Archive for February, 2010

February 13th, 2010 ~ by admin

Woops! Sorry about that.

The new server runs IIS7, which has rewrite built in. there was an issue with this, permalink (WordPress) and some old IE6 support in the CSS file, this caused the site to not work correctly in all versions of IE.

We apologize for the down time.

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Museum News

February 11th, 2010 ~ by admin

When Old is New: The VIA HT8501 Chipset: aka the VIAGRA

Seems this picture is making its rounds:

VIA HT8501

VIA HT8501

It is a VIA HT8501/VT8501 North Bridge, used on Socket 7 systems. It included Trident Blade 3D Graphics
Commonly known as the Apollo MVP4 Chipset. I suppose it adds new meaning to integrated Trident Blade. Its no wonder VIA didnt use this branding for long lol. If your system stays up for more then 4 hours….

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Just For Fun

February 6th, 2010 ~ by admin

Welcome to Our New Server

The old server was getting a bit long in the tooth (an old Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2.2GHz 1MB L2 cache) so we have transitioned The CPU SHack to a new and better server. It is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz dual core CPU with 6MB of L2 cache.

It should be a bit speedier.

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Museum News

February 1st, 2010 ~ by admin

The Brains of the iPad – The Apple A4 Processor

Much buzz and attention has been given to the Apple iPad, while the jury may still be out as to what Apples tablet is or isn’t useful for, one thing is true, it packs apples first self-branded processor.  Apple touted the processor of the iPad as a new creation and the most advanced yet, which is a bit of a stretch.

Apple A4

Apple A4

The Apple A4 is a ARM Cortex-A9 based SoC, it uses the ARM Mali graphics core (which is fairly robust). It was Created by P.A. Semiconductor who Apple purchased a couple years back. P.A. use to be a PowerPC company, apparently not any more. It makes sense for Apple to use an ARM based processor in the iPad as that is what powers the iPhone and iPod.  The Mali graphics core is a bit of a mystery, as Apple holds a license to its competitor, made by PowerVR, and alas the iPhone uses a PowerVR core and not a Mali core.

Essentially the Apple A4 (based on what we currently know about it) is an off the shelf design. It is not any thing revolutionary, or in fact new at all. The Nvidia Tegra 2 is also a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. TI has a 1GHz OMAP, Qualcomm the 1GHz Snapdragon (soon to be 1.5GHz), ST has the Nomadic, and Marvel has a 1.2GHz ARM.

Perhaps then, the iPad is a ‘version 2’ product, much like the very first iPhone, Apple has lots of room to make it better, to make it outperform, and not merely match the competition. Time will tell.

UPDATE: It has been confirmed that the A4 uses PowerVR graphic (same as the iPhone) and not a Cortex-A9 but a older Cortex-A8. An even less revolutionary design. I would imagine the work APple did on the A4 involved disabling/removing various features not needed by the iPad in order to cut the power consumption even more.

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