Posts Tagged ‘processor’

Review of the Reviews: Intel Core i3

January 19, 2010

We trawl the net so you don’t have to…

With the Intel Core 2 finding itself phased out late last year, the Core i3 – along with Core i7 and Core i5 – has been released to generally good reviews thus far. Considering how utterly successful the Core 2 processors were Intel has a lot of eyes focusing on their work this time around. However, as we sifted through some of the reviews out there of the i3 530 and 540 since their release a few weeks back, it became clear that Intel has met most expectations.

Early reports on Intel’s Core i3 capabilities have been positive

The two Core i3 models are dual-core, hyper-threading-equipped CPUs with 3MB shared L3 cache which is DDR3-1066-compatible. While most run-downs on the merits of the new range note that the Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs are “intended to be slower” than the i7, they are considerably cheaper to boot.

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The sub-€1000 Core i3 Build

January 14, 2010

So, with the recent release of Intel’s latest line of processors, the Core i3 line, we’ve had an awful lot of requests from people hoping we’d put together a solid Core i3 build on a reasonable budget. I was going to ask Ryan from our RMA department about this, but then I remembered that every time I say the word “budget” he tries to fit as much as humanly possible into the build.

Instead, myself and the entirely more reasonably minded and generally stable Shelton sat down and went over the various bits and pieces we’d like to see in a Core i3 build with a vague budget of €1,000. We initially agreed to be a little loose with the budget, but Shelton decided to get strict when we were over by three cent…

Anyway, without any further delay, here’s the build we’ve come up with :)

CPU:

The CPU is what’s prompted this whole build, so we figured it might be best to make sure we got it out of the way as early as possible. It’s an Intel Core i3-540, which will probably say enough to those of you who’ve been keeping a close eye on it, but for those who haven’t bear with us.

Click through to check out our page on Intel's Core i3 :)

The Core i3-540 is a dual core, socket 1156 processor with a 4MB L3 cache. It’s a solid arrangement, but for those who are interested in getting as much detail as possible, you’d do well to check out this (quite long winded) but very in-depth piece from XbitLabs, which goes into a tremendous amount of detail about Intel’s current processor line up.

Aside from all that, the Core i3-540 weighs in at €135.

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HTC to Launch Nexus One as Bravo?

January 14, 2010

It seems as though HTC might well be planning to launch Google’s Nexus One smartphone itself through more normal retail channels under the name HTC Bravo.

When Google said that it wasn’t working on a smartphone, many realised that it was cleverly working around the question, since the search giant seems to have had some of HTC’s staff in-house, developing a phone for it. Now though, it seems as though HTC is to market a phone called the HTC Bravo that bears some fairly striking similarities to Google’s Nexus One…

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Intel Leaks New MacBook Pro Details

January 14, 2010

It seems that Intel has accidentally leaked details of an upcoming update to Apple’s MacBook Pro notebook line through a slightly botched promotional mailing.

Set for a January 26th announcement?

AppleInsider is reporting that the promotional mailing sent out to members of Intel’s Retail Edge program detailed a competition whereby members could win a new MacBook Pro, unfortunately the MacBook Pro that’s advertised isn’t one of Apple’s current line. Moreover, it does look like just about exactly the right direction to move if you’re looking to upgrade the current MacBook Pro line without making a raft of changes. The promotion reads,

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Special Offers – Week of January 11th

January 11, 2010

Good afternoon all, hopefully we find you well this rainy, suspiciously snowless Monday afternoon. It’s nice to see that the “much worse” that was “still to come” on Friday hasn’t quite materialised, leaving us with a pleasant (if somewhat rainy) week ahead of us.

As anyone who reads the blog regularly will know, we like to post the special offers for the coming week on a Monday afternoon; it gives everyone the longest possible time to consider a purchase while the price is knocked down, which is always nice :)

Anyway, without any more delay, this week our special offers are on RAM, an upgrade kit and a media player.

4GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600MHz

Corsair’s Dominator is a solid RAM kit, with a full 4GB (that’s on two 2GB sticks) that shouldn’t break the bank. Still, it’s not on the low end of the performance scale.

Click through to see our page for the Corsair Dominator 4GB kit :)

Considering the performance, it’s nice to see Corsair’s Dominator on special offer, with the price dropped by 7%. Of course, it’s not for everyone, with high-end memory there will always be those whose machines don’t support it. In this case, you’re going to want to make sure that your motherboard supports DDR3, but aside from that you should be good to go.

It’s also worth mentioning that whenever we do a PC build, one of the guys in RMA (whether Ryan or Shetlon) will always advise that we roll with Corsair RAM, since they’re a reliable company with a solid reputation when it comes to memory. It might seem like a relatively small thing when you’re considering performance and a multitude of other things in your build… but it can save headaches later.

For this week, Corsair’s Dominator DDR3 1600MHz 4G kit will set you back €128.47.

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Project Natal Simplified for Cost Reasons

January 7, 2010

Microsoft’s upcoming motion controller for its Xbox 360 home console is on target for release this year, despite some rumours to the contrary, but the hardware has been scaled back a bit.

Microsoft has been receiving a lot of attention for its Project Natal, which aims to add motion control to the Xbox 360 without users having to actually grip a controller as on both Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 3 motion control add-on. Now though, word comes via VG247 that Microsoft has cut the processor from the camera that acts as the sensor for Project Natal in an effort to ensure that the device is cheaper at retail.

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Intel and Nintendo in Console Talks?

December 29, 2009

Reports indicate that Intel and Nintendo could well be in talks over the future of the gaming giant’s home console efforts, with Intel apparently pushing to supply the chips to power the successor to Nintendo’s Wii.

The news comes from a widely circulated report from the Japanese publication Impress Watch, but given the fact that my Japanese is hazy at best, we’ve gone with TomsGuide’s interpretation of the news. According to the report, Intel has been “trying to push Nintendo into using its Larrabee graphics processor,” which is interesting enough in itself, given the uncertainty surrounding Larrabee at the moment.

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Nvidia Working On Second Generation ION

December 23, 2009

Nvidia is already hard at work on a second-generation version of its ION platform for netbooks with a need for high-end graphics. Word of a second generation ION follows news of Intel’s next-generation Atom line.

Nvidia’s ION has a bit of a love-hate relationship with Intel. The ION itself is powered, at its core, by an Intel Atom processor, so the whole point for Nvidia is that it has to stay nice and tight with Intel when it comes to compatibility and getting its hands on processors. At the same time, the company is competing directly with Intel in the netbook space for graphics with its GMA line.

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Intel Talks Next-Gen Atom

December 21, 2009

Intel has revealed some of the details of its upcoming next-generation Atom processors. For those familiar with current-gen Atom processors, there aren’t any changes but the big one.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, Ars Technica has an excellent article up detailing what we can expect from the new line of Atom processors. As well you might expect, they all weigh in at the 1.66GHz mark, which isn’t any different from the Atom processors we see powering netbooks today. There are two big shifts coming though, and the first is towards a dual core Atom processor, the D510. It might seem small, but keeping the energy efficiency of the Atom line and adding a second core is no mean feat. We’ll be curious to see how it behaves in real life.

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Nvidia Continues Anti-Intel Assault

December 21, 2009

Nvidia’s Intel’s Insides series of cartoons having a few quick jabs at Intel continues this week, with the graphics-centric company releasing more cartoons for a little festive cheer at Intel’s expense.

Nvidia has been railing against Intel for quite some time now, but things really picked up last Summer, when the company needed Intel’s Atom processor line to power its then-upcoming ION GPU solution. Since then, things have only gone from bad to worse, particularly when it emerged that Intel had managed to gain its current market position through “bribery and coercion.”

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