Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AMD might stop putting tacky stickers on laptops

Hate it when companies crazy glue half a dozen stickers to your brand new $1,200 laptop? AMD understands. According to a NY Times report, the chipmaker likens it to buying a new luxury car that's plastered with permanent bumper stickers promoting the motor oil, floor mat, and air freshener companies. If you peel them off, the adhesive often leaves behind a residue that can be annoying because it's on the palm rest, meaning your hands touch whatever grime remains. 

Although everyone hates them, stickers aren't going anywhere the NY Times said. As usual, it boils down to money. Tech giants like Intel and Microsoft pay big bucks for that billboard space, and most PC builders happily trade their customers' convenience for extra cash. That's not going to change -- at least not overnight. 

However, AMD may eventually stop the sticker nonsense altogether, and in the meantime it's switching to new decals that peel off cleanly. Additionally, it will make them optional. If an OEM chooses not to use the processor company's stickers, AMD will provide the same amount of marketing cash, but it will be used in other ways.

AMD Radeon HD 6870 Video Card Pictures Leaked

Chiphell has posted up some pictures on an AMD Radeon HD 6870 (Cayman XT) video card that are fun to look at. Is looks like the card has two DisplayPorts? That's a lot of outputs on a single card - two DisplayPorts, 1 HDMI, and 2 DVI output connectors on it, but from the angle of the image we can't be certain. We also assume this is an early Northen Islands engineering sample card as it still has an ATI logo on it and AMD has already stated that this generation would not be branded ATI. That said who knows if the card is even real or just a quick Photoshop job. Feel free to speculate.

AMD Radeon HD 6870 video card

NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 Video Card Info Released Early

NVIDIA has prematurely announced their GeForce GT 420 video card by accidentally listing the video card on their website in what was apparently a web editing snafu. By doing this the company has confirmed the rumors of an entry-level GeForce 400 series for what would look like OEM desktop computers. The GeForce GT 420 is a DirectX 11 card with 48 stream processors and 2GB of DDR3 900MHz memory. The graphics core clock operated at 700MHz with the 48 shaders (CUDA Cores) running at 1400MHz. The GeForce GT 420 is a single-slot card that is just 5.7" in length and stands at a mere 2.7" tall with what looks like no additional power connectors on the board. This makes sense as the card has a max power draw of just 50W. No word on pricing yet.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 420 video card

Origin Integrates Xbox 360 Console into "Big O" Gaming PC

Is this the world's ultimate gaming PC? You could probably argue either way, but we're pretty sure it's the world's ultimate entertainment machine. Pound for pound, you'll be hard pressed to find a desktop tower with more fun-per-square-inch than on Origin PC's new "Big O." This mammoth machine is unlike anything we have ever seen. Rather than just stuffing a flashy tower with the most cutting-edge components, Origin has decided to go above and beyond the call of duty. How so? By placing a top-of-the-line gaming PC and an Xbox 360 Slim inside a single tower. One tower, two gaming machines.

This desktop is likely to be one of the largest and heaviest on the market, but considering just how functional it is, we're willing to give it a break. In order to maintain a decent temperature, Origin has liquid cooled both the PC side and the Xbox 360 Slim side. Each system is built so that the Xbox 360 ports are never blocked, and each can run the PC side and the Xbox 360 side at the same time, enabling you to game on your console / HDTV while someone else games on your computer LCD.

Two different configurations are available as examples (though you can build your own from scratch if you phone Origin), each of which are well above most budgets. But with a layout like this, would you expect anything less? The "base" model is $7669, and that includes a Core i7 930 CPU (overclocked to 4GHz), dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards, a Rampage III Extreme motherboard, 6GB of Corsair Dominator 1600MHz memory, 12x Pioneer Blu-ray player, 1500w PSU, Creative sound card, Windows 7 Home Premium and a media card reader. The $16999 build will definitely break you, but that includes dual Intel Xeon X5680 CPUs overclocked to 4.3GHz, an EVGA SR2 motherboard, quad SLI GTX 480 GPUs, 12GB of memory and dual 1Kilowatt power supplies. Rather impressive stuff, for sure. So, is anyone even considering one of these? As lovely as they are to gawk at, those prices sure are shocking.

Asus Brings GTX 460M GPU To RoG G53 And G73 Gaming Notebooks

We know that Nvidia and Asus have a long history of working together, but this particular union seems more important than ever before. The G53 and G73 gaming notebooks were powerful before, but the newest versions are even more potent. These two machines have just been upgraded with NVIDIA's GTX 460M (Fermi) graphics engine, meaning that DirectX 11 support and high-end 3D gaming are both included.

Both machines also enjoy a rear vented cooling system, ergonomic keyboard layout, 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory and plenty of screen real estate. The G73 has an eye-popping 17" panel, while the G53 steps it back to 15". Also, both machines are cut out for 3D gaming, and the HDMI 1.4 output ensures that you can display HD content on even the newest of HDTVs. Other specifications include a Core i7 processor (Core i5 and Core i3 are available), Windows 7, DD3 memory, dual hard drive support, an optical drive (Blu-ray or DVD), 2.0MP webcam, integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, audio in/out and even a USB 3.0 port. There's also an 8-cell battery, built-in subwoofer and a case that  may give you back problems if you lug it around too long. No word on price yet, but we know Fermi doesn't come cheap.

Nvidia's Tegra 2 to power next-gen LG smartphones

LG is preparing to launch a new line of smartphones that will be powered by Nvidia's screaming fast, dual-core Tegra 2 mobile processor.
The revised Optimus lineup - which is expected to hit the streets during the fourth quarter of 2010 - will offer optimized speed and graphics capabilities, along with significantly reduced power sipping. 
"Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1 GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, [users] can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz," said LG spokesperson Chang Ma.
Nvidia's Tegra 2 to power next-gen LG smartphonesMeanwhile, Phandroid's Quentyn Kennemer noted that Nvidia's Tegra 2 will undoubtedly introduce a superior, "beefier" CPU for next-gen smartphones that could easily become the industry standard. 
"[Tegra 2 will also include a] GeForce low-power GPU that should be able to handle any mobile game with ease - and even has the ability to produce console-like graphics, era pending. [And] let's not forget 1080p HD video playback and everything else that comes along with Tegra 2," wrote Kennemer.
"[Clearly], the chipset war will only get more fierce from here as Qualcomm, Samsung, and other vendors come to market with their own offerings and as we start seeing manufacturers put them into their high-end devices."
Nate Kimmey of Android Police expressed similar sentiments.
"[Tegra 2 is slated to offer] up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz. This is likely referring to phone with a Snapdragon processor, as we know that Samsung's Hummingbird processor already has a huge gaming advantage over other single-core 1 GHz ones. 

"[So], between this and Samsung's upcoming dual core phones, the end of this year could see previous flagship phones such as the Nexus One and Galaxy S devices becoming outdated."

Samsung 1GHz Orion Cortex A9 CPU plus performance flash and 5MP/14.6MP CMOS chips outed

Samsung said they were planning a whole family of Galaxy Tab slates, and having seen the company’s component news this morning we’re now pretty excited at what those tablets might offer.  Samsung Electronics has outed its 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 “Orion” processor, a dual-core chip with five-times the 3D crunching abilities of its predecessor, together with high-performance 8-gigabyte (GB) and 16GB moviNAND flash memory and a pair of back-illuminated CMOS chips for mobile devices, shooting either 5-megapixel or 14.6-megapixel stills.

The Samsung Orion obviously supports Full HD 1080p – both encode and decode – with an HDMI 1.3a output that can be concurrently run while the Cortex A9 chip simultaneously drives two onboard displays.  There’s also an embedded GPS receiver, and Samsung will be offering two versions of Orion: one stacked with memory and another, smaller, with just the chip itself.  Sampling will take place in Q4 2010, with mass production in the first half of next year.
As for the NAND flash, Samsung expect to begin producing 16GB moviNAND using 20nm-class 32Gb NAND flash later in September, and then will begin replacing its existing 30nm-class 32Gb chips with 20nm-class chips later in the year.
Finally, both CMOS chips – the S5K4E5 and S5K2N1 - support 30fps video capture, and Samsung reckons the back-illuminated design takes in 30-percent more light than regular chips.  The S5K4E5 will be headed to smartphones and other portable devices, while the S5K2N1 is targeted more at digital video cameras; mass production will start in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 respectively.