SiS has announce that they are partnering with Triplex to produce a new GPU to take on video chipset big boys nVidia and ATI. The new Xabre model will come in 4 flavors, all featuring 4 pipelines and 8 texels. 3 out of the 4 models are to come with the AGP 8X standard. They will also be mounted on a new type of PCB board that will be silver in color and boast EMI and thermal performance. You can read an extensive writeup on it over at Envy News. Complete with graphs.
SiS being in the performance GPU arena? Who would have guessed? It will be interesting indeed.
Ever wanted to know how some of those older video chipsets stack up to the new? Tom's Hardware Guide has posted a massive collection of benchmarks going from the old TNT2 to the shiny new Radeon 8500's and GeForce 4's. Check it out here.
Mikhailtech has an editorial about computer sites today. He basically goes on about how a site can praise a product and get more of that company's products for free. And he says that some sites are just out to get free stuff. I had a email chat about this and I agree with all the points he said.
The moral? Don't believe everything you read, especially if it looks fishy. It's hard to trust sites that are just starting up, but only if what they present is unacceptable. It seems that for every 100 popping up, 10 at most are dedicated enough to go through with the deal and do it right. That leaves 90 to grab, write a "thank you" note and run. All I'm saying is to be careful, to always judge what you see based on what's out there. A heatsink deserves more than a paragraph; a case more than two. And both deserve as much honestly as possible.
Asustek will be releasing a new line of low-quality, low-cost motherboards to compete in the low-end market instead of dropping the price on it's high-end boards and cutting profits. Don't expect to see the Asus name on these boards though, they're creating a subsidiary company so they don't have to hurt their prominent name. Read about it Here.
Via Hardware has posted their coverage of WinHEC Several times each year, Microsoft holds a large gathering of corporate executives, code warriors, and technical gurus. They also sometimes let in press guys like me. The main purpose behind this gathering is to get hardware developers online with the Windows driver implementation process. Far too often, a small company builds a piece of hardware, before ever considering how it will talk with the Operating System. WinHEC was propagated to avoid just this type of confusion.
Warp2Search Fake DirectX 9 According to the German website dialerschutz there is a spam mail currently being sent out that masks itself as a Microsoft news flash reporting the release of DirectX 9. Translated, the mail reads "Yesterday, 19.04.2002, we completed our DirectX 9.0. In your own interest, you should update your system with this new version as soon as possible. Our free update is available for all operating systems." Of course, this is all a lie. Whoever follows the download link provided is, in reality, downloading a 0190 (pay-per-call) dialer of the company Interfun. Note - When checking the link, I noticed the webmaster account being closed due to spam.
Rage3d Tweak v3.1e Released Well, this version is primarily all of the fixes released yesterday wrapped up with a new help file and some other minor additions.
What's New and Download sites on the Rage3D Tweak Page.
And something else I spotted somewhere... Niscenus will enjoy this one. Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers! OSS/FS has significant market share, is often the most reliable software, and in many cases has the best performance. OSS/FS scales, both in problem size and project size. OSS/FS software generally has far better security, particularly when compared to Windows. Total cost of ownership for OSS/FS is often far less than proprietary software, particularly as the number of platforms increases. These statements are not merely opinions; these effects can be shown quantitatively, using a wide variety of measures. This doesn't even consider other issues that are hard to measure, such as freedom from control by a single source, freedom from licensing management (with its accompanying litigation), and increased flexibility. I believe OSS/FS options should be carefully considered any time software or computer hardware is needed.
Ahanix Rare XG Review Ahanix has the made some of the most attractive basic cases I have seen. The two tone coloration makes the case look like it belongs in a futuristic movie instead of sitting on user's desk. This makes it perfect for modern corporate environments and home offices, as now the computer can be shown off instead of hidden underneath a desk where they can get kicked and collect dust. Aesthetically, this case is hard to beat for its price. Functionally it the also has a lot to offer with front accessible USB ports, a motherboard tray, and a quick shell removal. The Rare XG is a rarity in the world of computer cases with its ability to beautifully blend form with function.
Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra First Look Soyo has made a couple of modifications including an additional power connector, USB 2, and switching to Highpoint RAID instead of Promise. They also benefit from ATA133 and DDR333 support thanks to the new VIA chipsets.
Speculation everywhere. Nvidia could buy Transmeta We think Nvidia could perform a very smart little jig, buy the firms and its patents, and then go back to Microsoft, saving it the trouble of designing its own CPU, and instead saying hey we've got the processor and the graphics for the Xbox 2.
The truth behind ATI and Intel's cross licences According to our informant, very close to ATI's plans, Intel stepped on the Canadian firm's graphics toes very badly indeed in the 3D area, and faced serious litigation as a result. This is because there are, in our contact's words "many grey areas" of PC development and ATI and Nvidia have, in the last few years, gone hammer and tong against each other to grab graphics patents as part of their competitive fight.
Time for Prescott New Instructions (PNI) Whatever the nature of the new instructions, we can speculate with some degree of certainty that the Alpha engineers Intel acquired from Compaq sure had some good hyperthreading tech built into that microprocessor, and we wouldn't be a bit surprised if PNI owes more to DEC than anyone could ever have imagined even a year ago.
Van's Hardware WinHEC stuff Tons of Info... Banias Details
Although Mr. Otellini divulged very few technical facts regarding Banias, we have a list of details that we believe are accurate.
Banias is essentially a Pentium III core fitted to a low-voltage 400 MHz Pentium 4 bus. Some architectural changes had to be made to the PIII core to accommodate a doubled 64-byte L2 line size.
The Level 2 cache size is 1MB. The cache was enlarged to, in part, reduce thermal density. Banias will be introduced on a 0.13-micron copper process next year. Certain Japanese mobile OEMs are expected to have working silicon shortly.
Initially, Banias will ship at 1.6 GHz and will consume roughly 24.5W. From a power consumption standpoint, this compares poorly with the shipping AMD (Thoroughbred) Mobile Athlon XP launched earlier this week, which may demand less than 20W at the same clock speed.
Again, I prob missed a bunch of stuff. Just email me and I'll post it as always
Remember awhile back that AA reported on carbon heatsinks having much better thermal conductivity that current generation ones? Well, this seems to be an interm step to that (and it is needed anyway). Once this technology becomes applied to heatsink and normal heatsink grease (not epoxy) we could see some very cool computing and quieter fans.
University of Pennsylvania scientists have determined that adding a relatively small number of carbon nanotubes to epoxy yields a compound three-and-a-half times as hard and far better at heat conductance than the product found in hardware stores. - Read More
Two days ago, Trident announced a new mobile video card.
Faster transistors that enable higher clock rate, corresponding to higher performance. XP4 engine clock reaches 250MHz and DDR memory clock reaches 666MHz, both of which are the industry's highest clock rate for notebooks with DX8.1 capability.
Smaller device geometry that produces smaller chip sizes and results in lower production cost.
Lower operating voltage which causes much less power dissipation. A voltage reduction from 1.8 volts (in 180nm process) to 1.2 volts (in 130nm process) can reduce the power dissipation to less than 50%.
Well, the mobile market is looking good for video cards.
The iCute 300W PSU (with product number AL-3000P4) has an all aluminum construction. This alu material makes the PSU weigh much less compared to other similar power supplies. To cool down the PSU and to get rid of tons of hot air from inside the case, iCute has chosen to install one 80mm fan on the bottom of the PSU next to the normal one at the backside. I'd like to note that both 80mm fans are fully temperature controlled and they both come with fan brackets. The alu construction looks and is very smooth without sharp sides that might result in bloody fingers. That's really important to me - Link
As you remember, we recently announced a partnership with DealTime. As requested by DealTime, we created this nasty Marilyn-Manson-style link box, referred to as a "tower." This was god awful, and I complained. To better service those of you interested in comparison shopping, or wondering what one of us means when we say something is or isn't worth the price, we are in the process of doing a better integration of the two sites. We anticipate that, within the next week or so, you will see a box after Editorials listing the general categories. Clicking on a category takes you to a more detailed page, then selecting something more specific will take you to that very specific location on DealTime. Watch for it!
.13 Micron Technology for Higher Performance
The mobile AMD Athlon XP processor represents a move to state-of-the-art .13 micron process technology. With this transition, compared to previous mobile AMD Athlon family processors, the mobile AMD Athlon XP processor can offer increased performance and provides the option of a powerful 266MHz front-side bus for fast memory and I/O performance. By combining the use of a powerful 266MHz or 200MHz front-side bus with the advanced technology of a smaller die size, AMD continues to introduce powerful new mobile processors.
This is picture of an updated version of the GeForce4 Ti4600 GPU and apparently NVIDIA has updated their GeForce4 Ti4600 stepping from A2 to A3. If the new stepping can improve its overclockability, it will certainly be a good news as the current Ti4600 GPU can't be overclocked much (300Mhz core default to ~320Mhz)
The Inquirer reports that IBM will sell its hard drive division to Hitachi. I'm sure the recent press about the failure rate of the drives caused a bigger push to get out of the component sector than was originally planned.
The move is another element in IBM's apparent determination to get out of the PC and component business altogether, and comes after it issued a profits warning last week, partly blamed on a downturn in both the semiconductor and disk drive business.
It seems that ALI has finally released another all in one driver patch. It works with most North and Southbridges. I'll have todo this on my KA266-R when I get home on Friday.
Update ALi AGP driver from version 1.81 to 1.90.
Update ALi AUDIO WDM driver from version 5171 to 5181.
Replace ALi Win2K Mini-IDE driver 1.41 with Ultra-IDE 126.96.36.199 for Win2K/XP.
Update ALi IDE Cache Utility driver from version 1.05 to 1.06
Update ALi FIR driver from version 1.41 for Win 98/98SE to 1.5.
Update ALi FIR driver from version 1.41 for Win 2000 to 1.26 for Win 2000/XP.
North bridge Support:
M1541, M1621, M1631, M1632M, M1641, M1644, M1646, M1647, M1649, M1651, M1671, M1672
South bridge Support:
M1543C, M1535, M1535D, M1535+, M1535D+
Contents of ALi Integrated Driver ver. 1.07:
AGP driver 1.90 for Win95 OSR2.1 for Win98/Win98SE/WinME/Win2K/WinXP.
IDE Cache Utility 1.06 for Win95 OSR2.1/Win98/Win98SE/WinME.
Mini-IDE driver 1.41 for Win2K.
FIR driver 1.51 for Win98/Win98SE.
FIR driver 1.26 for Win 2K/WinXP?
Audio WDM driver 5.12.01.5170 for Win98/Win98SE/WinME/Win2K/WinXP.
USB controller 1.03 for Win95 OSR2.1.
M7101 Patch 1.01 for Win95.
IRQ Miniport driver 0.1 for Win95. Download ALi Integrated Driver ver. 1.07 English version
The ALi Integrated driver ver. 1.07 will detect the OS version and show the items of drivers you need to install.
Windows XP contains in-box drivers supporting ALi device controllers, which are not found in ALi Integrated Driver ver 1.07
Linear Technology Corporation introduces the LTC3719, a PolyPhase synchronous step-down controller with integrated MOSFET drivers designed to power AMD's new 64-bit Hammer CPUs. The LTC3719 offers a 45A single-chip solution by integrating four MOSFET drivers that are capable of driving substantial gate capacitance. The IC offers two power sections that accurately balance the output power between the power components. This precision current sharing reduces thermal stress increasing the reliability of MOSFETs, inductors & capacitors, facilitates thermal management, eliminates hot spots and the need for heat sinks. Furthermore, PolyPhase operation minimizes the requirement for input and output capacitors. A design using the LTC3719 is compact, cost-effective, highly efficient and offers higher system reliability than competing solutions, which do not have precision current sensing. The IC is housed in a 36-lead SSOP package.
Duke Nukem Manhattan Project for the PC: Gaming's king of action returns in an all new adventure, this time in New York City. Duke battles his way across towering skyscraper rooftops and through gritty subway stations on the hunt for power-hungry villain, Mech Morphix. Mutants of every kind are thrown at Duke as he chases down Morphix through eight huge environments and avoids the green slime called GLOPP that is causing all the chaos.
Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter for the X-Box: Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter immerses players in a universe of huge corporations and futuristic gun-slingers as Mace seamlessly travels from the ground, to the air, to space tracking quarry and unraveling a deep, and very dangerous mystery. Against a backdrop of corporate, political and religious intrigue, Mace is framed for being involved in the deaths of his comrades. After a stretch in prison he becomes a Bounty Hunter, a vocation which gives him access to classified information and a means to aggressively pursue his search for the people who framed him.