Nvidia on Tuesday announced that Hewlett Packard's flagship Z800 workstation computer is configurable with up to two Nvidia Tesla GPUs.
"The adoption of Tesla GPUs is the fastest of any new processor technology in the history of HPC," said Andy Keane, general manager of Tesla business at Nvidia. "We are delighted to see a leader such as HP begin to ship Tesla GPU-enabled systems into the market and to help accelerate the work of their customers."
Nvidia's Tesla GPUs differ from standard graphics chips in that Tesla is built using the company's massively parallel CUDA architecture, featuring 240 cores per processor. Tesla-based hardware solutions are designed for CAD/CAM,CE, computational finance, computational fluid dynamics, geographic information services, imaging, life sciences, and other high performance tasks.
In addition to up to two Tesla GPUs, HP's Z800 comes configurable with an Intel Xeon 5500 quad-core processor, Intel 5520 chipset, 4MB or 8MB of processor cache, and up to 192GB of DDR3-1333 memory.
We’re unabashed fans of HP’s Touch-Smart desktop machines, so we were really looking forward to getting our digits on the new technology in a convertible touch-screen notebook PC. But our eager anticipation only made the reality of the TouchSmart tx2 all that more disappointing.
This is the first convertible touch-screen PC designed for the consumer market, and its underlying hardware—which in our review unit included AMD’s best mobile CPU—delivered enough horsepower for this machine’s touch-screen elements. Benchmark performance, on the other hand, was dismal (more on that later).
You can use the TouchSmart tx2 as a conventional notebook PC or rotate its 12.1-inch screen 180 degrees, lay it flat, and use the machine’s tablet functionality. The 1280x800 touch screen uses active digitizing technology and supports the use of either a fingertip or a digital pen (as opposed to the simple stylus that HP shipped with its first-generation TouchSmart desktops). The digital pen delivers hover feedback (it doesn’t have to touch the screen to activate user-interface elements, such as tooltips) and considerably more precision than a fingertip.
Citing those ever-elusive "market sources," news and rumor site DigiTimes says 3D notebook displays are just around the corner. More specifically, Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) just finished developing an 18.4-inch 3D notebook display, which will ultimately end up in the hands of Hewlett Packard.
According to DigiTimes' sources, HP plans on releasing notebooks using the 3D panel sometime in the second half of 2009, perhaps as early as next month. In addition to 3D capabilities, the panels will also boast full HD resolution and a 120Hz frame rate.
The sources also added that CMO is churning out ultra-thin displays for use on 11.6-, 14-, and 15.6-inch CULV notebooks, though it's unclear whether these will also feature 3D capabilities.
Engineers working together from Fusion-io and Hewlett Packard were able to achieve about 1 million IOPS (input/output per second) and 8GB/s sustained throughput in a custom-built HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server with four quad-core AMD Opteron processors. To reach the high level of IOPS, the server included five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives.
"The ioDrive and ioDrive Duo are to supply the extreme storage performance (for data centers) at a fraction of the power, cooling, and per unit-of-processing-power price compared to traditional solutions," said David Flynn, chief technology officer of Fusion-io, in a statement.
The ioDrive and ioDrive Duos used consist of single level cell (SLC) flash memory and come rated for 48 years with the company's wear leveling algorithm. Both drives also utilize the PCI-E interface.
HP's sexy 12-inch DV2 laptop sports an even sexier price tag, assuming you don't mind going mobile with AMD inside. In this case, it's AMD's Neo MV-40 processor (1.6GHz) that's inside, which the company previously stated would foucs on ultrathin notebooks and fill a gap between low-powered netbooks and higher priced notebooks.
Measuring less than an inch thick and checking in at under 4 pounds, other specs stuffed in the 12-inch chassis include 4GB of DDR2 memory, AMD's ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 graphics card, a 320GB 5400RPM hard drive, 8X DVD burner with LightScribe, 802.11a/b/g/n, 3 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, and Altec Lansing speakers.
Initial reactions to Windows 7 has been, for the most part, pretty positive, enough so that some have admitted to using the beta as their primary OS. The general consensus is that Windows 7 is what Vista should have been all along, but that doesn't mean there won't still be demand for XP when the new OS ships.
Citing a "source within Hewlett Packard," AppleInsider says the OEM has been granted an extension to continue selling Windows XP on its business desktops, workstations, and notebooks instead of Windows 7 for another year. Microsoft appears to have been reluctant to grant the extension, reiterating that the nearly eight-year-old OS is on its last legs.
"It’s important to remind customers that Microsoft are still planning to retire XP Pro Mainstream support on April 14th 2009 and will only provide OS security updates beyond that date unless the customer has an Extended Hotfix Support contract. MS Extended Support for XP Pro ends on April 8th 2014," the source was quoted as saying.
As of right now, HP is the only one being reported to have brokered a deal, but it will interesting to see if other OEMs soon follow suit.
Highlighting one of the benefits of using an open-source OS, Hewlett Packard has released a custom version of Ubuntu intended for netbooks, and more specifically, for the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition. The custom OS is built around Ubuntu 8.04 and comes preloaded with the usual software suspects, plus a few more.
The main difference between Hardy Heron and HP's customized version comes down to the GUI, and it appears HP went to some length to make its OS stand out from Ubuntu. Booting up the HP Mini 1000 Mi takes users to a screen with a web search bar, a favorite websites list, and various shortcuts to music and photos on a black background. The Program Launcher separates applications into different categories, and a custom media player called HP MediaStype offers a full screen interface to scroll through your media.
Some of HP's netbooks already come preinstalled with the custom OS, but the OEM also plans to offer a utility in the coming days to turn a Windows XP HP Mini 1000 into a Mi Edition netbook.
Earlier this month HP launched its Ubuntu'd Mini 1000 Mi, and even more recently, several 1100-series netbooks starting appearing on the company's website, but there weren't any details to speak of. While these new netbooks remain unannounced, HP has apparently been busy updating its product specifications page for the 1133CL, 1135NR, 1140NR, and 1141NR.
Despite the different model numbers, only the lack of Bluetooth on the 1133CL and 1141NR seem to be a differentiating factor. All four netbooks are listed as having an Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz) processor, 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, 10.1-inch display, 802.11b/g, HD audio, 2-in-1 media card reader, and an ExpressCard/54 slot.
HP’s TouchSmart line of all-in-one desktop computers has undergone quite a transformation since we examined the very first model, the IQ770, nearly two years ago. Not only is every change for the better, but HP has managed to slash prices by several hundred dollars.
Any sports fan will tell you that regardless of a team's record, first place is still first place (deep, isn't it?). So in that respect, Hewlett-Packard can still claim victory as the world's top supplier of desktops and notebooks. The only problem is HP is the top dog in a weak economy, which is kind of like a sports team taking the top spot in a weak division (we're looking at you, Arizona Cardinals).
Putting aside the sports analogy (and go Cardinals, btw), overall shipments of both desktops and notebooks dropped in the fourth quarter of 2008, which had a significant impact on the PC market, according to Gartner and IDC. But if there's a silver lining, it's that despite the Q4 slide, overall PC shipments for 2008 increased by a tad over 2 percent with 68 million units shipped. It should come as no surprise that netbooks helped drive the overall market.
"In the fourth quarter, if you had to pick a bright spot, the surge of mininotebooks in the PC [market] has helped drive growth," said Doug Bell, an analyst with IDC. "The Catch-22 is that these are inexpensive machines and that means total revenue is down. As far as volume goes, it helped a very tough fourth quarter."
For HP's part, the oem topped 15 million units in Q4 2008, representing a 3 percent increase over one year prior. Dell lost some footing with a 6 percent drop, and Acer has been gaining momentum with a 25 percent increase over Q4 2007.