You will not find a more powerful air-cooled case on the market than Antec’s Twelve Hundred—not unless you strap a box fan to the side of your chassis. That’s what it would take to challenge the cooling prowess of this full-tower enclosure, which features one 20cm fan on top and five 12cm fans placed throughout the interior. These six blue LED fans are attached to individual switches that allow you to tweak the strength (and sound) of each fan to suit your needs.
It’s the worst kept secret in the industry: Intel’s next-generation Penryn killer, codenamed Nehalem is just around the corner. We’ve been seeing leaked benchmarks based on early silicon for months, and Nehalem’s Wikipedia page is already packed with unconfirmed specifications. All indications – and this is with more optimizations to come, mind you – is that Nehalem may be a bad mother worthy of having Isaac Hayes pound out a theme song for it.
OK, we get it. It’s going to be fast, but just how difficult is it to build a Nehalem rig? What are the catches? Will the new motherboard and socket require some silly new BTX form factor? To find out, we convinced one of our hardware contacts (who’ll remain unnamed) to let us into its lab so we could finally get our hands on the new chip. There, we were provided with the desktop version of Nehalem – called Bloomfield – and an Intel D58XSO “Smackover” board.
Read on to see how we built the Nehalem rig, and what surprises we encountered along the way!
Sporting almost the same configuration as the reference design we previewed last month, BFG’s GeForce GTX 280 delivers amazing performance with the second-generation DirectX 10 chipset from Nvidia. It soundly spanks ATI’s new 4870, as well as all but the dual-GPU graphics solutions from the previous generation—and even against those, the GTX 280 wins all but a few benchmarks. The real question we’re asking is, Do we need this much power?
It doesn't matter if you seek solace in Creationism or prescribe to the theory of evolution, everyone should be equally stoked about what Nvidia's calling "Big Bang II." No, the graphics chip maker isn't gearing up to end the debate on man's existence, but even better, the company will improve man's quality of life with a new driver package that looks poised to earn its codename by bringing gamers at least one big, long overdue improvement.
Bang Part I
The biggest news associated with Nvidia's ForceWare Release 180 (R180) is the introduction of SLI multi-monitor support. Ever since Nvidia introduced SLI, the inability to run a second monitor while gaming has been a major complaint, and even more so as LCD displays have fallen in price. That finally looks to no longer be the case with the new driver release, and gamers will be able to frag opponents while simultaneously keeping an eye on their email inbox, incoming IMs, and everything else that would previously be blacked out on a second monitor.
Find out what else is bangin' with the new driver after the jump.
The next time anyone tells you that PCs will soon become obsolete in a world filled with media centers and gaming consoles, feel free to give them a wedgie. And while you're tugging at their skivvies, be sure and let them know the real truth about PC sales, which are not only in no danger of disappearing, but are boasting stronger than expected sales.
"How strong?," the wedgie recipient asks, appearing more surprised at the news than he is of his underwear being pulled higher than it every has been before.
Tell him $127 billion, which represents global semiconductor chip sales for the first half of 2008, or 5.4 percent above the H1 2001 result. Then let him know that June 2008 sales climbed 8 percent from June 2007's numbers, settling in at $21.6 billion compared to $20 billion.
Hit the jump to find out why memory manufacturers aren't sharing the same enthusiasm.
One of the biggest hurdles preventing solid state drives from bursting into the mainstream continues to be the relatively high price points compared to traditional hard drives. Recent strides have started to reverse this trend, with OCZ pushing its lower cost Core series and Super Talent slashing the price tag on its MasterDrive MX line, but SSDs still have a ways to go if they're to challenge HDDs for the bang-for-buck crown.
Stepping to the plate is Micron, who today announced it will ship a series of speedy SSDs up to 256GB in capacity as part of its next-generation RealSSD line. But the real story here is that Micron's new line will check in at one third the price per gigabyte of existing drives.
Hit the jump to see what Micron has to say about the RealSSD's pricing strategy after the jump.
Beating out 38 other contestants representing 19 countries, Chinese duo Xu Gang and Susie have won the title of AOCC 2008 Champions. Over 3,000 people attended the two day Advanced Overclocking Championship in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and saw the Chinese team take first place in all three categories of the competition.
"It is a great honor for us to win the Championship, and we think that constant practice and upgrading on overclocking knowledge are key factors that contributed to our victory," Xu Gang and Susie said. "In addition, the components that were used for overclocking were vital, and we found that Asus' hardware, and all other components from the different sponsors of AOCC, were exceptionally stable and top-notch in terms of quality. Overclocking is increasing in popularity back in China, and we think that 1-2 percent of the whole population are currently overclocking today!"
While the team gave Asus the biggest shout-out, components from Intel, Nvidia, Kingston, FSP, and Western Digital were also part of the event. Xu Gang and Susie were awarded $5,000 for their efforts.
Not on the ticket was a side competition involving LN2. Catch the YouTube video here, and definitely do not try this at home. Or anywhere else.
AMD's acquisition of graphics chip maker ATI continues to be a sour point whenever the company talks about its finances, most recently coming up when AMD said it would take a near billion dollar charge in the second quarter. Given AMD's financial status, it's easy to criticize the company's decision to overpay for a company that has yet to benefit impatient investors. That could change if AMD's Fusion ends up revolutionizing the PC landscape.
Up to this point, AMD hasn't gone into specifics regarding its upcoming CPU+GPU chip, but according to TGDaily, industry sources aren't being as tight-lipped. If the rumblings are to be believed, the first Fusion processor (code-named Shrike) will consist of a dual-core Phenom CPU and an ATI RV800 GPU core, Previous rumors had the first run Fusion chips built around a dual-core Kuma CPU and RV710 graphics chip, but those plans appear to have gone by the wayside as AMD has had more time to develop a low-end RV800-based core.
The sources also indicate that Fusion will likely be introduced as a half-node chip built around a 40nm manufacturing process, and will later move to 32nm, possibly by the beginning of 2010.
Silicon Valley has played host to innumerable tech startups that promised to be the next Intel or Google only to vanish away without a trace, or an apology for their erroneous claims. Now Tomshardware’s Wolfang Gruener, who claims to have successfully portended Google’s spectacular rise, has placed his bet on Ncomputing to be the next Google.
It isn’t exactly the most perilous punt ever, as Ncomputing is in one of the hottest tech niches of our times, i.e. highly affordable, no-frills computing. No, Ncomputing isn’t building the cheapest netbook or low-cost PC. It is doing things differently by pioneering a viable cloud computing solution for plebeians. Its $70 computing device is like a set-top-box that can be connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and can share the resources of a full-fledged Windows or Linux PC - using an Ethernet connection - to allow a user to surf the internet, watch media and use other essential applications.
The thought provoking details that will rile up a storm inside any geek worth his bytes are "after the jump".
What a month August is shaping up to be, and we're only on day one! First, ArsTechnca exposes a major memory benchmarking flaw in Futuremark's PCMark05 suite, and if that weren't enough to have enthusiasts crying scandal, DigiTimes reported this morning (much to the chagrin of Nvidia's brass) that Nvidia plans to quit the chipset business.
According to DigiTimes, anonymous sources "close to the situation at one of Taiwan's top motherboard makers" are privy to Nvidia's alleged decision to stop making chipsets and instead transfer its chipset team to work on GPU projects. If true, the news would end any speculation that Apple might be looking to Nvidia to provide chipsets for its next round of MacBooks.
The story has been spreading like wildfire, and it didn't take long for Nvidia to offer an official response denying the allegations. Hit the jump to see what the graphics chip maker (and continued chipset maker) had to say.