MSI working on Big Bang XPower X58 motherboard
Within a month or two MSI plans to unveil its third Big Bang motherboard, the XPower. This new motherboard uses Intel's X58 chipset and features six PCI Express x16 slots, six DDR3 memory slots, SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0.
The motherboard is designed for hardware enthusiasts, it features 16-phase DrMOS PWM, two 8-pin power connectors, Hi-C capacitors, an extra 6-pin PCIe power input for the PCIe slots, OC Dashboard and V-Kit. Audio is provided by a Quantum Wave audio card with 7.1 channel audio, EAX 5.0 and THX TruStudio PC Suite.
The cost of using tantalum capacitors have made them prohibitive in motherboard design. It looks like MSI is using a generous splattering of them on the new Big Bang XPower. Q1 in 2010, and it already looks like we're supposed to spell "promising" with the "I" before the "M." The motherboard looks a bit naked but that's because the photos don't show the cooling solution that will be shipped with the retail models.
In Win Fanqua and Black Beauty cases launched
In Win introduced the Fanqua midi-tower and Black Beauty mini-tower PC cases. The Fanqua features a tool-free design, four 120mm fans, and has a front I/O panel with USB, audio and eSATA connectors. The Black Beauty is a bit more basic and ships with a 300W PSU.
Fanqua has five exposed 5.25-inch bays, supports micro ATX and ATX motherboards, is equipped with four 120mm fans (front, side panel - with blue LED, rear and top), and it costs 69.90 Euro.
Staying clear of Fanqua's wannabe high testosterone levels, the Black Beauty has a simpler yet stylish look, with a glossy finish and a floral motif. This case measures 140 (W) x 323 (H) x 276 (D) mm, weights 4.5kg, boasts just one 5.25-inch bay, supports micro ATX boards, and includes one audio and four USB 4.0 in front. Black Beauty doesn't come with any fans but it features a 300W power supply. All this for 79.90 Euro.
Aliens vs Predator - Predator Gameplay Clip
Matrox updates Multi-Monitor Display Solution
Feeling some serious heat from ATI's Eyefinity feature Matrox decided to release a new Multi-Monitor Display Solution. The multiple DualHead2Go and TripleHead2Go Graphics eXpansion Module (GXM) brings support to drive up to four or six monitors, respectively, from a single system.
Matrox's solve .. well .. a second GXM can now be connected to the secondary output of a supported dual monitor graphics card so two DualHead2Go GXMs can power up to four outputs in 2x2 or 4x1 modes, while two TripleHead2Go units can be combined to connect six displays to produce either a 3x2 or 6x1 set up.
Matrox currently offers multi-GXM support with the 2.06 (or above) GXM software suite. A maximum of two GXMs
Intel Dual-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Intel has unveiled a dual-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Intel worked hard on implementing the highest level of energy efficiency in order to put together an adapter with two distinct 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The X520-T2 will give administrators the ability to use any of the two ports as a redundant connection in case the other should fail. This capability, however, is but a part of the product's functionality.
The X520-T2 10 Gigbit Ethernet adapter is an efficient solution that uses cost-effective RJ-45 connections that can operate over distances of up to 100 meters. While the high data transfers, scalability and flexibility of 10 Gigabit performance are noteworthy in themselves, the adapter also boasts performance-enhancing features for multi-core environments, such as the Intel I/O Acceleration Technology, which allows for the efficient distribution of Ethernet workloads across the different CPU cores.
In addition, MSI-X will improve the application response by minimizing the overhead interrupts. CPU utilization can also be reduced through the use of stateless offloads, such as the TCP segmentation offload, header replications/splitting and Direct Cache Access (DCA).
Besides the adapter's capability of using a port as a redundant connection in case of failure, there is another special feature that can be taken advantage of. The X520-T2 can actually combine both ports into a single pipeline running at a 20GbE speed. Another
Apple iPad announced
Apple has finally announced the second coming of gadgetopia in the form of the iPad. Which seems to be merely a large iTouch :)
As expected, Steve Jobs took to the stage to bring us news that has the entire gadget world riveted with the $499 (upwards) iPad occupying the middle ground between smartphones and laptops. It is touted to be superior to any netbook and laptop for that matter, being able to be used in any direction that you want it with new drop downs in the e-mail interface as well as a large onscreen QWERTY to get those emails sent out in a flurry. Without any tactile feedback, we wonder how the public will get used to this compared to typing on a regular QWERTY keyboard. As for the interface itself, it is more or less a much larger version of the iPhone, photo flicking and all (as expected). As for the iTunes store, it has been pre-loaded into the iPad itself. More details in the extended post.
So far at the iPad's unveiling, scrolling seemed to be smooth and fast, and unlocking it requires a similar sliding movement as that of the iPhone. The browser is Mobile Safari, but there doesn't seem to be Flash support built-in. No idea on the resolution that the iPad holds, but it seems to be the iPod touch Phat in essence.
Initial impressions on web browsing as well as email capability have proved to be interesting, but it isn't groundbreaking in any way as we already get the same on the iPod touch and iPhone albeit on a much smaller scale, relatively speaking.
Going through the photo slideshow is a somewhat familiar experience if you have played around with iPhoto before. By saying so, we mean you can browse through the entire photo album quickly to see if there is a particlar image you're looking for, while there is also the possibility of searching "by face".
With built-in iTunes as mentioned earlier, music browsing is a whole lot easier thanks to the large display, as you will be able to view more information at a glance while benefiting from a better layout compared to the iPhone.
Maps performance at the demonstration seemed to be unnaturally fast - either they are running on Wi-Fi N connectivity or via a local cache. We won't know until we get a hands-on for ourselves, but things are looking good at this point in time.
Steve Jobs also does his bit for the iPad's multimedia capability by demonstrating movie and YouTube playback, choosing Star Trek as the demo of choice. So far playback proved to be smooth alongside fast navigation of sequences.
Software-wise, you will be pleased to know that current games can be downloaded unmodified from the App Store. In simple parlance, that means the iPad is 100% backwards compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch. The big test would be this - will gamers on the computer be able to get used to a multi-touch interface after gaming with a keyboard and mouse combo after all this years?
On to the specifications! As expected, Apple has their own processor inside with the 1GHz Apple A4 processor - we wonder how this will hold up against the Snapdragon, but here are the rest of the nitty gritty.
- 1GHz Apple A4 processor
- 16GB to 64GB internal flash memory
- 9.7" IPS display
- Full capacitative multitouch capability
- 10 hour battery life (1 month standby)
- Built-in accelerometer and compass
- Speaker, microphone and 30-pin connector
- 0.5" thin
- 1.5 lbs.
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity
Just like the iPhone, you can synchronize your data and files over USB, which means it is safe to lose your iPad without losing your data - just get a new iPad (while taking a big hit to your wallet) and backup from your computer. Just to clear the air, not all iPads will come with a 3G connection - that depends on the carrier, at $15 (250MB) or $30 (unlimited) monthly to boot. Best of all is, there is no contract to tie yourself down to, and you can make free use of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots as well. International deals will appear this June, and all iPad 3G models will come unlocked while using new GSM micro SIMs.
The Wi-Fi only versions will retail for $499, $599 and $699 for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models, while the Wi-Fi + 3G models will come in 16GB ($629), 32GB ($729) and 64GB ($829) flavors as well.
ATI Catalyst 10.1 released
ATI released an update of their Catalyst drivers, the first batch for 2010. We have a discussion thread open on these drivers right here.
Highlights of the ATI Catalyst 10.1 Windows release include:
- Left 4 Dead 2
LSI and Seagate PCIe Enterprise Solid-State Storage
LSI Corporation today announced a collaboration with Seagate Technology to deliver robust, PCI Express (PCIe)-based solid-state storage (SSS) solutions for data center and cloud computing environments. Through this joint effort, LSI is expected to deliver board-level products that integrate LSI SAS and PCIe technology with Seagate solid-state drive (SSD) technology. The products are designed to provide enterprise OEMs and channel partners with new levels of performance, reliability and ease of use while addressing architectural challenges that have limited SSS adoption. Product samples are expected to be available to OEM customers in the second quarter of this year.
"LSI is uniquely positioned to execute a broad solid-state storage strategy," said Jeff Richardson, executive vice president and general manager, Semiconductor Solutions Group, LSI. "We're already deeply engaged in delivering solid-state storage technologies, from custom silicon to storage systems. Entering the emerging PCIe-based SSS market segment is a natural extension of our core competencies. By building upon the industry's most widely deployed SAS software stack, OEMs and system builders will gain a proven, lower-risk path to market and continuity across technology generations."
Market research firm IDC forecasts that SSD revenue in the enterprise segment will reach $2.0B by 2013. PCIe-based solutions will constitute a significant portion of this growing market segment due to their ability to further boost performance, reliability and ease of use within an existing IT infrastructure.
"Solid-state drives remain in the spotlight as a technology and an area of growth in the storage market," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, Hard Disk Drive Components and Solid-State Drives at IDC. "Future market requirements related to price per gigabyte, performance, power consumption and reliability align well with the benefits of solid-state storage, and PCIe-based SSS solutions are poised to meet these requirements in data center environments where higher performance is at a premium."
LSI and Seagate bring decades of enterprise-level experience in the design, manufacture and support of storage products for critical applications. Having two experienced leaders with proven engineering capabilities and the global scale to commit resources toward the development of PCIe-based SSS solutions will help pave the way to market maturity and broad enterprise adoption.
AMD Fusion will arrive in 2011
According to AMD, the Barzos platform that will be paired with the Fusion processors will be targeted at ultra-thin notebooks. They will supposedly operate on less power than current solutions, which means that the chip and platform might be very suited for tablet PCs. This fact comes even though AMD is
Issue Delays AMD HD 5830 Launch
While here at Guru3D we don't know any better than the official release would have been in February, Digitimes reports that according to their sources, AMD encountered a last-minute issue with the upcoming Radeon HD 5830 graphics card just when it was doing the final validation process. According to Digitimes, the company was intent on officially launching the new product on January 25th. Now, however, it seems that the HD 5830 won't make it to the shelves before February.
The Radeon HD 5830 is meant to cover the gap between the HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5850 GPU-based DirectX 11 graphics cards. Currently, the company's only offering for that price segment is the HD 4890, which lacks DirectX 11 features and is already facing strong competition from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 200 series.
Razer unveils dual-sided Vespula mousepad
Razer introduced Vespula, this new dual-sided mousepad has a gel wrist rest and features a Speed side for fast mouse movements and a Control side for precise mouse movements. The Razer Vespula will soon be available for $34.99 (34.99EUR).
MSI fixes coldbug issue on P55 motherboards breaks WR
MSI managed to eliminate the coldbug issue that extreme overclockers were experiencing with the company's P55 motherboards. Sure enough, they got what they wanted. After MSI took notice, recognizing and resolving a known coldbug issue on P55 (when used in conjunction with Clarkdale processors) that limits extreme overclockers from touching the skies and beyond in the overclocking realm.
On 1/18, marketing team hold a US/EU OC Summit, MSI invited 19 overclockers to Taiwan and do some first-hand overclocking test of Big Bang Trinergy/Fuzion (review here). The gentlemen prefered Clarkdale on P55 to achieve incredible clock frequencies (highest clock is 7GHz). But during the OC Summit, many overclocker encountered a coldbug issue which mean the Big Bang motherboards can't be functional under extreme low temperature (-90 degree), as a result everybody ran into problems.
MSI now issued a small hardware fix for the overclockers as you can see on the second photo.
Overclocker massman gave it another go and he achieved a WPrime 32M world record @ 7sec 329ms with a clock rate of 6485MHz, not bad ;)
Intel X68 rumor issueing USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps in Q2 2010?
Weird -- at an Intel press-conference last week Intel clearly stipulated that for the 1020 line of products USB3.0 and SATA 6GBPs would not become available. However according to a report by Japanese tech site ASCII we may see USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps support from Intel a lot sooner than expected.
IF so then Intel is working on a Tylersburg refresh that will offer SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 support sometime next quarter in the form of the X68 + ICH11 chipsets.
There's also some information about the P65, H65 and Q65 chipsets, these new models will reportedly arrive in Q1 2011. They will introduce DMI 2.0 (5GT/s), SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0. Check out the thumbnail.
Samsung first to mass produce 3D LCD/LED HDTV panels
Samsung Electronics announced in a press release that it will be the first company to begin the mass production of panels used for three-dimensional TV displays, in both LED and LCD High-Def formats.
The company began producing LED and LCD compatible panels for 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch full-HD 3D TVs using
ASUS working on new MARS like product
Over at a press-conference last week some rumours where floating around already of ASUS making yet another MARS product, this time however hopefully a little better quality. The most interesting fact is that the product would no longer be based on NVIDIA chips, yet would be a Radeon 5870 X2 (5970) model. ASUS would use up all available stream processors (2x1600) and then opposed to the 5970 use normal clocks.
- Normal clocks: (725/1000 MHz core/memory)
- Expected Mars 5870 clocks: (850/1200 MHz).
Now in real-life ladies and gentlemen .. this would just be an overclocked Radeon HD 5970 or simply the R5970 in Crossfire -- but likely with some more memory and a price tag over inflated.
It will be interesting to see though as ASUS would use a custom PCB with new VRM control and much needed power phases. Next to that we expect some sort of nifty cooling and sure ... another name than Mars .. hmm, ASUS Cypress perhaps ?
Intel Smoke demo compares Windows Vista and 7
Intel used their Smoke engine demo to compare Windows 7 to Windows Vista. The Windows 7 system seems to be able to get more horses on the display, but Intel's point doesn't get across that well as the demo appears to be more choppy on the Windows 7 system than on Windows Vista. If you look closely you can see some noticeable pauses.
See what a difference the new Windows 7 kernel makes compared to Windows Vista. The Windows 7 kernel is optimized for use with Intel core microarchitecture not only does it perform faster it also allows you to put a few cores to sleep while maintaining peak performance ..
XClio unveils 737 and 747 cases
XClio introduced two new mid-tower cases, the 737 and 747. Both cases measure 480mm x 190mm x 440mm (D x W x H) and look pretty much alike, save some subtle design differences.
If you count along with us you'll spot four visible 5.25-inch bays with on the inside five internal 3.5-inch trays. The top side of the chassis has a frontfanel with eSATA, two USB 2.0 and two audio connectors.
The two mid-tower cases measure 480 (D) x 190 (W) x 440 (H) mm,and have a black finish.
The cases feature a tool-less construction and both come equipped with two 80mm fans locatd at the top, and a 120mm fan at the rear.
Mass Effect 2 Ships - Seems to rock!
Today is the Northern American launch day for Mass Effect 2, BioWare's sci-fi action/RPG sequel.
The colleagues over at GGMania reported that The first PC reviews can be found (withr eally high scores) on AtomicGamer (96%), GameSpot (9/10), IGN (9.6/10), C&VG (90%), Videogamer (100%), GamesRadar (100%), IncGamers (9.6/10).We have an extensive discussion thread open on the game right here.
If you played the original Mass Effect, you may remember the jarring texture pop-in and frequent frame rate stutters as much as you remember the excellent character design and atmospheric planetside vistas. You'll notice few if any instances of those drawbacks in this installment, which means there's less to distract you from the impressive visuals. Just as an interior designer works from a collection of complementary and contrasting colors and textures, so too does Mass Effect 2 draw from a consistent set of hues and architectural touches. Deep reds and glowing indigos saturate certain scenes, making them richer and more sinister; eerie fog limits your vision in one side mission, while rain pours down upon you in another. Subtle, moody lighting gives certain interactions great impact, such as one scene in which your troubled, tattooed teammate appears as a black silhouette. The visuals are a superb melding of art and technology, with only a few animation hitches that stand out because most aspects are consistently excellent. The fantastic musical score and sound effects do more than their share to enhance the production, working the deeper end of the sonic spectrum and communicating tension and weight without getting heavy handed or manipulative.
This gunship battle is just one of many exciting encounters in store for you. Mass Effect 2's improved shooting mechanics are no-brainers; they're the expected advancements that clean up the flaws of its predecessor. But what makes this sequel so rich isn't mechanics, but vision. A nightclub lit with flames, deadly family reunions, a friend accused of the inconceivable--these are the sights and events that cast shadows in your mind and heart. A few blemishes prove that this planned trilogy still has potential for growth, but they barely diminish the game's overall impact. This is a galaxy you want to explore that is populated with characters you are glad to know. Mass Effect 2 is the kind of game that you return to, not just because it's fun to play multiple times, but also because its universe is a place you wish you could call home.