January 2007

You are currently browsing the articles from PC Tips World written in the month of January 2007.

China has own processors

According to this article China has already manufactured own processor called Godson II. It has frequency 500 MHz and its performance is on Intel Pentium III level. Several days ago Chinese scientists introduced new processor called Loongson 2E. You can call it “improved version of Godson II”. It has 800 MHz frequency and improved architecture. Processor isn’t well spread because there are just several motherboards for them. But I hope Intel and AMD will get new competitors soon. Maybe in next 10 years.

In February 200 laptops with Loongson 2E will be presented. Half of them will be taken by engineers at Chinese Academy of Science. Other half will go to people related to this academy. Its like “test release”. Company, invented Godson II and Loongson 2E is called Sinomanic. If you’ll find official site of this company please comment it

Written by mente on January 28th, 2007 with no comments.
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Electric Protection May Cause Problems

Last week my friends called me. He asked me to check his computer. “It doesn’t boot even”, – he said. Well, thanks god he lives in near house and I went. Took some beer and knock in door. He welcomed me and invited inside. His computer is rather old – Athlon XP 2000+ and GeForce 5200. Others components are rather newer. The PC was already screwed up, so I just looked inside. I must stop here and tell you what is main in troubleshooting:

  1. Ask what has happened with subject.
  2. Try to boot PC and check the symptoms of the victim (PC certainly).
  3. Repeat second procedure several times and check whether it repeats.
  4. Check contacts on motherboard, hard disk, CD-ROM.
  5. Detect defect, which causes problems. Remember – there can be several defects. Defect is detected? Goto 8.
  6. If you can’t detect defect unplug everything, which won’t influence on PC boot: sound cards, hard disks, CD-ROMs. Leave only one RAM installed.
  7. If PC still doesn’t boot you have problem with main component of the PC (I will write about this in future).
  8. Remove the defect.
  9. Enjoy.

These rules are basic. Try to match them and I bet you will find at least defect. Advice – if you can, try to substitute broken component for some time. You can be wrong. In private case you can vary, but in general follow rules.
I have done almost similar these rules in my case. I tried to power on PC, but nothing happened. System didn’t start up, even coolers didn’t work. I thought it was motherboard or PSU. If the motherboard was broken it would at least powered on and coolers work. This didn’t happen. My thoughts was – PSU definitely. So I told my thoughts to my friend. Of course he was upset, but what we could do? He gave me money and I bought new PSU.

Imagine our surprise when we, after PSU was installed, powered on system. Guess what happened? Nothing! Similar symptoms. But this time cooler on PSU turned a little. So it had started and then stopped. At this moment I have realized my mistake. Electric defence on PSU didn’t let desktop working. Using my knowledge and sixth point I found out that it was hard disk. It was rather old as all system. Western Digital with 20 GB capacity (sorry, I don’t remember exact model). I apologized my friend and that time he gave me money for hard disk. Hard disk was bought and now my friend is happy with newly installed hard disk (Western Digital 80BB, not too far from old one).
Conclusions? I made several mistakes. I didn’t check my thoughts. I could change PSU and try one more time. But I was hurry and bought new component. The main conclusion, which I understood from this case – never speed! You never know what is real problem.

Written by admin on January 26th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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Video Sex Symbols

No, I won’t speak about video consoles. I’m going to speak about ATI’s Ruby. Do you know her? The girl who loves red color and skin-tight clothes will be rebuilt in 2007. No, don’t worry; Ruby’s style will be saved. According to HEXUS Ruby will get more polygons and new technologies, such like shaders 4.0. On the picture you can compare Ruby’s lips 2006 and the same in 2007.

Ruby vs Ruby

On the left you can see Ruby 2007. Compare it with Ruby 2006 on the left. When I first saw this picture I thought that on the left is a real woman, from who Ruby was designed. I was wrong.
ATI don’t have working model yet. Waiting for renew Ruby!

Written by mente on January 24th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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Processor wars: AMD vs. Intel

LogosPreamble. Several months ago AMD announced Fusion processor. It’s a multicore processor with integrated graphics core. It doesn’t mean that processor will be just dual-core or quad-core. It will be many-core. Every core will be specialized in its own task. Seems to me they want to integrate chipset and simple video in processor. Nice decision I tell you. The cost of the entire system will be lowered and the speed rises dramatically. Everything in one box, nothing outside. Of course if you want to have powerful videocard you always can buy it. It will be better than integrated.But all of this was just lyrics. The main plot why this post has been written – Intel’s answer. It’s called Visual Computing Group (VCG). But Intel’s aim differs from AMD’s. AMD tries to improve performance. Intel’s main aim is:

We are focused on developing discrete graphics products based on a many-core architecture targeting high-end client platforms.

It means Intel wants to integrate graphics. No special core for specialized tasks. No integrated chipset. Just integrated graphics. But further they will expand it for CPU specializations. That’s why they’re looking for good specialists. I think their VCG will be developed faster than AMD’s Fusion processor. Fusion is perspective future and VCG is realistic technology. But I believe in AMD. Don’t say I’m AMD fan. Intel can surprise us too.

Written by mente on January 23rd, 2007 with 1 comment.
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Open Source Phone is coming

I have found interesting video while I was browsing internet today. It’s an open source phone, called FIC Neo1973. It is based on Linux OS, has 2.8 inch TFT display with resolution 640×480, touchscreen. Phone has Samsung processor, built-in GPS system. Gadget has 128 mb SDRAm and 64 mb NAND flash memory. Interesting – will you lose all your data, when phone is low battery? Half-phone-PC is powered by 1200 mAh battery? Suppose it’s enough for this baby. I’m wondered why FIC doesn’t have Wi-Fi or at least Bluetooth. These standards are very popular now. But as you can see, it’s more similar with Pocket PCs than with phones. But developers decide to call it “smart phone”.
FIC

Now, OpenMoco is seeking for software developers for their gadget. I hope I have a free time, but I don’t think so. So – if anyone is interested to develop open source phone – welcome

Written by mente on January 20th, 2007 with 1 comment.
Read more articles on Cellphones and Technologies.

Disaster?

Time changes everything. IT market is changing frequently than others.But basic tendency stays the same – development and new achievements. Financial side of IT market was the same for last years. There were losers and winners, geniuses and idiots.

Even IT market had a stable time. When nothing revolutionary was invented or introduced. Just developing of existing achievements. This development has one big disadvantage – once it will stop. Now it happens with financial side of IT market. Resellers don’t know what to do. They don’t have anything new, extraordinal. The best they can offer is big sweet box, in which your new video card is (for example). No new functions, gadgets. How can you differ Sapphire from Gigabyte on the graphics card market? Except box there are no differences, I bet. Resellers exist just for financial purposes. The worst is that resellers can’t do anything. They depend on company-manufacturers. If company-manufacturer can’t invent anything else, what will you do? Several resellers decide to make new own products. For example, notebooks, like TheInquirer said. Bad tendency, but what can you do? If you won’t provide something new you are eaten by competitors. Cruel world, but it is real world

Written by admin on January 19th, 2007 with no comments.
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R600 and PCI-Express 2.0

And again about R600. As you, maybe have mentioned I’m ATI fan (now AMD). AMD demoes new chipset RD790 with PCI-Express 2.0 onboard. Massive production will start at the end of the year. But I’m interested in other. As you can see on the pictures there are Radeon HD 2900XT installed.

Radeon 2900XT and PCI-Express 2.0

Any notice? If you haven’t mentioned – here is only one power cable connected. Why? Because PCI-Ex provides 150W. You won’t need so many cables in future.

Written by admin on January 18th, 2007 with no comments.
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PCI Express 2.0 Specifications

On this week PCI-Sig has released PCI-Express 2.0 specifications. General improvementsPCI-X are:

But the main improvements are:

I want to discuss the main improvements. The interconnect bit rate is doubled. But do you know that video cards don’t use all bandwidth of PCIe? They always enlarge bit rate for future purpose, but this future never comes. New PCIe specifications come faster. Improvement for power source has 2 sides. First side – video card can be more powerful and use more power (good side). Second side – we have new 8-pin power connector (bad side). You’ll have to buy it before video card (of course if video card uses more than 150W). And of course, reverse support. It’s great that you can connect your old PCIe 1.x video card to new motherboard with PCIe 2.0 support and reverse. Upgrade step-by-step, as I call it.

Summarize this new standard. All improvements are extensive. PCI Express is developed. And it has big future

Written by mente on January 17th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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R600 was delayed. But why? Ask Rick Bergman

As you know Radeon HD 2000 Series were released yesterday. First release date was autumn of the past year. So delay is about 6 months. But why? TG Daily took an interview with Rick Bergman. He explained it. Here is a cut from interview:

TG Daily: Let’s get right to it. The R600 arrives about six months late. What is the story behind this delay?

Rick Bergman: There are a couple of reasons. The first reason is that there were design issues that needed to be resolved. And then, later, we decided to retarget the product at a very attractive price point. We had a higher price point board coming down the line that involved a lot more cost around the bill of materials, memory devices and so on. And we wondered whether or not that was what the market was really looking for. So, we decided to introduce a $399 price point [for a high-end card] with a brand new technology.

This is a 700-million transistor chip, so as we debugged it, with the cache structures, DX10, the new architecture and so on, it just took us a little longer to iron it out this time.

As you see AMD decided to renew own card before release. I don’t think this was good idea. Half a year has passed. HD 2900XT isn’t the powerfull card, 8800GTX leaves it behind. So what we have for $399? High-end card, called Radeon, cheaper than 8800GTS, good overclocking abilities, but not the most powerful card in the world. Middle in high-end segment I say. That’s we were waiting for? AMD can’t answer Nvidia’s 8800 even after almost a year. I hope AMD’s marketologists will be shot.

If we’ll forget about R600 and read fully the interview we can find interesting thinkings. Rick Bergman says something about discrete graphics vs. intergrated one. I tried to make comparison in my own article, called Laptop and desktop comparison. Fusion (CPU with integrated GPU) will have 16 graphics cores and will satisfy gamer-”user of notebook”.

Well, I give you link. Hurry up and read this interview

Written by admin on January 15th, 2007 with no comments.
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Radeon 2900XT. Photos of retail version

As you know Radeon 2900XT version is officially released today. Several luckies even already tested it. What can I say? I’m dissapointed. Even Ruby won’t save AMD. Video card is similar to Geforce 8800GTS, but costs less (recommended price is $399). It needs more power (215 W) and is more buggy. During tests games exit with errors. I hope AMD will fix problems in future drivers. And now several photos of the 2900XT:

2900XT - overview

This photo shows excellent???? the exact site of the card:

2900XT size

Video card needs “just” 550-600 W PSU and special 8-end joint:

Radeon 2900XT joint

And here are cables, that you need to connect to your Radeon 2900XT. If you connect only one, without 8-end joint you can forget about overclocking

2900XT cables

That’s all folks.

P.S. By the way there is continue of the story for buggy PC. I will write soon.

P.P.S. Sorry for few updates. I’ll try to do my best

Written by admin on January 14th, 2007 with 2 comments.
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