News of the day (January 17, 2008)

 Dell 2408WFP: what's new and the end of an era?
  Posted on 1200607231 by Vincent

We wonít hide it from you. We love Dell monitors. For years now this manufacturer has strived to lower the prices of its screens by always offering better for less expensive than its rivals. Even Acer had trouble following the price reductions they imposed and when they did the design and ergonomics were largely inferior. In short, Dell is a champion in its own right. The 2407WFP, released in 2006, sold like hotcakes with multiple orders grouped together on our forum.

Two years after, Dell uses the same formula for success with the 2408WFP-HC which has arrived in the US: a card reader, vertically adjustable base, pivot mode, and multiple video inputs. They have even added a new Display Port and HDMI connections to the already present two DVI, VGA and YUV. Another evolution is that the new 2408WFP-HC is a wide gamut. It displays richer colors; however, this bonus is more for graphic artists and those with reflex cameras having opted for a color space beyond sRGB like Adobe RGB.

So is this 2408WFP-HC better? On paper definitely! Unfortunately, since 2007 Dellís prices have been very high and it gets even worse with this screen. The 2407WFP-HC from 2007 is offered for between 700 and 750 Euros in stores that still carry it (Dell no longer does). In the meantime, its rivals have all gone under the 500 euro mark and we are currently testing 24 inch monitors barely above 300 Euros. The 2407WFP-HC costs more than double !

In the US, the only place that the 2408WFP-HC is currently found, this new 24 inch is found for a price of $748. The 2407WFP-HC, obviously very close except for a few additional connections, is at $599. This easy calculation means the 2408WFP-HC costs 25% more than the previous 2407WFP-HC.

If the same price difference is found in France, we should expect the 2408WFP-HC to be at 750 Ä + 25% = 937 Euros. Wow! We think that a screen for such an amount will not have the slightest chance of imposing itself on the market. Dell, wake UP !

PS : The 2408WFP-HC is based on a PVA panel with a response time of 6 ms

 Intel Roadmap for Q1 & Q2 2008
  Posted on 1200593352 by Nicolas

Besides the Celeron E1200ís planned release on January 20 and the E1600 expected out at the end of the year, Intel should also offer an E1400 set at 2.0 GHz in the second quarter with a TDP (65W) and price ($53) that will remain unchanged.

Still in the entry level, a Pentium E2220 set at 2.4 GHz with a TDP of 65W will arrive March 2nd for a price of $84 and at the same time as the Core 2 Duo E4700.This last processor will have a rather short product life as it will be replaced in the second quarter by the E7200.

A little higher up the line, an E8300 set at 2.83 GHz will be launched April 20th to replace the E8190 and E8200. Like its predecessors, it will be sold for $163 and have an L2 cache of 6 MB, FSB1333 and TDP of 65W. Moreover, the same day, the price of the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Q6700 will be reduced to $224 and $266, respectively.

In the very high end, the Core 2 QX9770 and QX9775 set at 3.2 GHz and with an FSB1600 are in the works. The TDP of the first should be 136W and will most likely arrive January 20th for a price of $1399 at the same time as the X48 chipset. The second will be launched simultaneously with the Skulltrail platform in this quarter. With a TDP of 150W and price of $1499, which will have to be multiplied by two, the QX9775 are in the ę Ultra Extreme Ľ category.

Finally, other processors could see the day in 2008 but there is no information yet on their price or launch dates. Amongst them, will be the Core 2 Q9650 (3.0 GHz, 12 MB of L2 cache, TDP of 95W), the Q9400 (2.66 GHz, 6 MB of L2 cache, TDP of 95W), and the E8600 (3.33 GHz, 6 MB of L2 cache, TDP of 65W).

 1st test of the Celeron dual core
  Posted on 1200572787 by Nicolas

X-bit labs has published a test of the first Celeron dual core, the E1200. You may recall this processor engraved in 65nm is set at 1.6 GHz, has an FSB800 and 512 KB of L2 cache

Its performances arenít bad and are similar to those of most of its predecessors. While it is generally faster than a Celeron 440 (which is however set at 2 GHz), the majority of applications are now multi-threaded and it suffers from the small size of its L2 cache.

With an identical frequency (3.0 GHz) and FSB (1333) to a Core 2 Duo E6850 which has 4 MB of L2 cache, performances fall 46.30% in Quake 4 in 1024 x 768. In other games tested (Half-Life 2 Episode 2, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, World in Conflict), the reduction is generally around 34%. This is less dramatic in application or decoding tests with the Celeron being between 5.60% and 27.40% slower; however the difference is still significant.

Of course, for $53 we shouldnít expect miracles but unless if you have an extremely limited budget it would be better to invest directly in a Pentium E2000 which is barely more expensive. Note that the test also includes a Celeron E1600 set at 2.4 GHz when this processor should not be launched before the end of the year.

 Intel: Larrabee for the end of 2009
  Posted on 1200526106 by Nicolas

While in the short term Intelís ambitions concerning 3D are limited to their offering a G45 that is 70% more powerful than the G35, what comes after is much more interesting.

In the conference call that followed their announcement of financial results, Douglas Freedman from American Technology Research had the good idea of enquiring about the Larrabee development project. As for IGPs, Paul Otellini, the CEO of the Californian giant said that solutions 10 times more powerful than current ones would arrive in 2010.

The first samples of the Larrabee are awaited for the end of this year. This will then enable concentration on the software aspect as well as the sending of some samples to developers. Thus Intel hopes to launch a product that will be fully equipped for the end of 2009. More specifically, this means we will have to wait almost 2 years before Intel tries to rival Nvidia or ATI in the high end.

The big question remains whether this chip will be produced in 45nm or 32nm. You may recall the RV670 which currently equips the Radeon HD 3800 is produced in 55nm. 45nm could therefore lack a little ambition for a graphic chip whose release will come 24 months later.

On the other hand, given the information already unveiled on the subject and the fact that it will also be in 2009 that Intel will release its first 32nm CPU, the Westmere and a die-shrink of its Nehalem architecture, itís more likely that it will be a 45nm GPU.

One last but not a minor detail is that ATI and Nvidia DirectX 11 GPU should already be launched in the second half of 2009 or first half of 2010. Microsoft's choice in the level flexibility and operating architecture for its next API will be an influence on the growing competition between these three companies.

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