Intel's crazy-popular Atom processor already dominates the netbook and nettop segments, but that might turn out to be only a glimpse of things to come. By the end of the year, look for Atom CPUs to have found a home in more than half of all entry-level desktops. What the Caesar?
Citing un-named industry sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes says Intel has had to adjust its target shipment ratio of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 processors as a percentage of total CPU shipments with nettops and entry-level desktops. And what an increase Intel puportely projects. According to the report, Intel expects Atom growth to increase from 4 percent (nettops) and 6 percent (desktops) in the first quarter to 10 percent and 52 percent, respectively, by the fourth quarter of 2009.
As a result, DigiTimes says Intel's 65nm dual-core Celeron E1000-series and 45nm single-core Celeron 200-series CPUs will account for less than a fifth of th shipment makeup by the end of the year.
If the projections hold true, both entry-level and mid-range desktop pricing is likely to go down.
Thin is in, or so Samsung seems to think with a trio of new slim MagicStation desktop PCs. But don't let the size fool you; Samsung has stuffed what amounts to a respectable spec sheet into each model.
The most slender of the three, the DM-X100, is fully configurable just like the somewhat wider DM-R100 and DN-Z100 models, and comes packed with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia GeForce 9600M graphics, 3GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and Vista Home Premium in its standard configuration. Other odds and ends include WiFi, media card reader, a wireless keyboard, and the typical assortment of ports in a package just under 8 pounds.
No word yet on price or availability, although it appears Samsung will first target Korea with these new models.
Need a good reason to "go green" by recycling your old electronics? How about getting some green (money, that is) for your old desktop or laptop computers, digital cameras, monitors, PDAs, smartphones, inkjet or laser printers, table PCs, or workstations? HP has teamed up with Market Velocity, Inc. to offer the HP Consumer Buyback and Planet Partners Recycling Program. Whether you think you're sitting on a potential gold mine of old stuff or are looking for a painless way to get worthless digital junk out of your office, give it a try.
Any car enthusiast worth his salt knows that until you customize your ride, it’s just another commuter. Likewise, your computer is little more than a generic PC in an ocean of look-alikes until you make it your own.
Here at Maximum PC, we don’t settle for out of the box. To us, a computer is incomplete until it’s been forged in our own image. To that end, we’re taking a look at six unbeatable tools that can spice up a drab Windows desktop. When we’re done here, you’ll have given your default Windows interface a much-needed face-lift by adding custom themes, ditching the taskbar for a more attractive dock, and setting up your wallpaper to refresh on a schedule.
This newfound pride in your desktop will raise your morale while you’re working for the man, and these apps will boost your overall productivity by better organizing your applications and icons on different virtual desktops and placing to-dos, system statistics, and other important information a keystroke away.
Sound appealing? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s time to turn that dreary Windows default into something you can be proud of.
Acer, the world’s #3 PC manufacturer, is on the brink of releasing a new netbook to accompany the Aspire One, and an all-in-one desktop computer that’s aimed directly at competing with Asus’s Eee Top and Apple’s iMac.
The netbook will measure 10.2”, cost roughly $500 and will be powered by Intel’s Atom processor. It’s reported that the system will include Vista and offer storage capacities of up to 320GB. Thanks to the size of the screen, it’s claimed that the display will sport a horizontal resolution of 1024 pixels, allowing users to view the entire width of most web pages (like this one!).
Also, thanks to some unconfirmed reports, rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Acer launching a cheap all-in-one desktop next year. The system will supposedly be aimed at competition with Apple’s iMac and Asus’ Eee Top.
With all the attention netbooks and nettops have been getting lately, it would appear that small form factor (SFF) and all-in-one PCs are getting lost in the shuffle. That won't be the case for long, as according to DigiTimes' un-named sources at PC vendors, Intel is gearing up to launch three new 65W low-power quad-core CPUs specifically for these two market segments.
From a specification standpoint, the new chips will be identical to existing CPUs with the same model number, but the TDP drops from 95W down to 65W. Vendors said to already be on board include Apple, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell, with Asus still mulling it over. But because the chips won't come gimped, the lower power draw could also make them popular choices for users with standard desktop setups concerned about heat management.
Pricing for the Q8200s, Q9400s, and Q9550s will sit at $245, $320, and $369 respectively for thousand-unit tray quantities.
Dell, Intel's BFF in the OEM systems sector, has outfitted a couple of its desktops with the chip maker's new Core i7 processor, one of which represents a brand new product line in the Studio XPS.
A baseline configured Studio XPS desktop starts out at $950 and comes equipped with Intel's Core i7 920 clocked at 2.66GHz. The sub-$1000 configuration also includes a 3GB triple-channel DDR3-1066 memory kit and a 500GB hard drive. A 256MB ATI Radeon HD 3450 provides casual gaming chores, with the option to upgrade to a 512MB HD 4850 for $200 more.A 16X DVD burner and the standard assortment of ports complete the feature-set. For those with a little more jingle in their pocket, up to 1.28TB of storage can be configured in a RAID 0 array, along with a speedier CPU in the Core i7 940 clocked at 2.93GHz.
The other series getting a Core i7 infusion is Dell's XPS 730x Gaming Desktop. Starting out at $2000, the 730x comes standard with Intel's Core i7 940 and, like the Studio XPS, 3GB of tri-channel RAM. Pixel pushing power is provided by Nvidia's 512MB GeForce 9800GT. For $4850, Dell upgrades the processor to an Intel Core i7 965 Extreme factory overclocked to 3.73GHz, doubles up on the RAM to 6GB, tosses in an Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 videocard, and beefs up storage duties with a 750GB hard drive. If spending the entire holiday bonus, the XPS 730x offers options for Western Digital's Velociraptor drive and/or up to 2TB in a RAID 1+0 array, along with an option for dual GTX 280 videocards in an SLI configuration.
Studio XPS systems are available now, with most XPS 730x systems expected to start shipping by early or mid-December, according to Electronista.
Well that didn't take long. With Intel's Core i7's launch now official, OEM system builders are falling in line with new systems using the new processors. Such is the case with Gateway, who today announced two new FX Series PCs, the FX6800-01e and the FX6800-05.
Taking up the value end, the FX6800-01e comes equipped with Intel's Core i7-920 processor (2.66GHz quad-core), which Gateway ensures will "provide gamers with the critical horsepower to pwn even the most worthy opponents." And helping to "pwn" Photoshop and other memory intensive programs, the FX6800-01e comes with 3GB of DDR3-1066 memory. Gaming duties are tackled with a Radeon HD 4850 videocard, and you get 700GB of hard drive space to store those games. A 500W power supply, 18X DVD burner, onboard audio, 15-in-1 media card reader, ten USB 2.0 ports, four 1394a ports, two eSATA ports, and and HDMI connector (via DVI-HDMI dongle) round out the feature-set.
Settling in at the higher end, the FX6800-05 beefs up processing chores with Intel's Core i7-940 processor (2.93GHz quad-core) and doubles up the RAM to 6GB. And speaking of double, ATI's dual-GPU Radeon 4870 X2 finds its way into the FX6800-05. Storage chores are tag-teamed with an Intel High Performance 80GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. Gateway also doubles up on the power supply, trading in the value model's 500W for a beefier 1000W.
The FX6800-01e and FX6800-5 are available now from Best Buy for $1250 and $3000 respectively.
Dell this week has launched a new line of OptiPlex desktop rigs, starting with the company's new flagship OptiPlex 960. The 960 comes wrapped in three different chassis designs -- mini-tower, desktop, and SFF -- with a configurable interior that lets consumers choose from both Intel's Core 2 Duo and quad-processor lineup, onboard or add-in graphics, and up to 8GB of DDR2 RAM. The new OptiPlex also looks to go green with what Dell claims is a 43 percent reduction in power consumption compared to previous OptiPlex models. Other improvements include a sturdier frame, significant noise reduction (up to 60 percent), and beefed up security through full drive encryption.
Among the OptiFlex refresh also sits Dell's FX160. The FX160 is Dell's first ever thin client, and can be configured to support either a Virtual Remote Desktop thin client environment or an On-Demand Desktop Streaming environment. Underneath the hood is an Intel Atom processor.
The new OptiPlex rigs are available now with starting prices ranging from $399 (FX160) on up to $863 (960).
If there’s one thing that PC users like, it’s to customize things. There’re custom cases, aftermarket fans, water cooling systems, and dozens other ways to boost your system’s cool factor and (hopefully) its usefulness. But there’s one thing you can customize that’ll really take your computer to the next level: the shell. Your system’s shell, the software that allows you to interface with all those tender, juicy files stashed away in your computer, defines how you interact with your PC. As a power user, you owe it to yourself to explore the ways that you can alter your experience by altering your shell, and we’re going to tell you how.
A shell replacement is software that takes over the role normally filled by explorer.exe, which you’re probably most familiar with as the ubiquitous taskbar/start button combo. There are plenty of ways to go about shell replacement, so we’re going to take a look at members of three major classes of the software: Talisman, a commercial, user-friendly shell replacement; bbLean, a replacement focused on performance, a clean aesthetic and expandability; and the popular and powerful LiteStep.