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News Archives for December 2009

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC Beta Pushed Back

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 02:17AM
Author: premiumgfx

The PC Beta for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been pushed back to 'early next year'. DICE says that it needs more time to put the final touches on the PC Beta, causing the delay. Some of the features DICE is enhancing on the PC version include support for up to 32 players in multiplayer (compared to 24 players in the console version) and support for dedicated servers to ensure a smooth gameplay experience. In the meantime PC players can feel good knowing that DICE has confirmed that Bad Company 2 will support DirectX 9, 10 and 11 although DirectX 10 and 11 will be available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 only. It is expected the beta will release early next year and all signs point to a January launch; as the saying goes: "quality takes time".


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Gigabyte Prepares Odin Plus Series PSUs

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 02:31AM
Author: premiumgfx

Gigabyte is preparing some new additions to its power supply line-up, the Odin Plus series. The Odin Plus series are targeted at mainstream users and will be available in 500W, 600W and 700W variants. All PSUs in the series will contain Japanese-made solid-state capacitors, 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors and multiple +12V rails. The new PSUs will also meet the ATX 2.3 standards along with the RoHS and WEEE specifications. Each PSU will include a 24 pin ATX, 4+4 pin CPU, at least three molex and at least four SATA power connectors depending on the model. The Odin Plus series are eligible for 80 Plus Bronze certification and are expected to be available in the near future for around US$165 to US$210.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 04:16AM
Author: Nemo

Another busy day on the review  front so let's not waste any time. We'll get our feet wet by looking at a pair of cases - the first is the mid-tower Lian Li PC B25F followed by the In Win Maelstrom full-tower case (also reviewed by OCC here). There are a couple of reviews on GeForce GT 240 graphics cards from EVGA and Gainward. In the cooling department there is the Evercool HPK-10025EA CPU cooler along with the Titan Skalli cooler (check out the OCC review here). Today that just barely scratches the surface, so hit the links below for all of the reviews in the Tuesday roundup.

Cases
Lian Li PC B25F @ XSReviews
In Win Maelstrom Full Tower Computer Case @ Tweaknews

Cooling
Evercool HPK-10025EA Intel Heatsink @ FrostyTech
Titan Skalli TTC-NC05TZ/NPW (RB) CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Digital Photography/Video
Nikon D5000 DSLR @ HotHardware

Gaming
Borderlands Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ardOCP
Serious Sam HD (PC) @ Gamingheaven

Input Devices
Steelseries Xai Gaming Mouse @ Driverheaven

Motherboards
ASUS is prepping phone-based PC overclocking for future motherboards @ PC Perspective
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H Motherboard @ PCSTATS

Networking
Trendnet 150Mbps Mini Wireless N USB Adapter @ Rbmods

Power Supplies
Seasonic X-750 750W 80Plus Gold Power Supply @ PCSTATS

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY DOCK MB668U-1SB 2.5-inch External Hard Drive Enclosure @ ThinkComputers

Video
EVGA GeForce GT 240 SuperClocked Video Card @ Legit Reviews
Gainward GeForce GT 240 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Video: Building a New PC Tutorial and Walkthrough @ PC Perspective
Bjorn3D Christmas Extravaganza Contest and Sapphire Xmas Contest (International) @ Bjorn3D


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GPU-Z Version 0.3.8 Released

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 11:53AM
Author: gebraset

TechPowerUp has just released an update to their GPU-Z application that adds a couple new features and fixes multiple crashes. This new version, which brings the program to 0.3.8, adds sensors to monitor the GPU load percentages on NVIDIA based graphics cards, improves overall detection for ATI M86, and adds framework for translations within the program itself so many languages can be supported. Also included in the update are fixes to NVAPI crashes, and a rare crash that previously occurred when PhysX was not available during the time of GPU-Z being loaded and used. The program can be downloaded directly from TechPowerUp, but can be also gotten from other websites as well offering the most updated version of the graphics card monitoring utility.


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Ubisoft Working on New Prince of Persia Title

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 12:09PM
Author: gebraset

Prince of Persia has been a favorite title among gamers for many years now since the first one came out and was soon enjoyed over personal computers, consoles, and even handhelds. Ubisoft, who is known to make excellent gaming titles such as the Splinter Cell games, has announced that it is currently working on a new Prince of Persia game to follow in the already popular series. While not much about the game is known at the moment, it is slated to come out in May of next year if development goes as scheduled with the developer. This should coincide with the Prince of Persia movie, which is supposed to come out on the May 28 next year. Both multimedia projects are excepted to promote each other and should help increase the total revenue between the movie, as well as the game, which will be playable on a variety of different gaming platforms when it becomes available.


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Facebook Now Blocked In Vietnam

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 12:46PM
Author: gebraset

In what is still a heavily communist country, Vietnam has gone through various plans to restrict access to certain websites and other multimedia in an effort to stop dissent. Sadly, they have now blocked Facebook from being available to everyone living in Vietnam, though some people have been able to get around the blocking by using an open DNS setup or by using proxies that are able to work around the restrictions. Earlier this year, there was a localized version of the popular social networking site released for the approximately 1 million users, but it has now been blocked completely in the country, though Vietnamese authorities have not given the exact reason beside dissent.


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Office 2010 to be Released in June 2010

Posted: December 1, 2009 @ time: 06:43PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The newest iteration of the Microsoft productivity suite will be available to users in June of next year. One of the most interesting aspects of the new version, will be the release of an online version of the software. This puts Microsoft into a market that Google has already established itself in, but the functionality typically available in the Microsoft versions could put it over the top. The applications will all be free, and users can launch them from their Windows Live portal. However, the online versions won't be as full featured as the full desktop versions. In addition, corporate customers can even deploy the web version on their own servers.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: December 2, 2009 @ time: 06:07AM
Author: Nemo

Our mid-week review hit the jackpot today with enough content to keep you busy for quite a while. In the storage department there are reviews on the Kingston SSDnow 40GB solid state drive (read the OCC review here), Thecus' N0503 Combo NAS device, a 500GB external hard drive from Simpletech and a 16GB flash drive from Kingston - that pretty much covers all the bases. The Thermaltake Element T case (also reviewed by OCC here) offers a lot for a mid-tower case in the sub $100 range. All of the reviews are linked below, so get busy and enjoy!

Cases
Thermaltake Element T Gaming Case @ Legit Reviews

Gaming
BLUR Fast Track Gameplay Video 1080p ! @ Motheboards.org (YouTube link)
The Saboteur (PS3 & X360) @ Gamingheaven

Input Devices
Razer President Robert Krakoff speaks to DriverHeaven @ DriverHeaven
Roccat Kova Mouse @ Rbmods
Razer DeathAdder @ Neoseeker

Media Players
Patriot Box Office HD Media Player Firmware P02 Update @ Legit Reviews

Memory
G.Skill Ripjaws PC3-16000 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Motherboards
GIGABYTE P55A-UD6 Motherboard @ Motherboards.org
ASUS P7P55D Evo Intel P55 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies
Seasonic X Series 750W Power Supply @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Speedlink Gravity Blaster @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston SSDNow 40 GB Solid State Boot Drive @ Motherboards.org (YouTube link)
Thecus N0503 Combo NAS @ Tweaknews
Simpletech by Hitachi SimpleTOUGH 500GB USB 2.0 External Enclosure @ TweakTown
Kingston 16GB DataTraveler Locker+ @ Techgage

Video
Sapphire's Bill Donnelly talks to DriverHeaven @ DriverHeaven
DiRT2 DirectX 11 ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series Comparison @ TweakTown
Overclocking with MSI Afterburner @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
Game of the Year 2009 Awards @ DriverHeaven


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Acer Aims to Bring Chrome OS to Netbooks Before Anyone Else

Posted: December 2, 2009 @ time: 07:13AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Chairman of Acer has stated that his company will be the first to release a netbook running the Chrome OS from Google. The netbook is set to be released in the second half of next year, following the projections from Google. However, Acer has been working on the netbook for a few months now and could have a head start on the competition. Dell has already made a custom build of Chromium OS for its mini10v, which users can get for free. There are several other companies that will be releasing their own netbook based on Chrome OS, so consumers will have a wide array of choices.


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Firefox Sees More User Gains

Posted: December 2, 2009 @ time: 12:14PM
Author: gebraset

As the open source community grows as a whole and more users are looking for cheap and free software in a tough economy, the sheer number of users is rising and has been for some time. Firefox, just one of the open source web browsers on the Internet along with various freeware browsers, has just now received the title of the most used browser in Germany. A local consulting firm has done the study, and showed that Firefox currently holds 45.6 percent of the market share in the country, while Internet Explorer accounts for just around 44.4 percent. The lead is marginal, and due to the firm being local and possibly not the best source of reliable numbers, the exact information may not be correct. Internet Explorer has slowly been declining concerning the mass number of users in Germany though, ever since the release of Firefox five years ago. Currently, the Microsoft browser leads Mozilla’s software Internet browser by roughly 25 percent worldwide, but is slowly taking over in multiple countries.


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Firmware Update Brings Back TRIM for Intel SSDs

Posted: December 2, 2009 @ time: 06:02PM
Author: jammin

Intel originally enabled TRIM command functionality on its X25-M G2 drives back in October, with a firmware update that users discovered had an uncanny habit of bricking drives (not so fun). That led to Intel pulling the update from its site and going back to fix whatever errors were causing the problems. The freshly released 02HD firmware should enable TRIM support without any of the bugs present in the first attempt. As we would always recommend with updates like this (particularly with the case of previous errors), it may be prudent to wait for a few users to try out the new firmware and report back before jumping on it. One would hope Intel has made sure it is safe this time around though, so if you do feel inclined to take the plunge you can grab the necessary files and instructions here. Happy Trimming!


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: December 3, 2009 @ time: 04:48AM
Author: Nemo

There's no time for idle chit-chat today so let's get right to it with a series of cases including the NZXT Beta (you can find the OCC review here), SilverStone's Temjin TJ108 and the Cooler Master HAS 932 (also reviewed by OCC here). There's also a look at four different cases in the Case in Point article. In cooling, we have reviews on the Gelid Tranquillo and Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (reviewed by OCC here) CPU coolers. We also have a nice selection of motherboards along with news on Intel's 48-core cloud computer. Sapphire's HD 5750 Vapor-X (check out OCC's review here) gets reviewed along with the Gigabyte HD 5970 and MSI N240GT cards.

Cases
NZXT Beta @ XSReviews
Silverstone Temjin TJ10B: Water Cooled with Silence @ Bjorn3D
Case In Point: Searching For the Perfect Mid-Tower @ HotHardware
Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Case @ PCSTATS

Cooling
GELID Tranquillo CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
Rogue Warrior (PC) @ GamingHeaven

CPUs
Intel Shows 48-core x86 Processor as Single-chip Cloud Computer @ PC Perspective
Intel Unveils 48-Core Single-Chip Cloud Computer @ HotHardware

Mobile
The iPhone becomes a victim of its own popularity @ TweakTown

Motherboards
Zotac Geforce 9300-ITX WiFi LGA775 Motherboard @ PC Perspective
P55 Motherboard Roundup December 2009 @ DriverHeaven
ASUS Maximus III Formula Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP

Notebooks
Dell's Studio 14z 14-inch notebook @ Tech Report

Operating Systems
Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows Vista @ PCSTATS

Power Supplies
Corsair TX950W 950 Watt Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP
Topower Tiger Series 1200W PSU @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel X25-M G2 34nm Firmware 2CV102HD Quick Test @ Madshrimps

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 5750 Vapor-X Video Card @ Legit Reviews
MSI N240GT @ NeoSeeker
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5970 2GB Video Card @ TweakTown


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Micron Working on Super Fast SSD

Posted: December 3, 2009 @ time: 11:11AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Micron is working on what it claims will be the fastest SSD available, with estimates that it will have 50% better transfer speeds than current models. The RealSSD C300 will utilize SATA 3.0 and the Open NAND Flash Interface. The combination of these technologies will allow for sequential read speeds up to 355MB/s, with write speeds about 150MB/s slower. The NAND chips used in the SSD are built on the 34nm process, allowing for double the amount of transistors in the same area. The new drives from Micron make the current speed king, the Intel X25-M, look almost like a disk hard drive. With speeds in both reads and writes more than 100MB/s faster, the Micron drives will be blazing fast by comparison. The 128GB model will sell for $350, and the 256GB for $715 in volume pricing.


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Thunderbird 3 Gets Updated

Posted: December 3, 2009 @ time: 12:36PM
Author: gebraset

Though still in the release candidate form, Mozilla is still at work on its email program. Version two of the program has been out for quite some time now, and version three has been in the talks for just as long. The new Thunderbird was supposed to be released last month, but the company is not yet sure at this point how much longer the program will take to compile and release as a final version. A couple updates have just been applied to the latest release candidate however, including a critical bug being patched that caused memory consumption issues, program hangs, as well as closings in all IMAP connections. Other problems that have been resolved in the new Thunderbird release are things such as the failing of the download more dictionaries button not opening, along with the enabling of downloaded new messages automatically for POP3 email accounts.


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WoW Player Completes All Achievements

Posted: December 3, 2009 @ time: 04:17PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A World of Warcraft player has completed all achievements found in the popular MMORPG. Many of you out there have likely done this with various games you have played over the years. However, World of Warcraft has 986 achievements. The player, Little Gray, has likely amassed thousands of hours in the game that many people just can't stop playing. However, he technically hasn't completed all of them, as a bug gave him credit for 2 achievements instead of one.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 05:16AM
Author: Nemo

As if you couldn't tell by the return of the annual OCC Christmas Contest, it's that time of year again and we have a couple of holiday season buying guides for you to read today. For those of you in the market for a new case, today's roundup includes three offerings from well-known manufacturers such as the Thermaltake Element G mid-tower case (reviewed by OCC here), SilverStone's SUGO small form factor case and the Antec Nine Hundred Two chassis (also reviewed by OCC here). We also get a look at Thor's Hammer CPU cooler from Xigmatek (check out the OCC review here) and the AMD Athlon II X2 240e & X3 435 processors (reviewed by OCC here).

Cases
Thermaltake Element G Gaming Case @ Legit Reviews
SilverStone SUGO SG04-FH Case @ Motherboards.org
Antec Nine Hundred Two Mid Tower Case @ ThinkComputers
Thermaltake Level 10 Chassis finally available...for $849!! @ PC Perspective

Cooling
Xigmatek Thor's Hammer CPU Cooler/Heatsink @ Tweaknews

CPUs
AMD Athlon II X2 240e & X3 435 @ Techgage

Input Devices
NZXT Avatar mouse @ Neoseeker

Motherboards
Gigabyte 333 Event - Details about SATA 6G and USB 3.0 @ Madshrimps

Networking
TRENDnet TV-M7 7-Inch Wireless IP Camera Monitor @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Seasonic X-Series 650W PSU @ DriverHeaven

Prebuilts
Asus EeeTop PC ET2002 @ HotHardware

Storage/Hard Drives
iStorage Pro iT8SAE 8-bay SAS / SATA Expander @ TweakTown
A-DATA SH93 Rugged Portable Hard Drive @ TechSpot

Video
ATI HD 5770 @ XSReviews
GIGABYTE 275GTX Super Overclock @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
TR's Christmas 2009 system guide @ Tech Report
PCPer Podcast #84 @ PC Perspective
TweakTown Holiday Buyers Guide 2009 @ TweakTown


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Human Brain Emulated - New Computer Architecture

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 09:40AM
Author: MrAlex

Researchers at Luleå University of Technology have created a new computer architecture that copies some of the human brains functions. This is a great step forward and due to the new development the research group has doubled in size. This new architecture contains three senses, although one is a combination of the first two. The first part is what we know as seeing – the part of the brain that deals with visual information and ‘models’ it – and the second part which we know as hearing – the part of the brain that constructs the sound so we can hear – while the third part is a fusion of both. The university has also stated that they’ve already began developing the nervous system.  This is a great step for the computer industry on a whole and many things can come of this – such as creating more complex computers and in turn more complex applications. “We have developed a model of how the various sources of information that complement each other, can get a better idea of what is happening. Better to the extent that we may see more than what the different parts look,” says Tamas Jantvik researcher at Luleå University of Technology.


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Mobile Twitter Site Receives Much Needed Facelift

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 12:18PM
Author: gebraset

Even though the previous Twitter website provided a place for users to send mobile tweets online to all of their friends and followers, it was poorly designed, and while functional, was not visually appealing. The new website has totally been redesigned for a sleek mobile user experience, which the previous site did not have whatsoever. All of the same features can still be found on the new revision of Twitter for mobile users, as the design is mainly the only thing changed. It has been built from the ground up using the API from Twitter, and works best with mobile phones that use the WebKit browser engine, which includes many popular Android phones as well as the Apple iPhone.
 


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Thermalright Spitfire VGA Cooler Announced

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 12:34PM
Author: MrAlex

Thermalright, a well-known manufacturer of high-end air cooling components has yet another cooler planned to be released and this time for your graphics card and it’s known as the Spitfire. This cooler weighs in at half a kilo and measures 147 (L) x 123 (W) x 154 (H) mm with a copper, nickel plated base, 6 copper heat pipes and support for a 120mm fan.  Price tag and release date are unavailable yet, but this is one to look out for. Supported cards are:

  • ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series
  • ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
  • ATI Radeon HD 3800 Series
  • ATI Radeon HD X1900, X1800, X1650, X850 and X800 Series
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 Series
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250, 9800 GTX/GT
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT, 9500 GT, 9400 GT
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS, 8800 GT, 8600 GTS,
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT, 7900 Series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 Series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Series
     


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Ryan Bredin (1981 - 2009), Rest in Peace

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 06:12PM
Author: Nemo

It is a very sad day here at Overclockers Club as one our long time staff members, Ryan Bredin, aka Verran, passed away last night after battling cancer for many years. Ryan was 28 years old. Ryan had served on the OCC staff for several years, first as a moderator and then as Senior Moderator. Ryan used his calm demeanor and good reasoning skills to keep the forums running smoothly and he loved a good discussion and could always be counted on to contribute his reasoned voice and opinion. Ryan is survived by his wife Kristin. There will be a Celebration of Life in Ryan's honor after the first of the year and we will let you know the details when they become available. In the mean time, please take a moment to remember Ryan in the forum thread. Goodbye to our friend Verran, you will be sorely missed around here.


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New Accessory to Help with Gmail

Posted: December 4, 2009 @ time: 07:26PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A new accessory that works with both Windows and Mac computers, the Gboard, is now available. The device features 19 common shortcuts for use with Gmail. Instead of remembering the different keyboard shortcuts, users can simply push the appropriate button. The Gboard can be had for $19.99, but seems like it will only appeal to the nerd who already has everything. The device is unable to handle all 69 shortcuts, and how much time it can actually save is questionable.


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Larrabee Not Coming Anytime Soon

Posted: December 5, 2009 @ time: 12:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel has announced that it is delaying the release of its Larrabee graphics processor indefinitely. No new launch was provided, and this isn't the first time it has been pushed back. Intel still intends to release the chip and plans to provide software and hardware to developers next year to begin the adoption of it. The x86 based chip was demoed at the Intel Developer Forum, but it is behind where Intel would like in development. Users will just have to settle for the offerings from ATI and Nvidia a little while longer.


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No More Family Pack for Windows 7

Posted: December 5, 2009 @ time: 12:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Just as the holiday shopping season is getting underway, Microsoft has pulled the family pack promotion for Windows 7. Consumers were able to get 3 licenses for the new OS for $50 each. Users will now be faced with a $120 upgrade price. The only motivation here is that Microsoft wants more money for every copy it sells. The family pack was a great deal while it lasted, and it still doesn't entirely make sense to me. By offering this cheap option, Microsoft could further expand the install base and get more users away from XP and Vista.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: December 5, 2009 @ time: 02:15PM
Author: Nemo

The weekend has rolled around once again and we have a nice collection of reviews and news for you to check out. We have several items of interest to gamers covering ATI performance - both good and bad - and a look at the console version of the game Avatar. We also managed to garner a trio of mother board reviews. Take some time out of your busy schedule to sit down and peruse all of the reviews using the links below.

Cooling
Noctua NH-D14 140mm CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Gaming
Avatar: The Game (X360 & PS3) @ GamingHeaven
Dirt 2 Performance Analysis DX11 - ATI @ DriverHeaven

Mobile
Proporta Turbo Charger 3400 @ XSReviews

Motherboards
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Performance on the ASUS P7P55D-E Premium Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
ECS P55H-A P55 Lynnfield Motherboard @ PC Perspective
MSI X58M Motherboard @ Rbmods

Notebooks
Dell Inspiron 13z @ DriverHeaven
ColcaSac Macbook Pro Notebook Case Sleeve @ Legit Reviews

Video
The Saboteur - ATI PC driver issues @ DriverHeaven
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition @ Motherboards.org

Miscellany
HotHardware and TechVi Video Podcast No. 5 @ HotHardware
Akira HD Movie @ TweakTown


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SilverStone Reveals Fortress FT02 Chassis

Posted: December 6, 2009 @ time: 01:36AM
Author: premiumgfx

SilverStone has revealed its newest PC chassis, the Fortress FT02. The Fortress is a cross between the uni-body design of the Temjin TJ07 and the 90 degree rotated motherboard of the Raven RV01. The new case features a padded interior to reduce noise, two 5.25" and five 3.5" drive bays and three 180mm fans for optimum cooling. The case is constructed from 4.5mm thick aluminum which helps add durability whilst maintaining portability. The Fortress supports EATX motherboards up to 11 inches wide and a dual ATI Radeon HD 5970 set-up if desired. The whole case measures 212mm x 497mm x 616mm (W x H x D) and will be available in either black or silver. The SilverStone Fortress FT02 will launch just before Christmas and is expected to retail at under US$300.


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Sudden Attack Mouse Released From SteelSeries

Posted: December 6, 2009 @ time: 12:32PM
Author: gebraset

Both manufacturers, Razer and SteelSeries, mainly rule the gaming world with their mice, keyboards, headsets, and even mouse pads. While both companies offer a broad spectrum of products to suite the needs of gamers across the world, SteelSeries is now offering a new limited edition Sudden Attack mouse that will retail for $79.99, which will offer built-in macro capabilities for RTS games as well as MMO gaming situations. Along with the new mouse that will feature a camouflage design on the top portion of it, a mouse pad that follows the same design will also be released as a limited edition product. The Sudden Attack mouse pad will offer a non-slip backing surface, and will sell for roughly $11.99, appealing to the more thrifty consumers in the gaming peripheral market.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: December 7, 2009 @ time: 05:40AM
Author: Nemo

The new SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 are moving from being a set of paper specs to reality as devices are now arriving on the market that implement the new standards. Today's roundup include reviews on the Gigabyte P55A-UD6 motherboard along with USB 3.0 performance using the Asus U3S6 add-in board. Our roundup also includes reviews on the latest 5000-series graphics cards from AMD including a head-to-head comparison between the GeForce GTX 295 and Radeon HD 5970 cards. Other reviews cover the NZXT Beta EVO case (also reviewed by OCC here) and more, so be sure to follow the links below for all of the reviews on tap today.

Cases
NZXT Beta EVO Black Mid-Tower Case @ Rbmods

Cooling
Rosewill RNA-7700 Silent 220mm Notebook Cooling Stand @ Legit Reviews

Gadgets
Roccat Apuri USB Hub with Mouse Bungee @ DriverHeaven

Gaming
Gaming in 2010 and Beyond - Where do we go from here? @ TweakTown

Memory
OCZ Platinum DDR3-1333 4GB Low Voltage Dual Channel Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
Gigabyte P55A-UD6 Sata 3 & USB 3.0 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D

Notebooks
Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 15.6-inch 3D Notebook @ TweakTown

Prebuilts
Giada Slim-N10 NVIDIA Ion Nettop Extremely Small and Stylish @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
A quick first look at USB 3.0 performance @ Tech Report

Video
Head to Head - GTX 295 VS ATI RADEON HD 5970 @ Motherboards.org
ATI Radeon HD 5770 CrossFireX Performance @ Techgage


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Upcoming Aliens vs. Predator Banned in Australia

Posted: December 7, 2009 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Rebellion, the developer of the new Aliens vs. Predator game, is refusing to censor the game after it was ruled too graphic for the MA15+ rating in Australia. The violent ways in which human players can die, in addition to excessive gore are what did this game in. The CEO of Rebellion understands the decision, and acknowledges that the game shouldn't be played by children, but that adult gamers should be able to make their own decisions. The video game classifications can be changed in Australia, but only if all 6 Attorney Generals agree to it. The only problem is that one of them won't reconsider, so those of you Down Under will just have to deal with censorship for now.


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New iPhone App Allows You to Tell AT&T Where They Suck

Posted: December 8, 2009 @ time: 04:40AM
Author: d3bruts1d

AT&T has released a free iPhone App called "Mark the Spot" [iTunes link] that allows you to let AT&T know where exactly their service sucks. The app first uses GPS on the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and tower triangulation on the first generation iPhone, to mark the problem location and then allows the user to report it as a dropped call, failed call, no coverage, data failure, or poor voice quality and finally allows you to specify the frequency of the problem from once to always.

John Donovan, AT&T Chief Technology said in the AT&T press release "With AT&T Mark the Spot, we’re applying the power of crowdsourcing to our ongoing efforts to enhance and expand our network. Feedback from customers via AT&T Mark the Spot, combined with data from more than 964,000 miles of drive testing conducted by an independent third-party source, will enable us to most quickly and effectively identify trends and maximize the impact of our ongoing network investment. We encourage all customers to download and use the app."

The release of this app is most likely a direct result of the ongoing battle between AT&T and Verizon. A couple of months ago, Verizon started the "There's a map for that" campaign, a play on Apple's "There's an app for that" iPhone commercials. Since then, AT&T attempted to sue Verizon, the lawsuits were thrown out or dropped (like an AT&T call?) and now AT&T and Apple are both running anti-Verizon ads in response. If you haven't had a chance to see them, the commercials for AT&T and Verizon are available on both companies Facebook profiles as well as YouTube.

The app may also be an attempt by AT&T to appease customers and to try and rebuild the company’s image before it loses the iPhone exclusivity. It is widely speculated that AT&T could lose its exclusive grip on the iPhone in 2010 allowing T-Mobile US and Sprint to pick up Apple's smart phone. Verizon is also hotly rumored to get the iPhone in 2010 or 2011.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: December 8, 2009 @ time: 05:09AM
Author: Nemo

Christmas is fast approaching and that means it's time for the annual gift-giving and shopping guides to make an appearance. If a new case is on your wish list this year you can check out the NZXT Panzerbox aluminum case (reviewed by OCC here) and the Thermaltake Element V full-tower case (you can read OCC's review here). Seagate has decided to enter the enterprise solid state drive market with its Pulsar line of drives. That leaves us with the Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU cooler (also reviewed by OCC here) and a long list of other reviews you can view by using the links below.

Cases
NZXT Panzerbox @ XSReviews
NZXT Panzerbox Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case @ PC Perspective
Thermaltake Element V VL20001W2Z Case @ Motherboards.org

Cooling
Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU Cooler @ Tweaknews

Digital Photgraphy/Video
Samsung SC-MX20E Digital Camcorder @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
DiRT 2 Demo DX11 Performance and IQ Preview @ [H]ardOCP
Napoleon: Total War Preview (PC) @ GamingHeaven

Memory
A-DATA Xtreme PC3-16000 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit @ TweakTown
Corsair Dominator GT DDR3 1600MHz AMD-optimized memory kit @ Neoseeker

Prebuilts
Small Wonder: Zotac's HD-ND01 Nettop @ HotHardware

Sound Cards
ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 Slim HDMI Audio Card @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Seagate light up the Enterprise SSD sky with Pulsar @ TweakTown
The State of Solid State Chapter II @ TweakTown

Video
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition @ Motherboards.org (YouTube link)

Miscelllany
The TR Podcast 55 @ Tech Report
Bjorn3D Holiday Guide @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


Real-Time Search, Coming to a Google Near You

Posted: December 8, 2009 @ time: 09:01AM
Author: ClayMeow

The inevitable has finally come true – Google is launching real-time search results. With thousands of news outlets around the globe, and even more twitter accounts, it was only a matter of time before real-time access to these items became available via a search engine. Depending on where you are, you may have already noticed the change, but for most of us, we'll see the real-time results integrated with the search results within the next few days. For those that can't wait, you're able to get a sneak peek by visiting the Google Trends section and clicking on a "Hot Topic." For example, if you simply cannot get enough of the Tiger Woods story, get your head checked you can see the real-time search results in action here. It's really quite impressive and ensures you're always getting the latest information available on a given topic. If there was an option to exclude Twitter feeds, it'd be perfect.


Complete Story


Seagate Introduces Pulsar SSD

Posted: December 8, 2009 @ time: 05:32PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Seagate is finally throwing its hat into the solid state drive market. With competition like Intel, Corsair, and OCZ, nothing is guaranteed for the largest hard drive manufacturer. The Pulsar drive operates on the SATA standard and will be available in drives up to 200GB. Seagate is hoping to target the server market, where the high number of Input/Output operations per second can allow for greater efficiency and productivity. Pricing information is currently unavailable.


Complete Story


Chrome Beta Comes to Mac and Linux

Posted: December 8, 2009 @ time: 05:33PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Beta versions of the Chrome internet browser from Google are now available for Mac and Linux operating systems. In addition, browser extensions were also made available to users of the beta versions. The version of the browser for Unix based OS has been in development for quite some time, with early versions released in June. The Chrome browser continues to focus on speed and security, with the code able to isolate buggy or malicious code. Chrome still represents a small share of the browser market, but it is picking up. I'll certainly be taking this for a spin very soon.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: December 9, 2009 @ time: 05:04AM
Author: Nemo

Noctua's NH-U12P cooler has been around for a while and has received its fair share of accolades. Now there's the NH-D14 that offers the promise of better cooling at reduced noise levels. You can also check out reviews on the Thermaltake Contac 29 and Xigmatek Thor's Hammer (reviewed by OCC here) CPU coolers. We have a good mix of storage-related products in the roundup today including the WD 2TB caviar Black drive, the Thermaltake BlacX Duet HDD docking station (also reviewed by OCC here) along with a RAID controller card from Areca and Addonics hard drive encryption hardware.

Cases
SEED MA-280 Mini-ITX Case @ TweakTown

Cooling
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler / Heatsink @ [H]ardOCP
Xigmatek Thor's Hammer Cpu Cooler @ Rbmods
Thermaltake Contac 29 Cooler @ DriverHeaven

Gaming
Interview with Codemasters - DX11 and AMD/Dirt 2 @ GamingHeaven

Motherboards
Zotac IONITX-A-U Mini-ITX Ion Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
ASUS Maximus III Gene motherboard @ Neoseeker

Operating Systems
Tech Tip: How to Bring a Lost Window Back to your Desktop @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
Kingwin Lazer LZ-850 850 Watt Modular Power Supply @ Tweaknews

Speakers/Headphones
Maximus Porty @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Areca ARC-1680X PCIe Eight-Channel External SATA/SAS RAID Controller @ TweakTown
Kingston DataTraveler Mini Slim 4Gb USB Stick @ Madshrimps
Addonics CipherChain Hard Drive Encryption @ Techgage
Thermaltake Blacx Duet Hard Drive Docking Station @ ThinkComputers
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB Hard Disk @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Root Exploit Found for Motorola Droid

Posted: December 9, 2009 @ time: 06:44AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Motorola Droid has finally been rooted by the hacker Zinx Verituse. Once rooted, users can enable multi-touch support and other features Motorola and Verizon didn't want you to have. Users will even be able to download widgets to overclock the ARM processor in the Droid. Though I don't know why you would want to, and cooling would seem to be an issue. Caution should be used when rooting the phone, as doing it wrong could have several bad implications. The phone could be bricked, or key features could become disabled. I don't currently intend to root my phone.


Complete Story


Forza Sells Over One Million Copies

Posted: December 9, 2009 @ time: 01:18PM
Author: gebraset

Microsoft has always been known for publishing and developing good gaming titles for both the PC platform and Xbox platform, and the Forza Motorsports Series is no exception. Forza 3, which was released just around a month ago, has now sold over one million copies all together. Turn 10 plans on adding even more content around Christmas time for 400 Microsoft Points, and will later in next year offer another surprise package for more than likely another 400 Microsoft Points. In all of the world, over 64 million racing matches have been played by all of the players, and more are expected to keep playing as more consumers pick up the title and adopt the game into their gaming collection.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: December 10, 2009 @ time: 04:45AM
Author: Nemo

The MSI Big Bang series P55 motherboard offers a lot of features including 3-way SLI support and more. Kingston has released a new 8GB SDHC card/USB card reader combo device called the MobileLite G2. We also have reviews on a pair of 2TB hard drives from Western Digital and the 8-bay QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS server. There's also a good mix of reviews on other products in the roundup today which you can access using the links below.

Gaming
League Of Legends @ Bjorn3D

Memory
G.Skill Pi PC3-17600 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Mobile
Callpod Chargepod 6-way Charging Device @ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
MSI Big Bang Trinergy P55 3-Way SLI Motherboard @ PC Perspective

Notebooks
Acer Aspire 5738PG-6306 15.6-inch Touch Screen Notebook @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Ultra X4 750 Watt Modular PSU @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston Mobile Lite G2 @ Bjorn3D
Western Digital Caviar Black and RE4 2TB Drives @ HotHardware
Kingston MobileLite G2 USB Card Reader with 8GB SDHC Card @ ThinkComputers
QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS @ TechSpot

Video
Asus EAH5970 @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
How to Stay Productive while Trapped in a Snowed-in Car @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Android Gets Firmware Update

Posted: December 10, 2009 @ time: 08:17AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Upon waking up today, I was made aware that my phone needed a firmware update. Just a touch of a button and the phone was on its way. Android 2.0.1 was released today, bringing several fixes and improvements to the mobile OS. The first thing I noticed was the new lock screen, just an aesthetic upgrade. Other features reported to have been updated are battery life and general stability. Incoming calls will also feature better audio, though I can not comment on that just yet. The issue with the camera auto focus has also been resolved. Now if only we could get some multi touch on the Droid without rooting.


Complete Story


New Team Fortress 2 Update Announced

Posted: December 10, 2009 @ time: 09:21PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The newest update for the popular multi player game from Valve is coming soon. This will be another two class update, this time featuring two of my personal favorites, the Demoman and Soldier. There will be the usual new maps and achievements for each of the classes. However, the weapon unlocks are where things start to get interesting. Both classes will each get the standard three upgrades, but since this is the WAR! update, there is something special in store. There will be a seventh weapon that will be given to the class that kills the most of the other class during this week. Stay tuned for more details as they are revealed.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: December 11, 2009 @ time: 04:25AM
Author: Nemo

Media players are becoming an increasingly popular way to interface all your multimedia files with your TV and today we have the opportunity to examine the Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player. XFX has joined the likes of Sapphire in adding a line of power supplies to its product lineup along side its videocards. The XFX Black Edition 850W (reviewed by OCC here) is its first offering and you can check out the reviews to see how well it performed. With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, perhaps someone you know is looking to buy a system for someone on their list; you can offer them some good advice based on the review of prebuilt systems  in our roundup today.

Cases
Thermaltake LANBOX Lite Case and AzzA Helios 910 Case @ Motherboards.org

Cooling
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme @ XSReviews
Thermaltake Contac 29 CPU Cooler @ Tweaknews

Input Devices
Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard @ Rbmods

Media Players
Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Player @ Legit Reviews

Mobile
Griffin Reveal iPhone Case @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO @ Bjorn3D

Power Supplies
XFX Black Edition 850W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Prebuilts
Bang For Your Buck: Six Gaming PCs Explored @HotHardware
Alienware Aurora ALX Desktop @ DriverHeaven

Software
Sun VirtualBox - Free, Powerful Virtualization @ Techgage

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot Memory NAS GearBox Mini Adapter @ TweakTown

Video
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5750 1GB Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
PC Perspective Podcast #85 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Sony Still Losing on PS3

Posted: December 12, 2009 @ time: 10:25AM
Author: CheeseMan42

When Sony released the Slim PS3 earlier this year, it was hoping that it would finally be able to make a profit from console sales. Sony is losing much less than at the initial launch, losing less than $40 per console sold. This is even more impressive as the price of the PS3 was dropped when the Slim PS3 was introduced. Sony was able to sustain this model due to revenue collected from game and other sales. Sony is expected to reach the break even point very soon as the price of components continues to fall.


Complete Story


Weekend Edition

Posted: December 13, 2009 @ time: 10:03AM
Author: Nemo

Whether it's notebooks or desktops our roundup includes cooling solutions for both. The Thermaltake Massive 23 CS notebook cooler (reviewed by OCC here) uses aluminum construction for a durable, yet simple solution for keeping your laptop cool. On the desktop side, there's a couple of options under review including the Spire TherMax Pro and the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme (also reviewed by OCC here).We have some interesting items in the storage arena as well with a look at a SATA 6Gbps SSD prototype. There is also an article on a new formatting technique Western Digital will be using for their drives.

Cases
Thermaltake RSI H Series - DS100 @ Motherboards.org

Cooling
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Cooler @ DriverHeaven
Thermaltake Massive 23 CS Notebook Cooler  @ Virtual-Hideout
Spire TherMax Pro CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews

Gaming
The Saboteur Xbox 360 @ TweakTown
PixelJunk Shooter (PS3), Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (PC) and God Of War Collection: Playstation 3 @ GamingHeaven

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston 32GB DataTraveler 200 USB Flash Drive @ Legit Reviews
Western Digital introduces 'Advanced Format' and First SATA 6G SSD Arrives: Marvell controller prototype tested @ PC Perspective
Vantec NexStar SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Universal Storage Adapter @ TweakTown


Complete Story


MSI 890FX-GD70 Photographed

Posted: December 13, 2009 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: MrAlex

MicroStar International, a well know computer motherboard manufacturer has made a little slip-up and pictures of their upcoming motherboard have ‘leaked’ to the internet, namely the 890FX-GD70. And you guessed it will be using AMD’s 890FX chipset, set to be their new flagship chipset in 2010 and one of the core components of the Leo platform. The Leo platform will be AMD’s enthusiast platform and will be made up of the 890FX chipset, an enthusiast DirectX 11 graphics card from ATI and their upcoming high-end Thuban hex-core processor. This motherboard will come with support for AM3 processors, 4 DDR3 DIMM slots, and support for USB 3.0, SATA-III and a whopping six PCI-Express X16 slots. No pricing yet, but knowing AMD it should be around the $200 mark. Thanks to Coolaler for the picture.


Complete Story


Latest News for TF2 Update

Posted: December 13, 2009 @ time: 06:56PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The release of the Soldier and Demoman update is one day closer, and nothing has been revealed yet about what either class will receive. However, Valve has finally released details on what can be done with all of those extra weapons you find while playing. The crafting system will allow players to smelt the unused weapons to build other weapons and hats. The crafting system will use blueprints which can be found to obtain these new items. A new comic also indicates that Saxton Hale has been contracted to produce new weapons for both the Soldier and Demo.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: December 14, 2009 @ time: 05:29AM
Author: Nemo

If you haven't braved the crowds yet, there's still time to get so Christmas shopping in and today we have a couple of buying guides that might just help you pick the perfect gift - even if you're just buying for yourself! In cooling we have Noctua's latest CPU cooler, the NH-D14 (recently reviewed by OCC here). We also get a preview of what's in store for us with the latest USB 3.0 specification, also known as SuperSpeed USB. As you'd expect, there are more reviews in the roundup which you can find using the links below.

Cooling
Noctua NH-D14 Cpu cooler @ Rbmods

Memory
Patriot Viper II Sector 5 PC3-1600 4GB Memory Kit @ Viperlair

Motherboards
USB 3.0 Preview @ [H]ardOCP
ASUS P7P55D-E PRO @ Techgage

Music/Video Players
A couple of months with SanDisk's Sansa Clip+ MP3 player @ Tech Report

Prebuilt
Asrock Ion 330HT-BD Nettop @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
Crucial 256GB SSD and Samsung 256 GB SSD @ Motherboards.org

Video
XFX HD5770 Video Card @ Tweaknews

Miscellaneous
Digital Lounge 2009 Buying Guide @ TweakTown
ThinkComputers Holiday 2009 Stocking Stuffer Buyers Guide @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Google Phone Available Early Next Year

Posted: December 14, 2009 @ time: 06:58AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Before the announcement of the Android OS, it was rumored that Google was working on its own phone. That never panned out, but it looks like it is now. Google will be releasing an unlocked phone called the Nexus One, made by HTC. The phone operates on GSM technology so it can be used on T-Mobile and AT&T networks. Samples have already been given to employees and pictures have shown up on the web. It has been described as similar to the iPhone with a bigger screen and a scroll wheel. It will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon, feature an OLED display, and will be thinner than the iPhone. When it becomes available, consumers can get the phone directly from Google.


Complete Story


L4D2 Meets L4D1 in The Passing

Posted: December 14, 2009 @ time: 02:44PM
Author: ClayMeow

In an official press release earlier this afternoon, Valve announced the first DLC add-on for Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), "The Passing," targeted for an early Spring 2010 release. The Passing "brings the original Left 4 Dead (L4D1) Survivors down south for a meeting with the L4D2 cast, while delivering new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay for the PC and Xbox 360." Valve stated that players will assume the role of the L4D2 Survivors and merely meet with the L4D1 characters. However, in addition to a new co-operative campaign and arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge mode, there will also be a "new co-operative challenge mode of play." Does this mean a 4 + 4 or 4 vs. 4 game mode? No word yet, but let the rumors fly! The Passing will also add a new "uncommon common" zombie class, melee weapon and firearm.

Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing at Valve, is calling The Passing "the most important campaign in the Left 4 Dead story." Only time will tell if it lives up to that.


Complete Story


Mac Users Will Soon be Able to Play Dragon Age: Origins

Posted: December 14, 2009 @ time: 02:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

BioWare is teaming up with TransGaming to bring the recently released Dragon Age: Origins to the Mac OS. It is scheduled to be available for download on December 21. The game coming to the Mac this quickly is quite the surprise as it usually takes much longer to get games released for Windows. Two versions, Standard and Digital Deluxe, will be available for download. The Deluxe version will feature extra content such as wallpapers and the Warden's Keep add-on. Both versions will feature the Stone Prisoner and Blood Dragon Armor add-ons. OS X Leopard and a Core 2 Duo are required to play, PowerPC Macs aren't supported.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: December 15, 2009 @ time: 04:51AM
Author: Nemo

Things are picking up on the review front as we get the week started and we have a bit of ground to cover this morning. In the videocard department we have a pair of reviews on NVIDIA GT 240 graphics cards. Noctua's latest coolers are reviewed by Neoseeker including the NH-D14 (also reviewed by OCC here) the the NH-U9B. That leaves reviews on power supplies, memory, headsets and more for you to check out by hitting up the links below.

Cases
Silverstone Sugo SG06 Mini-ITX SFF Case with SST-TOB02 Blu-Ray Drive @ PC Perspective

Cooling
Noctua NH-D14 and NH-U9B SE2 @ Neoseeker

Gaming
Left 4 Dead 2: reheating zombies Cajun style @ Tech Report
King Arthur: The Role Playing Wargame (PC) @ Gamingheaven

Input Devices
Microsoft Explorer Netbook/Notebook Mini Mouse @ Tweaknews

Media Players
Patriot Memory’s Box Office HD Media Player @ TweakTown

Memory
Team PC3-12800 Xtreem LV 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit @ TweakTown

Notebooks
HP Mini 311 Ion-Based Netbook @ HotHardware

Power Supplies
Thermaltake EVO_Blue 750W Modular Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
Cryo PC Tetrad @ XSReviews

Speakers/Headphones
SteelSeries Siberia V2 Pro Gaming Headset @ TweakTown

Video
Galaxy GeForce GT 240 Video Card @ [H]ardOCP
ASUS ENGT240 512MB GDDR5 Video Card @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


First Weapons Announced for TF2 Update

Posted: December 15, 2009 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: CheeseMan42

As a consolation prize to being behind the Soldier in kill count, the Demo is the first to see new weapons. Replacing the bottle is the Eyelander, and replacing the sticky bomb launcher is the Chargin' Targe. The Eyelander is a giant sword reminding me of Braveheart, with the ability to kill with one strike. However, your max health will suffer as a result. Each kill will raise both your max health and speed, but must be combined with the Chargin' Targe for full effect. The new shield will improve fire and blast damage resistance, and will allow the Demo to move faster than a Scout when right clicking. The guaranteed sword kill can only occur during a long range charge. A new comic also offers some insight into the life of a Demo.


Complete Story


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