Much has been made over Intel's Atom processor, the 45nm wonder-chip finding its way into more netbooks than production can seemingly keep up with. But lest the world forget, VIA also has a low power chip of its own, one the company claims delivers "truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment, and connectivity applications."
VIA's 65nm Nano processor saw an official launch a full two months ago, but it's Intel's Atom that keeps getting the attention. Is it justified? A pair of review sites looked to answer that question by pitting an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz) against a VIA Nano L2100 (1.8GHz), and both sites came to the same conclusion: VIA's Nano is the faster processor.
Clocked 12.5 percent faster the Atom chip, it should come as no surprise to see the Nano L2100 churn out better performance numbers, but it's the margin of victory that might turn a few heads. In some cases, the Nano chip outpaced the Atom by a margin of 15 to 20 percent, showing it deserves more attention than just as an also-ran.
Of course, it's all for naught if VIA can't win the one contest that matters most: Vendor support.
Forget about sliced bread; USB might be the single greatest invention ever. Just don't tell the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (now just called IEEE), who recently approved a new 1394-2008 specification that supports bumping the bandwidth up to 3.2 Gb/s.
"The new standard includes all of the amendments, enhancements, and more than 100 errata which have been added to the base standard over the last 12 years," said Les Baxter, chair of the working group which developed the standard. "This update provides developers with a single document they can rely upon for al of their application needs."
Firewire has fallen in recent years from the high speed interface of choice, particularly for DV transfers, to one that is now used mainly in professional environments. But that could change with the new spec, which introduces support for S1600 (1.6 Gb/s) and S3200 (3.2 Gb/s) while also being backwards compatible with current S400 and S800 ports. And the IEEE isn't finished, as looking ahead it's expected that Firewire will scale to 6.4 Gb/s.
For its part, USB isn't remaining idle and will receive an upgrade to 4.8 Gb/s in version 3.0, though exactly when still remains unknown.
Think a 30-inch monitor at 2560x1600 resolution is amazing? Then you haven’t seen Merdian’s 810 Reference Video System that gives you a 4096 x 2160 projected image for the low price of $185,000. But we have.
We got to touch and see the 810 up close and personal last week in a private demonstration held at Dolby Laboratories headquarters. Why Dolby? The company has a famous 90-seat theater in its main building in San Francisco that’s actually nicer than most small screens at the multiplex. And how does this monster of a projector perform? Read on to find out!
Click through to read our impressions of the 810 Reference Video System
Last week, we showed you which parts you would want to buy to construct a killer $2500 PC. The purpose of that machine was power computing – serious audio/video editing and high-bitrate media transcoding. We got a lot of flak about a few of our choices (most noticeably the CPU), but we stand by our picks. That PC configuration was meant for Power Users, and not hardcore gamers (though we recognize that those aren’t mutually-exclusive groups). For someone who primarily uses their PC for gaming, and won’t accept framerate dips in 120Hz games, we have different recommendations. The following components make up our ideal $2500 hardcore gaming rig (prices as listed on Newegg). If it’s not what you’d buy, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!
Intel's Centrino 2 platform hasn't even gotten its feet wet in the PC pool yet, and if a new rumor turns out to be true, Montevina won't be making waves in the new MacBooks expected to arrive within the next two months. If it happens, the change would mark the first time Apple turned its nose at Centrino in its MacBook line since 2006.
According to AppleInsider, not only might the new MacBooks abandon the Montevina chipset, but the new chipset may have nothing to do with Intel at all. Instead, the rumor suggests Apple might be busy designing the new chipset entirely in-house just as it did with its PowerPC-based Macs.
If not in-house and if not Intel, that only leaves a few other third party chipset manufacturers, such as Nvidia, AMD, or VIA. For all its recent problems in the mobile market, Nvidia might be considered a long shot at first glance, but recent reports suggest Nvidia might be willing to ditch its alliance with VIA in order to build a chipset for Intel's Atom processor. Could this be the opportunity Nvidia has been gunning for?
Denmark-based gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries has acquired Ideazon - a leading North American player in the gaming accessories space, it announced today. Ideazon’s range of gaming gear is known as Precision Gaming Tools and is most certainly headlined by its Zboard gaming keyboards that can be customized for a certain game using game-specific keysets. Both companies have a global presence in the gaming accessories market but are strategically different from each other.
SteelSeries’s products are all aimed at professional gamers unlike Ideazon’s peripherals that are made keeping in mind all ilks of gamers. It supports around 1,200 professional gaming competitions and 200 professional gaming outfits across the globe.
The acquisition should give SteelSeries a strategic depth that it didn’t previously enjoy. It will not only have access to an entirely different market – relatively casual in nature - but also benefit greatly from Ideazon’s strategic partnerships with leading game publishers and developers including Activision Blizzard, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, Nvidia and Microsoft Game Studios.
Update: We spoke with Kim Rom, head of communications for SteelSeries, about the acquisition. Click through to see how the purchase of Ideazon will affect existing customers.
"These benchmark results are the latest evidence of the clear value that Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors offer an Internet business - or any data center that requires the ultimate i performance, reliability, and power efficiency," said Patrick Patla, AMD's general manager of Server and Workstation Business.
The press release makes no mention of who or where the benchmarks were ran, but did say an HP ProLiant DL385 G5 server equipped with two Opteron 2356 processors scored 30,007, while an HP ProLiant DL585 G5 server running two 8356 processors posted a score of 43,854.
The Federal Communications Commission is now going to reign in on Comcast’s controversial practice of hampering peer-to-peer internet traffic. Out of the five FCC commissioners, three have voted, thus far, on whether Comcast is liable for punishment for filtering internet traffic. And all of them want the cable company to be punished, but the punitive order will officially be executed once the remaining members have voted – a mere formality. The FCC doesn’t intend to fine Comcast but merely wants it to abstain from internet traffic filtering altogether.
Comcast has been in the eye of the “network neutrality” storm since August, 2007, when TorrentFreak revealed that the leading cable company was filtering internet traffic. It is rumored that the company utilizes Sandvine hardware for warding off P2P traffic but Comcast has not even acknowledged that it indulges in such practices. Comcast is currently busy defending itself in a class-action suit which alleges that the company’s actual services betray its promises, for it restricts internet access despite promising unshackled service.
This being such a contentious issue, that has invited intense reactions from all corners, you all are expected to set the comments section afire.
Details about Dell’s Studio Hybrid mini PC are in dearth as the company is keeping everything under wraps and all information is coming through leaks and sketchy sources. Now Engadget is reporting that an internal customer service page carries precious little details about the diminutive PC. The Studio Hybrid mini PC is codenamed Nausicaa as a tribute to a Greek mythological character. The internal page has revealed that the Studio Hybrid will ship with a wireless mouse and keyboard. The report further hints – quoting anonymous sources - that the mini PC will come with an in-built Blu-ray drive and user-changeable color panels; and possibly hit store shelves in the next fortnight.
The next time your Xbox Live opponent threatens to destroy you with their mind, he might actually mean it. The same holds true for the Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii consoles, as OCZ is considering bringing its Neural Impluse Actuator to all three major consoles.
In sci-fi fashion, the NIA interprets electrical signals from your brain to issue commands and so far the device is only available for PC gamers. But in a meeting with TechRadar, OCZ's director of marketing Tobias Brinkmann said his company is actively looking into porting the controller over to consoles.
"It's definitely something we are looking into," Brinkmann said. "The thing we think would be most cools is to get the NIA working with the Nintendo Wii - that would be good. But of course it would be great if we could get it working with all the consoles."
OCZ isn't the only company that sees a future in thought controls. Brinkmann claims that Microsoft once tried to aquire the NIA technology from OCZ, perhaps in an attempt to separate its Xbox 360 console from the PS3 and Wii.
Is mind control the next big thing? Post your thoughts below, or just think them.