Inno3D unveils iChill mini-ITX ION motherboard
Inno3D announced a new mini-ITX motherboard based on NVIDIA's ION platform, the iChill motherboard makes use of the reference design and will likely ship with the single-core Intel Atom N270 and the dual-core Atom 330.
We've yet to hear of confirmation of models or pricing, but we'd expect the board to ship in two flavours - one featuring an integrated single-core Atom N270 processor, and another sporting an integrated dual-core Atom 330.
NVIDIA's ION chipset brings with it a GeForce 9400m IGP, with a GPU clocked at 450MHz and 16 stream processors clocked a 1,100MHz. The board provides two DDR2 DIMM slots, supporting up to 8GB of 667MHz/800MHz RAM, and is bundled with a 90W external power supply.
Click on the thumb please.
Graphics card maker fed up with reference designs
The Inquirer reports major Taiwanese graphics card makers are fed up with ATI's and NVIDIA's forcing of reference graphics card sales. The companies complain the reference designs offer no opportunities for brand recognition and have very poor margins:
How much margin? On average, for every percentage of profit a board vendor gets from selling a reference board, they make 3 per cent from a minor rework, 8 per cent from a major and 20 from a total rework.
The reporter says graphics card vendors are looking forward to Intel's Larrabee, which is expected to give vendors early access to the GPU design so they can release custom designed Larrabee cards at the same time as the chip and its reference design card launch.
But these reworks take time, so there is often a one- or even two-quarter lag between the availability of the reference and the reworked cards. And that erodes profit margins on the reworked cards.
Hence all the board vendors - including the few remaining NV- or ATI-only houses - are eagerly awaiting Intel Larrabee, precisely for the design freedom it is expected to bring.
Well, remember .. it's the inquirer.
More on AMD TWKR CPUs
Recently we already reported about this but AMD has revealed more details on their 'TWKR' Black Edition CPUs. AMD confirmed that TWKR CPUs are designed to handle more voltage, which in turn allows them to safely be cranked up to higher clock speeds provided you have extraordinary cooling.
AMD says that the chips are limited edition parts -- less than 100 CPUs will be made -- and won't be made available to the general public. AMD has posted three TWKR photos on their AMD Unprocessed flickr account, and a new Youtube video has been released showing off their OC'ing prowess (CPUs are OC'ed to speeds in excess of 6.5GHz on LN2 and liquid helium). Here are the highlights straight from AMD:
- The AMD Phenom II X4 42 Black Edition TWKR processor is a limited-edition chip created to provide extreme overclockers with a powerful tool to initiate serious performance.
- Designed to reach the utmost performance barriers under extreme cooling, this part demonstrates AMD's superior engineering design quality.
- The TWKR parts can handle more voltage, scale higher, and run faster than other processors on the market.
- As the same processor that AMD used to demonstrate the record-breaking overclocking potential of AMD Phenom II CPUs earlier this year, the TWKR processor is unmatched in yielding high frequencies at extreme cold temperatures, like in this video here.
- With less than 100 processors worldwide, these TWKR processors will not be for sale.
- AMD is giving these parts to select members of the extreme overclocking community as a tribute for their support and to encourage them to push the limits of overclocking.
- AMD understands that overclocking is not for everyone. For mainstream users that don't push their desktop PCs to the absolute limits, the same engineering that goes into the extreme performance of 'TWKR' processors can be found in every AMD Phenom II processor available today.
NVIDIA GT220 and G210 DX10.1 GPUs surface
More info on the value-oriented G210 (GPU), which will ship with 24 stream processors clocked at 1425MHz, while the graphics core operates at 600MHz. GPU-Z also confirmed 512MB of DDR2 running at 790MHz, although DDR3 support would also be offered. The board's memory interface is just 64-bit, with peak memory bandwidth of 12.6GB/sec. The cards will supposedly sell for $30-$35 and replace today's GeForce 9400 in NVIDIA's lineup.
Upping the performance factor is NVIDIA's GT220 GPU, which was previously codenamed GT216. GT220 ships with 48 shader processors clocked at 1373MHz and 625MHz graphics core clock, while the memory interface is 128-bit wide and runs at 800MHz (although the GPU-Z screenshot indicates 790MHz). VR-Zone says 3 variants will be offered, with each SKU shipping with a different memory type: DDR2, DDR3, or GDDR3. Up to 1GB of memory will be offered and prices will top out at $60.
This GPU is intended to replace the GeForce 9500 family.
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