External Graphics Cards allowed with new PCI Express cable spec
The PCI Express Special Interest Group released its first cable specification this week, which will allow PCI express channels typically found on the inside of a PC to be routed outside, which paves the way for devices like external graphics cards.
External graphpics cards will allow graphics cards to be removed from the chassis and put into an external block, which is an ideal solution for microATX desktop cases. MicroATX cases have very strict thermal specifications.
The first real external graphics card was the Asus XG station, which can house an external graphics card for use with a notebook PC.
Lenovo offers more Lenovo PCs through Best Buy For Business
Lenovo and Best Buy for Business have announced that select Lenovo notebook PCs would be available through approximately 300 Best Buy For Business retail store locations across the United States beginning this month. ThinkPad T60 widescreen and Lenovo 3000 N100 notebooks can now be purchased at Best Buy locations.
Lenovo and Best Buy For Business formed a partnership in April 2006. Before this announcement, the Lenovo PCs could only be ordered through Best Buy For Business, but now customers can take them off retail shelves.
The ThinkPad T60 widescreen and Lenovo 3000 N100 will be pre-loaded with Windows Vista Business.
ECS to start producing notebooks in 2007
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), which acquired notebook maker Uniwill Computer in 2005, will be looking to improve its motherboard, desktop, and notebook businesses. The focus will be on the OEM/ODM business. The company saw losses in its notebook business in 2H 2006. This year, ECS plans to ship 3 million notebooks, a large jump from the 1.8 million they shipped in 2006.
Fujitsu-Siemens Xa 1526 notebook review
NotebookReview.com forum member Notebook Solutions has posted a mini-review of the new Fujitsu-Siemens Xa 1526, a 17″ widescreen entertainment notebook with an AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor and Nvidia GeForce Go7600 video card.
See the review and discuss it here.
Vista brings huge 67% retail PC sales increase
Research firm Current Analysis says that overall PC sales for the week ending February 3, 2007 jumped 173% compared with the previous week, and 67% year-over-year. These numbers are higher than usual because of the low inventory of retailers in the week before the Vista launch; retailers cleared out their stock of XP machines in preparation for Vista. Revenues also increased due to the Vista launch, up 54.4% compared to the same week in 2006.
Windows Vista Home Premium appears to be the most popular operating system, amounting to 70% of all Vista sales during the first week. Vista basic held a 22% share. On notebooks, Home Premium accounted for 76% of sales, while Basic accounted for 16%. Average selling prices for Vista Basic notebooks was $616, and for notebooks equipped with Home Premium, $863.
Nvidia game profiles help to get the best possible settings in games
Nvidia has begun to post video game profiles, which will allow users to use a shortcut to configure their graphics cards to run at the best possible settings in a game. 60 engineers in Moscow, Russia, are currently testing games on over 200 platforms and will come up with recommendations for game developers on how to fine tune video games for the best possible performance on Nvidia cards.
Currently available public game profiles include Battlefield 2142, Dark Messiah Might and Magic, Flight Simulator X, and RoboBlitz. Recommended settings are available for video cards from the GeForce 6600/7300 to the 7900/8800 series cards. They can be found here.