Sunday, August 31, 2008

AMD’s First 45nm Desktop Microprocessors Set to Arrive on the 8th of January, 2009.

Advanced Micro Devices plans to announce its first desktop microprocessors produced using 45nm process technology on the 8th of January, 2009, the first day of Consumer Electronics Show. The code-named Deneb chips will not get truly high clock-speed boost, but will be able to offer substantially higher performance thanks to larger cache and architectural improvements.

The first desktop processors from AMD made using 45nm process technology will be AMD Phenom X4 chips clocked at 2.80GHz and 3.00GHz, sources familiar with AMD’s plans said. The new processors will support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, but since the initial chips will be available in socket AM2+ form-factor, the chips will have to rely on dual-channel DDR2 PC2-8500 (1066MHz DDR2) memory.

Surprisingly, but the 45nm process technology will not allow AMD to reduce power consumption of its quad-core AMD Phenom X4 process considerably and the new chips are projected to have 125W thermal design power (TDP), inline with today’s higher-end Phenom X4 chips. Still, the new microprocessors will definitely have better performance-per-watt ratio compared to predecessors.

Earlier this year AMD said that code-named Shanghai and Deneb microprocessors, which are based on the improved K10 micro-architecture, will be able to offer higher instructions per clock (IPC) throughput compared to currently available AMD Phenom and AMD Opteron processors, which should transform into higher overall performance per clock. Thanks to higher IPC and larger level-three cache (6MB instead of 2MB), the new processors are likely to offer considerably higher speed than existing quad-core chips by AMD.

Pricing of the new chips will depend on their performance against competitors as well as other market conditions.

Officials from AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Personally, I think AMD might be able to dominate the lower market where budget are most important(read: rm500 and below) to user. Intel CPU might have higher performance but they costs more too. You might say Intel CPUs overclock better. But we must remember not all people know what is overclock.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How to Choose Your Laptop Graphic Card

When choosing the GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) for our notebook, we must think about the real usage we are going to give to the machine. There are two general choices that we will use as start for an easy and comprehensive selection of our GPU, what do we want for our laptops? Integrated or dedicated graphic card?

Integrated: This GPU models are built-in the notebook motherboard, usually the power consumption is really low, as well as the heat generated.

If the use you are going to give to the notebook is limited to administrative tasks, e-mail checking, web surfing, and sporadic movie viewing, you will do it ok with an integrated card, and there is no need to aim for a dedicated GPU, which will cost way higher and raise the temperature and consumption of our laptop. The most important notebook integrated graphic cards producers are Intel, ATI and Nvidia. 

Dedicated: Designed for gamers, these graphic cards allow the portable machines to almost match the desktop ones in terms of graphic performance.

The negative side comes in form of high temperatures and excessive power consumption that makes the battery duration decrease critically. To give the reader an idea, while playing a graphically demanding game on an average nine cell battery notebook, the usage time is around one hour max.

In our days, the two major GPU producers are ATI and Nvidia. They are the higher tier and only real options for quality, compatibility and performance. Even though, if we take a more concrete look at the dedicated notebook graphic cards market, Nvidia can be considered going a little bit ahead.

Here comes a brief explanation of how the GPU classification works. Independently on the brand, the models come usually on this form:


For nVidia, the usual code is SNNNM L being S the number that indicates the generation of the graphic card, the NNNs showing us the model within the series, M meaning Mobile or Mobility, and L the code that tell us specifications of the performance of the GPU.

At this point we must clarify that the generation number is very important and even if the model code is higher in some cases doesn’t mean that the GPU is more powerful, as example, a 6600M GT graphic card will not outperformance an 8400M GT, even if the model number is lower (400 compared with 600) the generations are different (gen 8 against gen 6), and due to the advancement of its architecture the 8400M GT its superior.


For ATI, we can observe the common code is XSNNN L, where X or HD is a common indicator of ATI, S tells us the generation, NNNs are the numbers that define the model, and L is a term that is used to concrete the type of performance.

In both cases, there are common characteristics, like the model classification, from 000 to 400 it’s considered low class or low performance, from 400 to 600/700 ranges it’s the middle class, and 700+ models are considered having high performances.

There is the option to use the SLI technology, which consists on linking two differnt GPUs (SLI for nVidia, Crossfire for ATI) but in our opinion, the performance gain is not considerable, and clearly not worthed the ammount of heat, weight, and power consumption that this will generate.

Cheap Digital Cameras- What Do You Really Need?

A cheap digital camera is what everyone is looking for, but what is really important is that you know what your needs are before you buy anything. Imagine spending $150 and feeling great about the deal you got, but you then realize that this camera is not enough for which you need! Basically, we need to take a look and match the price to what your usage is going to be. Here are some of the things you need to know about in order to choose the right cheap digital camera.

Camera manufacturers all talk about the megapixel (MP) as a rating of the quality of the picture, and how good a camera is, but the mega pixel as a measurement of the quality of the camera is actually not a good point of measure.

The megapixel tells you only how many megapixels the camera has. The reason camera salesman talk about the megapixel is because it's an easy point of reference to try to upsell you. The reality is that the lens quality and the light sensors make a more significant impact than the megapixels. The thing is, it's hard for a consumer to understand all of the differences between lens quality and light sensors. That's why they all push the mega pixel. With technology improvements, the mega pixels keep getting higher, but that may not be what you really need. And is that all you are measuring your camera purchase with?

For most general users, you will never print a picture larger than 8x10. The 3.1 mega pixel prints a perfect 8x10, but the new standard is 7-8 mega pixels. Unless you are a pro photographer, then anything over 3.1 is great. So, instead of spending bucks on a seven or eight mega pixel camera, you can get anything from 3.1 on up.

The next thing you wanted to is pick the right physical configuration of the camera. You may be spending more than you need if you buy more camera than you can handle. The pro models are very cool, but be realistic about what you are going to do with the camera! How many times have you purchase something with all kinds of bells and whistles, but never learn how to use them, or had a difficult time using them? Be honest with yourself. If you're just a point and shoot kind of person, and keep with the simple camera.

A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) typically has a larger body and a detachable lens. The DSLR is usually a higher end camera, and has more features and better components. Pro's typically buy a DSLR. For many of you reading this article, the DSLR camera is more camera than you'll ever need.
Here are the pros, the DSLR will take better pictures, but you will have to learn more. They are not point and click.

Compact cameras ("Point-and-shoot" cameras) are smaller, the lens is usually attached, and the lens actually retracts back into the camera base. This is the camera that is directly marketed to the consumer market. The cameras are made with less expensive ingredients and then a DSLR, but these point and shoot cameras are much more affordable. Many of the cameras you see advertised and in electronic stores in the few hundred dollar range are compact cameras.

The pros: The prices are much better, and affordable. Cons-the camera may not be repairable and goes out of date quickly. However, in many cases by the time the camera breaks it is out of date and the costs of purchasing a new one is actually cheaper.

Prosumer is a camera that occupies the middleground. These cameras have the benefits of both styles. They come with the better prices than the Pro camera, but have marginally better components than the point and shoot cameras. Basically it is a pro camera for the mass market consumer.

Take a few minutes and think about what your needs are before you buy your cheap digital camera. If you are taking quick pictures for a photo album, then anything on the market from a mega pixel standpoint is fine. If you are taking quick pictures, then a point and shoot should work for you. The other benefit of the point-and-shoot camera is that they are smaller, and can fit easily in your pocket or purse. Knowing that the mega pixel range these days is more than the average person needs, you can find gread prices and cheap digital camera deals with lower mega pixel cameras.

Advantages of Compact Digital Cameras

Compact Digital Cameras are simple to use with no complications in their operation. Today, the compact digital cameras are available in different versions. Features are similar to mobile phones with many options and you can quickly filter the features not used by you. Compact digital Cameras are offered by leading brands like Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and Fuji and so your choice is wide for selection. Compact digital cameras are portable and small camera devices and the smallest are referred to as subcompacts. They are designed for easy use and with features of high picture quality.

The images can be stored using only JPEG compression. They have in-built flash with low power and motion picture feature. They can take pictures of long range with sharp focus. Compact digital cameras are ideally suitable for snapshot and casual use.

The compact digital cameras can transfer data when connected directly to your computer. Traditional cameras have been using serial port but today the USB is widely used. Some companies offer FireWire port or the Bluetooth in their devices. Bluetooth is a wireless network that can be used by digital camera and also by other devices for exchanging information with a computer.
Subcompact Cameras are tinier than the Digital cameras. You can easily fit the same in your pockets and purses. It gives you the advantage of carrying almost everywhere and is the handiest one. The only disadvantage is its price, which is more expensive than the digital cameras and you will have a few manual controls. This also leads to over-exposing pictures.

For photographers, while traveling, their choice is the ultra compact digital camera. Though it is smaller in size, its performance is amazing. Some cameras have fantastic in-built zoom packed and give you extraordinary picture results. The mega pixels number varies from three to eight within the various brands of cameras available. Some cameras have digital zoom but for unbelievable picture quality and clarity you should go for cameras with both digital and optical zoom.

The battery life of these cameras varies and the quantity of pictures taken will depend on exposure type. Many Compact digital cameras have inbuilt movie mode along with sound. If you plan to capture action in your camera, then you should be sure of extra battery available with you. Before purchase, you have to compare prices and performance of all the models available. If you are planning to buy a particular model, select the model number. Otherwise compare technical opinions of the compact digital cameras available in the market. Size of the device is very important and the digital technology advancement has definitely increased the sales of compact digital cameras. Though they are dimensionally convenient, the way of use is a little difficult because of its smaller controls.

Features in these cameras keep on changing and improving. They are presented with speed activation and self –adjusting zoom by which the lenses capture fast motion shots. If the compact digital camera does not have the speed-setting feature, it cannot be used in a light-changing environment.

The compact digital cameras are getting smaller day-by-day that it has reached the size of credit card and can produce decent shots. Traditional cameras had heftier counterparts, but the camera size is not a matter since the compact digital cameras deliver superb pictures and never let you down with regard to quality and clarity.

How to Find the Best Computer Speakers

With the advancement in technology computer speakers have become an essential component of the computer. With these, people can listen to music, receive instant voice messages or make calls via the computer. Microphones can also be connected to the computer and the computer then connected to public address systems in conferences and other public gatherings. You can also connect headphones and earphones to act as speakers when you don't not need loud noises. This can be applicable in open plan office settings.

When looking for the best computer speakers, you should consider factors like clear audibility, compatibility to the computer, whether wireless or not, size, appearance, availability and strength of the speaker. You may also consider the power consumption of the speakers.

Wireless speakers have more advantages than those with wires. This is because no wiring is necessary. Wireless speakers use blue tooth technology to receive sound signals. You only have to consider where to put the speakers. However, the speakers with wires are more convenient as they are not affected by walls or the furniture that may be in the room.

There are inbuilt computer speakers which are not detachable and outer computer speakers which you can detach from the computer anytime you wish.

The inbuilt speakers are controlled by the computer through special software created for that purpose, whereas the outer speakers are controlled on the face of the speaker.

Watching a DVD movie or television broadcast, or listening to music are all made possible by use of computer speakers.

Speakers with in built sound adjustment systems are an advantage, since one can adjust the sound and tone to the desired taste and preference. Some speakers even have amplifiers which help in sound upgrading and sound production.

Speakers with amplifiers produce good quality sound though they consume more electric energy, as they need to be plugged in separately.

If the computer is used mainly for entertainment purposes then the kind of speakers will have to support this. The best options for this are small woofers and subwoofers. These are upgraded forms of speakers that use modern technology to produce sound of as much quality as that of two old model speakers.

When choosing a computer speaker, it is important to know what kind of rings it has. It may either have rubber or chrome rings for vibrations. Rubber rings are flexible and are not affected by loud vibrations, unlike chrome rings which wear out each day with the number of vibrations they experience.

The shape of the speaker's housing is important depending on whether one is placing the speakers on top of a desk or on the ground. Desktop speakers should have a small housing which should not compromise on the quality of sound projections. Speakers to be placed on the ground can have a big housing so as to give louder and amplified sounds.

It is advisable to choose a computer speaker with a combination of all these features to avoid upgrading many times.

How to Buy Discount Digital Cameras

Many brands of discount digital cameras are available from manufacturers such as Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus and Canon amongst others.

l_00258291Why these cameras are discounted?  The reasons could be like they have been over purchased with a lot of stocks left or it could be a means of making you enter their store. Websites use discounted items to grab your attention to their website many times. Online purchasing has emerged as a large market and it can save some money to the company when you purchase online. As expenses such as opening a store, paying out salaries for employees, purchasing shelves and other fixtures are not incurred, these savings can be passed on to you to some extent.

By saving money on the purchase of discount digital camera, you will feel great as by not paying the full price, you still have the same quality. The digital cameras are exactly the same as the difference here exists only on the price. Hence, why should you pay an expensive price as you can get the same camera when you purchase it on a discount?  With the money thus saved, you can buy other great add-ons for your digital camera.

Finding discount digital cameras is easier over websites. The question is which digital camera to choose. You can find discount digital cameras from most major digital camera manufacturers. You should have a basic idea of the options, features and brand name of the digital camera you want to buy. You can also find from sale bills and newspapers about different types and brands of digital cameras along with the prices offered at many stores. Some times, though the deals are advertised over the web, they may not have them in their stores. Earlier the digital cameras had one thing in common when compared with non-digital cameras, (i.e.) an expensive price tag. However the cost of digital cameras has dropped so much recently that you can purchase a digital camera for less than $250.

When buying a discount camera, you have to be aware of at least the buzzword ‘Megapixel’ related with digital cameras. Megapixel refers to the number of pixels available per million or the resolution of the image. This is important to be considered because Megapixel directly relates to the image quality obtained. The factors such as budget, mega pixels, exposure control, battery life, user controls and Zoom lens are all important while making a choice of a camera and to get the best out of it. Knowing these features will save you time when you start looking for a discounted digital camera.

You have to understand also the type of software that is needed for the discount camera you have planned to buy. Because all digital cameras do not use the same software for storing or to transfer the photos from the camera to the computer. Make sure that the software supplied will be compatible with your computer, without the need for upgrading your older computer for the sake of having the photos on your computers.

If you don’t have an idea of the features you need, you can also then search by brand name of the digital camera and read all about the various models offered. Still, Price should not be the only factor when you shop for discount cameras, but also certain basic features.

Friday, August 22, 2008

3k rig of the month

I decided to make a all-around rig that can do casual gaming (that means not really care about the graphic of the game), office work, web browsing and video conversion. Why I did not want to make a 4k rig? It's because i think that 4k is a bit too much for the standard of most family in Malaysia. Besides, getting a 4k rig doesn't mean that it's value never change....let's say 3k rig would not be so hurt in both your heart and pocket when you see the price drop on hardware.....

Well, here it is.....3k rig of the month (price list taken from pc-zone):

  • CPU: AMD Phenom X4 9550 2.2GHz - RM 460
  • RAM: 2GB DDR2 800MHz * 2 - RM 240
  • HDD: Western Digital 640GB SATA - RM 255
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H - RM 310
  • Graphic Card: Gainward HD3870 512MB DDR3 - RM350
  • Optical Drive: LG DVDRW 20X SATA (H80N) - RM 90
  • Monitor: Acer 19" LCD (X193W) - RM 585
  • Speaker: Edifier M1350 2.1 - RM 80
  • PSU: HEC Ace power 480W - RM290
  • Casing: Lian-Li PC-7 - RM 220 (Get it from ATE)

Total Amount : RM 2880

And that leaves around RM 120 for your other accessories such as keyboard or webcam~~ But i doubt you can get both.

Anyway....Let me explain the reason I recommend the components :

  1. I think the phenom x4 performs quite well for it's price compared to Intel C2Q Q6600 (last time i checked it's rm 620). Here it says that phenom 9600 would be about 14% slower than Q6600. 9600 and 9550 have difference of 100 MHz so let just assume it is 16% slower than Q6600. As of now Q6600 is priced 34% more than 9550. So which 1 do you think is more value for $$?
  2. RAM prices are getting cheap so I think you should get the most out of 3k. I use Kingston because it's cheap...and RAM doesn't affect performance significantly as CPU.Since the RAM is 4gb I guess you would have to get vista 64 bit to use all the RAM.
  3. HDD price are getting low and you can get more space out of your money. I choose that WD 640GB cause it offer the best price/space ratio (RM 0.39/1GB).
  4. Most reviews says that it's a good mb and it's got onboard gc...quite useful when ur GC suddenly broke down, plus , it also saves electricity by powering down your gc and shift the load to the IGP (integrated graphic processor a.k.a. onboard gc) when your in the windows doing task that doesn't need gc (such as web browsing or office task).
  5. You read it's DDR3 not DDR4....personally i don't think that's much of an impact on performance though (please correct me if i'm wrong~) and it's very cheap at rm 350 only.
  6. With that GC I guess you can only play at that monitor resolution(1440*900) though......but with all the eye candys~
  7. This psu should provide enough juice to power up your got 4 sata power port to boot also.
  8. I recommend the Lian Li PC-7 cause it's made of aluminium. Yup...ALUMINIUM. Better heat dissipation, lighter compared to stainless steel. So you don't have to worry too much about the heat inside yout PC.

Hope you all like my recommendation. Please comment if your got diferrent view.

IMHO Bang for the Buck Laptop of The Month

I recently come across a laptop manufactured by Acer, model number 4530G, priced RM 1899.

Processor: AMD Turion 64 X2 RM-70 / 2.0 GHz ( Dual-Core )
Cache Memory: 1 MB, L2 cache
RAM: 1 GB (installed) / 4 GB (max), DDR II SDRAM, 667 MHz
Card Reader: 5 in 1
Hard Drive: 160 GB
Optical Storage: DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM, integrated
Display: 14.1" TFT 1280 x 800 ( WXGA ), 24-bit (16.7 million colors), CrystalBrite
Graphics Controller: NVIDIA GeForce 9100M G
Networking: Network adapter, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
Wireless NIC: Acer InviLink 802.11b/g
Notebook Camera: Integrated , 0.3 Megapixels

IMO , this laptop seems to offer the best value considering it's specs. It is powered by 2 GHz AMD Turion CPU (comparable to Intel pentium dual core 1.83GHz),  with an integrated geforce 9100 gpu (some people said that's it's comparable to a discrete geforce 8400G gpu).

For the 3dmarks score, here is it:

3Dmark 03 : 3393
3DMark 06 : 1415

For such a price you can get a good gpu, sufficient to play newer games at low resolution, or older games at medium, it is truly a bang for the buck. 

Please refer here for a more detailed review

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My First Step into Blogging~~~

I make this blog in the hope that i can express my views on pc and laptop. Nowadays most people will read before they buy something, so....this blog to provide guides or tips on the hardware sector as to make your understand more about computer hardware. Hope you guys and girls like this blog~