Friday, June 29, 2007


If there was a purpose to all things in God's Green Earth, the AMD 690G chipset is all about entertainment. As the first consumer IGP chipset to support HD decoding through ATI's AVIVO technology and HDMI, the AMD 690G has been implemented in new generation HTPC ready motherboards such as the Sapphire Pure Innovation HDMI and ASUS M2A-VM HDMI. These boards deliver cost effectiveness and high performance entertainment value in a small package. In an effort to bring true bargain entertainment onto the table, MSI decided on a more minimalist approach for their version of the AMD 690G, the MSI K9AGM2-FIH motherboard.

MSI and the AMD 690G

Like all 690G motherboards, the MSI K9AGM2-FIH is built on a mATX PCB to better accommodate small form factor and HTPC chassis designs. Combining the AMD 690G Northbridge with the SB600 Southbridge, the K9AGM2-FIH has most of what the chipset has to offer. It supports all current AMD Socket AM2 processors, up to the latest dual core Athlon 64 X2s and a maximum configuration of 4GB of DDR2-800. However, do note that the board only has two DIMM slots instead of the usual four; so think twice before making your memory purchases. Two 1GB sticks and you will not be able to upgrade further, but one 2GB stick means no dual channel mode, which will affect graphics performance of the IGP as well.

Graphics-wise, the Radeon X1250 is a DirectX 9 part with ATI AVIVO technology for HD video decoding of MPEG2 and WMV formats, but not H.264. The board comes with a HDMI connector complete with HDCP compliance supporting all the way up to 1080p resolutions. Of course, the actual output performance will really depend on what you're playing because of the decoder limitations of the IGP, but then again, a PCIe x16 slot means that you can upgrade the board to a full proper graphics card at your whim.

The board's 8-channel audio is controlled by Realtek's ALC888 HD Audio CODEC and can be pumped through the usual analog output jacks or via the HDMI port.

Other features of the K9AGM2-FIH include one FireWire-400 (VIA VT6308P) port, one PCI Express Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111b) port, ten USB 2.0, four SATA 3.0Gbps ports (RAID 0, 1, 0+1 supported), two PCI, one PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16 expansion slots.

Only the Essentials Please

Now, it may look like the MSI K9AGM2-FIH is a pretty well put together motherboard, but compared to the likes of say the Sapphire PURE Innovation HDMI or ASUS M2A-VM HDMI, the board lacks certain features that should have been a standard bundle for any entertainment motherboard. Other than the standard VGA and native HDMI output, MSI doesn't provide any other video connection options like the Sapphire or ASUS mentioned before. There are also no ready S/PDIF connectors onboard as well. These exclusions limit the board's connectivity functionality outside of HDMI.

The K9AGM2-FIH is a very straight forward install and forget board. There are no tweaks in its BIOS worth mentioning and zero overclocking options, which is expected. However, we were a little concerned about the amount of heat generated from the Northbridge with the small heatsink used by MSI. This never became a problem in our labs, but in a cramped HTPC casing, it may be a challenge to balance sufficient cooling with silent computing.

Final Thoughts

A quick check shows that the board going for and affordable US$75. The AMD 690G chipset, multi-channel HD Audio and HDMI connectivity guarantees that it will still be relevant in today's market for entry-level HD capable machines, but we would have liked higher consumer equipment integration with additional audio/visual connectors bundled with the board. That would have put it on the same playing field as the Sapphire PURE Innovation HDMI and ASUS M2A-VM HDMI. As it stands, the MSI K9AGM2-FIH is an average HD capable HTPC motherboard at best.

Product Specifications

* Chipset: AMD 690G + SB600
* CPU Support: AMD Socket AM2 processors (Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64, Sempron)
* Memory Support: DDR2-800 up to 4GB
* VGA: ATI Radeon X1250 IGP with AVIVO, HDMI (w/ HDCP) and VGA Out, up to 1GB HyperMemory
* Expansion Slots: One PCIe x16, one PCIe x1, two PCI
* Storage: 4 x SATA 3.0Gbps, 1 x Ultra-ATA 133
* Audio: Realtek ALC888 7.1 CH HD Audio CODEC, HDMI Ready
* LAN: 1 x Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8111b)
* FireWire: 2 x FireWire-400 ports (VIA VT6308P)
* USB 2.0: 4 x rear, 6 x header

Source from Hardwarezone

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AMD to Launch "Barcelona" Slow this August

AMD bets on low-power, low-clock processors for its next generation debut

AMD announced today what analysts have been dreading for months: the company will launch its next-generation architecture this August, at top-out frequencies of 2.0 GHz. This next-generation CPU will become the successor of the existing K8 AMD Opteron lineup.

AMD's press release claims, "With planned availability at launch in a range of frequencies up to 2.0 Ghz, AMD expects its native quad-core processors to scale to higher frequencies in Q407 in both standard and SE (Special Edition) versions."

AMD Barcelona roadmaps from February 2007 indicated the company would launch at a top-out frequency of 2.3 GHz, with an eventual ramp to 2.6 GHz on the way.

Just this past June the company also announced it could demonstrate Barcelona on working systems immediately. The part the company left out from its announcement was that the demonstration CPUs ran at 1.6 GHz -- still 400 MHz under the estimated launch speed and 700 MHz under the roadmapped top-out frequency.

To add insult to injury, when DailyTech benchmarked the pre-production 1.6 GHz Barcelona, the CPU did not match Intel's 65nm quad-core offering clock-for-clock. AMD engineers stress to DailyTech that this benchmark was premature, and that final silicon and software will allow for SSE optimizations and better performance.

AMD's press release claims the Barcelona Opteron will provide a 70% performance increase in certain database applications; and a 40% increase on certain floating point applications. The company has maintained this conclusion for nearly six months, though the only benchmarks it has provided to back its case up are simulated SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks released in April 2007.

The 2.0 GHz K10 Opteron announcement comes with another twist; the company will launch its energy-efficient models alongside its performance models at launch. Originally, these low-power Barcelona derivatives were scheduled for a late 2007, possibly early 2008 launch.

“AMD has prioritized production of our low power and standard power products because our customers and ecosystem demand it, and we firmly believe that the introduction of our native Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor will deliver on the promise of the highest levels of performance-per-watt the industry has ever seen,” added Randy Allen, corporate vice president of AMD's Server and Workstation division.

The upcoming Barcelona processors are drop-in compatible with current-generation Opteron motherboards.

Source from dailytech

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Monday, June 25, 2007

NVIDIA Announces Tesla General Purpose Processor Platform

NVIDIA takes on AMD's Stream Computing Initiative with its Tesla GPU cards and HPC systems

Late last year AMD and ATI merged into one company, forming not just a bigger entity but creating a very specific roadmap altogether. AMD's grand scheme with ATI is to develop a single chip handling both general purpose computing as well as graphics. The Fusion project as AMD calls it is this very goal.

Today, NVIDIA reveals that it is not behind when it comes to general purpose GPU, or GPGPU, computing. Earlier this year the company announced its complete unified device architecture, or CUDA, Technology, which laid the groundwork for GPGPU programming for NVIDIA GPUs. CUDA Technology directly competes with AMD’s Stream Computing initiative.

The GPGPU product lineup will be known as Tesla. Tesla is a top to bottom product lineup consisting of internal PCIe cards and external high-performance computing, or HPC, systems – Tesla C870, S870 and D870.

The internal PCIe solution consists of an output-less GeForce 8-series based card on a PCIe x16 card. The Tesla D870 is NVIDIA’s only internal GPGPU card for desktops. The GPGPU still requires two external PCIe power connectors and consumes up to 170-watts of power at maximum. NVIDIA claims the Tesla D870 delivers 518 Gigaflops of GPGPU processing power.

Last year, the company announced a highly integrated graphics sub-system named QuadroPlex. Using a number of GPUs in a tightly integrated system, the QuadroPlex family of machines accelerated 3D rendering and graphics work. QuadroPlex became the stepping-stone for the new Tesla C870.

The Tesla C870 GPGPU server packs two GeForce 8-series GPUs in an external system with packaging similar to the QuadroPlex. The GPGPU delivers one Teraflop of GPGPU computing power while consuming up to 550-watts of power.

Finally, the Tesla S870 comes equipped with four GeForce 8-series GPUs and offers up to two Teraflops of computing power. The Tesla S870 consumes up to 800-watts of power and fits into a stackable 1U chassis.

Tesla C870 and S870 systems connect to workstation systems via an external PCIe Gen2 x16 interconnect. The machines contain PCIe switches and can be daisy-chained with more systems. As with the Tesla D870 GPU card, the Tesla C870 and S870 systems lack output capabilities. Theoretically, customers can purchase multiple Tesla GPGPU systems and chain them up for big increases in performance.

NVIDIA designed the new Tesla family for everything from graphics rending to medical research and data farming. At the core level, GPUs are far more efficient at dealing with parallel computing than general-purpose processors. This makes Tesla very powerful for cluster-type applications.

The Tesla S870, D870 and C870 carry an MSRP of $12,000, $1,499 and $7,500, respectively.

Source from dailytech

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Seagate Announces 1TB Drives

New Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2 offer capacities up to 1TB with 32MB caches

Seagate today unveiled two 1TB hard drives for consumer and enterprise markets – the new Barracuda 7200.11 and Barracuda ES.2. Seagate claims to have “the world’s most advanced family of one terabyte drives” with the new Barracuda models.

The new Barracuda 7200.11 is the follow up to last year’s Barracuda 7200.10, ready to take on Hitachi and Samsung 1TB offerings. Seagate packs the 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 with 32MB of L2 cache, SATA 3.0Gbps and native command queuing support. The Barracuda 7200.11 makes use of four 250GB platters with second-generation perpendicular magnetic recording technology, or PMR. Seagate claims the new Barracuda 7200.11 can sustain 105MB/s data rate.

Even with four platters, Seagate claims the new Barracuda 7200.11 only draws 8-watts during idle and 11.6-watts during seek. Acoustically, the Barracuda 7200.11 generates around 27-to-29 decibels of noise during idle and seeking tasks. As with all new Barracuda generations, the 7200.11 improvements and technologies trickle down to smaller sizes. Seagate also offers the Barracuda 7200.11 in 750GB and 500GB sizes with the same 32MB buffer and PMR technology. Due to smaller sizes, the 750GB drive makes use of three platters while the 500GB drive has two platters.

Seagate’s new Barracuda ES.2 models cater towards the enterprise markets. Although it is similar to the Barracuda 7200.11, Seagate offers the ES.2 with serial attached SCSI, or SAS, interfaces. Seagate has also raised the MTBF rating of the Barracuda ES.2 to 1.2 million hours, up 200 thousand hours from the previous Barracuda ES.

Expect the Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2 to arrive sometime this quarter in capacities up to 1TB. Seagate prices the 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 with an MSRP of $399. As with other Seagate drives, the new Barracuda 7200.11 and ES.2 come with five year warranties.

Source from dailytech

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Fujitsu Unveils 12.1" Tablet PC With SSD Option

Fujitsu's FMV-T8140 Tablet PC can be selected with Windows XP or Windows Vista

Fujitsu today announced a new 12.1" Tablet PC for the Japanese market. The Santa Rosa-based FMV-T8140 gives users the choice of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 or Windows Vista Business.

The FMV-T8140 is powered by a 1.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 processor and comes standard with 1GB of DDR2 memory (512MB on the Windows XP model). The 12.1" screen features a screen resolution of 1200x800 and is powered by Intel's GMA X3100 integrated GPU.

A 30GB HDD is standard on the FMV-T8140, while an 80GB HDD is on the options sheet. Also optional are 16GB and 32GB solid state disks (SSDs).

The FMV-T8140 measures 11.69" x 8.62" x 1.3" and weighs 3.28 pounds. Fujitsu claims that the tablet can operate for 6.8 hours with the standard battery pack and 10.2 hours when using the extended battery (7.5 hours and 11.3 hours respectively with Windows XP).

The FMV-T8140 will be priced in Japan at 265,000 Yen ($2138 USD) for the Windows Vista model and 245,000 Yen ($1976 USD) for the Windows XP model.

Source from dailytech

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Samsung Begins Mass Production of 64GB SSDs

Samsung rolls out its highest capacity 1.8" flash SSD

Back in March, Samsung announced its 64GB flash Solid State Disk (SSD). The 1.8" unit promised read speeds of 65MB/sec and write speeds of 45MB/sec.

Samsung today revealed that it has started mass production of its new drive. The 64GB SSD uses 64 eight gigabit single-level cell (SLC) flash memory chips which are built on a 51 nanometer manufacturing process.

"We see sharply increasing interest in SSDs among OEMs worldwide amid a growing push to launch premium SSD-based notebooks, particularly in the ultra-mobile category," said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.

Samsung's 64GB SSD will likely appear at online retailers and inside ultra-portable notebooks (and UMPCs) within the coming weeks and months.

SSDs have the advantage of low power consumption, low weight, durability, silent operation and high performance. These advantages are expected to allow SSDs to account for 29 percent of ultra-portable notebooks and 25 percent of mainstream notebooks according to iSuppli.

The benefits afforded by SSDs are offset by one major deficit: pricing. 1.8" SSD are currently around five times expensive as their 1.8" HDD counterparts. By the year 2010, that differential is expected to only drop to three times as expensive.

For those that simply can’t wait for the 1.8” 64GB SSDs to arrive, the older and slower 32GB version (53MB/sec reads, 30MB/sec writes) is available online for the princely sum of $529.

Source from dailytech

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NVIDIA Partners Quietly Rollout Retail GeForce 8400GS

NVIDIA takes on the entry-level DirectX10 market with a sub-$100 retail graphics card

Graphic card manufacturers silently launched retail GeForce 8400GS-based add-in boards this week. The GeForce 8400GS is NVIDIA’s newest retail entry-level offering, slotting below the GeForce 8500GT. NVIDIA previously released the GeForce 8400GS a couple months ago to OEMs only.

The retail GeForce 8400GS arrives ready to take on AMD’s upcoming ATI Radeon HD 2400-series. The entry-level offering introduces DirectX and shader model 4.0 to a sub-$100 price point. NVIDIA also packs the GeForce 8400GS with PureVideo HD for hardware accelerated video decoding, which accelerates decoding of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG2 high-definition video formats.

GeForce 8400GS-based cards feature 16 stream processors clocked at 900 MHz with a 450MHz core clock – similar to the GeForce 8500GT. NVIDIA pairs the GeForce 8400GS with 256MB of 400 MHz, 800 MHz effectively, DDR2 memory as with the GeForce 8500GT. However, NVIDIA has castrated the memory interface, leaving the GeForce 8400GS with a 64-bit interface instead of the 128-bit interface found on the 8500GT.

Expect GeForce 8400GS-based cards to start popping up in retail within the coming weeks. A quick search reveals MWAVE is the only retailer with a GeForce 8400GS in stock for $70.

Source from dailytech

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Seagate Launches Mobile Hard Drives for Extreme Environments

Seagate to offer second generation high tolerance mobile hard drives for extreme operating conditions

Soon after Seagate Technology began shipping its first 1TB hard disk drive offering, it launched a new mobile hard disk drive built for extreme conditions. Seagate Technology is offering the 2.5-inch EE25 Series 5400.2 mobile disk drive at up to 80GB in capacity and is geared towards those who require durability and reliability in the most hostile conditions.

With a top capacity of 80GB the EE25.2 Series 5400.2 features a high tolerance of extreme temperature conditions, vibrations, humidity, shock, and not-so-ordinary altitudes. Capacities of 30GB, 40GB, and 60GB will also be available in both PATA and SATA interfaces.

To put the tolerance levels in numbers, the EE25.2 Series 5400.2 drives can withstand temperatures in the -30 to +85 degrees Celsius range, humidity levels of 90%, and operate at up to 16,400 feet above sea level. The drives will also tolerate vibrations of 150 Gs at 11 milliseconds. Additionally, Seagate backs these drives by its 5-year warranty which makes this series that much more cost-effective.

Pricing information has not yet been released but we can bet these drives will be aimed at those who are willing to pay for the durability of a tank.

Source from dailytech

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ASUS G2 Gaming Notebook

While desktops have retained their edge over notebooks with regard to visual and processing prowess, making them the preferred choice for gaming, notebooks are gradually encroaching into this segment because of their undeniable portability. Although there are some notebooks out there that tout themselves as the ultimate gaming notebook, their bland exteriors do not have the 'l33t' look. It is perhaps a good thing that the ASUS G2 gaming notebook manages to convey that impression instantly.

The top of the G2 is a matte silver color that is the same as the palm rest below its trackpad. The rest of the notebook sports a black and classy look, with areas of red found near the speakers and the 1.3-megapixels camera. A circular ASUS gaming logo below the trackpad is lit in a prominent red and only turns off when a users disables the trackpad function. The two red sections located on both sides of the LCD lights up and blinks when user launches any DirectX application so there's no concealing your gaming with a quick ALT-TAB.

The keyboard of the G2 is well laid-out, spacious and is more than ready for those First Person Shooters (FPS) games as the W, A, S, and D keys have been specifically marked in red. There is also an abundance of I/O ports as it includes five USB ports, FireWire port, LAN and modem ports, VGA and S-video Out, an ExpressCard/54 slot, headphone and microphone connectors and a media card reader to boot. There's even a HDMI output for those times when you want to show off your game demos. No wonder the G2 ends up weighing around 4.4kg. Users may naturally find this notebook to be on the heavy side. ASUS addresses this problem by providing a large backpack that will carry the notebook together with its accessories around.

This Santa Rosa based ASUS G2 notebook is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor together with Intel's PM965 Express chipset and ICH8M Southbridge. The all important graphics chipset is NVIDIA's mid-range GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB of video memory and the system comes with 2GB of DDR2 RAM. ASUS has a few configurations available and users can choose exactly how fast the CPU or the amount of RAM they require.
These powerful specifications gives it the juice it needs to run current games and applications without any issues. We gave Quake 4 a go, running it at the 17-inch LCD’s native resolution of 1440x990 and found it smooth and lag-free. However, games like F.E.A.R and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory should be played at a lower resolution as they do lag the system slightly.

Perhaps because of its powerful components, the ASUS G2 is not the most energy-saving of notebooks and lasted only 114mins in our MobileMark 2005 battery life test. Additionally, it managed to last 95 minutes during our DVD playback test, which was none too ideal either given the average length of a movie. At least movies and games sounded good even at its maximum volume, thanks to the speakers located at the sides of the keyboard.

The ASUS G2 Gaming Notebook is not your average notebook and this 17-inch monster will surely meet anyone’s expectation for a gaming notebook. Even if the G2 comes with a hefty price tag of S$3988, it is still reasonable for a 17-inch desktop replacement notebook. If you are looking for a fine gaming notebook with a large screen to boot, then the G2 is for you. Otherwise, the lighter G1 with its 15-inch display may be more practical for gamers on the go.

Product Specifications

* Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 (2.4GHz)
* Intel PM965 Express Chipset + ICH8M
* Display: 17” TFT LCD 1440 x 900
* Memory: 2GB DDR2-667
* Storage: 200GB SATA
* Graphics Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (256MB)
* Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti Drive
* Input/Output: 5 x USB 2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394, LAN, modem, HDMI out, D-Sub VGA out, S-video out, ExpressCard/54 slot, 3.5mm headphone/mic connectors, media card reader
* Wireless Connectivity: Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN, Bluetooth 2.0
* Dimensions: 410.6 x 315.6 x 46.6mm
* Weight: 4.4kg

Source from hardwarezone

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Sony Launches VAIO CR Series

Sony adds a splash of color to its new 14.1" mainstream notebooks

Sony has introduced a new line of notebooks aimed at the mainstream market: the VAIO CR series. DailyTech first briefly mentioned the new Santa-Rosa-based notebooks back in early May when a scant number of specifications were leaked onto Sony's European product pages.

The new CR notebooks feature Core 2 Duo processors, Intel X3100 graphics, a 14.1" XBRITE-ECO LCD screen (1280x800), DVD burner and 802.11n wireless connectivity. Other features include a 3-in-1 media reader and ExpressCard slot along with the usual assortment of Firewire and USB 2.0 ports.

Sony will offer the CR notebooks in what it calls five "fashion-forward" colors: sangria, cosmopolitan, dove, indigo and black (matte finish). The notebooks will also have an LED light that pulsates when the machine is booting, shutting down or hibernating.

"Just like the car you drive, notebooks today are an extension of your personality" said Mike Abary, senior vice president of VAIO product marketing for Sony Electronics in the United States. "As such, users expect their PC to reflect their creativity and individuality, as well as handle their spreadsheets."

The 5.5-pound VAIO CR notebooks will be available at the end of the month with a starting price of $1,350 USD.

Source from dailytech

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Apple makes its flagship browser available to Windows users for free

At its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco today, Apple demonstrated several features of its upcoming Leopard operating system which DailyTech covered previously. The biggest software announcement however comes in the form of Safari, OS X's default web browser. Like iTunes, Apple is now making its Safari web browser fully compatible with Windows.

Safari 3 is available today via a public beta download. According to Apple, Safari is roughly twice as fast as Internet Explorer and is roughly 42-percent faster than Firefox in terms of HTML browsing performance.

Safari 3 for Windows comes with the following features:
* Pop-up blocking
* Tabbed browsing
* SnapBack
* Private browsing
New to Safari is the ability to drag tabs out of the main browsing window. Doing so will turn a tab into its own browser window. This feature is available on both Mac and Windows versions of Safari. Private browsing turns off caching features, allowing users to browse without worrying that Google searches and page histories are saved.

No word from Apple on when the final release of Safari 3 will come but it's safe to say that when Leopard ships in October, Safari 3 will be finalized.

Source from dailytech

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

MSI GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB

As if having the jump over rival ATI by releasing the world's first DirectX 10 compatible graphics architecture is not enough, NVIDIA has continued to consolidate its superiority by extending its GeForce 8 series from the initial high-end GeForce 8800 cards. So we have also seen the mid-range GeForce 8600 and 8500 series in recent months while at the extreme high end, NVIDIA's response is the GeForce 8800 Ultra. MSI sent us its version of this new king of the hill and here are the highlights.

How to top the successful and speedy GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB? Well, NVIDIA's answer is to raise the bar on the clock speeds. The MSI card we received is a typical reference card that follows the default clocks - which have all been increased in the Ultra SKU. Hence, the core clock has gone from the GTX's 575MHz to 612MHz, the memory has increased to 2160MHz from 1800MHz and underneath all this, the internal shader clocks have also gone up to 1500MHz from 1350MHz. As this is a standard card, we will not be showing the performance benchmarks and you can refer to our previous review of the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra for the figures. Let's just say we were not exactly thrilled with its performance (or its price point).

The success of the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra has been how the engineers have managed to keep the graphics card at an admirably low noise level despite increased clock speeds (that usually spells more heat and in many cases, a noisy fan). A black plastic shroud covers most of the card but the large two-slot cooler is as quiet as the GeForce 8800 GTX. Although NVIDIA's engineers claim to have reduced power consumption slightly in certain scenarios, that wasn't the case during our testing, so be prepared to have extra 'juice' in your PSU before getting one of these.

If the inherently faster clocks on the GeForce 8800 Ultra is still not enough to suit your taste for speed, MSI's usual proprietary overclocking utility, Dynamic Overclocking Technology (D.O.T) is bundled together with this card. Users are able to get the preset profiles to get between 2 and 10% boost in clock speeds, though of course, getting the maximum 10% to run stable on your card is not guaranteed. However, as usual, MSI will be responsible for any damages encountered during the use of D.O.T, so it's a form of insurance for less daring overclockers.

Other exclusive MSI software include StarOSD, which allows users to tweak their clocks and fan settings within an application, e.g. a game. There is no need to exit the program to change your graphics card settings anymore. This should be a boon for enthusiasts who desire close, complete control of their systems and to optimize them on the fly. Finally, MSI also bundled a future Hall of Fame RTS game in the award winning Company of Heroes, which has breathed new life into the genre. It is a fitting title for a top end card like this GeForce 8800 Ultra. More so now that the game has been updated to support DX10 in the latest patch release version 1.7.

The GeForce 8800 Ultra is a luxury item, with prices starting from US$829 at launch and we don't expect this MSI card to be any different, especially when one factors in the software and applications bundled. There probably won't be that many available also for this niche product that will appeal only to enthusiasts with real spending power. For the majority, this is a card for bragging rights only, as the value is hard to justify with its performance. This isn't the fastest yet as MSI has an overclocked version in the pipeline, but that too will come at a price of course.

Product Specifications

* GeForce 8800 GPU (G80)
* Core Clock: 612MHz
* Memory Clock: 2160MHz DDR
* 384-bit memory bus
* 2 x dual-link DVI outputs supporting two 2560 x 1600 resolutions
* Minimum 500W or greater power supply
* HDCP Compliant
* Dual Molex 6-pin power connectors required

Source from hardwarezone

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MSI GX70 17-inch gaming notebook pays tribute to the female form

The general perception of anything high tech and feminine is either Tombraider or Hello Kitty, so it's good to see that someone is taking the effort to do something different. The new 17" gaming notebook GX700 from MSI feature a feminine beauty on the top. Her elegant features mesmerize you and her specs…err the notebook's specs are impressive. It boasts of a 1.3M embedded webcam, Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology, nVidia Geforce 8600M GT 512MB, Full DiretX 10 support, HDMI output, 4.1 Channel Speakers and optional Embedded TV Tuner.

Seen at the Computex 2007 Taipei, there is no word on pricing and availability of the GX700 from MSI.

Source from NewLaunchs

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New SiS Chipset for Intel's "Penryn"

SiS prepares new single and dual-chip chipsets for Intel's "Penryn"

SiS plans to unleash a new family of single-chip and dual-chip chipsets for Intel Penryn dual and quad-core processors next year. The single-chip family consists of the SiS 680-series, in five different variants. SiS plans to cater the 680-series towards performance, mainstream and entry-level market segments.

The top dog of the SiS 680-series is the 680SCD with support for 1333 MHz front-side bus Penryn processors. The SiS 680SCD features a DDR2 memory controller with support for DDR2-800 and 1066 MHz memory. The single-chip solution is designed with single-graphics in mind with support for a single PCIe x16 slot. Other notable features of the 680SCD include support for four PCIe x1 slots, ten USB 2.0, four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports and Gigabit Ethernet.

On the mainstream side of things are the SiS 680SCE and 680SCH. The two chipsets are identical with the exception of front-side bus support. The SiS 680SCE supports 1333 MHz front-side bus while the 680SCH is limited to 1066 MHz, officially. The SiS 680SCE and 680SCH add a new Mirage 4 graphics core with HDMI output capabilities.

The SiS Mirage 4 graphics core is fully HDCP compliant for Blu-ray and HD DVD video playback. The SiS Mirage 4 graphics core is DirectX 10 compliant with hardware H.264 and VC-1 acceleration. Aside from the integrated graphics core, the SiS 680SCE and 680SCH are identical to the 680SCD.

At the bottom of the SiS single-chip Intel chipset lineup are the 680SCP and 680SCL. Once again, the SiS 680SCP and 680SCL are identical with the exception of front-side bus and memory support. The SiS 680SCP supports 1333 MHz front-side bus processors while the 680SCL is limited to 1066 MHz. The SiS 680SCL only supports DDR2-800 memory as well. The SiS 680SCP and 680SCL do not support HDMI and HDCP, however, the chipset feature an integrated TMDS transmitter for DVI output.

All SiS 680-series chipsets can use the same pin-outs and are drop-in compatible.

SiS plans to support DDR3 memory with its dual-chip designs. The upcoming 665, 673FX and 673 add DDR3-1333 memory support to an identical feature list as the single-chip parts. However, the upcoming SiS 665, 673FX and 673 will have a new 969 south bridge to pair up with.

The new SiS 969 features ten USB 2.0, one PATA133 channel, four SATA 3.0Gbps with RAID 0, 1, 5, JBOD and 0+1, one PCIe x16, four PCIe x1 and high definition audio support. The SiS 969 will also accept a trusted platform 1.2 module as well.

Expect SiS to begin sampling the new single-chip chipsets in Q4’2007 and the dual-chip versions in the first half of 2008.

Source from dailytech

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Seagate claims highest density 3.5” hard drive

According to Seagate, the technology achieves an areal storage density of 180 Gb per square inch and will be used in the 7200.10 series of hard drives. Apparently, Seagate does not aim to set a new storage capacity record for this segment just yet, as the firm said that the new platters will be introduced in the “industry's first 250 GB-per-disc, 3.5” disc drive.”

The advantage of running a single platter in a drive comes down to lower power consumption, lower operating temperatures and less noise. Seagate did not disclose how much power the new drive will consume, previous 7200.10 drives with multiple platters, however, are rated at 7.5 watts – which is more three times the consumption of current 250 GB 2.5” drives, which rotate their discs at lower speeds (5400 rpm instead of 7200 rpm), but typically consume only around 2 watts during read and write processes.

Competing 3.5” technologies, including the 1 TB drive from Hitachi GST, store 200 GB per platter and achieve an areal density of 144 Gb per square inch. At least theoretically, the new platters will allow Seagate to roll out hard drives with five platters and a total capacity of 1.25 TB.

While Seagate can claim that it offers that highest density on 3.5” drives, competitors are offering substantially higher capacities in 2.5” models. Hitachi’s recently announced 2-platter 2.5” drive with 250 GB is rated at 205 Gb per square inch.

Source from TG Daily

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Mozilla puts green light on Firefox 3 Alpha 5

The latest pre-release version of Firefox 3.0 has hit the Internet, adding among other things the addition of bookmarks to the much touted "Places" feature.

Places is a collapsable side panel in the browser that gives users easy access to RSS feeds, bookmarks, and history in the same box. Once talked about for Firefox 2, Places was quickly set aside for the last major browser overhaul and will make its debut in version 3.0.

The fifth alpha release of Firefox 3 brings the first time bookmarks have been added to the all-in-one browser tool for developers.

According to Mozilla's Wiki page, Places will also be used to manage URL AutoComplete settings and will offer a drag-and-drop option for website bookmarking. Places uses an open-source SQLite database, a different standard than it used for bookmarks in Firefox 2, but users will be able to perform a one-time migration from bookmarks on old browser to the new one.

In addition, the latest alpha release has a new crash reporting system, "Breakpad", which Mozilla says makes it easier to report crashes as well as read reports from other users. It also adds a Java-powered password manager, previously powered by C++. Finally, Alpha 5 also adds support for native controls and Growl notifications on Mac OS X systems.

Source from TG Daily

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WD Now Shipping 750 GB Caviar Desktop Hard Drives

750 GB for all your little files, or just a few of your really big ones

Western Digital said that is now shipping in volume the 750 GB SATA WD Caviar SE16 desktop-class hard drives. The drives feature a 3 Gb/s transfer rate, 16 MB cache, Native Command Queuing and a host of other WD technologies.

Don Bennett, WD vice president and general manager of desktop storage, speaks on some the new Caviar’s bullet points: "WD knows that there is nothing more important than our customers' data. Uniquely, our new desktop hard drive brings together SecurePark for better shock characteristics, StableTrac for better vibration performance, and IntelliSeek to reduce power consumption. These proven features will further WD's lead as the most reliable desktop products."

The WD Caviar SE16 achieves its size with the help of Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, where the magnetization of each data bit is aligned vertically to the spinning disk, rather than longitudinally. PMR enables more data on a given disk than is possible with conventional longitudinal recording, and provides a platform for future expansion of hard drive densities.

WD Caviar SE16 750 GB (model WD7500AAKS) is now available at an MSRP of $249.

Source from dailytech

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Partners Showcase AMD RD790 Motherboards

ASUS, DFI and Gigabyte prepare RD790, RD780 and RX780 motherboards

AMD motherboard partners displayed RD790-based motherboards at Computex 2007. ASUS, DFI and Gigabyte have RD790 motherboards on display. Gigabyte is the only partner to have a live demonstration of RD790, from what we have seen. The Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 features four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots capable of dual x16 or quad x8 configurations.

The live demo of the Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 did not have two ATI Radeon GPUs operating in CrossFire. Instead, Gigabyte equipped the RD790 demo system with a single ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT.

The Gigabyte GA-M790-DQ6 does not have any PCIe x1 slots. However, the GA-M790-DQ6 features two standard PCI slots. Gigabyte also equips the GA-M790-DQ6 with a Realtek ALC889 high-definition audio codec capable of 106dB signal-to-noise ratios.

ASUS had the M3A32-MVP Deluxe on display. The upcoming ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe supports Socket AM2+ processors with HyperTransport 3.0, or HT3. The board features dual PCIe 2.0 x16, three PCI and one PCIe x1 slots. The ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe will also support DDR2-1066 memory.

ASUS equips the M3A32-MVP Deluxe with an elaborate heat-pipe cooling setup. The heat-pipe cools the RD790, SB600 and accompanying system memory.

DFI had the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R on display. The LANPartyUT RD790-M2R features four PCIe 2.0 x16, two PCI and one PCIe x1 slots. DFI only claims HyperTransport 1.0 support with the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R. Nevertheless, the LANPartyUT RD790-M2R features a six-phase Vcore and one-phase digital PWM. Additionally, the DFI LANPartyUT features dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with teaming technology and DFI Bernstein eight-channel audio.

ASUS had additional AMD 7-series motherboards on display – the M3A-MVP and M3A. The ASUS M3A-MVP features the mainstream RD780 chipset with a cut-down PCIe lane configuration. ASUS equips the M3A-MVP with two physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. The PCIe 2.0 x16 slots default to dual eight-lane configurations when both slots are occupied.

The ASUS M3A-MVP also features three PCIe x1 and two PCI slots for expansion. The vanilla M3A-MVP does not receive the elaborate heat-pipe setup as its deluxe brethren.

Lastly is the value-level ASUS M3A. The ASUS M3A features the AMD RX780 chipset paired with the SB600. The AMD RX780 does not support CrossFire. The ASUS M3A features one PCIe 2.0 x16, three PCIe x1 and three PCI slots.

Expect AMD RD790, RD780 and RX780 motherboards later this year.

Source from dailytech

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Gigabyte Passive Single-Slot HD 2600 XT

New Silent-Pipe II cooler only takes up one slot

Gigabyte is displaying the latest passively cooled ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card. The upcoming GV-RX26T256H pairs the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with a Silent-Pipe II cooler for silent computing. Gigabyte has opted for a single-slot cooler design, unlike the Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate.

The new GV-RX26T256H features 120 stream processors and 256MB of GDDR3 memory attached via a 128-bit memory interface. Gigabyte equips the GV-RX26T256H with dual dual-link DVI and component video outputs. The card also supports HDMI and 5.1 channel audio with an adapter. HDCP is also supported for high-definition video playback of formats such as Blu-ray and HD DVD.

Expect Gigabyte to launch the single-slot passive ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT next month with the official GPU release.

Source from dailytech

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2 New HD 2600s from Sapphire

Sapphire Technology has two new ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT models on display at Computex 2007. The two new ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT models include an AGP model and a new lower cost PCI Express model. The new Sapphire HD 2600 XT features identical specifications as the PCIe counterparts with 120 stream processors and a 128-bit memory interface. Sapphire equips the AGP model with 256MB of GDDR3 memory.

The Sapphire HD 2600 XT AGP also features DVI, VGA and TV-outputs. Although the card is AGP, it still requires additional power via a PCIe power connector. Nevertheless, the Sapphire HD 2600 XT AGP brings high-definition HD DVD and Blu-ray video playback with AMD’s Universal Video Decoder, or UVD, and DirectX 10 support to AGP users.

Sapphire is also preparing a lower costing ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based PCIe offering. Sapphire manages to reduce costs by trimming the PCB down to four layers instead of the typical eight layers. Due to the PCB reduction, the internal CrossFire connectors are absent, so the card will not be hardware CrossFire compatible.

However, Sapphire claims the CrossFire connector-less ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based card will support software CrossFire once AMD releases drivers capable of the feat. Additionally, the trimmed down card features dual DVI and TV-outputs. The card does not require any extra power.

Expect Sapphire to officially unveil the HD 2600 XT AGP and the slimmed ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT-based card when AMD officially releases the GPUs next month.

Source from dailytech

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Hitachi 250GB Notebook Drives

Hitachi may be a little late to the game, but it is finally joining the 250GB 2.5" notebook hard drive ranks. The company today announced its new Travelstar 5K250 drive and said that it has the best power-efficiency of any drive in its class.

"The Travelstar 5K250 was built from the ground up for notebook PC users who demand high capacity, ruggedness, speed and power efficiency," said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer for Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "With all of the improvements we’ve integrated into the 5K250, we are confident Hitachi will continue to maintain its leadership position in the 2.5-inch hard disk drive space."

The Travelstar 5K250 spins at 5400RPM and uses a Serial ATA interface. The company will also sell its E5K250 alongside the new 5K250. The E5K250 features Hitachi's Bulk Data Encryption 3 hard-drive level data security mechanism.

The new 250GB drives are shipping now; however, pricing has not yet been announced.

Source dailytech

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SanDisk Announces 64GB SSDs

SanDisk has had its share of the solid-state disk (SSD) limelight for the first half of 2007. In January, the company announced a 1.8" 32GB SSD for notebooks computers. In March, the company introduced another 32GB offering -- this time in a 2.5" form-factor. The next month, Dell offered the 1.8" SanDisk UATA 5000 in its Latitude D420 and Latitude D620 ATG semi-rugged notebooks.

Today, SanDisk is grabbing headlines again with its 64GB 1.8" UATA 5000 SSD and 64GB 2.5" SATA 5000 SSD. The SSDs offer a MTBF of 2 million hours, average access speeds of 0.11 milliseconds and average read speeds of 67MB/sec. Both SSDs consume just 0.4 watts while at idle and 1.0 watt when in active operation.

"Laptop manufacturers have requested more memory capacity for systems that use the Microsoft Vista platform, which can require a number of preloaded accessories and security suites," said SanDisk director of SSD product marketing Doreet Oren. "Also, there is interest in developing laptops for gaming, and the SSD is well-suited for the performance and memory requirements of those users. Thus, by offering greater capacities on our SSD products, we are making our products more appealing to a wider customer base."

SanDisk will ship engineering samples of its 64GB 1.8" UATA 5000 SSD and 64GB 2.5" SATA 5000 SSD during the third quarter while regular production is due to begin by the end of the year.

Source dailytech

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Monday, June 4, 2007

HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook

Enter the Dragon

Summer - that time of the year when days become longer and warmer. It's also the cue for big budget, CGI-bloated Hollywood blockbuster movies to start flooding the cinemas. Getting into this spirit is a revitalized HP, fresh from its recent triumphs in the marketplace, with its latest, and biggest ever blockbuster of a notebook, a 20.1-inch wide creation with an appropriately Hollywood nickname - the Dragon. The actual name however is a more mundane and longwinded one, HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC and apparently, it's so new that HP has not yet christened it with a proper model name/number.

Following in the footsteps of rivals like Dell and Acer, which already have such unconventionally large 'notebooks' models available - we have previously reviewed the Dell XPS M2010 - HP is merely capitalizing on the trend of increasingly powerful, consumer desktop replacement notebooks that are larger than ever. Consumers are taking to 17-inch notebooks for their performance, widescreen displays and multimedia capabilities and manufacturers are convinced that taking a notch further to 20-inches and above is feasible for a certain select desktop replacement (DTR) user group.

HP joins the mammoth notebook club with this impressively large 20.1-inch widescreen notebook, which they have dubbed the 'Dragon'

But with a bulk and weight that would have been unimaginable for a notebook a few years ago - the HP Pavilion HDX weighs around 7kg alone, excluding the substantial mass of its power adapter - would these machines fit the typical definition of a 'notebook' which has always been associated with portable computing machines? We'll find out with this preview of an engineering prototype of the HP Pavilion HDX. Since this is only a prototype, we were warned that some features and functions might not work properly. The specifications of this machine (the version for the Asia Pacific region) have also not been finalized at the moment so we will list the technical specifications relevant for this preview below. More likely than not, these specifications will be changed for the actual retail unit when it is available sometime in July.

HP Pavilion HDX Specifications

Processor and Chipset
* Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7700 (@2.4GHz)
* Intel PM965 (ICH8)

Operating System
* Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium

* Supports DVD/CD-ROM and USB boot

System Memory
* 2GB DDR2 System Memory
* 2 x DDR2 SO-DIMM Slots

Video & Display
* ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 XT
* 256MB Dedicated video memory
* Up to 1GB total available video memory
* Built-in HDTV hybrid analog/digital tuner
* 20.1-inch WSXGA+ HP Ultra Brightview Widescreen Display
* Native resolution: 1680 x 1050

* 200GB x 2 (Dual SATA hard drives)
* 4200RPM

Optical Drive
* SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer

* Intel PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection & Bluetooth

* Altec Lansing speaker system - 4 panel mounted and integrated HP triple bass reflex sub-woofer
* Full 8-channel analog output ports on the system support up to 7.1 external speaker configurations

Front & Side I/O Ports
* 4 x USB 2.0 ports
* HP Expansion Port 3
* 1 x RJ-45 (LAN)
* VGA analog output
* 1 x 4-pin 1394 FireWire port
* 1 x eSATA port
* 1 x HDMI output
* Integrated 5-in-1 card reader
* Headphone and microphone jacks
* 1 x ExpressCard/54 slot

Rear I/O Ports
* DC Power connector
* Audio (Rear, Center/Sub, Front) outputs
* Built-in HDTV hybrid tuner's ports: NTSC/ATSC (with F-Jack adaptor) input, S-Video Input, Blaster (IR emitter), Stereo audio input

* Integrated webcam with built-in array microphone
* 180W AC adaptor
* 9-cell Lithium-Ion battery

Dimension & Weight
* 474mm (L) x 340mm (W) x 58.4mm (H)
* ~7.03kg

Bundled Software and Accessories
* HP Total Care Help & Support Center
* HP QuickPlay
* HP Photosmart Premier
* PC Recovery (Softthinks Restore Solution)
* Roxio Backup MyPC
* Roxio Creator Premier
* muvee autoProducer 6.0
* Microsoft Works
* Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Teacher Edition (60 Day Trial version)
* Adobe Reader 8.0
* Serif WebPlus 10
* Symantec Norton Internet Security 2007 (60 days complimentary live update)


Source hardwarezone

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NVIDIA Releases New ForceWare Drivers

New drivers for Windows XP and Vista users

This morning NVIDIA released new drivers for Windows Vista and XP users for GeForce 6 and newer graphic processors. The Windows Vista drivers are up to ForceWare Release 158 version 158.24 while Windows XP users are stuck with ForceWare Release 90 version 94.24.

The new Windows Vista Release 158 drivers increase 3D performance in applications, add PureVideo HD support, DirectX force vertical sync and an updated NVIDIA Control Panel. The driver supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and OpenGL APIs for single-GPU GeForce 6, 7 and 8-series configurations. NVIDIA only supports DirectX 9 and OpenGL on GeForce 6, 7 and 8-series SLI configurations.

GeForce 8 SLI users that want to take advantage of DirectX 10 support are steered towards the version 158.43-beta drivers. As with all driver releases, the latest ForceWare WHQL release has game and application compatibility fixes.

The Windows XP release 90 drivers add support for the new GeForce 7200 GS. The new driver supports PureVideo HD hardware acceleration of H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 high-definition video formats. NVIDIA has also improved video post-processing and added HDCP support for DVI and HDMI connectors. NVIDIA updates the new Control Panel as well.

Source dailytech

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Windows XP
Windows Vista 32-bit
Windows Vista 64-bit

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AMD to Announce New Naming System Next Week

Before Phenom, there's the Athlon X2 BE-2000-series

AMD will introduce a new modeling system for its processors. Under the new naming scheme, the performance rating goes away in favor of an alphanumeric model. AMD will also refer to the new Athlon 64 X2 models simply as AMD Athlon. AMD will drop the “64” suffix claiming it is no longer necessary to claim 64-bit support and allows for a shorter name.

The new naming scheme debuts early next week with the Athlon X2 BE-2350 and BE-2300 models. The new alphanumeric modeling system allows AMD to designate different models by thermal design power, processor series and speed.

The first two alphabetical characters of the model number indicate the processor class and TDP rating. AMD designates the Athlon X2 BE-series processors as sub-65-watt TDP models. The new Athlon X2 BE-2350 and BE-2300 feature 45-watt TDP ratings. AMD intends to release different processor classes as it becomes necessary.

The first numeral in the model number indicates the processor series and processor attributes, while the remaining three numerals indicate speed within the series and class. AMDs new modeling system names processors on a higher-is-better system.

AMD has prepared to launch the new Athlon X2 BE-2350 and BE-2300 early next week. Pricing for the new models is set at $91 and $86 for the Athlon X2 BE-2350 and BE-2300, per-processor in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively.

Source dailytech

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

AMD Announces 9-watt Sempron 2100+

New Sempron for Socket S1 embedded and SBC systems

AMD today announced the latest addition to the embedded product lineup, the Sempron 2100+ processor. The new Sempron 2100+ has a thermal design power rating of nine watts. With the low TDP rating, the Sempron 2100+ is ideal for fan-less embedded systems.

AMD packages the Sempron 2100+ in a Socket S1 package. The Sempron 2100+ is compatible with the AMD M690T chipset. The new Sempron 2100+ is the first embedded targeted processor from AMD to feature AMD64 technology.

“By expanding our product portfolio with this new, very low power version of the highly successful AMD Sempron processor and extending the temperature support in our Geode line, AMD is delivering on our promise of customer-centric innovation for a range of embedded markets,” Embedded Computing Solutions Division Vice President Greg White said. “You will continue to see AMD offer our embedded customers the products and tools they need to get high performance, very low power products to market quickly.”

Expect the Sempron 2100+ to make its way into embedded and SBCs. AAEON and Arbor offer boards compatible with the new processor.

Source DailyTech

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Lite-On LH-2B1S Blu-ray Burner Review

Blue laser hardware is gradually becoming more affordable. On the consumer side, Blu-ray players such as the Samsung BD-P1000 are starting to approach the $500 price point. HD-DVD players are dipping below $300 for 1080i units like the Toshiba HD-A2, and you can pick up a 1080P Toshiba HD-A20 for under $400.

On the PC front, events have moved a little more slowly. Blu-ray burners have dropped in price by about a third. For example, the Sony BWU-100A we reviewed late last year initially weighed in at $750, but you can now find it for $599. The HD-DVD front for the PC has been somewhat slower to materialize. External HD-DVD drives from HP are available, as is the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive, which works fine on a PC. But both are HD-DVD ROM drives, not burners. The Toshiba SD-H903A internal HD-DVD burner has supposedly shipped, but you can't find it anywhere, and review samples from Toshiba haven't been available either.

It's also inevitable that combo drives that can handle both types of disks will become available. We recently previewed the LG GGW-H10N, but it's believed that particular drive will cost well over $1,000. Though this LG drive is a full-featured Blu-ray and DVD burner, HD-DVD support is limited to playback of HD-DVD ROM disks only.

Now Lite-On is jumping into the fray. The company famous for driving down prices of DVD recordable drives is shipping the LH-2B1S Blu-ray Burner, which can be found for under $500 (check prices). While a five hundred dollar drive isn't exactly a budget product, it does demonstrate that the price of blue laser technology is starting to come down from the stratosphere.

Let's take a closer look. Continue...

Source extremetech

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Friday, June 1, 2007

AMD Releases ATI Catalyst 7.5

Another month, another new driver release

AMD today released the latest ATI Catalyst 7.5 drivers for Windows XP and Windows Vista. As with previous ATI Catalyst releases, graphic driver support is limited to the ATI Radeon 9500-series or newer graphics cards.

The new ATI Catalyst 7.5 drivers introduce DirectX 10 support for ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics cards in Windows Vista. DirectX 10 support is available on single-card and CrossFire ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT configurations. Windows XP users will not receive DirectX 10 support.

Also new to the ATI Catalyst 7.5 drivers is support for the second-generation ATI Theater 650 multimedia products. Second-generation ATI Theater 650-based products meet Windows Media Center DRM requirements and broadcast flag support. The new drivers also improve TV quality.

ATI X1950 XTX owners should see improved OpenGL performance with the new ATI Catalyst 7.5. Performance improvements of 13-18% in Doom 3 and Quake 4, and 15.6% in Prey with anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and resolutions 1920x1200 or higher are touted with the ATI Catalyst 7.5 driver set. The ATI Radeon X1950 Pro and X1650 XT receive mild improvements up to 14.1% as well.

As with every ATI Catalyst driver release, ATI Catalyst 7.5 resolves issues in Doom 3, Quake 4, Lego Star Wars II and Serious Sam in Windows Vista. AMD has also resolved issues in Call of Duty and Just Cause under Windows XP.


Windows XP
Windows XP 64-bit
Windows Vista-32bit
Windows Vista 64-bit

Source dailytech

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