2012 Ivy Bridge MacBooks, iMacs may soon reach consumers

The new 2012 Ivy Bridge Macs might be coming soon to a store near you, according to a couple of recent hints.

Details revealed yesterday by benchmarking site Geekbench point to a MacBookPro9,1. Powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge chip Core i7-3820QM quad-core running at 2.7GHz, the name and number would seem to indicate the successor to Apple's current 13-inch pro laptop.

However, MacRumors believes that since the i7-3820QM processor runs at 45 watts, it's more likely to surface in the beefier 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro units.

Another Geekbench benchmark page appears to tip off an upcoming new iMac. With the name and number iMac13,2, the new model would appear to indicate a 27-inch iMac. Powering the new iMac is Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770 quad-core chip clocking in at 3.4GHz.

How do we know this information is legit? … Read more

HP ultrabook prices sink, widening gap with MacBook Air

Best Buy has kicked Hewlett-Packard's Folio ultrabook down to a new low of $798. This is happening as HP announces new competitively priced ultrabooks and as rumors about a $799 MacBook Air swirl.

The HP Folio 13 (model 13-1035nr) is now priced at $797.77 at Best Buy. That includes a "Sandy Bridge" 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor; a 13.3-inch display, 4GB of memory, and a 128GB solid state drive. (More specs here.) … Read more

The 404 1,048: Where we can't believe how much it made (podcast)

$200 million. That's how much money "The Avengers" brought in this weekend. And who says the movie industry is in trouble? On today's show we welcome CNET editor Scott Stein to the show and discuss the disgusting amount of money Joss Whedon's Marvel mash-up accumulated. We'll compare it to the other top weekend grossing film of the past 30 years and then decide on whether or not "The Dark Knight Rises" will join the list.

Next we'll get into a discussion about the possibility of an $800 MacBook Air and whether or not Apple settled on the design of the iPad 3. Finally, it's an E3 2012 preview. Scott and I will be at the big show in Los Angeles next month and have some pretty bleak outlooks on what the world's biggest video game expo will bring.… Read more

The 404 1,034: Where Jeff takes an ice nap (podcast)

Jeff took a spill on the ice during a hockey game yesterday, but he manages to limp his way into the studio to help us out with today's rundown. We wouldn't be The 404 if we didn't cover the 2Pac holographic concert at Coachella last weekend, and even though it's technically just a clever optical illusion, we're excited about the upcoming 2.0Pac tour and the potential of resurrecting our own favorite performers from history.

Meanwhile, Ikea furniture designers in Sweden have come up with a new way to vertically integrate their furniture with another … Read more

Intel chip tests surface ahead of Apple, Windows laptops

New benchmarks point to decent performance jumps for upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge mobile processors. That should translate pretty directly to faster Apple and Windows laptops.

To date, we've seen plenty of Ivy Bridge desktop benchmarks but few hard numbers for mobile. Ivy Bridge is Intel's next-gen processor packing 3D transistors, improved graphics, and USB 3.0 via the accompanying chipset.

So, let's get right to the nub of the matter. Benchmark tests were conducted with a quad-core Core i7-3820QM Ivy Bridge chip and a current-generation Sandy Bridge Core i7-2960XM.

Testing based on 3DMark Vantage (entry, overall) yielded … Read more

Intel revs up ultrabook campaign: A better MacBook?

With Intel's latest silicon due soon, the chipmaker is cranking up the marketing volume for ultrabooks, saying the skinny laptops usher in a "a new era of computing."

The marketing campaign launched this week is the biggest in about a decade, spanning television, online, and print ads, the company said today. And Intel is putting its proverbial money where its mouth is.

Hundreds of millions of dollars will be allocated for the "largest marketing spend for the company since launching Intel Centrino in 2003," Intel said in a statement. (See first TV ad below.)

CentrinoRead more

Cheap laptop fix: How I learned to upgrade my own RAM

Embarrassing admission of the month: before last Friday, I'd never replaced my own RAM.

Honestly, the explanation's simple: I tend to buy new laptops before I consider upgrading RAM. The last time I considered a RAM boost was probably a decade ago, and back then I paid to have it installed. I also found the idea of RAM slightly less immediately appealing. Upgrading a hard drive? Sure, lots of storage space. New processor? Faster speeds. But RAM...for many people, it might lack a certain sexiness or essential quality that justifies the upgrade.

It took my friend persistently reminding me that his RAM upgrade on the same laptop model (a late 2008 aluminum MacBook) paid huge dividends on performance to finally pull the trigger. I'm glad I did.… Read more

The 404 1,021: Where we're laced with Cinavia (podcast)

Stupid Andy sits in the guest seat and he has a bone to pick with Cinavia today. I'm warning you that this discussion is technically the first time we've nerded out about DRM systems so hard, but it's relevant in terms of resale, personal file backups, and the rumor that the next PlayStation console won't allow used games.… Read more

Ultimate laptop bag for Apple hipsters?

Not surprisingly, Apple's very particular about just what it lets into its brick-and-mortar and online stores. Which is why Timbuk2 gave its limited edition Mission MacBook Messengers a little extra Apple flair.

The new bags, which cost $130 and are an Apple online exclusive for now (they're just about to hit but aren't being sold quite yet), come in three "wicked" colors: Specialty White, Specialty Gunmetal Racing Stripe, and Specialty Black.

However, the white model and its supershiny vinyl and perforated faux leather finish is the most eye-catching and most closely mirrors Apple's trademark white products. … Read more

Nvidia's Haas on being two places at once: Intel and ARM

Nvidia mobile chief Rene Haas laid out in an interview with CNET some of the device choices Windows 8 shoppers may face this fall. Inside some, Nvidia snuggles up next to Intel. In others, Nvidia and Intel are worlds apart.

Nvidia is in a unique position because it offers chips that land in devices in two giant markets: Windows-Intel and ARM--the latter's chip designs power virtually every smartphone and tablet on the planet.

For Windows-Intel, Nvidia's mobile focus is laptops. There, Nvidia will supply its latest power-efficient graphics processing units (GPUs), the 640M and 620M--formally announced today … Read more