Although most people are looking forward to the Intel Nehalem CPUs, an upgrade that maintains the mPGA604 socket platform is very attractive for many in the server space. Additional cores and performance tweaks can have a significant impact with server operations. Intel's Xeon 74xx series processors, formerly known as Dunnington, pack a mighty benefit in just moving up from a quad-core processor to hex-core solution, having six cores on a single die. However, the enormous 12MB to 16MB L3 cache also helps to ensure all six cores can access high performance main memory a lot more effectively. The massive L3 also limits the "cache syncing" traffic required between CPUs, which has been an important bottleneck for prior Intel server platforms. Boasting a 10% to 20+% performance increase per core, two additional cores per CPU package, and an easy upgrade path that only requires a BIOS update, the newest Xeon 7460 is certainly worth consideration for those that would prefer a simple upgrade for now.
Intel is now shipping a dual-core model of the widely popular Atom netbook processor. The processor is ideally suited for netbooks, meeting both the low cost and low power requirements needed for the netbook market. The new Intel Atom Processor 330 runs at 1.6GHz, offers 1MB of L2 cache, and has an 8W TDP. The processor also utilizes the very affordable DDR2 667 RAM. Intel's Atom 330 ships as an integrated package, with the Intel 945GC Express chipset. The chipset features the integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Intel High Definition Audio solutions.
The Super Talent MasterDrive OX SSD features a new multi-channel SATA-II interface that offers enhanced read and write performance. The 2.5" drives use multi-level cell (MLC) memory, and provide speeds up to 150MB/s read and 100MB/s write. Available capacities include 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, and prices range from $149 to $419. The update for the Super Talent single-level cell (SLC) PX series SSDs are available in capacities of 32GB or 64GB, and priced at $499 and $849, respectively. The drives boast 170MB/sec read and 130MB/sec write performance.
At the time of this writing, Elpida holds the crown for the fastest DDR3 modules at 2.5Gbps. The new memory modules have a specially engineered design that is based on a new copper interconnect process and circuit technology that enables faster speeds and an ultra-low voltage operation of 1.2V - 1.5V while conforming to DDR3 specifications.
The Dell Studio Hybrid is one of the smallest PCs on the market. According to Dell, the PC is 80% smaller than standard desktops and uses 70% less power than a typical system. The small design is quite nice, allowing for placement almost anywhere, and making portability a snap. The Studio Hybrid comes with 6 interchangeable color sleeves and a extra bamboo design. As for specifications, the Studio Hybrid offers up to 2.6GHz Intel processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB disk drive, and Sound Blaster Audigy HD integrated audio. Other features include an optional TV tuner, slot loading optical drive, wireless keyboard/mouse, and WiFi. Prices range from $499 to $2026 at the time of this writing.
The ioDrive from Fusion-io was announced quite some time back, with specifications and information on the product. However, Windows drivers were not available until recently, and the product was not readily available for purchase until today. DVNation has become the Internet's exclusive distributor for the ioDrive.
Blaze Media Pro is a powerful all-in-one audio and video converter for CD, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, AVI, WMV, MOV, Flash (SWF and FLV), iPod, PSP, 3GP, etc.; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio, video, data CD/DVD burner for DVD, VCD, and SVCD; and much more. Joe Tex from Shareware Junkies has written a review for the all-in-one multimedia software that gives newcomers an idea of what to expect.
The most newsworthy feature of the HP Elitebook 6930p is no doubt the 24 hour battery life the notebook boasts. Battery enhancements and power-saving hardware selections have been combined to yield this milestone achievement. The new battery option is 12-cell, ultra-capacity, and each hardware option has been hand-picked for its battery saving benefit, including an Intel SSD for storage and the highly efficient HP Illumi-Lite LED display. Other specifications for the notebook include Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor P8600 (2.40 GHz), 14.1-inch WXGA+ display, up to 4GB RAM, LightScribe DVD+/-RW SuperMulti with double layer support, ATI Mobility RadeonTM HD 3450 graphics, 2 MP Webcam, Intel 802.11a/b/g/draft-n wireless, and built-in broadband.
The Epson Artisan 800 is an all-in-one printer series recently launched that is packed with numerous impressive features. It offers WiFi fax, automatic document feeding, a 7.8" smart-touch panel, 3.5" LCD, and ultra high resolution photos. The Epson Artisan 800 will be available this month, with an estimated retail price of $299.99.
Amazon has officially launched a new Video on Demand service that offers no-hassle, cross-platform streaming movies and TV shows. The web site offers a clean and simple interface for easily streaming content to a PC or Mac. Amazon claims 40,000 movie and TV titles to choose from, both new and old content.
Intel has made a big splash into the SSD market. Today the company officially announced the X25-E Extreme SATA SSD. The drive boasts up to 250MB/sustained read, 170MB/s sustained write, 35,000 IOPS read, and 3,300 IOPS write performance. A mainstream model has also been announced with lower write speeds. The SSD also offers a <1ms random access time. This new drive is the fastest SSD currently on the market. With a max 80GB capacity, the SSD also offers a good capacity range for SSDs.
Google successfully launched the Geo-Eye 1 satellite yesterday that is engineered to transmit high-resolution satellite imagery back to Earth for use by Google and the U.S. government. Google's founder's attended the launch event, which coincides with Google's 10th birthday celebration. Information analyzed by the satellite will be reviewed for national security by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Google's arrangement also allows them sole access to the images, which will be used to improve the Google Maps and Google Earth services. The first high-quality images will be available to Google in 1-2 months.
According to NetApplications, the new Google Chrome web browser release has already overtaken Opera in web browser market share. NetApplications has been monitoring Chrome usage hourly since its release, and reported that it reached a 1.57% market share on 9/4 at 2:00 AM EDT. The usage has dropped some since then, but never below the 0.74% market share held by Opera. At present, Google Chrome is holding at 1.09%.
Sony has released three new Walkman players from the S, E, and B series that suit the needs of different tastes and budgets. The S and E series products also offer full video playback support, including DRM-protected WMV files. The Walkman players allow users to enjoy music from various download stores in addition to stored audio files. The simple drag and drop file transfer makes copying music, videos, and podcasts onto the players quick and easy. The players support most popular audio and video formats, and offer high quality audio and video performance.
Dell has announced a monster new Precision M6300 Mobile Workstation. The 17" notebook features a powerful quad-core processor, up to 16GB RAM, 1TB disk space via two drives in a RAID0 configuration, 1GB dedicated graphics memory, and an impressive LED-backlit display. Information on system weight has not yet been anounced, but from the specifications, 10lb+ would be a good assumption.
OCZ's Core V2 60 GB SSDs are now available for purchase online. The affordable price tag of $239 after rebate marks an important milestone in the transition to SSD for data storage. Of course, buyers trade disk capacity for performance, but the $239 cost is in the same range as mechanical hard drive options, making them a viable option for a much wider demographic. The OCZ Core V2 SSDs feature read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec, which is very attractive for those seeking top system performance. Comparable solid state drives from other companies cost as much as $400 more per disk.
Building on the popularity of the ThinkPad X300 notebook, Lenovo recently released the sub-3 lb ThinkPad X200, which offers a perfect mix of portability and performance. The notebook is one of the first to use Intel's new Centrino 2 platform to provide the latest technologies and a standard-voltage Core 2 Duo mobile Penryn processor, packed into a 12" form-factor with a 1280x800 display resolution. Of course, the X200 features the legendary ThinkPad keyboard, the best among laptops. For those who are not comfortable with a TrackPoint (pointing stick), the new X301 may be more preferable, but for the rest, the TrackPoint offers convenient navigation and allows for optimal usage of the available space.
An important note for those who own a VAIO notebook. Sony has issued a massive recall of over 438,000 laptops sold between July 2007 and August 2008 due to overheating problems. Recalled models include Vaio VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300, and VGN-TZ2000 series notebooks.
The LG DP889 combines a portable DVD player and digital photo frame into a single 8" display. It features internal memory for up to 250 photos, a 3-in-1 memory card slot, USB port for direct connection to a digital camera, A/V input and output, and full DVD / DVD±R / DVD±RW / Audio CD / CD-R / CD-RW support. The LG DP889 is available online from Circuit City for $200.
MSI is rumored to be introducing a new version of the MSI Wind U100 ultraportable notebook. The current MSI Wind release features an 80GB disk drive. However, the new edition will boast a 160GB drive. Interestingly, this enhancement seems to be fueled by Microsoft's new 160GB minimum hard drive requirement for Windows XP licensing. This change may cause a number of other hard drive size increases in the ultraportable segment in the near future.