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  • Celeron D 356 performances
  • Future X1900 price cuts
  • NVIDIA adds H.264 to PureVideo
  • AMD Turion 64 X2
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     Celeron D 356 performances
      Posted on 03/03/2006 at 21:17 by Marc
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    HKEPC has tested a Celeron D 356. Compared to the 355, the processor cache L2 is doubled to 512KB (as compared to 2MB for the last Pentium 4). This 65 nm chip will be released at the same time as the Celeron D 352 that will be clocked at 3.2 GHz.

    Unfortunately, performance figures published by our colleagues do not come from tests made with software. It is difficult to extrapolate anything from the bench that are, for some of them, only focused on calculation speed and don't take much in account the cache size and for others almost only impacted by graphic performances.

    We noted, however, 0.5, 2.3 and 6.8% performance gains under the following CPU tests PCMark05, 3DMark06 and 3DMark05. There are some improvements, but they won't be enough to prefer the Celeron over the Sempron especially when it will be available on a new unified platform with the Athlon 64/X2 (Socket AM2). When will they release a Celeron with FSB800 and HyperThreading?

     Future X1900 price cuts
      Posted on 03/03/2006 at 15:26 by Marc - source: x-bit labs
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    In order to answer to the imminent release of the GeForce 7900, ATI will significantly cut X1900 prices. The X1900 XTX price will drop from $649 to $549 and the X1900 XT from $549 to $479.

    This reduction will help the Canadian manufacturer to have better price positioning compared to the 7900 GTX. For the cheaper 7900 GT, however, the Canadian will rely on the X1800 XT price cut and the possible X1900 XL release.

    For the GeForce 7600, ATI's reaction will be the release of a X1800 GTO and the X1600 XT/Pro price reduction.

     NVIDIA adds H.264 to PureVideo
      Posted on 03/03/2006 at 14:43 by Marc
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    NVIDIA just added H.264 video decoding to PureVideo in the ForceWare 84.12 drivers. Available in beta version here, these drivers accelerate video decoding in hardware to this format via DXVA if, of course, the player uses this API.

    For now, this option is only available from Cyberlink with PowerDVD and AVC (H.264) pack. It will also probably be the case soon for InterVideo WinDVD and Nero ShowTime.

    Unlike ATI that restricts this acceleration to the X1000 range, NVIDIA's is available on the entire product line (desktop and mobile) GeForce 6, GeForce 7 and nForce 6150. Only the NV40 (6800 Ultra / GT, just like WMV), GeForce 6200 TC 32 MB and nForce 6100 don't support it as said in this page

    For the most entry level, however, there will probably be like with WMV decoding restriction in terms of resolution and bitrate.

    H.264 which is part of the MPEG-4 norm (the other denomination is MPEG-4 Part 10), has even higher compression rates than previous codecs at the expense of encoding and decoding complexity. The release of hardware decoding is in consequence more than welcomed!

     AMD Turion 64 X2
      Posted on 03/03/2006 at 14:06 by Marc - source: The Inquirer
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    AMD will probably release early May new dual core Turion processors, the Turion 64 X2. The processors will initially come in four different versions:

    - 1.6 GHz / 256 KB
    - 1.6 GHz / 512 KB
    - 1.8 GHz / 512 KB
    - 2.0 GHz / 512 KB

    These processors will function at only 1.075V and will probably have a reasonable thermal envelope.

    If, however, the last version which is the equivalent of the desktop X2 3800+ will only be available in ML version and have a TDP of about 35 watts, we don't know yet which versions will be also available with a smaller thermal envelope.

    We remind you that the Turion are based like the Athlon 64 on the AMD64 architecture but are intended to laptop computers.

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