Research into the field of light powered computing has made some considerable strides as of late. Most notably, the science behind a laser powered hard drive has been more solid than ever before.
A laser powered hard drive would work on the principles of picosecond pulse lasers working where magnetic read/write heads would (something that was considered to be impossible until recently). Drives working on these fundamentals would provide a 1 TB/s transfer rate with their first generations, and others after that would reach speeds of 100TB/s and over.
Supposedly, this technology will be available within only five years, but like most laser technology, we’ll believe it when we see it.
For a long time, both Intel and AMD relied on ever increasing clockspeeds for each new processor release. That still remains the case today, but to a much lesser degree. Case in point - Intel's long retired Northwood line topped out at 3.4GHz, or 200MHz faster than the zippiest Core i7 processor currently on the market.
The future of chip design has shifted to where multiple cores is now main factor, supported by larger cache, on die memory controllers, expanded instruction sets, and other secondary concerns. That's all well and good that AMD and Intel are on the same page, which puts the onus on software developers to catch up, but at least one group of researchers believes we're headed for an unpleasant surprise.
Hit the jump to find out why more cores may not translate into better performance.
Don't read DDR2's eulogy just yet, the last generation memory standard still has some life left. Citing un-named motherboard makers, DigiTimes says the DDR3 generation won't fully take hold until sometime in 2010.
AMD and Intel were both expected to push DDR3-only platforms in 2009, but neither one is ready to fully commit. For Intel's part, DigiTimes claims demand for its Core i7 processors and X58 chipsets hasn't yet met expectations, prompting the chip maker t postpone its DDR3-only 5-series chipsets until much later in the year, likely around September.
Rival chip maker AMD isn't in a position to push DDR3-only platforms either, but it has more to do with technical difficulties than less-than-expected demand, says DigiTimes. According to the report, the struggling chip maker hasn't yet achieved full stability and compatibility with the DDR3-controller that comes integrated in the company's AM3-based processors.
Meanwhile, the memory market continues to struggle, resulting in some tantalizing DDR2 and DDR3 prices all around. A 4GB DDR2-1066 kit can now be bought for under $50, or half that if willing to play the mail-in-rebate game. A 4GB DDR3-1333 kit runs a bit higher at around $70 and up, or around $150 for a 6GB triple channel kit. Kind of makes you sick to think back on that enthusiast 2GB DDR2 kit you paid over $200 for just a couple of short years ago.
Should you have the misfortune of experiencing a flood or fire in your home, backing up your digital photos, music, documents, and other data probably isn't high on your list of things to do. Even power users tend to put family and pets first, and for those of you that are married, don't forget the wedding album (for the wife) and universal remote (for the husband).
A new product by Solo promises to keep your data safe in the event of a disaster if you don't have time to pick up your computer, laptop, and other devices containing your data. The company's ioSafe is an external USB 2.0 storage unit capable of holding up to 1.5TB, but unlike typical external backup drives, the ioSafe was built to withstand extreme situations. Solo says it can survive temperatures up to 1550° F for 30 minutes and/or being submerged in 10 feet of fresh- or saltwater for 3 days. To prove it, Solo posted a video demonstrating situations you probably (definitely) shouldn't try at home.
The ioSafe is available for preorder (ships January 28, 2009) in 500GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB capacities for $150, $200, and $300 respectively.
It's not always easy debating the merits of a Mac versus a PC, especially if you're a Mac user. Things tend to get ugly rather quickly, and before you know it, Mac users are telling us to shut our damn pie-holes, in which we, the PC users, respond by calling our Mac brethren whiny losers before laying the smack down.
But while both sides present intelligent arguments such as the ones above, supplemented with entertaining commercials with celebrity OS pitchmen, the real question remains: If Macs and PCs could become Transformers, which side would win in a fight?
Digital media designer Nick Greenlee is glad that you asked and has created a wicked sick high definition video of a Mac and PC going head to head. Motion capture animation, HDRI, and 3D compositing galore, Greenlee's short film won Best Compositing at Artimation 2008.
Check it out here, then post your smack talk below.
According to Shih, the Eee phone might “become an interactive control” for a wide array of Asus devices that will be part of Asustek’s vaguely described digital home. Shih envisions a digital home embellished with interactive mirrors. Let us hope there is more to the idea than his fecund imagination.
Google Apps reached a major milestone in September last year, when it raced past the 1 million enterprise users mark. But the huge lead that its arch rival MS Office enjoys meant that the achievement was just worthy of a perfunctory pat on the back. Now Google has taken a major step that might help popularize Google Apps among business users and help it trim Microsoft’s huge lead to a small extent.
Draw the line in the sand! It's the showdown the tech world has feared: Microsoft's upstart Windows 7 versus Linux. We've seen plenty of volleys back and forth from both camps over the past few days, thanks to the beta launch of the Windows 7 operating system. The new OS has a lot going for it--features that directly target the growing Linux base in the mobile PC market coupled with design elements that, honestly, look a lot like what we've seen in Linux desktop environments for some time now. But will that be enough to topple the best the open-source world has to offer? We dig deep into the arguments from both camps to find out whether Windows 7 is The Terminator... or John Conner.
Here at Maximum PC, our goal is to bring you – our tear-jerkingly loyal readers – the world’s finest technology-based news. As you can imagine, this takes a tremendous amount of concentration and, well, you’ve seen the headline. After all, it’s kind of difficult to concentrate on news stories and other such frippery when – one screen away -- a Tank’s attempting to knock our head’s round peg into our torso’s square hole. Convergence, ain’t it grand?
Along with placing a “Web” tab on Steam’s in-game overlay screen, today’s update gives Steam’s five strings a tightening – the results of which you can see here:
Updated game overlay web browser to support generic web browsing, including web sites that use flash
Fixed games list scrolling behavior with pageup/pagedown and mouse wheel
Fixed GTA4 backups not restoring correctly
Fixed several cases where matchmaking would not work in Left 4 Dead in using Cafe accounts
Changed Friends to be enabled for Cafe accounts
Removed 'view invites' dialog on startup, now clicking on a group/user invite toast will take you directly to the Community control page
Fixed guest passes not showing immediately in games list
Fixed case where a user would be told a guest pass had expired after they had bought the full game
Improved Steam Windows Service restart logic in serveral places
For most vendors, the goal of CES was to show off their new smaller and sleeker notebook lines featuring all sorts of tiny form-factors and energy efficient processors – but Lenovo has other plans. Lenovo’s newest piece of tech comes not as a portable, but as desktop. Instead of focusing on a netbook, they put their focus solely on a nettop.
Lenovo’s H200 will be featuring an Intel Atom 230 processor at its heart, handle 1GB of RAM standard and will pack a 160GB hard drive. It’s expected that a machine with a processor such as the Atom won’t be very readily accepted in the United States, but at a price point of $400 in today’s economy it does stand a pretty good chance of doing well.