Saturday, September 30, 2006

Brag: My Bad Axe 2 and a secret CPU

I guess I can call this month as a bragging month. I have been able to take a CPU-Z of my server CPU on the Bad Axe 2 motherboard. There's not much to see so there's no need to expand. You can click on the image to be teleported to the validation link. That is all FanBoyz!

Tech Link (Processor): Quad Cores: Intel Kentsfield Preview

AMDTech is on a reviewing spree of Chipzilla processors. They have soon turned colors again, from Green to Blue, you know, like how "balimbing" always does. In any case, they are still marked as AMDTech judging at how they used to throw stones against Chipzilla, always saying how FSB is a bottleneck bla-bla.

If anything, it is A* that has not improved much, just "bolting" the memory controller is not enough and Chipzilla proves that even with the "bottlenecked" FSB (yeah, right), processors can still do a lot lot better. Watch out for even more performance improvement features from Chipzilla, such as this Quad Core!!!! Don't worry FanBoyz, I'll post one up too, it's just that my Bad Axe 2 motherboard is giving me headaches (ha, the fun working with engineering samples). Expand for more...

Closing Thoughts

With only a 266MHz difference in clock speed, the new Core 2 Extreme QX6700 isn't too hard of a choice to make. When Intel introduces a lower cost 2.40GHz Core 2 Quad version, things may get a little more complicated, but at the very high end we would rather have four slightly slower cores than two slightly faster cores. We expect that there will be some improvements in multitasking performance, especially if you have a decently fast I/O setup, and don't forget the performance boost you'll get in well threaded applications.

The first quad-core CPUs will be available in November of this year, with more affordable offerings being introduced early next year. Building on top of the already excellent performance of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, Intel's quad-core solutions will offer a very attractive upgrade path for those users that have invested in the right motherboards today. We're currently working on putting together a list of all currently shipping motherboards that will support Kentsfield to best help you plan for a more upgrade-friendly machine, and we will have the initial list available later today.

Source:Quad Cores: Intel Kentsfield Preview

Friday, September 29, 2006

Rant: Super Typhoon "Milenyo" (International Name: Xangsane) > Me :(

Crap, nationwide blackout ensures that I don't have power, hence, no connection to Internet. While my mobile phone is fully charged and can connect to the net, mobile operator's services are also down, making my mobile a cute paperweight (still useful as flashlight during the night). So yeah, I'll cheat a bit and make back-track posting to fill up the gap. However, expect slow update till I finally got everything back to normal. For now, mending the house and fixing broken house parts is top priority.

In case you are wondering how come I still made a posting today, well, I ran to the office to check email and send notice to my co-workers about my status. I figure, I'll post my updates here while I still can, yay!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Intel pledges 80 cores in five years

Umm, ok, I don't know what to say. For sure, FanBoyism wise, 80cores is great. For sure, it has its place with high end computing and when I say high end, it's the stuff that scientists do, you know, the geek people and not just your high-end gamer. I would have preferred lesser cores but hey, I'm just a simple desktop FanBoy so I am limiting myself here. In any case, if you are ready for some info, go ahead and expand this article posted over at c|net News.

CEO Paul Otellini held up a silicon wafer with the prototype chips before several thousand attendees at the Intel Developer Forum here Tuesday. The chips are capable of exchanging data at a terabyte a second, Otellini said during a keynote speech. The company hopes to have these chips ready for commercial production within a five-year window.

Intel uses its twice-yearly conference to educate developers on its long- and short-term plans. Over three days, hardware developers and partners get a chance to interact with Intel employees and take classes on new technologies.

Source:Intel pledges 80 cores in five years

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Brag: My Yonah...

So I figure, "I posted Merom, why not post Yonah as well?". So there, another brag post from the official FanBoy of this site, yay (many called me that in an effort to "hurt me", sadly, they failed miserably, I'm even proud to be one!). This Yonah is really a nifty processor, very very cool. Compared to Merom in terms of temperature, I really can't tell which is cooler. In terms of acoustics/fan noise, both performs equally. Performance wise, well, I guess I'll put it thru the hoops and see the difference and/or similarity.

Press Release: Intel CEO: Silicon Advances Usher in new era of energy efficient performance

Remember when I said to watch out for Intel's announcment today? Well this is the day, and you just have to hand it to Intel, when they say they are serious about making FanBoys (and the rest of the world excluding AMDroids) happy, they really mean and they really put their mind, and body to it. And they really want to make the enthusiast to shift to their high end processors, delivering the new Intel® Core™2 Extreme quad-core processor first in November followed by mainstream versions of quad-core processors by next year.

You can read infos about these new processors at THG and AMDTech. At the time of posting, I haven't seen XbitLabs, NordicHardware, or [H]ardOCP posting news bit about this launching. I haven't checked other sites such as ZDNet though. In any case, to read the full press launch rather than the news bits from site, expand this article. And oh, don't forget to visit their new pumped up site.

Otellini Highlights New Quad Core Microprocessors, 45nm Manufacturing, and Teraflop Chip Prototype

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 26, 2006 – Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini outlined the company’s plan to accelerate its technology leadership and told thousands of developers and engineers gathered here that advances in silicon technology will deliver new performance breakthroughs in an era of energy-efficient computing. Otellini also disclosed that Intel will ship the world’s first quad-core processors for PCs and high-volume servers in November and provided new details related to Intel’s industry-leading 65nm and 45nm manufacturing technologies.

“The industry is going through the most profound shift in decades, moving to an era where performance and energy efficiency are critical in all market segments and all aspects of computing,” Otellini said. “The solution begins with the transistor and extends to the chip and platform levels.”

Citing recent trends, Otellini showed how processing power is becoming more relevant than ever. The advent of new operating systems, more lifelike games, online video and high- definition video continue to drive the need for more processing power. A single You Tube™ stream today will hobble a PC from just a few years ago, said Otellini. “As we move to high definition video, users will need eight times greater performance just for encoding.”

“More than ever processing power matters, even as the need to reduce heat, extend battery life, and reduce electricity costs in data centers becomes more critical,” said Otellini. “Silicon technology is at the heart of the solution. It is how we get there.”

Intel Core™ Microarchitecture Products
When it comes to performance and energy efficiency, Intel’s new Core micro-architecture and flagship Intel® Core™2 Duo processor have set a new standard for the industry, Otellini said. He showed where Core2 Duo benchmarks led across a wide range of applications and said it was now the fastest-ramping product in the company’s history, with 5 million units shipped since it was introduced less than 60 days ago.

“With Core2 Duo we have the best performance, from the thinnest notebook to dual processor servers, and we are very pleased with the way this product is ramping.”

Otellini went on to discuss new details around the company’s plan for delivering the industry’s first quad core processors for PCs and high-volume servers. The first processor, targeted at gamers and content creators, will be shipped in November and be called the Intel® Core™2 Extreme quad-core processor. It will feature a dramatic 70 percent performance improvement over today’s Intel Core2 Extreme processor.* The company’s mainstream quad-core processor will be shipped in the first quarter of 2007 and will be called the Intel® Core™2 Quad processor. For servers, the Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processor 5300 series brand for dual processor servers will be shipped this year, and a new low-power 50-watt Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processor L5310 for blade servers that will be shipped in the first quarter of 2007.

Silicon Process and Manufacturing Technology
Performance and energy efficiency “all start with the transistor” he said, describing Intel’s legacy of advancing Moore’s Law and its industry-leading silicon technology and manufacturing capability. Intel was the first to implement advanced 65nm silicon manufacturing technology in 2005, integrating power-saving features into the process that were critical to delivering power-efficiency at the transistor level. Otellini said the company is now officially shipping the majority of its processors on 65nm, before any other company had even shipped a single production unit.

Looking ahead, Intel’s next-generation 45nm technology is on track for production in the second half of 2007 as planned, and Otellini disclosed for the first time that the company has 15 45nm products already in development across desktop, mobile, and enterprise segments. The first of these products is on track to complete its design in the fourth quarter of this year. He described the company’s extensive 45-nm factory network with more than 500,000 square feet of clean room space and more than $9 billion invested.

Sustained Leadership
Otellini estimated that the “cadence” of these manufacturing process technologies which follow Moore’s Law, coupled with Intel’s plans to introduce new micro-architectures about every 2 years, will result in significant performance-per-watt improvement over today’s Core micro-architecture products by 2010. He showed a chart that mapped out new micro-architectures coming in 2008 (code-named Nehalem and targeted at 45nm) followed by another in 2010 (code-named Gesher and targeted at 32nm). These new micro architectures will be developed by separate teams working in parallel, and targeted for intersection with specific future process technologies.

“By the end of the decade we will deliver a 300 percent increase in performance per watt over today’s processors,” he said. “This improved power and performance will enable developers and manufacturers to develop systems with incredibly exciting new capabilities.”

To demonstrate how Moore’s Law will continue well into the future with amazing potential, Otellini showed a new research prototype processor that has 80 floating point cores on a single die. The tiny silicon die on this experimental chip, just 300mm², is capable of achieving a Teraflop of performance, or 1 trillion floating point operations per second. He contrasted this with Intel’s historic breakthrough 11 years ago with the world’s first Teraflop supercomputer, a massive machine powered by nearly 10,000 Pentium Pro processors in more than 85 large cabinets occupying about 2,000 square feet.

Innovation and the Intel® Core™ 2 Challenge
In the first ever appearance of an Apple executive at IDF, Otellini was joined on stage by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing who discussed how Apple has been able to innovate with sleek form factors and leverage the Intel Core family of processors across their entire computing product line. Rackable Systems CEO Thomas Barton also joined Otellini to talk about how his company is accelerating a significant shift to the Intel Core

Microarchitecture, starting with the Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor 5100 Series that began shipping in July. Barton also showed a system featuring what he said was a new a record - 320 cores in a single 22 unit high server rack - using the upcoming Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 series processors.

On innovation, Otellini challenged the computing and consumer electronics industry to do more, to take advantage of the energy-efficient performance capabilities of Core 2 Duo processors. To do this, Otellini announced the Intel® Core™2 Processor Challenge, a contest that will award up to $1 million in prizes to the PC designer or manufacturer that builds the smallest and most stylish PCs powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor coupled with Intel® Viiv™ technology, Intel’s premium brand for in-home, media-optimized PCs.

New Growth Opportunities
Otellini also summarized the progress the company was seeing on its Intel® Viiv™ technology and Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology platforms, and said the next-generation mobile platform codenamed Santa Rosa is on track to ship next year. He said the next big “inflection point” for the industry is clearly broadband to go or “carrying broadband Internet with you.”

In this regard Intel is making significant progress with its WiMAX effort, he said, bolstered by the recent news that Sprint and Clearwire would deploy the technology. The company is also working on a new category of PCs known as the ultra-mobile PC, which Otellini said could result in devices with 10 times lower power consumption than today’s laptops by 2008.

Source:Intel CEO: Silicon Advances Usher in new era of energy efficient performance

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Intel "Kentsfield" Performance Explored

AMDTech can't control it anymore and shows some benchscores of the Kentsfield Quad Core processor. Media buffs would definitely love these babies, reducing workload and tasks in no time at all. If you are gearing up for a win, then go Kentsfield (or Conroe)! Expand for more...

Power consumption and performance explored

DailyTech has managed to snag an Intel Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro Q6600 for some in-house testing. The Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro Q6600 is clocked at 2.4 GHz with a 1066 MHz front-side bus. It’s equipped with 8MB of total L2 cache. Unlike Intel’s Conroe Core 2 Duo processors, the cache configuration of the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 is 2x4MB with each set of dual-cores sharing a single 4MB pool of L2 cache. This is because Kentsfield processors are essentially two Conroe dies fused together to form a single processor—similar to how the original Smithfield Pentium D 800 series was.

Strangely the Kentsfield Core 2 Quadro Q6600 did not support Intel’s Enhanced Speedstep Technology. Whether or not this is a result of an early engineering sample is unknown at the moment. The Core 2 Quadro Q6600 does support a C1E Halt state for decreased power consumption. Speaking of power consumption, Intel has done an excellent job optimizing power consumption for its quad-core Kentsfield.

Our power consumption measurements were conducted using a Kill-A-Watt power meter that measures the power draw of the complete system from the wall outlet. The test system consisted of:

ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 2x1GB
ATI Radeon X1900XT 512MB
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music
Silverstone ST60F 600 watt power supply
Seagate 7200.8 300GB
Windows XP Professional

Intel Kentsfield Power Consumption

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Quadro
Idle 154 198
Load 202 223

Power consumption compared to Intel’s current flagship Core 2 Extreme X6800 isn’t too bad at idle with the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 consuming 44 more watts. The higher power consumption is due to the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 lacking Intel’s Enhanced Speedstep Technology that lowers the clock speed of the processor during idle.

Power consumption under a load of 3D Studio Max 8 rendering a complex model with all four cores utilized is quite good. A total of 223 watts was drawn from the wall with the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 under load. This is quite low when compared to the Core 2 Extreme X6800 that draws around 202 watts under the same condition. We were quite surprised Intel has managed to keep power consumption relatively low with four cores.

We were able to run a few quick benchmarks with the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 as well. For comparison purposes we have a benchmarks from a Core 2 Extreme X6800 and Core 2 Duo E6600 as a reference. A real Core 2 Duo E6600 wasn’t readily available for testing so we dropped the multiplier of the Core 2 Extreme X6800 down to 9x. Performance of a real Core 2 Duo E6600 and our Core 2 Extreme X6800 clocked down to E6600 speeds should be identical.

SiSoft Sandra 2007 CPU-Arithmetic

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
22261 44522
15257 30513

SiSoft Sandra 2007 CPU Multimedia

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
132140 263973
71619 143084

Performance is as expected with SiSoft Sandra. Clock for clock the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 has nearly twice the raw performance of the Core 2 Duo E6600. This isn’t too surprising as the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 has twice as many cores.

3D Studio Max 8 Performance

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
16:45 20:20 11:00

Cinebench 9.5 Performance

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
30 17

3D Studio Max 8 scales very well with four cores, as expected. Cinebench 9.5 shows similar gains as well. The Core 2 Quadro Q6600 shows a near 2x performance increase compared to the Core 2 Duo E6600. This is quite expected, as 3D rendering applications will use all available processing power.

Windows Media Encoder 9

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
72 45

TMPG Encoder

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
486 289

Multimedia encoding performance shows modest gains considering the number of threads have doubled. This is most likely due to Windows Media Encoder 9 and TMPG Enc’s lack of multi-core optimizations. TMPG Enc still detects multi-core processors as a single Hyper Threading equipped processor and not using all four processor cores. Hopefully Microsoft and Pegasys Inc. will release updated multi-core aware versions of its applications in the future.

Quake 4

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
73.5 75.9

Serious Sam II

Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Duo
E6600 Core 2 Quadro
176.2 174

Gaming performance is as expected of quad-core. It offers nearly the same performance clock for clock as its dual core counterparts. Quake 4 with the latest patch is supposedly optimized for multi-threading shows minimal performance gains. The higher clocked Core 2 Extreme X6800 still manages to beat out the Core 2 Quadro Q6600 though. Games that aren’t multi-threaded such as Serious Sam II shows little to no difference in performance.

Overall Intel’s Kentsfield performs as expected. It will scale very well in multi-threaded applications such as 3D Studio Max, Cinebench and other 3D modeling applications or encoding applications. Unfortunately, unless the application is multi-core aware or optimized for multi-threading the performance gains are minimal if not absent. While the move to quad-core hardware may be exciting, software support is still trailing behind. Although Intel positions its quad-core Kentsfield Core 2 processors as a high-end part, the soon to be released Kentsfield Core 2 Extreme QX6700 and Core 2 Quadro Q6600 appear to be a better mid-range workstation part rather than enthusiast gamer part—especially since there’s very little overlap with the Intel Xeon 3200 series.

Source:Intel "Kentsfield" Performance Explored

Rant: Kenstfield’s Rival: AMD Athlon 64 FX-2P

Wow, AMDroids are gearing up for a screwy offerings from A*. As the uber FanBoy Rahul Sood said about "4x4" "“AMD may create a new category of enthusiast”", he is really just turning a blind eye to the fact that this so-called 4x4 is nothing but a "workstation" type of machine. Wow, innovation my a**, I'd say A* really did a good job relabeling their SMP-based system into this "4x4". As for Mr. FanBoy Rahul, well, he is still a FanBoy and covering up for A*'s behind no matter how badly beaten the freakin' A* processors are already.

AMDroids, you suck big time! Expand for more (that is, if you are not an AMDroid).

As Intel announced last week that the company plans to release Quad-core Kenstfield Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (2.66GHz/4MB L2 x2/1066MHz FSB) in Nov 2006 for enthusiastic market, AMD also got their plan on defense. This plan is so called 4x4 enthusiast platform as reported before. Here we get more information about the new platform.

4x4 enthusiast platform is simply an introduction of SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processor) of Operton from the server segment. 4 threads processing ability is accomplished by using 2 Athlon 64 FX-2P dual-core processors, very simple idea indeed. Athlon 64 FX-2P family will be released in Nov 2006 as well like Kenstfield. The first round models include Athlon 64 FX-70 (2.6GHz), FX72 (2.8GHz) and FX74 (3.0GHz). They feature Windsor core with 1MBx2 L2 cache and 125W TDP. Our first sight is that Athlon 64 FX-2P is simply the DDR2 version of Opteron 2P.

From the latest roadmap from AMD, AMD has cancelled 1P support to Athlon 64 FX, but grant the support to Athlon 64 X2. 4x4 enthusiast platform will be supported in Athlon 64 FX family. In addition, Athlon 64 FX-64 has been cancelled in the latest roadmap and the last order date of Athlon 64 FX-60 and Athlon 64 FX-62 are both in 31/12/2006.

As the 4x4 platform is high in production cost as well as not much in performance boost, the industry indicates that AMD Athlon 64 FX-2P is just a technology show off product rather that mass production product. It’s no point for a user to spend more while there is a cheaper solution for the same performance. This platform would appear to the OEM like Dell and HP only.

The roadmap tells that the hybrid Quad-core processors from AMD would appear in late 2007 or early 2008. It’s codenamed Greyhound which based on the upcoming K8L architecture. It will support DDR2/3, with shared L2 cache and packaged in AM3 interface. Although it’s a year late then Intel, the industry said AMD would not suffered a lot as quad-core they expects the growth on market is slow.

Source:Kenstfield’s Rival: AMD Athlon 64 FX-2P

Tech Link (Graphics): Fall GPU Updates : GeForce 7950 GT and Radeon X1950 XTX

GamePC has a really neat article up on their Lab Reports section. It's about the two giants in the video card gaming industry (Intel is still king in over-all graphics market share) going head on, full blast, with their high end gaming machines. You've got to read this one, the images of the video card are so real, I can almost taste it (yuuck). Expand for more.

The Final Word
Fall GPU updates are always fun, as one can get the same high-end cards which were available six months ago for far lower prices, often times with better features and more advanced cooling solutions. However, the problem here is that when fall GPU updates are released, everyone is already talking about the next-generation spring architectures, which will likely outperform today’s cards by a good margin. However, for those who are price savvy, fall GPU updates are always the way to go to get the most bang for your buck.

First off, ATI’s Radeon X1950 XTX 512 MB card is an excellent high-end product, which is capable of besting the GeForce 7900 GTX card in most benchmarks while at the same price. The Radeon X1950 XTX card now has a great low-noise cooling solution, which is not quite as silent as the 7900 GTX, but should still satisfy most people. The X1950 XTX card also has VIVO support and HDCP support, which most 7900 GTX cards don’t have, so all-in-all, ATI looks to have a better product. However, ATI’s Crossfire multi-GPU implementation still isn’t great, requiring a dedicated master card (which are still very difficult to find on the market) and a clunky external cable. However, if you’re just looking for a single high-end card, the Radeon X1950 XTX is a great option.

The GeForce 7950 GT card is an excellent card in terms of price/performance, as it’s being offered for the same price as the GeForce 7900 GT card, but now boasts improved performance with double the memory and higher clock speeds. In addition, 7950 GT cards support HDCP and many have low-noise cooling solutions attached. XFX is even shipping a completely passive (zero noise) 7950 GT card, which is quite amazing. However, given the card’s excellent power consumption numbers, it’s not incredibly mind boggling. We were disappointed with the 7950 GT’s lackluster overclocking, but in the grand scheme of things, the 7950 GT is still an excellent card for the money. We’re predicting it will be a huge hit for the fall, as the older GeForce 7900 GT and GTX cards start to fade away.

Both cards are targeted at high-end gamers, but at different price points, so we won’t directly compare them. However, at this time, it looks like nVidia still has a stronger product lineup for high-end gamers with the dual-GPU 7950 GX2 for top of the line gamers and the efficient 7950 GT card for those who don’t want to break the bank. ATI’s X1950 XTX card revives them quite a lot though, and their recent price drops on the Radeon X1900 XT cards are absolutely smoking deals, if you can stand the loud GPU cooler. To us, it looks like both companies are positioned well for the holiday battle.

Source:Fall GPU Updates : GeForce 7950 GT and Radeon X1950 XTX

Brag: Watch Out For Some Big Announcements from Intel tomorrow!

I can't spill out too many beans, but rest assure that tomorrow is a good day for the FanBoyz! Darn NDA. But hey, it's still a good thing that we're all awaiting and not spoiling the fun. It's where you get to check the tech web sites, and of course, this site, for that surprise announcement. So stay tuned and keep your eyes open!

Brag: Omigosh, Birthday Time, 9months Anniversary today

It's that time of the month again where I brag about my ability to survive the long ordeal of posting FanBoyism stuff at this site which serves nothing but as my ego-boosting site, yay. So, if you have stayed with me thru the ups and downs, thank you very much. If you are one of the AMDroids who keeps posting crap comments, you suck. If you just happen to drop by, welcome to my site. In any case, I survive and that's what matters to me the most right now.

It was never an easy task. I know, I can always let it go, but my Blog site has served me a different purpose other than a FanBoy site. This lets me capture all the important details of technology that I care or cared about. This serves me as a quick reference, faster than how I can find info on Google.

I can quickly scan the features of the new Chipzilla uA. I can back track some old information. I can cross reference different news. So, even if I feel tired updating the site sometimes (umm, make that a lot of times), I still want to keep this going. I always liked technology, but sometimes, they are just getting into my nerves lately. Whatever free time I have, I spend with my kids so that takes away time for myself I guess.

In any case, thanks for visiting the site and I wish I can reach my first year birthday before I close shop.

And oh, the obligatory hits = 32,326 to date. Assuming 31days/month for 9mos, that's 115.86hits per day. Not bad :). So long and till next time.

Tech Link (Technology): "How Much Does It Cost To Run Your PC?"

I haven't visited in a long while, so you may want to give their site a visit. I found one interesting article (which, I still have yet to read) there which is important for me: power consumption. I guess once you start paying the bills for yourself, everything happening that incurs $$$ just becomes very important and this is something I always pay attention to. In any case, whether you're a student that still lives with your parents (never feeling the burden of bills) or a provider that pays bills for your home, you may want to check this out. Expand for more..

Do you know how much it costs to run your PC each month? Until recently, I didn't. In the past, I had speculated that running my PC 24/7 may cost about 10 dollars per month. However, with increasing fuel / electricity prices, my new estimation may surprise you.

Source:"How Much Does It Cost To Run Your PC?"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tech Link (Industry): Legit Reviews Visits Intel FAB 24-2 in Ireland

If you haven't seen a Fab before, LegitReviews has an article that will show you an Intel Fab. If you are not familiar yet, a Fab is where you get to see the real bunny people. Fab is where wafers are given life, and your processors are being born in these fabs. Expand for more...

Intel Ireland includes two facilities located in Leixlip and Shannon. Intel currently employees 5,125 people at their Ireland locations and has been in operation there since 1990. Legit Reviews recently had the oppurtunity to go on a private tour inside one of the FABs over in Leixlip and we would like share that expierence with our readers. Leixlip, located in County Kildare, is a tranquil community of approximately 15,000 people located 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) northwest of Dublin, Ireland's capital. The Leixlip FABs are Intel’s largest and most advanced manufacturing facilities outside of the United States.

Source:Legit Reviews Visits Intel FAB 24-2 in Ireland

Misc: meebo One(1) Year Anniversary Pictures!

If you are a meebo user, you probably won't miss this, but if you still missed it, then click on the image to visit their anniversary pictures. The developers and creators were there, what a happy bunch they are.

I wish I can drop by, but airplane ticket is too pricey. Besides, I don't think I can manage to get there in time, even if I can due to work work work work.

If you haven't tried meebo, give it a spin, it's quite useful.

Brag: My Merom

Oh well, being so busy is such a blessing and a curse. It ensures that I still have a job, and it also ensures that I don't have time for my hobby, yay! So I guess, I prefer my job than my hobby so yeah, that's it. Anyway, I am playing with some Merom lovin' build.

It's a nice little system. It's not so small really, it's a Merom on a full ATX board. I'll post more information as soon as I have some time. I even put it in Crossfire mode and played some serious games such as FarCry and Doom3 (yeah, old titles). I haven't tried Oblivion but I am guessing it will be ok as far as memory, cpu and motherboard is concerned but I am not sure about my Crossfire GPU.

So till next posting, standby for my short write up, assuming, I manage to squeeze some time.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tech Link (Motherboard): ASUS P5W DH Deluxe

[H] posted a nice article about a motherboard that is "old" but "new". The chipset is "old" but support for processor and features are definitely top notch. If you are planning on building a high end rig, include this motherboard in your option. Expand to check out the conclusion.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a solid all around motherboard with some great overclocking features, the ASUS P5W DH Deluxe should be on your short list along with a few other Core 2 Duo motherboards. We have seen much higher FSB overclocks than what we experienced and everyone knows that a board’s OC-worthiness is not dictated by one user’s experience. The ASUS P5W DH features and stability have not been surpassed by any other Core 2 Duo motherboard we have used.

Source:ASUS P5W DH Deluxe

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Quad-core Xeon Details Unveiled

AMDTech puts out a new information on the brand spanking new server processors with four cores. I am not really sure I am going to use all this power, but suffice it to say, that my FanBoyism knows no bounds and the AMDroids can only wish that they will have something to go against this monster. Expand for more and drool over..

"Kentsfield" and "Clovertown" Xeons around the corner

Intel is planning to release quad-core Kentsfield based Xeon 3000 seriesprocessors. The new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will be identical to the recently named Intel Core 2 Quadro processors and share the same Kentsfield core.

There will be no architectural or socket differences between desktop Core 2 Quadro and Xeon X3000 series processors, with the exception of product placement and marketing. The new Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors will arrive clocked at 2.4 and 2.13 GHz with a 1066 MHz front-side bus respectively. Both Kentsfield Xeon X3000 processors will feature 8MB of L2 cache. Expect the Intel Xeon X3220 and X3210 to arrive in Q1’07 for $851 and $690 in 1,000-unit lots.

Source:Quad-core Xeon Details Unveiled

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Conroe-L becomes Pentium E1000 in 2007

So they finally know the model of the upcoming "Pentium" based on the new uA. It should be a great affordable processor for the masses. Rejoice fanboyz, even if you don't have a fat wallet, salvation is at hand. Expand for more...

Conroe-L becomes Pentium E1000 in 2007

Conroe-L earlier appeared together with some rather shallow information through Intel's product plans and as the name implies it is based on Intel's Core architecture. But what separates this processor series from the fully featured Conroe family is that Conroe-L only has one core. It seems that Intel, and surely many enthusiasts, have missed the Pentium brand and Intel will therefor will name the Conroe-L family Pentium E1000. Pentium E1000 is expected to arrive during the second quarter of 2007 and will be geared towards the budget market. The Pentium E1000 family is expected to replace the Pentium 4 500/600 families which are still sold today. Prices and specific launch details remains to be revealed.

Source:Conroe-L becomes Pentium E1000 in 2007

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Intel Pentium M 740 1.73GHz socket 479 Processor Review

PCStats whips out a review of a dying breed of processor. Expand for more..

The Pentium M was Intel's first mobile processor designed from the ground up. Previously, mobile processor lines were just low power versions of the desktop variety... to disastrous results. When energy consumption is not an issue the Pentium 4 is perfectly adequate for desktops, however to stick it into a notebook is akin to running a hot plate off your laptop battery.

While the Pentium M processor is compatible with the Pentium 4 bus the CPU uses the Socket 479 form factor, so there is no intercompatibility. If you'd like to run a Pentium M processor in a desktop system, you'll have to get yourself a Socket 479 motherboard or small formfactor PC system.

Source:Intel Pentium M 740 1.73GHz socket 479 Processor Review

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tech Link (Gadget): USBCell, rechargeable battery via USB

USBCell is such a very cool innovation I've seen so far. A rechargeable battery, and all you have to do is plug that same battery via your USB port. This is really neat. I still rechargeable batteries on my LED-based flashlights, as well as some gadgets and this will make charging an easy one. No need for a separate cradle for charging these batteries. Only caveat, availability is only for UK. Expand for more...


* Battery Type
* Rechargeable AA NiMH Battery 1.2v 1300mah

* Product Specifications
* Built in Intelligent Charger

* Charge by powered USB

* Also can be charged in approved NiMH Chargers


* Battery Chemistry
* NiMH - Nickel Metal Hyrdride

* Technical Specifications
* 90%+ Charged after 5 Hours by powered USB

* Also rechargeable by approved NiMH charger at 250ma for 7 Hours

Source:USBCell, rechargeable battery via USB

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tech Link (Platform): Dell XPS 410: Core 2 Duo for the Masses

AMDTech has an article about Dell*'s mainstream PC. While I am not sure if a price of $800 is mainstream, as far as branded PC go, I guess I am just forced to agree as I don't have any visibility of pricing among different brands. They put it thru some hoops and barrage of tests and the platform came out with flying colors (at least, that's what I understand). Give this review a go if you are pondering on whether to get branded or go DIY. Expand for more..

Final Thoughts
As we said in the introduction, Dell is a big company that a lot of people love to hate. As with any large company that has many products, Dell has certainly had their fair share of lemons, but they have also had a few standout products. Right now, we would argue that it's extremely difficult to find a better LCD than what Dell offers, for example. Similar sure, but better and/or cheaper is a lot harder to come by. So how does the XPS 410 compare to the competition?

As an overall out-of-the-box experience, the system was a real pleasure to use. It could be set up in minutes, it's fast, quiet, and it offers just about everything you could want in a modern high-end computer. It is certainly possible to surpass it in performance, features, or price. It is much more difficult to beat the XPS 410 in all of those areas while also offering high-quality customer service and support. With base models starting at under $1000, the XPS 410 is likely to be very popular. As with any computer system, there are still minor flaws, but most of these can be overlooked.

The chassis design does just about everything right, and that's one area where we have absolutely no complaints. Most of our complaints center around component selections and prices. We would like to see slightly faster memory (DDR2-800) as an upgrade option, for example. It would also be nice to have the option to upgrade to a more powerful PSU, and a few more options on the graphics card front wouldn't hurt. We would like to see Dell integrate a few more features directly onto the motherboard in order to free up some expansion slots. There's really no reason for a system in this price range not to have FireWire ports. We would rather see every system cost an extra $10 than to be faced with the decision of either spending $30 on a PCI FireWire card or going without. Not everyone is going to need FireWire support, but if the XPS 410 is truly a multimedia computer, then FireWire should not be optional. Besides, with the elimination of legacy devices, there is a large unused block on the I/O plate that could be filled with a few extras. External SATA would be another good addition, for example.

Some people have had bad experiences with Dell, especially when it comes to customer support. We can't say how well they handle all customer calls, but during our testing and evaluation period all of our interaction with the support department went very well. The system as a whole was extremely stable, and other than an outdated driver that caused periodic instability with one particular game, we didn't experience a single crash throughout weeks of stress testing and benchmarking. If you don't care about getting the fastest computer on the block but just want something that's reasonably fast, very reliable, and you would like some good customer service and support, the Dell XPS 410 looks like a real winner.

Our one minor complaint would have to be price, but we're speaking specifically about the configuration we were sent for evaluation. If you're actually interested in purchasing an XPS 410 and would like our recommendation as to the best component selection for a reasonable price, most of what we were sent for review is a good place to start. One area where you can cut performance a little without too much of an impact on subjective performance is the processor. Core 2 Duo is typically so fast that most people simply don't need anything more than the base model. If you want to pay $50 to upgrade to the E6400, that's a reasonable choice, but anything beyond that and you get greatly diminished return on your investment. Cutting the graphics card to the 7900 GS is also a good compromise, particularly for more casual gamers, and non-gamers should be fine with the default X1300 Pro.

One area where you can cut the price a lot is the LCD, but here we would advise you to go all-out and splurge on the best monitor you can afford. $800 is a lot of money to pay for just a display, but remember that the display is part of the computer you're going to see the most, and for some things bigger is better. For more casual family computer use, or perhaps for systems where the XPS 410 is going to be located near the TV and used as an HTPC, sticking with the included 19 inch monitor won't present any real problems.

So what don't you get with the XPS 410? Enthusiast level features and performance. You won't get overclocking, multiple GPUs, or the fastest CPUs and GPUs. The power supply could prove to be a limiting factor in the future if you want to upgrade to some of the upcoming graphics cards, but we will have to wait and see before we can render a definitive verdict in that regard. For the hard-core hardware junkies, you can certainly get equal to or better performance for less money than Dell is charging. On the other hand, if you simply want a prebuilt system that is easy enough for your parents or grandparents to set up, and you would rather have someone else provide technical support, the Dell XPS 410 is presently one of the best choices on the market. Not everyone needs the equivalent of a turbocharged street racer, and the XPS 410 represents a combination of style, performance, features, reliability, and support that should make a lot of more casual users happy.

Source:Dell XPS 410: Core 2 Duo for the Masses

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tech Link (Game): Darkstar One Review

Fellow menyeks from PinoyPC put up a pretty nice one pager article game review. They are really putting up new articles regularly (though I don't know the timing) and so far, I haven't found nothing the I hate: yep, you gotta love those cool write ups. So why not give the site a visit and check out their latest article up for everyone. Expand for more...

Darkstar One went back to the basics, kept it simple, and throws the player right into action, without digging through a three hundred page manual or memorizing a multitude of hotkeys. The combat, however, becomes repetitive. Hyperjumping can become tedious and less enjoyable too, because the star systems look all the same, and there are no places to visit besides the trade station. Trading is too simple as well, and might be a turn off to those who love space trading, or X3’s dynamic economy. But if you’re itching to turn something into space dust, Darkstar One, coupled with an entertaining sci-fi story, is the game that will satiate your appetite for destruction.

Source:Darkstar One Review

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Great: My Kid's First Dentist Visit

I have to admit, I am one of those kids before that dreads the day I will have to give our family denstist a visit. It was a very frightful moment for me, having heard lots of nasty stories about them. Besides, my first early visits I made with the dentist had been very traumatic for me: tooth extraction baby. Anyway, it seems that times has changed. My two-year old baby is actually very excited about this moment.

She's such a cute, bubbly toddler, who never failed to amaze me when it comes to such "trivial" tasks (at least, that's how I perceived her attitude). She is never afraid of the doctors or nurses, but she doesn't like Security Guards. In fact, whenever she doesn't feel good, she's the one saying we needed to see a doctor. Woah!

Oh well, time to prepare my things. Laters FanBoyz...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tech Link (Overclock): Kinc reaches 16,000 points with 3DMark06

Another big win for the FanBoyz. It's great to see people having a great time using the World's Best Gaming Processor for pure total ownage. Each day that passed, check the review and it's easy to spot what owns the enthusiasts' hearts and sould. Go go Conroe! Expand for more...

The hunt for more and better overclocking results is constantly on here at NH and Kinc has now taken another big step with ATI's latest graphics card. Kinc has finally made it past 16,000 points with 3Dmark06. A result that no other ATI system has been even close to. The new ATI record is at 16 016 points and was set during anything but ideal circumstances. First of all, ATI's Radeon X1950 Crossfire card is paired with an older Radeon X1900 XTX which clearly limits the performance. At the same time the cooling of the system has not been optimized for the conditions.

Our tired Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor is still cooled by a compressor cascade. Similar cooling was used on the X1900 XTX card while the cooling on the Radeon X1950 Crossfire has now been upgraded to liquid nitrogen. But the temperatures are far from extreme, the card has been cooled to mere -25°C. The reason is simply that Kinc hasn't voltmodded the card yet. Changing the voltage through software has turned out to cause great difficulties with the X1950 series. Thanks to the massive mousepot which was used with the X1950 Crossfire you can keep the temperature in good control when using liquid nitrogen, which of course tends for some nice results the coming days.

Yesterday another X1950 graphics card arrived in our test lab, a PowerColor X1950 XTX which together with the current Crossfire card and two beafy mousepots will make wonders. Kinc has no intention of stopping before ATI is the king of the 3Dmark06 hill and this despite the fact that ATI's graphics cards are not as fast with this tests than NVIDIA's equivalents. If everything goes as planned Kinc will be cooling the entire system with liquid nitrogen in a few days and then we will most likely have som mighty impressive results to show off. But 16 016 points is hardly something to be ashamed of when the next best ATI system is located at 13 804 points.

CPU: X6800 @ 4685MHz
CPU cooling: Compressor cascade at -95°C
Master card: ATI X1950 CF @ 840/1143MHz (Mousepot LN2 at -25°C)
Slave card: ASUS X1900 XTX @ 882/873MHz (compressor cascade at -80°C
Memory: Corsair 6400C3 3-3-2-5 426MHz
Motherboard: ASUS P5W DH
PSU: Cooltek 600W

Source:Kinc reaches 16,000 points with 3DMark06

Article: Overclocking Intel® Desktop Board D865GSA

I have reviewed this before in July and I didn't cover overclocking the board, primarily, I never have enough time. But having a few quality spare time in last month allowed me to get back to the board and play with it. Expand for more...

I will go straight to the point, this motherboard is not designed to be an overclocker. Nor is this a performance board, this is a value board designed to give low-budget consimers a chace to own a PC without breaking the wallet. This is also a board that will allow upgrading to newer socket but still allowing older components such as AGP video cards, IDE peripherals, and DDR1 memory to be used. And in this one-pager update, I will not go thru any more hullaballo and just go straight to my findings.

Source:Overclocking Intel® Desktop Board D865GSA

Friday, September 15, 2006

Press Release: Blizzard Entertainment Licenses Havok Physics Technology

This should be very very interesting. I have always been a fan of Blizzard* because of the awesome game titles they brought to the PC Gamers. I can still remember sleepless nights playing Warcraft I, and gets even excited with Warcrat II, learned how to use Battle.Net with Starcraft and slashing monsters in the Diablo series. I never liked their console game though, and I am just mildly amused with WoW, not that WoW is bad, but it's just that, Starcraft has more appeal to me.

I also love the Diablo series, but not the Diablo II Expansion storyline, but I might say that while story is great, the replayability is not that addictive. I guess it all boils down to "been there, done that" kind of thing for me. "Diablo I" blew me away, storyline and twist was great and I loved their animation (which, at that time, is already more than decent). The gameplay of Starcraft and the strategies it offered because of diversity of "race", is just so addictive. I was even compelled to join Battle.Net games, unfortunately, I suck.

Now, I still play Warcraft III, but mostly DOTA. I never played any other game aside from this, I guess I am just too old :(. Anyway, expand to check out the latest Press Release and join me in drooling and awaiting for the next big Blizzard* project.

Blizzard to use Havok 4.0 for both PC and Mac platforms

San Francisco, September 14, 2006 – Havok, the premier provider of interactive software and services to digital creators in the game and film industries, announces today that Blizzard Entertainment® has licensed Havok 4.0, the market-leading game-play physics and animation solution.

“Havok 4.0 will add power and flexibility to our development process,” said Mike Morhaime, president and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to utilizing this technology with our upcoming games.”

Released in July this year, Havok 4.0 is a modular suite of artist tools and run-time technology that enhances Havok’s industry-leading game-play physics and animation products (Havok Physics™ and Havok Animation™). It also introduced two new products - Havok Behavior™ and Havok FX™.

With Havok 4.0, game developers can select from a modular suite of technologies and tools spanning game-play physics, character animation, behaviors and special effects, optimized for the widest range of platforms, including Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (SCEI) much-anticipated “PLAYSTATION®3” computer entertainment system, Microsoft’s 64bit Windows operating system, and now Apple Mac.

Jeff Yates, Havok’s Vice President, Product Management comments, “The Mac is an important piece of technology and because of the cross-platform nature of Havok’s technology, the port to Mac was easy to do. Furthermore, Blizzard Entertainment’s commitment to OS X and to the Mac community is a good indication of the growth potential of the Mac as a games platform. Blizzard has always put out great games on the Mac, and we look forward to Havok becoming a part of that tradition.”

Source:Blizzard Entertainment Licenses Havok Physics Technology

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brag: Wallpaper for the FanBoyz

I figure I need to brush up on my marketing zkillz, that is, if I can call it "skills", I guess it's more like trying hard to spice up my desktop. Positive comments are printed and framed and stored in the most secure place (if ever I do have such a place), constructive comments are welcome, and negative comments are ignored.

Why ignore negative comments? Hey, I am FanBoy so I'll call it "zkillz" and I'll just dismiss things I don't like, living up as a true FanBoy. And yes, AMDroids' comments will always never gets published (no, I didn't get this style from Rahul Suck's blog)

Last thing, I don’t publish comments from competitors pretending to be anonymous. Don’t waste your time, you know who you are.

Huh, and you thought I'm such a bad FanBoy! Anyway, click on the image to get the full version. Then save it in your temporary directory. You have full rights to use it as your desktop wallpaper, but no alteration is allowed. Enjoy...

Tech Link (Processor): Intel Core 2 Duo Vs. AMD X2 AM2--Top to Bottom

ExtremeTech whips out a decent article on the new Chipzilla processor and match it up against the competition. This is just another reference for you FanBoyz out there, in case you ran out of ammunition to go head to head against AMDroids. Ownage!

Final Thoughts: Your Needs

It's clear that Intel's Core 2 Duo lineup offers superior performance across the product line when compared with AMD's Athlon 64 X2. In some applications, even a lower-cost Core 2 Duo can outperform some of the higher-end Athlon 64 X2s.

Source:Intel Core 2 Duo Vs. AMD X2 AM2--Top to Bottom

Tech Link (Video Card): XFX GeForce 7950GT Extreme – World Exclusive!

I haven't been keeping tabs on the high end video card but TweakTown say they have a World Exclusive (that's a big word to say, whew). They have a pretty wicked looking video card there, if you fancy such gadget, go give it a spin. Expand for more...

While at first due to the naming scheme you might think that the card is a dual core solution, much like the GeForce 7950GX2, it certainly is not that. It is designed to sit above the older GeForce 7900GT as far as performance goes (which of course means it’s faster then the new 7900GS that was released only last week) and as far as pricing goes, it’s going up directly against ATI’s new Radeon X1900XT 256MB. It comes with 512MB worth of fast GDDR-3 compared to just 256MB on the 7900GT and has its core and memory clock speeds

Source:XFX GeForce 7950GT Extreme – World Exclusive!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tech Link (Platform): Apple's Mac Pro - Upgrading CPUs, Memory & Running XP

AMDTech Head Honcho, Anand Lame Shimpi, whips out a review of Apple's* Mac Pro platform. While I am not interested with all his blabberings, I find it rather interesting that he tested a Clovertown on this baby and it works right out of the bat: wowzy!

We grabbed a pair of 2.4GHz Clovertown samples and tossed them in the system, and to our pleasure, they worked just fine. Our samples used a 1066MHz FSB, although we're expecting the final chip to use a 1333MHz FSB, but the most important part of the test is that all 8 cores were detected and functional.

Expand for more, that is, if you can take more his blabbering (I can't).

Weeks have passed since Apple's announcement of the Mac Pro, and while we wanted to conclude our look at the Mac Pro much earlier, like many Mac Pro users we ran into some serious performance issues under Windows XP.

With the Mac Pro performance issues resolved and some more time with the system under our belts, we're able to bring you the final part in our Mac Pro coverage. This time we're focusing on upgrading the memory and CPUs in the Mac Pro, as well as looking at its performance as a PC running Windows XP.

As a high end Xeon based machine that can run both Mac OS X and Windows XP, the Mac Pro has the potential to be the power user's dream. Today our task is to find out just how upgradable this machine is and how well it runs XP, if it can truly be your only system if you're a Mac and PC user.

Source:Apple's Mac Pro - Upgrading CPUs, Memory & Running XP

Tech Link (Memory): Intel Core 2 "Conroe" Memory Settings Guide

If you are looking for utmost performance for your new baby Conroe-based rig, this might be something that will interest you. The "Camerons" (one author, one editor) spent some quality time playing with various speed and timing of memory, such as DDR2-533, DDR2-667, DDR2-800. Expand for more...


The last time that memory latencies and possible impacts of using memory with higher latencies was only really emphasised back when the Intel Pentium 3 was available from the retail stores.

Intel’s Pentium 4 architecture was one of the most bandwidth hungry - if you shoved DDR into it with a 400MHz rate with extremely low latencies, the system would perform worse then if it had 433MHz memory with higher latencies. Pentium 4 was just so memory hungry that higher MHz was better than lower latencies.

Source:Intel Core 2 "Conroe" Memory Settings Guide

Tech Link (Cooler): Scythe Infinity HeatPipe CPU Cooler

After the success of their Ninja series, Scythe* seems to be unrelentless in developing newer, bigger, better coolers. It could be because they are already feeling the pressures from competition, namely, Thermalright*, Thermaltake* and Zalman* to name a few. Let's just hope they'll be affordable, as the massive 10-heatpipe cooler is nothing short of a monster cooler.

The Scythe SCINF-1000 is a huge cooler. Scythe themselves have a huge reputation to live up to. Will the Scythe Infinity match that reputation and perform well when used with a Conroe CPU? I take it to the test in the following review and see how it fares.

Scythe have made quite an impression of late in the cooling market. Their line of CPU coolers are really (pardon the pun) "hotting up" the heatsink market. With some great designs and more than a couple of heatpipes, enthusiasts are really digging what Scythe are all about.

Source:Scythe Infinity HeatPipe CPU Cooler

Tech Link (Processor): "another 100%....this time aircooled (e6300)"

The folks at XS has just shown to the world how overclockable this new baby is. This is not something very common in the modern days of CPU, that is, 100% overclock on air. Check it out and well, either be amazed or join me in my chant to say "Conroe FTW"! (If you are an AMDroid, you can always go sulk in the corner)

new e6300 allendale week 26

asus p5b deluxe wifi-ap
thermaltake big typhoon (no mount just standing on)
G.skill 2gbga c3

Source:another 100%....this time aircooled (e6300)

Tech Link (Motherboard): Core 2 Duo Platforms From Asus - A Top To Bottom Comparison

Wow, GamePC went crazy and tested a slew of Asus* boards supporting Conroe. It's a good review, it's a 17-pager article (if you can read all that, congratulations) that compares five(5) (judging from the image) boards based on i965 and i975. If you can drag yourself to read all through it, you might learn something new and I missed that chance, but still, maybe you can just zoom in on a motherboard that you like and see how it performs. Expand for more...

The Final Word
With so many motherboards being produced in such a small span of time by the same manufacturer with feature sets so similar, you would expect these boards to overlap themselves quite a bit. Well, they certainly do in a lot of ways, but each board still manages to have a unique feature or point of attraction, making none of the boards we’ve looked at today completely out-done by another board.
As our benchmarks have shown, there is very little raw performance difference between the available Core 2 Duo chipsets on the market, and almost zero difference between various motherboards using the same type of chipset. Our tests showed that Intel 975X motherboards tend to perform the best in most scenarios versus the Nvidia nForce4 and Intel P965 chipsets, likely due to the higher memory bandwidth and lower latencies, which affect all applications and benchmarks. However, these benchmarks only take into account if your system requires a single graphics card. If you require multiple graphics cards, your choices are narrowed down quite a bit.

If you require multi-GPU operation, you don’t have a ton of choice. If you want an SLI configuration, there are a scant few SLI-enabled motherboards on the market for the Core 2 Duo, including the P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe platform we’ve looked at today. However, our recommendation would be to wait for the upcoming nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset which will be out shortly, which should outperform today’s boards in most every way. If you want Crossfire, you’ll have to go with an Intel 975X motherboard, which are plentiful on the market today. Crossfire still remains largely un-popular, so we doubt this feature will be of major importance to many potential buyers.

If money is no object, we would go ahead and purchase the P5WDG2-WS Professioanl or P5W DH boards. The P5WDG2-WS Professional is more expensive, but has PCI-X slots and high-end SATA-II/RAID abilities, whereas the P5W DH has Wi-Fi, a remote control, and lots of multi-media centric features. We would only choose one of these boards over the P5B Deluxe if you have a specific feature which you needed to have (like Crossfire or PCI-X expansion slots). Beyond these features, they will perform almost identically to P965 motherboards, but at a higher price. Both are great boards, but a bit over priced at this time. Hopefully prices will fall as the boards become more plentiful on the market.

The lowly P5B also puts up very solid numbers, and despite its lackluster feature set, the board remains an excellent value. There are cheaper Core 2 Duo solutions now hitting the market, but the P5B hits a good spot in terms of price/performance, and we think it’s a good (albeit somewhat boring) platform all around.

As a single graphics card user, I found that the feature set and price tag of the Asus P5B Deluxe was the most impressive of the bunch. It’s a bit less expensive compared to Intel 975X motherboards, but it does feature Intel’s new ICH8R Southbridge and consumes less power compared to the 975X as well. Performance wise, it will give 95-100% of the performance of the 975X. In my eyes, it’s got the best mix of price / performance / features / overclockability. It’s not the best board in any one of these categories, but it’s above average in all of them, which makes it a very solid platform overall. This is our pick.

Source:Core 2 Duo Platforms From Asus - A Top To Bottom Comparison

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Brag: "Dual Intel Clovertown 8 cores @ 2.66 Ghz benching now"

FanBoyz, ready, set, go and start salivating. Get a napkin to wipe off that drool too. This isn't just good on paper print out, nor is it any nice Powerpoint* file with pretty graphics. From the looks of it, this is the real thing! As early as this week, I have seen two instances of Clovertown in action. Expand for more..

This baby is a real monster. Do you know about Kentsfield? That four core next generation processor slated to be released Q4 of this year? That's just a taste of what's coming from Chipzilla. Kentsfield, that's like two Conroe XE in one package, can do Cinebench "Daylight" render in 10seconds, and Kentsfield needed to be overclocked to ~4GHz to reach that. Now, in comparison, Clovertown can complete it in the same time of 10secons but only with 2.66GHz clockspeed. Oh my goodness, imagine the clockspeed and memory speed difference between a four-core Kentsfield@4GHz vs a Clovertown@2.66GHz. This is just pure massive ownage.

FanBoyz, prepare your wallets! (Yes, with an "s"). And oh, here's another Clovertown linky (search for Clover Town 2.4G in that page).

Source:Dual Intel Clovertown 8 cores @ 2.66 Ghz benching now

Tech Link (Industry): Intel Developer Forum

If you are near the vicinity or just have the moolah to attend IDF, then this is your chance to join. I am thinking if I can squeeze this into my schedule, I just want to attend some of the newer course tracks they have. Expand for more info...

Intel Developer Forum offers a vision of where technology is headed, unparalleled technical training, and access to Intel and Industry experts. Experience the latest advancements in Intel® Core™ microarchitecture and more. See the complete list of training.

Click here to download IDF At-A-Glance (PDF download 181 KB).

Featured Content & Training ›
See the hottest interactive training opportunities at this IDF, for a complete listing visit the content catalog.

Featured Experience Zones ›
Experience the new Gaming Zone showing Intel® Core™2 Extreme processors and the Advanced Technology Zone that promises surprises.

Technology Insights ›
Only available at IDF, Technology Insights are interactive discussions combining visionary technology direction with a highly detailed review of the underlying technology architecture.

Intel Fellows Shop Talk ›
An extremely popular experience at the last IDF, the Intel Fellows Shop Talk is your unique chance to ask an Intel Fellow any technology question you want. No topic is off-limits.

Source:Intel Developer Forum

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tech Link (Processor): Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage

If you want to further enhance your FanBoy skillz, check out THG's latest QuadCore article. Is it a coincidence that they post it in the anniversary of 9/11? Who knows, I haven't read the full article anyway. Bah, am too busy with work right now that such a 10+ pager article will eat up my time, I'd rather scour the web for more info to bring to your plate everyday (yes you, my dear visitors).

Editor's Opinion
For me, working with one of the first quad core systems was amazing. No matter how many applications you run at the same time, the system reacts to user commands quickly. Some applications require half the time to finish tasks. To me, it's like being catapulted a year into the future and is unlike the past few years when computing power increased only marginally. Intel pumped out 30% more performance with Core 2 Duo and will double that again with Core 2 Quadro soon.

Source:Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage

Press Release: New NVIDIA® GeForce® 7 Series GPUs Deliver Incredible Value to PC Gamers

Another GPU posting! Times are really getting exciting for this industry, however, the price point is still beyond what I can afford. I haven't bought a GPU for more than $150 in a loooong time. Anyway, expand this article if you are a gamer on a budget and willing to spend $200+ on a powerful GPU.

New NVIDIA® GeForce® 7 Series GPUs Deliver Incredible Value to PC Gamers

New NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS and GeForce 7950 GT Reset Performance Bar at Their Respective Price Segments

For further information, contact:

Brian Burke
NVIDIA Corporation
(512) 401-4385


SANTA CLARA, CA—SEPTEMBER 6, 2006——NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies, today redefined performance expectations for graphics cards at two of the most popular price segments for PC gamers. Available immediately, NVIDIA SLI™-ready GeForce 7900 GS graphics processing units (GPUs) deliver exceptional performance and cutting-edge features at the widely-accessible $199 to $249 price point. Available September 14, 2006, the GeForce 7950 GT GPU brings screaming performance and a 512MB frame buffer to the $299 to $349 price segment.

"These new GeForce 7 Series GPUs are designed to deliver an extreme high-definition gaming and video experience at prices any gamer can afford," said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at NVIDIA. "Gamers can now get more performance and features at these popular price points than ever before."

"I was floored by the value these new GeForce 7 Series GPUs deliver. Nothing else in the $199 price range even comes close to the price/performance ratio of the NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS, and the GeForce 7950 GT is a stunner for $299," said Russ Strunk, executive vice president of marketing at "These new GeForce 7 GPUs have the features, performance, and pricing that gamers that buy from demand."

The GeForce 7900 GS and the GeForce 7950 GT boast the award-winning NVIDIA GeForce 7900 Series feature set, including:

NVIDIA SLI technology— a revolutionary platform innovation that allows users to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in a single system. Using proprietary software algorithms and dedicated scalability logic in each NVIDIA GPU and NVIDIA SLI MCP-based motherboard, SLI technology delivers a high performance computing solution for gamers and enthusiasts.

256-bit memory interface and fast GDDR3 memory enable rapid frame rates with all the eye-candy and special effects turned on.

The industry's only GPU architecture with full support for Microsoft DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0—including vertex texture fetch (VTF) —enables advanced shading programs for more realistic effects.

NVIDIA PureVideo™ technology, which delivers smooth video, superb picture clarity and vivid colors on any display. The GeForce 7950 GT also adds HDCP circuitry to enable the ultimate HD DVD and Blu-ray movie experience on a PCi.

A high-performance 3D architecture built for Microsoft Windows® Vista™—the industry's first operating system to require a dedicated GPU to realize its full potentialii.

Some of the world's leading add-in card partners are offering graphics cards based on the new NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS and GeForce 7950 GT GPUs, including Albatron, AOpen Inc., ASUSTek Computer Inc., BFG Technologies Inc., Biostar, Chaintech Computer Co. Ltd., Cheer Ascent, City Gate / Triple-D, Club3D, ELSA, Epsco, EVGA Corporation, Foxconn, Gainward Co. Ltd., Galaxy, Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., Innovision, Jaton, Jetway, Leadtek Research Inc., MSI Computer Corporation, Palit Microsystems, Inc., Prolink, PNY Technology, Point of View, Sigmacom, SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., XFX, and Zogis.

For further information on the GeForce 7 Series GPUs, please visit

Source:New NVIDIA® GeForce® 7 Series GPUs Deliver Incredible Value to PC Gamers

Press Release: Indulge yourself in extreme gaming with Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS

Inno3D* is one of my favorite local brand, though many had bad experience with this, my experience is far from similar. I have owned many Inno3D* from chip MX version to mid-end 6600GT series. I am yet to own a newer card from either NVIDIA* or ATi* though. Check out Inno3D*'s latest press release!

Indulge yourself in extreme gaming with Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS

For Immediate Release :

Hong Kong 6th September 2006 – InnoVISION™ Multimedia Limited launch 2 high-end performance cards for HD gaming, Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT and 7900GS. Designed for extreme HD gaming that includes ultra-realistic gaming experiences and resolutions up to 2560x1600. Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT is built with more memory for extreme HD gaming and core clock of up to 550Mhz. Technology is much more matured which allows gamers to power though all the latest games with exceptionally smooth frame rates. The Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS on the other hand will not break your budget, it is built with 256-bit memory interface and fast GDDR3 memory enable blazing graphics performance with maximum quality so you don’t have to choose between frame rates and image quality.

Indulge yourself in extreme gaming with Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS

For Immediate Release :

Hong Kong 6th September 2006 – InnoVISION™ Multimedia Limited launch 2 high-end performance cards for HD gaming, Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT and 7900GS. Designed for extreme HD gaming that includes ultra-realistic gaming experiences and resolutions up to 2560x1600. Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT is built with more memory for extreme HD gaming and core clock of up to 550Mhz. Technology is much more matured which allows gamers to power though all the latest games with exceptionally smooth frame rates. The Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS on the other hand will not break your budget, it is built with 256-bit memory interface and fast GDDR3 memory enable blazing graphics performance with maximum quality so you don’t have to choose between frame rates and image quality.

Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & 7900GS Specifications:

Both Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & 7900GS delivers smooth, high-definition video playback and crisp picture quality thanks to the advanced NVIDIA PureVideo technology. It is dedicated on-chip video processors dramatically increase video processing performance and frees GPU’s shaders to run 3D applications simultaneously. The 3DMark06 benchmark results show Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & 7900GS beats high-end range competition and has increased speed of up to 20% with existing cards in the market.

The Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT targets gaming enthusiast that want extreme HD gaming. For home theater entertainment and value for your money then make sure you grab your hands on the Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS. Both built with all the advance features of NVIDIA® 7 series technology and is essential for Windows Vista. For more information please visit our website or

Source:Indulge yourself in extreme gaming with Inno3D® GeForce™ 7950GT & Inno3D® GeForce™ 7900GS

Tech Link (Motherboard): Conroe with i945 Chipset

I found two reviews on the web that partners the newer CPU based on Conroe with the older i945 chipset. And both of this is using similar EPoX motherboard with exact model, so I figure I'll post it here. Both agrees about the limited overclocking capability but both also agrees about value of this board, so for those budget users, this might be the board that will suit their needs. Check it out.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Press Release: ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler

This is really interesting, Asus*' PH site has this News posted on the main page while the Global, Taiwan, and Australia sites don't. Does it signal that PH is getting the attention it deserves when it comes to enthusiasts? Well, I hope so, and it's about time. The new cooler is really nice looking, though I haven't seen a review yet. Expand for more...

ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler Delivers Effective Heat Dissipation for Dual-Core Processors from Intel and AMD

Double Side Fins and Heat Pipe Technology Enable Large Heat Exchange Area and Powerful Cooling

Taipei, Taiwan; August 22, 2006 – ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), today announced the Silent Square Pro CPU cooler, which incorporated innovative features, including double side fins and five copper heat pipes, to deliver high-performance heat dissipation for dual-core processors from both AMD® and Intel®. Its superior cooling performance rivals those of water cooling systems.

For the Most Powerful Processors
The Silent Square Pro supports the latest Intel® Core™2 series, Pentium D Dual-Core CPU, Intel Pentium 4 LGA775 and Socket 478 processors as well as AMD’s Socket AM2/940/939/754, AthlonTM 64-FX, Athlon and SempronTM to provide an effective thermal solutions for the most powerful processing platforms to date.

Fast heat dissipation - Double side fin and 5 copper heat pipes
The Silent Square Pro incorporated a double side fin design that included “wave-shaped” fins located on both sides of the cooler for larger heat exchange area. Five heat pipes made of copper, an effective heat conductor, efficiently transfer heat generated by the CPU to the fins, maintaining processor temperature at levels most suitable for high-performance and stable computing

Voltage regulation module protection
The voltage regulation shield inside the cooler directs airflow created by the 9cm fan to surrounding VRM (voltage regulation modules), which are critical to processor operation and overall system reliability. This unique design effectively reduces VRM temperature by 10-15˚C.

3-step installation
The patented retention module adopted is made specifically to enable easy cooler installation in three simple steps even without removing the motherboard from the system or memory modules from the board and regardless of the processor platform.
1. Place retention set on the motherboard
2. Place cooler over the CPU.
3. Lock cooler with spring clip

ASUS Fan Speed Control Kit
The Silent Square Pro comes with the Fan Speed Control Kit. It is designed for 3.5” drive bays and is compatible with most of the chassis in the market. With the Fan Speed Control Kit, users can adjust fan speeds with a control knob and see the actual speed on the LCD to conveniently achieve a balance between performance and the acoustics.

Specification summary

CPU support

Intel® Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Duo
Pentium® D Dual-Core CPU
Intel Pentium® 4 HT
Intel Celeron® D
AMD Athlon™ 64 FX/X2 Dual-Core CPU
AMD AthlonTM 64
AMD Sempron™

Cooler dimension

120(L) x 105(W) x 158(H)mm, 745g



Heat sink material

Dual-side aluminum fins + copper base + 5 copper heat pipes

Fan dimension

92 x 92 x 25mm

Fan speed

2,500 rpm ± 10%

Bearing type

Sleeve bearing

The Silent Square Pro is now available. For more detail information, please visit the ASUS homepage at

Source:ASUS Silent Square Pro CPU Cooler

Tech Link (Memory): Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC2 8000 (1000Mhz) 2 gig kit

Xtremecomputing reviews this baby, a mouthful 2GB dual channel kit memory modules. I am not sure why they seem impressed when this baby ran DDR2-1000@CL5-5-5-14@2.3v vs it's rated spec of DDR2-1000@CL5-5-5-15@2.2v. I mean, they even called it overclocking and added a fan to achieve that. Oh well, if you are impressed with such (I am not), go give it a try. The only thing I like in that review is that they used this RAM on Chipzilla platform. Expand for more..

The Crucial story starts with Micron Technology, Inc., one of the largest dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufacturers in the world and the only one based in the U.S. Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Micron manufactures DRAM chips and assembles them into high-quality memory modules for sale to original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") worldwide. Over the past 26 years, Micron has learned that when you make some of the very best memory in the world, lots of companies want it, from computer makers to wireless device manufacturers to printer producers.

But then Micron asked, well, what about the end user? What about the everyday folks who want to upgrade their existing systems with OEM-quality memory—the home desktop user, the IT network guy, the student notebook user? Why don't we offer our memory to the public, at factory-direct pricing? So in 1996,

Source:Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC2 8000 (1000Mhz) 2 gig kit

Brag: I just installed Meebo!

I just installed meebo after a few nudge from friends forced me to do such. Not that I like to chat, but I like technology it does look cool to implement. You can find it on the right side of the site, scroll down a bit to access it. Expand for more...

This utility is very nifty and very easy to use. What I love about this (and not that other software or web tool doesn't have it) is the simplicity to implement anonymity(hiding your IM account for example) but allows communication to guests, and yet, still get to have chance to chat with your friends whom you trust will not just spam you.

It's a relatively "young" web gadget, but definitely working right now. I still haven't gotten the chance to fully give this a full spin, aside from testing two(2) simultaneous chats from my web visitors, and still maintain my IM contacts as well. It also supports AOL, ICQ, Yahoo, and Jabber or GTalk. Very very nice!

Give it a try, put one on your website or blog now!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Press Release: ASUS P5W64 Professional Workstation Motherboard Incorporates Quad-PCI Express Architecture for Multiple Display Computing

Ha, it's lame. For some reason, I missed posting this one and I knew it before it became live. The reason? This news press was never posted on the Asus* Global Site, not even in Asus* Australia, and yep, not Asus* Taiwan. It is posted over at Asus* Philippines, the least place I check my updates from Asus. I mean hey, let's face it, PH doesn't have too many enthusiast nor company that may use this board and yet this is posted there, the last place I'll ever check for the latest updates. Oh well, I guess somehow it's a good thing, the PH site get promoted in away. Anyway, expand for more if you would like to see the full specs. This board is one of the best board out there in the Workstation arena, but also suitable for overclockers. Expand for more..

ASUS P5W64 Professional Workstation Motherboard Incorporates Quad-PCI Express Architecture for Multiple Display Computing

Taipei, Taiwan; August 31, 2006 – ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), the worldwide leader of motherboards, today introduced the P5W64 WS Professional workstation-class motherboard, nicknamed the Wall Street Quartet. It supports the quad-PCI Express architecture, enabling a system to connect up to eight monitors.

Based on the Intel 975X chipset and supporting the Intel Core2 CPU (and future multi-core CPUs), the P5W64 WS Professional provides powerful computing and superior scalability for computing demands of today and tomorrow.

Ideal for Multiple-Displays
Aptly nicknamed the Wall Street Quartet, the P5W64 WS Professional comes equipped with four PCI Express slots, enabling a system to accommodate up to eight monitors. The new motherboard is ideal for the finance sector, where multiple monitors are necessary to watch the market, or professionals in other fields requiring similar display needs. The PCI Express slots support high-speed input/output control cards as well, providing excellent flexibility and compatibility that make the P5W64 WS Professional a unique solution.

Superb Platform for 975X Chipset and Dual-Core Processing
Based on the Intel 975X chipset, the P5W64 WS Professional supports Intel’s most powerful processors, including the advanced Intel CoreTM2 and future multi-core CPUs. Together with ATI’s CrossFire multiple-GPU technology and native dual-channel DDR2 800 support up to 8GB, the P5W64 WS Professional is powerful enough for any resource-intensive application.

Expandability for future upgrades
The P5W64 WS Professional offers two PCI slots, two IEEE 1394a ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and eight Serial ATA-II 3Gb/s ports for establishing two sets of RAID. With superior expandability, the all-new motherboard is ready for the next phase of personal computing.

Noiseless cooling
Stack Cool 2 is a fan-less and -noiseless cooling solution offered exclusively by ASUS. It effectively transfers heat generated by the critical components to the other side of the specially designed PCB (printed circuit board) for effective heat dissipation. The result is a temperature decrease of up to 20 degrees Celsius.

8-Phase Power Design
The 8-Phase Power Design generates less heat than conventional power solutions. It reduces input ripple current and output ripple voltage, which prevents the CPU and VRM (voltage regulation modules) from suffering high power stress. It has the advantages of quick transient response and stability, especially beneficial when CPU requires more power during heavy loads and overclocking.

Specification summary
- Intel CoreTM2 Extreme, Intel CoreTM2 Duo, the future multi-core CPU, Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition, Pentium 4, and Celeron CPU
- Intel 975X + Intel ICH7R chipsets
- Front side bus 1066/800MHz
- 4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR2 800/667/533, ECC and non-ECC un-buffered memory
- 4 x PCI Express x 16 slots, 2 x PCI 2.2
- Dual Gigabit LAN
- 8 x Serial ATA 3 GB/s ports
- 2 x IEEE 1394a
- 8 x USB 2.0 ports

Source:ASUS P5W64 Professional Workstation Motherboard Incorporates Quad-PCI Express Architecture for Multiple Display Computing