Subject: Processors, Mobile
Manufacturer: AMD

AMD lines up Llano


2006.  That was the year where the product we are reviewing today was first consummated and the year that AMD and ATI merged in a $5.4 billion deal that many read about scratching their heads.  At the time the pairing of a the 2nd place microprocessor company with the 2nd place graphics technology vendor might have seemed like an odd arrangement even with the immediate benefit of a unified platform of chipset, integrated graphics and processor to offer to mobile and desktop OEMs.  In truth though, that was a temporary solution to a more long term problem that we now know as heterogeneous computing: the merging not just of these companies but all the computing workloads of CPUs and GPUs.

Five years later, and by most accounts more than a couple of years late, the new AMD that now sans-manufacturing facility is ready to release the first mainstream APU, Accelerated Processing Unit.  While the APU name is something that the competition hasn't adopted, the premise of a CPU/GPU combination processing unit is not just the future, it is the present as well.  Intel has been shipping Sandy Bridge, the first mainstream silicon with a CPU and GPU truly integrated together on a single die since January 2011 and AMD no longer has the timing advantage that we thought it would when the merger was announced.

For sanity sake, I should mention the Zacate platform that combines an ATI-based GPU with a custom low power x86 core called Bobcat for the netbook and nettop market that was released in November of 2010.  As much as we like that technology it doesn't have the performance characteristics to address the mainstream market and that is exactly where Llano comes in.

AMD Llano Architecture

Llano's architecture has been no secret over the last two years as AMD has let details and specifications leak at a slow pace in order to build interest and excitement over the pending transition.  That information release has actually slowed this year though likely to reduce expectations on the first generation APU with the release of the Sandy Bridge processor proving to be more potent than perhaps AMD expected.  And in truth, while the Llano design as whole is brand new all of the components that make it up have been seen before - both the x86 Stars core and the Radeon 5000 series-class have been tested and digested on PC Perspective for many years.

For today's launch we were given a notebook reference platform for the Llano architecture called "Sabine".  While the specifications we are looking at here are specific to this mainstream notebook platform nearly all will apply to the desktop release later in the year (perhaps later in the month actually).


The platform diagram above gives us an overview of what components will make up a system built on the Llano Fusion APU design.  The APU itself is made up 2 or 4 x86 CPU cores that come from the Stars family released with the Phenom / Phenom II processors.  They do introduce a new Turbo Core feature that we will discuss later that is somewhat analogous to what Intel has done with its processors with Turbo Boost. 

There is a TON of more information, so be sure you hit that Read More link right now!!

MSI Ships New 17” Gaming Laptops with Lethal Combination of Graphics, Power and Design

Subject: Mobile | June 13, 2011 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: steelseries, msi, gtx 560m, GT780R

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – June 13, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the GT780R and the GX780, two gaming notebooks with keyboards expertly designed in partnership with global leading gaming peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries. The notebooks combine brilliant graphics from the latest NVIDIA© GeForce© graphics processors, along with the second-generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, to create a sleek new design with ultimate power that outperforms the competition.

“Serious gamers understand that not all notebooks are created equally,” said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI US. “The GT780R and GX780 are built specifically for gamers, with a professionally-designed keyboard, plus top-of-the-line graphics and processing power from NVIDIA and Intel.”


Speaking of SteelSeries

MSI constructed the 17.3-inch GT780R and GX780 notebooks with invincible gaming hardware optimized for gaming, including:

  • SteelSeries Full Color Backlit Keyboard: Expertly designed together with the gaming gurus at SteelSeries, this keyboard features several exclusive gaming designs for ultimate gaming control. Enjoy perfect hand positioning with keys that never get in the way, and a rugged keyboard that offers solid feedback while you slay your enemies. The Power 10 key solution can support 10 keys typing simultaneously so every keystroke counts. And the multicolor LED backlit keyboard features 5 programmable modes so you can sync the color and rhythm of the backlighting to suit your game.
  • NVIDIA GeForce Graphics: NVIDIA GPUs provide realistic and immersive graphics for both notebooks. The GT780R features NVIDIA’s newest GeForce GTX 560M with 1.5GB GDDR5 of high-end, large-capacity display memory for superior performance and vivid graphics. The GX780 boasts NVIDIA’s GeForce GT555M with 1GB DDR5 VRAM.
  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 2630QM Processor: The newest energy-efficient processor from Intel supports Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which allocates processor resources to boost core clock speeds and overall performance. Both notebooks boast core clock speeds of 2.00 GHz. 
  • Sleek New Design: This sleek black notebook features a stylish, brushed aluminum textured body that is sophisticated and subtle. The notebook’s modern design compliments the bold stylings of the backlit keyboard.
  • 17-Inch Full HD Screen: No gamer can tolerate a small screen, and the GT780R and GX780 notebooks feature a bold, 17.3-inch HD screen with an anti-reflective coating. Enjoy 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 16:9 display ratio for a clear and realistic image rendering.
  • MSI’s Exclusive Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) Technology: TDE provides a boost in graphics performance to accelerate video decoding and add extra excitement to your gaming.
  • USB 3.0: These notebooks feature a plethora of ports so you can customize your setup and achieve the quickest data transfers. With two USB 3.0 ports and three USB 2.0 ports, you’re ready to roll.
  • Dynaudio Speakers with THX Surround Sound: No gaming experience is complete without booming audio, and MSI collaborated with Dynaudio to build the highest quality speakers plus a built-in subwoofer. Enjoy cinema-quality surround sound with THX TruStudio PRO.

The new GT780R and has an MSRP of $1,749.99 and the GX780 at $1,549.99. Both models will be available on Newegg and

Source: MSI

Panasonic Updates Toughbook 19 Tablet With New Internals

Subject: Mobile | June 10, 2011 - 04:30 PM |
Tagged: Toughbook, tablet, Panasonic, fully-rugged

Panasonic recently announced a series of upgrades to its Toughbook 19 convertible tablet, including new Intel Sandy Bridget processors, increased RAM and hard drive space, and a brighter LCD screen. After being on the market for five years, the Toughbook 19 and its ruggedized chassis is ideal for military usage or anyone needing a portable computer that is likely to be subjected to extreme operating conditions.

As the first time Panasonic has used a standard voltage Intel CPU, the upgraded Toughbook has gained decreased boot-up time and faster overall system performance compared to its predecessors. Despite the standard voltage processor, Panasonic has been able to maintain the computer’s fan-less design which is important for reliability in harsh operating conditions such as when used around water and sand. The new model comes standard with an Intel Core i5 2520M at 2.5GHz, 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), either the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7 Pro, and either a 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive or a 128GB SSD (upgradeable to 256GB).

Further, an SDXC card reader, ExpressCard slot, Intel WiFi chip supporting 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, and optional 4G LTE modem that will be available later this year.  Numerous security features and a dual-touch touchscreen (including stylus).  The new Toughbook fits into the same chassis as the older models, enabling users to upgrade the device and continue to use it with existing expansion and vehicle docks. The LCD has also receive an upgrade. The 10.1” XGA touchscreen uses Panasonic’s TransreflectivePlus technology, which features and adjustable LED backlight as well as an internal reflective layer that uses reflected sunlight to help illuminate the screen. Panasonic claims that the screen is capable of 6000 nit of brightness.

Panasonic expects that the new Toughbooks will be available in September 2011, and will start at an estimated street price of $3,349 USD from authorized retailers. A standard three-year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the new rugged convertible tablets on Panasonic’s website.

Source: Engadget

A portable TV in this day and age? RCA's 3.5" DHT235C Portable LED TV

Subject: Mobile | June 10, 2011 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: portable tv, gadget

With the Stanley Cup turning into a best of 3 series between now and Wednesday, and 3G being hit very hard in Vancouver for those wanting to watch the live CBC stream when they are on the road, RCAs new portable TV suddenly makes some sense to own.  Since you can't record live events before they happen to watch on the road and occasionally whatever wireless data carrier you use will be overwhelmed with traffic, maybe owning a tiny portable LED TV with a 320x240 resolution makes some sense.  Check it out over at Overclockers Online to see of you might want visit Radio Shack and drop $80 on a TV in time for the game.


"RCA is making an active push in the portable TV market and the DHT235C Portable Digital TV is the entry model. The DHT235C runs on four AA batteries that provide up to three hours of runtime. The built in digital antenna provides a clean and crisp picture and proves that terrestrial television isn’t dead."

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Sprint Shows Off Its First 4G Dual Core Tegra 2 Super Phone

Subject: Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: Tegra 2, super phone, Sprint, Photon, nvidia, arm, 4g

If desktop processors are advancing at the speed of sound, then mobile processors are advancing at somewhere near the speed of light. Just a year ago, a 600MHz Ti processor was very fast; however, in the age of dual core 1GHz+ processors that seems to be rather slow by comparison. Speaking of the speed of photons, Sprint has recently unveiled a new Motorola smart phone called the Photon 4G that is packed with lots of hardware and powered by Android 2.3.

What makes the Photon 4G special; however, is that it is the first NVIDIA Tegra powered "super phone" on Sprint's 4G cellular network. The 2.6 inch x 5 inch device has a depth of .5 inches and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This rather hefty chassis holds a large 4.3" "qHD" display with a resolution of 540x960.  Further, the phone has two cameras with the rear camera being capable of capturing 720p HD video and the front facing camera sporting a VGA (480x640) resolution.  An HDMI output port, a microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards, and a metal kick stand also have a place on the device.

Internally, the phone features a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM.  A 3G/4G radio supporting International GSM frequencies as well as a Bluetooth and Wifi 802.11 b/g/n radio are also present.  This hardware is in turn backed by a 1700 mAh Lithium Ion battery.

According to the NVIDIA blog, the device is made further desirable due to it's ability to play "multi-platform, console-class Android OS games with the kind of experience you expect from a game console."  The Photon 4G also supports Bluetooth controller input, enabling it to act as a sort of portable gaming console by hooking it up to a large display via HDMI and playing games using a Bluetooth controller.  NVIDIA demonstrated playing Riptide GP on the phone using a Wii controller.  It will likely support the dual shock controller down the road as well.

NVIDIA shows off the Wii controlled super phone's gaming abilities

Sprint claims a nine to ten hour talk-time for the phone, depending on the network the phone is using (3G/4G); therefore, it will be interesting to see if this phone will have the battery life in real world tests to be a good portable gaming machine.  It may even steal some market share from the Playstation Vita if Android can keep new games flowing.  What do you think about the Photon 4G?

Source: Sprint

Samsung Releases 1 TB Laptop Hard Drive

Subject: Storage, Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 03:21 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, laptop, Hard Drive, 1TB

Samsung today announced a new update to their Spinpoint laptop hard drive line, the Spinpoint M8 1 TB. Joining the storage ranks of the Seagate Constellation and Western Digital Scorpio 1 TB drives, the new Samsung hard disk features two 500 GB platters in a 2.5” 9.5mm form factor along with an 8 MB buffer, and utilizes a SATA II (3Gb/s) interface. The 500 GB per platter density was achieved by using their Advanced Format Technology (AFT), which raises the data storage density per unit area, which results in a reduced number of requisite platters and read/write heads. Samsung claims that the reduction in necessary components results in a seven percent performance increase as well as an eight percent decrease in the amount of power drawn.

The new 2.5” drive carries an MSRP of $129.00 USD. Mobile gamers and road warriors in particular are likely happy to see competition in the 1 TB+ laptop arena, which should hep to bring the 1 TB mobile drives’ prices a bit closer to their 1 TB desktop brethren.  You can read more about the new drive here.

Source: Samsung

Can Alienware successfully pull off a decent gaming laptop that weighs less than 5lbs?

Subject: Mobile | June 6, 2011 - 01:23 PM |
Tagged: ultraportable, alienware

Alienware's new M11x R3 Ultraportable Gaming Laptop weighs 4.4lbs but still claims to be able to game.  You can choose an i5-2537M or i7-2617M for a CPU, up to 16GB of DDR3, and either a standard HDD or SSD to power the 11.6" display at 1366×768.  Obviously it is SandyBridge's integrated GPU which Alienware is counting on to provide the gaming performance, trading overall power for less weight.  Techware Labs was skeptical at the start of the review but ended up quite impressed with the ultraportable gaming machine, even with the minor flaws they discovered.


"The uptraportable meets gamer in this mashup laptop that combines killer looks, functionality, and performance. Now you can really take your gaming with you in a sub 5lb package without making huge sacrifices. It can be done and we show you how Alienware did it with our review of the M11x R3."

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ASUS does thin and light right: UX21 and X101 Photos

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2011 - 12:19 AM |
Tagged: x101, ux01, notebook, laptop, computex, asus

ASUS had a lot of new and innovative products on display at Computex, but maybe none as interesting as these two notebooks.  The UX21 was the flagship product for Intel's new "Ultrabook" category and while we have already posted about it earlier, I thought these new photos would be worth sharing.


The UX21 is an ultra-thin 1.7cm at its widest and weighs only 1.1 Kg fully loaded.  It will include the ASUS "Instant On" technology, resuming the system in just 5 seconds and is claimed as the first notebooks with a SATA 6G SSD.  


Sporting a new ULV Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, this system won't skimp on performance either if it lives up to its claims.  

More photos and information after the break!!

Source: ASUS

MSI Ships First Gaming Notebook with NVIDIA GeForce GTX560M GPU

Subject: Mobile | May 31, 2011 - 05:47 PM |
Tagged: msi, GTX560M, GT683

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – May 31, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the GT683R, its first gaming laptop featuring the recently-announced NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics processor. The GT683R is one of the first notebooks to ship in the U.S. with the new NVIDIA GPU. This gaming notebook combines superior graphics with processing power from the second generation Intel® Core™ i7 to create an incredible gaming and multimedia experience that will be the envy of any seasoned gamer.

“As the first GTX-class gaming GPU in the 500 Series, the GeForce GTX 560M delivers blistering frame rates and beautifully rendered scenes with Direct X 11 done right,” said David Ragones, director of product marketing at NVIDIA. “The MSI GT683R will be first out of the gate with this gaming workhorse.”

MSI has packed the GT683R with cutting edge performance features specifically for gaming, including:

  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560M: With 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory, this graphics processor provides real-world picture clarity for optimal game play. Debuting at Computex 2011, the GeForce GTX 560M features improved power efficiency with faster clock speeds, so gamers can enjoy vivid, detailed environments and realistic characters. Stock your arsenal with the best gaming tech, including Direct X 11 and NVIDIA® PhysX® technology delivering intense realism, outstanding performance, and faster frame rates on the most demanding games. And stay ahead of the competition with the latest NVIDIA® Verde™ Drivers providing performance optimizations for the life of your GPU, only from
  • New 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 2630QM Processor: Intel’s latest energy-efficient processor delivers smart, adaptive performance that adds speed when it’s most needed, thanks to Optimized Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. The processor also provides seamless video capabilities including applications for easy video editing and HD video playback that can be connected to a TV.
  • MSI’s Exclusive Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) Technology: Easily overclock GPU with TDE, providing a boost in graphics performance to accelerate video decoding and add extra excitement to your gaming. · Cooler Boost Technology: When the game heats up, MSI’s Cooler Boost Technology cools the CPU and GPU with a single touch. The technology can manage the fan speed to find the right balance between boosting performance and improving comfort.
  • Dual SATA HDD with RAID 0: Enjoy enhanced HDD speed and performance and increased HD storage space with a dual SATA HDD in RAID 0 configuration. · USB 3.0: The GT683R features two USB 3.0 ports, delivering speedy data transfers with rates up to 4.8GB per second, and 10 times the bandwidth of USB 2.0. MSI’s own i-Charger technology provides three times the power to make charging CE devices faster than ever.
  • Dynaudio Speakers with THX Surround Sound: In addition to sharp graphics and lightning quick performance, the GT683R creates an immersive gaming experience by including professional sound quality. MSI collaborated with Dynaudio to build the highest quality speakers plus a built-in subwoofer. THX TruStudio PRO delivers cinema-quality surround sound.


The new GT683R has an MSRP of $1,599.99 and is available at

For detailed specification and purchasing options, please visit

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: MSI

HP has a new Elitebook for the mobile professional

Subject: Mobile | May 31, 2011 - 01:03 PM |
Tagged: hp, elitebook, 15.6 inch

The The HP Elitebook 8560p is designed for the professional roadie who needs a fairly power CPU to run productivity software, and can afford the $1500 price tag.  Inside the 15.6" laptop you will find a dual core Core i7-2620M which provides half of the graphical power, a discreet AMD Radeon 6470M is available for 3D performance thanks to Virtu.  TechReviewSource liked the external peripheral choices but were not terribly impressed with the gaming performance of the 6470M, judge for yourself by following the link.


"The HP Elitebook 8560p is a powerhouse, as its 15.6-inch widescreen and top-of-the-line parts are there for powering through the most difficult tasks. And a modern look, thanks to a new aluminum design, doesn't hurt either."

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