ASUS's Dual Socket 2011 Workstation
With the pending launch of the Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon E5 platform, the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS is about to be released. ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS is a dual Socket 2011 motherboard designed for the upcoming 'Sandy Bridge-EP' Xeon E5s, featuring 8 DDR3 dimm slots and 7 PCIe slots in a SSI CEB form factor. Rear view - we see that three out of seven of the PCIe slots have actually 8 lanes worth of solder points only - which makes sense as each CPU has 40 PCIe Gen 3 lanes only.
Nothing notable at the I/O panel except the provision of only two USB 3.0 connectors (probably due to PCB space restrictions). Besides using Intel PHYs and Realtek audio, there is an ASPEED AST2300 2D VGA controller and also provides management over IP.
We also spotted the swappable LOTES 'X-Socket' used on the X79 ROG boards and CHiL PWMs. There was a fully assembled but powered down system next to it - and the use of the performance HyperX rams implied some level of overclocking prowness
Support for 4-Way GPUs - or actually more if you use single-slot cards - via vrzone.
HDD Volumes To Restore 80% in Q1 2012
The global production capacity of hard disk drives (HDDs) will increase to 140-145 million units, about 80% of the level before flooding hit Thailand in late 2011, in the first quarter of 2012, according to industry sources.
HDD makers exhausted their inventories of products and components in December 2011 and January 2012, the sources indicated. However, HDD vendors have not hiked quotes due to the off-season.
Among HDD vendors, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Seagate Technology have suffered less damage from the flooding and therefore have moved faster in restoring production capacities, compared to Toshiba and Western Digital, the sources indicated.
The global HDD production capacity dropped from 175 million units in the third quarter of 2011 to a bottom of 120-125 million units in the fourth quarter due to the flooding and then began to rise along with restoration efforts, the sources said. Global HDD output is expected to increase to 160 million units in the second quarter of 2012 and further to the original level before the flooding in the third quarter, the sources added.
Due to increased costs of components and materials, HDD prices are likely to rise 30-40% from the level before the floods by the end of 2012, the sources indicated.
VIA reveals quad-core mini-ITX motherboard
VIA introduces the EPIA-M900, world's first quad-core mini-ITX motherboard:
VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the world's first quad core Mini-ITX boards featuring the latest VIA QuadCore E-Series processor. The VIA EPIA-M900 and VIA EPIA-M910 are the first two Mini-ITX boards to feature the 1.2GHz VIA QuadCore E-Series processor, offering enhanced multi-tasking and superb multimedia performance on the lowest quad core power budget for next generation embedded products.
The VIA QuadCore E-Series processor features a highly optimized, energy efficient multi-core architecture, which is natively 64-bit compatible and comes with a host of additional performance features including Adaptive Overclocking. To meet the low power demands of the embedded market, the VIA QuadCore E-Series processor offers industry-leading energy efficiency, with the VIA QuadCore E-Series 1.2+ GHz processor delivering a thermal design power (TDP) of only 27.5W. The distributed power of the VIA QuadCore E-Series processor makes it ideal for handling the most demanding HD video formats for immersive multi-display applications and environments.
NVIDIA to brand Tegra 3 cores as 4-PLUS-1
NVIDIA's Tegra 3 is a quad-core chip with a fifth low-power core designed to save battery life. Now the company reveals that 4-PLUS-1 will be the official name of this architecture.
Ghost Recon : Future Soldier - Believe in Ghosts #1
AMD in Playstation 4?
According to reports from Forbes, Sony will make use of AMD technology for next generation console (Playstation 4). The source of this Forbes report is former AMD employees.
Sony is working on an as-yet-unannounced new gaming console, former AMD employees say, and the processor designer may play a key role in the new product.
AMD's graphics technology is already used in Microsofts XBox 360 console. However, Sonys PlayStation 3 introduced in 2006 relies on graphics technology from Nvidia.
AMD declined to comment on the project. Sony Chief Transformation Officer George Bailey also declined to discuss Sony's new console, or even acknowledge its existence.
However, at AMD' analyst day last month, AMD Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seifert identified gaming as one of several trends that will drive revenue growth at AMD in 2012.
MSI's Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) Series Mobo support Intel 22 nm Processors
MSI announces today that MSI's Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) series of motherboards offers official support of Intel's next-generation CPU based on the 22 nm manufacturing process. Users can download the corresponding BIOS listed below at no charge to upgrade their existing MSI Intel Z68/H61 motherboard, allowing a full experience of superior performance and powerful features found on the next-generation 22 nm Intel CPU.
MSI G3 motherboards also fully support the latest PCI Express Gen 3 specification, reaching twice the current bandwidth and maximizing performance from next-generation PCI Express Gen 3 video cards. Via MSI's unique intelligent update tool - Live Update - your computer will automatically download and update the latest BIOS for next-generation CPU compatibility, providing an immediate upgrade without spending extra money on a new motherboard purchase.
MSI motherboard features several models that allows usage of Intel's next-generation 22 nm processor. Additionally, MSI's Intel Z68 (G3)/H61 (G3) series of motherboards fully complies with next-generation PCI Express Gen 3 design specifications. All that is required by the user is a simple update to the newest BIOS via MSI's proprietary Live Update tool, and next-generation 22 nm CPU support is instantly available. Additionally, up to 32 GB/s of amazing bandwidth and support for next-generation PCI Express Gen 3 graphics cards is unlocked, enhancing the enthusiast's ultimate performance experience.
EA DICE Rebuilding Battlefield 3 Huge Patch
EA DICE has releaseda huge list of updates, including tweaks for a pending Battlefield 3 Patch The list covers weapon mechanics changes, vehicle mechanics changes, and changes to the way damage is meted out.
There is no ETA on this patch. There are no notable changes to the resources (sound samples, textures, etc.,) so this patch might not be very big in size.
- EA DICE is practically tearing apart Battlefield 3 as we know it, and rebuilding it with a huge list of updates, including tweaks in the gameplay mechanics, and its background aWeapons Changes:
Added Extended Mags to the ASVAL. The Extended Mags can be unlocked at 200 kills with the AS VAL.
- Reduced the recoil of the SKS rifle and increased its maximum damage at close range.
- Fixed aimed firing max accuracy on the Pecheneg to be consistent with other LMGs.
- Semiautomatic and automatic shotguns firing FRAG rounds now do slightly less splash damage.
- The M26 MASS frag and slug rounds are now the more effective pump action versions.
- The M26 MASS and M320 now benefit from the Laser Sight when mounted with an Underslung Rail.
- Fixed the bolt action timer on the L96 that would cause an animation glitch.
- 9x39mm rounds no longer benefit from the Sniper headshot bonus.
- Increased the damage of the 9x39mm rounds at long range.
- Fixed the AKS74u damage at max range, it was incorrectly higher than other carbines.
- Increased the damage of the .357 and .44 magnum rounds at max range.
- All semiautomatic and bolt weapons, including all shotgun slugs, now have their maximum damage out to 15m.
- Semiautomatic weapons will no longer
Blizzard warns gamer should reduce expectations for Diablo III
Usually game developers hype up their games, but now Blizzard's PR team does the opposite over at Blizzard's official forums and tells gamers that they should lower their expectations for Diablo III. Quite a weird move, is it a way to try to reduce unhealthy expectations or could it be a reflection of how Blizzard feels about Diablo III?
It's possible to read this as an attempt to control the game's hype before release, and it's possible to read this as a roundabout statement of overall quality. Either way, it's an odd statement coming from Blizzard's public relations team, since very few developers have historically told their fans to be a little less excited for release. Of course, with that having been said, it's unlikely that the level of excitement will go down at all. (Bashiok's full quote is just past the cut.)
"On a more serious note, I too worry that we won't be able to meet the expectations people have built up for themselves. Part of my job is managing people's expectations, so... eh... stop it. Stop thinking about how awesome this game could be. Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Sure Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had it's moments, but this right here is the sequel to The Village ... or The Happening ... or Signs ... or any of the movies besides the two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations, but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will be just fine. K?"
Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 OC WindForce review
We test the Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 OC (WindForce) edition. It's a fully fetched R7970 on a customized PCB, it comes factory overclocked for you and next to that they applied their popular WindForce cooler, the one that has a cool number of three active fans. The results are pretty impressive as you'll find out, that factory overclock is boils down to a default clock frequency of 1000 MHz on the GPU core. Next to that the WindForce cooler is able to keep the product under 65 Degrees C, and that's under full load and stress.
Read our review right here.
Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Die Estimated
Intel's Ivy Bridge series of CPUs has been the topic of many rumors and leaks recently, but its die layout has not been disclosed yet. That did not stop Hiroshige Goto, contributor for PC Watch, from estimating it and the configurations it would allow for, says softpedia:
According to him, the layout is the same as the one exhibited by the Sandy Bridge collection.
The central portion has four x86-64 cores, each with 256 KB of dedicated L2 cache memory. All are connected by 8 MB of shared L3 cache.
On the sides of the central portion lie the system agent and the graphics core, the HD 4000 which behaves up to 122.1% better in benchmarks compared to SB's HD 3000.
The system agent includes a PCI Express controller, the DMI chipset bus and the interface for dual-channel DDR3 memory. What binds all these separate entities together is a ring-bus, which transports data between the CPU cores, L3 cache and system agent.
All in all, the die area should be of roughly 166 square millimeters (160 mm
Q4 Graphics Shipment reports
Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers' market share for Q4'11.
We found that shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, the new seasonality that has developed since the economic crash of 2008. Prior to that shift, Q4 was a seasonally up quarter, since 2008 it's been a seasonally low to down quarter
Scythe Katana 4 CPU cooler
Scythe will show off its Katana 4 processor cooler at CeBIT 2012. Additionally, Scythe will also reveal new audio solutions.
Japanese cooling expert Scythe is going to show brand new products at the famous CeBIT trade show in Hannover (Germany) from 6th until 10th March 2012. Scythe booth will be located in the planet reseller hall 15 at the booth number F44, which is organized in a cooperation with its partner Wave Computersysteme GmbH. Interested visitors will be able to discover brand new Scythe products.
Soon to be release Katana 4 CPU Cooler is providing a first outlook into future Scythe product designs. Katana 4 is Scythes this year's exhibition highlight, introducing the innovative fin structure design called A.T.F.S. (Aero Tuning Fin Structure). A.T.F.S. tilted structure utilizes the intake holes for additional precise airflow, maximizing the Katana 4 CPU Cooler's efficiency. In addition, Katana 4 is equipped with the brand new mounting clip set by the name N.G.C.S. (New Generation Clip System). Hence allows the 480 grams cooler to be mounted on latest sockets, providing maximum socket compatibility.
Furthermore, visitors will be able to experience Scythe's top seller products as well as two new digital amplifiers from Scythe audio product portfolio. In particular Scythe will exhibit the two newcomer amplifiers Kama Bay Amp Pro (SDAR-3000) and Kama Bay Amp Mini Pro (SDA35-2000). Both amps are class D amplifiers, which differ in size, design as well as specs. Double decker Kama Bay Amp Pro (SDAR-3000) is utilizing a powerful Toshiba TB2924AFG IC, providing 16 watts of continuous output per channel and a multitude of features.
Compact Kama Bay Amp Mini Pro fits into a common 8,89 cm respectively 3,5 inch bay of a pc chassis. Built-in MAX98400A Power IC from MAXIM allows continuous output of 24 watts per channel. Despite the compact size, Kama Bay Amp Mini Pro is equipped with many features and offers even a Line-in and USB Power connector in the front.
New ThermalTake storage accessories
ThermalTake releases two new storage products; the Max 5G 2.5
Borderlands 2 Launch Date Trailer
Mass Effect 3 - Space Edition Trailer
NVIDIA BIOS Editor 6.04 (NiBiTor)
NVIDIA BIOS Editor (known as NiBiTor), got updated to version 6.04 by its developer. NiBiTor is a lightweight NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro BIOS file manipulation utility that lets to fine-tune your GeForce or Quadro graphics card at the BIOS-level. Version 6.04 packs updated GPU support, some minor fixes and a redesign to support as well unknown devices in some limited way. New GPUs supported by this version are:
Changes in this Version
- Added GeForce GTX 560
- Added Quadro FX1800
- Added Quadro 4000
- Added Quadro 5000
Arctic Alpine 64 PLUS CPU Cooler for AMD
Following the successful launch of Alpine 11 PLUS for Intel, ARCTIC has received a number of requests from AMD users for a compatible version with the same outstanding price-performance ratio. In order to fulfill this market demand, ARCTIC introduces the Alpine 64 PLUS to satisfy AMD power users.
The Alpine 64 PLUS provides a perfect cooling solution with its optimized heatsink to dissipate heat from the CPU. Its high performance 92mm PWM-controlled fan operates at a fan speed range of 600 to 2000 RPM - reaching a maximum cooling capacity of 100 Watts. With a noise level of only 0.4 Sone even at full load, you can hardly hear any sound from this cooler. Furthermore, it comes with a pre-applied ARCTIC MX-4 thermal compound and a transport-proof mounting system for quick installation and maximum user-friendliness.
The Alpine 64 PLUS is simply what power users are looking for when it comes to having sufficient cooling at the lowest noise level at an affordable price. This cooler is compatible with AMD Sockets FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2 and 939. Not that you will ever need it, this cooler does come with a six-year limited warranty with an MSRP at 14.95 USD/ 10.94 EUR, excl. VAT.
- Max. Cooling Capacity 100 Watts
- Heatsink Material Aluminum
- Fan 92 mm, 600 - 2,000 RPM (controlled by PWM)
- Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing
- Noise Level 0.4 Sone
- Current / Voltage 0.22A , 12V
- Dimensions 115 (L) x 98 (W) x 70 (H) mm
- Net Weight 430 g
- Compatibility AMD Socket FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2 and 939