eVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classied launches
EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified Features a 14+3 Phase power design that can deliver an extreme amount of power, and the redesigned premium cooling design with an 8cm fan improves cooling efficiency by as much as 30% (compared to the standard cooler). The super low ESR, high frequency capacitors, and high frequency 3MHz shielded inductors provide clean and precise voltage control.
Of course, full support for the EVGA EVBot means you can overclock and monitor your card on the fly, and a special OC BIOS enables extreme overclocking mode. Also, full support for 4-way SLI out of the box make this the ultimate GTX 580.
Still not cool enough? The EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified Hydro Copper is for you. This card features a preinstalled EVGA Hydro Copper water block that accommodates both 1/2" and 3/8" water cooling loops. Upon first glance you will notice this is no ordinary water block, this is a full cover- end to end block, with an integrated glowing window that displays the water flow and a glowing EVGA logo on the side keep it looking slick. Also, a preinstalled EVGA backplate keep the card sturdy! The innovation does not stop at stability an appearance however; the base plate is made of chrome plated electrolytic C110 copper, and the 0.6mm thin pin matrix provides optimal thermal transfer to ensure the lowest temperatures possible.
Core Clock Speed: 855MHz CUDA Cores: 512 Memory Clock Speed: 4212MHz Memory Bandwidth: 202.1GB/sec Shader Clock Speed: 1710MHz Bus: PCI-E 2.0 Interface: DVI-I, DVI-I, EVBot Warranty: Limited Lifetime upon registration Product Length: 11in - 280mm
PC gaming takes crown back by 2014-2015
In a conference call with NVIDIA this week some interesting information from DFC Intelligence, "a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets" according to their webiste, was revealed that paints the world of PC gaming in a much more positive light than previously expected. By anyone's account, the coming fall and winter release schedules are going to be packed with fantastic releases.
PCPer noticed the report and had a nice writeup about it:
Several of these games, including DOTA 2, Diablo III and The Old Republic are going to be PC-only titles with others (like Battlefield 3, RAGE and Skyrim) that will without question look better and play better on the PC. This sets up a great time for hardware companies like NVIDIA and AMD to sell system upgrades in order to maximize user experience in these titles.
And while most gaming pundits have been telling us for years that PC gaming is dying, the report from DFC tells a different story:
Based on revenue alone, estimates show PC gaming to surpass the sales of console games by 2014 with steady growth. How can this be? Have you stopped by your local Gamestop or Best Buy and seen the shelf space devoted to PC games compared to that devoted to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii?
Here is the key and it is something we have always suspected but haven't really been able to nail down: packaged sales are dying while digital distribution methods and new monetary game mechanics are increasing. Because the industry's most prolific digital sales platform is notoriously tight with sales numbers (Valve's Steam), we have to depend on third party reports from DFC and others. According to this chart, the digital sales of gaming on the PC are skyrocketing and will take PC revenues past consoles in just a few years time.
One note here: this does NOT just include downloaded games in the traditional sense. Instead, new pay models like the monthly subscriptions of World of Warcraft and "free to play" models that charge for upgrades and additional features are really going to be pushing the industry forward. Looking at titles like League of Legends that claims 15 million PC gamers worldwide and others like World of Tanks and World of Planes, this trend is growing and though it differs from the "traditional" PC gaming mentality, it appears to be dominating our future.
Many a PC gamer has lamented about the "console port" generation of games and this graph demonstrates how the power of the PC and the power of the current generation of consoles have diverged over the years. By NVIDIA's estimates we are now about 8-9x the performance level of the Xbox 360 when compared to the GTX 580 that currently sells for about $450. But if you look at the quality difference between something like Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PC and the consoles, you do NOT see anything close to that kind of improvement. Game developers have always had their hands tied by having to develop for the lowest common platform and while the PC market (when dominant) meant an upgrade cycle of 2-3 years we are now hitting a 6th year of static console gaming power.
ASUS Mars II review
We've seen the original brutal Mars, the exemplary ARES but ASUS is at it again with the all new Mars II, yep that's right. The x-factor products makes it prodigal return to manage a little bump and grinding.
Money aside, the dual-GPU product tested today is uber cool though. It's the stuff that make my digitized ticker go tick a little faster -- and once you have it in your hands, you'll make a nervous giggle. Ah well, talk is cheap, have a look and then we'll head onwards into the review of the Lucifer of graphics cards.
Read the full 25 page review right here.
OCZ Releases Firmware Update for SandForce SF-2281 SSDs
OCZ released a new firmware release for its high-performance solid state drive series based on second-generation SandForce controllers, which presumably fixes all the problems faced by users of these SSDs until now.
The company confirmed the fact that SandForce SF-2281 SSDs are affected by a series of firmware issues in early June, with problems ranging from BSODs and BIOS detection errors to random freezes and RAID failures.
Since these were first reported, OCZ has been working with SandForce in order to resolve the issues and has dropped a number of firmware releases, the latest of which being the 2.13 version that just arrived.
The changelog accompanying the release is rather scarce in details, but it mentions that OCZ has fixed a corner-case issue in drive recovery after unsafe power cycles as well as an issue with secure erase, and improved bad block management after repeated unsafe power cycles.
The version 2.13 firmware is designed to be used with OCZ's consumer solid state drives based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller.
This list includes the Vertex 3, Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Agility 3, Solid 3, RevoDrive 3 and RevoDrive 3 X2. Together with the revised 2.13 firmware, OCZ has also introduced a new version of the Toolbox application that is used for flashing the FW.
Both the tool and the new firmware can be downloaded from OCZ's Website by following this link. A firmware update guide for Windows and Linux users is also available on the same page.
As usual, the update should be non-destructive in nature, but backing up the drive before proceeding is highly recommended as there is a chance for data corruption to occur.
OCZ is not the only company to experience problems with the second-generation SandForce SSD controllers, as Corsair's 120GB version of the Force 3 solid state drive also suffered from similar problems.
Download the firmware here
ViewSonic Pearl White 24-inch Monitor
ViewSonic added the VX2451mhp-LED, a 24-inch LED-backlit LCD monitor. It's lower bezel might give you the impression that it's a 16:10 monitor, but that's not the case.
This screen is another full-HD (1920 x 1080) model, but features native aspect-ratio adjustments that allow you to toggle image scaling. The monitor presents itself in a pearl-white finish, its stand allows basic tilt adjustments.
Apart from the full-HD resolution, the panel of the VX2451mhp-LED features a response time of 2 ms (gray to gray), static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, 20,000,000:1 DCR, and brightness of 300 cd/m2
Lian Li PC-TU200 Mini-ITX Chassis
Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd, designer and manufacturer of high-end, all-aluminum computer chassis for over 12 years, announces their latest PC-TU200 Mini-Tower PC case. This chassis optimizes thermal efficiency, convenience and mobility, offering consumers a superior platform for building their next portable PC.
The PC-TU200 is the latest addition to Lian Li's Mini-Tower product line, designed for performance-hungry consumers who require a light, compact and versatile chassis as a base for their ultimate portable gaming rig. With a base weight of only 3.15kg, the PC-TU200 is primed and ready for transportability. Available in black or silver, its "nuclear football" style design includes a top-mounted handle which allows it to be carried to LAN parties or anywhere desired with ease. The all-aluminum body features reinforced corners for strength and durability.
In an era where thermal efficiency cannot be ignored, the PC-TU200 maximizes circulation via the 140mm front-mounted intake fan. Lian Li has engineered the case for maximum airflow, constructing well-placed vents and exhaust ports. The chassis itself, constructed entirely of aluminum, helps to sink heat away from internal components and aids in cooling. Unobtrusive rounded feet elevate the bottom of the chassis to improve heat dissipation.
Lian Li's cases are known for design features that end up becoming industry standards and the PC-TU200 is no exception. Side panels can be removed from the PC-TU200 more easily than ever before. Just push a release lever on the back panel and the corresponding side panel pops off. Putting the panel back on is a simple push to lock the anchoring pins back into their sockets.
Despite its small footprint, PC-TU200's internal hard disk cage still includes room for up to four 3.5" hard drives, making it suitable for RAID applications. Two expansion slots are available, along with enough space for graphics cards up to 300mm in length. As compact as the PC-TU200 is, the case is equipped with a graphics card holder to hold the graphics card in position and to avoid bending or damage during transport. Consumers will appreciate the ample supply of thumbscrews for a tool-free installation. I/O ports on the front panel include HD Audio, eSATA, and two built-in dual 20-pin connectors of USB 3.0, ideal for use with the latest generation of high-end Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX motherboards.
Lian Li manufactures cases that are extensible enough for the most demanding customers, while promoting stability and reducing clutter. The PC-TU200 is an ideal option for those who need the utmost versatility and portability from their hardware.
HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ 1GB card
HIS added the Radeon HD 6870 IceQ 1GB edition. This model has the reference clockspeeds, it has a 900MHz core and 1GB GDDR5 clocked at 4200MHz. The cooling solution consists of a large heatsink with four copper heatpipes, the fan looks rather tiny but according to HIS it keeps the card up to 24
Zotac A75-ITX WiFi motherboard
Zotac introduced the A75-ITX WiFi, a new Mini-ITX motherboard based on AMD's A75 chipset.
Windows 8 secure boot to complicate installation of other operating systems
OS News reports Windows 8's new secure boot process may potentially complicate the installation of other operating systems, like previous versions of Windows and Linux:
Microsoft requires OEMs that want to be part of the logo program for Windows 8 to have secure boot enabled. According to Garrett, there are two ways for Microsoft to handle this. "The two alternatives here are for Windows to be signed with a Microsoft key and for the public part of that key to be included with all systems, or alternatively for each OEM to include their own key and sign the pre-installed versions of Windows," Garrett states, "The second approach would make it impossible to run boxed copies of Windows on Windows logo hardware, and also impossible to install new versions of Windows unless your OEM provided a new signed copy. The former seems more likely."
This means Linux, or any other unsigned operating system, will not run on your computer. There are several problems here when it comes to Linux. First, we'd need a non-GPL bootloader (Lilo perhaps?). Second, Garrett indicates that the Linux world is moving towards using the Linux kernel itself as a bootloader. This means kernels will have to be signed, making it virtually impossible to compile your own kernel. Self-signing would still require each key to be included by all OEMs.
Counter-Strike: GO Arsenal Modes Revealed
Valve has just announced that Counter Strike: Global Offensive will be getting a new mode when the game launches next year. 'Arsenal Mode' is based on the popular Counter-Strike: Source mod called Gun Game. Arsenal: Arms Race & Arsenal: Demolition will 'add eight new maps and expand on the classic Counter Strike gameplay. CS:GO is set for an extensive beta, and 2012 release date on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
September 22, 2011 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the new game modes for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO).
Targeted for release via Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam (for PC and Mac) in early 2012, CS: GO will expand upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched 12 years ago.
Arsenal Mode is based on the popular Counter-Strike: Source mod Gun Game. "Arsenal: Arms Race" and "Arsenal: Demolition" add eight new maps and expand on the classic Counter-Strike gameplay.
Valve is working directly with creators of Gun Game to create Arsenal Mode. "We are excited that Valve reached out and is working with us to ensure Arsenal Mode is the best version of Gun Game.", Michael Barr project lead of Gun Game.
A Game of Thrones: Genesis Trailer
peripheralsOne week away from its release on PC, A Game of Thrones - Genesis unveils its official video trailer. An adaptation of the bestseller series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R.R. Martin, in a PC strategy game by Cyanide, A Game of Thrones - Genesis unveils this dynamic video mixing cinematics and gameplay sequences!
Plunge into the heart of the continent of Westeros for a minute, while a Targaryen king is preparing to battle the Houses seeking to claim his Iron Throne. From the kingdom of Dorne in the South, to Winterfell and the famous Wall in the North, many will be the people he will have to subject to his rule. Military conquests, treachery, or diplomacy... all strategies are conceivable. What king will you choose to be? A Game of Thrones - Genesis will release on PC in retail and online stores on September 29th.
Micron RealSSD C400 Series Self-Encrypting Solid State Drives
Micron introduced a new version of its popular RealSSD C400, featuring self encryption for unmatched data security. The C400 SED (Self-Encrypting Drive) is based on the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Opal specifications and provides a hardware-based answer for the increasing wave of data breaches that continue to impact computer users and enterprises worldwide.
Security breaches caused by malicious attacks are on the rise, according to the recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. While it's notable that the increase in small-scale external attacks doesn't rely on highly sophisticated approaches, encryption is widely credited as the first choice for the most affordable security solution for deterring such intrusions.
The C400 SED's encryption capabilities are delivered through a hardware-based, AES-256-bit encryption engine and advanced security firmware. Micron's firmware is designed to comply with the TCG Opal specification. TCG Opal is an open industry standard that provides a verifiable path for companies who need to prove they're compliant with tough data security regulations when devices or drives are lost or stolen.
Like all hardware-encryption, the drive works in conjunction with an encryption management system. Micron's C400 SED solution was built in partnership with leading encryption management provider Wave Systems (Nasdaq:WAVX). Wave's EMBASSY
AMD FX series to be cheaper than anticipated
Turkish site Donanim Haber reveals the launch date and pricing of AMD's upcoming Bulldozer-based FX-series processors. The site claims three chips will be launched on October 12th: the FX-8150 for $245, the FX-8120 for $205 and the FX-6100 for $175.
The FX-8150 is the top model, it offers eight cores, a frequency of 3.6GHz and a 4.2GHz Turbo. The low price reveals Bulldozer is unlikely to bulldoze Intel away, but the chip should be nice for overclockers as the site heard the FX-8150 can be clocked beyond 5GHz.
The FX-8120 is another eight-core model, this one has a 3.1GHz frequency and 4GHz Turbo, while the six-core FX-6100 offers a 3.3GHz clockspeed and 3.6GHz Turbo.
I'm a little afraid that the prices reflect performance versus position.
NVIDIA Tegra 3 has fifth low-power core for power savings
NVIDIA revealed that Kal-El, the third-generation Tegra chip, will feature a fifth core to enhance energy efficiency. Just like the four regular cores the fifth core is an ARM Cortex A9-based companion core, but it's manufactured on a low-power process and intended to run up to 500MHz only. According to NVIDIA, the companion core enables power savings of 14 to 61 percent compared to Tegra 2. Full details about the fifth core and more new features of Kal-El can be found in these two whitepapers on NVIDIA's blog.
The first whitepaper outlines the patented fifth core. This extra core
LaCie Little Big Disk goes Thunderbolt
LaCie rolls out the Little Big Disk with Thunderbolt, one of the first external storage solutions to feature the 10Gbps technology. Available in 1TB 7200RPM and 2TB 5400RPM editions, these disks will retail for $399 and $499, respectively. Additionally, a SSD model will follow in October.
Today LaCie announced the Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series is now available for purchase. It is the first portable solution to feature the shocking 10Gb/s speeds of Thunderbolt technology. This next-generation Little Big Disk is the first product in LaCie's series of high-end Thunderbolt solutions.
Designed for the most demanding applications, the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt Series will bring a new level of performance to creative workflows and professional storage users. It offers ultra-fast data transfers, complete system backup in minutes, and faster content editing than ever before.
"Performance can come in small packages," says Jason Ziller, Intel's director of Thunderbolt Marketing. "LaCie's Little Big Disk with Intel's Thunderbolt
Gigabyte releases 990FXA-UD3 1.2 motherboard
Gigabyte introduced the 990FXA-UD3 1.2, a new $160 motherboard for AMD's upcoming FX processors. The board is based on the AMD 990FX + SB950 chipset, and supports the upcoming AMD FX processors apart from socket AM3 processors in the Phenom II and Athlon II series. As a new revision, the board supports AMD FX processors out of the box.
The AM3+ socket is powered by an 8+2 phase VRM. The board is constructed according to the UltraDurable 3 Classic specifications, with 2 oz copper-layer PCB, 50,000+ hours capacitor durability, and DualBIOS. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR3-2000 MHz memory with overclocking.
There are four PCI-Express x16 slots on this board, however, only two of them are wired to the AMD 990FX northbridge, both run at full PCI-Express 2.0 x16 bandwidth at all times. The other two are electrical PCI-Express x4, wired to the SB950 southbridge. The board supports both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX, though it's likely that it will ship with just the 2-way SLI bridge cable.
Great looks by the way, a nice all black design.
Windows 8 boot process goes Metro-style
The Windows 8 boot experience will reflect the personality of Windows; it will be fast and fluid, seamless, and beautiful every time. By leveraging the capabilities of UEFI and working together with the ecosystem, our goal is for the PC to power up to the manufacturer