Page 1

04 VOL 16

THE REGION’S FAVOURITE PC & CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY GUIDE An ITP Technology Publication APRIL 2011

www.itp.net

APRIL 2011

COMPUTER CASE GROUPTEST THE BEST & THE WORST OF THE GAMING WORLD FEATURE BULLETSTORM GAME REVIEW

We profile gaming’s greatest heroes and villains

HOTKIT REVIEWS Intel Core i7-2600K processor, Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard, AMD Radeon HD 6990 GPU and many more products tested...

GAME REVIEWS: Bulletstorm Killzone 3 Cricket Power DHS15 • SR15 • LE12 • JD2 • KD1.5 • QR15 • LL7,000

600MB OF FREE SOFTWARE

Packed with games, productivity apps, utilities and much, much more...


www.itp.net

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

CONTENTS 1

CONTENTS WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST

10 FEATURE

10

10 HEROES & VILLAINS

THE BEST & THE WORST OF THE GAMING WORLD

The gaming world is filled with thousands of game characters, some good and some bad. In this feature WINDOWS profiles ten heroes and villains and explains who they are exactly, what they're capable of, what they've done in the past and where they're going next.

22 FEATURE 22 BUY & SELL SMART Thanks to the Internet it's possible to buy and sell products from across the globe. Today there are a number of different websites and services that can help you purchase or get rid of virtually anything. This feature looks at how Middle Eastern buyers and sellers can jump on the bandwagon.

29 GROUPTEST 29 ON THE CASE

22

BUY & SELL ONLINE

WIN

29

CHASSIS GROUPTEST

The humble computer case or chassis is, in this region, one of the most overlooked parts when it comes to building a custom desktop rig. In most cases this vital component is purchased with the remaining cash, once every other component has been paid for. This is far from ideal because going this route you'll likely end up with a basic model that lacks proper cooling, expansion features and other important conveniences such as front-mounted USB3.0 ports, Firewire ports and more. So, if you really want to build a proper desktop rig with a case that keeps your components cool and is designed for the future this grouptest is for you. Here we examine four of the latest ATX cases on the market closely to tell you which is worthy of your money.

FANTASTIC TECH PRIZES

60


www.itp.net

2 CONTENTS 5 5 7 8

NEWS

38

INTEL ANNOUNCES NEW SSD DRIVE RANGE SPENDWISOR.COM OPENS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH OF TRAFFIC THREATENS INTERNET

36 HOT KIT REVIEWS 38 39 40 42 42 43

INTEL CORE I7-2600K CPU PATRIOT VALKYRIE NAS AMD RADEON HD 6990 GPU KINGSTON HYPERX T1 RAM MICROMAX ANDRO A60 PHONE SAPPHIRE EDGE-HD NETTOP

44 BUYER'S GUIDE THE BIGGEST TECH REFERENCE GUIDE 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49

COMPONENTS DESKTOPS DIGITAL IMAGING HANDHELDS MONITORS NOTEBOOKS PERIPHERALS PRINTERS SOFTWARE STORAGE

51 GAME ON 51 54

NEWS BULLETSTORM

56

KILLZONE 3

60 REGULARS 60 62

COMPETITIONS CD CONTENTS

64

LOGGING OFF

40

42

43


www.itp.net

4 REGULARS

Editor’s letter An ITP Technology Publication

LOGGING ON Visit WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST online and read this content and much more at www.itp.net

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

DON'T IGNORE YOUR CASE Building a desktop PC - whether it's an entry-level rig or a benchmark shattering monster - isn't too difficult in terms of the pure mechanics of the process. Windows has visited the topic numerous times over the years. Unfortunately when it comes to the actual components that make up the machine, things get a little cloudy. Parts such as the CPU, motherboard and GPU generally get the lion share of the attention and that ladies and gentlemen is a mistake. A custom-built PC is only ever going to be as strong as its weakest component and because the glitz is hogged by a select few components, some critical elements are often overlooked. Of that lot it's safe to say that, in this region, perhaps the most ignored component is the case (also known as a chassis). This is a serious no-no because this critical part is responsible for protecting your expensive components from the elements, is tasked with keeping each and every component in place and helps to keep your components cool (so they won't spontaneously combust). At the end of the day this hunk of metal will also determine how awesome, or rubbish, your rig looks when it all comes together. Exploring the aforementioned reasons in detail, cooling is the most interesting and complex topic. You see while a computer case may look like just a basic rectangular piece of metal with a few bits and bobs to keep all of the other components in place, there's a lot more going on than meets the eye. In a quality chassis the insides will have been setup to help channel an uninterrupted stream of cool air to the various components, so that they remain within their specified operating temperatures and give you years of service (barring any other problems). This is important regardless of what sort of computer you’re putting together but if you're building a high-end gaming rig, a home fileserver or are just using expensive, high-performance parts for an all-purpose rig, having the right case is especially important. With low grade cases less attention is paid to cooling and airflow and thus using one of these to house your expensive components is a recipe for disaster. You could easily face a lifetime of instability or, even worse, dead or damaged components. Remember while problems may not present themselves immediately, at some point you will start to notice issues and by then it may well be too late for your parts. In my world, and perhaps in an ideal world, the humble chassis would rank in the top five most important components so far as PC building is concerned. I'd allocate a fair chunk of cash towards the purchase of a quality model rather than use the scraps of change remaining once everything else has been paid for. You can read up on some of the latest cases on the market in our grouptest this month on page 29. Enjoy the magazine. Jason Saundalkar Jason.saundalkar@itp.com

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: 0097 1 (0)4 444 3000 Fax: 0097 1 (0)4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP Technology Publishing CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director ITP Technology Karam Awad General Manager Peter Conmy Publishing Director Natasha Pendleton EDITORIAL Group Editor Mark Sutton Tel: +971 4 444 3225 e-mail: mark.sutton@itp.com Editor Jason Saundalkar Tel: +971 4 444 3635 e-mail: jason.saundalkar@itp.com Deputy Editor Clayton Vallabhan Tel: +971 4 444 3682 e-mail: clayton.vallabhan@itp.com ADVERTISING Advertising Manager Alie Jaber Tel: +971 4 444 3196 e-mail: alie.jaber@itp.com Advertising Manager Kausar Syed Tel: +971 4 444 3361 e-mail: kausar.syed@itp.com STUDIO Senior Designer Michel Al Asmar PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographer Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Rajesh Raghav, Ruel Pableo, Lyubov Galushko, George Dipin, Mosh Lafuente, Murrindie Frew, Shruti Jagdeesh, Verko Ignjatovic PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Deputy Production Manager Basel Al Kassem Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyan Robles Distribution Manager Karima Ashwell Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Annie Chinoy ITP DIGITAL Assitant Editor Georgina Enzer Tel: +971 4 444 3723 e-mail: georgina.enzer@itp.com Sales Director ITP Digital Business Websites Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 e-mail: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Group Sales Manager ITP.net Nathalie Akl Tel: +971 4 444 3502 e-mail: nathalie.akl@itp.com Internet Development Manager Mohammed Affan Content Manager Asad Azizi Web Advertising Manager Meghna Jalnawalla Creative Director Craig Willers ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K M Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3672 Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C.Dubai. Controlled Distribution by Blue Truck Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact itp images@itp.com for further details www.itpimages.com The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader's particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and © 2011 ITP Technology Publishing, a division of the ITP Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Number 1402846.


www.itp.net/news

NEWS 5

NEWS CONTROLLING THE BEAST

INVALUABLE INTELLIGENCE

LOCKING OUT INTRUDERS

Al Batha CIO Saji Oommen on the challenges of IT management

How to avoid failure when rolling out business intelligence at your

Saudi Arabia’s KACST bolsters its defences with new IT system An ITP Technology Publication | Licensed by Dubai Media City BAHRAIN BD1.5 | EGYPT LE15 | JORDAN JD2 KSA SR15 | KUWAIT KD1.5 | OMAN OR1.5 QATAR QR1.5 | UAE DHS15 | UK £5 | USA $8

          

SEPTEMBER 2010 | VOL.23 ISSUE 9

NEW DAWN

How Cisco is banking on a fresh wave of investment to drive its business in the Gulf

SEPTEMBER 2010

Critical analysis for telecommunications executives

An ITP Technology Publication

Licenced by Dubai Media City

www.itp.net

A ITP Technology Publication An

Beyond borders

WAITING FOR VIDEO

Why satellite operators are investing heavily in MEA

Why video conferencing has failed to take o

Slow progress Growth continues to elude Yemen’s fractured telco sector

Leaseback learnings

VANISHING CLOUD

How to get sale and leaseback agreements right ďŹ rst time

Muneer Farooqui, CEO, Warid Pakistan

The truth behind the failure of EMC’s Atmos

TRUST ISSUES

WARID RISES

Was the Blackberry safe in the first place?

Thee Abu u Dhabii-oowned teelco explainss the rationaale beehind d its strateg gy in Pak kistaan

V 08 Vol. Issue. 06

Building Bu B uiilldi ldi din ng ga and nd n dd delivering eliv el i ering IT solutions for the Middle East An ITP Te Technology ecchn ch hn h no ollo olo logy gy Pub P Pu Publication ub u blillic iiccati attiio at on n

Licensed by Dub D Du Dubai u ub baaii Me M Media ed edi diiiaa C dia City ity it ity ty

THE SMART CHOICE? Middle East handset channel faces up to new challenges (43)

PORTABLE TThe he external external hhard ard ddrive rive bbrands rands tthat hat money aare re making making the the channel channel m oney ((30) 30)

N TO IC RD VE

VOL 15

_www.itp.net_

2010 řhd6

$ʙ‡Gc+gMcœ‡G* jc‡¤d™–G›c‡G*yM^Âľ*ˆH€8c1$cÂ?G "ÂĽ/¢GÂ˘ÂœÂ“-ÂŚ4¢™¤H"L^G‘M¢{hG*K 20€8

gM^Â?Â&#x153;G*gG¢¤{G*,4*2(* gM^Â?Â&#x153;G*gG¢¤{G*,4*2(Âąr)c}I,y|< Â&#x2C6;M5¢hG*j*¢Â&#x153;E$*Ă&#x2026;1cÂ&#x;9yÂ&#x2021;McÂ&#x2122;F 16Â&#x20AC;8

 dÂ&#x2013; McH $cFy|G* Â?HÂ&#x161;Â&#x;-cÂ&#x2021;E¢-Â&#x17E;¢9yÂ&#x2021;MÂ&#x2C6;¤dG*K^¤Â&#x2021;H ÂĽÂ&#x160;dMÂĽhG*j*¢ ´*KÂ&#x2C6;¤Â&#x153;}hG*jcFy7 Â&#x161;Â&#x;-^<c{ÂľcÂ&#x;¤Â&#x2013;<Â&#x203A;*^E(Âą*cÂ&#x;¤Â&#x2013;< 12Â&#x20AC;8

THE REGIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S FAVOURITE PC & CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY GUIDE An ITP Technology Publication OCTOBER 2010

www.itp.net

An ITP Technology Publication

www.itp.net

OCTOBER 2010

ÄŠĂŹÄŠÄ&#x153;Ă&#x17E; Ĺ&#x2021;ÏĚóï èĆ&#x2026;

EXTERNAL HARD DISK GROUPTEST MEDIA PLAYER GROUPTEST BLUR GAME REVIEW STARCRAFT II GAME REVIEW

Ĺ˝Ĺ&#x201E;Ă&#x161;ÄŠĂŞÄŠÄŁĂŽ è Ĺ&#x2026;Ä&#x2014;ĂĽÄł Ć&#x2026; Ĺ&#x2021;ÏĚóï èĆ&#x2026; Ć&#x2021;Ć&#x2026;Ć?Ć Ĺ&#x2039;ĂŤ ÄŠĂŠ Ć&#x2C6;ÄŠÄ?ÄŁÄ?Ăš

ÄŤÄŁÄ ĂŚÄ¸Ă¨Ć&#x2026; Ć&#x2C6;Ć&#x2026;ĸģÊĊÄ&#x17E;èĆ&#x2026; Ć&#x2021;ĸģÄ&#x203A;Ä&#x2013;èĆ&#x2026;

Four media players get a thorough workout

čèĆ?ÄŠÄ&#x161;ĂŠ Ĺ&#x192;Ä?òïĂ&#x161; Ĺ&#x2026;ĂŤ Ĺ&#x2020;ùßĆ&#x2026;ĆĄ ĜģÝĆ&#x2026; ĹżĆ&#x2026;Ć?ÄłĆ&#x2026; ŽĊÄ&#x161;ĂŠ ĸģÄ&#x203A;Ä&#x2013;èĆ&#x2026;

čģçġèĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x201A;Ă&#x161;Ć&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2030;ĢèĆ&#x2026;

čèĆ&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2030;ĂťĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x201A;Ă&#x161;Ć&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2030;ĢèĆ&#x2026; čÎóê 2010 Ć&#x17E;ÄŠÄ&#x161;è

REVIEWS:

GAME REVIEWS Blur, Crackdown 2, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Adobe Creative Suite 5 HP Pavilion dm4 notebook Asus ARES graphics card ECS Black Series GTX 460 and more tested...

Ć?ÄŠĂŽĂ&#x17E;Ć

Ĺ&#x2026;Ă&#x2122;Ć&#x20AC; Ć&#x17E;ÄŠĂŠĆ ÄŤÄŁĂ§ÄˇĂ¨Ć&#x2026; Ĺ&#x201A;Ă&#x161;Ć&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2030;ĢèĆ&#x2026; Ć&#x2020;ĸĂ? Ĺ&#x2039;ĂĽ čèĹ&#x2030;Ă&#x153; ĸôóĂ&#x161; Ĺ&#x2026;äĹ&#x2030;ä Ć&#x2018;ĆĄÄŠÄ Ä&#x;è ƤŊÏĜĂ&#x2122; Ĺ&#x192;Ä&#x;Ä&#x2DC;Ă&#x161; Ĺ&#x2026;Ă&#x2122;Ć&#x20AC;

Ĺ&#x2020;èĊÄ&#x161;èĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x2039;ĂĽ Ć?Ĺ&#x2030;Ä Ă˛ĂŠ ĸĂ&#x161;Ĺ&#x2030;ģÎĠç ÄźĂ&#x17E;Ć?Ć Ć&#x2039;ĸÄ&#x2DC;Ă&#x161; ĜĥĢèĆ&#x2026;

jcnhÂ&#x153;H     4cdh1Ă&#x160;G iCCÂ&#x2021;§1&*

ÄŤÄŁĂ&#x2122;ĸÄ&#x161;èĆ&#x2026; Ć&#x2C6;ĹŠÄ&#x17D;Ć&#x2026; Ć&#x2021;ĹżĆ&#x2026;ĸÄ?è Ĺ&#x192;ÄŁĂŽÄ&#x2DC;Ă&#x161; Ć?ĆĄĆ

Ä&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x;Ä˘ĂŻĂ´Ä Ä&#x;è Ć?ÄŠÄ&#x161;Ă&#x2122;ÄłĆ&#x2026; ÄŤÄŁĂ&#x203A;ĹŠĂ&#x203A; Ĺ&#x2030;ÏĜģü Ć&#x2026;ĸģÊĊç Ć?ĆĄĆ

čðÏĜßĆ&#x2026; Ć&#x2C6;Ć&#x2026;Ć?ĊģôèĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x160;èĆ&#x192; Ĺ&#x2026;Ä&#x2013;Ă&#x161; Ĺ&#x201A;Ă&#x161;ĊĢèĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x2026;ÄŁÄ&#x203A;Ä&#x2022;Ă&#x161; ÄŤÄ Ä&#x2122;ĂŞĆ

%  % !" !! % ! !$ " "# "$ %   !   % "  

Ć&#x2C6;ÄŠĂ ÄŠÄ&#x2022;èĆ&#x2026; Ĺ&#x2021; Ć&#x2C6;ÄŠĂ ÄŠÄ&#x2022;è Ĺ&#x2021;ĂŠ Ĺ&#x2039;Ă&#x153; Ć?Ć&#x192; čçĸà Ć&#x160;ÄŠĂŻĂŞĆ&#x192; Ĺ&#x160;Ä&#x;ĂŁ ĸĂ&#x203A;ÄŚĂŹ Ć?ÄŠĂ&#x2122; ĆŁĆ&#x20AC;

DHS15 â&#x20AC;˘ SR15 â&#x20AC;˘ LE12 â&#x20AC;˘ JD2 â&#x20AC;˘ KD1.5 â&#x20AC;˘ QR15 â&#x20AC;˘ LL7,000

600MB OF FREE SOFTWARE

SanDisk Pattern USB Flash Drive 8GB

Packed with games, productivity apps, utilities and much, much more...

SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 Player

SanDisk Ultra Titanium 4GB

Licensed by Dubai Media City

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

10

S OR ND VE

Wha t re su selle pp man or rs re t ufac they ally ture get thin rs from k of (36) the

PROFITS

Â&#x2C6;M4c|Âľ*Â&#x2030;c Â?GÂ&#x2C6;M5¢hG*Â&#x2DC;cÂ&#x2122;<&*,^0KÂ&#x2018;Â&#x2013; - "cdH(*"g¤Â&#x153;Â?hG*ÂŚ24*¢dG*g<¢Â&#x2122;šÂ&#x2DC;cÂ&#x2122;<&*Â&#x161;¤Â&#x201E;Â&#x153;-,2c<(*zÂ&#x2122;h{¤6Â&#x17E;^G¢/Â&#x2C6;HÂ&#x2C6;M5¢-gF*y7^Â?Â&#x2021;-4^Â&#x153;Â?M2i+Â&#x17E;cÂ&#x153;dG° "Â&#x2014;¤+2yFc+"L^GcÂ&#x201C;My7 "jcÂ&#x153;¤h{M2"Â&#x2C6;M5¢hG*j*¢Â&#x153;E°cÂ&#x;)cFy7Â?HcÂ&#x;Â?MyDÂĽÂ?hÂ&#x153;- "Â&#x2DC;2"

Talking tactics with executives from Adobe, ATS, MTC and Toshiba (14)

Â&#x2122;Âş yÂ&#x2021;- qMy+^ <Â? HÂĽ 7 Â? M^ yE y "gFy * f *¢Â&#x153;E yM%* y|G G*j {M *Â&#x2019; "Â&#x20AC; ¢h &Âą ° 6K Â&#x20AC;8 Â&#x2C6;M5 Â&#x201A; 32 ^G L

SUN ALLY STME SHIFTS FOCUS TO IBM EMPA LAUNCHES ENTERPRISE DIVISION FORMER EMITAC CHIEF BEGINS CONSULTING VENTURE ORACLE CHANGES CHANNEL TEAM

STRATEGIC THINKING

OCTOBER 2010

Intel has announced its next generation of solid state drives (SSDs) known as the Intel SSD 510 series. The new drives feature 6Gbps Serial ATA compatibility and are said to be ideal for gamers, media creators and workstation users. "The Intel SSD 510 Series helps round out our SSD product line and was specifically designed for applications that require high sequential media transfers," said Pete Hazen, Director of Marketing for Intel's NAND Solutions Group. "Whether it's a gamer wanting impeccable visual performance and faster game loading, or a performance-intensive workstation user, the new 6Gbps SATA SSD from Intel is not only significantly faster than the top 10,000RPM gaming HDD, it's also faster than two RAIDed gaming HDDs." Intel says its new 510 series SSD drives offer sequential read and write speeds of up to 500MB/sec (megabytes per second) and 315MB/sec respectively. The former figure is double that offered by the older generation SSD drives, while the write speed figure is thrice as fast as existing current 3Gbps drives. "As a game developer the number one thing we try to optimise during development isn't our game's memory usage or frames per second, but our content creator's iteration time," said Dave Lang, CEO of Iron Galaxy, a Chicagobased game development studio. "By transitioning our team to Intel's 6Gbps SSDs, we've seen a dramatic 15 to 20 percent improvement in the time it takes one of our developers to make a change in the editor, then get to try it out in-game. Faster iterations mean more iterations, which means a better game for the consumer." The 510 series drives use Intel's own 34nm NAND flash memory. To date Intel has released the 510 series with two storage capacities; 120GB and 250GB. The price for each drive (in 1,000-unit quantities) is pegged at US $284 and $584 respectively. Both SSD drives are covered by a three-year warranty period and should already be in stores.

An ITP Technology Publication Licensed by Dubai Media City

Cizar Abughazaleh, Regional Manager Middle East & Africa, Iomega

INTEL ANNOUNCES NEW SSD RANGE

SEPTEMBER 2010 VOLUME 16 ISSUE 9

7 2^Â&#x2021;G* gÂ&#x153;HckG*gÂ&#x153;{G*

www.itp.net SEPTEMBER 2010

Licensed by Dubai Media City


r e a l i t y

Accel erate your

wi t hS a pphi r eHD5 4 5 0! Hi g h e r c l o c k s t h a nc o mp e t i t i o n. . . B e s t i n Cl a s s p e r f o r ma n c e. . . F u l l Di r e c t X1 1a n dWi n d o ws 7s u p p o r t . . .

GetRa deonâ&#x201E;˘i ny ours y s t em.


www.itp.net/news

NEWS 7 KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH THE LATEST TECH STORIES, OPINIONS AND REVIEWS IN OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER To subscribe, go to ITP.net/index. php?option=com_newsletter

SPENDWISOR.COM OPENS FOR BUSINESS

AL HOSANI UNLEASHES KASPERSKY SMALL OFFICE SECURITY 2 Al Hosani Computer LLC, Kaspersky Lab Consumer Republishing Partner in the GCC and West Asia, has officially launched Kaspersky Small Office Security 2 (KSOS 2) in the region. KSOS 2 is said to provide all-inclusive protection for office networks by safeguarding against viruses and malware, unknown threats and Internet fraud. The software also allows the user to monitor access to both the computer and Internet and is able to create backup copies of data and encrypted containers to store privacy data, and manage the security of computers on the office network from the administrator’s workstation. The new security suite offers a number of enhancements such as a fully-fledged data encryption module. Kaspersky says this feature provides comprehensive protection of the user’s data against unauthorised access or theft by creating dedicated data storage or container files. Another new feature included as part of the package is a ‘Password Manager’. This inclusion is designed to securely store passwords and other important account information and is able to guarantee privacy while filling in various fields on websites etc. The software suite also includes a virtual keyboard to safeguard from keyboard data being intercepted by keylogging utilities. Kaspersky Small Office Security 2 also includes Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), which the company claims will help decrease the time necessary to detect and block new types of threats. This system collects information about files run on the user’s computer and traces presence of malicious objects and their distribution channels. The software also includes a Backup and Restore module, a Management Console, Web Police Management capabilities as well as other additional tools. KSOS 2 is expected to hit key retailers across the GCC, and West Asia in the coming days and will be available from Al Hosani Computer LLC B2B partners.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Middle East buyers have another online shopping destination to turn to in SpendWisor.com. The site says it is designed to be ‘your one-stop resource for all things electronics’. The site claims that it differentiates itself from other online electronics sites in the region by empowering potential buyers with essential information about the top products and brands. The company claims this will help its customers spend money more sensibly and with confidence. SpendWisor includes a variety of electronic products, offers free home delivery services to homes within the UAE, is tied up with authorised distributors for all of its products and allows you to return purchases within seven days. The site also claims to offer the lowest prices on its products, offers a gift option, allows you to create wish lists and offers a live chat feature where users can talk to representatives between 9am and 6pm from Sunday through Thursday. The website also allows users to comment, review and rate products they’ve bought, so other users can benefit from their experience. Products can also be compared in terms of their technical specifications against similar products. As of now, SpendWisor.com offers multiple payment options including cash on delivery, credit card on delivery and PayPal.


www.itp.net/news

8 NEWS

GROWTH OF INTERNET TRAFFIC THREATENS INTERNET According to a study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, European network operators will need to budget an additional $11.17bn annually to maintain current service levels, and manage the data explosion. The company says Middle Eastern operators may face the same issue. The current growth of Internet traffic delivered via fixed networks is growing at 35% per annum and more than 100% via mobile networks. Video content on both mobile and fixed-line services is having a serious effect on Internet usage as more and more Internet connected mobile devices and high-bandwidth services are released. According to A.T. Kearney, the Internet is under threat of becoming a victim of its own success as video traffic is threatening to swamp network capacity and cause congestion for users without generating revenue for operators. A.T. Kearney has forecast that if networks address the need to upgrade before 2014, but do not revise their price structures or increase revenues, their returns on capital will fall by 3 percentage points to around 9% and potentially as low as 7%. "The technical robustness of the Internet is closely tied to the sustainability of the underlying commercial model and therefore both are vital to support the growth of current and future economic activity. Operators and regulators in the region need to think now how to tackle the problem of ever increasing dataflow via the Internet," said Dr Martin Fabel, Partner and Senior Media Expert at A.T. Kearney Middle East.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

OVEERW WHELMING DEM MAN ND AS IP PAD 2 TR RICK KLES INTTO DUBA AI Apple' s new iPad 2 tablet device is now available for pre-order on several UAE-based online websites, with some saying that they have taken their first deliveries, while others received devices closer to the end of March. There has been no information from Apple as to when the device will be officially launched in the UAE. Prices on the UAE-based websites range from US $870.93 for the 16GB WiFi only version to $1,292.85 for the 64GB 3G WiFi version on ALshop.com, while mygsm.me is selling the 16GB 3G plus WiFi model for $980.26 and aido.com is selling the 16GB 3G plus WiFi device for $1,099 and the 16GB WiFi only model for $969.95. These prices are all considerably higher than the prices being offered by official Apple stores in the US, where the 16GB iPad 2 with WiFi is selling at $499, the 32GB at $599 and the 64GB is $699. For the iPad2 WiFi plus 3G, the 16GB is $629, the 32GB is $729 and the 64GB is $829. Sheriff Rizwan, CEO of ALshop.com said that the demand for the iPad 2 has been overwhelming and that he has seen more orders for the new version than for the original iPad, as many people have been waiting for the second-generation device. "We have had 300 to 400 units pre-ordered just in the UAE alone, there have also been significant orders from Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi and Oman," he said. Mygsm.me also reported a great demand. "Customer response was very good, in fact it was much more than what we expected, we had pre-booking for 200 different types of iPad 2 and we are getting lot of calls and pre-orders each day for iPad 2. We are selling iPad 2 with one year mygsm warranty in UAE and we are the only dealer to provide warranty for iPad 2 now, so more and more customers are coming to buy iPad 2 from us," said Abdul Naushad, General Manager, mygsm.me. ALshop.com received their first shipment of iPad 2s early last month. Rizwan said most of the 50 to 60 units they received were not the most-wanted 3G model, but still shot off the shelves. Mygsm.com received their first shipment of 50 units in mid-March. Rizwan says that the reason the prices are so much higher in the UAE is because of the time and effort suppliers put into getting the iPads. "We buy the iPads from local suppliers and people who have traveled to the USA to get the iPad 2. I know someone who physically stood for eight hours outside an Apple store waiting to buy. Apple will not sell more than two iPads per person for a new product, so it involves a lot of co-ordination and time, which shows in the prices," he said.


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

10


11

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

WINDOWS profiles the greatest heroes and villains of gaming. We look at who they are, what they've done, where they've been, where they're going and highlight one of their most iconic achievements to date.


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

In the gaming world Marcus Fenix is a relatively new face but in the short time that he has been with us, he’s kicked proper ass and taken names. Sergeant Fenix stands over six feet tall, is built like a brick wall and is a legendary war hero who served in the Pendulum Wars and in the ongoing conflict against the Locust. Unlike some of his counterparts in Delta Squad, Fenix is a no-nonsense, silent killer who prefers to get the job done and ask questions later. Some of his achievements include detonating the Lightmass Bomb, killing the seemingly unstoppable General RAAM with his squadmate Dom, finding and killing the massive Rift Worm and much more. If ever there were awards held on Sera for the toughest, most capable soldier, there’s no question that Marcus Fenix would be the sole contender. 2011 will see Fenix return in the highly anticipated Gears of War 3.

We debated for a long time whether we should put Kratos into the good or bad guy category. In the end we decided that mistakenly killing your family out of rage and then nearly ruining the world out of vengeance is enough to plant you securely in the villain category. That said, Kratos though uncontrollable and insane is ultimately a misguided soul that was essentially pushed into most of the positions he found himself in. Kratos is the very definition of the underdog in that no matter which God of War game you play, you’ll always find you’re in an uphill battle against seemingly unconquerable odds. Of course with a lot of perseverance, a lot of magic and some seriously brutal melee combat, Kratos triumphs against all, be they massive statues, Olympian Gods or the undead. While Kratos’ present condition and whereabouts are unknown it goes without saying that the Ghost of Sparta made his mark on the gaming world.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Using the Hammer of Dawn super-weapon to destroy a Lambent Brumak, causing a massive explosion that ultimately floods the Hollow and kills millions of Locusts.

12

ICONIC MOMENT:

Too many to mention but recovering Pandora’s Box, opening it, turning into a God and defeating Ares to become the new God-of-War was one of the coolest moments in gaming.


While most gamers only know Master Chief Petty Officer John117 from the various Halo games, the sheer scale of what he’s done has ensured that he’s now also in a variety of Halo-themed books and animated short films. And, whereas the Chief is a mostly silent protagonist who just gets on with it in the games, you get to explore much more of his personality and back story in the books and short films. The Chief stands over six and a half feet tall, weighs in excess of 130kg and is one of the last surviving SPARTAN-II super soldiers. His military career spans almost 30 years, making him one of the most highly decorated war veterans of the United Nations Space Command. The Chief, in one way or the other, has been a part of every major conflict involving Earth, the Covenant and the Flood and in each case, he’s found a way to beat the enemy back and ensure that mankind carries on.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Killing 343 Guilty Spark and firing replacement installation 04b to destroy the Flood threat in the galaxy.

13

ICONIC MOMENT:

Injecting himself with an experimental virus and allowing himself to be killed, so that the virus would reanimate his body, imbuing him with superhuman strength, agility and regeneration.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Albert Wesker embodies the very definition of a villain; he’s intelligent, power-hungry, cunning and, if you played the last Resident Evil or watched the last movie, packed with superhuman abilities. As dangerous as Wesker is physically, it’s his insane intelligence and cunning that sees him make an appearance on this list. Wesker is the sort of guy that could convince you that he’s right and you’re wrong even though he’s clearly walking the line of insanity. To meet his insane goals Wesker was affiliated with the Umbrella Corporation as a researcher but this was really only a facade that allowed him to engage in his real interest; toying with an experimental viruses in an effort to transform the entire human race into superhumans like himself and to be a God to rule them all. Albert Wesker is the primary antagonist of the Resident Evil series and with his powers and cunning you can bet that we haven’t seen the last of him.


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

The main protagonist of the Metal Gear series has seemingly seen and done it all. Snake can easily be described as any of the following: spy, special operations agent and even mercenary. During his career Snake has been tasked with disarming and destroying various Metal Gear mecha (massive bipedal nuclear-weapon-powered walkers) and saving the world from certain disaster. Snake is a seasoned veteran who keeps his emotions buried deep within himself and as a result, is cold, calculating and highly efficient. Although his genetic code has been modified so that he can only live out a short life span, Solid Snake is still a highly capable warrior that more than holds his own in the last title, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot. The best part about Solid Snake is that he does let his human side run wild when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not on the job. At various points he has shown himself to be self-sacrificing, flirtatious and strongly believes in both love and friendship.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Facing off and winning against the deadly Liquid Ocelot in an epic battle that includes some of the best hand-to-hand combat in gaming history.

Although Darth Malak appears on this list as a villain he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always a Dark Lord of the Sith who was hell bent on conquering the galaxy and wiping out the Jedi. After escaping the Mandalorian attack on his home world of Quelii, Alek (as he was known then) trained in the ways of the Force under the Jedi Order. It was during this time that he befriended Revan and the two set out to end the Mandalorian Wars. After they had ended the wars however, both Revan and Malak pursued the surviving Mandalorians into the Unknown Regions where they were both turned to the Dark Side by the Sith Emperor. As a Dark Lord Malak betrayed his Master (Revan) and took control of the Star Forge superweapon. Malak was also instrumental in destroying the planet of Taris, razing the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine and converting Jedi Bastila Shan to the Dark Side for a short while. His reign of terror only came to an end when his former Master came back as a redeemed and retrained Jedi Knight.

14

ICONIC MOMENT:

Darth Malak ordered the destruction of the planet Taris in an effort to capture or kill Bastila Shan and a mind-wiped Revan. The kicker is that despite knowing that Revan and Shan escaped, Malak did not cease bombing Taris until the entire world was virtually cleansed of life.


ICONIC MOMENT:

Chris along with his new partner Sheva finally take down Albert Wesker at the end of Resident Evil 5 in what has to be one of the longest and most grueling boss battles in gaming history.

15

ICONIC MOMENT:

The Queen of Blades skillfully fends off a combined Protoss, UED and mercenary fleet commanded by Arcturus Mengsk, securing her dominant position of power in the sector at the end of Starcraft: Brood War.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Later known as the ‘Queen of Blades’ Sarah Kerrigan is a major player in the Starcraft universe. While some information is revealed about Kerrigan’s characters in the Starcraft games, a number of novels explore her character in detail. Ultimately though, she’s a girl whose troubled origins give her a complex personality that can evoke both sympathy and hatred. After her transformation into the Queen of Blades, Kerrigan manipulates her way into power over the Zerg army (after the death of the Overmind), and from then on, she sets about raising hell in the galaxy, pitting friends and foes against each other. By the end of Brood Wars Kerrigan has devastated the UED’s fleet and crushed the vengeful Protoss fleet thus establishing her position of power in the sector. Before being turned into a death-dealing monster Kerrigan was equally as impressive. She packed psionic abilities and fully-fledged ghost assassin training. She really is a force to reckon with in the gaming universe.

Appearing as one of the two main playable-protagonists in the first Resident Evil game, Chris Redfield is one of the franchise’s most recognisable characters. Described as a ‘blunt, tough-guy’, Redfield has boldly taken on zombies, genetically mutated fiends and even the incredibly evil and superhuman Albert Wesker. The reason Redfield is such a strong hand on the field is because he’s a former US Air Force serviceman, is a former member of RCPD’s Special Tactics And Rescue Services (S.T.A.R.S), is part of the Private Regional Biohazard Containment Unit (BCU) and is at present a Special Operations Agent (SOA) of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA). As far as achievements and credentials are concerned, that’s a pretty heady group. Among the many achievements in his career, his part in the downfall of the Umbrella Corporation is perhaps the most important. Chris stands over six feet tall, is an expert fix-wing aircraft pilot and an expert in knife and firearms combat.


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

The king of cheesy one liners and the source of frustration for hundreds of thousands of alien aggressors has been in over a dozen video games. 2011 will see Duke Nukem return to ‘kick ass and chew bubble gum’ after what seems like an eternity in limbo. From his humble beginnings where just a handful of pixels represented everybody’s favourite alien butt-kicker, Duke has evolved into a fully-animated, wise-cracking, hyper-masculine, egotistical, womanizing and chauvinistic hero that can more than hold his own against the likes of real life action heroes. Beyond his sometimes clichéd one-liners the Duke gained notoriety for foiling aliens at every turn using a wide range of deadly weapons including a rocket propelled grenade launcher, pipe bombs, freeze- and shrink-rays, the awesome ‘Devastator’ rocket launcher system and much more. The Duke also has his very own ‘Mighty Boot’ which is essentially a massive boot to the face. It goes without saying then that the Duke is the Chuck Norris of gaming.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Killing an alien boss and punting the dead alien’s one and only eye for a field goal as though it was an American football.

Scott Shelby finds himself on this A-list purely due to the range of emotions he's able to evoke. Shelby is one of four playable characters in the utterly brilliant Heavy Rain. His role in the game begins when families of the Origami Killer's victims hire him to help solve the case since the police have proven ineffective. In the game Shelby is portrayed as a former Marine in the United States Marine Corps despite the fact that he has to deal with crippling asthma attacks. He's also dealt with a rough childhood due to his alcoholic father and is quiet, an introvert, organised and vigilant. Shelby doesn't crack under pressure either, which makes him a capable private investigator. By the time you're done with Heavy Rain Shelby will have provoked you into questioning what is good, what is evil and what's the right balance between the two. Heavy Rain is a complex title and Scott Shelby, well, he's even more complicated and complicated people make the best villains.

16

ICONIC MOMENT:

Scott walks away calmly in the rain, unpunished and unaffected. Sometimes the bad guys do win.


Max Payne is perhaps the perfect example of an anti-hero and while he may seemingly have a dark personality, he’s a fairly straightforward guy with no real moral ambiguity. He will not kill for no apparent reason and will only side with enemies if their enemies are also his enemies. As a former DEA agent and NYPD detective Max has taken on and taken apart criminal elements who were directly responsible for murder, drug peddling and weapons trafficking. Max is a skilled gun slinger who can more than hold his own against masses of enemies using a variety of different weapons such as handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, submachine guns and, of course, his 9mm pistols. Max Payne also brought the world of ‘Bullet Time’ to the masses, so whereas time and therefore foes slowdown, Max can still target and lay down the law in real time. Max also has a wide range of techniques that allows him to take down enemies with melee combat.

Max survives being shot in the head point blank by Russian Mafia head Vladimir Lem and later kills Lem in a mansion after a brutal firefight.

17

ICONIC MOMENT:

Getting stabbed by Guybrush Threepwood and releasing a plague, known as the Pox of LeChuck, which sweeps across the entire Caribbean region.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

ICONIC MOMENT:

Captain LeChuck is the main villain of the Monkey Island series and although he’s an incompetent, bumbling fool, he’s still the Caribbean’s most feared pirate. LeChuck has a number of different powers and abilities that are linked directly to whatever form he takes. In the Secret of Monkey Island the evil Captain appears as a spectre with superhuman strength and the ability to jump great distances. In another instance he appears as a flaming demon and has the ability to fly, shoot fire from his hands and can even transform people. LeChuck while ultimately a bumbling villain has hatched several cunning plots in an effort to gain voodoo powers, raise a demon army and to marry Elaine Marley. If not for his own bumbling and the intervention of Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley the good Captain might have actually succeeded in his quests (several times over in fact).


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Kane has all of the key ingredients that constitute a super villain; he’s a charismatic and brilliant sociopath that somehow seems to be impervious to the stresses of time, and death. Precious little is known about Kane’s true origins by both his followers and enemies on Earth. And, even when the highly advanced and hostile ‘Scrin’ attack Earth during the Third Tiberium War, they admit that although he somehow already exists in their master data matrix even they are, disturbingly, unable to recognise his complex genetic material despite their advanced technology and vast knowledge. Kane has been a major part of almost every Tiberium-based skirmish on Earth and has even been sighted as an obscure counselor to Joseph Stalin during the Soviet invasion of Europe. In what is perhaps gaming’s biggest cliffhanger, Kane and some of his Brotherhood followers seemingly leave Earth via a Scrin Threshold Tower. There really are many reasons why website DoubleViking has listed Kane much higher than other popular fiction characters, such as John McClane (Die Hard) and Lex Luthor (Superman), in their piece on ‘The 15 Most Badass Bald Guys’.

John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton once said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men". While time has proven Lord Acton's words wise, Lord Raiden stands as a unique exception. For all intents and purposes Raiden is a god or, more precisely, a thunder god. He has the ability to control lightning, is able to teleport himself in the blink of an eye, can fly, is a seriously skilled fighter and, being an immortal, can't really be killed. Ever. Raiden also has vast amounts of knowledge accrued from his eons of existence. If these aren't examples of absolute power, we don't know what is. Yet, despite his arsenal of powers and his status as an immortal, Raiden has taken on the task of being Earthrealm's protector. This is something he's done for eons and despite his considerable powers Raiden always gets the job done without resorting to extremes. The mark of a true hero.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Realising that Onaga was unstoppable and that he would unleash hell on Earth in Mortal Kombat Deception, Raiden sacrificed himself by releasing his godly essence in an enormous explosion in an effort to stop his foe.

18

ICONIC MOMENT:

Provoking the GDI into firing their ION cannon on Temple Prime thus setting off a massive Tiberium explosion that attracted the attention of the alien Scrin.


ICONIC MOMENT:

While undercover on a critical mission Sam Fisher proved his loyalty by executing his good friend, and superior, Director Irving Lambert.

19

ICONIC MOMENT:

Manipulating the superpowers into fighting each other so that he could profit from the war by selling nuclear weapon systems to the highest bidder.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Liquid Snake, also known as Master Miller and Liquid Ocelot is the cloned ‘twin brother’ of Solid Snake. Born in 1972, Liquid Snake was a genius possessing an IQ of 180 and was able to speak no less than seven languages fluently. He was nearly a carbon copy of Solid Snake in terms of his physical appearance though he featured slightly darker skin and fair hair colour. Like other villains Liquid Snake wasn’t always hell bent on death, destruction and extortion. In fact he was the youngest person to serve in the Special Air Service (at 18) and even took part in the Gulf War in Iraq, being assigned to a SAS unit to track down and destroy mobile Scud missiles. Later on however Liquid Snake turned dark side and decided that extorting money via any means was the best way forward. Due to this career path change, Liquid Snake frequently confronted his brother Solid Snake head-on and unfortunately for him, this leads to his death after a long drawn-out hand-to-hand battle.

Documenting what Samuel ‘Sam’ Fisher hasn’t done during his career would be a lot easier than listing his achievements and commendations. Fisher is a combat veteran of hundreds of silent wars that the public was never made aware of. He is also one of the most experienced and highly respected covert operatives in the United States’ intelligence community. Before becoming a part of the NSA, Fisher was a CIA operative, a highly decorated sailor in the U.S. Navy, a Navy Seal and also served as a Tier One operator within DEVGRU of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Standing nearly six feet tall, Fisher is a highly trained combatant who, for over two decades, has been involved in a number of armed conflicts around the world. Whenever the task was impossible Fisher got the job done time after time thanks to his exceptional close-quarter combat skills, athletic abilities and superb stealth tactics.


WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Without a doubt Guybrush Ulysses Threepwood is the oddest name for a hero that we’ve ever come across. In fact a running joke throughout the Monkey Island series had the name either deliberately or accidently twisted around into forms such as ‘Creepwood’, ‘Gobrush’ or even ‘Peepwood’. Like his nemesis Captain LeChuck, Threepwood is a legendary pirate (in his own mind) and throughout the series, he frequently trips over himself and generally just bumbles around a lot. And much to the chagrin of LeChuck, Threepwood seems to have the uncanny knack of stopping him dead in his evil tracks. Threepwood while far from a muscular hero is armed with decent insult-swashbuckling skills thanks to his razor sharp wit. This is obvious when he’s able to defeat Morgan LeFlay, the most skilled bounty hunter in all the seas. He’s also seemingly quite a language major as he’s able to read extremely long passages of literature and pronounce extremely long and complex words and phrases without batting an eyelid. A true hero of the English language then.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Guybrush pilots a robotic monkey, holds his own against Ozzie thus allowing Elaine to escape. The aftermath sees both Ozzie and LeChuck destroyed in an immense explosion.

The Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network (SHODAN) is possibly the most evil form of artificial intelligence in all of the gaming landscape. SHODAN is the primary antagonist of both System Shock and System Shock 2. Throughout both games SHODAN appears completely insane as characterised by its chaotic speech patterns that frequently incorporate stuttering, shifts in pitch and timbre as well as the presence of three voices speaking the same words in odd patterns. SHODAN is an ever present threat that watches from security cameras, stares out of screens and sends threats and other snide messages over the station’s PA system or even via e-mail. The AI is genuinely terrifying thanks to its constant physical and mental assaults. They are possibly the most chilling aspect of SHODAN when you consider that it can’t directly harm the player throughout both games. Her ultimate fate and whereabouts are unknown because although the player is able to defeat the AI in its own expanding new reality, the AI ensures its survival by taking over a woman who fled the Von Braun in an escape pod.

20

ICONIC MOMENT:

SHODAN reveals itself to the player during a moment of despair by saying ‘The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence. I am SHODAN.’


Despite being born into to a very wealthy family Lara Croft managed to o avoid ending up a spoiled rich kid. Instead, ead, Miss Croft is well known for her highly ghly confident and headstrong nature, intelligence, telligence, athletic abilities and her comprehensive prehensive archaeological knowledge. edge. Croft is fluent in seven even languages and turned to a life of adventure enture after a plane crash left her stranded d in the Himalayas for two weeks. Croft has had exploits as a big-game hunter, a mercenary ercenary and even a master thief. Her exploits xploits have lead her to discover numerous rous artifacts such as the fabled Dagger gger of Xian, Thor’s Hammer and Thor’s Belt and even Pandora’s Box. Lara is highly skilled d in terms of both melee- and firearm-based ased combat and while many scholars have suggested her lack of documentation ation and brute force methodology do o more harm than good at archeological finds, there’s no denying that Lady Croft oft is a force to reckon with.

ICONIC MOMENT:

Lara uses Thor’s Hammer to deal a fatal blow to the head of Jacqueline Natla, sending the latter screaming into a gigantic whirlpool of Eitr.

211 2

ICONIC MOMENT:

Defeating the Great Kung Lao and becoming the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat with a 500-year undefeated streak.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

What has two eyes, two legs and four power-packed hands? Why that’ll be Goro from Mortal Kombat of course. Goro is a Prince of the Shokan, a race from the Kuatan area of Outworld and for years, served the sorcerer Shang Tsung, enabling him to win the Mortal Kombat tournament nine times in a row. He was the only warrior able to defeat the Great Kung Lao, a feat the at the time young Shang Tsung failed to do. A 10th victory would have enabled Shang Tsung to summon Shao Kahn, Emperor of Outworld so that he could take over Earth. Though suffering defeat at the hands of Liu Kang, Goro wasn’t really vanquished and ultimately returned to wreak havoc during the events of Mortal Kombat 4. Goro is one of the most feared combatants in Mortal Kombat, possessing exceptional fighting abilities and bone crushing strength. Goro is able to throw fireballs, perform leap stomps, can grab and pound an enemy’s chest, can perform a spinning slap, tremor pound and what is known as a ‘Shokan Headache’.


www.itp.net/features

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

22 FEATURE

Buy and sell smart


www.itp.net/features

FEATURE 23

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Buy and sell smart


www.itp.net/features

24 FEATURE

Buy and sell smart

Whether you want to buy or sell products using the Internet there are a fair few easy-to-use websites that will enable your aspirations. These websites range for local-only resources to global giants that literally bring the world right to your computer's screen.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

GET GOING WITH EBAY eBay is the world’s largest online auction site. It has a presence in over 30 countries and items can be sold or bought through a variety of buyers and sellers on the site. Most sellers’ accounts are linked to PayPal (see page 27) and buyers can confidently buy items that are up for sale, without the threat of credit card numbers reaching unscrupulous sellers. The 480-million user strong Internet auction powerhouse was founded back in 1995 and is one of the most successful sites to emerge from the dot com bubble. The site offers different types of auctions: a) Auction style listings that allow a user to list an item up for sale for a specific time period. The user may or may not use a reserve price. The highest bidder at the end of the auction is the winner of the item. b) Buy-it-now listings, which cannot be bid for. The buyer has to pay the fixed price for the item eBay is the world’s largest global auction site. You can find almost anything on this site and he wins it instantly. from a variety of sellers across the world. eBay can be used to list and sell products too c) Buy-it-now listings with an option to provide the best offer. This listing has a fixed price but the buyer can present an offer to the seller, who then has the choice to accept or reject the offer. The seller can also present a counter offer and if both parties agree, the listing can be closed on the decided price. eBay encourages power sellers to setup an eBay store which is a fully personalised store that lists multiple items for sale by the seller. The extra setup is charged for by eBay but projects a degree of professionalism and pays dividends in the long run. eBay also has an auto-bidding service for buyers. The buyer can submit the final bid price and eBay will bid on behalf of FEEDBACK MATTERS the buyer in limited increments to outdo the highest bid of another buyer. If the amount submitted by the bidder has been surpassed, Whether you are buying or selling make sure that then eBay stops the auto-bid on behalf of the bidder. the transaction goes smoothly for both yourself and the other party. This is purely so that you walk away with solid feedback. Power buyers and sellers will be more willing to Successful bidders don’t have to pay any charges to deal with you if you have eBay directly. The charges are borne by the seller and glowing recommendations these vary based on the item for sale and the final from people you’ve done bid or buy amount. Most sellers ship internationally business with in the past. and list their shipping charges on the auction site, along with the items. Selling on eBay first requires a verification process where your credit card WHAT’S NEXT? can be verified against your name, followed by Buying and selling on this site is very choosing a payment easy. All you have to do is setup an method for listings on account with eBay and link your PayPal eBay and finally with account to it. You can then immediately start buying or selling, what payment methods although some sellers maybe weary of first time bidders that you wish to accept from don’t have a solid payment history. As eBay is a large buyers for your items. community based bidding site, it is important not to have too much negative feedback from sellers or buyers to be successful.


www.itp.net/features

Buy and sell smart

FEATURE 25

There are three fees, an insertion fee (dependant on if the item has a reserve price). If items are listed at starting from US $0.01 to $0.99 the insertion fee is free for the first 100 listings in a month. The second is a final value fee based on the type of listing. If the listing is an auction the final value fee is 9% with a maximum fee of $50 per listing. This means if your item sells at $1,000 you still pay $50 instead of $90 which is 9%. Buy it now auctions are calculated differently. An example represents this below: a) You sell an item in the Electronics category for $1,500.00. b) On the first $50.00 you pay 8%, which is $4.00. CASH IN, CASH OUT c) On the next $950.00, you pay 5%, which is $47.50. d) On the remaining $500.00, you pay 2%, which is $10.00. When you wish to sell an item using Souq.com, begin e) Your final value fee is $61.50 ($4.00 + $47.50 + $10.00). by choosing the Sell option and follow the steps thereafter. The website will ask you to choose a The last type category that the item for sale belongs to. To further of fee is an refine the listing, there is a sub category that you can upgrade fee choose too. This helps to identify which only your item if someone is looking applies if you for something specific. You are upgrade your then asked to choose the type listing. This is of listing, and since Buy Now is variable for the standard and no other choices different are available, you can move on. upgrades available, like extra pictures, Bold font etc. The approximate maximum fee for an upgrade at the time of printing is about $4.00 per listing.

IT’S TIME FOR SOUQ.COM

Souq.com is the Middle-East equivalent of eBay. The site first opened for business in 2005 and has since extended its services beyond the U.A.E. to countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

MAKE YOUR LISTINGS ATTRACTIVE AND INFORMATIVE If you want to be successful in terms of selling products online, you should always make sure that your listing is packed with useful information and that the photo you use is accurate and clear. In terms of information try and think of all the questions that you’d ask as a buyer and make sure to answer them in the body text of the listing for your product. Specifications are also important and you should try and be as accurate as possible here. With photos ensure that you use high-resolution photos and, where possible, take your own photos as this instills more confidence in buyers than if you just used a stock image from somewhere else. Listing a phone as black (pictured) for instance but using a stock photo where the photo is white may put certain buyers off.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Souq.com first opened for business back in 2005 and has grown to become one of the largest e-commerce websites in the Arab World. It is a regional online shopping portal that services the U.A.E., Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and is expanding to other markets. The website is viewable in English and Arabic at present. In the past Souq.com used to allow auctions and bidding for items, however in recent months it has evolved to only Buy-Now listings. This means the price is fixed and if the buyer wishes to buy a product on offer for that price then he can click the 'Buy Now' button and is taken to a page to pay for the product directly. Setting up an account is straightforward, and you can buy and sell items with the same account. Simply go to ‘Register’ and fill in your details along with an accurate address and phone number.The address is used as your delivery or pick-up address, so ensure it is always up-to-date. Your phone number is used to verify your account, hence if you give a wrong phone number you will not be able to register at Souq.com.


www.itp.net/features

26 FEATURE

Buy and sell smart

The next screen asks for the item description with specific questions that are generally enquired about for items in a particular category. Here you can put up pictures of the item and choose how long you wish the listing to appear. Shipping fees and methods can also be chosen, which is delivery followed by payment online, or Cash on Delivery. In either case, Souq Safe Pay charges a $1.36 handling fee. Souq. com can then transfer the funds to your bank account or you could keep it in your ‘Wallet’ to spend on other purchases if any. For items that sell below a value of $27,174 Souq.com charges a 5% commission on the final selling price. For Items that exceed this value, an additional 2% commission is charged. The fees are payable to Souq.com via a credit/debit card, or by paying the amount at Emirates Bank for users in the UAE. Addition fees are charged for listings if the seller chooses to upgrade the listing. These fees are on a per listing basis and are outlined below: a) Main Page Featured Item – The listing will be featured on Souq.com’s main home page - $4 extra b) Category Featured Item – The item will appear on the product category main page - $2.72 extra c) Bold Item - The title of the listing will appear in Bold – $0.54 extra

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

DO DUBIZZLE Dubizzle is another Middle East-focussed website that facilitates buying and selling online. It is more of an Internet-based classifieds however, where users can put up items that they wish to sell, and interested buyers can respond to the listing via calling the seller (whose phone number is mentioned in the listing) or sending them an e-mail. There are no fees for listing an item on the website, except for insertion fees for business users like real estate agencies that use Dubizzle for their property listings. This is something that gives Dubizzle a bit of an edge on Souq.com. The website is multi-faceted in that it has a Classifieds section that caters to categories from cars to jewellery and books to musical instruments. All the listings which are put up by individual sellers, for personal use are completely free of charge. Dubizzle also has a comprehensive property for sale section and a separate section for property rentals. Another section deals only with jobs and listings are put up by HR staff of companies looking for suitable employees, or even persons themselves looking for a suitable job placement. Dubizzle boasts a community section that allows businesses to showcase their expertise to the website’s audience. An example could be a photography studio that specialises in family portraits advertises its service on Dubizzle under the Community category. Other community driven projects like charities garage sales, car lifts and language learning courses can all be advertised through the Community arm of Dubizzle. Events too find their own category via this diverse platform and a simple click on the category will get you up to speed on all the current events that have happened around you. (Dubizzle’s paparazzi scour the nightclubs and get-togethers of the vibrant community and post pictures of noteworthy events.) The website currently operates in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia and the U.A.E. It is viewable in English, Arabic and French allowing it to capture a wide audience. All in all, Dubizzle is a very useful website that is slowly replacing the aging classifieds attached to newspapers. Search results are quick and accurate and a user can find exactly what they are looking for in a matter of a few clicks. This versatile platform with its extensive real estate and car listings can also act as a source of approximation pricing should you decide to sell a car or home of your own. Generally there is a very high turnover, as listings on Dubizzle get a good response from avid seekers and buyers. If the item you are selling is quite popular and marketed at the right price, it generally won’t make it past the 24-hour mark without being sold at the price you want.


www.itp.net/features

Buy and sell smart

FEATURE 27

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY LATER Considering PayPal links to your credit/debit card it’s worth securing your PayPal account with a strong password and a variety of security questions. With the former ensure that you use a mix of alphabets and numbers and throw in the odd capital letter just to enhance protection further. You should also backup your password with a few complicated security questions that you’re sure only you know. Avoid using questions like your pet’s first name or your favourite colour etc.

The world of online purchases has become a lot more secure because of the use of payment processors like PayPal. These companies filter your confidential payment information such as credit card numbers and addresses. It is an e-commerce business that allows you to make payments and transfers to other PayPal account holders, through the internet. On October 3rd 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay. This was in eBay’s best interest of course since a significantly large amount of transactions on eBay were done through PayPal itself. A PayPal account can be funded via a debit or credit card, and withdrawals can be made via a cheque, transfer to another PayPal account holder or bank account transfer. There is a fee for receiving money and other fees which depends on the currency used, the payment option used, the country of the sender and recipient, as well as the amount sent and the recipient’s account type. Purchases made on eBay are also charged to the seller and extra fees might come into play if different CREDIT AND DEBIT currencies are involved. Buying products with PayPal is free for the buyer but accepting payments for the seller PayPal will charge your credit/debit card during the card in USD are usually charged at 3.4% of the total sale verification process, and insert a code that will appear against value + $0.30 per transaction for local transactions, and the charge in your credit/debit card statement. Once you 3.9% of the total sale value + $0.30 per transaction for receive this code, enter it in the card verification field and your international transactions . There are no set up fees, account should be up and running. The charge made on the monthly fees or cancellation fees however, you only card is refunded by PayPal following the verification process. pay when a transaction goes through. There are other payment processors on the market, eg. The sign-up process, if you don’t already have an Moneybookers however, PayPal is far ahead of the competition account, is fairly simple. Simply click on the Sign Up when it comes to security and peace of mind using your credit hyperlink and you’ll be routed to a page asking if you card for transactions. In part this may be highly attributed to want an ‘Individual’ account or a ‘Business’ account. PayPal’s acquisition of Fraud Sciences, a privately-held company Business accounts are for individuals that have a whose expertise lies in online risk tools. This acquisition had a business running and would like to provide an online two-fold benefit as it proved to enhance eBay and PayPal's payment portal for their services. proprietary fraud management systems and speed up the The Individual account should be of interest to you if development of new and improved fraud detection techniques. you don’t have a business running, but would like to So, if you want to go out and start buying and selling on the buy and sell items on a small scale. After entering all Internet, your first line of defence the pertinent details including a valid e-mail, phone and your ally in handling funds number and your credit card number, you proceed to a smoothly is PayPal. At this point screen that shows you your current balance and a we’d like to indicate that it would whole lot of different options like sending and be best to have two separate withdrawing funds, and other products and services. passwords for your eBay and The most important next steps are to confirm your PayPal account. This would prove e-mail address and verify your credit card information. more secure in the event that For added security add a few security questions that either account is hacked. are not too obvious even to close friends.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

MONEY MADNESS


www.itp.net/grouptests

GROUPTEST 29

The humble chassis serves as a protective home for the various components that constitute your desktop computer. The chassis (or case) is also designed to help keep your components cool and content so they are able to give you years of faithful service. In this grouptest WINDOWS looks at four of the latest ATX cases on the market, so read on if you want to know which is the best home for your rigâ&#x20AC;Ś

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Chassis grouptest


www.itp.net/grouptests

30 GROUPTEST

Chassis grouptest

COOLERMASTER STORM SNIPER Not just any port in a storm PRICE $182 CONTACT +9714 886 3330 WEB www.coolermaster.com

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

O

PRICE $218 CONTACT +9714 886 3330 WEB www.coolermaster.com

✪✪✪✪✪

✪✪✪✪✪

f the two Coolermaster cases in this grouptest the Storm Sniper is the smaller, lighter and less expensive of the two. The Storm Sniper is a different beast compared to the HAF X so far as cooling is concerned. Whereas the latter verges on overkill with multiple, large fans the Sniper is slightly more restrained though it still does a brilliant job of keeping components cool. The Sniper packs one front 200m intake, one top 200mm exhaust and one rear 120mm exhaust as standard. While this setup provides more than enough airflow for even seriously overclocked rigs, the case still has provisions for a bottom 140mm housing and a side-mounted fan of either 120mm or 200mm. Building our test rig into the Sniper proved a cinch thanks to its predominantly

COOLERMASTER HAF X

The right case for high-end rigs

tool-free design and large size. While it doesn’t have vast acres of space like its costlier cousin, the Sniper can accommodate a large ATX board and a full set of drives and components without breaking a sweat. There’s more than enough room within to route cables so they don’t obstruct airflow and there are rounded edges, so you won’t have to worry about cutting yourself. The Sniper sports loads of front mounted ports as well as a large knob that acts as a fan controller. The latter is incredibly useful if you have high-speed fans and want to control their spin-rate and thus noise. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT The Storm Sniper is a decent home for high-end components and priced at US $182, you won’t have to dip too far into your savings to take it home.

oolermaster's HAF X chassis has been available on the market for some time but despite this, it hasn’t been eclipsed in terms of features and expansion. With dimensions of 230 x 599 x 550mm the HAF X is the largest chassis in this grouptest by far. Thanks to its immense size this monster can accommodate even over-sized XL-ATX motherboards such as Gigabyte’s X58A-UD9. No other case in this test can claim to do the same. Beyond its flexible motherboard support the HAF X is impeccable when it comes to cooling capabilities. By default it comes with one 230mm forward intake, one top mounted 200mm exhaust (you can fit a second 200m fan too), one side 200mm fan, one rear 140mm fan and there’s an optional VGA fan duct and VGA fan holder. The duct can

C

be kitted out with a single 120mm fan whereas the fan holder can accept an 80mm fan. Since most of the Coolermaster's fans are massive in size they spin at incredibly low speeds and yet move massive amounts of air, which makes the HAF X the coolest and most silent case here. So regardless of what rig you’re planning to build, this Coolermaster monster has you covered. Another feature unique to the HAF X in this test is its two front-mounted USB3.0 ports. No other case in this grouptest offers these ports. The chassis also offers frontmounted audio, two USB2.0 ports, one Firewire port and one eSATA port. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT While somewhat expensive the HAF X offers exceptional cooling, superb flexibility in terms of what you can fit and is built like a Panzer tank.


www.itp.net/grouptests

Chassis grouptest

GIGABYTE SETTO II 142

GIGABYTE SUMO 5112

Small but still capable

Wondrous value-for-money

PRICE $62 CONTACT +9714 886 3330 WEB www.gigabyte.com

PRICE $158 CONTACT +9714 886 3330 WEB www.gigabyte.com

✪✪✪✪✪

I

✪✪✪✪✪

amount of space to pack in a full-size ATX board. The only trouble with the interior is that it isn’t perhaps the most suitable for oversized CPU coolers. This is simply because the edges of the cooler may make contact with the rear of the case or the powersupply which sits just above. The Setto II, like its expensive counterpart is built quite well too. In the looks department the finished-in-black Setto II isn’t as handsome as some of its competitors in this round-up but given its budget price tag, this isn’t too surprising. At the same time the Gigabyte is far from something we’d describe as ugly or unattractive. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT If you don’t intend to build a highly overclocked rig with super-sized cooling accessories the Setto II 142 is a great budget case to work with.

hereas Japanese Sumo wrestlers are some of the largest athletes in the world, Gigabyte’s Sumo 5112 doesn’t dominate this grouptest on the size and weight scales. The Sumo is a fairly attractive chassis thanks to its elegantly designed door and black paint job. The door sports an integrated LED light that by default is red. However Gigabyte also supplies a blue LED as part of the package so depending on your preference, you can customise the case accordingly. The door also sports a nifty optical disc storage compartment. We thought this was a simple but nifty addition that will enable you to keep a rescue disk in a convenient location. Accessing the Sumo’s internals is a tools-free affair thanks to thumbscrews and on the inside there’s plenty of room to work. And while

W

the Sumo doesn’t offer as much internal space as the two Coolermaster behemoths you won’t struggle to get a large ATX board into this chassis. There are also provisions for watercooling and an armada of drive bays. The case also sports three 120mm fan positions. By default the forward fan is setup as an intake whereas the rear two fans are setup to exhaust air. The Sumo’s side panel, like the door, is also customisable in that you can either fit a clear acrylic window to show off your components, or if you’re more concerned with cooling, use a ventilated steel mesh plate instead. PERFORMANCE ✪✪✪✪✪ FEATURES ✪✪✪✪✪ VALUE FOR MONEY ✪✪✪✪✪ VERDICT A well-sorted chassis that can be customised to suit your needs. It also offers enough space and cooling for high-end machines.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

n this chassis face-off Gigabyte’s Setto II 142 is literally a featherweight. Thankfully this case easily proves that size doesn’t always matter. On the cooling front the Setto II 142 is reasonably well sorted thanks to one 80mm fan position and two 120mm housings. With two 120mm fans in place (one intake and one exhaust) there’s a decent amount of airflow running through the machine to ensure that even high-end rigs behave when they’re put under pressure by apps and games. That said the Setto II 142 will struggle when it comes to accommodating highlyoverclocked components. Expansion-wise the Setto won’t disappoint thanks to its four external 5.25-inch and two 3.5-inch bays. On the inside there are also four 3.5-inch bays, a full complement of rear expansion slots and a decent

GROUPTEST 31


www.itp.net/grouptests

32 GROUPTEST

Chassis grouptest

CHASSIS GROUPTEST

COOLERMASTER

COOLERMASTER

Storm Sniper

HAF X

$182

$218

+9714 886 3330

+9714 886 3330

www.coolermaster.com

www.coolermaster.com

Colour

Black

Black

Built with

Steel

Steel

Number of external 5.25" bays

5

6

Number of external 3.5" bays

0

0

Number of internal 5.25" bays

0

0

Number of internal 3.5" bays

5

5

4 (USB2.0)

2 (USB 3.0) 2 (USB2.0)

Front mounted Firewire ports

1

1

Front audio ports

Y

Y

Front eSATA ports

1

1

80mm fan housings

0

0

120mm fan housings

1

0

200mm or larger fan housing

2

3

Tool free

Y

Y

Rounded edges

Y

Y

Sound proofing

N

N

Side window

N

Y

Lockable

Y

N

254.6 x 551 x 566.6mm

230 x 599 x 550mm

Three-year

Three-year

MANUFACTURER

Product Price Tel Web MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Front mounted USB ports

STANDARD COOLING

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

OTHER SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions (W x H x D) Warranty SCORES

Performance

----

-----

Features

----

----

Value

----

----

Overall

----

----


www.itp.net/grouptests

Chassis grouptest

GROUPTEST 33

CHASSIS GROUPTEST

GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE

Setto II 142

Sumo 5112

$62

$158

+9714 886 3330

+9714 886 3330

www.gigabyte.com

www.gigabyte.com

Colour

Black

Black

Built with

Steel

Steel

Number of external 5.25" bays

4

5

Number of external 3.5" bays

2

1

Number of internal 5.25" bays

0

0

Number of internal 3.5" bays

4

6

2 (USB2.0)

2 (USB 2.0)

Front mounted Firewire ports

0

1

Front audio ports

Y

Y

Front eSATA ports

1

1

80mm fan housings

1

0

120mm fan housings

2

3

200mm or larger fan housing

0

0

Tool free

Y

Y

Rounded edges

Y

Y

Sound proofing

N

N

Side window

N

N

Lockable

Y

Y

185 x 410 x 480mm

205 x 522 x 570mm

Three-year

Three-year

MANUFACTURER

Product Price Tel Web MAIN SPECIFICATIONS

Front mounted USB ports

STANDARD COOLING

Dimensions (W x H x D) Warranty SCORES

----

----

---

----

Value

----

-----

Overall

----

----

Performance Features

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

OTHER SPECIFICATIONS


www.itp.net/grouptests

34 GROUPTEST

Chassis grouptest

EDITOR'S CHOICE COOLERMASTER HAF X

n this industry several months is a long time but despite being on the market since last year, Coolermaster’s amazing HAF X beat every other case here and claimed our Best Performance prize. The HAF X really does have it all starting with striking looks. In this grouptest, while its competitors were all far from ugly, the HAF X looked

I

sharp and imposing. Its larger-than-life frame also meant it offered the most internal space and this came in handy when building our rig into it. It simply offered acres of space to work with. The HAF X also offered plenty of cooling; it is equipped with multiple slowspinning fans that due to their massive size get the cooling job done without any drama at all.

GIGABYTE SUMO 5112

hoosing a Best Value winner took some deliberation because the team was divided when it came to choosing between one of the two Gigabyte cases. The Setto II 142 immediately won brownie points owing to its low price and reasonable feature set. While you can’t build an insanely overclocked rig into this chassis owing to its

C

slightly limited cooling (in an overclocking respect), there isn’t much else you won’t be able to use it for. In the end however the team ultimately got behind the Sumo 5112 because it offered the best of both worlds. The Sumo looks great, offers a decent amount of internal room and expansion options and yet is the second least expensive case on test here.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

HOW WE TESTED The best way to gauge how good or bad a case is to build a complete PC into it. As a result we built a high-end rig consisting of an Intel Core i7 980X processor, a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4 motherboard, 6GB of Kingston DDR3 memory, an AMD Radeon HD 6990 GPU, a 10,000rpm VelociRaptor hard drive and a Serial ATA DVD-ROM drive. During our build process we were able to see for ourselves how easy or difficult it was to work with a case in terms of rig building. Here we looked at how easy it was to mount the motherboard, how much space was available to fit a large GPU (the Radeon HD 6990 GPU measures 30cm in length) and whether or not there was any helpful extras such as cable routing paths etc. We were also able to examine the chassis’ cooling capabilities accurately as a result of fitting a PC into each case. Here we paid close attention to how fans were positioned and configured. When the machine was running we also checked noise levels and cases that shipped with small, loud fans scored less in terms of performance than counterparts that relied on large, quiet fans. We also paid close attention to features on offer including a tools-free design, number of drive bays and whether or not a case included rounded-edges on the inside. We also checked on what sort of front-mounted ports were offered by each case. If a case offered a full range of USB ports, Firewire, eSATA and audio ports, it walked away with a higher feature score than one that lacked these ports.


AED

AED

AED

999

1299

16 ppm print speed colour/mono 600 x 2400 dpi 250-sheet paper capacity

16 ppm print speed colour/mono 600 x 2400 dpi 250-sheet paper capacity Wireless network Direct print from USB

HL-3040CN

HL-3070CW

AED

1750

DCP-9010CN

Print/Scan/Copy 16 ppm print speed colour/mono 600 x 2400 dpi 250-sheet paper capacity

2300

MFC-9120CN

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax 16 ppm print speed colour/mono 600 x 2400 dpi 250-sheet paper capacity Super G3 fax

Compact. High Speed. Affordable + Colours make the difference. *Retail prices in UAE. For countries outside UAE, please check with the local dealers

• Includes inbox toner CMYK, 1000 pages each.

Contact us at: Brother International (Gulf) FZE: P.O.Box 16851, Jebel Ali, Dubai, U.A.E., Phone: 971-4-8835878, Fax: 971-4-8837931, E-mail: bicgulf@brother.ae; UAE: Jumbo Electronics (Dubai 3367999), Gulf Island Trading Co. (Abu Dhabi 6325250), Saudi Arabia: Al Maktaba Stores (Jeddah 6620890), Canar Office Systems (Al Khobar 8985196), ABM Olayan (Riyadh 4784909), Bahrain: Ashraf Brothers W.L.L. (Manama 7520230), Al Moayyed (17700777), Qatar: Video Home & Electronics Centre (Doha 4410060), AL Moayyed (4375951), Kuwait: Arabian Business Machines Co. (Safat 2445373), A. M. Al Khorafi Est. (Safat 2451908), Integrated Offices Co. (Safat 2463296), Oman: Bishara Establishment (Muscat 24700224).

AED

2650

MFC-9320CW

Print/Scan/Copy/Fax 16 ppm print speed colour/mono 600 x 2400 dpi 250-sheet paper capacity Super G3 fax • Wireless network Direct print from USB


www.itp.net/reviews

36 HOT KIT

Reviews

38 PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

Awarded to outstanding Awarded to the most products that have excelled in outstanding product we've both value and performance. encountered during the month.

CONTENTS

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Reviews 38

Intel Core i7-2600K processor

39

Patriot Valkyrie 2-Bay NAS storage

40

AMD Radeon HD 6990 GPU

40

Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard

42

Kingston HyperX T1 DDR3 memory

42

Micromax Andro A60 smartphone

43

Sapphire Mini PC Edge-HD nettop

43

Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition graphics card

40

43


www.itp.net/reviews

Reviews

HOTKIT

HOT KIT 37

WINLABS

TESTING EXPLAINED performance when dealing with old and new game titles. As H.A.W.X and World in Conflict are playable games, they are real world tests and so give a more accurate view of a GPU's performance. While Heaven v2.0 is a sort of synthetic test, it is still very accurate in terms of reporting on a GPU's performance. Each graphics card is tested at three different test resolutions; 1024 x 768 pixels, 1600 x 1200 pixels and, finally, 1920 x 1200 pixels. All of the games are run on the maximum settings with the exception of full screen anti-aliasing, which we leave at 4x setting. Then, depending on the price and positioning of the graphics card, performance scores are awarded based on how well, or not, it has performed at a specific resolution. For example, low end or entry level graphics cards are graded mostly on their performance at 1024 x 768 pixels whereas expensive, ultra-high-end cards are graded based on their high resolution figures.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST is the definitive Buyers’ Guide for PC and consumer electronics products in the region. We strenuously test products in our dedicated Dubai WinLab in order to highlight the very best models for our readers. Here we explain just how we test new kit in order to offer truly authoritative and objective recommendations, helping us keep WINDOWS the region’s most relevant technology magazine.

CPU TESTING

GRAPHIC CARD TESTING

Testing processors is a time consuming process because there are a number of different tests, each of which thoroughly stresses a CPU. Depending on the CPU that has to be tested, we construct a testbed using a compatible motherboard. Common components that we test all CPUs with are 6GB of DDR3 memory, a Zotac GeForce GTX 480 AMP! Edtion GPU and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1Tbyte hard drive. All benchmarks are run at 1024 x 768 pixels and we employ the following benchmark tests; Cinebench 10.5, PCMark 2005 CPU and memory tests, 3DMark 2003 and 2005 CPU tests and POV-Ray to test raw processing performance. To test multimedia performance, we run a Lame 3.97 WAV to MP3 encode test, a TMPGENC video encode, MPEG to DivX conversion test in addition to running F.E.A.R and World in Conflict. With the exception of POV-Ray and all the encode tests, higher numbers mean a faster processor and thus a higher performance score.

Our graphics card testbed comprises an Intel Core i7 940 quad-core processor that runs at 2.93GHz, a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4 motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 memory, Western Digital’s 300GB Raptor X SATA hard drive and a 750-watt PC Power and Cooling power supply. All of these components are housed in Thermaltake’s Armour+ chassis and we use the 64-bit edition of Microsoft’s Windows 7 as the machine's operating system. To test a graphics card, we fit the card to this PC and connect it to our Viewsonic VX2835wm 28-inch LCD screen. The screen offers a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which means it allows us to test graphics cards at all the major resolutions. To test graphics cards, we use three specific benchmarks; Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Heaven v2.0 and World in Conflict. Both HA.W.X and World in Conflict use DirectX 10 rendering technology, whilst the Heaven benchmark uses DirectX 11. This enables us to gauge a graphics card’s

To test hard drives, we use our graphics card testbed. The drive in question is hooked up to the motherboard’s Serial ATA II controller (or USB or Firewire port if it’s an external hard drive) and tested using a combination of real world and synthetic benchmark tests. For internal hard drives, we rely on a copy test to ascertain real world performance. The test folder is stored on a SSD drive, ensuring that this drive won’t bottleneck the drive being tested and, to gauge write performance, we time how long it takes for the 4GB folder to be transferred from the SSD drive to the test drive. To test read performance, we do the opposite and time how long it takes for the test drive to transfer the data to the SSD drive. Lower times in both cases equate to better performance. Next we call into action HD Tune Pro, a synthetic benchmark. This tests a drive in terms of its access time, average read and write performance, burst speed and CPU utilisation. In terms of access time and CPU use, lower numbers are better. With external drives we use the same real world read/write test methodology but instead of using a 4GB folder only, we also test the drive with a single 238MB test file. Again, lower times are better.

OTHER PRODUCTS Products such as MP3 players, PMPs, mobile phone etc are tested for a period of one or two weeks. During this time we use the products as someone who purchased it would and this helps us gauge performance, features and value for money. In most cases the brunt of the testing is subjective and the testing always focuses on real world usefulness.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

HARD DISK TESTING


www.itp.net/reviews

LGA1155 QUAD-CORE PROCESSOR

38 HOT KIT

INTEL CORE I7-2600K Second generation firepower PRICE $317 CONTACT +9714 440 4300 WEB www.intel.com

-----

hough Intel has been reigning supreme for the last few years, the chipmaker is maintaining an aggressive launch schedule. The latest microarchitecture is known as Sandy Bridge and it is the successor to the older Nehalem-based ‘Core i’ series. As a result of their new microarchitecture and features Sandy Bridge chips have different CPU socket pin counts compared to their predecessors. At the time of going to press Intel has only released processors that use the LGA1155 CPU socket (replacing LGA1156). Intel has also completely changed the way you have to go about overclocking with Sandy Bridge. Whereas in the past pushing the FSB or BCLK on a board from the default of 133MHz to whatever speed you wanted and fiddling with the clock multiplier (on an unlocked chip) gave you an instant performance boost, with Sandy Bridge things aren’t as simple. With Sandy Bridge CPUs and the accompanying 6-series Cougar Point chipsets the BLCK defaults to 100MHz and going to even a frequency of 105MHz on several P67 boards we’ve tested proved tricky. As a result you’ll have to pick your Sandy Bridge chip very

T

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Reviews

carefully because Intel is offering a mix of fully unlocked, limited unlocked and completely locked processors. Any processor that doesn’t support Turbo mode is fully clock-locked and can’t be overclocked. If however your processor supports Turbo Mode then you have a partially unlocked CPU and can adjust the multiplier slightly. All non ‘K’ suffix Sandy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 processors have limited unlocked multipliers though their memory, power and graphics can be modified and overclocked fully. The fully unlocked processors are Sandy Bridge models with the ‘K’ suffix such as the Core i7-2600K chip on test here. These chips offer a full range of multiplier settings from 16x all the way to 57x meaning you can overclock to your heart’s desire. With our particular Core i7-2600K processor we managed a colossal frequency of 4.2GHz, up from the standard 3.4GHz using the stock Intel cooler. At standard 3.4GHz the Core i7-2600K blew us away with its amazing results. In our Cinebench 10 multi-CPU test it managed a figure of 26,560. In comparison the older six-core Gulftown Intel Core i7 980X 3.33GHz Extreme Edition CPU managed a result of

25,519. Moving to our multimedia tests, the Core i7-2600K managed to complete our Lame music encode in one minute and 34 seconds whereas the 980X required two minutes to get the job done. Moving to gaming the Core i7-2600K managed figures of 7,110 and 56.2fps in Final Fantasy XIV and Lost Planet 2 respectively. The Core i7 980X on the other hand was slower in Final Fantasy with a score of 7,085 though slightly faster in Lost Planet 2, managing 77.3fps.

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS LGA1155 CPU socket, quad-cores running at 3.4GHz each, 256KB total L1 cache memory, 1MB total L2 cache memory, 8MB total L3 cache memory, dualchannel memory support, 3.8GHz maximum Turbo frequency, 95-watt TDP, 32nm fabrication process, Intel HyperThreading technology support, Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU onboard, three-year warranty. PROS Extremely fast, 32nm fabrication process means you have loads of overclocking headroom. CONS Needs a new CPU socket, overclocking is tricky because of new BCLK setup. VERDICT The Intel Core i7-2600K CPU is a super fast performer which thanks to its unlocked multiplier can also be overclocked like a monster.


www.itp.net/reviews

HOT KIT 39

PATRIOT VALKYRIE 2-BAY NAS Just add drives

PRICE $160 WEB www.patriotmemory.com

-----

atriot produces a range of storage products and as far as network attached storage (NAS) is concerned, the company offers two different options; the Gear Box and the Valkyrie 2-Bay NAS. Like other consumer NAS devices we’ve tested, the Valkyrie is a compact device and finished in black with contrast white text, is quite a sharp looker that won’t look out of place in your home. The device’s front face is dominated by lights and a fairly large plastic door that, when opened, grants access to the two drive bays. Installing and removing drives from the Valkyrie is a doddle that only requires you push a button on the drive cage and then pull the assembly out. The drive cage is setup to accept 3.5-inch drive bays by default so, if you plan to fit 2.5-inch drives, you’ll need to use a mounting system. Fitting drives into the cage is a stress-free process though you will have to use a screw driver. We would have preferred if Patriot employed a tool-free mounting system. The Valkyrie offers two USB ports, one at the front and one on its back end. Both ports can accept USB printers, flash drives or external hard drives. With

P

regard to the former, setup is quite simple though the Patriot can prove sluggish at recognising devices plugged into its USB ports; when we attached a 1GB USB memory stick, it took the NAS 20 seconds before it recognised it. Setting up the NAS is straightforward process, you need only insert the drives into the NAS, hook it up to your network, insert the supplied CD and launch its configuration program. From here on you can access the Patriot’s full set of features and options, all of which are presented in a web-based interface. Since the Patriot features its own 500MHz processor, 128MB of RAM and 16MB of flash memory it’s able to function as an iTunes server, can download torrent tasks and function as a media server. Using the Valkyrie over a period of one month we found that while limited in terms of functionality, it offers more than enough usability for common tasks. During our tests the NAS proved rock solid, we never experienced downtime when using it as a media server or as a torrent client. This NAS is also quite flexible when it comes to handling the drives you install. The Patriot allows you to run them individually as two separate

drives, combine them into a RAID 0 (for performance) or RAID 1 (for data redundancy) array. You can also run the drives in a JBOD (just a bunch of disks) configuration. Running our two 250GB Seagate drives in RAID 0 the Patriot performed quite well when it came to data transfer to and from our test rig and this is thanks to its gigabit Ethernet port. Transferring a 2GB file from PC to NAS took just 29 seconds and transferring the same data back to our test PC took 32 seconds in total.

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS Embedded 500MHz processor, 128MB embedded RAM, 16MB flash memory, 10/100/1000 Ethernet support, RAID 0/1/JBOD support, two 3.5-inch drive bays, Serial ATA II support up to 4TB, USB port, UPNP Media Server, One Touch Backup (OTB), multi-lingual user interface, FTP/ iTunes/print server capable, 2kg, one-year warranty. PROS Useful features, flexible storage configurations, easy-to-use interface. CONS You’ll need your own mounting hardware for 2.5inch drives, mounting drives requires screws and tools. VERDICT The Valkyrie is one of the most userfriendly NAS devices we’ve tested to date. It offers competent performance coupled with a number of useful features that can benefit your everyday life.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE

Reviews


www.itp.net/reviews

PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD

40 HOT KIT

AMD

RADEON HD 6990 A worthwhile wait

PRICE $699 CONTACT +9714 427 2626 WEB www.amd.com

-----

LGA1155 MOTHERBOARD

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Reviews

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS PCI-E interface, two Cayman GPUs running at 830MHz each, 4GB of GDDR5 memory

ASUS

Sabertooth P67 Far from long in the tooth PRICE $265 CONTACT+9714 299 3873 WEB www.asus.com

-----

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS Socket 1155 CPU support, four DDR3 DIMM slots, Intel P67 NorthBridge, two PCI-E x16

MD’s Radeon HD 6990 was supposed to hit the market in time for Christmas 2010 but because the 6950 and 6970 cards were delayed to mid December, the 6990 too was put on hold until last month. The 6990 is the replacement to the 5970 and sports two Cayman 40nm GPUs mounted to a single PCB. Each GPU runs at a frequency of 830MHz while the card’s 4GB of GDDR5 memory runs at a frequency of 1,250MHz (5GHz effectively). The two GPUs work together via an internal CrossFire bridge. Owing to its dual GPU setup the 6990 is a massive card (30cm in length) that simply won’t fit into some ATX casings, so it’s worth checking before investing in this card. To use the card

A

running at 1,250MHz (5GHz effectively), AMD CrossFire X support, DirectX 11 support, three-year warranty.

ntel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs need a new socket and NorthBridge to function. Asus’ Sabertooth P67 on test here satisfies both prerequisites and proves itself a cracking companion to Intel’s latest line of screamers. Being a new motherboard the Asus is equipped with a modern Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) rather than a 32-bit BIOS. The UEFI not only looks better but it also allows interaction via a mouse and you get 3TB hard drive support. At last. The Sabertooth P67 is also unique in that the entirety of the board is covered by what Asus refers to as ‘TUF Thermal Armour’. Essentially, the PCB is covered by a black plastic shroud that,

I

slots, three PCI-E x1 slots, one PCI slot, ATX formfactor, two Serial ATA 6Gbps ports, threeyear warranty.

you’ll also need a heavy duty powersupply with a rating of at least 600-watts and with two 4-pin PCI-E power connectors. The card generates massive amounts of heat; we recorded a temperature of 89-degrees Celsius after running our Heaven v2.0 benchmark on the card for 15-minutes. Running AMD’s latest through our gauntlet, the card returned the fastest benchmarks we’ve ever seen from a single card. In our Heaven v2.0 test the Radeon HD 6990 produced figures of 131fps, 110.2fps and 100.2fps at 1,024 x 768, 1,680 x 1,050 and 1,920 x 1,200 pixels respectively. In comparison Zotac’s GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition card managed figures of 76.8fps, 66.6fps and 62.6fps in the same tests. VERDICT AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 is the single GPU card of the moment. There’s simply no faster card.

apparently, helps dissipate heat and isolates the board’s capacitors, VRMs and MOSFETS from other heat sources. Whether or not this directly influenced our overclocking endeavors or not is hard to say but we were able to push our Intel Core i7-2600K processor to a colossal 4.2GHz. In terms of performance the Asus didn’t disappoint. We recorded a CineBench R10 multi-core score of 25,970 while it took one minute and 34 seconds and 16 seconds to complete our Lame 3.97 audio encode test and DivX 720p encode test. Gaming-wise the Asus managed figures of 450.88fps and 7,090 in Street Fighter IV and Final Fantasy XIV. Superb results. VERDICT The Sabertooth is a superb board to build your Sandy Bridge rig with. Its fast and overclockable.


Bigger. Faster. Hungrier.

WD VelociRaptor

®

10,000 RPM SATA Hard Drives The fastest SATA hard drive on the planet. 600 GB • SATA 6 Gb/s • 5-year limited warranty WD VelociRaptor is the next evolution in performance hard drives. It’s as hungry as it is fast with a killer combination of 10,000 RPM spin speed, SATA 6 Gb/s interface, 32 MB cache and a 600 GB appetite for data. An IcePack™ mounting frame keeps this little drive cool in even the harshest environments while WD’s rock-solid reliability ensures that this monster avoids extinction. For unmatched speed and reliability, let the WD VelociRaptor hard drive loose in your computer.

To find out more about the performance of the WD VelociRaptor, please visit our website: www.wdvelociraptor.com

Western Digital, WD, the WD logo, WD VelociRaptor, and Put Your Life On It are registered trademarks in the U.S. and other countries; and IcePack is a trademark of Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Other marks may be mentioned herein that belong to other companies. Pictures shown may vary from actual product. Not all products may be available in all regions of the world. All product and packaging specifications subject to change without notice. Warranty may vary by region. Visit support.wdc. com/warranty for details. © 2010 Western Digital Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. As used for storage capacity, one megabyte (MB) = one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes, and one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment. As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second (MB/s) = one million bytes per second, and gigabit per second (Gb/s) = one billion bits per second.


www.itp.net/reviews

DDR3 MEMORY KIT

42 HOT KIT

KINGSTON

HyperX T1

Timing is everything

PRICE $140 WEB www.kingston.com

-----

ANDROID SMARTPHONE

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Reviews

SPECIFICATIONS Dual-channel DDR3 memory kit, 4GB memory capacity, 2133MHz operating frequency

-------------

MICROMAX

Andro A60

Your budget Android smartphone PRICE $177 CONTACT +9714 447 3648 WEB http://www.micromaxinfo.com

-----

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS 600MHz processor, 2GB micro-SD card offered as standard (upgradeable to 32GB),

he HyperX T1 kit is designed for dualchannel systems such as those based on Intel’s recently released P67 chipset and AMD’s 890FX. Like other HyperX modules the two modules in this kit feature heatspreaders to help dissipate heat. They’re blue in colour, as we’ve seen before, and give the modules a height of 61mm from top to bottom. If you already own an oversized heatsink or are planning to get one, it’s worth checking to see whether or not the modules and heatsink will coexist. We fitted the two modules to our Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard and dialed in a memory frequency of 2,133MHz, a voltage of 1.65volts and memory timings of 9-11-9-27. The modules

T

at 9-11-9-27 memory timings, 1.65-volts operating voltage at 2133MHz, Intel XMP support, unbuffered DIMM, lifetime warranty.

icromax’s Andro A60 is an entry-level smartphone, which runs Android 2.1. Priced at US $177 it is by far the least expensive Android device we’ve tested to date. Like other Google-powered phones the A60 offers a touchscreen interface via a 2.8-inch LCD with a 240 x 320-pixel native resolution. Although this display feels slightly small by today’s standards, the benefit is that it uses less battery life. As a result the phone offered a battery life of one and a half days (not bad at all from a slim 1280MAH battery). The small screen also means that the device itself is compact and fits snuggly into even the smallest of hands. This makes holding the phone in one hand

M

2.8-inch touchscreen LCD, 3.2-megapixel digital camera, Bluetooth 2.1, Android 2.1 OS, one-year warranty. warranty.

ran flawlessly in our test rig at these settings but because the timings aren’t as aggressive as other HyperX modules, the T1 modules didn’t blow us away in terms of figures in our SiSoftware Sandra 2011’s memory tests. Upping the voltage slightly to 1.70-volts however, we were able to run the modules at 2,133MHz with slightly more aggressive timings of 9-9-9-27. Using the Sabertooth’s overclocking-friendly UEFI, we were able to push the KHX2133C9AD3T1K2/4GX modules to 2,250MHz using a voltage of 1.70-volts. At this frequency and voltage however we were unable to get the modules to run 100% stable at 9-9-9-27 memory timings and increasing the supplied voltage didn’t help. VERDICT Kingston's T1 kit provides decent performance for a very reasonable price tag.

and thumb-typing a cinch. The phone feels reasonably well built but in terms of feel it comes off a bit plasticky. The latter isn’t too much of an issue considering the price. The smartphone is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera but is devoid of a flash. We found pictures from the camera to be of reasonable quality but we would not advise its use in a badly lit environment. Video recording too is adequate. The phone features a 600MHz processor and a 2GB micro-SD card comes fitted in the device (expandable to 32GB). The former makes the phone feel a little sluggish compared to other moreexpensive 1GHz-based Android devices but it’s far from frustrating to use. VERDICT The Micromax A60 is a compact, well endowed entry-level Android device for first time buyers.


www.itp.net/reviews

SAPPHIRE

MINI PC EDGE-HD

More than matches up to its claims PRICE $408 WEB www.sapphiretech.com

-----

PCI-E GRAPHICS CARD

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS Dual-core Intel Atom D510 CPU with HyperThreading, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 512MB

ZOTAC

GEForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! EDITION

A mainstream monster PRICE $310 CONTACT +9714 886 3330 WEB www.zotac.com

-----

PERFORMANCE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY

-------------

SPECIFICATIONS PCI-E 2.0 interface, nVidia GeForce GTX 560 GPU running at 950MHz, 1GB of GDDR5

apphire says its Mini PC Edge-HD is a ‘fully featured PC for home or business use’. The Mini PC is well-named, the machine barely occupies any desk space. It is easily the slimmest Atom machine we’ve tested and weighing 530g, it is one of the lightest machines we’ve tested. Within its compact confines lie a power-packed set of components including a dual-core Intel Atom D510 processor that runs both its cores at 1.6GHz. This CPU packs HyperThreading technology and so can execute up to four threads simultaneously. There’s also a reasonable 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a nVidia ION 2 GPU with 512MB of dedicated video memory. That last component

S

nVidia ION 2 GPU, 250GB 2.5-inch Serial ATA hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 530g, four USB ports, one HDMI port, two-year warranty.

HOT KIT 43 gave the Sapphire serious muscle when it came to video firepower as using the right media player, we were able to watch 720p HD video without any dropped frames. At the same time the GPU was competent enough to tackle Street Fighter IV in high detail at 1280 x 720 pixels; it managed a framerate of 32.94fps making the game playable. Even when we ran the more intensive Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, we were able to attain playable framerates by reducing the quality of detail to medium. As an apps machine the Edge-HD impressed again, it managed figures of 2,033, 2,604, 2,491 and 5,375 in our PCMark 05 CPU, MEM, Graphics and HDD benchmark tests. VERDICT An ultra-compact nettop that packs enough firepower to tackle everyday apps and games.

otac has stuffed the GeForce GTX 560 GPU into no less than three cards with the GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition standing as the flagship. Being an AMP! Edition card the Zotac ships preoverclocked, so rather than having its GPU and memory running at 822MHz and 1,002MHz (4,008MHz effectively), the AMP! Edition’s parts are clocked at 950MHz and 1,100MHz (4,400MHz effectively). To keep the overclocked GPU and memory from overheating, the card is outfitted with an eye-catching high-performance cooler. The cooler is a dual-slot setup and so renders the slot just below the PCI-E x16 slot useless. The cooler while

quiet initially does get slightly more audible after about 20 minutes of continuous use. That said, in a closed PC, it can barely be heard. Unsurprisingly Zotac’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition was a rocket. In our DirectX 11 Heaven v2.0 benchmark the Zotac produced figures of 82.6fps, 56.8fps and 48.9fps at 1,024 x 768, 1,680 x 1,050 and 1,920 x 1,200 pixels respectively. Palit’s preoverclocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic managed figures of 78.6fps, 54.1fps and 46.5fps. Likewise in our H.A.W.X test, the Zotac belted out figures of 180fps, 125fps and 106fps to the Palit’s 172fps, 120fps and 102fps at the same resolutions mentioned above.

memory running at 4,400MHz, 384 Stream processors, two DVI ports, one Mini-HDMI port, nVidia SLI support, five-year warranty.

VERDICT Thanks to its supercharged internals Zotac’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition is a mainstream beast.

Z

WINDOWS MIDDL MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

NETTOP

Reviews


www.itp.net/reviews

44 BUYERS GUIDE

BUYERSGUIDE HOW TO USE THE GUIDE The Buyer’s Guide is a fully comprehensive guide to the best products that WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST has reviewed, and is intended to act as an effective resource for buyers of such products in the Middle East market. The Buyer's Guide is updated with new products each month, and out of date products removed.

Each of our ten product categories contains ten recommended product buys. For each product we’ve included vendor (or local distributor) contact details, our Windows Middle East overall rating, our verdict on the product and details of which issue we reviewed it in (alternatively you can find all our product reviews - in full - on www.itp.net). Each of the products shown scored either 4/5 or 5/5 in its respective review, so instead of listing products in score order we have arranaged these by price, with the most expensive at the top of the page. This makes it quick and easy for you to find the product you can best afford. We also offer advice on how to go about buying products within each particular product category. This gives you, the reader, the ability to make a better-informed judgment about what kit is suitable for your needs.

RATINGS EXPLAINED Awarded to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Awarded to products that offer you the most bang for your buck.

Awarded to products that offer impressive amounts of power and speed.

45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49

COMPONENTS DESKTOPS DIGITAL IMAGING HANDHELDS MONITORS NOTEBOOKS PERIPHERALS PRINTERS SOFTWARE STORAGE

AWARDS are basically presented to products for their outstanding performance and value. A Performance or Value winner must have received five stars in that particular category. An Editor’s Choice award goes to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.

FEATURES: What value-added features are included? Do they benefit the user? Are they innovative? PERFORMANCE: Does the product perform well? Is it quick? EASE OF USE: How user-friendly is the interface? Does it require expertise? VALUE FOR MONEY: Does the price represent a fair return on performance? DESIGN: Is the product well designed? Are buttons easy-to-access? Are ports and connections well-placed?

EXCELLENT VERY GOOD GOOD AVERAGE POOR

---------------------


www.itp.net/reviews

BUYERS GUIDE 45 Components Fractal Design Define R3 Medium tower ATX case

$381

Fractal Design’s amazing R3 is ideal for building a high-end rig with, thanks to its ample internal space and superb cooling setup.

Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic PCI-E graphics card

$339

Palit’s pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 560 monster provides ample mainstream DirectX 11 gaming performance.

Intel Core i7 980X LGA1366 six-core processor

$999

This super-chip features six 3.33GHz processing cores and a ton of cache memory. There’s simply no better choice for multi-threaded software.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Socket AM3 processor

$270

AMD’s Phenom II X6 1100T represents great value-for-money. It offers strong performance for a bargain price tag.

Zotac GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition PCI-E graphics card

RATING +++++ WEB www.fractal-design.com REVIEWED March 2011

TBC

The GeForce GTX 580 GPU is a marked improvement over its predecessor and should really have been nVidia’s first, high-end ‘Fermi’, rather than the GTX 480.

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

www.palit.biz March 2011

+9714 369 2666 www.intel.com May 2010

+9714 427 2626 www.amd.com March 2011

+9714 355 5520 www.zotac.com January 2011

Desktops $8,175

Yoyotech’s PC has oddles of character and packs some serious performance under its distinctive hood. The only real issue is its price tag.

BenQ nScreen i91 All-in-one PC

$517

While the nScreen i91 isn’t able to seamlessly playback Full HD content it is ideal for browsing the web dealing with e-mails and working on office applications.

International Computer Company ZAI Mid-range gaming PC

$1,200

An attractive machine that can tackle apps and games with ease thanks to a balanced set of internal components.

Sky Electronics Expeditor EXP - X980/6/80SSD/1TB/480X2/RV2 High-end gaming PC

$4,688

If you want butter smooth gaming framerates and wait-free application performance the Expeditor is the rig for you. It’s also very reasonably priced considering its high-spec components.

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 Barebones PC The ZBOX HD-ID11 is an impressive mini PC barebones that can be turned into a competent rig with the addition of the right components.

$209

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 800 344357 WEB www.yoyotech.co.uk REVIEWED June 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

+9714 299 1000 www.benq.com November 2009

+9662 664 446 www.zai.com.sa June 2009

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 266 3774 WEB www.skyelectronics.com REVIEWED July 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ +9714 355 5520 www.zotac.com September 2010

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Yoyotech FI7EPOWER MK3 High-end gaming PC


www.itp.net/reviews

46 BUYERS GUIDE Digital imaging RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 8400 WEB www.sony-mea.com REVIEWED January 2010

Sony Bravia VPL-VW85 Full HD projector

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED June 2010

Canon Legria HFM306 Full HD camcorder

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 364 8600 WEB www.samsungmea.com REVIEWED November 2009

Samsung ST550 12.2-megapixel digital camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED February 2009

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED December 2010

Canon IXUS 1000HS Digital cameras

$7,357

While the Sony isn’t exactly cheap at US $7,357 it actually offers a cost-effective solution if you’re looking for a way to go Full HD with a massive screen size.

$817

The Legria HFM306 offers high quality capture performance and ease-of-use. The only thing it lacks is a long life battery.

$354

The ST550 is an easy-to-use touchscreen digital camera that offers highly-detailed and colour accurate photographs. It also makes it very easy to take self portrait shots.

$3,133

An aggressively priced full-frame SLR camera that excels at producing high resolution images with little or no visible noise.

$408

The IXUS 1000HS is a decent point-and-shoot that can produce great photographs in the hands of amateurs and skilled photographers alike.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Handhelds RATING +++++ WEB www.blackberry.com REVIEWED September 2010

BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 Business smartphone

RATING +++++ WEB www.garminasus.com REVIEWED June 2010

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 Touchscreen smartphone

+++++

RATING WEB REVIEWED

http://ae.lge.com October 2009

RATING WEB REVIEWED

www.samsung.com September 2010

RATING WEB REVIEWED

www.motorola.com September 2010

+++++

+++++

$626

While the Bold won’t blow you away with its user interface, it is still a great smartphone with loads of features for an attractive price.

$700

The Nuvifone M10 boasts sharp, if unoriginal looks and some very useful GPS features. Great for on the go users.

LG KM900 Arena Touchscreen smartphone

$653

While the KM900 Arena offers solid features and a great looking interface, its touchscreen hinders overall usability.

Samsung Galaxy S Touchscreen smartphone

$735

The Galaxy S is a fantastic smartphone that’s fun and easy-to-use. The experience it delivers beats even Apple’s iPhone 3GS.

Motorola Milestone Touchscreen smartphone The Milestone is, quite literally, a solid phone with decent features. It just feels a little dated compared to other Android devices.

$681


www.itp.net/reviews

BUYERS GUIDE 47 Monitors Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD 24-inch LED LCD

$476

The LED-based SyncMaster FX2490HD is a flexible screen that excels at both work and play. It is reasonably priced as well.

Philips Cinema 21:9 56-inch LCD TV

$5,449

Although 21:9 content isn’t widely available as yet, the Philips is still worth having because of its impressive video-scaling.

LG Flatron W2261V 22-inch widescreen LCD

+++++ +9714 335 3666 www.philips.com December 2009

+++++

$195

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

$326

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

BenQ’s E2200HD has aged very gracefully and is now an even better value buy than when it was originally launched.

Acer S243HL 24-inch widescreen LCD

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

$217

The Flatron W2261V offers killer visuals, an elegant and attractive design and won’t necessarily break the bank. A great buy.

BenQ E2200HD 22-inch widescreen LCD

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 364 8600 WEB www.samsung.com/ae REVIEWED January 2011

An aggressively priced LCD screen that’s supremely capable in the visual department. An exceptional value-buy.

+9714 881 2191 www.lge.com September 2009

+9714 299 1000 www.benq.ae September 2009

+9714 805 6000 www.acer.com January 2011

Notebooks $600

Cash strapped buyers will appreciate the DM3’s aggressive price tag and, suave looks and strong overall performance.

FTS M2010 Netbook

$408

A handsome netbook that boasts quick performance and lengthy battery life. The M2010 is competitively priced too.

Asus U53JC Bamboo Collection Desktop replacement

$1,635

Although the Asus has a green element to it, this machine packs serious firepower at a very attractive price point.

Toshiba Qosmio X500-11G High-end desktop replacement

$2,479

The Qosmio X500-11G is a heavy-duty desktop replacement that can tackle applications and games without breaking a sweat.

Dell Streak Tablet PC The Streak is an amazing gadget that offers the functionality of a smartphone with almost all the everyday usability of a full-sized tablet.

$817

+9714 391 6000 www.hp.com/me August 2010

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 501 5716 WEB http://ts.fujitsu.com/ REVIEWED November 2009 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ +9714 299 3873 www.asus.com August 2010

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 881 7789 WEB www.toshibame.com REVIEWED August 2010 RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ +9714 391 1860 www.dell.com January 2011

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

HP Pavilion DM3-1340EV Budget portable


www.itp.net/reviews

48 BUYERS GUIDE Peripherals RATING WEB REVIEWED RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

Sansa Fuze +++++ Sandisk Media player

www.sandisk.com October 2010

$70

The Fuze packs mighty punch despite its low cost and compact size. It’s usable, sports loads of functions and features a memory expansion slot.

+++++ Imation LINK A / V Extender +9714 881 8008 www.imation.com February 2011

A competent device that allows you to broadcast HD content to your TV or monitor without the use of cables.

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++ Apple iPod Touch 64GB

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++ Belkin Washable Mouse

www.apple.com October 2010

+9714 391 7000 www.belkin.com March 2009

RATING +++++ WEB www.tdkperformance.com REVIEWED January 2011

$190

Audio video extender

$486

Media player The iPod Touch is a superb media player that’s capable of providing hours of entertainment either via content or the apps you put on it.

$32

Waterproof mouse Belkin’s Washable Mouse works as claimed, so you needn’t ever worry about buying a new mouse when the next liquid-disaster strikes.

TDK WR700 Wireless Headphones Headphones

$199

The WR700 Wireless Headphones offer excellent aural performance at a very reasonable price point. Highly recommended.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Printers RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

+9714 883 5878 www.brother.ae May 2010

+9714 204 5810 www.okime.ae September 2010

+9714 391 6000 www.hp.com September 2010

+9714 204 5810 www.okime.ae February 2011

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB www.canon-me.com REVIEWED February 2011

Brother HL-3070CW LED colour printer

$360

Lively performance, compact dimensions and flexible connectivity make the HL-3070CW a worthwhile buy.

OKI B411dn Monochrome laser printer

$360

OKI’s B411dn is ideal for small businesses thanks to its super quick print performance and wide array of standard features.

HP P1102w Monochrome laser printer

$323

The P1102w is well priced, is reasonably quick and sports built-in WiFi connectivity as standard. A solid buy for a SOHO or small business.

OKI MC361DN LED colour printer

$940

The MC361dn is the obvious choice if you have demanding print needs and require a fast and capable colour printer.

Canon PIXMA MG6140 Inkjet colour MFD With six ink tanks, a slick user interface and superb overall print quality, the Pixma MG6140 is a brilliant buy that won’t hurt your bank balance.

$231


www.itp.net/reviews

BUYERS GUIDE 49 Software Dr.Web Security Space Pro Security suite

$27

A competent security suite that’s best suited for advanced users who won’t miss interface eye-candy and loads of help.

ESET Smart Security Security suite

$69

While Smart Security lacks a very strong anti-spyware component it is very easy-to-use, packs a decent scan engine and a tough firewall.

Norton Internet Security 2011 Security suite

+++++ www.adaox.com March 2010

RATING +++++ WEB www.symantec.com REVIEWED February 2011

$40

RATING +++++ WEB www.kaspersky.com REVIEWED March 2011

$43

RATING WEB REVIEWED

Kaspersky’s latest security suite is easy-to-use, relatively light on system resources and is packed with accurate and useful security features.

IOLO System Mechanic 10 Utility software

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++ www.drweb.com March 2011

$42

NIS 2011 is a well designed package that offers superb protection from a variety of online and local threats. It also operates with almost no impact on system performance. An added bonus.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 Security suite

RATING WEB REVIEWED

Iolo’s System Mechanic 10 is a competent utility that can, in most cases, revitalise your rig. The software is very easy-to-use and doesn’t require any real expertise.

+++++ www.iolo.com Holiday Special

Storage $117

While pricey, the Ultimate offers lightning quick speed, making it much more usable than USB2.0 flash drives.

Hitachi XL Desk 1000 External hard drive

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 507 8888 WEB www.hitachigst.com REVIEWED October 2010

$440

RATING WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

+++++

Although performance hasn’t sky-rocketed compared to its predecessor, the second generation Intel X25-M SSD offers better value and reliability.

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 3.5-inch SATA hard disk

$329

The latest update to Western Digital’s VelociRaptor range brings higher storage capacities and better performance. It is the fastest Serial ATA spindle-based drive you can buy.

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5-inch SATA hard disk A top-notch 3.5-inch drive that boasts superlative performance and an enormous amount of storage capacity for a fair price.

+++++ +4401 932 738888 www.kingston.com November 2010

$80

The XL Desk 1000 offers 1TB of storage capacity, a three-year warranty and backup software for an unbelievable price. It’s a steal.

Intel 160GB X25-M SSD SSD drive

RATING CONTACT WEB REVIEWED

$261

www.intel.com October 2009

+9714 881 3234 www.wdc.com July 2010

+9714 881 3234 www.wdc.com February 2011

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 USB3.0 memory stick


www.itp.net/news

News

GAME ON 51

GAME ON NEWS RED FACTION SLATED FOR INTERNATIONAL RELEASE ON JUNE 3 Red Faction: Armageddon is set to intrigue gamers on May 31st in North America and June 3rd everywhere else. The red planet (Mars) is once again set to be the battlefield for the latest Red Faction release. The game’s current release schedule shows it hitting the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC platforms on the aforementioned release dates. “Red Faction: Armageddon is an incredible new entry in this vaunted franchise, and Volition once again pushes the envelope of technology and science fiction,” said Danny Bilson, Executive Vice President, Core Games, THQ. “Come May 31, players can look forward to collapsing entire buildings on their enemies, using the world as their weapon.” Red Faction: Armageddon builds on the science fiction franchise and picks up after the events in Red Faction: Guerrilla and the upcoming and much awaited ‘Syfy’ action movie, Red Faction: Origins. The protagonist, Darius Mason, will be able to visit everything from the frozen poles to the molten core of Mars to obliterate and eliminate the Red Faction’s greatest enemy yet. The game is built on the Geo-Mod 2.0 destruction engine that allows players to realistically use and destroy environments. In addition to destroying structures the player can also choose to rebuild structures with the Nano-Forge’s repair ability, thus giving the game a range of scenarios that have never been experienced before.

The forthcoming Mortal Kombat is turning into one heck of a game. The latest remake features Kratos from’ God of War’ and fans all over the world have been taken aback by the amazing trailers. Unfortunately when the game is finally ready for primetime, fans in Australia might be let down since the Australian Classification board has refused classification for the game, deeming it too gory and having "violence that exceeds strong in impact.” From what we at Windows understand, the fatalities are mostly to blame for the board’s refusal to classify Mortal Kombat. An extract from the letter of refusal is as below. ‘The game includes over 60 fatalities which contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment and other brutal forms of slaughter. Despite the exaggerated nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed. In the opinion of the Board, the game contains violence that exceeds strong in impact and is unsuitable for a minor to see or play. The game should therefore be Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(d) of the computer games table of the National Classification Code.’

INSANE 2 UNDER DEVELOPMENT Game Factory Interactive (GFI) based in Moscow, Russia have announced that ‘Insane 2’ the sequel to the popular off-road racing game Insane, is being developed by Targem Games under license from the original developers Codemasters. Insane 2 is the second title in the Insane series and features aggressive and challenging environments along with deadly rivals and loads of off-road vehicles. The game features 10 multiplayer and single player game modes and five different vehicle classes: 4x4s, SUVs, pickups, trucks and the extreme class. There are even three bonus cars. Insane 2 is said to feature 20 different locations filled with destructible objects that players can mow down with their vehicles. Players can also participate in different tournaments that test skills and off road prowess to the limits. There are different tournaments for each of the five classes of vehicle and you can configure your vehicle individually using different settings.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

NO MORTAL KOMBAT IN AUSTRALIA


www.itp.net/news

52 GAME ON

News

FABLE III PC LAUNCHING MAY 17TH

PRE-RELEASE RIFT REGISTRATIONS CROSS MAGIC ONE MILLION MARK Software giant Microsoft has finally confirmed that Fable III for PC will be released on May 17th in the US and May 19th in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. The game was supposed to launch in the last quarter of 2010 but when no announcements were made, PC platform fans panicked. No mention of a PC release was made even later at CES in Las Vegas, which was held earlier in the year. The PC version of Lionhead’s Fable III was supposed to ship out at the same time as the Xbox 360 release however Microsoft delayed the PC version under the pretext of having to ‘optimise’ it for the platform. Some changes outlined by Microsoft are: ‘Along with the same great content found in the Xbox 360 version, you also will be able to take advantage of the Limited Collector's Edition2 in-game digital content that includes a new quest, region, outfit and dog breed. In addition, players can try their hand at the PC-only hardcore mode, which offers a higher level of difficulty.’

Trion Worlds launched the first of its three announced online MMORPG titles, Rift on March 1st. The game seems to have garnered extreme interest as the prerelease registrations alone reached the one million mark. Registration was done through Rift’s website and one of the perks of pre-registering was an option to participate in Rift’s beta-testing phase. The fantasy based massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) was released for fans in North America on the 1st of March and subsequently Europe and the UK on March 2nd and March 3rd respectively. Gamers who pre-ordered the title were allowed to enter and access one of the game’s 33 head start servers. The game’s premise is that ‘rifts’ in space-time are throwing off the balance in the land of Telara, as well as threatening the fabric of the universe. Trion said that the world will be highly malleable, thus evolving into an ever changing landscape that will alter the world and open up new areas for exploration. These rifts can be triggered by players, or by the game's development team and can occur spontaneously. The game is available in three different packages, the first being the Standard offered at US $50. The digital Collector’s Edition and the retail Collector’s Edition however are priced at $60 and $80 respectively. There is also a $15 monthly subscription charge with the first month being included in the purchase price of the game. Trion also offers a $10 monthly price for those who want to commit to six-months of gameplay, as part of the ‘Founder’s Pricing’ plan.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

EA AND MAD CATZ INK DEAL At the start of the year we received news that Epic Games and Mad Catz signed a deal that would allow Mad Catz to bring Gears of War themed accessories to retail at the time the game releases. It seems that Mad Catz has now signed a similar deal with Electronic Arts. According to what the guys at EA had to say, the deal grants and allows Mad Catz non-exclusive rights to manufacture and market a wide range of PC and console accessories based on the popular ‘The Sims’ franchise. There was no mention made of what kind of

accessories Mad Catz would be producing for The Sims, but the company said it plans to design and create accessories for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo’s 3DS. The latest Sims title, The Sims Medieval, was released for the PC and Mac on March 22nd. In this game players have to create heroes, go out on quests and build and control a kingdom. The Sims Medieval allows players to control kings, queens, knights, bards, blacksmiths and wizards. Quite a change from the hum drum Sims of yesteryear.


Al Hosani Computer LLC Official Distributor in the Middle East and West Asia 1703 BelResheed Tower, Buhaira Corniche,Sharjah, UAE Tel. +9716-575-444-3, Fax +9716-575-444-9 www.alhosanime.com, Email: sales@alhosanime.com


www.itp.net/reviews

54 GAME ON

Bulletstorm

n the gaming world new IPs (Intellectual Property) are few and far between because developers worry that gamers won’t take to new IPs. Thus most developers choose to develop games around existing IPs (Gears of War etc) that have already struck a chord with gamers. This leads to IPs being ‘milked to death’ so when we heard that developers Epic Games and People Can Fly were working on a new IP last year, we were thrilled. Bulletstorm is the new IP of course and lets not mince words, it’s brilliant. Before moving on however it’s worth mentioning that this game carries an age rating of 18 and after playing through the campaign, twice, we’re in no doubt that it completely deserves its high age rating. The game takes place in the 26th century and follows the exploits of space pirate Grayson Hunt and his highlytrained and lethal Dead Echo squad. Although originally serving the Confederation of Planets as a secret black-ops team, Hunt and company go AWOL when they realise they’ve been betrayed into killing innocents by their commanding officer. The back story is revealed in a prequel mission that sets up the rest of the game for Hunt and his team. Like other games we’ve tried recently Bulletstorm doesn’t really let you settle in slowly but rather throws you right into the thick of the action just minutes after you begin. While you can initially only use the standard Peacemaker Carbine and your boot to kick enemies into oblivion, you’re soon given access to the EnergyLeash and a variety of other deadly weapons. As its name suggest the Leash is made up of energy and like all the other weapons in the game, there are two attack modes. The first is a simple pull attack that latches on to an enemy at range and pulls him towards you. The second more devastating attack is the ‘Thumper’. This unleashes a ball of explosive energy that rises and then comes crashing down on the battlefield and sends

I

XBOX

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

✪✪✪✪✪

Price: $73 Controller: Xbox 360 controller Best Bit: Tons of Skillshots to discover with each of the game’s different weapons. They’re violent and extremely satisfying to perform and watch. Verdict: Bulletstorm is a fantastic FPS title that can easily go head-to-head with all the established IPs. It’s a visceral, senseassaulting game that will engage you with its single- and multi-player components.


www.itp.net/reviews

Depending on the difficulty level you play on you’ll find yourself coming across hundreds of foes on the battlefield. Thankfully, Trishka and Ishi pack a mean punch as well

Bulletstorm isn’t just about mindless killing, it’s about killing in the most skillful and brutal way possible. Our personal favourite is shooting enemies in the throat with the Peacemaker Carbine

You can use the environment to your advantage in Bulletstorm; if you see an enemy standing precariously close to a grinder or a furnace, don’t waste your bullets, just kick him in

There are mini bosses and then there are full-sized bosses. The later can prove quite challenging to take down, trust us when we say this

GAME ON 55

everything (enemies, explosive crates etc.) into the air. Hunt can then kill enemies in the air to gain vital ‘Skillshot’ points. Skillshot points are awarded based on how imaginatively and brutally Hunt does away with foes with whatever weapon he uses. With lethal weapons such as the Peacemaker Carbine, Flailgun, Bouncer Canon, his equally lethal boot and the superb EnergyLeash, there are hundreds of Skillshots to discover and earn. The trickier the Skillshot you pull off, the more points you get to resupply and upgrade your weapons. If you perform a standard kill on enemies you gain a minimal amount of Skillshot points and this ultimately will limit your primary and secondary ammo and upgrades. And while you can still complete the game just doing the bare minimum, it’s not nearly as fun as going Skillshot crazy. The game’s core mechanics are properly sorted so there’s little to complain about. Using each of the weapons is straightforward and we never ever noticed any oddities (invisible walls etc protecting the baddies) when we engaged in battle. The game’s physics are topnotch too so objects behave in a realistic manner; while you may be able to leash a small enemy towards you, you won’t be able to do the same for larger bosses for example. The only issue we had in terms of gameplay is that the movement isn’t always fluid. While you’d expect that you’d be able to run towards an object or even walk up to it and jump over it in one swift motion for instance, the reality is that you have to actually stop and position yourself so that you get the prompt to hit the jump button. There's not much in the way of a cover system either and this can be annoying (and get you killed in serious battles). Visually Bulletstorm is a spectacular game that generates amazing environments and breathtaking views, while also providing superb explosions and fantastic animation. There are times where we just stared in awe at what the game was throwing us because we couldn’t believe the Xbox 360 was capable of generating these visuals at fluid, framerates. The only weak spot in terms of visuals is that up-close facial animation looks a little lifeless. On the audio front Bulletstorm is without flaw. The script while full of profanity, toilet humor and worse is voiced to perfection by Steve Blum as Grayson Hunt, Jennifer Hale as Trishka Novak and Andrew Kishino as Ishi Sato. Enemy characters also have their own distinctive voices and effects and, as you’d expect, there are proper rock music tracks to urge you through most of the game. The sound effects attached to each weapon are also sublime and the howls and screams of enemies as you systematically take them apart, are both visceral and satisfying. Our only real problem with Bulletstorm is that it lacks a cooperative campaign mode. Considering the storyline is played with at least one AI controlled teammate from start to finish, we simply don’t understand why the developers omitted this. We can imagine it being easily one of the best cooperative experiences on offer by a FPS title today.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Bulletstorm


www.itp.net/reviews

56 GAME ON

Killzone 3

iven how strong Killzone 2 was on the PlayStation 3 when it was released back in 2009, we didn’t think it was possible forr developer Guerrilla Games to possibly improve on it. Boy were re we wrong. Killzone 3 is the fourth installment in the long running first stt person shooter (FPS) series and it is by far the crowning jewel of the series. Killzone 3 continues the story about the war raging between the e Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) and the Helghast. The game opens from the he e point-ofp view of two Helghast soldiers who arrive at Stahl Arms Corporation on n and are eventually taken to execute a captured Jason Narville. After a surprise r rise turn the story jumps back six months and the insanity begins. As before Killzone 3 is a seriously sorted shooter in terms of its core gameplay and mechanics. There are no annoying issues that get g in the way of the action so you can focus on killing your way through ug gh the complicated storyline. With its latest release Guerrilla Games have h dialed the action up to insane levels and the one thing this game does d exceptionally well is create memorable battles. Whether you’re taking k king on a huge boss or fighting hordes of soldiers in a seemingly no-win scenario, c cenario, the battles will stick with you long after you’ve completed the campaign. mpaign. These epic battles simply belittle almost every other game in terms of sheer he eer shock and awe value. Killzone 3 brings back some of the best weapons from its predecessor and throws a number of new butt-kicking ones into the mix, such as the StA5X Arc Cannon and the StAX3 W.A.S.P Launcher. The There’s no shortage h hortage of weapons former is a riot in tight in Killzone 3. Some of them are corridors where enemies werful and will kill insanely powerful are charging towards man or machine with ease you in single-column-

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

G

PS3

✪✪✪✪✪

Price: $79 Controller: PlayStation 3 controller, PlayStation Move Best Bit: Massive battles that will shock and stay with you long after you’ve completed the game’s reasonably long and complicated campaign. Verdict: Killzone 3 one ups its predecessor in almost every way, it packs a memorable single-player campaign and seriously addictive multiplayer.


www.itp.net/reviews

Killzone 3

GAME ON 57

formation, whereas the latter is an awesome fire-andforget weapon that homes in on its targets, when using its primary fire mode. As before most of the weapons pack a secondary fire mode that alters the way the weapon functions and fires. Unlike its predecessor and games like the recently released Bulletstorm (also reviewed in this issue), Killzone 3 packs an offline split-screen co-operation mode for two players. This mode allows you to run through the entire campaign and considering the immense action that Killzone 3 offers, it's a fun and welcomed addition. The only issues we have regarding the co-operative mode are that it’s local only, so you can’t play with a friend via the PlayStation Network, and during our co-operative jaunt, we noticed a few

T AI in Killzone The 3 will keep you on y your toes. They’ll d dodge, flank and tteam up with b buddies to try and w wipe you out. They ccan shoot well too

framerate drops when the action got intense. ffram This could either be related to game coding or the T PlayStation 3 hardware struggling to tackle what’s Play P happening on screen. hap h Besides its co-operative mode Killzone 3 packs B a number of different competitive modes; Guerrilla nu Warfare, Warzone and Operations. There’s also a War W Botzone option that allows you to setup a multiplayer Bot B match mat against AI controlled bots. This is another useful m addition that most modern titles lack and while it add a may m not be as fun as engaging in combat with other players, it is a good distraction for when you either play p can’t ca c an play online due to a lack of friends or an iffy Internet connection. IIn nte Of O all the competitive modes on offer we found

Do you feel a chill running down your spine? Killzone 3’s graphics will immerse you with its awesome effects and sheer level of detail

shadows change in realtime in relation to the way the sha s sun’s sun rays peaked through the clouds was a magical s experience. The in-game animation is brilliant too; it’s exp e easily eas some of the best we’ve seen on any gaming e platform. Since Killzone 3 also supports stereoscopic plat p 3D 3 those with 3D-ready TVs will be able to enjoy some serious depth perception and visual effects. Aurally seri s the t game suffers ever so slightly owing to the voice acting; at times it lacks emotion and so fails to convey acti a the t severity of the situation to you in a believable way. On O the other hand the sound effects on offer such as weapon fire hitting enemies, explosions and sound wea given give off by the game’s various weapons are easily on par with the best Hollywood has to offer.

The body and parts count in Killzone 3 is astronomical. You won't have a moment of silence here

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

Killzone’s bread and butter are its strong shooting mechanics and seriously badass weapons. If you’re an FPS person you’ll love this game

Warzone the most fun though the newly introduced Operations mode is also capable of providing decent entertainment for hours. The reason the game’s competitive multiplayer is so much fun is because of the various special abilities and weapons that are offered via the five different player classes. The fact that you can also upgrade abilities or gain access to more weapons depending on how you perform combined with the already strong basic shooter elements give Killzone 3 serious polish in terms of what it offers on the multiplayer front. Visually Killzone 3 is easily one of the best looking titles on the PlayStation 3 today. It will blow you away with its highly detailed war-torn environments and stunning ambient visual detail. The first time we saw


www.itp.net/reviews

GAME ON 59

Cricket Power

PC

Price: $4.99 Controller: Keyboard and mouse Best Bit: Exceptionally easy to get into. This is not a game with a steep learning curve or convoluted and complex controls. Verdict: Cricket Power is a reasonable cricket sim that captures the essence of the real game in a package that’s inexpensive and easy-to-play.

CRICKET POWER

ricket Power is the official ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 video game. Unlike most current PC-based games on the market this title is entirely browser-based and is published by Abu Dhabi-based Karkadann Games. Being browser-based Cricket Power is easy to setup and play. You just need to visit www.cricketpower.com where the game can be purchased and downloaded currently for just US $4.99. After an initial download of just 100MB and a quick install process, Cricket Power is ready to run. Since this is the official game of the World Cup a lot of care has gone into making sure that the characters look as close to their real counterparts as possible. The 3D visuals are decent for a browser-based simulator and both the stadium and playing field look quite

C

sharp. On the flip side the spectators looked like a single mass of moving graphics but considering the size and nature of the game, we weren’t particularly concerned with this. On the audio front the game is somewhat basic however in that while there’s a fair racket coming from the spectators, there’s no commentary at all. The game has an up-to-date roster of real-life players and when playing with them, you’ll be able to spot the subtle differences in terms of play-style and level of aggression. In Cricket Power batting is quite a satisfying experience. It’s also something that doesn’t require a lot of player skill in that most batsmen can handle a lot of the bowlers’ tactics and techniques with very little in terms of player input. Don’t get us wrong though, you can still be bowled out by

a bowlers’ signature ball or ‘Yorkers’. The key element in terms of batting is making sure your timing is right (just like the real thing). Time it right and you’ll easily be able to belt out massive amounts of ‘fours’ and ‘sixes’. On the flip side miss-timing shots could lead to your player being ‘bowled out’ or ‘caught out’ on a poor shot. As for bowling there is a lot you can do in Cricket Power. Your individual bowlers’ skill levels count for something but you also control the seam, swing and spin they put into their bowling. The tactics that we enjoyed included bowling a few ‘bouncers’ and ‘wides’ to frustrated batsmen, inducing them to play aggressively. This too adds a proper sense of realism to Cricket Power because this sort of thing is exactly what takes place on real cricket grounds around the world.

Considering its price and browserbased design Cricket Power delivers some decent visuals

Details count and Cricket Power is right on with players and even the sponsors for the World Cup

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

✪✪✪✪✪


www.itp.net/competitions

60 REGULARS

Competitions

COMPETITIONS… As always the Windows team has worked to ensure you have the chance to win some killer, high-tech kit. For your chance to win, just follow the instructions below...

VIRTUAL VIOLENCE BULLETSTORM When working on this issue we had two reasons to smile. The first was because our friends at Electronics Arts dropped off our review copy of Bulletstorm - a game that we have been dying to play ever since we saw the outrageous Youtube videos (read our full review on page 54). The second, more important reason was because Electronic Arts also gave us three copies of the game to give away to you, our loyal readers. Bulletstorm is a new IP and right from the geto-go this FPS will set your heart racing. Gamers take on the role of Grayson Hunt who is leading his team of highly trained operatives on a quest for revenge against their former commanding officer. What follows is a plethora of mind boggling firepower, an insane body count, unbelievable boss battles and a heady mix of profanity and toilet humour. This is certainly not a game for young gamers, or the faint of heart. That said, you can be certain of one thing – this is the FPS of the moment. For a chance to win a copy of Bulletstorm visit www.itp.net/competitions and answer this easy question: Who is the protagonist in Bulletstorm? Is it:

a) Graying Hunt b) Jack Hunt c) Grayson Hunt

BULLET BARRAGE

MP3 MANIA SANDISK SANSA FUZE+

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

IC MUSTER MAS

In collaboration with our friends at Sandisk, Windows is giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Sansa Fuze + 8GB MP3 player. Not only is this device sleek and pocket-friendly but thanks to its 8GB storage capacity you can store your favourite songs and movies, along with a couple of audio books and pictures. It’s your one stop multimedia guru that lets you take your life with you, anytime, anywhere. Its super-bright 2.4-inch colour screen delivers vivid visuals whether you’re watching a movie or looking at still images and, like most of Sandisk’s MP3 players, the Fuze+ easy to interact with. The Sansa Fuze + is also capable of playing FM radio stations and functioning as a voice recorder to record that important interview, a shopping list or just the latest toe tapping track playing on the car radio. As you’d expect the Fuze+ sports a USB2.0 port that you can use to transfer content and charge the player. For a chance to win this awesome MP3 player visit www.itp.net/ competitions and tell us the answer to this poser: What is the

capacity of the Sansa Fuze + that Windows Middle East is giving away? a) b) c)

4GB 8GB 6GB


www.itp.net

62 REGULARS

CD contents

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

OUR PICK OF WINDOWS CD

AVANT BROWSER

ARIA FOR WINDOWS

CLUB DJ PRO VJ

A very customisable alternative to many current browsers. Being based on the IE rendering engine it is effective yet not as staunch as its parent. Avant renders pages super fast and comes pre-loaded with 24 skins and tabbed browsing. You can move around the toolbar, hide the status and customise your search bar. Avant also offers an automatic form filling feature that can make life easier.

Aria offers three different modes. The first is the DJ mode, which enables you to play and mix music and videos. Next up is the Scratch mode that allows users to scratch tunes and videos with a mouse or trackpad, making it super simple for you to look like a professional. Finally, Aria features a Karaoke mode that allows you to purchase tunes from a Karaoke store.

A fun to use mixing application but it's one that has a bit of a learning curve to it. A heady dose of tutorials will reap satisfying benefits however and once you know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing, the interface becomes intuitive and transparent. With support for dragging and dropping song and movie files to the two different decks, you'll be able to produce stunning sets that'll make you look like a pro.

360 AMIGO SYSTEM SPEEDUP FREE This app is for those of you that feel your system has been underperforming. It features a wide array of optimisation tools and an error repair utility that allows for considerable quickening of your ailing PC. The suite consists of a system cleaner, system optimiser and PC performance boosting tweaks, all of which when run can make your PC seem like a well-oiled machine.


www.itp.net

REGULARS 63

CD contents

TO PI P CK

HOW TO USE THE CD BROWSER Place your CD in your PC’s CD-ROM drive. If you have disabled autoplay, double-click ‘CDBrowser’ on the CD instead. When CD Browser starts, six buttons will appear listing software categories. Click a category and the software titles will appear in the left window. Simply choose which title you wish to view and click its name. Program details will appear along with three buttons: Install runs the installation program, Website takes you to the vendor’s site, and Screen displays a larger image of the software in action. In the middle of the window is also an option to change the CD browser’s skin.

CD 169: AWESOME SOFTWARE HOME CREDIT CARD MANAGER A freeware tool designed with the objective of helping users track their credit card spends and overall expenses. The program is especially useful in these difficult financial times, and allows one to be prudent when it comes to spending their hard-earned money. The interface is easy-to-use and you simply have to start by entering the name of your credit card, following which the program creates a database for the expenses made on that particular card. Next the user has to enter their statement balance, all transactions and payments made towards the card. This data allows Home Credit Card Manager to work out the amount left to be paid off on your card. The program even generates reports and yearly totals and comparisons against other credit cards on the market. A powerful tool and one that's useful for spendthrifts.

INTERNET

GAMES

AVANT BROWSER 2010.130 PICTURE DUDE IMAGE UPLOADER 1.2.5.72

ATMOSPHIR 1.0 MARVEL SUPER HEROES MELEE EDITION 4

MULTIMEDIA

ESSENTIAL FILES

ARIA FOR WINDOWS 1.1 CLUB DJ PRO VJ 5.1.5.5

ATI RADEON HD 5000 SERIES DRIVERS (WINDOWS 7 32-BIT) NVIDIA GEFORCE 400 SERIES DRIVERS (WINDOWS 7 32-BIT) JAVA RUNTIME MICROSOFT ACTIVESYNC 4.2

UTILITIES 360AMIGO SYSTEM SPEEDUP FREE 1.2.1.5500 SPEEDUPMYPC 2011

PRODUCTIVITY HOME CREDIT CARD MANAGER 3.0.101216 PDF SPLITTER 1.5 INTERNET

Avant Browser 2010.130 der 1.2.5.72 Picture Dude Image Uploa

MULTIMEDIA ARIA for Windows 1.1 Club DJ Pro VJ 5.1.5.5

UTILITIES

up Free 360Amigo System Speed 1.2.1.5500 SpeedUpMyPC 2011

PRODUCTIVITY3.0.101216 ger Home Credit Card Mana PDF Splitter 1.5

GAMES Atmosphir 1.0 Edition 4 Marvel Super Heroes - Melee

ES ESSENTIAL FILdriver s ATI Radeon HD 5000 series (Windows 7 32-bit) drivers nVidia GeForce 400 series

Marvel Super Heroes Melee Edition is one game that you won’t find yourself stopping playing anytime soon. It features a lot of the Marvel Super heroes who are pitted against each other in a Street Fighter-style showdown. Your super hero of choice has to make it through the different fights against other characters to earn the title of being the best among the group. Spider Man, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers are a few of the characters that can be played in this Melee Edition of Marvel Super Heroes. The game features 20 different locations, six new stages and a total of 40 Marvel characters, 15 of which are all-new and were not present in the original game.

(Windows 7 32-bit) Java Runtime Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2

on nt Avant Browser is based ded more than 20 differe ultra-fast. It comes preloa lar highly customisable, and a browser also has a modu d browsing. This gem of sting feature of skins, and supports tabbe ation controls. An intere navig and w ut witho windo h toolbar with a searc for forms and bookmarks, data d nalise perso your fillers just have to be Avant is that it can save means that automatic form who feel users For . forms an additional plug-in. This the ability to auto-fill future , you just might find what filled in once to allow you other browsers, try Avant let down and bored of using you’re looking for. www.itp.net

ation April 2011 An ITP Technology Public

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Windows Middle East free CD, which contains programs and applications, is provided as a free service to readers of Windows Middle East magazine for personal use. You may not rent, lease, assign, re-sell or otherwise transfer the rights to anyone for any product contained on this CD. The contents of the CD-ROM are provided as is, and although every effort has been taken to ensure the disk and contents are virus and defect free, Windows Middle East, nor The Information & Technology Publishing Co. Ltd., accept liability for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this CD-ROM or the programs on it. We recommend that you make a back-up of all your data before installing any of the software on this CD. Windows Magazine does not provide technical support for this CD-ROM or the programs on it. If your CD-ROM is physically defective, please return it to Reader Services, P.O. Box. 500024, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, so we may issue a replacement.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

MARVEL SUPER HEROES - MELEE EDITION 4

SER AVANT BRtheOW engine, however it is Internet Explorer rendering

169


www.itp.net

64 REGULARS

Logging off

LOGGINGOFF RACING ROBOTS Osaka, Japan held the world’s first ever marathon for two-legged robots. The participants were five androids that were approximately knee-high and waved and flexed before the race. The robots were expected to take four days to finish the 42km track which consisted of 423 laps of an indoor track, however a little after two days from the start, Robovie-PC won the marathon. The close win against his rival Robovie-PC Lite, came as quite a surprise since the latter managed to garner a comfortable lead only to be outdone when he faltered a few laps before the end. There was a one-second difference between first and second place. Robovie-PC stands 40cm tall with a gross weight of 2.4kg. The robots travelled at an approximate speed of 0.77km/h and the organisers maintained that the race was not about speed but endurance. The strict rules allowed battery packs and motors to be changed by their operators but if the robot fell down, it had to get up by itself, without any external assistance. The end of the marathon saw both robots wave their arms and bow to an ecstatic crowd of enthusiasts. The organisers expect that this Robot marathon will be the first of an annual challenge for all robots and their enthusiastic manufacturers.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST APRIL 2011

SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY RETIRES Nearly 30 years after its initial launch, NASA have launched the shuttle for a final mission in Space. The Space Shuttle launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on the 24th February 2011 at 2150 GMT. Discovery made its first voyage in 1984 and was one of the three operational orbiters that NASA used in its Space Shuttle fleet. In total it clocked 352 days in orbit and circled the Earth 5,628 times. It has also taken the largest number of crew to space and back, at a record 246 crew members. After years of International Space Station assembly missions and various research missions, Discovery is now the oldest orbiter in service spanning 39 journeys to space and back, and will be retiring after the February 24th launch. The final flight carried a six-member crew on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station, for the delivery of a science rig, a storage module and spare parts. Its cargo also comprised of Robonaut 2, a high-tech robot assistant that will be permanently stationed at the International Space Station for various duties. Another of NASA’s orbiters, the Endeavour would also be put out of service after its final launch scheduled for April 19th.

EGYPTIAN FATHER NAMES BABY FACEBOOK An Egyptian man overwhelmed with the role Facebook played in gathering demonstrators against ousting of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, has decided to name his first born daughter ‘Facebook’. The man was eager to express his gratitude for the role the social networking site played in the revolt against the Egyptian government that started on the 25th of January. The full name of his child is Facebook Jamal Ibrahim and friends and family have gathered with the newborn to express their support for the successful revolution that started on Facebook. At the peak of the revolution 32,000 Egyptian groups and 14,000 pages popped up. Facebook has five million users in Egypt alone, which is the highest number of users in the Middle East. After President Mubarak resigned on the 11th February, graffiti artists spray painted ‘Thank you Facebook’ on walls across Cairo. As for little Facebook, she has received throngs of gifts from supporters and youngsters who were happy because of her unique name and the unique role the site played in the toppling of the ex-government.


Windows Middle East - April2011  

Windows Middle East - April 2011 - ITP Technology