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News Archives for January 2011

Happy New Year

Posted: January 1, 2011 @ time: 01:22AM
Author: Bosco

Happy New Year to all of you from the OCC Staff. I hope you all had a great Christmas and have a safe New Year's see you in 2011 :)

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Galaxy Prepares to Enter SSD Market

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 01:07AM
Author: premiumgfx

Video card manufacturer Galaxy is preparing its debut into the Solid State Drive (SSD) market with the reveal of four new SSDs. All models in Galaxy's SSD line will be built on the 2.5" form factor, feature a 64MB cache and support the Windows 7 TRIM command. Galaxy promises read speeds of up to 240MB/s and write speeds of up to 215MB/s using the SATA 3Gb/s interface. The new SSD series will consist of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB variants. As always, I'd expect to hear more details about these SSDs at CES 2011.

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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 08:19AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup is a bit heavy on motherboards, for a good reason, as Intel is pulling the wraps off its Sandy Bridge processors prior to CES. More on that later as we have several cooling items to look at first. The ECO A.L.C. 240 liquid cooling unit from CoolIT systems is reviewed and it differs from the ECO A.L.C. 120 in that the newer unit comes equipped with a 240mm radiator for better cooling capabilities. For those looking to cool with air we have reivews on the Akasa Revo AK-925 Loop Thermosyphon and EKL Alpenfohn Groß Clock'ner 2010 Edition heatsinks. The Cooler Master CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force is a notebook cooling solution aimed at keeping your laptop, and lap, cool and comfortable. Now, as promised earlier, let's take a quick look at the motherboards in our roundup. Intel has released a pair of Sandy Bridge processors which means you need a platform for testing so we have an opportunity to check out motherboards on the P67 and H67 chipsets with offerings from Intel, ASUS and Gigabyte. Of course you'll want to make sure you check out our roundup of Intel Sandy Bridge processor reviews as well.

CoolIT Systems ECO A.L.C. 240 CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews
Cooler Master CM Storm SF-19 Strike Force Gaming Laptop Cooler @ Tweaknews
Akasa Revo AK-925 Loop Thermosyphon @ Frostytech
Zalman ZM-MFC1 Combo 5-Channel Fan Controller @ Frostytech
EKL Alpenfohn Groß Clock'ner 2010 Edition Heatsink @ Frostytech

Asus Crosshair IV Extreme: More Lucid for AMD @ PC Perspective
Intel Sandy Bridge P67 3-Way Motherboard Preview @ Neoseeker
Intel DH67BL H67-Express Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
ASUS P8P67 LGA-1155 Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Intel DP67BG P67-Express Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
ASUS P8P67 EVO Sandy Bridge Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
GIGABYTE P67A-UD7 (Intel P67 Express) Motherboard @ TweakTown
ASUS P8P67 and P8P67 Deluxe Intel Sandy Bridge Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
ASUS P67 Motherboards: P8P67 Deluxe and P8P67 Pro @ Bjorn3D

2011 On Blu-ray @ TweakTown

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Hardware Roundup: Intel Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K Edition

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 09:08AM
Author: Nemo

It's the final days leading up to CES 2011 and that means new releases so I hope you're like me and have the day off, because you're going to need a bit of extra time to read all the reviews on the latest processors from Intel. We've all heard about the new processors, code named "Sandy Bridge", for some time now and Intel has pulled the wraps off a couple of the desktop units as well as processors for mobile applications. This is the latest 'tock' in Intel's tick-tock release strategy and introduces us to the new Sandy Bridge micro-architecture. For the desktop there's the Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K and that means we also need a new platform based on Intel's 6-series P67/H67 chipset socket 1155 motherboards. For the mobile market we also pulled up some reviews on the Core i7-2820QM processor. So, I'm sure lots of you are curious about rumors that overclocking the new CPUs is no longer possible. Well, as OCC reviewer ccokeman shows us, this is not the case, so read on to find out all the latest on these new CPUs.  

Intel Core i7 2600K and Core i5 2500K @ OCC
Intel i5-2500K Sandy Bridge @ LanOC Reviews
Intel Core i7-2600K (and friends) Sandy Bridge Processor and Intel Core i7-2820QM Mobile Sandy Bridge Performance @ PC Perspective
Intel Sandy Bridge: Core i5 2500K and Intel 6 Series Chipset and Intel Core i7 2600K Processor & DP67BG Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
Intel Core i7-2600K and Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge) CPUs @ TweakTown
Intel Unveils Sandy Bridge: Core i7 2600K, i5 2500K, i5 2400, i3 2100 CPUs @ Legit Reviews
Intel's Sandy Bridge Revealed: Core i5-2500K & i7-2600K @ Techgage
Intel Core i7 2600K & i5 2500K "Sandy Bridge" @ Neoseeker
Intel Core i7-2820QM Mobile Sandy Bridge Processor @ HotHardware
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge CPU and Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU @ Benchmark Reviews
Intel Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K Processors Debut @ HotHardware
Intel's 'Sandy Bridge' Core processors @ Tech Report
P67 Sandy Bridge Gaming Performance Analysis @ TweakTown
Intel Core i7-2820QM - Sandy Bridge For Notebook PCs @ Legit Reviews
Intel Sandy Bridge 2600K & 2500K Processors @ [H]ardOCP

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Intel to Launch Insider Movie Service with 1080p, WiDi 2.0

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 12:26PM
Author: bp9801

CES 2011 hasn't officially even started yet but that isn't stopping Intel from announcing some details on new products or features. One such item is its Insider movie service that promises to deliver 1080p content directly to your laptop or desktop running one of the new Core 2011 processors. Since the 1080p content is tied directly to the new Sandy Bridge processors, Intel is guaranteeing hardware protection rather than software protection of other companies. This makes the studios more willing to work with Intel since there is a set requirement to access the movie service. Intel already has CinemaNow and Warner Brothers inked, and the plan is to get all the releases on the Insider service to coincide with the DVD and Blu-ray releases. Also, Intel is pushing WiDi to enable you to stream 1080p content directly from your laptop to your big screen TV. Intel is integrating the second generation of WiDi, dubbed WiDi 2.0, on to the Sandy Bridge processors but you will need a new receiver to get the content on your TV. There is still the two second lag just like WiDi 1.0 has, but you will be able to stream 1080p content and even protected content, like Blu-rays, with WiDi 2.0.

More information on this new service is expected to be revealed further in just a few days at CES.

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G.Skill Launches RipjawsX RAM for Intel Sandy Bridge

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 01:27PM
Author: bp9801

A new processor series means new RAM modules get launched that are designed with it in mind. Since Intel Sandy Bridge has now been reviewed, we have one of the first RAM kits designed just for it. G.Skill is launching its RipjawsX RAM for Sandy Bridge, which will come in a variety of frequencies. All told, there will be 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133, 2200, and 2300MHz modules available which means everybody will be able to get the ideal RAM for their brand new Sandy Bridge system. Highlights of the upper frequencies include the 2300MHz in a CL7 4GB (2x2GB) kit, a 2133MHz in a CL8-9-8 4GB (2x2GB) kit, and the 2200MHz highlight will be a CL9 16GB (4x4GB) kit. Not too shabby for those high frequencies, plus every single RipjawsX stick is tested on the Sandy Bridge platform to ensure maximum stability and performance. Every RipjawsX kit comes with G.Skill's lifetime warranty and technical support, so if anything ever does go wrong, you are covered.

No word on when or what prices the G.Skill RipjawsX kits will be available at, but with the Sandy Bridge platform beginning to roll out, I expect we will see more information soon.

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Facebook Gets Some Love From Goldman Sachs

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 06:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Facebook has recently raised $500 million in capital, with $375 million coming from Goldman Sachs and the rest from Digital Sky Technologies. Facebook is still a privately held company, but an IPO could happen in 2012. The new funding values Facebook at $50 billion, which is more than Yahoo and Time Warner. The latter companies have about 13 times more revenue than Facebook is expected to have this year. It also puts Facebook at twice the value of Google when it went public. This recent round of funding puts the worth of Mark Zuckerberg at $12 billion.

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Google Hopes to Bring Newspapers to Android

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 06:37PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Google is looking to remain even with Apple in the battle for digital content on the latest mobile devices. Apple has been helping publishers to provide subscriptions to its users, and Google is hoping to do the same thing. Google is reportedly engaged in discussions with Time Warner, Conde Nast, and Hearst Publications, while Apple is hoping to get its hands on News Corp. Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer similar services on the Kindle and Nook. Google is planning to take a smaller cut of revenue than Apple does, and use user data to help with marketing the subscriptions.

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BitFenix Debuts in the US

Posted: January 3, 2011 @ time: 11:08PM
Author: premiumgfx

BitFenix today announced its debut into the American market, revealing that BitFenix products will be available soon to customers in the United States. The chassis' manufacturer has already established itself in the European and Asian markets, so it only seems natural that expansion into the US is its next step.

BitFenix Product Manager, David Jarlestedt went on to say that "after receiving emails almost daily inquiring about BitFenix in the US, we are excited to finally say that both Colossus and Survivor will be available for pre-order. By bringing BitFenix products to North American shores, users in the US will finally be able to experience what BitFenix users in Europe and Asia have been raving about."

The BitFenix Colossus and Survivor chassis will be available for pre-order from 11:00am EST on January 10 at the BitFenix Store, here. BitFenix advises potential buyers to act quickly as stocks are extremely limited. This announcement follows BitFenix's extension of its Colossus series early last month.

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ZOTAC Unveils Fusion-based ZBOX Blu-ray Mini-PCs

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 02:37AM
Author: premiumgfx

ZOTAC has unveiled two mini-PCs based on AMD's upcoming Fusion platform. The ZBOX Blu-ray AD03 series is built around the AMD E-350 APU, consisting of a 1.6GHz dual core processor and the Radeon HD 6310 GPU clocked at 500MHz. The Radeon HD 6310 includes 80 shader units and supports DirectX11, Shader Model 5 and AMD's UVD technology. As the series name suggests, an integrated slot-loading Blu-ray player is also included allowing a high-definition image and audio output via HDMI. The ZBOX Blu-ray mini-PCs feature Gigabit ethernet and wireless 802.11n connectivity along with two USB 3.0 ports, a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port, a mini PCIe slot and a six-in-one card reader. A variety of outputs are also included such as VGA, DVI and HDMI. The lower-end ZBOX Blu-ray AD03 requires the user to supply memory and a hard drive for the two DDR3-1066 SODIMM slots and the 2.5" drive bay, where as the higher-end ZBOX Blu-ray AD03 Plus includes 2GB of DDR3 memory and a 250GB 5400RPM hard drive. Although ZOTAC did not disclose details on availability or pricing of these mini-PCs, I'd expect ZOTAC to showcase these compact computers later this week at CES 2011.

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Transcend Announces JetFlash 700 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 02:57AM
Author: premiumgfx

Transcend today announced its latest USB 3.0 product, the JetFlash 700 USB flash drive. The JetFlash 700 is aimed at entry-level users and offers quick data transfer speeds of up to 69MB/s through the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 specification. This is coupled with Windows 7 compatibility and a smooth, minimalist design. The JetFlash 700 USB drive will be available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities, all covered by a limited lifetime warranty. Transcend did not announce details regarding availability or pricing of the JetFlash 700, but I'd expect it to be priced in line with similar products.

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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 06:49AM
Author: Nemo

We're back today with more reviews on socket 1155 boards following yesterday's unveiling of Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs. Of course a new micro-architecture from Intel means new motherboards and we have offerings from MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS that feature the new P67/H67 chipsets. Our roundup also contains a pair of case reviews covering the Corsair Graphite Series 600T mid-tower case and the In Win Dragon Slayer microATX chassis.

Corsair Graphite 600T Computer Case @ Tweaknews
In Win Dragon Slayer mATX Case @ ThinkComputers

Thermaltake Massive 23 LX Notebook Cooler @ Virtual-Hideout
Enermax T.B Fans @ Rbmods

MSI P67A-GD65 LGA1155 Chipset Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
Gigabyte H67A-UD3H and Gigabyte P67A-UD4 and MSI P67A-GD65 @ LanOC Reviews
Intel P67 3-Way Motherboard Roundup @ Neoseeker

Mad Catz TRITTON AX 720 High Performance Audio System @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-659 Pro+ Turbo NAS Server @ TweakTown

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Hardware Roundup: AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE and X4 840 Edition

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 07:18AM
Author: Nemo

You have to love the days leading up to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as manufacturers take advantage of the venue to announce new product launches. Of course OCC will be providing coverage of CES 2011, but in the mean time let's look at the latest processors from AMD. The company has upgraded its Phenom II product lineup with two new quad-core chips - the X4 975 BE and the X4 840. As these are refreshes to its current model offerings, both are AM3 socket chips with support for DDR3 and DDR2 memory, HyperTransport 3.0 and more. The Phenom II X4 840 comes in at the low end of the lineup and differs from other Phenom II X4 processors in that it has no L3 cache, which allows AMD to offer a 3.2GHz four-core processor for around $100. The second chip being introduced moves to the other end of the performance scale and that is the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition processor which now occupies the flagship processor spot with its 3.6GHz speed.

AMD Phenom II X4 975 & 840 @ OCC
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE and Phenom II X4 840 (Socket AM3) CPUs @ TweakTown
AMD Phenom II X4 975BE and 840 CPU @ Legit Reviews
AMD Phenom-II X4-975 Black Edition and AMD Phenom-II X4-840 Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition @ Bjorn3D

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ASUS Unveils Several New Devices Before CES

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 04:57PM
Author: bp9801

It had been speculated for a while that ASUS would show off some tablets at CES, and sure enough, it did, albeit a little bit before CES officially gets under way. ASUS has shown off not one but four separate devices at a CES press event, two being a tablet and two that are tablets with keyboards. One of the tablets is a 7 inch model while the other is a 12 inch model. The 12 inch model was teased at Computex in June of last year, and now it is official. It will be called the Eee Slate EP121 and will run Windows 7, unlike the other three which are Android devices. The Eee Slate EP121 will be powered by an Intel Core i5-470UM processor, either 2 or 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 32 or 64GB SSD. The 12.1 inch, capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1280x800 and is an IPS display, plus ASUS has packed in a Wacom digitizer which will let you take notes or even draw right on the screen. There is also a front-facing camera and HDMI output on the Eee Slate EP121, so it seems entertainment will be front and center on this tablet.

Next up is the 7 inch tablet, the Eee Pad MeMO, will be running Android 3.0 and feature a 1024x600 resolution touchscreen. A 1.2GHz Qualcomm 8260 processor will be powering the thing, plus there will be a front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera and a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera with LED flash on the tablet. What is interesting about the MeMO is it includes a capacitive stylus and two apps that feature it heavily. Media Note is a scrapbooking/note taking program while Painter will allow you to draw with the pressure-sensitive stylus. The Painter program has the most promise since the idea of using a pressure-sensitive stylus to paint on a tablet should make many artists (or hopeful artists) happy since the iPad requires you to paint with your fingers. There is also something on the MeMO tablet called the MeMic, which is a Bluetooth stereo headset, that ASUS hopes will help make the Eee Pad MeMO more like a phone. It will be interesting to see just how well that will work on this tablet.

The last two tablets are a curious breed, as each one pairs a keyboard directly with the tablet. Each of these tablets are running Tegra 2 and both have a 10.1 inch touchscreen, but its the way the keyboard is included on both that really sets them apart. First up is the Eee Pad Slider which has a slide out QWERTY keyboard that, when revealed, makes the screen angle up. It is packing Android 3.0 and features an IPS display with a 1280x800 resolution, as well as mini-HDMI and mini-USB ports and a microSD slot. There is also a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash on it. The Slider weighs in at 2.2 pounds and is 0.5 inches thick, so it is still fairly slim with that keyboard included. If you aren't too keen on having the keyboard permanently attached to your tablet, then perhaps the Eee Pad Transformer is more your style. It is practically the same as the Slider, but instead of integrating a keyboard, it features a dock with a keyboard built in to that. The dock includes a battery which will extend the life of the Transformer to 16 hours, while both the Slider and Transformer are expected to go for eight hours on the battery.

The Eee Slate EP121 is expected to launch later this month for $1,000. The Eee Pad MeMO will launch in June for $499. The Eee Pad Transformer and Slider will launch in April and May, respectively. The Transformer will run between $400 and $700 while the Slider will be between $500 and $800.

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Micron Unveils New Solid State Drive

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 05:36PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Micron announced a new line of solid state drives at another conference taking place in Las Vegas this week, Storage Visions. It will be marketed under the RealSSD line distributed by Crucial in both 1.8 and 2.5 inch form factors. The drive is the result of the partnership with Intel. The 25nm process that was used allows for higher data capacities. The drives will use the 6Gb/s SATA interface with read and write speeds of 415MB/s and 260MB/s respectively. They will be available in capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB with prices ranging from $110 to $825, and should be available in March.

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Verizon Policy Changes Coming?

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 05:36PM
Author: bp9801

Keep this filed under rumor, but a leaked slide obtained by Android Central details some new policy changes coming to Verizon Wireless. In the slide, there are two programs that are being canceled, supposedly on January 16th. The first cancellation is the Annual Upgrade which lets a customer on a two year contract upgrade their phone early. The slide states that upgrades will no longer be able to happen in months 13 to 20 of a two year contract, which means you will only be able to upgrade right before your contract expires. The other cancellation is the New Every Two program, which will no longer have new enrollments after January 16th. Verizon already lessened the upgrades of the New Every Two program last year, essentially cutting the discounts in half, and now it seems like the program itself will no longer exist. Customers on one year contracts won't be affected, its just the people on two years which is a good majority. Now, this is a leaked slide so it may be a forgery, and I hope it is seeing as how I am eligible for a new upgrade in March. It looks like we will have about two weeks to see whether this rumor is accurate. What are your thoughts on it if it actually comes to fruition?

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NVIDIA Announces Online Community for Sharing 3D Content

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 08:53PM
Author: Nemo

On the eve of CES 2011, NVIDIA has announced a Web community dedicated to 3D content where users with a 3D-capable computer can enjoy stereoscopic 3D videos and photographs. The site, 3DVisionLive.com, is designed to allow users of NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology to share and enjoy 3D content as well as stream 3D movie trailers, music videos, sport clips, and video shorts. Members can also post and view high-quality, high-resolution 3D photographs. Users can use the site to create custom photo galleries which they can share with friends and family or the 3DVisionLive.com community at large. Users can use NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, but NVIDIA has also provided the capability to view content in anaglyph (blue/red) mode.

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Acer Debuts Monitors and All-in-One PCs With NVIDIA 3D Vision

Posted: January 4, 2011 @ time: 10:16PM
Author: Nemo

Yep, it's CES week and that means it's time for more product announcements and this time we're hearing from Acer as it launches its Aspire Z5763 all-in-one PC equipped with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, as well as the world’s first 27-inch 3D Vision Ready monitor. The new Acer HN274H 27-inch and GN245HQ 24-inch monitors include built-in 3D Vision emitters. These are the first 3D monitors that support both DL-DVI and HDMI 1.4 inputs which enables users to enjoy stereoscopic 3D games, movies, photographs and more when connected to any 3D Vision PC.

The Acer Aspire Z5763 all-in-one PC is one of the first of its kind to support NVIDIA 3D Vision.  It features a 23", full HD (1920 x 1080) 3D Vision display, NVIDIA GeForce GT440 or GeForce GT445M GPUs, a built-in 3D Vision emitter, advanced Dolby® surround sound audio, a Blu-ray DVD drive, and optional TV tuner, designed to provide home users with a full-featured multimedia entertainment device.

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TRENDnet Showcases 450Mbps Concurrent Dual Band Router

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 03:21AM
Author: premiumgfx

TRENDnet today showcased its latest Wireless N router from CES 2011. The router, dubbed the TEW-692GR is the "first to market" 450Mbps concurrent dual band router according to TRENDnet. Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology enables the new router to offer theoretical speeds of up to 450Mbps simultaneously on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The TEW-692GR also features Wi-Fi Protected Set-up (WPS) and wired Gigabit Ethernet ports for easy connectivity with other devices.

Sonny Su, Technology Director for TRENDnet said that "a true 450Mbps concurrent router will provide networking enthusiast[s] with another great option. With the proliferation of so many wireless networked devices, performance matters more than ever before."

The TEW-692GR wireless router should be available in April for around US$249.99 and will be backed by a three year warranty.

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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 06:07AM
Author: Nemo

If you didn't already know, CES 2011 officially opens today in Las Vegas, but we've already got lots of news from pre-show events that manufacturers like to use to launch new products. ASUS is launching a quartet of tablet PCs, AMD is previewing its first round of Fusion Processors and MSI introduced its P67A Big Bang Marshal motherboard. We've got plenty more coverage of the show and we also have our own OCC checking things out as well. That doesn't mean we don't have any hardware reviews though as we have several new Socket 1155/P67 chipset boards in the lineup, a look at the Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 Razor 1GB video card, a quick review of the Corsair Vengeance Series PC3-12800 8GB Kit and more.  

TTIC nPowertek Hurricane NPH-105 Heatsink @ Frostytech
DeepCool V6000 VGA Cooler @ Tweaknews

Quick Review: Corsair Vengeance Series PC3-12800 8GB Kit @ TweakTown

Sandy Bridge motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and MSI @ Tech Report

CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 5000 Intel P67 Sandy Bridge System @ ThinkComputers

Alphabet - Learn and Play @ Rbmods

Trade Shows/Conventions
Micron Unveils Bigger, Faster C400 SSD - Hands On and CES 2011: Four New Tablets Coming From Asus @ HotHardware
MSI P67A Big Bang Marshal Unveiled @ Benchmark Reviews
Lenovo CES 2011 Launch Coverage @ TweakTown
CES 2011: ASUS Announces Four Tablet PCs @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011: ASUS Tablet Computers Unveiled and CES 2011 Video: AMD Showcases Fusion Processors @ PC Perspective
ASUS & MSI at CES @ Techgage

Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 Razor 1GB - Single Slot Gaming @ PC Perspective

Complete Story

Cooler Master Launches SF-19 USB 2.0 Laptop Cooler

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 01:24PM
Author: bp9801

We all know how well Cooler Master's SF-19 USB 3.0 laptop cooler works, and now, Cooler Master is building on that success by launching the SF-19 USB 2.0 cooler. The new cooler works and looks much like the previous SF-19, just this time it is more balanced to require less power and features four USB 2.0 ports. It also features a Multi-Light Shader which will allow you to alternate between seven different colors to better fit your mood or playing style. Plus, the built-in handle on the SF-19 USB 2.0 makes carrying it to and from places a lot easier. For cooling your laptop, the SF-19 USB 2.0 can hold a laptop up to 19" (hence its name) and cools everything down with two 140mm fans. The fans spin at 2600RPM, though you can switch them out for 140mm or even 120mm fans of your own if you so choose.

The Cooler Master SF-19 USB 2.0 laptop cooler should be available starting today.

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CyberPower Announces New Desktops and Laptops with Intel Sandy Bridge Processors

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 02:35PM
Author: bp9801

CyberPower, one of the leading custom computer manufacturers, has just announced some new additions to its lineup that all feature the brand new Intel Sandy Bridge processors. There will be two desktop series and a laptop series that all will utilize the Sandy Bridge processors which bring with a slew of new features and overclocking. Intel's Turbo Boost 2.0 technology is featured in these new processors which dynamically speeds up the processor for certain tasks, providing an immediate boost to performance without the need to overclock it yourself. The desktop series getting the Sandy Bridge parts are the Gamer Xtreme and Infinity models, with the Game Xtreme 1000, 2000, and 5000 shown off.

The Gamer Xtreme 1000 will feature a Core i5-2300 processor, ASUS H67 motherboard, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB hard drive, a 22x DVD-RW, and Asetek water cooling. The Gamer Xtreme 2000 will have the same processor and motherboard, but double the amount of memory. Instead of relying on the processor's built-in graphics, the Gamer Xtreme 2000 features an AMD HD 5770 video card. The Gamer Xtreme 5000 is for the serious power user as it features the Core i7-2600K processor, an ASUS P67 motherboard, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and Asetek water cooling. The graphics horsepower is provided by an NVIDIA GTX 570 and there is even a 1TB SATA-III HDD included, plus a Blu-ray player.

The Xplorer notebooks will get a Sandy Bridge upgrade and even feature Intel's Wireless Display Technology which will let you share any content you wish on your big screen TV. The Xplorer notebook will feature a Core i7-2620QM processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a 1920x1080 resolution screen.

The CyberPower Gamer Xtreme 1000 desktop starts at $599, the Gamer Xtreme 2000 at $799, and the Gamer Xtreme 5000 at $1449. The Xplorer notebook will start at $799. All the systems are fully customizable with any configuration of components you wish and feature Windows 7 Home Premium. The desktops feature a three year warranty while the notebooks get a one year, plus each system has CyberPower's free lifetime phone support. Perhaps our crew at CES can check out these new systems where CyberPower will be demoing these and others at the show.

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Inno3D Partners with CoolIT for Custom GTX 580 Cooling Solution

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 06:14PM
Author: Nemo

CoolIT has announced it has formed a partnership with graphics card maker Inno3D to equip its GTX 580 Black Series graphics card with CoolIT Systems' OMNI ALC liquid GPU cooler. The OMNI ALC (Advanced Liquid Cooling) has a universally compatible design and now it's available factory installed on the iChill GTX 580. That means the customer gets the iChill GTX 580 with the closed-loop cooling system already installed, eliminating the hassles of disassembly and dealing with any plumbing issues.

"Inno3D is known for bringing the best available technologies to market and we love innovations that allow us to optimize board performance and acoustics. Working with CoolIT on our iChill GTX 580 Black Series has allowed us to create the perfect combination of raw performance, silence and ease of use. When you pair the fastest GPU in the world with the best possible thermal solution, the results are simply outstanding" Says Derek Ng, Marketing Manager of Inno3D.

Inno3D did not disclose availability or pricing information, but the unit will be on display at CES 2011 this week and OCC hopes to get a closer look.

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ECS Announces P67H2-A Motherboard

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 07:01PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The ECS Black Extreme P67H2-A motherboard has been announced and targets the new Intel Core processors based on Sandy Bridge. The board features the Intel P67 express chipset with support for unlocked Core K processors. A number of utilities will allow for users to get the most out of their systems through overclocking. It also features Hydra Core technology, which will give users the ability to mix and match graphics cards of different models and brands. USB 3.0 and 6Gb/s SATA will also be included, with support for up to 8 SATA drives in a variety of RAID configurations. The board will support a maximum of 16GB of DDR3 RAM with 4 slots.

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Kingston Makes Several Announcements at CES

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 07:20PM
Author: Nemo

With CES getting underway today, memory maker Kingston Technology made several announcements pertaining to its computer memory and USB flash products. Getting things started is the release of its HyperX Genesis Special Edition Grey memory kits. These high performance modules are designed to complement the new Intel P67 Sandy Bridge motherboards as well as existing P55-based systems. The dual-channel HyperX Genesis Special Edition Grey is available in 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 2133- and 1600MHz kits at a suggested retail price of $149.99US and $69.99US respectively.

In complementary news, Kingston announced its 8GB 2133MHz HyperX memory kits have achieved Intel XMP certification for the P67 Sandy Bridge platform. The 8GB memory kits are part of Kingston's HyperX T1 line of enthusiast memory and is the first 8GB memory kit in the world to become XMP certified. Kingston also performed extensive testing of the modules using the Asus P8P67 PRO and Gigabyte GA-P67-UD4 motherboards in its own labs before submitting them to Intel for certification. Kingston says the kit (part #: KHX2133C9AD3T1FK4/8GX) is available immediately for a MSRP of $299.99US.

Kingston also manufactures and markets USB flash memory products and is boosting support for USB 3.0 with the announcement of its USB 3.0 product roadmap for 2011. As the USB 3.0 technology because more widely accepted, Kingston plans "...to develop different solutions to address various target markets and help drive adoption." according to Andrew Ewing, Kingston's Flash drive business manager. Kingston will release its fastest USB 3.0 drive to date for enthusiasts and power users called the DataTraveler HyperX 3.0, which will become the flagship model and be part of the HyperXperience line. As single-chip controllers become available, Kingston will release a second generation of the DTU30, which was first released in September 2010. The units will be available in 16-, 32- and 64GB capacities. Single-chip controllers allow for better USB 3.0 compatibility and speed. As the year progresses and more systems ship with USB 3.0 capability, Kingston plans to launch an entry-level Flash drive to go with these systems.

Of course, flash memory isn't limited to USB drives and Kingston also announced the SDHC UHS-I UltimateXX memory cards which are ideal for the serious photographer or videographer. Photographers will appreciate the ability to easily capture sequential shots that were once a challenge due to the speed limitations of memory and also makes it easy to capture HD video. The performance of SDHC UHS-I memory card is optimized when paired with a UHS-I device, although the card is backwards compatible with Class 4, 6 and 10 equipment. Kingston expects the cards to become available later this month in 8GB($69.99US), 16GB($179.99US) and 32GB($349.99) capacities.

In closing, Kingston also announced the release of new SSD Destructo series videos which will debut during CES 2011 on Kingston’s YouTube channel. The new SSD Destructo videos were created using winning ideas from the SSD Destructo II Challenge contest held by Kingston in late 2010. The contest awarded $6,000 in cash prizes plus Kingston memory products with first place going to Kyle Broulette of Tacoma, WA, whose idea made Kingston SSDs the targets of paint ball guns.

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ASUS Announces New Line of P67 and H67 Motherboards

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 07:28PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ASUS has announced a new line of motherboards supporting the Sandy Bridge processors from Intel. The P8P67 and P8H67 are built on the P67 and H67 Intel chipsets, respectively. A key new feature of these boards is the DIGI+ VRM technology from ASUS. The voltage regulation technology allows for improved reliability, stability, and performance. This is accomplshed by cutting out the digital to analog conversion in the voltage regulation. The new motherboards will also feature the use of twin embedded co-processors, the Energy Processing Unit and TurboV Processing Unit. The processors will improve energy consumption. In addition to the previously mentioned boards, ASUS is also releasing updates to its popular Maximus and Sabertooth boards. Also seeing an upgrade from the new processors are a variety of notebook lines, now featuring Smart Performance and Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. Two new models in the Republic of Gamers line, the G53Sw and G73Sw, will feature 3D technology.

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Corsair Launches a Bevy of New Products at CES

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 08:29PM
Author: bp9801

CES always brings with a smattering of new products from virtually every company there is so something is sure to appeal to you. One of the most important decisions you can make when building a new computer is just exactly what case every component will be housed in. Corsair entered the computer case business a while back with its hugely popular 800D and then expanded on that with the 700D and 600T. Now, Corsair is getting set to launch the newest case, the 650D. Like the 800D and 700D, the 650D fits into the Obsidian line and brings many of its features to a much smaller package. The 650D features an innovative cable routing system, room for a water cooling system, and space for virtually any component you wish to install. To top it off, the 650D includes a windowed side panel, 200mm front and top fans with external controls, eight PCI expansion slots, room for a 1x120 and 2x120 radiator, and even a SATA 6Gbps hot-swap dock. Internally there is a generously sized socket cutout and tool-free 5.25" and 3.5" bays. Corsair even has support for SSDs included into the 3.5" bays so you are going to be future proofed with the 650D. Of course, there is enough room inside for even the largest of video cards so pretty much everything has been thought of with this case.

Next up is an addition to the Graphite series of cases, though this time it is a special edition white 600T. It is identical to the standard 600T except the exterior is painted a brilliant shade of white with black accents. The interior is entirely black so you get a good balance between the two colors and is sure to impress anyone who sees it. Like I said, it is identical to the 600T so you are getting everything that case offers, just in a new coat of paint.

Corsair is also adding on to its headset series with the HS1A gaming headset. The HS1A is similar to the HS1 USB gaming headset, though this time the connection is of the analog variety. This means the HS1A will be able to be used with your own sound cards instead of relying on the USB audio. The HS1A features the same design as the USB version, which includes memory foam earcups, 50mm drivers, and a high-quality microphone, just this time it terminates in to two 3.5mm analog connections. It will be interesting to see how well the HS1A does compared to its USB version, but I suspect it will still sound great depending on what sound card you are using.

Keeping up with the audio side is the addition of two new speaker systems designed with gamers in mind. The SP2500 delivers high-powered 2.1 audio while the SP2200 delivers 2.1 audio at an affordable price. The SP2500 features bi-amplified two-way satellites with 1" ferro-cooled silk dome tweeters and 3" midrange drivers, plus there is an 8" subwoofer with a fourth-order bandpass enclosure to ensure your audio is as crystal clear as possible. All told, the SP2500 can deliver up to 230 watts RMS of output power which pretty much means you better be good friends with your neighbors before cranking this system. There is a wired remote for the SP2500 that features an LCD display to put you in complete control of the audio. If that much power isn't quite your thing, then perhaps the SP2200 is your system. The SP2200 is rated at only 46 watts RMS of output power so it should be a lot easier on your neighbors. It features two satellites with 2" full-range drives and a 6" ported subwoofer. The controls for the SP2200 are integrated onto the right satellite. Both features 3.5mm connections as well as a headphone out and Aux-In ports.

Now, we come to what Corsair is most famous for, memory. This comes both in the form of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 kits optimized for the Intel Sandy Bridge platform as well as a new solid state drive series. The RAM features Intel XMP profiles and a low 1.5V VDIMM voltage. The SSD series is the Performance 3 Series which is based on the Marvell 9174 controller. These new SSDs will work on the SATA 6Gbps connection and include support for TRIM. Maximum read speeds will be 480MB/second while write speeds will reach 320MB/s.

Lastly, Corsair is updating its CPU cooler line to include support for Intel's 1155 socket. The Air Series A50 and A70 will get updates to include the new socket, plus the Hydro Series H50 and H70 will as well. There is even mention of the new H60 cooler having socket 1155 support, but information is fairly sparse on this for right now.

The Corsair 650D case will be launching this April for $199.99. Both the Corsair 600T special edition white case and the HS1A gaming headset will be available later this month, with the 600T costing $159.99 and the HS1A costing $79.99. The Corsair SP2500 will be launching later this month while the SP2200 will be launching in the first quarter of this year. The SP2500 will run you $249.99 while the SP2200 will only be $99.99. All five products will come with a two year warranty. The Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM is available in capacities from 4 to 16GB and should be available now and feature a lifetime warranty. The Corsair Performance 3 Series SSDs will be available later this month.

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New System Builder Partner Program Announced By CoolIT Systems

Posted: January 5, 2011 @ time: 08:48PM
Author: Nemo

CoolIT Systems announced its new System Builder Partner Program at CES 2011 in Las Vegas today. The program promises to focus on the system builder market with emphasis on custom cooling and control systems as well as thermal optimization services once only available to tier 1 OEMs.

“For a number of years now, CoolIT Systems has been dedicated to delivering unique solutions to System Builders. 2011 marks a point where we will focus even more of our efforts in support of our System Builder partners”, says Barry Fairhurst, VP of Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Support. “By listening to our partners, we’ve redesigned our product and services offerings to create innovative custom solutions that help system integrators achieve their ideal product vision”.

CoolIT will take the customers’ hardware and run it through systematic tests using an environmental chamber under tightly controlled temperatures to determine the optimum airflow and thermal operating range. This also allows CoolIT engineers to minimize system fan speeds for reduced acoustics. CoolIT says these services will enable its partners to deliver quiet and cool systems to their customers.

CoolIT also will be featuring two new products along with an advanced chassis control system at CES this week and we hope to have more information later this week.

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OWC Unveils Premier SandForce-Based MacBook Air SSD

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 03:17AM
Author: premiumgfx

Other World Computing (OWC) today unveiled its latest SSDs at CES 2011, the Mercury Aura Pro MBA series. The new series consists of the premier (first) SandForce-based SSDs compatible with all 13.3" Apple 2008-2009 MacBook Air models. The Mercury Aura Pro MBA SSDs enables MacBook Air users to experience speeds of up to 275MB/s, translating into speed increases up to 41x faster than the original hard drive, up to 3x faster than the original SSD and up to 20% faster than the factory SSD included in the 2010 MacBook Air models. All models in the series also include SandForce's DuraClass technology, comprising of Error Correction Code (ECC) and SandForce RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) in conjunction with 7% over provisioning, creating a reliable and quick storage solution.

Founder and CEO of OWC, Larry O’Connor went on to say that "one of OWC’s core missions is to help consumers maximize their technology investment. By offering faster performance and higher capacity than provided by 2010 models, the Mercury Aura Pro MBA SSD enables 2008-2009 MacBook Air owners to experience better than new performance at a significantly lower cost than a new machine."

The Mercury Aura Pro MBA series of SSDs will be available in 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB variants priced at $199.99, $299.99, $579.99 respectively, with the price of the 480GB model still to be announced.

A video by OWC follows, demonstrating the difference in speed between a Mercury Aura Pro MBA equipped MacBook Air and a factory 2009 MacBook Air.

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Western Digital Releases 750GB Scorpio Notebook Hard Drive

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 03:38AM
Author: premiumgfx

Western Digital has released an addition to its Scorpio line-up of notebook hard drives, the Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT. As it's name suggests, the new drive has a 750GB capacity. This is coupled with a spin speed of 7200RPM and a 16MB buffer, enabling high speed on-the-go computing for consumers. The WD7500BPKT mobile hard drive will be available soon for US$149.99 from select resellers and distributors in the U.S. The drive will also be backed by a five-year limited warranty.

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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 04:37AM
Author: Nemo

It shouldn't come as a surprise that we have continuing coverage of CES 2011 in today's roundup. NVIDIA talked about its Tegra 2 processor and also revealed it's been working on its own processor under the code name "Project Denver". Corsair had a lot of new product announcements to open CES as well. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. We picked up a review on the Silverstone Raven 2 Evolution case with its unique motherboard orientation, but you'll need to read the review to determine if the design aids cooling or is it just a gimmick. Speaking of cooling, we also have a review on the Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler. Rounding things out are three P67 motherboards and a look at the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB video card.

Silverstone Raven 2 Evolution (RV02-E) ATX Case @ TechSpot

Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

Media Players
Patriot Box Office Media Player Firmware Update Guide @ Legit Reviews

ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP
FATAL1TY P67 Profess1onal Series @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingston SSDNow 100 V+ 96GB @ XSReviews

Trade Shows/Conventions
Nvidia unveils 'Project Denver': an ARM-compatible CPU for desktops and servers @ Tech Report
CES 2011: SanDisk SSD, nPower PEG and House of Marley and CES 2011: Micron RealSSD C400 256GB 25nm SSD Speed Demo @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Phone and Project Denver Announced @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: NVIDIA Talks Tegra 2 and Outs "Project Denver" CPU @ HotHardware
CES 2011: Corsair Press Event @ ThinkComputers
CES 2011: Lucid's Virtu combines Sandy Bridge and discrete graphics features @ PC Perspective

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Unlocked to HD 6970 @ TweakTown

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New Lenovo 3D Gaming Monitor and System Demoed

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 12:51PM
Author: Nemo

NVIDIA announced today at CES the addition of new 3D-enabled PCs and monitors from Lenovo to its stable 3D Vision enabled products. NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology allows users to experience a stereoscopic three dimensional world whether gaming or just watching movies. The 3D Vision ecosystem is now made up of over 1,000 notebook and desktop computers, displays, TVs, projectors, NVIDA GPUs, video applications, cameras and games.

Lenovo's IdeaCentre K330 PC, a 3D gaming PC housed in a tower, features NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 graphics card. In addition, the new Lenovo L2363d 23-inch 3D monitor, one of the first full-HD (1920 x 1080) monitors to feature dual webcam lenses, enables users to take 3D photos or participate in stereoscopic 3D web conferencing using NVIDIA 3D Vision glasses and technology.

"NVIDIA’s 3D Vision delivers superior quality, performance and compatibility required to our consumers to enjoy an immersive 3D entertainment experience,” said Wei Jin, director of Lenovo Idea product group. “The IdeaCentre K330 PC and L2363d monitor were designed with this in mind, providing new levels of power, performance and high-quality visuals to shift consumers’ 3D gaming and multimedia experiences into overdrive."

Lenovo expects the IdeaCentre K330 to be available in February with pricing determined by the specific configuration.

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Razer Switchblade Concept Announced

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 01:17PM
Author: Nemo

What if you could bring your favorite PC games into a format that would easily fit in your hands? That's exactly what a new concept design from Razer does. Powered by an Intel Atom processor, the new concept model, with the code name "Switchblade", replaces the keyboard and mouse with a multi-touch screen, yet also incorporates a tactile keyboard. The unit also has an intelligent user interface that adjusts the configuration and key layout on-the-fly based on game content and user requirements. The device was developed in conjunction with Intel in an effort to existing PC games to a hand-held device.

"The main problem with mobile PC gaming so far is that no one has been able to port the full mouse and keyboard experience onto a small size portable solution," said Min-Liang Tan, CEO and Creative Director, Razer. "By combining adaptive on-the-fly controls and display, we managed to maintain the full tactile keyboard in a miniature computer while saving valuable screen estate."

Razer didn't mention when, or if, the Switchblade concept would move to an actual product.

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Corsair Link Technology Revealed at CES

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 05:05PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Corsair has announced a new tool for system monitoring, Corsair Link. It will allow users to connect several devices to the Corsair Link Controller for improved monitoring and control of components. Users will be able to connect a variety of different components that feature the Corsair Link connector, and can monitor and change parameters such as temperature, fan speed, and voltage. Some upcoming products from Corsair that will include the necessary connectors are Dominator and Dominator GT memory with DHX Pro technology and the H60 water cooling system. Future releases of power supplies, CPU coolers, and a light and fan controller will include the the connectors as well. Corsair has worked with CoolIT Systems to develop a software application for the monitoring and control aspects. Using a drag and drop GUI, users will be able to create a variety of profiles for different situations.

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OCZ Introduces New SSDs at CES

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 06:41PM
Author: bp9801

OCZ is one of the leading manufacturers of solid state drives so it is pretty safe to say that these new items will be worthwhile. OCZ introduced three new SSDs at CES today, two of them being of the 2.5" form factor while the third is a PCI-e model. The first 2.5" drive is the Vertex 3 Pro, which builds upon the success of the Vertex 2 by incorporating a SATA 6Gbps connection and MLC-based storage. The Vertex 3 has a next-generation SandForce controller (most likely the SF-2000 series) and will approach 80,000 IOPS while delivering 550MB/second transfer rates. Next up is the Vertex 3 EX which has a SATA 6Gbps connector like the Pro, but this one uses SLC-based memory. The read speeds of the Vertex 3 EX are 550MB/s while the write speeds are just a bit less at 525MB/s. Lastly, there is the Z-Drive R3 PCI-e SSD which will be OCZ's first SandForce based PCI-e drive. The Z-Drive R3 is engineered for Tier 0/1 applications and will deliver transfer rates of 1GB/s.

The Vertex 3 Pro and EX will be available in 50, 100, 200, and 400GB capacities while the Z-Drive R3 will be available in capacities up to 1.2TB. No prices or release dates were listed for any of these new SSDs, but the performance numbers should have plenty drooling in the mean time.

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Samsung Announces First DDR4 DRAM Modules While DDR3/DDR2 Prices Keep Falling

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 06:43PM
Author: Nemo

Samsung announced this week it has completed development on the industry's first DDR4 DRAM module. The chips are based on the 30nm production methodology, allowing the chips to run from 1.6 up to 3.2Gbps at 1.2V. That represents a doubling of speed over existing 1.6Gbps DDR3 modules that operate at 1.35V and 1.5V. Samsung is continuing to work with its industry partners over the remainder of the year in an effort to complete EDEC standardization of DDR4 technologies.

Concurrently, figures from market research company iSuppli show that prices for DDR3 and DDR2 memory chips continue to decline. Contract prices on Dec. 10 had dropped more than 50% from six months earlier with a 2GB DDR3 DRAM module going for $21. Price declines for DDR2 were not as steep, with prices going from $21.50 in December as compared to $38.80 in June.

So there you have it, faster memory is on the horizon with current memory prices dropping - not a bad combination for consumers.

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Skype to Acquire Qik

Posted: January 6, 2011 @ time: 07:16PM
Author: bp9801

This is certainly big news during CES 2011 as Skype has just announced its intention to acquire Qik. Skype and Qik are both in the video calling business, which makes them rivals, and Skype announced at CES that it is acquiring Qik. No terms of the deal were announced but Skype expects the transaction to finalize later this month. Skype said that the acquisition will allow the two companies to work together to deliver high-quality video calls to consumers around the world, plus Qik's "deep engineering capabilities and strong mobile relationships" will be a good fit for Skype. What this means to consumers will remain to be seen, but it should at least provide some unity for video calling methods, be it on the PC or mobile phones. What are your thoughts on this acquisition?

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SuperTalent Prepares USB 3.0 Flash Drive with SandForce Processor

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 03:14AM
Author: premiumgfx

The market of USB 3.0 flash drives has expanded greatly over the last year, and SuperTalent is preparing yet another - with a twist. This latest flash drive features a SandForce SF-1222 SSD processor along with MLC NAND chips, effectively making it a miniature SSD. The SandForce SF-1222 processor is connected to a SATA 3Gb/s to USB 3.0 chip enabling the device to be used as a conventional flash drive. The SF-1222 processor is only half-full, with eight out of sixteen channels occupied with MLC NAND chips. This results in the flash drive performing at around 50% of it's normal capacity, translating into speeds of up to 143.3MB/s (read) and up to 63MB/s (write) using CrystalDiskMark. Supertalent did not disclose details regarding availability or pricing, but I'd expect to hear more about this interesting product in the near future.

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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 05:19AM
Author: Nemo

We have continuing coverage of CES 2011 in today's roundup and you'll want to be sure to check out OCC's own coverage as well. In hardware reviews, we have a 1000W power supply from Zalman, Arctic Cooling's P321 headset and a hard drive dock from Kingwin. Be sure to check out the rest of the reviews and all the CES coverage using the links posted below.

Quick Review: OHKI 42-inch Full HD 120Hz LED TV @ TweakTown

Optical Drives
Quick Review: Lite-On iHAS524 DVD Writer @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Zalman ZM1000-HP Plus 1000W Power Supply @ TweakTown

Customize the Firefox 4 Interface With These Simple Tweaks @ TechSpot

Arctic Cooling P321 Headset @ Rbmods

Storage/Hard Drives
Kingwin DM-2356 Dockmaster II @ Virtual-Hideout

Trade Shows/Conventions
CES 2011: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Phone and Project Denver Announced @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: ASUS unveils Eee Slate EP121 @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: Lucid's Virtu combines Sandy Bridge and discrete graphics features @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: Gigabyte's killer new line up @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: NVIDIA Tegra 2 and LG Dual-Core Super Phone @ Legit Reviews
AMD Compares Brazo Thermals, Throws Water On Atom @ HotHardware
CES 2011: IOGEAR HTPC Keyboards and 3D/HD Media Streamer @ Legit Reviews
Zalman @ CES 2011 @ Bjorn3D
EVGA offers a sneak peek at Nvidia's next dual-GPU monster @ Tech Report

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Zalman Launches Several New Products at CES

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 12:09PM
Author: bp9801

Zalman has been an industry leader in cooling products since the company first made it on the scene. The CPU coolers were the only cooler to consider for ages, and even with a plethora of competitors, a Zalman cooler is still one of the best around. Now, Zalman seeks to improve on its CPU cooling by introducing a new element, or rather a design, by creating a new V-shaped heatsink. The V-shape improves cooling performance by increasing the "Thermal Control Area" of the heatsink, creating a much bigger surface area to generate more airflow. Denser heatsink fins have been incorporated as well which will prevent loss of surface area and provide for maximum heat dissipation. This new technology, plus Zalman's Composite Heatpipe Technology (which uses axial grooves on the inside of the pipe), has allowed for a QMAX of 350 watts on the new CNPS11X Extreme Series CPU cooler.

The CNPS11X Extreme CPU cooler features the new V-shaped heatsink design and the 350 watts QMAX. The entire cooler is coated in black-pearl nickel plating which gives it a striking appearance, plus the 120mm fan should be more than adequate to cool even the biggest overclock. The fan will generate between 17 and 34 dBa, though it will sit between 17 and 24 in its low setting. Zalman promises a large range of socket compatibility, but doesn't mention which sockets are supported. It would seem safe to say with that high QMAX that every socket currently available is supported, and possibly the new Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer ones as well.

The next cooler using the V-shaped heatsink design is the CNPS7X. It comes in two variations, the Performa and the LED, with the main difference being the fan. The Performa gets a 92mm PWM fan that generates between 17 and 32 dBa, while the LED gets a 92mm PWM fan that goes between 17 and 27 dBa. It seems the CNPS7X LED cooler will be the one you want for a low-noise environment, but both promise a strong cooling performance and large socket compatibility.

The last new cooler is the CNPS5X SZ, which forgoes the new V-shaped design for the more traditional tower appearance. There is a 92mm PWM fan cooling everything down on this cooler, which generates between 20 and 32 dBa. It promises a hassle free installation (and even appears to use push pins), plus a large range of compatibility.

Next up we have a pair of cases from Zalman, the Z9 and the GS1200. The Z9 is a mid tower and comes in two versions, the Z9 and Z9 Plus, with both featuring a mesh front panel and up to seven 120mm fans. There is also tool-free HDD installation with six internal 3.5" bays available. Cooling it will be one front 120mm fan, one rear 120mm fan, two top-mounted 120mm, two side-mounted 120mm, and even one bottom-mounted 120mm, though it seems only the front and rear fans are included stock. Motherboard support includes ATX, micro ATX, and even E-ATX, plus a graphics card can be installed so long as it is less than 290mm in length. The Z9 Plus includes a fan controller and temperature display on the front, while the Z9 does not. Both feature four USB 2.0 ports and audio in/out on the front.

The other new case is the GS1200 which improves upon the success of the GS1000. The GS1200 has a mesh front bezel which now includes two 92mm LED fans. Up top is one 200mm LED fan, the side has another 200mm LED fan, while the rear has a regular 120mm fan. It seems cooling performance will not be a problem in the GS1200. Like the Z9, there is support for ATX, micro ATX, and E-ATX motherboards though the GS1200 can also fit video cards up to 350mm in length. There are six internal 3.5" bays which include support for SSDs. The hot-swap feature of the GS1000 returns in the GS1200, but this time the 92mm fans in the front provide cooling for all the hard drives you can possibly fit behind them. There is even an HDD dock on the top of the case. The GS1200 has audio in/out, three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and one e-SATA port on the front.

Now we come to the power supplies, which Zalman is getting in to. The two models being shown are the 850-HP Plus and 1000-HP Plus, which are both modular units and have 850 and 1000 watts of power, respectively. There is a 140mm fan cooling each unit plus there is support for up to three graphics cards. Each unit is also 80 PLUS Silver certified and uses Japanese capacitors, though not much else is known besides that.

Lastly, we have a 3D monitor from Zalman. There will be a 21.5" and a 24" model, and both are a polarization 3D monitor which means the glasses needed are of the passive variety and not active shutter like virtually all other 3D monitors require. The passive glasses are surprisingly cheap compared to active shutter ones. Passive glasses will be found in the five to fifteen dollar range compared to 150 dollars or more for active shutter. The 3D monitors from Zalman, called Trimon, is a 1080p display with HDCP support. Zalman promises no ghosting in the image and also the ability to switch between 2D and 3D mode easily. Included with each monitor is one pair of passive glasses and one pair of passive clip-on glasses, which is quite nice to see for those who already wear a pair of prescription glasses.

All of these products will be shown during CES 2011 but no word was made on any availability or pricing for any of them.

Complete Story

Patriot Memory Announces New Javelin S4 Media Server

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 01:33PM
Author: bp9801

Patriot Memory is one of the leaders in memory products for computers, and now it is introducing a new product to its fold, the Javelin S4 Media Server. The Javelin will serve as the main hub for all your digital media while providing access to all the stored content from anywhere in your home. The Javelin S4 has four bays that will fit a 3.5" SATA or SAS drive with a total capacity of 12TB. That means you will be able to fit four 3TB drives in the Javelin to provide more than enough storage for all your media. The Javelin supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, as well as a hot-spare drive for more storage efficiency or redundancy. You can even add additional drives via the e-SATA or USB 2.0 ports to get even more space for your Javelin. The USB ports will even allow you to connect a printer to print off any photos you have stored. To connect to your network, Patriot included a Gigabit Ethernet port ensuring blistering fast network access to ensure smooth streaming of content. The Javelin is PC, Mac, and DLNA compatible, plus there is an integrated Apple iTunes server, Logitech Squeezebox server, and UPnP compatibility to enable connectivity to a wide variety of devices in your home. The Javelin can even be used as a backup device on PC and Mac, with support for Apple TimeMachine built-in. There is even an integrated BitTorrent client which is capable of downloading and managing torrent files.

The Patriot Memory Javelin S4 Media Server will be available at the end of February, though no mention was made of a price.

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iPhone Coming to Verizon

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 07:33PM
Author: CheeseMan42

This is an announcement that many of you have probably been waiting for. According to the Wall Street Journal, your wait should end on Tuesday. The event will come in New York City and will end the exclusivity arrangement with AT&T. This will leave Sprint and T-Mobile as the carriers in the United States without the iPhone. The phone will likely be similar to the iPhone 4, but will operate on CDMA technology instead of GSM. The demand for the phone should be huge, as many customers have been waiting years for the iPhone to come to Verizon. Many consumers may even make the jump from AT&T. One analyst believes it could add 10 million subscribers for Verizon, putting it over the 100 million mark. It could also disrupt the recent Android domination on Verizon. It is still unknown when the phone will make its debut on the network, but we should know more on Tuesday.

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Sapphire Announces Pure White Fusion AMD APU Motherboard

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 07:54PM
Author: Nemo

Sapphire has just announced its first motherboard based on AMD's new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) as a result of working closely with AMD. The new Sapphire Pure White Fusion E350M1W motherboard is based on the mini-ITX form factor and features a E350 APU (codenamed 'Zacate') from AMD. Along with the first-generation Zacate processor, the E350M1W features AMD's Hudson-M1 (A50M) chipset. The Zacate APU is the first to combine high-performance serial computing and parallel graphics processing cores on a single chip.

Graphics are provided by the AMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU which allows the Pure White Fusion E350M1W to deliver a full DX 11 feature set using either VGA(D-Sub), HDMI or DVI outputs. The board supports up to 4GB of DDR3 system memory via its two SODIMM slots and has five SATA 6Gb/s ports, an eSATA connector on the rear panel, four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. High-definition 8-Channel onboard sound and a PCI-Express Gigabit LAN connection round things out. Sapphire hasn't announced pricing or availabilty yet.

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ASUS Unveils Gaming-Related Products at CES 2011

Posted: January 7, 2011 @ time: 09:14PM
Author: Nemo

ASUS has been supporting gamers for years now as evidenced by its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of products. For CES 2011 currently under way in Las Vegas, ASUS' stable of gaming products include motherboards, graphics cards, audio gear, networking devices and gaming desktops.

First up is the ASUS ROG Rampage III Black Edition motherboard. Designed with the benefit of input from the gaming community, the Rampage III features the ROG Thunderbolt, a dedicated card combining a XONAR audio solution with a Killer E2100 Network Processing Unit from Bigfoot Networks.

ASUS is also showcasing its HD 6870 DirectCU video card, a DirectX 11-optimized that goes beyond the standard AMD reference design through the use of Super Alloy Power technology, which uses a special alloy formula in critical power delivery components such as chokes, capacitors and MOSFETs. The card promises up to a 15% performance boost and 2.4 times longer lifespan than reference solutions although your mileage may vary. The DirectCU portion of the name means the card is equipped with all-copper pipes in direct contact with the GPU with up to a 20% improvement in cooling performance versus standard reference-design cards.

Also at the show is the ROG Vulcan ANC Gaming Headset, billed as the world’s first gaming headset with Active Noise Cancellation technology. The Vulcan's 85% active noise canceling performance and 30dB passive noise isolation effect allow gamers to enjoy superior audio during those intense gaming sessions. The Vulcan ANC is equipped with large 40mm speaker drivers with enhanced bass EQ that delivers powerful, high-resolution sound with deep impact bass and it also comes with a noise-canceling and omni-directional microphone.

The next portion of the gaming catalog is the RT-N66U Dual-band Gaming Router that works in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz with up to 450Mbps per band simultaneously. For those heavy multitasking chores, the RT-N66U supports up to a massive 300,000 concurrent data sessions — approximately 20 times the capacity of mainstream routers - allowing users to download content while gaming online.

Finally, we have the CG8350 Gaming Desktop which ships with the Intel's second generation ‘Sandy Bridge’ Core i7-2600 processor and uses Turbo Boost 2.0 technology for instant CPU overclocking. On the graphics side, the CG8350 comes with the DirectX 11-compatible ASUS GTX 460 video card. The motherboard in the CG8350 uses 100% solid state capacitors for increased stability, longevity and reliability. In a nod to green-conscious gamers, it comes loaded with ASUS’ exclusive Energy Processing Unit (EPU), a programmable microchip that regulates system-wide energy consumption to save power.


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CoolIT Systems Partners with Systemax

Posted: January 8, 2011 @ time: 09:25AM
Author: CheeseMan42

CoolIT Systems, providers of popular liquid cooling solutions, has announced a new partnership with Systemax. You may not be familiar with the name, but the company has a wide range of products at numerous retailers. Its products are available through Tiger Direct, Circuit City, CompUSA, and as part of the Systemax and Ultra product lines. Systemax currently uses the ECO Advanced Liquid Cooling CPU cooler in unbranded barebones PC builds. In the coming year Systemax will add CoolIT products to its ULTRA branded PC line. CoolIT is at CES this year, and will be showcasing its products to system builders that may be interested in a similar arrangement.

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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: January 8, 2011 @ time: 03:19PM
Author: Nemo

In our weekend roundup we bring you continuing coverage of CES 2011 including coverage provided by our own OCC crew. We also have a few pieces of hardware being reviewed including the CoolIT Vantage ALC CPU cooler. Corsair is not only making waves at CES, but we also have a look at its Force Series F90 solid state drive. We'll wrap up today with the PowerColor PCS+ HD6870 video card.

CoolIT Vantage Watercooler @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Force Series F90 Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Trade Shows/Conventions
CES 2011: Gigabyte Press Conference @ ThinkComputers
CES 2011: Intel Demos Future Sandy Bridge Capabilities @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011 Day 1 Coverage: Corsair | Kingston | Thermaltake | Trendnet @ Tweaknews
CES 2011: OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs and ZX Power Supplies @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011: Hands on with the Motorola Atrix 4G @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011: Bigfoot Networks @ ThinkComputers
CES 2011: Corsair Announces 2.1 Speakers, Cases and Water Cooler @ Legit Reviews
CES 2011: Thermaltake Makes Level 10 for the Masses @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: New OCZ products make their debut @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: Storage goodness from the Intel booth @ PC Perspective
CES 2011: Corsair's new P3 series SSD's sports next gen Marvell SATA @ PC Perspective
CES 2011 Video: ASUS demonstrates the new line of tablets @ PC Perspective
CES 2011 Video: Corsair Link technology looks to expand on monitoring and control of your PC @ PC Perspective

PowerColor PCS+ HD6870 1GB GDDR5 @ Bjorn3D

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Xigmatek Releases Asgard III Series Mid-Tower Chassis

Posted: January 9, 2011 @ time: 04:51AM
Author: premiumgfx

Xigmatek has released an updated version of its entry-level Asgard II case, the mid-tower Asgard III. The Asgard III series features nine tool-less drive bays (four external 5.25" and five internal 3.5"), thumb screws for easy side panel removal and a convenient opening on the motherboard tray to assist with CPU-cooler installation. The motherboard also has cable holders to enable effective cable management. The Asgard III includes one 120mm fan and the non-windowed version supports up to three additional 80mm, 92mm or 120mm fans on the side panel. The front panel features two USB 2.0 ports along with audio and microphone jacks. The series has a black exterior and interior, with orange highlights on the drive mounts. The Asgard III mid-tower case will be available in non-windowed, windowed and noise-dampening models, the latter being equipped with pre-installed noise dampening mats. The Asgard III series are available now from Caseking for approximately US$45 (€34.90) and $51 (€39.90) for the non-windowed and windowed models respectively, with the noise-dampening variants starting at $78 (€59.90).

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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: January 10, 2011 @ time: 06:11AM
Author: Nemo

It's hard to believe that CES 2011 is already one for the history books, but that doesn't mean we don't have more articles as our affiliates wrap up their coverage of the show. OCC's own CES Day 2 coverage starts here and our Day 3 day coverage of CES has also been posted. We also found a couple of input devices from Logitech and Thermaltake being reviewed, so be be sure to read all the articles using the links below.

IN WIN IW-PP689 Pedestal Performance Server Chassis @ TweakTown

Input Devices
Logitech Wireless Trackball M570 With Leave-in USB Receiver @ Virtual-Hideout
Thermaltake Challenger Pro Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Trade Shows/Conventions
PowerColor @ CES2011 @ Bjorn3D
CES 2011: The Booth Babes @ ThinkComputers
CoolerMaster @ CES 2011 @ Bjorn3D
CES 2011 Day 2 Coverage: QNAP | Seagate | AOC | Antec | Xigmatek @ Tweaknews
CES 2011: Thermaltake @ ThinkComputers

The Top 20 Films Unreleased on Blu-ray - Part IV @ TweakTown

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QNAP Launches New Entry-Level Rack-Mounted NAS Server

Posted: January 10, 2011 @ time: 03:40PM
Author: bp9801

QNAP, one of the leading manufacturers of NAS solutions, has just launched the newest product to its lineup, the rack-mounted TS-419U+ NAS server. This NAS server is being specifically targeted at the growing SMB and work group markets by providing a four-bay NAS server in a rack-mounted setup. The TS-419U+ features four hot-swappable SATA hard drives providing up to 8TB of total capacity in a 1U case. It will support 2.5" or 3.5" drives with a maximum of 2TB for each drive. The TS-419U+ also features a Marvell 1.6GHz CPU and 512MB DDR3 RAM which will provide low power consumption while delivering fast performance. It can be configured with RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 5+ hot spare, or JBOD with online RAID capacity expansion and online RAID level migration for maximum redundancy. There are four USB ports, two e-SATA ports, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the NAS, with the front USB port supporting One-Touch-Copy which enables you to transfer contents to or from the USB drive to the NAS instantly. The TS-419U+ also comes preloaded with the V3.3 firmware which includes many features like virtual disk drives support, exclusive RAID recovery, and Bonjour support for network discovery services, among others.

The TS-419U+ rack-mounted NAS server will be available later this month though no price was given.

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AMD CEO Dirk Meyer Resigns, CFO Takes Over on Interim Basis

Posted: January 10, 2011 @ time: 04:05PM
Author: bp9801

Well, this is certainly surprising. CEO of AMD, Dirk Meyer, has just resigned from his position in what is being called a "mutual agreement" between the Board of Directors and himself. Taking over on an interim basis will be the CFO, Thomas Seifert, who has asked to not be considered as a candidate for the position when the search commences. Board Chairman Bruce Clafin is leading the search for the next CEO, so one can only wonder who will be considered for that spot. The reason for the departure is a mystery for now as no details have been released, but hopefully it does not include anything relating to AMD's chip business. AMD's Fusion platform is looking to be quite popular and the Bulldozer chips are on the way, so hopefully the resignation of Meyer will not impact either of those. We'll keep you updated once any more information behind the resignation surfaces.

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