AMD unveils first eight-core 5GHz processor

If there were a clock speed war going on, AMD would win again.

The chip maker unveiled today the most powerful member of the AMD FX family of CPUs, the eight-core AMD FX-9590, which it claims to be world's first commercially available 5GHz processor.

Back in 2000, AMD was the first to break the 1GHz barrier by delivering its 1GHz Athlon chip to the general public in May of that year. The FX-9590 will be available this summer and Intel has until then to unveil its own 5GHz CPU. Currently the fastest CPU from Intel is the 3.5GHz … Read more

Apple's 'late 2012' Macs get Wi-Fi update

Those of you bought a Mac in the latter portion of this year may want to check out a new Wi-Fi update from Apple.

Released yesterday, the Mac Wi-Fi Update 1.0 for "all late 2012 Mac systems" is meant to improve compatibility with devices that tap into your network's 5GHz band. The update specifically supports Macs running OS X 10.8.2, currently the latest version of OS X.

Users can download the update directly from their Macs through the Software Update option or by grabbing it from Apple.

The 5GHz band is found on dual-band … Read more

Cisco's Linksys E4200 v2: The best saved for last

Cisco Systems released the original Linksys E4200 in January, which turned out to be a formidable wireless router.

Now as the year is ending, the company announced today the second version of the same router. And the Linksys E4200 v2 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N900 turns out to be one of the best, if not the best, router of the year.

The new E4200 v2 looks exactly the same as the original on the outside, with a sleek-looking design that looks more like an expensive jewelry box than a router. On the inside, however, it packs much more power than the … Read more

Ask the Editors: Why does my laptop's Wireless-N speed cap at 130Mbps?

Like most editors at CNET, I often receive questions from CNET readers about specific problems. Here are a few that were brought up to me in the last month.

Q: My laptop's Wireless-N adapter only caps at 130Mbps even though my D-Link DIR-855 can offer 300Mbps speeds. What can I do to boost the wireless speed of the laptop?

A: That might already be the best you can get. Wireless-N (802.11n) comes in different "tiers" with different amounts of streams (also referred to as antennae). Each stream offers a throughput speed up to 150Mbps.

While most routers are dual-stream and cap at 300Mbps (future ones can even support multistream, offering speeds up to 450Mbps or even 600Mbps), a lot of adapters built in to laptop and notebook computers to conserve the battery life use the single-stream standard. This means they cap at 150Mbps (which translates into something around 130Mbps, which is plenty fast, by the way). Also note that the throughput decreases as you increase the range. Generally the optimal range for the Wireless-N is between 15 feet and 70 feet away.

Q: Does my laptop have to have a dual-band adapter to take advantage of dual-band routers, such as the Linksys WRT610n, the Apple Airport Extreme or the D-Link DIR-825?

A: No, it doesn't matter how many bands an adapter supports; wireless networking devices only connect to one another in one band at a time.… Read more

Are dual-band routers must-haves?

It's been about a year since the debut of dual-band routers, those that support both the ever-popularly used 2.4Ghz and the newer, less busy 5Ghz frequencies. This was very exciting news at first, but after having worked with a few of them, I wonder if they are really worth it.

If you turn on a wireless network scan in a neighborhood of a big city (like where we are right now in downtown San Francisco), chances are you'll find multiple existing wireless networks.

Wireless routers are so popular now. Up till about a year ago, they all … Read more

Linksys's newest router: If only I could call it just 'sexy'

Linksys announced its latest router today, the WRT610N, and it might just be the first router that offers everything you would want and then some.

First off, it's a true dual-band wireless router. This is important because I've run into not-so-true dual-band wireless routers before, like the D-Link DGL-4500 or the Netgear WNDR3300. The D-Link can only work in either 2.4Ghz frequency or 5ghz frequency at a time making it not so much of a dual-band router. The Netgear, on the other hand, can work in both frequencies at time, however, in dual-band mode only its 5Ghz … Read more

Netgear blends frequencies with WNDR3300

Ever since the review of the D-Link DGL-4500, a Draft N 2.0 router can operate in ether 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies, I've been anticipating the day when I can get my hands on a router that can operate in both frequencies simultaneously. Today is that day.

Out of the blue, I just received the RangMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router WNDR3300 from Netgear. The router looks very much like others in Netgear's RangeMax series with the sleek casing (that attracts fingerprints very easily) and the round, big button on top that glows blue light when the router … Read more