Ivytown will slip into Intel's Xeon E7 chip family
Intel's codenames for processors sound like directions someone might give you if you get lost in the country. Take a wrong turn off of I64 in West Virginia, for example, and you might be told that Ivytown is on the other side of Ivy Bridge, not to be confused with Sandy Bridge. In reality, Ivytown is Intel's codename for an upcoming 15-core Xeon processor based on Ivy Bridge and designed for high-end servers.
With our lab coats donned, our test benches primed, and our benchmarks at the ready, we look for answers to nine of the most burning performance-related questions
If there’s one thing that defines the Maximum PC ethos, it’s an obsession with Lab-testing. What better way to discern a product’s performance capabilities, or judge the value of an upgrade, or simply settle a heated office debate? This month, we focus our obsession on several of the major questions on the minds of enthusiasts. Is liquid cooling always more effective than air? Should serious gamers demand PCIe 3.0? When it comes to RAM, are higher clocks better? On the surface, the answers might seem obvious. But, as far as we’re concerned, nothing is for certain until it’s put to the test. We’re talking tests that isolate a subsystem and measure results using real-world workloads. Indeed, we not only want to know if a particular technology or piece of hardware is truly superior, but also by how much. After all, we’re spending our hard-earned skrilla on this gear, so we want our purchases to make real-world sense. Over the next several pages, we put some of the most pressing PC-related questions to the test. If you’re ready for the answers, read on.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine
One of the items Asus unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month was its upcoming VivoTab Note 8 tablet. Apparently there were a fair number of buyers waiting for this slate -- Microsoft began offering the VivoTab Note 8 online for $329 over the weekend and it now shows as being out of stock. That's pretty impressive, assuming Microsoft didn't start off with just a small quantity.
AMD today formally introduced the Radeon R7 250X, an affordable graphics card aimed at gamers looking to play their titles at Full HD 1080p. Some vendors already had the new SKU listed as early as last week, though it should be a lot easier to find starting today and going forward. It's a $99 card, give or take a few dollars depending on what AMD's hardware partners do with the reference design -- the chip designer says custom cooled designs are ready to launch.
Details on MSI's version of new J1800-based motherboards
While several manufacturers have already put forth announcements about new J1800-based motherboards, MSI is now throwing its hat into the ring with the J1800I, a Mini-ITX board packing an Intel Celeron J1800 CPU.
Google's army of Chrome OS devices continues to grow
Are mainstream users ready to live primarily in the cloud? With all the Chrome OS devices coming out (along with the ones that are already available), this year will be a good litmus test for the platform. Joining the ranks of those offering a desktop solution is HP, the world's second largest PC maker, which plans to launch a Chromebox in the spring. HP's Chromebox will initially debut in the U.S., though the OEM is mum on the price.
It looks like AMD is fleshing out its graphics card line with a new part. A look around the web reveals several references to an AMD Radeon R7 250X graphics card from a variety of third-party partners, including one from Diamond Multimedia that's available to purchase for around $100 street. Looking at the specs, the Radeon R7 250X slides neatly in between AMD's Radeon R7 250 and R7 260X video cards.
Asus and Google are quickly becoming BFFs. As you already know, Asus is the one that builds Google's 7-inch Nexus tablet, and earlier this week, Asus announced plans to release a Chromebox starting at $179 in March. Google has now taken the higher end version -- the one with a Core i7 processor -- and is targeting businesses with a Chromebox bundle that's supposed to make videoconferencing easy.
Bigger isn't always better, especially when you're talking about mobility. For example, have you ever wanted to take your home theater with you? That's a tough task, though Acer's new palm-sized K137 projector makes it easy to bring a big screen experience to a friend's house. It weighs just 1.1 pounds and measures 7.4 inches (W) by 4.6 inches (D) by 1.6 inches (H).
If you thought the tablet market was on the verge of being saturated, think again. According to DisplaySearch, tablet PC shipments will reach 455 million units by 2017, at which time slates will account for nearly 75 percent of the mobile PC market as a whole. DisplaySearch says falling prices and continued advances in display technology will be key in the upcoming growth of tablets.