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A Summer Cruise Through Shaded and Tessellated Waters
The summer is about to heat up again in the graphics world, and we are taking the first step in letting you know where it is all heading. NVIDIA and AMD are both preparing major products, and we take a look behind the curtain as to why the GF100 is such a hot and hungry beast, and why the GF104 could be this generation's G92. Plus a quick look at what kind of changes to expect from AMD's Southern Islands.
AMD gets more aggressive in the server market
AMD is announcing a pair of new product lines today to address a couple of server markets. The new Opteron 4100-series of processors takes the Lisbon core and lowers price to the point of absurdity. Can a $99 server processor coupled with power-per-core efficiency spell success for AMD in the cloud computing infrastructure? Can can the new FireStream parts put a dent in NVIDIA's Tesla lineup?
The new Xbox 360 "Slim" Gets Unwrapped
We picked up one of the new Xbox 360 S / Slim consoles and decided to rip it apart to see what was inside. How does the technological shift in the new system change the properties of the console and how does it affect power consumption, noise and heat? Step in to read, and watch, our results!
GF100 / Fermi SLI Configuration Considerations
After way too long of a delay we finally have complete testing and benchmarking comparing a single GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 to the same cards in a dual-GPU SLI configuration. What happens if you take the highest performing GPU available and double up its performance?
Tired of Benchmarks? Here's the Dirt!
Industry Dirt will be exploring some of the more suspect rumors and happenings around our beloved technology firms. Today I take a look at some of the latest from AMD and Intel, and while Intel certainly is still controlling the industry, AMD looks like it could be in for a surprise quarter. Plus I explore the ramifications of Intel's latest "K" series of unlocked CPUs.
Introduction and Specifications
Gigabyte has been all over the new SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 technologies with their latest line of X58A-based motherboards and we finally got the opportunity to test drive an X58A-UD3R. This motherboard has been winning hardware review awards left and right from across the tech review empire so it will be interesting to evaluate it against a few X58 offerings.
The Puget Systems Experience
Puget Systems is a custom system builder based in the Washington area that promises a combination of the top PC components available with customer service oriented around keeping the user involved through parts selection, ordering, construction, testing and beyond delivery. Of course, it doesn't hurt that you can get a 4.0 GHz 6-core processor and water cooled GTX 480s.
Intro, Specs, and Packaging
The MSI Wind U230 with AMD components has potential to be an Intel Atom / NVIDIA ION killer. The performance and price is right, so why wouldn't you get one? We dig a bit deeper. What is notable from these specifications is the Athlon 64 X2 L335 CPU which is dual-core and (more or less) comparable to the Intel Atom 330. There is also HDMI out which is something that will come in handy for connecting an external display.
Introduction and Features
Universal air-cooled heatsinks supporting 220w TDP have taken center stage in 2010 thanks to new six-core CPU platforms from AMD and Intel. The combination of aluminum fin arrays, heatpipes, and copper bases make for outstanding cooling solutions for today's hottest and fastest processors. Thermaltake stepped up to the plate and developed a dual-fan universal heatsink called the Frio to give power users a proven design that chills out different types of processors and looks good doing it.
Fermi on a diet
The new GeForce GTX 465 GPU attempts to bring down the cost of Fermi and the GF100 architecture so gamers on tighter budgets can put that new DX11-goodness from NVIDIA in their systems. Does the new GPU stand up to the competition from AMD though? Stop in to find out!!
A complete lineup
With our review of the V7800 and V4800 FirePro graphics cards from AMD we are basically completing the new Evergreen-based lineup for professional graphics users. The V8800 flagship still dominates but the V7800 is a nice option at about half the price while the V4800 improves performance over the base V3800 for under $200.
Blu-Ray for the Driveless
The Asus SBC-04D1S-U offers Blu-Ray and DVD in a slim external package, and it may be one of the nicest looking ones too! How does the performance of the external drive hold up to other options and can you find a use for this drive on your currently optical-less notebooks?
The Ultimate Colouring Book
The iPad's greatest influence may be on the generation that is just starting to master their ABC's. We take a look at Apple's latest gadget and see how parents can use it for their toddlers. While the present app offering may be lacking, the future may be bright.
Intel K-series Processors
Intel's Extreme Edition processors are great for overclockers because of the unlocked aspect of the multipliers but not so great on their wallets. What if instead of $1000+ you could get a Lynnfield or Clarkdale CPU for much less and still get the benefits an unlocked CPU offers to overclocking? Well good news: Intel's new K-SKU parts are just that!
XPower to the people
MSI continues to brand their Big Bang series of motherboards as THE top solution for enthusiasts, overclockers and gamers. The new XPower motherboard brings that to the X58 chipset and the Intel Bloomfield processors for the first time. Come check out our video preview to see the overview of features and specs before the full review!
We hope you have USB 3.0 'Enyo' PC by now...
OCZ's Enyo external USB 3.0 SSD has been seen in renderings and previews since before CES in January but we now have the final shipping model in-house and have spent the last days testing it and putting it through the paces. It easily becomes the fastest external drive we have ever tested but does it validate the move to USB 3.0?
Bridging the Gap
Intel's Wireless Display promises a single-touch bridge between your notebook and your display. Though there are limitations currently, its almost more exciting to think of where this technology can go in the next 1 to 3 years.
Introduction and Features
Thermaltake continues to evolve their Toughpower line with the XT Series, which adds LED status indicators and a fan delay feature. This new PSU delivers very good voltage regulation, excellent efficiency and finally keeps AC ripple under control.
How Low Can You Go?
This past week AMD released six new Athlon II processors featuring dual, triple, and quad cores. I was able to get a hold of the Athlon II X2 260 and Athlon II X4 640 and put them through their paces. I was also able to fully review the MSI 890GXM-G65 with these processors, and have come to the happy conclusion that it makes for a very good match.
The cake is a lie
Steam for the Mac is now available in a public beta but should users that already have a Windows Boot Camp partition on their Apple systems be concerned about making the move to the native Mac client? How is image quality and performance affected in the one "standard" title available today, Portal?