Mushkin preps PCIe and mSATA SandForce SF-2281 SSDs
Mushkin is set to release PCIe and mSATA solid state disks based on the SandForce SF-2281 controller, you can learn more about these disks over here. Based on the ever-popular SF-2281 controller, the Chronos Go use a 1.8in form factor, compared to the 2.5in seen on most shipping SSDs. Fitting into the new breed of thinner and lighter notebooks, Mushkin says that performance hasn't been compromised. Available in capacities up to 480GB and in Toggle-mode and regular MLC NAND flavours, representing Deluxe and Standard models, both drives share a common 565MB/s sequential read and 525MB/s sequential write speeds and 90K IOPS.
Shrinking the form factor down to mSATA brings us to the Atlas SSDs. These incy-wincy drives are designed to fit into the burgeoning Ultrabooks touted by Intel's cohort of notebook partners. Specifications remain impressive, topping out at 565MB/s sequential read and 535MB/s sequential write, and just like the Chronos duo, are available in Toggle-mode and standard NAND. The premium Toggle-mode NAND performs better when dealing with compressed files, often the Achilles' Heel of SandForce drives, and Mushkin is bringing in the very latest 24nm stuff here.
Max Payne 3 Release Date
Rockstar Games sends along a Press Release containing the Max Payne 3 release date, May 15, 2012.
Rockstar Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., is proud to announce that Max Payne 3 is expected to launch on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system on May 15, 2012 in North America and May 18, 2012 internationally; and for the PC on May 29, 2012 in North America and June 1, 2012 internationally.
'Max Payne 3 brings powerful storytelling back to the action-shooter genre,' said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. 'Rockstar Studios are delivering a game that's both incredibly cinematic and very, very intense to play.'
Based on incredibly precise and fluid gunplay and maintaining the series famed dark and cinematic approach, Max Payne 3 follows the famed former New York detective onto the streets of So Paulo, Brazil. Max Payne now works in executive protection for the wealthy Rodrigo Branco in the hopes of escaping the memories of his troubled past. When a street gang kidnaps Rodrigo's wife, Max is pulled into a conspiracy of shadowy, warring factions threading every aspect of So Paulo society in a deadly web that threatens to engulf everyone and everything around him.
In another first for the series, Max Payne 3's multiplayer offering brings the games cinematic feel, fluid gunplay and kinetic sense of movement into the realm of online multiplayer. Building on the fiction and signature gameplay elements of the Max Payne universe, Max Payne 3 features a wide range of new and traditional multiplayer modes that play on the themes of paranoia, betrayal and heroism, all delivered with the same epic visual style of the single-player game. For more information, log onto www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne3.
MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 11
We've have been working hard on AfterBurner, today we release an updated Beta revision of Afterburner, this application successfully secured the leading position on graphics card utilities.
Today we release an updated Beta revision of Afterburner, this application successfully secured the leading position on graphics card utilities. We're happy to see MSI Afterburner is leading the overclock applications. MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 11 is ready
Changes list includes:
- Added memory voltage control for reference design AMD RADEON 7970 graphics cards with CHL8228 voltage regulators
- Now MSI Afterburner displays target VID instead of real voltage sensor reading on "GPU voltage" graph on graphics cards equipped with CHL8228 voltage regulators. These changes are implemented to avoid confusing the beginners and prevent the hysteria about voltage drop on AMD RADEON 7970 series graphic cards spreading across different discussion forums. Experienced users, understanding the difference between target and real voltages, may still unlock the previous real voltage monitoring mode via editing the hardware profiles
- Core and memory clock limits have been extended to 180% on AMD RADEON 7970 graphics cards in unofficial overclocking mode
- Now MSI Afterburner's startup daemon routine precaches VRM I2C registers state at the first Windows startup. Precached VRM state is being used to detect default voltage instead of hardcoding default voltages into the database. Please take a note that you may forcibly perform precaching later with command line switch or disable the precaching at all via configuration file if necessary and force MSI Afterburner to use the previous hardcoded database based default voltage detection
- MSI On-Screen Display server has been upgraded to version 4.3.1. New version gives you the following improvements:
o Added workaround for AMD OpenGL driver context switching issues causing abnormally low framerate in ID Software Rage when OSD is enabled
o Added workaround for AMD OpenGL driver PBO issues causing the driver to crash or perform abnormally slow during videocapture
NVIDIA to launch GeForce GTX 680 in February ?
More and more rumors appear are surrounding NVIDIA with a poending graphics card release.
As you guys all know, the new GPU, Kepler, is launching very late for unknown reasons. The flagship part might even be released end of year.
However, the latest rumor was that the new mid-range segment cards would be launching (delayed to) April this year. According to an (their own acclaimed) reliable source at ChipHell they learned that NVIDIA's GeForce "GTX 680" part could be launched some time in February.
The source says that this part would be competitive with the HD 7970, though not exactly NVIDIA's fastest next-generation GPU in the works. Which seems to confirm that a high-end part is nowhere near release.
The small bits of information are oozing out in a rather steady flow and slowly build the idea that some sort of launch late February (right before Cebit) might be a plausible.
The 28nm GPU based graphics cards based on this part would be equipped with 2 GB of memory, and its core clock speed is supposed to be 780 MHz.
NZXT the Switch 810 Full Tower PC Chassis
NZXT announces the Switch 810 hybrid chassis. Built for the hardcore PC enthusiast, Switch 810 is the most versatile and highly adaptable full tower chassis to date. It enables you to easily modify cooling performance from extreme liquid cooling, to superb airflow, or whisper-quiet silence.
Switch 810 aggressively eliminates heat, boasting support for 280 mm radiators, up to ten 140/120 mm fans. One of the most noteworthy features is an industry-first, unique hybrid fins that you can close to minimize noise and dust accumulation or open to expose passageways for maximum airflow.
NZXT ensures maximum expandability with two removable HDD cages with a potential of up to 7 HDDs equipped with two pivoting 120/140 mm fans that direct airflow at 15⁰ to the VGA and CPU. There are 9 expansion slots for installing EATX motherboards with Quad SLI, or Triple crossfire. Multimedia access is optimized with high speed dual USB 3.0, a hard drive dock, and an SD card reader.
Switch 810 offers stress-free installation with immaculate wire management and tool-less 5.25" and 3.5"/2.5" SSD hard drive installation for easy accessibility. Additional features that solidify Switch 810 as the PC enthusiast's dream chassis include a rear white LED light added visibility in dark environments and an acrylic window lets you peer in at your masterful build.
"Switch 810 is truly the pinnacle of high performance computing" said Johnny Hou, Founder of NZXT. "It offers enthusiasts an array of advanced features intuitively implemented into one of the most unique designs we've ever created."
The Switch 810 is available for $169.99.
EVGA Precision v2.1.2 Available
EVGA Precision allows you to fine tune your GeForce graphics card for the maximum performance possible, with Core/Shader/Memory clock tuning, real time monitoring support including in-game, Logitech Keyboard LCD Display support, and compatibility with almost all EVGA (and other) graphics cards.
- Updated EVGA Voltage Tuner:
- Fixed bug preventing EVTune from applying settings at Windows startup
- EVGA On-Screen Display server has been upgraded to version 4.3.1. New version gives you the following improvements:
- Added new profile setting "Enable compatibility with modified Direct3D runtime libraries" allowing EVGA On-Screen Display Server to detect runtime function offsets dynamically on each 3D application startup. This provides On-Screen Display functionality support in applications using modified Direct3D runtime libraries (e.g. FXAA injection Direct3D runtimes)
- Added new profile settings allowing you to limit the framerate during gaming. Limiting the framerate during gaming can help to reduce the power consumption as well as it can improve gaming experience due to removing unwanted microstutteing effect caused by framerate fluctuations
- Added Vector 3D On-Screen Display rendering mode support for OpenGL applications
- Added Raster 3D On-Screen Display rendering mode support for OpenGL applications using ARB shaders (e.g. ID Software's Rage)
- Graph limits are now adjustable in the graph properties in "Monitoring" tab
- Added unified vendor independent videomemory usage monitoring layer for graphics cards, having no generic videomemory monitoring interfaces implementation in display drivers. Unified videomemory usage monitoring layer is based upon original concepts of accessing Direct3D kernel mode thunk statistics under Windows Vista and Windows 7, introduced by Mark Russinovich in ProcessExplorer 15. By default unified videomemory usage monitoring path is enabled as a fallback path on NVIDIA graphics cards when generic NVAPI videomemory usage monitoring is not available (e.g. on NVIDIA graphics cards unattached to Windows desktop, such as dedicated PhysX or other GPGPU graphics cards). Power users may redefine unified and generic videomemory monitoring paths usage behaviors via the configuration file.
Download - click here
Yeston AMD Cost-Effective Tahiti PCB
An interesting post on TPU today, Chinese AMD AIB partner Yeston has a Radeon HD 7970 PCB to show, that reportedly is more cost-effective, and it is the "Tahiti" PCB alright:
It is quite likely that this PCB will be used for Radeon HD 7950, apart from affordable HD 7970 cards. Radeon HD 7950, like its costlier sibling, will have a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface.
Its designers seems to have done some clever cost-cutting which will make cards based on it more affordable (or at least more profitable), without sacrificing quality much. The PCB uses a 8+1+1 phase VRM, consisting of cost-effective ferrite core chokes, LFPAK MOSFETs, and probably a UPI-made VRM controller. Yeston will most likely use a top-flow cooler, and hence made room for two DVI connectors next to one each of HDMI 1.4a and standard DisplayPort 1.2. The dual-BIOS feature of AMD's high-end reference HD 7970 PCB is blanked out on this PCB.
Crucial releases m4 SSD Firmware update
Crucial m4 solid state disk users smile breathe again as the company has finally released a firmware fix for a fatal flaw that caused the disks to become very unstable after using the drive for around 5,000 hours. The new firmware can be downloaded at Crucial's support page.
Changes made in version 0002 (m4 can be updated to revision 0309 directly from either revision 0001, 0002, or 0009)
Correct a condition where an incorrect response to a SMART counter will cause the m4 drive to become unresponsive after 5184 hours of Power-on time. The drive will recover after a power cycle, however, this failure will repeat once per hour after reaching this point. The condition will allow the end user to successfully update firmware, and poses no risk to user or system data stored on the drive.
This firmware update is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for drives in the field. Although the failure mode due to the SMART Power On Hours counter poses no risk to saved user data, the failure mode can become repetitive, and pose a nuisance to the end user. If the end user has not yet observed this failure mode, this update is required to prevent it from happening.
If you are using a SAS Expander please do not download this Firmware. As soon as we have a Firmware Update that will work in these applications we will release it.
And if you haven't done so, check out our M4 review right here.
Wintel tablets to sell in $600-900 range ?
DigiTimes heard x86 tablets with Windows 8 may be priced from $599 to $899.
Wintel-based tablet PCs may see their prices go as high as US$599-899 due to Intel and Microsoft both being unwilling to drop their related hardware and software quotes, and as a result, it could push consumers from wanting to purchase the devices, according to sources from notebook vendors.
As for Intel and Microsoft, the sources pointed out that Intel and Microsoft are also struggling since if Microsoft drops its Windows 8 and Intel drops its Clover Trail-W prices, although the strategy could help raise Wintel-based tablet PC's market share, it could also seriously damage pricing in the PC market and bring down their gross margin performance.
AMD Radeon HD 7950 released in two weeks
AMD is planning to unveil its Radeon HD 7950 graphics card by the end of January, while NVIDIA is anticipated to introduce its 28nm Kepler GPU in April, at the latest.
The sources noted that Nvidia wishes to make sure that the power consumption and the manufacturing process of the graphics chip all reach perfection before entering the 28nm generation. Since Nvidia is set to release its 28nm graphics card around the same time as Intel's upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, the sources believe Kepler series GPUs may have a chance to catch up with the demand for Intel's new CPUs.
Nvidia is set to release several 28nm Kepler-based GPUs including GK104, which will replace the existing GeForce GTX 560Ti; GK107, targeting the entry-level PC market; GK106, targeting the mid-range to entry-level market; GK110, which is equipped with two GK104 GPUs; and the highest-end GK112, which may be released in the fourth quarter or 2013.
The Secret World - Illuminati Teaser
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action Video
Corsair Vengeance 1500 and 1100 Headset review
We review the all new Corsair Vengeance 1500 and 1100 Headsets, aimed at gamers that demand some headset queasily. Will Corsair live up to it's reputable reputation ? The Vengeance 1500 is the top of the Corsair headset line, supplanting the HS1 of a few short years ago.
Like the HS1, the Vengeance 1500 is a USB powered surround-sound monster headset with hefty 50mm drivers and revised USB drivers that now include Dolby 7.1 surround, and capable of 24-bit/96 KHz playback. The behind-the-ear Vengeance 1100 are a smaller hybrid USB/analog headset, with mere 40mm drivers, offering 16-bit/48 KHz playback in stereo. There is a third Vengeance headset, the 1300, but it is an analog version of the 1500 and we don't anticipate them sounding much different than the 1500.
Let's find out, read the article here.
Samsung Series 9 gen2 - 0.5-inch thick ultrabook
Samsung launched its 2nd-gen Series 9 ultraportable notebook, shaving the 15-incher
ASUS VA278Q gets detailed
Over at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, ASUS showcased a new monitor designed for professional artists and photographers, a 27-inch model called VA278Q that features an LED backlight, an IPS panel, a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, and 178/178 degree viewing angles.
The VA278Q features a 27
Scythe Kaze Master Pro Ace fan controller
Scythe introduced the Kaze Master Pro Ace, a new fan controller that will be sold in the EU for 34.90EUR (excl. VAT). The built-in technology is based on the already announced Kaze Master Pro 5.25 fan controller, which now comes with classy aluminum front panel design. Hence allows it to match more pc chassis on the market, especially pc chassis with an aluminum front panel.
New Kaze Master Pro Ace fan controller allows users to adjust fan speed of up to fans separately as well as monitoring up to 6 temperature sensors. Adjustments of fan speeds are being made using the 6 potentiometers located in the lower part of the aluminum front panel. Using the other two potentiometers located on the sides, it is possible to choose 2 of the 6 channels to be displayed on the built-in VF-Display (Vacuum Fluorescent Display).
Connected fans speed is controlled by altering of the output voltage. Each fan channel can be separately regulated in a voltage regulation range between 3,7 and 12 Volts. Users are able to monitor the actual fan speed on the VF-Display in 30 rpm steps up to the maximum fans peed of 9990 rpm. Temperature values can be displayed both in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit. Kaze Master Pro Ace is able to measure temperatures in the range between 0 and 100
Mass Effect 3 PC Will Require Origin
Bioware's Chris Priestly has confirmed that Mass Effect 3 on PC will require Origin, and won't be available on Steam.
1) Will Origin be a requirement to play all versions of Mass Effect 3? (Digital and/or from a retail brick and mortar store)
Yes, Origin is required for all PC editions of Mass Effect 3, physical or digital.
2) Is constant Origin connection required or is it a single one off authentication when the game is first installed. Is there also a limit to the number of installations available?
Mass Effect 3 will require a one time, single authorization for the single player game. There is no limit to the number of installs. Playing Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer will require a constant connection.
3) Is Origin required for the retail versions of the game?
Origin is required for the PC versions of Mass Effect 3, both physical and digital.
4) Will ME3 be available on Steam?
During initial release Mass Effect 3 will be available on Origin and a number of other 3rd party digital retailers, but not on Steam at this time. Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. We are intent on providing Mass Effect to players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers.
5) Is there an opt in or opt out clause for data collection?
Users will be allowed to opt-out of Mass Effect 3 data collection from inside the game.
6) I've seen reports that Origin is spyware. Is this true?
Origin is not spyware, and does not use or install spyware on user's machines. In order to allow Origin to install games and their patches for everyone to use, Origin implements a permission change that results in Windows, not Origin, reviewing the filenames in the ProgramData/Origin folder. This is an ordinary Windows function, not an information-gathering process.