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GIGABYTE GA-8N-SLI Royal: official announcement and new details

ASUS unveils wide-format W2V with a subwoofer

IDF Japan 2005: dual-core benchmarking, Yonah and virtualization

GIGABYTE GA-8N-SLI Royal: official announcement and new details

GIGABYTE officially announced GA-8N-SLI Royal motherboard (actually seen in Japanese stores late in March) along with some new details about the novelty, which was one of the first products on NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition that came to light right after IDF in March..

GA-8N-SLI Royal incorporates Performance DNA and Security DNA features and continues the i-DNA series. Rich overclocking capabilities of these boards come in handy after several announcements of DDR2-800 MHz like Corsair TWIN2X1024A-6400UL (mentioned in the news).

Overclocking means include MIB 2 (Memory Intelligent Booster 2) and CIA 2 (CPU Intelligent Accelerator 2; given 1066MHz FSB is not enough). As you all know, CIA and MIB abbreviations have other, more popular meanings. Ahh, PR specialists these days...

Anyway, the board also offers other abbreviated innovations like U-Plus D.P.S. (Universal Plus Dual Power System) that prevents PSU overload and is claimed to enable it to work even if a transistor fails.

Other features do not differ from those described in specs of nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition: SATA II 3Gbps, NVIDIA RAID (0, 1, 0+1, 5), Dual Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire (IEEE1394b) and USB 2.0.

Note that GIGABYTE is going to ship GN-BTD02 Bluetooth USB dongles with all GA-8N-SLI Royal motherboards, so keep your eyes open :).

The software included into the bundle includes NV Firewall & Norton Internet Security as well as GIGABYTE´s Download Center, C.I.A.2, M.I.B.2, S.O.S., M.I.T. and Xpress3.

ASUS unveils wide-format W2V with a subwoofer

ASUS unveiled the new wide-format W2V DTR notebook that features 17" LCD and bases on Intel Pentium M (Dothan) and Alviso chipset.

ASUS W2V features ATI Mobility X600 graphics, WiFi and Bluetooth (optional). One of notebook´s five speakers acts as a subwoofer.

ASUS W2V specs:

  • Intel Centrino Mobile Technology
    • Intel Pentium M 770 CPU (2MB L2, 2.13GHz, 533MHz FSB)
    • Mobile Intel 915PM Express (Alviso) chipset
    • Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG WLAN
  • 17" WXGA/WSXGA+ TFT (1280x800/1680x1050)
  • ATI Mobility X600 (M24) 64MB
  • Aluninium body
  • 24-bit 8ch Azalia audio, 4 speakers + subwoofer
  • Up to 2GB DDR2-400 (PC2-3200) / DDR2-533 (PC2-4300)
  • Up to 80GB HDD (5400rpm), Ultra DMA100
  • DVD±RW/combo
  • 56K modem, Gigabit LAN
  • Bluetooth (v1.2) option
  • SD / MMC / MS / MS Pro card reader
  • 4 x USB2.0, 1 x Mic-in (Mono), 1 x Line-in, 1 x Headphone-out/SPDIF, 1 x Audio/Video-in, 1 x RF-in (TV input), 1 x IEEE1394, 1 x PCMCIA Type II, IrDA, VGA, S-Video
  • ASUS Power4 Gear+ technology
  • 90W PSU (19V, 4.7/3.46 A)
  • 8-cell battery, 14.8V, 4800mAh, up to 2 hours in Battery Saving mode
  • Touchpad with lock
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

IDF Japan 2005: dual-core benchmarking, Yonah and virtualization

At IDF Japan 2005 that took place on April 7-8, visitors could see novelties belonging to digital home, digital enterprise, mobility and other categories with over 50 companies exhibited.

At Intel Multi-Core Zone you could see a machine on a dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition (XE) 840 with HT offering 4-thread parallelism demonstrated on gaming and image processing applications.

As a gaming benchmark they used Futuremark´s previously unseen, but talked about Mechanoids game test designed for multi-threaded environments and based on the Havok engine. Though strongly dependent on GPU, Mechanoids fully utilized the 4 threads of Pentium XE to increase performance. The benchmark was run on two machines, one incorporating Pentium XE 840 (3.2GHz), another based on Pentium 4 XE 3.73GHz. As a result, the former indicated 15fps (on the right image), while the latter could squeeze 3fps only (on the left image), so noone could doubt the goodness of a multi-core configuration.

Besides, the dual core design was also demonstrated on the example of RoboHordes game based on Unreal Engine 3 (which is, in turn, based on the NovodeX collision simulation engine), CineBench2003 rendering benchmark and Premiere animation suite.

Speaking of mobile (and actually desktop) solutions, in the same Intel Multi-Core Zone you could see prototypes on Yonah CPU scheduled for 2006.

Above is a "developer´s system" with a bare motherboard. The processor is covered with a cooler, but the proprietary frequency display utility (below) indicates two cores operating at 1467MHz each.

Another prototype was a superslim desktop PC with dimensions of a notebook (below). Nothing is known about the commercialization, but the keywords are "next year".

Since Yonah is still a mobile solution, a notebook prototype was showcased as well.

As for the handhelds, they demonstrated a miniature Tablet PC prototype on the Ruby platform that features ultralow voltage Pentium M 600MHz, 5" liquid-crystal display and a keyboard. Though it´s larger than a usual PDA, its size and weight (450g) still allow to call it a handheld.

Since the device utilizes Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, it has a familiar interface. As of interfaces, the prototype has Bluetooth, which allows to connect a wireless keyboard or a headphones (the latter enables using the device as a cell phone).

During media playback the device can disable unused circuitry to save energy, so up to 8 hours is promised. The prototype actually dissipates much heat, but since the development will take at least a couple of years, the company promises further miniaturization and improvement.

The portable media player concept below incorporates Pentium M processor, 8.9" LCD and supports DVD media.

Finally, they demonstrated the Virtualization Technology on a testbed that had Windows XP and Windows CE running at the same time (below).

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