Going toe to toe with Apple's crazy popular iPod Touch is no easy task, but that's exactly what Microsoft will do with its new Zune player, and it isn't shy about saying so. The software giant this week confirmed plans to release the Zune HD this fall, which will be made available only in the U.S. at launch.
"This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch," Chris Stephenson, general manger of global marketing for Microsoft Zune, said in a telephone interview with CNet.
Helping it do that will be an OLED touchscreen and HD Radio tuner. The Zune HD will be based on Windows CE with a version of Internet Explorer customized for its touchscreen, Microsoft said. The company also indicated that Zune owners will be able to play HD content on their televisions with a dock.
Expect to see the Zune HD become the definitive Zune product going forward," Stephenson said. "You will continue to see the hard drive product in the market. (The Zune HD) will take over from existing flash devices."
Psystar, the company responsible for the 'Open Computer' and a continual thorn in Apple's side, has filed for bankruptcy protection. According to court papers, Psystar owes more than $250,000 to shipping companies, the IRS, and its attorneys.
"Debtor sales have been greatly affected by the decrease in consumer spending," Psystar said in a statement. "The financial crisis has also caused creditors to tighten up their terms and become more demanding for immediate payment."
Psystar gained notoriety for taking on Apple by selling computer systems equipped with Mac OS X. In July of last year, Apple sued the company for copyright infringement, however that lawsuit has now been temporarily suspended until the bankruptcy protection goes through proceedings.
There's a reason Intel's Celeron line has consistently proven popular among overclockers. Out of CPU-Z's top 20 list of highest clocked CPUs, Celeron chips -- most of them of the Celeron 347 variety -- occupy 12 spots, or 60 percent of the list. And recently setting a new record for the No. 2 spot, Belgian overclocker 'Blind' from Madshrimps pushed his Celeron 352 chip (Cedarmill core) to 8.116GHz.
In order to ramp up that high, Blind used the Dragon F1 Extreme Edition LN2 cooler with gum filling the gaps around the socket to prevent condensation. It took nearly 1.9V to coax the Celeron past 8GHz, well above its stock 1.3V rating.
Such high voltages and extreme cooling methods limit the usefulness to chasing overclocking records as opposed to any kind of day-to-day operations, but we'll admit to being impressed at seeing a 3.2GHz Celeron achieve almost a 5GHz OC. And hey, reaching 5.7GHz on air isn't too shabby either.
As netbooks continue to grow in size, you might be left wondering where netbooks end and traditional notebooks begin. The answer is 10.2 inches, assuming news and rumor site DigiTimes has been fed accurate information. Citing un-named sources at Taiwan-based ODM notebook makers, DigiTimes says Microsoft and Intel agreed to decrease the screen-size ceiling for netbooks running Windows 7 from 12.1 inches to 10.2 inches.
Should the restriction be put in place, it would spell the end for 11.6-inch Atom Zxx-based netbooks once Windows 7 launches, the sources said. It could also hamper VIA, who doesn't put any restrictions on how vendors use its CPUs and chipsets. VIA-based netbooks larger than 10.2 inches wouldn't qualify for the lower Windows 7 licensing rates, thereby potentially taking away any advantage VIA might have had in the 11-inch and above market.
Originally scheduled to debut in July, DigiTimes says Intel has gone ahead and postponed the launch of its Core i5 platform until the first half of September, or so that's what "sources at motherboard makers" have been telling them.
Bummer, right? Maybe not. The news and rumor site went on to say that Core i5 processors will show up in the retail sector by late August, with P55-based motherboards surfacing in mid-August. So to sum it up, Core i5 has been delayed until September, but Core i7 will be available in August. Color us confused.
As it currently stands, Core i5 will launch in three speed grades: 2.93GHz, 2.8GHz,and 2.66GHz for $562, $284, and $196, respectively (thousand-unit trays).
XFX has been full of surprises this past year. Five months ago, the one time Nvidia partner announced it would start selling ATI-brand videocards, and now the GPU maker wants to start dabbling in power supplies. An increasingly popular segment, OCZ, Corsair, and BFG are all semi-recent entrants into the PSU landscape.
For XFX's part, the GPU maker looks to kick off its PSU line with the XFX 850 Black Edition (XPS-850W-BES). According to a PowerPoint being shown at Computex, the modular unit boasts "high quality Japansese brand capacitors (105C)," 850W of continuous power at 50C, up to 88 percent efficiency (enough to qualify for the 80 Plus Silver badge), and a single +12V rail providing up to 70A, or 840W.
Though modular, the Black Edition PSU will sport a handful of fixed connections, namely a single 20/24-pin ATX connector, both a 4/8-pin and 8-pin EPS12V connector, and two 6/8-pin PCI-E connectors. Modular cables include two more PCI-E 6/8-pin, a whopping 11 SATA connectors, eight 4-pin Molex connectors, and two 4-pin FDD connectors.
Looks pretty impressive on paper, but what do you think about the aesthetics? Hit the jump and post your thoughts!
Biostar today adds to its T-Series motherboard lineup, this time with a hybrid board capable of running both DDR2 and DDR3 memory (not at the same time).
"Needless to say, the double DDR2/DDR3 design make it possible for users to enjoy better compatibility and cost saving on future memory upgrade," Biostar wrote in a press release. "This motherboard also supports Biostar's exclusive G.P.U. energy-saving technology."
The TP45E Combo motherboard dedicates two slots to each memory standard with support for up to 4GB of DDR3-800/1066/1333, and up to 8GB of DDR2-667/800/1066. Other notables include "whole solid capacitors," 1600MHz frontside bus support, 3 PCI slots, 2 PCI-E x1 slots, a single PCI-E Gen2 x16 slot, 6 SATA ports, and 5.1 surround sound.
AMD already offers a handful of chips built on a 45nm manufacturing process, but if what motherboard makers are telling news and rumor site DigiTimes turns out to be true, the No. 2 chip maker will fully embrace 45nm for its desktop parts next quarter. These include dual-core Phenom II X2 500 series and Athlon II X2 200 series in June, followed by quad-core Athlon II X4 600 series and triple-core Athlon II X3 400 series in September.
In addition, AMD has a few new CPUs on tap for an end of Q2 / beginning of Q3 release. DigiTimes says we'll see the Phenom X2 550 and 545 both launch by the end of the second quarter, and the quad-core Phenom II X4 945 (95W) and 8xx (95W), triple-core Phenom II X3 7xx (95W), quad-core Athlon II X4 630 and 620, triple-core Athlon II X3 435 and 425, and dual-core Ahtlon II X2 250, 245, and 240 all in the third quarter. This in addition to 10 low-power CPUs.
The Tripticon laser mouse isn't nearly as awesome as the Ravage USB flash drive, nor does it look particularly ergonomic. And at only 800 dpi, there's not much more here than meets the eye. But it is another Decepticon peripheral for your PC, which makes us wonder where the Autobots have been hiding (here's one!)
At last count, BigBadToyStore.com was offering almost half a dozen Transformer peripherals, the coolest of which just might be the Blaster USB hub (hey, another Autobot!).
Catch the full lineup here, then hit the jump and tell us which one is your favorite.
We're not sure what it is about Corsair and May 20, but on that same date last year, the memory maker set a world record for DDR3 memory frequency by pushing its Dominator kit to 2462MHz. Fast forward a year later, and on May 20, 2009, Corsair Labs announced it had coaxed 2533MHz out of a 6GB triple channel DDR3 Dominator GT kit, which the company says is the highest frequency ever achieved on a Core i7 platform using three modules.
"When it comes to overclocking and memory, Corsair has proven -- once again -- that its engineering team truly is the best," said Kevein Conley, Vice President of Engineering for Corsair. "As the new world record shows, Corsair's modules are second-to-none in terms of performance, stability, and quality."
To set the new mark, Corsair slapped a Dominator GT 2000C7 tri-channel kit into an Evga X58 3X Classified motherboard and ran fairly aggressive 7-8-7-20 timings. Other components included an Intel Core i7 Extreme 975 processor, GeForce 8800 GTS videocard, and a Corsair P256 SSD.