Hot Lots

Or how we realized that 5 people is a majority…

It’s been a busy week! Multiple GPU launches, a bunch of leaks/announcements from AMD & friends, a few product reviews, and a new lineup of Intel Xeons. Let’s get started!

Hynix put out a press release this week detailing some of the benefits of it’s new JEDEC compliant DDR4 memory modules. Notably they’re claiming and 80% increase in data rate over DDR3 1333 at a voltage of 1.2V and planning on volume production in H2 2012. DDR4 isn’t set to go main stream for quite some time, but it’s nice to see that, at the very least, it will be a very well baked technology by the time it pops out of the Fabs.

Matthias Waldhauer posted a link to AMD’s software optimization guide for their upcoming Bulldozer processor. It seems that AMD has released almost all of the details of it’s new architecture to the world and after quickly skimming it some of the features are mildly impressive. Let’s hope AMD matches it’s new chip with a decent marketing campaign, maybe something like this video.

Adam Overa of Tom’s Hardware did a browser performance comparison this week with, almost inconceivably, Mircosoft’s IE9 coming out on top. Firefox was noted for being a rock solid browser and Chrome was lauded for it’s large performance increase do to it’s last update. Although the most useful part of the comparison was the categorical breakdown of the winners and losers by test type. Whatever your opinion may be on these browsers, at the very least we can say that the latest crop of browsers are light years ahead of that undead monster called IE6.

Intel launched it’s new E7 Xeon processor line up this week. Johan De Gelas had a very extensive breakdown of the new product offerings Intel is planning on bringing to market with it’s new E7’s and E3’s. S|A’s own David Morgan takes the cake for best explanation of the new, rather visually abrasive, naming scheme. Intel’s rolled out it’s latest generation of server chips, let’s see if AMD responds with some price cuts. If they don’t then the server market’s about to get a whole lot less interesting until Q3.

After almost a quarter without a permanent CEO and a lot of speculation it seems that AMD may be looking to announce it’s new leader during it’s Q1 conference call. Many people questioned the wisdom of AMD’s board of directors when they removed Dirk Meyer in early January, and it seems we’ll only know whether or not it was the right decision after the new CEO is at the reigns for atleast year.

Nvidia looks to be fleshing out it’s 5 series line up lately with the launches of the GTX 550 Ti, GT 530, and new leaks about it’s upcoming GT 520. Nvidia hasn’t been positioning it’s desktop products very well on the price/performance scale lately, but it will interesting to see if they continue this trend, and even more interesting if AMD will follow the new pricing structure, as they seem to be doing, that Nvidia’s laying out.

AMD announced to much fanfare this week the first shipments of it’s A-series “Llano” APU. At this point it seems AMD is planning a May launch, followed by Bulldozer in June. Techreport started another poll this week asking where it’s readers thought Llano could have the biggest effect on the market. It seems that the mobile segment, where AMD is relatively weak at the moment, looks to have the biggest upside from the Llano launch with 50% of the vote. Whatever the case, leaks should start abounding soon, so watch for benchmarks from the far east.

Unreal put out a little video on Kotaku highlighting some of the new graphical features that DX11 update has to offer. It seems like DX11 is finally starting to go mainstream, we’ll just have to wait and see what the Unreal licensees will do the new graphical option the engine update offers them. In related news the PC Gaming Alliance has declared that PC is winning the gaming war, are you surprised?

Shane Baxtor of Tweaktown was lucky enough to get his hands on Sapphire’s version of AMD’s new Radeon HD 6790. It seems the card fared a bit better, in terms of power consumption and noise than, its 6870 reference board based kin. Although, as many other reviewers pointed out, $150 is just a bit too much for this very competitive market segment.

Here’s my pick for best April fools misinformation, which I’ve sent to all my Chess obsessed friends, Chess V1.01.While letting pawns move diagonally backwards is completely ridiculous, I’m not sure it manages to out do last year’s mock-Bulldozer preview at AMDzone, but I know I’ll be forcing my friends to play with the new rules… Oh, and I would like to take this opportunity to announce that S|A is following Google’s lead and rolling out Comic Sans as our default font type in the near future… or, maybe not. S|A

Editor’s note: This is patently untrue.  Expect our page to be transitioned to the ransom font early next week.

*If any of this offended and/or annoyed you, feel free to fight it out in the comments below. Thank you.

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Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.