If you're a subscriber to Maximum PC magazine, turn to page 8 in this month's issue (and for everyone else, hit the subscription link) and read Gordon Mah Ung's take on Intel and Nvidia's Secret War. Gordon discusses the issues preventing users from being able to run SLI on an Intel chipset, and what roadblocks might be in place for future Nehalem support on upcoming Nvidia chipsets. In other words, you might end up having to choose a side. Sound familiar?
Now there's talk of Nvidia want to support Intel's Atom processor, and whether or not you care about the low-cost PC and MID market, it might be in your best interest if the two sides can come to an agreement. But can they? Earlier in the year Nvidia and VIA entered into an alliance, and speculation suggests it was forged to compete against Intel's Atom. Now it appears Nvidia's intention all along may have been to gain a bargaining chip to convince Intel to let its Atom processor support Nvidia's MCP73 IGP chipset. If Intel agrees, DigiTimes reports Nvidia will then terminate its alliance with VIA and its Nano processor. And while VIA might not be too pleased with the idea (rebound relationships never work out anyway), an agreement over licensing terms in the low-cost PC market might open the door to better communication in the mid- to high-end desktop sectors.
The idea of being able to store and access company data from a remote datacenter may sound splendid for the IT department, but lets not get our heads in the clouds just yet. Cloud computing has made a strong push in the past year with help from Amazon, IBM, and Sun offering virtual servers for remote use, but regardless of the push large corporations just aren’t ready for the switch and Gigaom.com gives you the 10 reasons why.
According to the article, the number one concern companies should have is security. Cloud computing will need to toughen up its defense against information leaks before companies can feel safe with keeping all their sensitive terabyles online. Data leaving company doors would leave it vulnerable to thousands of ambitious hackers constantly trying to sneak their way into corporate information. Proofpoint, the makers of data encryption software, has released a survey reporting that “44% of surveyed companies reported that they investigated an email leak of confidential information in the past 12 months” with the emails coming from their own employees. With companies already having trouble keeping data safe within their own infrastructures, the security fears of someone else keeping all of your information are probably warranted.
This brawny super-rig would allow molecular simulations to last about a millisecond (10^-3) or more, which seems like an eternity compared to the current simulations that barely last anywhere between a few femtoseconds (10^-15) and a microsecond (10^-6) – a thousand-fold increase. The supercomputer derives its might from 517 processors that work in conjunction. The elongated molecular simulations will advance drug research by leaps and bounds as scientists would be able to develop newer drugs based on the data from Anton.
With companies like Super Talent and OCZ pushing solid-state disk pricing into affordable territory, there has been a recent rash of excitement of building up over what the near future might bring. Can we finally expect to get over the performance bottleneck imposed by hard disk drives? Not so fast, says Joel Hagberg, VP of business development at Fujitsu.
In a recent interview, the high level exec played down the current state of flash memory. Even as the latest batch of SSDs tout impressive performance specs to the tune of 120 to 143 MB/sec read speeds and 80 to 93MB/sec writes, Hagberg claims it's more hype than substance. Hagberg says SSDs are "really good if you're reading stuff, but it doesn't work very well for large file reads and large file writes, and it doesn't work well for random writes." Because of this, the VP notes a sizeable rift between notebook customers' expectations and real-world experiences.
Hit the jump to find out why Hagberg thinks we're still more than 2 years away from seeing SSDs as a viable option.
He blamed digital distribution and rampant file-sharing for broadcast TV’s woes. He has a point as digital distribution hasn’t even fully taken off and the Youtubes and iTunes might just be the precursor of bigger things to come, and digitally distributed content will hold sway be it game consoles or TVs.
However, broadcast TV is not going anywhere in large parts of the world that still don’t have a high broadband penetration rate. We have all been told how a certain technology or gadget is headed for its grave only for it to survive; even the radio has managed to survived till now. Tell the whole world what you think about broadcast TV’s fate in the comments section.
ATI’s resurrection as a serious contender for the top spot in the GPU industry has much to do with vastly improved technology, cheap mid-level offerings and its ability to meet demand. On the other hand, Nvidia is faced with delays and defects that are beginning to have a bearing on its financial condition. The graphics chip manufacturer has announced that it expects the repair and replacement of certain defected products to cost it $150-200 million.
It has also been forced to lower its financial outlook for Q2, 2009 due to delays and unexpected price cuts. It now expects earnings for Q2 to be between $875 million and $950 million, which would be a steep decline from Q1 earnings of $1.15 billion. If we construe talk of “unexpected price cuts” to be Nvidia’s implicit admission that it didn’t really see the AMD/ATI onslaught coming, we know exactly what is wrong with the company. Complacency!
Ladies and gentlemen, please remember to fasten your Laptops every time you leave home for the airport. A fresh survey by the Ponemon Institute has corroborated a pretty obvious observation, that tons of laptops are lost in the twisty terminals of airports. In fact, the number of laptops lost at U.S airports annually is a truly stupefying 637,000 – about 12,000 laptops a week, according to the survey that encompassed 106 U.S airports.
But despite all the important information that might rest in displaced hard drives, 65% of the hapless travellers who misplace their notebooks don’t report the loss (out of shame, perhaps?). And apparently it is considered ignominious to loose a laptop in corporate circles, as only 1% of those polled admitted to having lost their laptop compared to the 84% people who claim to "know someone" who has. The survey was conducted at Dell’s behest to coincide with the launch of its new Laptop tracking and theft prevention service, Dell Mobility.
Those of you who have lost a laptop – or laptops – can commiserate in the comments section. And those of you haven’t lost one can discuss effective ways to maintain your impeccable track record.
Back in our April 2008 issue, we showed you how to configure and build a $1,500 no-compromises PC. Our budget badass wasn’t just an affordable “lean machine,” it performed admirably in our system benchmarks, earning respectable scores in comparison to our desktop testbed. Now that it’s several months later, and we wanted to give you an update to our component recommendations. Not only have hardware prices dropped since we wrote the story, but new technologies and products have also emerged that give you more for your money. In fact, our no-compromises $1,500 PC now only costs $1,320, that’s including upgraded parts. By Grabthar’s Hammer, what a savings!
Read on to find out how we configured our new Budget Badass.
It looks like stock prices aren't the only thing falling over at Nvidia. Competition continues to heat up in the latest round of GPU leapfrog, and reports flanking from across the web over the weekend were claiming Nvidia would issue price cuts to its add-in board partners (AIBs). The GTX 260 was to be the beneficiary of a $30 chop, while the high-end GTX 280 was to get slashed by $90. Even the 9800 GTX was to receive a $17 snip. Scouring Newegg's selection, it appears the reports were right on the money.
Thanks to Nvidia's annoying Manufacturer Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy, you'll need to do a bit of extra clicking to see the new pricing structure. But assuming your index finger is up to the task, you'll spot several GTX 280 cards selling for $499, and even lower after rebate. GTX 260 videocards have dropped down to $329, and a small handful of 9800 GTX cards have dipped below the $200 mark.
Following Hitachi's annoucement of plans to hit 5TB in a single hard drive by 2010, Pioneer follows suit by proclaiming a major advancement in the optical storage arena with an unprecedented 16-layer optical disc capable of storing 400GB. Presumably intended for distribution as Blu-ray media, Pioneer points out the new disc's 25GB per-layer capacity is the same as that of a Blu-ray disc (BD).
Cross-talk among multiple layers has been a stickling point in the optical industry, but Pioneer claims to have tackled the problem with a specialized disc structure designed to reduce interference from adjacent layers. And what about compatibility with existing Blu-ray players? Pioneer says that because the optical specifications of the lens are the same as those for existing BD discs, there shouldn't be any compatibility concerns between the new 16-layer discs and existing BD media.
Dampening the announcement, the 16-layer discs are read-only. That may change in time, but for the here and now, you'll still need to resort to standard discs or HDDs to store your epic music collection, downloaded videos, and other legally acquired data. Of course, finding someone who owns a Blu-ray drive capable of burning BD discs is more rare than spoting a MacBook victory at Maximum PC.