We've already seen a brief preview of the HD 3870 X2 in CrossFire, though the results weren't anything to scream about. FPSLabs have recently published their evaluation of CrossFireX in action, and things are starting to look a bit better. The drivers are still in early development, so nothing is set in stone, though nonetheless CrossFireX scaled as high as 76.9% in FEAR, 50.2% in Call of Juarez and 15.6% in 3DMark 06 - very promising for the first two.
The 9600 GT - Nvidia's upcoming mid-range weapon - was previously believed to retail in the $149-159 price range, the same range as most 8600 GT's. However, Expreview now believe that the board will cost between $169 and $189, a lot closer to the HD 3850's retail price of $169. The site note that the board's launch date of February 21st still stands, and that Nvidia will enhance the board's anti-aliasing performance, and high-definition video playback.
Nvidia has announced that they've signed a definitive agreement to acquire Ageia Technologies, creator of the somewhat forgotten PhysX card. Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia, noted that Ageia is "world class, and is passionate about the same thing we are ? creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences." Co-founder and CEO of Ageia, Manju Hegde, added that "Nvidia is the perfect fit for us". Sounds like a match made in heaven.
One year after the Windows Vista release, the first service pack has been released to manufacturing status, which means, an imminent launch is now on the cards. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will support DirectX 10.1 and the new exFAT file system.
In response to Saturday's news regarding Microsoft's bid to acquire Yahoo for $44.6 billion, Google's senior vice president David Drummond has issued an official response from the company. The post can be found here, and it implies that the merger could ruin the internet. In response, Brad Smith, general counsel for Microsoft, has published his own statement. He notes that a combined Yahoo and Microsoft would not be able to match Google's internet share.
Albatron has confirmed that their GeForce 9800 GX2 and 9600 GT will be on display at CeBit this year, which is taking place in Hannover, Germany from March 4th to 9th. Both the 9600 GT and 9800 GX2 were recently delayed due to what is believed to be a voltage offset bug, and interference with the Chinese new year holiday. It's expected that many other board partners will follow in Albatron's footsteps in displaying the next-gen boards at the show.
Nvidia's 8800 GS has been rather quietly launched. Its been a while since we've run a story on this, so I'll give the tech briefing. The 8800 GS is clocked at 550MHz for the core, and 800MHz for the 384MB of GDDR3 memory (which as the memory size suggests, is on a 192-bit bus). The board's 96 stream processors, and shader clock of 1375MHz slot it in between the 8600 GTS and 8800 GT. The 8800 GS will live a short life, as the 9600 GT will replace it on February 21st.
Users of the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 processors have been noticing that there might be a heat problem. The most daring overclockers are noting that the thermal diode on-board these processors is very far off from the actual temperature, tricking overclockers into not giving efficient coolers and not letting the motherboard control the speed of the fans enough, if the processor fan is actually cooled by the motherboard. Intel denies the claims, if overclocking, do not let it go above 72.5 Degrees Centigrade.
According to DigiTimes, citing sources in the Taiwan channel, shortages of Intel's 45nm E8000 line-up have forced the prices across the series to be raised by up to 20%. The shortages are due to Intel's strategically planned shipments, which involves holding back the majority of Wolfdale shipments to allow traders to empty their 65nm E6000 stock. This strategy seems to have had little effect on the previous-generation chip's sales, as the E6000 sales are yet to improve.
HKEPC has just compiled a table detailing the launch schedule for AMD's upcoming Phenom processors. For starters, the launch of the 2.6GHz 9950 has been pushed back from quarter two, to quarter three - while the 2.4GHz 9750 remains a quarter two product (or May / June to be precise). The B3 revision triple-core Phenoms are also arriving in May / June, while the B2 triple-core's - the 2.3GHz 8600 and 2.1GHz 8400 - will arrive as previously intended in March.
Microsoft has just made a proposal to the Yahoo Board of Directors to acquire the company for $31 per-share, or $44.6 billion. Yahoo has responded saying they will evaluate this proposal carefully and promptly. Microsoft note that the offer represents a 62 percent premium over the closing price of Yahoo common stock on January 31st. They add that the proposed transaction is expected to be complete in the second half of this year.
As the launch of Intel's X48 chipset draws nearer, Asus has announced the addition of two new motherboards, namely the P5E3 Premium and the Rampage Formula. Both boards are DDR3 only, and support 1600MHz FSB's. The P5E3 Premium includes three PCIe x16, one PCIe x1, and two PCI slots, while the Rampage Formula has two, three and two respectively. The Rampage Formula comes with Asus' SupremeFX II sound card, and Voltiminder LED.
Currently, the Radeon HD 3870 X2 ships with 1GB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 900MHz. However, according to Fudzilla, partners plan on adding GDDR4 memory to their boards, thus resulting in clocks higher than 1000MHz. Of course, this would also result in a higher selling price, though this is a flagship product, so I guess they can get away with it. Diamond also did a similar thing to the HD 2900 XT; they were the first to release the board with 1GB of memory (which was also GDDR4).
Back in late December, some screenshots appeared that were claimed to be from the next version of 3DMark (which at the time was believed to be dubbed 3DMark 08). A few days later, we learned that they were stolen from 3D artists. Today though, we actually have some official screenshots of "3DMark Vantage" from Futuremark, and they're just as good, if not better than the fakes. The three images released are all from the one benchmark - a trip through space.
Futuremark, a Finnish benchmarking company, has already stolen some traffic from review sites with their new graphics and processor value rankings, which is located on the YouGamers site. Futuremark has now announced plans to start challenging game developers as well. Futuremark says it will develop its latest games on the new Intellectual property, which will provide the highest quality game play. Futuremark promise it will ?deliver stellar performance even on the modest platforms.?