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Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2009 - 11:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Windows licensing has always been a complicated topic, but never more so than with the new "netbook" market of PCs. Once Microsoft finally got the hint and offered a version of Windows XP for netbooks (cleverly known as Windows XP for Ultra Low Cost PCs - ULCPC) they decided they needed to put some hardware restrictions on this license so OEMs wouldn't take the low-cost software to higher cost PCs. My guess is that most of you didn't even know that such an arrangement existed at all; not something they really advertise.
Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2009 - 06:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Buying a pre-built system can be wonderful for someone who wants something to work out of the box, and that comes with a magic 'make it work again' disk. The parts are all tested and confirmed to work together, the BIOS and driver setup are done for you and it means you can get to use your new PC within minutes, not hours of purchase. On the flop side, when you outgrow the system and want a better one, you have to either buy an entire new PC or jump through quite a bit of hoops to figure out how to upgrade a box that was designed to prevent upgrades.
Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2009 - 11:37 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sometime in Q3 2009 we will start to see 45nm parts rolling out for AMD desktop lineup to compliment the Phenom II server series. You don't have to wait until fall to get excited though, before the trees start to shed their leaves there will be the better part of 20 chips arriving. A good half of those are low power Phenom IIs and and Athlon, the remainder are spread between dual, triple and quad core Phenom IIs and a similar spread of Athlons. DigiTimes also mentions that three quad-core Lynnfield CP
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2009 - 12:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
RAM companies building PSUs, motherboard companies making coolers, CPU makers building graphics cards, storage companies making mice and now Gigabyte has thrown themselves into the keyboard market. They have quite a selection to their name; the one Bjorn3D chose to focus on was the GK-K6800 Luxury
Multimedia Keyboard. The glossy finish, stylish lines and extra media buttons are all present as you would expect on a high en
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2009 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Bigfoot Networks is back with the second incarnation of the Killer NIC, this time calling its self the Killer Xeno Pro and selling for ~$140. It's a PCIe card sporting a 400MHz processor and has 128MB of RAM, all improvements over the original; meanwhile its main competitor, the onboard NIC, hasn't changed that much and is still essentially free. ExtremeTech put it up against the onboard NIC on an ASUS Rampage
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2009 - 11:10 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Taipei, Taiwan, May 21, 2009 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced that it will be showing examples of its customized security solution service at Computex 2009, helping customers to employ a comprehensive and effective security infrastructure in all segments.
VIA Nano, VIA C7 and VIA Eden processor platforms are the only processors that currently offer a built-in Advanced Cryptographic Engine.
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2009 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you haven't spotted it yet, there is a 9 minute preview of BioShock 2 at IGN. Watching it confirms that you do indeed play a Big Daddy, the original prototype that could use plasmids. Your relationship with the Little Sisters has some similarity with the first game, but with a rather interesting twist apart from the basic binary decision. Splicers aren't quite the challenge they were in the first game, but don't worry; there is a Big Sister out there i
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2009 - 12:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
TweakTown had a peek at engineering samples of DFI's UT P55-T3eH8 and DK P55-T3eH6 boards, both running off of the Intel P55 Express chipset. These boards will support the soon to be released LGA-1156 Core i5 quad-core Lynnfield processors, as well as the Havendale family which will have an on-die GPU. Don't hold your breath for the Havendale processors, according to this article they will be delayed until the beginning of 2010 because Intel is shifting them to 32nm.
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2009 - 02:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
When you pick up a higher end headset and mic combo, it tends to be based on a USB connection. Not only is it handy to have one single plug to find, the USB connection usually allows the use of that headset without having to install any drivers. Unfortunately some rigs have problems with audio over USB, and an older style TRS plugs are the way to go. While the Saitek GH30 Vibration Headset doesn't have a high end microphone, it will give you s
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2009 - 12:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Global Foundries is one of the biggest stories in tech right now and not just because of the licensing lawsuit. This new fab company that Ryan visited in northern New York state has a jump on the next process transition and a lot of contracts coming in. Josh fleshed out the overview late last week with his in depth article here. He explains just why this new company has received such a
warm welcome in what is usually a very tight knit industry. They have the backing of one of the richest plac
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2009 - 05:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
A Net connection has become a necessity
for a lot of people, even if it is a basic feed via a cell phone. There are many threads in the PC Perspective forums that deal with dodgy network cable, broken NICs, both driver and software issues all in an attempt to ensure that our forum members can keep their Net connection healthy. One piece of hardware has been neglected in comparison; how do you go about fixing the actual modem?&
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2009 - 04:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Nothing makes hardware fetishists madly speculate about new technology than a fuzzy picture like this one. As we discussed on this weeks PCPer Podcast, there appears to be appears to be 32 cores paired with 32 vector processing units although it is hard to be exact. That the picture isn't clear is not the only problem, new architecture can bring significant changes to the structures on the die and the only tools we have are to compare them to previous generations, like the P2 tha
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2009 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Much speculation has been made about how AMD's recently spun off manufacturing capability can manage to compete with such long standing and very large manufacturers like TSMC. We've speculated that innovations like Advanced Process Management as well as process shrinkage, but it looks like they have other shoes in the fire. They've poached a senior director from TSMC and a past VP from one of their major clients, Altera. DigiTimes also feels they have
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2009 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
When Dawn of War II first came out, we heard all about the new take on RTS that it provided, along with the inclusion of Boss battles. We saw a lot of performance data on the game, with most of the cards that were current at the time being tested. Since then, both AMD and nVIDIA have been churning out cards at an incredible pace, with a new generation of cards having never seen a benchmark of DoW II performance.
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2009 - 12:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Against all advice, be it legal, political or otherwise, France has decided to implement it's 3-strikes law against copyright infringers.
Call it "Creation et Internet," or "Loi Olivennes" or HADOPI, this law makes it punishable to not 'secure your internet connection', for public WiFi operators to allow access only to a "white list" of acceptable sites and don't even mention file sharing. The third strike, after an email and registered letter is the disconnection of your ISP account for 3 months to a year, to let you have time to think about how horrible you have been.
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2009 - 11:27 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 13, 2009 - Paul Otellini, Intel Corporation president and CEO today issued the following statement regarding the European Commission decision on Intel's business practices:
"Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal."
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2009 - 06:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Picking up a high end gaming mouse for your office PC might be amusing, but it really isn't necessary. Likewise, picking up an incredibly fancy wireless keyboard to run your HTPC is not ideal either. I-ROCKS RF-6572A 2.4GHz wireless keyboard and mouse are a much wiser choice. Solid wireless performance with enough channels to ensure you encounter no interference and a nice neat design are this combos qualities. The mouse has five buttons, you won't be forced to give
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2009 - 03:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For the second half of 2009, Intel will be refreshing their mobile lineup from the top to the bottom. At the high end are the 14" to 18.4" Calpella notebooks, which will retail at about $1,200. They will also be introducing ultra thin CULVs, which will be 12" to 13"at retail between $699 to $1,10. There will also be two Atom based netbooks, an 8.9" N270 and 945GSE for about $256 and the 10" N270 with 945GSE chipset. If you don't want an Atom powered netbook, there will be a Pineview based CPU + Tiger Point chipset
for somewhere between $399 to $599.
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2009 - 01:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For gaming, the Sennheiser PC-350 is a great set of headphones, but for music it is not your best choice. They are designed to be mobile, folding up into a small enough size that they can be tossed in a laptop bag. DriverHeaven really liked the performance while being shelled in CoD 4 and found that the surround sound was good enough to determine enemy positions by audio cues. When listening to music, the poor bass performance stands out