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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #261

    Anandtech: Netgear @ CES 2011

    Instead of the usual booth at CES, Netgear opted for private demo suites at the Marriot this time around. They also had a press conference on Tuesday, which I deliberately refrained from writing about because AnandTech is all about digging up the actual interesting news and doing the analysis right before getting it to the readers.


    I had covered some Netgear press releases about their powerline networking products and the NeoTV 550 last August. At CES, we have some refreshes on top of that list, as well as some updates on the NTV 550 front (which has already found its way into the hands of a small number of US customers). Without further ado, onto the details!



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    #262

    Anandtech: Anand Goes Hands On with Motorola's Atrix 4G Webtop

    Today I was finally able to spend some time with Motorola’s Atrix 4G and its webtop dock. For those of you who don’t know, earlier in the week Motorola announced its first Tegra 2 based smartphone: the Atrix 4G. Motorola later announced another Tegra 2 based smartphone, the Droid Bionic, however the Atrix 4G is its flagship smart/superphone.


    Equipped with a full GB of memory and 16GB of NAND, the Tegra 2 based Atrix 4G has one very unique feature: it can be docked into a custom ultra thin notebook chassis and used to drive the notebook.

    Read on for Anand's take on the setup.



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    #263

    Anandtech: Lucid Enables Quick Sync with Discrete Graphics on Sandy Bridge

    If you read our Sandy Bridge Review you’ll know that we were very excited about Intel’s Quick Sync hardware transcode engine. It easily offers at least twice the performance of existing GPU based transcoding solutions without sacrificing image quality. There’s just one little problem: you can’t use Quick Sync you're using a discrete GPU, you need to use Intel's processor graphics.


    Lucid presented a potential solution to the problem at this year’s CES. Through software alone, Lucid is able to copy the frame buffer from a discrete PCIe GPU to the frame buffer of SNB’s HD Graphics in main memory. The result is that you can hook a single monitor up to your motherboard’s video output and use a discrete GPU when you want it. Lucid’s technology would enable switchable graphics on the desktop, without any hardware requirements (it still obviously won’t work on P67, shame on Intel).

    To demonstrate the technology Intel ran an H67 motherboard with a GeForce GTX 480. Lucid’s software was installed which allowed for the GTX 480 to run and its frame buffer output to be copied to main memory and sent out via Intel’s Flexible Display Interface through the DVI port on the back of the motherboard.

    At the same time, Intel demonstrated that it could run a Quick Sync enabled transcode in Cyberlink’s Media Espresso 6 - all thanks to Lucid’s software.

    Lucid expects that there will only be a 1 - 3% impact in performance (although that’s something we’d have to see for ourselves), but there’s no firm date on when the driver will be available. I’m expecting a beta version of Lucid’s software in the coming weeks however.

    Motherboard manufacturers could bundle Lucid’s solution with their boards to avoid upsetting end users thanks to Intel’s Quick Sync oversight. There’s still no getting around the fact that you can’t overclock your CPU on H67 motherboards. You’ll still have to wait for Z68 to fix that problem.



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    #264

    Anandtech: Two CES-announced Android Phones: Huawei IDEOS X5 and Sony Xperia Arc

    There have been an almost overwhelming number of smartphone launches during this CES - which is a good thing. The whole team has been running around getting hands on time whenever possible in between meetings, and I've been doing the same all day. Two phones that I've been meaning to write about are the Huawei IDEOS X5 and Sony Xperia Arc.


    Read on for more about these two newly announced Android devices.



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    #265

    Anandtech: CES 2011: Toshiba's Tablet and Glasses-Free 3D

    We had a chance to visit with Toshiba on the CES 2011 show floor and were able to lay hands on their prototype Tegra 2-powered tablet along with checking out their upcoming lineup of notebooks, including a remarkably innovative glasses-free 3D model that uses a lenticular display.




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    #266

    Anandtech: CES 2011: Motorola Xoom & NVIDIA Tegra 2: The Honeycomb Platform

    Motorola Xoom & NVIDIA Tegra 2: The Honeycomb Platform

    The two biggest announcements at CES 2011? Intel’s Sandy Bridge and pretty much everything NVIDIA talked about at its press conference (as well as the MS Windows 8/ARM announcement which I’ll discuss later).

    NVIDIA finally got to talk about Project Denver as well as show off its first Tegra 2 based smartphones. The LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix 4G and Droid Bionic will all be shipping in the next 2 months and all of them use NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 SoC.


    The Android tablet market is another focus for Tegra 2. A little known fact is that Tegra 2 is the reference SoC for Honeycomb, the official Android release for tablets. Being selected by Google is another huge boon for NVIDIA’s Tegra business, although from the looks of it we’ll still see more Qualcomm based Honeycomb tablets than Tegra 2 solutions by the end of the year.



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    #267

    Anandtech: Corsair Performance Series 3 SSD Benchmarks

    Corsair has traditionally been a very conservative player in the SSD space. It started by selling Samsung based drives and eventually moved to Indilinx (although far later than its chief competitors). With SandForce Corsair narrowed the time to market gap, but it was still late. Not this time however.

    As Dustin mentioned in his CES coverage, Corsair has a new drive that it announced at the show: the Performance Series 3 SSD. Based on the same Marvell controller as Micron’s C300/C400 but with what Corsair tells us is a different firmware, the P3 is supposed to be very quick.


    Corsair had a pair of the 6Gbps drives on display at CES running on a Sandy Bridge platform. In RAID-0, the two 128GB P3 drives posted some impressive scores:


    Peaking at 878MB/s reads and 430MB/s writes, assuming linear scaling that would put the speed of a single P3-128 drive at 439MB/s and 215MB/s for sequential reads and writes, respectively. Real world performance obviously depends on much more than just raw sequential read/write speed, but this is a good start.


    The next wave of high end consumer SSDs will begin shipping this month, and I believe Corsair may be the first out the gate. Micron will follow shortly with its C400 and then we’ll likely see a third generation offering from Intel before eventually getting final hardware based on SandForce’s SF-2000 controllers in May.



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    #268

    Anandtech: Intel Insider: Sandy Bridge Gets 1080p High Bitrate Streaming

    In an attempt to ultimately raise its stock price, Intel is trying to shock and surprise investors by keeping details scarce on unannounced products. We saw the first example of this last year with Sandy Bridge. Intel was very late in disclosing architectural details, and it took a leak to even find out about Intel’s hardware transcode engine - arguably one of the biggest, tangible features of Sandy Bridge. I’m not a financial analyst nor do I have any influence on stock price, but this seems to be a strategy that ultimately won’t work. It’s not Apple’s withholding of information that results in its very healthy stock. If Intel wants to raise its share price it will ultimately have to do two things: 1) release killer technology, 2) put said technology to good use right away without waiting on its partners to do so.


    We are seeing examples of this in the market already. Intel’s Wireless Display technology leverages Intel hardware with Intel developed software. Intel Insider, is another, more recent example.



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    #269

    Anandtech: Seagate GoFlex Mac & Thin @ CES 2011

    I met with Seagate briefly at the show and it gave me an update on additions to its drive lineup. Unfortunately there still are no updates to the Momentus XT. It remains as the only Hybrid HDD in Seagate’s lineup. I’m disappointed as I was hoping to at least see one update to the drive by now. As you may remember from our review the Momentus XT is easily the fastest desktop HDD on the market in real world usage, although it still can’t compete with SSDs.


    The GoFlex Desk I reviewed not too long ago is officially coming to the Mac platform and Apple stores with the GoFlex Desk for Mac. There are only two differences between this version and what I reviewed. The first is the color of the chassis, the Mac version is a Mac-like silver vs. the standard black. The second difference is the drive will come formatted with a HFS+ partition, allowing Mac users to use it with Time Machine.



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    #270

    Anandtech: CES 2011: Intel WiDi 2.0 Brings New Media Extenders

    One major feature of mobile Sandy Bridge is support for Intel WiDi 2.0. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, WiDi 2.0 uses SNB’s Quick Sync engine to encode, in real time, the frame buffer and send it over 802.11n to a compatible WiDi receiver attached to your TV. The WiDi receiver decodes the content and displays your mobile desktop on whatever TV you have attached to the WiDi receiver, wirelessly. All you need is a SNB laptop with an Intel WiFi controller. Unlike wireless HDMI, the cost is much lower since you’re relying on the host CPU to do the video encoding. All you have to pay for is the cost of the WiDi receiver.

    With the original WiDi, Netgear was the only company that made a WiDi receiver. The receiver was fine but generally it’s nice to see more than one company offering a technology. This time around Intel plans to have many more partners with WiDi receivers. At CES last week Intel had a D-Link WiDi receiver hooked up to a SNB notebook:


    Sandy Bridge WiDi also supports HDCP and 1080p, so you can now stream Blu-ray content from a SNB notebook to a TV connected via WiDi.



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