Daily Hardware Roundup (30/12/2010)

Today’s daily roundup consists of a few case reviews and also some storage devices ranging from USB flash drives to NAS boxes.

Cases:

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • Zotac GeForce GTX 580 1546MB Graphics Card Review @ Futurelooks

Miscellaneous:

Peripherals:

  • Denon Mobile Elite AH-C560R In-Ear Headphones@ TestFreaks

Power Supplies:

  • be quiet! Dark Power Pro BQT P9-650W PSU Review @ Technic3D

Storage:

CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler Review

When putting together a computer, the CPU is one of the most important parts to consider. Think of it as the brain of the system if you will. Hell, it’s usually the most important part, with everything else centring on it, and the other components performance controlled by it.

Take memory for example, the CPU facilitates what speed it can be run at due to its memory controller and how much it would allow the board to support to a certain degree. There are ways of pushing it further, and to get the very best out of your CPU, you need to overclock, but when you overclock, you are pushing the components beyond their manufacturer stated speeds and in turn, generating more heat and that’s why you need a beefy cooler to keep those temperatures down.

There are an immense number of coolers on the market today and finding the right one can be a tricky task. This is not at all helped by the compatibility issues between the various sockets, which leads to fun researching and lots of returns. Couple that with the various manufacturer’s offering up similar products with slight differences and huge prices, it dawns a dilemma that you don’t really want.

It is worth the bother, however, as just about any aftermarket cooler will outperform the stock one supplied with your CPU, especially on lower-end or OEM models, and when you look at some of the power hungry processors on the market, you may find them rising up to as high as around 90 degrees with their stock solution and pre-applied thermal paste.

So how do you decide on which cooler to use? That’s where you check out the latest reviews to see how they compare, and that’s where we come in with our look at the CoolerMaster Hyper 212.

Xigmatek HDT-S963F CPU Cooler Review

When purchasing a computer, you may have a view in your mind of what its use will be, but this will always differ from someone else’s view. You may be a gamer whilst the guy next to you could be a novice user writing letters for work. Either way, it shows that computers have multiple uses.

There is one thing that you have in common though, and that is wanting to find the very best deal for the least amount of money and one type of user who knows this very well, is the modern day overclocker.

The overclocker is someone who will aim to get the very best deal; just as the average gamer would, but will then be set on getting the utmost performance from the parts they’ve bought. This is generally done by overclocking, which in short, means increasing the performance of a component from its stock values.

By doing this, it does mean that the component’s speed will be increased, which normally means that more power is needed, thus generating more heat which sadly stock cooling can’t handle that well.

Manufacturer’s make their components to a certain specification, and make the cooling to fit into that plan too, but as soon as you start increasing the power and temperature, the stock cooling has a problem with keeping the temperatures at a reasonable level. This is where an aftermarket cooling device is necessary.

In today’s market you are spoilt for choice when buying a CPU cooler, if your budget is £15 or £115 there will always be something out there for you, sometimes it may be in the form of air cooling with improved air flow over a stock fan, and some user’s may go for the all-out water cooling or phase change products, but that all depends on how much stress they are willing to put their components under.

Xigmatek have been offering up computer cases, power supplies and aftermarket cooling products since 2005 and today we’re looking at their HDT-S963F CPU cooler.

Daily Hardware Roundup (24/12/2010)

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • XFX AMD Radeon HD 6950 and 6970 Review @ TweakPC.de
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
  • PowerColor PCS+ HD 5870 Graphics Card Review @ Tweaknews
  • HIS Radeon HD 6950 2GB Video Card in Crossfire @ TweakTown
  • ATI Radeon 6870 Videocard @ Rbmods

Memory:

  • OCZ Technology 4GB PC3-12800 Reaper ULV Dual Channel Kit @ BigBruin.com

Miscellaneous:

Motherboards:

Processors:

Storage:

  • Synology DS211 Network Application Server Review @ ASE Labs
  • OCZ Vertex 2 SandForce Powered 60GB SSD @ BCCHardware
  • Super Talent Express RAM Cache USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Everything USB
  • Akasa noir S 2.5″ USB 3.0 @ techPowerUp
  • OCZ Technology 120GB Vertex 2 3.5" SSD Review @ OCIA.net

Skype Still Dark for Millions of Users Worldwide

Skype Dec. 23 said its service remains out for some 40 percent of its users a full day after a massive failure of its peer-to-peer computer system caused the VOIP service to deny or drop calls.

Nearly 24 hours after several computer servers in its P2P network crashed, Skype appears to be restoring service rapidly after suffering an unspecified “software issue.”

Skype Chief Blogger Peter Parkes said around 7 a.m. EST that while there are roughly 5 million people online, it was only around 30 percent of what the company would expect at that particular time.

By 9 a.m. EST, Parkes said in an update, that number had doubled to more than 10 million, or 60 percent of total users Skype typically sees online then. That means Skype remains unavailable for about 40 percent of users.

“Unfortunately, it’s not possible for us to predict on an individual level when you’ll be able to sign in again, and we thank you for your patience in the meantime,” Parkes added.

Parkes said that while Skype Manager, group video calling and other Web-based tools remain offline and instant messaging and online status are slow, the company’s Skype Connect enterprise product is working normally.

Source: eWeek

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Internet porn block ‘not possible’ say ISPs

Government plans to block pornography “at source” are unlikely to prove effective, say ISPs.

The proposal to cut off access to pornographic material was floated by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey in an interview with the Sunday Times.

The government is talking to ISPs to set up a meeting at which the proposal will be discussed.

But, say experts, technical challenges mean any large scale filtering system is doomed to failure.

Legal issues

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, confirmed Mr Vaizey’s plan to talk to ISPs about setting up an age verification scheme to govern access to pornographic sites.

“This is a very serious matter,” said Mr Vaizey. “I think it’s very important that it’s the ISPs that come up with solutions to protect children.”

“I’m hoping they will get their acts together so we don’t have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”

In response to the government proposal, Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, said: “Ispa firmly believes that controls on children’s access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.”

Mr Lansman said its members provided parents with many different means of controlling what is accessible via the computers in their homes.

“Online safety is a priority issue for the internet industry and ISPA will be discussing the options available to protect children with Government,” he said.

“ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent,” said Mr Lansman. “Blocking lawful pornography content is less clear cut, will lead to the blocking of access to legitimate content and is only effective in preventing inadvertent access.”

BT, the UK’s largest ISP, said it would be “happy” to take part in any discussion of the issues, but added: “There are many legal, consumer rights and technical issues that would need to be considered before any new web blocking policy was developed.”

Source: BBC News

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Qpad 5K Pro Gaming Laser Mouse Review


We cater mostly for the high end market of products here at eTeknix, with an extensive range of reviews from cases to motherboards and most frequently; graphics cards. Whilst a system is made up of these important components, you’d be lost without the simple peripherals that help you navigate through your operating system or aid in making that extra kill in your favourite first person shooter. Without these simple, overlooked tools, you’d be lost, staring at a screen with nowhere to turn.

Of course we are talking about the likes of a mouse, something that we often take for granted. If we go back 15 years and take a look at how computers were used, I’m pretty sure we can all safely say that we were using a beige/ivory coloured mouse with 2 buttons and a scroll wheel, all crafted together with a roller ball for guidance. Shortly after this period, optical mice became popular offering more precision than a ball mouse and improved accuracy. We also saw the shape of the mice being designed to fit your hand more comfortably.

This was all key features that were needed as more people used computers, and for longer durations. We then saw the inclusion of extra buttons for simple navigation between windows and extra buttons for gaming. Optical also took a backseat to laser and Bluetooth mice. Wireless was becoming more popular and consumers bought into all the hype. Some users didn’t buy into the wireless fad that others did, and instead decided to stick with the trusted wired mouse. Wireless still went in the right direction, but the market place was and still is big enough to cater for both types of mouse.

Enter the Qpad 5K gaming laser mouse.

Daily Hardware Roundup (23/12/2010)

Cases:

Competitions:

Graphics:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6950 & HD 6970 2GB @ Techgage

Miscellaneous:

  • Kodak Zi8 1080p HD Pocket Video Camera Long-Term Review @ Modsynergy.com
  • Building A Gaming / Performance PC Article @ OCIA.net

Peripherals:

  • Arctic Sound P531 5.1 Headset Review @ Overclockers Online
  • Penguin United Eagle Eye Playstation 3 PS3 USB Keyboard / Mouse Convertor Review @ Tweaknews
  • Edifier MP250 USB Laptop/Computer Speakers @ TechwareLabs
  • Verizon Pantech UML290 4G USB Modem @ TestFreaks

Storage:

  • Patriot Xporter Rage 32GB USB Flash Drive @ TestFreaks
  • ineo Technology I-NA215U Plus USB 3.0 Storage Enclosure @ TweakTown
  • Mach Xtreme FX USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB @ techPowerUp
  • Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB CTFDDAA064MAG-1G1 1.8-inch SATA3 SSD Review @ Overclocked Inside

Want to write for eTeknix?

As eTeknix grows, it seems our staff does too and we are looking for some experienced writers to fill the void in getting as much content out as possible.

We scour the net all day long and get very excited about how passionate people are about computer hardware, just as we are.

We are after news editors.

If you are interested, please contact us using our contact form at:
http://www.eteknix.com/sendmessage.php

Be sure to let us know your:

  • Name
  • Location within the UK (Must be in the UK)
  • Also a sample news article.

Be sure to check out our existing news for an outline of the style we need so that your sample can appeal to us.

We will endevour to get back to all submissions, but this may take some time.

If you want to be a part of eTeknix, this is where to start.

We hope to hear from you soon.

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Daily Hardware Roundup (22/12/2010)

Competitions:

Graphics:

Miscellaneous:

Monitors:

Peripherals:

  • Cooler Master Choiix Cruiser Mouse and Power Fort Charger @ TweakTown
  • Speedlink CUE Multitouch Mouse reviewed @ Metku.net

Storage:

  • RAID0 & the SSD – Simple To Build and Lightning Fast[/URL] @ The SSD Review
  • Samsung 470 series SSD review revisted and RAID tested @ The SSD Review
  • Super Talent 16GB VSSD Solid State Drive Review @ The SSD Review

Daily Hardware Roundup (21/12/2010)

Cases:

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB Video Card in Crossfire @ TweakTown

Miscelleanous:

Sound:

UK government wants to block all Internet porn

The UK government has plans to ask ISPs to block all pornography from home Internet connections by default, in order to ensure that children are not accidentally exposed to sex while using the Internet. Under the plan, customers would have to ask their ISP for access to pornography. Homeowners would either specify which adult sites they want to be able to view, or pick a classification for their connection to restrict what is received according to age ranges, such as U, 12, or 18.

The UK’s largest ISPs, including BT, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk, will be called to a meeting next month to discuss the idea. Instead of using parental controls to stop access to pornography by opting out, the goal is to kill off access to pornography in the first place, and then allow adults to opt in. Most British ISPs prevent users from inadvertently viewing child porn websites but ministers want companies to use the technology to block pornography sites unless people specifically ask to view them.

“Unless we show leadership, the internet industry is not going to self-regulate,” Claire Perry, a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Devizes, said in a statement according toThe Sunday Times. “The minister has said he will get the ISPs together and say, ‘Either you clean out your stables or we are going to do it for you’. There is this very uneasy sense for parents of children that we do not have to tolerate this Wild West approach. We are not coming at this from an anti-porn perspective. We just want to make sure our children aren’t stumbling across things we don’t want them to see.”

The government is pushing for this despite the fact that Internet Services Providers’ Association in the UK has found that such a complete block would be expensive and technically difficult. Frankly we think the argument should still be around how effective it would be if it were implemented in the first place.

Source: Techspot

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Daily Hardware Roundup (20/12/2010)

Cases:

Graphics:

Miscellaneous:

Motherboards:

  • ECS Elitegroup and ASUS P67 Preview @ Tweak

Peripherals:

  • Razer Lachesis 5600 DPI Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
  • ROCCAT Kone+ Gaming Mouse review @ Metku.net
  • Arctic M571 Budget Gaming Mouse Review @ OCIA.net

Power Supplies:

  • Thermaltake Toughpower XT 875W Power Supply @ TweakTown

Processors:

  • Intel Core I7 950 3.06GHz Quad Core Processor Review @ Legit Reviews

Sound:

Gainward plan the GTX 570 Phantom non-reference card

It appears that Gainward is not contented with having just one custom-built NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 card. The graphics card maker is now planning to release another non-reference product, the GeForce GTX 570 Phantom.

We spotted the Gainward banner at a dealer event held in Singapore last week. Gainward has shared with us some of the objectives in designing the Phantom. These include quiet yet effective cooling, and coming up with a design that looks different from all the other graphics cards out there in the market.

The GeForce GTX 570 Phantom will employ a triple-fan dual slot cooling solution. A large heatsink with six heat pipes spans across the length of the card for maximum cooling performance. The fans are cleverly hidden in between the heatsink and the top mesh / cover. Despite having three fans, noise level under full load is expected to be lower than their custom GeForce GTX 570 Golden Sample ‘Goes Like Hell’ Edition card.

While final operating frequencies have not been finalized yet, factory performance of the Phantom will fall in between a reference GeForce GTX 570 (732MHz) and their custom GeForce GTX 570 GS-GLH (800MHz), which we have reviewed recently.

Source: VR-Zone

Attached files

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Gigabyte P67A-UD3R Motherboard Pictures

As the release day of Intel Sandy Bridge processors is drawing near,many corresponding P67 motherboards have been exposed.And recently Gigabyte P67A-UD3R arrived at our review room,now we have a preview of it.

Gigabyte P67A-UD3R motherboard adopts Intel P67 chip,supports LGA 1155 series processors.In addition,it features black PCB,eight phase for CPU,two phase Uncore power supply and heatpipe cooler.

What’s more,the motherboard employs four memory slots supporting dual-channel DDR3-2133,two PCI-E x16 for support of SLI and CrossFire technology,three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots and two PCI slots.

Source: Expreview

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Daily Hardware Roundup (19/12/2010)

Cases:

  • Otterbox Defender Series Case for Samsung Captivate @ TestFreaks
  • Spire Savit 6003 case @ Rbmods

Competitions:

Cooling:

Graphics:

Motherboards:

Peripherals:

Power Supplies:

  • Silverstone PP05 Strider Short Cable Kit @ DreamWare Computers
  • Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 800w Power Supply @ Techware Labs

Storage:

  • Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB USB 3.0 @ TweakPC.de
  • Verbatim Store`n´Go 320 GB @ techPowerUp
  • Vantec Nexstar NST-D400S3 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Dual Bay Hard Drive Dock Review @ Tweaknews
  • Western Digital AV-GP 2 TB Hard Disk Drive Review @ MissingRemote.com

EVGA’s P67 Classified pictured with SIX PCI-Express x16 slots

Six PCI-Express x16 slots

In keeping with its tradition, EVGA is planning to roll out its own LGA1155, Sandy Bridge-ready and overclocking friendly motherboard, the EVGA P67 Classified.

Featuring a 12-phase power design, recognizable red/black colour scheme and six PCI-Express x16 slots for some CrossfireX and 3-way SLI fun, the EVGA P67 Classified will surely be one of the more interesting P67 based motherboards on the market next in January 2011.

The rest of the specs include two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps ports, Gigabit LAN, 7.1-channel audio and USB 3.0 support. The angled 24-pin, two 8-pin CPU power and additional 4-pin Molex connectors are something that you can certainly expect from EVGA’s overclocking ready motherboard.

We are quite sure that EVGA will pair this one with its own overclocking features, something that we have already seen on its previous Classified series motherboards.

Source: Fudzilla

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Nvidia GeForce GPUs with Sandy Bridge CPUs Debut in 2011

GeForce GPUs offer features such as Nvidia 3D Vision support for immersive 3D environments and PhysX physics engine support.

PC manufacturers are poised to launch a record 200 new products in the first half of 2011 that feature Nvidia GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs), paired with the new generation of Intel Sandy Bridge central processing units (CPUs). The designs are expected to span a variety of notebook and desktop systems from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Acer, Alienware, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and others.

As demand for graphics processing power continues to grow and the need to deliver higher levels of performance not possible with integrated graphics on applications such as games, video editing, web browsing, and 3D movies increases, Nvidia is positioning itself as a supplier of advanced graphics chips. The company said unlike basic graphics integrated into Sandy Bridge CPUs, GeForce GPUs provide advanced features and increased compatibility for the latest PC games including those based on the Microsoft DirectX 11 platform.

David Lee, associate vice president of Acer’s Mobile Computing Business Unit said consumers are increasingly using their notebooks for content consumption and creation, anytime and anywhere. “GeForce graphics with Optimus turbocharge Acer notebooks with excellent performance when you need it, and longer battery life when you don’t,” he said.

Mercury Research forecast that discrete GPU shipments will double between 2009 and 2014. “Demand from OEMs for discrete graphics solutions remains strong and above historic levels,” said Dean McCarron of Mercury Research. “We are projecting healthy growth in the years ahead for discrete GPU solutions for both notebook and desktop. Based on the current attach rate for GPU shipments.”

GeForce GPUs offer features such as Nvidia 3D Vision support for immersive 3D environments, PhysX physics engine support for experiencing games with realistic physics effects, Cuda architecture support for GPU computing applications, Verde notebook drivers for system stability and optimal performance and support for Nvidia 3DTV Play software, for connecting 3D Vision-based notebooks and desktops to a 3D TV.

“With the explosion in digital content and entertainment, it’s no wonder that consumers love GeForce notebooks,” said Jeff Fisher, vice president of the GeForce business unit at NVIDIA. “Our momentum reflects the overwhelming need for a better PC experience.”

David Cole, principal at DFC Intelligence, noted PC gaming is a huge part of the video games industry, with annual software sales of more than $15 billion worldwide. “By 2015 PC gaming software revenue will grow to $22 billion. It’s clearly an important market for both hardware and software companies,” he said.

“Our customers are increasingly asking for enhanced graphics capabilities on their new PCs, which is why GPUs are an essential part of our lineup,” said SY Shian, corporate vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit of AsusTek. “GeForce GPUs with Optimus enable us to serve a broader variety of users who demand faster performance, better gaming support, longer battery life, and delightful features like 3D Vision.”

Source: eWeek

Attached files

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Daily Hardware Roundup (18/12/2010)

Cases:

  • Thermaltake Element Q Mini-ITX Chassis w/ 220W Power Supply @ TweakTown
  • Antec LanBoy Air Gamer Case review @ Tweak
  • Thermaltake Armor A60 Mid-Tower Case Review @ Bigbruin.com

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • Gainward GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Goes Like Hell Video Card Overclocked @ TweakTown
  • Sparkle GTS450 Video Card Review @ DragonSteelMods
  • AMD Radeon vs NVIDIA GeForce: Desktop Graphics Last Stand @ BmR
  • ECS GeForce GTX 460 Black Video Card Review @ Madshrimps

Memory:

Miscellaneous:

Motherboards:

Peripherals:

  • Tt eSPORTS Challenger Pro Gaming Keyboard @ BCCHardware
  • Nexus SM-7000B Silent Mouse @ Rbmods
  • Razer Marauder, Spectre and Banshee – Official StarCraft 2 Keyboard, Mouse and Headset Review @ Hardware Heaven
  • Logitech Wireless Illuminated Keyboard K800 review @ Metku.net
  • SteelSeries 6Gv2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Power Supplies:

Processors:

  • Intel Core i7-800 Processor Series @ iXBT Labs

Software:

Storage:

Systems:

  • V3 Avenger Core i7 930 Gaming Desktop PC @ TweakTown

Zotac GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card Review

The end of the year is fast approaching and with the release of the 6900 Series cards now with us, the cards are now on the table to see who will have the fastest and more importantly the best all round card out of AMD and Nvidia. Nvidia have taken the chance whist in-between Radeon launches to put their latest contender forward in the form of the GeForce GTX 580.

Nvidia are fully aware that AMD’s Cayman cards are designed to outperform the GTX 480 and this poses a large problem for them. The GTX 480 is a naturally hot running card that also has a hunger for power. There is only so much that the rushed and crippled design has to give and so the decision has been made to take a step back to make two steps forward in improving the new Fermi architecture.

In an attempt to tame the cards temperature from the 480’s design, Nvidia have lost the heatpipe design that was in hindsight not fully up to the job and replaced this with a new vapour chamber designed heatsink. This along with a redesigned fan that is now around 5dB quieter, and that has also a quieter pitch than the squeaky fan of the 480. The new fan also pushes far more air in and through the heatsink in comparison to the old.

We also see thanks to the improved cooling – higher stock clock speeds, 32 more shader cores & one more PolyMorph engine, bilinear filtering speed has been doubled and finally improved power management means that even though the card runs faster, the card has 6W TDP less than the 480.

Its improvements all round!

Daily Hardware Roundup (17/12/2010)

Cases:

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • Asus ENGT430 Geforce GT 430 Videocard Review @ Tweaknews
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Review @ Tweakpc.de
  • VTX3D Radeon HD 6850 X-Edition 1GB GDDR5 RAM review @ Tweak
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Roundup @ iXBT Labs
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 @ Techgage.com

Monitors:

  • LG Flatron W2340VG 23-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor Review @ Bigbruin.com

Motherboards:

  • GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review @ Futurelooks

Peripherals:

Power Supplies:

Processors:

Miscellaneous:

Storage:

  • Patriot Convoy 425XL 4 x 2.5″ Drive Enclosure @ Techware Labs
  • SMART Modular XceedIOPS SF-1500 Powered SAS SSD Preview @ TweakTown

Systems:

  • ASRock ION 3D 152B Intel Atom D525 HTPC with NVIDIA 3DTV Play @ TweakTown

Inno3D GeForce GTX 460 OC 1GB Graphics Card Review

Inno3D are a manufacturer that not many people have heard of but that’s not to say that they aren’t any good. When it comes to graphics cards and the manufacturing process, a lot is down to the creator of the GPU whilst the partner finalises everything to launch to the retail market.

Also as products develop and the recession kicks in, more and more companies are trying to get on board and make some money. That’s why over the years we soon many manufacturers come and go but Inno3D have remained in the marketplace, not just on a local level but also globally.

Whilst they are mainly based in Hong Kong that doesn’t mean that the service is anything other than spectacular, offering the latest graphics card products to the market along with the big boys such as Asus and MSI.

Inno3D have also delved into the motherboard market offering AMD, Intel and Atom solutions, but their main focus has always been on graphics cards including a subsidiary part of the company called i-Chill which offers the same top-quality products with high performance and custom cooling design solutions for the user who wants that little bit more from the components that they buy.

Manufacturer’s sometimes make “turbo edition” cards or factory overclocked versions to give more performance and from time to time, Inno3D also make pre-overclocked versions of their already top selling products including the GTX 460 OC that we’re looking at today.

Daily Hardware Roundup (16/12/2010)

Cases

Cooling

Graphics Cards

Memory

Processor’s

Software

Sound

Storage

eTeknix offer lots of different reviews in our reviews section

Radeon 6900 series pricing and availability

Today being the launch of the 6900 series graphics cards from AMD consumers are hoping for a successful launch with plenty of stock and reasonable prices. This is more than we can say for the likes of the GTX 580 from Nvidia which gives fantastic performance if you’re able to get hold of one.

Luckily there are a lot of retailers out there who are fulfilling orders for various different brands of 6950s and 6970’s and we thought that it would be suitable if we gave you all of the information on the main UK retailers and their stock availability and pricing.

Radeon 6950

Retailer Model Availability Price
CCL Online

Asus 6950

Sold Out! £246.60
Sapphire 6950 Pre-Order! £247.00
VTX3D Pre-Order! £216.49
XFX 6950 Pre-Order! £239.76
Dabs Sapphire 6950 Pre-Order! £243.70
Ebuyer PowerColor 6950 In Stock! £220.89
Sapphire 6950 Pre-Order! £223.22
XFX 6950 Pre-Order! £223.21
Ginger 6 No products available N/A N/A
Novatech No products available N/A N/A
Overclockers UK HIS 6950 In Stock! £219.99
OcUK 6950 Pre-Order! £214.99
Sapphire 6950 Pre-Order! £249.99
XFX 6950 Pre-Order! £229.99
Scan Asus 6950 OC Pre-Order! £241.69
Gigabyte 6950 Pre-Order! £241.69
MSI 6950 Pre-Order! £267.54
Sapphire 6950 Pre-Order! £249.92
XFX 6950 Pre-Order! £226.41

Taking a look at the stock of the 6950 we can see that only two retailers are stocking the cards with the mass amount being on pre-order. This is fine if you’re happy to order a PowerColor card or the more favoured HIS card that we reviewed earlier today.

Radeon 6970

Retailer Model Availability Price

CCL Online

Asus 6970 Sold Out! £306.10
Sapphire 6970 BC2 Vietnam Edition Pre-Order! £306.49
Sapphire 6970 BC2 Vietnam Edition Case Pre-Order! £334.05
VTX3D 6970 Pre-Order! £285.00
XFX 6970 Pre-Order! £297.92
Dabs Sapphire 6970 Pre-Order! £308.06
Ebuyer PowerColor 6970 In Stock! £283.18
Sapphire 6970 Pre-Order! £276.13
Sapphire 6970 BFBC2 Vietnam Special Editon Pre-Order! £287.72
XFX 6970 Pre-Order! £276.12
Ginger 6 No products available N/A N/A
Novatech No products available N/A N/A
Overclockers Asus 6970 Pre-Order! £329.99
HIS 6970 In Stock! £289.99
OcUK 6970 Pre-Order! £279.99
Sapphire 6970 Pre-Order! £309.99
XFX 6970 Pre-Order! £299.99
Scan Asus 6970 OC Pre-Order! £299.26
Gigabyte 6970 Pre-Order! £295.74
MSI 6970 Pre-Order! £356.84
Sapphire 6970 Pre-Order! £309.84
Sapphire 6970 inc BattleField Pre-Order! £358.01
Sapphire 6970 inc Silver Case Pre-Order! £340.39
XFX 6970 Pre-Order! £279.29

It’s very much the same scenario with the 6970 with Ebuyer stocking the PowerColor version and Overclockers UK again with the HIS variant.

Now we know that this doesn’t look promising when you compare this launch with previous launches but we have been told that the above retailers will be expecting stock throughout today and the rest of the week but it is very clear that AMD had a very disorganised launch with the 6900 series cards, not just with the consumer but also with the press as well, but that’s another story.

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HIS Radeon 6950 2GB Graphics Card Review

With the on-going battle between AMD and nVidia now stronger than ever, it seems that Christmas is going to make decisions a lot harder to make when it comes to which graphics manufacturer to go with. Especially with nVidia showing their hand with the GTX 580 and 570 dominating the market place for single GPU cards, whilst the 5970 still rears its older presence coming out on top.

It leaves consumers asking about a rival single GPU card from AMD, which is where the 6900 series cards come into play, with the hope for something cheaper that gives a little bit more performance.

The 6800 series had a successful launch giving users the ability to run the latest games with a satisfying frame rate, whilst still leaving enough money to stock up on beer for them long nights of clan matches and fragging ahead of you.

The 6950 gives us a view of a tried and tested method with slightly improved performance, more memory and some newer features to appeal to the mass market.

HIS show us exactly how it’s meant to be done with their offering of the 6950 to the market and with a launch happening just before Christmas, it gives AMD the chance to confuse consumers by offering the latest technology for the best possible price.

Gigabyte Fusion APU based motherboard pictured

It seems that these days AMD wants to pick a fight with anyone and everyone, especially as of late with the ongoing battle between AMD’s graphic department with Nvidia and now with the battle between AMD Fusion and Intel Sandy Bridge.

Obviously to the consumer this can only mean good things, as we end up getting the best performance and the latest features for the lowest cost and with Sandy Bridge and Fusion just around the corner it was only a matter of time before pictures were leaked out on the Internet.

These pictures may differ from the end retail product but does give us an insight as to what we can expect in the very near future. Our friends over at Xbitlabs have pictured the latest fusion CPU-based motherboard from leading manufacturer; Gigabyte.

The board (GA-E350 V-USB3) features the Brazos series Zacate E-350 APU that we’ve seen on the AMD roadmap. It also features the Hudson D1 controller chip. We can expect a dual core processor at 1.6GHz, low TDP of 18W and an integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics core with UVD 3.0 engine.

From the picture we can see that the newly awaited motherboard uses the mini ITX form factor, has two DDR3 memory slots, a PCI express x 16 slot, four SATA ports and two USB 3.0 connectors.

There is also said to be room for overclocking with simple tweaks including upping the memory frequency from a stock 1333 MHz all the way up to 1800 MHz.

Connection wise we can expect a legacy VGA port and DVI port too but sadly no HDMI from what we can see.

No word on pricing or availability as of yet but Q1 2011 should give us a lot more to look forward to them we first anticipated

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CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Review

Coolermaster are regarded as one of the most well known manufacturer’s when it comes to PC cases, and have been one of the main contenders when standing the test of time.

As we all know, companies are started and in this day and age, it’s very hard to keep afloat due to the recession that has “apparantly” ended, but Coolermaster have kept the market share and are still going from strength to strength.

This is all down to many different aspects of the company as a whole and the products they develop. Over time, Coolermaster have been devoted to giving you the best quality, features and design for the best possible price. Even if you go back to the days of the Black Widow which is still remembered to be one of the best looking cases ever developed. Couple that with the amazing build quality that we see invested in every Coolermaster product, and there really is no place to go wrong.

Sometimes however, companies do release products that are great and hundreds upon thousands are sold, but feedback gathered at later dates, give them ideas on bettering the already great selling product. This can then lead on to the development of a slightly improved product, or a version 2 for instance.

That is where the 690 II Advanced comes in, based off of the original 690 and 690 II, we clearly know from the start, that this has a tried and tested method, design and functionality to boot.

With all of this in hand, it gives us hope for all products that Coolermaster have released lately, and of course, any products that may be released from them in the future.