Intel has released six new Xeon CPUs based on the Nehalem micro-architecture. Known as the 3400 series, all the chips will have RAID 0/1/5/10 for server operating systems, Error Correcting Code memory, and support for up to 32GB of server system memory. Intel also adds, in marketing-speak, that the 3400 series can "help small businesses grow".
Included in the new lineup is a low power version called the Intel Xeon L3426. The L3426 draws only 45W TDP, making it 188 percent more efficient than the previous generation Xeon X3380.
OEMs seem anxious to get the new chips into servers. Super Micro is already shipping a new line of 1U servers for the Xeon 3400 series. Amax also claims to have 1U server building blocks ready to go. The release coincides with the launch of a number of new MicroATX boards that could be driving adoption.
Nehalem for everyone! That simple sentence best explains Intel’s brand-new series of CPUs, which is sure to please budget users everywhere while confounding power users.
Why would a new CPU that gives you the best bang for the buck in town be greeted nervously? Because Intel’s new CPU brings with it a new socket as well as a new infrastructure. This new infrastructure is essentially a fork in the road that forces users to make a difficult choice: Save money today but get locked out of the high-end, or splurge today knowing that the budget CPU is damn near as good as the top-end part.
For the details on Intel’s new budget monster, savor our full report, consume the specs, and then digest the benchmarks to see just which path your next PC should take.
For motherboard manufacturers, it's 'out with the old and in with the new,' whether they're ready for the change or not. Citing un-named sources sitting in mobo trenches, DigiTimes says Intel plans to slash the proportion of its G31 IGP chipeset shipments in half, reducing the number from 50 percent to 25 percent in the fourth quarter.
At the same time, Intel also plans to raise the proportion of its G41 shipments to 25 percent, but it remains to be seen how this will play out in terms of sales. According to DigiTimes, motherboard makers appear unwilling to jump on the pricier G41 bandwagon, which costs $7 compared to $4-5 for the G31.
Meanwhile, there already exists a suppy gap of around 20 percent for G31 chipset-based boards, which could reach as high as 50 percent in the fourth quarter. Asrock, ECS, Foxconn, and MSI are expected to suffer the most, as they ship more entry-level boards than Asus and Gigabyte.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss, so if you just blew this month's rent by investing in a high performance, low capacity SSD instead, you may want to stop reading.
For those of you still with us, your decision to put off buying an SSD could pay off big time. In a massive report called "Intel's Braidwood: Death to SSDs?," research firm Objective Analysis points out that Intel's upcoming Braidwood NAND flash memory, which will reside directly on the motherboard, costs less to install and offers the same benefits of a discrete SSD.
"The move to NAND in PCs will boost the NAND market, soften the SSD and DRAM markets, and pose problems for thsoe NAND makers who are not poised to produce ONFi (open NAND flash interface) NAND flash," said Jim Handy, an Objective Analysis analyst who authored the report.
But while Objective Analysis has all but written the SSD market's obituary, Intel maintains it sees a "long life ahead for SSDs," saying the focus with Braidwood is not sheer performance, but added reliability.
They demonstrated Windows 7’s frugal power management by running a DVD on two identically configured ThinkPad T400s. The T400 running Windows 7 only consumed 15.4 watts, while its Vista-toting twin hogged 20.2 watts. The executives claimed that this translates into an additional battery life of 1.4 hours.
Citing un-named sources in the motherboard industry, news and rumor site DigiTimes says Intel will officially announce its new socket 1156-based desktop platform on September 8, 2009. This includes the Core i5 750, Core i7 860, and Core i7 870 processors, as well as the P55 motherboard chipset.
With anticipation for the new platform running high, motherboard makers expect sales to jump by 15 to 20 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter. P55-based boards are expected to account for 20 percent of all mobo shipments by the end of the year.
Still no word yet on pricing, although much to the chagrin of Intel, its upcoming platform has already been spotted in retail channels in Taiwan and China. The Core i5 750 was seen selling for $206, while the Core i7 860 and 870 were listed at $303 and $575, respectively.
In exactly one week from now, Asus will launch a pair of new ultra-thin notebooks built around Intel's upcoming 45nm Celeron 743 and SU2300 processors, according to the latest web chatter. The ultra-thins will ship first to Taiwan, China, and Europe before making their way to the U.S.
According to Asus president Jerry Shen, his company plans to aggressively pursue the ultra-thin market and says these types of portable PCs will account for 10 to 20 percent of Asus' total notebook shipments in the third quarter of 2009. And while there's no word yet on how much the two upcoming models will run, both will target the entry-level market with the Celeron 743 and SU3200 CPUs running just $107 and $134, respectively.
In related news, MSI is also expected to announce new ultra-thin laptops very soon, though details remain sparse.
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.
By all accounts Crysis is one of the most talked about PC first person shooters of all time. Few titles even come close to matching the graphical fidelity pumped out by CryEngine2, and let be honest here, this is still our go to game whenever we test out our upgraded rigs. Unfortunately developer Crytek perceived the PC exclusive title as sales dud with piracy projections as high as 20:1, and announced that it was abandoning PC only titles in favor of multiplatform development. Many feared this will lead to a dumbing down of the franchise, but it seems as though Crytek is working hard not only to produce a quality sequel, but also to design one of the most powerful multiplatform engines of all time.
Showcased for the first time at the Game Developers Conference Crytek demonstrated its real time development engine that simultaneously allows developers to make changes to a PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 version of a game. If CryEngine3 lives up to its potential, it could dramatically reduce development time – and cost. Crytek has also been working hard to integrate external tools such as Photoshop into the development environment to manipulate existing textures, and seamlessly inject them into a dynamic game world.
Many perceived the loss of Crytek as an exclusive PC developer to be a blow to our beloved platform, but if they help to design a tool that makes multiplatform releases this easy, we could well see a huge influx of new titles in the future that might have otherwise been console only. Would you agree?
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.