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News Archives for July 2009

Windows 7 Beta bi-hourly shutdowns begin today

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 02:58AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Users still running Windows 7 Beta will see their systems spontaneously shutting down starting today. If you wish to continue your Windows 7 experience, you'll need to install the free release candidate otherwise you are encouraged to downgrade to Vista/XP. Microsoft is also recommending that users moving from Windows 7 Beta to the RC preform a clean install.

Windows 7 RC will be available for download through July, and will begin a similar bi-hourly shutdown process starting March 1, 2010. The OS is scheduled for general availability release on October 22, 2009.


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Texting while driving now illegal in Tennessee

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 03:46AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Most people think texting while driving should be banned. It's dangerous and stupid, yet many of us constantly do it. Today a new law goes into effect making the action illegal in the state of Tennessee, adding it to a growing list of states banning the action. The law does not delineate between texting, sending/reading email, or using the web browser. According to Tom Spangler, Chief Deputy with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, "the law has very good intentions but will hopefully get some additional clarification in the future. If you want to split hairs, any of that can fall under this new law."

In addition to sending text messages while driving the law also prohibits sending text while the vehicle is at a complete stop at a red light. Spangler said that if you absolutely must send a text message, pull off the road and park the vehicle. Law enforcement acknowledges that thew new law could be hard to enforce as it will be difficult to determine if a user is dialing a number or texting. (Update) As pointed out in the comments, a review of the actual law (pdf) states that this "shall only apply to a person driving a motor vehicle that is in motion at the time".

As of May 11, 2009 there were seven states including the District of Columbia that had passed laws making the action illegal with primary enforcement, five other states make the action illegal with secondary enforcement meaning the driver can only be pulled over for another violation. Several other states only prohibit texting and/or cell phone usage to minors, drivers with permits, and bus drivers.

Source: WBIR (Knoxville) and FOX News


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 05:26AM
Author: Nemo

Extreme overclocking involves exotic cooling using dry ice, liquid nitrogen or liquid helium and custom made cooling pots designed to lower temperatures on the CPU as far as possible. But all that effort is for naught if you don't have the right processor. AMD has created small number of TWKR Black Edition CPUs for a select few of the overclocking community designed to showcase AMD's advanced technology. You won't be able to buy this processor, but OCC and a select few other sites were granted the unique opportunity to test of of these chips out to see what kind of overclocks could be achieved.

Cases
Cooler Master Sileo 500 Mid Tower Chassis with 500W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Kingston HyperX (KHX-FAN) Memory Cooler @ TweakTown
Setting Up A Split Loop Water Cooling @ Bjorn3D

CPUs
AMD TWKR Edition CPU Preview @ OCC
AMD Phenom II TWKR Black Edition Processor @ HotHardware
AMD Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition Processor @ Legit Reviews
AMD Phenom II TWKR Edition CPU Preview @ Neoseeker

Gaming
Ghostbusters Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ardOCP

Memory
Stabilizing your memory overclock on Core i7 platform @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
Macbook Pro Kingston SSDNow 80 GB SSD + RAM Upgrade @ Motherboards.org

Video
ASUS Radeon HD 4890 Voltage Tweak Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Cooler Master Announces Modding Contest

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 07:25PM
Author: Nemo

Cooler Master has just announced the start of its 2009 Global Modding Contest with registration and entries being accepted beginning July 1. Cutoff for registration is September 30 with the winners to be announced October 15. Judging will be done by popular vote with three different categories being offered:

  • Full Tower
  • Mid Tower
  • Unique

There will be three grand prizes awarded, one for each category, and an additional nine runner ups selected (three per category). Winners will receive prize packages with components from sponsors such as AMD, Crucial, CyberPowerPC, Intel Extreme Board Division, Final Fantasy XI, CM Storm , Choiix , MSI, Zotac and Kingston. You can find a complete list of rules and registration instructions at the contest web site.


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NZXT Announces Sentry 2 Fan Controller

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 07:48PM
Author: Nemo

NZXT today announced the Sentry 2 touch screen fan controller that can control up to five fans. Unlike it larger brother, the NZXTSentry LX, the new controller fits in a single 5.25" drive bay. The touch screen features fast response times with all the information you need to monitor your system's cooling performance including temperature readouts in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. The unit supports up to 10W on each channel and fans can be set manually or to run automatically in response to specific temperatures. The controller is compatible with any fans using voltage control and has other convenient features such as the ability to turn off the display. The unit also offers internal storage to maintain user setting in case power is turned off. You should start seeing the Sentry 2 on store shelves this month at an MSRP of $29.99US.


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United States Government Readies Broadband Grants

Posted: July 1, 2009 @ time: 09:05PM
Author: gebraset

Throughout the United States, many rural areas can be found that have no broadband connections available to them, other than sometimes the option for satellite internet. While this option is usually viable, it is rather expensive, and speeds do not stay consistent for the most part. Therefore, because of this, those rural areas tend to connect the Internet using a dialup connection. The government is now looking to change that though, and will be giving out loans and grants for applicants that require funding. The total amount of loans available for the project is roughly $4 billion, which is part of a $7.2 billion program pushed by President Barack Obama to build affordable broadband Internet structures in various rural areas. Money provided by the United States government should remedy most dialup problems that face certain rural areas, especially with the total amount of money allotted by the President. Joe Biden, the Vice President, has stated as well that the funding is part of the President’s commitment to both economical and educational purposes that the Internet gives to all communities. Barrack Obama also hopes to open up some jobs in the telecommunications sector of the country with the planned broadband expansion.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: July 2, 2009 @ time: 03:40AM
Author: Nemo

Looking around the Web today we came up with some nice reviews for you to check out. Kicking things off are are pair of the latest and greatest motherboards from EVGA and Gigabyte for both Intel and AMD processors. You may not think netbooks lend themselves to overclocking but the MSI Wind U100 has some tweaking features built in to the BIOS and our roundup includes a guide one how to boost the performance of the Wind. Make sure you check out the rest of the reviews using the links below.

Motherboards
EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified Motherboard @ HotHardware
GIGABYTE MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 Motherboard @ TweakTown

Notebooks
MSI Wind U100 Netbook Overclocking Guide @ Legit Reviews

Power Supplies
Antec CP-850w @ XSReviews

Software
11 awesome applications you've never heard of @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Radius Atomic Bass Earphones for iPhone @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
A look at SSD performance in Windows Vista @ Tech Report

Miscellany
Sin City HD Movie @ TweakTown


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Federal Government Wants to Put Unused Public Land to Good Use

Posted: July 2, 2009 @ time: 04:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The US Department of the Interior has announced a plan to harvest unused land in the Southwest part of the country for solar power. A survey has identified a large chunk of land that would be ideal for solar power that will now undergo an environmental evaluation. If approved for solar power production, this land could produce up to 30 percent of residential energy use. The project is currently being funded by $41 million received from the stimulus, which is nothing next to what was given to companies like GM. Since this is a federal project, it will be able to avoid many of the local, state, and federal roadblocks that have caused trouble for those who have wanted to take similar action.


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Family Pack Available For Windows 7 Home Premium

Posted: July 2, 2009 @ time: 04:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Browsing through the software license that accompanies Windows 7 Home Premium, you will come across a clause that details the terms of use for a Family Pack. This clause is only found in this version, and likely isn't mistakenly there. The Family Pack would allow the operating system to be installed on 3 computers found in the household. Speculation currently puts the Family Pack at a $190 price point, making it quite a good deal based on the current price of Windows Vista or even XP. Coupled with the recent deals available for those consumers who pre-order Windows 7, Microsoft appears to be making a push to get Windows 7 into as many households as possible.


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Green-House Announces New SSDs

Posted: July 2, 2009 @ time: 11:43PM
Author: MrAlex

Green-House, a new manufacturer of SSDs has now released two new SSDs, but they aren’t your average ones, instead they use the IDE and ZIF ATA interface. They come in 1.8” and 2.5” form factors, with the 1.8” using ZIF ATA and the 2.5” using the IDE interface; so these really are for legacy systems, especially since IDE is pretty much a dead standard along with ZIF ATA. They will come in capacities of 16, 32, 64 and 128GB with either SLC or MLC NAND flash memory. The speeds are nothing that impressive, with the 1.8” SLC having read speeds of 65MBps and write speeds of 55MBps, while the MLC has read speeds of 60MBps and write speeds of 35MBps. The 2.5” drive performs a bit better with SLC variant giving read/write speeds of 70/60MBps and the MLC with read/write speeds of 60/40MBps. Maybe this will keep them nice and cheap.


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EVGA Launches X58 SLI Micro mATX Motherboard

Posted: July 3, 2009 @ time: 03:12AM
Author: premiumgfx

EVGA has announced the release of it's latest X58 motherboard, the X58 SLI Micro. The SLI Micro is a mATX form factor motherboard based around Intel's X58 chipset. The Micro supports two-way SLI and up to 12GB of triple channel DDR3-1600MHz memory. Six SATA ports, one PCIe x1 and one PCI x1 slot provide support for future upgrades. The board also includes integrated eight channel high definition audio and one gigabit ethernet port. Connectivity options include up to eight USB 2.0 ports (four external and four internal headers) and up to 3 FireWire 1394A ports (one external and two internal headers). The X58 SLI Micro also features support for the E-LEET and EX Voltage tuning software from EVGA. The Micro will come bundled with a two year warranty and retails for US$199.99.

 


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Program Released to Jailbreak iPhone 3GS

Posted: July 3, 2009 @ time: 07:10AM
Author: CheeseMan42

George Hotz, who was the first to unlock the original iPhone, has released a tool that will allow users to jailbreak the iPhone 3GS. The application itself is very small, less than that of a C++ hello world program. The application is called purplera1n, and requires nothing more than a few clicks to jailbreak the phone. If your jailbroken state somehow gets corrupted, the purplera1nyday files will allow you to get back to that state with a few simple tools. Jailbreaking will allow the users to install third party applications that haven't been approved by Apple, but won't allow for using the phone on any network.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: July 3, 2009 @ time: 08:03AM
Author: Nemo

Keeping your laptop cool is sometimes too much of a task for the onboard fans which is where the NZXT Cryo S (also reviewed by OCC here) comes in. Zalman is known for its radial-fin cooler designs used in the CNPS9000 series of heatsinks but the CNPS10X Extreme breaks from that line with a more traditional square tower design. Zalman may use the word 'Extreme' in naming its latest cooler, but Koolance is truly into extreme cooling now with its CPU-LN2 Liquid Nitrogen Evaporator, so if you've ever wanted to experiment with exotic cooling here's your chance.

Cooling
NZXT Cryo S @ Bjorn3D
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
Koolance CPU-LN2 Liquid Nitrogen Evaporator @ Legit Reviews

Input Devices
Rosewill RM-8500 @ Bjorn3D

Memory
Corsair Dominator GT PC3-16000 6GB Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Enermax Liberty Eco 620W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston SSDNow M-Series SSD Upgrade Kit @ TweakTown

Video
Sparkle GeForce GTX 275 Video Card @ Legit Reviews
Asus ENGTX275 @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Roccat Tusko Laptop Travel Bag @ RBMods


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Inno3D Launches iChill GeForce GTS 250 Card

Posted: July 3, 2009 @ time: 09:45AM
Author: Nemo

Inno3D has announced a new edition to its iChill line of videocards which feature advanced cooling options from companies such as Arctic Cooling, Zalman and Zerotherm. By integrating aftermarket coolers, the iChill line of cards allows enthusiasts and gamers to enjoy high-end performance while keeping their cards cool and quiet. The latest addition to the iChill lineup is the GeForce GTS 250 featuring the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro cooler. The cooler uses a four-heatpipe design mated to 35 fins and twin 92mm fans to provide superior cooling. The iChill GTS 250 manages to post temperatures 23C lower than the reference design boards and drops noise levels from 3.4 Sone to a mere 0.4 Sone. Inno3D hasn't announced pricing or availability information yet.


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USB 3.0 In PCs Before 2010?

Posted: July 3, 2009 @ time: 01:03PM
Author: jammin

USB 3.0 should be able to provide speeds up to ten times faster than the current USB 2.0 standard, and if reports prove correct then we could be seeing PCs shipping with the necessary hardware before the end of this year. NEC is one of the major players pushing USB 3.0 forward, with it already shipping host controller samples and planning on manufacturing one million units a month come September. Whether there will be many devices around to make use of the new standard when it first hits seems to be slightly up in the air, but hopefully there will be enough around to satisfy consumers. USB 3.0 devices have been shown to offer transfer speeds up to 5Gbps (gigabits), which is faster than the current (3Gbps) eSATA standard.


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Touchscreen Netbook For Web Browsing Coming Soon

Posted: July 5, 2009 @ time: 06:52AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Micheal Arrington, an editor at TechCrunch, has launched Crunchpad Inc. This startup company will be manufacturing a device of the same name, that will allow users to browse the web using a touchscreen. The device appears to be very similar to the iPhone, but will serve different functions. The device itself will be very small and lightweight, and will run on low end hardware. It will feature a Linux based operating system, and will likely only run Firefox and perhaps Skype. The lack of power hungry applications will allow the price of the Crunchpad to remain low. Arrington is currently looking for investors to finance the project, but with such an interesting concept that shouldn't be too difficult.


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Government Wastes Millions of Dollars on Printing

Posted: July 5, 2009 @ time: 06:54AM
Author: CheeseMan42

It should come as no surprise that the federal government and its employees have wasteful printing habits, as this is a problem faced by many businesses. A report published by Lexmark revealed that the government wastes nearly $440 million per year on unnecessary printing. Some of the nearly $1.3 billion spent on printing is obviously necessary, where signatures or a paper trail are required. Most employees surveyed revealed that they try to monitor printing habits, while even more say they probably print more than necessary. At a time when the federal government is trying to stress and even force the “go green” philosophy, maybe it should lead by example.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: July 5, 2009 @ time: 07:14AM
Author: Nemo

Things around the web are a bit calm as most of us in the States enjoy a long holiday weekend. We've got a few reviews to share with you though beginning with the In Win X-Fighter chassis (reviewed by OCC here). We also get a video tour of the latest P55 motherboards from Gigabyte, a look at the AUSS N90Sv-A2 notebook and a review on the HD 4870 Vapor-X 2GB videocard (also reviewed by OCC here).

Cases
In Win X-Fighter @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
GIGABYTE full range latest P55 mobos video intro @ TweakTown

Notebooks
ASUS N90Sv-A2 Multimedia Notebook @ TwekTown

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Vapor-X 2GB Video Card @ Motherboards.org


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More Complaints Surround PS3 Pricing

Posted: July 5, 2009 @ time: 07:59PM
Author: gebraset

Activision, a major publisher for many games including those that are featured on the PS3 as well as other consoles, threatened Sony by stating that they would stop releasing games on the PlayStation 3 if the price was not lowered. Other companies are surely feeling this type of disgust with the pricing situation revolving around the console, though many are not coming out and stating their views on it to the public. One newly formed company, known as Tecmo Koei, however has came out and revealed that as the CEO of the company, Kenji Matsubara has asked Sony several times while meeting with the electronics manufacturer to lower the price. But it seems as if Sony does not want to listen to Tecmo Koei or any other company for the time being. While their requests are not being made into anything like Activision’s actions, the number of companies and people around the world that are upset with how high the price of the PlayStation 3 is growing, without a doubt.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: July 6, 2009 @ time: 03:38AM
Author: Nemo

Let's get your week started off with a few reviews. For the audiophiles we have the Razer Carcharias headset along with a look at the Hercules XPS 2.1 50 speakers. Corsair's top-end P256 performance solid state drive also gets tested along with Gigabyte's MA770T-UD3P socket AM3 motherboard.

Motherboards
Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P AMD 770 AM3 Motherboard @ PC Perspective

Mousepads
X-Trac Logic Mouse Pads @ Bjorn3D

Speakers/Headphones
Razer Carcharias Headset @ RBMods
Hercules XPS 2.1 50 2.1 Speakers @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair P256 2.5-inch Solid State Disk @ TweakTown


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Incentives Lure New Apple Data Center to North Carolina

Posted: July 6, 2009 @ time: 04:33PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Apple has officially announced the beginning of a $1 billion data center project that will be located in the city of Maiden, North Carolina. Apple was looking for a location for an East Coast data center to house iTunes and iPhone downloads. The tax incentives passed by the Governor will amount to roughly $46 million over 10 years as long as Apple invests $1 billion over that time into the state. The project will create an estimated 3,000 jobs over the next 10 years as well, in an area hit hard by unemployment. The project could break ground as early as August, and will become the largest data center operated by Apple.


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Watch Your Favorite ABC Shows on Hulu

Posted: July 6, 2009 @ time: 04:34PM
Author: CheeseMan42

As a result of the recent partnership with Disney, ABC shows will now be available on Hulu. Grey's Anatomy will be the first show available, but it comes with a catch. Hulu will only carry the 5 latest episodes of the show, and the coming ABC shows are expected to share the same arrangement. Shows that will be coming in the near future include Lost and Scrubs, some of my favorites. Hulu continues to thrive in this economy, despite the fact that rival streaming site Joost recently announced it was throwing in the towel on content delivery. With ABC now in the mix, Hulu is only lacking CBS among the major networks.


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United States Government Sites Have Temporary Issues

Posted: July 6, 2009 @ time: 08:48PM
Author: gebraset

Many government websites throughout the day on Monday were noticed to be down, though all of the downed sites were back up and running by the afternoon. Websites for the White House, Education and Agriculture, Department of State, Justice, and Labor were down, and even the Federal Trade Commission’s site was down for more than six hours straight, starting at ten o’clock in the morning. The Chief Information Office did not immediately return a phone call made to see how many government websites were down, but many were believed to be unavailable during the outage. A Federal Trade Commission spokeswoman also did not return phone calls immediately to figure out the cause of the issues.


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Microsoft Focuses on Energy Consumption

Posted: July 6, 2009 @ time: 08:56PM
Author: gebraset

When Windows Vista was initially released, some users claimed that it used even more battery on their laptop systems than Windows XP previously did. Obviously Microsoft added power management features into the operating system to save energy when needed, or let the computer run at full power, but some consumers still complained of high energy consumption altogether. As for Windows 7, the company is planning on doing even more to lessen the energy that the operating system uses, coupled with whatever green hardware and technology the manufacturer of the said system incorporates. In the new version of Windows, both the hibernation and standby modes are more efficient and reliable, which hopefully ensures that consumers will use the some variation of the two modes instead of leaving their computer on constantly. Power management is also being seen in the idle stages however, with Microsoft stating that even during keystrokes, Windows 7 will be able to save power since it is smarter in energy management overall. New tools included with the operating system can even help advanced users diagnose various hardware and device problems, along with application issues, that could cause power issues. All of the options that Redmond plans to implement in its next Windows delivery should not only grant laptop uses some extra time while using a battery, but will hopefully save on energy bills with desktops as well.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 04:01AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup turned up a pair of cases from NZXT; those looking to quiet their computing experience should check out the Whisper Classic Series case (reviewed by OCC here). The NZXT Beta is aimed more at the the budget-minded crowd looking for a decent case for not a lot of money. In the video arena we have a review of the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Atomic Edition videocard (also reviewed by OCC here). Be sure to check out the rest of today's roundup items using the links below.

Cases
NZXT Whisper Classic Series Case @ Viper Lair
NZXT Beta @ Neoseeker

Cooling
LUXA2 M1-Pro Laptop Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
MSI 790FX-GD70 Socket AM3 Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
Beyond Atom: Exploring Performance ITX Solutions @ HotHardware

Networking
TRENDnet TPE-S44, TPE-112GS and TPE-111GI Power over Ethernet @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston's SSDNow 80GB upgrade kit @ Tech Report
SSD RAID scaling under Windows 7 @ [H]ardOCP

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 ATOMIC Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Google Apps is Out of Beta

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 11:02AM
Author: DLS2008

The Google Apps Suite is finally out of the beta stage. Gmail was in beta for five years, and the Apps suite was in beta for 2 years. Google realized that some organizations were nervous about using a beta product as an office suite. Google decided that it was best to bring the suite out of beta to attempt to lure those companies in. Google has said that coming out of beta does not mean that support and innovation will suffer, but rather new innovations will continue to be made. However, one drawback is that it appears Google will now charge for the Apps suite. The Platinum Edition for businesses will run $50 per year per user, a rather hefty price. The Standard Edition will be free, but a domain name is required to use it. A domain name will run $10 per year if you don't currently own one. I've tried accessing Google Docs and simply get an error; not sure if there's a glitch currently or Google is actually going to charge. Hopefully Google Docs will remain free for home users and simply have the beta tags removed.


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NVIDIA GeForce GT 210 & 220 To Come In September

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 11:48AM
Author: MrAlex

As you might have heard, NVIDIA, manufacturer of graphics cards have decided to release new 40nm cards. These will be named the GeForce GT 210 and 220, and will likely perform at 9400-9500GT standards. Oh, and this time NVIDIA have decided to go the whole ten yards by using DirectX 10.1 – another first for them as well, maybe to prepare for DirectX 11? The Commercial Times reports that they should be arriving in September and will come with the following specifications: The GT 210 will come with 24-Cores, a 64-Bit Memory Bus, 512MB of DDR2 or DDR3 RAM with clocks of 800MHz, and the GPU and Shader with clocks of 600 and 1425MHz. The GT 220 is slightly faster with 48 processing cores, a 128-Bit Memory Bus, 1GB of RAM at 1600MHz and with GPU and Shader clocks of 625 and 1375MHz. Who knows, AMD might use this against NVIDIA for deciding to use DirectX 10.1 when DirectX 11 is literally just around the corner after the release of these cards.


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NVIDIA Develops New Tegra Chip

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 12:58PM
Author: gebraset

After the recent NVIDIA news dealing with new graphics processing units, the green company has stated that it has been working on improving its Tegra chip, and is planning to release a second revision of it as early as this fall. The new computer-on-a-chip will be known as Tegra 2, and is reported to have twice the amount of power as its predecessor. Currently, it seems as if only the Zune HD is featuring the current Tegra chip, but it is also rumored that numerous amounts of smart phones will be supporting the technology later on this year. With the idea of Tegra 2 around the corner however, it seems even more viable, depending on its energy usage of course, that more smart phones as well as netbooks and possibly even notebooks will use the product. The present Tegra as of now is powerful enough to run Windows CE, and with Tegra 2 reportedly sporting around twice the performance, some manufacturers may possibly use it in certain netbook systems. For now though, the use of it in mobile phone situations is the most feasible option due to many specifications of the new computer-on-a-chip not yet being release by NVIDIA.


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World's Largest Data Center To Be Built In Scotland?

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 05:55PM
Author: jammin

Data centers around the world are what makes the internet tick, which makes them big business. For example, Google, who necessarily operate a number of sites worldwide has traditionally been secretive when it comes to details of its data centers. In the UK, a large amount of the country's internet traffic has generally been served through sites around London, Europe or America, but that may change if plans to build a 250 acre, £1 billion ($1.6 billion) data center in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland go ahead. The project is being proposed by Internet Villages International, who have successfully raised £600m towards the planned 'Alba 1' data center, which could potentially provide around 3 million square feet of server space.

It also turns out that Scotland is something of an ideal place for planning such projects, as it provides the open space needed for construction along with a technically skilled workforce to back it up. Projects can also make use of green energy sources, with Alba planned to run off power provided by a nearby biomass plant and local wind farms. Tidal power generation could also play a part in future projects. If everything goes to schedule, Alba should open sometime in 2010.


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Synology Compact DS409slim 4-Bay NAS

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 07:02PM
Author: Nemo

Synology has announced the latest member of it NAS product lineup of with the release of the DS409slim, a 4-bay server intended for small office/home users. Using 2.5" drives, the DS409slim features a small footprint quiet operation with a smart fan designed to remain off during normal operations. That makes it a perfect addition to a desktop or home theater setup. Don't let the small size fool you though as the DS409slim packs some big features including support for up to 2TB of storage, multiple RAID levels including RAID 5 and RAID 6 and volume expansion/migration. The DS409slim also comes with Synology's Disk Sation Manager 2.1 that features several backup alternatives as well a media player, download manager with BitTorrent support and UPnP compatibility with the Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. The DS409 is currently available online with prices around $400US.


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Sapphire Moving to Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 07:24PM
Author: Nemo

It ain't easy being green as one of my heroes used to say, especially when products come shipped in all sorts of excess, hard to open plastic containers. Sapphire Technology is hoping to make being green a bit easier for its customers by introducing inner packaging trays made from recycled paper materials. Not only are the paper pulp trays gentler on the environment than plastics, they can also be further recycled. The trays are molded to hold the components safely during shipping and replace the previous inner containers that had multiple folds and cutouts. Sapphire is committed to continuing this trend by developing new trays in the future to hold even the heaviest models to cut down on the use of plastic carriers and foam inserts. Sapphire says it may not be able to completely eliminate the need for plastic packaging but it will be specifying the use of recycled materials for its packaging wherever possible.


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Super Talent Adds Colorful Pico Mini Flash Drives

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 07:46PM
Author: Nemo

Super Talent's Pico lineup of USB flash drives are small and sport flashy metallic finishes including gold. Now the company has announced a new lineup of Pico drives, the Pico Mini, described as "colorful and trendy". The tiny drives weigh in at only 1.5 grams but Super Talent uses COB technology to  squeeze up to 16GB of storage onto the devices which measure 1.3 x 0.6 x 0.1 inches. The drives are built to be water resistant and support transfer speeds up to 200X and come in four different colors, coded to the different capacities. The Orchid Pink 2GB Pico Mini-A retails for $9.99. The drives can also be had in Lime Green (4GB) $14.99, Sky Blue (8GB) $23.99 and Classic Black (16GB) for $39.99 .


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OCZ Unveils Vertex Turbo Series SSDs

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 07:58PM
Author: jammin

We aren't quite at the point where SSD usage is particularly wide spread, at least amongst us regular consumers, but the market continues to move along at a considerable pace. Earlier today OCZ officially launched its Vertex Turbo series drives, an update to the original Vertex series. For the Turbo drives, OCZ has bumped the host clock-speed (I would assume that means of the controller), as well as that of the SDR RAM cache from 166MHz to 180MHz. That means improved performance, and read and write speeds of up to 270MB/s and 210MB/s (120MB/s sustained) respectively on the 250GB model. Speeds do drop slightly as you reduce capacity, with 120GB, 60GB and 30GB models also available. As usual, there are no prices mentioned in the press release, but previous reports seem suggest they will range from $150 to $800. All drives in the series will ship with a three year warranty.


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Ads May Infect Xbox Live Experience

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 07:59PM
Author: gebraset

After already paying a premium every month for the Xbox Live service that many have come to love over the years, the last thing users want is ads imbedded into the interface. Microsoft may be doing just that however, by implementing Silverlight ads into Xbox Live. This in turn will make more money for any company who works with Microsoft to have their ad displayed, but will only make consumers that much more aggravated, especially since many Xbox customers pay for Xbox Live. Stupidly, the company is somehow claiming that the advertisements will enhance the gaming experience, though it seems as if they could only hinder it in everyway possible.


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NVIDIA Offering Chance to Win Trip to Blizzcon 2009

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 08:13PM
Author: Nemo

NVIDIA has announced a chance to win a trip for two to Blizzcon 2009 and a free copy of World of Warcraft Classic. You don't have to be a fan of WoW to win either, just purchase a qualifying GPU card between July 1, 2009 and August 1, 2009 from a participating e-tailer to receive an entry code to qualify for a chance at the all-expenses paid trip to Blizzcon 2009 being held this year August 21-22 in Anaheim, California. Our international readers will be pleased to note that the contest is open to all legal residents of the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Norway and India. There are contest rules, of course, and you can check it all out at the NVIDIA contest web site.


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Patriot Announces AMD Black Edition Ready DDR3 G Series Memory

Posted: July 7, 2009 @ time: 09:16PM
Author: Nemo

Patriot Memory has added a new set of kits to its line of extreme performance memory. The AMD Black Edition Ready G series is aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts wanting to get the most from their AMD socket AM3 based systems. The modules have pre-programmed enhanced latency settings and are designed to be used in conjunction with AMD's OverDrive overclocking software. The 4GB memory kits offer enhanced latencies out of the box and are being offered in two different flavors - Low Latency with 7-7-7-20 timings and Enhanced Latency with timings of 9-9-9-24. The PC3-12800 (1600MHz) modules have been tested on the AM3 790FX/GX platform at are certified at those speeds at 1.8V. No pricing or availability information was disclose but you can find out more details on Patriot's web site.


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Razer Unveils the Razer Moray+ Mobile Gaming Communicator

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 02:53AM
Author: premiumgfx

Razer has announced the release of its latest mobile gaming communicator, the Razer Moray+. The Razer Moray+ is an improvement on its predecessor, the Razer Moray featuring enhancements based on feedback from gamers. Notable changes include an omnidirectional in-line microphone, adapters for use with the Sony PSP (2000 and 3000) and Nintendo DS (Lite and DSi) and a durable, thicker cable to reduce tangling. All the standard Moray features including extended bass, passive noise isolation and inter-changeable ear buds are still retained in the plus version. The Razer Moray+ is available in black or white for US$60.00 at razerzone.com.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 03:23AM
Author: Nemo

It looks as if we have a pretty busy day on the review front today. We'll kick things off with a pair of video cards from Sapphire starting with the HD 4670 512MB GDDR4 card followed by the HD 4770 512MB (also reviewed by OCC here). Good things must come in pairs as there are a pair of solid state drives, two thumb drives, and a duo of motherboards including the Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (see the OCC review here) in the roundup today. There's more to read about including the NZXT Panzerbox, a reasonably-priced aluminum mid-tower chassis (reviewed by OCC here), so be sure to check out the rest of the links below.

Cases
NZXT Panzerbox Classic Series Mid-Tower @ Techgage

Memory
A-DATA X Series Ver 2 PC3-12800 6GB DDR3 Kit @ TweakTown

Monitors/TVs
Samsung LN52A850S1F A850 52-inch LCD HDTV @ PCSTATS

Motherboards
Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P Motherboard @ Neoseeker
ASRock P45X3 Deluxe Intel P45 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot TorqX 64GB SSD @ RBMods
A few weeks with LaCie's iamaKey thumb drive @ Tech Report
Kingston DataTraveler DT200/64GB @ Bjorn3D
Super Talent UltraDrive 128GB SSD @ Motherboards.org

Video
Caustic Graphics and the CausticGL Ray Tracing API @ PC Perspective
Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 512MB GDDR4 Video Card @ Legit Reviews
Sapphire HD 4770 512MB @ XSReviews

Miscellany
AKAI AISS010 All-In-One Entertainment System @ TweakTown


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Open Source Google Chrome OS in the Works

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 04:24AM
Author: premiumgfx

Following the release of the Google Chrome web browser nine months ago, Google has announced its latest project: an open source Google Chrome operating system. The Google Chrome OS will be designed for people who spent the majority of their time on the web, focusing on speed, simplicity and security along with an unintrusive GUI (Graphical User Interface). The Chrome OS will be based on a Linux kernel with a new windowing system and aims to have users on the Internet within seconds whilst maintaining security against online threats such as malware. Google Chrome OS will operate on x86 and ARM based CPUs. Google is currently working with numerous OEMs to have Chrome OS based netbooks available for consumers in the second half of next year. The code of Chrome OS will become open source later this year.


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Snapshots of NVIDIA's New 40nm Cards

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 11:11AM
Author: MrAlex

As I reported yesterday, NVIDIA plan to release two new cards in September, the GeForce GT 210 and GT 220, but that was only the specifications – no pictures of the actual cards. Today, TCMagazine has managed to snatch some pictures of the upcoming cards. As you can see they are low-profile, so don’t expect any major performance from them either; these cards will be more for HTPC users or people on a low budget. Don’t expect these cards to be plentiful, in fact expect them to be hard to find as now TSMC will now be producing 40nm cards for both ATI and NVIDIA and the Radeon HD 4770 has been hard to find, I expect things to get worse unless TSMC have a trick up their sleeve (or more than one place to manufacture the new fabrication process).


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VLC 1.0 Released At Last

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 04:44PM
Author: CheeseMan42

VLC, the open source player that many of you probably use, has reached version 1.0 after more than 10 years in development. What started in 1996 as a project by French students to stream video over a network has become what is likely the most popular media player available. VLC can play just about every media format there is, and is available on dozens of operating systems. VLC was open sourced in 2001 and has received a warm welcome from the community since then. The many contributors have packed endless features into the software, with the newest update bringing frame-by-frame playback among other enhancements.


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Patriot Upgrades Torqx Line of Solid State Drives

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 06:05PM
Author: Nemo

Patriot has upgraded it Torqx line of solid states drives with the announcement today of the new M28 series. The new lineup consists of 128GB or 256GB capacity models and both get double the cache of the previous Torqx drives going from 64MB to 128MB. According to Patriot this enables faster transfers between the controller and the host device in both random and sequential I/O operations with up to 220MB/s sequential read speeds and sequential write speeds of up to 200MB/s. Patriot is even sweetening the pot a bit more by boosting the warranty on all it Torqx line of drives from 2 to 10 years and is even going so far as to make the enhanced warranty period retroactive to cover all consumer purchases of the drives prior to the announcement. Patriot didn't provide pricing or availability on the M28 drives but existing Torqx models range from $380-$700US depending on size.


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Price Cut Unlikely For the PS3

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 07:10PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Two high ranking Sony executives, Jack Tretton and Sir Howard Stringer, have come out and denounced the possibility of a PS3 price cut. While gamers and developers alike have been calling for a price cut, Sony doesn't share the same sense of urgency on the matter. Tretton cited a long term plan, a 10 year plan to be specific, as a reason for the lack of a price cut. Sony is hoping to run a marathon instead of a sprint with PS3 sales, and it doesn't want to burn out too quickly. Stringer presents a much more convincing reason, stating that the company would lose money on every PS3 if the price was cut any further. It is worth mentioning that the PS3 originally retailed for $599, and is now down to $399.


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New Windows President Appointed

Posted: July 8, 2009 @ time: 07:55PM
Author: gebraset

After being a twenty year veteran, Steven Sinofsky has officially been promoted to the position of Windows president. This announcement from Microsoft comes a few months before Windows 7 is planned to be released, which is set for later in October. Steven Sinofsky, as the new Windows president, will be in charge of engineering and market functions for Windows, as well as Internet Explorer and Windows Live. It should be quite interesting to see what Sinofsky does with the whole program, especially after being in charge of countless bug fixes within Windows 7 when it was in its early stages of development. The final transition for the promotion to president is planned to be completed at sometime in the end of July.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 02:35AM
Author: Nemo

Storage related items dominate the roundup today as we get a chance to look at products ranging from a 16GB flash drive to the QNAP TS-809 NAS server. We also get a look at a pair of GeForce GTX 260 videocards and a chance to check out the AMD Phenom II X4 955 CPU (also reviewed by OCC here). That leaves quite a few more reviews for you to read using the links below.

Cases
Chieftec Aegis CX-05B-B 11-Bay Steel ATX Mid Tower Case @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X4 955 CPU @ Motherboards.org

Power Supplies
SilverStone Element 700W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Speakers/Headphones
Avantalk BTSP-200 Bluetooth Stereo Speakerphone @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Toward a more rational backup strategy @ Tech Report
WWF Panda 16GB USB Drive @ Bjorn3D
Fusion-io vs Intel X25-M SSD RAID, Grudge Match @ HotHardware
Western Digital RE4-GP 2TB Enterprise Hard Disk in RAID 0 @ TweakTown
QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo 8 Bay NAS @ Tweaknews

Video
BenQ Joybee GP1 Mini Projector @ TechSpot
MSI N260GTX OC V3 T2D896 @ Neoseeker
Galaxy GeForce GTX 260+ OC Tri-Fan Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Chrome OS Has Some Big Supporters After Just A Day

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 06:30AM
Author: redtigerdragon

Google's new OS, Google Chrome OS announced here, seems to have some big supporters just a day after being announced. The blog post is in response to common questions about Google Chrome OS, including if it is free (it is), and how to apply for a job to work on Chrome OS. But the biggest announcement on the page (at least to me), is who is already on board with using the new OS. The companies listed (it says among others, but the others may be small or big companies at this point) are HP, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, and Toshiba, which may mean a big leg up on the notebook/netbook market, along with Adobe (which will mean compatibility with its products, including Flash, another huge bonus for Chrome OS), and Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, which are chip makers that make some ARM's and CPU's. If these partners are announced and on board merely one day after the public announcement (one has to assume that talks went on before the public announcement to secure these partners), it will be interesting to see who's on board after it's been around awhile.


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Upcoming AMD IGP 15% Faster

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 06:51AM
Author: redtigerdragon

AMD's upcoming integrated graphics processor (IGP), currently codenamed RS880, will be 15% faster than its current RS780. The IGP is basically an AMD RV610 core with tweaked clock-speeds, and should have the brand name ATI Radeon HD 4200. The IGP gets about 1800 points in 3DMark06, which is comparable to NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 GT. While the score is nowhere near the stellar performance of todays top cards, it does put it in competition with IGP's from NVIDIA. Look for it to be debuted in August.


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U.S. and South Korean Websites Still Affected by Cyber Attack

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 07:02AM
Author: DLS2008

On July 4th, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack was launched against many U.S. and South Korean websites. A previous article from OCC discussed some of the U.S. government websites what were affected by the attack. However, those were not the only sites that were affected by the attack over the weekend. U.S. sites affected by the DDoS attack were: the White House, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission, Secret Service, Transportation Department, National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq stock market, and The Washington Post. South Korean sites that were affected were: the presidential Blue House, the Defense Ministry, National Assembly, Korea Exchange Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Naver (South Korea's top Internet portal). Most of the sites were back to normal operations by Monday, but some, such as the Federal Trade Commission, Treasury Department, and Secret Service were still reporting issues Tuesday. The size (almost two dozen U.S. and South Korean sites) and length (about three days) made South Korea assume that the DDoS attacks were most likely backed by the North Korean government. However, the U.S. and other top Internet analysts say it's too early to make a claim as to who the attacker(s) were. SecureITExperts' Mark Rasch said, "There's no difference between dropping a logic bomb and dropping a TNT bomb in the law of war." He was implying that the repercussions of a government backed DDoS attack of this size and duration will be severe.


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Samsung's 250GB SpinPoint N3U

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 07:12AM
Author: DLS2008

Samsung has a creative new marketing idea for its 250GB SpinPoint N3U. The hard drive is a 1.8 inch model that Samsung photographed infront of a credit card for a size comparison. The drive is roughly the same size as the credit card. The drive sports a built-in PATA to USB controller to help manufacturers eliminate bulk from portable USB disks. The drive rotates at 3,600RPM, has 8MB of cache, and should survive a drop from 20 inches. The drive will go on sale in mid-July for about $200.


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OCZ Sabre OLED Keyboard Now Shipping For $135

Posted: July 9, 2009 @ time: 02:32PM
Author: jammin

Last month we heard that OCZ would be releasing the Sabre OLED keyboard, which includes nine OLED keys that can be programmed to display their given function. The Sabre appears to be identical to a United Keys model that Engadget checked out at the end of last year, though a large brand such a OCZ does bring much wider availability and a reduced price tag. The Sabre can be picked up now for $135 compared to the United Keys, which retails at $260. We'll have to wait for some more hands-on time with the OCZ model to see if any subtle improvements have been made. Of course we originally saw the idea of using mini OLED screens on keyboard keys with the outlandishly expensive Optimus Maximus, though that also featured more impressive full color displays for all keys, rather than the 9 monochrome ones featured on the Sabre.


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