Sapphire to debut HD 7970 with 1335MHz core clock

According to the latest confidential company document leaked from Sapphire they will be knocking out no less than six non reference HD 7970 graphics cards. The six models are the Da Original, Dual-Fan 3G, VaporX 3G, Flex 6G, Toxic 3G, Atomic WC and Atomic RX. The top of the line ‘Atomic’ models will pack huge clocks of 1335MHz on the core and 5735MHz on the memory. The RX model is likely to be air cooled with a Vapor chamber style cooling and the WC model is likely to be a watercooled unit.

In addition to the Atomic super clocked cards the ‘Flex 6G’ stands out as it will pack a huge 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM on stock AMD clocks of 925MHz core. This card is said to have 6 mini display ports for 6-monitor support. While the VaporX and Toxic models will both come with factory overclocks, with the Toxic model being clocked higher.

Source: ChipHell

Aqua Computer now offering the first waterblock for the Radeon HD 7970

While it has yet to arrive on the market, Aqua Computer went ahead and now offers the first waterblock designed for the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, the AquagrATIx.

This waterblock will fully cover the main heat-producing part of the PCB, aka the obverse side of the PCB, including cover for the GPU, RAM and VRM in order to provide full cooling. Mainly made out of copper, the block features a stainless steel cover, obviously for the looks.

While the article is still in production, the estimated lead time is of 21 days. The waterblock will fit on the HD 7970 and 7950 and comes along the two standard G1/4″ threads for the inlet and outlet while the fittings have to be bought separately.

Now available for pre order, the AquagrATIx is priced at €89.90. As for the quality, well Aqua Computer is a German company, so that pretty much tells whole the story.

LG plans on unveiling the largest 3D Ultra Definition TV at CES 2012

After unveiling a 55″ OLED panel, LG has announced their plan to formally unveil the largest 3D Ultra Definition TV at CES 2012.

This beast is an 84″ TV with 8 million pixels, a resolution of 3840×2160, three times the resolution clarity of existing Full HD TV panels.

It doesn’t stop there, LG integrated its own Slim and Narrow Bezel Design as well as 3D Depth Control, a feature that allows users to control the 3D effects to provide the freedom of customising the viewing experience. The 3D Sound Zooming will also provide 3D sound rivalling the output of all but the best home theatre systems.

Thanks to the superior display panel, the users will be able to access LG’s Smart TV ecosystem, offering over 1,200 apps and giving users access to a growing range of premium content services such as the 3D Zone where viewers can select from a wide array of 3D movies.

An embedded 2D to 3D conversion engine will expand the availability of 3D content to a whole new level.

All the contents of the Smart TV ecosystem will be navigable through he use of the ergonomically-designed Magic Remote, now recognizing four different types of command input: Voice Recognition, Wheel, Magic Gesture and Point.

While the price will certainly reflect the features and technologies integrated in this TV, the 3D Ultra Definition TV will provide those lucky enough (read: rich enough) one the most convincing 3D viewing experience currently available outside of a movie theatre.


EK makes another announcement

Although this time the problem doesn’t emerge from their part, they’re announcing some type of issue with the GTX 580 from EVGA and their waterblocks.

According to their announcement, the latest EVGA GeForce GTX 580 graphics card appear to have no integrated heat spreader (IHS) on the GPU core. Since there is no way to know the difference between the old GPUs, the ones featuring IHS, and the new GPUs, the ones without IHS (only a protective shim around the core), due to the fact that they both feature the same product number, it is necessary to remove the heatsink fan assembly to visually inspect the circuit board.

They are warning costumers to check their graphics card prior to purchasing either the EK-FC580 GTX+ series or the EK-FC580 GTX DirectGPU series waterblock.

The currently known affected models are:

  • 015-P3-1580
  • 015-P3-1582

In addition to this, the EK Team also wishes us a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”, how nice of them.

Source: Press Release

Even more details for the HD 7000 series

After more than a couple of details were revealed/leaked including the high-end HD 7990 specs and price, as well as the HD 7770 and HD 7750, and some unconvincing leaks for the HD 7950, even more informations have come out.

First off is news about Tahiti which in addition to the HD 7900 series, could also appear in a LE version, branded HD 7890. It would pack 1.5GB of memory, 1536 stream processors, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 216GB/s memory bus. Price-wise, the SRP is $399, $150 less than the XT version of Tahiti, this one should also show up in March.

Same goes for Pitcairn, as it turns out, a LE version will also make its way with the HD 7790 brand. Packing 1GB of memory, 1152 stream processors, 72 texture units and 24 ROPs, it will feature a memory bandwidth of 144GB/s and be priced at $199.

As mentioned in previous reports, Pitcairn PRO will also find its way in March, but the card could feature either 1GB or 2GB of memory for the respective price of $219 and $249.

While it doesn’t close the case, we have a nice premier look at what to expect, even though these specs may not be definitive, it certainly gives a nice preview.

AMD has had a lot of news coverage regarding its 28nm lineup, Nvidia on the other hand has rarely been heard recently. AMD is certainly talking business, it may be time for Nvidia to try and catch up…unless everything has been planned out long before.

For more information, here is a table laying out all the informations.

Source 1; Source 2

HiCookie takes 3930K to 5.6GHz

HiCookie is one of the best known overclockers out there at the moment. And lately he has been pushing the new Sandy Bridge-E processors to their limits. Using a Gigabyte board to help salvage Gigabyte’s tarnished reputation HiCookie managed to take the i7 3930K to 5.643GHz on a Gigabyte UD3 motherboard. The Gigabyte board features the latest F7 BIOS which doesn’t make your motherboard blow up.

The other parts used were some Kingston HyperX RAM and a Corsair AX1200W power supply. The 5.643GHz overclock was constructed using a 99MHz base clock and 57 multiplier. To show the stability of the overclock a couple of Pi related tests were run.

PiFast – 13.02 seconds

SuperPi 32m – 6min 8sec 516ms

SuperPi 1m- 6sec 640ms

Source: Tom’s Hardware

Microsoft releases an emergency Windows 7 update

Microsoft has recently released a fix for a vulnerability in the .NET Framework. This is a rare and out-of-band update that comes weeks before the next regularly scheduled “Patch Tuesday” of mid-January.

This update however, is rather urgent, as it addresses a flaw that could allow attackers to exploit hash tables to perform a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against a website built with Microsoft’s ASP.NET application framework.

Usually, these attacks require thousands of malware-controlled systems in a botnet to overwhelm a site with requests, but this opening would allow an attacker to cripple a vulnerable site by sending a certain type of HTTP request, each consuming 100% of one CPU core, meaning the greater the requests, the higher the number of CPU power gained by the attacker.

“Attacks targeting this type of vulnerability are generically known as hash collision attacks,” said Microsoft.

The company also added that such a flaw is not specific to Microsoft’s Web services, but it also affects PHP 5, Java, .NET, v8 and even PHP 4, Ruby and Python. The people behind these platforms will release updates soon, but the holidays will dampen these efforts.


More leaks and 3DMark benchmarks of the Radeon HD 7770

Beginning of last week, we saw some leaked pictures of the mid-range Radeon HD 7770 graphics card based on the Southern Islands architecture. Yesterday, we reported some specs and prices as well. Today however, we see a couple more pictures, but also benchmarks.

Thanks to bigpao007 from ChipHell, we get a premier look at what to expect form the upcoming product. The test setup was composed of an Ivy Bridge ES CPU Core i5-3550K at 3.3 GHz on a Z77 chipset-based motherboard.  The driver used throughout the test was the AMD Catalyst 8.940 RC2.

Here are the results:

3DMark 06
HD7770 (Stock @ 1Ghz): 18143 3D Marks (SM2.0: 6785/HDR: 8086/CPU: 6390)

3DMark 11 (Performance Preset)
HD7770 (Stock @ 1Ghz): P3421 (3138 Graphics Score)

3DMark 11 (Extreme Preset)
HD7770 (Stock @ 1Ghz): X1077 (965 Graphics Score)

As well as the screenshots that come along:


AMD’s A8-3870K reaches 5.87GHz/1.32GHz overclock

A Japanese overclocker has put the A8-3870K through its paces with the help of some liquid nitrogen cooling. He went all out on both the GPU and CPU going for the highest possible clocks, that were stable enough to post and boot. The CPU overclock was 96% taking it from a stock clock of  3GHz to 5.87GHz while the GPU clock surpassed double and went from 600MHz to 1327MHz. All of this was done with an absolutely brutal core voltage of 1.872V which probably killed the chip.

The overclocker claimed that his feat is “probably the world’s best”, though, like some of the most unstable suicide-runs, the system was too unstable to run benchmarks. The rest of the test bench include an ASUS F1A75-V Pro motherboard, G.Skill RipjawsZ memory and a Silverstone PSU.

Source: AKIBA PC Hotline

Intel planning 3 new Sandy Bridge processors without onboard graphics

The Lacklustre performance of Intel HD Graphics. From

All of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors bring either Intel HD 2000 or HD 3000 graphics to the table. But very often these have been a total waste of time, particularly in core i5 models or better. This is because enthusiasts nearly always tend to pair a high end CPU with a graphics card. So now Intel is responding and delivering three models without the IGP (integrated graphics processor). All will belong to the mid range Core i5 family and the one that is probably of interest to most is the Core i5 2550K which will be a higher clocked 2500K without the IGP.

The i5 2380P has clocks of 3.1/3.4 GHz and the i5 2450P clocks at 3.2/3.5 GHz, both without an IGP. Both have locked multipliers and 95W TDP. No pricing and availability yet on all 3 of these models but its nice to see Intel has finally recognised the market for mainstream performance processors without terrible IGPs which waste space and power.

Source: VR-Zone


Silicon Power launches the LuxMini 720, once again in various colours

Silicon Power has launched a wide array of flash drives, recently its latest addition was the LuxMini 720, another storage utility that could pass for a fashion accessory.

Featuring a combination between an exquisite metallic casing, a silk-shine exterior and a perfect circular arc, the LuxMini presents a unique modernistic look. Available in three colours – peach, deep blue and bronze – this flash drive will not only store data, but it will represent the consumers’ individualities through the language of design.

Easy to carry, the LuxMini comes in various capacities, from 4 to 32 GB, it allows instant plug and play and is compliant with the RoHS requirement conforming the trend of environmental awareness.

Measuring 54.6 x 16.8 x 7.2 mm and weighting 10 g, it uses a USB 2.0 interface and supports all version of Windows starting from Win98, Mac OS 9.0 and higher as well as Linux 2.4.0.

As with every Silicon Power flash drive, the LuxMini 720 comes with a lifetime warranty and includes a SP Widget application providing seven major back up and security tools, as well as a 60-day free trial of Norton Antivirus 2011.

Pricing and availability remain unknown.

Source: Press Release

Sharkoon launches an internal USB 3.0 adapter

Sharkoon Technologies is offering even more USB 3.0 goodness, after a front panel model, the company is now offering the accessory most people with USB 3.0 pass-through on their cases have been looking for, the USB 3.0 Internal Adapter.

While it may not be the first, it’s one of the only to offer this kind of adapter in the form of a simple PCB, with the front panel header on one side and the 2-port type-A USB 3.0 port on the other.

This is certainly an accessory for those who bought their cases when manufacturers came out with chassis featuring only USB 3.0 connectivity that would have to stick out the back of your computer.

Now available, this product doesn’t even break the bank, priced at €5.99, it’s more than an affordable accessory.


Biostar officially launches the TPower X79 motherboad

Biostar, the Taiwanese manufacturer, has recently launched its first LGA2011 motherboard, officially this time (first unveiling proved to a leak), the TPower X79, aimed at enthusiasts, overclockers and gamers.

Using an ATX form factor, it supports Intel’s Sandy Bridge E processors, features a 9-phase power design, an 8-layer, 2 oz copper PCB, four DDR3-2400 memory slots and three PCI-Express x16 3.0 slots, allowing for multi GPU CrossFireX and SLI setups.

Also included is a 8-pin EPS connectors, one PCI and two PCIe x1 slots, two internal USB 3.0, three SATA 3.0 Gbps and four SATA 6.0 Gbps ports. Being and enthusiast board you’ll also find features such as a debug LED, UEFI BIOS, an on-board Power, Reset, and Clear CMOS buttons.

On the rear I/O, you’ll find a two USB 2.0 ports, six USB 3.0, 7.1-channel audio with coaxial, one eSATA connector, Gigabit Ethernet as well a PS/2 connector for your mouse or keyboard.

While price hasn’t been given, this new motherboard should become available sometime next month.


Akasa introduces a multi-functional 5.25″ enclosure

Akasa has recently introduced the HDM-23, a multi-utility 5.25″ drive enclosure.

Obviously, this enclosure occupies a 5.25″ drive bay, but it converts it into a variety of functions. You can use it for an exposed 3.5″ bay or a discrete 2.5″ bay for your SSD.

With the 3.5″ bay, you can place a fan controller, a media card reader, or even a floppy disk drive if you still use those. You can also use it for an extra HDD.

The enclosure also features mounting holes to hold drives in the 2.5″ form factor, as found on most SSDs today.

Additionally, you can find mounting holes on the underside to attach a 140mm fan to expand the cooling capacity of your case.

The HDM-23 is as big as an optical drive and will be priced at ¥880 ($11) when it reaches the stores in late January 2012.



HD 7770 & 7750 to be the cheap 28nm GPU of the lot early next year

For those of you who thought they had to wait longer to be able to obtain the more affordable section of AMD’s Radeon HD 7xxx series, well, you might get what you wanted a little earlier.

How much earlier you ask? Well if you can hold onto your wallet until February, that’s when it’s all planned to launch.

Starting of with the cheapest of them, the HD 7750, based on Cape Verde PRO, it’ll be clocked at 900 MHz with 832 shaders, 52 TMUs and 16 ROPs. The 1GB of memory will be clocked at an effective 5.0 GHz for a total of 80 GB/s of bandwidth.

While not offering performances comparable to the 7900 series, it does over quite an affordable price at $139.

Next up the ‘food chain’ is the HD 7770, this time based on Cape Verde XT, it should also be clocked at 900 MHz, feature 896 stream processors, 56 texture units and 16 ROPs. The memory is trimmed to a 128-bit interface, offering 1GB of memory clocked at 1375 MHz, 5.5 GHz effective, the bandwidth is at 88 GB/s.

Offering a small boost in performances, this version will be for 10 bucks more, $149.

Now, between the ‘entry’, and the ‘extreme’, there’s what we could call the ‘mainstream’, the Pitcairn cards will be the model to go to. The Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 will feature a higher memory bus of 256-bit, as well as some higher clocks, they will sell for $299 and $249 respectively.

For all we know, all the cards mentioned above should be introduced in February, but we won’t know that for sure until AMD decides to reveal them themselves.


Intel to bring Thunderbolt support to Z77 chipset and boards

Intel is set to introduce Thunderbolt support within the 7-series chipset which will allow all motherboard providers to incorporate Thunderbolt support into their motherboards if they wish. Intel is leading the way with its first Z77 Thunderbolt-ready board which will be the DZ77RE.

The DZ77RE will be part of Intel’s Extreme series range of motherboards. In fact Thunderbolt support will only available within the Extreme series not the Media series of motherboards where there is the most demand for Thunderbolt devices.

None of the supposed Media Series boards from Intel’s 7-series chipset based Desktop Board lineup is listing Thunderbolt support, when it’s the content-creation industry that stands to be the primary user of the interface. Thunderbolt facilitates ultra-high bandwidth for multiple lossless high-resolution video streams which will help in tomorrow’s video-editing systems.

Source: TechPowerUpExpreview and DonanimHaber.

Hitachi LifeStudio Desk Plus 2TB External Hard Drive Review

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Hitachi are classed as one of the biggest manufacturer’s on the market for many products in the retail world today, and with a division devoted to hard drives and storage, they have offered storage solutions for many years in an extremely competative market.

Part of this market is for the mainstream user who wants a simple plug and play device that can house their collection of data, which generally consists of music, movies and artwork images and this is where external hard drives that perch on your desk really come into action.

Obviously a drive like this is aimed at the user wanting a nice plethora of storage at their disposal and with lots of competition on the market, we hope that this product will give a slight edge over other drives on the market. When looking at a storage drive, most people would dish out the cash on an internal drive, but external still have their uses when it comes to transportation when all you have to do is unplug a few leads and stick it in your bag to take to work or even a friends house.

Also with USB getting faster as technology moves on, and motherboards incorporating more and more ports, it means that a drive like the one we’re looking at today gives that certain edge over an interal drive when it comes to connectivity.

We was half expecting this drive to follow suit with other products on the market from the likes of Buffalo and Lacie with a very standard design. Fortunately, this product has a little bit more to offer in the styling department with an ‘L’ shaped design that lets the drive sit upright on a desk, coupled with a piano black shell, makes this a product that people will gawp at.

The drive itself measures in at 18cm.09 x 12.33cm x 8.27cm and comes in the choice of 500GB 1TB and 2TB varients, though the 500GB is less commonly seen in the retail sector.

A unique feature is that the drive includes a section for an included USB key drive and sits on the front of the dock via a magnetized mechanism. With a light on the top of the drive and on the USB key too, you’re able to see exactly when the drive is in use and is working hard at transferring your important files, though it can get a bit annoying after a while of seeing that flickering light.

The USB key attaches to the front of the dock and connects through the drives USB interface to be read. It still has a traditional USB connection if using the supplied flash drive without the use of the LifeStudio.

Looking at the connections on the rear of the drive, we find a mini USB which connects into your computer via a standard USB on the other end. Also on the rear of the drive is a 12V DC power input port and space for a Kensington Security Lock to give that piece of mind if using this device in your office.


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Taking a look at how the drive performs, we sadly don’t hold high hope and that comes down to the slow and ever-ageing USB 2.0 interface that it connects through. With this in mind, it’s still part of our process to show you some figures, so let’s get to it.

Starting with the drive itself, coming in at 2Tb with a USB 2.0 interface, you can’t expect miracles, though we do like the idea and concept around the device, and we can see it being aimed at users with multiple small files, such as documents, opposed to movies and music which generally are a lot larger in size.

As expected, we didn’t see the rear or write speed peak over 35MB/s but the drive did remain consistent across all allocation file sizes.

Now moving on to the USB flash drive, which is in the same boat due to the interfaced used.

Sadly the USB flash drive performed a lot worse than we anticipated at 12MB/s write speeds and 16MB/s read speeds when looking at the larger file size tests such as 1024.

Many consumers may be put off by the slower interface compared to other offerings using an eSATA connection, but for all around compatibility, USB is always going to be the favored choice and is by far the most convenient. Though, this is only the case due to the lack of eSATA on a lot of computers today.

From research, it also shows that the typical customer of a drive like this, is going to use it for exporting documents such as word files and small pictures (much like ourselves) so speed isn’t always the main factor when compared to the storage size vs cost.

Also by having a dockable USB key included, it does open up the avenue for a little bit more storage and the ability for multiple purposes including as a boot drive in our case.

When you really get down to it though, a 7200RPM drive encased in a stylish, sleek black shell at a reasonable price of £105 is something that can’t be moaned at and brushed to the side,especially with the price of internal hard drives at an all time high, the external solution still offers a lot better value for money and that’s reflected, when you look at the price difference between the 1TB and 2TB models of this drive.

Though the unit isn’t as fast as we’d hoped for, it does have a good concept and looks stylish no matter what, and with a cheap price at the moment compared to internal equivalents, we’ve had to give it our Innovation Award, because it is simply that; innovative.


Galaxy introduces Laser GT solid state drives

Galaxy’s reputation is build on the foundation of being an Nvidia card manufacturer. However, it is looking to diversify. Starting with a relatively safe market Galaxy is selling ‘it’s own’ solid state drives but in reality they will be produced by an OEM and rebranded as very few companies actually make their own solid state drives.

Galaxy’s Laser GT solid state drives are built into the standard 2.5″ form factor and on the latest SATA III interface with 550/500 MB/s on read and write. The drive packs 31-40K IOPs and uses MLC NAND with a 5000 rewrite cycle lifespan. The 120 GB Laser GT variant is priced at 1,399 RMB, that’s about US $221.

Source: Expreview

ASUS introduce USB speakers and headset

ASUS has announced two new USB sound products, the MS-100 compact USB stereo speaker set, and HS-W1 wireless USB headset. Both are designed with sharp, striking looks, fantastic audio quality and a pure Plug ‘n Play design, but with a minimal size that’s easily packed and to traveled with.

MS-100 USB Speaker

The MS-100 is a compact stereo USB speaker set, powered entirely by a USB 2.0 (or 3.0) port, yet still capable of providing punchy sound without distortion. Its minimalist and strong Art Deco cone design mimics the classic speaker shape, making them a perfect feature for any home or office environment. Meanwhile inside, its large 54 mm speaker drivers can generate up to 93 dB of sound with less than 3% distortion for its rich highs, thumping mids and full low tones.

No additional software driver is required on Windows Vista or Windows 7 machines, making it suitable for any desktop or laptop that needs an immediate sound boost.

ASUS have not provided a picture yet unfortunately.

HS-W1 Wireless USB Headset

Providing clear, crisp sound in total comfort, the HS-W1 headset is built with large 70 mm leather earpads for long lasting, natural comfort. The 2.4 GHz wireless technology used with the HS-W1 headset allows CD quality sound (44.1 KHz/16-bit, uncompressed) to be transmitted from the tiny USB dongle to the headset, while also offering twice the remote distance of Bluetooth audio. Combined with the acoustic tuned 40 mm drivers with a built-in equalizer, it promotes voice tones and fine details, with a hint of extra bass punch where it’s needed.

The noise filtering microphone highlights speech tones, while its simple rotate-to-mute design is ideal compared to blindly searching for a small button while you’re on-call. The large on-ear volume controls also make it easily adjustable with a simple tap, without the hassle of a small and fiddly in-line remote.

With up to 8 hours operating time on its in-built rechargeable battery, the light 170 g folding design and bundled touring case means the HS-W1 is an ideal travel companion.



Wireless Technology: Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz advanced 2-way digital transmission
Distance of Use: Up to 15 meters
Headset Speaker: 40 mm, ultra-high performance
Headset Mic: Noise cancellation clarity
Frequency Response: 20 ~ 20 kHz
Listening Time: Up to 8 hours
Battery Type: Lithium polymer
Product Dimensions: 180 x 175 x 65 mm
Weight: 170 g


Speaker Driver Dimension: 54 mm high performance
Frequency Response: 100 Hz~ 20 KHz
RMS: 2x 1.5 W
Power Supply: 500 mA powered by USB (power-adapter free)
Connection: USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 compatible)
Product Dimensions: 152 x 104 x 133 mm

Source: Press Release

RunCore to unveil encrypted solid state drives at CES 2012

The Chinese firm RunCore has given a sneak peak of what it intends to unveil at CES 2012. To the unknowing eyes these solid state drives appear pretty standard in the current market. Featuring a SATA III interface, read/write speeds of 540/500 MB/s and a Marvell controller. They also come in the standard 2.5″ form factor with a standard SSD design.

There will be three models named Xapear, Falcon and Pro V 7mm which will all feature slight variations in speed. The model that is of particular interest is the Xapear model. It uses AES128 bit encryption technology and RFID (radio-frequency identification) support so as to ensure a high level of data security. The real flash bit (the irony) is the ability to self-erase your solid state drive via a mobile phone command and less excitingly you can also check the SSD status using the mobile phone too.

Source: TechPowerUp

Danger Den introduce new M6 CPU waterblock

Danger Den announced the release for sale the new highest performing CPU waterblock, the DD-M6 CPU Block with shipments beginning January 2nd, 2012.

The DD-M6 CPU Block replaces the long running MC-TDX block improving upon the performance and reliability. Thermal performance is significantly improved while maintaining a low flow restriction design. Available in solid copper and brass parts that are non-plated or nickel plated. A new and improved mounting system is also part of the DD-M6 CPU block package allowing reliable mounting pressure in an attractive package.

“Danger Den released a CPU block that we are proud of. Improved performance, built like a tank, and almost 100% produced in the US. The Top Plate, Mid Plate, Hold Down Plate, Hold Down parts are all machined in our facility or within 50 miles of Danger Den”, said Jeremy Burnett Danger Den’s President, adding “ The hold down package has been significantly improved for the LGA 2011 socket and previous socket versions. It looks great and makes the mounting process simple for the consumer.”

Developing a solidly constructed CPU block was imperative to the Danger Den product line. It provides the protection and reliability that customers demand. Danger Den does intend to offer a lexan version for the customers that prefer the aesthetics of a clear block.

Stock and availability for the Intel Sockets including the LGA 2011 is January 2nd, 2012. The AMD version is to follow in two weeks.

MSRP & Product Page Links:

Source: Press Release

Intel finally launches the Cedar Trail platform

Cedar Trail has been plagued by extensive delays arising from significant graphics problems and after a lot of waiting Cedar Trail is finally here… so what does Cedar Trail actually bring to the market?

Well the Atom architecture has had a substantial redesign using the latest 32nm production process. This has enabled Intel to pack atom chips with higher clock speeds and yet reduce power consumption by 20%. Intel has updated the graphics too, the newer media engine inside the graphics controller supports full HD and Blu Ray playback. The graphics engine is still at DX9 after unfixable driver issues with DX10 and above but has been improved with the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 based on the PowerVR SGX 545 from Imagination Technologies.

Intel’s new Atoms also bring more display output options (HDMI, DisplayPort), Intel Wireless Display capabilities, the Rapid Start Technology enabling fast resume from standby mode, and the Smart Connect Technology which will update email, Twitter and RSS feeds automatically, even in sleep mode.

There are four models coming out:

  • N2600, 2 cores at 1.6GHz, 3.5W TDP, 4 threads.
  • N2800, 2 cores at 1.86GHz, 6.5W TDP, 4 threads.
  • D2500, 2 cores at 1.83GHz, 10W TDP, 2 threads.
  • D2700, 2 cores at 2.13GHz, 10W TDP, 4 threads.

Systems based on the Cedar Trail platform are expected to arrive early next year from the likes of Asus, Samsung, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Toshiba and others.

Source: TechPowerUp

Zalman starts selling its new aluminium-rubber mousepad

Zalman has started selling its new mousepad, the AMP1000.

This mouse pad uses a combination of anodized aluminium and rubber to provide a surface optimized for all kinds of mice with resolutions above 1000 DPI.

With its smooth matte-black finish, the surface presents a balance between speed and control to fit into anyone’s applications.

To top things off, a shiny chrome line frames it for additional style. It uses no fabrics and is even spill resistant.

The mouse pad measures 210 x 297 x 3 mm (WxHxD) and weights 668 g. Even though featuring a rubberised base, it’s equipped with rubber feet to provide additional grip.

The AMP1000 is now available in Japanese stores for the price of ¥3,800, approximately $49.

For more information, please refer to the official product page.


Gigabyte updates LGA 775 boards as demand grows

For a large proportion of computer users the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ principle applies and this is certainly the case with Intel’s LGA 775 platform. Even though Intel are discontinuing LGA 775 there is still substantial demand for the remaining stock which is falling in price as retailers look to clear stock. This combined with the relatively high prices of DDR2 compared to DDR3 (4GB DDR2 ~£40 and 4GB DDR3 ~£20) has made a lot of people look to getting a DDR3 capable LGA 775 board.

Consequently Gigabyte have updated a popular LGA 775 board (GA-EG41MFT-US2H) that has DDR3 support, as for many customers it is cheaper to buy a new board and some DDR3 than it is to invest in some high density DDR2 modules for an existing board. Not to mention the fact DDR3 RAM brings lower power consumption and better bandwidth.

The new board features improved quality VRM in a 3+1 Phase and an updated Ethernet chip to bring improved speed and stability. In addition to that everything else remains the same :

‘The processor is wired to Intel’s G41 northbridge. Surprisingly, its graphics controller gives out an HDMI connection apart from DVI and D-Sub. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 8 GB of memory. Expansion slots include two PCI, one each of PCI-Express 1.1 x16 and PCIe x1. The ICH7 southbridge drives four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and an IDE connector. The gigabit ethernet controller has been updated to RTL8111E, from the 8111D found on the older revision. Other features include 8-channel HD audio, Firewire, FDC, COM, and a number of USB 2.0 ports’

So if you have a DDR2 LGA 775 board, now has never been a better time to buy an upgrade to DDR3 as prices fall on LGA 775 boards, processors and DDR3 RAM.

Source: TechPowerUp

Tranquil launches its latest MMC-12 Media Centre PC

Tranquil, a British PC maker specializing in small and silent PCs, has revealed its latest media centre PC, the MMC-12.

This new PC is bound to give current home video players a run for their money, this slim 1.5″ form factor PC packs an Intel Core Sandy Bridge processor ranging from i3 to i7 depending on the costumers choice.

Milled out of blocks of metal, the body features a satin-textured matte finish, a very stylish design, something very well thought off from Tranquil who has rarely been so design-oriented before.

The front panel features few, although how could you with such a small area. Other than the power button, it’s equipped with a slot-in optical drive, leaving the costumer the choice between DVD or Blu-ray.

Not much information has been given other than what you’ve just read, all we know is that Tranquil has a good reputation in its field, except when it comes to price, something you might want to watch out for on this product.


ASKTech introduces an entirely fanless mini-ITX HTPC chassis


ASKTech, a Japanese company, recently introduced its latest ultra-compact fanless mini-ITX case; the NT-TX3000BK.

The case is designed to sit in your living room, while in the end, it’s the costumers choice, this chassis is the perfect HTPC. It measures 295 x 270 x 76 mm (WxDxH) and can hold  a mini-ITX motherboard with Intel LGA775, 1155 or 1156. The case is limited to these sockets as well as CPUs with TDP under 65W due to the limitations of the power supply and the included heatsink.

This limitation comes partially from the cooler, dubbed ZENO for zero noise, it consists of a base with retention module from which two sets of heatpipes emerge and lead to the two sides of the case where the heat is passively dissipated. The body of this fanless chassis acts as an entire heatsink for the CPU.

To ease installation, the location of the base can be adjusted, same can be done for the contact of the heatpipes on the side of the case. This allows the user not to worry about the location of the CPU.

As for the second limitation, the 100W power supply is external to the case and can be used either directly on a 12V supply featured on some motherboard, or can be used with the additional PCB that sits inside the case and converts the power to 24+4 pin ATX connectors.

As for the included features, unfortunately no optical drives can be installed, although the case supports two 2.5″ drives, includes a low profile-PCI slot as well as two USB 2.0 inputs on the rear.

In addition, the NT-TX3000BK comes bundled with a Windows Media Centre-compliant remote control and its USB receiver.

Pricing and availability haven’t been mentioned.

For more information please refer to the official product page.

Source: Press Release

AMD’s Radeon HD 7990 to come out in March 2012 for an ‘unpleasant’ price

As was announced last week, the Radeon HD 7990 will be the successor for today’s dual-GPU HD 6990, while the release date seems to have changed, and therefore is rather uncertain, the price tag keeps the same high value as with its predecessor.

When AMD launched their first 28nm GPU, the Radeon HD 7970 was announced to be priced at $549 once it would be released on January 9, 2012. While the HD 7990 will pack two chips from the HD 7970, the price won’t be double that of the latter, but will get close enough to make a decent hole in your wallet. The Radeon HD 7990 would be priced at $849 and said to be planned for a March 2012 release.

As for the specs, not much as changed since the last report, the HD 7990 will pack 2x3GB of GDDR5 memory running at 5GHz effective, with the PCB proudly equipped with two Tahiti chips clocked at 850MHz, resulting in 2×2048 stream processors, 2×128 texture units and 2x32ROPs.

While these price may easily change, as we’ve seen, the first listings for the HD 7970 prior to the announcement added over 100 bucks on the price tag, although 100 more or 100 less, seeing where the HD 7970 stands at the moment, it’s obvious the dual-GPU HD 7990 will be priced much higher.