Now that Blu-ray rules the high definition roost, many are left wondering what Toshiba's next move be in the wake of HD-DVD's death, and a new logo has kicked speculation into high gear. The Toshiba-chaired DVD Forum recently approved the DVD Download/DL logo, a new spec likely to show up in Toshiba's next batch of super upscaling DVD players. But what exactly is this new feature? According to wireless consumer advocate Christopher Rice, DVD Download/DL equipped players will enable transmissions of HD-quality video from the web, so not only will your standard videos look better when upscaled, but you'll have the option to download the DVD in HD.
If true, one has to wonder why Toshiba would go down this road again and wage another war with Blu-ray, but is it really such a big gamble? Despite winning the high definition format war, Blu-ray sales have been a bust among consumers, and buyers are realizing that upscaled DVDs look pretty darn good on a HDTV. And because the new players won't introduce a new optical format, movie studios won't be able to render the player obsolete as easily as they did with HD-DVD. Sounds promising in theory, but let's see how it shakes out in practice.
Are you tired if the Asus Eee mania yet? Surely not! LaptopMag.com reports on some leaked photos of an Eee Monitor or more likely an all-in-one PC. There looks to be a camera in at the top with microphone. The Denon logos in the corners with the grill suggest built in speakers. On the back looks to be a phone jack, Ethernet jack, 4 USB ports, various audio ports and a cable lock port. It seems to have a clear plastic foot at the bottom, and is shown in either black and white colors. LaptopMag.com reports it’s rumored to have a built-in TV tuner and a starting price of $500, but believe that when you see it. Soon we may have Eee coffee makers and toasters.
The buzz is flying about AMD’s “Super R770” and the possibility that it will snatch the GPU crown from Nvidia’s GeForce GTX series. As Editor-in Chief, Will Smith reported at the end of June, “ATI eschewed the huge, hot monolithic GPU for a more compact, but modular core. With twin goals of decreased power consumption and more efficiency per die area, ATI looks poised to dethrone Nvidia” and later said, “The Radeon 4870 runs nearly as fast as a GTX 280 in most benchmarks for about 60% of the cost.”
The "Super RV770" will arrive with water-cooling pre-installed and an unlocked BIOS, which enables the GPU to be pushed all the way to 950 MHz and the memory to 4.8 GT/s According to some sources, you may be able to push the GPU beyond 1 GHz, using TEC elements, and keep the temperature of GPU low. Don’t look for this unit in retail; it is an AIB/OEM-only product.
Make the jump to see how soon the Super RV770 might be available!
AMD’s Phenom line gets some new additions with three new CPUs. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition which is now AMD’s fastest quad-core CPU at 2.6GHz is joined by the Phenom X4 9350e at 2.0 Ghz and the X4 9150e at 1.8 Ghz.
A few of the specs for these processors:
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor) L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor) L3 Cache Size: 2MB (shared) Memory Controller Frequency: Up to 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Interested in hearing how some intitial overclocking went on the 9950BE? Make the Jump for details!
Rosewill tackles the low, low end of the cheap case spectrum with its $65 R5604-TBK chassis. But save for a few minor oopsies, the case makes for a breezy installation of all your computer parts. There’s nothing fancy about the R5604-TBK, no lights or other arcane mechanical trappings. It’s just a no-frills, screwless enclosure—you get an interesting industrial-style locking mechanism for the side panel, but that’s its most daring attribute.
Hit the jump for the low-down on this small, simple, so-so case.
Vroom. Vroom vroom. The unholy sound of this case will haunt you in your nightmares.
We don’t just want to give a 1 verdict to the person responsible for the power-on mechanism in this Ferrari-themed case. We want to strap him to a jet engine. Harsh words, but you too will be driven to undertake such bold action once you hear the ear-splitting rev of a car engine after you hit the F430’s power button. You can disable this “feature” by pulling the plug on the front panel, but hearing this noise even once is too much.
Fortunately, that's by far the worst thing about it. Hit the jump to discover a few things we did like.
We never thought we’d see a sub-$100 case with tinted windows, but lo and behold, Sigma’s Unicorn has lived up to its name and shown us the impossible by “blinging up” the exterior of an otherwise stale case. Like spinning rims on a minivan, however, not all of Sigma’s design decisions are well thought out.
To see what hobbles this unicorn, hit the jump. And believe.
According to a DigiTimes report, Gainward, a longtime Nvidia add-in-board (AIB) partner, is cozying up with ATI in preparation to launch Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 series videocards, with HD 3800 series to follow soon afterward. If true, Gainward's decision to play the field could set the tone for other exclusive Nvidia partners to do the same, and there's never been a better time to consider making the jump.
AMD left themselves open to much criticism when it acquired ATI, and with good reason. With Intel taking back the reigns in the CPU war and AMD struggling with increased debt, jumping head first into graphics may have seemed a curious decision at the time. It didn't help matters when the suits in Santa Clara all but surrendered the high end market to Nvidia, and for a long time, many wondered if not only AMD would fall, but if it would take ATI down with them. Now it appears the tides are finally turning.
Click through the jump to see why Gainward's reported decision could be such an important one.
With today's widescreen monitors and laptop panels providing 16:10 ratios, but tomorrow's monitors and laptop panels switching to the HDTV 16:9 standard, it's time to prepare for the future - now, warns market research company DisplaySearch. In the next 4 years, 16:9 panels will almost completely replace both conventional 4:3 and current 16:10 widescreen displays in both desktop and laptop applications. To learn more, see the report summary.
Researchers at Purdue University are working on a miniature refrigeration system small enough to fit inside laptops and personal computers. Their research focuses on how to design miniature compressors and evaporators, which are needed for refrigeration systems. Depending on how effective and reliable these systems can be made will determine their actual usability. They could very well suffer from the same trouble as Peltier coolers, which is price and condensation.
We’ll have to stick with conventional PC cooling techniques for awhile. The findings will be detailed in two papers being presented during the 12th International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference and the 19th International Compressor Engineering Conference on July 14-17 at Purdue. It has to be better than spraying your PC with upside-down canned air.