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Poll

Is Windows 8 worth it?


Windows 8 is great!

Back to Windows 7!

What is windows 8?



Posted by Christo [PCD]
Votes: 109
Previous polls

Tuesday 21 February 2006
Nvidia 7600GT???
Biofreak , Tuesday 21 February 2006 - 22:33:38 //

Loads of news has recently been released on the new mid level graphics card from nvidia due for release march 9. According to sources, 900Mhz GDDR-3 is on the cards with 128bit memory interface. Only time will tell!




[Submitted by Biofreak]


The Future of DDR Memory is Serial
Christo [PCD] , Tuesday 21 February 2006 - 08:33:01 //

Memory constraints are paving way for a new way to connect memory to chipsets using serial technology

In the server space, having lots of memory is crucial to the performance of information serving machines. These days, with increasing demand for information faster and in greater amounts, the amount of RAM a server can hold vs. the speed at which the RAM can operate at is a tough compromise. With current parallel technology, there is an enormous amount of engineering involved in getting a chipset to communicate with memory modules. Worst of all, parallel interfaces tend to run a whole lot more paths than serial.

Engineers are now facing a serious problem. Manufacturers and customers are demanding more memory -- meaning more modules. Unfortunately, more modules and memory channels means running more electrical lanes and it's becoming increasingly difficult with the limited amount of room on a motherboard (server boards or otherwise).

FB-DIMMs or Fully Buffered DIMMs alleviatethis technical problem by replacing data channels that traditionally take up a lot of room, with a small number of ultra high speed lanes connected to a buffer that's directly integrated on the DIMM. New memory modules using the new technology will have its data lines connected in serial similar to the way PCI Express lanes work. High speed lanes will carry data and leaves room for chipsets to support capacities not possible with today's registered DIMMs. In fact, FB-DIMM technology can give a chipset the capability to support up to 192GB or more and a blistering bandwidth of 40GB/sec. compare that to today's 8GB capacity for the same pin count.

At the moment, FB-DIMM is an exclusive technology to the server space because costs will be high and the consumer space just simply doesn't require the massive amounts of memory that FB-DIMM is beneficial for. Today we already have servers that will support 16GB to 32GB of memory. The initial benefits of FB-DIMM will be to drive costs down. After this is accomplished, higher capacity and greater bandwidth designs can be developed and the engineering required to do so will be easier. For memory capacities in the 8GB to 16GB range, FB-DIMM currently does not offer much of an advantage. For anything higher, the rewards are clearly substantial.

What exactly will happen with current generation DDR technology? Not much will change. For the short term, DDR2 will be the next step and by year's end, Intel and others will be introducing DDR3. FB-DIMM is an overall extension of DDR technology and not a replacement. The buffer chip itself will sit on a DDR module, acting as the communications controller between the memory chips and the system chipset via a serial link.

It also appears like memory companies with a strong focus on enthusiasts and power users will be designing and producing FB-DIMM modules for those who demand higher capacities. "FB-DIMM technology could make sense for end users, however FB-DIMMs really only make sense in system memory configurations in excess of 8gb. It may be worth noting that OCZ has dedicated a team of engineers towards taking advantage of FB-DIMM technology for enthusiast grade products," said Ryan Peterson, OCZ Technology's CEO.

Apple's OSX for example, truly shines with lots of memory and the difference is much more pronounced than it is in Windows. Current generation games are also beginning to push desktop memory requirements further. Titles such as Battlefield 2 perform best if there is 1.5GB or more of memory in the system.

Technology in general is moving faster than it ever has, and the up curve continues to increase. The enterprise space is crying out for FB-DIMM technology and it will not be too long before enthusiasts are demanding the same.


[Submitted by Kcarrim]

1 1140503516 The Fu

Fbdimminfo2


Monday 20 February 2006
Biostar First to Launch NVIDIA C19 Ultra Motherboards; Available Now
Christo [PCD] , Monday 20 February 2006 - 10:53:44 //

Intel's 965 and 945 chipsets now have a new NVIDIA competitor

Several weeks ago we ran an article with the leaked details of NVIDIA's C19 Ultra chipset. The Ultra chipset features all of the same features found in nForce4 SLI Intel Edition, but without the SLI and Active Armor components. In exchange, the AC'97 audio has been replaced with 8 channel high definition audio.

The new Biostar motherboard utilizes all of the features you would expect from an nForce4 SLI motherboard, but without the obvious circuitry and licensing for SLI, the board retails for under $100. NVIDIA just contacted us to let us know the board is available at Newegg right now for $95. With Intel's new 65nm processors starting to crop up here and there, high performance Intel motherboards -- like the Biostar T-Series -- might be in high demand very soon. nForce4 Ultra Intel Edition is compatible with all current 90nm Intel processors, Presler and Cedar Mill.


[Submitted by Kcarrim]

1 1140425603 Biosta


Saturday 18 February 2006
ATI Makes False Claims on HDCP Support
Christo [PCD] , Saturday 18 February 2006 - 09:03:46 //

ATI, most of its partners, retailers claiming shipping consumer cards are HDCP-ready. These claims are untrue

Last week, several journals reported about the current state of HDCP support in graphics cards. The article touched on several topics, such as what is HDCP, what cards currently shipping supported HDCP, and why were cards being advertised as being HDCP ready, were in actually not ready at all. This was the case for every manufacturer, regardless of ATI and NVIDIA GPUs.

According to the Microsoft specification, high-definition video content that is transported using a DVI signal must be encrypted with HDCP. If HDCP is not present, regardless of whether an attempt at copying is made or not, the video is scaled down to low resolution to deter copying. For a manufacturer that wishes to use HDCP technology on its products, a signup with Digital CP is required. Upon a signed agreement, the manufacturer must pay the committee an annual fee of $15,000 and a royalty fee of $0.005 per product sold. This allows a manufacturer to provide DVI/HDCP support, sufficient for high-resolution output. If a manufacturer wants to implement HDMI, a DVI-compatible connector, an additional $15,000 annual fee to HDMI is needed along with $0.04 per product. To actually implement HDCP protection, unique keys are required on a per product basis which is provided by the committee and requires implementation at the manufacturing level. According to NVIDIA, an extra chip is required that stores unique decoding keys.

Most of ATI's recent retail products are currently shipping with advertisements claiming that the products are HDCP-ready. On ATI's website, the term HDCP-ready was also used, for example on the X1900 series specifications page. Curiously, ATI's professional products such as FireGL list "HDCP-compliant". We spoke to ATI and asked it why the terminology difference and what the difference was in its view, between compliance and ready. Unfortunately, we did not receive a sound response to that question. In an interesting turn of events, today ATI has begun to silently remove references to HDCP-ready on its consumer products.

The image to the right is a screenshot that shows a Google cache of ATI's X1900 specifications page compared to what the specifications page is today. Google's cache clearly highlights the missing HDCP-ready claim that was present since launch. While FiringSquad's article presents a significant problem with ATI's claims of HDCP support, the problems go much deeper than expected.

A quick search on etailers such as NewEgg, CompUSA, Best Buy, and a host of other stores also list ATI's specifications, and most of ATI's recent products are listed as supporting HDCP. In fact, many of ATI's add-in board partners like Diamond, HIS (the Excalibur line), PowerColor, and VisionTek all list HDCP-ready. The ATI store, Apple store, and OEMs such as BOXX Tech all list ATI products as support HDCP. We've included screenshots of some of the websites boasting identical information to ATI's spec-sheets.

We spoke to a number of ATI's partners and asked if the boards were ready to output a HDCP-DVI signal and unfortunately the general answer was no. Some board manufacturers said that the boards that are currently shipping do not contain the HDCP decryption keys necessary to support HDCP at the board level. Regardless of the GPU, if the board does not have the necessary component and key, HDCP will not work. We further asked ATI's partners as to what possible reason board level support for HDCP was left out but the same reason was given almost unanimously: ATI did not consider HDCP to be ready because copy protection for Blu-ray and HD DVD was still up in the air, and therefore did not feel it was worth it to pay the licensing fees necessary to be fully HDCP-compliant.

This is where ATI's professional products differentiate from consumer level products. So if no money was spent on including HDCP support, why claim HDCP-ready? More AIB partners explained to us that upon the release of Vista, a driver update can be applied to enable HDCP output. Unfortunately, we already know that this is not the case from information provided to us directly from other AIB partners. To enable HDCP, a board must include the necessary hardware and key at the time of manufacturing. It may be possible to send in your board to an AIB partner and RMA it for a new HDCP compliant board (which would involve new hardware, but potential reuse of key components such as the memory). NVIDIA stated that a BIOS upgrade, a driver upgrade, or retrofitting a board after the fact will not work.

AIB partners say ATI claims the uncertainty of Blu-ray and HD DVD is the reason why keys were not purchased. However, according to Microsoft's HD content protection documents, it is clearly defined that Windows Vista will ship with HDCP support and will also contain support for both high-defintion formats. ATI argues that HDCP may end up not being required for Blu-ray and HD DVD playback but according to the MPAA, this is not the case. Considering how hard the RIAA is pushing on MP3 copyright issues, the MPAA will be very adamant that high-definition movies be protected.

Visiting hdmi.org, several hundred supporters of the technology are listed on the adopters page, and ATI Technologies is one of them. With a significant amount of industry leaders backing HDMI/HDCP, and ATI's clear presence on the HDMI members board, the argument that HDCP might not be required is far fetched. Audio/Video products such as home receivers, flat panel TVs and other devices have been shipping with HDMI and full HDCP compliancy for well over a year now. In fact, Sony is already shipping PCs with full HDCP compliancy.

According to Godfrey Cheng, ATI's marketing director, it is up to the board partners to put in the necessary keys for HDCP-DVI decoding. Unfortunately, this still does not explain why ATI's own "Built-by-ATI" video cards also claim HDCP support when this is clearly not the truth. Users who visit ATI's latest website revision, especially for the X1900 series, are now greeted with a "fixed" specifications page that omits any reference to HDCP support. However, those who visited ATI's website before yesterday and purchased any one of ATI's cards will be disappointed to know that they will not be able to play back HDCP-DVI signals, either from Blu-ray, HD DVD, or Windows Vista. A search on ATI's website on various consumer products now show "HDMI interoperable", which means there is either a physical HDMI connector available or a DVI to HDMI adapter supplied. This solution however, only outputs a standard DVI signal. ATI does not currently ship a consumer video card with an HDCP/HDMI or HDCP/DVI output.

The bottom line: ATI has publicized that many of its consumer products are HDCP ready, when in fact are not. Some products boast HDMI connectivity, when they do not even have a physical HDMI connector nor do the products ship with an adapter. Even if they do, having a HDMI connector does not mean the board is able to output a HDCP-DVI signal. Products such as ATI's own X1900XT claim to support HDMI connectivity. Unfortunately, HDMI compatibility doesn't mean that the board can output a HDCP-DVI or HDCP-HDMI signal. Customers who have any one of ATI's currently shipping consumer (enthusiast, mainstream, gaming, entry level) products that were advertised to support HDCP were misled. Many of ATI's add-in board partners also repeated the same specifications as those listed by ATI.

ATI was unreachable for comment at the time of publication. Instead, ATI's website has been changing gradually to remove any previous mention of "HDCP-ready" and specifications have been replaced with a more generic "HDMI interoperable" spec.

ATI has sold millions of products with a claimed feature that does not and will not work and most customers will not find this out until they attempt to play Blu-ray and HD DVD titles. As a company with an incredibly loyal following, this is a big issue that ATI needs to address to its customers immediately.

[Submitted by Kcarrim]

Original

Edited


7800GS agp
Christo [PCD] , Saturday 18 February 2006 - 08:59:45 //

Having recently been dethroned from the fastest-in-the-world position, NVIDIA is busy working on the G71 chip (set to launch in mid-March) to compete against ATI's newly released X1900 series. Until G71 based cards are launched, the company went after the last generation AGP market that needed an update frantically. Last year, insider sources reported that if there was enough demand for AGP cards, NVIDIA might change its stance from exclusively offering PCIe cards to releasing an AGP version of one of the cards. It looks like NVIDIA received more than enough feedback, which ultimately led to them to release the AGP version of the 7800GS.

A few months ago, a vendor accidentally gave away an engineering sample which then made big news. NVIDIA said it would never exist, but as we now know, the company's initial reaction was off the mark. How well does the 7800GS AGP performs? Read on and find out...


Sorce: CoolTechZone
[Submitted by tanka]


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