Microsoft IE9 public beta in September
Microsoft said on Thursday that it's currently readying an Internet Explorer 9 public beta for September. According to sources familiar with Microsoft's plans the software giant was originally targeting late August for the public beta but this date slipped slightly. Although Microsoft officials didn't confirm the exact date for the public beta, Neowin believes this will be September 2.
Microsoft originally unveiled Internet Explorer 9 at PDC 2009. IE 9 will take advantage of the power of the GPU for all page rendering and developers can exploit this using CSS, DHTML andjava script . A new JS engine (codenamed Chakra) will also be built into Internet Explorer 9 with greater interoperability and standards support all round. Features such as rounded corner CSS support will be built in. In January, Neowin revealed that Microsoft is planning to enhance tabbed browsing in IE9. According to a software patent, the Quick Tabs feature in Internet Explorer is likely to be enhanced with better functionality and greater tab management options.
Microsoft is also planning broader support for HTML5 in Internet Explorer 9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft, with the help of W3C, performed a total of 192 tests on a variety of browsers. Internet Explorer 9 scored 100% in all eight tests, while every other browser, except Firefox in DOM level 2 style tests, didn't score perfect in any of the test categories.
The screenshots also reveal a download manager for pausing and canceling downloads, a new icon for Internet Explorer 9 and what appears to be greater security control of add-ons. The new features are an early look at what features Microsoft is planning for the first beta of Internet Explorer 9. The screenshots do not reveal any UI changes apart from what appears to be a new icon. Neowin has independently verified the screenshots and we can confirm these are genuine and from a build distributed to internal and external partners.
ATI issues beta driver for StarCraft II AA support
ATI released what seems to be a very rushed beta driver today. The new driver is ATI Catalyst 10.7a beta driver for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
This update brings Anti-Aliasing support (which must be enabled through the ATI Catalyst Control Center) for StarCraft II, as well as a performance enhancement for Eyefinity users running with Quad ATI CrossFireX
G.Skill Phoenix PRO 120GB SSD review
G.Skill Phoenix PRO 120GB SSD gets tested
The SSD tested today once again is the Phoenix series from G.Skill. After we tested their 100GB Phoenix SSD (which received a very positive review) G.Skill instantly requested if we would like to review the 120GB PRO model. Both drives pretty much are the same thing, same controller ...
There is 20GB extra volume space available on the new 120GB Pro (compared to the 100GB model) for nearly the same price. A new Firmware for the SandForce 1200 based controller that is inside this 120GB model simply reserves less NAND flash memory for its data-compression scheme. As a result the overall write performance could be a tiny bit slower, but only a few percent as best. It however will give you 20 GB more space to play around with at the same price. And since price per GB is everything in the land of SSDs -- this certainly is a significant for any vendor and for you as an end-user.
You can read the entire review right here.
GeForce GTS 450 Details
More and more detail surface on the web regarding the pending release of the GeForce GTS 450. which now is supposed to launch somewhere in September.
The new mid-range product is powered by a GF106 GPU. Last week some PCB mock-ups already surfaced on the web. But according to Donanim Haber, NVIDIA pushed back the launch of GTS 450 from 31st August to 13th September.
It also mentioned what seem to be te finalized clock frequencies of this reference SKU, a 789 MHz (core), which put's the shaders at 1578 MHz, and 3760 MHz or 940 MHz actual (128-bit memory). The GPU on this SKU has a 128-bit wide memory interface, carrying 1 GB of GDDR5 memory.
NVIDIA is targeting the 150EUR / $160 price point. Here is that PCB photo I mentioned.
Creative Announces Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 Software Suite
Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software suite - a powerful audio platform equipped with cutting-edge audio technologies designed to enhance ordinary PC systems limited by only basic onboard audio. The Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software suite builds on the success of the original Sound Blaster X-Fi MB, bringing enhancement of onboard PC audio to even greater echelons. Through THX TruStudio Pro audio technology and the latest Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0, users get to enjoy premium audio quality, effects and features on their PC systems.
Gamers can anticipate being blown away by the amazing realism from the unrivalled headphone surround and gaming sound enhancement technologies delivered by the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2. Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 features state-of-the-art multi-environment rendering and reverb modelling, delivering an ultra-realistic and incredibly immersive 3D gaming experience for powering the next generation of cutting-edge PC games. The additional audio cues provided by EAX can also give gamers a competitive advantage in early detection of enemies.
"We are extremely excited to see the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software going into ASUS Republic of Gamers motherboards, with ASUS being the top manufacturer of motherboards in the world and constantly committed to delivering the most innovative and best performing PC solutions to enhance the gaming experience of power users. Our partnership will continue to push the boundaries of PC gaming audio, providing the much-needed realism and immersion in game-play that modern PC games demand," said Steve Erickson, Vice President and General Manager for Audio and Video at Creative.
Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 allows greater detail and speed in gaming audio and adds a dedicated bass feed for 128 voices, so gaming audio becomes more cinematic. Developers can also add interactive music to games, where the music can change based on actions during game-play.
Additional features of Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 include EAX Voice, EAX PurePath and EAX MacroFX. EAX Voice allows gamers to literally become part of the game by speaking and hearing their own voices with the same effects as the environment their character is in. EAX PurePath delivers the most accurate and cinematic surround sound ever experienced by allowing developers total control over Low Frequency Enhancement (LFE) and which speaker(s) gaming audio is played through, while EAX MacroFX recreates close-up audio so accurately that bullets would never have sounded more frightening as they zip past players' heads only centimetres away.
THX TruStudio Pro provides the latest groundbreaking technologies that are products of years of collective experience and research by Creative and THX. THX TruStudio Pro creates unprecedented levels of audio realism, adds dynamics and punch to every gunshot, explosion and gaming sound; and includes stunning surround effects, producing an incredibly realistic surround sound experience even from just a pair of stereo headphones. The THX TruStudio Pro suite of technologies features THX TruStudio Pro Surround, THX TruStudio Pro Crystalizer, THX TruStudio Pro Speaker, THX TruStudio Pro Dialog Plus and THX TruStudio Pro Smart Volume.
Other audio technologies such as EAX reverbs and a 10-band graphic equalizer allow users to enhance their music even more. These essential audio effects and controls are conveniently placed in a central and intuitive Sound Blaster Console. In addition, a suite of cool players are included to enhance the PC music listening experience, giving users full control over their music streaming and integrating seamlessly with iTunes and Windows Media libraries.
Key Features of Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2:
- THX TruStudio Pro audio technology creates unprecedented levels of audio realism, adds dynamics and punch to every gunshot, explosion and gaming sound; and includes stunning surround effects, producing an incredibly realistic surround sound experience even from just a pair of stereo headphones
- Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 features state-of-the-art multi-environment rendering and reverb modelling, delivering an amazingly realistic and immersive 3D gaming experience
- Creative VoiceFX technology allows users to morph their voices into other personas to help players stay in character and add flair to their online role-playing experiences
- Creative ALchemy is a powerful tool that restores EAX effects and 3D surround audio for legacy, DirectSound 3D game titles running on Windows Vista and Windows 7, re-enabling that same great gaming experience
- Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 comes with native OpenAL support, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of PC games developed with OpenAL for an incredible 3D audio experience
For more information can be found at this page.
DDR3 prices will drop a little
DDR3 contract quotes have declined 2% on average for the latter half of July while the price for DDR2 parts has remained steady, according to DRAMeXchange.
Contract prices for 1Gb DDR3 have slid by up to 2.4% to US$2.44-63 in the second half of July, driving the price of 2GB DDR3 modules to US$42-45. Meanwhile, prices for same-density DDR2 ones held flat from the first half.
Korea-based chip vendors managed keep their late July prices stable, but some other DRAM makers agreed to cut their prices to US$42 because of slower-than-expected demand, DRAMeXchange indicated.
Industry watchers expect PC replacement demand from the enterprise sector to emerge by the end of 2010, but have also expressed concerns that capacity ramp-ups by major DRAM producers using more advanced processes may again cause a supply glut around the same period.
The watchers pointed out that demand from Europe and the US is still sluggish. China is also having slow sales due to a government probe of DRAM smuggling, the watchers added.
Spot prices for mainstream 1Gb chips all went down during the morning session today, according to latest quotes posted by DRAMeXchange. Average prices for branded and effectively tested (eTT) 1Gb DDR3 were US$2.44 and US$2.28, respectively, as of 11am Taiwan time (UTC+8) July 29. Meanwhile, prices for branded and eTT 1Gb DDR2 averaged US$2.04 and US$2.11, respectively - via digitimes
MSI GX660 and GX660R gaming laptops
MSI introduced the GX660 and GX660R, two new 15.6" gaming laptops with Intel Core i7 processor and the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphics card. The MSI GX660 features TDE technology and superior Dynaudio sound. It also supports dual hard disk architecture; doubling capacity and performance (GX660R comes with RAID 0 architecture). Powerful performance and multimedia capabilities designed to overwhelm your senses.
PowerColor HD5770 Single Slot gets pixelized
With a bit of luck by late next week we'll have four of them here in the lab for some extensive testing in quadfire. Check thos pgoto of the 'single slot' version of the PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 graphics card. The card has a compact cooling solution and features DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI outputs. It won't be a quiet graphics card alright !
Starcraft 2 Collectors Edition unboxing
StarCraft II is finally released, and i've been playing for two days now with much pleasure ! Here's a video covering the collectors edition. Anything is on YouTube these days :)
Meanwhile VGChartz claims StarCraft II is on track to become one of the fastest selling PC games of all time. Around 1.8 million copies have been sold across the Americas and Europe, and this doesn't even include sales from StarCraft fanatic Korea.
HAWX 2 spreads its wings September 7
Ubisoft has announced the release date for H.A.W.X. 2, coming to the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on September 7th. If you only have a Wii, ouch! The launch date for the Wii is not until November 7th. [via ggmania].
Guru3D Rig of the Month - July 2010
Guru3D Rig of the Month - July 2010
Meet Kyle Brocke , a mechanical engineer working for NASA. He made his PC his own Fish tank based PC. He claims that it has way better cooling then most extreme air or water cooled machines. We just go by the looks and think that is an awesome design !
Kyle Brocke is the winner of Rig of The Month July 2010. Meet this man at the age of 24 with his rather wet PC, a fish tank !
You can read all about his rig right here:
Panasonic HDC-SDT750 - a 3D camcorder
Panasonic is unveil a consumer-level 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750 certainly looks interesting. In effect a regular Full HD camcorder with a new, image-splitting lens attachment, the SDT750 can shoot 960 x 1080 resolution 3D footage, or
NZXT Phantom Enthusiast Full Tower Chassis
NZXT is proud to announce Phantom, the company
Alienware M11x UltraPortable review
Recently Alienware released the M11x UltraPortable laptop which you can configure with Core i3/i5/i7 and next to that it received the royal NVIDIA Optimus treatment. Basically you have two graphics processors inside the laptop.
One embedded Intel IGP for the regular 2D stuff and the minute you start up games, an NVIDIA chip will take over and manage your accelerated gaming experience, but is this Ultra portable any good ?
You can read all about it in this Guru3D article right here.
AMD preps native USB 3.0 chipset
AMD is currently in talks with Renesas Electronics, which was merged with Japan-based NEC, about the licensing of USB 3.0 technology, and is considering integrating USB 3.0 support in its upcoming Hudson D1 southbridge chipsets, according to sources from notebook makers says digitimes.
The Hudson D1 chipset will be introduced for AMD's 40nm Ontario APUs that are set to be shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. The new platform will mainly target the ultra-thin notebook and netbook markets.
In 2011, AMD will launch Llano-based processors for its mainstream desktop and notebook segments.
AMD is set to launch six-core Phenom II X6 1045T; dual-core X2 560; quad-ore Athlon II X4 645 and 650; and triple-quad Athlon II X3 450 and 455 processors in third-quarter 2010. The company will also launch the single-core Sempron 150 in the fourth quarter.
NVIDIA Fermi based Quadro cards outted
NVIDIA issued five products with the Quadro 4000 has 2GB of GDDR5 memory and 256 stream processors (SP). Also, the Quadro 5000 has 2.5GB VRAM and 352 stream processors, whereas the Quadro 5000M, for mobile workstations, boasts 2GB GDDR5 and 320 SP. The shader processor count hints to the GF104 GPU being used, which is the latest update of Fermi running in the GeForce GTX 460 as well.
Then in the more powerful segment a GF100 silicon wazs used as the Quadro 6000 has a good 6GB graphics memory (!) and 448 stream processors. And then get this, the Quadro Plex, the most powerful by far, with a massive 12GB of memory and 896 SP -- obviously empowered by two GPUs.
"We have built engines like AXE to enable the creation of next-gen applications. When you couple these technologies with our Fermi architecture, the result is a new Quadro family that's exponentially better than anything the market has ever seen " said Jeff Brown, general manager, professional solutions group at Nvidia.
Tagan PipeRock III PSU has heatpipe cooling system
Interesting concept, Tagan has reelased a new model PSU, the PipeRock III. It is a line of 80Plus Silver power supplies with a heatpipe equipped internal cooling system and 135mm LED fan.
The PipeRock III PSUs are EPS12V v2.91 and ATX v2.2 compliant, and feature four 12V rails, an efficiency of up to 85% (80Plus Silver certified), a super heat-pipe-equipped internal cooling system, a 13.5cm LED fan (thermally controlled), and ribbon cables for easier wire management.
The Tagan PipeRock III 700W is already shipping for 129EUR, while 800W, 900W and 1000W versions will follow by mid-August [via tcmagazine].
Apple Cinema Display 27-inch available in September
Some will love em, some will hate them, fact is these are good monitors alright. Apple slipped it will start shipping a 27" Cinema Display in September. This new LED-backlit has an IPS (color precise) panel with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, it will ship for $999. For an IPS screen at that resolution its a pretty nice deal.