Tesla to Release Upgraded and Redesigned Model S

Tesla is committed to continually updating their cars and while this usually takes the form of small tweaks and over-the-air software updates. Now, as had been rumoured, Tesla plan to release a newly redesigned and upgraded version of the Model S saloon, which has been on the market for 4 years. This new version of the Model S advances its stylings both in and out in order to bring the popular sporty electric car into line with their newer Model X and Model 3 vehicles.

The starkest change to the Model S is the nose, which has been reshaped to look more like the blunt-nosed Model X as well as including new LED headlights. The interior of the vehicle was also subject to a number of changes, again mostly in the vein of the Model X. Firstly, Tesla’s HEPA-rated air filter that is used on the Model X now makes its appearance on the Model S, complete with the “bioweapon defense mode”. Also included is a new centre console unit as well as two new décor choices, Figured Ash Wood décor and Dark Ash Wood décor both of which are popular choices for the Model X and certainly look good on the Model S too.

Faster charging has also been enabled on the new Model S, the standard charging unit seeing an upgrade to 48 amps from the previous 40 amp charger. There is even an option to upgrade to a 72A “high amperage” charger, compared to the previous offerings of a 40A standard and 80A dual charger.

The price increase for this version of the Model S is surprisingly modest too, with the price looking to be as little as $6000 at the 90D tier. When you consider the upgrades that are rolled into this price that would previously cost more, such as the improved charger and improved centre console, the new Model S may, in fact, cost less than the old one equipped with some of the optional extras that are now standard.

It is great to see Tesla are capable of putting together such a feature-packed new version of the Model S while also working on development and production of their other vehicles. It also gives the older Model S a stronger place in the new Tesla lineup and may tempt some people who were unwilling to buy a car with a 4-year-old design into a purchase. These new vehicles will be going into production at Tesla’s Fremont factory from Tuesday, so if you want one, you may not have to wait long.

AMD Launches Promotional Material Comparing FreeSync to G-Sync

NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology synchronizes a display’s refresh rate with an NVIDIA-powered graphics card to eliminate screen tearing and stutter caused by V-Sync. As you might expect, this is exclusive to NVIDIA GPUs and implemented in a proprietary manner. In contrast to this, AMD’s FreeSync employs an open standard and results in significantly cheaper pricing. For example, according to AMD’s press marketing, the average FreeSync monitor costs $617.93 while the competing solution retails at an average of $781. Furthermore, AMD has 7 partners supporting their variable refresh technology, while NVIDIA is lagging behind with just 5!

The documentation also outlines other intriguing statistics including panel type, quantity of displays on the market and unique selling points. Although some critics argue that the G-Sync system is superior and allows for a wider range. Here we can see the growth rate of FreeSync compared to G-Sync and main differences. In an ideal world, I’d like to see NVIDIA drop their proprietary variable refresh technology and work together with AMD to provide a single solution which puts the consumer first. Sadly, I can’t see this happening unless sales of G-Sync monitors hit rock bottom. This is very unlikely given the popularity of the ASUS ROG Swift.

Do you think NVIDIA’s G-Sync is worth the premium?

AMD Could Release a New Kaveri APU Soon

AMD are forever in the back seat of the CPU market, but in recent years they have dominated the low price point gaming sector with their line up of Accelerated Processor Units (APU). This is basically a hybrid CPU with real GPU cores crammed in.

The newest version, Kaveri has been with us for a few months, based on the FM2+ socket; with its flagship unit being the A10-7850k  (review here). Now there seems a new flagship APU is floating around the internet, dubbed the A10-7870k. The A0-7870k, on paper, it looks to be the same as the A10-7850k with a higher base clock; set to 3.9GHz.

Along with the A10-7870k, there are rumours of another lower spec chip, the A8-7670k. This follows a similar suit to the A10-7870k, by looking to be a beefed up version of its predecessor, the A8-7650k (review here). Pricing is still unconfirmed, but pre-order pricing of around 175EURO has been seen on some websites.

The new chips will be placed under the Kaveri series, but with the rumoured launch of Godavari, or Kaveri Refresh APU’s due this Summer, is this a strategic launch from AMD to fill the gap and draw our attention elsewhere? Who knows.

Are you an APU user? Will you be changing to these new APU’s on release or will you be waiting for the release of the Godavari to change your system? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ComputerBase.de for providing us with this information.

Intel Expands DC S3500 SSD Lineup

Intel introduced the DC S3500 Series of solid state drives to us last year and now that lineup got a refresh in the form of more capacities. Intel has added two more 2.5-inch drives and three M.2 2280 models to the series and also improved slightly upon the firmware.

The 2.5-inch form factor will get a 1.2TB as well as a huge 1.6TB version, that is a double up from previous 800GB maximum capacity. The speeds are rated to 500MB/s for reads and 460MB/s for writes on both models. The bigger 1.6TB model can perform random IOps of up to 65.5K/18.5K read and write while the smaller 1.2TB model can perform 65K read and 14.6K write.

All DC S3500 drives are rated for 0.3 full drives writes per day for the length of five years. This equals an endurance of 880TB total bytes written (TBW) for the 1.6TB model while the smaller 1.2TB has an endurance of 660TB. These two drives won’t come cheap as they have an MSRP of $1499 and $1099.

The three new M.2 models in the S3500 series consist of 80GB, 120GB and 340GB capacities. These small form factor drives use the same hardware as the bigger brothers, just in a more compact form and are designed to be boot drives in small embedded systems and micro servers.

The performance varies some depending on capacity in these SSDs. The 80GB model has a 300/110MB/s sequential and 67/8.8K IOps random performance, the 120GB model can do a 440/160MB/s sequential and 67/12K IOps random performance, and finally the 380GB model has a performance of up to 480/355MB/s sequential reads/writes and 67/14.5K random IOPS. The MSRP for these three new drives is set to $99, $124 and $314.

While the price might seem high, we have to remember that these are enterprise class drives with 256-bit AES hardware encryption, end-to-end data protection and a capacitor-based power-loss protection. All the new capacities should become available at retailers shortly.

Thanks to Intel for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Intel

Lenovo Updates ThinkPad Helix with New Intel Core M Processor

It’s been over a year since Lenovo has updated its ThinkPad Helix business line of notebook hybrids – but great things are on the horizon from the company. Announcing today a new 11.6-inch refresh for 2014, the new models ditches the traditional Intel i5 and i7 processor – opting for a new fanless Intel Core M-series processor which is said to deliver full-size PC performance to notebooks without the need for any active cooling.

On top of this, the 2014 ThinkPad Helix also comes fitted with a 1080p Gorilla Glass coated display, weighs in at 2.8 pounds and has a detachable keyboard that doubles as a battery. Lenovo’s also managed to shrink everything down – achieving a 15% reduction in size in without sacrificing performance. Battery life is improved thanks to the new Intel M-series chip, helping extend runtime for up to 12 hours with the use of the Ultrabook Pro Keyboard. The standard keyboard comes packaged with every available Helix purchase – and is rated for eight hour of use, however the Pro keyboard won’t be available until early January 2015.

The ThinkPad Helix will be available with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM – and comes accompanied with an Intel SSD drive ranging from 128GB through to 512GB in size. The systems packaged with Windows 8.1 and will be releasing worldwide in October this year at a starting price of $999 USD.

Image courtesy of ReleaseLapop.

Wave Two of Haswell Refresh CPUs Due in Q3

It’s become apparent that Intel is not finished quite yet when it comes to updating their Haswell lineup for desktop systems. Following another update on CPU-World, an additional eight processors have been detailed, all from the low-end of the scale, and interestingly nothing below a Pentium is mentioned at this moment in time.

In the same manner that the first wave of refresh chips brought a slight boost in performance over the existing Haswell lineup, these Core i£ and Pentium G CPUs all see a boost of 100MHz over their older equivalents and whilst this may seem like a good bump, we have to honestly remember that this end of the market is no fought in the same way that the i7 and i5 chips battle it out by getting that slight bit ahead of one another in a bid to be the chip to get.

Whilst other reports suggest that the second wave of chips could be appearing in the flesh somewhere in Q3, there is no word on pricing, but once again, we are almost literally penny-pinching between chips and the difference that this makes may not be as profound as it is on the enthusiast end of the scale.

As we get closer to the full release of DDR4, this could be a last-ditch attempt to get OEM and retail users to buy into Haswell before the mass move over to Haswell-E begins on the top end of the performance ladder.

Source & Image courtesy of The Tech Report

Intel’s 14 nm “Broadwell” Expected To Launch Late 2014

With the Haswell Refresh CPU’s now available to purchase, the industry is already looking ahead at what Intel are cooking up next. The first processors based around their “Broadwell” silicon is set to be the next batch of hardware, offering an incremental upgrade over “Haswell”, but with a new 14 nanometer fabrication process.

The new “Broadwell” range is rumoured to launch by late 2014. Since this hardware has already missed its deadline, suspect to be the reason we have the Haswell Refresh lineup with support for 9 series chipsets, something that should have seen the launch of the new architecture alongside it. Broadwell should have been Intel’s big mid-2014 launch, at least going by their “tick-tock” product strategy, but if things progress as they are, late 2014 is when you’ll finally get your hands on some new hardware.

The interesting thing is, with 9 series chipsets and innovations such as M.2 storage already supported via the new Haswell hardware, what innovations will Intel offer us with Broadwell?

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Intel’s Haswell Refresh Processors Are Now Available

The time has finally come, the Intel Core “Haswell” refresh processors are now officially available from retailers. The LGA1150 compatible processors bring with them support for the Intel 8 Series chipset with BIOS updates, as well as the new Intel 9 Series chipsets. The Haswell refresh brings a speed boost over the current Haswell lineup, but the price points will remain the same.

The Core i7-4790 runs at 3.60 GHz, with a Turbo Boost frequency of 4.00 GHz, 8MB of L3 cache and HyperThreading. The new chip will be priced at $319.99, placing it between the i7-4770 and the i7-4770K. The Core i5-4690 features a clock speed of 3.30 GHz and a 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost, 6MB of L3 cache, but lacks the HyperThreading features at a price of $224.

Both of the new CPU’s lack upwards unlocked base-clock multipliers, so overclocking is going to be all but none existent on the new hardware, so those wanting to get into the extreme end will want to wait until mid-June when the K series “Devil’s Canyon” silicon launches.

Other options hitting the market this week include;

  • i5-4590 quad-core, 3.20 GHz / 3.70 GHz, 6 MB L3, $199.99
  • i5-4460 quad-core, 3.20 GHz / 3.70 GHz, 6 MB L3, $189
  • i7-4790S quad-core, 3.20 GHz, 8 MB L3, HTT, $314, low TDP
  • i5-4690S quad-core, 3.20 GHz, 6 MB L3, $224
  • i5-4590S quad-core, 3.00 GHz, 6 MB L3, $199

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Biostar Announce Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard

As we draw closer to the launch of Intel’s 5th Generation chipset and the launch of the Haswell-refresh processors, images and details on each vendors motherboards is continually coming to light; the latest coming from Biostar. Although there is no printed specifications on what the board has to offer, we can take quite a bit of information by looking at he board itself. The first item we have to detail however is the colour scheme. When Asus came to launch their Haswell X87 boards last year, the decision to use a gold / yellow theme across the heatsinks and DIMM / PCIe lanes was quite controversial with many people, including myself to be honest not quite taking to the scheme. Biostar however don’t appear to be afraid of this hatred and thus we get a yellow / gold mismatch that would certainly be popular in the far east, as opposed to the European markets where blue, orange, green and red is more popular.

Connectivity wise the Hi-Fi board offers, two PCIe x16 lanes in yellow with two x1 lanes in black along with a pair of legacy PCI lanes for backwards compatibility, four DIMM slots which we imagine will support up to 32GB of 2800MHz+ RAM like most other boards, 6 SATA III ports and an onboard M.2 adaptor for the next generation SSDs. Additionally the USB3.0 header has been moved back to the side of the board – something which confused us considerably when we saw the Z77 Hi-Fi board come to market a couple of years back. As the name suggests we also have the Puro Hi-Fi onboard audio controller with Hi-Fi AMPs and Caps for the best 7.1ch audio that Biostar have to offer.

On the I/O panel we find dual Gigabit LAN, four USB3.0 ports, two USB2.0, HDMI, DVI and VGA display outputs supporting 4K resolutions, a PS/2 combo port and 7.1ch audio with a S/PDIF output for good measure.

Obviously the colour scheme is a little marmite with a few of us here not liking the colours that much, however as always there are people who will like it; either way be sure to keep an eye out of a full review on this board when the 5th Gen chipset is launched in the next few weeks.

Source: Biostar

MSI Launch New Z97 OC Series Motherboards

Intels Haswell refresh is almost here, bringing with it a few new features and now you can purchase the latest range of MSI motherboards which not only support the new range of CPU’s, but also introduces the new Z97 chipset. The new motherboards come in two choices, the MSI Gaming Series and the MSI OC Series.

The Gaming Series ranges from $100 to $220, bringing with it a range of features that are ideal for gaming PC builds, with good memory and CPU overclock capabilities. The OC series takes things further, allowing professional levels of overclocking that will no doubt appeal to the enthusiast market, with prices ranging from $200 to $400.

The Z97 XPower AC will be the flagship of the range, supporting up to 4-way overclocked GPUs, thanks to a PEX8747 bridge chip from PLX which allows four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, as well as a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot that is wired directly to the CPU root complex, bypassing the bridge chip completely. Everything else on this board is top of the line, the CPU is powered by an 8-pin EPS and 4-pin CPU connector and a 16-phase VRM with a water cooling compatible VRM cooler. There are 10 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an M.2 slot, 12 x USB 3.0 ports, AudioBoost, 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, and gigabit Ethernet.

The Z97 MPower MAX AC is just the next model down in the range. It only features a 12-phase VRM for the CPU, doesn’t feature the PCIe bridge chip, but it will still offer up three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots running in x8/x4/x4 when fully populated. Connectitivty is still pretty robust too with 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s, 1 x M.2, 10 x USB 3.0, 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, gigabit Ethernet, and the AudioBoost headphone amp built in.

Finally the sub $200 Z97 MPower MAX offers most of the features of the MAX AC, only missing out on the 02.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, liquid-cooled VRM heatsinks, and onboard OC fine-tuning buttons, something I know many gamers and system builders will not have a need for anyway.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

ASUS TUF Sabertooth Z97 and Gryphon Z97 Motherboards Revealed

ASUS has revealed the latest editions to their range, the new TUF Z97 Series motherboards. These new boards are designed around the new Z97 chipset which launches alongside the upcoming Haswell refresh. The TUF Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2, Gryphon Z97 and Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition motherboards all support Intels 5th-generation Core processors and most importantly of all, Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 has exclusive support of the new 10 Gbit/s SATA Express interface for high-speed external storage. Each is available in both ATX and mATX form factors.

“TUF motherboards are world-renowned for their toughness, long-term stability, durability and bold styling, and the new models continue this proud tradition with a powerful new military-inspired design and the use of premium components throughout.” Said ASUS in a recent press release.

The TUF series of motherboards have thermal management, ICe cooling for precise fan control, Dust Diverter reversible fan technology and VGA fan. TUF Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 and Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition feature TUF Fortifier, a system turns the entire backplate of the motherboard into a huge heat-sink, helping keep the heat away from components such as the VRM, all of which will help the high-end components of your system stay in tip-top condition while also helping with system stability thanks to the lower temperatures these features can provide.

Packed full of cooling and stability features these boards do sounds great, but their build quality is also some of the best in the business thanks to the military-certified TUF components and strict testing procedures.  No words on price just yet, but you can expect to pay a premium for one of the most popular brands in the business, especially on a range that supports a new chip, chipset and high end features such as 10 Gbit/s SATA Express ports.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

EVGA Reveals Their Z97 Haswell-Refresh Compatible Motherboards

EVGA has just revealed their lineup of new motherboards that are hitting the market along side the launch of Intel’s Haswell refresh. The new boards are pretty much what you would have expected from EVGA, and they’re actually very similar to their EVGA Z87 Classified and EVGA Z87 Stinger, but of course they’ve now been bumped up to support the latest Z97 chipset.

The EVGA Z97 Stinger Mini-ITX features a 10-layer PCB, supports to DDR3 2666MHz DIMMs, four SATA 6Gbps ports, 1 x PCI-e x16 and 5.1 Creative Core 3D audio.

The EVGA Z97 FTW features an ATX form factor, 4 x PCI-e x16 slots, eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four DDR3 DIMM slots, 1 x M.2 connector, dual bios and voltage read points, but no Creative Audio chip like the mini-ITX model.

The flagship of the range is the EVGA Z97 Classified, featuring four DDR3 DIMM slots, eight SATA 6Gbps ports, five PCI-e x16 slots, dual Intel network controllers, one mPCIe slot, Creative Core3d Audio, triple BIOS and support for LucidLogix Virtu MVP 2.

The range starts at $199 for the Stinger right up to $379 for the Classified, not cheap, but they do look pretty awesome, so we look forward to seeing how they perform in the coming weeks and month.

Thank you DigitalStorm for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of DigitalStorm.

Intel Haswell Refresh Prices Confirmed As Shipments Begin

Haswell has been with us a little while now, but Intel don’t want to let the market get too comfortable, so now we see the start of the launch of these new Haswell refresh CPU’s. The refresh range is fundamentally the same hardware, but you can expect boosted clock speeds and more SKU designs that offer a lower TDP, bringing the retail total to 26 CPU’s for you to pick and choose from.

Of course the new CPU’s will also bring support for the latest 9-Series chipsets on Z97/H97/B85 compatible motherboards, all of which should be available from the May 11th, with the Intel K series overclocking Haswell refresh CPU’s a short while after, but no later than mid 2014.

The most exciting of the pack will be the i7-4790, which is to be the first 22nm consumer CPU to obtain a clock speed of 4 GHz, while featuring 4 cores, 8 threads and we can’t wait to test its performance in the coming weeks.

Intel Haswell Refresh Desktop Processors:

Model Cores Threads Clock Speed L3 cache Price
Core i7-4790 4 8 3.6 GHz 8 MB $ 303
Core i7-4790S 4 8 3.2 GHz 8 MB $ 303
Core i7-4790T 4 8 2.7 GHz 8 MB $ 303
Core i7-4785T 4 8 2.2 GHz 8 MB $ 303
Core i5-4690 4 4 3.5 GHz 6 MB $ 213
Core i5-4690S 4 4 3.2 GHz 6 MB $ 213
Core i5-4690T 4 4 2.5 GHz 6 MB $ 213
Core i5-4590 4 4 3.3 GHz 6 MB $ 192
Core i5-4590S 4 4 3.0 GHz 6 MB $ 192
Core i5-4590T 4 4 2.0 GHz 6 MB $ 192
Core i5-4460 4 4 3.2 GHz 6 MB $ 182
Core i5-4460S 4 4 2.9 GHz 6 MB $ 182
Core i5-4460T 4 4 1.9 GHz 6 MB $ 182
Core i3-4360 2 4 3.7 GHz 4 MB $ 149
Core i3-4350 2 4 3.6 GHz 4 MB $ 138
Core i3-4350T 2 4 3.1 GHz 4 MB $ 138
Core i3-4150 2 4 3.5 GHz 3 MB $ 117
Core i3-4150T 2 4 3.0 GHz 3 MB $ 117
Pentium G3450 2 2 3.4 GHz 3 MB $ 86
Pentium G3440 2 2 3.3 GHz 3 MB $ 75
Pentium G3440T 2 2 2.8 GHz 3 MB $ 75
Pentium G3240 2 2 3.1 GHz 3 MB $ 64
Pentium G3240T 2 2 2.7 GHz 3 MB $ 64
Celeron G1850 2 2 2.9 GHz 2 MB $ 52
Celeron G1840 2 2 2.8 GHz 2 MB $ 42
Celeron G1840T 2 2 2.5 GHz 2 MB $ 42

Intel Haswell Refresh Mobile Processors:

Model Cores/Threads Stock/
Turbo SC/
Turbo DC/
Turbo QC
L3
Cache
DDR3 Memory Support GPU/
GPU Clock/ GPU Turbo Clock
Socket Number TDP Price
M-Series SKUs
Core
i7-4712MQ
4 / 8 2.3 GHz
3.4 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.0 GHz
6 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1150 MHz
rPGA 37 W $378
Core
i7-4710MQ
4 / 8 2.5 GHz
3.5 GHz
3.4 GHz
3.3 GHz
6 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1150 MHz
rPGA 47 W $378
Core
i5-4210M
2 / 4 2.6 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.1 GHz
3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1150 MHz
rPGA 37 W $225
Core
i3-4110M
2 / 4 2.6 GHz


3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1100 MHz
rPGA 37 W $225
Pentium
3560M
2 / 2 2.4 GHz


2 MB 1600 MHz HD
400 MHz
1.100 MHz
rPGA 37 W $134
Celeron
2970M
2 / 2 2.2 GHz


2 MB 1600 MHz HD
400 MHz
1100 MHz
rPGA 37 W $75
H-Series SKUs
Core
i7-4760HQ
4 / 8 2.1 GHz
3.3 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.1 GHz
6 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
200 MHz
1200 MHz
BGA 47 W $434
Core
i7-4712HQ
4 / 8 2.3 GHz
3.3 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.0 GHz
6 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1150 MHz
BGA 37 W $378
Core
i7-4710HQ
4 / 8 2.5 GHz
3.5 GHz
3.4 GHz
3.3 GHz
6 MB 1600 MHz HD 4600
400 MHz
1200 MHz
BGA 47 W $378
U-Series SKUs
Core
i7-4510U
2 / 4 2.0 GHz
3.1 GHz
2.8 GHz
4 MB 1600 MHz HD 4400
200 MHz
1100 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $393
Core
i5-4260U
2 / 4 1.4 GHz
2.7 GHz
2.4 GHz
3 MB 1600 MHz HD 5000
200 MHz
1000 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $325
Core
i5-4210U
2 / 4 1.7 GHz
2.7 GHz
2.4 GHz
3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4400
200 MHz
1000 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $281
Core
i3-4120U
2 / 4 2.0 GHz


3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4400
200 MHz
1000 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $281
Core
i3-4030U
2 / 4 1.9 GHz


3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4400
200 MHz
1000 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $281
Core
i3-4025U
2 / 4 1.9 GHz


3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4400
200 MHz
950 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
15 W $275
Y-Series SKUs
Core
i5-4220Y
2 / 4 1.6 GHz
2.0 GHz
1.7 GHz
3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4200
200 MHz
850 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
11.5 W $281
Core
i3-4030Y
2 / 4 1.6 GHz


3 MB 1600 MHz HD 4200
200 MHz
850 MHz
1-Chip
BGA
11.5 W $281

Keep an eye on your local online and high street retailers over the next week or so, the first batch may sell out pretty quickly, especially the higher end models.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

6 New Boards On The Horizon From MSI for Intel’s 5th Gen Chipset

Over the last few weeks we have been hearing some interesting information come to light regarding Intel’s 5th Generation chipset and its Haswell Refresh processors and with a launch date of 11th May only a matter of weeks away now, we are starting to see snippets of information come through with regards to the motherboards that are going to power the 5th Generation processors.

MSI have been throwing out some teasers of what is to come in their latest motherboard lineup and whilst some boards were on display at this year’s CeBIT in Germany, they were only prototype items. This means that whilst they give us an insight into what is on offer when the boards finally go on sale, what is seen is only to be taken with a pinch of salt and things are likely to change between then and the final release.

So what do we know about the new line of motherboards and what features will we see across the product stack? Like previous generation boards we will see the latest release of many features including Military Class IV components, V-Check Points 2, OC Engine, Audio Boost 2 and new to this line of boards we will also see an M.2 interface for the latest SSDs as standard and a Delid Die Guard for the XPower AC as seen last week.

To break up what each board will bring to the market, have a look at the next couple of pages where I’ll touch on what each board has to offer as we go up through the stack. At the moment there is no work on pricing for any of these boards, although we will be certain to keep you all updated as information comes to light.

Haswell Refresh CPUs Launch Date Revealed

While many have suspected that Intel will launch their new Haswell CPUs at this years Computex 2014, word has it now that the chips could hit the market sooner. Some sources within the industry are pointing towards May 10th for most markets, meaning the wait for the refreshed Haswell hardware may be a big shorter than you were expecting.

The new hardware is mostly just tweaks and adjustments to the current range, but with the Core i7-4790K at the top of the new list, May 10th could still be very exciting. Expect slightly better performance from the bulk of the refresh hardware, but also expect them to keep the same price points as the current offerings. What we’re really excited about is the support of 9-series chipsets, bringing M.2 SSD support which will see the launch of 1000 MB/s SSDs and more!

If you’re about to upgrade to Haswell, it may be worth waiting just a little longer for the refresh hardware.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

MSI Z97 XPower AC Motherboard Supports Delid Haswell CPU

With recent generations of CPU’s suffering from low quality TIM between the heatspreader and the CPU die, many enthusiasts have been using delid CPU’s, in which they’ve removed the protective cover to either swap out the TIM for something better, or to use the CPU without its protective lid. Applying a CPU cooler directly to the CPU die can work wonders for cooling, but obviously comes with a fair amount of risk in terms of damaging the CPU.

Enthusiasts are keen to squeeze any performance they can from their system, especially those with a big focus on overclocking performance and the new Core i7-4790K from the Haswell refresh is likely to be a prime choice for many enthusiasts. MSI have already won a lot of praise for overclocking support, but their new generation of motherboards will support Delid Haswell and Haswell Refresh processors right out of the box.

The Z97 XPOWER AC will have the latest Delid Die Guard included, which will provide protection for the rest of the CPU and give you a good mount for any cooling components. Are you brave enough to flip the hood off of your new high-end CPU? I know I’m not.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WCCF.

Haswell CPU Support For Series 8 MSI Motherboards

It looks like MSI is planning to make all Intel 8 series motherboards compatible with the next generation Intel Haswell CPU series which has been said to be released somewhere in the second quarter of this year.

Intel is panning to release a refreshed version of the Haswell CPU line early Q2 having it target the desktop line with over 20 new SKUs, followed by a new Series 9 chipset which will basically have higher clocked cores. The difference in performance stands anywhere between 100 and 200 MHz based on the CPU. A full detailed list of the supported CPUs can be viewed on MSI’s website here.

MSI has also announced that it will have support for the new Haswell lineup on all its existing Series 8 motherboards, spanning from gaming, to overclocking and even multimedia motherboards. MSI’s gaming motherboards have a distinctive black and red design, along with a dragon motif, coming with exclusive MSI tech such as Audio Boost and Killer Gigabit Ethernet card.

The overclocking line however has a yellow and black design, undergoing rigorous testing conditions at MSI’s testing labs. Even more, an MSI overclocking board was used in setting the world record for CPU frequency, which is at 7.14 GHz, in addition to also having Military Class 4 components which boosts the longevity of the board and ensures stability even in the most extreme conditions.

Whatever it may be, MSI is keen on having its name on the top of the list when it comes to motherboard support and quality, whether you are just looking to play and get the most suitable experience out of your PC, or looking to go beyond and stress out your specs to their limits with overclocking.

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MSI

Facebook Messenger Gets iOS 7 Design Refresh And New Features



Facebook just released Facebook Messenger 3.0 into the App Store and its the most significant design refresh to the app since its inception. Along with the simplified, flat interface and new iOS 7 style look and feel, Facebook Messenger 3.0 adds several new features including the ability to see which friends are using the app and on what platform (such as Mobile or Web along with the Online status in a magnificent green color on the right side) and, most notably, phone number support.

The app will guide you from the first launch on linking your phone number and contacts with the app, followed by a confirmation message for authentication.

The app has three menus, the Recent conversations tab, the People tab with all your contacts and the Settings tab. Now you can text your phone contacts even when they’re not among your Facebook friends. You can also find new Facebook contacts just by entering a phone number.



In the Settings you can see a number of features which the user can enable or disable by preference, including Notifications, Notification Preview, In-App Vibrate, In-App Sound, and the Synced Contacts feature that gives you the option to sync your device contacts with the Facebook Messenger or disable it.

However, Mobile carriers won’t be pleased with apps such as the new Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts since they are stealing away the once dominated feature, the SMS.

Thank you TUAW for providing us with this information