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.
Razer's Naga Hex - RPG Mouse
nVIDIA Inspector Version 188.8.131.52 download
The nVIDIA Inspector Tool is basically an nVIDIA only GPU-Z utility but with a decent OverClocking feature and you can set your clocks and fan speeds. Orbmu2k has released this program, which seems to NVIDIA graphics cards and offers information on tools for GPU and memory clock speed, GPU operating voltage and fan speed increase.
This is a quite simple user interface with an application that will rely entirely NVIDIA drivers, so there is reason to be downloaded from NVIDIA's website WHQL-certified driver. The program offers roughly the same information as the GPU-Z program, but with a few extra spice box.
New Version 184.108.40.206: (Hotfix)
- fixed function 'ChangeWindowMessageFilter' not available on XP
- fixed frame rate limiter is already included since 280.26+ drivers
- improved profile combo handling to fix searching while dropdown is open will not change selected profile
- added image upload feature to driver profile settings toolbar
- holding CTRL while launch Monitoring from mainapp will start Monitoring standalone
[you can close inspector in this case without closing monitoring but they wont share sensor readings anymore]
- for profile settings you can drop a shortcut to the game EXE now and it will open the assigned profile
VIA Demos USB 3.0 Active Optical Cable
VIA officially announced the VIA Labs VO510 5Gb Optical Transceiver, a USB 3.0 Active Optical Cable (AOC) solutions. t can send multimedia, and other bandwidth-intensive content, over distances of 100 meters from an USB 3.0 connector.
This is possible while staying within the bounds of the SuperSpeed USB electrical specifications.
Now, USB 3.0 ports can be used for surveillance, zero client applications and even digital signage, among other things. We are very grateful to our partners, who worked closely with VIA Labs to bring the USB 3.0 AOC from concept to reality,
Thrustmaster Replica A-10 C Stick
They are still arround and kicking it well, Thrustmaster had its latest joystick for consumer flight-simulators on display at CES.
The design is a replica of the flight stick A-10 C Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft, an iconic plane for many military aviation enthusiasts. While games like Battlefield 3 don't give you playable a A-10 C, its playable fighters are equipped with chain guns that let you perform some ground-attack maneuvers. Apparently Thustmaster got all its design rights in order, as it bears the coveted "Hotas Warthog" and USAF badges. It is accompanied by a replica throttle unit - via TPU.
Check out the pics.
Kepler GPU hard launch now expected in April
Sources on the web guestimate that NVIDIA plans to launch its Kepler GPU in late March or April. It will be a hard launch with enough units for the "first wave" of consumers.
The company originally scheduled GeForce Kepler for the launch in the first quarter (i.e. fiscal fourth quarter 2012), Quadro Kepler was scheduled for the second quarter (i.e. fiscal first quarter 2013) and Tesla Kepler was scheduled for the third quarter (second fiscal quarter 2013).
However, the new plan calls for launching the GeForce Kepler when the company is able to insure hard availability and have all of its partners covered.
Cooler Master TPC 812 vapour chamber CPU cooler
Cooler Master has a vapour chamber CPU cooler on display at CES 2012. The TPC 812 has a copper base, six U-shaped copper heatpipes, a vapour chamber block in the middle, an aluminium fin array and a 120PWM fan.
The HSF uses the same fan bracket as the V6 and newer Hyper coolers, and supports Intel's new LGA2011 socket.
According to Cooler Master, the TPC 812 can handle over 240W of heat and performs close to or better than entry-evel single-radiator watercooling kits. Pricing is said to be around the $100 mark though, which seems quite excessive.
Samsung CES 2012 Press Conference video
Why Guru3D probably never will review Ubisoft titles anymore - Anno 2070
So it's Thursday in the 2nd week of January 2012. I Figure, hmm, it's time for a nice new VGA / graphics performance article on a game title. One of my favorite series is Anno, I still play Anno 1404 which in fact is included in our graphics card benchmark suite.
A few weeks ago the latest version of the game was released, Anno 2070. I've been playing it for a while now, and do like it despite the time it eats away ! :) Next to that, it's a good looking game as well with an updated graphics engine.
So yesterday I started working on a performance review. We know (well at least we figured we knew), that the game key can be used on three systems. That's fair, the first activation is used on my personal game rig. The second we installed on the AMD Radeon graphics test PC and the 3rd on our NVIDIA graphics test PC.
On the AMD Radeon PC we initially test the Radeon HD 7970, then to match the timedemo sequence we install the NVIDIA system, which has a GeForce GTX 580. So far it's all good, we have created a timedemo sequence, defined our image quality settings, took screenshots and the numbers for the first two cards.
For the NVIDIA setup I take out the GTX 580, and insert a GTX 590. When I now startup the game 'BAM', again an activation is required. Once again I fill out the key and now Ubisoft is thanking me with the message that I ran out of activations.
Here's what Ubisofts DRM is doing these days, they don't just verify the number of PCs you work on, nope .. they monitor hardware changes. So once we inserted that GeForce GTX 590 the hardware id # hash changed rendering our activation invalid.
What a bunch of rubbish ....
This means that if we'd like to make a VGA performance review on Anno 2070 we'd need to purchase the game seven times. Ubisoft claims that you can send an email towards their support so that the activations are reset, we did so .. yet are still awaiting reaction.
When contacting Ubisoft marketing here in the Netherlands, their reply goes like this: 'Sorry to disappoint you - the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that. We also do not have 7 copies of the game for you'.
I'm sorry, but I am not about to purchase the title seven times to make a review that by default benefits Ubisoft sales.
Welcome to PC gaming Anno 2012.
Please find the results of our massive VGA performance review below on the one chart. With one hand in the air I wave to Ubisoft, more puzzled about this then anything. What do you think ?
Update monday Jan 16 - 2012:
We have been contacted by bluebyte over the weekend, the company that developed the Anno series. Our key has been pretty much unlocked allowing us to properly work on this article. To be continued ....
Above results are taken in High Quality mode AA enabled 16xAF and all settings at its highest.