Even the Intel fanboys have to hand it to AMD once in a while. After Intel deftly dropped a Core i5 anvil on Phenom II’s head, AMD did a quick drop to floor and now fires back slo-mo style with its own chip: a $99 quad core.
Dubbed the Athlon II X4 620, this 2.6GHz quad core isn’t just leftover parts swept off the factory floor, either. The Athlon II X4 is based on the familiar K10 microarchitecture in the Phenom and Phenom II, but it’s actually a newer, smaller die. In fact, the new chip has less than half the transistors of a Phenom II X4 processor. Much of the shrinkage comes at the expense of cache. While the Phenom II packs 6MB of L3, the budget Athlon II X4 features none.
The TDP of the new Athlon II X4 chips (there are two, but only one is sub $100) is also considerably lower than the top-end Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip at 95 watts versus 140 watts. Other than the TDP and lack of L3 cache, the CPUs are essentially the same as their Phenom predecessors.
Read on for our full analysis, review, and benchmarks!
Some sources are saying that, at least internally, Intel is talking about shipping one million Lynnfield processors for desktops by the end of 2009. Should Intel meet its goal, it would put the pressure on motherboard makers to keep up.
Asus and Gigabyte are each on pace to ship 400,000 P55-based mobos by the end of the year, leaving 200,000 units for other manufacturers to pick up the slack. MSI, ECS, and ASRock are expected to ship around that many mobos, but all it takes is for one manufacturer to miss its goal for there to be more CPUs than there are mobos.
Asus looks to be the most active for the rest of the year. According to company VP Joe Hsieh, Asus' expects to ship between 5.5 to 6 million motherboards in the third quarter, 6 million in the fourth, and 22 million total. Going forward, Asus says P55-based boards will account for 10 percent of all shipments.
Someone's feeling ambitious, and that someone is Asus. According to company president Jerry Shen, the multifaceted manufacturer expects to ship 600,000 ultra-thin notebooks by the end of the year and could ship as many as one million units.
The mobile platform has been good to Asus, which further expects that its combined notebook shipments will reach 7.35 billion units in the first three quarters of 2009, and a respectable12 million units by the end of 2009. Driving those shipments is Asus' uber popular Eee PC line, with netbooks accounting for about 40 percent of the total shipments, Shen said.
Looking forward, Shen added that ultra-thins will likely account for 30 percent of the company's total notebook shipments in 2010. And in terms of competition, Shen said he believes Asus will reach its goal of becoming a top-three global vendor by 2011.
In exactly one week from now, AMD is expected to launch its ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 videocards, which as it turns out will be a precursor of more 5000 series cards to come. And you won't have to wait long, either.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, un-named sources at graphics cards makers have been chirping about a new series of ATI Radeon HD 5700 GPUs just around the corner. Codenamed Juniper XT and LE, the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 should be in stores sometime in October. Both will come with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory on a 128-bit memory bus and support the recently announced multi-monitor Eyefinity technology.
Then in November, AMD will update its flagship offering with the R800-based Radeon HD 5870 X2. The reason for the slight delay, says Fudzilla, is that AMD is trying to figure out how to power and cool the dual-GPU card, which reportedly carries a TDP of 376W. By comparison, the HD 4870 X2's rated TDP is 286W.
In addition to its desktop lineup, AMD will also port its HD 5000 series over to notebooks, including the ATI Mobility Radeon 5400 for entry-level systems, 5600 for mainstream, 5700 for performance, and 5800 for high-end laptops.
Seagate announced the release of their new FreeAgent Theater+™ HD Media Player in a press release today. With a modest prices increase over the previous version--key features include 1080p HD, Dolby DTS, HDMI, network support, and new file-format compatibility.
The FreeAgent Theatre provides a turnkey solution to media center PCs, making it easy to explore media in your living room. The new device features the docking system developed for FreeAgent drives as well as two additional USB ports to attach any storage device to the player. Further, when attached to the network it can pull content from file shares, NAS devices, and the internet.
The new player is available immediately from Seagate.com and online retailers. To find a complete listing of features and specifications visit Seagate.com.
Corsair today added to its Professional Series of power supplies with the release of its HX650W modular PSU. The 650W unit edges out the HX620 and settles behind the HX750W, HX850W, and HX1000W, all of which boast a low profile modular cable set, low noise levels, and high efficiency ratings.
"The Corsair HX650W is ideal for enthusiasts and gamers who are looking for a highly efficient, quiet, modular power supply, but don't need the higher wattage offered by the other PSUs in the Professional Series," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing at Corsair. "The HX650W offers the same unmatched quality standard and 7 year warranty, but at a power level more suitable for mid/high-spec PC builds, such as those based on Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 'Lynnfield' processors."
The new PSU serves up 52A through a single +12V rail, which Corsair claims has been tested and guaranteed to operate at 100 percent load at an ambient temperature of 50C. Other specs include an 82 percent efficiency rating (enough to earn the 80 PLUS BRONZE certification), 4 PCI-E connectors, and support for both SLI and CrossFire X setups.
Sales of PCs were up in the second quarter of 2009, according to market analytics firm, iSupply. Global shipments were up 1% over the first quarter to 67.2 million units. This is the first increase in six months. It’s not all roses though; sales were still down 4.3% from Q2 of last year. However, going into the end of the year, sales are expected to stay strong in part due to the October release of Windows 7. The likely advertising blitz will get PCs in many mainstream media outlets.
In this past quarter, HP managed to hold the top sales spot for the twelfth quarter in a row. HP’s sales were up 2% over last quarter, leaving it with a 20% market share. "HP is not only maintaining its leadership position but is also gaining market share due to its robust notebook business, which has outgrown the overall notebook segment for the past two quarters," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli. Dell and Acer continued to fight it out for the number two spot.
After a long seven years of development and tweaking, the IEEE has finally approved the 802.11n high-throughput wireless LAN standard.
The new standard, which is reportedly capable of throughput of 300Mbps, has been changed six times since its first conception. And, according to the IEEE, all existing WiFi certified 802.11 Draft N wireless products will work with the final standard.
No word as to when the standard will make its way to market.
Its next-generation microprocessors, which are based on its Westmere microarchitecture, are codenamed Clarkdale (desktop version) and Arrandale (notebook version). The “Dales” chips are a multi-chip solution featuring 45nm integrated graphics cores. Intel is also expected to shed light on a new system-on-chip technology, besides announcing transistor improvements. The event might also feature some updates on the company’s Larrabee platform.
If you ask a gun enthusiast why he needs that M4 SOPMOD to hunt squirrel, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not that the average squirrel in the Adirondacks is on PCP and likely to require two magazines to put down; it’s that the M4 SOPMOD is a fine and uniquely crafted weapon regardless of whether it ever sees action worthy of its true potential. So, please, don’t ask us why you’d want to spend $200 on a keyboard with up to 36 macros available across 12 programmable macro keys (recordable on the fly from the keyboard itself), customizable keyboard backlighting, and even a 320x240 color display. If you’re a gamer, understand that you’re buying more power than you may ever need, but absolutely should have.
The key action is cush and quiet (preferred by most gamers and characteristic of Logitech’s boards), and the plastic is smooth yet never slippery beneath sweaty digits. The keyboard itself includes a hardware switch to disable the Windows key, and both macro and function keys are slightly elevated for easier nailing. We appreciate the slightly larger than usual Mute button below the media control keys to the upper right, and love the barrel-style volume control (if only it were reprogrammable for use as a scrubber or dial).