Posts Tagged ‘cpu’

Intimate Tech: Nvidia’s GF100

February 1, 2010

Over the course of the last couple of months, we’ve been hearing an awful lot from Nvidia. While a lot of that attention has been focused on the upcoming release of Nvidia’s second generation Tegra (for now still tentatively referred to as “Tegra 2”), there’s been more and more focus on the upcoming GF100.

The card itself looks a little bulky...

For now, there are a few fairly vital bits and pieces that we just don’t know about the GF100, but there’s still enough floating around to get a very solid picture indeed of what Nvidia is going with the new hardware. For those who are saying, as Shelton did, “Wait… what happened Fermi?” there’s at least the fact that we’re told the GF-100 is Fermi-derived, so we know it has that history behind it at least.

In Simple Terms:

For now, we don’t know the clock-speed of the GF100, and as a result there’s precious little to know about the power consumption for now, except that it’s already been noted to be a little heavier on power than Nvidia’s own GT200.

Still, before we get bogged down in technical terms, we can help to explain a bit about the GF100 and why there’s so much fuss about it since CES, in terms that just about anyone can understand. It’s relatively simple, but it seems as though very few people have actually tried to describe the GF100 in simple terms.

GF100 was initially just the codename, many have pointed out that it doesn’t stand for GeForce, as some expected, but for Graphics-Fermi. Still, it looks as though the moniker has stuck, and Nvidia could well launch the card as GF100. It was originally meant to be released last year, but rumour has it that due to unusually low yields it’s been bumped back, with many expressing fears that the release date is still looking a little hazy now, despite the fact that Nvidia is saying we’ll see it in March.



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.


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 🙂


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.


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,


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.


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.


Asus Building Tegra Powered EEE Tablet

December 23, 2009

Word is coming out that Asus is building a tablet version of its EEE PC, dubbed the EEE Pad. The big news not though, is that the device will be running Nvidia’s Tegra mobile GPU arrangement.

Word comes via NetbookNews that Asus is hoping to launch the device after March of 2010, which has already been pointed out as implying that the company that effectively started the whole netbook crazy is waiting for the second generation of Nvidia’s Tegra chips. If nothing else, we’ll be curious to see what the device can do, but it certainly means a big shift, both for Asus for the netbook market.


Nvidia Continues Anti-Intel Comics

December 14, 2009

Nvidia has continued its series of political-cartoon-themed comic strips lampooning chip manufacturer Intel, this time for the apparent failure of its attempt to build its own high-end graphics hardware, codenamed Larrabee.

Nvidia’s first round of comics came after news was released that Intel had been accused of bribery and coercion to achieve, and then to maintain, its position at the top of the CPU market. Intel didn’t take those particularly well, but given the fact that Nvidia hadn’t really said anything that wasn’t already confirmed by the New York attorney general, there wasn’t too much it could about the cartoons.

Now though, Nvidia’s apparent thrill for poking fun at a company whose projects seem increasingly to push it into the graphics specialist’s space continues unabated, with the release of a comic that quite simply has a dig at the fact that Intel hasn’t managed to build itself a piece of dedicated graphics hardware that it’d be happy to release.

Of course, Nvidia isn’t the only company that’s been putting the boot in, last week, AMD couldn’t resist getting a fairly thinly veiled jab in about how difficult it is to develop a GPU, which we’d imagine the folks at Intel didn’t much appreciate.

The only real question, for Nvidia, is whether or not these comics represent it biting the hand that feeds it, so to speak. Nvidia is very much dependent on Intel’s low-power Atom processor line for its ION. ION has been Nvidia’s big project for quite a bit, so we’d have imagined the company would be a little slower to ridicule Intel.

That said, we’d imagine that a significant amount of the bad blood between the two comes from the fact that Intel couldn’t provide Atom processors in the volume (or at the price) that Nvidia wanted during the summertime.

If you’d like to check out the rest of Nvidia’s cartoons, you can see them over at Intel’s Insides.

Nvidia Talks Larrabee Delay

December 9, 2009

Intel has announced that its plans for a graphics processor, codenamed Larrabee, had seen significant delays. While it seems the chip giant is still pursuing the project, Larrabee will likely never hit the market. Nvidia responded in a fashion befitting the relationship between the two.

Nvidia’s response was quite brusque, which is in keeping with the manner in which the company has publically treated Intel over the last few months. Nvidia’s response to Intel was fairly short, but essentially just says, “The fact that a company with Intel’s technical prowess and financial resources has struggled so hard to succeed with parallel computing shows just how exceptionally difficult a challenge this is.”


Core i9 Processor on Ebay

December 4, 2009

Intel’s upcoming Gulftown processor, which most of us expect will become the Core i9 by the time it eventually goes on sale has showed up on Ebay, with the still in-development and testing CPU selling for the ripe price of $1,200.

While the current range of Core i5 and Core i7 processors top out at quad-core, the Gulftown/Core i9 boasts fully six cores, and some of the data leaking out from Intel’s tests show it to be a very interesting beast indeed. If nothing else it’s curious to see that there’s a Gulftown processor already working and released into the wild, regardless of just how much illegality it took to get there.