During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco earlier this week, Nvidia revealed intentions of getting into the x86 business, saying it was a matter of 'when', and not 'if.'
"I think some time down the road it makes sense to take the same level of integration that we've done with Tegra," said Michael Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications. "Tegra is by any definition a complete computer on a chip, and the requirements of that market are such that you have to be very low power, very small, but highly efficient. So in that particular state it made a lot of sense to take that approach, and someday it's going to make sense to take the same approach in the x86 market as well."
For the here and now, Nvidia is content to pair its Ion platform with Intel's Atom processor, but for how long? Hara explained that it might make sense to approach the x86 market in two or three years, and while he wasn't willing to offer a more concrete timeframe, he did say "there's no question it's on our minds."
No doubt Intel's x86 license is also on Nvidia's minds, as the two companies tussle over whether or not Nvidia is allowed to build chipsets for Nehalem. How the current dispute plays out could play a big role on how Nvidia approaches the CPU business.
Do you like the idea of Nvidia building CPUS? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
If you’ve tried to research the differences between Intel’s top-end Core i7-965 Extreme Edition and the midrange 940 and budget 920 parts, you’re probably as confused as us. And we even have direct access to Intel. But the technical differences between these parts are enormously important for system builders when you consider the price disparity -- $1000 for a Core i7-965 compared to under $300 for a Core i7-920.
What we do know is that the Core i7-965 has unlocked multipliers going up and down (although we have to point out that we have not seen any motherboards with multipliers that let you actually set it higher. You can only do that by increasing the Turbo Mode ratio.)
One other known fact is that you cannot set the Turbo Mode ratios on the 940 and 920. OK fine. But what else is different? Intel told us as recently as two months ago that the QPI was locked at 4.8GT/s to prevent you from running it at the Extreme’s 6.4GT/s speed. Memory ratios, however, are supposed to be unlocked.
Nvidia has said on more than one occasion that it wants to simplify its product line to make it easier for consumers who might not know the difference between, say, an 8800 GTS 256MB, 8800 GTS 512MB, and 8800 GTS 640MB, and why the 512MB trumps them both. Then there's the 9800GTX+, which is a supercharged 9800 GTX, which is really a supercharged G92-based 8800 GTS, which is confusing as all get-out.
It gets better. Meet the GeForce GTS 250, the videocard formerly known as the 9800 GTX+. The rebranded videocard still uses the 55nm G92b GPU, however in a more mature yielding chip in GTS 250 trim. Available in both 512MB and 1GB configurations, the latter includes a new board design noticeably smaller than the 9800 GTX+ by about an inch and a half.
Other specs include a 738MHz core clockspeed, 1100MHz memory clockspeed, 256-bit memory interface for a 70.4 GB/s of total memory bandwidth, 16 ROPs, 64 texture filtring units, and 128 processor cores. The GTS 250 carries a TDP of 150 watts, and according to Anandtech's testing, both idle and load power consumption runs about 30W less than the 9800 GTX+.
The 512MB and 1GB versions will run $130 and $150 respectively, with widespread availability expected next week.
Dell has announced a new 24-inch LED widescreen display the company says will help cut energy costs and environmental impact. In addition to LED technology, energy saving features of Dell's new green G2410 display include the use of "recycled materials and other environmentally preferable components," less than 0.15W of power consumption when in sleep mode, manufacturing free of PVC, BFR, CFR, arsenic, and mercury, and reduced waste due to up to 20 percent slimmer panel than comparable models.
The G2410 sports a 1920x1080 screen resolution, which might be disappointing for some gamers hoping for 1920x1200, however it's enough for movie buffs to get full 1080p content. Other specs include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 million color support, a 5ms response time, and 250 cd/m2 brightness. Connectivity options are limited to VGA and DVI-D.
The official release of Windows 7 might still be several months away, but that isn't stopping Nvidia from preparing for Vista's successor with new graphics drivers aimed at Windows 7 beta users. The new drivers are available now, and Nividia promises this is just the start of a regular driver release schedule. Remember that shortly after Vista debuted, Microsoft blamed buggy Nvidia drivers for giving the OS a bad rap.
"Since its release last month, the Windows 7 Beta has been eagerly tested by hundreds of thousands of NVIDIA GeForce owners, who are excited about the many graphical improvements Microsoft has added into the upcoming operating system," said Ujesh Desai, vice president of GeForce desktop business at NVIDIA.
Nvidia says it has been working closely with Microsoft so that its new drivers will take full advantage of the additional features and functionality Windows 7 brings to the table. Kicking off with v181.71, Nvidia's graphics drivers support the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) v1.1. The drivers also support SLI on DX9, 10, and OpenGL applications, PhysX, CUDA, and Direct3D, Direct2D, and DirectWrite.
You might not realize it, but unless you unplug your computer or turn off the power strip it's plugged into, your PC still consumes electricity when turned off. We're only talking about one to four watts for the average system, but that's enough for Fujitsu-Siemens to dub its new Esprimo 7935 system as a "zero-watt" PC.
According to Fujitsu-Siemens, the new enterprise desktop consumes no energy whatsoever when turned off, and does so without having to pull the plug. While no big deal for the average consumer, a business with several computers could potentially cut back on its power bill by a significant amount if its PCs aren't constantly pulling electricity during overnight off-hours.
The new PC also boasts an 89 percent efficient power supply, a motherboard with no halogen or lead, and conforms to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star 5.0 standard.
Look for the Esprimo 7935 to start shipping in the second half of 2009. No word yet on price.
Your next build may very well come configured with dual-SSD drives in a RAID 0 array for the OS, a gluttonous 2TB SATA HDD for storage duties, and a Blu-ray optical drive for movie watching and HD backups. And for quick transfers from one rig to another, does it get any sweeter than a 64GB USB thumb drive loaded with all of your favorite apps? Such a storage scheme is certainly worthy of dream machine status, but our storage options weren't always as fanciful, fast, and fat as they are today. Some of you may remember toting a 3.5-inch floppy to and from school, while others hearken all the way back to cassette tapes. And if you've lived long enough to remember the IBM Punch Card first hand, just ask and we'll SPEAK LOUDER.
Fasten your seatbelt and take a trip back in time with us as we follow the evolution of computer storage through the ages.
ATI has been eerily quiet regarding the company's first 40nm-based graphics release, code named RV740, and instead letting rumors swirl around the web. That's okay, because review site Guru3d managed to snag a sample of an as-yet un-named RV740-based videcoard and has put it through a variety of DX9 and DX10 benchmarks.
On the hardware front, Guru3d says the new part comes equipped with 640 shaders, 32TMUs, and 16 ROPs. If this sounds familiar, it's because these are the same specs as those found on the RV770LE, only the RV740 bumps up both the core frequency from 575MHz to 650 MHz, and memory frequency from 1800MHz to 3200MHz. The wide gap in memory frequency can be attributed to the use of GDDR5, compared to RV770LE's GDDR3. But are the higher frequencies enough to make up for the smaller 128-bit memory bus on the RV740?
According to Guru3d, the answer is yes. The new card fell in between in the Radeon HD 4830 and HD 4850 in every benchmark the site published, no matter whether it was tested at 1280x1024 or 2560x1600. Not at all bad for a card that is expected to sell for under $100, however there's been no official word yet on price.
During a phone interview with InformationWeek, Dirk Meyer, CEO of AMD, said the chip maker is on track to deliver 32nm CPUs by the middle of next year, with testing of the new chips to be complete by the end of this year and volume production to begin in Q4 2010. This would put AMD roughly a year behind Intel in shifting to the smaller manufacturing process, as AMD's rival chip maker is expected to produce 32nm chips by Q4 of this year.
AMD closes its deal with the Abu Dhabi government tomorrow for the creation of AMD's manufacturing spinoff, the Foundry Co., who will create the new chips. Once finalized, the deal will lift about $1.1 billion in debt out of AMD's books, freeing the company to concentrate on designing new parts.
It remains to be seen if AMD will also integrate major graphics in a 32nm process through the Foundry Co. as well.
Intel plans to rollout a couple of new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of next month, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The processors are part of Intel’s CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) family of processors. The website’s informants identified the two processors as the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6 GHz) and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz). The price of the SU9600 has been revealed to be $289 in thousand-unit tray quantities, and for the latter it is said to be $249. Also, Intel is reportedly planning to diversify its CULV processor range into three subclasses.