During the first day of its Intel Developer forum in San Francisco this week, the chip giant set launch dates for its next generation of microprocessors, demonstrated future CPU designs that support up to eight cores, and looked ahead to the manufacturing processes it will use on chips in 2009. Intel plans to launch new server and enthusiast products this November, and the company has plenty more on tap.
Stories by Eric Dahl
Tests show that Intel's first quad-core chip, the 2.66-GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6700, should bring impressive speed boosts to complex video-editing and 3D-rendering work. But while you might think that since two cores are good, four cores will be twice as good for all your computing tasks, our exclusive tests of the new chip tell a different story.
The first benchmarks of Intel's quad-core Kentsfield processor are here, and the chip is showing some impressive speed in multithreaded applications. As with the Core 2 Duo launch, Intel supervised testing at its preview events this week, so we'll have to reserve our final take on performance until we can get a Kentsfield sample in our lab for testing with PC World's usual slate of benchmarks.
I've never been a fan of entry-level speakers, but the price of the Philips Consumer Electronics Corp. MMS205 speaker system intrigued me. Could a four-speaker system that cost only US$80 sound good? My test indicates that the quality of such speakers has improved--but you still get what you pay for.
The race to build the fastest 3D graphics card has been heating up, pushing 3D speed and image quality to amazing levels. But for most of us, optimum speed comes at a high price, with many of the latest graphics boards costing more than US$300. NVidia Corp. changes that equation with its latest graphics chip, the GeForce2 MX.
Forget the CPU wars of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. versus Intel Corp.. If you're a gamer, the performance competition you've been watching is the battle of the 3D graphics boards. The latest gladiator to emerge: ELSA AG's Gladiac, one of the first boards based on the new NVidia GeForce2 GTS chip set to reach the market.
A million units sold in a single weekend. Long lines. Government warnings about illegal exports. Sony Corp.'s hugely hyped PlayStation 2 launched in Japan in March and should arrive stateside this fall. It joins Sega Corp.'s Dreamcast in the vanguard of new Internet-ready game consoles powerful enough to perform traditional PC functions, including Web browsing. Microsoft Corp. plans to join the fray next fall.
How many times have you looked back on a meeting and wished you'd taken better notes? Electronic whiteboards can help by recording the scribbling of you and your colleagues, but they're expensive (more than $2500 for a 4-by-6-foot board) and too heavy to tote from room to room. Virtual Ink Corp.'s Mimio and Electronics for Imaging's EBeam address both of these issues: Each unit costs about $500, fits inside a briefcase, and attaches to any Conventional whiteboard with dimensions up to 4 by 8 feet.