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Benchmark optimizations or what NVIDIA was keeping silence about

Sony introduces new PEG-UX50 PDA

A2 and L5: new notebook series from ASUS

FirewireDirect presents Mach IV portable storage system

Matsushita announces 32Mb and 64Mb MiniSD cards

Thermaltake introduces Xaser III Lanfire Edition case

Canon PowerShot S50 Pro to be supplied with 1Gb Microdrive

Sennheiser HD 580 head phones review @ Designtechnica

Silicon Graphics releases Tezro and Onyx4 UltimateVision graphics workstations

Enermax X-Point CS-528 Computer Case Review @ Tweaknews.net

AMD announces the official report for Q2 2003

Benchmark optimizations or what NVIDIA was keeping silence about

The editor of our Video section, Andrew Vorobyev, told us a very interesting story related to drivers "optimizations".

"We’ve recently posted a number of reviews dedicated to benchmark "optimizations" implemented by ATI and NVIDIA (it turned out the latter implemented more of them). We found out that all NVIDIA drivers up to 44.65 inclusive contain "optimizations" for all games that have benchmarks (it’s strange, but none have been made for Unreal II, though it’s based on the same engine, as UT2003, but still doesn’t contain a benchmark.)

But there are some optimizations for UT2003. Funny, isn’t it? Unreal II performs with Anti-detect same as without it. I doubt that Unreal II just doesn’t require any optimizations. Unfortunately it just doesn’t have an exposed benchmarking tool to "optimize" :). NVIDIA specialists might have actually overlooked the tweakers who found scripts in Unreal II for executing the test.

Anyway, the thing is that in Code Creatures Anti-Detect found out that speed of all GeForce FX cards was "optimized" by cheating, as Code Creatures is not a game, but a pure benchmark. E.g., FX 5900 shows 46 fps (1024x768, 32bpp), but only 33 fps with Anti-Detect. And the newly leaked 44.90 beta doesn’t seem to contain any optimizations, as we obtained the same fps values on the same card at the same resolutions, as 44.03 and 44.65 versions had provided with Anti-Detect. We’ll continue checking the situation, and it will be very good if optimizations have really been removed from other tests as well!"

Sony introduces new PEG-UX50 PDA

Sony introduced its new PDA, PEG-UX50, scheduled for sale on August 9 with $590 price tag. Sized 103x17.9x86.5mm, weight – about 175g. It features Palm OS, 0.18 Sony Handheld Engine CXD2230GA ARM processor.

Handheld Engine includes DRAM and LCD interfaces, controllers for 2D graphics, USB, Memory Stick, camera, etc. PEG-UX50, as any other high-quality device, supports 802.11b networks. The device has 104Mb RAM (only 16Mb free for use).

The LCD supports 480x320 resolution and 65536 colors. The integrated camera features 1/5.5" CMOS sensor (370,000 pixels; 310,000 effective) with progressive scanning. Maximum shot resolution is 640x480 and movie resolution is 160x112.

The device supports various Memory Sticks. Supported Audio recording formats include ATRAC3 (120 min at 132 Kbps, 160 min at 105 Kbps, 240 min at 66 Kbps); MP3 – 50 min at 320 Kbps, 65 min at 256 Kbps, 130 min at 128 Kbps, 170 min at 96 Kbps).

The Li-Ion battery provides up to 14 days of operation.

Source: PC Watch

A2 and L5: new notebook series from ASUS

ASUSTeK Computer announced two new notebook series, ASUS A2 and ASUS L5.

ASUS A2 currently includes two models, A2H and A2L, differing by the CPU type: the first has up to 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4, second – up to 2.2GHz Intel Pentium 4-M. Both models feature up to 80Gb HDD, 5 x USB2.0 ports, IEEE1394 port, 3-in-1 (MMC/SD/MS) card reader, DVD-RW drive, WLAN adapter. Besides, A2 series features two auto-switched antennas for optimal wireless communication, speakers, two 4.8 CFM fans.

ASUS L5 series includes L5C model featuring up to 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading, 15" LCD supporting ASUS ACE View (IPS, In-Plane Switching) and up to 170° viewing angle, ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9000 graphics, up to 80Gb HDD (4200rpm; or 5400rpm Hitachi Moraga), DVD-RW combo, Gigabit Ethernet controller, 5 x USB2.0 ports, IEEE1394 port, SD/MS/MMC card reader, WLAN and Bluetooth adapters.

FirewireDirect presents Mach IV portable storage system

FirewireDirect presented its Mach IV, a new portable storage system on 2.5" 4200rpm hard drives featuring 20 to 80 Gb capacities. The device has USB2.0 and FireWire ports (Oxford 911 chipset).

  80Gb 60Gb 40Gb 20Gb
Capacity 80Gb 60Gb 40Gb 20Gb
RPM 4200 4200 4200 4200
Interface FireWire/USB v2.0 / 1.1
FireWire chipset Oxford 911 ATA-100
Buffer size 2Mb 2Mb 2Mb 2Mb
Average write seek 9.5ms 9.5ms 9.5ms 9.5ms
FireWire write speed 18Mb/s 16Mb/s 16Mb/s 16Mb/s
FireWire read speed 20Mb/s 17Mb/s 17Mb/s 17Mb/s
Dimensions 12.7x7.2x1.2cm
Weight 0.34kg 0.34kg 0.34kg 0.34kg
Power Via USB or 100-240V with adapter

Matsushita announces 32Mb and 64Mb MiniSD cards

Matsushita announced shipments schedule for miniSD cards, standard introduced by SD Card Association 2003. Besides, 32Mb (SS032BJ1K) and 64Mb (SS064BJ1K) products, the company also prepares to release an SD-miniSD adapter.

New cards are sized 21.5x20x1.4mm, weigh 1g and provide up to 2Mb/s throughput. In the future the company is going to announce 512Mb solutions with up to 10Mb/s throughput.

Matsushita will launch 32/64Mb miniSD shipments early in August.

Thermaltake introduces Xaser III Lanfire Edition case

Thermaltake Technology introduced the Lanfire version of already popular Xaser III.

Xaser III Lanfire Edition (VM2000A) weighs about 4kg, is sized 440x180x460 mm, and is made of plastic and 0.8mm aluminium. It features Hardcano 9 system as well as 4 x 80mm fans (2 in, 2 out) providing up to 21dBA noise. Hardcano 9 enables fan control and monitors temperature outputting it to an LCD display. The case has 3 x 5.25" and 2 x 3.5" external bays, 2 x 3.5" internal bays, USB2.0 and IEEE1934 ports, and supports ATX & Micro ATX boards.

Thermaltake Xaser III Lanfire shipments are scheduled to August.

Canon PowerShot S50 Pro to be supplied with 1Gb Microdrive

In July Canon plans to start selling the "Pro" version of 5mp PowerShot S50 digital camera.

Frankly speaking PowerShot S50 Pro is technically identical to a non-Pro model: same 5mp CCD, 3x optical and 4.1x digital zoom, etc. The newer version is just a product of two marketing tricks: PowerShot S50 Pro will feature black body and will be supplied with 1Gb Microdrive instead of 32Mb CompactFlash.

Of course, PowerShot S50 Pro will cost considerably more than a non-Pro, about 799 euros, though a usual-bundled version for 600 euros is also expected. Such a re-painted "novelty" it is :)

Source: Clubic

Sennheiser HD 580 head phones review @ Designtechnica

"If you want absolutely crystal clear, comfortable, and moderately priced headphones for music and gaming, seriously consider the Sennheiser HD580s. Many audiophile quality stores will have generous return and exchange policies, so be sure to give them a try if you have any doubts. While they can be driven by portable players, the HD580s are meant for slightly more powerful and cleaner sources. Many owners will swear by the performance boost of adding an amp, which comes at an additional cost that can range from $100 to several thousand, but most soundcards and stereos should be able to put out enough power to overcome any volume limitations seen on portable players. Overall, the Sennheiser HD580s perform superbly, and produce absolutely beautiful, balanced, and spatial sound."

Read more at Designtechnica.

Silicon Graphics releases Tezro and Onyx4 UltimateVision graphics workstations

Silicon Graphics (SGI) announced new desktop graphics workstations, Silicon Graphics Tezro and 4-way Silicon Graphics Onyx4 UltimateVision.

Silicon Graphics Tezro will be shipped as a desktop and rackmount. It bases on architecture similar to SGI Origin 3000. The novelty features 64-bit MIPS CPU, Vpro V12 graphics (12-biy per color, 48-bit RGBA space), 64-bit IRIX 6.5. The desktop model ($3100) features 600MHz MIPS R16000 (4Mb L2 cache), 512Mb RAM, Vpro V12 graphics, 18Gb HDD, keyboard and IRIX OS. The system is mainly designed for structural molecular analysis, high-quality visualizations and auto/aero simulations.

Silicon Graphics Onyx4 UltimateVision is a new-generation graphics workstation. Unlike the preceding up to 8-way InfiniteReality4, Onyx4 UltimateVision supports up to 32 CPUs, with 64-way systems expected later in 2003.

Onyx4 UltimateVision basic configuration ($78000) includes dual graphics subsystems, dual 600MHz CPUs with 4Mb L2 cache, 1Gb RAM, 18Gb HDD, LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, IRIX OS and rackmount kit.

Source: ASCII24

Enermax X-Point CS-528 Computer Case Review @ Tweaknews.net

"For the price of ~US$65, you really can´t ask for more. It includes a 300 watt power supply, it has a removable motherboard tray, and best of all, it has a side window. Until now, I only thought these characteristics were housed in cases that were valued in the US$100 and up price-point."

Read more at TweakNews.

AMD announces the official report for Q2 2003

AMD announced its official report for Q2 2003 that ended for the company on June 29. According to it, sales volumes for this period of time made $645 million, with dead loss making $140 million or $0.40/stock.

These numbers is 7% higher than Q2 2002 and 10% lower than Q1 2003. Still I might say AMD is happy with it, as despite the SARS threat and related sales reductions in some countries, the company succeeded in lowering dead loss by 24% and increasing the gross profit.

The total quarter revenues include $402 million for CPU sales — 7% higher than a year ago and 14% lower than $468 million earned last quarter. Along with growing CPU deliveries to major system builders, we see reducing retail sales mainly in Europe and Asia. Memory sales brought $211 million that doesn’t differ much from $218 million of the previous quarter.

For Q3 AMD forecasts general flash memory and CPU sales growth, including AMD Opteron and starting quantities of AMD Athlon 64.

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