The FBI today noted that twenty-two executives within the Liquid Crystal Display industry have been charged with global conspiracy to fix prices, resulting in the creation of a $71.9 billion Liquid Crystal Display industry over a period of 5 years—2001 to 2006.
Of the twenty-four charged, twelve have been sentenced and fined. The FBI news release cited the Sentencing Memorandum levied on 9/20/12:
“The conspiracy’s breadth and its pernicious effect can hardly be overstated. The conspirators sold $71.9 billion in price-fixed panels worldwide. Even conservatively estimated, the conspirators sold $23.5 billion—AUO [AU Optronics Corp.] alone sold $2.34 billion—in price-fixed panels destined for the United States. The conspiracy particularly targeted the United States and its high-tech companies…But the harm extended beyond these pillars of American’s high-tech economy. The conspiracy affected every family, school, business, charity, and government agency that paid more to purchases notebook computers, computer monitors, and LCD televisions.”
G.Skill now lays claim to the title of "world's fastest memory frequency" for their G. SKILL TridentX DDR3 SDRAM, which recently set the RAM overclocking world record at an effective 4000MHz (citing an entry by overclocker "Christian Ney" of Switzerland on HWBOT.org). He currently remains in first place on HWBOT's memory clock leaderboard, with another user, "Hicookie" of Taiwan, claiming 11th place (also with TridentX memory).
Due to the physical limitations exhibited by mechanical disk drives and the relatively low data-rate caps of the SATA interface, storage devices are invariably the slowest component in the chain for any PC build. For this reason, we've recently dedicated a number of articles to exploring SSD technology and its relevance for gaming or everyday computing. The major barrier-to-entry for new SSD users has been, of course, price -- but that's been changing over the course of the last year.
We've seen SSD prices drop to a point where they're becoming competitive with HDDs (still a fifth of the capacity for the price, on average, but massively improved performance). Part of this is due to the hiccup in hard disk drive pricing when the factories were hit with floods, but a large portion of the SSD price decrease can be attributed to advances in SSD manufacturing efficiency and technology.
NVidia's third quarter fiscal report for 2012 is out, and things are looking good: Their revenue is up 15.3% from last quarter, for a record total of $1.20 billion. NVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang claims that this is due to the success of the Kepler GPU and recent Tegra iterations.
New developments in AMD's plans for 2013 have become apparent, thanks to a roadmap leaked by the Turkish site Donanim Haber. If this slide is accurate, the first thing you'll notice is the eerie lack of Steamroller, intended to be Piledriver's successor, which points to another delay; Piledriver cores will remain the foundation for the 2013 generation of AMD x86 desktop processors, though new chips will also be released in the Trinity line (with upgraded integrated graphics chips) and Brazos platform, the low-power option for netbooks.
We've been covering SSDs pretty heavily of late. Our recent "How Are SSDs Made?" post is probably one of the most interesting, in-depth industry looks we've done in a while; additionally, our earlier review of Kingston's HyperX 3K SSD marked the start of our SSD coverage and kicked off the exploration of this still-growing technology.
Gigabyte has revealed the next in its "FORCE" line of high-end gaming peripherals: the Force M7 Thor gaming mouse. With a 6000 DPI laser sensor, it should work well for twitch-gaming applications and Ultra-HD resolution displays (3840x2160).
This past weekend was Sacramento's Intel-sponsored LANFest 2012, where gamers and hardware vendors amassed to benefit local charities, play some games, and show off their systems. We had a chance to head over to LANFest and talk with Antec about cases and PSUs, Gigabyte, who showed us their best motherboard offerings and talked UEFI BIOS, and ASUS' ROG division, also with motherboards.
You'll also find a case modding gallery on the second page, from those who brought their modded rigs to the convention!
ASRock's latest Z77 Extreme11 motherboard looks like they're selling wreckage from an alien ship. They've come one step closer to facilitating the full potential of decked-out SSD RAID arrays and stacks of GPUs.
If you've decided you actually need a Z77 chipset, ASRock is happy to oblige. Here's what they have to offer:
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.
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