When it rains, it pours, and Nvidia could use a good downpour to put out the flames. Perhaps literally. Just last week Dave Murphy reported Nvidia was setting aside $150 to $200 million to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" in its mobile graphics cards, news of which sent Nvidia stock spiraling downward. Now there's speculation that the failures might not be limited to just a specific batch of notebook GPUs.
Rumor, news, and review site The Inquirer is saying that "all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions." That includes both mobile and desktop parts. According to The Inq, both use the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and both ASICs are plagued by a heat related problem originating from an un-named substrate or bumping material. Because of this, The Inq surmises more failures are iminent. But are they?
Find out what Nvidia has to say about the failures after the jump.
Put a feather in Seagate's cap. The storage titan has sprinted to the finish line and scored an exclusive: the world's first 1.5-terabyte hard drive. The 7,200rpm drive uses a mere four platters to achieve its huge capacity point -- that's 375GB per platter of areal density. Beefy.
Seagate is claming a sustained data rate of 120MB/s for its drive, which might very well be enough to place this little guy above Samsung's 333GB-per-platter HD103UJ drive. Other than that, the bulging Barracuda seems similar to every other high-capacity drive on the market: expect a 3Gb/s SATA interface and a typical 32MB of cache. Check out the full release below!
Grungy PC users can forget about over-paying for a Mac just to appear more hip and appease that inner fanboy (which, incidentally, is now an officially recognized word). Instead, shed your PC room's fashion faux pas with AOC's new 22-inch 2218Ph LCD monitor, or so the company implies. AOC claims its new monitor "finally brings PC users the element of style Mac users have enjoyed for the last few years." In addition to 'state-of-the-art metallic workmanship,' the $429.99 2218Ph touts:
12,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
HDCP-compliant HDMI input
2ms response time
1680 x 1050 native resolution
Illuminating touch key control
Of course, if you're trying to impersonate a Mac user, take extra caution when others are around. Removing the side panel to upgrade a crucial component or firing up a bevy of games are surefire ways of exposing yourself as an uncouth PC user, even if you're wearing jeans and sipping a Starbucks.
It carries an asking price of $479 and comes with a 3-cell battery pack. Those of you who have your sights planted on the $399 Linux version or the 6-cell version will have to wait till September. MSI is also going to roll out its Wind mini-desktop in Europe and Asia this month, however, the diminutive desktop won’t be released in North America.
According to Fujitsu, flash memory currently has no place outside of handheld gadgets, a situation it doesn't see changing within the next two years. But despite Fujitsu's short-term reservations, other manufacturers seem intent on pushing SSD storage into the mainstream posthaste. Both Super Talent and OCZ have recently announced lower cost SSDs, and now Samsung is getting into the fray by saying it has begun mass producing 1.8- and 2.5-inch 64GB and 128GB multi-level cell (MLC)-based SSDs.
"With the 64GB and 128GB MLC SSDs, we are satisfying the density requirements of most business users and many PC enthusiasts, who will appreciate not only the performance gains and added reliability, but also the more attractive pricing," said Gerd Schauss, Director of Memory Marketing EMEA, Samsung Semiconductor Europe.
Throwing a wet blanket over the announcement are somewhat comparatively underwhelming performance numbers. Samsung claims its MLC based SSD has a write speed of 70MB/sec and a read speed of 90MB/s, which not only pales in comparison to some of the faster single-cell SSDs on the market, but lags behind Western Digital's VelociRaptor HDD. That might make the new SSDs a tough sell to PC enthusiasts with money to burn, but depending on how 'attractive' Samsung plans to price the units, it could capture a portion of the bang/buck crowd, a market segment SSDs aren't used to seducing.
Intel's upcoming Centrino 2 mobile platform will finally push DDR3 memory into the notebook market, and OCZ already has a pair of kits ready to go. OCZ's DDR3-1066 modules will feature latencies of 8-8-8-27, while its higher frequency DDR3-1333 SO-DIMMs will come timed slightly higher at 9-9-9-24. Both kits sip 1.5V and are backed by OCZ's lifetime warranty. "The Centrino 2 platform is a logical extension of Intel's efforts spearheading DDR3 acceptance in the enthusiast segment in the desktop sector, " commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology Development at OCZ.
Memory makers continue to lament weak memory pricing, and while they anticipate strengthening demand in the second half of 2008, vendors are hoping Centrino 2 will kick-start sales for DDR3 modules. DDR3 currently commands a higher markup than DDR2, and while that might be groovy for memory makers, are buyers ready to make the switch?
Calling it the "Dawn of the Tera Era," Hitachi has announced its first three-platter terabyte drive. Billed as the Deskstar 7K1000.B, this is the second terabyte-class drive the company has produced since the launch of its first-to-the-market five-platter drive last year. But here's the weird part: the company has announced no concrete plans to phase out its second-generation drives before 2009. Nor is Hitachi coming in at a lower price point -- or comparable feature-set -- when compared to the other terabyte drives on the market today.
Check out our (confused) analysis after the jump! And yes, it appears Hitachi has modeled its "Tera Era" marketing after Hair:
Pioneer has to its credit a $145 Blu-ray player - on sale only in China, perhaps the cheapest BRD player in the world. However, it was a tad watchful during the course of the format war. Now with Blu-ray having emerged victorious, Pioneer is making a deeper commitment to it. It has announced plans to launch Blu-ray recorders by the end of the year in Japan. The recorders will be developed with some help from its minority owner Sharp (14% stake), which is amongst the six Japanese majors currently offering Blu-ray recorders.
If you're a subscriber to Maximum PC magazine, turn to page 8 in this month's issue (and for everyone else, hit the subscription link) and read Gordon Mah Ung's take on Intel and Nvidia's Secret War. Gordon discusses the issues preventing users from being able to run SLI on an Intel chipset, and what roadblocks might be in place for future Nehalem support on upcoming Nvidia chipsets. In other words, you might end up having to choose a side. Sound familiar?
Now there's talk of Nvidia want to support Intel's Atom processor, and whether or not you care about the low-cost PC and MID market, it might be in your best interest if the two sides can come to an agreement. But can they? Earlier in the year Nvidia and VIA entered into an alliance, and speculation suggests it was forged to compete against Intel's Atom. Now it appears Nvidia's intention all along may have been to gain a bargaining chip to convince Intel to let its Atom processor support Nvidia's MCP73 IGP chipset. If Intel agrees, DigiTimes reports Nvidia will then terminate its alliance with VIA and its Nano processor. And while VIA might not be too pleased with the idea (rebound relationships never work out anyway), an agreement over licensing terms in the low-cost PC market might open the door to better communication in the mid- to high-end desktop sectors.
With companies like Super Talent and OCZ pushing solid-state disk pricing into affordable territory, there has been a recent rash of excitement of building up over what the near future might bring. Can we finally expect to get over the performance bottleneck imposed by hard disk drives? Not so fast, says Joel Hagberg, VP of business development at Fujitsu.
In a recent interview, the high level exec played down the current state of flash memory. Even as the latest batch of SSDs tout impressive performance specs to the tune of 120 to 143 MB/sec read speeds and 80 to 93MB/sec writes, Hagberg claims it's more hype than substance. Hagberg says SSDs are "really good if you're reading stuff, but it doesn't work very well for large file reads and large file writes, and it doesn't work well for random writes." Because of this, the VP notes a sizeable rift between notebook customers' expectations and real-world experiences.
Hit the jump to find out why Hagberg thinks we're still more than 2 years away from seeing SSDs as a viable option.