As expected, Amazon today officially unveiled its large-screen Kindle eBook reader, the Kindle DX, making the announcement in a lecture hall at the downtown Pace University. Speculation and rumors preceded the announcement, none of which matters anymore now that Amazon has put up a product page. Some pertinent specs for the new DX revision:
9.7-inch display with 16 shades of gray
Hold up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
Slim form factor measuring just over 1/3 of an inch
Auto rotating screen
Much anticipated built-in PDF reader
The new kindle measures 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.38 inches, whereas the original measured 8 x 3.5 x 0.36 inches. It also costs a little over a $100 more than the original, part of which goes toward the added storage capacity.
You can pre-order the Kindle DX now for $489 with free shipping through Amazon.com.
Well that was fast. Less than six months after launch, Intel has decided to start phasing out both the Core i7 940 and Core i7 965 Extreme. That leaves only the 920 as the last i7 standing out of the current trio of desktop Nehalem chips. So what gives?
We're not entirely sure. Some are speculating that the current crop of Nehalems were more about meeting a promised launch date than representing Nehalem for the long haul. Intel, however, maintains that demand for these chips "has shifted to other Intel processors." Regardless of the reason, you can probably expect Intel to release other i7 processors in the not too distant future to take the place of the ones being axed.
Customers will have to place final orders for the Corei7 940 by July 10, 2009, with the last boxed 940 to ship on December 4 and last tray of the chip on November 5, 2010. Final order date for the Core i7 965 has been set to September 4, 2009, with final shipments to take place on May 7, 2010.
Nvidia recently announced the immediate availability of their ready to use Tesla GPU Preconfigured Cluster, aimed at the scientists, engineers and researchers of the world.
According to Nvidia the Tesla Cluster will provide up to 30 times the performance of a CPU-only cluster, while using only a fraction of the power. One example that they provide to drive this point home is that of BNP Paribas’ (a French Bank) Corporate and Investment Banking division, which recently replaced 500 CPUs that consumed 25kW of power with smaller CPU clusters and two Tesla S1070 1U systems, which only consumed 2kW of power. And, along with the lowered power expenditure, they received better performance.
According to Andy Keane, Nvidia’s Tesla General Manager, “There are 15 to 20 million engineers, scientists and researchers around the world struggling for time on supercomputers, which has led to a huge pent-up demand for computation. With the launch of the Tesla Preconfigured Cluster, every one of them can easily deploy a GPU-powered supercomputing cluster that dramatically reduces their power consumption while still advancing the pace of their work.”
Just this week Renesas Technology Corp. announced their SH7370, a SH-Mobile HD1 application processor for mobile phones. The tiny processor is the first to support full 1080p (1920 x 1080) video playback and recording potential, and can support H.264/MPEG-4 video compression at 30 frames per second.
This processor also has two 24-bit dedicated audio digital signal processors that help lower the CPU’s load, while lowering power consumption. This allows for audio to stream at up to 5.1-channel Dolby Digital quality.
The whole thing is currently shipping with 512Mbits of synchronous DRAM, integrated onto a single package. Said package measures in at a compact, 10nm x 11mm.
Two Nvidia nForce 200 chips? Check. Seven (SEVEN!) PCI-E Gen 2 x16 slots? Check Three-way SLI and CrossFireX support? Check and check. Put it all together and you have the recipe for Asus' newly launched P6T7 WS SuperComputer motherboard.
"The Asus Workstation Series is the ideal foundation for a powerful PC," Asus states on the mobo's product page. "It delivers awesome power, dependable performance, and unparalleled multiple I/O scalability for the most demanding tasks an future upgrades. Also, it provides extreme power saving experience with EPU-6 Engine function."
Other features include six DIMM slots for up to 24GB of DDR3-2000 (O.C.) tri-channel memory, a comparatively modest six SATA 3Gb/s ports, two eSATA ports with support for RAID 0/1, two SAS ports also with support for RAID 0,1, oodles of USB 2.0 ports (12 in all), a true 16+2 phase power design, support for CrashFree BIOS 3, a stepless frequency selection, and more.
Designed mainly for CUDA parallel computing, Asus says up to nearly four teraflops of performance is made possible by outfitting the SuperComputer with four CUDA cards, one of which the company says should be a Quadro graphic card.
Whether you’re copying your movie discs to your hard drive for archival purposes or queuing them up in HandBrake for a batch transcode, your optical drive’s performance can make a big difference in time spent on this menial chore. The trouble is, there’s no obvious way of knowing which optical drive will do the job fastest.
The optical drive spec that gets the most attention is the DVD+/-R write speed. It’s the spec that’s prominently featured on the packaging and often even integrated into the drive’s name. But if you assume that the newest drive with the fastest-rated write speed will also kick butt at copying the contents of your movie discs to your hard drive, you’re mistaken.
For this task, read speed is what matters. But even knowing that, you can’t judge a drive’s real-world performance at copying video files simply by looking at its read specs. Not only do the specs indicate maximum capability as opposed to average speed, but a drive’s read time with video files can differ from its read time with data files. To find out which is the fastest drive for DVD copiers, we grabbed a bunch of DVD drives, a copy of Batman Begins, and got ripping.
Not even Intel could have predicted how wildly popular its Atom processor would be, because if it did, it might have scaled back production from the get-go. Instead, the No. 1 chip maker is reportedly keeping its eye on the Chinese market to make sure it doesn't sell too many Atoms, going so far as to reject orders from some China-based white-box vendors, says DigiTimes.
Intel did offer up a response, calling the story unfounded and saying it doesn't comment on industry rumors, but DigiTimes' un-cited sources insist that they're being watched very closely to prevent a surge of Atom chips in China. The sources added that Taiwan-based Intel CPU distributors have had to stop accepting orders from China-based white-box makers.
It might seem strange that Intel would look to sell less product, however fierce competition in China among white-box players has started to cut into traditional notebook sales where there exists a greater profit margin. It's easy to see why, at least in this case, Intel would want to scale back Atom sales, if in fact the chip maker is doing that.
Taiwan IC distributors expect that the supply of Atom processors will fall short of demand by 500,000 units this month in China.
We don't care one bit that PhotoFast's G-Monster-Promise SSD drive was supposed to be released last month. We're even willing to look past the reportedly obscene price tags being attached to the different sized units, because even more obscene is how freakin' fast the G-Monster claims to be. We're talking about sequential read and write speeds up to 1000MB/s, random 512KB read and write speeds not far behind, and random 4KB read and write speeds still a manageable 66MB/s and 58MB/s, respectively.
The two-slot G-Monster-Promise plugs into a PCI-E X8 slot and comes with a 256MB of ECC DDRII and 64MB x 4 SDRAM cache buffer. PhotoFast bills its new SSD as being ideal for high-end digital and video editing, as well as for a high-capacity data server. On the later front, the G-Monster is being offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and even 1TB capacities.
Back to the issue of cost. As expected, these drives won't be cheap, and if rumored pricing holds true, look for a starting price of $1,600, with the 1TB drive commanding $4,500. But did we mention 1000MB/s read and write speeds?
We don't typically expect much from a $50 case, but NZXT may change how we view budget enclosures if its Beta mid-tower chassis manages to look as good in person as it does in pictures. And it doesn't look to sacrifice a whole lot in terms of features, either.
As we're starting to see more of lately (and we couldn't be happier about it), the Beta comes with an all black interior rather than unfinished steel. From a feature standpoint, the budget enclosure includes four external 5.25-inch and five internal 3.5-inch drive bays, all of which support tool-less installation. Cooling duties are served by four 120mm fans (one each on the front and rear, and two and on the side), as well as what looks to be plenty of cut-outs for cable management.
"Given the current economic conditions, we wanted to offer gamers a sleek sturdy case built for performance and maximum expandability without breaking the bank," said Johhn Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. "Beta provides the perfect solution for a sub $1,000 PC and will give gamers multiple options when configuring a rig with phenomenal value."
NZXT says the Beta will be available this month with an MSRP of $50.
Asus this week announced new beta drivers for several of its motherboards that "enable Asus motherboard users to run Windows 7 RC." By doing so, Asus claims its mobos are the world's first to support the newly released operating system.
"Asus' industry-leading Research & Development team has kept close pace with each new beta release of Windows 7, and has developed beta drivers that enable Asus motherboard users to try Windows 7 RC immediately," Asus wrote in a press release. "The drivers can be downloaded from the Asus Motherboard Support website (http://support.asus.com/)."
Asus notes the following models are now officially supported:
P6T Deluxe V2
P5Q PRO Turbo
P5Q SE PLUS
Updated drivers for the full range of P6T, P5Q, and M4 series boards will be coming soon, Asus says.