With all the talk of Core i7, Core i5, Intel's upcoming six-core Gulftown, and a plethora of swank X58- and P55-based mobos bombarding the market place, are you starting to feel left out puttering along on your LGA775 build? Well, you should be -- this is Maximum PC, after all. But outside of our niche of power users, LGA775 still reigns supreme, and by no small margin.
As Fudzilla reports it, LGA775 processors are the current king of the sales hill, accounting for a whopping 77 percent of sales. The dated socket won't be able to hold onto that pace throughout 2010, but by the end of the year, Intel expects LGA775 to still account for half of all processor sales.
So who's buying into socket 1366 and building high-end Core i7 foundations? Not many. Currently the least popular Intel socket of the bunch, higher end Core i7 chips only account for a measly 1 percent of sales.
Socket LGA1156, on the other hand, claims 18 percent of all Intel shipments and its market share is expect to grow to 44 percent by the end of 2010. And of course there's the ever-popular Atom series, which surprisingly only makes up for 5 percent of all Intel CPUs so far in this first quarter.
Touchscreen PCs haven't really taken off the way, say, touch-capable smartphones, media players, and other handheld gadgets have, and a big reason for that is a lack of power. So it makes sense (and gets us a little excited) that HP would cram a Core i7 chip into its TouchSmart line as part of its new 600 Quad series.
You do have to pay to play, however, with pricing starting off at $1,700. That gets you a 23-inch touchscreen display with an Intel Core i7 720QM quad-core chip racing along at 1.6GHz and 6MB of L2 cache. That also includes 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory, a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive (or 1TB if you're willing to roll with a 5400RPM spindle speed), Nvidia's GeForce GT230M graphics with a 1GB frame buffer, slot-load DVD burner, Wi-Fi, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and other odds and ends.
Some of the more noteworthy upgrade options include an Intel Core i7 820QM quad-core CPU (1.73GHz, 8MB L2 cache), twice the amount of RAM, a 1.5TB 7200RPM for just $50 more, and a Blu-ray player.
Ready or not, six-core computing is coming, and it's coming from both sides of the tracks. We all know about Intel's plan to move to six-core chips, which will start with the Core i7 980X, a pricey processor (think at least $1,000) designed for socket 1366 systems. Look for this one to debut around the end of March.
But AMD also has plans to compete in the six-core sector and, according to news and rumor site DigiTimes, will launch three six-core desktop chips under its new Phenom II x6 1000T series in May 2010. These will consist of the Phenom II X6 1075T, 1055T, and 1035T, each of which is being built on a 45nm manufacturing process.
Coinciding with AMD's six-core parts will be a couple of new chipsets, the 890FX (RD890) and 890GX (RS880D).
No official word on pricing from either side just yet.
The new Core i5 and Core i7 mobile CPUs are already finding their way into some products. Panasonic has announced that the Japanese version of the Toughbook laptops, known there as Lets Note, will be getting some speedy new Nehalem-based processors. The new rugged (and a little ugly) offerings will come in four flavors.
The S9, N9, and F9 will have a Core i5-520M CPU. Screen sizes range from 12.1 inches (S9 and F9) up to the 14.1 inch screen on the F9. This screen will probably look quite nice with a resolution of 1440 x 900. The real gem here is the R9 model which will have a Core i7-620M, 250GB HDD, and 2GB of DDR3 RAM crammed into a chassis the size of a netbook. A 10.1 inch screen with that kind of power makes for a desirable ultraportable computer.
A Japanese launch is scheduled for February 17th. No word on if these PCs will find their way here. If you were able to get one of these, what would you pay for it?
We know how it is. You really want a sweet Intel Core i7 PC, but it has to be small. No, small is the wrong word; it has to be tiny. The new Congatec Conga-BM57 small form factor motherboard may be just the thing. Measuring a mere 95 x 125 mm you’d expect this board to be running an Atom or maybe even an ARM CPU. In fact, it runs a Core i7-620M clocked at 2.66GHz, and has 8GB of DDR3 RAM.
The board has integrated graphics with Intel Flexible Display Interface (FDI) allowing two simultaneous outputs via HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, or SVDO. The architecture can support up to 5 PCI Express lanes, 8 USB ports, 3 SATA, one EIDE, and a gigabit Ethernet port.
It is certainly impressive considering the form factor. Congatec isn’t quite sure what the BM57 will be used for as of yet, but threw out gaming devices and medical imagery as options. We've got our fingers crossed for an HTPC.
Intel says digital signs are now everywhere--airports, banks, retail stores--and they’re ushering in a “new era of in-store and on-site advertising and communications.” It’s a market that’s expanding, and Intel wants a piece of the action. “We have been relatively quiet, but now we have decided we are going to make a big push and go public with a lot of our initiatives,” says Jose Avalos of Intel.
Intel debuted an example of its craft last week at CES. The system is designed for multiple users, who use a holographic touchscreen to explore merchandise, learn about promotions, offer feedback on products, or read product reviews. Intel’s proof-of-concept is running on Microsoft Windows Embedded, on an Intel Core i7 processor platform. (Intel, partnering with Microsoft, is seeking to "standardize" the digital signage market.)
Sort of makes one wonder how we ever managed to shop in the ‘olde’ days of analog signage.
Can you remember the last time Lenovo unveiled a high-end tower system aimed at the performance crowd? It's a bit of a trick question, because up until now, that's been new territory for Lenovo. Not anymore, starting with the just-unveiled IdeaCentre K320.
The K320's base configuration screams of modesty with its Core i3 processor, but fully decked out, you can piece together a beast of a system with an Intel Core i7 860 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 5970 videocard, and a Blu-ray burner, among other options. These and other amenities will jack up the starting price from $600 to $2,000 when it launches on January 31st.
Switching gears, Lenovo also plans to launch the IdeaCentre C315 nettop down the road on March 1st. It will come configured with an Intel Atom 330 processor, up to 640GB of storage space, optional ATI Radeon 4530 graphics, and a DVD burner. Seems a bit pricey at $650 though.
No need to lug that big desktop around to the next LAN party. Asus has outed their new Republic of Gamers (ROG) laptop at a CES press event. The ROG G73hj is packing the sort of hardware that puts to shame many desktop gaming PCs; other laptops need not apply. The G73hj runs a Core i7-720QM CPU, and is configurable with up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 1TB of HDD space.
No gaming laptop would be complete without discreet graphics, and the G73hj is no exception. This little beast will come with the Radeon HD 5870 for DX11 support. This marvelous video card will push the pixels around on a 17.3-inch LCD with a resolution of 1920x1080. There are also all the usual goodies like Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, webcam, and a Blu-Ray/DVD drive. No word on pricing or release date yet, but maybe you should start saving those pennies.
There’s sort of a guilty pleasure in seeing the ‘masters of the universe’ knocked down a notch or two. So the news that the record for calculating Pi, set by the T2K Open Supercomputer, was not just broken but smashed by a lowly Core i7 machine was warmly received.
The feat was performed by Fabrice Bellard. He pieced together a system built around a Core i7 CPU running at 2.93 GHz, 6 GB of RAM, and five 1.5 TB Seagate Barracudas. His operating system of choice was the 64-bit version of Red Hat Fedora 10, along with a software RAID-0 and ext4 file system. He then started up a Pi algorithm based on the Chudnovsky formula and let it rip. One hundred and three days later he had Pi calculated out to 2.7 trillion decimal digits, blowing by the old record of 2.5 trillion decimal digits. The resulting number took 1137 GB of storage space.
Bellard made use of this single CPU for the initial calculation, but did get some help from 'friends' when verifying his calculation. Using the Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe algorithm and a network of nine computers, he validated his result in 34 hours. (Using the PC would have taken 13 days--time Bellard didn’t want to use in case his record was broken before he got a chance to announce it.)
In the days leading up to CES, EVGA's big attraction has been photo'd, spec'd, and drooled over. After all, it's hard not to salivate at the prospect of running two LGA 1366 processors on a single motherboard, but there's even more here to lust over.
EVGA's server hybrid board also comes equipped with no less than seven PCI-E x16 slots, all decked out in red. Naturally, the board also supports both USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s. But unlike your standard-fare LGA 1366 mobo, EVGA's dual-slot monster includes 12 DDR3 memory slots (that's six for each processor) and two NF200 SLI bridge chips.