In our July issue, we reviewed OWC’s Mercury Pro 8x Blu-ray External and found the drive’s performance puzzling. In short, the Mercury Pro’s BD-R write speeds belied its 8x rating, with the drive taking nearly an hour to fill a 25GB disc with data, compared with the 22-plus minutes it took LG’s 6x GBW-H20L. It got us wondering whether the issues were more the fault of OWC’s external enclosure or the Pioneer 8x Blu-ray drive at its heart.
This month we were able to answer that question as we tested Pioneer’s BDR-2203, the same drive used in the Mercury Pro. We immediately cut to the chase, testing the BDR-2203’s BD-R write performance. While the Mercury Pro was incompatible with the Nero DiscSpeed app we use for our optical drive tests—forcing us to use Nero 8’s Burn Express instead—the BDR-2203 had no such problems. Using DiscSpeed along with 4x Verbatim media, the drive wrote 22.5GB of data to a BD-R disc in 14:56 (min:sec)—a Lab record!—maintaining 8x speeds through much of the job. With rewriteable media, the drive’s performance wasn’t quite as impressive. The BDR-2203 held a steady 2x speed when filling a 25GB BD-RE disc, for a time of 45:35, much like the Mercury Pro—and 15 percent slower than the LG GBW-H20L’s BD-RE write time.
TGDaily has found out that Super Talent plans to start shipping its first PCI Express RAIDDrive SSDs in early October, so you may want to hang on for a few more weeks if you're currently planning a dream machine build. Why is that? Because these purportedly stupid-fast drives are being designed to thrash the throughput bottleneck in your PC's storage subsystem and leave the SATA bus bandwidth limitation in the dust.
"The PCIe Gen. 2.0 x8 interface used by RAIDDrive SSDs supports 4GB/s bandwidth, more than ten times that of the SATA-II 3Gbps bus, and five times greater than the not yet available SATA-III bus," a Super Talent spokesperson told TGDaily. "Currently, there is no other way to achieve the same performance, except via Fusio-IO - but that costs approximately $10,000 for equivalent speeds."
Super Talent, meanwhile, is targeting a price point below $1,000 in hopes of appealing to both gamers and enterprise users, the spokesperson added. Three versions will be made available, including:
RAIDDrive GS: Aimed at power users and gamers, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses MLC flash, and available in capacities up to 2TB
RAIDDrive ES: For enterprise servers, supports RAID 0 or 5, fits in a 3U rack mount chassis, uses SLC flash, and available in capacities up to 1TB
RAIDDrive WS: Geared towards workstation users, supports RAID 0 or 5, uses SLC flash, available in capacities up to 1TB
Assuming it lives up to the hype, would you drop upwards of $1,000 for a super-speedy SSD configuration?
Remember when T-Mobile's G1 was being billed as a potential iPhone killer? Powered by Google's Android platform, the open-source mobile OS was supposed to usher in the end of the iPhone OS era, and who knows, maybe someday it still will. But it won't be on the G1 (otherwise known as the HTC Dream), the chunky alternative that misses the mark of mobile greatness. But while the G1 might leave a lot to be desired out of the box, power users who aren't afraid to take matters into their own hands have the ability to significantly enhance the handset's capabilities.
On the following pages, we're going to show you how to hack your G1 the easy way so you can do things with your phone that other G1 owners only wish they could, like install apps to an SD card. And for you old school traditionalists who like to get your hands dirty, we'll also show how you to root your G1 the old fashioned way and wade through all the necessary code step-by-painstaking-step. After it's all said and done, we'll cover some of the most popular third-party ROMs and tell you which one we're rolling with.
Are you ready to hack? Grab your G1 and hit the jump to get started!
HP today unveiled a device called the DreamScreen, which the company describes as a companion to the PC. Sort of a hybrid between a full-blown computer and a digital photo frame, the DreamScreen's 10.2-inch (DreamScreen 100) or 13.3-inch (DreamScreen 130) display doesn't support multi-touch, but users can control the panels through touch-enabled controls around the screen's border.
The idea here is to give consumers quick and portable access to music streams (Pandora and HP SmartRadio), weather forecasts, Facebook updates, photo albums, and more. It also comes with 2GB of built-in memory for storing pictures, music, and even movies.
"Constant always-on access to friends, information, and entertainment is a common expectation today," said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, worldwide marekting, Personal Systems Group, HP. "With HP DreamScreen, social media, web services, and digital entertainment can be enjoyed in more areas of the home."
If this all sounds familiar, it's because Apple is rumored to be working on a similar device, which could possibly see the light of day this November. But HP has beaten Apple to the punch, and probably will have undercut Apple's price point, should Jobs and Co. release a handheld tablet.
HP says the DreamScreen is available now for $249 from online distributors, including BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, and HPDirect.com. The DreamScreen 130 is expected to be "broadly available" sometime this fall for $299.
When we began covering all-in-one PCs, we decided we wouldn’t benchmark them because they’re designed for quiet utility, not drag racing. But the Dell XPS One 24 we reviewed in May proved that an all-in-one could hang with the hot rods, so we decided to make that machine our all-in-one zero-point. We imagine Averatec would prefer we go back to our old ways.
On the outside, the Averatec looks very much like an iMac wrapped in shiny black plastic. Inside you’ll find a mixture of desktop and notebook components that explain why the machine is priced $600 less than Apple’s cheapest 24-inch iMac and a cool grand less than Dell’s 24-inch XPS One. Averatec reached far down Intel’s desktop CPU line to pick a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E4600. It did the same for graphics, tapping Nvidia’s two-year-old GeForce 8400M GS mobile GPU. This GPU has just 16 shader processors, runs at a mild 400MHz, and has a narrow 64-bit interface to 256MB of memory. It drives the integrated display at its native resolution of 1680x1050, and there’s a DVI port in back if you want to connect a second monitor.
Sony announced their latest in the Walkman line of players, the NW-A840 series. The new Walkman comes in at 7.2mm, a touch thicker than the latest iPod Nano (6.2mm). However, it also sports capacities up to 64GB. You are going to pay for it though. The 64GB A-series Walkman (NW-A847) will set you back almost $450.
What does that hefty price tag get you? A 2.8in OLED display (no touch screen) with TV-Out capability, FM radio, digital noise cancelling and premium MDR-EX300SL ear buds in the box. The device also boasts on-screen lyric display. Further, it offers a smattering of popular format compatibilities as well as battery life lasting for 29 hours of music (at 128kbps) and 9 hours of video (at 384kbps).
It could be a tough sell in the US, especially where iPods dominate the portable-player market. The new line is due to be available on October 31st. Do you think it has enough appeal to edge out some iPod Nano market share?
A major defect in Research in Motion's (RIM's) new BlackBerry Tour could turn into a financial SNAFU for the smartphone maker, cautions Gerard Hallaren, director of research at TownHall Investment Research.
According to Hallaren, RIM is "having a big trackball problem," one which puts BlackBerry Tour owners in the unenviable position of having to frequently apply a blast of compressed air to avoid letting the trackball get all gunked up. We suppose it could be worse, as anyone who is 'old' enough to remember using mechanical mice can attest, but Tour owners are understandably displeased.
The research firm says that return rates on the Tour at Sprint are approaching 50 percent, while Verizon is also "experiencing serious problems." And according to Hallaren, Sprint has determined that a needed increase in quality control could add 2 to 3 percent to production costs, which would be offset by a lower return rate.
ARM today said it has developed a pair of Cortex-A9 hard macro implementations which will enable devices to operate at 2GHz, and beyond. To achieve the additional speed without disregarding power consumption, the new design calls for a 40nm manufacturing process.
"The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor has already been widely accepted as the processor of choice for high-performance embedded applications across a broad spectrum of demanding consumer and enterprise devices," said Eric Schorn, VP marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "ARM’s parallel development of advanced, optimized physical IP components demonstrates a new level of collaborative differentiation while enabling our Partners to expand their penetration into high margin domains traditionally occupied by proprietary architectures."
According to ARM, chips built on the new design should consume just 0.25W per processor. TSMC will likely end up producing the bulk of the 40nm chips, though any company can start licensing the technology.
Where chips based on the new design ultimately end up is anyone's guess. The Archos 5 current uses the Cortex-A8 chip, as does Apple's iPhone 3GS.
Even the Intel fanboys have to hand it to AMD once in a while. After Intel deftly dropped a Core i5 anvil on Phenom II’s head, AMD did a quick drop to floor and now fires back slo-mo style with its own chip: a $99 quad core.
Dubbed the Athlon II X4 620, this 2.6GHz quad core isn’t just leftover parts swept off the factory floor, either. The Athlon II X4 is based on the familiar K10 microarchitecture in the Phenom and Phenom II, but it’s actually a newer, smaller die. In fact, the new chip has less than half the transistors of a Phenom II X4 processor. Much of the shrinkage comes at the expense of cache. While the Phenom II packs 6MB of L3, the budget Athlon II X4 features none.
The TDP of the new Athlon II X4 chips (there are two, but only one is sub $100) is also considerably lower than the top-end Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip at 95 watts versus 140 watts. Other than the TDP and lack of L3 cache, the CPUs are essentially the same as their Phenom predecessors.
Read on for our full analysis, review, and benchmarks!
Some sources are saying that, at least internally, Intel is talking about shipping one million Lynnfield processors for desktops by the end of 2009. Should Intel meet its goal, it would put the pressure on motherboard makers to keep up.
Asus and Gigabyte are each on pace to ship 400,000 P55-based mobos by the end of the year, leaving 200,000 units for other manufacturers to pick up the slack. MSI, ECS, and ASRock are expected to ship around that many mobos, but all it takes is for one manufacturer to miss its goal for there to be more CPUs than there are mobos.
Asus looks to be the most active for the rest of the year. According to company VP Joe Hsieh, Asus' expects to ship between 5.5 to 6 million motherboards in the third quarter, 6 million in the fourth, and 22 million total. Going forward, Asus says P55-based boards will account for 10 percent of all shipments.