News Archives for August 2010
Performance Numbers for AMD Ontario LeakedPosted: August 1, 2010 @ time: 01:48PM
AMD's upcoming CPU products based on the Fusion architecture will marry CPU cores with a DX11 class graphics core, all on the same die. A German hardware site has got hold of some data that shows what the first Fusion product, Ontario, should be capable of in terms of performance. In terms of floating-point performance, Ontario, which is said to draw around 18W, comes in at 1.351GFLOPS. For comparison, Intel's Atom D510 comes in at 0.735GFLOPS and is rated at 13W. All the numbers have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as they come from the BOINC distributed computing project, with differing OS versions clouding things further. At best we therefore have to consider them approximations of real world performance. Even so, things are looking promising for the "Bobcat" core of Ontario, though we will reserve judgement on whether it can really shake things up against the Intel competition until some products based on the CPU make it to market.
|CPU||OS||Speed (GHz)||Integer-Performance||Floating-Point Performance|
||Server 2008 R2||1.40 - 1.60?||3.047GFLOPS||1.351GFLOPS|
||Windows 7 x86||1.66||1.892GFLOPS||0.735GFLOPS|
Athlon II X2 250u
||Windows 7 x86||1.60||3.465GFLOPS||1.591GFLOPS|
Phenom II X4 965 BE
||Windows 7 x64||3.40||8.452GFLOPS||2.792GFLOPS|
Starcraft 2 Causing Some GPUs to OverheatPosted: August 1, 2010 @ time: 02:10PM
Some users have been reporting an issue when playing Starcraft 2. These users have had their graphics cards fried due to uncapped frame rates on certain menu screens. Blizzard has issued a fix for the problem, but has not revealed any plans to replace the damaged hardware. It seems to me that the real issue is with the cooling of the graphics card and system as a whole. I have had my graphics card running overclocked under full load for days at a time, and not once did I have any issues with overheating. For those of you that are worried about this, Blizzard advised the following fix.
Screens that are light on detail may make your system overheat if cooling is overall insufficient. This is because the game has nothing to do so it is primarily just working on drawing the screen very quickly. A temporary workaround is to go to your Documents\StarCraft II Beta\variables.txt file and add these lines:
You may replace these numbers if you want to.
Our Top News Stories For The WeekPosted: August 1, 2010 @ time: 02:13PM
- ATI Releases Catalyst 10.7 Drivers
- GF104 Coming to the GTX 470?
- Mozilla Releases Major Security Update for Firefox 3.6
- NZXT Prices and Dates Crafted Full-tower Phantom Chassis
- Several New Products Released by Apple
- AMD Overtakes NVIDIA in Graphics Card Shipments
- Acer Launches Three New Monitors
- Thermaltake Massive23 LX Notebook Cooler Announced
- Dell Launches Inspiron M101z AMD-Powered Notebook
- GameStop Purchases Kongregate
That's it for the top news for the past week. If you come across an interesting story you feel our news team should know about, you can always send the OCC News Team a tip.
Internet Explorer Gains Market SharePosted: August 1, 2010 @ time: 02:16PM
Internet Explorer was once the only viable option when it came to browsing the internet. Since then many browsers have come and gone, but some have taken a large bite out of the IE market share. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera have been steadily stealing IE users for years, but IE has gained some users back in the last few months. Internet Explorer is still the most used browser worldwide, up to 60.74% from 60.32% last month, with Internet Explorer 8 the most popular. Firefox is the closest competitor with 22.91%, with Chrome rounding out the top 3 at 7.16%. I always find these studies surprising, as nearly everyone I know uses Firefox or Chrome.
Overclockers Club Brings You the Gift of GabPosted: August 1, 2010 @ time: 08:49PM
OK, maybe it's not quite gab, but OCC does have a new chat room. It might be old technology but it's easy to use and it works!
All you need to know to get started is in the OCC Chat Room forum thread. There you'll find a link to the client and instructions on how to join. Already have your favorite IRC client software? There's also server and channel information in the thread as well.
Come join your fellow OCC members and chat about whatever's on your mind. Just please be courteous, respectful and remember the forum rules also apply to our chat room. So what are you waiting on? See you in the chat room!
Hardware Roundup: Monday EditionPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 04:51AM
One of the pluses of solid state drives is the faster access times it offers which makes it ideal for boot drives but the drawbacks are capacity and the fact that your can wear out a SSD with too many write/erase cycles. SilverStone has a unique product called the HDDBOOST that combines the speeds of a SSD with the capacity of a standard drive to offer the best of both worlds. Today's roundup also includes a review of the OCZ Agility 2 60GB SSD. We also managed to turn up a couple of GeForce GTX 460 reviews along with a look at the HIS Silence Radeon HD 5570. Be sure to check out all the reviews by following the links listed below.
Video Perspective: NZXT Sentry LXE External Touchscreen Fan Controller @ PC Perspective
CoolIT Systems Vantage A.L.C. CPU Cooler @ TweakTown
Roccat Pyra @ XSReviews
HTC EVO 4G Andriod SmartPhone @ Benchmark Reviews
SteelSeries Gaming Surface Comparison (I-2 vs SX vs QcK) @ LanOC Reviews
An In-Depth Look at openSUSE 11.3 @ Techgage
SilverStone HDDBOOST @ Legit Reviews
OCZ Agility 2 60GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers
MSI GeForce GTX 460 1GB Cyclone Video Card @ TweakTown
Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 GC 1GB Review - Can SLI 460s beat the GTX 480? @ PC Perspective
HIS Silence Radeon HD 5570 Videocard @ Tweaknews
Fantastic Mr. Fox Blu-ray Movie @ TweakTown
Latest Playstation 3 Firmware Bricks Consoles Under Certain Conditions?Posted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 12:31PM
Well, it seems that the problems keep coming for some people and their Playstation 3s. It seems that the newest firmware update, 3.41, can brick your console but only if a certain condition is met. If you happened to upgrade your PS3's hard drive with one of a larger capacity and then download the 3.41 firmware, you evidently run the risk of locking your console out and in effect bricking it. The PS3 would start up once the firmware was installed but then a message saying "no applicable data" could be found to run the console. It seems to be the issue with the console saving the previous updates on the hard drive so it knows how to run on the new one and without the data on the bigger drive, the console cannot run.
Sony claims it isn't the firmware doing it but recommends that if users want to upgrade the hard drive to then install the new firmware on the stock drive and then save the firmware upgrade onto a FAT32-formated flash drive. Once the flash drive has the upgrade, install the bigger hard drive and then install the new firmware off the flash drive. It sounds a touch bit complicated but if it saves your console, then why not take the extra time to do it?
On another note, I just upgraded my PS3's hard drive last Tuesday. I backed up all the data on the stock drive before I installed the new one. Then I restored all the data onto the new drive before upgrading to the 3.41 firmware. I've been using my PS3 nearly every day since and I haven't had an issue with the new firmware and the upgraded hard drive at all. Maybe the backup and restore process was the key but for whatever reason, I haven't had an issue on the new firmware at all. Have any of you guys experienced problems if you've upgraded the hard drive?
Gainward Set to Release GTX 460 with 2GB of VRAMPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 02:46PM
NVIDIA just released its GTX 460 with much success. The card is available in either a 768MB or 1GB GDDR5 configuration and performs great with either. Gainward though feels that the GTX 460 could benefit from even more memory as it is getting set to launch a 460 with 2GB of VRAM. This GTX 460 will be launched under Gainward's Golden Sample branding and will have two DVI outputs, one mini-HDMI, and one D-Sub to help you connect to any monitor you wish. Even with the extra VRAM, this card will only have a 700MHz core clock which is just 25MHz more than a stock card. The memory will see no increase in speed but perhaps the extra one gigabyte will make a bigger difference. I will wait for a review to see if the extra VRAM actually does give a benefit though.
No word on pricing or availabilty has been announced but expect it to cost just a bit more than a 1GB GTX 460.
Jailbreak Your iPhone Using the InternetPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 03:06PM
The iPhone Dev Team has done it again, and have released a new way to jailbreak the iPhone, including the new iPhone 4. Users need only an internet connection and mobile Safari for it to work. However, this jailbreak will only allow unapproved apps to be installed, and users cannot take their phone to another carrier. Users just have to visit jailbreakme.com in mobile Safari, and it will do the rest. It takes advantage of a security hole related to PDF files. Users who jailbreak their phones don't have to worry about any copyright claims as it has been labeled fair use, but Apple could still void your warranty.
Palit GeForce GTX 460 Sonic 2GB Graphics Card AnnouncedPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 06:06PM
It was just two weeks ago that OCC reviewed the Palit GTX 460 1GB Sonic Platinum graphics card and we really liked what we saw. The GTX 460 cards were originally released in versions containing either 768MB of GDDR5 memory or 1GB of GDDR5 memory. Palit has just announced it is releasing a new member of its GTX 460 Series - the GTX460 Sonic 2GB containing 2GB of high speed GDDR5 memory designed to provide extreme performance at the highest resolutions.
Like the Sonic Platinum card we reviewed earlier, the Palit GTX460 Sonic 2GB is factory overclocked. It's 700MHz core speed is 25MHz higher than reference speed with the 2GB memory clocked at 1800MHz. The larger frame buffer combined with the factory overclock means gamers can enjoy extreme performance playing DX10/DX11 games at higher resolutions with the best quality image. Compared to the previous generation of GeForce GTX 285 2GB cards, the Palit GTX460 Sonic 2GB achieves 12% better performance at 1920x1200 resolutions.
Palit did not provide information on pricing or availability.
Kingston Expands HyperX Memory Line to Include Water-Cooled ModulesPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 07:06PM
Kingston Technology today announced it has released HyperX ‘H2O’ water-cooled DDR3 dual- and triple-channel memory kits. Now, enthusiasts with water cooled systems can take advantage of the extra cooling to provide lower temperatures and long-term reliability. There will be three HyperX DDR3 products debuting in the new H2O line: two 4GB dual-channel kits (2000MHz, 2133MHz) and a 6GB triple-channel kit running at 2000MHz.
“Kingston is also proud to announce that the original HyperX module is now called Genesis,” said Vincent Kim, HyperX product manager, Kingston. “The core of the HyperX family is the blu, Genesis and T1 series as they offer solutions in a range of densities and frequencies for enthusiasts of all levels. For system builders with specific requirements, H2O adds high performance in a water-cooling environment while LoVo is the perfect choice for an energy-efficient build.”
|Part Number||Capacity and Features||MSRP (U.S. only)|
|KHX2000C9AD3W1K2/4GX||4GB DDR3 2000MHz (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65v) kit of 2 optimized for XMP||$157.00|
|KHX2133C9AD3W1K2/4GX||4GB DDR3 2133MHz (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65v) kit of 2 optimized for XMP||$205.00|
|KHX2000C9AD3W1K3/6GX||6GB DDR3 2000MHz (CL9-10-9-27 @ 1.65v) kit of 3 optimized for XMP||$235.00|
CoolIT Systems Contest AnnouncedPosted: August 2, 2010 @ time: 07:50PM
What do you do with your old air cooling solution once you install one of CoolIT Advanced Liquid Cooling units? This is not a rhetorical question and CoolIT aims to find out. In fact, they're so serious about this question that the company is willing to pony up 100 ECO A.L.C. units just to find out. Seriously.
But like all good things, you're going to have to work for a chance to win one of those 100 units. It's not all that difficult really, because all you have to do is create a video of what you are doing with your old air cooler that you're no longer using. Once your video is ready you'll need to post it on the CoolIT YouTube channel.
“At CoolIT Systems we are always focusing on engineering exceptional products and adjusting our designs based on customer feedback. A contest like this is a fun way for us to thank our customers for their valuable input by getting involved in what they are doing.” Says Susan LeBlanc, Global Marketing and Communications Manager at CoolIT Systems.
The contest is scheduled to begin on August 4th, 2010, and will take place on CoolIT’s YouTube channel. The first round will run for a period of 14 days and the winners will win one of 100 ECO Advanced Liquid Cooling solutions. Consumers are invited to rate posted videos to vote for the winner. So head on over to the YouTube channel and check out the CoolIT video for some ideas and then post up your own submission.
Hardware Roundup: Tuesday EditionPosted: August 3, 2010 @ time: 04:45AM
A product called Boom Boom grabs your attention for the name alone if nothing else. Choiix, a division of Cooler Master, decided to call its slim travel speaker by that name and today's roundup features no less than three separate reviews along with the OCC review found here. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 460 graphics card made quite a splash, especially at the $200 end of the video card pool. Today we get a chance to read a comparison review of ATI and NVIDIA cards that are each priced at $210 along with a review of the ASUS GTX 460 in SLI mode. We also have a couple of articles on mobiles phones and an updated look at StarCraft II performance now that ATI has reversed its position and added in antialiasing support. We also have a review on a game called Daredevil Dave: Motorcycle Stuntman. Now who at OCC does that remind you of?
Gelid Icy Vision Video Card GPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews
Daredevil Dave: Motorcycle stuntman @ Rbmods
StarCraft II Performance Review - Even your mom can play (UPDATED) @ PC Perspective
Motorola Droid X: The Next Generation of Does @ HotHardware
Battle of the Carriers and their Phones @ ThinkComputers
Choiix BoomBoom @ Neoseeker
Quick Review: Choiix Boom Boom Slim Travel Speaker @ TweakTown
Eagle Tech ET-AR508LR-BK Stereo Speaker @ Bjorn3D
Choiix Boom Boom @ LanOC Reviews
The $210 Video Card Showdown @ TweakTown
ASUS GeForce GTX 460 SLI Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
The TR Podcast Episode 69 @ Tech Report
BlackBerry Torch 9800 Announced, Launching August 12th on AT&TPosted: August 3, 2010 @ time: 12:57PM
AT&T and BlackBerry held an event in New York today to announce a new phone. That phone is the BlackBerry Torch 9800 which is the long-rumored BlackBerry slider. The Torch features a full QWERTY keyboard hidden under the slide section, with a 3.2 inch touchscreen up top that features a 480x360 resolution. Below the screen is the usual optical trackpad so you get a choice as to which you want to use to navigate the phone. The phone also packs in a 5 megapixel camera with flash along with 802.11n support so you can connect to virtually any WiFi network you wish. The Torch has 4GB of onboard storage and comes with a 4GB microSD card packaged in though you can of course upgrade that to the maximum of 32GB. There is 512MB of ROM and RAM on the phone so hopefully everything will be nice and fast while getting around on it. The Torch also includes a quadband 3G radio so it should be safe to say you can take the phone to various countries around the world and still be connected. There is a new feature on the phone called Media Sync which will allow you to sync all your music and videos over WiFi. Various companies have tried this feature in the past but this has rarely been offered directly out-of-the-box so it will be interesting to see how well RIM can pull this off.
Also on the phone is the brand new BlackBerry 6 which is the new operating system being used by RIM on this and all future devices. BlackBerry 6 brings with it many new features as well as an overhauled UI. BlackBerry 6 also has a new WebKit-based browser which supports HTML5 so the browsing experience on the phone should be nice and rich. There is a universal search function, social media aggregation, and also the WiFi Media Sync. Not only will BlackBerry 6 be on all new phones, like the Torch, but certain older phones will be getting the new OS as well. So far, those include the Bold 9700, the Bold 9650, and the Pearl 3G.
The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be launching August 12th on AT&T. The phone will cost $199.99 on contract.
XFX to Release Two Single Slot HD 5770sPosted: August 3, 2010 @ time: 02:54PM
XFX is getting set to release two new single slot ATI HD 5770 video cards. The cards are the HD-577X-ZMF3 and the HD-577X-Z5F3 which both feature a black PCB and black heatsink so each one looks pretty snazy. Both cards launch with the stock clocks of 850MHz on the core and 4800MHz on the memory. Each one has the usual 1GB GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface but the real selling point is the single slot nature. This enables the card to fit in much tighter spaces, like say a small form factor case, while still providing exceptional gaming performance. The difference between the cards is that the ZMF3 has two DVI ports and one mini DisplayPort while the Z5F3 has five mini DisplayPorts making it ideal for a large Eyefinity setup.
Both cards are expected to ship during the middle of August around the $200 price point.
Starcraft 2 Fastest Selling Strategy Game EverPosted: August 3, 2010 @ time: 04:54PM
It should come as no surprise that Starcraft 2 sold extremely well upon release. With a loyal fan base of one of the most highly acclaimed RTS games ever, and a 12 year wait since the original, it was guaranteed to be a hit. Within the first 48 hours, the game sold 1.5 million copies, with 1 million being sold on release day. The game was released worldwide in 11 different languages. It was the fastest selling PC game since World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King at GameStop. The game is available for both PC and Mac, and should sell plenty more copies before the year is over.
Hardware Roundup: Wednesday EditionPosted: August 4, 2010 @ time: 04:40AM
Today's roundup turned up reviews on a pair of solid state drives, both of which are based on the SandForce SF-1200 controller. The first is the OCZ Agility 2 Extended 60GB unit with the second review covering the Phoenix Pro 120GB from G.Skill. In the video department with get a look at a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5670 1GB graphics cards and a GeForce GTX 460 card from Gigabyte. There's more for you to check out which you can do by hitting the links below.
NZXT Vulcan Micro-ATX PC Case @ PC Perspective
CM Storm Inferno Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
HP De-branded 25-inch HD Widescreen LCD Monitor @ ThinkComputers
ASUS Z8NA-D6C (Intel 5500) Motherboard @ TweakTown
OCZ Agility 2 Extended 60GB @ Neoseeker
G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120GB High 4K IOPS Solid State Drive @ TweakTown
AMD ATI RADEON HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 Video Card @ Madshrimps
Asus EAH5670 HD 5670 1GB Graphics Card @ Tweaknews
Gigabyte GTX-460 768 MB (GV-N460DS-768I-B) @ Bjorn3D
Ripping Your Blu-rays the Easy and Free Way @ Techgage
Latest in Notebooks: Third Quarter 2010 @ TechSpot
Corsair Launches Hydro Series H70 CoolerPosted: August 4, 2010 @ time: 02:24PM
Corsair has just launched its Hydro Series H70 CPU cooler which is the successor to the popular and successful H50 cooler. The H70 is the next step in the Hydro Series and builds upon the successful components of the H50. The H70 includes a radiator that is twice as thick and comes with two fans for a push/pull setup. The radiator is now 50mm thick and features higher heat-exchanging capacity along with a pump/cold plate unit with increased efficiency. The two fans it comes with are 120mm and are speed-switchable so you can get the ideal airflow in the push/pull configuration. The H70 features a low profile cold plate so it can fit in a wide variety of cases and is also low mass so not much stress will be put on the motherboard when it is attached to your processor. The H70 includes the mounting hardware for all the current Intel and AMD sockets so you should be able to fit it on any processor you wish. John Beekely, the VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair, feels that the H70 can go toe-to-toe with any other CPU cooler on the market all while delivering less noise, easier installation, and the support of nearly any ATX case.
The Corsair Hydro Series H70 should be available now though no price was given. The H70 comes with a two year warranty which is always good to see.
Patriot Releases Xporter Rage Flash DrivePosted: August 4, 2010 @ time: 02:49PM
Patriot Memory, leading manufacturer of all things memory related, has just announced the newest member of its flash drive family, the Xporter XT Rage. The Xporter XT Rage is similar to the Xporter XT flash drives just on a much smaller scale. The Xporter XT Rage drives measure in at 11 x 53 x 21.8mm and weigh 11 grams so it is extremely compact and lightweight. The Xporter XT Rage features a retractable USB 2.0 interface so no cap is required on it while still coming in the rugged rubber casing to prevent against damage. The drives feature read times of 27MB/second and write times of 25MB/s so transferring a large amount of data should go fairly quick for a flash drive. The Xporter XT Rage will come in 8, 16, 32, and 64GB capacities and are backed by a lifetime warranty.
The Patriot Xporter XT Rage flash drives should be available now with the 8GB costing $29.99, the 16GB at $44.99, the 32GB at $79.99, and the 64GB at $149.99.
Transcend Announces 4GB aXeRAM DDR3-2400 Memory KitPosted: August 4, 2010 @ time: 03:19PM
Transcend has just announced its 4GB aXeRAM DDR3-2400 dual-channel memory kit which is being aimed at users of Intel's P55 platform. This 4GB, XMP-ready kit operates at 2400MHz and 1.65V which will outperform standard modules by 60% according to Transcend. Each 4GB kit contains two identically matched modules rated at 2400MHz with timings of 9-11-9-28 and operate at a voltage of 1.65. This gives the kit a theoretical memory bandwidth of 38.4GB/s. The aXeRAM kit is ideal for overclockers and gamers who are looking to take their system to the next level and still provide exceptional performance. The modules have an aluminum heatsink with cooling fins so the temperature should stay within reason while you are gaming or just obtaining the next big overclock. Each module is comprised of 128Mx8 high-quality DDR3 FBGA chips and PCBs that comply with JEDEC standards to help ensure maximum stability.
No word on pricing or availability was announced at this time.
QMobile Android Application Allows Mobile Access to Your QNAP ServerPosted: August 4, 2010 @ time: 07:07PM
Recently we reviewed the QNAP TS-459U-RP Turbo NAS Server which provides storage for all types of files including music, photos, and video. Today QNAP announced a new addition to its lineup which will allow remote access of media files via an Android device. Now you can stream those ever important media files to your phone via the Internet, giving you a pocket media player in the palm of your hand with the large storage space of your home QNAP NAS.
To be able to stream your media you must upgrade to version 3.3.0 of the QNAP management software and be running Android OS 1.5, 1.6, or 2.1 with the QMobile app installed. No word on if the latest Android 2.2 OS is or will be supported but as soon as we know more we will pass on the information.
James Wu, Product Manager of QNAP Systems, stated “We are pleased to announce QMobile application as the first multimedia app for the connection between NAS and Android devices. For now, both iPhone and Android users can have fun with their mobile device and QNAP NAS. [...] Users no longer need to be concerned about synchronizing the multimedia contents to the mobile device. They can save storage space of the mobile device and get a compelling user experience with QMobile.”
Razer Unveils Updated Lachesis Gaming MousePosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 02:29AM
Razer has updated its 2007 Lachesis gaming mouse with enhanced features. The new version, also named the Razer Lachesis will replace the current Lachesis model. The updated Lachesis is powered by a 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G laser sensor and 60KB of onboard Razer Synapse memory. A new feature included is an adjustable multi-colour LED which can produce up to 16 million colours. As always nine Hyperesponse buttons, a 1ms response time, 1000Hz Ultrapolling, On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment and a gold-plated USB connector come standard. The updated Lachesis will be available soon from the Razer Store for US$79.99.
NZXT Launches HALE90 80+ Gold Certified PSUsPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 03:48AM
NZXT has launched its latest offering, the HALE90 power supply series. All models in the HALE90 series are 80+ Gold certified ensuring maximum efficiency. The HALE90 includes 100% Japanese capacitors, a single +12V rail and a 140mm two ball bearing fan for solid, quiet performance. The HALE90 series will be available in 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W variants for US$119.99, $139.99, $159.99, $179.99 and $209.99 respectively.
Hardware Roundup: Thursday EditionPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 05:07AM
Picking out the perfect computer case is a daunting process, mainly due to the vast number of choices on the market today. Fortunately, you have resources like OCC to bring you the latest reviews to help you narrow down the candidates and make the final decision. Our roundup today contains reviews on the NZXT Phantom full-tower chassis (also reviewed by OCC here) and the mid-tower Fortress FT02 case from SilverStone. NVIDIA's recently released GeForce GTX 460 video card continues to generate quite a bit of interest among enthusiast sites and we're seeing reviews not only on the cards themselves, but comparison reviews against the competition using SLI and CrossFireX configurations.
NZXT Phantom Enthusiast Full Tower Case @ TweakTown
SilverStone Fortress FT02 Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
The Ultimate Performance PC: EVGA & Intel Infused @ HotHardware
MSI GeForce N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5 Overclocked Video Card @ Legit Reviews
GeForce GTX 460 1GB SLI vs. Radeon HD 5850 CFX @ [H]ardOCP
PowerColor Power Jack @ Neoseeker
MSI N480GTX M2D15 GeForce GTX 480 @ PC Perspective
MSI GeForce GTX 460 768MB Cyclone in SLI @ TweakTown
Logitech Launches Three New Gaming PeripheralsPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 01:16PM
Logitech is getting set to launch three new gaming peripherals today that should help you improve your fragging skills. The three new products are the G510 keyboard, the G700 mouse, and the G930 headset. The keyboard looks to be just an improved version of past keyboards while the mouse and headset both feature wireless technology for Logitech to better compete against Razer and Microsoft.
The G510 keyboard features a Game Panel LCD which will display in-game stats, VoIP data, media player information, and system performance much like the LCD on the G15 keyboard. The G510 also features customizable backlighting to allow you to pick any color you wish, including white, though no mention was made on exactly how many colors it features. The keyboard also features eighteen programmable G-keys with three profiles to allow up to 54 different key presses or macros to be recorded and stored. Also on the keyboard are headphone and microphone jacks which when either is plugged in the computer will recognize it as a USB device to provide crystal clear audio.
The G700 mouse seems similar to the G500 just with wireless functionality. The G700 one ups the G500 by featuring thirteen programmable buttons which can be configured with user-defined macros to truly customize the mouse for your exact needs. The mouse features an ergonomic shape but it appears to be designed only for right handed people so lefties must look elsewhere. Like the Razer Mamba, the Logitech G700 features a dual-mode wireless where you can plug the mouse in to a USB cable to charge and play or disconnect it for a true wireless experience. No mention was made of its DPI but I expect it to be just like the G500 at 5700 DPI.
Finally we come to the G930 headset which is another wireless model. The G930 is very similar to the G35 headset, even down to the appearance, but the G930 packs in two 2.4GHz antennas onboard for quick performance. The range on the G930 is up to 40 feet so you should be free to move around your room or house while still hearing your buddies talk. It features 7.1 surround sound powered by Dolby Pro Logic II technology so the sound should be accurate and realistic. There are three programmable G-keys on the side of the headset which gives you one touch control over your music, voice, and yes, even morphing your voice. The microphone is of the noise-canceling variety and will automatically mute when moved up and out of the way.
The Logitech G510, G700, and G930 should be available soon from Logitech's website and major retailers. The G510 keyboard will cost $119.99, the G700 mouse at $99.99, and the G930 headset at $159.99.
Intel Reaches an Agreement with FTC Over Anti-Competitive PracticesPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 02:53PM
The long running legal battle between the FTC and Intel seems to finally be coming to an end. Intel and the FTC have reached a tentative agreement about the anti-competitive practices Intel employed and how the chip maker can rectify the problems. There are four specific restrictions on the list that Intel must comply with in order to avoid any further problems.
The first restriction is that Intel is required to alter its licensing agreement with AMD, NVIDIA, and VIA Technologies. Nothing specific was stated but the FTC probably wants Intel to allow its competitors a greater degree of freedom to merge and collaborate without worrying if Intel will unleash its lawyers. This also means that Intel and AMD won't have any problems like the companies did when AMD decided to outsource its chip production. It also could mean that we may see NVIDIA release integrated solutions on Intel motherboards though this is just pure speculation and there really is no telling what it could mean.
The second restriction deals with VIA Technologies again though this is simply to force Intel to extend VIA's license an additional five years when it expires in 2013. So not only will the licensing agreement be looser but VIA will get a nice extension in the process.
The third restriction requires that Intel must continue to support the PCI-e interface for at least six more years. This will allow future graphics cards to function normally without suffering any performance hits. This restriction seems like a precaution since it had been rumored that Intel was going to drop PCI-e since it did not want the competing GPU makers to have a usable interface. This most likely would not have affected desktop graphics cards but rather the laptop ones since Intel would have forced everyone to use its integrated solution and force all the discrete cards out of the market.
The fourth and final restriction is that Intel is required to inform developers that its in-house compilers only produce Intel-optimized code. In addition to that is Intel will be required to reimburse developers who intend to compile applications with a non-Intel compiler. This most likely means that Intel will not be allowed to force its compiler on developers who do not wish to use it.
These four restrictions are still tentative so there may be some changes over the next 30 days. No mention of Intel being fined was made in this report so it makes you wonder what that will be like when it is made public.
Batman: Arkham City AnnouncedPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 05:16PM
The sequel to the award-winning Batman: Arkham Asylum has finally gotten a name. The new game will be titled Batman: Arkham City and it takes place within a localized (and heavily fortified) district of Gotham City called, you guessed it, Arkham City. There Batman will face some new villains including the likes of Mr. Freeze, Talia al Ghul, and Catwoman. Talia al Ghul is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and will be voiced by Stana Katic, while Mr. Freeze will be voiced by Maurice LaMarche. Mark Hamill will return in his role of the Joker and Hamill has already stated that this will be his last performance of the iconic villain. No further details have been announced at this time, but Batman: Arkham City is slated for a release in Fall of 2011 on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Rocksteady Studios will still be producing the game so I have high hopes for how it will turn out. Feel free to hit up our discussion on the game and voice your opinion of what you hope is in it.
ASUS Announces the Rampage III Formula MotherboardPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 08:33PM
ASUS is introducing a new member in its Republic of Gamers product lineup and we have some preview information along with a few pictures to give you an idea of what the board looks like. Based on the Intel X58 chipset, the Rampage III Formula is designed for gamers with support for both NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFireX. The board also features the latest USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s connectivity for ultra-fast storage options and Intel Gigabit Ethernet with what ASUS calls ROG GameFirst to ensure the best online game experience. The board also comes with on-board audio which supports EAX 5.0 and THX TruStudio Pro to provide the best sound playback in games and movies. Other features include Extreme Engine Digi+ power delivery system featuring a Digital VRM controller, improved heatsink and airflow design, BIOS Flashback, triple channel DDR3-2200 support and more. Take a moment to check out the attached pictures and hopefully we'll have more information forthcoming from ASUS on pricing and availability.
Antec Launches KÃœHLER Series CPU CoolersPosted: August 5, 2010 @ time: 09:12PM
You know Antec for its cases and power supplies among it lineup of computer products. Now, Antec has announced its new KÜHLER series of high performance CPU coolers. The series consists of three cooler models, the KÜHLER Box, KÜHLER Shelf and KÜHLER Flow.
The KÜHLER Box is a symmetrical tower design which can be rotated 90°, 180° and 270° to coordinate with interior airflow requirements in your case. The unit uses a single 120mm PWM fan sandwiched in between two large aluminum heatsinks. The fan can crank out up to 68.2 CFM on high or or you can tone it down a bit and have it operate as quiet as 11.35 dBA. The KÜHLER Box features eight heatpipes to keep things cool and is compatible with a full range of Intel and AMD CPUs including Intel LGA 1366, 1156, 775 and AMD AM3, AM2+, AM2 sockets.
The KÜHLER Shelf is a C-design cooler featuring a 120mm top-mounted PWM fan with downward airflow cooling not only the base of the heatsink, but nearby motherboard components as well. The KÜHLER Shelf has seven copper heatpipes neatly arranged in a space-saving design to better accommodate tight spaces and tall chipsets.
Finally, there's the KÜHLER Flow CPU cooler, which is also a tower design but is narrower than the KÜHLER Box and can also be repositioned to match the case's airflow. It, too, has a 120mm PWM fan and is only 122mm wide.
All three coolers are designed to fit a wide range of leading desktop processor sockets, including LGA 1366, 1156, 775 and AMD sockets AM3, AM2+, and are compatible with Intel Core i7, Core i5 and AMD® Phenom II processors. Additionally, all come with an easy-installation kit which includes a mini-wrench for simple, fast set up.
Antec has priced each of the KÜHLER models at $59.99 and should be available now.
Hardware Roundup: Friday EditionPosted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 05:11AM
If you're interested in Cooler Master's line of products then you'll find a lot to read about in today's roundup. We'll start off with a pair of cases reviews on the CM HAF 932 Black Edition and CM 690 II Advanced (you can check out the OCC review here). OCC recently reviewed the CM Storm Inferno gaming mouse and we have another review along with looks at mice from Mad Catz and Razer as well. Finally, we finish up with a review of the Cooler Master GX 750W power supply. There are more reviews on other manufacturer's products which you can check out using the links below.
Cooler Master HAF 932 Black Edition PC Case @ Legit Reviews
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced @ Rbmods
Mad Catz Cyborg RAT-7 Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
CM Storm Inferno Gaming Mouse @ Techgage
Razer Imperator & Razer Vespula @ Bjorn3D
ASRock 870 Extreme3 (AMD 870) Motherboard @ TweakTown
Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe @ Neoseeker
Edimax AR-7284WnA Router @ XSReviews
Cooler Master GX 750W Power Supply @ TweakTown
Patriot Inferno 100GB SandForce SF-1200 SSD @ Legit Reviews
PCPer Podcast #116 @ PC Perspective
Gigabyte Announces PowerRock PSU SeriesPosted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 02:08PM
When people think of power supplies, they often think of grabbing something with enough wattage to last several computer systems. However, there are some people who may not need a power supply with 850 watts or just need something small for an HTPC. For that, Gigabyte has you covered with its newest series of power supplies, the PowerRock series. The PowerRock series measures in at 150 x 140 x 86mm and comes in 300, 350, 400, and 500W capacities. The units are ATX +12V 2.2 compliant and feature dual 12V rails along with a non-modular cable design. There is a fan to cool everything down but no mention was made on the size of the fan. Seeing as how the PSUs aren't that big, I'd have to wager a 120mm fan is keeping everything cool. The 400 and 500W models feature 80Plus certification and PFC technology.
No word on pricing or availability was announced at this time but seeing as these units have a particular group in mind, I do not see them costing all that much.
NVIDIA to Cut GTX 400 Prices?Posted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 03:55PM
Keep this filed under rumor for now but it seems NVIDIA is going to gear up for a price cut on the GTX 400 products. When the GTX 470 launched at $350, some people didn't think it was worth that much when it performed about on par with an ATI HD 5850. Slowly the price on that card dropped to $330 which made it a bit more affordable but still above a 5850 in most cases. The GTX 480 is still in the upper $400s, with some at $500, but a few can be found for $450. However, a pair of GTX 460s running in SLI is still cheaper than the majority of the GTX 480s and will outperform that card by a substantial margin. If the GTX 480 and 470 can drop even lower, say to $300 for the GTX 470 and $400 for the GTX 480, I think NVIDIA will be good for some time.
The odd card out is the GTX 465 which has been dropping from its original $280 launch price down to $240. That price will compete with the GTX 460 but seeing as how the 460 performs about the same while producing less heat and using less power it makes it hard to recommend the GTX 465 over it. Now, the GTX 465 could compete at a lower price point, say $230 or a bit below, but then NVIDIA may drop the price of the 768MB GTX 460 to further differentiate that from the 1GB version. The 768MB could drop below $200 but then I think that would compete with NVIDIA's upcoming GTS 450 card.
This all gets a bit murky but NVIDIA is slowly getting backed into a corner and needs to compete with AMD/ATI in order to stay afloat. Time will tell what happens, but if you are in the market for a new video card, I think I would wait to see how low the prices go on the GTX 400 series before settling on NVIDIA or ATI.
Apple Ready to Plug Security Hole that Allowed for Web-based iPhone JailbreakPosted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 04:00PM
Earlier in the week the iPhone Dev Team released a website that allowed users to jailbreak their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The process involved exploiting a vulnerability in the PDF viewer of Apple's mobile operating system. The same vulnerability used to jailbreak the iPhone could allow malicious websites to install software to an iOS based device, gain root access, and then access any part of the system. Thankfully, there are no known malicious exploits out there yet, but the issue itself is a pretty scary thought.
Apple is said to have a patch ready that will plug the security hole, and it will be released in an upcoming iOS update.
Four New Playable Species Announced for The Old RepublicPosted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 08:06PM
In the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), there are sure to be plenty of playable species, but developer BioWare hasn't unveiled much in that regard. From demos and screenshots, we got wind of the Rattataki Bounty Hunter, Chiss Imperial Agent, and the Twi'lek Smuggler. Now, BioWare has confirmed that "all classes will include optional non-human species."
Those wanting to play as a Sith Warrior class will be able to choose the Sith Pureblood, a member of the original Sith Race. If you'd rather play as the Sith Inquisitor, you'll be able to be a Zabrak, Darth Maul's race. If The Galactic Empire is more appealing to you, you can be a Miraluka Jedi Knight, wearing veils and blindfolds, as they've adapted to use the Force to see their surroundings, as their homeworld is in complete darkness. Lastly, if you were hoping to play as a Jedi Consular, you can select the green-skinned Mirialan.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Not to everyone. Many people are rather disappointed that races are class-specific, but as BioWare states, "the list is not yet complete." It's likely that although there may be class-specific races, there will also be some non-human races that will be selectable for all classes. Even so, for people wanting to play a particular race, they may now be forced to play a particular class. Furthermore, some people are upset with the races chosen so far - not only are they all humanoid, but they seem to simply boil down to reskins of a human model. Again though, the list is not complete, so BioWare may still unveil other more varied playable species, like Rodians or Mon Calamarians. However, due to the game being fully voiced, it's unlikely the Wookies will be a playable race.
PC Gaming Hardware Shipments Twice That of ConsolesPosted: August 6, 2010 @ time: 09:29PM
There's a group called the PC Gaming Alliance that concerns itself with the growth of, oddly enough, PC gaming. It recently released the results of its Horizons Hardware research report which found that the annual PC gaming hardware shipments in 2009 were over two times that of the three major gaming consoles combined. They also measured the sales of consumer PCs equipped with discrete GPUs (no netbooks and PCs with integrated graphics) capable of gaming and found the sales totaled $54.6 billion in 2009 with sales expected to continue to climb to $61.3 billion over the next five years.
Lest you simply dismiss this as a function of PCs costing more than consoles, the report goes on to say that the number of consumers gaming on these discrete graphics equipped systems will grow from 212.6 million in 2009 to about 322 million by 2014.
Interestingly enough, the U.S. is not the largest market for PC gaming hardware, accounting for only about 22% of the total market. The Asia Pacific region claims the crown with 33% with Western Europe coming in at 24%.
[via Blue's News]
Hardware Roundup: Weekend EditionPosted: August 7, 2010 @ time: 06:37PM
For prebuilt systems we have reviews covering both ends of the performance spectrum with the first unit from Puget Systems being aimed at the gaming market. The second system, destined for home theater setups, relies on an Intel i3 mobile processor to get things done. We hope you're enjoying your weekend and we'll see you back here on the front page on Monday morning.
Apple Magic Trackpad @ HotHardware
Puget Systems Serenity SPCR Edition Ultra Quiet Gaming PC @ PC Perspective
ASRock Core 100HT-BD HTPC (Intel Core i3) @ TweakTown
Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 120GB Solid State Drive @ TweakTown
Gigabyte GO OC 2010 North America Overclocking Championships @ Legit Reviews
Our Top News Stories For The WeekPosted: August 8, 2010 @ time: 03:50PM
Been too busy playing StarCraft II to keep up with the news on OCC? Don't worry, we have got you covered with our round up of the most popular stories from the past week. When you are done reading the news, be sure to check out our newest contest sponsored by Micro-Star International.
- Palit GeForce GTX 460 Sonic 2GB Graphics Card Announced
- Latest Playstation 3 Firmware Bricks Consoles Under Certain Conditions?
- Apple Ready to Plug Security Hole that Allowed for Web-based iPhone Jailbreak
- BlackBerry Torch 9800 Announced, Launching August 12th on AT&T
- ASUS Announces the Rampage III Formula Motherboard
- Corsair Launches Hydro Series H70 Cooler
- Batman: Arkham City Announced
- NVIDIA to Cut GTX 400 Prices?
- XFX to Release Two Single Slot HD 5770s
- Thermaltake Releases Toughpower Ultra Slim Power Adapter
That's it for the top news for the past week. If you come across an interesting story you feel our news team should know about, you can always send the OCC News Team a tip. Who knows, it might get you a job.
250GB Xbox Kinect Bundle SightedPosted: August 9, 2010 @ time: 03:33AM
The release of Microsoft's Kinect platform is looming with an early November launch. Currently gamers can choose to buy the Kinect unit by itself or purchase the already unveiled 4GB Xbox 360 Slim Bundle. With the recent sighting of a 250GB Xbox variant it looks as though there will be more than one choice come the day of release. The new model was sighted on the Australian packaging of the matte 4GB bundle, featuring a 250GB hard drive, a glossy finish, a headset and "games and demos" included in the hard drive. It looks as though Microsoft might forgo the humble disk and pre-install software directly on the hard drive. The 250GB bundle is not officially announced or priced but I'd expect it to cost around US$100 more than the current Xbox 360 Slim console.
Hardware Roundup: Monday EditionPosted: August 9, 2010 @ time: 04:39AM
The Thermaltake Armor A90 proved to be a solid performer and a good value at around $90 (reviewed by OCC here) and today's roundup includes another look at this mid-tower case. NVIDIA's GTX 460 video card has proven some what of a surprise gives its performance/price ratio and the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 card adds in a factory overclock to sweeten the deal. Today's roundup also has a couple of input devices to look at including Apple's Magic Trackpad and the Storm Inferno gaming mouse from Cooler Master (also reviewed by OCC here).
Thermaltake Armor A90 Mid-Tower @ Techgage
Cooler Master Storm Inferno Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker
Apple Magic Trackpad @ Apple Related
Quick Review: Dell U2211H 21.5-inch LCD Monitor @ TweakTown
ASUS USB-N13 802.11n Adapter @ TweakTown
ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 @ Benchmark Reviews
Carriers Blu-ray Movie @ TweakTown
OCC Teams with MSI for Motherboard Giveaway ContestPosted: August 9, 2010 @ time: 05:02AM
The good folks at MSI are giving the members of OCC a chance to win a Big Bang XPower motherboard. They are also offering up twenty game codes for Metro 2033. You can read all about the Big Bang XPower board in the OCC review to get an idea of what an incredible board this is.
Entering the contest is simple: just take a picture of your current motherboard and post it in the MSI Contest Thread and state what model board it is. Then tell us what you like about the MSI Big Bang XPower board. That's three simple things. Pretty easy, huh?
The contest runs from now until the evening of August 15th so get your entries in by posting in the MSI Contest thread. Good Luck!
The contest is now over. Congrations to OCC forum wevsspot for winning the MSI Big Bang XPower board and also to the twenty winners of the Metro 2033 game codes. OCC would also like to thank MSI for sponsoring this contest!
Google and Verizon Announce Joint Policy for an 'Open Internet'Posted: August 9, 2010 @ time: 12:16PM
Recently, the FCC was told by a court that it could not actually enforce net neutrality. This opened the door for other companies to step in and propose ideas as to what it thinks the internet should be about. Today, two companies have formed a joint policy proposal as to what an "open internet" should be like. Those two companies are Google and Verizon, two of the largest companies dealing with all things communication. Both Google and Verizon agree that web users should be able to choose what applications, content, and devices they use while believing that the government should have more regulations on what is out there. However, both companies think that fewer regulations should be enforced on us and our ISPs. So basically, more regulations but few will be enforced.
All of that is going to be enforced on wired lines but as for wireless, Google and Verizon think that wireless access should be left pretty much all alone. This is because there are fewer spectrums available for wireless compared to wired so it will not be as high up on the list of what should be regulated. Both Google and Verizon probably feel that the wireless world is far too competitive for regulations to be enforced as it stands now but perhaps in a few years it will be open to it.
As part of this joint policy, Google and Verizon feel that the FCC should be able to fine any ISP up to $2 million for going against the open internet. Both companies are also in favor of the National Broadband Plan so it will be interesting to see what all happens in the coming months.
Evercool Launches Battle Hero Laptop CoolerPosted: August 9, 2010 @ time: 02:44PM
Evercool has announced its newest laptop cooler which is dubbed the Battle Hero. The Battle Hero has a military theme, Evercool calls it a "gaming style", which gives it a pretty unique appearance. The cooler measures in at 324 x 270 x 35mm and weighs one kilogram. It features a metal grey color on its aluminum frame while it packs in two compartments, two USB 2.0 ports, and two 70mm fans that run at 1500RPM while generating 16dBa. The two compartments are used to store the USB cable and any other small accessories you can fit in it, like a flash drive. The Battle Hero cooler supports laptops ranging from 9 to 15 inches in size and will help to keep it nice and cool during a long gaming session.
No word on pricing or availability was announced at this time so we will keep you updated when it hits.
Hardware Roundup: Tuesday EditionPosted: August 10, 2010 @ time: 04:37AM
Corsair has expanded beyond its memory roots to where its product lineup includes power supplies, cases and cooling units and today we get a look at the A50 CPU cooler. We also have fans from Enermax and SilverStone being reviewed as well. There are a couple of flash drives in the review roundup, motherboards, a memory kit and more, so take a few minutes to check out all the reviews using the links provided.
Enermax T.B.SILENCE 14cm Fan @ Rbmods
Antec Notebook Coolers Triple Treat - Basic, Mini, and Designer @ PC Perspective
Corsair A50 @ Neoseeker
SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator Fan @ Benchmark Reviews
Taking a Look at Mafia II and its PhysX Use @ Techgage
Patriot Viper II Sector 5 2400MHz 4GB Kit (PVV34G2400C9K) @ Bjorn3D
Original Sinner…Err Slider @ ThinkComputers
GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard Loaded Up @ TweakTown
Asus LGA1156 P7P55D-E Pro Motherboard @ HotHardware
Arctic Sound E352 Wood Enclosed Headphone @ Legit Reviews
Super Talent SuperCrypt 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ TweakTown
Kingwin ATK-35U3-BK USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure @ Tweaknews
ADATA Superior Series C905 USB Flash Drive @ Madshrimps
MSI GeForce GTX 460 768MB Cyclone in SLI Overclocked @ TweakTown
Pacman + Android - Apple = One awesome tshirtPosted: August 10, 2010 @ time: 11:37AM
What do you get when you mix Pacman, Android and a little anti-Appleism? The answer is quite possibly the best Android tshirt I've ever seen. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the artist's inspiration. The once innocent Android robot has transformed into Pacman and is eating little Apples. Brilliant I say, brilliant.
Motorola Droid 2 is Finally OfficialPosted: August 10, 2010 @ time: 12:39PM
It had been talked about for a bit but now the Motorola Droid 2 is finally official. The Droid 2 will ship with Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 pre-installed, mobile hotspot, and a revised QWERTY keyboard that alters the layout while also ditching the directional pad. If you use the virtual keyboard any you will find Swype pre-installed which will make it look just like the virtual keyboard on the Droid X. The phone packs a 3.7 inch multitouch screen that is the exact same resolution as the one on the original Droid, a 5 megapixel camera, DLNA streaming, 8GB of onboard memory, and an 8GB SD card included. The storage can be expanded up to 40GB total when you add in a 32GB SD card so no one should have a problem with storing any amount of apps, data, or music on the phone.
The Droid 2 will be going up on pre-sale starting tomorrow with in-store availability starting on this Thursday. The phone will cost $199.99 with a two-year contract and if you opt for the mobile hotspot feature you will be paying $20 a month. To sweeten the deal, if your contract expires any time before December 31st, 2010, you can upgrade to any smartphone, including the Droid 2, without a penalty. There will also be an R2-D2-themed Droid 2 that will ship with exclusive Star Wars content and also an exterior appearance matching the iconic robot. That phone will be releasing in September though no word on how much it will cost.
Video Game Industry Sees More Growth Than U.S. EconomyPosted: August 10, 2010 @ time: 06:22PM
While the U.S. economy slowly makes small strides to get back on track, it seems the video game industry doesn't need to make as large leaps since it has seen more growth over the last few years than the entire U.S. economy. The video game industry grew by 10.6 percent between 2005 and 2009 while it was 16.7 percent between 2005 and 2008. Now, it did drop some between 2008 and 2009 but on the whole the industry saw growth. Meanwhile the U.S. economy grew 1.4 percent between 2005 and 2009 and 2.8 percent between 2005 and 2008. That is a staggering difference between the two and just shows that one of our hobbies is having some serious growth. The Entertainment Software Association reports that about 120,000 people are employed either directly or indirectly by the gaming industry. That industry added $4.9 billion to the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) and is also helping to create more careers for people. The six states with the highest number of game industry employees are, in order, California, Texas, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
Game publishing revenue is down nearly five percent from 2008 to 2009, but overall, the video game industry helps to aid the economy. So keep buying those games everyone, it really is good for the economy.
Hardware Roundup: Wednesday EditionPosted: August 11, 2010 @ time: 04:48AM
Today's roundup has a good mix of articles covering the usual products and a couple of not so usual ones. We'll start off with a pair of video card reviews covering the Visiontek Radeon HD 4670 and a GeForce GTC 460 from MSI. Solid state drives may not be in everyone's system, yet, but from a review stand point they are quite common these days and we have a review on the OCZ RevoDrive. For the not so ordinary, we have the Samson Go Mic designed to provide a higher quality audio input than what you get using the built in microphone on your laptop. There's more for you to check out today so be sure to read all the reviews using the links provided.
Antec Notebook Cooler Designer @ TweakTown
Samson Go Mic @ LanOC Reviews
Quick Review: Alienware TactX Keyboard and Mouse @ TweakTown
ASUS O!Play Air Media Player @ Techgage
HP All-in-One 200-5020 Desktop Computer @ TweakTown
OCZ RevoDrive Review: SSD RAID + PCI-Express @ HotHardware
Icy Dock MB668 External ScrewLess 2.5Inch HDD Enclosure @ Madshrimps
GIGABYTE GO OC 2010 - North America - L.A. @ Bjorn3D
Visiontek Radeon HD 4670 x2 @ Neoseeker
MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
Desktop PC Platform: Fears and Predictions @ Benchmark Reviews
Duke Nukem Forever to Finally See the Light of Day?Posted: August 11, 2010 @ time: 02:58PM
There are few games that can compare to how long Duke Nukem Forever has been in development limbo . The game has been talked about for ages and even though some snippets of information and screenshots have been released, the latest news was that game was forever lost to the video game gods. However, all that has changed apparently when some news broke that Duke Nukem Forever had found a new developer in the form of Gearbox Software. Gearbox is the developer of Brothers in Arms, Borderlands, and the upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines so it stands to reckon that if any company can finally create DNF, Gearbox would be it. Gearbox was slated to make a Duke Nukem spinoff titled Duke Begins but that was canned at the start of this year so perhaps it managed to pick up the rights to Duke Nukem Forever. There are rumors that a playable demo of the game will be available at the end of the year but until that happens I am keeping that under rumor. Maybe there will be some news at a gaming conference or something, so take this bit of information with a grain of salt.
Razer Launches Bright Green HeadphonesPosted: August 11, 2010 @ time: 04:06PM
Razer is getting set to launch a new pair of headphones that are a lovely shade of bright green. The headphones will be called Orca and bear a striking resemblance to the Carcharias headset just without a microphone. Oh, and that bright green hue that encompasses almost the entire set. The Orca headphones are designed for gamers and music lovers who are constantly on the go since it comes with a short braided cable, but no mention was made of how short it is. I expect it to be about 1 meter long since that seems to be about average for a shorter cable on headphones. There is also a 2 meter long braided extension cable to provide some much needed give if you happen to get up and walk around while wearing the headphones in your home. On the technical side, the Orca's pack 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets, a 15 - 21,000 Hz frequency response, and a standard 3.5mm headphone plug. The headphones are a circumaural set so it will go fully around your ears though no mention was made if it is an open or closed set.
The Razer Orca headphones will be launching later this month in the U.S. and sometime in the third quarter for the rest of the world. The price tag will be $59.99 or €59.99.
Hardware Roundup: Thursday EditionPosted: August 12, 2010 @ time: 05:24AM
Motherboards based on the Intel X58 chipset have been around for a while and now we're seeing manufacturers releasing updated versions with new features like USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s support. Today we have reviews on the MSI Big Bang XPower (you can read the OCC review here) and the ASRock X58 Extreme3 S1366. For something a bit out of the ordinary, check out the touch sensitive USB 2.0 portable storage device from INDYLAB. We also have more video cards being reviewed including the Sapphire HD 5770 Flex edition (also reviewed by OCC here) along with reviews on a series of DX11-capable cards in a SLI versus CrossFireX face off.
XSPC Rasa Waterblock @ XSReviews
2K Games' Mafia II Demo Performance w/ a GeForce GTX 460 @ Legit Reviews
Patriot Box Office Media Player @ TechSpot
MSI Big Bang XPower Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
ASRock X58 Extreme3 S1366 Motherboard @ Madshrimps
INDYLAB Touch USB 2.0 500GB Touch Sensitive Portable HDD @ TweakTown
SLI vs. CrossFireX: The DX11 generation @ Tech Report
Sapphire HD 5770 FLEX @ Neoseeker
Gainward GeForce GTX 460 1GB Goes Like Hell (GLH) Edition in SLI @ TweakTown
Blu-ray Importing: August 2010 Buying Guide @ TweakTown
Desktop PC Platform: Killed By Overclocking @ Benchmark Reviews