Intel introduced its Penryn mobile processors today, and Dell sent us a Latitude D630 with one of the new chips last week to test against an identical Latitude with a previous-generation Merom chip. As we found last year when we tested the first Penryn desktop chip, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, performance gains aren't immediately evident. While the Penryn mobile processor we tested, the Core 2 Duo T9500, boasts a more efficient 45-nanometer manufacturing process, it really is just laying the foundation for architectural advances that Intel will release later in the year with Nehalem. Compared with the previous-generation … Read more
Since AMD released its Barcelona server chips last month, PC users have been wondering when that native quad-core goodness might arrive in the form of AMD Phenom desktop CPUs. According to a report on VR-Zone, we'll see the first two quad-core Phenom chips next month. The site reports that the 2.2GHz Phenom X4 9500 and the 2.4GHz Phenom X4 9600 will launch sometime in November. These Phenom 9000-series parts will feature 512KB of L2 cache per core, 2MB of shared L3 cache, a 3.6GHz HyperTransport 3.0 bus, and an 89W power rating. A third chip … Read more
No matter what kind of computer you're running--a brand new dual-core Alienware model or your aunt's old Dell laptop--it's hard to gauge the performance of your machine by factory specs alone. Especially with all the versions of Windows PCs out there using any number of hardware configurations; it's tough to really know how your computer measures up to today's fastest systems.
Finding complete system specs is especially important to gamers of course, but they're not alone in their need for system speed. Today's release of the graphics-intensive specs for Crytek's Crysis (from Crave, CNET's gadget blog) surely has many gamers praying their computers have what it takes to really bring the long-awaited game to life. But even if you're not a gamer, you might want to know, for example, whether your computer can handle the latest image- or video-editing software. Fortunately, you can find out in advance using a good benchmarking app. This category of software runs several diagnostic tests which check everything from processor speed and drive efficiency to the output of your graphics and sound cards.… Read more
What ails your sluggish computer? Old hardware? A fragmented hard drive? Or maybe it's overloaded RAM.
RAMBooster is a CNET Download.com user favorite for expanding the boundaries of your computer's available RAM. It's no substitute for the real thing, but combined with a few other choice utilities, RAMBooster is one ingredient in a faster, slicker Windows XP.
See how RAMBooster works in the video below, and as always, tune into other great First Look videos from the CNET Download.com crew.
For those who play PC games (and please count me in), the most expensive and necessary investment has always been the graphics card (also known as the GPU, graphics processing unit). High-end cards, from either ATI or nVidia, can cost $500 and up. That's not even factoring in the case, cooling system, power supply, etc., which also have to be equally high-end to support the increasingly large and power-hungry graphics cards. And there seems to be no end to all this. Or is there?
Mobile gaming just got sweeter: today, Intel announced the Core 2 Extreme X7800, its first laptop CPU under the Extreme Edition brand. The 2.6GHz dual-core processor features 4MB of L2 cache and an 800MHz front-side bus, making it the highest-end chip in Intel's mobile lineup. Of greater interest to gamers, though, is the fact that the chip's overspeed protection has been removed, meaning laptop manufacturers and users will be able to overclock the X7800 for even more performance (Intel, of course, denies any responsibility for the consequences of overclocking).
No, those new Xbox 360 Elites that were released last weekend do not contain the new 65nm chips that Microsoft promised us. Production on those new silicon wafers is only starting this month, so they won't be finding their way into consoles you can actually buy until the fall.
For those keeping score, that means the new 65nm technology will be incorporated into both the game machine's CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (the dedicated graphics chip). The new smaller chips reportedly run a lot more efficiently than those found in current Xbox 360s. That should mean less … Read more