A new beta driver for nVidia's GeForce GPUs is providing huge jumps in performance, as they always seem to do. NVidia typically releases a new driver at least once a month, often launching public-facing X-Rev beta versions before A-Rev iterations. This new driver is tailored for Crysis 3 and the games released around the holidays--some older games saw performance boosts as well.
AMD is in the headlines again with more bad news. With AMD's recent layoffs, not to mention the leasing of their Austin campus and the disappointment surrounding Piledriver and Bulldozer, it's not a huge surprise to see another snag.
Let's recap from 2011:
The netbook was:
- Expensive - high base price of $349.
- Laggy - HD video would stutter and in-browser games would lag because of the weak Celeron 867 (1.3GHz) and Atom N570 CPUs.
- Difficult to Navigate - windows and files were tedious to browse.
Fast-forward to now.
The new Samsung Chromebook is:
- Cheaper – only $249.
- Snappy – new 1.7GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos 5.
- Easy to navigate – newly added file browser and improved window management.
- Ultra small – at 2.4 lbs. and .8" thick, this is one tiny notebook.
The team over at Lian-Li just started a worldwide case mod contest! Lian-Li, founded in the mid-80s, specializes in brushed and anodized aluminum cases - particularly high-end ones. They're trying to promote their latest product -- the simplistically styled, yet incredibly functional PC-7H Mid Tower Chassis. In traditional Lian-Li style, the case focuses on build quality before anything else -- the PC-7H actually reminds me somewhat of Fractal Designs' cases, especially with its sleek exterior.
An unnamed source recently informed Reuters that AMD is to experience layoffs "close to a range of 10 percent to 20 percent" of their global workforce. Other news agencies have reported 20-30 percent. If these reports are true, it won't be a first for AMD; the company previously cut 10 percent of its workforce in November 2011, and as of February this year, was resting at just under 12,000 employees.
With thousands of employees potentially at risk of losing their jobs -- including those in engineering and marketing positions -- we can clearly see that AMD is no longer the competitive powerhouse it was in the Athlon64 days. In fact, AMD warned investors about its Q3 revenue showing a 10 percent decline, previously forecasted at 1 percent.
The large drop in revenue was "due to weaker than expected demand across all product lines, caused by the challenging macroeconomic environment," reported AMD. The recent surge in tablet and mobile interest could be a catalyst of this decline.
The announcement, which noted that impending product lines could be impacted by the layoffs, rapidly spooked investors, causing a 42 percent decrease in AMD's stock. This brought their share down to $2.78, a three-year low. Intel's stock wasn't immensely affected by the decline in the PC market, but has been in decline since April. Intel, though, is a much more resilient company than AMD because of its significant lead in the market; at the time of this article's writing, Intel's market cap is about 56 times higher than AMD's.
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