Monday, September 20, 2010

Nvidia Sees Potential of External Notebook Graphics

One of the problems with buying a notebook as a gaming machine is that most mobile PCs don't allow much in the way of upgrades. Once that GPU starts to spit and sputter on the latest titles, you might as well toss the whole thing in a river, or chuck it up on Craigslist if you can stomach the depreciation and inevitable lowball offers.

External graphics has long been a promising solution to this dilemma, particularly since most notebooks do allow for CPU and RAM upgrades. It sounds great on paper, anyway, but real world solutions have failed to gain much traction, and GPU makers haven't really taken the idea of external graphics very seriously. Could that be about to change?

Asus' XG Station, one of a handful of attempts at bringing external notebooks graphics into the mainstream.
"Fusion and Intel's Sandy Bridge solution will put a lot of weight on Nvidia but Mr. Hass, [General Manager of Nvidia's Notebook group] told Fudzilla that the company is working on its version of external graphics," news and rumor site Fudzilla reports. "He believes that AMD did a good job with Lasso, despite a few flaws that kept it from being success... it was a shot in the right direction."
There are some downsides to external graphics, such as portability, but for the gamer looking to lug his 17-inch desktop replacement to LAN parties, it'd just be an extra piece to toss into his laptop bag. Cost is another issue, but if games are willing to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading their desktop GPUs, is it such a stretch that they'd do the same for their gaming notebooks?
Do you like the idea of external notebook graphics, or does gaming hardware belong strictly on the desktop? Post your thoughts!

Foxconn Unveils Two New 1.8GHz Atom Boards

Foxconn has quietly slipped a pair of new mini-ITX Atom motherboards into its lineup, but unlike most Atom boards already in the wild, these new parts come equipped with 1.8Ghz chips instead of the slower 1.6Ghz Atom parts.
The D52S sports a dual-core D525 Atom processor nestled into Intel's NM10 chipset. Despite the tight confines, users can install up to 4GB of DDR2-800/667 memory (2 DIMM slots) and also have access to Intel's integrated GMA 3150 graphics, a single PCI slot, two SATA II slots, 5.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, and a bunch of ports (four USB 2.0, VGA, Parallel, Serial, audio jacks, etc).
The D42S sports a similar feature-set, but trades the dual-core D525 part for a single-core D425 processor, which is also clocked at 1.8GHz.
Both boards are listed as "coming soon" with the D52S expected to sell for around $95 and the D42S for around $80.

Giada touts Ion-based ultra-mini PC

Giada Technology is showcasing its Ion-based, ultra-mini PC at Nvidia’s GPU Conference in San Jose, California.
The N20 - which is capable of smoothly processing rich media content (1080p) - boasts embedded Adobe Flash, H.264 and a Blu-ray hardware decoder based on Nvidia’s GT218 graphics with 512MB dedicated graphics memory.
The compact, $450 system also features an Intel dual-core Atom processor (D510), 2GB Memory (expandable up to 4), 320GB HD, 11n/g WiFi, eSATA, media card reader, HDMI/VGA dual display and Windows 7 Home Premium. 
Giada touts Ion-based ultra mini PCAdditional specs include:
  • Remote control - powers the unit on or off independently of the OS.
  • Gigabit Ethernet.
  • Digital Optical SPDIF-out 5.1 Audio.
  • USB 2.0/E-SATA combo port.
  • Front and back I/O.
  • 23.24mm thick.
  • 160 x 175 x 23mm.
  • Available colors - white or black.

Cyber protestors nuke MPAA and RIAA websites

According to Mashable's Samuel Axon, 4chan users (particularly Anonymous) have been responsible for several memorable attacks against various sites in the past, including Gawker, YouTube and Twitter.

A seething mass of angry cyber protestors recently deployed Low Orbit Ion Cannons (LOIC) against the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) and Aiplex Software.

Cyber protestors nuke MPAA and RIAA websites
The digital offensive was reportedly led by 4chan users, who successfully downed sites belonging to the above-mentioned organizations.

"As word spread of the attacks, sympathizers who had never even been on 4chan joined the attacks, simply by loading up their LOICs and following some very simple instructions," TorrentFreak's Enigmax confirmed. 
"The ultimate in decentralized protests [went] ahead and there [wasn't] a lawyer or police force in the world who can do anything about it. Is this the protest of the future? Well, if nothing else, it certainly can’t be stopped."

"[But] this time around, they used Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which overwhelm websites with a flurry of requests that would be harmless if they were coming in reasonable numbers or from just one source.

"[Clearly], Internet piracy, particularly that conducted over the BitTorrent protocol on sites like The Pirate Bay, has been an issue of concern for the MPAA, the RIAA and other organizations for years now.

"[And] while they've won small victories along the way, they obviously haven't quelled the rebellion just yet."