It looks as though Nvidia will finally find its way into netbooks, and without using any strong arm tactics. The graphics chip maker announced plans to pair its GeForce 9400M chipset with Intel's Atom processor in a new netbook dubbed Ion.
Nvidia's 9400M GPU is the same one Apple chose to use in its refreshed MacBook line. From a performance standpoint, Nvidia says its 9400M offers 5x faster graphics and 10x faster video transcoding than a typical Atom-powered netbook, and is capable of playing full-spec 1080p high definition video. Nvidia also claims you'll be able to play popular games on the Ion platform, such as Call of Duty 4.
"NVIDIA's Ion Platform transforms Atom-based PCs into capable mainstream gaming platforms," said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "Epic is excited about the growth potential offered by these new affordable premium PCs."
In addition to gaming and high definition content, Ion will be capable of handling Vista's full user interface, as well as Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7.
Look for the new graphically supercharged netbooks to appear midway through 2009 "within $50" of standard netbook pricing, Gizmodo reports.
Prince of Persia may have missed its left turn at Albuquerque en route to the PC, but that doesn’t lessen its value as a game. Inability to die and ample backtracking, though? Those might give you second thoughts about leaving your wallet unguarded around the game’s princely thief. Luckily, Maximum PC has you covered. Prince of Persia, lose the jewel case; we’re getting all up in your space.
1. DRM-free is the way to be – Once bitten, twice shy. PC gamers can’t stop ragging on EA for its use of “draconian” DRM (Will Wright’s next game won’t be out for a few years, guys! You’re getting a little excessive), but Ubisoft is attempting to nip that mistake in the bud with its announcement that Prince of Persia: Mandatory DRM Edition won’t ever see the light of day. Kudos, guys! Now please don’t use this one gift as a measuring stick for the overall effectiveness of DRM. After all, we’re talking a single drop in a bucket big enough to build a wicked-awesome sand castle. Plus, no one likes an Indian-giver.
2. Death and taxes – In Prince of Persia, you can’t die. Ever. See, as it turns out, one only needs a magical princess in order to attain immortality. (Yeah, suddenly Mario’s never-ending quest doesn’t seem so selfless.) Miss a jump? Princess Elika’s dainty, yet freakishly durable hand lashes out and saves the prince from actually discovering what’s at the bottom of one of those bottomless pits (Hint: Grues). Same goes for your totally bitchin’ triple back-flip sword-cannon ball that looked way more like you getting stabbed in the face. Really though, the prince’s person-shaped bottle of death-repellent doesn’t turn the game into an overly easy snoozefest. Since the princess’ bulging forearm tosses you back to your last checkpoint, “death” still happens. However, you’re not forced to sit through a loading screen or anything like that. Quick and simple. But…
For as long as there have been magazines, there have been ads to put inside them. All of them mostly text and graphics, and always confined to the page – until now.
The folks at Mini have been printing a brand new advertisement that looks like a black and white page with simple instructions in German automotive magazines. But the ad, as it turns out, will provide anyone with a webcam the ability to check out their own 3D model of a new Mini Cabrio right on their computer screen.
While the advertisement might not be available here in the U.S. (easily), it will provide most readers with an opportunity to check out something unique and interactive. Want to see the ad in action? Be sure to check out the video.
Now that Google has had a few months to work out any potential kinks in the system, Google Maps is now officially offering YouTube integration. Once you choose to add the video layer from the “more” menu (the same one that’ll get you to Wikipedia), you can check out any videos that have been geotagged!
For those that used the previous add-on version, you’ll find little different. Aesthetically, you’ll notice that the actual video will be cut down (removing the play count and video information) so to make presentation easier, and the videos will appear on the map as a thumbnail instead of a small red dot.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what people start filming because of this. Sure, there might be boring videos here and there of people checking out barren stretches of highway that no one will ever see (which I actually think is kind of neat), but this does provide an opportunity to make the world seem a little bit smaller.
Earlier this month, rumors surfaced suggesting that Intel and Nvidia have been working together to enable Nvidia chipset support for the Atom platform. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI were each said to be ready to take advantage of the possible collaboration. But the melding of an Nvidia foundation with Intel's Atom processor hasn't yet taken place, and now it appears Nvidia, who previously said it was taking a wait and see approach to the netbook market, is getting antsy to make something happen.
According to DigiTimes, Drew Henry, GM of Nvidia's MCP business, recently took a trip to Taiwan in an attempt to convince Taiwan PC makers to support forcing Intel to allow Nvidia's MCP7A and MCP79 chipsets into Atom platforms. Henry acknowledged the high price-to-performance ratio inherent with Atom processors, but said that limiting the chips to 945GSE and 945GC chipsets will stagnate future development.
With Intel seemingly in no hurry to bring Nvidia on board, Nvidia is pressuring PC makers into demanding that Intel sell them only CPUs instead of bundling CPUs and chipsets together.
Bare (aka "OEM") hard disk drives have always been good deals for tech-savvy shoppers (aka the typical Maximum PC reader) - buy a drive in an anti-static bag, provide your own mounting screws, download a disk management utility from the vendor's website, and you can save a lot of greenbacks, without a sacrifice in warranty coverage.
That's about to change. Channel Register reports that Seagate's bare drives for desktop and laptop computers are about to take a 2-year cut in warranty coverage. Starting January 3, 2009, bare drives will have 3-year limited warranties, compared to the current 5-year limited warranty. Seagate says that they'll use the ship-to-dealers date of January 3, 2009 and beyond to calculate warranty terms, but I'd recommend holding on to your sales receipt, especially if you're buying a last-minute Christmas gift or grabbing an after-Christmas sale.
To find out why Seagate is reducing its bare drive warranty period, and to see how it stacks up to its competitors, join us after the jump.
Enthusiasts looking to piece together a high end system probably don't even have A-Data on their radar, a company best known for offering budget priced modules designed for general purpose computing. Perhaps looking to make new friends among overclocking circles, A-Data this week launched its XPG DDR3-2133X v2.0 memory in both dual- and tri-channel form.
As a tri-channel kit, DDR3-2133 ranks as the highest frequency currently available. Even more impressive, it's available in both 3GB (3x1GB) and 6GB (3x2GB) configurations, not just 3GB. It looks as though some concessions have to be made in order to reach 2133MHz in tri-channel form, as both kits run comparatively loose at 10-10-10-30 and require between 2.05V - 2.15V.
In order to accommodate the high voltage requirement, the new kit comes with a dual-fan heatsink for active cooling. The dual-fan cooler also adds a touch of bling with a pair of blue LEDs.
Fujitsu’s classy looking ST6012 tablet PC has finally made its way out the door after having been previously spotted in September.
The fancy new tablet features a 12-inch WXGA screen, a Core 2 Duo SU9400, 1GB of RAM and a 80GB hard drive standard. The extra frills come in the form of a SSD drive, Intel turbo memory, a build-in camera, and a nine-cell battery.
Snagging this bad boy will run you $1,999 if you’re going with the vanilla version. But should you decide to bump up to rocky road, you’ll be shelling out as much as $4,000.
"In our world of customized online services, responsible use of data is critical to establishing and maintaining user trust," said Anne Toth, Yahoo!'s Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy. "We know that our users expect relevant and compelling content and advertising when they visit Yahoo!, but they also want assurances that we are focused on protecting their privacy."
The new limit puts Yahoo well ahead of its competition. Earlier this year, Google reduced its data retention time frame from 18 months to nine months, and Microsoft vowed to cut its data retention policy to six months if its rivals did the same.
Yahoo will begin implementing the new policy next month and says it will be effective across all of the company's services by the middle of 2010.
Better than expected Black Friday sales weren't enough to offset what has been a supremely disappointing third-quarter for Best Buy. For Q3 2008, Best Buy reported earnings of $52 million, or 13 cents per share on revenue of $11.5 billion. Wall Street was expecting much better numbers to the tune of 24 cents per share. The disappointing earnings represent a 77 percent tumble from the same quarter last year.
"The historic slowdown in the economy and its effect on our business over the past 90 days have been the most challenging consumer environment our company has ever faced," Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson said in a statement. "We believe that there has been a dramatic and potentially long-lasting change in consumer behavior as people adjust to the new realities of the marketplace."
Moving forward, Best Buy will look to restructure starting with offering voluntary buyouts to most of its 4,000 corporate employees, followed by possible layoffs if the buyouts aren't taken.
Rival electronics retailer Circuit City has also been going through financial woes of its own, recently entering into bankruptcy and closing many of its stores.