OWC testing and benchmarking more Mac Pro CPU upgrades

When the new Mac Pro came out and was found to have a user-upgradable CPU, Mac supply distributor Other World Computing published a small article showing the system will readily accept a new CPU and be able to function just fine. However, this was only one of a number of different potential upgrades that might work with this system.

Since its initial publishing, OWC has been at work installing and benchmarking a variety of different CPUs in the new Mac Pro. The distributor is in the process of compiling a table of compatible CPUs, and lists four options as either &… Read more

Mac Pro (2013) processor upgradable

Apple's new Mac Pro offers a unique package that moves away from the traditional box-like shape of desktop systems, to encompass a compact, cylindrical form factor. While this new design has had some people concerned about the serviceability of the system, in recent teardowns it has been revealed that despite some proprietary connections, the system's components are surprisingly accessible.

One of the noted features of the new Mac Pro is its that its CPU is not soldered to the motherboard, and instead uses a standard socket to clamp the CPU's packaging. This means that the CPU is … Read more

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 gets stealth silicon upgrade

The latest Surface Pro 2s are shipping with a new processor -- only two months after the second-generation device was released.

The upgrade is to a 1.9GHz Core i5 4300 from an Intel 1.6GHz Core i5 4200U processor -- the latter shipped in the Surface Pro 2 that was released in October. The news was first reported by WinBeta.

"Microsoft routinely makes small changes to internal components over the lifetime of a product, based on numerous factors including supply chain partnerships, availability, and value for our customers," Microsoft said to CNET in a statement.

For any … Read more

Mac Pro teardown shows 'removable' Intel processor

A teardown of the new Mac Pro indicates that the Intel processor may be removable, offering the tantalizing prospect of user upgrades, according to reports.

Apple blogs reported on Friday that a teardown reveals that the Mac Pro is socketed, which typically means the processor can be removed from the system by the user and upgraded.

For some users, that could obviate the need to upgrade the entire system down the road.

Here's what MacRumors said: "The Intel Xeon E5 processor found in the Mac Pro is indeed removable, allowing for future upgrades. All...CPUs for the new … Read more

AMD adds new chips for 2014

AMD has announced its next generation of PC CPUs, aimed at systems headed to store shelves in the spring and summer of 2014.

Most of the details of these new chips, and the PC hardware partners building products around them, are being held until CES 2014 in January, but AMD is eager to publicize the new code names and some performance claims early.

The previous low-power and ultra-low-power platforms, code named Kabini and Temash, are being replaced with new versions called Beema and Mullins. Both sets of parts, however, use the familiar consumer-facing A4, A6, A8, etc., branding (the higher … Read more

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

Intel's next-gen quad-core processors tested

In what has become an annual ritual, the higher-end segment of Intel's new generation of processors has been launched at the Computex trade show in Taipei. This includes the quad-core versions of what Intel calls the fourth-generation Core i-series, which was until recently known by the code name Haswell, and was extensively previewed at CES 2013.

Quad-core CPUs are generally found in higher-end desktops and laptops, and are part of Intel's i7 CPU line. Most mainstream PCs use Core i3 and i5 dual-core CPUs -- the Haswell versions of those are coming later.

For laptop and desktop shoppers, … Read more

AMD launches new processors

The prerelease code names of AMD's new low-power and mainstream CPUs, Temash, Kabini, and Richland, may not mean much to laptop shoppers, but these components aim to give ultrathin laptops, tablets, and other PCs better value and battery life.

For the past several years, AMD has actually named its processors APUs rather than CPUs, which stands for accelerated processing unit, and combines a CPU and integrated graphics into a single part. The new chips follow that model, and take aim at where a lot of the action in tablet, hybrids, and laptops is right now, at the low-to-middle part … Read more

Why your next Android tablet will be more powerful

Your Android tablet sucks. At least compared with what's coming. Later this year we'll see the release of three new Systems on Chip (SoC). SoC is simply the name used for the collection of silicon that makes up the brains of the tablet and includes the CPU, GPU (graphics processing unit), onboard memory, and other processors.

The new chips will no doubt be used to power many high-end Android tablets and are expected to deliver better-looking games, faster Web surfing, increased battery life, and in at least one case, could allow you to take better-looking photos.

Of course, … Read more

Process Lasso Review

At Download.com, we've long recommended the excellent Mark Russinovich-created and Microsoft-supplied Process Explorer freeware, which provides scads of info on all of your Windows PC processes and options for managing them. Well, Process Lasso is like the peanut butter for Process Explorer's chocolate. It lets users set default priorities and CPU affinities for specific processes, establish rules for how processes behave, and also create alerts and automatic events for when processes misbehave or use too much memory. The interface is outdated and not beginner friendly, but Process Lasso offers very useful features in a powerful little package.… Read more