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					YOUR GUIDE TO TECHNOLOGY TRENDS         Supplement to CHIP June 2011

A unique omni-directional
robot controlled by a
basic cellphone

At the helm
as a network

All you need to
know about
USB 3.0

We find out how Nvidia is pushing
the boundaries of graphics technology

         PC CONFIGS                      32   PCS FOR STUDENTS                                         MANAGING EDITOR
                                         Portable PCs light enough to carry                           Hatim Kantawalla
4    PLUG AND PLAY                       around on campus, yet powerful enough
The best specifications for custom       for all your projects and assignments.                          DEPUTY EDITOR
gaming PCs, plus some preassembled                                                                       Jamshed Avari
alternatives.                            36   THE TV SUBSTITUTE                                   SENIOR FEATURE WRITER
                                         The ideal config for a home theater PC
8    WORKING ON THE MOVE                 with some great products to match.                    Kamakshi S, Priyanka Tilve
Computing options for professionals                                                                     FEATURE WRITER
who are constantly on the move.                     T ECH TALK                                       Kushal Mamoowala
12   CREATING DIGITAL ART                40 SUPERSPEED CONNECTI-                                           COPY EDITOR
Machines best suited for those who       VITY WITH USB 3.0                                                Sameer Desai
create art on their PCs.                 Everything you need to know about the
                                         latest connectivity standard.                             PROJECT COORDINATORS
16 FINAL CUT PRO-                                                                          Rajesh D'Souza, Gautami Chalke
FESSIONALS                               43 THE LATEST IN GRAPHICS                                  SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
The perfect specifications for video     PROCESSING
editors, and some product options to     Vishal Dhupar from Nvidia tells us all                          Nirmal Biswas
complement them.                         about the newest graphics tech.                               SENIOR DESIGNER

20                                                                                                   Hemali Limbachiya
     BUILDING BRIDGES                    45 NETWORK
Systems and configurations best suited   ADMINISTRATOR: AT THE                                            ILLUSTRATORS
for architects and engineers.            HELM                                              Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur
                                         Pursue a challenging and fulfilling career
24                                                                                                    COLOR CORRECTION
     MUSIC MANIA                         in network administration.
The best specialized setups for audio                                                                     Sanjay Shelar
editors and musicians.                   48  FREQBOT: A CELLPHONE                                          HEAD OFFICE
                                         POWERED OMNI-
28   BASIC PCS FOR THE HOME              DIRECTIONAL ROBOT                            Intelligent Computing CHIP, Infomedia 18 Limited,

The ideal components for a basic home    A unique robot that can be controlled via    'A' Wing, Ruby House, 2nd Floor, J.K. Sawant Marg,
PC, plus portable alternatives.          a standard cellphone.                                Dadar (W), Mumbai - 400 028. INDIA

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                         I    f you go out computer shopping these days, the
                              sheer amount of technology that is currently
                              available is sure to overwhelm. If you decide to
                         take opinions from others, you may end up with
                         some good suggestions, but they may only add to
                         the confusion. So how do you arrive at the best
                         setup to suit your needs? Whether you’re a gamer,
                         a digital artist, an animator, a movie maker, a
                         musician, an engineer, or a student, you can
                         customize a system to suit your needs perfectly.
                         But before that, you need to know exactly what
                         you require out of your PC.
                            If you are not very hands-on and would rather
 From the various        not build your own PC, knowing the right set of
                         specifications and components is enough to help
 components that         you pick a system that will let you get the job done
                         and last you for a few years without needed an
      make up the        upgrade. Size, form factor, weight, and portability
                         are also major determining factors and the
   system, to their      importance of these factors varies for each user.
                            From the various components that make up the
    prices, and the      system, to their prices, and the various brands on
                         offer, you’ll find everything here. Be it a future-
various brands on        proof machine or something on a shoestring
                         budget, you will find everything you are looking
    offer, you’ll find   for. For those looking for high-end gear, we will
                         also give you the low down on all the latest tech
  everything here.       advancements making their way into markets
                         now. You can find a rig to suit nearly every budget,
                         and with so many options to choose from, make
                         sure you do your homework, so you can make an
                         informed decision and build your dream machine.

                         KAMAKSHI S

                                       GAMING RIGS

                                       PLUG AND PLAY
                                       Since the advent of advanced gaming consoles, PCs might
                                       have lost a lot of ground as the best gaming device.
                                       Nonetheless, PC gaming is still a big market and users can
                                       enjoy the newest and best games on their PCs as long as
                                       they’re equipped with the high-end hardware demanded by
                                       today’s games.
                                       BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA
     Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur


                        Sam is a hardcore gamer. He loves playing games of
                        all genres ranging from action games like Call of Duty
                        and Assassin’s Creed, to racing games like Shift 2:
                        Unleashed and even sports games like FIFA 11. Mostly
                        playing online, Sam is always aiming to reach the top
                        of the rankings ladder for whatever game he’s playing,
                        which means he needs a crisp and uninterrupted
                        gaming experience.

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                            Rs 1,50,610
                       Processor           Intel Core i7-2600K                                        17,000
                       Motherboard         Gigabyte GA-H67A-D3H-B3                                     5,700
                       RAM                 4 x 2 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 MHz                                 10,000
                       Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB SATA                     12,000
                       Graphics card       NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580                                     30,000
                       Optical drive       LG WH10LS30 10X Blu-ray Burner                             14,300
                       Monitor             LG W2486L 24-inch LCD                                      14,500
                       Keyboard            Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard                                4,400
                       Mouse               Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse                                  4,500
                       Headset             Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset                         6,500
                       Sound card          Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1                 4,200
                       PC Case             Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX                     7,000
                       Power supply unit   Corsair CMPSU-750TX                                         6,310
                       Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium                                      5,200
                       Cooling System      Asetek 570LX Liquid Cooling system                          9,000
                       Other               Gamepad, Joystick                                                   -

BRAG PC DB10                                                       BRAG PC RB11
Rs 1,17,000                                                        Rs 1,06,500
Intel Core i7-2600K, 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz,                           Intel Core i7-870, 8 GB DDR3 1333 MHz, 2
2 TB SATA HDD, P67 Based Chipset, NVIDIA                           TB SATA HDD, P67 Based Chipset, NVIDIA
GeForce GTX 580, 24-inch Full-HD LCD                               GeForce GTX 580, 20-inch LED display, high
display, water cooling system.                                     performance air cooling.

ALIENWARE AREA 51                                                  ALIENWARE M18X
ALX                                                                LAPTOP
Rs 2,93,800                                                        Rs 1,94,240
Intel Core i7-990X, 12 GB DDR3, 2 x 1 TB                           Intel Core i7-2920XM, 16 GB DDR3, 2 x 750
SATA-II 3.0Gb/s HDD, 2 x NVIDIA GeForce                            GB SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD, 2 x NVIDIA GeForce
GTX 580, 24-inch Dell LCD monitor, ALX                             GTX 460M, 18” WLED Screen, add-on
Spawce Black Aluminum Case.                                        Logitech keyboard and mouse.

                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT            JUNE 2011

                  ost games that are developed for                                             hard drives in 2 TB and 3 TB capacities, which offer
                  consoles like the Playstation 3 and Xbox                                     enough storage space for multiple games.
                  360 are also available on PC. Then there
        are games dedicated for PC gaming.                                                     MOTHERBOARD:
           The latest games are sure to test the power of                                      In order to put all this great hardware together, you
        your GPU and require advanced input devices                                            would need an equally powerful motherboard that is
        made specifically for gaming, along with a fair bit                                     also future-proof, should you choose to upgrade your
        of raw processing power.                                                               PC’s components. The Gigabyte GA-H67A-D3H-B3
                                                                                               with the Intel H67 chipset has 6 PCIe & PCI expansion
                INSIDE THE HOOD                                                                slots, multi-GPU support, 8 SATA ports, USB 3.0 and
        A hardcore gamer would expect to be in front of                                        2.0 ports and most importantly is capable of housing
        his monitor for hours, playing games without                                           the Intel i7-2600K processor.
        interruptions. For such usage, a PC needs
        strong hardware that takes such loads without                                          COOLING SYSTEM:
        overheating.                                                                           Having your machine process such great amounts
                                                                                               of data for lengthy periods means most of the
        PROCESSOR:                                                                                       components will heat up to a fairly
        To get the best gaming experience,                                                               high temperature. Most high level CPUs
        you should equip your machine with a                 FOR MODEST BUDGETS                          and GPUs are equipped with their own
        powerful processor, like the new Intel          If you feel that enjoying games                  cooling fans, but it is still advisable to use
        Core i7 range of processors. The quad-          shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, you             thermal cooling or a liquid cooling system
        core processor is capable of handling the       can build a custom rig with a lower              to ensure your machine doesn’t overheat.
        heavy load that a hardware-intensive            configuration that will still let you enjoy
        game requires. The onboard graphics             your games on medium settings. Intel                  ON THE DESK
        chip can only handle low level graphics.        Core i3 or i5 processors are suitable to         The best hardware inside your cabinet will
                                                        run most games and even the latest               not be able to give you the best gaming
        GRAPHICS:                                       games list Intel Core 2 Duo and AMD              experience without the best peripherals
        To get the best graphics on offer, you          Athlon II processors in the minimum              at your disposal. Gaming keyboards, mice
        can aid your CPU with a high-end                requirements. As long as you have a dual         and controllers, monitors and headsets
        graphics card. The Nvidia Geforce GTX           core processor higher than 2.4 GHz, you          all play a major role in optimizing your
        580 is the best graphics card available.        should be able to run most of the latest         gaming experience.
        It comes with 1.5 GB GDDR5 memory               games. You can also work with 2 GB of
        and clocks up to 1600 MHz. The GPU              RAM, though you will be unable to run            INPUT DEVICES:
        also supports 3D, features an HDMI              other applications in the background. If         Gaming keyboards like the Logitech G15
        port, and houses its own cooling fan.           you do intend to use reduced RAM, then           let you to program complex commands
        Two Geforce GTX 580 cards can be used           you must support it with at least a 256          to a single key; USB ports allow you
        in combination using SLI technology to          MB GPU to reduce the load. Graphics              to attach more peripherals; and LCD
        share the video rendering.                      cards based on GeForce 400 series or ATI         displays show your saved profiles. The
                                                        Radeon 5400 and 5500 series GPUs are             Logitech G500 gaming mouse gives you
        MEMORY:                                         cheaper alternatives to high-end cards.          programmable buttons, and it can detect
        Your PC’s RAM also plays a key role in                                                           the smallest of movements for better
        your gaming experience. New games                                                                accuracy. You can also get a variety of
        require a minimum of 2 to 4 GB of RAM, to run                                          gamepads and joysticks for games from brands
        your game at the lowest settings. For more power-                                      such as Razer, Steelseries and Roccat.
        hungry games, you need 8 GB of RAM. DDR3 RAM
        at 1600 MHz can handle heavy loads and still give                                      MONITOR:
        you a lag-free gaming experience.                                                      PS3 and Xbox 360 games are best enjoyed on large
                                                                                               HD LCD TVs. The same also applies to PC games,
        STORAGE:                                                                               which are capable of even higher resolutions. You
        Storage is also important for a gamer hoping to play                                   can take advantage of the crisp HD output of your
        multiple games on his PC. Most new games require                                       graphics card with a high-end LCD or LED monitor
        10-15 GB of free space for installation. This could be                                 that supports resolutions of 1080p and higher. A 22 or
        a minimal installation that still accesses your hard                                   24-inch monitor is recommended for an immersive
        disk for a great deal of data, which could slow down                                   experience. To take advantage of 3D features, make
        the game. Both Western Digital and Seagate offer                                       sure the monitor supports 3D technology.

                                                                                                                        PC CONFIGS       7

Processor           Intel Core i5-2537M
Motherboard         -
RAM                 4 GB DDR3
Hard disk           500 GB
Graphics card       NVIDIA GeForce GT540
Optical drive       Iomega SuperSlim Portable writer
Screen              11.6-inch HD LED
Keyboard            -
Mouse               -
Speakers            -
Sound card          Integrated                         ALIENWARE M11X
PC Case             -                                  Rs 50,100
Power supply unit   -
                                                       The Alienware M11x is a relatively cheap gaming laptop that can be
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                       easily customized as a good gaming machine. This setup is suited to a
Cooling System      -                                  cheaper budget and will be able to run most new games.

Processor           Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard         Zotac H55-ITX WiFi Mini-ITX
RAM                 4 GB DDR3
Hard disk           1 TB
Graphics card       NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Optical drive       DVD-R SuperDrive
Screen              -
Keyboard            -
Mouse               -
Speakers            -                                  V3 GAMING PC MOVE
Sound card          -                                  Rs 53,800
PC Case             SilverStone SG05
                                                       The V3 Gaming PC is equipped with hardware that can support most
Power supply unit   -
                                                       new games. A strong Intel Core i5 processor, ample storage, and
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium             sufficient RAM, along with a liquid cooling system make it a great
Cooling System      Asetek LC 120mm Liquid Cooling     budget gaming PC.

Processor           Intel Core i5-2500K
Motherboard         Intel HM57 chipset
RAM                 4 GB DDR3
Hard disk           500 GB
Graphics card       NVIDIA GeForce GT435M
Optical drive       DVD-RW
Screen              17.3-inch WLED
Keyboard            -
Mouse               -
Speakers            JBL Waves MaxxAudio                DELL XPS 17 LAPTOP
Sound card          -                                  Rs 42,630
PC Case             -
                                                       The Dell XPS 17 is a great mid-priced gaming laptop. The large
Power supply unit   -
                                                       17-inch screen, Nvidia Geforce graphics, JBL sound and the Intel Core
Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                       i5 processor are perfect for running games at low or medium quality
Cooling System      -                                  settings.

                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                   BUSINESS EXECUTIVE RIGS

                                   WORKING ON THE MOVE
                                   The netbook and notebook market has been a boon for those who
                                   wish to work on-the-go, and if a large part of your professional life
                                   is spent outdoors, you need a rugged portable solution with decent
                                   battery life that also lets you multitask with ease.
                                   BY KAMAKSHI S
     dummy name Chaitanya Surpur
     Sachin Pandit,

                                                                                                    CON S
                                                                                                 PC CONFIIGS         9

                         Anup is a young business executive and a lot of his
                         work involves on-site visits and client meetings. He
                         needs his data handy at all times. He also needs to
                         update a centralized CMS with client and sales details.
                         What kind of system should he go for?

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                              Rs 43,895
                       Processor            AMD Phenom II X2 560                                     5,480
                       Motherboard          Asus M4A88T-M/USB3                                       6,060
                       RAM                  Strontium 2 x 2 GB DDR3 - 1333 MHz                       2,400
                       Hard disk            Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 – 1 TB                         3,450
                       Optical dive         LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                              1,200
                       Monitor              Benq E2220HD                                             9,960
                       Keyboard and mouse   Logitech Classic Desktop MK100                               725
                       PC Case              Cooler Master Elite 330                                  2,250
                       Power supply unit    Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 350W                    1,680
                       Operating system     Windows 7 Professional                                  10,690

DELL VOSTRO 230S                                                 LENOVO THINKPAD
Rs 45,375                                                        X201 3323AB1
Intel Core 2 Q8400, 2 GB DDR3, 500 GB
SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD, E1709W 17-inch
                                                                 Rs 64,300
                                                                 Intel Core i3-380M, 3 GB RAM, 500 GB
Wide Screen Flat Panel LCD Monitor, 16X                          HDD, 12.1-inch LCD, Integreated Graphics,
DVD+/-RW drive, One year data warranty.                          Bluetooth, Ethernet, 3 yr warranty.

APPLE MACBOOK AIR                                                SONY VAIO
Rs 79,900                                                        VPCS133GN/B
Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB DDR3, 128 GB SSD,
13.3-inch high-resolution widescreen
                                                                 Rs 52,990
                                                                 Intel Core i3-370M, 320 GB HDD, 3 GB
display, AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi, Bluetooth                        DDR3, Intel HD Graphics, HDMIOut,1 Yr
2.1, Two USB 2.0 ports.                                          International warranty .

                                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT             JUNE 2011

                    hen you are working against tight                                      space to install office productivity applications like
                    deadlines, the time spent in office isn’t                               MS Office for all your documents, spreadsheets,
                    always enough to get the job done. It’s                                emails, contacts and other customized applications.
         also important to not let excess time spent outside                               Moreover, if your business network lacks a
         the office affect your productivity. From video                                    centralized server to store all the data, you need at
         conferencing and email to word processing and                                     least 1 TB of hard disk space in all.
         spreadsheets, portable computing devices allow
         you to do all this on-the-go. Although a notebook                                 OPERATING SYSTEM:
         would be the best tool to use, a desktop PC can                                   Because you are using a system that needs to be
         suffice if you don’t move around a lot. Some users                                 accessed on a domain as well, you should go for an
         also make do with a netbook or a high-end tablet.                                 operating system that fits the scenario. Microsoft
                                                                                           Windows 7 Professional will not only offer backward
                 THE REQUIREMENTS                                                          compatibility to all XP-based applications, but it
         Most organizations offer a standard set of                                        also much lighter on your system.
         specifications that you can look for and suggest
         a configuration and brand according                                                           ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:
         to a fi xed budget. Whether you’re                                                            In an office setting, you would have to
         picking components, peripherals or                  FOR SMALLER POCKETS                      connect to the centralized domain, and
         any software, make sure that there              If you are working around a tight            so an Ethernet connection is a mandate.
         is adequate support available even if           budget, you can get a machine with           Apart from that, ensure that you have
         you are on the move. Other essential            a dual core processor (an Intel Atom         output ports that connect to an external
         factors that you should consider are            processor for a netbook will be good         projector if you need to present your
         the portability and build quality of the        enough) with 2 GB RAM and 250 GB of          data and statistics. Other essentials that
         device as well as the amount of warranty        disk space. You can opt for a 16x DVD        you need to have on the system include
         offered by the manufacturer.                    writer. However, you cannot do away          optical devices like DVD players, data
                                                         with the Ethernet port or Wi-Fi and          security features and applications, and
              UNDER THE HOOD                             Bluetooth support.                           upgrade options, along with USB ports.
         Be it a desktop system or a laptop, the
         hardware requirement remains more                                                                ON THE MOVE
         or less identical for the business user. While you’re                             If you are using a laptop instead, you would require
         deciding on your system’s make up, also consider                                  a few more things to keep you connected on the go.
         custom applications that your organization would
         require you to install and new processes that will                                CONNECTIVITY
         be subsequently introduced.                                                       If you are connecting to a network or need to access
                                                                                           the Internet wirelessly, make sure all the required
         PROCESSOR:                                                                        ports are available on the device. Ethernet, USB and
         As a business executive, most of your work will be                                HDMI ports are quite common, but it is always good
         centered around office productivity tools, which                                   to check the number of available USB ports if you
         are not very heavy on the processor. A good dual                                  wish to plug in peripherals, and the connectivity
         core processor like the AMD Phenom II X2 560 can                                  standard for data transfer speeds on external
         help you switch between applications, process data                                storage device like flash drives. Other essential
         and save files with ease.                                                          connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

         RAM:                                                                              SUPPORT AND WARRANTY
         Office applications usually tend to hog RAM. So if                                 Since you will be using your system outdoors
         you are switching between applications and have                                   a lot, you should know which possible faults in
         several large files open at once, it can slow down                                 your machine are covered under warranty and
         your system considerably. Since the setup doesn’t                                 what kind of help is available, especially if you are
         perform any graphic intensive work, a 2 x 2 GB                                    not technically inclined. You also need to know
         1333MHz DDR3 RAM works fine.                                                       the period and nature of warranty. A minimum
                                                                                           of one-year warranty period is crucial. Some
         STORAGE:                                                                          manufacturers tend to have quite a long turnaround
         If you are using the device to run promotional                                    time, which can hamper your productivity, so make
         videos or store media kits, you may require a fair                                sure you pick a brand that is reputed for its after-
         bit of storage space. There also needs to be enough                               sales service.

                                                                                                                        PC CONFIGS       11

Processor             Intel Core i5-480M
RAM                   3 GB DDR3
Hard disk             500 GB
Screen                14-inch HD
Optical Drive         DVD Writer
USB Ports             3
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Bluetooth 2.1, WLAN              ACER AS 4820TG
Sound card            Dolby Stereo Speakers            Rs 44,495
Video card            ATI 1GB dedicated graphics
                                                       The Acer timeline 4820TG laptop is cost effective and is perfect
Operating system      Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                       for rugged use. However, you might want to go for a Windows 7
Battery life          8 hours
                                                       Professional; instead of the Windows 7 Home Premium as it would
Warranty              1 year
                                                       not help you connect to a LAN setting.

Processor             Intel Core i3 -350M
RAM                   3 GB DDR3
Hard disk             320 GB
Screen                15.6-inch HD LED
Optical Drive         DVD Writer
USB Ports             1
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Bluetooth 2.1, WLAN
Sound card            Mono Speaker
                                                       TOSHIBA TECRA A11-I5530
Video card            Intel HD Graphics
                                                       Rs 49,990
Operating system
                      Windows 7 Professional with XP   Toshiba Tecra A11-I5530 makes for a compelling package, and it
                                                       is very comfortable to use outdoors. While the Windows XP Pro
Battery life          8 hours
                                                       downgrade will help you curb costs, the single USB port is the only
Warranty              3 years
                                                       major letdown.

Processor             Intel Core i3 -350M Processor
RAM                   3 GB DDR3
Hard disk             320 GB SATA
Screen                14.1-inch widescreen
Optical Drive         DVD Writer
USB Ports             1
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Bluetooth 2.1, WLAN
Video card            Intel HD Graphics                DELL INSPIRON 14R
Operating system      Windows 7 Home Basic SP1         Rs 28,400
                      Microsoft Office Home and
Office productivity                                    Dell Inspiron 14R is a high performance system that can be very
                      Business 2010
Battery life          8 hours                          handy even as you grow in your career profile. Moreover, you can
Warranty              1 year                           also customize the product to best suit your needs. But make sure
                                                       that you opt for a Windows 7 Pro instead.

                                                                             INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                    RIGS FOR DIGITAL ARTISTS

                                    CREATING DIGITAL ART
                                    With the rapid evolution of digital art tools, artists
                                    might find the need to migrate to newer software
                                    versions. Here is a setup that will fit your every need.
                                    BY KAMAKSHI S
      dummy name Chaitanya Surpur
      Sachin Pandit,

                                                                                                    PC CONFIGS
                                                                                                    PC CONFIIGS        3

                         Sonu is an aspiring digital artist and wants to explore
                         the full potential of Photoshop and Illustrator to create
                         his digital paintings. His friend Rajesh, on the other
                         hand, wants to develop his proficiency as a layout
                         artist, and is toying with the idea of becoming a Web
                         designer as well. Both of them are photography
                         enthusiasts too. What kind of machine should they
                         settle for?

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                                 Rs 80,610
                       Processor             AMD Phenom II X6 1075T                                    10,180
                       Motherboard           Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3                                     9,240
                       RAM                   Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1333 – 8 GB DDR3                          7,010
                       Hard disk             Western Digital Caviar Green – 2 TB                        4,630
                       Graphics card         NVIDIA Geforce GTS 450 1GB GDDR3                           6,500
                       Optical drive         LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                                1,200
                       Monitor               Dell U2211H 21.5 inch W UltraSharp Monitor                11,000
                       Keyboard              Logitech Media Keyboard K200                                 550
                       Mouse                 Logitech MX518                                             1,600
                       Tablet                Wacom Intuos4 PTK-840                                     28,700
                       PC Case               Cooler Master CM690                                         5,479
                       Power supply unit     Corsair TX650W                                             6,250
                       Operating system      Windows 7 Home Premium                                     5,200

APPLE IMAC                                                           LENOVO Y560-59-
Rs 79,900                                                            055616
Intel Core i5 quad-core, 4 GB DDR3, 256 GB                           Rs 56,990
SSD, 1 TB SATA HDD, 512 MB AMD Radeon                                Core i7-740M, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB HDD, ATI
HD 6770M, FireWire 800 port; 4 USB 2.0                               Mobility Radeon HD 5730 , HDMI, Bluetooth
ports, 21.5-inch LED Display.                                        2.1, Rambo Tray in 12.7mm, 15.6 HD LED

SONY VAIO                                                            DELL STUDIO XPS
VPCF136FG/BI                                                         7100 DESKTOP
Rs 69,990                                                            Rs 60,625
Intel Core i7-740QM, 500 GB HDD, 4 GB                                AMD Phenom II X6 1090T, 6 GB DDR3, 1 TB
DDR3, Blu-Ray Disk ROM Drive, NVIDIA                                 SATA HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6450, Dell ST
GeForce GT 425M, 16.4-inch wide, e-SATA.                             22-inch W LCD,

                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT           JUNE 2011

                ome of the most important parameters that                                   RAM & GRAPHICS SUPPORT:
                you need to consider for a digital designer’s                               RAM plays a very important role in running
                machine are the processor and GPU                                           applications smoothly. Most image editing and
         support along with RAM capacity and software                                       composing software requires a minimum of 2 GB of
         compatibility options. Knowing what kind of work                                   RAM. Running several applications on 2 GB of RAM
         you need to use the system for will help you arrive                                will not be very convenient so you are better off
         at the best possible setup.                                                        getting up to 8 GB of RAM for avoiding any system
                                                                                            lag. Since the work is not very graphics intensive,
                 TOOLS FOR PRINT DESIGNERS                                                  you don’t really need to spend on a high-range GPU.
         If you are in a creative field, that needs you to                                   Although you would require video rendering when
         come up with artwork using digital tools, create                                   zooming in and out of raster vector graphics and
         illustrations, designs, font sets, or work on creatives                            base level 3D, an OpenGL standard doesn’t really
         the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5) Design Standard                               need too much juice. That is what Nvidia Geforce
         is the ultimate tool to use. Another notable tool that                             GTS 450 offers you with a 1 GB dedicated memory,
         is quite popular among the designing community                                     along with DirectX 11 and Shader support.
         is CorelDraw X5. If Web designing is
         your area of expertise, then you can use                                                       DISK SPACE:
         the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5) Web              FOR SMALLER POCKETS                      While you’ll require at least 8 GB of
         Premium package. Another option to               If you are looking for a cost-effective       hard disk space for installation across
         look at is the Design Premium suite.             short term solution, then you can go          applications alone, you need another 2 GB
                                                          for a less powerful system. However,          of space to run the application and save
              THE IDEAL SETUP                             you would be compromising on your             files created in it. Also the applications
         While Adobe’s website gives you                  systems performance and stability. You        usually provide heavy output and back
         a standard set of recommended                    can opt for a dual core processor with        up files. Moreover, certain features like
         configurations, you will not be able              3 GB of RAM and a 512 MB graphics             brushes and filters require you to have
         to do anything beyond installing the             card. You can cut down on the storage         huge amounts of additional space of up
         applications on your system and run              space to 160 GB with a Windows 7              to work without jerks. A 2 TB hard drive
         them individually. The applications              Home Basic 32-bit operating system.           would be ideal for such work. You can
         require a more potent system to run              However, you system will be prone to          also add SSDs to your system to speed up
         multiple programs simultaneously and             lag and some applications may not run         data read and write speeds.
         smoothly. Here is a quick look at a system       smoothly. Also, you will have to ensure
         that will perfectly suit your needs.             frequent backups and create restore           DISPLAY:
                                                          points to ensure that your machine            An LCD screen with IPS (in-plane
         PROCESSOR:                                       doesn’t crash.                                switching) is perfect for artists as it
         If you are going to toggle between lots                                                        offers the best color-contrast ratio. In
         of processes and need batch processing                                                         these monitors, the liquid crystals are
         on images while porting data from one application                                   aligned horizontally rather than placing them at
         to another, you need a processor that can handle                                    angles. Thus you get a clear view of the screen from
         all the load with the least possible lag. The AMD                                   vertical viewing angles as well. When compared to
         Phenom II X6 is a six-core processor, and at 3.0                                    the high levels of brightness and contrast offered
         GHz, it can easily handle multiple processing tasks.                                by glare type displays, the color reproduction of
         Moreover, the latest of Adobe products require the                                  the IPS paneled screens seems almost perfect. It is
         OpenGL software and hardware standard, which                                        also good for professionals who are struggling with
         accelerates video processing, or image zooming                                      space issues on their workstations. Most of these
         and rendering for large or complex images and 3D                                    applications work well on display settings that are
         models as well, which can work flawlessly with a                                     1280x800 or higher, and a hardware-accelerated
         strong processor.                                                                   OpenGL graphics card that supports 16-bit color
                                                                                             and is DirectX 9-capable.
         This purely depends on brand power. If you are                                     PERIPHERAL SUPPORT:
         opting for an Apple product, make sure you get a                                   Some essential peripherals include graphics tablet,
         Mac OS X v10.6 with ample Flash support. As for                                    a good scanner and an optical drive. If you need to
         Windows users, given the OpenGL standards, any                                     trace images and are comfortable with free hand
         thing from the Windows 7 family that runs on the                                   art, then the Intuos4 PTK-840 tablet is a good option.
         64-bit mode will work for you.                                                     It gives near accurate tilt and pen precision.

                                                                                                                       PC CONFIGS       15

Processor          Intel Core i5-2300
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium SP1
Security           McAfee SecurityCenter 15 months
                   Dell ST2420L 24-inch HD
                   Widescreen Monitor with WLED
Memory             4 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB
                                                     DELL XPS 8300
Optical drive      DVD Writer
                                                     Rs 60,625
Video card         1 GB ATI Radeon HD5770 Graphics
                                                     Although the Dell XPS can help you carry out most of your designing
                   Integrated High Definition 7.1
                   channel audio                     tasks, you might find the processor a little bit slow to work with.
                                                     However the added security package offers a good deal.

                   Intel Core i5-560M (2.66 GHz )
                   with Turbo Boost up to 3.20 GHz
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Screen             16.4-inch wide
Memory             4 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB
                                                     SONY VAIO VPCF135FG/B
Optical drive      DVD±RW /+R DL/RAM                 Rs 49,990
Video card         NVIDIA GeForce 310M               Another economical solution, the Sony Vaio VPCF135FG/B is perfect
Outputs            HDMI, eSATA                       if you want to work on the go. The system is ideal for artists and
                                                     photographers who move around often.

Processor          Intel Core i5-480M
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
Screen             14-inch HD
Memory             3 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB                            ACER ASPIRE TIMELINE 4820TG
Optical drive      DVD Writer                        Rs 44, 495
Video card         ATI 1 GB dedicate graphics
                                                     While a laptop may not be the best option that you would want
Sound card         Dolby Stereo Speakers
                                                     to use, it can be a handy option if you are traveling frequently.
Battery life       8 hours
                                                     Photographers will find the system quite easy to work with.

                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                            Computers play          RIGS FOR VIDEO EDITORS
                                             a major role in
                                         movie making. All
                                          editing jobs need
                                         high performance
                                           machines or the
                                                                   FINAL CUT
                                         final touches on a
                                         movie would take
                                        BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

                                                                                                       ON S
                                                                                                   PC CONF GS            7

                         Aditi spends most of her day in front of her monitors
                         editing and rendering movies and videos, both
                         professionally and as a hobby. She uses software like
                         Smoke, Flame, Avid and Final Cut Studio on a regular
                         basis and has large amounts of video and audio data
                         to work on.

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                            Rs 1,76,700
                       Processor             Intel Core i5-2500K                                      12,000
                       Motherboard           Gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H-B3                                   5,700
                       RAM                   4 x 2 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 MHz                               10,000
                                             Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB                         7,550
                       Hard disk
                                             Intel X25-M 160 GB SSD                                   20,500
                       Graphics card         NVIDIA Quadro 4000                                       56,100
                                             LG 24x DVD RW SATA                                        1,150
                       Optical drive
                                             LG WH10LS30 Blu-ray Drive                                 5,000
                       Monitor               2 x LG W2486L 24-inch LCD                                29,000
                       Keyboard              DV Keyboard 3.0                                           5,000
                       Mouse                 Logitech V470 Cordless Mouse                              2,500
                       Speakers              M-Audio Studiophile AV 40                                 9,000
                       Sound card            Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium                      5,000
                       Power supply unit     Ocz Stealthxstream 2 600W                                 3,000
                       Operating system      Windows 7 Home Premium, Mac OS X                          5,200

APPLE MAC PRO                                                      APPLE IMAC
Rs 1,63,440                                                        Rs 1,07,900
Intel Xeon Quad-Core, 3 GB DDR3, 1 TB                              Intel Core i5 3.1 GHz, 4 GB DDR3, 1 TB
SATA HDD, ATI Radeon HD 5770, 18X                                  SATA HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6970M, 8x
SuperDrive, Apple LED 27-inch Display                              SuperDrive, Apple LED 27-inch Display

HPE510T                                                            APPLE MACBOOK PRO
Rs 1,01,250                                                        Rs 1,42,900
Intel Core i5 3.3 GHz, 8 GB DDR3, 500 GB                           Intel Core i7 2.2 GHz, 4 GB DDR3, 750
SATA HDD, 2 TB SATA HDD, NVIDIA GeForce                            GB HDD, Intel HD graphics 3000, 8x
GT 440, Blu-ray writer, 16x DVD drive, 2 x                         SuperDrive, MacBookPro 17-inch Display.
HP LED 27-inch Displays.

                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT               JUNE 2011
video ar

                omputers used for video editing need to                                      STORAGE:
                have hardware that can support editing                                       High quality videos require large amounts of
                software like Avid Media Composer, Smoke,                                    storage space and an editor might have to save
         Flame and Final Cut Studio. Moreover, video                                         multiple edits of a file before the final product.
         editing is generally a lengthy process and editors                                  Editors also often have large libraries of reference
         can expect to be in front of their machines for                                     videos and audio that can eat up a lot of space.
         hours together, which means the hardware needs                                      Accessing your software and data quickly is also
         to be sturdy enough to handle such loads for long                                   essential, which is why having a 150 GB to 200 GB
         periods of time.                                                                    solid state drive for installations is an advantage.
                                                                                             Along with this, you can add up to 2 TB of HDD
                 UNDER THE HOOD                                                              storage to save your work.
         A video editing machine is required to run mutliple
         editing software for a lot of video content. The most                                 OPTICAL DRIVE:
         recommended machine for such activity would be                                        High definition and 3D movies and videos are often
         an Apple product that has greater connectivity                                        written or produced on Blu-ray discs, so having
         options like Firewire ports and newer Thunderbolt                                     a Blu-ray drive is very important for any video
         ports. Also, Final Cut Studio and Final                                                         editing machine. Along with one Blu-
         Cut Pro are available only on the Apple                                                         ray burner, it is also advisable to have a
         products.                                            FOR SMALLER POCKETS                        second DVD burner for copying discs and
                                                         If you are trying to put together an            writing multiple discs.
         PROCESSOR:                                      editing PC on a tighter budget, you can
         Having to work with heavy software for          opt for a slightly slower quad-core i5          CONNECTIVITY:
         video editing, any good video editing           processor, or you can even get yourself         A very important feature that is
         machine should have a dual core or              an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD X2 dual core         present only in Apple Mac products is
         quad core processor. Most editing               processor. These might not be able to           connectivity ports. Apple’s Firewire
         applications recommend a dual-core 2.4          run multiple software at the same time,         ports allow for data transfer at a much
         GHz processor or higher for installation,       but they still fit within the minimum           higher rate and you can dump video
         and an Intel Core i5 processor suits            requirements for most editing software.         content much faster, directly from your
         these needs perfectly. With an in-built         Just like the processors, 2 to 4 GB of          camera. Firewire gives you speeds up to
         graphics chip, the i5 processor can             RAM will still allow you to carry out your      800MB/s and Apple has developed a new
         support your GPU for processing high            work, except at a slightly lower rate, and      Thunderbolt port that can transfer data
         resolution HD and 3D videos.                    will reduce your multitasking options. If       at 10 Gb/s. You could also choose USB 3.0
                                                         you do not wish to spend too much on            ports on your PC for upto 5 Gb/s data
         GRAPHICS:                                       internal storage, you can opt for a single      transfer rates.
         The graphics card is the most important         500 GB or 1 TB hard drive rather than
         component for video editing. With 3D            an SSD. You can also get a portable or               ON THE DESK
         technology on the fray and HD editing           external drive for more storage. For            Having the right hardware needs
         being the norm, a strong GPU is vital           decent graphics, you can opt for an             to be supplemented with adequate
         for efficient editing. Nvidia’s 3D Vision        entry-level Nvidia Qudro series or an           peripherals like monitors, speakers
         Pro gives stereoscopic 3D solutions for         AMD Radeon Firepro series GPU.                  and input devices. A machine for video
         viewing 3D content and better imagery.                                                          editing should have HD monitors, high-
         The Nvidia Quadro chip supports 3D                                                              quality surround sound speakers and
         Vision Pro and provides enough processing power                                       the appropriate input devices to expedite the
         for rendering and editing high quality videos.                                        editing process.

         MEMORY:                                                                             MONITOR:
         A machine for editing is required to run multiple                                   A high definition 24-inch to 27-inch widescreen
         editing software at the same time. Each software                                    monitor is perfect for a large viewing area. LED
         also requires a decent amount of RAM for smooth                                     monitors are advisable for getting better color
         operation. Most of the editing software recommend                                   definition and having a 3D compatible monitor
         2 to 4 GB of RAM required for installation, but keep                                would be ideal. Editors often choose to have a
         in mind that this is enough to support just that                                    dual-monitor setup for playing video on one
         specific program. 4 to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM is good                                      monitor and executing the editing process on the
         enough to manage multiple running programs and                                      second monitor. Two 24-inch LCD monitors should
         video rendering without any delays.                                                 be suitable for most editing jobs.

                                                                                                                  PC CONFIGS       19

 Processor          Intel Core i5-760
 RAM                8 GB DDR3
 Hard disk          2 TB
 Graphics card      NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M
 Optical drive      Slim-tray Blu-ray player
 Screen             2 x HP LED 27-inch          HP 200Q SERIES
 Keyboard           HP USB Keyboard             Rs 67,700
 Mouse              HP USB Optical Mouse
                                                The HP 200q series is customizable to suit the configuration for
 Speakers           Logitech Z506 5.1 System
                                                a mid-level editing machine. You can choose dual-monitors and
 Sound card         Integrated
                                                increased storage as per your needs and you can add external storage
 Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                drives and optical drives to maximize your output.

 Processor          Intel Core 2 Duo 3.1GHz
 RAM                4 GB DDR2
 Hard disk          1.5 TB
 Graphics card      NVIDIA GeForve 9400
 Optical drive      8x DVDRW Optical Drive
 Screen             Dell LED 24-inch
 Keyboard           Logitech MK710 Keyboard     DELL STUDIO ONE 19
 Screen             Logitech MK710 Mouse        Rs 49,800
 Speakers           Dell 22W
                                                The Dell Studio One 19 is an entry-level machine as far as editing
 Sound card         Integrated
                                                needs are concerned. With a Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB RAM, it
 Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                should suffice for simple editing tasks and standard quality videos.

 Processor          Intel Core i5-2410M
 RAM                4 GB DDR3
 Hard disk          750 GB
 Graphics card      NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
 Optical drive      Blu-ray + DVD Combo Drive
 Screen             15.6-inch HD
 Keyboard           Standard                    LENOVO IDEAPAD Y570 LAPTOP
 Mouse              Standard                    Rs 42,700
 Speakers           Lenovo Stereo Speakers
                                                The Lenovo IdeaPad Y570 is a fairly handy laptop for editing
 Sound card         Integrated
                                                purposes. It has a reasonably strong processor, suitable RAM and
 Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                enough storage space for editing on-the-go or for small editing jobs.

                                                                       INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                        RIGS FOR ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS

                                        BUILDING BRIDGES
                                        Gone are the days when engineers and architects drew up
                                        elaborate floor plans on rolls of paper. It’s all digital now,
                                        but the nature of the work means that a low-end system
                                        just won’t cut it. These tasks have special requirements
                                        as well as specialized software that will be run on these
                                        BY KAMAKSHI S.
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

     JUNE 2011                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                   PC CONF GS        21

                         Ria is an architect who specializes in designing living
                         and commercial spaces. She has tight deadlines to
                         meet, especially for her commercial clients. Alisha is
                         a mechanical engineer specializing in oil and gas. She
                         needs to create elaborate plans for not just oil drilling,
                         out in the ocean, but she also has to design pipelines
                         that carry the same. What system should Ria and
                         Alisha opt for?

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                              Rs 1,16,575
                       Processor           Intel Core i7- 920                                         14,900
                       Motherboard         Asus Sabertooth X58                                        12,000
                       Video Card          NVIDIA Geforce GTS 450                                      6,500
                       RAM                 2 x 2 GB Strontium DDR3                                     2,400
                       Hard disk           Western Digital Caviar Green – 1 TB                         3,040
                       Optical dive        LG GH22 SATA 22x DVD-writer                                  1,200
                       Monitor             BenQ V2400 Eco, 24-inch TFT (LED)                          16,960
                       Input devices       Waccom Intuos4 X-Large                                     46,200
                       Power supply unit   Cooler Master Silent Pro M600                                6,785
                       Operating system    Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)                             6,590

APPLE MACBOOK PRO                                                   DELL XPS 8300
17-INCH                                                             DESKTOP
Rs 1,42,900                                                         Rs 69,260
                                                                    Intel Core i7 - 2600, 6 GB DDR3, 1 TB
Intel Core i7 quad-core, 4 GB DDR3, 750
                                                                    SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD, Dell IN1920 24-inch
                                                                    Wide Screen Flat Panel LCD Monitor, 1 GB
6750M, Intel HD Graphics 3000.
                                                                    NVIDIA GeForce GT420.

APPLE IMAC                                                           DELL XPS 15
Rs 79,900                                                           Rs 47,900
Intel Core i5 quad-core, 4 GB DDR3, 256
                                                                    XPS-15 Core i3-380M, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB
                                                                    SATA HDD, 1 GB Nvdia GT420M, DVD RW,
6770M, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 8x SuperDrive
                                                                    INT6200 WIDI CARD, Windows 7 Home
with 4x double-layer burning , Apple LED
                                                                    Premium, MS Office Starter 2010.
21.5-inch Display.

                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT           JUNE 2011

                he most essential component to consider                                   you need more RAM to ensure that the system
                when setting up a system for a structural                                 runs smoothly.
                engineer or an architect is the graphics
         card, as most of the applications used by these                                  GPU:
         professionals are extremely graphics intensive.                                  Keep in mind the graphics intensive nature of
         You would also require a good amount of RAM to                                   the applications, you will require a good graphics
         run the system smoothly, as well as ample storage                                card with at least 1 GB memory. A mid-range
         space to accommodate large work files.                                            Nvidia Geforce GTS 450 GPU with a 1 GB dedicated
                                                                                          memory, with DirectX 11 support and shader
                 REQUIRED TOOLS                                                           support will be enough to start with.
         One of the most popular suites of tools that can
         help in architectural, construction, structural,                                 DISK SPACE:
         mechanical and civil engineering or real estate                                  The applications each require up to 5 GB of hard
         professions comes from AutoDesk. They offer                                      disk space for a complete installation. Thus, you
         customized software packages that can be                                         will require huge amounts of space, not just to
         put to specific use. These include applications                                   install and run the applications, but also output
         like AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Raster Design,                                    and save the files. A 1 TB hard drive would be
         Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise, AutoCAD Map                                        ideal for such work.
         3D, AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite, Autodesk 3DS
         Max, Autodesk Collaborative Project Management,                                      ON THE DESK:
         Autodesk Design Review, Autodesk Navisworks,                                     Once you have zeroed in on the kind of system
         Autodesk Quantity Takeoff and Autodesk                                           you need, you will then have to shift your focus
         FMDesktop, just to name a few.                                                             on what other peripherals you would
                                                                                                    require to make work efficiently. Apart
              THE IDEAL SETUP                             FOR SMALLER POCKETS                       from a widescreen monitor, you will also
         The AutoDesk website offers setup           If you are on a tighter budget, you can        need peripherals like a good precision
         requirements for both 64-bit and 32-bit     go with a dual core processor like an          mouse and keyboard to draft your work
         systems. While 32-bit applications work     Intel Core 2 Duo with a 512 MB graphics        or just a good pro-level digitizer will be
         on any operating system, go for a 64-bit    card. You can also opt for 2 GB of RAM         enough. If you need to make frequent
         setup instead.                              and go for a smaller monitor between           client presentations, make sure you
            A 64-bit version will not only utilize   17 and 21 inches. You can cut down             have a plotter handy too.
         your RAM better as compared to a            on the storage space to 500 GB, and
         32-bit version, but aid the GPU when        go with an additional external hard            DISPLAY:
         rendering 3D structures. Here is a quick    drive when required. On the peripheral         A 24-inch TFT LED screen like the BenQ
         look at a system that will perfectly suit   front, you can opt for a mid-range             V2400 Eco is well suited for CAD use as
         your needs.                                 digitizer instead of a big one, or opt for     it offers easy viewing of large plans that
                                                     a keyboard-mouse combo instead.                you would create. Most applications
         PROCESSOR:                                                                                 work well on display settings which
         Make sure you go for a processor that                                                      are 1280x800 and above, and the LED
         can handle large loads. While Intel’s dual core                                  screen will give you better color display and
         systems support 64-bit applications as well, you                                 sharpness. But a full HD monitor like this will
         might find them lagging at times. The Intel Core                                  give your architectural walk-through amazing
         i7- 920 is a processor that is fast enough to run                                sharpness. You can also catch a movie on your
         several applications smoothly, and the integrated                                free time, if you need a break. However, if you find
         graphics also quickens the entire rendering                                      the resolution too low, you can pick a dual-screen
         process. The four-core structure with turbo                                      monitor setup instead.
         mode ensures that all the four cores function
         simultaneously.                                                                  PERIPHERAL SUPPORT:
                                                                                          Considering the large output fi les, you will
         RAM:                                                                             need a high end graphics tablet that offers a lot
         You will probably use multiple applications for                                  of working area and generous workspace. The
         your designing, rendering and editing processes                                  Waccom Intuos4 X-Large comes with as many as
         so you need a fair amount of RAM. When working                                   10 nibs to ensure accurate output. If you need to
         with graphics intensive files, you need at least 4                                print these plans, a standard laser printer will not
         GB of RAM. Moreover, when using a 64-bit setup                                   suffice; go for a good plotter instead.

                                                                                                                           PC CONFIGS       23

Processor             Intel Core i7-740QM
RAM                   4 GB DDR3
Hard disk             500 GB
Screen                16.4-inch wide
Optical Drive         Blu-Ray Disk Drive
USB Ports             HDMI Output, e-SATA ,Optical Out
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Wi-Fi/ BlueTooth 2.1
Sound card            Intel High Definition Audio
Video card
Operating system
                      NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M
                      Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
                                                         SONY VAIO VPCF136FG/BI
Battery life          --
                                                         Rs 69,990
Warranty              1 year                             The latest F series models from Sony Vaio offer a lot of promise with
                                                         a power packed set up. Thanks to its full HD display and the Blu-Ray
                                                         Drive, your projects and walkthroughs will come alive on screen.

Processor             Intel Core i5-450M
RAM                   4 GB DDR3
Hard disk             640 GB
Screen                15.6-inch HD LED Glare
Optical Drive         DVD Writer
USB Ports             --
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Bluetooth 2.1
                      Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD
Video card
                      5730 Black                         LENOVO Y560 59-052245
Operating system      Windows 7 Home Premium             Rs 56,500
Office productivity   --
                                                         Lenovo Y560 series offers power-packed configuration list, that too
Battery life          --
                                                         at very affordable prices. Moreover Lenovo notebooks are best suited
Warranty              1 Year warranty
                                                         for rugged usage.

Processor             Intel Core i5 2410M
RAM                   4 GB DDR3
Hard disk             640 GB
Screen                15.6-inch
Optical Drive         DVD Writer
USB Ports             3 USB 2.0
LAN                   Gigabit Ethernet
Connectivity          Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi
Video card            1 GB Graphics
Operating system      Windows 7 Basic
                                                         HP PAVILION G6-1004TX
Office productivity   Office Starter 2010                Rs 43,156
Battery life          --                                 HP Pavilion G6-1004TX is a high performance system that can be
Warranty              --                                 very handy even as you grow in your career profile. It comes with an
                                                         Office 2010 Starter kit, which doesn’t feature Outlook 2010.

                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                        AUDIO EDITING RIGS

                                        MUSIC MANIA
                                        Musicians require specialised PCs for their composition
                                        and editing needs. PCs with high end sound cards and
                                        special inputs for musical instruments for recording can
                                        be configured for the best music recording.
                                        BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

     JUNE 2011                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                   PC CONFIGS
                                                                                                   PC CONFIGS          5

                         Arjun runs a music studio, where he composes and
                         records music. He uses software like Avid Pro Tools
                         HD2, Apple Logic and Steinberg Nuendo that enable
                         him to mix, compose and edit his music.

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                              Rs 1,52,735
                       Processor           Intel i7-2600K                                              17,000
                       Motherboard         Gigabyte GA-H67A-UD3H-B3                                     5,700
                       RAM                 4 x 2 GB OCZ DDR3 1600 MHz                                  10,000
                                           2 x Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB HDD                  28,800
                       Hard disk
                                           OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SSD                                    22,500
                       Graphics card       NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450                                       8,000
                       Optical drive       Asus DRW-2014L1T DVD burner                                  1,700
                       Monitor             Samsung 732NW 20-inch LCD                                    9,600
                       Keyboard            Logitech MK200 Media Combo                                     835
                       Mouse               Included in Combo
                       Speakers            Yamaha MSP5S Active Studio Monitor                          12,600
                       Sound card          ASUS Xonar Essence STX                                       9,000
                       Others              Apogee Duet Digital Audio Interface                         27,000

APPLE MAC PRO                                                       ORANGE OPC
Rs 1,92,730                                                         PERSONAL COMPUTER
Intel Xeon “Nehalem” 2.8 GHz, 8 GB DDR3                             Rs 88,800
RAM, 512 GB SSD, 2 TB SATA HDD, ATI                                 Intel Core i3-2100, 4 GB RAM, 500GB SATA
Radeon HD 5770, 18x SuperDrive.                                     HDD, Stereo Twin JBL 6.5” Speakers, OPC
                                                                    Interface ULTRA-low latency, Slot-loading

XL508AV-CED                                                         APPLE MACBOOK PRO
Rs 80,000                                                           Rs 80,700
Intel Core i7-2600, 8 GB DDR3, 1 TB SATA                            Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz, 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM,
HDD, 250 GB SATA HDD, AMD Radeon HD                                 750 GB SATA HDD, 8x SuperDrive.
6450 DP, 16x DVD writer drive

                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT             JUNE 2011
audio ed

                 he components of an audio artist’s PC are                              sounds and audio clips. Avid Pro Tools requires up
                                                                                          unds             clips        o    ls
                 very specific to its usage. If you wish to                                                     software and libraries to be
                                                                                        to 32 GB free for all soo         nd
                 compose or edit music at a professional
                                                professi                                installed. Add to that your own library of audio
                                                                                                                         n            aud
                     y                         you
         level, then you need to ensure that y have the                                 files and it is clear that you need a lot of storage
                                                                                                             t a
                                                                                                             tha          d
                                                                                                                         ed              ge
         hardware that suits the requirements of software                               space. A 240 GB SSD drive is suitable for booting
         like Avid Pro Tools, Logic Studio or Nuendo. Using                             and installation of all your software, and coupled
         less demanding software, on the other hand,                                    with 4 TB of hard drive space, you’ll have all your
         can reduce the cost of building a hardcore audio                               storage needs covered.
         editing PC.
                 UNDER THE HOOD                                                        You will require a good sound card for better
         Software applications like Avid Pro Tools and                                 sound quality and input options as well as good
         Nuendo have very specific requirements for                                     speakers for crisp sound. The Asus Xonar Essence
         optimal usage. Along with the components to                                   sound card gives you the option of 7.1 channel
         suit this hardware, you can also add a high-end                               sound and high end sound quality via an RCA jack,
         sound card that gives you better output and                                   Coaxial/Toslink and Aux-in 4 pin connectivity.
         more input options as well as a digital
         audio interface for low latency. Apple                                                       ON THE DESK
         Logic Studio functions only on Apple           FOR SMALLER POCKETS                      Musicians and audio editors will require
         machines, so you have no option for       If you are on a tighter budget, you           a few peripherals for their specialized
         putting together your own PC for this     can opt for a cheaper machine, but            machines to make their tasks easier.
         tool.                                     will have to accept that all high end         Apart from their musical instruments,
                                                   music editing software might not run          there are Digital to Analog Converters
         PROCESSOR:                                smoothly on it. You can opt for a lower       (DACs) and Digital Audio Interfaces
         Both Pro Tools and Nuendo require         grade quad-core processor like an Intel       that you can add to improve the sound
         a quad core processor and one that        Core i3 or i5. You can also reduce the        quality of your inputs. There is also the
         functions at 3.0 GHz or more is           RAM to 4 GB and should still be able to       obvious need for high quality speakers
         recommended, so the Intel Core i7         run your editing software individually        for clear and crisp sound.
         series is the best option. You can also   and cut down on multitasking. The
         choose an Intel Xeon range processor.     storage space is cullable as well, and        DIGITAL AUDIO INTERFACE:
                                                   you can choose a smaller sized hard           The Apogee Duet Digital Audio Interface
         GRAPHICS:                                 drive and avoid the expensive SSD. If         allows you to plug your musical
         Although the GPU does not play a big      you do require more storage space, you        instrument into its ‘breakout cable’
         role in music editing, a good graphics    can get an external or portable drive         and record music. The hardware is
         processor is required by high-end         of up to 500 GB. Most motherboards            accompanied by Maestro software, which
         software and it also takes some load off  have integrated sound cards so you            allows you to control various aspects
         the CPU, giving you faster performance.   can avoid the high end sound card and         of your audio input. With Firewire
         The Avid Pro Tools software does not      replace the expensive studio monitor          connectivity and very low latency, the
         work without an Nvidia graphics card.     with a good quality headset.                  Apogee Duet is great for any musical
         The NVIDIA Geforce GTS 450 is well                                                      artists wanting to record their music.
         suited for such a setup.
                                                                                        EXTERNAL DEVICES:
         MEMORY:                                                                        Based on your usage, you can also add external
         Music rendering, editing and composition                                       DAC devices to your machine as well as musical
         demands a large amount of RAM, so it is advisable                              instruments. A DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)
         to have at least 8 GB of RAM if you are going to                               helps generate better sound from the digital audio
         use professional music editing tools. Although                                 information on your PC. Adding a USB or Firewire
         most software state 4 GB to be the mnimum                                      DAC to your machine can also give you better
         requirement, it might be difficult to work with                                 sound.
         multiple applications or multitask without more
         RAM.                                                                           SPEAKERS:
                                                                                        High quality speakers are important and the
         STORAGE:                                                                       Yamaha SP5S 40 Watt Studio Monitor gives you
         Music editing software takes up large amounts                                  professional quality sound for your editing
         of storage space due to the libraries of stock                                 needs.

                                                                                                                    PC CONFIGS       27

Processor          Intel Core i3-2100
RAM                4 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB
Graphics card      AMD Radeon HD 6350
Optical drive      DVD Writer
Screen             -
Keyboard           HP PS/2 Standard               HP 8200 ELITE XL510AV-SEB COMPACT
Mouse              HP PS/2 Standard               Rs 50,100
Speakers           -
                                                  This HP 8200 Elite machine is easily configurable to suit your needs.
Sound card         EMU 1212m PCIe
                                                  With 500 GB of storage and 4 GB RAM it is a good option for simple
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                  music editing tasks.

Processor          Intel Core i5-460M
RAM                4 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB
Graphics card      Integrated Graphics
Optical drive      DVD Writer
Screen             14-inch HD LCD
Keyboard           Standard                       ACER AS 4820T LAPTOP
Mouse              Trackpad                       Rs 39,900
Speakers           Dolby Stereo Speakers
                                                  The Acer Aspire series laptop is a good option for musicians and
Sound card         Integrated Sound card
                                                  editors on the go. With good quality speakers and ample RAM for
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                  lighter software, it’s a great budget option for audio editing.

Processor          Intel Core i3-500
RAM                6 GB DDR3
Hard disk          1 TB
Graphics card      Integrated Intel Graphics
Optical drive      DVD Writer
Screen             -                              DELL INSPIRON 580
Keyboard           Dell USB Entry Keyboard        Rs 26,600
Mouse              Dell USB Optical Mouse
                                                  The Dell 580 is a really affordable option with powerful hardware.
Speakers           Inspire T12 Stereo Speakers
                                                  Up to 1 TB of storage and 6 GB of RAM means you can use it for
Sound card         Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
                                                  most editing software and storing your media. It also supports 7.1
Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                  surround sound formats.

                                                                         INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                        HOME PCS

                                        BASIC PCS FOR
                                        THE HOME
                                        Any modern day housewife will spend a fair amount of time
                                        on the PC. Browsing Facebook, Youtube and other social
                                        sites, sharing photos and videos, and accessing email are
                                        generally the most used services on the home PC.
                                        BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

     JUNE 2011                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                  C CONFIGS
                                                                                                 PC CONFIGS          9

                        Shilpa is a housewife who enjoys spending her time on
                        Facebook to keep in touch with friends and relatives.
                        She also uses her home PC to store photos, download
                        music and video chat. Skype, Picasa, Microsoft Word
                        and other basic software are all that she needs.

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                               Rs 26,510
                       Processor            AMD Athlon II X2 240                                      3,200
                       Motherboard          Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2                                     3,000
                       RAM                  OCZ 2 GB DDR3                                             1,250
                       Hard disk            Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 – 500 GB                        1,900
                       Graphics card        Integrated                                                      -
                       Optical drive        Samsung 20X DVDRW                                         1,100
                       Monitor              Samsung 540N15-inch LCD                                   7,500
                       Keyboard             Microsoft wired keyboard 600                                770
                       Mouse                Microsoft Compact Optical Mouse                            700
                       Speakers             Creative SBS A35 2.0 stereo Speaker                        500
                       Sound card           Integrated                                                      -
                       Other                Webcam, Headset                                                 -
                       Operating system     Windows 7 Home Premium                                    6,590

DELL INSPIRON 580S                                                 HP 500B MICROTOWER
Rs 29,000                                                          Rs 22,400
Intel Core i3-550, 4 GB DDR3, 320 GB SATA                          Intel Pentium E5700, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB
HDD, 16X DVDRW, USB Keyboard, USB                                  SATA HDD, 16X DVDRW, USB Keyboard, USB
Mouse, Windows 7 Home Premium                                      Mouse, Windows 7 Home Premium

ACER EME 730                                                       DELL VOSTRO V230S
NOTEBOOK                                                           Rs 24,000
Rs 27,000                                                          Intel Pentium E5700, 1 GB DDR3, 320 GB
Intel Core i3-330, 1 GB DDR3, 250 GB SATA                          SATA HDD, 18.5-inch Monitor, Standard
HDD, 8X DVDRW, 15.6-inch Display, Lipus                            Keyboard/mouse, DOS
Moblin LINUX

                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT          JUNE 2011

                   ding                       sho
                uilding a PC for the home use shouldn’t be                                                                             dis
                                                                                           DVD drive for home use. If you wish to copy discs
                too hard. For a home user expecting to use                                 you can add another drive as well.
                software like Skype, Microsoft Word, and
                   tware                              an
         Picasa, and browse the Internet, you would need
                                               wo                                               CTI
         an average processor and a standard motherboard                                   Your home PC will probably be used to transfer
         with a few USB ports. A standard sized cabinet                                    photos from digital cameras and add music to
         with ample RAM and storage space is well suited                                   your PMPs, so look out for 3-4 USB ports on your
         for such use.                                                                     machine. You might need more ports if you are
                                                                                           going to use USB input devices, so make sure
                 UNDER THE HOOD                                                            your machine is well equipped for connecting
         The hardware components inside a home PC are                                      peripherals. You can look out for machines with
         relatively cheap and easy to come by. You should                                  built-in card readers for transfering data from
         not have to go through much trouble finding a                                      memory cards.
         decent processor, hard drive and RAM, and a
         motherboard suited for these components will not                                      ON THE DESK
         be too hard. You do not even have to worry about                                A basic PC for home use would not require many
         a dedicated graphics or sound processor as most                                 peripherals apart form a monitor, standard input
         motherboards have integrated chips                                                         devices like a keyboard and mouse and
         that can handle simple loads.                                                              a set of PC speakers. Depending on your
                                                          FOR SMALLER POCKETS                       intended use, you can add a microphone
         PROCESSOR:                                  If you do not want to spend too much           or headset, a printer or MFD and external
         A dual core processor clocking over 2       money on your home PC, which you do            storage devices like portable hard drives
         GHz is more than capable of handling        not intend to use for long hours, you          and USB flash drives.
         your day-to-day usage. AMD Athlon II        can get a notebook or netbook instead.
         X2 is an inexpensive dual core processor    A notebook with a relatively simple            MONITOR:
         and gives better speed than an Intel        configuration can come for less than           A PC for home usage should generally
         processor at the same price.                Rs 30,000 and netbooks are a more              have a 15 or 17-inch monitor for easy
                                                     economical option. You can choose a            viewing. If you are going to sit at a desk
         MEMORY:                                     single core processor like one of Intel’s      and use the machine for a few hours, you
         Word processing, video chat and             Atom series processors, downgrade to           will need a big screen for comfortable
         Web browsing software are not very          1 GB of RAM and opt for lesser storage         viewing. An LCD monitor is a good choice
         RAM-hungry and 2 GB of RAM is               space to save some money. Keep in mind         as it will occupy less space on your table.
         fine for running these programs and          though that netbooks and notebooks
         multitasking. You can use two 1 GB          have smaller screens, so they are not          INPUT DEVICES:
         memory sticks if you wish to use dual       fit for prolonged usage. Also note that        You will not need more than a standard
         channel memory for faster performance,      netbooks do not have optical drives so         keyboard and mouse for general use.
         but even a single 2 GB stick is capable of  you will have to get an external CD/DVD        Check the connection interface for your
         giving you decent performance.              reader if you need one.                        input devices and make sure they are
                                                                                                    comaptible with your motherboard.
         STORAGE:                                                                                   Keyboards and mice have PS/2 or USB
         A home PC would be used to store photos, video,                                 connectors, so if you wish to have a few USB ports
         music and miscellaneous documents. A 250 GB                                     free, you can opt for a PS/2 keyboard and mouse.
         hard drive gives you more than enough space for
         these storage needs along with the space required                               PRINTER:
         for software installations. A SATA 3 Gb/s HDD is                                If you are going to use your home PC for writing
         well suited for a home PC, and if you wish to add                               basic documents and making fl ight or hotel
         more space, you can get an external storage drive                               reservations, you can add an inkjet printer to print
         as well.                                                                        out receipts and tickets.

         OPTICAL DRIVE:                                                                    PERIPHERALS:
         You can expect to use a few CDs and DVDs with                                     Other peripherals that you can consider include
         your home PC, so getting a DVD reader and writer                                  a good set of 2.0 stereo speakers or a headset for
         will be beneficial. The speed of the drive is not very                             video chatting. You can also include an external
         important and anything over 8X should suffice.                                     memory card reader if your machine doesn’t
         The Samsung 20X DVD RW is a good, affordable                                      already have one.

                                                                                                               PC CONFIGS       31

 Processor          Intel Atom N450
 RAM                2 GB DDR3
 Hard disk          250 GB
 Graphics card      Integrated
 Optical drive      -
 Screen             12.1-inch LCD            ASUS EEE PC 1215N
 Keyboard           Chiclet Keyboard         Rs 27,000
 Mouse              Multitouch Trackpad
                                             The Asus Eee PC 1215N netbook is a more than capable portable
 Speakers           Stereo
                                             computer for home usage. The 12.1-inch screen is larger than most
 Sound card         Integrated
                                             netbooks and with ample RAM and storage, it is a great option for a
 Operating system   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                             home PC.

 Processor          Intel Atom N450
 RAM                1 GB DDR2
 Hard disk          250 GB
 Graphics card      Integrated
 Optical drive      -
 Screen             10.1-inch WSVGA
 Keyboard           Built-in Keyboard        DELL INSPIRON MINI 10
 Mouse              Touchpad                 Rs 19,000
 Speakers           Stereo
                                             The Dell Inspiron mini 10 series netbook is also a good option for
 Sound card         Integrated
                                             a budget home PC. The reduced specifications are still enough to
 Operating system   Windows 7 Starter
                                             support most software and also allow for multitasking.

 Processor          Intel Atom N455
 RAM                1 GB DDR3
 Hard disk          250 GB
 Graphics card      Intel Graphics
 Optical drive      -
 Screen             10.1-inch display
 Keyboard           Built-in Keyboard        ACER ASPIRE EM355
 Mouse              Touchpad                 Rs 14,000
 Speakers           Mono
                                             The Acer Aspire series netbook with its single core Atom processor
 Sound card         Integrated
                                             and 1 GB of RAM might be a little slow but with large storage and a
 Operating system   Windows 7 Starter
                                             built-in camera it is great for video chatting and internet surfing.

                                                                    INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                        RIGS FOR STUDENTS PURSUING HIGHER EDUCATION

                                        PORTABLE PCS FOR
                                        HIGHER STUDIES
                                        Educational institutions that impart higher academic
                                        courses often insist on portable computers for all their
                                        students on campus. Here is a look at systems that can help
                                        you study effectively.
                                        BY KAMAKSHI S
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

     JUNE 2011                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                     PC CONFIGS
                                                                                                         ON F
                                                                                                     PC CONFIGS         33

                         Rita is pursuing an MBA and Isha is pursuing her
                         Masters in Engineering. Both plan to study even further
                         and they need a laptop for academic purposes. Although
                         they both use a desktop PC at home, they need a fully
                         functional notebook to carry when on the campus. What
                         kind of devices should they opt for?

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                                  Rs 56,085
                       Processor            Intel Core i7-920                                            14,900
                       Motherboard          Asus Sabertooth X58                                          12,000
                       Video Card           Sapphire Radeon HD 5770                                       7,200
                       RAM                  Corsair Value 4 GB DDR3                                       2,800
                       Hard disk            Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 GB SATA HDD                     2,000
                       Optical dive         LG DVD Writer 16x Dual Layer                                  1,185
                       Monitor              Asus VH197D 18.5-inch LED Monitor                             5,800
                       Input devices        Logitech Classic Desktop MK100                                  725
                       Power supply unit    Ocz Stealthxstream 2 600W                                     2,885
                       Operating system     Windows 7 Home Premium                                        6,590

SONY VAIO EA                                                          HP PAVILION DV6-
VPCEA46FG/B/L/W                                                       6016TX
Rs 42,990                                                             Rs 46,592
Intel Core i5-480M, 320 GB SATA HDD, 4                                Intel Core i5 2410M, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB
GB DDR3, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470,                                 SATA HDD, 15.6-inch screen, 1 GB Graphics,
Windows 7 Home Premium.                                               Windows 7 Home Premium.

APPLE MACBOOK                                                         DELL INSPIRON 15R
Rs 69,900                                                             Rs 42,900
Intel Core i5, 4 GB DDR3, 320 GB SATA
                                                                      Intel Core i5, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB SATA
HDD, Intel HD Graphics 3000, 3.3-inch
                                                                      HDD, Intel HD Graphics, Integrated 10/100
(diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen
                                                                      Ethernet LAN, 15.6-inch Widescreen HD
display, Gigabit Ethernet port, 2 USB 2.0
                                                                      WLED screen, 1 year warranty.
ports,Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1.

                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT             JUNE 2011

                he kind of academic work your course                                       with utilities, you need enough space on your hard
                requires will determine the configuration                                   disk to install, execute, code, simulate and test
                that would be best for you. For example, even                              them. You would also require running additional
         within the engineering field, the PC requirements                                  utilities to ensure that these applications work
         of a student from one area of engineering will                                    smoothly (like the Java Runtime Environment,
         vastly differ from those of another.                                              Java Virtual Machine, compilers and decoders).
                                                                                           Moreover, you may also have to create, manage and
                 UNDER THE HOOD                                                            maintain project reports and other study material,
         If you’re not really sure about which path your                                   which makes 500 GB an ideal amount of storage
         academic future will take, you can opt for a high-                                space.
         end configuration so you have all bases covered. If
         you are looking for an all-inclusive system, here is                              SCREEN SIZE:
         the best configuration that you can opt for.                                       While there is a general notion that the screen size
                                                                                           is directly proportional to the weight of the system,
         PROCESSOR:                                                                        it may not be true in all cases. There are ultra slim
         For students who need to dabble with a lot of                                     19-inch laptops available, but they might not be too
         applications and create a lot of projects, a strong                               economical. A 15-inch TFT screen is ergonomically
         processor like the Intel core i7-920 can come in                                  just right to work with. A notebook with a 15-inch
         quite handy. Right from handling tools like Visual                                LCD is a good alternative.
         Studio 2010, Java environments, server
         side scripting, MATLAB and related                                                          CONNECTIVITY:
         tools, to more hardcore engineering                FOR SMALLER POCKETS                      Apart from the Ethernet port on your
         tools like AutoCad and data mining            If you are on a tight budget, you can         machine that lets you connect to your
         tools, your system should be able to let      go for a notebook with a dual core            university or college's network, if the
         you switch between applications with          processor, 2 GB RAM and a 160 GB              institution offers wireless Internet
         very little fuss. The quad core processor     hard-drive. You can opt for Windows           support, you will need to have Wi-Fi
         can ideally handle two processes per          7 Professional, but your OS selection         enabled on your device. It’s also helpful
         core, which are CPU-centric activities        should be determined by what                  to have Bluetooth connectivity to sync
         like creation like creating memory            you intend to run on the system.              portable devices.
         dump, variable values and compiling           Educational organizations usually
         codes.                                        insist on original software, so you can       BATTERY LIFE:
                                                       go for a Linux OS with a WINE plug-in         The point of getting a laptop on the
         RAM:                                          to get a Windows-like experience with         campus is to ensure that you can move
         Applications like SQL Server 2010,            on a low maintenance system setup.            around. Look for a notebook that provides
         Visual Studio 2010, and other coding          If form factor and performance is not         the maximum battery life, so that you
         tools need extensive disposable memory        an issue, you can go for an Intel Atom-       don’t have to go hunting for a power
         to work with. Moreover, code compilers        powered netbook too.                          outlet in the middle of an important
         and emulators also work on variable                                                         project.
         memory, which means that 4 GB of
         RAM will work perfectly for you, more so if you are                                    AT THE DESK
         multi-tasking between applications.                                               Although laptops offer portability, it will be futile
                                                                                           to carry them around if they don’t offer all the
         GPU:                                                                              required peripheral support. Apart from port
         If you are studying to be an automotive engineer, or                              support, you can also arrange of other accessories
         deal with CAD based diagrams, a basic video card                                  like an optical drive and USB hubs for convenience.
         or dedicated graphics support will not help you
         in the long run. However, since not all your work                                 ACCESSORIES:
         involves high-end graphics, a potent 1 GB GPU that                                Laptops should not only offer portability, but
         is light both on your system and your pocket work                                 should also be light enough to carry around. You
         wonders. Thus instead of a heavy duty setup, a                                    can use peripherals like an external hard drive,
         mid-range graphic card Radeon HD 5770 is an ideal                                 and external optical drive, to cut down on weight.
         option.                                                                           Other essential peripherals that you can use with
                                                                                           your notebook include USB mouse, USB extensions
         STORAGE:                                                                          (for more ports) or a cooler pad to prevent the
         When you are creating projects, and experimenting                                 system from overheating.

                                                                                                                      PC CONFIGS       35

Processor          Core i3 350M/370
RAM                3 GB DDR3
Hard disk          320 GB
Ports              HDMI
Screen             15.6-inch HD LED
Graphics           NVIDIA 420 1GB DedGrp
Sound              Integrated                      ACER ASPIRE 5742G
Optical Drive      DVDRW                           Rs 35,500
Connectivity       Bluetooth 2.1+
                                                   If cost is an issue, the Acer aspire 5742Gis the best option to look at.
Operating System   Windows 7 Home Basic
                                                   If offers quite an impressive list of specifications especially for those
Warranty           1 year
                                                   who are on a tight budget.

                   Intel Core i3 Processor 370M,
                   2.4 GHz,
RAM                4 GB DDR3
Hard disk          320 GB
Ports              --
Screen             15.6-inch LED
Graphics           Integrated
Sound              Integrated                      TOSHIBA L650-I5311
Optical Drive      --                              Rs 42,636
                                                   Although the Toshiba L650-I5311offers an Intel Core i3 processor,
Operating System   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                   nothing is said about the number and nature of connectivity ports.
Warranty           1 year warranty
                                                   However it is very rugged for outdoor usage.

Processor          Intel Core i5-460M
RAM                3 GB DDR3
Hard disk          500 GB
Ports              --
Screen             15.6-inch HD LED Glare
Graphics           Integrated                      LENOVO IDEAPAD Z560 59-052666
Sound              Integrated                      Rs 38,090
Optical Drive      DVD Writer
                                                   The Lenovo IdeaPad z560 comes in a number of variants, so we
Connectivity       Bluetooth 2.1
                                                   have picked what is closest to our best configuration. If price is a
Operating System   Windows 7 Home Premium
                                                   constraint, you can opt for one with a pre-loaded DOS operating
Warranty           1 year
                                                   system instead.

                                                                           INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                        HOME THEATER RIGS

                                        THE TV SUBSTITUTE
                                        Developers are constantly making newer video cards for PCs with HDMI and
                                        DVI connections as well as 3D capabilities. For such technology, you can use a
                                        specialized PC as a substitute for watching movies and TV shows.
                                        BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA
      Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur

     JUNE 2011                               INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT
                                                                                                    C CONFIGS
                                                                                                   PC CONFIGS         37

                         Karan is a movie buff and loves to recreate the
                         cinematic experience at home. He downloads movies
                         in high definition and rents DVDs and Blu-rays of his
                         favorite movies and watches them in the comfort
                         of his home with a full HD and surround sound

                       IDEAL SPECIFICATIONS                                                 Rs 68,965
                       Processor             Intel Core i3-550                                          6,830
                       Motherboard           Asus P7H55-M PRO                                           6,670
                       RAM                   OCZ 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM                                        2,250
                       Hard disk             2 x Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB                     15,100
                       Graphics card         NVIDIA GeForce GT 430                                      4,000
                       Optical drive         LG Super-Multi Blu-ray Combo Drive                         4,800
                       Monitor               -
                       Keyboard              IOGEAR Multimedia Keyboard                                 2,835
                       Mouse                 -
                       Speakers              -
                       Power Supply          Antec NeoPower 650                                         5,800
                       TV Tuner card         Hauppauge 1213 WinTV-HVR-2250                              8,680
                       PC Case               Silver Stone LC16B MR220                                  12,000

APPLE MAC MINI                                                       BRAG PC SAMBA
Rs 37,900                                                            Rs 52,000
Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB DDR3, 320 GB SATA                             AMD Phenom X4-630, 4 GB DDR3, 4 TB
HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 320M, 8x SuperDrive.,                            SATA HDD, ATI Radeon HD 4350, Blu-ray
Mac OS X.                                                            DVD Combo drive.

ACER ASPIRE 5750G                                                    BRAG PC TR7
Rs 41,200                                                            Rs 53,000
Intel Core i5, 4 GB DDR3, 500 GB SATA HDD,                           Intel Core i5-760, 4 GB DDR3, 1 TB SATA
NVIDIA GeForce GT540M, DVDRW Drive.                                  HDD, NVIDIA GTX-460 Fermi, DVD Writer.

                                                   INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT          JUNE 2011

                 ome theatre PCs or HTPCs are unique                                       up to 4 TB of hard drive space to ensure that you
                 computers designed to be silent and                                       will always have enough room for your HD movies.
                 compact giving you the best movie                                         You can also use a small, but faster SSD for booting
         experience. Most importantly you need yo look out                                 and a 1-2 TB HDD for storage. Make sure you have
         for a machine that is low on power consumption,                                   the comaptible SATA ports on your motherboard
         high on graphics, and offers a variety of                                         before buying your storage hardware.
         connectivity options.
                                                                                           OPTICAL DRIVE:
                 UNDER THE HOOD                                                            High quality movies are best viewed from Blu-ray
         A modern day HTPC must be able to play high                                       discs, so getting a Blu-ray drive for you HTPC will
         definition videos at 720p or 1080p, stream videos                                  improve your viewing experience. It is better to
         and play Blu-rays and DVDs. Most importantly,                                     get a combo drive that reads both Blu-ray and DVD
         your PC needs to be inconspicuous, but yet able to                                formats rather than separate Blu-ray and DVDRW
         connect to an HD monitor or TV.                                                   drives that take up more space. The LG Super-Multi
                                                                                                      Blu-ray Combo Drive is perfect for such
         PROCESSOR:                                                                                   requirements.
         Your processor should be powerful                   FOR SMALLER POCKETS
         enough to run media players, but not so         If you are on a tighter budget, you can     CONNECTIVITY:
         overpowered that it requires additional         swap the Core i3 processor for another      Having an HTPC that is unable to
         cooling. A dual core processor from the         dual core processor that can handle the     connect to an HD monitor or HDTV is
         Intel Core i3 series with its integrated        load of media players with ease. The        pointless. You need to ensure that your
         graphics is perfect for HD viewing and is       Intel Atom D525 is a good substitute        motherboard and graphics have ports
         efficient with power consumption too.            or you can even opt for an AMD Athlon       for HDMI, DVI or VGA. Note that HDMI
                                                         dual core processor. Keep in mind that      is the preferred HD connection interface
         MOTHERBOARD:                                    your motherboard with have to be            as it carries both audio and video data.
         After choosing your processor, it is best       compatible with your processor. You         DVI, on the other hand, supports only
         to find a compatible motherboard with            can also skip the 3D graphics card if       video data. Add a TV tuner card to watch
         a small form factor, but one that offers        you get a motherboard with integrated       television on your monitor.
         GPU, HDMI and SATA support. The Asus            graphics that provides for HD support.
         P7H55-M Pro with the micro ATX form             You can also save money with a smaller          ON THE DESK
         factor gives you HDMI, DVI and VGA              hard drive up to 500 GB in size. You        For an HTPC, all you need is a display
         output ports along with PCIe and SATA           could skip the Blu-ray drive, but then      and a keyboard as an input device. Apart
         ports.                                          you will have to rely more on DVDs for      from these two essentials, you can get
                                                         your movies.                                a remote for your HTPC, to sit back and
         GRAPHICS:                                                                                   control your media.
         If you wish to watch 3D and HD videos,
         you need to have a strong GPU. Nvidia’s Geforce GT                                MONITOR:
         430 graphics supports Nvidia 3DTV Play software                                   You can choose to get a HD monitor for your
         that allows you to watch 3D Movies on your                                        machine or you can choose to use your HTPC with
         3D-compatible HDTV. Most compact GPUs are also                                    an HDTV. Ensure that your display has adequate
         available in graphics cards with a fan-less design,                               ports for connectivity and is capable of at least
         which minimizes noise.                                                            1080p resolution. If your PC’s GPU supports it, you
                                                                                           could look for a 3D-capable display.
         The software you will use will not demand much                                    INPUT DEVICES:
         RAM. Having 2 to 4 GB RAM will ensure that you                                    Having a wired keyboard and mouse will restrict
         have a smooth movie watching experience. It is                                    your distance from your screen. You are better off
         important to note the type of memory technology                                   getting a wireless keyboard. Using a wireless mouse
         your motherboard supports, as different HTPC                                      is also not essential if you can get a keyboard
         motherboards support different forms of RAM,                                      with a touchpad or trackball like the IOGEAR
         such as standard DDR3 or SO-DIMM.                                                 Multimedia Keyboard. It has programmable keys
                                                                                           and a long distance wireless receiver so you can sit
         STORAGE:                                                                          back and control your HTPC from a distance. You
         Storage is very important for a good HTPC. You need                               can also consider a programmable IR remote for
         ample storage space for your movies. You can add                                  your PC.

                                                                                                                PC CONFIGS       39

Processor           Intel Atom D525
Motherboard         -
RAM                 4 GB DDR3
Hard disk           500 GB
Graphics card       NVIDIA Ion
Optical drive       USB Blu-ray Combo drive
Screen              -
Keyboard            -
Mouse               -
Speakers            -
Sound card          -                         XTREAMER ULTRA
PC Case             -                         Rs 15,500
Power supply unit   -
                                              The new Xstreamer Ultra is a great budget HTPC. With a dual core
Ports               USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA
                                              processor and Nvidia GeFroce 9400 GPU, the Xstreamer is perfect for
TV Tuner card       Yes                       streaming and playing HD videos.

Processor           AMD E-350
Motherboard         -
RAM                 2 GB DDR3
Hard disk           250 GB
Graphics card       AMD Radeon HD 6310
Optical drive       Blu-Ray / DVD RW drive
Screen              -
Keyboard            -
                                              ZOTAC ZBOX-AD03BR-PLUS-E
Sound card          -
                                              Rs 29,999
PC Case             -                         The Zotac Zbox is a compact nettop with a decent dual core processor
Power supply unit   -                         and is fully Blu-ray compatible. It offers USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI and VGA
Ports               USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA   connectivity making it a great next generation budget HTPC.
TV Tuner card       No

Processor           Intel Atom D525
Motherboard         -
RAM                 2 GB DDR2
Hard disk           250 GB
Graphics card       NVIDIA Ion
Optical drive       4x Blu-ray, 8x DVDRW
Screen              -
Keyboard            -
Mouse               -
Speakers            -
Sound card          -                         ZOTAC ZBOX BLU-RAY HD-ID34
PC Case             -                         Rs 22,500
Power supply unit   -
                                              Classified as a nettop, the Zotac Zbox is a great compact, low-cost
Ports               USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA
                                              HTPC. With a dual core processor and Nvidia Ion graphics it is
TV Tuner card       No                        capable of giving you a great HD video viewing experience.

                                                                     INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                    TECH LEXICON: USB 3.0

                                    CONNECTIVITY WITH
                                    USB 3.0
                                    USB3.0 is here and promises to change the way we store data on an external
                                    storage drive, even though it may not significantly change the usage of input
                                    devices. Here is all you need to know about the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed standard.
                                    BY KAMAKSHI S

                                                hen Intel first declared the launch of             TECHNICALLY
                                                the USB 3.0 standard in late 2008, it had         FASTER
                                                made it very clear that it will not certify   USB 3.0 is the long awaited successor to the USB
                                    devices as USB 3.0 compliant if they do not live up       2.0 standard. USB 3.0, or the SuperSpeed USB as it
                                    to the promised transfer speeds, which is one of          is often referred to, offers data transfer speeds of
                                    the reasons for the delay in the technology making        up to 5 Gbps, ten times that of USB 2.0 and better
                                    it to the market. Here is what the long awaited USB       device connectivity. The seemingly simple feat
                                    3.0 has in store.                                         has been achieved using a number of technical
                                                                                              changes, of which the most obvious and interesting
                                        UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT                             is adding more physical bus parallel to the existing
                                        OF USB                                                USB 2.0 bus. In simple words, where USB 2.0 had
                                                                 First launched in 1996,      four wires for power supply, earthing, and a couple
                                                                 the Universal Serial         for differential data, USB 3.0 doubles the number
                                                                 Bus is a connectivity        to eight, allowing it to receive and transmit data
                                                                 standard that is used        faster. USB 3.0 further uses a bi-directional data
                                                                 not only to establish        interface as compared to a half-duplex setup
                                                                 connection between           in USB 2.0, so data could flow only in a single
                                                                 devices and a host           direction at a given point. Using this technique,
                                                                 controller, but also to      the theoretic bandwidth increases by 10 folds.
                                                                 transfer data.               However, the system has been designed in such a
                                                                    The user-friendly,        way that an increase in data flow doesn’t consume
                                                                 cost-effective nature of     any more power than necessary.
                                                                 the standard ensured
                                                                 that it replaced a               ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
                                                                 variety      of    other     If you don’t wish to shift to USB 3.0, you can still
                                                                 interfaces,        which     avail of data rates is faster than USB 2.0. The
                                                                 include the serial           external SATA port (eSATA) has now become a
           My Book and My Passport HDD from                      as     well     as   the     standard on most in PCs and notebooks. While it
           Western Digital are USB 3.0 Compliant.                parallel ports.              offers up to 300 MByte/s, the teething troubles

                                                                                                                                                             TECH TALK       41

that eSATA initially encountered, like the missing
hot plug features and additional power connection,
now seem under control. But eSATA does have its
share of limitations; the cables appear to be fixed
and are quite short. Also, there is no USB hub to
offer additional connections.
   Another option is the Firewire 800, which is
not as good as either eSATA or USB 3.0 because of
the lower speeds they offer as opposed to what is
promised. Moreover, there is hardly any compatible
hardware available and the handful which are, are
quite expensive.

    USB2.0 AND FIREWIRE                               Look out for the USB 3.0 logo to be sure that if offers the promised
USB 3.0 promises a theoretical maximum rate of        speeds.
5 Gbps, meaning it's 10 times faster than USB 2.0.
USB 3.0 is also full duplex, meaning it can upload
                                                                   Data Transfer Rate comparisions on various interface standards
and download simultaneously (it's bi-directional);                 6,000
USB 2.0 is only half duplex. Put side by side with
eSATA and FireWire 800, USB 3.0 is far superior.                   5,000
eSATA, an external connection that runs at the
same speed as the internal SATA 1.0 bus, has
a maximum theoretical speed of 3 Gbps. This                per     3,000       6000
makes USB 3.0 faster than eSATA and about six            (Mbps)                          5000

times faster than FireWire 800 (full duplex at 800                 2,000
Mbps). USB 3.0 also provides another advantage;
while eSATA is faster than FireWire 800, unlike                                                               1500     1330
FireWire, it cannot supply power. USB 3.0 has the                                                                                            480       400
                                                                              SATA III   USB 3.0   SATA II    SATA I   ATA 133   Firewire   USB 2.0   Firewire
advantage of being faster than both, even while                                                                                    800                  400

supplying power. Finally, USB 3.0 has improved                                                            Type of Interface

power management, meaning that devices can            A comparison of data transfer speeds across all the available
move into idle, suspend, and sleep states. This       standards.
potentially means more battery life out of laptops
and other battery-based USB-supporting devices
like cameras and mobile phones.

    FIREWIRE 800
While most of us are yet to personally witness
the power of the USB 3.0 standard, it is quickly
being adopted, allowing us compare the other
connectivity standards currently available. eSATA
being an external connection, brings nothing
new to the table; it runs at the same speed as
the internal SATA 1.0 bus, with a maximum
connectivity speed set at 3 Gbps on paper.
Comparing it to the full-duplex model of USB 3.0
that supports bi-directional data transfer, you can
see that USB 3.0 wins the battle hands down. The      A standard USB 3.0 connector pin which looks like a USB 2.0
latest FireWire standard, FireWire 800, offers 800    connector at first glance.

                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT                                  JUNE 2011

                                                                                  Mbps full duplex, which proves that USB 3.0 is at
                                                                                  least six times faster.
                                                                                     Another factor that tips scale in USB 3.0’s favor
                                                                                  is that it is faster than both, and also supplies
                                                                                  power, instead of drawing power from the system
                                                                                  itself, making it a greener technology. It also
                                                                                  boasts better power management features, which
                                                                                  means that if devices are not in use, they can
                                                                                  be switched to idle, suspend, and sleep modes,
                                                                                  which in turn will optimize the battery life of not
                                                                                  just devices like laptops and PC, but also other
                                                                                  battery-based USB devices such as cameras and

           You can get an USB 3.0 to your existing system with a connector that       USING USB3.0 WITH YOUR
           can be added to the PCI-E slot.                                            CURRENT SETUP
                                                                                  USB 3.0 is now readily available, but it is hardware
                                                                                  dependent. If you are unable to get a motherboard
                                                                                  replacement, or don’t want to incur the high cost
                                                                                  of a PC upgrade, there is still a way out. You can get
                                                                                  a connector for the standard that can go into your
                                                                                  PCI Express port. However, if your motherboard
                                                                                  lacks the port, you have no other choice but to
                                                                                     If you are looking for USB 3.0 compliant setups,
                                                                                  there are quite a few options at your disposal. CES
                                                                                  2010 saw two motherboards by Asus and Gigabyte
                                                                                  that supported USB 3.0. USB 3.0 host controllers are
                                                                                  now being manufactured by the likes of Renesas/
                                                                                  NEC Electronics, Fresco Logic, Asmedia, Etron, VIA
                                                                                  Labs, Texas Instruments and Nvidia. In the same
           The StoreJet 25H3P 1TB portable hard drive from Transcend also         year, Hewlett-Packard released the HP Envy 17 3D
           comes with USB 3.0.                                                    with a Renesas USB 3.0 host controller. AMD is also
                                                                                  closely working with Renesas to release chipsets
                                                                                  supporting USB 3.0 in 2011. CES 2011 saw Toshiba
                                                                                  announce the USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 compliant
                                                                                  Toshiba Qosmio X500. Sony also announced a series
                                                                                  of Vaio laptops that will support USB 3.0. Dell has
                                                                                  also incorporated USB 3.0 into its Inspiron and Dell
                                                                                  XPS lines.
                                                                                     On the device front, there are only a handful
                                                                                  options, including products from brands
                                                                                  like Western Digital, Transcend and Seagate.
                                                                                  Transcend’s StoreJet 25H3P 1 TB USB 3.0 portable
                                                                                  hard drive (Rs 9,900) and Seagate’s FreeAgent
                                                                                  GoFlex Upgrade Cable USB 3.0 (Rs 5,400) are
                                                                                  already on sale. Western Digital has the My
                                                                                  Passport Essential 500 GB (Rs 4,299), the My
                                                                                  Passport Essential SE 750 GB (Rs 5,499) and 1 TB
           SeaGate's FreeAgent GoFlex Upgrade Cable for USB 3.0 gives you         (Rs 6,499), and the My Book Essential 1 TB (Rs
           high data transfer speeds with the FreeAgent GoFlex Desk HDDs.         4,999), 2 TB (Rs 7,499), and 3 TB (Rs 10,999).


                                    NVIDIA GPUS

                                    THE LATEST IN
                                    GRAPHICS PROCESSING
                                    Cutting-edge graphics are always high up on the list of
                                    expectations from new computers and mobile devices. Nvidia is
                                    an established developer of high performance and efficient GPUs
                                    and they have graphics processors for almost every need.
                                    BY KUSHAL MAMOOWALA

                                                                   N    vidia is the
                                                                        most popular
                                                                   developer       of
                                                                                           a staggering 32 tessellation engines that can power
                                                                                           today’s cutting edge games. With the addition of a
                                                                                           3D Vision kit, you can enjoy over 500 PC games in
                                                                   graphics chips in       full 3D on either a 3D Vision certified monitor or 3D
                                                                   the industry. The       HDTV for the most realistic gaming experience ever.
                                                                   Geforce series of
                                                                   GPUs and graphics         Can an Nvidia processor be used for
                                                                   cards enable high       low-power consumption devices, like
                                                                   resolution gaming,      notebooks for businessmen?
                                                                   the Quadro Fermi           With hectic days, grueling travelling schedules
                                     Vishal Dhupar, MD Sales and
                                     Marketing, South Asia, NVIDIA family gives you        and unending meetings to attend, it is understood
                                                                   high performance,       that power consumption remains the most
                                    and they even have the Tergra series for mobile        important factor for businessmen.
                                    devices. We spoke with Vishal Dhupar, Nvidia MD           Nvidia Optimus Technology delivers great
                                    for South Asia, who gave us a quick guide through      battery life and great performance. It automatically
                                    the range of Nvidia graphics processors and            and instantaneously uses the best tool for the
                                    software suited for multiple uses.                     job – the high performance Nvidia GPU for GPU-
                                                                                           Compute applications, video, and 3D games; and
                                      Which Nvidia processors are best                     low power integrated graphics for applications
                                    suited for high-end gaming?                            like Office, Web surfing, or email. The result is
                                         Hardcore gaming enthusiasts will truly            long lasting battery life without sacrificing great
                                    appreciate the need to build a solid gaming rig that   graphics performance, delivering an experience
                                    can deliver top-notch and realistic graphics that      that is fully automatic and behind the scenes.
                                    are critical for an enhanced and powerful gaming          Nvidia also has another solution for business
                                    experience. Discrete graphics form an important        executives known as NVS 300 Business Graphics
                                    aspect of such a system. Nvidia’s Geforce lineup is    Solution, a graphics processor designed for the
                                    specifically built to cater to the gaming community     enterprise that delivers exceptional visual fidelity
                                    with optimized graphics.                               across up to eight displays while consuming
                                       The recently-launched Geforce GTX 590 high-end      minimal power. With nearly 25 percent more
                                    gaming card is designed for uber-enthusiasts and       efficient power utilization, the NVS 300 graphics
                                    those looking to build the ultimate PC gaming rig.     processor is designed for mission-critical
                                    With a combined 1024 Nvidia CUDA architecture          applications ranging from command and control
                                    cores, 3 GB of GDDR5 memory, 6 billion transistors     centers, to securities trading floors, to digital
                                    and over 2200 individual components all packed         signage installations. The NVS graphics processor
                                    into an 11-inch dual slot card, the GTX 590 delivers   brand has become the standard for multi-display

                                                                                                                              TECH TALK       45

business computing environments because it is           is speed improvements of 10-15x over CPU-based
easy to deploy, cost-effective and power efficient.      simulations. CUDA and Nvidia Quadro have
                                                        changed the way studios approach a variety of
   What is the best suited GPU for                      complex visual effects challenges.
digital artists?                                           Movie enthusiasts and cinema aficionados who
     Combining high performance computing               enjoy high-definition videos or titles on their PCs
abilities with advance visualization, Nvidia            may very well agree that smoothness of the content
launched their award-winning Quadro Fermi               playback and realistic feel jutted out on the screen
family of GPUs. These are intended for applications     give chills down their spines. Apart from offering
that demand the high accuracy and quality,              a stunning gaming experience, Nvidia’s Geforce
perfect for digital artists attempting Photoshop,       graphics deliver splendid on-screen graphics,
video editing, illustrations and color correction.      which will further augment the video quality
   Keeping in mind that digital artists may not         while enjoying long-time classics. Viewing HD
have very large budgets, Nvidia has added a mid-        movies on PC demands discrete graphics and the
range Quadro 2000 GPU (with 192 CUDA processing         diverse Geforce range offers multiple options to
cores) and the entry-level Quadro 600 (with 96          choose from.
CUDA processor cores). The Quadro 2000 delivers            Additionally, with 3D becoming more popular in
1.5 times the geometry performance of the previous      cinemas, users can bring this technology to their
Quadro GPU mid-range solution. The entry-level          home theaters for the ultimate movie-watching
Quadro 600 is a flexible half height solution that       experience. Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software allows
features the industry’s best performance per watt       consumers to connect Nvidia 3D Vision-enabled
for applications and empowers digital artists to        notebooks and desktops to 3D HDTVs for the
interact with models that are twice the size and        ultimate high-definition big-screen entertainment.
complexity compared to previous entry-level             Using this software, users can connect any
solutions.                                              compatible Nvidia Geforce GPU-powered system
                                                        to a HDMI 1.4 3D HDTV and enjoy 3D movies using
   How has Nvidia dealt with the advent                 their 3D glasses. The lion’s roar, amazing racing
of 3D technology?                                       cars and favorite action scenes are bound to come
    A major challenge that animators and post           alive and give goosebumps to users.
production studios face in delivering 3D graphics
and other visual/special effects is seamlessly             Can Nvidia cater to professions like
recreating and integrating graphics and images so       architecture and engineering as well?
that viewers are not irked by unconvincing rituals.        Detailing and design-to-scale is the challenge
Nvidia’s 3D Vision Pro is a new 3D stereoscopic         faced by engineers and architects alike. Accuracy
solution that empowers designers and content            along with maintaining speed seemed like an
creators to see their work in greater detail. Digital   impossible prospect for architects and engineers.
content creation artists can see their ‘world’ in 3D,   Nvidia’s new Quadro Fermi line-up is the world’s
thanks to Nvidia 3D Vision Pro, with perspectives       first professional graphics solution with Error
that are significantly richer than traditional           Correction Codes (ECC) memory and fast, IEEE
two-dimensional views. Together, 3D Vision Pro          double precision floating point performance.
and Quadro solutions bring the highest quality          These are intended for applications that demand
and most immersive 3D experience to enterprise          the highest levels of accuracy like product
environments.                                           designing and 3D modeling. With NVIDIA Quadro
   As with everything in high-end visual effects,       Fermi GPUs, the result is that software developers
iteration is essential. With Nvidia Quadro,             are able to create and deliver the next-generation
studios across the world have seen up to eight          of professional applications that incorporate
iterations each day of various simulations. That        compute-intensive tasks.

                                                                                  INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                    CAREERS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

                                    NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR:
                                    AT THE HELM
                                    Technology is constantly evolving and being on top of the game is the role of
                                    the Network Administrator. If you wish to have a long fulfilling career in IT,
                                    then this is a great profile for you.
                                    BY PRI YANK A T ILVE

                                           The role of a Network Administrator may            In what ways has the role evolved
                                           not seem glamorous, but rest assured,           especially with the current virtualization
                                           it commands a lot of respect as he is the       trend (like cloud) seen in the IT sphere?
                                    one who manages all the computers and ensures              The advent of virtualization has transformed
                                    seamless connectivity across the network.              the role of a Network Administrator at two levels.
                                    Much like the captain of a ship, he performs a         By reducing the physical complexity of a data
                                    wide array of duties right from configurations,         center, it has contributed towards making network
                                    firewalls,    security,   troubleshooting      to      management more efficient and productive.
                                    managing the resources and implementing new            Secondly, as virtualized environments get more
                                    technologies.                                          sophisticated, the Network Administrator’s role
                                       We spoke with Bina Raj-Debur, Regional Head,        is evolving from purely operational to one that
                                    Corporate Affairs, India/SAARC, Cisco about the        requires analysis and strategy to determine
                                    challenges and opportunities involved in becoming      optimal access to business critical applications.
                                    a successful Network Administrator.
                                                                                             What should a student aiming to
                                      What is the role of the Network                      pursue a career in this field focus on?
                                    Administrator?                                             A good balance of professional and soft skills
                                         The role of a Network Administrator can           is an essential first step. While industry standard
                                    range from basic network management to a more          training, certification and practical know-how
                                    complex role, depending on domain expertise,           remain a prerequisite, individuals interested
                                    experience, complexity of the network and the          in pursuing a career in this field would benefit
                                    individual’s potential and aspirations.                from good communication, critical thinking and
                                       The primary role of a Network Administrator         problem-solving skills. The ability to multi-task,
                                    is to manage the components of a network,              be a team player, be goal-driven, etc are perennial
                                    including:                                             soft skills essential to continuous growth and
                                        Switches, routers, firewalls, Wi-Fi controllers,   development.
                                        Wi-Fi access points, etc                               Above all else, as technology evolves rapidly, it
                                        Configuration of network equipment                 is more vital today than ever before to recognize
                                        Management and coordination of network             and accept the need for constant learning.
                                        Troubleshooting and resolving network related        Where does a fresher start in the
                                        issues                                             organization and what are the growth
                                        Executing network projects, possibly even          opportunities?
                                        designing networks                                    The typical lifecycle of a career in network

                                                                                                                            TECH TALK         47

management is no different from any other career
stream. While entry-level positions usually focus on
basic networking operations, growth opportunities
are limitless as individuals with aptitude can move
to supervisory or even management positions.

  What is the job potential like in the
coming years in India and elsewhere?
    In today’s global world, ‘The Network’ has
become the platform to integrate all forms of
technology and communication systems. As ICT
relevance grows across all sectors and companies
rely on up-to-date computer networks, the
general job outlook for the networking industry
looks promising. Overall job growth is projected
to increase at an above average rate. Increased
demand for network security may also be expected
to spearhead job growth, especially as cyber
criminals constantly adapt to circumvent new
network security technologies.
   Cisco’s network education trains prospective
                                                                                                                        Neha Mithbawkar
professionals for immense opportunities that are       curriculum opted for and vary by job specialty.
available in the networking industry. As countries     For instance, programs like IT Essentials assume
and industries continue to transform and adopt         no prior knowledge of computers or networking,
networking technology and infrastructures, the         while advanced courses require basic computer
demand for skilled networking IT professionals         literacy.
will continue to rise.                                     Overall though, prior experience is not
                                                       obligatory in training or authoring exam items.
  What kind of certification is provided
by Cisco for Network Administrators?                     Does Cisco have organizational tie-
   Cisco Networking Academy offers a multitude         ups and do you provide placements?
of curricula and commensurate certifications                 Cisco has developed strategic collaborations
catering to diverse business needs. Certifications      with educational institutions, private and non-
like CCENT, CCNA and CCNP are designed to offer        profit organizations and government agencies
students the knowledge, skills and practical know-     around the world, with the express aim of
how essential to entry-level positions in industry     expanding professional opportunities available to
and bolster job opportunities.                         its students and faculty, as well as disadvantaged
   Of special note is Cisco Networking Academy’s       and at-risk populations.
thrust on entrepreneurship skills. The Passport            The shortage of skilled networking specialists,
21 program, for example, focuses on building           compounded by the ubiquitous nature of networks
entrepreneurship skills through teaching               and their management makes network specialists
critical business and fi nancial skills, attitudes      like CCNA and CCNP graduates sought-after and
and behaviours essential to success in the 21st        highly employable.
century. Business case studies, Cisco Packet               Among Cisco’s structured initiatives to aid
Tracer activities etc are used to reinforce key        placements is Career Connection, an internship
concepts.                                              website that helps incumbent Academy students
                                                       find intern and full time positions with industry.
  What is the educational qualification                The site ‘’ also allows
required? Is prior work experience a                   companies to advertise their open positions, thus
perquisite for taking up the program?                  allowing students free access to ready job listings
    Prior experience is largely related to the         and submission of their résumés.

                                                                                INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT     JUNE 2011


                                    FREQBOT: A CELLPHONE
                                    POWERED OMNI-
                                    DIRECTIONAL ROBOT
                                    Saurabh Ambre, a B.E mechanical engineer, and students of B.E Electronic
                                    and Telecommunication have created a cell phone-controlled robot that can
                                    travel omni-directionally and can show you what it does and where it goes
                                    as well.
                                    BY KAMAKASHI S

                                       n 2010, we featured the omni-directional robot   Dimplejeet Singh Gill, Sanket Chalke and Angad
                                       omibot by Saurabh Ambre in our Innovations       Dogra, studying in the final year of B.E electronics
                                       segment. Taking that idea a step further,        and telecommunication, have created a mecha-
                                    Saurabh, a B.E mechanical engineer and his team     tronics-based robot called Freqbot powered by the
                                    comprising of four students - Shalin Chikhalkar,    frequency of any cell phone.

                                                                                            THE IDEA
                                                                                        Saurabh explains, “Freqbot is a cell phone-oper-
                                                                                        ated robot with omni-directional drive having a
                                                                                        wireless camera for visuals. Controlled robotics
                                                                                        in its truest essence is always bound by a certain
                                                                                        range. This range may be affected by several envi-
                                                                                        ronmental factors and internal mishaps.”
                                                                                           He wanted to come up with a solution that fi xes

                                      A look at the complete setup of the freqbot         A top view of the assembled robot, which
                                      including the circuit board.                        is fully functional.

                                                                                                                             TECH TALK       49

the problem of limited RF Range and provides for
an effective solution to control a robot having the
maximum possible range. “The whole idea of con-
trolling a robot using a cell phone is the fact that
its sheer simplicity and the brilliance involved
would enable a common man to use it in diverse
applications,” he says.
   “Freqbot doesn’t need big radio frequency-
based circuits, nor is there a problem for its con-
trol range. As long as the host phone has a viable
range, you can control the robot. This project is a
sincere effort to explore the possibilities of GSM/
CDMA-based technologies and more importantly
exploring a very simple and fundamental technol-
ogy such as DTMF for controlled robotics using
the wide range provided by the service provider,”
says Saurabh.
                                                                               ABOUT THE INNOVATORS
    THE PRINCIPLE                                         The Freqbot project has been conducted by B.E mechanical
Saurabh explains the basic principle on the basis         engineer Saurabh Ambre and four students of B.E electronics and
of which the robot functions. “In a cell phone-           telecommunication - Shalin Chikhalkar, Dimplejeet Singh Gill, Sanket
operated robot, the basic concept used is DTMF            Chalke and Angad Dogra. The project is based on the principles of
(Dual Tone Multiple Frequency). Everyday you              mechatronics, with the team demanding inputs from all members
probably call a customer service number, at a             in each sub team. Team leaders were appointed to distribute the
bank for example. The system asks you to enter            work. Shalin Chikhalkar and Saurabh Ambre linked the mechanical
various details like your bank account number.            and software components together by applying permutations and
The computer knows what numbers you are enter-            combinations in coding of the robot to achieve the required outcome.
ing thanks to DTMF, which converts the input to           Saurabh also looked after the design fabrication of omni-directional
a binary code. Every time you press a key on your         drive with Holonomic wheels, chassis and body. Shalin designed and
cell phone (while in a call) a unique frequency is        fabricated the circuit and motherboard. Dimplejeet Singh Gill and
generated by the phone. Different keys emit dif-          Sanket Chalke looked after the hardware overview, while Angad Dogra
ferent frequencies just like a different sound is         coded the software.
heard when different keys are pressed. This is the
sole principle of the project. For each of the 12
keys present on the handset (0-9, *and #) a unique     slide laterally with great ease.”
frequency is generated. Using this very frequency
and converting it into a binary code, we can con-          THE OPERATION
trol our robot.”                                       Being the electronics and telecommunication
                                                       brain of the project, Shalin explains, “The binary
    THE BUILD                                          output of the DTMF is given to a microcontroller.
Saurabh, who is quite well-versed with the build-      The microcontroller is the entire brain of the
ing the Mecanum wheel, explains how the wheels         circuit. It is basically a complex programmable
were designed. “The omni-directional drive can         input/output device that acts like switch.” Sau-
be achieved by either Mecanum wheels with three        rabh further elaborates, “To achieve the omni-
DOF (degrees of freedom), or Holonomic wheels          directional drive, Holonomic wheels are mounted
with two DOF. In this robot, we have used Holo-        on the chassis at an angle of 45 degrees in a square
nomic wheels also called as omni-wheels. The           pattern. This arrangement enables the robot to
wheel has a series of rollers mounted on its cir-      move in eight directions. Besides moving forward
cumference, which rotates at an axis perpendicu-       and backward, the robot can move sideways and
lar to the axis of rotation of the wheel. The design   at an angle if 45 degrees without changing its ref-
enables the wheels to roll with full force but also    erence plane. The camera mounted on the robot

                                                                                 INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT   JUNE 2011

                                    does not need a rotational motion as the robot can      Wireless camera.
                                    rotate 360 degrees on its own axis thanks to the        Receiver.
                                    Holonomic wheels.”
                                    They go on to add, “There are motors wired to            THE APPLICATIONS
                                    the microcontroller, which is programmed using       The team outlines some of the uses that the
                                    C language. Custom codes are written for the         Freqbot can be put to.
                                    omni-directional drive in accordance with the            Surveillance applications
                                    frequency.” The robots and its movement control      The cell phone-operated robot’s uniqueness lies
                                    keys have been described below:                      in the fact that it can be controlled via any cell
                                    key 2- forward                                       phone. Hence, the boundary of operating range for
                                    key 8- backward                                      the robot is enhanced.
                                    key 6- move sideways right                           By mounting an onboard camera, one can use the
                                    key 4- move sideways left                            robot as an effective surveillance unit.
                                    key 5- stop robot                                        Bomb diffusion
                                    key 3- right forward 45˚                             Freqbot is an unmanned robot, so it can be used for
                                    key 9- right backwards 45˚                           missions like bomb diffusion. The camera can be
                                    key 1- left forward 45˚                              the eyes of the operator. Freqbot can be mounted
                                    key 7- left backwards 45˚                            with a claw (robotic arm) to grab objects as well.
                                                                                             Industrial material handling
                                    freqbot eye control :-                               It can act as a vehicle for material handling in tight
                                    key *- camera inclination (up and down)              spaces due to its omni-directional drive.
                                    key #- stop camera motion
                                                                                             PERFORMANCE UPGRADES
                                        THE COMPONENTS                                   While the project is completely functional, there
                                    Saurabh tells us about the hardware components       are some upgrades that you can carry out to
                                    that were crafted by Dimplejeet Singh Gill and       enhance its performance. Shalin explains, “Using
                                    Sanket Chalke. “The motherboard features a 16-bit    a network of relays, one can control the battery
                                    microcontroller, a DTMF decoder, and various         switching of the robot via a microcontroller. So
                                    other electronic components. The motherboard         while one battery is getting discharged in the cir-
                                    circuit was custom designed.”                        cuit, the other is getting charged via solar power.
                                    Freqbot uses the following components:               Once the battery voltage drops below a certain pre-
                                        Motherboard.                                     defined level, the battery switches automatically.
                                        Four geared motors.                              Hence, if the robot is used for tactical missions,
                                        Holonomic wheels.                                where frequent charging of the onboard batteries
                                        Cell phone.                                      is not possible, this technique could improve the
                                        Hands-free cell phone accessory.                 life of the robot.”


                                      A brief explanation of the directions that           The freqbot spots a better designed set of
                                      the Mecanum wheel supports.                          Mecanum wheels as compared to the one


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Description: CHIP INDIA 2012 ARCHIVE