If you read our disc-ripping challenge on page 62, then you already know that LG’s GH22LS30 22x SATA drive is a slowpoke at copying video discs. But if that’s not an activity that interests you, this drive offsets the shortcoming with other talents. For example, the GH22LS30 turned in the fastest time we’ve ever clocked at writing data to a single-layer DVD+R disc. Like Samsung’s SH-S223 (reviewed February), LG’s 22x burner isn’t daunted by 16x media; the drive peaked at a 20.1x speed when filling the disc and achieved an impressive write-speed average of 16.31x. Thus the GH22LS30 was able to write 4.38GB of data in 4:29 (min:sec) compared with the SH-S223’s time of 4:46. The GH22LS30 read the single-layer data disc in 4:58 to the SH-S223’s 4:55.
At long last, Nvidia may finally adding DirectX 10.1 support to its videocards, assuming Fudzilla is right on the money. According to the news and rumor site, Nvidia's GT200 will be refreshed to a 40nm manufacturing process and the new chips will sport DX10.1.
To date, ATI has been the only one to offer DX10.1 support on some of its videocards (yes, we're completely ignoring S3's Chrome series), a minor extension to DX10 that thus far hasn't meant much for gamers. To to fuel the conspiracy flames, that could change with Nvidia jumping on board. Remember that DX10.1 instructions did at one point show a performance boost on ATI cards in Assassin's Creed, but after a patch removed support for the instruction set, some accused Ubisoft of bowing to pressure from Nvidia after the GPU maker sponsored the title with its The Way It's Meant To Be Played program.
In any event, it looks like refresh will come on the tail end of summer or early fall.
it wasn't that long ago that just a handful of SSDs littered the storage landscape, but not only have several manufacturers now jumped on board, but we're seeing companies expand their lineups. Such is the case with Corsair, who this week announced two new models -- P128 and P64 -- as part of its Performance Series.
The P128 boast the same 220MB/s read and 200MB/s write speeds as found on the P256, putting it at the higher end of the SSD performance spectrum but below the fastest drives on the market. Meanwhile, the P64 offers the same 220MB/s read speed but a slower 120MB/s writes. Both new models are built around the Samsung controller IC with 128MB of cache and NCQ support, meaning neither one should suffer the same stuttering problems reported on some JMicron-based SSDs.
The P128 is available now at about $339 street ($299 if you fancy mail-in-rebates), and the P64 will start shipping in July with no word yet on price.
The Cooler Master V10 is a monster. It weighs two pounds, 10 ounces, stands 6.3x9.3x5.1 inches, and contains one thermoelectric cooler, two fans, and two heatsinks: one on the CPU and one on the TEC. The TEC, which needs to be powered by a 4-pin Molex on a dedicated power lead, activates only when needed.
The V10’s installation is the worst we’ve ever experienced. Two retention clips attach to the cooler, which you then attach to a bracket you mount on the back side of the motherboard. This means removing your motherboard and balancing the cooler on your lap while you screw it in. Unfortunately, the V10 is so huge that it blocks the motherboard’s top three ATX screws, making it difficult to mount the motherboard in even the roomiest cases. And the V10’s bulk made it difficult to connect both the 8-pin and the 24-pin motherboard power cables on our test system’s motherboard—impressive, since they’re on opposite sides of the motherboard.
Much to the chagrin of memory makers (and delight of consumers), DRAM contract prices have remained static in the second half of June, but that's getting ready to change. Memory makers expect supply to tighten up in July as more orders continue to come in following stronger demand from PC makers.
Looking longer term, industry sources indicate contract prices for DRAM chips have started showing signs of a rebound and should continue to improve for the rest of the year. Furthermore, the price gap between branded finished memory chips and eTT (effective tested) chips is expected to widen significantly in the second half of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
If you've been putting off that memory upgrade, now might be a good time to pull the trigger.
DRAM contract prices have refused to budge during the second half of June, according to DRAMeXchange. The first half had witnessed an increase in contract prices and chip suppliers, encouraged by the token recovery, were planning to increase prices.
Although analysts expected DDR3 contract prices to rise on the back of increased demand resulting from the launch of ultra-thin notebooks, DDR3 prices have remained stagnant. DDR2 contract prices have remained static just as anticipated.
The contact prices for 2GB DDR3 and 2GB DDR2 chips have averaged $23 and $21.50, respectively, in the second half of June. On the other hand, the contract prices for 1GB DDR3 and 1GB DDR2 chips are $1.25 and $1.16, respectively.
AMD will replace its Better by Design strategy with a new open platform strategy called AMD Vision Technology in September – to accompany the launch of its next-gen Tigris notebook platform, according to a Digitimes report, which cites unnamed sources at notebook makers. Under the new open platform strategy, Notebooks will be classified into three levels based on their processor and GPU, with each receiving a label signifying its level. The three levels that will be used to classify notebooks will be AMD Vision Ultimate, AMD Vision Premium and AMD Vision.
While no official announcement has yet been made, word on the web is that OCZ will expand its Vertex Series SSDs with Turbo editions. As the name implies, these will be faster than the already speedy Vertex drives.
If the rumblings hold true, look for the Turbo edition to ship in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB capacities. According to OCZ rep Tony, the new SSDs will feature hand picked controller and hand picked NAND along with dedicated firmware, all of which will result in a 10 percent performance increase over existing Vertex drives. While the specs may change between now and release, Tony says you can expect up to 278MB/s read and 213MB/s write speeds.
No word yet on price or availability, although Tony did say the Turbo drives will carry about a 10 percent pricing premium over current Vertex drives.
Zotac, a relative newcomer to the videocard market, has doubled up the amount of GDDR3 memory found on most GTX 275 videocards to 1792MB. Sparkle and EVGA are the only other two GPU partners to pack the same amount of memory on the GTX 275.
"We try to deliver the best performance value for gamers. With the new Zotac GeForce GTX 275 1792MB, we've managed to achieve a balance of performance and value for those that demand more video memory for gaming at extreme HD resolutions," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
Additional memory aside, Zotac's GTX 275 follows closely Nvidia's reference specification, with core, shader, and memory clockspeeds checking in at a 633MHz, 1404MHz, and 2268MHz, respectively, 240 stream processors, and a 448-bit memory interface.
First spied at CES earlier this year, ViewSonic has begun shipping its VPC100 All-in-One PC in the U.S. Billed as being eco-friendly, ViewSonic says the VPC100 uses about 50 percent less plastics and requires roughly 45 percent less power than a traditional computer.
The spec sheet screams nettop and consists of an 18.5-inch LCD display with a 1366x768 resolution, Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus), 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 160GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Super Multi DVD writer, and Windows XP.
The VPC100 is available now with an MSRP set to $599, an street pricing hovering around $550.