Thanks to fierce competition between two GPU juggernauts and a worldwide economic recession, never has there been a better time for gamers to trade in their scratch for the latest videocard technology from either AMD/ATI or Nvidia. The price to performance ratio is at an all time high, but before we get too spoiled on falling prices for increasingly powerful GPUs, AMD has made it clear that it has no intention of duking it out with Nvidia in a price slashing war.
"Are we interested in winning share by losing money on every GPU we ship? No," said Rick Bergman, AMD's senior vice president. "We're not going to engage in that and we haven't had to."
Bergman's comments came in response to questions about what the chip maker was doing to compete with Nvidia at the low end. But according to Bergman, AMD has been able to entice OEMs with better stability and performance per dollar versus Nvidia's aggressive pricing strategy.
"If you go and look at Dell, HP, or Acer's website, you'll actually see a lot of ATI graphics at the entry level," Bergman added.
Bergman also played off any concerns AMD might have with Intel's upcoming Larrabee, while also adding that in a year from now, AMD will "have something new and exciting," but did not elaborate on what that might be.
For over a year now, Samsung's 1TB Spinpoint F1 hard drive has been a fan favorite among power users for its price to performance ratio, but the entire F1 series will soon be replaced with updated models, according to news and rumor site The Inquirer.
Reading like something out of a B-movie script, The Inq. claims to have spied some documents dangling out of a Samsung executive's briefcase.
"At the top of one of the documents, we saw an 'F1' had been crossed out and replaced with an 'F3.' At first we wondered whether Max Mosely might have cracked his legal whip down on Samsung's back, but we soon came to understand that, in fact, it was Samsung's next price list - due out in July," wrote Sylvie Barak of The Inquirer.
Without an official statement from Samsung, we can only speculate what the new line will bring to the table, but it will more than likely replace the F1 as Samsung's flagship series. In addition to upping the performance ante, the F3 could also usher in 1.5TB and 2TB capacities, both of which are missing from the F1 line.
Gateway’s trademark cow is long dead, but that doesn’t mean the company can’t be its quirky old self—something the FX6800 gaming rig illustrates perfectly. With its itsy-bitsy, microATX board, “I don’t care about appearances” wiring, and moderate price, you’d think the box would be easily outclassed by the custom, hand-built PCs we see every month. Well, think again.
The FX6800’s secret is under the hood. While the majority of the machines we’ve tested lately are still running overclocked Core 2 Extreme CPUs, Gateway reached for the midrange Core i7-940. The top-end CPU may be the speed king, but we seriously wondered if a stock-clocked, 2.93GHz Core i7-940 could even hang with those 4GHz Core 2 Extreme rigs.
It has benefited greatly from being on the vanguard of the netbook revolution – Aspire One is the best selling netbook. Its streetwise, efficient sales model can also be credited for its success.
"We collect the order from the customer, place the order with the manufacturer and they ship it," Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci told the New York Times. He added that Acer doesn’t lay its hands on the goods. Dell on the other hand has a plethora of troubles to contend with.
Want to make a lasting impression at the next Junior Republican Convention? Just tell everyone you have the President in your pocket, and you don't even have to fib about it thanks to Active Media, makers of the WWF Penguin and Panda USB drives. The USB manufacturer today adds the 8GB Obama USB drive to its growing lineup of unique flash media.
"The drive is loaded with content to explore. We've more than doubled the bonus content compared to our original Obama drive," noted Jerry Thomson, vice president of marketing at Active Media Products. "This historically important product is offered at a time when the country celebrates its 233 year birthday."
More specifically, the 8GB USB drives comes pre-loaded with 80MB of material ranging from high resolution phots of President Obama and the First Lady, to over two hours of speeches in MP3 format. Also included are several speeches in PDF form.
Both the original 2GB and newer 8GB capacities are available now for $10 and $30, respectively.
Patriot Memory has buddied up with AMD to release its first co-branded Gamer Series memory kit, the AMD Black Edition Ready DDR3 G Series.
"Platforms featuring the latest socket AM3 for AMD processors, including the AMD Phenom II processor family, takes full advantage of the new Patriot Gamer Series memory," said Leslie Sobon, VP of Product Marketing, AMD. "Combined with AMD OverDrive software version 3.0.2, users can experience a state-of-the-art, real time over-clocking utility that allows unprecedented control over their AMD processor / chipset and memory to help push the performance threshold to it peak limits."
Marketing jargon aside, the kits come in both DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1333 frequencies in Low Latency (9-9-9-24) and Enhanced Latency (7-7-7-20) form. Voltage requirements vary by kit, ranging from 1.5V (DDR3-1333 Low Latency) to 1.9V (DDR3-1600 Enhanced Low Latency).
Intel appears to have hit a groove with its 32nm Clarkdale processors. Earlier this month, motherboard makers with the inside scoop reported that Intel had decided to axe its 45nm Havendale chips in favor of pushing 32nm Clarkdale chips in the first quarter of 2010. Those same sources are now saying Intel will begin mass-producing its 32nm chips in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Getting off to a big start, the company's 32nm Clarkdale processors are expected to account for 10 percent of Intel's total OEM desktop CPU shipments in Q4. By 2010, Intel expects that number to double to 20 percent.
Meanwhile, AMD is still looking to ramp up production in the middle of 2010 with mass production not expected until Q4 of next year, potentially putting Intel a year ahead of the No.2 chip maker.
Brrzap! Not all hardware failures start that way, but there's a good chance they'll end up sounding like that as a result of you chucking an unruly piece of hardware through the nearest exit of your dwelling. Before you hulk up next time, know that there are ways to get a little bit more information about the status of your components. Applications that assess the health of your system's various parts serve a twofold purpose. You can deduce that equipment on your system might be going kaput or is otherwise screwed up in some fashion. Armed with that knowledge, you can then attempt to make an effective repair. If there is no way to repair your parts, you'll at least get an advanced notice that disaster is about to strike and that a trip to the electronics store might be in your soon-to-immediate future.
In this week's freeware roundup, I'm going to give you a list of applications that will help you assess your system's CPU, hard drives, optical drives, network connections, and memory. Don't delay in installing these applications--every second wasted puts you but one step closer to a catastrophic meltdown--or, at the very least, an unexpected failure in a critical piece of your PC. And nobody wants to be left hanging on the one day you really, really, really need to access the Internet, for example.
Click the jump, put on your medic's coat, and let's run some diagnostics!
Just in case you missed our review of the new GTX 295 reference board last month, we’ll revisit the high points. To make a GeForce GTX 295, Nvidia sandwiched a fairly large heatsink between a pair of boards—that’s one kick-ass sandwich!
The GTX 295’s GPUs are basically modified GTX 280 GPUs. They’ve got the same shader core configuration as the GTX 280, but Nvidia shrunk the chip’s die from 65nm to 55nm, and lowered the core clock speed to 576MHz (the same as the GTX 260). These two adjustments help keep power requirements and heat generation under control, while the full complement of 240 shader cores keeps the frame rate up in shader-limited benchmarks, such as Crysis and Far Cry 2.
"All PCs, and most PC peripherals have transitioned from full-speed to high-speed. Most of these devices will eventually transition to SuperSpeed, the only issue is the speed of the transition," said Brian O’Rouke, an analyst with In-Stat. As per In-Stat’s prognosis, Superspeed USB 3.0 devices will capture 25% of the USB market by 2013, with USB-enabled computer mice persisting as the most populous USB-enabled device category.