Intel's Haswell refresh for the desktop is presumably only weeks away at this point -- rumor has it the new parts will show up in retail in the second quarter of 2014 -- and while we'll have to wait until then for the full scoop, an online store is already posting pre-order prices and specs of 10 upcoming Haswell CPUs. Most of them boast minor speed bumps of 100MHz over their predecessors.
Maybe in the future, someone will invent self-expanding storage -- a hard drive that increases in capacity when you fill it up. That'd be cool, wouldn't it? Sadly, such technology doesn't yet exist, but on the bright side, HDD storage is pretty affordable these days. For example, check out today's top deal for a Western Digital 1TB IntelliPower 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive for $60 with free shipping (normally $77 - use coupon code: [EMCPHHB26]). WD is pitching this drive at AV buffs who need 24/7 reliability for always-on video streaming. It has 64MB of cache and various technologies like Preemptive Wear Leveling (PWR), which makes the drive arm frequently sweep across the disk to reduce uneven wear on the drive surface common to audio and video streaming applications.
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Latest SSDs from Intel use a 3rd generation controller built in-house
Intel on Thursday launched a new line of solid state drives built specifically for power users and enthusiasts. The new 730 Series enters the performance storage scene wielding 20nm MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash memory chips and a third generation Intel controller rather than SandForce silicon as found on the company's 530 Series. According to Intel, the 730 Series was built with DNA extracted from the data center and tuned for gamers and other consumers that require speed and reliability.
Thinking about water cooling? There's a lot of research and planning that goes into piecing together a custom solution, or you can roll with a maintenance-free all-in-one kit. Lots of them exist, including one that's part of today' top deal -- a Cooler Master Nepton 280L All-in-One CPU Liquid Cooling System for $120 with free shipping (normally $140; additional $20 mail-in-rebate). This cooler has a 280mm radiator, two JetFlo fans, and an illuminated waterblock.
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New SoCs give Intel a greater presence in the mobile sector
The mobile device category is dominated by ARM-based processors, and that's something that doesn't sit well with Intel. The Santa Clara chip maker is used to being on top of the semiconductor world, and in the mobile space, Intel will attempt to wrestle some share away from ARM with its new 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor, otherwise known as Merrifield, which is a quad-core part intended for Android devices.
If we woke up today only to find that we'd somehow been transported back 15 years to 1999, we'd be talking about Nvidia's first GeForce-branded graphics card, the GeForce 256 (NV10). In fact, Nvidia marketed the card as having the world's first GPU since it was the first to integrate a geometry transform engine, dynamic lighting engine, 4-pixel rendering pipeline, and DirectX 7 features onto the graphics chip. Returning to the present day, we're still talking about Nvidia's GeForce cards, only today's variants are much more advanced. One of them is also the topic of today's top deal -- an EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics Card w/ ACX Cooler for $517 with free shipping (normally $600 - use coupon code: [EMCPHHP24]; additional $20 mail-in-rebate and Free Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with purchase). This card has 2,304 CUDA cores and 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit bus -- stats that would have sounded like gibberish 15 years ago.
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The analytical folks at Jon Peddie Research (JPR) say there's evidence to show the graphics market may have bottomed out and is now slowly recovering, though cautioned it's still a bit premature to make any concrete determination. That said, graphics shipments increased 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which is the second quarter in a row that shipments have been up sequentially.
Feeling sluggish? Try guzzling a large cup of coffee or a Red Bull. Works like a charm and makes us wish we could dump a cup of joe into a sluggish system to give it some pep in its step. Unfortunately, that would have the exact opposite effect. However, change out that aging hard drive for a solid state drive and your system will find new life. You have a bunch to choose from, including today's top deal for an Intel 335 Series Jay Crest 2.5-inch 240GB SSD for $150 with free shipping (normally $160 - use coupon code: [EMCPHWB86]). This drive uses MLC NAND flash memory and is rated to deliver up to 500MB/s sequential reads and 450MB/s sequential writes.
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Intel today announced its Xeon E7 v2 line of processors featuring the industry's largest memory support (1.5TB per socket versus 1TB per socket delivered by alternative architectures), which enables the chips to rapidly analyze large data sets and deliver real-time insights based on a vast amount of diverse data. The processors are intended for mission critical computing chores.
New Haswell processors may arrive a month ahead of schedule
It seems like we hear something new everyday by hanging around the CPU rumor mill. Once again, Intel is at the center of speculation, though instead of talking about delays, rumor has it the Santa Clara chip maker is planning to launch its refreshed Haswell line a month early. That means new Haswell processors could appear just a few weeks from now, in April, rather than May as originally planned.