PC Perspective on TWiT Live: Episode 20

Subject: Editorial | April 11, 2009 - 03:36 PM |
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If you missed my weekly show on TWiT Live (http://live.twit.tv/)
with
Leo Laporte yesterday, we have the entirety of the show now
available for you here.  In this episode we discussed the AMD Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 275, the ION-based Acer AspireRevo, AMD's Fusion Media Explorer, the netbook market hurting Intel's notebook market, SSD goodies and a bit more!

First Look at Larrabee Wafer

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 10, 2009 - 10:23 PM |
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Hardware FR attended Intel's IDF in China this year and they came away with the first photographic evidence of the existence of a finished Larrabee processor.  Near the end of their article, they have a picture of Pat Gelsinger hoisting up a 12 inch (300 mm) wafer full of supposed Larrabee dies.  While the picture is somewhat grainy, we can see that each individual die is very large.  Hardware FR believes that each individual die is around 600 mm square.  After squinting at the picture I count

UW PC Gamers LANFest Change of Venue

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 10, 2009 - 08:51 PM |
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Unfortunately renting out the ice rink in Laramie was a bust, so they are moving the LANFest to the brand new Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center.  This is located at 2229 Grand Avenue in Laramie, and should be a bit of an upgrade from the ice rink.  Apparently power issues and dealing with the City of Laramie made this a no-go at the last minute.


Not exactly the best branding

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 9, 2009 - 07:06 PM |
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Sapphire, one of the biggest and oldest ATI partners is branching out into new and unexpected areas.  They've just announced the Sapphire FirePSU 625W, a fancy looking, if poorly named PSU.  The voltage supplied is relatively stable, the noise it produces is very reasonable and there is even a nice LED light behind the fan.  The only thing Elite Bastards didn't find out about the PSU is it's pricing and availability.

Stepping around old obstacles

Subject: Processors | April 9, 2009 - 05:17 PM |
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The Core i7 920 CPU has a new stepping, D0, and it promises to annihilate the old overclocking records.  AnandTech has put up a preview of it's performance and it is an impressive change from the previous C0 stepping CPUs.  They hit 4.309 GHz with memory running at 2052 @ 7-8-7-20 1T, and they did it with noticeably lower
power requirements.  Check out just how much lower they were here.

Source: AnandTech

It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's SuperPipe!!!

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 9, 2009 - 03:55 PM |
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As you can tell someone is a doctor if they have the right letters after their last name, you can tell a graphics card is not a reference model if it has a posse from Alphabet Street following it around.  For instance, the MSI N285GTX SuperPipe OC does not run at spec, but then again, it doesn't beat stock speeds by much.  The GPU is 680MHz, 32MHz higher than stock, while the memory is 2.5GHz having been pushed up half as much as the GPU, a whole 16MHz.  They didn't even touch the shader clock.  [H]ard|OCP was able to push the card beyond that point and the cooling solution

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Is it OK to stop panicking now?

Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2009 - 03:32 PM |
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The Conficker worm has finally managed to something more than make people snicker at it's name; it's using P2P to transfer encrypted files.  The  chances are very good that it is doing so to update its self via the bot net it created.  As far as the infection goes, if you somehow managed to catch it and not get rid of it, then you have a keylogger or something similar on your system.  After May 3rd, the worm will go dormant and stop spreading, but infected machines will remain a problem. 

Source: The Inquirer

Highlights of the ATI Catalyst 9.4 Windows release

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 8, 2009 - 07:20 PM |
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New Features

  • ATI Catalyst 9.4 - New ATI OverDrive auto-tuning application
  • ATI Catalyst 9.4 includes a new ATI Overdrive auto-tune application to estimate the over-clocked engine and memory values for ATI Overdrive supported ATI Radeon Graphics accelerators
  • Designed for the ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series

Resolved Issue Highlights

Source: AMD

It's a mixed platter of results

Subject: Storage | April 8, 2009 - 06:52 PM |
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The new Seagate Barracuda 7200.12s have a few advantages over the previous generation.  There is no bad firmware to give this generation a bad name, as well they have made a move to 500GB platters for this generation.  Bjorn3D's testing showed that the move did not result in a clear improvement; speed for burst and read seems to have decreased, while the write speed has increased.  On the other hand, once in a RAID environment the drives showed improvements from the previous generation, in addition to needing

Source: Bjorn3D

A unique way to grill cheese

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2009 - 05:42 PM |
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[H]ard|OCP has assembled a thermal paste round up, including nine popular pastes from heatsink makers, one from an industrial supply company and a slice of American Cheese.  They tested the pastes over a range of time to see the performance change as they become cured, both under normal loads as well as overclocking performance.  Also included is a link to a video on how to properly apply thermal paste, so [H] tested all pastes with a center drop as well as a thin coat.  Head ov

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Get your console fix without the dirty feeling

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2009 - 04:18 PM |
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Battlefield Bad Company has been around on the console for a little while, causing a bit of frustration from the PC gamers who have supported EA's Battlefield franchise since 1942.  It's sequel will soon be arriving for the PC, this time happening on the Russian border, which is perfect to show off the new Frostbite engine.  Full deformable
terrain will also be around, hopefully in a meaningful way and not simply as decoration.  Check out a preview of the single player game at GamingHeaven

Source:

Super Talent Announces World's First Commercially Available 512GB 2.5-Inch SSD

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2009 - 03:57 PM |
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San Jose, California - April 8, 2009 - Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, today announced that it is now shipping the MasterDrive RX family of Solid State Drives (SSDs) in capacities up to 512GB.

The MasterDrive RX features Super Talent's proprietary RAIDSSD Technology to enable extremely fast sequential read and write speeds.

Source: 3DCenter

Yes, Windows Update will still work for you

Subject: General Tech | April 8, 2009 - 03:47 PM |
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Over the next two weeks you will likely see a big pile o' FUD appear because of the imminent end of free support for Windows XP and Office 2003.  First off, that applies only to the residential/consumer level, business support is to remain the same, although if your company runs Server 2003 it had better be upgraded to SP2. 
The second thing to remember is that this applies to direct support from Microsoft, such as bug reports and their incident reporting program, Windows Update will still be bringing you critical security patches until 2014. 

Source: The Register

1-Year Intel Atom Anniversary Brings New Chips, Demonstration of Next-Generation Device

Subject: Processors | April 8, 2009 - 03:11 PM |
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BEIJING, April 8, 2009 - Celebrating the 1-year anniversary of Intel Corporation's introduction of its wildly popular Intel Atom processor family, Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, introduced two new processors for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and several other milestones during his keynote today at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

Chandrasekher was joined by two other Intel executives, Craig Barrett and Pat Gelsinger,

Acer AspireRevo first to announce with NVIDIA ION platform

Subject: Systems | April 7, 2009 - 10:27 PM |
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Today NVIDIA and Acer partnered together to formally announce the first real ION-based hardware solution: the AspireRevo.  There really isn't much news here to report other than what we have

It's an overclocked YoYo

Subject: Systems | April 7, 2009 - 10:03 PM |
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The Yoyotech AMD Water Dragon 940 is the successor to their earlier AMD Dragon BE and sports quite a few improvement, above and beyond the next gen components.  For instance, the cooling is provided by Coolit's Domino ALC liquid cooling unit and there are some attractive cold cathodes throughout the casing.  The performance is quite good, although their Intel series is faster as one might expect.  If you are looking for a custom build, check out the review at CPU3D and

Source: CPU3D

Think big, not dense

Subject: Mobile | April 7, 2009 - 07:10 PM |
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4kg for a laptop seems heavy to those carting around a netbook, but there are no netbooks with a 18.4" screen that displays at 1900x1080.  Powering that display is a GeForce 9600M GT with 1GB of DDR2, the total system memory being 4GB of DDR2 and a 2GHz C2D T6400 runs it all.  Scoring 3977 in 3DMark06, it won't be a gaming powerhouse, but it should be able to push most games at it's native resolution without too much tweaking.  A preview of this laptop can be found at InsideHW.

Source: InsideHW

ASUS provides quality over quantity with their new Xonar

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2009 - 06:41 PM |
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The ASUS Xonar Essence STX comes with a lot of features for a stereo sound card.  By stereo, they mean dolby 2, not 2.1, 5 or any other number, there are a total of 2 channels which is perfect for headphones.  You can buy headphones that emulate 5.1 sound, but the tend not to be up to the quality that an audiophile demands.  If you are the type that picks up headphones worth hundreds of dollars and are looking to plug them into a

Source: TECHGAGE

BFG Technologies' Phobos Performance Gaming/Home Theater System Now Available

Subject: Systems | April 7, 2009 - 05:21 PM |
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Lake Forest, IL - (April 7, 2009) - BFG Technologies, Inc., the leading North American and European supplier of advanced NVIDIA-based 3D graphics cards, and award-winning power supplies announced today that the Phobos Performance Edition Gaming/Home Theater System now comes standard with two BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC graphics cards running in SLI, and fast Intel solid-state drives as an new available upgrade option.

BFG Technologies recently updated the default configuration for the Phobos Performance Edition after tests showed that two BFG GeForce GTX 275 graphics cards running in NVID

Thinking ahead

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2009 - 05:04 PM |
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Firefox 3.5 hasn't officially made it out the door, but 3.6 is already in the works.  Ars Technica delves into the features and improvements you can expect from the Firefox after next in this article.  If Ubiquity-based photo-editing, themes you can switch without restarting Firefox and a look at the new tab setup sounds interesting then head on over.

Source: Ars Technica