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News Archives for May 2009

AMD Commemorates its 40th Anniversary with Contest

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 01:51AM
Author: premiumgfx

AMD has long been a player in the PC industry. From its humble beginnings in 1969, AMD has grown to become a highly recognized multi-national company. AMD has had its highs and lows over the years and is notably the main competitor to rival Intel, and more recently  NVIDIA with its acquisition of ATI. Today is AMD's 40th Anniversary, and AMD are holding a video and photo contest to celebrate for its loyal customers. Fans can create a 60 second video any way they choose but it has to include “Happy 40th Anniversary AMD”, or take a photo symbolizing love for AMD. Up for grabs are three 4890 video cards, forty 4650 video cards, five Phenom II X4 Black Edition CPUs and ASUS motherboards and eight Athlon 7850 CPUs and Gigabyte motherboards. AMD have been here for quite a while, and I think its safe to say they will be bringing us hardware goodness for many years to come.


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XFX First to Offer Premium Cooler For 4770

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 02:12AM
Author: premiumgfx

Over the last few days various AIBs have been releasing their versions of the ATI Radeon HD 4770. At these early stages all the cards are the same, with only the sticker changing in appearance depending on the manufacturer. Some people aren't aware that AMD has released two versions of the stock cooler, and so far AIBs have opted to go with the cheaper one to increase profit margins. XFX is going to offer the first 4770 with the premium, more expensive cooler which offers slightly better thermal performance, bundled with their signature black PCB. XFX's premium 4770 will still retain the standard 4770 clock speeds.This is good news as XFX will hopefully get the ball rolling for other AIB's 4770 custom cooling solutions. XFX have not disclosed any details on pricing or availability of the premium 4770, although I'd expect it to cost a bit more than the standard 4770.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 03:42AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup includes a good mix of reviews including products from a few companies you may not be familiar with. One of those companies is Hunan RUNCORE Innovation Technology Co, LTD whose series of multi-level cell solid state disk drives get reviewed by TweakTown. Another less familiar name is Rasurbo, makers of the GAP 750W power supply. We also get another opportunity to check out the AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE processor (reviewed by OCC here). Make sure you check out the rest of the reviews using the links below.

Cooling
Thermolab Baram Heatpipe CPU Cooler @ Tweaknews

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor @ PCSTATS

Memory
Crucial BallistX 1333 @ Bjorn3D

Networking
TRENDnet TEG-240WS 24-Port Gigabit Web Smart Switch @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Rasurbo GAP 750w @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
RunCore Pro IV MLC Series 2.5-inch Solid State Disk @ TweakTown

Video
ATI Radeon HD 4770 Video Card Overclocking Guide @ Legit Reviews
Leadtek Winfast GTX 260 Extreme+ @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Delivering to the Bottom Line @ Motherboards.org


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Windows 7 Releases Oct. 23 (Maybe)

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 07:47AM
Author: redtigerdragon

I bet Microsoft isn't too happy with Acer at the moment. While talking to ZDnet about the release of Acer's new All-in-One PC's, Acer European President Massimo D'Angelo Let a big date slip. He was asked if they would ship with Windows 7, and replied "No, when it's in store it won't have Windows 7 pre-loaded. We won't be actually selling it a day before the 23rd October". To add to the snafu, Acer UK MD Bobby Watkins then told Pocket-lint: "23rd October is the date the Windows 7 will be available. There is a 30 day upgrade time so that customers don't wait to buy a new computer, so if you buy during that 30 day period, you'll get a free upgrade to Windows 7." Microsoft has not denied the date, so it may be when we see Windows 7.


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Google Sees the Ocean As Future of Data Centers

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 02:07PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google has received a patent for a new kind of data center. A data center that is both green and mobile. The new data centers from Google would float in the ocean, presumably in a ship of some sort, and would be entirely self sufficient. The data centers would be equipped with generators that would take advantage of the power generated by the movement of the ocean. Google also plans to take advantage of the seemingly endless cooling potential of the ocean by incorporating it into a liquid cooling system. This is another exciting development from Google, but may not be put into practice for some time as a result of the current economy.


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Air Force Now Using Secure Windows XP

Posted: May 1, 2009 @ time: 08:59PM
Author: gebraset

Military sections of the government have always expected quality, and even with Windows 7 coming out shortly, it seems that the Air Force is choosing to stick with Windows XP. The difference with this version is that the security has been improved on it, with a secruity patch turnaround time of just 72 hours instead of the standard 57 days, as well as around 600 settings being tied down in the operating system. The United States Air Force has saved over $100 million in costs since using this new version customized for their branch of military, seen support calls drop some forty percent, and notice that eighty-five percent of the previous exploits have been blocked.


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N285GTX HydroGen OC

Posted: May 2, 2009 @ time: 05:43AM
Author: MrAlex

MSI, manufacturer of computer parts, has released another NVIDIA graphics card. Before were the lightning GTX 260’s and the N285GTX Superpipe 2G OC, MSI have now revealed a water cooled beast called the N285GTX HydroGen OC. What’s nice about this is that it comes with a single-slot copper water block, with G ¼ fittings instead of the usual dual-slot design. The specifications are overclocked, with 1024MB of RAM, 512-Bit memory interface and 240 processing cores, 702 MHz GPU shader and the memory at 1476 (2600) MHz. This beast will be available soon for a whopping £400.


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Google is employing goats

Posted: May 2, 2009 @ time: 03:06PM
Author: cold_snipe

That's right, in Mountain View, California, Google is 'employing' goats as an alternative to lawn mowers. While some might say that this really isn't 'going green', I think it's a great idea. I see no downside to this, as it costs the same as lawn mowers and is more carbon-friendly. And, I would rather wake up to the barks of Jen, the herding border collie, than to the loud sound of a lawn mower.


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S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat Announced

Posted: May 2, 2009 @ time: 05:28PM
Author: premiumgfx

Ukraine based game developer, GSC Gameworld has announced the latest game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series, "S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat". The "Call of Pripyat" is still a working name for the game, so it could change according to GSC. Call of Pripyat will be the third game in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise, preceded by S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl and S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky. Some new features of Call of Pripyat reportedly include more side quests, new monsters, a sleep function and a new player interface, according to Wikipedia. It is still unclear whether the game will be set before or after the events of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat is scheduled for release this Fall, so stay tuned for more info!


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Rumors Point To Cheaper Macbooks and iMacs

Posted: May 3, 2009 @ time: 07:05AM
Author: CheeseMan42

According to rumors swirling around the industry, cheaper Macbooks and iMacs are on the way. These tips come from sources that have been accurate in the past when it comes to matters of pricing Apple products. The source goes as far as to say that the more affordable Macs could be seen as early as Spring. This certainly seems like a good idea with the state of the economy and the rise in popularity and availability of netbooks. You have to wonder when Apple will finally get into the market, and how much more their netbook would cost.


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Italy to Take a Swing at The Pirate Bay?

Posted: May 3, 2009 @ time: 05:40PM
Author: cold_snipe

Most of you have heard about The Pirate Bay's trial in Sweden, where four men behind the site were found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison, and a hefty fine. Even though they filed an appeal recently, some key figures in the Italian music industry have said that this could be their chance; there might soon be a lawsuit against The Pirate Bay in Italy. This optimism is reflecting the outcome of the trial in Sweden, even though if another trial were to happen, not many connections could be made to the first trial. The trial could just as well turn out the other way, with The Pirate Bay found not guilty. We will find out whether prosecutors will proceed with legal action or not within the next few months.


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Verizon Needs More Time with Alltel

Posted: May 3, 2009 @ time: 07:00PM
Author: gebraset

With the announcement of Verizon merging with Alltel last year, the government realized that this agreement would make Verizon the largest mobile cell phone provider in the United States. The Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice required for the company to divest from 105 mobile markets where itself and Alltel happened to overlap one another. Each area however has about 200 pages worth of assets that need to be auctioned off, and Verizon is stating that because of the current economic situation and how it is forcing bidders to conduct far less quickly then usual, they need more time. Supposedly, the 120-day allotment of time that was given to them has not been enough so far to complete the requirements.


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Windows 7 System Requirements Confirmed

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 02:12AM
Author: premiumgfx

With the public release of the Windows 7 RC looming near, Microsoft has announced the Windows 7 system requirements. To run Windows 7 your computer will need at least a 1GHz 32 bit (x86) or 64 bit (x64) CPU, 1GB (32 bit) or 2GB (64 bit) of memory, 16GB (32 bit) or 20GB (64 bit) of hard drive space and a DirectX 9 compatible graphics card with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher. If you plan to use XP Mode you'll need at least 2GB of RAM, 15GB of additional disk space and a CPU which supports chip level virtualization. These required specifications are more than needed for Vista but a relatively modern PC purchased in the last few years should be able to run Windows 7 with no problems. Microsoft have also released their "Compatible with Windows 7 Logo" but it isn't known yet what criteria are needed to attain the sticker, but I'd expect them to be pretty close if not the same to the Windows 7 minimum requirements.


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Corsair Prepares New HX Series PSUs

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 02:29AM
Author: premiumgfx

Renowned PSU maker, Corsair is readying some new power supplies in its HX Series. One will be available in a 750W version dubbed the "HX750", although the wattage of the other PSU is unknown at this stage. Both PSU's will feature at least an 80+ Bronze certification, new fan-speed profiles to reduce noise and flat, black modular cables. Based on the information available, it looks like Corsair is targeting consumers who want a modular PSU between the 620W and 1000W range. No details on pricing or availability have been announced, although an official launch is expected in the coming weeks. Both PSUs will include Corsair's 7 year warranty.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 03:08AM
Author: jammin

There are plenty of reviews to get your teeth into at the beginning of this week, covering all of the important groups of hardware. Included are a couple of cases from Thermaltake, a CPU cooler roundup from the guys over at Madshrimps, as well as reviews for video cards, memory and motherboards. Check out the links below.

Cases
Thermaltake ElementS Chassis
@ Bjorn3D
Thermaltake M9 v1100 Case @ Motherboards.org

Cooling
CPU Cooler Roundup - 23 Heatsinks Reviewed
@ Madshrimps
Kingwin XT-1264 CPU Cooler @ Overclocker Cafe
Evercool Transformer 4 HPJ-12025 CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
EK GeForce GTX 295 Water Block @ Accelenation

Video
Sapphire HD 4890 Vapor-X 2GB
@ Techgage

Memory
G.Skill Trident 2000MHz DDR3
@ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
Intel DX58SO X58 Motherboard
@ Legit Reviews
ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution X58 @ TweakTown

Power
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750W Modular PSU
@ ThinkComputers

Displays
ViewSonic VX2433wm 23.6-inch LCD
@ ThinkComputers

Misc.
Spire SP331CB Combipod USB Hub / Card Reader
@ Tweaknews
Resistance Retribution PSP Review @ Tweaktown
Gigabyte Open Overclocking Competition 2009 @ HotHardware
May Post Till You Drop Contest @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


MSI GX623 & GX633

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 11:01AM
Author: MrAlex

MSI keeps rolling out products almost every week, and this week it's two new laptops, the GX623 and GX633. These new “Eco-Friendly” Gaming laptops come with a 15.4" screen,  with five modes for different occasions - Gaming mode, Movie mode, Presentation mode, Office mode and Turbo Drive mode; the latter obviously hinting to some sort of overclocking. They also come with an illuminated keyboard. Both of these laptops can handle up to 4GB of DDR2, which some might consider restricting for the OS that it comes with – Windows Vista. At least the storage isn’t as limiting, coming with 500GB of storage and either one can sport a Blu-Ray or standard DVD drive. What makes these laptops different is the platforms though, but MSI have really mixed this one up. The GX623 is the more powerful, coming with an Intel Centrino 2, the PM45 chipset and an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4670. While the GX633, comes with an AMD Turion 64 X2 Ultra, the NVIDIA MCP77 chipset and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M, which isn’t what you’d expect! They both come with a 2 MegaPixel webcam, speakers, 2xUSB Ports and wireless 802.11 b/g/n. And you can choose between either a 6 or 9 cell battery.


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One Percent of Desktop Users Now Run Linux

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 01:37PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Linux is finally gaining some ground on Windows in the desktop category of users. Long used in data centers and as servers, Linux is becoming more mainstream and accessible to everyday users due to a number of factors. The decision to sell computers preloaded with Linux by Dell and other manufacturers is likely the greatest contributor to this trend. Before that, it was often only the computer savvy that found themselves running Linux, tired of dealing with Windows. The introduction of Gnome and KDE has also made Linux more appealing, giving those people afraid of the command line the option to use Linux as well. I have already made the switch, will you?


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Bandwitdth Caps Called for by American Cable Association

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 03:14PM
Author: DLS2008

At the recent summit of the American Cable Association (ACA), many cable company executives expressed that bandwitdth caps are a necessity of the future. Matt Polka, ACA President, compared broadband billing to his heating bill. It would be nice to pay a flat rate hearing bill, but it clearly requires more energy to heat a home in the winter; therefore, that is not a sound business strategy. Following this line of reasoning, it is not a sound business strategy for broadband companies to continue to charge a flat rate for Internet access. He stated that broadband providers will need to implement bandwidth caps and tiered pricing to maintain a sound Internet infrastructure. New services, such as Netflix and other streaming services use much more bandwidth than browsing websites.

Patrick Knorr, general manager of Sunflower Broadband, said his company has offered tiered biling for four years. This service is offered because in Sunflower's opinion, a person checking email should not be subsidizing a user downloading multiple movies. While many broadband subscribers are upset by this, the providers claim that tiered billing is the way of the future.

Would tiered billing affect a person's Internet usage? I know it may affect mine depending on what the charges include.


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Stardock Outlines Eight Changes to Improve Demigod

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 05:21PM
Author: ClayMeow

When Stardock's Demigod launched last month, reviews for the gameplay itself were mostly glowing. Unfortunately, most scores suffered due to network and connectivity issues. In the Demigod Journals, an official blog on Stardock's Impulse Community, Frogboy stated that he is "confident in publicly saying that I think that the connectivity issues some have had is going to go away next week," in addition to stat tracking, achievements, and more. Furthermore, he outlined seven changes that Stardock will do to help ensure there will always be a lot of people to play against in multiplayer:

1. Using a database of emails gathered when players updated the game, Stardock will send a mass email letting everyone know of the changes and improvements.

2. Stardock will resume its marketing efforts that were put on hold after the connectivity problems plagued the launch.

3. Stardock is working on a demo! The company not only wants the demo to be multiplayer only, but also wants demo players to be able to play online with legitimate players. To accomplish this, Stardock is asking its community how it should limit the demo in a way that will entice people to buy the full game.

4. Stardock plans on holding formal Demigod tournaments with cash and prizes.

5. Stardock's Impulse Reactor will be getting an update that will provide users with more control over the types of people they are matched up with.

6. Online multiplayer moderators will be introduced that will add or substract in-game karma points from players.

7. Stardock is showing its appreciation for everyone's patience by providing a coupon to everyone who has bought Demigod (up to May 10th) that will let them purchase a second compy of the game for 50% off. Obviously, it is hoping that this will help players bring their friends on board, thus expanding the community even further. But I can't help to wonder if Stardock would have improved relations a little by making the coupon 50% off the next purchase of ANY Stardock game rather than limiting it to a game people already bought. Questionable tactic, but I guess it's better than nothing.


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NVIDIA Produces More Beta Drivers

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 05:43PM
Author: gebraset

Drivers tend to confirm either a hit or a miss in the world of graphics. ATI seems to have bad performing drivers from one time or another, and NVIDIA it seems keeps their drivers mostly stable in performance and stability, though everyone has different stories. The green graphics card manufacturer has released a new set of beta drivers, known as the GeForce 185.81 beta drivers, to the public. In this version comes support for the latest graphics cards, as well as the GeForce GTX 275. The new CUDA 2.2 has been included, along with better support for the NVIDIA Video Encoding library for graphics processing units that have less than 32 cores. Featured in this beta too is the support for Ambient Occlusion, which is a fairly new setting inside of the NVIDIA control panel. As always, the new drivers provide performance improvements over the earlier ones, such as release 182, which consumers should find beneficial during those late night gaming sessions and LAN meets.


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Eidos Montreal to Announce Thief IV on May 11th?

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 05:50PM
Author: ClayMeow

Rumored to be in development for awhile now, it seems that Eidos Montreal is finally going to put the rumors to rest and officially announce the next installation of the Thief franchise. Back in 2007, Eidos Montreal said its next upcoming project (after Deus Ex 3) would begin with the letter "T", narrowing it down to either Tomb Raider or Thief. When that announcement was made, however, the next Tomb Raider game was already in development and announced, so that really only left Thief. Then, a teaser banner last month used a typeface that was nearly identical to that used in the Thief series, which further led to Thief IV as Eidos Montreal's secret project. But now, further evidence has presented itself in a recent advertisement in Edge magazine. The ad states that Eidos Montreal's "second project" will be revealed on May 11th and lists three awards attached to the project: GameSpy's Hall of Fame, Gamespot's Greatest Games of All Time and GameSpot's 10 Best Heroes in Gaming. The only franchise to meet all three criteria? You guessed it...Thief.


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Time for More Battery Life Concerning MacBooks

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 06:47PM
Author: gebraset

Even though Apple has provided the MacBook with a decent battery life, too many users are always wanting more of it. Instead of just getting a spare battery for on the go trips, or plugging it in while sitting at the office or at home, there is a new product available, called HyperMac. HyperDrive has now produced the new product, which is literally just an external battery. With this, users can plug their MacBook into it, providing them with up to thirty-two hours of battery time by itself. While this option of battery time is avaliable, MacBooks can be recharged with the HyperMac as well, and iPhones can also be charged. Sadly, the upper model in the 222Wh version, retails for roughly $600.


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Google's Book-Scanner Plans

Posted: May 4, 2009 @ time: 08:00PM
Author: DLS2008

Google has been scanning books into it's online databases for some time now. However, the method used to do this has been kept quiet. The University of Michigan has partnered with Google to scan the collections of printed material in all of the libraries on campus. Yet even I as a student who has gone on multiple library tours knows nothing more than Google has an automated system to scan the books.

Finally, a patent application from Google has revealed the book-scanner. A common issue with copies and electronic scans of books is that the section of the page near the spine is distorted. Google's system is designed to correct this. The scanner uses an infrared source to cover the book with infrared light. Two infrared cameras then form a 3-D model of the book. The cameras detect the shape and angle of the book to allow the optical character recognition (OCR) software to correct the distorted images. Adjusting the images for the distortion allows the OCR software to interpret the letters more accurately.


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Windows 7 RC Released!

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 12:36AM
Author: cold_snipe

That's right, the Windows 7 Release Candidate has arrived on Microsoft's site! Scheduled to appear Tuesday, it showed up earlier on Monday night. Build 7100 is available for download in 32 and 64 bit versions, fully functional until March 1, 2010, and finally expiring on June 1, 2010.
See for yourselves here!


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Windows 7: One Unexpected Surprise

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 02:35AM
Author: premiumgfx

With all the hype of the Windows 7 RC release, it seems that the RC will ship with one unexpected surprise: shutdowns. From March 1 2010 the Windows 7 RC will have bi-hourly (every two hours) shutdowns although it actually expires on June 1. The same will occur with the beta, with shutdowns commencing on July 1 2009 and the actual software expiring on August 1 this year, according to the Microsoft Partner website. To avoid the the inconvenience of shutdowns, Microsoft is recommending that consumers install a valid version of Windows 7 before the shutdown dates. Windows 7 has been subject to a lot of excitement ever since the beta was released, but this extra chunk of information leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth: it seems that anything free comes with a catch.


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Super Talent Launches New DDR3 Memory for Macs

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 02:55AM
Author: premiumgfx

California based Super Talent have released four new lines of DDR3 Mac memory. Among the new options available are 1GB and 2GB sticks of DDR3-1066MHz RAM for the iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro. Super Talent say that the new memory is designed especially for use in Apple based computers and that they have been extensively tested by its engineers and by Apple to ensure an easy upgrade for end consumers. The W1066SA1GA, W1066SB2GA, W1066EB1GA, and W1066EB2GA are now shipping to Super Talent retailers and should be available for purchase in the weeks to come. The new Mac memory will also be showcased at Computex in Taiwan later this year.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 04:29AM
Author: Nemo

It hasn't taken very long for solid state drives to reach the point where most mainstream memory manufacturers now offer some form of the device. Today's roundup includes reviews on offerings from G. Skill and Kingston. The next logical extension of the solid state drive is the use of DDR RAM in place of flash memory. While price and capacity are still issues with flash-based SSDs, the same constraint is even more applicable to DDR RAM-based drives. The solid state drive from DDRdrive is limited to 4GB but puts up some impressive numbers. Our roundup also includes several videocard reviews along with several others covering cases, memory, mousepads and more.

Cases
AZZA Fantom 900 ATX Midi Tower Case @ TweakTown
Silverstone SG03 Sugo SFF Small Form Factor Case @ Tweaknews

Gadgets
Kingston MobileLite 9-in-1 Reader @ ThinkComputers

Memory
Patriot EP 8GB DDR2 800 @ Bjorn3D

Mousepads
QPAD XTR @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
DDRdrive hits the ground running - PCI-E RAM-based SSD @ PC Perspective
Kingston 80GB SSDNow M Series Drive @ Legit Reviews
G.Skill Falcon FM-25S2S-128GBF1 Solid State Disk @ TweakTown

Video
MSI N285GTX Videocard SuperPipe OC @ RBMods
XFX HD 4870 1GB XXX and MSI N260GTX OC3 @ [H]ardOCP
Sparkle Calibre P980 (9800 GT) @ Neoseeker
ASUS Radeon EAH4870X2 Tri-Fan Graphics Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
An Introduction To AMD Spin-Off Global Foundries @ HotHardware


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Lynnfield to Come at 3GHz Max.

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 11:37AM
Author: MrAlex

Intel, the largest manufacturer of processors are releasing their new Core i5 CPUs and P55 motherboards in Q3 2009. The new Core i5s are no different from the Core i7, though instead of having a triple-channel memory controller they'll have a dual-channel memory controller, oh and a new chipset, P55 which is aimed at mainstream users. Apart from that, the new processor should come in 3 doses: 2.6, 2.8 and 3GHz respectively, while going way into the i7's price territory. We’ll see what Intel does in the future, and if the Core i5 turns out to be a success.


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RealDVD Case Nears Conclusion

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 01:32PM
Author: jammin

If you have a particularly good memory, then you may recall that RealNetworks (the makers or RealPlayer) put sales of its RealDVD ripping software on hold last year after being sued by major Hollywood film studios. The claim was that the software violated copyright and was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which forbids the bypassing of any digital rights management protection system. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has said that the software could allow users to copy a DVD and then share it around. RealNetworks now claims that enhanced security used in RealDVD means that a digital version made using the software can then only be played back on the same computer used to make the copy. There is of course a related argument, which is that consumers already have access to digital copies of DVDs should they want them and that aiming to restrict a consumers ability to make a legal backup of content only encourages them to adopt or continue to use the illegal methods of doing so.

The hearing resumes this Thursday, with closing statements likely to come soon after. A ruling from Judge Marilyn Patel (who also presided over the Napster case, which saw the peer-to-peer file-sharing service shut down) is then expected in the weeks following.


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Apple May Soon Take on the Gaming Industry

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 05:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Recent moves by Apple are fueling speculation that it plans to make a splash in the gaming arena. Some of the notable acquisitions are of people, and not companies or intellectual property. Richard Teversham, a director in the Xbox division of Microsoft, and Bob Drebin, designer of the Gamecube processor, top the list. Apple already has its foot in the door of the hand held market with the iPhone, and its brand power could attract non-gamers. A wild rumor involving Apple purchasing Electronic Arts has also been making its way around Wall Street, which many analysts feel will never materialize based on the fact that it wouldn't improve its current business.


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Call of Duty Changes Course

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 05:37PM
Author: gebraset

Treyarch ended up developing every other Call of Duty game in a deal with Infinity Ward, which also includes the recently released Call of Duty: World at War. To consumers this version was fun to play, but was just not enough, since it was based on the same engine that the previous game in the series used. Since then, news has been springing up all across the Internet about the next Call of Duty to be published, and many websites have been reporting that it will be Modern Warfare 2. Recent news is suggesting otherwise however, and is supporting details of the next game being based in Vietnam. The Modern Warfare 2 game that gamers have been looking forward to will be a stand alone game, and will not be a Call of Duty title. Instead, Activision will be publishing the new game as a Vietnam based war title.


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NZXT Announces Beta Mid-Tower Steel Case

Posted: May 5, 2009 @ time: 05:48PM
Author: Nemo

Normally the word 'beta' is attached to software, not hardware. However, NZXT has named its new case the Beta. The mid-tower steel case is designed to offer gamers a chassis that affords great value without sacrificing performance. The Beta four external 5.25" bays and five internal hard drives with screwless installation. The case is large enough to fit larger 10.5" video cards. NZXT hasn't skimped on cooling either with a total of four 120mm fans. The case has other touches not normally found in a value case like a black painted interior and the ability to mount thicker fans in the front to help improve airflow. NZXT is offering the case beginning this month at a suggested retail price of $49.99.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 04:00AM
Author: Nemo

Enthusiasts looking for a large case with plenty of room and lots of drive bays should check out Thermaltake's Spedo Advance Package case (reviewed by OCC here). The Evercool Buffalo CPU cooler (reviewed by OCC here) is worth checking out, especially if you have a smaller case and are looking to improve your cooling over the stock cooler that came with your CPU. Today's roundup also includes several videocard reviews and much more, so be sure to follow the links below to find out the latest from around the Web.

Cases
Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package Case @ PC Perspective

Cooling
Evercool Buffalo HPFI7-10025 Core i7 CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Digital Photography/Video
Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 Digital Camera @ HotHardware

Input Devices
Razer Arctosa Gaming Keyboard @ RBMods

Motherboards
Asus M3A78-T Motherboard Review ~ HD 3300 IGP Overclock Fun @ Madshrimps

Notebooks
Samsung's NC20 ultraportable notebook @ Tech Report

Software
GMABooster - Improving Intel GMA IGP netbook performance @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Ableplanet PS500MM @ 3DVelocity

Video
Gigabyte GV-R477D5-512H-B Radeon HD 4770 @ Motherboards.org
ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix GeForce GTX 260 896MB Video Card @ ThinkComputers
Leadtek WinFast GTS 250 @ Bjorn3D


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Hacker Seeks $10 Million For Medical and Personal Data

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 02:18PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A hacker claims to have accessed, stolen, and encrypted data from the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The PMP was established in response to a multitude of cases involving prescription drug abuse, mainly Oxycontin. The hacker claims that he has all the data that has been gathered from this program, as well as large amounts of personal information including names and Social Security numbers. The hacker is demanding a $10 million ransom within a week or he will sell to the highest bidder. The information about prescription use may not be worth much, but the hacker is sure to be reimbursed for his time with the Social Security numbers.


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Number of 'Zombie' Computers on the Increase

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 04:33PM
Author: jammin

Unfortunately 'Zombie' computers aren't nearly as cool as you might first imagine them to be. They are computers which have been hijacked by cyber-criminals and security vendor McAfee says that it has detected twelve million cases since January of this year. According to McAfee's reports, that puts the number of infected computers up 50% since 2008, with more un-detected cases likely to be out there. It was also reported that the US hosted the largest number of infected computers, with 18% of the total. China isn't too far behind, making up just over 13%. With the expansion of botnets, cyber-criminals have a lot of power to tap into, which can enable them to distibrute large quantities of malicious malware.

While a number of countries have now begun the process of establishing comprehensive strategies with regard to cyber-security, a recent report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) has emphasized the requirement for a globalized approach to the problem and that solutions need to be implemented with some urgency. It is notable that president Obama has publically made the issue a priority, though it is thought that the release of a 60-day review ordered soon after he took office has been delayed by the recent H1N1 flu crisis. Greg Pellegrino, a global public sector industry leader Deloitte said "This issue is moving so quickly, and with so much at stake economically and in terms of safety and security for people, we don't have 100 years to figure this out."


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New BSD Releases

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: cold_snipe

Two days ago Ken Smith announced the release of FreeBSD 7.2, a release improving on FreeBSD 7.1 with some added features and updated software. This happened just days after OpenBSD's new release of version 4.5, their 26th release. Even DragonFlyBSD released a new minor revision that day. Of course, this was all a day after the release of NetBSD 5.0. I bet these guys agreed on a shared release date or something. All three BSD-based operating systems are open source, free to download from their respective websites.


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Amazon Announces 9.7-inch Kindle DX

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 04:52PM
Author: jammin

Personally, when I go to read a book or newspaper, it is generally in the traditional paper-back or broadsheet format (am I behind the times? Maybe). However, if you prefer your reading material in digital format, along with all the benefits that brings, then you may be interested in Amazon's latest iteration of its Kindle device. It wasn't all that long ago that it unveiled the Kindle 2 and the latest Kindle DX takes the same basic format, but expands the screen to a more generous 9.7 inches with an auto-rotate feature. It also packs in a PDF reader, which should be a popular addition considering the wide spread nature of the file-format. Storage increases in capacity to 3.3GB, which Amazon claims is enough for up 3,500 books, periodicals and documents. The $489 price point may however be a sticking point for some when the device ships this summer. Engadget has coverage from the Kindle event, as well as a hands-on with a demo Kindle DX.


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Blizzard Gets Ready for BlizzCon

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 07:36PM
Author: gebraset

Gamers of all genres, including Blizzard game titles, love to see meetings such as BlizzCon. The game developer is now currently planning out its meet that will occur this August 21 and August 22. Tickets are already going on sale as of May 16 of this year, and more tickets will be on the way come May 30. The tickets will cost $125 dollars, though DirectTV will be offering a pay-per-view service that covers the even live, with at least eight hours of HD content for $39.95. The developer will also be putting some kind of feed on the Internet as well, for users that do not have DirectTV service in their home.


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First Lynnfield CPU Coolers Released

Posted: May 6, 2009 @ time: 08:51PM
Author: MrAlex

Artic cooling is the first company to release an LGA 1156 cooler, and instead of releasing one, they've released THREE, so we can have a bit more choice. The new coolers are the Alpine 11 Pro, Alpine 11, and Alpine 11 GT. They come at $14.35, $10.25 and $8.00 respectively. They are aimed between the enthusiasts (Alpine 11 Pro) all the way down to the lower end mainstream (Alpine 11 GT). These new coolers can also fit onto an LGA 775 socket, which is probably the reason why they've released their new CPU cooler this early.


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Intel to Phase Out Core i7 940 and 965

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 03:24AM
Author: premiumgfx

Intel have announced that the Core i7 940 CPU will be phased out this year. The company has told partners that the 2.93GHz 940 will be unavailable for purchase after the final order date set for September 4 2009. Final shipments of the boxed version will occur on December 4 this year with the last production 940s planned for November 5 2010. Intel has not provided any reason for the discontinuation of the 940, but the most likely explanation is that they are preparing for the launch of the rumored Core i7 950 clocked at 3.06GHz: the successor to the 940. The Core i7 965 Extreme Edition CPU has also been discontinued. Final orders for the 965 will be taken on September 4 2009 and the last CPUs are scheduled to ship on May 7 2010. These announcements seems a bit out of place, as the 940 and 965 have been out for just over 6 months since their launch with the 920 late last year. Maybe 2009 will be the year of the new Nehalem with the releases of the rumored 965 EE replacement, the 975 and the 32nm Gulftown and Clarkdale series of Nehalem based processors.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 04:38AM
Author: Nemo

Today we get a chance to check out a pair of X58 motherboards from MSI and Gigabyte. The MSI Eclipse SLI X58 board has a lot great features but the folks over at [H]ardOCP ran into some issues when testing this board. Next up we have a pair of reviews on the Gigabyte Gigabyte EX58-UD4P (reviewed by OCC here). For cases today's roundup has the Cooler Master Storm Scout and NZXT Guardian 921 (reviewed by OCC here). While we're still waiting on the rest of the world to catch up, Western Digital is out with another 2TB hard drive with its RE4-GP model.

Cases
Cooler Master CM Storm Scout Case @ Motherboards.org
NZXT Guardian 921 Crafted Series Mid-Tower ATX Computer Case @ Tweaknews

Input Devices
Gigabyte GM-M8000 Ghost Mouse @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
MSI Eclipse SLI X58 Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
GIGABYTE EX58-UD4P Motherboard @ TweakTown
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P @ Neoseeker

Notebooks
Dell Studio XPS 13 Ultraportable Notebook @ HotHardware

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital RE4-GP 2TB Review: Big Green Gets Meaner! @ PC Perspective
The RAID 0 SSD Report Intel vs. RunCore @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Recycle Your Broken Computer Parts and Towers @ Legit Reviews


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Hard Drive Sold on Ebay with Military Secrets

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 06:30AM
Author: redtigerdragon

More than 300 hard drives were purchased by a British company, BT's Security Research Centre, in collaboration with the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Edith Cowan University in Australia and Longwood University in the US. The drives, purchased for a study to see what data could be pulled off of the drives, were from America, Australia, France, Germany, and the UK. Test launch procedures of a U.S. military missile air defense system were pulled from one of the drives purchased off of Ebay. The study also found confidential material including network data and security logs from the German Embassy in Paris, as well as data from a major motor manufacturing company. All in all, 34% of the hard drives purchased contained "information of either personal data that could be identified to an individual or commercial data identifying a company or organization," according to a BT spokesman.


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Windows 7 Barely Faster Than Vista

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 07:31AM
Author: redtigerdragon

One of Microsoft's goals with Windows 7 was to improve performance versus Vista and XP. PCWorld ran their own test running Vista and Windows 7 on three machines (two desktops and a laptop), and found that 7 was less than 5% faster than Vista (5% is considered the threshold where a normal user will notice the difference). Running WorldBench 6, which uses common applications such as Microsoft Office, Firefox, and Photoshop, to test the systems, the largest difference was just 4 points on an HP Pavillion a6710t desktop. One noticeable exception was Nero 7 Ultra Edition, which had a 12% increase in performance. The team did not test startup times to see which system was faster there.


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Duke Nukem Forever in Limbo as 3D Realms Shuts Down

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 09:11AM
Author: ClayMeow

Ask any gamer for an example of "vaporware" and most of the time their immediate answer will be Duke Nukem Forever. Vaporware is the term used to describe software that is announced (and often hyped) and then never sees the light of day for years after its originally scheduled release date, if ever. Duke Nukem Forever is the prime example, as it was announced (and hyped) way back in 1996 after the tremendous success of Duke Nukem 3D. Duke Nukem Forever was scheduled to be released in 1998, but it's now 2009 and it's still "in development." In 2007, new screenshots were released along with a teaser trailer, thus causing many people to finally believe that the game may actually come out sometime in the near future. Alas, Duke Nukem fans may have to wait a bit longer.

Yesterday, Shacknews broke the news that Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms has shut down, along with Apogee Software. The studios shut down due to funding issues and employees for both companies have apparently already been let go. 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler confirmed the news. On the bright side, the closure doesn't mean the end of Duke Nukem Forever. Publisher Take-Two retains the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever, so the company could seek another studio to develop the game. Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis also stated that its relationship with 3D Realms was strictly a publishing arrangement and did not include ongoing funds for development of the title, which helps to explain the 3D Realms situation.

So Duke Nukem Forever remains vaporware for the foreseeable future. It's no wonder that Wired News awarded Duke Nukem Forever its Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.


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Slew of New Hero Games

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 09:15AM
Author: redtigerdragon

Activision officially announced and/or confirmed information about a slew of new games. Guitar Hero 5 is expected to follow the formula of Guitar Hero: World Tour. Band Hero was also confirmed to be in production. It will be a more family-friendly version of the series, with an E10+ rating from the ESRB. DJ Hero was also discussed, and will feature songs from hip-hop, R&B, Motown, electronic, and "dance" genres. With the announcement came several photos of the Turntable Controller, which features the iconic green, red, and blue buttons on the turntable itself. DJ Hero will be released for Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3 and/or PlayStation 2. Guitar Hero: Van Halen was also confirmed to be in production, but the release platforms are still unknown. Activision also confirmed the 48-song list for Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (or Greatest Hits for you Brits), which will combine songs from Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.


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ATI RV870 Revealed?

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 10:31AM
Author: MrAlex

The rumour mills have certainly been spinning the past few weeks, with the alleged specifications of NVIDIA's GT300 architecture, and a release date of 2010. Now, websites have the ‘leaked’ specifications of ATI’s Radeon HD 5870 and 5870X2. Now I’d recommend you take these specifications with a pinch of salt, as these are probably guess numbers. So, here we go – the RV870 chip should come with 1200 Cores, which is in a 12 SIMD group, with 100 cores each. While the RV770 was a 10 SIMD group, with 80 cores total. It also comes with a stock clock of 900MHz, which is 150MHz more than the RV770, 1100MHz Memory clock, which is a lovely 200MHz higher. Processing power is a healthy 2160Gflops, which is a 960Gflop increase from RV770! The bandwidth should also be around 140.8GB/s, another dramatic increase. I’m sure you’ll be able to calculate that the 5870X2 is just those specifications twice. Oh and let’s not forget that the apparent release is July 2009. If all these rumours are true, then ATI might just skip over NVIDIA by a complete generation.  This will truly be an interesting year.


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Valve Releases Teaser About Team Fortress 2 Sniper Update

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 05:23PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Valve has released a small tidbit of information about the forthcoming Sniper update. Traditionally, the Sniper has used the range of his weapon to fight and often infuriate opponents from a distance. If you have ever played Team Fortress 2 then you know how it feels to constantly be shot by someone on the other side of the map. The unlockable upgrade for the sniper rifle will encourage the Sniper to get in closer to the battle. The benefits of the Sniper needing to get closer haven't been revealed yet, but I can't wait until all the servers are clogged with Snipers trying to get their achievements.


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New iPhone to Have Compass?

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 06:55PM
Author: cold_snipe

A recent picture revealed that the next, as-of-yet unconfirmed iPhone revision will probably have a built-in magnetometer. This is the second piece of evidence for this, as previously a different screenshot from the iPhone hinted at an included video recorder, voice dialing system, and compass. No official word on any of this yet, but we should hear from Apple at their Worldwide Developers Conference which is happening a month from now. What really interests me, though (as well as the guys at engadget) is the new option for 'Kitchen Sink' in the leaked screenshot.


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Aluminum Netbook Comes to Life

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 07:46PM
Author: gebraset

ASUS, maker of the very popular Eee PC, is now making a new revised model that is incased inside of an aluminum body. This move will shave off just fifty grams of the original weight, and also seems that it will not cost more than the original model. This older model is the 1002HA, but the new aluminum model will be labeled as the 1002HAE, and the only difference will be a upgraded central processing unit, an Atom N280. As of now, the release is only being offered in Japan, but hopefully more countries will be able to get ahold of the new ASUS netbook in due time.


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NZXT Offers Free AC Adapter for Cryo LX Notebook Cooler

Posted: May 7, 2009 @ time: 07:57PM
Author: Nemo

Owners of the Cryo LX notebook cooler have the chance to score a free AC adapter from NZXT. The cooler has four rear mounted USB ports and apparently they weren't getting enough juice to power some peripherals such as external hard drives. NZXT decided to take care of its customers by offering an AC adapter for free. Free as in all you have to do is contact the company at [email protected] and they'll ship it out free of charge. That's pretty good customer service in my book. The only caveat is you have to be able to provide your purchase receipt in order to qualify.


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