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News of the day

  • 3.73 GHz for the Pentium EE
  • Oblivion drivers for NVIDIA
  • GeForce 7600 GS & 7300 LE
  • Havok FX finalised this summer
  • Windows Vista in 2007
  • Archives

    Mars 2006
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     3.73 GHz for the Pentium EE
      Posted on 22/03/2006 at 20:09 by Marc
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    Intel released a new Pentium EE clocked at 3.73 GHz, le 965. The previous one, the Pentium EE 955, was clocked at 3.46 GHz. To reach this frequency, Intel use the new Presler C1 core which power consumption is much lower.

    According to x-bit's measures, the power consumption of a Presler C1 is 31 watts lower than a B1. The temperature is in consequence inferior, if it reached 83°C at 3.73 GHz for the B1, it is only of 72°C for the C1. This temperature is however rather high and reveals that Intel's CPU cooler is a little weak. For Overclocking, three of our colleague reached 4.26 GHz, but TechReport reach a stable frequency at 4.53Hz with a Zalman CNPS9500 LED.

    Like all Extreme Edition, this processor will be extremely expensive and released at $999. If you really want to spend that much money in a processor, the P-EE 965 is close to the Athlon 64 FX-60 in terms of power consumption and performances (one or the other is faster depending on the applications).

    From our point of view, we would rather wait for the release of the Pentium D using this new core to democratize this very much welcomed power consumption reduction. It will be available in April. During this month, Intel also plans important price reductions. Would it be the Netburst swansong?



     Oblivion drivers for NVIDIA
      Posted on 22/03/2006 at 19:17 by Marc
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    NVIDIA released the ForceWare 84.25 drivers. Even if it isn't mentioned in the Release Note which only says « General compatibility fixes », these drivers brings bug corrections and performance improvements under the very much awaited "The Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion", released two days ago in the US.

    To download it, go to this page!



     GeForce 7600 GS & 7300 LE
      Posted on 22/03/2006 at 15:09 by Marc
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    NVIDIA releases today two new GeForce 7, the 7600 GS and 7300 LE. If the 7600 GT is clocked at 560 MHz core and 700 MHz GDDR3 memory, the 7600 GS is at 400 MHz core and memory (DDR2). The chip is strictly identical and includes 12 pixel pipes, 5 vertex pipes and 8 ROPs.

    The 7300 LE, already available for OEMs, is now in retail stores. There again, the difference compared to its big brother, the 7300 GS, is only the frequency which is reduced from 550/405 to 450/333 MHz. There are 128 MB and 256 MB versions that also include TurboCache to use central memory as embedded memory.

    We don't know yet the price position of the 7300 LE. The7600 GS will be, according to NVIDIA, between $149 -$129. 7600 GS cards will have dedicated SLI connectors and the reference cards included a fanless cooling system.


    The 7600GS will replace in the months to come the 6600 GT that is found today at 130€ - 150 €. If the 6600 GT memory bandwidth is 25% higher than the 7600GS, the 7600GS calculation power is respectively 20% and 33% higher for pixels and vertices.



     Havok FX finalised this summer
      Posted on 22/03/2006 at 12:19 by Marc
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    Last October, Havok announced the Havok FX, a physics engine for video games which particularity is to use the GPU for calculations.

    NVIDIA and Havok announced that a demonstration of the Havok FX would be made during the Game Developer Conference that is currently taking place in San José. Havok FX is already available in pre version for developers, such as the Flagship Studios that is currently working on the video game Hellgate: London, and will be finalized this summer.

    If NVIDIA is actively collaborating with Havok for the development of Havok FX, this engine will be compatible with all Shader Model 3.0 cards: GeForce 6, GeForce 7 and ATI X1x00. Havok indicates to have NVIDIA and ATI graphic cards at disposal for test and also specifies that the Havok FX is capable of using the SLI. There is no information however about the CrossFire.

    Havok FX will support all environment physics effects to increase visual complexity, but the Gameplay will still entirely be managed by the CPU.

    We remind you that Ageia also has a solution to take in charge physics calculation via an additional and dedicated chip that will be available this summer: the PhysX. The latter will apparently have a higher processing power for this type of calculations and will support a wider range of effects without impacting graphic performances.

    The impact on graphic performances is an important point of the Havok FX and may be a bit of a problem: if the GPU isn't much solicited, graphic improvements won't convince gamers and if the GPU is too solicited, the framerate might be seriously impacted. Will it be necessary to buy another graphic card to relieve the first one for an SLI? From an economical point of view, it would be the same as buying the PhysX, except that the second card could be used to improve graphic performances in other cases. In the future, however, if Havok FX is a success and if games massively use it for important physics calculations, wouldn't this second card only be used for physics calculations and lower its impact compared to the PhysX?

    If PhysX will bring more possibilities, Havok FX relies on a vast population of Shader Model 3.0 cards owners. This is a strong argument for developers that will have to choose between one and the other technology. Beyond the technological aspect, it is the number of games supported that make the success of new physical engines…



     Windows Vista in 2007
      Posted on 22/03/2006 at 10:17 by Marc
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    Microsoft just announced the ultimate deadline for the release of Vista. If it will be available for OEM and Microsoft's big clients in November 2006 to begin the production of computers and the deployment of this new OS, it will only be available in box or in computers with Windows Vista preinstalled in January 2007. Vista will miss the fourth quarter which is a good period for micro-computing sales.


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