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  • The Radeon HD 3850 for laptops
  • Computex: Nvidia's Tegra versus the Atom
  • Computex 2008
  • Gigabyte offers its apologies
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     The Radeon HD 3850 for laptops
      Posted on 02/06/2008 at 23:26 by Nicolas - source: Xbit-labs
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    Diamond Multimedia and Smooth Creations, a PC manufacturer for hardcore gamers, have pre-announced the Smooth Creations “Broodling”, a laptop equipped with a Radeon HD 3850. While the RV670 in MXM format has existed for some time now on certain ASUSTeK graphic cards, AMD’s graphic division only offers at best the Mobility Radeon HD 3600 to laptop manufacturers. This is when Nvidia launched the GeForce 8800M six months ago.

    Unfortunately, the frequencies used for the GPU were not revealed. However, given the presence of a Core 2 QX9770 and Western Digital Caviar SE16 hard drive, components that we expect to find in a desktop PC, we may wonder if this graphic card was specifically conceived for laptops, or in other words, if it is more a Mobility Radeon. Otherwise, an engineer from Diamond felt obliged to add that a "Skulltrail" notebook could follow and that they are currently working on such a solution. So it appears that "Desktop replacement"-type laptops will never have deserved this name as much...

     Computex: Nvidia's Tegra versus the Atom
      Posted on 02/06/2008 at 20:13 by Damien
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    Just before the official opening to the expo, Nvidia organized a press conference in which a new brand was unveiled: Tegra.

    Rob Csongor, Vice President Corporate Marketing and Michael Rayfield, General Manager of the Mobile Business Unit, unveiling Tegra.

    Tegra is the name now given to a “computer-on-a-chip", or systems which are entirely integrated on single chip and destined for smartphones, MIDs (Mobile Internet Device) and netbooks (EeePC-like). Thus, the APX 2500, destined for smartphones and which was announced in February and integrates an ARM11 processor, video processor and an OpenGL ES / Direct3D Mobile compatible GPU changes its name to the Tegra APX 2500.

    Furthermore, Nvidia makes the distinction between the Tegra 650 and Tegra 600 which are similar but have different frequencies, slightly lower for the Tegra 600 (ARM11 processor set at 700 MHz instead of 750 MHz) and set higher for the Tegra 650 (800 MHz).

    The Tegra 600 and 650 support higher resolutions on their DVI and VGA outputs which were formerly limited on the APX 2500. All support the 720p format, as much in output as in decoding and encoding. The Tegra 650 goes as far a supporting 1080p in output and decoding; however, the Tegra 650 and 600 no longer target smartphones but rather MIDs and netbooks. Instead of trying to develop a product for integration into a smaller format, Nvidia opted for the opposite approach: take a base destined for smartphones (knowing that either way it is capable of much more) and integrate it to bigger systems.

    The goal is to take advantage of the low power consumption of a product adapted to smartphones in a format that opens up more possibilities in terms of the screen for watching video or in terms of the keyboard for more of an office use when traveling (like an EeePC). Nvidia isn't hiding the fact that the Tegra line is in direct competition with Intel’s Atom on these markets.

    However, Tegra has a significant defect in that they are not x86 compatible, because they are based on an ARM processor and therefore cannot function with Windows XP, for example, or x86 applications. We will have to be content with Windows CE 6.0. On the other hand, as Tegras are entirely integrated on the same chip, power consumption is largely inferior to that of the Atom’s (Nvidia says 10x less) as well as being at ease with HD video, contrary to Intel’s solution. In our opinion, Nvidia therefore has a product that isn’t in competition with Intel but is simply different, even if in the current context everything is good for fueling the battle between these future enemies.

    We will just have to see in practice if Nvidia will manage to have its solution accepted by MID and netbook manufacturers and especially if the final products will offer any real pluses compared to current solutions. It’s pertinent, for example, to wonder if the support for the decoding of HD video is truly useful on a machine equipped with such a small screen.

    There is often a thin line between flop and success for this type of product although Tegra is part of the movement started by the iPhone and EeePC. In the meantime, for this journalist that travels regularly, it’s hard to resist the promise of a system that enables comfortably watching video, surfing the net, and working for more than 30 hours with a single battery charge!

    A very energy economical prototype based on an EeePC but functioning with the Tegra system. Note the minuscule size of the "motherboard" (without connections) with the Tegra processor surrounded by various memory.

     Computex 2008
      Posted on 02/06/2008 at 17:38 by Damien
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    Today opens the 2008 Computex, the most important expo dedicated to computer components. It is taking place in Taipei, Taiwan, the home to a very large number of players in the PC industry.

    Walter Yeh, Executive Vice President TAITRA and Li Chang, Deputy Secretary General Taiwan Computer Association, are rather delighted about the continued success of the Computex.

    Organized by the TAITRA (Taiwan External Trade Development Council), this year’s event should have almost 135,000 visitors, all professionally related to the industry as the expo is not open to the public. This choice seems to be a good one as each year there has been continued growth, to such an extent that the buildings traditionally used in downtown Taipei have become insufficient. For this reason, a new expo center not in the city center is part of the 2008 edition in addition to the usual smaller halls and surrounding hotel suites. So it’s bigger in size this year but journalists will have to take a shuttle between the two locations.

    The brand new Nangang Exhibition Hall which will house a large part of this year’s Computex.

    This is a necessary evil according to the organizer, which also announced that there will be almost 4500 stands this year, including 668 dedicated to motherboards, graphic cards and other PC components! Of course, we will make our rounds hoping to find a maximum of new technology to share with our readers.

     Gigabyte offers its apologies
      Posted on 02/06/2008 at 13:41 by Nicolas - source: Digitimes
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    Here is the follow-up and end to the conflict which opposed Gigabyte and ASUSTeK: the former issued a public apology last weekend in Taiwanese newspapers and recognized that the complaints of its rival were founded.

    However, they do maintain that its "green" DES technology is superior to ASUSTeK’s EPU, but either way the contrary would have surprising. In exchange, ASUSTeK has accepted to abandon all legal and administrative procedures undertaken. So we are witnessing a happy ending and this the day before the start of the Computex. Gigabyte will not have to defend its muckraking that put into question the quality of rival products and their capacity to reduce consumption. The only thing is that a public debate in a court of law with independent expertise on the efficiency of green technologies would have been interesting...

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