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News Archives for March 2009

Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 05:59AM
Author: Nemo

Intel's Core i7 supports triple-channel memory through its integrated memory controller and selecting the right memory is getting easier as more and more modules come to market. Today's roundup features three different kits from Crucial, Kingston and Patriot. Solid state drives are the coming factor in storage in terms of speed and single level cell SSDs are designed in enterprise class storage. They may be faster than their multi-level cell counterparts, but they also command a premium price. You can't count out the traditional hard drive just yet either. We get a look Seagate's latest Barracuda 7200.12 family of drives boasting 500GB per platter.

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Tracers 6GB Kit (BL3KIT25664TB1608) @ Bjorn3D
Kingston HyperX T1 Series DDR3-2000 3GB Triple Channel Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers
Patriot Viper DDR3 1600 Tri Channel 6 GB Kit @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
How to Install Vista on the ASUS P6T Deluxe with SAS RAID @ Legit Reviews

Notebooks
Packard Bell Dot.be/010 Netbook @ Madshrimps

Power Supplies
Hiper Type R MKII 680 Watt ATX Power Supply @ Tweaknews

Storage/Hard Drives
Seagate's Barracuda 7200.12 hard drive @ Tech Report
Sunbeamtech Hard Drive Docking Station @ [OC]ModShop
MTRON PRO 7500 32GB 2.5-inch SLC Solid State Disk @ TweakTown

Video
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition @ Techgage
Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 16.4 @ Tech ARP
Palit GeForce GTX 260 Sonic 216SP 55nm Graphics Card @ TweakTown


Complete Story


China's First Satellite Crash Lands on Moon

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 09:53AM
Author: oldfett

China’s first satellite, Chang’e I crash landed into the moon Sunday at 4:13 PM in Beijing. This successfully completed a 16 month long mission; yes you heard right the crash landing was planned. Change’e I, named after the Chinese moon goddess, was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 which is a little over 50km outside the city of Xichange in China. The satellite was launched with a Long March 3-A carrier rocket on October 24, 2007 and spent 494 days in space collecting data. This mission was essentially a test run for future rover landing missions to take place in 2009 and 2012. China is also planning a manned lunar exploration mission on or before 2020.


Complete Story


Radeon 4870 and 4850 to Get Price Cut

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 12:31PM
Author: oldfett

If you're getting a tax return a brand new video card may be on your list for potential purchases. Some "sources" have established that ATI, a division of AMD, will be cutting prices to both its Radeon 4850 and 4870 models. The Radeon 4870 512MB model will drop about $50, from a price point around $199 to about $149. This will put it in the price range of Nvidia's 8800GT, 9800GT and 9800GTX however the performance should exceed these cards and put it in just below the GTX260, giving it a great price/performance ratio. ATI's 4850 will drop to a price point of around $129, giving Nvidia's upcoming GTX250 some competition. Expect to see the price drops sometime early this week.


Complete Story


IBM Firmware Update Causes Issues With Seagate Drives

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 02:41PM
Author: oldfett

Seagate just can't seem to catch a break as of late. IBM has confirmed that a recent firmware update to its xServer and BladeCenter servers is causing issues with Seagate  Barracuda ES.2 hard drives. Clients are finding that when these servers are powered on, the Seagate hard drives do not start up. Seagate claims that these drives are more than capable of being used in business-critical sites, however IBM is pointing at the hard drives firmware. Apparently the firmware in the hard drives allows the event log pointer to be set to an invalid location on the hard drive, causing the drives to be unresponsive and effectively unusable. There is currently no fix for the issue, but IBM plans to fix the issue in the next firmware update which will come at the end of March. In the meantime IBM is recommending that owners of these effected servers avoid power cycles. This puts the crunch on any organization or business currently using these servers as mission critical devices.


Complete Story


Analysts Predict PC Sales Slump For 2009

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 02:54PM
Author: jammin

With the current state of the economy, predictions of of falling sales for the near future may hardly be surprising. The last time the PC industry experienced a decline it was back in 2002, when sales fell by 3.2%, but it looks as though the decline this year will be much larger if the predictions prove accurate. Gartner are currently predicting that PC sales will hit around 257 million for 2009, which would be a fall of 11.9% from last year. With both companies and the average consumer looking to save money, some PCs that may have been replaced with newer models in better times will likely have to prove adequate for now. Even growth in certain areas in the market (notably netbooks) can't make up for the shortfall in the industry as a whole.

While this may sound like more doom and gloom, it is expected that the semiconductor industry should be more resistant to the tough times than other sectors. With a different cost structure and the fact the industry was already aiming to cut back production, the chip business should be in a position to rebound faster. Apparently a recession actually encourages restructuring and innovation that wouldn't happen when things are ticking along quite nicely. That means that next-generation chips may actually come sooner than expected.


Complete Story


Intel Agrees Atom Deal With TSMC

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 03:13PM
Author: jammin

Up until now, Intel has always manufactured its processors using its own facilities. A new deal announced today will see Intel team up with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to develop and produce low-cost Atom processors for use in consumer electronic devices. Intel won't be transferring its manufacturing process to TSMC, but the foundry will get to make Atom chips for use in products such as cell phones, set-top boxes and cameras. One of the apparent reasons Intel has opted to partner with TSMC is this regard is due to the fact that it doesn't posses the in-house technology required to open new markets as quickly as it would like. The move sees Intel join many other TSMC collaborators including both NVIDIA and ATI.


Complete Story


The Future of TV: Coffee Stains

Posted: March 2, 2009 @ time: 03:22PM
Author: Crow47

Inspiration often comes from the most unlikely source, and for Ivan Vakarelski, coffee stains may be the next big thing in TV coatings. He believes that the pattern formed by coffee when it dries, like that of a coffee ring on a napkin, will provide a superior coating for LCD and plasma screens than what today’s technology currently offers. The circular ring left by drying coffee is caused by the evaporating liquid in the coffee, with the coffee granules being arranged by varying rates of evaporation and convection.

Coffee isn’t quite conductive enough for a screen coating, so Vakarelski instead uses gold particles about 20 nanometers across along with latex balls to create a conductive coating suitable for LCD and plasma screens. The main benefit to the process that Vakarelski has created is cost; typical coatings are expensive, requiring clean rooms and vacuum chambers. While there has only been a coating created a few square centimeters large as of now, the process should be easy to scale in the future.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 04:04AM
Author: Nemo

The release of Nvidia's GTS 250 graphics cards is not the only news on the review front today. Corsair is working on an enthusiast-class computer case and we turned up a first look of what it looks like. We also have a couple of external drive enclosures from Ineo and In Win. Also in the videocard department we get a look at two cards from ASUS with a comparison of a GTX 260 and an HD 4870. We have reviews on cooling, memory, notebooks and more so be sure to follow the links below for all the reviews.

Cases
Corsair Memory Designs Enthusiast ATX Case @ Legit Reviews

Cooling
Thermaltake RamOrb Memory Heat Spreader and Xigmatek Talisman NPC-D721 Laptop Cooling Pad @ FrostyTech
Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 CPU Cooler @ RBMods

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Tracer Blue PC3-12800 6GB Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Notebooks
ASUS N50Vn 15.4" Notebook @ Techgage
TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide - March 2009 @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
In Win `Na Hi-Speed USB/eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure @ ThinkComputers
Ineo 2,5" All in one Enclosure @ RBMods

Video
ASUS GTX 260 55nm and 4870 Dark Knight 1G @ [H]ardOCP
HIS Multi-View DVI @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
Techseed v2 Launch @ Techseed


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: NVIDIA GTS 250 Edition

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 04:04AM
Author: Nemo

Nvidia has released another iteration of videocards based on the G92 GPU, this time under the GTS 250 naming convention. Offered in two different frame buffer sizes - 52MB and 1GB - the cards will be priced at $129 and $149 respectively. It's certainly no coincidence that yesterday's news included an item reporting on price cuts on AMD's HD 4850 and HD 4870 cards to the same levels. As the follow on card to the 9800GTX+, the GTS 250 shares many of the same characteristics such as clock speed (738MHz), memory speed (1100MHz), the same 256-bit memory bus and the same amount of shader cores (128). With the processor based on a 55nm process along with other gains made in power efficiency, the GTS 250 now only requires a single 6-pin power connector, down from from the two required for its predecessor.

BFG GeForce GTS 250 OC 1GB @ OCC
Galaxy GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card @ TweakTown
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 Mainstream GPU @ HotHardware
Palit GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card Review - More NVIDIA G92b @ PC Perspective
Nvidia's GeForce GTS 250 graphics card @ Tech Report
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 Superclocked @ Techgage


Complete Story


Intel's Atom Coming to a Phone Near You

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 11:48AM
Author: oldfett

Intel's smallest processor, the Atom, isn't just for netbooks anymore. Intel is rolling out four new models of this little chip to expand on its Z5xx lineup, but these chips are designed for phones not netbooks. This is the first time Intel is releasing a processor to the phone market, it will be used in devices that Intel calls "media phones". However not many phones are likely to adopt these new processors and will instead wait for their successors. The next version of the Atom, called Moorestown, will be a lower power chip than the Atoms current offerings which is sure to help battery life as well as overheating issues. Look for an Atom powered phone in the next month and the new and improved models by the end of the year.


Complete Story


New 40nm, 4800 Series Mobile GPU's from ATI

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 03:14PM
Author: Crow47

Today, AMD has released two new GPU's based on their new 40nm process technology: the HD 4830 and HD 4860. These feature a slew of top-notch features such as DirectX 10.1, audio over DisplayPort, MPEG-2 and H.264 acceleration, GDDR5 memory, and Crossfire X support, among others. More importantly, the 40nm technology provides a 50% increase in performance per watt. Power saving is bolstered by ATI PowerExpress and ATI Switchable Graphics Technology, allowing a second, integrated GPU to take over for everyday office tasks.

Both GPU's sport 640 stream processors with processing power at 832 Gflops. This will vary, because while some will come in GDDR5 flavors, there will also be DDR3 and GDDR3 versions. Notebooks with these mobile GPU's are upcoming, likely at CeBIT.


Complete Story


AMD Confirms 4800 Series Price Cuts

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 03:26PM
Author: jammin

Yesterday we mentioned that we would be seeing price cuts for the HD 4870 and HD 4850. Today we recevied confirmation from AMD along with a few examples on the kind of reductions you can expect to find. The examples given include an MSI HD 4850 priced at $154.99, with a $30 mail in rebate bringing that down to $124.99. A Powercolor HD 4870 512MB priced at $169.99 gets a $20 rebate to cut it down to $149.99, and an MSI HD 4870 1GB priced at $224 gets a $25 rebate to bring it down to $199. Popular online retailer Newegg.com has already started posting updated prices for both HD 4850 and HD 4870 cards, where you will find the above examples.


Complete Story


Pirate Bay Trial Awaiting Verdict

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 03:54PM
Author: jammin

After a little over two weeks of evidence being presented, the prosecution changing its mind about charges and a lot of media attention in Sweden, the closing statements in the Pirate Bay trial have been delivered and now the court is awaiting a verdict. As part of their closing statement, the prosecution called for the four administrators of the site to be given a one year prison sentence for their actions. Lawyers defending the four men called for them to be acquitted and also challenged estimates the prosecution have made about how much Frederik Neij, Carl Lundstom, Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Warg have made from the site. The music, film and video games industries are calling for damages and interest of 117 million kronor (around $12.5m) for losses incurred from downloads facilitated by the Pirate Bay. A judges decision is not expected for several weeks


Complete Story


NVIDIA Also Has Some New Mobile GPUs

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 04:25PM
Author: jammin

Earlier today we noted that ATI had some new mobile GPUs around the corner, so it makes sense that its biggest competitor also has some new laptop based graphics power up its sleeve. The big player among these is the new GTX 280M, which NVIDIA is aptly applying the "fastest laptop GPU on the market" title to. We'll have to wait for some benchmark figures to see how fast it actually is, though the claim is 50% faster than previous generation enthusiast parts if you fancy doing some mathematical guesswork. Naturally you will also be able to bolt together two GTX 280M GPUs in SLI for more performance. Moving further down the line, we will also see the introduction of the respectively slower GTX 260M, GTS 160M and GTS 150M. All the new parts support both PhysX and CUDA, but when we will see them shipping is currently unknown. However, if you happen to be lucky enough to stop by CeBit this week then you might well see some of the new chips in action.


Complete Story


Asus Marine Cool Fights Heat and Looks Good Doing it

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 04:32PM
Author: Crow47

A few days ahead of CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, Asus has released photos of what it calls the “Marine Cool” high performance motherboard concept. While not only visually striking, the Marine Cool features several innovative enhancements to the typical motherboard design, such as a ceramic back plate to help dissipate heat and provide additional rigidity to the board. Considering the size of such high-end coolers recently, this is a logical step in the evolution of the desktop motherboard. The Marine Cool also uses laptop SO-DIMM memory sticks as opposed to the normal desktop memory, allowing Asus to save space on the motherboard. The motherboard prominently features several large heatsinks covering various areas of the motherboard, such as the north and southbridge. It remains to be seen if a motherboard so visually appealing can perform as good as it looks. Asus intends to release more details at CeBIT.


Complete Story


Using Model Helicopters to Provide Wireless Access in Disaster Areas

Posted: March 3, 2009 @ time: 05:14PM
Author: Nemo

A professor at Germany's Ilmenau University of Technology is working on a project to use 'quadcopters' to build self-assembling ad-hoc wireless networks in disaster areas where existing network infrastructure may have been destroyed. The helicopters are autonomous flying machines carrying VIA pico ITX computers with radio equipment. Equipped with satellite navigation, the machines can fly into an area and spread out to form a radio network for first-responders and for people to call for help. Using off the shelf parts the network can be assembled quickly, often before people on the ground can get in to the affected areas. The limiting factor is the batteries, which only provide about 20 minutes of flight time. But that's enough for the little fliers to reach a high point such as a building and land and then operate for several hours.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: March 4, 2009 @ time: 04:53AM
Author: Nemo

Nvidia launched its GTS 250 graphics cards yesterday and we uncovered two more reviews of cards from EVGA and BFG (see the OCC review here). Hiper may be best known as a manufacturer of power supplies, but they also make cases and today we get a look at the Osiris mid-tower case (also reviewed by OCC here). Our roundup also includes a pair of CPU coolers from Xigmatek and Titan. Power supplies, motherboards, and more - check the rest of the reviews in today's roundup using the links below.

Cases
Hiper Osiris Mid-Tower @ Techgage

Cooling
Evercool Zodiac Notebook Cooler @ RBMods
Xigmatek Achilles S1284C CPU Cooler @ TWeakTown
Titan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Monitors
Samsung LN40A650A 40-inch LCD HDTV @ PCSTATS

Motherboards
ASRock X58 SuperComputer Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
Intel's Convertible Classmate PC @ Tech Report

Power Supplies
Enermax Revolution85+ 1,050W Power Supply @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Icy Dock MB561US-4S Quad Bay External Hard Drive Enclosure @ Tweaknews
Synology DS209+ @ Bjorn3D

Video
EVGA GTS-250 1 GB Superclocked Edition @ Bjorn3D
BFG Tech GeForce GTS 250 Graphics Card @ Legit Reviews


Complete Story


Social Security Administration Getting Huge Upgrade

Posted: March 4, 2009 @ time: 08:45AM
Author: oldfett

The United States government has never been known for its efficiency and/or speed. In some of the more recent stimulus bills the Social Security Administration (SSA) received just over $1 billion in funds for upgrades. The SSA is responsible for storing the largest repository of electronic health records in the world to help determine eligibility for social securty, and the number is growing daily. The SSA currently relies on a data center constructed 30 years ago for its storage as well as commercial companies for its backup systems, neither of which is enough storage. In an attempt to curb its lackluster efficiency track record as well as meet its growing demands the SSA plans to use $750 million of these funds to create a new data center just outside of Baltimore. $450 million of these funds will be used to build the center and the remaining $300 million will be used for new computer systems and software to run it, the facility should be up and running in about 5 years. A $72 million backup facility is already under way and is expected to be online in just under 2 years.


Complete Story


Microsoft Breathes Easier in Europe

Posted: March 4, 2009 @ time: 03:30PM
Author: oldfett

In 2004 the European Union ruled against Microsoft stating that it was monopolizing the software market. Third party developers felt that Microsoft was using its domination in the operating system market to edge into other software markets by bundling software such as media players into its software. The court not only fined Microsoft $794 million but also demanded that it provide technical documentation to allow third parties to develop software that would run more smoothly with Windows. In early 2008 Microsoft began publishing this information online free of charge allowing third parties to develop software better suited to run on Windows. The European Union today decided to cease continual oversight into Microsoft's daily affairs due to its recent good behavior as well as completion to their demands. They did however warn that Microsoft must stay on the straight and narrow by continually publishing and updating complete technical documents.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 05:35AM
Author: Nemo

Checking around the web today we find a couple of power supplies starting with the OCZ Modstream Pro 700W. If you need enough capacity to power a multi-GPU rig, and then some, there's always the Topower Powerbird 1100W PSU. The Dominator series of memory is Corsair's premium product line and today we get a look at a set of triple-channel memory modules designed for Core i7 processors. Moving on to motherboards our roundup includes a pair from ECS and ASUS for both AMD and Intel enthusiasts. We located a few more reviews so be sure to check out the rest of today's lineup.

Cooling
Cooler Master Hyper N520 Cooler @ Overclocker Cafe
Coolink Chilla Ramic Coolink Chilla Ramic @ Bjorn3D

Input Devices
Mionix Saiph 3200 @ XSReviews

Internet
Access multiple email accounts with Gmail in 3 easy steps @ TechSpot

Memory

Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 1600 Dominator Memory @ Viper Lair

Motherboards
ECS A780GM-A Ultra Black Series Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
Asus P6T6 WS Revolution Core i7 Motherboard @ HotHardware

Power Supplies
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700w 40C Update @ [H]ardOCP
Topower PowerBird 1100 Watt Special Edition Power Supply @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Super Talent Luxio Series 64GB USB Flash Drive @ TweakTown
Super Talent Luxio 64GB Flash Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
ASUS ENGTX260 HTDP 896M A Video Card @ Motherboards.org


Complete Story


Windows Vista Service Pack 2 RC Made Public

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 08:30AM
Author: oldfett

For the last week Windows Vista SP2 RC was only accessible by MSDN and TechNet subscribers, but not anymore! As of today Microsoft is releasing it to the public, stating that everyone is a VIP now. This newest service pack not only fixes various bugs but also adds support for VIA's newer processors, Bluetooth 2.1 and the ability to record Blu-ray. Various Wireless features are also getting an upgrade with faster Wi-Fi startup after resuming from a hibernated state as well as adding support for Windows Connect Now Wi-Fi functionality. Other features being upgraded are faster RSS feeds for sidebar gadgets as well as an upgrade to Windows Search 4.0. Find more information and try out the new service pack here.


Complete Story


Could NVIDIA be Your Next Processor?

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 08:32AM
Author: Crow47

The plot thickened on Tuesday, as the ongoing public battle between NVIDIA and Intel gets deeper. NVIDIA announced at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco that the company has plans to produce a x86 processor in the next two to three years. During a Q and A session at the conference, NVIDIA’s senior vice president of investor relations and communications, Michael Hara was asked if NVIDIA would ever consider producing an x86 processor. He responded by saying that the question was more “when” and not “if”.

However, he went on to say that their processor would be targeted more at smaller systems, and for the time being, the Ion platform would suffice. It seems that he feels entering the processor market is simply a logical evolution in their product line, albeit if it’s a bit far off. Looks like Intel for now is safe, and even then they won’t have much to worry about, as Hara said that they would not enter the higher end processor market. Will you find an nVidia processor powering your desktop of the future? Only time will tell.


Complete Story


The Beatles: Rock Band To Launch September 9th

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 09:28AM
Author: jammin

While our loyalties do reside in the PC gaming camp, I'm sure a lot of us own a console as well. Plenty of us will have also spent a reasonable amount of time waving around plastic guitars as if they were the real thing, what with the popularity of the various titles available in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series of games. It has been known for a while that work was in progress on a game that would involve the music of The Beatles and now it has been announced that The Beatles: Rock Band will launch worldwide for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii on the 9th September (yes, 9/9/09).

Players will get to experience the bands catalogue of music through guitar, bass, mic or drums and will also be able to pick up instruments modelled after those used by the band (though the game will be compatible with previous Rock Band hardware). Pricing will be set at $59.99 for the software, $99.99 for standalone guitar controllers or $249.99 for the limited edition premium bundle. You can click over to the official website to be notified when pre-ordering begins. No pictures of those new instruments available yet though.


Complete Story


CM Storm Deploys Scout Gaming Chassis

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: jammin

CM Storm, Cooler Master's collaboration with professional gamers, which was behind the recently reviewed Sniper chassis has now introduced its next gaming case, the Scout. Billed as "The True Gaming Chassis" the Scout is built around a solid steel body, with 140mm intake, 140mm top and 120mm rear exhaust fans. Two further 120mm fans can also be mounted to deal with thermal hotspots. The Scout also provides 5 x 3.5" and 4 x 5.25" drive bays, with support for 1.8" and 2.5" SSDs should you need it, as well as I/O panel connectivity for eSATA, Firewire, HD Audio and 4 x USB. The panel also gives you an LED switch to control case lighting. An interesting addition is the StormGuard PCI-bracket, which allows you secure your peripherals, meaning that (as long as you have locked your side panel) nobody can run off with your mouse and keyboard while you're using the bathroom at a LAN party. If you do want to move your whole case, the integrated carry handles should make things easier. Pricing and availability of the Scout chassis wasn't mentioned.


Complete Story


Corsair Showing Off Prototype Chassis At CeBit

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 01:08PM
Author: jammin

If you look at the big component manufacturers nowadays, there aren't many that just produce one type of product. For example, most now sell power supplies under their own brands, and when not having a product available in the marketplace means you aren't competing for customer's money it makes sense. Corsair, traditionally a memory producer, expanded into the power supply market with great success and they now look to be aiming for the same thing in the market for PC chassis. It is showing off a prototype full tower case at CeBit in Hannover this week, which on first glance appears to have been well thought out.

Though the case doesn't have a name yet, it does have a few noteworthy features. These include a motherboard tray with numerous wire management openings (with the kind of rubberised grips you see on those designed for water tubing), as well as one large enough to change CPU heatsink backplates without removing the motherboard. There is also space for up to four hot-swappable hard drives accessible through the front panel, space up top to mount a triple radiator and a bottom section for PSU mounting. Naturally, there is no word on what we can expect price wise, but PC World believe it should hit stores in May.


Complete Story


OCZ's Z Drive Is Mighty Fast, Mighty Expensive

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 04:34PM
Author: jammin

OCZ had pointed out its Z Drive in a press release of products it would be showing at CeBit this week, but there wasn't really enough detail to get excited about. Fortunately, Engadget dropped by the OCZ booth to fill in the gaps. The Z Drive is a PCIe (x8) connected device that will contain four 256GB solid state drives, a hardware RAID controller and 256MB of local cache. All of that means maximum potential read speeds in the area of 600MB/s and maximum writes at 500MB/s (400MB/s sustained). So that makes it both impressively fast and large enough to give you plenty of storage space to play around with. Of course this all comes with a large price tag, which OCZ believes will be between $1500 and $2000 when it gets released in the US in about six weeks time. Better get saving. Oh, and a 4TB version is also planned for later in the year.


Complete Story


Hacker Gets Four Years in the Slammer

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 06:51PM
Author: oldfett

John Schiefer, a security consultant turned hacker (oh the irony), was sentenced four years in prison for the infection of 250,000 PC's. The 27 year old man was one of eight who was arrested almost two years ago in an FBI operation. He was sentenced on March 4th in a Los Angeles federal court after pleading guilty to his accused cyber-crime's. Officials say that Schiefer implemented a botnet across the United States in an attempt to steal account information. After infecting the machines the malware relayed financial communications from PayPal and similar sites back to Schiefer. As well as jail time Schiefer must also pay $19,000 in damages to PayPal and other companies.


Complete Story


Catalyst 9.4 Drivers to Axe Card Support

Posted: March 5, 2009 @ time: 09:46PM
Author: gebraset

According to a recent report from TC Magazine, the new Catalyst 9.4 drivers coming up from AMD will not support cards that are before the Radeon HD 2000 series. The cards that will supposedly not be supported anymore include professional cards such as the FireGL X1/X2/X3, V3000, V5000, V7000, FireMV 2200, and FireMV 2250. Consumer cards that are said to be on the cut list include Radeon 9500, 9600, 9800, X800, X1800, and X1900 series cards. AMD is claiming that the need for this is so that as a company, it can focus on their newer model cards that are currently in the market now, and that will be released to the public in the near future.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 06:01AM
Author: Nemo

Our roundup opens up with a pair of cases starting with the Cooler Master Storm Sniper (reviewed by OCC here). The second case in our roundup is the Thermaltake Spedo Advanced Package (reviewed by OCC here). Thermaltake dominates the cooling scene today with a pair of reviews of its SpinQ CPU cooler (also reviewed by OCC here) along with looks at the A1VX and BigTyp 14 Pro (see the OCC review here). We also located a couple of review on Razer products with the Lachesis mouse (you can find the OCC review here) and the Carcharias gaming headset. CeBIT is currently under way in Hannover, Germany with lots of new products being unveiled. OCZ has taken the opportunity to make the SSD game a bit more interesting with its Z-Drive that promises some crazy speeds by combining a hardware raid controller with four 250GB MLC SSDs in a RAID 0 setup.

Cases
Cooler Master Storm Sniper Black Mid-Tower Case @ Legit Reviews
Thermaltake Spedo Advanced Package Case @ Motherboards.org

Cooling
Thermaltake SpinQ CPU Cooler @ PC Perspective
Thermaltake SpinQ, A1VX and BigTyp 14 Pro @ [H]ardOCP

Input Devices
Razer Lachesis mouse @ DarkVision Hardware

Prebuilts
Dell XPS 625 Phenom II Gaming System @ HotHardware

Speakers/Headphones
Razer Carcharias Gaming Headset @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Z-Drive 1000GB SSD Performance Preview at Cebit @ Madshrimps
IcyDock MB673SPF-B 3-Bay Tooless Hard Drive Bay Module @ PCSTATS
Eagle Tech ET-CSMDSU2-BK 3.5” Dual Enclosure @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
Planet Terror HD Movie @ TweakTown


Complete Story


OCC Recent Forum Activity: Issue #3

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 07:00AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Hope everyone has had a good week so far. As many of you know, this weekend is the release of Watchmen in the theaters and IMAX. Have you seen it yet? If so, you may want to head on over to the Watchmen discussion thread. Be warned though, if you haven't seen the movie yet there are sure to be spoilers galore! I'm going to try and make it to an IMAX showing on Sunday.

Maj0r Gamer is looking for a nice mouse pad to compliment his Razer Lachesis. Does anyone have any suggestions for him? And in case you missed it, check out the OCC review of the Razer Lachesis mouse.

Printers have been big over the last week. When Eins7ein prints from IE7 to his HP printer, it simply prints the HTML code rather than the website. Other print jobs from different applications work fine. Has anyone encountered this issue? KB discovered the joys of purchasing a new printer when his Lexmark didn't come with a USB cable or a black ink cartridge. Andrewr05 is looking for a Laser Printer in the $400 range. Do you have any suggestions for these printer people?

Vista initially had a lot of problems for many people, though if you asked today a lot of people will actually recommend Vista especially the 64-bit version. That doesn't mean people still don't have issues with it. greengiant912 just recently installed Vista and is now having some sound related issues while playing games.

Like any enthusiast community, we like to see benchmarks. We have a number of places for people to compare their 3DMark and PCMark scores. That's great for the majority of the members that use a Windows operating system, however OCC also includes a growing Mac community. That's why we now have a Mac Benchmarking thread for members to compare their system scores using XBench.


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ASUS Z8NA-D6 ATX Dual-Socket Motherboard

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 11:59AM
Author: MrAlex

The Z8NA-D6 is the new motherboard from ASUS, and it's not for the faint of heart. It is the first motherboard that has two 1366 sockets, which will enable the user to have 16 virtual cores (8 physical with Hyper-Threading turned off).

There is a catch though; to run this beefy motherboard you will need to use Intel's server processors. It supports Intel's new Xeon 5500 processors as well. This board is not to be sniffed at. Along with support for 48GB of Registered RAM, 24GB of Unbuffered RAM, 1 PCI-E X16 Slot, and 2 PCI-E X8 slots, there's also a nice round number of 14 SATA slots. You'll need a PSU that has a 24+8 pin connector as well.


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Circuit City Stores To Close This Sunday

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 12:19PM
Author: jammin

Last month we heard that Circuit City had sold off over $1 billion in inventory during liquidation sales that started back in January. That apparently put some stores ahead of their closing deadlines, which was confirmed today with the announcement that all remaining Circuit City stores will be closing this Sunday. That is about a week ahead of schedule and two weeks ahead of what was originally planned by the liquidators. So if your local Circuit City is one that is still open, then you only have a limited amount of time to get down there and see if there are any good last minute deals going.


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Gigabyte Core i5 Motherboard At CeBit

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 01:52PM
Author: jammin

While we know that Core i5 processors are due to start shipping in the summer, we haven't really seen any motherboards out there in the wild that will support the new chips so far. It seems that Gigabyte have one such board on display over at its CeBit booth, although when reps were asked to go into more detail they were apparently tight lipped. We can likely assume this is a P55 based board and what we can tell from the pictures taken by engadget is that there are 4 DIMM slots for dual channel DDR3, support for CrossFireX and SLI (dual PCIe 2.0 x8 seems likely), dual Gigabit LAN and six SATA2 ports. There is also inclusion of what looks to be HDMI, VGA and DVI ports, possibly for a CPU integrated graphics core? The info alongside the board hints at an overclocking friendly design and the board itself sports what looks to be 8 phase CPU power delivery. I guess we'll have to wait for definite details as according to Gigabyte most of the info about the board is still covered by NDA.


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Foxconn's New Weapons - The Flaming Blades

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 03:39PM
Author: MrAlex

Even five months after the release of Intel's Core i7 processors, prices are still high for almost all related components, including motherboards. Foxconn wants to change all that though with the new Flaming Blade and Flaming Blade GTI motherboards. Both contain three DDR3 memory slots, two PCI-E x16 slots, six SATA ports, 6-phase PWN and more! The only differences between the normal and the GTI is that the GTI only supports CrossFire (while the former supports both SLI and CrossFire) and it lacks the two e-SATA ports seen on the normal board.

The price is expected to be in the $200 price range, but that is the cost of what AMD's best motherboards have to offer. Seems Intel motherboard manufacturers still need to work on pricing.


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Windows 7 Will Allow Users to Disable IE8

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 06:43PM
Author: cold_snipe

In the upcoming Windows 7 Release Candidate, Microsoft plans to let users disable applications such as Internet Explorer 8, Windows Search, Windows Media Player, and others. Disabling them means that while these programs can be forced to start and will function when needed, the associated files will not load up when windows is started. This would lead to much faster start-up times and less resources hogged by potentially unused applications. Fans of alternative web browsers and media applications will be glad to hear this, as will antitrust regulators who have previously raised issues over Internet Explorer coming bundled with Microsoft Windows. The Windows 7 RC is planned to be released next month to software developers and IT professionals.


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AMD "March AMDness" Bundle Deals

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 07:15PM
Author: jammin

An email hit our inbox not long ago from AMD to let us know about some bundle deals that are being offered at various online retailers. The deals focus on Phenom II processors, which can be paired up with AMD motherboards or graphics cards for a bit of a discount. The Phenom II already offers good value for money, so this should sweeten the deal a little should you be looking at putting together a new system. The offers are currently running at Newegg, Mwave, ZipZoomfly, Canada Computers, NCIX, Memory Express and ECS. We are told that both Amazon and Tiger Direct will also be offering these bundle deals soon. If you hadn't got it already (but I'm sure you did, right?) AMDness is of course a play on MADness.


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Hulu Stops Boxee Support Feature

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 09:59PM
Author: gebraset

In the latest build of the media center application Boxee, it has added a feature that lets users add RSS feeds and watch videos and movies directly from them. This works on a variety of sites, including both YouTube and Google Video. Hulu was added to the list of support websites, but after Hulu asked Boxee to remove the feature from supporting the multimedia website, it has been ended in the application. Now, users will not be able to see Hulu videos from the RSS feed, and will likely need to go to the main website in order to watch a clip of a television show or a movie. Recent news however says that Boxee now has Hulu working again, but it will be surprising if the support lasts if it is in fact there as of now.


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RV790 - A Whole New Chip

Posted: March 6, 2009 @ time: 11:38PM
Author: MrAlex

The rumour mills have really been spinning the last few months as AMD/ATI prepare to launch their new RV790 chip. A lot of people have been speculating that it was just an overclocked RV770 chip, but AMD/ATI had a trick up their sleeve - it's a completely new 55nm chip! Although similar to the RV770, this new chip should give a nice improvement on performance, and we should see the chip being able to breeze past the GTX 260 and be right on nVIDIA's GTX 285 trail. Seems that AMD/ATI wants 55nm to go out with a bang, and they certainly have accomplished that!


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Unreal Tournament 3 - Free on Steam This Weekend

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 11:40AM
Author: ClayMeow

Ten years after the first Unreal, the Unreal series continues to be one of the biggest and most popular first-person shooters series out there. It's "Tournament" spin-offs revolutionalized the competitive PC gaming landscape, considered by many to introduce players to the "Arena FPS" sub-genre (beating Quake III Arena to the punch by mere days). In late 2007, Unreal Tournament 3 released to generally positive reviews, though its commercial success has been lagging somewhat compared to previous games in the series. Developer Epic Games released the "Titan Pack" expansion this week, featuring new content and several enhancements. In honor of the expansion pack, Valve's Steam service is offering UT3 with the Titan Pack for free this weekend to all Steam users. So if you haven't tried UT3 or any Unreal game, now is a good time to give it a go. And if you like it, it's only a mere $11.99 for the full game. For those that have played UT3, here is what the Titan Pack expansion features:

 

"Titan Pack" includes*:

  • 16 environments — four Warfare, three vCTF, six Deathmatch, and three CTF maps — that are new to the PC and PS3 versions
  • Three bonus pack maps, CTF-Face, CTF-Searchlight and DM-Morbias
  • The namesake Titan mutator, which lets players overwhelm opponents as a 15 foot tall titan, or crush them as a 30 foot tall Behemoth
  • Greed and Betrayal, two gametypes that breed new-found fervor throughout the competitive UT3 arena
  • Two powerful weapons, the Stinger Turret and Eradicator Cannon artillery
  • Two valuable deployables, the X-Ray Field and Link Station
  • The Slow Field power-up, a portable version of the Slow Field deployable
  • Stealthbender, a new vehicle that carries two spidermine trap deployables, one EMP mine, and one each of the new Link Station and X-Ray Field deployables
  • Two new characters, Nova and Kana
  • 57 awards attainable as Steam Achievements
  • Significant AI enhancements, especially in vehicle gametypes; networking performance upgrades; greatly improved menu flow and UI usability; better mod support
  • Client-side demo recording, highly improved Server Browser, a new maplist system, plus mid-game mutator and gametype voting functionality for PC

* details courtesy of steampowered.com @ http://store.steampowered.com/app/13210/


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DDoS Attack Strikes Mininova

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 02:01PM
Author: ClayMeow

DDoS attacks are not unusual with BitTorrent sites, but usually they attack small-scale sites. Mininova, however, is not a small site. In fact, it is one of the leading BitTorrent sites and the attack is rather massive as far as DDoS attacks go; 2 Gbit strong. The attack began on Thursday, originating from three different continents and wore off a few hours later. Today, it's come back in full force, originating from Germany and Argentina. To understand the extent of the attack, one must realize that Mininova is so popular, it's used to serving millions of visitors each day. To make things worse, since the attack uses UDP connections, it's hard to filter.


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You May Want to Think Twice Before Opening that PDF Attachment

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 02:46PM
Author: Crow47

Think twice the next time you open a PDF, or it could mean disaster for your computer. An unpatched bug in Adobe's popular PDF format is becoming a growing concern. While Adobe has known of the bug since mid-January, they only admitted to having a problem two weeks ago.The bug was originally believed to center around a JavaScript exploit, but since then Danish researchers have found an exploit that does not involve JavaScript, confirming that merely disabling JavaScript does not fix the vulnerability. After reporting their results to Adobe, Adobe confirmed that only the upcoming patch, due on March 11, would fix all of the problems. Adobe also has to contend with immense criticism coming from the fact that their patching schedule is generally regarded as too slow, and as such, exploits like the one they're patching now are left alone for too long. Hopefully Adobe can get the patches through soon, as attacks against end-users are being reported.


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Get World of Goo for Only $5 this Weekend on Steam!

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 02:47PM
Author: Crow47

It must be another Holiday at Valve headquarters, because World of Goo is only $5 this weekend on steam! Get 2D Boy's revolutionary puzzle game while it's hot! It's won numerous rewards, received a load of critical acclaim, and it's on sale, as good of a time as ever to pick up such an acclaimed title.


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Daylight Saving Time Begins Tonight

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 05:03PM
Author: ClayMeow

This is just a friendly reminder to all people living in the United States in every state other than Arizona and Hawaii to set your clocks forward one hour tonight (if they don't already automatically do so). Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 A.M. Sunday and will last until November 1st. For those that can never seem to remember if you're supposed to move the clock back or forward, I always remember this simple mnemonic device: Fall Back, Spring Ahead.


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Overclockers Club Clothing

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 05:28PM
Author: d3bruts1d

I've got some great news for everyone. Our friends at Hacker Threads have stocked back up on Overclockers Club gear! Head on over there to pick up an Overclockers Club T-shirt, polo, or hoodie. All items are available in black, white, or the member preferred navy and come in sizes up to 2X.

For an additional $3 you can get any item personalized. Get your name, OCC handle, or whatever (up to 12 characters) printed on the sleeve. If you need suggestions for the personalization, may I suggest "d3 rules!"?

Be sure to check out the store for some larger, and front and back views of the gear. We'd love to see our members modeling the OCC swag, so post a picture of your bad self in this thread. Also, if there is any additional merchandise you'd like to see the OCC logo on, let us know (using the same thread) and we'll see what we can work out with our partner.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 07:37PM
Author: Nemo

The weekend brings us a trio of case reviews. Included in our roundup are the GMC R-4 Bulldozer, the INONIK Zaria A10 and Cooler Master's ATCS 840 (reviewed by  OCC here). As it turns out we also located another trio of reviews, this time on GeForce GTX 285 graphics cards from PNY, XFX and Galaxy. That just leaves a look at Kodak's EasyShare V1273 digicam and the Honeywell Securadrive external storage unit. Enjoy your reading!

Cases
GMC R-4 Bulldozer Computer Case @ RBMods
IKONIK Zaria A10 Case & Vulcan 850w PSU @ Virtual-Hideout
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Case @ Motherboards.org

Digital Photography/Video
Kodak EasyShare V1273 12MP Digital Camera @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
HoneyWell Securadrive @ Bjorn3D

Video Cards
PNY & XFX GeForce GTX 285 Video Cards @ Legit Reviews
Galaxy GeForce GTX 285 Overclocked Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Cybersecurity Director Resigns

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 10:02PM
Author: oldfett

The chief director of the National Cybersecurity Center, Rod Beckstrom, tendered his resignation on Friday. The former Silicon Valley entrepreneur also submitted a letter with his resignation criticizing the National Security Agency's role in cybersecurity, which was published in the Wall Street Journal. The National Cybersecurity Center was created in March of 2008 and coridinated all of the nations cybersecurity efforts, it answers directly to the Department of Homeland Security. In a response to the letter the Department of Homeland Security declared that it has a solid relationship with the NSA and both are hard at work to protect the nations various networks and connectivity. In Beckstrom's letter he states that the NSA has dominating control of the nation's cyber security, he also goes on to state that the center does not receive adequate funding for the work to be accomplished. His resignation will be complete on March 13th.


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Folding@home Passes Milestone

Posted: March 7, 2009 @ time: 11:20PM
Author: gebraset

Many people in this age are being plagued by many diseases, including cancer which at the moment, is growing at an alarming rate and has no known cure. Folding@home is Stanford’s attempt to gain processing power of computers to solve and understand how proteins fold, both correctly and incorrectly. The project has just announced that it has passed over the five petaflop mark. This comes as an amazing accomplishment, as even the top five most powerful supercomputers combined can not even produce this number of information. The top supercomputer, known as Roadrunner, can only produce 1.46 petaflops itself, which obviously shows the greatness in the Folding@home milestone. As always on Overclockers Club, it is encouraged to continue to fold for both science, and team leadership points.


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Google not looking to acquire Twitter

Posted: March 8, 2009 @ time: 08:28PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google's Eric Schmidt has put the rumors regarding their acquisition of Twitter to rest. Google is not currently looking to acquire any companies, but will when the time is right. Schmidt went on to state that he was impressed with what Twitter has accomplished, while saying that its service could still use some improvements. Twitter has already turned down a half billion dollar offer from Facebook, so you can only wonder what they feel they are worth.


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Safari 4 Already Square in Hacker's Sights

Posted: March 9, 2009 @ time: 02:28AM
Author: Crow47

Last year Charlie Miller won $10,000 in Vancouver for hacking into a Macbook Air using an exploit in Apple's web browser Safari. Now, Charlie Miller has set his sights on Safari 4, and he claims he can do it again come time for the third annual contest in two weeks. Even before the contest has started, Miller is adding steam to the train of hype leading up to the contest, saying that Apple's browser will be the first to fall in the line of browsers hacked. Miller chalks the vulnerability up to a lack of address space randomization technique, also known as ASLR, which helps make software more secure. To Apple's credit, the final build of Safari will have this technology, but the version he will be hacking is a beta. However, this isn't stopping Miller from dealing an embarassing blow to the newest version of Apple's browser. If he is successful, he will take home not only money, but the satisfaction of having hacked yet another version of a browser marketed as one of the most secure around.


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The Why of IE8 Disabling in Windows 7

Posted: March 9, 2009 @ time: 02:31AM
Author: Crow47

The news has been making the online rounds lately; that Microsoft will allow you disable IE8, along with other typically "standard" Windows features in the upcoming operating system known as Windows 7. But why? Analysts believe that after barrage after barrage of antitrust suits against Microsoft, the company has finally decided to enable this capability in the new operating system. Basically, the suits against Microsoft claim that the software Microsoft bundles with its operating systems, sometimes referred to as "middleware", stifles the competition of other software makers, and the ability to disable Windows features is an attempt from Microsoft to satisfy these suits, and possibly others that might arise in the future.


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