Epic Talk Samaritan & The Future Of Gaming Graphics
Lian Li PC-U6 Cowry Mid-Tower
Lian Li today launches the all-new and extremely stylish special edition PC-U6 Cowry: an all-black, PC case with design characteristics of a seashell. This unique PC chassis provides users with a computer case that exhibits personality and craftsmanship while breaking free of simply being a box to house components. Inspired by nature, the Cowry appeals to a very specific niche. It is not meant to be hidden under a desk but instead incorporated into its surroundings as a part of decoration and reflection of taste. Until now, PC chassis with unique designs have been marketed towards gamers. With the Cowry an entirely new demographic will begin looking at how their computer case can act as an artistic expression.
The PC-U6 Cowry is extremely versatile with plenty of build space. Users can mount three 3.5
OCZ Technology Announces the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSD
OCZ Technology Group unveiled the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SATA III SSD product lines. The Agility 3 and Solid 3 are designed to cater to speed-seeking enthusiasts in search of the better value for performance.
Using the latest technology, these new series deliver nearly double the performance of the previous generation and offer a more cost-effective alternative to current SATA 6Gbps SSDs on the market.
NVIDIA buys baseband and RF technology specialist Icera
NVIDIA announced the acquisition of Icera, a company specialized in baseband and RF technology. Icera is an innovator of top-performing baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.
Icera has more than 550 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its high speed wireless-modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe. By combining the companies' products and technologies, including NVIDIA's Tegra processor, NVIDIA will enhance its position as a leading player in the growing mobile market.
The acquisition, for $367 million in cash, has been approved by both companies' boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in approximately 30 days. The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive on an operating basis through the first half of calendar 2012, and accretive on an operating basis in the second half of calendar 2012. This expectation does not take into account significant revenue synergies that the companies anticipate.
By offering the two main processors used in smartphones (the application processor and baseband processor), the combined company will help OEM customers both improve their time to market and deliver the requirements of next-generation mobile computing. NVIDIA will also have approximately doubled its revenue opportunity within each device.
The market for baseband processors is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry, worth an estimated $15 billion a year. Icera will be able to leverage NVIDIA's momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets to capitalize on this growth.
CEO Quotes "This is a key step in NVIDIA's plans to be a major player in the mobile computing revolution," said Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of NVIDIA. "Adding Icera's technology to Tegra gives us an outstanding platform to support the industry's best phones and tablets.
"Icera is a perfect fit for NVIDIA. Our businesses are complementary. Icera has the right team, with a strong, proven track record. And their nimble, entrepreneurial, engineering-focused culture mirrors our own," he continued.
Huang added that NVIDIA intends to continue to collaborate with its existing baseband partners and respect its customers' preferences in combining application and baseband processors.
Stan Boland, President and CEO of Icera, said, "NVIDIA's Tegra processor has the most impressive roadmap in the industry, and it is an ideal match for Icera. As part of NVIDIA, we will be able to reach a broader market. Our team has collaborated closely with NVIDIA for several years on a range of projects, and we're delighted to be joining forces."
Background on Icera Icera is a pioneer in next-generation, multi-protocol wireless baseband processors with RF components. Its technology scales from 2G to 4G networks, using a custom-built, ultra-low-power processor. Because the baseband is software-based, manufacturers can develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs, accelerate time to market and secure a route to support future baseband standards.
Icera's third-generation Livanto line of chipsets delivers the industry's fastest data rates, cuts user wait times, reduces battery drain and supports multiple standards on the same hardware. And its forthcoming Espresso(R)450 and Espresso(R)500 line of platforms provides industry-leading performance for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, low-power optimization for voice and high-speed data, and the industry's smallest form factor. Its portfolio of products will expand significantly in the near future.
Founded in 2002 and based in Bristol, England, the company has approximately 300 employees in seven countries in Europe and Asia, as well as the U.S. It was established by a group of senior executives with strong, shared backgrounds in microprocessor design and cellular communications.
Fractal Design Core 1000 chassis
Fractal Design released their latest chassis, the Core 1000 is a compact case for Mini ITX and Micro ATX mainboards.
The new Fractal Design Core Series offers a unique combination of design, features, cooling performance and value. We'll start reviewing some of their product soon by the way.
- Simple yet elegant front panel with mesh and filter
- Optimized for performance in a small, micro atx form factor with multiple cooling options
- A total of 3 fan slots (1x 120mm filtered in front, 1x 92mm in rear, 1x 120mm in side panel)
- One fan included (1x 120mm in front)
- Innovative, easily removable HDD-tray which mounts the HDD's vertically with anti vibration
- Supports graphic cards with lengths up to 350mm
- Supports 3x 2,5" SSD
- Easily removable front panel with clip on fan slots
The Core 1000 brings many features usually only seen in more expensive and larger cases. It supports long graphics cards up to 350mm due to the innovative, vertical and removable HDD mounting bracket. The front panel's easily removable and pre-fitted with fan filters to ensure a dust free interior. The sleek black interior is matched and contrasted with white expansion slots. Similar to the Define Series, all the HDD trays are fitted with anti-vibration silicon grommets for optimal silence.
- 1 front mounted Fractal Design 120mm fan @ 1200rpm included
- Additional 2 fan slots available for optional fans; one 92mm in rear and one 120mm in side panel
- 2x 3,5 inch HDD trays or 3x 2,5
Brink Launch Trailer
AMD Catalyst 11.5a Hotfix driver
AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5a Hotfix Feature:
Includes performance optimizations and resolves various quality issues for the upcoming release of Brink
AMD Catalyst 11.5 WHQL driver download available
AMD just released their latest revision of their drivers.
Some of the New Features:
Hydravision enhancements for Eyefinity configurations.
- The HydraGrid feature found in HydraVision is now aware of user created Bezels.
- The HydraGrid feature found in HydraVision now also includes as
First pictures Z68-mATX motherboard Gigabyte
More photo's from VR-Zone today as they have a picture of a mATX motherboard from Gigabyte based on the Intel Z68 chipset, due Wednesday.
The motherboard is based on the Z68 chipset, which Intel will announce on May 11. If you look at the baord (and remember this is mATX) it has three PCI-Express x16 slots (!). When we break it down the board has SLI/Crossfire support for two video cards in x8 mode, while the third PCI-Express x4 slot is present as well.
A total of five USB 2.0 headers are present, 10 ports can be extended to and controlled. USB 3.0 then, a single connector is available. At the rear this is complemented by four 2.0 and two 3.0 ports. Also one eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet and PS/2 port are available as well as 7.1 audio via analog outputs or through an optical output. For video output, a D-Sub, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connection is available. The model has already been spotted in some web shops for roughly 140 euros.
AMD's FM1 desktop test board surfaces
The chaps over at vrzone got their hands on a photo of what seems to be a motherboard with AMD's upcoming Socket FM1. The photo is a reference engineering board so do not see that at all as a final production sample.
Vrzone: "AMD's test board doesn't exactly look like a retail board and it has a lot of test points for oscilloscopes and other types of test equipment. However, what we can see is that the board has native USB 3.0 support thanks to the internal USB 3.0 header so this is most like an FCH A75 based board. As it should be, it's a single chipset board, although it appears that the FCH A75 requires active cooling which is somewhat disappointing. That said, hopefully a larger passive cooler will be enough on retail boards, or at least that's what we're hoping for.
The board clearly has an HDMI, DisplayPort and D-sub connector and it should also have a pair of rear USB 3.0 ports alongside what we'd guess are four USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, six audio jacks and what appears to be a vertical eSATA connector. The slots on the board appears to be a single x16 PCI Express slot, two open ended x4 PCI Express slots, a mini PCI Express slot and a PCI slot, as well as a x1 PCI Express slot located at the centre of the board".
Click on the thumbnail for a full photo.
CoolerMaster Sentinel ZERO-G game mouse review
The Sentinel ZERO-G offers everything its older brother already has, but is tweaked, optimized and comes with a few surprises. We again spot the cute little OLED screen, adjustable weight system, superduper link braided 2M chord, and upgrade to 128kb of memory and yeah, it is just a really nice upgrade to what was previously launched.
Read the full review right here.
PowerColor preps Dual-HD 6870 Graphics Card
Interesting, it seems that TUL / PowerColor has a focus on a dual-GPU based Radeon HD 6870 graphics card. The card will get two barts based chips with sitting in-between them a PLX chip to make a PCIe connection bridge. The card is going to be equipped with two 8-pin PCI power PEG connectors. Each of the GPUs will get 1 GB of gDDR5 memory.
The card seems to have two DisplayPorts, one HDMI and a DVI connector.
Other then that there are no specs available, neither pricing and availability. But we'll drop by PowerColor over at Computex and see what else is going on there !
Battlefield 3 To Be EA Games Biggest Launch
EA Games is really placing massive focus on their much anticipated war shooter, Battlefield 3, to make a dent on competitor Call of Duty
CPU shipments jump up 7.4 percent in Q1 2011
IDC reports processor shipments were up 7.4 percent year-over-year in Q1 2011 and provides details about AMD's and Intel's marketshare.
Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the first calendar quarter of 2011 (1Q11) grew, compared to both 4Q10 (+1.6% quarter over quarter) and to 1Q10 (+7.4% year over year), according to the latest PC microprocessor market share study from International Data Corporation (IDC). Also, according to IDC's latest PC microprocessor market forecast, unit shipments for the full year 2011 will grow 10.3% compared to 2010 and market revenue for the year will grow 17.6% to nearly $43 billion.
"The first quarter, which is usually weak, was strong in terms of unit shipments, but surely benefited from an extra calendar week," said Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC. "Both Intel and AMD grew unit shipments sequentially, which indicates some decent strength in their new platforms. Due to the first full quarter shipping their Sandy Bridge and Fusion microprocessors with integrated graphics processors (IGP), processors with IGP grew to slightly over 50% of market shipments for the first time."
1Q11 Vendor Highlights
In 1Q11, PC processor vendor shares overall were remarkably stable. Intel earned 80.8% unit market share and AMD earned 18.9%, both flat compared to 4Q10. VIA Technologies earned 0.2%.
In 1Q11 by form factor, Intel earned 86.3% share in the mobile PC processor segment, a gain of 0.2%, AMD finished with 13.4%, a loss of 0.1%, and VIA earned 0.3%. In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 93.9% market share, a loss of 0.3%, and AMD earned 6.1%, a gain of 0.3%. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 72.4%, a loss of 0.1%, and AMD earned 27.4%, a gain of 0.1%.
2011 and Long-Term Market Outlook
In a separate study, IDC's slightly raised its forecast for year-over-year growth in PC (mobile, desktop, x86 server) microprocessor unit shipments in 2011 from 10.1% to 10.3%. "Generally, the demand environment for the second half of this year looks decent. The earthquake and tsunami had minor effects on the PC supply chain," added Rau. "However, the real near-to-mid term concern there is the effect on Japanese demand for PCs and so microprocessors."
For the first time, IDC is forecasting PC microprocessor units by processor architecture, including those based on x86 and those based on ARM. By 2015, IDC expects that over 13% of PC processors will be based on the ARM architecture.
Cost of iPad Production in the US $1140
Apple has contracted to make its iPad 2s in China, where the typical worker makes a hardy $185 a week. What if, in a fever of uneconomic patriotism, Apple chose to make its iPads in the U.S.? Assuming typical U.S. manufacturers worked at the same speed as the Chinese, and assuming Apple raised the price to maintain its profit margin, the iPad 2 would cost more than $1,100. The Analyst does some back-of-the-envelope math:
Average U.S. manufacturing/mining/construction compensation is $32.53/hour as of December, according to the BLS. Research firm iSuppli estimates the iPad 2 costs $10 to manufacture, which - using the $1.11/hour rate - works out to about 9 hours each to complete. If assembly and manufacture took the same amount of time in the U.S. as it does in China (another possibly unrealistic assumption), the cost of making each iPad 2 comes out to $292.77!
Again, according to iSupply, the material cost for the 32gb iPad 2 WiFi + 3g - which sells for $729 - is about $325, or $335 including labor, which puts Apple's gross margin (ex shipping/handling) at 54%. Just using the simple math above, if the iPad 2 was made in the U.S it would cost $617.77, bringing Apple's gross margin down to 15.25%! Of course, Apple is not in the business of self-immolation, and given their relatively substantial pricing power, they could just make the iPad 2 more expensive, let's say, increasing the price to the point where their gross margins stayed intact, from $729 to $1,144.02!
Meanwhile the Apple iPad 2 had just launched in China and was sold out in less than four hours, according to the folks at M.I.C. Gadgets. Despite the copious iPad copy-cats you could probably find in the country
MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 3
We've updated MSI AfterBurner. The new build 2.2.0 Beta 3 is ready, changes list includes:
Changes list includes:
- Added core voltage control for alternate revision of reference design NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 series graphics cards
- Added new compatibility option to "General" tab, allowing you to select GPU
type on some graphics card models using different GPU types (e.g. low-leakage and high-leakage Cayman GPUs on RADEON 6950 series graphics cards). The option affects default reference GPU voltage and 3D voltage control path
- Added memory and VRM temperature monitoring for custom design MSI N580GTX Lightning series graphics cards with NCT7718W thermal sensors
- Added memory and VRM temperature monitoring for custom design MSI R6970 Lightning series graphics cards with NCT7718W thermal sensors
- Updated MSI On-Screen Display server:
- Fixed resource leak in desktop video capture path, causing it to start capturing plain black frames instead of desktop after a few minutes of desktop video capture
- Fixed issue causing frames in video stream to be periodically duplicated during desktop video capture causing video stream to be longer than it is supposed tobe. This could cause audio/video de-synchronization after a few minutes of desktop video capture
- Improved OpenGL On-Screen Display coordinates calculation for framebuffer
coordinate space mode
- Added custom raster 3D fonts support to On-Screen Display in addition to the previously available vector 2D / 3D fonts. On-Screen Display 3D mode rendering mode switch has been replaced with new vector 2D / vector 3D / raster 3D rendering modes switch
- Now On-Screen Display coordinates are specified in pixels instead of zoomed units
- Now it is possible to use drag-and-drop in On-Screen Display preview window to adjust On-Screen Display position
- Now On-Screen Display supports tabulation symbols for better appearance in conjunction with variable width custom fonts
- Updated Korean localization
- Added Simplified Chinese localization
- Added Indonesian localization
Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity
Deus Ex: Human Revolution will support DirectX 11 right off the bat, and will also be tailor-made for 3D and Eyefinity setups. The Human Revolution devs recently got together to discuss the changes in UI for the PC version of the upcoming shooter.
Eidos Montreal has said it wants to make Human Revolution look and feel like a