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Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

Duke Nukem Forever Gets Second, More Promising, DLC Upgrade

Duke Nukem Forever Gets Second, More Promising DLC Upgrade

Yes, everyone's favourite game they like to hate has received its second dose of DLC goodness. The first one was a bit of a ho-hum looking Hail to the Icons Parody Pack, but this second one, The Doctor Who Cloned Me, looks more promising, as it includes a "full new single player campaign", it's set in Area 51 (you know, where all the aliens live) features an evil would-be world dominator (how original) Dr Proton, new weapon types, new enemy types, bosses, more achievements and new interactive items. It also includes four new multiplayer maps. In short, if you liked DNF, then you'll likely enjoy this expansion pack, which costs $9.99. Teaser video follows the jump.

Review Consensus: AMD FX Processor 8150 Underwhelming

It's been in the works for over three years now. That's right, the first we heard of "Bulldozer" as a processor architecture under development was shortly after the launch of "Barcelona" K10 architecture. Granted, it wasn't possible to load close to 2 billion transistors on the silicon fab technology AMD had at the time, but AMD had a clear window over the last year to at least paper-launch the AMD FX. Delays and bad marketing may have cost AMD dearly in shaping up the product for the market.

After drawing a consensus from about 25 reviews (links in Today's Reviews on the front page), it emerges that:
  • AMD FX-8150 is missing its performance expectations by a fair margin. Not to mention performance gains in its own presentation, these expectations were built up by how AMD was shaping the product to be a full-fledged enthusiast product with significant performance gains over the previous generation
  • AMD ill-marketed the FX-8150. Hype is a double-edged sword, and should not be used if you're not confident your offering will live up to at least most of the hype. AMD marketed at least the top-tier FX-8000 series eight-core processors as the second coming of Athlon64 FX.

EVGA Readies Duke's Fully Loaded Package Graphics Card Bundle

Duke Nukem seems to be attracting as much attention from his swarm of male fans as the school uniform-clad strippers from the game. This fandom is building up obscene levels of hype with the various collectors' edition bundles available on the web, on pre-order, that give a variety of Duke Nukem memorabilia along with a copy of Duke Nukem Forever, a game that has been in production for 14 years. Some of the gamers who are going to play the game hadn't even graduated from Fisher Price when the last Duke game came out.

EVGA wants to be one of those to come out with (no pun intended) a bundle of their own, called "Duke's Fully Loaded Package". As a top-tier graphics card vendor, its bundle includes - you guessed it - a graphics card that handles the game well, in this case, a specially-branded GeForce GTX 560 1 GB clocked at 810/1620/4008 MHz (core/CUDA cores/memory), apart from a copy of Duke Nukem Forever (PC), memorabilia that includes "The History, Legacy and Legend of Duke Nukem Forever" artbook, Duke Nukem Forever mousepad, a "radioactive" belt-buckle, and a specially designed package. Those craving for Duke's fully-loaded package (again, no pun intended) from EVGA, can pre-order it from here.

3DRealms Hopes to Bring Duke Nukem to Xbox Live Arcade

It's been eleven years since Duke Nukem was first unleashed, and with Duke Nukem Forever still in development, even the most hardcore fans are getting impatient. And so, 3DRealms' George Broussard announced plans to port the classic Duke Nukem into Xbox Live Arcade. Broussard has already discussed plans with Microsoft. He's just waiting for some paperwork to go through, and then we'll see Duke Nukem in Xbox Live soon afterwords.Source: Shacknews
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