Archive for September 2011

NZXT Phantom Big Tower Pink Edition

HTPC 228 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

It was on display at Computex already and I still do not know what to make of it, aah well .. LADIEEEEEES.

NZXT proudly presents the Phantom Big-Tower in pink, which is intended for the female gamer base. All new Phantoms, including this variant also come equipped with USB 3.0 connectivity. Additional features of these enclosures are a five channel fan controller with 20W load capacity on each circuit, spacious interior, lighting which may be turned off, elaborate cable management, numerous anti-vibration measures and a water cooling ready design.

The futuristic design of the NZXT Phantom makes it the perfect basis for an extravagant gaming PC as the case specialist has included unique shapes and lines which resembles that of modern high performance sports cars. A front door covers the drive bays, so that the chassis looks perfect, regardless of what type of drives you have installed. Besides the pink color option, NZXT also offers a white, black, red and red/white variant with more special editions in the works.

In terms of cooling, the NZXT Phantom manages to blend form and function perfectly, as the black mesh elements do not simply look good, but also allows access to fresh to any installed fan. To keep temperatures down, two 120 mm fans have been installed in the side panel, pushing cool air across the hard drive bays, with another one in the rear along with a large and quiet 200 mm unit in the ceiling pulling air out of the case.

Those wanting even more cooling performance can turn the interior of the Phantom into a wind tunnel by installing another 200 mm unit in the ceiling of the chassis and a 140 mm unit in the ceiling as well. In addition, one may exchange the two 120 mm units with a 200 or 230 variant. To keep things quiet, NZXT has included a high-performance fan controller with 5 channels and 20W capacity on each circuit.

Dust filters on all intake areas ensure that the interior of the Phantom stays clean and presentable and that the bottom mounted power supply life span is kept at a maximum. For drive bays, the case allows for a slew of drives to be installed as it comes with five 5.25

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Biostar launches the TA990FXE motherboard

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Ouch, that's not my kind of design alright, click on the thumbnail to see what i mean though. Biostar announced the TA990FXE motherboard for AMD's FX processors.

BIOSTAR Group, a world famous manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, industrial computing systems and computer peripherals, proudly announces the TA990FXE motherboard aimed at the most demanding overclockers and gamers.

The TA990FXE is made in the ATX form-factor on the flagship AMD 990FX chipset in combination with the most advanced SB950 Southbridge which guarantees the support of the latest technologies and ensures the unprecedented performance. The board supports all Socket AM3+ based Phenom II X6, Phenom II X4, Phenom II X3, Phenom II X2, Athlon II X4, Athlon II X3, Athlon II X2 and Sempron CPUs including top 6-core and 8-core AMD FX, AMD Phenom II and AMD Athlon II chips with the maximum thermal design up to 140W.

The board is equipped with four DDR3 DIMM slots and supports up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600/1866 MHz RAM as well as overclocking versions up to 2000 MHz. Today

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AMD is suffering from poor Llano yields

Processor 721 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0 ImageAMD send out a profit warning to investors, stating it won't be able to achieve the previously forecasted 8-12 percent rise in quarterly revenue due to Llano manufacturing issues at GlobalFoundries. Third quarter revenue is anticipated to increase four to six percent compared to the second quarter, and the company also reveals that its Interlagos server processor shipped later than originally anticipated.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that revenue for the third quarter ending Oct. 1, 2011 is expected to increase four to six percent as compared to the second quarter of 2011. The company previously forecasted third quarter 2011 revenue to increase 10 percent, plus or minus two percent, from the second quarter of 2011.

In addition, AMD expects third quarter gross margin to be approximately 44 to 45 percent. The company previously forecasted third quarter 2011 gross margin to be approximately 47 percent.

The less-than-forecasted preliminary third quarter 2011 revenue results are primarily due to 32 nanometer (nm) yield, ramp and manufacturing issues at GLOBALFOUNDRIES in its Dresden, Germany factory that limited supply of "Llano". Additionally, 45nm supply was less than expected due to complexities related to the use of common tools across both technology nodes. AMD continues to work closely with its key partner GLOBALFOUNDRIES to improve 32nm yield performance in order to satisfy strong demand for AMD products.

The less-than-forecasted preliminary third quarter 2011 gross margin results are primarily due to less-than-expected supply of "Llano" and associated products with higher average selling price (ASP). Additionally, shipments of AMD's next-generation server processor, codenamed "Interlagos", occurred later in the third quarter than originally anticipated.

AMD will report third quarter 2011 results after market close on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. AMD will hold a conference call for the financial community at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ET) that day to discuss third quarter financial results and to provide information regarding expected fourth quarter results. AMD will provide a real-time audio broadcast of the teleconference on the Investor Relations page at The webcast will be available for 10 days after the conference call.

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Battlefield 3 Open Beta Begins

Games 1603 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Battlefield Blog has word that the Open Beta for Battlefield 3 is up and running for everyone.

Starting today, we are happy to invite all players to the Battlefield 3 Open Beta! You can find the download instructions for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC below. For PlayStation 3 users in North America, expect the Open Beta to be downloadable later today, once Sony completes their weekly update.

Played on the Operation M

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HIS Launches new 6970 EyeFinity RTS (Ready-to-See)

Graphics Cards 1673 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

HIS today launched new 6970 EyeFinity Ready-to-See graphics cards, the perfect solution to enable AMD's EyeFinity game play on up to three screens. The HIS 6970 RTS uses innovative technology to enable AMDs EyeFinity via HDMI. Gamers no longer have to connect the DisplayPort output or use the active DisplayPort adapter in order to perform EyeFinity and can easily set up EyeFinity with three outputs via HDMI.

Core Clock 880 MHz - Memory Clock 5500 MHz - Memory Size 2048 MB.

Product Features & Benefits:

Ready-to-See EyeFinity

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Sitecom 500 Mbps homeplugs

Network 111 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Sitecom just launched 500 Mbps homeplugs, allowing you to move serious network traffic over your powerline.

Using this Homeplug 500 Mbps you can very easily add a desktop PC or notebook, or even a Connected TV or Blu-ray player, to your homeplug network

Because the homeplug makes use of the electrical wiring there is no need to pull cables, and thanks to the integrated power plug socket you can still plug in other devices

The Homeplug is easy to install and makes it possible to share files and peripherals among all connected devices at speeds of up to 500 Mbps in the blink of an eye. The new 500 Mbps standard is ideal for high-speed internet and demanding media applications such as streaming HD videos and online gaming. The 500 Mbps homeplugs are fully compatible with all the 200 Mbps homeplug adapters

Thanks to the integrated security button you can create a secure connection at the push of a button

The power-saving function ensures that the homeplug automatically switches to standby when the connected device is switched off. This reduces power consumption by around 60%

  • Homeplug AV compliant
  • Up to 200 Mbps PLC data transmission rate
  • 128-bit AES Link Encryption with key management for secure powerline communications
  • Simple installation, just Plug and Play
  • IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3U, Homeplug 1.0.1
  • Frequency band 4.3

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Zalman preps CNPS12X CPU Cooler for October

Cooling 272 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Ooh yeah, the 1 KG weighing beast finally seems to be reelased in Q3/Q4. The new cooler is named the CNPS12X and resembles a great deal previous Zalman solutions that used an omega-shaped design.

The CNPS12X is a double-tower type heatsink, with as series of ring-like aluminum fin stacks attached to it to resemble Zalman's old-school coolers. Six direct contact heatpipes are embedded into the base and draw the heat away from the CPU heatspreader and into the aluminum heatsink. These provide a total air contact area of 9.6 sqaure meters and are cooled by three 120mm fans based on a Zalman design.

In their default operating mode, the fans work at speeds between 950 and 1200 RPM, and produce 25 dBA of noise. Those who want a more silent computing experience can also put the fans into a special low-speed mode that lowers the RPM to speeds between 850 and 1100, limiting the noise level to 22 dBA.
Zalman CNPS12X is comptible with the current AMD AM2, AM3, AM3 +, FM1 sockets as well as with Intel's LGA 775, 1366, 1156/1155 CPUs, and will also work with the upcoming LGA 2011 motherboards.

The massive 1Kg (2.2 pounds) Zalman cooler will become available in three to four weeks and its estimated retail price will be set at about $89 US or

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Intel to Add SSD Caching Support to Its P67 Motherboards

Mainboard 578 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Intel is prepping support for their Smart Response SSD caching technology to some of its older motherboards based on the P67 Express chipset.

According to a report posted just recently by VR-Zone, the Santa Clara chip giant plans towards the end of next month to add support for the Smart Response technology to a series of motherboards based on the P67 PCH (platform controller hub). The LGA 1155 boards in question are the mid-range DP67BA and DP67DE, two solutions that were released at about the same time with the Intel Sandy Bridge processors.

This move is a bit odd considering Intel stated previously the P67 chipset can't support SSD caching through the SRT (Smart Response Technology). It's extremely likely that SRT support will be introduced via a BIOS update and a series of new drivers.

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New Intel Z68-based Extreme Series Desktop Boards

Mainboard 578 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

When it comes to its own brand motherboards Intel have been very quiet since the Sandy Bridge launch and the company has quietly slipped in wo new Z68 models with another two coming in about a months' time. The two currently available models are the DZ68BC and the DZ68ZV, with the two upcoming models being the DZ68PL and the DZ68AF. In an interesting turn of events, it looks like Intel is also getting ready to add support for its Smart Response SSD caching technology to some of its P67 models as vr-zone reports:

Let's start with the DZ68ZV, a peculiar board to say the least, especially as Intel has been busy pushing the merits of graphics support combined with overclocking as one of the major features of the Z68 chipset. Well, the DZ68ZV doesn't have any display connectivity, nor does it seem to have the extra power phases in place that are needed to take advantage of its Quick Sync technology, something we've seen on a few other Z68 boards that lacked display connectivity. This seems like a very strange move by Intel, but there's an easy explanation for it all, Intel did a Gigabyte. Let us explain what we mean by that.

The DZ68ZV is in actual fact using the same PCB as the DP67BG motherboard, something that keeps R&D costs at a minimum and you can get a product out in the market quickly. If you've been following the motherboard market this year, you might know that Gigabyte did something similar when the Z68 chipset launched to get motherboards with the new chipset out in the market quickly. However, in the case of the DZ68ZV we're close to five months on from the launch and it feels like Intel had decided to just throw together a product that's slightly more appealing than its P67 equivalent.

The DZ68BC is what we'd call Intel's first high-end Z68 and in fact, it is Intel's second Z68 board. It carries the skull logo that signifies that it's part of Intel's Extreme series of motherboards, although we're not sure it's all that extreme. Sadly we didn't manage to find a good quality picture of the board, so you'll have to make do with what we managed to dig up. Even though this board didn't blow our minds, it's a much more impressive board than the DZ68DB which was Intel's first and for a very long time, only, Z68 motherboards.

What we have is a pretty standard looking motherboard with a pair of x16 slots, where the secondary slot runs in x8 mode when enabled, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots. The board appears completely littered with components and it looks quite messy. In addition to the two SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA 3Gbps ports, Intel has added a second pair of SATA 6Gbps ports via what we presume is a Marvell controller. There are several pin-headers that add eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a single FireWire port. The board also features power and reset buttons as well as a POST80 debug LED.

The rear I/O consists of six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel analogue audio with optical S/PDIF out, a DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI port and clear CMOS button. For an Intel board this isn't half bad and Intel also throws in a USB Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module and a copy of LucidLogix Virtu software for good measure. The DZ68BC is available right now for around US$225 which is a very steep price compared to what you can get competing products for from any of the big motherboard makers. We haven't managed to track down a price for the DZ68ZV as yet, although as far as we know, it's not meant to have launched quite as yet, despite being up on Intel's website.

As for the DZ68PL and DZ68AF, we sadly only have the model names at hand, but both should launch before the end of next month. Towards the end of next month Intel should also be adding support for its Smart Response technology, i.e. SSD caching to its DP67BA and DP67DE motherboards, two distinctly mid-range products, a very peculiar move as according to Intel itself, the P67 chipset couldn't possibly support Smart Response. We'll be asking Intel about this one and we might be seeing updates for other P67 motherboards in the future as well. If nothing else, it goes to show how many of the chipset related features are simply just added for product differentiation and nothing else.


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Prolimatech Panther CPU Cooler

Cooling 272 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Prolimatech presents the Panther, their newest CPU cooler aimed to take the mid-range by storm, while featuring the same excellent quality as all products from Prolimatech. Besides the mounting for all modern AMD and Intel based systems, the Panther CPU cooler also includes a 120 mm fan with PWM functionality. This complete package manages to impress with an excellent price/performance ratio.

Prolimatech has set the bar with the high-end Genesis cooler, so it is only natural that the company takes their experience and engineering capabilities and develop the Panther, a potent solution for the mainstream market. The Panther utilizes less material in the most efficient manner possible, keeping a maximum of surface area while offering compact dimensions. It is also the first CPU cooler from Prolimatech which ships with a fan.

Prolimatech has taken its inspiration for this new cooler from the Armageddon, which results in the same excellent performance at a brand new price point. Both feature the same heatpipe shape, with the only difference being the number of such element as the Panther offers four 6 mm pipes.

In terms of construction, the cooler makes no compromises and offers the same level of quality as one has come to expect from Prolimatech. High quality Nickel plating has been applied to the entire cooler which does not only protect the unit but also results in a great look and feel. On top of that, the crossed fins increase the robustness of the Panther cooler.

The sophistication of this construction also shows in the shape of the heatpipes. These end in a row next to each other, so that each of them has unrestricted access to the fresh airflow of the included fan. This maximizes the efficiency of the Panther CPU cooler, while keeping the dimensions to a minimum.

The 120 mm fan with PWM connector can be controlled automatically by every modern mainboard in the market to keep the noise to a bare minimum. This cooling unit also features transparent red blades along with red LEDs. Prolimatech has also included a second set of clips, allowing the installation of another such fan for a push/pull configuration, further raising the performance bar on this cooler. Also part of the package is the award winning PK-1 thermal past and the very sturdy mounting kit with backplate for Socket 1155, 1156, AM2, AM2+ and AM3.

The Prolimatech Panther CPU cooler is available immediately for a price of 39.90 Euro

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Gigabyte LAN Optimizer tool launched

Network 111 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

GIGABYTE announced the launch of LAN Optimizer, a free software application that offers user-friendly, intelligent network management. Prioritizing network-sensitive applications such as streaming media content, communications and online gaming, LAN Optimizer intelligently manages your network to deliver an optimized online experience.

"LAN Optimizer is a unique and exclusive GIGABYTE application that allows our customers to get the very best online experience by taking charge of their internet bandwidth in a way that was only available to very high-end solutions in the past," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of Motherboard Business Unit at GIGABYTE.

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ASUS reveals three Z68 mainboards with PCI Express 3.0

Mainboard 578 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

ASUS introduced three new Intel Z68 based motherboards with PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both populated).

Leading the pack is the P8Z68 DELUXE/Gen3 in the $250-segement, followed by the P8Z68-V PRO/Gen3 in the $200-segment, and the P8Z68-V/Gen3 in the sub-$200 segment.

All three feature 16-phase Digi+ CPU VRM, an Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controller, and Lucid Virtu support. All three feature the same expansion slot loadout, with two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical 2.0 x4), and two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI wired to an ASMedia-made bridge chip.

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AMD Catalyst 11.9 WHQL drivers out

ATI Catalyst drivers 98 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0 ImageThe 11.9 software suite updates both the AMD display driver, and the AMD Catalyst Control Center / AMD Vision Engine Control Center. This unified driver has been updated to provide enhanced level of power, performance, and reliability.

We have a forum discussion thread open here.


 bullet.gifAMD Catalyst 11.9 Win XP 32-bit driver
 bullet.gifAMD Catalyst 11.9 Win 7 | Vista 32-bit driver
 bullet.gifAMD Catalyst 11.9 Win 7 | Vista 64-bit driver

The 11.9 software suite updates both the AMD display driver, and the AMD Catalyst Control Center / AMD Vision Engine Control Center. This unified driver has been updated to provide enhanced level of power, performance, and reliability.

We have a forum discussion thread open here.

New Features: 

  • Enables AMD HD 3D technology support on DisplayPort panels, such as the Samsung 750 and 950 series 3D displays

Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System: 

This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst

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Sandy Bridge-E and X79 preview

Review 567 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Today we bring you a preview covering Sandy Bridge-E processors and X79 based motherboards. An update to the true high-end six-core processor series aimed at consumers. A processor based on 32nm technology that comes with most of the bells and whistles we have learned to like and love of the current Sandy Bridge processor generation.

Head on over to the next page where we'll discuss Sandy-Bridge-E processors, the respective models. We'll also have a chat about the X79 motherboard and chipset and then will throw a decent photo-shoot and benchmark suite at the products.

Read the preview right here.

UPDATE: sorry guys at the request of Intel this article had to be revised and all MSI related info was stripped away.


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Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO and Hyper 212 EVO CPU Coolers

Cooling 272 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

Cooler Master, an industry leading chassis, thermal solution, peripheral, and accessory manufacturer, signals the rebirth of two household names in computing, the Hyper 212 EVO and Hyper TX3 EVO CPU Coolers. They come packed with an improved tower fin design, heat pipe layout, upgraded fans, and fan brackets. All of which provides an even more extreme value for end-users of all types.

Improved Cooling Design
The Hyper 212 & TX3 EVO cooling systems are designed and optimized to provide the best user experience and cooling potential for a new generation of processors. The Hyper 212 EVO now features four Cooler Master patented Continuous Direct Contact (CDC) heat pipes that are tightly packed into a flat array on the CPU Cooler base. This acts as a virtual vapor chamber that dissipates a large amount of heat. The aluminum fin structure has been optimized to provide the perfect performance balance between high and low speed fan operations.

Optimized for current and future generation sockets, the Hyper TX3 EVO sees improvement in its Direct Contact heat pipe performance, expanded socket support, and a higher quality 92mm wide-range PWM fan.

Simple Installation / Dual Fan Design
A high performance PWM fan with anti-vibration rubber pads and a set of quick-snap brackets are included with each CPU cooler. In addition, an extra set of quick-snap brackets and anti-vibration rubber pads come standard to give users the option of enabling even greater cooling performance by installing another fan. The quick-snap brackets make changing, adding, and cleaning fans an easy task that requires only a few seconds. Dynamically control the included PWM fan via BIOS or OS-based motherboard tuning applications. There is no need to choose between overclocking performance and stock stability, the Hyper 212 & TX3 EVO are a versatile pair that tailor noise and performance to any need.

Find the new legend, the Hyper 212 & TX3 EVO, at online and retail locations that sell your favorite Cooler Master, CM Storm, and Choiix products. They will be available in October 2011.

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QNAP Budget-Friendly Turbo NAS Lineup

Network 111 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced three new Turbo NAS models: the TS-419P II (4-drive), TS-219P II (2-drive), and TS-119P II (single-drive), positioned to provide corporate workgroups, SOHO, and home users with budget-friendly network attached storage (NAS) solutions for efficient data backup and convenient file sharing. The new models can be upgraded to the latest, free to download QNAP NAS firmware (version 3.5), with many new features and enhancements, and are backed by a two-year warranty.

The new models of the TS-x19P II series are equipped with a 2.0GHz Marvell processor, 512 MB DDR3 memory and one or two Gigabit LAN ports. The products can be easily integrated into an existing network of workgroups, provide centralized storage with antivirus protection, cross-platform data sharing for Windows, Mac, Linux, and UNIX users, as well as secure connections for users to access data on the server via FTP, a web-based file manager, or WebDAV. With the MyCloudNAS service, the new models can also be converted into private cloud storage systems for remote access from the Internet.

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Cooler Master CM Storm Trooper

HTPC 228 Published by Hilbert Hagedoorn 0

CM Storm, of the Cooler Master Group, unleashes a truly magnificent feat of engineering into an arena that represents the future of warfare; the Trooper full-tower chassis. Capable of lightning fast redeployment, it

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