Lenovo Announces ThinkPad W540 Mobile Workstations

Subject: General Tech, Systems | September 11, 2013 - 03:43 AM |
Tagged: w540, Thinkpad, quadro, optimus, mobile workstation, Lenovo, haswell

Lenovo announced several business-oriented ThinkPad notebooks today, including a new 15" mobile workstation called the ThinkPad W540. This new ISV-certified workstation employs Lenovo's claimed "user inspired design," high resolution screen, Intel Haswell processor, and longer battery life.

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The ThinkPad W540 measures 27mm and weighs 5.45 pounds. It features a 15.5" IPS display with a  resolution of 2880 x 1620 and Precision back-lit keyboard with number pad. The screen can be automatically calibrated using the integrated X-Rite color calibrator, according to the press release. IO ports include Thunderbolt, VGA, and USB among others.

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Lenovo has packed the W540 with a quad core Intel i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, an NVIDIA Quadro GPU (with Optimus support), and up to 2TB of hard drive storage in optional RAID configurations. The notebook comes with a Wi-Fi radio and can also be configured with a 4G LTE cellular radio.

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Lenovo has not yet announced pricing, but the mobile workstation will be available in November.

Source: Lenovo

Dell Introduces Powerful New M4800 and M6800 Mobile Workstations

Subject: Systems, Mobile | September 9, 2013 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: workstation, quadro, precision series, optimus, mobile workstation, m6800, m4800, haswell, firepro, enduro, dell

Today, Dell announced new mobile workstation systems in 15” and 17” notebook form factors. The Dell Precision M4800 and Precision M6800 are 15” and 17” laptops constructed of magnesium alloy and anodized aluminum cases, pack some impressive portable computing power, and will be available later this week.

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The Dell Precision M6800 and M4800. Photo courtesy of Dell Inc.

Both the Dell M4800 and M6800 are ISV certified, MIL-STD-810G tested, and support FIPS fingerprint readers, self encrypting hard drives, and TPM security chips. The workstations are updates to the existing M4700 and M6700 systems and can be configured with Intel Haswell i5 or i7  (including i7 Extreme Edition) processors, AMD FirePro or NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, up to 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz (or 16GB DDR3 at 1866MHz), multiple storage drives, Waves MaxxAudio, and WiGig wireless dock support that allows up to 5 external displays. Users can attach a 9-cell 97Wh slice battery in addition to the 9-cell 97Wh system battery to get extended battery life. Users can add dedicated graphics cards to the systems from AMD (FirePro) or NVIDIA (Quadro), which support Enduro and Optimus technologies respectively. The technology allows the system to turn off the dedicated cards and use the Intel processor graphics when the extra horsepower is not needed to conserve battery life. The M4800 and M6800 workstations each come with 3 year warranties.

The Dell Precision M4800 is a mobile workstation weighing 6.35 pounds. It features a backlit keyboard, trackpad, and high resolution 15.6” QHD+ IGZO display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800. The notebook can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” Extreme Edition processor, an AMD FirePro M5100 Mobility Pro or NVIDIA Quadro K2100M graphics card, 32GB of DDR3 1600 MHz memory, and 2.5 TB of internal storage (two 1TB plus one 500GB drive) in RAID 0, 1, or 5 modes.

The 15” Dell Precision M4800 workstation will be available on September 12th starting at $1,249.

Stepping up to the larger 17” Precision M6800, users can configure the system with a Haswell Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition CPU, NVIDIA Quadro K5100M with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, 32GB of DDR3 1600 MHz system memory, 3.5TB of storage space in RAID 0, 1, or 5, and a 17” 1080p LED-backlit 10-point multi-touch display. This notebook weighs 7.86 pounds.

The M6800 will be available in black or phoenix red with a starting MSRP of $1,599 on September 12th.

Business customers needing portable computing power have some interesting new options with the two new Dell workstations, which pack some powerful hardware into a laptop form factor. Sure, they are not the lightest or thinnest machines, but you won't find i7 processors, 32GBs of memory, Quadro graphics, and 2+TB of storage in an ultrabook.

Source: Dell
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Another Wrench – GeForce GTX 760M Results

Just recently, I evaluated some of the current processor-integrated graphics options from our new Frame Rating performance metric. The results were very interesting, proving Intel has done some great work with its new HD 5000 graphics option for Ultrabooks. You might have noticed that the MSI GE40 didn’t just come with the integrated HD 4600 graphics but also included a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M, on-board.  While that previous article was to focus on the integrated graphics of Haswell, Trinity, and Richland, I did find some noteworthy results with the GTX 760M that I wanted to investigate and present.

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The MSI GE40 is a new Haswell-based notebook that includes the Core i7-4702MQ quad-core processor and Intel HD 4600 graphics.  Along with it MSI has included the Kepler architecture GeForce GTX 760M discrete GPU.

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This GPU offers 768 CUDA cores running at a 657 MHz base clock but can stretch higher with GPU Boost technology.  It is configured with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 2.0 GHz

If you didn’t read the previous integrated graphics article, linked above, you’re going to have some of the data presented there spoiled and so you might want to get a baseline of information by getting through that first.  Also, remember that we are using our Frame Rating performance evaluation system for this testing – a key differentiator from most other mobile GPU testing.  And in fact it is that difference that allowed us to spot an interesting issue with the configuration we are showing you today. 

If you are not familiar with the Frame Rating methodology, and how we had to change some things for mobile GPU testing, I would really encourage you to read this page of the previous mobility Frame Rating article for the scoop.  The data presented below depends on that background knowledge!

Okay, you’ve been warned – on to the results.

Continue reading our story about GeForce GTX 760M Frame Rating results and Haswell Optimus issues!!

NVIDIA Responds to Linus Torvalds’ Rant

Subject: General Tech | June 21, 2012 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: rant, optimus, open source, nvidia, linux, linus, drivers

Last week, the founder of Linux – Linus Torvalds – gave a speech at the Aalto Center for Entrepreneurship. The aspect that most people picked up on was a certain disparaging statement towards NVIDIA. Since then, the video has spread rapidly around the Internet with critics for and against the statement. Linus does not believe that NVIDIA is easy to work with regarding Linux support, in short. NVIDIA PR recently responded to his statement in stating that the company is in fact heavily involved with Linux development, albeit mobile kernels.

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NVIDIA stated in its PR release that supporting Linux is important to the company and they understand how important a positive Linux experience using NVIDIA hardware is. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that statement, but that was not all they said. The company stated that they are big supporters of the ARM Linux kernel with a claimed second most total lines changed and fourth highest number of changesets in the kernel.

The company uses proprietary drivers, but it does support GeForce, Quadro, and Tesla graphics cards under the Linux operating system. By using a common, proprietary driver, NVIDIA claims same-day support for new graphics cards and OpenGL versions for both Windows and Linux operating systems.

Linus’ rant started when an audience member asked about Optimus support under Linux. On that front, NVIDIA did not have a direct answer – only that when it launched laptops with Optimus, it was only supported on Windows 7. Allegedly, the company is working to make interaction between its drivers and the Bumblebee Open Source Project. The Bumblebee project is working to make Optimus-powered laptops work with Linux operating systems.

What do you think of the two statements by Linus and NVIDIA? Should NVIDIA be held accountable for Optimus support under Linux? Is the company doing enough to support the OS? Or is Linus wrong? Let us know in the comments below!

Personally, as much as I like Linux, I don’t think NVIDIA should have to go out of its way to support Optimus on Linux. At least, not until the Linux OS is the operating system that comes pre-installed on an Optimus notebook. At that point, it would be on NVIDIA to provide support. Until then, they don’t have to support it on aftermarket / third part operating systems. With that said, better Linux support couldn't hurt PR-wise. As far as Linux and NVIDIA working together in a more general sense, I think that the company could certainly do more for Linux on the desktop, especially being a Linux Foundation member, but I don't think they will until it is more financially viable to do so.

The full PR statement is available after the break.

Source: Phoronix

NVIDIA Shows New ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD with GT 620M GPU

Subject: Mobile | May 25, 2012 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: zenbook, ux32vd, ultrabook, optimus, gt 620m, asus

The lucky dogs at The Verge got their hands on a sexy new Ultrabook coming from ASUS very soon while attending the NVIDIA investors day this week.  The Zenbook Prime UX32VD will feature a 13-in 1920x1080 resolution IPS display in addition to the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 620M Kepler-based GPU.  Optimus Technology will obviously be included in order to allow the GPU to completely power off when you aren't gaming or taking advantage of it for the best battery life the platform can muster.

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The word is that it will ship with a Core i5 ULV Ivy Bridge processor and be priced somewhere around $1299.  The shape of the UX32VD is just slightly different than that of the current wave of Zenbooks, with a "bit of a chin" according to The Verge's Sean Hollister.  ASUS' upcoming machine will include three USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort and an audio jack for a fairly complete connectivity suite. 

You can see many more photos of the Zenbook Prime UX32VD at The Verge's gallery.

With discrete GPUs being heavily pushed by NVIDIA, even on Ultrabook designs, we are very eager to see what all the major notebook vendors are able to come up with for Computex next month.

Source: The Verge
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Design

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Ultrabooks are now on store shelves, but that doesn’t mean the more traditional ultraportables are dead - not by a long shot. Thin may be cool, but the high price premium attached to ultrabooks means that they will, at least for now, be a niche product. Meanwhile, the workhorse 13.3” ultraportable will remain popular. 

One of the most accomplished manufacturers of this type of laptop is ASUS, which has been building U-Series ultraportables for several years now. We’ve generally given them high marks here, but now there is a new model to check out, the updated U36. Unlike the stylish U33 Bamboo, this model is a tough, simple laptop that seems to take ques from Lenovo’s ThinkPads. Has this compromised the series? Let’s find out.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS U36SD-XA1 Ultraportable notebook!!

CyberPower's sub-$1000 gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | November 17, 2011 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: Cyberpower, X6 9200, gaming laptop, optimus

The name is a bit confusing, as the CyberPower X6 9200 doesn't include a Phenom II X6 1090T, it is powered by the 2.2GHz Core-i7 2670QM and NVIDIA's GT540M 2GB GPU with Optimus support.  The 15.6" monitor is quite impressive, supporting full 1080p resolutions as well as the more common 1366x768 resolution for laptops, at this price one should assume it is a TN panel.  Externally you can send signal via HDMI or VGA if you find the screen too small for your preferences.  They've fully populated the memory capacity of the system with a pair of 4GB DDR3-1333 DIMMs and storage is a 500GB HDD.  Bjorn3D had no issues with this $900 gaming laptop, but they do prefer a matte finish to the piano-style fingerprint magnet that CyberPower chose.

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"Today we look at the budget friendly Cyberpower gaming notebook. A feature rich offering at a lower mid level price range, check out how well this gaming notebook does."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

 

Source: Bjorn3D

Optimus for Linux Problem May Be Solved!

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2011 - 10:30 AM |
Tagged: optimus, linux

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It looks like we have an answer for Optimus, even though it is unofficial support. Linux users have been wondering for almost a year now wether or not we would get Optimus. Now it looks like we have an unofficial answer to these questions in for form of bumblebee.With this feature, even though experimental, we could potentially see an increase of cpu offloading in Linux, such as Firefox web acceleration potentially.

Source: bumblebee

NVIDIA Synergy will offer discrete and integrated GPU support on Sandy Bridge

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards | April 26, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: virtu, synergy, optimus, nvidia, lucid, gpu

Remember when we previewed a piece of software from Lucid called Virtu that promised the capability to combine processor graphics features of the Intel Sandy Bridge lineup with the performance and DX11 support of discrete graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD?  The ideas was pretty simple but it addressed one of our major complaints about the initial Sandy Bridge processor launch: the IGP features like fast video transcode acceleration and ultra-low-power video acceleration were unavailable to users that chose to also use a discrete graphics solution.

Lucid's Virtu software running in our previous testing

Lucid's solution was to "virtualize" the GPUs and use a software layer that would decide which applications to run on the discrete GPU and which to run on the integrated processor graphics on the Intel CPU.  There were some limitations including the need to have the displays connected to the IGP outputs rather than the discrete card and that the software worked on a rather clunky white-list implementation.  Also, discrete graphics control panels were a bit of a headache and only worked with NVIDIA cards and not in all cases even then.  

Virtu was to be distributed through motherboard vendors starting with the release of the Z68 chipset (as it was the first mainstream chipset to support overclocking AND display outputs) but now it appears that NVIDIA itself is diving into the same realm with a new piece of software called "Synergy".  

Check out more after the break!

Source: VR-Zone

MSI’s Newly Designed C Series Notebooks Arrive in North America

Subject: Mobile | April 19, 2011 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: optimus, msi, laptop, core i3

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – April 18, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced that it has begun shipping its mainstream CX640 and CR640 notebooks to online retailers in North America. These two 15.6” notebook units combine the Intel Core i3-2310M Processor with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M with Optimus technology (the silver CX640-071US, MSRP $679.99) or the Intel HD 3000 Graphics (the black CR640-035US, MSRP $629.99) to deliver the power and performance you need for school or for work.

To address the needs of mainstream notebook users, MSI offers 4GB system memory and 500GB hard drives in both models. Additionally, the elegantly designed PCs include a number of features, including:

  • Worry free one-touch back-up and restore with MSI’s Time Stamp technology. With just a touch of the Time Stamp button, your concerns about crashes, viruses, and data loss will become a thing of the past
  • Butterfingers rejoice! MSI designers integrated extra hard drive protection by changing the position of the C Series hard drive to the middle of the chassis and surrounding it in a unique housing that helps protect your data from the occasional drop or shock.
  • In a hurry? The MSI CR640 and CX640 Fast Boot technology helps the unit power up approximately two times faster than standard notebooks.
  • Speed up your file transfers with USB 3.0. The new C Series laptops comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports that lets you transfer files up to ten times faster than USB 2.0
  • Automatic backlight adjustment tailors screen brightness by considering the lighting in your current surroundings, which helps manage power consumption and battery life.

“We listen very carefully to our customers, and we know that anticipating and addressing their needs is critical to success in the PC industry,” noted Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. “The CX640 and CR640 models deliver the standard elements people look for in a PC– performance, price, features and design – however we also go a step further. These units incorporate features that respond to people’s real-life concerns: data backup, hard drive protection, etc. And we believe consumers will respond to this consideration.”

Specs for the CR640 and CX640 notebooks can be found here

 

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The units are available for purchase at B&H and J&R. For more information, please visit http://www.msimobile.com/.

Source: MSI