Windows 7 preorder big success on Amazon
Well, of course Windows 7 preorders for $49 - $99 are going to be a hit, beats the heck out of buying it for full retail. The two offers have proven exceptionally popular on Amazon.
The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade package vaulted to No. 1, not just in Amazon's software store, but among all electronics products on the site. Meanwhile, the Windows 7 Professional upgrade was No. 2 among software products. Amazon also has a lot of Windows 7 info on its site, as well as a paid delivery option that guarantees that the product will arrive on October 22.
Windows 7 has completely sold out of pre-orderable copies in Japan, which combines sales from the 17 retailers involved with the early orders. Apparently, this is a grand total of about 30,000 copies of the operating system, and it took 1.5 days (out of the 10 that were allocated) for this event to happen. Don't think that this offer hasn't been popular in the U.S., though; Windows 7 immediately shot to the top of Amazon sales.
The Pirate Bay Sold To Advertising Company for $7.8m
In a press release, the Swedish advertising company Global Gaming Factory X AB announced that they acquired The Pirate Bay, popular Swedish torrent indexing web site, for SEK 60,000,000 ($7.8 million) - SEK 30,000,000 in cash and the rest in newly issue shares.
"The changeover of ownership is scheduled for August 2009, whereby GGF will take over the operation of the site. The company says that after it has completed the acquisition it will launch new business models so that copyright owners get paid, which is clearly a huge diversion from TPB
NVIDIA CUDA Technology might Support AMD GPUs
In completely weird news today NVIDIA is said to be working on enabling its prestigious CUDA technology for AMD's GPUs. This solution will enable application developers to optimize their products for use on GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD, using the CUDA technology. Consequently, this will enable NVIDIA, currently the world's leading vendor of graphics processing units, to gain from the GPU sales of its main competitor, AMD.
There are a number of general purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing standards available today, including OpenCL and Microsoft's DirectX Compute, both of which are currently supported by two leading graphics chip makers, NVIDIA and AMD. However, the two rival companies have also developed their own solutions, with NVIDIA placing a big bet on its CUDA technology, and AMD trying to make up for lost space with its Stream solution. However, according to a recent news-article on the techradar, citing NVIDIA's chief scientist, Bill Dally, the company could be working on further expanding the working environment for its CUDA solution.
Patriot Torqx Solid State Disk Sneak Peek
Currently we are reviewing the new Torqx Solid State Drive, we have the 128GB version in house. Armed with a very sexy multi-channel Indilinx SSD controller and a nice fat 64MB cache we'll be looking at the Patriot Torqx 128GB SSD. A drive that has the latest revision firmware installed and when we bring it onto automotive terms .. an SSD with a lot of torque.
The Patriot Torqx series SSD is available in several capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB: the read/write performance of the 128GB and 256GB drives are specified at 260 MB/Sec Read | 180 MB/Sec Write.
A full review will be up and running soon.
Auzentech X-Fi HomeThreater HD
Auzentech announced its shipment dates for the X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card. Reviewer shipments of the X-Fi HomeTheater HD will begin the second week of July. According to Auzentech the sound card will also go into full production at that time, enabling customer shipments to begin at the end of July.
"We are excited to officially announce shipment dates of the X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "We appreciate the patience of all our customers, distributors, and dealers who have waited anxiously for this sound card."
The release of the X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card to reviewers and customers follows the completion of several rounds of testing by Auzentech staff to match the sound card to a full spectrum of home theater equipment. Auzentech reports that because the X-Fi HomeTheater HD is "a groundbreaking product in the home theater sound card space," its staff will actively support reviewers as they perform their tests.
The X-Fi HomeTheater HD is the result of cooperation between several companies that include Auzentech, Creative Labs, Cyberlink, and Silicon Image.
Edelweiss PC casemod
Sure it reminds us a little of Thermaltake
Micro-USB becomes standard Euro phone charger
In a move that
AVerMedia launches HD dual digital tuner
AVerMedia announced it has released its AVerTVHD Duet dual TV tuner. The Windows 7-compatible product can receive over-the-air HD Digital TV signals (ATSC) or unencrypted digital cable (ClearQAM) and can either record two programs simultaneously or else allow users to watch one program while recording another. AVerTVHD Duet sports a PCI Express interface that is faster than a traditional PCI connection.
A Picture-in-Picture feature lets users watch TV while working on their PCs, with windows sizes that fill one quarter, one ninth or one 16th of the screen. A transparent mode lets users see through it to view their entire desktop at the same time. Bundled with AVer's MediaCenter application, users can access PVR-like features such as pausing, rewinding and recording live TV as well as a program schedule and time shift capabilities.
The software supports digital sound, closed captioning and has support for 1080i HD quality programs. Also, H.264 encoding lets users record TV at a 320x240 resolution for playback on iPods, iPhones, Sony's PSP or other portable multimedia players.
The dual HD tuner without the MediaCenter program costs $70, while bundled with the software is priced at $90.
NVIDIA Tegra phone due from a big five firm
A major smartphone manufacturer is due to launch a phone based on NVIDIA's Tegra platform, the company has let slip in interviews. One of the "top five" smartphone producers should have a phone based on the advanced graphics technology before the end of the year. The company has also said in a discussion with CrunchGear that it should reach AT&T and T-Mobile for about $199.
Details of the phone in question are vague, though it would likely involve an APX 2500 or 2600 chipset that could provide significantly accelerated 3D and decode 720p video, including off the device if it includes an HDMI port. NVIDIA officially favors Android and Windows Mobile for phones but has so far only demonstrated Windows Mobile in public. Microsoft's Zune HD uses a Tegra part but has no phone features and should use a custom version of Windows CE.
The addition will give the unnamed company a visual advantage compared to most smartphones; to date, only very high-end phones like the Samsung i8910 have been capable of 720p and aren't available in the US. The iPhone 3GS has much more advanced 3D than most phones but doesn't play 720p.
Asus shows slim external Blu-ray combo burner
Asus introduced the SBC-04D1S-U, an external Blu-ray burner featuring a slim form-factor. The device stands vertically and provides a gloss-black finish, with controls for the brightness of an external blue LED. When writing to discs, the burner supports 4.8X speeds for BD-ROM/R/RE media, 8X for DVD+R discs and 24X for the CD-R format.
Disc encryption allows users to password-protect an entire disc or select content. CyberLink burning software provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating discs. Pricing and availability information has yet to be announced.
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P motherboard review
So get this I spotted this little cute Gigabyte motherboard still with 6x SATA, Gigabyte Ethernet, RAID, 4 DIMM slots, integrated audio, dual-BIOS and the entire Gigabyte enchilada of motherboards features for roughly 79 USD. Here in Europe you can even pick them up at just over 50 EUR. Pop on a nice value AMD Phenom II processors (as yes it's AM3 ready as well) and you might have purchased a heap, seriously a HEAP of value.
Check out this full Guru3D review here.
VGA Deals of the Day - June 29th 09
Alrighty, it's time to see if we can spot some cheap graphics cards again. Let's have a look at the most popular graphics cards available ... and the best price tags they carry:
- XFX Radeon HD 4890 Video Card 1024MB - Awesome deal really ! We spotted the buffed 4890 with 1 GB memory for only $199.99, absolutely worth every cent, period !
- Asus Radeon HD 4870 1024MB - My man, check this out ... as far as I am concerned the deal of the day, $139.99 I am not kidding here !
- Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 Video Card 512MB - Again a little gem of a graphics card, with custom cooler as well. We spotted it at $94.99 making it cheaper than a Radeon HD 4770.
- MSI GeForce GTX 285 1GB OC edition - It's hard to beat the prices you have seen above, but we did spot NVIDIA's flagship at only $299.99
- PNY GeForce GTX 275 896MB - But hey now .. check this out .. the GTX 275 is absolutely brilliant and we spotted it at $199.99 -- a very fair deal.
- PNY GeForce GTX 260 Video Card - Also a pretty nice deal, great performance at a great price $149.99
Deal of the day
- As you guys can see, prices are falling hard. Our deal of the day however really is that Asus Radeon HD 4870 1024MB, $139.99 is just an extraordinary price.
Intel Clarkdale 32nm desktop CPU brought forward to Q4?
It seems that Intels upcoming 32nm Clarkdale processor could be seeing a release sooner than expected, according to unnamed sources at motherboard manufacturers. The company has reportedly brought forward mass-production of the Clarkdale CPU to Q4 2009, compared to the original Q1 2010 date on their timetable.
Clarkdale will have two cores each capable of two threads, and include integrated graphics and a memory controller. It
Windows 7 way more expensive in EU
ComputerWorld reports Microsoft will charge Europeans up to 100 percent more than in the U.S. for its upcoming Windows 7 operating system. Europeans pay about 41 percent more for the Home Premium edition, 91 percent more for Ultimate, and about double as much for the Professional edition:
U.S. consumers will pay only $119 for the same software after a two-week pre-order sales discount expires July 11. That means EU residents will pay 41% more, and U.K. consumers 10% more, than U.S. buyers for Home Premium Upgrade.
Other editions will come with an even higher surcharge. Windows 7 Professional, the key retail edition for businesses, will sport a price tag of
Elemental CUDA plugin for Adobe Creative Suite CS4
NVIDIA announced Elemental Technologies has released an Adobe Creative Suite CS4 plugin that should dramatically boost performance for users with NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards.
The Elemental Accelerator 2.0 plugin costs a nausiating $249 but promises to boost performance by up to 11x when compared to CPU-only H.264 video encoding.
NVIDIA is offering exclusive discounts of up to 50 percent on plug-ins from Elemental Technologies, Boris FX, Red Giant Software and proDAD when purchased at NVIDIA.com.
Among the plug-ins being offered is the NVIDIA CUDA(TM) architecture-based Elemental Accelerator 2.0 for Windows from Elemental Technologies (MSRP $499 discounted to $249). By leveraging the CUDA parallel computing architecture, this new plug-in offloads H.264 video encoding to the Quadro GPU, enabling Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 users to experience a performance increase of up to 11X when compared to CPU-only video encoders. Now available on a range of Quadro GPUs, Elemental Accelerator 2.0 supports the creation of Blu-ray DVDs and web content using Flash. In addition, NVIDIA and Elemental Technologies are bringing accelerated H.264 video encoding capabilities to Mac Pro users for the first time with the new Elemental Accelerator 1.2 for Mac OS X running on the Quadro FX 4800 for Mac.
"The enhanced performance of Elemental Accelerator 2.0, combined with an expanded line-up of Quadro GPUs, delivers exceptional value and increased productivity to a wide range of video professionals," said Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental Technologies. "The Quadro GPU's CUDA architecture has enabled the Elemental Accelerator to offer faster than real-time H.264 encoding speed for Blu-ray and web production, while delivering exceptional image quality with H.264/MPEG-4 AVC files."
In addition, customers using NVIDIA's latest Quadro GPUs are eligible for exclusive discounts on plug-in solutions from Red Giant Software, Boris FX and proDAD. Available on the NVIDIA web site, these plug-ins allow users to further harness the power of the Quadro GPU to experience dramatic time savings over conventional CPU-only solutions when creating compelling 3D visual and lighting effects.
"The ability to develop real-time motion graphics and effortlessly perform color correction are very important developments for Adobe CS4 users," said Sean Safreed, product director of Red Giant Software. "The work we have done with NVIDIA on our GPU-accelerated plug-ins enables a creative professional to tap into the power of the Quadro GPU in their system, and freely experiment with a wide range of visual effects and color control, thereby enhancing the creativity of their final production."
The full line of Quadro GPUs are optimized to enable GPU-acceleration across the entire family of Adobe CS4 applications including: Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Flash and Photoshop. From importing files and editing multi-video streams, to previewing video content, video professionals can now optimize their work-flow and enhance the creative process.
"Quadro GPUs offer the best performance for Adobe CS4 professionals," said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Business Unit at NVIDIA. "Offering GPU-accelerated plug-ins to Adobe videographers and enabling them to choose the Quadro FX solution that best fits their budget illustrates our commitment to delivering performance and value to the Adobe user community."
Altec Lansing OMNI Speakers
Woaaah, hate them love them .. but you'll agree with me, they are something special. What looks like tall vases that flank the TV are actually Altec Lansing OMNI speakers which boasts heavy construction to ensure lesser vibrations and superior sound quality. Each of these speakers will hold a woofer, a mid-range speaker and a tweeter located on the top. They'll co-exist peacefully with one another since they're shielded via a ceramic plate, while the cone that sits atop each speaker will help distribute any sound that comes out from it in an equal manner.
The three of them don
Elpida Receives 2.1 Billion USD in Aid
Japan's troubled chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. is set to receive around 200 billion yen (2.1 billion dollars) in public and private financial aid over three years, according to a newspaper report. Under the plan, the government-backed Development Bank of Japan will acquire preferred shares in the company, with the government effectively guaranteeing 80 percent of them, the Nikkei business daily said.
The government is expected to officially approve about 30 billion yen in capital for the chipmaker as early as next week, the newspaper reported. The DBJ separately plans to offer 10 billion yen in loans to Elpida, while the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, another government-run bank, will provide 20-30 billion yen in emergency loans, the Nikkei said.
A syndicate of Japan's three megabanks and others is slated to lend around 100 billion yen to Elpida, it said, adding that a public-private fund that supports innovation will also consider providing tens of billions of yen.
Elpida -- the world's third largest maker of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips used in mobile phones and home electronics -- has been hit hard by tough business conditions amid the global downturn. Japan's government launched a programme to support ailing companies in April, as Asia's biggest economy grapples with its worst recession since World War II.
More Japanese companies are expected to follow suit and ask for help.
MSI P55-GD80 Pixelized
Our colleagues from TPU found a photo (by way of sav-computers website) of the upcoming MSI P55-GD80 motherboard for Intel's upcoming LGA1156 Lynnfield and Clarkdale procesors.
The board uses a 10-phase CPU power circuit with standard solid-state capacitors, compared to the 11-phase circuit with flat-bed ML capacitors on the G9P55-DC. This board surprisingly has more overclocker-friendly features, such as on-board controls for clock-speeds, clear-CMOS, OC-Genie, a DIP switch to control voltages, and voltage-sensing points that make measuring voltages convenient. Apart from the Intel P55 PCH, it uses an NVIDIA nForce 200 bridge chip that broadcasts 16 PCI-Express lanes (from the processor root complex) to 32 lanes on the PCI-E x16 slots. Apart from the six SATA II ports the PCH provides, an additional controller provides two internal and one external SATA ports, and one IDE connector. Two gigabit Ethernet connections, 8-channel audio, Firewire, and around 13 USB ports make for the rest of the package.
Click on the thumbnail to see the full photo.