Driving two monitors is easy enough with most modern videocards; in fact, late-model AMD Radeon HD cards can drive three (although one must be equipped with DisplayPort). Accell’s UltraAV multi-monitor adapters allow you to connect three displays to a single DisplayPort source. The model we examined supports three single-link DVI monitors using a single DisplayPort source; the company offers a second SKU that supports three DisplayPort monitors from a single DisplayPort. Both suffer from the same limitations: Reliance on DisplayPort on the host side, and maximum resolution of 3840x1024 (supporting three 1280x1024 displays).
Chalk it up to successful marketing or a genuine desire to consume 3D content in the home, goofy looking glasses be damned, but according to DisplaySearch, 2010 will come to an end having seen 3.4 million shipments of 3D TVs. And that's just the beginning. By 2014, that number will skyrocket to 42.9 million, more than a 12-fold increase.
"TV manufacturers have managed to launch products very rapidly. We have seen a full range of 3D TVs in sizes from 40 inches to 63 inches already available, and without a doubt, there will be another wave of new products at the IFA show in Berlin in September," noted Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research.
DisplaySearch feels pretty confident this is much bigger than a passing fad and predicts that the 3D TV market penetration will grow from 5 percent of total flat panel TVs in 2010 to 37 percent in 2014. That's more than a third of all flat panel TV shipments.
"Based on early indications, the launch of 3D TVs is similar to Samsung's rollout of LED LCD TVs at the beginning of 2009, albeit at a slightly slower pace," said Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research at DisplaySearch. "This would be in line with our forecast of just over 2 million 3D TVs shipped in North America for 2010.
Despite all this, DisplaySearch points out that the electronics industry is outpacing content availability, which so far is limited to a handful of movies and sports events on pay TV.
There's no turning back now, folks, 3D is coming to all facets of home entertainment, from TVs to handheld consoles, and next-gen notebooks as well. According to Internet rumblings, MSI will be one of the first to launch a 3D notebook, which is expected to ship in mid-September in Taiwan.
Notebook sources say the laptop is being developed in-house and will use Intel's integrated GPU for the display. The 3D effects will come by way of Dynamic Digital Depth's (DDD's) TriDef 3D software, which converts 2D images into 3D. And of course users will have to don a pair of polarizing glasses.
MSI joins a growing list of manufacturers who plan to bring 3D to the mobile PC market, a list which includes the likes of Acer, LG Electronics, Fujitsu, and Lenovo. Asus and Toshiba are also on board, though they're adopting Nvidia's shutter 3D glasses.
I’ve been contemplating purchasing a 120Hz monitor for some time. After reading the May 2010 review of the Acer GD235HZ, this now looks like more of a possibility. I currently have a GeForce 275 GTX, and my understanding is that in order to take advantage of the 120Hz, I need to connect to the monitor with dual-link DVI. However, will this 120Hz monitor do for games what 120Hz has done for movies and TVs? Does it deliver that same crisp image that makes it feel like you are right there with the cast? Also, would a streaming service, such as Slingbox, have that same feeling if I’m steaming at HD speeds (2Mb/s+)?
At this point in the game, there doesn't appear to be anything that can stop the fast moving freight train known as Android, right? Not so fast, says market research firm iSuppli. According to iSuppli, a shortage of AMOLED displays threatens to derail the Android Express as it attempts to race past the competition.
"Starting with the Nexus One introduced in January, Android-based smartphones have aggressively adopted high-quality AMOLED displays as a competitive differentiator against the advanced-technology AMLCD screen used in the iPhone," said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for small and medium displays at iSuppli. "However, rising demand combined with a limited supply base has led to the constrained availability of AMOLEDs."
Part of the problem is that there aren't a whole of manufactures making AMOLED products, which makes keeping up with volume shipments particularly challenging. And because the technology is relatively new, many mobile display makers instead to choose to focus their attention on cranking out cheaper-to-produce AMLCD screens.
The good news for Android fans is that this is only temporary. Samsung, for example, is throwing big bucks at AMOLED and plans to have another 5.5-generation fab up and running by the end of 2011. If anything, the current supply challenges are temporary and will only serve to delay Android's rise to the top, if that's where it's destined to go.
After all the pre-release previews, MSI has finally announced the Wind Top AE2420, making official the company's first 3D-capable all-in-one (AIO) desktop.
MSI will bundle in a pair of active-shutter 3D glasses to view 3D content on the 23.6-inch 120Hz LED-backlit screen, which of course is multi-touch. The AE2420 also comes with an MCE remote control and wireless keyboard and mouse.
Rounding out the spec sheet is an Intel Core i5 650 processor clocked at 3.2GHz, discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with a 1GB frame buffer, 4GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM memory, 1TB hard drive, USB 3.0, eSATA, VGA and HDMI ports, Gigabit LAN, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 1.3MP webcam, and integrated 2.1 speakers.
Price is one of the last elements we take into account when we evaluate a new product. We’d rather spend a little more get a lot more in terms of features and performance. But Sceptre’s X270W-1080p is selling online for as little as $300, and that earns it more than a highly qualified buy recommendation—especially if you’re a gamer with a fast videocard and you’re looking to move up from something a lot smaller.
Now don’t get the wrong idea: This is not a great monitor by any stretch of the imagination; it suffers from many of the typical shortcomings we’ve seen with other twisted-nematic panels. While testing using DisplayMate Multimedia with Test Photos (www.displaymate.com), for example, we encountered color-tracking problems where blocks of what should have been the same color exhibited variations in tint depending on where they appeared on the monitor.
It's turning out to be a banner year for TV makers, who according to market research firm DisplaySearch, will ship more than 242 million TV sets globally in 2010. That number marks a 15 percent on-year growth rate, made even more significant when you consider shipments only grew by 2 percent in 2009.
Not surprisingly, LCD displays are performing exceptionally well with a 29 percent growth rate to 188 million units, but don't go counting out plasma and CRT TVs just yet. DisplaySearch says both have a better outlook in 2010 than previously expected. Plasma TV shipments, for example, rose 24 percent on-year in the first quarter of 2010, driven by demand for high value-per-inch.
On the LCD side, LED-backlit displays are quickly gaining ground. While only 3.9 million LED-backlit LCD TVs were shipped around the globe in the 2009, DisplaySearch expects that number to jump to 37 million units in 2010.
"Most of the top LCD TV brands are strongly emphasizing LED technology in an attempt to offset declining profits and prices fo CCFL-backlit models," said Hisakazu Torii, VP of TV market research for DisplaySearch. "This has led to a shortage of critical LED backlight components, and the lofty goals for LED market share in 2010 have been tempered somewhat by the reality of supply constraints."
By the end of the year, DisplaySearch reckons LED-backlit displays will account for 20 percent of total LCD shipments.
The art of the PC upgrade is simultaneously an expression and a test of one’s diagnostic skills, computing savvy, and fiscal sensibilities. Identify the bottleneck. Research the parts that will fix the bottleneck. Remove the bottleneck.
As always, price and performance are the pivot points. After all, you can’t just toss $1,000 at your system to level it up. Well, you can, but in most cases you’d be a fool for doing so.
When the Maximum PC staff convened in conference room Spock to plan this story, we decided to establish some ground rules. First, we challenged ourselves to stick to our theme of a successful budget upgrade. This meant avoiding the tendency to fall back on the most expensive, best-of-breed components in each category.
Instead we forced ourselves to take a more nuanced approach. In each category, we expended considerable energy determining which product(s) owned the sweet spot—top-left on the 2x2 grid if you’re graph-happy—of the price-performance ratio. Staying consistent with our real-world theme, we used real-world pricing from sites like NewEgg and Amazon. Because we’re talking about upgrading an existing machine, you’ll find no case or mobo recommendations here.
Without further adieu, we happily present the results of our research. After the jump you’ll find a bevy of product recommendations that prove you don’t have to break the bank to achieve substantial gains in performance.
For those of you hoping to score Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld console in time for the holidays, you better have a backup gift to add to your wish list. Addressing rumors suggesting an October launch, Nintendo said not to expect the 3DS until 2011.
"Nintendo 3DS will not be arriving in 2010. 3DS won't be appearing until next year," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime.
Reggie's comments came during a taping of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon talk show and clarify what Nintendo has said all along, which is that the 3DS would ship before March 31, 2011. How much earlier remains to be seen, and given the early hype, it's possible Nintendo could push the release date back to buy some time to line up more supply.
Nintendo's 3DS console has been making headlines because of its ability to produce 3D images without requiring the viewer to don a pair of stereoscopic glasses.