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News Archives for June 2009

Android OS and Qualcomm 1GHz CPU in Eee PC Sighted at Computex

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 03:08AM
Author: premiumgfx

An Eee PC with a twist has been spotted at a Qualcomm press conference in Computex Taipei, according to sources. The prototype Eee netbook has shunned the typical offerings from Microsoft's Windows XP OS and Intel's Atom CPU in favour of the upcoming Android OS from Google and Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform including a 1GHz CPU. The CPU is capable of 720p playback and 1080p is in the pipeline for future models. The company behind the CPU and platform is relatively unknown in the shadow of giants Intel and AMD, but Qualcomm has been around for over 20 years and has a product line ranging from satellite phones to tracking devices. The Eee PC variant is not available for sale yet but Qualcomm said it is working with 15 Taiwanese companies to create products using its chipset and CPU technology. It looks as though Qualcomm is pushing into the netbook market at first and who knows?...desktop and laptop products could be to come!

A video of the Qualcomm Eee prototype filmed by TweakTown can be viewed here.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 04:00AM
Author: Nemo

Computex 2009 kicks off today in Taipei and our roundup includes several reports on coverage from that event. In the videocard arena we turned up a couple of reviews on the GeForce GST 250 card as well as a look at Sapphire's HD 4770 card (also reviewed by OCC here). Today's roundup also includes another review of AMD's Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition CPU (reviewed by OCC here). That's not all as you can also read reviews on cases, keyboards, motherboards and more just by following the links below.

Cases
SilverStone Sugo SST-SG05B Mini ITX Case @ PC Perspective
Enermax Phoenix Neo Case @ Motherboards.org

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Processor @ Legit Reviews

Input Devices
i-Rocks Cherry MX Mechanical Keyboard @ RB Mods
Logitech Illuminated Keyboard @ DarkVision Hardware

Motherboards
ASRock M3A790GXH/128M 790GX Motherboard @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Synology Disk Station DS-209 Two-Bay NAS @ Tweaknews

Trade Shows/Conventions
Global Foundries 45nm, 32nm and 28nm caught on vid, NVIDIA GPU Revolution incl. upcoming ION products, and Qualcomm gets into Netbooks with Snapdragon chips
 @ TweakTown

Video
AMD speeds up GPU-accelerated video transcoding @ Tech Report
Sparkle GTS250 Graphics Card @ Virtual-Hideout
Gigabyte GTS 250 and Sapphire HD4770 512meg @ Bjorn3D


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PSP Go Leaked Prior to E3

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 07:49AM
Author: ClayMeow

Many people were hoping (even expecting) PSP2 to be unveiled at this year's E3, which kicks off today. And although this may still happen (though unlikely), a video was leaked a few days ago unveiling Sony's newest PSP iteration, the PSP Go. Although this isn't the PSP2, the design of the PSP Go is very different than the PSP3000 (the current version of the PSP). The PSP Go is all about greater portability, featuring a 3.8" screen (compared to 4.3" on the PSP3000, but still larger than an iPhone's 3.5" screen), no UMD drive, 16GB of built-in flash memory, a sliding screen that unveils the controls, and Bluetooth.

Although the lack of a second analog thumbstick will surely anger the millions of people that have been clamoring for one since the PSP was first released, again, it's important to note that this is NOT the PSP2. All games for the PSP Go will be compatible with the PSP3000, and in fact, the PSP3000 will continue to be produced and sold. The PSP Go is simply an alternative for people that want a smaller handheld gaming device and don't mind having to download all their games (due to the lack of a UMD drive). Although details haven't been released, it's also a good bet that the battery life will be significantly better than the PSP3000, as the PSP3000's UMD drive is a large source of the batter drain.

Lastly, for you Metal Gear Solid (MGS) fans, in the video, John Koller, director of hardware marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, confirmed a new MGS coming to the PSP, which will be available for download on PlayStation Network for the new PSP Go.


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New NAND Chip Could Cut SSD Prices

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 11:18AM
Author: redtigerdragon

JMicron will be releasing a new NAND flash controller chip, the JMF612. It will use an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package, will support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 DRAM as an external cache, and will have 32 KB of ROM. It was designed to fix stuttering problems during random write operations, which was a problem that the JMF602 had and that the JMF602B quickly but temporarily partially remedied. The new chip is designed specifically to work with the new 34 and 32 nm NAND chips, which will be smaller, faster, and cheaper to use, and when combined with new higher density flash chips will significantly reduce prices of SSD's. The chips will allow SSD's to have Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and support 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) disk encryption. Supporting interfaces are SATA 3.0 and USB 2.0. Production is expected to start in July.


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Left 4 Dead 2 in November

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 01:04PM
Author: redtigerdragon

Valve announced today a sequel to one of the hottest games, Left 4 Dead 2. Slated for release on November 17th exclusively to the XBOX 360 and PC, the game looks to be a best-seller of 2009. The new game will add some new tricks to the not-so-old dog, including melee combat with baseball bats, axes, and everyone's favorite: the chainsaw. It will also have a new AI Director 2.0, which will allow for more dynamic gameplay with changing weather effects, world objects, and paths, as well as controlling the hordes of undead enemies to match your performance. The game will have new survivors, zombie bosses, weapons, items, more co-op campaigns, more versus campaigns, and more Survival Mode maps at launch. Look for cover stories of the game to hit PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazines this month.


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Microsoft E3 Keynote

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 01:24PM
Author: jammin

Apparently there is something called E3 happening this week (what, you hadn't noticed?), or Electronic Entertainment Expo if you want to use the full title. E3 is back to being a big bucks razzle dazzle display this year after it all went rather low key last time around, which is certainly good news not only for the press attending the event, but also for all of you who are interested in what is going down on the showfloor. Microsoft got the honor of hosting the first keynote of the event and pulled out all the stops, meaning expensive sets, plenty of peeks at upcoming titles and of course celebrity appearances (including the remaining members of a certain world famous band, Tony Hawk and Steven Spielberg; you know, the usual).

So what about the actual content of the keynote? Well there was a lot packed in there, including looks at The Beatles: Rock Band (with that appearance from Ringo and Paul among others), Tony Hawk showing off his skateboard peripheral, Modern Warfare 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Crackdown 2, Left For Dead 2 (see below), Splinter Cell: Conviction, Forza 3.. the list goes on. As well as games, Microsoft also took the wraps off its own motion controller and announced a number of updates to Xbox Live. Of course it is possible to have long discussions about any of the announcements made, but I don't want to take up half of the front page (plus it's a hot day and I can't sit here sweating for that long). Fortunately Engadget was there for the presentation and was putting up a blow by blow of events as they happened. If you want to replay the whole thing, then GameSpot should have video available soon. Overall a very nice start to the E3 show. Let's hope the other companies in attendance can provide some equally impressive fodder for us to gawk at as the week goes on.


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CryEngine 3 Brings Crysis 2 to All Major Platforms

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 03:29PM
Author: ClayMeow

German developer Crytek has always been a PC-only developer, creating such gems as Far Cry, Crysis and Crysis Warhead. With the creation of its newest engine, CryEngine 3, Crytek can now enter previously unchartered waters; the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. CryEngine 3 allows Crytek to simultaneously develop games for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and the first such game is none other than Crysis 2. News of the cross-platform development was announced this morning and publisher Electronic Arts confirmed the news at its own press conference just a few minutes ago. The news of a sequel to the critically-acclaimed first-person shooter Crysis is sure to please many people, and now console gamers will get to see what all the fuss is about first-hand.


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Smuggler Class Unveiled for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 03:57PM
Author: ClayMeow

It was less than a month ago when the Trooper class was announced for Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), the upcoming Star Wars MMO being developed by BioWare and LucasArts. A quick glance at the classes page on the official site reveals that each allegiance (The Galatic Republic and The Sith Empire) will contain four distinct classes. All you'll find on the official site are the first two classes (Bounty Hunter and Trooper), but today, GameSpot sat down for an exclusive interview with three members of the development team, who happened to unveil a third class, the Smuggler.

As stated in my previous post regarding the Trooper, each class offers a unique gameplay experience, and the smuggler is no exception. "As a smuggler, you'll need to get by on quick thinking, charm, luck, and your ability to outsmart others." If you always wanted to be Han Solo or Lando Calrissian, this is the class for you. Touted as an MMO-first, the smuggler class utilizes a dynamic "cover" system. They are not heavily armored, nor do they have force powers, so smugglers must rely on "underhanded battle techniques" to survive, such as sneaking around unseen and shooting enemies in the back. In addition, if the odds are stacked against a smuggler, they have the means and tools to get away quickly.

In addition to the smuggler class, BioWare also unveiled one more juicy bit of information about SWTOR; it will be the first-ever fully voiced MMO. All player and non-player characters will be fully voiced throughout the game, making it the biggest voice over project in the history of games, and most likely of any media.


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Corsair HX850 and HX750 Professional Series Power Supplies

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 04:17PM
Author: Nemo

Corsair may be best known for its high-performance memory products, but its line of power supplies has also garnered a reputation for solid and reliable performance among enthusiasts. Now Corsair is adding to its  Professional Series lineup with the addition of the HX850W and HX750W power supplies. Both of these units are certified 80 Plus Silver and achieved 90% energy-efficiency at 50% load and 230V AC input. The higher efficiency translates into less wasted energy being generated as heat which means the temperature controlled 140mm fan can run at lower speeds and produce less noise. Both units feature a single 12V rail design enabling them to deliver up to 99% of their total wattage on the +12V rail and are at an ambient temperature of 50°C. Along with the standard 24-pin ATX connector, the HX850W and HX750W have 10 modular cable connections with 2 EPS/ATX12V 8-4 pin, 4 PCI-E 6+2 pin, 12 SATA and 8 4-pin connections. With active PFC and a power factor of .99, 105°C solid state capacitors and a 7-year warranty it's no wonder these units have already managed to land outstanding reviews. Both units are available immediately and the HX850 can be found online for around $200US.


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Cooler Master UCP 900W Goes Gold

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 04:31PM
Author: Nemo

Cooler Master has announced its UCP 900W power supply has achieved an 80 PLUS Gold rating. The 80 PLUS program rates power supplies at four different levels with The Gold level being given to units whose efficiency at a typical (50%) load is greater than 90%. Units must also maintain a 87% or greater efficiency at light and full loads. The UCP-900W managed a typical efficiency of 90.05% and an average efficiency of 88.24%.  Cooler Master has several 80 PLUS certified power supplies, but this marks the first time one of its units have received the Gold rating. In fact, only about 3% of all power supplies tested are rated as 90% efficient or greater. Cooler Master plans to to showcase the UCP 900W at Computex this week. Cooler Master hasn't updated its web site yet, but you can take a look at the previous version of the UCP 900W to get an idea of what all this PSU has to offer.


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Bing Introduced by Microsoft

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 07:38PM
Author: gebraset

In terms of the search engine market, it is obvious that Google leads it by a great margin, with others like Yahoo! falling behind it. Microsoft has rolled out a new service, called Bing, that is also a search engine, but helps people with their searches in a different and somewhat special way. When looking up a medical term for example, Bing will show various results for the search, as well as give users more information about what they are looking for. While it surely will not take over the Google giant anytime soon, or ever at all, it's nice to see some different type of Internet searching capability being brought about by a different company. Though Microsoft already has their Live service search in place right now.


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New AMD Istanbul Processors Officially Announced

Posted: June 1, 2009 @ time: 08:37PM
Author: MrAlex

After being pushed forward six months, AMD, manufacturer of microprocessors have officially released their new six-core server processors. They are AMD’s first processors to use their Direct Connect Architecture with support for two, four and eight-socket servers. This means there is potential for up to 48 processing cores! The new six-core processors are said to “offer server customers superior value at every price point with unmatched platform flexibility.” We can expect leading OEM manufacturers by next month to release new servers with the new processors, including Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems. AMD should also be revealing more details about their 12-Core Magny-Cour soon as well (Two Istanbul's?).


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Corsair Enters the Chassis Market with the Obsidian Series 800D

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 02:21AM
Author: premiumgfx

Corsair has announced its entry to the chassis market at Computex 2009 with the launch of the Corsair Obsidian Series 800D case. The new chassis is designed to last many years of upgrades and will satisfy demanding PC builders, according to Corsair. The Obisidian Series 800D is built with black brushed steel and an aluminum faceplate. Features include four hot-swap drive bays, a removable CPU backplate, separate heat chambers to reduce heat build-up, cable routing holes and tool-free drive installation. The 800D supports ATX, Extended ATX and Micro ATX motherboards along with up to five 5.25" and six 3.5" drives. Space for seven expansion slots and one vent allow plenty of space for expansion cards. To keep the case cool four 140mm fans are included and the ability to mount three extra 120mm fans is available. The front I/O panel includes four USB ports, one Firewire port and one headphone and microphone port respectively. For maximum cooling a pre-drilled area at the top of the case can support a single, dual or triple radiator (or three 120mm fans). The Obsidian 800D measures 24"x 24"x 9" or 609mm X 609mm X 229mm (HxLxW). The Obsidian Series 800D will be available for purchase in early July for around US$299, backed by a two year warranty. Corsair is well known for its PSU, memory and cooling products so I think it'll be interesting to see how it fares in a new market.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 03:59AM
Author: Nemo

Computex 2009 is in full swing this week and our roundup features coverage of some of the new products being unveiled this week. AMD is on a roll with the recent release of its Istanbul 6-core Opteron processors along with the release of a pair of dual-core desktop processors - the Phenom II X2 550 and the Athlon II X2 250. Today's roundup should keep you busy for a while so read on!

CPUs
AMD's 'Istanbul' six-core Opteron processors @ Tech Report

Digital Photography/Video
Samsung SC-HMX20C 1080p HD Solid State Camcorder @ Tweaknews

Gaming
Cryostasis Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ardOCP

Motherboards
ASUS Maximus II Gene Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
OCZ Neutrino DIY 10-inch Netbook @ Tweaktown

Power Supplies
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 500W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Hornettek Viper and Hover Enclosures @ RBMods

Tradeshows/Conventions
Eee PC spotted running Android + Qualcomm 1GHz CPU, GIGABYTE show us their X58 & P55 prides and joy and GIGABYTE details new Smart 6 software and DES2 @ TweakTown


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Hardware Roundup: AMD Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 Edition

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 04:14AM
Author: Nemo

Nothing stirs up excitement more than the release of new CPUs and the two new processors from AMD are no exceptions. Released yesterday, the Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 are the latest dual-core processors from AMD based on the 45nm manufacturing process. The Phenom II X2 550 is a Black Edition featuring an unlocked multiplier clocked at 3.1GHz and 6MB of shared L3 cache. The Athlon II X2 250 is not unlocked and features 1MB of L2 cache per core and a 3.0GHz clock. Both processors support AM2+ and AM3 boards for DDR2 and DDR3 memory.

AMD Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 Processors @ OCC
AMD's New X2s: Redeeming AMD's Dual Core Market @ PC Perspective
AMD Athlon II and Phenom II X2 Processors Debut @ HotHardware
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE and Athlon II X2 250 @ TechSpot
AMD Athlon II X2 250 CPU and AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition CPU @ Neoseeker
AMD Athlon II X2 250 and Phenom II X2 550 Processors @ Legit Reviews
Amd Phenom 2 550 & Athlon 2 250 @ Bjorn3D


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AMD Phenom II X2 and Athlon II X2 Released

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 06:38AM
Author: MrAlex

AMD, manufacturer of microprocessors have finally released their first 45nm dual-core processors! The new processors are named the AMD Athlon II X2 250, which is based on a new architecture, while the AMD Phenom II X2 550 is a cut-down quad-core processor, with two cores either disabled or defective. The Phenom II X2 has a TDP of 80W, is AM3 only, a stock clock of 3.1GHz, 2MB of L2 Cache and 6MB of L3 Cache.  The Athlon II X2 comes with a TDP of 65W, AM3 only with a stock clock of 3GHZ and 2MB of L2 Cache. The AMD Phenom II X2 is in direct competition with the Intel Core 2 Duo E7600, and it’s just like back in the Athlon 64 FX days, where Intel and AMD trade blows. You can find reviews of the processors here.


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Metal Gear Solid: Rising Coming to the PC, Alongside Xbox 360 and PS3?

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 07:05AM
Author: ClayMeow

One of the big announcements out of the Microsoft camp (albeit, not that surprising) was that the next installment in the Metal Gear Solid (MGS) series would be released on the Xbox 360. Xbox fanboys quickly gloated and laughed at the Sony supporters...but not so fast! Not only will the game be released on the PlayStation 3 as well, but in a surprising turn of events, it seems Metal Gear Solid: Rising will also be coming to the PC! Yep, you read that correctly. This news is courtesy of Games Press, a UK-based press-release service that GameSpot claims is relied upon by much of the games industry, and correctly revealed the multi-platform release of Crysis 2 before it was officially announced. In addition, PSP owners won't be left in the dust; Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is being developed for the PSP and is slated for release sometime in 2010. This is certainly good news for all MGS fans.


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Windows 7 Release Date Set

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 01:00PM
Author: DLS2008

The long-awaited release of Windows Vista's successor, Windows 7, is coming soon! The Release Candidate of Windows 7 (the stage past beta testing, but before commercial retail availability) is available for download currently. This version is sure to be pretty similar to the final version of Windows 7 that will be released for consumers; however, the retail version will have some updates and fixes. Previous press releases hinted that Windows 7 would be commercially available before the 2009 holiday season. Microsoft presumably wants to ship Windows 7 in time for it to be sold with the many new computers that are sure to be sold during the 2009 holiday season. Microsoft announced today that Windows 7 will be commercially available on October 22nd.


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OCZ's 3.5-inch Colossuss SSD

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 01:18PM
Author: DLS2008

OCZ has decided to break away from the pack with its newest SSD. The standard SSD in today's market is a 2.5-inch drive. This makes it  more work to install in desktop computers because they accept 3.5-inch drives. OCZ has announced it will release its 3.5-inch Colossuss SSD for retail sale in roughly 8 weeks. The new drive will come in 512GB and 1TB storage capacities, but the prices for each are unkown. Hopefully the prices won't require a month's salary to be diverted to OCZ to get your hands on one. It seems there will be 2 drives in a RAID 0 array inside the housing. This means it is essentially an OCZ Z-Drive, but made to fit a 3.5-inch bay.


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Intel's Lynnfield and Clarksfield CPUs on Display

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 01:49PM
Author: DLS2008

The Computex show has given Intel a chance to show off its new line of Lynnfield and Clarksfield CPUs in operation. Both of these are variations of the Core i7 line currently available. However, Intel's Francois Piednoel said that the Core i5 branding that has been rumored is incorrect. He wasn't able to say what the official branding would be, just that Core i5 was not it.

The Lynnfield CPUs are the desktop variants and will have quad-cores with eight threads. Compared to Core i7, the Lynnfield line will see cheaper processors and motherboards. The Turbo Boost feature (a feature that allows the CPU to clock individual cores higher) would be substantially better than the Core i7's implementation. Turbo Boost will allow the Lynnfield CPUs to clock individual cores higher to boost speed for single-threaded applications. The entire CPU can also clock higher as long as it stays within its power envelope. Piednoel said that the gains from the newest implementation of Turbo Boost would be astonishing.

Clarksfield is the mobile version of the new CPUs. It will be quad-core with eight threads as well. However, don't expect to see this in small, light laptops. It will likely only be found in the beefiest, highest powered laptops available.

Intel also showed off its new Nehalem-EX processor in tangible form, a new eight -core beast. The OCC article can be found here, and additional information is available here.


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Android Officially Coming to a Netbook Near You

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 03:09PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Android continues to make waves in the mobile marketplace. This time it won't be on a smartphone, but will be featured on netbooks produced by Acer. The Android loaded netbooks will become available in the third quarter of 2009, which is exciting for people who either want to try Android or get a netbook. The fact that Android will be the OS will surely cause the netbook to come in at a lower price than those featuring Windows XP. Since it is a netbook, users likely don't need a powerful machine anyway. Netbooks are meant to be portable, and with features like Gmail and Google Docs, it will be able to provide almost anything a user could need in a netbook.


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Hydro Series H50 Liquid Cooling System from Corsair

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 07:31PM
Author: Nemo

Corsair has launched a new CPU cooler today with the introduction of the Hydro Series H50 designed to fit Intel and AMD processors. The result of working with liquid-cooling system manufacturer ASEtek, the Hydro H50 is a self contained, closed-loop system consisting of a cooper cooling plate with integrated pump connected to a 120mm radiator. The aluminum radiator is cooled by a 1700RPM low-noise fan with the entire unit connected by low permeability tubing.

Corsair claims that in tests performed in its own labs, the unit cooled an Intel Core i7-965 processor overclocked to 3.46GHz with a vcore of 1.3V 30% better than stock cooling and over 10% better than a high-performance air cooler, achieving idle temperatures of 38.375C and full loads temperatures of 55.85C. The unit ships with brackets to fit Intel LGA775 and LGA1366 boards and brackets for AMD AM2/AM3 socket boards can be ordered directly from Corsair but you'll have to pay shipping. Backed by a two-year warranty, the H50 will be available by the end of June but Corsair didn't disclose pricing.


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GIGABYTE Rolls Out New Motherboards for Computex

Posted: June 2, 2009 @ time: 10:04PM
Author: Nemo

GIGABYTE is putting several new motherboards on display at Computex and there's something from both Intel and AMD fans. Along with the new boards are some new hardware and software features. Let's talk about the hardware side first. GIGABYTE is introducing a 24-phase power VRM design it says offers greater efficiency in delivering power to the processor by spreading the workload across the 24 phases. That means less heat being generated which leads to greater stability and higher overclocking potential. On the software side there's GIGABYTE's Smart 6 technologies which encompasses SMART QuickBoot, SMART Recorder, SMART TimeLock, SMART Recovery, SMART QuickBoost and SMART DualBIOS for more user-friendly and easier PC system management.

The motherboard lineup includes two Intel boards the company will be demoing live this week. These include the X58 chipset-based GA-EX58A-EXTREME and the GA-EP55-UD5 based on Intel's forthcoming P55 chipset. Both products will feature the 24-phase power VRM and SATA 6Gbps connections. For AMD lovers, GIGABYTE is offering the the GA-MA790FXT-UD5P based on the Dragon platform for 45nm AMD Phenom II processors and the GA-MA785G-UD3H using the latest AMD 785G chipset with ATI RADEON HD 4200 on-board graphics.

The boards are being released over the next several months with the GA-EX58A-EXTREME scheduled to launch in July, followed by the GA-EP55-UD in September with the AMD GA-MA785G-UD3H slated for the third quarter.


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SilverStone 1500W PSU with 85% Efficiency Sighted at Computex

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 02:19AM
Author: premiumgfx

Many manufacturers showcase their upcoming products at Computex and among the wave of new products spotted is the SilverStone Strider ST1500 PSU. The ST1500 has an extraordinary power rating of 1500W although it can rise to 1600W under optimal conditions. The Strider is modular and includes four 8 pin PCIe connectors, eight 6 pin PCIe connectors, 12 SATA connectors, a 24 pin and 8 pin motherboard and CPU connector respectively and a handful of molex connectors. Eight 12V rails (25A each) provide plenty of power for hungry systems. It is worthy to note that the Strider has attained the 80PLUS Silver Certification according to SilverStone. One 135mm fan cools the unit, although that seems under-done to me. The ST1500 measures 8.7" x 5.9" x 3.4" or 220mm x 150mm x 86mm (WxHxD). The Strider will retail for around $US450, although I'm not sure who would actually need 1500W of power from an in-case PSU.

A picture of the Strider over at Hexus.net can be viewed here.

 


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 04:12AM
Author: Nemo

Computex is in full swing and we have continuing coverage of the event. Today's roundup includes a good mix of reviews covering a range of products including cases, motherboards, power supplies and more which you can check out using the links below.

Cases
NZXT Rogue Small Form Factor Gaming Chassis @ Tweaknews

Cooling
CoolJag Falcon II Low Profile Core i7/Core 2 CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 1333MHz FSB Processor @ PCSTATS

Motherboards
ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Power Supplies
SilverStone Element 850w @ Bjorn3D

Trade Shows/Conventions
Computex 2009: AMD Demonstrates working 40nm DirectX 11 Silicon @ PC Perspective
TweakTown Coverage:
Thermaltake moves to a perfect 10 w/ desktop case
Intel keynote sheds light on forthcoming products
A trip over to GIGABYTE's booth
AMD Fusion press conference - The future is Fusion
ASUS Mars GTX 295 SLI with 8GB RAM + Far Cry 2160p

Video
ASUS EN9600GT DI/512MD3/A Geforce 9600GT Rev.B Videocard @ PCSTATS

Miscellany
Top 20 Best Ever Beginners Guides @ PCSTATS


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Hardware Roundup: Intel Core i7-975 Processor Edition

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 04:32AM
Author: Nemo

The annual Computex show in Taipei always brings forth new product announcements from manufacturers. Yesterday, we saw two new processors from AMD - the Phenom II X2 550 and Athlon II X2 250 and today it is Intel's turn with the release of a pair of it's own new CPUs. There's nothing new architecture wise as Intel seems to be using Computex as a reason to announce a new flagship model with the Core i7 Extreme Edition processor which now sits at the top of the heap with its 3.33GHz clock speed. While the emphasis from Intel seems to be on the i7- 975, Intel also released the Core i7-950, a 3.06GHz mainstream CPU that gets a slight speed increase over the Core i7 940.

Intel Updates Nehalem: Core i7-975 Processor @ PC Perspective
Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition Processor @ HotHardware
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition @ Techgage
Intel Core i7 975 3.33GHz Processor Tested @ TweakTown


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AMD Demonstrates DirectX 11

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 07:33AM
Author: redtigerdragon

At a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan today, AMD showcased the world’s first Microsoft DirectX 11 graphics processor. AMD showed the faster application performance and some new game features, with the technology set to be released late 2009. The list of features includes two mature, AMD-developed technologies in DirectX 11:

  • Tessellation, which will allow higher quality and better performing games by making use of the newer AMD technology.
  • The compute shader, which will help make Windows 7 run faster using AMD technology. One example is by allowing users to simply drag-and-drop video to portable media players rather than having to run a conversion program.

Others features include Fetch4, custom filter anti-aliasing and high-definition ambient occlusion shading. The development of DirectX11 relied heavily on AMD graphics technology, which means that it will be almost tailored for use on their new graphics cards. Should be interesting to actually see what DirectX 11 brings to the gaming world.


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New G34 Motherboards Pictured

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 11:25AM
Author: MrAlex

Currently, the server world is dominated by Intel’s Nehalem Xeons, proving to be powerful, but expensive. In 2010, AMD plan to change that with the release of the first 8-Core and 12-Core processors on a new socket – G34. So, what does this new socket and new CPUs offer us? How about support for Quad-Channel DDR3 memory, 4 HyperTransport lanes and second-generation direct connect architecture? Oh, and let’s not forget support for Two, Four, Six and Eight (?) socket motherboards, with potential of up to 64 processing cores?! Thanks to INPAI, we have two pictures from two motherboard manufactures – Inventec (First) and Quanta (Next). They are both dual-socket motherboards, while the only visible difference is that the Inventec comes with 12 DDR3 slots (maximum 48GB RAM) and the Quanta comes with only 8 (maximum 32GB RAM).  2010 will be an interesting year for AMD.


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VTX3D - A New Brand For AMD/ATI

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 11:33AM
Author: MrAlex

TUL Corporation, owner of PowerColor  have debuted a new brand exclusively for ATI – VTX3D. The new brand will be releasing most of the Radeon HD 4000 series cards, but they will skip out the 4890X2 and are said to use the stock reference design.  They will introduce the following cards: Radeon HD 4890, 4870, 4850, 4770, 4650 and 4350. The Radeon HD 4550 also seems to be missing, but it might have been forgotten. If the company has good customer support, then it might be another successful brand for AMD! Willie Huang, Sales Director of VTX3D has this to say: “We believe graphics industry still has high potential to thrive in the coming future; and also, many consumers are still looking for their ideal brand in the market - that's why VTX3D is here. With advantage of AMD's one-step-ahead technology and VTX3D's worldwide talented team, we're ready to stamp strong brand awareness in this competitive industry!”. We wish you the best of luck VTX3D!


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Psion Drops Case Over The Word 'Netbook'

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 11:50AM
Author: jammin

Psion has now settled its case with Intel regarding the use of the term 'netbook', stating that "litigation has been settled through an amicable agreement under which Psion will voluntarily withdraw all of its trademark registrations". So now we can all rejoice in that fact that we can freely keep calling the little notebooks by the name that has now been widely adopted. Some were a little surprised when Psion first started on this case late last year and I doubt many people really thought it would come to much, which has now proved true. However, you can't blame Psion for trying to defend what it thought to be its intellectual property and in the end it may well have earned them something in the form of a financial settlement from Intel, though no details of if there was one or how much it was have been released.


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Zelda for Wii in 2010

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 12:11PM
Author: DLS2008

Shigeru Miyamoto used E3 to release new details on the next game in the Zelda line. The newest game is being developed for the Nintendo Wii and is expected to be available sometime in 2010. It was confirmed that the game would use the new MotionPlus controller, perhaps even require the controller if it becomes a popular add-on prior to the game's release. A picture was briefly shown during the discussion that depicted a mature Link and a female that resembled Zora from Ocarina of Time. Miyamoto had hoped to demo the game at Nintendo's E3 press confrence, but his development team had other ideas. They wanted to continue to refine the game and focus on defining the concept for it before they would demo it. Hopefully a demo will be shown soon so that we can see what the game will really be like.


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Final Fantasy XIV Online

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 12:22PM
Author: DLS2008

At E3, Jack Tretton revealed a trailer for Final Fantasy XIII and followed it up by announcing Final Fantasy XIV Online. Square Enix has apparently already begun production on the game. It is slated for release in 2010 for the Playstation 3 console only (it will also be released for PC). This gives Sony an edge because of the enormous player base that the Final Fantasy series maintains. Some players may purchase a Playstation 3 simply to be able to play this game on a console versus a PC. Many may wonder why Final Fantasy XIV is being released so shortly after Final Fantasy XIII, but Final Fantasy XIV will be more of an MMO like Final Fantasy XI


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ASUS Shows Mars GTX 295 SLI Running Far Cry 2 @ 3820 x 2160

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 12:43PM
Author: jammin

It was last week that we first heard that ASUS would be launching the limited edition MARS GTX 295 graphics card, with a huge 4GB of RAM and 2 x GTX 285 GPUs. At Computex this week, it has been showing a demo with two of the cards hooked up in SLI (that's 8GB of RAM!) running Far Cry 2 at a whopping 3820 x 2160 resolution. It has also set a new 3DMark Vantage record with the cards, coming in with a score of X25949. While the horsepower of a couple of these cards in SLI may have the die hard gamers reading this drooling, it is a limited edition card and will likely be pretty hard (and one would imagine, certainly expensive) to get hold of. ASUS will be producing only 1000 of the cards; each one coming with a unique serial number. You can watch a video of the demo in action over at TweakTown.


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NVIDIA and Adobe Team Up

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 02:05PM
Author: gebraset

Netbooks are constantly becoming more popular, especially with manufacturers releasing new and improved models at a constant rate. Those owners of netbooks who have an older model have probably noticed that Flash-based programs, videos, or anything else dealing with the Adobe standard, is very laggy and mostly choppy. NVIDIA is now joining with Adobe to provide users of netbooks, along with all of their graphics processing units, with a more streamlined viewing experience with videos and a better experience regarding Flash overall. Both companies are working together to make the Tegra chip and other graphics cards from the green team work better with Flash-based items, while providing full H.264-powered HD video on various mobile devices is the long term goal.


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Town Wins Court Case Allowing it to Build Fiber Network

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 04:20PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A small town in Minnesota has won what could be an important court case against the local telephone provider, Bridgewater. The city of Monticello decided to sell bonds in order to build an advanced fiber internet network that would benefit all citizens with access to high speed internet. The main complaint from Bridgewater was that the use of bonds was illegal as they can only be used for a variety of reasons, including building of utilities. The ruling handed down by an appeals court was that internet is indeed a utility, and the project will be able to continue. However, while the case was tied up in court, Bridgewater built its own fiber network to provide fast internet speeds to the residents, making the town wonder if finishing the fiber network makes sense financially.


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CyberPower Announces New Fang Series Gaming Computers

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 08:29PM
Author: Nemo

CyberPower PC is a custom builder of performance gaming machines and sponsored the grand prize in OCC's Christmas Contest last year. Now, hot on the heels of Intel's release of its latest flagship desktop processor, CyberPower has some news of its own with the announcement of its Fang series of gaming machines. The new series includes the Black Mamba Venom and the Cobra Venom which feature the Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition CPU.

The Black Mamba takes a Cooler Master Storm Sniper case and stuffs it full of high-performance parts starting with a the Core i7 975 factory overclocked to 4.0GHz, a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 Intel X58 motherboard and 6GB of Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600MHz memory. Throw in an Asetek water cooling system, a pair of Western Digital VelociRaptor drives in RAID 0, an additional 1.5TB drive for your data and top it off with two Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 graphics cards, and you've got some serious performance on your hands. The Cobra Venom is a bit more modestly configured though it's no slouch by any means. It features the same CPU running at stock speeds, but comes with a single 1TB hard drive, one GeForce GTX 285 videocard in an Azza Solano 1000 full-tower chassis.

CyberPower has set the starting price of the Black Mamba Venom at $3999US with the Cobra Venom coming in at $2999US and both are available immediately directly from CyberPower.


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Patriot Launches Viper II Series Memory Kits

Posted: June 3, 2009 @ time: 08:46PM
Author: Nemo

Patriot has announced an upgrade to its line of enthusiast-grade memory with the introduction of the Extreme Performance Viper II Series DDR3 memory modules. The upgrade comes in the form of an improved heatspreader that offers better cooling performance to handle the heat thrown off by the memory chips.  Patriot says this results in greater stability and performance. The top-end speed for the tri-channel memory stays the same at PC3-1600/2000MHz, but Patriot has added two other kits running at PC3-15000 - 1866MHz and PC3-14400 - 1800MHz which are faster than the previous Viper series counterparts. All of these are 6GB (2 x 3GB) modules. Patriot has also included two new 4GB (2 x 2GB) kits running at PC3-14400 - 1800MHz and PC3-12800 - 1600MHz. All the new part numbers can be found on the Patriot web site.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 03:45AM
Author: Nemo

We've seen AMD and Intel make major announcements with new processors this week and had the chance to look at several reviews of the new CPUs. In a rather low key way Intel also announced several other new processors aimed at the mobile market yesterday at Computex including the Core 2 Duo T9900, the first of Intel's mobile Core 2 Duo processors to break the 3GHz barrier. Computex is not the only game in town as the E3 Expo is back and our roundup includes opening day coverage of that event as well. We get an opportunity to check out the Cooler Master Storm Sniper case (reviewed by OCC here) along with a look at the CyberPower Black Mamba Venom gaming machine based on the Core i7 975 Extreme Edition CPU.

Cases
Cooler Master Storm Sniper ATX Gaming Case @ Tweaknews

Cooling
AMA Aragon 900 @ XSReviews

CPUs
Intel Ultra-Thin Mobile Platform Preview @ [H]ardOCP

Digital Photography
Samsung ST50 Ultra Slim Digital Camera @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
Cryostasis - PhysX Game @ Motherboards.org

Prebuilts
CyberPower Black Mamba Venom Core i7 975EE Gaming System @ TweakTown

Trade Shows/Conventions
Intel's wall of P55 Express mobos caught on video, Intel shows "Clarkdale" system with on-chip GPU and InnoDisk shows off amazing 128GB Nano SSD drives @ TweakTown
2009 E3 Expo - Opening Day Coverage @ Legit Reviews


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For the Gamers That Demand Realistic Games, a New Way to Hear Liquid

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 07:57AM
Author: redtigerdragon

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new algorithm for games, and it has absolutely nothing to do with graphical performance. The researchers, housed in Cornell's Department of Computer Science, have come up with an algorithm that simulates splashes, splatters, babbles, drips and drops. The work, done by Doug James, associate professor of computer science, and graduate student Changxi Zheng, will be featured at the 2009 ACM SIGGRAPH conference Aug. 3-7 in New Orleans and was funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Human Centered Computing Program of the National Science Foundation. Currently, these sounds are recorded after the fact and added into the game, but because of the increasing popularity of games with interactive and immersive environments (*cough* WOW *cough*), sounds will need to be generated for unpredictable events, as recordings can get repetitive and not always match the event.


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Nice New $8000 Monitor From NEC

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: MrAlex

What economic crisis? So, how would you like to spend $8000 ($7,999 to be precise) on a brand spanking new 44” monitor with a resolution of 2880x900, namely, the NEC CRV43? Oh, and I forgot to mention that this monitor is curved – that’s right, it’s CURVED! This new money eating monitor comes with 100% coverage of sRGB and 99.3% coverage of Adobe RGB. Connectivity isn’t lacking either – USB, DVI and HDMI 1.3 ports, although amount is unspecified. It should start shipping next month.
"The NEC CRV43 curved display provides an excitingly immersive viewing experience for any type of user," said Keith Yanke, Director of Product Marketing for NEC Display Solutions. "Its lightning-fast response time coupled with its seamless curved screen provides enhanced comfort, decreased frustration and increased productivity. The monitor eliminates the bezel and screen gap issues that have complicated users' work environment for years." - I for one am speechless.


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Do Stem Cells Hold the Secret to Curing Blindness?

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 11:18AM
Author: ClayMeow

Researchers at The University of New south Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia made an interesting observation; stem cells from the cornea stick to contact lenses. With that in mind, they conducted a study to see if this could be used to repair the cornea of patients who were blind in one eye. The researchers obtained stem cells from the patients' healthy eyes and put them in extended wear contact lenses. Within 10 to 14 days, the stem cells began to repair the cornea. Two of the three patients in the study were legally blind before the procedure, but can now read "the big letters on an eye chart." The third patient was already able to read those top few rows, but after the treatment can now pass a driver's license vision test. Those with both eyes damaged aren't necessarily unable to have this procedure done. The researchers are able to harbor stem cells from a different part of the eye.

Considering that 1.5 million people lose sight in one of their eyes every year due to corneal diseas, according to the World Health Organization, this is a fairly huge step forward, especially since the procedure is non-invasive, simple and cheap. The researchers are unsure whether the vision correction will remain stable over time, so they're being cautiously optimistic. Nevertheless, the three patients have maintained their "restored sight" for 18 months now, so it looks promising.


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Belkin's TuneCast Auto Live FM Transmitter

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 11:55AM
Author: DLS2008

Belkin has announced it's first device that is "specifically compatible" with the iPhone OS 3.0. The device is yet another FM transmitter that transmits music from an iPod to a car stereo via FM. You may be wondering why this FM transmitter is any different from the plethora of ones already out there. Well, the new TuneCast Auto Live FM Transmitter works with the iPhone OS 3.0 to find you the best FM station automatically. Current FM transmitters require the user to flip through stations trying to find the clearest one to use. Now, the TuneCast Auto Live uses GPS data drawn from the iPhone to select the clearest station based on "geographical" data and user recommendations. The device is controlled using the ClearScan Live application for the iPhone. Don't worry though, it will also work with the iTouch, iPod Nano, and iPod Classic so you can still use a friend's iPod. The device should hit stores early this fall for approximately $80.


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InnoDisk Displays 128GB nanoSSD

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 12:08PM
Author: DLS2008

Computex has had many interesting releases this year. Among them, InnoDisk's 128GB nanoSSD. The device is a miniature SSD that can store up to 128GB; it appears to be roughly the size of a Compact Flash card, maybe slightly larger. There were no dimensions listed so the size is based on the video provided. The video provided some specification's such as a write speed of 160MB/s and a read speed of 150MB/s. Again, that information comes from the company representative that was displaying the device. Another interesting segment fo the video showed the device plugged into a "motherboard" that was vibrating. There was a clear plastic cylinder that contained some metal spheres which were bouncing around as the "motherboard" vibrated. The drive which was attached to the motherboard was not affected. There is no information on when this device will be come available or what the price will be.


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Microsoft Facing Possible Antitrust Violations in Russia

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 03:30PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Even with the release of Windows 7 only a few months away, some users still want to start at Windows XP. The anti-monopoly service in Russia is launching an investigation into Microsoft due to a dwindling availability of Windows XP even as demand remains high. The belief is that XP is being taken off the market in an attempt to force consumers to buy Windows Vista. Microsoft representatives in Moscow say they haven't been contacted by the authorities on this matter, and that they cooperate on all anti-monopoly issues. Microsoft has been fined over 1 billion Euros this decade in relation to antitrust violations.


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Hulu May Not Remain Free Forever

Posted: June 4, 2009 @ time: 03:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Hulu, the popular online destination offering users full episodes of popular television shows with only one advertisement per commercial break, may not stay free for much longer. An announcement from Jon Miller of News Corp. hints that Hulu may move to a subscription model of an undetermined format. Hulu is having trouble selling all of its ad spots, and may be looking for a way to increase revenue. Some fear that making users pay for access to Hulu may drive them to find other avenues of obtaining television for free, including the use of Bittorrent trackers.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: June 5, 2009 @ time: 04:04AM
Author: Nemo

It's certainly been a busy week with lots of new product announcements including new CPUs from AMD and Intel. The annual Computex show tends to generate lots of new hardware to look at and we have coverage from both that show and E3 as well in today's roundup. For hardware reviews we have a trio of cases to look at today including the IN Win X-Fighter mid-tower chassis (reviewed by OCC here). 2.5" hard drive capacities have reached the point where they are encroaching on the territory normally reserved for their larger 3.5" form factor brethren and our roundup includes a look at five 500GB 2.5 inch drives. Most cases lack the ability to natively mount the smaller size drives and that's where the Scythe Bay Rafter comes in. Keeping thing cool is where the Cooler Master V10 CPU cooler (also reviewed by OCC here) comes in. There's plenty more to read about today, so get comfortable and dig in.

Cases
In Win X-Fighter @ Neoseeker
Ikonik Ra X10 Liquid Full Tower Case @ TweakTown
NZXT Beta Classic Series Midtower Steel Chassis @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Coolermaster V10 Cpu Cooler @ RBMods

Modding
Project Panzerbox: A Tribute to Wolfenstein @ Motherboards.org

Motherboards
Asus Maximus II Gene @ Bjorn3D
Foxconn Flaming Blade @ [H]ardOCP
MSI 790FX-GD70 @ Bjorn3D

Notebooks
Asus Eee PC 1008HA "Seashell" @ HotHardware

Storage/Hard Drives
Five 2.5-inch hard drives at 500GB @ Tech Report
Scythe Bay Rafter @ XSReviews

Trade Shows/Conventions
A-DATA demos the power of eight SSDs in RAID 0 and Lancool PC-K62B case exhibits impressive features @ TweakTown
2009 E3 Expo - Day Two Coverage @ Legit Reviews
Computex 2009 Coverage @ Techgage


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Come in Dick Tracy, LG Wristwatch Phone Next Month!

Posted: June 5, 2009 @ time: 08:05AM
Author: redtigerdragon

LG debuted a novel idea at CES in January, and is set to release it for sale next month. The wristwatch phone is exactly what it sounds like, a phone the size of a watch on your wrist. For those who do not want to look like Dick Tracy, the phone has a bluetooth headset and voice recognition. It also features Text to Speech, so your text messages can be read to you and you don't have to strain your eyes on the small screen. It won't have this feature for SMS messages, so you may still need to strain. The phone will be available in Europe next month, with global domin...distribution soon to follow. Pricing has yet to be released.


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MPAA Says Don't Copy

Posted: June 5, 2009 @ time: 11:43AM
Author: DLS2008

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is proving that it is still just as out of touch with the American consumer as it has always been. During the Real DVD case, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel questioned the on whether or not it was legal for a consumer to make a backup copy of a legally purchased DVD for personal use. The MPAA's attorney, Bart Williams, responded by saying, "Not for the purposes under the DMCA, one copy is a violation of the DMCA." While this is technically correct if making a backup copy requires circumventing the copyright, the MPAA usually uses mass piracy and the resulting lost profits to support the DMCA. This new statement means that the MPAA groups consumers that make backup copies into the same group as for-profit pirates that illegally copy dozens of DVDs and sell the copies. To be safe, I'll just keep my legal copies of the handful of DVDs I own and not worry about backups.


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Clickable Trackpads Coming Soon to PCs

Posted: June 5, 2009 @ time: 11:58AM
Author: DLS2008

If you've used one of the new Macbooks, then you know what a clickable trackpad is. Instead of using buttons below the trackpad to click, Apple decided to use the entire trackpad as a button. To click, the user simply depressed the whole trackpad. I've used one of the new Macbooks and found the clickable trackpad to be a very nice feature. The Macbooks also support finger gestures on the trackpad to accomplish tasks such as, zooming in or out, scrolling up or down, and rotating pages. All of those features are nice for laptops when a standard mouse isn't available. Now, Synaptics is bringing clickable trackpads to smaller PC notebooks and netbooks. The new trackpads were on display at Computex this year. Synaptic's trackpads will be called ClickPads. They currently support two-finger right clicks, two-finger scrolling, two-finger PinchZoom, two-finger pivot rotate, three-finger flick, and three-finger press gestures. These gestures are similar to what Macbooks use. The devices will be available to OEMs in the third quarter of 2009. I'm actually anxious to see what the ClickPad can bring to the table.


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Best Buy to Offer Free Upgrades to Windows 7

Posted: June 5, 2009 @ time: 04:30PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A leaked Best Buy company memo reveals that the company will be offering free upgrades to Windows 7 for customers who buy computers loaded with Windows Vista. The versions that are a part of this promotion are Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate. This deal will also benefit those who buy a copy of the appropriate Operating System on its own. Upgrades will also be available for Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional for $49.99 and $99.99 respectively. These upgrades would be for those consumers who already have an older version of Windows and don't want to buy a new copy. The official pricing for Windows 7 hasn't been released yet, so this could prove to be a steal.


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