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News Archives for May 2010

Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: May 1, 2010 @ time: 08:15AM
Author: Nemo

Our weekend roundup picked up a few reviews for your reading pleasure. Apple aficionados snapped up a bunch of iPads when they were first released, and market analysts are predicting an avalanche of follow on products from other manufacturers in the coming months. But where do tablets fit in the hierarchy of mobile devices? Read the review to see. With AMD's new six-core Phenom II X6 processors out, we have a timely review of three different 890FX chipset boards from ASUS Gigabyte and MSI. Enjoy your reading and we'll see you back here on Monday.

Mobile
Apple's iPad: Not A Smartphone, Not a Netbook @ HotHardware

Motherboards
Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI tackle AMD's 890FX chipset @ Tech Report

Speakers/Headphones
Sennheiser PC 360 G4ME Headset @ HardwareHeaven

Video
ATI Catalyst 10.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray @ TweakTown


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iPad 3G Running on T-Mobile & Jailbroken iPad's Can Send Text Messages

Posted: May 2, 2010 @ time: 03:38PM
Author: sdy284

Well it looks like all it takes to get an iPad running on T-Mobile is a pair of scissors. It will take a steady hand, but all you have to do is trim your regular-sized T-Mobile SIM card down to Micro-SIM sizes and it's as simple as that. In addition to that, MuscleNerd, a member of the Dev Team, has discovered that a jailbroken 3G iPad using a T-Mobile or non-iPad ATT SIM has the capability to send text messages. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) the ATT SIM that comes with the iPad restricts SMS and calls.


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Mobile NVIDIA GTX480M's Coming to a George Foreman, err Laptop Near You

Posted: May 2, 2010 @ time: 04:02PM
Author: sdy284

You think that the GTX480 creates a lot of heat in your nice big desktop? Just imagine cramming one of the hottest and most power hungry GPUs ever into a laptop. Sounds pretty crazy huh? Well thats exactly what Eurocom is planning to do. Complete with 2Gb of GDDR5, the GTX 480M is scheduled to start rolling out in June of this year. Understandably, Eurocom is only able to offer this GPU on it's 17" and 18.4" laptops. Hopefully Eurocom will avoid the lawsuits and put a giant heat warning sticker on them, because God-knows that is going to be one toasty laptop. Think this is a recipe for disaster? Voice your opinion in our forums.


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Google Set to Invade Your Living Room, Google TV in the Works

Posted: May 2, 2010 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: sdy284

Google, in its next move to take over the world, is set to announce an Android-based television software in less than a month. Google is planning on releasing more information at their Google I/O conference in San Fransisco on May 19th & 20th. Its software will be designed to open up traditionally "closed" boxes such as TVs and cable boxes to a much broader range of internet content. With big names such as Sony, Logitech, and Intel interested in this technology, it makes you wonder how much longer the traditional computer will hold its appeal. It will only be a matter of time before you can just plug a wireless keyboard and mouse into your TV, fire up Google Docs to work on a spreadsheet, then open Google Chrome to buy some movie tickets. Obviously the PC will still be the only way for enthusiasts and professionals, but for the casual user, the PC's days may be numbered. What sort of applications do you think Google will implement? Let us know in our forums.


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Call of Duty: Black Ops Trailer Released

Posted: May 3, 2010 @ time: 03:22AM
Author: premiumgfx

Over the weekend the teaser trailer of Call of Duty: Black Ops was unveiled on GameTrailers. Call of Duty: Black Ops is the seventh installment of the franchise, and will be produced by Treyarch. What did the trailer reveal about the new game? Well, not much. I can tell you with a liberal pinch of salt that Black Ops is set somewhere between 1955 and 2010 and features missions in Cuba and South America. Dismemberment effects included in World at War and multiplayerkillstreaks’ will also make a reprise. Apart from that, the trailer looks to pose more questions than answers.

I guess the trailer will have to quench our thirst for knowledge until the launch of Black Ops on November 9 later this year, or when new information comes to light.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops teaser trailer can be viewed here.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: May 3, 2010 @ time: 03:34AM
Author: Nemo

Verizon Wireless has another phone in its stable of Android-based offerings with the HTC Droid Incredible. Check out the review in our roundup today to see if the phone lives up to its name. OWC is just another in a long line of manufacturers to offer a solid state drive with its Mercury Extreme SandForce SF-1200 100GB SSD. Our roundup contains reviews on motherboards, routers laptop coolers and more so follow the links below to read all the latest from around the web.

Cases
Silverstone Fortress Series FT02 @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
Luxa2 M1-Pro Laptop cooler @ Rbmods

Gadgets
NZXT IU01 USB 2.0 Internal Expansion Hub @ Legit Reviews

Mobile
HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon Wireless) @ PC Perspective

Motherboards
ASUS P6X58D Premium @ Techgage

Networking
ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
OWC Mercury Extreme SandForce SF-1200 100GB SSD @ TweakTown

Miscellany
Speck PortPack Notebook Shoulder Bag @ ThinkComputers


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Swiftech Announces New MCW80 GPU Water Block

Posted: May 3, 2010 @ time: 02:28PM
Author: bp9801

Swiftech has announced the succesor to its MCW60 universal GPU water block, the MCW80. The MCW80 measures in at 49.6 x 49.6 x 32.2 mm and weighs 141 grams. It features a 0.25mm pin matrix copper water block, black Delrin housing, and supports Euro-style housings with a built -in O-ring. It also has a G 1/4 ports thread specification. It fits most GPUs using various mounting kits and comes with Arctic Ceramique thermal paste and an installation guide. The new MCW80 water block can be purchased from Swiftech's online store for $56.95 starting today.

The video cards it can fit are: ATI Radeon 1800, 2800, 3800, 4800, and 5800 series. NVIDIA GeForce 6, 7, 8 (G92), 9, and GT200 series. For ATI Radeon 4870x2 and 5970, as well as NVIDIA GeForce 8 (G80) and GT400 series, you can purchase an optional hold-down kit.


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Sony to Offer PS3 and PSP Protection Plans

Posted: May 3, 2010 @ time: 04:07PM
Author: bp9801

Sony is getting set to offer protection plans for its Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable systems to give consumers another choice outside of the plans offered by retailers. Currently, retailers like GameStop offer a protection plan for any new console or handheld at the time of purchase. The plan is for one year and it exists at the same time as the basic warranty for the system, meaning if something happens to your new game system, you simply take it back to GameStop instead of shipping it to the console maker. Sony is getting set to launch its own line of protection plans for its systems, though the price is just a bit higher. However, the protection plan extends the basic system warranty so you are going to cover your console or handheld for an additional year or two after you buy it. If something happens to your system, you mail it to Sony and await for a repaired or refurbished model to come back to you. It is similar to GameStop's in that regard, but you simply take your console back to the retailer and leave with a replacement rather than waiting a few weeks to get one back in the mail. As always, be sure to back up any data stored on your system because Sony is not guaranteeing it will be saved when you mail it in.

You can purchase Sony's protection plan at the time you purchase your system or within the first year of ownership. Pricing for the one year plan will be $49.99 for a PS3, $29.99 for a PSP, and $39.99 for a PSP with accidental damage also being covered. For a two year plan, you will be paying $59.99 for a PS3, $39.99 for a PSP, and $49.99 for a PSP with accidental damage. The PSP accidental damage coverage protects against drops and falls but apparently not against any liquid damage.


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Dell Adds New Notebooks

Posted: May 3, 2010 @ time: 06:36PM
Author: gebraset

In addition to the countless number of notebooks and personal computers that Dell already offers to its customers, the company has now added two more today, known as the Inspiron 15R and 17R. The two notebooks do not differ much, besides in the sizes of the screens, the price, and the name of the computers. Both feature multicolored options, along with memory card readers, and the choice between a Intel Core i3 or i5 processor. The new Dell notebooks can feature up to 640GB of total storage space, 8GB of RAM, and 1GB of ATI discrete graphics. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, track pads supporting multiple gestures, and webcams are included as standard features on both of the notebooks as well.


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Windows 7 Beats Vista in 7 Months

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 03:32AM
Author: premiumgfx

Windows 7 has beaten Windows Vista's market share in a record, you guessed it... 7 months. Janco Partners Inc., a technology research firm has announced that Windows 7 has established a 14.8% share in the global computer market. This makes Windows 7 the fastest selling operating system of all time, not to mention the world's second most-used operating system. To put this feat into perspective, Vista never passed it's older sibling Windows XP. With Windows 7 selling like hotcakes it's no wonder that its been a mainstay of Microsoft's profits over the last two quarters. It looks inevitable that Windows 7 will eventually surpass Windows XP, a great achievement in comparison with Vista's sales. I can personally say that I'm one of the many users who made a direct transition from Windows XP to Windows 7, and I'm sure that there are many others who have done, or will do the same given the current trend.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 04:07AM
Author: Nemo

Boy, do we have a plate full of reviews to share with you today. Let's start off with a pair of cases, beginning with Corsair's first case which is the Obsidian 700D full-tower chassis. If you're in the market for something a bit smaller and more moderately priced, there's the NZXT Gamma mid-tower case (check out the OCC review here). Today's roundup also features motherboards for both Intel and AMD users with Gigabyte's mATX H55M-USB3 board based on the Intel H55 chipset. On the AMD side is the ASRock 890GX Extreme3 board. In the cooling arena we get a look at the CoolIT ECO A.L.C. CPU water cooler (also reviewed by OCC here). There's plenty more in the mix today so be sure to follow the links below to read the rest of the reviews.

Cases
NZXT Gamma @ XSReviews
Corsair Obsidian 700D Full Tower Chassis @ TweakTown

Cooling
CoolIT ECO A.L.C. CPU Water Cooler @ Legit Reviews
Luxa2 M4 Laptop Cooler @ OverclockersHQ

Mobile
Griffin Elan Passport iPod Touch 2G Case @ Virtual-Hideout

Motherboards
GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
ASRock 890GX Extreme3 Motherboard @ Madshrimps

Notebooks
Toshiba Satellite T135D-S1324 Ultra-Portable Notebook @ HotHardware
Acer Ferrari One 200 Review - More than a Netbook @ PC Perspective

Power Supplies
NesteQ ASM Xzero 600W Power Supply @ HardwareHeaven
Sparkle Gold Class 1250W Modular Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
ZOTAC ZBOX HD-ID11-U Nettop Quick Look and Undressing Video @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Halo Headphones In a Headband @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
A-DATA AS592S-32GM-C 32GB SSD RAID @ Motheboards.org
SandForce SF1200 RAID-0 SSD Performance @ Benchmark Reviews

Video
ASUS EAH5850 DirectCu Top Videocard @ PCSTATS


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Have a Tom Tom GPS? If Yes, Darth Vader Can Give You Directions

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 10:14AM
Author: sdy284

If today was April 1st, it would make believing this much easier. But since it's early May, this has got to be legit. Available for $12.95, Tom Tom has released a Darth Vader voice for your GPS. Don't worry if you're not a Dark Side person, C-3PO is going to be available soon, Yoda is coming in July, and Han Solo will be available to download in August. Personally I think it'd be hilarious if they released R2D2 and Chewbacca voices, but maybe that's just me. But if you do want a good laugh, check out their video of recording Darth Vader's voice. Think this is hilarious or the worst idea ever? Let us know in the forums.


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Internet Explorer Usage Drops

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 11:07AM
Author: gebraset

Yet again in the history of Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer has dropped its total percentage of users. Currently, the browser holds less than sixty percent of total users around the world, with Chrome gradually increasing, along with Firefox as well. Chrome currently sits are a total of 6.73 percent usage, while Firefox is hovering at 24.59 percent as of last month. Even with the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 9, the browser is at 59.95 percent, and analysts do not see a refresh of the browser changing that number significantly any time soon. For now, Google and Mozilla seem to be reining the market in global usage increases.


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Corsair Adds Two New Drives to Nova SSD Series

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 02:09PM
Author: bp9801

Corsair has announced that it is adding two new drives to its Nova SSD series, a 32GB and a 256GB. Both drives use the Indilinx Barefoot controller, with the 32GB making an ideal main drive and the 256GB providing more storage for your needs. The 256GB drive can achieve read speeds up to 250MB/second and write speeds up to 195MB/second with the 32GB drive has read speeds up to 195MB/s and write speeds to 75MB/s. Both drives support the TRIM command available in Windows 7 to help keep each one in tip-top shape throughout the lifespan. The drives should be available right now from any retailer who sells Corsair products, though no price was given for either one. Each drive is backed by a two year warranty, which is nice, but I'd prefer seeing a longer warranty with an SSD.


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StarCraft II Launching July 27

Posted: May 4, 2010 @ time: 02:49PM
Author: bp9801

RTS fans the world over can now rejoice as Blizzard has announced that StarCraft II will launch on July 27th. The launch date appears to be worldwide, as Blizzard announced you can pick up the game in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan on that date. Thats a huge list of countries and continents, so it seems like nearly everyone will be able to get their fix on July 27th. The single player portion will have players taking the reins of Jim Raynor through a 29-mission campaign that will allow you to choose your own path through it. There will also be some challenge-mode minigames included to help get players ready for the multiplayer portion. The game will also come with an updated version of Battle.net and a highly advanced set of content creation tools that will allow you to make pretty much anything you can dream of, even a third person shooter.

The game will be available as a $59.99 standard copy or the $99.99 collector's edition that includes a ton of extra content. Who all is looking forward to the end of July now?


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Lian Li Unveils PC-X900 Mid-tower Chassis

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 02:05AM
Author: premiumgfx

Lian Li today unveiled the latest mid-tower chassis in its new TYR series, the PC-X900. The gaming-orientated PC-X900 is designed for the easy installation and maximum cooling of components. The new case features three 5.25" optical drive bays, seven tool-less 3.5" HDD bays, seven PCIe slots, four USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA port and one HD audio port. Cooling is provided by five 120mm LED fans (two at the back, and three at the front), along with two heat zones which separate the heat generated from components. A clear side window is included on the right-hand panel of the case, and a fan controller is also included in the back of the case The PC-X900 weighs in at 8.22kg and measures 230 x 598 x 388mm (WxHxD). The Lian Li PC-X900 will be available later this month in silver and black for US$439 excluding tax, and in red for US$499 excluding tax.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 04:10AM
Author: Nemo

From a case standpoint, the DimasTech Test Bench Table Easy V2.5 (also reviewed by OCC here) departs from the norm as it's a tech station useful for testing and benchmarking components. In the storage department our roundup includes a pair of NAS devices from Thecus and QNAP, two well-known names in the external storage market. There is also a good mix of cooling products with reviews covering traditional CPU coolers, a trio of waterblocks as well as a fan controller.

Cases
Dimastech Test Bench Table Easy V2.5 @ PC Perspective

Cooling
AeroCool V12XT Touch LCD Fan Controller @ ThinkComputers
Scythe Samurai ZZ CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
Battle Of the Titan Water Blocks @ Bjorn3D

CPUs
Intel Unveils Next-Gen Moorestown Atom Processor Platform @ HotHardware

Gaming
Just Cause 2 Gameplay Performance and Image Quality @ [H]ardOCP

Motherboards
ASUS Z8PE-D12 Server Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
Dell Adamo XPS Laptop @ HardwareHeaven

Power Supplies
Nexus RX-1.1K PSU @ Rbmods

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N4200 4-Bay NAS Server @ TweakTown
QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS Server @ Benchmark Reviews
Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425 128GB @ Techgage


Complete Story


Apple Fans to Have Their Own Dating Site

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 06:38AM
Author: ClayMeow

No, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican April Fool's Day. It appears that a new dating site, called Cupidtino, wants to help Apple fanboys and fangirls hook up. Scheduled to launch next month, it will also have location-based social apps for the iPhone and iPad. According to the site:

Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products! Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, taste, and of course a love for technology. We believe these are enough reasons for two people to meet and fall in love, and so we created the first Mac-inspired dating site to help you find other Machearts around you.

Yes, they actually used the term "Machearts", although I can think of another, more appropriate, term to use.


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Ellen Spoofs iPhone Commercial - Apple Can't Take a Joke

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 06:58AM
Author: ClayMeow

On Monday, Ellen Degeneres aired her very own iPhone commericial, which I personally found hilarious. Apparently, Apple didn't think so. As such, Ellen issued an apology of sorts yesterday, explaining how much she loves all things "i", from her iPhone to IHOP. Watch the video below and feel free to discuss it in the forums.

Source: The Ellen Degeneres Show


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New Google Chrome Beta is Fast, Supports new HTML5 features

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 09:52AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google Chrome has been improving its speed ever since it was released, with each build faster than the previous one. The Chrome 5 Beta, released yesterday, shows significant improvement in both the V8 and SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks. The 30-35% improvement in these benchmarks adds up to a nearly 305% improvement since the first beta. Google is even making its own videos to show off just how fast Chrome is, and while those videos aren't available yet, a making of video has been released. Numerous HTML5 features have also found their way into the latest build. Features such as geolocation and web sockets are now available, and Adobe Flash performance should also see an upgrade.


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Razer Plans Abyssus Mirror Special Edition

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 12:09PM
Author: gebraset

With all of the gaming products out on the market, some of the peripherals from Razer perform to the utmost standards of gamers who play all types of genres. The Abyssus mouse features a 3500DPI 3.5G sensor, on the go sensitivity adjustments, ambidextrous shape, three programmable Hyperesponse buttons, and rate switches underneath between polling rate and DPI. The new Mirror Special Edition will retain all of the features, and sport a sexy new chrome black finish that will impress any gamer. Other products such as the Lycosa Mirror Special Edition keyboard would look great next to the mouse, as both offer the amazing mirror finish. Razer plans to release the mouse sometime at the end of this month, and will be selling the revised product for $49.99.


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Survey Says AT&T Scores Lowest in Customer Satisfaction

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 01:44PM
Author: bp9801

Typically, customer satisfaction does not always apply to wireless companies, and from the looks of a recent survey, that is especially true for AT&T. Recently, ChangeWave Research conducted a survey of the four major wireless carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, to see how satisfied the customers are with their wireless provider. AT&T scored the lowest with 23% of the group very satisfied and 22% unsatisfied. Verizon scored the best, with 49% of the group very satisfied and only 6% unsatisfied. Sprint was second best with 35% very satisfied and 12% unsatisfied while T-Mobile scored just above AT&T with 23% very satisfied and 15% unsatisfied. Those numbers are kind of shocking when you look at them side by side.

In the same survey, dropped calls were reported. AT&T again took the top spot in this group, with an average of 4.5% dropped calls among survey takers. AT&T's rate also appears to be increasing while the other three carriers seem to be on the decline. Verizon scored the lowest at roughly 1.5%, then Sprint at about 2.7%, and T-Mobile again took third at roughly 3%. AT&T reps disputed this claim by stating that people only reported a dropped call 1.44% of the time and that its service continues to be the fastest 3G network out there with near best-in-class call retainability. Also in this survey, only 8% of the group wanted to switch carriers from AT&T with 7% wanting to switch from Verizon.

I know we have people using all the major carriers here, what are your thoughts on this survey and is it fairly accurate from your experience?


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OCZ Announces Portable SSD Line, Uses USB 3.0

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 03:15PM
Author: bp9801

OCZ quietly showed a new line of portable solid state drives at CES this year, and now, the devices finally have a name and ship date. The new portable SSD line will be called Enyo and look downright gorgeous. The drives are encased in aluminum and are quite sleek and modern-looking. Each drive will use USB 3.0 to connect to your computer and offer fast speeds as well. OCZ is claiming a read speed up to 260MB/second and write speeds up to 200MB/second. The drives will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB varieties and should be available starting today. If you're curious about price well, these will put a nice dent in your wallet. The 64GB will cost $229.99, the 128GB will be $409.99, and the 256GB tops out at $819.99.


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PC Power & Cooling Launches Silencer MK II PSUs

Posted: May 5, 2010 @ time: 07:00PM
Author: jammin

PC Power & Cooling built itself a reputation as the power supply option for enthusiasts back when PSUs were a largely overlooked component in a system. Things have moved on considerably since then, with PCP&C being bought up by OCZ a few years ago and the PSU market now full of plenty of high quality options. The launch of the Silencer Mk II series marks something of a departure for PCP&C, which has previously stuck rigidly to a design configuration with an 80mm rear mounted fan providing cooling. There didn't seem to be any particular advantages to sticking with this, so it is nice to see it now opting for a large overhead (135mm) fan design that has proved effective on competing products from other brands. It should also mean the new units stand more chance of living up to that "Silencer" moniker.

The new Silencer Mk II models come in 500, 650, 750 and 950W capacities and are rated to deliver that continuously at 50c. Most of the models also carry a Silver 80+ rating, with the 500W unit the only one missing out on that (it carries a Bronze rating). The 500W unit also gets a 5 year warranty, while the others get 7 years. PCP&C hasn't changed philosophies when it comes to cabling. There is no modularity here and it has still opted for a single 12V rail rather than splitting them. Pricing and availability for the Silencer Mk II series hasn't been specified, but we should find out soon enough.

The introduction of the Silencer Mk II seems to be indicative of a general shake-up for the PCP&C line-up, with many of the models it did produce (including the popular Silencer 750 Quad) now being moved to EOL (end of life) status.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: May 6, 2010 @ time: 04:21AM
Author: Nemo

We've seen a couple of tech station style cases being reviewed over the last month or so including the Microcool Banchetto 101 (check out the OCC review here). It wasn't all that long ago that anything over 1GB of system memory was considered overkill. Now with 64-bit operating systems being able to overcome the 4GB address limitation and applications such as video processing being able to effectively use large amounts of memory, 4GB of memory is the lower limit for new systems. Today we get a chance to look at two memory kits including a 4GB kit from Kingston and a 12GB set from Crucial. There are an increasing number of factory-sealed kits available these days such as the CoolIT ECO A.L.C. (also reviewed by OCC here) that take some of the intimidation out of water cooling your system.

Cases
Microcool Banchetto 101 Tech-Bench @ TweakTown
Antec P193 Advanced Super Mid Tower @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Zalman CNPS10X Performa Cooler @ Tweaknews
CoolIT ECO A.L.C. @ HardwareHeaven

CPUs
Inside Intel's Atom Z600 series @ Tech Report

Digital Photography/Video
U-Fly cam Stedi-cam @ OverclockersHQ

Memory
Kingston HyperX LoVo 1866MHz DDR3 4GB Memory Kit @ Legit Reviews
12GB Crucial DDR3 Memory Kit @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
iPad Success not the Fruit of Apple's Labor @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Arctic Sound E352 @ XSReviews

Miscellany
Blu-ray Importing: May 2010 Buying Guide @ TweakTown


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Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 9 Preview 2

Posted: May 6, 2010 @ time: 11:50AM
Author: gebraset

Even if the market is showing that Internet Explorer is losing more and more market share to others such as Firefox and Chrome, Microsoft is still attempting to revive its browser in hope for a secured user base. The new Internet Explorer 9 is said to contain many new features, including HTML 5 support, and much faster speeds overall. The browser also boasts a current ACID3 score of 68/100, which is much better than preview versions have shown. Either way, improvement is never a bad thing when it comes to software, and it also will be interesting to see how Microsoft continues to develop Internet Explorer 9. It can be downloaded, the Preview 2 edition, from here.


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Nintendo Wii Sales Down 21%

Posted: May 6, 2010 @ time: 02:22PM
Author: bp9801

Well, it seems Nintendo's money printing machine, uh, I mean, the Wii, is finally starting to slow down in sales. Nintendo released its annual fiscal report early this morning, and it seems that both the Wii and DS are down in sales, with the Wii dropping 21% over last year. From the financial year running April 2008 to March 2009, Nintendo sold 25.95 million Wiis. For the recent year running April 2009 to March 2010, Nintendo only sold 20.53 million Wiis. It is still a huge amount of systems sold, but it is a 21% drop from the previous year. In that same time, the Nintendo DS also dropped in sales, from 31 million down to 27 million which is not bad but it is a 12% drop. That is kind of to be expected considering the DS is approaching the six year mark of its life. The Wii though is sure to give Nintendo cause for concern, the system is coming up on the four year mark this November. Fiscal projections for the current year that ends March 2011 do not look good for the Wii either, with sales projected to be down to 18 million units. Software sales are also down as well, 6% for the Wii and 23% for the DS. But, even with this large of a sales drop, Nintendo still managed to have its third-best year in history.


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Scythe Announces New Line of Power Supplies

Posted: May 6, 2010 @ time: 03:14PM
Author: bp9801

Scythe has unveiled a new line of power supplies that are targeted at mainstream users. The PSUs will be part of a new series called Stronger and will come in a few varieties. Each unit measures in at 150 x 160 x 86mm and weighs 2.2 kilograms. All are 80 Plus certified and are also ATX 12V Version 2.3 and EPS 12V compliant. Each one features sleeved cables, Over Current / Voltage / Power / Temperature Protection, Short Circuit Protection, and Under Voltage Protection. They are available in 500 watt, 600W, and 700W varieties as well as modular and non-modular for each wattage. The Stronger series comes in a matte black finish and feature a 140mm Scythe Slip Stream fan to help cool it down. That is pretty much the largest fan you can fit into a power supply and still keep it in the ATX format.

Each power supply comes with a three year warranty and will be priced fairly well. The non-modular ones come in at $65 for the 500W, $75 for the 600W, and $98 for the 700W. For the modular variety, you are looking at $75 for the 500W, $97 for the 600W, and $108 for the 700W. No word on availability was announced at this time, but expect them to show up at retailers and online stores before long.


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Corsair Releases Wickedly Fast GTX 2533MHz DDR3 Memory

Posted: May 6, 2010 @ time: 09:24PM
Author: Nemo

Well, that didn't take long. A couple of weeks ago the world's fastest DDR3 memory was announced with clock speeds of 2500MHz. Now Corsair has announced its Dominator GTX4 ultra-high-speed memory modules with operation guaranteed up to 2533MHz. To reach these speeds, Corsair had to manually screen literally thousands of ICs to select the 32 that meet the stringent requirements. Once assembled, each module is hand-tested in the lab at 2533MHz with latency settings of 9-11-10-30 at 1.65V using a Core i7 CPUs on Gigabyte P55 motherboards. The modules are available in limited quantities at Corsair's web store. As with other members of Corsair's Dominator family, the GTX4 modules come equipped with DHX+ technology using heatsinks specially designed to cool both the front and rear of the memory ICs as well as the PCB itself. The fins can also be removed to accept one of Corsair's advanced cooling solutions. Each 2GB module can be ordered online for $325US.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: May 7, 2010 @ time: 04:26AM
Author: Nemo

In our roundup today we have a pair of reviews covering factory overclocked Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards from MSI, HIS and Gigabyte. TechSpot shows us how to take Ubuntu 10.04 out for a spin using a bootable USB flash drive. We also have an opportunity to look at a pair of solid state drives based on the JMicron and Sandforce SF-1200 controllers. You can check out all the reviews by following the links below. Enjoy your reading!  

CPUs
AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE @ Bjorn3D

Mobile
Speck ToughSkin iPhone Case @ ThinkComputers

Mousepads
SteelSeries NP+ Rough Gaming Surface Mouse Pad @ Benchmark Reviews

Notebooks
Toshiba Satellite L555D-S7930 17.3-inch Notebook @ TweakTown

Operating Systems
Test-Drive Ubuntu 10.04 Using a Bootable USB Flash Drive @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Me Electronic R1 Wooden In ear Headphones @ OverclockersHQ
Creative World of Warcraft Headset @ Tweaknews

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot Zephyr 128GB JMicron Solid-State Drive @ Legit Reviews
A-DATA S599 SSD RAID Report SandForce SF-1200 x2 @ TweakTown

Video
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Overclocked Round-up - Gigabyte, MSI, HIS @ HotHardware
Gigabyte HD 5870 Super Overclock @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
PCPer Podcast #104 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Updates Come To Engineer Class in Team Fortress 2

Posted: May 7, 2010 @ time: 11:05AM
Author: gebraset

In Team Fortress 2, many updates have been brought to the game left and right by Valve, with some being consumer suggested, and some being complete surprises. Either way, the Engineer class is finally getting an update, with possibly a robotic arm, and some other things being added in. Speculations from viewers of the video that can be found here are saying that there could even be a mallet or a welder than can be used, but it really is hard to say right now. Valve seems to be playing the tease game with not showing consumers or telling them much either and so far, no one knows yet when the update will be released. Some rumors say that the update will be pushed when the Mac version becomes available, but nonetheless, it is good to see the Engineer class finally getting some kind of update.


Complete Story


MSI Launches CX705MX Laptop

Posted: May 7, 2010 @ time: 11:09AM
Author: bp9801

MSI has announced that it is launching a new laptop, the CX705MX. The laptop is a 17.3" model that boasts an LED backlit screen with a 1600x900 resolution. It features an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to a 500GB hard drive, a 4-in-1 card reader, HDMI and VGA out, an Ethernet port, three USB ports, and Windows 7 Home Premium. Probably the most eye catching feature is the graphics chip that powers this laptop, that being the all new ATI Radeon HD 545V discrete graphics chipset. That new Radeon means this laptop will be more than capable of playing HD video content and quite possibly, some light gaming to boot.

No word on pricing or availability was announced at this time, but expect more information soon.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: May 8, 2010 @ time: 05:36PM
Author: Nemo

It's the weekend again and our roundup has reviews on a couple nice cases starting with Corsair's Obsidian Series 700D full-tower chassis. If your size needs and budget are a little more modest you can check out the mid-tower CM 690 II Advanced case from Cooler Master (also reviewed by OCC here). There are more reviews in the weekend roundup which you can read using the links below.

Cases
Corsair Obsidian Series 700D Full Tower PC Case @ Legit Reviews
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower Case @ HardwareHeaven

Memory
Gskill F3-12800Cl7T Tri channel kit @ Rbmods

Mobile
Getting more from your iPad with Citrix and Desktop Connect @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ASRock P55 Deluxe LGA 1156 ATX Motherboard @ PC Perspective

Networking
Levelone N_Max 300mbps Wireless Router and USB Dongle @ OverclockersHQ

Miscellany
Where The Wild Things Are Blu-ray @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 04:40AM
Author: Nemo

In today's roundup we get a shot at the latest in NZXT's Crafted Series of cases with a review on the mATX Vulcan chassis. In the graphics card department we have reviews on a pair of ATI Radeon cards including the passively cooled Sapphire Radeon HD 5550 Ultimate (also reviewed by OCC here) and the Gigabyte HD5870 Super Overclock card.

Cases
NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Micro-ATX Gaming Case @ Legit Reviews

Memory
G.Skill ECO 4GB DDR3-1333 Memory Kit @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
How to Flash (Update) Your Motherboard’s System BIOS @ ThinkComputers

Networking
TRENDnet TEW-648UB and TEW-649UB USB Wireless LAN Adapters @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
iFrogz EarPollution ThrowBax Headphones @ Virtual-Hideout

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-459 Pro 4-Bay TurboNAS @ TweakTown

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 5550 Ultimate @ Techgage
Gigabyte HD5870 Super Overclock @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


New Wi-Fi Standard on the Horizon

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 05:44AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The proposed specification, known as WiGig, will provide blazing speeds, but it won't be without trade offs. Speeds up to 7Gb/s will be possible but only over a very short range. The 60GHz operating frequency will limit the range to about 10 meters. WiGig has received the official stamp of approval from the Wi-Fi Alliance, which will allow for sharing of technical specifications and includes WiGig in the Wi-Fi family. One of the most interesting possibilities for this is streaming HD video between decoding devices and HD screens. All devices that support WiGig are also expected to support current wireless standards as well.


Complete Story


Android Takes Second Place in U.S. Smartphone Market

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 02:12PM
Author: bp9801

Well, it seems that Google is gaining fast ground in the U.S. in the world of smartphones. According to NPD, a market research firm, Android OS smartphones have taken the number two spot in the market in the U.S. in the first quarter, beating out iPhone OS. RIM's BlackBerry OS still holds the top spot, but for now, Google can claim the number two spot with Android. NPD found out that BlackBerry holds 36% of the U.S. market, Android is in at 28%, and iPhone at 21% for the first quarter of this year. The large growth for Android was attributed mostly to carrier support, namely Verizon's buy-one-get-one free offer that also helped it maintain a 30% share of the market. AT&T still has 32% of the market, so Verizon's 30% is not far behind at all. T-Mobile and Sprint trail behind them both, with T-Mobile at 17% and Sprint at 15%. But for now, it seems like Android is continuing to grow in the U.S.


Complete Story


ASUS CrossHair IV Extreme Preview Pics

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 02:34PM
Author: jammin

Our friends over at HotHardware had the chance to take a sneak peek at the upcoming ASUS CrossHair IV Extreme motherboard recently, which looks to be a promising proposition for high-end AMD builds if the board layout is anything to go by. Utilizing the new AMD 890FX chipset, the board supports AM3 processors, including the recently released Phenom II X6 models. A detailed feature list hasn't yet been released, but from the layout you can see the use of five PCIe slots (which should make for plenty of multi-GPU setup options) and the presence of a LucidLogix Hydra chip that we have previously seen turning up on MSI's motherboard lineup. It is interesting to see another manufacturer making use of the Hydra chip and means you should be able to use both AMD and NVIDIA cards.

Being a board aimed squarely at the enthusiast, you can also expect a number of overclocking features to be included, such as Bluetooth RoG Connect functionality to enable the tweaking of settings using a secondary device. There are also board mounted power and reset switches, along with the automatic overclocking OC Turbo Key and Core Unlocker buttons (that should unlock extra cores on supported CPUs). These are all tucked up in the top right of the board adjacent to the four RAM slots, so should remain reasonably accessible in most reasonably sized cases (board mounted power and reset come into their own with a test bench setup of course). We will be looking forward to seeing this board put through its paces, particularly to see if the implementation of that Hydra chip provides any performances advantages over MSI's efforts. There is no official release date for the CrossHair IV Extreme as yet and of course no pricing information either.


Complete Story


GigaPan 45 Gigapixel Pic of Dubai Skyline is World's Largest

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 02:52PM
Author: jammin

You may be familiar with GigaPan as being the company that produced the robotic photography platform that enabled the capture of President Obama's Inauguration in impressive detail. GigaPan has since released improved hardware in the shape of the GigaPan Epic Pro and decided to show off what it could by creating the world's largest stitched together image, picking the Dubai skyline as the subject. With a Canon 7D mounted to the robotic platform taking nearly 4,250 photos (27.5GB worth) in total the final image weighs in at just short of 45 Gigapixels (44,800 Megapixels) and is available to view on Gigapan.org. That means you should be able to accurately count all of the cranes dotted around what must be the world's largest building site (with the imposing structure of the Burj Kalifa at its center). There is also a (not all that interesting, truth be told) "making of" video below.


Complete Story


Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 2000, XP SP2 on July 13

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 06:05PM
Author: bp9801

Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2 on July 13th of this year. Microsoft usually offers support for its products for five years with an additional five years of extended support after. Well, for Windows 2000 and XP SP2, that time is coming to an end this July. Microsoft will continue to offer self-help online support for an additional year, but all other forms of help will be discontinued. That means no more security updates will be launching for either OS.

For users of Windows 2000, you can upgrade to Windows 7 if you are using a desktop. If your server is running 2000, feel free to upgrade to Windows Server 2003, 2008, or 2008 R2. You can continue to use Windows 2000 just you will not have any help or updates.

For users of Windows XP SP2, you can upgrade to Windows 7 or simply download SP3 which will still be supported. Many businesses will probably just upgrade to Windows 7, but I am sure there will be some people who just download SP3 as the simple solution.


Complete Story


HP to Replace Slate with Hurricane?

Posted: May 10, 2010 @ time: 07:06PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The HP Slate once had so much promise, but it appears as if that is no more. However, the acquisition of Palm by HP has opened the possibility of a WebOS based tablet. The rumored tablet, code-named Hurricane, may be available towards the end of the summer. No pricing details are currently available, but I think it would be similar to the iPad. WebOS is believed to be a better match for a tablet than the Windows 7 based Slate due to better multi touch support. The major problem facing the Hurricane in the battle with the iPad would be the applications. Much as Apple dominates the smartphone app market, it currently has the tablet market as well. WebOS has a number of big name developers on board, but it can't touch the nearly 200,000 applications possessed by Apple.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: May 11, 2010 @ time: 04:48AM
Author: Nemo

AMD has released a new quad-core processor, the Athlon II X4 640, clocked at 3.0GHz and priced at only $122. There are other options in terms of CPUs for those wanting to build an HTPC or budget rig, so be sure to check out the other CPU reviews including a roundup of budget processors from Intel and AMD. Solid state drives are becoming more prevalent and we have reviews covering offerings from Intel and OCZ in today's roundup.

Cooling
Scythe Yasya SCYS-1000 CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

CPUs
AMD Athlon II X4 640: 4-Cores On The Cheap @ HotHardware
AMD Athlon II X4 640 & X4 610e @ Neoseeker
AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad Core Processor @ Legit Reviews
AMD Athlon-II X3-445 AM3 Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
CPU Round-up: Sub-$100 Intel and AMD Processors Tested @ TechSpot

Input Devices
NoLimitZZZ Blobo Motion Controller @ XSReviews

Mobile
iFrogz Kindle and Black Berry Luxe Case @ OverclockersHQ

Prebuilts
Gateway ZX4800-06 All in One Desktop Computer @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset @ HardwareHeaven
Arctic Sound E352 Ear Buds @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel's X25-V solid-state drive on its own and in RAID @ Tech Report
OCZ tweaks SandForce firmware, gains 20% storage capacity @ PC Perspective
OCZ Vertex 2 100GB Performance Preview @ Techgage
OCZ Solid 2 Series 60GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 GC SLI @ [H]ardOCP


Complete Story


Sony Announces Faster Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX

Posted: May 11, 2010 @ time: 02:43PM
Author: bp9801

Sony has announced that it is increasing the speed of its Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX series. The name is a long one, but the cards come in capacities up to 32GB in size. Now, Sony is going to increase the speed to 30MB/second though it did not announce whether that is read or write. I believe it is a read speed since that just makes the most sense for the memory stick. With speeds like that, it easily beats out SD-based storage options so for anyone using a Sony device, it looks like you can access your saved data even faster than before.

The price of the Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX series is quite expensive, with the 8GB model starting at $59.99. A summer release window has been announced for the faster speed cards, though no word on how these will be differentiated from the slower Pro-HG Duo HX series was made.


Complete Story


Canon Launches New PowerShot SD4000 IS Camera

Posted: May 11, 2010 @ time: 07:05PM
Author: bp9801

It is getting close to summer time, so you know that new gadgets and goodies are starting to roll out. Today, Canon has announced a new camera to its Digital ELPH line, the PowerShot SD4000 IS. The camera features a 10 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4 image processing engine, and a 3.8x optical zoom. It also has an f/2.0 lens and Canon's own HS System to help produce better looking low-light shots. The camera also has an 8.4fps burst capture rate, an HD movie mode, HDMI output support, a Super Slow Motion movie mode that captures images at 240fps, and a 3-inch rear LCD. The SD4000 IS will work with the new SDXC memory cards and has support for Eye-Fi.

The camera will cost $349.99 and comes in a choice of red, black, silver, or a limited edition white. No word on a launch date was announced, but expect it soon.


Complete Story


Mushkin Announces Callisto Series SSDs

Posted: May 11, 2010 @ time: 07:52PM
Author: Nemo

Mushkin Enhanced today announced its Callisto series of solid state drives. The series is comprised of drives with capacities of 60-, 120- and 240GB. The series boasts read speeds of up to 285MB/s and write speeds of up to 275MB/s across all three models. Each is equipped with the Sandforce SF-1200 controller and is backed by a three-year warranty. The drives are available now, either through the Mushkin website or through one of Mushkin's other online partners. The models list for $240.49 (60GB), $406.49 (120GB) and $733.49 (240GB), but can be purchased through the Mushkin site for $218.49, $369.99 and $666.49 respectively.


Complete Story


Scythe Unveils Kaze Master Pro Fan Controllers

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 04:11AM
Author: premiumgfx

Scythe today expanded its Kaze Master Fan Controller series with the addition of two new models. The new Kaze Master Pro 5.25" and 3.5" fan controllers support two extra fans and temperature channels in comparison to their standard counterparts. This enables users to operate up to six fans between 3.7V and 12V, along with up to six temperature sensors. Both controllers include VF-Displays (Vacuum Fluorescent Displays) which show fan speed and temperature for two fans (5.25" model) or one fan (3.5" model) with turn-switches to change the fan and temperature sensor displayed. Each controller includes an individual knob for the fan speed of each fan and an alarm which sounds when critical temperatures are reached or if a fan fails. Both controllers feature a new black chassis. The Kaze Master Pro 5.35 (KM03-BK) and Kaze Master Pro 3.5 (KM03-BK-3.5) are available for US$45.00 and US$36.00 respectively, excluding tax.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 04:56AM
Author: Nemo

Zaward has introduced its Vapor 120 CPU Cooler and includes some different design methodologies to improve cooling from the dimpled fan blades to the punctured spherical dimples on the aluminum cooling fins to improve airflow. Check out the pair of reviews in today's roundup to see if these techniques offer any improved performance. We also have reviews of NVIDIA videocards including a GeForce 210 card from AXLE and a GTX 480 Fermi card from Zotac.

Cases
In Win Ironclad Full Tower Case @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Zaward Vapor 120 Cpu cooler @ Rbmods
Zaward Vapor 120 Heatsink @ FrostyTech

Manufacturers
Where does AMD fit in today? @ TweakTown

Memory

Patriot Gamer Series DDR3 4 GB 1600MHz @ Bjorn3D

Monitors/TVs
Hands-on with Sony Bravia 3D TV @ TweakTown

Motherboards
Biostar TA890GXE AMD 890GX Motherboard @ PCSTATS

Speakers/Headphones
Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
High End Storage Comparison: Quad-Velociraptors versus Dual-SSDs @ PC Perspective

Video
AXLE GeForce 210 Video Card @ Madshrimps
Zotac GeForce GTX-480 Fermi Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


New Killer NIC Produced

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 11:01AM
Author: gebraset

Bigfoot has claimed for a while that its Killer NIC improves gaming performance with a gaming processor onboard. The company has now redesigned the card, and has dubbed the new model the Killer 2100. The new NIC from Bigfoot comes with 128MB of DDR2 on the card, support for the Windows network stack bypass, and runs off of a PCIe x1 slot. Reviewers have usually shown improved performance in terms of lag on online games, but most cannot justify the price, as even the previous model was a tad expensive. This go around, the Killer 2100 is retailing for roughly $130, and probably only a select number of gamers will even purchase the card.


Complete Story


AMD Cancels Phenom II X4 960T

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 12:51PM
Author: bp9801

The upcoming AMD Phenom II X4 960T processor may no longer see the light of day for the average user. It could end up in OEM systems, but for the average user, like us, it may not show up on store shelves anytime soon. AMD had originally scheduled the processor to be shipped in quarter two of this year and then delayed it to quarter three, but now its looking like it won't launch at all except in OEM systems. An AMD PR rep said that there is some desire for a quad-core Thuban chip and that enough engineering samples are in circulation, but the rep did not expect the chip to be produced for "general availability." The rep was not sure if it would make its way to OEM systems, but it seems like a good possibility at least.

The Phenom II X4 960T is basically an X6 chip with two cores disabled. People were speculating that those two cores could be unlocked easily and you would be able to have a six-core processor for the price of a quad-core. But now, that does not seem likely. Hopefully there will still be an X4 9xxT chip released, but the 960T does not seem likely at this point in time.


Complete Story


Microsoft Launches Office 2010

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 03:26PM
Author: jammin

The Office series of software makes up a large component of Microsoft's product offerings and has been a major revenue driver for the company for a number years. With online tools such as Google Docs now providing a free alternative to Office software, Microsoft's latest release needed address this competition. Though Google's offerings haven't made a big impact in terms of market share, the inclusion of the Office Web Apps part of the Office 2010 release show that Microsoft is taking the challenge seriously, offering free versions of programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint (naturally you won't get all the features found in the full versions). As with Windows 7, MS chose to involve end users more closely in the testing process, with the Office 2010 Beta program meaning that many of you will have probably used the software already in some form or another.

Office 2010, as well as Visio 2010 and Project 2010 are available for businesses worldwide from today. Home users will have to wait until 15th of June for the retail version. You can watch the keynote presentation that accompanied the release on Microsoft's Launch Event site.


Complete Story


HTC Evo 4G Coming to Sprint

Posted: May 12, 2010 @ time: 05:16PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It was announced today that the new HTC Evo 4G will be coming to the Sprint network. The phone will be available on June 4 for $199.99, and will require a new two-year contract. As with all smartphones these days, a data plan will be required, and will set you back $69.99 per month. Further wireless options in WiMax and using the phone as a WiFi hot spot are also available, but will cost you $10 and $29.99 per month, respectively. The phone will run the Android OS, and will feature an 8 mega pixel camera and the 1GHz Snapdragon processor.


Complete Story


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