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CPU & Motherboards

ATI Launches CrossFire Xpress 3200

As most of you will know, ATI today released RD580, now to be known as Xpress 3200. The board is set to give Nvida’s nForce4, and possibly even nForce 5 a serious hammering. The board offers 40 lanes of PCI express and is the first board to offer 2×16 PCI-Express slots on a single chip. Of course, the real exciting news is that this board was built from the ground up to be an enthusiasts dream,?and so it has some major overclocking features. I won’t go over the featureset in detail, instead here is?a roundup of reviews from our buddies: HardOCP Anandtech Motherboards.org Bit-tech



Asus A8R-MVP and X1900 Crossfire stability problems

The Inq’s Fuad Abazovic is reporting some major stability problems with the above setup. The problems include crashes in games and as testing pursued even 3D mark was a problem. Quote: "The only scenario where we almost got the machine stable was with a single memory module plugged inside. This will degrade your memory performance drastically but managed to get the system a little bit more stable." Looks to me to be a bios problem, but as noted in the article it could also be a power issue. If you’re thinking of getting this setup, think twice, at least for now…



AMD triples their contract with Soitec for 2006

CPU manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has renewed its silicon-on-insulator contract with Soitec for 2006. AMD uses Soitec’s wafers for its 90nm Athlon 64, Opteron, Turion and Sempron processors. The contract,?worth $150 million USD, is triple the size of AMD’s 2005 contract. Soitec is the SOI market leader?but has been facing a lawsuit from MEMC over the patent of its defect-free silicon, referred to as "Perfect Silicon". This could protentially cause complications to?AMD’s supply chain if Soitec fair badly, though a financial settlement is likley to be the worst case scenario.



Intel’s ‘CSI’ to outperform AMD’s Hypertransport

Intel’s CSI high-speed serial interconnect was first meant to appear in a Xeon chip code-named Whitefield. That processor, however, met an untimely death as Intel India mucked up the CSI implementation and forced Intel to rework its plans. As of last check, Intel will now introduce CSI in the Tukwila version of Itanium due out in 2008.



Intel Developing Ultra-Low Power 65 nm Process

Intel today announced it is developing an ultra-low profile 65 nm process that will enable production of very low power processors. The ultra-low power process will be Intel's second generation 65 nm process technology. The 65 nm process will provide obvious benefits over Intel?s current 90 nm manufacturing process like lower voltage requirements which equates to less heat and lower power consumption - the current buzz word of the moment.

One of the factors in decreasing chip power consumption, which is important to mobile and battery-operated devices, is improving the design of the transistor. Lost electricity leaking from these microscopic transistors, even when they are in their "off" state, is a problem that is a challenge for the entire industry




Intel to Release New Enthusiast Gear Soon

Intel isn’t done on this year’s high-end releases – there may be more gear to come! Secret sources at IDF have been talking about the company’s plans for the next three months. They have hinted that there will be a new Extreme Edition CPU coming in the next couple of months. Like the existing 840, it will be dual core with Hyper Threading. It will possibly sport a higher clock speed and more cache. Bit-Tech



Intel Reveals Details of New CPU Design

At 14 stages, the main pipeline will be a little bit longer than current Pentium M processors. The cores will be a wider, more parallel design capable of issuing, executing, and retiring four instructions at once. (Current x86 processors are generally three-issue.) The CPU will, of course, feature out-of-order instruction execution and will also have deeper buffers than current Intel processors. These design changes should give the new architecture significantly more performance per clock, and somewhat consequently, higher performance per watt. Tech Report



Intel to Move to Common CPU Architecture

IDF ? Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced today in his keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum that Intel will be moving its future CPUs to a common architecture. He said the architecture will incorporate the best of the current Netburst and mobile architectures, with a focus on delivering more performance per watt. The architecture will be used in mobile platforms (code-named Merom), desktops (Conroe), and servers (Woodcrest). This processor architecture will feature a range of next-generation Intel technologies, including 64-bit compatibility (EM64T), virtualization (VT), Intel’s LaGrande security features, and Intel Active Management Tech (iAMT). Tech Report



No More HyperThreading For Intel

Intel have stated that HT is not going to feature in their next architecture. This is a bit of a shock since they spent months messaging us that HT would be the most important move in microprocessor development, Intel have removed it (read – not included it) in their next generation processor. Hexus



AMD Challenges Intel to a Dual-Core Duel

AMD has proposed a live dual-core duel in 2005 against Intel. It will be?a public performance evaluation between server platforms based on the highest-performing Dual-Core AMD Opteron? 800 Series or 200 Series processors and the corresponding Intel x86 server processors that are commercially available in volume. Should Intel accept AMD’s challenge, the duel woul take place at a public venue, with testing conducted by a neutral third-party. Industry-standard server benchmarks would include SPECjbb and SPECweb, plus measurement of energy consumption by each corresponding server. It’s unlikely Intel will accept, however, as this AMD conjured marketing?ploy can only make Intel look bad. If Intel ignore this?challenge?it?will allow them to incurr mimimum damage. If they were to accept and loose, it would essentially make Intel look incredibly stupid to the mainstream public, and loose they no doubt will…



Intel Says Photonics Light the Way to Faster Chips

Intel researchers are shedding some light on a potential new application for chip photonics: upping the performance of multicore processors. The processor giant’s research labs are exploring ways to use silicon photonics?on-chip components that use light to transmit data?to replace electrical interconnects using copper wiring and simultaneously speed up vital connections that move data into and out of processors. Intel thinks that electrical interconnects will continue to be used for some time to come, but that optical eventually will win out as it becomes more difficult to wring performance out of copper wires. Creating bus that can move more data is vital to Intel as the chip maker moves deeper into the realm of multicore chips. Intel recently introduced dual-core Pentium desktop processors, which have two individual processor cores inside a single slice of silicon, where previous chips had only one.



AMD Details Early Quad-Core Plans

In a detailed briefing for analysts in New York on Friday, executives at Advanced Micro Devices painted the company as making "irreversible progress" into new architectures, specifically multicore microprocessors and 64-bit processing. Executives confirmed that the company plans to enhance its Opteron enterprise processor line to four cores in 2007, adding focused optimizations to manage power and improve throughput. Going forward, AMD executives said its progress will be defined by metrics like "throughput per watts per dollars", backed by specific technologies that it will try to establish as industry standards, rather than following rival Intel’s lead. Read the full article HERE



DFI Admits 5Volt Vdimm Problem

If some of you are not aware, the DFI Nforce 4 Ultra/D/DR SLI models has a jumper setting onboard that allows you to increase the voltage supplied on the Vdimm feed from 3.3 volts to 5 volts. This will give users the option to supply more than 3.2 volts to the ram on their DFI motherboards. http://www.Warp2Search.Net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=23699



DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D & SLI-DR Thermal Images

Quote:? The thermal imaging camera (a Mikron Infrared Thermal Imager) is back, and we have a detailed look at a couple of modern motherboards and 6600GT PCIe graphics cards…? This time around we take a look at some thermal images of DFI?s latest creations, the Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D and SLI-DR. The majority of the images shown in this article are of the DFI Lanparty nF4 Ultra-D with the exception of the last three. Shown in the last three photos are the significant areas of increased temperature of the SLI-DR board. Everyone knows the importance of cooling computer components, and we’ll see what areas on these boards may need extra cooling for optimum performance. Read the article HERE



World Exclusive: Pictures and Concrete info on IWILL’s upcoming ZMAXd2

Packing support for NVIDIA’s SLI technology via nForce4 SLI core logic, along with support for dual-core Opteron, the ZMAXd2 crams even more into the same space, doubling the CPU and graphics power with help from a new 400W power supply, specially developed by IWILL for the unit. Check the article HERE






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