Fermi, Nvidia's GF100 40nm DirectX 11 chip is selling great even though Nvidia still has to officially launch it. Sources confirmed that Nvidia is taking pre-orders like there is no tomorrow, but at this time Nvidia offers no guarantees when the chip will hit the market. Everyone expects shortages due to heavy demand from day one.
The original schedule of late November might skip in the first week(s) of December, but from what we learned over the last few days, it was always late November to first days of December.
AMD partners are working on a dual-core R800 card, codenamed Cypress and from what we learned, the card should launch in late November. Samples are in the works and cards are in development and the Radeon 5970 should be the brand for the top card, but since we are not aware of any boxes with this brand, this can easily change.
We were surprised to see that customer oriented AMD has decided to leave its all DirectX 9 supporters hanging. According to AMD's support site, its DirectX 9 cards won’t be officially supported under Windows 7.
LED backlighting squeezed in 14mm ultraslim
Oh joy of joys, Acer's PR people have launched an LCD screen with 8,000,000:1 contrast. We're really not sure how they got to 8 million, but nonetheless the Slim Line S243 is a very interesting screen.
It's based on a TN panel, but it features LED backlighting, allowing for a very thin, 14mm design and low power consumption. In fact, Acer is promising just over 17W of consumption, which is quite a bit lower than on similar size CCFL panels. Brightness is rated at 250cd/m2 and the 2ms response time should be fast enough for anyone.
Boffins claim that there is life in the HDD technology yet with the costs falling and drive sizes increasing. A new study claims that by 2020, hard disk drives will likely be less expensive on a cost per terabyte basis than any of the competing technologies. The study gives the thumbs down to boffins who are developing nonvolatile memory (NVM) technologies, saying it is unlikely to replace HDDs within the next decade.
Multiple sources are suggesting that R800, the card codenamed Hemlock, is going to come out in late November.
Samples are already out in the wild and, as expected, the TDP is definitely exceeding 300W. Once it launches, this card will finally take over the performance crown from Nvidia's Geforce GTX 295, but there is a big chance that ATI's performance leadership might only last a few weeks, since Nvidia is still planning to launch its Fermi card in 2009.
HD5950 and HD5970 cards will certainly assure the top spot for ATI.
A couple of days back we wrote about a new Gigabyte motherboard with SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0. You might look at it as a sign of things to come, as other vendors are quietly developing boards along similar lines.
However, don't hold your breath when it comes to USB 3.0 support, as Intel isn't exactly in a rush to put its weight behind the new standard. According to EE Times, Intel won't support USB 3.0 in its chipsets until some point in 2011, and vendors who opt to add it to their motherboards will have to turn to costly third party controllers.
While Futuremark is busy with its Shattered Horizon game, Unigine has come forward and released the first ever DirectX 11 benchmark, dubbed Heaven.
In addition to DirectX 11 support, the Unigine engine also supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10, OpenGL as well as ATI's Eyefinity multi-monitor feature. In order to fully utilize ATI's HD 5000 series, the new Unigine benchmark uses tessellation technology, advanced SSAO (screen-space ambient occlusion), dynamic sky with light scattering, volumetric clouds that are rendered by a physically accurate algorithm and interactive experience with fly/walk-through mode as well as the benchmark mode.
Core i5 520UM that is the cheapest of all Arrandale 32nm dual-core CPUs with four threads will end up at a not-so-cheap $241. The scheduled launch is Q1 2010 and this CPU runs at 1.06GHz and supports Turbo that can help it get all the way to pretty impressive 1.86GHz.
The CPU has 3MB of cache, supports DDR3 800 memory and its total TDP is at a very acceptable 18W. The graphics is still stuck at 45nm and will run at 166MHz, but with a "little bit" of Turbo it will be able to get all the way to 500MHz.
We have some good news for you. DirectX 11 games should start appearing sooner and in much bigger numbers than DirectX 10 games back when DX10 was introduced.
Let us remind you, when Microsoft went to DirectX 10 it insisted on an upgrade to Vista and since this operating system was not really popular, not many people rushed to make this upgrade. The second weak point of Vista was that it didn't run on legacy and still kicking Windows XP and last but certainly not least was the fact that DirectX 10 games didn't look much different than DirectX 9 games. This was also boosted by the fact that Crisys ended up being quite slow on DirectX 10 and Vista.
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