Reminder: The T-shirt design contest ends this Friday morning. Submit your entries as soon as possible!
Here is your chance to make a mark on Maximum PC! We need new t-shirts, and, quite frankly between the magazine re-design, the website revamp and actually making the magazine every month, we’re just tapped out. That’s where you come in. We're taking submissions for a new t-shirt design, and want you to try your hand at creating one. The design should include the Maximum PC logo, have a maximum of 4 colors, and be created as a vector graphic. Otherwise, we encourage you to be creative and geeky to capture the look and feel of the magazine.
Send us your design for the new Maximum PC t-shirt and you could win a $250 gift card and a few tees to show off your winning art!
Last month Nvidia said it planned to tweak its 9800GTX videocard with a die shrink and faster clockspeeds resulting in the 9800GTX+, and today the release becomes official with immediate availability. Along with the 9800GTX+, Nvidia fleshes out its GeForce 9-series line with two other videocards, the 9800GT and 9500GT.
All three cards are available now, and each one brings support for Nvidia's PhysX and CUDA technologies, two areas currently exclusive to Nvidia.
"The addition of the new 9800GTX+, 9800GT, and the 9500GT GPUs brings a new level of visual computing capability to additional mainstream market segments," said Ujesh Desai, general manger of desktop GPUs at Nvidia. "Nvidia GPUs deliver the best bang for the buck in each price category, and with support for CUDA, PhysX, and 3D stereoscopic technology, consumers can now experience the unique, innovative, and immersive computing experience that only Nvidia can deliver."
Claiming victory in the bang-for-buck war would have been a tough sell just weeks ago, but such claims become easier to swallow with the 9500GT taking residence in the sub-$70 pricing tier. Both the 9800GT and GTX+ can be bought for under $200, with the latter going head to head against ATI's HD 4850 videocard. For you old schoolers, it hasn't been this fun to shop for a GPU since the TI4200 days.
Intel's Centrino 2 platform hasn't even gotten its feet wet in the PC pool yet, and if a new rumor turns out to be true, Montevina won't be making waves in the new MacBooks expected to arrive within the next two months. If it happens, the change would mark the first time Apple turned its nose at Centrino in its MacBook line since 2006.
According to AppleInsider, not only might the new MacBooks abandon the Montevina chipset, but the new chipset may have nothing to do with Intel at all. Instead, the rumor suggests Apple might be busy designing the new chipset entirely in-house just as it did with its PowerPC-based Macs.
If not in-house and if not Intel, that only leaves a few other third party chipset manufacturers, such as Nvidia, AMD, or VIA. For all its recent problems in the mobile market, Nvidia might be considered a long shot at first glance, but recent reports suggest Nvidia might be willing to ditch its alliance with VIA in order to build a chipset for Intel's Atom processor. Could this be the opportunity Nvidia has been gunning for?
In just two more years, your swank high definition television might be obsolete, or at least the technology behind it. That's the time frame Matsushita has given for when it plans to start selling an OLED television with a screen size of 40 inches.
If you haven't been following the HDTV landscape, OLED technology promises thinner displays, a better looking picture, and lower power consumption, making it the frontrunner to succeed both LCD and plasma. Cost continues to be a prohibiting factor in the here and now, but Matsushita hopes to tackle that problem by investing several dozen billion yen into a prototype production line for 20-inch OLED panels, while also doubling the personnel involved in developing larger screen OLED displays.
While Matsushita's 2011 deadline might appear to be overly ambitious, the company already has a head start on the technology. Earlier this month a report from Japan's Nikkei BP said Matsushita and Toshiba were ready to begin mass-producing 2.5-inch organic screens by the fall of 2009. Meanwhile new breakthroughs continue to drive down the manufacturing cost of OLEDs, so if even we don't see OLED televisions by 2011, the writing will at least be on the wall.
Adding to its colorful Studio collection, Dell today launches its Studio Hybrid, a mini-PC the company bills as the "most environmentally responsible consumer" computer on the market. It could also rank as one of the most affordable PCs, checking in at only $499 without monitor or as low as $699 with a 19-inch widescreen LCD.
In addition to 6 interchangeable color sleeves (or bamboo), the new Studio Hybrid also sports a sideways oriented slot-load DVD burner and several ports, including HDMI, three USB 2.0, DVI, Ethernet, and audio.
Underneath the hood customers can choose between a range of Intel Mobile processors from the T2390 (1.86GHz/533MHz) on up to the T9500 (2.6GHz/800MHz). In addition to the widescreen monitor, the $699 configuration buys you a T2390, 2GB of DDR2-667, a 250GB 5400RPM hard drive, 8x DVD burner, integrated graphics and audio, and Vista Home Premium with SP1.
Dell claims its Studio Hybrid line is about 80 percent smaller than the typical desktop minitower, and uses up to 70 percent less energy. Further appealing to the environmentalists, Dell claims its tiny green PC uses 30 percent less packing materials than a typical desktop, almost all of which is recyclable.
Between the recent push towards low power computing and Apple continuing to sell a generation on hip gadgets, Dell thinks it has a winner in its colorful PC with green roots. What do you think?
Denmark-based gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries has acquired Ideazon - a leading North American player in the gaming accessories space, it announced today. Ideazon’s range of gaming gear is known as Precision Gaming Tools and is most certainly headlined by its Zboard gaming keyboards that can be customized for a certain game using game-specific keysets. Both companies have a global presence in the gaming accessories market but are strategically different from each other.
SteelSeries’s products are all aimed at professional gamers unlike Ideazon’s peripherals that are made keeping in mind all ilks of gamers. It supports around 1,200 professional gaming competitions and 200 professional gaming outfits across the globe.
The acquisition should give SteelSeries a strategic depth that it didn’t previously enjoy. It will not only have access to an entirely different market – relatively casual in nature - but also benefit greatly from Ideazon’s strategic partnerships with leading game publishers and developers including Activision Blizzard, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Sony Online Entertainment, Nvidia and Microsoft Game Studios.
Update: We spoke with Kim Rom, head of communications for SteelSeries, about the acquisition. Click through to see how the purchase of Ideazon will affect existing customers.
A decade ago, owning a 56K V.92 PCI modem used to mean you were the baddest Netizen on the block, but now it's just lame. Even Aunt Mabel has a broadband connection, and according to a new Gartner study, so will 77 percent of U.S. households by 2012. That only leaves 23 percent still living in the digital Stone Age.
Today just over half of all U.S. households surf at high speed, but Gartner expects that number to jump significantly in the next three years. According to Amanda Sabia, a Gartner principal research analyst, one of the biggest factors in the broadband adoption rate will be 4G wireless services like WiMAX, Long Term Evolution, and others that are expected to launch in the coming years.
Broadband also looks to do well worldwide, where 60 percent of the population in 17 countries will have high speed connections in 2012, whereas only 5 countries could make that same claim in 2007. Leading the way is South Korea, who is expected to jump from 93 percent to 97 percent of households having a broadband subscription in 2012. Gnarly.
Kingston has released the DataTraveler 100 at 16Gb with a price tag of around $85 at the high end ($59.99 at the egg, but it’s out of stock). This is their sleek model without the bells and whistles. It offers a small form factor, a retractable USB connector and base black.
If you want to upscale your flash, the DataTraveler 400 should fit the bill. It goes for around $196 at the high end ($131.99 at the egg). For the extra cash you get faster data transfer speeds, MigoSync for synchronization of file, email and internet browser setting, and SecureTraveler for password protection
It seems the Kingston name commands a premium, given the price of similar drives that these are competing with.
"These benchmark results are the latest evidence of the clear value that Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors offer an Internet business - or any data center that requires the ultimate i performance, reliability, and power efficiency," said Patrick Patla, AMD's general manager of Server and Workstation Business.
The press release makes no mention of who or where the benchmarks were ran, but did say an HP ProLiant DL385 G5 server equipped with two Opteron 2356 processors scored 30,007, while an HP ProLiant DL585 G5 server running two 8356 processors posted a score of 43,854.
CNet says that Dell has dropped some hints that it is working on a Smartphone for those of us that are addicted to gadgets. They found an article in which Michael Dell drops some hints in his interview with Om Malik of GigaOm.
Dell said, "We are certainly looking at the whole smartphone category, but I wouldn't expect anything anytime soon." When Malik pressed him about their interest in either the Symbian or Android OS for such a device, he spilled a few more beans and said, "We're not ready to publicly disclose our plans there...we're kind of working on that".
I’ll take Michael Dell at his word. They have nothing coming soon. While Cnet may be holding their breath, with so many really great smartphones out right now I won’t be holding mine. How about you?