Nvidia this week released a new set of mobile GPU GeForce drivers, version 186.03 (WHQL certified). The new drivers support GeForce 8M, 9M, 100M, and 200M-series notebook graphics.
Several new features come with the GeForce 186.03 release, including full OpenGL 3.0 support, support for CUDA 2.2, and support of Ambient Occlusion, which Nvidia says "adds realism to scenes by reducing the intensity of ambient lights on surfaces blocked by surrounding objects." Lots of double-digit performance upgrades are included, too:
Up to 25 percent faster in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Up to 22 percent faster in Crysys: Warhead with antialiasing enabled
Up to 11 percent faster in Fallout 3 with antialiasing enabled
Up to 14 percent faster in Far Cry 2
Up to 45 percent faster in Mirror's Edge with antialiasing enabled
Dell owners take note - before downloading the new drivers, Nvidia says anyone who owns a Dell Inspiron 1420, Dell XPS M1330, or Dell XPS M1530 should first install an SBIOS update, found here.
Acer is planning to launch a 15.6-inch notebook which will support full 3D at the end of October, according to Campell Kan, Acer’s Vice President of the Mobile Computing Business Unit.
The notebook, which has been developed with Wistron, will come with built-in software that can convert 2D movies to 3D, and will fully support 3D movies. Users will be required to wear stereoscopic glasses for the 3D to work, but Acer is working on a model that will remove the need for these.
Since the machine will come with Windows 7, Acer is holding off on their release and pricing information until Microsoft starts shipping the OS.
Amongst their many announcements this week at Computex, Acer also released information about a new, ultrathin laptop aimed at professionals.
The yet unnamed notebook will come with a 13.3-inch screen, up to 4GB of RAM, Intel’s GMA 4500MHD GPU with 64MB of memory (or an upgraded ATI Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB), a multitouch trackpad, 8+ hour battery life, WiFi, three USB ports, a built in mic, a headphone jack and Ethernet.
No word of price, but it’ll reportedly be available sometime next month.
Back in October 2008 Apple introduced the buttonless trackpad with their newest generation of MacBooks. Now, at long last, Synaptics is posed to bring them to smaller PC notebooks and netbooks.
At Computex Synaptics is currently demonstrating their implementation of the new trackpad, which they’re calling the ClickPad. Currently supported gestures include two-finger scrolling, two-finger PinchZoom, two-finger pivot rotate, three-finger flick, and three-finger press gestures (and, if you were worried about this type of thing – you can right-click by tapping down on the ClickPad with two fingers, as opposed to one).
This technology will be available to OEMs in Q3 of 2009.
As we told you about earlier today, Intel is taking the Pentium brand name for another go-round, this time for its CULV processors for ultra-thin notebooks. And Intel has wasted no time in rolling out the first CULV processor to get the Pentium name, the Pentium SU2700.
Typically, a new Intel processor is matched with a new chipset, and in this case, the Pentium SU2700's running mate is the Intel GS40 Express chipset. The Intel GS40 Express chipset includes integrated graphics that support MPEG4/H.264 video acceleration, integrated HDMI output, and acceleration for Windows Vista's Aero desktop. The GS40 also supports dual-channel DDR3 memory running at 667 or 800MHz and an 800MHz system bus. The GS40 is paired with the ICH9M I/O Controller hub to provide up to six PCI Express x1 I/O ports, up to four Serial ATA host adapters, Intel HD audio, and up to 12 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports. For a schematic diagram and much more technical information about the GS40 and ICH9M, download the Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family Graphics Memory Controller Hub (G)MCH Specification Update (PDF format).
We don't expect to see any more Blue Man Group commercials, but making a comeback is the near-dead Pentium brand name. This time around, Intel plans to use the Pentium nomenclature for its ultra-thin notebooks, which will help separate the higher powered portables from netbooks.
The fear has always been that the highly popular netbook segment would ultimately cut into sales of higher priced notebooks. By bringing back the Pentium name, Intel will attempt to protect the sales of netbooks -- and it's Atom line -- while at the same time push customers into pricier notebooks with higher profit margins.
"We think that the ultra-thin laptos augurs in an era where more and more people will be taking their laptop out on the go without compromising performance," said Uday Marty, director of product marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group.
Meanwhile, AMD has kept the Athlon brand going with the recent announcement of Athlon II. However, unlike Intel, AMD has thus far avoided using the netbook term altogether.
And so it begins. AVADirect announced the upcoming availability of its Clevo D900F laptop, and what makes this special is it's the first one to incorporate Intel's Core i7 processor, company claims.
"By using a desktop Core i7 processor, the notebook is able to enjoy all the benefits that accompany this hardware platform," AVADirect said in a statement. "Some of the benefits include triple-channel memory, a first ever in a notebook design."
Everything about the Clevo D900F screams desktop replacement, and does so in a big way. The tri-channel memory (up to 12GB of it) comes clocked at 1333MHz "with 1600MHz on the horizon." And if a Core i7 wasn't enough, AVADirect also crams Nvidia's GTX 280M graphics into the mix.
So what does Intel think about a Core i7-based notebook?
"While Intel does not encourage manufacturers to use desktop processors for notebook designs, manufacturers are going to use our processor in many different and innovative ways," an Intel spokesperson said.
You an pre-order the Clevo D900F now starting at $2,500. Shipping will begin next month.
Just recently MSI introduced two more additions to their army of laptops with the GT729 and EX723.
The GT729 has been aimed towards gamers, packing a Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of RAM, a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850, WiFi, a 17-inch LCD, 2 megapixel webcam, optional Bluetooth, HDMI and VGA outputs, three USB ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, audio in/out ports, an ExpressCard slot, up to 500GB of HDD space, a Blue-ray drive and your choice of a 6 or 9-cell battery.
The EX723 is working its way towards the multimedia types, packing nearly the same stats as the GT729 with a few exceptions, including the GPU, which will be a GeForce G110M. It’ll also have a storage cap of 320GB and a 1440x900 17-inch LCD.
Alienware is set to debut it’s new “allpowerful” gaming notebook at E3 next week, but conveniently enough, the detailed specs have been broken early by Gizmodo and I forced myself to read this twice just to make sure I wasn’t mistakenly looking at a desktop. The m17x crams in two 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280m graphics cards, along with the new Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad.
It can also optionally be configured with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333, a 1TB hard drive (or optional 512GB SSD), as well as blue ray. Another amazing feature is the crystal clear 1920x1200 17” display, a resolution that is still somewhat rare in the notebook category. Additionally, since we all know this type of graphics horsepower can be somewhat power hungry, if your looking to do non-gaming tasks, it also has a build in Nvidia 9400M to help with battery life if all you need is aero glass. As for input/outputs, it comes with an impressive load out of options which includes 4USB, eSATA, as well as Display Port & HDMI.
The pricing is expected to start at around $1,800, but don’t expect to get all the features listed above at that price point.
We don't know if this will become a trend, but accident-prone gamers have little to fear with iBuyPower's new Battalion 101 CZ-10 gaming laptop. The release kicks off the company's new accidental damage protection plan, which comes standard on the Battalion and has gamers' backs in the event of spills or drops.
"We felt it was time to refresh our mainstream gaming notebook line," said Darren Su, VP of iBuyPower. "We are excited by the features and exceptional coverage we are able to offer with the CZ-10 Premium at a very competitive price."
Less exciting is the 15.6-inch Battalion's mishmash of both high and lower end components. Starting from the top and working our way down, the 101 CZ-10 comes equipped with Intel's Core 2 Duo Mobile T9550 processor (2.266GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics, 8X DVD burner, and a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM.
Other features include four USB 2.0 slots, HDMI, 3-in-1 media card reader, finger print scanner, and 6-cell battery.
The Battalion is available now starting at $1,235.