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Comdex cars, Radeon drivers, Itanium issues

Oh, and breaking open an Xbox

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HWRoundup Comdex 2001 is struggling to keep visitor's attention. In its slowest year for a long, long time, there is a definite absence of crowded corridors, with automobiles receiving almost as much coverage as the stuff inside the halls.

AMD resorted to taking journos drag-racing down a quarter-mile strip outside Vegas in three flashy sports cars, as amdmb.com shows. The site also has the skinny on the mobo scene at the show, covering VIA, Abit and many more.

Geek.com is also more excited about playing with cars at the show, trading in Chimpzilla's Ferrari & co. for a Mercedes-Benz. It also has Comdex coverage. Tom's hardware has its bit too.



Radeon, drivers & downloads

ATI: great hardware, buggy drivers.

Anandtech

gets its paws on ATI's revised Radeon 8500 drivers, which now include Smoothvision support and various bug fixes, allowing users to finally see the full effects of their hardware. It's a lot better, but still not perfect.



ATI promises to ship beta drivers more frequently to satisfy demands from users. (Download the new drivers for either Win 9x/ME or WinXP.)

ExtremeTech has a similar conclusion: it's better, but still needs work. The site played around with the new drivers and posted benchmarks based on a Win ME machine, promising a Win XP review soon. It also has a lengthy article on high quality film scanners, for those still resisting the digital camera world.

Speaking of drivers, a new DivX codec for Windows (version 4.11) is out and fully optimised for Pentium 4, allowing hugely improved encoding performance.



Chips & more

Is Itanium not performing as hoped?

Electic Tech

has a small posting about "sightings" (a.k.a. equipment that fails to perform as expected, but with no apparent defects) being experienced by Compaq as its engineers test servers running the 64-bit chips.



Unlike the rest of the crowd which purchased Xbox and rushed home to kill stuff in Halo, the lads at TechTV decided to rip it open and find out just what's inside. (As Slashdot warns: this may reduce your eBay resale value.)

AMD slipped out a 1.2GHz Duron chip this week. Reviews are tough to find, most reviewers are racing cars at Comdex this week. Hardcoreware has a 1.1GHz Duron overclocked to 1.2GHz up against an Athlon 1.2GHz as a near simulation of what to expect.




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