Posts Tagged 'faster'

Intel shows off SSD drives

An Intel executive demonstrated upcoming solid-state drives at this week’s Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, noting that the chipmaker is on track to deliver the drives later this year.

Meanwhile, an Intel fellow describes his “addiction” to solid-state drives in a blog posted Wednesday.

SSDs, if you don’t already know, are based on flash memory chip technology and have no moving parts. Hard-disk drives, in contrast, use read-write heads that hover over spinning platters to access and record data. With no moving parts, SSDs avoid both the risk of mechanical failure and the mechanical delays of hard drives. Therefore, SSDs are generally faster and more reliable. The catch is the cost: SSDs are currently much more expensive than hard drives.

Knut Grimsrud, an Intel fellow who leads an R&D group responsible for developing new mainstream storage innovations, described in a blog the difference between using a hard drive and a solid-state drive. (link)

Apple throttling non-Apple software, unfortunate biproduct

Some of you may have noticed that the Firefox 3 nightly builds have felt a lot snappier since a few weeks ago. There’s an interesting story in that, one that I finally have time to write up. We’ve had a number of bugs on the Mac where people were complaining of bad performance compared to Firefox 2, usually involving a test where a page was scrolled by a small step 100 or so times, and the time from start to finish was recorded. In many of these tests, Fx3 was coming in at 50% to 500%+ slower. This was odd, because in theory the graphics layer (which is what scrolling is mostly exercising) in Firefox 3 should be faster, given that it’s talking almost directly to Quartz.

Slashdot seems to have picked up on this, and in typical style, has completely misunderstood the post. To be clear, I do not think that Apple is in any way trying to purposely “cripple” non-Apple software. I also do not think that undocumented APIs give Safari any kind of “significant performance advantage” (as Firefox 3 should show!). However, as I said, the undocumented functionality could be useful for Firefox and other apps to implement things in an simpler (and potentially more efficient) manner. I don’t think this is malicious, it’s just an unfortunate cutting of corners that is way too easy for a company that’s not fully open to do.(link)

RIM: we can rebuild it, faster, stronger ….

“Let’s start this off this by stating there’s more to this device than what will be listed. This is just what’s known at this point, although these details have yet to be confirmed as final specifications. The BlackBerry 9100 will sport a screen with the dimensions of 480 x 320 (or maybe that’s 320 x 480), 1GB of on-board memory, and an Intel XScale PXA270 processor at 624MHz, clocking in slightly faster than the 620MHz ARM 1173 processor found in the iPhone. The BlackBerry 9000 will sport the dual-threat of GPS and WiFi as well as introducing 3G support (multi-band HSDPA) to the GSM carrier family devices, answering the prayers of many of us. At this point in time, there’s no update to the camera, which remains at 2 megapixels, although we’re hearing there is the possibility of seeing a 3.2 megapixel camera at launch. You all know the drill!link

Windows Vista still a dud after SP1

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) is not measurably faster than the original stock edition, a Florida-based developer of performance testing and network metrics software said yesterday.

“Microsoft has hinted that SP1 is faster than Vista RTM,” said Craig Barth, the chief technology officer at Devil Mountain Software, referring to the release to manufacturing version of the operating system. “But we found pretty much nothing measurable. It surprised me as much as it surprised everyone else, but the numbers are the numbers.”

Devil Mountain ran its DMS Clarity Studio framework on a laptop Barth described as a “barn burner” — dual-core processor, dedicated graphics, and either 1GB or 2GB of memory — to compare performance of the SP1 release candidate that Microsoft released last week with the RTM version that hit general distribution last January. The Vista RTM was not updated with any of the bug fixes, patches or performance packs that Microsoft has pushed through Windows Update since the operating system’s debut. (link)


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