancelling what would have been the world’s first USB 3.0 motherboard the P6X58. The company hasn’t given any specific comment on it’s reason for the cancellation, but I would surmise it has something to do with the fact that you still can’t find any devices to pair up with it yet.
Speculation aside, I’m sure Asus still has USB 3.0 on it’s roadmap, but we still have no idea when the first motherboards / devices will hit the market. Want to learn more about the new standard? Make sure to take a look at our comprehensive guide to all things USB 3.0.
According to recent reports, it’s not expected that neither Asus or Acer will launch any more netbooks during the second half of 2009, thanks to Intel’s push to launch their new Pine Trail-M platform.
Asus is still planning to go forward with their touchscreen Eee PC T91 and T101, as well as an Android-based netbook during the second half of this year. Acer, on the other hand, doesn’t look to be doing a whole lot until Intel makes their big release.
Pine Trail-M is slated for the first quarter of 2010, so the delay shouldn’t be too long.
It’s official, Windows 7 is in the bag and the first boxed copies have gone out the door. OEM’s arrived in droves on Friday to pickup large bundles containing all the code and supporting documentation they will need to begin integrating Windows 7 into their upcoming hardware designs. OEM’s are typically the first Microsoft customers to receive RTM code as it often takes months to properly tweak their drivers and software to ensure maximum compatibility.
The Official Windows Blog posted pictures of the event for those who are interested. Pictures included representatives from HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Dell, Sony, and Siemens all posing with their debut copies. Officially the focus of the OEM’s at this point is to ensure hardware / software compatibility, but we all know a certain amount of trialware will inevitably be tested and slipped into new machines as well. Microsoft kicked off a new initiative last year in the hopes of educating OEM’s on the danger of over bundling trialware with a new PC, lets just hope they listen.Just in case they don’t, check out our Clean Start Guide on How to decrapify any new machine.
Have you purchased a new OEM build machine recently? Have things gotten any better? Let us know what you think.
There are a few dirty secrets in the tech industry, and one of the best-guarded among them regards multichannel audio—everybody wants multichannel audio but almost no one actually runs the speakers to use it.
Sure, we all cheered when PC audio went from 4.1 to 5.1, and then from 6.1 to 7.1, but who actually runs that many satellites around his or her PC? That’s why Asus’s Xonar Essence STX is a soundcard that’s long overdue. Instead of pushing pointless multi-satellite specs, the Essence STX is aimed at folks who spend more money on a set of headphones than some people put out for an entire surround sound set.
Asus’s Eee PC kicked off the netbook craze in 2007, and now the grandmaster of small-and-shiny returns with its best Eee ever. The 1000HE combines the 901’s extra-long battery life with the power and capacity of the 1002HA (which we reviewed in March), and throws in a nearly MacBook Pro–style full-size chiclet keyboard.
The 1000HE is the first netbook we’ve reviewed with Intel’s new Atom N280 processor, which kicks up the clocks from 1.6GHz to 1.66GHz, and the front-side bus to 667MHz from 533MHz. Other than that, it’s virtually the same hardware as Asus’s other 10-inch models, like the 1002HA. The 1000HE trades the 1002HA’s brushed-aluminum exterior for glossy fingerprint-prone plastic, with the chiclet keyboard supplanting the 1000HA’s more standard keys.
The videocard industry typically works on an 18-month cycle for each GPU design. Last year, Nvidia released the GT200 and ATI launched the RV770. Both are speedy, DirectX 10-capable parts, packed with shader processing power and capable of running the most demanding games at top speed. We tested Nvidia’s first refresh of the GT200 last month (the GeForce GTX 285); now it’s time to put ATI’s first re-spin of RV770 under the microscope, with Asus’s Radeon EAH4890 TOP.
The 4890’s RV790 GPU is built on a 55nm process, just like its predecessors; however, ATI made fairly significant tweaks to the GPU’s structure in order to accommodate higher clock speeds. Asus’s stock overclock is a testament to that revamp. The Asus board’s stock clock is 900MHz (the default stock clock for 4890 boards is 850MHz). Likewise, the board’s quad-pumped GDDR5 memory sits on the same 256-bit bus but runs at 1,000MHz (the stock speed for 4890 boards is 950MHz). The star of the Radeon 4890’s show remains the GPU’s 800 shader units, which handle the heavy lifting in shader-heavy modern games, such as Crysis.
Asus recently announced the Xtreme Design motherboard series, a new designation the company claims denotes "ground-breaking design innovations." The P6TD Deluxe will be one of Asus' existing boards to receive the Xtreme makeover.
One of those "innovations" comes in the form of improved cooling. Dubbed "Stack Cool3," Asus says it re-engineered the original copper cooling solution found on the P5E64 WS motherboard with an enhanced PCB layer, a move Asus claims will result in substantially improved heat dissipation.
Also traits of the Xtreme Design series, designated boards will feature an improved phase design, Turbo V overclocking for "an overwhelming boost of up to 51 percent in processing throughput," and more stringent Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing.
Last month, we reviewed Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295, a dual-GPU GT200-based board that benefited from a die-shrink from 65 nanometers to 55 nanometers. This month, we’re testing the GTX 285, which uses the same silicon as the GTX 295, in a clocked-up single-GPU design. Unfortunately, the paltry clock-speed improvements that the die shrink allowed don’t deliver enough of a performance boost to make this board worth recommending, especially for folks who already own a GTX 280 board.
When you compare the GTX 285 to the GTX 280, you can see what the problem is. The GTX 285’s GT200 core is clocked at 648MHz, up from 602MHz for a stock GTX 280. The 1GB of GDDR3 memory runs at just 621MHz on a 512-bit bus—the GTX 280’s memory runs at 550MHz. The upshot is that this new card delivers less than a 10 percent performance increase over the GTX 280 parts in most benchmarks. The only big gains over the 280 are at lower resolutions with very high antialiasing and anisotropic filtering levels. The big gain is in power consumption. The 285 features a TDP of about 183W, while the 280 drew a massive 236W. That means that the 285 will actually run in a system that’s equipped with just a pair of 6-pin PCI-E video connectors—you don’t need the 6-pin and 8-pin combo that’s been de rigueur for the last few months.
Asus has fleshed out its notebook line with a number of new models with screen sizes ranging from 15.6 inches to 17.3 inches. The notebook maker didn't play favorites, either, as both AMD and Intel are represented in the new units.
At 17.3 inches, the K70AB-TY002C and TY001C are the biggest of the bunch, both of which sport AMD chips inside. The 2C uses an AMD Turion 64 X2 RM 74 (2.2GHz) processor, while the 1C steps to the plate with a Turion 64 X2 Ultra ZM-84 (2.3GHz). Different processors aside, both machines come with 4GB of DDR2 memory and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with a 512MB frame buffer.
Of the 15.6-inch models, the U50VG-XX060C comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 (2.1GHz), 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce G 105M graphics with a 512MB frame buffer, 250GB hard drive, HDMI port, and a 1.3MP webcam.
Another Intel machine, the F52Q-SX071E sports a dual-core T3200 processor (2GHz), 2GB of RAM, and the GL40 chipset. This one's aimed at business users.
Lastly, the K50AB (AMD Turion 6 4X2 Ultra ZM-84) and KB0IJ (Intel Pentium dual-core T4200) both come with 4GB of RAM, with the former sporting an ATI Mobile Radeon HD 4570 and the latter outfitted with Intel GMA X4500HD graphics with shared memory.