One, Two, Seven - get ready for the recovery

Posted on 21st Sep 2009 at 15:32 by Tim Smalley with 7 comments

Tim Smalley
Over the past six months or so, it has become increasingly difficult to get excited about the computer hardware industry. Regular bit-tech readers have probably noticed my own output has dropped a little.

I've been focusing on the bigger picture (which included a lot of strategic work and a bit-tech site design refresh), and also turned some of my attention to new projects within Dennis that I'll be working on while I continue my role as Editor of bit-tech.

The lack of excitement is, in many respects, down to the recession - companies have been pulling down the hatches and boarding up windows while they weather the storm. There's been nothing exciting to talk about and it has been difficult to get hugely enthusiastic about the industry's future when nobody has announced a major technology breakthrough.

Frankly, it has been too risky to launch significantly new products for risk of failure and poor sales. For the PC industry in particular, there's also been the impending release of Windows 7 which has also had an impact on product releases as well.

With Windows 7 on schedule for release in a little over a month's time, the industry is starting to kick itself out of recession mode. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with AMD to hear about its plans and for now, let's just say they're exciting - I heard some very pleasing news that I'd love to tell you about today. Unfortunately, embargoes prevent me from doing that, but you'll know all about it as soon as AMD allows me to tell you.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be hearing what Intel and Nvidia have to say for themselves out in California.

Intel is holding its yearly Intel Developer Forum, where it'll talk about all things Intel at what is usually one of the events of the year. Pat Gelsinger will not be presenting his yearly keynote following last week's announcement that he's leaving the company after 30 years of service and instead will be replaced by Sean Maloney,

We're expecting to hear some fairly significant announcements about Intel's 32nm progress, which will pave the way for Gulftown, Intel's 6-core enthusiast processor, and the first processors with integrated graphics. In addition, we're likely to hear the first news on Intel's 22nm process, its next major silicon breakthrough. Finally, we hope to hear a lot more about Larrabee, Intel's first discrete graphics processor since the ill-fated Intel 740 graphics card, and we're hoping to see the first public demonstration during the show.

The following week, Nvidia is holding its Graphics Technology Conference in San Jose. Dubbed Nvision Lite, it promises to be a lot more focused than last year's event and we're hoping to learn about Nvidia's plans for DirectX 11, PhysX, Tegra and much more over the three-day show. It's also a great time to catch up with many old faces in the games industry as well, so we hope to get a different perspective on the PC industry.

Stay tuned for what promises to be an exciting end to an otherwise gloomy year for PC and technology enthusiasts.


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yakyb 21st September 2009, 15:56 Quote
for exciting AMD stuff read 5800 series :)
Tyrmot 21st September 2009, 16:09 Quote
The news on the 5890? Although other sources have mentioned it so maybe it can't be that... But yeah has been a bit slow recently... looking forward to some big advancements!
Dave Lister 21st September 2009, 19:06 Quote
Hope both nvidia & ati pull there fingers out soon (at least there is some ati news) i've had my gpu since last july (GTX 280) and the only real improvement since then has ben a die shrink - not exactly ground breaking.
Xir 22nd September 2009, 08:42 Quote
...volume seems to go up at least ;-)
Rocket_Knight64 22nd September 2009, 12:55 Quote
Interesting times at last. A truly competitive AMD is better for everyone (bar Intel).

Appart from the recession, how much of the slowdown could also be atributed the likes of the PhenomI failure, Nvidia dragging its heels over DX10.1 and the slating Vista initialy got?

As for a site revamp, tread carefull. The current layout is the best of any review site arround! But widescreen options and a interactive review results database would not go amiss. :D
thehippoz 22nd September 2009, 16:03 Quote
waiting for nvidia's next ridiculous press announcement on the day of the 5800 release
Xtrafresh 23rd September 2009, 15:45 Quote
I don't think this year is uninteresting at all to be honest.

Graphics has seen 4 pretty interesting releases: GTX 295, GTX275, HD4890, HD4770.
On the processor-front there's the X58-socket that's still evolving, and AMD is finally back in the game with Phenom II and Athlon II. On top of that Lynnfield has hit the shelves.
SSDs have finally been perfected, first by Indilinx (Vertex, Falcon), and later by Intel (affordable X25-M G2).
HDDs are still getting bigger, hitting 2TB and very affordable drives start at 1,5TB
PSUs are slowly but surely starting to meet the requirements for Gold.
Windows 7 is brewing, and has had very interesting RC and Beta programs.
New nettops and netbooks, and lapnets and whatnots are raining down left and right.
Motherboards on the mATX format are getting more and more mature.
Onlive is betatesting.
Screen prices are freefalling.

And it's still september, there's a lot more to come!
Just today, ATI now launches the 5-series (surely, you know this, right? ;)), and reVidia will likely launch GT300 this year.
Intel is brewing on Gulftown, Westmere and Callendale/Clarksdale stuff, not to mention Larrabee.
The Lucid Hydra chip is due to overturn the multi-GPU market in 30-ish days.

For me, that's enough for a year, although not all the announced stuff will likely make it before we hit 2010. Just today me and my colleague were just giddy with excitement over the prospect of building a "new-generation" rig, all with new stuff:
- P55 with Hydra
- i7 860
- ATI HD5870 (or two!)
- Intel G2 X25-M 80GB SSD
- 1,5TB EcoGreen disk
- three 24-inch screens

All this will fit inside 2000 euros, a price that bought you WAY less a year ago. c'mon Tim, get excited!
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