Your next build may very well come configured with dual-SSD drives in a RAID 0 array for the OS, a gluttonous 2TB SATA HDD for storage duties, and a Blu-ray optical drive for movie watching and HD backups. And for quick transfers from one rig to another, does it get any sweeter than a 64GB USB thumb drive loaded with all of your favorite apps? Such a storage scheme is certainly worthy of dream machine status, but our storage options weren't always as fanciful, fast, and fat as they are today. Some of you may remember toting a 3.5-inch floppy to and from school, while others hearken all the way back to cassette tapes. And if you've lived long enough to remember the IBM Punch Card first hand, just ask and we'll SPEAK LOUDER.
Fasten your seatbelt and take a trip back in time with us as we follow the evolution of computer storage through the ages.
ATI has been eerily quiet regarding the company's first 40nm-based graphics release, code named RV740, and instead letting rumors swirl around the web. That's okay, because review site Guru3d managed to snag a sample of an as-yet un-named RV740-based videcoard and has put it through a variety of DX9 and DX10 benchmarks.
On the hardware front, Guru3d says the new part comes equipped with 640 shaders, 32TMUs, and 16 ROPs. If this sounds familiar, it's because these are the same specs as those found on the RV770LE, only the RV740 bumps up both the core frequency from 575MHz to 650 MHz, and memory frequency from 1800MHz to 3200MHz. The wide gap in memory frequency can be attributed to the use of GDDR5, compared to RV770LE's GDDR3. But are the higher frequencies enough to make up for the smaller 128-bit memory bus on the RV740?
According to Guru3d, the answer is yes. The new card fell in between in the Radeon HD 4830 and HD 4850 in every benchmark the site published, no matter whether it was tested at 1280x1024 or 2560x1600. Not at all bad for a card that is expected to sell for under $100, however there's been no official word yet on price.
During a phone interview with InformationWeek, Dirk Meyer, CEO of AMD, said the chip maker is on track to deliver 32nm CPUs by the middle of next year, with testing of the new chips to be complete by the end of this year and volume production to begin in Q4 2010. This would put AMD roughly a year behind Intel in shifting to the smaller manufacturing process, as AMD's rival chip maker is expected to produce 32nm chips by Q4 of this year.
AMD closes its deal with the Abu Dhabi government tomorrow for the creation of AMD's manufacturing spinoff, the Foundry Co., who will create the new chips. Once finalized, the deal will lift about $1.1 billion in debt out of AMD's books, freeing the company to concentrate on designing new parts.
It remains to be seen if AMD will also integrate major graphics in a 32nm process through the Foundry Co. as well.
Intel plans to rollout a couple of new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of next month, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The processors are part of Intel’s CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) family of processors. The website’s informants identified the two processors as the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6 GHz) and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz). The price of the SU9600 has been revealed to be $289 in thousand-unit tray quantities, and for the latter it is said to be $249. Also, Intel is reportedly planning to diversify its CULV processor range into three subclasses.
Normally we don’t track every software revision to every overclocking utility on the net, and for good reason. If we did, we wouldn’t get any other work done. The overclocker’s tool kit consists of dozens of applications to vary the speed of the fans, set and modify clocks, and a few more for benchmarking and checking stability. The ability to wrap all these utilities up into a single easy to use application was the goal of AMD when it created its Overdrive Tool, and the new version 2.1.6 delivers some impressive improvements. The new version has several stability and bug fixes as well as support for newer chipsets and full compatibility with Catalyst 9.2.
For those that haven’t been following the utilities development, the goal of the project was to create a single overclocking utility for AMD / ATI customers that would be a one stop utility for tweaking your system. AMD Marketing Manager Sami Maekinen has also released a series of video demonstrations showing how both enthusiasts and novices alike will find everything they need to dial in the best performance.
Have you given the Overdrive utility a spin? If so hit the jump and let us know how it’s been working for you.
The war of words and bad blood between Intel and Nvidia continues to spiral out of control, and Intel is back at it again. After making some rather pointed remarkets about Ions shortcomings, Intel decoded the time was right to warn the geek masses about Nvidia’s impending doom at the Goldman Sachs Technology conference in San Francisco. According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, Nvidia is merely trying to defend the status quo, and that Larrabee will be the future choice for those in search of powerful dedicated graphics solutions. Oddly enough, Intel choose its words very carefully and mysteriously made no mention of AMD’s ATI division.
Most enthusiasts I’m sure see these statements as a bit overconfident, and the 2010 release of Larrabee is the real wild card in the equation. Even if Intel manages to churn out the most powerful GPU, it’s unlikely they would have the type of driver optimization, developer support, or backwards compatibility that have made the ATI/ Nvidia GPU’s the most important component in any gaming PC. Clearly however, dedicated GPU companies should be concerned over CPU+GPU solutions for mainstream users. If GP-GPU applications don’t take hold in time to win over the mainstream consumer, Nvidia and ATI risk find themselves severing a much smaller niche market that could be devastating to both companies.
What do you think? Is this just corporate posturing at its best? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
iBuypower has long been the champion of the cheap gaming PC, and they’re looking to continue this with the latest addition to their line – the Gamer Fire 600. And while the case looks like something that a six year old with an overactive imagination thought of, the innards don’t look half bad.
Underneath the hood of this eye-murdering monstrosity is an AMD Phenom II X3 720 Tripe-Core CPU, Gigabyte’s CrossFire chipset, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and an ATI Radeon HD 4830 video card. To help fill it out there’s a 500GB HDD, as well as a 20x double layer DVD writer.
The system will all come to you for a reasonable $774 at the base level. It is possible to upgrade the box so that it will include an AMD Phenom II X4 810 Quad-Core CPU, two ATI Radeon HD 4870-X2 video cards, and for an extra $96 you can upgrade the storage capacity to 1.5TB. Not too shabby!
"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said. Nokia is widely expected to enter the netbook segment, if it does actually foray into the PC market.
Despite winning the high-definition format war, Blu-ray adoption appears to be at a standoff with most consumers. Not everyone is willing to pay the relatively high prices associated with Blu-ray players, and that decision has been aided by the prominence of streaming media (a la Netflix) and upconverting standard DVD players. And it looks like consumers were right to wait.
Panasonic, Philips, and Sony have jointly announced plans to create a single licensing firm for Blu-ray patents, which should help drive prices down across the board. The new license is expected to cover all the essential Blu-ray patents to be overseen by an un-named licensing company in the U.S and run by Gerald Rosenthal, former head of intellectual property at IBM.
"By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc marekt and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor," Rosenthal said.
As it stands today, licensing Blu-ray requires talking to each of the three partner companies, but under the new plan, the group estimates the cost of a license to be "at least 40 percent lower than the current cumulative royalty rate." How much of that ends up being passed on to consumers remains to be seen, though we won't have to wait long to find out. The new plan is expected to be introduced by the middle of the year.
There has been some renewed excitement over AMD's triple-core Phenom X3 processors after at least one user claims to have been able to unlock the fourth core. The post appeared on Korean website Playwares.com backed by what appear to be legitimately looking screenshots. Using a Bisotar TA790GX motherboard, all it supposedly took was changing the "Advanced Clock Calibration" in the BIOS to 'Auto,' which reportedly unlocks the disabled core.
Citing un-named motherboard makers, DigiTimes says the report has caused an upsurge in demand for AMD's Phenom X3 chips. Those same sources also described the credibility of unlocking reports as very high, but cautioned that it might only apply to specific batches of CPUs and not the whole tri-core lineup.
Not surprisingly, AMD isn't commenting on whether or not the disabled cores can be re-enabled. And until we see it for ourselves or from a reputable source, we remain skeptical that it can be done.