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April 2nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Sapphires Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard pictured Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphires-pure-platinum-z77motherboard-pictured/15425.html April 2nd, 2012

With less than a week to go until the official launch of Intel's new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphires upcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared and one thing is certain, it's not the same board as the one that was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. The Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of motherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with to date and one of the first boards from the company that we'd seriously consider owning. With less than a week to go until the official launch of Intel's new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphires upcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared and one thing is certain, it's not the same board as the one that was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. The Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of motherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with to date and one of the first boards from the company that we'd seriously consider owning. This time around it's the little things that make a big impact and compared to the Pure Platinum Z68 it almost looks like Sapphire has found itself some new engineers. For starters the board mostly use regular chokes instead of the ones with small heatsinks cut out of the top, alongside various other changes to the general PCB layout. Visually the biggest change is the heatsinks and we have to give credit where credit is due, as the new heatsinks look so much better than what Sapphire has used to date. The MOSFET heatsinks are connected via a small heatpipe, whereas the chipset heatsink appears to be screwed in place rather than using plastic push-pins.

Sadly the colour scheme is still fairly un-coordinated and could do with some work, but it's really a minor issue. The Pure Platinum Z77 sports a rather unusual slot layout, as it has no less than four x16 PCI Express slots, yet it doesn't have a bridge chip of any kind. This is done by splitting the 16 lanes from the CPU into a x8, x4, x4 configuration for the three blue slots and the grey slot is connected via four lanes to the chipset. The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots, but these are inaccessible if more than two graphics cards are being used. The only reason this kind of configuration works is because the board has very few peripheral chipsets. In fact, we've only been able to spot two. Unlike its previous motherboards, the Pure Platinum Z77 sports a Qualcomm Atheros Ethernet controller, but Sapphire has also kitted out the board with one of the new Killer NIC E2200's, the same chip used by Gigabyte on its G1.Sniper 3 board. The board also sports the standard six SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports and whatever else comes courtesy of the Intel chipset. Sapphire has added a POST80 debug LED, Voltage readout points, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons and a manual BIOS switch.

The rear ports are made up out of a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1


April 2nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

7.1-channel audio, an optical S/PDIF out and a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector. The people from Sapphire we spoke to at CeBIT didn't sound too optimistic about Sapphire's upcoming motherboard models, but the Pure Platinum Z77 is a big step in the right direction for the company. It's not a mind blowing product, but it's at least a competitive product that has been given a much needed facelift in terms of the heatsink design. We'll have to wait and see what else the company has in store for us, but we know that they're working on at least a B75 motherboard and potentially also that Pure Black Z77 model, although we have a feeling that might have been canned by now.

Intel's H77 media creation motherboards pictured in detail Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-h77-media-creationmotherboards-pictured-in-detail/15424.html April 2nd, 2012

Last week we posted some detailed pictures of Intel's upcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you the H77 models. This time around we have one ATX board, one mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewing pleasure. Last week we posted some detailed pictures of Intel's upcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you the H77 models. This time around we have one ATX board, one mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewing pleasure.

Moving on we find the mATX DH77EB and although it comes with an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot, it has space for a second mini PCI Express slot just below the x16 PCI Express slot, so it's possible Intel will have multiple SKUs of this board. The rear connectivity is almost the same as the DH77KC, with the exception of a missing PS/2 port.

Going in order of size, we start with the DH77KC which as we mentioned shares the same PCB as the DZ77SL-50K, but this time around you actually get some features for your money. Nothing much appears to have changed since we wrote about the specs for this board back in February, but compared to the DZ77SL-50K we're missing one power phase and the heatsink on the MOSFETs. That said, the board has gained an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot as well as a DVI port and a DisplayPort connector, as well as a full set of audio jacks with an optical S/PDIF out.

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The third and final model is the DH77DF which is a pretty feature packed little board. Intel seems to be pushing its mSATA SSD's for caching pretty heavily as even this tiny board has an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot and judging by the board layout, it only just fitted as Intel has only allowed for one screw to hold down the card, rather than the usual two. Around the back no big changes have taken place, but one thing we noted was the fact that Intel has added a pair of high current USB 2.0 ports which as far as we know should deliver 1A and as such allow for faster charging of certain mobile devices. Rather unusually for a product these days, Intel has also kitted out the DH77DF with FireWire connectivity.

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As long as you're not interested in overclocking, Intel's H77 motherboards aren't half bad. In fact, we'd say that these models are far more impressive than Intel's Z77 motherboards which appear quite poorly equipped to take on the competition, something we can't really say about its H77 models.

Intel's upcoming 7-series chipsets priced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-upcoming-7-series-chipsetspriced/15423.html April 2nd, 2012

When it comes to official pricing, Intel isn't a very imaginative company, for better or worse. Pricing details of the upcoming 7-series chipsets have been revealed and they mostly look the same as for the current 6-series of chipsets. When it comes to official pricing, Intel isn't a very imaginative company, for better or worse. Pricing details of the upcoming 7-series chipsets have been revealed and they mostly look the same as for the current 6-series of chipsets. First out are the Z77, Z75 and H77 chipsets which are priced at US$48, US$40 and US$43, exactly the same as for the Z68, P67 and H67 chipsets. That said, our understanding is that the pricing to the motherboard makers differs from Intel's official pricing and in as much as the Z68 chipset pricing was lower than anticipated about a year ago, we're hearing that the price difference between the Z77 and Z75 chipsets might not be as high as the official pricing is suggesting. This is also the main reason as to why there have been so few Z75 motherboard announcements. Alongside the already mentioned chipsets, Intel's B75 chipset will launch at US$37, the same as the little used B65 chipset. This time around there appears to be vastly more interest from the motherboard makers and once again actual pricing seems to be someway off the official list price, as we're hearing it's closer to the H61 chipset which has a list price of US$30. Intel will launch these four chipsets on Sunday, but depending on where you live, you might already be able to get your hands on a motherboard based on them.

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Come May the 13th – which is not a Friday – Intel will officially launch the Q77 chipset at US$44 and Q75 chipset at US$40, again identical pricing to the Q67 and Q65 chipsets. These models are intended for use in desktop system for the corporate and business sector and comes with a wide range of features for remote management and security that the consumer SKUs lack.

Etron starts shipping its first USB 3.0 flash drive controllers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/etron-starts-shipping-its-firstusb-3.0-flash-drive-controllers/15422.html April 2nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone April 2nd, 2012

Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720 or codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, two GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internet connection, according to sources close to the company. Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720 or codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, two GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internet connection, according to sources close to the company. VG247 cited anonymous sources claiming that the new console will effectively be “like two PCs taped together,” thanks to the inclusion of two GPUs and a powerful processor.

Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flash controllers at CES, but only now has the company started to ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB 3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while still offering decent performance.

The exact specs are not yet known, but the GPUs are believed to have horsepower equivalent to an AMD 7000 series chip. They won't employ CrossFire or SLI, but will instead work independently to render graphics simultaneously.

Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flash controllers at CES, but only now has the company started to ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB 3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while still offering decent performance. The EV268-series of two and four channel USB 3.0 flash drive controller ICs should start to appear in various retail products over the coming months. Both models support SLC, MLC and TLC NAND flash built on 3xnm and 2xnm technology. Transfer speeds of up to 230MB/s is possible with the four channel controller and fast enough flash memory, but it's likely that we'll see much more modest speeds until fast flash memory comes down in price. Digitimes is reporting that the global flash drive market is around 80-100 million units a year – we don't know how many of these products are promotional material, but we'd expect it to be at least half – and although it's not a highly profitable market to be in as far as USB 2.0 flash drive controllers are concerned, the USB 3.0 flash drive market is still in its infancy. Etron is hoping to help transition consumers towards USB 3.0 flash drives, but the company recons that for this to happen, the price difference between a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 flash drive has to be less than US$2. We have a feeling that more USB 3.0 equipped computers would also be needed, but that's a problem that's slowly but surely solving itself.

Microsoft's Xbox 720 to feature six-core CPU, two GPUs, Blu-ray, and more

The CPU is expected to have between four and six cores, one of which will be reserved for the OS, and another for the Kinect. Of course, if a Kinect does not come bundled with the main console and players don't buy one separately this could mean that one core is going to waste. However, the report suggests that the new Kinect will come as standard and may actually be built into the console in some manner. The device will also apparently come with a Blu-ray player and will require users to have an always-on internet connection, designed to stop piracy of games. This supports early reports that Microsoft is abandoning physical games and won't allow players to use pre-owned games. The Xbox 720 is expected to release around Christmas 2013, a year after the release of Nintendo's Wii U console.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-xbox-720-to-feature-sixcore-cpu-two-gpus-blu-ray-and-more/15421.html

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Samsung officially launches display business spin-off Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-officially-launches-displaybusiness-spin-off/15420.html April 2nd, 2012

Samsung has officially launched Samsung Display, its spun off display business, which became the world's largest display manufacturer overnight. Samsung Display held its inauguration ceremony yesterday, attended by over 350 employees, and will begin business operations tomorrow, 3 April, after its incorporation registration is approved.

Published by: VR-Zone

clear what these platforms are, but we expect they will be available on mobile operating systems, PCs, and possibly as downloads on Xbox Live and on other consoles. "I am happy to say we are going to roll out a weekly animation series this year of short format content," said Nick Dorra, head of animation at Rovio. "It's a great way for us to connect with our existing fans, to give them more and keep them engaged. But it's also important for acquiring new fans because not everyone might want to play the game or is not able to play the game. We want to offer people different points where they can interact and experience our characters."

Dr. Donggun Park, EVP and former head of Samsung's LCD business, has been named as CEO of the new company. Park has been with the company since 1983, before it entered the display market, and has led the company's LCD business since July of last year.

Rovio is also working on an Angry Birds film, set for release in 2015 or later. No details about this project are known and it is likely that the studio is waiting to see how people respond to the animated series before investing too much in this area. The company brought in revenue of 22.7 trillion Korean won ($20 billion) in 2011 when it was still Samsung's LCD division, and with more than 20,000 employees and five production facilities throughout the world, it is now the top producer of displays. Samsung's foray into the display market began in 2011 with research and development, but over the years it has quickly become not just a major contender in the market, but the leading maker of displays. Now that Samsung Display is working as a separate company it can continue to focus on growing and maintaining its dominance in the industry.

Rovio to make Angry Birds animated series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rovio-to-make-angry-birdsanimated-series/15419.html April 2nd, 2012

Game developer Rovio is turning its popular Angry Birds games into an animated series. The studio is working on 52 short cartoons for release on a variety of platforms, beginning this year. It is not yet

The game studio bought Finnish animation firm Kombo in 2011, when it announced it was first considering an animated series. Given the style of the artwork employed in the games and the popularity of Angry Birds merchandise, a series like this could really work and help broaden the appeal and popularity of its birds versus pigs franchise. Rovio also hinted that this new approach to Angry Birds will affect its games in future. It said its focus will be less on flinging birds at pigs and more on the characters and their adventures, suggesting that story will become a key part of future games.

Samsung Galaxy S III (i-9300) to Launch in 2-5 Weeks, Immediate World-Wide Availability Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-i-9300-tolaunch-in-2-5-weeks-immediate-world-wide-availability/15417.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

April 2nd, 2012

The question now stands - can Samsung Galaxy SIII beat the iPhone 5 in number of units sold during 2012?

It is rumored that Samsung will launch Galaxy SIII superphone at the Samsung Unpacked event (May 22). However, we've been told that the launch is being moved forward, with immediate world-wide availability (excluding USA, which will follow in Summer 2012). A lot of ink, both virtual and physical was spent on speculations what the specifications of one of hottest smartphones, or "superphones" will be. Samsung i9300 or Galaxy SIII was originally planned to launch on May 22, 2012 at the Samsung Unpacked event, but it looks that Samsung moved forward the date when the new smarphone will be released. Furthermore, the new Galaxy SIII will follow with almost immediate retail availability in APAC and EMEA, with North America to follow. Samsung allegedly decided to enter the European market ahead of the American market due to a multiple sports events that will take place throughout summer.

Samsung is a major sponsor of Olympics 2012 and one of their largest competitors, SHARP - is the key sponsor of Euro 2012. However, Samsung and its marketing agencies are preparing to blanket the airwaves with Samsung Galaxy SIII taking the key place with telco partners such as Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile. First and foremost, Galaxy SIII will be advertised with soccer players from Samsung-sponsored clubs (not country representatives, as Samsung has no rights for EURO 2012), and then those ads will be replaced with Olympics 2012 signage. The phones will be in stores during early weeks of May, and we expect a major push. Remember, rumored specifications cite a 4.7" HD Ready (1280x720) Super AMOLED+ display, quad-core Exynos processor ticking at 1.5GHz, 1GB of system memory and 16-32GB Storage (expandable to 64GB with microSDHC cards). When it comes to connectivity, it was originally rumored that the Galaxy SIII will only support LTE at 700MHz (US Market). That however, is not true. Galaxy SIII will support LTE over European 1800MHz band as well, which is the reason why the European telecoms are eager to get as much units as possible.

Sony and Panasonic to use LG's 3D technology in their TVs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-and-panasonic-to-use-lg-s-3dtechnology-in-their-tvs/15416.html April 2nd, 2012

With LG having great success in their 3D TV sales in China and North America, it is no wonder Japanese electronics companies Sony and Panasonic, who are struggling in this market segment, have opted to incorporate LG's 3D technology into their future line of TVs.

According to Nho Seok-ho, head of LG Electronics’ LCD TV division, Panasonic and Sony have plans to expand their lineup of 3DTVs this year, and that their upcoming models will use LG’s 3D technology. There is a battle for 3D technology supremacy, between LG's Film Pattern Retarder (FPR) and Samsung's Active Shutter. And it seems that LG has an advantage over its rival as it is more affordable to the battery-powered glasses, though in terms of visual 3D quality, it is still very much debatable. Sony has rarely mentioned that it has been selling 32- and 42-inch 3D TVs with film-patterned 3D technology in China since this year, while Panasonic is relying more on LG for 3D screens for many of its TV models. The Korean manufacturer is also planning to add a 60-inch model to its 3D TV lineup of a 65and 72-inch set in June.

DeNA and Walt Disney to bring mobile social games to users worldwide Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dena-and-walt-disney-to-bringmobile-social-games-to-users-worldwide/15415.html

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April 2nd, 2012

cards with Marvel characters developed by Marvel and fight against enemies.

D-Link DIR-605L mydlink Cloud Router Review Japan’s leading mobile social gaming platform operator DeNa and Walt Disney company have jointly announced that they will be bringing mobile social games to users worldwide, through DeNA Group’s Mobage social gaming platform.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-dir-605l-mydlink-cloudrouter-review/15411.html April 2nd, 2012

D-Link offered their mydlink cloud services last year and it allow users to effortlessly access, share, view and control the mydilink-capable devices on their home network from anywhere, at anytime. The company has also made the products as simple to set up as they are for use. Simply attach them to your network and associate them to a mydlink account; it's that simple. The DIR-605L is an entry level wireless router for the consumer market, and is one of the few wireless routers that features mydlink cloud services.

Dena and Walt Disney have recently launched their first jointly-developed social game, Disney Party, last week in Japan, which serves over 35 million users in the country. The two companies planned to launch their second title "Disney Fantasy Quest" today and the third title based on Marvel Comics characters this summer. According to reports, localized versions of Disney Party, Disney Fantasy Quest and the Marvel-based title are also scheduled to launch after July on the Mobage networks outside Japan - in North America, Europe, China and South Korea. The three titles will be DeNA’s first jointly developed titles to be released outside of Japan and both companies are considering development of new titles for worldwide market in future. Disney Party is a free-to-play social game for mobile phones and players can organize parties and decorate their interiors with various "gifts" that will attract Disney characters. When the characters pay visits, players can greet or take photos with them, which can be shared with other users. Optional virtual items are available for purchase though. Disney Fantasy Quest is a social card-collection game whereby players collect cards of popular characters from Mickey and Friends, princesses and other Disney series to compile “magic books” in a quest to make the world happier. The title is also free-to-play with optional virtual items for purchase. The Marvel-themed game is slated to be a free-to-play social card-battle game where players collect

The front side of the router has the LED indicator for power, wireless, WAN and LAN

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some fans when it revealed that player-versus-player (PvP) combat would not make it into the launch version. Another Blizzard blunder involved a community manager telling players to lower their expectations of the game, a claim that was countered by the game's director, Jay Wilson. Today's announcement, however, shows that the game must remain in a very uncompleted state, and Blizzard is wellknown for its reluctance to release projects that it is not happy with.

The rear side of the router has a pair of 5dBi fixed diapole antennas, four LAN ports, a WAN port and a power jack.

The DIR-605L is powered by a Realtek RTL8196C SoC and a Realtek RTL8192CE 802.11b/g/n 2T2R WLAN System on a Chip (SoC). It also has 32MB of RAM and 4MB of flash memory.

Blizzard delays Diablo III release until next year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-delays-diablo-iii-releaseuntil-next-year/15413.html April 2nd, 2012

Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcoming hack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will be delayed until next year, due to unfinished features. Edit: April Fools :) Edit: April Fools :) Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcoming hack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will be delayed until next year, due to unfinished features. After 11 years in production, the company finally announced a release date of 15 May a few weeks ago, but angered

“No one likes to disappoint players,” said Wilson. “We take great pride in the millions of fans of our games throughout the world. However, we also want to deliver a quality product. We feel that by pushing back the release date into 2013 we can create a game that fans will truly enjoy, one that will be remembered for many years to come.”

Some of the features that are expected to go back into the game include PvP, an as yet unnamed class thought to be a mix of the other classes, a command option to access the admin features of the game, and a World of Warcraft character import feature. The latter is believed to be an attempt to boost falling subscription numbers for the company's popular MMO title. Blizzard did not hint at exactly when it expects to release Diablo III, whether it is early or late 2013. It could even surprise fans and announce a pre-Christmas 2012 release, but given the scope of some of the planned features, we would not be surprised if it was further delayed. Fans will just be hoping that the game does not become the next Duke Nukem Forever, the ill-fated title that spent 15 years in production thanks to numerous delays. We did a survey of one Diablo fan and found that 100 percent were unhappy with Blizzard's decision. We can't say we blame them.

Intel quietly unveils its new 7-series motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-quietly-unveils-its-new-7series-motherboards/15410.html

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April 2nd, 2012

As for the DZ77GA-70K, well, beyond the specifications we've already mentioned, the pictures do reveal some additional features, although thanks to Intel blanking out the text on all the peripheral chipsets on the board, it's a little bit hard figuring out what they all are. It appears that the additional SATA 6Gbps ports are via Marvell's second generation SATA 6Gbps controllers if we're not entirely mistaken and there also appears to be a PLX PCI Express bridge chip on the board. Amusingly it seems like Intel's motherboard division has run into the fact that the company's chipset division doesn't like adding a sufficient amount of PCI Express lanes to it chipsets and as such had to add the PLX bridge.

With just over a week until the official launch of the Z77, H77 and B75 chipsets, Intel has posted details of its upcoming motherboards on its website. Generally Intel motherboards aren't all that much to get excited about, but the new Skulltrail board, known and the DZ77GA-70K looks better than what we've been used to see from Intel. We'll take a quick look at Intel's Z77 models in this article and follow up with the H77 and B75 boards in a separate post. We've already given you all the technical details of these boards back in February, but sadly we lacked pictures to go with the specifications back then. It's all good and well to read a spec sheet, but it doesn't give you a full impression of a product in the same way a picture does. Intel also appears to have changed the model names slightly and we have no idea what the 70K in the DZ77GA-70K model name stands for, but its higher-end sibling is now known as the DZ77RE-75K, so it seems like Intel is trying to bring in a higher number equals better scheme for its motherboards, just as it has done for its CPUs. The DZ77RE-75K and the DZ77GA-70K shares the same PCB and largely the same feature set with the major difference being that the DZ77RE-75K will sport Thunderbolt support. However, as Intel's Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt chipset isn't quite ready as yet, it looks like this model will launch later in the year. Looking at the PCB of the DZ77GA-70K on can clearly see a missing chip just left of the topmost x16 PCI Express slot and a missing connector right next to the audio jacks.

Power and reset buttons are also present, alongside various LED's and four 4-pin fan headers, hardly generous on a board in this price range, but at least they all support PWM fans. The VRM design appears to feature 10 phases, plus two additional phases for the IGP. Most of the VRMs are covered by a large heatsink, with a smaller one covering the topmost part, but there's no heatpipe to be seen here. The unusual positioning of the HDMI port is also an interesting feature in itself, as you don't see too many boards with a vertical HDMI port. Intel will also supply a front USB 3.0 bracket with the board and a RazerZone discount voucher. Overall no big surprise on a whole, but at least it confirms our earlier specs were indeed correct.

Moving down a to the Media series we find the DZ77BH-55K which compares quite favourable to the DZ68DB that it slots in above. Again, we've already covered the specifications for the DZ77BH-55K and its sibling, the DZ77SL-50K back in February, although back then the DZ77SL-50K was called 9


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the DZ75SL, but it seems like even Intel decided it was pointless making a Z75 chipset motherboard.

The DZ77BH-55K is still adorned with heatsinks, albeit a fair bit smaller than the ones on the DZ77GA-70K. The advantage here is that you get an extra SATA port over your average Intel motherboard, although Intel has dropped the x4 PCI Express slot of the DZ77GA-70K in favour of a regular x1 PCI Express slot. There's no need for a PLX bridge chip on this board, due to the reduced feature set. Oddly enough the reset button is missing, but there's at least a power button on the board. For those looking at taking advantage of Intel's integrated graphics, the good news is that the DZ77BH-55k has an HDMI port as well as a DisplayPort connector of which the latter wasn't mentioned in our earlier specifications.

All four models, at least as soon as the DZ77RE-75K launches, will come with a copy of LucidLogix Virtu Universal, McAfee Antivirus Plus and Splashtop remote desktop. The DZ77RE-75K and DZ77GA-70K will both come with Intel's new Visual BIOS at launch, a feature the other models will get later in the year.

ASMedia is aiming for Thunderbolt compatible solutions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asmedia-is-aiming-for-thunderboltcompatible-solutions/15409.html April 2nd, 2012

What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intel's Thunderbolt standard. Updated with a correction from ASMedia What can only be called a very recent addition in the world of peripheral IC makers, ASMedia has quickly made a name for itself, thanks to in to small part to its USB 3.0 host and device controllers as well as its SATA 6Gbps controllers. Now the company is said to be aiming to product solutions that are compatible with Intel's Thunderbolt standard. The DZ77SL-50K is something of a peculiar beast, as just as with the DZ75SL that it was once intended to be, it only has a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, but there's an open ended x4 PCI Express 2.0 slot on the board, as well as a x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot and three PCI slots. A very peculiar board layout to say the least, at least until you realise that it shares the same PCB as the DH77KC. The shared PCB doesn't mean that the two boards are identical, as the DZ77SL-50K is quite a feature light board. Changes from our previous specs of this boards include the loss of the mini PCI Express slot, but most of the other features seems to remain unchanged, except possibly the audio outputs which now only appears to offer 5.1-channel audio without the optical S/PDIF out. We're not entirely sure why anyone would go for this model, as it makes very little sense compared to the DZ77BH-55K or for that matter just about any other Z77 motherboard.

Digitimes is reporting that ASMedia's president, Lin Che-Wei said that the company is planning to produce Thunderbolt compatible peripherals for the second half of this year, but sadly no details as to the specific types of devices were revealed. So far, Intel hasn't seemed to be very keen on sharing the Thunderbolt specification with anyone, but we've been hearing rumours for quite some time that the company is considering opening up the peripheral chipset end of the standard. Even so, Intel will remain the sole manufacturer of the host side chipsets and as we've reported several times already, the company appears to be having some issues getting its upcoming Cactus Ridge chipset out the door. In addition to whatever Thunderbolt compatible chips ASMedia is working on, the company will continue to 10


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make USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps solutions. Both Seagate and Western Digital are using ASMedia's SATA to USB 3.0 bridge chips in their external hard drives and this is where ASMedia is likely to be making its biggest sales when it comes to USB 3.0 chipsets once the third party host controller market dies down. ASMedia was planning on making a new host controller, but in the end decided that it wasn't a worthwhile endeavour due to more and more motherboard chipsets featuring integrated USB 3.0 support. We'll make sure that we catch up with ASMedia at Computex in June for a closer look at what the company is working on. Update: After contacting ASMedia about their so called Thunderbolt solution which Digitimes reported about last week, we were informed that the reporter at Digitimes got things somewhat mixed up. What ASMedia was in fact saying, is that their SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 controllers are all going to be compatible with Intel's Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers. The company is also working on some higher-end SATA solutions for external RAID enclosures that will work over Thunderbolt, as well as in NAS and DAS type devices and of course directly on motherboards as a high-end version to the ASM1061 SATA 6Gbps controller.

iRiver set to launch touch enabled B100 PMP Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iriver-set-to-launch-touch-enabledb100-pmp/15408.html April 2nd, 2012

By now the market for PMP's have to have shrunk to one that's barely worth making new products for, although a dedicated PMP still has one advantage over your average smartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash its B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and with 36h battery life for music playback and a touch screen interface, there might still be some takers. By now the market for PMP's have to have shrunk to one that's barely worth making new products for, although a dedicated PMP still has one advantage over your average smartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash its B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and with 36h battery life for music playback and a touch screen interface, there might still be some takers. Sadly it looks like iRiver hasn't been pulling out any stops with the B100 as it sports a fairly mundane 480x320 resolution display that measures a measly 3.1-inches. On top of that the B100 only comes with 4 or 8GB of built in memory, but there's at least a microSD card slot to make up for this. The rest of the "features" on offer include an FM radio, a mini USB port, a built in microphone and a headphone socket.

The B100 supports MP3, WMVA, OGG, FLAC, APE, ASF and WAV audio files which is at least a fairly comprehensive range. On the video side of things –where the B100 offers up to 8.5h of playback time – you're looking at MPEG1/2/4, WMV7/8/9 and H.264, although it only supports simple profile or advanced simple profile MPEG4 files and baseline profile H.264 files, so no high quality content. It does handle all standard containers though, such as AVI, WMV, MP4, ASF, 3GP, MOV, MKV and M2TS, but video resolution is limited to 720x480 at no more than 30fps. As far as supported audio formats in combination with video, the selection is fairly meagre as the B100 inly supports MP3, WMA, WAV and AC3. It's also possible to display JPEG, BMP, PNG and GIF images on the B100 and it can also handle PDFm EPUB and TXT files. The B100 will initially be sold via Japanese website Rakuten with the 4GB version coming in at 11,800 Yen (S $179) and the 8GB versing at 13,800 Yen (S$210), so not exactly cheap for what you get. The glory days of iRiver seems to have passed and we can't say that the B100 makes us want to run out and buy a PMP, even though it's far from the worst device of its kind that we've seen.

Most desktop Ivy Bridge systems won't support three displays Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/most-desktop-ivy-bridge-systemswon-t-support-three-displays/15407.html April 2nd, 2012

Despite the fact that Intel has been banging its drums about support for up to three displays on the upcoming 7-series motherboards in combination with a shiny new Ivy Bridge based CPU, this isn't likely to be the case. The simple reason behind this is that very few, if any motherboards will sport a pair of DisplayPort connectors. For most people this isn't likely to be much of an issue, but if Intel delivers on its graphics performance claims for Ivy Bridge, we have a feeling that at least some people will 11


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want to connect additional displays via the ports on the motherboard. Add Lucidlogix Virtu MVP software in the mix which allows for discrete graphics card signals to be routed via the motherboard display connectors when extra 3D power is needed, as well as being combined with the Ivy Bridge GPU for an extra performance boost and maybe we've found a slight flaw in the motherboard makers plans. The issue to this specific problem is that Intel has moved away from TMDS support and towards the DisplayPort standard. However, Intel has only incorporated two PLLs and although this isn't an issue for DisplayPort connected monitors, it's a whole different matter when we're talking TMDS interfaces like DVI and HDMI, as well as of course good old analogue output. So if a motherboard maker was to make a board with three DisplayPort connectors – or one eDP interface with regards to notebooks – one of the three displays would be able to have a resolution of 2560x1600 and the other two would still be able to work at 1920x1200, due to the fact that they share one PLL. Once we start throwing in other interfaces things get complicated, as TMDS and analogue interfaces don't like sharing PLLs. As such on a system where both the DVI and HDMI ports are used – or if the D-sub connector in lieu of one of the other two interface – no third display can be attached. The problem is that the DisplayPort interface is far from commonplace and as such most motherboard manufacturers have opted for more traditional interfaces. The chart below will hopefully help to clarify things slightly, even though it's somewhat confusingly laid out.

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The shared PLL would still be able to drive DVI and HDMI displays at resolutions of up to 1920x1200 without a problem and the DisplayPort would be able to drive a 2560x1600 display. Of course, the other approach of using DP++ would've been to include passive adapters and equipped a motherboard with mini DisplayPort connectors, something most recent graphics cards support. The end result would've been the same as above, but less space would've been taken up by the connectors at the rear of the motherboard. We're still not sure about DP++ support when it comes to the DisplayPort connector on the upcoming 7-series motherboards, but we've asked some motherboard makers about it and we're waiting to hear back from them with regards to this. In the world of notebooks things are slightly different, as here the built in display could be connected via the eDP interface and as we have yet to see a consumer notebook with a higher resolution than 1920x1200, the issue of sharing a PLL isn't really an issue. We're not entirely sure what the limitations are on displays with a higher refresh rate than 60Hz, or for 3D content, but Intel is supporting HDMI 1.4 so we have a feeling that this would force a limitation of two displays regardless of the interface used. Hopefully all of this has proven to be of some use. Despite the fact that Intel actually supports up to three displays via the IGP in its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, it looks like various limitations is at least for the time being preventing three displays from being used. Once Thunderbolt equipped motherboards arrive, this could potentially change, at least if the Thunderbolt equipped motherboards also sport a DisplayPort interface as well as a DVI, HDMI or D-sub connector. At the end of the day, the easy way around this problem is to connect your displays to a graphics card, but as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are finally some good reasons as to why you'd want to use the ports on the motherboard.

Facebook working on social search engine to rival Google Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-working-on-social-searchengine-to-rival-google/15406.html April 2nd, 2012

The entire DisplayPort issue is a bit of a chicken and egg problem, as due to a fairly limited availability of DisplayPort equipped monitors, the motherboard makers don't want to add the connector, but without the connector being more commonly available; it's unlikely that we'll see a lot more DisplayPort equipped monitors. That said, it seems like the monitor makers are finally starting to catch on and hopefully we'll see more DisplayPort equipped screens this year. A relatively easy way around this problem would've been to take a leaf out of the graphics card makers' book, specifically Sapphire which has been making quite a few cards that implements Dual-mode DisplayPort or DP++ as it's also known as. What Sapphre has done is to take the low-cost compenents used in a passive DP++ adapter to turn a DisplayPort signal into a TMDS signal and as such an extra DVI port has been usable on its cards. The motherboard makers would be able to use the same passive components for the shared DisplayPort PLL to drive both a DVI and an HDMI port on the motherboard, without any real limiations.

Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements to its as yet untapped search engine, with the project being spearheaded by a former Google engineer. Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements to its as yet untapped search engine, with the project being spearheaded by a former Google engineer. Bloomberg cited anonymous sources at the company, who revealed that Facebook is hoping to make it significantly easier to search through status updates and shared content, as well as anything that has been “liked” using Facebook's buttons across the web. The project is being worked on by 24 Facebook engineers, led by Lars Rasmussen, an ex-Google employee, hinting at the rivalry between the two internet firms. 12


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The move is largely seen as an attack on Google's dominance in the search engine market, a retaliation to Google's entry into social networking last year with Google+, which many people see as the biggest threat to Facebook.

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The changes come as the Fair Labour Association (FLA) found that there were a number of violations of Chinese labour laws, including working too many hours and not getting paid for overtime work, a stark contrast to its initial hints that Foxconn conditions were good.

Google+ already has a fairly advanced search feature, leaving Facebook to rely on a partnership with Microsoft for Bing search results, which has not been fully explored or monetised. Facebook remains the dominant social network, however, and if it can develop a true social search engine that takes advantage of the huge amount of user content and data at its disposal it could become a major feature that helps retain its users and steal back some lost to Google.

Apple and Foxconn agree worker condition improvements Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-and-foxconn-agree-workercondition-improvements/15405.html April 2nd, 2012

Apple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working conditions in Chinese factories after an independent investigation found a number of labour law violations. Apple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working conditions in Chinese factories after an independent investigation found a number of labour law violations. As part of a new agreement, Foxconn, which assembles iPhone and iPad devices for Apple, will cut illegal overtime, improve safety protocols, upgrade housing and amenities for workers, and hire thousands of new staff across the board to make up for lost work. The maximum working hours will now be 49 per week, including overtime, down from the over 60 hours per week that an average Foxconn employee works when factories are at peak production. Wages will remain the same, but they have already been increased several times since a series of suicides caused scandal at the company and damaged the reputation of Apple. Some employees are not happy that wages are not rising, however, as low pay was the reason they worked insane hours in the first place.

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, visited Foxconn factories recently, an event widely seen as an attempt to show that Apple took this problem seriously. It appears that it was not just for show, however, and the company has managed to secure improvements at the Foxconn plants. Some analysts believe that this change could rock the entire industry, with many companies relying on cheap labour in China and other countries in order to cut costs and maximise profits. These firms may be forced to follow suit, improving the working life of many people, but hitting the bottom line for these multi-billion dollar technology companies. In fact, Apple is far from the only company employing Foxconn to manufacture and assemble electronic equipment. Amazon, Dell, HP, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba are among a large number of big names that outsource to the Chinese company's factories. There is undoubtedly still room for improvement at Foxconn plants, but this decision will go a long way to improving working conditions and showing the industry that product innovation should not come at the price of ignoring the wellbeing of staff, no matter who they are or where they work.

BlackBerry maker RIM denies consumer market exit claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-maker-rim-deniesconsumer-market-exit-claims/15403.html April 2nd, 2012

Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry smartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoning 13


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the consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quote out of proportion. Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry smartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoning the consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quote out of proportion. After an abysmal quarter, where the company lost a whopping $125 million, CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIM would refocus on enterprise and stop trying to be all things to all people. Understandably, news outlets throughout the world interpreted this as meaning that RIM was planning to leave the consumer market, where it has been struggling for some time against more popular Apple and Android devices.

However, Patrick Spence, managing director of Global Sales and Marketing, said that RIM “remains committed to all of our customers (consumer and enterprise),” adding that reports of a consumer market exit were “wholly inaccurate.”

The HTC One X features a a polycarbonate unibody that has a unique matte exterior at the rear, while the sides are of a glossy "piano" finish. Because of its unibody design, the phone battery is not removable, and the micro-SIM card tray is at the top; together with the 3.5mm audio jack and power button. On the left is the microUSB connector while the volume controls are on the right.

BlackBerry is planning some new BB7 devices this year before the release of its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system, which it might license to rival manufacturers in an effort to bring in more revenue. The company still has potential in the enterprise market, where it will be putting its primary focus, but with how bad things have been going, we wonder why it considers the consumer market an option for it at all.

HTC Asia launches One X in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-asia-launches-one-x-insingapore/15341.html April 2nd, 2012

The HTC One X is one of the Android smartphones that was announced at the Mobile World Congress last month. And today, the phone has officially landed in Singapore.

The phone sports a 4.7-inch 720p touchscreen display with durable Corning Gorilla Glass, has three touch-sensitive buttons below the display (back, home, and recent apps) as well as 1.3-megapixel front camera and on the rear, an 8-megapixel with LED flash that can record videos at full high definition 1080p resolution. It is equipped with the new 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor and runs Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The company has incorporated the latest HTC Sense 4.0 UI that offers improved user experience, though it 14


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has "quietly" removed the People Hub and OnLive apps. HTC has also improved their Music Hub as it is now a onestop place for your playlist as well as online streaming radio stations; you can add your favorite streaming sites to the list too.

This 9.7-inch tablet runs a 1024 x 768 IPS display not unlike the iPad 2 and TouchPad with a 1.3MP camera, 4GB storage (+ SD Card slot) and a thickness of 9mm. One would hope the U.S. release will come with a serve of Ice Cream Sandwich, but I certainly wouldn't be counting on it.

RIM admits defeat in consumer smartphone space The camera function has also seen some advancements. In capture mode, both the camera shutter and video record onscreen buttons are available immediately rather than the need to switch between modes. According to HTC, even when you are already in video recording mode, you can still choose to snap still images at any time, though the image resolution will be that of the video. The camera can also shoot in continuous burst mode, up to 100 images at a time. The HTC One X has a suggested retail price of S$898 (before contract), and will be in stores from 2 April. The model that is selling here is not 4G-capable; the 4G version will only be using dual-core processor and there is no news as to whether it will come to Singapore. (Not that Singapore has widespread 4G network yet).

ViewSonic's ViewPad 10E hits FCC's database, coming to the U.S. soon Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-s-viewpad-10e-hits-fcc-sdatabase-coming-to-the-u.s.-soon/15402.html April 2nd, 2012

Following availability in limited parts of the globe post its initial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonic's VS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to be coming to the states soon with an entry appearing via the FCC's database that tends to indicate the item's presence on store shelves within a few weeks. Following availability in limited parts of the globe post its initial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonic's VS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to be coming to the states soon with an entry appearing via the FCC's database that tends to indicate the item's presence on store shelves within a few weeks.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-admits-defeat-in-consumersmartphone-space/15401.html April 2nd, 2012

Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it will recede from most consumer markets due to Apple and Google dominating most of the market share - nothing unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it will be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primary strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers. Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it will recede from most consumer markets due to Apple and Google dominating most of the market share - nothing unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it will be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primary strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers. RIM's CEO Thorsten Heins said, "We plan to refocus on the enterprise business and capitalize on our leading position in this segment. We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody's darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength." Yesterday RIM also said that co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from its board as well as David Yach, chief technology officer for software and Rim Rowan, chief operating officer for global operations both leaving after some acute management manouvres.

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Windows Phone future roadmap, the company has been divided into two. The "next billion" strategy would rely on the company's Series 40/Asha department to fulfil, though Android devices may pose a threat with the cutting of prices to cater to the emerging markets. The Nokia N9 was said to be the first and last MeeGo device. And it looks to be a pity for the company to just call it quit on future MeeGo development, especially with its favorable reviews and acceptance in the market.

Intel's Haswell to push the desktop PC CPU packaging frontiers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-haswell-to-push-the-desktoppc-cpu-packaging-frontiers/15399.html April 2nd, 2012

There is no denying that BlackBerry retains a strong foothold in the corporate smartphone market with the phones being renowned for their security and reliability and a lot of business customers depending and trusting in them for their portable email needs. RIM's BlackBerry 10 OS seeing delay after delay hasn't helped them at all and the hype on this one is also minimal with general knowledge being that BlackBerry drags its feet a little in the performance stakes, particularly when running third party apps. The particularly sad thing is that even in the business realm BlackBerrys are slowly losing their share in the market with more employees requesting iOS or Android-running phones these days. In all, things are looking pretty grim for this once top tier player in the smartphone market. It's all about iOS and Android these days, with a sprinkle of Windows Phone in between.

Nokia to release two low-end MeeGo phones? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-release-two-low-endmeego-phones-/15400.html April 2nd, 2012

Got used to the simple packaging migration from LGA1156 to LGA1155? Intel's next generation - Haswell - is widely expected to up the ante in the PC CPU packaging excellence, and offer a spread of choices For a typical mainstream or mid-high end desktop user, Intel's CPU packaging policy was pretty clear: the LGA1156 socket for Nehalem and Westmere based quadcore processors was replaced by LGA1155 socket for the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generation, and then the LGA1150 socket (another five pins or, more correctly, holes, gone) will come for the Haswell and Broadwell processors in 2013. So, every microarchitecture has its own socket and the associated chipset and board platform that, with the BIOS updates and reasonable advance design fixes allowing easy upgrades, should also span the extra process shrink within each microarchitecture - about a 2 year lifespan.

The Nokia N9 was the first MeeGo phone to go to market last year. But after that, the Finnish company said that it would focus on Windows Phones. While Nokia had gone quiet for many months with regards to the development of new MeeGo devices, rumors had it that the manufacturer could be launching two low-end MeeGo phones.

While keeping one package and socket standard for its microarchitecture, there's much more to Haswell than just the outside package. Namely, Haswell will have more than one die variant, as discussed here before. For the desktop, the usual dual core and quad core die choices are obvious, just like they were on the Sandy / Ivy Bridge. However, there is the third and the most exciting die choice here, which we also covered: the very high end quad core plus GT3 graphics with an additional L4 cache die, very likely an eDRAM large cache (16+ MB) connected via a separate backside bus to the main CPU die.

According to reports, Nokia may be launching two new low-end MeeGo smartphones to accomplish their "next billion" strategy. The so-called "next billion" strategy can be attributed to the billions of users in the emerging markets Nokia is targeting with its affordable mobile phones, with the majority of these users being based in China. And the company is looking to maintain its leadership position in this market. Last year, when Nokia has announced their

The purpose of this cache wouldn't be just minimising the bandwidth contention between the CPU and GPU, both more powerful than before here, for the usual dual channel DDR3 memory - of course, that is still a very important factor, since even DDR3-2500 dual channel can't easily satisfy both CPU and GPU together. That cache, after some thinking, could also deliver the extra sustained bandwidth 16


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for the AVX-enabled high throughput floating point, with extra FMA (Fused Multiply Add) that comes in Haswell and doubles the peak FP execution rate. To truly double the actual obtained FP rate, the extra memory bandwidth is needed and, in absence of higher bandwidth main memory, this large cache would be VERY helpful to achieve this goal.

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procurement and distribution. John Stefanac, vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Southeast Asia and Pacific is quoted saying that "The expansion of our presence in Singapore demonstrates Qualcomm's deepened commitment to the Asia Pacific region and builds on more than a decade of successful operations here."

Back to the packaging: fitting all this in one socket means going back to the future and the MCM multi chip module approach seen in Pentium Pro far in 1995, then in Presler P4 and, of course, initial Westmere entry level CPUs: here, the CPU and L4 cache dies would be on a single high speed substrate allowing half clocked or possibly even same clocked external L4 cache, but the outside world will not see the L4 cache, only the usual CPU stuff, just like on other Haswell CPUs. No big problems here, since the power savings from the 22 nm tri-gate process should easily leave plenty of TDP headroom for the L4 cache to be accomodated, without any clock speed sacrifices necessary by the processor. Do keep in mind MCMs are always seen as a sort of high end 'technology frontier' here, and such 'packaging excellence' will add a bit of extra price. Now, imagine how many choices would there be on the mobile side of the story?

Qualcomm to open R&D centre in Singapore for IC design and engineering Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-to-open-r-d-centre-insingapore-for-ic-design-and-engineering/15398.html April 2nd, 2012

There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip design companies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nation to be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre. The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what is commonly known as 3G. There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip design companies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nation to be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre. The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what is commonly known as 3G. According to the press release, Qualcomm will be focusing on "analog and power design; mixed signal design; digital design; mask layout design; and pre and post silicon verification" at its Singapore facility. The local government chimed in and Mr. Teo Ser Luck, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry said that "[w] e are excited that Qualcomm, the world's largest fabless semiconductor company, is setting up an IC Design & Engineering R&D Centre in Singapore, further establishing Singapore as an international hub for its chipset business." Considering the local expertise when it comes to IC design, it’s clear that this move by Qualcomm isn’t one by chance. Beyond IC design and R&D, the new facility will also be home to business planning and development, marketing and administrative functions as well as sourcing, 17


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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Logitec's new Bluetooth 4.0 accessory helps you find missing keys (or iPhone 4S)

There is, however, an "In Case You Leave Something Behind" mode that can be activated to alert you whenever the LBTMPVRU01 is outside of your iPhone 4S's connectivity range. Both devices will ring at once. If your PC is equipped with a BlueTooth 4.0 USB adapter, the LBT-MPVRU01 can also be paired to that, allowing you to automatically lock your Windows 7 PC whenever the gadget is out-of-range.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitec-s-new-bluetooth-4.0accessory-helps-you-find-missing-keys-or-iphone-4s-/15394.html April 5th, 2012

If you're an iPhone 4S (or a new iPad) owner and often find yourself spending time searching for misplaced keys or other such items, Logitec's new Bluetooth 4.0 accessory - the LBTMPVRU01 "Burutag" (which translates to "vibrating tag") may just be the solution you've been looking for.

Pair the LBT-MPVRU01 to your iPhone 4S via Bluetooth, download the Burutag app from the iTunes store, and you'll be able to tap a virtual button in the app to make the accessory play a melody or vibrate, depending on its setting (changeable through a switch on the device). Conversely, if you have the Burutag with you, and can't locate your iPhone 4S, hitting a button on the accessory will make your handset play its ringtone. The LBT-MPVRU01 and your iPhone 4S must be within 10 meters for the functionality to work (assuming there are no solid walls), so if you left your vibrating-tagged keys in the office, well, you're out of luck.

The idea itself is not entirely new. Cobra Tag for Android and BlackBerry provided pretty much the same functionality a couple years back. Although in Cobra Tag's case, when your device is out of range it will notify you via email instead. That said, Burutag does take advantage of Bluetooth 4.0's low-energy profile, consuming significantly less power both for your iPhone 4S and the gadget itself - which is powered by a single CR2023 cell battery. Logitec rates the gadget's battery life at approximately two years. Unfortunately, this also means that the accessory is not compatible with any prior iPhone or iPad models (the 4S and the new iPad are the only two IOS devices equipped with Bluetooth 4.0). Nevertheless, if you're keen on picking one up, the gadget is open to preorders at Logitec's web store in Japan, priced at 3,490 (in retail shops it's open-priced).

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The LBT-MPVRU01 Burutag is available in three colours (black, red, and white), and goes on sale in Japan in mid-tolate April. Logitec has not yet announced any plans to sell the gadget outside of Japan.

Preview: GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3X 2GB Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/preview-gigabyte-gtx-680-ocwindforce-3x-2gb/15433.html April 5th, 2012

When the GK104 based GeForce GTX 680 was first released, many pundits pointed out that the reference design had much room for improvement, especially in the power circuitry department which comes into play when overclocking. The GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3X that we have today attempts to address some of the shortfalls with a beefed up VRM and their custom triple fan cooler.

One obvious improvement is the doing away of the vertically stacked 6+6pin PCIe connector design from the reference card, with GIGABYTE instead opting for a more generous 8+6 pin layout, which means the card can theoretically take 300W of peak power instead of an underwhelming 225W, allowing for more ambitious overclocks.

GIGABYTE needs no introduction - they are one of the largest motherboard and component makers in the industry and pride themselves in engineering excellence. The WindForce brand is their line of non-reference graphics cards from both AMD/ATi and Nvidia, decked out with a custom cooler and trademark blue PCB design to improve overclocking mileage and durability. Today we have their GTX 680 version in our labs, which is factory overclocked at 1071 MHz (base)/1124 MHz (boost), 50MHz more than regular cards. 2


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users running non ICS-running devices. Google says that by updating to the latest version on an Android 3.2 Honeycomb device you will be given the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich experience with the ability to swipe to move between newer and older conversations, tap your account to access Recent labels and set custom notifications for individual labels. Further to the above, Honeycomb users can now sync the last 30 days of messages allowing them to read and search messages faster whether on or offline. Froyo and Gingerbread users can reap some of the benefits as well with performance improvements and a new labels API for third party app devs. The latest version of Gmail for Android can be freely downloaded via Google Play for all devices running Android 1.6 and up. GIGABYTE didn't change the I/O Panel on their GTX 680 WindForce, sticking with full-sized HDMI/DP ports and dual DVI (one of them single link only, which we think is redundant and spoils the prospect of single slot water-cooling). The obvious improvement from the previous generation GTX 580 flagship is that we can now run tripledisplay 3D Vision Surround from a single card (previously only possible on SLi setups), although it might be hampered on graphically intensive games by the 2GB of framebuffer.

NVIDIA Prepares Cut-down GK104 Chip: GTX 670 Ti to Compete Against HD 7950 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-prepares-cut-down-gk104chip-gtx-670-ti-to-compete-against-hd-7950/15440.html April 5th, 2012

It's no secret that the GK104 originally started its life as a mainstream i.e. performance SKU, but not the high-end kind. Chip originally designated for GeForce GTX 670 Ti will get that name, albeit in a cut down shape.

Gmail for Android updated with ICS experience for Honeycomb users

All viable silicon vendors are always working on maximizing their yields (percentage of working dies). One of most common moves is to fuse off non-working parts of the chip and rebrand the product one or two notches down. Intel and AMD are doing that with its CPUs and quite naturally, AMD and NVIDIA are doing that with GPUs. For example, you can read how Intel deals with faulty Ivy Bridge dies in this article.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gmail-for-android-updated-with-icsexperience-for-honeycomb-users/15453.html April 5th, 2012

Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmail for Android application which is of particular benefit to users running non ICS-running devices. Google says that by updating to the latest version on an Android 3.2 Honeycomb device you will be given the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich experience with the ability to swipe to move between newer and older conversations, tap your account to access Recent labels and set custom notifications for individual labels. Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmail for Android application which is of particular benefit to 3


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Getting back to NVIDIA - as expected, the GK104 chips which did not "pass the mustard" will be recycled and named GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 670 Ti. According to German publication 3DCenter.org, GK104 will take the GF100 (GeForce GTX 465/470/480) route: GK104 on the new cards will have one SMX less (7 in total), bringing a total of 1344 cores (should we still call them CUDA cores given the amount of GPGPU performance castration performed with Kepler?). The remainder of the chip will remain the same, and we're looking at the following specs: • 1344 Cores • 4 Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC) • 7 SMX Clusters (192 units per Cluster) • 112 Texture Units (TU) • 32 Raster Units (ROP) • 256-bit Memory Controller • 2 GB GDDR5 Memory

Upon going live in Finland, Nokia TV will give Lumia owners the ability to browse/search through a range of catalogues of TV services from all the major local broadcasters in which the content can then be streamed directly to their phone. There is said to be no signing up or registration process involved as the service will be offered as a free signature hub across the Lumia range. Inevitably there will be more updates on Nokia TV as its launch draws closer.

• ~900 MHz GPU Clock • ~1 GHz QDR Memory Clock (5 effective GHz) • ~160 GB/s video memory bandwidth As you can see, theoretical performance of the card targets the previous generation GeForce GTX 580 and direct competitor AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB. Coupled with NVIDIA wanting to increase the price pressure to the red team. the new cards undercut the Radeon HD 7950 by $50-100, pitching the product around $349-399. You can expect the product announcements in May 2012, probably around Computex Taipei timeframe. With the added lead time for tinkering, we won't be too surprised to see more custom GTX 670, GTX 670 Ti and GTX 680 AIB designs with beefed up cooling and power regulation at launch.

Nokia to debut "Nokia TV" streaming service in Finland

LG Miracle Windows Phone with 4-inch NOVA display revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-miracle-windows-phone-with-4inch-nova-display-revealed/15460.html April 5th, 2012

There hadn't been many manufacturers pushing the Windows Phone aside from Nokia, HTC and Samsung. LG's new Windows Phone has been leaked since last year, but till now, we have yet to see or hear any update of it. Pocketnow has recently revealed the new Windows Phone, which comes in the form of LG Miracle, and may go to market soon.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-debut-nokia-tv-streamingservice-in-finland/15455.html April 5th, 2012

Finnish handset maker Nokia has revealed that it will be introducing another new service in the coming weeks following the launch of its Nokia Music and Nokia Reading services. Get ready for Nokia TV. Finnish handset maker Nokia has revealed that it will be introducing another new service in the coming weeks following the launch of its Nokia Music and Nokia Reading services. Get ready for Nokia TV. The service will be exclusive to Nokia's Lumia smartphone line with its debut to be in Finland within the next few weeks. The status of its global availability is yet to be determined but if proven to be successful its hard to imagine Nokia refraining from delivering the service to regions abroad.

According to sources, the LG Miracle incorporates Windows Phone Mango (it should be Tango now), and comes with 4


April 5th, 2012

4-inch WVGA NOVA display that claims to offer higher screen brightness, and is equipped with 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 8GB memory. At the front is a VGA camera while the rear holds a 5-megapixel camera. The LG Miracle also supports 14.4Mbps HSPA, 5.0GHz 802.11a/b/ g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and Near Field Communication technology. Last year, LG has its Windows Phone leaked, codenamed LG Fantasy. It is likely that the LG Fantasy and Miracle could be the same phone, judging from the similar back design.

WD 2TB My Passport portable hard disk, now available in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-2tb-my-passport-portable-harddisk-now-available-in-singapore/15459.html April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

ASUS P1 portable LED projector to launch in Japan on 7 April Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-p1-portable-led-projector-tolaunch-in-japan-on-7-april/15458.html April 5th, 2012

The ASUS P1 portable LED projector first made its appearance at CeBIT last year, and was designed for business and entertainment. However, there was no mention as to when the product will go on retail. Well, looks like the ASUS P1 is scheduled to launch in Japan on 7 April, this weekend.

WD has introduced the new My Passport portable hard disks with premium designs, improved security features and boasts to be the first with 2TB capacity. And the portable external drives are retailing in Singapore now.

After a year since its appearance at CeBIT, the ASUS P1 portable LED projector is finally making its way to retail shelves. ASUS will be releasing the P1 portable LED projector on April 7 in Japan, with a retail price of 44,800 yen (approximately US$545). The compact P1 weighs a mere 415g and measure 125Ă—130Ă—33.5mm which is about the size of a CD case. The projector has instant on/off capabilities such that it has no warm-up time to project your image or the need to cool down after power off. WD has unveiled its next generation My Passport line of portable hard drives, with fresh new enclosure design and the first-ever 2TB capacity providing plenty of secure storage for your photos, video, music and other important files. With its specially-engineered outer shell, the drives are more resistant to scratches and fingerprints, and feature USB 3.0 connectivity (with USB 2.0 compatibility. The drives are also equipped with WD SmartWare automatic backup software and WD Security for password protection and hardware encryption to keep your data safe.

Incorporating LED technology, the ASUS P1 features a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 200-lumen brightness, and boasts a lamp lifespan which is up to four times longer than conventional projectors. The projector also has a short throw ratio of 1.16:1, which means that it can project a 40-inch screen at a distance of just one metre away. Other specifications include 16.77 million color reproduction, 2,000:1 contrast ratio, aspect ratio of 16:10 / 16:9 / 4:3, automatic keystone correction, 28db noise and connectivity including USB 2.0, composite and VGA.

The WD My Passport 2TB portable hard drive is retailing at S$319 and comes with a three-year limited warranty. It is distributed by Achieva Technology, Eternal Asia (S) and SiS Technology in Singapore and are available at selected retailers and resellers.

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April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Gingerbread currently, but it's been confirmed that an ICS update will be rolling out for it sometime in Q2 2012. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) A promise has also been made by Samsung that it will be delivering a 'Premium Suite' upgrade which will enhance and add features onto the GALAXY Note and S Pen Stylus devices. The update is expected to arrive somewhere around late-spring with these exclusive new features. Touching base on the internals, the GALAXY Note sports a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage and a microSD card slot for further storage expansion possibilities.

Samsung officially launches white GALAXY Note in Canada

Panasonic announces Lumix GF5 mirrorless camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-announces-lumix-gf5mirrorless-camera/15443.html April 5th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-officially-launches-whitegalaxy-note-in-canada/15454.html April 5th, 2012

Following the white GALAXY Note launch via TELUS in Canada and confirmation from both Rogers and Bell that they'll be stocking it within the next few days as well, Samsung has now come forward with a statement that the white-flavoured version of its GALAXY Note is being released country wide with it expected to arrive at carriers and select retailers everywhere.

It is official. With the recent leaks about Panasonic's new Lumix GF series mirrorless camera, the company has announced today the Lumix GF5. The Lumix GF5 boasts a new sensor, higher ISO sensitivity, as well as features including a revamped GUI, improved LCD display time lag and auto angle detection with acceleration sensor.

Following the white GALAXY Note launch via TELUS in Canada and confirmation from both Rogers and Bell that they'll be stocking it within the next few days as well, Samsung has now come forward with a statement that the white-flavoured version of its GALAXY Note is being released country wide with it expected to arrive at carriers and select retailers everywhere.

Samsung's GALAXY Note has proven itself to be quite the popular choice with word from the South Korean company that over 5 million units have been sold since its launch back in October of last year. The phone runs Android 2.3 6


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Here's a look at the Lumix GF5 placed side-by-side with the Lumix GF3. The GF5 now comes with a firmer grip on the left, though there's no change in terms of the shutter, iA and video record buttons at the top. Looking at the rear, Panasonic has added a display button which is not found on the GF3. According to Panasonic Singapore, the Lumix GF5 will only retail in Singapore around May or June. Local pricing information will also be released closer to retail date. The Panasonic Lumix GF5 has the same 12.1-megapixel rating as the GF3, but according to Panasonic, it is equipped with a new LIVE MOS sensor with improved Venus imaging engine. The new sensor claims to be capable of capturing superb image quality with less noise at high sensitivity; noise is reduced by up to 30% at ISO 3200 - 6400 as compared to its GF3 sibling. It has an ISO sensitivity setting of 160 - 12800 (Extended), an AF speed of approximately 0.09 seconds and can do burst shooting at 4fps in full resolution. Like the GF3, the GF5 also has the same 3-inch LCD display, though the touch screen is the 920,000-dot (compared to the GF3's 460,000-dot). The Lumix GF5 is equipped with a stereo microphone and can record videos in AVCHD and MPEG-4 formats up to full HD resolution. The new mirrorless camera has a Scene Guide which can provide users with explanation, shooting advice and expected results, as well as 14 Filter effects for you to take artistic shots. The graphical user interface looks to be more friendly, and now comes with a Tab menu (found on the Lumix GX1).

Samsung announces Ultra High Speed-1 MicroSD Cards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-ultra-highspeed-1-microsd-cards/15457.html April 5th, 2012

With smartphone and tablet devices becoming more technologically advanced with quad-core processor and LTE support, it could be a pain to playback high-quality images and video playback directly from your memory card which is unable to support such speeds. But worry not. Samsung Korea has announced the new Ultra High Speed-1 microSD card for this purpose.

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April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

interconnects have the SPARC CPU to manage the general I/O, and a NPU, network interconnect processor, with most of the protocol overhead hardwired. Therefore, the main Xeon or other CPUs in the cluster don't need to be bothered handling the interconnect I/O overhead, raising the total real system performance. However, don't be surprised to see these SPARC processors go further in the near future, to become main CPUs in specific uses, even with much faster FP units, for instance the current units are well multithreaded and multicore, as far as I understand, but without SIMD FP yet, which should appear in the next generation. Samsung Korea has announced the new Ultra High Speed–1 (UHS-1) interface microSD cards which claim to be capable of supporting the highest performance levels required on advanced LTE (Long Term Evolution) smartphone and tablet devices. The UHS-1 memory card comes in a 16GB density and is comprised of Samsung’s 20 nanometerclass 64 gigabit (Gb) toggle DDR 2.0 devices and an advanced Samsung controller supporting the ultra fast UHS-1 interface. On testing, the 16GB UHS-1 microSD card has a maximum sequential read speed of 80 megabytes per second (MB/s) which is approximately four times the read speed of today’s advanced microSD cards, which operate at 21MB/s. Initiating production of the 16GB UHS-1 microSD cards has begun late last month. And the company plans to expand its microSD card offerings with higher density solutions in the future, and reinforce its position as the leading market innovator for NAND flash.

Chinese CPUs are just the beginning... Middle Kingdom to go for GPUs too Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-cpus-are-just-thebeginning...-middle-kingdom-to-go-for-gpus-too/15456.html April 5th, 2012

China is enjoying increasing success with its own CPU developments, even though for now it is confined to the internal markets mostly. However, they are already undertaking the next step, and preparing to move into the GPU arena. Earlier this year, we covered the raising phenomenon of Chinese CPUs in quite a detail [part1, part2, part3], including the main high end lines of Loongson (MIPS) and Shenwei (Alpha), as well as over a dozen of ARM licensees there. Then there was Icube with their UPU, a truly fused CPU plus GPU at the core and register level. There's more to it: at the high end front, besides the academic-government MIPS and purely military, for now, Alpha, our friends in the north also developed their own Fengtian SPARC compatible processors. For now, these are not used as the main CPUs, but as I/O processors in some large supercomputers to help manage the ultrafast interconnects, twice the Infiniband QDR speed, that the country uses in their largest machines such as Tianhe. These

Even more interesting is the initial dedicated GPU design effort in China, in fact at least two of them: one is expected to come from the same team in the Tianhe supercomputer, and the other one is coming from far north, in Harbin. While very little is known about either of them for now, there is one common point I understand is valid for both: they will focus on OpenGL and Compute GPU use, not consumer-grade DirectX gaming - China is seemingly not interested in getting even more of its flock addicted to games, but would gladly use the SIMD or vector-like GPU math capabilities in its computing efforts, though. That might be quite commendable, after all.

I-O Data releases 4X quad/ triple layer portable blu-ray drives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/i-o-data-releases-4x-quadtriplelayer-portable-blu-ray-drives/15452.html April 5th, 2012

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I-O Data has extended its optical drive portfolio once again with the release of its BRP-U6C series of Portable Blu-ray XL Drives. The drives run dimensions of 140 x 147 x 19 mm (WxDxH) with a weight of about 300g. I-O Data has extended its optical drive portfolio once again with the release of its BRP-U6C series of Portable Blu-ray XL Drives. The drives run dimensions of 140 x 147 x 19 mm (WxDxH) with a weight of about 300g.

Published by: VR-Zone

of its employees. The move was formally announced by the company less than 24 hours ago where recently assigned CEO Scott Thompson went on a spiel about how these job cuts are supposedly going to allow Yahoo! to rise above again... "Today's actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo! — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require. We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose — putting our users and advertisers first — and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal," said Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo!. "Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires the tough decision to eliminate positions. We deeply value our people and all they've contributed to Yahoo!." This restructuring process is said to result in Yahoo reeling annual savings of around $375 million, but it is unknown at this time where its key focus is shifting in order to make efforts in supplying core services that will allow them to retain a profitable position long term. Certainly, when looking in from the outside company management is clearly where the focus should be with investors even rebelling against them in recent times.

One particular highlight of these portable drives is their ability to read both quad and triple layer Blu-ray XL discs at 4X speed.

Yahoo! says that additional info will be given about its new strategies during its first-quarter financial results announcement scheduled for April 17.

There are three variants on offer within the BRP-U6C series which differ by color; BRP-U6C, BRP-U6CK and BRPU6CR, respectively coming in color options of Pearl White, Piano Black and Oriental Red. The drives are self powered connecting via USB 2.0 and of course will read both DVDs and CDs as well.

Prolimatech Lynx CPU Cooler Review

When looking at read speeds across the board, I-O Data's BRP-U6C series can read single and double-layer Blu-ray discs at 6X speed, while BD-RE can be read at 2X. As for DVDs and CDs, they can be read at up to 8X and 24X respectively.

Yahoo! to rework its internals, dismiss 2,000 employees Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-to-rework-its-internalsdismiss-2-000-employees/15451.html April 5th, 2012

Yahoo continues to appear on the decline with word out that the company is making preparations to lay off another 2,000 of its employees. The move was formally announced by the company less than 24 hours ago where recently assigned CEO Scott Thompson went on a spiel about how these job cuts are supposedly going to allow Yahoo! to rise above again... Yahoo continues to appear on the decline with word out that the company is making preparations to lay off another 2,000

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/prolimatech-lynx-cpu-coolerreview/15450.html April 5th, 2012

It was only four years ago when Prolimatech was founded and the company initially offered only a single CPU cooler, the Megahalems. That single cooler however was good enough to make Prolimatech famous among enthusiast cycles and allow the company to establish a good foothold in the industry. Today we will examine and review something new and different from Prolimatech, the Lynx. The Lynx is not a massive cooler designed to win over hardcore enthusiasts but an entry-level cooler, primarily designed to compete against other basic products and replace the stock CPU coolers. The specifications of the Lynx however are very interesting considering this is meant to be compact, simple and cheap CPU cooler; we will soon see just how many surprises this product holds. It was only four years ago when Prolimatech was founded and the company initially offered only a single CPU cooler, the Megahalems. That single cooler however was good enough to make Prolimatech famous among enthusiast cycles and allow the company to establish a good foothold in the industry. Today we will examine and review something new and different from Prolimatech, the Lynx. The Lynx is not a massive cooler designed to win over hardcore 9


April 5th, 2012

enthusiasts but an entry-level cooler, primarily designed to compete against other basic products and replace the stock CPU coolers. The specifications of the Lynx however are very interesting considering this is meant to be compact, simple and cheap CPU cooler; we will soon see just how many surprises this product holds.

Intel's "broken" Ivy Bridge SKU's last to arrive

Published by: VR-Zone

Q4, although we have as yet to confirm which models we can expect to see here.

Kingston launches pocket friendly USB 3.0 card reader Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-launches-pocket-friendlyusb-3.0-card-reader/15448.html April 5th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-broken-ivy-bridge-sku-s-lastto-arrive/15449.html April 5th, 2012

If you're a regular readers of publications like VR-Zone, you're most likely aware of the fact that Intel and AMD alike don't throw away "broken" CPU's, as it's simply too expensive. Instead these CPU's are repurposed as lower-end offerings and it looks like this is part of the reason for the delay of some Ivy Bridge models. If you're a regular readers of publications like VR-Zone, you're most likely aware of the fact that Intel and AMD alike don't throw away "broken" CPU's, as it's simply too expensive. Instead these CPU's are repurposed as lower-end offerings and it looks like this is part of the reason for the delay of some Ivy Bridge models. Intel has no less than seven different configurations for its Ivy Bridge processors, of which what is known as the 4+2 and 4+1 models, will be part of the initial launch. A 4+2 is a quad core CPU with a GT2 graphics core and a 4+1 is as such a quad core CPU with a GT1 graphics core. However, to create a 4+1 model, Intel has two different options, it can either make a specific chip or it can "harvest" a slightly failed 4+2 part and turn it into a 4+1 part. In this case Intel has the option to use models with both damaged GPU cores and damages cache, as the 4+1 models in general has less cache than the 4+2 models. As an example, something like a failed Core i7-3770 could be turned into a Core i5-3570 by disabling half of the GPU execution units and 0.5MB of cache per CPU core. Things get a little bit more complex when we're moving on to the dual core models, as here we have 2+2 and 2+1 models, but these can either be made as intended, or once again "harvested". In the case of the 2+2 model it could only come from a 4+2 model, but the 2+1 models can be from a 4+2, 4+1 or a 2+2 depending on demand. Intel's internal marker for the "harvested" models appears to be a capital F, as in 4+1F or 2+1F. As such, many of the lesser models, especially for the desktop parts have now been pushed back as far as early Q4, although this is a worst case scenario and the chips are more likely to launch in late Q3. We'd expect Intel to launch several new models in August or September, or in what Intel calls Cycle 3. This will include the low-end Core i5 and the Core i3 models on the desktop side as well as the so far unannounced Core i3 mobile SKU's, not including the Ultrabook CPUs. It also looks like we can expect the mobile Ivy Bridge based Pentiums and Celerons to arrive sometime in late Q3 or early

Memory card readers built into notebooks are generally not the fastest ones around and if you happen to own a notebook with USB 3.0 connectivity, you're definitely going to want to invest in a USB 3.0 card reader. Kingston's new MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 reader might just fit the ticket, at least as long as you only use SD or MS cards with your camera. Memory card readers built into notebooks are generally not the fastest ones around and if you happen to own a notebook with USB 3.0 connectivity, you're definitely going to want to invest in a USB 3.0 card reader. Kingston's new MobileLite G3 USB 3.0 reader might just fit the ticket, at least as long as you only use SD or MS cards with your camera. The chubby, yet compact card reader measures 62x29x16mm and features sliding covers for the USB connector and the card reader slot. There are two slots, one for SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo cards and one for microSD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

Judging by a quick benchmark by German website ComputerBase we're looking a pretty snappy little card reader too, at least if you have a fast enough memory card that is. They managed to hit read speeds in excess of 92MB/ s and write speeds of over 46MB/s which can hardly be considered slow.

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Published by: VR-Zone

like Asus' P8H77-V at €90 (US$118/S$149) would be a lot more attractive in this case, as you get the same kind of features for a fair bit less money. Of course, if you don't need a DisplayPort connector, there are a lot more options to choose from, although in all fairness we'd expect most buyers in this market segment to go for a mATX model.

The MobileLite G3 is available as of now, comes with a two year warranty and retails for an affordable US$17 (S$21).

Intel 7-series motherboard pricing overview Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-7-series-motherboard-pricingoverview/15447.html April 5th, 2012

We know many of you have been waiting for quite some time to get your hands on one of the very soon to launch – and already available in some countries – Intel 7-series chipset based motherboards. As such we thought it would be helpful to give a bit of an overview as to the pricing of some of the new boards and compare what you get for your money. We won't be going into any specifications as such here, especially as most, if not all of the upcoming boards are already listed at the respective manufacturers website. Instead we want to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for the various boards and pick out a few models that appear to be good value for money based on the pricing information we've found. The pricing is from a range of European online retailers and most models should be cheaper in the US market, but about the same elsewhere in the world, or at least not any more expensive with a few exceptions. Starting off with the B75 chipset which isn't really intended for general consumers, yet have proven fairly popular among the motherboard makers due to its attractive price point, most boards are priced somewhere between €60 (US$79/S $99) and €75 (US$99/S$125) which seems quite reasonable. Keep in mind that the B75 chipset is limited to a single SATA 6Gbps port, but it still has the full set of four USB 3.0 ports and it also has native PCI support which might be important for some users. The B75 chipset also supports Rapid Start and Smart Connect technology for those that are interested in taking advantage of these features, although there's no support for Smart Response. Moving up a step we have the H77 chipset and the cheapest boards start out at around €70 (US$92/S$116), but some are quite pricey like Intel's DG77KC at €105 (US$138/S $174) which is a lot of money to pay for a motherboard that isn't exactly mind blowing in terms of features. Something

As for the little loved Z75 chipset we've only managed to find pricing for two boards and it's very likely that these are the only two Z75 models that will be available at launch. This is the only consumer desktop chipset that doesn't support features like Smart Response and Rapid Start, but it does allow for overclocking and the use of a pair of graphics card in a dual x8 PCI Express 3.0 configuration, so we're a little perplexed at the poor uptake by the board makers. However, if what we're hearing about the price difference between the Z75 and Z77 being smaller than the list prices, then we can sort of understand the argument from the board makers' side. As such only ASRock and Biostar offers up a model each, with ASRock coming in at around €80 (US $105/S$133) and Biostar surprisingly being about €10 (US $13/S$17) more expensive, although oddly enough neither manufacturer has implemented support for dual x8 PCI Express configurations and has instead chosen to go with a x16/x4 setup. This takes us to the Z77 chipset which we'd imagine most DIY users will be getting for their systems if they can afford to. Compared to the current Z68 chipset, the more affordable Z77 models aren't that much more expensive as the cheapest boards are available for around €85 (US $112/S$141) whereas the cheapest Z68 models are less than €10 cheaper and many models from the same manufacturer being priced at nearly the same price point. As an example, Gigabyte's Z77M-D3H is priced exactly the same as its Z68M-D2H which it's replacing. In this specific case you gain USB 3.0 connectivity thanks to native support in the chipset and you don't really end up losing anything. Higher-end models are of course going to set you back a pretty penny as they always do, but oddly enough the two most expensive models are from Intel and MSI. That said, Asus has as yet to launch its Maximus V Formula which is likely to end up being one of the more expensive models and we haven't managed to find any pricing for Gigabyte's G1 models which should end up being fairly expensive as well. Intel is apparently hoping that some foolish punters are going to be willing to drop €220 (US$289/S$365) on its DZ77GA model, or about €25 more than its current DZ68BC board. MSI on the other hand is asking for a whopping €270 (US$355/S$447) for its Thunderbolt equipped Z77A-GD80 motherboard, a price premium that we have a feeling very few people are going to be willing to pay. Out of the four big Taiwanese motherboard makers, Gigabyte seems to be the company that is most consistent on pricing compared to its current products, although due to some changes in its line-up some SKUs have been upgraded and aren't directly comparable to older models within the same SKU. Everyone else seems to be charging a nice premium for their new models, with Intel seemingly having the largest premium tucked onto its boards. In some cases you do get a lot of extra features for your money and one such example is Asus' P8Z77-V Deluxe that comes with an on board Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card which surely adds some extra cost compared to its Z68 sibling. Do keep in mind that this is not MSRP pricing, nor is it what we'd expect the boards to 11


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sell for in a months' time, but it's an indicator of what you can expect to pay at launch.

Published by: VR-Zone April 5th, 2012

Minecraft creator reveals new science-fiction game Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/minecraft-creator-reveals-newscience-fiction-game/15445.html April 5th, 2012

The creator of the popular Minecraft online game has revealed that he is working on a new science-fiction game that will require a monthly subscription. The creator of the popular Minecraft online game has revealed that he is working on a new science-fiction game that will require a monthly subscription. Markus Persson, more commonly known as Notch, and his game studio Mojang struck gold with Minecraft, an internetbased title that focuses on mining and construction. Nearly 5.5 million copies of the game have been sold, despite it lacking a publisher or marketer, showing that good games can make it without the backing of a big name. Now Persson has turned his attention to a new game, tentatively titled 0x10c, which is probably not as catchy a name as Minecraft. This game will focus on a group of humans who wake up 281 billion years in the future after being put in deep sleep, entering a dystopian world that is on the brink of destruction.

We saw an early preview of OCZ's Vertex 4 back at CeBIT, nearly a month ago now and it seems like OCZ has decided that it was time to launch its new SSD series. The interesting part here is the controller used, namely the Indilinx Everest 2 which is something of an in-house solution considering OCZ owns Indilinx. We saw an early preview of OCZ's Vertex 4 back at CeBIT, nearly a month ago now and it seems like OCZ has decided that it was time to launch its new SSD series. The interesting part here is the controller used, namely the Indilinx Everest 2 which is something of an in-house solution considering OCZ owns Indilinx. Indilinx has managed to improve the performance of the Everest 2 significantly compared to the Everest controller and we're looking at a 400MHz SoC with support for a wide range of current and upcoming NAND flash memory types, up to 1GB of local cache memory, encryption and improved error correction. The company claims transfer rates of up to 535MB/s with synchronous flash and the new Vertex 4 series isn't far off in some tests. OCZ has of course rated the Vertex 4 at 535MB/s in sequential tests and up to 120,000 IOPS for random performance. This is quite a lot higher than what the company claimed for the Vertex 3 MAX IOPS. Interestingly, the first reviews have all found that the Vertex 4 has blisteringly fast write speeds, whereas the read performance leaves quite a bit to be desired. This is very much the opposite that we're used of seeing when it comes to SSDs.

Gameplay will involve space battles, looting, trading and planet mining. Users will also have to programme their own 16-bit CPUs to power their spaceships, an interesting approach that shows that Mojang is still thinking outside the box. Persson said that the game will follow hard sciencefiction rules, which means that they will be theoretically possible or plausible ideas, rather than completely farfetched adventures. He is even encouraging experts in scientific fields to correct him on any mistakes he makes.

OCZ announces the Vertex 4 series of SSDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-announces-the-vertex-4-seriesof-ssds/15446.html

The Vertex 4 is one of the fastest SSD's when it comes to dealing with incompressible data writes, but apparently OCZ was in a bit of a hurry getting the Vertex 4 out there and as such it doesn't handle small transfers well. According to Anandtech this is related to two issues, lack of NCQ streaming for queue depths of less than three and no pipelined read access for more than eight concurrent NAND die. Apparently OCZ is working on fixing the NCQ issue and this should be solved by a firmware update, but the second issue isn't likely to be as easy to solve. That said, unless you're dealing with massive amounts of tiny files, you're likely to suffer much ill effect. 12


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

It's still early days for the Indilinx Everest 2 SSD controller and we have a feeling that given some time, we'll see performance improvements to the read performance as OCZ tunes the firmware to suit various market needs. On the plus side, the Everest 2 is said to have very good garbage collection which means that performance over time won't suffer nearly as much as it does on many SandForce based SSDs. OCZ is trying to hit some very competitive price points with the Vertex 4, with the 128GB SKU having an MSRP of US$179, with the 256GB SKU coming in at US$349 and finally the 512GB SKU at $699 which makes it one of the cheapest SSD's out there today. What's even better is that OCZ includes a five year warranty at this price, which suggests that they're very confident about their product.

RIM launches BlackBerry Mobile Fusion for Apple and Android devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-launches-blackberry-mobilefusion-for-apple-and-android-devices/15444.html April 5th, 2012

The move is significant, as it signals a change in direction for the struggling firm, which was recently forced to deny it is abandoning the consumer market. The company's strongest sector is enterprise, but even there its rivals are chipping away at its market share. Opening BlackBerry software up to opposing platforms, however, could be what it needs to bring in the revenue it needs, and it could eventually lead to RIM focusing more on software than hardware. RIM is offering a 60 day free trial, after which software licences start at $99 per user or $4 per user per month, with additional discounts available for volume purchases.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has launched a mobile device management solution for enterprise customers using rival mobile platforms on Apple and Android devices. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has launched a mobile device management solution for enterprise customers using rival mobile platforms on Apple and Android devices. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion builds on RIM's success with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, but extends it scalable and cost-effective management solution beyond devices running BlackBerry OS, including popular alternatives like iOS and Android, the two dominant platforms that pushed RIM out of the top spot for smartphones. RIM's new enterprise service offers support for multiple devices per user, application and software management, connectivity management, security and policy definition management, asset and configuration management, a centralised web console, user and group-based administration, the ability to remotely lock or wipe lost or stolen devices, and high scalability to suit business needs.

BioWare extends Star Wars: The Old Republic free trial Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bioware-extends-star-wars-the-oldrepublic-free-trial/15442.html April 5th, 2012

BioWare has extended its free trial feature for its Star Wars MMO by allowing existing players to invite up to 25 friends to play for a seven day period. BioWare has extended its free trial feature for its Star Wars MMO by allowing existing players to invite up to 25 friends to play for a seven day period. Star Wars: The Old Republic is not even four months old and it is already approaching two million paying subscribers, making it the fastest growing MMO in North America and forcing even World of Warcraft maker Blizzard to acknowledge its success. However, Bioware is not resting on its laurels. It is hoping to entice new players through existing subscribers by offering a seven-day trial, which lets people get a taste of the game on any of the four Origin Worlds. This should get players to at least level 10 of the 50 level cap, with no restrictions on class choices.

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April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

first. On the other hand, the memory generational chances - for safety or other sake - occured first in the mainstream lines, such as Rambus or DDR3 memory introduction, at least a year before such stuff appears in high end product lines. Now, it's all opposite: there's often a year or more gap between the mainstream and the high end offerings in introducing the new semiconductor process, as witnessed by the Sandy Bridge base 4-core vs Sandy Bridge-EP high end 8-core parts, the latter being a year later. How about the memory then?

The company previously allowed gamers to invite three of their friends, but some players complained that this was not enough for the many people they wanted to get interested in the game. These three invites are counted towards the 25 invite limit, so those who have already used them will have 22 invites left to send. Friends must accept the invitation within 14 days or it will expire. However, one of the things that this friends trial programme lacks is an incentive for players to recruit people. While obviously family and friends will like to play together, many people will not be inclined to send out any invites at all. Some kind of bonus, such as an experience boost or in-game item, is something that BioWare will likely consider in future, but with the game still fairly new it probably does not need to worry about incentives right now. The company is planning to launch a major game update soon, likely early next week, which will include a new Operation, Flashpoint, and Warzone, in addition to the Legacy system, which offers bonuses for playing multiple characters, UI customisation, guild banks, and several other changes. BioWare is promising plenty more content updates over the coming months and years.

Intel move to DDR4 to start with high end server CPUs in early 2014? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-move-to-ddr4-to-start-withhigh-end-server-cpus-in-early-2014-/15441.html April 5th, 2012

Over the years, Intel held to a steady strategy of launching new CPU architectures or processes first in the high end products, yet introducing new memory technologies at the mainstream. Now, the roles seem to have been reversed...

Well, it seems the role reversal will hit us there too, two years from now. Our sources say that, while the mainstream Haswell 4-core platform will still stay on DDR3 - and nothing wrong with that, since by then DDR3 will approach 3000 speed grade - the high end Haswell-EX 4-socket plaform, with each chip having 16 or so cores, will for the first time, support DDR4 memory, in 2014. These monstrous chips, allowing upwards of 60 cores on each four socket mainboard, will bring a new meaning to a 'multi-core monster'. On the memory side, since DDR4 brings lower power consumption with 1.2v power supply, as well as better parity protection and recovery from errors, the benefits are there, even without the speed increase. For the desktop side, the 22 nm Haswell and its 14 nm Broadwell successor would share the same LGA1150 socket, therefore both supporting DDR3 memory only, with DDR4 support likely only with their 2015 successors and a new microarchitecture at that time. So, here we have a one-year lag between high end and the low end for the new generation memory support, with the low end being the late one this time. It's not as if it may matter much for the mainstream Haswell and Broadwell chips, anyway, since their top GT3 bin L4 cache which we exclusively described here, will sit on a very wide low latency internal MCM bus, and, possibly for GPU use, be able to function as directly addressable scratchpad memory as well. Also, since Haswell has such high FP peak issuing rate, double that of Sandy/Ivy Bridge, with its FMA (Fused Multiply-Add) operations, the extra bandwidth of this L4 memory should be very usable by the CPU as well. In the later generations, DDR4 may help solve the bandwidth problem, but the extra latency cost is not clear yet, though.

Sapphire's Toxic HD7970 is a Monster: Record Clocks, 6GB GDDR5 Memory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-s-toxic-hd7970-is-amonster-record-clocks-6gb-gddr5-memory/15418.html April 5th, 2012

Remember the good old days when, if wanting to get hold of that new CPU microarchitecture, or semiconductor process shrink, you knew you'd have to get it in the high end parts like enthusiast desktop or workstation / server processors 14


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Even though AMD launched Radeon HD 7970 back in December 22, 2011, it took Sapphire months to perfect their completely custom design in order to create the ultimate HD 7970: Meet the new Sapphire Toxic HD 7970. If you're a graphics maker, your goal is to ship as much units as possible, as soon as the GPU which powers your card is hot. In case of Tahiti XT, AMD released the Radeon HD 7970 powered with 3GB GDDR5 memory on December 22th, 2011 and made a retail debut on January 9th, 2012. Second product powered by the Tahiti Pro chip was Radeon HD 7950, also equipped with 3GB GDDR5 memory. These reference parts were joined by multiple graphics makers taking their own spin, offering 3rd party cooling, custom BIOSes, bundles and all of that is nice and dandy, but it pales in comparison to an upcoming monster: Sapphire's top product, Toxic. If you thought memory is special, Tahiti GPU ticks at highest levels we've seen so far. Sapphire took a stock clock of 925MHz and clock it to 1.15 GHz, higher than its competitors from ASUS and MSI. Overclocking capabilities reach the original goal of 1.2 GHz, with the (controlled?) leaked sample reaching 1.3 GHz, massive 40.6% higher than original clock. On AIR!

We originally took pictures of this card during CeBIT 2012. For Radeon HD 7970, Sapphire took the graphics chip, baseline BIOS and - threw everything else. Custom PCB (Printed Circuit Board) was designed from ground up, putting 24 memory chips rated at 7.0 Gbps, i.e. 1.75 GHz QDR clock speed. This results with 6GB of GDDR5 memory, meaning this is the first consumer and only third graphics card with that amount of memory - Tesla C2070 was the first, Quadro 6000 was second (realistically, these are the same cards, based on same ASIC and memory - but intended for different workloads). Now the interesting bit about the 6GB of memory and the potential of this card goes beyond gaming. Sans the regular single-card Eyefinity or high-resolution gaming (2560x1440, 2560x1600, 5760x1080, 7680x1600), this card will be cherished by professionals who will finally have enough frame buffer for decent framerates in 4K resolution (3840x2160, 4096x2160). Don't be surprised if this board becomes a favorite not in the world of gamers and overclockers, but rather professionals who don't want to buy professional graphics cards because they need sheer performance. For example, the memory bandwidth is astounding - Tesla C2070 could only deliver 148 GB/s, Toxic delivers 328 GB/ s at default clock, and up to 356 GB/s when overclocked (1.9 GHz QDR clock). This is the highest (stock) memory bandwidth we've seen, regardless of you using a single or a dual-GPU card (GTX 590 peaked at 320 GB/s - 768-bit x 3414/1024).

To see how Sapphire reached amazing clocks, a closer inspection of power regulators. Engineers went with 11phase (8+3) VRM consisting out of two 8-pin Astron PEG connectors (375W max. draw, 150+150+75W) connecting to sixteen DirectFETs (by International Rectifier from California) and sixteen solid-state chokes. The power regulation is better than what we have on most of motherboards on the market, and it goes beyond saying that this should by far be the fastest HD 7970 board to date.

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Naturally, all that power is nothing if you cannot cool down the components, and here is where Sapphire excels. The heatsink combines two 80mm fans, four thick heatpipes connecting to a vapor chamber. Thus, Sapphire went for the jugular and combined the most efficient cooling methods. The back of the board features the conventional two DVI's (leaked picture shows a Dual-Link DVI switch, so you can probably chose between one and two DVIs), full-sized HDMI 1.4a 3GHz and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. Price is not known, but we would expect to see anywhere between $150-200 premium over the current HD 7970. After all, this board is a completely custom product and comes with 100% more memory than the original cards.

Canon unveils EOS 60Da DSLR camera for astronomy enthusiasts Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-unveils-eos-60da-dslrcamera-for-astronomy-enthusiasts/15439.html April 5th, 2012

Canon has announced the new EOS 60Da digital SLR camera, designed for users who enjoy shooting the night skies, or astrophotography. The company claims that the camera has a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor that lets users capture images with accurate details and sharpness.

Published by: VR-Zone

Canon has announced the successor to the EOS 20Da digital SLR camera, which comes in the form of EOS 60Da, designed for users who are into astrophotography. The Canon EOS 60Da camera features an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that is capable of producing sharp and high-contrast images of astronomical objects. It also incorporates improved infrared-blocking filter that can achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than a normal Canon digital SLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H Îą wavelength, allowing photographers to capture crisp, sharp images of the night skies. The camera also features 3-inch Vari-angle Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing, ISO sensitivity of 100 to 6400 (and expandable to 12800), 63zone dual layer metering system, full manual controls and can capture in RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG formats. The EOS 60Da Live View mode is equipped with Silent Shooting feature, which can eliminate shutter-induced vibration when mounted to a telescope or super-telephoto EF lens. The Canon EOS 60Da will be retaining this month at an estimated price of US$1,499, but unfortunately, this model will not be available in Singapore.

Instagram, now available on Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/instagram-now-available-onandroid/15438.html April 5th, 2012

The popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, which used to be available only on the iPhone and iPads, has come to the Android platform. You can download the mobile app for free from Google Play (formerly Android Market).

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April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Just like the Cloud Router and Cloud Storage, the Cloud Camera is another branch of D-Link's mydlink cloud services. Mydlink Cloud Services are designed to allow users to effortlessly access, share, view and control the devices on the home network from anywhere, anytime. And with the new Cloud Cameras, users can view a live video feed of their home or office at anytime and enjoy a peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything is safe and secure.

Launched in October 2010, Instagram is a popular photosharing app that is only available on Apple's iPhone and iPad, and has over 30 million users to date. And now the company is moving to cover the Android market with the launch of their app on Google's platform. For those who aren't familiar, Instagram allows you to share your photos in a simple photo stream with friends, family and even to the whole world. You can also follow your friend's photos with just a click of a button. And every day when you open the app, you'll see new photos from your friends and other creative people from around the world. The app also offers a wide selection of filtered effects that you can use to give your picture a new artistic look. The Instagram app for Android is free to download from Google Play and requires Google Android 2.2 Froyo and higher. Features: - 100% free custom designed filters and borders - Lux works its magic by making your photos more vibrant and brings out details in your photos you couldn't see before - Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare (Flickr coming very soon) - Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments - Works with Android versions 2.2 and above that support OpenGL ES 2

The D-Link DCS-932L comes in an all white finish and the camera lense is located at the center surrounded by four Infrared (IR) LEDs. The camera is attached to a removable plastic stand that is wall/ceiling mountable.

- Full front & back camera support

D-Link DCS-932L mydlink Cloud Wireless IP Camera Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-dcs-932l-mydlink-cloudwireless-ip-camera-review/15412.html April 5th, 2012

The rear of the camera is where all the connections are located.

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April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The daughter board contains four IR LED for night vision mode, a status indicator LED and what appears to be a mechanical IF filter in the center.

Intel's SSD 313 series official, retailing and tested Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-ssd-313-series-officialretailing-and-tested/15437.html April 5th, 2012

As we do not want to damage this delicate camera if we take it apart, we managed to sourced some internal images taken from the FCC product documentation on the manufacturer's website. From the picture, we can see that the DCS-932L is powered by a Ralink RT3050F System-on-a-Chip (SoC) @ 384MHz, while the 32MB RAM chip is just below. The small IC on the left of the RAM is the iP2970 from iPassion Technology which provides video and audio processing and is linked to the SoC via USB2.0. The company has resorted to a 1.3dBi chip antenna on the top left as there is not enough space for a PCB antenna.

Back in February we told you about Intel's upcoming 313 series of SSD's that are set to replace the 311 series for use as hard drive caching. Now the drives have been officially launched, even though it was a very quiet launch, with the drives available in retail as of today and on top of all that, there are even some early benchmark figures out. Back in February we told you about Intel's upcoming 313 series of SSD's that are set to replace the 311 series for use as hard drive caching. Now the drives have been officially launched, even though it was a very quiet launch, with the drives available in retail as of today and on top of all that, there are even some early benchmark figures out. As we mentioned back in February, the SSD 313 series comes in sizes of 20 and 24GB and we now know the difference between the two SKUs. Oddly enough the 24GB SKU features a slower sequential read speed of 160MB/ s compared to 220MB/s for the 20GB SKU, but when it comes to write performance, the 24GB SKU is somewhat faster at 115MB/s compared to 100MB/s for the 20GB SKU. Compared to the 311 series the write speed of the 20GB SKU has been increased by 30MB/s, but both SKU's have slower random read IOPS than the 311, although the 24GB SKU offers slightly better write IOPS.

At the top is the 4MB flash memory and a VGA 1/5-inch CMOS sensor with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. A condenser microphone is located at the center of the board, and we are slightly disappointed that the DCS-932 does not have power over Ethernet feature.

Retail pricing ended up being higher than our earlier pricing, with the 20GB SKU going for US$120 (S$150) and the 24GB SKU coming in at US$140 (S$175), in other words US$20 more per SKU than expected. There's no price difference between the 2.5-inch and mSATA models, which is a bit odd considering the reduction in materials used for the mSATA models. If you're planning on using Intel's Rapid Start and 18


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Smart Response technology at the same time with an Ivy Bridge CPU on a 7-series motherboard, make sure you get a model with as much spare space as you have RAM, i.e. 4GB of RAM equals the 20GB model and 8GB of RAM equals the 24GB model. Greek website Hwbox has already given the new 20GB model a quick run-through and the drive appears to perform in line with Intel's numbers, although the idea here is of course not the raw SSD performance, but rather how well it performs as a cache for a hard drive. Generally this is something that takes a few runs so that the files can be cached on the SSD for the next time they're being used. Nothing earthshattering came to light in the benchmarks, but you can find them by clicking on the link below.

Apple working on iPad game controller

Published by: VR-Zone

Gaming on the iPhone and iPad have become extremely popular over recent months and will likely only grow with the addition of full high-definition displays to the latest iOS devices. Games are also moving away from the purely casual approach of the likes of Angry Birds to full immersive games like the enhanced edition of BioWare's classic RPG Baldur's Gate, which is set to release on the iPad and other platforms this Summer. Of course, part of the success of mobile gaming is its portability, which is somewhat negated by the need to lug around a controller. Apple might also be inclined to develop a proprietary controller rather than allowing a wide range of existing controllers to work with its devices. The controller might even be reserved as a feature for the next iPad rather than simply adding the functionality into existing tablets.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-working-on-ipad-gamecontroller/15436.html April 5th, 2012

Apple is working on a game controller for the iPad, which could see a further rise in the popularity of mobile gaming and a bigger threat to consoles. Apple is working on a game controller for the iPad, which could see a further rise in the popularity of mobile gaming and a bigger threat to consoles. AnandTech reports that Apple is secretly developing a project to bring a physical controller to the market, but qualifies this by saying that it's in the early stages and thus may not make it into reality. The plans appear to be a response to Google's introduction of controller support for Android last year, which gave it an edge for those who like to play mobile games but aren't keen on touchscreen controls.

Wii U less powerful than Xbox 360 and PS3, release date leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wii-u-less-powerful-than-xbox-360and-ps3-release-date-leaked/15435.html April 5th, 2012

Nintendo's next-generation console, the Wii U, is not as graphically powerful as existing consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, according to a number of game developers. Nintendo's next-generation console, the Wii U, is not as graphically powerful as existing consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, according to a number of game developers. Several anonymous sources told GamesIndustry that while the Wii U will be capable of generating high-definition graphics, it won't be able to keep up with current rival consoles, due to a lower number of shaders. Of course, graphics has never been the major focus of Nintendo. The Wii had terrible graphics in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and yet it won the console war through sheer innovation and fun gameplay, as well as a much more affordable price tag.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The Google Art Project gives students and lovers of art easy internet access to the works held at the Metropalitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar, the Gibbes Museum of Art in South Carolina, the SCAD Museum of Art in Georgia, and even the White House, to name but a few.

Price is likely a consideration for the Wii U and one of the reasons why graphics capability may not be as amazing as some expect. Graphics have come a long way since the current generation of consoles launched more than five years ago, but top-end graphics always involves a top-end price, a luxury that Nintendo cannot afford to make in its desire to appeal to a wide range of gamers. Nintendo is hoping to engage more hardcore gamers with its better graphics, but the real gimmick that will sell the console is the tablet controller and the promised new ways to play games that come with it. Nintendo's success with the Wii was the new style of gameplay, so it won't be ignoring that just so it can boost the graphical prowess of the Wii U. The supposed release date of the Wii U has also been leaked by a Japanese retailer. It is expected to release on 18 November in the US and a week later in Japan. There's no word on other regions, but Nintendo has promised it will be available throughout the world by the end of the year.

Google expands Art Project across the world Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-expands-art-project-acrossthe-world/15434.html April 5th, 2012

Google has expanded its Art Project across the world, increasing the number of museums involved from 17 to a whopping 151, with thousands of artworks now available for all to see online.

Art Project has also been updated with a few new features, such as Explore and Discover, which provides an easy way to find artwork by period, artist or type, Google+ and Hangouts integration, for sharing and engaging with fellow art lovers, a higher quality Street View option for exploring museums, and a personalised gallery featuring favourite artworks. The Google Art Project is part of a wider array of cultural experiments the search giant is engaging in, including the Google Cultural Institute, which is providing high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the digitizing of the archives of famous individuals like Nelson Mandela, and the creation of 3D models of historical sites and landmarks, such as 18th Century French cities.

First Look: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe ITX Motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-look-asus-p8z77-i-deluxe-itxmotherboard/15357.html April 5th, 2012

Mini-ITX motherboards are essentially stripped down variants of their full sized counterparts, doing away with non-essential expansion options and using "good enough" components. In recent times ASUS has dabbled in small form factor systems with great success - their Republic of Gamers GENE series of mATX motherboards has a cult following of enthusiast builders. With Ivy Bridge processors looming on the horizon, the P8Z77-I Deluxe represents the motherboard giant's latest salvo for the mindshare of performance ITX system buyers. Package and Bundle

Google has expanded its Art Project across the world, increasing the number of museums involved from 17 to a whopping 151, with thousands of artworks now available for all to see online. The original experiment launched last year, involving nine countries and around 1,000 images, mostly from Western artists. Today's huge expansion increases that number to 40 countries and a massive 30,000 high-resolution artworks, with a greater variety of styles from people across the world. 20


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Onboard SATA comes directly from the Z77 PCH, with the blue ports for 6Gb/s operation.

The P8Z77-I Deluxe - Overall a very functional layout with the standout item being the 8-pin EPS connector and vertically fitted daughterboard for the voltage regulators. Traditionally, ITX motherboards have been fitted with the bare minimum of power circuitry due to space and budget constriants, ruling out the possibility of high TDP operation.

At the I/O panel area, we get a generous eight USB ports (Four of them USB 3.0), triple display connectivity (single HDMI, DP, DVI-D), Gigabit LAN, Wifi/Bluetooth 4.0 connectors, two eSATA 3GB/s and buttons for actuating Clear CMOS/BIOS Flackback functions. Although there are only three audio jacks at the rear, 8-channel audio can still be achieved if the side speakers are connected to the front panel jacks.

No obvious anamolies underneath - and we have the soldering points of a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. Actually instead of Z77, ASUS could have used a stripped down/marginally less expensive Z75 PCH instead since there is no SLi/CrossFireX action here.

Although this is not something you'll see on most ITX setups, the mounting of a 140mm Thermalright Archon CPU tower was not obstructed by the VRM daughterboard.

Depending on the size of the enclosure, we can fit a dual slot graphics card like the HD 7970 (the ASUS board does come with Lucid MVP for fps boosting voodoo). Clearance from 21


April 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

the CPU socket is pretty good too, even with a large heatsink used here..

Along with Retina Display support for the new iPad there are also a number of other changes and additions including extended language support for Czech, Danish, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Thai languages. Where previously some pages weren't displaying correctly, it's been promised in the new version that these issues have been resolved, and you also now have the ability to go offline from chat mode. Here's the complete list of updates and and fixes :- You can go offline in chat - The right profile picture appears for everyone - Your list of friends always includes all your friends - In sets of photos, your name is displayed correctly - Photos of people who like Facebook Pages load correctly

Facebook for iPad gets updated with high resolution Retina support and more Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-for-ipad-gets-updatedwith-high-resolution-retina-support-and-more/15342.html April 5th, 2012

- Your friend-request notification only lights up if you have a request - You can change your language to Czech, Danish, Greek, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian (Bokmal), Portuguese (Portugal) or Thai - If you’ve got a new Retina iPad, you’ll see a crisp, high resolution interface You can update to v4.1.1 of Facebook's app via the App Store or by heading straight over to the Facebook page on iTunes.

In a case of being better late than never, the Facebook app for iPad has just been updated to support the super high resolution of Apple's latest generation iPad. This is a much welcomed feature for owners of the third-gen iPad particularly due to there being a ton of photos and videos uploaded in high resolution. In a case of being better late than never, the Facebook app for iPad has just been updated to support the super high resolution of Apple's latest generation iPad. This is a much welcomed feature for owners of the third-gen iPad particularly due to there being a ton of photos and videos uploaded in high resolution.

Microsoft's IE web browser mildly regains usage share Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-ie-web-browser-mildlyregains-usage-share/15427.html April 5th, 2012

With the likes of Mozilla's FireFox and Google's Chrome web browsers dominating the show these days it's hard to imagine Internet Explorer ever gaining popularity again, but the latest numbers from Net applications do in fact reflect

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increased usage momentum when focusing on March's usage share data. With the likes of Mozilla's FireFox and Google's Chrome web browsers dominating the show these days it's hard to imagine Internet Explorer ever gaining popularity again, but the latest numbers from Net applications do in fact reflect increased usage momentum when focusing on March's usage share data. This web analytics firm saw IE's usage share climb from 51.9% to 53.8% in the month of March, while surprisingly both FireFox and Chrome saw minor shrinkage in the same period; from 21.8% to 20.6% and 19.1% to 18.6% respectively. This block runs dimensions of 6.25" x 5.75" x 0.62" (WxHxD) at a weight of 1.5 pounds (680g). It features an Acetal top cover and a high-performance microfin (0.5mm) design made of solid copper with anti-corrosive nickel plating. It uses standard G 1/4" threading and there are connect nozzles available from Koolance to allow for a pair of them in SLI configurations. Alongside IE, Apple's Safari web browser also saw a jump in usage share, albeit only minor going from 4.97% to 5.07%. With the above said, IE is still far from being as successful as it used to be. Even when only going back 12 months to March 2011 where it's usage share was 58.4% it is clear that overall it has been on the decline, but since December of last year when it hit its lowest point due to Google's Chrome picking up the pace, Microsoft's Internet Explorer has been slowly and quietly increasing again. There's no doubt when looking at IE9 vs. IE8 Microsoft has notably improved upon its browser with a cleaner user interface, a solid amount of standards support, better security and decently fast rendering, but I think I speak for most of us here in saying once you make the leap away to the alternatives (primarily Chrome or Firefox) there's no going back.

Koolance intro VID-NX680 water block for NVIDIA's GTX 680 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/koolance-intro-vid-nx680-waterblock-for-nvidia-s-gtx-680/15382.html April 5th, 2012

If you're itchin' to hook up your almighty GEFORCE GTX 680 (or two) to your existing waterloop, Koolance now has a decent looking block for you to consider. The company has just released its VID-NX680 water block to suit NVIDIA's current flagship card. If you're itchin' to hook up your almighty GEFORCE GTX 680 (or two) to your existing waterloop, Koolance now has a decent looking block for you to consider. The company has just released its VID-NX680 water block to suit NVIDIA's current flagship card.

The VID-NX680 water block from Koolance is now available for purchase directly from their website at a cost of US $119.99.

Intel targets emerging markets with new StoryBook Tablet PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-targets-emerging-marketswith-new-storybook-tablet-pc/15431.html April 5th, 2012

Intel and Lenovo had launched the Classmate PC earlier this year for the educational sector, and it is powered by an Intel Atom N2600 dual-core processor, and has up to 320GB storage with a SATA hard drive (or up to 32GB with SSD). The chip giant was also reported to be releasing a new StoryBook Tablet PC, targeting emerging markets. According to reports, chip giant Intel will be launching a new tablet PC product (codenamed "StoryBook") for emerging markets, and it will adopt the same sales model as the Classmate PC that was jointly developed by Intel and Lenovo. The StoryBook tablet PC will be based on Intel's Medfield platform with dual-operating systems, and 23


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Published by: VR-Zone

also feature a 10-inch screen; the tablet PC is designed for emerging markets including China and Brazil. The StoryBook tablet PC is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2012 and Intel hopes to push the pricing to be below US$299. Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), which has a close relationship with Intel and is also the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the Classmate PC, is expected to develop the StoryBook for Intel.

features, like mobile processor and operating system. And it isn't surprising that the Xperia S is not incorporating a quadcore processor or Google Android 4.0 ICS, unlike some of the other manufacturers who have already announced and launched theirs.

Sony Xperia S Review: Sony's first Android smartphone

Memory Screen

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-xperia-s-review-sony-s-firstandroid-smartphone/15372.html April 5th, 2012

CPU

Display Resolution Storage Camera

Connectivity

The Xperia S is the first smartphone in the Xperia NXT series - next generation smartphones from Sony - which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. The Android phone claims to deliver stunning viewing experiences with its high resolution display, and has a 12-megapixel rear camera that can go into camera mode from phone standby mode almost instantly to shoot your images. VR-Zone checks out the new Xperia S to see how good it is.

Battery Platform Dimensions Weight

Sony Xperia S Qualcomm MSM 8260 1.5GHz dual-core processor 1GB 4.3-inch Reality Display with Sony mobile BRAVIA engine 1280×720 32GB 12.1-megapixel rear with LED flash, 1.3megapixel front Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, micro-USB, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, aGPS, NFC, DLNA 1750mAh Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread 128 × 64 × 10.6mm 144g

Sony Singapore introduces XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP headphones for smartphone users Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-introduces-xba-1vpand-xba-2vp-headphones-for-smartphone-users/15430.html April 5th, 2012

In 2001, Sony went into a joint venture with Ericsson to produce mobile devices under their co-brand - Sony Ericsson. The partnership lasted till February this year when the Japanese electronics maker announced that it would acquire Ericsson's share in the venture. Now, under Sony Mobile Communications, the company has unveiled their new device in the Xperia NXT series early this year at CES 2012; the NXT series is Sony's next generation smartphones. The Xperia S claims to be the company's first Android smartphone, and is the flagship model among the recently announced Xperia sola, Xperia P and Xperia U. It features a 4.3-inch Reality display with Sony's proprietary mobile BRAVIA engine and incorporates Near Field Communication. Sony (or Sony Ericsson then) isn't the type who would strive to be the first manufacturer to launch devices with the latest

Launched in September last year, the Sony Balanced Armature in-ear XBA headphones claim to provide users with an enjoyable listening experience. Today, the Japanese maker has introduced two new XBA headphones for the smartphone users - XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP.

Sony Singapore has introduced the XBA series in-ear headphones in February, and today, the company has 24


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announced the XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP for smartphone users. The XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP feature the microsized BA units that claim to produce crystal clear sound reproduction and quality across the range of frequencies. Both headphones incorporate a double-layered housing casing to block off and reduce ambient noise and sound leakage. The XBA-1VP uses Liquid Crystal Polymer and contains one full range driver unit, whereas the XBA-2VP has a a magnesium inner housing with woofer added into the mix to deliver a richer bass. The XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP headphones will be available in Asia Pacific from May 2012. Pricing details not available at press time.

Logitech Touch Mouse M600 arrives in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-touch-mouse-m600-arrivesin-singapore/15429.html April 5th, 2012

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Samsung launches SLATE PC Series 7 in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-launches-slate-pc-series-7in-singapore/15428.html April 5th, 2012

Samsung has announced the launch of their stylish SLATE PC Series 7 in Singapore. The SLATE PC Series 7 can operate as a space-saving desktop PC when connected to a docking station with wireless keyboard and mouse. Or you can remove the 11.6-inch touchscreen display and use it as a tablet.

The Logitech Touch Mouse M600 was unveiled in February, in the US, which features a touch surface that lets you navigate intuitively with your fingers. But the Touch Mouse only made it to our shores recently.

With Microsoft's success with their Touch Mouse, it is no surprise that other peripheral makers, including Logitech, are following their footsteps. Logitech has announced the availability of their new Touch Mouse M600 in Singapore, which lets users scroll, swipe and surf with their fingertips on the mouse. It sports a modern design with smooth edges and is designed with comfort curves that makes it feel comfortable in one's hand. The M600 is ideal for both right- and left-handers, with click areas that can easily be reassigned with Logitech SetPoint software. You can scroll seamlessly by sliding your finger along the touch surface with the Logitech Flow Scroll software. The Touch Mouse also comes with the tiny Logitech Unifying receiver that lets you connect up to six compatible mice and keyboards through one USB port.

The Samsung SLATE PC Series 7 is designed for business professionals in a mobile working environment. Based on Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, it claims to deliver the performance and productivity of a desktop PC with the portability of a tablet, allowing users to multitask efficiently. The SLATE PC Series 7 measures 12.9mm thin and weighs 860g and is powered by Intel Core i5 processor, with a SuperBright Plus 11.6-inch high definition touchscreen display. You can choose to connect it to a docking station and use it like a desktop PC, with the wireless Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can also remove the display and use it like a tablet. The SLATE PC Series 7 also support multiple input methods from touch screen keyboard to digital pen, which is great for presenting, creating and capturing content. It boasts up to six hours of battery life (on a single charge), and offers an integrated microphone, USB port, wireless (Wi-Fi, WiMAX and HSPA+ connectivity) and dual cameras - 2-megapixel front and 3-megapixel rear for audio and video recording. The Samsung SLATE PC Series 7 will be available in April 2012 at S$1,688. Specifications CPU

Intel Huron River Core i5 2467M / Core i3

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System Configuration

Dimensions

I/O

Security

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Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Professional LCD 11.6-inch HD, 400nit, 16:9 PLS(view angle, >=170 degree) GFX Intel HD Graphics 3000 Memory 2GB / 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Storage 64 / 128 GB SSD Webcam Front : 2.0MP; Rear: 3.0M WWAN HSPA+ (802.11 bgn) PAN BT 3.0 Battery 40Wh (up to 6 hours – based on Mobile Mark test) Thickness/ Weight 12.9mm / 860g Input Capacitive Touch + Digitizer/ AF Coating, Durable Glass Ports 1x USB2.0 (Type A), m-HDMI, Audio(in/out), micro SD slot Dock Connector Interface: USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, DC-in, HDMI Keyboard Bluetooth keyboard (optional) TPM Yes (optional)

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Wii U gets rumoured $300 price tag Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wii-u-gets-rumoured-300-pricetag/15495.html April 9th, 2012

Nintendo's next-generation game console, the Wii U, is expected to retail for around $300, according to sources close to the company. Nintendo's next-generation game console, the Wii U, is expected to retail for around $300, according to sources close to the company. The console will come bundled with a tablet controller, which will cost around $50 to produce, with the total production cost estimated at $180, not counting packaging, software and other related costs, which could drive the final cost well over $200. It would still leave Nintendo with a healthy profit, however, even when shops take their cut, and there could still be some room to lower the price in future. Since the console will be backwards-compatible with previous Wii games and accessories, including Wiimotes, this could help cut costs for the initial console purchase, as it may come with just the tablet controller and no Wiimotes, relying on previous Wii customers to already have them, while selling them separately or in different bundles for completely new customers. "Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo's main concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in the Wii U's hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition,� said a source cited by Forget the Box, a Canadian media outlet.

This will be key to the Wii U's success, in the same way that a low price-tag for the Wii helped bring in more sales, particularly when compared to the expensive consoles offered by Microsoft and Sony at the time. Some analysts think that anything above $250 would be a bad move by Nintendo, as it could cripple its existing market, which includes families on lower incomes, and lead to rivals undercutting it with the cost of current generation consoles like the Xbox 360 bundled with a Kinect. Nintendo previously hinted that the Wii U would cost more than $250 at launch, but it has been working hard to lower the cost of the console's components, securing a low price for a custom-built GPU and CPU that can allegedly match the performance of current rival consoles. The company could also follow Amazon's business model with the Kindle Fire tablet and sell the console at a loss, while making up the profits through games and digital content and services, an area the company is planning to focus more on. The Wii U will release later this year.

UK watchdog considering Apple probe over misleading iPad 4G claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/uk-watchdog-considering-appleprobe-over-misleading-ipad-4g-claims/15494.html April 9th, 2012

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The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is considering investigating Apple after receiving numerous complaints that advertisements for the 4G feature of the new iPad are misleading. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is considering investigating Apple after receiving numerous complaints that advertisements for the 4G feature of the new iPad are misleading. The ASA said it received 24 complaints about references to the 4G capability of the new iPad on Apple's website, despite the high-speed network not being available for the device outside of North America. Apple was already forced to offer refunds to customers in Australia on similar allegations that the company misled them with its 4G capability claims. This will set a precedence for similar action in the UK.

Apple's UK store provides small print that states that LTE is only supported in the US and Canada, but that may not be enough to protect it from a backlash from customers and the advertisement watchdog, particularly considering that the text was not on the website initially. The launch of the new iPad has not been easy for Apple. In addition to these allegations of misleading customers, the latest tablet has also had problems of overheating due to its larger, more powerful battery. The company has sold millions of the new tablet computer since its launch last month, but many of these could be returned if these issues are not acknowledged and addressed.

Teen sells kidney on black market to buy iPhone and iPad Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teen-sells-kidney-on-black-marketto-buy-iphone-and-ipad/15493.html April 9th, 2012

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A Chinese teenager sold his kidney on the black market so he could buy an iPhone and iPad, leading to the arrest of five people involved in the illegal organ transplant. A Chinese teenager sold his kidney on the black market so he could buy an iPhone and iPad, leading to the arrest of five people involved in the illegal organ transplant. The 17-year-old was paid 22,000 yuan ($3,500) to have one of his kidneys surgically removed after he found brokers looking for donors online. This payment is only 10 percent of the 220,000 yuan ($35,000) the patient receiving the organ paid for the operation, showing how little the actual donor gets in these illegal trades. Those who face charges, including intentional injury, are the surgeon, a hospital contractor and organ donor brokers. The man who orchestrated the entire deal, He Wei, is apparently in debt over a gambling problem and saw this as a quick and easy way to make money.

Black market organ transplants are becoming a growing problem in China, where only 10,000 of 1.5 million legal transplants occur each year, leaving the rest of the people to suffer and die, or avail of alternative measures to secure an organ. This incident is only one of many where youths agree to become organ donors for small sums of money to buy iPhones, iPads and other gadgets, as well as to pay for debts, abortions and other costs. It has raised concerns over a growing trend to value devices over the human body, with teens making spur of the moment decisions that could greatly affect their entire life. If, for example, their other kidney fails, they could die, or could end up paying 10 or more times what they received in order to get a transplant, showing how little long-term thought is given by people who agree to undertake these procedures.

Leica Camera Asia Pacific offers new rental program for Leica S2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leica-camera-asia-pacific-offers-newrental-program-for-leica-s2/15492.html

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April 9th, 2012

Bluetooth headset provides users with hands-free communication while on the move, though when it first came to market, it looked dull, menacing and difficult to use. Well, from the company who has a long history in manufacturing this mobile accessory, Jabra has recently launched the EXTREME2 Bluetooth headset, the successor to the EXTREME, which claims to provide clear conversations with noise cancellation technology.

Leica Camera Asia Pacific has announced their new rental program for the Leica S2 digital SLR camera (and accompanying lenses), whereby consumers can rent at the Camera Rental Centre.

The Leica S2 features a 37.5-megapixel sensor and coupled with Leica’s lenses that claims to deliver great detail rendition with high-speed and accurate autofocus in a compact form factor. Its weather-sealed body also lets photographers shoot even in extreme conditions. Leica Camera Asia Pacific has announced its new rental program for the professional system, the Leica S2 and its accompanying lenses, which are available for rent at Camera Rental Centre from today. Photographers who want to try or loan the Leica S2 can use the camera and two lenses at S$588 at the Camera Rental Centre. The available lenses are the Elmarit-S 30mm f/2.8, Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5, SummaritS 70mm f/2.5 and the APO-Macro Summarit-S f/2.5. Upon request, Leica lens adapters for the Mamiya 645, Pentax 67 and Hasselblad V system are available too. The Leica Camera Rental Centre offers the rental of Leica S2 on a firstcome-first-served basis. For more information on the rental rates, you can email your queries to info@camerarental.biz or call +65 9650 4158.

Jabra EXTREME2 Review: Lightweight Bluetooth headset that is extremely easy to use Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jabra-extreme2-review-lightweightbluetooth-headset-that-is-extremely-easy-to-use/15432.html April 9th, 2012

Most people may not have heard of GN Store Nord, but it is a company that first began as Great Northen Telegraph Company in Denmark in June 1869. But you may have heard of the brand Jabra, which is brought by the GN Netcom division, under the GN Store Nord. In 2010, Jabra launched the EXTREME with noise cancelling technologies using dual microphones and automatic volume control that can reduce background noise and enhance call quality, and it was met with good overall reviews. And with the success of the EXTREME, it is no wonder that the company has decided to come up with its successor, the Jabra EXTREME2 with improved features and performance. Here's a summary on its features and specifications:- Noise Blackout 3.0 dual microphone technology - High Definition (HD) Voice technology - Voice Guidance with useful voice alerts - MultiUse Technology - A2DP Technology for streaming music - Ultimate Comfort Eargels for an all-day perfect fit - Up to 5.5 hours of talk time; 10.5 days of standby time - Weighs 10.4 grams; - Dimensions - L47mm x W18.5mm x H27.5mm - Car charger; USB connector

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as a safety hazard. But thankfully, you can bend the adapter close to 90-degree to avoid any cause of injury.

At the back of the accessory box is a "Getting Started" diagram with a three-step figure that shows how a user can set up the Jabra EXTREME2 headset for use slide the power switch to green, turn on your smartphone's Bluetooth connectivity, and wear the headset. One thing that wasn't mentioned is that you would need to charge the headset for at least few hours before using. To find out how much is the headset's battery level, simply tap on one of the volume buttons and check the LED - one red flash means a battery level between zero to 30 minutes; a yellow flash represents a battery life between 30 minutes to two hours; while a green flash means a battery life of two hours to 5.5 hours. During charging, the LED light is solid green for 60 seconds, then off, when it is fully charged. It will glow a solid yellow between 50% - 100%, and solid red when it is below 50% charged.

Hyundai A7 Android ICS tablet selling at US$110 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hyundai-a7-android-ics-tabletselling-at-us-110/15491.html April 9th, 2012

The Jabra EXTREME2 comes in a standard transparent package with the Bluetooth headset prominently in the middle. Below it is the accessories box which contains the quick start manual, power adapter, USB-to-microUSB adapter, ear hook and different sized eargels to suit your ears. Unlike some Bluetooth headset maker that offers the car adapter as a separate accessory, Jabra has included it with the headset, making it convenient for drivers to charge their headset whenever they need. Note that you will need to connect it with the USB-to-microUSB adapter (shown above) or an optional USB cable. We noticed that with the adapter, there is a slight protrusion that could pose

Hyundai is a name most users would associate to automobiles, though that is one of the sectors the Korean company has business in; another sector is high-tech consumer devices. The company has recently unveiled their A7 Android tablet which is retailing at an affordable US$110.

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may mean that devices incorporating Youm could soon go on retail. Youm is Samsung's next generation ultra-thin screen with the unique characteristic of being able to be bent; the company termed it as unbreakable. The flexibile AMOLED technology was showcased at CES last year, and at that time, we saw a 4.5-inch screen with a thinness of 0.3mm and resolution of 800x480 (WVGA). Samsung has demonstrated the concept by using it for ebook reading, camera, video chat and even to the extend of augmented reality and 3D visuals on tablet PCs. Recently, many companies are conducting research and development on flexible displays, and LG was the first to go into production of the screen. Last week, Korean company CE has revealed that the company has begun mass production of the world's first plastic electronic paper display. The Hyundai A7 is a 7-inch tablet with multitouch capacitive display (up to five points) and resolutions of 480x800 pixels. It runs the latest Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile operating system, and lets users to have access to rich online Google Play app store, all for just US $110 (approximately $89 cheaper than the Amazon Kindle Fire). The A7 incorporates a single core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and ARM Mali 400 GPU, 512MB RAM and 8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot). Other features include 0.3-megapixel front camera, USB port, HDMI video put, audio jack, Wi-Fi and 3G modules.

Samsung names flexible AMOLED display YOUM, and may soon come to market

Max Payne Mobile coming to iOS and Android this month Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/max-payne-mobile-coming-to-iosand-android-this-month/15489.html April 9th, 2012

Fans of the popular Max Payne third-person shooter video game will be pleased to know that the developer, Rockstar Games, has announced that Max Payne Mobile will be coming to iOS and Android devices this month.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-names-flexible-amoleddisplay-youm-and-may-soon-come-to-market/15490.html April 9th, 2012

Korean electronics giant Samsung showcased their flexible AMOLED displays at CES last year, and it is likely the screens could be incorporated into devices such as smartphones. The company has given the flexible AMOLED technology an official name, called "Youm".

Rockstar Games is bringing the full classic Max Payne third-person shooting experience to your mobile devices. Optimized for both Apple iOS and Google Android devices, Max Payne Mobile claims to offer high definition graphics, high-resolution textures, Social Club connectivity and user-customizable controls. The Max Payne Mobile will be available exclusively for Apple iOS devices on 12 April (this Thursday), and supports iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4, iPad 1, iPad 2 and the new iPad. The Android version will be launched on 26 April. Samsung has officially named their flexible AMOLED technology "Youm", and both the name and logo has been sent for trademark registration in the United States. This 5


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Ivy Bridge EP and EX coming up in a year's time - the multisocket platform heaven Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-ep-and-ex-coming-up-ina-year-s-time--the-multi-socket-platform-heaven/15488.html April 9th, 2012

As it became common recently, Intel is unveiling the high end members of each new microarchitecture, or optical shrink, nearly a year after showing it in mainstream part. The same is expected to happen with Ivy Bridge - what does Intel have in store for top end users? As you all know by now, in about two weeks Intel will be unveiling its first Ivy Bridge 22 nm processors, the new semiconductor process shrink of the Sandy Bridge architecture with lower power and a couple of improvements like better integrated graphics and random number generators, for instance, thrown in. The initial parts will be mainstream desktop then mobile, with the much expected UltraBook range later in early summer. What about the high end desktop as well as the widely popular dual socket servers and workstations, not to forget the top end quad socket machines? Well, we are likely to wait at least till year-end for Ivy Bridge update to those platforms. And, guess what, there are two major differences there. The dual processor Socket 2011 platform, the Xeon E5, is expected to receive the ten core 25 MB L3 (some sources mention 30 MB L3 but that doesn't seem likely as of now) cache Ivy Bridge EP part update, which should also bring around 15%-20% clock speed update. The 22 nm tri-gate process benefits for both power consumption and clock speed will help Xeon E5 solve the high-TDP problems that bothered it a little bit in the Sandy Bridge EP generation right now. In my mind, based on the power and performance gains assessment, I'd expect 2.4 GHz 10-core parts at the 95W TDP level, 3 GHz 10-core parts at the 130W TDP level, and 3.3 GHz 10-core parts at the 150W workstation SKU grade, all plus minus 100 MHz or so. And, oh yes, the TDP problem solution should also enable the single Socket 2011 systems based on X79 chipset to have full speed 8-core and 10-core chips in this iteration - good news for those of you holding, say, entry level Core i7-3820 quad core, since this would make a nice speed doubling upgrade without increasing the system power consumption.

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Around that timeframe, the quad socket and above Ivy Bridge EX 'Xeon E7' should appear as well. Hold on, we did look at Westmere EX before, but what happened to the Sandy Bridge EX? Well, nothing - it will never exist in the market. Simply, the large multi-core dies required for big servers take their toll on what can be put inside, both feature and clock speed-wise. To move substantially forward from the 10-core Xeon E7 4870 Westmere EX, and keep the TDP under check, we needed the use of 22 nm process, that's why Sandy Bridge EX was skipped, and Intel moved right onto Ivy Bridge EX. Now, this should also bring the EX family closer to EP in terms of launching closer to each other, with less delays suffered by the big brothers. The thing is, Ivy Bridge EX will be a new platform, but quite similar to the Ivy Bridge EP. The same Patsburg I/O chipset will be used as well as the same DDR3-1600 server memory (although Ivy Bridge EP should also support DDR3-1866). Now, the differences start here: the quad socket Ivy Bridge EX is expected to have 15 - hopefully they can round it up to 16 for binary system sake - cores, with similar per-core cache size as the Ivy Bridge EP, but correspondingly slower core speed: I don't think they'll go much above 2.4 GHz, the same clock speed as Westmere EX Xeon E7 4870 top model. The four memory controllers using new version of scalable memory buffer chip effectively support eight DDR3-1600 memory channels and 1.5 TB memory per socket, and there are more QPI channels as well - three compared to two on the EP platform, but less than four in the Westmere EX platform. Since there are 32 PCIe 3.0 lanes on each CPU here (strangely, less than 40 lanes per socket on the EP but then, there are more sockets here), we can be excused for needing less QPI links there, but then, three links only allow four CPUs to be connected directly without hops, and even adding accelerators like MIC on the QPI would then create extra hops in the system, which do add latency. Since the same platform is to be shared by the future Haswell EX and Broadwell EX as well, it'd be a pity of the QPI link number limitation becomes a real bottleneck later, once more QPI co-processors or I/O controllers are out there. In summary, Intel will round up its Ivy Bridge platform rollout within about a year, with dual socket Xeon E5 and quad processor Xeon E7 platform updates,which will share common I/O chips, QPI speeds and even server memory speeds, yet with record numbers of high-end cores per chip as well as some very interesting performance records along the way.

Again, this will be just a CPU update on the same chipset and board platform, likely to be matched with a Patsburg C600 chipset stepping update for those 'minor problems' like say 6 Gbps SAS, for instance. Otherwise, the stable platform should provide a smooth transition from 8-core Sandy Bridge EP to 10-core Ivy Bridge EP. 6


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Gran Turismo 5 Asia Online Tournament 2012 starts today Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gran-turismo-5-asia-onlinetournament-2012-starts-today/15487.html April 9th, 2012

So you think you're faster than the rest? Well, fasten your virtual seatbelt and blaze your way to the top at the Gran Turismo 5 Asia Online Tournament. Starting from today, PlayStation 3 gamers can compete with other top racers in Asia and stand a chance to win attractive prizes including PSN voucher and free trip to Tokyo, Japan.

Grand Prix and S$160 PSN Money Voucher (each region): 2nd Place (each region): 3rd Place (each region): All participants:

S$320 PSN Money Voucher S$160 PSN Money Voucher DL car Nissan Calsonic IMPUL GT-R (SUPER GT) '08

*Only for participants who have gained Gold Trophy in the event.

Video: The birth of a Gigabyte Z77 motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/video-the-birth-of-a-gigabyte-z77motherboard/15482.html April 9th, 2012

The GT5 Asia Online Tournament is back on Sony Entertainment Network (formerly PlayStation Network), starting today. Race your way to the top and you get to represent your region and compete with other top racers in Asia at the Sepand Circuit Malaysia (Super GT Sepang Grand Prix) on 10 June. The tournament is divided into Regional Tournaments, Regional Finals and Asia Final and is open to Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) members from Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Winners stand to walk away with PSN vouchers as well as the grand prize - two-way air tickets and hotel accommodation to attend Tokyo Game Show 2012 in September 2012 and a trophy for the Asian Championship. 9th - 22nd April 2012 4th May 2012 May-12 Mid-May 2012 10th June 2012

Qualification Matches Result announcement for qualification matches Regional Finals Result announcement for Regional Finals Asia Final

Asia Champion Two-way air tickets and hotel accommodation to attend Tokyo Game Show 2012 in September 2012 and a Trophy for the Asian Championship. 1st Place

Two-way air tickets and hotel accommodation to Malaysia to attend the Asia Final in Sepang Circuit Malaysia at Super GT Sepang

A little while ago VR-Zone had the opportunity to visit Gigabyte's Nan-Ping factory in Taiwan where the company makes most of its high-end motherboards, as well as some graphics card models, notebooks, smartphones and a few other things. We got a short video after the break showing you how Gigabyte's Z77 motherboards are being made, so click on through to the video. The Nan-Ping factory is very flexible and Gigabyte manufacturers multiple lines of products at once. Sadly, on the day we visited things were quite slow, as the company had already shipped most of its Z77 motherboards to its customers already, but a few production lines were still operational. Keep in mind that these production lines can output some quarter of a million motherboards a month, not taking into account other products. Gigabyte recently updated one of its production lines to include a new SMT machine that can fit 15 SMD components a second to a motherboard, up from 10 components per second when compared to the machines used in the other production lines. The company is also busy working on an automatic solution for adding capacitors to the motherboards, but sadly we weren't allowed to film this machine, as it's a custom made solution for Gigabyte. Overall it's very interesting to see what's going on and how advanced parts of the manufacturing process is, while other parts are required to be done by hand. There's a reason why motherboards cost what they cost, as it's not just a matter of PCB and components going on there, but it's a really advanced manufacturing process which involves both a lot of people and very expensive machinery.

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Akasa Venom Power Modular 750W PSU Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/akasa-venom-power-modular-750wpsu-review/15479.html April 9th, 2012

Akasa is a versatile company, offering a multitude of computer related products. They have also been a player in the PSU market for several years; however, their highperformance products had not been updated in quite some time, until the recent release of the Venom Power units. The new Venom Power units offer modular cable management and the company promises high performance and aesthetics to enthusiasts. Today we will see if Akasa can hold their promise as we have the 750W version of the Venom Power series in our labs for review. Akasa is a versatile company, offering a multitude of computer related products. They have also been a player in the PSU market for several years; however, their highperformance products had not been updated in quite some time, until the recent release of the Venom Power units. The new Venom Power units offer modular cable management and the company promises high performance and aesthetics to enthusiasts. Today we will see if Akasa can hold their promise as we have the 750W version of the Venom Power series in our labs for review.

750W Output Specification Voltage +3.3V Max. 24A Load Combined170W Wattage 750W MAX.

+5V 30A

+12V1 62A

-12V 0.5A

744W

6W

15W

+5Vsb 3A

Play as an Asari Justicar, Geth in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer (DLC) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/play-as-an-asari-justicar-geth-inmass-effect-3-multiplayer-dlc-/15477.html April 9th, 2012

Mass Effect: Resurgence Pack expands on the game's "Galaxy at War" multiplayer component with six new characters, two additional maps and three new weapons.

Manufacturer features and specifications

Application Designed for

Form factor Dimensions Typical efficiency Power Factor Correction Fan Motherboard connector ATX12V connectors PCIe 6+2pin connectors SATA connectors Molex 4pin connectors FDD 4pin connectors AC power input Protection Product code

750W PC Power Supply AMD / INTEL based systems ATI-AMD / NVIDIA graphics ATX 12V 2.3 150 x 158 x 86mm (W x L x H) Over 80% Active PFC 135 x 135 x 25mm, thermal control 1 (20+4pin ) 1 (4+4pin) 2 6 6 2 240V AC Over Power / Voltage / Current Protection AK-PA075AM01

And it won't cost you a single penny - unless you decide to pay actual money for the character/equipment unlock packs, of course. Instead of redeeming them through fake Monopoly galactic money. Kudos, Bioware, for giving your fans something to play with while they wait for Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut. Currently, the undisputable top three characters to play as in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer are the Salarian Engineer, Salarian Infiltrator and Asari Adept. But judging just from the trailer alone it looks like the Geth characters (Infiltrator, Engineer) and the Asari Justicar Adept might just give those current favourites a run for their credits. The Krogan Vanguard might be a strong contender, too. 8


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We'll find out when the free DLC pack comes out on April 10, available for all the platforms (Xbox 360, PC, PS3) Mass Effect 3 is on. A patch for various system glitches will also be released around the same period.

In the meantime, better level up your characters during this weekend's Operation: Beachhead in-game event - there's a 25% EXP bonus - so you can start using the new ones at level 20 as soon as they're released!

Evolution: Intel Haswell high end offerings to up the QPI speed and use it to join with MIC multi-teraflop chip Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evolution-intel-haswell-high-endofferings-to-up-the-qpi-speed-and-use-it-to-join-with-mic-multi-teraflopchip/15476.html April 9th, 2012

So, Intel's mainstream desktop CPUs don't have QPI links anymore? Well, the high end ones certainly do, and will have more... Intel is evolving the QPI further, speeding it up and adding more fun chips to it, using the co-processor model akin to the old 80x87 FPU days Intel QuickPath Interconnect between the CPUs, or QPI, is critical to linking multiple CPUs tightly together in a low latency, very high bandwidth, cache coherent manner to enable smooth scaling of applications across two or more sockets, and sharing the memory between them as one even though, in effects, it is a NUMA system at the end. It is similar to AMD HyperTransport, as both are evolved from Alpha EV7 interconnect which had it all some 12 years ago, before the world's best CPU was brutally murdered by the aspiring HP failed-CEO to be politician Carly Fiorina and her best 'friend' at the time, Compaq CEO Michael Capellas. So, the technology casualty needed to castrate Compaq to make it edible by HP of the time, set back the high end computing by a decade, what to do...

Published by: VR-Zone

Not at all - in fact, Intel is pushing the QPI speed further, from the initial 6.4 Gbit/s per pin, or 25.6 GByte/s per bidirectional 16-bit link, to 8 Gbit/s per pin, or 32 GByte/ s per bidirectional 16-bit link in the new Xeon E5 offerings you see out now, therefore outpacing the HyperTransport 3.1, which still runs at the speed same as the original QPI. Their Ivy Bridge EP and, later, Ivy Bridge EX (there is no Sandy Bridge EX, keep in mind) follow-ons will run QPI at that same speed as well. Now, Intel's going a step further in the Haswell EP and Haswell EX generation: the QPI will be sped up to 9.6 Gbit/ s per pin, or 38.4 GByte/s per bidirectional 16-bit link, and also there will be more than just CPU attached to it. While the Haswell EP is expected to have two QPI links just like the current Xeon E5 it will replace, the Haswell EX will have three QPI links, not four like the current Westmere EX, since the focus seems to be four-socket configurations where 3 QPI links are enough. Now, that's 77 GB/s and 115 GB/s of total interprocessor bandwidth per socket respectively, not bad at all! New features like 'directory cache' will also help handle MP transactions quicker over QPI then. What's interesting is that, in that timeframe, the MIC or the followon to the PCIe based 'Larrabee' compute accelerator derivative, should be running on that same QPI as the connection to the CPUs. In a sense, you'll have a multiteraflop co-processor sharing the main memory with all the other CPUs as his own, yet still having a huge local memory, maybe 16 GB or more, at very high bandwidth just like the GPUs do. Of course, it'd have two QPI links at least as to connect to at least two CPUs simultaneously for faster memory access to get those 2+ teraflops actually used. So, Intel is going 'back to the future' with the co-processor model seen last some 25 years ago in the i386 + i387 pair, but now with SIMD or vector-type co-processing being on offer in the 2014 timeframe. Would make for some very very interesting workstations and HPC server monster, methinks... but Intel, please don't be thrifty with QPI channels - let's add more of them, so, why not, AMD GPUs or third party accelerators can use it too, and be the extra co-processors to the main CPUs for many other uses, too

Back to QPI; unlike HyperTransport, Intel didn't bring its interconnect much to the open market visibility or make an attempt to standardise it - rather, it was an internal high end interconnect seen on top desktop CPUs of the Nehalem and Westmere ere, as well as on all new Sandy Bridge and onwards Xeons. The Sandy Bridge and onwards Core i7 single socket CPUs don't use QPI anymore, though - does it mean Intel is quietly giving it up, one may ask?

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PALIT NVIDIA CS Tournament - Win GTX680 Jetstream and Patroit SSDs! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/palit-nvidia-cs-tournament--wingtx680-jetstream-and-patroit-ssds-/15475.html April 9th, 2012

In conjunction with the release of the award winning and fastest graphics card in the world Geforce GTX680 Jetstream, Palit and NVIDIA is proud to to present the inaugural "Palit-Nvidia CS Tournament - Gear up for Battle!" Competition. Each of the winning 5-man CS:S team will be rewarded with a record breaking Palit Jetstream GeForce GTX 680 and a speedy Patriot SSD. More details can be found on the microsite at http:// cs.palit.biz. Taipei, Taiwan, April 2012 - In conjunction with the release of the award winning and fastest graphics card in the world Geforce GTX680 Jetstream, Palit and NVIDIA is proud to to present the inaugural "Palit-Nvidia CS Tournament - Gear up for Battle!" Competition. Much too often in a framerate intensive game like CounterStrike Source and the upcoming Counter-Strike :Global Offensive, the difference between a kill and a miss is down to the gamer's equipment - having a dedicated NVIDIA GPU allows you to have smooth uninterrupted gameplay and not hamper your amazing reaction skillz. Featuring the top Counter-Strike Source teams in the region (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia) going head to head with each other in a single elimination format played on Gamers.com.sg servers, this two week long online event will reward each of the members of the best 5-man team a record breaking GTX 680 Jetstream and a speedy Patriot SSD.

Published by: VR-Zone

Schedule will be updated on official website if there is any adjustment. Prize presentation in May. 2012 by respective country’s local PALIT office/representatives [to be clarified] Signup now or view the round by round action at http:// c s.palit.biz ! Registration closes 15th April so go form your teams fast! About Palit Microsystems Ltd Established in 1988, Palit Microsystems Ltd. is wellknown for manufacturing stable, excellent, and innovative graphics accelerators. As one of the top PC components manufacturers, Palit continues to provide top-to-bottom graphics cards with stable and excellent quality to the world. With main operation in Taipei, logistic center in Hong Kong, factories in Mainland China, and branch office in Germany, Palit has developed a worldwide sales network and cooperated closely with our customers. Palit is well positioned to maintain an industry leadership due to the vast array of NVIDIA products and on-going development efforts. Palit’s worldwide facilities are ISO 9001 certified. All the Palit PC graphics accelerators and motherboards are with WHQL certification to ensure full compatibility. Contact Info: Palit Microsystems Ltd Taipei Office: Tel: +886 2 2358-2066 Fax: +886 2 2397-3179 Tech Support: support@palit.biz Learn more about Palit's NVIDIA-based products at http:// www.palit.biz

MSI NVIDIA DotA SEA Championship - Attractive Prizes Signup now @ http:// mgt-dota.msi.com! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-nvidia-dota-sea-championship-attractive-prizes-signup-now--http-mgt-dota.msi.com-/15474.html April 9th, 2012

Tournament Details: Version - Counter-Strike Source (STEAM) Ruleset - 5v5 Standard Online MR15 Registration Period Round of 16 Quarter Finals Semi Finals Finals -

As a prelude to the imminent release of DOTA 2, MSI is teaming up with NVIDIA to bring to you the MSI NVIDIA DotA SEA Championship which will be happening this month. The best teams in the tournament will win up to US $2000 cash and attractive prizes like upcoming MSI N6XX cards. Signup (hurry, less than 1 week left!) or follow the round by round action at http://mgt-dota.msi.com! Taipei, Taiwan, April 2012 - Micro-Star International Co., Ltd (MSI), leading components maker and generous sponsor of various e-Sports teams and competitions over the years, is teaming up with NVIDIA to bring the South East Asia

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iteration of the "MSI NVIDIA DOTA TOURNAMENT" competition, happening this month April 2012! With the release of the record shattering 28nm GeForce GTX680 GPU, gamers can now savour graphics intensive DirectX 11 games while using the innovative 3D Vision Surround technology for up to four monitor gameplay! MSI's exclusive Afterburner overclocking utility also allows gamers to adjust the power and clocks of the GPU on the fly and take in-game replays with the built in video recording feature. The competition will pit 16 of the best teams in the region (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam) against one another for a chance to be recognised as the best, and the best teams will also walk away with attractive cash (US$2000) and graphic card prizes (MSI N6xx) while doing so! Tournament Details: Version - DotA 6.74c

Published by: VR-Zone

Our efforts are focused on quality, customer satisfaction and innovative solutions to meet growing market demands for computing needs. For nearly 16 years, MSI has paid close attention to customers' needs and has a proud history of achieving highly satisfaction results. In the process, a unique business culture has emerged that drives associates to perform their absolute best. Our work is characterized by intellectual curiosity, devotion to customer needs, passion and the demands we place upon ourselves for quality. A global company with sales of $1.7 billion in 2002, MSI serves an international network of distributors and OEM customers in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Latin America.

Patch version: 1.24e Match room: Garena Singapore Section, Room Name “DotaSG – ProPowerPlay”

MSI was recently ranked number 22 on Legend Magazine's Top 1000 manufacturing companies in Taiwan and ranked number 85 in the recent BusinessWeek Info Tech 100 report, published in June 2003.

Win Condition: Completely destroys opponent’s World Tree/Frozen Throne. Learn more about MSI at http://www.msi.com A roll between the two teams themselves will determine which team will get to choose either of the two options, “Draft First” or “Pick Side First”. Registration Period - 1st - 12th April 2012 Round of 16 - 13th to 16th April Quarter Finals - 17th to 20th April

ASRock X79 Extreme4 Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-x79-extreme4review/15472.html April 9th, 2012

Semi Finals - 21st to 24th April Finals - 25th to 28th April Schedule will be updated on official website if there is any adjustment. Prize presentation in May. 2012 by respective country’s local MSI office/representatives [to be clarified] Signup now or view the round by round action at http://mgtdota.msi.com!

Today we take a look at one of ASRock's entry level X79 boards, the X79 Extreme4. Not only is this board reasonably priced, but also carries many of the features of more expensive boards. Follow us as we take a look at the Extreme4 and its many extremities.

About MSI Micro-Star International Co., Ltd (MSI) enjoys a high reputation for its innovations in the construction of Motherboards, Graphics Cards, Optical Storage Devices, Workstations, Servers, Slim PCs, Barebone Systems and IA Products. Since its founding in 1986, MSI has remained at the forefront in providing easy-to-implement, state-of-the-art products and robust computing solutions for our customers. 11


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Published by: VR-Zone

ASRock is well known for making entry level motherboards at a cheap price, however recently they have started to turn their wheels into the enthusiast market segment, and for that they have adopted nicer styling such as the gold and black theme as well as added features enthusiasts want. We recently took a look at their Z68 Extreme7 Gen3, one of their highest end products, but with the launch of the X79 platform ASRock decided to go even higher to an Extreme9 and Extreme11, however today we will look at a board which is much more affordable, the X79 Extreme4. Like always I will take an in-depth look at the hardware and then the performance of that hardware through different benchmarks. Then we can see how the Extreme4 stacks up to high-end boards such as the X79-UD7 and BigBang XPower2. So buckle up and get ready for the ride.

CPU Support

Chipset Memory

- Supports Intel ® Core™ i7 processor family for the LGA 2011 Socket - Digi Power Design - Advanced 6 + 2 Power Phase Design - Supports Intel ® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology - Supports Hyper-Threading Technology - Supports Untied Overclocking Technology Intel X79 Express - Quad Channel DDR3 memory technology - 4 x DDR3 DIMM slots - Supports DDR3 2400+(OC)/1600/1333/1066/800 non-ECC, un-buffered memory - Supports DDR3 ECC, un-buffered memory with Intel ® Workstation 1S Xeon processors E5 16xx/26xx/46xx series in socket LGA 2011 - Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB

Multi-GPU Support

The X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine, except for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0, something we hope to see with Intel's Z77 chipset. Second it is missing all of those additional SAS or SATA6GB/s ports we saw on earlier X79 prototypes. That was a lot of SATA/ SAS ports and now we have none of it, so we basically have a redo of the Z68 chipset just without SSD Caching and iGPU support. What is more interesting about the LGA2011 platform is what is the CPU has in store for us. Even though the current LGA2011 CPU's lack virtualization and PCI-E 3.0 certification, they still have many features. Quad channel memory controller with supreme overclocking abilities is a plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which can't be claimed until the second stepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem to take for granted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF support. With LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy the overclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK straps are nothing to push to the side.

Expansion Slots

Storage

- Supports NVIDIA ® Quad SLI™ , 3-Way SLI™ and SLI™ - 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE1 @ x16 mode; PCIE3 @ x16 mode; PCIE4 @ x8 mode) - 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots - 2 x PCI slots - 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Intel ® X79, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

Specifications: LAN MSI X79 BigBang XPower II

- Supports Intel ® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2 - Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™ , 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™

and Intel ® Rapid Storage 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions - 3 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions - 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Intel ® X79, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel ® Rapid Storage 12


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Audio

USB

FireWire Back Panel I/O Ports

Internal I/O Connectors

Published by: VR-Zone

3.0), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions - 3 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec) - Premium Blu-ray audio support - Supports THX TruStudio™ - 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by ASMedia ASM1042, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s - 1 x Front USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) by ASMedia ASM1042, supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s N/A I/O Panel - 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port - 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port - 1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port - 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port - 6 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 Ports - 1 x eSATA3 Connector - 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 Ports - 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED) - 1 x IEEE 1394 Port - 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with LED - HD Audio Jack: Side Speaker / Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone - 4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s connectors, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel ® Rapid Storage 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug functions - 5 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors - 1 x IR header - 1 x CIR header - 1 x COM port header - 1 x HDMI_SPDIF header - 1 x IEEE 1394 header - 1 x Power LED header - CPU/Chassis/Power/SB FAN connector - 24 pin ATX power connector - 8 pin 12V power connector - SLI/XFire power connector - Front panel audio connector

Form Factor

- 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports) - 1 x USB 3.0 header (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) - 1 x Dr. Debug with LED - ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm

IO-Data's new SSD uses Toshiba SATA 6Gbps controller Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/io-data-s-new-ssd-uses-toshibasata-6gbps-controller/15473.html April 9th, 2012

It's easy to forget that Toshiba is still in the SSD controller market, but the company's latest model has been revealed to reside inside IO-Data's latest SSD, the SSDN-3TB which is set to launch later this month. It's taken Toshiba quite some time to launch a SATA 6Gbps controller and it looks like the company has done a pretty decent job. It's easy to forget that Toshiba is still in the SSD controller market, but the company's latest model has been revealed to reside inside IO-Data's latest SSD, the SSDN-3TB which is set to launch later this month. It's taken Toshiba quite some time to launch a SATA 6Gbps controller and it looks like the company has done a pretty decent job. IO-Data's new drive was put through its paces by Japanese Impress PC Watch and although they only ran a few benchmarks, the numbers are pretty good. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look at the rated spec. Depending on the drive capacity the new Toshiba controller which is known as the TC58NC5HJ8GSB-01 can deliver sequential performance of around 350MB/s write and 480MB/s read, or if you prefer 58k IOPS for random reads and 73k IOPS for random writes.

IO-Data has paired up the controller with Toshiba's latest generation of 24nm Toggle NAND flash and the company will offer drive sizes of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB. The SSD uses a single sided PCB and unlike previous Toshiba SSD 13


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controllers, their new SATA 6Gbps model doesn't appear to feature any local cache. What's interesting is the fact that the 120GB model of the SSDN-3TB that was tested actually performs better than Toshiba's stated performance figures for its new SSD controller. In CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 the drive hits sequential read speeds of 494.9MB/s and write speeds of 381.4MB/ s with the standard 100MB test data. Moving up to larger test data of 1GB, the drive read speeds drops to 441.3MB/s and the write speed to 376.1MB/s, but both are still decent numbers. In AS SSD the results are similar with a sequential read speed of 444.52MB/s and a write speed of 340.53MB/s.

However, with SSD's it's the random performance that really matters and here the new Toshiba controller appears to be pretty decent with 4K performance figures of 31.15MB/ s for reads and an impressive 93.69MB/s for writes in CrystalDiskMark and that's SandForce territory. It's not quite as good with longer queue depths, as here the read speed is 149.7MB/s and the write speed 234.9MB/s, quite some way off what you'd get from the average SandForce powered SATA 6Gbps SSD. The results are similar in AS SSD with a small lead in 4K, but in the 64 threaded part the Toshiba controller just can't keep up. As to if the IO-Data SSD is using an actual Toshiba controller, or if it's yet another re-branded solution isn't clear from the review, but the performance numbers suggests that it's not a SandForce controller and the lack of local cache tells us that it's not a Marvell controller. The biggest issue in this case is pricing, as IO-Data wants 16,800 Yen (US$206/S$259) for its 120GB model, which is a pretty steep asking price for a 120GB SSD these days and even more so for one that isn't mind-bogglingly fast.

Princeton launches virtual Bluetooth KVM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/princeton-launches-virtualbluetooth-kvm/15471.html April 9th, 2012

There are times when a real keyboard and mouse would make it so much easier to add information to your tablet or smartphone, yet it's generally not that easy to make this

Published by: VR-Zone

happen. Japanese Princeton seems to have a solution that would simplify this greatly in the shape of its range of PSC Bluetooth KVM's. There are times when a real keyboard and mouse would make it so much easier to add information to your tablet or smartphone, yet it's generally not that easy to make this happen. Japanese Princeton seems to have a solution that would simplify this greatly in the shape of its range of PSC Bluetooth KVM's. What Princeton has done is to take a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, some Windows and OS X drivers and added a sprinkle of its own software to allow for remote controlling of various devices. The magic is in the software, as it allows you to use the keyboard on your PC or Mac to controller either a smartphone, a tablet or another PC or Mac depending of which version you've bought.

The neat trick is that the input devices on the PC appear as Bluetooth HID devices which are generally well supported in most modern operating systems, no matter the device. There are of course some limitations here, for example mouse input only works on Android 3.1 or later, but keyboard input is meant to work on just about any mobile device. Sadly there's no screen mirroring, so you'll still have to look at the device in question, even though you're using the keyboard and mouse/trackpad of a PC or a Mac. At 4,980 Yen (US$61/S$77) it's not a cheap solution though, but for anyone that wants to be able to use the same keyboard and mouse wirelessly with multiple devices, it might be money well spent. The USB dongles are compatible with Windows XP and later as well as OS X 10.6 or later. Sadly they're only ever likely to be available in Japan and the software is most likely only in Japanese.

THQ denies it will go bust in six months Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thq-denies-it-will-go-bust-in-sixmonths/15470.html April 9th, 2012

Beleaguered game publisher THQ has denied reports that it will go bust within the next six months, labelling them as “outdated” and “false.” 14


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Published by: VR-Zone

Beleaguered game publisher THQ has denied reports that it will go bust within the next six months, labelling them as “outdated” and “false.”

game instead. With such a run of bad luck, the company's future looks gloomy at best.

The company, which publishes games like Dawn of War and the WWE series, was responding to allegations by TakeTwo's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, that “THQ won't be around in six months."

Google unveils Project Glass augmented reality glasses

Zelnick told attendees at the MIT Business in Gaming conference that THQ's strategy is not working and that the execution of that strategy was bad. He said THQ is focusing on licensed content from other people, such as UFC, WWE, Games Workshop, and Disney-Pixar, rather than developing and using its own intellectual property. Licensing leaves game publishers at the mercy of license holders, according to Zelnick, regardless of whether or not the company does a good job with the licensed title. Profits will be eroded by licensing fees, making it difficult for companies that predominantly employ licenses to keep afloat.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-unveils-project-glassaugmented-reality-glasses/15469.html April 9th, 2012

Google has unveiled Project Glass, an augmented reality technology that interacts with its social network and could even replace smartphones and tablet computers as “the next big thing.” Google has unveiled Project Glass, an augmented reality technology that interacts with its social network and could even replace smartphones and tablet computers as “the next big thing.” The project is in its early stages and may not ever make it to fruition, but augmented reality, which overlays digital information on the real world, is an area that is likely to boom within the next few years, and clearly Google wants to be an early adopter of the technology. In a video demonstration of how the company sees the technology working users will wear special augmented reality glasses that display notifications, video, maps, and other visual cues, as well as recording the user's voice and responding to their commands, such as to find their current location or upload a photo to Google+.

In Zelnick's address he was also disparaging of THQ's quality, suggesting that Take-Two produces games that are much higher in quality than what THQ is making. He said quality is vital to success in the game industry, but that THQ's quality “hasn't measured up.”

The integration with Google+ is a key part of this idea, as it's all about helping users to “explore and share” their world. Google's pitch is that other devices take you out of the moment by forcing you to type, click, tap, and look away from whatever it is you're doing, whereas the augmented reality glasses are all about “putting you back in the moment.”

"Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate,” THQ told Joystiq. “His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business." Zelnick might be poking his nose where it isn't wanted, but it's hard to deny that THQ is struggling to stay alive. Its shares dropped below $1 in January, which could see it being delisted from the stock market, and it has been forced to cancel a number of projects, including its uDraw tablet computer and its Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online MMO, which will now be turned into a single-player 15


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Published by: VR-Zone

Mac computers, taking advantage of a Java exploit employed on rogue websites, all of which appear to employ the .rr.nu extension. This exploit saves an executable file on infected computers, which downloads further malware and establishes the Mac as part of the growing botnet. A whopping four million websites are believed to be compromised and hackers are constantly adapting their exploits to continue the spread of malware. They used two security holes in February and then switched to a third after 16 March, which Apple only repaired a few days ago. Further exploits will likely be identified and employed over the coming weeks and months.

Google showed off some early design photos of the eyewear people will need for this technology to become reality. It looks like a futuristic pair of glasses, but instead of two glasses covering the eyes, there is one small translucent screen on the right-hand side, suggesting that the idea is not to interfere with regular vision. Of course, this could be problematic for those who already need glasses, but we imagine it may consider some kind of altered form that can clip onto existing glasses, or perhaps it will develop the technology to the state where opticians can manufacture prescription augmented reality eyewear, an idea that might have sounded like science-fiction a few years ago. Google is looking to share its ideas and get feedback and suggestions from users. It is likely also keen to see how much interest there is in this technology. If it manages to develop this within the next few years it could revolutionise the industry, ensuring success both for the hardware itself and the social network that will take advantage of it.

550,000 Apple Macs infected by botnet trojan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/550-000-apple-macs-infected-bybotnet-trojan/15468.html April 9th, 2012

Apple's computers and devices are usually well-known for their higher security compared to Windows-based computers, with less malware circulating. This reputation has even led some to believe they do not need anti-virus software on a Mac. Much of this security complacency is to blame for the spread of malware on Apple machines, and it highlights the closing gap between Macs and Windows computers in terms of security. The vast majority of infections are in the United States, with 56.6 percent of the share, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia at 19.8 percent, 12.8 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. All other regions show a less than one percent infection rate.

G.Skill ARES 16GB 2133MHz CL9 Kit (F3-2133C9Q-16GAB) Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-ares-16gb-2133mhz-cl9-kitf3-2133c9q-16gab-review/15461.html April 9th, 2012

Over half a million Apple Mac computers have been infected with a computer trojan that connects them to an extensive botnet largely based in North America. Over half a million Apple Mac computers have been infected with a computer trojan that connects them to an extensive botnet largely based in North America. Russian anti-virus software firm Doctor Web found that the BackDoor.Flashback trojan is spreading quickly on

With the introduction of Intel's Socket 2011 processors for enthusiasts and professionals not too long ago, it spawned a market for good XMP 1.3 DDR3 compliant kits to maximize the quad channel bandwidth and take advantage extra memory dividers north of 2400+MHz that the new platform 16


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Published by: VR-Zone

brings. We have previously published a review of the G.Skill ARES 2133MHz 8GB kit and today we have the 16GB quad channel version for your consideration.

Specifications Model Number Series System System Type Main Board M/B Chipset Capacity Multi-Channel Kit Tested Speed

F3-2133C9Q-16GAB ARES DESKTOP DDR3 INTEL X79 / P67 / Z68 16GB (4GBx4) Quad Channel kit DDR3-2133 MHz (PC3-17000) Tested Latency 9-11-10 2N Tested Voltage 1.65V Registered/Unbuffered Unbuffered Error Checking Non-ECC Type 240-pin DIMM SPD Speed 1600 MHz SPD Voltage 1.5V Height 33 mm / 1.30 inch Warranty Lifetime Fan lncluded No Features Intel XMP (Extreme Momery Profile)Ready G.Skill's ARES memory modules differ from their popular RipjawsZ series only by the use of a low profile blue heatspreader to avoid height clearance issues with tall heatsink towers. Both share the same 6-layer PCB and Hynix H9C DDR3 memory chips which are generally well received by the overclocking community.

Harmonix to release Rock Band Blitz this Summer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/harmonix-to-release-rock-bandblitz-this-summer/15467.html April 9th, 2012

The studio behind hit rhythm-based games Rock Band and Dance Central, Harmonix has now confirmed that it's working on a new title dubbed Rock Band Blitz which will be released 'this Summer'. The new game steers away from previous Rock Band iterations in that no peripherals are required this time around. Instead, game play is more or less mimicked from the older titles including Frequency and Amplitude, where players press buttons in time with the songs across several lanes. Rock Band Blitz will include a new 25-song soundtrack, but existing Rock Band owners can easily import any DLC tracks they'd purchased as well as being able to use the Blitz tracks in other Rock Band games. The game will arrive both on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as a downloadable title via PSN and XBLA with its release date yet to be determined. In the meantime, you can check out this official trailer to get a better feel for it :-

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Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

Microsoft preps four critical and two important updates for next week Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-preps-four-critical-andtwo-important-updates-for-next-week/15466.html April 9th, 2012

Microsoft has made an announcement today detailing plans to roll out six new security patches on this month's 'Patch Tuesday' scheduled for next week. Four of these are rated Critical, with the other two being Important. Microsoft has made an announcement today detailing plans to roll out six new security patches on this month's 'Patch Tuesday' scheduled for next week. Four of these are rated Critical, with the other two being Important. The purpose of these security bulletins is to deal with 11 vulnerabilities that affect Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, Forefront UAG and .NET Framework in terms of remote code execution and information disclosure. The exact time for the release of the updates is April 10th at 10am PDT (5pm GMT).

The Vengeance 2000 looks like a beefed up version of the popular Vengeance 1500, but without a cord to get tangled up with. There isn't much that differs between the two models, but the Vengeance 2000 looks slightly chunkier and in some ways a bit more refined while maintaining the overall look of Corsair's headset range.

Corsair announces the Vengeance 2000 wireless headset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-announces-thevengeance-2000-wireless-headset/15464.html April 9th, 2012

We're not entirely sure why you'd need a wireless headset as a PC gamer, but if that's your kind of thing, then maybe Corsair's new Vengeance 2000 is what you've been waiting for. Not being content in just delivering a wireless headset, Corsair has thrown in multi-channel audio support as well, for some surround sound action. We're not entirely sure why you'd need a wireless headset as a PC gamer, but if that's your kind of thing, then maybe Corsair's new Vengeance 2000 is what you've been waiting for. Not being content in just delivering a wireless headset, Corsair has thrown in multi-channel audio support as well, for some surround sound action.

The Vengeance 2000 is yet another USB headset in as much as it comes with a USB dongle that acts both as "sound card" and wireless device. Corsair claims a range of 40 feet which is about 12 meters, not fantastic, but most likely more than long enough. There's no mention of the radio technology used, but we'd presume we're looking at another 2.4GHz device. As for battery life, well, Corsair says that the Vengeance 2000 should be good for up to 10h of continuous usage, which again isn't fantastic, but should be more than sufficient for most users. 18


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The 50mm drivers have similar ear cushions as the Vengeance 1500 with microfiber covers. Surround sound support comes in the shape of HRTF positional audio and Corsair claim that the Vengeance 2000 can reproduce 5.1 and 7.1-channel audio accurately. Overall the Vengeance 2000 looks like a decent enough product, although we still have a bit of a hard time understanding why anyone would go for a $149.99 (S$189) wireless headset when you can get something equally good if not better for less money as long as you don't mind it being wired.

LaCie announced the eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lacie-announced-the-esata-hubthunderbolt-series/15463.html April 9th, 2012

Ah yes, Thunderbolt, that revolutionizing new standard that next to no-one's using due to the high costs. Well, ok, that's not entirely true, but it has yet to take off, although LaCie is doing its best when it comes to getting products out there and its new eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series might win a few Mac owners over. Ah yes, Thunderbolt, that revolutionizing new standard that next to no-one's using due to the high costs. Well, ok, that's not entirely true, but it has yet to take off, although LaCie is doing its best when it comes to getting products out there and its new eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series might win a few Mac owners over.

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The eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series so far consists of a single device, so calling it a series is a bit pretentious. As the name implies, we're looking at a Thunderbolt device that adds eSATA connectivity. The eSATA Hub has two Thunderbolt ports, so in other words it can be daisy chained and as per the Thunderbolt standard, up to six devices can be connected. There are also two eSATA ports which will allow for a pair of eSATA drives to be attached to the hub. Apparently the power available from the Thunderbolt interface isn't enough to power the hub, as it also comes with a power supply.

We're not entirely impressed with the eSATA Hub though, as it's fairly large at 40x140x85mm (WxDxH), but that's really the least of its problems. The potentially biggest issue is that LaCie is using an old SATA controller that's limited to the 3Gbps SATA standard. This is just poor, especially considering the low cost of a SATA 6Gbps controller and even more so when the eSATA Hub doesn't even sport hardware RAID support. Then there's that little thing about pricing and as we know, LaCie isn't known for being cheap, but at $199 excluding a Thunderbolt cable, the eSATA Hub is going to have a hard time finding people willing to pay its steep price.

MSI shows off its Super RAID in the GT70 gaming notebook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-shows-off-its-super-raid-in-thegt70-gaming-notebook/15462.html April 9th, 2012

Notebooks with an SSD are hardly newsworthy these days, but MSI has managed to pull a fast one and made things interesting once again. The company has put what it calls a Super RAID inside its GT70 gaming notebook and it's unlike anything we've seen to date. 19


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Notebooks with an SSD are hardly newsworthy these days, but MSI has managed to pull a fast one and made things interesting once again. The company has put what it calls a Super RAID inside its GT70 gaming notebook and it's unlike anything we've seen to date.

The MSI GT70 at CeBIT The GT70 is what you'd call a serious gaming notebook, as it sports a keyboard designed by SteelSeries, a Killer NIC, Dynaudio speakers and of course a full HD 1080p 17.3-inch display. Then there's of course a mobile Ivy Bridge CPU and some kind of 600-series mobile GPU from Nvidia hiding in there somewhere. As with many 17-inch notebooks, MSI has made room for two hard drives, but it appears that MSI went on tinkering a bit and figured that running RAID with a pair of hard drives just wasn't good enough.

What the company came up with is an insane solution which MSI named Super RAID. If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see a hard drive at the bottom, the various bits you'd expect to find inside a notebook and then at the top left where the second hard drive should, is the Super RAID card. If you're familiar with components you'll notice that there is a pair of mSATA SSDs fitted to a small PCB of some kind that takes up just over half of the space a regular hard drive or SSD would use.

The SSD's in question are a pair of OEM models from SanDisk and judging by the performance figures quoted by MSI, what we're looking at is a pair of U100 drives. In this particular notebook MSI has fitted a pair of 64GB drives. The PCB below the two mSATA drives appear to only be a simple holder for the cards with a pair of SATA re-drivers fitted to it to make sure that the signal integrity doesn't drop. As such, the actual RAID element of this setup is handled by the Intel chipset. Interestingly the SSDs from SanDisk sport SanDisk branded SSD controllers, although we don't actually know if they're made by SanDisk or just a rebranded controller from another manufacturer.

Now the U100 series from SanDisk isn't the fastest mSATA SSD out there and the 64GB models in use here have a rated sequential read speed of up to 450MB/s and a write speed of up to 220MB/s. Even so, in RAID 0 the two drives perform remarkably well in HD Tune Pro 5.00 hitting an average read speed of 928.6MB/s with a burst rated of 1,997.2MB/s. The latter suggests that with a couple of faster mSATA SSDs installed, MSI's Super RAID could in fact offer even better performance. There's no doubt that this is an interesting solution from MSI and it's something we'd like to see in more high-end notebooks, as mSATA drives take up very little space and there's no reason why this shouldn't be a much more commonplace feature. Sure, cost is an issue, but we don't expect this is every notebook out there. Either which way, well played MSI, you made notebooks with SSDs interesting again.

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

EA leak gives first look at Crysis 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-leak-gives-first-look-atcrysis-3/15537.html April 11th, 2012

The game is expected to retail for $49.99. It's not yet clear what platforms it will launch on or when the game will release, but an announcement is expected later this month.

Apple tablet dominance to continue until 2016, Android closing the gap Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-tablet-dominance-to-continueuntil-2016-android-closing-the-gap/15536.html April 11th, 2012

Electronic Arts made a blunder on its Origin digital download service by accidentally releasing the first artwork for Crysis 3, the latest game in the first-person shooter franchise from Crytek. Electronic Arts made a blunder on its Origin digital download service by accidentally releasing the first artwork for Crysis 3, the latest game in the first-person shooter franchise from Crytek. The image was published at Origin for a brief moment before being taken down, but it has since been circulated across the web after it was spotted by users of the NeoGAF forum. While details on the unannounced game are still sketchy, the image gives some clues about the setting and weaponry that will be employed.

Apple's dominance in the tablet market is set to continue until at least 2016, according to a report by Gartner, but Android's phenomenal growth will also close the gap and threaten the company's lead in subsequent years. Apple's dominance in the tablet market is set to continue until at least 2016, according to a report by Gartner, but Android's phenomenal growth will also close the gap and threaten the company's lead in subsequent years. iPad sales were at just under 40 million units in 2011, but are expected to grow to nearly 72 million this year, 99.5 million in 2013, and just under 170 million by 2016, cementing Apple's lead. However, Android's growth is expected to be far greater than that of Apple's. 17.3 million Android tablets were sold last year, and this will more than double to 37.9 million this year. Sales will nearly double next year to 61.7 million units and more than double by 2016 to 137.7 million units. If this growth continues then Android has a strong chance of taking Apple's crown in the second half of this decade.

The game looks like it will be set in a city, similar to Crysis 2, despite calls from many fans for a return to the jungle island setting of the original game. However, Crytek could surprise players by offering gameplay in a variety of locales. The nanosuit is obviously making a return, though it would be hard to imagine a Crysis game without it. Something new, however, is the mechanical bow, which could offer a different style of gameplay, perhaps in combination with a new nanosuit mode.

Microsoft is also expected to see strong growth with the advent of a Windows 8 tablet, starting from 4.8 million units 1


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this year and growing to 14.5 million next year. Gartner expects this to boom to 43.6 million units by 2016, giving Microsoft a sizeable slice of the pie, but ensuring it stays well behind its rivals.

is unlikely, ebooks are certainly taking the world by storm, with online bookstore Amazon now selling more ebooks than hardcopy books, largely thanks to the success of its Kindle devices.

All of this tablet growth will mean that overall sales across the tablet industry will jump from 60 million units last year to 118.9 million this year, 182.5 million in 2013, and a whopping 369.2 million units by 2016 as tablet prices drop and the market is flooded with competitors.

Apple has been vying for a higher share in the ebook market by launching ebook services for its iPhone and iPad range and inking several lucrative deals with big name publishers, including a partnership for digital textbooks.

US government sues Apple and publishers over ebook price-fixing

If Apple is found guilty of encouraging and facilitating this price-fixing it could lose a lot of money, not just in fines and penalties, but in lost revenue that might go to rival ebook services who might now be better able to compete.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-government-sues-apple-andpublishers-over-ebook-price-fixing/15535.html April 11th, 2012

Apple Developing Software to Combat 'Flashback' Malware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-developing-software-tocombat-flashback-malware/15534.html April 11th, 2012

The US government is suing Apple and a number of major publishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order to stamp out competition. The US government is suing Apple and a number of major publishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order to stamp out competition. The publishers included in the lawsuit are some of the biggest names in the industry, including HarperCollins, MacMillon, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Plc, and Hachette Book Group, revealing potentially widespread abuse of the growing digital book medium.

Apple is developing software to remove the malware ‘Flashback’ from Macintosh computers. No ETA was given. The arrival of this software will be a relief to the users who are already infected – hundreds of thousands, according to antivirus company Dr. Web.

Apple is seen as the centre of this scandal, however, with the Department of Justice filing accusing it of facilitating the publishers' “collective effort to end retail price competition by coordinating their transition to an agency model across all retailers.”

Ebooks are a growing phenomenon that some believe will eventually replace tradition paper-based books. While this

Apple is developing software to remove the malware 'Flashback' from Macintosh computers. Although long regarded as a safe haven from viruses, Macintosh may never recover this image in the public eye. In February of 2011, a malware known as ‘Flashback’ began infecting thousands of Macs by exploiting vulnerability in the version of Java 2


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imbedded in Mac OS X. An earlier variant of this malware appeared during September of that year, disguising itself as an installer for Adobe Flash. Last week, Apple released two updates of Java to patch the weakness which allowed Mac users to get infected without even clicking on anything whatsoever. These updates will help prevent computers from getting infected, but those which already contain the virus cannot be helped. On Tuesday, Apple revealed that it was developing software to remove this malware from computers infected by it. “Apple is developing software that will detect and remove the Flashback malware,” was the statement given by Apple on its website support blog. No ETA was given. The arrival of this software will be a relief to the users who are already infected – hundreds of thousands, according to antivirus company Dr. Web. Apple might be feeling the brunt of its long years of stagnancy and inexperience with viruses. In an attempt to disable the servers that Flashback depends on to use, the corporation attempted to shut down Dr. Web’s servers, which had been disguised as the Flashback servers in order to gain information about the Flashback malware. Critics suggest that Apple’s inexperience in security issues caused this blunder, which has fallen under heavy criticism. The development of software to remove Flashback may be an important step in preparing Apple for possible malware yet to come.

Eizo to display 36.4" 4K resolution monitor at NAB 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/eizo-to-display-36.4-4k-resolutionmonitor-at-nab-2012/15532.html April 11th, 2012

It has been determined that Eizo will be showcasing an LCD monitor at NAB 2012 (running from April 14 to 19) which offers up a 4K resolution. The FDH3601 monitor comprises a 36.4-inch sized screen with 10-bit colors, while its biggest, boldest feature is the super high 4,096 x 2,160 resolution. It has been determined that Eizo will be showcasing an LCD monitor at NAB 2012 (running from April 14 to 19) which offers up a 4K resolution. The FDH3601 monitor comprises a 36.4-inch sized screen with 10-bit colors, while its biggest, boldest feature is the super high 4,096 x 2,160 resolution.

It's been said by the manufacturer that the display is capable of delivering 100% sRGB coverage in color gamut along with a "perfect smooth tone reproduction across the screen". The monitor has a 16-bit lookup table supporting up to 278 trillion colors, while its maximum brightness is 700 cd/m2 with a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and response time of 8ms. The FDH3601 has actually been selling in Japan already for quite some time now, but it's unlikely if it does go on sale in the U.S. or elsewhere it will work out to be much, if at all cheaper. Currently in Japan it sells for a highly absurd 2.88 million yen (about US $35,700).

Intel's 910-series of PCI Express SSDs imminent Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-910-series-of-pci-expressssds-imminent/15533.html April 11th, 2012

By now it's pretty clear that the SATA and SAS interfaces just aren't cutting it for high-performance SSDs and as we know from Intel's SSD roadmap, PCI Express is the future interface for its high-end SSDs. The company is about to announce its new 910-series of PCI Express based SSD's, previously known as Ramsdale MLC and VR-Zone is bringing you the details ahead of the launch. By now it's pretty clear that the SATA and SAS interfaces just aren't cutting it for high-performance SSDs and as we know from Intel's SSD roadmap, PCI Express is the future interface for its high-end SSDs. The company is about to announce its new 910-series of PCI Express based SSD's, previously known as Ramsdale MLC and VR-Zone is bringing you the details ahead of the launch. If we gaze back at the roadmap, Intel skipped its original PCI Express SSD – also codenamed Ramsdale – which was meant to use SLC NAND and was supposedly meant to be the 720-series. The original Ramsdale SSD was meant to arrive sometime in Q4 of last year and it was said to deliver some 180,000 4K read IOPS and 56,000 4K write IOPS. For whatever reason this product never launched and in its place it looks like we'll have to make do with the 910-series.

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The general downside of MLC over SLC NAND flash is the longevity of MLC isn't as good as that for SLC, but the 910series is using Intel's HET or High Endurance Technology MLC memory which is also used in the 710-series. The write endurance using 25nm HET MLC is close to that of 50nm SLC, so in most circumstances HET MLC should be preferable due to lower cost. Intel is of course taking over provisioning into account here as well and the new 910series should have any issues when it comes to longevity.

Published by: VR-Zone April 11th, 2012

"Mainstream" support for Microsoft's ill-received Vista operating system has ended today where it has now entered a secondary "Extended Support" stage that lasts until 2017 when the doors will be shut on this operating system for good. "Mainstream" support for Microsoft's ill-received Vista operating system has ended today where it has now entered a secondary "Extended Support" stage that lasts until 2017 when the doors will be shut on this operating system for good.

The 910-series will be available in two capacities, 400GB and 800GB, which straight away puts it in a different market segment than any of Intel's previous SSD products. The drive comprised of multiple PCB modules which consists of an unspecified SAS to NAND ASCI and 200GB of NAND flash per module. There's also a main PCB onto which the modules are attached which holds a PCI Express to SAS bridge as well as the components for power etc. The NAND flash is connected via an ONFI 2.0 interface, but we do don't know exactly how much bandwidth is available from each of the NAND flash packages. The sequential read performance is rated at up to 1GB/s for the 400GB SKU and a massive 2GB/s for the 800GB SKU. The write performance is a fair bit slower, but hardly slow at up to 750MB/s for the 400GB SKU and 1GB/s for the 800GB SKU. As far as IOPS are concerned, we're looking at a read performance of up to 90,000 and 180,000 IOPS respectively for the 400GB and 800GB model and a write performance of up to 38,000 and 75,000 IOPS. As for endurance, Intel is rating the two models at 7 and 14 Petabyte which should be compared to 1.5 Petabyte for the 710-series using overprovisioning, so in other words, these are work horse SSD's that can handle a lot of data. The card itself measures 69x168x19mm (HxWxD) which is a halfheight PCI Express card and Intel has standardised on a PCI Express 2.0 x8 interface for both models. Intel is claiming a 25W typical active power draw, with idle power draw being 8 and 12W respectively for the 400GB and 800GB SKUs. We don't have an exact launch time at the moment, but we're expecting the 910-series to be announced at IDF Beijing which kicked off today. As for availability and pricing, we'd expect the 910-series to be arriving shortly, but at a price point that puts it squarely in the high-performance computing and server market space.

Extended support will still allow users to freely obtain security updates, but if you do not have a commercial support contract you will be hit up for any bug fixes or other patches required. Meanwhile, XP which is now a full decade old is in the midst of its "Extended Support" stage with its scheduled closure for all forms of support to be in 2014.

Toshiba to launch three quadcore tablets with Android 4.0 ICS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-to-launch-three-quad-coretablets-with-android-4.0-ics/15527.html April 11th, 2012

Tablet makers are looking to bring their new product with quad-core processor and Android 4.0 ICS to market. And Toshiba has announced that it will be launching three Android tablet devices, Excite 7.7, Excite 10 and Excite 13, in May and June.

Microsoft pulls plug on mainstream support for Vista Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-pulls-plug-onmainstream-support-for-vista/15531.html

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Toshiba has introduced three new tablet devices with AMOLED touchscreen sizes of 7.7-, 10- and 13-inch. The Excite range of tablets are targeted at students and incorporate Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear cameras, and runs Android 4.0 ICS operating system. The Toshiba Excite 10 will retail in May, with the 16GB model selling at US $450; 32GB at US$530 and 64GB at US$650. The Toshiba Excite 7.7 will come in 16GB (US$500) and 32GB (US$580) models, and be available in June. The Toshiba Excite 13 will also be launched in June, with the 32GB model retailing at US$650 and 64GB at US$750.

Sony unveils VAIO E Series 14P w/ webcam gesture controls

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Packed inside is Intel's Core i3-2350M processor with 4GB of DDR3 memory and AMD Radeon HD 7670M graphics using 1GB dedicated VRAM. It ships with a 500GB 5400rpm mechanical drive and as mentioned there is a DVD burner implemented too. Battery life sounds quite decent with Sony reporting seven hours. In terms of connectivity, the VAIO E Series 14P has a couple USB 3.0 ports (one capable of cell phone charging even when the notebook's turned off), a couple USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0+HS.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-unveils-vaio-e-series-14p-wwebcam-gesture-controls/15529.html April 11th, 2012

Sony has just released its latest VAIO E Series 14P notebook, a 14-inch model which while not being worthy of ultrabook status with its 5.07 pound weight and residing DVD drive, does offer a number of attractive design cues and features. Sony has just released its latest VAIO E Series 14P notebook, a 14-inch model which while not being worthy of ultrabook status with its 5.07 pound weight and residing DVD drive, does offer a number of attractive design cues and features. The notebook is quite slim at just 0.88-inches and it does sport a nicely redesigned chassis with highlighted color wrapping around the edges and a colored speaker bezel on top of the machine. The new model also gets a backlit keyboard and a nice large trackpad.

One particular attribute of interest is that Sony has chosen to implement a 1.3-megapixel Exmor HD webcam into this notebook which not only can be used as a regular webcam for video calls etc. - it also supports Gesture Control in a somewhat Kinect-type manner. By holding up your hand in front of the camera and moving it in certain ways, this will allow for certain apps to be controlled. You can swipe left or right to move through webpages or photo galleries, or do things like lowering your hand which pauses music playback, while rotational movements can increase or decrease music volume. At this stage however, Sony'S Gesture Control feature in the VAIO E Series 14P is confined to Windows Media Player, IE9, PowerPoint (probably where it's most useful) and PowerDVD.

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Color options are white, pink and black (our favorite). Pricing and availability details are yet to be disclosed.

Google Play Music replaces Flash with HTML5 audio + star ratings Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-play-music-replaces-flashwith-html5-audio--star-ratings/15528.html April 11th, 2012

However, despite these minor improvements it is unlikely to do much in turning around the disappointing sales figures from the Music section thus far, especially with iTunes still being way too far ahead to consider Google's alternative any form of competition at this point. Perhaps when Google deals with the unpublished limit bug that even affects users listening to their own music that was manually uploaded to Google, things will be looking better.

LG Optimus 4X HD benchmark results unveiled Some new 'experimental' controls have been added to the Music sub-section of Google Play which include a toggle for using HTML5 as opposed to Flash for desktops as well as a new five-star rating system (with the thumbs up/down system having been replaced). Some new 'experimental' controls have been added to the Music sub-section of Google Play which include a toggle for using HTML5 as opposed to Flash for desktops as well as a new five-star rating system (with the thumbs up/down system having been replaced). Further to the above, desktop notifications are now provided for Chrome users, while the new HTML5 feature for audio streaming will work in all browsers which support MP3 format playback over HTML5 (including Safari, Chrome and IE). At this stage Firefox and Opera are left out in the cold until HTML5 MP3 audio support comes along.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-optimus-4x-hd-benchmarkresults-unveiled/15524.html April 11th, 2012

The Optimus 4X HD is LG's upcoming quad-core smartphone that has made an appearance at the Mobile World Congress in February. While the LG Optimus 4X HD is reported to go on retail in May, it seems that screenshots of the benchmark results are leaked ahead of the launch.

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The highly anticipated LG Optimus 4X HD (LG-P880) is equipped with the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which is similar to the recently launched HTC One X. It sports a 4.7-inch (1280x720) True HD IPS touchscreen, and comes with 1.3-megapixel front camera, 2,150mAh battery and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. From the screenshots, the Optimus 4X HD managed 4,512 points on the Quadrant Standard benchmark test, which is said to be slightly higher than the HTC One X. The smartphone also scored 11,147 on the AnTuTu benchmark, and 44.5fps for the Nenamark2 graphics benchmark application; almost neck-to-neck with the HTC One X.

WD brings 2TB My Passport Studio to Mac users Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-brings-2tb-my-passport-studioto-mac-users/15523.html April 11th, 2012

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Distributed by Eternal Asia (S) and SiS Technology, the WD My Passport Studio 2TB portable hard drive is retailing at S $369.

Price of Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga revealed in UK Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/price-of-lenovo-ideapad-yogarevealed-in-uk/15522.html April 11th, 2012

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga was unveiled at CES 2012 earlier this year, which is designed as a multimode notebook PC with four intuitive usage modes - laptop, tablet, stand and tent. While pricing and availability details were not announced then, it seems that Lenovo UK has recently revealed the price to be ÂŁ1,200 (approximately US$1,900).

Running out of storage on your Mac machine? You can consider getthing this new WD 2TB My Passport Studio to help store and backup your important files.

At a press conference in UK, Lenovo, the world's second largest PC manufacturer, has announced the retail price of their laptops incorporating Intel's IvyBridge platform, including the versatile IdeaPad Yoga. Even though we already know what Lenovo's future focus is, it is normal that the news did not report about their ThinkPad. Western Digital has unveiled their first 2TB My Passport Studio portable drive for the Apple Mac users. The new portable drive adopts its traditional sleek, durable allmetal body that looks to complement the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The My Passport Studio is compatible with Apple Time Machine for quick and easy automatic backup of Mac hard drives and its 2TB storage can store approximately 500,000 songs, 240 hours of movies, or 400,000 high resolution photos. The My Passport Studio features two FireWire 800 ports, in addition to its USB2.0 connector, which provide fast upload and transfer speeds. Users can also choose to daisy chain additional drives and other peripherals, such as a high definition camcorder. The portable drive also features hardware-based encryption and password protection software to protect your data from unauthorized access.

The UK and even Europe suggested retail price would be significantly higher, and it does not mean that the pricing in other countries would be that. There's still no word as to when the products will go to market, but we believed once Intel's IvyBridge embargo has been lifted, we would see them in retail stores soon after. According to reliable sources, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga will go to market on the new Windows 8 operating system.

Toshiba Singapore announces new Satellite M800, L800 and C800 laptops Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-singapore-announces-newsatellite-m800-l800-and-c800-laptops/15521.html

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April 11th, 2012

- Toshiba Hi-Speed Start Technology - Toshiba Video Player supporting 2D to 3D conversions and output via a 3D TV Toshiba Singapore has announced their latest Satellite laptops - M800, L800 and C800 - that oozes style and versatility, and come in a wide range of configurations, screen sizes and colors. The new Satellite notebook PCs will soon be available in retail stores.

- Toshiba Resolution, Toshiba Eco Utility, Toshiba PC Health Monitor - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic(English) or Premium (English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese) - Weight starting from 1.99kg Toshiba Satellite L800

Toshiba Satellite M800 The Toshiba Satellite M800 claims to deliver solid performance and features in a stylish body, targeting fashion-conscious users who want power and portability with an affordable price tag. Weighing 1.99kg, it features a unique metallic mirror finish in Gold Blaze, Pink Blush and Blue Horizon, spacious trackpad and raised tile keyboard. The Satellite M800 is equipped with the second generation Intel Core processors, ATI Radeon HD 7670 graphics card with 2GB dedicated video memory, stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound HD, HD Webcams, HDMI, two USB3.0 ports, and Toshiba Video Player that supports 2D to 3D conversions. The Toshiba Satellite M800 will be retailing at S$1,199. Toshiba Satellite M800 Key Specifications: - 2nd generation Intel Core i3 and i5 Processors - RAM: up to 8GB DDR3 - 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 750 GB - 14.0'' HD Clear SuperView display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixels - Intel HD Graphics 3000, or ATI ATI Radeon HD 7670 graphics card (2GB dedicated VRAM)

Designed for families, students and small business owners who want a stylish laptop with good performance at a reasonable price, the Toshiba Satellite L800 features processors choices from Intel and AMD, which are sufficient for multitasking, productivity and light gaming. The highlymobile Satellite L830 sports a 13.3-inch widescreen display, while Satellite L840 features a 14-inch diagonal display. For those who want a bigger screen can check out the Satellite L850 desktop replacement with a 15.6-inch display. The Toshiba Satellite L800 is available in Midnight Black, Luscious Red and Icy White and retails at S$1,099. Toshiba Satellite L800 Key Specifications: - Choice of Intel 2nd generation Core i3, i5, or AMD processors - Choice of 13.3-inch, 14.0-inch or 15.6-inch HD Clear SuperView display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixels - RAM: up to 8GB DDR3 - 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 750 GB - Intel HD Graphics 3000, ATI Radeon HD 7670 graphics card (choice of 1GB or 2GB dedicated VRAM), or ATI Radeon HD 7550 graphics card (choice of 1GB) for 13.3” model. - DVD-Super Multi drive (Double Layer) rewritable drive - WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN - 2x USB 3.0 with USB Sleep-and-Charge, 1x USB 2.0, Multi Card Reader, HDMI - A4 tile keyboard, TouchPad with multi-touch - HD webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition

- Ultra-slim DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Drive (DVD ±RW/RAM)

- Stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound HD Technology and Toshiba Audio Enhancement

- WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN

- Toshiba Hi-Speed Start Technology

- 2x USB 3.0 with USB Sleep-and-Charge, 1x USB 2.0, Multi Card Reader, HDMI

- Toshiba Video Player supporting 2D to 3D conversions and output via a 3D TV

- A4 tile keyboard, TouchPad with multi-touch

- Toshiba Resolution+, Toshiba Eco Utility, Toshiba PC Health Monitor

- HD webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition - Stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound HD Technology

- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic (English) or Premium (English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese) 8


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Published by: VR-Zone April 11th, 2012

- Weight: Starting from 1.89kg (13.3” model), 2.12kg (14.0” model), 2.41 kg (15.6” model) Toshiba Satellite C800 The entry-level Satellite C800 Series laptops will appeal to students and first-time buyers looking for basic productivity at home or the office. Available in Matt Graphite or Glossy IMR finish (Black Graphite or Red Graphite), the C800 comes with a 14.0-inch widescreen or 15.6-inch displays as well as selected configurations of Intel and AMD processors. The Toshiba Satellite C800 is attractively priced at S$869. Toshiba Satellite C800 Key Specifications: - Choice of Intel 2nd generation Core i3, Pentium Dual and Celeron or AMD processors - Choice of 14.0-inch or 15.6-inch HD Clear SuperView display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixels

There's something special about mini-ITX motherboards and of all the companies out there, Zotac is by far the best when it comes to cramming as many features as possible onto the small 140x140mm form factor. The company has announced two new models sporting Intel's new 7-series chipsets, the Z77-ITX WiFi and the H77-ITX WiFi A. There's something special about mini-ITX motherboards and of all the companies out there, Zotac is by far the best when it comes to cramming as many features as possible onto the small 140x140mm form factor. The company has announced two new models sporting Intel's new 7-series chipsets, the Z77-ITX WiFi and the H77-ITX WiFi A.

- RAM: up to 8GB DDR3 - 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 640GB - Intel HD Graphics 3000, or ATI Radeon HD 7610M graphics card (1GB dedicated VRAM) - DVD-Super Multi drive (Double Layer) rewritable drive - WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100Mbps Ethernet LAN - 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Multi Card Reader, HDMI - A4 tile keyboard , TouchPad with multi-touch - Webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition - Stereo speakers with Toshiba Audio Enhancement - Toshiba Hi-Speed Start Technology - Toshiba Resolution+, Toshiba Eco Utility, Toshiba PC Health Monitor - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic or Premium - Weight: 2.12kg (14” model), 2.41 kg (15” model) All Toshiba PCs and Tablets are backed by Toshiba’s extensive service and support. The new Satellite M800, Satellite L800 and Satellite C800 series come standard with 1-year Local Limited Warranty (parts and labor).

Starting with the H77-ITX WiFi A we have a board with as you'd expect for this form factor, a single x16 PCI Express slot, two DIMM slots, but also five SATA ports, an mSATA slot and a vertical half height mini PCI Express slot which is populated by a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 3.0 card. There are also pin headers for two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports, as well as a serial port of all things.

Zotac launches a duo of miniITX 7-series motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-launches-a-duo-of-mini-itx-7series-motherboards/15520.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

Around the back we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI connector, as well as a pair of Wi-Fi antennas.

Zotac also bundles a USB 3.0 bracket with the board that is supplied with a full height and a low-profile bracket. For those stuck with an analogue display, a DVI to VGA adapter is also part of the package alongside an extension cable for the 12V power connector.

The Z77-ITX WiFi takes things up a notch, as Zotac has somehow managed to squeeze in an 8-phase VRM design, although this has meant that the half height mini PCI Express slot has been moved towards the front of the PCB. All of the features of the H77-ITX WiFi A are present on the Z77-ITX WiFi with the exception of one SATA 3Gbps port; although in its place Zotac has fitted a POST80 debug LED and an 8-pin 12V power connector for some extra power when overclocking this small board. There's even a very short heatpipe connecting the chipset heatsink to the VRM heatsink.

Around the back we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, 7.1channel audio with S/PDIF out, a mini DisplayPort and two HDMI 1.4a ports, as well as a pair of Wi-Fi antennas and a clear CMOS button.

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Published by: VR-Zone

Other features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth and 3G connectivity, a single USB port, a microSD card slot, an optional mini HDMI port, TPM support, an accelerometer and an optional light sensor as well as a speaker and a microphone.

You also get the same brackets with, adapters and power extensions with the Z77-ITX WiFi as you do with its sibling. No word on pricing or availability as yet, but we'd expect these boards to be fairly pricey as is usually the case when it comes to Zotac's mini-ITX boards.

Hardware wise this is hardly going to impress your average tablet owner, but the 525g tablet is built to withstand drops of up to 70cm and it's also splash and dust proof. Intel is also providing software to make it suitable for integration in educational environments such as an eReader, a note taker and more importantly various management tools for the teachers so that they can control what the students are allowed to access with their tablets.

Intel announces the Studybook tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-announces-the-studybooktablet/15519.html April 11th, 2012

We're not sure how much of a success Intel's Classmate netbooks have been for Intel's partners, but now Intel has decided that it's time to expand its line of student friendly devices with the introduction of the Studybook tablet. The new device is a 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or Windows on what else than an Atom processor. We're not sure how much of a success Intel's Classmate netbooks have been for Intel's partners, but now Intel has decided that it's time to expand its line of student friendly devices with the introduction of the Studybook tablet. The new device is a 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or Windows on what else than an Atom processor. The Studybook will sport a single core 1.2GHz Atom Z650 CPU which is paired up with the SM35 chipset, as well as a massive 1GB of DDR2 memory. Storage will come in the shape of an "SSD" ranging from 4 to 32GB. The 7-inch display has a resolution of 1024x600 and there's a rear 2Megapixel camera as well as a front facing VGA resolution camera.

Intel hasn't set a price point for the Studybook tablet, but is expecting it to retail for as low as US$200 depending on which features are being included. We're not sure how popular it'll be with schools though, although it's a fair amount cheaper and most likely a lot sturdier than investing in iPad's for younger students.

EVGA announced the Z77 FTW Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evga-announced-the-z77ftw/15518.html April 11th, 2012

When it comes to making big consumer motherboards, there are few companies that have anything to put up against EVGA and the company has announced its EATX Z77 FTW motherboard which packs a lot of features, but also a high price tag. As per usual when it comes to EVGA we're looking 11


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at a board with a fair few unusual features, but we're not sure if that's enough this time around. When it comes to making big consumer motherboards, there are few companies that have anything to put up against EVGA and the company has announced its EATX Z77 FTW motherboard which packs a lot of features, but also a high price tag. As per usual when it comes to EVGA we're looking at a board with a fair few unusual features, but we're not sure if that's enough this time around. Let's start with the bad; the chipset cooler has a fan. That said, it doesn't just cool the Z77 chipset, as underneath that heatsink is also a PLX PEX8747 PCI Express bridge which enables the rather unusual slot layout. The board has five x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots as well as a single x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot, but when you have a chipset that only offer 16 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth, you have to do a bit of a workaround to have this many slots. As such, the 16 lanes are being split and multiplied into four x8 lanes. It's not entirely clear as to how the various slots can be configured, but the board supports 4-way SLI and CrossFireX.

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for a FireWire port, four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, although we're not entirely sure where all the brackets are meant to go considering that this board is targeting users that want to cram the board full of graphics cards.

Overall not a bad show by EVGA, but the EATX form factor means that you need a rather roomy chassis for this board. EATX is deeper, but not taller than standard ATX motherboards, so the board should fit in most larger chassis, unlike some of EVGA's other motherboards. The only real drawback as we can see it is the MSRP of US$329.99 (S$417) which is a bit steep, despite all the features and accessories included. That makes the Z77 FTW the most expensive Z77 motherboard to date, although we're expecting the models with Thunderbolt to cost more and we have as yet to see Gigabyte's and Asus' high-end gaming boards in retail.

US lawmakers cause controversy with SOPA replacement CISPA Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-lawmakers-cause-controversywith-sopa-replacement-cispa/15517.html April 11th, 2012

Moving on we find eight SATA ports, of which two are via a Marvell 9182 SATA 6Gbps controller, pin headers for two front USB 3.0 ports via an ASMedia ASM1042 controller, four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, Voltage readout pins, a POST80 debug LED, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, PCI Express disable switches and no less than three BIOS chips, of which one is in a removable socket, just in case. The board also sports dual 8-pin 12V power connectors for the CPU as well as a pair of 6-pin 12V power connectors for extra power to the PCI Express slots. We should also point out that the board has no less than seven 4-pin fan headers, although one of them is being used by the chipset fan. The rear port layout is quite different from what we're used to seeing, with a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Marvell powered Gigabit Ethernet ports, two eSATA ports, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, a mini DisplayPort connector and what should be a rear clear CMOS button. EVGA is apparently also providing brackets

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has barely been put to rest and lawmakers are already planning a replacement called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which some are saying is just as dangerous and disastrous as the original. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has barely been put to rest and lawmakers are already planning a replacement called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which some are saying is just as dangerous and disastrous as the original. Policy campaign group Demand Progress said that CISPA would “obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States,” while the Center for Democracy and Technology said that the information shared with the government on the grounds of cybersecurity “could be used for other purposes.”

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The major fears over this latest act is that it gives the government too much power, and even if the intent is to protect from genuine threats, the potential for abuse is too large to allow it to be passed.

Published by: VR-Zone

shrunken version of its c400 SSD series and it's likely to find a home in an Ultrabook or two. Now Micron is hardly the first company to produce an mSATA SSD, but it's one of the first companies to offer one based on a Marvell controller, i.e. the same controller as in its 2.5-inch c400 drives which are more well known as the Crucial m4. At 30x50mm (WxD) the mSATA standard is indeed very suitable for Ultrabooks and we can see why Micron would want to cash in on what Intel is hoping will be the next big trend in mobile computers, although that isn't likely to happen until later this year when Intel's new Ivy Bridge ultra-low power CPU's arrive.

Another aspect of the criticism of the bill is that it suggests it's an act designed to address a growing problem of online security, but it is also designed to protect intellectual property, the primary aim of SOPA, despite copyright or piracy not featuring in the name of the act itself. This could be seen as a way to get it passed without drawing too much public attention. Privacy advocates are calling for people to protest the bill in any way or form, including signing online petitions. Just like SOPA, we will likely see major internet firms like Google and Facebook voicing their opposition and drawing widespread awareness to government attempts to snoop on our online activity. A vote for CISPA will be held later this month.

Micron gets into the tiny SSD market with the c400 mSATA Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-gets-into-the-tiny-ssdmarket-with-the-c400-msata/15516.html April 11th, 2012

Predicting technology isn't an easy thing, but if anyone would've said that computers would be using SSD's the size of a mini PCI Express card as their main storage device a few years ago people would most likely have laughed at the notion, least not due to the cost of flash memory back then. Micron has just entered the mSATA SSD market with shrunken version of its c400 SSD series and it's likely to find a home in an Ultrabook or two. Predicting technology isn't an easy thing, but if anyone would've said that computers would be using SSD's the size of a mini PCI Express card as their main storage device a few years ago people would most likely have laughed at the notion, least not due to the cost of flash memory back then. Micron has just entered the mSATA SSD market with

The c400 mSATA vill be available in sizes ranging from 32GB all the way up to 256GB, with the smaller drives being suitable for things like hard drive caching. That said, performance wise the less spacious models aren't that impressive as the 32GB model only offers a sequential write speed of 50MB/s and a read speed of 440MB/s with the 64GB model offering slightly better write speeds of 95MB/ s and read speeds of 500MB/s. This compares poorly with regards to the write performance even to OCZ's Nocti range of mSATA drives using the older SF-2141 controller on paper, but in real world tests thing might be different. That said, the more capacious models offer equivalent performance to the regular 2.5-inch drives. Do keep in mind though that Marvell based SSD's are vastly superior in general when it comes to handle incompressible data compared to SandForce based models. Sadly there's no word on pricing as yet, but Micron has promised that we'll see m4 models from Crucial later this quarter, albeit we're not sure if the entire range of sizes will be available. For those interested in some performance comparisons, Anandtech has tested the 128GB SKU and it appears to perform very similar to the 2.5-inch equivalent.

Capcom announces Lost Planet 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/capcom-announces-lostplanet-3/15515.html April 11th, 2012

Capcom has announced Lost Planet 3, the latest game in the third-person shooter series set on the remote icy planet, EDN III. 13


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Capcom has announced Lost Planet 3, the latest game in the third-person shooter series set on the remote icy planet, EDN III. The game is technically a prequel to the previous two, with the protagonist Jim scouring the planet for thermal energy, a hotly-contested resource that he is hoping will earn him a few bucks for his family back home. Along the way players will have to battle enemies big and small, including the Akrid, an insectoid alien race. They will also be able to use the giant robotic Utility Rig as both a base and a fighting machine.

One of the bigger challenges, however, will be the climate and environment, which is extreme and teacherous, pushing players to the limits and greatly affecting the way they will play. This is highlighted in the trailer and should make for some interesting gameplay. The game will also feature a full set of multiplayer modes. Lost Planet 3 will launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in early 2013.

Xbox 720 rumoured to feature 16-core CPU Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-rumoured-to-feature-16core-cpu/15514.html April 11th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Xbox World magazine reports that the devkits sent to developers in March feature a 16-core IBM Power PC CPU and a GPU in the range of AMD's Radeon HD 7000-series, which could lead to some amazing graphics in Microsoft's next games. The devkits look different to the final consumer product, but the actual hardware involved is apparently what we can expect to see in the final version. This contradicts earlier reports that the console would come with a four- to sixcore processor, which sounds a bit more reasonable, so these reports should be taken with a grain of salt.

16 cores sounds insane, a fact that even Xbox World acknowledges, particularly considering that most gaming computers don't go beyond 4 cores. However, the next version of the Kinect is reportedly going to demand a lot of resources, which means the CPU could devote an entire four cores just for this alone. Of course, a 16-core processor would make the console extremely expensive, possibly even more than a high-end gaming PC, particularly if the other hardware is of a similar calibre. A $1,000+ cost could put the next Xbox out of the range of many people, but it won't necessarily put off hardcore gamers looking for an outrageous gaming rig. The Xbox 720 is expected to be released at the end of 2013, a year later than the Nintendo Wii U, which is believed to be unable to match the graphics capability of currentgeneration consoles, but will carry a much more affordable price tag.

Apple's Market Cap Breaks $600B (Briefly) Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720, is rumoured to have a CPU with a whopping 16 cores, making it a potentially monster machine.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-market-cap-breaks-600bbriefly-/15513.html April 11th, 2012

Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox 720, is rumoured to have a CPU with a whopping 16 cores, making it a potentially monster machine.

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Today was a record breaking day for Apple. For the first time in the company’s history, the market capitalization of the company reached - and then exceeded - $600 billion. Can Apple sustain this momentum?

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Zotac shows off the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-shows-off-the-zt-z77-crownu1d-motherboard/15512.html April 11th, 2012

When it comes to mini-ITX motherboards, Zotac has built itself quite a reputation, but as far as ATX models go, Zotac seems to have mostly kept out away. Now the company is looking set to actually launch a full-size Z77 motherboard in the shape of the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D which shares quite a lot with the ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3 which the company previewed last year, but it never made it into the market as far as we know. When it comes to mini-ITX motherboards, Zotac has built itself quite a reputation, but as far as ATX models go, Zotac seems to have mostly kept out away. Now the company is looking set to actually launch a full-size Z77 motherboard in the shape of the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D which shares quite a lot with the ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3 which the company previewed last year, but it never made it into the market as far as we know.

Today was a record breaking day for Apple. For the first time in the company’s history, the market capitalization of the company reached - and then exceeded - $600 billion. This outstanding figure is thanks to a share value which has risen an incredible 60% from the beginning of 2012 – only a little over three months. Apple’s announcement of the new iPad has very likely kept the growth of share values rising. Apple sold three million iPad units in three days following the release of the iPad 3 – known simply as “The new iPad”.

The most obvious parts that were carried over to the ZTZ77 Crown-U1D from the Z68 model is the 24-phase PWM with DrMOS, tantalum capacitor and a decoupling capacitor, although this time around Zotac has gone for a U-shaped layout of the PWM which means it takes up a little bit less space on the motherboard. Part of the reason for this is the removal of the nf200 chip which has cleared up a fair bit of PCB space. This time around though a second decoupling capacitor has been added to the memory power regulation, although we’re not entirely sure how much of a difference this will make.

The share values of $644 this morning led Apple’s market value just over $600 billion, but the shares dropped back down to $638.64 in the afternoon, bringing the company beneath the gargantuan sum. Nevertheless, this share value is still up 0.4 percent from yesterday. This astounding breakthrough has spurred excited discussion about Apple breaking the market cap record that Microsoft set in 1999, which was $619 billion – or $814 billion in today’s value. Analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets has projected a future share value of $1,001, which would send Apple flying well beyond the $900 billion mark. Others, however, disagree. Analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research argues that Apple cannot sustain these profit margins, and downgraded Apple from Apple from “Buy” to “Hold” on Monday. Speculation continues either way, but it does nothing to change the significance of this news both to shareholders and to fans of Apple. A lot of features that were present on the ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3 are missing on the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D, such as the lack of an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot, a couple of missing SATA ports, what appears to be a single BIOS 15


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instead of three, and potentially worst of all, at least for gamers, only two x16 PCI Express slots. That said, at least the current slot configuration isn’t terrible, if a bit unusual with two x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots which operate in dual x8 mode when both are in use, as well as four x1 PCI Express slot.

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Kingston releases HyperX 3K SF-2281 powered Solid State Drive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-releases-hyperx-3ksf-2281-powered-solid-state-drive/15499.html April 11th, 2012

Kingston has just launched a new SSD to market under its HyperX family dubbed the HyperX 3K. Aimed at enthusiasts and gamers on a budget, the HyperX 3K is an MLC based drive using a second-gen SandForce SF-2281 controller together with a SATA 6Gb/s interface to produce impressive sequential read and write performance of up to 555MB/s and 510MB/s respectively. What’s left is the half-size mini PCI Express slot which hold a Wi-Fi card, two internal headers for four USB 3.0 ports of which two are via a Renesas µPD720202 host controller, two headers for four USB 2.0 ports, the standard set of six SATA ports via the chipset, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, a POST80 debug LED and Voltage readout points for the CPU, chipset and memory.

Kingston has just launched a new SSD to market under its HyperX family dubbed the HyperX 3K. Aimed at enthusiasts and gamers on a budget, the HyperX 3K is an MLC based drive using a second-gen SandForce SF-2281 controller together with a SATA 6Gb/s interface to produce impressive sequential read and write performance of up to 555MB/s and 510MB/s respectively.

The drive's maximum random read and write IOPS sits at 85K read and 74K write. Other features of the HyperX 3K include SandForce's DuraClass technology which promises improved endurance and lifespan, support for SMART, TRIM and Garbage Collection and a classy black aluminum outer casing. The rear I/O of the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D is remarkably similar to that of the ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3, although some minor changes have taken place here too. There’s a single PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, a DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI connector and of course two antenna points for the Wi-Fi card. What’s missing is an eSATA port, which isn’t a major omission. Apparently Zotac isn’t planning on selling the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D outside of China for the time being and it’s not clear when the board will be available, or what it’ll sell for. Then again, the company did announce a couple of new ITX motherboard which will cover in a separate news post and they will be available worldwide.

Kingston is shipping the HyperX 3K in capacities of 90GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB with e-tail pricing ranging from US $139.99 to US $709.99. It will be offered as a standalone drive or as part of an upgrade kit (working out to about US $10 more than the standalone option). Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

Epic Games confirms new PC-exclusive title is coming Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/epic-games-confirms-new-pcexclusive-title-is-coming/15506.html

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This piece of news may be quick to get your fingers tingling with excitement if you were a big fan of the Unreal Tournament series from Epic. It has been confirmed that the game developer is going back to their roots in developing a new PC-only title.

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on how it will perform. Here are the newest updates from reliable US sources There are a myriad of rumours about the upcoming AMD A10 and other Trinity Fusion APU processors, some good, other not so good. The good ones emphasise the very fast HD7000-series integrated GPU as well as the Piledrivergeneration cores, a pair of dual core modules, integrated with support for AVX and AES instruction extensions. The bad ones state concerns about TDP vs Ivy Bridge, since Trinity is still on a 32 nm process, as well as possibly slower overall CPU performance than Trinity's currently shipping predecessor, the A8 Llano - which of course could be an embarassment for AMD if it happens. Fresh from the other side of the Pacific Ocean, here are some updates from reliable sources, that shine some light on what Trinity may be when it arrives within just over a month.

(Image Credit: Video Games Blogger) This piece of news may be quick to get your fingers tingling with excitement if you were a big fan of the Unreal Tournament series from Epic. It has been confirmed that the game developer is going back to their roots in developing a new PC-only title. We know this isn't a rumour as Epic's own President Mike Capps directly spoke with Joystiq in which the following statement was made :"Epic Games prez Mike Capps told us after the panel that the unannounced PC project is currently underway, and that the current plans are to keep the game exclusive to the PC platform." Certainly, this is a big shift of focus back to the old days with recent years seeing a wave of cross-platform titles and / or console exclusives such as the Gears of War series. We have no other info to go off at this early stage, but are in anticipation of whether or not the game will be more or less a singular casual affair or a new blockbuster that aims to reel back in a lot of old-school multiplayer FPS fanatics who miss what Epic once did best. Can we smell the faint woft of UT 2013? We'll be sure to keep you posted on this one!

AMD Trinity - Quad core Ultrathin notebook processing within 17W limit? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-trinity--quad-core-ultrathinnotebook-processing-within-17w-limit-/15511.html April 11th, 2012

As AMD prepares to launch its third and critical Fusion APU, Trinity, later this spring, there are quite a few speculations

Firstly, the updates say that, due to much higher clock speeds at up to 3.8 GHz, nearly a GHz more than the highest clocked Llano, the Trinity overall CPU performance will be higher than Llano in most apps.The improvements in cache and memory controller bandwidth and latencies, which were some of the weak points of Bulldozer before this, would also ensure higher level system performance despite sharing the same socket as Llano. Second, the overall CPU and GPU performance boost over Llano in most actual game usage models will be nearling half extra FPS, again not bad knowing we are still in the same semicon process. This would particularly affect Nvidia attempts to sell extra (therefore extra cost and extra TDP too) GPUs for entry level 3-D mobile systems based on Ivy Bridge too, as for such systems, an integrated APU may make more cost and design simplicity sense than adding a GPU to a CPU. Third, with improved power management on both CPU and GPU sides, the overall TDP, according to the sources, will not pose the problem despite the massive increase in the GPU portion of the processor and the internal buses linking the CPU and GPU. Most importantly, there will nearly certainly be a lowpower ultrathin (i.e. UltraBook in Intel speak) 17W TDP grade Trinity APU with two dual-core modules and proper GPU. Now, depending on the actual CPU and GPU clock speeds delivered in this case, there would be a very interesting outcome here: an AMD based ultrathin could have somewhat higher performance, both CPU and GPU, than an Ivy Bridge dual core 4 thread ultrathin at the same time. Coupled with the likelihood of Intel Ivy Bridge UltraBooks coming out only in June onwards, this could give AMD a bit of breathing room to focus on this lucrative and, at the moment, quite fashionable product segment created, well, by Intel and, before it, Apple with Macbook Air. That is, of course, if AMD can provide this part at or near the initial Trinity launch date this spring.

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Finally, while AMD still has lots of ground to cover in the CPU department, the eventual success of Trinity - and AMD seems confident they can make enough of them to setify the demand - is a serious warning to Nvidia that they got to gain ground in the CPU department somehow, both in the PC and ultramobile segment. On the PC side, they simply got nothing. On the ARM side, Qualcomm and Huawei now have higher performing CPUs, and pretty nasty GPUs (Adreno, anagram of Radeon) too - as witnessed by Asus eee Transformer Full HD version Qualcomm design win. Interesting times ahead...

Biggest challenge for the R&D department is lack of room for Kinect cameras on smartphones: "Kinect has three cameras, one of which his infrared. We can't put an IR camera on a smartphone, and without it, NUI won't work in dark." Even though we've seen 3rd party motion detection camera videos in which regular camera can see objects in dark. However, after contacting those companies, we learned that product videos are just that - videos.

Microsoft to Bring Kinect UI with Windows Phone 8?

However, even if Microsoft would release a daylight only version of Kinect NUI on the smartphone, you can imagine how much attention would Microsoft receive. Furthermore, the only competitor they might have is Sony Mobile for Android OS - no other competitor has enough IP or simply development teams that could react on this innovation.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-bring-kinect-ui-withwindows-phone-8-/15500.html April 11th, 2012

While touch is pervasive way of communicating with the way we communicate with the mobile devices of today, Microsoft is working on a different interface for tomorrow.

Kinect NUI is being closely tied to Microsoft TellMe, since Kinect allegedly captured more voice patterns than Apple Siri - again, according to sources in the know.

When Windows Mobile 8 or some of its successors ends up with Kinect NUI, expect Sony to follow 12-18 months later. Anybody else? If Apple is interested, it will have to seriously open its treasure chest, as Kinect IP is a software technology developed by a Microsoft subsidiary (Rare), running on camera hardware developed by Israeli firm PrimeSense, in which Microsoft invested more than a few cents.

Founder of Commodore, Jack Tramiel dies aged 83 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/founder-of-commodore-jacktramiel-dies-aged-83/15507.html April 11th, 2012

"We (Microsoft) know we don't have anything to lose. But, our competitors have a whole lot (to lose)." This is approximately how a drunken conversation at 2AM starts. If the location for the conversation is west coast of United States, in a valley which sees more innovation than any other place on Earth - chances are that person actually knows what he or she is talking about. After checking with several sober sources which proved reliable in the past, Microsoft is currently working on integrating the Kinect NUI (Natural User Interface) with its mobile platform using upcoming Windows Phone 8. While this is currently purely a development effort, we have been hearing that Microsoft decided to dedicate more and more resources on building the Kinect NUI to become a feature with either a launch or first or second update to its upcoming Windows Mobile 8 operating system.

One of the major pioneers in the PC industry, Jack Tramiel who was perhaps best known for being the founder of Commodore has died at 83 years of age on Sunday. Jack's history prior to and beyond Commodore's inception is quite an inspiring one. He was born in Poland in 1928 to a Jewish family and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp after which he then immigrated to the U.S. in 1947. One of the major pioneers in the PC industry, Jack Tramiel who was perhaps best known for being the founder of Commodore has died at 83 years of age on Sunday. Jack's history prior to and beyond Commodore's inception is quite an inspiring one. He was born in Poland in 1928 to a Jewish family and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp after which he then immigrated to the U.S. in 1947.

Will the tech make it in Apollo or come later, that question is open - as the technology is showing to be more mature than the company thought - but there are still caveats to be solved before the technology can hit mainstream audience. However, we were told that the company execs were encouraged by the success of no other than Apple Siri, which in beta status received a lot of praise from Apple fanboys, but also regular users who like the idea of talking to the phone. 18


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under the new brand, Paradigm Shift. And the best part is, the E1, E2m and E3m are available here in Singapore.

Following those events Tramiel made claim that after surviving the Holocaust he could survive just about anything and this certainly held true after being ousted as chief executive officer (CEO) of his own established computer enterprise, Commodore Business Machines which was formed in 1953. Jack Tramiel's most successful endeavour following the birth of Commodore was in 1982 when the legendary Commodore 64 was released to the masses and went on to popularize the idea of home computing. Jack knew there was a lot of potential for it to be highly successful when interest in an affordable home computer was gained via previously outed models including the VIC-20 and Commodore 16. With clever marketing (such a shame this eventually fell through the floor) and improved capabilities, Commodore never looked so good and while a disagreement between Tramiel and a stockholder eventuated in his dismissal from the company, Commodore continued to dominate the home computing world with the amazing Amiga range that were by far ahead of their time. Meanwhile, Jack Tramiel went on to purchase Atari in 1984, although as it turned out its highest points of success were from devices already behind it and Tramiel eventually went on to sell the troubled company off to JTS (a disk drive manufacturer) in 1996 and then he retired that year with his wife in Monte Sereno, California. Jack Tramiel is survived by his wife and three sons, as well as the indented mark he has left on the computing industry.

Paradigm Shift E1, E2m and E3m earphones arrive in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/paradigm-shift-e1-e2m-and-e3mearphones-arrive-in-singapore/15508.html April 11th, 2012

Canadian-based Paradigm Electronics Inc is renowned for their speaker design and manufacturing, and the company has launched three new earphones - E1, E2m and E3m -

The Paradigm Shift E1, E2m and E3m earphones are designed for portable personal audio, PC and gaming. Available in black and white finishes with air tight seal for superb noise isolation, the earphones were built for comfort and boasts superb audio performance that would please audiophiles. They come with three sizes of tips for ears of all sizes, a tangle-resistant 1.2 meter cord and a travel case/ pouch. The E2m and E3m models also feature an in-line remote and microphone that allows users to pause and play music as well as answer and disconnect telephone calls with just one click of a button. The Paradigm headphones is available at Audio House, Farle Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, Nubox and all Stereo Electronics outlets, and available in black and white, E1, E2m and E3m.

Raspberry Pi gains CE mark without the need for hardware mods Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/raspberry-pi-gains-ce-mark-withoutthe-need-for-hardware-mods/15505.html April 11th, 2012

Following last week's update on the Raspberry Pi shipping holdup due to a requirement by European distributors for the device to undergo CE quality mark testing, it's all good news from here with the following statement having just been given by Raspberry Pi foundation spokesperson Liz Upton on the official blog. Following last week's update on the Raspberry Pi shipping holdup due to a requirement by European distributors for the device to undergo CE quality mark testing, it's all good news from here with the following statement having just been given by Raspberry Pi foundation spokesperson Liz Upton on the official blog. "We just received confirmation that the Raspberry Pi has passed EMC testing without requiring any hardware modifications. 19


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There is still a mountain of paperwork for us to sign, and that then has to be looked over by RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell; but that’s a piece of cake compared to what we’ve been doing all week. Given that we’ve had the chamber for the whole week, we’ve used the time to make sure that alongside the CE requirements, the Raspberry Pi also complies with FCC regulations (USA) as well as CTick (Australia) and what we’ve been calling “that Canadian thing”."

After a rocky road of manufacturing woes followed by EMC concerns it should be smooth sailing here on out and with one less thing to worry about when the mass produced educational bundle release is ready for schools, colleges and universities later in the year.

Philips launches new Moda monitor with LightFrame technology in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-launches-new-modamonitor-with-lightframe-technology-in-singapore/15503.html April 11th, 2012

If you're looking for a new LCD monitor for your home PC, check out this new Philips 23-inch Moda that features a stylish design with LightFrame technology that claims to reduce eye fatigue and improves concentration.

Published by: VR-Zone

The Philips LightFrame Moda 248X3LFHSB sports a 23.6-inch screen and features an aluminum die-cast base with two-toned glossy finish. Incorporating the proprietary LightFrame technology, the monitor emits a gentle blue light that soothes and refreshes the eye, hence reducing eye fatique and improving concentration. The Moda also features dual HDMI ports and a VGA connectors that allow you to connect to multiple devices. Other features include SmartColor that extends visual color range for rich and vibrant images; SmartTxt which can improve clarity of textbased applications including Word and PDF documents; and SmartResponse for fast transitions between moving frames. The Philips Moda is priced at S$399 and is available from today through MMD partners.

Rockstar employee CV indicates Oct'12 launch for GTA V Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-employee-cv-indicatesoct-12-launch-for-gta-v/15504.html April 11th, 2012

Exposed in a resume (CV) from one of Rockstar Games' employees, we now have reason to believe when the fifth iteration of Grand Theft Auto will be released to the masses. It was confirmed a number of months ago that development was well and truly underway but we were yet to hear of any sort of timeframe for completion, leaving us still wondering if it would see light of day before some time next year. Exposed in a resume (CV) from one of Rockstar Games' employees, we now have reason to believe when the fifth iteration of Grand Theft Auto will be released to the masses. It was confirmed a number of months ago that development was well and truly underway but we were yet to hear of any sort of timeframe for completion, leaving us still wondering if it would see light of day before some time next year. It seems we will be seeing it earlier than next year with newly discovered evidence via Rockstar North Character Animator Alex O'Dwyer's CV claiming that the game is scheduled for an October 2012 launch. His CV has since been taken offline but a screenshot can be seen below of the section indicating when the game will be released.

We're yet to hear any comment from Rockstar themselves about the leak, but it's unlikely we will given the company's tendancy to ignore any rumors/speculation.

MMD, the brand license partner for Philips monitors, has announced their new Moda monitor, the latest addition to the company's X-Line of consumer monitors which are designed to offer healthier visual experience to users. 20


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Canon Singapore reveals price and availability of IXUS 510 HS and 500 HS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-reveals-price-andavailability-of-ixus-510-hs-and-500-hs/15502.html April 11th, 2012

Canon Singapore has announced the IXUS 510 HS and 500 HS compact digital cameras early last month, and today, the manufacturer has unveiled the pricing and availability of both cameras.

The 10.1-megapixel IXUS 510 HS and IXUS 500 HS feature 12x optical zoom and new 28mm lens, and are equipped with the new Face ID and Intelligent IS (Image Stabiliser) functions. The Intelligent IS can automatically adjust brightness levels and select an appropriate form of image stabilisation for clearer pictures. The new Face ID function allows users to register up to twelve faces, with five different profiles for each face. Both the IXUS 510 HS and IXUS 500 HS can also record full high definition (HD) video at 1080p, and with the Movie Digest feature, which can be used while recording in 720p resolution, allowing audio and movements to be recorded simultaneously with stills in a single press of the shutter.

RIM plans to block Android app sideloading to stop piracy

The PlayBook OS 2.0 was released in February and the new operating system allows BlackBerry PlayBook owners to download and install Android apps from the BlackBerry App World. Android developers would need to repackage their apps which would run in an emulator environment on the tablet. However, there are non-official Android apps which are available outside of the BlackBerry App World and can be sideloaded onto the tablet. This literally means that these apps which users need to purchase, will not earn any income for the developer, and Research in Motion plans to stop such piracy by removing the feature of apps sideloading through future software updates.

Pink Samsung GALAXY Note shows up in Korea and Hong Kong Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pink-samsung-galaxy-note-showsup-in-korea-and-hong-kong/15497.html April 11th, 2012

Samsung has the habit of introducing a classic pink flavor for its popular smartphone models, probably to appeal to the ladies, and it seems that the color has also been applied to the 5-inch GALAXY Note. The pink GALAXY Note is available in South Korea and slowly rolling out to other countries including Hong Kong, China.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-plans-to-block-android-appsideloading-to-stop-piracy/15498.html April 11th, 2012

The PlayBook OS 2.0 was launched not too long ago, which enables BlackBerry PlayBook owners to download and install Android apps onto their tablet. But with unofficial Android apps made available for PlayBook, Research in Motion is planning to deter such piracy.

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The pink Samsung GALAXY Note will be retailing in Hong Kong at HK$5998 (approximately US$772), and comes with the original protective case. The Samsung GALAXY Note was introduced in October last year, though consumers had mixed feelings about the size of the phone, especially when the mainstream ones are between 4- to 4.5-inch. Would the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note gain acceptance from the market? It has been six months since the smartphone made its appearance and with sales of over five million units, the GALAXY Note has proven to be quite a success. Incorporating a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB (or 32GB) storage, the GALAXY Note features a 2megapixel front and 8-megapixel rear cameras. With the S Pen stylus, you can write and draw conveniently if you do not want to use your fingers. There's no word as to whether this pink version of the Samsung GALAXY Note will come to Singapore though.

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to release the Frio Extreme, a completely redesigned CPU cooler, teeming with features and boasting ultimate performance. The company has supplied us with a sample which is going to be thoroughly examined and tested in this review. Manufacturer features and specifications Ultimate Over-clocking Design Structure, support up to 250W • Dual tower heat-sink with 0.4mm aluminum fins provide large surface for heat dissipation. • 6 x Ø6 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes accelerate heat conductivity. • Mirror-finished copper base, provide perfect contact with CPU. • Premium thermal grease maximizes heat transfer from the CPU onto the copper base for faster dissipation. The Combination of VR and PWM Control Function Fan • Dual 14cm high performance blue blade designed fans, spins from 1,200 to 1,800RPM. • Combination of VR and PWM functions, switchable upon user’s preferences. • Tool-less and Easy installation design for quicker disassemble and assemble the fan module.

Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-frio-extreme-cpucooler-review/15496.html April 11th, 2012

• Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory Package All-in-one back-plate design, support all Intel and AMD platform • Universal socket support : • Intel: LGA 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775 • AMD: FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2

It has been 9 months since we had the opportunity to examine and review one of Thermaltake’s best CPU coolers, the Frio, which was one of the best air coolers available at that time. Thermaltake has been a company which traditionally tries to satisfy even the most hardcore of enthusiasts and they almost never are bewildered by high performance alone. That and the heavy competition at the top segment of the CPU cooler market led Thermaltake to release the Frio Extreme, a completely redesigned CPU cooler, teeming with features and boasting ultimate performance. The company has supplied us with a sample which is going to be thoroughly examined and tested in this review. It has been 9 months since we had the opportunity to examine and review one of Thermaltake’s best CPU coolers, the Frio, which was one of the best air coolers available at that time. Thermaltake has been a company which traditionally tries to satisfy even the most hardcore of enthusiasts and they almost never are bewildered by high performance alone. That and the heavy competition at the top segment of the CPU cooler market led Thermaltake

P/N Dimension Material Heatpipe Fan Dimension Rated Voltage Rated Current Power Input Fan Speed Max. Air Flow Max. Air Pressure Noise Life Expectancy Connector Power Input Weight

CLP0587 148.2(L) x 151(W) x 160(H) mm (2 Fans) Aluminum Fins Aluminum & Copper Base 6mm x 6 PCS 140(L) x 140(H) x 25(W) mm 12 V 0.5 A 7.2 W 1200 ~ 1800 RPM 106.2 CFM 2.34 mmH2O 39 dBA (Max) 50,000 Hours 4 Pin 250W 1,230g

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Facebook buys check-in firm Tagtile Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-buys-check-in-firmtagtile/15559.html April 13th, 2012

The acquisition comes only days after Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion, suggesting the company is on a spending spree before its initial public offering (IPO) in May. Whether or not this increases investor interest or scares off some who think it's spending wildly remains to be seen. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sharp is ready for Intel's 3840x2160 displays Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-is-ready-for-intels-3840x2160-displays/15560.html April 13th, 2012

Facebook has bought Tagtile, an unusual marketing firm that employs a little box that users can tap with their smartphone to “tag” themselves in order to benefit from rewards. Facebook has bought Tagtile, an unusual marketing firm that employs a little box that users can tap with their smartphone to “tag” themselves in order to benefit from rewards. Tagtile is effectively a check-in service, with users tapping the Tagtile cube with their phone rather than clicking a check-in button on their device when they're inside a shop. This makes the process of checking in a lot easier and smoother. Tagtile will no longer be accepting new customers, but the service will remain available for existing customers “for now.” Interestingly, the company said that “Tagtile as it exists today won't be part of what we do at Facebook,” but it did not elaborate on what exactly it might be working on under the auspices of its new management.

Although we wrote about it all the way back in January, Intel reiterated the fact that the company wants to push up the resolution of the displays we're using, no matter the device. Now it appears that Sharp might be the first display maker to actually meet Intel's 2013 target resolution of 3840x2160 thanks to its new indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO LCD panels. Although we wrote about it all the way back in January, Intel reiterated the fact that the company wants to push up the resolution of the displays we're using, no matter the device. Now it appears that Sharp might be the first display maker to actually meet Intel's 2013 target resolution of 3840x2160 thanks to its new indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO LCD panels. Rather than using traditional thin-film transistor technology in its LCD displays, Sharp has found a way to use indium gallium zinc oxide semiconductors which enabled the company not only to build higher resolution displays, but also thinner and lighter displays with increased pixel transparency. In the latter case this is said to lead to lower power consumption, as a less powerful backlight can be employed.

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The lenses work by employing two different filters, one that shows images from a heads-up display (HUD) directly to the pupil and another that shows images of the surrounding terrain to the rim of the pupil. This results in the retina receiving an in focus image of both things. Generally speaking we only see what we are focusing on in full focus, with our peripheral vision being somewhat blurred. This applies to taking pictures with a camera, where, for example, something in the foreground is in focus, while the background is blurred, or vice-versa.

Sharp is also using a "proprietary UV2A photo-alignment technology" on these displays, the same technology the company uses for its Aquos LCD TVs and it's meant to offer higher image quality. Sharp is clearly on the same page as Intel here though, as in the press release the company states that it "will encourage the application of its new highresolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs and LCD monitors as well as to mobile devices ." For LCD monitors, Sharp claims to be able to produce panels up to 32-inches in size with a resolution of 3840x2160, whereas for the notebook market – albeit it would have to be a very small notebook – the company has a 10-inch model with a resolution of 2560x1600 and finally for the handheld market, the company has a 7-inch model with a resolution of 1280x800. We have a feeling that these displays will come in at a very steep price premium to start with, as not only is it a brand new technology, but the panels are also being made in Japan and with the current exchange rate, that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Pentagon orders prototype dual-focus contact lenses for enhancing vision Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentagon-orders-prototype-dualfocus-contact-lenses-for-enhancing-vision/15558.html April 13th, 2012

The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens that provides users with a wider field of vision, potentially revolutionising the way we see the world. The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens that provides users with a wider field of vision, potentially revolutionising the way we see the world.

The military application of this is designed to allow soldiers to see information displayed on the HUD while not detracting from their awareness of their surrounding terrain. This could be extended to the growing field of augmented reality, an area that Google is hoping to expand into, and could address the potential issue of people getting into an accident while paying attention to what is displayed on a HUD rather than their environment. The Pentagon previously provided funding for Innovega's research and development on the project and has now signed a contract to enable the first prototype of the technology, which Innovega said will help it demonstrate how it works in reality. Critics of the breakthrough suggest that it could cause problems, however, including blocking vision and inducing motion sickness, which could make the technology difficult to use. We also do not know the long-term effects of such lenses on a user's vision. That said, 3D glasses have been criticised for similar reasons and have still proven to be a popular technology.

Do You Trust Facebook? Company Signs CISPA, New Internet Police Bill Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/do-you-trust-facebook-companysigns-cispa-new-internet-police-bill/15555.html

Innovega developed what it is called the iOptik system, a contact lens that is multi-focal, allowing users to focus on two different things simultaneously.

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April 13th, 2012

How should you react? Visit Demand Progress and sign the petition. You can also spread the message on Facebook and Twitter.

While Facebook was all at rage when it comes to SOPA and PIPA, with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of the social network releasing a public attack, the reality changed with the new, more dangerous CISPA.

Intel cuts desktop Ivy Bridge CPU pricing ahead of launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-cuts-desktop-ivy-bridge-cpupricing-ahead-of-launch/15557.html April 13th, 2012

With Intel having had a hard time making up its mind with regards to when to actually launch its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, we finally have some good news to report just ahead of the actual launch, Intel has decided to sell the new processors for less than initially expected. We've seen recent pricing details with the older prices still mentioned and although the price cuts aren't huge, any saving is a saving, right?

Back in January of this year, information freedom organizations such as DemandProgress, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) organized an all-out attack on U.S. Senate which resulted in SOPA and PIPA failing to pass. SOPA was for instance, attacked by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook. The content control lobby consisting out of RIAA and MPAA and openly bribed politicians (the congressmen that designed SOPA actually stole an image for his blog, MPAA lobbyist openly discussed the politicians which were paid to lobby for the bill, not against it), but there was a warning that they will pass another bill at another name. Io and behold, meet CISPA - Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act. You can read more about the bill on the link we have provided for you, but what is surprising is that content control lobbyists focused on tech companies instead. And seeing Facebook on the list of CISPA signees and supporters is surprising.

With Intel having had a hard time making up its mind with regards to when to actually launch its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, we finally have some good news to report just ahead of the actual launch, Intel has decided to sell the new processors for less than initially expected. We've seen recent pricing details with the older prices still mentioned and although the price cuts aren't huge, any saving is a saving, right? As you can see in the chart below, the average price cuts end up somewhere between US$7-8, not a massive amount, but considering that early price estimates were even higher, this is all good news. Do note that this is Intel's recommended customer pricing for 1,000 units and not the actual retail pricing. The cost of the Core i7-3770K was expected to be in line with the US$332 Core i7-2700K, but now it looks like we'll see a price point that's US$19 cheaper than this. The same goes for the other models with the Core i7-3770 having an expected price of US$294, the same as the Core i7-2600, but instead we're now looking at a price some US$16 cheaper.

The Center for Democracy and Technology issued the following damning verdict on the bill: “ CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws.” The bill was also attacked by the group which is synonymous with the protection against cyber bullying and control, be that Apple attacking a blogger, or revealing which politicians were on content-control lobby’s take. We’re talking about Electronic Frontier Foundation, which said the following: “ An ISP could even interpret this bill as allowing them to block accounts believed to be infringing,block access to websites like The Pirate Bay believed to carry infringing content, or take other measures provided they claimed it was motivated by cybersecurity concerns.”

As for the Core i5-3570K we're looking at a price that's US$4 cheaper than the Core i5-2500K and it was initially expected to be priced at US$225, or the same as the fairly recently 3


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launched Core i5-2550K which makes it US$13 cheaper than first thought. The lower-end Core i5 parts are priced lower than their equivalent models as well, but here we're looking at roughly $10-11 lower pricing than expected. As to how these prices transform into retail pricing is a different matter and whatever pricing is floating around on the web for pre-orders are in many cases up to 50 percent higher than Intel's pricing. We found one UK online retailer claiming to have some 580 Core i5-3570K's in stock, but for a massive US$293 a pop. Without VAT (UK sales tax) at a rate of 20 percent, that's roughly US$235 which is closer to what we'd expect these CPU's to retail for. We also found a US company listing the same CPU for a massive US$256 and the Core i7-3770K for no less than US$369, so a word to the wise, don't pre-order these CPU's, as you'll most likely end up getting ripped off.

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stores for S$39 for 1 year support and S$79 for 3 years support. Web purchases will be possible in the future, but right now, do it the old fashion way. • Go to Intel's Anti-Theft service website to activate your account • Create an account and authorise your laptop. Set some options like auto lock down after one hour, but this could be annoying as you need to enter a pass every hour. It's all about security versus ease of use, the choice is yours. • Slap the big yellow sticker on your laptop so the bad guys will leave it alone, as they would essentially be stealing a brick. That said, the would-be thieves need to be educated as to what Intel Anti-Theft technology is so they will be deterred.

Intel wants its Anti-Theft service in every Ivybridge Ultrabook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-wants-its-anti-theft-service-inevery-ivybridge-ultrabook/15556.html April 13th, 2012

With millions of laptops out there, tens of thousands of careless people and a handful of dishonest people, things tend to get lost easily. Imagine the moment you realize that you have lost your laptop with precious/confidential/private data in it; it is definitely worrisome that your data might land into the wrong hands. Therefore, Intel wants to address this issue by introducing a service called Anti-Theft and what it does is that it uses a hardware security feature built-in to every Sandy Bridge processors to lock down your laptop in case it got lost. Of course, before you can do that, you need to know and do a few things. With millions of laptops out there, tens of thousands of careless people and a handful of dishonest people, things tend to get lost easily. Imagine the moment you realize that you have lost your laptop with precious/confidential/private data in it; it is definitely worrisome that your data might land into the wrong hands. Therefore, Intel wants to address this issue by introducing a service called Anti-Theft and what it does is that it uses a hardware security feature built-in to every Sandy Bridge processors to lock down your laptop in case it got lost. Of course, before you can do that, you need to know and do a few things: • A laptop which is Intel Anti-Theft (Intel AT) supported. You can check if your current laptop is supported by accessing this PDF - One suggestion to Intel is make a simple search field to allow users to sort by brands and models etc. The good news is that all Ivybridge based laptops - excluding those using the entry level HM70 chipset, but including Ultrabooks will support Intel Anti-Theft Technology. • Buy an activation scratch card from the nearest retailers. For Singapore, you can get it from Challenger

So what does Intel's Anti-Theft technology actually in the event of an accidental loss or theft? • First of all, you need to realise that your laptop has been lost or stolen. Some people leave their stuff at places like airports or cafes for hours without realising that they have lost something. So if you belong to this category, you better make sure you set the auto lock down timer to a few hours at least. • Upon realising that you have lost your laptop, there are two options you can take: 1. Call the customer service hotline - of course you need to know the number first so store it in your phone. 2. Find another computer quickly or use your smartphone( with an internet connection), log on to the Intel Anti-Theft service website and lock down your laptop • Doing this will prevent the laptop from booting. It's all done on hardware level (CPU/Chipset/BIOS/Drivers) and the data is also encrypted on your HDD/SSD. What is the worst case scenario that can happen where even Intel's Anti-Theft technology can't help? • If your laptop isn't turned on or there is no internet connection, you can't lock down your laptop manually. You have to depend on the auto lockdown timer set when you first configured your account. 4


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This is a great initiative by Intel that makes adding a remote kill switch on a hardware level to your notebook a breeze. The service is also affordable, even though it seems to lack features like tracking etc. that some competing solutions offer. We should also point out that the lockdown prevents the notebook from working even if the BIOS is re-flashed or the hard drive is exchanged for a new unit. The only way to re-active a laptop locked down with Intel's Anti-Theft service is by re-entering the correct password.

calls "Power Optimizer" which should be some kind of improved solution for handling bus powered devices as far as we can tell. The other new addition is support for DisplayPort 1.2, but it's limited to allowing the signal out directly through the Thunderbolt/DisplayPort connector on the host device, rather than allowing for DisplayPort 1.2 support over Thunderbolt. This would still allow for things like daisy chaining of DisplayPort 1.2 compatible monitors, a feature that is currently not available for Thunderbolt devices unless you use two of Apple's Thunderbolt displays.

Thunderbolt roadmap unveiled, new features coming to Apple et al

As for 2014, well, we've got Intel's Broadwell CPU's and Crescent Bay chipsets and the new platform will have new Thunderbolt controllers to go alongside it. We can't reveal the name as yet or a lot of details for matter, but if you've been keeping track of Thunderbolt you'll know that Intel has spoken about increased performance and this will happen in 2014, not any sooner. We'll bring you more information about Intel's 2014 plans as soon as we can, but it looks like this will be the year when Thunderbolt is starting to get some real potential, unless external PCI Express has taken off by then.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thunderbolt-roadmap-unveiled-newfeatures-coming-to-apple-et-al/15554.html April 13th, 2012

We already know what Intel has planned for this year when it comes to its Thunderbolt chips, but VR-Zone has managed to get hold of an updated roadmap covering what to expect for 2013 and we'll even give you glimpse at what Intel has planned for 2014. Intel is set to continue its strategy with two different solutions, but the company has decided to add a few new features and we should be able to expect lower cost for Thunderbolt in the future as well. We already know what Intel has planned for this year when it comes to its Thunderbolt chips, but VR-Zone has managed to get hold of an updated roadmap covering what to expect for 2013 and we'll even give you glimpse at what Intel has planned for 2014. Intel is set to continue its strategy with two different solutions, but the company has decided to add a few new features and we should be able to expect lower cost for Thunderbolt in the future as well.

Scientists Create First Working Quantum Network Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-create-first-workingquantum-network/15553.html April 13th, 2012

Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have engineered the first working quantum network. While the entire system is primitive, consisting of two entangled atoms that communicate using single photons, it is a big step forward into the future of computing.

Intel is as we said planning two chips for 2013 to go with its Haswell processors and Lynx Point chipsets, also known as the Shark Bay platform. The two new models are currently known as Redwood Ridge 4C and 2C for the four and two channel models respectively. If we were to guess on final product names we'd expect Intel to go with L4510 and L4310 if the company follows its current naming strategy.

Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have engineered the first working quantum network. While the entire system is primitive, consisting of two entangled atoms that communicate using single photons, it is a big step forward into the future of computing. Redwood Ridge brings a few new features to the table of which the most important one is likely to be what Intel 5


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As traditional silicon computers advance, they are getting nearer and nearer to their physical limit, beyond which they will be unable to advance any further. This is a major problem not only to science, but to industries which depend on a constant consumer demand for faster and more powerful machines. The answer to this problem, many scientists think, is quantum computing. The development of a quantum network is the fruit of years’ work, headed by Professor Gerhard Rempe. Many complex obstacles had to be overcome in order to gain “perfect control” over all the components of the system, which works by using individual atoms as nodes, which transmit and receive information using single photons as data packets. The use of the network might seem less than impressive: two separate labs sixty feet apart were connected with a one hundred-eighty foot fiber optic cable. But, Professor Rempe told Scientific Computing “This approach to quantum networking is particularly promising because it provides a clear perspective for scalability.” Thus, the laboratory exercises were simply for the purposes of testing the concept, while scaling the system up to be used for more practical purposes may occur in the future.

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than roughly four years that DDR2 and DDR1 each lasted respectively as the dominant memory types before that. One reason for its long time success is that, with the semicon process improvements, it was - and seemingly still is easy to prop up the DDR3 net throughput speed far, while still keeping reasonable latency. The starting point was DDR3-1066, while now we routinely see DDR3-2500 or higher module speeds - in fact, Ivy Bridge seems having no problems to handle DDR3-3000 speed grade well. Also, if even that bandwidth improvement isn't enough, the CPU and packaging technology evolved enough to allow quite affordable quad-channel memory in each socket, providing more than sufficient throughput for almost any case.

A quantum network has advantages over a network based on classical technology, especially in its rate of transfer. The same property which gives quantum computers their incredible power also gives the network a powerful punch in its transfer speed. A quantum internet doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

DDR4 to start replacing DDR3 in 2014 - what's in store for us? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ddr4-to-start-replacing-ddr3in-2014--what-s-in-store-for-us-/15552.html April 13th, 2012

DDR3 memory seems to last quite long now as the unchallenged memory standard. As DDR4 finally makes the inroads in 2014, what should we expect from it? Now, in Spring 2012, as Intel launches their initial Ivy Bridge processor parts, and AMD follows with Trinity APU, you can count how many generations of CPUs succeeded each other over the past, say, six years. Remember the Core 2 Quad in 65 nm and 45 nm generation s, then followed by the Nehalem Core i7, then Westmere, then Sandy Bridge and now Ivy Bridge? Well, these six processor generations, just like their Athlon and Phenom counterparts at AMD, depend on DDR3 as the memory standard for these six years or so, and looks like it'll continue this way for another two years. This is quite a bit longer

Anyway, the successor is on the horizon, after the long wait. The DDR4 standard is being finalised, and, even though it is expected to take two years still till we see it in major mainstream products, there are some key pointers that show the upcoming memory benefits. Firstly, the speed grades. The initial base speed grades will be DDR4-2667 and DDR4-3200, with reasonably quick ascension to DDR4-4000 and 4266 levels expected within half a year from the launch. To help reduce the latency somewhat, the initial DDR4 chips will have more banks, 16, on each die, so that more open pages at the same time can result in lower average latency. Then, the power saving. With 1.2v being the standard voltage, and options for all the way down to 1.05 volts DDR4L, expect cooler DIMMs as well. Since the power reduction is the square of voltage reduction, there is an obvious benefit there. After that, design changes expected at the module and board level. DDR4 may have a similarity with Rambus memory as it is more of a point-to-point interface, with less load expected per each memory channel. That would help both achievable bandwidth and latency - a helpful move since the

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initial DDR4 parts are expected to all have double-digit CL latency figure... how about CL15 at DDR4-3200? Finally, there are error connection and management benefits too. DDR4 has better ways of handling parity and ECC errors than previous memory types, and it can provide recovery from both command and parity errors without crashing the system. This is particularly useful for the server implementation, like the ones expected in Haswell EX some two years from now, for instance. In summary, DDR4 will bring along even higher bandwidth, but accompanied with higher latency settings. This problem might impact the desktop and workstation benchmarks at the early stage, however, just as with DDR3, more optimised dies should appear over time. On the other hand, its further power savings should help in the adoption. Companies like Samsung and Hynix are expecting samples of higher speed DDR4 chips this year, with high density 4 Gbit dies following next year. But, again, any real deployment has to wait till 2014, when at least some Intel and AMD platforms are expected to support the new memory.

Judging by a five second video clip posted by Intel on YouTube – which you can find below – the Letexo is constructed in such a manner that when it's in tablet mode, the screen is flush with the rest of the design. Due to the fact that it uses a similar hinging mechanism to Asus' not so successful Eee Pad Slider, you end up with a very compact design without having to have a screen that can rotate. The main difference here is that you actually get a fullsize keyboard and the screen sits at the rear of the notebook chassis when in notebook mode, rather than half-way up the chassis. This allows for a more traditional notebook usage scenario when a keyboard is required.

Intel shows off hybrid Ultrabook with sliding design at IDF Beijing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-shows-off-hybrid-ultrabookwith-sliding-design-at-idf-beijing/15551.html April 13th, 2012

When it comes to inventing new and at least sometimes innovative designs, Intel isn't shy to try new things and at IDF Beijing that just finished, the company was showing off a hybrid Ultrabook known as the Letexo. What is a Hybrid Ultrabook you ask? Click on through and we'll tell you. When it comes to inventing new and at least sometimes innovative designs, Intel isn't shy to try new things and at IDF Beijing that just finished, the company was showing off a hybrid Ultrabook known as the Letexo. What is a Hybrid Ultrabook you ask? Click on through and we'll tell you. The Letexo might have an awkward name, but it's a really cool piece of technology and if it can be manufactured to a high quality level, then this could potentially turning Ultrabooks into a huge hit with consumers. Rather than just being a notebook, the Letexo features a sliding screen which allows it to be used in a few different modes. You can either use it as a regular notebook, or you can slide the screen forward and use it sort of like a touch-screen all-in-one PC, or – and this is where we think the real killer consumer appeal is – you can fold the screen flat so it rests on top of the keyboard which allows you to use it as a tablet.

The only thing we know for a fact is that the Letexo is based on Intel's Ivy Bridge Ultrabook platform. Judging by a presentation slide posted over on Ultrabook News, the Letexo design also incorporates at least a pair of USB ports and what appears to be an HDMI port. What we don't know is if Intel will have any takers for this design and even if they do, the final product might end up looking very different. The Letexo is being shown off 1:10 into the video

Livestream announces the Livestream Broadcaster Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/livestream-announces-thelivestream-broadcaster/15550.html April 13th, 2012

Beyond the fact that people are uploading a lot of video content to YouTube, Vimeo and all the other video streaming services, another big trend that is still only just starting to take off is live streaming of video. One of the major live 7


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streaming services is Livestream and the company has just made streaming video to its service a lot easier, albeit quite a lot more expensive with the introduction of the Livestream Broadcaster. Beyond the fact that people are uploading a lot of video content to YouTube, Vimeo and all the other video streaming services, another big trend that is still only just starting to take off is live streaming of video. One of the major live streaming services is Livestream and the company has just made streaming video to its service a lot easier, albeit quite a lot more expensive with the introduction of the Livestream Broadcaster. The Livestream Broadcaster is a compact – 122x75x32mm (WxDxH) – bright red box with a small blue OLED display, some status lights and a couple of buttons on the front. Actually, one of the buttons is actually a small joystick for changing the settings via the display. It can be powered either by an external power adapter, or via three AA batteries. Without batteries the Livestream Broadcaster weighs in at 142g, but chuck in a set of batteries and that weight goes up to 221g.

Around the back of the Livestream Broadcaster is an HDMI port, a 3.5mm line-input jack, a USB port, a power connector, a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port and a power switch. The bottom houses a tripod mount and the Livestream Broadcaster is supplied with a cold (hot)shoe adapter that can be attached here. The USB port can be combined with a range of yet unannounced 3G and 4G modems, but there's also built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, presumably supporting speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The Livestream Broadcaster is expected to start shipping before the 31 of May in the US and Europe with no word on availability in other parts of the world. Livestream is asking for US$495 (S$620) for a unit which is about as much as your average consumer camcorder costs, although this does include three months access to Livestream's premium service. That said, there aren't many competing solutions in the market and the only one we're aware of, Teradek's Cube, starts at over twice the price if you want HDMI input.

Zynga says social games are not really social Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zynga-says-social-games-are-notreally-social/15549.html April 13th, 2012

The neat thing with the Livestream Broadcaster is that it allows you to stream video without a PC, but it has a few limitations. For one, the HDMI port is limited to 1080i, 720p and 480i video and Livestream has not supplied any data as to which frame rates are supported. It will encode video in H.264 with AAC audio, but the highest resolution supported is 720p at 2.3Mbps. This should be plenty for most users of a device like this, but keep in mind that it also only works with the Livestream service.

Social game developer Zynga claims that social games are not really social, but it is working on ways to make future games more of a multiplayer experience. Social game developer Zynga claims that social games are not really social, but it is working on ways to make future games more of a multiplayer experience. Bob Bates, CCO of Zynga, told GamesIndustry that the company is “still in the infancy of understanding” about what is possible to do and what makes a game truly social. “Right now we're viral, but true social, where you feel like you're actually playing with your friends, not 'I'm playing here, he's playing there' is still ahead.”

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This is an interesting perspective, as Zynga is one of the companies people think of when they hear the words “social gaming,� but the company clearly sees things differently.

Published by: VR-Zone

5mm tall, or as Intel put it, 28 percent smaller in terms of volume. If you thought Western Digital's 7mm slim, 500GB Scorpio Blue was an achievement, then we can tell you it's only the start of what's to come. At IDF Beijing Intel was pushing for an even slimmer hard drive standard which will stand a mere 5mm tall, or as Intel put it, 28 percent smaller in terms of volume. Our colleagues over at VR-Zone Chinese snapped a picture of what Intel is hoping for during one of the many presentations. Despite SSD's being popular in Ultrabooks, for many people 128 or 256GB is simply not enough space and it's not always convenient to carry around an external hard drive with you. As such, the company is proposing a new hard drive standard with a new SATA interface in tow.

There is certainly an element of truth to Bates' comments. Simply clicking on a browser-based game within Facebook and sharing some unlocks and achievements as status updates is not exactly a truly social experience, particularly when many people ignore game invites and see game status updates as bordering on spam. Bates wants Zynga to introduce real social gaming in the sense of friends playing together, but that raises the question of whether or not this is simply multiplayer and if social gaming does not really go beyond tacking a normal game experience onto social networks. Regardless, it looks like Zynga's next move will be to make true multiplayer online games, where users get to play simultaneously rather than taking turns or waiting for certain time restrictions to elapse. This would make social gaming closer to an MMO, albeit on a much smaller scale, but this true multiplayer experience could entice a lot more casual gamers to the studio's successful titles.

Intel is pushing for 5mm thin hard drives, intended for Ultrabooks

As you can see from the picture, the new SATA interface will be less than a quarter of the size of today's SATA interface and will be moved from a fairly central position on the drive, onto one of the corners. Coming up with new implementations of the SATA interface will take time though and Intel isn't expecting the SATA-IO to be ready until Q4 of this year at best when it comes to finalizing the standard. There are of course some drawbacks too, as a slimmer hard drive would mean further limitations to the mechanics and at 5mm it would be impossible to put more than a single platter in a 2.5-inch drive. However, Intel is expecting that we'll see 1TB 5mm drives in 15mm thin Ultrabooks by 2015 which sounds like a fairly realistic goal.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-pushing-for-5mm-thin-harddrives-intended-for-ultrabooks/15546.html April 13th, 2012

BBB accuses BioWare of false advertising over Mass Effect 3

If you thought Western Digital's 7mm slim, 500GB Scorpio Blue was an achievement, then we can tell you it's only the start of what's to come. At IDF Beijing Intel was pushing for an even slimmer hard drive standard which will stand a mere

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accused Electronics Arts (EA) and BioWare of misleading customers with

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bbb-accuses-bioware-of-falseadvertising-over-mass-effect-3/15548.html April 13th, 2012

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advertising for Mass Effect 3, claiming the retail game does not provide all it was supposed to. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accused Electronics Arts (EA) and BioWare of misleading customers with advertising for Mass Effect 3, claiming the retail game does not provide all it was supposed to. The game publisher and developer are in hot water over advertising lingo that suggested that players would have full control over the outcome of the game, only to find that this is not the case. Widespread player criticism led to BioWare agreeing to address the disappointing ending with an update, but while that might calm some customers, it does not necessarily address the issue of false advertising.

Published by: VR-Zone

The global PC market saw a return to growth for the first time in years, with shipments increasing by 2.3 percent, defying analyst expectations. The global PC market saw a return to growth for the first time in years, with shipments increasing by 2.3 percent, defying analyst expectations. An International Data Corporation (IDC) report shows that shipments in the first quarter of this year were up by 2.3 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011, higher than the 0.9 percent decline expected. PCs are facing a lot of challenges at the moment, including HDD shortage, weak economic conditions, high competition from tablets, and uncertainty surrounding Windows 8, but these figures show that things aren't all grim for PCs. HP remains in the top spot with a market share of 18 percent, a slight increase on the 17.9 percent market share it had in the first quarter of 2011. Shipments were up from 15.2 million units to 15.7 million, an increase of 3.2 percent.

"Consider this: If you had purchased a game for $59.99... and were told that you had complete control over the game's outcome by the choices your character made and then actually had no control over the game's outcome, wouldn't you be disappointed?" said Marjorie Stephens, Director of Communications at the Northern Indiana branch of the BBB. "The issue at stake here is, did BioWare falsely advertise? Technically, yes, they did. In the first bullet point, where it states 'the decisions you make completely shape your experience', there is no indecision in that statement. It is an absolute.� Some players have been calling for refunds, which could become a reality now that the BBB has voiced its concerns.

PC market returns to growth Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pc-market-returns-togrowth/15547.html April 13th, 2012

Lenovo pushed Dell out of second position with massive 43.7 percent growth. Shipments were up from 8.1 million to 11.7 million, while its market share increased from 9.6 percent to 13.4 percent. Dell's growth declined by 2.1 percent, with shipments falling from 10.3 million to 10.1 million and its market share dropping from 12.1 percent to 11.6 percent. Acer also saw a decline of 3.7 percent thanks to shipment drops from 8.9 million units to 8.6 million. Its market share fell from 10.5 percent to 9.9 percent, putting it in fourth position. Asus saw high year-on-year growth of 22 percent for the first quarter, with shipments up from 4.3 million to 5.3 million. Its market share increased from 5.1 percent to six percent.

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"PC market growth remained limited in the first quarter as HDD supply and other factors limited demand," said Loren Loverde, VP of Worldwide Consumer Device Trackers at IDC. "Nevertheless, history has shown that periods of slower growth are followed by recovery as improving technologies make replacements as well as new purchases increasingly compelling. As a result, we expect PC shipments to pick up significantly by the fourth quarter and beyond as HDD supply and pricing are normalized, Windows 8 is launched, and replacements pick up.�

Intel Medfield-powered Lenovo K800 Smartphone to launch in May Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-medfield-powered-lenovok800-smartphone-to-launch-in-may/15545.html April 13th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Point of View outs ICS running ProTab 2 9.7-inch tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/point-of-view-outs-ics-runningprotab-2-9.7-inch-tablet/15544.html April 13th, 2012

Point of View (POV) has just added a new tablet to its lineup dubbed the ProTab 2 IPS. It's a 9.7-inch model with a 4:3 1024x768 capacitive touch screen. Dimensions of the tablet are a reasonable 242x189x9mm given the use of an aluminum outer shell. Point of View (POV) has just added a new tablet to its lineup dubbed the ProTab 2 IPS. It's a 9.7-inch model with a 4:3 1024x768 capacitive touch screen. Dimensions of the tablet are a reasonable 242x189x9mm given the use of an aluminum outer shell.

Following its unveiling at CES at the start of the year, we now have a date for the launch of Lenovo's Intel Medfieldpowered K800 smartphone. Following its unveiling at CES at the start of the year, we now have a date for the launch of Lenovo's Intel Medfieldpowered K800 smartphone.

Packed inside the Android 4.0 (ICS) running ProTab 2 IPS is a Cortex A8 CPU running at up to 1.2GHz. The CPU is paired with a MALI-400 GPU which which give decent performance in graphics and HD multimedia playback type tasks.

The phone has been confirmed to arrive through carrier China Unicom in late May via a message on Weibo by Intel's China chief Sean Maloney, in which he also said it will sport the company's new "Avatar Technology". We have no details on that to share just yet; inevitably Intel will provide us with more information closer to the launch.

Running back over the previously reported and demonstrated specs of Lenovo's K800, the phone has a tasty 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen and an 8-megapixel rear shooter. It features support for HSPA+ and uses a singlecore Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz along with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. Supposedly the K800 is shipping with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and a coating of Lenovo's LeOS UI.

Looking over the remaining specs, the tablet has 1GB of DDR3 based memory with 8GB of internal storage and also a microSD card slot for further storage expansion (up to 32GB). There's a 0.3MP front facing camera and a 2MP shooter the rear. The tablet also has a G-sensor implemented. The new ProTab 2 IPS from POV is now listed in a couple of European re/etail outlets at a little under â‚Ź300 ($393 USD).

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WD releases 7mm thickness 500GB Scorpio Blue HDD Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-releases-7mm-thickness-500gbscorpio-blue-hdd/15543.html April 13th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

priced at US $80 and US $100 respectively. Shipping is expected to commence as of today.

Google adds tab synchronization through Chrome Beta channel Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-adds-tab-synchronizationthrough-chrome-beta-channel/15542.html April 13th, 2012

A new 2.5-inch HDD that is of particular appeal to the Ultrabook segment has been outed by WD today under its Scorpio family of mechanical drives. The company has released a new Scorpio Blue model that comes in capacities of up to 500GB while being just 7mm thick. A new 2.5-inch HDD that is of particular appeal to the Ultrabook segment has been outed by WD today under its Scorpio family of mechanical drives. The company has released a new Scorpio Blue model that comes in capacities of up to 500GB while being just 7mm thick.

Google is working towards rolling in a new feature for Chrome that will be of benefit to many of today's users. In arguably the best addition yet to its recent shift of focus in providing an extensive set of synchronization features, Google is about to put a cherry on top for us with an announcement on the official Chrome blog yesterday that it is going to start gradually rolling out a new "Tab Sync" feature to Chrome's Beta channel 'over the coming week'. Google is working towards rolling in a new feature for Chrome that will be of benefit to many of today's users. In arguably the best addition yet to its recent shift of focus in providing an extensive set of synchronization features, Google is about to put a cherry on top for us with an announcement on the official Chrome blog yesterday that it is going to start gradually rolling out a new "Tab Sync" feature to Chrome's Beta channel 'over the coming week'.

The internals of the new drive are said to make the drive lower on power consumption with claim that it is "the most efficient" spinner on the market at this time. Thanks to being able to squeeze 500GB onto a single platter, this has not only allowed WD to slim down the drives thickness to just 7mm, but in turn also helps reduce noise output. Supposedly the drive is also capable of withstanding up to 400Gs in terms of shock resistance, but that's a spec you probably don't want to test for yourself. WD is primarily positioning the drive at the ultrabook market segment for those who prefer higher capacity vs. speed (as well as being inevitably cheaper), WD has also chosen to make the drive available as an aftermarket part to the masses as well. At this point there are two capacities on offer in the new Scorpio Blue 7mm range, 320GB and 500GB which are

Tab synchronization across multiple systems/platforms is definitely a feature that will be useful to a lot of people. At this stage it doesn't have the tabs physically opened across all of your devices, but what it does do is provide you with an "Other devices" menu to the new tab page, whereby clicking on it will call up tabs that they have open on other devices (yes, including Android). The other nice touch with this tab synchronization feature is that it doesn't just show the latest page displayed when you open up a tab from another device; it retains that tab's full history allowing you to click back through previous pages you may have been to on that tab. While we now know it's coming for sure, if you don't want to be left hanging out for it any longer, you can always join the Chrome Beta channel via this page.

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Buffalo readies up three new USB 3.0 external SSDs

Published by: VR-Zone April 13th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buffalo-readies-up-three-newusb-3.0-external-ssds/15530.html April 13th, 2012

With Mother's Day arriving next month, Philips Singapore has some good gift ideas for you. - the Fidelio docking speakers AS111, and the Philips Care Straightener. Philips Fidelio AS1111 docking speakers Buffalo has just announced a new family of external SSDs using the USB 3.0 interface. There are three models in the new SSD-PEU3 series with two color versions available in a glossy finish - "Black Crystal" and "Ruby Red". Buffalo has just announced a new family of external SSDs using the USB 3.0 interface. There are three models in the new SSD-PEU3 series with two color versions available in a glossy finish - "Black Crystal" and "Ruby Red".

Measurements of the SSD-PEU3 drives come in at 98 x 57 x 13 mm with a weight of 70 grams. Buffalo states transfer rates of up to 266.7MB/s via USB 3.0 with these drives. There are three capacity options available; 64GB (about US $105), 128GB (about US $168) and 256GB (US $392).

With the Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS111, Mum can enjoy her favourite music from her Android phone with great quality, pure balanced sound. The docking speaker will also charge the phone at the same time, so she won’t have to worry about the battery going flat overnight. Its soft glow night light will add to the cosy ambiance in the bedroom and soothe Mum before she goes to sleep. The elegant and compact design also ensures that it is fully at home on any bedside table. Retail price: S$199 Philips Sonicare AirFloss HX8111

The SSD-PEU3 series will become available near the end of the month and are backed by a 1 year warranty.

Philips Gift Ideas for Mother's Day Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-gift-ideas-for-mother-sday/15525.html

The Philips Sonicare AirFloss HX8111 flosses in 60 seconds and removes up to 99 per cent more plaque between teeth when combined with brushing, than brushing alone with a manual toothbrush. Safe and gentle on both gums and teeth, the Philips Sonicare AirFloss HX8111 utilizes breakthrough Microburst technology that delivers a rapid burst of air and 13


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water droplets to thoroughly fill up the area between teeth, forcing plaque and bacteria out. An easy-to-use system that minimises mess and hassle, this is the best gift for your mum this Mother’s Day to get her started on the path to cleaner and healthier teeth. Retail price: S$199

Ivy Bridge desktop Core i3 CPUs won't arrive until Q3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-desktop-core-i3-cpuswon-t-arrive-until-q3/15541.html April 13th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone April 13th, 2012

How small can a desktop PC be without losing any features? Well, that’s a question that Zotac might be able to help us answer, as its new ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus manages to squeeze in an impressive amount of technology into the almost pocket friendly 106x106x37mm (WxDxH) computer. How small can a desktop PC be without losing any features? Well, that’s a question that Zotac might be able to help us answer, as its new ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus manages to squeeze in an impressive amount of technology into the almost pocket friendly 106x106x37mm (WxDxH) computer.

Intel is doing its best to stretch the introduction of new Ivy Bridge processors for as long as possible throughout the year, or at least so it seems as details have reached us indicating that its Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors won't arrive until Q3. Some had hoped for an introduction in June, but it's now guaranteed not to happen until July at the earliest. Intel is doing its best to stretch the introduction of new Ivy Bridge processors for as long as possible throughout the year, or at least so it seems as details have reached us indicating that its Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors won't arrive until Q3. Some had hoped for an introduction in June, but it's now guaranteed not to happen until July at the earliest. Intel will have a handful of Core i3 desktop models when the company decides it's time to launch them. Top to bottom we have the 3.4GHz Core i3-3240, the 3GHz Core i3-3240T, the 3.3GHz Core i3-3225, the 3.3GHz Core i3-3220 and the 2.8GHz Core i3-3220T. All five models sport 3MB of shared L3 cache, two cores and hyper threading. The standard models are rated at a 55W TDP with the T models being intended for all-in-one systems and as such are rated at 35W TDP. With the exception for the Core i3-3225 which sports Intel HD graphics 4000, the other four models all features Intel HD graphics 2500. Intel will apparently add support for AES to the new Core i3 models as well, something the company ought to have done a long time ago, as these are the CPU's with the least processing power and this is where having accelerated encryption would have a bigger impact on overall system performance.

The 1.65GHz AMD E-450 APU with integrated Radeon HD 6320 graphics is hardly going to be suitable for playing the latest games, but think of the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus as a second computer or as the brains of your smart TV and it’s still pretty decent. Zotac will ship the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus with 2GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory – which is upgradeable to 4GB – and a 64GB mSATA SSD which is apparently a Kingston mS100 based around a Phison controller which offers read speeds of up to 255MB/s and write speeds of up to 170MB/s.

No word in pricing yet, but we would expect the Ivy Bridge Core i3 models to be close in terms of cost to their Sandy Bridge counterparts. As for a more exact launch window, well, that's going to have to wait until Intel decides that it's time to share such information and the company is most likely a lot more focused on the Core i7 and Core i5 desktop and mobile launches which should take place on the 29th of April as well as the 3rd of June, with various desktop and mobile CPUs being launched on both occasions.

Zotac launches the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-launches-the-zbox-nano-xsad11-plus/15540.html

Around the front of the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus there’s an IR receiver, a memory card readers that accepts all standard forms of SD cards, MMC cards and Memory Sticks’, a combo eSATA/USB port and a pair of audio jacks where the headphone jack does double duty as optical S/PDIF out. At the rear we have an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 2.0 ports that appears to be the

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high Amperage kind, at least if Zotac has gone for the same colour scheme as Intel.

Published by: VR-Zone

codenamed Cactus Ridge. The timing appears to be spot on, as rumours about Apple's upcoming Ivy Bridge MacBook Pros have kicked off and the first of the new models are expected to be announced end of May.

A handful of PC motherboards have also been "delayed" due to the fact that Intel hasn't gotten Cactus Ridge out of the door, but this is really a minor issue. That said, we're expecting to see Thunderbolt support on at least the new iMac and possibly the new Mac Pro systems from Apple which might be even closer to launch than a new notebook model. Zotac also includes a 150MBps 802.11n USB W-Fi dongle, a Windows MCE compatible remote with a USB IR receiver and a VESA mounting place for slapping the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus onto the back of a display of some kind. Overall, this is a pretty impressive little box in terms of how much hardware Zotac has managed to pack into a really tiny space, but at US$359.99 (S$455) we won’t be the first lining up to get our hands on one as soon as it’s available.

For Ivy Bridge we know for certain that Intel will be offering two different solutions which we have reported about multiple times in the past, namely the DSL3310 which is a 12x12mm chip which offers two lanes worth of PCI Express bandwidth and draws 2.1W as well as the DSL3510 which offers four PCI Express lanes and draws 2.8W. The DSL3510 can also be used for daisy chainable devices and as such it would be a lower cost, smaller and more power efficient alternative to the original Light Ridge or CV82524 chipset.

Another aspect that makes the DSL3510 interesting is that it supports multiple internal DisplayPort inputs. What this means is that it could in theory interface with a discrete graphics card as well as the integrated graphics from an Intel CPU. This is likely to be the chip used by Apple in its desktop systems, whereas the more power efficient DSL3310 will end up in notebook products.

Intel finally shipping 2nd gen Thunderbolt controllers, just in time for new Macs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-finally-shipping-2nd-genthunderbolt-controllers-just-in-time-for-new-macs/15539.html April 13th, 2012

We've just had confirmation that Intel is finally shipping its second generation Thunderbolt controllers, previously

Beyond the Cactus Ridge chips, Intel is also shipping the DSL2210 – also known as Port Ridge – which will be the lowest cost device chip for the time being. It doesn't support daisy chaining and as such Intel has removed the requirement for it to receive a DisplayPort signal. As such the DSL2210 is somewhat limited, but it still offers two lanes worth of PCI Express bandwidth and it should be ideal for external storage devices, especially as this 6x5mm chip only draws 0.7W. We'll have to wait and see what Intel's various hardware partners will put in their systems, but with the added information that the DSL3510 will potentially support discrete graphics card, this is what we're hoping to see 15


April 13th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

on motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI. Just don't expect to see an iPhone or iPad with Thunderbolt connectivity any time soon, as even the DSL2210 isn't a likely candidate due to its relatively high power usage.

Rosewill RK-9000 Mechanical Keyboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rosewill-rk-9000-mechanicalkeyboard/15538.html April 13th, 2012

Mechanical keyboards are the latest hype among gamers and rightfully so; advantages aside, the feel alone is much superior if compared to rubber dome keyboards. No enthusiast who ever used a mechanical keyboard would get back to using a rubber dome keyboard, no matter of how high quality it may be. Today we are going to have a look at mechanical keyboard offerings from a unique company, Rosewill. Rosewill offers their standard RK-9000 keyboard with four different key switches, Cherry MX Red, Black, Brown and Blue. We have thoroughly tested the Red and Black flavors over the past few weeks, bringing you this review. Mechanical keyboards are the latest hype among gamers and rightfully so; advantages aside, the feel alone is much superior. No enthusiast who ever used a mechanical keyboard would get back to using a typical rubber dome keyboard. Today we are going to have a look at mechanical keyboard offerings from a unique company, Rosewill. Rosewill offers their standard RK-9000 keyboard with four different key switches, Cherry MX Red, Black, Brown and Blue. We have thoroughly tested the Red and Black flavors over the past few weeks, bringing you this review.

Normal Keys Key Switch

104 Cherry MX Blue Switch (RK-9000)

Cherry MX Red Switch (RK-9000RE) Key Pitch 19.05mm Key Stroke 4.0mm±0.5mm Total Travel 4.0mm-0.4mm Operating Force 2.0±0.5 oz Switch Life 50 x 10^6 Times Operating Power 4.0 V Dimensions 440(L) X 138(W) X 38(H) mm / 17.32"(L) X 5.43"(W) X 1.52"(H) Keyboard Weight 1600g / 3.53 Lbs Operating System Supported Microsoft ME/ 2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7 Package Contents 1 x RK-9000RE Keyboard 1 x USB to Mini USB cable 1 x PS/2 to Mini USB cable

Parts Labor

1 x User Manual 3 Year limited 1 Year limited

Manufacturer’s features and specifications • Highly durable professional gaming keyboard • Extremely responsive and accurate for hours of comfortable gaming • Gaming-grade lifetime: 50 million clicks • Durable red metal inner chassis • N-Key rollover: 104 Key could press at the same time, avoid any key jamming (Only PS2 mode, at USB Mode 6-key rollover) • Cherry MX Switches: linear feeling with light operating force, 50 million life cycle of the switch, comfortable typing for long term use, fast response on each key. • Laser printing design for the keycap • Gold plated USB and PS/2 connector to ensure low latency • High quality braided cable

Model No. Color Type Interface

RK-9000 / RK-9000RE Black Mechanical Keyboard USB and PS/2 16


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Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

This pair of augmentedreality glasses supports Windows 7 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/this-pair-of-augmented-realityglasses-supports-windows-7/15588.html April 17th, 2012

Sure, Google's Project Glass augmented-reality technology may still be in an early stage, but the days of walking around the streets with a video feed overlaid atop your field of vision may be coming sooner than you think. As soon as June, in fact, if you're willing to shell out 199,980 yen (~US $2,476) for a pair of Brother Industries' AirScouter seethrough head-mounted display. The printer and machinery manufacturer launched today in Japan a new version of their augmented-reality glasses that will support Windows XP and 7 devices. First unveiled as a prototype way back in 2008, the AirScouter mounts a pico projector and a "half-mirrror" liquid crystal display in front of a pair of spectacle frames. The pico projector focuses light onto the translucent halfmirror display, and the results look to the eye like an image from a 16" monitor viewed from one metre away.

Although the AirScouter has actually been commercialised since last year, thus far it has only been sold as part of NEC's Tele Scouter wearable computing solution (which comes with a Windows CE 6.0 mini-terminal that runs on a 500MHz ARM processor). The idea here is to allow industrial workers such as, say, engineers to refer to manuals and blueprints in the middle of construction without having to shuttle to and fro a workstation. Sounds like a pretty nifty solution... apart from the fact that these engineers probably use smartphones, tablet and notebook devices that are a heck of a lot more powerful than the Tele Scouter mini-terminal in their day-to-day. If only the AirScouter could connect to those devices - why limit compatibility to something so proprietary? That's the issue Brother Industries is tackling with this new version, the AirScouter WD100-G/WD100-A, which opens the floodgates for potential uses by swapping out NEC's mini-computer for a control box that you can hook up to any Windows XP (32-bit) or Windows 7 PC via USB.

Once Windows recognises the AirScouter's drivers you can set the head-mounted display to be in "mirror mode" (i.e. everything you see on your Windows device), or in "extended mode" (functions as a second screen and additional workspace, on top of a primary display). As the AirScouter does not feature a built-in battery, power for the entire gadget will be drawn from your Windows device - but you can prevent this by plugging in a mobile battery pack to the AirScouter control box via an extra USB port.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The AirScouter control box. WD-100A Specs in full (identical for both models): Dimensions (head-mounted display) Dimensions (control box) Weight (head-mounted display) Weight (control box)

An extra micro-USB port (marked with a "lightning" icon in the picture) lets you power the gadget with an external battery source. Brother Industries will sell the new AirScouter WD-100G/ WD-100A models in the middle of June for 199,980 yen.

(W)75×(D)40×(H)35mm cable length: approx. 1.36m (W)72.5×(D)19×(H)79mm approx. 64g (including cables) approx. 75g (including microUSB connector cover)

Halo 4 gets official release date Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/halo-4-gets-official-releasedate/15594.html April 17th, 2012

The only difference between the two models is that while WD-100G comes with lenses ready to use for folks with perfect eyesight, the WD-100A does not, for users who require prescription lenses. Halo 4 has received an official release date for the holiday season and will be featured in some fashion on Conan O'Brien's TV show tonight. Halo 4 has received an official release date for the holiday season and will be featured in some fashion on Conan O'Brien's TV show tonight. Microsoft has confirmed rumours that the highlyanticipated fourth installment of the first person shooter, which many see as one of the Xbox's crowning glories, will be released on Tuesday, 6 November, 2012. The game will feature in a special Halo-themed segment on Conan's show tonight at 11pm PST. It is not yet clear if any of the game's content or features will be detailed on the WD-100G 2


April 17th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

show, but we can likely expect a bit of humour amidst the announcement.

The lower price will likely also mean a lower spec, but no details about the hardware have been revealed. Apple is apparently hoping to ship six million units of the device for its initial batch. Previous reveals have shown that Halo 4 will be the start of a new trilogy of games, set after the events of Halo 3, where Master Chief will be forced to “confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.� The release date will be just in time for the busy Christmas season, but will also clash with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which could give it a run for its money. However, those who enjoyed the original Halo trilogy will undoubtedly be keen to get their hands on this game in early November.

Apple rumoured to be working on iPad Mini

The iPad Mini is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year, possibly to coincide with the rumoured release of the iPhone 5 at the same time.

European operators unhappy with Nokia Windows Phone devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/european-operators-unhappy-withnokia-windows-phone-devices/15591.html April 17th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-rumoured-to-be-working-onipad-mini/15592.html April 17th, 2012

Several major telecommunications operators in Europe have slated Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone devices as not good enough to compete with Apple and Android smartphones.

Apple is rumoured to be working on an iPad Mini tablet for release later this year.

Several major telecommunications operators in Europe have slated Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone devices as not good enough to compete with Apple and Android smartphones.

NetEase claims that Apple is planning to release a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet in an effort to undermine the launch of a Windows 8 tablet. The smaller iPad is expected to feature a 7.85-inch display, compared to the 9.7-inch display of the previous three models. Perhaps more significantly, the iPad Mini will reputedly carry a much lower price tag of between $249 and $299, opening up the lower end of the market to Apple. However, this will still be more expensive than Amazon's Kindle Fire, which retails for just $199.

Reuters spoke with four big operators in Europe who stocked the devices, many of whom did not want to be named, and found that all of them believed the Lumia range is unsatisfactory in one way or another. "No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone," said a mobile executive at one operator in Europe. The operator has sold the Lumia 800 and 710 since December, but the executive's statement suggests that sales are just not happening. "If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell."

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Reuters discovered that at a France Telecom store the Lumia phones were not in a prominent display area and staff offered iPhones and Android devices before ever considering a Windows-based smartphone. Another operator thought that a lower price might help with sales, but that would not necessarily solve the problem of many people simply not being aware of the Lumia range in the first place. A fourth operator suggested that a truly innovative product or a huge marketing budget was the only way to sell the smartphones, because the stores are doing all that they can.

Published by: VR-Zone

The larger, dual tower version promises the "top performance-to-noise ratio and the highest reliability available", according to the company's press release. The cooler is rated capable of handling loads up to 220W and it makes use of two fans in order to do so; however, only the external fan is 135mm, while the internal fan remains an 120mm model. The company claims a maximum noise level of only 26,4dB(A).

Things are looking as grim as ever for Nokia. If it loses operator support it could see entire markets closing off to it, as stores will be unwilling to stock products that don't sell. Nokia is hoping to reclaim its crown and restore itself to its former glory, but as Apple and Android continue to soar it looks increasingly likely that Nokia's fate is sealed.

Be quiet! introduces new CPU cooler generation Dark Rock 2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/be-quiet-introduces-new-cpu-coolergeneration-dark-rock-2/15590.html April 17th, 2012

Be Quiet! have just announced the release of the Dark Rock Pro 2 and Dark Rock 2 CPU coolers, upgraded versions of the Dark Rock Pro C1 and Dark Rock Advanced C1 which we reviewed a few months ago. With the new coolers the company promises higher performance through the use of 135mm SilentWings fans, plus an improved mounting system.

The smaller Dark Rock 2 is a single tower version, yet it is still rated capable of handling loads up to 180W. This version makes use of a single 135mm fan, with the claimed acoustic levels dropping down to a mere 21.2dB(A). Source : Company Press Release

Patriot Memory Introduces New Extreme Performance EP Series Flash Solutions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/patriot-memory-introduces-newextreme-performance-ep-series-flash-solutions/15589.html April 17th, 2012

Patriot Memory announced today the release of Extreme Performance SDHC/SDXC UHS-I flash storage. The new cards are capable of reaching speeds up to 50MB/s read and 35MB/s write, which of course means that they are Class 10 compatible, making them ideal for high performance 4


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imaging solutions. The company will offer the new cards in capacities ranging from 16GB up to 128GB.

Published by: VR-Zone

furniture, although it's a little bit more complicated than that. For starters, Uppleva can be combined with a wide range of front room furniture and it might even be compatible with your current IKEA furniture – assuming you have IKEA furniture in your front room – and it's available in a range of colours. The company will offer at least three, yet unannounced screen sized for the LED backlit TV which is part of the package, although a footnote in the press release suggests that Uppleva might start at 24-inches.

“Patriot Memory is always focused on being a leader in performance and innovation, we are very excited to introduce our EP Series SDHC/SDXC flash storage solutions. With storage capacities of up to 128GB, these EP Series SDHC/SDXC cards will be capable of providing a true professional experience when working with high definition video and photography.”

IKEA announces Uppleva, combines TV, Blu-ray and furniture into one Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ikea-announces-uppleva-combinestv-blu-ray-and-furniture-into-one/15585.html April 17th, 2012

Normally we wouldn't cover a product announcement from IKEA, but today the company has unveiled a product that falls in the technology department and it's called Uppleva (experience). For whatever reason, IKEA has decided that just selling furniture that fits your home entertainment equipment isn't good enough and as such the company went and integrated a TV and a Blu-ray player into a piece of furniture, although it's a little bit more complicated than that. Normally we wouldn't cover a product announcement from IKEA, but today the company has unveiled a product that falls in the technology department and it's called Uppleva (experience). For whatever reason, IKEA has decided that just selling furniture that fits your home entertainment equipment isn't good enough and as such the company went and integrated a TV and a Blu-ray player into a piece of

All screen sizes will support full HD resolution and a 400Hz panel. All models above 24-inches (it's not clear if there will be smaller units available) will sport internet connectivity via some kind of "smart TV" solution, DivX HD support, be Wi-Fi ready and as you'll see in the video below. Connectivity wise the video shows a pair of USB 2.o ports, what appears to be some 3.5mm audio jacks, a CA module slot and four HDMI ports. Uppleva also comes with an integrated Blu-ray/DVD/CD player and FM radio as well as a 2.1-channel speaker system with a wireless subwoofer. Everything is operated via a single remote control which is one of IKEA's big selling points for Uppleva, as they claim that most consumers are fed up with having multiple remote controls. All the cables are routed down the back of the unit, so there are no visible cables and there's also a spare storage unit for something like a cable box or a console. IKEA will be launching Uppleva in June in one of its shops in Sweden, followed by its entire range of warehouses in Sweden, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Portugal later in the autumn. Come 2013 IKEA is promising to offer Uppleva in its warehouses in the rest of the world without giving any specifics. Starting price in Sweden for Uppleva will be about 6500SEK (S$1200/US$960) which includes a five year warranty, but pricing will of course be reflected on the specific furniture that you decided to make Uppleva go with. So is this what you've been waiting for to upgrade your home entertainment system, or is IKEA barking up the wrong tree?

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Philips unveils 21.5-inch 221S3UCB USB monitor in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-unveils-21.5-inch-221s3ucbusb-monitor-in-singapore/15583.html April 17th, 2012

MMD, technology company and brand license partner for Philips Monitors, have announced the 221S3UCB USB monitor which can connecte to your PC or laptop with just a single USB cable. There's no need for a VGA cable or power adapter.

MMD has announced the new Philips USB monitor which boasts low power consumption and hassle-free connectivity to laptops and PCs via a single USB 2.0 connection. The Philips 221S3UCB USB monitor sports a 21.5-inch display size and requires just a USB 2.0 cable to connect to laptops and PCs for power and video. This helps to eliminate the need for power or video cables. The LCD monitor incorporates low-power LED backlight and reduces power consumption to approximately half that of equivalent standard monitor, whilst maintaining superior color reproduction. In addition, the monitor features an ergonomically designed and adjustable monitor base that enables optimal viewing comfort and efficiency. The monitor is compatible with most operating systems and can serve as a secondary display for professionals seeking a dual workstation or for gamers looking for independent gaming screens. It can swivel up to -65/65 degrees and tilt -5/20 degrees to your viewing comfort. The Philips 221S3UCB USB monitor will be available in stores from this month onwards at S$259.

Published by: VR-Zone

ASUS Singapore offers free external GPS extension kit for Eee Pad Transformer Prime Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-singapore-offers-free-externalgps-extension-kit-for-eee-pad-transformer-prime/15582.html April 17th, 2012

Eee Pad Transformer Prime owners rejoice. ASUS Singapore has announced that it will offer the external GPS extension kit for their Android tablet, for free.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime was launched in December 2011, though it was officially available in Singapore early this year. While the popular Android tablet offers good features and performance, the company stated that the GPS functionality had not met users’ expectations, partly because the Transformer Prime is not designed to be a professional GPS device. However, ASUS said it will offer all Eee Pad Transformer Prime owners a free external GPS extension kit, in the form of a dongle, which could help improve signal reception and optimize user experience. To apply for the Transformer Prime GPS Extension kit, simply login to ASUS membership page (you may need to register if you have not done so), register your Eee Pad Transformer Prime and select "GPS Extension Kit Apply & Inquire" on the menu, and confirm delivery information.

Microsoft reveals three Windows 8 versions, mentions a fourth Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-reveals-three-windows-8versions-mentions-a-fourth/15581.html April 17th, 2012

We're not sure if this is good news, but it's most definitely not bad news, as Microsoft appears to finally have understood 6


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that having half a dozen different consumer oriented versions of Windows is a bad thing, the company will only offer three different versions of Windows 8 when it launches. As such, expect to see Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. We're not sure if this is good news, but it's most definitely not bad news, as Microsoft appears to finally have understood that having half a dozen different consumer oriented versions of Windows is a bad thing, the company will only offer three different versions of Windows 8 when it launches. As such, expect to see Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. Let's start with the odd one out, Windows RT, this is the ARM version of Windows and it will only be available preloaded on the various ARM powered Windows devices. It will come with Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – pre-installed albeit the touch friendly version specifically made for ARM based devices and it will support device encryption. It will also focus a lot more on touch centric input if that wasn't already obvious and it will of course not run x86/64 Windows applications. Oddly enough it will also miss features like Windows Media Player and support for storage spaces. Windows 8 will be the general consumer version of Windows and owners of Windows 7 starter, Home Basic and Home Premium will be able to upgrade to Windows 8. Some of the features that used to be limited to Windows 7 Ultimate, such as the option to install any language you want has filtered through all the way down to Windows 8, something Microsoft ought to have done a long time ago.

Published by: VR-Zone April 17th, 2012

Ah yes, mechanical drives spinning at 10,000rpm, once the dream of every computer nerd, but since the introduction of the SSD, we're not so sure there's much of a demand for Western Digital's VelociRaptor drives. Either which way, WD seems to think that there's enough demand and has revived the VelociRaptor range of drives and in its third iteration we're looking at larger capacities, more SKUs and better performance. Ah yes, mechanical drives spinning at 10,000rpm, once the dream of every computer nerd, but since the introduction of the SSD, we're not so sure there's much of a demand for Western Digital's VelociRaptor drives. Either which way, WD seems to think that there's enough demand and has revived the VelociRaptor range of drives and in its third iteration we're looking at larger capacities, more SKUs and better performance. The VR333M as the new VelociRaptor is also known as comes in sizes of 250, 500 and 1000GB, or 333GB per platter. WD has boosted the buffer to 64MB, up from 32MB and the buffer to disk transfer rate from 145MB/s to 200MB/ s. The new drives are of course using the SATA 6Gbps interface and have also gained support for advanced format with 4K sectors, something the older models lack.

The main difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro is the inclusion of various “professional” features such as Microsoft's BitLocker encryption, support for encrypted file systems, VHD boot and client Hyper-V support, the ability to join a domain, group policies and remote desktop as a host. Owners of Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. Apparently Windows Media Center will be an optional upgrade component for Windows 8 Pro and Microsoft states it'll be available as an “economical media pack”. There will also be a fourth version of Windows 8, the one for enterprise customers and it will be called Windows 8 Enterprise. It'll be mostly the same as Windows 8 Pro, but with the addition of various PC management and network deployment features, virtualization, advanced security and various other features Microsoft didn't go into any detail about. For a more in-depth look as to what features comes with each of the versions of Windows 8 we suggest you head over the Windows Blog and check out the extensive list of features that Microsoft has put together. Some are new, while others are simply carried over from previous versions of Windows.

WD brings the VelociRaptor back from the dead with 1TB version Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-brings-the-velociraptor-backfrom-the-dead-with-1tb-version/15580.html

Judging by a review over at Anandtech, the new VelociRaptor manages quite well when it comes to sequential read performance, hitting just over 213MB/s which is SATA 3Gbbps SSD territory. The write performance is actually identical and according to the benchmarks provided, this is in fact faster than the 160GB SKU of Intel's 320 series SSD which only managed a smidgen under 168MB/s. The average read speed for the 1TB VelociRaptor ends up at 173MB/s with burst speeds hitting an impressive 332.7MB/s. WD has also managed to reduce the power consumption compared to the previous generation of VelociRaptor drives by a good 1W and change during write operation, but it still 7


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draws over 3W more than Intel SSD. However, despite good performance for a hard drive, the VelociRaptor is most likely the last of a breed, not because it's a bad product, but because it's priced all wrong. The 1TB SKU will set you back no less than US$320 (S $400) for which you could pretty much get a 4TB drive if you just wanted a lot of storage, or a 1TB OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid which has 100GB of dedicated cache and a PCI Express 2.0 x4 interface. The 500GB SKU comes in a bit cheaper at US$210, which is pretty much what you can get the older, slower 600GB VelociRaptor for. Finally the 250GB SKU is $160 and in that case, we'd rather cut our losses in terms of available storage space and go for a 128GB SSD.

Intel's 330 series SSDs arrive, priced competitively Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-330-series-ssds-arrivepriced-competitively/15579.html April 17th, 2012

The 320 series of SSDs from Intel has been a long time staple as far as consumer SSDs have been concerned, although this SATA 3Gbps SSD family has been overdue for a replacement for some time now. Intel has finally unveiled the 330 series which we wouldn't call a direct replacement for the 320 series, but it is the consumer replacement. The 320 series of SSDs from Intel has been a long time staple as far as consumer SSDs have been concerned, although this SATA 3Gbps SSD family has been overdue for a replacement for some time now. Intel has finally unveiled the 330 series which we wouldn't call a direct replacement for the 320 series, but it is the consumer replacement. The 330 series will come in sizes of 60, 120 and 180GB, whereas the old 320 series ranged all the way from a tiny 40GB to a still fairly massive 600GB, at least in SSD terms. The 330 series uses the familiar SandForce SF-2281 controller, the same one found in Intel's 520 series of SSDs. The performance of the 330 is somewhat lower than the 520 series with a sequential read speed of up to 500MB/s and a write speed of up to 450MB/s (400MB/s for the 60GB SKU).

There are a couple of potential reasons for the slower performance, of which the main one being an artificial limit imposed by Intel by means of the firmware. Intel is using slightly different NAND flash for the 330 series compared to the 520 series, although it's not clear if this in itself has an impact on the performance, but it does affect the lifespan of the NAND flash itself. As such, Intel has also cut back the warranty to three years for the 330 series, compared to five years for the 520 series, as the 330 series is said to be good for no more than 20GB of writes per day for three years. That said, the pricing is quite competitive with the 60GB SKU starting at US$89 (S$111), going up to US$149 (S$186) for the 128GB SKU and finally US$234 (S$293) for the 180GB SKU. This makes the 330 series one of the cheapest SATA 6Gbps SSDs out there in terms of MSRP, although some shopping around should be able to turn up even more affordable options these days.

AMD reduces Radeon HD 7970, 7950 and 7770 pricing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-reduces-radeon-hd-7970-7950and-7770-pricing/15578.html April 17th, 2012

If you're looking at picking up one of AMD's fairly recently launched Radeon HD 7970, 7950 or 7770 graphics cards, but haven't gotten around to it yet, then we have good news for you. AMD has finally decided to lower its prices to a somewhat more affordable level, especially in the case of the two high-end models. If you're looking at picking up one of AMD's fairly recently launched Radeon HD 7970, 7950 or 7770 graphics cards, but haven't gotten around to it yet, then we have good news for you. AMD has finally decided to lower its prices to a somewhat more affordable level, especially in the case of the two high-end models. The Radeon HD 7970 stands for the biggest price drop, of US $70 compared to the launch date and you can already pick 8


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Published by: VR-Zone

up some cards for the new MSRP of US$479. This puts the Radeon HD 7970 at a US$20 lower price point than Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680, although we're not sure if this is enough to sway users over to the Radeon HD 7970. A US$50 saving is what you'll be seeing for the Radeon HD 7950 which has come down from US$449 to US$399. This will likely make some of the overclocked Radeon HD 7870 cards a tough sell; especially models priced in excess of US $370. That said, it seems like some of AMD's partners are dropping the prices here as well, without any official word on the matter from AMD, as we spotted Radeon HD 7870 models going for as little as US$330. Finally the Radeon HD 7770 has been reduced by US$20, from US$159 to US$139 making it a pretty attractive option to the Radeon HD 6850 which is retailing at around the same price point these days and offering similar performance, albeit drawing more power. The Radeon HD 7970 and 7950 will also come with three games for a limited time, as part of the three for free promotion. The games are Deus Ex: Human Evolution (including the Missing Link DLC), Dirt: Showdown (expected in May) and Nexuiz, a DX11 first person shooter (again expected in May). Presumably the games will be digital download only.

Valve hardware project is wearable computing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valve-hardware-project-is-wearablecomputing/15577.html April 17th, 2012

Valve's mysterious hardware project is about making wearable computing, according to Valve developer Michael Abrash, potentially revolutionising the industry. After the studio posted job listings for hardware engineer positions the internet went wild with speculation about what the software developer might be up to. One of the strongest possibilities was the Steam Box, Valve's own console gaming project, but it looks like the developer is thinking about something much bigger. In a lengthy blog post (which, at the time of writing, has gone offline) Abrash revealed that Valve is hoping to bring what many consider science-fiction, the idea of wearing computer devices such as glasses and contact lenses, to reality. Of course, the US military and Google might beat it to the punch, as they have also shown interest in similar technology for augmented reality.

However, Valve's proposal might be even more ambitious. Abrash suggested we could have technology that directly plugs into our brains, becoming a kind of neural interface, and he believes that in 20 years this kind of tech will be standard and that it might takes as little as three to five years to implement. Despite how promising it all sounds, Valve's project is still only in the early research and development phase, so it won't have anything to reveal to the public for quite some time. The end result might simply be a list of experiments rather than an actual product, but the possibilities in this field appear endless and could dramatically change how we engage with technology.

EA resolves Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances plagiarism claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-resolves-command--conquertiberium-alliances-plagiarism-claims/15576.html April 17th, 2012

Electronic Arts (EA) has resolved accusations that it was plagiarising tank designs for its free-to-play Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances game. Electronic Arts (EA) has resolved accusations that it was plagiarising tank designs for its free-to-play Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances game. The developer came up with concept art for its Grinder and Bombard tanks that was remarkably similar to that of the Bonecruncha and Baneblade tanks in Game's Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 franchise, sparking complaints by gamers that it was plagiarising the designs. EA said that the artwork was “unintentionally released publicly” and was only ever intended as “internal EA concept art.” Of course, that begs the question why it bothered to employ artists to copy artwork that it would never use and

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if it's still plagiarism even if the studio does not use it in the finished product.

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There's no guessing there. The question is can a Samsung Galaxy SIII, rumored to be powered by a non-percentile 4.5 inch "Super AMOLED Plus HD" display with 1280x720 or 1280x800 pixel resolution. Furthermore, the case will no longer be plastic, which was considered as the biggest flaw of Galaxy S and SII (cheap feeling), but the company opted to take aluminum, burn it with 10,000 Volts and create a ceramic casing. This process is also used on "one of HTC Ones" i.e. the mainstream model (One S). Today, Samsung Electronics sent out invitations for a media event taking place on May 3rd in London, the capital of Great Britain. Samsung will fly in a select number (hundreds) of journalists, analysts and other guests and show their key product for the upcoming 12 months. Can a 4.5" Galaxy beat a rumored 4.3" iPhone 5? Only time (and customers wallets) will give that answer.

“No Warhammer 40,000 tanks have ever made an appearance in Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, and never will," a spokesperson for EA stated. "Games Workshop and EA continue to have a strong relationship working together on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and the new free to play game Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, which just entered open beta." EA said it has already resolved the intellectual property issues with Games Workshop, but did not reveal what this might entail. It might have had to make a payout or simply provide guarantees to Games Workshop that it won't steal its artwork again in the future.

Samsung to Unveil Galaxy S3 on 3 May 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-to-unveil-galaxy-s3-on-3may-2012/15573.html April 17th, 2012

The time of rumors is almost over. Samsung has sent official invitations for a media event in the capital of Great Britain, London. This is the device that will go head to head against the Apple iPhone 5, HTC One X and others… 2012 is looking to be a landmark year for Samsung. It was recently revealed that Samsung overtook Nokia as the largest manufacturer of mobile phones (due to Nokia becoming a victim of the cliff theory) and the company is preparing probably the second anticipated smartphone in the world, and the first smartphone that has a chance of actually selling more units than the most anticipated smartphone in the world.

Crysis 3 officially announced, pre-orders open Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/crysis-3-officially-announced-preorders-open/15574.html April 17th, 2012

Electronic Arts and Crytek have officially announced Crysis 3, the much-anticipated third instalment of the nanosuitdonning first-person shooter. The story involves the protagonist Prophet who returns to New York City in 2047, but finds that it has been encased in a Nanodome developed by the Cell Corporation, proposed as a means of protecting the citizens from alien attack, but really a method to expand Cell's control in its hunt for world domination. Players who missed the setting of the first game will be pleased to hear that while the game is set in New York City, it's not quite the same city environment of the second game. The Liberty Dome, which players are tasked with taking back, is, according to Crytek, “a veritable urbain rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers.” It looks like the developer is delivering the best of both worlds for players. As gamers explore the seven distinct environments of the Liberty Dome, known as the Seven Wonders, they will be forced to fight both human enemies and alien Ceph. An enhanced Nanosuit and new weapons, including a composite bow, will help players win the battle.

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Published by: VR-Zone

“Crysis 3 is a thrilling mix of sandbox gameplay, advanced combat and hi-tech human and alien weaponry that shooter fans will love,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek. “Leveraging the latest CryENGINE technology, we’re able to deliver seven unique themes that offer stunning and visually loaded gameplay experiences. We cannot wait until people get their hands on the game.” The special Hunter Edition of Crysis 3 can be pre-ordered today from Origin and certain retailers for $59.99. It comes with the base game, early access to the new signature bow and its attachments, and the Hunter Nanosuit module for additional suit power and functionality. Those who preorder will get early access, a five-level bonus XP boost, a unique bow skin and three exclusive dog tags. Some retailers will also be offering special versions of the Hunter Edition that include some additional early multiplayer unlocks. The Stalker Pack allows early multiplayer access to the semi-auto Jackal shotgun, which comes with a silencer. The Overkill Pack provides early multiplayer access to the Typhoon assault weapon, which can fire 500 rounds a second. The Predator Pack provides early multiplayer access to the Feline submachine gun with a 60 round magazine. All three come with custom skins and exclusive in-game dog tags. The game will launch in Spring of 2013 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms.

J&W launches a pair of Minix mini ITX Atom D2x00 motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/j-w-launches-a-pair-of-minix-miniitx-atom-d2x00-motherboards/15572.html April 17th, 2012

It appears to be the season of small Atom powered motherboards, as not only has J&W launched its nano ITX Atom D2700/D2500 models, but the company has also announced a pair of more consumer friendly mini ITX models in its Minix series of motherboards featuring the same processors. Both models are passively cooled and have a few quirks that make them interesting as an HTPC solution. It appears to be the season of small Atom powered motherboards, as not only has J&W launched its nano ITX Atom D2700/D2500 models, but the company has also announced a pair of more consumer friendly mini ITX models in its Minix series of motherboards featuring the same processors. Both models are passively cooled and have a few quirks that make them interesting as an HTPC solution. The high-end model is the Minix D2700-HD and as the model name gives away, it features a dual-core hyper threaded 2.13GHz Atom D2700 processor. It has a pair of SO-DIMM slots which accepts up to 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz 11


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memory. The expansion slot on this board is a x1 PCI Express slot which is a welcome addition, as so many Atom boards tend to feature a PCI slot. Other on board features include a pair of SATA ports, a Molex connector for power to the SATA ports, two USB 2.0 headers for an additional four USB 2.0 ports, an LVDS header and a parallel port and serial port header.

Published by: VR-Zone April 17th, 2012

ASUS Singapore has unveiled the VG23AH LCD monitor that is designed to provide users with well-rounded and personalized entertainment and gaming experience. The ASUS VGA23AH will be available in June.

Around the back we find a 12V DC power input, a pair of PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports courtesy of a pair of Broadcom controllers, 5.1-channel audio and a D-sub and HDMI port. Sadly the board is missing S/PDIF out, but there's a header on the board that could be used if you have a suitable attachment. The more affordable sibling is called the Minix D2500-HD and here we're looking at a slightly reduced feature set. For starters this board uses the slightly slower 1.86GHz dual core Atom D2500 which sports somewhat more basic graphics, but still handles up to 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz memory. J&W has also dropped the USB 3.0 ports and the second Ethernet port from this model, but otherwise it should be identical in terms of features. Sadly we have no word on pricing or availability of these boards.

The ASUS VG23AH claims to offer crisp, clear visuals with superb audio from its built-in 3W stereospeakers to provide users with cinematic 3D home theatre experience. It features 178-degree lateral and vertical wide-viewing angle with 80,000,000:1 ASUS SmartContrast ratio, and the company's exclusive Splendid Video Intelligence Technology for colorful visual in full high definition 1080p. The monitor also has a wide range of connectivity options including dual HDMI 1.4 ports, single-link DVI, and D-sub, which allow for compatibility with an array of media devices. You can also swivel, tilt and adjust the height adjustment for comfortable viewing experience. The ASUS VG23AH incorporates Film-type Patterned Retarder (FPR) 3D technology that can separate 3D images delivered to the left and right eye simultaneously to deliver flicker-free images. It also comes bundled with battery-free 3D glasses, and offers six preset video modes (Scenery, Theater, Game, Night View, sRGB and Standard) which can be selected via a hotkey. Pricing information is not available at press time, though ASUS states that the VG23AH will be available in June. Specifications Panel Size/ Type

ASUS unveils VG23AH 3D IPS LED Monitor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-unveils-vg23ah-3d-ips-ledmonitor/15571.html

VG23AH 23.0” (58.4cm) Wide Screen (16:9) WLED/ IPS True Resolution 1920 x 1080 Brightness (Max.) 250cd/m² ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio 80,000,000:1 (ASCR) Viewing Angle 178°(H) / 178°(V) Display Colors 16.7 million SPLENDID Video Yes (Theater, Gaming, Intelligence Tech. Scenery, Night View, sRGB, 12


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QuickFit Virtual Scale 3D Technology Stereo Speaker Input/ Output

Tilt/ Swivel/ Height Adjustment

Published by: VR-Zone

Standard; 6modes) Document, Photo and Grid Modes FPR 3D Technology and ASUS All-in 3D Technology 3W x 2 stereo, RMS ual HDMI 1.4 (support Bluray 3D), DVI-D, D-Sub, PC Audio Input(3.5mm Mini-jack), 3.5 mm Earphone Jack +15° ~ -5° / +150° ~ -150° / 0 ~ 100mm

ESET Mobile Security for Android Smartphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/eset-mobile-security-for-androidsmartphones/15570.html April 17th, 2012

One year three user license - S$59 Three year three user license - S$124 Key Features and Benefits - Unique behaviour-based detection - Warns of any suspicious activity against your phone. All applications, files, folders and SD memory cards are continually scanned for emerging threats. - SMS/MMS Antispam - Allows the user to define trustworthy contacts via customizable black- or whitelist or to simply block messages from unknown numbers. An additional security layer blocks anonymous calls. - Call Interceptor - Blocks unwanted calls in both directions – incoming and outgoing. This is a powerful tool especially suitable for parents to keep their children’s phone bills in check. - Security Audit with Built-in Task Manager - Provides information about all vital phone functions, including battery life, free disk space, running processes, Bluetooth, and device visibility. - Fresh, New User Interface - Tailor-made graphics and layout for enhanced Android experience. - Anti-Theft Security System - Multiple layers of security that allows users to maintain perfect control over phone-stored data in the event of the device being lost or stolen.

The mobile phone has evolved to something more than just a device for making phone calls, and most users would keep their important data and contacts onto their handheld device. However, with connection to the Internet, security is important to safekeep your data. Security company ESET has launched their Mobile Security software for Android smartphones.

- GPS Localization - Locates lost or stolen phone by a remote command. - Remote Lock - Blocks the phone remotely to prevent unauthorized access to your phone’s data. - Remote Wipe - Deletes all phone-stored data remotely using a simple SMS command. - Uninstall Protection - Secures the smartphone against unauthorized un-installation of Mobile Security. - Trusted friend - A contact or a telephone number that can receive and Alert SMS if an unknown SIM card is inserted into the phone; trusted friend is able to reset the user’s forgotten password if needed.

EXIF data indicates Motorola is developing a "Droid RAZR HD" ESET has announced ESET Mobile Security, the company's flagship product for the mobile Android platform. It claims to offer advanced protection for three operating systems including Symbian, Windows Mobile and Android, and is available for download from the company’s website, ESET.com.sg. Retail price One year one user license - S$39 Three year one user license - S$82 One year two user license - S$49 Three year two user license - S$104

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exif-data-indicates-motorola-isdeveloping-a-droid-razr-hd-/15569.html April 17th, 2012

While it remains uncertain whether Motorola Mobility will stay attached to Google or possibly sold off to Huawei as recent reports have cited, this hasn't stopped the phone manufacturer from continuing to tick away in producing new products for market. It has been discovered via the EXIF data from a series of images uploaded by a supposed Motorola employee that the company is developing a new DROID series smartphone dubbed the "DROID RAZR HD". 13


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Published by: VR-Zone

of their previous generation top dog single GPU offering, the well regarded GeForce GTX 580. This is the card that put fermi in a better light and proved that this previously ill received architecture had a lot of potential lurking within. Using the second-gen 40nm GF110 fermi chip, the GTX 580 produced noticably more efficient performance-per-watt over its GeForce 480 (GF100) predecessor and made a lot of gamers, overclockers and general enthusiasts rather happy chappies.

When launched in November 2010, this card retained its position as the fastest single GPU card right up until AMD responded with the HD 7900 series. Now having reached its EOL status, this marks the card as having been on the market for just over 1 year and 5 months - quite a good run indeed.

The name of the uploader of the photos on Picasa, Vic Yu indicates via both his Google+ profile and LinkedIn page as being an engineer and program manager at Motorola Mobility. Aside from the model name revealed in the EXIF data, a camera is also mentioned with a f/2.4 aperture and a focal length of 5mm. Further to that is mention of the software version running; Ice Cream Sandwich (build 4.0.3) and a possible product codename of 'Vanquish'.

With the above said and done, NVIDIA's new 28nm Kepler based GTX 680 is doing a great job as a replacement with adoption rates looking super strong. Remaining GTX 580 inventories will continue to be floating about for a little while as they gradually get filtered out through the market.

Intel reveals key specs on Windows 8 tablet lineup Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-reveals-key-specs-onwindows-8-tablet-lineup/15567.html April 17th, 2012

These pieces of info should of course be taken with a few grains of salt at this point, especially given how easy it is to fake EXIF data. We'll be sure to supply more substance on the model if and when it comes to light.

NVIDIA finishes GeForce GTX 580 production Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-finishes-geforce-gtx-580production/15568.html April 17th, 2012

The key specifications for Intel's own powered Windows 8 tablets were disclosed at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing toward the end of last week that give us a pretty good overall idea of what's on the cards. The key specifications for Intel's own powered Windows 8 tablets were disclosed at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing toward the end of last week that give us a pretty good overall idea of what's on the cards. Intel is planning two main variants for launch; 'pure' 10-inch models and 'hybrid' 11-inch ones using physical keyboards, presumably not all too unlike ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer.

An inevitable day has come as a part of the whole out with the old, in with the new regime as NVIDIA cease production of their previous generation top dog single GPU offering, the well regarded GeForce GTX 580. An inevitable day has come as a part of the whole out with the old, in with the new regime as NVIDIA cease production 14


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Published by: VR-Zone

SSD caching is becoming more and more popular and rightfully so; as things stand today, it is about the only efficient way to combine large storage space with enhanced everyday performance. SSD caching was initially meant for users using an Intel Z68 based motherboard, until the few major SSD manufacturers released caching solutions which could work with any configuration. One of these manufacturers is Corsair, which recently joined the caching SSD bandwagon with the release of the Accelerator Series SSD drives. In this review we will examine the performance of the Accelerator 60GB caching SSD and see how it differentiates from competition. The tablets will be powered by Intel's Atom Z2670 "Clover Trail" processor which is a dual core chip with "burst mode" (offering quick bursts of extra performance when called upon) and Hyper-Threading. During the conference it was also mentioned that battery life is beyond nine hours, but we wouldn't count on that until final samples are out and well tested. Intel went on to provide details on weight and thickness; less than 1.5 pounds and a proposed thickness of under 9mm. Keeping things in perspective, Apple's heftier third gen iPad sits at 1.44 pounds / 9.4mm thick.

SSD caching is becoming more and more popular and rightfully so; as things stand today, it is about the only efficient way to combine large storage space with enhanced everyday performance. SSD caching was initially meant for users using an Intel Z68 based motherboard, until the few major SSD manufacturers released caching solutions which could work with any configuration. One of these manufacturers is Corsair, which recently joined the caching SSD bandwagon with the release of the Accelerator Series SSD drives. In this review we will examine the performance of the Accelerator 60GB caching SSD and see how it differentiates from competition.

Samsung Releasing Windows Phone 8 as Soon as October Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-releasing-windowsphone-8-as-soon-as-october/15565.html April 17th, 2012

Other attributes were also shared out including 3G/4G connectivity, near-field communication and Wi-Fi Direct which should allow for WiFi connectivity between devices without an access point. It's been determined that Intel is working together with no less than 10 vendors globally including several in China to design Windows 8 tablets using the company's chips. Intel China chairman Sean Maloney said while speaking at IDF last week, "You'll probably see many Intel-based tablets by the end of this year".

Samsung is expecting to release a Windows Phone 8 as early as October of this year. Recently, rumors posited that the South Korean electronics company would release three Windows phones in 2012. The rumors also suggested that two of them were to run the ‘Apollo’ update of Windows Phone. The Taiwanese branch of Samsung has confirmed that at least one phone running this software will be sold as soon as October.

Corsair Accelerator 60GB Caching SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-accelerator-60gb-cachingssd-review/15566.html April 17th, 2012

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Samsung is expecting to release a Windows Phone 8 as early as October of this year. Recently, rumors posited that the South Korean electronics company would release three Windows phones in 2012. The rumors also suggested that two of them were to run the ‘Apollo’ update of Windows Phone. The Taiwanese branch of Samsung has confirmed that at least one phone running this software will be sold as soon as October. Samsung Taiwan responded to reporters, explaining that Windows Phone 7.5 – ‘Mango’ – would be skipped in their country, making plain that Mango did not suit the high end devices of today, and that Apollo was better suited for them. As iOS and Android are two main players in mobile operating systems right now, analysts and fans alike are very interested in how Windows may affect the future of the field. Nokia withdrew from Symbian last year, forming collaboration with Microsoft along with other companies. This in itself is a considerable step forward in Microsoft’s growing presence in the mobile market. In February, Samsung’s head of product management, Matt Brum, said that “[Windows Phone 8] is coming at the end of the year, and will increase the capability of the platform, and Samsung is looking to optimize its devices on that.” Samsung is the largest smartphone vendor on earth, surpassing even Apple. In fact, it is the largest vendor of mobile phones at all, having surpassed Nokia by millions of phone shipments. Samsung’s dominance in the market coupled with its willingness to support Windows Phone 8 – projects an interesting future for Windows Phone.

Published by: VR-Zone

The hot, dry Austin, in Texas, is the place where the top AMD management is, after all, so the chance of meeting high-level personnel at a press & analyst event is high. This time we're not talking more about Trinity yet, except that the thing does seem to perform well, and yes, there is a 17 W Ultrathinclass (read: UltraBook in Intel speak) Trinity with all the features enabled, i.e. two dual core modules and the full GPU - of course at a lower clock speed. That will make some interesting impact in that market later this spring... Back to the main point: what are the problems facing AMD, where is the long term root of the problem, and how & when should we expect these problems solved? Let's start from the GPUs - the are not a problem as of now. Put aside all the Nvidia gaming stuff in the GTX680, the HD7970, now in it's updated run, will keep its stand. As the second generation of these cards is expected to run at 1.1 GHz or so even at default from some vendors, it should keep up with the Nvidia offering well in games, while providing superior compute performance. According to the people around, the initial Sea Islands rollout is on target for late this year too, and AMD negates having 28 nm problems now. The APUs aren't a problem either: the Trinity is expected to be sold out, whatever AMD can make - so, we come to the quantities question there. AMD gave assurances they can do many millions of Trinities this year, and, according to what was seen, the 'good enough' statement, as worn as it sounds, is right on target here.

AMD to survive and thrive, still? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-to-survive-and-thrivestill-/15564.html April 17th, 2012

We come close to AMD's top brass, and key industry watchers, right at AMD's home ground in hot, dry Austin, Texas. What did they say? With somewhat disappointing Bulldozer showing, and perceived wavering roadmap, there were comments in the industry circles how AMD will give up the main Intel competitor seat to someone like Qualcomm, or even cease to be in the CPU business altogether. This weeks' preview of the next-generation Fusion APU gave us a chance to mingle with AMD's top execs, see their new CEO and hear - unofficially, of course - what's the way forward.

Then we come to the CPUs, the real problem for years I did overhear a discussion between the senior execs how did the whole thing turn out with the 'low IPC performance' Bulldozer instead of the other alternatives on the table, and how it will take some two years to completely turn around the switch to another much more IPC-efficient core architecture. The main culprit seems not to be the previous CEO, Dirk Meyer, but his predecessor Hector Ruiz, the 'Taco Bell' that replaced 'KFC goatee' Richard Sanders, the man who made AMD succesful. They said that Sanders was so disappointed with Hector, saying once that 'he left Hector a roadmap to execute that anyone, absolutely anyone' would be able to get done. Of

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course, Hector did damage the company in many ways, which by itself is a separate story. The new CEO, the Lenovo-experienced Rory Reed, is a tall jovial guy who - literally - jumps to the podium with a smiling face of a typical Hollywood actor, and seems to be fond of certain catchphrases during his speeches. However, he does bring energy to the rest of the team, and the will to move forward - far more than the staid engineer that Dirk Meyer was, or the cunning character of Hector Ruiz who was giving himself multimillion bonuses when the company was losing money big time. His experiences and relationship with the Chinese might be of help to the company's expansion in China, which is inevitable if AMD wants to stay relevant. Talking about moving forward, the feel is that AMD is there to survive and thrive once again. Rather than repeating the bland statements of 'we don't want to compete in the high end, just on volume' which make no sense since a fabless company cannot compete on volumes against a competitor with seven large fabs at its disposal, this time there's clear indication that, after Piledriver, there will be substantial changes in both cores and system architecture from Steamroller onwards, that should help make AMD competitive closer to the top. I was told that delaying the socket migration beyond the AM3+, C32 and G34 to new socket is a good move,since AMD can design more aggressive, rather than stop gap, sockets for future platforms with better features like more memory and HyperTransport channels, as well as integrated PCIe v3, for greater future scalability. For the first time, some execs do acknowledge that Bulldozer approach may not have been the best one at the time, and things need to change. I was told that there is some good frequency scalability in the Piledriver core which should help gain some per-core performance ground. So, in the near term, AMD will use APU to keep its presence in desktop and mobile market, and even low power 5 - 10 W part derivatives or Trinity may arrive for high-end HD++ tablets. The CPU core radical refresh is expected to complete within two years from now, along with brand new socket platforms, proving AMD a new base from which to attack the high end, again, just like in the good old Opteron/Althon 64 early times. The GPUs will continue to be the crown jewel of the company till then, though... expect new high end mobile HD7900 series later this month, and Sea Islands by yearend.

ARCTIC Freezer 13 CPU Cooler Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arctic-freezer-13-cpu-coolerreview/15563.html April 17th, 2012

Ever since 2001 ARCTIC (formerly known as Arctic Cooling) has been one of the favorite brands among (mostly European) enthusiasts when shopping for high grade

Published by: VR-Zone

cooling products. This is our first review of an ARCTIC CPU cooler in VR-Zone and it is not an article about a monstrous high performance cooler; instead, we are going to have a look at one of the most successful middle-range performance coolers ever made, the Freezer 13. Ever since 2001 ARCTIC (formerly known as Arctic Cooling) has been one of the favorite brands among (mostly European) enthusiasts when shopping for high grade cooling products. This is our first review of an ARCTIC CPU cooler in VR-Zone and it is not an article about a monstrous high performance cooler; instead, we are going to have a look at one of the most successful middle-range performance coolers ever made, the Freezer 13. Max. Cooling Capacity Heatpipe Heatsink Material Fan (mm) Bearing Noise Level Current, Voltage Dimensions (Product) Dimensions (Packaging) Limited Warranty Rated Fan Speed Product Net Weight itemnumber UPC Gross Weight

200 Watts Ă˜ 6 mm x 4 Aluminium fins x 45, thickness 0.5 mm 92 Fluid Dynamic Bearing 0.4 Sone 0.18A, 12V 123 (L) x 96 (W) x 130 (H) mm 126 (L) x 103 (W) x 140 (H) mm 6 years 600 - 2,000 RPM, (PWM) 0.695 kg UCACO-FZ130-BL 0872767003781 0.8 kg

J&W's nano ITX Cedar Trail motherboard announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/j-w-s-nano-itx-cedar-trailmotherboard-announced/15562.html April 17th, 2012

It's easy to forget the smaller motherboard makers and J&W is often forgotten until there's a tradeshow or something similar where the company is showing off its often rather unusual motherboards. This time around though, details of a pair of Atom D2x00 nano ITX motherboards has been revealed by the company and it looks like a really interesting solution for those wanting a super tiny computer. It's easy to forget the smaller motherboard makers and J&W is often forgotten until there's a tradeshow or something similar where the company is showing off its often rather unusual motherboards. This time around though, details of a pair of Atom D2x00 nano ITX motherboards has been revealed by the company and it looks like a really interesting solution for those wanting a super tiny computer.

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April 17th, 2012

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Valve working on game hardware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valve-working-on-gamehardware/15561.html April 17th, 2012

The board models in question are the ITX-IC5N1010 and ITX-IC7N1011. Both boards measure a mere 120x120mm and sport a1.86GHz Atom D2500 and a 2.13GHz Atom D2700 respectively. Feature wise they're packed to the brim, at least in as much as you pack such a small board to the brim. At the rear we have a power connector, an HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack and a pair of audio jacks. Around the front is a card reader, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and the option for an IR receiver. There's also an optional 3G SIM card slot that both models can be equipped with.

Game software firm Valve is hiring engineers to work on a secret hardware project that could mark the company's move into console gaming. Game software firm Valve is hiring engineers to work on a secret hardware project that could mark the company's move into console gaming. The company behind Half-Life, Portal and the Steam game network posted job listings for two hardware engineer positions, including an electronics engineering job. The aim is to conceive, design, evaluate and produce “new types of input, output, and platform hardware� designed to produce "whole new gaming experiences." Exactly what kind of hardware this might be is unclear, but there were previous rumours that the company was planning a games console called the Steam Box, which was speculated to include customisable controllers and biometrics, making it a potentially unique contender to Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.

Taking a closer look at the PCB itself, we find a lonely, single SATA 3Gbps connector, a combined mSATA/mini PCI Express, pin headers for a VGA port, a serial port, a PS/2 port, LVDS and a single USB 2.0 port. Flip the board over and there's a single SO-DIMM slot for DDR3 memory at the bottom of the board. No word on pricing and as this is an OEM only product; it's unlikely that we'll ever see it in the retail channel, which in our opinion is a real shame.

Valve denied it was working on a console last month, but that does not mean it does not intend to start working on one now or in the near future. Of course, even if it is planning to produce a console there are no guarantees that it will come to fruition, particularly 18


April 17th, 2012

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as the market already has some tough competition from big companies with a lot of money at their disposal. If Valve's secret project is not a console, it only adds further mystery to the job positions and what it has planned up its sleeves for the hardware market.

Updates Valve's Michael Abrash reveals that he is working on wearable gaming devices and here's a small extract from his mighty long blog post: By “wearable computing” I mean mobile computing where both computer-generated graphics and the real world are seamlessly overlaid in your view; there is no separate display that you hold in your hands (think Terminator vision). The underlying trend as we’ve gone from desktops through laptops and notebooks to tablets is one of having computing available in more places, more of the time. The logical endpoint is computing everywhere, all the time – that is, wearable computing – and I have no doubt that 20 years from now that will be standard, probably through glasses or contacts, but for all I know through some kind of more direct neural connection. And I’m pretty confident that platform shift will happen a lot sooner than 20 years – almost certainly within 10, but quite likely as little as 3-5, because the key areas – input, processing/ power/size, and output – that need to evolve to enable wearable computing are shaping up nicely, although there’s a lot still to be figured out.

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April 20th, 2012

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Apple Defends iPad - Says Australia 3G is Like American 4G Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-defends-ipad--saysaustralia-3g-is-like-american-4g/15631.html April 20th, 2012

Apple is defending itself against accusations of deception by arguing that the 3G networks in Australia are similar to 4G networks in the United States.

HSPA+ is recognized as a 3G carrier, being significantly slower than Australia’s LTE networks. This case is expected to be heard by Australian Federal Court in May of this year. As Apple is essentially arguing that Australian standards for network speed are higher than those in the United States, it is conceivable that this ordeal will lower the reputation of U.S cellular networks abroad.

Info on new LG Cookie Smart Dual-SIM phone pops up Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/info-on-new-lg-cookie-smart-dualsim-phone-pops-up/15629.html April 20th, 2012

LG is apparently soon to release a new Dual-SIM phone in its entry level Cookie line which indicates the company's focus isn't all just about Android. LG is apparently soon to release a new Dual-SIM phone in its entry level Cookie line which indicates the company's focus isn't all just about Android. The phone, codenamed LG T375 Smart sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen display with 240 x 320 resolution and a basic 2 megapixel rear camera.

Apple is defending itself against accusations of deception by arguing that the 3G networks in Australia are similar to 4G networks in the United States. Apple’s new iPad came into criticism Down Under, as the product is marketed as being capable of “WiFi + 4G”. But the high speed LTE networks in Australia are not compatible with the iPad. Apple agreed to issue a refund to customers who were dissatisfied with network speeds, after a complaint from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The company did not agree, however, to stop marketing their product as being 4G capable. 4G LTE networks in Australia operate on different frequencies than those in the United States. As such, the iPad cannot connect with them. But since the product can connect with Australian HSPA+ networks, Apple argues that it can essentially connect to 4G. HSPA+ is marketed by some wireless carriers in the United States as a 4G network, since it qualifies as 4G under the standards set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). In Australia, however,

The phone does feature WiFi connectivity and as mentioned has Dual-SIM capabilities. It is said to weigh in at 96g with the battery. We have little else to go off at this point as we await additional specs, pricing and availability, including whether or not rumors of the phone having already been quietly launched in select countries are true.

Prey 2 has NOT been cancelled, just delayed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/prey-2-has-not-been-cancelled-justdelayed/15628.html

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April 20th, 2012

in upgrading to Snow Leopard. Apple is now providing a free Snow Leopard upgrade for all MobileMe users running an older OS, saving them US $29.

Some good news for Prey fans after rumour begun circulating around a month ago that the sequel to Prey had been cancelled. Thanks to a short blog posting earlier this morning from Bethesda directly we now know it hasn't been cancelled and development continues. Some good news for Prey fans after rumour begun circulating around a month ago that the sequel to Prey had been cancelled. Thanks to a short blog posting earlier this morning from Bethesda directly we now know it hasn't been cancelled and development continues. However, it's not all rosey with confirmation that the game is no longer scheduled for release this side of 2013. Bethesda aren't happy with where things are at in the game's development at this point, as mentioned in the below statement :"Development of Prey 2 has not been cancelled but the game will not be released in 2012 as planned. The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans. We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule." Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) While no one likes delays, you have to admit this is a logical and respectable call of judgement that many ill-received games of years past could have benefited from so as not to tarnish the series and leave people unimpressed and forgetful of what was going to potentially be a blockbuster hit.

Apple makes transition from MobileME to iCloud more appealing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-makes-transition-frommobileme-to-icloud-more-appealing/15627.html April 20th, 2012

As MobileMe, a subscription-based set of online services is scheduled for discontinuation by June and with iCloud only being supported in Snow Leopard and Lion, this will make the offer a much appreciated one for many yet to jump onto the cloud. It also means that upgrading to Lion would be half the price as a download for it is available via the App Store which can only be initiated if already running Snow Leopard. So, for all of you still holding a MobileMe account and running an OS up to a half decade old. now there's no more excuses and you can get with the times on the cheap!

ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2GB Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-680-directcu-ii-top-2gbreview/15614.html April 20th, 2012

ASUS took the bog standard 4-phase Geforce GTX 680 design, re-engineered the PCB with more power juice and then slapped on their iconic triple-slot DirectCU II cooler to cool the sucker down. The transformation results in a graphics card primed for hardcore enthusiasts to break world records with ease. Since the introduction of the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 680 (Kepler GK104) almost a month ago, the usual AIB vendors have started to roll out custom PCB designs and cooling solutions in an attempt to differentiate their products from the competition, and squeeze more overclocking mileage out of the reference board. Following in the footsteps of their higher end SKUs like GTX 580 and HD 7970, ASUS has released a DirectCU II TOP version which is a triple-slot, factory overclocked monstrousity (11.8 inch long).

In helping pave way for a smooth shift to its iCloud service, Apple has a new deal on offer for its long-staying MobileMe subscribers who haven't yet gotten with the times in upgrading to Snow Leopard. Apple is now providing a free Snow Leopard upgrade for all MobileMe users running an older OS, saving them US $29. In helping pave way for a smooth shift to its iCloud service, Apple has a new deal on offer for its long-staying MobileMe subscribers who haven't yet gotten with the times 2


April 20th, 2012

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No change at the I/O Panel, with ASUS sticking with full-sized HDMI/DP ports and dual DVI (one of them single link only, meaning up to 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz). The obvious improvement from the previous generation GTX 580 flagship is that we can now run triple-display 3D Vision Surround from a single card (previously only possible on SLi setups), although it might be hampered on graphically intensive scenarios or higher resolutions by the puny 2GB of framebuffer.

Right off the bat, we can see that ASUS is serious about pleasing their intended enthusiast audience by equipping the card with 8+6 pin PCIe power connectors (as opposed to 6+6 pin on the reference design, pushing the power limit up to a theoretical 300W) and an asthetically pleasing black metal backplate for EMI shielding, prevent PCB warping and accidental short circuits. The archilles heel of the DirectCU II cooler is that although it does have a large heatsink surface area and the fans push a decent amount of air, taking up triple slots means forgoing SLi on some motherboard slot configuations, and definitely rules out 3-way or 4way operation (since most PC enclosures only have 7 or 8 expansion slots).

Accessories wise, we only get an extended SLi ribbon connector and a 2x6pin to 8pin PCIe power splitter. We think that at this price point ASUS should have at least included some DVI-HDMI, HDMI-DVI, DP-DVI convertors.

At the edge of the card we get a dedicated solder points (VGA Hotwire) for voltage monitoring and control. We'll cover more on this in the later part of this review.

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April 20th, 2012

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NVIDIA's GTX 690 rumored to launch by May 5th Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-s-gtx-690-rumored-tolaunch-by-may-5th/15626.html April 20th, 2012

A cryptic picture that was posted on NVIDIA's GeForce Facebook page has since been said by a number of sources to be what most were hoping to be the case, a teaser for the next dual-GPU wielding bad boy in the GeForce GTX 690. A cryptic picture that was posted on NVIDIA's GeForce Facebook page has since been said by a number of sources to be what most were hoping to be the case, a teaser for the next dual-GPU wielding bad boy in the GeForce GTX 690.

NASA wants to launch a "CubeSat" miniature satellite constructed out of a Nexus One Android powered smartphone in October or September of this year. So called CubeSats have been around since 2003 at least, while specifications for their construction have were developed in 1999 by California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University. The idea was to develop a smaller version of artificial satellites which could be used by universities around the world for space science and exploration.

sources have informed SweClockers that this SKU is scheduled for an imminent launch and to expect it in the week commencing April 30th, implying it will be launched by May 5th at the latest and April 30th at the earliest. Either way, it also means it would manage to beat out the competition while we await AMD's HD 7990 to arrive. If the card does launch on April 30th, this would also have it closely follow the launch of Intel's 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge based processors a day earlier. The GTX 690 comprises dual GK104 GPUs, featuring 3072 CUDA cores and 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Doesn't sound like we'll be waiting much longer at all before full specs and benchmark results are out! <em>/rubs hands together in glee</em>

NASA "Phonesat" Project to Launch Nexus One Satellite Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nasa-phonesat-project-to-launchnexus-one-satellite/15619.html April 20th, 2012

Now, using the Nexus One, an Android handset, NASA is developing a CubeSat which it hopes to launch in September or October of 2012. Mason Peck, chief technologist for NASA called the "PhoneSat" project "an exciting project where we have a chance to leverage consumer technology." CubeSats tend to be constructed out of everyday technology, so smartphones are a natural choice for the project, being inexpensive, powerful, small and readily accessible. This isn't the first time NASA has employed smartphones in space. Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) robots powered by Nexus S units have been used on the International Space Station, assisting astronauts and carrying out tech demos. The smaller and more affordable technology becomes, it will be interesting to see its potential for travel in the future. With the development of an augmented reality headset and an autonomous car, both by Google, the future of locomotion may very well lie in smart devices.

Codemasters jumps right back into the cockpit with racing genre Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/codemasters-jumps-right-back-intothe-cockpit-with-racing-genre/15625.html April 20th, 2012

NASA wants to launch a "CubeSat" miniature satellite constructed out of a Nexus One Android powered smartphone in October or September of this year. It's been revealed that British based game studio Codemasters is shifting focus entirely back on games of the racing genre, ditching all other genres (primarily action) to 4


April 20th, 2012

get back to its roots and focus on a genre they've always been more passionate about. It's been revealed that British based game studio Codemasters is shifting focus entirely back on games of the racing genre, ditching all other genres (primarily action) to get back to its roots and focus on a genre they've always been more passionate about. New titles are already in the works in their F1, Grid and Dirt racing series which will be released under a new publishing label, Codemasters Racing. The first title to be released under the new label will be Dirt Showdown, scheduled for launch on May 25th.

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Other World Computing, more commonly known as OWC has launched a rather unusual PCI Express SSD that uses a pair of "blades" as the company puts it. The blades appear to be the same type of SSD modules that Apple is using in its MacBook Air, a product which OWC produces upgrade modules for. The Mercury Accelsior PCB is fitted with some kind of RAID chip which enabled the PCI Express card to act as a boot drive in a Mac Pro. OWC goes as far as to claim that this is the only bootable PCI Express SSD available for the Mac Pro, but we'd take this with a pinch of salt, although the good news is that the Mercury Accelsior is a driverless solution both in OS X and in Windows.

Further to the above, enhancements will be made to its game services with talk of a new online hub coming that unites Grid, Dirt and F1. Dubbed Racenet, it's a free community service which will allow you to set up a Driver Profile and use it across all future Codemasters racing titles. There will be a series of ongoing in-game events set up through this service and the ability to win extra content, not to mention the thumbs up it will get from the publisher in being able to cross-promote its games. Communications Chief of Codemasters, Rich Eddy gave the following statement about its plans moving forward :"Racing is our DNA, it is our heritage, it is our specialisation and it is our absolute focus going forward. We have kept our reputation for delivering best-in-class racing games, And best-in-class racing games is now our razor focus going forward. In racing, we are No.2 in Europe and that’s not good enough. We want to take racing games across multiple platforms and genres. So that players can play anytime, anywhere and on any device." Racenet is scheduled to launch at the same time as the Dirt Showdown demo on May 1st.

OWC launches the Mercury Accelsior PCI Express SSD for Mac Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/owc-launches-the-mercury-accelsiorpci-express-ssd-for-mac/15623.html April 20th, 2012

Other World Computing, more commonly known as OWC has launched a rather unusual PCI Express SSD that uses a pair of "blades" as the company puts it. The blades appear to be the same type of SSD modules that Apple is using in its MacBook Air, a product which OWC produces upgrade modules for.

OWC offers the Mercury Accelsior in four different sizes, 120, 240, 480 and 960GB with the first two models sporting the SandForce SF-2281 controller and the two larger capacity models sporting the SF2282 controller. In terms of performance, OWC has rated all four models at up to 100K IOPS for 4K random reads and writes, but in terms of sequential speeds the fastest SKU is the 480GB one which offers read speeds of up to 780MB/s and write speeds of up to 763MB/s. The 960GB SKU is for some reason the slowest out of the lot with read speeds of 756MB/s and write speeds of 673MB/s – unless the write speed is a typo by OWC. Price wise the Mercury Accelsior doesn't come cheap, starting at US$399.00 for the 120GB SKU, going to US $549.99, US$979.99 and US$2,179.99 for the 240, 480 and 960GB SKUs. That said, OWC has already “discounted” the 120GB SKU to US$359.99, with the 480GB SKU coming in at US$929.99 and finally the 960GB SKU at US$2,095.99. The 240GB SKU won't arrive until next month some time, but is again already reduced to US$529.99, so much for MSRP's.

VIA Labs launches its third generation USB 3.0 hub Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/via-labs-launches-its-thirdgeneration-usb-3.0-hub/15622.html April 20th, 2012

USB 3.0 hubs are apparently still being developed and VIA Labs announced a few days ago that it’s ready to unleash its third generation USB 3.0 hub controller. The big news this 5


April 20th, 2012

time around is a more power efficient design that allows for more bus powered devices to be used simultaneously. USB 3.0 hubs are apparently still being developed and VIA Labs announced a few days ago that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ready to unleash its third generation USB 3.0 hub controller. The big news this time around is a more power efficient design that allows for more bus powered devices to be used simultaneously. The VL812 as VLIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new USB 3.0 hub is called consumes less than half a Watt during use and the company claims that this allows for an external USB 3.0 2.5-inch hard drive, a USB 2.0 flash drive and a USB mouse to be bus powered all at once from a USB 3.0 port.

VLI has also managed to shrink the physical chip from 10x10mm for the VL811 to 9x9mm for the VL812, although this is likely to have a huge impact on any actual hardware using the new hub, due to the size of the USB 3.0 ports. As with the VL811, the VL812 supports "Dedicated Charging Port (DCP) and Charging Downstream Port (CDP) functionality" both of which are part of the USB battery charging 1.2 specification which allows for up to three times quicker battery charging in conjunction with compatible devices.

Qualcomm Atheros announces the Killer Wireless-N 1202 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-atheros-announces-thekiller-wireless-n-1202/15621.html April 20th, 2012

For those of you that might have forgotten, Bigfoot networks was absorbed my Qualcomm Atheros some time back and the new company has been busy working on some new Killer NIC products. The company has now unveiled its latest addition, the Killer Wireless-N 1202 which seems to be a replacement for the older 1102 model.

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For those of you that might have forgotten, Bigfoot networks was absorbed my Qualcomm Atheros some time back and the new company has been busy working on some new Killer NIC products. The company has now unveiled its latest addition, the Killer Wireless-N 1202 which seems to be a replacement for the older 1102 model. As with the 1102, the 1202 sports 2x2 MIMO support at speeds of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands and it's still comes as a half-size mini PCI Express card. The only new addition that we can spot is support for Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and we're actually not entirely sure why a gamer would want this integrated in their wireless network card. Even more so as when Bluetooth is enabled, the Wi-Fi will drop down in speed to 150Mbps, as one of the antennas is shared with the Bluetooth part of the chip.

By chance we happened to spot a very similar product over at Qualcomm Atheros the other day, namely the XSPAN AR9462, which as far as we can tell is identical in terms of functionality. Even the block diagram is identical bar some colour changes and this suggests that the new Killer Wireless-N 1202 is in fact using the XSPAN AR9462 chipset with some fancy software added to it. Considering that Atheros has generally been thought of as a budget brand when it comes to notebook Wi-Fi solutions, this looks like a good way for Qualcomm Atheros to make some extra cash out of the same hardware by bundling it with some fancy software. No word on pricing or availability and for that matter it appears as if the 1202 has at least for the time being, have been removed from the Killer website. In related news, Qualcomm Atheros also came clean on the Killer E2200, the same network chip as the one found on Gigabyte's G1.Sniper 3 motherboard and Sapphires recently launched Pure Platinum Z77K.

Antec Earthwatts Platinum 650W PSU Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-earthwatts-platinum-650wpsu-review/15620.html

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Antec is a firm known to every enthusiast. The company has been around ever since 1986, making them one of the oldest companies focusing on high performance PC equipment. Antec has been producing high end power supplies and computer cases for as long as most of us can remember, while today they remain a major played in the market. Today we will take a look at the latest upgrade of their famous Earthwatts power supply series. Having been designed for maximum efficiency, the Earthwatts series is not the most powerful series Antec currently retails; however, their latest Earthwatts units bear the rare 80Plus Platinum efficiency certification. Antec is a firm known to every enthusiast. The company has been around ever since 1986, making them one of the oldest companies focusing on high performance PC equipment. Antec has been producing high end power supplies and computer cases for as long as most of us can remember, while today they remain a major played in the market. Today we will take a look at the latest upgrade of their famous Earthwatts power supply series. Having been designed for maximum efficiency, the Earthwatts series is not the most powerful series Antec currently retails; however, their latest Earthwatts units bear the rare 80Plus Platinum efficiency certification.

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• Size: o

3.4" (H) x 5.9" (W) x 5.5" (D)

o

86 mm (H) x 150 mm (W) x 140 mm (D)

o

Net Weight: 4.4 lbs / 2.0 kg

Codemasters abandons action games to focus on racing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/codemasters-abandons-actiongames-to-focus-on-racing/15618.html April 20th, 2012

UK games developer and publisher Codemasters is abandoning action titles in favour of its more popular racing games. Codemasters has decided to refocus its efforts on its strongest asset with the release of Racenet, an online hub for racing games. It will also be releasing its upcoming Formula 1, Grid and DiRT games under its new publishing label, Codemasters Racing. “The focus is an exclusive one, there are no other genre properties in development at this time; racing is everything,” the studio told Eurogamer.

• 50W Continuous Power — Guaranteed 650W of Continuous Power from Antec • 80 PLUS® PLATINUM certified — Up to 93% efficient, to reduce your electricity bill • Save Energy and Money — Reduce your electricity bill by up to 25%! • AQ3 — Antec Quality 3 year warranty and lifetime global 24/7 support • 120 mm DBB Silence — Whisper-quiet high-quality double ball bearing fan with long lifetime • Thermal Manager — An advanced low voltage fan control for optimal heat & noise management • High Current Rails — 2 fully-protected High Current +12V rails with high load capabilities ensure maximum CPU & GPU compatibility • Multi PCI-E — 2 PCI-E connectors for multiple GPU support • CircuitShield™ — Over Current Protection (OCP), Over Voltage Protection (OVP), Under Voltage Protection (UVP), Short Circuit Protection (SCP), Over Power Protection (OPP), Surge & Inrush Protection (SIP), No Load Operation (NLO) & Brown-Out Protection (BOP) • Japanese heavy-duty caps — High-performance Japanese capacitors ensure tightest DC stability and regulation • Operating Temperature: 0°C — 50°C

Codemasters lost a number of big games from its collection over the years, including the European publishing rights for Turbine's MMOs, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online, among other titles. Poor sales for other genres, including first-person shooters, have all but sealed its fate. “In racing, we are No.2 in Europe and that's not good enough,” said Rich Eddy, chief of communications at Codemasters. “We want to take racing games across multiple platforms and genres. So that players can play anytime, anywhere and on any device. Racing is our DNA, it is our heritage, it is our specialisation and it is our absolute focus going forward."

• Safety Approvals: UL, cUL, CB, CE, FCC, TÜV, BSMI, CCC, C-Tick, GOST-R, KCC 7


April 20th, 2012

Microsoft and Intel hope to cut iPad market share to under 50 percent Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-and-intel-hope-to-cutipad-market-share-to-under-50-percent/15617.html April 20th, 2012

Microsoft and Intel are hoping that a slew of Windows 8 tablets will storm the industry and lower iPad's market share from 70 percent to under 50 percent within a year's time. Microsoft and Intel are hoping that a slew of Windows 8 tablets will storm the industry and lower iPad's market share from 70 percent to under 50 percent within a year's time. A number of anonymous original design manufacturers told Digitimes that the duo are hoping to upset Apple's reign on the tablet market by cutting its share by over 20 percentage points by the middle of 2013. While this might sound like marketing talk, Microsoft and Intel might have the firepower to back up the threat, as the sources also indicated that there will be at least 32 Windows 8 tablets available by the end of this year, including ones from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asustek, and Toshiba.

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market share would still be impressive, it does not look like Microsoft or Google will be easing up on the pressure any time soon.

Intel's first smartphone to launch in India Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-first-smartphone-to-launchin-india/15616.html April 20th, 2012

Intel's first smartphone will launch in India next week, thanks to a partnership with Lava International, one of the country's booming mobile handset manufacturers. Intel's first smartphone will launch in India next week, thanks to a partnership with Lava International, one of the country's booming mobile handset manufacturers. The duo will release the XOLO X900 on 23 April to Indian customers for a suggested retail price of 22,000 Indian rupees ($422). The smartphone will be the first to feature Intel's 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 processor, with Hyper Threading Technology and supporting HSPA+ 3G connectivity. The phone features a 4.03-inch full high-definition LCD display, a graphics clock of 400 MHz, an 8-megapixel camera, and a battery life of up to 45 hours of audio, 8 hours of talk time, and 5 hours of 3G browsing. The device runs Android Gingerbread and will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future.

Microsoft and its newfound allies will be going after all sectors of the market, with entry-level devices retailing for less than $300 and more advanced models selling for upwards of $1,000. This will give Apple a run for its money by offering cheaper alternatives or more expensive tablets with more powerful hardware. The sources also suggested that Intel believes Lenovo will be a key driving power behind the success of Windows 8 tablets, thanks to its dominance in the education and enterprise tablet markets in China.

“The first smartphone with Intel inside is now available to Indian consumers,” said Mike Bell, corporate VP and GM of the Mobile and Communications Group at Intel. “The boundaries of personal computing are expanding. As we enter the India market with our first smartphone from Lava, the device not only showcases the rich capabilities and user benefits of Intel computing, but also highlights the exciting possibilities of what’s still to come.”

If the claims prove true then Apple is in for some stiff competition over the next year, and while even a 50 percent 8


April 20th, 2012

It is not yet clear if Intel will be expanding its smartphone reach beyond India, but with Qualcomm reporting chip shortages for mobile devices it could capitalise on the situation by making its Atom processors available to handset manufacturers.

Verizon Releases Q1 Reports - iPhone Represents Revenue Increase

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The tendency of Apple's iPhone to increase wireless sales is being called the "iPhone effect". In this past quarter, the iPhone (4 or 4S) has sold no less than 3.2 million units, making it their most popular device period.

Intel makes preparations to phase out six low end CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-makes-preparations-to-phaseout-six-low-end-cpus/15613.html April 20th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/verizon-releases-q1-reports--iphonerepresents-revenue-increase/15615.html April 20th, 2012

The holiday season brought in new profits for Verizon Communications, as holiday shoppers clammored for the iPhone 4S. Today, Verizon announced their earnings for the first quarter of the year. Once again, the Apple iPhone represented over half of smartphones sold. The holiday season brought in new profits for Verizon Communications, as holiday shoppers clamored for the iPhone 4S. Today, Verizon announced their earnings for the first quarter of the year. Once again, the Apple iPhone represented over half of smartphones sold.

With Ivy Bridge's reign upon us and a slew of new processor models on the cards, Intel is running its usual course of phasing out the old and rolling in the new, only in this particular instance it's preparing to chop off some older lowend parts in the Celeron, Core i3 and Pentium famlies. With Ivy Bridge's reign upon us and a slew of new processor models on the cards, Intel is running its usual course of phasing out the old and rolling in the new, only in this particular instance it's preparing to chop off some older lowend parts in the Celeron, Core i3 and Pentium famlies. It was advised to its partners in a recent product change notification that it will will cease shipments of the following processor models as of April 16th, 2013 :- Celeron P4600 (2.0 GHz) - Core i3-370M (2.4 GHz0 - Core i3-390M (2.6 GHz) - Pentium P6100 (2.0 GHz) - Pentium P6200 (2.13 GHz) - Pentium P6300 (2.2 GHz)

The iPhone sales did not represent an immediate increase in profit for Verizon. Selling the iPhone 4S 16 GB at $199 or $99 would represent a very low profit or even a loss for the company. After selling the device for low prices, the real money is made off the customers who have signed onto cell phone contracts. According to Thursday's first quarter report, monthly bills for subscribers on a contract based plan were at $55.43 which is 3.6 percent more than last year. The original figure was dormant several months earlier, showing the iPhone's effect on business. Along with the increase in bill costs, Verizon's revenue has also increased by 4.6 percent. This totals $28.2 billion, as opposed to last year's $27 billion. This quarter, Verizon is expected to lead the industry, having sold 501,000 contract based plans which is more than analyst predictions. This is twice as much as is expected from Verizon's competitor AT&T Inc., which will release first quarter reports on Tuesday.

Orders can continue to be made by customers with the ability to cancel up until October 16th of this year, after which date cancellations can no longer be made. Intel justifies the discontinuation of the aforementioned models due to a "shift of market demand".

ASUS' Transformer Pad 300 shows up via Amazon, arrives April 22nd Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-transformer-pad-300-showsup-via-amazon-arrives-april-22nd/15611.html April 20th, 2012

If you had your eyes set on ASUS' Transformer Prime but find the price point to be a wee bit too hefty, you might wish to pounce on the slightly lower spec'd Transformer TF300 9


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which is supposedly becoming available from as early as April 22nd according to a fresh pre-order listing appearing over at Amazon. If you had your eyes set on ASUS' Transformer Prime but find the price point to be a wee bit too hefty, you might wish to pounce on the slightly lower spec'd Transformer TF300 which is supposedly becoming available from as early as April 22nd according to a fresh pre-order listing appearing over at Amazon.

Priced at US $499.99 the Transformer TF300 is said to sport much of the good stuff associated with the Transformer Prime such as NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor, 10.1-inch 1280x800 display, 32GB storage and 1GB of RAM. However, the unit runs a lower clocked CPU at 1.2GHz (versus 1.3GHz on the Prime) and is a bit chunkier at 0.39" thick and 1.4 lbs in weight, compared to the Prime's 0.33" thickness and 1.29 lbs in weight. There'a also no sign of a keyboard dock for the Pad 300 as yet, but it'll inevitably show up before too long and most probably carry a similar asking price to that of the Transformer Prime's at US $140 odd. The other feature not mentioned on the Amazon listing which the Transformer Prime has is Bluetooth support. At the pre-order price of $499.99 while cheaper than the Transformer Prime, it's certainly not by a very large margin. Then again, it's not Amazon itself who published the preorder listing but a Marketplace vendor called "Spicy Bomb", so it is entirely possible the price is above and beyond the norm to be expected far and wide post official release. In fact, we've heard whispers of ASUS' RRP on the upcoming model being just $399.99, but that's yet to be set in stone.

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Clarifies his Harsh Statements on Facebook & Apple Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-co-founder-sergey-brinclarifies-his-harsh-statements-on-facebook--apple/15609.html April 20th, 2012

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On Sunday Google’s Sergey Brin was quoted in an interview with The Guardian as saying, "Very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world…" He also went on to compare the environments that Apple and Facebook have created to “walled gardens”, and that their practices are doing a disservice to the freedom of information. Today, after a considerable amount of controversy was caused by his sentiments, Brin decided to update his Google+ page with a clarification on what he meant in the interview.

On Sunday Google’s Sergey Brin was quoted in an interview with The Guardian as saying, "Very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world…" While his main contention was with government policies, he also went on to compare the environments that Apple and Facebook have created to “walled gardens”, and that their practices are doing a disservice to the freedom of information. Today, after a considerable amount of controversy was caused by his sentiments, Brin decided to update his Google + page with a clarification on what he meant in the interview. He said that the article by The Guardian was "a short summary of a long discussion," and that his "thoughts got particularly distorted in the secondary coverage.” He made it clear in today’s post that he believes the practices of Facebook and Apple are nowhere near the severity of government intervention when it comes to the freedom of information and the privacy of users. He even praised both companies for their positive effects on information sharing, saying “I have much admiration for two of the companies we discussed -- Apple and Facebook… In fact, I am writing this post on an iMac and using an Apple keyboard I have cherished for the past seven years.” He seemed particularly happy with Facebook for their role in government transparency worldwide, saying “Facebook has helped to connect hundreds of millions of people, has been a key tool for political expression and has been instrumental to the Arab Spring." Brin’s sentiment seems to be that both companies should adopt a more ‘open-source’ philosophy, saying in The Guardian interview that "The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop 10


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a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules that will stifle innovation." While the openness of the web did help in the development of Google, it’s worth noting that Google has a vested interest in a more open social environment because that data can be used to vastly improve their advertising platform, serving more relevant ads to user based on their web habits and social data.

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dark forces conspire to bestow upon you abilities beyond those of any common man". If you can imagine a mixture of Assassin's Creed, Thief, Crysis, Bioshock and Half-Life 2 you'll be no doubt quick to agree that it does sound like a winning combination if implemented intelligently enough. It's certainly peaked interest at this point and we'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the rest of the game's development. For now, enjoy the impressive cinematic trailer below and hopefully we'll see some actual gameplay footage before too long to get a better idea of what's on the cards. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

Bethesda debuts cinematic trailer for "Dishonored" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bethesda-debuts-cinematic-trailerfor-dishonored-/15608.html April 20th, 2012

BlackBerry Curve 9220 Launches in India - Foreign Market May Provide New Hope for RIM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-curve-9220-launches-inindia--foreign-market-may-provide-new-hope-for-rim/15607.html April 20th, 2012

The first cinematic trailer has just been released for Bethesda's next big game release, Dishonored; scheduled to arrive on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC later in the year. The first cinematic trailer has just been released for Bethesda's next big game release, Dishonored; scheduled to arrive on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC later in the year.

There's little detail on the game shared out as yet, but from what we're hearing and seeing despite the lack of any gameplay footage is that the game will potentially be quite the standout with various popular gameplay elements rolled into one. Here's a brief on the storyline :"Dishonored casts you as a supernatural assassin driven by revenge. You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder, you become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. In a time of uncertainty, when the city is being besieged by plague and ruled by an oppressive government armed with strange technologies,

Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry phones, is a dying company. Even markets once reliable to RIM are no longer an assumed asset to them. However, the launch of a new Blackberry in India shows that the company might be looking overseas for a fighting chance – and might just get it.

Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry phones, is a dying company. Even markets once reliable to RIM are no longer an assumed asset to them. However, the launch of a new Blackberry in India shows that the company might be looking overseas for a fighting chance – and might just get it. The way it looks now, RIM has a pretty bleak future in the United States. According to analysis firm Ovum, the usage of Blackberries in MDM - mobile device management – has dropped to twenty-four percent, opposed the Apple iPhone’s forty percent. Statistics look even bleaker for Blackberry’s use among field technicians, which dropped to seven percent 11


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during the second quarter, according to an April 17 OnForce Confidence Index report. But Adam Leach, Principal Analyst at Ovum suggests that RIM’s current failure may not be replicated overseas. RIM’s Curve 9220 was released in India on Wednesday. An RIM spokeswoman said the company would also be released in Indonesia, one of RIM’s most profitable markets. A low end phone, the Curve would not impress any Blackberry fans in the U.S. According to Leach, however “Their success in Indonesia shows they have other attributes and capabilities in the BlackBerry platform globally that appeal to different markets rather than just the high-end, mature markets (like North America and Western Europe).” According to Leach, RIM’s strength is in their ability to offer low end phones of higher quality experience than equivalent Android devices. RIM’s new CEO has announced a plan to turn around the company domestically, but analysts worry about how slowly this is occurring. The Blackberry 10 platform, which RIM hopes will revive interest with U.S companies and business users, will arrive in this year’s fourth quarter, at the earliest. Abroad, however, RIM has already experienced some success, citing that forty-eight percent of 2010’s fiscal fourth-quarter revenue had come from countries outside of North America. While the issue is a complex one, especially considering the impoverished conditions of Indonesia and other potentially launches countries, these new launches may be a catalysts of new hope for RIM.

The Nikon D3200 claims to be the company's most powerful entry-level DX-format digital SLR camera, featuring 24.2million pixels DX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, with ISO sensitivities from 100 to 6400 (and a Hi 1 setting equivalent to ISO 12800). The D3200 is an compact and lightweight and offers the latest digital SLR camera functions, with superior usability. It also comes with an improved Guide mode with new and updated functions that make using the camera simpler, and with Android smart devices compatibility, you can transfer images or shoot remotely using the optional Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1a. With the 921,000-dot TFT 3-Inch LCD monitor, you users can activate live view mode and select one of four AF-area modes - Normal-area AF, Wide-area AF, Subject-tracking AF, or Face-priority AF.

Nikon launches D3200 digital SLR camera and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G lens Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-launches-d3200-digital-slrcamera-and-af-s-nikkor-28mm-f1.8g-lens/15606.html April 20th, 2012

Nikon has launched their new D3200 entry-level digital SLR camera that claims to offer updated Guide mode function and Smart device compatibility for full-scale, flexible photography. The company has also announced the AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G lens which can capture images with blur characteristics photographers want.

The AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G is a fast, wide-angle, 28mm f/1.8 fixed focal length model that is compatible with Nikon’s FX-format. It incorporates the latest in optical design and exclusive Nikon technologies including Nano Crystal Coat and a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that enhances the camera's capability to capture images of superior quality with excellent rendering. Pricing and availability of the Nikon D3200 and AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G lens will be announced at a later date.

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Intel Ivy Bridge cometh what new goodies are in store? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-ivy-bridge-cometh--what-newgoodies-are-in-store-/15605.html April 20th, 2012

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also supports OpenCL for GPGPU computing, including even FP64 double precision format, something lacking even from many discrete GPUs. It's a welcome improvement anyway, one that, I believe, will actually benefit the Ultrabooks most - the graphics performance sacrifice needed to accomodate the form factor can now be a thing of the past. Video encode and decode, fully accelerated, in more formats is supported now as well. You'll see the benchmark results soon.

By the end of this month, desktops with Ivy Bridge processors will officially be out there. Since it shares the socket and board infrastructure with its Sandy Bridge predecessors, what new is in there to distinguish the newcomer? We look at the features and overall architecture... After a bit of extra wait, Intel's first CPUs manufactured in the brand new 22 nm tri-gate process are with us as of next week - the Ivy Bridge family initial members, focused on the upper end of the mainstream desktop and laptop arena, replace their socket-compatible Sandy Bridge predecessors. Ivy Bridge processors are expected to have impact both on the desktop and mobile arena, from high end gaming rig to an UltraBook. While the core count - up to 4 with hyperthreading added, cache size - up to 8 MB, dual channel memory architecture and clock speeds (3.5 GHz for the top bin, i7-3770K) remain basically the same as the Sandy Bridge, there are quite a few useful improvements we'll look here at:

Ultra high res and multi-display support - with its triple-display capability, as well as support for 4K resolution monitors, which we exclusively unveiled here last September, the new CPU could handle multi-monitor workstation, high end desktop and - in limited scenarios gaming, if not too detailed 3-D or interaction used.

Lower power consumption - since there was no added CPU core or cache die load, you'll notice that all TDP figures have been reduced, with the top bins now rated at 77W instead of 95W (ED: Officially, not the ones going round the internet). The roughly 20% reduction helps save a bit of power and enables more fancy formats like miniITX, but it would also mean correspondingly higher overclocking headroom in the TDP or power-limitation scenarios, although, as our Lennard will show you, it's not so simple with the first device in the 22 nm process.

PCI Express v3 - after the Sandy Bridge-E in Socket 2011, this is the second Intel processor to support the integrated PCIe v3, with double the sustained per-link bandwidth compared to the v2 (yes, it's reached by using better 128/130 encoding rather than the old 8/10 encoding even though the clock rate is only 60% higher in the v3). The 16 PCIe v3 lanes now support all the newest and fastest AMD and Nvidia GPUs, although the benefit of this extra bandwidth seems to be minimal for the current GPUs. Compute GPU tasks, which are sensitive on PCIe performance, may be another story, though Double the integrated graphics & video performance - OK, almost double, depending on the cases, if having the full HD4000 engine. The DirectX 11 compliant graphics now 13


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Hardware Random Number Generator - besides improved encryption and other security tasks, hardware random numbers can be of use to maths afficionados as well. There are new instructions added to support this feature, meaning you got to recompile the software, or the relevant libraries, to use it.

More overclocking with less effort - higher CPU multiplier limits, finer memory timing control and real time OC adjustments should help the 'speed demon enthusiasts' here, although we probably got to wait for the next stepping revision to see how far the CPUs go without any leakage troubles then.

Improved memory controller - how about DDR3-3000? Now, it's possible without having 'secret black magic'. The XMP3 supports makes it easier to use brand new DIMMs with extra MHz oomph to achieve this. Note, though, that latency may become more cherished in terms of real performance gains rather than crazy bandwidth pushing - even with DDR3-2000, there's already plenty of raw bandwidth to feed the Ivy Bridge CPU and GPU. The 'sensitive area' then becomes the memory latency.

New 7-series chipsets: minor incremental updates over the 6-series, with more of I/O stuff like SATA 6 Gbps, USB3, Thunderbolt and so on. More on the chipsets in separate story, but it's important to note that both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge can run on both 6-series and 7-series chipsets.

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excited until some real substance comes along to confirm the authenticity of such.

Certainly, with Most Wanted having been a hugely popular hit in the NFS franchise way back in 2005 and Dead Space 3 paving way for more mayhem for space engineer and alien killer Isaac Clarke, confirmation of these sequels becoming a reality would inevitably get a big thumbs up by many. Now, without dwelving into detailed performance analysis which will be in the benchmark section, the important thing to notice is that, if you own a similar Sandy Bridge setup already, all these Ivy Bridge improvements seem incremental, and not worth upgrading yet. You may be right there, the right machine for a Sandy Bridge owner to upgrade to, is actually Haswell, still another (almost) year away. If you are a long time user of a LGA1156 Nehalem or earlier Core 2 box, or an AMD Phenom user, then the upgrade can be considered, but the real speed gains across the apps may still be, in many cases, just mid double digits. It's the combination of extra features including new I/O, combined with lower power consumption, that makes Ivy Bridge an attractive upgrade proposition for these users. Do keep in mind that, aside from one or two more speed bin ups later this year, these are the last LGA1155 CPUs, therefore no further upgrade path. The next platform, the early 2013 Haswell, should use the new LGA1150 socket. So, get ready for another round of massive upgrades then!

Sth African retailer hints NFS: Most Wanted 2 and Dead Space 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sth-african-retailer-hints-nfs-mostwanted-2-and-dead-space-3/15612.html April 20th, 2012

A games retailer situated in South Africa has leaked out info to suggest two of Electronic Arts' upcoming projects; quite big ones in the form of a couple of game sequels. A games retailer situated in South Africa has leaked out info to suggest two of Electronic Arts' upcoming projects; quite big ones in the form of a couple of game sequels. The games hinted on are Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2 and Dead Space 3. Apart from the listings of these titles as apparently being works in progress we have little else to go off at this point, which therefore means not to get too overly

Hopefully there'll be some substance to ensure we're not getting excited about nothing by June when E3 kicks off.

1.8 Million MIPS-powered Tablets Shipped to Date Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/1.8-million-mips-powered-tabletsshipped-to-date/15604.html April 20th, 2012

At the Linley Group Tech Mobile Conference 2012 which was recently held in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose), Amit Rohatgi from MIPS Technologies Inc. spoke about the penetration MIPS is bringing to the crowded Android tablet space with quite impressive figures. During a panel with senior executives from Linley Group, Intel and Qualcomm, Amit Rohatagi, Principal Architect for MIPS Technologies detailed the mobile strategy of its company and the effects of collaboration with Chinese Ingenic Semiconductor. Ingenic was founded in 2007 and until today, the company shipped over 30 million CPUs. Ingenic is focusing on optimizing MIPS architecture and is currently working on new mobile chip based on MIPS64, a 64-bit architecture which debuted in 1991. The growth of MIPS in tablet space is especially interesting. Since the announcement that Google Android 4.0 ICS is enabled to work on MIPS processors, MIPS started to grow in Mainland China like no tomorrow. Chinese Ainovo (products are sold under Ainol brand) was the first manufacturer to offer an 7" Android 4.0 ICS powered 15


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tablet for only $99, and after the company offered $79 and $119 parts, all tablets are continuously sold out. Ainol is producing as much tablets as they can handle, and the company is now starting to see competing companies launching their MIPS powered tablets.

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One such good example is Star Trek: this 1960s show gained cult following and when Star Trek: The Next Generation launched in 1980s, it featured a lot of devices which did not exist in reality, such as laptops, tablets, medical tricoders, smartphones, flat panels, wireless headphones, liquid resistant clothing and many other innovations.

If you fast forward to 2012, you'll see that "movie magic" technology from 1980s is not just reality, but rather makes for pervasive part of our lives. Next technology to come to life considers one character: Geordi La Forge. This "Chief Engineering Officer" was blind by birth, and utilized VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement) to see. This was replaced by ocular implants and lo and behold such technology is coming to life.

The numbers are quite impressive - for a part that only hit mass production at the tail end of last year, Ingenic Semiconductor shipped 1.8 million chips for tablets. With the initial programme being deemed successful, the next step is to push for 10 million shipped units by the end of the year. Given that even Philips launched a low-cost tablet product based on MIPS architecture (available in China only), time will tell when the world are going to take notice. Remember, just six months ago, nobody expected MIPS to emerge as a serious contender to ARM and x86.

Star Trek Comes to Life: Meet Augmented World Contact Lenses Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-trek-comes-to-life-meetaugmented-world-contact-lenses/15603.html April 20th, 2012

In Star Trek: First Contact, Geordi La Forge replaced his VISOR with ocular implants. A company out of Bellevue, Washington is bringing that vision to life. What if computer screen would be - on your eyes? Sci-Fi TV shows often put outrageous concepts forward, and when actors and producers are asked why did they used this or that, the reaction is "we used movie magic". The "problem" with today is that movie magic needs to be really outrageous, because the real world is catching up.

Giving sight to the blind is being done by Second Sight, a private company that recently announced promising trial results for their retinal prosthesis device, while a small company out of Bellevue is bringing augmented reality world to all of our eyes. Innovega is working on solving the limitation of human eye to lose focus on near placed objects. While makers of 3D glasses, VR glasses etc. are solving that by creating a perception of depth by placing screens further away from the eye, Innovega's technology is reversing the process and putting the screen as close to your eye as possible. According to the manufacturer "iOptik contact lens allows light from the display to pass through the center of the pupil, and light from surrounding environment to pass through the outer portion of the pupil." Their technology is currently being developed in a commercial product, and if all things go well, the first iOptik products will come to market over the course of this year. You can see the technology video here. Now, the question is... if we include laws of physics - what is left from Sci-Fi shows?

Kingston now producing system-specific SO-DIMM memory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-now-producing-systemspecific-so-dimm-memory/15610.html April 20th, 2012

Kingston is making further efforts to separate itself from other SO-DIMM makers by being about as explicit as possible to its customers straight off the shelf in terms of which memory module(s) will work best with their specific notebook. 16


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Kingston is making further efforts to separate itself from other SO-DIMM makers by being about as explicit as possible to its customers straight off the shelf in terms of which memory module(s) will work best with their specific notebook.

Launched is a new range of SO-DIMM modules which are each designated to a certain notebook manufacturer. These manufacturers include HP, Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba, with the respective packaging for each making it clear that the memory housed inside is directly suited to that notebook maker with 100% compatibility and rated performance.

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Scientists have made a major research breakthrough that could lead to the near doubling of the average lifespan of a human being. Researchers at the Université Paris Sud in France began experimenting with Buckministerfullerene molecules, more popularly known as “Buckyballs,” which are spheres made up of 60 carbon atoms. In addition to a normal diet one group of rats was fed olive oil with a 0.8mg/ml concentration of Buckminsterfullerene, a second group was given just olive oil, and a third was not given anything extra. The last group survived for an average of 22 months, the olive oil group survived for an average of 26 months, and the Buckyball group survived for an average of a whopping 42 months, almost double the average lifespan of the others.

This will make it much easier for consumers to be sure that they're grabbing suitable memory for their notebook straight off the shelf without having to approach sales staff. Details on the new system-specific modules are as follows :APPLE KTA-MB1333/4GFR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V DELL KTD-L3B/4GFR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V HP KTH-X3B/4GFR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V LENOVO KTL-TP3B/4GFR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V SONY M51264J90FR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V TOSHIBA KTT-S3B/4GFR 4GB, DDR3, 1333MHz 204-pin Unbuffered SODIMM, 1.5V Expect all new batches of Kingston's DDR3 based SODIMM memory to use the system specific packaging in the upcoming weeks.

Scientists make breakthrough that could double human lifespan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-make-breakthrough-thatcould-double-human-lifespan/15602.html April 20th, 2012

Scientists have made a major research breakthrough that could lead to the near doubling of the average lifespan of a human being.

Scientists have postulated the benefits of Buckminsterfullerene molecules before, but this is the first test that has demonstrated their potentially life-extending importance. Further research will need to be carried out before these findings can be considered conclusive. The effects may not be the same for humans, for example, and their could be as yet undetected side-effects of long-term consumption of Buckminsterfullerene. Should additional tests result in equally positive outcomes, however, we could all be taking a new supplement that will extend our lives beyond 100, 150, and possibly even close to 200 years.

Assassin's Creed III in trouble over plagiarism claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/assassin-s-creed-iii-in-trouble-overplagiarism-claims/15601.html

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April 20th, 2012

researching how strong his case might be, or was simply waiting for the most opportunistic time to bring Ubisoft to court.

The author of a science-fiction novel has sued Ubisoft over the alleged plagiarism of his ideas for the popular Assassin's Creed game series and is looking for the release of the third installment of the franchise to be blocked. The author of a science-fiction novel has sued Ubisoft over the alleged plagiarism of his ideas for the popular Assassin's Creed game series. John L. Beiswenger wrote the novel Link and self-published it through Infinity Publishing in 2003, years before the first Assassin's Creed game was launched. Beiswenger claims that much of the game's ideas and setting is stolen from his book. The story involves a Bio-synchronizer, which can allow people to explore their ancestors' memories in a similar fashion to that employed in Assassin's Creed. His book also involves assassins, though these do not appear to play as big a role as in the game.

The author wants damages of no less than $1.05 million, but the figure could rise to as much as $5.25 million. He also wants the third installment of the game, due out on 30 October, to be blocked, which could cause a nightmare situation for Ubisoft and might result in negotiating some kind of licensing deal if the judge finds the game studio guilty of copyright infringement.

Apple and Samsung to enter settlement talks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-and-samsung-to-entersettlement-talks/15600.html April 20th, 2012

Apple and Samsung will enter talks aimed at settling their differences over a wide-ranging legal dispute in the smartphone and tablet industries that has clogged the courts of many countries. Apple and Samsung will enter talks aimed at settling their differences over a wide-ranging legal dispute in the smartphone and tablet industries that has clogged the courts of many countries. The two technology heavyweights have been at each other's throats since Apple accused Samsung of â&#x20AC;&#x153;slavishly copyingâ&#x20AC;? its designs for the iPhone and iPad last year. Samsung responded with a countersuit and the two have been engaging in a courtroom tug-of-war ever since. The lawsuits have clearly taken their toll on both companies, with temporary bans imposed on each other's products and their reputations taking a hammering in the public eye, with many seeing the battle as an abuse of patent laws.

Beiswenger even goes so far as to accuse Ubisoft of copying thematic elements such as biblical references, but this might be stretching his case a little far, as biblical allusions are made in a wide variety of books, games and movies, and no on can claim copyright over them. However, the machine that allows people to experience the life of their ancestors could be a deciding factor in whether Ubisoft is found innocent or guilty of plagiarism, as this is a pivotal element of the game and appears to be equally important in Beiswenger's novel. If Beiswenger believes he has such a good case it's not clear why he waited so long to launch his lawsuit, considering the first game was released in 2007. It may be that he was not aware of the story elements of Assassin's Creed, was

The bitter rivals look prepared to possibly bury the hatchett once and for all, however, and US District Judge Lucy Koh 18


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has referred them to a magistrate judge in San Francisco to lead discussions about ending the dispute. The settlement talks will involve Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, and Samsung's CEO, Choi Gee-sung, as well as both their general counsels. It is not yet clear how much each company is prepared to give in order to put this spat behind them, but the negotiations will more than likely involve the idea of withdrawing tit-for-tat lawsuits to allow both companies to compete freely again. Whether or not either firm want assurances against copyright infringement, design changes, or monetary payments remains to be seen.

The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition launches on Xbox 360 and PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-witcher-2-enhanced-editionlaunches-on-xbox-360-and-pc/15599.html April 20th, 2012

Warner Bros. and CD Project RED have announced that the highly-acclaimed role-playing game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, is now available in an Enhanced Edition on the Xbox 360, while a free upgrade to the Enhanced Edition is being offered to PC gamers. Warner Bros. and CD Project RED have announced that the highly-acclaimed role-playing game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, is now available in an Enhanced Edition on the Xbox 360, while a free upgrade to the Enhanced Edition is being offered to PC gamers. The game's console debut marks a return to the story of Geralt of Rivia, where players will engage with a non-linear storyline filled with politics and intrigue, and where their choices have consequences on future events in the game. This is not just a re-release, however, as the Xbox 360 version offers some mechanical enhancements, such as an intelligent camera system and new target locking system.

The Enhanced Edition, available for both Xbox 360 and PC, also adds roughly four hours of new quests and 35 minutes of new cut-scenes and cinematics. In addition, all of the previous downloadable content will be included from the beginning. “This is our first console game, and I’m very excited to bring The Witcher 2 to Xbox 360; it’s one of the most mature and best-looking games on this platform,” said Adam Badowski, head of CD Projekt RED. “But we haven’t forgotten about our current PC players – owners of the game on PC can download the Enhanced Edition update from our webpage for free. I want to invite all new Witcher fans to thewitcher.com – we’ve proven several times that fan feedback is important, so tell us what you think of our game.” The game retails for $59.99 in North America, and includes a quest handbook, game world map and soundtrack CD. There is no word yet on an international release.

GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3X 2GB Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-gtx-680-ocwindforce-3x-2gb-review/15433.html April 20th, 2012

When the GK104 based GeForce GTX 680 was first released, many pundits pointed out that the reference design had much room for improvement, especially in the power circuitry department which comes into play when overclocking. The GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3X that we have today attempts to address some of the shortfalls with a beefed up VRM and their custom triple fan cooler. GIGABYTE needs no introduction - they are one of the largest motherboard and component makers in the industry and pride themselves in engineering excellence. The WindForce brand is their line of non-reference graphics cards from both AMD/ATi and Nvidia, decked out with a custom cooler and trademark blue PCB design to improve overclocking mileage and durability. Today we have their GTX 680 version in our labs, which is factory 19


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overclocked at 1071 MHz (base)/1124 MHz (boost), 50MHz more than regular cards.

GIGABYTE didn't change the I/O Panel on their GTX 680 WindForce, sticking with full-sized HDMI/DP ports and dual DVI (one of them single link only, which we think is redundant and spoils the prospect of single slot water-cooling). The obvious improvement from the previous generation GTX 580 flagship is that we can now run tripledisplay 3D Vision Surround from a single card (previously only possible on SLi setups), although it might be hampered on graphically intensive games by the 2GB of framebuffer.

Microsoft and Samsung brings Surface to Southeast Asia One obvious improvement is the doing away of the vertically stacked 6+6pin PCIe connector design from the reference card, with GIGABYTE instead opting for a more generous 8+6 pin layout, which means the card can theoretically take 300W of peak power instead of an underwhelming 225W, allowing for more ambitious overclocks.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-and-samsung-bringssurface-to-southeast-asia/15597.html April 20th, 2012

Microsoft Singapore unveiled the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface in May last year, and this morning, the Korean company showcased the next generation SUR40, which claims to "see" and respond to touch and objects.

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note that the Samsung SUR40 isn't designed for mainstream consumers, but companies who are looking to provide immersive experience to their customers. The Samsung SUR40 is priced at an estimated US$11,960 for only the display, and US$12,590 for the display with matching stand. You can visit www.samsunglfd.com/ solution/sur40.do for more details.

Alienware M18X R2 specs leak ahead of launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/alienware-m18x-r2-specs-leakahead-of-launch/15596.html April 20th, 2012

Today, Samsung Asia launched the next generation Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface which claims to feature PixelSense technology. The Pixelsense technology allows the LCD panels to "see" (via transistors embedded within the pixels which can sense Infrared) and respond to touch and objects without the use of cameras. The SUR40 features a slim 4-inch profile, a 40-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) LCD LED-backlit panel with Gorilla glass for superb durability, and supports up to 50 points of contact at one time. It can connect to a wide range of peripherals including barcode scanners, cameras and printers via Wi-Fi (802.11n), Bluetooth or Ethernet connectivity for expansion.

In 11 days' time the new Alienware M18X R2 should launch, but most of the specifications of Dell's new top of the range gaming notebook have already made an appearance online. We're not sure if an 18.4-inch notebook should really be classified as a notebook, but that's really a matter of opinion, but even so, the latest Alienware looks set to pack a serious punch. In 11 days' time the new Alienware M18X R2 should launch, but most of the specifications of Dell's new top of the range gaming notebook have already made an appearance online. We're not sure if an 18.4-inch notebook should really be classified as a notebook, but that's really a matter of opinion, but even so, the latest Alienware looks set to pack a serious punch. The leak comes via Dell Lab, a site that tends to have very accurate information with regards to upcoming Dell products. The choice of CPUs should come as no surprise, as Dell will offer the Ailenware M18X R2 with a 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM, a 2.6GHz Core i7-3720QM, or a 2.7GHz Core i7-3820QM. No word on the Extreme Edition CPU so far, but we'd be surprised if this didn't become an option at some point in time.

Microsoft Surface partners Object Consulting, NeoProducts and aZaas were also at today's event to demonstrate how users can maximise the Samsung SUR40 for a fully connected experience. Object Consulting demonstrated their travel and museum app based in Australia, while aZaas showcased a golf app for members to login, manage golf booking, upload their scores etc. NeoProducts showcased a customized SUR40 (above) which allow users to choose and purchase photobook, and customize to their requirement. According to NeoProducts, Fujifilm have plans to roll-out the SUR40 to customers in Australia, Europe and other countries in the next few months; for Singapore, it would be early next year.

On the graphics side Dell will offer a GeForce GTX 660M, GeForce GTX 675M (in SLI) or a Radeon D 7970M (in CrossFire), although no details were provided in terms of how much graphics memory will come with each option. The system will be configurable with DDR3 1600MHz memory as standard, but Dell will apparently also offer 1866MHz modules. Storage offerings include 500 or 750GB 7,200rpm hard drives or a selection of SSD's from either Samsung or Micron/Crucial and there's even an mSATA SSD cache solution powered by Samsung SSDs on offer. An optional extra includes a WirelessHD card for streaming of video to a WirelessHD receiver. The 18.4-inch screen will be a regular LED backlit full HD affair. Pricing is anyone's guess at this point in time, but expensive springs to mind. Expect a range of new Alienware notebooks to show up on Dell's website on the 29th or there abouts.

Consumer brands and other technology partners include Fujifilm, Le Metier de Beaute and Industrial Color, have plans to use the Samsung SUR40 to support retail scenarious, professional tools and marketing efforts. Do 21


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Blackmagic Design launches Thunderbolt equipped 2.5K camcorder

Published by: VR-Zone

1920x1080 resolution using the compressed Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD codecs. The camera can shoot video at both resolutions at 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p and 30p and this is possibly one of the cameras biggest weakness compared to competing solutions.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackmagic-design-launchesthunderbolt-equipped-2.5k-camcorder/15595.html April 20th, 2012

We wouldn't call ourselves cinematographers, but over the past couple of years there has been some massive development in the professional camera market beyond HD resolution, although most of this equipment has so far been out of reach for smaller production companies and indie film makers. Blackmagic Design has decided to change that with the introduction of its comparatively affordable Cinema Camera that can shoot 2.5K video straight to an SSD. We wouldn't call ourselves cinematographers, but over the past couple of years there has been some massive development in the professional camera market beyond HD resolution, although most of this equipment has so far been out of reach for smaller production companies and indie film makers. Blackmagic Design has decided to change that with the introduction of its comparatively affordable Cinema Camera that can shoot 2.5K video straight to an SSD.

As you can see from the pictures, we're looking at a very unusual camera shape. The lens mount is protruding quite some way from the camera body and as you might already have guessed, Blackmagic Design doesn't make its own lenses for the camera. Instead the lens mount accepts Canon EF lenses and Carl Zeiss ZE mount lenses and the camera sports electronic iris control, but it's not clear if it supports auto focusing, albeit this is less of an issue in most instances where this camera would be used. The rear of the camera is home to a 5-inch 800x480 capacitive touch screen as well as a small selection of controls. Most of the camera adjustments are done via the touch screen which might not seems like the most intuitive way of doing things, but we'll have to wait and see how this turns out once the Cinema Camera gets into the hands of some reviewers/users. The right hand side of the camera features the SSD compartment, the top has three standard quarter inch screw mounts and the bottom has yet another quarter inch screw mount.

Blackmagic Design is well known in the industry for its highend video editing and capturing solutions, so launching a high-end video camera that takes on the big established industry giants is a bold move from what is a comparably small company. The Cine Camera offers at least a couple of unique features that we haven't seen on any similar product to date, namely Thunderbolt connectivity and support for standard 2.5-inch SSDs. The sensor choice is somewhat unusual as well, as Blackmagic Design is using a 16.64x14.04mm senor, but the active part only measures 15.6x8.8mm. This is slightly smaller than the 4/3's format used on interchangeable lens cameras from Panasonic and Olympus, as well as some of Panasonic's own interchangeable lens camcorders. The sensor is said to offer 13 stops of dynamic range and it has a usable resolution of 2432x1366 or what Blackmagic Design calls 2.5K. It can shoot 12-bit RAW CinemaDNG video at this resolution, but it can also shoot at 10-bit

The left hand side of the camera is where you'll find all the connectivity options and Blackmagic Design hasn't skimped on things here. You get â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from top to bottom â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a LANC compatible remote connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two 6.35mm balanced audio jacks that can be switched between mic and line level inputs, a 10-bit HD-SDI interface with a 22


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sample rate of 4:2:2, a Thunderbolt port, a mini USB 2.0 port for software updates and a 12-30V wide input power connector. Besides the limited frame rate options, the only other apparent drawback of the Cinema Camera is that it has a fairly small, integrated Li-Polymer battery that only lasts for about 90 minutes of use and then takes about 2h to charge with the camera switched off. That said, thanks to the wide power input, it shouldn't be hard to find an external battery to power the camera with. The Cinema Camera might not look like it would be all that heavy, but thanks to its solid aluminium-alloy frame, the camera still manages to weigh in at 1.7kg and that's without an SSD or lens fitted.

Blackmagic Design is expecting to ship the Cinema Camera in July for US$2,995 (S$3,742) which might seem like a lot of money from a consumer perspective, especially as this only includes a detachable sun shield, a camera strap, a dust cap for the lens mount, a 12V AC adapter. You do also get a copy of DaVinci Resolve, Media Express and Blackmagic UltraScope with the camera, but as these are all in-house products, the actual cost to Blackmagic Design is fairly low. The handlebar you can see in one of the pictures is an optional accessory priced at US$195 (S$245) and it appears to be the only accessory on offer so far. Based purely on spec and price, Blackmagic Design has come up with a very disruptive product that ought to make the more established players sit down for a long and hard think about what they're doing. The Cinema Camera might not compete in every level of the market, but it should be vastly superior compared to shooting video on a DSLR. The company has been smart and used standard storage device and gone for a lens mount that is compatible with a lot of high-end glass, but also some more affordable lenses. If you want to bring around a change in a stagnated market, this is most definitely a good way of going about doing it.

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Crysis 3 gameplay trailer revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/crysis-3-gameplay-trailerrevealed/15655.html April 24th, 2012

EA and Crytek have released a trailer that shows the first gameplay footage of Crysis 3, which promises to be an action-packed visual treat. EA and Crytek have released a trailer that shows the first gameplay footage of Crysis 3, which promises to be an action-packed visual treat. The third instalment of the popular first person shooter was officially announced last week, with a release date scheduled for Spring 2013. Pre-orders for the game have also opened. The trailer shows the game's setting in the New York City Liberty Dome, which is a cross between the cityscape of the second game and the jungle environment of the first, which gives players the best of both worlds.

The video does not just set the scene, however; it also shows actual gameplay footage of what players can expect, promising plenty of action and some amazing graphics.

Gamers will be able to download the free app from the PlayStation Store for both the 3G and Wi-Fi models of the PlayStation Vita. One of the interesting features of this app is that users will be able to flip between the front and rear cameras on the PlayStation Vita, which makes it handy for chatting and showing things, without needing to turn the device around.

The software will run in the background while games are played, though some games will disable it. "Our users appreciate being able to access Skype features wherever and whenever they choose," said Manrique Brenes, senior director of the consumer electronics group at Skype. "With the launch of Skype for PS Vita, we are taking another step towards our ultimate goal of making Skype video calling available on every platform, all over the world, and meeting the demands of existing PlayStation users to offer video on a gaming console."

HTC One X Review: Is this the One for you? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-one-x-review-is-this-the-one-foryou-/15587.html April 24th, 2012

Players can also expect a slew of new weapons, including a composite bow, which should add some new dynamics to the gameplay.

Skype launches on PlayStation Vita Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/skype-launches-on-playstationvita/15654.html April 24th, 2012

The new HTC One X was recently launched in Singapore. This flagship smartphone is equipped with the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor and Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and it promises great usability, features and performance to users. So how good is the HTC One X? Read on.

Sony has launched Skype video calling on its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system.

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Microsoft to release second Windows 8 preview in June Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-release-secondwindows-8-preview-in-june/15653.html April 24th, 2012

Microsoft will release a second preview version of Windows 8 in June as the countdown to the launch of the new operating system begins.

The HTC One series smartphones were designed to offer premium mobile experience with iconic design, amazing camera and authentic sound experience to the users. The company introduced three HTC One smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in February which include the flagship model One X, One S and One V. The One S and One X are equipped with dual-core processor, while the One X is powered by Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The Legend was HTC's first smartphone to feature an aluminium unibody, and the HTC One X has adopted a unibody design too, except that it is using polycarbonate instead, which is similar to the Nokia N9 and Lumia 800; the polycarbonate unibody also claims to be as rugged as metal. On closer look, you will notice that the rear is matte, but the sides are gloss finished, which is uniquely different from the uniformity of most phones.

Microsoft will release a second preview version of Windows 8 in June as the countdown to the launch of the new operating system begins. The next preview, dubbed the â&#x20AC;&#x153;release preview,â&#x20AC;? will be much closer to the final version of the software than what developers and consumers have seen so far, giving a more accurate taste of what we can expect towards the end of the year, with many believing Microsoft will target October for launch. Microsoft is diverging from its traditional OS setup by catering for the tablet market with its Metro-style interface option, which looks like an expanded version of Windows Phone 7's tile interface. Apps can be downloaded and will update on the Metro display to give users information at a glance.

Before we move on, here's the hardware specifications of the HTC phone:CPU Memory Screen Display Resolution Storage Camera

Connectivity

Talk time Standby time Battery Platform Dimensions Weight

HTC One X 1.5 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core RAM: 1GB 4.7-inch HD 720p touch 1280 x 720 32GB 8-megapixel with auto focus, smart LED flash, and BSI sensor 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, NFC capable, DLNA, microUSB, Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wireless HDMI, Bluetooth Up to 1020 min (GSM), Up to 800 min (WCDMA) Up to 545 hrs (GSM), Up to 525 hrs (WCDMA) 1800 mAh Lithium-ion Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm 130 g with battery

The company is not ignoring traditional desktop or laptop users, however, so there are improvements to the traditional desktop interface too, while changes are mostly on the functional side, so as to be intuitive to Windows 7 users. Updates that are expected include a faster boot time, improved task manager, and a major integration with cloud services, including Microsoft's SkyDrive. In June we will see what else Microsoft has up its sleeve to ensure its dominance in the OS market and help give it a large slice of the tablet pie.

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Microsoft Technology Centre opens in Singapore, first in Southeast Asia Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-technology-centre-opensin-singapore-first-in-southeast-asia/15652.html April 24th, 2012

This morning, Microsoft officially opened their new Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC) in Singapore, the first in Southeast Asia. The company's investment in MTC, talents and operations is said to amount to approximately S $23 million for the next five years.

According to Microsoft, there are a total of 27 MTCs around the globe with 11 in cities in USA, five in Asia Pacific including this one, and 11 in Europe and South America. The MTC in Singapore has a floor area of 7,000 square feet, and is within the Microsoft Singapore office at One Marina Boulevard. It houses the Server Display room, Device and Partner Solutions walls, an Interactive Zone, two Development Suites, Executive Briefing Centre, Envisioning Centre and Consumer Experience Space. The MTC aims to offer "experience" first approach to help organizations envision the future of productivity, test real world scenarios, save costs and accelerate business transformation. It will cater to customers in Asia Pacific, not just Singapore, and Microsoft plans to include madein-Singapore innovations to provide more exposure to local software companies in the near future. Since its soft launch in February, the technology centre has seen approximately 1,000 visitors with half of the number from overseas. Unlike other data centres, the servers at MTC are watercooled with Smart Card security, and claim to have approximately 300 cores and 1 Terabyte of memory.

Aside from the showcase of the various laptops and slate PCs (preloaded with Windows 8 beta operating system), as well as the new Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface at the Device Wall that customers can try out, the company also demonstrated a commercial dressing application with the use of the Kinect. You can simply select the clothes you want and you can see how it fits you, on the TV.

Analyst Predicts Apple Will Drop 17-inch MacBook Pro Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/analyst-predicts-apple-will-drop-17inch-macbook-pro/15648.html April 24th, 2012

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that Apple will discontinue its current 17-inch MacBook Pro due to relatively weak sales, and to make room for a new MacBook model. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that Apple will discontinue its current 17-inch MacBook Pro due to relatively weak sales, and to make room for a new MacBook model.

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a large number of Macintosh computers are still infected by the Flashback malware. Computer security company Kaspersky Lab agrees. Security experts at Dr. Web argue that, despite recent reports alleging a major decrease in infected machines, a large number of Macintosh computers are still infected by the Flashback malware. Computer security company Kaspersky Lab agrees.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro is Apple's largest notebook. Kuo predicts that the line has suffered a sharp decrease in sales, being usurped by the smaller and less expensive 13-inch model. As part of an effort to revamp their laptop offerings, Kuo says Apple is likely to drop the larger MacBook altogether. Kuo predicts that in the third quarter, Apple will release a sort of hybrid of the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air. In his own words, "We also predict Apple will roll out a fully new MacBook model in early 3Q12, boasting strong performance and superior portability by combining the advantages of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The Flashback malware has represented what many experts think is the singularly largest Mac infection in history. Having infected over 600,000 machines, the malware was distributed to over one percent of all Macs in use.

While adding new products, Apple is likely to stop making the 17” MacBook Pro this year due to falling shipments, in order to maintain a lean product line strategy."

Last week, multiple companies released free software to detect and remove the Flashback malware, including Apple itself. Earlier, Apple also released updates to fix the vulnerability that Flashback had exploited in the first place. After this slough of arsenal was released, it might have been tempting to say that Flashback was a much lesser threat.

These predictions are similar to rumors that began earlier this year which said that, by the end of 2012, Apple would give the MacBooks Pros a complete makeover, adding to them characteristics of the much thinner MacBook Air. The rumors suggested a very thin and lightweight structure, along with other features. The advantages of a new laptop that is simultaneously powerful and versatile are obvious. However, some may not find this decision very appealing. The 17-inch MacBook has the largest screen of Apple's notebooks. If it is dropped in favor of a smaller one to increase "carryability”, some fans may be very disappointed. Shoppers who have wanted this model had better buy it soon, in case Kuo turns out to be right.

Security Experts Say Flashback Malware is Still at Large Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/security-experts-say-flashbackmalware-is-still-at-large/15646.html April 24th, 2012

Based on their operation “sinkhole”, Symantec estimated that the number of infected machines had dropped dramatically, to about 140,000. Kaspersky gave an even smaller estimate at just a little over 30,000, which is about twenty times less than the original number of infected machines. But security experts at Dr. Web disagree with all of these uplifting estimates. In a blog post, the Russian antivirus company said that “The botnet statistics acquired by Doctor Web contradicts recently published reports indicating a decrease in the number of Macs infected by BackDoor.Flashback.39 The number is still around 650,000.” Liam O Murchu, manager of operations at Symantec's security response center, said to ComputerWorld April 20, that it seemed Dr. Web was actually correct, after having discussed the issue with Dr. Web’s security experts. According to Dr. Web officials, and officials at Intego, the inconsistencies with Flashback estimates are due to the way the malware finds and communicates with command-andcontrol (C&C) servers, the servers which end up sending commands to the infected Macs. Despite all the tools to combat Flashback, it isn’t quite time for Mac owners to breathe easy. According to officials at

Security experts at Dr. Web argue that, despite recent reports alleging a major decrease in infected machines, 4


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Intego, Flashback is not only still on many Macs, but likely continues to infect them even now.

TP Vision wants to Expand Philips, Readies MIPSPowered Tablet

Published by: VR-Zone

that span from home cinema sound bars, audio products to unannounced devices such as the seven inch MIPS-powered tablet, initially for the China market. It looks like MIPS has found a sweetspot, which is ultra-cheap, or should we write ultra-affordable tablets which with a 7" capacitive touch screen and about a gigabyte of local storage run for $79. The question is, can Philips survive the performance downfall when compared to higher performing ARM processors?

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tp-vision-wants-to-expand-philipsreadies-mips-powered-tablet/15641.html April 24th, 2012

On the recently held IFA Global Press Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Maarten de Vries and Wiebo Vaartjes gave talks on the way Philips brand is going to evolve in the future. With Philips announcing the spinoff of their TV division to TPV (Hong Kong based worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest manufacturer of computer monitors), there were a lot of questions about the future development of the brand. First and formerly, the new company is named TP Vision and it combines Philips Television and TPV.

In our talks with company representatives, we've heard that the ultimate target for TV manufacturers is to offer Android powered device to serve as the remote, and drive the sales and profit margin up on that functionality.

The newly formed company will tie in the strength of Philips brand name with new and innovative products, all following the company design and style guidelines. At least, is what Maarten de Vries, newly appointed CEO said to us in Dubrovnik. New Philips, i.e. TP Vision will push the market with LED and 3DTVs, switch to OLED TV when it becomes viable and stick to design principles the original brand had, without the corporate overhead Philips TV division had to endure while it was a part of parent company.

Gigabyte's 3D BIOS UEFI makes Hackintoshing a breeze

The company will fight to expand the hospitality business unit, i.e. corporate sales. De Vries gave an example that Philips is already present in 80% of hotel chains in Europe region, and that the Philips brand tied nicely for the healthcare segment, where TVs were sold to accompany commercial medical equipment. As far as future goes, the company plans to put as much cards on the Smart TV trend as possible, with 80% of 2012 line-up being "smart", i.e. running an operating system with extended functionality.

The question remains, would you buy a TV that comes with a tablet?

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-s-3d-bios-uefi-makeshackintoshing-a-breeze/15651.html April 24th, 2012

With rumours of Apple discontinuing its Mac Pro and potentially even more of its desktop Mac products in the future, building a DYI Hackintosh might very well be the only way to get a high-performance desktop Mac in the not too distant future. Details have emerged in the Hackingtosh community that it's easier than ever to create your own Hackintosh these days with a bit of help from Gigabyte's new 7-series motherboards with 3D BIOS UEFI. With rumours of Apple discontinuing its Mac Pro and potentially even more of its desktop Mac products in the future, building a DYI Hackintosh might very well be the only way to get a high-performance desktop Mac in the not too distant future. Details have emerged in the Hackingtosh community that it's easier than ever to create your own Hackintosh these days with a bit of help from Gigabyte's new 7-series motherboards with 3D BIOS UEFI.

The company will expand the functionality of TVs with products from Philips Consumer Lifestyle division. Weibo Vaartjes, Executive Vice President at Philips and General Manager of Philips Consumer lifestyle talked about devices

We're not actually talking about the 3D mode in the UEFI interface, but rather about some changes that Gigabyte have implemented with its move from BIOS to UEFI. Hackintosh website tonymacx86.com is reporting that the new Gigabyte motherboards have better support for OS X than any other motherboard currently available in the market. 5


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Normally when you build a Hackingtosh you need something called a DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) as this is how OS X can detect what kind of hardware you have in your system. Without a DSDT Hackintoshes tend to go into kernel panic mode, i.e. they're pretty much useless. Although there are plenty of readily available DSDT files on the internet these days, they might not be for the specific BIOS/UEFI version that you have installed on your motherboard and editing your own DSDT isn't for the faint of heart. However, the latest motherboards from Gigabyte don't appear to need a DSDT file for basic functionality, as the boards boot into OS X just fine without it. Add to that the small fact that sleep and wake works without any additional fiddling and you have another eyesore for many Hackintosh builders sorted without any kind of hassle. It's not entirely clear what Gigabyte has done to make this work, but it's made the life of those wanting to install an alternative OS on their PC a lot easier. In comparison, some other motherboards with UEFI requires a special modified UEFI and considering that the company has started to lock down its UEFI to prevent unauthorized UEFI files from being flashed, there's a clear case for not going with them if you want a Hackintosh. Admittedly not all is rosy for Gigabyte either, as the VIA audio chips are poorly supported under OS X and only a few limited models features Realtek audio which has much better support by Apple's OS.

MSI spills the beans on the GT70 and GT60 gaming laptops Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-spills-the-beans-on-the-gt70and-gt60-gaming-laptops/15650.html April 24th, 2012

Storage wise things get a bit complicated, as MSI is offering a wide range of combinations here depending on the price point. The GT60 will apparently only be available with a pair of 500GB hard drives, but the GT70 will come with the Super RAID plus a 750GB hard drive, a 128GB SSD combined with a 500 or 750GB or just a 750GB hard drive. Most models will come with a standard DVD writer, but a Blu-ray writer will ship with the highest-end models. MSI has also incorporated the new Killer NIC E2200 Gigabit Ethernet controller, Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with support for Wi-Fi Direct, Intel WiDi, Intel My WiFi Dashboard and Bluetooth 4.0. Other features include three USB 3.0 ports, one or two USB 2.0 ports depending on model, an HDMI port, an eSATA/USB combo port, a 720p webcam and things like a card reader, a bunch of audio jacks and a D-sub connector.

We've already shown you MSI's unique Super RAID which is present in the new GT70 gaming notebook, but the company has now revealed the remaining specs of both the GT70 and GT60. MSI is as you might've guessed already, kitting out both models with an Ivy Bridge CPU and a GeForce GTX 670M GPU, as well as some other useful and interesting features. We've already shown you MSI's unique Super RAID which is present in the new GT70 gaming notebook, but the company has now revealed the remaining specs of both the GT70 and GT60. MSI is as you might've guessed already, kitting out both models with an Ivy Bridge CPU and a GeForce GTX 670M GPU, as well as some other useful and interesting features. The main difference between the two models is that the GT60 sports a 15.6-inch display, whereas the GT70 comes with a 17.3-inch display. Both models will come with a 2.3GHz Core i7-3610QM, the Intel HM77 chipset 12GB of DDR3 memory and the aforementioned GeForce GTX 670M GPU with 3GB of GDDR5 memory.

Some of the features that do set these two notebooks apart from your average "gaming notebook" is the fact that MSI has added features like speakers from DynAudio and a keyboard co-designed with SteelSeries. Both models come with a massive 9-cell battery and a 150W and 180W power adapter respectively for the GT60 and GT70. The GT60 weighs in at 3.5kg with the GT70 coming in at 3.9kg which is still a fair bit less than some of the competition. Specifications are likely to vary slightly depending on the market, but according to the specifications above, the GT60 will start at US$1,500 (S$1,875) with the GT70 starting at 6


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US$1,550 (S$1,935) and going all the way up to US$2000 (S $2,500). For that money you do get a desktop replacement, but we're not sure this would be our first choice as a gamer, unless you're moving around a lot. Still, you won't find much else in this market space for this kind of money and MSI has something of a track record in the gaming notebook market.

HP gives the Pavilion dm4 an Ivy Bridge makeover with a splash of Beats Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-gives-the-pavilion-dm4-an-ivybridge-makeover-with-a-splash-of-beats/15649.html April 24th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Bluetooth, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a D-sub connector, an Ethernet port, a combo audio jack, a memory card reader and a webcam. Then there's of course the Beats Audio speakers with a subwoofer and the red backlit keyboard with Beats branding. The Pavilion dm4 weighs in at 1.9kg which isn't too bad considering it's a fairly feature packed 14-incher. HP China is hoping that you'll be willing to part with 6,799 Yuan (US $1,078/S$1,345) for the pleasure of owning the Pavilion dm4 which isn't what we'd call a bargain, but not a terrible price either considering the CPU.

Acer launches the AC100 micro server Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-launches-the-ac100-microserver/15647.html April 24th, 2012

HP has put its new Pavilion dm4-3110tx on sale in China and although this in itself doesn't say much, the refreshed notebook model not only features Beats branding, but it also sports the just announced Intel Ivy Bridge processor. The rather stylish looking black and red Pavilion dm4 also sports a shiny new Radeon HD 7570M from AMD and a few other goodies. HP has put its new Pavilion dm4-3110tx on sale in China and although this in itself doesn't say much, the refreshed notebook model not only features Beats branding, but it also sports the just announced Intel Ivy Bridge processor. The rather stylish looking black and red Pavilion dm4 also sports a shiny new Radeon HD 7570M from AMD and a few other goodies. One limitation in the past when it comes to notebook CPU's is that if you've wanted a quad core model, you've almost exclusively been relegated to the 15-inch plus form factors, but with Ivy Bridge we're likely to see a lot smaller notebooks, maybe even down to the 13-inch space with a quad core CPU. The Pavilion dm4 does as you might have guessed sport a quad core CPU, namely the Core i7-3612QM which is a 2.1GHz 35W TDP OEM part. HP has paired up the CPU with the HM77 chipset which is the fully featured consumer chipset for the new Ivy Bridge CPUs.

We've already seen the new range of high-end NAS solutions from Thecus and the company is now being joined in this market space by Acer who has just announced a competing solution in the shape of its AC100 micro server. We have to say that Acer has come up with a better marketing name than Thecus, as calling this product segment for a NAS is really underselling your product. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already seen the new range of high-end NAS solutions from Thecus and the company is now being joined in this market space by Acer who has just announced a competing solution in the shape of its AC100 micro server. We have to say that Acer has come up with a better marketing name than Thecus, as calling this product segment for a NAS is really underselling your product. Just like Thecus, Acer is offering the AC100 in a range of different configurations, although Acer only has a single size chassis for the AC100. Initially the AC100 will be available with an Intel Xeon E3-1260L CPU which is a quad core 2.4GHz part, but Acer will also be offering it with a Core i3-2100 or 2120 and come July it will also be available with the more affordable Pentium G620, G840 and G850 CPUs.

Other features of the Pavilion dm4 includes a 750GB hard drive, 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM, a fairly lacklustre 14inch 1366x768 display, a DVD writer, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 7


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Published by: VR-Zone

G620 with 2GB of RAM and no drives, making the AC100 something of a bargain in this market space, even though it might not offer the same functionality and expansion options as Thecus Nx850 series.

Harley Quinn DLC confirmed for Batman: Arkham City Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/harley-quinn-dlc-confirmed-forbatman-arkham-city/15645.html April 24th, 2012

A new downloadable content (DLC) update for Batman: Arkham City, featuring Harley Quinn, will launch next month. The update is called Harley Quinn's Revenge and is slated as the "final chapter" of the game, suggesting there will be no future updates after this.

The rest of the specifications canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite compete with Thecus though as the AC100 is limited to only four drive bays, whereas Thecus new models starts with six drives bays. Acer has also kitted out the AC100 with six USB ports, an eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet and a D-sub connector. Again, not as impressive as Thecus, as its new models sport both USB 3.0 and HDMI out, as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. The AC10 will come with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 8TB of storage. It has a single half height PCI Express x8 expansion slot, which is one slot less than Thecus offers. Acer also offers an optional Wi-Fi card that goes in the PCI Express expansion slot as well as an optional TPM module. One major difference between the AC100 and Thecus new NAS products is that Acer ships the AC100 with Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials as standard, although Windows Server 2008 as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 are available as options.

For those who did not buy the previous DLC, the Game of the Year Edition will be a good deal, as it will include the core game, the Catwoman, Nightwing, Robin and Harley Quinn updates, as well as the Skin and Challenge map packs and the Batman Year One animated movie.

The new content will feature Harley Quinn and her gang of thugs and will set Batman and Robin, who will be playable in a mini-campaign, in a last ditch effort to shut the gates of Arkham City forever. The DLC will launch on 29 May and will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. UK gamers will have to wait until 7 September for the Game of the Year Edition.

Nvidia says Xbox 360 graphics power will hit mobile devices by 2014 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-says-xbox-360-graphicspower-will-hit-mobile-devices-by-2014/15644.html April 24th, 2012

Nvidia aims to deliver the graphics power behind gaming consoles like Microsoft's Xbox 360 to mobile devices by the year 2014, which could mark a further shift to mobile gaming. To Acerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defence, the AC100 is priced at an affordable level judging by some online pricing we managed to dig up. With the Xeon E3-1260L, 2TB of storage and 4GB of RAM, the AC100 is retailing for around US$950 (S$1,185) which is about half the price of the Thecus N6850 with a Pentium

Nvidia aims to deliver the graphics power behind gaming consoles like Microsoft's Xbox 360 to mobile devices by the year 2014, which could mark a further shift to mobile gaming.

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An Nvidia slide revealed by AnandTech shows its forecast for the GPU industry, which sees relatively little change in consoles, steady growth for PCs, and sharp growth for mobile devices. The solid lines show estimated performance, which will see mobile devices matching the graphics power of the Xbox 360 next year and then surpassing it the year after. The dotted lines show trends, which suggests the power match being made in 2014, while the console market advances a little further.

PCs remain on top with reasonable growth, but if the mobile industry continues its advances, which takes into account both smartphones and tablet computers, then we could see even the PC industry getting a run for its money in terms of GPUs. If Nvidia's predictions are correct we will likely see more big budget games hitting mobile devices, particularly tablet computers like the iPad, the latest of which is being touted as a viable gaming machine. We're already seeing some big releases, as well as re-releases of old classics like Baldur's Gate, but the possibility of playing high-end Xbox 360 games on a mobile device means the console industry will really need to push things further if it wants to remain on top.

Nintendo announces New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS, Kirby Wii compilation Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-announces-new-supermario-bros.-2-for-3ds-kirby-wii-compilation/15643.html April 24th, 2012

Nintendo has announced a new Super Mario Bros. Game for the 3DS and a Kirby compilation game for the Wii to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the platformer series.

Published by: VR-Zone

Nintendo has announced a new Super Mario Bros. Game for the 3DS and a Kirby compilation game for the Wii to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the platformer series. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will launch for the 3DS in August, featuring traditional side-scrolling adventures with Mario, Luigi and other popular characters. Nintendo's other big platform legend, Kirby, will also be getting some attention later this year to celebrate 20 years since the little pink ball from the planet Pop Star graced the gaming world. A compilation of Kirby's previous adventures will be released for the Wii, in addition to other celebrations.

“A new Mario game and a big Kirby celebration will help make 2012 an especially great year for Nintendo fans,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Whether they’re playing at home on Wii or using Nintendo 3DS to have fun on the go, players can look forward to experiencing some of our biggest franchises in exciting ways.” The 3DS will also be getting a software update, as will some games, such as Mario Kart 7. The release of Mario Tennis Open on 20 May ensures that Nintendo fans will have plenty to do with their favourite platform characters over the coming year.

Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge @ 4.8GHz Quad-Core CPU Showdown Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-vs-sandy-bridge--4.8ghzquad-core-cpu-showdown/15637.html April 24th, 2012

We do a quick runthrough of benchmarks tests @ 4.8GHz on the new 22nm "Ivy Bridge" Core i7-3770K (Retail E1 Stepping) against the nearly 1.5 years old 32nm "Sandy Bridge" Core i7-2600K, and then give some useful consumer advice at the end. 9


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Published by: VR-Zone

Foreword: Nebojsa Novakovic did a preview piece on Ivy Bridge architecture improvements last week, and here are the important points anyway in case you missed it: • Lower power consumption thanks to 22nm Tri-Gate Die Shrink and other tweaks • Up to double the 3D integrated graphics (HD 4000 IGP) & Quick Sync video performance • Ultra high resolution (4K) and multi-display (triple) support • 16 PCI Express v3 lanes (double the sustained perlink bandwidth) • Hardware Random Number Generator - improved security • Improved memory controller (DDR3-2800+) • More overclocking with less effort - realtime adjustments and higher multiplier limits • New 7-series chipsets with native USB 3.0 and (optional) Thunderbolt support

We ran our benchmark tests at 4.8GHz as it is the average core frequency that is achievable by both the microarchitectures on air cooling. CPU Benchmarks:

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Published by: VR-Zone

Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs from Ultrabooks to HPC clusters what stuff goes where? Recommendations / Lessons: • Clock for clock, Ivy Bridge (which is a "Tick" on Intel's roadmap) does offer performance improvements over Sandy Bridge, albeit mostly in single digit percentages. This is good news as the new processors will directly replace the old ones at roughly the same price points. • From the large pool of CPUs that we have tested/ binned, Ivy Bridge uses 25% less power on average clock for clock due to the lower voltages required (in this case Sandy's 1.48v to Ivy's 1.27v). • Ivy Bridge's on-die temperatures (TJ Max of 105 degrees celsius) are a lot higher than Sandy Bridge, indicating possible high electrical leakage on the new process or a different measurement method. Note: Temperatures != Power, although there is some correlation. • Ivy Bridge is a (subzero) overclocker's wet dream, able to hit core frequencies near 7GHz with no cold bugs (unless motherboard induced). • In general, Z77 boards are better made and engineered (shorter electrical traces, better component placement) than their P67/Z68 predecessors, doing away with niggling BIOS firmware bugs and dodgy VRM implementations. • According to roadmaps, Ivy Bridge is the end of the road for Socket 1155 (next year's Intel "Haswell" CPUs will on Socket 1150), head for Socket 2011 if you need more than quad cores/16 PCIe lanes. • X79 is a better platform than Z77 if you need more than 16 PCIe lanes for 3-way/4-way GPU operation without the use of latency inducing switches.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-ivy-bridge-cpus-fromultrabooks-to-hpc-clusters--what-stuff-goes-where-/15640.html April 24th, 2012

As Intel launches the initial Ivy Bridge range this week, many more will follow, covering the range from thin UltraBooks to large SMP servers, over the next one year or so. What kind of flavours would go into each specific market? As you all know by now, the first wave of Ivy Bridge offerings Intel will launch right today (or tomorrow, depending on which part of the world you are in) are based on the base standard die, the quad core 8 MB L3 cache part that fits into the currently existing desktop and mobile pinouts of its predecessor, the Sandy Bridge. We already looked at the new features on the die itself, however what will be the variants of Ivy Bridge that will cover the PC market, from top to bottom, over the next one year? The initial launch covers two main markets in both desktop and mobile spaces: the high end - but not ultra high end that's represented by the Socket 2011 - and the general mainstream. So, the quad core die, shared amongst most of the SKUs, will come along in a spread of frequencies and TDP levels between 35W and 77W, and with certain features like multithreading or cache size modified or disabled along the way. For instance, lower cost quad core units will have hyperthreading disabled, and cache reduced to 6 MB. Same applies for the graphics unit, which will operate at half performance level at the low end part of the spread.

• If you already have a Sandy Bridge 2500K/2600K/2700K, stick with it as there is hardly any tangible reason to fork out US$212-$313 for a minor upgrade.

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extensively here, the up to 10-core, 25 MB cache processors will also support DDR3-1866 natively even on servers, and the single socket desktop version should support at least 8 active cores out of 10 this time, if not all 10. However, to keep the clock speed high within the TDP limits, the 8from-10 choice seems more likely. The Ivy Bridge-EP should be mainstay dual processor platform for the whole of 2013 - we hope to see it by the end of this year, actually. If no major inventory clearance headaches with the Sandy BridgeEP, there's nothing to stop Intel from unveiling Ivy BridgeEP before this Christmas. With higher performance for the TDP and die size, Intel could make more dosh per chip with the newbie, anyway.

Interestingly, even though the top desktop 'K' SKUs are multiplier unlocked, the only 'Extreme' edition branding this time is reserved for just one high end gaming notebook speed bin, at 2.9 GHz base speed before Turbo, aimed at 17+ inch LANparty laptops, I guess. The smaller dual-core 4 MB die, but still with full HD4000 graphics engine implementation, will be the one applicable to the Ultrabook market in the 17W TDP flavour, as well as to low end integrated desktops. Now, Sandy Bridge Ultrabook power vs performance compromise, while not affecting CPU that much, did make the GPU performance too low level for any 3-D work. With this Ivy Bridge replacement, 3-D on Ultrabooks will gain double the performance for more productive use, although real-time 3-D gaming with effects enabled is still something we need to wait for in Haswell Ultrabooks next year - or AMD Trinity Ultrathins next month, if you hear the other sides' whispers. Even then, the Ultrabook flavour of the Ivy Bridge is expected to be with us only in June, so there are still roughly six weeks away till that moment, likely to coincide with Computex this year. Whether there will be further ULV versions of Ivy Bridge, as the process is improved, to allow for 10~ W uber-tablet PC implementation, remains to be seen, although such a derivative would be far more interesting than, say, Atom, to fight ARM from a performance win standpoint for Windows 8 HD++ tablet space. By the end of this summer, do expect a stepping improvement for the initial Ivy Bridge parts as well, resulting from those same process improvements along the way (say: leakage fix?), as well as die tweaks. As there is sufficient clock speed margin even in the current parts, it's only up to Intel to decide whether to offer extra speed bins at that time as well, depending on the arrival of any new competition. Beyond that, the next market segment - enthusiast desktops and dual-processor servers & workstations - gets addressed by the Socket 2011 Ivy Bridge-EP platform. Already covered

At the end, soon after the Ivy Bridge-EP, likely early next year, you'll see the last Ivy Bridge... the Ivy Bridge-EX. It's the first CPU of the new Brickland four-socket enterprise server platforms, with up to 15 cores, monster-sized L3 caches close to the 40 MB range, three QPI channels, lots and lots of DDR3-1600 and multi-terabyte memory capacity within one 2U server rackmount box. Unlike the dual socket ones, this platform will accept the future Haswell and beyond EX processors as well, with a BIOS update of course. Pity there are no four or more QPI links here, for better glueless high-end inter CPU connections... So, there you go - Ivy Bridge starts with the high end and mainstream quad-core desktop and mobile this month, moves on to the Ultrabooks and other dual core markets in June; gets stepping-refreshed around late summer, then kicks into the Socket 2011 top end platform around year end, to finish the platform run with the quad-socket and above monster servers. By that time, we'll see Haswell enter the fray too...

Amazon expands into supply business Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amazon-expands-into-supplybusiness/15642.html April 24th, 2012

Amazon has expanded into the supply business with the launch of AmazonSupply.com, a new online store offering parts for a wide range of industries. Amazon has expanded into the supply business with the launch of AmazonSupply.com, a new online store offering parts for a wide range of industries. 12


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The shop has more than half a million items for sale in its initial product range across a number of categories, including abrasives and finishing, cutting tools, fasteners, fleet and vehicle maintenance, hydraulics, pneumatics and plumbing, janitorial and sanitation, lab and scientific, material handling, materials, occupational health and safety, office, power and hand tools, power transmission, and test, measure and inspection. Similar to its store for books and other consumer goods, AmazonSupply.com will offer free two-day shipping for eligible orders of $50 or higher.

Published by: VR-Zone

During the keynote speech at the Mentor Graphics User Conference, Sameer Halepete, Vice President of VLSI Engineering at NVIDIA Corporation, said that the industry has to move to 450mm wafers as soon as possible. Recently, NVIDIA presented at the Mentor Graphics User Conference and openly discussed the difficulties semiconductor industry faces. No one, not even Intel can no longer deny that building semiconductors is reaching new heights in complexity. After all, we all know how the 22nm roadmap looked before and the reality where actual products are arriving only next week. In the view of Sameer Halapete, VP of VLSI Engineering at NVIDIA Corporation, there are numerous challenges for the semiconductor industry as a whole, from process node, UltraViolet vs. Extreme UV lithography, bulk silicon versus Fully-Depleted SOI - which is contemplated by Intel as the first SOI to be used by the company for its optical chips. The innovation can no longer come from the die shrink itself, but rather through increasing the amount of chips that is being processed on a single wafer. Naturally, the solution is a move from 300mm wafers of today into 450mm wafers of tomorrow. The difference how many chips can be manufactured using a larger wafer is quite amazing, just as amazing was the change from 200mm wafers onto 300mm back at the beginning of 21st century with Intel Pentium 4 being the first mass produced part. 200mm to 300mm conversion lead to price reduction of 30-40% in chip cost, while the 300mm to 450mm cost saving is being estimated at 40-55%.

“We're excited to offer a wide range of items, from basic supplies like drill bits and automatic hand dryers, to hard to find parts like laboratory centrifuges and miniature polyimide tubing, enabling business and industrial customers to streamline their buying processes,” said Prentis Wilson, VP of AmazonSupply. “Low prices combined with fast, free shipping and a vast selection, make shopping on AmazonSupply a great experience for customers.” Since Amazon.com's launch in 1995 it has become one of the leading online stores, diversifying beyond its initial book range. This further diversification shows Amazon's intent to serve all kinds of industries and become the global leader in online shopping.

NVIDIA Pushes for 450mm Wafers, Contemplates Expansion to GlobalFoundries, Samsung Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-pushes-for-450mm-waferscontemplates-expansion-to-globalfoundries-samsung/15586.html April 24th, 2012

Truth to be told, NVIDIA does not expect to see 450mm wafer manufacturing arriving in time for the 14nm process node, which is scheduled to arrive after 28nm and 20nm. Depending on a manufacturer, 14nm is scheduled for 2014/15. According to a story on EETimes, the reasons why NVIDIA wants to push for 450mm wafers are identical to ones from Qualcomm. The world's largest foundry (TSMC) recently changed its business model and eroded the relationships with companies such as NVIDIA. By starting to charge for each wafer rather than for each working die raises the costs for every fabless semiconductor, regardless of size or target market. This goes hand in hand with the continuous evaluation of other foundries. For example, in the semiconductor industry, it was always widely known that a certain NVIDIA openly executive said to Doug Grose, former CEO of GlobalFoundries. NVIDIA would refuse to commit to GlobalFoundries for as long as AMD has a single share in the company. Given that AMD recently traded all of its shares back to GlobalFoundries, there are no limitations why NVIDIA would not join AMD, IBM and Qualcomm in manufacturing its silicon in one of many foundries GlobalFoundries operates. Furthermore, NVIDIA recently received test chips from Samsung Semiconductor, allegedly from the Austin facility which delivers chips to Apple and naturally, Samsung themselves. Even though Samsung is competing with NVIDIA Tegra with its Exynos chips, the name of the game is to have as much customers to share the cost and risk as possible, rather than Us vs. Them mentality which exists only on lower levels.

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For example, NVIDIA recently introduced Kepler GPU architecture, powering the GeForce GTX 680. The die size of the GK104 chip is just 294mm2, packing 3.5 billion transistors. Should the industry switch from 300mm to 450mm wafer size, NVIDIA could cram about 540 GK104 chips. On 300mm wafer, NVIDIA can only fit about 240 chips - more than twice as much chips per single wafer! Now, if that was a 294mm2 die, which is fairly large - imagine how many Tegra chips can fit on a single 300mm wafer. For the record, T30 die size is counted at 82mm2, while T20 (Tegra 2) was 49mm2. This problem will only get more complex, especially after the company unveils the seven billion transistor Kepler GPU at the GPU Technology Conference - which will take place from May 14-17 in San Jose, California.

Adobe announces Creative Suite 6 for design, web and video professionals Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-announces-creative-suite-6for-design-web-and-video-professionals/15639.html April 24th, 2012

Adobe today announced their Creative Suite 6. The new releases consist of 14 CS6 applications and four Creative Suites – the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design and Web Premium, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard, Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection.

Published by: VR-Zone

The Adobe Illustrator CS6 has a revamped user interface and features Image Tracing Engine, Pattern Creation and Gradient Strokes, while the InDesign CS6 offers creation of multiple layouts from a single set of content with new Adaptive Design Tools – Alternate Layout, Liquid Layout, Content Collector Tools and Linked Content. The company has also introduced Adobe Muse application which allow designers to create and publish HTML5 web sites without writing code. The Dreamweaver CS6 brings fluid grid layouts in the creation and configuration of separate CSS-based interfaces for phone, tablet and desktop. With direct integration to Adobe’s PhoneGap Build service, Dreamweaver CS6 allows web professional to produce native mobile applications for various platforms. The Adobe Flash Professional CS6 lets designers create exciting gaming experiences and advancements that include the generation of sprite sheets that improve workflows and performance. Users can also translate and transition their skills to HTML5 using the Flash Professional Toolkit for CreateJS. The Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 comes with new features and major performance enhancement, including Prelude CS6, which streamlines logging and ingest workflow s in post-production, and Adobe SpeedGrade for film finishing and colour grading. The company has also launched the Creative Cloud in selected countries that provides a hub for users to make, share, and deliver creative work. Adobe Creative Suite 6 products will be available within 30 days from today's announcement and can be preordered now. The Adobe Store price for the Creative Suite products are expected to be approximately S$3,924 for CS6 Master Collection, S$2,868 for CS6 Design and Web Premium, S$1,962 for CS6 Design Standard, and S$2,868 for CS6 Production Premium. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available. Pricing does not include local taxes and may be subjected to currency fluctuations. They will be available through Adobe Authorised Resellers and the Adobe.com Southeast Asia store at http://shop.adobe.com/ sea/.

LG launches 55-inch LM9600 CINEMA 3D Smart TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-launches-55-inch-lm9600cinema-3d-smart-tv/15638.html April 24th, 2012

Today, Adobe Systems unveiled their latest Creative Suite 6 that offers new products, mobile workflows and advanced publishing capabilities for design, web and video professionals. In Photoshop CS6, designers will experience superb performance, thanks to the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, which enable almost instant results from essential editing tools, including Liquify, Puppet Warp, Transform and Lighting Effects, and features advanced new ContentAware Patch and Content-Aware Move.

Looking for a new 3D TV? Well, LG Singapore has announced their new 55-inch LM9600 CINEMA 3D Smart TV that boasts superior picture quality, 3D features, Smart TV features and product design, offering a true cinematic 3D home entertainment experience to your living room.

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Published by: VR-Zone April 24th, 2012

According to a report by South Korean newspaper Maeil Business, Samsung may release a cloud service alongside the next Galaxy device (Galaxy S III), on May 3rd.

LG Singapore has launched its 55-inch LM9600 CINEMA 3D Smart TV that claims to offer the latest in display and sound technologies, product design and Smart TV functions to bring an immersive CINEMA 3D experience. Its new technologies include the control and maximization of 3D depth effect, enhanced 3D sound, 3D Sound Zooming and improved 2D to 3D conversion engine allows viewers to enjoy a greater quantity of high quality 3D content. The LM9600 also incorporate the company's NANO Full LED technology that ensures uniform light distribution, detailed local dimming and picture consistency, resulting in brighter images. The LG TV has a 5.1mm slim bezel and is bundled with LG's Magic Remote that has three gesture control modes: Pointing, Wheel and Gesture, and operates like an air mouse, allowing users to browse and select content and apps by simply pointing the remote control to the TV. Users can access a wide variety of 3D content and apps, from LGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3D World, a one-stop shop for 3D video clips, Youtube, K-Pop Zone and a range of Premium Content services. The LM9600 is also optimal for gamers, as LGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dual Play function enables multi-player gaming on a single screen. Whereas conventional TVs rely on a split-screen display or separate TVs for multi-player games, the LM9600 transmits to gamers two separate full screen 2D images that can be viewed simultaneously through two different sets of polarized glasses, enabling each player to see their relevant screen image on the full screen. With Smart Share Plus, you can enable screen share function that streams TV content to external viewing devices, such as smartphones or tablets, through Wi-Di connection. Smart Share Plus also enables mobile device users to view different content from what is being shown on the TV. Additionally, with Wi-Di and MHL, viewers can instantly transfer multimedia content from their smartphones to their TVs. The 55-inch LG LM9600 TV will be available at a recommended retail price of S$6,999.

According to a report by South Korean newspaper Maeil Business, Samsung may release a cloud service alongside the next Galaxy device (Galaxy S III), on May 3rd. Since the Samsung Galaxy devices run on Google's Android, they already have access to the media and application store "Google Play". However, the cloud service will apparently be coming with a VOD-store, to sell music and video content. The cloud service, being called "S-Cloud" is suggested to launch with five gigabytes of storage. It is also rumored, however, that there will be unlimited storage for the content purchased through the cloud service. This is similar to how Amazon treats media purchased through their online store, and may potentially make the service more appealing than Apple's iCloud service. Right now, Samsung is Apple's biggest rival in the smartphone business. But the South Korean electronics company may have a harder time getting a foothold in the cloud industry, due to the sheer number of cloud services which already exist.

AMD Radeon HD 7970M to Launch on April 24 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970m-to-launchon-april-24/15630.html April 24th, 2012

Samsung to Release 'S-Cloud' with Galaxy S III Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-to-release-s-cloud-withgalaxy-s-iii/15634.html

On the recently held investors call in regards to AMD's first quarter financials, AMD CEO Rory Read announced that the company will launch a top to bottom line-up of 15


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mobile discrete parts based on the 28nm Southern Islands architecture. Surprisingly how it may sound, but the parts are launching next week. The mobile assault line-up is based upon renaming the parts we knew from desktop side - Pitcairn (HD 7800 on desktop) is becoming HD 7900M Series, codenamed Thames. Cape Verde (HD 7700) got renamed as Lombok (HD 7800M). Naturally, the Trinity APU will cause a lot of changes, occupying the Radeon 7600M and 7700M series.

Published by: VR-Zone April 24th, 2012

Despite the fact that Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge based Core i3 processors aren't expected to arrive until early June, pricing for three of Intel's upcoming models have now made an appearance at several online retailers. We don't know Intel's pricing for these models, but at least the pricing available should give us a good indication as to how Intel is planning to position the new models in the market. Despite the fact that Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge based Core i3 processors aren't expected to arrive until early June, pricing for three of Intel's upcoming models have now made an appearance at several online retailers. We don't know Intel's pricing for these models, but at least the pricing available should give us a good indication as to how Intel is planning to position the new models in the market.

The parts will debut on April 24, and will be a part of onslaught with NVIDIA Kepler GPUs to win as much notebook discrete design wins as possible. AMD has an advantage over NVIDIA with a record number of Trinity APU and Trinity APU+Lombok GPU design wins. However, NVIDIA won over a large number of Ivy Bridge+Kepler design wins, meaning that the battle will be as tough in 2012 as it was in 2011. A lot of it relies on just how many discrete parts NVIDIA and AMD can swing to Apple, but according to our sources - this time around, it is advantage NVIDIA. Who has the highest performing parts? We'll have to wait until Tuesday the 24th. Can AMD Radeon HD 7970M beat NVIDIA's pride and joy, Kepler based GTX 660 and Femri based 680s? Only time will tell. And that same time is ticking out...

The three models in question are the Core i3-3220, Core i3-3225 and the Core i3-3240. Several European online retailers has priced the Core i3-3220 at around €113 (US $149/S$187) which when you remove the European sales tax, is close to the launch price for the Core i3-2100 which was one of the first of Intel's Sandy Bridge Core i3 models. The Core i3-3225 is priced at around €130 (US$172/S$215), but it's worth remembering that this model comes with Intel HD 4000 graphics and even the Sandy Bridge models with higher-end graphics are priced at a premium compared to their standard counterparts. Finally the Core i3-3240 is priced at around €132 (US$175/S $218) which is a fair bit cheaper than the currently cheapest Core i5 model which is the Core i5-3450 which is currently priced at around €175, albeit from different resellers. Not everyone needs a native quad core CPU and you do at least get hyper threading with the Core i3's, so for less demanding users, the cost saving might be worth it. All three of the new Ivy Bridge Core i3 processors appear to be competitively priced in comparison to their Sandy Bridge counterparts, despite offering higher clock speeds and presumably increased performance both on the CPU side, but even more so, on the graphics side. Some retailers appear to expect the Core i3 models to launch this month, but we wouldn't bet any money on this, as others are listing them as not arriving for at least another four weeks.

ASRock's Fatal1ty X79 Champion arrives, will cost you a kidney Intel's desktop Ivy Bridge Core i3 processors priced

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-s-fatal1ty-x79-championarrives-will-cost-you-a-kidney/15635.html April 24th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-desktop-ivy-bridge-core-i3processors-priced/15636.html

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We're not unfamiliar with high-end motherboards by any means, but ASRock's Fatal1ty X79 Champion is only likely to be overshadowed by ASRock's own X79 Extreme11 and that is if ASRock actually decides to launch that beast of a board. That said, features don't come cheap and you'll have to pony up the cost of about two regular motherboards to get your hands on the Fatal1ty X79 Champion if early pricing is anything to go by.

Published by: VR-Zone

and reset buttons, a Voltage readout point and a POST80 debug LED. At the rear of the board we have a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, no less than eight USB 3.0 ports via two TUSB7340's, two eSATA ports via an unspecified SATA 3Gbps controller, a FireWire port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports via a pair of Broadcom chips and 7.1-channel audio with S/PDIF out courtesy of a Creative Sound Core3D.

We're not unfamiliar with high-end motherboards by any means, but ASRock's Fatal1ty X79 Champion is only likely to be overshadowed by ASRock's own X79 Extreme11 and that is if ASRock actually decides to launch that beast of a board. That said, features don't come cheap and you'll have to pony up the cost of about two regular motherboards to get your hands on the Fatal1ty X79 Champion if early pricing is anything to go by. The differences between the Fatal1ty X79 Professional and Fatal1ty X79 Champion are surprisingly large, starting with the memory slot where the Fatal1ty X79 Champion has no less than eight DIMM slots in total for some 64GB action. Continuing around the CPU socket, ASRock has actually gone for a more basic VRM design with 12+2 phases compared to 16+2 phases for the Fatal1ty X79 Professional, although this is likely due to the additional memory slots. Considering the insane amount of on board features, we can't but feel a little bit disappointed with the bundled accessories, as all you get is a front USB 3.0 unit, a rear USB 3.0 bracket and the various SLI bridges and a mere six SATA cables. Another issues with the Fatal1ty X79 Champion is the form fact, as for whatever reason, ASRock saw fit to go with a server/workstation CEB form factor which measures 305x267mm. This means that the Fatal1ty X79 Champion might not fit in some standard ATX chassis, as although the board is as wide as an ATX motherboard, it's 23mm deeper. ASRock appears to have gone with a standard ATX layout for the screw holes though, but this is something worth keeping in mind.

Spot the last minute quick fix In terms of expansion slots, the Fatal1ty X79 Champion sports five x16 PCI Express slots with slot one and five operating in dual x16 mode, slot one, three and five or one, four and seven operating in a x16/x8/x8 mode and the final configuration allows for a x16/x8/x8/x8 option using slot one, three, five and seven. The board also has space for two x1 PCI Express slots, of which at least one could be usable if needed, as long as no more than three dual-width cards are being used. Beyond the six Intel SATA ports â&#x20AC;&#x201C; two SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ASRock has added a Marvell SE9230 four port SATA 6Gbps controller to the Fatal1ty X79 Champion, although it's not clear if this uses one or two PCI Express lanes, as the chip has support for both options. Other board level features include two front USB 3.0 headers via a TI TUSB7340 host controller, three headers for six USB 3.0 ports, a header for a FireWire port and a serial port, power

We presume you've already guessed that this is a seriously expensive motherboard and although we only have Japanese pricing to go by at the moment, ASRock is selling the board for a massive 37,980 Yen in Japan. In more familiar currencies, that's US$466 or S$582, which you could get a good motherboard and a CPU for if you'd pick something a bit more sensible. Then again, if you were sensible, then this would probably not be the kind of motherboard you'd be considering buying in the first place. The official retail date is apparently set for the 27th of this month, so you'll have to wait a little bit longer to spend your hard earned cash in this case.

Apacer's PHFD combines PCI Express SSD with hard drive caching Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apacer-s-phfd-combines-pciexpress-ssd-with-hard-drive-caching/15633.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

April 24th, 2012

April 24th, 2012

We've seen a fair few attempts at making hard drive SSD caching solutions, some better than others in terms of execution. Apacer has come up with a somewhat different approach than what we've seen so far with its PHFD which is now in its second generation.

When it comes to data security, there are many ways of skinning a cat as they say and Apacer has come up with an interesting solution that the company was showing off at Secutech 2012. Rather than using "old fashioned" smartcards, Apacer has gone for trendy RFID technology and integrated it into an SSD.

We've seen a fair few attempts at making hard drive SSD caching solutions, some better than others in terms of execution. Apacer has come up with a somewhat different approach than what we've seen so far with its PHFD which is now in its second generation. Apacer is using a Marvell 88SE9130 or similar SATA controller with support for Marvell's HyperDuo technology. In essence this is very similar to Intel's Smart Response technology, although in this specific case, the SSD and SATA controller is on a PCI Express x1 add-in card.

At the moment, Apacer is only offering 32GB of SSD storage, but we'd presume other sizes would be made available upon request by Apacer's customers, as the PHFD is an OEM product. The SATA port on the rear of the card makes it easy to attach a hard drive and although we can't say that much about the overall performance, we would expect this to be a somewhat faster solution than an mSATA SSD connected over a SATA 3Gbps interface using Intel's Smart Response technology thanks to the higher bandwidth available over the PCI Express x1 2.0 interface on the PHFD card.

Apacer is turning to RFID for SSD security, gets it slightly wrong Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apacer-is-turning-to-rfid-for-ssdsecurity-gets-it-slightly-wrong/15632.html

When it comes to data security, there are many ways of skinning a cat as they say and Apacer has come up with an interesting solution that the company was showing off at Secutech 2012. Rather than using "old fashioned" smartcards, Apacer has gone for trendy RFID technology and integrated it into an SSD. The demo unit at the show was very simple to use, a small RFID tag just had to be placed near the drive for the protected partition to unlock. Of course in a notebook or desktop implementation the RFID sensor would have to be placed somewhere at the top of front of the machine to give the user easy access to the RFID transmitter. The data on the RFID protected partition is encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption, so it should be fairly safe.

We're not entirely sold on the entire concept though and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that you could lose the RFID tag. Instead it comes down to how Apacer has implemented the whole concept. The always visible part of the SSD is a meagre 32GB and it's connected via a standard SATA interface. The secure partition on the other hand, which can be up to 128GB in size, connects via USB, hence the USB cable next to the SATA data and power connectors in the picture above. 18


April 24th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The problem here is that the secure partition will be really slow, as in the current implementation only USB 2.0 is supported. If Apacer could do an implementation that either works with USB 3.0, or via a second SATA interface, this would be a very interesting option for anyone that requires a secure data partition, as then the performance wouldn't be as appalling compared to using a USB 2.0 interface. Interesting technology but sadly not as well implemented and integrated as it really ought to be.

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April 26th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Samsung launches lowpower quad-core CPU for smartphones and tablets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-launches-low-power-quadcore-cpu-for-smartphones-and-tablets/15689.html April 26th, 2012

Samsung has launched the Exynos 4 Quad application processor for smartphones and tablets, which is the first in the industry to use the High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) lowpower process technology. Samsung has launched the Exynos 4 Quad application processor for smartphones and tablets, which is the first in the industry to use the High-k Metal Gate (HKMG) lowpower process technology. The 1.4GHz quad-core processor is based on the ARM CORTEX A9 architecture, offering higher performance, such as full high-definition 30fps video, but at 20 percent less power cost than previous models, such as the Exynos 4 Dual. This is due to the use of 32nm HKMG technology, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, and hot-plug functionality for switching on and off individual cores. The Exynos 4 Quad has the exact same form factor of the Exynos 4 Dual, making it pin-to-pin compatible, which means mobile device designers can incorporate it into existing designs.

“The quad-core processor offers phenomenal multitasking abilities surpassing any single or dual application processor. Since all the cores must share a single battery, the power management and efficiency in the limited battery capacity are indispensable for mobile computing devices,” said Taehoon Kim, VP of System LSI marketing at the Device Solutions division of Samsung. “Given the diverse functionalities consumers are demanding from their mobile devices today, the Exynos 4 Quad meets those highperformance needs while keeping power consumption very low.” The chip is already in production and will see its debut in the next Galaxy smartphone, which will be announced in May. Samples have also been sent to other handset manufacturers.

Star Wars: The Old Republic launches in Eastern Europe and Middle East Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republic-launchesin-eastern-europe-and-middle-east/15688.html April 26th, 2012

Electronic Arts and BioWare have launched Star Wars: The Old Republic in nearly 40 new countries, including Eastern Europe and the Middle East, marking the latest in a series of expansions for the four-month old MMO. Electronic Arts and BioWare have launched Star Wars: The Old Republic in nearly 40 new countries, including Eastern Europe and the Middle East, marking the latest in a series of expansions for the four-month old MMO. The game previously launched in late December in North America and select European countries, but gamers in many of the remaining European countries will now be able to buy the game online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Boxed copies of the game will be available in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Iceland, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The software is codenamed Woodstock, is similar to Spotify, and will be available on a multitude of platforms, including Windows 8, Android, iOS and the Xbox, all accessible through a web browser, according to The Verge. No browser plugins will be required and it will feature heavy integration with Facebook for sharing playlists and tracks. It will also include a scan and match service for pairing up users' existing tracks with those in the Woodstock collection.

The game can also be purchased online and several countries can only get it through Origin, such as Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Ukraine. The Middle East is also a major area of expansion, with boxed copies available in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirtates and Yemen. Algeria and Tunisia can get the game through Origin. The game previously expanded to the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, in March, with several new servers added to cope with demand. The Standard Edition of the game retails for €54.99/ $59.99USD/1200RUB, while the Digital Deluxe Edition retails for €74.99/$79.99USD/1599RUB. Both versions come with 30 days of game time, after which gamers are required to pay a monthly subscription, with prices ranging from €12.99/$14.99USD/549RUB for one month to €65.94/$77.94USD/2799RUB for six months. There will not be any new servers or languages added. Players from the new regions are being encouraged to join European servers.

Microsoft to preview Xbox music service at E3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-preview-xbox-musicservice-at-e3/15687.html April 26th, 2012

Microsoft is set to show a preview of its upcoming Xbox music service at E3, which will mark the company's official replacement for the ill-fated Zune. Microsoft is set to show a preview of its upcoming Xbox music service at E3, which will mark the company's official replacement for the ill-fated Zune.

Microsoft previously revealed that it has no plans to announce its next-generation Xbox console at E3 this year, which means that the focus of the company's presentation will likely be this music service. Details are still sketchy, but it is believed that the service will launch alongside Windows 8 later this year. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but Zune Pass subscribers are expected to be able to migrate their subscriptions to the Woodstock service. E3 will be held on 5-7 June at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. Source & Image Credit: The Verge

Verizon Wireless smartphone roadmap revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/verizon-wireless-smartphoneroadmap-revealed/15686.html April 26th, 2012

Verizon Wireless' smartphone roadmap has been revealed, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III being two of its flagship models. Verizon Wireless' smartphone roadmap has been revealed, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III being two of its flagship models.

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Published by: VR-Zone

BGR learned about the carrier's smartphone offerings for the remainder of 2012, with the Galaxy S III being made available in Summer and the Galaxy Nexus taking the spot of the Galaxy S II, with no release date yet announced. Samsung is not getting all the attention, however. Several Motorola RAZR models, most likely including the RAZR HD, will hit Verizon stores soon.

HTC will also be launching a smartphone with Verizon designed to compete with the Galaxy Note. The name is still under wraps, but it reportedly will have a 5-inch full highdefinition display, a quad-core Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU, HTC Sense 5 and a Scribe pen. Those who aren't keen on Android can, of course, get their hands on the next iPhone some time in Autumn.

RS Components previews Raspberry Pi in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rs-components-previews-raspberrypi-in-singapore/15684.html April 26th, 2012

The Raspberry Pi has gotten a lot of media attention when it was launched just two months ago. Today, VR-Zone was one of the media to have the opportunity to attend a preview of the credit-card size computer and find out what it is capable of.

Unless you're an engineer, or working in related fields like electronics components, automation and control or tools and support products, you probably may not be familiar with the company RS Components. RS Components (or commonly known as RS) is a leading distributor of electronics, automation and control products, and is also the company in charge of shipping the Raspberry Pi that was launched in February. In case you are wondering if the media preview today would hint that the Raspberry Pi will be selling in stores in Singapore, well, you are going to be disappointed. You have to place your order from the online store (with registrations of interest placed on the company's website) like everybody else, if you want to get the Raspberry Pi. It's fair game for everyone. Orders are restricted to one board per customer due to limited quantities and high demands. Pricing remains the same at ÂŁ21.60 plus a shipping charge of ÂŁ4.95 to any destination worldwide, plus VAT and import duty as applicable.

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April 26th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

According to CM Lim, head of electronics marketing for RS Components in Asia Pacific, there are currently over 200,000 orders to fulfil, with the first batch of 700 units shipped not too long ago. The next batch will consist of around 4.000 Raspberry Pi that will be shipped in the next couple of weeks. So if you plan to order today, you may have to wait quite a bit before the Raspberry Pi gets delivered to your home. If it is any consolation, the company would send an email update to let you know you have not been forgotten (and perhaps a rough estimate on when your turn will be). With the exceedingly high demand, you can be sure the subsequent batch to ship to users will grow higher in number, and you may not have to wait too long.

For those who are not familiar with Raspberry Pi, it is a credit card sized board designed by Raspberry Pi Foundation which aims to encourage new generation of PC users to discover and develop their programming skills within the Linux environment, at an extremely low cost. You can think of it as a Lego toy for budding engineers and programmers. The Raspberry Pi features 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 SoC based on ARM11 processor with FPU and VideoCore 4 GPU. The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, and is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with text filtering and DMA infrastructure. It also comes with 256MB RAM, 10/100 BastT Ethernet socket, HDMI out, two USB, RCA and 3.5mm audio connectors. The Raspberry Pi is powered from a microUSB port and has a SD card socket that lets you boot Fedora version of Linux from the SD memory card. It also has a header footprint for camera connection and measures 85.6 x 53.9 x 17mm. While this may be a basic computer, it really depends on the user on what he or she wants to do with it. You can build a compact media centre, network storage device or even Smart TV, with the right tools, of course.

HTC Reportedly Working on Facebook Phone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-reportedly-working-onfacebook-phone/15679.html April 26th, 2012

According to DigiTimes, HTC is working in cooperation with Facebook on a smartphone, to be launched in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest. According to DigiTimes, HTC is working in cooperation with Facebook on a smartphone, to be launched in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest.

The above pictures show the Raspberry Pi playing a song on the LXMusic player application, and surfing the Internet on the Midori web browser; all on the Fedora Linux platform.

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April 26th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

According to Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel, Sprint will continue to offer their unlimited data plans for the iPhone even if the next incarnation of the device gets LTE.

Such an effort could end up being very lucrative for the social networking website, and it isn't farfetched to suggest that there is a potential market for it either. Last year, rumors made rounds regarding Facebook's "Buffy" smartphone. Although these never transcended rumor status, it was thought to be a viable product. If the product does in fact launch, the phone could financially be a great support to HTC, which must struggle fiercely to carry on in the competitive market for Android phones. However, Facebook has repeatedly said that it is not seeking to create a dedicated smartphone. It has also noted that it will not be letting anybody call their handset a "Facebook phone". But, where “Facebook phones” are concerned, of note is last year's HTC ChaCha, now the HTC Status. With a dedicated Facebook button, and a blue and white color scheme, the Status is a Facebook phone in all but its name. While there is probably a potential market for such a handset, the idea is still questionable. Any recent smartphone with access to an application store or browser can easily be used with a Facebook application, or with Facebook’s mobile website. Releasing a phone specifically made for using Facebook might be comparable to releasing a blender made specifically for chopping onions. So, while the device may be marketable, whether or not it is smart remains to be seen

Sprint to Continue with Unlimited iPhone Data Plans Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sprint-to-continue-with-unlimitediphone-data-plans/15678.html April 26th, 2012

According to Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel, Sprint will continue to offer their unlimited data plans for the iPhone even if the next incarnation of the device gets LTE.

With the different networks available for the iPhone, including Verizon, one might wonder what would even tempt someone to purchase an iPhone with Sprint, a smaller network. However, Hesse believes that the factor which defines Sprint from other iPhone carriers is its unlimited data plan. “Frankly, it's a marriage made in heaven.” he told CNET, regarding iPhones and unlimited data. "We're clearly attracting customers from our competitors." Earlier this year, Hesse said, responding to allegations that the network throttled user’s unlimited Data, "Sprint is the only national carrier offering smartphone users truly unlimited data with no throttling, metering or overages while on the Sprint network." So called “throttling” is a common practice with companies who claim to offer unlimited data. More often than not, cell phone carriers will choke the traffic of its users with the highest data usage, usually around the top 1-5%. This makes their networks about as useful as dialup connections. This practice, which confuses users who thought that "unlimited" meant "unlimited, is often condemned as dishonest. As such, Sprint may have a selling point that will attract users away from other iPhone networks. The idea may have already attracted new customers. In its first-quarter report, Sprint activated 1.5 million iPhones, 44% of them coming from brand new Sprint customers. Hopefully, Sprint’s practices will encourage its competition to come up with better data strategies. As we move into an era where rich media content becomes more complex and prevalent, unlimited data may necessarily become the status quo.

G.Skill Trident X 8GB 2666MHz CL11 Kit (F3-2666C11D-8GTXD) Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-trident-x-8gb-2666mhz-cl11kit-f3-2666c11d-8gtxd-review/15674.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

April 26th, 2012

One of the benefits of the new Ivy Bridge based processors is the much touted IMC improvements over Sandy Bridge, allowing for memory overclocks north of 2600MHz+ if all conditions are right (RAM dexterity, motherboard electrical traces, power design, bios firmware...). G.Skill seized the opportunity and released their new Trident X series of XMP 1.3 compliant DDR3 memory modules, which have been a constant feature over the past few weeks in breaking world frequency and efficiency records. Today we review their 8GB (2 x 4GB) kit, which is rated 2666MHz @ 11-13-13-35 2T. G.Skill is a Taiwanese brand that has become synonymous with providing highly overclockable and reasonably priced memory modules for the enthusiast community. Their new Trident X series includes 4GB and 8GB per stick densities, with XMP 1.3 support (for Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E) and binned speed ratings between 2400MHz and 2800MHz, available in dual and quad channel configurations.

One nifty feature is the ability to remove the screwed-on top fins of the black-red heatspreader, which is useful to avoid clearance issues with large heatsink towers (5.4cm becomes 3.9cm height). The kit we have today is a 2 x 4 GB dual channel offering, rated at 2666MHz and a very conservative 11-13-13-35 2T @ 1.65V. No word on the exact chipset that is used but we're guessing either Hynix CFR or Samsung 30nm, which are both known for their overclockability (Unconfirmed fact: Serial number xxxx0240xxxxxx = Hynix, If 0340 = Samsung). There is also a twin 60mm fan attachment in the package to cool the memory modules down.

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April 26th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

with these changes and so far we've only known the new chipsets as Lynx Point. As you might already have been able to deduct, Intel is simply moving to the 8-series of chipsets. No big models changes have taken place and as such the desktop platform will get the Z87, H87 and Z85 models for your average consumer, as well as the Q87, Q85 and B85 chipsets for the various corporate and SMB platforms. There's also the C228 chipset for Intel's LGA-1150 based Xeon processors which is the replacement for the C216 chipset.

Exclusive: Intel's Lynx Point chipset models revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exclusive-intel-s-lynx-point-chipsetmodels-revealed/15682.html April 26th, 2012

With Ivy Bridge announced, albeit note quite here yet, we thought it was time to take a look at next year's motherboard chipsets for the Shark Bay platform. Intel's upcoming LGA-1150 Haswell CPUs will be quite different from the current Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge CPUs and Intel will as such have to offer a range of suitable chipsets to go with these changes and so far we've only known the new chipsets as Lynx Point.

One thing that is changing compared to the current line-up is that the Z85 chipset will lack support for RAID, something that might not be a great loss, but it's nonetheless a peculiar change. Intel is also updating its Rapid Storage technology in the 8-series chipsets and give the user some basic control over the hard drives/SSDs. Simply put there will be three different settings, power efficiency, maximum performance or a balanced setting. Another new addition is Fast Boot which is a sneaky feature that allows the system to detect the boot drive quicker and as such help improve the overall Boot experience. However, this only works if there's an Intel SSD in the system, which almost sounds like an anti-competitive feature. We'll be doing some more digging to try and find out some additional details about what else is new with Intel's 8-series chipsets. We're already expecting additional USB 3.0 ports and a full set of SATA 6Gbps ports according to earlier leaks, but we don't know which chipsets will get what features at this point in time.

Nvidia launches three new OEM GeForce 600-series models, in five SKUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-launches-three-new-oemgeforce-600-series-models-in-five-skus/15681.html April 26th, 2012

Oh joy, Nvidia has gone and complicated its OEM graphics card line-up something terribly, as the company has announce three new GeForce 600-series models, yet there are no less than five new cards using three different GPUs. Talk about a slap in the face for consumers that buy branded computers, especially as three of the new SKUs are all the same model.

With Ivy Bridge announced, albeit note quite here yet, we thought it was time to take a look at next year's motherboard chipsets for the Shark Bay platform. Intel's upcoming LGA-1150 Haswell CPUs will be quite different from the current Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge CPUs and Intel will as such have to offer a range of suitable chipsets to go

Oh joy, Nvidia has gone and complicated its OEM graphics card line-up something terribly, as the company has announce three new GeForce 600-series models, yet there are no less than five new cards using three different GPUs. Talk about a slap in the face for consumers that buy branded computers, especially as three of the new SKUs are all the same model. The new models are the GeForce GT 630, GT 640 and GT 645, but two of the new cards are rebranded 40nm Fermi models whereas the other three are 28nm Kepler models. Starting from the bottom we have the GeForce GT 630 which is indeed a new card with an 875MHz GK107 7


April 26th, 2012

Kepler GPU with no less than 384 CUDA cores, 32 texture units and 16 ROPs. The GT 630 will be available with 1 or 2GB of DDR3 memory with a clocks speed of 891MHz (1,782MHz effectively) and a 128-bit memory interface. It's a surprisingly small card and Nvidia has gone for a lowprofile design with a small fan cooler and a DVI, HDMI and D-sub connector on the card. The maximum power draw of what appears to be Nvidia's baby Kepler card is an acceptable 50W.

Next up is the GeForce GT 640 and this is where things get really messy. The base model is a GK107 part with a lower GPU clock than the GT 630 at 797MHz, but everything else remains the same. This makes no sense at all, as why would anyone want a higher-end part on paper that presumably performs worse than a lower end part? The middle model is a Fermi GF116 part with 144 CUDA cores, 24 texture units and 16 ROPs. Here the GPU core clock is 720MHz with the shaders at 1440MHz. The memory clock remains at 891MHz, but this card has a wide 192-bit memory interface and as such it'll come with either 1.5 or 3GB of DDR3 memory.

Published by: VR-Zone

D-sub connectivity. That said, the PCB picture shows a DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI connector, so we're a little bit confused here, but we presume there's a typo on Nvidia's website where the two higher-end models should have a DisplayPort instead of a D-sub connector. Lastly and potentially the least interesting card out of the lot is the GeForce GT 645 which is a Fermi GF114 based card which appears to simply be a re-branded GTX 555 which is another OEM card. Once again it looks like a typo snuck in on the product page, as Nvidia states that the GT 645 has a 128bit memory interface which is highly unlikely as the GTX 555 has a 192-bit memory interface and the specs are otherwise identical. Even the picture on Nvidia's website is labelled as the GTX 560 of which the OEM GTX 555 is a subset of.

It looks like Nvidia's retail models of more affordable Kepler models might not be too far away, although before that is likely to happen, we should see the GTX 690 arrive in a couple of days' time. We're not sold on this re-branding exercise by Nvidia, as it's way too confusing and the fact that the GT 630 appears to be the better option over the entry level GT 640 is just plain odd. The simple way to avoid all this confusion is to steer clear of brand name PCs and make sure you pick the graphics card you want in your computer.

Is Intel cheaping out on the IHS thermal interface for Ivy Bridge? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/is-intel-cheaping-out-on-the-ihsthermal-interface-for-ivy-bridge-/15680.html April 26th, 2012

The "high-end" GT 640 is the third and final Kepler GK107 card and although the CUDA core count, texture units and ROPs remain the same, the core has been clocked up to 950MHz. This card also has 1 or 2GB of GDDR5 memory which is clocked at 2.5GHz (5GHz effectively). The midrange and high-end GT 640 models also have a higher power draw of up to 75W and the PCB is showing signs of an optional power connector. The base model sports a DisplayPort, HDMI and D-sub port whereas the middle and high-end models should come with DVI-I, HDMI and

There's no denying that Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs are running hotter than expected, especially during overclocking and so far no-one has really managed to figure out what's going on, but now reports are coming in that it might be related to the thermal compound Intel is using. If this really is the case is something that will take further investigation, but for now it looks like it at least could be part of the reason why Intel's new chips run so hot. There's no denying that Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs are running hotter than expected, especially during overclocking and so far no-one has really managed to figure out what's going on, but now reports are coming in that it might be related to the thermal compound Intel is using. If this really is the case is 8


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something that will take further investigation, but for now it looks like it at least could be part of the reason why Intel's new chips run so hot. As you may or may not know, the metal plate on top of a CPU is there to help transfer the heat from the actual die to the CPU cooler and it's generally referred to as a heat spreader. The job of the heat spreader is exactly what the name says, to spread the heat from the CPU die out to a larger area. However, the smaller the CPU die, the harder it is for the heat spread to interface with the CPU die and this was initially thought to be the issue.

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Apple to unveil iOS and OS X updates at WWDC in June Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-to-unveil-ios-and-os-xupdates-at-wwdc-in-june/15677.html April 26th, 2012

Apple will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June, where it will unveil details about the future of iOS and OS X. Apple will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June, where it will unveil details about the future of iOS and OS X.

Now some enterprising overclockers has removed the heat spreader on an Ivy Bridge CPU and found that Intel is using what appears to be cheap generic silicon based thermal compound, something we haven't seen widely used for CPU for a very long time. According to Overclockers.com Intel has stated that they're using a special thermal compound, but judging by the picture posted by the website, it doesn't look all that special to us, or even that well applied. The website goes as far as to say that Intel should've used fluxless solder instead of any kind of thermal compound, as it offers much higher thermal conductivity than any kind of thermal compound. In fact, they go as far as to linking to an Intel patent for using fluxless solder as a bonding solution for attaching the heat spreader to the CPU die that was granted all the way back in 2006.

The conference will be held in Moscone West, San Francisco from 11 June to 15 June, and will see Apple revealing its plans for its operating systems so that developers can build new apps. “We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple. “The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers around the world.”

Doing this is said to increase the thermal conductivity between the CPU die and the heat spreader by as much as 16 times compared to using thermal compound. Due to the small die area, this makes a lot of sense on a logical level, but the question is what the cost difference is to Intel, we'd presume it's fairly high, especially as the fluxless solder method involves gold, platinum, or palladium as well as titanium or tantalum to work. The website claims that Sandy Bridge was using fluxless solder, but we can't seem to find any definite proof of this, but it does appear as if Intel was using a different thermal compound for Sandy Bridge. Whatever the issue, Intel needs to address this issue on the overclockable K models if nothing else, as most users buying these SKUs are expecting a CPU that can be overclocked. Using a better thermal compound could potentially help improve things, but it's also possible that this is an issue only affecting engineering samples of the new Ivy Bridge CPUs, as these are the chips that reviewers got their hands on. We'll have to wait and see what kind of answer Intel comes up with, but admittedly this shouldn't be an issue for anyone not overclocking their system.

The conference will involve more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers, 100 hands-on labs staffed by over 1,000 Apple engineers, an extensive meet and greet with fellow developers, and the Apple Design Awards for the best apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. As ever, Apple is being tight-lipped about its plans, but previous trends suggest we won't see a new hardware product, like the much-anticipated new iPhone, but rather a focus on a new version of iOS, which will need to compete with an equally new version of Android set to be revealed at Google's I/O event, which will also be held in June.

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Published by: VR-Zone

It is not yet clear what new features iOS 6 will have, but some reports suggest it will include its recent acquisition of Chomp, software which makes it easier to find apps, to ensure iOS devices remain the most popular choice for app developers.

GIGABYTE Z77X-D3H Motherboard Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-z77x-d3h-motherboardreview/15584.html April 26th, 2012

Gigabyte's Z77X-D3H is one of the company's mid range offerings supporting the brand new Ivy Bridge range of processors. We are now allowed to show results with Ivy Bridge processors and can bring you a full review of this affordable Socket 1155 motherboard with a i7-3770K processor.

CPU

1. Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/ Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/

Ivy Bridge has finally landed and accompanying Z77 motherboards have been available for a few weeks now. As one of the largest motherboard manufacturers, Gigabyte is ready with a full range of motherboards covering every price point from entry level to high end. The Z77X-D3H sits in the middle of the range. It has an affordable price and a feature set that should appeal to a significant section of the market.

Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package 2. L3 cache varies with CPU

The Z77X-D3H is ATX sized and is, of course, a Z77 chipset motherboard supporting socket 1155 processors from the Sandy Bridge line and more importantly, the all new 22nm Ivy Bridge series. The major additions over the Z68 chipset are the addition of integrated USB 3.0 ports and native PCIExpress 3.0 capability. Chipset Memory

(Some Intel® Core™ processors require a graphic card, please refer "CPU support List" for more information.) 1. Intel® Z77 Express Chipset 1. 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory * Due to Windows 32bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB. 2. Dual channel memory architecture

We'll start off with a general overview of the Z77 Panther Point chipset. Note that some features including Intel's Thunderbolt interconnect are not available on most motherboards at this time.

3. Support for DDR3 2400(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules 4. Support for non-ECC memory modules

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Published by: VR-Zone

5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules

Onboard Graphics

3. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4) * The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_1/2/3 slots. The PCIEX1_1/2/3 slots slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.

(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.) Chipset: 1. 1 x D-Sub port 2. 1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 * The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.

Audio

3. 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 1. VIA VT2021 codec

4. 3 x PCI Express x1 slots (PCIEX4 and PCIEX1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.) Multi-Graphics Technology

2. High Definition Audio 3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel

LAN

Expansion Slots

4. Support for S/PDIF Out 1. 1 x Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) 1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16) (The PCIEX16 slot conforms to PCI Express 3.0 standard.) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot. * The PCI Express x16 slot supports up to PCI Express 2.0 standard when an Intel 32nm (Sandy Bridge) CPU is installed. 2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) * The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

Storage Interface

5. 1 x PCI slots 1. Support for 2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/ NVIDIA SLI technology (PCIEX16 and PCIEX8) * The PCIEX16 slot operates at up to x8 mode when AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI is enabled. Chipset: 1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/ SATA3 1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~SATA2 5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices 3. 1 x mSATA connector * The SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive. 4. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected. 1 x Marvell 88SE9172 chip: 1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6/GSATA3 7) 11


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Published by: VR-Zone

supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices

USB

3. 1 x DVI-D port 4. 1 x HDMI port

2. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1 Chipset: 1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB headers) * In Windows XP, the Intel USB 3.0 ports can support up to USB 2.0 transfer speed. 2. Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

5. 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports 6. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports 7. 1 x RJ-45 port 8. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector

I/O Controller H/W Monitoring

2. CPU/System temperature detection 3. CPU/System fan speed detection

VIA VL800 chip:

Internal I/O Connectors

4. CPU overheating warning

1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel * Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) before the VIA USB 3.0 controller driver is installed. 1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector 2. 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power connector

5. CPU/System fan fail warning

BIOS

3. Support for DualBIOSâ&#x201E;˘

4. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors 5. 1 x mSATA connector Unique Features

4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a 1. Support for @BIOS

7. 3 x system fan headers

2. Support for Q-Flash

8. 1 x front panel header

3. Support for Xpress Install

9. 1 x front panel audio header 10. 1 x S/PDIF Out header

4. Support for Xpress Recovery2

11. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header

5. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)

12. 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers

6. Support for Auto Green

13. 1 x serial port header

7. Support for ON/OFF Charge

14. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper

Back Panel Connectors

6. CPU/System fan speed control * Whether the CPU/ system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install. 1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash 2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS

3. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors

6. 1 x CPU fan header

9. 5 x audio jacks (Center/ Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out) 1. iTE I/O Controller Chip 1. System voltage detection

15. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header 1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port 2. 1 x D-Sub port

8. Support for Q-Share 9. Support for 3D Power 10. Support for LAN Optimizer (Intelligent optimization network management tool) 12


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Bundle Software

Published by: VR-Zone

1. Norton Internet Security (OEM version) 2. Intel® Smart Response Technology 3. Intel® Rapid Start Technology

Operating System Form Factor

4. LucidLogix Virtu MVP * Make sure the monitor cable has been connected to the integrated graphics port on the back panel. 1. Support for Microsoft® Windows 7/XP 1. ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm

Crysis developer calls for next-gen console used game ban Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/crysis-developer-calls-for-next-genconsole-used-game-ban/15676.html April 26th, 2012

Crytek, the developer behind the popular Crysis firstperson shooter series, is calling for next-generation consoles to block used games, describing the idea as “absolutely awesome.” Crytek, the developer behind the popular Crysis firstperson shooter series, is calling for next-generation consoles to block used games, describing the idea as “absolutely awesome.” The studio, which will release the much-anticipated third instalment of the Crysis franchise in Spring 2013, said that sales of Crysis 2, which numbered three million in four months, could have been much higher, with more revenue raised, were it not for the second-hand game industry and piracy. Banning used games is therefore seen as one solution. "From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome," said Rasmus Hojengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, according to CVG. "It's weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well."

Crysis 2 was the most pirated game in 2011, but illegal downloads are a whole different area to the used game market, and a comparison between the two will understandably upset both brick-and-mortar game stores, which often thrive on second-hand games, and the players themselves, many of whom cannot afford the often hefty retail prices of a brand new game. Crytek wants to make sure that if protections are put in place on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 to prohibit used games that they are not too complex for developers, which could interfere with the production of games. So no concerns for the players then.

Apple dismisses laptop/tablet hybrid idea Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-dismisses-laptoptablet-hybrididea/15675.html April 26th, 2012

Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, has dismissed the idea of developing a laptop/tablet hybrid, claiming it would compromise both products. Cook, who took over the top job from Steve Jobs last year, said that a combination of an iPad and MacBook Air would mean trade-offs would need to be made, and the resulting product would not please anyone. It is not surprising that Cook is against the idea, given the immense success of the iPad range. Messing with that formula could be the doom of the product, rather than the innovation some think it is. That said, if other companies like Asus and Intel manage to make it work then Apple could miss a major opportunity to rule yet another market.

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Published by: VR-Zone

“We're not going to that party,” Cook said. “Others might from a defensive point of view.” It appears that Cook thinks that the only way rivals can topple Apple from its position in the tablet market is to launch products in a different sector altogether, but Microsoft and Intel have a different view, believing Windows 8 tablets can lower the iPad's market share considerably by the middle of next year. Cook also commented that he hates lawsuits, alluding to recent legal wars with rival smartphone and tablet manufacturers, including Samsung and Motorola. His comment suggests that he may be willing to settle the disputes, particularly now that Motorola has won a preliminary IDC ruling over Apple's alleged patent infringement.

Panasonic Invests up to S $416 million in OLEDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-invests-up-to-s-416million-in-oleds/15660.html April 26th, 2012

We all know that OLED technology is taking ages to become mainstream technology and it is still not there yet. However, Panasonic is investing up to $370 million (S$416M) to build the sixth generation pilot and 8.5 generation of OLED R&D manufacturing lines. Over the past couple of months, we've seen more activity around OLED technology than ever before. For example, Samsung Electronics recently spun off its LCD and Plasma making business into a separate business unit (Samsung Display), but kept OLED R&D and manufacturing lines close to its chest. Not to be undone, we've seen reports that Panasonic is investing between 245-370 million US dollars (S$305-416 million) in building sixth generation OLED TV production line in Himeji, Japan. This is an extension of an already large facility in Himeji, which manufactures majority of LCD panels for Panasonic. To make matters more interesting, Himeji is also home to a pilot Gen-8.5 R&D line, which is deemed to be the first OLED generation for true mass-manufacturing. Panasonic is working closely with the largest suppliers of OLED materials; Japanese Mitsubishi Chemicals and American DuPont.

Besides consumer products such as the Eluga smartphone, TV and PC displays, Panasonic also sees a large business opportunity in OLED lighting. It is unclear which of the manufacturing generations will end up being used for OLED lighting business, and which for consumer products. According to a Panasonic representative, OLED panels will come to market in 2013, and we should see OLED dominating the smartphone and PC space by 2015. OLED technology (i.e. Organic Light Emitting Diode) is considered as a cornerstone technology for development of big screen compute devices. The development of technology started back in 1950s, with the first organic diode coming to life in 1987, thanks to Eastman Kodak. Current OLED technology is available as AMOLED and OLED, and powers the most attractive smartphones on the market, such as Samsung Galaxy SII and its successor, SIII. Key advantages of the OLED technology are true black, better color reproduction, less lighting bleed and of course, the everimportant power consumption.

Max Payne 3 will require a whopping 35GB of storage space Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/max-payne-3-will-require-awhopping-35gb-of-storage-space/15671.html April 26th, 2012

The third iteration in the much loved Max Payne franchise scheduled for release at the end of next month on PC will not only have the pissed off ex-cop inflicting pain on his enemies in a fit of vengeful rage, but also on your available storage capacity! - Rockstar has released the official system requirements for Max Payne 3 and while the majority of the listed specs aren't at all alarming, one certainly is. The third iteration in the much loved Max Payne franchise scheduled for release at the end of next month on PC will not only have the pissed off ex-cop inflicting pain on his enemies in a fit of vengeful rage, but also on your available storage capacity! - Rockstar has released the official system 14


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requirements for Max Payne 3 and while the majority of the listed specs aren't at all alarming, one certainly is.

Published by: VR-Zone

HDD Space: 35 GB

Speaking of which, the first handset implementation of Wayne should be known as AP40, but it looks like it's going to be very late, at least in terms of consumer availability.

Certainly, if you're confined to the capacity limitations of a smaller SSD you could potentially be in trouble here. It can only be assumed at this point that the majority of the 35GBs of bloat is taken up by super high-resolution textures, not that high-res textures should be scolded upon. If you're an avid PC gamer chances are you'll be appreciating the bloat and rubbing it in the PS3 and Xbox 360 fanboys' faces.

Some interesting details about Nvidia's upcoming Tegra 3 products turned up in our inbox the other day and it looks like the company is planning on giving Tegra 3 yet another speed boost before its upcoming Wayne SoCs arrive. Speaking of which, the first handset implementation of Wayne should be known as AP40, but it looks like it's going to be very late, at least in terms of consumer availability.

Here's the full rundown on the minimum and recommended specs :-

Let's start with the AP37 which is a faster version of the AP33 which is currently found in most high-end Tegra 3 handsets. As you can see, clock speeds are set to be increased, but sadly we don't have an exact figure although nVidia is targeting 1.7GHz for the high-end parts with the possibility of some slower 1.5GHz parts. Note that the 1.7GHz speed is only likely to be single core clock speed, but we haven't managed to confirm this.

Operating System: Windows 7 32/64 Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 32/64 Service Pack 2, Windows XP 32/64 Service Pack 3 Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHZ - i7 3930K 6 Core x 3.06 GHZ / AMD Dual Core 2.6 GHZ - FX8150 8 Core x 3.6 GHZ RAM: 2GB - 16GB Video Card: NVIDIA® 8600 GT 512MB VRAM – NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB VRAM / Radeon HD 3400 512MB VRAM Radeon HD 7970 3GB VRAM Sound Card: 100% Direct X 9.0 compatible – Direct X 9.0 compatible supporting Dolby Digital Live HDD Space: 35 GB DVD Drive As you can see, Rockstar have set the bar pretty low in terms of entry level hardware to allow a wide range of systems to run it, while at the same time giving users with beefed up rigs the ability to go all out with the visual elements and have the game looking utterly superb, as per previous screenshots we've been seeing on occassion. And here's the latest official trailer for your viewing pleasure :Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

Tegra 3 AP37 base specs revealed, AP40 in retail before years end Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tegra-3-ap37-base-specs-revealedap40-in-retail-before-years-end/15673.html April 26th, 2012

Some interesting details about Nvidia's upcoming Tegra 3 products turned up in our inbox the other day and it looks like the company is planning on giving Tegra 3 yet another speed boost before its upcoming Wayne SoCs arrive.

The GPU performance is also said to be boosted by about 25 percent and this has simply been done to be able to drive higher resolution displays as the market moves towards full HD and beyond for high-end tablets and smartphones. Yes, you did read that correctly, smartphones are expected to get 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 displays this year and we know of at least two, if not three panel makers that are already busy churning out displays and it's likely that there are even more companies working on it as we speak. Sadly everything else remains the same with no additional new features, at least none that we know of. It won't be until later this year when Wayne – also known as AP40/ T4x depending on the market segment – arrives. Wayne will be based on ARM's A15 architecture and we would expect an announcement around Computex time, as Nvidia's partners should be receiving samples about a month or so after Computex. That said, final devices based on the AP40 isn't expected to launch until the very end of the year due to the time it takes to engineer and certify mobile devices.

AMD's Dual-GPU HD 7990 to make its debut at Computex Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-s-dual-gpu-hd-7990-to-makeits-debut-at-computex/15670.html April 26th, 2012

Word has come out that AMD isn't planning to unveil its dual-GPU based Radeon HD 7990 "New Zealand" SKU until early June (at Computex in Taipei which kicks off on June 5), this despite NVIDIA pulling the trigger on its GeForce GTX 690 later in the week. 15


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Word has come out that AMD isn't planning to unveil its dual-GPU based Radeon HD 7990 "New Zealand" SKU until early June (at Computex in Taipei which kicks off on June 5), this despite NVIDIA pulling the trigger on its GeForce GTX 690 later in the week. 'Confirmed' info on the card remains scarce with partners claiming that very little detail has surfaced to date. We do know of the two 28nm Tahiti GPUs that the card will be equipped with however, which are presumed to be fully enabled comprising a total of 4096 stream processors and 6GB of GDDR5 memory on tap. The card is also said to be capable of driving a 6-monitor Eyefinity setup as standard. Clock rates are no doubt still being played around with and it is likely AMD is looking to see how the GTX 690 fares in the performance stakes before making final adjustments to the reference model's specs in this regard. Assuming this latest report holds true, NVIDIA will only have a month of free roam at the top end before AMD's counterpart shifts things up a good deal.

Mozilla outs Firefox 12 with improved updating system

Published by: VR-Zone

Mozilla is referring to the user account control dialog (UAC) that by default pops up each time there is an update requiring explicit user permission. Mozilla has now removed this annoying popup and promises that there's no adverse effect in terms of system security while at the same time not interupting the user during the updating process. Further to the stealthier updating process, Mozilla has also rolled ina number of security fixes into Firefox 12 as well as better WebGL performance on Mac OS X, automatic downloading for URLS that are pasted into the download manager window and a number of other tweaks as noted within the official release notes here. You can download Firefox 12 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux via this page folks.

Promise Thunderbolt Storage Solution now available in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/promise-thunderbolt-storagesolution-now-available-in-singapore/15668.html April 26th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mozilla-outs-firefox-12-withimproved-updating-system/15669.html April 26th, 2012

The crew over at Mozilla have whipped up yet another version of Firefox which brings something new to the table that avid fans of the browser have been wanting for a long time; silent, (almost) automatic updates!

PROMISE Technology has announced their highperformance RAID solutions featuring new Thunderbolt Technology last year, and If you're looking for this RAID solutions, they are available for order today through the Equest Online Store and selected Nubox outlets in Singapore.

The crew over at Mozilla have whipped up yet another version of Firefox which brings something new to the table that avid fans of the browser have been wanting for a long time; silent, (almost) automatic updates! Firefox 12 is now available and while it may make some of you whinge and groan that yet another annoying update is out too soon, at least hereon any future updates won't be such a pita thanks to the new updating process having been implemented that does away with the manual updating headaches. Mozilla said on its blog site on Tuesday, "We put a lot of work into making the Firefox update experience easier. Once a user gives explicit permission to Firefox on their first installation, they will not be prompted again for subsequent releases." The PROMISE Pegasus is the company's latest line of highperformance RAID solutions that feature new Thunderbolt Technology, and come in 4-bay and 6-bay configurations ranging from four to 12TB capacity. It is available for order today through the Equest Online Store and selected Nubox outlets in Singapore. Home users and media professionals can now store and edit video and play multiple streams of uncompressed 8 and 10-bit HD video on the new line of Thunderbolt-enabled Macs conveniently. The PROMISE Pegasus also claims improved ability to manipulate and

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edit, multi-tasking, as well as editing multiple streams while moving large files to the host system. It offers superior speed and throughput in a form factor that is compact enough for a desktop. Available in 4bay and 6-bay aluminum enclosures with up to 12TB of raw storage, it can deliver performance up to 864MB/ s. The Thunderbolt technology provides 10Gb/s (1.25GB/ s) bi-directional, dual channel bandwidth, which is more than 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and 8 times faster than FireWire 800. The PROMISE Pegasus hardware RAID solutions are available for order from the Equest Online Store (www.equestinternational.com/store). The MSRP for a 4bay 4TB configuration is priced at S$1,574, with a 6-bay 12TB priced at S$3,424.

Canon announces PowerShot D20 that can withstand harsh conditions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-announces-powershot-d20that-can-withstand-harsh-conditions/15667.html April 26th, 2012

Seems like tough, durable cameras are gaining popularity as Canon has unveiled their new PowerShot D20 that can withstand water, sub-zero temperatures and heavy impact. Designed for the adventurous photographer enthusiasts, the PowerShot D20 will be available in the third week of May.

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prevented from entering the camera, and with its robust LCD screen, tough camera frame and lens barrel protection, the PowerShot D20 is shock-proof up to 1.5 metres. The camera comes with integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) feature that allows user to easily keep a record of his whereabouts on-ground; the locations, dates and times information are automatically tagged onto the photos. With the bundled Map Utility software, user can also geo-tag their photos conveniently. In the specifications department, the PowerShot D20 is equipped with a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and 28mm wide-angle lens with 5x optical zoom. It has a large 3-inch LCD screen that offers easy viewing of the subject when composing or reviewing shots. The camera also features a new Underwater Macro mode that can further magnify the subject as compared to the usual macro mode, when taken from the same distance, and is useful in shooting situations where the subject is not always easy to get close to. The Movie Digest feature allows bite-sized video clips to be recorded simultaneously with stills through a single press of the shutter button. Incorporating the Smart Auto feature, the PowerShot D20 can detect up to 32 scene modes including the Advance Subject Detection mode which tracks both living and non-living subjects in motion. The PowerShot D20 will be available in the third week of May at all authorised Canon dealers at S$599 (Blue or Yellow). while the accessory set is S$129 (Shoulder strap, carabina strap, soft case, float and silicon jacket), soft case at S$23, and waterproof case at S$309.

Sony launches its first waterproof handycam, the HDR-GW77V, in Japan Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-launches-its-first-waterproofhandycam-the-hdr-gw77v-in-japan/15666.html April 26th, 2012

Sony launched in Japan today the HDR-GW77V, the first waterproof handycam they've ever manufactured, useable for up to 60 mins in a pool of water 5 metres deep (IPX8 standard). Specs and features-wise, this camcorder is nearly identical to the GW77VE, which Sony announced for the European market back in March, except that the new one records in 1080/60p (NTSC) instead of 1080/50p (PAL). The Canon PowerShot D20 is built with material and sealed to defend against water, freezing temperatures, and shocks resulting from knocks and drops, and is equipped with GPS to record your journeys.

Well, that and - since this is Japan we're talking about - it's available in a bright blue variant, in addition to the silver and black models European consumers get. Really, we're almost surprised they didn't include a pink one.

It is water resistant for up to 10 metres, though you would need to use the waterproof case WP-DC45, sold separately, for depths beyond 10 metres and is effective up to 40 metres. The PowerShot D20 is also freeze-proof at up to negative 10 degrees Celsius, with the anti-fogging feature that ensures the camera will always capture shots clearly. Thanks to its dust-proof feature, minute dust and sand particles are 17


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Published by: VR-Zone

The HDR-GW77V features a 1/3.91 type (4.6mm) backilluminated Exmor R CMOS sensor paired with a Sony G Lens that offers 10x optical zoom (29.8mm to 298mm on a 35mm-equivalent when shot in a 16:9 format, F/1.8 to F/3.4) and 120x digital zoom. 16GB of internal memory is included, but there's no optical viewfinder here so you'll have to frame your scene by looking at a 3" LCD touchscreen. In addition to waterproofing, this handycam is also dustproof (IP5X standard) and shock-resistant, allowing it to be dropped from a height of up to 1.5 metres without incurring any damage. Although the handycam is not exactly designed for photography, you can snap still images of up to 20.4 megapixels normally, and up to 20 megapixels while recording a video. Scene Selection, Swing Paranoma and Smile Shutter modes are also available. Full full specifications in English, go to Sony Europe's page here. Specs for the Japanese market here. The Sony HDR-GW77V will hit Japanese retail stores on May 25, and is expected to be sold for around 70,000 yen (~US$860). A matching pouch (available in silver or black) will be sold at the same time for 4,410 yen (~US$54).

ESET previews Endpoint Solutions in Singapore ahead of May launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/eset-previews-endpoint-solutions-insingapore-ahead-of-may-launch/15665.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

1-year (11 to 24 users) - US$30 per license 1-year (25 to 49 users) - US$25 per license 2-year (1 to 10 users) - US$52.50 per license 2-year (11 to 24 users) - US$45 per license 2-year (25 to 49 users) - US$37.50 per license

Slovakian security company ESET gave a preview to its upcoming Endpoint Solutions designed for SMB and enterprise users. It claims to be capable of detecting current and new malware and other Internet threats and features Firewall, Web-control and Spam-filter; the Endpoint Antivirus does not come with these modules.

The ESET Endpoint Security is the company's latest products for SMB and enterprise customers. The ESET Endpoint Security utilizes scanning technology that is based on a proactive approach to detect malware and other internet threats. It also claims to have whitelisting of "safe filesâ&#x20AC;? that are cross-checked against the database for optimized performance and boasts enhanced ESET Remote Administrator for managing clients.

Eva Markova, chief operations officer of ESET Asia Pacific, gave an insight about the company which has presence in more than 180 countries worldwide with close to 800 employees. "In the past few years (from 2006 to 2011), we experienced a high growth of close to 400% and we were one of the fastest growing IT company in Europe. Last year, our sales revenue was more than US$400 million with Asia Pacific forming almost 15%. And in terms of products, 3% are from Server Security, Consumer Security is 48% and 49% is Business Endpoint; our business security forms the largest contribution to our income and we are focusing on the business segment," Markova said.

The ESET Remote Administrator features Real-time Web Dashboard, Role-based Management, Randomized Task Execution, Improved Reporting, Optimized Database Performance, IPv6 Support, Improved Configuration of Clients, Rollback of Updates on Clients and Support for new ESET business products. The ESET Endpoint Security offers Web Control, Device Control, Cloud-powered Scanning, Host-based Intrusion Prevention System, Update Rollback, Improved Updates, Presentation Mode, Component-based Installation and support for Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP). The ESET Endpoint Solutions will be launched globally in May this year. Here are the pricing:ESET Endpoint Antivirus 1-year (1 to 10 users) - US$32.99 per license 1-year (11 to 24 users) - US$27.99 per license 1-year (25 to 49 users) - US$23.99 per license 2-year (1 to 10 users) - US$49.50 per license 2-year (11 to 24 users) - US$42 per license 2-year (25 to 49 users) - US$36 per license ESET Endpoint Security

Ignacio Sbampato, chief sales and marketing officer for ESET, introduced the features of the ESET Endpoint Security and Endpoint Antivirus, as well as Mobile Security for Android which was launched earlier this year.

Apple Might Lose Rights to 'iPad' Trademark in China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-might-lose-rights-to-ipadtrademark-in-china/15656.html

1-year (1 to 10 users) - US$35 per license 19


April 26th, 2012 April 26th, 2012

Apple Inc. faces the possibility of losing rights to the iPad trademark in China, since a local company claims it has already been using it for over ten years. Apple Inc. faces the possibility of losing rights to the iPad trademark in China, since a local company claims it has already been using it for over ten years.

Published by: VR-Zone April 26th, 2012

Even though AMD claimed they have a GPGPU part since 2008, the crude reality was that key software from vendors such as Adobe - was accelerated using CUDA, thus only operated on NVIDIA hardware. That situation is now changing in a big wayâ&#x20AC;Ś AMD just announced that the company is working with Adobe Systems Inc. to feature a set of GPU accelerated features with the Adobe Creative Suite 6. The most interesting part of the announcement is that AMD is focusing bringing those features on consumer-class graphics processors such as ones inside the upcoming Trinity APU and Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs. This is a clear contrast to NVIDIA, which prefers that prosumer and professional applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS6 are accelerated by Quadro and Tesla - their professional and commercial cards.

According to deputy director of the National Copyright Administration, Yan Xiaohong, the Chinese government already recognizes Shenzhen Proview Technology as the rightful owner of the iPad trademark. Apple battled this case with Proview in a lower court, which finally sided with Proview on the matter. Apple appealed this decision to the Guangdong High Court in southern China, which has been reviewing the appeal since February. Proview alleges to have owned the trademark since over ten years ago, and Apple claims to have purchased the rights from Proview in 2009, although this registration was never transferred for China.

According to Adobe, Photoshop CS6 is powered by Mercury Graphics engine which supports OpenGL and OpenCL for viewing and acceleration of most common operations. AMD is touting the new Blur Gallery as the place where Photoshop users can experience up to 10x faster performance than it was the case in the pre-accelerated era. Of course, if you ran anything faster than GeForce GTX 280, chances are you had that level of acceleration already (via CUDA). AMD added that the company " also worked with Adobe on a dramatically accelerated version of the Liquify tool, a filter within Adobe Photoshop CS6 that lets the user push, pull, rotate, reflect, pucker and bloat any area of an image for artistic effects. There are dozens of other GPU accelerated features in the new Adobe Photoshop CS6. For more features, please visit adobe.com/photoshop."

The entire situation is a shaky one. China is determined to guard its trademarks and intellectual property, however, hundreds of thousands of Chinese work for Apple, assembling the Apple iPhone and iPad itself. It is obvious why China would not want to risk offending the company. According to Ma Dongxiao, lawyer for Proview, the company has expected to settle alongside Apple all along. The point is the money involved, as the maker of computer displays and LED lights is financially troubled. Ma said in a phone interview that the case will likely be settled out of court, and the Guangdong High Court is trying to arrange just that. It is common for Chinese courts to mediate out of court settlements. It remains to be seen, however, what Appleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s choice in the matter will be.

Very good news for AMD come in the form of Premiere Pro CS6, which utilizes Mercury Playback Engine2, also switching from CUDA to OpenCL. All in all, seems like NVIDIA will have to answer AMD and their superior compute performance on Radeon cards. Then again, given that we all know how much money NVIDIA makes on Quadro and Tesla boards, nothing might change with the green company. But a consumer is now getting a choice - Radeon or Quadro... the choice is yours.

AMD and Adobe Announce OpenCL Support in Creative Suite 6 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-and-adobe-announce-openclsupport-in-creative-suite-6/15657.html

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AMD Korea leaks Trinity benchmarks in retail material? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-korea-leaks-trinitybenchmarks-in-retail-material-/15664.html April 26th, 2012

It would appear that AMD's Korean branch office has been a little bit too eager to get its retail materials out to its partners and now some of that material has made its way onto the interweb. Normally this kind of stuff is quite boring and doesn't say much about the upcoming product, but AMD Korea has kindly included clock speeds and benchmarks to gives u a glimpse as to what to expect from AMD's upcoming APU. It would appear that AMD's Korean branch office has been a little bit too eager to get its retail materials out to its partners and now some of that material has made its way onto the interweb. Normally this kind of stuff is quite boring and doesn't say much about the upcoming product, but AMD Korea has kindly included clock speeds and benchmarks to gives u a glimpse as to what to expect from AMD's upcoming APU. The model in question in the retail material is the new A10-4600M, in other words a mobile APU. It will sport a "Thames" GPU core which will be known as the Radeon HD 7660G which is supposedly going to be clocked as high as 685MHz and it will have 384 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Radeon coresâ&#x20AC;?. The CPU core is a quad core 35W part clocked at 2.3GHz with 4MB of L2 cache and it will support DDR3 1600MHz memory. The turbo frequency is also meant to be a fair bit higher than the current Llano architecture as the A10-4600M is expected to hit at least 3GHz.

The performance figures provided doesn't give us too much information, but the GPU core is mean to score 1135 points on its own in 3DMark11, throw in a discrete Radeon HD 7670M for some CrossFire action and you're hitting 2083 points, or better performance than a GeForce GTS 450. There's sadly no indication as to how good the CPU performance will be, but we have a feeling that AMD hasn't made any earthshattering improvements here, at least nothing that will rival Intel's performance. Still, it'll be interesting to see what AMD has coming, especially as more and more software seems to be getting OpenCL support and this is what could give AMD an edge over Intel. Source: Nordichardware (in Swedish)

Broadcom announces 100Gbps full duplex network processor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-100gbps-fullduplex-network-processor/15663.html April 26th, 2012

It's easy to forget that the Internet is connected via a vast amount of switches and routers and with an ever increasing bandwidth demand as we get more and more connected devices, this backbone of the internet needs constant upgrades. Broadcom has announced a new product that should help boost the speed of the internet for the time 21


April 26th, 2012

being, as its latest network processor offers speeds of up to 100Gbps. It's easy to forget that the Internet is connected via a vast amount of switches and routers and with an ever increasing bandwidth demand as we get more and more connected devices, this backbone of the internet needs constant upgrades. Broadcom has announced a new product that should help boost the speed of the internet for the time being, as its latest network processor offers speeds of up to 100Gbps. The new product in question is the BCM88030 family of NPUs which sports 64 "custom processors" operating at 1GHz and Broadcom claims that the BCM88030 offers more than twice the throughput of any competing solution. This should be enough for a little while, at least if you consider that high-end switches and routers today are “limited” to 40Gbps. Broadcom has also managed to integrate a wide range of features into the BCM88030, such as an OA&M engine, 1588 timing and synchronous Ethernet, a 10Gbps SerDes interface and 1/10/40/100Gbps Ethernet MACs which should not only help lower cost, but also reduce board space and power usage. The BCM88030 is compatible with what Broadcom calls "low-cost DDR3 DRAM", i.e. no fancy highend XDR memory is needed to operate at 100Gbps speeds and this further helps to keep the cost down. Broadcom is offering a range of SKUs of the BCM88030 for 100, 40 and 24Gbps speeds and the company is expecting to start shipping at production volume in the second half of the year. It's unlikely that we'll see any hardware based on the BCM88030 series this year, but come 2013 there should be some products in the market and hopefully they'll end up replacing older equipment sooner rather than later to help reduce congestion on the interweb.

Published by: VR-Zone

Ingenic's claim to fame so far is the fact that the company managed to port Android 4.0 to its MIPS based XBurst SoC and have one of its partners push out a tablet into the channel with the new OS ahead of its ARM based competitors. Vivante is far less known, but its GPU cores can be found in Marvell's Armada SoCs – the chips powering the second generation Google TV among other things – and Freescale's upcoming i.MX6 series of SoCs. The new license agreement will allow Ingenic to use Vivante's future "high-end" GPU cores in its products. Highend in this case should be taken with a grain of salt, as although Vivante is producing some competent solutions, its competitors tend to offer similar solutions in terms of performance. Apparently we can look forward to OpenGL ES 2.0, ES "Next Gen", OpenGL and DX11 as well as Google Renderscript support in Vivante's next generation GPU core. Vivante is moving towards more advanced solutions this year and will need as powerful a GPU core as possible to stay on top of the competition. The company is planning a move to 40nm from 65nm this year and is looking at hitting clock speeds of up to 1.5GHz with its XBurst2 architecture and is at the same time moving to a 64-bit MIPS core that is a dual-issue/dual-threaded part with SMP support. It's no doubt that the processor market is changing and it's doing so quickly. Companies like Ingenic as well as its Chinese competitors might soon enough be able to take on the larger, more well established players if they can prove that they can p

Google Drive arrives, 5GB of free storage included Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-drive-arrives-5gb-of-freestorage-included/15661.html April 26th, 2012

Ingenic's next gen MIPS SoCs to have Vivante GPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ingenic-s-next-gen-mips-socs-tohave-vivante-gpus/15662.html April 26th, 2012

You'll be forgiven for never having heard of either Ingenic or Vivante, but it's likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about both companies in the future. Ingenic is a Chinese MIPS SoC maker, whereas Vivante makes GPU cores, much like Imagination Technologies and the two has now signed a licence agreement where Ingenic will be using Vivante's GPU cores in its products. You'll be forgiven for never having heard of either Ingenic or Vivante, but it's likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about both companies in the future. Ingenic is a Chinese MIPS SoC maker, whereas Vivante makes GPU cores, much like Imagination Technologies and the two has now signed a licence agreement where Ingenic will be using Vivante's GPU cores in its products.

Wave bye bye to Google Docs and say hello to Google Drive, as the much rumoured and leaked service has gone live, more or less at least. Google seems to be rolling out the service step by step and if you haven't gotten it yet do not fret as it should arrive shortly. Wave bye bye to Google Docs and say hello to Google Drive, as the much rumoured and leaked service has gone live, more or less at least. Google seems to be rolling out the service step by step and if you haven't gotten it yet do not fret as it should arrive shortly. The basics are actually not that different to Google Docs, as the UI is very similar and you can still create Google Docs files just as easily as before, they just turn up on your Google Drive now instead. However, some of the major advantages include the option to upload a wider range of files to Google Drive compared to Docs and the handy inclusion of a Dropbox like app for your desktop or notebook computer.

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The Google Drive app creates a folder on your computer and allows you to sync files that are dropped into it with the Google Drive service and likewise shared documents or other content on your Google drive is automagically downloaded to your PC. Google has also updated Google Docs for Android and it's now simply called Drive. The advantage here is that you can upload pretty much any content you can access on your handheld device to the Google Drive service.

Published by: VR-Zone

Google's past price plans would've set you back US$0.42 a month for 20GB and US$1.67 a month for 80GB, but this was split between Gmail and Picasa. Those still one these older price plans will be able to continue using them at the same price point until they stop paying for the service. Google is also offering additional space ranging from 200GB to a massive 16TB ranging from US$9.99 to US$799.99 a month. In related news, Google also upgrading Gmail's basic storage capacity from 7GB and counting, to 10GB. Picasa will remain limited to 1GB, but keep in mind that this only counts towards pictures larger than 2048x2048 pixels.

Asus' P8Z77-V Premium gets teased on video Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-p8z77-v-premium-gets-teasedon-video/15658.html April 26th, 2012

It's not all good news though, although Google is generously including 5GB of free storage or over twice that of what Dropbox gives you for free, Google has increased the cost of additional storage. Admittedly in the past, additional space had fairly limited usefulness unless you had a serious amount of email and the space was shared between various services such as Picasa and Gmail. For US$2.49 a month you get 25GB of storage for Google Drive, although this is shared with your Picasa account as well, but in addition to that, your Gmail account also gets upgraded to 25GB. US $4.99 a month gets you 100GB with the addition of 25GB for your Gmail account.

Apparently Asus is planning on launching an even more feature packed and expensive P8Z77-V motherboard model above the Deluxe that should be known as the Premium. In a video by Anandtech the motherboard is shown for about half of the 40 minute long video, yet never really spoken about in any detail. Apparently Asus is planning on launching an even more feature packed and expensive P8Z77-V motherboard model above the Deluxe that should be known as the Premium. In a video by Anandtech the motherboard is shown for about half of the 40 minute long video, yet never really spoken about in any detail. The P8Z77-V Premium is hiding in the right hand side corner of the video which we've embedded at the bottom of this page and it has at least three features that the other P8Z77V models lack. The first and most obvious feature change is that the board sports four x16 PCI Express slots â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as two x1 PCI Express slots and no PCI slots â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which suggests that it'll be able to do quad SLI/CrossFireX. The slot layout is identical to the P8Z77 WS, but it's pretty clear that this isn't the same motherboard.

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Moving on, if you look at the front edge of the board by the SATA ports, you'll notice an mSATA SSD and as far as we're aware, this is the first Z77 model from Asus with an mSATA slot. There's also a ninth SATA port on the board, but this isn't really one of the major new features, just something we spotted in passing. What took us a little what to spot was the tiny little port just below Asus' Wi-Fi Go card and if you look carefully this should be a mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt port. We can't say for sure that this is the case, but the small square object is the right size and with the S/PDIF out located next to it and the clear CMOS button between the two Ethernet ports, it's the only thing we can think of that it could be. The rear I/O should otherwise be similar to the P8Z77V Deluxe, albeit without the eSATA/USB 3.0 stack of connectors. That also means that this would be one of the first motherboards to support triple display output, as it should also have a full-size DisplayPort and an HDMI port. What is mentioned in the video is that this model, alongside with the Maximum V Formula will arrive sometime in the near feature for a price point in excess of US$300 (S$375).

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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Apr 2012 Issue  

A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel,...

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