HDMI (the acronym stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is one of the consumer electronics industry’s more remarkable innovations. This de facto HDTV interface enables the transmission of high-definition digital video, up to eight channels of digital audio, HDCP encryption, the Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) protocol, and five volts of electrical power over a single cable.
HDMI 1.0, introduced in December 2002, had all of these features. The latest version, HDMI 1.3c, boasts several more, including support for Deep Color, auto lip sync, and the two high-definition multichannel audio formats used in Blu-ray discs. Let’s take a look at how HDMI accomplishes all this while remaining backward-compatible with the earlier DVI standard.
For a long while, it seemed as though Plextor was content to fade from memory after ruling the optical market, that is until the company announced a bunch of optical drives last November and a spattering of releases since then. Plextor's back again, this time with a new internal 8X Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD writer combo, the PX-B320SA.
"We're pleased to be able to offer consumers a versatile, multi-feature drive that offers faster Blu-ray read speeds as well as a way to burn data to CD or DVD," said Christine Hsing, Marketing Manager at Plextor. "Additionally, having Cyberlink's BD Suite software included will make it easy for consumers to enhance existing DVD content using the same drive."
Tech specs include reading Blu-ray discs at 8X, DVD±R at 16X, DVD±R DL and DVD+RW at 8X, DVD-RW at 6X, and DVD-RAM at 12X. And in addition to CyberLink software, the drive also comes with Plextor's PlexUTILITIES app.
Plextor says the drive is available now for $179 MSRP.
Galaxy doesn't enjoy nearly the same notoriety in the U.S. market as EVGA, BFG, XFX, and other major graphics players, but that might change in the coming months now that it has become an Authorized Board Partner in North America and Latin America. Whether or not Galaxy can contend with existing bigwigs remains to be seen, but it certainly seems stoked about the announcement.
"This partnership will allow the customers in the U.S. to see the advantages of using a tier one manufacturer with superior quality, aggressive prices, and great tech support," stated Shane Vance, U.S. sales. "We have already teamed up with Nvidia to bring some exciting software promotions to show off the power of the Galaxy graphics cards," stated Ric Lewis, U.S. Sales.
Galaxy, while largely overshadowed in the North American market, has been selling products through e-tailers such as Newegg, Tiger Direct, Dell.com, Amazon, and others. You may have also seen Galaxy-branded cards on retails shelves at your local Best Buy or Microcenter, but up until now, the company has been a bigger player overseas where it has been an authorized partner for the past several years.
While you sat at home on Sunday watching Tom Watson choke on what would have been an historic 8-foot putt in the 2009 British Open, Intel was busy slashing prices on a bunch of desktop processors, including a good many quad-core chips.
The Q9400 (2.66GHz) is now a sub-$200 part after being reduced 14 percent from $213 to $183. That meant pushing down the Q8300 (2.5GHz) from $183 to $163, an 11 percent reduction. Intel also cut prices on lower power quads, such as the Q9400S going from $277 to $245, a 12 percent reduction.
Moving away from the quads, the Core 2 Duo E7500 dropped 15 percent from $133 to $113, while Pentium desktop chips saw price cuts of up to 14 percent. One of the biggest cuts in terms of percentage came to the Celeron E1500 (2.2GHz), which was reduced 19 percent from $53 to $43.
Finally, the Xeon X3330 (2.66GHz) dropped from $219 to $188, a 14 percent reduction.
Crucial this week announced what it describes as a "revved-up line" of SSD products, while also noting that the M225 series is the fastest, highest capacity Crucial SSDs to date.
"By upgrading their system with a solid-state drive, mobile computer users will enjoy a faster, more rugged system with storage built for mobility. The fact that SSDs don't have any moving parts makes Crucial solid-state drives quieter, cooler, and more durable than traditional hard drives," said Robert Wheadon, Lexar Media's senior worldwide product marketing manager.
The M225 series is available in 64GB (CT64M225), 128GB (CT128M225), and 256GB (CT256M225) capacities with the following speed grades:
256GB: 250MB/s read, 200MB/s write
128GB: 250MB/s read, 190MB/s write
64GB: 200MB/s read, 150MB/s write
The MLC-based drives also sport 64MB of DRAM cache and come with a 5-year warranty. The drives are available now for $160 (64GB), $330 ($128GB), and $600 (256GB).
Silverstone is well-known for releasing a few solid chassis every year, usually rehashes of its Temjin full-tower line. But this year has already brought two excellent cases that mark departures from the tried-and-true: the full-tower Raven RV01 (reviewed in our March full-tower roundup) and the mid-tower Fortress FT01.
The Fortress FT01 is a solidly constructed aluminum unibody case that just screams attention-to-detail. Mid-tower cases often lack the amenities of their full-size cousins (compare Silverstone’s own Kublai line with its mighty full-tower Temjin series), but the Fortress handily escapes that trap.
After the chunky, plastic, stealth-bomber-like trappings of the RV01—which we dug, don’t get us wrong—it’s nice to see Silverstone back to the classy brushed-metal look it’s known for. The Fortress’s side panels and front bezels are black brushed aluminum, while the rest of the machine has a dusty matte-black finish, with a bit of wicked-looking mesh covering the intake fans.
The schism between DDR3 and DDR2 spot prices is widening. According to market research firm inSpectrum, although memory module and graphics card vendors made a lot of inquiries for DDR3 during the last week (July 13-17), transaction volumes remained low due to limited stocks. The market’s bullishness helped the price of DDR3 to continue its upward trends while price of DDR2 continued to fall with cussed consistency, with the price of 1GB effectively tested (eTT) chips even dropping below $1.
Following the success of its high performance X25-M solid state drive, Intel is getting back into the SSD game, this time with higher capacity models that will reportedly offer a much better bang-for-buck.
According to German news site Golum.de, Intel's upcoming Postville family of SSDs will top out at 320GB, with both 80GB and 160GB capacities also planned. These will be MLC-based drives built around a 34nm manufacturing process. By comparison, the X25-M is an SLC-based drive.
Even so, the new series should be decent performers if Golum's information is accurate. The site says the Postville family will serve up read speeds over 200MB/s, putting them in line with the rash of high performance SSDs recently being offered by competitors. The new series might also use a new controller.
No official word on price or release date, but Golum did say both the 80GB and 160GB Postville drives will cost less than the X25-M (80GB).
If you've ever shopped for a videocard, you may have run across a company called GeCube. The company has been somewhat of a player in the graphics market, producing ATI videocards from the Radeon 7000 PCI series to the much more recent PCI-E Radeon HD 4890. That's as far as the company will go, says news and rumor site DigiTimes.
Citing a Chinese-language Apply Daily report, DigiTimes says Gigabyte has recently released its 61.5 percent stake in GeCube and relinquished its spot on the board of directors. As a result, GeCube decided to sell off its graphics card business, but the company isn't going away completely. Instead, GeCube has already attracted a new partner, and although GeCube isn't saying who the new partner is, going forward the two will apparently work together on a non-graphics card related business.
As of right now, GeCube's website still reflects its graphics business.
Asus’s Eee PC kicked off the netbook craze in 2007, and now the grandmaster of small-and-shiny returns with its best Eee ever. The 1000HE combines the 901’s extra-long battery life with the power and capacity of the 1002HA (which we reviewed in March), and throws in a nearly MacBook Pro–style full-size chiclet keyboard.
The 1000HE is the first netbook we’ve reviewed with Intel’s new Atom N280 processor, which kicks up the clocks from 1.6GHz to 1.66GHz, and the front-side bus to 667MHz from 533MHz. Other than that, it’s virtually the same hardware as Asus’s other 10-inch models, like the 1002HA. The 1000HE trades the 1002HA’s brushed-aluminum exterior for glossy fingerprint-prone plastic, with the chiclet keyboard supplanting the 1000HA’s more standard keys.