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News Archives for November 2013

Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: November 1, 2013 @ time: 08:52AM
Author: bp9801

November has arrived and we have a couple of reviews for you to check out in the new month. NVIDIA held its "The Way It's Meant to Be Played " 2013 event in Montreal, Canada, last week, and with it came a slew of announcements. We have another take on the event for you to check out and see just what G-Sync, ShadowPlay, GameStream, and more are all about. There's also a review on a self-contained watercooling kit from SilverStone, the Tundra SST-TD02, to see how well it performs against some of the other names in the watercooling world.

Gaming
NVIDIA 'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' 2013 Montréal Report @ Neoseeker

CPU Cooling
SilverStone Tundra SST-TD02 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


New Tools for Studying Aluminum

Posted: November 1, 2013 @ time: 08:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Despite being the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust, aluminum is not a very well understood metal, at least when it is dissolved into other materials, such as water. Researchers at Oregon State University though, have finally crafted a toolset to enable researchers to analyze aqueous aluminum.

Aluminum has an interesting history to it, in part because of how it dissolves in water. This makes it very uncommon to appear in its natural state, but instead locked inside of ores. It was not until the late nineteenth century that an electrolytic process was discovered to cheaply produce the now ubiquitous metal. With the new tools though, researchers will be able to create clusters of aluminum atoms to then study with new laser techniques. Potentially the tools may be applied to other metals as well.

While developing the tools, the researchers also discovered a behavior of aqueous aluminum called a 'flat cluster.' This discovery could have implications for large scale production of thin films and nanoparticles, which in turn may influence transistors, solar cells, and more.

Source: Oregon State University


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Kingston Partners with QPAD for Battlefield 4 Bundle

Posted: November 3, 2013 @ time: 08:07AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced that is working with gaming accessory manufacturer QPAD to bundle HyperX products with collector's edition Battlefield 4 mouse pads for the newest game in the popular series. The mouse pads will be offered in two different sizes, each size offering different Kingston bundle opportunities. The small mouse pad can be combined with HyperX Blu and Genesis memory modules while the larger mouse pad comes with HyperX Beast or Predator memory. The larger mouse pad also offers the ability to combo with a HyperX solid state drive. Business manager at Kingston Lawrence Yang said, "The bundle of the mouse pad with our memory is a way to give back to our fans and add value to our products."

Source: Press Release


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OCZ Introduces new Storage Management Software

Posted: November 3, 2013 @ time: 08:16AM
Author: CheeseMan42

OCZ is now offering a new software system designed to manage network connected solid state drives in enterprise environments. The software, StoragePro XL 1.1, "provides IT managers with a cross-platform view of their enterprise flash resources for centralized management, monitoring, maintenance and reporting." Featuring support for Windows and Linux based machines and a graphical user interface for centralized management, the software offers the ability to monitor storage resources and set up alert notifications for various conditions. VP of Software and Solutions Dr. Allon Cohen said, "This level of remote host and SSD management provides the system information and SSD health that IT professionals need to centrally perform mission-critical actions and maximize data center ROI from their enterprise flash resources."

Source: Press Release


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Thermaltake Offers new Laptop Cooling Solution

Posted: November 4, 2013 @ time: 04:12AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Thermaltake has announced its newest laptop cooler, the Massive V20, that is compatible with laptops ranging in size from 10-17". A single 200mm fan provides the cooling power, pushing just over 70 CFM at a noise level of 31.7 dBA. The fan also provides a nice blue LED glow and has a speed knob to turn it up or down as necessary. The unit weighs in at 700g, or about 1.5 pounds, and could possibly be considered portable.

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA Reaches 1 Million Facebook Fans

Posted: November 4, 2013 @ time: 04:20AM
Author: CheeseMan42

In honor of reaching 1 million fans on Facebook, the folks at NVIDIA have put together a compilation video to thank the gamers that have helped make it possible. The video features clips that appear to have been shot at various conventions and conferences in which the male and female GeForce staffers give out high fives and hugs to attendees.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: November 4, 2013 @ time: 07:22AM
Author: bp9801

We have a lot to cover today, so let's not delay. There's a review on the ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula motherboard for those who need a ton of a features yet still at an affordable price point. We also have the Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H for those wanting high end features without going too far into their bank accounts. There's another take on the Cooler Master HAF Stacker case with its unique modular system so users can arrange the cases however they choose. Phanteks is a name known for its CPU cooling, but today there's something a little different as the Enthoo Primo case gets put to the test. There's plenty more to check out as well, including a Mad Catz gaming keyboard and a Logitech SqueezeBox replacement, so be sure to hit up the links below!

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula @ Madshrimps
Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H @ PC Perspective

Cases
Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 @ Benchmark Reviews
Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full Tower @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
GELID Solutions The Black Edition @ LanOC Reviews

Keyboards/Mice
Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 Gaming Keyboard @ Madshrimps

Gadgets
VidaBox OpenSqueeze Solo - A Logitech SqueezeBox Replacement @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Podcast #275 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Thermoelectric Emulator Created Practically By Chance

Posted: November 4, 2013 @ time: 09:03AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A number of discoveries in science only happened because someone was in the right place at the right time. Thus was the case when a visiting researcher looked at new experiment setup at ETH Zurich. The visitor informed the Zurich researchers that they had created a thermoelectric material emulator, which he and his colleagues had been searching for, for years.

Thermoelectric materials have the ability to directly convert thermal energy into an electrical current, which would seem very useful considering how much heat other technologies produce. The problem is that the effect is typically very weak, so little energy is returned. With this new emulator though, which uses ultracold lithium atoms, it may be possible to created more efficient thermoelectric materials. The emulator works by chilling the lithium atoms to near absolute zero, at which point the atoms can behave like electrons in a material. By trapping the atoms with lasers, it is possible to affect their behavior and have them emulate the electrons of a thermoelectric material.

Thanks to the work of researchers in Zurich, Paris, Bonn, and Geneva, this emulator should allow us to better understand the thermoelectric effect in many different materials. If it also leads to new, more efficient materials, we could see them invade our cars, as companies are already investigating modern thermoelectric systems for recovering heat from exhaust.

Source: ETH Zurich


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 09:51AM
Author: bp9801

We have a variety of AMD GPUs included today, however there's some interesting differences between them despite the similarities. There's a look at both the R9 290 and R9 290X, like the one OCC reviewed, yet the R9 290 is offered with a fewer number of compute units and a cheaper price. Both have 4GB of GDDR5, it's just the R9 290 can save you some dough if the performance is close enough to not be noticeable. For something different, we have a review on the Cooler Master CM Storm Pulse-R gaming headset with its solid construction and customizable ear cups. There's the Noctua NH-L9i low profile heat sink that's perfect for small form factor chassis and anything else where height is an issue. We wrap things up with a look at the Cooler Master Glacial 240L self-contained liquid CPU cooler.

Video Cards
AMD Radeon R9 290X Hawaii - The Configurable GPU? @ PC Perspective
AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB - Trip to Hawaii for $399 @ PC Perspective
AMD Radeon R9 290 @ TechSpot

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Heat Sink @ Frostytech
Cooler Master Glacial 240L @ LanOC Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Cooler Master CM Storm Pulse-R Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Bit Commitment for Quantum Encryption Achieved

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 10:28AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Secure communication is a necessity for many modern day functions, such as transmitting financial information, but so often it seems that no matter how hard someone tries to secure data, someone else tries harder to steal it. One future technology that could thwart the data thief is quantum encryption, but even it has imperfections. Researchers at the University of Cambridge however, have successfully demonstrated a way to overcome those imperfections.

Bit commitment is a scheme that secures data from being changed by any party, after being sent. Despite the promise of quantum encryption though, quantum mechanics alone cannot achieve bit commitment. Some fifteen years ago though, a researcher had the idea to bring relativity into the system, to cover quantum mechanics' flaws. At the time the idea itself was flawed, but now the Cambridge researchers have figured out how to combine the two physics and were able to send perfectly secure data between Geneva and Singapore.

While it is easy to imagine how bit commitment could revolutionize secure communication, this research is still at an early stage, making it impossible to predict its potential impact.

Source: University of Cambridge


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Three Additional Developers Join AMD's Mantle

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 12:53PM
Author: Prunes

Good news for AMD fans, as the company today announced that three more developers will use AMD's new low level API called Mantle. Mantle should allow developers to better utilize AMD's graphics cards, thus making it possible to execute much more intense graphics. The three developers are Cloud Imperium Games, who made Star Citizen; Eidos Montreal, who made Deus Ex: Human Revolution and who are currently working on Thief; and Oxide Games, which was started by former Microsoft and Firaxis employees.

"AMD's Mantle will allow us to extract more performance from an AMD Radeon GPU than any other graphics API ... With Mantle, our team can spend more time achieving our perfect artistic vision, and less time worrying about whether or not today’s gaming hardware will be ready to deliver it." said Chris Roberts, CEO, Cloud Imperium Games.

Also, Edios-Montreal's studio head, David Anfossi, seems thrilled "Mantle lets you use AMD Radeon GPUs the way they are meant to be used, unlocking many new opportunities and increased CPU and GPU performance". 

Just how much improvement Mantle will provide has yet to be seen, but in theory is should allow for much more precise tweaking from the developers' side, which should benefit all gamers using AMD's cards.

Source: MaximumPC


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New Architecture for the Internet Being Developed

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 01:06PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Everyday more content is uploaded to and downloaded from the Internet, which may one day make it challenging to access it all quickly and efficiently. This is why numerous teams of researchers are constantly working on new technologies for the Internet, and those at the University of Cambridge have recently built a prototype of a new architecture.

The project is called 'Pursuit' and the research team has already won an award for successfully demonstrating a part of the technology. The idea behind Pursuit is to leave the server-central architecture for a more 'social' Internet, where data is shared between personal computers. Essentially it would serve the content of the Internet by a Peer-to-Peer system, which could increase speed, depending on the closeness of the computers with the data you want. This move would also cause a shift from URLs to URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) by focusing on the data, instead of the webpage with the data on it.

The researchers also claim the Pursuit architecture would be more secure, because by using URIs, it is possible to ensure the data is coming from an authorized source. You can learn more about Pursuit at its webpage: http://www.fp7-pursuit.eu/PursuitWeb/.

Source: University of Cambridge


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PowerColor Announces Devil R9 270X

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 04:12PM
Author: CheeseMan42

PowerColor is adding the newest GPU to its Devil line of high end cards, the Devil R9 270X. The card is described with the ability to show "its demonic power with full support of DirectX® 11.2 and 4K gaming," providing the ability to play all of your favorite games in extreme high definition. The card is factory overclocked to 1150MHz with the ability to go up to 1180MHz with boost to go along with 2GB of GDDR5 memory that runs at 1400MHz. A three fan system is mounted on top of an aluminum heatsink that features four heat pipes for thermal performance, providing a solution that is 25% cooler and 18% quieter than the reference design. The card has several output options with connections for DVI, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort.

Source: Press Release


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Thermaltake Adds Two Cases to Urban Series

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 04:24PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Thermaltake is adding two cases, described as "mainstream mid-towers," to the Urban series, the T21 and T31. The cases are highlighted by a brushed metal design and a door on the front of the case, removing the flashy elements that are featured on many cases currently available. The front panel hides three optical drives and six hard drive bays and the cases are available in both windowed and non-windowed configurations. Both cases have two 120mm fans pre-installed with room to add another three. The T31 is slightly larger than the T21 and also gives users the ability to remove unused hard drive cages. The T21 has an MSRP of $69 while the T31 will cost $89.

Source: Press Release


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OCC Needs Review Editors

Posted: November 5, 2013 @ time: 09:14PM
Author: bp9801

We here at OverclockersClub are once again hiring, but this time it's for Review Editors. These are the ones who comb through a review before it's launched to make sure everything is properly spelled and written. It's an important job, and what we need are people who are up late at night. That can be people on the west coast of the US/Canada, or anyone in Australia/Asia and Europe. There are reviews that can be ready to edit later in the evening when the other Review Editors are asleep, and this is precisely why we need late night people.

There aren't a ton of requirements for Review Editors, however they are pretty major. The key requirement is you must possess an understanding of English, both in terms of spelling and grammar. It's absolutely vital for those two, as you'll have to know if words are spelled properly or used correctly in the course of editing. Editing does take time as you have to read through the entire review to make sure there are no mistakes, but you do have the added benefit of knowing how the item performs ahead of its launch.

If all of that sounds perfect to you, then send a PM or email to Bosco. He'll get you set up with the process to see if you can be one of OCC's new Review Editors.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: November 6, 2013 @ time: 07:22AM
Author: bp9801

It's the middle of the first week of November, with a few items for you to check out to help pass the time. We have a look at the RHA SA950i headphones, which are an over-the-ear type model with an inline microphone for voice communication on iOS devices. There's also a review on the GAMDIAS ZEUS GMS1100 gaming mouse that has a ton of features and a rather unique look, but how does it perform? You'll have to read through the review to find out, of course! We wrap things up today with the first part of a project build for a nice and portable LAN machine that should be no slouch in terms of performance.

Keyboards/Mice
GAMDIAS ZEUS GMS1100 Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
RHA SA950i Headphones @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Project Build: Lunchbox v3, Part 1 @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


New Technique for Connecting to Graphene

Posted: November 6, 2013 @ time: 08:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For people and technologies alike, good connections are important as a bad connection can cause problems. Perhaps graphene best exemplifies this as it the material's edge, where the connections are, that determines its electrical properties. Researchers at the City College of New York have recently achieved a new kind of connection to graphene, which could prove crucial to its future use.

Graphene is an atomic-thick sheet of carbon with special electrical properties, which can be disrupted by external forces and fields. Attaching a three dimensional connector to this two dimensional material can cause such disruption, and has been proving a challenge to using graphene in technology. The New York researchers however were able to create a one dimensional connection to graphene, which had been sandwiched between layers of boron nitrite. By etching away the boron nitrite, the researchers were able to expose just the edge of the graphene, which they then evaporated metal onto, to make the connection.

When measured, the contact resistance came in at 100 ohms per micrometer, which is less than that of contacts attached to the top surface of graphene. Though graphene is the material used in this study, the technique could be applied to other 2D layered materials, including boron nitride and topological insulators.

Source: City College of New York


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HGST Starts Shipping 6 TB Hard Drives

Posted: November 6, 2013 @ time: 02:16PM
Author: Prunes

More is better, is that not how it goes? Well, HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary, has started shipping its new 6 TB Ultrastar He 6 hard drive. This is not available to the average consumer though, as the drive only ships to huge data centers, such as Netflix, Cern, Code42 and the like. However, we might see the technology used slowly make its way into home user drives. 

What makes this drive special is that instead of having atmospheric air inside the drive, HGST used helium due to its very low density. This reduces drag on the spinning disks, which lowers the mechanical power needed to drive the motor. The 6 TB hard drive has seven platters locked in a hermetically sealed enclosure. The drive manages some impressive power savings with a 23 percent lower idle power consumption compared to a 3.5 inch 4 TB hard drive with five platters and filled with regular air, 49 percent better watts per TB, runs cooler and is up to 30 percent quieter. 

Source: MaximumPC


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Synaptic Transistor Created

Posted: November 6, 2013 @ time: 03:10PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Try as we might to build and upgrade better computers and components, the most advanced and capable computer in existence is the human brain. With billions of synapses with various connections sending signals to each other, the brain is a highly efficient and parallel machine no computer can match. Naturally though, when told something is better than what you have, you try to match it, and that is what researchers at Harvard University are working on as they develop a synaptic transistor.

Though it may be hard to imagine that every memory and thought you have had exists just as a network of neurons, that does appear to be the case. New experiences can cause new connections to form between neurons, and as the experiences are repeated, those connections are strengthened so signals can travel faster along them. In the typical transistor, the connections are static, so to emulate the brain, the Harvard researchers have developed a transistor with adaptable connections. The device is comprised of a nickelate semiconductor between two platinum electrodes, next to some ionic liquid. By applying an electric field to the liquid, ions are driven into the nickelate, changing its conductance and altering the connection between the electrodes.

The current device is just a proof of concept for the synaptic transistor, but the researchers already have an idea of how to improve its performance. By moving the ionic liquid closer to the device, the transistor should be able to respond faster, so the researchers are looking to work with some microfluidics experts to achieve this greater speed.

Source: Harvard University


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Seagate's New 2TB Hard Drive is a Mere 9.5mm Thin

Posted: November 6, 2013 @ time: 05:29PM
Author: bp9801

Seagate, one of the leaders in all things storage, has a pretty exciting announcement today for laptop and game console owners. The company unveiled its new 2.5" Spinpoint M9T from its Samsung HDD division, which is a 9.5mm thin 2TB hard drive. It's also available in a 1.5TB capacity, and either way you look at it, this is the thinnest hard drive in either size. Plenty of devices are set up for 9.5mm hard drives, but before you couldn't really go over 1TB. Now that's a thing of the past, and it's especially good for anyone looking to pick up a PlayStation 4 (or PS3) as it's limited to 9.5mm drives. Each Spintpoint M9T drive runs on the SATA 6Gbps interface and is packed with Seagate's NoiseGuard and SilentSeek technologies for the quietest operation possible.

The Samsung Spinpoint M9T is already available in the M3 and P3 external drives, and will be soon as a standalone. The 2TB is priced at $129, while the 1.5TB's price isn't known just yet.

Source: Business Wire


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: November 7, 2013 @ time: 07:22AM
Author: bp9801

We have a good selection of reviews for you today, including NVIDIA's newest video card. The GeForce GTX 780 Ti gets put to the test to see how this fully unlocked GK110 part stacks up to the other NVIDIA cards as well as the competition. You really won't want to miss this. We also have a look at the Tt eSPORTS THERON gaming mouse, which uses an infrared optical sensor to help you get the most out of your games. Wrapping up today's items is the second part of the LAN rig build that focuses on the power supply, case, and cooling components.

Video Cards
NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti @ LanOC Reviews
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB - Full GK110 Crashes into Hawaii @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
Tt eSPORTS THERON Infrared Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Project Build: Lunchbox v3 Part 2 @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Controlling Light with a Single Atom

Posted: November 7, 2013 @ time: 08:47AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Switches surround us as without them rooms would be dark and electronics could not be turned on. While this abundance makes them easy to forget, switches are very important tools that are needed in many situations. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have recently created a light switch consisting of a single atom, which could have potential with quantum communication.

Most people think of fiber optic cables as a means to carry optical signals over great distances, but with the proper modification, they can also be made into a bottle resonator. These resonators trap light by having it run in circles around its circumference, and getting the light in or out of the resonator is as easy as bringing it near a fiber optic cable. The process of the light jumping to the resonator is very sensitive, as the researchers discovered, as touching a single rubidium atom to the resonator prevents any light from entering it, or leaving it to enter another cable.

While this single-atom switch can definitely be used like a classical light switch, it can also be made into a quantum mechanical light switch. By putting the rubidium atom into a superposition so that it is both touching and not touching the resonator, the position of the light will also enter a superposition. This ability could thus be used for quantum information and communication purposes without relying on the rare machinery found only in laboratories.

Source: Vienna University of Technology


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PowerColor Announces R9 290 OC

Posted: November 7, 2013 @ time: 04:33PM
Author: CheeseMan42

PowerColor continues to roll out new video cards based on the latest GPUs from AMD with the R9 290 OC. The card is built using the Hawaii GPU which uses the GCN architecture and boasts 2560 stream processors. The core speed is factory overclocked to 975MHz and it is paired with 4GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1250MHz. It also takes advantage of AMD TrueAudio technology, making it "the first discrete GPU featuring programmable audio pipeline, delivering a unique audio user experience on PCs." Users are given DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort connection options.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


ECS Expands Durathon Technology to Include Triple Density PCB

Posted: November 7, 2013 @ time: 04:43PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS introduced its Durathon Technology as a way to deliver the highest quality components to consumers through innovation and testing. The current trio of tools that are part of Durathon are Extreme Temperature Resistance, 1.5K Marathon Testing, and Superior Solid Capacitors. ECS has now added Triple Density PCB to help guard against moisture and humidity damage in its products. This is accomplished through the use of bi-directional splitting glass fabric, which offers three times the humidity protection of normal glass fabric. The denser PCB material also helps to protect against higher temperatures.

Source: ECS


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Using Light to Draw In a Liquid

Posted: November 7, 2013 @ time: 08:15PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a very good chance that we are all familiar with light being used to draw on a solid surface, as this is done in LCD screens. What we are not so familiar with though is drawing in a liquid with light, likely because it has never been accomplished before. Researchers at the University of Helsinki however, have successfully created a solution that will change in appearance, when exposed to light.

When first mixed into water or some alcohols, the new photosensitive polymer does not dissolve, and blocks light from passing through it. Shining a 365 nm laser on it though changes the polymer chain, causing it to dissolve into the solution, and become transparent. This effect can last for hours, depending on variables such as the concentration of the solution.

Exactly what this discovery may lead to is hard to guess at this point. A liquid display would be pretty cool though.

 

 

Source: University of Helsinki


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Happy Birthday 3DMark!

Posted: November 8, 2013 @ time: 08:10AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

What were you doing in 1998? Did you have a new Windows 98 machine running DirectX 6? If you did, did you happen to benchmark it with the newly released 3DMark99 benchmark?

Fifteen years ago, the first 3DMark benchmark was released. Since then Futuremark has released eleven more versions of 3DMark, to push our machines to their limits. To celebrate the anniversary, the company is holding a contest. Vote for your favorite 3DMark release and you could win a limited edition 3DMark Fire Strike monster statue. Late to the game or just cannot remember the older benchmarks? Each version is available for download (if not supported) on the Futuremark website. Or you can check out one of our 3DMark articles: Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Review; 3DMark 11 Performance Review; 3DMark (2013) Review.

Source: Futuremark


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: November 8, 2013 @ time: 09:29AM
Author: bp9801

It's the end of the week, but we certainly aren't lacking in reviews for it. We have a couple more looks at NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 780 Ti video card, which truly is a monster in terms of performance. It's quite impressive what NVIDIA has managed to do with the Kepler architecture still, especially when you consider it debuted with the GTX 680. There's also some reviews on the OCZ Vector 150 SSD, which uses a Barefoot 3 controller and 19nm MLC NAND flash. If you just need a new motherboard, then perhaps the ECS GANK DRONE Z87H3-A3X could be for you, especially if you're on a budget. We even have a mini gaming PC from ASRock that's packed in a stylish case designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the same team responsible for Thermaltake's Level 10 case. We finish things off with some iPhone 5/5s cases from iLuv and the third and final part of the LAN rig build.

Video Cards
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti @ Benchmark Reviews
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
OCZ Vector 150 240GB and 120GB - Barefoot 3 pushes 19nm flash @ PC Perspective
OCZ Vector 150 @ TechSpot
OCZ Vector 150 @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
ECS GANK DRONE Z87H3-A3X @ Madshrimps

Prebuilts
ASRock M8 Mini-ITX Gaming PC @ TechSpot

Mobile
iLuv Aurora Illusion & Flightfit Gaudi iPhone 5/5s Cases @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Project Build: Lunchbox v3 Part 3 @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Supermassive Stars Give Birth to Twin Black Holes?

Posted: November 8, 2013 @ time: 10:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

One of the most exotic and best known stellar objects are black holes. These massive objects have been the subject of many works of fiction and scientific analyses, but despite this attention, there are still many mysteries about them. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology may have some answers though, concerning the formation of the supermassive black holes found in the centers of modern galaxies.

As their name suggests, supermassive black holes are immense objects with millions and even billions of solar masses, and that mass has likely been accumulated over millions or billions of years. The mystery surrounding them though is how any supermassive black holes could have existed in the early Universe, before enough time had passed for them to grow up to 'supermassive.' One theory is that the seed black holes were formed from supermassive stars. These exotic stars would be very short lived as it is only the photons generated from its heat that will keep it from collapsing under its gravity. Over a couple million years though, the star will cool and start to collapse. As it does, according to the new research, perturbations of the gases inside the star will cause clumps to form and grow, eventually collapsing into a pair of black holes. The black holes will then orbit each other for a time, before merging into a single, larger black hole.

Currently this work is all theoretical, but it may be possible to experimentally confirm it. As the twin black holes revolve about each other, they would produce gravitational waves, as described by General Relativity. These waves would still be visible at the edge of the Universe to the proper detectors. Of course, if this theory is confirmed and solves one mystery, it will likely create another.

 

 

Source: California Institute of Technology


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Corsair Announces CS Series Power Supplies

Posted: November 8, 2013 @ time: 12:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The CS Series is set to be the newest series of modular power supplies from Corsair, aiming to "deliver 80 PLUS Gold efficiency on a Bronze budget." There will be four models available with power ratings of 450, 550, 650, and 750 watts, all of which are 80 PLUS Gold certified. An included fan runs near silent during everyday tasks, helping to minimize overall system noise. The CS Series will be almost completely modular, with two motherboard cables being the only permanent fixtures. Global Product Manager of PSUs Aaron Neal said, "They are perfect for users that want reliable, energy efficient power for their PCs at a price that won’t break their budget." The units will range in price from $89.99 for the 450W model to $119.99 for the 750W model and are available now.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Gigabyte Reveals Newest Motherboard at Blizzcon

Posted: November 11, 2013 @ time: 05:34AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Blizzcon is the annual show hosted by Blizzard to show off its products and bring gamers together for exhibitions and professional gaming competitions. At Blizzcon 2013 this past weekend Gigabyte joined the party, revealing its newest motherboard, the G1.Sniper Z87. Blizzcon is an excellent launching point for the hardware as VP of the Motherboard Business Unit Henry Kao said, "The new G1.Sniper Z87 has PC gaming built-in to its DNA, an utterly compelling choice for any high performance PC built with fragging in mind." The board features a number of innovative audio features including a socketed OP-amp that can be upgraded by the user, a digital to analog converter, and a Sound Core3D audio processor from Creative. In addition to the audio components, the G1.Sniper Z87 supports fourth generation Intel Core processors, four DDR3 modules, SLI and CrossFire, and six SATA 6Gb/s connectors.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: November 11, 2013 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: bp9801

We have a nice selection of items for you to check out on Veteran's Day today, including another look at one of AMD's new R9 280X video cards. This is an IceQ X2 Turbo model from HIS, which means a custom cooler and a factory overclock to get you going right away. There's also a look at the new AMD video card driver that should hopefully make the R9 290 and 290X a little bit quieter, and to see if that's actually the case. If you're in the market for a new gaming laptop, then perhaps the MSI GE40 is going to be at the top of your holiday wish list. Speaking of wish lists, we have a selection of some of the hottest PC games to ask for/buy this coming holiday season.

Video Cards
HIS R9 280X IceQ X2 Turbo @ Bjorn3D
AMD Driver Update Changes Performance, Fan Speeds of R9 290X and R9 290 @ PC Perspective

Laptops/Tablets
MSI GE40 2OC-009US Gaming Notebook: The Best of Both Worlds? @ PC Perspective

Gaming
Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Music can Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

Posted: November 11, 2013 @ time: 11:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ever talked to your plants to help them grow? Cannot say I ever have, but now some researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London can say they have played music for solar cells, and improved their efficiency.

Before getting too far, it needs to be stated that this experiment involved a special solar cell comprised of zinc oxide nanorods. Zinc oxide is a known piezoelectric material, which means it can create an electrical current when a mechanical force is applied to it. That current, it turns out, can be used to increase the energy conversion of the photoelectric polymer placed on top of the nanorods. As we are dealing with a polymer, the future solar cells that would benefit from this research could be low cost, printed solar cells.

The researchers tested different kinds of music and found that pop music was the most energizing, as it increased efficiency by 40%. The cause of this genre preference is that high pitched sounds, like those common to pop music, have the greatest effect.

Source: Queen Mary, University of London


Complete Story


Humble Store Launches

Posted: November 11, 2013 @ time: 12:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Humble Bundle began in 2010 as a company that put together bundles of DRM-free games and associated content, which were then sold using a pay-what-you-want model. A customizable portion of each sale can go to select charities, such as Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Typically these sales lasted for two weeks, but in March that changed as it started offering Humble Weekly Sales as well. Now the company has added another way to purchases games with the Humble Store.

Actually if you have been watching the right places on the Internet, you would know that the Humble Store has existed for a while, as a way for indie game developers to sell their goods. This was facilitated by a widget that had to be placed on a pre-existing website. Starting today, though, that changes, as the Humble Store is now a portion of the Humble Bundle site, where you can browse and purchase the game. To celebrate its launch, the games are currently on sale for 50-75% off for 24 hours. Another batch of games will be added tomorrow.

While this is still Humble Bundle, there are some differences from the special sales, such as the games having firm prices, instead of following a pay-what-you-want model. Also 10% of every purchase goes to charities American Red Cross, Child's Play, Electronic Frontier Foundation, World Land Trust, and charity:water. Something else worth noting is that not all games are available DRM-free through the store, which is clearly indicated with the games.

 

 

Source: Humble Bundle


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: November 12, 2013 @ time: 10:13AM
Author: bp9801

We have some interesting items for you to go over, especially if you're a fan of video cards and APUs. AMD recently revealed more information on its Kaveri line of APUs, which will use four Steamroller cores and effectively doubles up on everything from its predecessors. There's also a look at a more tradtitional product in the form of the HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 video card, which is a more mid-range option in AMD's new video card product stack. On the green side we have the Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC and GTX 780 GHz Edition video cards, with each sporting custom coolers and factory overclocks. We finish off today's items with a review on the NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 tablet, with EVGA behind the marketing and support.

Video Cards
AMD Spills more Kaveri Beans: AMD APU13 @ PC Perspective
HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 @ Madshrimps
Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti OC & GTX 780 GHz Edition @ TechSpot

Laptops/Tablets
EVGA NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 - $199 Tegra 4 Tablet @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Converting Ocean Currents into Electrical Currents

Posted: November 12, 2013 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Never underestimate the power of the seas, especially as you dive beneath the surface. There you can find currents with more power than multiple nuclear power plants can produce. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have been working on underwater kites that could potentially tap into those currents, similar to how wind turbines tap into the wind.

The researchers have recently received a $300,000 grant from NSF to develop systems to harness the power of tidal flows. Previously the researchers had researched low-cost kites for harnessing wind power (a project also funded by the NSF, along with the EPA) and now they are looking to adapt their models for use underwater. Using those models they will determine the best design for the kites, as well as the optimal placement of the turbines that will actually generate the electricity.

This is not the first endeavor to capture the power of tidal flows, but many of the previous attempts relied on stationary turbines. The mobility of the envisioned kite system however, could increase energy output significantly, while also being smaller and cheaper to use.

Source: Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Complete Story


Apple Looking to Partner with More Fabricators

Posted: November 12, 2013 @ time: 05:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Apple creates all of its own CPU and GPU designs for its mobile devices using technologies licensed from ARM Holdings and Imagination Technologies Group, but depends on other companies to fabricate the chips. Samsung has long been the go to partner, but it has been increasing the price of the contracts, causing Apple to start looking elsewhere. Taiwan Semiconductor was rumored to receive a portion of the A7 System-on-a-Chip contracts for the newest iPhone, but that never came to fruition. The latest company rumored to be involved is now GlobalFoundries, a fabrication company that spun off of AMD. The chips would be fabricated at the nearly complete Malta, NY facility which is anticipated to have the capability to manufacture 60,000 wafers per month. A conservative estimate of yield would give Apple roughly 32 million chips per month from the new facility.

Source: Daily Tech


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: November 13, 2013 @ time: 07:31AM
Author: bp9801

It's the middle of the week, and we have just a couple items for you to check out today. The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor laser gaming mouse may have a budget-friendly price, but it packs a wealth of features you don't normally find at its price point. Plus it has a pretty snazzy look to it to set it apart from the crowd. Our other product is for the storage crowd, as the Western Digital My Cloud EX4 gets put to the test. This external solution can house four 3.5" drives to make it an effective NAS unit, while offering a ton of connectivity options and other aspects to make it so much more.

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital My Cloud EX4 - Personal Cloud Goes Big @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
Gigabyte Force M7 Thor Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Capturing Otherwise Lost Wireless Energy

Posted: November 13, 2013 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Right now there is a good chance a great deal of radiation is passing through each of us, from wireless routers and cell phone towers. Sadly, there is a good chance that much of that energy passing through us is going to be lost. Researchers at Duke University though have a new device to hopefully harvest that energy, and put it to use.

While most people will associate the photoelectric effect with solar panels that capture visible light, it applies to the larger electromagnetic spectrum, including the microwaves used for wireless communication. Using metamaterials, which have optical properties impossible to find in Nature, the researchers were able to build a device to capture and convert wasted wireless energy into a direct current. When tested the device was able to reach an impressive 37% efficiency and produced 7.3 V of energy.

An important aspect of the device's design is that it can be easily extended to capture more energy. It should also be possible to modify it to fit within cell phones and other devices, in order to wirelessly charge them when an outlet is not available.

Source: Duke University


Complete Story


New Budget Card From AMD Unveiled

Posted: November 13, 2013 @ time: 12:35PM
Author: Prunes

This past Wednesday AMD launched the budget-oriented R9 graphics card called the R9 270. The card is the little brother of the R9 270X, and thus costs slightly less at $179 as opposed the R9 270X's $199+ price tag. The price difference shows in the specifications as well. The graphics card contains 1,280 stream processors and has a core clock of 925 MHz, which allows the card to perform 2.37 TFLOPS. The card is also equipped with 2 GDDR5 memory clocked at up to 1.4 GHz with a memory bandwidth of 179.2 GB/s.

These specifications are sufficient for playing most of today's popular games, such as Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider etc. According to AMD's own testing, the card pushes out 30 frames per second on a 1080p monitor with graphics settings set to "ultra quality", 4x multisampling and anti-aliasing enabled.

The cooler used is also different from the rest of the R9 series with a center mounted fan. Whether this will affect the cooling performance much, considering the lower power consumption (150 W), has yet to be seen. However, the big manufacturers of graphics cards have already announced that they will ship the R9 270, so we might soon see the R9 270 equipped with aftermarket coolers, so heat will not be a problem.

Source: AMD


Complete Story


New OLED Design for Better Lights

Posted: November 13, 2013 @ time: 01:08PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLEDs, are a light-generating technology many people and companies are interested in for use in displays on phones, cameras, and even some televisions. They potentially offer cheap displays that are still bright and vibrant, but still have issues. One of these issues researchers at the University of Bonn, Regensburg University, the University of Utah, and MIT have managed to solve, and it should lead to a bright future.

In general, LEDs, organic or otherwise, generate light when a negative electron meets a positive hole, and energy is released as a photon. The problem is that it is not as simple as that, due to quantum mechanical effects. Specifically, if the spins of the two charge holders are the same, they will not collide and release energy as a photon, but instead create unwanted heat. Traditionally this was addressed by adding certain metals, such as platinum or iridium, which are both rare and expensive. What the researchers have found though is a new OLED design that allows it to hold energy long enough for the spins to flip naturally.

By removing the need for the noble metals, this research could significantly decrease the cost of OLED displays. Also, because more energy will be converted to light than heat, the resulting displays should be brighter and more efficient.

Source: University of Bonn


Complete Story


Kingston Now Offering New Secure Flash Drive

Posted: November 13, 2013 @ time: 05:11PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced a new secure flash drive, the DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0, targeted at users that want to secure their data in the event of a lost drive. The drive features hardware based encryption using a 256-bit AES encryption scheme with the XTS block cipher mode. Also included with the drive is DataTraveler Vault Privacy 3.0 Anti-Virus software with the option to purchase a drive with ClevX DriveSecurity from ESET as an alternative. The newest DataTraveler is the first USB 3.0 drive available with hardware encryption. The drive requires a complex password and will automatically lock after 10 failed intrusion attempts. Secure USB business manager Andrew Ewing said, "With the latest DTVP 3.0 security features and optional anti-malware protection by ESET coupled with best practices, organizations can better safeguard confidential data. Kingston has also helped enterprises future proof their investment by implementing fast USB 3.0 speeds and designing controllers which allow NAND to be interchanged without requalification and certification of security features." The drive will be available in capacities of 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: November 14, 2013 @ time: 08:45AM
Author: bp9801

There's a ton to go over today, so let's dive right in. We have an article examining AMD's recently revealed mobile APUs and what exactly they can bring to the table in terms of performance and energy savings. The SilverStone Kublai mid-tower case, with its stylish design, gets reviewed to see how well it can keep your system cool. We have another look at the CM Storm SF-17 gaming notebook cooler for those needing to keep their laptop from overheating. There's plenty more to, from an ASUS Gigabit router to new smartphones, the iPad Air, and a little bit of something for everyone to check out.

CPUs
AMD Releases 2014 Mobile APU Details: Beema and Mullins Cut TDPs @ PC Perspective

Cases
SilverStone Kublai KL04 Mid-Tower ATX Chassis Review @ Benchmark Reviews

Memory
Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba PC3-19200 16GB @ Neoseeker

Laptops/Tablets
iPad Air review @ Bjorn3D.com

Cooling
Cooler Master CM Storm SF-17 Gaming Notebook Cooler Review @ Madshrimps

Keyboards/Mice
Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Review @ ThinkComputers.org

Networking
ASUS RT-AC56U Gigabit Router @ LanOC Reviews

Mobile
Sony Xperia Z1 @ TechSpot
iconBIT NetTAB MERCURY Q7 (NT-3602M) @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


New 3D Carbon Allotrope Predicted

Posted: November 14, 2013 @ time: 08:46AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Carbon is an important element for modern life, and not just because of its necessity for biochemistry. The element is also found in many materials and devices we use daily, in one form or another. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, Peking University, and the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics have recently discovered a new, theoretical, three-dimensional form of carbon with the special property of being a conductor at standard temperature and pressure (STP).

The saying may be 'diamonds are forever,' but the chemistry is the opposite as graphite is actually the most stable form of carbon at STP. This means that diamonds, graphene, fullerenes, and nanotubes, if left alone at room temperature and pressure, will eventually decay into graphite. As graphite is a rather poor electrical conductor, researchers have been looking for another crystalline structure of carbon that is stable at STP, but is a good conductor, and it appears the researchers have found one, in theory.

This new form of carbon is comprised of tetrahedrons that interlock to form hexagons, and these hexagons give it its electrical conductivity, like they do in graphene. Being theoretical and early in development though, it may be some time before this carbon allotrope is synthesized, but when it is, it could have applications as a lightweight metal or low-resistance conductor.

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University


Complete Story


Higher Frequency Added to G.Skill Ripjaws Line

Posted: November 14, 2013 @ time: 03:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

G.Skill has announced the addition of 2133MHz memory to its line of DDR3 Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory modules. The modules operate at 1.35V and are targeted at laptop users, specifically those users with Intel Haswell based systems. The new memory will be available in a 4x2GB configuration and operates at Cas Latency 11. The new Ripjaws are plug and play with all current systems and won't require any modifications to the BIOS of your system to operate at full speed.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Dota 2 to Receive Three Spirits Update

Posted: November 14, 2013 @ time: 03:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Three Spirits update is the latest major update coming to the popular free to play MOBA from Valve, Dota 2. The three Spirits referred to are Storm, Earth, and Ember, with Earth and Ember being new heroes and Storm Spirit receiving a svelte cosmetic change. In addition to the two new heroes, a number of gameplay and other changes have been added. A lane picker utility was added to the hero selection screen, tournament replays will now be available spoiler free, penalties for players in low priority have been changed, among other changes. Several changes have been made to the item system and game economy with the ability to craft items into different items and items now able to accept gems to change their properties. Perhaps most importantly, Valve has given us Diretide, a return of the Halloween game mode from last year where teams fight each other and then join forces against the mighty Roshan.

Source: Valve


Complete Story


Printing Circuits to Reduce Time and Cost

Posted: November 14, 2013 @ time: 06:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ever wanted to build your own electrical circuit, but cannot afford the lithographic technology typically used to fabricate them? Thanks to the efforts of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Tokyo, and Microsoft Research, you may be able to print your circuits for only about $300.

By modifying a commercially available inkjet printer, the researchers were able to print working circuits in just sixty seconds. The circuitry was made from silver nanoparticle ink, which took advantage of recent work in how metal particles chemically bond to avoid thermal bonding. Such thermal bonds could actually damage the circuitry, and would at least add time to the process. As important as the ink though was the medium it was printed onto. The researchers found that resin-coated paper, PET film, and glossy photo paper worked well, and that canvas or magnetic sheets did not.

To prove this approach to printing circuits work, the researchers connected a capacitive ribbon with embedded circuits to a drinking glass. This formed a sensor that could measure how much water was in the glass.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: November 15, 2013 @ time: 07:33AM
Author: bp9801

Another week has come to a close, and we have just a couple items for you to check out. We have a review on the NVIDIA SHIELD, the company's portable Android-powered gaming device that can do double duty as a PC game streamer. See how it handles everything in the review below. There's also a new podcast from the PC Perspective team that covers a little bit of everything that went on during the week.

Gaming
NVIDIA SHIELD @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Podcast #277 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Thin Invisibility Cloak Using Antennas Demonstrated

Posted: November 15, 2013 @ time: 08:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A classic technology in many works of fiction is a tool to render a user invisible, and is often described as a cloak. When scientists actually learned how to make an object invisible with metamaterials though, 'cloak' would hardly describe the large devices. Researchers at the University of Toronto however have created a thin cloak that operates in a different way than the previous cloaks.

The first invisibility cloaks used metamaterials to cause light to bend in unnatural ways. As this requires special structures to achieve, the devices were somewhat large, and had to completely cover the object to work. This new cloak however uses a layer of antennas covering the object, which is considerably thinner. The antennas create an electromagnetic field that cancels out any light reflected off of the object. As it is only when light reflects off of an object that it can be seen, this renders the object invisible.

Currently the device has only been demonstrated with radio waves, but as the technology matures it should be able to work with light in other parts of the spectrum, including visible light. While the ability to make a target invisible would have an obvious military value, this cloaking technology could also be applied to remove obstacles that would otherwise block wireless signals.

Source: University of Toronto


Complete Story


Thunderbolt Ready Program from Intel Hopes to Expand Reach of Interconnect Technology

Posted: November 15, 2013 @ time: 04:00PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel has announced a new program to broaden the reach of the ultra high speed interconnect technology known as Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is already included with all new Apple Mac computers and Intel is hoping to increase the number of PC users that have access to the technology. It plans to accomplish this with the new "Thunderbolt Ready" program, which will provide for an extremely easy upgrade. Users will receive a PCIe card and cables to connect the card to an available general purpose input/output, GPIO, header on their motherboard and an empty DisplayPort connector on their motherboard or a video card. The first expansion card and motherboard to participate in the program are from ASUS with its ThunderboltEX II and Z87 Pro motherboard. More companies are expected to release solutions in 2014. Corporate VP and General Manager of Motherboard and Desktop Systems Business Unit at ASUS Joe Hsieh said, "ASUS ThunderboltEX II is the first expansion card certified by Intel as a Thunderbolt 2 upgrade solution — and it gives users a simple, fast and flexible option to upgrade their existing hardware whenever they want."

Source: Intel


Complete Story


Samsung Looks to Increase Smartphone Screen Area

Posted: November 17, 2013 @ time: 07:12AM
Author: CheeseMan42

It is being reported that Samsung plans to release a smartphone with a screen that wraps around the sides of the device, offering increased screen space for users. The extra screen space will give the ability to read messages from an angle and also serve as a "one-up" in the constant battle between manufacturers to innovate. The wrap around screen builds on the Youm technology first introduced at CES last year. It is unclear whether Samsung will create a new line of products to add this screen to or if it will simply be added to an existing line such as the Note.

Source: Bloomberg


Complete Story


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