In the past, we only dealt with single core processors with a single die, and life was simple. But now as the transition to dual core takes place, we inevitably have some chips that have multiple cores on a single package, that aren't always on the same die - thus we had to start referring not to a singular die, but a plural form of the word.

Of course there was some debate over what the proper plural form of the word 'die' is (when referencing a processor core). We've been using "dice", which we have used in discussions with engineers and have seen used in numerous internal documents from all sorts of chip manufacturers. In order to make sure we were in the right on this one, we sent out emails to all of our chip making friends, starting with Intel, and let them choose from die, dies and dice as the appropriate term. So far, it looks like dice wins :)

(oh and the title of this post is a horrible horrible pun, things like that should not be allowed)

Tuan sent me the motherboard after he finished taking it apart, and I just got it today for a video conference I'm doing with Johan and the university he works for. There are a number of interesting aspects of the Xbox 360 motherboard, so if I have time between now and the webcast I may take some up close and personal shots of the motherboard and piece together an article about things that I find interesting about it.

Tomorrow is the day I get to find out if my Xbox 360 is going to be in NC for launch or not, so I am a bit anxious. For whatever reason it seems like a lot of console gamers hate PC gamers and vice versa, I don't see why we all can't just get along and enjoy both :) I will say that today, for the GPU power than you get in the Xbox 360, it is a bargain. At $299 for the base system (if you can find one), you get a GPU that is arguably at least as powerful as the GeForce 7800 GTX and potentially even more depending on the situation. I will also admit that some of the shock and awe of how powerful this system was at its initial announcement has faded, since PC GPU technology has had several months to play catch up, but the Xbox 360 today gives me a much more confident feeling that it is future proof than the original Xbox did when it was just days before its launch. It could be because the 360's GPU is more obscure and difficult to compare to a conventional PC GPU, but it's definitely something I've noticed.

The $600 notebook roundup I mentioned a few weeks ago is basically done; time permitting I'm going to try to finish the writing today and see if I can get the review out before I leave for NC for the holidays on Tuesday. I was pleasantly surprised by most of these notebooks, $600 will actually get you a decent machine and not something that feels like it's from a street vendor.

To switch gears a bit, I am excited about the potential for Yonah based Apple iBooks in January as we've reported on our News page. The article quoted comes from Thinksecret, and in the news post one of our readers took issue with a quote in the article that always bothers me as well. In the Thinksecret article, an analyst is quoted as saying that Apple needs to have a 15"+ iBook that is more competitive with PC notebook pricing; he then follows by saying "Consumer notebook buyers don't want less than 15-inches."

The problem our reader and I have with this statement is that it seems to always be this way about notebooks in the US. It's the reason we don't get the ultra ultra tiny notebooks that you see in Japan. Whenever I meet with manufacturers that are OEMs for a lot of the notebook makers, they are always under the impression that PC notebook users want huge desktop replacements or fairly hefty mid sized notebooks but not super thin and light offerings. While I can't argue with the sales figures, I will say that there are at least some of us in the US market that do want something ultra portable. Companies have gotten better about bringing the US ultra small notebooks, but the mentality is still that the market here doesn't want them, which is bothersome.


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  • TheWarden - Monday, November 28, 2005 - link

    You asked a bunch of hardware engineers for advice on grammar? While you're at it, are you going to ask a bunch of English professors for advice on clockspeeds? Not saying engineers should have no input on the "dies" vs. "dice" debate, but they should hardly be the sole authority. Reply
  • WT - Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - link

    As far as console gamers and PC gamers not getting along, I would think this has to do with how the money is spent. First of all, this is AnandTech where nobody pays retail !! I may have spent $1,200 building my rig and along comes a console 6 months later that anyone can own for $300. The direct comparison to the PC is made; The video is equivalent to a high end PC card costing X amount of dollars. So it appears that the PC gamer was a total fool for spending on his extravagent hobby, while the console guy spent wisely and has a system that does not need the care and feeding like the PC does (updates, patches, virii concerns). I was very active playing Q1 CTF and pointed to that as why a PC will always sway me in its direction. The console is just not moddable enough to do this, and some of the best mods/games were free to play !! Its almost three years after Enemy Territory was released and I STILL play that and enjoy it far more than BF2 an its ink. Ohh, and it was free. Would that EVER happen on the console side ?? Does a console even offer moddable content ?? (I'll guess yes, after seeing so much made of the Hot Coffee mod for GTA). Adding a HD to the XBox2 should take care of that, but I just like the controls of a kboard/ mouse over a gamepad as well. Some dogs prefer to learn no new tricks. Reply
  • BladeVenom - Saturday, November 19, 2005 - link

    And all this time I thought Dells 12" 700m was a popular notebook, same with HP's 14" models. Reply
  • yknott - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link


    Any stats on yesterday's hits on that articles? Maybe hits, bandwidth, largest referer, CPU usage etc. I'm interested to find out where the bottle neck was for the site.

  • DCstewieG - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I can guarantee you the largest referrer was Slashdot. In my experience the worst part of it was the images loading, which leads me to believe bandwidth was at least one of the bottlenecks. Reply
  • yknott - Friday, November 18, 2005 - link

    I'm guessing it could possibly be bandwidth, but I believe anandtech has a 100mbit pipe to the internet. I think the firewall could have been at fault. It can only handle so many sessions at once. I wonder if we hit that limit. Reply
  • Eug - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    I suspect that if they release an Intel iBook, it will be single-core, and the dual-core PowerBooks would come either at the same time or soon after. Why? Cuz a 1.66 Yonah single-core iBook would outperform a 17" G4 PowerBook in most stuff. The main issue is the availability of x86 native binaries.

    P.S. I MUCH prefer laptops under 15". I might be tempted to get a 15" though, if Aperture is as nice as I think it will be. The bigger screen, inevitable faster GPU, and dual-cores all would greatly help Aperture.

    P.P.S. I'm not sure if "dice" is wrong or not, but it definitely sounds odd.
  • rainbow001 - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    They exist in the market here in the US. Panasonic sells them and they are by far the least popular laptop in our lineup. The majority of people don't want them, they want bigger. Go figure that? Reply
  • Redbudian - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    Regarding Lal Shimpi's comment:
    The $600 notebook roundup I mentioned a few weeks ago is basically done; time permitting I'm going to try to finish the writing today and see if I can get the review out before I leave for NC for the holidays on Tuesday. I was pleasantly surprised by most of these notebooks, $600 will actually get you a decent machine and not something that feels like it's from a street vendor.
    I'm trying to find a notebook to give my 16yrold daughter, who loves to play The Sims, but also needs basic homework capability functions; AND would like CD/CDR/DVD functions.
    With the specs required for Sims (XP,256MB,Graphics w/TL,800MHzP3or=,800x600mR), is it possible, in your opinion, for me to find a notebook for under $700??
  • johnsonx - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - link

    I can't say I've tested it personally, but I think any of the newer notebooks with the Intel GMA900 (ie 910 and 915 mobile chipsets) graphics will play the Sims just fine. My Dell Inspiron 6000 plays most games that aren't graphically intense at more than acceptable speeds. There are several such notebooks available at the $700-and-under price point (a couple of Dells, Acers, a Toshiba, etc.).

    I'm guessing you'll know A LOT more once Anand puts up his review.

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