Intel X-25E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive
Intel has begun shipping its highest- performing solid-state drive (SSD), the Intel X-25E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive, aimed at server, workstation and storage systems. The Intel X25-E increases server, workstation and storage system performance by 100 times over hard disk drives as measured in Input/Output Per Second (IOPS), today's key storage performance metric. Key technical performance specifications of the 32 GB Intel X-25E SATA SSD include 35,000 IOPS (4KB Random Read), 3,300 IOPS (4KB Random Write) and 75 microsecond read latency. This performance, combined with low active power of 2.4 watts, delivers up to 14,000 IOPS per watt for optimal performance/power output.
The product also achieves up to 250 megabytes per second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 170 MB/s sequential write speeds, all in a compact 2.5-inch form factor. The Intel 32GB capacity drive is in production and priced at $695 for quantities up to 1,000. The 64GB version is expected to sample in the fourth quarter with production estimated for the first quarter of 2009.
Microsoft sends Vista SP2 invites
It looks like the rumor is solid, an SP2 release of Microsoft Vista is in the works. It is reported that Microsoft has started sending Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 invites to select testers today.
Microsoft will include Windows Search 4 in Vista SP2 along with Bluetooth wireless support (including latest BT 2.1 fixes), support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU and additional application compatibility updates. For Windows Server 2008 SP2, Microsoft will include Backwards compatibility with Terminal Services licensing keys, improved manageability features with DFS/FRS console, and Storage Resource Manager, print server and spooler performance improvements for printers in Windows Vista and Server 2008 and improved error reporting in DFSR to help identify incorrectly configured deployments which lead to failed replication [via Neowin]
HIS Radeon HD 4650 iSilence 4 surfaces
I guess I missed this one, but better late then never. HIS unveiled a new Radeon HD 4650 graphics card, the model is branded HD 4650 iSilence 4 and features a passive cooling solution from Zalman:
The radeon HD 4650 iSilence 4 comes equipped with a ZALMAN VNF100 passive cooler which features what is called a VFP, short for Variable Fin Profile, fin design. It has three high-performance heatpipes. The board comes with a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 interface, CrossFireX support, dual-DVI connectivity, a cool blue PCB and a 128-bit memory interface.
The card retails in Europe for as much as 77EUR. With a cooler like that it might be an excellent HTPC option.
NVIDIA preparing MCP82 motherboard chipset
MCP82 is a Performance segment chipset, supporting the upcoming AMD AM3 CPU. (also AM2+ and AM2 is supported). It is a IGP chipset with graphic core built inside, supporting Hybrid SLI and CUDA applications. Currently we only have limited information about the chipset, the only spec we gathered is in the chart.
The chipset is foot-print compatible with MCP72, so we can expect mobo coming out with similar design. Sample chipsets have been already sent to NV partners, and final revision of the chip will enter mass production stage in January 2009.
Australia to get mandatory internet filter
I didn't know what was going on in the land down under regarding the topic at all but seriously .. what is their government thinking ? Really ? They should be frickin ashamed of themselves. Computerworld is reporting that Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down blacklist, experts say.
Now this is how it works, a government implements this program under the idea "hey we filter out the bad like child-porn etc". Which obviously is a good thing. The next step however is simple, with such a filter the fundaments of something very big has been made. The next step will be to block your downloads, the things you want to see, yet your government doesn't ... this is a CENSOR. Is the Australian government lowering itself to the level of Cuba, North Korea and China ?? I might be a liberal Dutch guy but let me tell you, I'm seriously disappointed to see something like this being shuffed up the Aussie tooshes.
Something you guys need to remember for the next election.
Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material. Pundits say consumers have been lulled into believing the opt-out proviso would remove content filtering altogether. The government will iron-out policy and implementation of the Internet content filtering software following an upcoming trial of the technology, according to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the filters will be mandatory for all Australians.
OCZ Technology DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kits
And if you are asking 'Hilbert Dude .. is this one of your brain farts again, triple channel did he really write that right ?' Then yep it's correct .. Core i7 processors folks. We are on the verge of moving from dual to triple channel memory. In fact we already have this kit and memory performance truly is bangin' nice.
OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today unveiled the industry
ATI Radeon 4850X2 Incoming
The October 2008 edition of the PC of the month [Guru3D]
Each month here at Guru3D.com we feature one of you guys, your PC, your DIY project. It is quite honestly amazing how much detail and dedication you put into an PC, and often it really shows. Today Logan's PC. As you can tell he's proud of what he made, as he actually had his PC and himself photographed at a photo studio. The end results is a combination of a really rare and nice DIY PC in combo with perfect photography. Logan should be very proud of what he achieved and here at Guru3D we certainly like to respect that build by granting him .. Guru3D's PC of the Month October 2008.
Microsoft Xbox 360 "red ring" lawsuit
Microsoft is facing a class action lawsuit for the Xbox 360's chronic breakdown problems, a summary notes. Although the company has already extended warranties to account for the "red ring of death" -- a failure where regular overheating loosens chip connections and usually ruins the system -- a Sacramento County complaint accuses Microsoft of not only manufacturing a known defective product but of deliberately hiding the failure rate, encouraging customers to buy without warning them that their system will likely fail.
The document points to reports that claim Microsoft knew about the inherent flaw as long ago as the November 2005 launch, when the failure rate was potentially more than 50 percent. Studies from the turn of the year would still have the failures as high as 16.5 percent despite refinements to the production method and additional cooling. The failures have been predicted by some to stem from cost-cutting measures that include a reduced number of third-party components and relatively lenient testing.
The suit calls for a refund program that lets dissatisfied owners obtain a refund and would also demand that Microsoft give up profits from the Xbox 360 as punishment.
Microsoft hasn't commented on the lawsuit, which comes just as the company is believed to be quietly shipping revisions of the console with cooler graphics processors that will partially alleviate overheating issues. The issue isn't expected to completely disappear until the launch of a late 2009 update, nicknamed Valhalla, that would generate an all-in-one chip cool enough to prevent any overheating and also shrink the power brick [via macnn].
NVIDIA Quadro CX boosts Adobe CS4
Following closely on the heels of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 release, NVIDIA on Thursday unveiled the Quadro CX, offering users an optimized GPU for the new software suite's explicit use of the graphics hardware. The Quadro CX is designed to help produce visual effects within Adobe Photoshop CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro CS4, and several other of the suite's applications. NVIDIA claims the card offers users a "dramatically fast and fluid experience."
Photoshop CS4 is able to offload real-time image rotation, zooming, and panning, as well as instantaneous view changes, 2D and 3D content compositing, and anti-aliasing at any zoom level. The Quadro CX also assists with brush resizing, brushstroke previewing, 3D movement, HDR tone mapping, and color conversions.
After Effects CS4 will see an enhanced workflow, with many effects being accelerated by the custom GPU. The Quadro CX receives all depth of field, bilateral blur effects, turbulent noise, and cartoon effects.
Users of Premiere Pro will note acceleration in many effects, such as motion, opacity, color, and image distortion, in addition to faster editing of multiple HD streams, graphic overlays, and output options.
NVIDIA has not yet announced whether the card is available for Mac Pro computers, but Apple's improved relationship with the company, as well as the presence of the Quadro FX 5600 card are both good signs.
Several Intel Quad cores go EOL in january 2009
At the same time, Intel plans to retire Q6700 with the same schedule and Q9450 will receive Product Discontinuance Notice in November with the scheduled End of life for Q1 2009. Core 2 Quad Q9450 is 45nm-based and it will be replaced by the slowest Nehalem, Core i7 920 that will work at the same clock, but it will end up a bit faster due to eight thread support and some architecture advantages.
As we previously reported, super high-end Q9750 and QX9770 both 45nm at 3.2GHz (one for Skulltrail and one for socket 771) will retire in Q2 2009, while the Product Discontinuance Notice is planned for Q1 2009. This CPU will be replaced by Core i7 965-based Bloomfield that launches in mid-November [via fidzilla]
Dual-core Phenoms spotted
Interesting, 65nm dual-core Phenom listings surfaced onto a price search engine in Europe, and unofficial benchmarks of a 2.2GHz model surfaced. Also a Chinese site says AMD may have given up on the 2.3GHz chip we heard about last month, but the chipmaker's October roadmap includes two new dual-core Phenom derivatives. Branded Athlon X2 7550 and Athlon X2 7750, the two CPUs have respective clock speeds of 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz, which they each pair with 3MB of total cache
Download: CPU-Z 1.48 released
CPU-Z is a diagnostic tool that provides information on your CPU, including: processor name and vendor, core stepping and process, processor package, internal and external clocks, clock multiplier, partial overclock detection, processor features, supported instructions sets, L1 and L2 cache information, location, size, speed, and technology.
CPU-Z is a freeware that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system.
News and corrections
* Improved support for Intel Core i7 (Bloomfield & Gainestown).
* Intel Atom dual-core version support.
* AMD Athlon "Kuma" processor support.
* Alternate clock computation method based on "duty cycles" for Intel Core 2 processors (see ShowDutyCycles in cpuz.ini)
Download: Click here.
Download: NVIDIA nForce-Driver 20.08 WHQL Vista and XP
A busy day for NVIDIA, they just released new Forceware drivers. You can now download the new nForce 20.08 WHQL driver for Windows XP/Vista 32/64-bit. Release highlights:
* Ethernet Diver (v67.86.2) WHQL
* NAM (v.67.93)
* Sata/IDE Driver (v10.3.0.42) WHQL
* RAID Driver (v10.3.0.42) WHQL
* RAIDTOOL (v10.3.0.42)
* SM Bus (v4.69) WHQL
* SMU (v1.61) WHQL
* GPU Driver (v178.13) WHQL
* AwyMode driver (v.6.0.6000.107)WHQL
* Installer (v6.14)
nForce 790i Ultra SLI
nForce 790i SLI
nForce 780i SLI
nForce 750i SLI
nForce 730i, GeForce 9300, GeForce 9400
nForce 680i SLI
nForce 680i LT SLI
nForce 650i SLI
nForce 650i Ultra
nForce 630i/GeForce 7150
nForce 630i/GeForce 7100
nForce 630a/GeForce 7050 PV
nForce 630a/GeForce 7025
nForce 610i/GeForce 7050
We have a discussion threaad open on these driverrs right here.
Intel P55 Express is single-chip due Q3 2009
Intel is working on P55 Express, this chipset will replace the P45 and will be launched in the third quarter of next year, in time for the launch of the Lynnfield and Havendale processors. Havendale and Lynnfield, will be based on Nehalem architecture aka Core i7, in the desktop segment (first half 2009). These Quad core processors Lynnfield LGA 1160 will be limited to a TDP value not over 95 W
P55 supports both Lynnfield 45nm Nehalem-based quad-cores and IGP dual-core Nehalem codenamed Havendale. It looks that Lynnfield will launch in Q3 2009, while Havendale will slip to Q1 2010. The chipset supports one PCIe 16X or two eight-speed PCIe cards and it is a single chip architecture. It is pin compatible with future Intel 5 series chipsets, but we are not sure if it
Adobe Flash 10 delivers GPU acceleration
Adobe has released the next major version of the multimedia plugin. Adobe's Flash Player 10 is available from this page for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux - including Ubuntu 7 and 8. Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager, Platform Business Unit, Adobe Systems, said Adobe Flash Player 10 delivers enhancements and new features such as new support for custom filters and effects, native 3-D transformation and animation, advanced audio processing, and GPU hardware acceleration. In addition, the new release builds on Adobe's expertise with text to deliver a new text engine that provides interactive designers and developers with more text layout options and better creative control.
The guys over at TR gave the new plug-in a shot, and while it didn't see a huge difference in CPU usage on a Core 2 Duo E6400, maximizing YouTube videos did feel noticeably snappier. Disabling hardware acceleration through the plug-in settings somehow didn't affect that, however. After investigating the matter, they found this blog post written on May 16 by Adobe software engineer Tinic Uro. In the post, Uro says web developers actually have to enable GPU acceleration manually in the code. Stranger yet, the new GPU-accelerated modes can supposedly slow down content, because "the software rasterizer in the Flash Player can optimize a lot of cases the GPU cannot optimize." So much for that. With that said, I just installed and tried something with lots of vectoring and it doesn't seem to do anything :-)
More info on Far Cry 2 DRM
A hot topic recently are the viral like DRM protections software houses insert into games. Ubisoft has confirmed that the PC its open-world shooter Far Cry 2, will use a slightly different configuration of the SecuROM DRM technology found in Spore and Crysis Warhead.
- You have 5 activations on 3 separate PCs.
- Uninstalling the game "refunds" an activation. This process is called "revoke", so as long as you complete proper uninstall you will be able to install the game an unlimited number of times on 3 systems.
- You can upgrade your computer as many time as you want (using our revoke system)
- Ubisoft is committed to the support of our games, and additional activations can be provided.
- Ubisoft is committed to the long term support of our games: you'll always be able to play Far Cry 2.
Overall, I think this is a reasonably fair compromize. Not great, but definitely the gamers can work with and get used to.
Imperium Romanum 2 for PC
Some new images of Imperium Romanum , the upcoming city-building game where players are governor of a province and must build and maintain a thriving and prosperous settlement. The game takes place during the reign of the Roman Empire and players build Roman towers, gates, and bridges using a new currency with which to do so.
Judging from the graphics alone, I'm starting to really like this game, check out the link for some more eye-candy, that is growing to become a cool game.
Build, reign and defend!