I hate it when I am wrong…except this time. Being wrong means I get to have SLI when Bloomfield ships. It seems that Nvidia will be ready for the Bloomfield launch after all with the nForce 200 SLI processor, the older brother of the nForce 100 that was so successfully with the launch of the Skulltrail.
Bryan Del Rizzo with Nvidia says, “some vendors will be incorporating more than one nForce 200 processor for even more advanced configurations and flexibility for multi-GPU configurations. Both 2-way and 3-Way SLI configurations will be fully supported with our latest GPUs, including the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 GPUs."
I certainly can’t wait to see what the nForce 200 CPUs can do. The part about “more advanced configurations and flexibility for multi-GPU” really sparks my interest. Maybe some sort of GPU cluster across different Nvidia GPUs? I’ll be keeping an eye on that.
Perhaps even more interesting than that, was when Bryan said, “We are not doing our own native chipset for Bloomfield.” What? That’s right, no native Nvidia chipset for Bloomfield CPUs. The reason for not doing a QPI (Quick Path Interconnect) chipset is because of the quick transition to DMI (Desktop Management Interface) and the short-lived nature of QPI. Picking up an X58 Chipset Board with an nForce 200 SLI processor will be the only way to get SLI.
This is a pretty big shift considering Nvidia puts out a very popular chipset for enthusiasts, not that Intel chipsets are any slouch.
TomsHardware.com is reporting that the originally scheduled launch of Nehalem based Bloomfield processors will be moved up to September. Imagine that, a hardware launch ahead of schedule! The X58 chipsets will launch along with it.
Some early tests of samples of Nehalem show it beating out current processors by 20 to 30 percent. It appears to like overclocking as well with some overclocking tests going to almost 1Ghz over stock. Nehalem ditches the traditional front-side bus (FSB), and instead uses an external multiplier to control the link between CPU core, memory controller, and north-bridge.
This is only going to further mash AMDs toes as their next CPU, Shanghai, doesn’t look promising for catching up to Intel. Unless AMD has a hat trick waiting, we’ll have to wait until San Paolo and Magny-Cours come out in 2010 to see if AMD can catch up. A year and a half is a long time and a lot can happen in the CPU world. With Nehalem looking to come out early, Intel stretches its lead.
Is Nehalem seductive enough to get you to upgrade?
Ask anyone who's ever been married and they'll tell you how difficult it is to read between the lines. The same holds true in the tech world, where rumors get started with bits and pieces of information pieced together like a puzzle, but the pieces don't always fit. Such is the case involving AMD's fabrication plants in Germany.
With the chip maker struggling to turn a profit and announcing a restructuring plan to get there, some speculated AMD might be gearing up to sell off some of its Fabs. Then more recently AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer told the Austin Amercian-Statesman that it plans to spin the manufacturing operations off into a separate company with new ownership. Could that be taken as confirmation of an earlier rumor?
It can and it was, but AMD is saying not so fast. Contrary to what The Inq maintains is still true, Drew Prairie, an AMD spokesperson, claims Meyer's comments were referring to how the company manufacturers its wafers, and not indicative of any plans to sell off its Fabs.
So while it appears that AMD's fabrication plants are safe for now, this likely won't be the last bit of speculation involving the chip maker. AMD remains tight-lipped about its restructuring plans and 'asset-smart' strategy, and with the recent departure of Hector Ruiz as CEO, it's anyone's guess what the company might be planning. Any guesses?
With Intel's quad-core mobile chip soon coming to a laptop near you, some are wondering if a four-core chip might be overkill for a mobile platform. The answer is a resounding 'No' and anyone who thinks otherwise automatically loses 100x4 points of geek cred.
Okay, that might be a bit harsh, particularly since there are compelling reasons to support such blasphemous thoughts. While it's difficult to fathom ever having too much computing power, even desktop owners are still waiting for that killer app that will make everyone ditch their dual-core processor in favor of a quad. Moving to a mobile platform, wasted horsepower becomes even more of an issue as OEMs try to deal with heat dissipation, battery life, and the grand-daddy of them all, cost.
Nevertheless, there will be a market for four-core chips. Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, says quad-core mobile chips are "definitely not" overkill, noting that the boutique OEM has been "putting quad-processors in (laptops) for a long time."
Details about some of Intel's upcoming quad-core mobile chips - like the Core 2 Extreme X9100 - are floating around the web, but others have yet to go public. Citing un-named sources, Cnet claims system vendors may start disclosing more details as soon as August 11. Will anyone care, or is dual-core still good enough for a laptop?
Have you ever run into an old ex-girlfriend only to realize she's nothing the way you remembered? Or fired up that retro-game and wondered what you found so appealing about it in the first place? Every once in awhile a blast from the past (like bringing WarGames back to theaters) will make a worthwhile comeback, but more often than not, old relics are best left buried, and Albatron might be finding this out.
Earlier this month the company let it be known it would be bringing Nvidia's 8-series videocards in 8400, 8500, and 8600 trim to the PCI bus, but those plans have hit a snag and it might be awhile before we see another PCI videocard. Even though the PCI bus has been around since close to the dawn of time, not all motherboards stick to the same signaling implementation for the PCI interface, and Albatron fears that compatibility with different motherboards could become a problem.
Sam Nada, Albatron's International PR representative, says the company's engineers are working on optimizing the BIOS to ensure a smooth rollout, but it will be a couple of weeks before the new Retrotechnology cards make a debut. But what's a couple of weeks if you've already staved off the upgrade bug for this long?
While the rest of the computing world inexplicably refuses to see a market for performance hard drives spinning faster than 7,200RPM, Western Digital is finding new segments for its flagship 10,000RPM Velociraptor. The company announced today it's shrinking the stupid-fast drive down to a 2.5-inch form factor for use in blade servers and 1U and 2U servers.
"WD is bringing to enterprise customers what PC enthusiasts already appreciate about the WD Velociraptor: a combination of high performance and high capacity for hard drive storage," said John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives.
Because server environments tend to be more mission critical than the average desktop, Western Digital claims its new enterprise model will be up to the job with the "highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF."
The shrunken Velociraptor will come in both 300GB and 150GB capacities. Will anyone else join them?
With ATI having finally jumped back into the ring with Nvidia, the two companies have been taking performance jabs at each other in tit-for-tat fashion. One of those jabs came last month as Nvidia tweaked its 9800GTX with a die shrink (65nm to 55nm) and clockspeed boosts culminating in a new card dubbed the 9800GTX+. So does that mean BFG's newly announced 9800GTX+ OC can be considered an overclocked, overclocked 9800GTX? Holy redundancy, Batman!
However you label it, BFG's 9800GTX+ OC ranks as one of the fastest G92-based videocards on the market:
Core Clockspeed: 760MHz (vs 738MHz)
Shader Clockspeed:1,890MHz (vs 1,836MHz)
Memory Clockspeed: 2,250MHz (vs 2,200MHz)
Also supported are the usual assortment of goodies, including PhysX support, 3-way SLI, HybridPower technology, DirectX 10, dual-link HDCP, and a bevy of other marketing bullets. The card also comes backed by BFG's 24-hour tech support and lifetime warranty (be sure to register online within 30 days of purchase).
But for all that it includes, BFG still doesn't allow end-users to overclock its videocard, nor are they trusted to swap out the stock cooler for a third-party solution without voiding the warranty (Boo!), a pair of liberties given to XFX and Evga owners.
You've heard of Paper Mario, but a paper processor? That might be taking things a bit too far, but a team of Portuguese scientists have created the first Field Effect Transistor (FET) made with cellulose fiber-based paper. The new approach takes a common sheet of paper and uses it as the dielectric layer on oxide FETs, with devices fabricated on both sides of the paper sheet. And while other teams have reported using paper as the physical support (substrate) of electronic devices, this method is the first one that also allows the paper to be used as the interstrate component as well. In other words, it's really cool.
More than a proof of concept, the team envisions its new paper transistors being used in disposable electronic devices like paper displays, smart labels, smart packaging, bio-applications, RFID tags, and more. Full details will be published in the September 2008 issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters, but until then, you'll have to wade through translated text.
With the all the brouhaha surrounding solid state drives (SSDs), there remains a question of exactly how big of a performance advantage flash memory really holds over today's hard drives. On paper, most SSDs scream ahead in both read and write speeds, but real-world benchmarking paints a different picture. So why the discrepancy? At SandDisk, they're blaming Vista. The company's CEO, Eli Harari, says SSD "performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs. Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid-state disks."
It's not hard to find fault with Vista, but blaming the OS for underperforming SSDs qualifies as a new one that even Apple hasn't yet exploited in its many mocking commercials. To be fair, Harari made the statement as part of a pitch to improve SSDs' next generation controllers, which he says "need to compensate for Vista's shortfalls." Because of this need, the company claims it is behind schedule bringing competitive SSDs to market.
Is SanDisk justified in pointing the finger at Vista?
Love him or hate him, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel has managed to get his branding slapped onto nearly every PC component it takes to build a computer, leaving only hard drives and processors left to conquer. Don't believe it? Have a look for yourself. Motherboard? Check. Videocard? Check. Case, soundcard, mouse, keyboard, and headset? Check, check, and check ad nauseum. And thanks to a recent partnership with OCZ now coming to fruition, Fatal1ty can notch both DDR2 and DDR3 memory into his belt too.
"OCZ worked closely with Fatal1ty and his team to desin new memory kits that pair perfectly with the top selling motherboards for a superior gaming experience," commented Alex Mei, cheif marketing officer of OCZ.
Hit the jump to find out why OCZ's excited about the partnership, and whether or not you should be too.