MacBook Pro Revision Updates GPU, adds Thunderbolt, but No New Display Dongles (Phew)

Photo (CC-BY) DeclanTM. Let’s cut right to the chase on the “speed bump” revision of the MacBook Pro line today: The 13″ model still gets the short end of the stick as far as graphics; it’s actually a small step backward in raw pipeline performance from the previous model. The payoff is in overall system performance, however, which is improved by a larger margin. 15″ and 17″ models are back with AMD (nee ATI) in place of NVIDIA. Apple promises a 3x speed boost. FW800 isn’t going away, even with the addition of a new-fangled LightPeak port – now Thunderbolt …

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Exclusive: Inside Resolume’s New, GPU-Powered, Live Visual-Ready DXV Codec

Multi-display visual installation by The Pixel Addicts for the London club space Matter. Part of the big idea behind Resolume Avenue 3 is putting audio and video in the same real-time performance app, without sacrificing quality or live processing in either. One key ingredient, hope the developers, is a new codec that transfers video decoding to the GPU without taxing the resources the GPU needs for accelerated effects. For lower-resolution footage, you may not notice a difference, but with a modern graphics card, Resolume claim intense multi-layered performance at higher HD resolutions. We’re keen to see just how that stacks …

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Exclusive: Inside Resolume's New, GPU-Powered, Live Visual-Ready DXV Codec

Multi-display visual installation by The Pixel Addicts for the London club space Matter. Part of the big idea behind Resolume Avenue 3 is putting audio and video in the same real-time performance app, without sacrificing quality or live processing in either. One key ingredient, hope the developers, is a new codec that transfers video decoding to the GPU without taxing the resources the GPU needs for accelerated effects. For lower-resolution footage, you may not notice a difference, but with a modern graphics card, Resolume claim intense multi-layered performance at higher HD resolutions. We’re keen to see just how that stacks …

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Rain Diablo Audio Quad Laptop: Powerful Enough to Be Kind of Ridiculous

Rain Recording make audio-ready notebooks – that is, they’re pre-tested to function well with audio software, with Windows tweaks, driver selection, and configuration all chosen and tested for music and visual production, and no crapware installed. They’re one of a handful of music-friendly vendors that does that (see also: PCAudioLabs, etc.). Given that the PC music making experience can range from awesome to awful depending on which hardware and (particularly) drivers you’re on, that’s no small matter. Rain has always styled themselves a premium brand. But the latest Diablo really does go to extremes spec-wise. It’ll cost you – base …

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NVIDIA Sets Notebook Graphics Drivers Free, Makes GPGPU, PhysX Mobile; ATI, Your Move

Finally, NVIDIA extends a welcome mat. Photo by Anna Irsch. For graphics cards, drivers are everything: it’s just not possible to be on top of stability, performance, and functionality without access to new, stable drivers. But for Windows notebooks, unlike desktops, traditionally you had to turn to OEM PC vendors to get your NVIDIA graphics drivers. That would be fine, if PC vendors kept pace, but my near-universal experience has been that vendors are awful about drivers. Just finding drivers on many sites is a Herculean task, let alone getting something up-to-date. That had meant that, for GPU gurus, the …

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Apple: We'll Build Our Own Cheaper, Faster 8-Core Mac Pro

Now grating cheese faster than ever before. Okay, I spoke too soon. Just one day after a ZDNet blogger announced he could build a cheaper version of Apple’s high-end Mac Pro, Apple themselves have announced they can make their Mac Pro significantly faster and cheaper. I think the ZDNet machine still works out to be cheaper, but not by nearly as large a margin. Some of you wrote in to say you still want, you know, a cool case design, system-wide warranties, the Mac OS, and not having to, um, build your own system. Whatever. That sounds boring. It might …

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Apple: We’ll Build Our Own Cheaper, Faster 8-Core Mac Pro

Now grating cheese faster than ever before. Okay, I spoke too soon. Just one day after a ZDNet blogger announced he could build a cheaper version of Apple’s high-end Mac Pro, Apple themselves have announced they can make their Mac Pro significantly faster and cheaper. I think the ZDNet machine still works out to be cheaper, but not by nearly as large a margin. Some of you wrote in to say you still want, you know, a cool case design, system-wide warranties, the Mac OS, and not having to, um, build your own system. Whatever. That sounds boring. It might …

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Good Times for Graphics Cards; ATI Ships X1650 and Deals Keep Coming

Gaming gurus can obsess all they want about things like vertex performance. What I see when I look at the video card lineup is that graphics cards right now are very, very cheap for the performance they deliver. With DirectX 10 just over the horizon but not yet here on Windows, the current generation of cards just keeps getting cheaper, all while gaining from tweaks in performance and power. Result? $150 buys you an excellent graphics card if you’ve got a PC case that can handle it. (Small form factor Shuttle, anyone?) Budget ATI salvo Today’s announcement is that ATI …

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Shuttle Launches SD37P2 SFF Portable PC with Core 2 Duo, ATI CrossFire Support

Laptops and Mac minis are wonderful, but they don’t let you upgrade your CPU or fill two PCI slots with hyper-powerful video cards. I’ve been loving lugging my Shuttle XPC to gigs, in a custom Shuttle case that I can carry on the subway or in cabs. But if it hadn’t tempted you yet, this might: Shuttle XPC Barebone SD37P2 The new barebones kit lets you add your own Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and, with two x16 slots, ATI CrossFire-compatible video. The Core 2 Duo is not to be confused with the Core Duo in Mac laptops; this is …

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