Sunday, September 21, 2008

Intel Decides to Unlock the Memory Multiplier of its Core i7-920 and Core i7-940 CPUs

Thanks to some inside information that was published today by various hardware portals, now we know that Intel has decided to enhance the overclocking capabilities of two of its still to be released non-Extreme Core i7 processors. Intel's LGA 1366 Core i7-940 and Core i7-920, which are clocked at 2.93GHz and 2.66GHz respectively will now boast unlocked memory controlers, meaning that users will be able to change the memory multiplier and thus the memory frequency beyond the stock DDR3 800/1066MHz speed. The unlocked memory multiplier will also allow the QPI speed to be changed. The Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus resembles AMD's Hypertransport bus. A slide change in the memory frequency will result in higher QPI bus speed, just like in the current AMD processor family. Previously, we knew that only the Core i7 Extreme processors like the 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme Edition will have these overclocking features. I sincerely hope that with this last minute change Intel will make us overclockers really happy.

Intel Officially Begins Shipping Dual-Core Atom Processors

Intel has officially begun shipping a 45nm dual-core Intel Atom Processor known as the Intel Atom Processor 330. The newest member of the Atom family is designed specifically for nettops, which are affordable desktops purpose-built primarily for web surfing, email, and basic Internet usage. The dual-core Intel Atom Processor 330 features a 1.6GHz processing core, 1MB of level 2 cache, an 8W TDP and support for DDR2 667. The new processor is available as an integrated package and has been validated with the Intel 945GC Express Chipset, featuring built-in Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Intel High Definition Audio.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dual-core Atom comes on September 21st

ImageTo sell for $43

Intel is listing Dual-core Atom 330 with 1.6GHz core clock, 1MB cache and FSB 533 with a wholesale price of $43. Moreover, it plans to start selling this CPU on September 21st.

A few Intel documents have indicated that dual-core Atoms are planned for Q3 introduction and availability, but so far we haven’t seen a single one available, not to mention the fact that most single-core Atoms are facing a serious backorder situation.

We were informed by many of our sources that single-core Atom will remain in very limited supply, especially on the mobile side through most of Q4 2008; and they don’t expect the situation to get better.

From a manufacturing point of view, the dual-core Atom is nothing much more than two single-core chips stitched in the same packaging. Single-core Atom is selling for a wholesale price of $29, and as you can see, Intel can make more money by selling two single chips than a single dual.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

All Nehalems have 130W TDP


2.6, 2.93 and 3.2GHz

It was
rather interesting to notice that all Nehalem chips have the same 130W TDP. Either this is a typo in Intel's official documents that we've seen, or it means that 3.2GHz, which is 600MHz faster than 2.6GHz Nehalem, will have the same TDP.

We've seen the same numbers before, which might indicate that these are the real numbers. We know that even 2.93GHz Nehalem can easily hit over 4GHz with air-cooling, which indicates that there is still enough room for some overclocking in this chip.

Nehalem is probably the best chip that Intel ever engineered, even if it's a heavily improved Core 2 architecture, but it looks that it works well. November should be the time when you should be able to buy one.  

AMD Gives ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series Graphics Cards to the Masses

AMD today announced the ATI Radeon HD 4600 series, mainstream graphics offerings that deliver exceptional gaming and HD multimedia performance while consuming less power than a standard light bulb. Comprising the ATI Radeon HD 4670 and the ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 4600 series leverages the leading technology found in the award-winning ATI Radeon HD 4800 series, including support for the latest DirectX 10.1 games, superior HD multimedia capabilities and industry leading performance-per-watt, all delivered at affordable prices for the mainstream graphics segment. The combined features and technologies and incredible prices makes the ATI Radeon HD 4600 series a superb all-around performer, ideal for playing the latest games or driving a high quality home theatre entertainment experience.

AMD Prepares its Initial ULPC Processors

AMD plans to offer two processors for the ULPC. Cost-effectiveness being the mantra, AMD plans to offer processors that provide users of ULPC with a level of performance that takes it closer to that of regular PCs and eradicate the netPC/netbook moniker as the processors offer more performance at a low cost than what the likes of Atom or Nano could. Of course this comes at the expense of much higher TDP and slightly higher price. Perhaps the performance to price ratio is what AMD is banking on.

There are two parts under the Athlon X2 banner. The 22W, 1.50 GHz dual-core 3250e processor aims to compete with the desktop variant of Atom dual core where the Athlon's architectural superiority aims to give it a leading edge. The issue of energy savings dampens when it comes to desktop. Another processor, the single-core Athlon 2650e that is available now is rated at 15W with a 1.60 GHz clock speed. It comes with 512 KB L2 cache.

Radeon HD 4550 Details Surface

Later this month, AMD is expected to launch the ATI Radeon HD 4550 graphics processor (GPU). Its board SKU details have surfaced. The RV710 graphics processor will make it to the grass-root of entry-level and high-definition media grpahics boards. It is based on the 55nm silicon fabrication process. The GPU has a transistor count of 242 million, it has 80 stream processors. It is engineered in a way that makes it draw less than 25W. In the form of reference designs, AMD will release two cards: a full height, passively cooled 512 MB DDR3 version, and a low-profile, 256MB fan-heatsink cooled card. Both models have core clock speeds of 600 MHz with the memory clocked at 800 MHz on a 64-bit wide memory bus. The GPU schematic shows it to have 8 texture address and 8 texture filter units. There's only one render back-end. The 512MB variant is expected to be priced at US $49~59, while the 256MB variant in the $39~49 range. These cards are expected to compete with the GeForce 9400 GT GPU.

SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash Series Doubles Capacity To 32GB At Twice The Speed

Who says big cards can’t be fast? SanDisk Corporation today announced the 32-gigabyte (GB) SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash® (CF) card, the latest addition to its award-winning SanDisk Extreme III line. Combining world-class storage capacity with fast data transfer rates, SanDisk’s new memory card is designed to meet the demands of professional digital videographers and photographers. For many cards, an increase in storage capacity often comes at a cost to speed, but the 32GB SanDisk Extreme III CF card at 30 megabytes per second (MB/s) offers customers the best of both worlds.