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Hmmm, methinks AMD might have a new marketing strategy. So think on this...AMD cannot compete one on one with Intel. If you put them up clock for clock there is very little chance that an AMD CPU will beat the correspondingly clocked Intel CPU.
So if you are AMD what do you do? Well you start by pricing your products lower than the other guy and say that Dollar for Dollar you have the better product. Now that marketing strategy is great, but really will only last so long. So what else can you do?
To put it simply to take CPUs with Cores and Cache that do not meet full QC. This is not to day they are bad, just that they do not meet full QC. You market these as less expensive products so as to mitigate the normal loss you would have with these "failed" parts.
Now this is a good enough solution as you can sell them for less to the consumer but it is not enough to combat Intel and its dominance. To do that you need an extra...edge. This comes in the form of small BIOS tweaks that magically turn on extra cores and cache that is disabled. Suddenly that X3 you bought is a Quad and that Cacheless Athlon II X4 is a Phenom II X4. Not a bad move at all, but a tad sneaky.
Still when you are dealing with a performance powerhouse like Intel you need all the help you can get. You are still not beating them clock for clock but you are able out price them in a very underhanded way.
The future looks bright for ATi, Microsoft and DX11. Windows 7 is receiving some of the best press that MS has received in the last 5-7 years. This is a great comeback after the technical press and bloggers condemned Windows Vista before it even hit the shelves. Of course this has all changed.
DX11 is taking off much faster than DX10 did and we have even seen some game developers postpone games to recode their engines to take advantage of the new DX. We know of roughly 4 games that should be DX11 and available at the time that Windows 7 Launches.
Two of these titles Grid and DiRT are popular games that should help to bolster sales of Windows 7 for gaming. But on the opposite side we have ATi already showing off DX11 hardware and with highly anticipated titles (like Grid and DiRT). Meanwhile nVidia might show off DX11 capable hardware in September. ATi has already promised DX11 hardware on the shelves for the Windows 7 Launch.
We also see faster driver support from hardware manufacturers. At the same time in Vista's life many hardware companies were still waiting and reluctant to port their existing drivers over. Not so with Windows 7. Many products are already shipping with working and stable drivers for the new OS despite it not actually available for purchase yet.
All of this spells a very good holiday season for these three companies as tech enthusiasts scramble to get DX11 hardware, games and OS as quickly as possible. Unless nVidia can get something out in working form very soon they might lose some of that money this year and have to wait for next.
It has been awhile since we have given out our version of the Darwin award. Well if you have been wondering who the lucky recipient is this time you can let out your long held breath (Cyanotic Blue is really not your color) our winner is none other than Apple.
Yes Apple, after the news of their new Malware application in Snow Leopard got out (something that Apple Ads say they do not need) we now have a picture from Gizmodo that belies the "Macs Don't Crash" claim.
This is a picture inside an Apple Store. The difference is that the screens that smugly announce who is next in line to talk to a genius are showing a Kernel Panic. This (as they say in the guide) is completely impossible. But the impossible seems to have happened.
I would love to see this in an ad somewhere
The Foundry race jut heated up; TSMC just announced the production of 64MB SRAM on three 28nm process nodes. This roughly matches the same timeline that Global Foundries is looking to keep.
So far the time line puts the three nodes up and running in risk production by Q3. The Low Power process should be in risk production by the end of Q1 2010 while the High-K metal gate low power and performance versions will be out in Q1 and Q3 respectively.
TSMC says that they have managed to get their High-K Metal Gate Process going by using a "gate last" method. They claim this will make theirs superior in terms of transistor characteristics, performance and manufacturability.
I am not sure what the results of this will be but I am sure the bidding for nVidia's business will be very interesting for the 28nm process next year.
nVidia is going after AMD and their "Dragon" platform. To do this they are leveraging the new Intel P55 Chipset.
You see they really do not have a complete platform solution like AMD did and now they are rapidly building one.
Referred to as "Power of 3" in the PR Slides that have gotten out into the public eye, nVidia claims that P55 with built in SLI support is perfect for their new SLI + PhysX design.
They start off with a mainstream board that has 1 full x16 PCI-e 2.0 slot and a 2nd x4 electrical slot for an additional PhysX enabled GPU. The next level is the performance level. This has at least two x16 physical slots that can adjust to x8 each with SLI. The board should also have one additional x4 electrical slot for a PhysX enabled card.
The top tier is the Extreme, this will have up to 3 x16 PCI-e Slots with full x16 in each provided by nVidia chips like the BR-03 or NF200. This will allow for 3-way SLI. But the Extreme board will usually also have a fourth x4 slot for,...you guessed it; a PhysX enabled GPU.
It's been confirmed with Microsoft directly that the RTM (not RC) build of Windows 7 will allow the user to run it unactivated for up to four months before requiring an activation key; a completely legal procedure.
"You can run the -rearm trick a total of three times," said Leonard. "If you perform a -rearm at the end of each 30-day period, you end up with 120 days of full, unfettered Windows 7 use, without having to supply an activation key."
Windows Secrets website explains that it's possible to install without needing to input an activation key (just hit next when prompted for one). You then have 30 days to activate, after which the OS will go into reduced functionality mode. But as explained above, it's possible to enter a basic command up to three times to renew the 30 day period.
By the time your four months are up, to save you the hassle of reinstalling the OS you can enter a legit Win7 key and continue on your merry way.
Asus has maintained its lead over Apple in RESCUECOM's reliability report for the second quarter running.
Now the report is interesting as it only deals with trouble calls that are placed with RESCUECOM directly. This makes it at the very least inaccurate in terms of true reliability.
Still we can see an interesting localized trend here. Asus has been increasing its market presence beyond of the Ad-in and component segments for the last few years. They are increasingly a one stop shop for many, many products. These products on the whole are well put together and designed for the average consumer. Typically when a manufacture does this there are growing pains involved.
These pains are usually product reliability ad service related. Asus seems to have somehow avoided these and are pushing good quality out of the gate.
Of course Asus has had its share of problems, they have recently had to change the way their support site works (it is now its own separate site) and revamped their customer support as whole to keep up with the massive presence in the market.
Only time will tell of Asus can maintain the apparent high-quality of their products. But if they do I imagine that we might see a few new Apple adds about it.
AMD had some good news this morning. It seems that although they are running far behind Intel in the CPU market and behind nVidia in the desktop GPU market they are the leader in the Discrete Mobile GPU market.
This is an interesting turn of events since nVidia has been shoving its higher end mobile GPUs into everything it can. The reasons for the change are probably less complex than you would think.
The biggest reason is going to be the lingering effect of the defective bump material that is still hurting nVidia. Since the effects of this appeared to be confined to the mobile GPU space it has only impacted consumer confidence in this small area.
AMD for its part was quick to take advantage of the situation and managed to release a few 40nm parts that offer good performance/power/cost ratios. This caused more than a few OEMs to take note and make the switch to AMD products. With a larger number of AMD GPUs and low consumer opinion of nVidia mobile products AMD managed to grab a nice 53% market share. This is a 36.5% increase in market share in the first six months of 2009.
If AMD can turn this new consumer confidence to their advantage (and not sit back and relax) they can possibly gain market share in the desktop market as part of a trickle effect.
More news about the iPhone but this one has a little twist. We always hear about how insanely popular the App Store is. It is on the TV, on the web you name it, there is Apple telling you that.
But you know what? It is not the App store at all, it is the Apps. Yes here I am to state the obvious. People like the idea of downloading and installing different applications for their mobile devices. To prove this point Cydia, the most popular of the third party applications repositories has just passed over 53,000 purchases totaling in almost $.25 million US dollars.
This number will only grow as Apple continues to ostracize its own developers. Look at what happened to GV Mobile, Apple rejected it and now it is available on Cydia. The more arbitrary and inane their approval process the more people will jailbreak their phones just to have access to freedom of choice.
Apple will continue to try and make jailbreaking illegal by tell the lawmakers every lie under the sun from it can cause massive cellular failure to it causes acid rain. But in the end I do not think they will be able to stop the flood of people wanting to use their phones the way they want.
We have reported on the upcoming Apple event in September but now the rumors are firming up. The event now has a date; September 9th. The event also has a focus; Music.
According to the information we have it looks like this will be the event where Apple launches its new music service called Cocktail and the next iPod.
Other rumors claim that the event will announce the Beatles coming to iTunes, etc, etc, etc.
One things that is interesting though, the beginning of September is around when we could see Lynnfield and the P55 hit. We also hear that nVidia is working on an entry level chipset for Lynnfield (although those might not be ready until 2010). It is entirely possible that this events "one more thing" could be the announcement of Macs with these items in them.