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News Archives for February 2011

Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: February 1, 2011 @ time: 06:10AM
Author: Nemo

Normally we dedicate our roundup to articles and reviews from our affiliates but there is some breaking news included in today's roundup as well. As we reported yesterday, Intel has discovered a flaw in its 6-series chipset used on motherboards supporting its latest Sandy Bridge processors. You can read more about it here as well as some of the fallout that is already occurring. We also get another opportunity to check out the Zalman S-Series 128GB solid state drive along with a bunch of other reviews we link to below.

Gaming
Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo Xbox 360 Preview @ TweakTown

Motherboards/Chipsets
Intel finds flaw in 6-series chipsets, halts shipments @ Tech Report
Intel halts production/shipment of 6-series chipsets with SATA flaw found @ PC Perspective
Newegg pulls Sandy Bridge CPUs and P67 MBs while NVIDIA snickers quietly @ PC Perspective

Notebooks
Preview: Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5126 AMD E-240 15-in Notebook @ PC Perspective

Operating Systems
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Gaming Performance Analysis @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Zalman S-Series 128GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

Trade Shows/Convemtions
MacWorld Expo 2011 Show Coverage @ Benchmark Reviews

Video
Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti SONIC Edition @ Neoseeker


Complete Story


HighPoint Launches RocketHybrid HBAs

Posted: February 1, 2011 @ time: 05:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

HighPoint, an industry leader in many hard drive technologies, has launched a new line of host bus adapters, or HBAs. The RocketHybrid HBA series is powered by Marvell HyperDuo technology and SATA 6Gb/s chips. This series of HBA combines solid state and traditional hard drives into a single PCI-E 2.0 card. This combination gives the benefits of both, speed for SSD, and capacity for mechanical drives. Users will be able to plug in one of each drive into the HBA in both internal and external SATA models.


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Choiix Launches New Additions to Power Fort Series

Posted: February 1, 2011 @ time: 05:11PM
Author: bp9801

Choiix has just unveiled its newest addition to its line of products which are aimed at mobile devices. Choiix's new additions are portable power products, namely in the Power Fort series, which are aimed at providing extra power for your smartphone or media player while you are out and about. So long as your device has a micro or mini USB port, you can take advantage of the Choiix Power Fort series. Choiix already has the 10Whrs and 5.5Whrs Power Fort products, and now there are two new products aimed at iPhone/iPod users. The Power Fort Solar iPhone 4 Backpack attaches to your iPhone 4 and provides power via the solar cells on its back. The other new product is the iPower Fort which has aesthetics to match your iPhone or iPod with its aluminum casing. Both products are designed to provide clean power to the device's battery without damaging it upon disconnecting.

Both new Power Fort products are expected to launch before the first half of the year ends though no prices were announced.


Complete Story


No DRM for Dragon Age II, Needs Online Verification Every Few Days

Posted: February 1, 2011 @ time: 05:35PM
Author: bp9801

Dragon Age II is getting closer to release and today BioWare has discussed its DRM strategy for the much anticipated RPG. The Steam version of DA2 will have the usual Steam DRM, but the non-Steam version gets a little interesting. You don't need the disc in your PC to play and there is no limit to how many machines you can install it on, both of which are good features. Each install requires you to log into your EA account and you are only allowed to play the game on five machines inside of 24 hours. What's more is that the game requires online verification every few days, but the details of that are still being worked out. BioWare also pointed out that DA2 does not use SecuROM but has something called Release Control which prevents you from playing the game until it is released, a measure to stop it from being pirated it seems. Once that release date hits, then Release Control will no longer function.

Dragon Age II will release on March 8th for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.


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LG G-Slate Outlined, to Feature 3D Playback and Recording

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 12:30AM
Author: premiumgfx

T-Mobile has released some new information regarding LG's upcoming G-Slate tablet, revealing the new tablet's specifications. The G-Slate will be powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 CPU backed by 32GB of flash memory for storage, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer. Interestingly the tablet will support 3D video recording, thanks to two rear-mounted stereoscopic 1080p video cameras. Additionally, 3D playback will be possible on the tablet's 8.9" display with the use of 3D glasses or via HDMI to another display. One of the two rear cameras will also serve as a 5MP still camera. A front facing 2MP video camera enables easy video chatting. The G-Slate should be available "this spring," although the pricing of the tablet has not been announced.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 05:57AM
Author: Nemo

As sometimes happens, our roundup today contains two reviews covering identical topics which happens to be overclocking the Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC video card. It seems as if every component manufacturer is now offering a power supply, whether or not that lies within its normal core component area and today we have units from ADATA and XFX. We also picked up another review on the NZXT Bunker USB lock system. You can gain access to all the articles in our roundup by following the links posted below.

CPUs
NVIDIA, ARM, Tegra 3, and Beyond @ PC Perspective
Intel Sandy Bridge CPU In-Depth Look At Overclocking, Memory Timings and More @ Madshrimps

Gadgets
NZXT Bunker @ Neoseeker

Motherboards
Zotac IONITX-P-E Mini-ITX Motherboard @ ThinkComputers

Optical Drives
Samsung BD-C6900 3D Blu-Ray Player @ Tweaknews

Power Supplies
ADATA HM-1200 1200W Power Supply @ TweakTown
XFX Pro Series Core Edition Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
Muskin Callisto Deluxe Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews

Video
Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB GC Video Card Overclocked @ TweakTown
Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC Overclocking @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
The TR Podcast 80: Titanium graphics and Sandy Bridge goes mobile @ Tech Report


Complete Story


OCZ Introduces New ZX Series of Power Supplies

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 02:02PM
Author: bp9801

OCZ is a leading manufacturer of solid state drives and power supplies, so when something new comes from out of its workshop, you know it will be a great performer. As such, OCZ is introducing its newest line of PSUs, the ZX series. The ZX series is designed to deliver high wattage output while being highly efficient so it is no wonder that this series boasts an 80Plus Gold certification. That means these units are going to be reliable for whatever system you want powered. The ZX series is 100% modular which allows you to connect only the cables you need and will help to eliminate excess clutter in your case. The ZX series comes in 850, 1000, and 1250 watt capacities and each one is 92% efficient at a typical load, hence the 80Plus Gold stamp. There is a single +12v rail, multiple connections for CPU, PCI-e, and SATA, 140mm ball-bearing fan, plus active PFC to help maintain stable power no matter what you are doing on your rig. OCZ even claims that each ZX PSU is ready to support three video cards, so there should be no limit on your SLI or Crossfire setup.

The OCZ ZX PSU line is backed by a five year warranty though no information was revealed on a launch date or price point.


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Android Market - Now On the Internet

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 03:06PM
Author: bp9801

Google had been talking about getting the Android Market available on the Internet, and now it has. The Android Market is now accessible via a computer or any web-connected device and lets you browse the entire Market for any apps you wish. Once you find an app that you want, you purchase it, and then it sends the app to your Android phone over-the-air. You can make a nickname for your phone to make it easier to find, such as if you have multiple phones tied to the same account, or for just general ease of use. Also, Google announced that in-app purchases will soon be a reality as the SDK for that is being released to developers today. Google cites widespread developer interest as the reason for allowing in-app purchases, so it shouldn't be long before microtransactions take hold for apps that wish to have it.

To check out the Android Market on your PC, simply head on over to the store and browse away.


Complete Story


Mionix Updates NAOS 5000 Mouse

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 03:53PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Mionix has announced a software update to its NAOS 5000 gaming mouse, reviewed here by OCC. Version 1.17 offers a few updates, as well as a new feature. The new feature is called angle snapping, and aims to improve the path the mouse takes. Angle snapping can sense the tiny deviations when making vertical and horizontal movements, and corrects them to straighten the path the mouse takes. No predictions about future movement are made, only corrections to past movements. The software updates come in the form of an updated GUI and fixing a bug with 125Hz mode.


Complete Story


Apple and News Corp Launch Magazine

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 04:04PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Rupert Murdoch of News Corp has finally brought his magazine, The Daily, to the iPad. This magazine is available only on the iPad, and will combine "the best of traditional journalism" with "the best of contemporary technology." New content will be available every day, and this seems to be a great value for those that still like to get their news from a newspaper. Subscriptions will cost 99 cents per week, or $39.99 per year. It will also feature Facebook and Twitter integration, though your friends won't be able to access all content you share on your page. Team schedules, scores, and news will be available for your favorite sports teams as well. As an added bonus, Verizon will be covering the costs for the first two weeks starting today.


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Enermax Launches Aeolus Premium Notebook Cooler

Posted: February 2, 2011 @ time: 09:20PM
Author: premiumgfx

Enermax has launched its latest notebook cooler, the Aeolus Premium. This new cooler is made out of brushed aluminium and steel mesh paired with a 250mm fan running between 650 and 850RPM. The fan produces up to 20dB of noise and is also dotted with 15 blue LEDs which can be toggled on or off. The Aeolus Premium notebook cooler is USB-powered and features two USB ports for peripherals, such as a mice and keyboards. Measuring 350x335x45mm (LxWxH) and weighing in at 1.3kg, the cooler supports up to 17" notebooks. The Aeolus Premium notebook cooler will be available next week in black or titanium grey for approximately US$60 (£36.90).


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: February 3, 2011 @ time: 06:21AM
Author: Nemo

If you haven't heard about the problems discovered with Intel's Sandy Bridge chipsets, you probably need to take a moment to brush up on recent news. For the rest of you, we have more information about Asus's and Gigabyte's plans for handling customers' problems along side of a review of the ASUS P8P67 Pro LGA 1155 ATX motherboard. We also picked up a review of the CM Storm Strike Force SF-19 laptop cooler. In storage, there is a review on the LSI MegaRAID 9280-24i4e RAID controller card and a look at Seagate's Barracuda Green 2TB hard drive.

Cases
Fractal Design Define XLR @ XSReviews

Cooling
CM Storm Strike Force SF-19 Laptop Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
Asus and Gigabyte detail plans for those bitten by 6-series chipset bug @ Tech Report
ASUS P8P67 Pro LGA 1155 ATX Motherboard @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Logitech G35 Surround Sound Headset @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
LSI MegaRAID 9280-24i4e RAID Controller w/ 24 Crucial RealSSD C300s @ TweakTown
Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB @ Bjorn3D

Video
Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic Video Card in SLI @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Battlefield 1943 Canceled for the PC

Posted: February 3, 2011 @ time: 01:02PM
Author: bp9801

The Battlefield franchise is one of the most popular FPS series out there with countless iterations released over the years. One of the latest games, Battlefield 1943, was a remix of popular maps from Battlefield 1942 done with a modern game engine. That game was announced for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and was even released on the two consoles last year. DICE, makers of the Battlefield franchise, kept saying that the PC version was coming and we wouldn't have that long of a wait. Well, now that wait won't end as DICE announced that Battlefield 1943 for the PC has been canceled. Not only that, but Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Onslaught cooperative pack for the PC has been canceled, so PC gamers are dealt a blow. The reason for the cancellations are so DICE can better focus its effort on Battlefield 3, which at this point still has no solid release date. Hopefully with the cancellation of the other PC titles DICE can get it in our hands sometime this year, albeit at our own expense.


Complete Story


CyberPower Announces Sandy Bridge Solution for Affected Customers

Posted: February 3, 2011 @ time: 02:01PM
Author: bp9801

By now, I'm sure everyone is aware of Intel's recall and refund program for the flaw on Sandy Bridge motherboards. There is a degradation problem with the SATA 3Gbps ports on the P67 and H67 motherboards, which means Intel is having to recall all the affected boards and get a replacement out. People have received notices from Newegg and I am sure various other stores, but what about the crowd who bought a rig fully assembled? Well, if you bought it from CyberPower, you are in luck as it has announced its Sandy Bridge Solution program for any of its customers who bought or recently ordered a Sandy Bridge computer.

For customers that have received a computer already, CyberPower is extending the warranty an additional three years (provided the invoice date is between January 9th, 2011 and February 14th, 2011) and will also cover any hardware replacements and shipping charges when the revised motherboards appear in March. If you don't want to partake in that, you can go for the Sandy Bridge Upgrade Solution which will swap your Sandy Bridge system for an Intel Core i7 950 system with 6 or 12GB of RAM and a motherboard from the same manufacturer of your Sandy Bridge one.

For customers who are still awaiting arrival of their new CyberPower system, you can have it shipped as configured and get an extra three year warranty plus the coverage on any new parts and shipping costs. You can also opt for the Upgrade program and leave Sandy Bridge behind for the X58 platform.

The Upgrade Solution will let anyone with a Core i7 2600K, 2600, i5 2500K, 2500, 2400, or 2300 to upgrade to a Core i7 950 processor. If you have 4GB of RAM, you'll be getting 6GB while 8GB on the P67/H67 motherboard will get you 12GB for the X58 motherboard. CyberPower will match up motherboards between brands, so if you have an ASUS P67 board then you will get an ASUS X58 board. Core i5 customers will have to pay the difference between their CPU and the i7 950, while the i7 2600K/2600 customers will get it free of charge. All claims for the upgrade program must be made by February 15th, 2011, so if that appeals to you then contact CyberPower immediately.


Complete Story


Modding Web Show Coming Soon

Posted: February 3, 2011 @ time: 05:38PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Case modding is one of the coolest things you can do to your PC, and is sure to make your PC stand out as unique. The guys from Mnpctech are working on a web show that will air on YouTube documenting the build of a water cooled PC from start to finish. The show is called Mod Men, and will be hosted by Bill Owen. Along the way, Bill will give tips on mods, product reviews, and industry perspectives. The show is being described as "American Chopper for Geeks," and you can check out the trailer here.


Complete Story


Multiple Manufacturers Issue Response to Sandy Bridge Situation

Posted: February 3, 2011 @ time: 06:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The current situation regarding the new Sandy Bridge processors from Intel has been getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Several manufacturers of motherboards have released official statements on how they are proceeding with the matter. The affected motherboards feature the Intel 6 Series Express chipsets, with the B2 stepping.

ECS is halting all sales of the affected boards, and is expecting to have the new B3 stepping boards in April. The following ECS models are affected, P67H2-A(1.1), P67H2-A2(1.0), P67H2-A3(1.0), H67H2-M(1.1), and H67H2-M3(1.0). Additionally, there are a number of options for getting new boards. Customers can get a full refund or exchange for a different board. E-mail is the preferred method for contacting ECS on the issue.

Gigabyte is also ceasing the sale of all B2 motherboards. All authorized retailers will accept returns of boards. Gigabyte will also begin selling the new boards starting in April.

MSI has stopped selling the affected boards, and set up a site to facilitate returns and exchanges of boards. Affected units include HM67 gaming notebooks, P67 motherboards, and H67 motherboards. MSI will also provide free 3 day UPS shipping labels for returns and when sending new boards out.


Complete Story


Roccat Prepares Alumic Double-Sided Mousepad

Posted: February 4, 2011 @ time: 02:50AM
Author: premiumgfx

Roccat is preparing its newest mousepad, the Roccat Alumic. The Alumic features a double-sided design, allowing users to switch between the control and speed sides to suit their style of gaming. The control side has a smoother surface to support quick, sweeping movements where as the speed side is rougher in texture to assist gamers using high-resolution mice. The mousepad also includes four rubber non-slip feet and a gel wrist-pad for comfortable gaming. The Alumic also has an aluminium core to prevent deformation, measures 331x272mm and is 3mm thick. The Roccat Alumic mouspad will be available later this month for approximately US$55 (€39.99)


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: February 4, 2011 @ time: 06:25AM
Author: Nemo

It's the end of the week and we're pleased to bring you the latest from around the web. We get another opportunity to check out the NZXT Bunker USB locking device. We also picked up a pair of reviews on memory kits from Patriot and G.Skill. We also have reviews covering the Titan Hati CPU cooler and more which you can find using the links below.

Cases
In Win IronClad Case @ Tweaknews

Cooling
TITAN Hati CPU Cooler @ Neoseeker

Gadgets
NZXT Bunker USB Locking Device @ TweakTown

Memory
Patriot Viper Xtreme Division 2 DDR3-1866 8GB Dual Channel Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers
Quick Review: G.Skill Ripjaws-X Series PC3-17066 4GB Kit @ TweakTown

Motherboards
ASRock P67 Extreme6 Motherboard @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
PCPer Podcast #140 @ PC Perspective
Gunnar Optiks Shredder Digital Eyewear @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Battlefield 3 Teased

Posted: February 4, 2011 @ time: 12:18PM
Author: bp9801

Hot on the heels of announcing the cancellation of Battlefield 1943 for the PC comes this bit of news concerning Battlefield 3. EA has teased some information about Battlefield 3 and what was revealed sounds highly promising. There will be jets, destruction, and 64 player online battles on the PC version. The game makes use of the Frostbite 2 engine, improved version of what's in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, so the environments should be chock full of destructability as you hunt down the other 63 (or 31) players online. EA also says that prone makes a return to the game, something that has been missing in the last few games to bear the Battlefield name. There is also a full-featured single player campaign and a co-op campaign, so hopefully the story works well for both aspects.

Battlefield 3 will be out this fall for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, with more details being revealed at the upcoming Game Developers Conference.


Complete Story


DreamPlug PC Launches, Provides Low-Power Computing in a Small Size

Posted: February 4, 2011 @ time: 03:51PM
Author: bp9801

Everyone always wants a computer with tons of power to play the latest and greatest games, but what if you need something a bit more laid back? That is where the DreamPlug comes in, a low-powered PC that attaches directly to a wall outlet to greatly reduce its footprint. The DreamPlug uses a Marvell Sheeva SoC running at 1.2GHz that is paired with 512MB of DDR2 RAM. It won't win any performance contests but then again, this computer is aimed at those who need a remote client for their server or just a streaming device. The DreamPlug runs on Linux and has 2MB of Flash for uboot, plus an integrated 1GB microSD card for some light storage. It features two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, an SD card slot, audio in/out, optical out, WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The whole thing can be plugged into a wall socket or you can detach the top portion and run a cable between them to provide the power.

The DreamPlug will run you $149 though no mention was made of when it'd be available.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: February 7, 2011 @ time: 06:38AM
Author: Nemo

We begin the new week with a pair of gaming mice from Cooler Master's Storm product lineup. The first offering is the CM Storm Spawn (recently reviewed by OCC here). We also have a chance to check out the CM Storm Inferno (also reviewed by OCC here). Another product being covered by a pair of reviews today is Corsair's SP2500 2.1 speaker system. In video cards, we have a comparison review of the GTX 480 SOC and GTX 580 cards as well as a review of the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Vapor-X Edition card.

Cooling
Thermalright Shaman GPU Cooler @ [H]ardOCP

Gadgets
Victorinox SwissFlash Laser 2GB Pocket Knife with Laser (4.6027.TG2) @ Madshrimps

Gaming
Dead Space 2 Xbox 360 @ TweakTown

Input Devices
Coolermaster CM Storm Spawn @ XSReviews
CM Storm Spawn Optical Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
CM Storm Inferno Gaming Mouse @ Bjorn3D

Mobile
iHome iP41 Rotating Alarm Clock for iPhone & iPod @ Madshrimps

Motherboards
GIGABYTE E350N-USB3 Fusion Benched, Overclocked and Examined @ TweakTown

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 2.1 Speaker System @ TweakTown
Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker System @ Tweaknews

Storage
Hitachi XL3000 Desk 3TB USB 2.0 External Drive @ Madshrimps
Lexar Professional 133x 16GB SDHC Card @ Madshrimps

Video
GIGIGABYTE GTX 480 SOC: Faster Than The GTX 580? @ Bjorn3D
Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Vapor-X Edition @ Neoseeker
Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC Overclocking @ [H]ardOCP


Complete Story


Gigabyte Releases Intel 6 Series SATA Check Utility

Posted: February 7, 2011 @ time: 04:40PM
Author: bp9801

By now everyone is aware of the problem affecting Intel 6 Series motherboards and what manufacturers are doing to fix the problem. You may not know if you need to send in your motherboard to be fixed, but how do you find out? Well, if you have a 6 Series motherboard, you can download a handy SATA check utlity to find out for sure. Gigabyte has created the utility and it should prove invaluable for P67 and H67 owners. If you only have a couple SATA devices, then you shouldn't have to send in the board since you can just move the connectors over to the unaffected SATA 3 ports. But if you have multiple devices then the Gigabyte SATA check utility will diagnose whether or not you need to apply for an RMA. Simply download the program and it will tell you if the connected SATA devices are on the affected Intel PCH SATA 2.0 ports.

If you don't have any devices connected to the afflicted ports, then the program tells you everything is OK. If you do have something connected to them, then it will tell you to move them over to the SATA 3 ports. However, if you have something connected to the SATA 2 and 3 ports, then the program tells you having devices connected to the SATA 2 ports is not recommended. At this point, you will be able to determine whether or not you need to send in your motherboard, but the Gigabyte program comes in handy to help you determine the proper action. Feel free to download it if you are curious on whether or not your Sandy Bridge motherboard is affected.


Complete Story


BlizzCon Dates Announced

Posted: February 7, 2011 @ time: 05:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Blizzard has announced the dates for its annual gaming convention, BlizzCon. This year it will be taking over the Anaheim Convention Center on October 21st and 22nd. Tickets will once again be given out using a random lottery system, and prices have yet to be announced. Expect an announcement as it gets closer to the date. Blizzard has made big announcements at BlizzCon in the past, and we can only hope that this year brings more of the same. Be sure to keep an eye out for the lottery if you are interested in going this year.


Complete Story


Sprint's Kyocera Echo - World's First Dual-Touchscreen Smartphone

Posted: February 7, 2011 @ time: 08:23PM
Author: bp9801

Sprint held an event today in which it unveiled a very interesting new phone, the Kyocera Echo. What makes the Echo unique is that it features two 3.5" 480x800 touchscreens, making it the world's first dual-touchscreen smartphone. The two screens can combine to form one massive 960x800 resolution, 4.7" screen, or be set up in the laptop-style fashion as seen in the photo. You can even close the device and use just a single screen. The sliding mechanism for the screens is something Kyocera calls a liquid-metal hinge, which it has filed several patents on, and seems to operate smoothly. Powering the whole thing is a 1GHz second-gen Snapdragon processor though no mention was made of how much ROM or RAM. There is 1GB of internal storage plus an included 8GB microSD card in the external slot, though you can expand that with up to a 32GB card. The phone is running Android 2.2 which Kyocera had to extensively customize to utlize the two screens.

There are seven core apps that have reconfigured to use the dual screens, apps like the Internet browser, email, and messaging. You can have a digital keyboard on the bottom screen and have the top screen display what you are typing, or have the browser appear on both screens for a much larger experience, or even have email open on the lower screen and the browser on the top. However, third-party apps use the entire display though Sprint and Kyocera say an SDK is forthcoming so other developers can utlize the dual screens. There is even a dual-screen app manager which is accessed by tapping on both screens simultaneously.

The phone uses Sprint's 3G network instead of the faster 4G WiMax one, but that shouldn't be too much of a hassle for most. There is a five megapixel camera with flash on the rear and you can even record in 720p with it. The Kyocera Echo will be available for $199 after a $100 rebate when it launches in the next few months. Sprint will sell you an extra battery pack and charging dock as well, though Kyocera expects the Echo to hold a charge for over a day with use.


Complete Story


Enermax Launches NAXN PSU Series

Posted: February 7, 2011 @ time: 09:36PM
Author: premiumgfx

Enermax today launched its latest power supplies as part of its NAXN series. The NAXN series is targeted at the gaming market and comprises of both modular and non-modular models. All of the new PSUs include Enermax's HeatGuard technology, in which the 120mm PSU fan continues to operate for 30-60 seconds after the unit is turned off. This removes excess heat to prolong the life of the PSU. Other features such as active PFC (Power Factor Correction) and voltage protection circuitry are enabled across the entire series. The NAXN 80+ power supplies are non-modular and will come in 350W ($44), 450W ($49), 500W ($64) and 600W ($74) models, the latter two being 80 PLUS certified. The higher-end NAXN 82+ power supplies will be available in two models, a dual 12V rail 750W and an 850W, both with 80 PLUS Bronze certification. The 750W model will be priced at $134 with the 850W version's pricing still to be announced.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: February 8, 2011 @ time: 06:32AM
Author: Nemo

Today we get the opportunity to check out a trio of power supplies spanning a range of capacities from 560W to 1000W. First up is the Seasonic X Series 560W, a smaller sibling to the Seasonic X Series 760W we reviewed last month. Moving up the capacity scale we have the Sparkle SCC-750AF Gold Class 750W followed by the Xigmatek NRP-MC1002 1000W. OCZ got out of the memory business to focus on solid state drives and today we have a review on its Vertex 2 120GB 3.5-inch SSD. We also have several CPU coolers on tap starting with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and Hyper TX3 coolers along with an updated review on the Noctua NH-C14 cooler. We also picked up another review on the Corsair Hydro H70 water cooling kit.

Cooling
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and Hyper TX3 CPU Coolers @ Madshrimps
Updated Noctua NH-C14 Lower Noise Heatsink @ Frostytech
Corsair Hydro H70 Water Cooling Kit @ Benchmark Reviews

Gaming
Ooh Shiny - Why DLC is treating gamers like idiots @ XSReviews

Input Devices
Thermaltake Meka G1 Mechanical Keyboard @ Neoseeker

Operating Systems
Windows 7 Jump Lists Fix and Tricks @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
Seasonic X Series 560W Power Supply @ PC Perspective
Xigmatek NRP-MC1002 1000W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP
Sparkle SCC-750AF Gold Class 750W Power Supply @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Thermaltake's BlacX 5G USB 3.0 docking station @ Tech Report
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB 3.5-inch Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Quick Review: Phosphor World Time Curved E Ink Watch @ TweakTown


Complete Story


New Sandy Bridge Chipset is Ready

Posted: February 8, 2011 @ time: 03:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel has recently come under fire due to a flaw in its 6 Series chipset, used for the motherboards supporting the new Sandy Bridge processors. While several manufacturers are accepting returns, exchanges and refunds, Intel has been hard at work to fix the hardware issue at the heart of all this. The SATA ports found on the motherboards would have degraded over time according to Intel. Intel has fixed the problem, and has begun manufacturing the new chips. The chips should begin shipping in mid February, a few weeks earlier than initial estimates.

Joining the ranks of manufacturers that have set up plans to handle the issue, ASUS has set up a site for owners of the products in question. ASUS will be offering replacements on all the motherboards, and encourage customers to return the product to the place of purchase if they don't want an exchange. 


Complete Story


Smartphones Outsold PCs in Last Quarter of 2010

Posted: February 8, 2011 @ time: 03:47PM
Author: bp9801

If you ever had any doubt about smartphones replacing a PC, look no further than the latest sales numbers from IDC. The analysis firm shows that smartphones sold 100.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, while there were only 92.1 million PCs sold in that time. Now, that is a record number of PC sales but it is overshadowed by the sheer number of smartphones sold around the holiday season. This is the first quarter ever that smartphones have outsold PCs and with the recent trend, it doesn't seem like PCs can overtake the lead anytime soon. IDC and other firms may have to redo the nomenclature depending on where the smartphone market heads in the next few years, and considering that some of them are as powerful as PCs, I can see why.


Complete Story


Microsoft Adds H.264 Support to Chrome Via an Extension

Posted: February 8, 2011 @ time: 05:10PM
Author: bp9801

Google announced last month that its Chrome browser would no longer have H.264 codec support since Google was switching it over to just WebM. Well, Microsoft didn't really like that since H.264 support is built directly into Windows 7, so the folks at Redmond took it upon themselves to make an extension for Chrome that adds H.264 support. In a blog post, Microsoft explains that adding the support back in was as simple as writing an "extension that parses HTML5 pages and replaces Video tags with a call to the Windows Media Player plug-in so that the content can be played in the browser." Basically, you'll just need to grab this extension if you're a Chrome user and then when you try to play a video in the H.264 codec, it'll call up the Windows Media Player plug-in to play it. It sounds like a simple fix but it is just odd seeing it come from Microsoft. In any case, Chrome users can now enjoy H.264 videos once again.


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Sharkoon Unveils Flexi-Drive Accelerate Duo USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 12:55AM
Author: premiumgfx

Sharkoon has unveiled two new USB 3.0 flash drives as part of its Flexi-Drive Accelerate Duo series. The new series consists of one 32GB model and one 64GB model, both rated to offer data speeds of up to 110MB/s (read) and 70MB/s (write). Sharkoon's internal testing also showed that the drives are capable of sequential data speeds of up to 130.5MB/s and 83.76MB/s for the read and write functions respectively. These two flash drives follow Sharkoon's initial launch of one 16GB USB 3.0 flash drive last December, and offer consumers additional capacity options to meet their data storage requirements. Both drives in the Flexi-Drive Accelerate Duo series weigh in at 16g and measure 72x19x8mm (LxWxH). The 32GB version will retail for approximately $96 (€70) while the larger 64GB model will be priced at $171 (€125).


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 06:55AM
Author: Nemo

The middle of the week finds us with a few enclosures to examine. The trio of cases comes from BitFenix with its Survivor enclosure while Corsair's Graphite Series 600T is also reviewed as is the Galaxis Atlus mid-tower chassis. We also have a pair of CPU coolers from Sunbeamtech and Xigmatek and a host of other reviews you can check out using the links posted below.

Cases
BitFenix's Survivor enclosure, take two @ Tech Report
Corsair Graphite Series 600T Case @ ThinkComputers
Galaxis Atlus Mid Tower Chassis @ TweakTown

Cooling
Sunbeamtech Twister 120 @ XSReviews
Xigmatek Aegir Cooler @ Tweaknews

Input Devices
Razer Naga Epic Mouse and Ironclad Mouse Mat @ OCAU

Motherboards
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional @ OCAU

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Quick Review: Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RAM Cache Flash Drive @ TweakTown
ADATA Superior Series S102 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps
Max5G Active Cooling 3.5 External Enclosure @ Bjorn3D

Video
MSI R6850 Cyclone Power Edition Video Card @ [H]ardOCP


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HP Unveils Several New Devices at 'Think Beyond' webOS Event

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 12:52PM
Author: bp9801

HP had sent out notices it would be holding an event today to reveal a new product. Well, that event, the "Think Beyond" webOS event, has unveiled not one but three new products. We have a tablet and then two different smartphones, so HP is certainly catering to everyone with these devices.

First up is the tablet, the HP TouchPad. It features a 9.7" screen with a 1024x768 resolution, which makes it virtually identical to the iPad. Even its 1.6 pound weight and 13.7mm thickness make it a near perfect match for the iPad, so for those expecting a bigger slate to be a little easier to carry, you are still going to have to wait. Powering the TouchPad is a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. No mention was made of the RAM for the tablet, but HP promises it has twice the amount of the Pre 2 smartphone (which has 512MB). There are also stereo speakers since HP has worked in its Beats audio engine to deliver some great audio from the TouchPad. There is even a feature called Tap-to-Share which lets you transfer a document, video, or other item between the tablet and an HP phone simply by tapping the two devices together. The TouchPad relies on the cloud, plus HP teased that this is only the first in a line of webOS tablets. The TouchPad runs on webOS and has some nifty new features, like a new email application, a new pop-up notification system, and even the ability to talk to the new Pre 3 phone when both are connected to the Touchstone.

The first new phone is the HP Pre 3, the successor to the Palm Pre 2 that is just about ready to debut. The Pre 3 keeps the same QWERTY slide shape but packs in a wealth of new features, most noticeably a 3.6" 800x480 resolution touchscreen. There is a five megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, plus the ability to shoot HD video and a front-facing camera for video calling. HP has even added in a mobile hotspot feature to the phone. Powering the Pre 3 is a Qualcomm 1.4GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and HSPA+ and EVDO Rev. A radios so the phone should work all over the world. It'll work with the Touchstone and switch into Exhibition mode when connected, which will display pictures and appointments. Plus, like it was mentioned, will have the ability to talk to the TouchPad tablet when both are connected via the Touchstone, including letting the tablet take phone calls. It will be available with either 8 or 16GB of internal storage.

The other new phone is the HP Veer. It includes a 2.6" 320x400 touchscreen which makes it the smallest phone to run webOS. The Veer packs a 5 megapixel EDoF camera, 8GB of storage, an accelerometer, proximity and light sensors, Touchstone support, and mobile hotspot functionality. It will have an HSPA+ radio while there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7230 CPU running at 800MHz powering it all.

The HP TouchPad and Pre 3 will be available later this summer though no price was mentioned. The HP Veer will be available this spring but once again, no price was mentioned. What was mentioned was that the tablet would be running webOS 3.0 while both phones will run on webOS 2.2.


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Activision Disbands Guitar Hero Franchise, Cancels True Crime: Hong Kong

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 05:18PM
Author: bp9801

It seems Guitar Hero's run as the premiere music video game has finally come to a close as Activision announced today that it is disbanding the franchise and canceling all future projects. Some may argue that Guitar Hero had been supplanted by rival Rock Band, and the mediocre showing of the previous game can speak to that. Activision decided to disband the team and cancel the upcoming game due to a decline in music game sales, and I feel that Activision's decision to turn every franchise into an annual one is also to blame. Without proper innovation for each release, people can only take so much of a game before it becomes stale. In Guitar Hero's case, the team will no longer exist to try and produce a better game next year. On the cancellation front, the upcoming True Crime: Hong Kong game has also been canceled. The reason for that is so Activision can focus on its current crop of games rather than risk a new one, even trying to revive an older franchise in the case of True Crime. At any rate, it looks like Activision is consolidating its focus for the money makers, namely Call of Duty.


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Win Video Cards From Sapphire

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 06:49PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Sapphire is giving away three of its video cards in a contest. You can win an HD 6970, HD 6870 VaporX, or a HD 6850 by entering the contest. However, you must be a member of the Sapphire Select Club. In another contest, TweakTown is giving away a complete system in support of the victims of the recent flooding in Australia. The system features parts from Sapphire, Corsair, and Thermaltake among others. Additionally, Gold members of the SSC can get Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam when purchasing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 from the EA Store.


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Cooler Master Unveils New Turbine Master Case Fans

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 07:09PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced a new model of case fans, the Turbine Master. The 120mm fan features Barometric Ball Bearing technology, allowing for longer lifespan and lower noise. The Turbine Master sports a design resembling a turbine engine and features 16 blades that move at 1800RPM. An easy to remove design allows for easy cleaning. The combination of all of the above allow for high airflow and low noise.


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Packard Bell Launches Maestro LED 23" Asymmetrical Display

Posted: February 9, 2011 @ time: 11:19PM
Author: premiumgfx

Packard Bell may not be the first name that comes to mind when looking for a display, but that hasn't stopped the Taiwan-based manufacturer from launching an interestingly designed high definition monitor. The new 23" display, named the Maestro LED 230, is crafted out of clear plastic and aluminium but most notably features an eye catching asymmetrical stand. Design aside, the Maestro is equipped with a LED-backlit 1920x1080 pixel panel, a 5ms response time and a quoted contrast ratio of 12,000,000:1, although I'd take the latter with a pinch of salt. Packard Bell has taken an environment-friendly approach with this monitor, choosing to exclude mercury and halogen gases in the manufacturing process of the Maestro. The Packard Bell Maestro LED 230 display should be available in May for around US$272 (€199).


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 05:56AM
Author: Nemo

We're back again with another review roundup and today we have more CPU coolers for you to check out. First in line are a pair of heat sinks from Noctua with reviews on the NH-C12P and NH-C12P SE14. To add to the mix, we also picked up a review on the Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler. If you're ready to think about liquid cooling, you can check out the review on the Antec Kühler H2O 620 water cooling system. You may be waiting while Intel works out the kinks in its Sandy Bridge chipset, but you can still check out some of the new boards that support the new processors and we have two in our roundup today.

Cooling
Noctua NH-C12P and Noctua NH-C12P SE14 CPU Cooler @ Madshrimps
Antec Kühler H2O 620 Water Cooling System @ Benchmark Reviews
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Memory
Quick Review: Patriot Viper Xtreme Division 2 PC3-15000 8GB Kit @ TweakTown
Exploring the impact of memory speed on Sandy Bridge performance @ Tech Report

Motherboards
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Intel P67 Express) Motherboard @ TweakTown
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional @ Neoseeker

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker Review - Corsair enters another market @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
TweakTown's Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System Built and Tested @ TweakTown


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Thermaltake Level 10 GT Chassis Avalable Now

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 05:22PM
Author: Nemo

Thermaltake showcased its new Level 10 GT case at CES last month and OCC was there to check it out. This case is the follow on to the original Level 10 case, a collaborative effort between Thermaltake and BMW Group DesignworksUSA, which was introduced at CES 2010.

Now, Thermaltake is announcing immediate availability of the Level 10 GT chassis. Just to give you a quick run down on the features, the Level 10 GT has unmatched cable management which allows you to properly separate cables and channel them through the grooves strategically placed on the back of the case. For extreme cooling, Level 10 GT features a removable top meshed panel with included true 200mm exhaust fan that can be removed to accommodate up to a 240mm radiator for water cooling systems. The case also is equipped with a hinged side-panel door where 200mm intake fan's power connector automatically disconnects itself without any user intervention. The chassis comes equipped with hot-swappable drive caddies, three 200mm fans with an additional 140mm TurboFan into the back of the Level 10 GT. To top things off, it also features two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on top as well as an eSATA port with four additional USB 2.0 ports located on the front bezel.

Thermaltake means it when they said 'immediate availability" as the Level 10 GT is available from e-tailers right now at an MSRP of US$269.99.


 


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CyberPower Builds New System Around Thermaltake Level 10 GT

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 05:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

CyberPower is piling on the release of the new Level 10 GT case from Thermaltake, announcing a new line of desktops to be housed within it. The two new systems, the Gamer Xtreme FTW and Gamer Ultra FTW, are clearly aimed at those consumers that want high powered machines for gaming. The Xtreme is powered by Intel and Nvidia, while the Ultra comes stocked with AMD and ATI. Full specs are listed below. The systems come with a 3-year limited warranty and lifetime phone support. Both will be available for purchase at Newegg, Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers.


 

 

  

Gamer Xtreme FTW

Gamer Ultra FTW

CPU

Intel Core i7-960 3.20 GHz

AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz

Chipset

Intel X58 Motherboard

AMD 870 Motherboard

GPU

NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti 2 GB

ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB

Memory

12 GB DDR3

8 GB DDR3

Cooling

Liquid Cooling

HDD

2 Terabyte SATA 6.0 Gb/s

1 Terabyte SATA 6.0 Gb/s

Optical

12X Blu Ray Combo Drive

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit w/ SP1

MSRP

 $1,550.00

 $1,100.00




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Overclockers Set Record in MaxxMem

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 06:16PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced that a pair of overclockers, “splmann,” aka Roger Tanner, and "Mat", aka Matthias Zronek have broken the record in MaxxMem. Using Corsair Dominator GT memory paired with a Sandy Bridge processor from Intel, they achieved 2711.5 marks, breaking the old record of 2502.4 marks. Pictures of the setup can be found on HWBOT. The memory was pushed to a maximum overclock of 1,148MHz at CL7-7-6-21-1T.


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MSI Launches R6870 Hawk with Propeller Blade Technology

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 08:41PM
Author: bp9801

MSI is certainly no slouch when it comes to equiping video cards with custom coolers and even custom PCBs. The newest card to get the treatment is the R6870 Hawk, an AMD HD 6870 with a custom cooler that MSI claims delivers 20% more airflow and thus, lower temperatures by up to 21 degrees C. The R6870 Hawk comes with an advanced Twin Frozr III cooler that is the world's first to use propeller blade technology. Compared to a traditional fan, the ones with the propeller blade design increase airflow up to 20% which drops the temperature by as much as 21 degrees. The R6870 Hawk also has an 8+2 phase PWM design to provide plenty of stable power for your overclocking. What's more is that the Hawk also has triple overvoltage functions to allow for even more fun while overclocking. The R6870 Hawk also makes use of Military Class components providing for maximum lifespan and improved efficiency.

There was no mention of when the R6870 Hawk would launch or for how much, but expect that information to be revealed soon.


Complete Story


In Win Announces BUC Case

Posted: February 10, 2011 @ time: 09:47PM
Author: bp9801

Choosing a computer case can be quite an ordeal for some since there are plenty of variables to consider to get the right one for you. In Win is a company to consider for a new case and its latest, the BUC, is sure to to appeal to many. The BUC has a shield logo which is carried on throughout the case, from the SECC steel chassis to the rugged look, the BUC looks set to perform. A key component of the case is its E-Z Swap HDD drive bay that features a lockable door for access to three hard drives without removing the entire side panel. Each drive bay is tool-less so whether you are swapping out the drives or just installing them, you should have no trouble accessing them. There are three external 5.25" drive bays included as well. On the front you will find USB 3.0, USB 2.0, e-SATA, and audio in/out ports to connect any number of devices easily. Internally, you will find three included 120mm fans plus spots for several others so cooling should not be a problem with the In Win BUC.

There was no word on a launch date or pricing for the In Win BUC case, so keep on the lookout for more information.


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EcoMaster Releases LEPA 80 Plus Gold Power Supplies

Posted: February 11, 2011 @ time: 01:04AM
Author: premiumgfx

EcoMaster today released a new line of 80 Plus Gold certified power supplies, which is a US distribution agent for Enermax and LEPA brands. The new series comprises of 500W, 700W and 900W models, allowing users to choose an efficient power supply to meet their computing needs. All models pass the 80 Plus Gold standard and are rated to be up to 93% efficient. Standard features across the series include sleeved, modular cables, a 139mm cooling fan and four 12V rails. The LEPA 80 Plus Gold power supplies will retail at $119, $159 and $189 for the 500W, 700W and 900W models respectively. EcoMaster simultaneously released a lower-end EcoMaster LEPA 850W variant, which features 80 Plus Bronze certification for $139.


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Super Talent Prepares DataGuardian Password-Protected USB Drives

Posted: February 11, 2011 @ time: 01:34AM
Author: premiumgfx

USB flash drives have evolved greatly over the years, overtaking the humble CD-ROM and floppy disk as a portable storage medium. Many people rely on flash drives to transport data, and this new-found convenience has come at a great cost; security. Chances are that your USB flash drives are not protected against unauthorized users or malware attacks. Super Talent is aiming to rectify this problem among flash drive users and is preparing a solution; its upcoming DataGuardian USB flash drive series. The new series is password-protected via an onboard utility, allowing your data to be accessed by you when you need it. The drive also blocks auto-run malware attacks, which are the number one method of distributing viruses on USB flash drives. Chief Operating Officer of Super Talent, CH Lee went on to say:

"We developed the DataGuardian based on input from our customers. Security is a basic need for portable data storage and so is the ability to use it anywhere. The challenge was to make it simple. The DataGuardian does just that".

The DataGuardian series uses a USB 2.0 interface and will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB variants.

 


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: February 11, 2011 @ time: 06:04AM
Author: Nemo

While the problems with Intel's Sandy Bridge motherboard have been fixed, there is still some life left in its predecessor and today we have another look at the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard. We also turned up several mobile-related items today with two tablet-related articles, a mobile charging device from Choiix along with an iPhone GPS app. Also included in our roundup today is a look at the Cooler Master Spawn gaming mouse, the Zalman N-Series Sandforce SSD, a power supply from Super Flower and more.

Input Devices
Cooler Master Storm Spawn 3500 DPI Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
HP’s TouchPad – What You Should Know @ ThinkComputers
ChoiiX Power Fort 5.5whrs @ XSReviews
Quick Review: NAVIGON GPS iPhone App @ TweakTown
Tablets of 2011: What to Look For @ TechSpot

Modding
Gloss begone @ Tech Report

Motherboards
We take a closer look at Gigabyte's Mini-ITX Fusion mobo @ Tech Report
Sapphire Pure Black X58 @ Neoseeker

Power Supplies
Super Flower Golden Green SF-800P14XE 800W Power Supply @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Zalman N-Series Sandforce SSD Tests @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
PCPer Podcast #141 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


ARCTIC Announces Freezer 13 PRO CPU Cooler

Posted: February 11, 2011 @ time: 07:39PM
Author: bp9801

ARCTIC's Freezer 13 CPU cooler hasn't been out for too long, but that isn't stopping ARCTIC from releasing a new flagship version of it. The ARCTIC Freezer 13 PRO CPU cooler builds on the design of the Freezer 13 by adding a new technology it calls Cross-Blow. What makes the Cross-Blow technology unique is that ARCTIC has added a 50mm PWM fan to the base of the cooler which generates airflow to cool down the Northbridge and other chipset parts. The Freezer 13 PRO can generate up to 300W of cooling capacity which is far more than enough for even the hottest running processors. There are four U-shaped 8mm copper heatpipes on the Freezer 13 PRO that lead up into the aluminum fins. Cooling it all is a 120mm PWM fan that generates 49.7 CFM. The Freezer 13 PRO uses push pins to install on to your motherboard plus ARCTIC has pre-applied some of its MX-4 thermal compound to the base which will make installation that much easier. The cooler is compatible with all Intel and AMD sockets, including Intel's latest 1155 socket.

The ARCTIC Freezer 13 PRO CPU cooler will launch at $54.90 or €39.90. No word on how soon it will launch, but it is covered by a six year warranty.


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Nokia Announces Partnership with Microsoft, Future Phones to Run Windows Phone 7

Posted: February 11, 2011 @ time: 08:35PM
Author: bp9801

At Nokia's Capital Markets Day today, it announced something that had been rumored for a little while now. Nokia and Microsoft have announced a partnership, one that will see Nokia using Windows Phone 7 as the primary OS which makes for a dramatic turn of events for the Finnish phone maker. Nokia will also embrace various other Microsoft services, like Bing. What this means for Symbian and MeeGo is not good, as Symbian will basically be abandoned and phased out by year's end for smartphones. Some of the Symbian developers seem interested in moving to Android even. As for MeeGo, Nokia is planning on releasing one product by year's end and having it turn into an experimental platform with a diminished staff. The partnership means that Nokia's strong hardware will be getting the benefit of Microsoft's potentially strong software, though WP7 is still in its infancy and there is no telling how well received it will be later on.

Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop has said that 2011 and 2012 will be "transitional" years for his company and there was no firm date on when we'd all see a Nokia-based Windows Phone 7 device. As for Microsoft, having one of the strongest hardware makers could be highly beneficial but then again, it could scare away other companies depending on how successful Nokia is. At any rate, it is a bit of a gamble for Microsoft and Nokia to join up but if it pays off, the rewards could be huge.


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Thecus N16000

Posted: February 13, 2011 @ time: 08:32PM
Author: Nemo

We've been fortunate enough to review a couple of storage devices from Thecus, such as the Thecus N4100PRO NAS Server and the Thecus N3200PRO NAS Server. We found these units quite capable of offering secure storage for workgroups, the SMB market and even homes.

Now Thecus is moving into the enterprise market in a rather big way with the announcement of its 3U rackmount N16000 NAS server. The N16000 offers some serious storage via its 16-bay setup that supports both SATA III and SAS 6G for ultra-fast data transfers. Since this is a enterprise-class storage device, you can expect some serious hardware inside the N16000 and you won't be disappointed. The unit features a 3.06GHz Intel Xeon X3480 processor, an LSI 2008 PCI-e (x8) HBA card and 8GB DDR3 SDRAM. It also features RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD support as well as auto-rebuild, dedicated hot spare and online RAID migration/expansion.

All of that is great for keeping your data safe, but to ensure complete access the N16000 also comes equipped with High Availability (HA) which keeps your data safe and within reach at all times by running two parallel NAS. This allows constant synchronization between the two and protects you from even a momentary loss of access.

According to Thecus, you should expect to see the N1600 appear at the end of February with an MSRP of US$5,920.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: February 14, 2011 @ time: 05:57AM
Author: Nemo

Let's get things started this week with a look at a pair of video cards. The first product up for review is the ASUS GTX560 TI DirectCUII TOP ENGTX560 video card. We follow that up with the MSI Radeon HD 6870 1GB HAWK video card. Also in our roundup today is a hard drive docking station from Zalman, a set of 2.1 3D speakers from Antec's soundscience product line and more.

Memory
Quick Review: OCZ Platinum XTE Series PC3-16000 4GB Kit @ TweakTown

Motherboards
Jetway Mini-ITX NC98-525E-LF Motherboard MultiMedia @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
soundscience rockus™ 3D | 2.1 Speaker @ [H]ardOCP

Storage/Hard Drives
Zalman ZM-MH200 Dual HDD Docking Station @ PC Perspective

Video
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
MSI Radeon HD 6870 1GB HAWK Overclocked Video Card @ TweakTown

Miscellany
The Star Wars Saga Blu-rays - Will The Force Be With Us? @ TweakTown


Complete Story


Roccat Launches Kulo Gaming Headset

Posted: February 14, 2011 @ time: 02:09PM
Author: bp9801

Roccat has just announced its newest gaming periphereal, this time in the form of a gaming headset. The Roccat Kulo gaming headset features 40mm drivers with neodymium magnets so your game audio should sound as realistic as possible. It features Mylar membranes for comfort and padded ear-cups to isolate sound, ensuring your game or music is all you hear. It features a noise-filtering microphone on a foldable boom, plus there is an in-line volume control to give you precise control over the audio level. It connects via two 3.5mm jacks to your computer.

The Roccat Kulo gaming headset will be available this April for €59.99.


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