HDD industry to face supply challenges due to earthquake
Though there's of course much more important and other concern in Japan, DigiTimes reports the HDD market will face challenges due to the earthquake in Japan, because of damage to plants of HDD maker Showa Denko and of HDD substrate makers Furukawa Denko and Kobe Steel.
The global hard disk drive (HDD) industry, already facing challenges from solid state drives (SSDs), cloud computing and limitation of vertical read-write technologies, is expected to face even more challenges resulting from the March 11 earthquake in northeastern Japan, which has severely damaged the plants of local HDD component makers including hard disk maker Showa Denko, and HDD-use substrate makers Furukawa Denko and Kobe Steel. These makers have all reported damage to facilities as well as injuries of employees and have shut down their operations pending further evaluation.
Showa Denko currently has about 25% share of the global hard disk market and in addition to its plants in Japan, the company also has plants in Taiwan and Singapore that can fill in for the suspended capacity at the damaged plants in Japan. Since Showa Denko's clients Western Digital and Seagate also have a portion of their hard disk supplies from in-house production, Digitimes Research believes that the hard disk market will not see any immediate shortages.
AMD: APUs will not challenge discrete graphics cards
AMD's Neal Robison, senior director of content and application support, told X-bit Labs that APUs will definitely challenge standalone CPUs and that processors without graphics cores may cease to ecist in the future. Additionally, he also revealed that APUs will only confront low-cost systems, they will not go head-to-head with discrete graphics cards.
But while APUs will confront low-cost systems, they will not challenge and will not become part of advanced personal computers with discrete graphics cards.
"I do not think that APUs will challenge discrete GPUs on anything, but on the lowest-end systems. When you look at adding a discrete GPU that enhances performance of the graphics side, it makes a huge amount of sense as it scales [performance] on a wide amount of applications because of the rich visual experience that everybody expects now when they are actually using their computing device," added Mr. Robison.
A good example of APU integration is this.
Sharkoon debuts three T series cases
First up is the T5 Economy, this model will retail for around 40EUR and includes five 5.25" bays, five tool-free internal 3.5" bays, a front 120mm fan with blue LEDs, and a front I/O panel with four USB 2.0 ports plus audio ports.
PCMark 7 Announced For Windows 7
Futuremark announced PCMark 7 today, a new benchmark offering complete PC performance analysis for Windows 7. PCMark 7 includes 7 separate test suites combining more than 20 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming.
"Hardware innovations like solid state drives (SSDs), and new form factors such as netbooks and tablets are greatly increasing the range of PC performance available to businesses and home users," said Jani Joki, Director of PC Products and Services at Futuremark. "With so much choice available, PCMark 7 is an essential and easy to use tool to test and compare PC performance accurately and reliably across a wide range of usage scenarios."
PCMark 7 provides a set of 7 suites for measuring different aspects of PC performance with a high degree of accuracy. Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark Suite. The Lightweight Suite measures the capabilities of entry level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the full PCMark suite. Common use performance is measured by the Entertainment, Creativity and Productivity scenario suites. Component performance is measured by the Computation and Storage hardware suites. The Storage suite is ideal for testing SSDs and external hard drives in addition to the system drive.
A release date has not been announced though the official website states that PCMark 7 is coming soon.
MSI E350IA-E45 - AMD APU Fusion review
We peek at the cutest mITX motherboard from MSI today, have a look at some of its performance on the CPU and GPU side of things but most of all, we'll discuss features as what these products bring to the table is just downright impressive for the money as you'll notice DDR3 support, SATA-600 support, HDMI support, gigabit Ethernet, 8-channel audio support and then the integrated dual-core processor at 1600 MHz and in that processor embedded DX11 ready graphics core.
Check the review right here.
Foxconn Quantum Force Rattler P67 Motherboard
Foxconn has launched a new addition to its Quantum Force series of gaming and overclocking motherboards called the Rattler which is based on Intel's P67 chipset. The board seems to borrow heavily in terms of features from many of Foxconn's competitors, but this is part for the course so to say.
The basics of the board include two x16 PCI Express slots where the second one shares bandwidth with the primary slot, three x1 PCI Express slots and a single PCI slot. The board also has four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports and oddly enough an IDE connector. Pin headers for six USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire port are also present, alongside power and reset buttons, manual overclocking buttons, Voltage readout points, a POST80 debug LED and what appear to be as many as three BIOS chips.
The rear I/O is made up of six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a PS/2 port, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, a FireWire port, two eSATA ports and 7.1-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out. There's also what appears to be a clear CMOS button here. Foxconn has gone for what looks like a 12+2 PWM design which is cooled by a pair of heatsinks connected with twin heatpipes. Overall this looks like a decent enough board, but not quite good enough if Foxconn is serious about making a comeback in the high-end consumer motherboard market.
AMD preps 3.70 GHz Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor
There are more and more signals on the web that AMD is prepping to release yet another faster clocked Phenom II X4 processor. This one would get a clock frequency of 3.70 GHz (18.5 x 200 MHz) while staying within the 125W TDP power delta.
Based on the 45 nm "Deneb" silicon, the X4 980 BE features four x86-64 cores with 512 KB dedicated L2 cache each, and a 6 MB shared cache. Compatible with AM3 and AM2+ sockets, the chip packs a dual-channel memory controller that supports DDR3-1333 MHz or DDR2-1066 MHz memory standards.
IF it happens it will likely be soon as their next-generation processors are scheduled for June already.
Cubitek ''Magic Cube'' Modular Case Series
Cubitek presents another unique case series after the successful launch of the
AT&T Acquires T-Mobile for $39 Billion
AT&T also through this acquisition will look to build out the most expansive LTE network in the US. The press release sites one of the goals of the acquisition as being
Intel 25nm SSD 320 released March 28
From the looks of it Intel will introduce its SSD 320 series on March 28th. These units feature 25nm MLC NAND flash memory and will ship in capacities from 40GB to 600GB.
* Up to 39,500 IOPS random 4 KB reads; up to 23,000 IOPS random 4 KB writes
* Full Disk Encryption via AES 128 bit Encryption Technology
* Enhanced power loss management
* 1.2M hours MTBF
Cardkey System Exploited via Android App
SiteCom adds Cloud Computing Security as option to consumer routers
Dutch based network specialist SiteCom, selling predominantly in Europe, is launching a new range of routers. The routers will be tagged under the X-series 2.0 and get 6 models labeled X1 to X6 (being the most high-end.
Next to being an easy to use high-throughput series router with the X4, X5 and X6 being the gigabit versions and that X6 having 450Mbit wireless Ethernet. There is one new feature that is rather interesting on the three gigabit routers though.
SiteCom teamed up with a popular anti-virus firm to design a new layer of protection against Malware and viruses on all your network connected components. Added software in the router will function as active packet inspection on port 80, according to SiteCom without any noticeable increased lag. Port 80 data packets are inspected based on signatures and then verified on a cloud based solution located in a EU datafarm. Pretty much in-between the router and cloud farm a proxy is active, scanning all content and webpages and downloadable content for malware, viruses and phishing.
The interesting idea here is that all devices within the network (PC, NAS even your Android phone) get an extra security layer, once something fishy is detected the request will not pass onwards to your PC, instead your browser will get a warning screen.
Should by any chance a zero-day vulnerability still get through you will need Anti-virus software on your PC to remove it, but look at the solution as an extra firewall surrounding all devices connected in your network.
The SiteCom Cloud Security feature will be free for 6 months, after which a subscription is required at the cost of 14.95 EUR per year. The most expensive X6 router will cost roughly 120 EUR.
Intel 510 SSD review
Today's product doubles the sequential read speeds, and at up to 315MB/s, more than triples the sequential write speeds of Intel
WD 6 TB External HDD
Western Digital introduced its My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage system with a massive 6 terabytes (TB) of storage to meet the capacity needs of today's creative pros and Mac enthusiasts who create, store, edit and archive large HD video and photo files. The new capacity provides users 33 percent more storage than the previous capacity, while maintaining the same footprint.
Combining its extended 6 TB storage capacity and compatibility with Apple Time Machine, the new My Book Studio Edition II drive becomes an instant storage solution for a variety of professions including art and design, photography, legal and medical, and a host of other small businesses.
The system offers a quad interface providing maximum performance and flexibility including eSATA and FireWire 800 when maximum performance is essential, and FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 when system flexibility is most important.
"Thanks to advancements in HD video devices including digital SLR cameras and HD video cameras, the quality and quantity of video content being produced by professionals and enthusiasts alike has grown at an astounding pace," said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD's branded products group. "The My Book Studio Edition II drive now available with 6 TB of storage provides creative individuals with the expanded storage and bandwidth they need to effectively shoot, edit, and safely store their video productions without the need to compress their videos or reduce the overall quality of them for the sake of available space."
Extra-fast Performance and RAID Supported Configurations
Fast eSATA or FireWire 800 interfaces, combined with RAID-supported configurations, will yield the speed and responsiveness users need for a variety of tasks including fast, smooth video editing; rendering complex 3D objects or special effects, and saving/transferring enormous blocks of data in a fraction of the time it once took.
Formatted for Mac computers, these new storage systems feature:
- Massive 6 TB capacity;
- Extra-fast performance with four interfaces (FireWire 800/400, eSATA, USB 2.0);
- Cool, eco-friendly operation with WD's drives with WD GreenPower Technology that consume approximately one-third less power than standard dual-drive external storage systems and efficient convection cooling architecture and power-saving mode and designed without a fan to run quietly;
- Automatic and continuous backup software;
- User serviceability, enabling the user to open the enclosure and replace the drive inside;
- Capacity gauge to see at a glance how much space is available on the system; and,
- 5-year limited warranty.
Pricing and Availability
My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage systems are available now at WD's online store (www.wdstore.com). MSRP for the My Book Studio Edition II 6 TB drive is $549.99 USD.
Foxconn does 1080p in a small box
Foxconn announced the arrival of the Nettop NT-535, finally bringing true high definition (HD) quality playback to Intel Atom based systems without the use of third party graphics.
With a volume of only 0.6 of a litre, the NT-535 is a significant step forward from its predecessor with an upgrade to DDR3 memory and the inclusion of two specific chips to enable true Blu-ray standard of HD streaming and playback.
The BCM70015 single-chip Crystal HD advanced media processor is a low cost, low power, highly integrated solution for HD video playback applications. It is perfect for PC/X86 applications such as playback of streaming video content, Blu-ray Disc playback, file-based content, broadcast and other TV sources. It is optimized for use in netbooks, notebooks, and Small Form Factor and slim desktops.
The CH7036 is specifically designed for computers that require HD content video playback on the external displays. This IC implements an advanced LVDS receiver, a powerful video encoder, a flexible scaling engine and easy-to-configure audio interfaces which can seamlessly convert the LVDS signal source into HDMI /DVI formats as well as the analog RGB legacy display.
Stephen Ling, Managing Director for Foxconn, Western Europe, said,
AMD FX-Series Processors unleashed June 11
AMD's next-generation high-end desktop processor line, the AMD FX-series is looking at a June 11 launch date, according to DonanimHaber. That is one week after the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan.
Zambezi is based on AMD's newest Bulldozer architecture that improves instruction per clock-cycle (IPC), and packs the latest industry standard instruction sets. AMD's FX-series will include 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core models, and will optimally run on a new socket currently referred to as "AM3+".
Samsung SyncMaster with Ultra Wide Band Wireless Technology
The SyncMaster C27A750 from Samsung is a 27-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) monitor with 300 cd/m
Dragon Age II patch
If you play Dragon Age II on Steam the game will be updated automatically, otherwise you can download the manual installer directly from BioWare.
Dragon Age II patch 1.01
- Fixed save game issues on single core machines
- Fixed game asking for non-existent drives
- Fixed release control issues where some players were unable to unlock correctly
- Fixed a Steam-specific issue related to VO not playing after switching languages