AMD, DDR-3, and FUD

Subject: Processors | January 16, 2009 - 11:29 AM |
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 Just yesterday our intrepid Jeremy had reported that Digitimes was reporting that there were issues with AMD's DDR-3 controller in their latest 45 nm parts.  I was actually somewhat surprised by this information, as I keep my ear pretty close to the grindstone looking for those two birds in a bush, and even I had not heard of such a thing.  So I sent a couple of emails off to other folks, and they too had not heard so much of a peep about potential problems with AMD's DDR-3 memory controller.

Source: AMD

Gigabyte shows Ultra Durable 3 with Intel and AMD Overclocking contest

Subject: Motherboards | January 15, 2009 - 08:30 PM |
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Gigabyte just passed over this information to us today about its event around CES including a great overclocking competition that saw new records with both AMD and Intel platforms and the Build Your Own PC Race during CES!

City of Industry, Calif., United States, Jan. 15, 2009 – GIGABYTE today is pleased to announce the success of its product showcase at this year’s CES 2009, January 8 to January 11, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Seagate easily squashes their large bugs

Subject: Storage | January 15, 2009 - 05:25 PM |
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The new SD1A firmware for the 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda is intended to fix the intermittent freezing that is plaguing those who bought one of these large drives.  The fix it's self works fine, but The Tech Report wanted to test for any unforeseen consequences the fix may have caused.  They checked the speed through a large array of testing, even testing for changes in noise and power requirements.  Long story short, the fix had no appreciable effect on anything but the problem it was intended to solve.

It's not over until all the pictures are posted

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 15, 2009 - 03:19 PM |
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CES 2009 may technically be over, but the sneak peeks and highlights from the show are still coming.  Legit Reviews has just posted a compilation of what they thought were the best displays from names you may not be familiar with.  You won't see Corsair or nVIDIA, instead you will see iMini Pets, Real-View 3D and Anybots.  Don't miss out.

BFG TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES FULL LINE OF FACTORY OVERCLOCKED GTX 285s

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 15, 2009 - 02:48 PM |
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Lake Forest, IL - (January 15, 2009) - BFG Technologies, Inc., the leading North American and European supplier of advanced NVIDIA-based 3D graphics cards, power supplies, and the Phobos High-Performance Gaming/Home Theater System, announced today the BFG GeForce GTX 285 line of graphics cards in four factory overclocked versions; OC, OC+, OC2, and OCX.

BFG's GeForce GTX 285 factory overclocked graphics cards provide 240 processing cores and over 50% more performance than prior generations.

A small increase

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 15, 2009 - 01:00 PM |
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Seeing as how Ryan has somehow managed to suppress his need
to sleep, there is a brand new review up this morning, of nVIDIA's GTX 285 1GB graphics card.  For around $400 you can grab the card that is replacing the GTX280, with higher clock speeds and a die shrink.

Short term memory loss

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2009 - 12:11 PM |
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There is something funny going on in the DRAM industry and it is probably not good news for computer users.  Back in September, it was announced that worldwide DRAM production had dropped by 22% and by 55% in Taiwan.  That slowdown was reflected in the price of DDR2 rising by 75% over this past month.  That will really eat into the profit margins of anyone involved in the memory business, as consumers are unlikely to deal well with a price hike to ageing
DDR2 DIMMs.

Source: Digitimes

It's a notebook, not a punching bag

Subject: Mobile | January 14, 2009 - 06:23 PM |
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Toshiba's new Tecra R10-10S has a very flexible cover, designed to take the rough handling that comes with being on the road.  Inside is a C@D SP9300 running at 2,26 GHz,  2GB DDR2 and an Intel X4500MHD to power the 14.1" screen.  In their final analysis, InsideHW felt this notebook was a brilliantly balanced design, not the lightest, nor the fastest, but perfect for business travel applications.

Source: InsideHW

The Ion is mightier than the pen, and only slightly larger

Subject: Systems | January 14, 2009 - 03:47 PM |
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nVIDIA's Ion is a 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor and a GeForce 9400M MCP with 16 integrated GeForce graphics cores.  This lets you handle DX10 graphics, NVIDIA CUDA and HD video on a 3" x 4" motherboard, or a complete system about the size of a good sandwich.  Not only did Legit Reveiws get to see a full working Ion, they were also able to benchmark it.

Obviously it is the superior platform

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2009 - 02:11 PM |
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bit-tech's review of Mirror's Edge on the PC could be summed up as 'better than the console version', though that wouldn't be fair to the full review.  The game was intended to be a showcase of what PhysX can do, and while the effects are certainly evident, the physics have a lesser impact on the game than games lik eHalf Life 2.  The single player game is relatively short, expect 7-8 hours, with a fair amount of fun to be had before the end.

Source: bit-tech

Why MSI was so proud at CES

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 14, 2009 - 12:17 PM |
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The MSI table had a lot to show off at the recent CES.  There were two new lines of laptops, the X-Slim series, which bears a strong resemblance to the Macbook Air.  Thanks to the 8 cell battery, you can expect up to 10 hours of run time before you run out of juice.  The G series is the polar opposite, weight and battery life are sacrificed in order to make these notebooks attractive to gamers.  Breaking 10,000 in 3DMark06 isn't top shabby for a notebook.  Think Computers also saw so

Sizing up solid state

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2009 - 11:59 AM |
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[H]ard|OCP took advantage of the chance to speak with Jonathan Schmidt, an Intel employee, about his experiences with the new SSD drives being manufactured by Intel.  The questions cover a lot of ground, from the environmental impact of SSDs to the tendancy of flash memory to degrade over time.  Defragmentation is also discussed, as the storage techniques used in SSDs do not benefit from standard defragmentation.  Take a look at the interview here.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

There's a bounty out on excessive heat

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 13, 2009 - 05:47 PM |
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The
CoolIT Domino is a self contained CPU water cooling apparatus that can be had for under $100.  It sports an LCD displaying temperature and fan speed, it can be switched between three cooling modes and you can feel safe using it thanks to a very loud alarm which will sound if anything goes wrong.  The Guru of 3D was very impressed by the cooling power of the Domino, as well as by it's low noise generation.  For the price of a high end air cooler, and with roughly the same install process,

Source: Guru of 3D

Too good to be true?

Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2009 - 03:10 PM |
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nVIDIA has been spouting a line about "True 3 way SLI" and how without the nForce 200 MCP present on a motherboard, you are not getting the real deal.  [H]ard|OCP had a chance to test out an X58 board with the nForce 200 MCP on it and compared the performance to one without the MCP.  As you can clearly see in the video and the chart that they have posted there is a difference, though probably not what nVIDIA was expecting.  Any takers on a bet about rushed driver revison?
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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte announces its first AM3 DDR3 motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2009 - 02:31 PM |
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Just days after Asus revealing its line-up of AM3 motherboards, Gigabyte's first AM3 motherboard gets ousted and although it doesn't come with too many surprises, it does at least indicate that Gigabyte is serious about bringing its 2-oz copper PCB to the AMD platform.

The GA-MA790FXT-UD5P as it's called, features the new UD3 design with blue and white slots and the new titanium and blue heatsinks. There's also a heatpipe helping to cool the chipset.

Source: Fudzilla

You've come a long way Mac

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2009 - 01:12 PM |
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In only three short years the mouse attached to Apple computers has undergone a complete revolution.  Back in 2005, the first two button mouse for the Mac appeared on the market, offering an alternative to the single button mouse that has been used since the Mac's inception.  Now Razer has released a gaming mouse for the Mac, from it's DeathAdder line.  Five buttons and an 1800 dpi sensor are now available with this new mouse and

Source: OCMODSHOP

You too can Buy a Nano!

Subject: Processors | January 13, 2009 - 12:18 PM |
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For the past several podcasts (thanks to those folks for listening) we have lamented the fact that we have seen so few VIA Nano based products on the market.  The CPU has been out for 9+ months now, and the promise and potential of these products was nearly unlimited considering how netbooks and low power/inexpensive PCs are some of the fastest growing markets in the PC industry.  While a few manufacturers have adopted the VIA Nano, it has been pretty unspectacular when considering uptake and media coverage.

Source: newegg

Filling in the blanks

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 13, 2009 - 12:11 PM |
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Reporting 'live, as it happens', especially at an electronics trade show, does have some drawbacks.  You benefit from the feeling of being there and capturing the moment and get to see a lot of cool new kit for the first time without waiting for a full write up.  That quickness does tend to make the reporting a little more shallow since there simply isn't time to full cover all the details.  Ars Technica has revisited a lot of what they covered at CES in a more indepth fashion, which you can see h

Source: Ars Technica

Unplanned obsolescence

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2009 - 11:36 AM |
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Owners of the new Seagate 7200.11 drives, particularly those with the terabyte model, have something to worry about.  There is a new firmware update to
fix the problem before it occurs, but because of the thoroughness of affected drives death, you cannot update the firmware after the fact.  Also, it looks like many customers are seeing high failure rates due to other issues with the disk that have nothing to do with the 'self-bricking' feature.  Read more at The In

Source: The Inquirer

A little competition never hurt anyone

Subject: Processors | January 12, 2009 - 06:59 PM |
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The competition between AMD and Intel has heated up thanks to the new Phenom II, though perhaps not in exactly the way people wanted.  The performance crown still rests firmly on Intel's head, the Phenom II just can't reach that high.  The value crown is pretty much glued to AMD's head, as it has been for a while now.  It's just that the increased performance of the Phenom II coupled with the limited price increase compared to previous models has settled it even more firmly on AMD. 

Source: InsideHW