Jonesing for some performance improved, energy-efficient Ivy Bridge action? You’re going to be waiting for a bit. Just how long is up in the air. Intel’s been mum on release date details for the upcoming line of CPUs, but for the most part, sources have been saying that we’ll see the 22nm chips in May. DigiTimes claims that date may a bit off, however; it points to April 8th as the launch date, and even names the names of models we can expect to see on that date.
Ah, network attached storage; whether you’re building your own or buying premade, nothing beats a NAS box when it comes to storing and streaming media files across a network. For the most part, NAS boxes offer a stripped-down interface and very few bells and whistles, making them fairly energy-efficient compared to full-fledged PCs. Hey – aren’t netbooks low-powered too? Yep, and now that most everybody’s passing up netbooks in favor of tablets, a new report says that Intel may be planning to shift some focus for its low-powered Atom chips from netbooks to NAS boxes.
Keep it simple, stupid: amongst the major computer suppliers out there, only – gasp! – Apple truly lives by the basic axiom. And while us DIY-loving Maximum PC types prefer options, big companies prefer making money for their stockholders, and they’ve noted the monetary bonanza Apple’s drawing in with its slim pickings. If you read the lead news story in our January issue, you already know that analysts expect HP to reduce its number of products next year, and now, a report says Acer plans on taking “slim and trim” to the next level and cutting its lineup by two-thirds of its current size in 2012.
Even though ultrabooks have managed very little in the two months that they have been around, chipmaker Intel and its PC vendor chums remain hopeful. And to be fair they are right in doing so as there is still a long way to go before we can start judging the category. While most people feel that the category could do with better specs and pricing, there are those who believe ultrabooks with touchscreens are all that is needed for a turnaround.
Netflix shareholders haven't been thrilled with Netflix's direction the past few months. After announcing a spin-off of its DVD-by-mail rental business and higher prices for streaming and DVD services combined, subscribers raged until Netflix reversed course on severing its DVD arm, but the company didn't relent on recent price hikes. It's been paying a price in subscriber losses ever since. Enter unhappy investors, though talk of Verizon taking over the streaming service has them smiling once again.
One hit wonders stick in our collective consciousness, but it pays to diversify – just ask MC Hammer. Along those lines, Zalman – which you probably know mainly for its lineup of cooling gear and PSUs – may be preparing to spread its wings and expand into the ultra-competitive world of Radeon graphics cards, if some slides leaked to the Web over the weekend turn out to be legit.
When it comes to PCs, AMD processors are the only thing keeping Intel from complete and utter market domination. But could the plucky little David (OK, AMD's actually pretty pretty big) be preparing to throw in the towel against Intel’s x86 Goliath? A couple of comments by AMD spokesmen over the past few days makes the company's future on the PC seem much more hazy than it did just a few weeks ago, when Bulldozer launched.
Despite affordability being an integral part of Intel’s ultrabook vision, PC vendors are finding it difficult to honor the $1,000 price cap stipulated by the chip maker. If it’s the price that’s keeping you from buying your first ultrabook, you might not have to wait all that long now for a dip in ultrabook prices. Hit the jump for more.
For better or worse, Asus has every intention of riding the growing tablet wave, no matter what else you might have heard. And what we heard earlier this week was that Asus, along with Acer, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, were likely to bow out of the tablet market now that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have both joined the fray. That prompted speculation that maybe Asus and others were giving up competing for Android and were going to wait for Windows 8, perhaps in a mad grab for enterprise dollars. Nope, that's wrong too.
Intel’s spiffy Sandy Bridge processors haven’t even been available for a year yet, and already their doomsday clock is ticking. Ivy Bridge, the slimmer, trimmer 22nm next generation version of Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge processors, are barreling down fast. So fast, in fact, that you can already pick up motherboards built to accommodate Ivy Bridge’s PCIe 3.0 support. But when is Ivy Bridge actually going to hit? Intel will only say “Early 2012,” but one source claims to know a more specific time frame.