Finding a dual-core netbook is a lot like looking for the Loch Ness Monster - you keeping hearing it exists, but no one's been able to prove it. According to a Japanese technology website, not only does it exist (a dual-core netbook, that is), but Shenzhen Weibu Electronics will "soon" have one for sale.
The upcoming netbook ditches the familiar single-core Atom N2xx processor for Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N330 chip with 1MB of cache. And the N330 supports hyper-threading as well. If that weren't enough, the new netbook will be built around Nvidia's Ion platform with integrated Nvidia 9400M graphics, just like those fancy MacBooks boast.
Other specs include 1GB of memory, a 150GB hard drive, webcam, and 802.11 g/b WiFi. And as one would expect, the N10A, as the netbook's being dubbed, will hit the wallet harder than existing netbooks to the tune of 49,800 yen, or about $530 USD. That starts encroaching on traditional 15-inch notebook pricing, but if other vendors follow suit with similarly spec'd machines, the next generation of netbooks could get awfully exciting.
Move over quad-core and make room for six-core chips. Intel is ready to start promoting its six-core Westmere processors, which the chip maker plans to talk at length about at this year's Intel Developer's Forum (IDF) in September.
Aimed at both desktops and notebooks, the 32nm Westmere processor will be built around Intel's Nehalem architecture. Production will begin before the end of the year with a formal launch expected in early 2010.
"Where Nehalem was new chip architecture design, Westmere is the next design being used to build processors that feature two 32nm cores with 4MB of cache that sit next to a memory controller and integrated graphics built on a separate, neighboring 45nm chip, all in one package. Westmeres will be the basis of upcoming all new Core chips (Core i3, i5, and 7) over the next few months," Intel wrote in a blog post.
Intel also has an eight-core Nehalem EX processor planned for later this year, but those will be aimed at two-socket servers, not home desktops.
I bought an E6850 because I’d read how easy it is to overclock. I followed the instructions in your article about overclocking Intel CPUs and I can’t get an extra 10MHz out of mine before it locks up! I’m running the CPU on an Asus Striker Extreme, with 2GB of Corsair Dominator RAM, a Raptor 150GB HD, an 8800 GTX, an Enermax 850W PSU, Win XP SP3, etc. The CPU and GPU are water cooled and run at about 40 C under load.
Each time I raise the front-side bus speed in the BIOS it boots fine and runs for about two minutes before locking up. I tried unlinking the RAM; still no luck. Everything is running at stock settings, but I want to be able to OC the proc.
Earlier this week, Intel's upcoming socket 1156-based Core i5 and Core i7 processors were spotted in retail channels in Taiwan and China, a few weeks before the chip maker's planned September launch date. That didn't sit well with Intel, who has asked vendors to stop selling the new parts, as well as accompanying P55-based motherboards.
That request is likely to go ignored, industry sources claim, who point out that demand for the new hardware is too hard to ignore. And it's not just overseas, either. The not-yet-launched products are also being sold in North America, with at least one well known review site claiming to have picked up a Core i5 processor from Fry's online store.
The parts in question include the Core i5 760, Core i7 860, and Core i7 870, plus a handful of P55-based mobos. With regards to the motherboards, some analysts predict that shipments in the fourth quarter will grow 10-20 percent sequentially, of which P55-based boards will account for 15 percent.
Late last month, several notable netbook manufactures -- including Asus and Acer -- scrapped plans to launch new netbook models in the second half of this year because of Intel delaying the launch of its Pine Trail-M platform. But according to the latest rumor making the rounds, MSI appears on track to release mobile Pine Trail-based netbooks in time for the holidays, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
By launching the new platform ahead of schedule, MSI will get a leg up on the competition and avoid having to compete on price, at least from the outset. Combined with the high anticipation for Windows 7, slated for release on October 22nd, MSI could find itself in a very favorable position this holiday shopping season.
Or maybe not. There remains some question as to how Intel's next-generation Atom processors, codenamed Pineview, will compare to existing parts. The new chips are expected to be mroe energy effecient, but they might not be much faster and they could end up costing more than the currently shipping Atom chips, mobile news site Liliputing says.
While you sit around and wait about another month for Intel's launch of Core i5 and new socket 1156-based Core i7 processors, PC builders living in China and Taiwan can already purchase the new parts, says news and rumor site DigiTimes. Citing un-named market sources, DigiTimes says Core i5 750, Core i7 860, and Core i7 870 processors along with P55-based motherboards are already available in small volumes in some retail channels in Taiwan and China, while the rest of us will have to wait until September 6.
Take these prices with a grain of salt, but at the current exchange rate, Core i5 750 (2.6GHz, *MB L3 cache) is selling for about $206. The Core i7 860 (2.8Ghz, 8MB L3 cache) comes to about $303, and the Core i7 860 (2.93GHz, 3MB L3 cache) is selling for around $575, the sources said.
On the motherboard front, P55-based boards from Gigabyte range anywhere from $165 to $280, with MSI is selling P55 boards for anywhere from $150 to $245 depending on features.
Microsoft's upcoming Zune HD will get more than a little help from Nvidia in going toe-to-toe against Apple's iPod and every other handheld media player on the market. Providing extra processor oomph, the Zune HD will use Nvidia's multi-core Tegra processor.
"Nvidia brings power graphics to the portable media player. This is a unique capability," said Jeff Orr, senior analyst for mobile content at ABI Research.
What makes Nvidia's Tegra so special -- and the Zune HD so promising -- are eight independent processors, which will go a long ways in helping the Zune HD handle high definition video and Flash content on its OLED touch screen without necessitating a bulky formfactor.
"Apple probably builds a pretty good SoC [System-on-Chip], but in terms of what they have already enabled [on the iPod Touch], I don't believe it has nearly the graphics and power management that Tegra does," said Mike Rayfield, a general manager at Nvidia. "We've benchmarked against everyone out there, and we are the most advanced in terms of graphics and overall power management."
The Zune HD will be just one of many devices to make use of Nvidia's Tegra processor. According to Nvidia, there are about 50 other gadgets in design right now with Tegra.
AMD today adds to its Phenom processor line with a new flagship part, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. The new chip updates the company's Dragon platform, which combines a Phenom II CPU with an ATI Radeon 4870/4890 graphics card and 790GX-based motherboard.
We're told the silicon in the X4 965 BE is unchanged from the X4 955 BE, so you're essentially looking at a clockspeed bump with a slightly higher TDP. Specifically, the 45nm chip comes clocked at 3.4GHz and contains 6MB of L3 cache, and 8MB of total cache (2MB total L2 per processor). And because it's a 'Black Edition' part, the new CPU is unlocked.
AMD also tells us that its own internal testing has shown the X4 965 BE to be a better overclocker than the previous 955, which isn't always the case when releasing a faster-clocked processor built on the same architecture. We currently have one of these chips in our Lab, so look for our own performance impression in the very near future.
Best of all for the AMD faithful, AMD has set an MSRP of $245 for the 965, the same official MSRP the 955 previously held..
Despite tough economic times the world over, the processor market grew by 10.1 percent in the second quarter of this year, driven in large part by continued demand for Intel's Atom processor. That being the case, one would think we'd see more Atom-based mobile Internet devices (MIDs) or ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) show up in the market place, so why aren't we?
That's the question news site Arstechnica set out to answer, and what they discovered was pretty interesting. After failing to find many Atom-based MIDs or UMPCs for sale on the web, Arstechnica took a jaunt over to Intel's online list of MID/UMPC products intended to showcase what the company's technology can do, only to discover an outdated page. Everything listed is based on Intel's old McCaslin platform and out of production, which would seem to indicate that MIDs and UMPCs aren't a high enough priority for Intel to even bother updating its page.
"MIDs are very much alive and well, still are very central to our strategy in the mobile handheld space," said Shane Wall, VP of Intel's Mobility Group. "And we have a roadmap that certainly goes beyond 2012."
Walls went on to describe the MID sector as a work-in-progress, saying "it's what we had hoped it would be at this point. And in terms of volume it's above what our internal targets are." If only the retail channel agreed.
The rich get richer, so the saying goes, and it applies to Intel's x86 CPU business. Already the No.1 CPU maker in the world, Intel's x86 processor market share rose to 80.5 percent in the second quarter of 2009, up from 78.2 percent in the first quarter.
According to market research firm Mercury Research, Intel's recent market share growth is attributable to the chip maker's aggressive desktop CPU price cuts, as well as increased inventory alleviating continued shortages in certain segments.
Meanwhile, competitor AMD saw its shares drop from 20.9 percent in the first quarter to 18.7 percent in the second, a trend the No. 2 chip maker can't be happy about. It was almost a year ago that AMD announced a split into separate design and manufacturing firms.
VIA's market share remained relatively unchanged, claiming just under 1 percent for the second consecutive quarter.