Thanksgiving was fun as always, lots of food, as well as lots of friendly debate at the dinner table. It's always fun when anyone brings up a debate about race and equality at dinner :)

I pretty much spent the entire break down in NC playing Xbox 360, I stand by my opinion that there are no killer launch titles, but instead there are a lot of pretty fun games that occupy my time instead. Since the last update I've gotten my hands on Project Gotham Racing 3, and oh how pleased I am. While it doesn't have the realistic physics or driving mechanics of a Forza or a GT4, it's got anti-aliasing, meaning I can actually see down the track and know which direction I'm supposed to be turning in a few hundred feet. The lighting effects in the game are amazing, and it is the first racing game that I've played where I'm finally happy with the graphics. The use of motion blur is also extremely impressive, in my eyes PGR3 is one of the best looking 360 games out there. Looks aside, it's also a lot of fun, which is quite a bit coming from me since I absolutely hated PGR1 and didn't care too much for PGR2.

Is the 360 the death of PC gaming? Of course not, it's just the latest and greatest thing to come along so of course I'm excited about it. When I look at the GPU power in the 360 and PS3, the one thing that amazes me the most is that in a matter of years, we'll look back on these GPUs and view them much like we do the GeForce 3 that's in the original Xbox - as abysmally slow. What will we have on the GPU side in the next few years to make even the almighty G70 seem little more than a step above integrated graphics? I can't even begin to fathom it, and that's cool.

The $600 notebook roundup is finally done and it's already in dire need of an update. Dell has released a few new notebooks that meet the sub $600 requirements, so I'll be looking at ordering one of the new Inspirons very soon to add as an update to the article. That being said, given the battery and tech specs of the new Inspiron B130, I would be surprised if it managed to outpace the Gateway that won the roundup. But there's only one way to find out of course, and I'll hopefully be doing that in the coming weeks.

I've got more to talk about, and something quite exciting, but I need to finish some more benchmarks first before I can spill the beans :)

Take care.


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  • CB1 - Thursday, December 1, 2005 - link

    The one thing missing from the test was a model from Acer. They are becoming a major player in the notebook market, and have a competitive low end model in the TM2312, which includes wireless. Their low end models, both Cel M and Sempron, use SiS chipsets, which would add another interest factor to testing one. I'd like to see how the SiS Cel M Acer compares in performance and battery life to the Ati and Intel chipset models you've already tested, and how the Acer screen measures up.
    Great test -- unique in covering the loss leader models, and very thorough, as expected from Anandtech.
  • Furen - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    I have a couple of questions about your Sempron setup:

    The first is not really a question, but I'm guessing the systems had PowerNow enabled during the battery-life test, correct?

    Secondly, do you know which Sempron CPU your systems had? There's the Mobile Semprons for "Full-sized notebooks" with a 62W (which I think are the 130nm ones) and there's the Mobile Semprons for "Thin and Light notebooks" with a 25W TDP. I was just wondering since other sites show a very close match in battery life between the Turion and the Pentium Ms, which should have lead to Semprons destroying Celeron Ms in that regard, considering that the Celeron M cannot downclock itself.
  • AndrewChang - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Whoa, where did it go? I see it on the frontpage, restarted my comp (good ol' ie) and voila... It's gone!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Just been pushed back by a day to make room for">Yonah :)

    Take care,
  • LanceVance - Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - link

    So, have you played any titles on the current generation of consoles this season?

    Or the interest is less in the games and more in the technology and the buzz and the political contest of the next-gen consoles?
  • mpc7488 - Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - link

    I enjoyed the roundup, I'm constantly having relatives and friends asking me for recommendations on 'cheap' notebooks that are still 'good'. I'd be interested to see some of the techbargains, fatwallet, etc. type deals included, maybe even just for comparison purposes as an outlier. For example, last month they had some Inspiron 6000 series that could hit lower than $600, and this week they have the B130 with a 1.73 GHz Pentium M and a 14" screen for less than $600. They take a little more work and looking to find a configuration that cheap shipped, but I'd like to see how they stack up and the differences in the performance tests you can gain by smart shopping. Reply

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