From the very start, ASUS' Eee Box nettop caught the eye as a potential media PC, and the company themselves threw their hat into the ring with the launch of the Eee Box B206. Swapping the DVI output for an HDTV-friendly HDMI, and slotting an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 GPU with 256MB of its own DDR2 RAM in instead of the integrated graphics, the B206 promises high-definition playback above its humble Atom roots.
The Register have been taking a look at the nettop, and in some ways the B206 does deliver. Standard definition video runs with no problems, and DivX 720p files in Windows Media Player were also smooth; however, the B206 showed itself to be particularly picky about codecs.
The problem is that not all media player apps support DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), the technology which lets the Radeon HD 3450 GPU get its teeth into the video. Without that, it's up to the Atom N270 1.6GHz chip to keep things ticking over, and we already know that Intel's CPU struggles with high-resolution media.
AMD announced today that their Windows 7 graphics driver has been certified by Microsoft on the very first day of the latter company's program that tests compatibility with the new operating system. The certification was given for the Windows Hardware Quality Lab or WHQL and is meant to indicate a driver is compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows 7.
This is good timing, considering AMD will be releasing their ATI Catalyst 9.5 by the end of the month. So, people that use ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000 and 4000 series graphics cards can rest assured the new software will make them work completely with Windows 7.
Apparently, this also allows ATI Stream technology. The WHQL certification comes on the very first day of Microsoft opening their certification program. Nice way to jump in there with your graphics driver first, AMD!
ASUS have released full specifications for their new U- and UX-series ultraportables, announced back at CeBIT. Five U-series models are detailed, together with two UX-series; processors range from Intel's CULV line, Pentiums, Core 2 Solo and Core 2 Duo chips. Displays range from the 12.1-inch U20A through to two 15.6-inch models, the U50G and U51Vg.
AMD have announced the ATI Radeon HD 4770, the first desktop graphics card to use 40nm manufacturing processes. A PCI Express 2.0 x16 card, the Radeon HD 4770 offers DirectX 10.1 support and uses GDDR5 memory, despite having a roughly $100 price-tag.
Video overview of the HD 4770 after the cut
HP's Pavilion dv2 12.1-inch ultraportable notebook has finally launched, almost three months after its CES launch. Dropping the internal optical drive in favor of arguably more useful components, the Pavilion dv2 packs a 320GB 5,400rpm hard-drive, 4GB of DDR2 RAM and WiFi a/b/g/n, along with its 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor.
Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's GeForce announcement comes word from AMD regarding their own HD-capable mobile GPUs. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 are the world's first graphics processors to use 40nm process technology, and are capable of beyond-1080p mobile gaming.
Gateway's FX6800-01e was the first i7, Nehalem, Quad-Core processor PC we tested, and its performance boost over the previous Core 2 architecture was obvious. That was the company's lowest FX-series rig with Nehalem/Bloomfield; today we have the highest model in the FX-series, the FX-6800-05 desktop, to review. Gateway's ultimate gaming rig sports high end components built upon the Intel's i7-940 2.93Ghz, ATI Radeon 4870 X2 graphics, 6GB of DDR3 memory, and last but by no means least, an ultra-fast Intel X25-M 80GB SSD. All that will cost you around $3000 retail, so the big question is whether this Gateway is worth the asking price?
If last week we were hypnotized by slick smartphones and tiny "Digital Lifestyle PCs", then this week let's try to focus at least a little on something that might affect a whole lot more of us. AMD announced their latest notebook graphics platform, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series, along with the promise that gamers could expect twice the performance of the previous-generation HD 3000 series. It's also the first to support GDDR5 RAM, as well as having support for Microsoft DirectX 10.1.
All my video cards have had after market GPU coolers for better air flow with quieter operation, so does my latest Nvidia with Zalman VF900-cu. The Zalman VF900 is a hybrid VGA cooling combines uniquely heatpipes design with a 90mm fan on its pure copper heatsink. Apparently Gigabyte likes the design; they have teamed up with Zalman, packed its latest ATI Radeon HD 4870 GV-R487D5-1GG with VF-900 looks alike GPU cooler.