2012 Computer Reliability Report
The results are in for RESCUECOM
Noctua NH-L12 66mm low-profile cooler
Noctua presents its new NH-L12 low-profile cooler for Small Form Factor cases and HTPC environments. The NH-L12 features a flexible NF-F12 (120mm) / NF-B9 (92mm) dual PWM fan setup that can be configured either for full performance in dual fan mode or extra-low profile (66mm) with the top fan removed.
"The industry trend towards Small Form Factor and Home Theatre PCs is well-established, but there's still a lack of suitable high-quality quiet CPU coolers", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "Building a powerful PC always requires a capable CPU, which in return demands a competent cooling solution. But who wants his HTPC to sound like a jet engine? This is precisely where the NH-L12 steps in."
Thanks to its exquisite dual fan setup consisting of Noctua's highly optimised NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-B9 (92mm) premium fans, the NH-L12 pushes the bar in terms of low-profile quiet cooling performance. Alternatively, the NH-L12 can also be used with the NF-B9 92mm fan only in order to reduce the overall height to 66mm. This way, the cooler is suitable for many typical
PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 with watercooled released
TUL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of AMD graphics cards, today releases the first and only liquid cooling solution in the market: the PowerColor LCS HD7970. Partnered with award-winning cooling manufacture EKwaterblocks, the PowerColor LCS HD7970 enhances the overclocking headroom and has factory OC setting at 1150MHz core and 5.7Gbps memory, delivering extraordinary thermal performance for optimum system stability in a superb OC setting.
The PowerColor LCS HD7970 dissipates the heat from the nickel coated copper base which fully covers the key components, enhancing anti-oxidizing ability and allowing GPU temperature under 50
Spire TME III CPU cooler launched
Spire presents the TME III, a new HSF for Intel socket 775/1155/1156/1366/2011 and for AMD Socket AM2/AM3/940/939. The cooler is anticipated to be available by mid-March.
The TMEIII is the next evolution of the hugely successful TherMax Eclipse CPU cooler series. The increased number of heat-pipes combined with a higher number and density of dimpled fins and crowned with two (2) high airflow, Nano Bearing DC fans for extreme cooling performance. Five (5) U-shaped 8mm all-copper heat-pipes are in direct contact with the CPU heat-spreader (heat source), rapid heat transfer to the 45 aluminum dimpled fins providing a larger surface area for optimum heat dissipation. The TME III is supplied with two (2) 12cm BlackStar 7 blades, high quality precision Nano - Bearing DC fans, providing high airflow and sufficient cooling. These fans are PWM controlled to provide the best sound / cooling ratio possible. Compatibility is guaranteed with multi-platform mounting for all current Intel and AMD micro-processors. The TME III brings cooling power to an all-new level. Another amazing product from Spire
Spec Ops: The Line pre-order bonus info
- First Double XP Week. During your first week, you'll get double the XP for every match you play.
- AK-47. The popular AK-47 will be yours at rank 1.
- Officer Class. You'll be Able to play as the "Officer" class from the very beginning, Which gives your team Such advantages as reduced damage and Increasing the effectiveness of other classes.
-- FUBAR Pack. You get unique accessories to customize your character's appearance.
GeForce Forceware 295.73 64-bit WHQL download
This is the first WHQL-certified driver from the R295 family of drivers. It is the recommended upgrade for all GeForce users, especially those playing the latest hot PC games like Battlefield 3, Diablo III, Mass Effect 3, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. These drivers come packed with GeForce-exclusive performance and quality enhancements and are now Microsoft WHQL-certified.
R295 Highlight Summary
New features and performance since last WHQL-certified driver
- Game-changing performance boost of up to 45% in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,
Intel preps new 313 series SSDs
As with the 311 series, the 313 series will use SLC NAND flash, although Intel has moved from 34nm parts to 25nm parts. Beyond a change in NAND flash Intel has decided to offer two capacities, 20GB and 24GB. We're not sure what difference the extra 4GB of flash memory will make, but there's obviously a reason as to why Intel had added a second capacity to its range of caching drives. It's possible that we'll see slightly improved performance out of the 24GB drives, but sadly we don't have any performance figures at hand.
Intel is retaining the 2.5-inch and mSATA form factors, but the 2.5-inch drives are now only 7mm tall, instead of 9mm of the 311 series. The SATA interface is still at 3Gbps, but the reason for is simply because Intel doesn't have a new SSD controller of its own. The reason Intel is sticking with SLC flash for its caching drives is most likely because the company is expecting a high wear and tear ratio on this type of SSDs and as such using cheaper NAND flash would mean that the drives would wear out quicker.
As for pricing, well, things haven't changed much, with Intel's MSRP of the 20GB models coming in at US$99 (S$125) and the 24GB models being slightly more expensive at US$119 (S$150).
OCZ Launches the VXL Storage Accelerator
OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the immediate availability of the OCZ-SANRAD VXL enterprise storage accelerator, delivering flash caching and VMware acceleration for virtualized environments including VMware ESX and Citrix Xen.
OCZ-SANRAD VXL drastically alters the available options for storage in the enterprise datacenter by allowing any PCIe-based OCZ Z-Drive R4 model including the newly introduced Z-Drive R4 CloudServ, to be utilized as a accelerator for traditional iSCSI and FC storage. This eliminates the need for costly tier-1 SANs in a wide range of enterprise IT infrastructures from application virtualization to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
As part of this launch, OCZ will be arranging live demonstrations on-site with enterprise customers to showcase how data can be accessed by virtual machines up to 25 times faster than a traditional SAN alone, while also allowing seamless migration of virtual machines from one physical host to another without loss of access to the flash cache or a cliff-like performance drop. As an example, in virtual desktop infrastructure, VXL and the Z-Drive R4's flash based storage is able to complete boot storms of hundreds or even thousands of users significantly faster than what is achievable with typical SAN storage.
"Combining OCZ-SANRAD VXL software together with the Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSD enables the delivery of a complete virtual performance system for enterprise customers looking to efficiently distribute flash resources across virtual machines to maximize the performance of their key applications," said Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Marketing-Enterprise, OCZ Technology. "In contrast to other caching solutions, the Z-Drive VXL bundle does not require agent or driver installation on each VM. And, because cached data is treated as a virtualized storage entity, it can be migrated seamlessly between ESX servers along with the virtual volumes without performance loss. The result is a replacement for tier-1 SAN based storage that can be deployed seamlessly into existing infrastructures that is both simpler and more cost effective to maintain."
VXL fully supports VMware vMotion, and guarantees cache migration where cached data is treated as a virtualized storage entity and can be migrated between VMware ESX servers along with the virtual volumes without performance loss. For ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer hypervisors, VXL does not require separate operating system agents to be installed in each virtual machine like other solutions, simplifying IT management and deployment from one central system. VXL ensures automatic support for any OS supported by the hypervisor including all modern versions of Microsoft Windows, all major Linux distributions, OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD among others.
VXL provides robust tools for enterprise IT management including integration with VMware vCenter virtualization management console, as well as Storage Pro software for remote consolidated management of any OCZ Z-Drive R4 and CloudServ in the datacenter. Additionally, VXL provides dynamic policy-based caching tuned specifically for critical applications including Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and other enterprise-class server applications. With these enterprise IT management features, VXL transforms the way storage is managed in the cloud and in enterprise-class datacenters.
OCZ is now demonstrating the exciting Z-Drive R4 and VXL virtual performance system solution to clients.
NVIDIA GK107 Details Surface
While NVIDIA's upcoming GK104 / GeForce GTX 670 Ti may be the talk of the rumour mill, vr-zone have some details regarding NVIDIA's entry-level Kepler GPU - GK107, including a PCB diagram:
First sampled in September 2011, the GK107 will appear in a variety of N13 GeForce M GPUs, N14 Quadro M GPUs. In addition, GK107 will also make it to the desktops as D14 or GeForce 600. There will be two variants of GK107, GK107-200 GPU in D14M2-20 and the top bin GK107-300 in D14P1-10 SKU. The GK107-300 variant will be powered by GDDR3 or GDDR5 memory, while the GK107-200 will sport 512MB of DDR3 RAM.
At first glance, the GK107 PCB and heatsink is very similar to the ones used for the GeForce GT 440 (GF108 based, which the GPU GK107 will replace) with identical dimensions. Like the GF108, the GK107 will feature a 128-bit memory interface. The heatsink + fan system will also be similar - a shroud-less heatsink with an 11 blade axial fan, albeit with minor modifications for GK107. Legacy VGA output will be dropped for 1 DVI-I DL output, 1 DVI-D or HDMI out, and a third port with either mini-DP or mini-HDMI.
The two variants of GK107 are likely to be branded GeForce GT 6x0, and may well be two of NVIDIA's final entry-level GPUs with AMD's A-Series and Intel's HD IGPs starting to cannibalize the entry-level market. PCB screenshot courtesy goes to vr-zone.
nVIDIA PhysX System Software 9.12.0213 download
Download nVIDIA PhysX System Software 9.12.0213
Supports NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on all GeForce 8-series, 9-series, 100-series, 200-series, 300-series, 400-series, 500-series, and 600-series GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory.
- Includes the latest PhysX runtime builds to support all released PhysX content.
- Changes & fixed issues in this release
- Updated SDKs for Batman Arkham City, Alice 2 and other 2.8.4 applications.
- Fixed a bug that caused Alice 2 to crash.
- Supports NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on all GeForce 8-series, 9-series, 100-series, 200-series, 300-series, 400-series, 500-series, and 600-series GPUs with a minimum of 256MB dedicated graphics memory.
Note: Some applications may have higher minimum requirements.
- Experience GPU PhysX acceleration in many games and demos, some of which are highlighted in PowerPack downloads here.
- Supports NVIDIA PhysX acceleration on GeForce for SDK versions 2.7.1, 2.7.3, 2.7.4, 2.7.5, 2.7.6, 2.8.0, 2.8.1 and 2.8.3 (requires graphics driver v196.21 or later).
- Supports control of your GPU PhysX configuration from the NVIDIA display driver control panel. (Requires graphics driver v196.21 or later).
- AGEIA PhysX processors users should use and install older PhysX system software such as version 8.09.04. Note
MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 14 Download
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 14 is ready
This beta supports the voltage control of HD 7X50 card, if you get the card, you may try to play it.
Changes list includes:
- Fixed sub-zero temperatures reading on certain custom design MSI graphics cards with LM96163 and NCT7718W dedicated thermal sensors.
- Added workaround for bug in AMD drivers causing unofficial overclocking to be reset to defaults after adjusting PowerPlay settings. Now unofficial overclocking settings are being forcibly reapplied after applying new PowerPlay settings.
- Hardware abstraction layer (HAL) architecture has been improved to provide compatibility with future NVIDIA graphics cards series.
- Now multi-GPU overclocking and fan control settings synchronization is performed at HAL level instead of display driver wrapper level to improve HAL architecture extendibility and provide compatibility with future NVIDIA graphics cards series.
- Shared control memory format has been upgraded to v2.0. New format provides power limit adjustment support and forward compatibility with future NVIDIA graphics cards series.
- Now it is possible to override group names for values displayed in the On-Screen Display or in Logitech keyboard LCD display.
- MSI On-Screen Display server has been upgraded to v4.3.3. New version gives the following improvements:
o Fixed issue causing gamma correction to be applied twice under certain conditions and causing video to appear too bright when capturing video with gamma correction option enabled.
o Output video dimensions are no longer being forcibly cropped to be multiples of 16. Now cropping is optional and can be enabled via GUI
o Dedicated 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 frame downsampling routines have been replaced with unified arbitrary downsampling routine. Now MSI Afterburner provides arbitrary frame downsampling functionality and allows selecting 360p, 480p, 720p, 900p, 1080p frame sizes for both 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratios. Please take a note that arbitrary frame sizes list is user extendable so you may add your own custom frame sizes if necessary via the configuration file.
o Improved tabbed text formatting provides better compatibility with custom group names.
OCZ ZT 650W power supply review
OCZ releases the ZT model in a three fold of models, a 550W model priced at 55 EUR, a 650 model priced at 75 EUR and a 750W model priced at 90 EUR (USD conversion is roughly similar at the moment). So you are in the market for an affordable PSU, want a modular design and want bang for buck ? Well, the new ZT series from OCZ seems to do the job quite well.
Read the review here.
GeForce GTX 670 Ti now in March ?
A report claims that NVIDIA is finally set to release the first Kepler GPU in March. As expected, first in line will be GK104 - to be branded as GeForce GTX 670 Ti. They peg the release date in March after Cebit 2012. This suggests a release some time between March 11th and March 31st. The GeForce GTX 670 Ti is vaguely indicated to have performance "better than GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 7950", which implies average performance somewhere between HD 7950 and HD 7970.
Rumours suggest GK104 will bring a radically new architecture, with specifications including 1536 shaders, 128 TMU, 32 ROP and 2 GB 256-bit memory GDDR5. Core clock for the top bin, GTX 670 Ti, is expected to be around 950 MHz.
As the nomenclature suggests, GK104 / GTX 670 Ti is more of a successor to the GF114 / GTX 560 Ti. The flagship GTX 580 sucessor is at least half a year away, and will not be released till Q3 or Q4 2012. Till then, AMD is expected to hold on to the single GPU crown with Radeon HD 7970 with the GTX 670 Ti and HD 7950 following behind.
Mach Xtreme Technology MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series SSDs
Mach Xtreme launched the MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5" SSD for mainstream users demanding the latest technology at an affordable price point.
The new MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series of SSDs is the latest addition to the Mach Xtreme lineup of solid state drives. This series is offering users robust data protection with enhanced hardware BCH ECC engine, StaticDataRefresh technology support and data shaping for higher data reliability. Replacing OS hard disk drive with MX-STARTER PREMIUM will revolutionize user's computing experience. Games load quicker, computer starts faster, and multiple applications run smoother, all while running cool and silent.
The MX-STARTER PREMIUM drive delivers best-in-class read and write speeds clocking in at up to 150 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write along with the maximum of 10,000 IOPS and superior durability (1.5 million MTBF) compared to regular hard disk drives. Available in capacities 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB, Mach Xtreme Technology MX-STARTER PREMIUM SSDs come backed with 1 Year Warranty and outstanding after-sales service.
MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5
Intel Rose Point SoC integrates WiFi on-die
Intel shows off Rose Point, a new research project that integrates WiFi on the die of an Atom SoC. The project means we're getting one step closer to a chip that integrated CPU, GPU, I/O, and WiFi into a single package. One issue with a processor that integrates WiFi is electromagnetic interference, therefore the chip giant is working on new miniature shielding methods and noise-cancelling technology to counter corruption issues.
As they say, every rose has its thorns, and Rose Point was no exception. Part of the difficulties with the new SoC were inherent -- due to the fact that traditional modem designs incorporate a slew of analog circuit components, such as synthesizers and amplifiers. These components allow wireless modems to operating on a large range of device voltages, but they also mean that Intel had a heavy redesign on its hands, in crafting its revised silicon modem, which used only two voltages.
And that wasn't the only thorny issue with Rose Point. Electromagnetic frequency (EMF) interference also proved a key stumbling block for electronics giant. As the speed of Wi-Fi communications (2.4 GHz) is close to Atom's base CPU's base clock speed, the two portions of the chip would interfere with each other, leading to corruption issues.
Hossein Alavi, director of Intel
Intel Core i3-3570K IGP 67 percent faster than previous gen
Slides that reveal the graphics performance of the Intel HD 4000 graphics integrated into the 22nm "Ivy Bridge" based Core i5-3570K. According to the leaked data, the new generation is 67 percent faster than the Core i5-2500K, but still 36 percent slower than a +2 year old entry-level graphics card like the GeForce GT 240. The Intel HD 4000 graphics core beats the HD 3000 hands down, with performance leads as high as 122% in a particular test. The chip produces more than playable frame-rates with Left4Dead 2 and Street Fighter IV, both well above 50 FPS, even DiRT 3 and Far Cry 2 run strictly OK, over 30 FPS. StarCraft II is where it produced under 30 FPS, so the chip might get bogged down in intense battles. A mainstream discrete GeForce or Radeon is a must. On average, the graphics core embedded into the Core i5-3570K was found to be 67.25% faster than the one on the Core i5-2500K.
Far Cry 3: Five Minutes of gameplay footage
Tablet PC shipments down 30%
Vendors will ship 14.97 million tablet PCs in the first quarter of 2012, dropping 30.6% on quarter but rising 77.6% on year, according to forecasts by Digitimes Research.
Shipments will consist of 11 million iPad 2 and iPad 3 units as well as 3.97 million non-iPad tablet PCs which will decrease by 50.8% on quarter and include 1.5 million Kindle Fires and 300,000 Nook Tablets, Digitimes Research said.
Of tablet PCs to be shipped in the first quarter of 2012, 13.3% will be equipped with processors developed by Texas Instruments and 26.3% will be based on Android.
Taiwan-based ODMs will ship 13.51 million tablet PCs for a global share of 90.25% in the first quarter. Foxconn Electronics will account for 83% of Taiwan-based makers' total shipments, followed by Quanta Computer with 9.6%, Digitimes Research indicated.