The ongoing saga of AMD's Llano

Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2010 - 12:56 PM |
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The story of Llano has not been smooth, but as it is also a story with many firsts it is going fairly well.  Llano is not just the first time AMD has integrated a GPU onto a CPU, it is their first SOI based GPU, then consider that for Global Foundries, this is the first newly scratch designed process, including the first time they have gone under 40nm and the first HKMG process they've run as well.  All that adds up to a rather hard job of accurately predicting just when when Llano will be delivered. 

Source: SemiAccurate

Rockus claims that 2.1 speakers = 3D

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2010 - 06:36 PM |
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Antec has something new to offer those in need of new PC speakers, the Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 Speaker Kit.  A pair of aluminium satellites that resemble small spotlights and a subwoofer, and nothing resembling a case or PSU.  Thanks to something they call 3Dsst technology, this small system claims to be able to produce some serious sound reproduction. 

Pairing Intel's ATOM with an FPGA

Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2010 - 01:22 PM |
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The new Atom series, called the E600C adds an Alteea field-programmable gate array
to an E600 Atom, allowing the processor to essentially be completely reprogrammed after it has been made.  Usually, even via a BIOS flash there is no way to change the basic abilities of a chip, whereas an FPGA is designed with that exact feature in mind.  This news will not have much of an effect on most enthusiasts, unless they are also into chip prototyping; those who are interested can visit DigiTimes for more details.

Source: Digitimes

Take a peek at the innards of the HD6900

Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2010 - 11:40 AM |
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NGOHQ scored 12 pictures from someone who was at an AMD presentation describing the features and architecture of the soon to arrive HD6900 GPU family.  There are some big changes, including dual graphics engines which will allow the card to process 2 primitive polygons per clock; the tessellation
engines are also doubled and dual rasterizers will offer up to 32 pixels per clock.  You can also see Josh's prediction vindicated, there is a slide showing off 4 stream processing uni

Source: NGOHQ

International Men's Day?!? Seriously?

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2010 - 06:29 PM |
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One of the benefits of merging the motherboard forums together is that the knowledge available has hit a critical mass where almost any chipset/motherboard question will receive an answer quickly and often it will even be right!  For instance, if you need a Chaintech manual, this thread will have it winging its way to you no matter where you are, or a Soltek manual if you swing that way.  It's not just the new boards that are supp

Ripley would probably use the Razer Nostromo

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2010 - 12:29 PM |
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You might remember seeing an odd looking one handed keyboard from Belkin a few years back, called the SpeedPad.  It seemed like a good idea but never really caught on, but perhaps if one of the major peripheral makers were to try it might meet with more success.  Enter the Razer Nostromo, a new one handed keypad that Gizmodo is reporting on here.  No word if it comes with a self destruct sequence.

Source: Gizmodo

Zambezi and Llano; a pair of revealing slides

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2010 - 11:49 AM |
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It is always fun for the community when someone slips and breaks an NDA, letting the community take a peek at something they weren't supposed to see yet is always enjoyable.  The Inquirer caught a slip of a pair of slides from an AMD presentation from October, detailing the upcoming family of AM3 CPUs and new socket FM1 APUs.  Head on over to see when the 125W eight core should be available for you to own.

"CHIP DESIGNER AMD has delayed its Llano models further while its Zambezi chips are still on track, according to leaked chipset roadmap slides that AMD has confirmed to The INQUIRER are genuine."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

PCI-SIG Releases PCI Express 3.0 SPECIFICATION

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2010 - 01:21 PM |
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BEAVERTON, Ore. – November 18, 2010 – PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe®) industry-standard input/output (I/O) technology, today announced the availability of the PCIe Base 3.0 specification to its members. The PCIe 3.0 architecture is a low-cost, high-performance I/O technology that includes a new 128b/130b encoding scheme and a data rate of 8 gigatransfers per second (GT/s), doubling the interconnect bandwidth over the PCIe 2.0 specification.

Source: Email

A closer look at WiFi Direct

Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2010 - 01:17 PM |
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Drop by SemiAccurate for an overview of the talks that the WiFi Alliance has been having about WiFi Direct, which will be a software upgrade that extends the usefulness of wireless connectivity by allowing connections to multiple devices.  The connection remains WPA2 or WPS, offering secure connectivity to up to three wireless devices, think of it as a turbo charged Bluetooth connection.  There is much more to learn about from their talks.

Source: SemiAccurate

The sound of a multi-platform Sharkoon

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 06:24 PM |
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Sharkoon, a semi-frequent mention on the PC Perspective Podcast thanks to the unlikely name they've chosen have recently released a new gaming headset called the XTACTIC SP USB.  Perhaps the most interesting feature of this headset is that it is tested to work on just about any platform you would want to use it on, something other brands sometimes have an issue with.

Source: Funky Kit

Do you approve of Black Ops?

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 02:41 PM |
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The long running CoD franchise has a new member and for a game about Black Ops, there sure is a lot of attention being payed to how it is operating.  The reactions have been mixed, from those whose heads are exploding from the rage and disappointment trying to find an outlet to those who are happy to wait until it is patched to the point where playing the game, especially in multiplayer is more fun than frustrating.  HEXUS tried the single player campaign and gives you a quick run down of what is new in the

Source: Hexus

A quiet chat with Steve Ballmer

Subject: General Tech | November 17, 2010 - 12:50 PM |
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The current CEO of Microsoft might not quite be at the status of Richard Branson but for a tech company he is rather famous, especially when he loses his temper.  While there is no outburst in the interview he completed with Ars Technica there is certainly a lot to draw the attention of anyone interested in the current mindset of Microsoft and the plans they have for the future.  Four pages worth of questions and answers await.

Source: Ars Technica

SSD's getting cheaper at the cost of more expensive HDDs

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2010 - 12:36 PM |
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According to the numbers that DigiTimes is seeing, the drop in costs for SSDs are having an effect on the price of HDDs but don't expect to see the price per gigabyte get all that close.  We've seen price cuts from Intel and Adata is also going that route and you can expect the introduction of 20nm flash chips to also help drop the cost of SSDs over the coming year.  On the flip side it looks like large capacity HDDs are going to go up a little bit while the new flash is being rolled out.

Source: Digitimes

A sneak peek at Sandy Bridge

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2010 - 12:54 PM |
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The Tech Report has some nice pictures of the next generation of motherboards for Intel processors, aka Sandy Bridge or the 6 series.  They've a few examples from ASUS although not the full lineup of 17 motherboards. One of the most unique of the bunch is the Sabertooth P67 which has a Tactical Jacket, a plastic piece covering the entire motherboard except for slots, which is supposed to direct airflow over various onboard components.

"G2" (SandForce-1200) 64GB SSD $99 at Microcenter B&M or $105 shipped

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2010 - 12:36 PM |
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Allyn just had to pass on an amazing deal for an Sandforce based 64GB Micro Center SSD.  Sure you might not recognize the MicroCentre brand, but what really counts is the controller, the same one found in the Vertex 2 and Agility 2 SSD who's specs are in the SSD Decoder Ring.

At $99 plus shipping it is a great deal.

If you haven't noticed our forum restructure yet ...

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 06:28 PM |
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If you haven't been spending much time browsing through the forums, you might not have noticed that a lot of the smaller sub-forums have been rolled up into large, more active forums.  Whereas once we had segregated Motherboards not only into Intel versus AMD but also they were broken down by manufacturer they are now all together in one monster sized forum.  That means you can benefit from the multitude of eyes that will see your question, as all of our motherboard gurus are on the s

Patriot's new Inferno SSD burns through benchmarks

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 01:23 PM |
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Patriot's new SF-1222TA3-SBH based Inferno 120GB SSD features
Sandforce's DuraClass technology, meaning that it has a number of features designed to extend the life of the drive as well as prevent dips in speed due to the collection of garbage sectors over time and other neat tricks like real-time loss-less compression.  In Th

Some fun for AMD-centric hardware programmers

Subject: General Tech | November 12, 2010 - 12:09 PM |
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If you have fond memories of flashing custom BIOSes that made hidden features accessible for you to tweak with then this story at Slashdot is going to excite you.  It seems a hardware hacker has posted documentation on a way to enable a debug mode in AMD processors.  If you are more into enabling cores via ACC then this might not be your cup of silicon tea but for many the idea of getting up close and personal with AMD's registers makes them a little hot. 

Source: Slashdot

FinalWire Announces AIDA64 v1.20

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2010 - 07:41 PM |
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BUDAPEST, Hungary - November 11, 2010 - FinalWire Ltd.

Source: Email

ARM outs their GPGPU

Subject: General Tech | November 11, 2010 - 02:45 PM |
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While most eyes have been on AMD and their first APU, Zacate; ARM has revealed the new Mali T-604 OpenCL GPU.  Their choice of OpenCL over CUDA speaks to ARMs long history of supporting open standards, something that OpenCL is while nVIDIA's solution is at least for now considered proprietary.  They've also chosen a very different route, siting memory bandwidth limitations as a reason for eschewing textures in favour of directly computing screen data. 

Source: The Inquirer