News Bits: Intel Merom Date Slips, New ATI Catalyst Drivers, Laptop Music Competitions

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Intel Merom pushed back to Q4 06

Another delay with Intel’s successor to the current Core Duo processor, the Merom, has pushed back its release date to Q4. Intel’s chief reasoning for pushing back the release date is because consumers are already confused about all the new technology being introduced — throwing more at them in a short amount of time will add to it.

Four models will be available initially:

  • T7600 — 2.33GHz, $640
  • T7400 — 2.16GHz, $420
  • T7200 — 2.0GHz, $295
  • T5600 — 1.83GHz, $240

All have 4MB L2 caches and are dual-core, with the exception of the T5600, which is single core and has a 2MB L2. Budget Merom-based Celeron M’s are also expected to come out, along with an Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) model.

It is interesting to note that even though Merom includes 64-bit support and supposedly all the latest technologies, it still incorporates the aging Front Side Bus technology, versus a much faster and more efficent HyperTransport-like technology as currently found in AMD64 chips. Whether or not using an FSB will have an impact on performance is unknown.


ATI Catalyst Mobility 6.2 Out

ATI has released its new Mobility Catalyst drivers — to download them, follow the direct link:

Download Link

It adds fixes for several popular games such as BF2 and WoW, but the unique addition of this driver set is the wizard-like interface for the Catalyst Control Center.


“IBM” Logos on ThinkPads

Although the ThinkPad line of notebooks has been sold to Lenovo, the IBM logo still remains on them over one year later. As part of an agreement between IBM and Lenovo, the logos will remain for another four years.

The IBM logo as seen above on a ThinkPad will remain for at least 4 more years, despite Lenovo now owning and producing the ThinkPad brand


“Laptop Deathmatch” — Laptops Used to Create Music and Compete

Ever used your laptop to create music?  No, not mix music you’ve created on a real instrument, but to really use your laptop as a primary instrument?  A contest in Dallas called “Laptop Deathmatch” held the second Sunday of every month pits local musicians there against one another, the rule being you must use a laptop and one external device (midi- controller, etc) to create the music.  This trend is becoming more and more popular and competitions now exist around the country.


A musician competes at Laptop Deathmatch in Dallas Texas

Acer Unseats Toshiba as #3 in Worldwide Notebook Shipments

Acer surpassed Toshiba as the world’s No. 3 notebook brand in Q4 2005, with 66.7% year-on-year growth – the highest among the top-five notebook vendors, according to preliminary data from Gartner Dataquest.  Acer notebooks ranked No. 1 in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and No. 3 in Asia Pacific with 117.1% growth, the highest among the top-ten vendors.  However, Acer still is not in the top 5 notebook brands in the U.S., they are making agressive strides in that country though with a 202% increase in notebook shipments in the U.S. between 2004 and 2005.

Q4 2005 Worldwide Notebook Shipments

 Position  Brand  Market Share  Growth (YoY
 1  Dell  17.1%  50.9%
 2  HP  16.5%  41.8%
 3  Acer  12.2%  66.7%
 4  Toshiba  10.5%  20.9%
 5  Fujitsu  8.1%  18.0%



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