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.
The personal computer has a storied history, stretching all the way back to the days of the Commodore 64 and IBM PC. But for us, the most interesting PC hardware developments really started about 15 years ago. Along with the eminent arrival of Windows 95, this was when Moore's law would really kick into high gear and bring us amazingly fast PC components like Intel's front side bus-multiplying Pentium, AMD's gigahertz-breaking Athlon, and yes, the wonderful world of 3D graphics accelerators.
We take an in-depth look back at the 50 most important pieces of PC hardware in the modern computing area. From CPUs to videocards and even monitors, these components were the envy of every PC enthusiast, whether you could afford them or not. They might not have been the fastest parts at the time, but they sure were the most notable. And before you ask, many of these entries were used of our Dream Machines. Join us as we journey with the ghost of PC past, and share your own favorite PC parts in the comments section!
Bonus question: can you name the card in the image above, and the issue of Maximum PC where the image was used?
A bigger version of Amazon's Kindle eBook reader is expected to debut this week, possibly as early as tomorrow, that will be tailored for displaying newspapers, magazines, and college textbooks. The big mystery is what exactly will the supersized Kindle look like, and Engadget appears to have solved it by posting several leaked photos of what will reportedly be known as the Kindle DX.
According to Engadget, the new Kindle will bump the screen size up from 6 inches to a 9.7-inch display, and at long last, it will come with a built-in PDF reader. Users will have the ability to add notations, as well as notes and highlights, which should prove popular on college campuses. The DX also looks to come with an improved web browser, but no other details are yet available.
Still no word on price and whether or not it will come with a touchscreen.
According to a report in The New York Times, Amazon is thinking big (literally) with its Kindle eBook reader and plans to introduce a larger version later this week tailored for displaying newspapers, magazines, and possibly textbooks.
"We are looking at this with a great deal of interest," said John Ridding, the chief executive of the 121-year-old, salmon-colored British newspaper The Financial Times. "The sever double whammy of the recession and the structural shift to the internet has created an urgency that has rightly focused attention on these devices."
Larger eBook readers like the upcoming Kindle could prove game-changing in how media outlets do business. The current business model calls for newspapers and magazines to offer up content on the web for free, which The New York Times said is being viewed by many as a "critical blunder that encouraged readers to stop paying for the print versions." But not everyone sees a black-and-white eBook reader saving the day.
"I don't think we would be anywhere near as excited about anything in black and white as we about high-definition color," said Tom Wallace, the editorial director of Condé Nast, who publishes magazines like Vogue and Wired. "But technology changes at a pretty high clip these days, and if we are now in the Farmer Gray days, it will be only a very short while until we are in the video game era."
Thoughts on the upcoming Kindle? Hit the jump and sound off.
There's fast, and then there's stupid-fast, and a new hybrid SSD drive will fall into the latter category if it can live up to the speed claims being put out by its manufacturer, who says a single DDRDrive X1 can hit a staggering 300,000 IOPS.
The new drive combines 4GB of DDR memory for high-speed operation along with 4GB of NAND flash memory for backup duties. By doing so, the manufacturer claims a full 4GB backup will take no longer than 60 seconds. Equally impressive, the drive scales at a 1:1 ratio with multiple drives, making it theoretically possible to backup 32GB, 64GB, or even 128GB in 60 seconds with the appropriate configuration.
DDRDrive CTO Christopher George says the hybrid drive was designed with a maximum IOPS performance in mind, and according to the X1's spec sheet, it offers 512B reads and writes up to 300,000+ and 200,000+ IOPS, respectively, and 4KB reads and writes up to 50,000+ and 35,000+ IOPS, respectively. By comparison, Intel's fastest SSDs offering 35,000 IOPS in 4KB read and 3,300 IPOS in 4KB writes.
Less impressive is the DDRDrive X1's read and write transfer rates, which is bound by its PCI-E Gen 1 interface and checks in around 250MB/s (read) and 155MB/s (write).