Nehalem for everyone! That simple sentence best explains Intel’s brand-new series of CPUs, which is sure to please budget users everywhere while confounding power users.
Why would a new CPU that gives you the best bang for the buck in town be greeted nervously? Because Intel’s new CPU brings with it a new socket as well as a new infrastructure. This new infrastructure is essentially a fork in the road that forces users to make a difficult choice: Save money today but get locked out of the high-end, or splurge today knowing that the budget CPU is damn near as good as the top-end part.
For the details on Intel’s new budget monster, savor our full report, consume the specs, and then digest the benchmarks to see just which path your next PC should take.
For motherboard manufacturers, it's 'out with the old and in with the new,' whether they're ready for the change or not. Citing un-named sources sitting in mobo trenches, DigiTimes says Intel plans to slash the proportion of its G31 IGP chipeset shipments in half, reducing the number from 50 percent to 25 percent in the fourth quarter.
At the same time, Intel also plans to raise the proportion of its G41 shipments to 25 percent, but it remains to be seen how this will play out in terms of sales. According to DigiTimes, motherboard makers appear unwilling to jump on the pricier G41 bandwagon, which costs $7 compared to $4-5 for the G31.
Meanwhile, there already exists a suppy gap of around 20 percent for G31 chipset-based boards, which could reach as high as 50 percent in the fourth quarter. Asrock, ECS, Foxconn, and MSI are expected to suffer the most, as they ship more entry-level boards than Asus and Gigabyte.
Forget about fumbling for batteries in your kitchen junk drawer once your remote loses its juice. If you owned Logitech's new Harmony 700, you could just plug it into the wall with the included adapter to bring it back to life. According to Logitech, the Harmony 700 can go several weeks between charges.
Other tricks include one-click activity buttons for tasks such as "Watch a DVD," a color LCD screen, support for more than 5,000 brands and over 225,000 devices, online setup so you don't have to punch in codes on the remote, and the ability to replace up to six other remotes.
Logitech is taking pre-orders for the $150 rechargeable Harmony, which the company says will ship this month.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss, so if you just blew this month's rent by investing in a high performance, low capacity SSD instead, you may want to stop reading.
For those of you still with us, your decision to put off buying an SSD could pay off big time. In a massive report called "Intel's Braidwood: Death to SSDs?," research firm Objective Analysis points out that Intel's upcoming Braidwood NAND flash memory, which will reside directly on the motherboard, costs less to install and offers the same benefits of a discrete SSD.
"The move to NAND in PCs will boost the NAND market, soften the SSD and DRAM markets, and pose problems for thsoe NAND makers who are not poised to produce ONFi (open NAND flash interface) NAND flash," said Jim Handy, an Objective Analysis analyst who authored the report.
But while Objective Analysis has all but written the SSD market's obituary, Intel maintains it sees a "long life ahead for SSDs," saying the focus with Braidwood is not sheer performance, but added reliability.
At first glance, the Noctua NH-U12P is nearly identical to another tower-of-power CPU cooler: Thermalright’s Ultra-120 eXtreme (reviewed July). Like that cooler, the NH-U12P consists of a copper heat exchanger and four dual-heat pipes, topped with a tall stack of aluminum cooling fins with a front-mounted fan. At 6.2 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 2.8 inches deep, the NH-U12P is nearly the same height as the Thermalright, not quite as wide, but quite a bit deeper.
Noctua ships its cooler with a top-of-the-line brown-and-beige NH-P12 fan with nine slightly beveled blades, which is held onto the cooling fin stack by a set of rather flimsy wire clips. The fan itself comes with three 3-pin power options: regular, low-noise, and ultra-low noise, which set the fan to spin at 1,300rpm, 1,100rpm, and 900rpm, respectively. The fan is impressively quiet even at top speed.
Say you’re a content creator—video, graphic design, whatever. You want a computer that’s quiet, functional, and hopefully doesn’t look like it was designed by a candy raver, or worse, Apple. That’s what Thermaltake is betting on with its Element S, an understated black midtower case with restrained red accents and plenty of drive space that’s marketed toward content creators.
The Element S is built from steel, painted black inside and out, and decked with black plastic trim on the top and a red-rimmed, black-plastic front-panel door. It weighs close to 18 pounds, and measures 21.3x9.1x20 inches. The model we tested included three fans: a 12cm, 1,300rpm front intake fan, a 14cm 1,000rpm rear output fan, and a 23cm 800rpm red LED fan on top. The case also includes rear mounts for two 6cm VGA exhaust fans, which is rare, but makes sense if you’re encoding video using a high-end graphics card. The Element S also has two holes for water-cooling tubes, but doesn’t include rubber grommets in them—they’re just bare metal punchouts in the case that could puncture the tubing over time.
In the past several months, NZXT has been aggressively targeting gamers looking to get a lot of case for a little scratch (see here, here, and here), and continuing that trend, the company has just announced the low-priced Lexa S.
Priced at a penny under $70 MSRP, the Lexa S purports to offer exceptional cooling performance with 5 case fans (2x120mm front intake, 140mm top, 120mm LED side, 120mm rear), in addition to a fan controller that gives users independent control over the dual intakes and exhausts.
"We really wanted to offer gamers a solution for under $70 that offers optimal performance without compromise," said Johnny Hou, chief designer at NZXT. "With Lexa S you get enhanced airflow, sleek aesthetics, superior cable management, and added features like an SSD bracket."
Other features include an all black interior. front-facing HDD cage, punched holes in the mobo tray to allow for easier cable management, and mounting holes at the top to accommodate a radiator.
Running a pair of dual-GPU GTX 295 videocards gives gamers quad-SLI bragging rights, but if you're really serious about driving Crysis cranked up on your swank 30-inch display, EVGA's new 4-way motherboard might be just what you're looking for.
EVGA's X58 Classified 4-Way SLI board supports up to four videocards and coincides with the company's 4-way compatible GTX 285 Classified videocard. Currently the fastest single-GPU videocard on the planet, four GTX 285 cards should trump two GTX 295 cards in just about any situation.
All that design decadence comes at the cost of case real estate and you'll need a chassis that supports the XL-ATX form factor. Measuring 13.5 inches by 10.3 inches, EVGA warns you'll need a case with 9 or more expansion slots, or handy modding skills.
They demonstrated Windows 7’s frugal power management by running a DVD on two identically configured ThinkPad T400s. The T400 running Windows 7 only consumed 15.4 watts, while its Vista-toting twin hogged 20.2 watts. The executives claimed that this translates into an additional battery life of 1.4 hours.
Netgear’s MOCA (short for Multimedia over Coax Alliance) adapter is the can solution to the can’t. If you can’t get a reliable Wi-Fi signal throughout your home and you can’t make an Ethernet cable run and you can’t tap your home’s electrical grid with a HomePlug Powerline adapter, than MOCA is the can.
Using existing standard cable coax wires, the Netgear MOCA adapter lets you turn your cable TV runs into a “home entertainment network.” What the hell is that? Since the adapter is built around passing data through your cable TV, it’s no surprise that MOCA wants to push its adoption as an easy way to get Internet connectivity to your set top box, game console, or media center PC.
Setup is Joe-six-pack friendly: Just unplug the coax cable from your TV set and plug it into the Netgear MOCA adapter. Run a second coax cable from the adapter to the TV. TV signals are passed through transparently, so your American Idol viewing won’t be disturbed. And if the signal is degraded you can actually change the frequency the adapter operates on.