It will be awhile before Intel releases its upcoming 6-core Core i9 chip, codenamed Gulftown, to the general public, but that doesn't mean you can't get your hands on one sooner. The question is, should you even try?
Engineering samples -- which are pre-release chips primarily intended for reviewers and may or may not sport the same features as the final product -- have already started shipping, and at least one of those chips has made it onto eBay. The chip sold for $1,200, but the cost to the seller be even higher.
All Gulftown chips are bound a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and technically speaking, ES chips aren't supposed to be sold or traded. In reality, it happens all the time, but selling a pre-release part this early in the game is sure to burn a bridge with Intel, especially since the seller didn't bother to blur out any identification marks, making it super easy for Intel to track the chip.
Acer just keeps rising in the ranks, and according to market research firm iSuppli, the OEM managed to supplant Dell in the third quarter and claim the No. 2 spot in the worldwide PC business.
"Acer's rise to the number two rank in the global PC business reflects not only its strong performance in the notebook segment, but also the historic rise of Asia as a primary force in the computer industry," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms research, for iSuppli.
PC shipments for the now second place PC vendor shot up by 16.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period a year prior, and an impressive 31 percent from the second quarter of this year. All tallied, Acer now holds a 13.4 percent stake in the worldwide PC business, up from 12 percent one quarter ago.
Coming as no surprise, iSuppli says much of Acer's success is due to its aggressive pricing strategy. The research firm also noted strong ntoebook shipments and impressive regional performance in both Europe and the U.S.
Corsair this week unveiled what it says is the "world's fastest DDR3 memory for extreme overclockers and performance enthusiasts," the Dominator GTX 2250.
Designed for Intel's X58 and P55 platforms, the new kit supports up to a 2250MHz frequency in a 1 DIMM (X58 and P55) or 2 DIMM (P55) configuration. In each case, timings come rated at 8-8-8-24 at 1.65V. In a three DIMM triple channel configuration, the kit runs slightly slower at 2133MHz, also with the same timings and voltage.
"Corsair has a long history of delivering the fastest overclocking memory on the planet, and our engineering expertise and unique understanding of the enthusiast market allows us to continue to push boundaries," said Kevein Conley, VP of Engineering at Corsair. "Corsair Dominator GTX modules are the most tightly-screened, highest-quality and feasted DDR3 memory modules in the world, and we look forward to seeing what the enthusiast and overclocking community can do with these exciting new products."
Corsair said its new kits will also work on AMD platforms, though at up to 1800MHz with timings rated at 6-6-6-18 at 1.65V.
The memory maker says "availability will be extremely limited" and launch exclusively on the Corsair Online Store on December 8, 2009 at 9AM Pacific Time.
It doesn't matter how good you've been all year, Santa won't be placing an Atom N450-based netbook under the Christmas tree this year. But on the bright side, you may not have to wait long. According to reports, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and MSI, all of which originally planned on launching Atom N450-based netbooks this month, will release the units on January 11, 2010.
The decision to hold off until then complies with their agreement with Intel to only launch the products after January 10. There will be three versions of Atom N450-based netbooks using different OSes, the most popular (and expensive) expected to be Windows 7 Starter. The other two include Moblin Linux and Windows XP Home.
Well what do you know, someone's finally gone and done it, and that someone is LG. What exactly are we talkinga bout? Releasing the world's first Full-HD 3D monitor.
We're told the display is already on store shelves, but details remain sparse. Here's what we do know: It's a 23-inch display suitable for both gamers and those who dabble in 3D broadcasts. The underlying technology is based on the "Shutter Glasses" technology, though seamless switching between 2D and 3D means you won't need to don a pair of goofy glasses every time you use the monitor, only when viewing 3D content.
And that's pretty much it, at least until LG divulges more info. Should they wait too long, though, they run the risk of being overshadowed of competitive models that are likely on the horizon, especially with CES just around the corner.
CompuLab, an Israeli outfit specializing in circuit boards for embedded systems used in telecommunication systems, automotive devices, gaming systems, and a bunch of other applications, announced what it claims is the world's smallest dual-Gigabit Ethernet PC.
They'll get no argument from us. The tiny nettop measures a scant 4x4.5x1.05 inches and weighs a measly 13 ounces.Yet despite its diminutive stature, the die cast aluminum enclosure manages to engulf an Intel Atom Z530 (1.6GHz) or Z510 (1.1GHz) processor, 1GB of DDR2-533 onboard memory (optional 2GB), an internal 2.5-inch SATA drive bay to supplement the optional 4GB of onboard Flash storage, and Intel's GMA500 graphics.
Other features include 5.1-channel audio, Wi-Fi, four USB 2.0 ports, and choice between Windows 7 Professional, Windows XP Home with SP3, Ubuntu Linux 8.04, or "other operating systems" that you choose to install on your own.
The Fit-PC2i will start shipping in January for an as-yet undetermined price.
When we first saw prototypes of Thermaltake’s Level 10 concept chassis back in May, we were intrigued by its unique design but skeptical as to whether Thermaltake would ever actually produce it—and if it did, whether it would be any good. The answer to the first question is yes—it should be shipping by the time you read this. But is the most inventive chassis we’ve laid hands on since the Antec Skeleton actually a good case?
The Level 10, which Thermaltake designed with BMW, is not your standard ATX full-tower. Instead of a simple box shape, the Level 10 hangs its components from a central wall—basically a reinforced version of a standard case’s right side and frame. From this central wall protrude individual hinged covers: one each for PSU, optical drives, and the main motherboard compartment, as well as six SATA drive bays connected to a vertical aluminum heatsink. All cables between compartments are routed through the central pillar, behind the motherboard and drive trays, just like a standard case, resulting in an incredibly clean look—at least when the covers are closed. Red LEDs light a strip running from the front panel (with its four USB ports, one eSATA port, and audio ports), along the top to the rear. The case is huge, too, weighing 47 pounds and measuring 12.5 inches wide by 2 feet deep by 26 inches high.
If you're hoping to score an LCD monitor upgrade in time for Christmas vacation, you may not want to procrastinate until the last minute. Citing anonymous industry sources, DigiTimes says LCD displays could go up a tick in price this month as retail channels start to restock their inventories.
The sources note that monitor panels have already dropped below costs, so there really isn't much room for any more price drops. This has caused vendors to replenish their stock.
There wasn't a lot of monitor growth in the third quarter, largely the result of rabid demand for notebooks and netbooks. Because of this, retailers ended up with high monitor inventories and lower prices. LCD makers responded by cutting their supply to the monitor segment.
Know of a good deal on an LCD monitor? Hit the jump and share the link!
Intel, who at some point in the not-too-distant future will show socket 1366 owners some love with a 6-core processor, just got through demonstrating a 48-core processor it hopes will usher in a new era of computing with PCs powerful enough to emulate human traits. Did we really say 48 cores? Excuse us while we change our underpants.
Before you soil yours as well, it's important to understand that the cores aren't barn burners likes today's desktop Core i7 chips are. Instead, the 1.3 billion transistor processor, called Single-chip Cloud Computer (SCC) is the successor generation to the 80-core "Polaris" processor and has more in common with a low end Atom part than a desktop Nehalem.
Unlike Polaris, however, Intel's 48-core chip can run the same standard software as Intel's x86 CPUs. And while each core doesn't pack a punch by itself, combining 48 of them makes it a pretty powerful chip.
"The machine will be capable of understanding the world around them much as humans do," Justin Rattner, Intel CTO, said at a press event. "They will see and hear and probably speak and do a number of other things that resemble human-like capabilities, and will demand as a result very (powerful) computing capability."
This isn't something you'll see on the desktop, but for you Folding fanatics, could you imagine pairing this chip with an upcoming Fermi graphics card or three? Oops, there goes another pair of briefs.
Intel recently announced it was fast tracking the release of its Pine Trail platform, which we expect to see sooner rather than later in 2010. We now have a little more info to share on this Atom platform replacement.
According to Fudzilla, Pine Trail will be significantly smaller when compared to Intel's current netbook platform, largely the result of moving from a three-chip design containing the CPU, Northbridge, and Southbridge, to a two-chip part with just the CPU and Southbridge. The end result is a 64-percent smaller package footprint.
Pine Trail will be designed on a four layer PCB, Fudzilla says, which will cut back on manufacturing costs. However, this doesn't mean that netbooks will become any cheaper in 2010, though you can probably expect vendors to squeeze in more features.
Finally, the Pine Trail platform will consume less power, about 20 percent less than Intel's Atom platform, which will pave the way for even longer battery life.