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Intel

Submission + - 32nm Xeons improve performance, power efficiency (techreport.com)

EconolineCrush writes: Intel's Xeon 5600 series is the latest batch of CPUs to tap the company's cutting-edge, 32-nano fabrication process. Code-named Westmere-EP, these new server and workstation CPUs add two cores and 4MB of cache per socket while remarkably staying within the same thermal envelopes as their predecessors. When pitted against the last Xeon generation, the new chips predictably offer better performance and power efficiency. Intel's power-optimized Willowbrook server motherboard may be even more impressive, as it enables a dozen-core Xeon L5640 system to consume just 66W at idle.
Apple

Submission + - User reports searing-hot iPad, melted cord (techreport.com) 3

J. Dzhugashvili writes: A member of the Tech Report forums reports that his iPad's charging cord literally melted in the middle of the night, and the iPad it was connected to became searing hot—hot enough that the user dropped it and caused some damage. Melted charger cables and searing-hot (or combusting) batteries are nothing new, and they've led to mass battery recalls in the past. After getting in touch with Apple, however, the user was simply told he was responsible for damaging the device by dropping it, and that the iPad was out of warranty for having jailbroken software installed.
Apple

Submission + - iPad melts charging cord, nearly combusts (techreport.com) 1

EconolineCrush writes: Apple might have an answer for the iPhone 4's antenna issues, but a potential problem with the iPad could be tougher to fix. At least one user's iPad nearly combusted while the device was plugged in, melting the charging cable in the process. Similar problems prompted mass notebook battery recalls a few years ago, although this seems to be the only case of iPad-related melting reported thus far. Have any Slashdot users observed similar behavior with their iPads?
Networking

Submission + - Wireless PCIe to enable remote graphics cards (techreport.com) 1

J. Dzhugashvili writes: If you read Slashdot, odds are you already know about WiGig and the 7Gbps wireless networking it promises. The people at Atheros and Wilocity are now working on an interesting application for the spec: wireless PCI Express. In a nutshell, wPCIe enables a PCI Express switch with local and remote components linked by a 60GHz connection. The first applications, which will start sampling next year, will let you connect your laptop to a base station with all kinds of storage controllers, networking controllers, and yes, an external graphics processor. wPCIe works transparently to the operating system, which only sees additional devices connected over PCI Express. And as icing on the cake, wPCie controllers will lets you connect to standard Wi-Fi networks, too.

Comment Re:Am I a cheap bastard? (Score 1) 208

I'm sorry? "there's not practical difference between 24fps and 60fps"?

Few people will be able to tell motion above 60fps, sure, but up to that point any human can and will notice the difference. Ever wondered why a movie's motion will look completely different that the motion of your standard news / soap opera / etc? That's the 24-to-30fps difference alone.

Submission + - Ever smarter phones to topple laptops? (techreport.com) 1

AnInkle writes: Although laptop sales exceeded desktops over a year ago, a VP of Gigabyte, the number three motherboard manufacturer, asserted that laptops will be toppled by "smart" handheld devices before long. As smartphones and slate devices become the mobile computing device of choice, Henry Kao believes desktop demand will increase again to serve peoples' storage needs. Wishful thinking from a major desktop motherboard manufactuer?
Data Storage

Submission + - Hybrid Seagate hard drive has performance issues (techreport.com)

EconolineCrush writes: The launch of Seagate's Momentus XT hard drive made news on Slashdot last week, and for good reason. While not the first hybrid hard drive on the market, the XT is the only one that sheds Windows' ReadyDrive scheme for an OS-independent approach Seagate calls Adaptive Memory. While early coverage of the XT was largely positive, more detailed analysis reveals a number of performance issues, including poor sequential read throughput and an apparent problem with command queuing. In a number of tests, the XT is actually slower than Seagate's year-old Momentus 7200.4, a drive that costs $40 less!
AMD

Submission + - AMD's Leo six-core desktop platform analyzed

J. Dzhugashvili writes: Earlier this week, AMD introduced its new Leo enthusiast platform with six-core Phenom II processors starting at just $199. By now, reviews of not just the processors themselves, but also new motherboards based on the simultaneously launched AMD 890FX chipset have made their way onto the web. The verdict might surprise you. While Intel still wins from a power efficiency pesrpective, the new Phenom II X6s dethrone the famous Core i5-750 in value comparisons, and 890FX motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI show AMD has a more compelling overall enthusiast platform than Intel. 890FX mobos don't just have more PCI Express lanes than their Intel X58 counterparts; they have built-in Serial ATA 6Gbps connectivity and excellent all-around performance, too. Could AMD be on its way to becoming an enthusiast darling at the high end once again?
Hardware

Submission + - Psyko offers new approach to surround sound headph 1

EconolineCrush writes: Surround sound makes games and movies much more immersive, but it hasn't translated well to headphones. No one's come up with a surround headphone design that's really caught on, and software-based speaker virtualization schemes don't always work right. Psyko Audio Labs thinks it's solved the problem with a new 5.1-channel headset that uses waveguides to direct sound accurately to the user's ear from five discrete speakers mounted in the headband. It's a unique approach, and one that reportedly offers a lot of positional audio precision. However, the heaphones appear to otherwise have rather poor sound quality, which seems like a tough pill to swallow given their $300 asking price.
Hardware

Submission + - System guide recommends five desktop PC configs

EconolineCrush writes: The Tech Report has updated its system guide, providing a comprehensive set of recommendations for desktop PCs at around $500, $850, $1400, and well over $3,000. This latest guide takes into account recent releases like Intel's six-core Core i7-980X and Nvidia's Fermi-derived GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards. It also features a new one-off build designed to be a quiet yet powerful microATX system. Recommended reading for anyone putting together a new desktop PC.
Intel

Submission + - Intel caught cheating in 3DMark benchmark (techreport.com) 3

EconolineCrush writes: 3DMark Vantage developer Futuremark has clear guidelines for what sort of driver optimizations are permitted with its graphics benchmark. Intel's current Windows 7 drivers appear to be in direct violation, offloading the graphics workload onto the CPU to artificially inflate scores for the company's integrated graphics chipsets. The Tech Report lays out the evidence, along with Intel's response, and illustrates that 3DMark scores don't necessarily track with game performance, anyway.
AMD

Submission + - The fastest GPU you need: AMD's $259 Radeon HD 585 (techreport.com)

J. Dzhugashvili writes: "Hot on the heels of the Radeon HD 5870, the world's first DirectX 11 graphics processor, AMD has released a slightly slower but quite a bit more affordable derivative: the Radeon HD 5850. As The Tech Report found in its review, the new card delivers a potent cocktail for its $259 price tag. Not only does it outperform all previous single graphics processors in today's games, but it does so with impressively low power consumption, noise levels, and operating temperatures. You even get better image quality in current games, thanks to an improved anisotropic filter and supersampled antialiasing. If you're looking for a graphics card to buy this fall, this may well be all you need."
Windows

Submission + - Windows 7: Should desktop users buy into the hype? (techreport.com) 4

J. Dzhugashvili writes: We've all seen blog posts hyping up Windows 7, often with cut-and-pasted MS screenshots and feature descriptions. But what's it like to sit down and use the operating system on a desktop PC? Do new features deserve the hype? Do they work as advertised? The folks at The Tech Report have been using the final version of Windows 7 since shortly after its release to manufacturing, and they've posted an article that tries to answer those questions. A number of improvements, like the updated Backup and Restore functionality and Remote Desktop Direct3D support, have slipped through the blogosphere's radar. On the flip side, those who migrate from Vista shouldn't expect flawless compatibility or performance from the new additions. HomeGroup, for instance, interfaces in bizarre ways with the regular File Sharing interface, and Device Stage doesn't do much yet. The article also breaks down the different Windows 7 editions and explains why Home Premium now looks like a better choice for most users.
AMD

Submission + - AMD's Phenom II 965: 3.4GHz, 140 Watts, $245 (techreport.com)

AnInkle writes: At a time when power consumption is a top concern and most applications are rarely constrained by the CPU, AMD bolsters it's lineup by releasing a new top-end 140-watt TDP rated processor. The Phenom II X4 965 clocks in at 3.4GHz and debuts at about the same price as Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9550, indicating it's not intended to steal the performance crown. Nevertheless, this processor could further enhance AMD's competitiveness across the middle of the market, where even most performance-minded shoppers make their selections. Check out The Tech Report's benchmarks and analysis for the scoop, including a careful look at total system power use and those oh-so-much-fun scatter graphs, which illustrate the value proposition among 21 processors from both teams.

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