As the NAND flash memory market slowly stabilizes in the later half of this year, it’s expected that SSDs will take over as the primary source of storage for computers industry-wide.
According to research firm DRAMeXchange, the oversupply of NAND flash chips is currently weakening the global SSD market, and is scheduled to balance out. Once this balance happens, the price gap between the HDDs we all currently know and love and the SSDs we all fantasize about and desire will close, ultimately causing a HD-to-SSD replacement cycle that was delayed thanks to the worldwide economic crisis.
Reportedly many computer manufacturers have been preparing for the transition. Many have begun to include SSDs in their laptops, but many desktops are beginning to feature them as well.
Yesterday AMD announced that they had no plans to replace their aging Geode chip. Its low power consumption made it an ideal candidate for the XO laptops, but now the future for this deal remains uncertain.
“There are no plans for a follow-on product to today's available AMD Geode LX products, but we expect to make this very successful processor available to customers as long as the market demands,” stated Phil Hughes, a spokesman with AMD.
Reportedly AMD is working closely with OLPC to remain the chipmaker for the XO-2 laptop. But, it is expected that given their lack of next-generation low power consumption chips, it will be difficult.
Confirming an earlier rumor that Western Digital had been nearing the release of a 2TB internal hard drive, the HDD maker is now producing and shipping the record capacity HDD. However, the new drive is so far only available through Mwave Australia.
The 2TB drive carries Western Digital's GreenPower moniker, an eco-friendly designation WD claims represents a 4-5 watt savings over standard desktop drives. According to Western Digital's product page, the new drive sips up to 7.4W during read/write operations, 4W at idle, and 0.97W during sleep or standby. Other specs for the WD20EADS include a 7200RPM spindle speed and 32MB of cache.
The drive sells for AU$378, which converts to about $250USD. No word yet on U.S. availability or pricing.
In the past, the AMD Phenom II has been overclocked to an extremely impressive 5 GHz. And while this was extremely impressive, it would seem that AMD wouldn’t want to be outdone.
AMD’s own Pete Hardman and Sami Makinen were able to overclock an AMD Phenom II to a blazing 6.5GHz, at an operating temperature of –230 degrees Celsius using liquid nitrogen and liquid helium as their cooling agents.
Should you be interested in seeing the whole process play out, be sure and check out the video here (and, as is usual with videos of this nature, prepare your ears for some awful trance music).
A nifty new device by Option promises to turn 3G signals into a WiFi hotspot, while also serving as a central hub for connecting networked devices like an external hard drive via USB. Option says its device also supports printer sharing for anyone with access to the network.
"Option placed significant emphasis on product design during the development of the GlobeSurfer III: the device will not look out of place among the many stylish consumer electronic devices commonly found in the modern home," Option states in a pres release. "With its completely wireless configuration the GlobeSurfer III can be wall-mounted or sit on a desktop or shelf. This allows the router to be placed anywhere in the home, office or workshop to ensure optimum coverage and performance."
The new GlobeSurfer III uses the Qualcomm 7225 chipset and, according to Option, delivers HSUPA upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps and download speeds up to 7.2Mbps.
AMD today released five low-power and two high-performance processors for server builds. All seven of the new chips are updated versions of AMD's 45nm Shanghai architecture.
"When we first came to market, we brought out the standard-power (Shanghai processors) because that's where the bulk of our market is," John Fruehe, the director of business development for server and workstation products at AMD, said in an interview. "As always, we follow(ed) up fairly quickly with the HE, which are the energy-efficient models, and the SE, which are the high-performance models."
All five low power quad-core models-- 2376 HE, 2374 HE, 2372 HE, 8376 HE, and 8374 HE -- come rated at 55W ACP (Average CPU Power), which is equivalent to a 79W TDP, and run between 2.1GHz and 2.3GHz. The higher performance SE models -- 2386 SE and 8386 SE -- both run at 2.8GHz with a 105W ACP rating.
The new processors are available now in three new systems from HP and other technology partners.
As noted by Gizmodo, Windows 7 has made quite a few tweaks to the Windows Experience Index (WEI) first introduced by Windows Vista. For those of you tuning in late, the WEI tests hardware performance of five subsystems (processor, memory, desktop graphics, 3D gaming graphics, and hard disk), calculates a score for each one, and uses the lowest subsystem score as your WEI base score.
Since just after Windows Vista shipped, users of high-performance components, especially graphics cards, have been complaining loudly about Vista's WEI top score being capped at 5.9. While the Minpaso database of Vista WEI scores calculates a "presumption score" to try to make allowances for today's faster hardware, there hasn't been an official move from Microsoft until now. The code jockeys in Redmond heard you, and the top WEI subsystem and base score in Windows 7 is 7.9.
Wondering why the top score changed, and what else is different? Join us after the jump for details.
We’re unabashed fans of HP’s TouchSmart desktop machines, so we were really looking forward to getting our digits on the new technology in a tablet-style notebook PC. But such eager anticipation only made the reality of the TouchSmart tx2 all that more disappointing
Despite a struggling economy, the worldwide PC market continues to grow, which is largely the result of mini-notebooks. The immense popularity in low-cost netbooks has also favored Intel, whose Atom CPUs contributed to record growth in the processor market in Q3 2008. But are consumers truly happy buying underpowered ultraportable PCs? According to a study by Biz360, an information-services company, customer satisfaction is falling short of the sales growth.
"The results of the analysis indicate that there is a lot of opportunity for improvement across the board for Netbook products," Biz360 concludes. "Netbook manufacturers also face a significant challenge with consumers whose expectations are based on years of desktop pc usage."
Surprisingly, Biz360 found that Acer ranks lowest in Net Advocacy (Biz360's proprietary metric that factors the positive and negative sentiment of individual comments), despite being the top seller in Q4 2008. Acer's Aspire one series had a 34 percent lower Net Advocacy than the average for all laptop brands.
Not so suprisingly, the number one complaint against netbooks has to do with performance, in which Biz360 found opinions to be "predominately negative."
Earlier this month BFG announced it would become a boutique system builder, a bold move considering the market sector has seen the departure of big name boutiques like Alienware, Voodoo, and HyperSonic as standalone entities (now owned by Dell, HP, and OCZ respectively). Even bolder was the announcement of its $8,000 flagship Elite model in the new Phobos line, which comes standard with dual BFG GeForce GTX 295 videocards, Intel's Core i7 965 Extreme processor, 6GB of RAM, and other high end treats.
Now that www.bfgsystems.com has gone live and is taking orders, we have more information on the Performance and Advanced models, which start at $3,000 and $8,000 respectively. For three grand, the Performance configuration comes standard with a water-cooled Core i7 920 (2.66GHz) processor, 6GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, GeForce GTX 285 videocard, two 640GB WD hard drives, DVD burner, and a 1KW PSU. The Advanced configuration bumps the processor up to Intel's Core i7 940 (2.93GHz), adds a second GTX 285 videocard, trades the 640GB hard drives for a pair of 300GB Velociraptors instead, and forgoes onboard sound in favor of Creative's X-Fi Titanium.
All three configurations come with free in-home setup.