Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tech Link (Industry): Too Terrible To Contemplate? . . .

I decided to give overclockers.com to see what the usual doomsday predictor (for both A* and I*) have posted on their site. While I am amused with their article, I never really used them as a "factual" source, but hey, I am not saying they are claiming, it's just my "feelings".

Anyway, I read one of author's musings and somehow, this reflects how I feel with A*. There's not much news, and early benchmarks are just for early samples, not too many hard evidence to say how A* will respond. Expand to read more...



There's been a lot of bad news about AMD this year, but a lot of people don't want to hear it.

I'm not talking about fanboys, but those who essentially say, "My God, AMD's got to pull through, because if they don't, that would be bad for me!" (OK, they usually say "us" but it boils down to the same thing.)


Source:Too Terrible To Contemplate? . . .

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tech Link: Intel talks future chips, power, efficiency and mobility

nordichardware has a scoop on Intel's future chips and other things on the roadmap. The article is not that comprehensive, but it's an interesting one as it gives bits and info on future products from chipzilla. Expand to read the article...



Last week Intel held a press event at its main quarter office in Santa Clara, California. Intel displayed its 1 Teraflops chip whose 80 core design has been discussed in earlier reports. Except from the mighty multithreading monster code-named "tera-scale silicon prototype", there was also a lot of talk about power consumption and efficiency. That the performance increase with every generation is a given, but how the power consumption and power efficiency evolves is not as predictable. Intel is continuously working on new technology to improve the efficiency of the circuits, thus lowering the power consumption and it revealed some of its newest progress at the event.

"A prototype of the technology was demonstrated in a PCI Express card with a chip that consumed one-tenth the power of a card with today's chip technology, or 2.7 milliwatts versus 20 to 30 milliwatts. Reducing power consumption is critical, given that using today's technology to power a PCI Express card with a bandwidth of a terabit per second would require 100 watts of energy, Casper said."

The basic idea is that Intel wants every chip to use precisely the amount of power necessary to perform a given task. Intel has been looking at wireless circuits and been able to reduce the power consumption by up to 50% to 70% by shutting off the Wi-Fi circuits when it's not needed.

Over at InformationWeek there is a longer report on Intel's press event where they also bring up the UMPC concept and other ventures.


Source:Intel talks future chips, power, efficiency and mobility

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): Core 2 Duo E6750 Review

HardwareSecrets tested this amazing processor and well, they aren't too impressed about it. I guess they missed the fact that it does run on higher FSB on the same/similar TDP and clockspeed meaning these processors can now take a beating on memory intensive applications (and yeah, overclocking too). On the same/similar clock speed, there will be hardly any difference from applications that don't rely on fast memory access. Anyway, check it out...



Conclusions
On all our tests Core 2 Duo E6750 performance was identical to Core 2 Duo E6700, even though it uses a faster front side bus – and we simulated the use of several different types of application.

So what is the advantage of using a Core 2 Duo E6750 instead of a Core 2 Duo E6700? Based on the results from our tests, none.

Then why Intel is launching this new 1,333 MHz external bus? We have two answers for that.

First, on quad-core CPUs the higher external clock rate may increase the system performance. This happens because currently on Intel quad-core CPUs the cores are arranged into two pairs. The cores inside each pair can talk directly to each other, but if they need to talk to a core that belongs to the other pair they need to go to the front side bus and make this connection going thru outside the processor. Increasing the CPU external clock rate increases, at least in theory, the speed each core pair can talk to each other. For a detailed explanation about this subject please read our Intel Quad Core Overview and Roadmap article.

We will have to wait until we review a quad-core CPU based on this new FSB to see if this is really the case.

The second reason we can see is regarding DDR3-1333 memories, which will be supported by the Intel X38 chipset to be launched in July. Using DDR3-1333 memories with a Core 2 running externally at 1,333 MHz you will be able to match the FSB clock with the memory clock, allowing you to achieve the maximum performance with current technology.

In retrospect we must keep in mind that this is the first time in six years that Intel is launching a new front side bus speed with memories matching it. When the Pentium 4 was launched, for example, it used the then-new 400 MHz FSB and there were no 400 MHz memories at the time – this was PC-100 times and DDR-400 wasn’t available yet. The same thing happened when they launched the 533 MHz, the 800 MHz and even the 1,066 MHz external clock speeds. Even to this date Intel chipsets do not officially support DDR2-1066 (even though Intel P965 and P35 can access memories at 1,066 MHz just fine and P35 officially support DDR3-1066). DDR3-1333 availability may be an issue, but that is a totally different story.


Source:Core 2 Duo E6750 Review

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): New Member In Core 2 Duo Processor Family: Introducing CPUs with 1333MHz Bus

xbitlabs has a pretty good info on the new breed of processors from Intel. They have put it thru the test and come out good even with a sound beating and torture from the crew. Check it out...



Conclusion
Well, let’s sum up a few things now. Intel’s decision to equip their Core 2 Duo processors with faster 1333MHz bus support is regarded as another move towards higher performance of this processor family. It is partially true. As we have seen today, higher bus speed will obviously boost the performance in most applications. However, unfortunately, this boost will not be as significant as we hoped: it hardly ever gets beyond 3%. But, the changes in the bus frequency are not the only thing that determined the advantage of the new CPUs over their predecessors: different clock frequencies are another reason. For example, the nominal frequency of the top Core 2 Duo E6850 model has now risen to 3.0GHz, while before today the maximum frequency of the existing Core 2 Duo processors used to be only 2.93GHz. This also affects the performance, and together with the faster bus it brings in more confident victory of the top Core 2 Duo CPUs. In other words, the launch of the Core 2 Duo CPUs with 1333MHz bus will become another part of the progress CPUs on Core micro-architecture are making. Although we all wish that they were moving at a little bit faster pace towards the promising Penryn family.

Higher bus frequency is not the only nice thing about the new processors. They are based on the new G0 stepping of the Conroe core that boasts better frequency potential. As a result, the FSB Wall has been pushed farther back and the overclocking results have improved significantly. For example, our overclocking experiments revealed that the new processors can work at 3.6-3.8GHz with traditional air-cooling onboard. Therefore, Core 2 Duo E6850, 6750 and 6550 should become very popular among overclockers, especially since Intel is going to price them very affordably. According to the preliminary data, Core 2 Duo E6850 will sell for $266, Core 2 Duo E6750 - for $183, and Core 2 Duo E6550 – for $163. This attractive price tag will certainly help Intel stimulate the transition to systems with 1333MHz bus.


Source:New Member In Core 2 Duo Processor Family: Introducing CPUs with 1333MHz Bus

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tech Link (Motherboard): Asus P5W DH Deluxe/WiFi In-Depth Overclocking Review

madshrimps has posted a review of a "relatively" old board. After reading it, I felt that it wasn't about the baord itself but more on the overclocking side of things. I kinda agree with the author about the Dewar + LN2 thing, as this seems to be the most common way to proclaim leetness nowadays. Am I against it? Definitely not, but I am not as excited as before, when I really have to dig out all the crazy mods and stuff like that. Anyway, check it out and sorry for the rant..



Conclusive Thoughts:

The P5W DH Deluxe will most likely be retired with honors as an Asus classic. Unfortunately we cannot do much about the boot-strap issue except to try and work with it. With the price of DDR2 4GB kits such as GSkill 2x2GB DDR2-667 for $199 Newegg (CL4-4-4-12 @ 1.8 ~ 19V) this would make for a powerful Gaming system in Crossfire mode, or a great little Server with WiFi and the EZ-RAID back-up. Although reading through the Xtremesystems thread indicates some P5W DH owners have misdirected their dissatisfaction towards Asus, sadly they seem unaware Asus cannot re-design the 975X. Lest we forget this chipset was originally released in 2005 and if any company would find a work-around Asus would given the 865PE pseudo-PAT debacle. When I began this article I wasn't sure where it would lead me and I thought 400FSB was my limit on this board. To see 445FSB performance and then 460FSB + potential I can only hope those frustrated P5W DH owners will go back to the BIOS and try again.

As I stated earlier 8300MB/s is the highest I can recall overclocking any Intel system lately and while it’s not up there with the “Big Boys”, so what. Anyone can buy the most expensive hardware and then break records; I don’t recall the Art of Overclocking ever being about that. Overclocking used to be a community of DIY hobbyists whom aided one another to get more from less. What happened? I can pour LN2 over my head and proclaim to be COOL, all it costs is the price of a Dewar. Although the P5W DH is still fetching a premium price ( $199 at Newegg) the P5W DH still has much to offer and I hope this review has shown just how much. We ran our E6400 at 445FSB passing all benchmarks and this system has been running for 14-days straight at that speed Gaming, multitasking and running SETI BIONIC without incident.


Source:Asus P5W DH Deluxe/WiFi In-Depth Overclocking Review

Friday, June 22, 2007

Misc: I just remembered, I did watch Pirates of the Carribean

Hmm, I don't know why but I forgot posting it here, wanting to ask for your feedback. But I guess the movie didn't struck me as strong as the previous two.

My personal favorite is the original movie, the first one. I never imagined that such movie would make a great hit in the box office, I mean, Pirates to the theme of Disney (I think)? But hey, it was great and that prompted me to watch the sequel, and I don't really recall why would there be a second part as the first one seems "complete" to me.

Anyway, the 2nd installment was decent, but it left a lot of things hanging and made me say "heck, that's it, it's going to be a forced trilogy or worst, more than three sequels that the future ones may suck big time". Hey, it's not like I am against sequels, but I believe this movie, in its original storyline, wasn't created in such expanded detail. This is what I am afraid of, if you are familiar with dragging TV soap operas, I feel that this movie would suffer the same fate.

But that didn't stopped me from watching the current sequel and 3rd installment, just so I'll know what happens next and hoped that the movie will finally come to conclusion, but no, there are gaping holes again. Bah!

So anyway, sorry for the rant. I don't mean to make this Blog post longer than two paragraphs, I don't have a review like I did to 300 the movie. Anyway, I know it's late, but hey, better late than, well, err....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): Celeron 430 @ 3ghz vs FX-57 @ 3160mhz , the new Celeron rocks

PcCI2iminal of XS has posted a head to head battle between a Celeron (which I posted so long ago already) and an FX-57. And guess who won? Well, it's a FanBoy site so you'll probably know it's the Cely :)...



How the title says:

Celeron 430 @ 3ghz vs FX-57 @ 3160mhz

Cinebench
Celeron 430 -> 473
FX-57 -> 435


Source:Celeron 430 @ 3ghz vs FX-57 @ 3160mhz , the new Celeron rocks

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Misc: Omigosh, Blogalog (Blog in Tagalog)

Bahahahaha, if you're a Blogger, you'll probably notice that Blogger has local language support for Filipino (Tagalog) language. I am not sure, so did they finally heed the requests? Who knows if there is even a request.

But hey, it's quite interesting to have such option :). I'll probably use it for now, no matter how awkward it may seem to me ;). I'll upload a screenshot, that is, if you're not a Blogger, so you'll be able to see it!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tech Link (Technology): Analysis: Has Intel found the key to unlock supercomputing powers on the desktop?

TGDaily (I know, I have THG's image) posted an interesting article about supercomputing, and Intel. I still have yet to fully digest what the article is, but it delves mostly about multi-threaded programming, and of course, multi-core computing. Expand to read and excerpt of the article and visit their site for the full scoop...



Quietly but surely, we are heading into a new computing era that will bring one of the most dramatic changes the IT industry has seen. Acceleration technologies will inject lots of horsepower into the CPU, increasing the performance capability of the microprocessor not just by 10 or 20%, but in some cases by up to 100x. These new technologies, which are expected to become widely available through heterogeneous multi-core processors, create challenges for software developers – but Intel claims to have found a way to make the transition easy.


Source:Analysis: Has Intel found the key to unlock supercomputing powers on the desktop?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tech Link (Modding): Steampunk Monitor Mod

A friend sent me a very nice modding artwork for a Dell* LCD. I know I wouldn't do anything something close to that as I am: terribly bad with art, I don't have the guts to do it, and I don't even have the money to buy myself such a nice monitor. Anyway, check out the site, as they have a very neat documentation on how they did it:

The Steampunk Keyboard looked terribly anachronistic sitting in front of my Dell 1907FP flat panel monitor and while I hesitated to tear open a $300 monitor that was still under warantee, art must be served.



Source:Steampunk Monitor Mod

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tech Link (Cooler): Asus Arctic Square Heatsink Review

The folks over at FrostyTech busy themselves with a new Asus heatsink. I really like the heatsink, well, the looks is a killer. The reviewer found the cooler performs well, though it is not the king when it comes to bringing the lowest temperature in their own database. Expand to read out an excerpt of their article...



Ultimately the Asus Arctic Square heatsink is a good lower noise thermal solution with the capability of handling higher heat loads from modern day multi-core processors, or for adequately cooling single core chips from either AMD or Intel. Its bulky shape may prevent it from being used with some motherboards that have large heatsinks mounted to the MOSFETs or northbridge, but otherwise the Asus Arctic Square heatsink is easily recommendable.


Source:Asus Arctic Square Heatsink Review

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Press Release: AMD’s presence in workstations plummets in Q1’07, reports Jon Peddie Research

It's a bit late to post this, but still very interesting newbits. Over at JPR, they have a table that shows the MSS of Intel vs AMD head-to-head. In Q3'05, AMD is steadily gaining MSS at this segment, from 6.6% to 13.3% on Q2'06. But on Q1'07, AMD's MSS is reduced to 8% and Intel enjoys 92% of the MSS. Expand to read the full story..



EDITOR'S NOTE: Excerpts from the JPR Workstation Report and expert interviews are available on request.

AMD’s presence in workstations plummets in Q1’07, reports Jon Peddie Research
TIBURON, Calif—June 13, 2007—Times change, and they can change fast. As 2006 began, Intel’s Xeon was in a tailspin, while AMD’s Opteron could do no wrong. In the robust market for workstations, the roles have since reversed, with first quarter results reported from Jon Peddie Research showing Xeon has grabbed back much of the share it had lost to Opteron.

The workstation market remains strong
Overall, the workstation market continues to pleasantly surprise. As expected, quarterly growth rates have subsided a bit from the 25% to 35% increases (year-to-year) JPR had seen in late ’05 and early ’06, but they remain strong. All told, the industry shipped 674 thousand workstatio├čns in the first quarter of 2007, up 15.2% over the same quarter of 2006. ASPs held flat, allowing revenue to also increase a healthy 15% to around $1.7 billion.

Intel stealing back the share it had lost
In workstations, Opteron had been steadily draining share from Intel’s Xeon, peaking at over 13% of dual-socket platforms for Windows-compatible workstations in Q2’06. But Q2’06 not only market the peak of Opteron’s incursion, it marked the beginning of a significant fall. JPR reports that in Q1’07, AMD’s share of the dual-socket capable segment (where Opteron was strongest) didn’t simply flattten but actually dropped by over 50% year-to-year.

Vendor
Q3CY05
Q4CY05
Q1CY06
Q2CY06
Q3CY06
Q4CY06
Q1CY07

Xeon
93.4%
90.9%
87.6%
86.7%
89.1%
88.9%
92.0%

Opteron
6.6%
9.1%
12.4%
13.3%
10.9%
11.1%
8.0%


Table 1. Xeon vs. Opteron in market for dual-socket, Windows-compatible workstations

“We’d expected AMD’s share to moderate or level off by the time Intel improved its dual-socket Xeon platform in mid ’06, but we hadn’t anticipated the decline we’ve seen,” commented analyst and JPR Workstation Report author Alex Herrera. “The extent of Intel’s rebound will put that much more pressure on AMD to deliver quad-core Barcelona soonand with better performance than Xeon.”

In the overall workstation market (including higher-volume single-socket systems), AMD had risen to a peak of 3.6% in Q2’06, contracting to 2.0% in this last quarter.

About the JPR Workstation Report
Now in its fourth year, JPR’s Workstation Report - Professional Computing Markets and Technologies has established itself as the essential reference guide for hardware and software vendors and suppliers serving the workstation and professional graphics markets.

Subscribers to the JPR Workstation Report receive two in-depth reports per year providing a comprehensive analysis of the vendors and technologies driving the workstation platform. Clients also receive four quarterly reports detailing and analyzing market results for each calendar quarter. For information about purchasing the JPR Workstation Report, please call 415/435-9368 or visit Jon Peddie Research at http://www.jonpeddie.com.

About Jon Peddie Research
Dr. Jon Peddie has been active in the graphics and multimedia fields for more than 30 years. Jon Peddie Research is a technically oriented multimedia and graphics research and consulting firm. Based in Tiburon, California, JPR provides consulting, research, and other specialized services to technology companies, including graphics development, multimedia for professional applications and consumer electronics, high-end computing, and Internet-access product development. Jon Peddie's Market Watch and First Look are quarterly reports focused on the market activity of PC graphics controllers for mobile and desktop computing.


Source:AMD’s presence in workstations plummets in Q1’07, reports Jon Peddie Research

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tech Link(Motherboard): ASUS P5K3 Deluxe

HardOCP has a new motherboard review up for your scrutiny. This bad ass motherboard sports the latest chipset from Intel and supports the latest Intel processor and can overclock well too. It didn't get the highest Gold honor, but still, a pretty cool board if you're a kind of geek who always wanted to try things out first thing they came out on the stor. Expand to read the conclusion...



The Bottom Line

The ASUS P5K3 proves to be another motherboard founded on stellar engineering culminating in great stability, excellent performance, and solid overclocking prowess. This is an expensive motherboard however and once you factor in the cost of DDR3 modules you are going to find yourself easily above a $600 upgrade investment.


Had we seen it outpace other motherboards in top end CPU bus overclocking it certainly would have been worthy of a Gold [H] Award. Still the levels of overclocking shown on the P5K3 are nothing short of awesome and will likely fill the needs of any overclocker other than the super-hardcore.


Source:ASUS P5K3 Deluxe

Rant: One million Intel quad core shipped vs zero AMD quad core

Bah, AMDroids such. I have to delete a lot of their spam post on my post yesterday where I mentioned that Intel already shipped one million units of quad core, while AMD is yet to ship even a single piece of quad core Barcelona.

If anyone wants to disprove me, go ahead and post some links. Otherwise, spam and rant comments without links will be deleted and will not see the light of day on my Blog. And if anyone complains why I don't post any proof while requesting for AMDroids, well see, I don't need to post proof about AMD not shipping anything. As for the million unit, well,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tech Link (Platform): Vigor's Quadfather Uses AMD Quad FX CPUs

THG has an article posted about a AMD's 4x4 platform. We all know that this platform sucks and some of you might be thinking why post AMD things. Well, I am a Fanboy and if I see Intel products beating AMD's crap to a pulp, you'll see me post it here for sure. And this one is pretty good, if you're an AMDroid who is a masochist who likes torturing yourself, then get this platform. Otherwise, rejoice and just go a single-chip solution quad-core from Intel and have fun poking at the poor green bloke. Expand to read what THG has to say, or just read this excerpt:
We can't fault Vigor for building a system using inferior processors when these are the best an AMD enthusiast can buy. Instead, we'll put the blame on AMD for not keeping pace with the competition, and hope for a quick turnaround as new products are released.




Conclusion
If one were to add up everything Vigor Gaming put into its Vigor Force Recon QX4, its $4,900 price appears reasonable. Yet the 54% performance gain from Dell cost only 46% more. For anyone with an extra $2300 to spend, the Dell appears to be a better deal without even considering peripherals.

The Vigor Force Recon QX4 doesn't include a monitor it its base price. The Dell we tested included its 2407WFP 24" LCD monitor, a $670 value. Deducting that, the Dell system actually cost only 33% more, for a 54% performance gain.

We can't fault Vigor for building a system using inferior processors when these are the best an AMD enthusiast can buy. Instead, we'll put the blame on AMD for not keeping pace with the competition, and hope for a quick turnaround as new products are released.


Source:Vigor's Quadfather Uses AMD Quad FX CPUs

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): Clovertown versus Barcelona

RickGeek of Geek.Com posted an interesting opinion about native versus mcm. In his post, the author cited many advantaged/disavantages of Clovertown MCM versus the competition's so called offering. And the truth isn't very hard to see, Intel has been shipping millions of quad core processors while AMD has yet to ship one. And I don't mean sample, Intel is shipping retail products, just in case you're not aware yet, and AMD is still delaying their Barcelona release. This processor better perform or it will be a major dissapointment even for a FanBoy like me...



OPINION


When I first heard about AMD's decision to make a native quad-core processor--that is a single piece of silicon comprising all four cores--I thought it was an excellent idea. I began to think of the advantages four-way HyperTransport has over the shared bus architecture of Intel's design. I also saw the significance in the larger shared cache, especially when all four cores are working closely on some particular task, and I didn't really see any downside. However, the more I think about it, the more I am realizing how much better Intel's solution is.

Clovertown is a single-package solution comprising two dual-core Core 2 processors within. It uses a shared bus architecture and is somewhat slower in off-chip communication, but because the die is so much smaller, they can create a larger shared cache for each dual-core, thereby making up for much of that loss.

AMD is not at the same place in manufacturing prowess that Intel is. It has been reported that Intel's yields are also very high, typically 90% or higher with some reports saying 95% or higher. AMD's yields have never (to my knowledge) been publicly disclosed, though I'm going to make a probably very incorrect assumption that they're around 80% for current processors. Even assuming they were 95% for current processors, we know that the number of potential defects goes up by the square of the surface area, so as we move from K8's current 183 mm^2 dual-core 65 nm 512 KB L2 processors, we would see a significant degredation in potential yield due to an additional 100 mm^2 per die alone. That also does not include the potential loss of high-binning parts due to even small defects not making the chip unusable, but rather making them less clockable at higher speeds.

We now know that Barcelona's die will be 283 mm^2, and that Clovertowns are comprised of two 143 mm^2 dual-core dies. Using my Wafer program, we find that AMD could fit a maximum of about 212 Barcelonas per 300 mm wafer, while Intel could fit about 430 dual-core Core 2 processors on a single 300 mm wafer. Now, assuming a 90% yield for Intel, that's about 388 dies per wafer, or 194 Clovertowns. In order for AMD to make as many Barcelonas per 300 mm wafer, its yield would have to be 92%, and by all accounts that's not something AMD will be able to do 1) based on its unconfirmed history of lower yields, 2) based on the natural increase in defect rate due to the larger die size and 3) that defects of any kind which do not render the chip inoperable will render it operable only at slower speeds.

AMD is facing several realities here with its native quad-core design, and it would seem that it does not have the manufacturing prowess to pull it off. Some at Intel even admitted recently that the company would have a hard time doing a die that large with high yields. Note also that Intel's Itanium at its largest on an 180 nm process technology was about 473 mm^2, quite a bit larger. I believe that also might explain why Intel targeted the highest-end markets with Itanium--because those processors sold for so much that very low yields would still be profitable.

As we stand today, with a pricing war going on between Intel and AMD, this native quad-core does not seem to provide enough financial incentive for AMD to have gone with it, even with its potentially much higher performance and scalability.

I see no two ways about it; I think AMD has made a significant mistake in going with the native quad-core design. Had it gone with an approach similar to Intel's, the company could've already had single-package quad-core parts out the door, and their yields would've been greater, their processing power would've only been slightly slower, and they could've been more price competitive.

As it stands, I just don't see the advantages of a native quad-core design. However, I'd very much like to hear your opinions.

Please post your thoughts below.


Source:Clovertown versus Barcelona

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Misc: Independence Day

Independence Day today! Enjoy what you need to do today, or whether you celeberate this day or not, I hope you have a good day today. Holiday was done already anyway, so this day kinda loses its meaning to me (sad, I know).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tech Link (Technology): Intel discusses quad-core processor server market

An interview with Intel GM for Server Platforms Group is posted by Digitimes and in that interview, the GM mentioned his thoughts about the competition's native quad core future offering. Expand to read the Q&A...



Shawn Chen, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Friday 8 June 2007]

With AMD and Intel pushing their quad-core server processors at Computex Taipei 2007, Digitimes got a chance to talk to Boyd Davis, general manager of server platform group marketing of Intel to discuss Intel's plans and thoughts about the new quad-core processors.

Q: What was the main factor that caused Intel to bring its 45nm Harpertown server processor forward to this year?

A: Intel's product launch is directed by the demand of clients, which has nothing to do with the competition in the market. Currently, product development is almost complete therefore it is natural for the company to launch the Harpertown processor ahead of schedule. The company expects to mass produce the processor in the fourth quarter this year.

Q: In the current server market, competition among CPU makers over semiconductor technology has boosted the migration rate of new platforms. Can the enterprise market catch up in technology?

A: In the past, the server product lineup had a slow migration rate due to the long research time in developing the processor. However, with the assistance of nanometer processing, CPU technology now can advance faster, which shortens the product manufacturing time, sequentially. Intel used to have CPU as the unit for server migration in the past, but is now using platforms. The current platform is expected to last until Penryn processor launches in the fourth quarter.

Q: What are Intel's thoughts about the delay of AMD's native quad-core processor Barcelona?

A: AMD's so-called native quad-core processor has a difficult challenge in technical and manufacturing terms and even Intel would have difficulty facing such challenges. Intel currently still adopts two dies on one chip for its Harpertown processor. The technology is much easier, the product has higher yields and performance is almost the same as the native quad-core processor. Therefore, Intel will continue to use this design in 2007.

Q: With the server market currently crossing over several different fields, besides the enterprise sector, in what markets do you expect to see good performance?

A: Other than the enterprise market, HPC (high-performance computer), blade server and workstation sectors are all expected to have good performance. In the past, middle and small enterprises had the highest server adoption rates, but now demand for HPCs, blade servers and workstations is increasing due to demand from multimedia and Internet search engines and the Internet communication markets. These fields are expected to perform better than others.


Source:Intel discusses quad-core processor server market

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tech Link (Motherboard): MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard

HotHardware posted a review of a new board from MSI* with the newest P35 chipset from Intel. The author is pleased with the results, check it out if you are itching to upgrade your current motherboard.



Three years ago, Intel launched the 925X / 915 chipsets and were criticized by some for introducing some new technologies before the market demanded them. This time around, however, with the launch of Bearlake, Intel has scored some points. The P35 chipset brings with it a handful of new technologies, like official 1333MHz bus speed support and DDR3 to just name a few. But unlike 925X and 915G, P35 comes in both DDR2 and DDR3 flavors, making the platform all the more attractive to price sensitive end users looking to save a bit on their memory expenditures.

Not only does the MSI P35 Platinum, which is one of the first Intel P35 motherboards on the market, have an excellent feature set, it also showed that it has the raw horsepower to keep up with the EVGA nForce 680i SLI and in some cases, we even saw the MSI P35 Platinum outperform the 680i SLI, albeit by very small margins.

It’s also nice to see that MSI is once again trying to implement new and interesting ideas like their ‘roller coaster style’ motherboard heat pipe cooling technology. Not only does it look cool, it even stays relatively cool to the touch without a fan due to its effective heat dissipation.

The BIOS was also generally good, with a large number of customizable features that allow for some decent overclockability.

The only issues with the board that came up during the review process were the inaccuracy of the motherboards debugger and the fact that it was quite difficult to read. The board also only has four SATA ports, which because of today’s dirt-cheap hard drive market and more common SATA optical drives, may not be enough for even a motherboard targeted toward the more mainstream computer builder.

But overall, the MSI P35 Platinum is a solid motherboard. It is a solid performer, has good features and is overall, pretty well rounded. If you’re looking for a new motherboard for your next Intel Core 2 system and want the latest motherboard technology at a reasonable price, the MSI P35 Platinum is definitely a product to consider.


Source:MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Misc: FUGGER beats Fatal1ty @ Computex

FUGER of XS posted some really neat pictures he has taken when he attended Computex 2007. He had a good pics with Fatal1ty and they are really funny.

Source:FUGGER beats Fatal1ty @ Computex

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tech Link (Storage): Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked

Rojakpot, err, TechARP has a pretty neat article about the most common myths about hard drive. I really find this helpful for noobies or clueless. Back in early 95s/96s, I was once thinking that too much formating will reduce my hard drive life span. Had it not for a friend, I would have always believed that, yay. Check it out...



This guide was written in response to the numerous fallacies about the hard disk drive that are still being propagated in many forum discussions. Although many articles have covered these topics, it is apparent that hard drive urban legends are still more popular than the simple truth.

So, let's get down to basics and examine some of these common fallacies or myths and debunk them!





Source:Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tech Link (Platform): Intel's V8 Media Creation Demo System -- Octopussy anyone?

LostCircuits rarely posts articles, but when they do, they usually have a very comprehensive article. Their latest content is about an 8-way monster from Intel and they have a pretty good look at this system. Expand to read the conclusion...



Final Thoughts

Eight cores on two processor packages or four dies and all of that in a single system. Needless to say that all components are standard shelf parts that can be purchased at any major computer part retailer. So what in the world has happened to good old computing as in emails and typewriter substitute?

The answer to that question is actually relatively simple, we are living more and more in the digital age, where content creation is taken for granted, whether it is good or bad content, doesn’t even matter, it is essentially the fact that it is available and, because of the ease of its creation, it becomes disposable. As somewhat of an oldtimer in the computing scene, it is hard to appreciate the fact that there is no more collection of files, everything is available somewhere somehow and even if the quality is a tad degraded, who cares, it is like reading a paperback instead of a hard-cover. Well, that gets a bit off topic but really what it comes down to is how fast can we create disposable digital media and does it matter whether we have to do it over again? With the system at hand, the answer is a clear no, just power it up, pay the electric bill and let her rip. In so far, the “Octopussy” system we reviewed here is possibly the penultimate cruncher for DVDs, MP3s and whatnot.

On the other side of the fence are the designers, using the same tools to create a digital reality in the first place in the form of CGIs. Time is money in that business and that alone justifies the use of extended numbers of cores, as long as the software supports them. Then there are the “other” designers, those who are running simulations of hardware designs, whether it is silicon or plastic or metal works or the simulation of thermals in complex designs of hybrid materials. Even though we did not run any of these simulations as benchmarks, this field is huge since machines are getting ever more complex and efficient at any task and it is a matter of time until the last human “idiot savant” who has a “feeling” for one or the other technology will have to submit to the growing power of electronic data crunching. The “Octopussy” is just another milestone on that path.

All of this said and done, during the time we were working on this article, an important decision was made at Intel to no longer really support the FBDIMM architecture except for use in ultra high-end servers. Power issues were the primarily cited factor in this decision. For my own part, I probably won’t miss them but if history has taught me something, it’ll be another 5 years and then we will see the next iteration of the same concept. This is not meant to say that the FBDIMM is fundamentally bad, it is just not good enough from a power and cost perspective to compete in a market where pennies on any item are escalated to multimillion $ cost over head or savings in the grand picture.

To finally come to the end of this article, it’s been fun working with this “Octopussy” and see what she can do. And that’s still what it all comes down to.


Source:Intel's V8 Media Creation Demo System -- Octopussy anyone?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Misc: Omigosh, I just shook hands with Sean Maloney....

Wow, it's an interesting feeling, having seen him on the video streams, web casts, update meetings, tech review sites, magazines, and then he's there right in front of me. I shook hands, and he's very polite to say "Nice to meet you". I know I forgot what I was about to ask, it's a good thing I have my copy of questions printed just in case I got overwhelmed by his presence.

I liked the way he answered my questions, he's candid, and open, and that's because everyone in the room with him is to be trusted. He's energetic, and always inspiring. I wish I can spend more time with him chatting, well, I guess that's asking too much. And sorry, I can't post the questions and answers portion, I just want to say that I like the guy as much as I like Craig and Paul in person.

Oh well, I just want to say it's an overwhelming experience, too bad, I don't get the chance to have a photo taken with him. That's all for now...

Tech Link (Motherboard): Intel X38 Express Chipset Surfaces

DailyTech posted a scoop on the i975x chipset replacement, in the form of X38. It seems many manufacturers are jumping in to this bandwagon and are really beefing up their line up of motherboards based on this chipset. I am excited to see how it will perform, on stock and in overclocking. Expand to read the news post...



ntel's 975X Expess gets the "Bearlake" upgrade

Intel will unveil the high-end version of its Bearlake-family next month – the Intel X38 Express. The new Intel X38 Express replaces the 975X Express, which launched over a year ago with Intel’s Presler Netburst processors. The new chipset introduces new features to Intel’s high-end enthusiast and workstation platform such as PCIE 2.0 and DDR3 memory.

New to the Intel X38 Express is support for dual full-speed PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. The dual PCIe 2.0 slots are compatible with AMD’s CrossFire technology for multi-GPU graphics processing. Motherboard manufacturers are also free to equip Intel X38 Express based boards with a third physical PCIe 2.0 x16 for triple-play physics. Due to chipset limitations, the third physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slot has lesser lanes, with most manufacturers opting for four lanes.

DDR3 is the only officially supported memory for the Intel X38 Express. Intel touts DDR3-1333 memory for X38 Express motherboards. DDR2 memory support has been removed officially from the X38 Express, however, the memory controller can still function with DDR2, just without Intel validation. The DFI LANParty X38-T2R will pair DDR2 support with the Intel X38 Express chipset.

The Intel X38 Express also supports upcoming Intel Penryn-family dual and quad-core processors with front-side buses up to 1333 MHz. The new Penryn family is Intel’s first 45nm processor family, expected to launch in Q1’2008 for consumer desktops. Desktop Penryn-family Core models will launch in early 2008.

ASUS, Biostar, DFI, Gigabyte, Intel and MSI have X38 Express-based motherboards on display at Computex 2007. ASUS plans to release an X38 Express-based workstation board. The upcoming ASUS P5E3 WS Professional pairs the X38 Express with the ICH9R south bridge. The board supports dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory, with no mention of ECC support. The P5E3 WS Professional does not have a third physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. ASUS opted for a vanilla orange PCB with the P5E3 WS Professional.

Biostar is preparing the TX38D3-A7 Deluxe with three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. Two of the PCIe 2.0 x16 slots operates at full speed while the third slot has four lanes. Biostar also adds one PCIe x1 and two PCI slots into the mix. The TX38D3-A7 also features onboard power and reset buttons for the tweaking-inclined.

DFI has two X38 Express-based models in the pipeline – the LANParty X38-T2R and the X38-T3R. The two models differ in the memory support department. The LANParty X38-T2R supports DDR2-800 memory while the X38-T3R supports DDR3-1333. The upcoming X38-T2R and X38-T3R feature genius BIOS and CMOS Reloaded technologies. New to the LANParty X38-T2R and X38-T3R is the DFI Bernstein 8-channel theater-level audio solution.

Gigabyte is taking the same route as DFI, with two X38 Express based motherboards – the GA-X38T-DQ6 and GA-X38-DQ6. Both boards have similar feature sets, with the GA-X38T-DQ6 offering DDR3 support while the GA-X38-DQ6 supports DDR2. Gigabyte takes DDR3 further than other manufacturers by claiming support for DDR3-1600 memory. Gigabyte has opted to equip its GA-X38x-DQ6 motherboards with two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. New to the Gigabyte X38 Express-based motherboards is the Realtek ALC889A high-definition audio codec, offering a 106dB signal-to-noise ratio.

Intel also plans to join in on the X38 Express festivities with the successor to the D975XBX2 BadAxe2. The new DX38BT Bonetrail features three physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. The DX38BT is one of the few enthusiast X38 Express motherboard currently on the Computex show floor without an elaborate heat-pipe cooling setup. Instead, Intel sticks with a simple aluminum cooler.

Lastly is MSI with the X38 Diamond. MSI manages to squeeze four physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slots into the X38 Diamond. Two of the PCIe 2.0 x16 slots are full-speed while the other two slots are half-speed. MSI also squeezes in support for DDR2-800 and DDR3-1333 memory on the same board.

Expect Intel to officially launch the X38 Express next month, coinciding with the upcoming Core 2 Duo E6x50-series.


Source:Intel X38 Express Chipset Surfaces

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Press Release: Corsair Announces World's Fastest DDR3 Memory

Oh dear, Corsair* just announced their fastest memory DDR3. The future of Intel chipset looks to be even brighter for the enthusiasts who crave for bigger, better, faster memory. The timings/latencies seems to be high right now, i.e. loose, but hey I am sure they'll improve with time. Check it out...



Optimized for Current and Future Intel Platforms, Corsair demonstrates production-ready DDR3-1600 DOMINATOR and previews next generation speed grade at DDR3-2000

COMPUTEX – Taipei, Taiwan (June 4, 2007) – Corsair® http://www.corsair.com, the worldwide leader in high performance computer and flash memory products, today unveiled the world’s fastest production DDR3 memory rated at a blazing-fast 1,600MHz (PC3-12,800) and the world preview of the Corsair DOMINATOR memory running at 2,000MHz (PC3-16,000). Live demonstration of the new DOMINATOR memory will be on display in the Corsair VIP suite (#1334) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The TWIN3X2048-1600C10D DOMINATOR is the latest addition to the Corsair line of high-performance memory modules. Also on display is the upcoming generation of DDR3 DOMINATORs, ranging from 1GB modules running at over 2,000MHz and 2GB modules showing performance promise for 64-bit based applications. All DDR3 products have been developed to support the new Intel® P35 and X38 Express platforms, ensuring customers of an extreme user experience whether for gaming or applications with high computing needs.

The TWIN3X2048-1600C10D DOMINATOR will be available shortly after Computex. Both XMS3 DHX and XMS3 Classic products are currently available through Corsair’s worldwide authorized dealer channel:

FAMILY PART NUMBER SPEED LATENCIES
DOMINATOR TWIN3X2048-1600C10D 1600MHz 10-8-8-24
XMS3 DHX TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX 1333MHz 9-9-9-24
XMS3 CLASSIC TWIN3X2048-1333C9 1333MHz 9-9-9-24
TWIN3X2048-1066C7 1066MHz 7-7-7-21

All DDR3 modules operate at lower memory voltages to deliver better performance with the same amount of power when compared to DDR2. Dynamic I/O Signal Termination and On-die Dynamic Termination (ODT) reduce the reflective signals transmitted to standby RAMs, thereby enabling support for higher memory frequencies. A larger prefetch means more data is immediately available for the processor and the differential data strobe reduces noise while accessing data, especially at higher frequencies.

“Corsair is supporting the industry’s transition to DDR3 with a full line of highly-engineered memory solutions. Our partnerships with leading technology companies and suppliers have allowed us to be first-to-market with the world’s fastest production DDR3 memory and demonstrating our next generation DOMINATOR running at 2GHz,” said Jack Peterson, VP of Marketing at Corsair. “DDR3 memory technology brings scalability and features that DDR2 cannot deliver. The fact that we are able to realize 50% more memory speed rating at launch compared to the standard DDR3-1066 specification is simply stunning.” continued Peterson.

Like their DDR2 brethren, DDR3 DOMINATOR and XMS3 DHX feature Corsair’s patent-pending DHX technology - an innovative quad-layer heat sink design that optimizes memory performance and reliability by maximizing thermal dissipation. With DHX Technology, heat is removed via two paths – the leads of the BGA chips into the PCB (convective cooling) and the back of the BGA packages into the custom designed extruded aluminum heat sinks (conductive cooling).

“The enthusiast community demands solutions that push the envelope and are capable of delivering the highest level performance experience, and very fast DDR3 is the next step in delivering cutting-edge computing,” said Steve R. Peterson, Director of Chipset & Graphics Marketing, Intel. “We work closely with Corsair to help deliver a cutting edge experience for the enthusiast power user. Corsair’s release of the new DDR3-1600 DOMINATOR memory, combined with an Intel P35 or X38 Express chipset based motherboard, plus an Intel Extreme Edition CPU, shows just how exciting platforms based on DDR3 will be.”


Source:Corsair Announces World's Fastest DDR3 Memory

Monday, June 04, 2007

Misc: It's Computex 2007 Week

This week will be interesting as Computex 2007 rolls out. I am hoping that announcements of the upcoming products from different manufacturers drives down the cost of their current product line up in the market today. Anyway, be ready to check out different top tech sites for the coverage...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): New Budget Dual-Core CPUs: Intel Pentium E2160 and Pentium E2140

I'm lagging behind posting new content so I'll post contents from other sites, yay. Anyway, the newest member of processors from Intel, named Intel Pentium Dual Core E2160 and Pentium E2140, are reviewed by the trusty XBitLabs crew. The find it overclocks well, and are happy with how it performs. Check out the conclusion...



Conclusion
All in all Pentium E2160 and E2140 processors made a great entrance. They have pushed the performance of budget solutions to a totally new level. With the price of less than $90 and promising Core micro-architecture these processors can become a great basis for contemporary low-cost systems. From this standpoint they look much better than the Pentium D processors on NetBurst micro-architecture that used to be the only offering for this segment.

Of course, the performance level of Pentium E2160 and E2140 processors doesn’t look as mind-blowing as that of their Core 2 Duo counterparts. Their relatively low clock frequencies and L2 cache cut down to only 1MB do their “dirty deed”. However, in the majority of real applications these processors outperform all alternative solutions. Although I have to specify something here. When we speak of comparatively high performance of these new processors, it is important to keep in mind that they still lose to the youngest Athlon 64 X2 models in most games where the size of L2 cache memory matters a lot.

However, the results of our overclocking experiments can make all your doubts vanish. Since Pentium E2160 and E2140 are based on Allendale L2 core stepping these CPUs will overclock approximately to the same frequencies as Core 2 Duo E4000 series. As a result, if you are lucky enough you may be able to get your new processor to work as fast as the top of the line dual-core Core 2 Extreme processors, which is a very good deal considering it will cost you less than $100.


Source:New Budget Dual-Core CPUs: Intel Pentium E2160 and Pentium E2140

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tech Link (Platform): Microsoft Surface: What Media Center should have been - analyst opinion

TGDaily (yeah, I know the logo is THG) posted about a pretty cool technology that is about to hit us soon! I never expected it to be long due to be honest, since I have already seen a "similar" if not exactly the same thing for almost a year ago. Microsoft already put up a site for this technolgy and they have a pretty cool effect. Anyway, back to TGDaily, check out what they have to say on this...



When I was briefed on Surface (previously code-named Milan) a few days ago, I was incredibly impressed. Having gotten used to disappointments like Origami, Zune, and even the Media Center PC where Microsoft didn’t actually finish the offering, this product was a breath of fresh air, largely because it was complete.


Source:Microsoft Surface: What Media Center should have been - analyst opinion

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tech Link (Processor): Intel prepping Barcelona response

A friend sent me the link from Geek.com BLURB post about the new processor from Intel, Intel® Xeon® 3230 that overclocks well. Not that I am surpised about it, but I thought the comments are really informative. Check it out...



BLURB


Let's skip past all the niceties and just cut to the chase on this one. Intel is prepping a Barcelona response, and it looks to be amazing. The processor is a Xeon 3230, which is of the 65 nm Clovertown variety. It is officially spec'd to see 2.66GHz with a 1.066GHz FSB, up one step from the 2.4GHz Xeon 3220. However, the tester of this quad-core machine was able to get it to boot into Windows at 3.4GHz with a 1.67GHz FSB. It would POST at 3.8GHz with a 1.7GHz FSB, using memory timings of 3-3-3-5 on DDR2 800 at 2.25V. No kidding! SiSoft's Sandra saw a memory benchmark int he 8.7GB/s range.

Imagine a quad-core machine with such high overclocking potential on unreleased silicon--especially in the Xeon lineup. Quite an impressive demonstration of manufacturing prowess.

Read more and see a CPU-Z screen shot at The Inquirer, and post your thoughts below.


Source:Intel prepping Barcelona response