Tag - CrossFire
AMD entered the second day of CES with a formal unveiling for the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series of notebook graphics chips. The new wave of hardware is based on the same core architecture as the desktop 4000 series and in many cases are much faster for the power used than earlier generations; AMD estimates that performance is as much as twice as fast on a given part versus its 3000 series ancestor. Much of the gain comes from both a cooler 55 nanometer proccess as well an increased number of stream (graphics) units, with the top-end Mobility Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 carrying 800 of the effects generators versus just 320 on the 3870.
Dell today used CES to launch its first gaming desktop to use AMD processors in place of Intel's. The XPS 625 mid-tower shares the same custom-lit aluminum case as the XPS 630 but switches to an AMD 790FX-based mainboard and can be equipped with one of several overclockable Black Edition processors up to and including the 3GHz, quad-core Phenom II just introduced at the same time. All video card picks are equally AMD-based and scale up to dual Radeon HD 4850 cards in CrossFire mode.
A Thursday report warns Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system will not support hybrid dual-graphics systems currently on the market from NVIDIA and AMD. The news came after a review of Microsoft's Guidelines for Graphics in Windows 7 document released on Wednesday, which read Windows 7 will not offer native support for the systems, listing unstable and poor user experience as reasons for the exclusion. The software make added it would 'strongly discourage system manufacturers from shipping such systems' and noted these systems would require a reboot to switch between GPUs.
AMD on Wednesday sought to please two extremes of computer users at once through the unveiling of its 790GX mainboard chipset. The platform is focused on gamers and includes a new southbridge chip that allows overclocking Phenom Black Edition processors without entering the BIOS; it also supports CrossFire for up to two add-in Radeon HD video cards. However, even entry users are accomodated, AMD says: the chipset integrates the new Radeon HD 3300, which is billed as the fastest onboard graphics system available. Tests have it competing with some recent stand-alone cards, while AMD says it can support both modern 3D effects as well as hardware decoding of 1080p video.
(Updated with analyst commentary) NVIDIA may quit the mainboard chipset industry entirely just as it's rumored to be expanding into new areas, if a claim from companies producing the final mainboards themselves. The California-based creator of the nForce line has allegedly held a meeting this week to determine whether it should continue producing chipsets at all but has been met with "silence," hinting both that NVIDIA was already considering an exit but also that weak demand gives it little reason to continue.
Dell today took the wraps from the XPS 630 (site live soon), its bridge between the mainstream XPS 420 desktop and the higher-end XPS 720. The tower computer is designed to run affordable components but is also made for headroom as gamers look to improve their systems; every model has a mainboard capable of dual video cards (either AMD's CrossFire or NVIDIA's SLI) as well as a 750-watt power supply capable of handling both the video cards as well an overclockable Intel processor and high-speed RAM from Corsair.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE