Nvidia has said on more than one occasion that it wants to simplify its product line to make it easier for consumers who might not know the difference between, say, an 8800 GTS 256MB, 8800 GTS 512MB, and 8800 GTS 640MB, and why the 512MB trumps them both. Then there's the 9800GTX+, which is a supercharged 9800 GTX, which is really a supercharged G92-based 8800 GTS, which is confusing as all get-out.
It gets better. Meet the GeForce GTS 250, the videocard formerly known as the 9800 GTX+. The rebranded videocard still uses the 55nm G92b GPU, however in a more mature yielding chip in GTS 250 trim. Available in both 512MB and 1GB configurations, the latter includes a new board design noticeably smaller than the 9800 GTX+ by about an inch and a half.
Other specs include a 738MHz core clockspeed, 1100MHz memory clockspeed, 256-bit memory interface for a 70.4 GB/s of total memory bandwidth, 16 ROPs, 64 texture filtring units, and 128 processor cores. The GTS 250 carries a TDP of 150 watts, and according to Anandtech's testing, both idle and load power consumption runs about 30W less than the 9800 GTX+.
The 512MB and 1GB versions will run $130 and $150 respectively, with widespread availability expected next week.
What is it lately with AT&T and inflated WiFi charges? Last week the ISP handed a Chicago Bears fan a $28,000 internet bill after his laptop's wireless card picked up an errant signal while he watched a football game on his notebook, and now the company has billed an Oklahoma woman $5,077 for data charges on her DataConnect plan.
Oklahoma resident Billie Parks is suing both AT&T and RadioShack, alleging the two companies co-conspired to offer a netbook and data bundle intentionally designed to mislead customers into racking up thousands of dollars per month in service charges. Parks purchased her netbook from RadioShack in December of 2008 for just $100, a price which required a two-year commitment with AT&T's DataConnect plan. On the $60/month plan, customers can get online no matter where they're at.
However, Parks maintains that she was never told that Internet data usage over 5GB would result in "astronomical additional charges running into the thousands of dollars." According to Parks, the Customer Service Summary says only that additional charges apply, but makes no mention of what those charges are.
"We're reviewing the suit and don’t have a comment on it at this time," AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom told ArsTechnica. "But I can tell you that we go to considerable lengths to inform customers of the limits involved in these plans. We display the plan usage limits and overage rates on our collateral, terms and conditions, and on att.com, And customers can check their usage using myWireless Account or by using the usage monitoring capability on the AT&T Communications Manager application."
Does Parks have a fighting chance with her lawsuit? Hit the jump and sound off.
Dell has announced a new 24-inch LED widescreen display the company says will help cut energy costs and environmental impact. In addition to LED technology, energy saving features of Dell's new green G2410 display include the use of "recycled materials and other environmentally preferable components," less than 0.15W of power consumption when in sleep mode, manufacturing free of PVC, BFR, CFR, arsenic, and mercury, and reduced waste due to up to 20 percent slimmer panel than comparable models.
The G2410 sports a 1920x1080 screen resolution, which might be disappointing for some gamers hoping for 1920x1200, however it's enough for movie buffs to get full 1080p content. Other specs include a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 million color support, a 5ms response time, and 250 cd/m2 brightness. Connectivity options are limited to VGA and DVI-D.
You know what's larger than a single 2TB Western Digital hard drive? The answer is four them, all stuffed into Western Digital's ShareSpace NAS for a total capacity of 8 freakin' terabytes.
More than just increased storage, WD claims its new four bay NAS serves up 30 percent faster transfer speeds, along with support for DLNA media streaming.
"With its huge capacity and small footprint, WD ShareSpace has become a popular choice among small business owners. By doubling capacity and increasing transfer speeds, the new 8 TB WD ShareSpace offers more value to small business users," said Jim Welsh, senior VP and GM of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups. "Digital media enthusiasts, on the other hand, will really appreciate the new streaming support which lets them easily stream to PCs, Macs and game consoles. With the new WD ShareSpace, we have made important improvements for all our customers."
Several other goodies abound, such as GigE connectivity, RAID 0/1/5 capabilities, built-in email alert system, iTunes server support, three USB 2.0 ports, and a built-in FTP server.
WD says the new 8TB capacity will be available this week through the company's online store in 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB capacities. The 8TB version will run $1700, and all three models include WD's Anywhere Backup software.
Everyone assumed the high definition format war was over after movie studios abruptly bailed on the HD-DVD format seemingly over night, but could it be just beginning? China certainly hopes so, whose China Blue HD (CBHD) just received a shot in the arm from Warner Brother's announcement that it plans to support the format with several films in the first half of 2009.
Like HD-DVD, CBHD players and media are comparatively inexpensive next to Blu-ray. According to the Optical Memory National Engineering Research Center (OMNERC), who jointly produced the CBHD format with the DVD Forum, converting an existing DVD production line to CBHD costs just $800,000, significantly lower than the $3 million it takes to switch to Blu-ray. Add low licensing fees to the mix and you have a format that's easier on the wallet for Chinese customers than Blu-ray.
Studios appeared uninterested in backing the CBHD format when the group tried to promot itself in the fall of 2008. With Warner Brothers jumping on board, it will be interesting to see if other studios follow suit, especially since a pricing advantage wasn't enough to keep HD-DVD afloat. And with the announcement of a new Blu-ray licensing firm, which is expected to result in lower priced players and media by mid-year, CBHD's window of opportunity might be closing fast.
Corsair, who is best known for making memory products, appears ready to jump into the computer case market. It isn't unusual for component manufacturers to branch off from their specialized product line(s), but to our knowledge, no other memory maker builds PC enclosures.
The prototype case, which is being shown off at CeBIT, sports an all-black paint job, including the interior. Corsair's going with a two-chamber design similar to Antec's P180/P190, with the PSU sitting at the bottom. There's enough room for 5.25-inch drives, along with a hatch that hides four hot-swappable hard drives.
According to review site Legit Reviews, Corsair's full tower chassis stands at 24 inches high by 24 inches deep and 9 inches wide, and will weigh between 20 and 25 pounds when empty. The case owes its weight to a mostly steel construction, although the front panel is made of aluminum.
The un-named case will likely start shipping in Q2 2009 for between $250 to $300.
This morning Asus showed off one of their newest gaming related products, the Eee Stick, which is intended to get more people into gaming. The Eee Stick will come in many different colors, and oh yeah, they look and act exactly like a Wiimote.
There’s no word yet on what crowds Asus hopes to get with their Eee Sticks, but it is clear that they’re looking to make their own stake in the casual gaming crowd.
Currently there’s no word on pricing or availability.
If you’re any kind of fan of adding WiFi to your digital camera, you may want to check out Eye-Fi’s latest cards, which will double the previous storage cap and add support for uploading videos.
The new versions are the 4GB Explore Video, which will run you $100 and the 4GB Share Video, for only $80. The Explore will automatically geotag photos and videos for you, and offers hotspot access at over 10,000 locations. The Share loses the ability to geotag, and only allows users to send photos and videos to the Web and your home computer.
These new cards are available today. If you’re not looking for all of the fancy frills and are happy with the 2GB space limit, you get the old cards for only $50.
A little while back Asus was toying with the idea of fitting a home theater PC inside a keyboard, and now we can happily say that this product is finally on its way.
The Eee Keyboard will come with wireless HDMI and a small touchscreen, and is expected to arrive in May or June, costing only $400-$600. Jerry Shen, Asus’ CEO, says that there are two models being worked on, a wired and a wireless version. It’s reported that the wireless capability is the difference between the $400 and $600 machines.
Underneath the hood it will have a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB RAM, a 16 or 32GB SSD, WiFi and Bluetooth built in. It will also feature wireless HDMI, 2 USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI and audio in/out ports.
The official release of Windows 7 might still be several months away, but that isn't stopping Nvidia from preparing for Vista's successor with new graphics drivers aimed at Windows 7 beta users. The new drivers are available now, and Nividia promises this is just the start of a regular driver release schedule. Remember that shortly after Vista debuted, Microsoft blamed buggy Nvidia drivers for giving the OS a bad rap.
"Since its release last month, the Windows 7 Beta has been eagerly tested by hundreds of thousands of NVIDIA GeForce owners, who are excited about the many graphical improvements Microsoft has added into the upcoming operating system," said Ujesh Desai, vice president of GeForce desktop business at NVIDIA.
Nvidia says it has been working closely with Microsoft so that its new drivers will take full advantage of the additional features and functionality Windows 7 brings to the table. Kicking off with v181.71, Nvidia's graphics drivers support the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) v1.1. The drivers also support SLI on DX9, 10, and OpenGL applications, PhysX, CUDA, and Direct3D, Direct2D, and DirectWrite.