Wednesday, December 30, 2009

USB 3.0: What You Need To Know

The Universal Serial Bus standard has come a long way since its introduction in 1996. Backed by a consortium of companies led by Intel, Compaq and Microsoft, it offered some unheard-of features for its time, including the ability to connect peripherals without turning off the computer first and to draw power without a separate AC connection. The standard became popular with the arrival of version 1.1 in late 1998, allowing a maximum transfer rate of 12Mb/s, and as we can witness nowadays just about any device comes standard with 'Hi-Speed' USB 2.0 connectivity.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Intel's 6-core Gulftown to debut as Core i7 980X

PC online has leaked an Intel published slide showing what appears to be the official branding for its upcoming six-core Gulftown processor. Long rumored to be released with the Core i9 identifier, the 32nm Westmere based chip will reportedly debut as the Core i7 980X instead, featuring 3.3GHz clock speeds and a whopping 12MB of L3 cache.

Individual cores will be able to hit up to 3.6GHz thanks to Turbo Boost, while Hyper-Threading support will allow it to juggle 12 threads in total. TDP remains constant at 130W helped by the newer fabrication process. The LGA 1366 chip will be able to drop straight into existing X58 motherboards, following a BIOS update, and should replace the Core i7 975 this March as Intel's flagship desktop product -- at the same $999 price point.

AMD's six-core Thuban processor is expected to hit around the same time as the Core i7 980X. However, in terms of performance, they are expected to compete for a completely different market, perhaps taking on Intel's Lynnfield Core i5 and i7 quad core CPUs.

By Jose Vilches,