Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "amd"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Small Form Factor PC Plugs Directly Into Wall Outlet

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"AMD is apparently using the LiveBox Mini to showcase its lineup of low-power sipping APUs, as the company doesn't typically build or design complete systems. Perhaps this is somewhat of a form factor blueprint for computer manufacturers to follow."

Now here is something a little different. Imagine you want a small form factor PC but don't really want even a small PC to sit on your desk. How about one that plugs directly into an outlet? This small unit features 1 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD. It also boasts two USB ports, HDMI output, Ethernet port, memory card slot and SIM card slot. Hit the Read link to see a short video clip of it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Intel Panther: Support for Native USB and 3 Displays

Posted by Steven McPherson in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 AM

"According to the seemingly authentic slide above that we've just obtained, it looks like the company's forthcoming Panther Point chipset will indeed include native USB 3.0 as previously rumored, along with support for both Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge processors, and support for up to three displays."

The new Intel Panther Point chip sounds amazing but while Intel is just confirming native USB 3.0 support AMD is in the process of shipping their new Fusion Hub chip set which provides native USB support. The new Panther Point will have native support for up to three displays, high speed storage, Ivy and Sandy Bridge CPU support. AMD might just have their hands full with Intel's new chip set even though they are already shipping their new processors.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Options For Your HTPC! It's Exciting!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"If you’re in the market for a mini HTPC that won’t break the bank and will provide performance on par to high-end entertainment PCs from just a few years back, you’re probably scratching your head wondering which platform should I buy? On the one hand, you have the proven and popular Intel Atom D525 with NVIDIA ION 2 graphics. On the other, you have AMD’s new E-350 APU, which combines the CPU and GPU on one chip."

By the way things have played out, Intel has never really seemed that interest in the low cost market. While they have had great succcess with the Atom, it has always seemed to me like that never put that much effort into it. Since its original release, there have been a few updates, but with marginal performance improvements and power consumption reduction. It seems like the Atom is the unwanted child in a family of Core i3s, i5s and i7s. Now with AMD finally getting into the market for high performance low powe CPUs, Intel will either have to innoveate, or watch their market share dwindle even more than it already has.

Tags: hardware, htpc, amd, e-350

Monday, March 21, 2011

Doing the Driver Update; Does it Make a Difference?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM,2872.html

"But have we really seen enhanced “power, performance, and reliability”? We are accustomed to seeing very small improvements in performance from one software update to the next. If every driver provides a performance bump, there should be a big difference between the first driver that supported the 5870 and the one AMD blogged about last month, right?"

While the easiest way to see a performance jump in your 3D gaming is through the purchase of bigger, better, badder hardware, diligent driver updates can also help. Tom's Hardware runs a thorough test with the hotness from last year to see just how much of a difference you can expect. While I do not think the figures will directly translate to their other cards, I do believe that regardless of which GPU you are packing, up-to-date drivers will improve things. The only concern to me is bloat. Driver updates help with performance often because of optimizations, sometimes even on individual games. All that optimization data takes up space. The installers for video card drivers and its associated software is often in the 90-100MB range, and that is compacted. Do you keep your drivers fresh, or only update them when something goes wrong?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: A Review of Low Cost CPUs

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 PM,2859.html

"Indeed, game performance is what this article is all about. Up until now, AMD's Phenom II X4 and Athlon II X3/X4 processors have vigorously defended their status as value-packed engines in inexpensive gaming systems using sub-$200 price tags. Between June of last year and now, we've seen AMD add a couple hundred megahertz to each price point. Yes, we like more performance without a corresponding rate-hike. But the company is competing with architectural updates that make a far more profound impact on performance."

It looks like AMD might have some challenges ahead of itself. With the release of Sandy Bridge, Intel has some low cost CPUs that appear to compete fairly well against AMD's budget options. This just happens to coincide with AMD now being able to offer a comparable, if not better product to Intel's Atom line of CPUs. Fortunately, there is time and room for AMD to fashion a counter-attack and all the while, it serves to keep PC gaming alive for those with limited funds.

Monday, February 28, 2011

How The E-350 Stacks Up

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:30 AM

"I'll admit it. We are about to commit a terrible crime against the holy writ of product segmentation. We're about to consider the merits of AMD's Brazos and Intel's Pine Trail—incredibly small, low-power, and inexpensive PC platforms—versus a whole range of full-grown desktop CPUs, a ridiculously unfair and inappropriate endeavor if ever there was one."

The results that Tech Report posts should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. It should be obvious to almost anyone that the AMD E-350 will not be able to really compete against the likes of the latest generation desktop processors; it was never designed to. It does show that AMD finally has something with which to compete against Intel with its Atom CPU. Paired with a stronger GPU, it also means that Intel has some challenges in front of it, and its relationship with NVidia has become much more important. Sure, Intel might think that higher powered GPU is overkill right now, but it definitely seems to becoming an increasingly important part of computing. Especially with GPGPU acceleration becoming much more commonplace.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reviewing the AMD Radeon 6950 1GB

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:00 PM

"The new Radeon HD 6950 1GB video card is actually a "partner driven" video card, and not a new GPU from AMD. The Radeon HD 6950 1GB video card uses the same GPU as the Radeon HD 6950 2GB which has been out for a few months now, the only difference is half the RAM capacity. This reduction in RAM capacity means the video card will be priced cheaper, but still have the same punch as the Radeon HD 6950 2GB video card."

It makes me wonder how there video cards that have more RAM than some people's computers. I am not sure if that is telling of how long some people hold on to their computers, or the state of just how high end the enthusiast market is. When it comes to high performance gaming, I wonder whether these value models are worth it. When you are already spending $250 or more on a video card, why not go all the way? Chances are, you have already spent thousands of dollars on your rig, what is an extra $50 or $100?

Monday, January 31, 2011

AMD's 5 Watt CPU Wants to Be In Your Next Windows Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:53 PM

Engadget has a brief news item that says AMD has a 5 watt version of their Fusion APU (that's a CPU plus a GPU for those of you who haven't been paying attention lately) designed for x86 tablets. Meaning, tablets and slates running Windows. With Microsoft's move to port Windows to ARM, is AMD too late? I don't think so - there's a pressing need for low-power hardware to run Windows in a variety of form factors, and x86 compatibility it still critical for application use. What I haven't seen anyone do yet is do a power consumption comparison between AMD's new low-power APUs and the comparable offering from Intel in the form of an Atom CPU and an Intel HD GPU. I'd guess AMD would win that, but I'd like to know for sure. Anyone seen anything like that yet?

Think Small. Think Brazos.

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"It wasn’t too long ago that we were shocked by $699 desktop PCs, but to now be able to get a fully functioning portable PC with display at below $300 is impressive. In order for the profit equation to work out however, you can’t simply scale down a larger chip - you need an architecture targeted specifically at the type of very light workloads you expect to encounter in these segments."

The Mini-ITX form factor has never really been given much love. When most people buy desktop computers, many tended to favor bigger, boxier sizes. Maybe it is the availability, upgradibility or price of the bigger brothers that make them more attractive, but Mini-ITX is still alive and well, and with advances in tech, still your likely best solution for that tiny HTPC you have been dreaming about.

So far though, it does not look like you will get any significant jump by going AMD, but any improvement is welcome. And HTPCs are not the only use for these wee boards. People have taken to trying to cram the Mini-ITX into as many creative spaces as possible from old clocks to power supply cases. Computers do not have to come in boring boxes!

Monday, January 24, 2011

AMD Wants To Get Embedded With eBrazos

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"Wednesday, AMD launched its G-series platform, codenamed eBrazos, for embedded systems. In calling the G-series an "embedded" part, AMD is using the term the same way that Intel does: to designate systems that fall outside the scope of the traditional PC market. (Examples include point-of-sale terminals, slot machines, kiosk systems, digital signs, industrial controls, and so on.)"

The CPU battle does not only exist on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. There are a wide range of other electronics that use CPUs, ARM or x86 based, that we interact with almost on a daily basis. It looks like the competition is heating up in the embedded space and AMD is making its play with the super-mega-ultra-powerful-all-in-one chips that it calls APUs. I am not really sure if there is any real difference between these and those that end up in more traditional consumer spaces, but it looks like the the next year is going to see a serious boost the basic configuration for x86 based computers.

Tags: hardware, amd, ebrazos

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Behold AMD's Beauty That is the APU!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

"The low power Zacate and Ontario Series of APUs were launched yesterday with the higher-end Llano coming towards the middle of 2011. Announced back in September,the Zacate Series is comprised of two APUs, the E240 and the E350 - the former being a single core 1.5GHz processor while the latter is a dual-core 1.6GHz APU. Both of these have a TDP of 18watts – which represents the maximum amount of power the cooling system requires."

I suppose it was inevitable; computing has been migrating towards kitchen-sink-on-a-chip technology for many years now. The fact that many computing tasks have somewhat peaked has not helped the situation either. Going back two or more decades, I remember where computers had a separate CPU, FPU, video card, sound card, I/O card and drive controller. The FPU was quickly merged in with the CPU, along with I/O functions (anyone remember the days when the 16550 UART was coveted for high *cough* speed dial-up connections?) and the drive controller. Then sound and video got integrated into the motherboard as well. It seems that the whole family residing on the motherboard is not enough anymore, and it all pretty much needs to be packed into a single chip. There are some benefits, of course, as it allows for better performance and smaller computers with less power draw, but I think I will miss the days when I was able to pick and choose what parts went into my computer.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AMD's Llano APU Brings the Firepower

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 PM

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It's true in sports, just as it is in technology. An accelerated processing unit (APU) is more than just a CPU + GPU. Much more. And, AMD Fusion is more than just a technology product supported by software and hardware vendors. AMD Fusion is about an entire ecosystem changing the computing landscape as we know it."

I've been hearing about AMD's combination CPU/GPU since mid 2008 and it's finally becoming a reality - well, sometime in 2011 at least. The performance looks impressive, so as long as the power consumption and heat are held in check, this could be an impressive piece of hardware.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Toms Hardware Looks At AMD's New Bulldozer and Bobcat Chips

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM,2724.html

"Ahead of its most significant processor redesign since 2003, AMD is talking about its Bulldozer and Bobcat architectures, both of which are expected in 2011. Will AMD be able to catch up, or even surpass Intel's lead? The future looks interesting, indeed. Seven years have passed since AMD first launched its K8 "Hammer" microarchitecture, which was updated three years ago by K10. Brand new, the Athlon 64 processors based on K8 kicked ass and took names, flying past Intel's Pentium 4 processors to become enthusiast favorites. But the performance landscape changes quickly, and Intel is notorious for feverish comebacks when it's in second position. The company's Core microarchitecture shifted favor back toward Intel in 2006, and that is where it has remained for the past four years"

The battle between Intel and AMD has raged for many years with each company gaining ground then losing it. Recently Intel chips seem to have the advantage on a performance level and this is something AMD are planning to change with the forthcoming release of their new chips. Toms Hardware have produced a nice review of where the technologies are now, and where AMD plans to go with the new chips to try and take the lead that Intel currently hold.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dell Studio XPS 7100 Features AMD Vision Technology

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:49 PM

"Announced today, the Dell Studio XPS 7100 is one of the first desktops available to support the powerful AMD Phenom II X6 six-core processor with AMD Turbo Core technology, as well as available quad-core Athlon II processors, for incredibly fast HD media creation, advanced multimedia capabilities, multi-tasking and immersive 3D gaming experiences. With six-core processor power starting at US$699, the Studio XPS 7100 offers exceptional multitasking performance and features a cutting edge, tilt-back design in premium Carbide Silver color."

Dell has traditionally been a mostly Intel-focused OEM, with only a few minor products using AMD chips on the consumer side. I've always felt that was a shame, because while I tend to prefer Intel CPUs for performance reasons, there are plenty of products that aren't so performance-focused and using AMD CPUs would allow Dell to sell the products at a slightly lower price. Oh, and because Dell is so Intel-focused, they've tended to offer craptastic Intel integrated graphics when a similarly-priced system from another OEM using AMD chips would typically offer a decent integrated ATI GPU.

This XPS 7100 is a prime example of that lower price model in action; a six-core CPU system starting at $699 US? Wowzers - that's some great pricing! They've added a power supply with some extra headroom (460 watts) so customers can upgrade their graphics down the road, and with up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to 4 TB of storage, this system has some decent headroom. I wonder though, will it sound like a tornado under heavy load? I purchased an XPS system last year and ended up returning it to Dell because whenever I did anything even slightly CPU intensive, it became quite loud. Oh, and I couldn't overclock it at all. How does the Dell Studio XPS 7100 look to you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

10 Things To Know About AMD's New Mobile Chips

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:30 PM,281...,2363660,00.asp

"It's no secret that AMD has fallen well behind Intel in the mobile CPU space, but the company intends to make up major ground by launching its first Phenom triple-core and quad-core processors for laptops. There will be new dual-core and single-core CPUs as well, continuing the Turion and Athlon brands, only they're followed by the number "II." Here are ten facts that you'll need to know about the new chips..."

I used to be a big fan of AMD CPUs, but over the past couple of years I've found myself scratching my head at their CPUs in the mobile space - it's like they don't quite get that power consumption is a critical component of mobile computing. Take the HP dv2 from early 2009 for example: a nice notebook by all accounts, but the dual-core AMD Neo CPU at 1.6 Ghz in it slurped down 18 watts of power. Read more...

Friday, March 5, 2010

AMD Announces 890GX Chipset, New Integrated Graphics

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM,2360822,00.asp

"AMD isn't showing all the cards in its hand yet, but it's now giving us a better idea of the plays it's intending to make. The company officially announced today its new top-of-the-line 890GX chipset and Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics, which together offer a broad range of support for speed- and visuals-enhancing technologies that may make properly equipped motherboards prime foundations for either home theater or high-end systems."

With its built in Radeon HD 4290, Unified Video Decoder 2, and support for the latest AMD CPUs, these motherboards could be the basis for a nice home theater PC. SATA 3.0 is supported and USB 3.0 is an option for the motherboard manufacturers. If you need serious video performance 2 16 PCIe slots are included so you can pop in two higher end graphics cards. All in all, a nice option from anyone considering an AMD based system.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Core i3 and Athlon II, Where Value is King

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 12:00 PM

"For one, Clarkdale CPUs have proliferated everywhere, and we've gotten our hands on one model, the Core i3-530, that promises to be a much better value than the relatively high-end Core i5-661 that we first reviewed. To counter, AMD has introduced five new value-oriented CPUs, ranging from two cores to four, including the Athlon II X4 635, a potent value quad-core priced directly opposite the Core i3-530."

The two CPU giants are battling it out again, this time in the lower cost segment of the industry. Both CPUs run great, and each have their own advantages which highlight the recent trends each manufacturer has been following. AMD tends to favor great value and performance, while Intel offers better power consumption and overclocking. What is even more interesting is that The Tech Report was able to borrow a Pentium 4 computer from a museum to see how it would compare. The results reveal two interesting facts. First,per CPU performance has not significantly improved over the past few years and has instead improved speeds through more cores. Second, and perhaps more importantly, power consumption for work done has gone down considerably. This would certainly explain why I see so many aging computers around. They still have the oomph to handle all but the more demanding tasks. Now I do not feel so bad for gifting some of my older computers away! What are you using? The latest and greatest, or does your computer still have Turbo button?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

AMD Launches New Budget CPUs

Posted by Jon Childs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

"AMD is launching a bevy of new processors today, targeted squarely at budget conscious consumers, looking to save a few bucks on the their next PC build. The new processors differ from previous offerings in their respective product families in terms of frequency, and of course their model names, but all are based on existing architectures and technology."

Anyone looking for an affordable new CPU got some good news recently. AMD launched their fastest dual core and quad core CPUs to date. With the top of the line dual core coming in at $99 and the top of the line quad core coming in at $119, they both provide a nice bang for the buck. Hothardware takes a look at AMD's latest offerings and they seem quite impressed with the value of both processors. The quad core chip gives the Intel Core i5-661 a run for its money at a much lower price. AMD probably won't be able to match Intel at the very top of the line, but they do provide a tempting option for those looking to save a few bucks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tom's Hardware Compares Four Quad-Core Architectures At 2.8 GHz

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:00 AM,2499.html

"AMD and Intel are relentless when it comes to diversifying their respective CPU portfolios across every possible corner of the processor market where someone might want to spend money. The good news is that these efforts give us lots of technology options across the entire price spectrum. But buyers who don't follow the daily cadence of processor development couldn't possibly know whether Core i7 or Core 2 Quad is the newer product, or how these compare to AMD's own line of obscurely-named models. In some ways, it doesn't matter which chips were launched most-recently. The more important consideration might be which processor offers the best total performance relative to its peers, and one of the best ways to judge this is with a shoot-out at a given clock rate."

If you're up to date on the performance merits of each major CPU type, this article won't be a shocker - but if you're not a hardcore CPU geek and are curious about where each of the major chips from Intel and AMD rank in relation to each other, this article is worth a read. I won't spoil the results for you, but it boils down to this: if performance matters to you more than money, buy an Intel chip. If the reverse is true, buy an AMD chip.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

AMD Offers Laptop Triple Threat

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"AMD's offering would be the first triple-core processors available for laptops. AMD has been offering triple-core processors for desktops and offers only dual-core chips for laptops. Intel offers dual-core and quad-core chips for its laptops and desktops."

Upon hearing that AMD wants to give their mobile CPU offerings the triple core treatment, I had to wonder what the benefit would be. I have read a lot of reports showing that triple and quad core systems do not tend to benefit the consumer. However, reading the claims by AMD, their Danube based triple-core mobile goodness will also increase battery life, so I figure, why not? Much like how I believe that NVidia's ION platform is forward thinking in raising the bar for netbooks, the Danube based CPUs should raise the bar on what laptops offer, especially if it increases battery life. To be honest, I would be fine even if it did not help battery life. Advances in how we use computers is still dependant on having more and more horsepower to drive our applications. Sure, this is not quite as relevant as say, when CPUs were still clocked below 1Ghz, but knowing that consumers have plenty of oomph gives developers more options and frees them to use their imagination.

Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...