Arctic Freezer 13 Pro CPU Cooler
Crysis 2 PC build leaked plus response
A rather nasty punch in the face for Crytek as earlier in the weekend a version of Crysis 2 (beta build from developers) has been leaked to torrents. The build contains the entire single player campaign of the game, apparently. However, it's in debug mode and not the final build of the game.
It's currently unknown how this build got onto the net but its always sad when something like this happens as it is bound to not only affect sales of the game itself but also cause publisher to try to create more complex DRM set ups that will just upset legit consumers. Crysis 2 is set to ship on PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 in March 2011.
The Crysis 2 Blog has an official statement from Crytek:
" Crytek has been alerted that an early incomplete, unfinished build of Crysis 2 has appeared on Torrent sites. Crytek and EA are deeply disappointed by the news. We encourage fans to support the game and the development team by waiting and purchasing the final, polished game on March 22. Crysis 2 is still in development and promises to be the ultimate action blockbuster as the series
Dragon Age 2 has gone gold
Both Bioware's Chris Priestly and Manveer Heir have confirmed that Dragon Age 2 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Mac OS X.) has gone gold. So that means that the title is on time for its March 8th release in the US and march 11th release in the UK and Europe.
Duke Nukem screens plus Balls of Steel box set announced
Gearbox Software recently put out several fresh screenshots of the upcoming, uber-delayed shooter Duke Nukem Forever. The follow-up to 1996?
New Downloads 13-Feb-2011
There have been a couple of new updates in the past that might be interesting to you:
Media Player Classic Home Cinema v1.5 - This open Source Media Player allows you to enhance, decode and accelerate a broad span of movie formats like x.264 with GPU assisted acceleration and image quality enhancing.
NVIDIA BIOS Editor 6.0 (NiBiTor) - NiBiTor is a BIOS tweaker that supports the latest NVIDIA graphics cards, and which is updated on a regular basis.
Fraps 3.2.9 - Fraps is a universal Windows application that can be used with games using DirectX or OpenGL graphic technology.
Sandra 2011 SP1 v17.36 - SiSoft Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility.
Realtek HD Audio 2.57 audio driver - The latest download of Realtek's HD audio driver version available for Windows XP, Vista, it runs under Windows 7 as well of course.
AMD Intends to Quickly Release New CPUs
Advanced Micro Devices seems to be preparing extremely rapid transition of its desktop microprocessors to 32nm silicon-on-insulator fabrication process, a person with knowledge of the matter said according to x-bitlabs. By the second quarter of 2012 virtually all AMD processors will be made using 32nm SOI technology and be based on new designs.
" At present the absolute majority of desktop microprocessors shipped by Advanced Micro Devices are AMD Athlon II and AMD Phenom II chips in AM3 form-factor. But already in a little bit more than a year from now all the desktop chips that AMD will sell will be made using 32nm SOI process technology and will rely on code-named Bulldozer, Brazos and Llano designs, the source indicated.
Approximately 20% of AMD's desktop microprocessors in Q2 2012 will be in AM3+ form-factor and will belong to the FX family of chips, which is based on Bulldozer micro-architecture. About 10% of desktop chips will come in FT1 ball-grid-array form-factor and will therefore be based on Brazos design. The remaining 70% will be Llano accelerated processing units with two or four x86 cores as well as a Radeon HD 6000-class graphics engine in FM1 form-factor.
It is remarkable that after a number of delays AMD seems to have rather ambitious plans for the 32nm ramp. By contrast, it usually takes years for Intel Corp., the much larger rival of AMD, to transit to one micro-architecture to another or from one technology process for another".
Intel ships B3 Stepping P67 Chipset February 14
Intel is close to ready to ship the updated Cougar Point (P67/H67) chipset. The silicon giant claims that it will be in a position to start shipping B3 stepping of Cougar Point chipsets from 14 February, to OEM partners.
Cougar Point B3 will carry the following changes/features:
- Revision ID will change from 04h to 05h
- BIOS Update (Revision 1.1.4 of the BIOS Specification Update and Reference Code)
- B3 stepping package is pin compatible with B2 stepping package
- Minor metal layer change from B2 to B3 improving lifetime wear out with no changes to functionality or design specifications
Acer GN245HQ 3D Monitor with HDMI 3D for NVIDIA
Acer presents the GN245HQ, a 3D monitor that supports the HDMI 3D solution from NVIDIA, enabling users to fully appreciate the array of possibilities brought by the stereoscopic technology.
Offering powerful and exciting graphics as well as top-notch technology, the GN245HQ 3D monitor is particularly well suited for gaming and enjoying movies: the perfect solution for tech-savvy users and gaming enthusiasts.
Acer's new combines Full HD 3D imagery via HDMI 3D or DVI-DL (dual link) connectivity with NVIDIA 3D vision, setting the standard for enhanced 3D multimedia, literally projecting the user into the action for a sensation of full immersion. This effective yet simple solution is ideal for enhanced home entertainment. With the included NVIDIA 3D glasses, featuring advanced active shutter 3D technology, combined with the monitor's built-in IR emitter, you can enjoy your favorite movies or games with your friends, as multiple pair of glasses can be used simultaneously.
What's more, with the integrated IR emitter and HDMI 3D connectivity, the GN245HQ display breaks free from the PC and lets you enjoy 3D TV broadcasting via a set-top box, the best in 3D movies via Blu-ray Disc player, stunning pictures from a 3D camera, and immersive 3D games using a HDMI 3D game console.
This monitor is also ready to let you experience and appreciate new ways of learning that are more compelling and fun, with applications that will literally transport you in the middle of an archaeological site, around the universe or inside the human body.
But enhanced 3D technology is not enough to sum up the GN245HQ. This monitors packs high-end features, to ensure the best viewing experience: an unmatched 100 million:1 contrast ratio for stunning picture quality; Full HD resolution (1920x1080) perfect for 1080p Full HD applications; a spacious 60cm (23.6") LED backlit panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio, ideal to watch movies with the same immersive splendour of a theatre screen; a 120Hz refresh rate, essential for creating the 3D effect and a response time of just 2ms, the utmost in reactivity for real-time gaming.
While offering impressive visuals, the GN245HQ is also a striking sight. A futuristic style with clean, severe lines and sharply angled surfaces underlined its strong character. The elaborate design of the base conveys speed and performance evoking today's fast paced videogames. The power button blends seamlessly with the eye-catching bezel, highlighting the care in designing even the tiniest detail.
The GN245HQ falls under Acer's range of EcoDisplays. Making all efforts to reduce our footprint on the environment is the responsibility of everyone today. This is why Acer is committed to developing monitors with an energy saving design, that are mercury free and made of easily recyclable materials. To ensure lower power consumption white LED backlighting technology was adopted, replacing the four lamp design with two lamps, for up to 68% power saving. In addition, LED lamps are mercury-free and safer for the environment whilst delivering better performance. Acer 3D monitors meet stringent industry standards and are compliant with RoHS (the EU directive restricting the usage of hazardous substances) and ENERGY STAR requirements. Lower energy consumption not only helps reducing costs but also preserves resources and the environment for future generations. Plus, packaging is kept to the minimum and made of recyclable materials.
The Acer GN245HQ display is supplied with a 2 year C&R warranty and will be available from mid March with a SRRP of
AMD Brazos platform tested - The E350 APU review
AMD Fusion is here, the APU has been born. In this article we'll have a closer look at the Brazos platform, with in specific the AMD E-350 APU, a processor and GPU all in one.
For prices hovering in the 100 EUR bracket you can purchase yourself some amazing stuff, and sure let me immediately make clear that this is not high-end processor kit in terms of performance, contrary... this is net-top/ entry level performance at best.
We peek at the cutest mITX motherboard from Gigabyte, you'll notice DDR3 support, SATA-600 support, DVI/HDMI support, gigabit Ethernet, 8-channel audio support and then the integrated dual-core processor at 1600 MHz and in that processor embedded DX11 ready graphics core. Check out the full review right here.
Sharkoon Scorpio chassis with easy access to SATA HDDs
Sharkoon has expanded their PC tower product line: The new ATX, called the "Scorpio", offers diverse and practical mounting options for hard drives of various formats.
With the Scorpio, Sharkoon presents their first tower in which SSDs as well as hard drives with 2.5 inch Form Factor can be used without any special adapter frames needing to be installed: Behind the mesh drive faceplates on the completely black SECC tower are four drive bays for suitable smaller data mediums. In addition, there is space for a total of six 3.5 inch drives. Two of the six 3.5 inch mounting bays are equipped with a Fast Swap Mechanism directly on the housing front which enables the easy installation of SATA hard drives: Installed on the backside of the mounting cage is a panel with two internal SATA ports. The user only needs to open the faceplate panel, remove one of the two secured mounting frames using the locking lever, screw the hard drive to the frame and re-secure into the bay. The tower panel provides a 4-pin power supply adapter and two unregulated fan connectors beside the two SATA connectors.
In addition to the hard drives, the Sharkoon Scorpio can include up to seven extension cards and up to five 5.25 inch drives. The drives can be secured by thumbscrews thanks to the laterally adjustable mounting rails.
For a clean cable management system within the black finished interior there are several cable bays and feed-throughs provided. The main board panel also has an opening to easily mount a CPU cooler. Through the rubber protected openings on the back of the tower an e-SATA cable and two water cooler hoses can be installed. The power supply sits on the bottom of the tower over the air intake with a removable dust filter and allows, depending on the preferred ventilation, the fan to be installed in either an upward or downward position. The top I/O panel provides an eSATA and two USB2.0 ports, headphones and microphone ports as well as the Power and Reset buttons. The tower measures 508 x 210 x 503 mm (L x W x H) and weighs around 7.25 kilograms.
Sharkoon offers the Scorpio on the market in two versions which differ in the fan and front panel design. The Sharkoon Scorpio 1000 comes with a high gloss plastic front frame. The mesh design of the drive panel is broken through by the preinstalled, blue illuminated 120mm LED fan which cools the upper removable hard drives. Another 120mm fan is installed on the backside. Optionally, a 200mm or two 120mm fans can be attached to the left panel using the provided mesh grill, plus two 120mm or two 140mm fans on the top.
The front edging of the Sharkoon Scorpio 2000 consists of matte finished plastic. For hard drive cooling a blue illuminated LED fan is also preinstalled, the difference between its counterpart the Scorpio 1000 is that it features an edge length of 140mm and is mounted behind the mesh drive covers. Additionally, an 80mm fan cools the SATA hard drive in the Fast-Swap-Bays. Also, the Scorpio 2000 provides a 120mm fan in the back and pre-drilled holes for a 200mm or two 120mm fans on the left side and two 120mm or two 140mm fans on the top. The chassis will cost roughly 70 EUR.
MSI shows AMD E-350 based U270, X370 and CR650
MSI will be showing off an array of brand new, powerful display performance notebook computers, including the 15.6-inch CR650, the 12-inch Wind U270, and the 13.4-inch X-Slim X370. Eric Kuo, associate vice president for global sales, MSI Notebook, explains that these lean, mean machines are the ideal choice for active individuals. They include the Wind U270 ,X-Slim X370 ,and CR650 laptops, which pack AMD's landmark dual core E-350 processor which incorporates the AMD Radeon
Google increases security with two-step sign-in verification
Google implemented an extra, optional layer of security for Google Account users by revealed a new two-step sign-in verification process:
When enabled, users will have to enter their passwords as well as a separate code that will be sent to mobile devices before gaining access to products like Gmail or Google Docs. Google added this for Google Apps customers several months ago, but is now extending it to all users.
"There are plenty of examples (like the classic 'Mugged in London' scam) that demonstrate why it's important to take steps to help secure your activities online," Nishit Shah, product manager for Google Security, wrote in a blog post. "Your Gmail account, your photos, your private documents
Intel Sandy Bridge E-series .... for enthusiasts in Q4 2011
As if the 2600K would not be enough, X-bit Labs reported that Intel will reveal the Sandy Bridge E-series by the end of the year, this is a new enthusiast-class desktop platform that will use the LGA2011 socket.
Intel Sandy Bridge E microprocessors are specifically designed for enthusiasts, who demand maximum performance. For example, the chips will carry "extra large cache" to maximize speed of single-threaded or dual-threaded applications, quad-channel memory controller and a number of other enhancements. Sandy Bridge E chips with four or six cores will be paired with code-named Patsburg core-logic set. Platforms based on the latter will feature external base frequency generators and clock-speeds of buses like SATA or USB locked. As a result, enthusiasts will be able to boost clock-speed of microprocessors using traditional methods by increasing DMI frequencies, something that will allow them to easily and more efficiently to overclock their CPUs.
University of Groningen shows Reality touchscreen
Aaah, I am proud of this as the University is roughly 2 KM away from our offices here in Groningen - The Netherlands. For this project the students used six Optitrack v120 slim camera's which have a good sensitivity for infrared light. They used 16 cheap infrared emitters (the kind used for security systems) with a total of 1000 LED's.
The touch detection software runs on three old computers each with two camera's connected. One extra computer combines the output from the detection computers and send event data to our main visualization system.
E.Y.E. Gameplay Trailer
Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Thermaltake announced today the immediate availability of the highly anticipated Level 10 GT super gaming full-tower computer case. The Level 10 GT case, the successor to the original Level 10, the design collaboration between Thermaltake and BMW Group DesignworksUSA.
The case's announcement during 2010 CES attracted high-volume of media coverage and quickly trickled down to the PC enthusiasts and gaming communities with approvals of the Level 10 GT's breakthrough in design and innovative features.
Commenting on the Level 10 GT during the CES launch, Overclockersclub, an independent news media had this to say," This year Thermaltake upped the ante in its chassis line up with the introduction of the Level 10 GT chassis at CES. The level 10 was a piece of art in the form of a computer chassis and the level 10 GT takes all of these styling cues and puts them in a chassis that comes with improvements to the airflow through the chassis with the use of 200mm fans in addition to the 140mm rear fan. You get the latest technologies with the addition of USB 3.0 connectivity, hot swap drive bays and a fan speed control built into the switch panel. Like the original Level 10 it's the small things that are not obvious that really make this case, things like the removable fan filters, large directional airflow from the side panel fan and room for the biggest video cards out right now up to 37cm in length. The Level 10 GT is an improvement in form and function for the gamer all at a more appetizing price point."
"[Level 10 GT] is a revision of the [Level 10] that is meant to be more affordable ($269 MSRP), but still keep the same styling as the original Level 10. This case has a ton of great features. The first is that there are 5 internal hot-swappable bays, each of these bays can fit 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives. These bays are easily removed by pressing in a button on the side and sliding them out. This case is designed to be a gaming case so there is a pull out headphone holder, which is perfect for LAN parties." Commented Bob Buskirk, owner of Thinkcomputers.org.
Unmatched Cable Management - While many cases on the market claim to have cable management, it simply means those cases have enough room on the opposite side of the case to "hide" the excess cables. With Level 10 GT, users will be amazed at how well the cable management system works. Instead of hiding the cables, users can properly separate cables and channel them through the grooves strategically placed on the back of the case. When adding graphic card or hard drives, users will no longer need to untangle the power cables that had been "hidden" away. All hard drives' power connectors are pre-wired eliminating the need for rerouting. Not only does a properly cable managed computer perform better through improved airflow, but also makes the system neater.
Convertible Top-Vent 240mm Water-Cooling Design - With the popularity of performance water-cooling solution for PC, Level 10 GT features a removable top meshed panel with included true 200mm exhaust fan. Should the user wish to integrate 120mm or even 240mm water-cooling, the fan can be easily removed and the water-cooling radiator can be quickly installed. The removable top also enables easy cleaning of the dust build-up on the fan or mesh.
Hinged Side-Panel Door with Plug&Play Fan Power - For power users who frequently upgrades graphic cards, memories or simply performing maintenances, the hinged side-panel door design eliminates the hassle of having to awkwardly sliding the side-panel off. In addition, the side-mounted oversized 200mm intake fan's power connector automatically disconnects itself without any user intervention.
Hot-swappable Hard Drive Caddies - Want to add additional hard drive to boost your overall storage capacity? Need to take the hard drive out to move large amount of data? With Level 10 GT's true hot-swappable hard drive caddies, user is able to quickly remove the hard drive without having to open up the computer systems and unscrewing it from the hard drive cage. And thanks to Level 10 GT's embedded hot-swap backplane, user can remove the storage hard drive without having to shut-down the system.
Flash Player 10.2 released: Stage Video full h/w acceleration
Adobe has released Flash Player 10.2, complete with support for Stage Video full hardware acceleration. Available initially for Windows, Mac and Linux, Flash Player 10.2 promises 1080p HD streaming video playback with just 1 to 15-percent CPU load on Stage Video supported systems. Meanwhile, Adobe is promising phone and tablet Flash Player 10.2 news
ASUS updates its Sandy Bridge SATA flaw response
ASUS issued a new press release with new information on how it will handle replacements of motherboards with Intel's flawed 6-series chipsets:
ASUS has finalized initial internal discussions outlining our strategy and process to fully support our customers for the replacement or refund of products containing the affected Intel 6 Series support chipset. In addition, we have created a dedicated website that outlines our response, describes options for the return or refund of products and a workaround solution for current owners of these products. The site is located here, and contains general information, step by step directions, service registration form and contact information for our valued customers.
- Product replacements will be new products and based on current Intel schedules, they should be the same product that the customer currently owns and will be available in several weeks. ASUS will handle product replacements directly with customers currently owning the affected products outlined here - http://service.asus.com/notice/Overview.aspx#affected . If the customer is not satisfied with the free replacement service, then we sincerely ask that they contact their E-tailer or actual place of purchase for a refund now. ASUS will also cover shipping costs for customers wanting a direct replacement product. This includes standard two-way shipping for the return of affected product and the delivery of equivalent/new products.
- Although advanced RMA options are offered on our standard range of motherboards in the first year (P8P67 PRO and above) of warranty, we will extend this advanced RMA option to all products affected by this Cougar Point design error. Details of this option are available here - http://service.asus.com/notice/FAQ.aspx.
- Potential warranty adjustments or any items related to new warranty terms are still under discussion locally. In the meantime, our standard warranty and terms of service apply for any affected products shipped to customers.
- This customer care response plan is specific for products purchased in North America (USA and Canada). Other regions might have a different policies or procedures pertaining to the replacement or refund of affected products. We ask that customers outside of North America please contact their local region for instructions.