SEED MA-280 Mini-ITX Reviewed

October 18, 2009

We recently had the opportunity to take a detailed look at two Mini-ITX chassis from Lutec, a Taiwanese company which has specialized in ergonomic and space saving products for the Asian market. They are extending their SEED line to western audiences and asked us for our honest and unbiased impressions. With the review that follows, I will do my best to provide you with just such an assessment.

SEED MA-280 (vertically oriented)

We tackled the SEED MA-280 this time around. This impressively small unit has a MSRP in the neighborhood of $70/USD, which is mid-priced for a Mini-ITX nettop chassis. The focus of its design is in light desktop or multimedia use, which is apparent in its form and function.

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SEED MU-380 Mini-ITX Reviewed

October 14, 2009

We recently had the opportunity to take a detailed look at two Mini-ITX chassis from Lutec, a Taiwanese company which has specialized in ergonomic and space saving products for the Asian market. They are extending their SEED line to western audiences and asked us for our honest and unbiased impressions. With the review that follows, I will do my best to provide you with just such an assessment.

SEED MU-380 (Pictured with LITE-ON Slot Load Slim CD/DVD)

First up is the SEED MU-380. With a MSRP of around $70/USD, it is a mid-priced Mini-ITX nettop chassis aimed at light desktop or multimedia use. It comes in two varieties, the always classy black and a stylish black/silver two-tone. We received the black model, although we expect little in the way of functional differences.

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Nvidia to enter Netbook market with Ion Platform

December 18, 2008

Nvidia will enter the netbook market next year, with their new platform called Ion! which combines their Geforce 9400M chipset with Intel’s Atom processor. It should end-up replacing the GMA 945 chipset currently found in netbooks.

Simply, it will make netbooks that little bit more capable, possibly allowing users to run more intensive applications, operating systems, play HD videos or even make light use of photoshop.

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The Tri Channel Let Down

October 16, 2008

With Intels new core i7 came tri channel DDR3. There was a lot of speculation about what adding all the bandwidth would do, and apparently, it doesn’t do much. There was a comparison of an underclocked QX9770 vs the Bloomfield i7 940. In most of the test done, there were incremental increases in performance, and in some instances there was a performance hit.

I figure that Bloomfield is a chip of tomorrow, not of today, when we have native 64 bit systems and multithreaded everything, Bloomfield will have its relevance. As far as triple channel memory goes, it seems it doesn’t have a place yet on the desktop market, yet. So, what does all this mean? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see until the hardware actually comes out, but in the mean time, don’t be so quick to upgrade just yet.

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Intel vs AMD Patent Battle

October 11, 2008

Apparently there is something going on between AMD and Intel, and from what it looks like Intel is trying to crush AMD, as well as crush its own outstanding anti-trust suits, which have been in question for some time now. Its not 100%, but it seems the patent in question is over the x86 architecture, which Intel says it will vigorously protect. AMD responded by saying that they nor their partners have infringed on any patents.

I think this is a whole lot of Intel BS, they are afraid of AMD’s new financial situation, via gaining wealth from the ATIC deal, and are afraid they are going to do something like they did with their Athlon 64’s. So now Intel is bringing up whatever they could find on their x86 patents. On a final note, i thought patents lasted from 15 to 20 years, X86 has been around since the beginning of time. (obviously not, but you get it.)

Read More: Intel’s Story AMD’s Story

Intel Touts AMD’s Tech

September 7, 2008

I may have been a little short, but i think not. Don’t get me wrong, i don’t have anything against Intel, i just don’t really like when companies bash something, then turn around and then are all about it. Intel’s next generation Atom, will basically be the same Atom, only integrate what AMD had planned. Funny thing about this situation, is that Intel was bashing AMD saying that having the GPU integrated with the CPU would be to costly, and would give no advantage over having them separate. Intel seems to have changed their minds rather quickly.

Atom Roadmap

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Intel Larrabee Game Implementation Concept

September 7, 2008

Well, apparently, Intel has acquired the people behind Project Offset, which is pretty much the most exciting thing i have seen in a game in a LONG time, so i hope they don’t ruin it. Yes, i told you that story to tell you this, Intel is using the Offset engine for a Larrabee based game, and there really isn’t anything on it yet, but some concept art, but if you know anything about Project Offset, its a monster.

Project offset

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China’s Processor Battle

September 4, 2008

Here is the deal, China is releasing a 65nm quad and eight core processor on a 65nm fab process. Main feature is its scalability, cores can shut down or frequencies changed depending on what they are doing, as well, its is easily upgradeable to add more cores without major re-designs. However, it is not on a x86 architecture, instead, it just emulates an x86 chip. Intel says that because it is only simulating a x86 chip it will only be 80% as fast as an actual chip. In conclusion, its aimed at lower end markets, as they are pretty well behind every one else right now.

china processor battle

They say they hope to work with the international community to further their development, but I’m not sure how i feel about this anyways. Reason being, there is a difference between something that is developed else-where and then manufactured in China, or equivalent, that something that is designed and made in aforementioned areas. I mean, its still not ideal to have something made in a place without real labor laws and regulations, but when something is also designed there, and that something being as intricate as a processor, all i can see are potential problems.

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Intel’s 6-Core Chip

September 4, 2008

Thats pretty much it, but its still intense. I’m not sure if they have any plans of making a desktop counterpart, that, and i don’t really see the point at current. Dunnington, a 45nm Xeon with 16mb of L3 cashe, from the Penryn fam, will be the next offering after Tigerton. On that, it will be compatible with the current Tigerton pin configuration as well as the current chipset.

intel specs

On a final note, it will be a couple firsts for Intel, one being that all six cores will be on one piece of silicon, the other being an on-die memory controller. Which AMD has been doing for a while now, and what gave them the edge when they first introduced it, so we’ll just have to see what it does for Intel.

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The Premature Death of PATA

October 25, 2006

Am I the only one who’s noticing the rapid push to get parallel ATA drives out of sight? While it shouldn’t be any surprise that it’s happening, the timing is what’s troubling. Many people have perfectly good PATA drives that have a decent capacity, yet Intel’s new ICH8 southbridge is devoid of any PATA support. Serial ATA ports have been bumped up to six instead of the four found on ICH6/ICH6R and ICH7/ICH7R.

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