All-in-one PCs like Dell’s XPS One 24 aren’t the most powerful computers on the market and they know it. Like thin-and-light notebooks, they trade brute power for a thin, stylish profile and quiet operation—and we’re absolutely fine with that. We’d never give up our benchmark-crushing uber rigs for an all-in-one, but a good one can be a terrific second PC for the kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Don’t take that to mean the XPS One 24 is wimpy, though. It’s far more powerful than the HP TouchSmart we reviewed in the Holiday 2008 issue (you’ll find our review at http://tinyurl.com/dxcxkf), thanks to a foundation based on Intel’s 2.33GHz Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU, a respectable mobile GPU (Nvidia’s GeForce 9600M GT with a 512MB frame buffer), and a desktop 750GB hard drive. The trade-off for that power is heat and noise: The components in Dell’s machine produce more heat than the parts HP chose, and Dell compounded its thermal issues by sticking the power supply inside the chassis (HP uses an external brick). So, while the TouchSmart is all but silent, the cooling fan in the XPS One 24 emits a slightly annoying whine.
Rifling through the box that the Intel DX58SO “Smackover” board came in, we were surprised not to find “love” and “hate” brass knuckles, because the motherboard definitely conjures feelings of both extremes.
If you think we’re being disrespectful, just take one look at the board’s SATA ports. That will tell you that somebody at Intel still doesn’t know that today’s graphics cards are big, huge, honking affairs. Since Intel oriented all the SATA ports vertically, you’ll have a hell of a time accessing the ports with a dual-slot GPU parked overhead.
And if that doesn’t make you bust out the hate knuckles, the memory slots might. We’ve seen four previous boards for the Core i7—two from Asus, one from DFI, and an MSI mobo—and all have had six DIMM slots so you could run up to 12GB of RAM and maintain tri-channel mode. Not Intel’s.
Last month, we learned that OCZ would be releasing a Turbo Vertex SSD line with hand picked parts, but no specifications had been finalized at the time. That's no longer the case, as OCZ officially introduced the new series this week, which is being aimed at the performance sector.
"The new Vertex Turbo makes use of the fastest SDR DRAM cache available and a proprietary FTL level firmware that provides an even faster solid state drive for enthusiasts looking for the ultimate desktop or laptop storage upgrade," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ.
Available in 30GB, 60GB, 128GB, and 250GB capacities, the new drives sport 64MB of 180MHz DRAM cache. Primed for performance, the flagship 250GB model registers up to 270MB/s read and up to 210MB/s write speeds (the 128GB model checks in with a slightly slower 200MB/s write speed, while both the 30GB and 60GB offer up to 240MB/s and 145MB/s read and write speeds, respectively).
To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” The Antec Nine Hundred Two is a refresh of Antec’s well-loved and much-imitated Nine Hundred midtower gaming chassis. And although the Nine Hundred Two does boast several refinements over its predecessor, it’s not exactly revolutionary.
First we’ll talk about what the Nine Hundred Two has in common with its predecessor. Both cases are matte black steel with plastic side windows, mesh-style front bezels, and are nearly the same size: At 19.4 x 8.6 x 18.6 inches, the Nine Hundred Two is barely a half-inch wider than the Nine Hundred and a fifth of an inch deeper.
Like the Nine Hundred, the Nine Hundred Two comes with four fans: a 20cm low-rpm Big Boy on top, and three 12cm blue LED fans—one in the rear and one on the front of each three-slot hard drive bay. Here we see some improvements on the Nine Hundred: All the fans now include blue LEDs (and the front ones have intake filters). Fan speed controllers are now mounted directly into the case, with the two front fans controlled by variable speed knobs in the front bezels and the top and rear fans controlled by switches on the case’s back plate. On the Nine Hundred, the fan controllers were ugly white and dangled loose inside the case.
Now that Lite-On is sharing the same drive manufacturing line as Plextor (not to mention Sony, HP, and Philips), you might wonder whether there is any difference between this 22x DVD burner and the Plextor PX-850SA 22x burner we reviewed in March. In fact, the two burners are virtually the same in terms of parts and mechanics, so differences really come down to the firmware each company uses and the tweaks and optimizations each makes to the final product.
The first thing we discovered is that Lite-On didn’t tweak this drive with an over-speed feature. So, like the Plextor PX-850SA, the burner stayed within the confines of the DVD+R media’s 16x rating, writing 4.38GB of data to a single-layer disc in 5:43 (min:sec). Samsung’s SH-S223, which can reach 20x-plus speeds when writing to 16x media, was almost a minute faster, at 4:46.
You probably can't taste the rainbow by popping one of Super Talent's new Pico Mini USB drives into your mouth like you can with Skittles, but the new drives are every bit as colorful.
Like the Pico drives, the Pico Mini are built using COB technology, which Super Talent says makes it possible to stuff "impressive Flash capacities into extremely small packages." And small they are, measuring just 32 x 15 x3 mm, or 1.3 x 0.6 x 0.1 inches when shunning the metric system.
More than just aesthetic appeal, the color designates the capacity of the new drives:
2GB, 150X (Orchid Pink)
4GB, 200X (Lime Green)
8GB, 200X (Sky Blue)
16GB, 200X (Classic Black)
The drives will begin shipping this week for $10 (2GB), $15 (4GB), $24 (8GB) and $40 (16GB).
It was a big month for storage. Not only did Western Digital bring to the market the first 2TB consumer hard drive, but Seagate came to the game with another milestone: a two-platter 1TB drive. Both offerings contain 500GB platters, the highest platter density yet achieved.
The Barracuda 7200.12 1TB is the first drive we’ve tested from the 12th generation of Seagate’s 7,200rpm Barracuda line, and it’s Seagate’s best chance for a fresh start following the firmware issues that plagued its 7200.11 line.
The 1TB 7200.12 has much in common with drives from the previous generation of Barracudas: It features 32MB of L2 cache, 7,200rpm rotational speeds, and SATA 3Gb/s data transfer with Native Command Queuing. The 7200.12, though, needs just two platters to achieve 1TB, whereas the 7200.11 used four.
Think your dual-GPU GTX 295 videocard is anything to write home about? It's still the king of desktop videocards, but it does't come anywhere close to offering 800 teraflops of processing power. That's the amount a Japanese company has to work with, which has mashed together nine 73-core chips into a single system. And as daunting as that may sound, it fits inside a typical ATX desktop setup.
Before anyone asks, the answer is 'no,' it won't run Crysis. Not because it can't, but because it's not aimed at gaming. Those 800 TFLOPs of number crunching provide real-time ray traced rendering and is being aimed at automotive design.
As for how the 45nm super GPU works, Arstechnia has put together a fantastic article describing all the gritty details, includng the complex bus directing all that traffic.
Give it a glance here, then hit the jump and tell us what you'd like to use this kind of GPU computing power for (Folding, anyone?).
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Gigabyte should be blushing. Why? Because Asus, highly regarded among power users for the company's high-end motherboards, has taken a page from Gigabyte and quietly outfitted some of its motherboards with 2-ounce copper PCBs (printed circuit boards).
Well over half of Gigabyte-brand motherboards shipped during the week before Computex were 2-ounce copper, and by the end of the year, Gigabyte predicts the copper design will account for 80 percent of its boards. But what's interesting about Asus following suit is that Asrock, an Asus subsidiary, at one time decried Gigabyte's copper design as completely unnecessary.
Asrock went on a rampage sending out PowerPoint presentations to the press that not only said a 2-ounce copper design didn't benefit cooling, but was actually harming the environment as well. Funny how watching another company gain marketshare can change one's perspective, isn't it?
We've seen some cool looking Xbox mods, but Ben Heckendorn's portable Xbox 360 creation stands apart from them all, and his latest is the sexiest one yet.
Now in revision 5, Heckendorn again gutted the same Gateway 1775W laptop with a 17-inch 1280x720 screen as he done in the past, but this time has added a bevy of new features. His portable Xbox 360 now comes with a built-in Ethernet port, WiFi, a digital push-button volume control, flush-mounted DVD door and side panels, remote IR sensor, two USB ports, a bunch more air holes, and the latest Jasper motherboard.
If you like what you see (and we certainly do), Gizmodo has a heaping handful of other Heckendorn-mods worth checking out right here.