Tritton PC510 HDa Gaming Headset Review

Recently there have been lots of similar looking gaming style headsets released which quite frankly have all been the same. The headsets are either stereo headsets, or headsets pretending to offer 5.1 or even 7.1 surround sound. While all the companies producing these surround sound headsets will claim that they give you the full surround sound feel, it is at best, virtual and produced digitally. When you stop and think about it, does it seem possible for 5.1 surround sound to be played through 2 speakers? While it may not be truly possible they certainly give it a good go.

Tritton certainly seem to think that there is only one way to produce 5.1 surround sound and that is the same way that home-cinema systems do it. This is to have a speaker or two playing each channel independently, normally giving you the two front speakers, the two rear speakers and a centre speaker, as well as the subwoofer or bass speaker. 7.1 has the additional ‘side speakers’. Tritton have in this headset tried to make this a reality by producing a headset which does contain the full 5.1 speaker set-up.

Tritton are a company owned by Mad Catz who aim to bring high-performance consumer electronics and computer peripherals to the market. They are best known for their gaming headsets but specialise in several categories, including Gaming Audio, Mobile Audio, USB Video Technology as well as Bluetooth Technology.

Specifications

  • True 5.1 3D Directional Audio with no Emulation
  • 8 Precision speakers with adjustable volume for front, rear, center, and subwoofer channels
  • Connects directly to your 5.1 sound card – no driver required
  • Detachable Flexible Microphone with Mute
  • Adjustable Headrail and Supple Earcup Padding
  • Durable 9ft (2.75m) Primary Cable
  • Breakaway In-Line audio controller
  • USB Powered – no AC adapter required

Lamptron reveal the FC9 fan controller with slider controls

Lamptron, a leading company who specialise in fan controllers, have recently announced that they will be releasing their FC9 which features sliders for fan control instead of knobs.

The controller offers supports for four fans and delivers power of up to 50W per channel meaning that the vast majority of fans can function correctly. Silver or black are the colours in which the brushed aluminium bezel of the Lamptron FC9 will be released. The colour of the LED’s can be selected as white, blue, green, cyan, red, purple, and yellow depending on the users preference. Lamptron have recommended at least a 600w PSU to use with this fan controller, but this is obviously dependant on the type of fans you decide to use.

The dimensions of the FC9 are 148.5 x 42.5 x 75mm, indicating that it fits into a 5.25″ bay.

Attached files

Lamptron FC9 Slider type Fan Controller.jpg (102 KB) 

Nokia keeps quiet while flogging off its messaging unit

While this is not breaking news it does say a lot about Nokia’s current state of affairs. Nokia is selling off its messaging business to Synchronica, a British (yes, Britain still does do a few things) developer of mobile messaging software.

The business unit itself provides email and instant messaging services to the likes of AT&T and Verizon (and others) and will be sold for $25 million.

As part of the deal, Synchronica will take over contracts serving 10 mobile operators in North America and obtain source code for Nokia’s client and server software, as well as any patents and patent applications that go with it.

Synchronica have long been looking to get a foothold in the US and it hopes this might be the start. Synchronica will continue to provide the messaging software which Nokia pre-load onto Series 40 phones which is expected to generate a revenue of around $18 million.

Syncrhonica has said it will continue to develop Nokia’s messaging platform – which enables operators to offer their own-branded email and instant messaging services while supporting third-party email and IM clients such as Gmail and MSN Messenger. They will eventually merge Nokia’s with its own mobile messaging technology.

“This acquisition marks a key milestone for Synchronica as we move closer to our goal of becoming the leading global player for next-generation mobile messaging,” said Synchronica CEO Carsten Brinkschulte, in a statement, who commented that the deal will transform his company’s scale, profitability, and geographic scope “at a stroke”.

It looks as if Nokia are trying to streamline its operations in a bid to change its fortunes.

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Congress wants to make streaming a felony!

The US and Congress especially never cease to amaze at the lengths they will go to to get their way.

This time, under the bill number S.978, they are trying to make it a felony to stream copyrighted content and yes the person who streams a youtube video for instance and not the person who uploaded it. There is an interesting twist that this bill is called the ‘Ten Strikes’ bill, which means that you are allowed to stream copyrighted material 9 times. More than that then you can end up in jail.

Does this sound absurd? Well this is what TechDirt had to say:

The entertainment industry is freaking out about sites that embed and stream infringing content, and want law enforcement to put people in jail over it, rather than filing civil lawsuits…. We already pointed to one possibility: that people embedding YouTube videos could face five years in jail. Now, others are pointing out that it could also put kids who lip sync to popular songs, and post the resulting videos on YouTube, in jail as well.

So yes, watching a YouTube video which has copyrighted music in the background could land you jail time.

If you think this is absurd please head to this page: Demand Progress

 

Attached files

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Streacom HDMI Audio Mix Cable Review

Streacom are a company who were founded in 2010 with their goal being focusing on combining superior design and quality with the latest material and production techniques. They aim to deliver solutions that will precisely meet customer requirements regarding features, performance and quality. They offer a variety of products which all have their individual ways of solving problems that have previously arisen.

Ever experienced the urge to watch the best quality High Definition video and also listen to the best quality audio from your device? I have… unfortunately I have also had the problem where neither of them function properly together thanks to a device with limited connectivity options. Streacom have designed a product which can possibly eliminate all of these video and audio problems via the use of a unique cable. Their method is to use a standard HDMI cable to send the best quality HD video to your display, but they have very creatively attached a stereo audio splitter to one end of the HDMI cable so that the audio can be routed separately. This results in everybody being able to enjoy the impressive picture that your High Definition device offers as well as enjoying the crisp, clear audio output by your sound set-up.

Another problem is solved by this cable. You now have the ability to listen to music through your sound system connected to your PC or other device while your display device such as the TV is switched off. This is a great feature especially for people who use a HTPC or need music played by their computer for an upcoming house party!

There is the potential for multiple home theatre headaches to be solved with this product, but does it also cause some extra problems? Let’s find out if Streacom can live up to their high expectations…

Specifications

  • Maximum resolution of 2160P (4096x2160P) @ 24Hz
  • HDMI m – HDMI m
  • Certified for HDMI High Speed Ethernet 1.4
  • Stereo audio (RCA Cinch)
  • Gold plated
  • Power supply through USB
  • 2 metre cable length

Intel continues to gain chip share in Q1 even with recall

In January Intel was forced to announce that it was recalling all its new ‘Cougar Point’ chipsets that accompanied the Sandy Bridge processors. We all thought this spelled disaster for Intel and that this gave AMD a big chance to make a move.

However, Intel were very efficient and didn’t waste time admitting the problem, as such disruption to end-users was fairly minimal.

This serves as a testament to Intel’s capability to react to a potential crisis with speed and agility,” said said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst at iSuppli. “Intel’s handling of the issue on both the public relations and business fronts stands in stark contrast to other recent examples of big companies facing major product quality challenges.

As a result of all of this and according to new figures released by iSuppli, Intel’s CPU market share actually went up in the first quarter of this year. Intel had 82.6% of the market up from 81% in Q4 of 2010. That said AMD’s share only fell from 10.9% to 10.1% but certainly shows the strength of growth from Intel.


We apologise that this graph doesn’t express the actual data.

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AMD release Llano A6-3650 and A8-3850 Fusion APU’s

AMD has today introduced its new codename Llano processors to the market. These will be two of the “Fusion APU’s” which are processors with built in graphics cores. These particular releases will be for desktop FM1 systems only, the Mobile Llano’s will come a bit later. Both the A6-3650 and A8-3850 are based on the latest 32nm fabrication process which Intel introduced a lot earlier with their Sandy Bridge processors.

The A6-3850 is the lower end model with 4 cores @ 2.6GHz and a respectable 320 on board graphics stream processors forming the HD 6530D. The A8-3850 has 4 cores @ 2.9GHz and 400 on board graphics stream processors forming the HD 6550D. Both APU’s will be equipped with 4MB of cache and a TDP of 100W.

Pricing is st at $135 for the A8-3850 and $115 A6-3650, which is reasonably competitive given the superiority of the AMD vision graphics of the Intel HD graphics, although some analysts are suggesting lower prices will be needed for AMD to stand up against the superior Sandy Bridge CPU’s.

Attached files

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Patriot Wildfire announced with write speeds of up to 520MB/s

While a lot of the media is centred around the launch of the latest range of AMD Fusion (Llano) there are lots of other companies trying to impress. Patriot have recently added two new models to its high-end range which is has called the Wildfire series. These are available in 120 GB and 240 GB capacities and as the speeds suggest make use of the SandForce SF-2200 controlled. Which allows them them to reach sequential read and write speeds of 555MB/s and 520MB/s respectively.

The drives have also been quoted to deliver up to 85,000 4K random write IOPS and of course needs to be connected to a 6 GB/s SATA port to see these kind of results. Like OCZ, Patriot are bundling these drives with a 2.5″ to 3.5″ adaptor for those who are likely to use them in their desktops.

The Patriot Wildfire is the fastest SSD drive we have ever released,” says William Lai, Patriot Memory’s Product Manager. “Although we are a bit late to market, we wanted to ensure that the technology was rock-solid. We are confident with the latest firmware, Patriot’s reputation for quality and performance stand second-to-none.

While no pricing announcements have been made, with these kind of specs and capacities they aren’t going to come cheap!

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Thursday Affiliate News

AMD Fusion:

Cases:

Miscellaneous:

Motherboard:

Peripherals:

  • Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S Review @ Vortez

Storage:

Asus F1A75-M Pro Llano Motherboard Review

You can’t go on the internet these days without seeing some information on Intel, AMD and their latest products. With Intel it’s all about Sandy Bridge and their upcoming offering of Ivy Bridge, whilst AMD has potential fantastic products in the pipeline but are still hot on releasing slightly “cut-down” versions if you will.

We saw the initial release of AMD Fusion a few months back which saw the pure potential behind AMD’s latest technology of fusing a CPU and GPU together to form an APU. Whilst this was fine for light usage in terms of HTPC and server systems, it wasn’t aimed at a mainstream market. Enter Llano!

Llano is a new range of products from AMD and their partners which harnesses the technology saw in the original Fusion range but features a higher clock speed and higher range built-in graphics. Due to this it’s market is slightly different and whilst being perfect for HTPC usage, users should be able to experience the technology on a mainstream level with the inclusion of gaming.

Today sees us putting the F1A75-M Pro motherboard from Asus through its paces to see what performance can be unlocked from these new APU’s and what is on offer in terms of features from this leading motherboard manufacturer.

Specifications

[TABLE=class: grid]
[TR]
[TD]CPU[/TD]
[TD]AMD Socket FM1 A- Series/E2- Series Accelerated Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD® Turbo Core 2.0 Technology
* The AMD® Turbo Core 2.0 Technology Support depends on the APU types[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Chipset[/TD]
[TD]AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Memory[/TD]
[TD]4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 Hz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
* The Max. 64GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 16GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Install a 64-bit Windows® OS when you want to install 4GB or more memory on the motherboard.[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Graphic[/TD]
[TD]Integrated AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series Graphics in Llano APU
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI/RGB ports
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
– Supports DVI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
– Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Dual independent displays support with HDMI/DVI and D-Sub
AMD® Dual Graphics technology support *1
Supports DirectX 11[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Multi-GPU Support[/TD]
[TD]Supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Expansion Slots[/TD]
[TD]1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Storage[/TD]
[TD]AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset : *2
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 10, JBOD[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]LAN[/TD]
[TD]Realtek® 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Audio[/TD]
[TD]Realtek® ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
– Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]USB Ports[/TD]
[TD]AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset :
10 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 8 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Overclocking Features[/TD]
[TD]Overclocking Protection :
– ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Special Features[/TD]
[TD]ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM :
ASUS TPU :
– Auto Tuning
– TurboV
– TPU switch
ASUS EPU :
– EPU
– EPU switch
ASUS Digital Power Design :
– Industry leading Digital 4 +2 Phase Power Design
ASUS Exclusive Features :
– MemOK!
– AI Suite II
– Ai Charger+
– Anti-Surge
– ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
– Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution
– ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS EZ DIY :
– ASUS Q-Shield
– ASUS O.C. Profile
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
– ASUS EZ Flash 2
– ASUS MyLogo 2
– Multi-language BIOS
100% All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Back I/O Ports[/TD]
[TD]1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI-D
1 x D-Sub
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Internal I/O Ports[/TD]
[TD]1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
4 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 8 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Power Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Accessories[/TD]
[TD]User’s manual
ASUS Q-Shield
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]BIOS[/TD]
[TD]32 Mb Flash ROM, AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI v2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS V2.6, ACPI V2.0a[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Support Disc[/TD]
[TD]Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Form Factor[/TD]
[TD]uATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Note[/TD]
[TD]*1: Refer to www.amd.com for the discrete GPUs which support Dual Graphics.
*2: These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

New “Kepler” 28nm Graphics processors making progress

Nvidia is busy working away behind closed doors to develop its replacement to the Fermi architecture. The current generation of graphics processors are based on a 40nm manufacturing process and have started to hit a performance wall. Whereas, the new 28nm process being developed based on the “Kepler” core is expected to provide much better performance with an improved number of transistors per unit area and better performance per watt as indicated by the graph at the bottom.

Projections for the introduction of Kepler graphics cards are variable, some say the end of this year or at some point during Q4 of 2011, but most agree that it won’t be available on the market until early to mid 2012. AMD is also working away at the same advancements and is expected to release its 28nm video cards next year too.

Attached files

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GTX 580m becomes the fastest mobile GPU

Nvidia has announced that it will be now be selling the fastest graphics processing unit available to the laptop and netbook market. The GTX 580m will be the best they have to offer, supporting top end, high resolution and high performance gaming equivalent in desktop terms to an overclocked GTX 560Ti.

The first two laptops to offer this fantastic new GPU will be two Alienware laptops, the M18x and the M17x. The M18x will also offer SLI GTX 580m’s for superior gaming performance. Nvidia claims up to six times the tesselation performance of any other notebook GPU on the market and 20% better performance per watt than previous generation Nvidia notebook GPU’s.

Nvidia also launched the GTX 570m alongside this card (which is roughly equivalent to a GTX 560 non-Ti) but this has been overshadowed by the launch of the GTX 580m. Lets take a quick look at the specifications of both of these new GPU’s:

GTX 580m:

  • 384 CUDA cores
  • 1240MHz Core Clock
  • 2480MHz Shader Clock
  • 1.5GB GDDR5 256 bit Memory
  • 2 Way SLI Support
  • DX11 Support

GTX 570m:

  • 336 CUDA cores
  • 1150MHz Core Clock
  • 2300MHz Shader Clock
  • 1.5GB GDDR5 192 bit Memory
  • 2 Way SLI Support
  • DX11 Support

Nvidia also picks out some other key features of these new GPU’s such as:

  • Support for NVIDIA 3D Vision technology, the #1 3D experience for notebooks, which automatically converts over 525 titles into immersive 3D.
  • Support for NVIDIA 3DTV Play software, for connecting 3D Vision-based notebooks to 3D TVs.
  • NVIDIA SLI technology, which links two GTX GPUs for up to double your gaming performance.
  • NVIDIA Optimus technology, which enables extra-long battery life by automatically switching on and off the GPU so that it runs only when needed.
  • NVIDIA PhysX engine support, which brings games to life with realistic physics.
  • NVIDIA CUDA architecture support, for GPU computing applications.
  • NVIDIA Verde notebook drivers, for frequent performance improvements and rock-solid stability.

Attached files

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Sapphire new EDGE-HD2 Mini Net Top gets an upgrade

Sapphire have recently updated and upgraded their standard net top PC (Edge-HD mini) as they bring out their HD2 Mini. The HD2 Mini is essentially made up of an Intel Atom Dual Core (D525)@ 1.8Ghz, NVIDIA ION2 graphics using 512MB of memory along with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a tightly-packed 320GB hard disk drive. Of course you can also expect built in Wi-Fi along with your standard LAN, USB’s, VGA and HDMI ports. The Edge-HD2 comes with Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit edition along with a VESA mount making it ideal for a HTPC solution at a cost of 350 Euros.

Coming in at 530g and having dimensions of only 19.3×14.8×2.2cm it is currently the smallest net top available. As it has a dual core processor and ION2 graphic technology even HD video is supported, making it a viable option for a HTPC especially for those who would rather buy a small pre-built set-up that easily mounts onto the back of the TV.

Attached files

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Tt eSports Challenger Ultimate Gaming Keyboard Review

Thermaltake has been a major player in the PC power and cooling industry for many years having produced some legendary products such as the striking Level 10. Today however, I will be taking a look at a much newer venture that Thermaltake has branched into- the Tt eSports range.

Similar to the CM Storm peripherals that Coolermaster has branched into, the Tt eSports range promises to bring the manufacturing and design flair from their other products to your desktop.

Today I will be taking a look at the Tt eSports Challenger Ultimate which is presented as a feature rich gaming keyboard featuring everything a gamer could need, I shall be finding out whether this is the case and how well Thermaltake deliver these features.

The Challenger Ultimate is squarely aimed at the PC gamer that is looking for a good quality keyboard that will allow for vital customisable macro keys that can be the difference between victory and failure in an FPS or MMO. Or the difference between losing your stuff in a lava pit or being able to get back to /spawn in time, or does that only effect me?

Features

  • 256 Colour Backlighting
  • On board audio jacks
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • User interface driver
  • Macro keys
  • Multimedia keys
  • 64KB onboard memory
  • Onboard profile switch
  • Back light brightness switch
  • Hand cooling fan
  • Windows dummy keycaps
  • Detachable cable design
  • 8 Removable keycaps

Keyboard specification

  • Interface: USB
  • Operational systems: WindowsR 7/Vista/XP
  • Number of Macro keys: 14
  • Number of Multimedia keys: 6
  • 2.0 USB port: 2
  • Switch lifecycle: 10 Millions
  • Cable length: 2m braided
  • Body dimension (LxWxH): 505x 195x 27mm

Hand cooling fan specification

  • Fan Speed: 6,000 RPM(±15%)
  • Max. airflow:2.7CFM
  • Noise level:21.7dB
  • Rate voltage: DC 5.0V
  • Life expectancy: 50,000 HRS
  • Body dimension (LxWxH): 30x30x10mm

Wednesday Affiliate News

Cases:

Cooling:

Graphics:

  • Sapphire HD 6450 1 GB Passive @ techPowerUp
  • MSI Radeon HD 6950 Twin Frozr III Review @ Techgage

Miscellaneous:

Motherboard:

Peripherals:

Storage:

  • OCZ RevoDrive 3×2 480GB PCIe SSD Review – 1.5GB/s Read, 1.25GB/s Write & 200, 000 IOPS @ The SSD Review
  • OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCIe SSD Review @ Legit Reviews

Opera 11.5 released

Opera once upon a time was the other browser but since the release and huge success of Google Chrome it has been relegated to say the least. That hasn’t stopped them and as such the latest release brings a number of updates to Opera which they believe brings it in line with its rivals.

Firstly, they have worked tirelessly on improving the interface, making it much more streamlined and lightweight. It has been said that Opera looks like the offspring of Chrome and Firefox (not sure how many of you can visualise that one!). Another interesting feature is password synchronisation via Opera Link which makes sure all your saved passwords are well saved for all your versions of Opera whether it be on the laptop, phone or desktop. The feature Speed Dial, which has been around for a while, has been improved, allowing extensions to be included in the new tab page, as well as frequently visited websites.

It does have to be said that Opera have not tried to be too innovative but rather catch-up with their rivals. That said, Opera does now make more use of its Turbo mode which delivers compressed versions of websites specifically for laptops or phones, which reduces loading times significantly.

While we don’t see huge leaps forward, Opera does have a lot of fans and as this latest release certainly offers improved speed and stability they certainly won’t be complaining.

Attached files

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Microsoft announces full global launch of cloud-based Office 365

Microsoft have finally release the full version of its cloud productivity suite – Office 365. It has taken nine months since they first announced it and a staggering 3 months since public beta. We can only presume they had a few teething problems!

Office 365 is Microsoft’s bid to move itself into the growing companies that are cloud-based service providers, which Google of course has the largest share. Even though Microsoft is still the leading productivity software company, thank to Office, it has still viewed Google’s investment in Google Apps as a major threat and one which required a strong response. Office 365 is Microsoft’s attempt to keep Office as the default choice for professionals and small businesses by making it more bespoke while affordable.

Great collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools that have given big businesses an edge for years.

Microsoft will be hoping that it has done enough to keep itself ahead of the Google alternatives.

Attached files

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Tweet why you love Intel Xeon CPU’s to win SSD’s!

Here at eTeknix we like to give you a heads-up about any nice competitions that our partners or manufacturers are offering. In this case, the competition is by Intel and the prize is TWO Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD’s and yes that is the one and only prize.

The competition is also one of the simplest out there as all you have to do is:

Tweet why you love Intel Xeon processors with #lovexeon and you could win two Intel X25-M 80GB SSDs for the best entry.

Please go to this page for more information, including the Terms and Conditions.

Attached files

intel_lovexeon_website_v6_07.png (29.2 KB)  Intel_SSD_angle.jpg (167.3 KB)

Gigabyte A75M-UD2H Motherboard First Look Preview

Earlier today DHL came and delivered Gigabyte’s newest motherboard on the market; the A75M-UD2H which supports the latest new Llano APU’s from AMD. Whilst AMD have an NDA in place forbidding us to divulge any information on the APU or its performance we were able to take a first look at the motherboard and its main features that it includes.

We would normally produce a lengthy plot of text and pictures in this space but have decided to show you in the form of a high definition video as shown below:

The next couple of days will see us showing the performance of the board and APU together.

Acer announces 16 GB Iconia tablet to improve sales

Acer has unveiled a new 16GB version of its Iconia tablet which has come with a nice price-cut of £100 over its original 32GB version. This is presumably to try and tempt people away from the iPad and other competing products. The 32GB version retailed at £450 which compared to the 32GB version of the Motorola Xoom which sells for £480 and the 32GB iPad 2 retails at a similar price. That said, until now Acer had no answer to the 16GB iPad being retailed at £399.

The £100 price reduction to £350 for 16GB less memory certainly seems like quite a good deal considering it costs Acer no where near an extra £100 to produce the 32GB version. Apple, for instance, have only separated their two models out by £80 so a £350 price tag might start to seem tempting. However, is £350 compared to £399 going to really temp people away from the iPad especially when the iOS is certainly a more polished OS and has certainly had a lot more time to mature in terms of reliability and of course more importantly the App Store.

While Acer seemed to be trying to undercut their competitors they did mention that their sales figures for the A500 and W500 were higher than they had expected. Although that is probably the case with all tablet manufacturers as no one really thought the tablet would take off! The Windows/AMD based W500 has been extremely popular in the business sectors as it allows smoother transitions and syncs between desktop and tablet computers.

Hopefully this kind of price-cut will help improve the competition and it might even in the future force other manufacturers to contemplate lowering their prices. That said, we doubt Apple will buckle!

Attached files

AcerIconiaTabA500.jpg (54 KB)

Sony Vaio Z delivers high-end components into slender form

Some of us have grown up to love Sony Vaio’s. In my mind they are the next best thing to a MacBook – although the difference between them is huge. My point however is that if you have the money to buy a Mac but want a Windows system, a Sony Vaio is the next best thing in terms of design and performance.

Sony have recently announced the Vaio Z which packs a 13.3″ display with a pretty good 1,600*900 resolution. The Vaio Z is just 16.7mm thick and thank to some carbon fibre construction weighs just under 1.2 Kg. Inside you will find the basic specification of a 2.3 GHz i5 2410 CPU and 4GB of DDR3 RAM as well as a 128 GB SSD. The Vaio Z battery life has been quoted at 7 hours although doubling to 14-hours with the larger battery.

The Vaio Z has an optional Power Media Dock connected by ‘Light Peak’ (equivalent of Thunderbolt) which boosts the Vaio Z’s internal graphics with a 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6650M card, as well as an addition of up to a Blu-ray Writer and a few extra USB ports. The PMD also supports 3D output via HDMI.

At this point in time you are probably starting to wonder about prices. Well, with the carbon fibre and ssds built in as standard, prices do start at a staggering £1,434 and this doesn’t include the dock. There are also many optional extra, or for instance you could upgrade the display, double the RAM, add HSDPA connectivity and much much more. Of course, you could also upgrade the CPU to a 2.7 GHZ i7 2620M and if you really do have lots of money then you could upgrade to a 512GB SSD, but we won’t tell you how much that costs as we don’t want you to faint while reading this.

The Power Media Dock while it is an excellent idea is going to cost a minimum of £350 but it does convert a laptop into a desktop. Although you could buy a desktop for that price.

If you have lots of money, then the Vaio Z is on sale now at the Sony Store and will hit retailers shortly. While it is expensive it is a beautiful looking piece of kit that really does pack in some fantastic features and options.

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Antec KUHLER H2O 920 CPU Cooler Review

Cooling your CPU is one of the most important parts of any computer system. Without it you would very quickly make your computer redundant as the CPU would be a bit too toasty for its own liking! Most of the time we rely on air cooling as it is the most readily available heat transfer medium available to us in a case.

Some extreme gamers several years back started looking at ways of cooling a CPU using different transfer mediums such as water or even the extremes of liquid helium and liquid nitrogen (do not try this at home!). It was found, not surprisingly, that they had more cooling potential and were generally more efficient as they could remove more heat from the CPU for the same amount of energy or work done on the physical system. That said, there are a few obvious problems of having water or any other liquid in close contact to electrical components.

For those of you who are not wanting to create an extreme gamer liquid cooled system there have been a various number of liquid cooling systems that are ‘self-contained’. Recently we saw the release of the Antec Kuhler 620 and how this proved to be a fairly popular and certainly a powerful cooler. Today we have its newer big brother, the 920, which is meant to be even better and designed more at the more serious computer user as it is priced at a fair bit higher than its younger brother.

Specifications

  • CPU Socket Compatibility:
    [LIST]
  • Intel LGA 775 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366
  • AMD AM2 / AM3 / AM2+ / AM3+

[*]Included software provides essential tools to control and monitor the KÜHLER H₂O 920
[*]Non-corrugated easy-bend tubes for maximum flexibility in radiator positioning
[*]Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) radiator fans generate the quietest high performance cooling
[*]Customizable RGB LED creates brilliant illumination
[*]Cooling Liquid – Safe, environmentally-friendly, anti-corrosive
[*]Fan Speed: 700 – 2400 RPM (PWM controlled)
[*]Tubing Length: 13.0″ / 330 mm
[*]Radiator Dimensions:

  • 5.6″ (H) x 4.7″ (W) x 1.9″ (D) /
  • 151 mm (H) x 120 mm (W) x 49 mm (D)

[*]Fan Dimensions:

  • 4.7″ x 1.0″ / 120 mm x 25 mm

[*]Air Flow:

  • 110.0 CFM

[*]Noise Level:

  • 43 dBA

[*]Cold Plate + Pump Height:

  • 1.1″ / 29 mm

[*]Net weight:

  • 2.4 lbs / 1.1 kg

[*]Gross weight:

  • 3.5 lbs / 1.6 kg

[*]AQ3 – Antec Quality 3 year limited warranty on parts and labor
[/LIST]

Tuesday Affiliate Roundup

Cases:

Graphics:

  • HIS Radeon HD6970 IceQ Turbo GFX card reviewed @ Metku.net

Memory:

  • Corsair Dominator 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz C7 Memory Kit Review @ Legit Reviews

Miscellaneous:

Motherboard:

  • Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Socket 1155 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
  • ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Performance (Intel P67) Motherboard Review @ TweakTown

Peripherals:

Power Supply:

Storage:

  • Patriot Wildfire 120GB Solid State Drive Review @ TweakTown

Crysis 2 DX 11 patch finally released along with other graphical updates

Well today marks a very long awaited day for PC gaming enthusiasts and Crysis fans around the world. Crytek and EA have finally sent out the the DirectX 11 upgrade patch allowing users to now take full advantage of their new high end graphics cards and allowing them to enjoy Crysis 2 in all it’s graphical glory!

The DirectX 11 upgrade patch allows users to run the game in DX 11 mode as well as adding in some graphical improvements and performance optimizations for both DX11 and DX9 graphics cards.

Great news for Crysis 2 players using DX9 graphics cards is that they also receive a performance boost and graphics improvement.

When using the new “Ultra” spec, DX9 platforms will benefit from real-time local reflections and contact shadows.

Users with DX11 cards will be able to enjoy multiple graphics improvements as well as support for hardware tessellation.

The owners of DX11 platforms, in addition, will be able to enjoy hardware tessellation (requires the installation of the “DX11 Ultra Upgrade”), parallax occlusion mapping and several improvements for shadows, water, particles, depth of field and motion blur.

Well done EA for releasing this much anticipated patch (albeit much later than expected).

The updates don’t just stop at the DirectX 11 upgrade though. Crysis 2 gamers will also be able to take advantage of a new high resolution texture pack which will greatly improve the general aesthetic quality of the game from shadows to objects and much more. This patch is resource hungry though! You will need a graphics card with at least 768MB of VRAM and 64-bit Windows Vista or 7.

You can download the patches via these links (It is best to install the V1.9 patch first which will automatically install when you launch the game):

Attached files

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Enermax announce an external USB powered case fan

The Enermax U.R.VEGAS USB fan with rubber frame is a rather revolutionary product and something that not many manufactures, if any have attempted before. It is an external cooling fan!

The 120mm Red LED fan features a rubber frame and USB power connection. It offers extreme mobility and the flexibility to be moved whenever necessary. The fan can also work when mounted externally onto a case and held in position via a skin pad with magnets. A meshed fan guard is used to avoid any unwanted injuries and the fan blades are detachable for easy cleaning.

The U.R. Vegas has a maximum speed of 1250RPM, air flow of 52.51CFM and maximum noise of 21dBA. The MTBF is 100,000 hours showing the fan should be good quality.

As of yet, there is no word on pricing, but we expect more information to be revealed very soon.

More information on the Enermax U.R. Vegas USB Fan can be found on the manufacturer page here.

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Quad Core APU’s only

The NDA and Press embargo on AMD’s fusion APU processors is due to be lifted on Thursday 30th June and it is expected that they will reveal the launch of the A6 and A8 fusion processors only. This means that the other APU’s the A4’s and E2’s are not going to be released until a later date.

By Monday the 4th of July most e-tailers and computer stockists will start to receive the first of the new stock. It is not even certain if AMD will release the entire A6 and A8 ranges of processors, it may take a while longer for the higher end models to be tweaked first, much like with how the Phenom II 980 and 970 took over a year longer than some of the lower end models like the 940 and 955.

However, this is not concrete yet, stick around for AMD’s official press release on Thursday after the Non-Disclosure Agreement expires.

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MSI showcases GT780 gaming laptop

MSI has finally released its gaming laptop that packs a huge performance punch. It has amazing specifications given the fact it is a laptop and would probably outperform a lot of desktop systems.

MSI is implementing a turbo hotkey technology whereby pressing a button above the keyboard will increase clock speeds and therefore performance of all your components and also increase fan speeds to ensure appropriate cooling.

The specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2630QM
  • GPU: GTX 560m 1.5GB
  • Memory: Up to 16GB DDR3
  • Storage: Various combinations of two different drives see attached table for more details.
  • Screen: 17.3″ LED 1920by1080 or 1600by900

The gaming laptop also comes with a steel series gaming keyboard which has been optimised for gamers and has up to 5 different lighting patterns including one which lights up the left side of the keyboard around the WASD area which is crucial for gaming. USB 3.0 also comes with this gaming laptop and MSI stresses the potential gains to be had here by using external USB 3.0 storage, 10 times faster and provides 80% more power for USB based charging.

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msi gaming laptop specs.jpg (78.7 KB)  msigaminglaptop.jpg (53 KB)