It's one thing to relaunch a PC series with refreshed components, as many system builders are doing now that Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and Nvidia's Kepler GPUs are both hot to trot, but it's another thing entirely to do it with the amount of awesomesauce Velocity Micro poured into its Overdrive BigBlock.GTX system that highlights the relaunch of the company's Overdrive PC brand.
Welcome to the world of digital media, a world where its inhabitants are constantly looking over the shoulder for fear of pickpockets. This fear is prevalent throughout the digital music industry, and apparently eBook publishers are just as skittish. In case we need to be reminded of this, just look at Penguin's recent departure from the OverDrive lending service.
Sprint isn't actually selling iPads, but Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told GigaOm that it's seen brisk sales of its Overdrive 3G/4G modem to iPad owners. The iPad is available in a Wi-Fi-only flavor, as well as one that supports AT&T's 3G bands. Verizon recently began selling the tablet in-store bundled with a Verizon MiFi.
Both the Overdrive and MiFi are mobile data devices that create a small Wi-Fi hotspot. Consumers that are in areas with Sprint's 4G WiMAX technology have reason to pick up an overdrive, but that's only available in 55 cities. If anything, this just shows how anxious people are to get an iPad with mobile data that isn't tied to AT&T.
AMD could really use a compelling CPU launch to win back favor among enthusiasts and turn its financial struggles around, and the company hopes its upcoming Phenom II processor line will do just that. Last month the chip maker demoed a Phenom II being overclocked on a variety of cooling solutions culminating with a 5GHz run using LN2, and now end-users putting the Phenom II's overclocking prowess to the test are seeing similar results.
During Tom's Hardware's Overdrive overclocking finals in Paris, teams from all over the world competed for the highest scores using Intel's Core i7 platform, but AMD's Phenom II also made an appearance. With the help of one of the competitors, the news and review site took the 940 Phenom X4 BE II from its stock 3GHz frequency up to 4.957GHz using a Gigabyte motherboard and liquid nitrogen cooling. Ironically, the extreme cooling may have prevented the quad-core chip's overclocking ceiling, as Tom's Hardware claims "it has an issue of locking at temperatures below -70°C."
Not many system builders are going to interested in keeping a supply of LN2 handy, but what's interesting to note is the frequency headroom AMD's next generation Phenom chips appear to offer. During AMD's demo, the 45nm quad-core chip still broke the 4GHz barrier on air and water cooling, which bodes well for Phenom II and perhaps AMD's immediate future.
AMD is expected to launch Phenom II in January 2009.