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News Archives for August 2009

Acer Retries Predator Desktop

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

Back when Acer released their first revision of their Predator gaming computer, many cases were reported when the computer would overheat. Some incidences were reported to even have fire as the end result in the overheating matter. Acer is at it again however, giving users more performance than most mainstream desktop computers on the market today. The new predator includes an Intel Core i7 950 processor at 3.06GHz, along with 6GB of DDR3 memory and two NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB graphics cards. A 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive is also included, as well as a Blu-ray optical drive and a bundled G15 gaming keyboard and G9 mouse. The most internet feature noted by most people is the special case design that Acer decided to go with on the Predator model. Oddly, the computer is only available in Japan right now, but hopefully it will make its way to American and European markets. Right now, the computer is selling in Japan for 259,800 yen, which converts to roughly $2,717.
 


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Fedex Continues to Go Green

Posted: August 2, 2009 @ time: 07:06AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Fedex has announced plans for its' fifth rooftop solar array at a distribution facility in Woodbridge, NJ. The project is being done in collaboration with BP Solar who will install the system. Fedex will then purchase the power generated from the 2.42 megawatt system. In the end, there will be 12,400 solar panels able to provide up to 30 percent of the power needs at the facility. This will be the largest rooftop installation in the country, and will reduct CO2 emissions by nearly 2,000 metric tons. Installation of the system will be completed by November.


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Latest Music Sharing Case Ruled in Favor of RIAA

Posted: August 2, 2009 @ time: 07:07AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum has been ordered to pay $675,000 in damages to the RIAA. Tenenbaum was happy that the fine wasn't higher, as it was for Jammie Thomas-Rasset who has to pay $1.92 million. Tenenbaum effectively dug his own grave when he admitted to downloading the songs and about lying in previous testimonies during his Thursday questioning. At this point the jury only needed to discuss damages and whether Tenenbaum did so willingly. The RIAA was also happy with the ruling, mostly because the defendant realized that the artists and music companies should be paid just as any other working person. Tenenbaum plans to appeal the ruling based on the guarantee of due process. He feels that the award is too large, and plans to file for bankruptcy if the ruling is upheld.


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Intel 34nm SSD Shipments Held

Posted: August 2, 2009 @ time: 02:21PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Not long after Intel's new 34nm SSD drives were announced, shipments are now being held up as the chip maker fixes a firmware flaw, affecting all of the new models.

ZDNet is reporting that if you set a BIOS password on a laptop with one of these new drives installed, the SSD becomes "inoperable", assumedly corrupting the Master Boot Record, and effectively turning your expensive new investment into mush.

Intel has now announced that it is working on a firmware fix, that all new shipments (once shipments resume) of the new drive will have the fix applied, and that all retailers and distributors are to return un-patched drives to Intel for replacement.


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Microsoft Fixes Windows 7 Leak

Posted: August 2, 2009 @ time: 04:45PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Microsoft has apparently, perhaps temporarily, stemmed the flow of pirated copies of Lenovo's RTM Windows 7 Ultimate by blacklisting the product key. This was possible for the simple reason that no customers have yet activated any copies of Windows 7 using that key. Microsoft has reportedly sent Lenovo a new product key. If this leak had happened after Lenovo had sent out computers with Windows 7 Ultimate pre-loaded, Microsoft would have had a bit of an issue on its hands.

So this basically ties up the game between pirates and Microsoft, with the score at 1-1. Of course this will not be the end of it by any means, with combating piracy being an ongoing task for Microsoft.


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Radio Shack Undergoes Rebranding

Posted: August 2, 2009 @ time: 08:13PM
Author: gebraset

There are many popular electronic stores around, such as Best Buy, which sell pretty much everything the average consumer could want. For certain things however, RadioShack has been there for a while to provide special parts not available in larger electronic stores. The stores name is supposedly going under a change, and will now be known as “The Shack.” As a general oversight, it seems as if the move to rebrand the store is a smart one, as it now offers much more than it used to when RadioShack first opened up to the general public. In store signs should reflect the change sometime this week, while storefront signs will receive the change during the end of this year, though a exact date is not known.


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Updated Intel Roadmap Leaked

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 02:51AM
Author: premiumgfx

Intel today released a confidential updated platform roadmap, which was then leaked to portions of the Chinese media. The leaked roadmap details Intel's planned CPU releases up to Q3 2010, divided into three categories: mainstream, performance and extreme. It also details Intel's changeover from the Penryn (Core) based CPUs to the Nehalem architecture CPUs and finally to its first 32nm Westmere CPUs. First off are three LGA 1156 CPUs: the quad-core Lynnfield Core i7 870 running at 2.93GHz with HTT, the Core i7 860 clocked at 2.80GHz also with HTT, both in the upper mainstream section, followed by the middle mainstream Core i5 750 at 2.66GHz with no HTT support. Secondly are the dual-core Clarkdale processors clocked at 3.20GHz, 3.33GHz and 3.46GHz, placed in their appropriate categories ranging from lower mainstream to upper mainstream. The Core i7 960 running at 3.20GHz (non-XE) will effectively replace the current Core i7 950 in Q4 this year. Lastly is the Gulftown six-core family of CPUs which have been pushed back for a Q2 release in 2010. Intel seem to be planning new CPUs like wildfire and I think it'll be an interesting couple of months ahead!

 

Thanks to PConline.com.cn for the roadmap.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 03:58AM
Author: Nemo

We have a nice range of reviews to get your week started off. In the cooling department there are products for cooling your videocards and CPU and notebooks. For a 2.1 speaker system on a budget the Eagle Tech Arion Soundstage speaker system (reviewed by OCC here) is worth checking out. Also in today's roundup are are trio of netbooks from Acer, Gateway and Gigabyte. That just scratches the surface of what's available so continue reading by checking out the links below.

Cases
NZXT Zero 2 Case @ Virtual-Hideout
Cooler Master Elite 310 @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
Thermalright HR-03 GTX (On GTX275) @ Bjorn3D
AeroCool Touch-2000 LCD Fan Controller @ Legit Reviews
Corsair Hydro Series H50 Tested on AMD Phenom @ Madshrimps
Thermaltake Massive23 CS Notebook Cooler @ Tweaknews

Gaming
An Interview With Game Developer Terminal Reality @ HotHardware
Prototype Xbox 360 @ TweakTown

Motherboards
MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
Aspire One 751 vs. Gateway LT3103 @ Tech Report
GIGABYTE Booktop M1022 Netbook @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Eagle Tech Arion Soundstage Speaker System @ RBMods

Storage/Hard Drives
Super Talent's super tiny Pico Mini USB Drive @ TweakTown
Eagle Tech ET-CSIU2-BK I-Series 3.5” Dual Bay JBOD Enclosure @ Tweaknews
Exclusive Review of PhotoFasts G-Monster-PROMISE (1000MB/s) 128GB PCIe SSD @ TweakTown

Video
Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4890 2G GDDR5 @ Motherbards.org

Miscellany
Ghostbusters HD Movie @ TweakTown


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Apple Tries Gag Order With Exploding iPod Incident

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 07:10AM
Author: redtigerdragon

Apparently Apple has not opted to take the high road in customer service as of lately. Apple tried to get a gagging order on a father and daughter, after the daughter's iPod exploded. Ken Stanborough, 47, from Liverpool, dropped his 11-year-old daughter Ellie's iPod Touch last month.

"It made a hissing noise. I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour. [I threw it and] within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air."

After doing the customer service marry-go-round, he was put in touch with an Apple executive who said he would handle it. Ken was sent a letter saying apple would refund him, but deny liability. It also stated that if he accepted the money, he couldn't talk about the agreement, and that if he did Apple may bring a lawsuit against him.

The story wouldn't be that big, seeing as how otherwise Apple has a superb customer service record, but another reporter obtained 800 pages of documents, after months of stall tactics, that show that there are other cases that are similar, with exploding iPods and overheating iPods alike. The papers show that the lithium ion batteries are the probable culprits. I knew Apple liked to keep things secret, but this may be going a bit far.


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Redsn0w jailbreak already works for iPhone OS update 3.0.1

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 07:18AM
Author: kingdingeling

When the OS 3.0 update for the iPhone came out, users had to wait a while before the iPhone Dev Team was able to crack the new software. On Friday, the 3.0.1 update was launched to fix the opportunity for hackers to gain control of the iPhone via SMS, which surprisingly does not require an updated to the redsn0w software for jailbreaking. Upon jailbreaking, simply select the 3.0 IPSW and off you go, couldn't be easier! Now if this was the case for all future Apple updates, the iPhone community would be full of happy campers!


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Google Advertising For Google Apps

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 02:12PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google, which has long been facilitating online advertisements, has announced a new campaign to get the word out about Google Apps. This move is in hopes of taking some of the market currently dominated by Microsoft. If you haven't used the service already, it features software such as word processing and spreadsheets. I have just recently started to use it, and I love the service. The ad campaign will feature a series of billboards in Boston, Chicago, New York, and San Fransisco. There have already been nearly 2 million institutions and organizations that have made the switch, including Motorola. Google has also set up a spread the word website for users of Google Apps to tell others who may be unaware of the service. The service is free and you can access it from any of the Google pages, including your Gmail page.


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Intel and Facebook Looking to Cure Alzheimer's

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 03:54PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Intel and Facebook have joined forces to create the "Progress Through Processors" program to benefit the research of cures for cancer, HIV and Alzheimer's. Often, these massive and intense research programs require thousands upon thousands of hours of computations, far beyond what many of these organizations can provide or afford, but now you, I and anyone else with a computer can help. Working much the same as Folding@Home does, users can go to the Facebook page, download and install the Progress Through Processors client, and select either Rosetta@home, Africa@home or Climateprediction.net, and put all their unused CPU cycles to good work.


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Google's Eric Schmidt Quits Apple Board

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: jammin

In a move that doesn't come as much of a surprise, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has given up his position on Apple's board of directors. Back in May Schmidt had made comments with regard to the same subject (the possibility of him leaving the role), claiming that he didn't see Apple as a primary competitor to Google, hence he could still be effective in the position. Since then Google has been creeping further into Apple territory, with the announcement of work being under way on the Chrome OS (that could eventually compete with OSX). The company's Android smartphone OS has also seen increasing implementation on products that compete directly with the iPhone. That, along with the recent rejection of Google's Voice app for iPhone by Apple may suggest the relationship between the two companies may not be as strong as before (remember that stalwarts such as Google Maps are still integral parts of the iPhone).

Apparently the decision for Schmidt to depart was a mutual one, with Steve Jobs noting that as more potential conflicts of interest arise, the portions of board meetings that the Google man would be able to contribute to would continue to shrink. It doesn't take a genius to workout that if you can't attend to a large number of your duties, then there is little point in holding a position going forward. It is worth noting that even with Schmidt's departure, there are still ties between Apple and Google's board rooms, such as Art Levinson, who as the Financial Times reports, will remain a corporate director at both companies. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will also be continuing with its investigation into the relationship.


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Command & Conquer 4: Blow Stuff Up

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 04:23PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Okay, so maybe that's not the official name, but if you think you can do better, then get moving over to http://contest.commandandconquer.com/ and tell EA what you think the next installment in the iconic series should be called. This competition is open to the majority of countries, and ages depend on where you are from (check the terms and conditions here). EA will select the top ten entries based on creativity, originality and relevance (keep in mind that the previous three titles were Tiberium Dawn, Tiberium Sun and Tiberium Wars. Tiberium Hangover perhaps?). Anyway, the top 10 will all receive early entry into the C&C4 beta program, and the winner will win, well, bragging rights. Maybe EA will send you a certificate as proof :-)


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OCZ Z-series Power Supplies Rated 80 Plus Gold

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 07:00PM
Author: Nemo

OCZ has announced its new Z-series 850W and 1000W power supplies in both standard and modular configurations. These units are not only powerful, but efficient as well; the units are certified 80 PLUS Gold which means they are over 90% efficient at typical loads. Each model offers a single +12V rail rated at 83A (Z1000/Z1000M) and 71A (Z850/850M) respectively. These are industrial strength power supplies designed to offer continuous output at the rated levels at 50°C and come with active PFC (.99PFC). The units are cooled using a 135mm thermally controlled fan that matches fan speed to the units temperature and load to help keep noise levels under control. Each unit is backed by OCZ's 5-year PowerSwap warranty and are currently shipping to resellers. They  carry suggested retail prices of $299.99 (Z1000M), $289.99 (Z1000), $239.99 (Z850M), and $219.99 (Z850).


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Apple Updates GarageBand

Posted: August 3, 2009 @ time: 08:58PM
Author: gebraset

Just today, Apple released a particularly large update to its GarageBand application, which is included in the iLide ’09 suite. The program allows users to mix and record their own music with vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards, and other instruments and add effects to them as well. The update to GarageBand adds support for adding track effects along with audio unites to a guitar track, along with improved Apogee audio interface support. In the 139MB update from Apple, that is available from the Apple website or the built in softward update portion of Mac OS X, is also the improvement in speed from switching to full screen in Magic GarageBand. A security fix has also been patched in the 5.1 update, which disables the Safari web browser from altering the cookies setting to accepting all cookies while GarageBand is opened and in use.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 03:46AM
Author: jammin

Plenty of motherboard reviews to sink your teeth into today, with a look at several products sporting AMD's new 785G chipset. TechSpot also investigate Intel chipset offerings in the form of DFI's top end and Micro-ATX X58 boards. Many of you may be familiar with the original Chieftec Dragon case, a classic in its time, but can the updated model bearing the same name live up to this? ThinkComputers seem fond of it at least. Other reviews include a HD4890 from ASUS and some serious notebook power with Alienware's dual GTX 280M equipped M17x. Hit the links below to check out whatever takes your fancy.

Cases
Chieftec Dragon Mid Tower Case
@ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
Gigabyte MA785GPM-UD2H 785G AM3
@ TweakTown
AMD 785G Chipset Launch: ASUS and Gigabyte @ HotHardware
DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8 and JR X58-T3H6 @ TechSpot
AMD 785G Chipset Review: Integrated Evolved @ PC Perspective

Video
ASUS EAH4890 TOP
@ [H]ardOCP

Cooling
Rosewill FORT 120 / RCX-SHDT120X1 CPU Cooler
@ TweakTown

Power
Kingwin Mach 1 1000W ABT-1000MA1S
@ Tweaknews

Speakers/Headphones
Plantronics Voyager PRO Bluetooth Headset
@ Legit Reviews

Notebooks
Alienware M17x Dual-GPU Gaming Notebook
@ HotHardware


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Big Brother Invades British Homes

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 07:21AM
Author: ClayMeow

Britain's love of surveillance shouldn't come as a surprise to many, but its most recent plan may shock even the most paranoid pessimist. The Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, announced a £400 million plan to install 24-hour CCTV surveillance in the private homes of 20,000 "problem families." In fact, around 2,000 families are already under surveillance. These families are being monitored "to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals." In addition, private security guards will periodically make house calls to check on things. The hope is to reduce the number of children getting drawn into a life of crime and drug use because of chaotic family lives.


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Massive Ordnance Penetrator - The Ultimate Bunker-Buster

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: ClayMeow

What is 20 feet long, weighs 30,000 pounds and can bury itself 200 feet into the ground? No, I really doubt your mother-in-law is 20 feet long. The answer is the U.S. Air Force's latest breakthrough in advanced weaponry; the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). The MOP is a non-nuclear, "ultra-large bunker-buster bomb." Bunker-busters are designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers or underground facilities by burying themselves into the earth before exploding. Carrying more than 5300 pounds of explosives, The MOP can penetrate 200 feet before exploding.

The MOP is roughly one-third heavier than the 21,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs." In addition, The MOP's predecessor, the BLU-109, is a mere 2,000 pounds with 535 pounds of explosives, meaning the MOP would deliver 10 times the explosive power.

The Air Force and Department of Defense are looking to accelerate its development, hoping that its radar-evading B-2 bomber will be carrying this sucker by July 2010.


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AMD Phenom II 965 to Debut on August 13th

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 09:00AM
Author: redtigerdragon

That's right, AMD's newest Black Edition CPU, the 965, is getting ready for its debut. The Quad-core AM3 processor will add another 0.20GHz over the 955 to come in at 3.40GHz, and will of course sport the unlocked multiplier for those who want higher speeds still. The NDA is supposedly done on the August 13th, so keep your eyes peeled here for a review on it (because really, we do have the best reviews). The chip was briefly listed on an online retailer, Technologic, for 178.97 GBP (roughly 302.98 USD), while price predictions put it $250-270 USD, just like the 955.


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BFG GTX 285 and GTX 295 With Self-Contained Liquid Cooling

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 01:04PM
Author: jammin

The latest additions to BFG's graphics line up will feature self-contained liquid cooling systems, which the company claims can reduce temperatures up to 30c under load when compared with traditional air cooled models. The two cards, the GeForce GTX 295 H2OC and the GeForce GTX 285 H2O+ will both ship with a ThermoIntelligence Advanced Cooling Solution provided by CoolIT. The system features a combined pump, fan and radiator assembly that installs to a rear fan mount in your case. The system is also designed to be maintenance free, which means no re-filling is required. Three different settings, Auto, Quiet and Maximum aim to give you control over cooling performance and noise. Naturally, the cards also come with bumped clockspeeds out of the box and will be available (in limited quantities) in the U.S. (through Newegg) and the U.K. soon. You should be able to pick up the GTX 295 H2OC starting tomorrow and the GTX 285 H2O+ on August 12th, though no pricing information is given.


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Can't Get a Job? Sue Your School!

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 01:42PM
Author: ClayMeow

At least that's what Trina Thompson, a 27-year-old recent graduate of New York's Monroe College advises. Thompson graduated in April with a bachelor of business administration degree in information technology. On July 24, she filed suit against the college, alleging that Monroe's "Office of Career Advancement did not help me with a full-time job placement. I am also suing them because of the stress I have been going through." She seeks $70,000 in tuition reimbursement and another $2,000 to compensate for the stress of not finding a job... after a mere three months of searching! Seriously?

There are several people who have been without a job for well over three months, yet she claims that "any reasonable employer would pounce on an applicant with her academic credentials, which include a 2.7 grade-point average and a solid attendance record." Again, I must ask, seriously? I mean no offense to her or others that have a 2.7 or lower GPA, but that's certainly not a GPA I would call "good," and especially not one that would cause potential employers to "pounce" over; especially from an unranked school. She has apparently peppered companies on Monroe's e-recruiting site with résumés, yet received no more than two responses, neither of which led to a job offer. According to Thompson, Monroe's Office of Career Advancement has not tried hard enough for her, suggesting that the department should have made sure the college's e-recruiting clients called recent graduates for an interview. Seriously?

Then again, maybe Monroe College is partially to blame. After all, if she's that naive to think that a 2.7 GPA is going to garner a large amount of offers in this economy, then maybe Monroe College needs to start offering a course in common sense and make its completion a graduation requirement.


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Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 RC Released

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 01:47PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Microsoft has announced today that Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 has reached the "release candidate" and is now available for download. While Windows 7 is heavily based on Vista, and many applications and drivers have made the migration, Windows XP Mode serves as a kind of "backup plan" for all those really, really old apps that some of us can't bear to lose. Working much like a VMWare machine, Windows XP runs inside a virtual machine, and the best part is that all versions of Windows 7 that have the XP Mode available (namely Professional and Ultimate) come with a free Windows XP license. It's like having your cake, and running an old program on top of it too!

Features announced in this morning's Windows Team Blog include:

  • The ability to attach USB drives to your machine, and have Windows XP Mode see them.
  • Being able to boot to a program in XP Mode from shortcuts in your Windows 7 Start Menu (AKA, the "Jump List").
  • Being able to enable or disable drive sharing between Windows XP Mode and Windows 7, effectively giving you the option to have Windows XP completely cut off from the rest of your system.

Windows XP Mode requires that your processor has virtualization instructions built in, but as long as your PC is less than two or three years old, this shouldn't be an issue.


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Intel Lynnfield CPU Benchmarks Posted

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 01:52PM
Author: jammin

If previous reports are anything to go by, we should be seeing the first LGA 1156 socket CPUs from Intel start to pop up sometime next month. In anticipation of that launch a Chinese site has published some benchmark results after some hands-on time with some of the new processors. Some of the salient information to come out of the article (translated) are the effects of the new Turbo Boost technology Intel has implemented bumping the core speed of a Core i7 870 to 3.2GHz from 2.93GHz stock, as well as pipping the existing Core i7 920 in overall performance despite the step down to a dual-channel memory set up and the old DMI rather than new QPI interconnect. The difference in frequency between the two processors naturally comes in to play here, with the Core i7 920 ceding nearly 300MHz in that regard. 

The Core i5 750 (2.66GHz) also puts up some pretty sturdy numbers, beating out the older Q9550 but falls behind the Core i7 920 to slot in neatly between the two lineups. The Core i7 870 therefore takes up a position somewhere between current Core i7 920 and 950. Testing also shows the new platform making improvements to power management at both idle and load, though that was also to be expected. The Chinese site also seems hopeful of the overclocking potential of the chips, though I will let you negotiate the broken English yourself and see what you can glean on that one (implications that 4GHz may not be too hard to reach with an i5 seem to be encouraging). We'll see how all these numbers hold up once the CPUs get officially released.


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Mac OS X 10.6 Pre-order Takes Top Software Spot on Amazon

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 02:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The newest upgrade to OS X, Snow Leopard, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, and currently occupies the top spot on the Software Bestseller List. There are several versions available, including a $30 upgrade version for those users who already have the Leopard version. Features of the upgraded OS include upgrades to popular features such as Exposé and Time Machine. In addition to the new features, Snow Leopard will free hard drive space when installed. The Windows 7 pre-sales are notably further down the list. Clearly this is an indication that Mac users are more excited and willing to upgrade to the new OS, and likely has nothing to do with the Windows 7 pre-orders being released further back in time. I'm sure the Windows 7 pre-orders didn't top the list when it became available, even accompanied by the tremendous sale prices.


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US Military Personnel to Get Google Voice

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 02:53PM
Author: CheeseMan42

As of today, anyone with a .mil e-mail address will have access to the Google Voice service. The invite only service provides users with a way to have all calls and text messages sent to a single number. In addition, the service provides users with a voice mail box to receive all messages. This could be the most valuable service to military personnel according to U.S. Army Sgt. Dale Sweetnam. He told of how difficult it was for him to contact his family while deployed in Iraq. The large time difference makes it difficult to get in touch with loved ones back home, but with Google Voice they will be able to leave messages at any time they want. This is truly a great thing that Google is doing for those serving this country.


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No Levelling in Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG?

Posted: August 4, 2009 @ time: 05:05PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

The latest edition of Famitsu Wave, a popular DVD based gaming magazine in Japan, has been released, and this months edition has some very interesting information regarding Square-Enix's newest MMORPG. Apparently, there will be no levelling system and no experience points. There will still be jobs that a player can do, and whether or not these jobs will grant added abilities is unconfirmed. Also it is mentioned that weapons will have a greater focus, so perhaps better weapons will equal better stats? Of course teaming up with friends for large scale battles is possible, but lone-rangers will still have plenty to do, as the regular battles will be one-on-one.

The game is slated for release on PS3 and PC sometime in 2010.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 04:13AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup contains a nice mix of reviews and articles covering a variety of topics. Let's get started by checking out a couple of CPU coolers including the Xigmatek Thor's Hammer (reviewed by OCC here) and Cooler Master's Hyper 212+ (also reviewed by OCC here). Both units feature four direct touch heatpipes in a tower design and you can check out the reviews to see how each performs. We also get a couple of looks at AMD 790FX and 785G chipset boards. Of course, we have more for your mid-week reading so check out the rest of the links below.

Cooling
Xigmatek S126384 Thors Hammer Stacked Heatpipe Heatsink @ FrostyTech
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ @ Bjorn3D

Motherboards
MSI 790FX-GD70 AMD Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
AMD 785G Chipset IGP Video Performance Preview @ Neoseeker

Notebooks
Acer Aspire One D250-1165 Netbook @ TweakTown

Operating Systems
How To Install Windows 7 from a USB Flash Drive @ Legit Reviews

Power Supplies
Coolermaster Sna95 Univeral Notebook Adapter @ RBMods

Software
Tech Tip: Remove notification bar in AVG 8.5 @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
RaidSonic Icy Box IB-MP309HW-B HD Network Media Player @ TweakTown

Video
Khronos' President talks OpenCL, DX Compute Shader, and more @ Tech Report
Zotac GTX 285 Infinity @ XSReviews

Miscellany
The Age Of The Roundup @ Madshrimps


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Battle.net Upgrades Delay StarCraft II Release

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 03:33PM
Author: d3bruts1d

In a post on the Battle.net forums, Blizzard today announced that the release for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has been pushed back to the first half of next year. The overhaul of the Battle.net system, which will be the only multiplayer option, is taking far longer than Blizzard had anticipated.

Over the past couple of weeks, it has become clear that it will take longer than expected to prepare the new Battle.net for the launch of the game. The upgraded Battle.net is an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward. This extra development time will be critical to help us realize our vision for the service.

Our mission is to develop games that deliver an epic entertainment experience. As part of that commitment, we will always take as much time as needed to ensure that our games and services meet the expectations of our players and the standard for quality that we set for ourselves as developers. As we work to make Battle.net the premier online gaming destination, we’ll also continue to polish and refine StarCraft II, and we look forward to delivering a real-time strategy gaming experience worthy of the series’ legacy in the first half of 2010.

 Perhaps Blizzard should just scrap the Battle.net idea, and let fans have the LAN option that they want. Feel free to chime in on your thoughts concerning the absence of LAN multiplayer in our forums.


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Apple Releases OS X 10.5.8 Update

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 03:54PM
Author: d3bruts1d

On Wednesday afternoon, Apple released a new update for OS X 10.5 (Leopard). With the upcoming release of OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), the 10.5.8 update could possibly be the one this cat sees. As always, the update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac. The full list of changes include:

  • Upgrades Safari to version 4.0.2.
  • Improves the accuracy of full history search in Safari 4.
  • Resolves an issue in which certain resolutions might not appear in the Display pane in System Preferences.
  • Dragging an Aperture image into Automator now invokes an Aperture action instead of incorrectly invoking an iPhoto action.
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent importing of large photo and movie files from digital cameras.
  • Improves overall Bluetooth reliability with external devices, USB webcams and printers.
  • Addresses an issue that could cause extended startup times.
  • Improves iCal reliability with MobileMe Sync and CalDav.
  • Addresses data reliability issues with iDisk and MobileMe.
  • Improves overall reliability with AFP.
  • Improves overall reliability with Managed Client.
  • Improves compatibility and reliability for joining AirPort networks.
  • Improves Sync Service reliability.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
  • Improves compatibility with some external USB hard drives.
  • Includes latest security fixes.

The update can be downloaded via the System Update utility (165 MB) or directly from Apple (274 MB).


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Google Acquires On2 for $106.5 Million

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 04:16PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google announced the purchase of On2 Technologies today in exchange for $106.5 million in stock. On2 produces video compression software which can export to various formats such as Flash. The video compression software will likely be used in conjunction with YouTube to provide an enhanced viewing experience. On2 also has its' hands in embedded video codecs used in devices such as mobile phones. This is also a great deal for anyone who owned a piece of On2, as the Google deal provides a 57% premium over its previous stock price.


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Google Release Chrome Beta 3

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 04:17PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google released an updated version of the Chrome web browser, dubbed Chrome Beta 3. This new version promises new features and increased speed. Two of the new features center on the new tab page that users see when first opening the program. Users can now arrange the previously visited thumbnails, as well as pin them in place so they cannot be displaced. The new beta also tested faster by 20%+ in both the V8 and SunSpider Javascript benchmarks, something the average user may not notice. One of my personal favorite upgrades is the option to choose the theme for your browser, giving users the option to change from the default blue and white color scheme. The only announcement that could have mind this better in my mind would have been a release for Linux.


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Left 4 Dead DLC Coming Next Month

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Valve has announced some new DLC for Left 4 Dead, which will hopefully relieve some of the anguish caused when Left 4 Dead 2 was announced. The new campaign is entitled Crash Course and will be released with single player, co-op, and versus modes. The name seems fitting as Valve is hoping to provide a versus mode experience lasting roughly 30 minutes, much less than the current situation. Crash Course takes place between the No Mercy and Death Toll campaigns, providing gamers with some information as to what happened between the two. PC gamers will get the DLC for free, while Xbox 360 owners will have to pay 560 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live.


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Kingston Announces DDR3-2133 CL8 1.65V HyperX RAM

Posted: August 5, 2009 @ time: 05:24PM
Author: JifDaKiwi

Kingston has today announced that a new fast, blue flagship is on the horizon.  Due to release in September (right around when Intel's Core i5 range, and the accompanying P55 motherboards should be hitting the shelves), the 2133Mhz CL8 kits of DDR3 will be Kingston's fastest rated RAM in terms of pure clock speed, will be low latency, and will run at a mere 1.65V to boot, giving plenty of headroom for overclocking potential.  Kingston's current closest kit in terms of speed is 3GB of DDR3-2000 with CL9 timings, so these modules are a good step forward.  It is not specified if the kits will be a dual or triple channel, but as with all HyperX ram, it will have a lifetime warranty and the infamous blue heat-spreaders.


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NZXT Announces Beta EVO Chassis

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 02:42AM
Author: premiumgfx

NZXT has announced a new addition to its line-up of cases: the Beta EVO. NZXT says that it designed the Beta EVO due to the good response received about its predecessor, the Beta. The Beta EVO is constructed of steel and features four external 5.25" drive bays, a horizontal HDD cage and tool-less HDD installation. The Beta EVO also includes space for up to six 120mm and two 140mm fans. The case is pre-drilled for the easy installation of water-cooling set-ups. To keep costs down, the Beta EVO does not include any fans. The Beta EVO chassis will retail for US$50 and will be available for purchase in September. In the mean time you check out OCC's review of the EVO's predecessor (the NZXT Beta) here.


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EVGA Launches Two New CO-OP GTX 295s

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 03:00AM
Author: premiumgfx

EVGA today announced the launch of two new GTX 295s, the EVGA GTX 295 CO-OP Superclocked and FTW edition video cards. Both cards are based on NVIDIA's single-PCB GTX 295 revision and feature dual GT200 GPUs backed by 480 stream processors, a dual 448 bit memory interface and a 1972MB memory buffer. The less powerful Superclocked edition runs at 602MHz/1296MHz/2052MHz and the faster FTW model is clocked at 684MHz/1476MHz/2160MHz for the GPU, shaders and memory respectively. Both cards are significantly overclocked in comparison to the stock GTX 295 speeds of 576MHz/1242MHZ/2000MHz (GPU/shaders/memory). The Superclocked and FTW models are cooled by the same dual slot cooler and come equipped with DX10, PhysX, CUDA and dual DVI support. Both cards are currently available on EVGA's online store retailing at US$559.99 for the FTW model and US$519.99 for the Superclocked variant.


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Arctic Cooling Readies Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 03:13AM
Author: premiumgfx

Arctic Cooling is working on the long awaited revision of its Freezer 7 Pro CPU cooler. The Freezer 7 Pro has been very popular among enthusiasts since it was launched, offering good value and performance. The new revision will support the Intel LGA 1156 and LGA1366 sockets, meaning it will be compatible with the Core i7 and upcoming Core i5 CPUs. It will also support AMD's 939, AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket CPUs. The Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 features six copper heatpipes, 42 aluminum fins and a 92mm fan with a variable RPM ranging from 900 to 2500RPM. The Rev.2 also comes pre-applied with Arctic Cooling's MX-2 thermal paste for good conductivity. The Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 should be available soon and will retail for US$28.90/€20.90 excluding tax.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 04:22AM
Author: Nemo

Many manufacturers have released motherboards based on AMD's recently released 785G chipset with integrated graphics and we get another look at what's involved in today's roundup; you can also check out OCC's look at several boards based on the chipset here. We also have a couple of GeForce graphics cards reviews including the Inno3d GTS 250 and the Zotac GTX 285 AMP Edition. Keeping things cool while also maintaining noise levels due to fan speeds is the job of the NZXT Sentry 2 touchscreen fan controller (also reviewed by OCC here). Feel free to follow the links below for more reviews.

Cooling
Jetart ezFan @ XSReviews
NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller @ Neoseeker

Motherboards
AMD's 785G integrated graphics chipset @ Tech Report

Notebooks
ASUS Eee PC 1005HA Seashell Netbook @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Cresyn C750E Premium Sound Isolating In-Ear Headphones @ Tweaknews
Eagle Arion 2.1 iDock Speakers with Subwoofer @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Four Kingston SSDNow E (Intel X25-E) SSDs in RAID 0 - Win 7 @ TweakTown
Corsair P64 SSD @ Bjorn3D

Video
Inno3D GeForce GTS 250 iChiLL FreezerX 1GB Graphics Card @ TweakTown
Zotac GeForce GTX285 AMP Edition 1204MB GDDR3 @ Motherboards.org


Complete Story


Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 07:13AM
Author: DLS2008

Logitech has presented the next addition to its line of gaming mice, the Logitech Gaming Mouse G500. This new mouse is an improvement to the beloved Logitech G5 Laser Mouse. It brings a new gaming-grade laser engine that will allow gamers to play at the top of their game. The new engine can register hand speeds up to 165 inches per second (ips) and acceleration up to 30gs. The new mouse also gives users the ability to change the precision by adjusting the dpi on-the-fly, "from pixel-precise targeting (200 dpi) to lightning-fast maneuvers (up to 5700 dpi)." Using the Logitech Gaming Software allows the dpi to be adjusted in increments of 100 dpi. The new battle worn finish is designed to give the mouse a look that is more appealing to gamers. The larger thumb rest and reshaped pinkie ledge are supposed to provide greater comfort during use. The mouse includes onboard memory to store game settings and 10 buttons to use for easy access to macros. Like the G5, the G500 offers up to 27g of weights to adjust the feel and movement of the mouse to suit the user's likings. The G500 is expected to hit retail markets in September for $69.99.


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Hitachi Releases First 7,200RPM 2TB Hard Drive

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 07:27AM
Author: DLS2008

Hitachi has become the first manufacturer to ship 2TB 7,200RPM hard drives. You may be wondering how that can be, but it's true. While Western Digital launched the first 2TB hard drive, it was only 5,400RPM. The new 2TB Deskstar 7K2000 should prove to be a strong performer. The drive uses 5 platters, which means that each platter stores an impressive ~400GB of data. The drive uses Hitachi's perpendicular magnetic recording to cram all of that data into such a small space. The new drives will ship with 32MB of cache and a standard SATA 3Gb/s interface. The higher rotation speed, large cache, and SATA connection should help this drive become one of the leading storage devices available in its storage capacity category. While Hitachi has stated that this new drive is now shipping, there was no information released about how soon it will appear on retailer's shelves, nor how much it will retail for.


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Microsoft Releases Windows 7 to MSDN and Technet

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 04:29PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Windows 7 was made available to MSDN and Technet subscribers today. I currently only have access to the Windows 7 Ultimate RC, so perhaps the MSDNAA isn't included. Customers with volume licensing agreements with Software Assurance will get access tomorrow. Those without Software Assurance will have to wait until September 1, with Gold and Certified partners gaining access August 16. Microsoft has tried to involve hardware and software partners along the development as much as possible, hopefully leading to greater adoption, compatibility, and functionality. Current predictions estimate that 177 million copies of Windows 7 will ship by the end of next year.


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PS3 Slim Rumors Could Be Confirmed Soon

Posted: August 6, 2009 @ time: 04:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A number of rumors seem to be pointing toward a new version of the PS3, the PS3 Slim. Much like the redone Slim PS2, the new version will be smaller and likely cheaper. A Japanese retailer has indicated that the 80GB model will no longer be available from Sony after August 9. This is the only version of the system available in Japan, leading to the conclusion that a new model is likely. Orders for components that make up the PS3 have also increased, according to sources at integrated circuit manufacturers. Speculation also points to a reduction in price, as the cost to manufacture the PS3 has decreased substantially since the initial release.


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One Single User Attacked on Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and LiveJournal at Once

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 02:58AM
Author: kingdingeling

One single Georgian blogger's internet appearance was attacked in a multi-site attack on Thursday, causing Twitter to temporarily go down. The blogger known as "Cyxymu" (which is a town in the Republic of Georgia) was the target of a "simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard", the chief security officer of Facebook Max Kelly said. Investigations are underway to find out from where and by who the attacks came. The nature of the attack was a so-called Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack, which means that a certain webpage is hit by too many connections at once, making it inaccessible from the web. The requires a lot of hits at one specific time, so it is unlikely that this attack was generated by spam, but much rather by tens of thousands of hijacked computers all bombarding the site at once.


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Pirate Bay Buyer Global Gaming Factor Under Pressure from Record Labels

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 04:06AM
Author: kingdingeling

Shortly after the Pirate Bay lawsuit was over, the Swedish based internet cafe operator Global Gaming Factor (GGF) aquired the Pirate Bay. The planned business model was to make users pay a small fee to be able to download the media provided, therefore following the idea of the iTunes store. However, GGF might just have some problems soon. Some European record label CEOs wrote a letter to the Swedish government asking them to pressure GGF to turn over any money they use to aquire the Pirate Bay to the labels, instead of to Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, the owner.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 04:20AM
Author: Nemo

AMD's recent launch of the 785G chipset was accompanied by simultaneous announcements of new motherboards from several motherboard manufacturers. Today we get a chance to check out the Gigabyte MA785GMT-UD2H motherboard (see the OCC preview here). If you're looking to build a small form factor system there's the MSI X58M micro ATX board which allows you to take advantage of Intel's top-end X58 chipset. Back on the AMD side of things today's roundup includes a review of the Phenom II X4 955 processor (also reviewed by OCC here). That leaves us with more reviews on storage devices, videocards and cooling devices including the NZXT Cryo S laptop cooler (reviewed by OCC here) so settle in and check out the rest of the reviews using the links below.

Cooling
NZXT Cryo S @ RBMods
3RSystem Iceage 90 Heatsink @ FrostyTech

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Processor @ TweakTown

Motherboards
MSI X58M LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX Motherboard @ Madshrimps
GIGABYTE MA785GMT-UD2H Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
Apple 13" Macbook Pro @ HotHardware

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston 32GB DataTraveler 112 USB Flash Drive @ Legit Reviews
OCZ Vertex 60GB & Agility 128GB @ Bjorn3D

Video
VisionTek HD 4890 OC @ Neoseeker


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Gulftown May Not Need Anything New on X58

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 07:07AM
Author: redtigerdragon

A slide was recently leaked that showed some of the specs on Intel's upcoming Gulftown processor. Some information is already well known, like the fact that it will be Intel's first high-end CPU based on the 32 nm HKMG process. Also well known is the fact that it will have six physical cores, and with HyperThreading, will have twelve logical cores. It also will have the same integrated memory controller as the current i7 900 series, supporting DDR3-1066 (although the current 900 series can work at higher memory speeds). The best part is that all of these features have the same TDP rating as the current 900 series processors, at 130W. This could essentially mean that the processors could just drop right into the current LGA-1366 motherboards and hit the ground running. It is currently set to be released in Q2 2010.


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Phenom II X2 BE: Intel Style

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 12:05PM
Author: redtigerdragon

AMD's business model must have struck a chord (and nerve) with Intel. AMD has two great dual-core processors, the Phenom II X2 and the Athlon II X2. These newer processors run on the AM3 socket and are fabricated using the 45nm process, but the bigger news is that they are sub-$100 with loads of extras for our overclocking pleasures (unlocked multipliers, and even unlocking cores). Up until now, Intel's pickings in this market were slim. Now, they are unveiling the E6500K. The new processor is based off of the 45nm Wolfdale-2m core, and comes clocked at 2.93 GHz (11 x 266). It has a 2MB L2 cache, and a FSB frequency of 1066MHz (compared to 800MHz of the E5000 series). But the best part I saved for last (to keep you reading the article, of course): it has an unlocked multiplier! Currently, the chip is available in China for RMB 1299 ($190), but look for it to make its US debut soon for around $89.


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Eric Schmidt's Compensation From Apple Revealed

Posted: August 7, 2009 @ time: 01:42PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Google executive who recently left his position on Apple's Board of Directors didn't accept a single dollar from the company during his tenure. SEC filings reveal that Schmidt only accepted new Apple products, despite being allowed stock options and a retainer fee. Schmidt instead opted to buy shares at full price in the stock market, more than doubling his money in the process. Schmidt is only paid $1 a year by Google, and no longer accepts stock options. The Federal Trade Commission was planning to launch an investigation into possible collaboration between Apple and Google due to the numerous markets that their products overlap.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: August 8, 2009 @ time: 11:28AM
Author: Nemo

Solid state drives are becoming common place these days - at least in the world of reviews. The speed and power saving advantages are the biggest advantages, but one not so little aspect of solid state drives is the performance degradation that occurs over time. The latest round of drives from Intel promote the ability to upgrade the firmware to be able to use the TRIM function to supported under Windows 7 when its released this fall. OCZ and Indilinx have worked together on a new set of firmware that helps reduce the problem and restore drives to like-new performance. Our weekend roundup also includes a look at Sapphire's Radeopn HD 4890 Vapor-X 2GB graphics card (also reviewed by OCC here).

Cases
Ikonik Ra X10 SIM Aluminum Full Tower @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
ASRock X58 Extreme Core i7 Motherboard @ TweakTown
Asus : Gigabyte : MSI : P55 Motherboard Preview @ Motherboards.org

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ and Indilinx Collaborate On New SSD Garbage Collection Scheme @ HotHardware

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 2GB Vapor-X Graphics Card @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Dell Discontinues 12-inch Netbooks

Posted: August 9, 2009 @ time: 06:36AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Dell has officially stopped producing 12-inch netbooks, but will continue to produce 10-inch netbooks. Dell claims that it is because most consumers prefer a 10-inch screen for netbooks, and the 12-inch models require more computing power to run. However, if the screens both run at the same resolution, the larger models should only require more battery power. The trade-off is usually considered to be worth it, as a larger screen is much easier on the eyes. There is some speculation that Intel could be behind the move by Dell, which would likely land them in some sort of regulatory hot water. 12-inch netbooks are leading consumers away from purchasing more expensive dual core machines, which will hurt the bottom line at Intel. Intel has been charging more money for Atom processors based on the screen size of the machine the chips are going in.


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