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AMD’s Phenom - For suckers only

357w ago - I was quite interested in AMD's Phenom quad-core CPU, that is, until I read some early reviews of the processor. Now I've come to the conclusion that you'd have to be a sucker to be an early adopter of AMD's new quad-core line.

First off, four cores aren't always better than two. Tom's Hardware puts the Phenom 9500 and 9600 against an Athlon X2 64 6400+ and discovers that the processors are overall 8.4% and 4.3% slower than the 6400+. Now OK, the 6400+ runs at 3.2GHz while the Phenom 9500 is only 2.2GHz and the Phenom 9600 is 2.3GHz but this goes to show how low AMD have aimed with the Phenom processors.

Applications that can take advantage of the four cores (such as Pinnacle Studio 11, DivX and Adobe Premiere Pro) do show a gain, but if you're gaming, overall performance sucks. Performance of audio and office applications is also very poor.

OK, but isn't this the case for all quad-core CPUs? No. If instead of giving your money to AMD, you instead buy an Intel Q6600 (Intel's smallest quad-core) you see an overall performance gain of 13.5% against the Phenom 9600 and an 18% performance gain compared to the Phenom 9500. Given this data alone, AMD might as well have not bothered with 9500 and 9600 and just jumped straight to the 9700, which manages to close the gap against...

Mobile game in sex and drugs shame!

357w ago - Is the Coolest Girl in School also the naughtiest?

If you want to sell lots of copies of a game, try to anger some loudmouthed family campaigners. That's the rule of thumb in the console industry, where shrill media scare often equals big sales.

We haven't seen the same thing happen in mobile yet (although that may change if a publisher takes a punt on our Crack-Fueled Illegal Immigrant House-Price-Collapse puzzle game - the Daily Mail won't be able to resist).

It's kicking off Down Under though, thanks to a game called Coolest Girl in School. The Family Association has condemned it for allegedly encouraging teenage girls to "take drugs and have sex".

According to spokesperson Angela Conway: "We know that media has adverse impacts on kids as it shows explicit sex and violence. We know that gaming also attempts to amplify impacts, this thing is combining the two."

We assume it's this game from Kukan Studio, produced with mobile content firm Champagne For The Ladies. Their own blurb describes it as "Grand Theft Auto for Girls", and promises:

"Experiment with fashion! Experiment with drugs! Experiment with your sexuality! Cut class! Spread rumors! But try to avoid dying of embarrassment - literally!"

Apparently you can nick clothes from the...

Halo 3 Evolves as Heroic Map Pack is Announced

357w ago - Microsoft has announced that a new Heroic Map Pack will be released for Halo 3 for 800 Microsoft Points on December 11th. Bungie even sent along some renders of the maps for you to check out.

Attention Spartans!

The internationally award-winning "Halo 3" multiplayer experience is about to get even better. After launching to incredible acclaim and fanaticism, "Halo 3" players will be able to enjoy three all new multiplayer maps on Dec. 11 as part of the Heroic Map Pack, the first in a series of downloadable content from Bungie Studios to come via Xbox LIVE.

Available for 800 Microsoft Points exclusively on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, each map presents a totally different play style. Standoff's symmetrical valley, with its entrenched bases and fields of boulders is ideal for mid-sized objective and Slayer game types, while Rat's Nest's vast, labyrinthine passages bring something new to the "Halo" multiplayer experience: an indoor vehicle paradise, strongly influenced by the Campaign mode, ideal for big team battles. Finally, Foundry is the ultimate Forge map - players can edit every single object in this voluminous industrial warehouse, place stairways, walls, bridges and tunnels to create an entirely new play space and build almost any kind of map they can think of.

Mass Effect: Xbox 360 Game Doesn't Live Up to its Hype

357w ago - Beautifully rendered with an above-average plot, Bioware's new sci-fi epic for the Xbox 360 still turns out to be a disappointingly overhyped encore to Microsoft's main holiday act in gaming, Halo 3.

An Old-School Adventure Masquerading as a Role-Playing Game

If Halo 3 was Microsoft's star performance, BioWare's Mass Effect is this holiday season's encore. Mass Effect is probably the most anticipated role-playing game of the year by anyone who dug the company's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and/or Jade Empire. In any case, I expect the Xbox 360 to take the silver in hardware sales (though by a relatively narrow margin over Sony) and the gold by a handsome margin in holiday software sales.

MegaTV for Sony PS3 launches

357w ago - Sony Computer Entertainment Korea and KT announce the launch of the HD IPTV service MegaTV for the Sony PS3.

The MegaTV video on demand service for the Sony Playstation 3 will launch tomorrow in Korea. Content of the PS3 IPTV service includes drama series, animated features, movies and sports.

The MegaTV support came for Korean PS3 users via the firmware 2.0 update already and is supposed to activate on tomorrow on November 20th. Via the MegaTV site (Korean).

If and when Sony is going to offer IPTV service on the Sony PS3 in other regions is not known at this point.
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