After releasing their poor 2015 financial results, AMD does have some more good news coming out for 2016. As most of you will already know, AMD’s upcoming Zen CPUs will launch and become available sometime in late 2016, likely towards the tail end. As part of the financial release, CEO Lisa Su revealed some key details about the Zen timeline. Chief among them is that Zen will be available for OEM partners to ship high-end PCs before the end of the year.
For the past few launches, AMD has suffered from issues of short initial supply, driving up costs for fans and other early adopters. This meant even if AMD has a great product, customers simply could get it and others may be turned away by the inflated prices. OEM partners tend to require and ship a whole lot more CPUs and systems than DIY builders. If AMD is able to supply the OEMs with adequate numbers of Zen chips, it should mean that DIY builders will also be able to purchase them without issue, making for a smooth launch with plenty of product.
OEMs being able to ship Zen systems by years end also points to the fact that Zen will likely be well on time and any issues with the new 14nm LPP process have been resolved. With over 40%+ IPC increase, Zen may finally be what’s needed for AMD to make a comeback in the CPU market.
Amazon’s Annapurna Labs has announced that it is entering the semiconductor market, selling its first ARM-based processors, a “foundation for next-generation digital services for the connected home,” according to a press release.
Annapurna Labs, established in 2011, was snapped up by Amazon last year for $350 million. Before the buyout, Annapurna was heavily rumoured to be working on its own line of ARM chips, VentureBeat reports. The Alpine PoC product line will be sold to OEMs to support “home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.”
“In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted,” the press release reads. “To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software.”
“Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.”
While ARM processors are still a niche market compared to the Intel-dominated server market, the architecture has come a long way in the last thirty years, with ARM cores powering single board computers like the Raspberry Pi and Pine A64, as well as Apple iPhones, iPods, Microsoft’s early generation Surface and Surface 2 tablets, and Nintendo’s DS series of handheld consoles.
“There is significant growth in the home Wi-Fi segment with most of the demand occurring on high-performance routers. As a leading provider in this segment, we are committed to providing our customers with high performing solutions,” Tenlong Deng, Vice President of ASUS Networking & Wireless Devices Business Unit, said. “The increased demand for new applications and use models requires additional compute and more flexibility. We are collaborating with Annapurna on these technologies and believe that they have one of the most advanced and flexible silicon solutions in the marketplace.”
As the release date for Microsoft’s latest Windows build draws near, we see the company taking the first steps in prepping for their most anticipated date, July 29th. If you are a Windows Insider, you might already be familiar with the company’s recent move.
As of Monday, Microsoft suspended all new preview builds for Windows 10, stating that the next build will be rolled out on the production channels. However, Microsoft still needs a lot of testing before the launch date, so they are most likely focusing on wrapping up the clean install and upgrade process so that Windows Insiders can test and flag any major problems that could arise during the installation or upgrade process. There were a lot of problems with the Windows 8.1 update, especially with the Update 1, where users were even forced to clean install the OS after encountering serious problems during the upgrade process.
To be noted is that even pre-release activation keys will not work on earlier versions of Windows 10 preview builds. There is no word if Microsoft will release a fresh batch of keys for users who still didn’t get a chance to test Windows 10, but they will most likely be forced to upgrade from earlier Windows versions, since Microsoft is expecting a lot of people to migrate to the latest build after it launches.
The move to suspend preview builds also hints at the release of the first RTM build, which was expected last week. This means that the build will be shipped soon enough to OEMs such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to install and start shipping Windows 10-powered PCs on July 29th.
Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
There are always speculations about what the next Apple devices will boast. However, sometimes these speculations turn out to be true, so here it is. According to a blog post on MyDrivers.com posted a pic, emphasising how the upcoming iPhone 6C would look like.
The blog also mentions that the global investment banking firm, Jefferies, said Apple is still considering small screens for their low-end handset, which means that we have a lot of chances to see a 4-inch iPhone 6C this fall. In addition to the latter, Apple is rumoured to ditch the cheap plastic body for a full-on metallic body. However, this might mean that the price would be bumped up a bit since metallic bodies are more expensive than plastic ones.
The investment firm also hints that Foxconn Technologies will be in charge of shipping most of the iPhone 6C models, which is to be expected since Apple used Foxconn as their main supplier for their components in the past. However, take the information with a grain of salt, since rumours are just rumours until they are officially announced. But since we are talking about Apple here, we are definitely going to see what they have cooking right before they plan on shipping it.
Computex 2015 – After the press event yesterday, ECS has invited us down to take a closer look at some of its motherboard. We took a keen interest in the ‘Durathon 2’ range. These will offer the highest quality components to ensure lasting performance and longevity.
They boast some pretty impressive specifications, DDR4 on the Intel 170 chipset and DDR3 on the rest, ample of storage connections, high-quality audio, and fast ethernet connections. Due to the colour themes and lack of distinctive heatsinks, I would assume that these will be primarily targeted at the OEM manufacturers rather than enthusiast market.
We look forward to seeing more from ECS in the future and we will keep you updated with any news or events from the rest of Computex 2015.
AMD held a rather low-key press event where they officially introduced the world to the first new graphics cards from the Radeon 300 series, both desktop and mobile versions. There was a reason for the lack of focus on the news and as you might have guessed already, it is rather a list of rebrands than actual new cards. OEM manufacturers need new products to move their systems, and rebranding is an easy way to achieve that.
The new mobiles series is called the Radeon M300 and consists of the R9 M375, R7 M360, and R5 M330 cards, for now. It isn’t exactly clear what GPU the cards are using, but the released specifications point to a rebranding of the R9 M270, R7 M260, and R5 M255 cards. They’re using the Graphics Core Next 1.0 feature set which will limit them from newer features.
The new AMD Radeon M300 series has a much higher GPU clock speed than the previous M200 generation, but in return comes with decreased memory bandwidth and just DDR3 and not GDDR5 memory. This is a weird move, but one that could point towards a paired use with an APU rather than standalone. OEM builders are said to be ready with systems featuring these new cards, so we will know more shortly. No word on M380 or better mobile GPUs yet, but expect more of that around Computex.
The desktop versions aren’t much more exciting than the mobile versions, but we are getting introduced to a couple more products. Once again, it appears to be a list of rebrands and mainly intended for OEM manufacturers. This also fits well with HPs accidental R9 380 leak the other day.
AMD introduced a total of seven new OEM desktop GPUs, but the only ones that are worth looking at are the R9 380, R9 370, and R9 360. These three cards are somewhat interesting, but the other four cards are more for systems without an iGPU but that still need some form of display connection: R7 350, R7 340, R5 340, and R5 330.
The R380 looks like it’s a perfect match with the R9 285 over the entire scale and it is the first time that the Tonga chip gets a rebrand. The R9 270 on the other hand, is a worrying rebrand as it’s the 4th generation of cards to use this chip. It lacks the newer features such as the ability to decode 4K H.264 video files, AMD’s improved power management technology, and support for AMD FreeSync technology. The R9 260 OEM is built around the Bonaire GPU that is a newer generation with GCN 1.1.
We have to keep in mind that these are OEM cards and the retail versions might come with different specifications, but so far this hasn’t impressed. AMD is still holding back with their real new generation of cards, and I for once can’t wait to get my hands on an R9 390 or R9 390x this summer.
Thank you Anandtech for providing us with this information
This FSP400-60AGTAA isn’t the first 80Plus Titanium certified power supply we’ve seen since the standard was introduced not long ago, but the FSP Group’s newest is the first to come with this certification at such a low wattage. FSP Group now brings true power efficiency to office and home computers.
Super Flower has received certifications for PSUs ranging from 600 to 1600 Watts, but none of these are on the market yet. So far, it is only Corsair that has a Titanium rated PSU on the market with the AX1500i PSU. Now PSP Group joins the two and becomes the next manufacturer to get the Titanium certification, but the first to get it for a 400W PSU.
According to the 80Plus certification, the PSU can perform at 90.02, 93.00, 94.18 and 92.73 percent efficiency (depending on load level) while being connected to an 110V outlet. This also means that it should perform at even better efficiency on a 230V outlet. It comes in a typical grey OEM design, is non-modular, and without cable-sleeves, which points towards a pure OEM product at first. But we can surely expect it to be launched as a new Aurum series as well.
Thanks to FSP for providing us with this information
First we had the rumours about the three new AMD FX CPUs and they were also released shortly thereafter, but at the same time there were more rumours about a fourth new FX CPU from AMD. We’ve already had one of the first three on our test-bench for a review, so you can check that out if interested.
So far this has stayed a rumour and we didn’t hear much more about it, until now. AMD recently released documents that show that the FX-8310 was launched simultaneous to the other three. It was however launched silently and with a temporary OEM exclusive instead of a retail version like the other three models.
Just cause something is meant for OEM and not retail, doesn’t mean it won’t find its way to us as consumers. TigerDirect is currently selling the new FX-8310 CPUs for just $124.99. There’s also reports coming in from the Asian markets that several shops have started to carry the CPU’s there too. That is a seriously low price for an eight-core packing this kind of performance.
While this is an OEM version and not a retail package, a lot of people actually see it as a benefit. Buying an OEM version saves you to pay for all the things you don’t actually need, like stock-coolers, manuals and stickers – and lets face it, those are things that don’t matter to most of us.
You’re probably interested in the specifications of this new chip and here are the numbers. The FX-8310 is an upgraded version of the FX-8300 model. The new version has an increased base clock of 100 MHz and runs at 3.4 GHz. It isn’t fully clear yet how effective the turbo is, but it looks like it has gotten the same 100 MHz bump as the base clock. It’s still an eight core CPU with 8MB L3 cache and an unlocked multiplier. The TDP remains at 95W as well.
Thank you Chiphell for providing us with this information
AMD has launched a new promotional deal where it cuts about a third of the price on it’s dual GPU flagship R9 295X2, bringing it down to just $999. Unlike NVIDIA’s Titan Z price cut, this one isn’t just for OEM partners, but also you (the consumer). Any one can take advantage of the new price, but it will be limited to selected retailers. This is great news for all us consumers, cause we also get a chance this time around.
It shouldn’t take long before AMD’s partners have their new deals up and running on their end, and we should see some cheap priced systems with these within a couple of days. The new deal won’t last forever though, so those in the market for this upgrade shouldn’t wait to long. With the usual Radeon rewards package included, this is a great deal that is hard to walk past for any one who want 4K or multi-monitor gaming.
If you need a little refreshment on the cards specifications, it is based on a pair of 28 nm “Hawaii” GPUs and has a total of 5,760 Graphics CoreNext 1.1 stream processors, 352 TMUs and 128 ROPs as well as 8 GB of memory across its two 512-bit wide GDDR5 memory interfaces.
Nvidia shocked the world with the launch of the Titan-Z, not only because it’s freaking powerful, but also because it costs a wallet busting $2,999, making it the most expensive consumer graphics card around. It’s is no secret that Nvidia sell these cards with a significant margin, but now it looks like Nvidia are happy to take a cut from their profits and drop the cards price by 37%.
Now for the bad news, this discount is front the OEM price, which means they’ll be able to stock a card for around $1830 and it is down to the OEM partner to pass the savings onto the end user, but it remains to be seen if this will actually happen.
Right now the card is still $3k, but that HAS to start dropping at some point and this is the first step towards that happening.
What’s the most you’ve ever spend on a single GPU? Let us know in the comments section below.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Asetek has announced their largest ever design win to day in a press release. The deal is with an undisclosed OEM customer for an unnamed graphics liquid cooling product. The ambitious project is forecasted by the customer to result in 2 to 4 million dollars of revenue and shipping is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2015. This is a big follow up to their great success with the AMD Radeon R9 295×2 graphics card that is cooled by an Asetek AIO cooler.
“We have been anticipating the rising importance of graphics card cooling for many years and building an OEM business requires patience. This design win is the largest single design win in the history of the company and a great example of our long term investments paying off,” said André Sloth Eriksen, Founder and CEO of Asetek. “We expect the demand for graphics liquid cooling to increase and for it to make up an increasing portion of Asetek’s Desktop business revenue.”
Asetek’s graphics cards liquid cooling enables graphics cards manufacturers to extract more performance at significantly lower noise levels, while maintaining industry standard graphics card form factors. Factory filled and sealed for maximum reliability and ease-of-use, Asetek’s patented liquid coolers have been thoroughly tested and certified to operate without maintenance for over 50,000 hours.
While the customer is unnamed, there really only are two options; Nvidia and AMD, and it is far more likely that it will be the next generation AMD flagship that will be liquid cooled out of the box. It could also just be an additional option for the customer like it was with the AIO bundled CPU’s. We will keep you updated on this matter as more news emerges.
This is a big contract the Danish company struck. Founded in 2000, Asetek has a long history of providing OEM coolers and is the current world leading supplier for everything from home PC’s to Data Centers with over 1.8 million units deployed. This deal should secure Asetek’s future for quiet some time and help it move further along in the GPU section of the market.
Thank you Asetek for providing us with this information.
Have you been annoyed at the lack of widespread support for Nvidia G-Sync? It’s one of the coolest technology innovations to happen to PC gaming in years, and it’s reach was limited due to it being sold exclusively via high-end Asus monitors. Well fear no more as you anger will soon be gone. VESA has revealed that they’re adding Adaptive-Sync to its popular DisplayPort 1.2a video interface standard. This means that those who use this connection will be able to enjoy smoother, tear-free images for gaming, judder free video playback and reduced power consumption thanks to low frame rate capabilities on static content, hurray!
With your monitor refreshing at a fixed frame rate, you need to use V-Sync and more GPU power to try to lock the frame rate at the same refresh rate as the monitor, let’s say 60FPS. When your GPU chugs and your frame rate drops, you see screen tear, or you end up working your GPU harder to meet the frame rate demands when it simply doesn’t need to. Having Adaptive-Sync will allow your monitor and GPU to work in harmony, allowing the display to dynamically match the GPU rendering rate on a frame-by-frame basis. This means your GPU can drop in FPS, but you won’t get screen tear and you won’t need V-Sync enabled.
“VESA is constantly evaluating new methods and technologies that add value to both the end-user and our OEM member companies. Adaptive-Sync delivers clearly visible advantages to the user for gaming and live video, and contributes to the development of sleeker mobile system designs by reducing battery power requirements,” said Bill Lempesis, VESA Executive Director. “VESA has developed a test specification to certify Adaptive-Sync compliance. Systems that pass Adaptive-Sync compliance testing will be allowed to feature the official Adaptive-Sync logo on their packaging, informing consumers which DisplayPort-certified displays and video sources offer Adaptive-Sync.”
The new DispalyPort Adaptive-Sync will be offered to VESA members without any license fee, expect to see products supporting the new feature hitting the market in the near future.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Latest news reveals Microsoft opening its Windows Phone gates to handset makers in an attempt to skyrocket forward into the mobile market. The company has announced a new reference design hardware sample for potential OEMs and ODMs which includes having reduced hardware requirements to make it easier for new manufacturers to adapt the Windows Phone OS on their handsets.
Having launched the oem.windowsphone.com website, Microsoft will allow any potential manufacturer to view and review key component and design details based on the Qualcomm reference design. Besides the latter, Microsoft has also made the Windows Phone OS more universal, allowing OEMs to install the operating system on current Android handsets.
The move might look surprising and also a bit desperate, however the company has already enlisted quite a few manufacturers up for the grab of this new idea, including HTC, Samsung, ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo, LG Electronics, XOLO, Gionee, Karbonn and Foxconn. However, the idea might backfire and Windows Phone could also lose some substantial ground here if something goes wrong.
“We are pleased to add these new partners to our expanding Windows Phone ecosystem. They will be key contributors to continued growth across price points and geographies for Windows Phone,” said Nick Parker, corporate vice president of the OEM Division at Microsoft.
Other OEMs are rumored to not be happy with Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s hardware and services division, which happens to be the largest OEM manufacturer in the world. Nokia’s Windows Phone has accounted for 92% of the entire markets share last year, though not a lot of OEMs made Windows Phone devices.
However, that’s about to change this year since Archos is planning to do a Windows Phone handset, since Archos CEO stated that it will launch a Windows Phone device when it believes ‘the time is right’. Well that time is this year, and it is just about right for it.
Archos CEO, Loic Poirier, believes that WP market is now mature enough to enter, though that doesn’t mean Archos is going to shift focus entirely from Android. Google’s mobile operating system will continue to be a major part of Archos’ future. Archos is not the only OEM that has committed to Windows Phone recently, both Alcatel and ZTE have announced their own plans as well.
This undoubtedly serves Microsoft’s interests, as it looks to expand Windows Phone’s market share, having more OEMs onboard will enable its platform to reach millions of potential customers in markets where it hasn’t been that strong.
When I get a full system in for review, typically I will find an Intel CPU lying at the heart of the system and whilst this is partly due to their high level of popularity,; along with their multitasking abilities – for some the overall cost factor can be a bit of an issue. Naturally this means that there is only one other route to go down and this is with AMD and their line of CPUs. From our own testing of AMD processors we know that they offer a slightly cheaper alternative to some of Intel’s top line chips – such as the i7-4770k, although we do find that in some tasks, they may struggle to keep up the blue teams performance. For gamers though, all-round performance is not the main priority – it’s having a system that can offer up a great level of gaming performance and for an affordable price.
Coming forward to the last few months, AMD recently announced the release of their latest CPU into the Piledriver group of FX chips – namely the FX-9590. Now like all new processor releases, it has come into the market with a mixed response from the enthusiast community, however it looks like it has proved its way and has settled itself down in the market as the new contender to Intel’s Ivy Bridge-E i7-4960X, offering a huge difference in price as we are used to seeing with AMD chips. We know as well that anyone looking for a high-end gaming system but on a tight budget is going to benefit from an AMD chip, although the trade-off is with performance in other workload areas as mentioned above.
Cyberpower PC as we saw at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show are right on the money when it comes down to building both entry-level and high-end systems and one of their latest systems to come to the market through their UK offices is the Ultra Fusion. This pure AMD system is built into the highly popular Cosmos SE chassis from Cooler Master and is set to offer some of the best gaming performance available for anyone who is a through and through fan of AMD – or even just a pure gamer at heart! Laid on to a Gigabyte motherboard and given some HyperX Genesis memory from Kingston, this closed loop water-cooled system certainly looks the part with its spread of blue lit fans, but the real question is, how does it stack up against an Intel / NVIDIA offering?
When I took a look at the Ultima 460i Scimitar from Overclockers UK a few months ago, one comment that I made about the system was its weight. This was partly down to the extensive list of water-cooling components that had been installed into the Cosmos II, but it also had a lot to do with the weight and bulk of the super tower chassis itself. Thankfully this little brother to the Cosmos II, is far more compact and therefore easier to handle and even with a full system built-in, it’s far lighter to move around.
Like most other systems that we’ve seen shipped out, alongside the system itself, we get the motherboard box included as well and inside this is all the manuals, warranty cards and accessories that comes with each of the components, just in case they are needed or if you wish to upgrade anything at a later date.
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 802 and Snapdragon 602A, however they are not to be seen on the consumer market. The 802 is designed specifically to power smart TVs, but not any smart TVs. It is going after 4K and UHD sets. It features the Adreno 330 GPU, the one found in the original Snapdragon 800 as well, along with its four Krait cores, clocked at 1.8GHz. The chip also features dual-band Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac connectivity, which enables ultra-high Wi-Fi capacity for seamless streaming.
A new feature implemented is the Hexagon DSP, which provides Dolby Digital and DTS processing. It also enables OEMs to develop their own features, such as audio control and support for various gestures. Although I am not a fan of audio control or even “intelligent” services like Siri and Google Now, I have to say being able to simply tell your TV to mute when the phone starts ringing sounds like a very useful yet simple feature. It is definitely better than looking for the remote.
The Snapdragon 602A is not a smart TV chip, having the A suffix denoting its automotive quality. It is designed for car infotainment systems. It features Gobi 3G/4G modems along with WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 connectivity, so it is essentially capable of transforming your car into a mobile hotspot, media centre or office. Since this is an automotive chip, it has to work all over the globe, therefore it supports LTE TDD/FDD, CDMA 1x and 1xEV-DO, DC-HSPA+ and UMTS, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE networks. As a mobile hotspot, it can handle up to eight simultaneous devices, more than enough for the average company car, or to keep a couple of kids busy (and quiet) in the back seat.
Qualcomm says the first “Gobi 4G LTE” cars will be rolled out this year. As for the 802, the chips should sample soon and we should see the first smart TVs based on the new chip by the end of the year.
Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Details were revealed about a potentially serious SMS vulnerability found in all current Nexus phones at the DefCamp Security Conference in Bucharest, Romania. The person responsible for the discovery is Bogdan Alecu, a system administrator at Levi9 and independent security researcher in Romania. When exploited, the attack can force the phone to reboot or destabilize certain services.
The method of attack simply relies on sending a series of Class 0 “Flash” messages to the target phone. Flash messages are typically used for emergency or security purposes, appearing on the screen immediately instead of going to the default SMS application. When such a message arrives, no sounds are made but the background is dimmed and a single dialog box appears on top. Once 20-30 messages pile up, assuming the user isn’t clearing them, it overloads the system and leads to a few potential side-effects. Most commonly, the result is an unresponsive device or an immediate reboot, but the Messages app or cellular radio may occasionally crash or freeze up in some instances.
In the event that the cellular radio crashes, it may have some more serious consequences. If a target has their SIM locked with a PIN code, the phone will not be able to reconnect until the code is entered. From time to time, it’s also possible for the cellular radio to seize up, which can only be fixed by restarting the device. This is problematic because there are no audible prompts and the malfunction won’t be seen until the owner unlocks their screen, leaving them without service for potentially several hours.
Alecu first notified The Android Security Team to the issue over a year ago, but initially received only automated responses. Continued efforts were mostly unsuccessful, leading to the decision to disclose the vulnerability publicly. To mitigate potential threats, he collaborated with Michael Mueller, a Technical IT-Sec Auditor, to develop Class0Firewall, an app designed to protect the smartphone from Class 0 messages if they reach the threshold of becoming a denial-of-service attack.
Bogdan notes that the current attack is only capable of destabilizing a phone, but theorizes that it might be possible to force remote code execution. Based on limited testing with devices from various vendors, the vulnerability appears to only affect the Nexus line running on all versions of stock Android through to the current release of KitKat. None of the OEM variants checked were susceptible to the attack.
Hopefully the publicity will prompt Google to release a patch to block the issue as quickly as possible. Even if a fix is rolled out, it’s not entirely clear if the Galaxy Nexus will receive it now that it is no longer getting OS updates. A security update should be issues to all Galaxy Nexus device though in oder to patch the severity of this issue.
It appears that AMD has won a CES 2014 Innovation award for its Mullins APU-based “Project Discovery”, a Windows 8 tablet and peripherals, including a game controller. TechRadar got its hands on some pictures of the tablet, the game controller and a docking station.
An AMD spokesperson confirmed that the systems, codenamed Project Discovery, are real and that it will be shown at CES in January, but that “AMD’s goals are to show the world what we can do in the tablet space around our next generation APU, Mullins.” When pressed about how Project Discovery might impact AMD’s OEM partners, the spokesperson clarified that “AMD does not plan to enter the market with a branded tablet and peripherals at this time.”
Given the statements, we can understand that AMD is more interested in creating a proof of concept that it hopes will motivate its OEM partners to create the final, consumer-ready products based on its new Mullins. There are not a lot to go on, but Project Discovery appears to use AMD’s DockPort technology, which is said to work with any display technology on the market, and has the tablet running on Windows 8, giving it support for a unique gamepad. DockPort is AMD’s solution for supporting a number of peripherals, monitors and allowing charging through a single cable.
The details are not quite clear yet, so goes for AMD’s plans with the project, but we hope to find out more about Project Discovery when AMD shows it off at CES in January.
It appears that today we are having a Nexus 5 leak frenzy, and here’s another one which puts at least one rumor to rest. As we found in some leaks earlier, Google planned to bring multiple variants of their next-generation Nexus Smartphones with varying battery capacities. The leak appears to have been misleading, so there is no point hoping for a 3000 mAh battery packed in the new handset. The Nexus 5 is confirmed to carry a 2,300 mAh battery unit, which we feel is quite good already. Sure, it doesn’t match up to the Xperia Z1 and LG G2, both of which have 3,000 mAh batteries, but owing to the lack of OEM overlay and extra background apps, we expect the Nexus 5 to come close to the battery life on offer by rivals.
Also, it has been once again confirmed that the Nexus 5 will come in only two variants, 16 GB and 32 GB, without a micro SD card slot as expected. It is good to know that Google isn’t launching an 8 GB variant, as we found that to be completely useless. According to the latest reports, and deductions based on the teaser images being posted by KitKat’s Twitter account, Google will announce Android 4.4 KitKat, and most probably the Nexus 5 alongside it, on October 21st.
Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
To say that there is not a fierce battle going on between vendors in the SSD market would be telling one huge lie. The SSD market as we know it today is as competitive as ever and there is one name that it appears is dominating over everyone else. Since their introduction into the SSD market Samsung have been slowly dropping the prices of their drives making it harder and harder for anyone else out there – especially the smaller manufacturers such as OCZ and Patriot – to get their foot in on the sales.
Most of this price drop ability comes down to the simple fact that Samsung have the capability to produce every single major part of their drives on site and as a result can sell their drives at a price that is far more attractive to the end-user. As a result of this market take over, some of the smaller vendors are slowly pulling out of the consumer market as they can generate the revenue and are instead focussing on the OEM and enterprise markets instead. For Samsung this is even better news at it means that even though their drives may not be the fastest or best performing on the market, with fewer options to choose from, the slightly cheaper drives are more attractive for many users.
As far as budget drive prices go, Samsung’s 840 EVO is currently selling in the UK starting at around £80 for a 120GB model with 250GB reaching up to around £145 and the massive 500GB drives fetching £250. Compared to the other budget drives on the market, some of these prices are very hard to compete with and with brand awareness also a major factor to take into account, with products ranging from washing machines to TVs as well as notebooks, it’s no wonder a large number of entry-level consumers are turning to Samsung for their first step on to the SSD market.
According to a Digitimes report ASUS and Gigabyte combined account for 60% of all motherboards shipped in China. The total market size for the Chinese “PC DIY” market is about 14.5 million motherboards for the first half of 2013 and of those ASUS managed 4.5 to 4.8 million while Gigabyte were slightly behind at 4 to 4.2 million. That said ASUS managed to increase their shipments from 4.4 million units in the same period the previous year while Gigabyte made a huge increase from 3 million in the same period last year.
MSI also made improvements rising from 800,000 units a year ago to 1-1.1 million this year. ASRock were up too shipping 920,000, up from 800,000 last year. Biostar saw their orders plummet from 1.3 million to 1-1.1 million while ECS shipped less than 200,000 units as they now mainly turn to OEM production. Other small brands in China such as Onda, Colorful, Maxsun and Yeston and Soyo all suffered year-on-year drops of around 25-60%.
While the Chinese market doesn’t reflect the global market per-sé, it does produce a reasonably accurate summary. It also shows us how well Gigabyte and ASUS are really doing and that MSI and ASRock are also doing very well, despite being much smaller. ECS, Biostar and other small/budget brands seem to be fading into the distance and just cannot compete with the big boys who seem to be consolidating their market share, particularly ASUS and Gigabyte.
Western Digital have introduced a new line of SSHD hard drives to provide a solution as a middle ground between a SSD and the still affordable mechanical hard drive for ultrabooks and ultra-thin ultrabooks.
WD uses 24GB flash NAND with their 500GB (WD5000M13K) drive but it requires drivers to work with a system. Just like Seagate’s Momentus XT, this drive’s NAND will be used only for caching. There’s also a 1TB 2.5″ version (WD10S13X) with 7mm height that uses 24GB NAND as well.
Both the drives would most likely be available during the second half of the year.