Saturday, March 31, 2007

Press Release: SiS Announces Chipset License Agreement on Intel® Core™2 Quad FSB 1333MHz

This is good news. SiS has been a long standing player in the chipset arena and they aren't new to Intel hardware. They have been releasing really affordable chipsets, they have graphics, lan, and I believe even, audio solutions. They are known in the "affordable" line of products. Check it out...

SiS Announces Chipset License Agreement on Intel® Core™2 Quad FSB 1333MHz
Taipei, March 28, 2007---Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS), a leading supplier of core logic chipsets, today announced that it has signed a long-term licensing contract with Intel for the manufacture and sale of chipsets for the Intel® Core™2 Quad processor with 1333MHz front side bus.

SiS ' latest chipset license agreement with Intel demonstrates our working relationship and mutual cooperation.

"SiS will be offering the next generation products to support high-speed FSB 1333MHz for the Intel® Core™2 Quad processors," said Daniel Chen, the CEO and President of SiS, "These new chipsets will strengthen SiS product portfolios with another high-end option for consumers seeking extreme performance and innovative design."

Source:SiS Announces Chipset License Agreement on Intel® Core™2 Quad FSB 1333MHz

Friday, March 30, 2007

Press Release: OCZ Technology Announces Groundbreaking PC2-6400 NVIDIA SLI-Ready Certified Modules with 1T Command Rate

Wohoo, another great memory from my favorite memory manufacturer OCZ. The memory looks very sleek, and sexy! Gotta love the black color and the SLI logo. Go go go OCZ! Expand to read the full press release.

OCZ Technology Announces Groundbreaking PC2-6400 NVIDIA SLI-Ready Certified Modules with 1T Command Rate

Sunnyvale, CA—March 29, 2007—OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today announced the latest addition to the award-winning OCZ NVIDIA® SLI™ certified series, the PC2-6400 SLI-Ready DDR2 modules. Optimized specifically for current and next generation nForce platforms, this series features reduced latencies and a 1T command rate for ultra fast memory accesses at 800MHz data rate.

As part of the NVIDIA SLI technology ecosystem, these modules undergo a rigorous series of tests by NVIDIA and are certified to provide enthusiasts and gamers the performance, compatibility, and stability they seek when building an SLI gaming system. Tailor-made for the NVIDIA gamer, each OCZ PC2-6400 certified module features the exclusive black SLI-Ready XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreader.

“With increasing system memory density, the number of interleaved banks of memory increases and therefore creates a need for more commands to keep data transfers running smoothly,” commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology Development at OCZ Technology. “It is obvious that this can be achieved by maintaining one command per clock cycle even at high operating frequencies. The new OCZ 800MHz SLI-Ready series is the world’s first memory series to fulfill the criteria required by NVIDIA for full qualification as a 1T SLI high speed memory, thereby furthering the leading role of OCZ Technology as a leading edge enabler of high performance platforms.”

PC2-6400 memory modules are built with an EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) programmed SPD to provide a true Plug and Play overclocking feature that eliminates the need for manual configuration and makes memory optimization easy for the complete range of consumers. With this option, the PC2-6400 SLI certified memory boots with the aggressive timings of 4-4-4 1T on compatible NVIDIA nForce SLI MCPs boards.

All SLI-Ready memory is 100% hand-tested for quality assurance and furthermore, each OCZ SLI-Ready module is backed by the industry leading OCZ Lifetime Warranty and technical support for unparalleled peace of mind.

For more information on the new OCZ PC2-6400 SLI-Ready DDR2 series, please visit our product page here.

Source:OCZ Technology Announces Groundbreaking PC2-6400 NVIDIA SLI-Ready Certified Modules with 1T Command Rate

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Press Release: Intel Details Upcoming New Processor Generations

Chipzilla finally unleashes the official statement about its upcoming processor (Penryn) and upcoming microarchitecture (Nehalem). I'll post more on this later on, right now, check out the official Press Release (I'll format it later on)...

Intel Details Upcoming New Processor Generations

Marking the next step in Intel's "tick-tock" product strategy and cadence to deliver a new process technology with an enhanced microarchitecture or entirely new microarchitecture every year, Intel Corporation will begin producing its next-generation Penryn family of processors in the second half of this year. These new processors benefit from enhancements to the Intel® Core™ microarchitecture and also Intel's industry-leading 45nm Hi-k process technology with its hafnium-based high-K + metal gate transistor design, which results in higher performance and more energy-efficient processors.

Intel has more than 15 45nm Hi-k product designs in various stages of development, and will have two 45nm manufacturing fabs in production by the end of the year, with a total of four in production by the second half of 2008 that will deliver tens of millions of these processors. Below are many of the details of the Penryn processor family and a glimpse into some of the key features of Intel's future generation of processors, codenamed Nehalem.


  • A Range of Products -- Six Penryn family processors, including dual and quad-core desktop processors and a dual core mobile processor are all under the Intel Core processor brand name as well as new dual and quad-core server processors under the Intel® Xeon® processor brand name. A processor for higher-end server multiprocessing systems is also under development. As previously noted, Intel already has a total of 15 45nm products scheduled.

  • Technical Marvel -- 45nm next-generation Intel® Core™2 quad-core processors will have 820 million transistors. Thanks to our high-k metal transistor invention, think of 820 million more power efficient light bulbs going on and off at light-speeds. The dual-core version has a die size of 107mm2, which is 25 percent smaller than Intel's current 65nm products - and quarter of the size of the average U.S. postage stamp - and operate at the same or lower power than Intel's current dual core processors.

  • Deep Power Down for Energy Savings, Improved Battery Life -- The mobile Penryn processor has a new advanced power management state called Deep Power Down Technology that significantly reduces the power of the processor during idle periods such that internal transistor power leakage is no longer a factor. This helps extend battery life in laptops. This is a major advancement over previous generation industry leading Intel mobile processors.

  • Intel Dynamic Acceleration Technology Enhanced Performance for Single Threaded Apps -- For the mobile Penryn processor, Intel has enhanced the Intel® Dynamic Acceleration Technology available in current Intel Core 2 processors. This feature uses the power headroom freed up when a core is made inactive to boost the performance of another still active core. Imagine a shower with two powerful water shower heads, when one shower head is turned off, the other has increased water pressure (performance).

  • Speeding Up Video, Photo Imaging, and High Performance Software -- Penryn includes Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4) instructions, the largest unique instruction set addition since the original SSE Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). This extends the Intel® 64 instruction set architecture to expand the performance and capabilities of the Intel® Architecture.

  • Other Technical Features to Improve Performance

    • Microarchitecture Optimizations -- Increases the overall performance and energy efficiency of the already leading Intel Core microarchitecture to deliver more instruction executions per clock cycle, which results in more performance and quicker PC responsiveness.

    • Enhanced Intel® Virtualization Technology -- Penryn speeds up virtual machine transition (entry/exit) times by an average of 25 to 75 percent. This is all done through microarchitecture improvements and requires no virtual machine software changes. Virtualization partitions or compartmentalizes a single computer so that it can run separate operating systems and software, which can better leverage multicore processing power, increase efficiency and cut costs by letting a single machine act as many virtual "mini" computers.

    • Higher Frequencies -- Penryn family of products will deliver higher overall clock frequencies within existing power and thermal envelopes to further increase performance. Desktop and server products will introduce speeds at greater than 3GHz.

    • Fast Division of Numbers – Penryn-based processors provide fast divider performance, roughly doubling the divider speed over previous generations for computations used in nearly all applications through the inclusion of a new, faster divide technique called Radix 16. The ability to divide instructions and commands faster increases a computer's performance.

    • Larger Caches -- Penryn processors include up to a 50 percent larger L2 cache with a higher degree of associativity to further improve the hit rate and maximize its utilization. Dual-core Penryn processors will feature up to a 6MB L2 cache and quad-core processors up to a 12MB L2 cache. Cache is a memory reservoir where frequently accessed data can be stored for more rapid access. Larger and faster cache sizes speed a computer's performance and response time.

    • Unique Super Shuffle Engine -- By implementing a full-width, single-pass shuffle unit that is 128-bits wide, Penryn processors can perform full-width shuffles in a single cycle. This significantly improves performance for SSE2, SSE3 and SSE4 instructions that have shuffle-like operations such as pack, unpack and wider packed shifts. This feature will increase performance for content creation, imaging, video and high-performance computing.


After Penryn and the 45nm Hi-k silicon technology introduction comes Intel's next-generation microarchitecture (Nehalem) slated for initial production in 2008. By continuing to innovate at this rapid cadence, Intel will deliver enormous performance and energy efficiency gains in years to come, adding more performance features and capabilities for new and improved applications. Here are some new initial disclosures around our Nehalem microarchitecture:

  • Dynamically scalable for leadership performance on demand with energy efficiency

    • Dynamically managed cores, threads, cache, interfaces and power

    • Leverages leading 4 instruction issue Intel® Core microarchitecture technology

    • Simultaneous multi-threading (similar to Intel® Hyper-threading technology) returns to enhance performance and energy efficiency

    • Innovative new Intel® SSE4 and ATA instruction set architecture additions

    • Superior multi-level shared cache leverages Intel® Smart Cache technology

    • Leadership system and memory bandwidth

    • Performance enhanced dynamic power management

  • Design scalable for optimal price/performance/energy efficiency in each market segment

    • New system architecture for next-generation Intel processors and platforms

    • Scalable performance: 1 to 16+ threads, 1 to 8+ cores, scalable cache sizes

    • Scalable and configurable system interconnects and integrated memory controllers

    • High performance integrated graphics engine for client

Click here to download this fact sheet as in PDF format. [PDF, 48KB]

Click here to listen to an audio interview with Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and co-general manager of Intel Corporation's Digital Enterprise Group.

Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live. Additional information about Intel is available at

Source:Intel Details Upcoming New Processor Generations

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Press Release: Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite

Hot off the press, Microsoft* released official info that their latest "Elite" series gaming console, aptly named, Xbox 360 Elite is more than just a hoax. I am glad this is released earlier, because I was thinking the rumor is actually just an early April Fool's joke. Here are some teaser pictures:

Box, Controller, Headset, Play and Charge, More...

Check out the full press release by expanding the news post.

Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite

Redmond, Washington—Microsoft Corp. today announced the upcoming availability of Xbox 360™ Elite, a new model of the video game and entertainment system that includes a 120GB hard drive, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, a high-definition cable, and a premium black finish for the console, wireless controller, and Xbox Live® headset.

The sleek Xbox 360 Elite is a digital entertainment powerhouse.

Xbox 360 Elite has enough space for a library of Xbox Live Arcade games and thousands of songs, as well as downloadable high-definition TV shows and movies available on Xbox Live Marketplace. The new 120GB hard drive also will be sold as a stand-alone accessory to give current Xbox 360 owners greater choice and flexibility in their games and entertainment experience.

Additional Xbox 360 Elite accessories, such as the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit, and the Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack, will be available separately. The Xbox 360 Elite and its accessories are expected to begin arriving in U.S. stores on April 29.

"Today's games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content," said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Xbox 360 Elite's larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer."

Distinguished by its black finish and signature metallic detailing, Xbox 360 Elite will have an estimated retail price of $479.99 (U.S.), and comes packed with components and accessories for the ultimate high-definition entertainment experience:

  • Xbox 360 Elite console: The console is equipped with a premium black finish and three powerful core processors capable of producing the best in HD entertainment (up to 1080p), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound, HDMI output and DVD playback with upscaling capabilities right out of the box.

  • Xbox 360 120GB hard drive: The 120GB detachable hard drive lets you save your games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos, and other content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace. The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $179.99 (U.S.).

  • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black): This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller, now in black, features the Xbox® Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $49.99 (U.S.).

  • Xbox 360 headset (black): Now available in black, the headset lets you strategize or trade taunts while playing games and send voice messages to friends on Xbox Live.

  • Xbox 360 HDMI cable: New to Xbox 360, HDMI allows you to get HD video (up to 1080p) and multichannel surround sound, all from one cable.

  • Xbox Live Silver Membership: With this, you can chat with friends online, collect achievements and gamerscores, send and receive voice and text messages, and access Xbox Live Marketplace content such as gme demos, HD movies and TV, as well as the best in downloadable games from Xbox Live Arcade.

  • One-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold: An Xbox Live Gold Membership provides a complete online entertainment experience. Subscribe to this premium service and engage in competitive online multiplayer matches, tailor your matchmaking via feedback and accomplishments, chat with more than one person at a time, and take advantage of unique privileges in the Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox Live Arcade.

The following accessories for the Xbox 360 Elite console will only be sold separately:

  • Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit: Complete with a charging cable and a black rechargeable battery pack, the Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit lets you recharge your Xbox 360 Wireless Controller without interrupting your is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $19.99 (U.S.).

  • Xbox 360 rechargeable battery pack (black): The rechargeable battery pack provides more than 25 hours of gameplay per charge. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $11.99 (U.S.).

Source:Microsoft Unveils Xbox 360 Elite

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tech Link (Motherboard): eVGA 680i LT SLI Motherboard Review

This new motherboard is the newest member of nVidia's reference board geared for the enthusiast. While I prefer Intel-branded chipset-based motherboard, when it comes to native SLI, it's the only choice for now. LegitReviews pit the board to several benchmarks and the author came out with good conclusion. Check this one out...

Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The nForce 680i LT SLI motherboard brings the performance of the 680i SLI motherboard to a lower price point by removing a few components and limiting some of the features that are found in the BIOS. While many of the luxury features that are used on the 680i SLI have been removed, we found that the performance and level of overclocking between the two boards to be too close to tell a a difference.

There really isn't too much more to say about the nForce 680i LT SLI as there isn't really anything new about the product itself! NVIDIA wanted a part that would fill the void between the 680i and 650i and the 680i LT SLI does just that with a reasonable price-tag for the performance level that is offers. At $199 this board will peak the interest of many gamers that want to have a board that supports SLI Technology!

The only gripe that I have with the 680i LT SLI is the active cooling that is used on both the SPP and MCP, which seems inadequate from our testing. When overclocking I used my infrared digital laser pyrometer to find out the surface temperature of the SPP and was shocked with the findings. Under load when the SPP heat sink was found to be 55-60C, which is too hot for my tastes.

At first it looked like NVIDIA was going to neuter a perfectly good board, but it seems that the Testosterone is still present and this 680i LT SLI is by no means a dog!

Legit Bottom Line: The NVIDIA nForce 680i LT SLI motherboard brings the performance of the 680i series down to ~$199 without taking away significantly from the level of performance and overclocking one would expect from these boards

Source:eVGA 680i LT SLI Motherboard Review

Tech Link (Cooler): Thermalright Ultima-90 ES vs TT120

There's a user posted review over at XS about an unreleased cooler from Thermalright. The prospects are good, and it beats Sunbeam Tuniq Tower 120 soundly. Check it out and save up.

Final Remarks

The Ultima-90 has delivered some note worthy results in the two weeks spent testing. The Ultima-90, in conjunction with an e6400 is outperforming a heatsink that dwarfs it in size - why? The answer could be in the heat pipe number combined with the large amount of fins. There are 6 heatpipe coolers such as the Scythe Ninja and 45+ fin coolers like the Tuniq. The performance differential between the Ultima-90 and Tuniq appears to come from combining the two. A 48 fin cooler with 6x6mm heatpipes seems very efficient at heat dissipation. Therein is the difference, never in my searching have a found a heatsink that so densely packs the two together. Distance between the base and the bottom fins may also come into play. Heat does not have to travel long on the Ultima-90 before it reaches the lowest fins. Lastly, the Ultima-90 heatpipes converge right at the beginning and travel the breadth of the base.

For the future, I look forward to more examples of employing 7-9mm heatpipe solutions as has been done on the Enzotech Ultra-X and Thermalright IFX-14.

At this point, I have to say the Ultima-90, once delivered, should be an outstanding high performance cooler at what will probably be a reasonable price.

I'd like to thank Thermalright for sending me this engineering sample and for sending the Tuniq out quickly and in good condition.

Many thanks also must go out to ChaosMinionX at Xtremesystems forums for helping me in the methodology of this review. I promise I will get a run of coollabs liquid pro in soon!

Source:Thermalright Ultima-90 ES vs TT120

Monday, March 26, 2007

Brag: Another 100% Overclock, for an unreleased Intel E2160 CPU

Well, after the successful 100% overclock of my Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300 even before it was released, I am always very eager and on the lookout to check for more upcoming processors that can do just that. Fortunately, one of my sample can hit it with ease, like a hot knife cutting through butter.

I can't post benchmarks and can't reveal L2 cache info, since this is yet to be released. This is also why I edited the CPU-Z screenshot, and just a note, CPU-Z still can't properly recognize it (it misreads as Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300). Overclock is done using an Intel® D975XBX2, and Samsung* DDR2-800MHz value RAM. Voltage is set at 1.6v for vCore, and everything else is stock, including heatsink. Anyway, if you haven't clicked on it yet, click on the image for the full-size screen of the CPU-Z.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tech Link (Overclock): Intel Core 2 Extreme Edition 2.93GHz@5.1GHz

Thanks for visitors and friends who frequents my Blog site and contributing. I got an email about my Blog post about Abit@CeBit, apparently, not being able to use the phase change cooler for some OC loving due to CeBit not being able to provide enough current (talk about the source of that news, FUDZILLA, that taught me it's another INQ garbage site). Well, according to the interview with hipro5, an uber Intel FanBoy like FUGGER, the problem was the 110v vs 220v. Well, that's just too bad. Anyway, watch the video at Hexus.TV and watch fellow Intel FanBoy show off an awesome 5.1GHz overclock (Hexus titled it 5.4GHz though, ugh).

Source:Tech Link (Overclock): Intel Core 2 Extreme Edition 2.93GHz@5.1GHz

Tech Link (Utility): Updated SetFSB : Version 2.0b8m

abo, developer of SetFSB, released a new version of his world-famous overclocking utility for Windows that supports a rather legacy system. Not that this new release will change the world, but hey, it just goes to show that abo is not just developing software to support new hardware, but even those older systems. Check out the change log:

1. Updated SetFSB : Version 2.0b8m - Added RTM520-39D.
Supported Intel440BX, VIA Pro133(A/T) chipset.

Yay for abo. Go check out his website and grab the SetFSB that has a wide range of supported motherboards.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tech Link (Industry): Cebit could not handle Abit

Woah, funny stuff I got from a friend sending me this info. Apparently, FUGGER's three-stager cooler was shipped over to CEBIT 2007 hall to show how powerful the Abit* boards are, unfortunately, it requires just too much power to run. Talk about xtreem cooling, but they still managed to get a smaller, more electricity-friendly cooler to work. Anyway, the part about the cooler being FUGGER's is still a rumor (Update 3/25/2007: verified it's FUGGER's, link added), and that guy in red is the world famous overclocker and modder hipro5. Check out the full news, expand this Blog post.

CEBIT 2007: Electrical installations too weak
Abit was ready to show the world how good their motherboards can overclock, and they were damn shore that they would succeed. But when you run out of luck, even the best hardware can't help.

A huge three stage custom made gas cooling unit that was brought too cool the CPU. As we were informed, they couldn't even start up the cooler because it started eating more energy than the Cebit hall electrical system could handle.

Well, instead of cooling the CPU, this cooling unit turned into a pretty expensive paperweight.

After a few days, a smaller system was used to demonstrate Abits IN9 32X motherboard power combined with Intel Core 2 Extreme x6800 @ 4813MHz, and CAS3 DDR2 memory. The bus speed was 1750 MHz which looks nice.

Source:Cebit could not handle Abit

Tech Link (Motherboard): abit AB9 QuadGT – Fully fledged P965 motherboard

Tweaktown reviews the relatively new motherboard from Abit*, their AB9 QuadGT. This board got a very good high score from the author and can overclock well too. If you are planning to get this board, check out the review and see if it fits your needs.

Final Thoughts

As far as we are concerned, we believe the guys over at Universal abit are certainly on the comeback trail and they’ll continue to improve if they continue producing motherboards like the QuadGT.

We have so far been provided three successful motherboards from them and one mediocre board, and surprisingly it was the nForce 680i. The big mother of them all that failed the QuadGT, AB9 Pro and the A8N 32X which were all smashing successes, proving ABIT can do it when it has to but they just skipped a couple of important beats with the IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi.

When we tested the AB9 Pro, we criticized it for its lack of Crossfire support and extra PCI Express x16 slot. Since the Intel P965 chip was given the Crossfire seal of approval, it seemed a big shame to not put that to use. Finally ABIT has really listened and started to put boards out that people want, not telling people what they want. The latest P965 motherboard from ABIT not only see dual graphics support but further additions such as an extra e.SATA port, better heat pipe cooling, better stability and durability through the use of solid state capacitors and digital PWM and the list goes on.

One thing we must really criticise if the placement of the FDD connector - I mean come on, how hard is it to place it behind the memory sockets, Gigabyte does it, ASUS does it, time to shape up on that one ABIT and get that fixed. Sure, rarely the aging floppy drive is used these days but it does add a slightly sour note to an overall very impressive motherboard.

Overall though the placement of the FDD connector didn’t overshadow the great performance, very impressive features and solid package and we’d be silly not to recommend the ABIT AB9 QuadGT in a very high regard. It’s up there as one of the best Intel P965 motherboards on the market and it’s also cheaper than the Gigabyte DQ6 in Australia by about 15 - 20%.

Source:abit AB9 QuadGT – Fully fledged P965 motherboard

Tech Link (Memory): Geil Ultra Plus 1gb PC6400

I stumbled upon a tech site that I am not familiar with, XSreviews. They seemed like a pretty decent site, I have yet to read more articles before I can say if it's good or bad, well, according to my taste. Anyway, they review a good memory from GeIL* which used to be one of my trusted memory manufacturer during the DDR1 days. Check out the site...


The Ultra Plus 6400 kit from Geil is an absolutely fantastic overclocker. It has crazy tight timings at stock speeds, but loosen them up and crank up the voltage and you will have some monster overclocks on the horizon. The fact that this is a 1gb kit will hold back those looking to game with this kit but anyone looking to spec up a solid Athlon64 or P4 rig would be well advised to think of the Geil Ultra series 1gb kit.

Source:Geil Ultra Plus 1gb PC6400

Tech Link (Industry): Intel vs. AMD: Today's generation compared

Want to feed your FanBoyism even more? Then check out the latest article from TheTechReport. I enjoyed reading the Conclusion part, so I never bothered reading the rest of the article. Well, they are a pretty good site, more trustworthy than AMDTech, so check out their great article and indulge yourselves.

The fact that Intel retains the overall performance crown comes as no surprise. As we said at the outset, AMD has no real answer to the Core 2 Extreme X6800 among its dual-core processors. Also, Intel's quad-core CPUs tend to scale better than AMD's Quad FX platform, especially for typical desktop-class applications. Our move to Windows Vista x64 has done little to alter this dynamic. At the same time, Core 2 processors tend to draw less power and to be more energy efficient—sometimes markedly so—than Athlon 64s. Right now, Intel has the magic combination of a superior processor microarchitecture and a more mature, fully realized 65nm manufacturing capability working together on its side.
This one-two punch has allowed Intel to maintain a performance edge at most price points, despite standing pat through AMD's aggressive pricing moves and new model introductions. AMD's current weaknesses manifest themselves most fully in its high-end models, like the Athlon 64 X2 6000+, which draws more power at peak than the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 yet is often outperformed by the less expensive Core 2 Duo E6600. The Athlon 64 looks more competitive in its lower-end incarnations like the X2 5000+ and 4400+, which match up better on both performance and power characteristics against the Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400. These processors have the benefit of being available in 65nm form, and I'd say the minor performance penalty one pays in performance at 65nm (due to the slower L2 cache) is worth it for the reduced power draw.

This low-to-mid-range territory, incidentally, is where I'd be looking to buy. Many of our tests have shown the benefits of quad-core processors, but honestly, finding applications that will make good use of four cores is not easy—and the list of games that really use four cores is approximately zero. I'd probably grab a Core 2 Duo E6400 and overclock it until it started to glow, if I were putting together a system right now. I must admit, though, that I have an almost irrational fondness for the Core 2 Quad Q6600, probably because it's the most energy efficient processor in our Cinebench power test. The thing is by no means a great deal—two E6600s will set you back over $200 less than a single Q6600—but it's easy to imagine a near-silent multitasking monster built around one.

AMD would do well to expand its 65nm offerings into higher clock frequencies as soon as it can reasonably do so. That may take a while yet, given the limited overclocking headroom we've seen from early 65nm Athlon 64 X2s. Meanwhile, Intel isn't likely to sit still for much longer. Rumors of an April price cut abound, and in light of the Core 2's ample frequency headroom, higher speed grades are a definite possibility, as well. For AMD, its next-generation microarchitecture can't come a moment too soon.

Source:Intel vs. AMD: Today's generation compared
Questions asked, questions answered

Tech Link (Gadget): Apple TV Part 1: Unboxed and Dissected

AMDTech got hold of the new Apple TV gadget and they pry it open, meddle with it, and just took them all apart till the author, none other than the AMDroid himself Anand Lal Shimp, is satisfied. There's no functional testing yet, but if you are like me who have a knack for breaking cool things open (and failing to put everything back together), then you may find this interesting. Check it out...

Although the less exciting of Apple's major announcements this year, Apple TV is finally upon us. As the world waits for the iPhone, it's time to look at Apple's latest entry into the convergence market. While we work on our review we thought you all might like to see the innards of the Apple TV.

Source:Apple TV Part 1: Unboxed and Dissected

Friday, March 23, 2007

Tech Link (Motherboard): CeBIT exclusive: DFI Infinity 965 board - overclocking party

While I don't like the website's theme, layout, and review style in general, I loved it-review's conclusion on DFI*'s upcoming Infinity board based on i965 chipset. They received a damaged board (missing capacitors) and yet this board still overclocks pretty well. And as per the author, this board is supposed to be a "LanParty" series (aka the expensive series) but to the delay to bring this out to market, it sunk down into an "Infinity" model. Anyway, expand to read their conclusion...

Though this board comes late in comparison to other manufacturers, we know where the extra time was spent. The board design and its performance justify the time spent, and its overclockability has pleasantly surprised us. We have a strong feeling this board was meant to be a part of Lan Party series because it has some features that don’t belong to Infinity series, but we guess it was introduced as Infinity because it arrived late. On the other hand, this is a Lan Party style board at Infinity price range, and that can only be good for end users. We believe there will be many enthusiasts that will go for this board, especially because it price performance ratio is high. Even damaged (3 capacitors were torn off), it still performed excellent, so with the 3 capacitors in place it can only get better. If you are in search of a good overclock platform and you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money, this is definitely the board for you. At the end of this article I would like to thank DFI for making this review happen. I would also like to thank King Car Food Ind. Co. Ltd. for their Mr. Brown Classic Coffee-Drink that kept our CeBIT IT-review Lab up and running all night. Yet again...

Source:CeBIT exclusive: DFI Infinity 965 board - overclocking party

Tech Link (RAM): CellShock DDR2 1000 2GB Memory Kit

LegitReviews has a pretty RAM on their test bench. It doesn't have flashy LEDs or crazy design for its heatspreader, but the style is just sexy. If you are craving for some RAM review, check this out and see if it suits your taste.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This Cell Shock DDR2 1000 2GB kit was a great memory kit to be introduced to. The memory modules that I was able to use were found to be of high quality and featured a unique design to the heat spreader. More specifically, it uses the ever popular Micron D9GKX memory IC's, is built on an 8 layer PCB and it has a classy, yet well built heatspreader. It performed very well, in fact, very comparable to our Corsair ram that we tested against, so it is certainly able to hang with the big names here in the United States.

Overclocking results were actually pretty good, and gave a good boost in performance. With the option to link or unlink ram these days on the newer motherboard chipsets, it means that tweaking is nearly endless when using a pair of modules like these! This makes it fun for the most detailed of enthusiast, and this Cell Shock plays nice at various timings and voltages.

I was only able to find this memory at one online store in the US, at They have it priced at $419.00, which seems like a pretty penny, but numerous other brands are asking this much, if not more, for comparable memory kits these days. The one thing that concerns me the most with the price tag on this memory kits is that it ONLY comes with a 5-year warranty. In an industry where everyone else has lifetime warranties on their modules this is an interesting move. For a ~$400 memory kit one would expect that it would have a lifetime warranty, but this one does not.

The Legit Bottom Line:
This Cell Shock DDR2 1000 2GB kit is certainly worthy of your time and attention if you are in the market for ram. It performs great, overclocks decent. The only drawback may be the warranty and price for a relative unknown in the US market... the sticker price might just give you "Cell Shock," but remember, you get what you pay for!

Source:CellShock DDR2 1000 2GB Memory Kit

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brag: 5GHz+ again, with another CPU, on stock cooler!!!

Woah, just a couple of weeks ago, I managed to push my Intel® Celeron® D 352 3.2GHz to 5GHz+ on air on stock cooler, and now, I reached it again. I used an Intel® D975XBX2 and a value DDR2-800MHz RAM for some OC loving, I never expected this CPU to break 4.2GHz. Expand if you want to read the full story...

However, this time around, it's not a cheap Celery, but more like an entry level Intel® Pentium® 4 641. This processor is based on Cedar Mill, which is the same core as that of the 5GHz Celery. I always thought that Cedar Mill is the way to go for obscene high clocks, and I have proven it twice already.

Sure, it's not enough data, but hey, two CPUs which are boxed and retail already shows 5GHz is not only relegated for those who use high end phase change cooler, but even to those stock cooler user on air. Anyway, click on the image for the CPU-Z Validation. And I wish you good luck in achieving the same clockage.

FanBoy out...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tech Link (Industry): Thermaltake* ramping up!

Woah, I just visited Thermaltake* and they have an awesome new coolers. I particularly like the MaxOrb cooler, with six (6) heatpipes, blue-led fan, and cool looking design, it's a winner. Of course, it should perform!

They also have a funky looking V1, though I think it looks more like an oversized Zalman chipset cooler for me, yay. Anyway, it's different and I hope it can perform decently as well, but the name sucks big time.

The last one is a nice decent BlueOrb FX that shows some display, however, it's been done before. Nonetheless, it's still interesting :).

Check out the website, they may have more in store to feast your eyes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Brag: FanBoy gone uber nuts, benchmark galore for upcoming Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320, E6420, E4400

Don't know which one to get? Are you staying with your current Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 rig? Or drooling at the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300 but don't know if Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4400 makes more sense? Will the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6420 packs enough punch? This benchies migh help you decide. I have been meaning to post it but time has always been a luxury that I don't have much. So anyway, I finished analyzing some results, but I won't be posting any conclusion, instead, I'll post the benchmarks and I'll leave the conclusion to you guys. Check out a number of benchmark results of these processors, from 3DMark01 to SuperPi...

Disclaimer: This is an ES CPU, retail may or may not have changes from this sample.

Test Set Up
Processor(s)(Reference Stock Cooler):
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320(1.86GHz)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320(2.13GHz)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300(1.8GHz)
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4400(2.00GHz)
Intel® Pentium® D 940 (3.2GHz)

Intel® D975XBX2 Desktop Board Rev 305 BIOS 2618

Samsung Value DDR2-800MHz 2x512MB(CL5-5-5-15 SPD)

Hard Drive:
Seagate* Barracuda 120GB SATA RAID 0

Video Card:
Palit* 7950GT 512MB (2x)

Power Supply:
Delta 650W EPS12V (server grade)

Thermaltake* LANFire Xaser III

::Stock Benchmarks::
Doom3: Low Quality-640x480

3DMark Benchmarks:
3DMark01: Overall

3DMark03: CPU

3DMark05: CPU

3DMark06: CPU

Aquamark03: CPU

Multimedia/Multitasking/Multithreading Benchmarks:
Cinebench: Render Score

Cinebench: Render Time

PCMark05: Overall


SANDRA: Multimedia

wPrime: 32M

SuperPi: 1M

Memory Benchmarks:
SANDRA: RAM Bandwidth

::Conclusion::Well, I leave you guys to your own conclusion :). That is all for today, FanBoy out...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tech Link (Industry): AMD praying ‘Barcelona’ makes up for four-core mistake

Woah, they finally realized it's the performance that matters and not how the technology is implemented. If products performs, within the consumers' budget, and works like a charm, end users will grab them like hotcakes. I wonder why they never said MCM is better than their 4x4, that is, you need two dual cores to achieve quad core (cripes!!!!). Quotable quotes from the Register:

“If I could do something different, I wish we would have immediately done a MCM - two dual cores and call it a quad-core,” said Mario Rivas, an EVP at AMD, during a recent interview in Austin, “because, I guess, the market sucks it up.”

Expand for more...

By Ashlee Vance in Mountain View (
Published Saturday 17th March 2007 00:05 GMT

Exclusive Bruised by a resurgent Intel, AMD wishes it had tackled the four-core era with a different approach. The chipmaker stands behind the technical merits of pumping out a so-called native four-core chip with all four cores on the same piece of silicon.

It, however, admits that Intel gained a major marketing edge by melding a pair of dual-core processors with a multi-chip module (MCM) when it released the "Clovertown" version of Xeon last year. That four-core chip allowed Intel to claim a server processor technology milestone ahead of AMD for the first time in about three years.

“If I could do something different, I wish we would have immediately done a MCM - two dual cores and call it a quad-core,” said Mario Rivas, an EVP at AMD, during a recent interview in Austin, “because, I guess, the market sucks it up.”

Before Clovertown, AMD enjoyed one of the more remarkable runs in server chip marketing and production. It beat Intel to 64-bit extensions for x86 chips and then nailed the release of mainstream, dual-core chips. Besides hitting these milestones, AMD clobbered Intel’s Xeon on overall performance and performance per watt - two of the server world’s favored metrics.

While a high-end part such as Clovertown misses the mainstream, it has proved popular enough with the most demanding customers and analysts to toss the technology and marketing edge back toward Intel. Recent sales figures show that Intel has regained server processor share from AMD, and Intel has shown leading performance on a wide variety of benchmarks.

So, AMD is going retro with its upcoming release of the four-core Barcelona chip, hoping to tap into the momentum of yesteryear.

“Barcelona is as much of event in the x86 world as Opteron was when we launched it,” Rivas said.

Other AMD executives have used this line in recent months, although we’re not sure the pitch fits.

The release of Opteron, as mentioned, gave AMD the first 64-bit x86 chip. More importantly, it turned AMD into a real contender in the server market for the first time.

Barcelona seems like less of a game changer. At the most basic level, it’s simply a better performing chip than today’s dual-core Opterons. AMD expects the processor to provide a 40 per cent surge on most software loads and a much higher boost on floating point-heavy software. Best of all, the chip slides right into existing systems.

AMD hopes to continue the socket compatibility with the four-core follow-on to Barcelona called Shanghai and the eight-core follow-on Montreal - a tidbit you may consider a Register exclusive.

El Reg: Will the upcoming chips Shanghai and Montreal be socket compatible as well?

MR: Yes. That’s the goal. We have not released detailed specs that I know of on those two devices, but that (strategy) has served us well.

Rivas declined to discuss what might happen with Bulldozer - meant to be a native eight-core chip - but hinted that “we have analyst day coming up, and I don’t want to share any more than I have to (before that).”

Channel Stuffing
While Barcelona's release may not match Opteron blow-for-blow, it will stand as a crucial product for AMD’s near-term success.

Sources tell us that the chip is cranking through software at an unreal clip in the labs, beating out AMD’s oft-cited 40 per cent performance gain figure.

Over the last couple of months, AMD executives seemed to change the language around Barcelona’s delivery date, making us wonder if the chip was suffering from a delay. Top staffers started talking up a “late Summer” release rather than a “mid-year” shipments as previously promised.

Rivas said the mid-year plan holds, and we’re looking for Barcelona to ship in July.

The chip can’t come fast enough for AMD’s channel partners who have suffered at the hands of Tier 1 demand.

“We got a little bit distracted,” Rivas said.

AMD has, in fact, blamed its channel shortfall for a recent revenue warning. Rivas said that an unexpected spike in demand for mobile processors along with Tier 1s gobbling up all the available Opterons hurt the supply of gear to the channel.

The channel excuse has rubbed us the wrong way because AMD has spent the last three years celebrating new programs for smaller partners, saying such efforts have been a huge success.

“It was a combination of a boom in our OEM customers and a mix issue that made us not look at our distribution perhaps as well as we could,” Rivas said. “And now we are (suffering) the consequences.”

Moving forward with Barcelona, AMD expects that it will have Opterons for all.

“We will have plenty of silicon” Rivas said. “We will make certain that everyone gets their fair share of the pie.”

Should Barcelona prove as successful as AMD hopes, then the company could be poised to gain server market share against Intel before beginning another game-changing phase.

AMD expects its ATI buy to pay serious data center dividends when the company shifts to 45nm chips in 2008. The chipmaker is looking to combine x86 processors with graphics engines to make products capable of cranking through scientific workloads with unprecedented performance. Such products will be complemented by third-party accelerators that plug right into Opteron sockets - an attack where AMD still enjoys a healthy lead over Intel.

So, come 2008, AMD should gain a shot at seizing the marketing high-ground once again rather than agonizing over missed opportunities. That is if all goes according to plan . . . ®

Source:AMD praying ‘Barcelona’ makes up for four-core mistake

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brag: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6420 Initial Benchmarks (and 50% Overclock)

Well, I finally got the time to plug in the 3rd CPU I got from the old box of goodies I got some time ago. It isn't based on Penryn, as seen on the CPU-Z screenshot and validation link. It's a good overclocking CPU, and performs really well. The 4MB L2 cache has done wonders with the CPU, and performance has really improved. If you would like to see the initial benchmarks and the 50% OC, then expand for more...

Disclaimer: This is an ES CPU, retail may or may not have changes from this sample.

Quick Overclock:
This is just a quick and dirty FSB overclocking and nothing fancy. This overclock can be done even by those noob overclockers, the processor is just so OC friendly. I reached 1600MHz FSB (400MHz QPB) in just under 10mins, and it's rock stable. I can run multi-threaded prime for more than 2hours, complete all kinds of FutureMark* benchmarks, and it'll run happy with Aquamark03, and even Doom3 time demo. And yes, it's on stock cooler and all stock voltage too.

Stock Benchmarks:
For the curious, test set up can be seen on the CPU-Z validation, and aside from that, I am using a typical WinHEC 550 Power Supply, and stock cooler. Here are some early stock benchies for you to feast on going head on against Intel® Pentium® D 940.

Cinebench 9.5

wPrime 32M

SuperPi 1M

That is all for now, FanBoy out...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tech Link (Industry): CeBIT 2007: MSI motherboard roundup; nForce 680i with Creative X-Fi onboard; Intel 965 plus Crossfire;

Digitimes has a good coverage for the CEBIT2007. They posted a neat slew of motherboards from MSI*, with i965 and nForce chipset. Check it out...

The P6N Diamond combines some of the big names in enthusiast hardware; the nForce 680i – the current flagship chipset from Nvidia, and Creative's X-Fi Extreme Audio. This integrated version of the X-Fi series may lack some of the features that the add-in cards deliver, but for many the opportunity to have X-Fi onboard means lower costs and better performance than other integrated audio solutions. MSI mentioned that it has been working closely with Creative for over two years and the co-operation is working well for both parties.

Source:CeBIT 2007: MSI motherboard roundup; nForce 680i with Creative X-Fi onboard; Intel 965 plus Crossfire;

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tech Link (Chipset): Intel G965: mATX Performance Update

AMDTech has put the i965 chipset to some bench-loving test runs and came out with a decent findings. While I don't fully agree with their "Quick Take" kinda conclusion, it's still a decent read if you just want to see how mATX fairs against their ATX big brothers.

Quick Take

Our initial performance results indicate a toss up as to which solution is better. That was to be expected as we have two almost identical boards from a features and BIOS perspective that only differ in their use of chipsets and layout design. Even though the chipsets are different, they are based on the same core logic so any real performance differences would be derived from BIOS tuning, options, and the quality of board components.

While the G965 boards will never overclock as well as their P965 siblings, the base performance is almost identical if you have the ability to tune the board. This is a limitation of the chipset and not the mATX board design. On the AM2 side, we have already seen excellent overclocking results from the abit and DFI mATX boards and expect even better performance with their GeForce 7050 designs next month. Also, the performance differences between AM2 solutions in the mATX and ATX designs mirror our test results on the Intel platform for the most part.

We have a few mATX boards with the G965 chipset that have very limited BIOS options, but even so our initial performance tests only indicate up to a 2% difference in most test results due to the memory timings being the prime differentiator in the scores. In fact, probably the biggest difference we have witnessed in our game tests is 5% between a top tier P965 ATX board that has been tuned and a base level G965 mATX board from Intel utilizing auto settings. Our application tests vary from 1% to 3% in scores at stock CPU settings between the two boards with DDR2-800 memory.

In the end, we feel like your choice of a mATX or ATX solution should be dictated by the requirements of the system (price, features, layout, overclocking, warranty, etc.). The use of an integrated graphics chipset will not inherently reduce performance relative to a discrete graphics chipsets, provided you use identical components. It will be the other aspects - particularly overclocking if that's a concern - that will warrant the use of a discrete graphics chipset rather than an IGP solution.

Source:Intel G965: mATX Performance Update

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tech Link (Chipset): Intel to launch Bearlake chipset at Cebit

More and more information about the new Intel chipset is pouring in slowly, but surely. THG (yeah, TGDaily, whatever) has a news posted about the upcoming launch of the said chipset in CeBit 2007@Germany. Expand to read more...

Hannover (Germany) - While Intel has remained quiet in public about a possible introduction of a refreshed Core 2 Duo platform, first motherboards that support the faster front side bus FSB1333, the upcoming 45 nm processor Penryn and provide the technology foundation for DDR3 memory have surfaced at the Cebit tradeshow.

Cebit is scheduled to open tomorrow, March 15, and vendors are still in the midst of building their show booths in a total 28 exhibition halls. However, on a first stroll around the show floor, we noticed virtually all Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers setting up motherboards with Intel's new "Bearlake" chipset.

Bearlake, the core of Intel's "Salt Creek" platform, will be named the Intel 3 series of chipsets. The first chipset out is the G33, which has been showcased first on the MSI board G33M2 at Cebit. This chipset is aimed at the lower end of the mainstream market and will be accompanied by the mainstream P35, which is also expected to debut at Cebit. In Q3, Intel will introduce the G35, which will support Clear Video technology, DirectX10 and native HDCP integration to deal with high definition DRM.

All new 3-series chipsets are based on the new ICH-9 southbridge and support DDR3 memory. While the G33, P35 and G35 are limited to DDR3-1066 and DDR3-800 memory devices, the upcoming enthusiast chipset X38 will be compatible with DDR3-1333 modules. Industry sources told TG Daily that these FSB1333 chipsets have been running in Intel's test labs for a while with the new FSB1333 generation of Core 2Duo processors and apparently are capable of providing a "significant" speed boost. We are hearing news about systems that are able to boot a complete system in 30 seconds or less.

The fact that Intel will be showing Bearlake chipsets indicates that the company will be launching the FSB1333 processors at Cebit as well. We are expecting three versions of these CPUs: The Core 2 Duo 6650 (2.33 GHz), the 6750 (2.66 GHz) as well as the 6850 (3.0 GHz).

ICH9, introduced with the 3-series of chipsets, will also serve as the initial southbridge for Intel's 45 nm Penryn processor, which is expected to be launched in Q4 of this year or early in Q1 2008. ICH9 will continue the legacy removal that has begun with the current ICH8 version: PATA support will be disappearing from the mobile version; there will be added USB support (12 ports) and a reduced power consumption of less than 3.5 watt.

Source:Intel to launch Bearlake chipset at Cebit

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tech Link (Chipset): Intel P35 "Bearlake" Chipset Performance Preview

TweakTown manage to put together a preview of benchmarks for the upcoming Intel P35 chipset, codenamed BearLake. The chipset puts a good showing on the series of benchmarks, and it's looking like a killer chipset for the performance FanBoys. Check it out...

Final Thoughts
While we have only got our hands on the first working silicon of Intel’s P35 Bearlake-P chipset, we are extremely impressed with it so far.

Intel has put a lot of work into this chipset by the design of it, and with more on the way we can only hope things do get even better. Intel is looking like they are setting themselves up for a great run for the remainder of 2007 and into next year with their upcoming Yorkfield and Wolfdale processors. And with massive price drops on the horizon for upcoming Intel processors since all Dual Core processors will become mainstream parts making room for Quad Core as premium high-end, it’s only going to mean good things for Intel. For instance, the E6850 processor will debut with a street price around $266 USD which is around 75% cheaper than what the X6800 was selling for and you’re getting a processor platform which is able to perform faster.

One thing that was very limited in this silicon revision was its overclocking. By default the motherboard supports 333MHz FSB but we only managed to get it to 350MHz and this wasn’t 100% stable. This wasn’t anything to do with the board itself, as our board was supplied with plenty of overclocking tweaks, just that the chipset is of first silicon and not ready for full release yet. As we said, the P35 is based on 65nm process technology and once it’s fully ready for public consumption, we expect it to perform as least as well as Intel P965 in FSB overclocking.

Intel’s Bearlake will soon make its debut onto the motherboard market with the P35 first to market with the G33 and G35 soon to follow for the value segments. X38 will be the big thing but don’t expect that till late in Q3 of 2007 when DDR-3 memory is shipping.

Looking good so far!

Source:Intel P35 "Bearlake" Chipset Performance Preview