AMD's stock fell by as much as 7 percent today following news the company would take a total of $948 million in charges in the second quarter. Most of the charges will come from a continuing deterioration in the goodwill value of its former ATI handheld and DTV units. For those who slept through economics class, a goodwill value is an intangible asset representing the difference between the purchase price of an asset and its fair market value based on repuation, established client base, and profitability.
Despite ATI's recent success in the graphics market, the $5.4 billion acquisition continues to cost AMD in write-downs since it was purchased in 2006. Last year, AMD took a massive $1.6 billion write-down for ATI's declining goodwill, just one of many financial and executive woes AMD has suffered since purchasing the graphics company.
A comparatively small portion ($32 million) of the total charges is going towards restructuring, mostly the result of severance payments paid in the second quarter that will continue through the rest of the year. The rest are being attributed to a declining value in other investments the company has made.
Buyers who can't wait to unbox their swank Envy 133 notebook might find themselves taking pause for the occasion. And to ensure they do, Voodoo's Raul Sood plans to give the high-end laptop the white-glove treatment. Inside the box (which Sood likens to one you'd get from shopping at a Tiffany & Co.) the Envy will come wrapped in a microfiber polish sleeve stamped with the company's logo. Underneath, an assortment of accessories includes:
Voodoo Aura power connect with an additional removable cable (should the original fray over time)
HDMI to VGA Presentation Adapter
ESata optical drive with hideaway cable
Sood also includes a few more close-up shots of the carbon fiber Envy in his package-pimping blog, which show a pre-production engineering sample. Shipping Envys will trade the red logo for one in silver and chrome. You can order one now, and if HP Live Chat operator iCrzyMonkey isn't flinging poo, expect it to ship in August, bodacious box and all.
No matter how strong your cabling kung-fu might be, there's a pretty good chance that behind your home theater's assortment of receivers, set-top boxes, game consoles, and other electronic doodads sits a gnarly mess of wires. Most visitors never catch a glimpse of the clutter hidden behind your entertainment center, but you know it's there. Worse yet, you have to navigate through the wired jungle whenever you upgrade your A/V rack. You know that streaming Netflix player you're waiting to arrive from Roku? Get ready to wade through wires when it gets there.
Belkin believes it has a better way, and its FlyWire box looks poised to make cable clutter a thing of the past. Belkin's FlyWire HDMI box transmits both standard- and high-definition video anywhere in your home on the 5GHz band, and promises to penetrate through walls. And because FlyWire doesn't compress your video, Belkin claims its will even handle high definition gaming with aplomb. It even works with HDCP-compliant devices.
Look for FlyWire to spread its wings on retail shelves in October for $999 with IR backchannel capabilities, or $699 for an in-room solution sans IR.
For most enthusiasts, choosing a hard drive usually comes down to performance specs. This includes spindle speed, areal density, what size buffer it comes equipped with, and any special features like NCQ. But as solid-state drives (SSDs) start to trickle into the mainstream, expect to see a greater importance placed on the mean time before failure (MTBF) rating.
It'd be nice if hard drives could last forever, but like every other component that makes up your PC, hard drives eventually die. And it's never a pretty sight, either. Sometimes a HDD will give up the ghost without warning, leaving you frantically looking for ways to revive the drive long enough to extract your data (remember the freezer trick?). Other times you're given ample warning of an impending failure, typically in the form of unpleasant grinding noises, disk errors, an unusual clicking noise that wasn't present before, S.M.A.R.T. warnings, and other telltale signs that it's time to backup your data.
Learn more about MTBF ratings and how that translates into real-world life expectancy after the jump.
Insert your own 'size matters' joke, but jesting aside, UC San Diego's new scientific display system is one big mother. The Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) boasts a screen resolution of almost 287 million pixels, or more than 10 percent bigger than the second largest display, which checks in at 256 million pixels.
To make the display possible, it took 70 high-resolution Dell 30" monitors arranged in fourteen columns of five displays each. Each 'tile' in the multi-tile paradigm sports 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, bringing the combined visible resolution to 35,640 x 8,000 pixels. But before contemplating such a setup for the baddest TF2 gaming environment on the block, it would take an area capable of housing a 31.8 feet wide by 7.5 feet tall display, and one can only imagine the GPU horsepower needed to try and run a modern videogame. Instead, the HIPerSpace is being put to better use displaying large data sets, giving scientists the ability to explore space in real time, model the impact of seismic activity on structures, predict climate changes, analyze the structure of the human brain, and a bunch of other tasks that have nothing to do with WSAD.
Find out how many quad-core processors and Nvidia GPUs it takes to run the mammoth display after the jump.
You can change CPU sockets, dump PCI, and jettison legacy ports all day long, but nothing, absolutely nothing, pisses people off like moving to a new type of RAM. Luckily, there’s a fallback: dual-format RAM motherboards such as MSI’s P35 Combo Platinum board.
Hit the jump to read our review of this dual-format monster.
Cost cutting must top Nvidia’s priority list after it lowered its financial outlook for Q2, 2009 and announced $150-200 million product replacement and repair expenses. It plans to cut production costs by making the shift from 65nm to 55nm manufacturing process by the end of the current quarter, according to a Commercial Times report. All of its upcoming GPUs that are expected to be out after August including G94b, G96b and G98b will utilize 55 nm processes. Although the transition will lower production costs by 20%, Nvidia will need to do more than that if it has to wrest some momentum from its resurgent rival AMD.
When it rains, it pours, and Nvidia could use a good downpour to put out the flames. Perhaps literally. Just last week Dave Murphy reported Nvidia was setting aside $150 to $200 million to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" in its mobile graphics cards, news of which sent Nvidia stock spiraling downward. Now there's speculation that the failures might not be limited to just a specific batch of notebook GPUs.
Rumor, news, and review site The Inquirer is saying that "all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions." That includes both mobile and desktop parts. According to The Inq, both use the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and both ASICs are plagued by a heat related problem originating from an un-named substrate or bumping material. Because of this, The Inq surmises more failures are iminent. But are they?
Find out what Nvidia has to say about the failures after the jump.
Put a feather in Seagate's cap. The storage titan has sprinted to the finish line and scored an exclusive: the world's first 1.5-terabyte hard drive. The 7,200rpm drive uses a mere four platters to achieve its huge capacity point -- that's 375GB per platter of areal density. Beefy.
Seagate is claming a sustained data rate of 120MB/s for its drive, which might very well be enough to place this little guy above Samsung's 333GB-per-platter HD103UJ drive. Other than that, the bulging Barracuda seems similar to every other high-capacity drive on the market: expect a 3Gb/s SATA interface and a typical 32MB of cache. Check out the full release below!
(Ed Note:We're currently investigating the RIAA's alleged involvement with the audio problems users are facing on Dell laptops. An official Dell representative has stated that the omission of the Stereo Mix option is most likely an issue with Windows XP, and a driver has been released to fix the problem. We've contacted the RIAA and are awaiting their response. We'll follow up with this story when we have more information.)
Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to the RIAA at the expense of their customers’ satisfaction and disabled the stereo mix feature without warning.
The trade group, which comprises leading record labels, has a very controversial past. Although RIAA doesn’t favor home audio recording and file sharing in an effort to prevent piracy, this same, ostensibly prudish organization was all for depriving several musicians of their own musical works by supporting a controversial “work made for hire” clause in 1999 legislation, which unfairly transferred copyrights of musical works to record labels.