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[H] Enthusiast Archives: October 2006Archive Listing

Tuesday October 31, 2006

Intel Closing Cambridge Lab

As part of the company’s cost cutting measures, Intel will be closing its Cambridge research labs. Intel cited the fact that the facility was one of the smallest but most expensive to operate as reason for the closure. The company hasn’t released any official numbers on the amount of people that will be impacted by the closure.

The decision to close the Intel Research Cambridge Lab--the only university-affiliated laboratory that the chipmaker runs outside the U.S.--in December has been met with a mix of disappointment and resignation by members of the U.K. academic community.

ASUS Lamborghini VX1

If you are looking into an “exotic” laptop and you’ve always wanted to say to your friends “I own a Lamborghini” this ASUS Lamborghini VX1 preview might just help you out. I imagine it'd be pretty hard to pick up chicks in this thing but every little bit helps.

As you can see from the above specs summary, the VX1 is not the top-most end in laptop technology, but it does have speed and capability where it counts namely the T7400 Core2Duo CPU. The model we have configured has 2GB of RAM in dual-channel mode. The GeForce Go 7400 and the 5400 RPM U-ATA/100 hard disk aren't the top-end parts you can find on the market today, but it should suffice for everyday usage.

Sony Being Probed By DOJ

The US Department Of Justice is probing Sony’s electronics division. Obviously, with the two billion other things happening with Sony, this couldn’t come at a worse time.

The company received a subpoena from the Justice Department's antitrust division seeking information about Sony's static random access memory, or SRAM, business, company spokesman Atsuo Omagari said.

Intel & AMD Swap Market Share

Intel and AMD have had a bit of a role reversal this quarter. It looks like Intel surged in the server market while AMD boosted sales in the laptop market, the complete opposite of the previous few quarters.

Despite the horrible second quarter suffered by Intel and AMD, third-quarter shipments weren't as bad as some had thought, McCarron said. Prices, however, are still down significantly. The decline was not as bad as in the second quarter, but it was still notable, he said, declining to provide specific numbers.

Monday October 30, 2006

Expert Vista RC2 Tweaks

If you are running Vista RC 2, the folks at ZDNet want to help you out with these 10 expert tips and tweaks for Vista RC2. Tip #5 is one of my favorites:

Windows Vista has no shortage of diagnostic tools. The System Health Report is one of the most useful. It takes input from the Performance and Reliability Monitor and turns it into a well-organized, information-packed report that does a good job of spotlighting potential problems.

Couples, Computers and Gaming

Here’s something interesting for all of you that are into gaming and happen to be married or have a significant other. VIA is hosting a Couples, Computers and Gaming session in the San Francisco area on November 11th. The event has several big name keynote speakers, cool activities and they are even giving away a trip for two to Sweden. Hit the link for all the info.

Hear experts talk about the latest games and gamers. Learn how to fit gaming into your relationship in a healthy way. Find out about the exploding professional gaming industry. Learn what games women really play and fascinating stories of life online.

Another IE 7 Pop-Up Flaw Found

It looks like another IE7 pop-up flaw has been found. I am not sure what they mean by “visiting a trusted site that opens a new window with malicious code” or who would even enter their CC info into a pop-up window in the first place but all this info is still good to know.

The browser flaw could affect users who visit a trusted site by opening a pop-up window in that site but containing malicious code. This is the second IE 7 flaw that has been discovered since Microsoft released the browser two weeks ago. Last week, a security flaw was discovered in IE 7 that could spoof the address of a pop-up window.

Sapphire Radeon X1650 PRO

If you are looking for a nice video card to slap in that open PCI-E slot, I highly recommend you give our Sapphire Radeon X1650 PRO evaluation the once over, you’ll be glad you did.

Up for evaluation is Sapphire's Radeon X1650 PRO Graphics Card. It features an ATI RADEON X1650 GPU clocked at 600 MHz, and 256 MB of DDR3 running at 700 MHz (1.4 GHz DDR) on a 128-bit bus. Since it follows ATI's reference clock speeds, this is not a factory overclocked video card.

Radeon X1650 Review Round-Up

A preliminary list of Radeon X1650 reviews (in alphabetical order) that are out so far. We’ll add more throughout the day as they come in but this should get you started.

ATI Radeon X1650 Pro @ [H]ard|OCP

ATI Radeon X1650 XT @ HotHardware

ATI Radeon X1650 XT @ Legit Reviews

ATI Radeon X1650 XT @ PCPerspective

ATI Radeon X1650 XT @ Rage3D

AMD – ATi Announces The Radeon X1650 XT

AMD today introduced an innovative graphics card that makes use of its new native CrossFire(tm) technology, the ATI Radeon® X1650 XT. With its incredible image quality features and superb performance, the ATI Radeon X1650 XT delivers enthusiast-class technology at an impressive price point. The ATI Radeon X1650 XT will hit store shelves during the week of 13 November, at an estimated street price of US$149. The ATI Radeon X1650 XT enables a breathtaking gaming experience, as the graphics card has the ability to enable High Dynamic Range effects and anti-aliasing at the same time. Sharp texture filtering captures every element and detail of each scene.

Dell XPS 700

Although many of you build your own boxes, not everyone has the time or resources to do it themselves so they need somewhere to turn for a high end gaming machine. [H] Enthusiast has put the Dell XPS 700 through our rigorous evaluation process to see just what this machine is made of. If your looking to buy a new gaming box, make sure you don’t miss this.

As this is the crème de la crème of Dell’s consumer line, we have rather high expectations for this system, both in terms of gaming ability as well as raw speed. We’ve had faster Core 2 Duo chips in our office, most notably the Velocity Micro E2200 (sporting a E6600), but the XPS 700’s E6400 is a monster in its own right.

IBMs Next-Gen Cooling Techniques

IBM has demonstrated two new cooling techniques the greatly improve on today’s processor cooling. We’ve talked about the “high thermal conductivity interface technology” here several times in the past, the new method of applying thermal paste supposedly gives a twofold improvement in heat removal over current methods. The other process is a direct die water cooling process. Thanks to Daylon Walton for the linkage.

As chip performance continues to progress according to Moore's Law, efficient chip cooling has become one of the most vexing problems for designers of electronic products. The IBM technique outlined today is one of several being explored by scientists from the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory to address the issue.

Steam Update

Steam has released the final update to the Counter-Strike: Source weapon pricing beta. I also snagged this picture of one of the best Halloween costumes ever, headcrab dude:

News Image

We released what should be the final update to the Counter-Strike: Source weapon pricing beta. Assuming that everything runs well over the weekend, we'll be rolling this update out to everyone this coming Wednesday the 1st of November. All of the prices will start at their default values, with the first price correction happening Monday, November 6th.