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 "nvidia"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Boxee's Switch from Nividia's Tegra to Intel CE4100

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 02:05 PM

"The Boxee Box announced at the 2010 CES was based on the Tegra 2. In a post made on my personal blog right after the CES announcement, I had expressed my reservations on how it would be foolhardy to expect the same sort of performance from an app-processor based device as what one would expect from a dedicated media streamer or HTPC. Just as suspected, Boxee had to replace Tegra 2 with a much more powerful SoC. After evaluating many solutions, Boxee and D-Link decided to choose the Atom based Intel CE4100 for the Boxee Box."

A great article on the Boxee Box and how the switch from NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chip to the Intel CE4100 will enable the Boxee Box to really deliver on a high-quality experience in terms of hardware-assisted playback of HD video content. Will the software measure up? My Magic 8 Ball says "It's looking likely". Let's hope that's the case!

Monday, September 13, 2010

NVidia Fermi's Up The GTS 450

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

"In any case, the star of the show today is GTS 450, the newest member of the GeForce family and intended for gaming at resolutions around 1680x1050. It’s clocked at 783MHz for the core, 1566MHz for the shaders, and 902MHz (3.6GHz effective) for its GDDR5 RAM. Currently it’s only being offered in a 1GB configuration; however we wouldn’t be shocked to see a 512MB part further down the line at even more budget-oriented prices."

I find it depressing that I find many computers that have less RAM than the GTS 450 has Video RAM. It does make sense, after a fashion, as GPUs are just as complex as CPUs (if not more) and the demands placed on them are just as high, especially when it comes to gaming or parallel processing. I have to admit that one thing that really baffles me is the whole video card market. There seems to be a video card for just about every price point, some only differentiated by $10. From $50 to $500, there are maybe a score of different models from each manufacturer vying for your attention. How is an informed computer buyer supposed to make a choice when there are more video cards to pick from than tickets sold for the New York Lotto?

Monday, August 2, 2010

NVIDIA's New Optimus Interface

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

Transparency and customization are good things in any application. This looks pretty neat in that the GPU will stay powered down until software recognizes that it is needed. Watch the video and click over to the NVIDIA Blog for details.

Tags: hardware, nvidia

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nvidia's $500 Graphics Behemoth: The GTX 480 and GTX 470 Demoed at PAX East 2010

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:44 PM

"Let's get the hard data out of the way first: 480 CUDA cores, 700 MHz graphics and 1,401MHz processor clock speeds, plus 1.5GB of onboard GDDR5 memory running at 1,848MHz (for a 3.7GHz effective data rate). Those are the specs upon which Fermi is built, and those are the numbers that will seek to justify a $499 price tag and a spectacular 250W TDP. We attended a presentation by NVIDIA this afternoon, where the above GTX 480 and its lite version, the GTX 470, were detailed. The latter card will come with a humbler 1.2GB of memory plus 607MHz, 1,215MHz and 1,674MHz clocks, while dinging your wallet for $349 and straining your case's cooling with 215W of hotness."

Like the Engadget guys, I was in the audience for this presentation and I can tell you first-hand the card has some serious firepower. It's almost enough to excuse the forehead smack-inducing "Crank that S#!t Up" tagline—almost. Nvidia's Drew Henry showed off the new card's ability to run games in 3D just about as smoothly as their 2D counterparts. And he showed them on 3 humungous screens in the main auditorium. Henry stated that the general direction of the entertainment industry was heading towards 3D as evidenced by the recent popularity of Avatar, and he said he wanted Nvidia to lead the PC graphics industry down this path. He also showed off the GTX 480's ability to do ray tracing in near-real time. I say near-real time, because the card couldn't always keep up with the gloss it was asked to render. In the included application, Design Garage, the user is given a number of cars to customize and explore in a variety of lighting conditions using ray tracing. But setting the bloom to full and the details to high or, ahem, cranking that s#!t up, produced amazing photo-realistic results after a short re-render. Read more...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Behold The Next Generation NVIDIA ION; Next Generation Overkill for your Netbook!

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

"To do this, NVIDIA is relying on the Next-Generation NVIDIA ION. That is the official name of their latest netbook platform. Not NVIDIA ION 2 or NVIDIA ION FX, but a rather mouthful "Next-Generation NVIDIA ION". NVIDIA decided on this nomenclature because they feel it's more retail-friendly - folks who buy netbooks are not tech-savvy and such descriptive names would resonate better, or so their theory goes."

The Next Generation NVIDIA ION is not the platform you are looking for. It provides way too much power with far too many compromises for it to be a viable solution for a netbook. It may provide hardware video acceleration, but why pay so much more when a cheap HD accelerator chip can do the trick? It may allow you to make full use of Windows 7's fancy user interface, but you just want very basic computing, right? It may even give you the ability to play a wider variety of games, but who wants to play games on a netbook? You should be happy with a low powered, basic netbook. The power of Intel compels you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

ION2 Nettops Make Small Work Of Desktop Computing

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 PM

"It’s time to put that credit card back in your wallet, if you’re thinking about buying an HD capable nettop to function as your living room’s HTPC. Shuttle has just announced that they will be debuting the Shuttle Barebone XS35 Mini-PC, featuring Intel’s Atom D510 1.6Ghz dual core processor and NVIDIA GT218 (ION 2) graphics, at CeBIT 2010 (release date: Q2 2010)."

I am sure that we are going to see more of these being announced in the coming weeks. While the Atom still will not break any speed records, a dual core machine with HD acceleration, boosted video processing and the capability of light gaming should make this a very attractive option. Surprisingly, this nettop is even passively cooled! Hopefully the price will be consistent with other nettops making it the defacto choice for someone who really just needs a computer that will handle their everyday tasks for a pittance of power.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Intel Says Netbooks Should Not Be So Powerful

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:30 AM

"NVIDIA’s ION platform combines an Atom processor with NVIDIA GeForce graphics. The result is a computer platform that gives you notebooks and desktops with low power processors and the ability to handle 1080p HD video playback, Blu-Ray decoding, and a fair amount of 3D graphics processing for modern video games."

So Intel considers the ION platform as too much for the netbook platform. This certainly explains the incremental improvements seen in PineTrail. One the one hand, one could argue that Intel is just protecting their more profitable streams with the CULV line of CPUs. After all, Intel is a business, and they like profits. However, the idea that Intel is telling what I, the customer, wants and being put into a particular cubbyhole just rubs me wrong. The concept of a small, lightweight, powerful, long lasting computer appeals to be for some reason, and I see the NVIDIA ION as a step in that direction. It is the march of progress. I remember over a decade ago, the equivalent of the netbook, while really expensive, were considerably slower. The NVIDIA ION is just pushing the limits to what will be considered normal in a couple of years.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tegra 2 Details Coming At CES

Posted by Josh Sorenson in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM

"Full details regarding Tegra 2 are unknown, but it's expected to have roughly twice the power and graphical capabilities of the original and be based on 40nm processes. The current-gen Tegra is already capable of 1080p HD video; Hara says NVIDIA's goal is the desktop internet and media experience in a portable device:"

The first Tegra chip is mouth watering enough, but imagine a chip that can handle twice what the current Tegra does. That is just what Nvidia's Tegra 2 is rumored to do. They are set to release more details at CES 2010, including some demo products from their partners. The first half of next year will bring us tablet PCs, smartbooks, netbooks, and MIDs all powered by Tegra 2. Later down the line will we see a second generation Zune HD based off of the new chip? Or a Windows phone? Only time will tell on that one.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GPU Acceleration Comes to Flash via Nvidia ION Chipset

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 03:31 PM

"High-Def YouTube and Hulu video clips are coming to a netbook near you. High-def flash video is unwatchable on netbooks. Just try watching a Hulu video full-screen or a 720p video from YouTube on a netbook."

Flash performance has always been a problem - ask anyone who's used an older or slower computer to watch an HD-resolution Flash clip. It looks like a slide show, so this is great news - though I do have to wonder if they'll add this acceleration to other GPUs, especially the older Intel GMA series GPUs...those are the computers that really struggle with HD Flash video playback.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nvidia's Tegra Based Netbook

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 AM

""This is what we think a netbook should be," says Bill Henry. As the general manager of Nvidia's Mobile Internet Products (hint: driven by the Tegra chip), he's supposed to say stuff like that. So I roll my eyes a little. But after seeing a late prototype that's nearly ready for market and getting a little hands-on time with the Mobinnova N910, I'm inclined to agree."

What's not to like. Streaming HD...Check. Small size and weight...Check. Great battery life...Check. Low price...check. Plus, with the battery and rear ports are articulated, which is a new twist, that actually appears useful. That just leaves the question as to whether the release model will be as cool.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Intel Previews Upcoming Atom Developments

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 AM

"Intel renewed its netbook push Tuesday with the formal announcement of its next-generation Atom platform, codenamed Pine Trail. The details of Pine Trail, including the late 2009 launch date, had already been widely leaked, and today's disclosure provided little new information. But for those who haven't followed the Pineview leaks, I'll break down the details of what was announced."

Ars Technica provides a good glimpse on what we can expect from Intel in the netbook market over the coming months and to be honest, I have to say that I am disappointed. The changes Intel is making smells more of protecting their netbook marketshare instead of pushing for innovation. What really surprised me is how Intel is pricing their solution, making more powerful solutions such as the NVidia ION far more expensive. I was hoping that Intel would come up with something dazzling which would help shake up the netbook market, but now I think that the only netbooks I'll be considering or recommending for the next year will be those based on ION. While 3D performance is not required for most of what netbooks do now, I'm finding it becoming increasingly important. From casual games to Google Earth, the 3D boost is definately worth the extra power consumption.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NVIDIA CUDA Shows Practical Use

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:30 AM

"When NVIDIA went to a driver model that allowed consumers to update their notebook graphics drivers direct from NVIDIA, we enabled millions of notebook users to enjoy the benefits of our CUDA parallel computing architecture. One application that was released today that is a great example of how CUDA makes life better is vReveal from MotionDSP."

Up until now, most of what I had seen CUDA used for was enabling PhysX effects in gaming. This made sense since most computers with powerful (read: non-integrated) GPUs would be used for gaming at some point. This is the first use I've seen that makes CUDA more useful for your typical consumer. vReveal magically improves the quality, clarity and brightness of your videos. Instead of using traditional filters you would find in Photoshop or GIMP to do this, it takes the data from several frames to smooth and improve the current frame. If you watch the videos on the site, the effects can be quite dramatic. Getting back to CUDA, vReveal can technically run on any computer, but those with NVIDIA GPUs can see a several fold increase in speed because of CUDA. Unfortunately for most people who already have a laptop or desktop, I'm willing to bet its got an Intel integrated GPU. If you do a lot of video processing, this may just be the reason you need to get a new computer! That's a good reason, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Anandtech Previews The Nvidia ION

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:30 PM

"NVIDIA’s Ion comes in as an alternative two-chip solution. The GeForce 9400M is a single chip, the other chip is the Atom, the two make up Ion. You get a modern memory controller as well, supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 memory (up to DDR3-1066). Graphics performance is better than Intel and you get full HD video decode support."

Anandtech has their hands on an NVidia ION reference platform and put the wee board through a quick set of benchmarks and tests. NVidia ION looks like it will give netbooks a chance to be more than a light duty computer. The pairing makes it possible to watch Bluray movies and play games, albeit with very low settings. Currently, Atom based netbooks run off of the aging 945G chipset. While capable, it doesn't take advantage of advancements over the past few years like faster memory. The tests Anandtech go through shows how much the Atom is hobbled with its current partner. Is the potential enough to make you wait on your ultra-portable purchase?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

HP Firebird Takes Flight

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:30 PM

"What we’re bringing to the table is a performance PC that doesn’t suck energy, doesn’t dominate a room in terms of size, but does kick ass. The HP Firebird with Voodoo DNA strikes a balance that has never been struck before. It is deadly quiet, its innovations are truly revolutionary, and it brings energy efficiency to the performance PC space. We have effectively taken typical high performance PC hardware, shrunk it down, made it way more energy efficient, made it quieter (uhh, silent), kept it fully modular, and oh yeah, didn’t sacrifice performance or features that our customers demand. Basically, we took the gas-guzzling SUV and converted it into an energy efficient super car."

An Intel Core 2 Quad CPU, Nvidia Hybrid SLI Graphics and a water cooled system makes the HP Firebird a drool worthy computer. However, VoodooPC has worked the PC over into a slick package focused on someone who wants a reasonably powerful computer that can switch to extremely low power usage when it isn't tasked with heavy duties. While Rahul Sood doesn't give out many more specifics on the internals of this beast, much of which is custom built for the Firebird, some tidbits that caught my attention is that it draws 107 watts idle, and peaks at 233 watts. With energy prices rising, power consumption has become an obsession of mine, and 233 watts is far lower than most of my computers at home! And it is quiet at 30db too. No more whine while I plod away on spreadsheets and code. While the base model does come in at a hefty $1799, that is a fair price considering how much it would cost to build my own powerhouse. Excuse me while I go check to see if my wallet can handle the expense!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

NVIDIA Launches ION Graphics

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"NVIDIA has unveiled a new netbook platform that combines an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU with an Intel Atom CPU to dramatically boost graphics performance on low power machines like netbooks and nettops. We first heard that NVIDIA was working on something like this a week and a half ago, and now the company says machines built around the platform could be ready to ship in the first half of 2009."

Anyone that has a netbook or an ultraportable knows that Intel's integrated graphics, while capable for regular 2D applications, is really lacking when it comes to 3D performance. NVIDIA appears to want to change all of that, pairing a GeForce 9400M with the Intel Atom. The 9400M is still classified as an IGP, but it performs considerably better than any solution from Intel. Supposedly, this new marriage won't drain any more power than an Atom/GMA 950 pairing as well. The only disappointment is that it will add a noticable price jump to netbooks. The great benefit I see from all of this is that even the humble netbook will be capable of 3D performance. Sure, it won't match a high performance rig, but it means that developers can work on applications knowing that 3D and powerful media capabilities are available.

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...