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Western Digital WD1200JB With 8 MB Cache Review

Tom's Hardware Guide has posted a review on the Western Digital WD1200JB harddisk:
Western Digital makes the headlines on a regular basis - in a positive way. Once the company began focusing on high-end IDEs around the end of 1999, it wasn't long until we saw the results: WD was the first manufacturer to offer an IDE drive with 100 GB and 7,200 rpm. Some weeks later, a 120 GB version followed. To increase the performance of these drives even further, the top models (-JB, instead of -BB) are equipped with 8 MB rather than 2 MB cache memory. Will this be enough to compete with the fastest SCSI drives as well?


IBM unveils 'fastest' IC at 110GHz

IBM says it has created the world's fastest semiconductor circuit, one that operates at speeds of more than 110GHz. The technology, called SiGe 8HP, uses the latest silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-making technology, and will be made available to telecommunications equipment manufacturers. The first chips built using SiGe 8HP building blocks are expected to appear later this year. High speed, low power circuits generally use gallium arsenide and indium phosphide materials but IBM reckons what SiGe offers is better suited for top of the line communications chips because it uses less power. Compared to pure silicon chips, SiGe provides increased integration capabilities, enabling designers to pack more function onto a single chip, resulting in speed, power, cost and weight savings. Market research firm IC Insights estimates that SiGe sales totalled $320 million in 2001 and are projected to grow to about $2.7 billion by 2006. IBM had an 80 per cent stake in the market during 2001, IC Insights reports. IBM's SiGe technology has found its way into RF components in cellular handsets, Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) chipsets, high speed test and measurement equipment, and chipsets for optical data transmission systems.


Gigabyte GA-7VTX

Gigabyte is a well known and generally well-trusted motherboard manufacturer. They are also known for their regular and early support of AMD's latest and greatest. The GA-7VTX is a Socket A board based on the VIA KT266 chipset. The two major improvements this chipset brings to the table (over the recently declared, ancient KT133[A]) are Double Data Rate SDRAM and V-Link which is VIA's answer to Intel's interlink bus (dubbed the Interlink Hub Architecture).
Up until the Pro 266, VIA chipsets relied on the 33MHz PCI to connect the North Bridge and South Bridge. The obviously problem with this is that of limited bandwidth. At 33MHz, the 32-bit PCI bus can muster about 133MB/s of bandwidth that needs to be shared with not only all of the PCI cards but the data traffic between the North and South Bridges as well. This was fine back in the day, but with today's technology this setup has become a little outrageous.
These days, it seems that bandwidth, in all its incarnations, is the greatest limitation to performance. Advances like V-Link are a warm welcome to the Athlon / non-Intel arena.

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Gigabyte Dual Socket A motherboard

As we have predicted, COMDEX appeared a great chance for the mainboard manufacturers to announce their Dual-Socket A solutions. The first company to stand out here appeared Gigabyte, which officially announced their new dual-processor mainboard for Athlon MP CPUs - GA-7DPXDW.
And here is a list of the mainboard final specifications:
  • AMD Athlon and AMD Duron CPUs;
  • AMD 762 North Bridge and AMD 768 South Bridge;
  • Four 184-pin DIMM slots supporting up to 4GB of DDR memory;
  • Integrated Promise PDC20267 ATA/100 IDE RAID controller supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1;
  • Integrated Intel Pro/100+ (Intel 82559) network controller;
  • 4 USB ports;
  • AGP Pro50 slot;
  • Two 64bit/66MHz PCI slots;
  • Three 32bit/33MHz PCI slots;
  • ATX form-factor.

We would like to mention that GA-7DPXDW can also work with the non-Registered DDR DIMM modules, if there are not more than two of them used. Moreover, there are no special requirements to the power supply unit, and any device compliant with the ATX 2.03 spec can be used.
The mass shipments of Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW should start in December.

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Intel to release 533Mhz FSB early 1.8GHz P4 "Celeron" early too

DESPITE CURRENTLY HAVING supply problems with both the Xeon Foster and the Pentium 4 Willamette, Intel is maintaining it is ahead of time with the 533MHz front side platforms it will release next year. According to sources at Intel in Oregon, the company will pull its 533MHz FSB Pentium 4s into the second quarter of next year with support for microprocessors at 2.26GHz and 2.40GHz. It will move from the 400MHz FSB currently in production by using its high performance Tehama- E chipset, and will also now launch its Brookdale-E and Brookdale-G platforms in Q2. Tehama-E, which displaced the "Tulloch" chipset which occupied the performance sector of the Intel desktop market in earlier roadmaps revealed here, was originally slated for Q3 of 2002, but our information is that it will start replacing the 850 Rambus chipset in the middle of Q2, if the plans do not go awry. Tehama-E is also still positioned as the top of Intel's mainstream processors, which use Rambus memory, but Brookdale-E, Brookdale-G and Brookdale-GL for the value market will all launch at the same time. At their launch on April 1st - no jokes please - the Tehama-E chipset will only cost $39, the 850 will drop to $39,Brookdale-G will cost $46, Brookdale-E $45, and Brookdale GL will cost around $34. The Intel 845 will cost the same as Tehama-E, we understand. Further, this all means that the 1.80GHz Pentium 4, the existence of which we first reported in August, will also move from Q3 into Q2, a sign of acceleration on the P4 platform. This baby is a 478 pin "Celeron", although its unclear whether Intella will carry on calling it that.

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Servers take the lead

IBM scored one of the major breakthroughs in chip design this year with its Power 4 chip, which combines two processors on a single piece of silicon. By combining two chips in this way, performance increases because the two chips can communicate at a much faster rate and share resources. At the same time, power consumption goes down because the electrical pathway between chips has been dramatically shortened.
IBM also has designed its server in such a way that four of the dual processors fit snugly in a single module to boost performance even further in multiprocessor servers.

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Panasonic SD Cards

The e-wear™ SD Audio Player is a sleek digital music player that you can take with you virtually anywhere. The extremely compact design allows you to comfortably clip the SD Audio Player to your clothing or wear it with the included neck strap — making your music part of your wardrobe. With the e-wear™ SD Audio Player, you can enjoy all of your digital music away from your computer.

The e-wear™ SD Audio Player Headset adds a new dimension to your mobile listening experience, by putting your music completely in your headphones. The unique all-in-one construction of the SD Audio Player Headset means no dangling wires or cumbersome CD/Cassette players to carry. It also folds up when not in use and comes with a cool carrying case, which makes transporting your favorite songs easier than ever. All you do is transfer your digital music files onto the SD card, pop the card into the headset, and you're ready to go!

SD Audio Features

Uses AAC
The SD Audio Player also plays AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files, bringing you outstanding sound and quality. AAC is a state-of-the-art audio compression technology that provides higher quality audio reproduction, yet requires approximately 30% less data than MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3) audio. This means you'll get digital music that sounds great, downloads fast, and takes up less space than MP3 files. Soon this CD-quality technology will be the premier way to enjoy digital music, and your SD Audio Player will be able to take advantage of this exciting new format. 

Plays MP3s
Both SD Audio Players will play your MP3 files without transcoding. Each has a built-in MP3 decoder. 

Extremely Compact
The SD Audio Player is so small that it only uses one AAA battery — giving you up to 4 - 6 hours of digital listening enjoyment. 

Will Not Skip
Unlike personal CD players that can be unstable, the SD Audio Player has no moving parts and won't skip, no matter how active you are! 

Wearable Design
Thanks to the included neck strap, armband and multi-purpose clip, you can wear the stylish SD Audio Player almost anywhere you go. Now your portable music player can be an integral part of your wardrobe. 

Fast Content Transfer
Transfer music from your computer to your SD Audio Player, using the USB reader/writer that comes with your SD Audio Player. 

e-wear SD Audio Player


Extremely compact for wearability (1-13/16"W x 1-7/8"H x 9/16"D) Weighs 1.5 oz (without battery) High quality sound using AAC coding (Advanced Audio Coding) Plays MP3 files without transcoding USB connection for fast content transfer Will not skip since there are no moving parts Dual decoders (AAC & MP3) for a wide range of music entertainment Large, easy-to-read LCD with "reverse display"--silver characters on a black background LCD shows play list name, song title and artist name in 2-line, 12-character dot matrix display Play/stop, skip/search, volume up-down, EQ, play mode keys and hold/mode/normal dial Random play and repeat play XBS® (Extra Bass System) & train position (high cut filter) High grade (level-3) copyright protection; SDMI compliant Includes high-performance clip-on headphones, neck strap, arm band with multi-purpose clip, 64MB SD memory card with storage case, CD-ROM (PC software including SD Jukebox), extension cord for headphones, USB reader/writer and rechargeable battery and charger 

e-wear SD Audio Player Headset


All-in-one construction; no dangling wires Folds to a compact size for easy transport High quality sound using AAC coding (Advanced Audio Coding) Plays MP3 files without transcoding USB connection for fast content transfer Will not skip since there are no moving parts Dual decoders (AAC & MP3) for a wide range of music enterntainment LCD shows track number and playlist number Play/stop, skip/search keys on one side; power, volume, and EQ keys on the other side Random play and repeat play XBS® (Extra Bass System) High grade (level-3) copyright protection; SDMI compliant Includes sleek carrying case, 64MB SD memory card with storage case, CD-ROM (PC software including SD Jukebox), USB reader/writer and rechargeable battery and charger.

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AMD Naming Convention


AMD is naming the XP processors using model numbers instead of MHz designations. Hence, we have the 1800+, 1700+, 1600+ and 1500+ versions. If the company is trying get away from MHz measurements, than why not come up with names instead of numbers? The number designations that are real close to the MHz rating are going to make it even more difficult for the Radio Shack crowd to figure out which model to buy. AMD says that the model numbers are intended to designate the relative application performance among XP processors, as well as their architectural superiority over existing AMD Athlon processors, but picking names so close to MHz ratings seems designed to confuse the Public.

The clock speeds of the chips are:
XP 1500 - 1.33GHz
XP 1600 - 1.4GHz
XP 1700 - 1.47GHz
XP 1800 - 1.53GHz

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