Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Massive capacity - WD RE3 Enterprise SATA drives are available in capacities up to 1 TB.
Dual processor - Twice the processing power results in a 20% performance improvement over the previous generation.
StableTrac™ - The motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations.
RAFF™ - Our fourth generation RAFF technology includes sophisticated electronics to monitor the drive and correct both linear and rotational vibration in real time for up to a 60% performance improvement in high vibration environments over the previous generation of drives.
IntelliSeek™ - Calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.
Multi-axis shock sensor - Automatically detects the subtlest shock events and compensates to protect the data.
RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - Prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
Third generation dynamic fly height - Each read-write head’s fly height is adjusted in real time for optimum reliability.
NoTouch™ ramp load technology - The recording head never touches the disk media ensuring significantly less wear to the recording head and media as well as better drive protection in transit.
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) - WD RE3 drives utilize PMR technology to achieve even greater areal density, reliability, and design margin.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Dirk Meyer confirms
Dirk Mayer, President and Chief Operating Officer of AMD, has said to AMD's investors at its last week’s conference call that the new CPU architecture codenamed Bulldozer will debut in 45nm; and according to current agenda this is supposed to happen in 2009.
From what we know AMD will sample Bulldozer at late 2009, but the production parts are planned for 32nm. There is a possibility that AMD will launch Bulldozer in 45nm, but it will try to quickly move to 32nm.
AMD didn’t even start its 45nm production, and it has to heavily plan to go to 32nm. If you have one and a half fabs, their transitions tend to become real headache.
Currently, fab 36 produces all the Athlon, Phenom, Sempron and Turion CPUs you can buy, and Fab 38 is quickly coming to the rescue.
According to several sources close to the hard drive industry, Western Digital is working on a 20,000 RPM Raptor hard drive to combat the increasing pressure from SSD manufacturers.
Alot of people out here in Taipei about this industry’s direction and one thing is becoming clear: SSDs are going to be affordable in the next 12 to 18 months.
Because of this, hard drive manufacturers are starting to get a little worried about what marketshare SSDs might eventually take away from them—especially where performance is more of a concern than storage capacity.
And that’s exactly what Western Digital’s Raptor line is all about.
The new drive will be very similar to the recently-released VelociRaptor, in that it’ll be a 2.5in drive with a custom 3.5in housing built around it. Details are incredibly light at this stage, given that the product is still in development, and we don’t even have a release time frame at the moment.
Sources said that the drive will be ‘silent’ – that’s the last thing I would have expected from a drive with platters spinning at 20,000 RPM. Western Digital is apparently working on silencing the beast by improving the housing technology, which will now not just act as a heatsink, but also as a noise cancelling device. We’d also hope that the drive enclosure has some vibration dampening technology as well, because that’s also likely to be a problem given the high spindle speeds.
|Key FeaturesKiller Speed - Built on the performance bloodlines of WD Raptor, these 10,000 RPM drives, with SATA 3 Gb/s interface, and 16 MB cache deliver mind-bending performance. Not only are they 35 percent faster than the previous generation WD Raptor drives, but they also beat out all other competitors in the field.
Rock-solid Reliability - Designed and manufactured to mission-critical enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.4 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high capacity SATA drive.
Double the Capacity -SState-of-the-art technology packs twice the capacity per disk compared to its older brother WD Raptor resulting in 300 GB of high-performance storage space in this enterprise-class 2.5-inch drive. (Not compatible with notebook computers)
IcePack™ Mounting Frame - The 2.5-inch WD VelociRaptor is enclosed in a 3.5-inch enterprise-class mounting frame with a built-in heat sink that keeps this powerful little drive extra cool when installed in high-performance desktop chassis.
Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) - Optimizes operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multi-drive chassis.
SecurePark™ - Parks the recording heads off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off. This ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface resulting in improved long-term reliability and increased drive protection when the chassis is moved.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
|Linksys RV016 16-Port VPN Router |
The Linksys 10/100 16-Port VPN Router is an advanced Internet-sharing network solution for your small business needs. Like any router, it lets multiple computers in your office share an Internet connection, but the 16 ports on this Router feature unprecedented versatility. Two are dedicated Internet ports that let you connect a second Internet line as a backup to ensure that you're never disconnected. Or, you can use both Internet ports at the same time, and let the router balance your office's requirements between them for maximum bandwidth efficiency.
|The Virtual Private Network (VPN) capability creates encrypted "tunnels" through the Internet, allowing up to 50 remote office or traveling users to securely connect into your office network from off-site. Users connecting through a VPN tunnel are attached to your company's network -- with secure access to files, e-mail, and your intranet -- just as if they were in the building. You can also use the VPN capability to allow users on your small office network to securely connect out to a corporate network. |
Not enough? Up to five of the thirteen full-duplex switched 10/100 Ethernet ports can be reconfigured as Internet ports, for an up to seven-port failover or load balanced redundancy! Finally, a dedicated DMZ port gives you a publicly accessible channel so you can set up a web or FTP server, unimpeded by the powerful security features of the Router. You can find this router as low as $419.99.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
|Starting at $75,000, the Nexus 7000 will ship in the second quarter with a new advanced operating system, the Nexus Operating System (NX-OS), said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president of Cisco's data center, switching and services unit.
Cisco also announced a new Trusted Security architecture and an expansion to the Catalyst family of switches, which have helped the company corral 70% of the global switching market.
More than 1,500 patents were used in creating the Nexus platform, which cost Cisco more than $1 billion in research and development, Ullal said in an interview.
The Nexus 7000 will deliver up to 15Tbit/sec. of switching capacity in a single chassis, with 512 ports for 10Gbit/sec. Ethernet, she said. In the future, Cisco will deliver 40Gbit/sec. and 100Gbit/sec. ports.
|Nexus 7000 also incorporates Cisco Trusted Security for the first time to integrate identity- and role-based security across data centers. Also, a new Data Center Network Manager is designed to give administrators visual information that will improve efficiency and awareness. |
Cisco also unveiled a 16-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module for the Catalyst 6500 Series Switch, which can help reduce power consumption by up to 50% per port, Cisco said. Pricing was not disclosed; the new module ships in the second quarter. "Learn More"
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Advanced Micro Devices will launch an unlocked "Black" edition of its Phenom processor later this quarter, and the company disclosed the approximate pricing of Phenom chips the company will launch in the first quarter of 2008.
In an email, an AMD representative confirmed that the 2.6-GHz AMD Phenom 9900 will be launched in the first quarter 2008 at under $350 in 1,000-unit lots. A 2.4-GHz 9700, which has already begun appearing on e-tailer sites for preorders, will be priced below $300, in the same quantity.
AMD did not disclose the price of the 2.3-GHz "Black" Phenom that it plans to release this quarter.
AMD has struggled to regain its performance lead against Intel that it enjoyed during the heyday of the Athlon X2. The discrepancy between price, performance, and the revenue needed to fund future generations of products have left some to speculate if the company is doomed.
Topping the P35 Express won't be easy, but Intel has a few tricks up its sleeve with the X38. Chief among them is next-gen PCI Express 2.0 connectivity—a first for desktop chipsets—with enough lanes for dual-x16 CrossFire configurations. As is customary for its high-end chipsets, Intel has also rolled out memory controller optimizations that promise faster performance and support for higher DDR3 memory speeds.
To find out whether these perks are enough to elevate the X38 Express over its blue-collar P35 sibling, we've run the first X38 boards from Asus and Gigabyte through a relentless series of memory controller, application, and peripheral performance tests. Read on to see how the X38 fares and what you can expect from the first wave of motherboards based on this new chipset. Full Article Here
The Maximus Extreme also adopts the Intel X38/ICH9R chipset and supports cutting-edge DDR3 dual channel memory and CrossFire Technology - making it the Overclocker and Gamer´s first and best choice.
- Intel® Quad-core CPU Ready
- Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo Ready
- Intel® X38/ICH9R
- Dual-channel DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066
- Fusion Block System
- Extreme Tweaker
- SupremeFX II
- LCD Poster
- CPU Level Up
45 nm CPU ready
Intel® X38 Express
Dual DDR2 1066/800
SATA 3G RAID
7.1 CH HD Audio
Solid State Capacitors - For Best Stability
New Generation Digital PWM - Cool and statble
Onboard On/Off & Reset Buttons
External CCMOS Button
Extendor Silent Dual Pipe Cooling
2 x eSATA - Fast & fiexible
PCI-E 2.0 with CrossFire
Intel® X38 + ICH9R Chipset
Supports Intel® Core 2™ multi-core and upcoming 45nm processors
Support for 1600 MHz FSB.
Dual DDR3 1600 memory with Intel® XMP , featuring faster speeds and performance tuning.
High quality CPU power module with Ferrite Core Chokes, Lower RDS (on) MOSFETs and Lower ESR Solid Capacitors.
Re-engineered Thermal Design featuring All Copper Silent-Pipe and Crazy Cool.
Japanese manufactured SMD All Solid Capacitor motherboard design.
Supports CrossFire™ with Dual PCI-E 2.0 x16 graphics for extreme gaming performance.
Features SATA 3Gb/s with Quad eSATA 2 interface .
ALC889A with DTS Connect enables high quality Full Rate Lossless Audio and support for both Blu-ray and HD DVD.
Quad BIOS for an extended level of protection.
Quad-Triple Phase Power Design for ultimate system stability.
Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN with Teaming functionality.
Certified for Microsoft VISTA™ systems.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Phoenix Technologies Ltd., the world’s leading BIOS provider, has unveiled a new head turning product called HyperSpace. No, it is not a new warp drive to allow Han Solo to break his record setting spice run from Kessel to Corellia. It is a virtualization product that claims to provide a faster, more secure, and battery efficient alternative to Microsoft Windows.
HyperSpace is a layer of BIOS embedded software that makes it possible to instantly run applications independently of Windows. These “instant-on” applications will be truncated versions of open-source programs and that are available before, during, and after Windows boot up and shut down.
Phoenix is targeting the portable PC market and seeks to capitalize on what critics say are the major faults of Windows: its size, speed, inefficiency, and poor security. HyperSpace allows users to bypass the boot up process and instantly access their favorite applications, such as internet browsers, media players, word processors, and the like. It also promises to conserve battery life since Vista is notoriously power intensive.
HyperSpace will add value to PC vendors by allowing them to remotely trouble shoot and restore customers’ computers. It also promises to deliver a layer of embedded security that is stronger than the current standards.
The product is based on a form of virtualization, called a hypervisor, that allows a machine to simultaneously run multiple operating systems. Phoenix calls this HyperCore, and it is essentially a paired down hypervisor that uses a Zoned Virtual Machine Monitor (ZVMM) to run their core applications along side Windows. Since HyperSpace is written into the BIOS firmware, its code is essentially secret and more secure argues Woody Hobbs, Phoenix CEO, in an interview with ComputerWorld.
In the same conversation, Hobbs said Phoenix Technologies is working with unnamed PC vendors to make HyperSpace enabled computers available by the second quarter of 2008. Phoenix has partnered with both Intel and AMD to take advantage of their processors’ built-in virtualization capabilities. HyperSpace will be compatible with Intel’s Core 2 Duo, vPro, and Centrino processors.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
There have been many questions about timing issues with AMD dual core. It seems that AMD is certainly working to address many of them with XP and 2003 server with these tools offered at the AMD site. Learn More
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Barcelona: The code name given to AMD's upcoming Quad-Core Opteron processors, made using a 65-nanometer (nm) process. AMD plans to ship the first Barcelona chips next month, with the first servers based on the processors appearing on the market in September.
Bobcat: Code name for a future low-power CPU architecture for mobile devices such as ultramobile PCs and consumer electronics products. Will consume from 1 watt to 10 watts of power. Due in 2009.
Bulldozer: Code name for a CPU core designed for servers and clients that consumes from 10 watts to 100 watts of power. Set for release in 2009.
Eagle: Code name for an upcoming notebook chip package based on the Falcon processor. To ship in 2009.
Falcon: Code name for the first Fusion chip that will combine a CPU and graphics processor. Designed for laptops, Falcon will offer up to four Bulldozer cores. Due to ship in 2009.
Fusion: The code name for AMD processors that combine multiple components with the aim of lowering power consumption and improving performance. The first Fusion chips, called Falcon, will ship in 2009.
Griffin: Code name for an upcoming dual-core mobile processor. To ship in 2008.
Hardcastle: The code name given to upcoming chip packages designed for business users, including Perseus and Puma.
Leo: Code name for a desktop chip package based on the 45nm Phenom processor, which will offer 6MB of cache. Set for release in 2008.
Perseus: Upcoming desktop chip package designed for business users. To ship in 2008.
Phenom: The brand name for AMD's quad-core desktop processors, which are slated to start shipping during the fourth quarter of 2007.
Puma: Chip package for laptops based on the Griffin processor. To debut in 2008.
Ridgeback: Code name for AMD's 45nm desktop processors. Will include 6MB of cache. To be released in mid-2008.
Monday, July 30, 2007
High-Performance, Low-Power Storage Device for Mobile PCs is Light, Rugged and Reliable
Samsung's Solid-State Drive (SSD) is an advanced NAND flash-based replacement for traditional hard disk drives, leveraging the company's longtime leadership in memory technology. This next-generation solution offers several advantages over rotating magnetic media such as significantly lower power consumption, remarkable ruggedness, high reliability, less weight and outstanding performance.
Why Samsung chose an ATA-66 interface rather than ATA-100 or ATA-133 is rather bizarre, but seeing as there is no cache implemented on the SSD and the total read speed is limited to just under ATA-66, it is likely the two have just been matched together. A SATA version at 150MBit/s probably won’t actually offer any extra performance, just a more common interface. At a current street price of 595.00 the 1 terrabyte disk looks more attractive for the desktop. Though there is something to be said for using this in a laptop.
That being said the performance is almost always better than a 7200RPM hard drive, with certain aspects like boot times significantly so. However, for a few seconds less wait would you shell out six times more money for five times less space? Only those people who desire the latest $1000 CPUs and a couple of 8800 Ultras will be seriously considering an SSD, of which a couple Raid 0 Raptors might offer a more attractive proposition, certainly so from a bragging rights perspective. Though we get closer every year it just is not ready for prime time.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Now that Intel has lowered the price of its slowest quad-core processor to around £160 (inc. VAT), AMD has already got a price war on its hands even before its quad-core processors have launched and the chips apparently won’t ship for at least a month after launch. We’re hoping that Phenom’s performance will blow us away and make it worth the wait, but the problem at the moment is that Phenom is essentially an unknown quantity until it’s actually been tested. The question here is whether enthusiasts will be able to resist the lure of Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6600 until Phenom arrives.
If you are dead set on an Intel CPU, obviously the question that I’m sure is on those people’s minds at the moment is whether you should opt for the Q6600 or the E6850, which are both at similar price points. Personally, I would opt for the quad-core processor every time, but that’s because I’m quite a heavy multi-tasker and I often find myself short of processing time on a dual-core processor. I like to be able to continue what I’m doing when I’m running a processor intensive task and since most applications that you’re likely to use benefit from no more than two cores.
Add this to the fact that there are a slew of games coming out in the future that will benefit from quad-cores – Crysis is the first, and from what we’ve heard there are plenty more too. In recent times, games haven’t really benefited from high processor clock speeds because they’re graphics limited rather than CPU limited. This trend is going to continue, but as games engines get more complex, more will need to be done at any given point in time – that’s where quad-core processors will really come into their own.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Jobs begins his presentation by reviewing the "revolutionary" products Apple has introduced. According to Jobs, "every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything…Apple has been fortunate to introduce a few things into the world." Jobs continues by describing the 1984 launch of the Macintosh as an event that "changed the entire computer industry." The same goes for the introduction of the first iPod in 2001, a product that he says "changed the entire music industry."
After laying the groundwork, Jobs builds up to the new device by teasing the audience: "Today, we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary new mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device." Jobs continues to build tension. He repeats the three devices several times then says, "Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device…today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!"
If the Iphone is really revolutionary! I have to ask what about that battery? No replaceable battery?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Solid-state disks (SSDs) are fast becoming popular as drop-in replacements for hard-disk drives but they are not all alike, according to South Korea's Mtron Co. Ltd.
SSDs use flash memory rather than magnetic storage, which means faster reading and writing of data, lower power consumption and zero noise. They've been around for several years although it is only recently, after flash memory chip prices fell, that they have become practical for use in laptop computers.
Major PC makers are starting to offer them as options in some laptop models, but consumers looking to SSDs for a performance boost should pay close attention to the specifications, said Sean Roh, assistant manager of the marketing department at Mtron.
Mtron's 'Multi-Channel Processing on Flash Memory¡± architecture performs astonishing Read: 100MB/second and Write : 80MB/second sustained transfer rate with less than 0.1 millisecond of access time.
Mtron is targeting wide application areas with its high performance Flash SSD, ranging from portable consumer electronic market such as notebook PC, camcorder storage to enterprise / industrial high-end market. Mtron also develops DRM based MMC business with its advanced technology of flash memory control.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
AMD prepares its Phenom FX, Phenom X4 and Phenom X2 lineups for launch
AMD is preparing the launch of its next-generation K10-derivedStars-family single, dual and quad-core processors. The next-generation Stars-family splits into three different brand names – Phenom, Athlon and Sempron. Ringing in the flagship are three Agena FX-based AMD Phenom FX processors. AMD has yet to confirm clock speeds for the three models; however, the latest roadmap reveals ballparks for the processors.
The top-end AMD Phenom FX processor clocks in the 2.4-2.6 GHz speed range. Slotting below the top-end Phenom FX is a 2.2-2.4 GHz model. These two models occupy AMD’s upcoming Socket 1207+ and current Socket 1207 Quad FX platforms. AMD also has a Phenom FX for single-processor customers as well, clocked at 2.4-2.6 GHz.
AMD further differentiates its Phenom FX processors with different Hyper Transport 3.0 clock speeds. The flagship 2.4-2.6 GHz model features a 3.6 GHz HT 3.0 clock speed while the two 2.2-2.4 GHz models have a lower 3.2 GHz HT 3.0 clock. All three models share the same 4x512KB L2 cache and 2MB L3 cache configuration. AMD has yet to determine the TDP of its Phenom FX processors.
Catering towards high-end user are two Socket AM2+ AMD Phenom X4 processors. AMD remains undecided on its model numbers; however, clock speeds on the Agena-based Phenom X4 processors are set. The two AMD Phenom X4 processors clock in at 2.4 GHz and 2.2 GHz. These models share the same 4x512KB L2 cache and 2MB L3 cache configuration as the Phenom FX processors.
HT 3.0 speeds differ on the two models, the 2.4 GHz features a 3.6 GHz HT 3.0 speed while the 2.2 GHz model features a 3.2 GHz HT 3.0 speed. AMD rates the Phenom X4 processors with 89W TDPs. AMD plans to start taking orders for its Phenom FX and Phenom X4 processors in Q3’2007. "Road Map and full article"
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
If you thought the Core micro architecture was a vast change from the Netburst Pentium 4 range, just wait until you get a look at what Nehalem has in store! With AMD ramping up the game as it seeds Fusion and other technologies to integrate more into the CPU core, we all wondered how Intel was going to react.
While the expressed details are still to be confirmed, we have learned that there are a lot of changes in store for Intel's upcoming platform, and that perhaps the ideas and methods adopted by the green camp weren’t so bad after all.
Firstly Nehalem will arrive in Q208 and is being designed from the ground up on the 45nm process. Intel has confirmed it will contain a variant of Hyper-Threading technology previously seen on the Pentium 4 CPUs, although it won’t be a hacked on addition in response to expected poor IPC and long pipeline, like it was in the Netburst days. SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading) is being optimised to make use of the many cores and shared cache in a way that “intelligently” uses the available resources.
Intel is aiming to have a scalable performance and core structure including 8+ cores with 16+ threads running. What gets very interesting is that Intel describes Nehalem as having a Multi-Level shared cache architecture, without specifically denouncing something along the lines of the L3-shared cache that AMD’s next generation Barcelona will have.
Integrated memory controller... on an Intel?
Say goodbye to the northbridge, because Nehalem will integrate the memory controller into the CPU core. Intel is finally ready to do what AMD has been doing for years with the K8 architecture - incorporate an on-die memory controller, to lower memory access latencies, reduce power consumption of the whole platform and make designing future motherboards far easier.
This could be be a marketing nightmare for Intel’s PR and the green camp is going to be rolling around the floor in fits of glee at this news, but respect to Intel for ultimately biting the bullet and making the right choice. That said, Intel was in a similar situation when it created the Pentium M and had to convince the market the MHz wasn’t the only performance rating that mattered after years of preaching the contrary – and that turned out to be one of the most successful moves for Intel in recent history.
By combining the architectural power of Core with an incredibly low latency memory controller and some super bandwidth DDR3 we should see massive gains in multi-core applications that are now suddenly freed of the northbridge front side bus (FSB) limitation.
Traditionally, Intel CPUs in a multi-core scenario had to queue and wait for the northbridge to serve commands to the memory, with the scenario getting progressively worse as the latency increases in every CPU you add.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Intel privately shared parts of its roadmap for memory technologies through 2008. Intel’s progress on phase-change memory, PCM or PRAM, will soon be sampled to customers with mass production possible before the end of the year.
Phase-change memory is positioned as a replacement for flash memory, as it has non-volatile characteristics, but is faster and can be scaled to smaller dimensions. Flash memory cells can degrade and become unreliable after as few as 10,000 writes, but PCM is much more resilient at more than 100 million write cycles. For these reasons, Intel believes that phase-change memory could one day replace DRAM.
“The phase-change memory gets pretty close to Nirvana,” said Ed Doller, CTO of Intel’s flash memory group. “It will start to displace some of the RAM in the system.”
For its implementation of phase-change memory, Intel has since 2000 licensed technology from Ovonyx Inc.. The Ovonyx technology uses the properties of chalcogenide glass, the same material found in CD-RW and DVD-RW, which can be switched between crystalline and amorphous states for binary functions.
Every potential PCRAM memory maker thus far licenses Ovonyx technology. According to Ovonyx’s Web site, the first licensee of the technology was Lockheed Martin in 1999, with Intel and STMicroelectronics in the following year. Four years after that, Nanochip signed an agreement. Elpida and Samsung were the next two in 2005, and Qimonda marks the latest with a signing this year.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
SCSI vs SATA
It is a relatively common belief that SCSI, or serial attached SCSI (SAS) in its newest incarnation, is faster than SATA for any and all situations. While this may be true for server usage patterns, and may have been true at one point for desktop applications, it no longer applies.
This is a measurement of a hard drive’s reliability that is often quite misunderstood. The MTBF, or mean time between failures, is a length of time that is achieved by monitoring failure rates for a large number of drives. For example, if drive A has a 600,000-hour MTBF and drive B has a 1.2 million-hour MTBF, don’t assume that drive A will last 68 years and drive B will last 137 years, it just isn’t going to happen.
The term ‘SATA II’ is often used, incorrectly, to indicate that a drive has a 300MB/sec interface. The organisation that penned out the features of the newest SATA standard was named ‘SATA II’ which is where the confusion came from; the name is now changed to SATA-IO in an attempt to stop manufacturers from using incorrect terminology.
Native command queuing, or NCQ, is a feature that has been included in many consumer SATA drives in the last few years. Command queuing is a technology that was introduced in 1994 as TCQ (tagged command queuing) with the SCSI2 standard, so it’s by no means a new development. The technology allows for significant performance improvements when used in server environments by reordering commands sent to the drive, optimising them so that there is as little head movement as possible when servicing the commands.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Windows contains a trap in which quite a few computers seem to get caught sooner or later. The trap was described in a Web article whose link no longer works (and also in another one mentioned below):
PIO mode is enabled by default in the following situations:
For repeated DMA errors. Windows XP will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more that six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.
In this case, the user cannot turn on DMA for this device. The only option for the user who wants to enable DMA mode is to uninstall and reinstall the device.
Windows XP downgrades the Ultra DMA transfer mode after receiving more than six CRC errors. Whenever possible, the operating system will step down one UDMA mode at a time (from UDMA mode 4 to UDMA mode 3, and so on).
If you're not interested in the details, but just want to fix this problem as quickly as possible:
- Click here.
- Despite any warnings click on the [Open] or [Execute] buttons as required to execute the file resetdma.vbs. (If you fear that this web site could be malevolent, you can use the manual method instead, which is described below. Or you could download, save, and inspect the program with an editor like the Windows Notepad. It is a script text file.)
- If the program found any ATA channel to reset, reboot your computer and test all drives.
- If the problem is still not solved, set the offending channel to PIO manually, reboot your computer, set the channel back to DMA, and reboot again.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
||Enjoy DVI Supported Playback of HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs
- The first integrated VGA MB supports Playback of HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs with HDCP compliant
- Support Dual-VGA output(DVI-D&RGB) and SurroundView
- Support AMD Socket AM2 CPU
- AMD 690G Chipset
- Integrated ATI Radeon X1250-based graphics
- PCI Express architecture
- Gb LAN
- DDR2 800
- 4*SATA 300MB/s RAID 0,RAID 1, RAID10
Does this mean that everyone running an NVIDIA or even Intel chipset under their hoods should run out and pick up one of these as soon as they hit the shelves? Not really. But anyone looking to put together a great budget desktop or HTPC needs to keep this, and other RS690 motherboards in mind, as they're certainly the best of the crop as far as mATX goes. Plus, with a price range of $70-90, these boards are priced to put pressure on all the competition. To see an amd board that supports raid 10 again is great and in this price range outstanding.
The motherboard supports AMD socket AM2 single-core Athlon 64/ Sempron and dual-core Athlon 64 X2/ Athlon 64 FX processors with 2MB / 1MB / 512KB L2 cache, which is based on 64-bit architecture. It features 2000 / 1600 MT/s HyperTransport Bus, dual-channel un-buffered DDR2 800 memory support and AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology.
Enjoy the extraordinary CPU power from the latest dual-core CPU. The advanced processing technology contains two physical CPU cores with individually dedicated L2 cache to satisfy the rising demand for more powerful processing capability. Asus Info
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
We do not understand why Nvidia seems to have abandoned Raid 10. Intel Matrix Storage Technology on the 965P and Q965 chipset both support raid 10 on board with several motherboards. We again searched to web only to find the misleading, non factual information still is alive and well.
What we cannot understand is the number of people who still seem to think that raid 10 is the same as 0+1. Are these people just picking up incorrect information and pasted it in their site without any research at all? If there is any question what so ever ask and ask.
Yes 1+0 is different from 0+1. We have thought about simply pointing at the sites which are wrong but that is not wise.
What is hard to believe is there are data recovery companies claiming 0/1 is the same as raid 10. It is simple 10 is 1+0 and the mirror comes before the strip.
We could point you at our resources and we will, but since there appears to be endless misleading information. We will simply point at the correct information and let the others run wild.
Monday, March 05, 2007
AMD today introduced its first chipset products to be released only under its own brand rather than ATI's: the integrated 690G and 690V.
The 690G incorporates two independent display controllers and ingratea signalling for DVI, HDMI, TV, CRT and LCD monitors. It also has HDCP support built in. The 690V drops the integrated DVI and HDMI signalling, and features a lower-clocked graphics core.
AMD said the integrated GPUs deliver significant 1,024 x 768 un-antialiased, un-aniso'd graphics benchmark leads over Intel's rival G965 chipset, though it won't be long before Intel has the G965's successor, the G35, out the door in Q2, which may change the scores. AMD may well have the edge on price, however.
Both products incorporate AMD's ATI-inherited SB600 South Bridge chip, which provides ten USB 2.0 ports, four SATA ports and legacy parallel ATA and PCI support. Interestingly, the North Bridges both handle audio. They also provide PCI Express connectivity, both for external graphics cards, as usual, and for other devices.
All this has taken a while coming. The RS690 - the codename under which the 690G was developed - was first roadmapped for a Q2 2006 release alongside the SB600. The SB600 shipped as expected, and while the RS690 appeared in June at least year's Computex show, only now are boards based on the part coming to market. "Read More Here"
Monday, January 22, 2007
Corsair Flash Voyager USB drives are rugged, stylish, compact, reliable, and exceptionally fast, making them ideal for transporting MP3s, digital images, presentations and more. With data transfer rates up to 33MB/s read and 16MB/s write*, Flash Voyager drives are fully Hi-Speed plug and Play with most operating systems and are backward compatible with USB 1.1. Their durable rubber casing is easy to grip and water resistant. These highly portable drives are available in capacities ranging up to 16GB! With the cost for 16 gig around 200.00.
Plus the True Crypt security application lets you create a hidden, password-protected partition on your Flash Voyager.
Monday, December 25, 2006
ReadyBoost is Windows Vista feature that allows the user to plug a USB flash memory device into a USB 2.0 port on the PC and use it as a cache or virtual memory. The advantage being that it is much faster to cache to the USB drive than caching to your hard disk, speeding up your system and enhancing overall performance. Acting as a fast store for frequently accessed data, the average random 4K read from a flash device is about ten times faster than accessing the same information from the hard drive.
Select Use this device. Here you can also set how much space ReadyBoost should reserve for the cache - the most space you reserve, the faster things go. That’s all there is to it! ReadyBoost is working. You can conform this by looking at the contents of the drive through Windows Explorer. If it’s working you’ll see the ReadyBoost file (which as the .sfcache extension).
There are two ways that you can disable ReadyBoost. First, you can just disconnect the drive from the system. This won’t cause any system instabilities or data loss because the flash drive is not used as an exclusive data store, only as a high-speed cache, so the only thing you’ll notice if you remove the drive is a drop in performance. (The only drawback to this is that the ReadyBoost cache file will remain on the drive and take up storage space until you deleted it manually.)
The best way to disable ReadyBoost is to shut it down properly.
- Fire up Windows Explorer and find the drive
- Right click and select Properties
- Click on the ReadyBoost tab
- Select Do not use this device.
- Click OK.
This deletes the cache file for you, once again freeing up space on your flash drive.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
|WD’s RAID Edition hard drives are the world’s most reliable server-class SATA drives in the market. With 1.2 million hours MTBF, 100% duty cycle, 5-year limited warranty, up to 3.0 Gb/s SATA technology, and best-in-class vibration tolerance, WD RE2 drives offer the best combination of superior reliability, high capacity, and optimum performance for enterprise applications. In the $175.00 range it makes this drive one of the best upgrade values world wide. |
Superior reliability - Designed and manufactured to server-class standards to provide best-in-class enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.2 million hours MTBF at 100% duty cycle, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high-capacity drive.
High capacity - Up to 500 GB of storage packed with server-class features and low cost-per-gigabyte value.
Fast - With a next-generation SATA interface, up to 3.0 Gb/s data transfer rate, native command queuing (NCQ), and 16 MB cache, these drives deliver optimum performance.
Low power - Active Power Save™ delivers best-in-class seek mode power consumption through an advanced WD firmware which conserves power in active seek modes without degrading performance.
RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) - A feature pioneered by WD, significantly reduces drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) - Provides best-in-class vibration tolerance by optimizing operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multidrive systems such as rack-mounted servers or network storage.
SecureConnect™ - Provides a 500 percent stronger cable-to-drive connection than first-generation SATA hard drives and cables. Also ensures backward compatibility with legacy SATA cables and backplanes. Note: SecureConnect supports only legacy power and does not allow connection to a SATA power supply.
FlexPower™ - Connector technology that accepts power from eitherindustry-standard or new SATA power supplies.
5-year limited warranty
Transcend's 150X SD Cards achieve outstanding data transfer rates, come in a range of capacities and are highly stable and compatible. For high-performance results from your digital devices Transcend's SD Cards are the perfect choice. In the $80.00 range it makes a great gift for anyone on your list.
Amazing data transfer rates: Up to 150X speeds (22.5MB/sec)
Supports Error Correcting Code (ECC) to detect and correct errors
Supports In System Programming (ISP) to load firmware
Support power down and sleep modes
Mechanical Write Protection Switch requirements
Manufacturer's Lifetime Warranty.
Size : 32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm (L x W x H)
Op. Voltage : 2.7V~3.6V
Op. Temperature : -25° C(-13° F) to 85° C(185° F)
Durability : 10,000 insertion/removal cycles
Weight : 2g
Friday, November 17, 2006
AMD is expected to release its 65nm products soon. This transition uses AMD’s new core naming scheme. While AMD has typically named its processor cores after cities, the new naming scheme uses star names. While Stars family processors use the HyperTransport 3.0 protocol, it will be backwards compatible with HyperTransport 1.0 systems.
HyperTransport 3.0 is expected to provide twice the amount of bandwidth between the processor and chipset. It will also allow the processor and internal north bridge to operate at different frequencies as well. With HyperTransport 3.0, the north bridge can operate at 75% of the maximum clock frequency of the processor. AMD roadmaps claim the greater bandwidth of HyperTransport 3.0 is important for PCIe 2.0 and upcoming multi-GPU, integrated graphics and multiprocessor performance.
Stars family processors will use socket AM2+, with the exception of the Agena FX. Nevertheless, Stars family processors will be backwards compatible on socket AM2 motherboards, though performance is sacrificed by falling back to HyperTransport 1.0.
Beginning in Q3’2007 AMD is expected to release its first Stars quad-core processors. The new quad-core processors are based on AMD’s Agena and Agena FX cores. Targeting AMD’s 4x4 platform is the Agena FX core. Agena FX will only be available on Socket 1207+ and offer dual processor functionality. The vanilla Agena core will be available on single processor socket AM2+ platforms.
Agena FX and Agena based processors offer identical features. New to the Agena FX and Agena cores is a shared L3 cache. 2MB of L3 cache will be shared between all four processor cores. The L2 cache will be 2MB as well. Clock frequencies of 2.7 GHz to 2.9 GHz are initially expected. The HyperTransport 3.0 frequency for Agena FX and Agena cores is expected to be clocked at 4000 MHz. Agena FX and Agena core processors will be manufacturing using a 65nm process and carry 125W TDPs. The first Agena FX and Agena based processors are expected to arrive in Q3’2007.
AMD will be releasing new Kuma core dual-core processors in Q3’07 as well. The new Kuma core processors feature HyperTransport 3.0 clocked at 4000 MHz, 1MB of L2 cache and 2MB of shared L3 cache. Kuma processors are expected to arrive in 2.0 GHz to 2.9 GHz frequencies for socket AM2+. TDP for Kuma core processors is expected at 89W and 65W.
Single-core products won’t be left out of the Stars family either. AMD will release single-core Rana and Spica cores towards the end of 2007. Rana core processors will be replacing Orleans and Lima Athlon 64 single-core processors while Spica will be replacing single-core Venice Athlon 64 and Manilla Sempron processors. AMD’s roadmap doesn’t reveal too much on Rana and Spica. Nevertheless, Rana and Spica will feature HyperTransport 3.0 and socket AM2+ compatibility.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that its three solid state disk (SSD) drives have been officially recognized by Microsoft Corporation as fully qualified Windows-compatible peripherals.
After thorough testing by its Windows Hardware Qualification Lab (WHQL), Microsoft has validated that Samsung SSDs meet all of the requirements for storage media in a Windows operating environment.
"Microsoft's certification of Samsung's SSDs provides designers with the added assurance of full compatibility in a demanding Windows environment, with our SSDs adding a strong dose of speed, reliability and power savings." said Jon Kang, senior vice president of Technical Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor.
Samsung's SSDs also markedly enhance system performance. The SSDs have a data read speed of 57MB/s and data write speed of 32MB/s, more than double the performance levels of a 1.8-inch HDD. Moreover, the SSDs provide a performance boost of up to 50 times that of a 1.8 HDD when servicing small, random data "read" requests. Such faster speeds shorten application program operating time as well as system boot time.
When asked about the reliability of NAND-based hard drives, Barnetson had no problem shrugging off fears of write corruption of failure. "Samsung's solid-state devices have a MTBF of approximately 1 to 2 million hours." Typical disk-based hard drives have a mean-time between failures of approximately 100,000 to 200,000 hours. Since there are no moving parts, the only real point of failure is for something to come unsoldered or a problem with the physical bit during a write.
Obviously, write-errors are a huge concern for those who have used flash products in the past. Only a few years ago the highest-end flash media was only useable for 1,000 or so writes. At that point the physical bits would "burnout" and could no longer be flipped. Today's single-level cell (SLC, memory that stores one bit per cell) is rated in excess of 100,000 writes before burnout. Multi-level cell flash, memory that stores multiple bits per cell, is significantly cheaper but even then is still rated at over 10,000 writes before burnout.
Is 10,000 writes enough? Absolutely, assures Barnetson. Samsung memory uses a technique called "wear leveling" to distribute the writes on a media through as many groups of cells as possible. The idea behind wear leveling is that all of the cells have approximately the same amount of writes to them, maximizing the life of the device. Consider a typical computer that writes 120 megabytes per hour to the hard drive. On a 32GB solid-state NAND drive, wear leveling would distribute this data over the entire drive -- it would take 267 hours to fill the device once. Even on a multi-cell flash device, at this rate it would take no less than 150 years to burnout all the bits on the SSD. Single-cell drives are capable of ten times as many writes.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
- 36 pixel shader processors
- 8 vertex shader processors
- Up to 256-bit 8 channel GDDR3 memory interface
- Native PCI Express® x16 bus interface
- Plug-and-play (native) CrossFire™
- Shader Technology
- Support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 programmable vertex and pixel shaders in hardware.
- Shader Model 3.0 vertex and pixel shader support:
- Complete feature set also supported in OpenGL® 2.0
- Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering
- 2x/4x/6x Anti-Aliasing modes:
- Lossless Color Compression (up to 6:1) at all resolutions, up to and including widescreen HDTV
- 2x/4x/8x/16x Anisotropic Filtering modes:
- Improved rendering with higher subpixel precision and LOD computation levels
- 3Dc+™ — Advanced Texture Compression
- High quality 4:1 compression for normal maps and luminance maps
- Works with any single-channel or two-channel data format
- Ring Bus Memory Controller
- Programmable arbitration logic maximizes memory efficiency, software upgradeable
- New fully associative texture, color, and Z cache design
- Hierarchical Z-Buffer with Early Z Test
- Lossless Z-Buffer Compression (up to 48:1)
- Fast Z-Buffer Clear
- Z Cache optimized for real-time shadow rendering
- Optimized for performance at high display resolutions, up to and including widescreen HDTV
- Avivo™ Video and Display Engine
- New advanced video capabilities, including high fidelity gamma, color correction and scaling
- Dual independent display controllers that support true 30 bits per pixel throughout the display pipe
- Full symmetry on both heads
- Each display interface supports display resolutions beyond 2560x1600
- Advanced DVI capabilities, including 10-bit, 16-bit HDR output
- YPrPb component output for direct drive of HDTV displays
- Seamless integration of pixel shaders with video in real time
- MPEG1/2/4 decode and encode acceleration:
- DXVA support
- All-format DTV/HDTV decoding
- Adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing and frame rate conversion (temporal filtering)
- Multi-GPU technology
- Four modes of operation:
- Native CrossFire support simplifies setup by requiring no dedicated slave or master hardware
- 24-bit CrossFire connection enables high resolutions and refresh rates
- Supports the broadest range of platforms for both Intel and AMD
Finally, ATI has caught up with NVIDIA. It’s been a long time coming, but with Radeon X1950 Pro, virtually all of our concerns with previous CrossFire implementations are wiped off the slate. All that you need to get Radeon X1950 Pro CrossFire running is a pair of Radeon X1950 Pro cards, a pair of CrossFire connectors that look incredibly similar to NVIDIA’s own SLI connector (albeit a little wider) and a motherboard capable of running CrossFire.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Viruses, malicious code, spyware and other security threats may become a past worry says Intel. According to Intel, its R&D team is hard at work on a technology called Trusted Execution Technology -- previously called LaGrande. Abbreviated as TXT, Intel's Trusted Execution Technology will use hardware keys and subsystems to control what part of a computer's resources can be accessed and who or what will be granted or denied access.
Going beyond the NX bit, or the Non-execution bit that is currently enabled inside recent processors from both AMD and Intel, TXT will bring a whole new dimension of security to PCs. In fact, TXT will also be able to work in a virtualized environment on systems with Intel's VT technology. Guest operating systems will be able to take advantage of features on a TXT-enabled platform.
Starting from the use of more advanced Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips and adding new hardware extensions to both processors and chipsets, TXT can perform the following:
Protected Execution: This feature allows an application that has the ability to execute in an isolated environment, to be shielded from other software running on the same platform. No other software may monitor or compromise the data or the application in the protected environment. Plus, each application running in PE mode has its own physically dedicated resources from both the processor and system chipset.
Sealed Storage: The new advanced TPM chips are able to store and encrypt keys in hardware. Only the same system that the TPM is integrated into can decrypt the keys. Any attempts at copying data out of the TPM will result in scrambling.
Protected Input: Intel is developing mechanisms that will prevent unauthorized monitoring of human input devices such as mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. Not only will traditional input devices be encrypted, but data traversing the USB bus will also be encrypted too.
Protected Graphics: applications that are running in the PE environment will have its graphics path encrypted. Data being sent to a graphics card's frame buffer from an application will be encrypted and cannot be observed by unauthorized code. For example, a particular notice box popping up can be encrypted, while other windows remain unprotected.
Protected Launch: this part of TXT will control and protect critical parts of the operating system and other system related components from being compromised during launch. OS kernel components for example are protected during and after launch.
According to Intel:
The hardware-rooted security enables the ability to increase the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information from software-based attacks, protect sensitive information without compromising the usability of a platform, and deliver increased security in platform-level solutions through measurement and protection capabilities. It provides a general-purpose, safer computing environment capable of running a wide variety of operating systems.
Intel will also provide a mechanism called Attestation for TXT, which is a self-monitoring component that ensures that the TXT system was enabled properly. Attestation will provide monitoring, as well as applications running in protected space.
Processors will have split execution spaces called partitions, similar to the concept of partitions on a hard drive. These partitions can be labeled as protected or non-protected. Standard partitions, those that are not protected, are now referred to as "legacy" partitions. A TXT-enabled processor will be able to have both a legacy and protected partition coexist together. Chipsets will also be designed with TXT technology. According to Intel, every part of a TXT-enabled platform will have the technology built in so that every pathway that is traversed by data will be able to offer a high level of security. With TXT, Intel is taking a no-compromise approach to securing data. All components of a system will be protected:
- Processor execution memory
- Processor event handling
- System memory
- Memory and chipset paths
- Storage subsystems
- Human input devices
- Graphics output
Currently close to being finished, Intel will demonstrate the first working implementations of TXT technology sometime in 2007 on Intel vPro platforms. The technology will make an appearance in business platforms first, before making a showing on consumer desktops. Major OEMs have begun sampling TXT-based platforms from Intel already this year.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
With the use of RAID 6 double-parity large storage arrays growing, Applied Micro Circuits has launched its high-performance 3ware 9650SE SATA II RAID controller family. See our Tutor for more about Raid 6.
||AMCC’s 3ware 9650SE SATA II hardware RAID controllers deliver industry-leading performance, robust fault tolerance,and multi-terabyte capacities.
Continuing AMCC’s RAID 5 performance leadership, the3ware 9650SE fuels a new breed of speed for red hot RAID 6 performance, delivering over 700MB/s RAID 6 readsand 600MB/s RAID 6 writes.
Supported RAID levels include 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, Single Disk and JBOD and with models ranging from two to 24 ports,it is the broadest family of PCI Express-to-SATA II RAID controllers available.
All models except the 24 port will be available Nov. 1 through AMCC's worldwide network of distributors, integrators and VARs. The 24-port model will be available in early 2007. Prices for the 4-port configuration start at $395 and range to $995 for the 16-port model.
"The simultaneous parity calculation and improved RAID architecture is what sets the controller apart and is what drives its record-setting performance," said Scott Cleland, director of marketing for AMCC. By calculating the parity simultaneously, AMCC dramatically reduces the RAID 6 write penalty common among other RAID designs, resulting in sustained throughput for the 9650SE more than twice the speed of competing RAID 6 controllers.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Chipset Manufacturer NVIDIA
GPU Geforce 6800XT
Core clock 350MHz
Memory Clock 1000MHz
Memory Size 256MB
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Type GDDR3
XFX PVT42KVDE3 Geforce 6800XT 256MB AGP 4X/8X Video Card
NVIDIA UltraShadow II Technology
64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending
NVIDIA CineFX 3.0 Technology
High-Speed GDDR3 Memory Interface
NVIDIA PureVideo Technology
Adaptable Programmable Video Processor
Intellisample 3.0 Technology
Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
nView Multi-Display Technology
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0 Technology
High-Definition MPEG-2 Hardware Acceleration
High-Quality Real-Time Video Recording
Advanced Spatial Temporal De-interlacing
Sunday, October 15, 2006
|Memory Clock 1.32 GHz
Clock rate 450 MHz
Chipset GeForce 7900 GS
Memory 256 MB
Bus Type PCI-E
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Bus 256 bit
TV Out , Dual DVI Out , HDTV
ready , SLI ready
Memory Interface 256 bit
Memory Bandwidth 42.2 GB/sec
Fill Rate 9 Billion Pixels/sec
Vertices Per Second 822.5 Million
Pixels per Clock (peak) 20
Graphics Core GeForce 7900 GS
|A 256-bit memory interface and fast
GDDR3 memory enable blazing graphics performance with the quality set to
max so you don’t have to choose between frame rates and image quality.
Need a break from gaming? The GeForce 7900 GPU also delivers smooth,
high-definition video playback and crisp picture quality thanks to its
advanced NVIDIA PureVideo technology. If you are searching for an
extreme HD gaming and video experience on the PC, this is a great pick
under $200.00 US.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
With its higher performance and reduced power, Intel Core microarchitecture is the intel road map they are banking the farm on. While one can spend day's reading the spin on their roadmap since hearing that Intel plans to give a price break which suggests their intent to give 4 cores for the price or two.
Intel plans future quad-core models that consume less power. In the first quarter of 2007, Intel will release mainstream Kentsfield chips, called Core 2 Quad, that consume 105 watts while a gaming version known as "Core 2 Extreme" will soon be shipped to OEMs.
Hoping to push ahead of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp. will bring its quad-core chips to market in a new line of Hewlett-Packard Co. workstations to be introduced on Nov. 13. HP has sent out invitations to the event but did not offer any specifics on exact models and prices. The computers will probably use Intel's planned Xeon 5300 chip, and are designed to run high-end applications like seismic analysis and visualization software from Autodesk Inc.
The launch would allow Intel to bring quad-core processors to market before AMD, a crucial win in a year when Intel has made as many headlines for its layoffs and missed earnings targets as for its technology.
AMD plans to release its own quad-core chips in the middle of 2007 and claims that its monolithic design is superior to Intel's plan, which essentially glues two dual-cores chips together. But without having any hardware to test, analysts are divided on whether this detail will significantly affect the chips' performance.
AMD claims to have the advantage in quad-core by using a design superior to Intel's, "which essentially glues two dual-core chips together," he wrote. Without hardware to run tests on and make comparisons, however, it's impossible to know which design performs better.
While we are hearing plenty of information about Kentsfield release in November it will be pricey. The first intel quad-core is specifically aimed at gamers and content creators, which not only indicates a very limited availability but also the usual high tray price ($1000) of the Extreme processor series. Intel will follow up with a quad-core mainstream processor in Q1 of next year. The "Core 2 Quad" will support Intel's revenue of the Core 2 processor series on the higher-end mainstream.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
- Supports Intel® Core™2 Extreme Quad-Core / Core™2 Duo processor
- First Quad BIOS solution for Multiple protection
- Supports new generation Microsoft OS Windows VISTA
- Industry's first All-Solid capacitor motherboard design
- Unique 0dB cooling design with Crazy Cool and Silent-Pipe
- Quad Triple phase power design for ultimate system stability
- Dual PCI-E graphics interface for extreme gaming performance
- Supports high performance Dual Channel DDR2 800 memory
- Features SATA 3Gb/s with Quad eSATA 2 interface
- Home theater quality 8-channel High Definition Audio
- Supports both Dolby and DTS high quality audio functions.
- Optimized PCI-E Gigabit LAN and IEEE 1394 connection
- Ready for next generation Quad Core processor
Seagate Technology announced today that it will ship a 1.5TB version of its Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo Edition external hard disk drive. The new drive ships this month for $799.99.
The Onetouch III Turbo Edition is preformatted for Macintosh users and comes with FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and Universal Serial Bus 2.0 interfaces. It measures 5.4 by 3.9 by 8.5 in. Inside the drive enclosure are two 750GB hard disk drive mechanisms configured together in a RAID array for a total capacity of 1.5TB. The "OneTouch" refers to the system's ability to back up a Mac's internal hard drive by pressing a button that activates software included with the drive.
Seagate also makes Maxtor OneTouch III systems in other capacities and configurations, including "Mini Editions" for portable users.
Seagate has also enhanced the Maxtor Shared Storage II line of network-attached storage products with smaller systems. Already available in 1TB capacity for $799.99, the Shared Storage II line now comes in single-drive 320GB and 500GB capacities for $349.99 and $449.99, respectively.
The Shared Storage II devices incorporate a single 10/100/1000 RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 ports for printer sharing, storage, expansion or off-site data rotation. The drive includes software to enable Mac and PC users to stream digital media and back up their own local files.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Intel plans to essentially offer two cores for free when it begins rolling out quad-core Xeon 5300 server processors in November. By offering quad-core chips, which contain four processor cores each, for roughly the same price as two-core versions, Intel expects its latest semiconductors will rapidly proliferate in the server space, company executives said here at the Intel Developer Forum on Sept. 26.
Intel executives said they were confident in the new quad-core Xeon chips' design and capabilities. But in order to speed their introduction, the chip maker will tout the chips' performance—Xeon 5300 chips will offer as much as a 50 percent increase in performance versus today's dual-core Xeon 5100s—along with their ability to drop into existing server platforms and their capability to match current power consumption levels, Intel executives said.
Intel's first Xeon 5300 chips will fit into an 80-watt power envelope—the same as dual-core Xeon 5100—while Intel also will offer a 120-watt performance version of the chip. Xeon 5300s will come with either a 1,066MHz or 1,333MHz front-side bus, which shuttles data to and from the chips.
During the first quarter of 2007, Intel will add a 50-watt quad-core Xeon 5300 chip for low-power applications. Still, Intel had to compromise to bring out the Xeon 5300, also known by the code name Clovertown, quickly. The company will create the quad chips by combining a pair of dual-core Woodcrest or Xeon 5100 chips using special packaging. By lowering the clock speed slightly, which cuts down on power consumption and heat production, the chip maker can fit the two dual-core processors into one package.
With 10 Gigabit Ethernet prices coming down and data center performance requirements going up, Cisco Systems is moving to grab broader market acceptance for its high-speed networking technology.
On Sept. 25, Cisco launched a higher-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet module for its Catalyst 6500 that doubles the number of ports, increases performance by 60 percent and reduces the cost per port for its Catalyst 10 Gigabit Ethernet offering by about 30 percent.
Along with the new eight-port, 10 Gigabit Ethernet module, Cisco added the Catalyst Blade Switch 3040 for Fujitsu Siemens Computer servers and created a community interface for users who develop automation scripts based on the Cisco IOS (Internetworking Operating System) Embedded Event Manager to allow the users to share scripts with each other.
To attract data center operators to its switching platforms, Cisco emphasized improved port densities for better scalability, better manageability and greater resiliency, according to Marie Hattar, senior director of network systems marketing at Cisco, in San Jose, Calif.
And although the new module can be over-subscribed, Cisco sought to ensure better availability under heavy loads by increasing the buffer size of the module from 16MB per port to 200MB per port.
It's been primarily a Force10/Foundry race in high-performance computing and data center networking. Cisco has managed to sell product in there as a result of its brand, but they haven't had a competitive product until now.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Intel made an official announcement on its response to AMD's Torrenza technology. AMD made waves earlier this year when it announced that it would open up its Opteron platform to the industry, allowing other manufacturers to create and develop add-in components that communicate directly with the system processor and memory. Going beyond that, AMD also mentioned that Torrenza would allow companies to create accelerators or co-processors that could be used directly in an Opteron socket.
Intel said that like AMD, it also plans to open up its chipset platform technology. The move would be an unprecedented move for Intel, as it has been guarding its platform for the longest time. Intel's primary goal is to introduce an alternative to AMD's HyperTransport. The technology would allow devices to communicate on a much faster pathway than PCI Express alone could muster. Interfacing directly with the front-side bus (FSB), devices will be able to communicate directly to the processor and or other accelerators. Non-Intel chips will be able to plug into a Xeon socket for example, and work parallel to the main processor or processors.
With the introduction of an open FSB platform, Intel will also be making a move towards integrating memory controllers directly onto processors. This is something that AMD has been doing for several years with the original Opteron processor. previously reported that a number of large companies were already partnering with AMD to create accelerator and other co-processors. The decision to open up its platform has propelled AMD into the enterprise market in very large way. It will be interesting to see what Intel's move into an open space will do for the industry.
Currently, the technology is expected to be introduced sometime in the next one to one and a half years. Some analysts speculate that Intel will show off an open FSB specification in 2008 on Itanium, and on the Xeon sometime in 2009. Reports say that Intel is currently working with several companies to create co-processors -- they too would be able to plug directly into a Xeon or Itanium socket.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Intel CEO Paul Otellini was not shy to talk about the upcoming 45nm process nodes the company has planned for the second half of 2007. At the center of this new process evolution is the Fab D1D in Hillsboro, Oregon. Intel's D1D Fab in Oregon is already producing test wafers, and will be the first CPU facility at Intel to ship 45nm silicon. The D1D facility is a lean 220,000 square feet and Intel's first 45nm Fab.
However, Intel has two more 45nm fabs coming online within the next 18 months. Intel Fab 32 in Arizona is expected to come online in late 2007. A third 45nm fab, dubbed Fab 28 in Israel, is coming online in 2008.
Going from 65nm to 45nm is very prominent on Intel's roadmap. Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that Intel currently has 15 45nm products in development, and designs for several of them will be completed next year. Until 2008 however, 65nm technology will still be the most prominent technology. Intel said that its first 45nm processor will be Nehalem, which will go into production sometime in 2007 and be introduced in 2008.
The move to 45nm will also bring along such features as higher clock speeds, more cores per processor and more cache per processor. Intel is also claiming that 45nm processors will achieve a 300% increase in performance-per-watt.
Otellini outlined that the first 45nm processors from the company would run off the production lines in late 2007, but the actual product family will ship in 2008. The Nehalem product family will ship in 2008 and replace the existing "Core" family of processors shipping today on the 65nm node.
The Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro Q6600 is clocked at 2.4 GHz with a 1066 MHz front-side bus. It’s equipped with 8MB of total L2 cache. Unlike Intel’s Conroe Core 2 Duo processors, the cache configuration of the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 is 2x4MB with each set of dual-cores sharing a single 4MB pool of L2 cache. This is because Kentsfield processors are essentially two Conroe dies fused together to form a single processor—similar to how the original Smithfield Pentium D 800 series was.
Strangely the Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro Q6600 did not support Intel’s Enhanced Speedstep Technology. Whether or not this is a result of an early engineering sample is unknown at the moment. The Core 2 Quadro Q6600 does support a C1E Halt state for decreased power consumption. Speaking of power consumption, Intel has done an excellent job optimizing power consumption for its quad-core Kentsfield.
Power consumption compared to Intel’s current flagship Core 2 Extreme X6800 isn’t too bad at idle with the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 consuming 44 more watts. The higher power consumption is due to the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 lacking Intel’s Enhanced Speedstep Technology that lowers the clock speed of the processor during idle.
Power consumption under a load of 3D Studio Max 8 rendering a complex model with all four cores utilized is quite good. A total of 223 watts was drawn from the wall with the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 under load. This is quite low when compared to the Core 2 Extreme X6800 that draws around 202 watts under the same condition. We were quite surprised Intel has managed to keep power consumption relatively low with four cores.
Overall Intel’s Kentsfield performs as expected. It will scale very well in multi-threaded applications such as 3D Studio Max, Cinebench and other 3D modeling applications or encoding applications. Unfortunately, unless the application is multi-core aware or optimized for multi-threading the performance gains are minimal if not absent. While the move to quad-core hardware may be exciting, software support is still trailing behind. Although Intel positions its quad-core Kentsfield Core 2 processors as a high-end part, the soon to be released Kentsfield Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and Core 2 Quadro Q6600 appear to be a better mid-range workstation part rather than enthusiast gamer part—especially since there’s very little overlap with the Intel Xeon 3200 series.
Intel today announced that it has produced its first teraflop-on-a-chip. The chip, essentially a prototype, was demonstrated when Intel CEO Paul Otellini showed off the wafer during this week's IDF conference opening keynote.
Each of the 80 processors on the wafer contain a die with eighty cores -- 6400 cores in total. Each CPU has more than one terabyte per second of throughput between the CPU cores and the on-die SRAM. Otellini claims that this technology will be available within 5 years, putting it in line with the previously outlined Gesher family expected to ship in 2010.
To put that into perspective, the fastest public supercomputer in 1996 was the ASCI Red which featured over 4,500 compute nodes using 200MHz Pentium Pro processors and was the first computer to break the 1 teraflops barrier.
Each of the individual CPUs runs at 3.1GHz in a very simple configuration. These are far from production-ready processors and are mainly for demonstration purposes. Each processor is also unique in the fact that the packaging is three dimensional. The cache substrate is "stacked" directly underneath the FPUs, thus saving space and latency.
The processors are just one component of Intel's Tera-Scale initiative -- a set of research projects geared to bringing multi-teraflop systems to the masses by 2010. More objectives of this project, including software design, will be announced later during the Intel Developer Forum.
Analog Devices and Creative Labs have made claims that Realtek’s high definition audio solutions do not render EAX or EAX2 audio -- at least not very well. While Realtek’s audio drivers have the proper driver flags to enable EAX and EAX2 in supported games, the listening experience presents a different story. Listening tests demonstrated by Analog Devices and Creative Labs show that Realtek’s high definition audio solutions render EAX and EAX2 incorrectly, removing the 3D positional audio aspects and immersion of EAX and EAX2 completely.
The audible differences are quite noticeable with the Analog Devices solution having immersive audio accuracy with reverb effects that help pinpoint the direction audio is coming from. Channel separation with the audio positioning was particularly noticeable as well. Realtek’s high definition audio solution on the other hand produced a muffled sound with very little channel separation and differentiation. Sound came from all over the place.
Analog Devices and Creative Labs believe this to be a problem for gamers that use onboard audio and not getting the full EAX/EAX2 experience. There’s also an issue with some motherboard reviews that use Rightmark 3D Sound for CPU utilization tests and award the onboard audio solution with the lowest utilization the superior solution when the onboard audio solution isn’t fully rendering EAX/EAX2 audio. Analog Devices and Creative Labs testing show the Realtek high definition onboard audio showing very little CPU utilization in Rightmark 3D Sound’s EAX2 CPU utilization test because it’s not applying any EAX2 effects.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Samsung announced that it has introduced a new type of nonvolatile memory called PRAM or Phase-change Random Access Memory. The new memory technology is currently under heavy research from Samsung, but the company has finally demonstrated a working 512 megabit sample. According to Samsung, PRAM is slated to replace current NOR flash memory technology within the next several years.
PRAM, says Samsung, is much faster than the fastest NOR flash memory. Samsung indicated that PRAM achieves its performance by changing the way it writes and reads to memory. Unlike current NOR flash, PRAM does not have to erase data before writing new data. This alone achieves 30 times the performance of current memory technology said Samsung. Durability and endurance are also a key development for PRAM, allowing products to last at least 10 times longer.
Samsung indicated that PRAM will be a positive forward step for consumer products as well -- lowering prices thanks to new manufacturing techniques. Samsung said that PRAM cells are half the size of NOR flash memory and requires 20 percent fewer manufacturing steps to produce. PRAM will make an introduction into the market sometime in early 2008. According to the press release:
Adoption of PRAM is expected to be especially popular in the future designs of multi-function handsets and for other mobile applications, where faster speeds translate into immediately noticeable boosts in performance. High-density versions will be produced first, starting with 512 Mb.
Researchers at Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara have announced the world's first Hybrid Silicon Laser, or HSL. An HSL is a silicon-based laser emitting device. According to Intel, creating a laser emitting silicon chip is a breakthrough that will propel the world of computers into the light-based transmission era.
Called Indium Phosphide, the material contains properties that allow it to emit light when voltage is applied. Intel researchers were able to integrate Indium Phosphide into traditional silicon chip manufacturing techniques, thereby creating a silicon-Indium Phoshide hybrid chip -- one that could process traditional electrical signals and transmit laser light. The laser light generated by an HSL chip could be used to transmit data and thus power other silicon photonic devices said Intel.
“Silicon Photonics is a critical part of tera-Scale computing as we need the ability to move massive amounts of data on and off these very high performance chips" claimed Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner. Intel said that HSL could bring along terabit-capable transmission processors that are low cost and easy to produce. Computers would be a multitude more powerful than those we use today. The technology however, is still a number of years off.
Currently, silicon chips can detect light, route light and even modulate light said Intel, but the problem is getting silicon chips to produce light. Intel is taking Phoshide lasers commonly used in other industries and bringing along new types of applications. Voltage is first applied to the HSL. The Indium Phosphide element then produces light, which then enters a silicon waveguide to create continuous laser light. Using this technique, Intel also maintains a low cost production of HSL devices. According to Intel:
The hybrid silicon laser is a key enabler for silicon photonics, and will be integrated into silicon photonic chips that could enable the creation of optical “data pipes” carrying terabits of information. These terabit optical connections will be needed to meet the bandwidth and distance requirements of future servers and data centers powered by hundreds of processors.
The application potentials for HSL chips are truly exciting. The industry in general has been talking about laser or light based electronics for a number of years already. With the development from a company like Intel -- and hopefully others like AMD -- the industry is getting the right push it needs. With multi-core processors now the mainstream, computers will only get faster. HSL devices will drive the future of computing said Intel, and things are looking only brighter. Communications technology uses a fair number of laser electronics and as the technology is refined, desktop computer and notebooks will be using the technology in the next few years as the limits of traditional silicon is reached.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Intel is planning to release quad-core Kentsfield based Xeon 3000 seriesprocessors. The new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will be identical to the recently named Intel Core 2 Quadro processors and share the same Kentsfield core.
There will be no architectural or socket differences between desktop Core 2 Quadro and Xeon X3000 series processors, with the exception of product placement and marketing. The new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will arrive clocked at 2.4 and 2.13 GHz with a 1066 MHz front-side bus respectively. Both Kentsfield Xeon X3000 processors will feature 8MB of L2 cache. Expect the Intel Xeon X3220 and X3210 to arrive in Q1’07 for $851 and $690 in 1,000-unit lots.
Before Intel releases its Kentsfield based Xeons it will release Clovertown Xeon DP processors. The new Clovertown Xeon DP processors are quad-core and multi-processor enabled. With a compatible LGA771 motherboard users can install two Clovertown processors in a system for eight-core computing. The new Xeons will arrive in X5355, E5345, E5320 and E5310 models clocked at 2.66, 2.33, 1.86 and 1.60 GHz respectively. Intel Xeon DP models X5355 and E5345 will have a 1,333 MHz front-side bus while the Xeon DP E5320 and E5310 have a slightly slower 1,066 MHz front-side bus. All Clovertown Xeon processors will have 8MB of L2 cache. Pricing for Intel Clovertown Xeon DP processors will be $1172, $851, $690 and $455 for models X5355, E5345, E5320 and E5310 in 1,000-unit lots respectively. Availability is expected later this quarter.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Seagate Technology, citing major research and development strides in improving areal density of hard drive disks, claimed on Sept. 15 that it has set a data storage world record of 421G bits per square inch in revealing the results of a magnetic recording demonstration.
A hard drive with that kind of areal capacity could carry as much as a 2.5TB of data—enough to store 41,650 hours (1,735 days, or 4.75 years) of music, 800,000 digital photographs, 4,000 hours of digital video or 1,250 video games.
However, Seagate spokesman David Szabados said the company anticipates that hard drives at these density levels probably won't be available until 2009. PMR is a newly implemented technology for data recording on hard disks that was first demonstrated in Japan in 1976.
The technique is believed to be capable of delivering up to 10 times the storage density of conventional longitudinal recording—on the same media. There were some attempts to use PMR in floppy disks in the 1980s, but it was not reliable enough. Today there is renewed interest in using it in HDDs, which are quickly reaching their space limits.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies said this week that hard drives could soon hold 1TB of data and that it expects the average home to have between 10-20 hard drives in the next five years. At the demonstrated density level, Seagate expects the capacity ranges to result in new HDDs ranging from 40GB to 275GB for 1-and 1.8-inch consumer electronics drives, 500GB for 2.5-inch notebook drives, and nearly 2.5TB for 3.5-inch desktop and enterprise class drives.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
There are delays between each of the steps in memory access. These delays are referred to as latencies and expressed as a number of clock cycles. Here's a brief explanation of some of the most common, and important, memory timing parameters that affect access latencies:
When we see what a RAM’s CAS latency is, it is 4 numbers, such as 2-2-2-5, which correspond with CAS – tRCD – tRP – tRAS. You should be able to change the CAS Latency in your BIOS. In most BIOSes, it can be found under the “advanced chipset” menu, though it can be found in different areas in different BIOSes.
CAS stands for Column Address Strobe. This is the number of memory cycles that pass between the time a column is requested from the active page and the time the data is ready to send across the bus. This number is usually 2, 2.5, and 3, on DDR memory. This is actually the last part to come into effect.
RAS to CAS Delay is referred to as tRCD. This is the delay in memory cycles between the time a row is activated and when data within the row can be requested. This only happens when data is not on the active row.
tRP is the time for RAS Precharge. This is the time in memory cycles that is required to clear out the active row out of the cache, before a new row can be requested. In other words, it’s the time it takes for the memory to stop accessing one row and start accessing another. Once again this only takes place it the data is not in the active row.
tRAS refers to the minimum time that a row must remain active before a new row can be activated in each memory bank. A new row can not be opened until the minimum amount of time has passed. If there is more than one bank on memory, this will help the performance of the tRAS. If there is only one active bank, then the need to change rows is guaranteed, and if there is more than one bank with memory, then there is only half the chance that there will be a need to change rows. In turn, the tRAS will only come into effect half the time. The tRP and tRAS together are often referred to as the Row Cycle time, because they happen together.
No discussion of memory latency would be complete without mentioning the DRAM command rate. The command rate is the delay between when a memory chip is selected and when the first active command can be issued. The factors that determine whether a memory subsystem can tolerate a 1T command rate are many, including the number of memory banks, the number of DIMMs present, and the quality of the DIMMs. Some memory manufacturers claim that their DIMMs are rated for operation with a one-cycle (1T) command rate.
Since latencies refer to delays, lower is better. That doesn't mean you should hop into your motherboard's BIOS and set each memory timing option to its lowest possible value, though. Memory modules are rated for a specific set of latencies at a given clock speed, and they're generally not stable with lower latencies. A DIMM's latencies are usually expressed as a series of four hyphenated numbers corresponding to the CAS latency, RAS-to-CAS delay, RAS precharge, and active-to-precharge delay. Low latency DDR400, for example, is generally rated for 2-2-2-5 timings at 400MHz. That refers to two cycles of CAS latency, RAS-to-CAS delay, and RAS precharge, and five cycles of active-to-precharge delay.
CAS Details Crucial Details
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Intel is expected to launch a Conroe-based Xeon 3000 series processor lineup in September. Four Xeon 3000 series models will be released—the Xeon 3070, 3060, 3050 and 3040. Xeon 3000 series will be clocked at 2.66, 2.40, 2.13 and 1.86 GHz respectively. The new Xeons will use the same Socket T (LGA775) as current Core 2 Duo Conroe and Pentium D processors and operate on a 1066 MHz front-side bus. Cache sizes will vary on the Xeon 3000 series with the Xeon 3070 and 3060 having 4MB of shared L2 cache while the Xeon 3050 and 3040 will have 2MB of shared L2 cache. All Xeon 3000 series processors will support Intel’s Virtualization Technology (VT), Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST), Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) and Execute Disable Bit technologies. Hyper-Threading will not be supported on Intel Xeon 3000 series processors.
|Intel Low End Xeon|
Pricing for Intel Xeon 3000 series will be $530, $316, $224 and $188 for models 3070, 3060, 3050 and 3040 respectively. Xeon 3000 series processors are expected to launch in September.
Supporting the Intel Xeon 3000 series of processors will be a new platform dubbed Kaylo. Kaylo is based around the upcoming Mukilteo 2 and Mukilteo 2P chipsets. Mukilteo 2 and Mukilteo 2P have been named Intel 3000 and 3010 respectively. Intel is positioning the Kaylo platform for entry-level single processor servers. Current documents show Kaylo will support Pentium D 900 series in addition to Xeon 3000 series processors. There’s no mention of support for the recently released Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors though. Not much information is available on the Intel 3000 and 3010 aside from its existence.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Enabling PAE To enable PAE:
• Locate the Boot.ini file, which is typically in the root folder (for example, C:/) and remove its Read-Only and Hidden attributes.
• Open the Boot.ini file with a text editor, and then add the /PAE parameter to the ARC path, as shown in the following example:
\WINNT="Windows ???? Datacenter Server" /PAE /basevideo /sos
• On the File menu, click Save.
• Restore the Read-Only attribute to the Boot.ini file.;
Microsoft explains the issue here.
Intel explains the issue in this PDF.4GB_Explained_05.pdf (49.12 KB)
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Seagate Technology, the world's No. 1 computer disk drive maker, will continue to support Maxtor's branded products, its customer base, and all warranties in all retail and distribution channels.
Seagate also will continue production of Maxtor's DiamondMax product line and is preparing to launch a mobile hard drive for notebooks called MobileMax in October, said Marc Jourlait, Seagate's vice president for segment marketing.
MobileMax will be a 2.5-inch hard drive with capacities up to 160GB and speeds of up to 7200rpm, Jourlait said. The company will release more information at a later date, he said.
The Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company concluded its acquisition of Maxtor —the world's No. 4 seller of disk drives—for $1.9 billion in stock on May 22.
Jourlait said that Seagate would continue to offer Seagate and Maxtor-branded products to differing market and distribution segments. It's better for the customers, who are used to seeing these brands, as well as the channel distributors, who will have more to offer.
Generally, Seagate sees its products as being aimed at the "A" and "B" markets—"A" being high-end, techno-knowledgeable and performance-at-any-cost-seeking companies and individuals; and "B" being the general enterprise business market.
Maxtor products generally are targeted at—and have historically sold well in—the "B" and "C" (consumer) market segments. At the time of the acquisition, Maxtor was either the No. 3 and or No. 4 hard drive maker, depending upon which sales numbers were referenced.
Abit launched its AW9D and AW9D-MAX motherboards this week, supporting the new Intel Core 2 Duo microprocessors. Both motherboards include the Intel 975X chipset, with the differences deriving from the number of SATA connections as well as the number of heat pipes used. The boards will be "available soon in a store near you," according to Abit.
Both boards are described as "quad-core ready". Prices were not announced.
The MAX version includes upon the basic AW9D by including seven internal SATA connections, capable of being configured in either RAID 0, 1, 0+1, or 5 configurations. The basic board includes just four internal SATA connections. In addition, the AW9D-MAX adds an external SATA connection, which the basic board lacks. Furthermore, the MAX board includes a pair of "silent OTES" heat pipes for cooling purposes, while the basic board includes just one.
Interestingly, the boards support both dual-graphics solutions: the CrossFire from ATI as well as SLI from Nvidia.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
To increase areal densities in longitudinal recording and boost overall storage capacity, the data bits must be shrunk and packed more closely together. However, if the bit becomes too small, the magnetic energy holding the bit in place may also become so small that thermal energy can cause it to demagnetize, a phenomenon known as superparamagnetism. To avoid superparamagnetism, disc media manufacturers have been increasing the coercivity (the field required to write a bit) of the media. However, the fields that can be applied are limited by the magnetic materials making up the write head.
In perpendicular recording, the magnetization of the disc, instead of lying in the disc’s plane as it does in longitudinal recording, stands on end, perpendicular to the plane of the disc. The bits are then represented as regions of upward or downward directed magnetization. (In longitudinal recording, the bit magnetization lies in the plane of the disc and flips between pointing in the same and opposite directions of the head movement.) The media is deposited on a soft magnetic under-layer that functions as part of the write field return path and effectively produces an image of the recording head that doubles the recording field, enabling higher recording density than with longitudinal recording.
Seagate has demonstrated a recording areal density with perpendicular recording of 245 Gbpsi (Gigabits per square inch) with a data rate of 480 Mbits per second – more than double the 110 Gbpsi used in today’s highest areal density disc drives – and 500 Gbpsi, which will increase the capacity of today’s drives 5-fold, is possible with the new technology.
At 500 Gbpsi, a 3.5-inch disc drive could store two terabytes of information, a 2.5-inch drive in a laptop could hold 500GB and a 1-inch drive, such as those in MP3 players, could store as much as 50GB of data.
Monday, July 24, 2006
AMD agreed to acquire graphics powerhouse ATI Technologies in a surprise $5.4 billion deal that will radically alter the landscape of the PC component industry. The deal sets the stage for combined CPU and graphics cores in 2008, the two companies said.
ATI will become "the ATI business division," within AMD, and its chief executive and president, Dave Orton, will become an executive vice president reporting to both AMD president and chief operating officer Dirk Meyer and AMD's chief executive, Hector Ruiz. The deal, if agreed to by shareholders, will total $4.2 billion in cash and 57 million shares of AMD common stock, which the company is valuing at $18.26 per share.
The combination would create a company with an estimated $7.3 billion in sales. ATI said it has received an opinion from its financial advisers that the transaction from a financial point of view is fair to its shareholders. Meanwhile, AMD said it expects that the transaction will be slightly accretive to earnings in 2007, and "meaningfully accretive" in 2008. Shareholders from both companies must still approve the transaction, which would then most likely be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2006, AMD said.
In a statement released ahead of a conference call with reporters scheduled for 8 AM EDT, AMD said that in 2007 the two companies would deliver "customer-centric platforms", specifically in the commercial and mobile computing segments and the growing consumer-electronic market.
The deal will combine ATI's established core logic and graphics expertise with AMD's microprocessors. Both ATI and AMD trail Intel in their respective segments, although the graphics market can be assessed in different ways; while Intel still holds a significant lead over ATI and rival Nvidia in total graphics chips shipped, Intel's edge disappears if integrated graphics/core logic chips are factored out of the equation. What the future will hold, however, is still somewhat vague.
"In 2008 and beyond, AMD aims to move beyond current technological configurations to transform processing technologies, with silicon-specific platforms that integrate microprocessors and graphics processors to address the growing need for general-purpose, media-centric, data-centric and graphic-centric performance," AMD said in a statement.
The deal was not expected, primarily because AMD had always positioned itself as a vendor that allowed its customers a choice of components. Intel's Centrino platform combines a processor, chipset, and communications chip.
That would seem to indicate that either ATI or AMD will see to develop communications processors, or else put a number of communications chip companies in play. AMD has traditionally encouraged its OEM vendors to buy components from both Atheros and Broadcom.
AMD has also historically struggled with debt as it struggled to build new fabs to compete with Intel, which has traditionally held more than five times the market share of AMD in the PC microprocessor space, and has sold core logic and communications chips to boot.
Abit is recalling an undisclosed number of its Fatal1ty and AN9 32X motherboards because of stability problems.
In a statement, Universal Abit said that testing had revealed a hardware issue "that eventually might affect the performance and general stability of these particular motherboards". Only a "small number" of units are affected, the company said.
The affected boards will be recalled at Abit's expense, through either its corporate headquarters or its branch offices.
The recalled boards include: the Fatal1ty AN9 32X, with serial numbers between FAN93UDC000001 and FAN93UDC002713, plus FAN93UDD000001 to FAN93UDD001648; as well as the generic AN9 32X boards, with serial numbers AN932UDC000001 to AN932UDC001407, and AN932UDD000001 to AN932UDD001000.
Both boards use the Nvidia nForce 590 chipset and an AMD AM2-socketed microprocessor.
Abit also said that boards with the following serial numbers were confirmed to be in good working order: Fatal1ty AN9 32X boards with serial numbers between FAN93UDC002714 to FAN93UDC005422; and the generic AN9 32X boards, with serial numbers between AN932UDC001408 to AN932UDC002612. The affected products are from an early batch of boards.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Outside the server business, Freescale Semiconductor (FSL) has placed a big bet on the future of a new type of memory chip known as magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM. This type of memory brings the best two other types of widely used memory chips, dynamic random access memory—or DRAM—typical in PCs, and NAND-type flash memory common in digital cameras and digital music players, and combines their best attributes into a single chip.
NAND flash is great for storing data over the long term, because it retains that data when the power is cut off. But when saving and retrieving data, it's slow. For its part, DRAM is fast at reading and writing data, but it loses everything when power is cut off. Freescale's MRAM chip represents what Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss describes as "the perfect memory chip."
The only problem with MRAM chips? They don't hold much data yet. Freescale's chip holds only 4 megabits. "We'll see 16- and 64-megabit capacity out there two or three years in the future," Strauss says. He says MRAM chips will most likely be paired with other chips inside wireless phones in the coming years. As prices come down and data density rises, MRAM chips will become competitive with flash memory chips offered by companies such as Samsung and SanDisk, but not for several years.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Despite the inherent advantages of intelligent RAID, the ICH7R managed to come out on top in a number of benchmarks. With very little or no load on the CPU, I/O bus, and memory bandwidth, it's not a huge surprise that it fared so well in our tests. With heavy traffic and processor loads, the limitations of the shared bus and the benefits of intelligent RAID's integrated IOP and memory cache have a more significant impact.
Still, many users will find the RAID support from motherboards featuring the ICH7R fully adequate for typical desktop applications. If you're going above and beyond the call of normal desktop duty, look to intelligent RAID cards like the LSI Logic MegaRAID 150-4 and the Adaptec 2420SA. For many, the 2420SA's PCI-X interface is a nonstarter. But if you have a motherboard that supports it and you can stomach the price, the 2420SA delivers the goods. For the rest of us, the MegaRAID 150-4 is a fine alternative. If you're using SATA 150MB/sec drives, it's the logical choice.
If your motherboard doesn't support RAID and you'd like to include a controller, the Promise FastTrak TX4310 does it affordably. With the Promise controller, adding RAID0/1/5/10 capability to your desktop system, file server, HTPC, or bit bucket can increase the flexibility and dependability of your hard drives without the unnecessary server-class hardware and performance you don't necessarily need or want. Full Article here
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Data center managers, is there a flywheel in your future? Pentadyne Power, company is introducing a new upgrade to its flywheel-based power backup system for data centers.
Flywheels? You mean those things whizzing at about 50,000 rpm that were supposed to power automobiles? And you want to put one of those things in my data center? Do they really work? What happens if that flywheel breaks free of its housing and starts shooting around the data center carving holes in my servers?
The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that in the United States alone, electric power problems costs over $50 billion annually. At the same time, nearly 98 percent of the power grid interruptions last less than 10 seconds. The traditional way to deal with those interruptions has been using banks of lead acid batteries capable of providing an hour or two of backup. However, those batteries are heavy, have a limited lifespan and contain materials the Environmental Protection Agency would like to keep out of landfills.
Pentadyne addresses this issue with a carbon-fiber flywheel, which, in the model being introduced on July 14, has a design life of 20 years, weighs 1,300 pounds and delivers up to 190 of power for up to 2,700 kW per second of energy. The systems cost about $40,000 which is about one-third greater than the upfront cost of lead acid, but the company contends that the much longer life cycle of the product over lead acid systems and the environmental benefits tilt the equation in Pentadyne's favor over the product's life.
By using carbon fiber, the company negates the errant flywheel problem. If there is a failure, the flywheel disintegrates into thin, light, spaghetti-like fibers that stay within the containment cylinder. The company is marketing the product as an environmentally safe and responsible alternative, which can either replace lead acid backup or be used in conjunction with the lead acid backup now in operation.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Intel Corp. will launch its next-generation "Conroe" chip for desktop PCs on July 27, part of the company's efforts to recover from slumping sales by offering new products.
Intel also plans to launch its dual-core Itanium chip for high-end servers, code-named "Montecito" on July 18, and has already begun shipping them to computer vendors.
"We plan to introduce multiple chips, more than 10, over the next 30 to 60 days," said company spokesman Bill Kircos. The chips will include a standard desktop version of Conroe -- officially the Core 2 Duo -- as well as an extreme edition for gamers and other options with various combinations of features and prices.
The Conroe chip will be available to consumers almost immediately, since Intel has already begun shipping the processor to certain channels and manufacturers, Kircos said. Intel will reach full production within 30 days.
The timing is crucial for Intel, he said, because the company plans to sell Conroe during the looming back-to-school and holiday seasons; it also wants the chip to be available for corporate upgrades planned by many IT departments for the end of the fourth quarter.
Sales of Conroe will also mark the official launch of Intel's VPro platform, the bundle of features for business desktops announced in April.
Intel has generated strong profits by selling bundles of hardware and software in platforms like Centrino for mobile desktops and Viiv for home entertainment. VPro will extend the idea to business desktops.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Many clients have asked me to tell them quickly why one should select Opteron over Xeon. Well like with anything in life when you say quickly there is little ability to show all the differences and it is really unfair to all.
One of the biggest single advantages is quite clear even at a glance. Direct Connect memory access of the Opteron Processor clearly gives an edge that cannot be ignored. The lack of northbrige front side bus kicks. From the moment you touch one of these systems you can feel the power.
See the head to head comparison here.
Monday, July 03, 2006
AMD's and Intel's microprocessors are entirely different. AMD places emphasis on SOI manufacturing (Silicon on insulator) in 90 nm and it relocates the memory controller from the chipset into the processor core. Both helps to increase energy efficiency: SOI reduces leakage currents that cause thermal resistance; the integrated memory logic shortens data paths between the CPU and the memory, while running at the processor's clock speed. Also, each AMD processor in SMP environments (symmetric multi-processing) has its own memory controller. Hence the memory bandwidth scales beautifully if you add processors, which results in great performance.
Intel pairs a classic processor design with high manufacturing efficiency: Most processors are produced using 65 nm technology and will be using 45 nm probably by the end of 2007. Small transistor structures allow the firm to add more cache to processors, or to increase the core count, or even both. Strained silicon technology, which applies silicon germanium layers in order to stretch the atomic structure, eases electron migration, which is beneficial for reaching high clock speeds. To control leakage current Intel pays close attention to maintaining the distances that separate the eight layers of today's processors.
- It has been the faster processor, especially for floating point operations
- HyperTransport interconnects processors and core logic. This point-to-point interconnect scales much better than bus interfaces.
- Power consumption is acceptable even when under load
- Socket 940 is the basis for all Opteron models that have been released. Usually you can upgrade to one of the dual core models.
- Each processor has its own memory controller.
- No FB-DIMM memory is required. Registered DDR400 memory is enough.
- Quad core Opterons will require a Socket F platform.
- The Front Side Bus is the interface and a potential bottleneck between the processor(s) and the chipset northbridge. The 5000 chipset widens this bottleneck by implementing separate Front Side Busser per processor (DIB).
- Dual core Xeon Paxville DP has high to very high power requirements.
- Dual Core Xeon Dempsey 5000 has high power requirements.
- Less flexible platform design: A Xeon Nocona or Irwindale (socket 604) can only be upgraded with a dual core Xeon Paxville DP. If you want a Xeon 5000 (Dempsey) or Xeon 5100 (Woodcrest) you need the 5000 chipset platform for socket 771 (Bensley).
- Quad channel DDR2 memory controller offers more bandwidth, but requires FB-DIM modules
- Intel's chipset and FB-DIMM components require more energy than the Opteron equivalents
- Quad core Xeons are technically feasible for socket 771.
The first benchmarks left very little doubt on Woodcrest's superiority at 3 GHz when compared to the fastest dual core Opteron 285 (2.6 GHz). However, we decided to provide the results at a later point as we prefer to add disciplines to the lineup that reflect various server scenarios. The benchmark section includes synthetical memory bandwidth benchmark results, showing that the quad channel solution offers an improvement, and power consumption measurements. We consider these very impressive, because they make very clear that Intel is likely to become the performance per Watt leader given the high performance in our first benchmark runs, while AMD still has the chance to remain more efficient per se.
It is pretty safe to say that Woodcrest will now be the best choice for 2P servers - as long as AMD doesn't answer with faster models and Socket F. Intel's FSB1333 interface at 333 MHz should be fast enough, and DIB makes sure that each processor receives the full bus bandwidth. While this may sound like an ample headroom for the future it actually is not: As soon as Intel's quad core Clovertown hits the market in early 2007, the Front Side Bus could easily be saturated.
However, we do not see Woodcrest knocking out AMD, since the HyperTransport architecture remains the best choice for 4P solutions thanks to its point-to-point layout and dedicated memory controller per processor. Also, socket F will accelerate HyperTransport links to make sure that multi-core processors don't suddenly saturate the interface.
Finally, Intel might have to convince SMB customers of the benefits of fully buffered memory, because a 2P Opteron system does still provide a very good value - especially if you can live with 4-8 GB of memory. FB-DIMMs will only have a serious benefit if multiple modules are deployed.
Nanosys announced that it has expanded its nanotechnology-enabled memory collaboration with Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. The collaboration utilizes Nanosys' proprietary nanostructures to address high density NAND flash memory opportunities in areas such as consumer electronics, portable storage, and personal communications .
"Our collaboration with Nanosys is part of our extensive R&D efforts to extend the technology roadmap for non-volatile memory,” said Ed So, vice president, Intel Corporation and director of California Technology and Manufacturing. "This collaboration, along with our strategic relationship with Micron, further underscores our technology leadership and commitment in non-volatile memory.”
“We are excited to be a part of this collaboration” said Frankie Roohparvar, vice president of NAND Development at Micron. “Micron has taken on a leadership role in NAND technology and Nanosys' technology offers a very practical and promising approach towards addressing the continued scaling needs of the fast-growing non-volatile memory market.”
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom .
Micron Technology, Inc. is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, NAND Flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit its Web site at www.micron.com
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Intel spent a long time talking about its brand new Core microarchitecture at the Intel Developer Forum Spring '06. Yonah (officially named Core Duo) is the predecessor to the new Core microarchitecture chips to which it lends its name, and it is predominantly a mobile part, but also forms an important part of the company's Viiv platform for low-power, high-capability media PCs. Core Duo, despite the name, doesn't sport the Core microarchitecture, which will appear first in Conroe - now called Core 2 Duo - in just a couple of month's time.
Core Duo solves a lot of the short comings, but there is one major feature omission from Yonah's architecture: it doesn't support Intel's EM64T 64-bit extensions. With that said, it is worth noting that the lack of 64-bit extension support in Core Duo will not prevent you from running Windows Vista. All versions of Windows Vista will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions, with the exception of the Starter Edition.
Aside from the lack of EM64T support, which could become a relative non-issue, the Core Duo chip seems to be reasonably complete but there are a few other architecture-related problems. Much like AMD's Athlon 64 X2 architecture, Core Duo is intentionally designed to be a dual core processor. This is a change from the way that Intel has implemented any of its previous architectures - both Presler and Smithfield processor cores communicated with each other via the front side bus. Consequently, this introduces a lot of latency.
Yonah is still a high latency platform due to the lack of an on-die memory controller - this is somewhere where AMD's Athlon 64 architecture excels. However, Intel manages to hide a lot of the latency with its Smart Cache technology. This essentially allows both cores to use the same L2 cache.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Texas Instruments said its new 45-nanometer chip-making process will double the number of chips produced on each silicon wafer, reducing power consumption and boosting processing speed. The biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, said the new process could boost its device speeds by around 30 percent while reducing power consumption by 40 percent.
The process will also allow wireless users to run more simultaneous applications, such as playing games with 3-D graphics while running video conferences or receiving e-mail in the background, the company said. The convergence of communication and entertainment on mobile devices has led to demand for lower power-consumption technologies.
TI said it developed what it believes to be the smallest 45-nm SRAM memory cell, occupying only 0.24 square microns, up to 30 percent smaller than other 45-nm memory cell devices announced to date. Miniaturization boosts chip processing speed by cutting down on the distance the electric load must travel. The company raised its outlook for second-quarter earnings and revenue on strong demand across its chip business.
IT managers around the globe share a common challenge:
Keeping up with the unpredictable need for more servers and storage while addressing growing business continuity demands. Yet strategies to manage computing resources more effectively across sprawling enterprises—and amid constant new application development—have not always kept pace. The result is that many IT organizations are severely underutilizing their existing hardware resources while others are constantly reacting to business conditions instead of proactively planning for growth.
Server virtualization is a proven way to overcome this challenge by better utilizing computing resources—improving scalability, manageability and availability while lowering totalcost of ownership (TCO). Virtualization software divides a single physical server into several independent virtual machines, each of which can host a separate operating system and applications in complete isolation from other virtual machines on the server.
Having the capability to run multiple virtual machines simultaneously on one physical server enables enterprises to consolidate workloads from several separate physical servers onto one server, thereby reducing the number of servers required for a given workload. Unlike physical servers, virtual machines can be created in a matter of minutes and can be moved from one physical server to another without reconfi guring the operating system or applications. As a result, services can be provisioned faster and resources allocated easily to business units when needed. In addition, virtualization enables IT administrators to proactively manage their systems to help prevent unplanned downtime and increase overall availability.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
After months of promises and delays, AGEIA PhysX PPU retail cards are now available for consumers to buy, following the OEM launch with partners such as Dell and Alienware. Unlike ATI or NVIDIA graphics cards, which are typically available from at least half a dozen different partners, AGEIA enter the market with just two: ASUS, and BFG Technologies. The latter were the first to supply us with a shipping retail boxed hardware, the unit we are reviewing today.
This is the "PC Processor Triangle" that AGEIA and BFG Tech have been collectively pushing in the lead up to this product release. Everyone should be familiar with CPU - "The Brain" - which calculates AI and coordinates the whole show. The GPU - "The Eyes" - renders the graphics and displays them on your monitor. Simple stuff so far. Following the analogy, the PPU (Physics Processing Unit) is "The Body", in charge of movement and interaction. It's a neat triangle that even non-techies should be able to grasp.
The card is essentially an AGEIA reference design and is made from a sexy blue PCB, and sports 128MB of GDDR3 memory. Less sexy is BFG Tech's choice of cooler - a simple aluminium heatsink with a 45mm LED fan. While the latter projects a blue glow around the lower regions of your case, we would have hoped it was a little quieter in operation.
A Radeon X1900XTX will dwarf it when the fan spins up during heavy load in games like Oblivion, but in a system with a GeForce 7900 GTX at the heart, it adds a hint of unwanted whine. Playing games with headphones solves that in both cases, however the fact doesn't throttle down when the card isn't being used, meaning you're stuck with the noise even during general 2D use, long after your GPUs have switched to a near-silent running mode.
The card requires a standard 4-pin molex power connector - AGEIA tell us the 28W load is just on the high side of the maximum power draw capable through a PCI 2.2 expansion slot.. The result is yet another Y-cable, unless your PSU has an unused four-pin molex connector.
As strange as it may sound, handling the board messes with your head a little. Stop and think for a minute: when was the last time you saw an add-in board that had a blank backplate? A third-party RAID card perhaps, but almost anything else you can think of has some sort of port or connector on the back. In some ways, it reminds us of the original PowerVR 3D cards from the late Nineties which unlike their 3DFX rivals, also had no external connectors. It is a parallel that cropped up more than once in our testing. Full Article a Must Read!
NVIDIA's nForce series of chipsets have had a rocky road since their introduction. The original chipset offered innovative features that were not on other AMD Athlon-based chipsets at the time, such as decent integrated graphics and a compelling on-board soundcard under the guise of SoundStorm. It wasn't bad, but it was let down by poor driver support and some design issues in hardware.
Its successor, nForce2, was widely acclaimed as a great enthusiast chipset - with fast performance and an improved design, along with the popular SoundStorm on-board audio solution - it was the first audio solution capable of producing a true Dolby Digital 5.1 output. SoundStorm was dropped when NVIDIA launched nForce3 in conjunction with the launch of AMD's Athlon 64.
The third iteration was something of a let down because it was slower than VIA's K8T800 chipset. nForce3 Ultra improved things somewhat, as it removed many of the performance issues, but VIA responded with the K8T800 Pro. At this point, the two chipsets were neck and neck, with little to choose between the two.
Fast forward to the nForce4-series, which came together with the introduction of NVIDIA's SLI technology. Collectively, the two have been a rip-roaring success, but the chipset didn't come without its problems. One such problem was with NVIDIA's ActiveArmour embedded Firewall, which often caused Windows to crash.
With the release of AMD's AM2 platform today, NVIDIA is unveiling its nForce 500-series chipset (aka nForce 5). It will be adopted, as you'd expect, by all the usual suspects and bit-tech will be doing a mainboard group test later this week to determine the best board for your money. In the meantime, they are going to give you a look at the technologies that power the new chipset and how it differs from the very popular nForce4 platform. Full Article
AMD has long had a reputation as the chip manufacturer of choice for gamers and enthusiasts. The Athlon 64 platform has been a massive winner for the firm, with performance to get excited about across a whole range of chips, from the cutting-edge FX-60, to more moderate chips like the X2 3800+.
Today, AMD is migrating its Athlon series to a new platform - AM2. This is a new CPU series and socket type. These new CPUs come with a memory controller on-chip, as the old ones did, but the major difference is that this controller is DDR2. Finally! There are a couple of articles going up today, one documenting AMD's new platform and one documenting a new motherboard chipset from NVIDIA, the nForce 5. Over the coming days we'll also be bringing you a motherboard group test of the best Socket AM2 motherboards. In this article, however, we'll be looking at AMD's major new CPU releases today - The FX-62 and the 5000+.
We get the impression that there probably wasn't a need for AMD to actually make a socket change in order to add DDR2 memory support into its K8 architecture. We must remember that the memory controller is located on the CPU die and not in the north bridge. This means that there could be a slew of confusion over what components work with the new CPUs if the pin layouts were the same. In fact, that is probably the main reason for AMD choosing to change from Socket 939 to Socket AM2.
Looking at the situation from another perspective leads to the prospect of causing headaches for AMD's customers. Even if the CPU didn't require a pin layout change, the change enables AMD and its partners to control which components work with the new processors. In that respect, we think that it makes a lot of sense to make changes to the pin layout in order to prevent consumers installing one of the new AM2 processors into a motherboard that doesn't support DDR2 memory, or vice versa - installing an older CPU into one of the new motherboards supporting DDR2.
You want to build a system soon? You're are likely faced with something of a dilemma. Both Intel and AMD are planning substantial upgrades to their CPUs this year. In the case of AMD, they're simply moving the existing architecture to DDR2/667 and a new socket format. The AM2 designs are already starting to appear and while the DUO line is nipping at the heels it really is at a pretty pricey outlay.
Intel, on the other hand, is readying a new architecture for their desktop PCs that's substantially different from the existing NetBurst (Pentium D and Pentium 4) CPUs. Although it borrows a few elements from NetBurst, and adds a few twists of its own (such as single-cycle SSE instruction execution), it's more similar to the current Intel mobile architecture than to current Pentium D processors.
Core Duo, originally codenamed Yonah, is essentially a beefed up, dual core version of the Pentium M The Core Duo T2600 clocks at 2.16GHz, with a front-side bus clock of 166MHz, quad-pumped, so it's effectively a 667MHz FSB, and the core frequency multiplier is 13x. This synchronizes with the 945 mobile chipset, which supports DDR2/667. The CPU offers 2MB of shared L2 cache, so each processor has access to the data in the L2 cache. Title: Intel Core Duo T2600 Caption: The T2600 clocks at 2.16GHz, and costs about $640.-->
The L1 cache size is 64KB, split between a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Note that each core has its own dedicated L1 cache, for a total of 128KB of L1 cache. But an individual core cannot "see" what's in the L1 cache of the other core.
Core Duo also implements the full SSE3 instruction set. As befits a mobile CPU, it uses aggressive clock gating for granular power usage; if an element isn't needed, it's off by default. Core Duo also supports micro-ops fusion. Intel's architectures take in x86 instructions and decode them into micro-ops. Two micro-ops can be "fused" into a single microinstruction, which can then be executed in a single cycle. (Conroe adds macro-ops fusion, which combines x86 instructions, but Core Duo can't do this.)
Also unlike Conroe, Yonah is a three-issue microarchitecture, meaning that it can issue and retire three x86 instructions per clock cycle. Conroe will be four-wide, which accounts for its potential increased performance over Yonah. Core Duo also builds on the advanced pre-fetch logic of the Pentium M.
Core Duo is built on Intel's 65nm process. A Core Duo T2600 will set you back about $640. That's fairly pricey, although it is the top-of-the-line. Core Duo is primarily aimed at the mobile PC market, but note that one company, Apple Computer, is using Core Duo in its Mac mini and iMac line of desktop PCs.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that it will launch two mobile computers in early June that will do away with hard drives altogether, replacing them with 32 gigabytes of NAND flash memory. The notebooks will be the first to use flash memory as the main storage device.
The Samsung Q1, described as an "ultra-computing device," will be complemented by the Q30, a 12.1-inch notebook PC. The retail price for the Q1-SSD will be 2.3 million Korean won, (about $2,430), while the Q30-SSD will sell for 3.5 million won (about $3,700). Unfortunately for U.S. consumers, both will be sold in Korea only.
Seagate said it plans to lay off about half of Maxtor's 12,000 employees during the rest of calendar 2006. Most of those cuts will occur in the United States; of the 2,400 people employed by Maxtor in Milpitas, Calif., all but about 100 will have to find new jobs, Seagate said.
No Seagate employees will be let go, the company said. Seagate will end up with about 55,000 employees, with 2,500 based in the San Francisco Bay area. Seagate, the world's No. 1-ranking PC disk-drive manufacturer, will take over Maxtor's large new disk-drive factory in China, which employs 6,000 workers. Maxtor was the No. 4-ranked disk-drive maker in sales.
The acquisition of Maxtor appeared to some observers to be more a cannibalization of a successful IT hardware company than the integration of one company into another. Seagate wanted Maxtor's consumer/SMB backup products, its drive R&D facility in Colorado, and its facilities in Asia. This translates into buying opportunities in areas where they weren't competitive, underwriting potential future products, and bolstering low-cost production.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Although eSATA products are now available, they're not yet widespread. It's certainly not universal on PCs yet, so if you want eSATA support, you'll likely need to install an expansion card. One interesting aspect of eSATA is its potential use in DVR products. Currently, the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD is the only shipping set-top box with an eSATA connector. Unfortunately, the eSATA feature is currently disabled, and there's no word as to whether any of the cable operators who supply the 8300HD will ever allow external hard drives to be used.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Seagate Technology bared the teeth of its new Barracuda 7200.10 family of perpendicular recording-based hard drives April 26. Currently shipping to OEMs, the devices squeeze 750GB of digital storage space onto a single disk drive for desktop computers and low-end servers.
The fifth perpendicular recording hard drive released by Seagate, the 3.5-inch Barracuda 7200.10 performs about 10 percent higher than its previous generation, the Barracuda 7200.9. The new Barracuda family features formatted capacity points ranging from 200GB, 250GB, 300GB, 320GB, 400GB, 500GB and 750GB on four platters.
Additionally, interface choices include ATA/100, SATA (serial ATA) 1.5GB per second or SATA 3GB per second with NCQ (Native Command Queuing) capabilities. The new Seagate hard drives offer 8MB or 16MB cache buffer options. On the 250GB and above, 16MB cache is offered; 8MB cache on the 200GB and 250GB only; and both size cache on the 250 only.
On May 1, Seagate will launch the external hard drive counterpart of the 750GB Barracuda 7200.10 product line.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Netgear, announced its second round of 802.11n routers this week,teaming up with chipmaker Marvell last week on a separate line of products. Netgear's new routers use the Intensi-fi chipset from Broadcom. The 802.11n standard will eventually replace conventional Wi-Fi, although the products will be backwards-compatible. The key difference with the 802.11n standard is its increased speed, roughly 540-Mbits/s, although such speeds are, for the moment, theoretical, and will vary with distance and the number and spacing of objects in between the routers.
In addition to the routers announced by Netgear last week, its new offerings include the WNR834B RangeMax NEXT wireless router with a 10/100-Mbit Ethernet switch and a WN511B wireless notebook adapter for $180 and $130, respectively. The products are currently shipping, according to Netgear. D-Link announced the RangeBooster N 650 line on April 5, which includes the DIR-635 router, DWA-645 notebook adapter, and the DWA-547 desktop adapter, for $159.99, $99.99, and $119.99, respectively. The company chose the AR5008 chipset from Atheros. The routers include an SPI firewall in addition to the NAT protection that generally ships as a standard feature.
Mavell, the chipmaker powering the Netgear line, also said Thursday that it will be featured in an unannounced, separate line of 802.11n products from D-Link. D-Link will ship a version of its 802.11n line for the European market beginning in June, D-Link said, without disclosing the chip supplier.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
ThinkPad laptops are returning to retail shelves after an absence of more than six years. Lenovo announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with electronics retailer Best Buy to sell Lenovo computers at select stores across the U.S.
Lenovo, based in China, acquired IBM's personal computer division last year, and has recently been reaching out to consumers via traditional retail outlets. The company signed a deal with Office Depot in November to sell its line of ThinkPad machines in 1,000 retail Office Depot locations.
In an agreement similar to its deal with Office Depot, Lenovo will target small and medium business customers at Best Buy. Consumers will be able to see, test and order -- but not walk out the door with -- Lenovo computers at 135 "Best Buy For Business" stores across the U.S.
Best Buy For Business is a division of electronics retail giant Best Buy, which functions as a store within a store at select locations and focuses on selling business technology suited for small and mid-sized companies. Lenovo-trained Best Buy employees will be on hand at each store to help customers select, and, if necessary, troubleshoot their hardware.
Consumers will be able to order the machines through Best Buy, or can test out the hardware and then make their purchase online at Lenovo's Web site or over the phone. IBM had pulled ThinkPad machines from the majority of retail shelves in 1999. The often pricey ThinkPads didn't sell as well as budget brands in a retail environment.
Riding an increase among the three key market segments, desktop, mobile and servers, AMD reported today that its year-over-year sales increased in the first quarter of 2006 by 71 percent. The biggest part of the increase was on the server side where AMD says sales of its Opteron microprocessor had triple digit growth from a year ago.
AMD also reported a bump up in its gross margins to 58.5 percent versus 57.3 percent in the last quarter of 2005. Total sales were $1.33 billion with a net income of $185 million or $0.38 per share for AMD's quarter which ended March 26.
"Overall we believe we took dollar share across the desktop, mobile and server markets [from Intel]," said Robert Rivet, AMD's chief financial officer. Details of Intel's recent sales results and forecasts are likely to emerge April 19 when the chip giant reports first quarter earnings.
Intel still dominates the microprocessor market with over a 75 percent share, but AMD's been gaining steadily, reporting eleven consecutive quarters of over 20 percent sales growth.
Unlike mobile and desktops, where AMD increased the average selling price of its chips, the company conceded in a conference call today with analysts that it deliberately lowered Opteron prices in the past quarter to gain market share.
Monday, April 03, 2006
The reorientation of hard drives has begun: The first drives to use perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology to pack more data into less space are out. And our tests reveal that they not only boost storage capacity but perform faster as well.
In tests of the Seagate Momentus 5400.3 and its non-PMR 5400.2 predecessor, the PMR unit showed a modest boost overall, completing its runs in about 7% less time; results just for sustained throughput were even more impressive with a 15% to 17% gain. The PMR drive's greater areal density has little effect on seek speed, a component of many of our tests, but helped when our tasks focused on sustained throughput with sizable files.
PMR aligns the magnetic markers on a hard-disk surface in a different way to increase areal density so you can store more data on every platter. Existing technology was approaching its areal density limits, and drive manufacturers spent several years working to overcome the problem. The result for you is more and cheaper room for your data, which is no small concern in a world moving to high-definition media.
Seagate predicts that relatively soon PMR technology will deliver at least a fourfold increase in capacity. That means 2TB, 3.5-in. single-platter disks for desktops; 1TB, 2.5-in. disks for laptops; and even 50GB for tiny 1-in. drives in MP3 players in the near future.
Headroom for tomorrow is good, but how much do you gain today? The highest-capacity (500GB), 3.5-in. drives currently on the market have an areal density of 125 gigabits per square inch; the PMR Toshiba models and the Momentus 5400.3 have 133Gb per square inch. That's a measurable, if marginal gain, but compared with the average drive's approximately 100Gb per square inch, it's a significant improvement.
With a winning combination of more storage and greater speed, the new drives should be a welcome addition to your storage arsenal. And they cost about the same $2 per GB as current drives -- you'll find the 160GB Seagate drive kit for $320 (list).
While nature allows us to scale down the size of each bit of information, it does not allow scaling to happen forever.
Today, as the magnetic particles that make up recorded data on a hard disk drive become ever smaller, we are approaching a point where the data bearing particles are so small that random atomic level vibrations present in all materials at room temperature can cause the bits to spontaneously flip their magnetic orientation, effectively erasing the recorded data. Magnetic recording scientists and engineers have calculated that this so called "superparamagnetic effect" may become a serious technology issue for new products in only two or three years.
"We want to make sure that as we approach this superparamagnetic effect, Seagate is prepared and has the ability to circumvent it; either go around, over under or through it. Maybe trick it by moving to a different recording technology," Tom Porter, CTO, said.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Thermal Quake leads HTPC Case market with Bach case. It has everything for the novice kit builder and all the features and size for the expert. More Screen Shots and details available here.
||Media PC Case|
||170 x 430 x 450 mm|
||Front (Intake) : 80 x 80 x25 mm silent fan, 2000rpm, 19dBA|
Rear (Exhaust) : Dual 60 x 60 x25 mm, 2500rpm, 19dBA
- Front Accessible
2 x 5.25", 1 x 5.25" Accessory Bay
5 x 3.5"
||Micro ATX , Standard ATX|
InPhase Technologies, the world’s leader in holographic data storage, announced today that it has demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515 gigabits of data per square inch. Holographic storage is a revolutionary departure from all existing recording methods because it takes advantage of volumetric efficiencies rather than only recording on the surface of the material. InPhase will deliver the industry’s first holographic drive and media later this year. The first generation drive has a capacity of 300 gigabytes on a single disk with a 20 megabyte per second transfer rate. The first product will be followed by a family ranging from 800GB to 1.6 terabyte (TB) capacity.
"IT professionals are experiencing enormous growth in their data archives," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director, Removable Storage, IDC. "InPhase Technologies' announcement is an important milestone in storage density, demonstrating impressive capacity increases enabled by holographic storage. The technology represents a potential alternative to incumbent technologies for archival storage requirements," he added.
Densities in holography are achieved by different factors than magnetic storage. Density depends on the number of pixels/bits in a page of data; the number of pages that are stored in a particular volumetric location; the dynamic range of the recording material; the thickness of the material, and the wavelength of the recording laser.
In this demonstration there were over 1.3 million bits per data page, and 320 data pages spaced 0.067 degrees apart were stored in the same volume of material. A collection of data pages is referred to as a book, and InPhase’s PolyTopic recording architecture enables more holograms to be stored in the same volume of material by overlapping not only pages, but also books. Three tracks of overlapping books were written with a track pitch of 700 microns. The InPhase TapestryTM material was 1.5 millimeters thick, and the laser wavelength was 407 nanometers.
“The latest results from our ongoing tests on holographic data density have surpassed expectations,” said Kevin Curtis, chief technology officer of InPhase. “We are particularly pleased at the rate of improvement. In April of 2005, we demonstrated 200 Gb/in2 data density and - a year later - the density has increased more than 2.5 times. “
The write transfer rate is determined by the time required to position the laser at the correct angular address, the speed of the shutter, the laser power, and the exposure time. In this demonstration the average exposure time per page was 2.7 milliseconds, which translates into a user write transfer rate of 23 megabytes per second.
The impact that these data densities will have on future products is tremendous. For the home video fan, one disk could hold the equivalent of 106 DVD movies. For IT managers dealing with archiving millions of email messages, higher densities mean savings on space, time, and power.
Michael Mangiona, president of offsite storage provider Data Solutions, adds that “with extremely high densities of holographic storage demonstrated by InPhase, IT companies such as Data Solutions benefit, as greater storage density ultimately translates into lower storage costs for us and for our customers.”
InPhase will be presenting several holographic storage papers at the Optical Data Storage Conference from April 23-26, 2006 in Montreal, Canada. In addition, InPhase will exhibit its products at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas next month, from April 24-27 in the Maxell booth C6932, Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. "Inside the box"
Thursday, March 23, 2006
||Priced as low as $139.00 each. With 2 in SLI total cost for Video $278.00 Hits The Low cost sweet spot.|
|Ultrasilent Cooling (Passive Thermal Solution)
SLI ready , Dual DVI Out , DVI Out , HDTV ready
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS
400 MHz GPU
12 Pixel Pipelines
400 MHz RAMDAC |
256 MB, 128 bit DDR2
800 MHz (effective)
12.8 GB/s Memory Bandwidth
DVI-I, VGA, HDTV
Resolution & Refresh:
240 Hz Max Refresh Rate
2048 x 1536 x 32bit x 85 Hz Max Analog
560 x 1600 / 1600 x 1200 @ 60Hz Max Digital
With the acquisition of Alienware, Dell will sell computers with chips from Advanced Micro Devices. The deal closes in about 30 to 45 days.
Alienware will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, and Alienware CEO Nelson Gonzalez said that the deal will not affect its relationship with AMD. Granted, circumstances can change, but that's the plan now.
The number of AMD PCs Alienware offers rises and falls, but AMD chips are typically always part of the company's active line of computers. Right now, Alienware sells AMD-based desktops, workstations, media centers and a notebook.
The subsidiary nature of Alienware's status means that consumers won't see AMD chips in computers that are primarily branded under the Dell name (instead of being Alienware machines) as a result of this deal. But still, since Dell owns Alienware, they are technically Dell computers.
That leaves Apple as the only major computer maker selling Intel-based, but not AMD-based, computers.
Dell has resisted selling AMD-based computers for years for a number of reasons. The popularity of AMD's Opteron chip for servers, however, has prompted some to speculate that Dell may adopt Opteron.
Dell rarely makes acquisitions. The Alienware buy is only the third or fourth in the company's history.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Industry’s First Ultra High-End 1GB Workstation Graphics Accelerator
Introducing the ATI FireGL V7350 with Avivo™ Technology – the ultimate graphics accelerator designed for the most complicated 3D models, the largest data sets, and highest definition textures. The FireGL V7350 delivers industry leading features and performance for the most demanding workstation users running OpenGL and DirectX based applications. ATI Technologies said Monday that it had begun shipping a workstation graphics card with a gigabyte of onboard memory.
Two versions of the card, the FireGL V7xxx series, are now shipping. In addition to the more prosaic V7300, which includes 512 Mbytes of on-board RAM for a suggested price of $1,599, is the FireGL V7350, which includes the full gigabyte for a suggested price of $1,999.
As the prices indicate, the cards are designed for high-end graphics workstations, where the additional frame-buffer memory will be used to facilitate graphics rendering for CAD and other applications.
For those with extra pocket change, however, the cards will offer the ability to drive multiple HD displays, creating images over 5,000 pixels wide, ATI said, using multiple monitors that can accept up to 16 bits of information per RGB component.
"The high clock rates of these new graphics cards, combined with full 128-bit precision and extremely high levels of parallel processing, result in floating point processing power that exceeds a 3GHz Pentium processor by a staggering seven times," ATI said.
Affordable and packed with productivity for wherever business takes you.
Wherever your life is going, this is the perfect handheld to take along for the ride. The sleek, stylishly designed Tungsten™ E2 handheld from palmOne brings your entire world to life. Your calendar, contacts, documents, presentations, photos and videos look sharper and more colorful. But just as important, its new flash memory keeps all that information safe—even if you don’t have time to recharge.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a palmOne handheld if we didn’t push the boundaries of what a handheld can do. That’s why we included Bluetooth® wireless technology for wireless connectivity. Now working and communicating will be that much easier. Taking work to go? View and even edit spreadsheets and word processing documents right on your handheld. Plus you can sync your calendar and contacts from Outlook1. And don’t forget to grab your MP3 tunes. You’re going places.Features:
- Brighter, richer color display
See your information clearly indoors and out. Brighter display, better color saturation brings photos and videos to life.
- Non-volatile, flash memory
There’s more than enough room to hold your calendar, contacts, applications, photos, and even your spreadsheets or presentations. And because it’s flash memory, the information on your handheld is protected—even if you’re on the go and don’t have time to recharge.
- Built-In Bluetooth®
Stay connected. With built-in Bluetooth® wireless technology, you can synchronize with your desktop without wires getting in the way. Use your Tungsten™ E2 handheld with a compatible phone to send email and text messages, or to check news headlines on the Web.
- Documents To Go®
Productivity in your pocket. The Tungsten™ E2 comes with Documents To Go, which lets you carry Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files-so you can be more productive wherever you are. And with a simple conversion step, you can even view Acrobat PDFs.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Consumers will soon be able to make their choice in the battle for the high-definition DVD format as players for the two main competing formats finally get release dates.
Toshiba has announced a March launch for its HD DVD format player, making it first to market in the new format. However, this date may be put back to April coincide with the first films to appear on HD DVD.
Warner Home Video said it will release three HD DVD films on April 18th: Million Dollar Baby, The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera. Warner will follow those up with 17 other titles, including Batman Begins, Constantine, Training Day and The Matrix.
The rival Blu-ray format is set to have its first working DVD player in the shops in April. Samsung will launch its player that month, although Sony won't have its first model available until July. Sony said its BDP-S1 Blu-ray player will cost around $1,000 (£570).
However, the launch of the Blu-ray players may also be delayed until content for that platform is available. The earliest Blu-ray titles won't be released until May 23rd. In a move that will please consumers not wanting to back a doomed format, LG is creating a player that handles discs from both systems. The company has told its dealers to expect delivery of the dual-format player in autumn.
LG joins fellow original Blu-ray backer Hewlett-Packard in deciding to support both Blu-Ray and HD DVD.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard has all the horsepower of other motherboards based on NVIDIA´s original single-chip nForce4 SLI implementation. However, the real sweet spot, as we expected, appears when running the board in high-end gaming applications in multi-GPU SLI configurations, and more specifically SLI-AA modes. A sensible improved heatpipe-cooler, a fully equipped BIOS and a great board-layout, endowed with all connectors which leaves nothing to be desired, turn the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe into a front model. A8N32-SLI_deluxe FlashPaper (160.88 KB)
Overclocking has always been ABIT's forte, and the AW8-MAX is no exception: "In the arena of overclocking, the ABIT AW8-MAX shined as well. With our Corsair 5400C4 Pro DDR2 memory, we were able to bring it up to over 800MHz on the memory bus. With Corsair 8000UL RAM, we were able to run the memory bus stable at 904MHz. Front side bus speeds of 325MHz were easily reached as well. For the Intel overclocker, the AW8-MAX is certainly a board to keep on your short list."Abit AW8-MAX FlashPaper (179.24 KB)
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Makers of new blue laser optical disk technology said this week that they have their sights firmly set on enterprise archiving applications currently handled by magnetic tape and even some nearline disk storage arrays.
But those same vendors are quick to admit that consumers must first warm up to the higher-capacity DVD formats before enterprises will accept them as products with enough longevity for their infrastructures.
Pioneer Electronics plans to release its first Blu-ray Disk in three weeks, Sony Corp. plans to ship its media by the end of this month, and Dell Inc. plans to launch its first Blu-ray-compatible desktop computer by midyear. Pioneer’s Blu-ray DVD disk drive will sell for $995 for a single platter disk with 25GB capacity.
Sony Europe’s Recording Media and Energy division announced yesterday that its first Blu-ray Disk media will ship in Europe this month. The single-layer BD-RE (Blu-ray Disc Rewritable) media will be available next week and single-layer write-once BD-R (Blu-ray Disc Recordable) media will be available in April. Sony will launch dual-layer discs later this year. The single-layer BD-R and BD-RE discs offer a storage capacity of 25GB.
The new-generation media support 2X speed, which equates to a data transfer rate of 72Mbit/sec., making the discs suitable for video recording as well as data storage and file backup.
Toshiba Corp. also said yesterday that it is planning to launch its first laptop computer with an HD-DVD drive in Europe next month (See "Toshiba plans HD-DVD laptop for April").
HD-DVD and Blu-ray are two formats vying to replace current DVDs for high-definition content such as movies. Today’s DVDs can hold about 4.7GB of data, while Blu-ray Disk has a capacity of 25GB and HD-DVD can hold 15GB.
Hoping to leap ahead of smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel Corp. unveiled details of a next-generation computer chip design that it claims will perform better — and consume less power — than its current offerings.
Intel's troubles have mounted over the past year as the Santa Clara-based company has shuffled product plans, managed inventory build ups and supply shortages, and competed against AMD products that many observers say deliver performance that's superior to Intel chips.
Between the fourth quarter of 2005 and the same period of 2004, Intel lost 5.3 percentage points of market share to AMD, according to Mercury Research. It remains — by far — the largest microprocessor maker with 76.9 percent of the worldwide market at the end of 2005.
On Friday, Intel lowered its revenue forecast for the current quarter after seeing weaker-than-expected demand and a "slight" share loss to rivals.
During the semi-annual Intel Developer Forum, Gelsinger demonstrated a desktop chip based on the new microarchitecture. The processor, code-named Conroe, delivers 40 percent better performance while consuming 40 percent less power than today's Pentium, he said. It will be available in the third quarter.
Intel also gave details about a new chip for computer servers based on the new design. Dubbed Woodcrest, it will boost performance by 80 percent while consuming 35 percent less power, compared with a 2.8 gigahertz Xeon processor. It will be available in the third quarter.
Intel, which in years past focused on building faster processors, has increasingly invested in chips that consume less power. That's because today's faster chips generally use more watts than in years past, creating servers and desktops that are expensive to keep cool and laptops that burn through battery reserves.
The Core microarchitecture builds on the design of Intel's Pentium M processor for laptop computers, which debuted 2003. Intel generally overhauls its chip design every five or six years. A new architecture is usually applied to desktop processors first and gradually migrates to servers and laptops. This is the first time a new design has started with the notebook chip and moved to desktops and servers.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
5-GHz CPUs are should soon be on store shelves, according to chipmakers at a conference in Silicon Valley this week.
Chip-making advances announced at the SPIE Microlithography Conference in San Jose, California, showed that Moore's Law is alive and well. Moore's Law dictates that chip densities double every 18 months, leading to smaller chips with double the processing power. But the Law has become doubtful lately as lithography and other chip-making processes butt up against the limits of physics. Naysayers say the chip industry has shrunk chips about as far as they can go.
But IBM, for example, said this week it will defy "conventional wisdom" and print circuits with 30-nanometer ridges, a third of the size of the 90-nm chips in production today, using current lithography imaging processes. Also this week, Dutch-based lithography equipment maker ASML Holding NV demonstrated its 42-nm production process and said it had the equipment to make 35-nm chips.
Both developments followed CPU-giant Intel's announcement last month that it had produced a 45-nm SRAM, or Static Random Access Memory, chip.
Shrinking chip ridges below today's 90-nm sizes means PCs in the near future will likely offer performance jumps equivalent to those achieved through the last 20 years (remember when a system with a 468-MHz Pentium and 64M of DRAM was considered a high-end PC?)
According to chipmakers and a technology road map from the Semiconductor Industry Association, we can expect transistor counts on CPUs to double from 1 billion to 2 billion in two years, and to an astonishing 4 billion in four years. The SIA roadmap predicts chips will continue to become smaller and denser through 2020.
Intel and AMD have said CPU clock speeds -- measured in gigahertz -- will not increase to the same degree as in years past due to constraints in power consumption and heat. However, the companies will take advantage of increasing chip densities to pack multiple cores onto each chip, resulting in performance leaps. Intel said there may be as many as 100 cores packed on a single processor within 10 years.
While CPUs with 5-GHz clock speeds in four years is probable, analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 agreed that performance boosts on levels commensurate with years past will be based on multi-core CPU designs.
Also, the amount of DRAM per chip should continue to double from a maximum of 1 Gigabit now to 4 Gigabits per chip in four years, according to memory chipmakers and the SIA roadmap. As DDR2 memory designs become increasingly available now for 1-Gb DRAM chips, it is possible to pack in modules with high-end motherboards that can handle more than four GB of DRAM. With the advent of 2-Gb memory chips in less than two years, 4-Gb devices are expected to follow in four years.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Memory Speed: The link between the CPU and memory is called the memory bus. Often, it runs at the same speed as the Front Side Bus (FSB), which regulates the communication between the CPU and lots of other system components. The newer Intel Pentium Processors seem to run better with the memory using an asynchrous 4:5 memory divider, meaning that the memory is running faster than the front side bus. The bus speeds are measured in MHz, or million clock cycles (CC's) per second. Memory Latency:
Modern processors transmit 8 bits of data on every clock cycle, and all Athlon 64 and the older Socket 478 Pentium 4 CPUs run with a 200MHz memory bus. Newer Intel Pentium CPUs that use the LGA775 socket use either a 266MHz or 333MHz memory bus speed. The memory bus speed depends on whether they're an Extreme Edition or not - standard Pentium CPUs use a 266MHz memory bus, while Extreme Editions use a 333MHz bus.
If you multiply 400 (200 times 2 as Double Data Rate (DDR) memory runs at twice the clock speed) by 8, and you get a theoretical maximum figure of 3200Mbits/s transfer - hence the memory rating speed PC3200 found on the label of most new sticks of DDR memory. With the newer Pentium CPUs, you will see modules labelled with PC2-4200 (DDR2-533), PC2-5400 (DDR2-667) and modules up to PC2-8000 (DDR2-1000).
Addressing memory is much like reading from a large, multiple page spreadsheet. It doesn't matter how quickly you can read, before you can start you have to find the page the data you want is on (this is known as tRAS
), work your way to the row and column the data's stored on (tRCD
), when you've found the cell you want it takes some time before you start reading (CAS
) and when you get to the end of a row you have to switch to the next, which takes time (tRP
is the time required between the bank active command and the precharge command. Or in simpler terms, how long the module must wait before the next memory access can start. It doesn't have a great impact on performance, but it can impact system stability if set incorrectly. The optimal setting ultimately depends on your platform - the best thing to do is to run Memtest86
on your system with variable tRAS settings to find the fastest setting for your system.
timing relates to the number of clock cycles taken between the issuing of the active command and the read/write command. In this time, the internal row signal settles enough for the charge sensor to amplify it. The lower this is set, the better - the optimal setting is either 2 or 3, depending on how capable your memory is. As with any other memory timing, setting this too low for your memory can cause in system instabilities.CAS Latency
is the delay, in clock cycles, between sending a READ command and the moment the first piece of data is available on the outputs. Setting CAS to 2.0 seems to be the holy grail with memory manufacturers, but the difference between tight timings and high memory bus speeds is an arguement that we hope to settle over the course of this article.
timing is the number of clock cycles taken between the issuing of a precharge command and the active command. It could also be described as the delay required between deactivating the current row and selecting the next row. In conjunction with the tRCD timing, which relates to the time taken between the issuing of the active command and the read/write command, the time required to switch banks (or rows) and then select the next cell for reading/writing or refreshing is a combination of the two timings. "Full Article here"
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Radeon® X1800 Series — Ultra-threaded 3D Architecture for Maximum Visual Velocity
This is it. The new Radeon® X1800 Series hands you the visual and performance possibilities you only dreamed of from a PC graphics processor. It has been designed with a radically new ultra-threaded 3D architecture and Shader Model 3.0, unleashing the most mind-blowing gaming effects. What’s more, the X1800 introduces ATI’s revolutionary Avivo™, our new reference for video and display perfection.
Radeon X1800 series’ 90-nanometer process technology and ultra-threaded architecture combine power and efficiency as well as support for Shader Model 3.0 to deliver new High Dynamic Range visual effects, enhanced realism with Adaptive Anti Aliasing and lightning fast performance in OpenGL and DirectX® 9 games.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The kit contains the VIA EPIA 10000 board, the M1-ATX smart vehicle PSU, VoomPC car PC enclosure, wire harness, connectors and jumpers.
VoomPC is a compact, high performance yet affordable x86 vehicle / car PC (car computer) kits specifically designed for the ultra power sensitive conditions of in-vehicle applications. Based on low power VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards the VoomPC is aimed at driving telematics mainstream and provides a versatile, low cost navigation and infotainment platform.
With a footprint of 21cm x 25cm x 6.7cm, the VoomPC is equipped with rich peripheral connectivity, multimedia and telematics options afforded by the feature-packed VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard, including USB2.0, Firewire, Ethernet, PCMCIA types I and II CardBus interface for GPRS/Wifi, S-Video, VGA and six-channel audio. Made our of massive 5.5mm extruded aluminum profile, the voomPC(TM) car PC (carputer) encloure was designed to work with any type of mini-ITX motherboard (170x170mm) from fanless configurations such as VIA mini-ITX or Pentium or low power Pentium-M processors, making it the ideal car PC solution.
Anyone can now take CompactFlash memory and use it as a primary hard disk for your system. No moving parts bearing wobble, spinning disks. This little baby at $19.95 you cannot go wrong.
The IDE to CompactFlash adapter enables OEMs to replace hard disk drives with economical, rugged CompactFlash cards. This is a convenient interface that allows CompactFlash modules to be used in any system that includes a standard IDE 40 pin connector. Once the platform starts with the adapter and the CF card attached, the compactflash module appears to the system to be a standard disk drive. Unlike other flash storage systems such as DiskOn-Chip modules, this solution does not require drivers or additional software to run the unit. The CF card can be the primary boot device containing the OS and application.
|Power (5V, GND) is provided via a 2 pin header (0.1"). All our DC-DC converters provide 5V via 2 pin jumper.|
Introducing picoPSU-120, world's tiniest 12V DC-DC ATX power supply unit (PSU)
Compact design, less cables. The picoPSU-120 is the smallest snap-in ATX dc to dc power supply. The picoPSU is compatible with an entire range of mini-itx motherboards as well as regular boards. The picoPSU-120 provides a cool, silent 120 Watts of power for small PC designs using a single 12V power source.
By using Patent Pending HyperWatt[TM] technologies , picoPSU-120 packs an impressive amount of power relative with its very small footprint.
Small computer projects start with small power supplies. PicoPSU-120 is a crucial key component that unleashes the ultimate power solution for general purpose computing platforms. PicoPSU-120 is fully ATX compliant, making it an excellent candidate for any silent, 12V DC-DC computer project.
Reduce space. Eliminate 20 unnecessary wires by plugging in directly into the motherboard ATX connector. The picoPSU-120 12V dc-dc ATX converter was designed from ground up to fit small form factor ATX boards, allowing enclosure designers to save space while not compromising power requirements.
Cool power. Operating at only 12V, the picoPSU-120 dc-dc ATX power supply delivers 120 Watts of power. picoPSU provides plenty of power (via ATX connector and HDD cable harness) for CPU and an entire range of peripherals.
100% Silent The picoPSU-120 mini PSU is a 100% silent dc to dc solution. No fans, no noise, just power for small and silent PCs.
picoPSU-120 is a fully compliant DC-DC ATX PSU. It can power VIA mini-ITX boards with C3 or C7 processors, P3, P4, Pentium-M, and AMD processors.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The move to Intel chips will boost Apple's sales and erase the perception that computers lag behind Windows-based PCs in performance, analysts said. "Now consumers can buy a Mac that is three times faster and for the same price," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64 research firm.
With the success of its iPod players and flashy retail stores, Apple has already begun siphoning customers from the Windows camp. After years of hovering around 3 percent, Apple last year cracked 4 percent of the U.S. PC market.
Apple's historic shift to Intel microprocessors came months earlier than expected as CEO Steve Jobs debuted Tuesday an iMac desktop and a notebook based on the chip makers' new two-brained processor, the Intel Core Duo.
When it first announced plans to switch in June, Apple said it expected to begin making the transition by mid-2006. On Tuesday, Jobs was joined at the Macworld Expo by Intel CEO Paul Otellini to unveil the new jointly designed computers.
Jobs said its entire Mac line will be converted to Intel by the end of 2006.
The shift comes as Apple's hugely popular iPods continue to enthrall the public. Apple brought in a record $5.7 billion in sales during the holiday quarter as it sold 14 million iPods — nearly three times as many units as it did in the same period a year ago, Jobs said. Meanwhile, Apple's online iTunes store has sold more than 850 million songs and 8 million videos to date, he said. The company's stock shot to a 52-week high on the news.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The competing technologies are Blu-ray, the high-definition video disc format backed by Sony Corp. and several other major vendors, and HD-DVD, which is backed by the DVD Forum and companies including Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
The difference in storage space is huge: regular DVDs can hold 4.7GB of music, movies and other data, while Blu-ray can carry 25GB of data and HD-DVD can hold 15GB. But despite some other advantages for each of the two new formats, the companies backing them have been unable to compromise on a single standard.
Now, both groups appear ready to let consumers decide the winner, just like the 1980s video cassette recorder fight between VHS and Betamax.
Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony, said that talks between the Blu-ray and HD-DVD camps broke down some time ago for a number of reasons and that now the factions are at a point where it's difficult to step back from their positions.
"There's no question that a format war is not a good idea, but I don't see what we can do about it except push on and convince everybody that a revolutionary high-definition disc [Blu-ray] is better than an evolutionary high-definition disc [HD-DVD]," he said during a news conference at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson). The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25GB, which can be used to record over 2 hours of HDTV or more than 13 hours of standard-definition TV. There are also dual-layer versions of the discs that can hold 50GB.
While current optical disc technologies such as DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, and DVD-RAM use a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name Blu-ray. Despite the different type of lasers used, Blu-ray products can easily be made backwards compatible through the use of a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical pickup and allow playback of CDs and DVDs. The benefit of using a blue-violet laser (405nm) is that it has a shorter wavelength than a red laser (650nm), which makes it possible to focus the laser spot with even greater precision. This allows data to be packed more tightly and stored in less space, so it's possible to fit more data on the disc even though it's the same size as a CD/DVD. This together with the change of numerical aperture to 0.85 is what enables Blu-ray Discs to hold 25GB/50GB.
With the rapid growth of HDTV, the consumer demand for recording HD programming is quickly rising. Blu-ray was designed with this application in mind and supports direct recording of the MPEG-2 TS (Transport Stream) used by digital broadcasts, which makes it highly compatible with global standards for digital TV. This means that HDTV broadcasts can be recorded directly to the disc without any quality loss or extra processing. To handle the increased amount of data required for HD, Blu-ray employs a 36Mbps data transfer rate, which is more than enough to record and playback HDTV while maintaining the original picture quality. In addition, by fully utilizing an optical disc's random accessing features, it's possible to playback video on a disc while simultaneously recording HD video.
Blu-ray is expected to replace VCRs and DVD recorders with the transition to HDTV over the coming years. The format is also likely to become a standard for PC data storage and HD movies in the future.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
||150 GB, 10000 RPM, 16 MB Cache|
Some hard drive companies design desktop-class drives with the SATA interface. To meet the demands of enterprise storage, WD is going one better. WD is the only company combining a 10,000 RPM enterprise-class mechanical platform with the SATA interface to meet all the demands of the enterprise environment—reliability, performance, and reduced cost.
Reliable — designed and manufactured to enterprise-class standards to provide enterprise reliability in high duty cycle environments. With 1.2 million hours MTBF, these drives have the highest available reliability rating on a high-capacity drive.
Fast — with a next-generation SATA interface, 1.5 Gb/s data transfer rate, native command queuing (NCQ), and 16 MB cache, these drives deliver optimum performance.
RAID-specific, time-limited error recovery (TLER) — a feature unique to WD, prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop drives.
Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF™) — optimizes operation and performance when the drives are used in vibration-prone, multidrive systems such as rack-mounted servers.
FlexPower™ — connector technology that accepts power from either industry-standard or new SATA power supplies.
Monday, December 26, 2005
||AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor
||Intel Pentium D Dual-Core Processor|
LGA775 (limited motherboard support)
90 nanometer, SOI (silicon on insulator)
Number of Transistors
154 to 233 million
AMD 64 Instruction support
No, EM64T support only
|System Bus Technology
||HyperTransport™ technology up to 2000MHz, full duplex
||Front Side Bus @ 800 MHz, half duplex|
|Integrated Memory Controller
||128-bit + 16-bit ECC
unbuffered PC3200, PC 2700,
PC 2100, or PC1600
|No, Discrete logic device on motherboard |
|Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth
HyperTransport technology: up to 8.0 GB/s
Memory bandwidth: up to 6.4 GB/s
Total: up to 14.4 GB/s
Total: up to 6.4 GB/s
|3D & Multimedia instructions
||3DNow!(TM) technology, SSE2, SSE3
NVIDIA: Nforce4 Series chipsets
ATI: Radeon Xpress 200 Series chipsets
VIA: K8 Series chipsets
SiS: 75x Series chipsets or greater
Intel: 945/955 Series only
NVIDIA: Nforce4 Series chipsets
|Total Designed Power (TDP)
||89W or 110W
||95W or 130W |
|Merom Is The Mother Of All Upcoming Processor Designs
So far Intel has announced three processor versions that are expected to be launched in fall of 2006. Conroe will be the desktop processor for Socket 775, featuring two cores and a shared 4 MB L2 cache. There will be a server processor that is based on the same chip architecture and cache size whose name is Woodcrest.
Both share the same genes that are derived from the processor design that is looked forward to as Merom. This one will power new mobile processors with either 2 MB or 4 MB L2 cache and two cores sharing it. A Woodcrest version with 8 MB cache that was being shown on some slides during the last Intel Developer Forum isn't mentioned any longer.
|The introduction of the Merom design will be a turning point in Intel's product policy, because it will be the backbone for all processor families that go into the desktop, the mobile or the enterprise space. In contrast, the desktop and enterprise markets are provided with Pentium 4 and Pentium D NetBurst architecture processors while the mobility CPUs are derived from the more efficient Pentium M design. At this point we should also mention that all processors currently shipping out of AMD's Fab 35 facility in Dresden, Germany, are already based on one single processor design. Still AMD has not yet been able to transition to neither a 65 nm production process or 300 mm wafer manufacturing. |
||Besides the processor designs that have already been announced there will be two additional versions. The desktop processor Allendale is a stripped-down dual core with 2 MB L2 cache only. We expect this processor to be available a couple of months after Conroe.
Later on, Intel is going to release even more Merom-based products, yet stripped-down again. Millville will be a single core with 1 MB L2 cache only, so basically half an Allendale chip.
Kentsfield Will Be The First Desktop Quad Core The big news for the end of next year will be the first desktop processor product with four physical cores - although these are not going to be on a single die. Kentsfield is expected to hit the market in early or mid 2007.
|The code name is intended to be somewhat similar to Smithfield, since the target market segment is the same.
Obviously, a quad core processor with a decent amount of L2 cache would increase the transistor real estate by a tremendous amount. In order to avoid low yields due to huge die sizes, Kentsfield is referred to as coming in a multi chip package. This enables Intel to fit two or even more processor dies into a physical package while being able to select the particular parts beforehand. At the same time, the company will be able to answer changing demand highly flexible. Yet we could not get an answer on the question whether the Kentsfield's multi chip package will carry four Millville cores or two Allendale type chips. Both is doable why we expect it to be composed of two dual cores.
There will also be a server version of this dual core, code named Clovertown. Again it is 4 MB L2 cache and a multi chip package. The real surprise about the Kentsfield quad core product is the fact that is taped out already, which means nothing less than all the manufacturing parameters were provided to a manufacturing facility for first silicon. This, by the way, also happened with Allendale already. The climax of Intel's move to 45 nm will obviously be processors with as many as eight cores on a die. Technically, the Yorkfield and Harpertown cores are pretty similar, while Yorkfield steps into the desktop space and Harpertown harpoons the enterprise customer. Both will be 45 nm parts, with four cores and as much as 12 MB L2 cache. We can't say how the geometry of this chip is going to be and we suppose Intel is not entirely sure yet either.
As it looks right now, four Wolfdale type chips with 3 MB L2 cache each could be lined up together in order to realize the huge quad core super chip. Alternatively we could imagine Intel pulling two quad cores with 6 MB L2 cache each. Although these are not yet outlined, we believe this could be added rather quickly.
|It's our editors choice motherboard. The A8N-SLI Premium, with AI Cool Pipe, lets you have the best of both worlds. The fact that there are 8 SATA Slots, 4 at SATA II. The unit cost is at $167.00 USA with Asus track record it is a Top Choice!|
Socket 939 for AMD Athlon 64FX / Athlon 64 X2|
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
Front Side Bus
2000 MT/s, 1600MT/s
4 x 184-pin DIMM Sockets support max. 4GB DDR400/DDR333/DDR266 memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
2 x PCI Express x16
1 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI Slots 3
1 x PCI Express X4
Under SLI mode : support two SLI-ready graphics cards*
Under Default(Single VGA) mode: supports all PCI Express graphics cards
ASUS EZ Plug Storage/ RAID
4 x SATA 3Gb/s
2 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33
NVRAID : RAID0, RAID1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD
Silicon Image 3114R RAID controller:
4 x Serial ATA with RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5 (RAID 5 software patch available, no WHQL)
nForce4 built-in Gbit MAC with external Marvell PHY :
Saturday, December 24, 2005
||Easy to use guide to the basic types of USB 2.0 cables.
- Male to Female for and extension USB cable
- A to B for printers and scanners
- Mini B for cameras, Cell Phones, Portable drives etc
- Male to Male for Pc to Hub, Hub to Pc, etc
- USB to Ethernet for Router, Nic, Switch
- USB to IDE for Disk, CDRom, etc
- USB to Parallel for Printers or Scanners
- USB to PS2 for Keyboard and Mouse
- USB to Serial for any Serial Device
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Device Type - Hard drive array
Total Storage Capacity - 1 TB
Width - 6.6 in
Depth - 8.7 in
Height - 9.5 in
Weight - 15.9 lbs
Type - 4 x standard
Capacity - 250 GB
Type - RAID
Data Transfer Rate - 133 MBps
RAID Level - RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5
Controller Interface Type - ATA-133
Supported Devices - Hard drive, disk array (RAID)
Type - Network adapter
Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
Compliant Standards - IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3U
Expansion Bays Total (Free) - 4 ( 4 ) x internal
Interfaces - 1 x 10/100/1000 - 4 x Hi-Speed USB
Min Operating Temperature - 32 °F
Max Operating Temperature - 95 °F
|At a price $780.00 - $868.00 USA |
Attributes: Dual speakers
Response Time/Rate: 8 ms
Viewing Angle (H/V): 160/160 degrees
Display Type: Widescreen
Contrast Ratio: 500:1
Digital Video Standard: Digital Visual Interface (DVI)
Display Size: 19 in.
Display Technology: LCD
Image Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Internal Resolution (maximum): 1440 x 900
Connector: HDDB15 15-pin (F)
Connector: DVI digital 24-pin (F)
Connector: Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm (F)
|At a price $299.00 USA Rated Low cost flat panel.|
Type: 19" color TFT Active Matrix SXGA LCD
Display Area: 14.8" horizontal x 11.9" vertical x 19.0" diagonal
Optimum Resolution: 1280x1024
Contrast Ratio: 550:1 (typ)
Viewing Angle: 160° h, 160° v @ contrast ratio > 5
Response Time: 4ms (gray-to-gray); 5ms (typ)
Brightness: 270 cd/m2 (typ)
Light Source: Long life, 40,000 hrs. (typ)
Panel Surface: Anti-glare
Video: RGB analog (75 o, 0.7 Vp-p); DVI-D (TMDS, 100 o)
Sync: H/V separated (TTL), composite, sync-on-green
Frequency: Fh: 30~82kHz, Fv: 50~75Hz
Analog: 15-pin mini D-sub and DVI-D
Power: 3-pin AC plug, (CEE22)
Voltage: AC 100-240V, 50-60Hz (auto switch)
Consumption: 35W (typ)
17.0" x 18.4" x 7.9" (with stand)
431mm x 468mm x 201mm (with stand)
17.0" x 14.6" x 2.6" (without stand)
431mm x 370mm x 66mm (without stand)
|At a price $356.00 USA Rated great value.|
|Logitech took award-winning Logitech Z-680 speaker system and made it even better. By improving everything from the subwoofer to the satellites and adding new innovations like real-time digital sound equalization.
The result is the Logitech Z-5500 Digital, a THX-certified, 500-watt 5.1 surround sound speaker system that offers everything you could possibly want and some things you didn't even know you needed. And once you plug in your PC, DVD or music player, or video game console, you'll never want to listen to anything else.
Powerful, distortion-free bass: The new, larger 10-inch long-throw subwoofer driver with flared bass port delivers 188 watts of thunderous bass.
Innovative driver technology: Polished aluminum phase-plug satellites combine two drivers into one--the clarity of a tweeter with the richness and fullness of a separate mid-range.
Digital equalization: The Z-5500 Digital actively adjusts frequency response in real time for the cleanest, most accurate sound reproduction.
DTS 96/24 support: Enjoy studio-quality sound thanks to the Z-5500's support for 96 kHz / 24-bit digital audio streams
Amazingly powerful controls: The Digital SoundTouch Control Center lets you control volume to all speakers, set inputs, and much more. And the separate wireless remote is great for home theaters and video game consoles.
Innovative satellite design: Cloth grilles are removable for a pro-audio look. Pedestals rotate for easy wall mounting or desk placement. Center channel can be mounted on wall, above or below monitor.
Connect to multiple sources: Simultaneously connect 6 audio sources including PCs, video game consoles, and DVD, CD & portable music players and control it all from the Digital SoundTouch Control Center. |
Total RMS power: 505 watts RMS
Satellites: 317 watts RMS (2 x 62 W front, 2 x 62 rear, 69 W center)
Subwoofer: 188 watts RMS
Total Peak power: 1010 watts
Maximum SPL: >115 dB
Frequency response: 33 Hz - 20 kHz
Amplifier: Ultra-linear, high-capacity analog
Signal to noise ratio: >93.5 dB, typical 100
Input impedance: 8,000 ohms
Satellites: 3" polished aluminum phase plug drivers
Subwoofer: 10" high-excursion ported driver with 6th order bass reflex enclosure
Surround sound effects
Hardware decoding for Dolby Digital, DTS, and DTS, 96/24 soundtracks
Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music modes)
6 Channel Direct
Supported digital formats:
DTS and DTS 96/24
PCM (uncompressed stereo): 44.1 kHz / 16 bit through 96 kHz / 24 bit
|Designed to meet the performance demands of the world's best-known professional gamer, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty™ FPS sound card provides stunning 109dB SNR audio quality, accelerates gaming performance and includes 64MB of on-board X-RAM for high performance gaming. With support for EAX® ADVANCED HD™ 5.0, the latest version of the EAX Environmental Audio standard, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS card utilizes X-Fi CMSS 3D technology for stunning audio realism over headphones in LAN gaming. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS features a convenient front-facing internal drive bay for easy connectivity, plus the X-Fi IR remote to easily access and control all digital entertainment, and to control the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS 3D, 3DMIDI and EAX. In addition to providing outstanding gaming performance, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS includes all of the standard features, application software, power and performance capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum and Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic. |
|For Ultimate Gaming Performance and Maximum Realism
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS delivers the fastest gaming performance ever!
A completely re-engineered game audio processing engine utilizing Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor allows Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS to deliver the fastest gaming performance ever seen, providing more than a 15% performance boost over motherboard audio solutions while simultaneously delivering full audio effects!
Sound Blaster X-Fi - The first sound card with Xtreme Fidelity RAM.
|For Pristine Audio Recording Quality
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS offers high quality, feature-rich recording.
Utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor, you'll get the most advanced features and effects of any audio processor for music and audio creation currently available, delivering pristine audio plalyback quality. The Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor features a near transparent SRC engine that converts to and from any resolution at 136dB THD+N, and also provides digital-matched recording capabilities in resolutions from 44.1kHz to 96kHz. You'll also get support for ASIO recordings with latency as low as one millisecond, up to eight different hardware effects, 24-bit SoundFont® sampling, and 3D MIDI for amazing flexibility and recording results.
|For Xtreme Fidelity™ Music and Movies
X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer™ enhances MP3s and movies to sound better than they do on their original CD or DVD.
Utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor your music and movie audio is sent through a two-step quality enhancement process. First the processor converts the audio into 24-bit/96kHz quality, then it enhances the parts of the audio stream that have been restricted/damaged during the compression stages to 16-bit and then to MP3. The result of these enhancements is music that sounds cleaner, smoother and has more sparkle, and movies that sound more realistic than ever before!
X-Fi CMSS®-3D allows you to upgrade your MP3 music and stereo movies into surround sound with headphones or multichannel speakers.
SuperRip™ allows you to rip your CDs into Xtreme Fidelity quality
ALL-IN-WONDER X800 XT is the Complete PVR, Video and
3D Graphics Experience for your PC! Brace yourself
for the world’s fastest and most powerful Graphics
Processing Unit (GPU), with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
and 16 parallel pixel pipelines packed into the
ALL-IN-WONDER® X800 XT. All this allows for quality
cinematic graphics that move at incredible speeds
for the most complete multimedia and 3D gaming
experience available. ALL-IN-WONDER X800 XT delivers
an unequalled array of TV, DVD, FM radio, audio and
video features for home theater, video editing and
gaming—all supported by ATI's sophisticated REMOTE
WONDER II wireless remote.
ALL-IN-WONDER X800 XT requires connection to your PC’s
internal power supply for operation. A 300-watt power supply
or greater is recommended to ensure normal system operation.
A 350-watt power supply may be required in some fully-loaded
PC systems where a number of other internal devices are
Intel Pentium 4/Celeron, AMD Athlon or compatible with
AGP 8X (0.8V) or 4X (1.5V) slot
128MB of system memory (256MB or higher recommended)
Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
DVD playback requires DVD drive
Interactive Program guide requires internet connection
for listing updates
Remote control receiver requires available USB port
1GHz minimum processor speed required for MPEG-2 video
capture Graphics Technology
RADEON X800 XT Visual processor unit (VPU) Memory
256MB of double data rate GDDR3 memory Operating Systems
Support Windows XP
Windows 2000 Display Support
VGA connector for analog CRT
S-video or composite connector for TV/VCR
DVI-I connector for digital CRT or flat panel
Drive two displays simultaneously with independent
resolutions and refresh rates
YPrPb output adapter included output to HDTV-ready
televisions (North America only) TV Tuner
TV signal from amplified antenna or cable. Versions NTSC
(North America, Japan, and Latin America*)
MulTView requires additional ATI PCI TV WONDER card,
compatible motherboard and soundcard
*Features vary from country to country and depending on
the television standard.
New and Uniquely Designed Connectors .
15 pin VGA
Stereo audio, S-video, and composite video inputs and
External stereo connections to sound card’s line input
and output Dolby digital stereo audio output (S/PDIF)
|eVGA 256-P2-N386 GEFORCE 6800GS 256MB PCIE GDDR3 w/HDTV & DVI
At $194.00 USA we find this card a great value for any level user
Superscaler 12-pipe architecture
Intellisample 3.0 Technology
Advanced Adaptive De-interlacing
64-phase Video Scaler
integrated Full-Hardware MPEG Support
Single Single-link DVI Support
CineFX 3.0 Engine
64-bit texture filtering and blending
SLI Multi-GPU Ready
128-bit studio precision computation
Full speed 32-bit color precision
NVIDIA nView multi-display technology
NVIDIA Video Processing Engine (VPE)
Integrated Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0
True color 64x64 hardware cursor with alpha
Optimized for 32,24,16,15 and 8-bpp modes
-Socket775 for Intel Pentium Extreme Edition / Pentium D / Pentium 4 / Celeron CPU
-NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition
-NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
Front Side Bus: 1066 / 800 / 533MHz
-Dual channel memory architecture
-4 x 240-pin DIMM sockets
-2 x PCI Express x16
-2 x PCI Express x1
-1 x PCI Express x4
-2 x PCI
-ASUS EZ Plug™
-ASUS two-slot thermal design
-ASUS PEG Link for dual PCI Express cards
-NVIDIA nForce4 SLI supports NVRAID
- 4 x Serial ATA 3 Gb/s
- NVRAID: RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD
-Silicon Image 3132 SATA controller supports
- 1 x Internal Serial ATA 3 Gb/s hard disk
- 1 x External Serial ATA hard disk
- RAID 0, 1
-Dual Gigabit LAN featuring AI Net2
-NVIDIA NF4 SLI Southbridge built-in Gigabit MAC with external
-Realtek ALC850 8-channel CODEC
-Universal Audio Jack
||NVIDIA SLI™ Technology |
NVIDIA® nForce4 SLI Intel® Edition
ASUS two-slot thermal design (ASUS exclusive)
8 Phase Power Design
SATA on the Go (External SATA port on back I/O)
Monday, December 19, 2005
||One of the many servers we build.
- Dual Intel® 64-bit Xeon® Support,
up to 3.60 GHz, 800 MHz FSB
- Intel® E7520 (Lindenhurst) Chipset
- Up to 16GB DDRII 400 SDRAM
- Intel® 82546GB Dual-port Gigabit
- Adaptec AIC-7902 Dual Channel
- 2x SATA Ports via ICH5R Controller
- 1 (x8) PCI-Express on (x16) ,
3x 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X,
2x 64-bit 100MHz PCI-X
- Zero Channel RAID Support
- ATI RageXL 8MB Graphics
A complete combo package can be found. 3.0 64 processor 2 gig of memory and board for $371.00 US makes this a great low cost value.
|Epox has created an SLI board with a difference with its newly announced EP-8NPA SLI motherboard.|
There are many SLI motherboards out there that support either Socket 939 Athlon 64's and LGA775 Intel Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors, but until now there has not been an SLI solution for those early adopters who bought the now redundant Athlon 64 Socket 754 CPU's before Socket 939 appeared in retail.
Epox have created the first Socket 754 motherboard supporting SLI, packing an awesome upgrade punch for those who were seemingly stuck with earlier technology.
Somehow the company has managed to merge the scalable gaming performance from NVIDIA's NForce 4 SLI chipset with the single channel Socket 754 CPU's.
The board uses two x8 PCI-Express lanes, and it has all of the features associated with the NForce 4 SLI chipset, minus dual channel memory of course. Epox's home page.
At $116.00 US it is a great value even though it lacks a second Gig Nic and only 4 SATA II drives.
|Hyper Transport Technology |
Delivers a 2GHz effective system bus, designed to increase the communication speed between integrated circuits in computers, servers, embedded systems, and networking and telecommunications equipment up to 48 times faster than some existing technologies.
SATAII 3Gb/s RAID
Doubles bus bandwidth which provides blazingly high disk performance.
NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet
The industry's fastest Gigabit Ethernet performance eliminates network bottlenecks and improves overall system efficiency and performance.
- Supports Socket 939 Athlon64/64FX/64X2 Processor
- With 2GHz system bus using Hyper Transport™ Technology
- Supports AMD CPU Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
- NVIDIA NF4 SLI Single Chipset
- Four 184-pin DIMM sockets
- Supports Dual channel DDR 400 Un-buffered Non-ECC memory
- Supports maximum memory capacity up to 4GB
NVIDIA SLI Technology
- Two PCI-Express X16 slots support NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface
- PCI-E bus providing 60x the bandwidth of PCI |
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
||The walking, childlike robot from Honda Motor Co. can now serve tea, push a mail cart and gallop along at twice its previous pace — the latest in the Japanese automaker's quest to replicate human movement.
The 51-inch talk, bubble-headed robot named Asimo has already shown it can jog, walk up stairs, wave, avoid obstacles and carry on simple conversations. But in a demonstration Monday at Honda's Tokyo head office, a new version of the robot showed off new skills its maker hopes will make the robot more handy around the office.
|Honda illustrated how Asimo might serve as a receptionist of the future. Equipped with a sensor that can read microchips in identification cards, the robot recognized a woman approaching from behind, and turned to greet her by name.
It then demonstrated further potential as a host by taking a tray of coffee cups from the woman with its own hands and carrying it to a nearby table where it set the tray down for imaginary guests. It also pushed a four-wheeled cart around on stage.
Later, Asimo — whose name is a play on the Japanese word for "leg" or "ashi" — sprinted back and forth for reporters at 4 miles per hour, double its previous gait of 2 mph. The new technique demonstrates improved balancing technology because both the robot's feet are airborne at the same time in mid-stride, Honda said.
Honda began dabbling with humanoid robots in 1987 and now has 40 Asimos worldwide.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
||Plus: 80 Gigabytes in your shirt pocket; USB bus powered
Minus: Little pricey
The Pitch: If the 6GB in the Apricorn Microkey isn't enough, then consider the Iomega 80GB Portable Hard Drive.
|List price: $170 check prices
|This devices incorporates a 2.5-inch, laptop hard drive into a compact metal shell that's small enough to be tucked into a shirt pocket. It supports USB 2.0, and is bus powered, assuming your USB bus is fully powered—plugging into a passive hub may not work|
|With 80GB of storage in your pocket, you can carry around a lot of stuff. Our entire CD collection, ripped in Windows Media Audio lossless format, can fit into this drive. And that's over 3,000 pretty large files. You can also carry all your digital photos around to show your friends—sort of the digital equivalent of 20,000 slide projector carousels. |
Sunday, November 27, 2005
E Ink® Imaging Film is a simple ink sheet component that can be integrated into a device to create a high resolution display with all of the unique attributes of electronic ink: long battery life, a wide viewing angle and a paper-like reading experience. While current devices using E Ink® Imaging Film have rigid backplane electronics, the Imaging Film itself is plastic and can be flexed and rolled, combining the complete look and feel of a paper document. Once electronics manufacturers are able to mass produce flexible backplanes, E Ink® Imaging Film will bring the E Ink founders' vision of a flexible newspaper with the versatility of digital control and wireless update to life. Learn More
Products that enable – dream, design, build using gumstix basix and connex platforms!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
|Introducing the MicroKey
built to be the toughest USB memory key on the market.
Apricorn’s MicroKey was built with ruggedness in mind. Manufactured from a lightweight, durable aluminum alloy, our tiny, high capacity USB memory key enables you to take your data anywhere.
The MicroKey's slim design features extensive shock mounting, insulating the HDD from vibration and shock, and a swivel interface, giving accessibility to virtually any USB port, even adjacent ones. It’s small lightweight size (only 2.5 oz), and rugged carry case, perfect for carrying on a belt, makes the MicroKey the most portable drive of its kind.
Available in 4GB and 6GB models, the MicroKey's rugged design and powerful software is perfect for industrial applications, such as data logging, or for those users that demand the most robust of equipment.
Bundled with a comprehensive software suite, the MicroKey comes with everything you need to synchronize and protect your data.
Second Copy 2000 Synchronizing software provides a variety of options for synchronizing your system for file sharing or backup. The software is simple and easy to use and takes only a few minutes to complete. When you’re done working, Second Copy will synchronize all of your changes to your home or office computer, keeping your data up-to-date.
Cryptainer Encryption software secures your data with absolute privacy using Blowfish 128bit encryption. Cryptainer allows you to password protect and secure any file or folder. Simply drag and drop the files and folders you wish to hide and your data is safe and protected.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker is aiming to roll out a quad-core-capable processor family during 2007 and switch to an all-new processor architecture later this decade.
The quad-capable family will result in a wide range of four core processors, including offerings for desktops, notebooks and one for servers that can fit into machines with as many as 32 processors.
AMD aims to use its ability to step up on processor cores in 2007, along with its move to a new processor architecture around 2008 or 2009 as a means to meet its goals of maintaining what it sees as a technical lead over Intel Corp., its larger rival, while fostering a grow rate that's at least two-times the market average, company executives said in a meeting for analysts on Tuesday.
AMD hopes to use its Opteron chip's recent wins in rack-mount servers to gain more acceptance in areas such as blade servers, corporate desktops and business notebooks, over time, executives explained at the meeting.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
DRAM output continuing to grow, oversupply in the DDR and DDR2 segments will continue over the upcoming months, and the effects on memory price trends in both the contract and spot markets.
InSpectrum noted that the output ramp from both Taiwan and US makers were fairly stable in October, while a Germany-based memory maker reported output growth from its partners. Japan and Korea based vendors, in the meantime, continue to report escalating output.
Contract prices in the second quarter of November should drop further as some PC OEMs may receive special offers from memory makers. Heavy trading may expose traders to dramatic price drops, of up to 5% in single day, InSpectrum predicted.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
During October, 49.8 percent of the personal computers sold by retail stores in the United States contained an AMD processor, while 48.5 percent held a chip from Intel Corp., a report by Current Analysis Inc. shows. The San Diego, Calif., firm tracks sales at retail stores such as Best Buy.
Although it's not the first time AMD has surpassed Intel in one category or another at retail—AMD edged out Intel in desktops during September, for example, Current Analysis said—the October figures appear to show AMD riding a wave.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., company's retail market share surged from around 20 percent in June to almost 40 percent in July. Intel, meanwhile, saw its monthly numbers drop from near 80 percent in June to about 60 percent in July.
"Intel had no real low-end desktop offering in October. So it lost a lot of sales there," said Matt Sargent, the firm's director of research. Meanwhile, "The [Intel] Pentium 4 wasn't price competitive with [AMD's] Athlon 64. Those factors combined to submerge Intel in October."
NPD Group, which also measures retail sales, has spotted a similar trend for AMD and Intel. During September, the last month the firm has data for, AMD had 47.6 percent of desktops, while Intel had 46.9 percent, NPD figures show. But the situation reversed itself in notebooks, where Intel garnered 68.9 percent sales, while AMD had 21.7 percent.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Intel Corp. is shipping Xeon server multiprocessors with dual core.
The new dual-core Xeon chips for two-processor servers promise up to a 50 percent improvement over systems with two single-core processors, said Shannon Poulin, director of product marketing at Intel's Server Platform Group.
Both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. launched dual-core chips this year as a way of gaining performance while controlling power consumption. AMD initially focused on servers while Intel started with chips for desktop computers.
As a result, the new Xeon is arriving about six months after AMD's dual-core Opteron chip made its debut.
Intel's chips will benefit from an ability to handle two tasks, or threads, at once using a technology called Hyper-Threading. As a result, a two-core Xeon chip in a two-processor server can execute eight threads.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
This 2.5" Pocket size Aluminum External Hard Drive Enclosure Case is a portable storage drive case that incorporates USB 2.0, 1394 Firewire & Serial ATA interface! The hot-swappable Plug and Play feature gives anyone great convenience on the road or when using the drive with different computers. We have priced this enclosure for as low as $15.95 and the disk a WD 400UE 2.5 40 gig @ $65.00 or a 60 gig WD 600UE @ $76.00.
In our opinion this is a great combination for any portable remote storage and at this cost it is outstanding value.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
||AOpen, a member company of the world’s leading IT products supplier Acer Group, drops one of its blockbusters – Mini PC -- at Computex Taipei 2005.
Mini PC, a revolutionary IT products developed in cooperation with Intel Corp., proclaims the advent of the “miniaturized personal computing age”, according to Bernie Tsai, president of AOpen Inc.
“The launch of the unique Mini PC testifies the strong R&D capability of AOpen and demonstrates that the product development expertise of our company takes the leading position in the world,” Tsai elaborates.
|Aopen said it will ship its mini PC code-named "Pandora" to US retailers in time to make the Christmas season. While there were no details available on product specs, the prototype shown for the first time at Computex in May of this year, integrated a Pentium M processor, 256 MByte of system memory as well as a 40 GByte harddrive. According to Aopen, Pandora will be "smaller" than Apple's Mac mini, which currently ships with a 1.25 GHz G4 processor, 512 MByte memory, a 40 GByte harddrive and a mobile Radeon graphics chip with 32 MByte of memory.|
Monday, September 12, 2005
||Samsung Electronics Co. on Monday unveiled a new flash memory chip it says will double storage capacity on portable music players and other mobile devices.
Memory cards containing multiple 16-gigabit NAND chips mean "you will be able to take your entire music and personal video libraries with you," Chang-Gyu Hwang, president of the company's semiconductor operations, told reporters.
It would be possible to store 200 years worth of an average-sized daily newspaper, 8,000 MP3 music files or 20 DVD movies.
|Samsung is the biggest producer of NAND and DRAM flash memory chips in the world. NAND chips, which can save data even when power is switched off, are used in electronic devices such as MP3 players and digital cameras. DRAM chips are most widely used in personal computers.
Separately, Apple Computer Inc.'s launch of a flash memory-based music player will help support prices for NAND chips, Hwang said. Demand for NAND chips is currently "explosively strong" and is expected to remain strong throughout next year, he said.
Apple's new iPod, called the Nano, replaces the iPod Mini. In contrast with the Mini, which is hard drive-based, the Nano relies on flash memory, making it lighter and more energy-efficient.
One-third the size of the Mini, the Nano weighs about 1.5 ounces and will fit into a breast pocket. Apple says it can store up to 1,000 songs or 25,000 photos.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. has started shipping a higher-capacity version of its Microdrive 1-in. hard disk drive and has made improvements to its 1.8-in. Travelstar drives, the company said Friday.
The drives are commonly used in portable consumer electronics devices such as digital music players. Products featuring the drives with increased capacity could be available before the end of the year, San Jose-based Hitachi said.
The company's current highest-capacity Microdrive is a 6GB model, and the new drives will be available in capacities of 6GB and 8GB. In the case of the 8GB drive, the extra space is enough for about 500 more average-size MP3 songs. In addition to the capacity boost offered by one of the new drives, they have several improvements over existing models: Size has been reduced by around 20%, and power consumption has been cut by 40%, the company said.
Monday, August 29, 2005
Top Chinese personal computer maker Lenovo Group will start to sell its namesake personal computers outside China in the first quarter of next year as part of its long-term plan to build the world's leading PC brand, its chief executive told Reuters.
Lenovo's PC shipments in China were three times those of its closest rival in the second quarter, but it has only recently broken into the international market in a big way, with its $1.25 billion acquisition of International Business Machines Corp.'s PC unit.
Lenovo will make IBM's flagship Thinkpad laptops available in Lenovo stores shortly. The acquisition has made it the third-biggest global PC vendor behind Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.
The company spends 1.5 percent of its revenue on research, about twice the standard rate for the industry. It has plans to set up research centers in North Carolina and Beijing.
Cross-borders mergers are notoriously difficult to carry out. The Lenovo-IBM deal is particularly challenging because the drastic difference between East and West cultures.
IBM has used to think globally, but Lenovo makes decisions that target specific customers. "Learn More"
Saturday, August 27, 2005
||NVIDIA nForce4 SLi|
||AMD Athlon-64 and Athlon-64 FX|
||2.0 GTs HT FSB|
||4 x DDR SDRAM PC2700/PC3200 Dual Channel, 4GB max.|
||Dual PCI-E for SLI Support (Connector included)|
||3x PCI, 1x PCI-E x1|
||2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 4 drives max.|
||NV RAID Supported|
||4 (SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10 Supported)|
||10 USB 2.0 Ports (onboard and header)|
||1 GbE LAN with Firewall (NV Active Armor)|
||Realtek ALC850 selectable 2 or 8-CH audio CODEC|
||Award/Phoenix BIOS v6.0|
||P80P LED Debug Display|
||ATX (305mm x 245mm)|
Sunday, August 14, 2005
The A8N-E has a no nonsense, all performance attitude. This motherboard is designed to take in AMD Socket 939 CPUs, PCI Express graphics cards SATA 2.0 devices, and dual-channel memories. On top of all these, ASUS has also offered AI NOS and Precision Tweaker for the users to crank up performance even more! If words like speed and power are relevant to you, then look no further, here it is - A8N-E.
A8N-E supports next-generation SATA hard drives based on the new SATA 3Gb/s storage specification. Furthermore, the chipset has two dedicated SATA controllers delivering more scalable performance and doubles the bus bandwidth for fast hard drive data retrieval and saves.
In conventional ICs, all active circuitry rests on the silicon substrate, with additional layers of insulators and interconnects used only for wiring and mechanical strength. In contrast, Matrix’s unique 3-D architecture deposits multiple layers of active memory elements on a standard silicon substrate (or silicon surface) so that active circuitry is no longer confined to the silicon base, but extends vertically as well. This novel approach enables Matrix to build chips with a much smaller die area for a given density than existing technologies, optimizing use of expensive silicon real estate and dramatically increasing manufacturing yields. This fundamental innovation enables Matrix to introduce the lowest-cost-per-bit memory in the market.
Click here for details
Simply the most different cooler design seen to date. "More Details" from Tom's More details "Digital Daily"
A structure like that is already a good radiator which can be successfully used for passive cooling of a low power-consumption processor (e.g. I used Athlon 64 266x4 (Winchester core) with the Cool'n'Quiet enabled, at Vcore = ~1.0V). Very few users would dare for an experiment like that, so most are more interested in the nominal operation mode of StarIce cooler.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
||250 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive also known as WD2500KS
WD Caviar SE16 next-generation SATA hard drives feature a 16 MB cache for lightning-fast performance. Yes, these reliable drives are fast, but they still deliver technologically advanced acoustics and cool operation. Designed for high-performance computers, multimedia and gaming systems. 16 MB cache -- Bigger cache means faster performance. A massive 16 MB cache combined with up to 300 MB/s transfer rate make these ultra-fast drives the perfect solution for the fully loaded PC with a fast processor.
Cool operating temperature – WD hard drives are designed to have the lowest power consumption of any high-capacity desktop-class hard drive which lowers the operating temperature for enhanced drive reliability.
Whisper quiet – These highly-reliable drives deliver technologically advanced acoustics. With its WhisperDrive™ and SoftSeek™ technologies, WD has minimized noise to levels virtually imperceptible to the human ear in home and business environments.
||250 GB, 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Life in a desktop computer doesn't compare to the extreme environment in an always-on, high duty cycle RAID system. What's needed is a drive engineered to thrive in a high-intensity RAID system while still offering traditional low cost-per-capacity desktop value. That drive is the WD Caviar RE. Designed and manufactured to enterprise-class standards, WD Caviar RE drives provide enhanced reliability in a 24x7, continuous duty cycle environment.
- Time-limited error recovery (TLER) – improves compatibility with RAID adapters; prevents drive fallout caused by the extended hard drive error-recovery processes common to desktop hard drives.
- 1 million hours MTBF – meets enterprise-class reliability standards.
- 8 MB cache – provides a higher percentage of cache hits and significantly faster time to data than industry-standard 2 MB versions.
- Fluid Dynamic Bearings (FDB) – improve hard drive reliability; reduce heat, vibration and noise.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering, or AA and AF, are some of the most common techniques for improving image quality in games, yet many people don't really understand exactly what those terms mean.
We are going to explain the technology behind the sliders bars but before looking at these in detail, we need to outline the basics of PC display technology. If you already have a handle on DPI's and monitor resolutions.
Bit-Tech has a great walk through detailed explaination on their site. "Click Here"
Monday, July 25, 2005
||MSI's K8N Neo4-F isn't the best nForce 4 motherboard on the market, but it certainly is one of the least expensive. You get all the standard nForce 4 features in a pretty reliable package. Four SATA ports, gigabit Ethernet, and x16, x4, and x1 PCIe slots is pretty good for well under $100. There's no FireWire port, but you can't expect everything in a board this inexpensive.
This is a totally modern board with a brand-new, well-supported chipset. You won't have to worry about driver support drying up in six months, or getting a new CPU in a year that will require an entirely new motherboard. AMD will be selling Socket 939 CPUs some a long time to come, and this board is all ready for the. dual-core Athlon 64 X2
G-Technology's G-Drive mini is a new line of portable storage solutions for people on the go. G-Drive mini is equipped with high-performance FireWire and USB interfaces and features a fanless cooling system designed to silently dissipate heat for reliability and data integrity.
"G-Drive mini features superior design, engineering and performance resulting in an innovative and portable disk storage solution without equal," said Roger Mabon of G-Technology.
Weighing in at less than 9 ounces, G-Drive mini is the ultra-portable and stylish way to travel with up to 100 GB of storage space for your important documents, MP3s, digital video, and digital photo files. GDrive mini is bus powered, eliminating the need to carry an external AC power supply. G-Drive mini is available in 60, 80, and 100 GB capacities.
The drives come with various combinations of high-speed FireWire and USB ports. The feature high-performance 5400 or 7200 RPM disk drives with 8 MB cache, a compact, ultra-portable, stylish aluminum enclosure with unique cooling technology, power via the connection bus, and Mac OS X and Windows XP compatibility.
G-Technology supplies innovative external disk storage solutions for Macs and PCs.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 25 (Reuters) - Intel Corp. (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's biggest maker of computer chips, said on Monday it plans to build an advanced, $3 billion semiconductor production plant in Arizona that will begin operation with in two years.
In a statement, the company said it planned to construct a new 300-millimeter (12-inch) silicon wafer fabrication facility, to be known as "Fab 32," which will be located at its existing manufacturing site in Chandler, Arizona.
Intel said construction will begin immediately on the $3 billion project. Production of leading-edge microprocessors is slated to begin in the second-half of 2007 on 45 nanometer process technology, it said.
The technology allows circuits to be built with features that are 1/1,333th the width of a human hair. Forty-five nanometer technology is two generations ahead of the current 90-nanometer technology that is now moving into mainstream production and 65-nanometer technology, which Intel plans to begin using later this year.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the new facility will join one existing plant now in operation and a second plant that is being converted to more advanced technology and should resume production later this year. It will employ 10,000 staff in Chandler with the third facility.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Intel Corp. will mark July 2005 as its entry into the dual-core processor server age.
Later this month, the chip maker will begin rolling out the first of four new dual-core server platforms for machines ranging from inexpensive, single-processor boxes for small businesses to multiprocessor Xeon servers and high-end Itanium machines for large businesses.
Based on its new chips' capabilities, Intel expects to see a relatively quick transition from single-core processors to dual-core processors in servers using its chips.
The dual-core chips, which contain two-processor cores versus the one present in a single-core chip, offer businesses a significant performance boost for what are likely to be relatively small increases in price.
More Info and Flash* Demo
Friday, July 01, 2005
We have talked many times about Intel and their lack of competition in the chipset side of the business. Now it seems they are seeing the light and learning. This nForce4 Intel chipset is different to the AMD nForce4 version in that the memory controller is not included as Intel have included in their architecture which has caused Nvidia to move to two chips and have been able to add some more enhancements to this nForce4.
Also with two independent SATA controllers for four SATA ports complying to SATA II specifications and with full support for native command queuing (NCQ) and 3 GBit's operation and various RAID setups.
With processors both AMD & Intel having L1 cache memory all-be-it smaller than in earlier years it is very fast while the L2 is bigger but slower. These are for data that is repeatedly used over a short time interval or data that is close to data recently used. Processors with their in-chip prefetch units predict the memory page needed. Nvidia with their Dynamic Adaptive Speculative Processor (DASP) works on top of the processor prefetch to track each core and thread to prefetch data using their sophisticated algorithms for quicker processing so the story goes.
This is a great review for the nVidia nForce4 in a intel or IE Intel Edition environment. Click here
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Fast WD, the first to introduce an 8 MB buffer, has advanced the caching algorithms of this new and improved Caviar family of hard drives, resulting in next-generation high performance performance that beats all competing 8 MB-cache drives. Features: 160 GB, 7,200 RPM, For Desktop Computer, Internal Enclosure, Serial ATA Interface, 3.5" x 1/3H.
Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160 GB Hard Drive
The term SATA II has grown in popularity as the moniker for the SATA 3Gb/s data transfer rate, causing great confusion with customers because, quite simply, it’s a misnomer.
The first step toward a better understanding of SATA is to know that SATA II is not the brand name for SATA’s 3Gb/s data transfer rate, but the name of the organization formed to author the SATA specifications. The group has since changed names, to the Serial ATA International Organization, or SATA-IO.
The 3Gb/s capability is just one of many defined by the former SATA II committee, but because it is among the most prominent features, 3Gb/s has become synonymous with SATA II. Hence, the source of the confusion.
In reality, 3Gbps is only one facet of second-generation SATA. While we'll call the standard "SATA-II" for simplicity, bear in mind that the standard includes a few other features:
, or eSATA defines a new, more robust connector and cable lengths of up to 2 meters. Note that eSATA devices will typically run at 1.5Gbps.
Port Multipliers. Port multipliers are chips that allow one physical port to access up to 15 drives. Multipliers would be used in multidrive configurations to simplify cabling. Here's where the 3Gbps speed defined in the second generation standard can really have an impact. Note that generation-one SATA drives can connect to port multipliers.
3Gbps. Not all SATA-II devices are required to run at 3Gbps, but the increased speed is there for applications and drives that want to take advantage of it. 3Gbps drives are completely backward compatible—you can plug them into a first-generation SATA system, but they'll just move data at a maximum 1.5Gbps. Cables are compatible, and first-generation SATA drives will work fine in systems that support 3Gbps although the drives themselves will still be 1.5Gbps.
Native Command Queuing. NCQ can intelligently reorder commands as needed to improve performance.
A new, more robust cable connector that gives tactile feedback ("clicks") when you snap it in. But it's compatible with old connectors, and old cables can plug into a device with the new device connector.
Hot plug capability. This is pretty important for users of external drives, but also applies to server systems. The hardware now manages power and data integrity when drives are hot-swapped.
Learn More Here
Sunday, June 19, 2005
|Seagate Targeting Perpendicular Recording Hard Drive|
|Both Toshiba and Hitachi have made their plans clear of launching drives running on the latest perpendicular recording technology. The products from these companies should start appearing in the market by the end of current year with 2007 being the year where it should start replacing the traditional storage media. The latest news in is that the market leader and the giant in the storage industry Seagate also has made clear their plans in this segment.|
|Even though perpendicular recording will take magnetic recording technology much further than the current longitudinal methods, superparamagnetic effects still exist at some point, though it is difficult to predict exactly when this will occur.
"At this time, we estimate that perpendicular recording methods may take us all the way to one terabit per square inch," Dr. Kryder continued. "When that level is reached, a single 3.5 inch disc will store over one terabyte of information."
While that amount of storage is a significant advance beyond that of storage capacity available in a single drive today, when put into perspective with the best estimates and forecasts of our current and future storage requirements, the need for technologists to continue to forge ahead beyond that figure is clear.The UC Berkeley study reported that the world produces between 1 and 2 exabytes (one exabyte is the equivalent of one billion gigabytes) of information each year in total, comprising all magnetic, paper, film, and optical data. In addition to that sum, it is conceivable that eventually much of the older media such as those produced on film and paper may also make its way to magnetic data translation, increasing the overall total figure further.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Tom's Hardware does a great how to step by step here, which provides good detail. If you are interested in water cooling your computer. Warning though this is not for everyone. It is more suited to people who work inside their machines more than those who actually just use them.
Read Article here
Friday, June 10, 2005
The task of selecting a processor platform today can be daunting. While the stats indicate that Intel holds the market share there is no doubt about that. They are in the lead by a considerable margin. After all they are the best right? Personally we build many of both, and I personally am not certain that blind leading the blind approach is correct.
While for some people options only mean more daunting decisions personally I like options. It typically means if someone is well informed they may end up with something simply not available with some other selection. The point of this article is that AMD has an edge that few people with Intel could ever enjoy. The three chipset providers for AMD fight to provide new features to support the Core Processor or CPU. In the case of Intel you get the Intel chipset for good or bad that is what you get as a option.
The unique low-latency architecture of the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCPs offers one of the industry’s best core-logic solution with outstanding performance and the latest technologies—SLI, PCI Express, secure high-speed networking, and high-performance storage—and ensures that your PC stays ready for the newest games, future applications, and next-generation PC specifications.
The competition with chipsets has clearly given options you cannot find in Intel based machines. All three Via,SiS, and nVidia offer things like 8 channel SATA, on board hardware firewalls. Yet with Intel you will not find these why simple lack of competition.
Friday, June 03, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)— Network computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. said on Thursday it agreed to buy Storage Technology Corp. for $4.1 billion in cash, bolstering its presence in the fast-growing market for data storage.
Santa Clara, California-based Sun will pay $37 per share for Louisville, Colorado-based Storage Technology, also known as StorageTek, and the price includes the assumption of StorageTek employee stock options. The $37 price is an 18.5 percent premium to StorageTek's closing price on Wednesday.
The move by Sun is the company's largest acquisition in recent memory as the one-time Wall Street darling seeks to reinvent itself after falling on hard times since the implosion of the dot-com boom in 2000. The deal could also help shore up Sun's computer server business, where it has lost market share to rivals such as International Business Machines Corp. on the high end and Dell Inc. on the low end.
Sun Acquires StorageTek
02 June 2005 | 5:00am PT
» Audiocast 5:15am PT
» Press Release
» Presentation Slides(.pdf)
» Presentations Slides (StarOffice)
Saturday, May 21, 2005
||Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology An OLED is an electronic device made by placing a series of organic thin films between two conductors. When electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. This process is called electrophosphorescence. Even with the layered system, these systems are very thin, usually less than 500 nm (0.5 thousandths of a millimeter). When used to produce displays, OLED technology produces self-luminous displays that do not require backlighting. These properties result in thin, very compact displays. The displays also have a wide viewing angle, up to 160 degrees and require very little power, only 2-10 volts.
If you're fed up with fuzzy, low-resolution screens on your cell phone, digital camera, or portable music player, get ready for some relief. The first generation of handheld consumer electronics devices that use an innovative new display technology are on store shelves, with more on the way.
The main benefit of new Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens is the bright, clear images they produce. OLED screens refresh faster, so they're better at displaying video. And the best active-matrix models can display nearly four times as many colors as equivalent-size LCDs can reproduce.
SamSung also already released a 21" monitor but this is just the beginning. I won't go into all the applications but one only has to give it all a bit of thought. Highway signs flexible monitors or FOLED devices you can rollup and put in your computer case. Makes your mind just reel at the possible uses of this technology and honestly is the best alternative to high priced Plasma screen displays. Though they will likely have their place personally I never liked them.
||The AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor will be launched on the first day of Computex, the mammoth show that brings most of Taiwan's computer hardware, software and technology industry face-to-face with technology buyers from around the world, the company said Friday. AMD has used Computex in prior years to launch processors. If previous years are a guide, the processor will likely be accompanied by the introduction of compatible motherboards produced by Taiwanese companies.
|Dual-core processors contain two processors on a single piece of silicon and give users improved performance. This is because processor-intensive tasks such as editing video and burning optical discs can be handled independently so they don't slow each other down as might happen in a single-core processor. Most desktop and server processors have had a single core, but several dual-core chips have recently been launched.
Intel Corp., AMD's biggest rival, has already launched a dual-core version of its Pentium processor. It began shipping the chip, called the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (Pentium EE), in April, and a second chip, called the Pentium D, is due later this month.
Prototype versions of the new Athlon 64 chip scored well against the Pentium EE in tests carried out by PC World. A system based on the Athlon 64 chip achieved a score of 115 on the PC WorldBench 5 benchmark, against 95 for a system based on the Pentium EE, making the dual-core Athlon 64 system the second-fastest tested to date. The Athlon 64 also drew less power, at about 100 watts versus 145 watts for the Intel chip.
Friday, May 20, 2005
|The Platinum Edition of the K8N Neo4 from MSI comes
from the factory with a very high level of equipment. It uses NVIDIA's
nForce4 Ultra, and MSI provides one x1 PCIe connection. The second port
has the physical dimensions of x4 PCIe, but features just two lanes. The
fourth lane is taken up by an additional Gigabit network chip.
The Northbridge fan, unfortunately, made quite a
racket - and no wonder, running at up to 7,000 RPM. The layout is very
cramped due to the high number of additional components. Besides the
chipset functions, MSI included a SATA controller from Silicon Image,
which adds four additional SATA ports with Command Queuing. A VIA module
provides a FireWire connection. Also included are IDE round cables, SATA
power switches and a USB adapter complete the package.
|With 4 additional SATA Raid 5 or 10 is supported and
still have 4 available channels for other simple disks. This makes a
great middle level server board that can deliver high speed redundant
life cycle. A board found at $139.00 that supports raid 10 has been hard
to find. Actually a controller in that price range is hard to find. So
if you are worried about on board raid I say buy two and keep one in a
box and you are still money ahead.
The WD NetCenter will ship in June for $399 for a 320-Gbyte model, the highest capacity point in the NetCenter lineup. Capacities will range from 160 to 320 Gbytes. For those who want a little something extra to impress the ladies, the $299 320-Gbyte Extreme Lighted Combo Drives will add a kaleidoscope LED light, but subtract the Ethernet functionality.
In the case of the NetCenter, however, WD is offering a drive that few of its competitors do. Save for companies like Ximeta, drive makers have foregone the network-attached storage market in favor of directly attaching a drive via a USB or IEEE 1394 port, which the NetCenter can do as well.
The WD NetCenter contains a management software tool for mirroring the drive, backing up data, and protecting and sharing folders, as well as the WD EasyLink utility to set up NetCenter as a local drive on any computer on the network. The drive can also assign DHCP addresses. Only a 10/100-Mbit Ethernet connection is provided, however.