In November of last year, Intel's Atom processor was noted as being largely responsible for record growth in the processor market. While no more records are being broken, the processor market continues its upward climb -- to the tune of 10.1 percent in the second quarter of this year -- and once again, Intel's Atom chip is the reason why.
"The percentage of Intel's revenue earned in Asia/Pacific grew from 51 percent in 1Q09 to 55 percent in 2009," Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC, noted in a statement. "This fact, combined with the significant sequential 'snap-back' rise in Intel's overall processor shipments -- particularly Atom shipments -- while AMD's overall shipments were about flat, indicate that the PC processor market didn't recover in 2Q09."
The growth from Q1 to Q2, notes IDC, is mostly attributable to manufacturers replenishing their chip inventory rather than increased consumer demand for PCs. Predicting that most OEMs have now balanced their inventories, IDC says going forward we're more likely to see what the actual demand really is.
The last Thermalright cooler we reviewed, the IFX-14 (November 2008), actually bested our then-champion Thermaltake DuOrb in performance, but its enormous size cost it the crown. The slimmer Ultra-120 eXtreme, while still a skyscraper of finny goodness, is much skinnier than the IFX-14, and (happily) includes one 12cm clip-on fan—the older model supported two fans, but included none.
Five nickel-plated copper heat pipes rise from opposite sides of the base through a large stack of heat-dissipating fins, cooled by a 12cm fluid-dynamic bearing fan. The included fan connects to the motherboard fan socket with a 3-pin connector, so there’s no onboard fan-speed control.
Hitachi can't lay claim as the first manufacturer to develop a 2TB hard drive -- that distinction belongs to Western Digital -- but it is the first one to do so with a 7200RPM spindle speed, besting the spindle speeds found on 2TB drives from both WD and Seagate.
"The new Deskstar 7K2000 reflects our ongoing commitment to provide customer, channel partners, and OEMs with proven, reliable solutions for enabling desktop computers, gaming systems, workstations, and desktop RAID arrays," said Brendan Collins, vice president of marketing, Hitachi GST.
Hitachi's fourth generation Deskstar crams 2TB onto a five-platter design "with relaxed bit density" and perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology. As would be expected in a modern, high performance drive, the 7K2000 boasts 32MB of cache and a 3Gb/s SATA interface.
GPGPU computing has been a frequent subject of tech chatter, the latest of which involves AMD's release of the first OpenCL SDK for x86 CPUs. What this does is enable developers to take OpenCL code that would normally be written for GPUs and target CPUs instead.
GPGPU computing, which offsets tasks from the CPU to the GPU, offers a range of benefits, including the potential for much faster video encoding and less time waiting for effects to be applied in supported applications like Photoshop CS4. But is there much use for AMD's "backwards" concept?
"The beta will help programmers more easily develop parallel software programs and take further advantage of multicore x86 CPUs to accelearate software and deliver a better computing experience," AMD states.
You may know what the inside of a PC looks like, but what about the parts which make up your PC components? Over the past few years, we've dissected hard drives, keyboards, soundcards, and a plethora of other PC hardware, just to see what makes them tick. Here, we've picked out 22 of these autopsies to showcase. If you've ever wanted to see the guts of a netbook or the silicon that makes a network router work, read on!
Intel has appeared reluctant to talk about its Core i5 processors ever since the new series was discovered last March by a motherboard spec sheet, and the chip maker still isn't saying much. No matter, as the new parts have started showing up on at least two computer hardware e-tailer sites, offering up some insight on what to expect.
According to FadFusion, the Core i5 570 processor will run at 2.66GHz and include 8MB of cache. The vendor lists a retail price of $250, but plans to sell it for $233.
Computer Connection, a campus computer store at the University of Maine, is also carrying the Core i5 570 CPU with the same listed specs and at a similar price point ($244).
Intel isn't commenting on the existence of the chip, but if the two above vendors are any indication, Core i5 will likely appear soon, with the 570 part priced in the $250 range.
We’ve seen systems with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) before, but no vendor has been sassy enough to break from the de rigueur SATA VelociRaptor or SSD drives in favor of the tech—until now.
Of course, this is Polywell’s M.O.—not content to do things like any other system vendor, Polywell usually tucks in a curve ball to brush you off home plate when you don’t expect it. Sometimes Polywell’s pitch doesn’t work (think really nice $5,000 gaming rig with an $8 keyboard and mouse), but time we were intrigued with its 300 gigabytes of RAID 0, 15,000rpm, connected using SAS. The onboard SAS support in the Asus P6T Deluxe mobo achieved sequential read speeds of about 192MB/s with 6.8ms access times—that’s purty durn good considering that our VelociRaptor-equipped systems see roughly 166MB/s reads with about 7+ms access times.
Elsewhere, Polywell plays it safe and sane: an Intel Core i7 clocked up to 3.66GHz on air and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 card along with 6GB of DDR3 at 1,450MHz and an LG Blu-ray drive stuffed into an Antec 900 case make it a well-rounded rig—albeit a bit bland.
Just a few months after we awarded Logitech with a perfect score for their superb G9x mouse, they've announced the new contender for best mouse ever. The G500 is the long-awaited update to the G5 gaming mouse, taking its familiar ergonomic chassis and cramming the G9x's laser sensor into the body. The wired peripheral has a minimum resolution of 200dpi, which can be adjusted on the fly up to a whopping 5700dpi (the G9x only had a max of 5000dpi). Logitech claims that the G500 can process sensor data at a rate of 12 megapixels per second, and can detect movement as fast as 165 inches per second (as if your twitch skills are that good).
The usual gaming mice features are also present, including removable weights (range of 165 grams to 192 grams) and 10 programmable buttons. But the standout improvements are in the inclusion of a hyper-fast scroll wheel mode (for web browsing), and the relocation of the dpi adjustment buttons to the front of the mouse so you don't accidentally hit it in the middle of a game.
Hit the jump for more of our hands-on photos, but you'll be able to try the G500 yourself when it goes on sale in September for $70.
Open-source beer. Were it only as easy as walking to the store and picking up a free case of alcoholic something that's been built and licensed by a team of geeks. At the very least, we can all can build our own booze-making machines following a handy set of open-source software and hardware instructions. But the fun doesn't stop there.
What is open-source hardware? I've chatted about this before. In short, open-source hardware is be a combination of software code and hardware instructions (or, really, just the latter) that's given to you for a set price (not necessarily "free as in beer") and license for use. You're free to use the instructions to develop carbon copies of that which you wish to build, or create derivative works of said hardware, provided you offer up your diagrams/code/instructions under the same licensing as you received it.
Now that's out of the way, let's check out the open-source home brewery kit along with a few other crazy projects from the OSH world!
Scientists at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory are on the verge of launching the "world's first flexible electronic screen", The Times Online reports. The new display represents a decade of development and would compete with the various electronic readers currently on the market, such as Sony's e-book readers and Amazon's Kindle.
Plastic Logic, the company responsible for the device, says it doesn't plan to release a roll-up screen just yet, saying consumers aren't interested in that level of flexibility.
"People worry that it will break if they roll up a device and dump in in their bag," said Martin Jackson, vice president of technology at Plastic Logic.
Plastic Logic says its touch-screen reader only needs to be charged once every two weeks and that the screen uses no power when the image isn't changing. The device is expected to be especially popular for e-versions of newspapers.
Look for the device to be launched in the U.S. sometime in early 2010 at a similar price point as Amazon's Kindle.