Intel to discontinue X25-E SSDs
Over at VR Zone they report that Intel is discontinuing its X25-E solid state disks to make way for the new 710 series.
Intel has informed their customers that their good old X25-E SSDs will be discontinued from 11th of July 2011 citing reasons such as short supply of 50nm SLC NAND flash and even greater demand for them. Of course, the main reason is that the X25-E has to make way for the arrival of Intel 710 series (Lyndonville, 25nm MLC HEDT) in mid August.
MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) PCI Express 3.0
We've showed it at Computex already but MSI announced the Z68A-GD80 (G3), claiming it's world's first motherboard with PCI Express 3.0. This marketing claim is false though, ASRock introduced its PCI Express 3.0 motherboard a couple of days earlier, but it remains to be seen which of the two will hit retail stores first. One thing is for sure though, the MSI mainboard is definitely the first motherboard with three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots because the ASRock model offers just two. Availability is slated for later this month.
Three PCI-Express x16 slots (PCIe x16 3.0 deliver a bandwidth of 32GB/s) for SLI or CrossFireX setups (Virtu technology is also supported for some on-the-fly graphics switching), Military Class II components (Hi-c CAP, Super Ferrite Choke and Solid caps), four DDR3- memory slots, and ten SATA ports (probably four SATA 6.0 Gbps and four 3.0 Gbps).
MSI's PCIe Gen 3-enables solution also boasts the OC Genie II overclocking function, voltage read points, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio, DVI and HDMI outputs (apparently), two USB 3.0 ports on the backplate (plus two via a header), and also FireWire and eSATA connectivity.
AMD Southern Islands-GPU codenames
New unofficial Catalyst 11.7 driver are showing new codenames, they are for the upcoming generation of GPUs from AMD, yes the 7000 series.
The 7000 series is as you guys probably know by now based on a 28nm fabrication. 3DCenter spotted four new codenames from the upcoming Southern Islands family of products. Tahiti would be the top model in a PRO and XT variant, New Zealand could be a dual-GPU based version of Tahiti and then spotted are Lombok for mid-range and Thames in the entry level segment.
The series 7000 is expected to release after Q3 of this year.
AMD Catalyst 11.6a Hotfix driver released
AMD released a new hotfix Catalyst driver which adds support for their new APUs.
AMD Catalyst 11.6a Hotfix: AMD Catalyst driver support for A8
Sandy Bridge-E delayed until January 2012
A reliable source states that Intel has pushed back the Sandy Bridge-E launch from Q4 this year to January 2012 as VR-Zone reports.
We have a feeling that Intel is doing an AMD and what we mean by that is that Intel is focusing on its server CPU business instead of on consumers. AMD delayed its consumer Bulldozer launch in favour of its Opteron CPUs and it's possible that this is part of what made Intel change its strategy. The Sandy Bridge-E CPUs are based on the same core as Intel's upcoming LGA-2011 and LGA-1356 Xeon processors and these are big chips which mean fewer chips per wafer. As such it's entirely plausible that Intel is trying to stock up on chips for its Xeon platforms, but this is only speculation from our side at this point in time.
As the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs are set to replace Intel's aging LGA-1366 Core i platform it looks like the enthusiast end of the market is going to have to wait another quarter before they can get their hands on the new platform. This is going to disappoint quite a few people out there, but this is still a very tiny market for Intel and it's unlikely that it will affect Intel's profits much, if at all. Hopefully there won't be any further delays, although it's also entirely possible that this is a calculated move by Intel, as the company launched a new LGA-1366 CPU only this week, but it's believed to be the last of a dying breed.
4.5 million infected by highly sophisticated TDL-4 virus
BBC News reports security researchers estimate 4.5 million PCs have fallen victim to the TLD-4 virus over the last three months. The TLD-4 botnet is deemed the most sophisticated threat today, it's well protected against attacks, competitors and anti-virus companies. The virus hides in Windows's master boot record, uses a custom encryption system to protect communication between those controlling the botnet and sends out instructions via a public peer-to-peer network rather than centralised command systems.
The 4.5 million PCs have become victims over the last three months following the appearance of the fourth version of the TDL virus.
The changes introduced in TDL-4 made it the "most sophisticated threat today," wrote Kaspersky Labs security researchers Sergey Golovanov and Igor Soumenkov in a detailed analysis of the virus.
"The owners of TDL are essentially trying to create an 'indestructible' botnet that is protected against attacks, competitors, and anti-virus companies," wrote the researchers.
The majority of victims, 28%, are in the US but significant numbers are in India (7%) and the UK (5%). Smaller numbers, 3%, are found in France, Germany and Canada.
However, wrote the researchers, it is the way the botnet operates that makes it so hard to tackle and shut down.
The makers of TDL-4 have cooked up their own encryption system to protect communication between those controlling the botnet. This makes it hard to do any significant analysis of traffic between hijacked PCs and the botnet's controllers.
In addition, TDL-4 sends out instructions to infected machines using a public peer-to-peer network rather than centralised command systems. This foils analysis because it removes the need for command servers that regularly communicate with infected machines.
AMD phases out around 30 AM3 CPUs
DigiTimes reports AMD plans to phase out about 30 AM3-based Phenom II and Athlon II processors in Q3 2011, the full list can be read over here.
AMD plans to phase out about 30 AM3-based Phenom II and Athlon II series CPUs starting in the third quarter. Phenom II series processors' share of AMD's total shipments will drop from 3% in the second quarter to less than 1% in the third and will be completely phased out of the market in the fourth quarter. Athlon II series will also drop from 70% in the second quarter to only 40% in the third and will drop below 30% in the fourth, and be gone from the market in the first quarter of 2012.
AMD will stop taking orders fro CPUs such as Phenom II X6 1100T/1090T and Phenom II X4 980/975 at the end of the fourth quarter, and Phenom II X4 970/965 and Phenom II X2 565/560 at the end of the third quarter. AMD will also stop taking orders for 45nm Athlon II X4 650/640 and Athlon II X3 450 CPUs at the end of the third quarter.
ArmA 3 Gameplay Demo Captured
Blacklight: Retribution - DirectX 11 Flythrough
BioShock Infinite E3 Demo: The First Two Minutes
RAGE Behind the Scenes: The Legacy of id
AMD Catalyst Application Profile 11.6 CAP2
Grab the latest AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 11.6 CAP2 (June 30). These are the Catalyst profiles for multi-GPU support. Currently there is no release notes or information available at this time on this Catalyst Application Profile update but we do know that Alice Madness Returns is supported.
We have a discussion thread open over here.
GELID Tranquillo Rev. 2 CPU Cooler
GELID Solutions unveils the upgraded version of the multi-award winning Tranquillo CPU cooler which is a product of GELID Solutions SILENT product line. GELID Solutions brings the Tranquillo to the next level. As with the previous edition the Rev. 2 Tranquillo uses 4 power heat pipes and a unique heat pipe constellation to achieve the best in class heat transfer from the CPU core to the aluminum fins.
The heat pipe constellation was further optimized to prevent any conflict from any components on the latest mainboards. The new AMD clip enables to install the cooler in four directions (4x90
Corsair ships Force Series GT Solid-State Drives
The new Force Series GT is designed for enthusiasts who demand the fastest performance available. It uses the new SandForce SF-2280 SSD Processor, with native support for SATA 6Gb/s (SATA 3), combined with ONFI synchronous flash memory. Force Series GT SSDs deliver outstanding read/write performance and significantly faster system response, boot times, and application load times than SATA 2 solid-state drives, with out-of-box performance of up to 85K Random Write IOPS, read speeds of up to 555 MB/s, and write speeds of up to 525 MB/s.
The use of synchronous flash memory makes the Force GT Series particularly adept at reading and writing non-compressible data, such as video and music files. All Force Series GT models are also backward compatible with SATA 2, and include an easy-to-use 3.5" adapter for use in both notebook and desktop PCs.
Force Series GT SSDs are currently shipping to Corsair's network of authorized distributors and retailers worldwide and will be available in July at a US suggested retail price of $149 USD for the 60GB model and $279 USD for the 120GB model. Note that stated capacities are unformatted and actual capacities will vary depending on the formatting and operating system used.
Three New Budget ViewSonic Monitors Released
the monitors have screen diagonal sizes of 19.5 inches, 21.5 inches and 23.6 inches, respectively. Also, the first of the three features a native resolution of 1,440 x 900 pixels, while the other two are Full HD-ready (1,920 x 1,080 pixels).
Most of the rest of the specifications sheet is the same for all three, with a response time of 5 ms, a glossy black frame, D-Sub and DVI inputs and a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000,000:1.
The VA1948m-LED, VA2248-LED and VA2448-LED are priced at 119 Euro, 145 Euro and 179 Euro, respectively, and sell with three-year warranties. Prospective buyers will be pleased to know that power saving technologies have been implemented (there is an ECO Mode feature) and earned them one or more of EPEAT Silver, ENERGY STAR 5.0, and TCO 5.1 certifications.
GPU-Z v0.5.4 released
GPU-Z is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
- Considerably improved startup time on ATI cards, faster on NVIDIA, too
- Improved rendering on high-DPI screens
- Fixed ROP count reading on AMD Radeon HD 6790, Turks & Whistler
- Fixed sensor count on Caicos, Whistler, Turks
- Fixed OpenCL detection on some NVIDIA drivers
- Memory size reading support for AMD Fusion GPUs
- Added die size and transistor count for GF108, GF114, Turks, Caicos
- Added detection for more Intel Sandy Bridge GPUs
- Added detection for variants of GT 220, GTS 450
- Added detection for faked cards based on GTS 250, 9600 GT, NV41M
- Added detection for GeForce GTX 560 non-Ti, GT 520, GF116 based GTS 450, GT 550M, GeForce 315, GeForce 405, Quadro 2000 & 6000
- Added detection for GeForce GTX 560M, GT 555M, GT 550M, GTX 540M, GT 525M, GT 520M, GTX 415M, GT 410M, Quadro 1000M, NVS 4200M
- Added detection for GT218 based ION 2 / 9300 GS / 8400 GS / 405 / NVS 300
- Added detection for HD 6750, HD 6770, HD 6850M, HD 6970M, HD 6670M, HD 6650M, HD 6330M, FirePro 2260
Arctic Freezer 13 Continuous Operation CPU Coolers
Arctic introduced two new CPU coolers specifically designed for gaming/enthusiast PCs that stay on 24x7, or for "continuous operation".
Two models are released, the bigger Freezer 13 Pro CO and smaller Freezer 13 CO, designed for thermal loads of up to 300W and 200W, respectively. The 24x7-readiness comes from the fans, that use dual ball-bearing and are designed to be less sensitive to dust. Arctic claims that the fans used are 5 times more durable than generic fans. Both are aluminum fin tower-type heatsinks that consist of U-shaped copper heat pipes that pass through a copper base, conveying heat to the arms that pass through the aluminum fin stack.
Measuring 134L x 96W x 159H mm, and weighing 893 g, the Freezer 13 Pro CO uses a 120 mm fan that spins at 300 - 1350 RPM, pushing 49.7 CFM of air through the heatsink. It also uses a 50 mm blower that sits on top of the CPU base, which resembles the blowers found in single-slot VGA coolers, it spins at speeds of 700 - 2700 RPM, blowing air in all directions, cooling the components around the CPU socket such as VRM, memory, and northbridge. It uses four copper heat pipes that pass through the heat fins in a uniform file. The Freezer 13 Pro CO is priced at US $58.32.
At 706 g, measuring 123 L x 96 W x 130 H mm, the smaller Freezer 13 CO uses a 92 mm fan that spins at 600 - 2000 RPM, pushing 36.4 CFM of air through the fin stack. The stack itself is a lot more compact than the one on the Pro variant, heat is fed to it by four copper heat pipes. This cooler goes for $43.71. Both coolers have a film of Arctic MX-4 thermal compound pre-applied, both are backed by 6 years warranty. That should tell you something about the durability of the fans, to put up with 6 years of grueling 24x7 operation [via tpu]
Razer Transformers 3 branded gaming gear
Razer has announced Transformers 3 themed gaming gear; it includes DeathAdder mice, Vespula mousepads and laptop sleeve cases. You can view the full lineup over here.
The dark war between the Autobots and Decepticons comes to Earth. Prepare for battle with a powerful Razer Collector's Edition gaming suite including a Razer DeathAdder, Razer Vespula, and a Laptop Sleeve Case by Razer. All these products come designed in the striking colors of iconic Transformers to give your gaming a heavy dose of intense robot power.