It was at the beginning of 2008 that the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war came to an end, and it looks like the beginning of 2009 is going to see the start of a new battle. Blu-ray just got a new competitor, and if maker Royal Digital Media can deliver on their promises, it could mean big trouble for Sony’s format.
News of the new format broke by way of a press release from DreamStream, who RDM has contracted to provide military-grade, 2,048-bit encryption for the discs. Compared to Blue-rays paltry 128-bit encryption, the new format should prove significantly more of a challenge to crack, which must look good to publishers looking to protect their IP.
RDM says that their as-of-yet-unnamed HD disk will be able to hold 100GB of data, and will support 1920p video. That means that a single disc will be able to hold about 4 hours of super-HD content.
The best part about RDM’s new format? According to the press release, it’s based on “inexpensive red laser technology” and therefore the discs and players will cost about as much as traditional DVDs and players.
The format is scheduled to launch as soon as the beginning of 2009. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can keep their promises. If they can, is this going to spell the end of Blue-ray? Tell us what you think after the jump.
We know what you’re thinking, what more could a motherboard vendor put on the PCB that would convince anyone to part with $400? Asus thinks its latest Rampage II Extreme board in the Republic of Gamer’s series will do it.
This X58-based Core i7 board features support both Tri-SLI and CrossFire X, six DDR3 DIMM slots, EAX 4.0 software support, an audio card riser, heat pipes, LCD poster displays and a joystick and probe ports to connect your multi-tester.
What the hell do you need a joystick on a mobo for? Using the provided small single-line LCD display, you can toggle voltages, overclocking profiles or clock speeds. Want even more insane features? The board features probe ports to connect a multi-meter to the motherboard to read direct voltages for the RAM, southbridge, PCI-E, CPU, QPI and CPU PLL’s.
One feature the board doesn’t have that we expected was support for Nvidia’s nForce 200 chip. Instead of the Nvidia hardware, Asus has SLI certification for up to three-way SLI in a x16/x8/x8 configuration. There’s no word as to whether Asus plans to offer a board with an nForce 200 part in it yet.
Web magazine Yanko Design sports a tag line that reads 'Form over function,' but one of its newest entries, the Glide Keyboard from Weston Boege, appears to have neither. The conceptial keyboard/mouse hybrid is a design that attempts to fuse both input devices into a single product. Underneath the keyboard would sit an optical sensor for tracking the keyboard's movement, and low friction pads purportedly make it easy to nudge the peripheral around your desk space. Let's break this one down.
We like funky looking gadgets just as much as the next person, but apart from the black and white color scheme, we're not impressed by the Glide Keyboard's looks.
We're not exactly sure what problem the Glide Keyboard has been designed to solve. Is it supposed to help users with limited desk space for multiple peripherals? If so, moving a full sized keyboard around in cramped confines just seems like a bad idea.
Maybe the picture misrepresents what the final product is supposed to look like, but from our angle, the curved plank won't be doing any favors for your fatigued digits. And what do you do when you reach the end of your keyboard tray before the on-screen cursor reaches its destination? Pick up the keyboard and reposition it? No thanks.
That's our opinion - what's yours? Hit the jump and sound off.
Citing un-named sources at channel vendors in China, DigiTimes says that Foxconn Electronics (otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry) may be jumping out of the branded motherboard market. The overseas rumors stem from Foxconn reportedly cutting off its sales department from taking any new orders on select motherboard models, in addition to no longer putting together order volume forecasts for all of its new models. In other words, the company looks to be clearing its inventory.
While power users typically levitate towards the likes of Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI, Foxconn is far from being a small player in the motherboard market. The company has seen steady growth since shipping six million of its own branded boards back in 2005, and surpassed the 10 million mark in 2007. Estimated shipments for 2008 have the company seeing an annual growth of around 30 percent.
As some of you may recall, we featured a Budget Badass Buyer’s Guide at the beginning of the month to provide some guidance to those looking for solid performance at what we, Maximum PC, would consider to be a reasonable price. We read your responses to the build and many felt that $1500 was a bit over what the typical user would consider “budget.” So, we took it a step further and created a Budget PC below the $1500 mark. In fact, we even dropped it under $1000. At $800, we couldn’t quite figure out if it would even be possible to construct a PC that could play the latest games or even do some basic photo-manipulation in Photoshop. We stepped up to the challenge and built this Budget PC and put it to the test against our hardcore, $5000 machines to see how they match up.
Since we are still in the process of assembling the rig, benchmarks have yet to be run. For now, we give you our parts list. Check back soon for the results from our tests!
Toshiba this week announced what it claims is the "industry's largest density SLC NAND chip at 16Gb." The claim comes from the company's new lineup of 43nm Single-Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory products available in densities ranging from 512Mbits on up to 64Gbits.
"The new ranges includes three products, 16Gb, 32Gb, and 64Gb, which integrate monolithic 16Gb chips, the highest density SLC NAND chips available," Toshiba said in a press release.
Up until this point, Toshiba's production of SLC chips has been confined to 56nm and 70nm process technologies. Taking the density down to 43nm, Toshiba is touting both the read and write performance of the new parts, as well as the reliability in terms of write and erase cycles.
Devices using the new chips, including mobile phones, office automation equipment, and servers will start showing up in the market in 2009.
The masterminds at Puget Systems have decided to make the most of their extremely popular YouTube video, and offer a DIY kit so that the public can create their own mineral oil-cooled PC. Puget is claiming hat they’ve been using the system featured in their video for over a year now with no hardware issues.
Each kit will come fully loaded with an aquarium tank and cover, motherboard tray and IO panel, power/HDD LED’s, a power switch, SSD hard drive mounting bracket and a power cord with an extension to reach the bottom of the tank. That’s the base model, and it’ll run you $312.50. There’s also a higher end version with a radiator aimed at systems that are packing heavier hardware, such as quad-core CPUs, and any video card higher than an 8800GT. That version will run you $375.
So if you’re not worried about voiding the warranty on every component that you submerge in the liquid, head on over to Puget Systems’ site and pick up a aquarium to sink your hardware into. But keep in mind that once you submerge your hardware there will be no going back. According to Puget, “Mineral oil is very difficult, if not impossible to clean from your components once they are submerged.”
Apogee Digital has begun shipping it's Symphony 64 soundcard worldwide. The PCI Express-based card supports up to 64 channels of 24-bit 192kHz digital input and output, or double the amount of I/O in Apogee's previous Symphony soundcard. Apogee has designed the card to interface the company's X-Series and Rosetta Series converters directly to the Mac Pro, the culmination of which would create The Symphony System, a complete pro audio solution.
Other goodies include Apogee's VBus technology, which gives users the ability to route stand-alone software instruments directly between Core Audio based applications rather than as plug-ins, and the company's SBus technology, which Apogee claims "doubles the DSP power of The Symphony System."
Gamers and PC users (as in, non-Mac owners) need not apply, and that's probably a good thing given the soundcard's $1000 price tag. Ouch!
With Intel's Core i7 launch now less than a month away, several memory vendors are readying three-packs of RAM in anticipation of the new platform's triple-channel memory support. Companies like Corsair, OCZ, and G.Skill have all jumped on board, but Kingston looks to leapfrog to the front of the pack as the first, and so far only company to release triple-channel memory clocked at 2GHz.
"Kingston is excited to bring the fastest DDR3 triple-channel memory products to market as we are the first to deliver 2000MHz gaming kits of three with Intel's reduced voltage," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager at Kingston. "All of our triple-channel kits can be overclocked manually or by using XMP-ready profiles."
Kingston's triple channel memory kits will run the gamut from the aforementioned 2GHz enthusiast HyperX range all the way down to the company's budget ValueRAM lineup:
Mvix just released its MvixBOX WDN-2000, the newest NAS in the company's lineup. The two-bay device supports SATA drives up to 1.5TB (not included), or host up to 2TB in combined storage. The dual-drive setup can be configured in a mirrored RAID array, and both front and rear USB 2.0 ports ups the potential storage ante even further. But that's just the beginning.
A gigabit Ethernet port makes easy work out of streaming oodles of files, including high definition video, through your home network, and the device also serves as an RSS client, BitTorrent client, iTunes music server, or uPnP media server, along with file encryption for local ore remote access via FTP or HTTP. Still yet, the MvixBOX comes pre-configured with Apache, MySQL, SQlife, and PHP modules.