nVIDIA eyes integrating graphics into a southbridge

Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2010 - 11:28 AM |
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Speculation over how the three main competitors for market share are going to manage to create a general purpose processing unit capable of handling the duties of both CPU and GPU have been keeping tech analysts busy over the past year and a bit.  With AMD and Intel it has been obvious the path they are most likely to take as they currently have both CPU and GPU products and experience developing them is to find a way to combine their two existing products into a single die or at least a single ZIF chip. 

Source: Digitimes

ASUS Xense, a new soundcard bundled with headphones

Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2010 - 02:47 PM |
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Don't let your first glance of the ASUS Xense fool you, that shiny shroud is more than just decoration, it is an EMI shield as well.  It is a PCI Express card that will give you a use for those molex power connectors that are hanging around not doing much thanks to SATA and PCIe power connectors.  Bundled with the sound card is Sennheiser's PC350
headset, using 6.30mm jacks for the mic and headphones and is collapsible into a nicely compact form.  Head on over to Overclock3D to see how they

Source: Overclock3D

Don't buy that i7 950 quite yet, there's a price cut coming

Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2010 - 12:20 PM |
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The 3.06GHz Core i7 950 is a rather nice LGA 1366 processor though at the price of $600 not everyone could afford to drop it into their system.  DigiTimes has some good news for those eyeing a processor upgrade as Intel has announced that the price is coming down almost 50% to an MRSP of $294. 

Source: Digitimes

Corsair Launches High Performance USB Headset for Gamers

Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2010 - 11:36 AM |
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FREMONT, California — August 31, 2010 — Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced the launch of their inaugural audio product, the Gaming Audio Series HS1 USB gaming headset.

A pair of mice from unusual suspects

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2010 - 03:19 PM |
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Sharkoon has been heard from before but certainly not as a supplier of mice and QPad tends to focus more on mouse pads than the actual mice themselves.  That hasn't stopped either company as you can now purchase a QPad K5 or a Sharkoon FireGlider.  Both have high DPI settings, the QPad with a higher top end than the Sharkoon though the Sharkoon is a litte nicer to look at with the pattern they've decorated it with.

Source: Funky Kit

Another way to unbrick your BIOS

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2010 - 12:56 PM |
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Here at PC Perspective we have often recommended Badflash.com and BIOS Saviour as the two main ways to recover from a bad BIOS flash.  It is easy to tell if you have done a bad BIOS flash as the component you've just updated has become about as useful as

Source: MAKE: Blog

Get a free full copy of Mafia II thanks to nVIDIA

Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2010 - 06:49 PM |
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Starting this week across the US and Europe, you can get a free copy
of the smash hit game Mafia II with the purchase of a GeForce GPU, GTX
465 and higher! That’s right, a copy of Mafia II for free!

We here at NVIDIA are super excited about the incredible experience
that can be realized when playing on a GeForce GPU.

Source: NVIDIA

Intel's buying spree might continue, with Infineon being next

Subject: General Tech | August 27, 2010 - 12:01 PM |
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According to sources from Bloomberg, Infineon might be Intel's next purchase at a price of $1.9 billion; less than McAfee but still not chump change.  Specifically they are targeting the wireless division, which currently supplies the processors in phones from Samsung and others focuses on the communications side of the phone as opposed to powering the OS and extra functions.  This could mean that Intel has a ready made communications chip and can simply pair it with one of their low power CPUs to provide the muscle for the extra apps.  You can read more over at The Inquirer.

No wonder Intel is predicting it will miss revenue targets this quarter.

"CHIPMAKER Intel is getting close to splashing out the cash once again as reports are claiming that the firm is close to buying Infineon's wireless division.

Fresh from announcing that it will spend $7.68 billion to buy insecurity outfit McAfee, it seems that Intel wants more. Bloomberg reports that Chipzilla will have to fork over around $1.9 billion for Infineon's wireless division. Though it isn't a done deal, three people directly involved in the negotiations said that both parties are "close to an agreement"."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

What was old is new again, force feedback headphones

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2010 - 04:26 PM |
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A few years ago we lived through an age of force feedback devices.  Not just mice and joysticks, there was the infamous Buttkicker, which placed a subwoofer in a chair to give your whole body a shake during gaming.  There were also numerous headphones which offered a similar experience, pummelling your head when the bass soared.  It seems that ASUS would like to revive that fad, as their soon to be released CineVibe headset.  See the preview at

Source: OCIA

Catalyst 10.8 arrives and slips a secret out

Subject: General Tech | August 26, 2010 - 11:30 AM |
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Catalyst 10.8 hit the streets today with a number of enhancements such as complete support for OpenGL ES 2.0, tweaked default video settings, AA for StarCraft II and improvements to EyeFinity in a number of games.  You can read about the specifics in the release notes

Source: The Inquirer

Neverwinter goes MMORPG

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2010 - 09:18 PM |
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Fans of a classic party based D&D game on the PC, either alone in charge of the party or cooperatively online are probably not terribly impressed with the news that the next Neverwinter game will be an online roleplaying game.  While it seems they are tiptoeing around the owlbear in the room, it is obvious that their biggest competition will of course be WoW, with its long history of being at the top of its genre.  It is certainly to be hoped that the strict definition of a party along with well known character classes will be enough to differentiate it from the teeming online ro

Source: Hexus

Bulldozer and its risqué internet slideshow

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2010 - 09:02 PM |
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The Tech Report has posted quite a few of the slides from AMD's HotChips presentation, which gives an overview of the way this architecture has been put together.  No one got any sweet die shots but AMD has done a very good job at tantalizing us with enough information to make informed guesses about their soon to be released processors but still leaves us guessing at specifics, for example what the real world effects of fused multiply-add
units will be.

AMD talks about the chips we've been waiting for

Subject: General Tech | August 24, 2010 - 12:11 PM |
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Bulldozer and Bobcat are not that far away and to help us prepare AMD has released information on the two architectures.  They both share a design that focuses on modularity, with cores able to be added or subtracted in pairs with no mention of a single core CPU for either.  Bobcat will be the low powered version, poised to take on the niche that the Atom has carved out for its self and with Bobcats ability to run out of order instructions it stands a good chance of beating Intel's offering. 
Bulldozer will be for the full systems and sports a number of very interesting featur

Source: [H]ard|OCP

More on the Intel - McAfee purchase

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2010 - 11:52 AM |
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Ars Technica has weighed in on their understanding of why it is that Intel made the surprise purchase of McAfee and it all boils down to Intel CTO Justin Rattner's new focus on security.  Intel has a blend of products that goes by the name of vPro which are designed specifically to provide security at a level below the OS.  It resembles its predecessor, TPM or Palladium, and consists of a Core 2 or more modern processor, a motherboard with enough onboard features that no daughter cards need to be added to the system and several necessary features including Intel Active Management Technology(AMT) and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT).  Together these ensure a PC or laptop is fairly well protected against rootkits and more importantly is able to make a secure connection to another PC so that, in a business environment, remote management, updates and security statuses can be communicated without risk of infection.  Ars feels that the purchase of McAfee is likely to bring these types of security to the home user in the future and that there is no need to speculate about a competition with ARM for embedded security in mobile devices.

Others disagree.

"There's been quite a bit of head-scratching over Intel's decision to purchase McAfee, but, despite all the breathless talk about mobile security and ARM and virus-fighting processors, the chipmaker's motivations for the purchase are actually fairly straightforward. First, Intel's management has decided, in the wake of Operation Aurora, to move security up to the top of Intel's priority list. Second, secure systems require a lot more than just hardware support—security is about the whole stack, plus the network, plus policies and practices. Third, Intel has waited for ages for its ecosystem partners to come up with ways to give consumers access to vPro's security benefits, and little has really panned out so now they're just going to take vPro (and any newer security technologies) directly to consumers via McAfee."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Ars Technica

Get your mod on with the help of the PC Perspective Forums

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2010 - 06:06 PM |
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Before you start browsing the forums you should ask yourself just how many berries your LEDs should have, it could have a big effect on your next modding job.  You should also get in the habit of examining the fans that come with your coolers, for instance the Corsair H50 comes with a fan of questionable quality so you could swap it out with one that is more effective.  Modding can be done to just about every component in your mac

Reactions to Intel's purchase of McAfee

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2010 - 12:11 PM |
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It is obvious that a lot of reasons went into Intel's acquisition of McAfee, not even Intel tosses around $7.68 billion on a lark.  The reasons are not apparent right away as the news came out of the blue and was not talked about long before hand like many other acquisitions such as Havok.  ExtremeTech feels that this is obviously about a focus on security, perhaps signalling the interest of Intel to mimic what they have done bringing graphics onboard the CPU and merging security and antivirus

X-Arcade Solo Joystick, just like you snapped the front of of an old arcade game

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2010 - 06:44 PM |
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Not only does it look exactly like the front panel of a classic stand up arcade game, it can plug into a USB or PS/2 plug and it comes with Gauntlet, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Joust, Defender and Smash TV. 
You can get some old school button mashing, 8-direction only joystick wiggling gaming action in, either with old games or even with new then this is probably right up your alley.  With multiple keystrokes easily assignable to a single button there is a lot of fun that could be had and its nigh indestructible
frame means you can let small children and drunk friends try it out wit

Source: Neoseeker

The headphones are mediocre but the MixAmp is a nifty idea

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2010 - 11:39 AM |
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[H]ard|OCP just finished reviewing the Astro A40 Gaming Headset and MixAmp
as a set but ended their review recommending the purchase of the MixAmp alone.  The reason for this is not that the headphones are awful but the competition they face at the $200 mark does the job better.  It is the less familiar part that takes kudos away from their review as it can do many tricks without needed the A40 to do so.  The MixAmp

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel to Acquire McAfee

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2010 - 11:23 AM |
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News Highlights:

  • Purchase of all of McAfee’s common stock for $48 per share in cash, valuing the deal at approximately $7.68 billion. McAfee will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into Intel’s Software and Services Group.
  • Acquisition enables a combination of security software and hardware from one company to ultimately better protect consumers, corporations and governments as billions of devices - and the server and cloud networks that manage them - go online.
  • Intel elevates focus on security on par with energy-efficient performance and connectivity. The acquisition augments Intel’s mobile wireless strategy, helping to better assure customer and consumer security concerns as these billions of devices connect.
  • Intel has made a number of software-related acquisitions of leaders in their respective industries that also rely on great silicon, including Wind River, Havok and now McAfee.

 

 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 19, 2010 – Intel Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire McAfee, Inc., through the purchase of all of the company’s common stock at $48 per share in cash, for approximately $7.68 billion. Both boards of directors have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close after McAfee shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other customary conditions specified in the agreement.

The acquisition reflects that security is now a fundamental component of online computing. Today’s security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats. Providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.

Inside Intel, the company has elevated the priority of security to be on par with its strategic focus areas in energy-efficient performance and Internet connectivity.

McAfee, which has enjoyed double-digit, year-over-year growth and nearly 80 percent gross margins last year, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, reporting into Intel’s Software and Services Group. The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager of the group.

“With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.

“The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track record of delivering security innovations, products and services that the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the Internet safer and more secure,” Otellini added.

“Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow,” said James. “This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility.”

Expanding platter based storage with bit patterns

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2010 - 11:19 AM |
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Toshiba thinks it has made a break through that will soon allow them to utilize a process to increase storage density immensely.  Companies have been bandying about a process where tiny patterned dots are formed on the recording surface as opposed to a contiguous line of magnetized grains that is used on current drives.  Each of these tiny self assembled dots, currently 17nm, holds one bit and because it is more separated from its neighbour the density can be ramped up to the neighbourhood of 2.5Tb per inch2.  That would bring a 25TB HDD well into the realm of possibi

Source: Extremetech