The source of this are emails submitted for the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation of Intel, with the selector of those emails being Intel. You don’t need a road sign (digital or otherwise) to see where this is going: full-speed down the Grapevine without any brakes.
According to the emails, AMD execs, including top dogs Hector Ruiz and Henri Richard, basically said their product was crap. AMD is described as “pathetic”, “cheap”, “less reliable”, and “lower quality”. Said Richard: “I certainly would never buy AMD for a personal system if I wasn’t working here.”
Take it all with a grain-of-salt. It’s a decent bet that AMD’s execs were lamenting AMD’s marketing strategy and poor performace. Ruiz, for example, was upset that AMD didn’t have “a more competitive product in the mobile space.” And AMD’s floundering mid-decade put it at a distinct disadvantage with OEMs, like Dell. Perhaps it was all tough love?
But then, who cares? A car wreck is a car wreck, and as much as we shouldn’t, we’ll still slow down to take a look.
Sun and Fujitsu on Tuesday unveiled an upgraded SPARC Enterprise M3000 server the two companies claims will help customers consolidate multiple entry-level servers into a compatc 2U chassis, resulting in space and energy savings.
"Launched just overa year ago, the Sun SPARC Enterprise M3000 server with the Solaris Operating System has been a tremendous success with our customers," said John Fowlwer, executive vice president, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. "With this latest release, Sun continues to deliver improved performance and value for customers. From the single processor M3000 to the high-end 64-processor M9000, SPARC and Solaris is the strategic business choice."
The upgraded server packs a new 2.75GHz SPARC64 VII processor and, according to Sun, includes many of the same mission-critical features as the mid- and hi-end SPARC64-based machines. Equipped with the new processor and faster system memory, Sun says performance is improved to tune of 23 percent than the previous generation.
Market researcher Gartner is making the call: the six-year decline in PC prices will come to an end later this year, so get ready to pay more. The culprit: a shortage of components.
Manufacturers are facing two problems. Problem one: with prices falling (and the economy crashing), manufacturers have been scaling back on production, resulting in a shortage. Problem two: manufacturers are in the process of ramping up new production lines, and aren’t yet able to meet current demand.
A perfect example is memory. DRAM manufacturers are shedding DDR2 capacity and adding DDR3 capacity. This results in shortages in both, as DDR2 demands are going unheeded, while DDR3 demands are going unsatisfied. Memory makes up about ten percent of the overall cost of a PC, which makes significant the recent 23 percent jump in DDR3 spot prices.
Also in short supply: LCDs and hard drives, with prices for each expected to jump 20 percent. Optical drives are also getting harder to come by.
OEMs can absorb some of these cost increases, but with margins as thin as they are they can’t absorb them all. Some will be passed along to the consumer. How much remains to be seen.
The RocketRAID 620 series has SATA 3.0 host adapters with a RAID 5 capability (backward compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and 1.5 Gb/s). It’s got a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 host interface (compatible with PCI-Express 1.0), and it offers optimized storage performance and redundancy with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and JBOD.
The RocketRAID will allow hot plug and hot swap of storage devices, and has OCE/ORLM to expand storage capacity or migrate to different RAID levels.
HighPoint is offering two cards: the RocketRaid 620, with a price of $69.99, and the RocketRAID 622, with a price of $79.99. The 620 will come with SATA connectors, the 622 with eSATA connectors. Both cards are expected to ship this month.
Assuming no more delays or last minute niggles, Nvidia's Fermi chips will be available in low quantities in just a couple of months. They're also going to run hotter than Nvidia's current gen GPUs, including the GTX 285, says news and rumor site Fudzilla.
"Fermi is a big chip, so this doesn't come as much a surprise. As long as it runs stable, people won't complain about it too much. We've seen the card in person at least twice so far and we can tell that the first one we saw has a dual-slot air cooler and runs quite hot," Fudzilla noted.
Keep in mind that any early looks might not be indicative of the final product, as Nvidia continues to tweak the design. And rumors have already begun swirling around a dual-GPU variant, although nobody knows when it might ship.
There's a definite trend towards smaller, more portable gadgets, which, in addition to battery life, is a large reason why netbooks have become so popular. But what about ultra-thins?
Citing sources from "notebook players," DigiTimes says ultra-thin notebooks will only eat up 15 percent of global notebook shipments in the first half of 2010. The reason, sources say, is because of their awkward market position and price points.
There are a bevy of Intel chips ready to tackle the ultra-thin market, including the dual-core SU9600, SU9400, SU7300, SU4100, and SU2300, as well as the single-core Celeron 743 chips, but ultra-thins built around these chips are having trouble competing with entry-level notebooks, both in terms of price and performance.
Going forward, expect vendors to push their ultra-thin lineups to the business market, though price/performance ratios will still present a hurdle.
High-end laptops are lucky to squeeze 3 hours of run time out of a single charge, and if you're looking for ultra long battery life, your best bet is a netbook. Or is it?
Asus had on display at CES a performance-oriented laptop the company hopes will redefine the high-end genre. The UL80JT, as it's currently called, can switch back and forth between a high-end Nvidia GeForce 310 and Intel's lowly GMA graphics. Combined with a Core i7 CPU capable of re-clocking itself on a second-by-second basis and other micromanagement tricks, Asus claims users can expect up to 12 hours of run time.
Even cooler, the whole process is transparent to the user, meaning you don't have to fiddle with power settings. The laptop decides for itself when to clock the dual-core Core i7 chip up or down and when to switch between graphic chips, and while we're skeptical we'd actually see 12 hours of run time, we would expect the UL80JT to run a lot longer than a typical high end notebook.
As PC games continue their eternal march onward, many a laptop is left in the dust shockingly fast. What’s usually holding them back is the poor graphics solution. Even laptops with dedicated cards find themselves unable to run newer games inside of a year. A new AMD product called ATI XGP could solve all that. The AMD 5000 Series Mobility External GPU would provide the power for a real 3D gaming experience.
The new cards will require a full PCI-e pinout, which isn’t currently standard. However, the existence of MiniPCI-e means this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The new system was demoed on an old Acer Ferrari running a Radeon X1270. The difference was quite clear. The external GPU was able to run Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. on a triple monitor system using the Eyefinity system.
The external box itself has one DVI connector, one HDMI, three display port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 35W power adapter. No word yet on when you’ll be able to get a laptop that supports ATI XGP, but keep an eye out.
Talk about a tight fit. Silverstone was at CES to show off their new line of cases (including the highly-anticipated Fortress 2 mid-tower case), but what caught our eye was their Sugo SG07 mini-ITX case. Last year's SG06 was a respectable gaming chassis, but didn't account for the massive videocards that came out in the second half of the year. The new model is built with those cards in mind, and as you can see from the photo below, snuggly houses a 12.6-inch Radeon 5970 videocard!
The SG07 also comes bundled with a Silverstone custom single-rail 600W power supply to provide ample power to a single-GPU system, and has a beefy 180mm fan on top. There's also a specially-designed ventilation area that's sectioned off on the base of the machine to funnel hot air away from the videocard without heating up the entire chassis.
But does it make sense to put the world's fastest videocard into a mini-ITX system?
Practicality be damned just might be the motto of PEGA Design & Engineering, into which their new acrylic-based laptop design seems to fit quite nicely. But, again, when you aren’t being constrained by the ‘must-sell’ design straightjacket of the marketplace, where the mind wanders can prove both interesting, and maybe predictive.
There’s not all that much to it, really. (No pun intended.) The base of the laptop, called the Hyaline, is made of conventional materials. But the LCD screen is housed in a translucent frame, which gives it a lighter look and feel--it “appears to float” says the description. Acrylic has it’s flaws (as Apple can attest after its production run of the Power Mac G4 Cube), so to reduce stress on the screen the laptop will be able to detect wireless networks without being turned on. (Not quite sure why this is a big deal, however.)
While darn spiffy to look at now, one can help but wonder how attractive it’s going to be after a few months of real-world use.