Already a major force in the mobile PC market, Asus said it expects to ship 16 million notebooks and netbooks combined in 2010. That would be four million more than it shipped in 2009, but there's plenty of room for growth, suggests company president and CEO Jerry Shen, who predicts that global notebook shipments will balloon from 140 million units in 2009 to 180-190 million units in 2010.
The lofty goal is part of Asus' bigger objective, which is to position itself firmly as one of the world's top-three notebook vendors by 2011. Towards that end, Asus has already shifted roughly 30 percent of its popular Eee PC netbooks to Windows 7, which Shen says will be the primary driving force for notebook growth.
While the Eee PC line is Asus' bread and butter, the company also expects its ultra-thin lineup to grow in popularity and account for 20 to 30 percent of all its notebook shipments in the first half of 2010.
Shen also talked about his company's plans for the fast-growing e-reader market. According to Shen, Asus will soon launch its 9-inch grayscale e-book reader, although at first the focus will be on cooperating with a Taiwan-based charity organization. A consumer version is expected to follow suit perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2010 and be built around the same 9-inch grayscale panel.
And what about 3D notebooks and dual-booting Android netbooks? These are both areas Shen said Asus is taking a conservative approach.
Even we have to admit that in this economy, you have to be thankful if you’re not still driving a Pentium 4 rig. Still, for budget buyers today, the choice usually doesn’t get much better than a dual-core machine that takes overnight to encode video and a GPU that can’t push pixels downhill.
Fortunately, it’s no Pentium Dual-Core or Celeron that CyberPower opts to stick you with. Instead, CyberPower reached into its parts bin for Intel’s brand-new, budget badass: the $200 2.66GHz Core i5-750. This chip is like Chuck Norris in a bar fight: It not only wipes the floor with Phenom II X4, it commits a little fratricide against its Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo siblings, too.
To this Two-Buck Chuck, CyberPower adds what is definitely not a budget part: Nvidia’s fastest videocard in the form of EVGA’s GeForce GTX 295. At the foundation is Gigabyte’s new GA-P55-UD5 and 4GB of Kingston DDR3/1600. Storage is left to a 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda and a Samsung 22x DVD burner. A Cooler Master V8 cooler and Scout case complete the package.
Maybe not next year, or even the year after, but sometime in the not too distant future, mainstream storage duties are destined to make the jump from mechanical hard drives to flash-based SSDs, right? Not according to a new study published in a recent issue of IEEE Transactions on Magnetics. Not only are hard drives in it for the long haul, but the cost to storage ratio will shrink dramatically, the study suggests.
Some would argue it already has, but study authors Professor Mark Kryder and PhD student Chang Soo Kim of Carnegie Mellon University predict that by the year 2020, a two-disk, 2.5-inch HDD with 14TB of storage capacity will run a mere $40. And if that weren't enough to keep mechanical storage media relevant into the next decade and beyond, the duo also suggest that flash memory technology will run into technical roadblocks that will halt its continued scaling before 2020.
Hit the jump to find out why even the study's authors were surprised at their findings.
Tilera today announced its new TILE-GX line of processors, including the TILE-Gx100, the world's first 100-core CPU. According to Tilera, the 100-core part offers the highest performance of any processor on the planet by at least a factor of four.
"The launch of the TILE-Gx family, including the world's first 100-core microprocessor, ushers in a new era of many-core processing. We believe this next generation of high-core count, ultra high-performance chips will open completely new computing possibilities," said Omid Tahernia, Tilera's CEO.
While the 100-core part is not meant to run Crysis (so please don't ask) or any other desktop application, it does offer 10 times the performance per watt as Intel's fastest Nehalem-based server chips. Assuming Tilera can convince customers to switch from Intel and Texas Instruments, The TILE-Gx100 will likely end up in data centers powering cell phone network equipment and cloud computing ventures.
Tilera says its 100-core chip will start shipping in Q4 of this year.
AMD recently announced a bunch of new processors, including its first triple-core Athlon II chip, and coming soon, the CPU maker will also release a tri-core part for notebooks, Fudzilla says.
Planned as part of the Danube platform, the upcoming Phenom II triple-core N820 mobile processor will essentially be a quad-core part with one of the cores disabled. It will carry a 35W TDP and come packed with 1.5MB of total cache split into 512KB per core. It will also boast DDR3-1333 support, an HT speed of 3.6GT/s, and AMD-V support.
It's not yet known how fast the part will come clocked, nor is there any word on a projected release date or price point. But if AMD plays its cards right, the mobile Phenom could prove awfully tempting for consumers who want to step up from a dual-core platform but lack the ducats to go quad. Or it could force Intel's hand at lowering the price of its mobile Core 2 Quad chips. Either way, notebook shoppers stand to win.
After months of making do with 5,400rpm and 5,900rpm 2TB drives and odd-bird 1.5TB drives, it’s finally happening: 7,200rpm two-terabyte hard drives are coming to rigs near you. First out of the gate and into our greedy arms is Western Digital’s 2TB Caviar Black, the performance cousin to the 2TB Caviar Green we reviewed in May. And brother, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for.
The 2TB Caviar Black is spec’d to impress, with four 500GB platters, two processors, 64MB of cache, and a dual-stage actuator system that puts a fine-tuned piezoelectric actuator head at the end of the standard magnetic actuator, enabling fine-tuned tracking for speedy seek times. The Caviar Black also comes with WD’s standard No-Touch ramp loader, so the read/write head never comes in contact with the platters, increasing the drive’s lifespan.
NZXT has been on a budget rampage lately and continues to add to its lineup of enclosures priced in $50 territory. The latest low-priced mid-tower to come off the assembly line is the company's just announced Gamma chassis, and it too will sell for around half a C-note.
Despite the low price tag, NZXT says it placed a "premium on effective airflow," which includes slots for 6 case fans, dedicated VGA/CPU cooling, and a front panel design the company claims allows for extra air to be sucked in. It also includes a few amenities often reserved for higher priced cases, including water-cooling holes, mounting holes for a dual-radiator at the top, and an all-black interior.
"There is no other chassis on the market that offers this kind of feature set for around $50," said Johnny Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. "For enthusiasts looking to shave some money off their build, Gamma will provide everything you need for a high performance system at a remarkably low price."
Hou's singing a familiar tune that we've heard from the company before, and don't mind hearing again.
Ghosts and goblins aren't the only things you'll see this Halloween. According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, EVGA and Nvidia have joined forces to launch a hybrid graphics card on October 31st.
It's mostly speculation at this point, but the card is rumored to combine GT200b and G92b GPUs onto a single PCB. Why the mix? The GT200b will be responsible for rendering all those pretty graphics while you're saving the universe, and the GT92b will flex its PhysX muscle.
Fudzilla says the hybrid card will most likely sport a GTX 275 and GTS 250, which would give the card 240 stream processors and 896MB of memory for rendering, and 128 stream processors and 512MB of memory for PhysX duties. Not a bad idea to combine the two on a single piece of hardware, albeit it could be somewhat risky this close to the launch of Fermi.
DRAM maker A-Data has decided to begin using a new anti-counterfeiting system they are calling “DNA Authentication”. According to the company, the fraudulent selling of fake RAM is a “serious and growing problem" in the tech world.
It seems A-Data has had a lot of troubles with the selling of fake DRAM chips with A-Data logos. According to the company, “…we adopted the DNA authentication technology to protect our intellectual property and our consumers’ interests."
So what does this mean? When you cut through the marketing speak, it’s basically just a new type of ID label on RAM sticks. To verify the authenticity of the chips, consumers can use a black light to reveal the unique code on the sticker. Like many of these ID systems, the label is designed to tear itself to shreds if removed. Will it do much to stop fraud, or will the fraudsters just fake these labels too?
AT&T has a bone to pick with several big-name LCD makers, and it will do it in court. The telco has sued a number of display manufacturers over allegedly fixing the price of more than 300 million mobile LCD screens.
Those on the receiving end of the lawsuit include Samsung, LG Display, Optronics, Sharp, and Chungwa. According to the lawsuit, the display makers "formed an international cartel illegally to restrict competition in the United States in the market for LCD panels."
AT&T called the whole situation a "conspiracy," accusing the defendants of agreeing to eliminate competition and fix LCD panel prices that they knew would be incorporated in LCD products and sold in the U.S.
This isn't the first price fixing scandal to hit the LCD industry, nor is it the first time LG, Chunghwa, and Sharp have been tied to price fixing allegations. All three agreed to plead guilty to similar charges in November 2008 and to pay $585 million in criminal fines.