Best Gaming CPUs For The Money:

The only new CPU since last month's update is the Intel Pentium E5700, a 3.0 GHz LGA 775 model similar to the rest of the Pentium E5000-series. The $85 price tag might make it interesting to folks upgrading an older motherboard limited to an 800 MHz front side bus, but the existing 3.3 GHz Pentium E6800 is more attractive to buyers who can accommodate the 1066 MHz bus speed. If you are, in fact, upgrading, the E6800 is still the chip we'd choose.

Aside from this, Intel recently dropped the price on its Core i7-950 to about $300--half of its previous $600 price tag. This makes it the most attractive LGA 1366 option by a landslide, and makes a 3+ GHz high-end rig a much more accessible option.

There's nothing new at retail from AMD. But cut the company some slack--it launched a number of revised models back in September. We are seeing a very interesting OEM processor on the radar, though: the Phenom II X3 740 Black Edition. With three cores, a 3.0 GHz clock, 6 MB of L3 cache, an unlocked multiplier, and a $90 price tag this processor seems designed around the needs of budget gamers and tweakers. The chip's OEM status, associated 30-day warranty, and lack of bundled cooler make it difficult to give it a full recommendation. On the other hand, it certainly deserves honorable mention status for gamers who can see the value that this processor brings to the table. Incidentally, AMD was thinking about launching this chip about a year ago and pulled back from that plan. Clearly, the landscape has changed enough from then until now to warrant making the 740 available.

Overclocking Intel’s Xeon E5620: Quad-Core 32 nm At 4+ GHz:

What’d really be cool for the enthusiast crowd would be a line of quad-core CPUs manufactured at 32 nm. Almost certainly scalable to even higher clock rates and armed with AES-NI, these would be high-performance, lower-power options that’d go really well with today’s less-expensive X58-based motherboards

The potential for such a design is supported by Intel’s plans to launch quad-core 32 nm Xeon processors based on its Westmere-EP design. But the most we could get out of Intel regarding its desktop plans was ‘we’re considering all options.’ Ah well, we tried.

Well, I give up on waiting. I’ve been poking Intel, trying to talk the company into introducing one of its 32 nm Xeons as a desktop chip. I want something faster than a Core i5-600-series chip and cheaper than a Core i7-970. Four cores are fine—just give the overclockers something that’ll run cool at 4+ GHz.

Next Version of Windows Will Be Riskiest Product:

Is Windows a risky product for Microsoft? One could say no, as each new version of Windows is bundled with new PCs, making it an instantly huge seller.

But then you could get something like Windows Vista, which made huge strides in security and other subsystems over Windows XP, but still wasn't the new Windows that everyone wanted to use. Microsoft got it mostly right with Windows 7, and it's paying off now with 240 million licenses in its year on the market.
The big thing that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was excited about was putting computing into the cloud. Microsoft's focusing on cloud products, like the release of Office 365, but that aside, the interviewers wanted to know if the software company was taking any other risks.

Steve Ballmer was asked at an analyst conference what is Microsoft's riskiest product bet. The answer was "the next release of Windows."

To be fair, Ballmer did not clarify to say that it was Windows 8. It could have been Windows 7 SP1, though we doubt that the Service Pack that Microsoft itself has characterized as minor would be something risky for the company.

Windows 8 Release Target Accidentally Leaked:

After Windows 7, the expected next evolution will be Windows 8. While Microsoft has confirmed that it is working on the next-generation of Windows, it hasn't said anything about release date. Speculation put it into sometime in 2012, but Redmond isn't confirming.

Interestingly enough, the Microsoft blog in the Netherlands had a rather interesting post talking about the upcoming release schedule of Microsoft products. ran it through a translator and this is what it read:

The phasing out of Windows XP, Microsoft is nearing completion. In July 2010, the support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 stops. Today Microsoft will stop selling Windows XP to PC manufacturers and the aftermarket sales of Windows Vista. For Windows 7, Microsoft Service Pack 1. This service pack is still in the testing phase and is expected in the first half of next year available. The first update of Windows 7 is the new version of Windows Live Essentials ( became available in mid-June. Furthermore, Microsoft is of course the next version of Windows. But it will take about two years before "Windows 8 ‘on the market. The latest news about Windows is available at / blog.

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