Friday, March 31, 2006

Brag: Merom, Yonah Benchmarks =)

Heh, FUGGER got the go to post the scores so he's good to go to post some killer numbers. This is going to be interesting. He appears to have all the necessary parts to keep these babies up, running, and definitely, sub-cooled. I am drooling already for the upcoming results and have alreasdy subscribed to the thread.

Check out the benchmarks below:
Many thanks to kyosen for compiling all the results.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Merom "confirmed" a 'drop-in' upgrade for Mac Mini

Merom is the next mobile processor from Chipzilla and will succeed Yonah, the current Dual Core processor used at Mac* Mini* and several other CE-type of equipment. Fugger of XS is able to upgrade his Mac* Mini* and fire up an amazing scores in Rosetta.

With such development, it is only interesting to speculate that currently available motherboards (or upcoming if they haven't been released yet) that supports the Intel® Core™ platform from Asus* and other OEMs/ODMs will be very much compatible with Merom. Yonah, a processor that succeeds Dothan which many hailed as king of performance surpassing many processors on a clock per clock basis, is getting lots of attention from extreme enthusiasts much like Dothan.

To see it in action, check out the source:@XS Post #22

Tech Link (Industry): NVIDIA Business Platform: A competitive desktop alternative to Intel?

Seems like NVIDIA* will try and mimic what Chipzilla has been doing for quite a long time already: Stable Image Platform. Of course, AMDroids are ignorant about this, well, most of them I would assume. Anyway, if this pushed thru, then NVIDIA* might be in a good market. They both have A* and I* covered.

What is a stable image platform? A stable image platform is essentially a standardized hardware and software solution that balances system performance and productivity against the need for greatly reduced administrative and support costs. A stable image program is generally based on a yearly cadence that includes a 3-month platform evaluation period, 12-month production cycle, and a 24-month support schedule.

The main advantage of this platform is in the design, qualification, and availability of a hardware and driver configuration that can be procured and deployed over a set 12-month cycle. This standardized hardware and driver configuration allows the IT group to design and deploy a software image that can be utilized throughout the 12-month production cycle without worry of compatibility issues between the hardware and software configurations.

Why is a stable image platform important? The ability to reduce and control the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for an organization's PC population over its life cycle is critical in today's IT department. Instability of the platform, lack of security, stability of supply, or varying hardware and software configurations can impose a tremendous cost and manageability burden within the IT department.

Although research numbers vary, it is generally assumed that only 20% to 30% of a PC's cost of ownership is attributed to the actual procurement and disposal of the platform. The remaining 70% to 80% of a PC's cost of ownership is attributed to the management of the platform over its life-cycle. These management costs are attributed to operational aspects such as training and energy, but the majority of costs are associated with the administration and management support of hardware/software upgrades across the network. Research has shown that by implementing a stable image platform program, it can reduce the life-cycle cost of a typical PC platform anywhere from 10% to 55% over a three-year period.

What are the benefits of a stable image platform? In an era where networked PCs have become a standard fixture in the majority of businesses, educational institutions, and governmental offices, the need to standardize and easily manage these platforms has increased exponentially over the past few years. The cost benefits of having a standardized platform program are significant for a typical organization at this time and are realized through a reduction of platform configurations, testing and qualification times, and simplification of PC management.

Since networks have become so prevalent within these market sectors, the ability to properly manage, maintain, and upgrade these systems is extremely important. When utilizing a stable image platform across the network, it greatly simplifies the ability of the system administrator to manage these assets from a centralized or even remote location. This leads to a reduction in administrative costs and the ability to quickly roll out minor patches, software application updates, or even new images without worrying about the hardware configuration. The result is a network of standardized PCs that are easily managed, stable, secure, and upgradeable for less cost than platforms consisting of multiple hardware and software configurations.

Other benefits include the ability to quickly roll out additional platforms if the user base increases or for replacement of older platforms. The purchase and storage of replacement platforms or components is greatly reduced based upon a common and stable hardware platform. The ability to upscale the base system by upgrading the CPU, memory, or installing a certified discreet graphics card for users requiring additional capabilities, yet retaining the same base platform and driver set, is an additional benefit.

Now, let's take a closer look at the features that the NVIDIA Business Platform offers and a comparative look at Intel's current and future offerings.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Google patents free Wi-Fi

Rejoice =)

The search-engine giant has developed three technologies for offering wireless Internet access, and advertising, free of charge.

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - More evidence has emerged that Google is getting ready to blanket the U.S. with free Wi-Fi, as Business 2.0 senior writer Om Malik reported last year. Now, the company has filed for three patents related to offering wireless Internet access. Search Engine Roundtable points out that the patents all have to do with serving up advertising through a wireless Internet connection maintained by a third party, whose brand Google would include in the presentation of those ads. Sounds a lot like Google's latest plan to unwire San Francisco, where it has teamed up with EarthLink (Research). By teaming up with partners who would build the actual Wi-Fi infrastructure, Google (Research) could complete a nationwide Wi-Fi network much more quickly than if it had to build it itself.

Full Source: CNN Money

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tech Link (Digital Home): Asus* Goes Intel® Viiv™

More and more OEM and ODM are jumping into the next generation wave of Digital Home from Chipzilla. Asus*, a world reknown motherboard manufacturer just released a new motherboard that will be Intel® Viiv™-ready.

The motherboard model is Asus N4L-VM DH and for overclockers, having a motherboard from Asus* is like nirvana. And even more addition to the drool factor is that it supports Intel Core™ Duo and Core™ Solo Mobile CPU. If you aren't too much an AMDroid, then you'll know that Dothan eats everything in its path. The lack of SLI and Crossfire is the only holding factor why this baby isn't hitting the top marks in 3D benchmarks and can play against the top dog in almost all benchmarks known to man in the desktop world.

Anyway, back to the board, it has the following savory features:

  • Intel ViiV Technology

  • Support Intel Core™ Duo and Core™ Solo Mobile CPU

  • Support 65nm Dual-Core CPU

  • Intel 945GM chipset

  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

  • Intel Gb LAN

  • High Definition Audio

For more information, you can visit the Asus* product site here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Brag: MiniPC Review almost ready for posting

I have just finished all the necessary tasks that I need to do with the MiniPC review item that I have. I can't stress how much I am impressed with this little wonder-in-a-box. It looks much like a Mac Mini, but it isn't and can actually run various OS from Microsoft* Windows*, to Ubuntu*.

I already have the benchmarks screenshots, some of the product shots, as well as some of the nitty gritty detail such as "overclocking" portion. Anyway, I just want to post the brag so that those who might be wondering when I'm going to post review will have an idea. I am targetting on posting the review by Sunday because of work, work, work, and tending to the family while wifey is away. In the meantime, you may want to check the official Mini PC site here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Overclock: Overclocking the Intel® Pentium® D 805 Processor (Dual Core for the Masses)

Due to insistent public demand, I finally manage to get down and dirty with this very attractively-priced processor. It is a first of its kind for the pricing and functionality of this processor. Those who have been holding back the transition to LGA775 and DDR2, this is the right time to jump over to the fence and feel the blessings of dual core.

Today users require the power of simultaneous computing found in a dual-core processor. The Intel® Pentium® D processor brings this power to the desktop. An Intel dual-core processor delivers consumer value by providing additional computing resources that expand the PC's capabilities and provide platform-level advancements for consumers in the form of higher throughput and simultaneous computing. With an Intel Pentium D processor users may perform multiple tasks such as digital rendering and gaming all while running virus scan or other background tasks seamlessly.. It has great features for digital home computing, such as support for EM64T to enable the system to address more than 4GB of system memory and advance security functionality thru Execute Disable Bit that can prevent certain classes of malicious "buffer overflow" attacks when combined with a supporting operating system.

Source:Overclocking the Intel® Pentium® D 805 Processor (Dual Core for the Masses)

Rant: Why AMDroids suck!

If you don’t know what AMDroid is, well, they are my counterpart. I am called a FanBoy countless times, a Fanatic if you may. So while I may also suck just as bad, I know where I stand and have stood before, and will still be standing in the future.

The dawn of Intel®’s Core™ (a.k.a. Next Generation Micro Architecture a.k.a. NGMA)
This past couple of weeks, there has been quite a stir in both camps of the fence: Intel® and the other microprocessor manufacturer. Intel® showcased a working demo of a processor built on Core™ µA at the recently concluded IDF (Intel® Developer Forum) and even presented a side-by-side comparison of both its competitor’s top of the line processor. And mind you, it’s an overclocked µProcessor with the tightest timings on RAM possible, versus a supposedly entry-level µProcessor from Intel®. Now, why is it surprising?

AMD Top Dog Got the Beating = Angry Mob of AMDroids
Almost every AMDdroids post on the net scrutinized how Intel® may have configured the systems for Intel®’s favor. Wow, this is a number one sign of AMDroids not having enough brain cell power to even comprehend the breadth and width of IDF. Hey, Intel® invited in the conference some of the great minds in the industry, a mix of businessmen, journalists, enthusiasts and even tweakers and they will not treat any one of them as just dumb attendees who wouldn’t know how to look into the configuration of the demo system. Even the AMDtech top gun Anand played with the system and reported the great performance of the new Core™-based processor.
With this, it’s easy to deduce some facts: if you question the report coming from the very top gun, who have been blabbering a lot of negatives against Chipzilla, maybe AMDroids should be questioning the validity of all the reports and reviews posted on their site. Not just that particular report, but all reports, reviews, and articles. I mean hey, he’s the top gun, supposedly the best, and never even noticed that the demo units are configured in favor of Chipzilla? Hmmm, more reason to put all their reviews in the trash. A top gun who can’t even check whether a rig is configured with bias….speaks a lot about credibility.
Maybe, just maybe, AMDroids ought to look at this old news article posted sometime ago and let them remember how A* vs I* was set up before. Yes, it’s not Intel® who is duping the benchtest rig. AMDroids, you suck!

The deal about Old Technology vs New Technology
What in the crap are these AMDroids are talking about? Did anyone of the Chipzilla fanboys reacted the way they did when Netburst* is being compared with A64? They even said Netburst* is too old, not scalable, and all the negatives you can throw at it including the usage of the “antiquated” front side bus! Give it a break people, we still see 3DMark01SE on some of the benchmark tests posted on the web. It’s not the latest benchmark, but the results are still “scaled” and unbiased. Core™ still use that “antiquated” bus, and also utilized that “high-latency” DDR2 and yes, still use Netburst* technology. Come to think of it, all the three(3) items I mentioned were stomped, cursed, and looked down by the so called AMDroid experts. And they can’t really decide whether Intel® systems is antiquated or old: on one hand, AMDroids complained that Conroe is a new architecture being compared with AMD old architecture but on the other hand, they have been blabbering how the old FSB is still being used. What a bunch of nutcase, AMDroids you suck!

Clock Speed : AMDroids missed it
Yes, they have always been raving about clockspeed. Ever since that faithful days and early days of Intel® Pentium® 4, Chipzilla always put a GHz rating on their boxed processor. The other manufacturer tried to catch up, and use a so-called Performance Rating, wherein the so-called “estimated” performance is used instead of actual clock frequency since they can’t catch up with the GHz race. Anyone remembers when A* broke the 1GHz first? AMDroids were like reaching nirvana at the time because their “idol” got to it first. Who said A* wasn’t concerned about the GHz race, “AMD plans to lead in the gigahertz era” is a very clear message to me. But, as history have shown, A* got left behind with the GHz race, and switched to PR. Crap, just crap. And from then on for the longest time, it’s about PR vs GHz (yeah, I know A* PR mentioned it wasn’t supposed to be but it’s been an accepted standard, at least in the market and on the testbench).

But then A64 architecture debuted and matures, and suddenly, the comparison was shifted away from Clockspeed vs PR. Wow, there must be a massive brainwashing that must have swept the world when this became the “de facto standard” comparison from web sites. It all became A* 4xxx+ vs Intel® Pentium® 3.xGHz and AMDroids everywhere rejoiced once more for self-proclaiming A* as the performance crown holder. But if this ever happen on a Chipzilla camp, say, a Intel® Xeon® 3.6GHz versus A64 3500+ and you’ll be surprised if none of the AMDroids jumps up to point the inconsistency of the test bench even if the reviewer have clarified the reasoning for pitting the two processors together. Hmm, another reason to trash AMDtech articles.

Another notable items here is that, AMDroids just buys whatever A* spewed out of their factory because its got better PR label and so it must be better. But my oh my, even among their ranks, people are saying why a certain PR model is better/worst than a certain PR model with the same PR label (don’t knock yourself if you didn’t get it, it’s a socket confusion galore). Take a look for example, an AXP 2800+. If you are not well versed with A*, you will not know that there’s several flavor of the same thing, OTMH, there was a T-bred and Barton core (which both suck) btw, in comparison, Chipzilla use different naming convention (such as with a letter prefix i.e. Northwood A, B, C and moved to model numbering (such as 5xx, 6xx, 7xx, 8xxx series). Sure, there was an overlap for the Intel® Pentium 4 2.4A but at least the L2 cache is clearly stated on the label anyway not unlike some equivalent tray-type A* chips.
Now, the Core™-based processor on the tested over at IDF has much lesser clockspeed, and as usual, the Chipzilla FanBoys just smiled on the sidetrack while AMDroids whines and whines. Well, it’s been a long known fact that A* and its followers have been bashing the current line up of Intel® processors but if anyone even paid attention, it’s A* 4xxx vs Intel® Pentium® GHz (and A* has the most tightest timing on the RAM while I* has the loosest possible settings on the RAM). Notice the problem here? How can one say that their product is 4xxx+ rated when there’s no Intel® equivalent part number? Maybe they overclock the Intel® processor? But that’s a “maybe” and so AMDroids sucks once more.

Socket Soup Mix up and Memory Support: AMDroids got chained in the heel
When the newer Athlon64 debuted, it actually comes in many flavor. The first incarnations were so sucky, its got problems with integrated memory controller. And wow, they can’t really make up their minds back then. When AMD64 was launch sometime 2003, there were mix of sockets, and memory support. Such a very bad sign of integrating a memory controller on the CPU, as it tied up the processor to a certain generation of memory. AMDroids were bashing Intel® for moving to LGA775 with so many chipsets, hey, no one is forcing anyone to buy a newer motherboard with newer chipset everyday so what’s the big deal? Besides, there was only Socket423 (very early Intel® Pentium® 4), Socket 478, and now LGA775 and memory support was never a problem.

If you have an old Intel® Pentium® 4 Socket478, you can still use it with DDR400 and DDR500 provided the motherboard supports the RAM. You can even using this very same processor on motherboard equipped with PCIe graphics card. The newer LGA775-based processor can still run on both DDR1 and DDR2, with both AGP and PCIe options. Wow, antiquated design eh? With early Sempron based on S754, well boohoo, you can’t put it in the S939/S940 motherboard and tied with single channel memory technology. In short, you suck! For those who bought early S939, and one of those who are touting “64bit” you suck even more since most of you can’t even make use of RAM beyond 4GB because of cost and applications. For those who got FX series based on S940 that needs ECC Memory, you suck the most, not only those memory expensive, the CPU is not compatible with S939 and A* left you to rot in hell when they decided to go S939 for their mainsteam A64 processors, forcing you to move to S939. Yes, A* is now touting “drop in upgrade, just BIOS upgrade” after they kick the nuts out of the early adaptors.

On the other hand, FanBoys who migrated to LGA775 early can still use their processor, memory and graphics card to even greater performance by moving into newer motherboard with better features. And hey, isn’t DDR2 much cheaper compared to DDR1? Isn’t PCIe graphics card much cheaper than AGP? AMDroids, you suck!

Thermal Envelop: A heater no more
The new Core™ architecture touts performance/watt and along with it, the lessening of the heat being produced by the processor. True, the Prescott generated some additional heat load relative to the older brother Northwood. But umm, as far as the number of burned processors I’ve seen on the net, Intel® Pentium® 4 near Zero while I’ve seen more than a couple of burned and dead A64. If the processor is “hot” then why is it none ever burned to death? Well AMDroid kids, heat is relative, our Sun is so hot, very very hot but it will appear cold when it is compared to NGC 2440 Nucleus. Antarctic weather is cold, but it will appear summer compared to Pluto. Now, what’s the point? Well, if your CPU is running at 30C at full load but still burns, and my CPU is running at 70C and still having a merry way, then which is hot or hotter? AMDroids, you suck so bad!

Even back in the early days of AXP vs Intel® Pentium® 4, AXP suffered massive death galore from overheating, while Intel® Pentium® processors survive even the most rigorous test of overclocking and overvolting. AMDroids sucks!

Price/Performance, Same Old Same Old Same Old
AMDroids used to depend on how A* back in the AXP days where bang-for-the-back and should be used if PC are to be used for games since “it’s just games” even world wide benches shows Northwood C were kicking the said processor dead on every corners. They justified to still purchase AXP because performance versus comparable Intel® Pentium® 4 C is negligible, and about a good 10% to as high as 30% cheaper. But heck, look right now, the very same AMDroids will not purchase the much more cheaper say Intel® Pentium® D 805 because the A64 X2 3800+ can play games faster and that the former has good applications only on desktop, multimedia, and multi-tasking: in short, the A64 X2 3800+ has become a very expensive gaming console, which before, as per the AMDroids, is a cost-effective gaming PC. Wow, know where you’re standing so you won’t lose your path. AMDroids never really cared for the price, they just want to suck even more and pimp A*.

Some AMDroids even claim then can discern the difference in actual gameplay between 100FPS and 105FPS and 95FPS. You clearly suck AMDroids. Even at 100FPS vs 150FPS, feeling the difference is near impossible, if it’s between 25FPS and 50FPS, then yes it’s noticeable. So, AMDroids justify that you need to have a good video card and that if it’s just a mid-end card then better stick with A64. Oh man, high-end gaming is most of the time GPU bound. I doubt there will be a jump from 25FPS to even 70FPS by just changing CPU speed. You suck!

Innovation is the name of the game
Funny how many AMDroids will say Intel® has been playing catch up. What is it that is going to be caught up? The only thing Intel® should be catching up with is regaining the lost 2 or 3 points of marketshare and not about innovation. Why not innovation? Because AMDroids ought to know that the PC they are using based on A64 is very much based in Intel® technology. If you are enjoying the PCI and PCI devices integrated on your board, guess who pushed for this technology? If you are still using AGP, guess who invented it? If you like your USB MP3 player so much, guess who pushed it so hard in the market? WiFi, guess who makes this technology so common the world over? Stop mentioning about Intel® not innovating anything, you’re just showing how dumb you are.

The case of FX vs Extreme Edition
This is a very sucky subject indeed. AMDroids ought to know where their FX series is standing on the equivalent A64 4xxx+ line up before they even try to say they own the crown. Sure, price is being compared, price/performance hullabaloo but hey, read the top part regarding same old comparison, which, unfortunately, applies very much here as well. In any case, what many AMDroids failed to see is that these benchmarks, even if its an unfair comparison (remember I*’s EE never hits past 4GHz while A*’s FX lines up pretty much at their A64 4xxx+ processors) never really reflects user performance. Heck, my Dothan can score a lot higher than my Prescott and yet the smoothness with gameplay and multi-tasking can be felt: Dothan rules at pure benchmark numbers but a bit slow on multi-tasking which is where my Prescott with HT comes in. The EE, specially the newer ones, can make multi-tasking a lot lot easier. It helps process physics calculation and off-loads tasks from the background applications, freeing a core (logical or physical) and dedicating it in game processing. The result, a lot smoother multi-tasking and smoother, less sudden dropped frames.

On another thought, why is it that no one is complaining why BMW* and Kia* that can both reach a destination equally well, that they are priced so far apart? Why Levi’s* has different pricing than Jag*? If you are playing smarty, no, it’s not just the name recognition, it’s the reputation that they have built through time. The brand name shouldn’t be discounted, brainless AMDroids spews crap like “you only buy the brand if you buy Intel®” and they fail to see that that consumers are “buying THE brand” if they buy Intel® products”. If you don’t care about your name, well, don’t think Intel® doesn’t care for theirs as well, they have built it and developed it thru service, commitment, and quality products. It’s not “just” a name, IT IS a name.

Warranty and Support, a not so well known fact!
Yep, AMDroids always say A* is so much cheaper (back then) and so it must be better. They’d buy a cheap motherboard, cheap processor, and then go whine in the forum if something goes wrong. Oh freaking crap! And they just won’t stop, they’ll post and post crappy help me with this and that. If you buy Intel®, rest assure that you will have a number you can call on. You will not have to scour the forum and spam each and every message board you found asking for help and enlightenment. Sure, answers can be found that way, but isn’t it more elegant and convenient if there’s a number you can call and vent your frustration?

And if things don’t go well and you got a defective part, isn’t it nice that if you buy your motherboard in Hong Kong that you can still have it RMAed in the Philippines? Yep, Intel® will pick up the item from your location and have it delivered to you free of charge if it is found defective and within warranty period. Now now now, isn’t that great? Beat that with a competing product. You can only get this kind of service if you buy a pricey OEM-build PC, but not with Intel®, you will be treated equally.

In Closing
I guess in the end, I am the suckiest being too much of a fanboy and have been blinded as well. Well, I guess that's a day in a life of a fanboy. Till next rant.

Brag: FanBoyReview's 3rd Month Anniversary = 6,274 hits

Yep, I got 6,274 hits on this FanBoy website. It's not really much, but hey, it's still something. I am not sure if I can still continue to do this, but I try to post an update at least once a day. The site is still very much a personal blog, as such, so much of my opnion is spread all through-out this Blog. But really, as much as possible, the posting should not be easily found on known enthusiast sites, hey, what's the use if I just posted something everyday that comes from AMDTech or THG or [H] when FanBoys visit them everyday as well.

To top it off is the addition of the FanBoy's very own reviews and articles. I have tons of items to be reviews, but time and effort is what I lack. Sometimes, I even lack the enthusiasm to do all the necessary stuff. This is why you may find the same wordings from one review to another. But try to look beyond that, besides, while it may look the same, I actually read and re-read it at least once just to check if something isn't applicable anymore.

To remedy the "lack of time", I also devised a way to re-use one set-up with another. For example, using the same components from one test bench to another. I still have to describe them in my write up though to spice things up, and relate them on the item being tested. This actually has a drawback: people tend to read past it since it's the same thing anyway. But being only one guy to run the site, it can not be helped. Like I mentioned already, I still actually read them again and check if I did some changes on the next test batch compared to the previous and make the necessary ammendments.

In any way, I guess the long and short of this post actually boils down to one thing: Thank You, yes You, for visiting the site and keeping me on my heels to ensure I have some content up and running for the site. Just one, yes, even a specle of hit, just one hit and I scramble to check if I have an article posted for you, yes, you.

So to close this short 3rd Month Anniversary Posting, I am again extending my gratitude to you. Thank you very much fellow FanBoyz, we rock!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Brag: Intel® Sample System Build on the FanBoy Forum

I've been busy for quite some time making sample builds for the fellow FanBoys™. I plan to do more as time permits. The builds can be targetted for mainstream computing, high end gaming stuff, or for the typical home use. I currently have three(3) system builds ready for viewing.

The target segments are currently categorized in four(4) major buckets.

  • Digital Home

  • Digital Office

  • Enthusiast

  • LAN Shop

Note that these are suggested items and in no way are you being forced to go ahead and build such a system. I also added items as options so would-be system builders will have ideas. To expand it even more, some notes are added on why such components are chosen. To view them, head on over here.

Click here to visit FanBoy Forum (Registration is Free)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Overclock: Overclocking the Intel® Celeron® D 326 Processor (64bit on the cheap)

Finally was able to load another homegrown article for the FanBoys. This time, it's for the lowest end budget overclockable chip from Chipzilla. The Intel® Celeron® D 326 is a monster oveclocker, and if you're really tight on a budget and would like to build a new rig based on LGA775, what you can probably do is get a great overclocking motherboard and then pair it up with this little monster. Overclock it, and once you have enough moolah, jump in to a newer processor. But hey, don't let the cheap price muddle your decision to get this chip, it's a treasure buried in the haystack when it come to reserve MHz ready for awakening!

Primarily geared on the value market, it is designed to deliver affordable computing. The Celeron D processors provide customers the capability to affordably get onto the Internet, utilize educational programs, home-office software and productivity applications with great computing and multimedia power. It has great features for digital home computing, such as support for EM64T to enable the system to address more than 4GB of system memory and advance security functionality thru Execute Disable Bit that can prevent certain classes of malicious "buffer overflow" attacks when combined with a supporting operating system.

Source:Overclocking the Intel® Celeron® D 326 Processor

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tech Link (Motherboard):NVIDIA nForce4 SLI XE: Enthusiast Features on a Budget

AMDTech has an article up covering a budget SLI system for us Intel® FanBoys. Knowing it's SLI, well, it's not going to be based on Intel® chipset, but from rival NVIDIA*. Anyway, I guess if you really like SLI then it's NVIDIA or nothing. Good thing, there's still CrossFire from ATi* that's supported on i955/i975 based motherboard.

This board was not forgiving if we made a mistake in our performance evaluation testing. The system would perform well in our general applications and benchmarks at a given setting and then completely refuse to boot or go into a reboot loop if we increased the FSB or especially the Memory speeds by a few MHz past a stable threshold. We quickly found out the limits of the board and if nothing else, the board's ability to fail at certain settings was consistent.

The Self Recovery System (S.R.S.) within the BIOS would allow the system to recover from most configuration issues consistently except for errant memory settings. The inability of the system to recover from these memory miscues would require the usage of the clear CMOS jumper. Unfortunately, we ran into an issue with this process as the clear CMOS process sometimes required the removal of the battery for the jumper process to work. This process is not acceptable, considering how well other BIOS recovery systems work. As with the recent Biostar BIOS update, we feel this issue can be diminished greatly with additional BIOS tuning.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tech Link (Digital Home): Shuttle*'s Media Center PC with Viiv Technology

If you still haven't gotten enough of all the goodiness that Intel® Viiv™ has to offer, then check out Shuttle*'s new offering.
They are launching new products, in the traditional small form factor that Shuttle* is best known for.
Image owned by Shuttle

The new model is under the brand/model XPC SD36G5M. The build is so pretty, with a very attractive shiny black design. It has a cool display at the front, in addition to the familiar front panel from the SFF manufacturer. But while the exterior is great, the innards is even better with a motherboard equipped with a i945G + ICH7-DH chipset, this baby can handle the latest Intel® Pentium® D processor and can support Intel® Matrix RAID for superb Digital Home experience.

Here are the "Hot Features" as listed on the manufacturer website:

SD36G5M motherboard :

  • Intel® LGA 775 CPUs

  • Intel 945G + ICH7-DH Chipset

  • PCI Express x16 Interface

  • Intel® Matrix Storage Technology

  • Intel® Flex Memory Architecture

  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

  • Advanced I/O

  • Viiv Technology Ready

Silent X Technology :

  • Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE)

  • Smart Fan

  • XPC Tools

Case :

  • Shuttle (Simply Styled) G5M Chassis

  • Stealth Drive Doors

  • Media Connectivity

  • Integrated Cable Management

  • Versatile Front-panel Display (VFD)


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Intel increases lead in semiconductor market

Bohoo to the detractors...

El Segundo (CA) - Intel successfully defended its position as the world's largest semiconductor company in 2005 and was able to increase its market share with double-digit revenue growth. In the microprocessor market, Intel lost 2.9% of market share to AMD, iSuppli said.

According to the market research firm, the semiconductor industry posted a new sales record of $237.1 billion in 2005, but only the largest manufacturers were able to cash in. While industry sales growth over 2004 was estimated to have been just 3.6%, only the three largest semiconductor companies - Intel, Samsung and Texas Instruments (TI) - were able to clearly outpace the industry average.

Intel very much was in control of the industry with revenues growing 13.0% to $35.5 billion and a global market share that increased to 15.0%. Samsung followed as a distant second with sales of $17.2 billion, an increase of 9.2% over 2004, and a market share of 7.3%. TI came in third with sales of $10.7 billion (+5.1%) and a market share of 4.5%.

Other winners in the ranking included Hynix (+20.7%), IBM (+11.5%) and Broadcom (11.3%). The three firms are ranked #11, #19 and #20, respectively. On the other side, Infineon (#6) was hit with a 9.6% revenue decline; NEC lost 12.2%, Matsushita's (#14) sales decreased by 11.5%. The spin-off of its memory unit caused even AMD (#15) to lose 23.3% of sales, according to iSuppli's research. With combined revenues of $5.97 billion in 2005, AMD/Spansion would have jumped to number eight in the rankings, up from number 11 in 2004, according to iSuppli.

"Intel's strong gains were driven by growth in the microprocessor market, which expanded by 16.1 percent in 2005," said Dale Ford, vice president at iSuppli. "While Intel benefited from the strength of the microprocessor market, it lost 2.9 percentage points of share during the year to AMD." In contrast, Intel performed better than any other competitor in the NOR flash memory market, which declined by 15.3 percent during 2005, iSuppli said.

Among fabless companies, Broadcom joined Qualcomm in the top 20 for the first time in 2005. Also, both Nvidia and ATI moved into the top 25 suppliers for the first time.

The rankings in detail:

Source:TG Daily

Tech Link (Video Card): ATI introduces 1 GB workstation graphics card

Make no mistake, this card is not cheap, it's not affordable, it's not pricey, this is what I call expensive. Well, if you need it for your applications, then I guess the definition becomes a bit muddy and should fall withint affordable to pricey. The videocards will be released for Workstation usage, and is branded under the models FireGL V7300 and V7350 priced at $1600 and $2000, respectively.

As the workstation market is accelerating its move from the Unix into the Linux and Windows market, there is also more activity in the professional graphics card market. ATI today launched its FireGL V7300 and V7350, two new graphics card market that are targeted the high-end workstation segment and Nvidia's dominance in workstation graphics sales.

The two cards come with a frame buffer of 512 MB and 1 GB, respectively, a core clock of 600 MHz and a memory clock of 650 MHz. According to ATI, the new cards offer seven times the floating point capability of a 3 GHz Pentium 4 processor, which is generally put into the 12 GFlops range. With about 84 GFlops, the V73xx cards offer about the same floating point performance of an X1800XT graphics card. The new cards do not offer multi-GPU Crossfire capability.

However, the new FireGLs will not be used for gaming, but rather typical workstation applications, which include financial and scientific applications. According to Jon Peddie Research, Nvidia currently holds a market share of 72.8% in the workstation market, while ATI stands at 21.6%. The V73xx cards are a new attempt to tackle the very high-end of the market and especially Nvidia's SLI-capable Quadro FX 4500.

The FireGL V7300 and V7350 are priced at $1600 and $2000, respectively.

Source:TG Daily

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tech Link (Digital Home): Tango Cocktail Mini PC VIIV, prettier than the Mini?

The onslaught of small and really compact machine for the living room is rolling out ever so aggresively. A Korean company SungJu International, has built a very nice looking Digital Home* ePC which the firm labeled as Tango* Cocktail Mini PC*.

The Tango Cocktail Mini PC* is a definite screamer with its Intel® Core™ Duo T2300 (1.66GHz) processor, and Intel® 945GT with graphics motherboard combination. It's a very sleek (as opposed to small) system that has a DVI and S-Video out, 1GB of DDR2-533MHz RAM, Wireless a/b/g, a 80GB SATA HDD, a DL and RAM DVD burner, Bluetooth, 3 USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, a TV port, and Windows* Media Center Edition*. But the real kicker for this system is that it is already an Intel® Viiv™ certified platform.

Source:Akihabara News

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Intel Dual-Core Gaming Performance Analysis

Someone beat me to doing a single-core versus dual-core gaming benchmark comparison. I am actually collecting and tabulating all the data that I have, I guess it's good as I can actually compare my own findings versus the one made by Neoseeker.

The article focus on Intel® Pentium® 4 and Intel® Pentium® D processors, having the same clock frequency and both overclocked to 4GHz. For video-card, both single-card and SLI-type will be pitted against each other, to find out how SLI performs under single-core and dual core platform. The line up of gaming benchmarks includes 3DMark06, DOOM 3, Call of Duty 2, F.E.A.R, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, and Serious Sam 2.

Unfortunately, using SLI means they have to forgo with Intel®-chipset-based motherboard since Intel® only official supports ATI's Crossfire on its i955-based and i975-based motherboard. Also, I would have preferred if they do actual experienced-based subjective testing, like having an anti-virus running on the background, downloading stuff off the net, sharing files to family members at the living room, and even have IM and also do stuff like distributed running on the background. In my opinion, this is where dual core really shines rather than waiting for games to take advantage of it, the user can already take advantage of it by doing multitude of tasks without being a geek and checking which applications he/she needs to close/turn off just to have smoother computing experience.

While it is true that in gaming, often times other applications has to be turned off to speed up loading, and remove bottleneck, but with the onslaught of more and more trojans, virus, and hackers, some background tasks can not just be turned off. Sure, a separate box or a router can do that, but with the rules of security, it never hurts to be paranoid and keep your system away from security breach.

So while the benchmarks are shown and analyzed in an objective manner, think beyond geek stuff and look at the consumer level type of usage. Then fit yourself in their shoes. Then do those benchmarks and compare the experience, whether gaming or just plain multi tasking with your OS.

Testing has shown that while dual-core and gaming can be a lucrative deal, it really only gets useful if the rest of your system is already powerful enough, and simply being held back by your current CPU. This means that your video card and memory subsystems have to be plenty fast -- in the order of SLI, we saw, if you've already got a fast CPU that you feel is holding you back. Even in the case of mostly single-threaded games (most of which are), Windows can offload its internal housekeeping and driver tasks to the second core, allowing your game to enjoy a minor performance bump on the first core that it would then have all to itself. When games start getting multi-threaded, a dual-core CPU will provide an even larger performance bump.


Tech Link (Overclock): New 3DMark01 World Record with Dothan Power

One my news post that was lost due to some Blog problems. Anyway, it's a bit old right now (you know, how benchmarks records kept getting broken almost everyday, it's becoming a norm) so if it isn't the latest, just shoot me a PM or a ShoutOut.

The World Record was achieved with the help of an Intel® Pentium® M 780 combined with Asus* CT-479 adapter, slotted with an Asus* P4GD1 Motherboard. Yeah, that same motherboard I reviewed over at TipidPC (sorry, I can't find the link anymore). This processor + motherboard + pcie video card combo has become the toughest combo with benchmarks to date. The only reason Dothan isn't topping the charts of other 3DMark benchies suck as 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 is because of the lack of SLI-capable motherboard to support this mini-wonder.

In any case, people have been flocking to Yonah now that AOpen* will soon be releasing a Yonah-based motherboard that will support Crossfire. And even as this next-generation mobile power is landing on the palms of the enthusiasts, they are also drooling over the upcoming Merom processors.

Hmm, how I wish I can post my Yonah and Controe results...I guess one drawback of getting all the nice stuff in advance is being silenced to speak of it until NDA has been lifted off.

So here's a screenie of Hipro's screenshot, the overclock that broke the record he also owns yay.


Tech Link (Industry): Free music for Xbox Live users

You got to love the freebies in the air. Microsoft* and Epic Records* teamed up to deliver such goodies right at the comfort of your own living room without the fuss. While many will view it as something to get people "addicted" to the service then charging a fee afterwards, the fact can't be discounted that it's being offered totally free for a full year. Now that's a long time of freebie time.
Image owned by BitTech

I always wanted freebies, and this is definitely not only going to cater to XBox fans, but even for those just wanting to jump into the platform. I am thinking sales will pick up because of this, which should be good for Microsoft* and Epic Records. It's a win-win scenario, consumers get the freebies, manufacturers/producers get to do advertising and enlarge their audience coverage. Who wouldn't want to get a free music videos of their favorite artists?

This is extremely exciting, if this becomes succesful, I reckon movie industries may start to offer a similar service. Err, can we say, Intel® Viiv™? Intel® Viiv™ will surely provide that kind of service and more, so Intel® Viiv™ for most of the major Digital Home computing and XBox* for uber gaming.

Xbox 360 gamers will soon be able to enjoy a full year of exclusive artist content and music videos completely free thanks to a deal announced today between Microsoft and Epic Records.

A different artist will be featured each month, starting with our own Natasha Bedingfield, who is currently taking the US by storm with two recent Top 10 hits. She also currently hold the title of Number 1 Most Downloaded Pop Song on iTunes.

"Our goal has always been to make Xbox Live a cutting-edge entertainment experience," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "This agreement with Epic Records offers our members exclusive artistic content directly from the source. With Artist of the Month we will be providing exactly what music-loving gamers want: brand-new, exclusive music videos that can be downloaded quickly, easily and free of charge."

"The fusion of music and video games now plays a significant role in breaking artists and enhancing the video game experience; the cross-cultivation of the two mediums helps new games and new artists thrive together," said Charlie Walk, president of Epic Records. "Through this alliance, Epic and Xbox show that we are in one business - exciting young adults and leading them to the art of discovery."

Xbox Live subscribers are now able to download content directly from Xbox Live Marketplace for free, including music videos and exclusive interviews, for the first year. It is not known whether there will be a charge beyond the first trial year.

Of equal concern is storage capacity - the Xbox 360 ships with "only" 20GB of hard drive capacity. This might sound plenty for save games and mini games like Geometry Wars but in this new era of high definition content, it actually isn't all that much. We downloaded the 720p version of Bedingfield's music video last night and it was a mighty 222MB; at just over 4 minutes long, you're looking at nearly one megabyte per second.

Playable demos delivered over Xbox Live, such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted can be up to 500MB each. Add in one's own music collection ripped directly onto the console from audio CD and filling the hard drive doesn't seem that far fetched. Of course, should that happen, one can always add a secondary external hard drive thanks to the on-board USB 2.0 slots.

We want to know your thoughts - will this deal usher in a new wave of rich media that can only enhance the Xbox 360 ownership experience, or is this another cynical move to get users hooked on content, only to then start charging for it? Cast your vote in our News Discussion forum.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rant: Blogger is still having problems :(

Sorry guys, it's still not yet up even if you can view this blog. I am having trouble re-posting some of the items I have.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Overclock: Overclocking the Intel® Pentium® 4 506 Processor

I actually finished testing all these stuff for quite some time but I haven't uploaded all the necessary files on the server as well as on the CPU-Z Validation database. So now that I have time, I uploaded all the files and uploaded the review material on my hosting. The processor is quite good, suicide shot at 4GHz at stock voltage and stock fan.

The Intel® Pentium® 4 506 Processor is based on 90nm technology, sporting the Prescot core on the LGA775 package. As many enthusiasts will noticed, this processor core is not the latest release, in fact, it's been in the market for quite a while. However this is also the very reason to have a look and see on how this core matures and performs under overclocking stress.

Primarily geared on the mainstream market, it is designed to deliver performance across usages—such as image processing, video content creation, games and multimedia—where end-users can truly appreciate the performance. It has great features for digital home computing, such as support for EM64T to enable the system to address more than 4GB of system memory and advance security functionality thru Execute Disable Bit that can prevent certain classes of malicious "buffer overflow" attacks when combined with a supporting operating system.

Source:Overclocking the Intel® Pentium® 4 506 Processor

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tech Link (Overclock): Geil Adds Voltage from Outside

Well this is a good news. Might not be something "new" since I've seen and used to be an OCZ DDR Booster user back in the s478 days, but still, this makes one think about GeIL*'s dedication to the enthusiast community. I have always been a fan of GeIL ever since I first laid hands on my trusty Value-RAM when DDR400 was very tough to find.

Geil Adds Voltage from Outside

It is not a secret that one of the problems that the memory module makers, who overclock their products to the maximum, have is insufficient supply of power to the memory slots. The manufacturers have tried to improve the situation in various ways: OCZ introduced special device that improves the quality of power for memory modules as well as allows to put higher voltage, whereas other memory module vendors worked with companies like Asustek Computer to improve memory power supply circuitries.

Geil went further! It added special power connector to its memory modules to allow them to operate at up to 3.0V voltage. It is unclear for how long memory modules can survive under these circumstances, but it is evident that with such a high overvoltage it is possible to expect maximum overclockability, provided that you have a high-performance power supply.

Currently the external voltage regulator for memory modules is still a concept and the company does not discuss speed-bins of products featuring the technology.

It is interesting to note that OCZ has already attempted to increase voltage for memory modules with its DDR booster, moreover, the company has patent pending on external power supply for memory modules.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tech Link (Motherboard): Albatron Does Über-Overclocking and Lifetime Warranty

First, the Intel® Core™ Duo onslaught. Now, the Conroe invasion continues. Traditional VRM seems to be going the way of the dodo with the dawn of digital VRM, paving the way for a cleaner socket area. The dual ATX connector is a killer, with a 7-phase cpu power circuit.

Albatron Does Über-Overclocking and Lifetime Warranty

Albatron has been around for some years now, but being a relatively small company it is not easy to attract a lot of attention of performance-demanding users as companies like Asustek put tremendous amounts of efforts into publicity. As a result of that Albatron has been practically absent from high-margin market of enthusiast-class products so far. In an attempt to actually sell something that attracts performance fans Albatron has developed a mainboard featuring digital clock-generator and very advanced microprocessor power supply circuitry.

The new PX975X motherboard is based on the Intel 975X chipset, has amazing amount of special features and comes with another unique feature for the mainboard market: it has lifetime warranty.

Source:X-Bit Labs

Article: Intel® Desktop Board D945GTP Review (Mature for Business Segment)

Second Intel®-branded board I reviewed so far. I am pretty impressed by this board. If you are looking into mass deployment of business PC, then give this motherboard a look. The warranty and support is top notch as always, what you would expect out of Intel®.

VI. Overclocking

While I doubt that there will be overclocking on the business PC, I still ventured into this just to show the capability of this motherboard. As such, overclocking non-Extreme-Series or non Enthusiast-type Intel®-based motherboard is somewhat of a pain. But nevertheless, that didn't stop me from finding ways to squeeze performance out of this board. Overclocking this board transports me back in the days, where you need to be really very careful of the minute details every step of the way. Still, it will overclock just as ok with any other board if anyone will find the trick to doing it. I manage to hit a stable 250FSB.

Full Scoop:Intel® Desktop Board D945GTP Review (Mature for Business Segment)

Brag: Finally installed Intel® Core™ Duo T2500

Whew, after trying to find parts in and outside of the country, I finally got all the parts and completed installation of operating system for my MoDT (Mobile on Desktop). The engineering sample system seems to be holding up just fine, and is so quiet to run, I can't even hear any noise coming out from it.
The system has the following specs:
Intel® Core™ Duo T2500
OEM Motherboard based on Mobile i945G Chipset
2GB (2x1024MB) of SO-DIMM DDR2 (Adata)
80GB 2.5" Fujitsu SATA Mobile Hard Drive
OEM TV Tuner
10/100MB LAN
GMA950 Graphics

I haven't run any benchmarks yet, trying to figure out the drivers is always a challenge for ES parts. I'll try to run it as soon as I got time, but right now, I'm more concerned about functionality, usability, stability and reliability of this product. Supportability will come in next, then maybe, I can run benchmark and overclock the baby too =). Check out the CPU-Z validated link here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Intel "Snowgrass" -- NAND Flash For Your Motherboard

I still don't know the other details of the implementation of this exciting product but DailyTech have some scoop on the mobile front, and some details regarding the implementation on the desktop.

But if this becomes really affordable for the masses, it can redefine the way we use our systems, doing very fast boot up of PC. It is safe to assume that if implemented properly, this will certainly a boon for the enthusiasts. And if this becomes cheap, it'll become so popular for the masses. And if this becomes rock bottom cheap, and technology matures, who knows, it can be integrated as a PC "stock" component.

Solid-state storage finally comes into mass production; although prices are still sky-high

Last week at IDF, we reported that Intel's next major mobile platform, called Santa Rosa, will feature NAND flash memory technology in order to allow devices to startup and execute programs. This technology, dubbed Robson, will improve boot times, reduce paging and be used as a general buffer between storage devices and system memory.

Interestingly, Intel also mentioned that Robson will have a version for desktop computers called Snowgrass. The technology is currently in the works and is planned to be released after Robson. Motherboard makers will have designs that contain a slot designed to take a Snowgrass NAND module. This opens the door for users to customize their motherboards with various sizes of modules for whatever purposes they choose, and also allows the ability to upgrade NAND as it gets less and less expensive. Remember when L2 cache used to sit on the motherboard?

Intel's current Snowgrass specification calls for a modular design, but it now appears that motherboard makers have the option of integrating the technology directly on board. There is no word yet on capacities, but for Snowgrass or Robson to really have any value over the purchase of a faster hard drive, we would have to speculate that the cost of such a module cost less than a few gigabytes of system memory. We would not be surprised if Robson and Snowgrass have similar price points and capacities as USB NAND at the time of launch. Today, 4GB pen drives using NAND flash memory cost approximately $100.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Tech Link (Cooler): Intel invents 5GHz stock cooler

Special thanks to dulber for reminding me to post this news item. It's a bit old, a few days off news posting, but still a very nice tidbits for the fanboys. I haven't heard or seen any other official announcements about this, but if I do see anything "public", then rest assured it'll be posted here.
Image owned byt Bit-Tech

Intel has created a self-contained watercooling unit that will enable the latest Pentium Extreme Edition chips to hit 5GHz with ease.

The cooler has come out of Intel's engineering department, which is staffed with a bunch of enthusiasts who have been trying to push the envelope at Intel to try and get the firm to move away from its 'overclocking is bad, mmmkay' stance.

And oh, good news about this (aside from getting a kick-ass watercooler) is that it's relatively cheap ($50 less). On a sidenote, I think I saw THG posted something about this quite some time ago (a year or two maybe)...


Tech Link (Processor): Intel® Pentium® D 805 vs X2 3800+

I can not understand a word in there, but I think the graph is a good universal language. Seems like the cheaper and lower-rated Intel® Pentium® D 805 goes toe-to-toe with the more expensive Athlon64* X2 3800+. It just goes to show how crappy their performance rating is.

Anyway, I am still skeptical with the results. Not that it's a good bragging link for fanboys, but I haven't tested an Athlon64 X2 3800+. I am able to compare Athlon64 X2 4xxx+ against Intel® Celeron® D/Cedar Mill though and the results are promising, too bad, can't post it =). Anyway, the article is here and you will need a trusty translator to understand it.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Computer-On-a-Stick™

If you aren't into making your own USB stick as mentioned by THG here but needed to have one, then why not buy one?

The Computer-On-a-Stick (COS) is a USB Flash Drive featuring its own onboard Operating System, a Microsoft Office-compatible suite, PDF Creator, and tons more...

The Computer-On-a-Stick (COS) also boasts the powerful Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, Evolution email, and Yahoo & MSN compatible Instant Messenger for superior Internet connectivity

Plug the Computer-On-a-Stick (COS) into your PC or Laptop and instantly transform your old environment into a new and powerful secure workstation - without a hard disk!

The combination of low cost and a powerful Onboard Operating System provides users with all the benefits of a thin client solution without changing their existing PC hardware or software.

  • Use the Computer-On-a-Stick when your PC or Laptop’s existing OS slows to a crawl or even fails.

  • Use the Computer-On-a-Stick to continue working on Windows-compatible documents.

  • The Computer-On-a-Stick is compatible with files created in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Paint, and more…

  • No need to pay for expensive new software releases or upgrades $$$ !

  • View and create Adobe PDF files

  • Share a pool of office PCs or work from home without changing your own desktop each time you use the device.

  • Reduce your exposure to viruses, worms and spyware by running applications from a read-only partition on the device.

  • Connect to remote servers with secure connectivity tools, including VNC, SSH and RDP.


Rant: Wifey took off for the US of A today :(

I woke up early today with a heavy heart. Of course, I tried to conceal it, I just pretended everything is a-ok, normal, and well, nothing to be worry about. But actually, I feel really bad. I knew that she'll took off about four weeks ago, and we hurried to prepare all the necessary papers: plane tickets, hotel bookings, and other pre-requisites. It was a tough back then, knowing what we're doing is preparation for her departure, but I know that it's going to be tougher starting today.

Not that she never went on a business trip, in fact, we get used to flying outside the country at least four(4) times in a year, worst, about eight(8). But they are usually short trips, like three(3)days to a maximum of 17 days. But now, wifey's going to be flying off and will be away from home for the next 40+ days.

So this morning, when I sent her to the departure area, it was a very tough moment for me. I want to say go home soon, but then again, I knew it's tough. My babies will certainly miss her, but I guess they'll have to make do with their snotty, old father in me.

So sad....I guess if I can't stand it, I might have to fly over there as well. Crap!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Brag: Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition 955 and Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX Teaser

I have been slacking for the last months, and my toys have been left rather undisturbed. Actually, the term abandoned is much more closer to the truth rather than undisturbed. I have been slacking in terms of bragging, and posting in the forum. Life, as it seems, is always catching up with me since the new year dawned. There's just too many things to do at work and with the family, and so little time for myself. Not that it's bad though.

Anyway, I manage to get up this morning and try something different. I have been focusing on the value and mainstream boards and processors lately, and the primary reason is that these two segments is where the bulk of the users are grouped. The high-end, enthusiasts parts market is indeed growing, but hey, they already know what they are doing and while some may still look for a review, oftentimes, they just want to get down and dirty with the conclusions.

So in this blog entry, I will not go all hilly-billy with all the write ups, and just go directly with the teaser post. Why teaser? Well, it's not the peak overclock of this board and processor, it's just an untweaked, no voltage bump, unmodded, running on stock fan overclock with an Intel®-provided overclocking software. Now imagine how this combo will perform with the right people, and right tools such as watercooling, phase change, Clockgen and the likes.

I just want to add that some might notice the low clock frequency overclock. It is because I underclock it by changing the multiplier to 12, to see how far I can go with the motherboard chipset. This is certainly not the peak overclock for the procesor, and the motherboard still have a lot of tweakable options in it. And the great thing is that, you can tweak the following without needing an Engineering Sample: CPU, RAM, and Chipset, FSB, and PCIe voltage; CPU multiplier, RAM timing and ratio, boostrap, and many more. Nice for Intel® to finally make the lives of tweakers a lot more better eh?

Hmm, maybe If I don't become a lazy bum again, I might post a Conroe and Conroe XE results (assuming, I'll get a "go" for posting it). Anyway no more babbling for for me and here is the quick and dirty overclock.

>-> CPU-Z Validation Overclock:Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition 955 and Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX Overclock

>-> CPU-Z Validation Stock:Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition 955 and Intel® Desktop Board D975XBX Stock

Friday, March 10, 2006

Article: Intel® Desktop Board D101GGC Review (Embracing 3rd Party Chipset?) - Part III

I have finally brought up the third and final part of the review of this motherboard. I have been procrastinating, and wasn't really able to post this last and I believe, important part of the review. I have been excited in posting the earlier results of the review, so I just went ahead and post the first two parts. You can read the articles here (Part I) and here (Part II). Go ahead and read Part III to check the conclusion of the article.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I am able to bump clock speed. I manage to hit a very stable and healthy 1.2GHz above the stock clock speed. Now, this is a very respectable speed. Why? Because without any kind of voltage tweak, no option in the BIOS, running on a stock fan, I am only using a 320w super old Delta Electronics power supply on a cheap chassis. The benchmark results are nothing to sneeze at as well as it offered tremendous increase in performance. The motherboard also allows a cheaper processor such as this Intel® Pentium® 4 506 to perform beyond its current capabilities. If you have any doubts about the screenshot, here's the validation link. With a 2.66GHz processor to a 3.8GHz processor on a supposedly non-overclockable board, I can't complain!

Source:Article: Intel® Desktop Board D101GGC Review (Embracing 3rd Party Chipset?) - Part III

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): "We benchmark FEAR on Conroe"

A short article is posted over at bit-tech. It's a nice little write up, though they seem to show some skepticism about Conroe's performance. Well, they never really said anything bad, I guess they just want to play safe or maybe they are just AMDroids not wanting to earn the wrath of AMDFanboys ;)...after all, AMDFanBoys have been used to comparing X2 4xxx+ vs any of Chipzilla's chips (which, any of the CPUs right now aren't equally match. Always compare GHz vs PR boyz)!
Image owned by bit-tech

We managed to grab some time with a Conroe machine that was up and running this morning.

Intel would only run the benchmarks that have been seen elsewhere on the web for us, but we managed to sneak a quick go at FEAR and we configured it the way we like it, before being marched onwards.

Our previous CPU reviews have all utilised a FEAR demo running at 640x480, with no graphical candy, to get straight down to CPU performance without being graphics bound. We configured the Conroe system to do the same, and were pretty gobsmacked with the result.

The system we looked at had a 2.6GHz CPU with DDR2-667 RAM, which - when Conroe finally launches - will be a mainstream part. New Extreme Edition chips will be clocked up at 3GHz and over, using a 1.33GHz bus and DDR2-800 RAM. The graphics cards were dual X1900s in CrossFire.

(Yes, we felt the pain of running X1900 CrossFire at 640x480, don't worry).

We also used an Intel configured AMD system, which was a 2.6GHz FX-60 overclocked to 2.8GHz and configured with low latency DDR400 memory.

The Conroe result speaks for itself, pretty much - we've included our own reference lab numbers from back home for comparison.

Of course, we'll take these results with a pinch of salt until we get to play with our own systems in the labs, which Intel has intimated will be sooner rather than later. We can't wait!

Discuss these results in the forums!

Disclaimer: Let's just make sure we understand something here: this was a quick benchmark, grabbed in a room, with systems that we didn't control the set up of. We are not presenting these numbers as defining (unlike some other sites): just as an interesting look at what we might be able to expect. Please don't over analyse them.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Brag: Conroe Rocks! Welcome to the Dark Side!

Expand to see ownage of the Dark Side!

Nuff Said!

Sorry, I just have to let it out! =)

Tech Link (Technology): Energy-Efficient, High Performing and Stylish Intel–Based Computers to Come with Intel® Core™ Microarchitecture

Kinda long for a header eh? Well, that's what Chipzilla have on their web so I guess that will do. Anyway, if you don't know what it is, it's the successor to Chipzilla's Netburst* technology. The main point and emphasis of this new marchitecture is performance/watt, or Chipzilla puts it, "Energy Efficient".

There are some websites that has been covering it already. Over at AMDtech, they have started a series of article postings already. THG have tidbits of news, but no particular focus yet (hey, they do have Intel® Core™ Duo on desktop article). Over at TechReport, they have posted some nice short info as well, I'm sure they'll look into it more as is the usual for the site. At the time of this posting, I haven't seen anything yet from XBitLabs, Viperlair, Hardcorware, and HardOCP (though they have link).

Anyway, here's the official news from Intel®.

Energy-Efficient, High Performing and Stylish Intel–Based Computers to Come with Intel® Core™ MicroarchitectureINTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, San Francisco, Calif., March 7, 2006 – Intel Corporation today disclosed details of its forthcoming Intel® Core™ microarchitecture, a new industry–leading foundation for Intel”s multi–core server, desktop and mobile processors for computers later this year. The first Intel Core microarchitecture products built on Intel”s advanced 65nm process technology will deliver higher–performing, yet more energy–efficient processors that spur more stylish, quieter and smaller mobile and desktop computers and servers that can reduce electricity and real–estate associated costs, and provides critical capabilities such as enhanced security, virtualization and manageability for consumers and businesses.

Justin Rattner, Intel Senior Fellow and chief technology officer, explained that the Intel Core microarchitecture is the foundation for delivering greater energy–efficient performance first seen in the Intel® Core™ Duo processor. It builds on the power–saving philosophy begun with the Mobile Intel® Pentium®–M processor microarchitecture and greatly expands it, incorporating many new and leading–edge innovations as well as existing Intel® Pentium® 4 processor technologies such as wide data pathways and streaming instructions. Intel expects processors based on the Intel Core microarchitecture, using Intel”s industry–leading 65nm manufacturing technology, to start shipping in the third quarter of 2006.

“The Intel Core microarchitecture is a milestone in enabling scalable performance and energy efficiency,” said Rattner. “Later this year it will fuel new dual–core processors and quad–core processors in 2007 that we expect to deliver industry leading performance and capabilities per watt. People will see systems that can be faster, smaller and quieter with longer battery life and lower electric bills.”

In his keynote, Rattner showed how the Conroe desktop processor could provide roughly a 40 percent boost in performance and a 40 percent decrease in power as compared to Intel”s current high–performing Intel® Pentium® D 950 processor.** He also discussed significant gains in the Enterprise and Mobile areas as well.

Enhancing Users” Experiences
By providing higher performance, greater energy efficiency and more responsive multitasking, the Intel Core microarchitecture will enhance users” experiences in all environments – in homes, businesses, and on the go. “ In the home, these include higher performing, ultra–quiet, sleek and low–power computer designs, and new advances in more sophisticated, user–friendly entertainment systems.

For businesses, it will reduce space, cooling requirements and electrical demand in server data centers, as well as increase responsiveness, productivity and energy efficiency across client and server platforms.
For mobile users, the Intel Core microarchitecture means responsive computing performance combined with leading battery life in a variety of small form factors that enable world–class computing “on the go.”

Other Keynote Speakers at IDF
Rattner also outlined the other Intel executive keynotes that followed his opening presentation: Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president, general manager, Digital Enterprise Group on how Intel will build on the Intel Core microarchitecture to deliver superior computing performance and power efficiency for PCs, servers and the core of the network infrastructure while reducing the total cost of IT ownership; Sean Maloney, executive vice president, general manager, Mobility Group on Intel”s mobile future, highlighting new innovations in mobile devices and broadband wireless technology; and Don MacDonald, vice president, general manager, Digital Home Group on how Intel® Viiv™ technology is emerging as the foundation for a digital home where consumers can access their entertainment anytime, anywhere, on their choice of devices.

New Intel® Core™ Microarchitecture Features
Several advances mark the new microarchitecture:

Intel® Wide Dynamic Execution –– Delivers more instructions per clock cycle, improving execution and energy efficiency. Every execution core is wider, allowing each core to complete up to four full instructions simultaneously using an efficient 14–stage pipeline.
Intel® Intelligent Power Capability –– Includes features that further reduce power consumption by intelligently powering on individual logic subsystems only when required.
Intel® Advanced Smart Cache –– This includes a shared L2 cache to reduce power by minimizing memory traffic and increase performance by allowing one core to utilize the entire cache when the other core is idle.
Intel® Smart Memory Access –– Yet another feature that improves system performance by hiding memory latency and thus optimizing the use of data bandwidth out to the memory subsystem.
Intel® Advanced Digital Media Boost –– Now all 128–bit SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 instructions execute within only one cycle. This effectively doubles the execution speed for these instructions which are used widely in multimedia and graphics applications.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Press Release: OCZ Technology Group Continues to Push the Envelop with the World's First Reduced Latency 1GHz Memory

Seems like my favorite RAM manufacturer is far from slowing down in serving the enthusiasts crowd. It has been known that OCZ manufactures great RAM for the niche market, but even so, despite the many competition, the only way forward for OCZ is to continue to ramp up. They have very good products, at a very competitive price. Of course, their enthusiasts-kind-of product comes at a price. Anyway, now that the other CPU manufacturer will also be supporting DDR2, I'm sure AMDroids will also ride the tide and rave how this is also a good memory, crap.

OCZ Technology Group Continues to Push the Envelop with the World's First Reduced Latency 1GHz Memory

Sunnyvale, CA—March 6, 2006—OCZ Technology Group, a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today announced the release of the fastest memory product available on the market—a new DDR2 series capable of 1000MHz (1GHz) speeds at CAS 4 latency (4-5-4). The PC2-8000 DDR2 Platinum XTC Extreme Edition was designed to be the ultimate memory solution for today’s PC enthusiasts that demand leading-edge PC hardware.

OCZ Technology, upholding a legacy of innovation and commitment to the enthusiast, developed the new PC2-8000 Platinum XTC series to advance next generation platforms to the next performance level, ensuring enthusiasts are not restricted by the limitations of their memory. No other company offers CAS 4 latency at 1GHz, making these ground-breaking modules the industry's fastest memory.

The new 1GHz DDR2 series will be available in two latency variations; At DDR2-1000, the PC2-8000 Platinum XTC Edition operates at exceptional 5-5-5-15 timings, whereas the PC2-8000 Platinum XTC Extreme Edition is rated at the unprecedented timings of 4-5-4-15. Both parts are offered in capacities ranging from 512MB modules to 2GB (2x1024) dual channel kits.

"We are proud to carry on our tradition of achieving both latency and speed breakthroughs," said Ryan Petersen, CEO, OCZ Technology. "While our dedication and focus has always been to produce high-performance products for PC enthusiasts, our new PC2-8000 Platinum XTC Extreme Edition is not just a product aimed solely at PC enthusiasts, but a ground-breaking solution that will lead the industry to produce DDR2 platforms that showcase the performance strengths of DDR2 as a technology."

The unique design used in the award winning XTC heatspreaders optimizes the thermal management of memory modules by promoting greater airflow than conventional heatspreader designs. All OCZ Technology memory is backed by an industry-leading Lifetime Warranty and direct Technical Support.

For more information on the new PC2-8000 Platinum products, please visit our product pages here.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Tech Link (MoDT): Yonah on Napa: Mac Mini exposed

Even before the product is released to the market, FUGGER dismantled and upgraded his toy to show us the innards! He even replaced the processor with a much higher rated one!

Apple Mini Mac Core Solo:
1.5Ghz single core Intel mobile CPU
512MB DDR2 SODIMM, Micron D9 based 667Mhz 5-5-5-15
60GB SATA hard drive Seagate Technologies
Model Number:ST96812AS
Capacity:60 GB
Speed:5400 rpm
Seek time:12.5 ms avg
Interface:SATA 1.5Gb/s
Matshita CD-RW Model 8124
Intel ICH7-M ACHI 1.5G
Intel High Definition Audio :clap:
Firewire 400MB/s
108G Airport Extreme
Intel GMA 950 onboard graphics 64MB shared
USB 4 ports built in, one high speed.

Parts to be Installed:
Intel Yonah 2.16 Core Duo
1GB Centon DDR2 Elpida based.


Brag: Providing Visitor "LAN" at the Home

I have been getting similar questions from friends on how I deployed a "Visitor" or "Guest" access at my home. While there are many ways to do it, and I do find it very simple, still, many of my friends were not able to readily grasp the idea or just lazy to think about how I did it even if I did shared it already.

It's amazing how this is becoming "mainstream", at least, in the circle of friends that I belong with. Back in 2000 (or was it 2001?), when I first got my engineering sample of WiFi Access Point from Symbols Technology, my wife had no idea that she can work from her bed, without getting chained from our phone line cable. Indeed, WiFi broke the chain, and while wifey and I never had problems using the phone line, once we get hooked to the Wireless arena, we can't believe how easy and convinient it is. And even shared a slow 56k connection back then =)

Nowadays, broadband provider has been touting cheap and reasonable connection. It brought the idea of a Digital Home to an even broader segment. Back then, I was bragging to my wife that we're the only one in our subdivision that has WiFi; and we're the only one that has a central storage at home, and back then, we're the only one that, well, can share the Internet with one phone line! But now, almost everyone I know is doing sharing one way or another. The easily available routers makes sure that it's mainstream.

Now my friends expect each, at least in our circle, that we have broadband access and that if they/we visit a friend's location, that we can still be on-line. Sharing the broadband is ok, but ensuring that our own file server is still safe is another thing. Sure, WEP and other security measures can be provided, but when you have friends visiting you, sometimes they will not allow to have changes on their laptop and that's understandable. So I often ended up opening a "hole" just for them. Anyway, I figure since they visit me from time to time, why not just make a "guest" access similar to what can be found on some of the hotspots around the world, specially in airports.

So I just implemented my own dedicated "Visitor" LAN, where I don't have to frequently make adjustments to my own security systems, and my friends can also get online without me prying up their connectivity settings. Like I mentioned earlier, there many ways to do that, but my friends, knowing I did a "Visitor" LAN, had problems implementing it even if they know the idea.

So in the next few weeks, as soon as I am done reviewing about five(5) more motherboards, I may start doing the short article and share it :) the meantime, you can also share how you did yours or planning to do your. You can share your idea at the forum

Brag: Exclusive Training for FanBoys

I mentioned last week that there will be a free training for the Fanboys. I apologize for the delay in posting the details, but I would like to emphasize that there is definitely no "hidden" agenda and "no catch" about the provided free training.

The training will allow users, to experience the power of newer Intel® products such as those based on the latest Intel® Pentium® D Processor desktops, and Intel® Centrino® mobile technology notebooks.

The course outline is as follows:

Course Level: Basic; Hands On
Duration: 2 hours & 45 minutes

Course Outline

  1. Getting Started With Your Windows PC

    • Set-up and Configuration

    • Activating You PC’s Security Features

    • Familiarization with a PCs Basic Features

    • Creating a simple online presence for your business

  2. Practical Office Applications for Your Business

    • Office Suite

    • Business Productivity Applications

    • Inventory Tracker

    • AR/AP Tracker

    • Cash Flow Tracker

    • Others (to be discussed)

  3. Review, Evaluation and Q&A

The training schedule will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 09:00AM to 12:00PM. There is no entrance fee, whatsoever. A maximum of 10people per session can make avail of the training, and it will be on a first-come-first-serve-basis.

For non Intel® fanboys, you can still visit and play around, but be respectful and mindful of the training. You will be given equal treatment, in fact, your preference in "branding" and manufacturer will not be of question.

In the future, I might post or even hold, a training session for LAN Shop Owners on how to better implement protection on their machines, easy deployment of operating system, and quick recovery of iCafe machines.

If you have questions, feel free to visit the forum and I'll try to answer them. You can also use the Shoutbox for quick one-liners.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Kenwood*'s USB-equipped Car Stereo

Kenwood* has exciting new products, featuring USB ports to enable USB flash media as storage device for music. While it's a common thing in the PC world, I haven't seen anything like it implemented on cars!

While the webs site never really clarified the kind of music playable on the USB, I would assume that most common standards will be playable at least, such as MP3 and WMA. The car stereo is also iPod*-ready, and should be a boon for those who love iPod*, and would like pimp their car (with the new car stereo) parading with their friends and peers showing how uber the new toy is: "Hey, guys want a ride? Want to show off my cool car stereo. I can plug in my 1GB USB Flash Drive with techno music. And oh, did I mention it's Bluetooth and iPod ready? Oh, I'm so cool!".

Over at Kenwood*, I saw three(3) models, all of them are Double-DIN type car stereos, and have varying features. The models are (top, mid, mainstream): DPX701, DPX501, DPX301.

Anyway, I guess I will prefer my old Audio CD playback if ever I manage to get one, after all, I still like to hear the raw, uncompressed (relatively speaking) music on my optical media. Of course, it's great to have such options for quick, manageable, and very portable music on the road.

Check it out at the link provided below. The site is getting a massive hitting right now, so you may want to reload it from time to time if you can't get acces.

Source:Kenwood USA