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Matsushita Toughbook 73 and Toughbook 18: two interesting Centrino-based notebooks

MSI 875P Neo-FIS2R P4 Motherboard Review

TEAC announces external HDD rack with Serial ATA/USB2.0 and SATA PCI card

Soltek SL-75FRN2-L @ Legion Hardware

Intel announces Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) specs v0.95

HWZ review: AOpen AX4C Max (Intel 875P)

Future prices of Intel Xeon, Xeon MP, Madison processors

HWZ review: Dell Latitude D600 (Pentium-M)

Intel and Lego to promote Pentium 4 + HyperThreading

Matsushita Toughbook 73 and Toughbook 18: two interesting Centrino-based notebooks

Today Matsushita Electric announced two Toughbook novelties: A4 Toughbook 73 and more compact B4 Toughbook 18. The latter also features rotating display, making it more comfortable to use. Of course, both models are based on the Intel Centrino platform. Toughbook 73 and Toughbook 18 shipments will start on June 26.

Toughbook 73 features 1.3GHz Pentium M, Intel 855PM, 13.3" 1024x768 LCD display, Intel PRO/WIRELESS2100 LAN adapter, 256Mb DDR SDRAM, 30Gb HDD, a number of interfaces, and an additional bay for a DVD-ROM, DVD/CD-RW combo, or a battery. The standard battery provides 6 hours of operation, the additional adds another 5. Measured 297x254x42.5mm, it weighs 1.9. Together with Windows XP Professional (SP1) or Windows 2000 Professional (SP3) the model will cost in Japan about $2300.

Toughbook 18 is a notebook with some tablet features like hand-written input, 10.4" 1024x768 rotating sensor LCD display. This model bases on 900MHz ULV (Ultralow Voltage) Pentium M and Intel 855GM; features Intel PRO/WIRELESS2100 LAN adapter, 256Mb RAM, 40Gb HDD, etc. The standard battery provides 8 hours of operation under Windows XP or 7 hours under Windows 2000. Measured 271x216x48mm, it weighs 1.99 kg. The expected price is $2500.

Source: ASCII24

MSI 875P Neo-FIS2R P4 Motherboard Review

"The 800MHz FSB P4s was a step that had to happen, and performs much higher than its 533MHz FSB siblings. As you can see the yet to be released 400MHz FSB Athlons will up a good fight, and just shows how much the P4 depends on that 800MHz bus.

There are a few nice touches also. The signature red PCB along with the LED fan on the northbridge will appeal to those of you with window cases. The board is clearly laid out and colour coded making assembly much easier. The MSI 875P Neo FIS2R itself can support up to 10 ATA devices, 6 on the ICH5R and 4 on the Promise controller. This has got to be a record. :-). The CoreCell feature is another excellent idea with full control over the PC system, from voltages, CPU and FSB frequency and fan speed. The fan speed can be set to automatic depending on temperature.

Although the MSI 875P Neo FIS2R is one of the fastest P4 boards we have tested, its a pity the features that set it apart from the competition don´t work. As MSI released these boards a bit early there is no doubt that these are more available that other Canterwood boards and hence more popular. It is a pity that a feature rich board of this class is let down by just a few lines of code."

Read more at Techseekers.

TEAC announces external HDD rack with Serial ATA/USB2.0 and SATA PCI card

Late in May TEAC plans to launch sales of this stylish external CS-35SAU 3.5" HDD rack supporting Serial ATA and USB2.0. Besides, the company offered IF-11LSA PCI card with Serial ATA ports and interface power supply.

CS-32SAU HDD rack supports any 3.5" Ultra ATA 66 and faster HDD drives enabling external Serial ATA or USB 2.0/1.1 connections. The rack dimensions are 125x220x35mm. It’s interesting that combined with IF-11LSA, CS-32SAU makes additional power supply obsolete. IF-11LSA is designed in Low Profile PCI form-factor and bases on the popular SiliconImage Sil3112. It has 2 Serial ATA ports (external and internal).

Both devices work under Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP. TEAC CS-32SAU should cost about $80, IF-11LSA – about $30.

Source: PC Watch

Soltek SL-75FRN2-L @ Legion Hardware

"The original SL-75FRN-L retailed for under $100 US making it one of the cheaper nForce2 solutions out there. Since the SL-75FRN2-L has really only undergone a stepping change I wouldn’t imagine the price will greatly change. With that said I believe the SL-75FRN2-L will be an excellent value solution which also offers a great deal of performance for Athlon XP users. In any case we will certainly know whether this is true or not by the end of this review."

Read more at Legion Hardware.

Intel announces Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) specs v0.95

In a separate press release Intel announced Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) specs v0.95 for Serial ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). Though final version is expected early in 2004, v0.95 already points at volume production of AHCI Serial ATA host controllers expected in the market later in 2003.

AHCI has been developed by The AHCI Contributor Group, including Intel, AMD, Dell, Marvell, Maxtor, Microsoft, Red Hat, Seagate, and StorageGear. AHCI specs define standard interface platform with drivers and OS features for such SATA functionality, as instruction queueing, hot plug, energy management, etc. New specs supprot will be provided with AHCI chipset integration already in 2004 as well as with AHCI drivers integrated into the next Windows version.

HWZ review: AOpen AX4C Max (Intel 875P)

"If you´ve been a regular user of AOpen motherboards, the new AOpen AX4C Max would surely be your cup of tea especially with its unique AOpen-only features. The built of the board is good and would appeal to a lot of users. The Hercules PCI slot is a new feature that took us by surprise and in due time, we´re sure users would find really good use for its robust power delivery circuitry built particularly for the slot."

Read more at HardwareZone.

Future prices of Intel Xeon, Xeon MP, Madison processors

British The Inquirer informs that Intel plans to cut prices for server and workstation Intel Xeon processors, including yet not announced 3.06GHz Xeon with 1Mb L3 cache and 533MHz FSB which might enter the market under some new name. Prices are for over 1,000-unit quantities as always:

XeonApril 20Q3
3.06GHz /533 MHz/1 Mb-$690 (release)
3.06 GHz / 533 MHz$690$455 (-34%)
3.0GHz / 400 MHz$658$433 (-34%)
2.8 GHz / 533 MHz$455$316 (-30%)
2.8 GHz / 400 MHz$433$294 (-32%)
2.66 GHz / 533 MHz$284$256 (-10%)
2.6 GHz / 400 MHz$273$234 (-14%)

In the field of "heavy" chips for parallel systems we should expect 2.8GHz Xeon MP with 2Mb cache for $3692, while 2.0GHz Xeon MP with 2Mb cache is to be cancelled. Instead the company will release 1Mb cache, 2.5GHz ($1990) and 2.0GHz ($1177) models.

Now something about expected prices for 64-bit Itanium 2 codenamed "Madison". Scheduled for announcement to June 30, 1.5GHz model with 6Mb cache will be released for $4225; 1.5GHz model with 4Mb cache (Deerfield-based) – for $2250; 1.3GHz Itanium 2 with 3Mb cache – for $1338. According to provisional data, in Q3 we should see 64-bit Low Voltage 1GHz Itanium 2 with 1.5Mb cache for dual-processor systems for $750.

Source: The Inquirer

HWZ review: Dell Latitude D600 (Pentium-M)

"About our only gripe with the Latitude D600 is its below-par battery life performance. Being able to last for four hours is a commendable feat for any notebook, but it could have done better for a Centrino-based notebook — since many other vendors´ notebook can last close to five hours in MobileMark 2002."

Read more at HardwareZone.

Intel and Lego to promote Pentium 4 + HyperThreading

This interesting message came from London: Intel and Lego Interactive are planning to join efforts with Argonaut Games game developer and Electonics Arts game publisher to jointly promote Pentium 4 processors and HyperThreading, in particular. According to the plan, this unusual ad campaign will be based on the game from Electronic Arts & Lego on Lego Bionicle series and promoted by Intel & Lego. According to Intel, Argonaut Games plans to release the game closer to Fall 2003.

There’s still no info on the financial side of this project.

Source: Silicon Strategies

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