With 802.11n Draft 2.0 routers becoming as common as Storm Troopers at Comic-Con, manufacturers need a feature that sets their product apart from the crowd. Like many of its competitors, Belkin added a second radio to its N+ Wireless Router—but this one is used for a very different purpose.
Rather than operating on a separate frequency (to separate audio and video streams from more mundane data), the second 2.4GHz radio on Belkin’s router establishes a guest network that limits clients to Internet access. Belkin’s web interface provides extremely limited access to this second radio’s settings: You can turn this radio on or off, change its SSID and passphrase, and choose between WPA/WPA2 pre-shared key or “Hotel Style” security.
E-book readers are poised to become as popular as netbooks, and it's Amazon who stands to benefit the most, whose Kindle readers lead the charge. But the handheld digital readers are best served for personal use and not in an academic setting, suggests Princeton University.
As part of a pilot program, 50 Princeton students received a Kindle DX e-book reader at no cost, but according school newspaper The Daily Princetonian, "many of them said they were dissatisfied and uncomfortable with the devices."
The Kindles were given to students and faculty in three courses -- WWS 325: Civil Society and Public Policy, WWS 555A: U.S. Policy and Diplomacy in the Middle East, and CLA 546: Religion and Magic in Ancient Rome. In all three classes, the general consensus was that the devices were too difficult to use.
"I hate to sound like a Luddite, but this technology is a poor excuse of an academic tool," said Aaron Horvath, a student in Civil Society and Public Policy. "It's clunky, slow, and a real pain to operate."
Horvath went on to explain that by trading in textbooks for the Kindle, students lose the ability for physical interaction, including highlights, page-tearing, sticky notes, margin notes, and so forth.
The price suppliers pay for DDR2 RAM has been climbing slowly for some time. Now it may have finally crossed paths with DDR3 prices, says price tracker DRAMexchange. The cost of a 1Gb 800Mhz chip has risen to $2, about the same as DDR3.As more platforms add support for DDR3, adoption has accelerated.
The increase in price had been accelerating in the last few weeks. It has gotten to the point that PC OEMs find supplies of DDR2 chips to be dwindling. When an OEM can get more advanced DDR3 for the same price, the market should switch over, according to analysts.This means you may be seeing a lot more DDR3 RAM in computers going forward.
More cool things coming out of the Intel Developers Forum. Intel showed off an upgraded stock cooler for its upcoming six-core Nehalem processor, codenamed Gulftown. Generally speaking, stock coolers are barely more than adequate when it comes to noise, cooling power, and overclockability.
However, Intel’s latest cooler takes steps to change some of that. It features an updated tower design, additional fins on the heatsink and four copper heatpipes. Obviously, overclocking enthusiasts will seek out after-market solutions, but this should be a nice change for those looking to save a buck.
Intel’s i9 six-core processor was expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year, but has since been delayed until early of next year.
When we reviewed the first Killer network card (Holiday 2006), we found that the meager performance gains it offered couldn’t justify its $250 price tag. Now Killer’s back with the new Xeno, a PCI Express design that costs $100 less than the original card, but it still doesn’t offer much benefit for the price.
The Killer’s big promise with the Xeno is that it will improve your ping in games by offloading network overhead from your CPU to a dedicated processor on the board. To test this claim, we set up two identical test beds in the Lab. Then we joined the same Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead servers and followed the same players in spectator mode while measuring the ping and frame rate on each system at identical intervals, using Fraps. In this test, we measured a fairly consistent ping difference of 5ms in favor of the Xeno, which is in line with what we measured in 2006.
More proof that Intel's P55 platform packs enough punch to satisfy power users and mainstream users alike, MSI's P55-GD80 motherboard helped Taiwan overclocker Coolater set a new Core i7 overclocking record. Using the aforementioned board, Coolater was able ramp up his 2.8GHz Core i7 860 CPU all the way to 5.39GHz.
"The MSI P55-GD80 owes much of its outstanding overclocking ability to its equipped MSI-exclusive technologies, such as the one second auto-overclocking feature OC Genie, the SuperPipe cooling system that effectively drops the operating temperature by 50C, and 1>4 phase total DrMOS power supply design," MSI said in a related statement.
According to the validated CPU-Z screenie, Coolater ran a 245.39MHz bus speed with a 3926.2MHz frontside bus and a 1.672 vCore. And of course at nearly 5.4GHz, LN2 was involved in keeping the proc cool.
In Act I of the modern-day GPU wars, AMD lit up the scene by releasing the ATI Radeon HD 5870, the fastest single-GPU videcoard money can buy. In Act II, AMD will hope to also claim the dual-GPU crown with its upcoming HD 5870 X2.
The latest rumor pegs the beastly dual-GPU videocard for an October release, though AMD hasn't said anything official yet. Nevertheless, to satisfy power users with deep pockets who are chomping at the bit, leaked pics of the 5870 X2 have hit the web.
Not just one leaked pic either, but several of them, each one showing the 5870 X2 in its massive glory. The X2 appears to trump the 5870 in length, which already measures about 11 inches long. While it's hard to determine exactly how long the X2 will be, it looks to be about a half-inch longer.
Get your fill of fuzzy GPU porn here, then hit the jump and sound off!
Earlier this year, Thermaltake wowed us all with the announcement of the Level 10, a concept case designed in conjunction with BMW DesignWorks. Rather than a standard aluminum box, the Thermaltake Level 10 would incorporate a central pillar, with individual compartments hanging from it for the motherboard, PSU, optical drives, and hard drives. Here's a press shot of the Level 10.
The Level 10. It's high-concept! (click to embiggen)
We haven't heard much about the Level 10 since Computex in June; we were even a bit skeptical that such an outré case would ever come to market. But Friday morning we strolled into our secret lair to find an enormous box on our doorstep. Read on to find the first shots of the production Level 10, as well as features, pricing, and availability.
Before now, if you wanted a Core i7-based laptop, you could have one, but it had to be of the desktop variety, which meant contending with higher temps, lower battery life, and bulky form factors.
Then came this year's IDF, in which Intel introduced its Nehalem architecture in mobile form. It didn't take long for Dell to announce refreshed Studio 15 and Studio 17 laptops outfitted with the new chips, and now Asus and Sager are joining in on the fun.
Asus just introduced its M60J, a 16-inch notebook that comes configurable with either Intel's 1.6GHz Core i7 720QM or 1.73GHz Core i7 820QM. It also comes with a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT240M GPU, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 1TB of hard drive storage, optional Blu-ray, and more.
Sager, on the other hand, unveiled a 15.6-inch model (NP8690) built around the same processors, but ups the ante with a 1GB GeForce GTX 280M GPU, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a 1080p display.
No word yet on how much Asus' M60J will cost or when it will start shipping. Sager, meanwhile, will start shipping its NP8690 in October starting at $1,800.
Phoenix is working on the latest in BIOS technology and what have they got to show for it? They can boot a Windows 7 computer in less than 10 seconds, and post in just under 1.5 seconds.
The new technology called UEFI has been a long time coming, but it looks to be worth the wait. Steve Jones, chief scientist at Promise, showed off the new BIOS at IDF this week. He booted up a Lenovo T400 that made it to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 10 seconds. They also retrofitted a Dell Adamo that got there in under 20 seconds.
The guys at Engadget caught it all on video. Check it out after the jump.