Unless you've been kidnapped by some race of MacOS or Linux-loving aliens, you'll probably have heard by some form or another that today is a big one for Microsoft, with Windows 7 finally hitting retail shelves to much celebration all-round. If you want to know more about what this latest iteration of the Windows Operating System has to offer, why not head over and check out bit-tech's review?
Windows 7 Home Premium establishes a baseline feature set, with the pricier versions adding more features. Crucially, no features are removed as you move up the price scale as they were on Vista, so every version of Windows 7 includes Media Center, for example. Microsoft includes both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of each version in the full retail box, but we’d recommend skipping the 32-bit version if your CPU supports x86-64 extensions, as it enables you to address more memory and register space, which can result in better application performance.
Meanwhile, if you're worried that your current PC isn't up to scratch to get the most out of Windows 7, then you might want to check out The Tech Report's guide to building your own system with this new OS in mind, aimed at everything from PC builders on a budget through to assembling the cream of the crop in hardware terms.
We confined our selections to components that are currently available online. Paper launches and preorders don't count, for obvious reasons. We also tried to stick to $500, $800 and $1200 budgets for our three cheapest desktop systems. Those budgets are loose guidelines rather than hard limits, to allow us some wiggle room for deals that may stretch the budget a little but are too good to resist.
If you were hoping that next year was going to plunge you into a world of even faster data transfers and devices courtesy of the new USB 3.0 standard, then think again - Intel have announced that they won't be including USB 3.0 support on any of their motherboard chipsets until 2011, thus delaying mainstream uptake of this new technology for at least another year.
The issue is the second to dog a major USB initiative, following the virtual collapse of ultrawideband-based wireless USB which is effectively dead, said the source who asked not to be named. In its place, interest is now building for 60 GHz technology, but separate industry groups need to unite to ensure the future of it, he added.
Without chip set support from Intel for USB 3.0 aka SuperSpeed USB, adoption in 2010 will be limited to "a few high-end graphics workstations and consumer systems," said the source. That's because system makers will be forced to buy discrete host controllers for their motherboards, a relatively high cost.
EETimes has more on the story.
ASUS' "Gene" branded solutions as part of their Republic of Gamers series have breathed new life into the micro-ATX motherboard market, and today we take a look at their latest high-end offering under that umbrella, the Maximus III Gene. Featuring Intel's P55 chipset and an impressive feature set for its diminutive size, is it worthy of consideration for anyone looking to build a compact yet powerful new system?
As always, your thoughts and comments on this review are most welcome, and can be left in our forum.
Over the last couple of days an absolutely storm of controversy has erupted over Infinity Ward's plans for the multi-player component of their forthcoming title Modern Warfare 2 on the PC, which does away with the concept of dedicated servers in favour of what I suppose you could describe as a peer-to-peer approach. The Four Zero Two 'blog attempts to explain exactly what it is that Infinity Ward are trying to achieve here, but I very much doubt that will do anything to placate PC gamers already fuming over this system on top of inflated prices and delays to their preferred version of this title.
You can read this explanation in full here.
With GPUs becoming ever more powerful, and ever more suitable for general purpose tasks, we're starting to see people thinking outside of the box in terms of 3D graphics and beginning to look away from traditional rasterisation. Typically, this has meant that eyes have been cast towards the use of ray tracing - However, a certain Mr. John Carmack has a rather different idea of how the future of 3D graphics could evolve.
If John Carmack doesn’t seem all that excited about ray tracing, it’s not because he’s unusually conservative and wants to see triangle rasterization remain the unchallenged rendering technique. As reported here a year ago, John Carmack has his own idea of the future of real-time rendering, and it involves voxel ray casting. Since then, we’ve seen Jon Olick’s presentation at SIGGRAPH, and many details have been leaked. So it’s time to take a closer look at what id Software has in store for us.
Tom's Hardware has more on this fascinating train of thought.
If you're in the market for one of AMD's shiny new DirectX 11 graphics boards, then chances are you've suffered at least some level of pain and frustration actually finding the board you want available in stock. Well, the good news is that AMD have at last admitted that availability is good enough, and have sworn to improve the situation in the coming weeks. Let's hope they can deliver on that promise.
“TSMC has made good progress with the 40nm technology. At this point our new ATI Radeon HD 5000 family is pulling on 40nm and as is always the case with the hot new product early in the launch: we are hand and mouth on supply. I expect that situation to improve over the coming weeks and months,” said Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer of AMD.
X-Bit Labs have the full story.
Yesterday, we examined HIS' Radeon HD 5770 1GB and CrossFire performance, so be sure to check out our results! Otherwise, here's the rest of the latest news and reviews from around the Internet.
CPUs, motherboards and video cards
- ASUS P7P55D Deluxe Motherboard video review at Motherboards
- MSI P55-GD80 LGA1156 Motherboard review at Hardware Canucks
- GIGABYTE P55-UD6 Motherboard review at Motherboards
- DFI LANParty Jr. GF9400 T2RS mATX Motherboard review at Tweak Town
- Gigabyte P55-UD6 Motherboard review at Digit Life
- ASUS P7P55D Deluxe LGA 1156 Motherboard review at Bjorn 3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 On Linux at Phoronix
- ASUS P7P55D EVO P55 LGA1156 Motherboard review at Benchmark Reviews
- ECS A785GM-M review at Pure Overclock
- Gigabyte MA785GMT-UD2H review at Bjorn 3D
- NVIDIA Developer Talks Openly About Linux Support at Phoronix
Cases, cooling and power supplies
- CoolAge Frozen Orb X120 Transform X120TF CPU Cooler review at Verdis Reviews
- NZXT Panzerbox Aluminum Mid-Tower Chassis review at Overclockers Online
- Ultra X4 1200W review at Pure Overclock
- Antec TruePower 750w review at XS Reviews
- Corsair TX950 950W PSU review at Jonny Guru
- Ultra X4 850W Power Supply review at Overclockers Online
- Ultra X4 1200W PSU review at Driver Heaven
- Evercool Buffalo CPU Cooler review at Hardware Secrets
- Ultra X4 600w and 1050w Power Supplies review at OCIA
- Ultra X4 850 W Power Supply review at Hardware Secrets
- Seasonic S12D 850W Power Supply review at Think Computers
- Nexus RX-6300 630 Watt Power Supply review at TechWare Labs
- Ultra X4 600 and 850 Watt Modular Power Supplies review at Pro-Clockers
- Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro CPU Cooler and MX-3 Thermal Paste review at Tweak Town
Storage and memory
- Vantec NexStar Universal Storage Adapter review at OCIA
- Kingston SSDNow V+ 64GB SSD review at HEXUS
- OCZ Z-Drive m84 PCI-Express SSD review at Hot Hardware
- Xigmatek Secure USD01 SATA HDD docking station review at Test Seek
Audio, video and input devices
- BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree Kit review at Benchmark Reviews
- Razer Naga MMO Mouse review at Driver Heaven
- Steelseries Siberia V2 Headset review at Driver Heaven
- 23" Hannspree HF237HPB Widescreen 1080p HDMI LCD Monitor review at Test Freaks
Software and gaming
- Left4Dead Crash Course (PC) review at Driver Heaven
- How Far Has PC Gaming Come? at bit-tech
- Windows 7 - Part 1: Introducing Vista's Successor at HEXUS
- Windows 7 - Part 2: Deploying 7 at HEXUS
- Windows 7 - Part 3: User Interface at HEXUS
- Upgrading to Windows 7 at Test Freaks
- Seven Video Games that Shaped Mainstream Society at Future Looks
- The 50 Best (and Worst) Moments in Windows History at Maximum PC
- Xpenser review at Business Computing World
ith the launch of Windows 7 now just days away, AMD's CPU division have been expending a lot of effort trying to release affordable mainstream processors to capture the expected flood of users looking to buy new, cheap systems. Today sees another part of that strategy realised, with the launch of the AMD Athlon II X2 240e and X3 435. Are they worthy of consideration if you're shopping for a new CPU on a tight budget? Check out our list of reviews to below and decide for yourselves.
Back in June of this year, we had plenty of good things to say about CoolIT's Domino water cooling system for CPUs (which we'll soon be revisiting when coupled with an Intel LGA 1156 CPU incidentally), so what next for the company to try and continue this success? It appears that next on the roadmap is water cooling for AMD's latest Radeon HD 5800 series graphics boards.
“I think the implementation of the universal design has addressed the need for performance cooling in the GPU space with the added benefit of upgradeability.” said Dr. Gamal Refai-Ahmed, AMD Fellow and lead thermal architect, AMD Graphics Product Group. “Using the liquid system has a tremendous cooling advantage over traditional air cooling allowing our enthusiast community to push the limits of our latest architecture.”
Firing Squad has the full press release, together with a couple of images of the unit in question.
With both AMD and Intel looking to move towards six-core CPUs at the high-end as we move forward, just what benefits could such a change hold for desktop PC users? X-Bit Labs aims to find out, by using a server-centric six-core "Istanbul" CPU from AMD as part of a more traditional desktop system.
Istanbul processors have three HyperTransport busses, which allow using them in dual-, quad- and eight-processor systems. As for the memory controller, Istanbul works with Registered dual-channel DDR2-800/667/533 SDRAM with or without ECC support in order to maintain compatibility with existing Socket F platforms. By the way, compatibility is another specifically stressed advantage of AMD server processors: Socket F platform was first introduced three years ago, but even the latest Istanbul CPUs work perfectly fine with any Socket F mainboards after reflashing the BIOS.
Read the article in full here.