News Bits: Intel Merom Details, Dell + Alienware, Samsung Q35, Vista Woes

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Intel to have nine Merom processors available on release

Intel Corp. will have nine different Merom microprocessors available on its release date, during the fourth quarter of this year. The top-end models will have a 667/800MHz Front Side Bus, but the cache remains unknown. All Meroms being released will be dual-core, support virtualization, EIST, iAMD64, and XD. In addition, all will be built on Intel’s advanced 65nm process.

Specifications for the chips are as follows.

Standard Chips
Voltage Number Process Speed FSB L2 Cache
Standard TBD 65nm TBD 800/667 TBD
Standard T7600 65nm 2.33GHz 667 4MB
Standard T7400 65nm 2.16GHz 667 4MB
Standard T7200 65nm 2.00GHz 667 4MB
Standard T5600 65nm 1.83GHz 667 2MB
Standard T5500 65nm 1.66GHz 667 2MB
Low Voltage (LV) TBD 65nm TBD 800 TBD
Low Voltage (LV) TBD 65nm TBD 800 TBD
Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) U7500 65nm 1.06GHz 533 2MB

Intel is preparing the “Crestline” GM (for use with integrated graphics) and PM (for use with external dedicated graphics) chipsets for the first half of 2007.  Intel is also slated to produce the Kedron 802.11.n and abg wireless chipsets for 2007, in addition to Lisbon. The top-of-the-line T7600 is expected to retail for $640 at launch, the T7400 $420, T7200 $295 and the T5600 $240. Watch on May 28th 2006 for price cuts on the Core Duo CPUs. The next version of the Core Duo, the ULV U2500 ($290) is almost ready. Specs: 1.06GHz, 533MHz FSB, and 2MB L2 cache.

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Dell officially buys Alienware

It’s now official — Alienware has been bought by Dell for an undisclosed amount. In a letter to its employees, Dell didn’t say much, but I’ll make a quick summary.

Dell said that their XPS gaming-oriented line of products will compliment each other, and enhance their commitment to customers “seeking extreme performance.” Customers will benefit from a wider selection of products. Dell believes that both itself and Alienware have been founded “on the direct business model.” Alienware’s CEO/founder Nelson Gonzalez will report to Jim Schneider, Dell’s senior vice president/chief financial officer. “Alienware will operate as a stand-alone, wholly owned subsidiary and maintain its own product development activities, product marketing, sales and technical support operations and brand under the same management.” Dell will not be selling Alienware’s products nor services, and vice versa. Their operations will be kept separate of one another.

The acquisition of Alienware will not be final until “all regulatory and other conditions are met,” which is in approximately 30-60 days. All integration activities are on hold until then, and Dell employees are asked not to make contact with Alienware personnel until closing.

Read the full letter here

Samsung’s “smallest” Core Duo laptop

On March 22nd, Samsung displayed what it claims to be the “world’s smallest dual-core notebook,” the Q35. It weighs a mere 1.9kg, and has the following specifications:

  • 12.1″ WXGA display
  • Intel Core Duo T2700 processor
  • Intel 945GM chipset
  • 512MB DDR2-667 RAM
  • 80GB Hard drive
  • DVD+/-RW
  • HD Audio system
  • 802.11a/b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0
  • PC Card slot

The Q35 will have a variety of ports, including four-pin Firewire, two USB 2.0, a six-in-one memory card reader, and 10/100 Ethernet. It also has an Instant-on multimedia controller, which is an increasingly common feature.

All this is crammed into a 29.9 x 21.4 x 2.7-3.6cm casing. The Q35 even has a six-cell battery, allowing it to supposedly get up to seven hours of life.

However, why bother to put such a high-powered processor into an Ultraportable? Another issue with this is that the headline claim is false – the Core Duo X60s from Lenovo have a 3.4lb. travel weight, and can weigh as little as 2.9lbs with the UltraLight optional screen. The weight indicated here of the Samsung is 1.9kg = 4.1lbs.

The Q35 is slated to be offered with both the Core Solo and Duo processors, and will retail about 1000 British Pounds for the version detailed here when it ships in upcoming months.

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Fujitsu P7000 series now available in Red, White, and Blue

Looks like Sony has a competitor — Fujitsu is now offering its P7000 ultraportable in three different colors — Mars Red, Leather White, and Fry’s will also offer Deep Blue, however it will not be initially offered on the web.

Product link , Discuss it here

New ExpressCard TV Tuners

LifeView has the world’s first “true” ExpressCard TV Tuner for notebook PCs. It uses the ExpressCard interface, which is five times the bandwidth of a traditional USB 2.0 port. The LifeView ExpressTV allows you to watch multiple video streams simultaneously.

Product Link

Gaming on Vista needs 2GB+ of memory

The Inquirer has a story running on Windows Vista and gaming. 800MB of memory is needed to merely run Vista, but even running word will make you use up to 1GB. Running Vista on 512MB of memory is going to be slow indeed.

Even when playing Far Cry, which is a relatively non-intensive game when compared to the latest games on the market, their test system was using 1.23GB.

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60% of Vista to be rewritten

Microsoft is scrambling — sixty percent of its new Windows Vista operating system needs to be rewritten after a shakeup in its Windows division. This is coming just after news of another delay, which as pushed the operating system release date back into 2007.

According to a Volish denizen speaking to, orders have come down that call for rewriting over sixty percent of the consumer version of Windows Vista in order to prepare it for the 2007 CES show in Las Vegas.

Vole has had to shift programmers from its Xbox team to help resolve problems with the operating system. The problems are associated with the entertainment and media center functionality in the OS. Vole is working together with Intel’s “Viiv” team. Viiv could be stalled to join up with Vista’s launch.

What’s the problem? It appears that they cannot get the Media Center code to work properly with the current format, and a lot of changes have to be made to the code in order to fix it.

Oddly enough, nobody has been fired or demoted for the mess-up, which cost Vole forty percent of five billion dollars.

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