News of the day (May 18, 2005)

 Western SATA-II & 16 MB cache
  Posted on 1116435185 by Marc

Western Digital has released during the E3 a new Serial ATA hard drive range, the WD Caviar SE16. These SATA-II discs provide an interface transfer rate of 300 MB/s and feature 16 MB of cache. For the time being only a 250 GB capacity disc is announced, the WD2500KS. Platter density is unchanged compared to the previous desktop hard drive generation. This disc includes 3 platters of two sides with “only” 83.3 GB per platter. Access time is also identical, 8.9 ms.

Additionally to the interfaced and the cache size, the other improvements is a strong noise level reduction from 34, 36 and 35 dBA in rotation / access / low noise access to 28, 33 and 29 dBA (difference between a WD2500JD and a WD2500KS). In fact these noise level characteristics are identical to another Serial ATA 250 Go drive but from the WD Caviar Raid Edition (WD2500SD) range.

 ASUSTeK chooses the PPU
  Posted on 1116434498 by Marc

AGEIA made a couple of Physical Processor Unit (PPU) announcements during the E3 (see this news). AGEIA has found a common ground with ASUSTeK to be the first partner to release additional boards compatible with this processor. No details have been added yet except for a release date this year at the same time as games using the PPU during Q3.

AGEIA announced that Ubi Soft Tom’s Clancy Ghost Recon 3 and Cryptic Studios City of Villains will support this technology. The Atari Shiny Entertainment studio has also adopted the NovodeX technology, the AGEIA software physical engine (via the CPU) and hardware (via the PPU), for their next game based on the Matrix universe.

 GeIL moves to the CAS 1.5
  Posted on 1116420687 by Marc

In the last press release to announce its presence to the Computex 2005 (early June), the memory manufacturer GeIL very quiet for quite some time now announced that it will present during this event DDR400 memory modules certified to function with a CAS Latency of 1.5. The best current DDR400 memory modules functions are certified to work with a CAS of 2.

Overclocking enthusiasts are familiar with this type of latency, obtainable with Winbond UTT chips and overvoltage. We don’t know yet however the voltage, other latencies, price or availability of the GeIL chips. So it is difficult to establish yet the real interest of this announcement.

 NVIDIA GeForce 7800
  Posted on 1116419085 by Marc

Our colleagues of HKEPC have published today the specifications of the future NVIDIA G70 chip to be released next June 22. Launched in GTX, GT and standard version, this chip sales name would be GeForce 7800.

This chip will utilize the 110 nm fabrication process of TSMC and will feature in GTX version 24 pixel pipelines and 8 vertex engines. It is respectively 50 and 33% higher than the GeForce 6800 Ultra. No details on the pipes characteristics have been communicated, but we can imagine that they will be quite close to the GeForce 6.

The GPU would be clocked at 430 MHz, instead of 425 to 400 MHZ for a 6800 Ultra and the GDDR3 memory would run at a frequency of 600MHz (1200 Mbits/s per pin) instead of 550 MHz for current graphic cards. The GeForce 7800 will be SLI compatible in GTX version. In terms of functionalities, a CineFX 4.0 has been mentioned even if we don’t know whether this upgrade from 3 to 4 is nothing else than marketing .

NVIDIA recommends a 400 Watts power supply able to support 26 A on the 12V line for a 7800 GTX, and 500 Watts 34A on the 12V for the two other graphic cards. To give you an idea, NVIDA recommends using a 500 to 550 Watt power supply able to provide 30A on the 12V line for a configuration based on two GeForce 6800 Ultra.

 Dual core: Intel Pentium D & Extreme Edition 840
  Posted on 1116406472 by Marc

At a time when standard processor performances seem to be at a standstill, Intel is the first to release a dual core x86 CPU, the Pentium Extreme Edition. Does this mean the return of the affordable bit processor?

Here is our test: mono and multithread application performances and results in an intensive multitask environment.

> Dual core: Intel Pentium D & Extreme Edition 840

 ATI Catalyst 5.5
  Posted on 1116405708 by Marc

ATI has released online the last 5.5 version of the Catalyst drivers for Windows XP and 2000. Go to ATI’s support page to download it (the driver page is no longer directly linkable ...). The only modifications compared to the 5.4 are several bug corrections. Click here to take a look at the list.

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