Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Intel launches low-cost quad-core mobile chip

Posted by Brooke Crothers
December 29, 2008 8:45 AM PST

Intel has launched a low-cost quad-core mobile processor and added more mobile Core 2 Duo processors to its chip lineup, according to an updated price list dated December 28.
Acer was one of the first PC makers to announce a system with the new quad-core processor. On Monday Acer released the Aspire 8930G-7665 laptop designed for extreme gaming using the new Intel Core 2 Quad Mobile Processor Q9000, which runs at 2.53GHz. The laptop comes with a 18.4-inch WUXGA screen and Nvidia GeForce 9700M GT graphics. It is priced at $1,799.

The Q9000 processor is listed at $348, significantly less expensive than the existing QX9300 mobile quad-core processor, which is listed at $1,038, and the Q9100, listed at $851. Both of these processors, however, have 12MB of cache memory, twice the amount of the cheaper Q9000, which integrates 6MB of cache. Generally, the more cache memory, the faster the processor.

Intel also released other mobile processors: the 2.93GHz T9800 ($530), the 2.66GHz P9600 Core 2 Duo ($348), the 2.66GHz T9550 ($316), and the 2.53GHz P8700 ($241).

T series processors typically have a power envelope (TDP, or thermal design power) of 35 watts, while P series chips have a 25W TDP.

source :

Report: Via readying dual-core Atom rival

Posted by Brooke Crothers
December 30, 2008 10:30 PM PST

Dual-core Intel Atom rivals are in the works.
Via Technologies is planning a very low-power, dual-core Nano 3000 processor, according to Chinese-language Web site HKEPC.

Intel currently offers the dual-core Atom 330 that is targeted at Nettops--small desktop computers.

Advanced Micro Devices will target its low-power dual-core "Conesus" at the laptop market segment above Atom's Netbook-centric space.

Meanwhile, Freescale Semiconductor has indicated that it will bring out a very-low-power ARM chip that features a dual-core graphics engine targeted at Netbook-like laptops.

All of these developments indicate that the market for ultra-small devices and laptops and should heat up in 2009.

The dual-core version of the Via Nano 3000--due in late 2009 or 2010--may use a Fujitsu 45-nanometer or TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) 40-nanometer manufacturing process, according to HKEPC. The Intel Atom is based on 45-nanometer process technology.

The Via chip may also include SSE4 instruction support, HKEPC said. Generally, SSE4 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 4) instructions speed up multimedia applications.

Via is also slated to bring out other improved Nano processors in 2009, according to the report.

Hewlett-Packard uses Via's C7-M ULV (ultra low voltage) processor in its 2133 Mini-Note Netbook.

source :

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Sepenggal Puisi Untuk Bunda

Bunda......begitu banyak jasamu terhadapku,
begitu banyak pula kasih sayang yang telah engkau berikan kepadaku.
Sampai kapanpun aku tidak akan bisa membalas jasamu,
bunda.....kupersembahkan puisi ini untukmu sebagai tanda sayangku kepadamu


Dia seperti rimbun pohon kebijaksanaan,

Yang selalu naungi dunia kecil milikku

Sebarkan wangi kedamaian

tak henti memberiku semangat menapaki hidup

Dia, menjelma telaga teduh sepanjang waktu,

Tempatku bertambat, bermain dan bermimpi

Riak airnya membiakkan banyak kebahagiaan

Menemani segala bentuk hari yang kulalui

Aku tak pernah mendapatinya kering,

Meski musim tak terhitung berganti

Aku tak pernah melihatnya tumbang

Walau gelombang yang mendera bertubi-tubi

Dia tetap tersenyum menjumpaiku

Dia tetap membagi aku dengan kecupan sayang

Bunda, aku menyebutmu demikian

Sumber: Oase Jiwa By

New Quad-Core AMD and Intel Chips Surface

Nino Marchetti, PC World
Dec 30, 2008 5:41 am

Computer chip makers Intel and AMD are ending 2008 with a quad-core bang. Intel has a new mobile processor - the Intel Core 2 Quad Mobile Processor Q9000 - that is being hyped by Acer in its just announced Acer laptop. AMD reportedly already has its upcoming Phenom II processors popping up online for pre-orders to consumers. The catch, neither AMD or Intel have made official announcements about either chips - yet.

The Intel Core 2 Quad Mobile Processor Q9000 is at the heart of Acer's new Aspire 8930G-7665 notebook PC. This latest quad core processor is running inside this laptop with 12MB of shared L2 cache, a 1066 MHz front side bus and a clock speed rate upwards of 2.53 GHz.

The Acer notebook, besides the Q9000 processor, has respectable features such as an 18.4-inch LCD, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a NVIDIA GeForce 9700M GT graphics set and a 500GB SATA hard drive. The 8930G-7665 is said to be available now for around $1,800.

Intel, besides putting forth the Q9000, is also said to have released four other mobile processors. This comes as AMD is getting ready to publicly debut its new quad-core Phenom II processors at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. The new AMD processor, which some retailers already have available for pre-orders, will run at speeds up to 3GHz and includes an 8MB cache.

source :

Windows 7 May Add Spice to CES

Agam Shah, IDG News Service
Monday, December 29, 2008 6:20 PM PST

Software could overshadow gadgets at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, with Microsoft expected to shed light on its upcoming Windows 7 OS.

The financial meltdown may also be lingering topic as tech vendors gather to flaunt products at the show in Las Vegas, hoping to show enough glitter and sparkle to bring them better fortunes in the new year. Attendees will pour over the latest technologies, including OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs, netbooks, smartphones, media players, and other entertainment devices.

Audiences may miss the show's perennial star, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who gave his final CES speech earlier this year. Instead, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will kick off the event with a keynote address on Jan. 7. He's expected to give a peek at Microsoft's Windows 7 OS, which many hope will be zippier and less resource hungry than Windows Vista.

Microsoft expects to make "significant" Windows 7 announcements, including a possible release of Windows 7 beta software. A "sneak peek" at future Microsoft Office software may also be offered.

A look at Microsoft's future software could add pep to what otherwise might turn out to be a subdued show. Attendance at CES 2009 is expected to drop as consumers and technology vendors cut spending amid the economic crisis. Hotels, which in previous years were often packed months before the show, have been offering discounted rates to fill rooms.

The Consumer Electronics Association insists that pre-registration has been strong and says it's too early to call it a quiet show. Organizers expect 130,000 attendees, said CEA spokeswoman Tara Dunion.

However, that would still be a significant drop from 144,000 attendees at CES 2007.

The prospect of a reduced audience hasn't fazed companies like Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell from showing products in or around the show. Overall, 2,700 companies will be present at various locations, including the Las Vegas Convention Center and surrounding resorts and hotels.

A standout at CES could be netbooks, small laptops used for basic applications such as Web surfing and e-mail. Intel defined the category with its Atom processor, which was then solidified by the success of Asus' Eee PC. The show could see an evolution of netbooks, with features like touch screens attracting interest. Asus will likely show a touch-screen netbook, and Intel is showing off its Convertible Classmate, a netbook with a touch screen that swivels.

Via's elusive Nano processor may also make an appearance. Rumor has it that Samsung will show its NC20 laptop based on a Nano processor.

Some of Intel's competitors, meanwhile, may try to redefine how people think of netbooks by pushing more advanced capabilities. Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia may talk more about boosting graphics on netbooks. Freescale and Qualcomm could demonstrate netbooks with more communication-savvy chips.

Mundane laptops will also get a makeover. Expect plenty of buzz around a new Sony Vaio laptop, which the company says is "revolutionary" and will change the way users think about the products. It remains unclear if the tiny laptop is a netbook or a full-featured ultraportable. For power users, Lenovo is expected to show the ThinkPad W700DS laptop with two screens -- a first in laptops -- for people who want to perform multiple tasks at the same time.

Rounding off mobility will be smartphones with new operating systems, touchscreens and 3G connectivity. Many mobile phone companies are expected to adopt Google's Android platform, including Samsung, which may show an Android phone at CES.

Struggling smartphone maker Palm is holding a big event to announce its new Linux-based OS code-named Nova, along with new devices. The company hopes to use CES as a springboard to regain prominence in the smart phone market, where it has been eclipsed by Research In Motion and Apple.

Like past CES shows, televisions will grab the imagination of visitors as vendors fight to remain the centerpiece for home entertainment. CES 2008 saw the emergence of OLED screens with prototypes from Sony and Samsung, and CES 2009 could see further progress. In May, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said a 27-inch OLED TV would be coming, which could launch at the show.

Samsung showed a 40-inch OLED high-definition TV prototype in October, and larger screens may be on tap.

Given TV's ease of use, some may prefer these devices for Internet access in the future. With that in mind, some companies are working to merge the Internet and TV. Silicon Image will show its Allio high-definition LCD TV with a built-in PC so users can simultaneously use the TV and Internet through a split screen.

Intel will show prototype products for running mini-applications to complement TV viewing with information from the Internet. For example, widgets will allow TV watchers to talk to friends in real time or buy products advertised on TV from online stores.

The Internet also continues to shape how entertainment is delivered. Streaming media will battle Blu-ray DVD as the way to deliver entertainment and movies to end users. Having conquered HD DVD, Blu-ray still has a hurdle to pass with most players priced above US$150, so expect prices to drop at CES.

Some kinks also need to be worked out to better stream media between entertainment devices, and expect to see some improvements at the show. Tzero will demonstrate devices for wireless HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) multimedia streaming between devices using ultrawideband (UWB) wireless technology. Tzero's technology enables uninterrupted wireless delivery of high-definition video and surround sound at a rate of 480Mbps over 20 meters, the company claims.

Users may also see progress in data transfers between PCs and devices like digital cameras with improvements in the USB 3.0 specification.

Overall, many other gadgets will be on display to enjoy over the show's four days. CES may end up being more relaxing and intimate with the floors less crowded.

source :

Microsoft Patents Pay-As-You-Go PC Computing

by Chloe Albanesius

Did you purchase the entire Microsoft Office Suite, but only use Word? Were visions of becoming a Photoshop whiz short-lived? Do you only use the Internet to check e-mail?

A pay-as-you-go computer developed by Microsoft might be an economical choice down the line. The software giant has applied for a patent that would offer low-priced computers that provide usage-based access to software, according to documents released on Christmas Day.

"An in-vehicle mapping and directions appliance may be invaluable during a trip to unfamiliar territory, but for normal trips for shopping and school-related activities, the appliance may not even be turned on," Microsoft wrote on the patent application. "An advanced graphics package may lie unused until it is time for a graduation invitation or an annual Christmas letter with integrated photos and seasonal graphics."

Consumers would be able to buy computers at lower prices, and then purchase access to software programs via set bundles or on a per-hour basis.

One bundle, for example, might include selections for Office, Gaming, and Browsing. Office options, which would include word processing and spreadsheets, might cost $1.00 per hour, while the Gaming bundle, with 3D graphics support, would run $1.25 per hour. Internet browsing would cost $0.80 per hour, according to the application.

Purchase options would include pre-paid access, subscription-based bundles, or the per usage fee. Microsoft would enter into revenue-sharing agreements with various hardware providers, fulfillment centers, service providers, or underwriters.

Microsoft filed the patent application in June 2007.

source :

The Netbook Breaks Up With SSDs, Asks For Friendship Ring Back

December 11th, 2008 by K. T. Bradford

Anyone who has been keeping up with netbook news is bound to notice that mechanical hard drives are becoming far more common than solid state drives (much to my annoyance, by the way). Our observations are borne out by hard data, it seems, as DRAMeXchange revealed.

According to the company’s research, in Q1 2008, 70 per cent of netbooks came with an SSD. The following quarter that figure dipped to around 66 per cent before plunging to 30 per cent.

This quarter, the ratio will fall further, to 20 per cent, then down to just ten per cent in Q1 2009. By this time next year, the forecaster forecast, it’ll be down to eight per cent.

There are a lot of benefits to SSDs — no moving parts, more shock resistant, etc — but they’re more expensive per GB and the cheaper SSDs which netbook vendors use tend to have worse performance than 5,400 rpm hard drives. The bottom line is that consumers want a lot of space and they want it for less money, just as with traditional notebooks.

I’m personally sad to see SSDs slipping behind because I appreciate not having to worry about my hard drive as my netbook rattles around in my bag. Then again, I don’t need Windows XP, a bunch of programs, or a lot of storage space. Consumers have already shown that they do prefer XP and buyers in general seem to think that more hard drive space equals better… something.

JKOnTheRun feels that this indicates that netbooks will soon become “simply small notebooks” that have similar capabilities to regular ones.

source :

Am I a PC? Four Things I Miss About Vista After Using Apple’s OS X

December 28th, 2008 by Joanna Stern

It has been about a half a week since I started my journey discovering the world of Apple computing. I have been using the newest Macbook as my primary computer and, as many predicted, loving it. During the first few days I was so totally infatuated with learning new shortcuts and practicing what I learned that I spent way too much time with the solid- aluminum wonder. Honestly, I felt uneasy if the Macbook wasn’t in my lap.

But now I consider myself out of the honeymoon period. There are certain parts of the Apple operating system that I love and have gotten very used to. I’m so used to it that I am fairly certain I can’t call myself strictly a PC anymore. (Don’t forget, that is the question that got me started using a Mac laptop. I will address my answer to Am I a PC? in my next and final post in this series). But while I am enjoying the OS X computing experience, there are certain aspects of Microsoft Vista that I wholeheartedly miss. Below are the things I truly miss about Microsoft’s current operating system.

1. Maximizing windows
- Getting a window to be full screen in Vista is as simple as hitting the small box on the upper right hand corner of a window, but in OS X things aren’t as easy. Tapping the green plus button on the upper left hand corner will enlarge the window but won’t necessarily make it full size. When I attempt to enlarge a window I want it to take up the whole screen.

2. Resizing windows - Then in order to resize a window and make it, as I wanted it, the size of the screen, you cannot simply drag the edges from any corner of the screen. Apple only allows you to resize from the bottom right hand corner of the window. Apparently, some Apple users are so angry about this they have started a petition. One more signature added!

3. Menu bar attaches to application
- Call me a “noob,” but I cannot get used to the fact that in OS X the menu of a program is not attached to the window itself. I find this particularly peeving when I think I have selected a Window but the menu doesn’t appear. In Vista or XP, for that matter, it is very clear to see which menu bar applies to that application. On this same point, because the menu isn’t attached to the application window when you close the window it doesn’t close the entire program.

4. Working peripherals - I know this is a cliche complaint but I really have run into compatibility issues. Take the time I went to Cosi last week to transcribe an interview. I plugged in my Olympus digital recorder, only to discover that the audio refused to play. Why? The digital recorder records in WMA format. Same problem with a pair of Logitech USB headphones I have at my desk. Sure, it is something I can get over by only buying Mac compatible accessories and software, but Vista is just easier in this respect.
Microsoft Vista may have a bad rep, but I can’t be the only one that misses some aspects of the operating system. Any brave switchers willing to divulge what they may miss about Windows?

source :

Saturday, 27 December 2008



Phone: (866) 690-7244

The Camp Recovery Center

3192 Glen Canyon Road

Mailing: P.O. Box 66569

Scotts Valley, California 95067

Facility Description

Located in the majestic redwood forests of Northern California, The Camp Recovery Center offers a breathtaking natural environment in which to recover from drug addiction and alcoholism. The Camp's comprehensive program is widely recognized as the leader in substance abuse treatment as it offers the most complete assortment of levels of care for adults and adolescents, ranging from detoxification to residential (in-patient) and outpatient substance abuse treatment as well as continuing care and online rehabilitation services.

Treatment Philosophy
Recovery from dependency will change your life forever. With guidance, eduction and support you can rebuild your body, mind and spirit.

12 Step Involvement
Our treatment approach combines the 12-step philosophy with the disease concept, group therapy, art and recreation, education, individual treatment planning and relapse prevention.

Additional Characteristics

· Located on 25 wooded acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Northern California

· Founded in 1984

· Physician certified in Addiction Medicine

· 24-hour nursing support

· Full CARF Accreditation

· 49 Adult Beds/20 Adolescent Beds (Total of 69)
· Beautiful recreational facilities including swimming pool, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts


Number of Beds:




Admission Procedures

Night Admission Available:


Weekend Admission Available:


Interview Required:


Facility Type:

Treatment Center


Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Addiction
Drug Abuse
Drug Addiction
Dual Diagnosis
Methadone Withdrawl
Substance Abuse
Young Adults

Payment Information:

Varies (Please call for more information)

Public Assistance Coverage:


Medicare Accepted:


Insurance Accepted:


Followup Care:


Licensing and Accreditation:

Licensed by:

State of California Drug and Alcohol Programs

Licensed type:

Substance Abuse

Accredited by:


Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770

Author: Ben Sun · 06-26-2008
The Personal Computer has been kicking it for many years now, with the first IBM PC launched in 1981 with a 4.77MHz CPU and 64KB of RAM. That was almost 27 years ago, a long time in computer history. One of the problems with the modern computer is that they are too powerful for their own good with most programs running perfectly fine on any CPU from the last three or four years. Add to that the fact that PC gaming is mostly a dying breed; this means that the modern computer has issues with finding a killer app.
Intel dominates the CPU market with their CPUs. At the moment, their quad core CPUs outshine their competition from AMD by wide margins, with AMD forced to compete on price/performance instead of strict performance as the fastest AMD CPU, the Phenom X4 9850 doesn’t come close to the performance of the fastest Intel CPU, the QX9770 which I’m reviewing today. The Intel QX9770 is their first 1600MHz FSB CPU and is geared for the ultra high end crowd and those not meek with their cash flow.
-1600MHz FSB (400MHz Quad Pumped)
-Yorkdale architecture
-45 nanometer process
-12MB L2 Cache split into 6MB for each of 2 cores
-3.2 GHz clock speed
-Intel Virtualization Technology
-Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
-Intel Execute Disable Bit
-Intel 64 architecture
-Quad Core Processing
-Chipset support: Intel X48, NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI official many others
compatible with overclocking
-Intel Wide Dynamic Execution
-Intel Smart Memory Access
-Intel Advanced Smart Cache
-Intel HD Boost
The QX9770 is based upon Intel’s Yorkdale architecture. The Yorkdale is Intel’s first 1600MHz FSB series of CPUs. Intel uses a QuadPumped architecture meaning that the FSB is running at 400MHz which is multiplied by 4 to get the final FSB of 1600MHz. The Yorkdale CPUs with a 1600MHz FSB include the QX9770 being reviewed here and the QX9775 found in the Intel SkullTrail high-end platform.
Intel calls their Core 2 Extreme QX9770 CPU a “Quad Core” CPU since it has four processor cores on a single die. The QX9770 like other Intel Core 2 Quad CPUs consists of two Core 2 Duo CPUs on the same die, each with two processor cores on them. AMD calls their Phenom CPUs the first true “Quad Core” CPU as they have four processor cores on the same packaging. It’s a matter of semantics as either way you get four processor cores.
Yorkdale and Wolfdale CPUs have large amounts of L2 cache, much more than previous Intel CPUs. The QX9770 has 12MB of L2 Cache with each pair of Intel cores on the die sharing a 6MB L2 cache. Yorkdale, like the earlier Intel CPUs based upon the Penryn core. The Socket that the new CPU uses is the same LGA-775 Socket in use since 2004 with the launch of the Prescott CPUs and the 925X chipset but this CPU is only officially supported by the X48 and nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipsets at the moment.
The clock speed of the QX9770 is 3.2GHz, which is the multiplier 2x 1600MHz for the FSB. The QX9770 is based upon Intel’s 45 nanometer process, while AMD is still stuck on the 65 nanometer process. The QX9770 has a die size of 214mm squared with 820 million transistors. The die of the QX9770 is really two Core 2 CPUs side by side accounting for the die size and transistor count as the Core 2 Duo has ½ the cache and die size.
Viruses are programs that replicate themselves into the memory and operating system of the computer infected. One issue with modern computers is the inability to stop executable programs from automatically executing. Intel’s QX9770 has their Execute Disable Bit (NX Bit) technology to help prevent virus attacks against the computer. Windows XP SP2 introduced this feature for CPUs that support NX Bit.
The QX9770 has the following instruction sets available to it: MMX, SSE1, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4, Intel 64 instructions. The introduction of Penryn included the SSE4 instruction set which adds 47 new instructions to the CPU instruction set. Intel’s Penryn architecture can run four instructions in a single clock cycle compared to two instructions on earlier architectures.
Virtualization technology allows different operating systems to be run on the same system to run as virtual machines. Each operating system is done on a partition and operates independently. VT requires support of the CPU, BIOS, chipset and memory. For example VT can be used to run Windows Vista, Windows XP, several distributions of Linux without a sweat. Each operating system has its own partition. Currently, the only Intel chipset that officially supports the QX9770 is the X48 chipset that was launched a month or two ago. The other chipset that officially supports the QX9770 and its FSB 1600MHz brothers is the NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset. Unofficially, the CPU has been shown to work with NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI and Intel X38 chipsets with a bit of overclocking of the FSB. I would suggest a supported chipset as they offer the latest features and if you’re buying a $1000+ CPU, buying a cheap motherboard is not the wisest of choices.

XFX GeForce GTX260 XXX Edition Video Card

Author: Ben Sun · 07-22-2008
With the recent launch of the ATI HD4870 and HD4850, NVIDIA's strategy for their GTX cards has changed for the better for the consumer, for the worse for NVIDIA at least for the short term. ATI's launches have forced NVIDIA to lower the prices on their cards to match ATI's market price and cut down on their margins. Today, what was a $399 GTX260 is now selling online for $299 amazingly enough. Similarly, what was a $649 GTX280s are selling for $499 meaning the margins on these new cards is down for NVIDIA, hence the good news and bad news of lower prices.
The GT200 chip was launched last month by NVIDIA as their next-generation graphics chip. There are two versions of this chip available, the GTX280 and the GTX260. I've covered the GTX 280 in a couple of reviews already, but today I'm reviewing the GeForce GTX260. The company that manufactures this particular card is XFX a division of Pine Technologies. It will be an interesting look at a card that has dropped in price to be more competitive with the competition. The GeForce GTX260 XXX Edition is an overclocked card from the reference clocks, and should be a good performer. As prices keep dropping this is a good thing for the consumer looking for a high-end card.
The GeForce GTX260 is the “little brother” to the GTX280 card that is NVIDIA's flagship at the moment. The card is built upon TSMC's 65 nanometer process, with 1.4 Billion transistors. This is the largest graphics card in terms of transistor count in the world. The GTX260 has 192 Stream Processors which is less than the 240 SPs the GTX280 sports.
NVIDIA was the first graphics chip maker on the market with DirectX 10.0 support with the GeForce 8800GTX and GeForce 8800GTS cards in 2006. The key features of DX10 include Unified Shader support, support for Pixel and Vertex Shader 4.0 and Windows Vista Aero Glass support (the GUI). Games that support DirectX 10 include: Crysis, Hellgate London, Lost Planet and many others that have hit the market in recent months.

source :

Cooler Master HAF 932 Case

Author: Ben Sun · 08-19-2008
Cases have gone through many an evolution in the years since the original computers with white case covers were the rage. The case design has evolved into an intricate part of the overall system with expansion, aesthetics and cooling all tied to how the case is designed. Airflow in a system is important especially for the overclocker or person that runs the very high-end computer that runs hot. Today Cooler Master is launching a new design they call the High Air Flow 932 case, which is a full tower case designed to offer great cooling solutions for the most demanding gamer plenty of room due to its size and designed to come under the $170 price tag. It should be an interesting case and we’ll put it through a system build.
Cooling System Features
-Easy Access to Liquid Coolant Fill Port
-120mmx2 or x3 Radiator can be mounted inside the top of the case
-Retaining holes in the rear is perfect for liquid cooling kit
-Meshed back slot for providing passive cooling
-Three 120x25mm fans can be mounted on the top for excellent air exhaust
-Independent air intake designed for bottom mounted PSU or installation of two 120mm
Tool-Free Design Features
-Removable HDD racks with anti-vibration pads for easy assembly and noise reduction
-Patented button design for easy maintenance of 5.25” drive devices
-Tool free clips for add-on card installation
-Retaining holes for easy installation of CPU coolers

ATI All-In-Wonder HD Video Card

Author: Ben Sun · 08-27-2008
ATI has been at the forefront of multimedia applications for their video cards for years. The first “All-In-Wonder” video card was released way back in 1996 with the ability to play TV on the PC. Since then ATI has released many AIW products until the release of the AIW X1900 their last AIW card in 2006. The gap of two years has seen the release of many video chip families including the HD2xxx, HD3xxx and the HD4xxx families of video cards.
One of the problems with designing their AIW line of VGA cards is that they are generally six months behind the family launch, so that a new chip is released before the AIW would normally be ready to release. This is one of the reasons why ATI has stayed out of the AIW release for the last two years as no less than three different chip families have been released since the X1900 and was four generations ago, if you count the X1950XTX cards. ATI announced the AIW HD on June 26 and today that is the card on the test bench for us to see how well it works and why it’s a viable product.
The ATI/AMD All-In-Wonder HD is based upon ATI’s Radeon HD 3650 mid-range graphics card that was released last year. Based upon TSMC’s 55nm process, with a total of 378 million transistors, the HD 3650 is the middle brother of the HD3xxx family of cards which includes the HD3870, the HD3650 and the HD 3450. Codenamed the RV635, the HD 3650 on the card is clocked at 725MHz for the core, 600MHz for the memory which is GDDR2 and has a 128-bit memory interface.
The total memory bandwidth available on the card is 19.2GB/second which is found by multiplying the memory clock speed by the memory bus interface and dividing it by 8 to change bits into bytes. The internal memory bandwidth of the A-I-W card is doubled due to the memory ring bus which makes the memory bus internally of 256-bit. The A-I-W HD has a fill rate of Key features of the HD 3650 include support for Microsoft’s DirectX 10.1 API which supports improved image quality features and better support for Global Illumination. The HD 3650 supports up to up 8x MSAA (Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing), Coverage Sample Anti-Aliasing which allows the effective anti-aliasing to go up to 24x, and 16x AF. But the key features of the HD 3650 have been covered in many of my reviews so I’ll cover the new features of the AIW HD card.
ATI has used their Unified Video Decoder to play back and decode DVD movies, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movies with less stress on the CPU by doing the decoding on the graphics card. UVD2 supports H.264/AVC and VC1 formats meaning that all of the High Definition Content is supported by the UVD2. One benefit of the A-I-W HD is the inclusion of the Theater 650 chip which was introduced with the HDTV Wonder a couple of years ago. One thing that has really hit home recently is the emergence of the Green initiative to save the environment by reducing energy consumption and emissions. The HD 3650 has ATI’s PowerPlay technology which monitors GPU activity and adjusts clock speeds to user needs. In 2D for example, the HD 3650 will have clock throttling, voltage switching and Dynamic clock gating to save energy when not needed.
Digital TV will take over the place of analog TV in February of the year 2009. The transition means that many older TV sets will require a converter box to display television shows after that transition date or may not work at all. The AIW HD card is designed to allow the user to watch the Digital signals from many sources including analog (NTSC), digital/HDTV (ATSC) and unencrypted digital cable (ClearQAM) with time-shifting functionality. Analog TV is disappearing on February of 2009, so everything will be digital. One thing to note is that cable companies like Time Warner Cable encrypt a lot of their channels so that only the basic cable package can be viewed with ClearQAM due to the fact that the cable companies will want to sell their CableCards and packages beyond the basic one. Mileage may vary and some cable companies allow wider access to stations than others. There is still a lot of grey area as to how well the reception will be with your local cable company, and what channels will be available to you to view.

source :

ATI Radeon HD 4550 Versus EVGA GeForce 9500GT

Author: Ben Sun · 09-30-2008
ATI has been releasing new video cards on a fast pace recently with the release of the HD 4870, 4850, 4870 X2, 4670, 4650, and now the 4550 each targeting different video card segments from the high-end to the mainstream value segments. The 4870 and 4850 are the king of the hill of their respective price segments with the 4870 x2 being the top of the hill in terms of pure performance. But not every end-user wants to spend $500+ on a video card. 2/3s of the retail video card purchases are made in the under $100 level. The HD 4670 and 4650 cards target the upper level of that but what about the $50 level? That’s where today’s launch of the ATI Radeon HD 4550 comes in. EVGA, an NVIDIA partner has dropped their 9500GT card to match the price of the ATI HD 4550 and it should be an interesting performance comparison between the two cards at this price point in terms of target markets, gaming and features.
The ATI Radeon HD 4550 is based upon ATI’s RV710 chip. It is manufactured at TSMC, ATI’s and NVIDIA’s chip foundry partner on their 55 nanometer process. ATI has now moved to the 55 nanometer process for their entire lineup top to bottom and their experience shows as they have designed chips to draw less power and have high performance for a lower price point.
One of the big selling points of the HD 4550 is as a Home Theater PC card. The reference card has a Display Port, a DVI port, and a VGA port. The card has a port for HDMI audio, meaning that you can get 7.1 sound out of the HDMI port. The HDMI and Display Ports allow the user to have the ultimate in choice as to the type of monitor to use with the card, whether a big screen HDTV or a LCD monitor for gaming.
The Radeon HD 4550 has 80 Stream Processors. By way of comparison the previous generation HD 3450 has 40 SPs, so this should make the HD 4550 performance much higher than the older chip. The RV710 has a 128-bit memory interface which along with the 1.6GHz effective memory clock speed offers a memory bandwidth of 12.8GB/second.
ATI’s version of the Stream Processor is different than NVIDIA’s in significant ways. The RV710 has two SIMD cores and each of the cores has eight stream processors. Each of the Stream Processors is capable of a 5D operation, meaning that there’s a total of 80 Stream Processors on the HD 4550. The 80 SPs allow the HD 4550 to have 48 GigaFLOPs of computing power.
ATI has had a GPGPU client in the works for a while now. As NVIDIA is pushing the PhysX hardware physics software ATI partnered with Intel to promote the Havok Physics software. Note that ATI could probably support PhysX on their hardware but it’s a matter of licensing and NVIDIA allowing it to happen. ATI supports open standards for software and therefore supports Havok. We’ll have to wait and see if they’ll enable PhysX support.
ATI decided to move to a new architecture with the HD 38xx series, being the first video card company to support Microsoft’s DirectX 10.1 in hardware. Key features of DirectX 10.1 include Indexed cube map arrays, independent blend modes per render target, Pixel coverage sample masking, read/write multi-sample surfaces with shaders, and Gather4 texture fetches.
The Radeon HD 4550 has the ability to do a maximum of 4x MSAA. The other members of the HD 4xxx family can do 8x MSAA but the performance of the Radeon HD 4550 and the number of render backends on the card means that the card cannot do 8X MSAA unless two cards are in CrossfireX mode. In any event, 8x MSAA would be totally unplayable on all but the most basic games and shouldn’t be a factor on deciding whether to buy this card.
ATI is really pushing High Definition playback with this card and with all HD 4xxx series cards. THE HD 4550 has ATI’s Unified Video Decoder 2 which has full hardware acceleration for H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2. The UVD2 also supports Picture-in-picture allowing you to watch a Blu-Ray movie for example and simultaneously watch the cast commentary. The HD 4550 has two independent display controllers, allowing for dual monitor use.
ATI’s multiple GPU solution is called CrossfireX. The HD 4550 is capable of improving gaming performance with more than one graphics card. Of course this means that the HD 4550 would need a second HD 4550 to come close to the performance of the next level of card, the HD 4650 as the HD 4650 has double or more SPs and has the performance to back it up. There is no Crossfire bridge on this card so the reference card can’t do Crossfire but partner cards can.

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Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB Video Card

Author: Ben Sun · 10-03-2008

NVIDIA has been releasing new high-end video cards nearly every six months for nearly 10 years now. The first video card on this release schedule was the Riva 128 card from 1997. This was followed by several generations of video cards including the GeForce FX, the GeForce 6800 Ultra. The latest high-end card from NVIDIA is the GeForce GTX 280 which much has been written about. But as was noted in the HD 4650 review, most sales are in the under $100 price range and not in the $300 range that the HD 4870 or GeForce GTX 260 would require. NVIDIA and ATI have released new cards for the under $200 price point, the GeForce 9800GT and the HD 4850 respectively. The Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB is the card on the review slate today.
The GeForce 9800GT is based upon NVIDIA’s G92a chip. This is the same core chip that is used on the GeForce 9800GTX and 9800GTX+ cards. As NVIDIA transitions their G9x core chips to the 55 nanometer process the GeForce 9800GT will be moved to the new process. The current 9800GT chips are based upon the tried and true 65 nanometer process that NVIDIA has used since the GeForce 8800GT was launched which was the same core as this one and as we’ll see is the same chip.
The 9800GT is a reuse of the same chip used on the 8800GT from early 2008. The key features remain the same with the 9800GT having 112 Stream Processors, 16 less than the 9800GTX and 9800GTX+ cards which have 128 SPs. The number of texturing units and ROPs (Outputted Pixels) are the same between the 9800GT and 8800GT cards as well, being 56 Texture mapping units and 16 pixels outputted per second.
The Gigabyte 9800GT has a core clock speed of 600MHz, which gives a pixel fill rate of 9.6 Gigapixels/second and a texture fill rate of 38.4 Gigatexels/second. 9800GT has a 256-bit memory interface, meaning that the Gigabyte 9800GT which has a memory clock speed of 900MHz/1.8GHz effective has a memory bandwidth of 57.6GB/second.
The 9800GT supports all of the DirectX 10.0 features found on modern games like Age of Conan, STALKER Clear Skies, and other games that have been released. The key features of DirectX 10 include unified shaders, Geometry Shaders, Texture arrays, Geometry instancing and more. The 9800GT has support for up to 4x MSAA and 16x AF in a single clock with 8x MSAA and 16x AF available in a single pass of two clock cycles.
The Gigabyte 9800GT is RoHS compliant. RoHS stands for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in the manufacturing of electronic and electrical equipment. RoHS restricts the use of Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated diphenyl ether to 1 part per 1000 or 0.1%.
The one feature on the 9800GT which differentiates it from the 8800GT is support for HybridPower. The Green Initiative, which calls for the lowering of carbon emissions and saving the environment, is something that computer component manufacturers are pushing and HybridPower allows users to use less electricity due to its functionality. The Gigabyte 9800GT can be turned off when in 2D mode, having the integrated graphics of the NVIDIA chipset motherboard take over. In this instance the power savings can be immense as the 9800GT has a TDP of 105W.
Gigabyte has transferred their Ultra Durable 2 technology over to the video card side from the motherboard side of their business. Ultra Durable 2 indicates their products use Low RDS (on) MOSFETs, Ferrite Core Chokes and Lower ESR Solid Capacitors on the 9800GT. The Low RDS (on) MOSFETs provide ultra cooling, the Ferrite Core Choke design provides low power loss, and the all solid capacitors provide a longer life than standard capacitors. Turbo Force combines Gigabyte’s T3 technology with their V-Tuner overclocking utility. T3 stands for Performance Assurance Tuning, Stability Tuning and Power Optimization Tuning. Gigabyte says that the Turbo Force technology enhances performance over 10% over standard tuning.

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ATI Radeon HD 4350 versus EVGA GeForce 9400GT

Author: Ben Sun · 10-10-2008

The battle for the video card dollar has never been closer between NVIDIA and ATI. Every card in ATI’s lineup has a similarly performing and priced card in NVIDIA’s lineup. NVIDIA, in fact, has redrawn their price/performance ratio in response to ATI’s launches of the HD 4870 X2, 4870, 4670, 4550 and the recent launch of the ATI HD 4350. One problem with the multiple launches and multiple price drops is the dilution of the video card market where many cards are competing against other cards that were never meant to compete with. This is great for the consumer, with the financial crisis impacting everyone including banks and mortgage companies but bad for the companies who designed their marketing around certain profit margins.
The vast majority of video card purchases are made at the under $100 range in price. This market is marked by competition not only from the two graphics card company’s offerings but also from the integrated graphics available on the market from Intel and AMD solutions as the integrated graphics come with the motherboard and when looking at price/performance one has to ask is it worth spending the sub $30 on a discrete video card or is it better to have integrated graphics as part of the cost of a new system and buy a more expensive discrete card later. On the Intel side of things, a discrete graphics card makes sense as the Intel integrated graphics available to most everyone is a joke. On the AMD side of things where the HD 3300 and NVIDIA GeForce 8300 are solutions the choice is harder.
ATI launched the Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 cards a few short months ago. The 4870 card and the GeForce GTX260 cards have been battling for the under $300 price range, while the 4850 battles with the GeForce 9800GTX for the under $200 price range. ATI has recently announced the HD 4670 and 4550 cards for the under $100 price point. That theoretically leaves a $40 price point open for cards and ATI has recently launched the HD 4350 to fit that price point. NVIDIA has countered by reducing their 9400GT cards to that price point meaning that it should be an interesting battle of sub $40 cards. ATI and EVGA have sent respective cards on the HD 4350 and the 9400GT for review and that is the battle royal today.
In many respects the Radeon HD 4350 is the smaller brother of the HD 4550 that I reviewed less than a month ago. The HD 4350 has 80 Stream Processors, 8 Texture units and 4 ROPS which is the same number as found on the HD 4550 cards. It is built upon TSMC’s 55 nanometer press with 242 million transistors ATI built the HD 4XXX series stressing performance per watt and the HD 4350 design is.
The HD4350 has a 64-bit memory bus. The memory bus on the video card combined with the memory clock speed determines how much memory bandwidth a card has. The HD 4350 has a memory clock speed of 1 GHz effective, meaning that the card has 8GB of memory bandwidth available to it. The card uses DDR2 memory which is very inexpensive memory right now but the card is inexpensive so it’s a good fit.
ATI’s big push on video cards is on DirectX 10.1 features. The DirectX 10.1 feature set is going to be more featured in the near future with big game companies like EA and Sega announcing support for it and DirectX 11 video cards needing to support DirectX 10.1 to be compliant. NVIDIA argues, with some justification that DirectX 10.1 is a minor feature update to DirectX 10.0. In any event cards like the HD 4350 do not have the performance to take full advantage of DirectX 10.1 and it shouldn’t be a major factor either way.
ATI’s Universal Video Decoder is their decode software for HD content like Blu-Ray disks and H.264 video playback software. The HD 4350 is capable of full speed Blu-Ray playback but ATI states that it might not have the horsepower to do picture in a picture dual stream playback that the other HD 4xxx series can do. The HD 4350 reference card is designed to offer HDMI Audio (7.1) through the included HDMI port making it ideal for the Home Theater PC enthusiast

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ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Author: Ben Sun · 10-13-2008

ATI has been releasing new video cards like there was no tomorrow recently. With the recent announcement of their moving away from owning their own Fabs and to a design powerhouse with some interest in a Fab company. AMD has decided to focus on building chipsets; CPUs and graphics cards at their Fabs have been sprung off into a new company Foundry Corporation which they own 44% of.
The high end of the graphics market has been dominated by the HD 4870 X2 cards which have two HD 4870 chips. The 512MB version of the HD 4870 has also been a success with performance that either matched or beat the GeForce GTX 260 in most cases and came close to the GeForce GTX 280 in some situations especially where computational power was important. ATI is launching the 1GB version of the HD 4870 today which is the same card as the HD 4870 with 1GB of memory.
The Radeon HD 4870 1GB is based upon ATI’s RV770XT chip that was announced earlier this year in the form of the HD 4870 512MB card. The chip is built at TSMC’s 55 nanometer process, allowing and is the second generation 55 nanometer chip. ATI’s first generation 55 nanometer chip was the HD 3xxx series and the second one is more efficient in terms of power usage to performance ratio. The HD 4870 is capable of doing 1.2 TeraFLOPS of computing power, compared to the 1 TeraFLOP on the HD 4850 and the 933 GigaFLOPS on the GeForce GTX 280.
ATI and S3 are the two companies that are supporting DirectX 10.1 on the market today. S3 is a minor player in the computer graphics card market with small market share compared to NVIDIA and ATI. DirectX 10.1 includes improvements to the Shaders and anti-aliasing of multiple render targets. The next major inflection point in graphics is DirectX 11 which is due sometime in the next two years. As games use features like Tessellation in DirectX 11, it should be interesting to see if developers use.
Graphics card memory has changed over the years going from SDRAM to DDR memory, to DDR2 memory to DDR3 memory. ATI used DDR4 memory in the last generation video cards based upon the HD 2900 but there isn’t much DDR4 memory in use today. GDDR3 memory on the other hand has been prevalent on graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA camps. GDDR5 memory has the effective ability to double the memory bandwidth of that offered by GDDR3 memory on the same clock speed. With a clock speed of 900MHz and a 256-bit memory bus bandwidth this means the HD 4870 has a effective memory bandwidth of 115.2GB/second.
The ATI card has the ability to work together with other HD4870 cards to improve performance. Their version of multiple graphics card solutions is called Crossfire. Depending on the motherboard being used and the number of expansion slots on that are on that motherboard. Some of the ATI chipset motherboards on the AMD side of things have four PCI Express x16 Generation 2.0 graphics card slots allowing up to four 4870 graphics cards to be installed at one time giving massive increases in performance over a single card.
ATI is really pushing the Universal Video Decoder 2 on their HD 4xxx series. They have had the distinction of having a video decoder the Theater series of chips on many older video cards. This allowed them to do hardware DVD decoding in a time when most video cards did software DVD decoding. The UVD2 has the ability to play two simultaneous HD content streams ala picture in a picture capability. This is useful for people that want to watch the DVD commentary at the same time as the actual movie on a Blu-Ray disc for example.

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MSI R4870 T21G ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB

Author: Ben Sun · 11-12-2008

Micro Star Incorporated, MSI is one of those companies that have been making video cards, motherboards and other computer equipment for years. A Tier-1 motherboard maker based in Taiwan, MSI has recently fell a bit out of favor with the enthusiast community for several years due to lack of visibility in the motherboard space.
ATI has completed a monumental comeback against their arch-rival NVIDIA due to price/performance leadership and NVIDIA's problems with their motherboards and graphics chips on their mobile graphics platform. ATI has released the HD 4870 512MB, 4870 X2, 4850, 4670, 4550, 4350, the 4870 1GB and the HD 4830 in the span of three months now has a top to bottom line up from $529 to $35 that NVIDIA has had to retool their own lineup to match.
Today's card on the review bench is the MSI Radeon HD 4870 1GB card based upon ATI's top single GPU solution with 1GB of GDDR5 memory. This card is retailing online at Newegg for $299 and is the direct competitor to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260+ card retailing for a similar price point. So what's the card all about? Does 1GB really make a difference in a gaming environment? Will updated drivers and a modest speed increase show a performance difference between the 1GB and 512MB models? Let's find out.
The HD 4870 is based upon ATI's RV770XT chip which was launched back in August of this year. The RV770XT has 956 million transistors and is built on TSMC's 55 nanometer process, offering higher performance and lower power consumption compared to earlier video cards like the HD 2900XT which was built on the 65 nanometer process and drew a lot of power.
The HD 4870 has 800 Stream Processors which is not exactly the same as NVIDIA's 256 SPs on the GeForce GTX 280. The HD 4870 has 10 SIMD cores each with 16 SP clusters capable of doing a single 5D operation in single clock cycle. This adds up to 800 Stream Processors in ATI's documentation. The Radeon HD 4870 has 40 texture units that more than double the number of texture units on the previous generation HD 3870. The number of render back ends (ROPs) is the same as the HD 3870 but does nearly double the output of it when AA and 64-bit color is used.
ATI has really been pushing the DirectX 10.1 standard as the next big thing in graphics. Unfortunately for them they really haven't had much luck in getting DirectX 10.1 games out as they don't develop games. As we move forward, the graphics API will change to DirectX 11, necessitating support for DirectX 10.1 due to the fact that the later revisions of DirectX require backwards compatibility with older versions meaning that the companies that support the features will get rewarded with certification and those who don't won't.
MSI's card is overclocked from the standard HD 4870. The standard card has a clock speed of 750MHz. The MSI card has a core clock speed of 780MHz, a 30MHz improvement over the default clocked cards. The memory clock is the same as on the reference clocked card which is 900MHz. Due to the nature of GDDR5 memory the memory bandwidth is effectively doubled over that of GDDR3 memory. The HD 4870 has a 256-bit memory bus meaning this card has an effective memory bandwidth of 115.2GB/second.
The advent of High Definition Videos and HDTVs has caused both NVIDIA and ATI to release hardware on their new video cards to decode/encode the HD media. Blu-Ray discs have won the HD optical media war with HD-DVD and the HD 4870 is ready for it. The Universal Video Decoder 2nd generation built into the HD 4870 can run two video streams simultaneously. This allows the end-user to watch the movie and run the special features of the BRD simultaneously in Picture in Picture (PIP) mode. The other feature that the UVD2 brought to the table with the HD 4xxx series is the ability to dynamically adjust the contrast of a video.

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XFX GeForce GTX 260/216 Black Edition

Author: Ben Sun · 11-18-2008

The holiday season is upon us and there are a slew of new game releases out for the PC. One of the burning questions when buying games during a holiday season is what hardware to best run the games on. After all, while the integrated graphics of the Intel G45 chipset are much improved in features and performance over the previous generations, no gamer will want to play a game with those integrated graphics.
Recent graphic card releases including the 4830 and the 4850 x2 and the various NVIDIA counterparts have taken the sub-$300 graphics chip to a new level of performance and features. However, as a gamer wanting the best performance out of a high-end system a minimum specification of the $200-300 price range with the HD 4870 and GeForce GTX 260 216 core should be looked at.
Today's release of the Big Bang II drivers from NVIDIA means that there will be substantial performance increases in the performance of their cards. XFX sent a GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition card for review and I took the opportunity to test it today with both the video card test platform and a few new games that have been released in recent weeks to show performance with the latest drivers in the latest hottest games. With this review I hope to answer the question which video card is the best bang for the buck for the $200-300 price range this holiday season and what games that really stands out from the others.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 216 core architecture should look familiar to anyone having seen their launches the last few months as it is identical to the GeForce GTX260 in virtually every respect except for one, the number of Shader Processors. The original GeForce GTX 260 had 192 SPs or 6 clusters of 32 SPs each. The new GeForce GTX 260 216 has 216 SPs as the name suggests, meaning that the 7th cluster was activated for this chip out of the 8 on the GeForce GTX 280 has.
NVIDIA states that the entirety of their production of GeForce GTX 260s should be based upon the 216 core variant, meaning that the older variant will be phased out with remaining inventory sold. The GeForce GTX 260 is based upon NVIDIA's GT200 chip and has 1.4 Billion transistors on the 55 nanometer process. The GTX 260 216 was launched a short month or two ago with two companies making the initial cards. Today the other manufacturers are joining in and the card being used for this review is the XFX GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition.
The memory bandwidth on the GeForce GTX is found by multiplying the memory clock speed by the bus, multiplying that result by 2 and dividing the final result by eight. On the XFX GTX 260 Black Edition the memory bandwidth is 128.8GB/second or 448-bit/8x2.3GHzx2. This is nearly the same bandwidth that is found on the GeForce GTX 280 reference clocked cards and is higher than the GTX 260s on the market today.
NVIDIA was the first graphics card manufacturer to fully support DirectX 10.0 which was a new API in 2006 with the release of the GeForce 8800 GTX. This card supported Pixel Shader 4.0, Vertex Shader 4.0, and Geometry Shaders and was NVIDIA's first card to have a Unified Shader Architecture. Today virtually all games being released support some DirectX 10.0 features. One ulterior motive for doing this review was moving to all new benchmarks with mostly DirectX 10.0 support.
One of the more compelling features of the NVIDIA cards is the ability to support CUDA and PhysX. Using the graphics card to solve computational problems makes sense as the graphics chips are capable of TeraFLOPS computing power in the form of the HD 4850 or HD 4850 cards and the GeForce GTX 260 is nearly capable of that feat. PhysX allows the game to use the graphics card to do the physics calculations and overall performance can be done due to this. Early next year EA will be announcing the first PhysX AAA title Mirror's Edge. XFX has taken the base GeForce GTX 260 card and improved it immeasurably by increasing the clock speed from 575MHz to a whopping 666MHz. Is the GTX 260 Black Edition the Devil's card? Nope, just the fastest darn GeForce GTX 260 216 on the market today. The Shader Clock is set at a modest increase to 1440MHz, but this shouldn't be a bottleneck for this video card anyway.


ASUS EN9800GT HybridPower Video Card

Author: Ben Sun · 11-28-2008

The recent flurry of launches of video cards has really redefined what the industry is like on the market especially with the holiday season just starting. ATI and NVIDIA have completed their holiday lineups of video cards with numerous cards available across the myriad price spectrum. The high-end of the video card market is dominated by the GeForce GTX 280 and ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 cards at over $400, but what about the mid-range?
NVIDIA's answer to the mid-range of the video card spectrum surfaced in the form of the GeForce 9800GT and GeForce 9800GTX. While the GeForce 9800GT is basically a rebranded GeForce 8800GT, with higher clock speeds the 9800GTX is an 8800GTX with HybridPower. The 9800GT retails in stores online for the reasonable price of $110 online with the 9800GTX+ being online for about $169. The price difference is large enough to call them two different price ranges. ASUS manufactures computer equipment like motherboards and video cards so naturally, they have a 9800GT card. Today's review is on the ASUS EN9800GT HybridPower video card.
The specifications of the GeForce 9800GT might seem familiar to anyone with an NVIDIA video card of the last year or so. That is because the chip is based upon the same G92 chip that the GeForce 8800GT was built upon with the addition of a few non-graphic features. The main new features of the GeForce 9800GT are HybridPower, HDMI Output and PureVideo HD support that is found on the 9xxx cards not found on the 8xxx cards.
The 9800GT has 112 Stream Processors, which is exactly the same as the first 8800GT cards With a clock speed of 600MHz for the core this means the card has a fill rate of 33.6Gigatexels/second. In fact the clock speeds of the Core Memory and Shader speeds are exactly the same as the 8800GT cards. The memory clock is 1800MHz (900MHz GDDR3) which gives a memory bandwidth of 57.6GB/second.
HybridPower is NVIDIA's nomenclature for their power saving technology that when used in combination with a NVIDIA motherboard can save power. ASUS in fact uses HybridPower on the name of their card, meaning that it is supported. What HybridPower does is turn off the discrete graphics card ala the 9800GT card when 2D mode is enabled. Only motherboards with NVIDIA integrated 8200 or 9300/9400 graphics support this feature. As the maximum power of a graphics card can exceed 226W (GTX 280), this is a great way of saving energy.
PureVideo HD is the latest incarnation of PureVideo released by NVIDIA. It is both hardware and a software decoder/encoder. PureVideo HD adds Dynamic Contrast Enhancement and Dual HD Streaming capability to the engine. It was first introduced with the 9600GT cards last year. PureVideo HD allows for the changing of the contrast in a picture on the fly. The other feature allows the user to play back two High Definition streams simultaneously, meaning that the video card can play back both the cast commentary and the main movie at the same time.
One of NVIDIA's big pushes recently has been their push of CUDA and PhysX technologies. CUDA allows the graphics card to operate as a computer with the 9800GT having 112 Stream Processors that can work either as a Compute processor or as a graphics Processor. NVIDIA cards based upon 8xxx series or 9xxx series chips can run PhysX games like Unreal Tournament 3, Warmonger and the recently announced Mirror's Edge which will support PhysX effects to good effect.

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Thecus N3200 NAS

Author: Ben Sun · 12-17-2008

Dependable secure storage is important for everyone. In this day and age of identity theft and the economic recession that has caused many companies to lay off people, secure storage can mean the difference between someone stealing your information and using it or the loss of a business. Network attached storage systems are basically computers connected to a network to provide data storage, file systems and access to files separate from the main computer.
Thecus is a company that sells storage solutions to keep data safe and secure. Founded in 2004 they have several Core Values including Quality, Innovation, integration and reliability that they base their company upon. Their main business is the Network Attached Servers that I mentioned earlier in the review and they have many models for the enterprise, small business, the SOHO user, and home environments. I recently reviewed the Thecus N5200 5 bay storage server and today I'm reviewing the N3200 3-bay server.
Thecus designed the N3200 to be the first home NAS to support RAID 5. The N3200 supports RAID 0 (Stripping, 1 (Mirror), 5 (block level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks), or JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks). RAID 0 works by having the data on the medium divided by the number of disks. RAID 1 works by having an exact copy of the data on each disk in the RAID 1 array or s/2 (sum of the capacities divided by number of disks). RAID 5's formula is sum of capacities X( number of disks-1)/divided by number of disks.
In the Thecus N3200 there are three drive bays. An array of three 1TB drives could be made into a single RAID 0 arrays with three drives totaling 3TB, three RAID 1 drives in mirror mode or a RAID 5 array with 2TB of data storage. The N3200's Media Server allows connections to Digital Living Network Alliance compliant devices. DLNA is an alliance that was formed in 2003 to allow connections of various digital devices like the PS3, Xbox 360, HDTVs and more.
The N3200 is designed with clean lines and sophisticated styling to work in the home office or living room. Thecus says and I agree that the N3200 will want to be shown off. Thecus's disk management system is a snap to use. The LCD display allows the N3200 to easily be used even in a living room or other dark area. The last major feature of the system is the Wireless Feature which allows the user to connect to the NAS wirelessly with a USB Dongle.

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MSI R4670 2D512

Author: Ben Sun · 12-19-2008

The holiday season is upon us and I hope everyone has a safe and sane holiday season as we will celebrate Christmas next week and the New Year's the week after that. This is the time of year for Christmas gifts and one of the best gifts that a person can give to a computer user is a new video card as it can improve the game playing experience on the computer immensely.
ATI announced the HD 4870 series of cards in June of 2008. The 4870 was a great card at launch as it offered great performance for a good price as compared to the competition, the GeForce GTX 260 which had launched at a much higher price and similar performance. This caused NVIDIA to lower their prices to compete. The vast majority of computer video card sales are not in the $300 price range that the HD 4870 was targeted at.
Most video card purchases are made in the under $200 price range and ATI decided to target this price range with the HD 4850 which was a lower clocked, DDR3 memory 4870 card. Even more sales are made on under $100 video cards and the ATI HD 4670 is poised right at that price point with a MSRP of just $79. Today, I'm reviewing the MSI R4670 2d512/D3 card. While a lot of headlines are generated justifiably so by the HD 4870, the X2 and the GTX 280, let's see what MSI can do with their 4670 card.
MSI's HD 4670 is based upon ATI's RV730 graphics chip which is in turn based upon TSMC's 55 nanometer process with 514 million transistors and a die size of 146 square millimeters. The 4670 HAS 320 Stream Processors which is 40% of the total that is on the HD 4870 cards. Comparing the HD 4670 to the HD 3650 which it replaces, it has doubled the transistor count on a 20% larger die size on the same process.
The HD 4670 has 8 SIMD cores each of which has 40 Stream Processors to make up the 320 SPs on the card. This compares with the HD 4870 which has 10 SIMD cores with 80 Stream Processors. The HD 4670 has 32 texture filtering units compared to the HD 3870 which had 16. The previous generation HD 3650 had 8 texture filtering units meaning that the HD 4670 has four times the filtering rate of its immediate predecessor.

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If there's one technology that impressed me the most this year, it has to be Intel's Core i7 release. To this date I am still stunned by it's performance. It's so good that starting from Q1 2009, all test systems in the Guru3D lab will be Core i7 based until something better comes along. I'm that excited about the technology!
What's a little less exciting is that Intel only has one chipset available for for the Core i7 series processors, making the upgrade pretty expensive. However, this is an enthusiast user product. Targeted at the same enthusiast user that would purchase say a nForce 790 Ultra SLI and QX9770 processor. When you look at it from that point of view the Core i7 upgrade path doesn't look so hideously expensive anymore as in fact, if you purchase a 299 Core i7 920 processor and a decent 299 USD X58 motherboard .. you'll be going much faster than the QX9770 system I just mentioned, and you have the ability to go both ATI and NVIDIA multi GPU wise, which is a great flexibility to have.
Of course you need to plant DDR3 memory on this motherboard as well, 3 DIMMS recommended, but two give gruesomely fast performance as well. It's suffice to say that the Core i7 combo is fast .. extremely fast. And therefore we have been covering all related Core i7 products a lot. Up-to this point we tested two Core i7 processors, a Core i7 Multi-GPU performance article and no less than four X58 motherboard reviews.
Today we'll test the fifth X58 motherboard in a row, this time from the folks at eVGA. They recently released their eVGA X58 SLI motherboard loaded with features. Tagged with a 299 USD sales price this motherboard seem to be very impressive. But since it's eVGA, they decided that this motherboard should be all about overclocking, and nothing else.
So hypothetically, if you were planning to purchase this product, pop in a Core i7 processor and leave things as they are .. well, you'd be wasting money really. In this article we'll show you why that is. We'll cover the motherboard from A to Z, and to spice it up a little I'll slap on some water-cooling and overclock our processor towards 4.2 GHz, stable.
That should be fun right? Have a peek at the motherboard and browse onwards to the next page please.
source :

Asus Triton 88 CPU cooler

By Hilbert Hagedoorn, December 25, 2008

ASUS releases it's triton 88 cooler. The exterior of the fierce-looking Asus Triton 88 CPU cooler comprises of an exclusive twin-pillared heatsink design, a 120mm inner-fan with a Diamond blue LED, and 6 copper heat pipes. With this ensemble of thermal features, Asus Triton 88 CPU Cooler is able to deliver ultimate cooling performances for up to 180W and can support multiple applications—including the latest Intel Core i7 processor (LGA1366). With the fan positioned within the heatsink, VRM can be protected against high temperatures with the guiding of cool air to critical components near the CPU—ensuring system stability. T
o provide the best heat dissipation, the Asus Triton 88 is equipped with a massive heat dissipation area of up to 8000cm2; while 6 high conductive copper heatpipes and the 120mm LED fan provides maximum airflow and optimal cooling performance. The Triton 88 is equipped with a PWM function that is able to automatically adjust the fan speed according to the CPU’s temperature—providing low acoustics during operation.

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Intel says no to Atom based NVIDIA ION

By Hilbert Hagedoorn, December 25, 2008

Ay, a bit of a mud-fight just started. Last week NVIDIA announced their ION platform. The formula WAS simple: Combine the highly rated GeForce 9400 GPU found in new desktop and notebook PCs with the Intel Atom CPU. Nvidia's push for the Ion platform, which combines its GeForce 9400 mGPU with the Intel Atom CPU, is heavily reliant on Intel being willing to abandon its current Atom pricing system. Under the existing scheme, Intel will only sell Atom CPUs and corresponding chipsets in a bundle, but if hardware vendors are unable to buy just the Atom CPU, the Ion platform becomes too expensive for most applications.
Nvidia executives recently visited local PC makers, in an attempt to drum up support for allowing its MCP7A and MCP79 chipsets into the Atom ecosystem. However according to digitimes, Intel is refusing to acknowledge it's gonna happen. In an internal statement distributed to hardware makers recently, Intel reiterated that Atom CPUs for netbooks and nettops are only available bundled with its 945GSE and 945GC chipsets, the makers said.
When asked to comment, Intel indicated that it has no plans to validate the Nvidia MCP79 chipset on Atom-based nettop or netbook platforms. Intel also has no plans to form a partnership with Nvidia to support nettop or netbook platforms based on the Intel Atom CPU, the company added.
To be continued, for sure. Oh and to NVIDIA here's a hint, VIA's Nano. Politics politics ...

Source :

NVIDIA ION platform

By Hilbert Hagedoorn, December 22, 2008

Posting a little late as it slipped through the mazes here. But NVIDIA is poised to energize the PC market by transforming Atom PCs into a premium experience found today in higher priced laptops and desktops. NVIDIA will supercharge the fastest-growing segments of the PC market – netbooks, small form factor and all-in-one PCs – by enabling these products to play rich media and popular games in high definition. The formula is simple: Combine the highly rated GeForce 9400 GPU found in new desktop and notebook PCs with the Intel Atom CPU.
This combination (code-named Ion Platform) enables the smallest premium PC experience available today, making it ideal for the exploding category of mini-notebooks and compact PCs. Ion Platform will create new and exciting premium PCs that fit in the palm of your hand. Unlike existing chipsets paired with the Atom CPU, the GeForce 9400 GPU delivers up to ten times the graphics performance, plays full-spec 1080p high definition video, supports the full Windows Vista user interface and the upcoming Windows 7, and runs popular PC games such as Call of Duty 4. The GeForce 9400 GPU does all of this in about one-half of the space of today’s Atom CPU-based solutions with minimal affect on battery life.

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Modular Power Supplies: The Reality of the Resistance

Jon Gerow · 08-10-2006

Modular power supplies have become very popular as of late. A modular power supply is different from a typical PC power supply in that it has cables that can be plugged in as the user needs them. By giving the user the ability to only have the cables they need plugged into the power supply, with no additional, unused cables, the user can have less clutter inside their computer case, and as a bonus, have improved air-flow.
Some companies have refused to manufacture modular power supplies and have even taken the effort to spread fud (fear, uncertainty and doubt) over the very concept of modular power supply connectors.
The argument? The resistance of the modular interface reduces the performance of the power supply, because resistance causes voltages to drop. No doubt any modular connection causes resistance. Nobody's denying that. But how much does the resistance of the modular connectors effect the voltage delivered to your peripherals?
To find this out, we're going to use a power supply load tester to put a static load on a number of power supplies: both modular and non-modular. We're going to apply different loads (from no load to 11A) to a particular connector on the power supplies (the PCI-e six pin seems like a good choice), and then use a DMM (digital multi-meter) to measure the voltages.
The voltages will be measured at four different points when testing the modular power supplies. First, the voltage will be measured at the point where the wire from the power supply's main circuit board (main PCB) meets the modular interfaces circuit board (modular PCB.) Second, voltages will be measured at the modular connector, where one would plug the modular cable into the power supply. Third, voltages will be measured at the connector and the load. Fourth and finally, voltage will be measured at the load itself, at the very end of the connector where you would have your motherboard, peripheral, video card, etc. plugged in.
The standard, non-modular power supplies will have their voltages measured at three points. The main PCB, the connector at the load and at the load.
The first thing I want to do is show you my DMM. A good DMM is important for any computer technician. And once you have a good DMM, you'll find yourself using it for everything! Automotive, household, etc.
Mine is a Uni-Trend UT204. I bought it when I was over in Taiwan. It's very accurate at 0.8% and has an excellent resolution (measures as low as 0.1mV).
Since I'm going to need two places to the left of the decimal point, my readings are only going to be 10mV accurate (.01V.)

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ECS launches first Socket AM3 motherboard

By Hilbert Hagedoorn, December 24, 2008 - 4:54 AM

ECS today releases their A790GXM-AD3 motherboard, which is Socket AM3 ready, and thus 45nm Phenom II + DDR3 memory ready.
ECS today releases the A790GXM-AD3 Black Series motherboard disclosing the extraordinary gaming performance of AMD’s latest Dragon platform. Supporting the latest AMD Phenom™ II processors, ATI CrossFireX™ technology, and the dual channel DDR3 memory architecture, ECS A790GXM-AD3 unleashes the full potential of hardware components that gamers are always eager for. With its upscale capability, the A790GXM-AD3 motherboard brings a spectacular gaming platform delivering the irrefutable performance to satisfy the gaming desire of extreme gamers.
Inheriting the advantages of AMD 790GX chipset, the A790GXM-AD3 Black Series motherboard incorporates the support for the latest 45nm AMD Phenom™ II processors to deliver the next generation computing capabilities. In addition, ECS A790GXM-AD3 comes with the feature of dual channel memory architecture that supports DDR3 1333MHz memory up to the capacity of 32GB which is capable to provide faster data throughput for memory-intensive applications. To meet hardcore overclockers’ requirements, the latest exclusive BIOS utility, M.I.B. II, is included to provide various detailed tweaking options. Paired with AMD SB750 south bridge controller supporting the function of ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration), ECS A790GXM-AD3 allows users to push the overall system performance to another higher scale. As the key factors that eventually decide the stability while overclocking, the 5 phase power design

Sopurce :

Asrock ALIVENF6P-VSTA Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Memory Type: DDR2, DIMM - Graphics Card Interface: PCI, PCI Express, PCI Express x1, PCI Express x16

SpecificationMfr Part Number: ALIVENF6P-VSTA CPU: Socket AM2 Support AMD Phenom X4 / X2, Athlon 64FX / 64X2 / X2 / 64 and Sempron processors; AMD LIVE! Ready; Supports Untied Overclocking Technology; Supports Hyper-Transport Technology; FSB 1000MHz (2.0 GT/s) Chipset: nVidia GeForce 6150SE & nForce 430 Memory: 2x 240pin DDR2-800/667/533 DIMMs, Dual Channel, Non-ECC Un-buffered, Max Capacity 4GB Slots: 1x PCI-Express x16 Slot; 1x PCI-Express x1 Slot; 2x PCI Slots IDE/SATA: 1x ATA-133 Channel; 4x SATA2 Ports, Support RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD Audio: High Definition Audio Video: Integrated nVidia GeForce6-class graphics, DX9.0 VGA, Pixel Shader 3.0, Max Shared Memory 256MB LAN: Realtek RTL8201CL 10/100Mbps Ethernet Controller Ports: 10x USB 2.0 Ports (4 rear, 6 by headers); 2x PS/2 Ports; 1x Serial Header; 1x Parallel Port; 1x VGA Port; 1x HDMI_SPDIF Header; 1x RJ45 LAN Port; 1x WiFi/E Header Power Connector: 1x 24pin Main Power; 1x 4pin CPU Power Form Factor: Micro ATX, 9.6 x 7.7 inch / 24.4 x 19.6 cm Package: Retail

Part #: ALiveNF6P-VSTA
Sellers Found: 4
Available Since: Feb 13, 2008
Lowest Price: $44.95

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Samsung Rumored to Release NC20: 12-Inch Notebook with VIA Nano CPU

December 21st, 2008 by Joanna Stern

Now here is a rumor we can really get behind. According to a few Italian sites, Samsung is planning to build out its NC line and give its popular netbook the NC10 a sibling. Rumored to be called the NC20, we will call it the half brother to the NC10 since its made of some different DNA.

Rumor has it that the NC20 will sport a 12-inch screen and a VIA Nano CPU. Notebook Italia, says the system could arrive by February. This could mean that VIA’s Nano chip will hit the market before its reported March 2009 release.

Details are slim but it is reported to have a 1.3GHz VIA Nano U225, 160 GB hard drive and 1GB of memory. Similar to the current NC10, it will have Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11 b/g/n and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. Again, no official details but the price is expected to be $642.

Perhaps we will hear more about the Samsung NC20 at CES, but we surely expect a number of these type of hybrid netbook and ultraportables to pop-up in the coming months. The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 might have been the first to put netbook guts into a larger chassis but MSI and ASUS have hinted at following this trend. Stay tuned, because we expect this emerging category of affordable 12 to 13-inch laptops to be a real headliner next month in Vegas.

Source :

Friday, 26 December 2008

News Hari Ini

Sebelumnya saya pribadi mengucapkan "SELAMAT NATAL DAN TAHUN BARU" buat naruto mania semua, emang sih tahun baru masih 5 hari lagi. kecepetan kali ya!!!
Tapi gak apalah, takutnya tar saya gak bisa posting pas malam tahun baru....maklumlah jaringan sibuk terus.

Oya ni info terbaru yang saya dapat mengenai NS manga Chapter 430, untuk sekarang ini manganya belum bisa direlease karena bertepatan dengan tahun baru. Eit..jangan pada kecewa dulu dunk, saya tetap akan mengusahakan blog ini untuk tetap up to date. jadi segala perkembangan naruto bisa dinikmati sama naruto mania n naruto lovers semua.

Eh...ngomong-ngomong dah pada tau belum gossipnya naruto? denger-denger sih si jiraiya sennin belum mati, dan di akhirnya nanti tu sennin bakalan muncul barengan ama bokapnya naruto "yondaime". Dan ternyata si pain juga adalah paman dari naruto, saudara dari ibunya naruto yaitu "uzumaki Kushina".

Oke deh sekali lagi saya selaku admin blog ini mengucapkan "Selamat Natal Dan Tahun Baru"
Semoga dapat menjadi berkah bagi para naruto mania n naruto lovers, juga semoga blog ini banyak pengunjungnya..he.he.he

Aku punya rencana pake domain gratis dari tapi setelah ku setting ternyata adsensenya gak bisa muncul, sharing infonya dunk sekalian kalo ada yang tau tentang kenapa begitu blog pake domain gratisan kok adsensenya kagak mau muncul ya?

Salam Admin

Thursday, 25 December 2008


Cara Sign Up di

Daftar dulu dibawah ini ( (

Ikuti Langkah² berikut:

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2. Klik : ‘Affliate sign up’

3. Preferred program : isi dengan ‘no.1 Permember payout’

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22. Klik ‘Submit’ (checklist dulu kotak persetujuannya)

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24. Klik ‘Account information‘ yang ada pada sebelah kanan atas web lalu muncullah account information Anda.

25. Klik ‘here‘ (berwarna biru) untuk meng-update informasi Anda yang berkaitan dengan pembayaran via Payoneer.

26. Klik ‘sign up to be paid by prepaid mastercard‘ (bergaris bawah dan berwarna biru) Anda akan diarahkan untuk membuat kartu debit Mastercard.

27. Klik ‘Get your prepaid mastercard now‘.

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29. Dibagian terakhir Anda akan diminta untuk mengisi ID, isilah dengan no: KTP/SIM atau passport Anda.

Dengan cara inilah kita bisa memiliki kartu debit Mastercard melalui Payoneer. Karena kalau kita langsung daftar melalui Payoneer belum bisa karena Indonesia belum diakui.

Setelah selesai pendaftaran, Anda akan menerima email verifikasi dari Payoneer dan Friendfinder. Ikuti saja step stepnya.

Jika kartu debit mastercard sudah anda terima (kurang lebih 3 minggu setelah pendafataran)jangan lupa aktivasi, kemudian promosikan website replika anda