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Aug 30, 2012

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU

The new GK106 graphics chip from Nvidia seems to be ready for primetime, as many samples have already left the TSMC gate and ended up getting photographed on the internet. This graphics processing unit will enable Nvidia to make more money, as the GK104 on the GTX 660 Ti takes up quite a large chunk on a 28nm wafer.

Nvidia’s GK106 was rumored to have 768 CUDA processing units, but we have a feeling there will be more than double the units on the GK107 GPU used on the GT 640 video cards. We believe there will be 1152 CUDA cores present inside the new Kepler GPU from Nvidia, but not all of them will be activated.

The hardware experts from videocardz.com have managed to get their hands on some clear pictures of the new GPU, VideoCardz reports. It doesn’t seem that much smaller than the GK104, but there is the possibility that the comparison images were not scaled properly.

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU
Image credits to ArabPCWorld

Nvidia GK106 Kepler GPU
Image credits to ArabPCWorld/VideoCardz

ASUS Transformer Book

ASUS seems to be on a launch spree at this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The company is again presenting the Transformer Book that will be available once Microsoft launches the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system with native touch interface support.

Many may be confused, as the company launched numerous “Transformer” devices during the past few months and a lot of other UltraBooks and various devices also. Basically, the Transformer Book is a powerful x86 tablet that won’t be powered by low-performing CPUs like Intel’s Atom, but rather by the company’s best mobile processors. The Transformer Book is just like an ASUS ZenBook U500VZ that we presented here, but with a detachable screen. The only display sizes that will be available are 11.6”, 13” and 14”.

The main competition for the Transformer Book will be Samsung’s similar Series7 Slate and the powerful SONY VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet along with Toshiba’s U925t convertible tablet. Samsung’s Series7 Slate is strikingly similar and we expect a patent law suit between the Taiwanese mainboard manufacturer and the Korean electronics giant. All the versions will use a high-quality FullHD IPS display and will have a 5MP back camera and a front facing 720p webcam.

Compared with convertible mobile devices, the Transformer Book has the clear advantage of being much lighter once the keyboard dock is left behind, as this is a feature the “sliders” can’t have. Readers should be reminded that there is a huge performance difference between the Transformer tablets and the Transformer Book. The former uses low-power ARM processors and the Android operating system, while the latter is powered by x86 mobile performance leaders like Intel’s Core i7. We must say that we eagerly wait to see AMD-based implementations ready for the winter holidays sales.

ASUS' Tranformer Book Powerful Detachable x86 Tablet
Images credits to ASUS

Toshiba Satellite U925t Convertible Tablet with 12.5” Gorilla Glass Display

Japanese company Toshiba has just revealed its innovative Windows 8 convertible tablet during this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The new mobile device comes with a rather big 12.5” display that slides above the keyboard.

We’re quite pleased that Toshiba has decided to use the high-quality Gorilla Glass for its display and we’re also happy to see manufacturers making bigger screens. The processors powering the U925t models will be Intel’s Core i5 chips. These are not as powerful as SONY’s VAIO Duo 11 or Samsung’s Series7 Slate, but they are completely superior to any Atom or ARM CPU.

The iGPU will luckily be Intel’s HD4000 and storage will be handled by a 128 GB SSD. We would prefer some Trinity implementations with these, but we’re sure those will follow later, as Intel’s marketing money and market clout are powerful enough to force manufacturers to put AMD products on the backburner.

Toshiba Satellite U925T Convertble Tablet/Notebook
Images credits to Toshiba

ASUS ZenBook Prime UX21A with Touchscreen and Windows 8

ASUS knows when something is coveted by the potential buyers and clearly knows how to make it even more desirable. The famous UX21A UltraBook, also known as the Zenbook Prime UX21A, gets a capacitive touch matrix and the promise of a new Windows 8 operating system.

Touch-enabled devices are getting extremely popular this year and ASUS clearly doesn’t want to see its already popular ZenBooks left behind. Therefore, the company is upgrading and re-announcing some improved products like today’s hero.

The new Zenbook Prime UX21A now is officially called “Zenbook Prime UX21A Touch” and the company promises it will sport Microsoft’s famous Windows 8 operating system when this is released by the Redmond-based software giant. ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A Touch comes with USB 3.0, Dual Band WirelessN and a nice FullHD Super IPS+ screen.

ASUS ZenBook Prime UX21A Touch
Images credits to ASUS

AMD GPU Die Shots of Southern Islands Series

The famous fabless CPU and GPU designer, American company Advanced Micro Devices has succeeded in launching the powerful GCN graphics architecture more than half a year ahead of its main competitor in this field.

AMD was not keen on showing Nvidia how it’s done so, at first, the traditional microchip semiconductor die shots were not available and what was released during the past months were very low-quality pictures. The Texan company has decided that the time has come to show off the Southern Islands family in “full monty.”, Anandtech reports.

Check out the gallery below to see how each 3D and GPU computing powerhouse looks on the inside. The head picture depicts the full 4.3 billion transistors inside AMD famous Tahiti GPU built in TSMC’s 28nm manufacturing technology.

AMD Tahiti GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7900 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

AMD Cape Verde GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7700 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

AMD Picairn GPU  DieShot Powering the Radeon HD 7800 Series
Image credits to Anandtech

ASUS Powerful ZenBook U500VZ

World’s greatest mainboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company ASUS has just launched its new 15” UltraBook during this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. The quality mobile system is not quite as slim as its “Prime” brothers, but it comes with much more performance and a bigger screen.

The company has updated the screen to a high-quality FullHD IPS panel and the keyboard is just like the one used on the famous ZenBook Prime. Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 CPUs will power the new model, but we don’t have the specific information on what version will be integrated. What we do know is that there will be an optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 650M GPU available and there will be two 2.5” storage bays, which we think is absolutely great.

This allows buyers to order configurations with up to two 256 GB SSDs included or a 128 GB SSD and a 500 GB HDD. We believe that all notebooks and netbooks should come with two 2.5” storage bays. Keep an eye on this space, we’ll be back with more information as soon as it is available.

ASUS ZenBook U500VZ 15" UltraBook
Images credits to ASUS

Samsung Powerful Series 5 and 7 Convertible Slate PCs

The Korean giant doesn’t want to be left behind in all the Windows 8 tablet/touch craze and has just announced two new convertible tablets using the highly anticipated Microsoft operating system. Both units use the popular tablet-to-clamshell netbook format.

It seems that ASUS should have patented the clamshell netbook/tablet concept introduced with the famous Transformer series, as all big PC makers in the world seem keen on imitating the idea. Some might claim that this is only a tablet with a dock, but ASUS was the first that specifically designed the dock to make the whole assembly look exactly like a whole notebook and not like a docked tablet. Therefore, Samsung’s new Series 5 and 7 Slates look just like HP’s ENVY x2. The nice surprise is that Samsung’s most powerful Series 7 Slate is powered by Intel’s Ivy Bridge, just like SONY’s VAIO Duo 11 convertible tablet. The processor of choice is Intel’s Core i5-3317U that is running at a default frequency of 1700 MHz with the Turbo ability to run at 2400 MHz with both cores active. It can even reach 2600 MHz when only one thread requires maximum performance.

It comes with 3 MB of level 3 cache and can handle up to four threads using Intel’s HT technology. The integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU) is Intel’s HD 4000 with acceptable performance for the amazingly low 17 watts TDP with the interesting mention that the minimum programmable TDP is 14 watts. Basically, the Intel’s Core i5-3317U consumes almost the same, no matter whether it runs at the default frequency of Turbo speed. The Series 7 Slate from Samsung features a 11.6” screen with 10-point multitouch support, that has a quality 1920 by 1080 FullHD pixel resolution and an impressive 300-nit brightness that’s somewhat inferior to HP’s ENVY x2’s 400-nit.

The tablet comes with a default 4 GB of RAM, and there’s no info on any upgrade capability. It also sports a 128 GB SSD. GigabitLAN, WirelessN and Bluetooth 4.0 are there and all this will be available in October for $1200 (€956). The Series 5 Slat is more of a convertible netbook, just like HP’s ENVY x2 as it’s powered by Intel’s Atom Z2760 processor. It also comes with 2 GB or RAM and a 64 GB SSD with the same connectivity options. On the Slate 5, the screen features a more mediocre 1366 by 768 pixel resolution, but it will be available for “just” $750 (€600) together with the keyboard dock.

Samsung Series 7 and Series 5 Slate Tablets
Images credits to Samsung

IBM 5.5 GHz CPU with 48 MB L3 Cache and 20 Billion Transistors

Computing giant IBM once again proved it is the most advanced semiconductor, server and processor manufacturer in the world and launched the fastest and, probably, the most complex CPU in the world today.

IBM has just announced the new zEnterprise EC12 server mainframe that took $1 billion to develop. The most interesting aspect about the new servers is the new zEC12 processor. This is actually a multi-chip module (MCM) containing six processing units (PU) that run at an amazing 5500 MHz and two storage controllers, each featuring 3.3 billion transistors. The PUs are designed with single-threaded performance in mind, and thus, we have the amazingly high frequency.

There are 6 processing units (PUs) on the z12 along with two storage controllers with their own level 4 cache. Each PU has 2.7 billion transistors, which means that the whole MCM has around 20 billion transistors in total. The six PUs on the z12 processors from IBM have a huge 48 MB L3 cache, but the storage controllers have even more cache available.

IBM's old Power 5 MCM Processor Module
Image credits to berkeley.edu

Aug 29, 2012

NETGEAR N750 Premium Wi-Fi Router

American networking company Netgear has just officially launched the new N750 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router – Premium Edition. This one comes with an impressive features set and a maximum cumulated bandwidth of 750 Mb/s.

The new device is designated as model WNDR4300 and can provide dual-band wireless networking by creating a 2.4 GHz network with a maximum transfer speed of 300 Mb/s and a 5 GHz network similar to the WirelessAC standard with a maximum transfer rate of 450 Mb/s. The new device can also act as a print server and has an USB 2.0 port that would make any USB printer available for its clients. Unfortunately, the new router only comes with internal antennas and we really don’t like the fact that the company has not outfitted it with any external antenna connectors.

We believe that each router should come with at least one external antenna connector and if the antenna is not included, it could simply use a rubber cap to cover the antenna port. Coming with 128 MB of RAM and IPv6 support, the new WNDR4300 from Netgear is priced at $120 (€96).

Faster WiFi speed 300+450 -- Up to 750 Mbps†
WiFi range for medium to large homes
Wirelessly access & share USB hard drive & printer
ReadySHARE® Cloud—Access & share USB hard drive remotely

Learn more at www.netgear.com
Video credits to NETGEARChannel

AMD Vishera and AMD Hondo, Previewed in Next Two Weeks

In traditional manner, AMD is likely to show us sneak previews of its up and coming Vishera and Hondo processors that are going to be launched this autumn. The move will apparently try and divert some attention away from Intel’s Developer Forum event.

We reported on AMD’s Vishera desktop processor here and most of you already know that this design will be AMD’s second-generation Bulldozer CPU that will use the already famous Piledriver improvements. The Vishera CPU will feature the same cache sizes as the Bulldozer CPUs that are now available, but it will work at considerably higher clock speeds and likely dissipate less heat.

The Hondo low-power CPU is more of a mystery right now as AMD is still having it built at TSMC in the rather-outdated 40nm manufacturing process, but the targeted market is the Windows 8 tablet sector. AMD will even show us some desktop Trinity processor that we’ve already reported on here, Fudzilla reports. There isn’t much more additional information about the desktop version of the Trinity APU that is not already known, but AMD will certainly steal some headlines from Intel’s IDF.

AMD Desktop Trinity APU
Image credits to akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp

Need for Speed: Most Wanted New All-Gameplay Video

Electronic Arts and Criterion Games have revealed a brand new video from their upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted title, this time showing off 5 minutes of pure gameplay footage from the racing game.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted reimagines the original title from 2005 with new graphics, improved gameplay and, as always, plenty of high performance sportscars. In order to show off the special Find It, Drive It mechanic, which lets players unlock new vehicles by finding them in the game’s open world, the two companies have posted a new video from Most Wanted.

As you can see above, it’s pure unedited footage from the racing title, showing off a couple of stunning supercars, in the form of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. Check out a great look at NFS: Most Wanted in the video above and get ready for its release this October.

Gameplay footage of Criterion Games' highly anticipated Need For Speed Most Wanted showcasing open world gameplay.  In Most Wanted all the cars are open from the start, meaning if you can find it, you can drive it.  
The action starts in an Aston Martin V12 Vantage before jumping into a Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series from a Jackspot. Mods are then added using the EasyDrive menu, instantly giving you a boost over the competition.
In Most Wanted if there's something to do there's someone to beat. Utilising Autolog 2.0, you'll not only receive custom events and challenges, but also see personalised billboards that feature the face of the friend who tops the Most Wanted list.

Video credits to EAvision

Windows 8 Start Menu Revived by Samsung with S Launcher

Gone are the decades-old Microsoft logo and the Windows Start Menu in the upcoming version 8 of the OS, but, in the case of the latter, we may witness a revival.

According to Mashable, Samsung won’t let it die just yet, and is bundling a launcher with its future line of Windows 8 machines called “S Launcher,” with a similar functionality. It is a floating widget that includes the functionality of the Start Menu in Windows. You can pin programs, search for items or access various familiar areas, such as the Documents, Pictures and Music folders, Windows Control Panel, Devices and Printers or the Run menu that was part of the Start menu up to Windows XP.

Microsoft’s reason to kick the Start menu in Windows stems from the fact that telemetry data showed a decreased interest in it, especially in the wake of introducing the app pinning feature.

Samsung's S Launcher on Windows 8 Taskbar
Image credits to Mashable

Samsung's S Launcher Start menu
Image credits to Mashable

Samsung's S Launcher Start menu
Image credits to Mashable

China Already Selling iPhone 5 Clone Knock-Offs

From China with love comes the very first iPhone 5 knock-off which not only runs Android, but actually has the Android buzz-bug stamped on its back, where the Apple logo should be.

China, the land of some of the most gruesome knock-offs, has done it again. Building on the hype surrounding Apple’s next iPhone refresh, a phone manufacturer has decided to apply all the design elements in the reported leaks, and came up with the device pictured above.

The Goophone (yuck!), as it’s called, is the same shape and size as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, so it’s not an exact replica of the forthcoming iPhone, if the 4-inch display rumors are correct. The enclosure seems to be a cheap plastic with a few flaws here and there, a “Made in China” hallmark.

The Goophone
Image credits to nowhereelse.fr

Intel Knights Corner Has More Than 32 MB of Cache

Built in the company’s 22nm manufacturing technology, the novel Many Intel Cores (MIC) architecture is apparently radically different from anything attempted before by the semiconductor giant. The current version of the architecture is called Knights Corner and the industry awaits the famous Xeon Phi cards based on it.

We reported on the latest development regarding the Xeon Phi accelerator cards here and we know that the whole processor will likely have 64 cores, while the Xeon Phi adapters will have some of these cores disabled. Having so many computing cores on a chip requires a lot of coherence and synchronization work to be done internally to avoid stalls, collisions and generally high latencies. When all instructions are perfectly optimized for a specific architecture, top performance can be achieved. This never happens in reality, and a lot of prediction and prevention must take place to run things smoothly no matter how the computing stream varies.

This sort of problem is aggravated on a GPU, as these are massively in-order chips that require data to be similar and not vary too much. A modern CPU is best equipped for variable computing tasks as most have an out-of-order (OOO) architecture. With MIC, Intel is going back to an in-order architecture and the problem of making all the cores collaborate efficiently is much more complex. When communicating with each other, the cores inside Knights Corner use a ring BUS concept, but this is dramatically different from what many would remember. Each of the cores inside the Xeon Phi has its own 512 KB of level 2 cache and this type of cache is set up differently.

There are several “rings” communicating between the cores, but unlike what Intel introduced with Nehalem, the level 2 cache of each core is private. Therefore, there is no situation where a lightly threaded application would see four or eight of those cores benefit from the whole huge 32 MB of level 2 cache. Considering that not all cores will be active, some would say that there won’t be so much cache present on the Xeon Phi. The reality is that, despite being deactivated, the cache is still there taking up die area and if cache in general is the criteria (all levels included), the Knights Corner will certainly have more than 32 MB.

Intel Xeon-Phi Compute Accelerator Card
Image credits to Intel

Kingmax PI-01 Compact 7mm USB 2.0 Flash Drive, Amazingly Small Flash Drive

Not often do we get the chance to see a very simple innovation that brings significant advantages for the end-user. Kingmax’s new PI-01 compact flash drive is just 7 millimeters long and, despite the small size, it can handle up to 32 GB of data.

Being just 0.27 inches long, the Kingmax PI-01 compact flash drive is safe from accidental hits by the user’s own hands and objects being manipulated around the laptop or the port where the USB stick is connected in. It often happens that when working with a normal sized USB flash drive, the user strikes it by accident resulting in a broken stick or, worse, a broken USB port. We would like all USB sticks with less than 128 GB of capacity to be this small, as we’d better be safe than sorry, and we don’t really need any fancy design like a finger shaped USB drive.

The company emphasizes on the small size and the usefulness of it in places where a protruding flash drive wouldn’t be welcomed, like in a car or on a slim tablet. Unfortunately, the Kingmax PI-01 compact flash drive comes with a standard USB 2.0 interface and we really don’t understand why manufacturers insist on building such slow devices when USB 3.0 is omnipresent nowadays.

Kingmax PI-01 Compact 7mm USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Images credits to Kingmax

AMD Doubled FPUs on AMD Jaguar Computing Core

Fabless CPU and GPU designer, Texas-based American company Advanced Micro Devices is working very hard to deliver a new low-power successor to the famous Bobcat computing architecture. The new microprocessor design is called Jaguar and, during this year’s Hot Chips conference, interesting architectural developments were revealed, like we reported here.

Bobcat was AMD’s first microprocessor architecture specifically designed for low-power usage models, as this is the way the company attempts to improve one of its historical weak points. While the Texan company has managed several times during its existence to release desktop and server processors that manifested supreme performance, AMD was never able to conquer the mobile market. Since Intel decided to make so much fuss about low-performance CPUs that were deemed desirable because they had a drastically low power consumption, AMD designed Bobcat as a direct competitor for this market sector. Compared with Intel’s current Atom, AMD’s Bobcat is completely superior when computing performance is the main concern. It is dramatically superior if 3D graphics performance is the main criteria and has admirable low power requirements despite using an older and larger manufacturing node.

Many were eagerly expecting the new Jaguar design, as this was considered to be almost revolutionary because AMD even skipped one generation that was the initial successor to Bobcat and went directly for Jaguar. We wouldn’t call it revolutionary, but the new low-power design is considerably different from Bobcat and there’s no better place to observe this than in the floating point computing units. AMD has added a lot of new SIMD capabilities and lots of new instruction sets to its new design and an overhaul of the floating point unit (FPU) was clearly needed. Jaguar now comes with most – if not all – of Bobcat’s abilities, but it also adds complete architectural computational support for SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES, CLMUL, MOVBE, AVX, XSAVE, XSAVEOPT, FC16, and BMI instructions.

Since most SIMD instructions are 128-bit wide – if not wider, AMD decided to double the width of its FPU pipelines from 64-bit to 128-bit. SSE instructions required two passes on the Bobcat, but they now can be handled in one single pass, and this is no small feat. Ironically for AMD, Jaguar comes with support for AVX and these would be best fit by 256-bit wide FPU pipelines, but this is not the main concern for a mobile-oriented architecture. There isn’t much software that uses the AVX code base right now and, while we’re sure AVX will become increasingly important in the future, AMD will probably have better AVX capabilities when the set becomes an absolute necessity. Therefore, Jaguar comes with lot of new instructions and greatly improved FPU units that will make your multimedia applications and games fly.

AMD Marketing Shot
Image credits to AMD

Aug 28, 2012

Intel Haswell Chipset Z87 Detail

Intel is preparing its socket 1150 platform for an initial Haswell launch in Q2 next year and many details are apparently surfacing on the internet less than two weeks before the company’s IDF event.

Haswell’s top S1150 chipset will be the Z87 and this chip will come with the much touted integrated voltage regulators along with USB 3.0, SATA III and PCIe 3.0 compatibility and capability, Fudzilla reports. Mainboards will have triple display support and thus HDMI, DVI, DP, eDP and VGA connectors are to be expected.

One nice addition is TRIM support in RAID 0 storage configurations along with Rapid Storage Technology 12 and RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 capabilities.

Intel Chipsets
Image credits to Intel

Samsung S-Launcher, Copies the OS X Dock

When they’re not extracting billions from their bank account to pay back Apple for all the damage inflicted by copying its line of iDevices, Samsung enjoys copying other Apple stuff too. Like the OS X Dock.

In what can be regarded as a taunt, or a really stupid move (we’d rule in favor of the latter, considering this thing has been in development for a while now), Samsung is showing off the S-Launcher that will be included in all the Windows 8 computers they plan to sell. Gizmodo higlights a description of the S-Launcher, which reads, “And of course, the S Launcher is also a launcher. Simply drag apps or files to it for easy access, tossing them off when you don't want them anymore.”

The OS X Dock is patented and owned by Apple. Among the inventors, Steve Jobs is mentioned. If anyone had any doubts that Samsung wasn’t innovating, we suggest they put them aside until the next product refresh. Then again, we shouldn’t be so harsh. Maybe they haven’t seen a Mac for the past 10 years.

S-Launcher and OS X Dock comparison
Image credits to Gizmodo

The Best Features of Firefox 15 Are Hidden, Here How to Enable Hidden Features

A couple of the best features in Firefox 15 are actually hidden under the hood. Granted, that's for good reason, they're not ready for hundreds of millions of users. But if you want to take a peek at what's coming in Firefox and don't mind the occasional hiccup, you can enable both click-to-play plugins and the native PDF reader.

Native PDF viewer
PDF.js has been in the works for over a year now. It's an open source project, backed by Mozilla, to implement a full PDF viewer in JavaScript. The advantages of a pure JavaScript reader is that any browser is going to be able to use making PDF files feel more like a part of the web rather than something hosted on the web. The native PDF viewer is mostly ready at this point, Aurora and Beta users have been testing it for months. But Mozilla is still not quite satisfied enough to enable it by default for everyone, which is why you won't see it in Firefox 15 stable.

But the code is all there so you can give it a spin quite easily. As always, this involves digging into about:config. If you're not comfortable with that – it's not that scary really – you're probably better off waiting a few more weeks. Otherwise, go to about:config, search for "pdfjs.disabled" and set it to "false." That's it, PDF files will now open natively in Firefox. Note that not all files will be supported and not all PDF features will work. If that's the case, you can always open the files with external readers.

Click-to-play plugins
The second hidden feature is equally interesting. Google Chrome has had a "click-to-play" plugins feature since last year. Granted, you need to know where to look for it since it's not enabled by default. Now, Firefox is getting one as well, but it's a bit rougher around the edges which is why you won't see it in the preferences dialog.

You will find in in about:config though. Search for "plugins.click_to_play" and set it to "true." As the name suggests, click-to-play plugins enables users to only load plugins when they need them. This frees up memory and can help with slowdowns. Annoying ads will be gone too.

PDF viewer in Firefox 15
Image credits to Mozilla

Samsung Series 5 and 7 AIO Systems

The Korean giant is getting ready with three new all-in-one (AIO) computer systems for the up-and-coming Windows 8 launch this autumn. The new devices feature FullHD screens with 10-point multi touch support.

There are three new systems announced today by Samsung. The first one is a 27” AIO computer powered by Intel’s Core i7-3770T Ivy Bridge processor running at a standard 2500 MHz frequency with the optional capability of reaching an impressive 3700 MHz when Turbo is activated. This is a HT-enabled CPU from Intel that has 4 real cores and is able to handle 8 threads at a time. It comes with a huge 8 MB level 3 cache and a HD4000 iGPU. The maximum TDP is a modest 45 watts, and this leaves room for AMD’s Radeon HD 7850M mobile GPU to show its prowess. The second system presented by the Korean company today is the 23” member of the new Series 7 AIO family that’s built around Intel Core i5-3470T CPU.

This is a dual-core processor running at a default 2900 MHz frequency with a Turbo option of 3600 MHz and the ability to handle four threads by using Intel’s HyperThreading technology. The level 3 cache is a modest 3 MB and the iGPU is a handicapped HD 2500 iGPU. The TDP value will not go beyond the 35-watt mark, but unfortunately there is no discrete GPU to improve the 3D performance. The last AIO system announced by Samsung is a 21.5” model member of the Series 5 family that is powered by Intel Core i3-3220T processor running at a default 2800 MHz with no Turbo option. This is also a HT-enabled CPU that features a HD 2500 iGPU and has a modest 25-watt TDP.

All the new systems come with a 1.3 MP webcam featuring a special software that recognizes hand gestures, and they also have rather good integrated 14-watt speakers. The wireless keyboard and mouse will come next to a remote control and the rest of the connectivity is handled by two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 connectors, a HDMI port and a 3-in-1 card reader along with the usual Gigabit LAN, WirelessN and Bluetooth 4.0 HS. A Super Multi ODD is also present on all systems and the availability is slated for October 26, 2012, while the products are priced at $1700 (€1360) for the 27”, $1100 (€880) for the 23” Series 7 models and $750 (€600) for the 21.5” Series 5 model.

Samsung Series 7 and Series 5 AIO systems
Images credits to Samsung

Intel Haswell Price Starts at $184 (€147), Availability in Q2 2013

Intel is getting ready for the Haswell launch slated for next spring and it seems the company has even decided on the pricing of the future offerings. The most affordable Haswell CPU at launch will be priced at $184 (€147) and will require a new mainboard sporting an LGA socket with 1150 pins.

Intel is moving up from dual-cores to quad-cores when it comes to this market sector and the rumored price mark closely corresponds with what AMD is currently charging for its fastest Bulldozer desktop processor, Fudzilla reports. The semiconductor giant is apparently rushing the Haswell launch and this move is likely caused by AMD’s Trinity and its graphics capabilities.

Intel HD 4000 iGPUs are quite capable, but they’re still inferior to the competition and the company wants to be able to offer a completely superior product ahead of AMD Richland launch.

Intel Haswell CPU
Image credits to Intel

Giada i35V MiniPC with SSD and HDD, mSATA boot drive

The new book-sized PC like Giada likes to call it, is powered by Intel’s Atom D2500 low-power processor and, despite the fact that we would have liked it to come with a Brazos 2.0 inside, the system will apparently be pretty fast.

The new device is called i35V and uses a fast combination between an mSATA SSD and a normal HDD as the storage solution. The official page lists a 16GB mSATA SSD drive as a feature, but on the specification sheet a normal 320GB HDD is mentioned. We don’t know if the HDD is included, as the price is really modest, but we’re sure at least the mSATA drive will be present. The dual storage system will make the i35V very fast and the 2GB DDR3-1066 DIMM can be replaced with a 4GB version for even better performance. There are no less than five USB ports present on the Giada i35V but, unfortunately, all of these are USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is not even optional. On the connectivity side, Giada’s new SFF system is endowed with one HDMI port, one VGA connector, one SPDIF-out, a standard RJ45 Gigabite LAN port and the required DC power jack along with the two audio jacks and the WirelessN controller.

The maximum rated power consumption for the system is 24 watts, but we believe this is an average value, as a 35-watt power consumption is more likely. The system can ship with the optional Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium operating system from Microsoft and a useful wireless remote controller is also available as an option. There is also a card reader compatible with SD, MMC, MS, and MS Pro formats inside the new Giada SFF system and, if the reported price is correct, this will be a best-seller.

Giada i35V SFF system with mSATA boot drive
Image credits to Giada

AMD Jaguar Presented Today

The Hot Chips conference is taking place right now; there, AMD is introducing the new Jaguar APU architecture that's going to replace the current Bobcat cores in the company’s low-power APUs. The new design brings considerably increased IPC (instructions per clock) capabilities along with support for new compute instructions.

We already know that some of the new instruction sets that will come inside AMD’s new microprocessor design are AVX, BMI, SSE 4.2 and AES. Jaguar will be quite different from Bobcat, as it will likely have a unified 2MB cache and will probably use AMD’s second-generation GCN architecture. The thing is that Jaguar in itself is the x86 processing core design that will be integrated in the upcoming Kabini and Temash APUs.

The company will be free to pair the new Jaguar cores with VLIW iGPUs or GCN-based graphics. The x86 computing cores will be seriously modified. The IPC will be increased and the company will add support for TBM instructions.

AMD Ontario Die Shot
Image credits to Anandtech

Here Are the 8 Samsung Devices that Apple Wants to be Banned in the US Market

Apple has released a preliminary list of the Samsung devices it believes are infringing its patents.

After being vindicated by Judge Lucy Koh on Friday, Apple has filed a notice with the court identifying which Samsung products it wants banned in the United States. The devices are the Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy S2 (AT&T), the Galaxy S2 (Skyrocket), the Galaxy S2 (T-Mobile), the Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, the Galaxy S Showcase, the Droid Charge, and the Galaxy Prevail, according to The Verge reports.

There's also a preliminary injunction on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 set in place. The Korean electronics vendor has asked the court to clear this device of any charges arguing that the jury didn't believe Samsung tablets infringed Apple's patents relating to design.

Samsung Galaxy S2
Image credits to samsunggalaxys2review.org

Intel ValleyView with 700% iGPU Performance Ready in Q4 2013

Many SFF and silent computing enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for Intel to upgrade its Atom line of CPUs and the corresponding platforms, but the company doesn’t seem to be ready with the new 22 nm chips. The current Atom processors are manufactured in 32 nm technology and have considerably lower performance than AMD’s Brazos 2.0 APUs.

Some of us were wondering why AMD would name Brazos 2.0 a platform upgrade, when it only brings USB 3.0 support in some case and less than 5% faster APUs. The simple reason for this seems to be the fact that the competition isn’t doing any better, so there’s no reason for AMD to dedicate resources towards this sector. The Texan fabless CPU designer already rules 44% of the low- to mid-end desktop market using Llano and Brazos as the fighting tools, and if Intel is not able to bring anything better on the battlefield, AMD is not going to reach for the aces up its sleeve. It seems like the semiconductor giant has been too busy working on its smartphone Atom version and that the rest of the market sectors were pretty much ignored.

The smartphone initiative proved to be a complete failure for Intel as the “latest and greatest” Atom chip from the company is only able to fight last year’s competition and, by the time the next generation will be launched, the ARM competition will be two generations ahead. We don’t really see the reason for Intel to neglect the Atom market completely in 2012 and most of 2013, but this may have to do with the fact that the company’s low power 22 nm manufacturing is not yet ready and that there is no point in launching faster Atoms if the iGPU performance would be inferior to AMD’s APUs. The main improvement in the true next-generation Atom SoC will be the iGPU. Sure, there will be quad-core SoCs because the 22 nm manufacturing would allow such density on a small die size, but the main concern for Intel was graphics performance and that’s exactly were Intel did most of the work.

The slides uncovered by hardware experts at EXPreview show that Intel plays down the x86 performance improvement saying that it’s only “improved over previous generations.” When it comes to the integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU), the company touts a 400% to 700% performance improvement, and that’s no small feat. This puts Intel’s new Atom clearly ahead of Brazos’ 3D capabilities, and the two to four x86 cores are certainly going to perform better than AMD’s current 40 nm APUs. The thing is that AMD is already working on a GCN-imbued Jaguar APU architecture that will likely be ready next spring, so the competition will have at least a six months head start on Intel.

Intel Atom SilverThorne DieShot
Image credits to Intel

Intel ValleyView Slide
Image credits to Expreview

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