According to Digitimes, Acer have been going from strength to strength and the number of shipped consumer notebooks could surpass industry giant HP during the current quarter. With Acer gearing up to promote and push their new range of ultra thin notebooks, it appears it won’t be long before Acer are the world’s leading notebook manufacturer.
HP shipped around 4.86 million consumer notebooks in the second quarter with Acer trailing closely behind with shipments of 4.75 million units. Consumer segment market shares were separated by only 0.5pp, the sources noted, citing figures from research firm IDC.
Compared to HPs enterprise notebook sales however, Acer are weaker in the business market, so while their consumer sales may overtake HP’s, their overall sales are unlikely to exceed HP during 2009.
The Windows 7 project has finally reached RTM (Release to Manufacture) status, this is where all the Microsoft executives involved in the project have a vote on the latest build of the Windows 7 code. This vote has happened several times previously but did not have the required number to move to RTM, this time however, it passed.
The newly appointed president for the Windows division, Steven Sinofsky confirmed that Windows 7 has reached the release to manufacturing status in a blog. This could mean some OEM and manufacturing partners could receive the code next week, allowing them to prepare for its introduction on new machines and to get new and old products ready for this latest Windows OS. The blog which can be visited here:Engineering Windows 7 goes on to thank everyone who helped get to this stage:
This is a milestone we could not have achieved without the broad participation across the PC Ecosystem we have talked so much about on this blog. Windows 7 is a product not just of Microsoft, but of a whole industry of partners of all kinds. Throughout the development of Windows 7 we’ve seen an incredible engagement from so many people that have contributed to making the Windows 7 engineering project one we, collectively, feel good about. The feedback and collaboration throughout the development of Windows 7 has been outstanding and valuable beyond measure.
It is however worth mentioning that the work for Microsoft and for all its OEM and Manufacturing partners, is far from over:
While we have reached our RTM Milestone, no software project is ever really done. We will continue to monitor and act on the real world experience with Windows 7we’ve used the Beta and RC process to test out our servicing and we have every intent of doing a great job on this important aspect of the product. Hardware partners will continue to provide new devices and improve support for existing devices. PC makers no doubt have quite a bit in store for all of us as they begin to show off PCs specifically designed for Windows 7’s new APIs and features. Software developers will have lots of new software to show off as well. All of this is yet to come and is very exciting.
Many of the eTeknix staff have be involved in the Beta and RC, we’ve all been very impressed with Windows 7, myself so much so that I’ve not gone back to Vista. So all we can say is roll on October 22, 2009!
When the main developer of HD-DVD, Toshiba,announcedthat they were ending participation in the project back in 2008, it effectively signalled the end of the Hi-Def format war, leaving Toshiba running away from HD with their tail firmly tucked between their legs.
However, many suspected that they would go on to produce rival Blu-ray devices and leaked information even suggested it was well on their to-do list. Some remained unsure though, as it would not only be further admitting defeat but also agreeing that Sony’s alternative was the better solution. Indeed they went back to quietly supporting the ageing DVD format and no one really questioned it.
Now though it seems that Toshiba has decided it wants to move on from the entire format war fiasco. According to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri, they have announced they are going to be releasing a Blu-ray player in time for Christmas.
This news is not a surprise, after all no electronics company would want to miss out on the HD market altogether and with Toshiba struggling along with only up-scaling DVD players in their product range, it’s move they desperately need. It also shows that Toshiba has faith in the Blu-ray platform moving forwards, which is something that will please the likes of Sony, the main company behind Blu-ray, as well as silence some critics who feel we should be moving towards digital downloads sooner rather than later.
The device itself is likely to be a middle of the range affair, designed to grab back as much of the estimated $1bn they lost from the format war as they can. Also expect some kind of unique or distinguishing features as Toshiba go on the hard sell, trying to convince us that their offering is the best for your cash. There are also rumours of a Blu-ray recorder being in the works, but if true this is unlikely to be out this year.
Chip giant Intel has cut the prices of many of their mainstream desktop CPUs by between 11 and 19 percent.
As usual, they have offered no real explanation for the cut, but today’s current financial instability may have played a role. High-end units such as the i7 and server chips have not received a cut, along with mobile units, suggesting that Intel is trying to push sales of lower and middle specification machines in an effort to stem the downturn in sales currently plaguing almost every market.
It has also been suggested that they are trying to get rid of their stocks of 45 nanometre units so they can move on with their production of newer, more energy efficient and cheaper 32 nanometre chips later in the year.
Here is the list of chips receiving a price cute. Note that these prices are based on a retailer buying them in 1,000 unit trays in US dollars and so the price you pay will end up being significantly more.
Core 2 Quad LGA-775 processors:
Q9400 (2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $213, now £183, down 14%
Q9300 (2.50 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $213, now £183, down 14%
Q8400 (2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 4M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $183, now $163, down 11%
Q8300 (2.50 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 4M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $183, now $163, down 11%
Core 2 Quad Low-Power LGA-775 processors:
Q9400S (2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $277, now $245, down 12%
Q8400S (2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 4M L2 cache, 4 cores, 4 threads, 45nm) was $245, now $213, down 13%
Core 2 Duo LGA-775 processors:
E7500 (2.93 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, 3M L2 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads, 45nm) was $133, now $113, down 15%
Pentium LGA-775 processors:
E6300 (2.80 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB, 2M L2 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads, 45nm) was $84, now $81, down 4%
E5400 (2.70 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2M L2 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads, 45nm) was $84, now $74, down 12%
E5300 (2.60 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 2M L2 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads, 45nm) was $74, now $64, down 14%
Celeron LGA-775 processors:
E1500 (2.20 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 512K L2 cache, 2 cores, 2 threads, 65nm) was $53, now $43, down 19%
Xeon LGA-775 server processos:
X3330 (2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6M L2 cache, 4 core, 4 threads, 45nm) was $219, now $188, down 14%
In the first Preview on eTeknix we are proud to introduce the first LGA-1156 motherboard in the UK, the Asus P7P55D Evo, which is designed to use the new Lynnfield processors that Intel will hopefully be releasing in a few months time. The first of these should be Core i5 750 clocked at 2.66 GHz and confusingly we should also see i7 1156 socket processors in early 2010 with the 860 and 870 clocked at 2.8 GHz and 2.93 GHz respectively. It’s worth mentioning before we get started that this preview is based on a pre-production motherboard, so some of the specifications may be altered before it goes in to mass production ready for a September release to coincide with Intel’s i5 launch.
Asus P7P55D Evo
Let’s first look at the board’s name, Asus P7P55D Evo, while it first may look like a mouthful it’s actually fairly simple. The P7 denotes that this board is a LGA-1156 socket board, Asus use P6 for LGA-1366, while the P55 refers to the new Intel P55 Express chipset that this board features. As for Evo; this is a new range of boards that Asus will be using in addition to the well known Deluxe and Standard boards we are all familiar with. Although Asus have not given us a release price being a mid range product we can expect this first 1156 socket board to be competitively priced.
The board itself, as with many recent Asus releases looks great, with its striking blue and black colour scheme certain to be a hit amongst enthusiasts. You will also notice that this board is completely passively cooled, with angular blue heatsinks around the CPU socket to cool the board’s power circuitry and a more conventional heat sink on the northbridge. This is perfect for a mid range system which is due to replace C2D in Intel’s product line up, while still giving enough cooling for all but the most extreme overclocking.
With recent reports that socket 1156 boards are arriving in Q3 2009 it seems to confirm information that we may well see the Intel Core i5 750, Core i7 850 and 870 as early as September. All these of these CPUs will be LGA-1156 socket so from this point on i7 won’t be exclusively LGA-1366, with the lower end models wisely being put on the lower end 1156 platform. This will also start off the reshuffle of the current Intel product line, new Core i5 and Core i3 will be replacing the current socket 775 Core 2 range as the choice for mid range computing, with the i7 being the choice of high end computing. i5 will not as expected support Simultaneous MultiThreading and therefore unlike i7, i5 will just be a 4 core/thread CPU. The higher end Core i7 Bloomfield chips that are already on the market using 1366 will continue to be numbered 9xx, while Core i7 Lynnfield chips due for September on socket 1156 will use the Core i7 8xx numbering system. The Celeron brand will remain as a budget alternative to i3 and there will still be Pentium for basic computing, we will also see the Atom brand continuing with new models released next year.
This does make things slightly simpler than the current setup, with a simple sliding scale for the Core products, the higher the number the more powerful and more expensive the range. While we feel this is a good move we still don’t see why Intel didn’t keep the i7 name reserved for just the higher end socket 1366 Bloomfield chips, this would of made it very easy to follow, with i3 and i5 using the 1156. But now we will soon have both socket 1366 and 1156 i7s, which really does seem like a very complicated way of simplifying the range!
The introduction of Core i9 may go some way to explaining that oversight as i7 in either socket 1156 or 1366 form won’t be the top dog for long. Intel’s new upcoming flagship processor, codenamed Gulftown will take its spot at the top of the range and will become Core i9 at the very highest end of the market. It will however still use the existing LGA-1366 socket and x58 chipset, so with a simple BIOS update should remain compatible with all current x58 boards, which is good news for those who have already made the jump to i7. These new Gulftown chips will take the current i7 series and improve on them; it will be a 6 core chip with a total thread count of 12 as each core can process 2 threads simultaneously. The i9 chips will also feature a 50% increase in L3 cache over Bloomfield, to a massive 12 MB and will have every performance boosting feature of the Core series. We can expect to see these chips arriving in Q1 2010.
These new products should really start putting pressure on AMD, which can only be a good thing from a consumer point of view. While the Core series will likely be more expensive than AMDs range of processors, as we saw with Socket 478 P4s against Socket A Althons many years ago, price isn’t the only factor and they should sell well. We will bring you more news and information on these new products nearer the release date.
This is our first how to video. The first of many where will you show you the simplest questions, and answer them in video format.
Have you ever wondered how to install DDR memory modules into your motherboard? Whether you have an older system with DDR capabilities, or a new system supporting DDR2 or DDR3, the principle is the same for all.
Ever had a rough idea on installation, but always been to afraid to do it?
This simple video guide tells you exactly how to do it.
Following our recent report on the nVidia laptop testing: nVidia alter benchmarks for Fastest Mobile GPU Crown, we made sure to get all sides of the story, including from Asus, who produce the 4870 mobile crossfire powered W90 that was used in the testing. Unfortunately they’ve declined to comment, wisely leaving it up to nVidia and AMD to sort out.
With Asus dealing with both companies on a day to day basis, both in their computer component and completed system businesses, it’s hardly surprising that they don’t want to get in the middle of this kind of story. With the graphics drivers that Asus provide on their website obviously sourced direct from AMD, it’s becoming clear that AMD looks like the source of the problem, not willing to provide up-to-date drivers on both their own website or to other companies that use their GPUs. But as previously reported AMD have so far not commented on this story, AMD have yet to Comment on nVidia Laptop Testing Fiasco, so until they do we really don’t have the whole picture and it’s mostly just speculation. Maybe AMD should take nVidias very open stance as a glowing example of what to do in situations like this, otherwise their silence will only increase the said speculation.
We hope that this story will be the catalyst (pun intended) for change at AMD, so they make sure to provide up-to-date GPU drivers for mobile systems on their own website in future, but only time will tell. As we’ve seen time and time again its drivers that make or break a graphics card, making it very important to have the latest versions widely and openly available. So if we do hear from AMD, you the eTeknix readers will be the very first to know!
One of AMDs TWKR Processors has ended up on eBay, but don’t worry it’s all for a good cause. Earlier in July AMD very quietly launched its Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition processor to the overclocking community. With under 100 (some reports state only 40) of these highly prized CPUs produced, this is a very rare processor indeed and one that will never be released for sale. The ones that AMD have manufactured are already in the hands of both overclocking sites and press around the world.
For those who have not heard of the TWKR, it’s a super handpicked technical demonstration CPU aimed at the extreme overclocking community. The TWKR name reportly stands for Those Who Know, which was then altered with the addition of an R to make it text speak for tweaker! The CPU itself it clocked at 2 GHz stock, but as it’s completely unlocked and appears to have huge overclocking potential it’s clearly something very special. According to an AMD spokesperson the TWKR was released to demonstrate the sound engineering and superior process technology that is in each AMD Phenom II processor,. So I guess you could call this a PR CPU, if such a thing exists.
It seems that one of the recipients didn’t want to overclock this fantastic processor, but instead very kindly donated it (with AMDs permission) to charity by listing it for sale on eBay. Currently at the time of writing this particular TWKR is currently at $11,300 USD (approximately £6,880 GBP). So if you’ve just won the lottery or are very well off and want the best overclocking CPU out there, then get bidding: AMD Phenom II TWKR Black Edition Processor (eBay Listing). It’s also worth a mention that all the money goes to a very worthy cause, Family Eldercare, a non-profit organization in Austin, Texas who provide essential services for elders, adults with disabilities and those who care for them.
[COLOR=#84878E][FONT=Tahoma][COLOR=black]So in a little under 4 days one very lucky (and rich) bidder will have won, one of rarest and most sought after processors in the world, regarded as the best overclocking CPU any manufacturer has produced so far, with speeds of 6Ghz+ on Liquid Nitrogen reported by AMDs own testing team. You can read about it on their blog:AREA 64 Presents: The TWKR . With a 100% overclock to 4 GHz on stock volts very easily achieved, it’s very clear that one of these chips will no doubt hold the world’s highest overclock record for some time to come. Although all of this speed comes at a price and that is heat, this could well be the hottest running processors ever made, but then what do you expect at 6Ghz+!
If nothing else this gives us quick look into what the future holds for performance processors and the future is fast, very fast and very very hot!
Following the recent official announcement of C&C4 that we reported on earlier in the week, Command & Conquer 4 Officially Announced!, more details have emerged and one that has caught the attention of many is that C&C 4 will require a constant internet connection to play.
As of right now, you need to be online all the time to play C&C 4, Kaufman told readers of a popular fan forum. This is primarily due to our player progression’ feature so everything can be tracked. C&C 4 is not an MMO in the sense of World of Warcraft, but conceptually it has similar principles for being online all the time. While some may be taken aback by this, we’ve been testing this feature internally with all of our world-wide markets.
While we are sure that this statement has some truth to it and part of the reason is to do with uploading statistics, forming part of the new and much touted player progression in every game mode, we are also certain that this function also has to do with anti-pirating. Although this may be a harder obstacle for pirates to overcome, if previous games are anything to go by I’m sure that this will be bypassed in time. It’s also worth pointing out that because the game will require a constant internet connection, it confirms the earlier news that this is a PC only game, with no console versions planned for C&C4.
With Command and Conquer 4 due out at some point in 2010 it is still unclear if this release will be a purely digital title like the Red Alert 3 expansion pack Uprising or a more traditional retail release, the very fact you need an internet connection to play leads up to believe that it will either be both or just digital. In the age of cheap broadband and online gaming we don’t see this being the huge issue that many people are making it out to be, and this certainly won’t be putting us off purchasing this final instalment of arguably, the greatest RTS series of all time.
AMD, who are at the centre of the recent accusations that nVidia altered benchmarks in their Laptop GPU test, have yet to comment on the story despite being contacted by eTeknix. nVidia did however get in touch to set the record straight with an eTeknix World Exclusive!
nVidia told us exclusively that the Asus W90 that was used in the testing was shipped to them with out of date drivers. They also went on the say that AMD don’t offer mobile GPU drivers on their website (which nVidia do) and those available through Asus were the same year old version used in the benchmark. Brian Burke from nVidia also went on to say that the W90 that was used was supplied with a slower CPU as that is all that is available to the consumer.
All this considered it is strange that AMD at this present moment, have not commented on what is already is a very interesting and revealing story. When we do hear from AMD, you the eTeknix readers will be the very first to know! Stay tuned!
O2, currently the only UK mobile provider to offer the iPhone will lose its exclusive deal in September, when its current 2 year agreement with Apple comes to an end. After which both T-Mobile and Orange will stock the iPhone 3G in the UK, but O2 will keep exclusive rights to Apple’s new flagship phone the iPhone 3GS.
This can only be good news for people who want to purchase an iPhone; the competition in the market should bring down the prices of the currently very long, expensive contracts and handset costs to a more acceptable level. Many people agree that O2′s monopoly on what is a very desirable product, held back its market share which from September should grow quickly. We can expect good deals from Orange and T-Mobile once they are able to sell the iPhone, as they try and attract new customers.
This will however be familiar territory to T-Mobile and Orange, both offering the iPhone elsewhere with Orange being the first network to stock the iPhone around Europe while T-Mobile has delivered the must have phone to other European countries which Orange didn’t reach.
It is of course clear why Apple allowed this to happen, more competition means lower prices, but it also means more sales as the prices fall within reach customers who couldn’t justify the current outlay. It also means that with two new huge companies selling their product Apple’s phone will have more marketing and push than ever before. We just hope that Apple is prepared for the obvious surge in uptake on their already very popular product. We only have to cast our minds back to when the iPhone was released, to recall a time where demand outstripped supply and Apple struggled to make them fast enough. Hopefully they have learned their lesson!
You may remember us informing you that Windows 7 was boxed and ready and at the highlight of the pre-product launch Microsoft were defending the pricing structure. It has now come to light that a release date has been set in stone.
After us giving you a date in a previous article. Microsoft have officially announced the release date as 22nd October 2009, the same as we predicted. As we all know, Windows 7 is the highly anticipated operating system that should rejuvenate Microsoft’s shares after a fallen attempt with Windows Vista.
Windows Vista was the most slated operating system that Microsoft have produced, attracting bad press from every angle. Can Windows 7 give them some dignity and respect back?
Companies are already holding pre-order processes in place so that you can buy Windows 7 early, months before it’s appearance on shelves.
Also, just as with the XP/Vista transition, many new pre-built computers, and laptops with Windows Vista, will be offered an upgrade to Windows 7, when released.
If you are wondering what all of the hype is about, you can find out for yourself by downloading the release candidate.
A previous article of ours nVidia alter benchmarks for Fastest Mobile GPU Crown claimed that nVidia had altered benchmarks to show that the Alienware M17x with dual GTX 280M SLi graphics was the world’s most powerful mobile GPU setup.
The Asus W90 using AMD’s 4870 mobile crossfire setup was the contender with it’s supposed one year old drivers, whereas nVidia’s setup was using the latest drivers.
According to sources, different CPU’s were run in the comparison as well, using the faster Intel 9300 CPU in the Alienware nVidia system compared to the slower 9000 CPU in the Asus W90.
Upon speaking to Brian Burke (nVidia’s PR spinner), we was told that it’s not their fault that the Asus/AMD competitor came with that particular CPU, as that is all that is available to the consumer. The W90 used to have the 9600 CPU, but is now deemed obselete which is common knowledge Burke explains. All W90′s now include the 9000 CPU. nVidia’s fault? I think not.
We were also told that the drivers for the GPU were the set that were on the system when it came in. AMD does not offer notebook drivers to consumers, as NVIDIA does. A trip to the AMD and Asus website will confirm that the driver tested is the one consumers have access to, which if they were around a year old, go blame AMD. It’s not their fault that nVidia update their drivers and AMD do not. Due to this, it seemed that the second 4870 wasn’t being engaged due to its drivers not supporting it. Whose fault? AMD.
Maybe they are telling us to install hacked or beta drivers, but AMD, Asus or any other manufacturer in the world would tell you not to use such drivers, and why on earth should you have to?
I think the below screenshot says it all, directly from Brian Burke and the Asus test machine.
[COLOR=black]After several accidental announcements through twitter and a less than vague survey, EA have now officially announced that Command & Conquer 4 is in development and has been for many months. Although a release date is unknown, details that are clear is that this will be a PC Only game which many will be pleased to hear and will unfortunately be the end of the C&C story line. It is however likely that EA will milk this last game with at least one expansion pack, so don’t worry just yet.
The official announcement came through via e-mail if you are signed up to the Command & Conquer Newsletter from EA, stating that A Command & Conquer Mega-Bomb Drops Early July!. Which is likely a reference to the July 24th trailer/video which there is a countdown for on the official website, link below. We will hopefully have more information when the said countdown ends, however according to the current Command & Conquer TV video Raj Joshi appears to be one of the producers for this project and Samuel Bass working on the story.
There also appears to be mention of an entirely new experience, new way to play, more depth and strategy with the classic fast and fluid game play, player progression in every game mode, class based faction system along with multiplayer and co-op modes. So it appears to ready to shake up the RTS world again, maybe just like the original C&C in 1995! All I can say is roll on July 24 for more news!
California based GPU and chipset manufacturer nVidia has been accused of altering benchmarks to show that their dual GTX 280M SLi powered laptop; the Alienware M17x has the world’s most powerful mobile GPU setup. The system nVidia pitted it against was the Asus W90, powered by AMDs 4870 mobile Crossfire setup.
To prove their point nVidia tested both systems and when setting up the Asus they stated that they used the latest drivers. However it appears that this is far from the truth and the drivers are more than one year old, hardly utilizing the second 4870 at all. It is unclear if nVidia did this to provide a larger, more impressive lead than they already had in the benchmark or if they had to do this to come out on top.
It also appears that they did similarly under handed with the CPU, with the Asus sporting an Intel Q9000 and the Alienware M17x using the slightly faster Intel Q9300 CPU. Maybe they didn’t expect these omissions to be noticed or they had problems fitting a Q9000 to the Alienware we are not sure, but it is playing a bit fast and loose with the truth.
nVidia’s PR spinner Brian Bruke stated As you can see in the benchmark results below, the dual GeForce GTX 280M GPUs in the Alienware M17x absolutely annihilates the ATI Crossfire configuration, and continuing on to say somewhat dishonestly no tricks, no overclocking, just the fastest notebook GPUs on the planet.
It’s fairly clear that the Alienware M17x is the better gaming laptop, even without these dirty handed testing tactics of nVidia very few people would disagree. The Asus W90 does however have a good overclocking record but even with this in mind it seems strange that nVidia would go to these lengths to over prove something that most of us already know.
In our mind this is very poor move by the green team, one that’s only going to backfire. But as they say, any PR is good PR.
As DDR3 pokes its ugly expensive head into the AMD world, Jetway decided to make the transition from AM2 to AM3 as pleasant as possible.
The MA3-79GDG Combo Motherboard gives you the ability to use the cheaper DDR2 variant or more expensive DDR3 with the latest AM2+ and AM3 processors. This includes the new Phenom II X4 chips, which we will be testing this board with today.
This is the last in our series of thermal compounds that we’ve been looking at, as of late.
Last time we looked at the GC-Extreme Thermal Compound which was aimed more at the hardcore overclocker who wanted the best performing results and didn’t mind paying a bit extra for it.
This time the GC-2 is aimed more at the general end user and light overclocker. It’s a premium compound offering great properties for an affordable price. If you don’t want to sacrifice quality, but don’t want to spend a lot, then you’ll see how the GC-2 is going to be perfect for you.