Windows 7 no Extras like ultimate edition
Remember when you purchased Windows Vista Ultimate that Microsoft promised additional free downloadable content ? Ars Technica reports that the Ultimate Extras embarrassment has been quite an issue since the launch of Vista, and while Microsoft did apologize and things started to get better in 2008, the fact remains that the company wasn't delivering as promised.
Many users went as far as saying that Ultimate was useless because Ultimate Extras weren't plentiful, but of course those who bought Ultimate didn't buy them for the extras. And Microsoft is hoping those users will make the same decision for Windows 7 Ultimate, which won't be getting the feature when it's released. Here's the quote that shows Microsoft has given up (it almost slipped through our fingers after all this Windows 7 SKU news):
Our new approach to planning and building Windows doesn't have the capacity to continue to deliver features outside the regular release cycle. While our core development team is focused on building the next release, our sustained engineering team is focused on updates to existing features. As a result we don't plan to create Ultimate Extras.
Windows Ultimate won't be sold at retail, but it will be offered for sale during some promotional periods. Rumor has it that it will be $80 cheaper than Vista Ultimate, going for $320. That won't affect most users who are buying it though, as they'll probably end up getting their copy when buying a new computer from an OEM. It remains to be seen how PC makers offer it, but it will likely only be an option on their higher-end models.
NV GeForce GTX 260 redesign
In other news today, one of the most popular cards for NVIDIA right now has to be the GeForce GTX 260. It recently already received the new 55nm GPU (G200b), yet as it seems another update can be expected, to reduce manufacturing costs and further drive down prices.
The new PCB design is P654 and we spot several new changes. All memory chips are now located at the GPU side of the PCB. Voltage regulators are also repositioned. News from Expreview suggests that NVIDIA has worked out yet another (newer). PCB reference design model: P897 with one thing in mind, ramp down production costs even more. According to Techpowerup the reference design graphics board based on the PCB will be given the internal name "D10U-20".
- The number of PCB layers has been reduced from 10 to 8, perhaps to compress or remove blank, redundant or rudimentary connections
- A 4+2 phase NVVDD power design using the ADP4100 voltage regulator IC, the FBVDDQ circuit has been reduced from 2 phases to 1, and the MOSFET package has been changed from LFPAK to DPAK grouping, to reduce costs. The ADP4100 lacks the I2C interface, which means voltage control will be much more difficult than on current PCBs of the GeForce 260,280, 285 and 295
- The optional G200b support-brace has been removed
- While the length of the PCB remains the same, the height has been reduced to cut costs
- BIOS EEPROM capacity reduced from 1 Mbit (128 KB) to 512 Kb (64 KB)
- Cheaper DVI connectors
EVGA GPU Voltage Tuner
EVGA released its GPU Voltage Tuner (GVT) software utility, allowing end-users to control the voltage of the graphics processor. Higher voltages equal better overclocks which can be download from here, more info here.
Using a simple slider, the user can set the vGPU voltage from 0.82V to 1.18V and beyond, depending on the accelerator. Initial tests have shown even simple increases in voltages to send the maximum overclock for the core speed by as much as 100 MHz. The initial graphics card support-base includes the GeForce GTX 260, GTX 280 and GTX 295 series accelerators by EVGA. Future releases may expand the support base.
Provides an environment to possibly increase your GPU voltage allowing for higher Core/Shader clockspeeds.
* Provides an environment to possibly increase your GPU voltage allowing for higher Core/Shader clockspeeds.
* Easy to use interface, with
Logitech Harmony 1100 universal touchscreen remote selling
Intel cuts SSD prices to boost sales
The faster SLC-based X-25E 32GB drive is now priced at $415, down from $575, and there's also a new 64GB X-25E with a price tag of $795. A 320GB MLC drive and a 128GB SLC drive is slated for later this year. Lower sales due to the global economic slump are a key reason for the price cuts. However, declining NAND flash prices are lowering production costs for Intel's competitors, many of which are entering the market with a new generation of products. Intel launched their 160GB X-25M for $945 just under two months ago.
Intel 32nm CPUs on track for late 2009
Papers that will be presented by Intel at next week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference unveil the chip giant is on track to deliver its first 32nm processors before the end of the year.
"The 32 nm technology is getting ready to go into the manufacturing phase, we are lining up fabs to support it and we expect great demand," said Mark Bohr, director of Intel's technology and manufacturing group. "We are on track for shipping products in the fourth quarter and have 22 nm technology in development for 2011," he said.
Intel will present 15 papers at ISSCC including four of eight at a session on microprocessors where it will describe its latest 45 nm Nehalem and Itanium chips. None of its rivals--Advanced Micro Devices, IBM or Sparc partners Fujitsu and Sun Microsystems
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X trailer
Galaxy's customized GeForce GTX 260+
Ah man, what to make of this. You guys know, I always respect the smaller companies very much. Especially Galaxy Technology over the past years has proven always to be innovative with their products. Their graphics cards always have a customized something. In fact we have some reviews lined up for them.
With much surprize I stumpbled into this though, Galaxy released a custom GeForce GTX 260 (core 216 model) with custom cooler. That by itself is no that special, but dude .. look at the whale on top of that card. They just slammed on a heatpipe cooler blocking half the PC (three/four slots!). That just .. well not very charming now is it ? It does come with dual bios and voltage jumpers as well.
The product is clocked at 625 MHz on the core, 1350 on the shaders and 2100 MHz on its memory. Overclocked they did reach an impressive 750/1575/2600 MHz. Check it out.
Download: Real Temp 3.00
Real Temp is a temperature monitoring program designed for all Intel single Core, Dual Core and Quad Core processors.
Each core on these processors has a digital thermal sensor (DTS) that reports temperature data relative to TJMax which is the safe maximum operating core temperature for the CPU. As your CPU heats up, your Distance to TJMax will decrease. As it approaches zero your processor will start to throttle or slow down so obviously maximizing your distance away from TJMax will help your computer run at full speed and more reliably too. RealTemp will not work on computers based on the Intel Pentium 4 or on AMD CPUs.
RealTemp is compatible with any version of Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7; 32 or 64 bit. If you are in a limited account, you will need to right click on the icon and run RealTemp as an Administrator so that the necessary WinRing0 driver can be properly installed.
Changes in version 3.00
- Core i7 temperature and frequency support including Turbo mode.
- NVIDIA temperature reporting with highest GPU temperature displayed in SLI mode.
- Ability to run a file or shutdown based on user defined alarm temperature.
- Updated interface with modern XP / Vista style and border in Mini Mode.
- Start Minimized Vista issues finally fixed.
- New RivaTuner plug-in support.
- Extra information on the main screen and the retirement of the toggle button.
- Switch to UNICODE for better international support.
- Adjustable GUI colors and bold System Tray font option.
- TJMax updated based on new Intel documentation and further testing.
- Calibration formula simplified.
- All new CPU Cool Down Test for a more thorough look at your sensors.
- Clock Modulation & Minimize on Close options.
- New CPU Load meter, log file headings and Distance to TJMax in the System Tray.
- 101 other improvements including initial Windows 7 Beta support.
Download - click here.
Download Lavalys Everest 5.00
One of my favorite hardware diagnostic tools, Everest, has been upgraded to version 5.00
Everest offers accurate hardware information and diagnostics capabilities, including online features, memory benchmarks, hardware monitoring, and low-level hardware information. EVEREST Home Edition is optimized for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, and it fully supports the Vista / XP look & feel.
Upgrade to the latest version of EVEREST to own the most accurate and powerful system diagnostics solution by getting up-to-date hardware information databases, support for the latest graphics processors and motherboard chipsets.
- Improved Hardware Monitoring module with Alerting feature
- Support for Intel Core i7, Intel Atom and AMD Phenom II processors
- Support for OpenGL 3.0 with OpenGL version compliancy test
- Support for Windows 7 and a new auto-load feature under Windows Vista
- Extended audio information: OpenAL and High Definition Audio pages
- New information page for installed Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets
- GPGPU devices information for ATI Stream and nVIDIA CUDA
Download: click here
Amilo SA3650 with Graphics Booster review
A common problem with a laptop is that they are not really designed for gaming aren't they ? And sure there are some solutions out there with a more mainstream embedded GPU, yet often that is completely unaffordable, let alone upgradeable.
With the help of AMD XGP it is now possible to connect an 'external' graphics card, next to the laptop. Therefore a small insight into the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo SA3650 Laptop with XGP Graphic Booster.
We wrote up a some small insights and experiences we had with this unit, check out the Guru3D article right here at this direct URL.
Silverstone launches new PSUs
Silverstone will be releasing four new PSUs soon. The new ST65EF, ST75EF and ST85EF from 650W till 850W output.
The new Element PSU's offer following specifications:
- high efficient PSU with 80Plus Bronze certification
- fixed fan speed up to 45% power output to ensure silent operation at low loads.
- continous output up to 50
Corsair luanches its Dominator GT memory
And surely that's damn fast. I noticed that the DIMMs will have a red stripe on them, much like canon's most exclusive L series lenses.
the launch of the new Dominator GT line of ultra high-performance DDR3 memory modules for Intel
NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI rumors surface
It seems that NVIDIA is going to, and yes here we go again, rebrand the nForce 780a SLI chipset to nForce 980a SLI in March, without changing any of the specifications.
The NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI SPP is an enthusiast-class high performance interface to AMD AM3 CPUs. It is RoHS-compliant. It includes 2
Intel Atom N280 coming in late February
In the aftermath of NVIDIA's ION preview, all of the sudden some info leaks somewhere about Intel releasing a new chipset for their Atom based processors.
You can expect a Atom N280 in late February. This chip will be bundled with the 945GSE for "mainstream netbooks" and there will also be a version with the GN40 chipset for something Intel calls "Enhanced Media Netbooks".
ATI rebrands 11 Radeon HD 3000 cards to 4000 series
The past couple of days we already noticed that NVIDIA is rebranding some of their products, they are not alone. the Catalyst 9.1 driver files show that ATI has 11 updated graphics cards, which are basically rebadged Radeon HD 3000 series cards. The new cards are named Radeon HD 4230, HD 4250, HD 4570, HD 4580, HD 4730 and finally HD 4750.
"ATI Radeon HD 4230" = ati2mtag_RV610, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_95C5
"ATI Radeon HD 4230 " = ati2mtag_RV610, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_95C5
"ATI Radeon HD 4250" = ati2mtag_RV610, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_95C5
"ATI Radeon HD 4250 " = ati2mtag_RV610, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_95C5
"ATI Radeon HD 4250 " = ati2mtag_RV610, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_95C0
"ATI Radeon HD 4570 " = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9598
"ATI Radeon HD 4580" = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9598
"ATI Radeon HD 4730 " = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9505
"ATI Radeon HD 4730 " = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9505
"ATI Radeon HD 4750" = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9505
"ATI Radeon HD 4750 " = ati2mtag_RV630, PCIVEN_1002& DEV_9505
The HD 42x0 generation is based on RV61x core that is behind HD 3400 brand, the new HD45x0 is based on RV63x core or HD 3600 generation and the new 47x0 brand is as well based on RV63x brand. These are not RV610 and RV630 cores, they are 55nm RV615 and RV635 brands and we got that by comparing the DEV IDs of 2400 series branded RV610 and the new one.
At RV615 the DEV_95C5 is part of the name, while the 2400 series has DEV_94 in the name [via fudzilla].
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 1943 announced
Electronic Arts studio DICE announced they're working on both Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 1943. The latter one will be available this summer for the PC, PlayStation Store and Xbox LIVE Marketplace, while Battlefield 2 is expected in early 2010 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
To get ready for the assault this winter, players can prepare for action in Battlefield 1943, an all-new multiplayer game available this summer via PlayStation
Left 4 Dead Expansion Revealed
Valve announced the upcoming release of the Left 4 Dead Critic's Choice expansion pack. This pack promises a completely new game mode, Survival, and two new Versus mode campaigns. There is no word on whether or not these new Versus campaigns will be completely new environments, or will simply be the release of the Versus variants of the two other existing campaigns currently found in Left 4 Dead. In addition, a special release of Left 4 Dead will arrive this Spring that contains all of this bonus content already added. PC owners should delight in the fact that the SDK is still on the way, but may be a ways away.
The first L4D DLC - dubbed the L4D Survival Pack - is due for release this spring and introduces a new multiplayer game mode entitled, Survival, plus two complete campaigns for Versus Mode. A Critic's Choice Edition of the game is also heading to retail stores this spring, and will include access to all the content introduced in the L4D: Survival Pack.
In addition, for PC gamers and aspiring developers, the first Left 4 Dead release for the Source Software Development Kit (Source SDK) will allow the creation of custom Left 4 Dead campaigns that will be discoverable via L4D's matchmaking system. The SDK update is also due for release this spring, and is free of charge to all owners of L4D on the PC.