Marvell 88SE92 Series 2-port and 4-port SATA3 Controllers
The lads from Marvell announced two new SATA 6 Gbps controllers, under the 88SE92 Series. The series includes the 2-port 88SE9220, 4-port 88SE9230, and 4-port 88SE9235. All three take advantage of the new PCI-Express 2.0 x2 interface. PCI-Express x2 (2 lanes) has till now only been hypothetically possible, since PCI-SIG has no slot specification for it as TPU reports today:
With increasing need for system bandwidth while keeping pin-counts and package sizes low by onboard controllers (such as SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0), PCIe 2.0 x2 has emerged as a viable solution based on the proven PCIe 2.0 specification, as PCIe 3.0 is yet to attain maturity in the industry. PCIe 2.0 x2 gives the controller system bandwidth of 1000 MB/s per direction, 2000 MB/s total. This ensures that a connected SATA 6 Gb/s device doesn't face a bottleneck at a given time, something which was impossible on older PCIe 2.0 x1 chips.
This system bandwidth bottleneck alleviation also allowed Marvell to add support for up to 4 SATA 6 Gb/s ports on the 88SE9230 and 88SE9235. All three controllers further support port multipliers. Among the three, the 88SE9230 is the top-of-the-line chip, supporting Marvell RAID software, HyperDuo (Marvell's in-house SSD caching technology), RAID 0, 1, 10 modes, AHCI, and 128/256-bit AES native encryption. The 88SE9235 is a cost-effective variant of the 88SE9230, it lacks RAID, and only features AHCI/IDE modes. It also lacks native encryption. The 88SE9220, the 2-port controller, otherwise supports all the features of the 88SE9230, except of course support for RAID 10 (since it's not possible with just 2 member disks).
Marvell managed to keep the pin-count of the 4-port chips as low as 76, with a package size of 9 mm
Intel's Fake Ultrabook Gaming Demo
Ghost Recon Future Soldier PC is Confirmed
Today we are feature complete in our MP, Single player and 4 player coop campaign modes. We have taken the decision to move the date in order to ensure that all these ingredients are pushed to the highest level and provide a truly unique shooter experience. The Ghost Recon franchise is known for setting the standard of high definition gaming and we believe the extra couple of months will allow us to reach that goal. We would like to thank all Ghost Recon fans for their patience and look forward to unveiling some exciting new elements in the coming weeks
Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 review
We test the Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2. It's the motherboard that is both loved and hated for it's gun themed design. Regardless of what you guys might thing, Gigabyte knows and certainly appreciates the fact that everybody is talking about their products. The G1.Assassin 2 motherboard comes loaded with some very nice features, much like it predecessors it has an embedded Killer E2100 NIC, said to deliver better networking performance to hardcore gamers.
The board itself comes with three PCI Express x16 slots for 3-way CrossFireX and SLI support . Gigabyte also added an integrated Creative X-Fi PCI Express sound card featuring Nichicon MUSE audio capacitors, included is a WIFI and Bluetooth network card.
Read the review right here.
EVGA NEX Series Power Supplies Developed
EVGA, like many others, is working on their own PSU line. Obviously with intent for gaming PCs and overclocking bench setups.
The PSU series will be called NEX. The NEX Series will be diverse and injected at several price ranges. From what we can tell, there will be four models. A 650W and 750W models for gaming PCs and then a 1000W model for overclocked gaming PCs with 2~3 graphics cards, and finally a hefty 1500W model for overclocking bench setups.
The PSU series feature a "Dummy Mode" for multiple/redundant PSU operations, an "OC Mode" that clubs all 12V rails to a single 133A one, and a special kind of cabling. The PSU will qualify for 80 Plus Gold certification. The 650W, 750W, and 1000W models in the NEX Series will have more standard feature-sets, including modular cabling, all three of these will be 80 Plus Gold certified.
Razer 'Project Fiona' PC Gaming Tablet
Razer announced the development of their gaming concept design - the Project Fiona PC Gaming Tablet. Unlike other tablets designed for general use and casual gaming, Project Fiona is a tablet concept designed to play the most popular PC games of today with an intuitive control setup for a phenomenal on-the-go gaming experience.
Razer worked closely with Intel to harness the power of its third generation Intel Core i7 processor in Project Fiona. As a result, Razer's tablet is more akin to a fully functioning PC; and yet in a form factor and platform highly familiar to everybody.
Instead of relying on developers to work on a suite of brand new applications for Project Fiona, many PC games today run natively on the tablet concept without the need to be ported, optimized, or developed from scratch.
Moreover, Project Fiona will feature one of the most powerful processors integrated in a tablet form factor. Instead of the casual and mobile-only games that run on under-powered tablets, Project Fiona will run full-fledged PC games that have never run on a tablet form factor before until today.
Razer's multi-award winning user interface and ergonomics team have developed an all-new hybrid user interface scheme for Project Fiona. Featuring integrated dual game controllers with ultra-precise analog sticks, Project Fiona runs gamepad-enabled PC games right out of the box.
Along with the game controllers, Project Fiona is also designed with ultra-precise accelerometers and a highly sensitive multi-touch screen. This provides game developers with new game experiential opportunities to develop around the hybrid game control experience offered by Project Fiona. It also ensures current-generation PC games run on the tablet concept, as well as any existing games optimized for the touchscreen interface of a tablet.
Future games developed for Fiona are expected to take advantage of not just the integrated gamepad controls but also integrate core game functionality controls for the touchscreen and accelerometer-based controls.
To further intensify the gaming experience with Project Fiona, Razer's integrated dual controllers deliver full force feedback, so every explosion or gun recoil can be felt in the gamer's hands.
THX Ltd., which works with many of the world's most innovative audio and video home entertainment manufacturers, agrees that the tablet adds tremendous flexibility to a gamer
QNAP Intel Atom Powered Turbo NAS Servers
QNAP Systems, Inc. today unveils the next generation of its extremely popular and award-winning TuboNAS server lineup, along with its latest VioStor NVR video surveillance systems. In addition, the company is pleased to debut new NAS Firmware (3.6) and a new storage expansion solution for its business-class Turbo NAS.
The new NAS series, available in 2, 4, 5, 6, or 8-drive versions, are powered by a high performance dual-core Intel Atom processor. This new range provides the perfect blend of performance, business-ready features and value that make QNAP the ideal networked storage choice for small and medium-sized businesses.
At CES QNAP is also showcasing its recently announced TS-x79 ultra-high performance high-end SMB-class Turbo NAS models. At the same time the company is pleased to announce the launch of a complimentary storage expansion solution to the TS-x79 series, the JB-1200U-RP. This provides IT administrators with a flexible and economical way to expand their storage infrastructure as their business needs grow, providing over 200 TB of additional capacity.
QNAP also announces its latest V3.6 NAS management firmware. It provides highly anticipated features including VPN Server, LDAP Server, Proxy Server, cloud music and photo sharing via a web browser, enhanced backup features, a new version of MyCloudNAS 1.2, QPKG center, and an increased range of compatible IP camera and UPnP routers.
New VioStor NVR Video Surveillance Systems
Capture HD video with robust and reliable storage from QNAP Security. The 48-channel VS-8148 Pro+ provides real-time audio-video monitoring, simultaneous playback of multiple network cameras and megapixel recording at up to 10-megapixel resolution. Store up to 24 TB of footage, or 3 TB per hard drive, with hot-swappable RAID for data redundancy. The VS-8148 Pro+ supports H.264, MxPEG, MPEG-4, and M-JPEG recording from up to 48 network cameras.
"QNAP continues to innovate and evolve NAS beyond what many thought was possible," said Ivan Hsu, product marketing director of QNAP Inc. "During these challenging economic times QNAP has continued on a path of strong growth due to our unrelenting commitment to excellence and delivering products that meet and exceed the expectations of our broad range of customers, from the consumer right up to the most demanding enterprise data center.
AMD Trinity APU, with Thunderbolt-Alternative
AMD's next-generation accelerated processing unit (APU), codenamed "Trinity", was demonstrated at CES. Trinity will make up AMD's 2012 A-Series APU lineup, and will be designed for mainstream-thru-performance notebooks, and mainstream desktops (different standards for different form-factors). Pictured below is what its notebook-specific BGA package looks like. The package has an exposed rectangular die, with a stabilizer frame around it (like with GPUs). Notebooks' cooling assembly heat pipes make direct contact with the die. Trinity packs two Piledriver modules (an evolution of Bulldozer), and DirectX 11.1 AMD Radeon HD 7000M graphics (notebook APU) or HD 7000D (desktop APU).
Shown to the CES crowd was a mind-boggling demo. The public were first shown what appeared to be an ATX desktop connected to two monitors, one monitor running a DIRT 3 DirectX 11 game demo at high-quality settings, and another screeen revealing the APU to be running GPU-accelerated video transcoding. No discrete graphics was used, it's just the embedded HD 7000 at play/work. If that alone didn't raise a few eyebrows, the AMD representative removed the lid of the ATX desktop case to which those two monitors were connected, to reveal a 14-inch laptop inside doing all the work. And there's more - the laptop's main screen wasn't idle, it was running a high-definition video playback. Whatever synthetic benchmarks end up telling about Trinity, its real world performance does impress!
At a discrete meeting with select journalists at a backroom, AMD also talked about its competitive technology to Intel's Thunderbolt, which it's referring to as "Lightning Bolt" (+1 for originality). This interface will use the same mini-DP port design as Thunderbolt. It will have the bandwidth to drive up to four HD displays, and multiple USB 3.0 devices, and will have a hub cost of under $40. [via TPU and hothardware].
Razer Synapse 2.0 available
For those interested, Razer announced its Synapse 2.0 software, you can download it over here.
Razer, the world leader in high performance gaming hardware is bringing their cloud-based unified driver and peripherals management software, Razer Synapse 2.0 out of beta.
Razer Synapse 2.0 is now available for download to the public and currently supports the Star Wars: The Old Republic gaming peripherals by Razer, the Razer Blade gaming laptop, Razer Naga HEX action-RPG/MOBA gaming mouse, and the award-winning Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse. Razer Synapse 2.0 is designed as a unified driver, so settings for Razer products are conveniently accessible through one single program instead of through separate and multiple drivers. Razer will continue to add support for more of Razer's legacy and upcoming products.
"I'm proud of what we've done with Razer Synapse 2.0 - its value added for gamers who use Razer products. We've made it easier for them to have the custom settings for their Razer peripherals stored in a cloud so they spend less time setting up and more time doing what they should be doing, gaming," said Robert 'RazerGuy' Krakoff, President, Razer USA.
The new Razer Synapse 2.0 software is built on next-gen, cloud-based technology to give gamers full access to all their peripheral hardware settings, anytime, anywhere at tournaments, LAN centers, at home and at the office. Gamers will be able to take their Razer Naga HEX and any other supported peripherals to a LAN center and instantly sync their personalized custom settings simply by logging into Razer Synapse 2.0. Pro-gamers will be able to access custom settings while using Razer peripherals provided by a tournament host; so they spend less time setting up controls and more time gaming. As a unified driver for all upcoming Razer products, Razer Synapse 2.0 also automatically downloads game add-ons, and firmware updates as they become available, ensuring Razer devices are always updated and in optimum condition for winning.
Team Group 2600MHz quad-channel DDR3 kits
Team Group introduced quad-channel DDR3 2600MHz kits, they are available in 8GB and 16GB capacities. Timings are 10-12-12-31 1T at a voltage of 1.65V.
The global leading brand Team Group Inc. takes the lead again by launching the Xtreem LV DDR3 2600 Quad-Channel CL10 for top specification, yet again dropping another bomb in the of OC memory market.
As its previous Xtreem LV DDR3 2400 CL9 has won overwhelming compliments, the company gets the chance again to bring out the upgraded Xtreem LV DDR3 2600 Quad-Channel CL10. This limited edition is by far the fastest and the only manufacturer to meet the extremely high standards of the 1T Command rate in the market. Its efficiency is 10% better than any other Quad-Channel memory. In addition, it supports the latest Intel X79 flagship platform and adopts the new Intel Core i7 premium processor Sandy Bridge-E (LGA-2011). The excellent stability and compatibility have passed strict tests to satisfy overclocking players
SteelSeries debuts three gaming mice
SteelSeries, the leading manufacturer of premium-quality, competitive gaming peripherals, today at the start of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, introduced a new line-up of gaming peripherals. Kicking off the mouse category for SteelSeries in 2012 is the SteelSeries Kana, also known as the Designed by Gamers mouse; and two editions of the new version of the SteelSeries Kinzu, the SteelSeries Kinzu v2 and SteelSeries Kinzu v2 Pro Edition. The SteelSeries Kana mouse was introduced to SteelSeries fans in the Designed by Gamers Campaign as Mouse 1.1, which gave more than 300,000 gamers the design choice and where 60,000
Corsair Accelerator Series solid-state cache SSDs
The Accelerator Series is designed for desktop PC users who want to give their Microsoft Windows based PC a dramatic performance boost with minimal cost and hassle. Corsair's new line of SSD cache drives includes premium caching software from NVELO, for improved boot times and lightning-quick file access. After connecting an Accelerator Series SSD cache drive to their computer's SATA port and installing the caching software provided with the drive, users will see an immediate speed boost. No drive mapping, no reinstallation of the operating system or applications, and no complex file management is needed — the Accelerator Series SSD cache drive works in tandem with the customer's existing hard drive to provide optimized performance. Customers may see an improvement in file read/write speeds of up to 5x their current hard drive performance after installing a Corsair Accelerator Series SSD cache drive.
"Our new Accelerator Series SSD cache drives have compelling price points and provide one of the most economical solutions for a quick system performance boost that doesn't require manual drive reconfiguration," said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair.
"It's ideal for consumers and enthusiasts who'd like to improve their PC's speed without investing the time and cost into a complete PC upgrade. There's no complex configuration involved, and their PC will work as it always has
Corsair Obsidian Series 550D and Carbide Series 300R
Corsair today announced the builder-friendly Obsidian Series® 550D ultra-quiet premium case and the compact Carbide Series 300R gaming case.
The Corsair Obsidian Series 550D: Cool and quiet
The Obsidian Series 550D offers a revolutionary combination of noise reduction and a wide array of choices for customizing cooling. The rugged steel and brushed aluminum chassis comes with two 120mm intake fans and one 120mm exhaust fan. Additional fan mounting points are provided for up to ten fans total, including locations for dual side-mounted fans for drawing air directly onto GPUs, and top fan mounts spaced for radiator compatibility. Unused hard drive cages can be removed to improve airflow, and Corsair's cable routing system allows wires and cables to be tucked behind the motherboard and out of the airflow path.
The front panel and side panels are fully lined with noise damping material, as well as the covers for the side and top intake mounts. The innovative use of noise-damped covers minimizes unused fan intakes causing increased audible system noise. Noise is further reduced through the use of silicone mounts on the fans and hard drive bays. Even the front air intakes are angled for improved noise reduction.
The 550D provides eight expansion slots with room for GPUs of up to 450mm in length, a CPU backplane cutout for easy installation and upgrade of CPU heatsinks, a fully-painted matte black interior, six tool-free hard drive bays with removable caddies with integrated 2.5" SSD support, and four tool-free optical drive bays. Other high-end features include magnetically-mounted dust filters and side panels that open with the touch of a button. The diamond-cut aluminum front control panel houses two high-speed USB 3.0 connectors and audio connectors.
The Corsair Carbide Series 300R: a compact expression of Corsair's gaming PC philosophy
Great gaming systems begin with a great case, and the Carbide Series 300R provides a remarkable number of in-demand features in an attractive, compact chassis. Builder-friendly features include three tool-free optical drive bays and four tool-free hard drive bays with integrated 2.5" SSD compatibility. There's room for high-end GPUs of up to 450mm in length, and the matte black interior incorporates Corsair's innovative cable routing system that helps keep wires and cables out of sight for a clean look and improved airflow. The 300R comes with intake and exhaust fans, with room for five additional fans including dual side-mounted fans for direct GPU cooling.
"Inexpensive, compact cases often fall short in builder-friendly features, airflow, or the cosmetic features that make great gaming PCs really stand out," continued Mr. Mookerjee. "The Carbide Series 300R hits the mark for an affordable, enthusiast-quality compact PC case. Its innovative features will be appreciated by both seasoned system builders and PC gamers who are taking the leap and building their first system from scratch."
Pricing and Availability
The Obsidian Series 550D and Carbide Series 300R are backed by a two-year warranty and are expected to be available in February from Corsair's worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors at a US suggested retail price of $159 USD for the Obsidian Series 550D, and $89 USD for the Carbide Series 300R.
Plextor M3 Pro Series SSD
Plextor has announced the M3 Pro SSD series over at CES, that improve upon the specs of the M3 SSD series introed by the company in the first part of December 2011.
The M3 Pro series SSDs use the regular 2.5-inch form factor, but with a new 7mm thin profile, and will be released in three capacities providing 128GB, 256GB and 512GB of storage space. At the heart of the solid state drives stands Marvell
ASUS ROG Phoebus Sound Card Pictured
ASUS is working on a new soundcard as it seems, the ASUS's new ROG Xonar Pheobus sound card, which is a PCIe 118db SNR standalone offering. Also on display was the ROG 'ThunderFX' USB powered audio breakout box (sequel to the R3E-Black Edition's Thunderbolt), to be bundled with a planned special edition of the ROG Rampage IV Formula.
The primary DAC for headphone/front-out channel of the ROG Phoebus is TI-BB PCM1792A. The ROG Xonar Pheobus (god of music and light) is a standalone product rated at 118db SNR at its regular outputs and has a dedicated amplifier for driving up to 300ohm headphones. Also included in the package is a volume control/wire extender for gaming headsets
High quality gold plated jacks are used at the I/O panel - Over at the bottom right, you can see the C-Media DSP which is normally used on the other high end boards like Xonar STX. On the board a Realtek ALC889 codec is used though, which we guess handles the headphone output and microphone input.
Also spot a 6-pin PCIe power connector. The card is covered up with a EMI shield. This card won't be cheap alright.
Enermax Revolution87+ - The New Gold Class
The successful Enermax Modu87+ has found a worthy successor: Revolution87+ continues the outstanding power supply series. It carries over the main advantages of its predecessor such as the forward-looking, highly efficient Dynamic Hybrid Transformer Topology or the leading fan speed control that ensures a silent operation. On the other hand, Revolution87+ profits by the technological progress of Enermax engineering. Partially, the new power supplies already follow the path-breaking technology of the Enermax flagship series Platimax ensuring an extremely high efficiency and rock stable voltages.
Enermax engineers have refined the proved Dynamic Hybrid Transformer Topology of the Modu87+ series and come out with fabulous 87 to 93 percent efficiency at 20 to 100 percent load beating even some Platinum models in the market. Revolution87+ has been tested by the international 80 PLUS
Patriot PBO Alpine Android-based media player
Patriot presents the PBO Alpine, a new Android-based media player solution. Pricing and availability isn't mentioned.
Patriot Memory, a global pioneer in high-performance memory, NAND flash, storage, and enthusiast computer products, today expanded its media player ecosystem with the introduction of its new PBO Alpine media player. Offering the flexibility and functionality of the Android platform, the PBO Alpine will make the leap into the next generation of home media players.
The PBO Alpine is powered by an ARM926 Processor which will support HD video output in full 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second. Providing entertainment right out of the box, the PBO Alpine will come preloaded with iRadio, iTV, YouTube, Picasa, and a fully functional web browser. For enthusiast buyers, the PBO Alpine will offer support for user developed Apps that can be side-loaded for custom functionality.
ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79 mATX Gaming Board
Rampage IV GENE continues the legacy of Republic of Gamers motherboards by delivering gamers with enhanced performance that places a premium on fidelity and speed. SupremeFX III