A surprise guest dropped in on TPN in Last Vegas, Chris Pirillo, who was at CES with chip maker AMD. Pirillo starts out by talking a bit about the over-the-top setup at the AMD booth and then goes into a little about what the company is up to.
AMD has just launched new community and social initiatives. Pirillo also talks about the changing face of computers these days and how the concepts are evolving.
This was an impromptu interview and is a lot of fun to watch, plus there are a some interesting things that are touched on, albeit rather briefly.
Time to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting. Watch and see :) Lots of great commentary tonight. Times are a changing and it is going to be an amazing time to watch it all go down. I will be on the road for the next two weeks, will likely have guest hosts for the next two shows enjoy.
Today HP released two new desktop workstations designed specifically with professionals in mind. The new Z210 desktop comes in two form-factors; convertible mini-tower (CMT) and highly-compact small form-factor (SFF) for those of us who simply need a more space-saving solution.
As far as specs go, it looks like both models will be able to provide customers with the same hardware. Each can be configured with the Intel Xeon E3 and second gen. Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. We’ll also have a range of choices from AMD and NVIDIA for graphics capabilities. 2D and 3D options are both on the table with a 2D dual graphics card setup able to support up to 4 monitors at once for some serious screen space.
“Built for professionals, HP Z210 workstations with the new Intel Xeon processor E3 1200 family are changing the definition of the entry-level workstation,” said Anthony C. Neal-Graves, general manager, Workstation Unit, Intel Corporation. “This processor’s greatest innovation is how it integrates the CPU and graphics engines on the same die. That means visual and 3-D graphics capabilities that were once only available to entry workstation users with discrete graphics cards will now be accessible to anyone with an entry workstation powered by the Intel Xeon E3 family with Intel HD Graphics P3000.”
These new workstations are not only faster and more efficient; HP has gone to great lengths to reduce the workstations carbon footprint. In fact, users will have access to the HP Carbon Footprint Calculator which will help us reduce environmental impact and computing costs. They have also given each form-factor a tool free chassis for quick and easy maintenance.
The HP Z210’s are available right now with the CMT starting at $659 and the SFF coming in at $569 USD. If you’re interested in a more mobile solution you should check out HP’s new EliteBooks, landing next month.
HP today refreshed the EliteBook w-series line-up with three new models, the 8760w, 8560w and 8460w. Built on HP’s “FORGE” design framework that’s been seen before on the P-Series, these are industrially-designed with a brushed gunmental finish, strengthened glass touchpad and HP DisplaySafe frame. The laptops meet the MIL-SD 810G military standard for toughness meaning that these laptops should stand up to the rigours of business use.
Under the keyboard, it’s Intel’s Core i7 and i5 processors in dual and quad-core variants. The 8760w is HP’s most powerful laptop with a 17.3″ screen driven by either AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro graphics kitted out with up to 4 GB of video memory. There’s the option of three hard drives with RAID 5 support, another first for HP laptops, or “mobile workstations” as they seem to be called now.
The 8560w is the middle member of the family with a 15.6″ high definition screen, again driven by AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro graphics, though this time the video memory is restricted to 1 GB and 2 GB respectively.
Finally, the little sister is the EliteBook 8460w, HP’s smallest and lightest mobile workstation at only 2.2 kg (4.9 lb). Sporting a 14″ high definition screen with a 1 GB AMD FirePro, it offers performance video in a “road-warrior” package.
Both the 8760w and 8560w EliteBooks offer HP DreamColor as an option. Developed in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation, DreamColor displays are professional colour managed displays using true 30-bit colour, providing over 1 billion possible colours and a very wide colour gamut. Nice.
All the laptops will be available in the US in May and will be priced from $1899, $1349 and $1299 for the 8760w, 8560w and 8460w respectively.
Anyone who’s been around technology knows that over time you get more for less. Whether it’s more GB, more GHz, more pixels, it’s a side effect of Moore’s Law and market forces. You always pay a premium for the new stuff but over time the price falls.
Sometimes, it’s not always readily apparent how much it falls. Perhaps it’s because it’s often a year or two between purchasing whole new computers and you only really consider the total cost of the PC. Perhaps it’s because the latest OS consumes resources such that Windows 7 on a Core processor runs as well as Windows 98 on a Pentium III.
But recently I had the opportunity to really see how much prices fall over time. Back in June 2010, I built a PC from components and at the time I only had enough money for a dual core processor and 2 GB RAM (which is fine for running Linux). Last week I decided to upgrade to a quad core processor and 4 GB RAM. When I saw the prices, I couldn’t believe that they’d dropped so much.
June 2010 – 2 GB @ £37
Feb 2011 – 4 GB @ £31
The RAM prices are a direct comparison as it was exactly same memory module from the same vendor. For the CPU, it was the quad core version of the dual core in terms of clock speed and cache, though the vendor was different.
I can’t say exactly when or why the prices actually fell, but from an empirical point of view after about 9 months, the same amount of money seems to gets you twice as much RAM or twice as many cores.
David Politis of Xi3 Microcomputers ) presents the Xi3 Modular Computer. It is an extremely small form factor and operates on only 20 watts of power, yet contains a dual-core AMD Athlon x86 processor operating at 2 gigahertz. The standard model ships with 2 gigabytes of DDR 2 RAM and 8 gigabytes of solid SSD solid state drive memory.
The Xi3 is revolutionary in several different respects. Not only is the unit as small as possible, the motherboard is broken down into three modular, replaceable components. Thus it becomes possible to upgrade to the latest technologies such as USB 3.0 once it becomes widely available in the near future or to higher-performance future CPU processors.
Imagine the Xi3 as the heart of a high-performance, low-engergy-drain, absolutely silent-running Media Center PC. Since it’s x86 architecture running on a dual-core processor on a high-performance SSD drive it can easily boot Windows 7 Ultimate in 30 seconds flat.
AMD earlier announced a processor it hopes will challenge the Atom in the mobile space – the Fusion, which promises up to 10 hours of battery life. Now they are going for the throat with their big guns. They have just announced the Phenom II 2.9 and 3.6 GHz processors.
The 3.6GHz Phenom II X4 975 and 2.9GHz Phenom II X6 1065T processors are 4 and 6 core respectively.
·The AMD Phenom™ II X4 975 Black Edition is AMD’s fastest quad-core processor, an enthusiast’s favorite including unlocked clock multipliers and quad-core performance.
·The AMD Phenom™ II X6 1065T is a new six-core processor combining high performance, low 95W TDP, and AMD Turbo CORE technology.
These are high-intensity video processors meant to bring digital video entertainment into our homes in videos, pictures, gaming, and even 3D. They also claim to improve performance while multi-tasking.
AMD had previously challenged, and even moved ahead of Intel in chip market, but then fell back behind in recent times. This is a big move to put them back at the forefront. We will have to wait for real-world testing of these new processors to see if they have succeeded, but it is certainly a big challenged they have issued to Intel.