ATI’s latest AIBs get a workout on Vantage

Posted by Jon Peddie on December 22nd 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

This week, we received some more ATI AIBs, specifically a pair of Sapphire Radeon AIBs, and a pair of 1 GB HD 4870 AIBs. We also got a new Catalyst driver, so we decided to run the batch of them, including the 512 MB 4870s, for comparison.

Benchmarking the new Core i7 Nehalem processor

Posted by Jon Peddie on December 1st 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

The goal was simple enough, test a new Intel Core i7 3.2GHz (965 Extreme) X58-based machine against previous machines with a couple of different graphics boards. X58 is Intel’s new I/O hub that accomodates the Quickpath interface.

HP dv2945se: show, go, or both?

Posted by Kathleen Maher on October 27th 2008 | Permalink
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Kathleen Maher

One would hazard a guess that the most likely causes of early laptop retirement, regardless of who uses the machine, are the same—death by gravity (dropping) or death by blunt object (smacking it against something). This review was undertaken due to the latter cause of death. An overzealous traveler apparently stuffed this writer’s trusty old Acer 1690 WLCi into an overhead bin to make room for his oversized luggage (the backpack containing the machine managed to travel four rows from its original location, so there was more than one culprit). One must look at the bright side, however. The Acer weighed about 40 lbs and was far too big to use on an airplane. Upon arriving in Phoenix, the search for a new, smaller, and lighter machine was underway.

Adobe’s CS4 features major changes for photographers

Posted by Kathleen Maher on September 29th 2008 | Permalink
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Kathleen Maher

Adobe has been readying the market for its new CS4 lineup of software products for months now and anticipation is high. This is a performance release as well as a feature release, although we saw a few features that are going to need a little more work. This fast review is a quick overview concentrating primarily on the imaging tools. We will follow up with a look at the other modules as soon as we catch our breath.

Does Google Chrome shine?

Posted by Jon Peddie on September 15th 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

So I did it, not on day one but by day three I downloaded Chrome and tried it. I still use it occasionally to see if there are any changes or upgrades, but basically it’s not impressive. It’s a little faster, hardly noticeable, than Firefox, and anything is faster than IE7, but who cares because no power user uses it anyway.

HP 2133 Mini Note struts its stuff

Posted by Jon Peddie on September 15th 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

We first saw a Mini Note in early 2007 when our friends from VIA came to visit and brought some demos with them. It was an interesting device and, as usual, VIA was way ahead of the pack. In fact, VIA has almost always been ahead of the pack but they fail to win the prize when the pack catches up with them. This time it’s different and the Mini Note from HP is a design win triumph for VIA and a product win for HP.

Roxio Creator 2009

Posted by Jon Peddie on September 15th 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

There are five companies that are offering multimedia suites: Adobe, Avid/Pinnacle, Corel/Ulead, CyberLink, and NTI. I suspect Microsoft will soon be an entry into this category, and there are some other brands that have bits and pieces.

Just how fast is SSD?

Posted by Jon Peddie on September 15th 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

Samsung has been annoying us with PR emails about their solid-state drives for almost a year now. Finally, we had enough and said put up or shut up. They put up and sent us a 15.4-inch Lenovo T60p ThinkPad laptop ($2,438.) What the hell are we going to do with this, Robert asked? Kathleen also was puzzled. The cats got on to test for warmth and softness and abandoned it.

YABM – yet another benchmark

Posted by Jon Peddie on September 15th 2008 | Permalink
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Jon Peddie

We bought a nifty performance test program from PassMark. (See the mention of it in this in the review of the Lenovo ThinkPad.) It’s a full suite of tests, and totally affordable ($24.) Included in the suite is a 2D and a 3D test set. They run on DirectX 9.

ATI takes the flag

Posted by Kathleen Maher on August 18th 2008 | Permalink
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Kathleen Maher

TI launched their new dual-GPU AIB, the Radeon HD 4870 X2, and reclaimed the flag from Nvidia with regard to performance. The timing couldn’t be better—occurring at Siggraph and nicely sidestepping the noise of the Intel Developer Forum and Nvision—not just a coincidence and certain to have an impact on both of those commercial events as well as the IEEE HotChips conference at Stanford.