Intel X25-M G2 SSD owners should be lauded for their patience. Don't believe it? See here, here, and, here. We won't fault anyone who takes this next bit of news with guarded optimism, but Intel's newly released 02HD firmware purports to restore TRIM support, and do so without bricking the previously problematic drives.
So far at least, user response in Intel's support forums have been fairly positive. Nobody yet has reported any major problems in the firmware's main support thread, which is a positive sign given the SSD's past problems.
The 02HD firmware applies to both 80GB and 160GB Intel X25-M G2 SSDs built on a 34nm manufacturing process, and in addition to restoring TRIM support, Intel says it also contains "several continuous improvement optimizations intended to provide the best possible user experience."
Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports that Acer has been working on a new netbook built around Google's upcoming Chrome OS since the middle of this year, and will launch the unit sometime in the second half of 2010.
DigiTimes also claims to have heard it straight from the horse's mouth, with Acer chairman J.T. Wang expressing confidence during an interview that his company will beat all others to the punch and bring the first Chrome-based netbook to market.
And if Wang's saying it, there's reason to believe it. Acer, after all, was the first top-tier vendor to release a Google Android-based nebook. Though demand for the model didn't meet the company's expectations, that apparently hasn't given Acer cold feet when it comes to releasing netbooks not sporting the Windows platform as the sole OS.
Compared to 2008, the worldwide server market has certainly had its struggles this year. According to data released by market research firm Gartner, global server shipments tanked 17.1 percent over the same quarter one year ago, while revenues for the same period dropped 15.5 percent. But it's all about how you look at the numbers, Gartner points out.
"It is important to put the yearly declines into perspective," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "Looking at the third quarter results from the sequential perspective, they showed an increase of 13.8 percent in shipments and 10.2 percent in revenues when compared to the second quarter of this year. That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization as we move toward the end of 2009."
It terms of revenue, IBM lead all others in the worldwide server market for the quarter, claiming $3.38 billion. HP wasn't far behind with $3.2 billion in 3Q revenue, and then it drops off with Dell taking the third spot with $1.42 billion in revenue.
On the server shipment front, HP pumped out more servers in the third quarter than anyone else and now holds 32.1 percent of the market share. Dell came in second with a 22.8 percent share, and IBM a distant third with 12.8 percent.
The LCD price fixing shenanigans continue, at least according to Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker who has filed suit against Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers over allegedly colluding to fix prices, Bloomberg reports.
Filed on November 25, the lawsuit is based on both federal and state antitrust claims and makes essentially the same arguments as AT&T did last month when it filed a suit in the same court, also against LCD manufacturers. According to Nokia, Samsung and more than six other LCD makers conspired to raise the price of displays.
"The liquid-crystal displays were incorporated into Nokia mobile wireless handsets," according to the complaint. The conspiracy "artificially inflated the price of liquid crystal displays ultimately incorporated into LCD products purchased by Nokia, causing Nokia to pay higher prices."
Each of the suits direct the court's attention to a U.S. Justice Department investigation of display price fixing. Hitachi, who pleaded guilty in March in the inquiry, is one of the defendants named in Nokia's suit, but not AT&T's.
Samsung today announced the industry's first mass production of its 30nm class, 32Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte), multi-level-cell (MLC) NAND memory with an an asynchronous DDR interface.
"With the new DDR MLC NAND, double data rate transmission can be achieved without increasing power consumption, giving designers a lot more latitude in introducing diverse CE devices," said Soo-In Cho, executive vice president and general manager of the Memory Division on Samsung.
According to Samsung, its DDR NAND chips will significantly improve read performance of mobile devices. The chips come capable of 133Mbps reads, and would replace SDR MLC NAND chips with read performance hovering around 40Mbps.
The company said its new chips can be used in SSDs for PCs, premium SD memory cards for smartphones, and in Samsung's proprietary moviNAND memory.
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just your Dell laptop? Many are complaining it's the latter, with what looks to be hundreds of owners of E6400 and E6500 series Dell notebooks complaining of performance issues, including throttling down by as much as 95 percent under normal operating conditions, Engadget reports.
The problem appears to be due to an oversensitive BIOS prone to dialing down clockspeeds and bringing notebooks to a near screeching halt at the first sign of heat. It's something that's been brought to Dell's attention long ago, but according to Engadget, the OEM has been censoring some posts on its forums rather than fixing the issue.
One user who went by the name Tinkerdude (and is now banned) even went to far as creating a 59-page PDF describing the problem in all its gory detail.
Further reading (be patient - links have been slashdotted):
The 12X external Blu-ray burner comes capable of writing data on both single and dual-layer disks. And while traditional external burners have usually been far less appealing than internal drives in terms of performance, that shouldn't be the case with a USB 3.0 interface.
To take advantage of the SuperSpeed spec, end-users will either need a compatible motherboard or one of the PCI-E cards that are starting to fill store shelves. For those who don't plan on upgrading in the immediate future but are in need of an external drive, Buffalo says its "fastest blu-ray burner ever" will still work just fine on a USB 2.0 port, it just won't be as fast. and chug along at 7X instead of 12X.
The new drive is expected to land in Japan by the end of December for around $450. No word yet on when it will make its way to the States or for how much.
We're getting just as tired of reporting on Barnes & Noble's continued delays of its Nook e-book reader are you are of reading about them, so imagine how those who prepaid for the digital reader must feel. Unfortunately, the backorder blues continue, and now B&N is saying that Nooks ordered after November 20th won't ship out until January 11th.
That's a week later than the January 4th date B&N was quoting yesterday afternoon, even as the company hijacks its own shipments to high-volume stores in order to fulfill preorders that a company spokesperson admitted exceeded expectations. Some B&N stores won't have any in-store Nooks until mid-December, if at all.
For those who were quick-triggered (and lucky) enough to place their preorders before November 20th, B&N says those will still ship in time for Christmas. For everyone else, let the waiting game being, although the company is offering to send out a Nook holiday certificate free of charge, so you'll still have something to put under the Christmas tree.
What sets a boutique builder apart from a huge OEM? Taking risks with hardware, that’s what.
Unfortunately, taking risks doesn’t always pan out. Take AVADirect’s Custom PC. Hot on the heels of numerous Core i7 rigs tipping the 4GHz and 4.2GHz range, AVADirect went a step further by clocking its Custom PC gaming rig at 4.4GHz. The company even goes so far as to include a custom profile for 4.7GHz—a speed the company had originally promised it would hit out of box, until cooler heads prevailed.
The bad news is that even at 4.4GHz, we were able to break the AVADirect machine with our stress test. The good news is that the machine remained stable in our benchmarking runs. Still, if we could stress it enough to reboot in two hours, someone else could, too. Working with AVADirect, we were able to get the machine to rock-solid levels at 4.4GHz, but it took several days of testing and more than 25 different BIOS combinations—which somewhat tarnishes the feat.
If you’re bored to tears with all the features high end motherboards tend to have, Asus is aiming this product at you. The new Asus ROG Maximus III Extreme has a trick new to motherboards. You can tweak the settings via a Bluetooth enabled cell phone. So if your CPU is feeling a little tired, why not overclock it via your wireless handset?
The current incarnation of the Republic of Gamers series allows users to connect another computer via USB to adjust settings on the fly. The Bluetooth can also be used for other purposes. “RC Bluetooth is also capable of performing standard Bluetooth functions, such as stereo music playback, Skype messaging, Internet access via a Bluetooth phone, and mobile phone or PDA synchronization,” said the Asus press release.
The Maximus III also packs all the features you’d expect plus a little more. It will rock USB 3.0 and SATA 6G. Users will also find 5 PCIe 8x connections. Curiously, this particular board will be socket LGA 1156 instead of the higher end LGA 1366.