Doug Freedman, an American Technology Research analyst, believes that if any delays and/or problems hit AMD's Puma platform - which incorporates a Turion Ultra processor and a RS780M chipset with hybrid graphics - then the company will be up for sale. He suggests that Nvidia may be interested in a deal, as AMD/Intel's plans for a combined CPU and GPU solution poses a threat to Nvidia. There is, as discussed below, one potential problem with a merger...
Futuremark has already released three screenshots from 3DMark Vantage, which is the next installment in the 3DMark series, to the public. Today though, an extra dozen have appeared, and they reveal not only what the remaining benchmarks are, but also give us a peek of the program's GUI. Expreview note that the current version is quite buggy, and that the testbed couldn't successfully complete the benchmark.
Nvidia has posted record results for the fourth quarter of the Fiscal year (which ended on January 27th). The company's revenue has increased to a record $1.20 billion - a 37% yearly rise from 2007's $878.9 million. Nvidia's net income is $257 million, or a 57% increase from this time last year. The company notes that strong demand in all markets, and an 80% yearly growth in its discrete GPU market are to thank for the record results.
As Nvidia's acquisition of AGEIA is now complete (a little ahead of schedule, too), they've announced plans for their use of PhysX technology. Revealed during their recent financial results conference call, Nvidia plans to implement the PhysX engine into their Compute Unified Device Architecture port, which is found in all GeForce 8-series GPU's. Nvidia are apparently "working hard" on the design, and hope it will improve sales.
Many partners have already advertised through various invitations that their 9800 GX2's will be on display at CeBIT. However, Nvidia has reportedly informed its partners that the board will only be present at the German computer show behind closed doors, and not out in the public. Various leaks are bound to happen, though Nvidia's decision does make sense as the board's launch is only two days following the show's closure.
Right on schedule, AMD has rolled out their second graphics drivers for the year, alias Catalyst 8.2. AMD notes that DirectX 10 performance in Company of Heroes improves up to 20% when using a DX10 compliant graphics card. They add that when using multi-GPU setups in the same title, performance will improve by up to 30%. AMD has also resolved various bugs including flickering in World of Warcraft and display corruption in Doom 3.
Nvidia's 9600 GT was originally believed to arrive on February 14th, though this date was quickly pushed back to February 21st. Not so long after that, speculation surfaced that the board had been delayed yet again, this time to the 28th. We are now led to believe that the second setback is false, meaning February 21st still stands. Two partner's offerings - one from Gigabyte and one MSI - have now been snapped in the wild, and briefly detailed.
Speed; a key role into anyone?s PC decision. Members with Windows XP are waiting for Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) before upgrading. Now it is weeks away from release, its time to bring out the stopwatches, and see what improvements Windows Vista SP1 has on the operating system. According to CNET, there are some performance enhancements, but mainly in the driver areas. What is worse however, is that certain tasks such as copying on a USB 2.0 Hard Drive is 50% slower, a hit which overshadows the other file system improvements in SP1.
VR-Zone has been informed that Nvidia's 9800 GX2 has been delayed to March 11th. The site note that the board will still be present at CeBIT, although partners are yet to be provided with working boards. They add that the final clocks are yet to be decided, although they haven't been provided with a legitimate excuse regarding the setback. Fudzilla believe that heat issues and poor SLI scaling are to blame, though this is hear-say for the time being.
What was speculation on Saturday has now become fact - Yahoo has officially rejected Microsoft's acquisition bid. Their reasoning behind this also remains unchanged; the bid "undervalues" the company. Microsoft has responded stating that "it is unfortunate that Yahoo! has not embraced our full and fair proposal". They also hinted that they may take the offer directly to Yahoo's shareholders, resulting in a hostile takeover. PC World has more on this...
A rather confusing situation was sparked recently when a great amount of AMD-powered systems disappeared from Dell's web-site. This was followed by a notice stating that AMD-based systems are only available in retail stores, and not online. Many believed that Dell were ending their partnership with AMD. The company quickly issued a statement saying that they are "committed" to AMD as a long-term partner, although only a small assortment of systems remain available online.
Nvidia's 9600 GT was originally intended to launch on February 14th, though the board was recently delayed to February 21st due to voltage offset issues, and a possible interference with the Chinese New Year Holiday. Speculation has now surfaced stating that the board has been pushed back further to February 28th. There's no reason behind the setback (aside from Chinese New Year), though perhaps Nvidia needs more time to fix the electrical bug.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo will reject Microsoft's offer of $44.6 billion. They reportedly won't accept anything below $40 per-share, and believe that the current offer of $31 per-share ?massively undervalues? the company. If Microsoft were to raise their bid to around $57 billion (a lot closer to Yahoo's expectations), then Yahoo will be willing to agree to the sale of the company, though an offer that high raises "certain risks".
Fudzilla has just been informed that Catalyst 8.1 allows users to run CrossFire with one HD 3870 and one HD 3850. Of course, the site did put this in action, and were able to individually tweak each board's settings through the Catalyst Control Center. They ran a HD 3870 and 3850 in both 1GB and 256MB setups, and the performance gains are quite difficult to summarize in a sentence. The site expect to revisit testing when Catalyst 8.2 arrives.
When Intel launched the high end X38 desktop chipset in October, rumours suggested that its lifespan would be short and they were preparing a new and better x48 chipset. However, in December, it was announced it would be postponed till February or March. The claims were true and we should be looking for a release in the middle of March.