Australian Quad Core notebook

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Jul 10, 2007 2:29 AM CDT

Pioneer Computers Australia is offering quad core CPU options for its DreamBook Power D90 SLI notebook. Well, to call it a notebook is almost wrong, as this is more of a mobile desktop. With a 17-inch display that has a native resolution of 1,920x1,200 and a weight of 5.4kg, it's hard to call this a notebook.

Still, it has some rather interesting features, as for starters, it's based on the P965 desktop chipset. This gives away the fact that the quad core CPU is going to be a desktop part as well. The D90 comes with a choice of processors from the basic E4300 to the Q6600 quad core and the X6800 Extreme Edition.

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AMD Unveils Two New TV Wonder Products

Steve Dougherty | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Jul 9, 2007 9:52 PM CDT

Along with further price cuts and a trimmed down production line of their CPUs today, AMD have also released a couple of new "TV Wonder" tuner products.

The first offering is their new "TV Wonder 650 Combo PCIe", a PCIe x1 card featuring the Theater 650 Pro video processor (which debuted around a year ago). Dual tuners reside on the card, one purely for receiving digital, and the other analogue. Both are capable of operating simultaneously, allowing the user to watch and record from two individual sources at the same time.

Next up is the "TV Wonder 600 USB", featuring a hybrid TV tuner design which is capable of tuning into both digital and analogue broadcasts, but don't confuse that for being able to provide dual tuner functionalities like the TV Wonder 650 Combo card, as it does not sport dual tuners. This should be a great little addition to your notebook though.

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AMD RD790 to do tripple CrossFire?

Lars Göran Nilsson | Video Cards & GPUs | Jul 9, 2007 4:04 AM CDT

If we're to believe information posted on HKEPC, AMD is working on CrossFire for three cards and the RD790 chipset will be the first to support three cards. Although not a lot of information is known at this time, the addition of HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 makes this chipset a clear candidate for new features.

Add to this 41 PCI Express lanes and its clear that AMD is working on something, although Physics is of course one of the most touted applications for a third card. However, HKEPC claims that the performance improvement of adding a third card raises CrossFire performance from 1.8x to 2.6x by going from two to three cards over a single card.

If AMD indeed can pull this off, then AMD should have a solid lead over Nvidia's SLI technology, as long as they can convince their customers to spend the extra money on a third card.

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QuakeCon 2007 Around The Corner

Steve Dougherty | | Jul 5, 2007 10:38 PM CDT

Good news for avid Quake fans, it has been confirmed that Nvidia are sponsoring QuakeCon 2007. This is set to take place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas from August 2 through 5, and the organizers are expecting to draw around 6,000 gamers from around the globe. They anticipate it will be the largest and most successful QuakeCon to date.

The total prize pool will be a whopping $100,000. No doubt competition will be more fierce than ever, so get training HARD if you want to be in on the action!

In a recent announcement it's been mentioned that this year's QuakeCon event will also see the first ever "Quad Damage" tournament, this will span across all four Quake games. It will be a great way to find out who is the most multi-talented challenger out there, and worthy of being dubbed the true "Quake Master".

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ThermalTake Mozart iP iPod dock case

ThermalTake has released a new case in its Mozart media center range, the Mozart iP. ThermalTake claims that this is the world's first case with an integrated iPod dock and we believe them. The dock is integrated into the fascia of the desktop case and it looks rather smart on the pictures. You can see the iPod screen and access the scroll wheel via a cut-out in the case. The dock will also charge your iPod while it's plugged into the Mozart iP.

What's more is that the Mozart iP comes with a dedicated remote control for the iPod dock and there's a special controller that fits into a rear slot in the case that allows the iPod audio to be easily mixed with the sound from your sound card and then passed onto the speakers.

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$9.99 for Audigy Alchemy drivers

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Jul 5, 2007 12:24 AM CDT

It seems like Creative has caused quite a stir among its users by charging US$9.99 for its EAX enabling Alchemy Windows Vista driver for the Audigy series. It might seem cruel by Creative to charge for something that should be free, especially since you can still buy a brand new Audigy card. Most of this comes down to changes in the Windows Vista driver model and EAX is no longer supported in DirectX.

The Alchemy project allows Direct Sound commands to be translated into OpenAL commands and thus EAX will work. Creative released a free version of Alchemy for its X-Fi customers a while back and has been working on improving the Alchemy drivers since. However, Creative went out with a statement when the X-Fi version arrived that it was going to charge a small fee for the Audigy version of the same software.

You can now order the Audigy version of Alchemy from Creative's web shop for a $9.99 fee, although this has upset many Audigy users and it seems like a workaround has already appeared on the least of expected places, Creative's Forums. A user called daniel_k has posted a link and instructions to how to use the X-Fi version to get free EAX support for Audigy cards.

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Super Talent Expands DDR3 Options

Steve Dougherty | RAM | Jul 4, 2007 9:51 PM CDT

Memory maker Super Talent have released a new series of DDR3 modules this week, starting with the W1333UB2G8 kit. This kit comprises a couple of 1GB sticks rated for 1333MHz speeds with timings of 8-8-8-18.

However, the most exciting is their two DDR3-1600 kits. The best of the two happens to run fantastic timings (as far as DDR3 goes for now) at 7-7-7-18 with 1.8V, very nice indeed for 1600MHz modules. Then there's the other 1600MHz rated kit, operating with slightly looser (but still quite reasonable) latencies of 9-9-9-21.

Another highlight of the new family is the introduction of a 2GB DDR3 module, up until now I hadn't spotted a 2GB DDR3 module yet (only 2x1GB kits). This module is designed to operate at up to 1333MHz with 8-8-8-18 timings at 1.8V.

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Up close and personal with Shuttle

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Jul 4, 2007 2:14 AM CDT

Yesterday, yours truly headed over to the Shuttle HQ here in Taipei for a visit to bring you the latest news of what Shuttle is working on and what will happen over the next few months. There has been a lot of turmoil about Shuttle recently and there have been some rumours about the company being sold, but they're not true according to the people we've spoken to. Shuttle is refocusing its product development and it is moving away from some of the low cost products it launched last year as they proved to be uncompetitive.

The good news is that Shuttle has a solid launch schedule of new products that will be arriving in a steady stream over the next couple of months, with the first products appearing later this month. Shuttle also has a new marketing team onboard and is focusing on making its products better than ever. A wide range of new features will be incorporated, some more useful than others, but it looks like Shuttle has no intention of giving up.

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AMD Prepares Phenom FX Lineup

Steve Dougherty | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jul 3, 2007 7:30 PM CDT

Dailytech have gotten a hold of AMD's latest roadmap which confirms their plans for the remainder of the year and into Q1 2008.

The most interesting info plucked from the roadmap is in regards to their upcoming "Phenom FX" range of processors. Under this new naming scheme, AMD will announced both the Phenom FX-80 and FX-90 series, with the 80 series designated to single processor systems whilst the 90 series is suited specifically to 4x4 dual processor configs.

AMD expect to launch the FX-80 series towards the end of the year, with the 90 series to debut early next year.

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HIS goes the full Monty with 5 new cards

Lars Göran Nilsson | | Jul 2, 2007 12:10 AM CDT

HIS has announced its entire range of AMD Radeon HD 2600/2400 based graphics cards and apart from the Radeon HD 2600 XT GDDR4 version, HIS has its own designs up and running. HIS launched a total of six new cards and four of the new cards feature HIS' new "Hi-Fi" concept design with gold plated DVI connectors, a black back panel and blue PCB.

There will be two IceQ version, one 2600 XT GDDR3 card and one 2600 Pro DDR2 card. The clock speeds for the IceQ version of the 2600GT wasn't revealed, but the 2600 Pro will have the GPU clocked at 650MHz and the memory at 1050MHz. Both cards will be available with 256 or 512MB.

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