Intel integrated graphics sucks less

Lars Göran Nilsson | Video Cards & GPUs | Oct 15, 2007 9:10 AM CDT

We've got one more video for you, of Intel integrated GM965 graphics and in all honesty, it seems like Intel graphics isn't as bad as it used to be. There are several demo's running in the video, but the first two are on Intel integrated graphics powered by the GM965 chipset.

Intel was talking a lot about graphics and with its new programmable graphics core it appears that the company can add features as it goes along. It will add hardware accelerated geometry shaders in its next generation of integrated graphics as well as adding more video decoding and possibly even encoding into hardware as fixed functions.

Power saving was also big on the agenda and we'll talk more about this tomorrow as well as some other interesting features about Intel's upcoming graphics architecture. For now, enjoy the somewhat dark video of a range of Intel powered notebooks.

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Unreal Tournament 3 Playable Beta Demo!

Steve Dougherty | | Oct 13, 2007 11:29 PM CDT

Calling all FPS gamers and UT fans, you guys will be glad to know a polished beta build demo of Unreal Tournament 3 has been distributed around the web for everyone to download and try out. If your weekend plans were a bit on the boring side before, they certainly won't be now.

The demo includes three levels; a vehicle-based capture the flag map called VCTF-Suspense along with two deathmatch maps, DM-Heatray and DM-ShangriLA. The download size weighs in at a reasonable 740MB and you'll find it available for download over at FileShack or possibly one of your other favourite game demo/news sites.

Epic VP Mark Reign recently commented that they are pushing to get the full game ready for a November release, though this isn't yet confirmed.

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Three way SLI on November 15?

Lars Göran Nilsson | Video Cards & GPUs | Oct 12, 2007 4:00 AM CDT

It seems like three-way SLI might be closer than we expected with several websites having information about it today. There are some limitations as to who can actually run it, starting with the fact that you need to have a Nforce 680i or 680i LT based motherboard, at least until the 780i comes out. We're not sure about AMD support, as so far no-one has mentioned it, but it should be possible with the 680a SLI chipset.

The next requirement is a graphics card with two SLI connectors on the top, such as the 8800 GTX or Ultra. This limits the audience of three-way SLI even further. A new SLI connector is also needed and we're not sure where you'll be able to get one of these from, unless you buy a new motherboard, but Nvidia will surely figure out a way.

The three cards are then connected to each other by the primary card having links to the second and third card, while the second and third cards are connected to each other as well. It might sound confusing, but the new SLI connector takes care of all the brain work for you. For those that can afford this kind of a setup it should offer some additional performance, but we suggest you get a fast CPU and a high-res display, as otherwise it'll be wasted money. The suggested launch date is the 15th of November.

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Futuremark hot fixes 3DMark03/05/06

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Oct 12, 2007 3:43 AM CDT

Futuremark has released a hot fix for 3DMark03/05/06 and PCMark05 which should bring the benchmarks up to date with new graphics cards and processors. The problem is that none of the benchmarks behave properly unless they detect the hardware in the system correctly and as a result some tests might not run properly or at all.

There was a workaround for this, but it meant that you couldn't post the results on the Futuremark website as the results couldn't be verified. The download only consists of three files and it works with all four benchmarks. A new version of 3DMark 06 will be made available with the hot fix included.

You can download the hot fix from here

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ABIT launches IX38 QuadGT

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Oct 12, 2007 3:37 AM CDT

Abit is a day late with their announcement, but the company also has an X38 board ready to go and it's the IX38 QuadGT. Abit has managed to implement a few interesting features into this board and some rather odd ones too. It's a DDR2 board and it supports memory speeds of 800 and 1,066MHz as well as CPU bus speeds of 1,600MHz.

Abit has gone with a digital PWM design and this seems to have been something of a fad and many of the motherboard manufacturers we've talked to aren't too keen on using this type of PWM as they claim it's not great for overclocking. However, it does reduce the component count on the motherboard and allows for a much cleaner area around the CPU socket.

Abit on the other hand seems to claim that it only has advantages, such as lower noise interference, longer component life span and lower heat output. The IX38 QuadGT has a rather interesting cooling design as well, with the digital WPM being cooled by a separate heatsink which ducts the heat out through the I/O shield. The chipset on the other hand is cooled by a heatpipe solution which goes from the ICH9R to the X38 chipset and then onwards to a small heatsink which is parallel with the memory slots.

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AMD releases ATI Catalyst 7.10 drivers

Steve Dougherty | | Oct 11, 2007 7:56 PM CDT

AMD have kicked off their new set of Catalyst 7.10 drivers today, these to suit both 32 and 64-bit XP/Vista operating systems.

Nicknamed the 'shoot'em up' driver, FPS gamers with ATI Radeon graphics cards will be excited to know that these latest drivers bring some significant performance gains across a whole host of popular gaming titles, with the biggest performance increases noticed in a Crossfire configuration.

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Supermicro makes X38 workstation board

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Oct 11, 2007 4:08 AM CDT

Supermicro might not be the first brand you think about when it comes to buying a new motherboard, but the company has an extensive range of workstation and server boards. The company is as far as we know the second manufacturer to have a workstation board based on the X38 chipset, the first one being Asus.

The C2SBX, as Supermicro calls it's X38 board, features two x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots, one x1 slot, two standard PCI slots and finally a pair of 64-bit PCI-X slots. This should appeal to those looking at getting a relatively low cost workstation system with a quad core CPU.

With the support for ECC memory in the X38 chipset, it's not strange to see companies such as Supermicro creating motherboards based around it. The C2SBX supports up toe 8GB of DDR3 memory at speed of up to 1,333MHz. Other features include six SATA ports, six rear USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire ports via a bracket, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio, as well as what can only be described as retro features these days, a parallel and serial port.

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Dell to launch new 22 and 24-inch LCDs

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Oct 11, 2007 3:53 AM CDT

Dell has already launched these two new models in Japan, although we're expecting them to arrive worldwide shortly. First up is the new 22-inch SP2208WFP which has a native resolution of 1,680x1,050, pretty much the norm in this segment, with a 2ms response time and a dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000:1. It also has the ability to reproduce 92 percent of the NTSC colour gamut.

But what makes it stand out from most other 22-inch LCD monitors is not only the built in 2 Megapixel webcam and the built in microphone, as it also sports a D-sub, DVI-D with HDCP and no less than three HDMI connectors. It also has a built in four port USB 2.0 hub with two side mounted ports.

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Sony Ericsson launches K630i 3G handset

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Oct 11, 2007 3:01 AM CDT

Sony Ericsson has just announced their latest addition, the K630i which is a mid-range 3G handset with a wide range of features. The handset measures 103 x 47 x 15.5 mm (HxWxD) and it weighs in at 97 grams, all of which makes it quite a nice and pocketable phone. It comes in either what Sony Ericsson calles Quick Black or Havana Gold.

The K630i has a 2-inch display which can display 262,144 colours at a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels. Not that impressive considering that more and more phones today features higher resolutions than this. It supports GSM/GPRS and EDGE at 900/1800 and 1900MHz as well as 3G (UMTS) and HSDPA at 2100MHz. It also has support for Bluetooth 2.0 and there's also a built in FM radio.

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Windows XP SP3 shaping up nicely

Steve Dougherty | Software & Apps | Oct 9, 2007 6:46 PM CDT

As many of you would now be aware, Microsoft are working on a third Service Pack to further support Windows XP and keep it in good health for a while to come. Though it's been mentioned that upon release, SP3 will be Microsoft's final installment before they pull the plug on support from XP and focus entirely on getting Vista right.

Some details have come to light about the progress of SP3 and what we can expect from it once it reaches final status. A massive 1,073 patches and hotfixes will be embedded into the new Service Pack as well as four completely new features which have been backported from Vista; these being as follows :-

- New Windows Product Activation model: no need to enter product key during setup

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