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News of the day

  • The GeForce 9600 GT: too good?
  • Phenom, AM2 and TLB: the list!
  • Shelton'08: Q2, photo & specifications
  • CeBIT : 1st bench of the Atom
  • CeBIT : CoolerMaster’s 1 Kg processor cooler
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     The GeForce 9600 GT: too good?
      Posted on 06/03/2008 at 17:59 by Nicolas
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    While it’s difficult not to be seduced by the GeForce 9600 GT, for those that find its performances too low despite everything, they will be happy to learn that the card is sometimes overclocked by the motherboard – without the slightest intervention on the user’s part.

    You may recall almost 2 years ago Nvidia launched the nForce 590 SLI which features LinkBoost technology. This consists of automatically overclocking by 25% the PCI Express graphic bus as well as the bus between the MCP and SPP of the nForce 590 SLI when LinkBoost certified graphic cards are detected. At the time, it was therefore a means to increase bandwidth between the 2 graphic cards and nothing suspicious in of itself (to the contrary).

    The catch is that with the GeForce 9600 GT, Nvidia uses the PCI-E bus frequency (normally 100 MHz) to generate that of the GPU (725 MHz by default). In practice, it results in an automatic overclocking of the GPU with certain nForce 590 SLI, 680i and even some ASUSTeK motherboards. Moreover, for this last Taiwanese manufacturer it is not dependant on the chipset as they have added a similar component in some bios which takes effect when the PCI-Express frequency is set to "auto", the default parameter.


    First of all, your motherboard could be overclocked without you even knowing it. Moreover, it is all the more likely that the frequency reported by the driver is false because it does not change even if the GPU functions at 834 MHz. In short, the stability and quality of display could be affected.

    Second, because this anomaly is hard to detect and involves many motherboards, there is the strong likelihood that numerous benchmarks that have been published are quite simply erroneous. Therefore, a comparison made with a GeForce 8800 GT unaffected by this problem should probably be carried out. The same reasoning should also be applied to the Radeon HD 3800. As for our tests, they were carried out with an ASUS P5E (X38) and the option in question was deactivated as well as all others that could unduly influence benchmarks. It is therefore valid.

    It’s impossible at the current time to know if this is a mistake due to poor internal communication with the Californian company or if it wasn’t involuntary. In both cases, it would be nice if Nvidia made the effort to officially comment on the subject, the best reason being because this doesn’t only concern a single manufacturer’s GeForce 9600 GT but probably all of them (already confirmed with several models).

    For more details, check out this article from techPowerUp!

     Phenom, AM2 and TLB: the list!
      Posted on 06/03/2008 at 17:03 by Nicolas - source: The Tech Report
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    AMD has put together a rather complete list of motherboards that can function with Phenom processors distinguishing between those which can activate and deactivate the TLB bug fix. You may recall that this has a significant impact on performances.

    For all of the above motherboards, there is supposed to be a bios making them compatible with the Phenom. If there is a ‘’Y’’ in the column, this means compatibility was verified by AMD. Note that many AM2 motherboards equipped with an nForce are capable of functioning with AMD’s quad cores. This is good news for those awaiting for the arrival of the B3 Phenom for an upgrade.

    The second column concerns the TLB bug fix. A simple ‘’Y’’ signifies that it is possible to activate or deactivate it. A boldface ‘’Y’’ means this was confirmed by AMD.

     Shelton'08: Q2, photo & specifications
      Posted on 06/03/2008 at 16:06 by Nicolas
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    According to HKEPC, it’s now confirmed that the first desktop versions of the Shelton'08 platform which use an Atom "Diamondville" CPU will be launched starting in the second quarter. Some even mentioned the month of May.

    Without surprise, the TDP will be higher than "mobile" Atoms; however, it’s still low compared to the 65W of most Core 2s. Note the arrival of a dual core version in the third quarter.

    In terms of evolution, we shouldn’t be too demanding. The CPU in BGA format is soldered to the motherboard, there is no internal PCI-Express port, and we can only insert a single DDR2 module. We don’t know yet if this will necessarily be the case for all Shelton'08 motherboards or if only concerns the above Gigabyte model.

    Nevertheless, one thing is sure, Intel still has some room to reduce the size of its upcoming Shelton platforms because currently it uses an IGP combined with a Southbridge. It’s entirely possible to regroup the two in a single chip.

     CeBIT : 1st bench of the Atom
      Posted on 06/03/2008 at 15:35 by Nicolas
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    CeBIT 2008: 1st bench of the Atom Computerbase.de was able to carry out a quick test of a Silverthorne processor set at 1.6 GHz at ASUSTeK’s booth.

    Because it lacks multi-thread optimization, SuperPI is not the benchmark of choice for a processor which supports HyperThreading; however, these numbers do give us an idea of the Atom’s capabilities. While it proves to be slower than a Celeron M "Dothan-512" 900 MHz, we should keep in mind that the latter has only a single core which doesn’t support HyperThreading. In addition, in its Ultra Low Voltage version, TDP is 5W while the consumption of the Silverthorne doesn’t exceed 2.5W.

    Probably more than on any other platform, here the performance per watt ratio is the most important. These first results confirm that with recent applications and Intel latest, performances should be amply sufficient and with good autonomy.

     CeBIT : CoolerMaster’s 1 Kg processor cooler
      Posted on 06/03/2008 at 01:07 by Marc
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    CoolerMaster is using the CeBIT to launch a new « monster » CPU cooling system, the Hyper Z600. Weighing 1045g, it has a base and 6 heatpipes all measuring 127x127x160mm. The Z600 can be used for passive cooling or with one or two of its 120mm fans.

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