3 Bits are Better Than 2

Subject: Storage | August 11, 2009 - 01:47 PM |
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The Flash Memory Summit has just begun, and to kick things off, Intel and Micron have announced something unexpected:  3 bit per cell flash memory.  This is significant on many levels (pun intended).  SLC (single level cell) flash is 1 bpc.  The vast majority of MLC (multi level cell) flash is 2 bpc, netting a 100% capacity gain over SLC.  This new flash is 3 bpc, pushing bit density to 200% over SLC and 50% over previous generation MLC flash.

DFI irons out the kinks from the P45

Subject: Motherboards | August 11, 2009 - 12:28 PM |
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While other sites are previewing P55 motherboards that support the currently unobtainable i5 processor series.  Hardware Canucks is instead reviewing a new take on an old chipset.  The Blood Iron P45-T2RS Elite
is for those still using LGA775 chips like the C2D Xeon E3110 they used to benchmark the board.

It had to be a matrix called Neo

Subject: General Tech | August 11, 2009 - 11:44 AM |
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The newest kids on the street from AMD have arrived and promptly embedded themselves in the Atom's market.  They use a ball grid array design which gives away the fact that they are designed to be embedded.  The 18W power draw hints at the small size of the products you are likely to see powered by the Turion Neo X2 L625 and Athlon Neo X2 L325 and the 3W demanded by the matching M690T
and M690E
chipsets back that hint up.  They will both support dual channel ECC-enabled U-DIMM DDR2-667, sport 64KB L1 cache and 512KB L2 cache and have one 16-bit link supporting up to 800MHzHype

Source: AMD

New Kingston SSDNow V+ series drives

Subject: Storage | August 10, 2009 - 07:52 PM |
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Kingston has informed us of a new addition to their SSDNow V series line.  The new "V+" series incorporate Samsung RBB controllers and will be available in the usual Samsung sizes (64 / 128 / 256 GB).  They will also sport a 3 year warranty.  This will add Kingston to another section of our SSD Decoder during its next update.

Intel X25-M G2 updated firmware is now available

Subject: Storage | August 10, 2009 - 07:39 PM |
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For those who managed to sneak an early purchase of an Intel X25-M G2 series SSD, there is now a firmware update available for your downloading pleasure.  Please ensure you update prior to updating or removing any BIOS HDD password you might have set since your purchase.  Once updated, you are free to do whatever you wish with said password (except forget it, of course).  This u

As seen on The Best of SNL

Subject: Systems | August 10, 2009 - 05:27 PM |
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SmoothCreations is gaining a big name in the enthusiast crowd, as most systems are done just right.  Quality builds with seriously powerful components are just part of the parcel, there is also the incredible paint jobs that grace the outside of their cases.  New at the Guru of 3D is the LANShark, sporting a skull motif and side panel made entirely of acrylic.  Inside you find an i7 965, a GTX 295 and 6GB of OCZ DDR3-1600 and a Rampage II Gene motherboard, though you can customize the parts if you plan on ordering one.  The CPU is cooled via a Cool It Pure H2O
and the res

Source: Guru of 3D

Tall, white and slim

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2009 - 03:22 PM |
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Ikonik's Ra series of cases are large sized and usually focused on water cooling.  The newest, the Ikonik Ra X10 SIM does not come with a water cooling setup, it is for the air cooling control freak.  This case is 20lbs of aluminum and comes with a a single 140mm, a pair of 120mm, and 10 80mm fans.  The SIM part of its name denotes the software which allows you to control all of the fans in various mods, such as Silent for those loving quiet, to Performance mode for you overclockers out there.  The review of this fancy white fu

That's waste management to the other PC types

Subject: Storage | August 10, 2009 - 02:38 PM |
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Allyn has been hard at work on the new OZC Vertex custom Indilinx firmware
which enables garbage collection, perhaps one of the most interesting features an SSD can have.  Think of it as a way for SSDs to heal themselves from the damage of file transfers and deletions that defragmenting took care of on platter based drives.  Allyn subjects the poor drive to his custom made SSD killing test and watched in amazement as the drive healed its self over time without his needing to repair it.

The other dimension to monitors

Subject: Displays | August 10, 2009 - 12:29 PM |
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If you are upgrading your monitor, you might want to consider picking up one of those neat new stereoscopic 3D monitors like the Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ.  
Digital Trends tried out this 1680x1050 22", which also necessitates possession of a pair of NVIDA GeForce 3D Vision glasses plus a compatible NVDIA graphics card and Windows Vista, perhaps Win7 will work but it was not tested.  The 3ms response rate as well as the abili

Shocking news

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2009 - 12:04 PM |
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Some rather bright German researchers have been perfecting the printable battery and figure to be on course for a 2010 release.  Using a silk screening process they impregnate paper with many hair thin layers of zinc to form an anode and manganese for the cathode.

Source: Slashdot

This Week in Computer Hardware (TWiCH) #34 now available to stream

Subject: Editorial | August 8, 2009 - 11:58 PM |
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Sorry for the longer than normal delay, but I finally got this week's This Week in Computer Hardware (TWiCH) online, episode #34 with myself and Leo Laporte.  Enjoy! 
If you want to catch our weekly LIVE episodes, just check back here on pcper.com or at http://live.twit.tv/ every Wednesday at 6pm ET!

(Details on Quakecon and possible live streaming of that event are included as well!)

Intel Core i5 Lynnfield processors start showing up for sale

Subject: Processors | August 8, 2009 - 06:03 PM |
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Now this is getting to be just plain funny.  Intel still hasn't gotten us our official Lynnfield processor samples but they are apparently showing up for sale in retail form already!  Not in the US mind you, but somewhere. 


Windows 7 is out the door today, assuming you have access to volume licensing

Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2009 - 06:56 PM |
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The PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard, which you should keep an eye on for updates in the near future, is a great way to look at what parts are out there that can assemble a great PC at several price levels.  Some enthusiasts need a bit more detail, like which southbridge can handle which flavour of RAID; others need a bit more guidance to welcome them into the world of the DIY PC.

Just what every case needs

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 7, 2009 - 02:59 PM |
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At $53 the Aerocool Touch 2000 Touch Panel offers quite a bit to the enthusiast that wants a front panel both stellar looking and functional.  One e-SATA and two USB plugs plus mic and headphone
jacks accompany a touch interface that lets you control four fans and monitor temperatures in four different places inside your case.  If that sounds like something that would interest you,

Quick content creation on Linux

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 7, 2009 - 12:37 PM |
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The AMD FirePro V8750 has arrived, bringing with it the first incarnation of Crossfire Pro, the equivalent of Crossfire X for production level cards.  It is not quite as flexible, allowing only a pair of cards to be used and the cards must match exactly, though you do not need a V8750, the V5700, V7750, and V8700
will also benefit from having a twin.  The big question on Phoronix's mind is how this card performs under Linux, specifically Ubuntu 9.04.  Their first disappointment was the lack of Crossfire Pro support; on the plus side the card was recognized immediately.  <

Source: Phoronix

Down with the RC

Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2009 - 12:11 PM |
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The version of Windows 7 available via TechNet or MSDN subscription is now missing the Release Candidate part of its name, the final code has been spit and polished and sent out the door to make its way in the world.  As well, today is the day that volume licensed customers get their hands on Windows 7.  They are the first to get their hands on the official version of the software and the first valid keys.  Of course, those customers never tend to see a disk, so we still can't see the box art in the flesh, if you are into that type of thing. 

Source: The Inquirer

AMD Builds SDK for OpenCL on x86 CPUs

Subject: Processors | August 6, 2009 - 11:37 PM |
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News is coming out of Siggraph that AMD has released an SDK for OpenCL programming on x86 CPUs.  This might at first seem to be confusing as we are usually referring to GPUs when talking about OpenCL, but keep in mind that OpenCL's goal has always been for heterogenous computing across different processor platforms, not just for graphics cards.  ArsTechnica is calling this a "reverse of the n

Source: Ars Technica

NVIDIA's DX11-based GT300 tapes out and gets some company

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 6, 2009 - 11:18 PM |
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Earlier this week we heard reports on Semiaccurate that NVIDIA's next-generation GPU part, known as GT300 around here, had actually taped out.  That means the designers think and hope they are done and the results are handed off to the manufacturer (TSMC) for the initial run of silicon.  Typically we'll see the time between a tape out and a first prototype graphics card to be about 10 weeks:

Source: General

Windows 7 upgrade paths revealed in easy-to-read chart form

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2009 - 10:57 PM |
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Okay, so it's not really easy to read, but it is a chart.  And actually it gives users looking to break into the world of Windows 7 right away a good idea of what to expect.  Basically, if you want to know what TYPE of installation you will be allowed to do with your new copy of Windows 7 based on the version of Windows Vista you have, this is for you:

AMD is not a one chip(set) pony

Subject: Motherboards | August 6, 2009 - 06:27 PM |
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The 785G is rightly making headlines all over the tech review community, but do not let this interesting new chipset and its IGP overshadow the chipset many AMD enthusiasts are using.  The 790FX, specifically the MSI 790FX-GD70is a sub-$200 motherboard with a boatload of features and a rather snazzy design.

Source: [H]ard|OCP