Core 2 Duo vs AMD X2

Competition is good. Well, in the CPU world that is.

With Intel’s Core 2 Duo CPU officially released (although not widely available) and recent AMD price cuts, consumers have plenty of choices for new systems this year.

From a performance standpoint, we have a new winner in the CPU world: Intel’s Core 2 Duo. Gone are the days of the Pentium CPU and the NetBurst architecture. Intel’s Core architecture brings several new and improved technologies to the table, including 40% better performance relative to older Pentium D CPU’s and reduced energy consumption.

Intel’s low-end E6300 CPU ($240 CDN) bests AMD’s flagship CPU ($1000 CDN) in several benchmarks. Now, that’s what I call substantial improvement (and bang for your buck). The problem? Availability. Expect to wait until mid-to-late August before you get your hands on a Core 2 Duo CPU. Prices will range from $240 CDN to over $1200 CDN for Intel’s flagship Core 2 Duo CPU. If you’re building a new system, I’d definitely recommend waiting for general availability of the E6300 or E6400 ($290 CDN) Core 2 Duo CPU. From what I’ve seen and read, it will be worth the wait :-)

If you plan on maximizing your current computer investment, I’d recommend upgrading to an AMD X2 socket 939 CPU and motherboard. In doing so, you will be able to utilize your existing AGP video card and DDR memory. However, keep in mind that socket 939 CPU’s will be obsolete very soon (as indicated in an earlier blog post). Another good alternative would be the Asus P5P800 (AGP and DDR) motherboard and a Pentium D series LGA775 CPU.

If a new notebook purchase is on the horizon, it would be advisable to wait until the end of August. The reason being that most notebook manufacturers plan on releasing notebooks featuring the mobile version of the Core 2 Duo CPU shortly.

2007 Infiniti G35 Coupe.

Prepare to drool.

Click here.

(Clean up your drool. Drool and keyboards don’t mix.)

After reading (in various car magazines and online) about the 2007 Infiniti G35 Coupe for a few months, I want to see it in person.  It looks similar to my current G35 Coupe, but has been redesigned slightly all around. Very clean lines. The interior has been restyled to (near) perfection.

Knowing Infiniti, the production design will be very similar (one of their claims to fame) to the concept design depicted at the above URL. Well, minus the show car glitter — all-glass roof (DOT wouldn’t approve) and blue LED’s (illegal in Canada/US) surrounding the projection bulbs.

The only con of the G35 Coupe: gas guzzler. I get a little over 350 KM to a tank during city driving (maybe it’s just the way I drive ;)), and it takes premium fuel of all things.

I guess the pictures will have to do justice for now.  That is, until I see it in person :-)  I don’t intend on purchasing one, as I have my hopes set on a Lexus IS sports sedan in the future (read: distant).

Abit IC7 + Raptor 150 = no go.

Shutdown.  Unplug 74 GB Western Digital Raptor.  Plug in 150 GB Western Digital Raptor.  Boot up.

No hard disks detected.

I was scratching my head in disbelief when I saw the above error message after installing a Western Digital Raptor 150 GB in my system.  It spun up and wasn’t detected.  I thought, ‘OK, maybe this thing needs more juice.”  Then, I thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute, my Antec TrueBlue 480W powered two 74 GB Raptor’s in RAID 0.’  Let’s try another Serial ATA port.

Shutdown.  Unplug Raptor.  Plug Raptor into Serial ATA port 1.  Boot up.

No hard disks detected.

At this point I’ve become a roaring lion.  Not literally, but you get a picture.  I conclude it’s either the hard drive or the motherboard, with the hard drive being the likely culprit.  Google time (on another PC): ‘IC7 Raptor 150‘.


There’s a compatibility problem with the Abit IC7 motherboard and the WD Raptor 150!? Not good.  What to part with: aging IC7 motherboard or state-of-the-art Raptor 150.  Hmm.  Buh-bye IC7!  Hello new, cheapo ASRock S478 motherboard for short-term until Conroe is released.

Bottom-line: In the tech world, Google is indeed your friend.  It helped pinpoint the problem in a matter of minutes.  One less grey hair.  Phew.

CPU Price Wars Continue

You’ve probably been asking yourself, “Should I buy a CPU now or wait?”

Well, wait no more.  Updated prices for?current AMD CPUs and upcoming Intel CPUs are disclosed below (from confirmed sources):

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+  Current: $303 USD   July 24: $152 USD
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+  Current: $365 USD   July 24: $187 USD
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+  Current: $558 USD   July 24: $240 USD
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+  Current: $696 USD   July 24: $301 USD

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86 GHz; 2 MB cache)  July 27: $183 USD
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13 GHz; 2 MB cache)  July 27: $224 USD
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2.40 GHz; 4 MB cache)? July 27: $316 USD
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.67 Ghz; 4 MB cache)? July 27: $530 USD

Given the updated prices above (and the recent release of the socket AM2 CPUs), it appears that AMD will suffer revenue losses in the coming two quarters in order to persuade consumers to purchase their CPUs.  I think it would be wise for AMD to release their X2 Turion processor ahead of schedule, before Merom hits the market.


According to this article, Intel’s NDA’s with reviewers expire today — July 13.  Conroe will be officially unveiled on July 27, with Merom (notebook version) to follow the same day.

Update 2:

AMD fights back.

Update 3:

Official updated prices from AMD.

Microsoft’s WGA Woes.

Microsoft realized they were losing $2 billion a year due to the piracy of their operating system (among other software).  So, Microsoft’s product managers got together and decided they needed to end piracy of their primary operating system once and for all.  But how  They tried various techniques, all of which inevitably failed. Fast forward a couple of years.  Some brilliant mind at Microsoft decides to write a tool to help determine whether or not a given PC is running a genuine copy of Windows.  Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) was born.

It worked.  Sort of.  That is, until it starting disabling PC’s running legitimate copies of Windows XP.

Taken from

21. However, WGA can malfunction and mistakenly identify a licensed Windows XP copy as unlicensed when, for example, a user transfers his legitimate Windows XP copy to another system with different hardware or significantly changes the hardware on the original system (e.g. installs a new hard drive). In this way, WGA impinges on users’ fair use rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 117(a)(2) to use legally space-shifted Windows XP copies.

Once I activate Windows XP, I dislike having it audited by the WGA tool repetitively. I understand Microsoft’s concerns, but what about the user. Users have concerns, too. Users don’t enjoy putting up with endless prompts to verify the operating system they paid for.  Users don’t enjoy knowing that Microsoft could be gathering sensitive information from their computers (although they claim otherwise). If you don’t understand how irritating this can be, read a post I wrote earlier.

Well, to keep it short, I hope Microsoft learns from the recent wave of class action lawsuits against them.? Otherwise, they can slowly watch the market share of their operating system decrease.