Intel 2012 SSD Roadmap Surfaces
VR Zone received details about Intel's 2012 solid state disk line-up covering everything from low th high-end:
Intel has plans for the solid state drive (SSD) market that look deep into 2012. It is becoming increasingly clear that the company wants to give its SSD portfolio the breakneck product cycle its processor lineup enjoys, that of generation leaps every year or so. Looking into 2012, we see new models targeting pretty much every market segment.
To begin with, Intel will enter 2012 calendar year with many of the products it introduced very recently, some it hasn't even done yet. These include the SSD 520 "Cherryville", SSD 710 "Lyndonville", SSD 720 "Ramsdale", and "Hawley Creek" mSATA SSDs. Several of these will launch within the fourth quarter of 2011. Intel will then allow these products to lead the portfolio for the remainder of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 (i.e. till the end of March 2012).
In the second quarter of 2012, Intel will launch "Ramsdale MLC". Simply put, this is a variant of "Ramsdale" Intel SSD 720 series PCI Express SSDs, which uses 25 nm MLC-HET NAND flash memory instead of SLC NAND flash found on the standard "Ramsdale". MLC-HET allows Intel to double capacities, while offering comparable endurance to SLC, and much higher price per gigabyte. It does, however, come at the cost of slightly lower throughput. Hence, Ramsdale MLC isn't really a replacement, but more of an expansion of the 700 Series PCI Express family.
Around the same time, Intel will launch "King Crest", a successor of SSD 520 "Cherryville" family. This is most definitely a successor, since it uses 25 nm MLC-HET NAND flash instead of regular 25 nm NAND flash found on SSD 520. We don't expect any leaps in terms of capacities, but endurance, sequential data-rates, and throughput can be expected to go up. Like the SSD 520, "King Crest" comes in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface.
Some really big changes are reserved for the third quarter of 2012. Here, we find a new product taking shape, codenamed "Taylorsville". This one is slated to succeed SSD 710 "Lyndonville", with significant increases in capacities. "Taylorsville" will be available in capacities of 800 GB, 400 GB, and 200 GB. Like SSD 710, it will make use of MLC-HET NAND flash, the 2.5-inch form-factor, and SATA 6 Gbps interface.
Finally, there is "Lincoln Crest", a successor of SSD 320 series. These drives will mark the transition of Intel's mainstream-thru-value SSDs to the SATA 6 Gbps interface. It will make use of MLC-HET NAND flash, and hence will be a lot more durable, and speedy compared to SSD 320 series.
Click the thumbnail.
AMD FX watercooling kit gets pictured
I just got an email from AMD yesterday evening that AMD is shipping out coolign kits to reviewers, this must be it. A watercooling bundle for AMD's 8-core FX "Bulldozer" chips. It's unknown which models will be available with this cooler, which looks rather similar to the Antec Kuhler H2O 920.
The Asian site XFastet has posted up four pictures of the new water cooler that AMD will be offering for improved cooling of the new 8-core processors.
New ASRock X79 Extreme7 photos
Some new photos of ASRock's upcoming X79 Extreme7 motherboard have surfaced on TPU (through xfastest) today:
ASRock is readying is new, high-end socket LGA2011 motherboard targeting the upper-most tier of the PC enthusiast market, the X79 Extreme7. This board will be a part of the company's first wave of LGA2011 motherboards, which are slated for mid-November, 2011. Pictures scored by XFastest reveal the board to be filled to the brim with features. The CPU socket is powered by a 16-phase VRM making use of high-grade chokes, and server-grade poscap capacitors.
The socket is wired to six DDR3 DIMM slots arranged in sets of three on either sides of the socket, powered by a 4-phase VRM. Among channels A, B, C, and D; channels B and D have two DIMM slots wired, so if you have four DDR3 modules, you should populate slots 0, 2, 3, and 5; to take advantage of quad-channel DDR3 memory. There are heatsinks over the memory VRM areas, that are connected to the heatsink over the CPU VRM using heat pipes.
OCZ ZS series 650W power supply review
OCZ releases the ZS model in a three fold of models, a 550W model priced at 55 EUR, a 650 model priced at 65 EUR and a 750W model priced at 75 EUR (USD conversion is similar at the moment). The big question with it remain reasonably efficient and most of alls stable ? Today we'll grab a couple of other power supplies and see how efficient the PSU is and how well it behaves under load.
Read the review here.
Asus PCI Express 3.0 Compliant Maximus IV GENE-Z/GEN3
In short, it's the same as the Asus Maximus IV GENE-Z we reviewed yet now with Gen 3 support on the PCIe lanes.
ASUS announced another PCIe 3.0 compliant board, the Asus ROG Maximus IV GENE-Z/GEN3.
Asus' new motherboard uses the same design as the previous version of the Gene Z, which has now received PCI Express 3.0 compliant bridge chips to support this new standard.
Otherwise, the board is identical with its non-GEN3 predecessor and includes an important number of enthusiast features like AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI support, ROG Connect support and an on-board Supreme X-Fi sound chip.
In addition to the two PCI Express x16 Gen 3 slots that are required for dual-GPU setups, Asus has also included an open-ended PCI-E x4 slot (this is only PCIe Gen 2 compliant).
Storage is provided by six SATA ports, two of the 6Gbps variety, and Asus has also included a USB 3.0 header which allows for two such ports to be routed to the front of the case.
Another two USB 3.0 ports can be found on the rear I/O panel along with an impressive number of USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA connectors, 7.1-channel audio with a digital S/PDIF output and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
Since we are dealing with an Intel Z68 board, the Taiwanese company has also included an HDMI video output, which is placed right below the S/PDIF connector.
This means that the Maximus IV Gene-Z is fully compatible with the LucidLogix Virtu on-the-fly graphics switching technology as well as Intel's Quick Sync technology. Smart Response is also supported.
CPU power is delivered by a complex Extreme Engine Digi+ PWM with an 8-phase design that Asus claims it can deliver a whopping 250A of current to the processor.
Pricing and availability details are sadly lacking from Asus' press release, but don't get too disappointed as there isn't any reason why you would need such a PCI Express 3.0 motherboard until Ivy Bridge arrives.
Gigabyte Force K3 gaming keyboard
Check out Gigabyte's Force K3 gaming keyboard. Pricing and launch date are still unknown.
It is a wired gaming keyboard featuring a sexy matte black coating, a durable chassis, and enlarged rubber domes which allow for a fast and reliable keystroke response.
The upcoming keyboard measures 490 (L) x 263 (W) x 32.8 (H) mm, it weights about 900 grams, and has a one-piece rubber sheet design, a 1.5meter cable, a gold-plated USB connector, blue LED indicators and some clearly-marked gaming keys.
Spire reveals three Kepler CPU coolers
Yep yep .. Kepler :)
Spire introduced Kepler, a new series of budget processor heatsinks. The basic Kepler cooler offers two direct-touch heatpipes and a heatsink with 45 aluminium fins. The Kepler II has three direct-touch heatpipes and 45 aluminum fins and the Kepler Pro edition offers four direct-touch heatpipes and 50 aluminium fins. All three models use a 92mm fan and come S420 thermal compound. Intel's Socket 775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD's Socket AM2/AM3 platforms are all supported.
The Spire all new Kepler universal micro-processor cooler series are direct contact heat-pipe solutions for Core i3/i5 and i7 from Intel and the AMD AM2/3/FM1 micro-processors. There are three (3) different models ranging from two up to four 6mm sinter powder heat-pipes which are in direct contact with the cpu heat-source, dissipating heat effectively and fast.
The high density fins are crowned with a powerful fan for high airflow and great cooling performance. The 92mm dc fan provides ample airflow and silent cooling at 19.0dBA. Compatibility is ensured with the multi-platform mounting clip for Intel 775/1155/1556 sockets and AM2/AM3/FM1 micro-processors. The Kepler series from Spire are build to deliver great cooling for maximum system performance.
Kepler USD 19.95 / EURO 14.99
Kepler II USD 25.95 / EURO 18.99
Kepler Pro USD 38.95 / EURO 27.99
CoD:Modern Warfare 3 - Redemption SP Trailer
Developing Rage for Consoles Was a Huge Mistake
id Software founder and programming legend John Carmack has just given a bold statement that may not pleased consoles gamers. He said, "one of the larger mistakes" he made with RAGE was allowing consoles to have an equal place in development alongside the PC.
In an interview to PC Gamer, John Carmack said, "When we started on the game six years ago, I looked at the consoles and said
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter
AMD Catalyst 11.10 Preview2 [BF3 & RAGE Driver]
Corsair H100 review
The product we test today is the Corsair H100, all pimped up with a new design radiator and internally regulated control for pump and fans. Next to that what's interesting is that this product is based on a dual 120mm rad, and that gives the series a heck of lot more performance over previous products.
Now combining that with an easy on the eyes, relatively tool free installation and then Corsair might have a winner in their hands. Let's find out, read the review right here.
Western Digital WD TV Live With Spotify
Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV media player family, today introduced the next generation of its WD TV Live streaming media player, an easy to use Wi-Fi enabled media player that is the first in its category to deliver the Spotify music service.
WD TV Live features WD's newest intuitive user interface that delivers the latest hit movies, TV shows, music and online services from companies like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Blockbuster directly to your TV. The new streaming media player connects to the Internet wirelessly or through an Ethernet connection, with the high performance 802.11n wireless connectivity supporting Full-HD 1080p video resolution.
In addition to premium Internet content, WD TV Live allows users to enjoy personal media such as photos, video and music on their home entertainment systems by supporting a wide range of file formats for streaming content from any connected USB drive, digital camcorder or camera, network drive such as the My Book Live personal cloud storage, and any networked PC or Mac computer in the home.
Adding to the WD TV family's current content offerings from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, CinemaNow, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and many others, WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub are the first streaming media players to deliver Spotify's acclaimed music service. Premium Spotify subscribers can now enjoy unlimited on-demand access to Spotify's catalog of over 15 million songs in excellent sound quality (available in up to 320kbps) on their home entertainment system.
WD incorporates Spotify's popular features in the new service, including the ability to create and manage Spotify playlists, share songs to Spotify friends, and see and subscribe to friends' playlists via their Spotify profiles. Users can also share tracks by sending songs directly to other Spotify users' inboxes. Spotify for WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub delivers an exciting new way to enjoy and share music on the best sound system in your home.
Pascal de Mul, Global Head of Hardware Partnerships, Spotify, commented: "We're really excited to make further steps into the living room with the streaming media players from Western Digital, which from today offer the full Spotify streaming catalog in a truly innovative TV-focused user experience."
In addition to Spotify and WD's current content offerings, WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub will also now include the Dailymotion video service. The application offers quality video content from users, independent content creators and premium partners, including high-quality and HD video.
Price and Availability
The new WD TV Live streaming media player can be purchased at select retailers worldwide and online at wdstore.com. MSRP for the WD TV Live streaming media player is $99.99 USD. Spotify is now available on the new WD TV Live players, as well as the WD TV Live Hub streaming media player, which features a built-in 1 TB hard drive to store personal content locally for TV streaming. The Spotify service is available in eight countries: USA, UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, the Netherlands and Spain.
Possible Rage buggy/blurry texture fixes
Bethesda has a support thread with possible fixes for the poor visual quality experienced by PC gamers:
Below are solutions that may resolve issues you're experiencing with screen tearing, as well as blurry textures + texture popping. If you're experiencing these issues, we recommend you try these one at a time. If for any reason your performance suffers, revert back to the prior settings.
Issues w/ screen tearing
RAGE currently does not have a menu option to turn V-sync on or off.
If the graphics driver supports a so called "swap-tear" extension then RAGE will use it and RAGE will V-sync when running >= 60 FPS and RAGE will tear when < 60 FPS. Unfortunately at the release of RAGE, none of the graphics drivers have the "swap-tear" extension enabled.
The user can force V-sync on or off in the graphics vendor control panel. Right-click on the desktop to access the graphics vendor control panel.
If V-sync is forced on then RAGE will always V-sync.
If V-sync is forced off then RAGE will auto-detect that V-sync is not working and RAGE will instead synchronize to real-time and screen tearing may occur.
Alternatively you can force V-sync on by adding the following to the RAGE launch options in Steam:
The launch options can be found by right-clicking on RAGE in Steam and selecting "Properties". Then click on "Set Launch Options" in the dialog that pops up.
Blurry Textures and Texture Popping
The texture streaming is limited by the performance and number of cores of the main processor (CPU).
The higher the resolution at which the game renders and the higher the anti-aliasing setting, the more texture data is needed to texture the environment. If you do not have a high end CPU you may momentarily see blurrier textures and texture popping when the view changes quickly.
If you have a processor with few cores and you have a high end NVIDIA graphics card then you can try turning on the "GPU Transcode" menu option in the video settings menu in RAGE. By enabling this option a large percentage of the texture calculations are moved to the graphics processor (GPU). However, this option is not available on all graphics hardware and may not appear in the menu if your hardware does not support the necessary features.
On processors with few cores without the ability to turn on "GPU Transcode" you can significantly improve the texture streaming performance by adding the following to the RAGE launch options in Steam:
The launch options can be found by right-clicking on RAGE in Steam and selecting "Properties". Then click on "Set Launch Options" in the dialog that pops up.
If you have very few cores like a dual core processor then you can set a lower value like:
If setting these values does not improve the texture streaming performance for you then consider lowering the anti-aliasing setting in the video settings menu in RAGE.
You may, for instance, observe slow texture streaming at high resolutions like 2500 x 1600 with anti-aliasing set to 16X. In some cases lowering the anti-aliasing to 8X fixes the problem but lower settings may further improve the texture streaming. Alternatively, or in addition, you can lower the resolution.
We hope these help. The teams at id and Bethesda continue to work solutions to help you guys. More to come!
On a high end graphics card you can also change the size of the texture cache in video memory. However, on video cards with 512 MB of memory you may see a significant drop in performance. The size of the texture cache can be changed by adding the following to the RAGE launch options in Steam:
By adding these settings to the RAGE launch options more texture data will stay in video memory which may not only reduce blurry textures and texture popping but will also allow complex scenes to be rendered with more texture detail.
Not long later,
Intel discontinues some LGA775 and LGA1156 chips
Intel has discontinued a couple more processors. It includes the Core i5-661 and Core i3-530 LGA1156 models, and the Pentium E5700, Celeron E3500 and E3400 (boxed only for the latter) LGA775 chips.
The Core i5-661 and Core i3-530 will be available for orders until April 27, 2012 and will continue shipping until October 5th, 2012, for the tray versions, and until supplies are depleted, for the boxed SKUs.
Orders for the Pentium E5700 and Celeron E3500 will be halted on December 30th, 2011, while shipments are slated to go on until June 8th, 2012 (tray) or while supplies last (boxed). As for the boxed Celeron E3400, it will also be up for order until December 30th (2011) and will ship until there are no more units in Intel's warehouses.
ThermalTake V3 BlacX
ThermalTake releases the V3 BlacX Edition, a new budget mid-tower steel case with a top-mounted HDD docking station, USB 3.0 support, an all-black paint job, and one included 120mm blue LED fan. The dock appears to be the main difference compared to the two year old V3 Black Edition.
Thermaltake, being the industry pioneer brand in thermal solutions, carrying the corporate vision of
Xbox 720 logo in Real Steel movie trailer
Pun or hint ? A trailer for upcoming robot boxing movie Real Steel contains an Xbox 720 logo at the 0:23 mark.
Did Microsoft hint at a new console in the upcoming Real Steel or are the folks behind the movie trying to make some buzz? If you look closely at the latest trailer for Hugh Jackman's robot boxing movie or the featurette from way back in August, you will be able to spot an Xbox 720 logo in a wide shot of the arena.
2560x1440 display coming to ultrabooks
13.3inch panels with 2560x1440 pixels will start appearing in ulrabooks early next year! All those beautiful slim Ultrabooks on the show floor had typically a 13-inch class, 1366x768 'HD ready' display - yes the same useless 16:9 moviescreen with less vertical real estate than any 5 year old notebook. How will that compare with, 10 inch class iPad 3 2048x1536 display, with not only 3x the pixel count but also much more useful 4:3 aspect ratio?
Enter 'retina quality' Ultrabooks. Early next year, when Ivy Bridge Ultrabook models arrive, expect to see 2560x1440 13.3 inch displays just some 3 mm thick, to satisfy the system thickness requirements. Take a look at the slides...
Now, a 2560x1440 Ultrabook would have a lot of pixels, over 3 and a half million, to be precise, but the wide moviescreen factor would leave many of those unused, even if editing typical photos or documents or web pages. Having a 2560x1600 full 4 Mpixel screen at 16:10 would, here, enable not just better usability but also more beneficial tablet configuration, which some Ultrabooks will offer. A 16:9 tablet screen is just too elongated, except for Angry Birds playing or movie file watching. And, since these are PREMIUM Ultrabooks, the 5% or so that stingy panel vendors save by glass cutting is not worth the trouble on such top end machines.