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OPINIONS

2008 Tech Preview
By: jkabaseball
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    2007-12-12

    Table of Contents:
  • 2008 Tech Preview
  • CPUs
  • Memory
  • Networking

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    2008 Tech Preview - Memory


    (Page 3 of 4 )


    Memory


    The number is ď3.Ē DDR3 will become the higher-end mainstream form of memory in 2008. While it is currently out as we speak, it still comes at a premium price and minute performance benefits are keeping it from really hitting the market. However, as prices fall and the speed ramps up, the performance difference will make it a worthwhile investment.

    DDR2 has dropped like the US dollar recently. At this point, if you're not on DDR2, youíre behind the times. DDR2 is just as cheap as DDR, and shows great performance gains. Intel has been behind DDR2 for a long time; Iím not sure you could find a DDR-compatible motherboard on the market now. AMD adopted DDR2 with their AM2 platform, which hasnít exactly rocketed this year.

    Storage

    We finally saw hard drives break the 1 TB mark earlier this year and 2008 looks like it will continue to rise. We could see up to 1.5 to 1.75 TB of storage in hard drives next year. I donít think we will break 2 TB but that should come in 2009. Solid state drives and Hybrid devices will still be too expensive and too small for normal users to buy. Optical media will continue to clash well into 2008 and perhaps get resolved in 2009. Until then we will see the competing media and devices that will read both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

    Power Supplies

    I honestly thought with the Core 2 Duo processors we would see a peak in the power supply wattage. I, sadly, was wrong and they continue to go up like Google stock. As CPUs drain less power, graphics cards are crying out for more and more. This is partly due to the trend toward two, three, and four graphics cards in a single computer. You can see why 1000+ watt power supplies are now needed. I reviewed a 1200 watt PSU and look for more of these to hit the market. When will we see a top off? Iím not sure, but 1,800 watts will be a problem as this is all that the average American sockets can supply. I guess we will see a few lonely souls plugging their computers into sockets around their homes, though.

    Graphics Cards

    Wanting to know if you should hold out for the next release of graphics cards or if you should upgrade now? Well join the club. Neither AMD nor nVidia are releasing any details on their plans for the upcoming year. nVidia recently released the 8800 GT, which falls between the GTS and the GTX, and are working on a new GTS model which may or may not be out when you read this. The new GTS will fall between the GTX and the Ultra. Any other details from nVidia are fuzzy. These should all be out by the end of 2007 so donít look for anything new in 2008, perhaps a speed bump up at most.


    AMD has also recently released their cards, the HD 3850 and HD 3870. These fall in at the top of ATIís line with the HD 3850 falling a little behind the HD2900XT in tests. These new cards are the first on the market with DX10.1.

    So who has the best cards for next year? Well nVidia seems to have the best performance, but itís hard to beat the price of AMDís cards.

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