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News of the day

  • nForce 720a and 730a launched, the 750a is next
  • TSMC: ready for 40nm
  • Intel: 2 Xeon LV 45nm quad cores
  • GeForce Release 174.53 WHQL
  • ASUS Trinity: 3 GPUs on 1 card
  • Catalyst 8.3: Hotfix for stuttering
  • HDD return rates
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     nForce 720a and 730a launched, the 750a is next
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 22:54 by Nicolas
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    Nvidia has discreetly put online pages related to the nForce 720a and 730a, chipsets destined for the AMD platform. According to the stated specifications, they are more or less GeFore 8x00 mGPUs (motherboard GPUs) stripped of certain outputs.

    They are therefore compatible with GeForce Boost and HybridPower technologies, can manage a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 and three x1 ports as well as 5 PCI. In terms of storage, the chipset can manage up to 6 SATA-II and 2 PATA peripherals and there is RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 support. Of course, Native Gigabit Ethernet is included and HDA (Azalia) for sound. Finally, there can be up to 12 USB 2.0 ports.


    Higher up in the line, the nForce 750a should arrive soon. It will differ with its SLI support while Zotac has already published several photos.



     TSMC: ready for 40nm
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 21:50 by Nicolas
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    The manufacturer TSMC known to the public thanks to its clients such as ATI, Nvidia and VIA has unveiled its 40nm Half-Node fabrication process .

    Two versions will be offered: the 40G (general purpose) and 40LP (power-efficient low power). The first is destined to high performance circuits such as GPUs and CPUs while the second should be intended for chips that are sensitive to leaks such as those which equip Wireless models and mobile phones.

    The Taiwanese company indicates that 40nm will enable multiplying the gate density by 2.35 compared to the 65nm process, lower the consumption by 15% compared to the 45nm and that they already have a dozen of interested clients. The first wafers are expected for the second quarter of this year. Finally, you may recall that the company is already working on 32nm and 22nm.



     Intel: 2 Xeon LV 45nm quad cores
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 21:30 by Nicolas
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    Intel XeonIntel has officially announced the release of two new low power 45nm quad core CPUs: the Xeon L5410 and L5420. Set at 2333 MHz and 2500 MHz, respectively, they have an FSB 1333, 12 MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 50W. In terms of price, its creator is proving to be reasonable as they will be sold at $320 and $380 or barely more expensive than the E5410 and E5420 at their launch. These processors’ TDP attains 80W.

    In the second quarter, the Santa Clara giant will launch a dual core Xeon with a TDP of 40W, frequency of 3 GHz and L2 cache will be at 6 MB.



     GeForce Release 174.53 WHQL
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 21:16 by Nicolas
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    Logo NvidiaNvidia has put the GeForce Release 174.53 WHQL online. These drivers are reserved for the GeForce 9, add GeForce 9800 GX2 support and enable activating some PureVideo HD functions with the 9800 GX2 (Dynamic Contrast Enhancement, Dynamic Blue, Green & Skin Tone Enhancements, Dual-Stream Decode Acceleration).

    Destined for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista, they can be downloaded here. Note that GeForce 8 owners are still supposed to settle for WHQL drivers which are now more than 3 months old. Furthermore, according to our colleagues at VR-Zone the most recent 174.xx version indicates that the G98 will finally be commercialized under the name GeForce 9300 GS and GE. (It was initially a question of GeForce 8400 GS and then GeForce 9400).



     ASUS Trinity: 3 GPUs on 1 card
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 17:31 by Nicolas
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    NordicHardware has published photos of the ASUS EAH3850 Trinity, a graphic card which can accommodate three daughter cards (theoretically, in MXM format) each with an RV670 and its accompanying memory. While the concept isn't new (MSI already presented a rather similar SLI card at the CES 2006) the idea for a tri-GPU card wasn’t picked up by any manufacturer.


    The entire card is rather voluminous and occupies 2 or even 3 slots. Most components as well as one of the daughter cards fit on the back while the 2 others are installed on the front. Radiators are relayed by heat pipes to a watercooling system and heat exchange occurs in a bloc at the end of the card.


    We noticed that no PCI-Express bridge was visible in photos and that frequencies should not be particularly high given the card’s name. Moreover, our colleagues indicate that no decision has been made regarding its potential commercialization.



     Catalyst 8.3: Hotfix for stuttering
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 13:05 by Nicolas
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    AMD’s graphic division has put a Hotfix online with a size as high as 56 MB for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Catalyst 8.3. It remedies stuttering problems that are encountered in 3D applications with Radeon HD 2000s, the 3850 and 3870 in Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    Unfortunately, ATI’s data base doesn’t give any other details but it does give us the possibility for the direct downloading of this patch.



     HDD return rates
      Posted on 26/03/2008 at 12:01 by Marc
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    We have obtained the figures for after sales return rates for hard drives coming from a large French online store. These are for drives that were sold between April to September and which functioned 6 months to 1 year.

    To be counted in the below figures, the return had to be done directly with the store which is not always the case because it can be done with the manufacturer. However, the latter amount is a relatively small in the first year.

    A little more than a year ago, the ranking was Western Digital, followed by Hitachi, Maxtor and then Seagate. Maxtor having been bought by Seagate, it’s replaced by Samsung which now has a large role in the hard drive market. Here are the figures:

    - Seagate : 1.5%
    - Western: 1.7%
    - Hitachi : 1.8%
    - Samsung : 2.5%

    Overall, we can see that figures are not as good because these numbers were formerly between 1 and 1.6%. Seagate has first place, while Samsung is in last. In Samsung’s favor (or the contrary depending how you look at it), note that they do not offer an online RMA contrary to its rivals which increases the probability of going through the retailer. However, in general during the first year, online RMAs are used very little.

    Now taking a closer look at drives with a 500 GB capacity:

    - Western : 1.2%
    - Seagate : 2%
    - Samsung : 2.1%
    - Hitachi : 2.5%

    As you can see, the numbers can vary greatly depending on the capacity. In the end, two models sold in large quantities (more than 400 units) slightly surpass 4% of after sales return rates: the Samsung SpinPoint P 200 GB IDE and Samsung SpinPoint T 300 GB IDE.


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