VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks 2012 Issue 1

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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, …

A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, internet

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  • 1. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-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 Z77motherboard picturedSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphires-pure-platinum-z77-motherboard-pictured/15425.htmlApril 2nd, 2012With less than a week to go until the official launch ofIntels new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphiresupcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared Sadly the colour scheme is still fairly un-coordinated andand one thing is certain, its not the same board as the one could do with some work, but its really a minor issue. Thethat was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. Pure Platinum Z77 sports a rather unusual slot layout, as itThe Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of has no less than four x16 PCI Express slots, yet it doesntmotherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with have a bridge chip of any kind. This is done by splitting theto date and one of the first boards from the company that 16 lanes from the CPU into a x8, x4, x4 configuration for thewed seriously consider owning. three blue slots and the grey slot is connected via four lanesWith less than a week to go until the official launch of to the chipset. The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots,Intels new 7-series chipset, the first pictures of Sapphires but these are inaccessible if more than two graphics cardsupcoming Pure Platinum Z77 motherboard has appeared are being used.and one thing is certain, its not the same board as the one The only reason this kind of configuration works is becausethat was touted as the Pure Black Z77 back at CES in January. the board has very few peripheral chipsets. In fact, weve onlyThe Pure Platinum Z77 appears to be a different breed of been able to spot two. Unlike its previous motherboards,motherboard compared to what Sapphire has come up with the Pure Platinum Z77 sports a Qualcomm Atheros Ethernetto date and one of the first boards from the company that controller, but Sapphire has also kitted out the board withwed seriously consider owning. one of the new Killer NIC E2200s, the same chip used byThis time around its the little things that make a big impact Gigabyte on its G1.Sniper 3 board. The board also sports theand compared to the Pure Platinum Z68 it almost looks like standard six SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports and whateverSapphire has found itself some new engineers. For starters else comes courtesy of the Intel chipset. Sapphire has addedthe board mostly use regular chokes instead of the ones a POST80 debug LED, Voltage readout points, power, resetwith small heatsinks cut out of the top, alongside various and clear CMOS buttons and a manual BIOS switch.other changes to the general PCB layout. Visually the biggestchange is the heatsinks and we have to give credit wherecredit is due, as the new heatsinks look so much better thanwhat Sapphire has used to date. The MOSFET heatsinks areconnected via a small heatpipe, whereas the chipset heatsinkappears to be screwed in place rather than using plasticpush-pins. 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
  • 2. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone7.1-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 didnt soundtoo optimistic about Sapphires upcoming motherboardmodels, but the Pure Platinum Z77 is a big step in the rightdirection for the company. Its not a mind blowing product,but its at least a competitive product that has been given amuch needed facelift in terms of the heatsink design. Wellhave to wait and see what else the company has in storefor us, but we know that theyre working on at least a B75motherboard and potentially also that Pure Black Z77 model,although we have a feeling that might have been canned bynow.Intels H77 media creationmotherboards pictured indetailSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-h77-media-creation-motherboards-pictured-in-detail/15424.htmlApril 2nd, 2012Last week we posted some detailed pictures of Intelsupcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you theH77 models. This time around we have one ATX board,one mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewingpleasure. Moving on we find the mATX DH77EB and although it comes with an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot, it has spaceLast week we posted some detailed pictures of Intels for a second mini PCI Express slot just below the x16 PCIupcoming Z77 motherboards and today we bring you the Express slot, so its possible Intel will have multiple SKUs ofH77 models. This time around we have one ATX board, this board. The rear connectivity is almost the same as theone mATX board and one mini ITX board for your viewing DH77KC, with the exception of a missing PS/2 port.pleasure.Going in order of size, we start with the DH77KC which as wementioned shares the same PCB as the DZ77SL-50K, but thistime around you actually get some features for your money.Nothing much appears to have changed since we wrote aboutthe specs for this board back in February, but compared tothe DZ77SL-50K were missing one power phase and theheatsink on the MOSFETs. That said, the board has gainedan mSATA/mini PCI Express slot as well as a DVI port anda DisplayPort connector, as well as a full set of audio jackswith an optical S/PDIF out. 2
  • 3. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe third and final model is the DH77DF which is a prettyfeature packed little board. Intel seems to be pushing its As long as youre not interested in overclocking, IntelsmSATA SSDs for caching pretty heavily as even this tiny H77 motherboards arent half bad. In fact, wed say thatboard has an mSATA/mini PCI Express slot and judging by these models are far more impressive than Intels Z77the board layout, it only just fitted as Intel has only allowed motherboards which appear quite poorly equipped to takefor one screw to hold down the card, rather than the usual on the competition, something we cant really say about itstwo. Around the back no big changes have taken place, but H77 models.one thing we noted was the fact that Intel has added a pairof high current USB 2.0 ports which as far as we knowshould deliver 1A and as such allow for faster charging of Intels upcoming 7-seriescertain mobile devices. Rather unusually for a product thesedays, Intel has also kitted out the DH77DF with FireWire chipsets pricedconnectivity. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-upcoming-7-series-chipsets- priced/15423.html April 2nd, 2012 When it comes to official pricing, Intel isnt 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 isnt 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 Intels official pricing and in as much as the Z68 chipset pricing was lower than anticipated about a year ago, were 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, Intels 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 were hearing its 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. 3
  • 4. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneCome May the 13th – which is not a Friday – Intel will April 2nd, 2012officially launch the Q77 chipset at US$44 and Q75 chipset atUS$40, again identical pricing to the Q67 and Q65 chipsets.These models are intended for use in desktop system for thecorporate and business sector and comes with a wide rangeof features for remote management and security that theconsumer SKUs lack. Microsofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720 or codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, twoEtron starts shipping its GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internet connection, according to sources close to the company.first USB 3.0 flash drive Microsofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720 orcontrollers codename Durango, will feature a four- to six-core CPU, twoSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/etron-starts-shipping-its-first- GPUs, and Bluray, and will require an always-on internetusb-3.0-flash-drive-controllers/15422.html connection, according to sources close to the company.April 2nd, 2012 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 The exact specs are not yet known, but the GPUs are believedcontrollers at CES, but only now has the company started to to have horsepower equivalent to an AMD 7000 series chip.ship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB They wont employ CrossFire or SLI, but will instead work3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, while independently to render graphics simultaneously.still offering decent performance.Back in January Etron announced its USB 3.0 flashcontrollers at CES, but only now has the company started toship the ICs. The company is aiming to bring lower cost USB3.0 flash drive to the market with its now controller, whilestill offering decent performance.The EV268-series of two and four channel USB 3.0 flashdrive controller ICs should start to appear in various retailproducts over the coming months. Both models supportSLC, MLC and TLC NAND flash built on 3xnm and 2xnmtechnology. Transfer speeds of up to 230MB/s is possiblewith the four channel controller and fast enough flashmemory, but its likely that well see much more modestspeeds until fast flash memory comes down in price.Digitimes is reporting that the global flash drive market isaround 80-100 million units a year – we dont know how The CPU is expected to have between four and six cores, onemany of these products are promotional material, but wed of which will be reserved for the OS, and another for theexpect it to be at least half – and although its not a highly Kinect. Of course, if a Kinect does not come bundled with theprofitable market to be in as far as USB 2.0 flash drive main console and players dont buy one separately this couldcontrollers are concerned, the USB 3.0 flash drive market mean that one core is going to waste. However, the reportis still in its infancy. Etron is hoping to help transition suggests that the new Kinect will come as standard and mayconsumers towards USB 3.0 flash drives, but the company actually be built into the console in some manner.recons that for this to happen, the price difference between aUSB 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 The device will also apparently come with a Blu-ray playerwould also be needed, but thats a problem thats slowly but and will require users to have an always-on internetsurely solving itself. connection, designed to stop piracy of games. This supports early reports that Microsoft is abandoning physical games and wont allow players to use pre-owned games.Microsofts Xbox 720 tofeature six-core CPU, two The Xbox 720 is expected to release around Christmas 2013,GPUs, Blu-ray, and more a year after the release of Nintendos Wii U console.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-xbox-720-to-feature-six-core-cpu-two-gpus-blu-ray-and-more/15421.html 4
  • 5. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone clear what these platforms are, but we expect they will beSamsung officially launches available on mobile operating systems, PCs, and possibly asdisplay business spin-off downloads on Xbox Live and on other consoles.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-officially-launches-display-business-spin-off/15420.html "I am happy to say we are going to roll out a weeklyApril 2nd, 2012 animation series this year of short format content," said NickSamsung has officially launched Samsung Display, its spun Dorra, head of animation at Rovio. "Its a great way for usoff display business, which became the worlds largest to connect with our existing fans, to give them more anddisplay manufacturer overnight. keep them engaged. But its 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 peopleSamsung Display held its inauguration ceremony yesterday, different points where they can interact and experience ourattended by over 350 employees, and will begin business characters."operations tomorrow, 3 April, after its incorporationregistration is approved.Dr. Donggun Park, EVP and former head of Samsungs LCDbusiness, has been named as CEO of the new company. Parkhas been with the company since 1983, before it entered thedisplay market, and has led the companys LCD businesssince 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 Koreanwon ($20 billion) in 2011 when it was still Samsungs LCD The game studio bought Finnish animation firm Kombo indivision, and with more than 20,000 employees and five 2011, when it announced it was first considering an animatedproduction facilities throughout the world, it is now the top series. Given the style of the artwork employed in the gamesproducer of displays. 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.Samsungs foray into the display market began in 2011 withresearch and development, but over the years it has quicklybecome not just a major contender in the market, but the Rovio also hinted that this new approach to Angry Birds willleading maker of displays. Now that Samsung Display is affect its games in future. It said its focus will be less onworking as a separate company it can continue to focus on flinging birds at pigs and more on the characters and theirgrowing and maintaining its dominance in the industry. adventures, suggesting that story will become a key part of future games.Rovio to make Angry Birdsanimated seriesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rovio-to-make-angry-birds- Samsung Galaxy S III (i-9300)animated-series/15419.htmlApril 2nd, 2012 to Launch in 2-5 Weeks,Game developer Rovio is turning its popular Angry Birds Immediate World-Widegames into an animated series. Availability Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-i-9300-to- launch-in-2-5-weeks-immediate-world-wide-availability/15417.htmlThe studio is working on 52 short cartoons for release ona variety of platforms, beginning this year. It is not yet 5
  • 6. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 The question now stands - can Samsung Galaxy SIII beat the iPhone 5 in number of units sold during 2012? Sony and Panasonic to use LGs 3D technology in theirIt is rumored that Samsung will launch Galaxy SIII TVssuperphone at the Samsung Unpacked event (May 22). Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-and-panasonic-to-use-lg-s-3d-However, weve been told that the launch is being moved technology-in-their-tvs/15416.htmlforward, with immediate world-wide availability (excluding April 2nd, 2012USA, which will follow in Summer 2012).A lot of ink, both virtual and physical was spent onspeculations what the specifications of one of hottestsmartphones, or "superphones" will be. Samsung i9300or Galaxy SIII was originally planned to launch on May22, 2012 at the Samsung Unpacked event, but it looks thatSamsung moved forward the date when the new smarphone With LG having great success in their 3D TV sales in Chinawill be released. and North America, it is no wonder Japanese electronics companies Sony and Panasonic, who are struggling inFurthermore, the new Galaxy SIII will follow with almost this market segment, have opted to incorporate LGs 3Dimmediate retail availability in APAC and EMEA, with North technology into their future line of TVs.America to follow. Samsung allegedly decided to enter theEuropean market ahead of the American market due toa multiple sports events that will take place throughoutsummer.Samsung is a major sponsor of Olympics 2012 and one of According to Nho Seok-ho, head of LG Electronics’ LCDtheir largest competitors, SHARP - is the key sponsor of TV division, Panasonic and Sony have plans to expandEuro 2012. However, Samsung and its marketing agencies their lineup of 3DTVs this year, and that their upcomingare preparing to blanket the airwaves with Samsung Galaxy models will use LG’s 3D technology. There is a battle for 3DSIII taking the key place with telco partners such as Orange, technology supremacy, between LGs Film Pattern RetarderVodafone and T-Mobile. First and foremost, Galaxy SIII will (FPR) and Samsungs Active Shutter. And it seems thatbe advertised with soccer players from Samsung-sponsored LG has an advantage over its rival as it is more affordableclubs (not country representatives, as Samsung has no rights to the battery-powered glasses, though in terms of visualfor EURO 2012), and then those ads will be replaced with 3D quality, it is still very much debatable. Sony has rarelyOlympics 2012 signage. mentioned that it has been selling 32- and 42-inch 3DThe phones will be in stores during early weeks of May, and TVs with film-patterned 3D technology in China since thiswe expect a major push. Remember, rumored specifications year, while Panasonic is relying more on LG for 3D screenscite a 4.7" HD Ready (1280x720) Super AMOLED+ display, for many of its TV models. The Korean manufacturer is alsoquad-core Exynos processor ticking at 1.5GHz, 1GB of planning to add a 60-inch model to its 3D TV lineup of a 65-system memory and 16-32GB Storage (expandable to 64GB and 72-inch set in June.with microSDHC cards).When it comes to connectivity, it was originally rumored DeNA and Walt Disney tothat the Galaxy SIII will only support LTE at 700MHz (USMarket). That however, is not true. Galaxy SIII will support bring mobile social games toLTE over European 1800MHz band as well, which is thereason why the European telecoms are eager to get as much users worldwide Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dena-and-walt-disney-to-bring-units as possible. mobile-social-games-to-users-worldwide/15415.html 6
  • 7. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 cards with Marvel characters developed by Marvel and fight against enemies. D-Link DIR-605L mydlink Cloud Router Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-dir-605l-mydlink-cloud-Japan’s leading mobile social gaming platform operator router-review/15411.htmlDeNa and Walt Disney company have jointly announced that April 2nd, 2012they will be bringing mobile social games to users worldwide,through DeNA Group’s Mobage social gaming platform. 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; its 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 firstjointly-developed social game, Disney Party, last week inJapan, which serves over 35 million users in the country. Thetwo companies planned to launch their second title "DisneyFantasy Quest" today and the third title based on MarvelComics characters this summer. According to reports,localized versions of Disney Party, Disney Fantasy Questand the Marvel-based title are also scheduled to launchafter July on the Mobage networks outside Japan - in NorthAmerica, Europe, China and South Korea. The three titleswill be DeNA’s first jointly developed titles to be releasedoutside of Japan and both companies are consideringdevelopment of new titles for worldwide market in future. The front side of the router has the LED indicator for power,Disney Party is a free-to-play social game for mobile wireless, WAN and LANphones and players can organize parties and decoratetheir interiors with various "gifts" that will attract Disneycharacters. When the characters pay visits, players cangreet or take photos with them, which can be shared withother users. Optional virtual items are available for purchasethough. Disney Fantasy Quest is a social card-collectiongame whereby players collect cards of popular charactersfrom Mickey and Friends, princesses and other Disney seriesto compile “magic books” in a quest to make the worldhappier. The title is also free-to-play with optional virtualitems for purchase. The Marvel-themed game is slated to bea free-to-play social card-battle game where players collect 7
  • 8. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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 games director, Jay Wilson. Todays announcement, however, shows that the game must remain in a very uncompleted state, and Blizzard is well- known 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 “No one likes to disappoint players,” said Wilson. “We takeantennas, four LAN ports, a WAN port and a power jack. 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.”The DIR-605L is powered by a Realtek RTL8196C SoC anda Realtek RTL8192CE 802.11b/g/n 2T2R WLAN System on Some of the features that are expected to go back intoa Chip (SoC). It also has 32MB of RAM and 4MB of flash the game include PvP, an as yet unnamed class thoughtmemory. 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 toBlizzard delays Diablo III be an attempt to boost falling subscription numbers for therelease until next year companys popular MMO title.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-delays-diablo-iii-release-until-next-year/15413.html Blizzard did not hint at exactly when it expects to releaseApril 2nd, 2012 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.Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcominghack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will bedelayed until next year, due to unfinished features. Edit: We did a survey of one Diablo fan and found that 100 percentApril Fools :) were unhappy with Blizzards decision. We cant say we blame them.Edit: April Fools :)Blizzard has announced that the release of its upcominghack-and-slash role-playing game, Diablo III, will be Intel quietly unveils its newdelayed until next year, due to unfinished features. 7-series motherboardsAfter 11 years in production, the company finally announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-quietly-unveils-its-new-7-a release date of 15 May a few weeks ago, but angered series-motherboards/15410.html 8
  • 9. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 2nd, 2012 As for the DZ77GA-70K, well, beyond the specifications weve 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, its a little bit hard figuring out what they all are. It appears that the additional SATA 6Gbps ports are via Marvells second generation SATA 6Gbps controllers if were notWith just over a week until the official launch of the Z77, H77 entirely mistaken and there also appears to be a PLX PCIand B75 chipsets, Intel has posted details of its upcoming Express bridge chip on the board. Amusingly it seems likemotherboards on its website. Generally Intel motherboards Intels motherboard division has run into the fact that thearent all that much to get excited about, but the new companys chipset division doesnt like adding a sufficientSkulltrail board, known and the DZ77GA-70K looks better amount of PCI Express lanes to it chipsets and as such hadthan what weve been used to see from Intel. to add the PLX bridge.Well take a quick look at Intels Z77 models in this articleand follow up with the H77 and B75 boards in a separatepost. Weve already given you all the technical details of theseboards back in February, but sadly we lacked pictures to gowith the specifications back then. Its all good and well toread a spec sheet, but it doesnt give you a full impression of aproduct in the same way a picture does. Intel also appears tohave changed the model names slightly and we have no ideawhat 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 numberequals better scheme for its motherboards, just as it has donefor its CPUs.The DZ77RE-75K and the DZ77GA-70K shares the Power and reset buttons are also present, alongside varioussame PCB and largely the same feature set with the LEDs and four 4-pin fan headers, hardly generous on amajor difference being that the DZ77RE-75K will sport board in this price range, but at least they all support PWMThunderbolt support. However, as Intels Cactus Ridge fans. The VRM design appears to feature 10 phases, plus twoThunderbolt chipset isnt quite ready as yet, it looks like this additional phases for the IGP. Most of the VRMs are coveredmodel will launch later in the year. Looking at the PCB of the by a large heatsink, with a smaller one covering the topmostDZ77GA-70K on can clearly see a missing chip just left of the part, but theres no heatpipe to be seen here. The unusualtopmost x16 PCI Express slot and a missing connector right positioning of the HDMI port is also an interesting featurenext to the audio jacks. in itself, as you dont 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, weve 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
  • 10. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe DZ75SL, but it seems like even Intel decided it waspointless making a Z75 chipset motherboard. 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 remoteThe DZ77BH-55K is still adorned with heatsinks, albeit a desktop. The DZ77RE-75K and DZ77GA-70K will both comefair bit smaller than the ones on the DZ77GA-70K. The with Intels new Visual BIOS at launch, a feature the otheradvantage here is that you get an extra SATA port over your models will get later in the year.average Intel motherboard, although Intel has dropped thex4 PCI Express slot of the DZ77GA-70K in favour of a regularx1 PCI Express slot. Theres no need for a PLX bridge chip ASMedia is aiming foron this board, due to the reduced feature set. Oddly enoughthe reset button is missing, but theres at least a power Thunderbolt compatiblebutton on the board. For those looking at taking advantage solutionsof Intels integrated graphics, the good news is that the Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asmedia-is-aiming-for-thunderbolt-DZ77BH-55k has an HDMI port as well as a DisplayPort compatible-solutions/15409.htmlconnector of which the latter wasnt mentioned in our earlier April 2nd, 2012specifications. 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 Intels 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 Intels Thunderbolt standard.The DZ77SL-50K is something of a peculiar beast, as just as Digitimes is reporting that ASMedias president, Linwith the DZ75SL that it was once intended to be, it only has Che-Wei said that the company is planning to producea single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, but theres an open ended Thunderbolt compatible peripherals for the second half ofx4 PCI Express 2.0 slot on the board, as well as a x1 PCI this year, but sadly no details as to the specific types ofExpress 2.0 slot and three PCI slots. A very peculiar board devices were revealed. So far, Intel hasnt seemed to be verylayout to say the least, at least until you realise that it shares keen on sharing the Thunderbolt specification with anyone,the same PCB as the DH77KC. The shared PCB doesnt mean but weve been hearing rumours for quite some time that thethat the two boards are identical, as the DZ77SL-50K is quite company is considering opening up the peripheral chipseta feature light board. Changes from our previous specs of end of the standard. Even so, Intel will remain the solethis boards include the loss of the mini PCI Express slot, manufacturer of the host side chipsets and as weve reportedbut most of the other features seems to remain unchanged, several times already, the company appears to be havingexcept possibly the audio outputs which now only appears some issues getting its upcoming Cactus Ridge chipset outto offer 5.1-channel audio without the optical S/PDIF out. the door.Were not entirely sure why anyone would go for this model, In addition to whatever Thunderbolt compatible chipsas it makes very little sense compared to the DZ77BH-55K ASMedia is working on, the company will continue toor for that matter just about any other Z77 motherboard. 10
  • 11. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonemake USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps solutions. Both Seagateand Western Digital are using ASMedias SATA to USB3.0 bridge chips in their external hard drives and this iswhere ASMedia is likely to be making its biggest sales whenit comes to USB 3.0 chipsets once the third party hostcontroller market dies down. ASMedia was planning onmaking a new host controller, but in the end decided thatit wasnt a worthwhile endeavour due to more and moremotherboard chipsets featuring integrated USB 3.0 support.Well make sure that we catch up with ASMedia at Computexin June for a closer look at what the company is working on.Update: After contacting ASMedia about their so calledThunderbolt solution which Digitimes reported about lastweek, we were informed that the reporter at Digitimes gotthings somewhat mixed up. What ASMedia was in factsaying, is that their SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 controllersare all going to be compatible with Intels Cactus RidgeThunderbolt controllers. The company is also workingon some higher-end SATA solutions for external RAID The B100 supports MP3, WMVA, OGG, FLAC, APE, ASFenclosures that will work over Thunderbolt, as well as and WAV audio files which is at least a fairly comprehensivein NAS and DAS type devices and of course directly on range. On the video side of things –where the B100 offersmotherboards as a high-end version to the ASM1061 SATA up to 8.5h of playback time – youre looking at MPEG1/2/4,6Gbps controller. 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 handleiRiver set to launch touch all standard containers though, such as AVI, WMV, MP4,enabled B100 PMP ASF, 3GP, MOV, MKV and M2TS, but video resolution is limited to 720x480 at no more than 30fps. As far asSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iriver-set-to-launch-touch-enabled- supported audio formats in combination with video, theb100-pmp/15408.html selection is fairly meagre as the B100 inly supports MP3,April 2nd, 2012 WMA, WAV and AC3. Its 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 (SBy now the market for PMPs have to have shrunk to one $179) and the 8GB versing at 13,800 Yen (S$210), so notthats barely worth making new products for, although a exactly cheap for what you get. The glory days of iRiverdedicated PMP still has one advantage over your average seems to have passed and we cant say that the B100 makessmartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash us want to run out and buy a PMP, even though its far fromits B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and the worst device of its kind that weve seen.with 36h battery life for music playback and a touch screeninterface, there might still be some takers. Most desktop Ivy BridgeBy now the market for PMPs have to have shrunk to onethats barely worth making new products for, although a systems wont support threededicated PMP still has one advantage over your averagesmartphone, battery life. iRiver is getting ready to unleash its displays Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/most-desktop-ivy-bridge-systems-B100 PMP upon the world come the 6th of April and with 36h won-t-support-three-displays/15407.htmlbattery life for music playback and a touch screen interface, April 2nd, 2012there might still be some takers.Sadly it looks like iRiver hasnt been pulling out any stopswith the B100 as it sports a fairly mundane 480x320resolution display that measures a measly 3.1-inches. Ontop of that the B100 only comes with 4 or 8GB of built inmemory, but theres at least a microSD card slot to make Despite the fact that Intel has been banging its drums aboutup for this. The rest of the "features" on offer include an support for up to three displays on the upcoming 7-seriesFM radio, a mini USB port, a built in microphone and a motherboards in combination with a shiny new Ivy Bridgeheadphone socket. based CPU, this isnt 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 isnt 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
  • 12. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonewant to connect additional displays via the ports on the The shared PLL would still be able to drive DVI and HDMImotherboard. Add Lucidlogix Virtu MVP software in the displays at resolutions of up to 1920x1200 without a problemmix which allows for discrete graphics card signals to be and the DisplayPort would be able to drive a 2560x1600routed via the motherboard display connectors when extra display.3D power is needed, as well as being combined with the Ivy Of course, the other approach of using DP++ wouldve beenBridge GPU for an extra performance boost and maybe weve to include passive adapters and equipped a motherboardfound a slight flaw in the motherboard makers plans. with mini DisplayPort connectors, something most recentThe issue to this specific problem is that Intel has moved graphics cards support. The end result wouldve been theaway from TMDS support and towards the DisplayPort same as above, but less space wouldve been taken up by thestandard. However, Intel has only incorporated two PLLs connectors at the rear of the motherboard. Were still notand although this isnt an issue for DisplayPort connected sure about DP++ support when it comes to the DisplayPortmonitors, its a whole different matter when were talking connector on the upcoming 7-series motherboards, butTMDS interfaces like DVI and HDMI, as well as of course weve asked some motherboard makers about it and weregood old analogue output. So if a motherboard maker was waiting to hear back from them with regards to this.to make a board with three DisplayPort connectors – or one In the world of notebooks things are slightly different, aseDP interface with regards to notebooks – one of the three here the built in display could be connected via the eDPdisplays would be able to have a resolution of 2560x1600 interface and as we have yet to see a consumer notebook withand the other two would still be able to work at 1920x1200, a higher resolution than 1920x1200, the issue of sharing adue to the fact that they share one PLL. PLL isnt really an issue. Were not entirely sure what theOnce we start throwing in other interfaces things get limitations are on displays with a higher refresh rate thancomplicated, as TMDS and analogue interfaces dont like 60Hz, or for 3D content, but Intel is supporting HDMI 1.4sharing PLLs. As such on a system where both the DVI and so we have a feeling that this would force a limitation of twoHDMI ports are used – or if the D-sub connector in lieu displays regardless of the interface used.of one of the other two interface – no third display can Hopefully all of this has proven to be of some use. Despitebe attached. The problem is that the DisplayPort interface the fact that Intel actually supports up to three displays viais far from commonplace and as such most motherboard the IGP in its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, it looks likemanufacturers have opted for more traditional interfaces. various limitations is at least for the time being preventingThe chart below will hopefully help to clarify things slightly, three displays from being used. Once Thunderbolt equippedeven though its somewhat confusingly laid out. 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 youd 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-search- engine-to-rival-google/15406.html April 2nd, 2012The entire DisplayPort issue is a bit of a chicken and eggproblem, as due to a fairly limited availability of DisplayPort Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements toequipped monitors, the motherboard makers dont want to its as yet untapped search engine, with the project beingadd the connector, but without the connector being more spearheaded by a former Google engineer.commonly available; its unlikely that well see a lot moreDisplayPort equipped monitors. That said, it seems like the Facebook is secretly working on huge improvements tomonitor makers are finally starting to catch on and hopefully its as yet untapped search engine, with the project beingwell see more DisplayPort equipped screens this year. spearheaded by a former Google engineer.A relatively easy way around this problem wouldve been totake a leaf out of the graphics card makers book, specifically Bloomberg cited anonymous sources at the company, whoSapphire which has been making quite a few cards that revealed that Facebook is hoping to make it significantlyimplements Dual-mode DisplayPort or DP++ as its also easier to search through status updates and shared content,known as. What Sapphre has done is to take the low-cost as well as anything that has been “liked” using Facebookscompenents used in a passive DP++ adapter to turn a buttons across the web.DisplayPort signal into a TMDS signal and as such an extraDVI port has been usable on its cards. The motherboardmakers would be able to use the same passive components The project is being worked on by 24 Facebook engineers,for the shared DisplayPort PLL to drive both a DVI and an led by Lars Rasmussen, an ex-Google employee, hinting atHDMI port on the motherboard, without any real limiations. the rivalry between the two internet firms. 12
  • 13. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe move is largely seen as an attack on Googles dominance The changes come as the Fair Labour Association (FLA)in the search engine market, a retaliation to Googles entry found that there were a number of violations of Chineseinto social networking last year with Google+, which many labour laws, including working too many hours and notpeople see as the biggest threat to Facebook. 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 forBing search results, which has not been fully explored ormonetised.Facebook remains the dominant social network, however,and if it can develop a true social search engine that takesadvantage of the huge amount of user content and data at itsdisposal it could become a major feature that helps retain itsusers and steal back some lost to Google. Apples 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 forApple and Foxconn show, however, and the company has managed to secureagree worker condition improvements at the Foxconn plants.improvementsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-and-foxconn-agree-worker- Some analysts believe that this change could rock the entirecondition-improvements/15405.html industry, with many companies relying on cheap labour inApril 2nd, 2012 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.Apple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working In fact, Apple is far from the only companyconditions in Chinese factories after an independent employing Foxconn to manufacture and assemble electronicinvestigation found a number of labour law violations. equipment. Amazon, Dell, HP, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba are among a large number of big names thatApple and Foxconn have agreed to improve working outsource to the Chinese companys factories.conditions in Chinese factories after an independentinvestigation found a number of labour law violations. There is undoubtedly still room for improvement at Foxconn plants, but this decision will go a long way to improvingAs part of a new agreement, Foxconn, which assembles working conditions and showing the industry that productiPhone and iPad devices for Apple, will cut illegal overtime, innovation should not come at the price of ignoring the well-improve safety protocols, upgrade housing and amenities for being of staff, no matter who they are or where they work.workers, and hire thousands of new staff across the board tomake up for lost work.The maximum working hours will now be 49 per week, BlackBerry maker RIM deniesincluding overtime, down from the over 60 hours per weekthat an average Foxconn employee works when factories are consumer market exit claims Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-maker-rim-denies-at peak production. consumer-market-exit-claims/15403.html April 2nd, 2012Wages will remain the same, but they have already beenincreased several times since a series of suicides causedscandal at the company and damaged the reputation ofApple. Some employees are not happy that wages are notrising, however, as low pay was the reason they worked Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerryinsane hours in the first place. smartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoning 13
  • 14. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quoteout of proportion.Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerrysmartphone range, has denied reports that it is abandoningthe consumer market, accusing the media of blowing a quoteout of proportion.After an abysmal quarter, where the company lost awhopping $125 million, CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIMwould refocus on enterprise and stop trying to be all thingsto all people.Understandably, news outlets throughout the worldinterpreted this as meaning that RIM was planning to leavethe consumer market, where it has been struggling for sometime against more popular Apple and Android devices. 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, theHowever, Patrick Spence, managing director of Global Sales phone battery is not removable, and the micro-SIM cardand Marketing, said that RIM “remains committed to all tray is at the top; together with the 3.5mm audio jack andof our customers (consumer and enterprise),” adding that power button. On the left is the microUSB connector whilereports of a consumer market exit were “wholly inaccurate.” the volume controls are on the right.BlackBerry is planning some new BB7 devices this yearbefore the release of its much-anticipated BlackBerry10 operating system, which it might license to rivalmanufacturers in an effort to bring in more revenue. Thecompany still has potential in the enterprise market, whereit will be putting its primary focus, but with how bad thingshave been going, we wonder why it considers the consumermarket an option for it at all.HTC Asia launches One X inSingaporeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-asia-launches-one-x-in-singapore/15341.htmlApril 2nd, 2012 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 processorThe HTC One X is one of the Android smartphones that was and runs Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operatingannounced at the Mobile World Congress last month. And system. The company has incorporated the latest HTC Sensetoday, the phone has officially landed in Singapore. 4.0 UI that offers improved user experience, though it 14
  • 15. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonehas "quietly" removed the People Hub and OnLive apps.HTC has also improved their Music Hub as it is now a one-stop place for your playlist as well as online streaming radiostations; you can add your favorite streaming sites to the listtoo. 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 wouldnt be counting on it. RIM admits defeat in consumer smartphone space Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-admits-defeat-in-consumer- smartphone-space/15401.htmlThe camera function has also seen some advancements. In April 2nd, 2012capture mode, both the camera shutter and video recordonscreen buttons are available immediately rather than theneed to switch between modes. According to HTC, evenwhen you are already in video recording mode, you can stillchoose to snap still images at any time, though the imageresolution will be that of the video. The camera can alsoshoot in continuous burst mode, up to 100 images at a time. Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in MotionThe HTC One X has a suggested retail price of S$898 (before (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it willcontract), and will be in stores from 2 April. The model that recede from most consumer markets due to Apple andis selling here is not 4G-capable; the 4G version will only Google dominating most of the market share - nothingbe using dual-core processor and there is no news as to unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it willwhether it will come to Singapore. (Not that Singapore has be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primarywidespread 4G network yet). strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers.ViewSonics ViewPad 10E Canadian based BlackBerry maker Research in Motionhits FCCs database, coming (RIM) has just made a statement indicating that it will recede from most consumer markets due to Apple andto the U.S. soon Google dominating most of the market share - nothingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-s-viewpad-10e-hits-fcc-s- unsurprising there. RIM has said that from here it willdatabase-coming-to-the-u.s.-soon/15402.html be focusing more so on what it believes to be its primaryApril 2nd, 2012 strength, security, which is of more significant importance to its business customers. RIMs 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 succeedFollowing availability in limited parts of the globe post its if we tried to be everybodys darling and all things to allinitial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonics people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength."VS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to be Yesterday RIM also said that co-CEO Jim Balsillie hascoming to the states soon with an entry appearing via the resigned from its board as well as David Yach, chiefFCCs database that tends to indicate the items presence on technology officer for software and Rim Rowan, chiefstore shelves within a few weeks. operating officer for global operations both leaving afterFollowing availability in limited parts of the globe post its some acute management manouvres.initial sighting at CES early into the new year, ViewSonicsVS14445 (also known as the ViewPad 10E) looks to becoming to the states soon with an entry appearing via theFCCs database that tends to indicate the items presence onstore shelves within a few weeks. 15
  • 16. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Windows Phone future roadmap, the company has been divided into two. The "next billion" strategy would rely on the companys 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. Intels Haswell to push the desktop PC CPU packaging frontiers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-haswell-to-push-the-desktop- pc-cpu-packaging-frontiers/15399.html April 2nd, 2012There is no denying that BlackBerry retains a strong footholdin the corporate smartphone market with the phones beingrenowned for their security and reliability and a lot ofbusiness customers depending and trusting in them fortheir portable email needs. RIMs BlackBerry 10 OS seeingdelay after delay hasnt helped them at all and the hype onthis one is also minimal with general knowledge being that Got used to the simple packaging migration from LGA1156BlackBerry drags its feet a little in the performance stakes, to LGA1155? Intels next generation - Haswell - is widelyparticularly when running third party apps. expected to up the ante in the PC CPU packaging excellence, and offer a spread of choicesThe particularly sad thing is that even in the business realmBlackBerrys are slowly losing their share in the market with For a typical mainstream or mid-high end desktopmore employees requesting iOS or Android-running phones user, Intels CPU packaging policy was pretty clear: thethese days. LGA1156 socket for Nehalem and Westmere based quad- core processors was replaced by LGA1155 socket for theIn all, things are looking pretty grim for this once top tier Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generation, and then theplayer in the smartphone market. Its all about iOS and LGA1150 socket (another five pins or, more correctly, holes,Android these days, with a sprinkle of Windows Phone in gone) will come for the Haswell and Broadwell processors inbetween. 2013.Nokia to release two low-end So, every microarchitecture has its own socket and the associated chipset and board platform that, with the BIOSMeeGo phones? updates and reasonable advance design fixes allowing easySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-release-two-low-end- upgrades, should also span the extra process shrink withinmeego-phones-/15400.html each microarchitecture - about a 2 year lifespan.April 2nd, 2012 While keeping one package and socket standard for its microarchitecture, theres 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,The Nokia N9 was the first MeeGo phone to go to market just like they were on the Sandy / Ivy Bridge. However, therelast year. But after that, the Finnish company said that it is the third and the most exciting die choice here, which wewould focus on Windows Phones. While Nokia had gone also covered: the very high end quad core plus GT3 graphicsquiet for many months with regards to the development of with an additional L4 cache die, very likely an eDRAM largenew MeeGo devices, rumors had it that the manufacturer cache (16+ MB) connected via a separate backside bus to thecould be launching two low-end MeeGo phones. main CPU die.According to reports, Nokia may be launching two newlow-end MeeGo smartphones to accomplish their "next The purpose of this cache wouldnt be just minimising thebillion" strategy. The so-called "next billion" strategy can be bandwidth contention between the CPU and GPU, bothattributed to the billions of users in the emerging markets more powerful than before here, for the usual dual channel Nokia is targeting with its affordable mobile phones, with DDR3 memory - of course, that is still a very importantthe majority of these users being based in China. And the factor, since even DDR3-2500 dual channel cant easilycompany is looking to maintain its leadership position in satisfy both CPU and GPU together. That cache, after somethis market. Last year, when Nokia has announced their thinking, could also deliver the extra sustained bandwidth 16
  • 17. April 2nd, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonefor the AVX-enabled high throughput floating point, with procurement and distribution. John Stefanac, vice presidentextra FMA (Fused Multiply Add) that comes in Haswell and of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Southeast Asiadoubles the peak FP execution rate. To truly double the and Pacific is quoted saying that "The expansion of ouractual obtained FP rate, the extra memory bandwidth is presence in Singapore demonstrates Qualcomms deepenedneeded and, in absence of higher bandwidth main memory, commitment to the Asia Pacific region and builds on morethis large cache would be VERY helpful to achieve this goal. than a decade of successful operations here."Back to the packaging: fitting all this in one socket meansgoing back to the future and the MCM multi chip moduleapproach seen in Pentium Pro far in 1995, then in PreslerP4 and, of course, initial Westmere entry level CPUs: here,the CPU and L4 cache dies would be on a single highspeed substrate allowing half clocked or possibly even sameclocked external L4 cache, but the outside world will notsee the L4 cache, only the usual CPU stuff, just like onother Haswell CPUs. No big problems here, since the powersavings from the 22 nm tri-gate process should easilyleave plenty of TDP headroom for the L4 cache to beaccomodated, without any clock speed sacrifices necessaryby the processor.Do keep in mind MCMs are always seen as a sort of high endtechnology frontier here, and such packaging excellencewill add a bit of extra price. Now, imagine how many choiceswould there be on the mobile side of the story?Qualcomm to open R&Dcentre in Singapore for ICdesign and engineeringSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-to-open-r-d-centre-in-singapore-for-ic-design-and-engineering/15398.htmlApril 2nd, 2012There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip designcompanies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nationto be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre.The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what iscommonly known as 3G.There’s no secret that Singapore is home to many chip designcompanies and now Qualcomm is looking to the small nationto be a base for a new IC design and Engineering R&D centre.The office would focus on CDMA technology, or what iscommonly known as 3G.According to the press release, Qualcomm will be focusingon "analog and power design; mixed signal design; digitaldesign; mask layout design; and pre and post siliconverification" at its Singapore facility. The local governmentchimed in and Mr. Teo Ser Luck, the Minister of Statefor Trade and Industry said that "[w] e are excitedthat Qualcomm, the worlds largest fabless semiconductorcompany, is setting up an IC Design & Engineering R&DCentre in Singapore, further establishing Singapore as aninternational hub for its chipset business."Considering the local expertise when it comes to ICdesign, it’s clear that this move by Qualcomm isn’t oneby chance. Beyond IC design and R&D, the new facilitywill also be home to business planning and development,marketing and administrative functions as well as sourcing, 17
  • 18. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! There is, however, an "In Case You Leave Something Behind" VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly mode that can be activated to alert you whenever the LBT- publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the MPVRU01 is outside of your iPhone 4Ss connectivity range. geeks. Both devices will ring at once. If your PC is equipped with a BlueTooth 4.0 USB adapter, theLogitecs new Bluetooth 4.0 LBT-MPVRU01 can also be paired to that, allowing you to automatically lock your Windows 7 PC whenever the gadgetaccessory helps you find is out-of-range.missing keys (or iPhone 4S)Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitec-s-new-bluetooth-4.0-accessory-helps-you-find-missing-keys-or-iphone-4s-/15394.htmlApril 5th, 2012If youre an iPhone 4S (or a new iPad) owner and often findyourself spending time searching for misplaced keys or othersuch items, Logitecs new Bluetooth 4.0 accessory - the LBT-MPVRU01 "Burutag" (which translates to "vibrating tag")may just be the solution youve been looking for. 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 Tags case, when your device is out of range it will notify you via email instead.Pair the LBT-MPVRU01 to your iPhone 4S via Bluetooth,download the Burutag app from the iTunes store, and youll That said, Burutag does take advantage of Bluetooth 4.0sbe able to tap a virtual button in the app to make the low-energy profile, consuming significantly less power bothaccessory play a melody or vibrate, depending on its setting for your iPhone 4S and the gadget itself - which is powered(changeable through a switch on the device). by a single CR2023 cell battery. Logitec rates the gadgets battery life at approximately two years.Conversely, if you have the Burutag with you, and cant locateyour iPhone 4S, hitting a button on the accessory will make Unfortunately, this also means that the accessory is notyour handset play its ringtone. compatible with any prior iPhone or iPad models (the 4S and the new iPad are the only two IOS devices equipped withThe LBT-MPVRU01 and your iPhone 4S must be within 10 Bluetooth 4.0). Nevertheless, if youre keen on picking onemeters for the functionality to work (assuming there are no up, the gadget is open to preorders at Logitecs web store insolid walls), so if you left your vibrating-tagged keys in the Japan, priced at 3,490 (in retail shops its open-priced).office, well, youre out of luck. 1
  • 19. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe LBT-MPVRU01 Burutag is available in three colours(black, red, and white), and goes on sale in Japan in mid-to-late April. Logitec has not yet announced any plans to sellthe gadget outside of Japan.Preview: GIGABYTE GTX 680OC WindForce 3X 2GBSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/preview-gigabyte-gtx-680-oc-windforce-3x-2gb/15433.htmlApril 5th, 2012 One obvious improvement is the doing away of the vertically stacked 6+6pin PCIe connector design from the referenceWhen the GK104 based GeForce GTX 680 was first card, with GIGABYTE instead opting for a more generousreleased, many pundits pointed out that the reference 8+6 pin layout, which means the card can theoretically takedesign had much room for improvement, especially in the 300W of peak power instead of an underwhelming 225W,power circuitry department which comes into play when allowing for more ambitious overclocks.overclocking. The GIGABYTE GTX 680 OC WindForce 3Xthat we have today attempts to address some of the shortfallswith a beefed up VRM and their custom triple fan cooler.GIGABYTE needs no introduction - they are one ofthe largest motherboard and component makers in theindustry and pride themselves in engineering excellence.The WindForce brand is their line of non-reference graphicscards from both AMD/ATi and Nvidia, decked out witha custom cooler and trademark blue PCB design toimprove overclocking mileage and durability. Today wehave their GTX 680 version in our labs, which is factoryoverclocked at 1071 MHz (base)/1124 MHz (boost), 50MHzmore than regular cards. 2
  • 20. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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 didnt change the I/O Panel on their GTX680 WindForce, sticking with full-sized HDMI/DP ports NVIDIA Prepares Cut-downand dual DVI (one of them single link only, which wethink is redundant and spoils the prospect of single slot GK104 Chip: GTX 670 Ti towater-cooling). The obvious improvement from the previous Compete Against HD 7950generation GTX 580 flagship is that we can now run triple- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-prepares-cut-down-gk104-display 3D Vision Surround from a single card (previously chip-gtx-670-ti-to-compete-against-hd-7950/15440.htmlonly possible on SLi setups), although it might be hampered April 5th, 2012on graphically intensive games by the 2GB of framebuffer. Its 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. 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.Gmail for Android updatedwith ICS experience forHoneycomb usersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gmail-for-android-updated-with-ics-experience-for-honeycomb-users/15453.htmlApril 5th, 2012Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmailfor Android application which is of particular benefit tousers running non ICS-running devices. Google says that byupdating to the latest version on an Android 3.2 Honeycombdevice you will be given the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwichexperience with the ability to swipe to move between newerand older conversations, tap your account to access Recentlabels and set custom notifications for individual labels.Google has rolled out a significant update to its Gmailfor Android application which is of particular benefit to 3
  • 21. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneGetting back to NVIDIA - as expected, the GK104 chipswhich did not "pass the mustard" will be recycled andnamed GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 670 Ti. According toGerman publication 3DCenter.org, GK104 will take theGF100 (GeForce GTX 465/470/480) route: GK104 on thenew cards will have one SMX less (7 in total), bringing a totalof 1344 cores (should we still call them CUDA cores given theamount of GPGPU performance castration performed withKepler?).The remainder of the chip will remain the same, and werelooking at the following specs: • 1344 Cores Upon going live in Finland, Nokia TV will give Lumia owners • 4 Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC) the ability to browse/search through a range of catalogues • 7 SMX Clusters (192 units per Cluster) of TV services from all the major local broadcasters in which the content can then be streamed directly to their phone. • 112 Texture Units (TU) There is said to be no signing up or registration process • 32 Raster Units (ROP) involved as the service will be offered as a free signature hub across the Lumia range. • 256-bit Memory Controller Inevitably there will be more updates on Nokia TV as its • 2 GB GDDR5 Memory launch draws closer. • ~900 MHz GPU Clock • ~1 GHz QDR Memory Clock (5 effective GHz) LG Miracle Windows Phone • ~160 GB/s video memory bandwidth with 4-inch NOVA displayAs you can see, theoretical performance of the card targetsthe previous generation GeForce GTX 580 and direct revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-miracle-windows-phone-with-4-competitor AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB. Coupled with inch-nova-display-revealed/15460.htmlNVIDIA wanting to increase the price pressure to the red April 5th, 2012team. 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 theadded lead time for tinkering, we wont be too surprisedto see more custom GTX 670, GTX 670 Ti and GTX 680AIB designs with beefed up cooling and power regulation at There hadnt been many manufacturers pushing thelaunch. Windows Phone aside from Nokia, HTC and Samsung. LGs new Windows Phone has been leaked since last year, but tillNokia to debut "Nokia TV" now, we have yet to see or hear any update of it. Pocketnow has recently revealed the new Windows Phone, which comesstreaming service in Finland in the form of LG Miracle, and may go to market soon.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-debut-nokia-tv-streaming-service-in-finland/15455.htmlApril 5th, 2012Finnish handset maker Nokia has revealed that it willbe introducing another new service in the coming weeksfollowing the launch of its Nokia Music and Nokia Readingservices. Get ready for Nokia TV.Finnish handset maker Nokia has revealed that it willbe introducing another new service in the coming weeksfollowing the launch of its Nokia Music and Nokia Readingservices. Get ready for Nokia TV.The service will be exclusive to Nokias Lumia smartphoneline with its debut to be in Finland within the next few weeks.The status of its global availability is yet to be determined According to sources, the LG Miracle incorporates Windowsbut if proven to be successful its hard to imagine Nokia Phone Mango (it should be Tango now), and comes withrefraining from delivering the service to regions abroad. 4
  • 22. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone4-inch WVGA NOVA display that claims to offer higherscreen brightness, and is equipped with 1GHz Snapdragon ASUS P1 portable LEDprocessor and 8GB memory. At the front is a VGA projector to launch in Japancamera while the rear holds a 5-megapixel camera. The LGMiracle also supports 14.4Mbps HSPA, 5.0GHz 802.11a/b/ on 7 Aprilg/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and Near Field Communication Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-p1-portable-led-projector-to-technology. Last year, LG has its Windows Phone leaked, launch-in-japan-on-7-april/15458.htmlcodenamed LG Fantasy. It is likely that the LG Fantasy and April 5th, 2012Miracle could be the same phone, judging from the similarback design.WD 2TB My Passport portablehard disk, now available in The ASUS P1 portable LED projector first made itsSingapore appearance at CeBIT last year, and was designed for businessSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-2tb-my-passport-portable-hard- and entertainment. However, there was no mention as todisk-now-available-in-singapore/15459.html when the product will go on retail. Well, looks like the ASUSApril 5th, 2012 P1 is scheduled to launch in Japan on 7 April, this weekend.WD has introduced the new My Passport portable harddisks with premium designs, improved security features andboasts to be the first with 2TB capacity. And the portableexternal 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 125×130×33.5mm 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. Incorporating LED technology, the ASUS P1 featuresWD has unveiled its next generation My Passport line of a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 200-lumenportable hard drives, with fresh new enclosure design and brightness, and boasts a lamp lifespan which is up to fourthe first-ever 2TB capacity providing plenty of secure storage times longer than conventional projectors. The projectorfor your photos, video, music and other important files. also has a short throw ratio of 1.16:1, which means thatWith its specially-engineered outer shell, the drives are more it can project a 40-inch screen at a distance of just oneresistant to scratches and fingerprints, and feature USB 3.0 metre away. Other specifications include 16.77 million colorconnectivity (with USB 2.0 compatibility. The drives are also reproduction, 2,000:1 contrast ratio, aspect ratio of 16:10 /equipped with WD SmartWare automatic backup software 16:9 / 4:3, automatic keystone correction, 28db noise andand WD Security for password protection and hardware connectivity including USB 2.0, composite and VGA.encryption to keep your data safe.The WD My Passport 2TB portable hard drive is retailingat S$319 and comes with a three-year limited warranty. Itis distributed by Achieva Technology, Eternal Asia (S) andSiS Technology in Singapore and are available at selectedretailers and resellers. 5
  • 23. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Gingerbread currently, but its 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. Panasonic announces Lumix GF5 mirrorless cameraSamsung officially launches Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-announces-lumix-gf5-white GALAXY Note in mirrorless-camera/15443.html April 5th, 2012CanadaSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-officially-launches-white-galaxy-note-in-canada/15454.htmlApril 5th, 2012 It is official. With the recent leaks about Panasonics 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 featuresFollowing the white GALAXY Note launch via TELUS in including a revamped GUI, improved LCD display time lagCanada and confirmation from both Rogers and Bell that and auto angle detection with acceleration sensor.theyll be stocking it within the next few days as well,Samsung has now come forward with a statement thatthe white-flavoured version of its GALAXY Note is beingreleased country wide with it expected to arrive at carriersand select retailers everywhere.Following the white GALAXY Note launch via TELUS inCanada and confirmation from both Rogers and Bell thattheyll be stocking it within the next few days as well,Samsung has now come forward with a statement thatthe white-flavoured version of its GALAXY Note is beingreleased country wide with it expected to arrive at carriersand select retailers everywhere.Samsungs GALAXY Note has proven itself to be quite thepopular choice with word from the South Korean companythat over 5 million units have been sold since its launchback in October of last year. The phone runs Android 2.3 6
  • 24. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Heres 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 theres 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-megapixelrating as the GF3, but according to Panasonic, it is equippedwith a new LIVE MOS sensor with improved Venus imaging Samsung announces Ultraengine. The new sensor claims to be capable of capturing High Speed-1 MicroSD Cardssuperb image quality with less noise at high sensitivity; noise Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-ultra-high-is reduced by up to 30% at ISO 3200 - 6400 as compared speed-1-microsd-cards/15457.htmlto its GF3 sibling. It has an ISO sensitivity setting of 160 April 5th, 2012- 12800 (Extended), an AF speed of approximately 0.09seconds 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 tothe GF3s 460,000-dot). The Lumix GF5 is equipped witha stereo microphone and can record videos in AVCHD and With smartphone and tablet devices becoming moreMPEG-4 formats up to full HD resolution. technologically advanced with quad-core processor and LTEThe new mirrorless camera has a Scene Guide support, it could be a pain to playback high-quality imageswhich can provide users with explanation, shooting advice and video playback directly from your memory card whichand expected results, as well as 14 Filter effects for you to is unable to support such speeds. But worry not. Samsungtake artistic shots. The graphical user interface looks to be Korea has announced the new Ultra High Speed-1 microSDmore friendly, and now comes with a Tab menu (found on card for this purpose.the Lumix GX1). 7
  • 25. 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 dont need to be bothered handling the interconnect I/O overhead, raising the total real system performance. However, dont 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 capableof supporting the highest performance levels required onadvanced LTE (Long Term Evolution) smartphone andtablet devices. The UHS-1 memory card comes in a 16GBdensity and is comprised of Samsung’s 20 nanometer-class 64 gigabit (Gb) toggle DDR 2.0 devices and anadvanced Samsung controller supporting the ultra fastUHS-1 interface. On testing, the 16GB UHS-1 microSD cardhas a maximum sequential read speed of 80 megabytes persecond (MB/s) which is approximately four times the readspeed of today’s advanced microSD cards, which operate at21MB/s. Initiating production of the 16GB UHS-1 microSDcards has begun late last month. And the company plansto expand its microSD card offerings with higher densitysolutions in the future, and reinforce its position as theleading market innovator for NAND flash.Chinese CPUs are just thebeginning... Middle Kingdomto go for GPUs tooSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chinese-cpus-are-just-the-beginning...-middle-kingdom-to-go-for-gpus-too/15456.htmlApril 5th, 2012 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 notChina is enjoying increasing success with its own CPU interested in getting even more of its flock addicted to games,developments, even though for now it is confined to but would gladly use the SIMD or vector-like GPU maththe internal markets mostly. However, they are already capabilities in its computing efforts, though. That might beundertaking the next step, and preparing to move into the quite commendable, after all.GPU arena.Earlier this year, we covered the raising phenomenonof Chinese CPUs in quite a detail [part1, part2, part3], I-O Data releases 4X quad/including the main high end lines of Loongson (MIPS) andShenwei (Alpha), as well as over a dozen of ARM licensees triple layer portable blu-raythere. Then there was Icube with their UPU, a truly fused drivesCPU plus GPU at the core and register level. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/i-o-data-releases-4x-quadtriple-Theres more to it: at the high end front, besides the layer-portable-blu-ray-drives/15452.htmlacademic-government MIPS and purely military, for now, April 5th, 2012Alpha, our friends in the north also developed their ownFengtian SPARC compatible processors. For now, theseare not used as the main CPUs, but as I/O processors insome large supercomputers to help manage the ultrafastinterconnects, twice the Infiniband QDR speed, that thecountry uses in their largest machines such as Tianhe. These 8
  • 26. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneI-O Data has extended its optical drive portfolio once again of its employees. The move was formally announced by thewith the release of its BRP-U6C series of Portable Blu-ray company less than 24 hours ago where recently assignedXL Drives. The drives run dimensions of 140 x 147 x 19 mm CEO Scott Thompson went on a spiel about how these job(WxDxH) with a weight of about 300g. cuts are supposedly going to allow Yahoo! to rise above again...I-O Data has extended its optical drive portfolio once againwith the release of its BRP-U6C series of Portable Blu-ray "Todays actions are an important next step toward a bold,XL Drives. The drives run dimensions of 140 x 147 x 19 mm new Yahoo! — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better(WxDxH) with a weight of about 300g. 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 theyve 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 Yahoo! says that additional info will be given about itsability to read both quad and triple layer Blu-ray XL discs at new strategies during its first-quarter financial results4X speed. announcement scheduled for April 17.There are three variants on offer within the BRP-U6C serieswhich differ by color; BRP-U6C, BRP-U6CK and BRP-U6CR, respectively coming in color options of Pearl White, Prolimatech Lynx CPU CoolerPiano Black and Oriental Red. The drives are self powered Reviewconnecting via USB 2.0 and of course will read both DVDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/prolimatech-lynx-cpu-cooler-and CDs as well. review/15450.htmlWhen looking at read speeds across the board, I-O Datas April 5th, 2012BRP-U6C series can read single and double-layer Blu-raydiscs at 6X speed, while BD-RE can be read at 2X. As forDVDs and CDs, they can be read at up to 8X and 24Xrespectively.Yahoo! to rework its It was only four years ago when Prolimatech was founded and the company initially offered only a single CPU cooler,internals, dismiss 2,000 the Megahalems. That single cooler however was goodemployees enough to make Prolimatech famous among enthusiast cycles and allow the company to establish a good foothold inSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-to-rework-its-internals- the industry. Today we will examine and review somethingdismiss-2-000-employees/15451.html new and different from Prolimatech, the Lynx. The LynxApril 5th, 2012 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.Yahoo continues to appear on the decline with word out thatthe company is making preparations to lay off another 2,000 It was only four years ago when Prolimatech was foundedof its employees. The move was formally announced by the and the company initially offered only a single CPU cooler,company less than 24 hours ago where recently assigned the Megahalems. That single cooler however was goodCEO Scott Thompson went on a spiel about how these job enough to make Prolimatech famous among enthusiastcuts are supposedly going to allow Yahoo! to rise above cycles and allow the company to establish a good foothold inagain... the industry. Today we will examine and review something new and different from Prolimatech, the Lynx. The LynxYahoo continues to appear on the decline with word out that is not a massive cooler designed to win over hardcorethe company is making preparations to lay off another 2,000 9
  • 27. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneenthusiasts but an entry-level cooler, primarily designed to Q4, although we have as yet to confirm which models we cancompete against other basic products and replace the stock expect to see here.CPU coolers. The specifications of the Lynx however arevery interesting considering this is meant to be compact,simple and cheap CPU cooler; we will soon see just how Kingston launches pocketmany surprises this product holds. friendly USB 3.0 card reader Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-launches-pocket-friendly-Intels "broken" Ivy Bridge usb-3.0-card-reader/15448.html April 5th, 2012SKUs last to arriveSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-broken-ivy-bridge-sku-s-last-to-arrive/15449.htmlApril 5th, 2012 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, youre definitely going to want toIf youre a regular readers of publications like VR-Zone, invest in a USB 3.0 card reader. Kingstons new MobileLiteyoure most likely aware of the fact that Intel and AMD G3 USB 3.0 reader might just fit the ticket, at least as long asalike dont throw away "broken" CPUs, as its simply too you only use SD or MS cards with your camera.expensive. Instead these CPUs are repurposed as lower-end Memory card readers built into notebooks are generally notofferings and it looks like this is part of the reason for the the fastest ones around and if you happen to own a notebookdelay of some Ivy Bridge models. with USB 3.0 connectivity, youre definitely going to want toIf youre a regular readers of publications like VR-Zone, invest in a USB 3.0 card reader. Kingstons new MobileLiteyoure most likely aware of the fact that Intel and AMD G3 USB 3.0 reader might just fit the ticket, at least as long asalike dont throw away "broken" CPUs, as its simply too you only use SD or MS cards with your camera.expensive. Instead these CPUs are repurposed as lower-end The chubby, yet compact card reader measuresofferings and it looks like this is part of the reason for the 62x29x16mm and features sliding covers for the USBdelay of some Ivy Bridge models. connector and the card reader slot. There are two slots, oneIntel has no less than seven different configurations for its for SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Duo cards and oneIvy Bridge processors, of which what is known as the 4+2 for microSD/SDHC/SDXC cards.and 4+1 models, will be part of the initial launch. A 4+2 isa quad core CPU with a GT2 graphics core and a 4+1 is assuch a quad core CPU with a GT1 graphics core. However,to create a 4+1 model, Intel has two different options, itcan either make a specific chip or it can "harvest" a slightlyfailed 4+2 part and turn it into a 4+1 part. In this case Intelhas the option to use models with both damaged GPU coresand damages cache, as the 4+1 models in general has lesscache than the 4+2 models. As an example, something likea failed Core i7-3770 could be turned into a Core i5-3570 bydisabling half of the GPU execution units and 0.5MB of cacheper CPU core.Things get a little bit more complex when were moving on tothe 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 comefrom a 4+2 model, but the 2+1 models can be from a 4+2, Judging by a quick benchmark by German website4+1 or a 2+2 depending on demand. Intels internal marker ComputerBase were looking a pretty snappy little cardfor the "harvested" models appears to be a capital F, as in reader too, at least if you have a fast enough memory card4+1F or 2+1F. that is. They managed to hit read speeds in excess of 92MB/As such, many of the lesser models, especially for the desktop s and write speeds of over 46MB/s which can hardly beparts have now been pushed back as far as early Q4, although considered slow.this is a worst case scenario and the chips are more likelyto launch in late Q3. Wed expect Intel to launch severalnew models in August or September, or in what Intel callsCycle 3. This will include the low-end Core i5 and the Core i3models on the desktop side as well as the so far unannouncedCore i3 mobile SKUs, not including the Ultrabook CPUs. Italso looks like we can expect the mobile Ivy Bridge basedPentiums and Celerons to arrive sometime in late Q3 or early 10
  • 28. April 5th, 2012 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 dont need a DisplayPort connector, there are a lot more options to choose from, although in all fairness wed expect most buyers in this market segment to go for a mATX model. As for the little loved Z75 chipset weve only managed to find pricing for two boards and its very likely that these are the only two Z75 models that will be available at launch. This is the only consumer desktop chipset that doesnt 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 were a little perplexed at the poor uptake by the board makers. However, if what were hearing about the price differenceThe MobileLite G3 is available as of now, comes with a two between the Z75 and Z77 being smaller than the list prices,year warranty and retails for an affordable US$17 (S$21). 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 (USIntel 7-series motherboard $105/S$133) and Biostar surprisingly being about €10 (USpricing overview $13/S$17) more expensive, although oddly enough neitherSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-7-series-motherboard-pricing- manufacturer has implemented support for dual x8 PCIoverview/15447.html Express configurations and has instead chosen to go with aApril 5th, 2012 x16/x4 setup. This takes us to the Z77 chipset which wed 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 arent that much more expensive as the cheapest boards are available for around €85 (USWe know many of you have been waiting for quite some time $112/S$141) whereas the cheapest Z68 models are less thanto get your hands on one of the very soon to launch – and €10 cheaper and many models from the same manufactureralready available in some countries – Intel 7-series chipset being priced at nearly the same price point. As an example,based motherboards. As such we thought it would be helpful Gigabytes Z77M-D3H is priced exactly the same as itsto give a bit of an overview as to the pricing of some of the Z68M-D2H which its replacing. In this specific case younew boards and compare what you get for your money. gain USB 3.0 connectivity thanks to native support in theWe wont be going into any specifications as such here, chipset and you dont really end up losing anything.especially as most, if not all of the upcoming boards are Higher-end models are of course going to set you back aalready listed at the respective manufacturers website. pretty penny as they always do, but oddly enough the twoInstead we want to give you an idea of what you can most expensive models are from Intel and MSI. That said,expect to pay for the various boards and pick out a few Asus has as yet to launch its Maximus V Formula which ismodels that appear to be good value for money based on likely to end up being one of the more expensive modelsthe pricing information weve found. The pricing is from a and we havent managed to find any pricing for Gigabytesrange of European online retailers and most models should G1 models which should end up being fairly expensive asbe cheaper in the US market, but about the same elsewhere well. Intel is apparently hoping that some foolish puntersin the world, or at least not any more expensive with a few are going to be willing to drop €220 (US$289/S$365) on itsexceptions. DZ77GA model, or about €25 more than its current DZ68BCStarting off with the B75 chipset which isnt really intended board. MSI on the other hand is asking for a whopping €270for general consumers, yet have proven fairly popular among (US$355/S$447) for its Thunderbolt equipped Z77A-GD80the motherboard makers due to its attractive price point, motherboard, a price premium that we have a feeling verymost boards are priced somewhere between €60 (US$79/S few people are going to be willing to pay.$99) and €75 (US$99/S$125) which seems quite reasonable. Out of the four big Taiwanese motherboard makers,Keep in mind that the B75 chipset is limited to a single SATA Gigabyte seems to be the company that is most consistent6Gbps port, but it still has the full set of four USB 3.0 ports on pricing compared to its current products, although due toand it also has native PCI support which might be important some changes in its line-up some SKUs have been upgradedfor some users. The B75 chipset also supports Rapid Start and arent directly comparable to older models within theand Smart Connect technology for those that are interested same SKU. Everyone else seems to be charging a nicein taking advantage of these features, although theres no premium for their new models, with Intel seemingly havingsupport for Smart Response. the largest premium tucked onto its boards. In some casesMoving up a step we have the H77 chipset and the cheapest you do get a lot of extra features for your money and oneboards start out at around €70 (US$92/S$116), but some such example is Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe that comes with an onare quite pricey like Intels DG77KC at €105 (US$138/S board Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card which surely adds some extra$174) which is a lot of money to pay for a motherboard that cost compared to its Z68 sibling. Do keep in mind that thisisnt exactly mind blowing in terms of features. Something is not MSRP pricing, nor is it what wed expect the boards to 11
  • 29. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonesell for in a months time, but its an indicator of what you April 5th, 2012can expect to pay at launch.Minecraft creator revealsnew science-fiction gameSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/minecraft-creator-reveals-new- We saw an early preview of OCZs Vertex 4 back at CeBIT,science-fiction-game/15445.html nearly a month ago now and it seems like OCZ has decidedApril 5th, 2012 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 OCZs Vertex 4 back at CeBIT,The creator of the popular Minecraft online game has nearly a month ago now and it seems like OCZ has decidedrevealed that he is working on a new science-fiction game that it was time to launch its new SSD series. The interestingthat will require a monthly subscription. part here is the controller used, namely the Indilinx Everest 2The creator of the popular Minecraft online game has which is something of an in-house solution considering OCZrevealed that he is working on a new science-fiction game owns Indilinx.that will require a monthly subscription. Indilinx has managed to improve the performance of the Everest 2 significantly compared to the Everest controllerMarkus Persson, more commonly known as Notch, and his and were looking at a 400MHz SoC with support for a widegame studio Mojang struck gold with Minecraft, an internet- range of current and upcoming NAND flash memory types,based title that focuses on mining and construction. Nearly up to 1GB of local cache memory, encryption and improved5.5 million copies of the game have been sold, despite it error correction. The company claims transfer rates of up tolacking a publisher or marketer, showing that good games 535MB/s with synchronous flash and the new Vertex 4 seriescan make it without the backing of a big name. isnt 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 randomNow Persson has turned his attention to a new game, performance. This is quite a lot higher than what thetentatively titled 0x10c, which is probably not as catchy company claimed for the Vertex 3 MAX IOPS. Interestingly,a name as Minecraft. This game will focus on a group of the first reviews have all found that the Vertex 4 hashumans who wake up 281 billion years in the future after blisteringly fast write speeds, whereas the read performancebeing put in deep sleep, entering a dystopian world that is leaves quite a bit to be desired. This is very much the oppositeon the brink of destruction. that were used of seeing when it comes to SSDs.Gameplay will involve space battles, looting, trading andplanet mining. Users will also have to programme theirown 16-bit CPUs to power their spaceships, an interestingapproach that shows that Mojang is still thinking outside thebox.Persson said that the game will follow hard science-fiction rules, which means that they will be theoreticallypossible or plausible ideas, rather than completely far-fetched adventures. He is even encouraging experts inscientific fields to correct him on any mistakes he makes. The Vertex 4 is one of the fastest SSDs when it comesOCZ announces the Vertex 4 to dealing with incompressible data writes, but apparently OCZ was in a bit of a hurry getting the Vertex 4 outseries of SSDs there and as such it doesnt handle small transfers well.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-announces-the-vertex-4-series- According to Anandtech this is related to two issues, lack ofof-ssds/15446.html 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 isnt likely to be as easy to solve. That said, unless youre dealing with massive amounts of tiny files, youre likely to suffer much ill effect. 12
  • 30. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneIts still early days for the Indilinx Everest 2 SSD controllerand we have a feeling that given some time, well seeperformance improvements to the read performance as OCZtunes the firmware to suit various market needs. On theplus side, the Everest 2 is said to have very good garbagecollection which means that performance over time wontsuffer nearly as much as it does on many SandForce basedSSDs.OCZ is trying to hit some very competitive price pointswith the Vertex 4, with the 128GB SKU having an MSRPof US$179, with the 256GB SKU coming in at US$349and finally the 512GB SKU at $699 which makes it one ofthe cheapest SSDs out there today. Whats even better isthat OCZ includes a five year warranty at this price, whichsuggests that theyre very confident about their product.RIM launches BlackBerry The move is significant, as it signals a change in direction for the struggling firm, which was recently forced to deny it isMobile Fusion for Apple and abandoning the consumer market. The companys strongestAndroid devices sector is enterprise, but even there its rivals are chipping away at its market share. Opening BlackBerry software upSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-launches-blackberry-mobile- to opposing platforms, however, could be what it needs tofusion-for-apple-and-android-devices/15444.html bring in the revenue it needs, and it could eventually lead toApril 5th, 2012 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 launcheda mobile device management solution for enterprisecustomers using rival mobile platforms on Apple and BioWare extends Star Wars:Android devices. The Old Republic free trialBlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has launched Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bioware-extends-star-wars-the-old-a mobile device management solution for enterprise republic-free-trial/15442.htmlcustomers using rival mobile platforms on Apple and April 5th, 2012Android devices.BlackBerry Mobile Fusion builds on RIMs success withBlackBerry Enterprise Server, but extends it scalable andcost-effective management solution beyond devices running BioWare has extended its free trial feature for its Star WarsBlackBerry OS, including popular alternatives like iOS and MMO by allowing existing players to invite up to 25 friendsAndroid, the two dominant platforms that pushed RIM out to play for a seven day period.of the top spot for smartphones. 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.RIMs new enterprise service offers support for multipledevices per user, application and software management,connectivity management, security and policy definition Star Wars: The Old Republic is not even four months oldmanagement, asset and configuration management, and it is already approaching two million paying subscribers,a centralised web console, user and group-based making it the fastest growing MMO in North Americaadministration, the ability to remotely lock or wipe lost or and forcing even World of Warcraft maker Blizzard tostolen devices, and high scalability to suit business needs. 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. 13
  • 31. 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, its all opposite: theres 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? Well, it seems the role reversal will hit us there too, twoThe company previously allowed gamers to invite three of years from now. Our sources say that, while the mainstreamtheir friends, but some players complained that this was not Haswell 4-core platform will still stay on DDR3 - and nothingenough for the many people they wanted to get interested wrong with that, since by then DDR3 will approach 3000in the game. These three invites are counted towards the 25 speed grade - the high end Haswell-EX 4-socket plaform,invite limit, so those who have already used them will have with each chip having 16 or so cores, will for the first22 invites left to send. Friends must accept the invitation time, support DDR4 memory, in 2014. These monstrouswithin 14 days or it will expire. 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 lowerHowever, one of the things that this friends trial programme power consumption with 1.2v power supply, as well as betterlacks is an incentive for players to recruit people. While parity protection and recovery from errors, the benefits areobviously family and friends will like to play together, many there, even without the speed increase.people will not be inclined to send out any invites at all. Somekind of bonus, such as an experience boost or in-game item,is something that BioWare will likely consider in future, but For the desktop side, the 22 nm Haswell and its 14 nmwith the game still fairly new it probably does not need to Broadwell successor would share the same LGA1150 socket,worry about incentives right now. 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-yearThe company is planning to launch a major game update lag between high end and the low end for the new generationsoon, likely early next week, which will include a new memory support, with the low end being the late one thisOperation, Flashpoint, and Warzone, in addition to the time.Legacy system, which offers bonuses for playing multiplecharacters, UI customisation, guild banks, and several otherchanges. BioWare is promising plenty more content updates Its not as if it may matter much for the mainstream Haswellover the coming months and years. 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 scratchpadIntel move to DDR4 to start memory as well. Also, since Haswell has such high FP peak issuing rate, double that of Sandy/Ivy Bridge, with its FMAwith high end server CPUs in (Fused Multiply-Add) operations, the extra bandwidth ofearly 2014? this L4 memory should be very usable by the CPU as well. In the later generations, DDR4 may help solve the bandwidthSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-move-to-ddr4-to-start-with- problem, but the extra latency cost is not clear yet, though.high-end-server-cpus-in-early-2014-/15441.htmlApril 5th, 2012 Sapphires Toxic HD7970 is a Monster: Record Clocks, 6GB GDDR5 Memory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-s-toxic-hd7970-is-a-Over the years, Intel held to a steady strategy of launching monster-record-clocks-6gb-gddr5-memory/15418.htmlnew CPU architectures or processes first in the high end April 5th, 2012products, yet introducing new memory technologies at themainstream. Now, the roles seem to have been reversed...Remember the good old days when, if wanting to get hold ofthat new CPU microarchitecture, or semiconductor processshrink, you knew youd have to get it in the high end partslike enthusiast desktop or workstation / server processors 14
  • 32. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneEven though AMD launched Radeon HD 7970 back inDecember 22, 2011, it took Sapphire months to perfect theircompletely custom design in order to create the ultimate HD7970: Meet the new Sapphire Toxic HD 7970.If youre a graphics maker, your goal is to ship as muchunits as possible, as soon as the GPU which powers yourcard is hot. In case of Tahiti XT, AMD released the RadeonHD 7970 powered with 3GB GDDR5 memory on December22th, 2011 and made a retail debut on January 9th, 2012.Second product powered by the Tahiti Pro chip was RadeonHD 7950, also equipped with 3GB GDDR5 memory.These reference parts were joined by multiple graphicsmakers taking their own spin, offering 3rd party cooling,custom BIOSes, bundles and all of that is nice and dandy, butit pales in comparison to an upcoming monster: Sapphirestop product, Toxic. If you thought memory is special, Tahiti GPU ticks at highest levels weve 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 GHzQDR clock speed. This results with 6GB of GDDR5 memory,meaning this is the first consumer and only third graphicscard with that amount of memory - Tesla C2070 was the first,Quadro 6000 was second (realistically, these are the samecards, based on same ASIC and memory - but intended fordifferent workloads).Now the interesting bit about the 6GB of memory andthe potential of this card goes beyond gaming. Sans theregular single-card Eyefinity or high-resolution gaming(2560x1440, 2560x1600, 5760x1080, 7680x1600), this cardwill be cherished by professionals who will finally haveenough frame buffer for decent framerates in 4K resolution(3840x2160, 4096x2160). Dont be surprised if this boardbecomes a favorite not in the world of gamers andoverclockers, but rather professionals who dont want to To see how Sapphire reached amazing clocks, a closerbuy professional graphics cards because they need sheer inspection of power regulators. Engineers went with 11-performance. phase (8+3) VRM consisting out of two 8-pin Astron PEGFor example, the memory bandwidth is astounding - Tesla connectors (375W max. draw, 150+150+75W) connectingC2070 could only deliver 148 GB/s, Toxic delivers 328 GB/ to sixteen DirectFETs (by International Rectifier froms at default clock, and up to 356 GB/s when overclocked California) and sixteen solid-state chokes. The power(1.9 GHz QDR clock). This is the highest (stock) memory regulation is better than what we have on most ofbandwidth weve seen, regardless of you using a single or a motherboards on the market, and it goes beyond saying thatdual-GPU card (GTX 590 peaked at 320 GB/s - 768-bit x this should by far be the fastest HD 7970 board to date.3414/1024). 15
  • 33. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneNaturally, all that power is nothing if you cannot cool downthe components, and here is where Sapphire excels. Theheatsink combines two 80mm fans, four thick heatpipes Canon has announced the successor to the EOS 20Daconnecting to a vapor chamber. Thus, Sapphire went for the digital SLR camera, which comes in the form of EOSjugular and combined the most efficient cooling methods. 60Da, designed for users who are into astrophotography. The Canon EOS 60Da camera features an 18-megapixelThe back of the board features the conventional two DVIs APS-C CMOS sensor that is capable of producing sharp(leaked picture shows a Dual-Link DVI switch, so you can and high-contrast images of astronomical objects. Itprobably chose between one and two DVIs), full-sized HDMI also incorporates improved infrared-blocking filter that1.4a 3GHz and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. can achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that isPrice is not known, but we would expect to see anywhere approximately three times higher than a normal Canonbetween $150-200 premium over the current HD 7970. digital SLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higherAfter all, this board is a completely custom product and transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength,comes with 100% more memory than the original cards. allowing photographers to capture crisp, sharp images of the night skies.Canon unveils EOS 60Da The camera also features 3-inch Vari-angle Clear View LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots for detailed focusing, ISODSLR camera for astronomy sensitivity of 100 to 6400 (and expandable to 12800), 63-enthusiasts zone dual layer metering system, full manual controls and can capture in RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG formats. TheSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-unveils-eos-60da-dslr- EOS 60Da Live View mode is equipped with Silent Shootingcamera-for-astronomy-enthusiasts/15439.html feature, which can eliminate shutter-induced vibration whenApril 5th, 2012 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 onCanon has announced the new EOS 60Da digital SLRcamera, designed for users who enjoy shooting the night Androidskies, or astrophotography. The company claims that the Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/instagram-now-available-on-camera has a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor android/15438.htmlthat lets users capture images with accurate details and April 5th, 2012sharpness. 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). 16
  • 34. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Just like the Cloud Router and Cloud Storage, the Cloud Camera is another branch of D-Links 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 photo-sharing app that is only available on Apples iPhone andiPad, and has over 30 million users to date. And now thecompany is moving to cover the Android market with thelaunch of their app on Googles platform. For those whoarent familiar, Instagram allows you to share your photosin a simple photo stream with friends, family and even tothe whole world. You can also follow your friends photoswith just a click of a button. And every day when you openthe app, youll see new photos from your friends and othercreative people from around the world. The app also offers awide selection of filtered effects that you can use to give yourpicture a new artistic look. The Instagram app for Androidis free to download from Google Play and requires GoogleAndroid 2.2 Froyo and higher.Features:- 100% free custom designed filters and borders- Lux works its magic by making your photos more vibrantand brings out details in your photos you couldnt see before- Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, andFoursquare (Flickr coming very soon) The D-Link DCS-932L comes in an all white finish and the- Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and camera lense is located at the center surrounded by fourcomments Infrared (IR) LEDs. The camera is attached to a removable plastic stand that is wall/ceiling mountable.- Works with Android versions 2.2 and above that supportOpenGL ES 2- Full front & back camera supportD-Link DCS-932L mydlinkCloud Wireless IP CameraReviewSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-dcs-932l-mydlink-cloud-wireless-ip-camera-review/15412.htmlApril 5th, 2012 The rear of the camera is where all the connections are located. 17
  • 35. 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. Intels SSD 313 series official, retailing and tested Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-ssd-313-series-official- retailing-and-tested/15437.html April 5th, 2012As we do not want to damage this delicate camera if we takeit apart, we managed to sourced some internal images takenfrom the FCC product documentation on the manufacturers Back in February we told you about Intels upcoming 313website. From the picture, we can see that the DCS-932L series of SSDs that are set to replace the 311 series for useis powered by a Ralink RT3050F System-on-a-Chip (SoC) as hard drive caching. Now the drives have been officially@ 384MHz, while the 32MB RAM chip is just below. The launched, even though it was a very quiet launch, with thesmall IC on the left of the RAM is the iP2970 from iPassion drives available in retail as of today and on top of all that,Technology which provides video and audio processing and there are even some early benchmark figures out.is linked to the SoC via USB2.0. The company has resorted Back in February we told you about Intels upcoming 313to a 1.3dBi chip antenna on the top left as there is not enough series of SSDs that are set to replace the 311 series for usespace for a PCB antenna. 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 SKUs 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-inchCMOS sensor with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. Acondenser microphone is located at the center of the board,and we are slightly disappointed that the DCS-932 does nothave 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. Theres 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 youre planning on using Intels Rapid Start and 18
  • 36. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneSmart Response technology at the same time with an IvyBridge CPU on a 7-series motherboard, make sure you get a Gaming on the iPhone and iPad have become extremelymodel with as much spare space as you have RAM, i.e. 4GB popular over recent months and will likely only grow withof RAM equals the 20GB model and 8GB of RAM equals the the addition of full high-definition displays to the latest iOS24GB model. devices. Games are also moving away from the purely casualGreek website Hwbox has already given the new 20GB approach of the likes of Angry Birds to full immersive gamesmodel a quick run-through and the drive appears to perform like the enhanced edition of BioWares classic RPG Baldursin line with Intels numbers, although the idea here is of Gate, which is set to release on the iPad and other platformscourse not the raw SSD performance, but rather how well this Summer.it performs as a cache for a hard drive. Generally this issomething that takes a few runs so that the files can becached on the SSD for the next time theyre being used. Of course, part of the success of mobile gaming is itsNothing earthshattering came to light in the benchmarks, portability, which is somewhat negated by the need to lugbut you can find them by clicking on the link below. 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 controllerApple working on iPad game might even be reserved as a feature for the next iPad rathercontroller than simply adding the functionality into existing tablets.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-working-on-ipad-game-controller/15436.htmlApril 5th, 2012 Wii U less powerful than Xbox 360 and PS3, release date leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wii-u-less-powerful-than-xbox-360- and-ps3-release-date-leaked/15435.htmlApple is working on a game controller for the iPad, which April 5th, 2012could see a further rise in the popularity of mobile gamingand a bigger threat to consoles.Apple is working on a game controller for the iPad, whichcould see a further rise in the popularity of mobile gamingand a bigger threat to consoles. Nintendos next-generation console, the Wii U, is not as graphically powerful as existing consoles like the XboxAnandTech reports that Apple is secretly developing a 360 and PlayStation 3, according to a number of gameproject to bring a physical controller to the market, but developers.qualifies this by saying that its in the early stages and thus Nintendos next-generation console, the Wii U, is not asmay not make it into reality. graphically powerful as existing consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, according to a number of gameThe plans appear to be a response to Googles introduction developers.of controller support for Android last year, which gave it anedge for those who like to play mobile games but arent keen Several anonymous sources told GamesIndustry that whileon touchscreen controls. the Wii U will be capable of generating high-definition graphics, it wont 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. 19
  • 37. April 5th, 2012 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. 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 HangoutsPrice is likely a consideration for the Wii U and one of integration, for sharing and engaging with fellow art lovers,the reasons why graphics capability may not be as amazing a higher quality Street View option for exploring museums,as some expect. Graphics have come a long way since the and a personalised gallery featuring favourite artworks.current generation of consoles launched more than five yearsago, but top-end graphics always involves a top-end price, a The Google Art Project is part of a wider array of culturalluxury that Nintendo cannot afford to make in its desire to experiments the search giant is engaging in, including theappeal to a wide range of gamers. Google Cultural Institute, which is providing high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the digitizing of the archivesNintendo is hoping to engage more hardcore gamers with of famous individuals like Nelson Mandela, and the creationits better graphics, but the real gimmick that will sell the of 3D models of historical sites and landmarks, such as 18thconsole is the tablet controller and the promised new ways Century French cities.to play games that come with it. Nintendos success with theWii was the new style of gameplay, so it wont be ignoringthat just so it can boost the graphical prowess of the Wii U. First Look: ASUS P8Z77-IThe supposed release date of the Wii U has also been Deluxe ITX Motherboardleaked by a Japanese retailer. It is expected to release on 18 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-look-asus-p8z77-i-deluxe-itx-November in the US and a week later in Japan. Theres no motherboard/15357.htmlword on other regions, but Nintendo has promised it will be April 5th, 2012available throughout the world by the end of the year.Google expands Art Projectacross the world Mini-ITX motherboards are essentially stripped down variants of their full sized counterparts, doing away withSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-expands-art-project-across- non-essential expansion options and using "good enough"the-world/15434.html components. In recent times ASUS has dabbled in smallApril 5th, 2012 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 giants latest salvo for the mindshare ofGoogle has expanded its Art Project across the world, performance ITX system buyers.increasing the number of museums involved from 17 to a Package and Bundlewhopping 151, with thousands of artworks now available forall to see online.Google has expanded its Art Project across the world,increasing the number of museums involved from 17 to awhopping 151, with thousands of artworks now available forall to see online.The original experiment launched last year, involving ninecountries and around 1,000 images, mostly from Westernartists. Todays huge expansion increases that number to 40countries and a massive 30,000 high-resolution artworks,with a greater variety of styles from people across the world. 20
  • 38. 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 layoutwith the standout item being the 8-pin EPS connector andvertically fitted daughterboard for the voltage regulators.Traditionally, ITX motherboards have been fitted with thebare minimum of power circuitry due to space and budget No obvious anamolies underneath - and we have theconstriants, ruling out the possibility of high TDP operation. 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.At the I/O panel area, we get a generous eight USBports (Four of them USB 3.0), triple display connectivity(single HDMI, DP, DVI-D), Gigabit LAN, Wifi/Bluetooth4.0 connectors, two eSATA 3GB/s and buttons for actuating Although this is not something youll see on most ITX setups,Clear CMOS/BIOS Flackback functions. Although there are the mounting of a 140mm Thermalright Archon CPU toweronly three audio jacks at the rear, 8-channel audio can still was not obstructed by the VRM daughterboard.be achieved if the side speakers are connected to the frontpanel jacks. 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
  • 39. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethe CPU socket is pretty good too, even with a large heatsinkused 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 werent displaying correctly, its 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. Heres 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 correctlyFacebook for iPad gets - Your friend-request notification only lights up if you have a requestupdated with high resolutionRetina support and more - You can change your language to Czech, Danish, Greek, Indonesian, Malaysian, Norwegian (Bokmal), PortugueseSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-for-ipad-gets-updated- (Portugal) or Thaiwith-high-resolution-retina-support-and-more/15342.htmlApril 5th, 2012 - If you’ve got a new Retina iPad, you’ll see a crisp, high resolution interface You can update to v4.1.1 of Facebooks 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 Microsofts IE web browserapp for iPad has just been updated to support the super mildly regains usage sharehigh resolution of Apples latest generation iPad. This is a Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-ie-web-browser-mildly-much welcomed feature for owners of the third-gen iPad regains-usage-share/15427.htmlparticularly due to there being a ton of photos and videos April 5th, 2012uploaded in high resolution.In a case of being better late than never, the Facebookapp for iPad has just been updated to support the superhigh resolution of Apples latest generation iPad. This is amuch welcomed feature for owners of the third-gen iPadparticularly due to there being a ton of photos and videosuploaded in high resolution. With the likes of Mozillas FireFox and Googles Chrome web browsers dominating the show these days its hard to imagine Internet Explorer ever gaining popularity again, but the latest numbers from Net applications do in fact reflect 22
  • 40. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneincreased usage momentum when focusing on Marchsusage share data.With the likes of Mozillas FireFox and Googles Chromeweb browsers dominating the show these days its hard toimagine Internet Explorer ever gaining popularity again, butthe latest numbers from Net applications do in fact reflectincreased usage momentum when focusing on Marchsusage share data.This web analytics firm saw IEs usage share climb from51.9% to 53.8% in the month of March, while surprisinglyboth FireFox and Chrome saw minor shrinkage in thesame 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, Apples Safari web browser also saw a jump inusage share, albeit only minor going from 4.97% to 5.07%.With the above said, IE is still far from being as successful asit used to be. Even when only going back 12 months to March2011 where its usage share was 58.4% it is clear that overallit has been on the decline, but since December of last yearwhen it hit its lowest point due to Googles Chrome pickingup the pace, Microsofts Internet Explorer has been slowlyand quietly increasing again.Theres no doubt when looking at IE9 vs. IE8 Microsofthas notably improved upon its browser with a cleaneruser interface, a solid amount of standards support, bettersecurity and decently fast rendering, but I think I speak for The VID-NX680 water block from Koolance is now availablemost of us here in saying once you make the leap away to the for purchase directly from their website at a cost of USalternatives (primarily Chrome or Firefox) theres no going $119.99.back. Intel targets emergingKoolance intro VID-NX680 markets with new StoryBookwater block for NVIDIAs GTX Tablet PC680 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-targets-emerging-markets-Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/koolance-intro-vid-nx680-water- with-new-storybook-tablet-pc/15431.htmlblock-for-nvidia-s-gtx-680/15382.html April 5th, 2012April 5th, 2012 Intel and Lenovo had launched the Classmate PC earlierIf youre itchin to hook up your almighty GEFORCE GTX this year for the educational sector, and it is powered by680 (or two) to your existing waterloop, Koolance now has a an Intel Atom N2600 dual-core processor, and has up todecent looking block for you to consider. The company has 320GB storage with a SATA hard drive (or up to 32GB withjust released its VID-NX680 water block to suit NVIDIAs SSD). The chip giant was also reported to be releasing a newcurrent flagship card. StoryBook Tablet PC, targeting emerging markets.If youre itchin to hook up your almighty GEFORCE GTX According to reports, chip giant Intel will be launching680 (or two) to your existing waterloop, Koolance now has a a new tablet PC product (codenamed "StoryBook") fordecent looking block for you to consider. The company has emerging markets, and it will adopt the same sales modeljust released its VID-NX680 water block to suit NVIDIAs as the Classmate PC that was jointly developed by Intelcurrent flagship card. and Lenovo. The StoryBook tablet PC will be based on Intels Medfield platform with dual-operating systems, and 23
  • 41. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonealso feature a 10-inch screen; the tablet PC is designed features, like mobile processor and operating system. And itfor emerging markets including China and Brazil. The isnt surprising that the Xperia S is not incorporating a quad-StoryBook tablet PC is scheduled to be released in the second core processor or Google Android 4.0 ICS, unlike some ofhalf of 2012 and Intel hopes to push the pricing to be the other manufacturers who have already announced andbelow US$299. Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), which launched theirs.has a close relationship with Intel and is also the Original Sony Xperia SEquipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the Classmate PC, isexpected to develop the StoryBook for Intel. CPU Qualcomm MSM 8260 1.5GHz dual-core processor Memory 1GBSony Xperia S Review: Sonys Screen 4.3-inch Reality Display withfirst Android smartphone Sony mobile BRAVIA engineSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-xperia-s-review-sony-s-first- Display Resolution 1280×720android-smartphone/15372.html Storage 32GBApril 5th, 2012 Camera 12.1-megapixel rear with LED flash, 1.3- megapixel front Connectivity Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, micro-USB, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, aGPS, NFC, DLNAThe Xperia S is the first smartphone in the Xperia NXT Battery 1750mAhseries - next generation smartphones from Sony - which Platform Google Android 2.3was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las GingerbreadVegas earlier this year. The Android phone claims todeliver stunning viewing experiences with its high resolution Dimensions 128 × 64 × 10.6mmdisplay, and has a 12-megapixel rear camera that can go into Weight 144gcamera mode from phone standby mode almost instantlyto shoot your images. VR-Zone checks out the new Xperia Sto see how good it is. Sony Singapore introduces XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP headphones for smartphone users Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-introduces-xba-1vp- and-xba-2vp-headphones-for-smartphone-users/15430.html April 5th, 2012 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 theIn 2001, Sony went into a joint venture with Ericsson smartphone users - XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP.to produce mobile devices under their co-brand - SonyEricsson. The partnership lasted till February this yearwhen the Japanese electronics maker announced that itwould acquire Ericssons share in the venture. Now, underSony Mobile Communications, the company has unveiledtheir new device in the Xperia NXT series early this yearat CES 2012; the NXT series is Sonys next generationsmartphones. The Xperia S claims to be the companysfirst Android smartphone, and is the flagship model amongthe recently announced Xperia sola, Xperia P and XperiaU. It features a 4.3-inch Reality display with Sonysproprietary mobile BRAVIA engine and incorporates NearField Communication.Sony (or Sony Ericsson then) isnt the type who would strive Sony Singapore has introduced the XBA series in-earto be the first manufacturer to launch devices with the latest headphones in February, and today, the company has 24
  • 42. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneannounced the XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP for smartphoneusers. The XBA-1VP and XBA-2VP feature the micro- Samsung launches SLATE PCsized BA units that claim to produce crystal clear sound Series 7 in Singaporereproduction and quality across the range of frequencies. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-launches-slate-pc-series-7-Both headphones incorporate a double-layered housing in-singapore/15428.htmlcasing to block off and reduce ambient noise and sound April 5th, 2012leakage. The XBA-1VP uses Liquid Crystal Polymer andcontains one full range driver unit, whereas the XBA-2VPhas a a magnesium inner housing with woofer added intothe mix to deliver a richer bass. The XBA-1VP and XBA-2VPheadphones will be available in Asia Pacific from May 2012.Pricing details not available at press time. Samsung has announced the launch of their stylish SLATELogitech Touch Mouse M600 PC Series 7 in Singapore. The SLATE PC Series 7 can operate as a space-saving desktop PC when connected toarrives in Singapore a docking station with wireless keyboard and mouse. Or youSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-touch-mouse-m600-arrives- can remove the 11.6-inch touchscreen display and use it asin-singapore/15429.html a tablet.April 5th, 2012The Logitech Touch Mouse M600 was unveiled in February,in the US, which features a touch surface that lets younavigate intuitively with your fingers. But the Touch Mouseonly made it to our shores recently. 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 multi- task 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 theWith Microsofts success with their Touch Mouse, it is no display and use it like a tablet. The SLATE PC Series 7 alsosurprise that other peripheral makers, including Logitech, support multiple input methods from touch screen keyboardare following their footsteps. Logitech has announced the to digital pen, which is great for presenting, creating andavailability of their new Touch Mouse M600 in Singapore, capturing content.which lets users scroll, swipe and surf with their fingertips It boasts up to six hours of battery life (on a single charge),on the mouse. It sports a modern design with smooth and offers an integrated microphone, USB port, wirelessedges and is designed with comfort curves that makes it (Wi-Fi, WiMAX and HSPA+ connectivity) and dual camerasfeel comfortable in ones hand. The M600 is ideal for both - 2-megapixel front and 3-megapixel rear for audio and videoright- and left-handers, with click areas that can easily be recording. The Samsung SLATE PC Series 7 will be availablereassigned with Logitech SetPoint software. You can scroll in April 2012 at S$1,688.seamlessly by sliding your finger along the touch surfacewith the Logitech Flow Scroll software. The Touch Mouse Specificationsalso comes with the tiny Logitech Unifying receiver that CPU Intel Huron Riverlets you connect up to six compatible mice and keyboards Core i5 2467M /through one USB port. Core i3 25
  • 43. April 5th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Professional LCD 11.6-inch HD, 400nit, 16:9 PLS(view angle, >=170 degree) GFX Intel HD Graphics 3000System Memory 2GB / 4GB DDR3Configuration 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)Dimensions Thickness/ Weight 12.9mm / 860g Input Capacitive Touch + Digitizer/ AF Coating, Durable GlassI/O 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)Security TPM Yes (optional) 26
  • 44. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-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 $300price tagSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wii-u-gets-rumoured-300-price-tag/15495.htmlApril 9th, 2012 This will be key to the Wii Us success, in the same way that a low price-tag for the Wii helped bring in more sales, particularly when compared to the expensive consolesNintendos next-generation game console, the Wii U, is offered by Microsoft and Sony at the time.expected to retail for around $300, according to sourcesclose to the company. Some analysts think that anything above $250 would be aNintendos next-generation game console, the Wii U, is bad move by Nintendo, as it could cripple its existing market,expected to retail for around $300, according to sources which includes families on lower incomes, and lead to rivalsclose to the company. undercutting it with the cost of current generation consoles like the Xbox 360 bundled with a Kinect.The console will come bundled with a tablet controller,which will cost around $50 to produce, with the total Nintendo previously hinted that the Wii U would cost moreproduction cost estimated at $180, not counting packaging, than $250 at launch, but it has been working hard to lowersoftware and other related costs, which could drive the final the cost of the consoles components, securing a low price forcost well over $200. It would still leave Nintendo with a a custom-built GPU and CPU that can allegedly match thehealthy profit, however, even when shops take their cut, and performance of current rival consoles.there could still be some room to lower the price in future. The company could also follow Amazons business modelSince the console will be backwards-compatible with with the Kindle Fire tablet and sell the console at a loss, whileprevious Wii games and accessories, including Wiimotes, making up the profits through games and digital content andthis could help cut costs for the initial console purchase, as services, an area the company is planning to focus more on.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 The Wii U will release later this year.completely new customers."Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendosmain concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in UK watchdog consideringthe Wii Us hardware to build back confidence in investors. Apple probe over misleadingNintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less riskyproposition,” said a source cited by Forget the Box, a iPad 4G claimsCanadian media outlet. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/uk-watchdog-considering-apple- probe-over-misleading-ipad-4g-claims/15494.html April 9th, 2012 1
  • 45. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe UKs Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is A Chinese teenager sold his kidney on the black market soconsidering investigating Apple after receiving numerous he could buy an iPhone and iPad, leading to the arrest of fivecomplaints that advertisements for the 4G feature of the new people involved in the illegal organ transplant.iPad are misleading. A Chinese teenager sold his kidney on the black market soThe UKs Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is he could buy an iPhone and iPad, leading to the arrest of fiveconsidering investigating Apple after receiving numerous people involved in the illegal organ transplant.complaints that advertisements for the 4G feature of the newiPad are misleading. The 17-year-old was paid 22,000 yuan ($3,500) to have one of his kidneys surgically removed after he found brokersThe ASA said it received 24 complaints about references to looking for donors online. This payment is only 10 percent ofthe 4G capability of the new iPad on Apples website, despite the 220,000 yuan ($35,000) the patient receiving the organthe high-speed network not being available for the device paid for the operation, showing how little the actual donoroutside of North America. gets in these illegal trades.Apple was already forced to offer refunds to customers in Those who face charges, including intentional injury, are theAustralia on similar allegations that the company misled surgeon, a hospital contractor and organ donor brokers. Thethem with its 4G capability claims. This will set a precedence man who orchestrated the entire deal, He Wei, is apparentlyfor similar action in the UK. 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 legalApples UK store provides small print that states that LTE is transplants occur each year, leaving the rest of the people toonly supported in the US and Canada, but that may not be suffer and die, or avail of alternative measures to secure anenough to protect it from a backlash from customers and the organ.advertisement watchdog, particularly considering that thetext was not on the website initially. This incident is only one of many where youths agree to become organ donors for small sums of money to buyThe launch of the new iPad has not been easy for Apple. iPhones, iPads and other gadgets, as well as to pay forIn addition to these allegations of misleading customers, debts, abortions and other costs. It has raised concerns overthe latest tablet has also had problems of overheating due a growing trend to value devices over the human body,to its larger, more powerful battery. The company has sold with teens making spur of the moment decisions that couldmillions of the new tablet computer since its launch last greatly affect their entire life. If, for example, their othermonth, but many of these could be returned if these issues kidney fails, they could die, or could end up paying 10 orare not acknowledged and addressed. 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.Teen sells kidney on blackmarket to buy iPhone and Leica Camera Asia PacificiPad offers new rental program forSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teen-sells-kidney-on-black-market-to-buy-iphone-and-ipad/15493.html Leica S2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leica-camera-asia-pacific-offers-new-April 9th, 2012 rental-program-for-leica-s2/15492.html 2
  • 46. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 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 provideLeica Camera Asia Pacific has announced their new clear conversations with noise cancellation technology.rental program for the Leica S2 digital SLR camera (andaccompanying lenses), whereby consumers can rent at theCamera Rental Centre. 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 heardThe Leica S2 features a 37.5-megapixel sensor and of the brand Jabra, which is brought by the GN Netcomcoupled with Leica’s lenses that claims to deliver great division, under the GN Store Nord. In 2010, Jabra launcheddetail rendition with high-speed and accurate autofocus the EXTREME with noise cancelling technologies using dualin a compact form factor. Its weather-sealed body also microphones and automatic volume control that can reducelets photographers shoot even in extreme conditions. background noise and enhance call quality, and it was metLeica Camera Asia Pacific has announced its new rental with good overall reviews. And with the success of theprogram for the professional system, the Leica S2 and its EXTREME, it is no wonder that the company has decidedaccompanying lenses, which are available for rent at Camera to come up with its successor, the Jabra EXTREME2 withRental Centre from today. Photographers who want to try or improved features and performance.loan the Leica S2 can use the camera and two lenses at S$588 Heres a summary on its features and specifications:-at the Camera Rental Centre. The available lenses are theElmarit-S 30mm f/2.8, Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5, Summarit- - Noise Blackout 3.0 dual microphone technologyS 70mm f/2.5 and the APO-Macro Summarit-S f/2.5. Upon - High Definition (HD) Voice technologyrequest, Leica lens adapters for the Mamiya 645, Pentax67 and Hasselblad V system are available too. The Leica - Voice Guidance with useful voice alertsCamera Rental Centre offers the rental of Leica S2 on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information on the rental - MultiUse Technologyrates, you can email your queries to info@camerarental.bizor call +65 9650 4158. - A2DP Technology for streaming music - Ultimate Comfort Eargels for an all-day perfect fitJabra EXTREME2 Review:Lightweight Bluetooth - Up to 5.5 hours of talk time; 10.5 days of standby timeheadset that is extremely - Weighs 10.4 grams;easy to use - Dimensions - L47mm x W18.5mm x H27.5mmSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jabra-extreme2-review-lightweight-bluetooth-headset-that-is-extremely-easy-to-use/15432.html - Car charger; USB connectorApril 9th, 2012 3
  • 47. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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 smartphones Bluetooth connectivity, and wear the headset. One thing that wasnt mentioned is that you would need to charge the headset for at least few hours before using. To find out how much is the headsets 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-tablet- selling-at-us-110/15491.html April 9th, 2012 Hyundai is a name most users would associate to automobiles, though that is one of the sectors the KoreanThe Jabra EXTREME2 comes in a standard transparent company has business in; another sector is high-techpackage with the Bluetooth headset prominently in the consumer devices. The company has recently unveiled theirmiddle. Below it is the accessories box which contains the A7 Android tablet which is retailing at an affordable US$110.quick start manual, power adapter, USB-to-microUSBadapter, ear hook and different sized eargels to suityour ears. Unlike some Bluetooth headset maker thatoffers the car adapter as a separate accessory, Jabra hasincluded it with the headset, making it convenient for driversto charge their headset whenever they need. Note that youwill need to connect it with the USB-to-microUSB adapter(shown above) or an optional USB cable. We noticed thatwith the adapter, there is a slight protrusion that could pose 4
  • 48. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone may mean that devices incorporating Youm could soon go on retail. Youm is Samsungs 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 worlds first plastic electronic paper display.The Hyundai A7 is a 7-inch tablet with multitouch capacitive Max Payne Mobile coming to iOS and Android this monthdisplay (up to five points) and resolutions of 480x800pixels. It runs the latest Google Android 4.0 Ice CreamSandwich mobile operating system, and lets users to have Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/max-payne-mobile-coming-to-ios-access to rich online Google Play app store, all for just US and-android-this-month/15489.html$110 (approximately $89 cheaper than the Amazon Kindle April 9th, 2012Fire). The A7 incorporates a single core 1.5GHz ARM CortexA8 processor and ARM Mali 400 GPU, 512MB RAM and8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot).Other features include 0.3-megapixel front camera, USBport, HDMI video put, audio jack, Wi-Fi and 3G modules. Fans of the popular Max Payne third-person shooter videoSamsung names flexible game will be pleased to know that the developer, RockstarAMOLED display YOUM, and Games, has announced that Max Payne Mobile will be coming to iOS and Android devices this month.may soon come to marketSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-names-flexible-amoled-display-youm-and-may-soon-come-to-market/15490.htmlApril 9th, 2012Korean electronics giant Samsung showcased their flexibleAMOLED displays at CES last year, and it is likely the screenscould be incorporated into devices such as smartphones.The company has given the flexible AMOLED technology anofficial 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 AMOLEDtechnology "Youm", and both the name and logo has beensent for trademark registration in the United States. This 5
  • 49. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneIvy Bridge EP and EX comingup in a years time - the multi- Around that timeframe, the quad socket and above Ivy Bridge EX Xeon E7 should appear as well. Hold on, wesocket platform heaven did look at Westmere EX before, but what happened to theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-ep-and-ex-coming-up-in- Sandy Bridge EX? Well, nothing - it will never exist in thea-year-s-time--the-multi-socket-platform-heaven/15488.html market. Simply, the large multi-core dies required for bigApril 9th, 2012 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, thats why Sandy Bridge EX was skipped, and Intel moved right onto Ivy Bridge EX.As it became common recently, Intel is unveiling the highend members of each new microarchitecture, or optical Now, this should also bring the EX family closer to EP inshrink, nearly a year after showing it in mainstream part. terms of launching closer to each other, with less delaysThe same is expected to happen with Ivy Bridge - what does suffered by the big brothers. The thing is, Ivy Bridge EX willIntel have in store for top end users? 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 sameAs you all know by now, in about two weeks Intel DDR3-1600 server memory (although Ivy Bridge EP shouldwill be unveiling its first Ivy Bridge 22 nm processors, also support DDR3-1866).the new semiconductor process shrink of the SandyBridge architecture with lower power and a couple ofimprovements like better integrated graphics and random Now, the differences start here: the quad socket Ivy Bridgenumber generators, for instance, thrown in. The initial parts EX is expected to have 15 - hopefully they can round it upwill be mainstream desktop then mobile, with the much to 16 for binary system sake - cores, with similar per-coreexpected UltraBook range later in early summer. cache size as the Ivy Bridge EP, but correspondingly slower core speed: I dont think theyll go much above 2.4 GHz, theWhat about the high end desktop as well as the widely same clock speed as Westmere EX Xeon E7 4870 top model.popular dual socket servers and workstations, not to forget The four memory controllers using new version of scalablethe top end quad socket machines? Well, we are likely to wait memory buffer chip effectively support eight DDR3-1600at least till year-end for Ivy Bridge update to those platforms. memory channels and 1.5 TB memory per socket, and thereAnd, guess what, there are two major differences there. are more QPI channels as well - three compared to two on the EP platform, but less than four in the Westmere EX platform.The dual processor Socket 2011 platform, the Xeon E5, isexpected to receive the ten core 25 MB L3 (some sourcesmention 30 MB L3 but that doesnt seem likely as of now) Since there are 32 PCIe 3.0 lanes on each CPU herecache Ivy Bridge EP part update, which should also bring (strangely, less than 40 lanes per socket on the EP butaround 15%-20% clock speed update. The 22 nm tri-gate then, there are more sockets here), we can be excused forprocess benefits for both power consumption and clock needing less QPI links there, but then, three links only allowspeed will help Xeon E5 solve the high-TDP problems that four CPUs to be connected directly without hops, and evenbothered it a little bit in the Sandy Bridge EP generation right adding accelerators like MIC on the QPI would then createnow. In my mind, based on the power and performance gains extra hops in the system, which do add latency. Since theassessment, Id expect 2.4 GHz 10-core parts at the 95W TDP same platform is to be shared by the future Haswell EX andlevel, 3 GHz 10-core parts at the 130W TDP level, and 3.3 Broadwell EX as well, itd be a pity of the QPI link numberGHz 10-core parts at the 150W workstation SKU grade, all limitation becomes a real bottleneck later, once more QPIplus minus 100 MHz or so. co-processors or I/O controllers are out there.And, oh yes, the TDP problem solution should also enable In summary, Intel will round up its Ivy Bridge platformthe single Socket 2011 systems based on X79 chipset to have rollout within about a year, with dual socket Xeon E5 andfull speed 8-core and 10-core chips in this iteration - good quad processor Xeon E7 platform updates,which will sharenews for those of you holding, say, entry level Core i7-3820 common I/O chips, QPI speeds and even server memoryquad core, since this would make a nice speed doubling speeds, yet with record numbers of high-end cores per chipupgrade without increasing the system power consumption. as well as some very interesting performance records along the way.Again, this will be just a CPU update on the same chipsetand board platform, likely to be matched with a PatsburgC600 chipset stepping update for those minor problemslike say 6 Gbps SAS, for instance. Otherwise, the stableplatform should provide a smooth transition from 8-coreSandy Bridge EP to 10-core Ivy Bridge EP. 6
  • 50. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Grand Prix and S$160 PSNGran Turismo 5 Asia Online Money VoucherTournament 2012 starts (each region):today 2nd Place (each region): S$320 PSN Money VoucherSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gran-turismo-5-asia-online-tournament-2012-starts-today/15487.html 3rd Place S$160 PSN Money VoucherApril 9th, 2012 (each region): All participants: DL car Nissan Calsonic IMPUL GT-R (SUPER GT) 08 *Only for participants who have gained Gold Trophy inSo you think youre faster than the rest? Well, fasten your the event.virtual seatbelt and blaze your way to the top at the GranTurismo 5 Asia Online Tournament. Starting from today,PlayStation 3 gamers can compete with other top racers inAsia and stand a chance to win attractive prizes including Video: The birth of aPSN voucher and free trip to Tokyo, Japan. Gigabyte Z77 motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/video-the-birth-of-a-gigabyte-z77- motherboard/15482.html April 9th, 2012 A little while ago VR-Zone had the opportunity to visit Gigabytes Nan-Ping factory in Taiwan where the company makes most of its high-end motherboards, as well as someThe GT5 Asia Online Tournament is back on Sony graphics card models, notebooks, smartphones and a fewEntertainment Network (formerly PlayStation Network), other things. We got a short video after the break showingstarting today. Race your way to the top and you get to you how Gigabytes Z77 motherboards are being made, sorepresent your region and compete with other top racers in click on through to the video.Asia at the Sepand Circuit Malaysia (Super GT Sepang Grand The Nan-Ping factory is very flexible and GigabytePrix) on 10 June. The tournament is divided into Regional manufacturers multiple lines of products at once. Sadly, onTournaments, Regional Finals and Asia Final and is open the day we visited things were quite slow, as the companyto Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) members from Hong had already shipped most of its Z77 motherboards to itsKong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. customers already, but a few production lines were stillWinners stand to walk away with PSN vouchers as well as the operational. Keep in mind that these production lines cangrand prize - two-way air tickets and hotel accommodation output some quarter of a million motherboards a month, notto attend Tokyo Game Show 2012 in September 2012 and a taking into account other products.trophy for the Asian Championship. Gigabyte recently updated one of its production lines to9th - 22nd April 2012 Qualification Matches include a new SMT machine that can fit 15 SMD components4th May 2012 Result announcement for a second to a motherboard, up from 10 components qualification matches per second when compared to the machines used in theMay-12 Regional Finals other production lines. The company is also busy workingMid-May 2012 Result announcement for on an automatic solution for adding capacitors to the Regional Finals motherboards, but sadly we werent allowed to film this10th June 2012 Asia Final machine, as its a custom made solution for Gigabyte. Overall its very interesting to see whats going on and howAsia Champion advanced parts of the manufacturing process is, while otherTwo-way air tickets and hotel accommodation to attend parts are required to be done by hand. Theres a reason whyTokyo Game Show 2012 in September 2012 and a Trophy for motherboards cost what they cost, as its not just a matterthe Asian Championship. of PCB and components going on there, but its a really advanced manufacturing process which involves both a lot1st Place Two-way air tickets and of people and very expensive machinery. hotel accommodation to Malaysia to attend the Asia Final in Sepang Circuit Malaysia at Super GT Sepang 7
  • 51. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneAkasa Venom Power Modular 750W Output750W PSU Review SpecificationSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/akasa-venom-power-modular-750w- Voltage +3.3V +5V +12V1 -12V +5Vsbpsu-review/15479.html Max. 24A 30A 62A 0.5A 3AApril 9th, 2012 Load Combined170W 744W 6W 15W Wattage 750W MAX.Akasa is a versatile company, offering a multitude ofcomputer related products. They have also been a playerin the PSU market for several years; however, their high- Play as an Asari Justicar,performance products had not been updated in quite sometime, until the recent release of the Venom Power units. The Geth in Mass Effect 3new Venom Power units offer modular cable management multiplayer (DLC)and the company promises high performance and aesthetics Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/play-as-an-asari-justicar-geth-in-to enthusiasts. Today we will see if Akasa can hold their mass-effect-3-multiplayer-dlc-/15477.htmlpromise as we have the 750W version of the Venom Power April 9th, 2012series in our labs for review.Akasa is a versatile company, offering a multitude ofcomputer related products. They have also been a playerin the PSU market for several years; however, their high-performance products had not been updated in quite sometime, until the recent release of the Venom Power units. Thenew Venom Power units offer modular cable management Mass Effect: Resurgence Pack expands on the gamesand the company promises high performance and aesthetics "Galaxy at War" multiplayer component with six newto enthusiasts. Today we will see if Akasa can hold their characters, two additional maps and three new weapons.promise as we have the 750W version of the Venom Powerseries in our labs for review.Manufacturer features and specificationsApplication 750W PC Power SupplyDesigned for AMD / INTEL based systems ATI-AMD / NVIDIA graphicsForm factor ATX 12V 2.3Dimensions 150 x 158 x 86mm (W x L x H)Typical efficiency Over 80%Power Factor Correction Active PFCFan 135 x 135 x 25mm, thermal controlMotherboard connector 1 (20+4pin ) And it wont cost you a single penny - unless you decideATX12V connectors 1 (4+4pin) to pay actual money for the character/equipment unlockPCIe 6+2pin connectors 2 packs, of course. Instead of redeeming them through fakeSATA connectors 6 Monopoly galactic money.Molex 4pin connectors 6 Kudos, Bioware, for giving your fans something to play withFDD 4pin connectors 2 while they wait for Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.AC power input 240V AC Currently, the undisputable top three characters to play as inProtection Over Power / Voltage / Mass Effect 3 multiplayer are the Salarian Engineer, Salarian Current Protection Infiltrator and Asari Adept.Product code AK-PA075AM01 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
  • 52. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneWell find out when the free DLC pack comes out on April Not at all - in fact, Intel is pushing the QPI speed further,10, available for all the platforms (Xbox 360, PC, PS3) Mass from the initial 6.4 Gbit/s per pin, or 25.6 GByte/s perEffect 3 is on. A patch for various system glitches will also be bidirectional 16-bit link, to 8 Gbit/s per pin, or 32 GByte/released around the same period. 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, Intels 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 likeIn the meantime, better level up your characters during this the current Xeon E5 it will replace, the Haswell EX will haveweekends Operation: Beachhead in-game event - theres a three QPI links, not four like the current Westmere EX, since25% EXP bonus - so you can start using the new ones at level the focus seems to be four-socket configurations where 320 as soon as theyre released! QPI links are enough. Now, thats 77 GB/s and 115 GB/s of total interprocessor bandwidth per socket respectively, not bad at all! New features like directory cache will alsoEvolution: Intel Haswell high help handle MP transactions quicker over QPI then.end offerings to up the QPIspeed and use it to join with Whats interesting is that, in that timeframe, the MIC or the followon to the PCIe based Larrabee compute acceleratorMIC multi-teraflop chip derivative, should be running on that same QPI as theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evolution-intel-haswell-high-end- connection to the CPUs. In a sense, youll have a multi-offerings-to-up-the-qpi-speed-and-use-it-to-join-with-mic-multi-teraflop- teraflop co-processor sharing the main memory with all thechip/15476.html other CPUs as his own, yet still having a huge local memory,April 9th, 2012 maybe 16 GB or more, at very high bandwidth just like the GPUs do. Of course, itd 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, Intels mainstream desktop CPUs dont have QPI links So, Intel is going back to the future with the co-processoranymore? Well, the high end ones certainly do, and will have model seen last some 25 years ago in the i386 + i387more... Intel is evolving the QPI further, speeding it up and pair, but now with SIMD or vector-type co-processingadding more fun chips to it, using the co-processor model being on offer in the 2014 timeframe. Would make forakin to the old 80x87 FPU days some very very interesting workstations and HPC serverIntel QuickPath Interconnect between the CPUs, or QPI, is monster, methinks... but Intel, please dont be thrifty withcritical to linking multiple CPUs tightly together in a low QPI channels - lets add more of them, so, why not, AMDlatency, very high bandwidth, cache coherent manner to GPUs or third party accelerators can use it too, and be theenable smooth scaling of applications across two or more extra co-processors to the main CPUs for many other uses,sockets, and sharing the memory between them as one - tooeven though, in effects, it is a NUMA system at the end. Itis similar to AMD HyperTransport, as both are evolved fromAlpha EV7 interconnect which had it all some 12 years ago,before the worlds best CPU was brutally murdered by theaspiring HP failed-CEO to be politician Carly Fiorina and herbest friend at the time, Compaq CEO Michael Capellas. So,the technology casualty needed to castrate Compaq to makeit edible by HP of the time, set back the high end computingby a decade, what to do...Back to QPI; unlike HyperTransport, Intel didnt bring itsinterconnect much to the open market visibility or make anattempt to standardise it - rather, it was an internal highend interconnect seen on top desktop CPUs of the Nehalemand Westmere ere, as well as on all new Sandy Bridge andonwards Xeons. The Sandy Bridge and onwards Core i7single socket CPUs dont use QPI anymore, though - does itmean Intel is quietly giving it up, one may ask? 9
  • 53. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Schedule will be updated on official website if there is anyPALIT NVIDIA CS Tournament adjustment.- Win GTX680 Jetstream and Prize presentation in May. 2012 by respective country’s localPatroit SSDs! PALIT office/representatives [to be clarified]Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/palit-nvidia-cs-tournament--win-gtx680-jetstream-and-patroit-ssds-/15475.html Signup now or view the round by round action at http://April 9th, 2012 c s.palit.biz ! Registration closes 15th April so go form your teams fast! About Palit Microsystems LtdIn conjunction with the release of the award winningand fastest graphics card in the world Geforce GTX680 Established in 1988, Palit Microsystems Ltd. is well-Jetstream, Palit and NVIDIA is proud to to present known for manufacturing stable, excellent, and innovativethe inaugural "Palit-Nvidia CS Tournament - Gear up graphics accelerators. As one of the top PC componentsfor Battle!" Competition. Each of the winning 5-man manufacturers, Palit continues to provide top-to-bottomCS:S team will be rewarded with a record breaking graphics cards with stable and excellent quality to the world.Palit Jetstream GeForce GTX 680 and a speedy Patriot With main operation in Taipei, logistic center in HongSSD. More details can be found on the microsite at http:// Kong, factories in Mainland China, and branch office incs.palit.biz. Germany, Palit has developed a worldwide sales networkTaipei, Taiwan, April 2012 - In conjunction with the release and cooperated closely with our customers.of the award winning and fastest graphics card in the worldGeforce GTX680 Jetstream, Palit and NVIDIA is proud to to Palit is well positioned to maintain an industry leadershippresent the inaugural "Palit-Nvidia CS Tournament - Gear due to the vast array of NVIDIA products and on-goingup for Battle!" Competition. development efforts. Palit’s worldwide facilities are ISO 9001 certified. All the Palit PC graphics accelerators andMuch too often in a framerate intensive game like Counter- motherboards are with WHQL certification to ensure fullStrike Source and the upcoming Counter-Strike :Global compatibility.Offensive, the difference between a kill and a miss is downto the gamers equipment - having a dedicated NVIDIA GPU Contact Info:allows you to have smooth uninterrupted gameplay and not Palit Microsystems Ltdhamper your amazing reaction skillz. Taipei Office:Featuring the top Counter-Strike Source teams in the region Tel: +886 2 2358-2066(Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Fax: +886 2 2397-3179Australia) going head to head with each other in a single Tech Support: support@palit.bizelimination format played on Gamers.com.sg servers, thistwo week long online event will reward each of the members Learn more about Palits NVIDIA-based products at http://of the best 5-man team a record breaking GTX 680 www.palit.bizJetstream and a speedy Patriot SSD. 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 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 thisTournament Details: month. The best teams in the tournament will win up to USVersion - Counter-Strike Source (STEAM) $2000 cash and attractive prizes like upcoming MSI N6XXRuleset - 5v5 Standard Online MR15 cards. Signup (hurry, less than 1 week left!) or follow theRegistration Period - round by round action at http://mgt-dota.msi.com!Round of 16 -Quarter Finals - Taipei, Taiwan, April 2012 - Micro-Star International Co.,Semi Finals - Ltd (MSI), leading components maker and generous sponsorFinals - of various e-Sports teams and competitions over the years, is teaming up with NVIDIA to bring the South East Asia 10
  • 54. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneiteration of the "MSI NVIDIA DOTA TOURNAMENT"competition, happening this month April 2012! Our efforts are focused on quality, customer satisfaction and innovative solutions to meet growing market demands forWith the release of the record shattering 28nm GeForce computing needs.GTX680 GPU, gamers can now savour graphics intensiveDirectX 11 games while using the innovative 3D VisionSurround technology for up to four monitor gameplay! MSIs For nearly 16 years, MSI has paid close attention toexclusive Afterburner overclocking utility also allows gamers customers needs and has a proud history of achieving highlyto adjust the power and clocks of the GPU on the fly and take satisfaction results. In the process, a unique business culturein-game replays with the built in video recording feature. has emerged that drives associates to perform their absolute best.The competition will pit 16 of the best teams in the region(Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Our work is characterized by intellectual curiosity, devotionVietnam) against one another for a chance to be recognised to customer needs, passion and the demands we place uponas the best, and the best teams will also walk away ourselves for quality.with attractive cash (US$2000) and graphic card prizes(MSI N6xx) while doing so! A global company with sales of $1.7 billion in 2002, MSI serves an international network of distributorsTournament Details: and OEM customers in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa,Version - DotA 6.74c Australia, and Latin America.Patch version: 1.24e MSI was recently ranked number 22 on Legend MagazinesMatch room: Garena Singapore Section, Room Name Top 1000 manufacturing companies in Taiwan and ranked“DotaSG – ProPowerPlay” number 85 in the recent BusinessWeek Info Tech 100 report, published in June 2003.Win Condition: Completely destroys opponent’s WorldTree/Frozen Throne. Learn more about MSI at http://www.msi.comA roll between the two teams themselves will determinewhich team will get to choose either of the two options,“Draft First” or “Pick Side First”. ASRock X79 Extreme4Registration Period - 1st - 12th April 2012 Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-x79-extreme4-Round of 16 - 13th to 16th April review/15472.htmlQuarter Finals - 17th to 20th April April 9th, 2012Semi Finals - 21st to 24th AprilFinals - 25th to 28th AprilSchedule will be updated on official website if there is anyadjustment. Today we take a look at one of ASRocks entry level X79 boards, the X79 Extreme4. Not only is this boardPrize presentation in May. 2012 by respective country’s reasonably priced, but also carries many of the features oflocal MSI office/representatives [to be clarified] more expensive boards. Follow us as we take a look at the Extreme4 and its many extremities.Signup now or view the round by round action at http://mgt-dota.msi.com!About MSIMicro-Star International Co., Ltd (MSI) enjoys a highreputation for its innovations in the construction ofMotherboards, Graphics Cards, Optical Storage Devices,Workstations, Servers, Slim PCs, Barebone Systems and IAProducts.Since its founding in 1986, MSI has remained at the forefrontin providing easy-to-implement, state-of-the-art productsand robust computing solutions for our customers. 11
  • 55. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneASRock is well known for making entry level motherboards CPU Support - Supports Intel ® Core™ i7at a cheap price, however recently they have started to turn processor family for the LGAtheir wheels into the enthusiast market segment, and for 2011 Socketthat they have adopted nicer styling such as the gold and - Digi Power Designblack theme as well as added features enthusiasts want. We - Advanced 6 + 2 Powerrecently took a look at their Z68 Extreme7 Gen3, one of Phase Designtheir highest end products, but with the launch of the X79platform ASRock decided to go even higher to an Extreme9 - Supports Intel ® Turboand Extreme11, however today we will look at a board Boost 2.0 Technologywhich is much more affordable, the X79 Extreme4. Like - Supports Hyper-Threadingalways I will take an in-depth look at the hardware and Technologythen the performance of that hardware through different - Supports Untiedbenchmarks. Then we can see how the Extreme4 stacks up Overclocking Technologyto high-end boards such as the X79-UD7 and BigBang X- Chipset Intel X79 ExpressPower2. So buckle up and get ready for the ride. Memory - 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 - Supports Intel ® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2 Multi-GPU Support - Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX™ , 3-Way CrossFireX™ and CrossFireX™ - Supports NVIDIA ® QuadThe X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine, SLI™ , 3-Way SLI™ andexcept for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0, SLI™something we hope to see with Intels Z77 chipset. Second it Expansion Slots - 3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16is missing all of those additional SAS or SATA6GB/s ports slots (PCIE1 @ x16 mode;we saw on earlier X79 prototypes. That was a lot of SATA/ PCIE3 @ x16 mode; PCIE4SAS ports and now we have none of it, so we basically have a @ x8 mode)redo of the Z68 chipset just without SSD Caching and iGPU - 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slotssupport. - 2 x PCI slotsWhat is more interesting about the LGA2011 platform is Storage - 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/swhat is the CPU has in store for us. Even though thecurrent LGA2011 CPUs lack virtualization and PCI-E 3.0 connectors by Intel ® X79,certification, they still have many features. Quad channel support RAID (RAID 0,memory controller with supreme overclocking abilities is a RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which cant be claimed until the second and Intel ® Rapid Storagestepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem to take for 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and "Hotgranted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF support. Plug" functionsWith LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy the - 3 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/soverclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK connectors by ASMediastraps are nothing to push to the side. ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug"Specifications: functions LAN - 2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s MSI X79 BigBang X- connectors by Intel ® X79, Power II support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and Intel ® Rapid Storage 12
  • 56. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 3.0), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot - 3 x USB 2.0 headers Plug" functions (support 6 USB 2.0 ports) - 3 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s - 1 x USB 3.0 header connectors by ASMedia (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) ASM1061, support NCQ, - 1 x Dr. Debug with LED AHCI and "Hot Plug" Form Factor - ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x functions 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cmAudio - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec) - Premium Blu-ray audio IO-Datas new SSD uses support - Supports THX TruStudio™ Toshiba SATA 6GbpsUSB - 2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by controller ASMedia ASM1042, support Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/io-data-s-new-ssd-uses-toshiba- USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s sata-6gbps-controller/15473.html - 1 x Front USB 3.0 header April 9th, 2012 (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports) by ASMedia ASM1042, supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/sFireWire N/ABack Panel I/O Ports I/O Panel Its easy to forget that Toshiba is still in the SSD controller - 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port market, but the companys latest model has been revealed to - 1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port reside inside IO-Datas latest SSD, the SSDN-3TB which is - 1 x Coaxial SPDIF Out Port set to launch later this month. Its taken Toshiba quite some - 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port time to launch a SATA 6Gbps controller and it looks like the - 6 x Ready-to-Use USB 2.0 company has done a pretty decent job. Ports - 1 x eSATA3 Connector Its easy to forget that Toshiba is still in the SSD controller - 2 x Ready-to-Use USB 3.0 market, but the companys latest model has been revealed to Ports reside inside IO-Datas latest SSD, the SSDN-3TB which is - 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with set to launch later this month. Its taken Toshiba quite some LED (ACT/LINK LED and time to launch a SATA 6Gbps controller and it looks like the SPEED LED) company has done a pretty decent job. - 1 x IEEE 1394 Port IO-Datas new drive was put through its paces by Japanese - 1 x Clear CMOS Switch with Impress PC Watch and although they only ran a few LED benchmarks, the numbers are pretty good. But before we get - HD Audio Jack: Side ahead of ourselves, lets look at the rated spec. Depending Speaker / Rear Speaker / on the drive capacity the new Toshiba controller which is Central / Bass / Line in / known as the TC58NC5HJ8GSB-01 can deliver sequential Front Speaker / Microphone performance of around 350MB/s write and 480MB/s read,Internal I/O Connectors - 4 x SATA2 3.0 Gb/s or if you prefer 58k IOPS for random reads and 73k IOPS for connectors, support RAID random writes. (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 IO-Data has paired up the controller with Toshibas latest - 8 pin 12V power connector generation of 24nm Toggle NAND flash and the company - SLI/XFire power connector will offer drive sizes of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB. The SSD - Front panel audio uses a single sided PCB and unlike previous Toshiba SSD connector 13
  • 57. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonecontrollers, their new SATA 6Gbps model doesnt appear to happen. Japanese Princeton seems to have a solution thatfeature any local cache. would simplify this greatly in the shape of its range of PSC Bluetooth KVMs.Whats interesting is the fact that the 120GB model ofthe SSDN-3TB that was tested actually performs better There are times when a real keyboard and mouse wouldthan Toshibas stated performance figures for its new SSD make it so much easier to add information to your tabletcontroller. In CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 the drive hits sequential or smartphone, yet its generally not that easy to make thisread speeds of 494.9MB/s and write speeds of 381.4MB/ happen. Japanese Princeton seems to have a solution thats with the standard 100MB test data. Moving up to larger would simplify this greatly in the shape of its range of PSCtest data of 1GB, the drive read speeds drops to 441.3MB/s Bluetooth KVMs.and the write speed to 376.1MB/s, but both are still decent What Princeton has done is to take a Bluetooth 3.0 dongle,numbers. In AS SSD the results are similar with a sequential some Windows and OS X drivers and added a sprinkle ofread speed of 444.52MB/s and a write speed of 340.53MB/s. 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 youve bought.However, with SSDs its the random performance that reallymatters and here the new Toshiba controller appears tobe pretty decent with 4K performance figures of 31.15MB/s for reads and an impressive 93.69MB/s for writes inCrystalDiskMark and thats SandForce territory. Its not The neat trick is that the input devices on the PC appear asquite as good with longer queue depths, as here the read Bluetooth HID devices which are generally well supported inspeed is 149.7MB/s and the write speed 234.9MB/s, quite most modern operating systems, no matter the device. Theresome way off what youd get from the average SandForce are of course some limitations here, for example mouse inputpowered SATA 6Gbps SSD. The results are similar in AS only works on Android 3.1 or later, but keyboard input isSSD with a small lead in 4K, but in the 64 threaded part the meant to work on just about any mobile device. Sadly theresToshiba controller just cant keep up. no screen mirroring, so youll still have to look at the device in question, even though youre using the keyboard andAs to if the IO-Data SSD is using an actual Toshiba mouse/trackpad of a PC or a Mac.controller, or if its yet another re-branded solution isntclear from the review, but the performance numbers At 4,980 Yen (US$61/S$77) its not a cheap solution though,suggests that its not a SandForce controller and the lack but for anyone that wants to be able to use the same keyboardof local cache tells us that its not a Marvell controller. The and mouse wirelessly with multiple devices, it might bebiggest issue in this case is pricing, as IO-Data wants 16,800 money well spent. The USB dongles are compatible withYen (US$206/S$259) for its 120GB model, which is a pretty Windows XP and later as well as OS X 10.6 or later. Sadlysteep asking price for a 120GB SSD these days and even more theyre only ever likely to be available in Japan and theso for one that isnt mind-bogglingly fast. software is most likely only in Japanese.Princeton launches virtual THQ denies it will go bust inBluetooth KVM six monthsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/princeton-launches-virtual- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thq-denies-it-will-go-bust-in-six-bluetooth-kvm/15471.html months/15470.htmlApril 9th, 2012 April 9th, 2012There are times when a real keyboard and mouse would Beleaguered game publisher THQ has denied reports that itmake it so much easier to add information to your tablet will go bust within the next six months, labelling them asor smartphone, yet its generally not that easy to make this “outdated” and “false.” 14
  • 58. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneBeleaguered game publisher THQ has denied reports that it game instead. With such a run of bad luck, the companyswill go bust within the next six months, labelling them as future looks gloomy at best.“outdated” and “false.”The company, which publishes games like Dawn of War andthe WWE series, was responding to allegations by Take- Google unveils Project GlassTwos CEO, Strauss Zelnick, that “THQ wont be around in augmented reality glassessix months." Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-unveils-project-glass- augmented-reality-glasses/15469.html April 9th, 2012Zelnick told attendees at the MIT Business in Gamingconference that THQs strategy is not working and that theexecution of that strategy was bad. He said THQ is focusingon licensed content from other people, such as UFC, WWE,Games Workshop, and Disney-Pixar, rather than developingand using its own intellectual property. Google has unveiled Project Glass, an augmented realityLicensing leaves game publishers at the mercy of license technology that interacts with its social network and couldholders, according to Zelnick, regardless of whether or even replace smartphones and tablet computers as “the nextnot the company does a good job with the licensed title. big thing.”Profits will be eroded by licensing fees, making it difficult Google has unveiled Project Glass, an augmented realityfor companies that predominantly employ licenses to keep technology that interacts with its social network and couldafloat. 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 users voice and responding to their commands, such as to find their current location or upload a photo to Google+. The integration with Google+ is a key part of this idea, as its all about helping users to “explore and share” their world. Googles pitch is that other devices take you outIn Zelnicks address he was also disparaging of THQs of the moment by forcing you to type, click, tap, andquality, suggesting that Take-Two produces games that are look away from whatever it is youre doing, whereas themuch higher in quality than what THQ is making. He said augmented reality glasses are all about “putting you back inquality is vital to success in the game industry, but that the moment.”THQs quality “hasnt measured up.”"Obviously, Mr. Zelnicks perception of THQ is outdatedand inaccurate,” THQ told Joystiq. “His comments areirresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better offcommenting on his own business."Zelnick might be poking his nose where it isnt wanted, butits hard to deny that THQ is struggling to stay alive. Itsshares dropped below $1 in January, which could see itbeing delisted from the stock market, and it has been forcedto cancel a number of projects, including its uDraw tabletcomputer and its Warhammer 40,000: Dark MilleniumOnline MMO, which will now be turned into a single-player 15
  • 59. April 9th, 2012 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 eyewearpeople will need for this technology to become reality. Itlooks like a futuristic pair of glasses, but instead of twoglasses covering the eyes, there is one small translucentscreen on the right-hand side, suggesting that the idea is notto interfere with regular vision.Of course, this could be problematic for those who alreadyneed glasses, but we imagine it may consider some kind ofaltered form that can clip onto existing glasses, or perhapsit will develop the technology to the state where opticianscan manufacture prescription augmented reality eyewear,an idea that might have sounded like science-fiction a fewyears ago. Apples computers and devices are usually well-known for their higher security compared to Windows-based computers, with less malware circulating. This reputationGoogle is looking to share its ideas and get feedback and has even led some to believe they do not need anti-virussuggestions from users. It is likely also keen to see how software on a Mac. Much of this security complacency is tomuch interest there is in this technology. If it manages to blame for the spread of malware on Apple machines, anddevelop this within the next few years it could revolutionise it highlights the closing gap between Macs and Windowsthe industry, ensuring success both for the hardware itself computers in terms of security.and the social network that will take advantage of it. The vast majority of infections are in the United States, with 56.6 percent of the share, followed by Canada, the United550,000 Apple Macs infected Kingdom, and Australia at 19.8 percent, 12.8 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. All other regions show a less than oneby botnet trojan percent infection rate.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/550-000-apple-macs-infected-by-botnet-trojan/15468.htmlApril 9th, 2012 G.Skill ARES 16GB 2133MHz CL9 Kit (F3-2133C9Q-16GAB) Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-ares-16gb-2133mhz-cl9-kit- f3-2133c9q-16gab-review/15461.html April 9th, 2012Over half a million Apple Mac computers have been infectedwith a computer trojan that connects them to an extensivebotnet largely based in North America.Over half a million Apple Mac computers have been infectedwith a computer trojan that connects them to an extensivebotnet largely based in North America. With the introduction of Intels Socket 2011 processors for enthusiasts and professionals not too long ago, it spawned a market for good XMP 1.3 DDR3 compliant kits to maximizeRussian anti-virus software firm Doctor Web found that the quad channel bandwidth and take advantage extrathe BackDoor.Flashback trojan is spreading quickly on memory dividers north of 2400+MHz that the new platform 16
  • 60. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonebrings. We have previously published a review of the G.SkillARES 2133MHz 8GB kit and today we have the 16GB quadchannel version for your consideration.SpecificationsModel Number F3-2133C9Q-16GABSeries ARESSystem DESKTOPSystem Type DDR3Main Board INTELM/B Chipset X79 / P67 / Z68Capacity 16GB (4GBx4)Multi-Channel Kit Quad Channel kitTested Speed DDR3-2133 MHz (PC3-17000)Tested LatencyTested Voltage 9-11-10 2N 1.65V Harmonix to release RockRegistered/Unbuffered Unbuffered Band Blitz this SummerError Checking Non-ECC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/harmonix-to-release-rock-band- blitz-this-summer/15467.htmlType 240-pin DIMM April 9th, 2012SPD Speed 1600 MHzSPD Voltage 1.5VHeight 33 mm / 1.30 inchWarranty LifetimeFan lncluded NoFeatures Intel XMP (Extreme Momery Profile)Ready The studio behind hit rhythm-based games Rock BandG.Skills ARES memory modules differ from their popular and Dance Central, Harmonix has now confirmed that itsRipjawsZ series only by the use of a low profile blue working on a new title dubbed Rock Band Blitz which will beheatspreader to avoid height clearance issues with tall released this Summer.heatsink towers. Both share the same 6-layer PCB and Hynix The new game steers away from previous Rock BandH9C DDR3 memory chips which are generally well received iterations in that no peripherals are required this timeby the overclocking community. 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 theyd 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 :- 17
  • 61. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)Microsoft preps four criticaland two important updatesfor next weekSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-preps-four-critical-and-two-important-updates-for-next-week/15466.htmlApril 9th, 2012Microsoft has made an announcement today detailing plansto roll out six new security patches on this months PatchTuesday scheduled for next week. Four of these are ratedCritical, with the other two being Important.Microsoft has made an announcement today detailing plansto roll out six new security patches on this months PatchTuesday scheduled for next week. Four of these are ratedCritical, with the other two being Important. The Vengeance 2000 looks like a beefed up version of theThe purpose of these security bulletins is to deal with popular Vengeance 1500, but without a cord to get tangled11 vulnerabilities that affect Windows, Office, Internet up with. There isnt much that differs between the twoExplorer, Forefront UAG and .NET Framework in terms of models, but the Vengeance 2000 looks slightly chunkierremote code execution and information disclosure. and in some ways a bit more refined while maintaining theThe exact time for the release of the updates is April 10th at overall look of Corsairs headset range.10am PDT (5pm GMT).Corsair announces theVengeance 2000 wirelessheadsetSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-announces-the-vengeance-2000-wireless-headset/15464.htmlApril 9th, 2012Were not entirely sure why youd need a wireless headsetas a PC gamer, but if thats your kind of thing, then maybeCorsairs new Vengeance 2000 is what youve been waitingfor. Not being content in just delivering a wireless headset,Corsair has thrown in multi-channel audio support as well,for some surround sound action.Were not entirely sure why youd need a wireless headsetas a PC gamer, but if thats your kind of thing, then maybeCorsairs new Vengeance 2000 is what youve been waiting The Vengeance 2000 is yet another USB headset in as muchfor. Not being content in just delivering a wireless headset, as it comes with a USB dongle that acts both as "soundCorsair has thrown in multi-channel audio support as well, card" and wireless device. Corsair claims a range of 40 feetfor some surround sound action. which is about 12 meters, not fantastic, but most likely more than long enough. Theres no mention of the radio technology used, but wed presume were 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 isnt fantastic, but should be more than sufficient for most users. 18
  • 62. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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, were 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 theThe 50mm drivers have similar ear cushions as the power available from the Thunderbolt interface isnt enoughVengeance 1500 with microfiber covers. Surround sound to power the hub, as it also comes with a power supply.support comes in the shape of HRTF positional audio andCorsair claim that the Vengeance 2000 can reproduce 5.1and 7.1-channel audio accurately. Overall the Vengeance2000 looks like a decent enough product, although we stillhave a bit of a hard time understanding why anyone wouldgo for a $149.99 (S$189) wireless headset when you can getsomething equally good if not better for less money as longas you dont mind it being wired.LaCie announced the eSATA Were not entirely impressed with the eSATA Hub though,Hub Thunderbolt series as its fairly large at 40x140x85mm (WxDxH), but thats really the least of its problems. The potentially biggest issueSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lacie-announced-the-esata-hub- is that LaCie is using an old SATA controller thats limitedthunderbolt-series/15463.html to the 3Gbps SATA standard. This is just poor, especiallyApril 9th, 2012 considering the low cost of a SATA 6Gbps controller and even more so when the eSATA Hub doesnt even sport hardware RAID support. Then theres that little thing about pricing and as we know, LaCie isnt 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.Ah yes, Thunderbolt, that revolutionizing new standard thatnext to no-ones using due to the high costs. Well, ok, thatsnot entirely true, but it has yet to take off, although LaCie MSI shows off its Super RAIDis doing its best when it comes to getting products out thereand its new eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series might win a few in the GT70 gaming notebookMac owners over. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-shows-off-its-super-raid-in-the- gt70-gaming-notebook/15462.htmlAh yes, Thunderbolt, that revolutionizing new standard that April 9th, 2012next to no-ones using due to the high costs. Well, ok, thatsnot entirely true, but it has yet to take off, although LaCieis doing its best when it comes to getting products out thereand its new eSATA Hub Thunderbolt series might win a fewMac owners over. 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 its unlike anything weve seen to date. 19
  • 63. April 9th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneNotebooks with an SSD are hardly newsworthy these days,but MSI has managed to pull a fast one and made thingsinteresting once again. The company has put what it calls aSuper RAID inside its GT70 gaming notebook and its unlikeanything weve seen to date. The SSDs in question are a pair of OEM models from SanDisk and judging by the performance figures quoted by MSI, what were 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 doesnt drop. As such,The MSI GT70 at CeBIT the actual RAID element of this setup is handled by the IntelThe GT70 is what youd call a serious gaming notebook, as chipset. Interestingly the SSDs from SanDisk sport SanDiskit sports a keyboard designed by SteelSeries, a Killer NIC, branded SSD controllers, although we dont actually know ifDynaudio speakers and of course a full HD 1080p 17.3-inch theyre made by SanDisk or just a rebranded controller fromdisplay. Then theres of course a mobile Ivy Bridge CPU and another manufacturer.some kind of 600-series mobile GPU from Nvidia hiding inthere somewhere. As with many 17-inch notebooks, MSI hasmade room for two hard drives, but it appears that MSI wenton tinkering a bit and figured that running RAID with a pairof hard drives just wasnt good enough. Now the U100 series from SanDisk isnt 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.What the company came up with is an insane solution which The latter suggests that with a couple of faster mSATA SSDsMSI named Super RAID. If you look closely at the picture installed, MSIs Super RAID could in fact offer even betterabove, youll see a hard drive at the bottom, the various bits performance. Theres no doubt that this is an interestingyoud expect to find inside a notebook and then at the top left solution from MSI and its something wed like to see inwhere the second hard drive should, is the Super RAID card. more high-end notebooks, as mSATA drives take up veryIf youre familiar with components youll notice that there is little space and theres no reason why this shouldnt be aa pair of mSATA SSDs fitted to a small PCB of some kind that much more commonplace feature. Sure, cost is an issue,takes up just over half of the space a regular hard drive or but we dont expect this is every notebook out there. EitherSSD would use. which way, well played MSI, you made notebooks with SSDs interesting again. 20
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  • 65. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly The game is expected to retail for $49.99. Its not yet clear publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the what platforms it will launch on or when the game will geeks. release, but an announcement is expected later this month.EA leak gives first look atCrysis 3 Apple tablet dominance to continue until 2016, AndroidSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-leak-gives-first-look-at-crysis-3/15537.htmlApril 11th, 2012 closing the gap Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-tablet-dominance-to-continue- until-2016-android-closing-the-gap/15536.html April 11th, 2012Electronic Arts made a blunder on its Origin digitaldownload service by accidentally releasing the first artworkfor Crysis 3, the latest game in the first-person shooter Apples dominance in the tablet market is set to continuefranchise from Crytek. until at least 2016, according to a report by Gartner, but Androids phenomenal growth will also close the gap andElectronic Arts made a blunder on its Origin digital threaten the companys lead in subsequent years.download service by accidentally releasing the first artworkfor Crysis 3, the latest game in the first-person shooter Apples dominance in the tablet market is set to continuefranchise from Crytek. until at least 2016, according to a report by Gartner, but Androids phenomenal growth will also close the gap and threaten the companys lead in subsequent years.The image was published at Origin for a brief moment beforebeing taken down, but it has since been circulated across theweb after it was spotted by users of the NeoGAF forum. 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, cementingWhile details on the unannounced game are still sketchy, the Apples lead.image gives some clues about the setting and weaponry thatwill be employed. However, Androids growth is expected to be far greater than that of Apples. 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 Apples 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 islandsetting of the original game. However, Crytek could surpriseplayers by offering gameplay in a variety of locales.The nanosuit is obviously making a return, though it wouldbe hard to imagine a Crysis game without it. Somethingnew, however, is the mechanical bow, which could offer adifferent style of gameplay, perhaps in combination with a Microsoft is also expected to see strong growth with thenew nanosuit mode. advent of a Windows 8 tablet, starting from 4.8 million units 1
  • 66. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonethis year and growing to 14.5 million next year. Gartner is unlikely, ebooks are certainly taking the world by storm,expects this to boom to 43.6 million units by 2016, giving with online bookstore Amazon now selling more ebooks thanMicrosoft a sizeable slice of the pie, but ensuring it stays well hardcopy books, largely thanks to the success of its Kindlebehind its rivals. devices.All of this tablet growth will mean that overall sales across Apple has been vying for a higher share in the ebook marketthe tablet industry will jump from 60 million units last by launching ebook services for its iPhone and iPad rangeyear to 118.9 million this year, 182.5 million in 2013, and a and inking several lucrative deals with big name publishers,whopping 369.2 million units by 2016 as tablet prices drop including a partnership for digital textbooks.and the market is flooded with competitors. If Apple is found guilty of encouraging and facilitating thisUS government sues Apple price-fixing it could lose a lot of money, not just in fines andand publishers over ebook penalties, but in lost revenue that might go to rival ebook services who might now be better able to compete.price-fixingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-government-sues-apple-and-publishers-over-ebook-price-fixing/15535.htmlApril 11th, 2012 Apple Developing Software to Combat Flashback Malware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-developing-software-to- combat-flashback-malware/15534.html April 11th, 2012The US government is suing Apple and a number of majorpublishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order tostamp out competition.The US government is suing Apple and a number of majorpublishers over the alleged fixing of ebook prices in order to Apple is developing software to remove the malwarestamp out competition. ‘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 toThe publishers included in the lawsuit are some of the antivirus company Dr. Web.biggest names in the industry, including HarperCollins,MacMillon, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Plc, and HachetteBook Group, revealing potentially widespread abuse of thegrowing digital book medium.Apple is seen as the centre of this scandal, however, withthe Department of Justice filing accusing it of facilitating thepublishers “collective effort to end retail price competitionby coordinating their transition to an agency model acrossall retailers.” 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,Ebooks are a growing phenomenon that some believe will a malware known as ‘Flashback’ began infecting thousandseventually replace tradition paper-based books. While this of Macs by exploiting vulnerability in the version of Java 2
  • 67. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneimbedded in Mac OS X. An earlier variant of this malwareappeared during September of that year, disguising itself asan installer for Adobe Flash.Last week, Apple released two updates of Java to patch theweakness which allowed Mac users to get infected withouteven clicking on anything whatsoever. These updates willhelp prevent computers from getting infected, but thosewhich already contain the virus cannot be helped.On Tuesday, Apple revealed that it was developing softwareto remove this malware from computers infected by it.“Apple is developing software that will detect and remove theFlashback malware,” was the statement given by Apple on itswebsite support blog. No ETA was given. The arrival of thissoftware will be a relief to the users who are already infected Its been said by the manufacturer that the display is capable– hundreds of thousands, according to antivirus company of delivering 100% sRGB coverage in color gamut alongDr. Web. 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/m2Apple might be feeling the brunt of its long years of with a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and response time of 8ms.stagnancy and inexperience with viruses. In an attempt The FDH3601 has actually been selling in Japan already forto disable the servers that Flashback depends on to use, quite some time now, but its unlikely if it does go on salethe corporation attempted to shut down Dr. Web’s servers, in the U.S. or elsewhere it will work out to be much, if at allwhich had been disguised as the Flashback servers in order cheaper. Currently in Japan it sells for a highly absurd 2.88to gain information about the Flashback malware. Critics million yen (about US $35,700).suggest that Apple’s inexperience in security issues causedthis blunder, which has fallen under heavy criticism. Intels 910-series of PCIThe development of software to remove Flashback may be Express SSDs imminentan important step in preparing Apple for possible malware Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-910-series-of-pci-express-yet to come. ssds-imminent/15533.html April 11th, 2012Eizo to display 36.4" 4Kresolution monitor at NAB2012Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/eizo-to-display-36.4-4k-resolution- By now its pretty clear that the SATA and SAS interfacesmonitor-at-nab-2012/15532.html just arent cutting it for high-performance SSDs and asApril 11th, 2012 we know from Intels 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 SSDs, previously known as Ramsdale MLC and VR-Zone is bringing you the details ahead of the launch. By now its pretty clear that the SATA and SAS interfaces just arent cutting it for high-performance SSDs and asIt has been determined that Eizo will be showcasing an LCD we know from Intels SSD roadmap, PCI Express is themonitor at NAB 2012 (running from April 14 to 19) which future interface for its high-end SSDs. The company isoffers up a 4K resolution. The FDH3601 monitor comprises about to announce its new 910-series of PCI Express baseda 36.4-inch sized screen with 10-bit colors, while its biggest, SSDs, previously known as Ramsdale MLC and VR-Zone isboldest feature is the super high 4,096 x 2,160 resolution. bringing you the details ahead of the launch.It has been determined that Eizo will be showcasing an LCD If we gaze back at the roadmap, Intel skipped its originalmonitor at NAB 2012 (running from April 14 to 19) which PCI Express SSD – also codenamed Ramsdale – which wasoffers up a 4K resolution. The FDH3601 monitor comprises meant to use SLC NAND and was supposedly meant to bea 36.4-inch sized screen with 10-bit colors, while its biggest, the 720-series. The original Ramsdale SSD was meant toboldest feature is the super high 4,096 x 2,160 resolution. 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 well have to make do with the 910-series. 3
  • 68. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe general downside of MLC over SLC NAND flash is the April 11th, 2012longevity of MLC isnt as good as that for SLC, but the 910-series is using Intels HET or High Endurance TechnologyMLC memory which is also used in the 710-series. Thewrite endurance using 25nm HET MLC is close to that of50nm SLC, so in most circumstances HET MLC should bepreferable due to lower cost. Intel is of course taking overprovisioning into account here as well and the new 910- "Mainstream" support for Microsofts ill-received Vistaseries should have any issues when it comes to longevity. 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 Microsofts 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 and800GB, which straight away puts it in a different marketsegment than any of Intels previous SSD products. The drivecomprised of multiple PCB modules which consists of anunspecified SAS to NAND ASCI and 200GB of NAND flash Extended support will still allow users to freely obtainper module. Theres also a main PCB onto which the modules security updates, but if you do not have a commercialare attached which holds a PCI Express to SAS bridge as support contract you will be hit up for any bug fixes or otherwell as the components for power etc. The NAND flash is patches required.connected via an ONFI 2.0 interface, but we do dont knowexactly how much bandwidth is available from each of the Meanwhile, XP which is now a full decade old is in the midstNAND flash packages. of its "Extended Support" stage with its scheduled closure for all forms of support to be in 2014.The sequential read performance is rated at up to 1GB/s forthe 400GB SKU and a massive 2GB/s for the 800GB SKU.The write performance is a fair bit slower, but hardly slow atup to 750MB/s for the 400GB SKU and 1GB/s for the 800GB Toshiba to launch three quad-SKU. As far as IOPS are concerned, were looking at a read core tablets with Android 4.0performance of up to 90,000 and 180,000 IOPS respectivelyfor the 400GB and 800GB model and a write performance ICS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-to-launch-three-quad-core-of up to 38,000 and 75,000 IOPS. tablets-with-android-4.0-ics/15527.htmlAs for endurance, Intel is rating the two models at 7 and 14 April 11th, 2012Petabyte which should be compared to 1.5 Petabyte for the710-series using overprovisioning, so in other words, theseare work horse SSDs that can handle a lot of data. The carditself measures 69x168x19mm (HxWxD) which is a half-height PCI Express card and Intel has standardised on a PCIExpress 2.0 x8 interface for both models. Intel is claiming a Tablet makers are looking to bring their new product with25W typical active power draw, with idle power draw being quad-core processor and Android 4.0 ICS to market. And8 and 12W respectively for the 400GB and 800GB SKUs. Toshiba has announced that it will be launching threeWe dont have an exact launch time at the moment, but were Android tablet devices, Excite 7.7, Excite 10 and Excite 13,expecting the 910-series to be announced at IDF Beijing in May and June.which kicked off today. As for availability and pricing,wed expect the 910-series to be arriving shortly, but at aprice point that puts it squarely in the high-performancecomputing and server market space.Microsoft pulls plug onmainstream support for VistaSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-pulls-plug-on-mainstream-support-for-vista/15531.html 4
  • 69. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneToshiba has introduced three new tablet devices withAMOLED touchscreen sizes of 7.7-, 10- and 13-inch.The Excite range of tablets are targeted at students andincorporate Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1GBRAM, 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear cameras, andruns Android 4.0 ICS operating system. The Toshiba Excite10 will retail in May, with the 16GB model selling at US Packed inside is Intels Core i3-2350M processor with 4GB$450; 32GB at US$530 and 64GB at US$650. The Toshiba of DDR3 memory and AMD Radeon HD 7670M graphicsExcite 7.7 will come in 16GB (US$500) and 32GB (US$580) using 1GB dedicated VRAM. It ships with a 500GB 5400rpmmodels, and be available in June. The Toshiba Excite 13 will mechanical drive and as mentioned there is a DVD burneralso be launched in June, with the 32GB model retailing at implemented too. Battery life sounds quite decent with SonyUS$650 and 64GB at US$750. reporting seven hours. In terms of connectivity, the VAIO E Series 14P has a coupleSony unveils VAIO E Series USB 3.0 ports (one capable of cell phone charging even when the notebooks turned off), a couple USB 2.0 ports, HDMI,14P w/ webcam gesture WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0+HS.controlsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-unveils-vaio-e-series-14p-w-webcam-gesture-controls/15529.htmlApril 11th, 2012Sony has just released its latest VAIO E Series 14P notebook,a 14-inch model which while not being worthy of ultrabookstatus 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 One particular attribute of interest is that Sony has chosenstatus with its 5.07 pound weight and residing DVD drive, to implement a 1.3-megapixel Exmor HD webcam into thisdoes offer a number of attractive design cues and features. notebook which not only can be used as a regular webcamThe notebook is quite slim at just 0.88-inches and it does for video calls etc. - it also supports Gesture Control in asport a nicely redesigned chassis with highlighted color somewhat Kinect-type manner.wrapping around the edges and a colored speaker bezel By holding up your hand in front of the camera and movingon top of the machine. The new model also gets a backlit it in certain ways, this will allow for certain apps to bekeyboard and a nice large trackpad. 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, SonyS Gesture Control feature in the VAIO E Series 14P is confined to Windows Media Player, IE9, PowerPoint (probably where its most useful) and PowerDVD. 5
  • 70. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneColor options are white, pink and black (our favorite).Pricing and availability details are yet to be disclosed. However, despite these minor improvements it is unlikely toGoogle Play Music replaces do much in turning around the disappointing sales figuresFlash with HTML5 audio + from the Music section thus far, especially with iTunes still being way too far ahead to consider Googles alternativestar ratings any form of competition at this point. Perhaps when GoogleSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-play-music-replaces-flash- deals with the unpublished limit bug that even affects userswith-html5-audio--star-ratings/15528.html listening to their own music that was manually uploaded toApril 11th, 2012 Google, things will be looking better. LG Optimus 4X HD benchmark results unveiled Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-optimus-4x-hd-benchmark- results-unveiled/15524.htmlSome new experimental controls have been added to the April 11th, 2012Music sub-section of Google Play which include a toggle forusing HTML5 as opposed to Flash for desktops as well asa new five-star rating system (with the thumbs up/downsystem having been replaced).Some new experimental controls have been added to theMusic sub-section of Google Play which include a toggle forusing HTML5 as opposed to Flash for desktops as well as The Optimus 4X HD is LGs upcoming quad-corea new five-star rating system (with the thumbs up/down smartphone that has made an appearance at the Mobilesystem having been replaced). World Congress in February. While the LG Optimus 4X HD is reported to go on retail in May, it seems that screenshotsFurther to the above, desktop notifications are now provided of the benchmark results are leaked ahead of the launch.for Chrome users, while the new HTML5 feature for audiostreaming will work in all browsers which support MP3format playback over HTML5 (including Safari, Chrome andIE). At this stage Firefox and Opera are left out in the colduntil HTML5 MP3 audio support comes along. 6
  • 71. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe highly anticipated LG Optimus 4X HD (LG-P880) is Distributed by Eternal Asia (S) and SiS Technology, the WDequipped with the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, My Passport Studio 2TB portable hard drive is retailing at Swhich is similar to the recently launched HTC One X. It $369.sports a 4.7-inch (1280x720) True HD IPS touchscreen,and comes with 1.3-megapixel front camera, 2,150mAhbattery and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating Price of Lenovo IdeaPad Yogasystem. From the screenshots, the Optimus 4X HD managed4,512 points on the Quadrant Standard benchmark test, revealed in UK Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/price-of-lenovo-ideapad-yoga-which is said to be slightly higher than the HTC One revealed-in-uk/15522.htmlX. The smartphone also scored 11,147 on the AnTuTu April 11th, 2012benchmark, and 44.5fps for the Nenamark2 graphicsbenchmark application; almost neck-to-neck with the HTCOne X.WD brings 2TB My PassportStudio to Mac users The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga was unveiled at CES 2012 earlierSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-brings-2tb-my-passport-studio- this year, which is designed as a multimode notebook PCto-mac-users/15523.html with four intuitive usage modes - laptop, tablet, standApril 11th, 2012 and tent. While pricing and availability details were not announced then, it seems that Lenovo UK has recently revealed the price to be £1,200 (approximately US$1,900).Running out of storage on your Mac machine? You canconsider getthing this new WD 2TB My Passport Studio tohelp store and backup your important files. At a press conference in UK, Lenovo, the worlds second largest PC manufacturer, has announced the retail price of their laptops incorporating Intels IvyBridge platform, including the versatile IdeaPad Yoga. Even though we already know what Lenovos future focus is, it is normal that the news did not report about their ThinkPad. The UK and even Europe suggested retail price would beWestern Digital has unveiled their first 2TB My Passport significantly higher, and it does not mean that the pricingStudio portable drive for the Apple Mac users. The new in other countries would be that. Theres still no word as toportable drive adopts its traditional sleek, durable all- when the products will go to market, but we believed oncemetal body that looks to complement the MacBook Air Intels IvyBridge embargo has been lifted, we would see themand MacBook Pro. The My Passport Studio is compatible in retail stores soon after. According to reliable sources, thewith Apple Time Machine for quick and easy automatic Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga will go to market on the new Windowsbackup of Mac hard drives and its 2TB storage can store 8 operating system.approximately 500,000 songs, 240 hours of movies, or400,000 high resolution photos. The My Passport Studiofeatures two FireWire 800 ports, in addition to its USB2.0 Toshiba Singapore announcesconnector, which provide fast upload and transfer speeds.Users can also choose to daisy chain additional drives and new Satellite M800, L800 andother peripherals, such as a high definition camcorder. Theportable drive also features hardware-based encryption and C800 laptops Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-singapore-announces-new-password protection software to protect your data from satellite-m800-l800-and-c800-laptops/15521.htmlunauthorized access. 7
  • 72. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 11th, 2012 - Toshiba Hi-Speed Start Technology - Toshiba Video Player supporting 2D to 3D conversions and output via a 3D TVToshiba Singapore has announced their latest Satellite - Toshiba Resolution, Toshiba Eco Utility, Toshiba PClaptops - M800, L800 and C800 - that oozes style and Health Monitorversatility, and come in a wide range of configurations,screen sizes and colors. The new Satellite notebook PCs will - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic(English) or Premiumsoon be available in retail stores. (English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese) - Weight starting from 1.99kg Toshiba Satellite L800 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 highly- mobile 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.Toshiba Satellite M800 The Toshiba Satellite L800 is available in Midnight Black, Luscious Red and Icy White and retails at S$1,099.The Toshiba Satellite M800 claims to deliver solidperformance and features in a stylish body, targeting Toshiba Satellite L800 Key Specifications:fashion-conscious users who want power and portability - Choice of Intel 2nd generation Core i3, i5, or AMDwith an affordable price tag. Weighing 1.99kg, it features a processorsunique metallic mirror finish in Gold Blaze, Pink Blush andBlue Horizon, spacious trackpad and raised tile keyboard. - Choice of 13.3-inch, 14.0-inch or 15.6-inch HD ClearThe Satellite M800 is equipped with the second generation SuperView display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixelsIntel Core processors, ATI Radeon HD 7670 graphics cardwith 2GB dedicated video memory, stereo speakers with SRS - RAM: up to 8GB DDR3Premium Sound HD, HD Webcams, HDMI, two USB3.0ports, and Toshiba Video Player that supports 2D to 3D - 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 750 GBconversions. The Toshiba Satellite M800 will be retailing atS$1,199. - Intel HD Graphics 3000, ATI Radeon HD 7670 graphics card (choice of 1GB or 2GB dedicated VRAM), or ATI RadeonToshiba Satellite M800 Key Specifications: HD 7550 graphics card (choice of 1GB) for 13.3” model.- 2nd generation Intel Core i3 and i5 Processors - DVD-Super Multi drive (Double Layer) rewritable drive- RAM: up to 8GB DDR3 - WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN- 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 750 GB - 2x USB 3.0 with USB Sleep-and-Charge, 1x USB 2.0, Multi- 14.0 HD Clear SuperView display with LED backlighting, Card Reader, HDMI1,366 x 768 pixels - A4 tile keyboard, TouchPad with multi-touch- Intel HD Graphics 3000, or ATI ATI Radeon HD 7670graphics card (2GB dedicated VRAM) - HD webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition- Ultra-slim DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Drive (DVD - Stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound HD Technology±RW/RAM) 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 - Toshiba Video Player supporting 2D to 3D conversions andCard Reader, HDMI 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 - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic (English) or Premium- Stereo speakers with SRS Premium Sound HD Technology (English/Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese) 8
  • 73. April 11th, 2012 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 C800The entry-level Satellite C800 Series laptops will appeal to Theres something special about mini-ITX motherboardsstudents and first-time buyers looking for basic productivity and of all the companies out there, Zotac is by far the bestat home or the office. Available in Matt Graphite or Glossy when it comes to cramming as many features as possibleIMR finish (Black Graphite or Red Graphite), the C800 onto the small 140x140mm form factor. The company hascomes with a 14.0-inch widescreen or 15.6-inch displays as announced two new models sporting Intels new 7-serieswell as selected configurations of Intel and AMD processors. chipsets, the Z77-ITX WiFi and the H77-ITX WiFi A.The Toshiba Satellite C800 is attractively priced at S$869. Theres something special about mini-ITX motherboardsToshiba Satellite C800 Key Specifications: and of all the companies out there, Zotac is by far the best- Choice of Intel 2nd generation Core i3, Pentium Dual and when it comes to cramming as many features as possibleCeleron or AMD processors onto the small 140x140mm form factor. The company has announced two new models sporting Intels new 7-series- Choice of 14.0-inch or 15.6-inch HD Clear SuperView chipsets, the Z77-ITX WiFi and the H77-ITX WiFi A.display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixels- RAM: up to 8GB DDR3- 2.5“ HDD (5,400 rpm) up to 640GB- Intel HD Graphics 3000, or ATI Radeon HD 7610Mgraphics 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 PCHealth Monitor Starting with the H77-ITX WiFi A we have a board with as- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic or Premium youd expect for this form factor, a single x16 PCI Express slot, two DIMM slots, but also five SATA ports, an mSATA- Weight: 2.12kg (14” model), 2.41 kg (15” model) slot and a vertical half height mini PCI Express slot which is populated by a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 3.0 card. There are alsoAll Toshiba PCs and Tablets are backed by Toshiba’s pin headers for two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports,extensive service and support. The new Satellite M800, as well as a serial port of all things.Satellite L800 and Satellite C800 series come standard with1-year Local Limited Warranty (parts and labor).Zotac launches a duo of mini-ITX 7-series motherboardsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-launches-a-duo-of-mini-itx-7-series-motherboards/15520.html 9
  • 74. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneAround the back we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports,two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernetport, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and aDisplayPort, DVI and HDMI connector, as well as a pair ofWi-Fi antennas. 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 theZotac also bundles a USB 3.0 bracket with the board that Z77-ITX WiFi with the exception of one SATA 3Gbps port;is supplied with a full height and a low-profile bracket. For although in its place Zotac has fitted a POST80 debug LEDthose stuck with an analogue display, a DVI to VGA adapter and an 8-pin 12V power connector for some extra poweris also part of the package alongside an extension cable for when overclocking this small board. Theres even a verythe 12V power connector. 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, 7.1- channel 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. 10
  • 75. April 11th, 2012 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. 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 its 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 forYou also get the same brackets with, adapters and power the teachers so that they can control what the students areextensions with the Z77-ITX WiFi as you do with its sibling. allowed to access with their tablets.No word on pricing or availability as yet, but wed expectthese boards to be fairly pricey as is usually the case when itcomes to Zotacs mini-ITX boards.Intel announces theStudybook tabletSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-announces-the-studybook-tablet/15519.htmlApril 11th, 2012Were not sure how much of a success Intels Classmatenetbooks have been for Intels partners, but now Intel hasdecided that its time to expand its line of student friendlydevices with the introduction of the Studybook tablet. Thenew device is a 7-inch tablet that can run either Android orWindows on what else than an Atom processor.Were not sure how much of a success Intels Classmatenetbooks have been for Intels partners, but now Intel hasdecided that its time to expand its line of student friendlydevices with the introduction of the Studybook tablet. Thenew device is a 7-inch tablet that can run either Android or Intel hasnt set a price point for the Studybook tablet, butWindows on what else than an Atom processor. is expecting it to retail for as low as US$200 depending on which features are being included. Were not sure howThe Studybook will sport a single core 1.2GHz Atom Z650 popular itll be with schools though, although its a fairCPU which is paired up with the SM35 chipset, as well as amount cheaper and most likely a lot sturdier than investinga massive 1GB of DDR2 memory. Storage will come in the in iPads for younger students.shape of an "SSD" ranging from 4 to 32GB. The 7-inchdisplay has a resolution of 1024x600 and theres a rear2Megapixel camera as well as a front facing VGA resolution EVGA announced the Z77camera. FTW Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evga-announced-the-z77- ftw/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 were looking 11
  • 76. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneat a board with a fair few unusual features, but were not sure for a FireWire port, four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0if thats enough this time around. ports, although were not entirely sure where all the brackets are meant to go considering that this board is targeting usersWhen it comes to making big consumer motherboards, there that want to cram the board full of graphics cards.are few companies that have anything to put up againstEVGA and the company has announced its EATX Z77 FTWmotherboard which packs a lot of features, but also a highprice tag. As per usual when it comes to EVGA were lookingat a board with a fair few unusual features, but were not sureif thats enough this time around.Lets start with the bad; the chipset cooler has a fan. Thatsaid, it doesnt just cool the Z77 chipset, as underneath thatheatsink is also a PLX PEX8747 PCI Express bridge whichenables the rather unusual slot layout. The board has fivex16 PCI Express 3.0 slots as well as a single x1 PCI Express2.0 slot, but when you have a chipset that only offer 16 lanesof PCI Express 3.0 bandwidth, you have to do a bit of aworkaround to have this many slots. As such, the 16 lanes arebeing split and multiplied into four x8 lanes. Its not entirely Overall not a bad show by EVGA, but the EATX formclear as to how the various slots can be configured, but the factor means that you need a rather roomy chassis for thisboard supports 4-way SLI and CrossFireX. board. EATX is deeper, but not taller than standard ATX motherboards, so the board should fit in most larger chassis, unlike some of EVGAs 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 were expecting the models with Thunderbolt to cost more and we have as yet to see Gigabytes 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-controversy- with-sopa-replacement-cispa/15517.html April 11th, 2012 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 ActMoving on we find eight SATA ports, of which two are via (CISPA), which some are saying is just as dangerous anda Marvell 9182 SATA 6Gbps controller, pin headers for two disastrous as the original.front USB 3.0 ports via an ASMedia ASM1042 controller,four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, Voltage readout pins, a The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has barely been putPOST80 debug LED, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, to rest and lawmakers are already planning a replacementPCI Express disable switches and no less than three BIOS called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Actchips, of which one is in a removable socket, just in case. The (CISPA), which some are saying is just as dangerous andboard also sports dual 8-pin 12V power connectors for the disastrous as the original.CPU as well as a pair of 6-pin 12V power connectors for extrapower to the PCI Express slots. We should also point out thatthe board has no less than seven 4-pin fan headers, although Policy campaign group Demand Progress said that CISPAone of them is being used by the chipset fan. would “obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States,” while the Center for Democracy andThe rear port layout is quite different from what were used Technology said that the information shared with theto seeing, with a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 government on the grounds of cybersecurity “could be usedports, a pair of Marvell powered Gigabit Ethernet ports, two for other purposes.”eSATA ports, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, amini DisplayPort connector and what should be a rear clearCMOS button. EVGA is apparently also providing brackets 12
  • 77. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe major fears over this latest act is that it gives the shrunken version of its c400 SSD series and its likely to findgovernment too much power, and even if the intent is to a home in an Ultrabook or two.protect from genuine threats, the potential for abuse is too Now Micron is hardly the first company to produce anlarge to allow it to be passed. mSATA SSD, but its 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 isnt likely to happen until later this year when Intels new Ivy Bridge ultra-low power CPUs arrive.Another aspect of the criticism of the bill is that it suggestsits an act designed to address a growing problem of onlinesecurity, but it is also designed to protect intellectualproperty, the primary aim of SOPA, despite copyright orpiracy not featuring in the name of the act itself. This couldbe seen as a way to get it passed without drawing too muchpublic attention.Privacy advocates are calling for people to protest the bill in The c400 mSATA vill be available in sizes ranging fromany way or form, including signing online petitions. Just like 32GB all the way up to 256GB, with the smaller drivesSOPA, we will likely see major internet firms like Google and being suitable for things like hard drive caching. ThatFacebook voicing their opposition and drawing widespread said, performance wise the less spacious models arent thatawareness to government attempts to snoop on our online impressive as the 32GB model only offers a sequential writeactivity. 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 withA vote for CISPA will be held later this month. regards to the write performance even to OCZs Nocti range of mSATA drives using the older SF-2141 controller on paper, but in real world tests thing might be different.Micron gets into the tiny SSD That said, the more capacious models offer equivalent performance to the regular 2.5-inch drives. Do keep inmarket with the c400 mSATA mind though that Marvell based SSDs are vastly superiorSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-gets-into-the-tiny-ssd- in general when it comes to handle incompressible datamarket-with-the-c400-msata/15516.html compared to SandForce based models. Sadly theres no wordApril 11th, 2012 on pricing as yet, but Micron has promised that well see m4 models from Crucial later this quarter, albeit were 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.Predicting technology isnt an easy thing, but if anyonewouldve said that computers would be using SSDs the size Capcom announces Lostof a mini PCI Express card as their main storage devicea few years ago people would most likely have laughed at Planet 3the notion, least not due to the cost of flash memory back Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/capcom-announces-lost-then. Micron has just entered the mSATA SSD market with planet-3/15515.htmlshrunken version of its c400 SSD series and its likely to find April 11th, 2012a home in an Ultrabook or two.Predicting technology isnt an easy thing, but if anyonewouldve said that computers would be using SSDs the sizeof a mini PCI Express card as their main storage devicea few years ago people would most likely have laughed at Capcom has announced Lost Planet 3, the latest game inthe notion, least not due to the cost of flash memory back the third-person shooter series set on the remote icy planet,then. Micron has just entered the mSATA SSD market with EDN III. 13
  • 78. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneCapcom has announced Lost Planet 3, the latest game in Xbox World magazine reports that the devkits sent tothe third-person shooter series set on the remote icy planet, developers in March feature a 16-core IBM Power PC CPUEDN III. and a GPU in the range of AMDs Radeon HD 7000-series, which could lead to some amazing graphics in Microsofts next games.The game is technically a prequel to the previous two, withthe protagonist Jim scouring the planet for thermal energy,a hotly-contested resource that he is hoping will earn him a The devkits look different to the final consumer product,few bucks for his family back home. 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 six-Along the way players will have to battle enemies big and core processor, which sounds a bit more reasonable, so thesesmall, including the Akrid, an insectoid alien race. They will reports should be taken with a grain of salt.also be able to use the giant robotic Utility Rig as both a baseand a fighting machine. 16 cores sounds insane, a fact that even Xbox World acknowledges, particularly considering that most gamingOne of the bigger challenges, however, will be the climate computers dont go beyond 4 cores. However, the nextand environment, which is extreme and teacherous, pushing version of the Kinect is reportedly going to demand a lot ofplayers to the limits and greatly affecting the way they will resources, which means the CPU could devote an entire fourplay. This is highlighted in the trailer and should make for cores just for this alone.some interesting gameplay. Of course, a 16-core processor would make the consoleThe game will also feature a full set of multiplayer modes. 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 ofLost Planet 3 will launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the range of many people, but it wont necessarily put offPC in early 2013. hardcore gamers looking for an outrageous gaming rig. The Xbox 720 is expected to be released at the end of 2013,Xbox 720 rumoured to feature a year later than the Nintendo Wii U, which is believed to be unable to match the graphics capability of current-16-core CPU generation consoles, but will carry a much more affordableSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-rumoured-to-feature-16- price tag.core-cpu/15514.htmlApril 11th, 2012 Apples Market Cap Breaks $600B (Briefly) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-market-cap-breaks-600b- briefly-/15513.htmlMicrosofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720, is April 11th, 2012rumoured to have a CPU with a whopping 16 cores, makingit a potentially monster machine.Microsofts next-generation console, the Xbox 720, isrumoured to have a CPU with a whopping 16 cores, makingit a potentially monster machine. 14
  • 79. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone Today was a record breaking day for Apple. For the firsttime in the company’s history, the market capitalization of Zotac shows off the ZT-Z77the company reached - and then exceeded - $600 billion. Crown-U1D motherboardCan Apple sustain this momentum? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-shows-off-the-zt-z77-crown- u1d-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. The most obvious parts that were carried over to the ZT- Z77 Crown-U1D from the Z68 model is the 24-phase PWM with DrMOS, tantalum capacitor and a decoupling capacitor,Today was a record breaking day for Apple. For the first although this time around Zotac has gone for a U-shapedtime in the company’s history, the market capitalization of layout of the PWM which means it takes up a little bit lessthe company reached - and then exceeded - $600 billion. space on the motherboard. Part of the reason for this is theThis outstanding figure is thanks to a share value which has removal of the nf200 chip which has cleared up a fair bit ofrisen an incredible 60% from the beginning of 2012 – only a PCB space. This time around though a second decouplinglittle over three months. Apple’s announcement of the new capacitor has been added to the memory power regulation,iPad has very likely kept the growth of share values rising. although we’re not entirely sure how much of a differenceApple sold three million iPad units in three days following this will make.the release of the iPad 3 – known simply as “The new iPad”.The share values of $644 this morning led Apple’s marketvalue just over $600 billion, but the shares dropped backdown to $638.64 in the afternoon, bringing the companybeneath the gargantuan sum. Nevertheless, this share valueis still up 0.4 percent from yesterday.This astounding breakthrough has spurred exciteddiscussion about Apple breaking the market cap record thatMicrosoft set in 1999, which was $619 billion – or $814billion in today’s value. Analyst Brian White of TopekaCapital Markets has projected a future share value of $1,001,which would send Apple flying well beyond the $900 billionmark.Others, however, disagree. Analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIGResearch argues that Apple cannot sustain these profitmargins, and downgraded Apple from Apple from “Buy” to“Hold” on Monday. Speculation continues either way, but itdoes nothing to change the significance of this news both toshareholders 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
  • 80. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneinstead of three, and potentially worst of all, at least forgamers, only two x16 PCI Express slots. That said, at least the Kingston releases HyperX 3Kcurrent slot configuration isn’t terrible, if a bit unusual with SF-2281 powered Solid Statetwo x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots which operate in dual x8 modewhen both are in use, as well as four x1 PCI Express slot. Drive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-releases-hyperx-3k- sf-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. Kingston has just launched a new SSD to market under itsWhat’s left is the half-size mini PCI Express slot which hold HyperX family dubbed the HyperX 3K. Aimed at enthusiastsa Wi-Fi card, two internal headers for four USB 3.0 ports of and gamers on a budget, the HyperX 3K is an MLC basedwhich two are via a Renesas µPD720202 host controller, two drive using a second-gen SandForce SF-2281 controllerheaders for four USB 2.0 ports, the standard set of six SATA together with a SATA 6Gb/s interface to produce impressiveports via the chipset, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons, a sequential read and write performance of up to 555MB/s andPOST80 debug LED and Voltage readout points for the CPU, 510MB/s respectively.chipset and memory. The drives maximum random read and write IOPS sits at 85K read and 74K write. Other features of the HyperX 3K include SandForces DuraClass technology which promises improved endurance and lifespan, support for SMART, TRIM and Garbage Collection and a classy black aluminum outer casing. Kingston is shipping the HyperX 3K in capacities of 90GB,The rear I/O of the ZT-Z77 Crown-U1D is remarkably similar 120GB, 240GB and 480GB with e-tail pricing ranging fromto that of the ZT-Z68 Crown Edition-U1DU3, although US $139.99 to US $709.99. It will be offered as a standalonesome minor changes have taken place here too. There’s a drive or as part of an upgrade kit (working out to about USsingle PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, $10 more than the standalone option).Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out,a DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI connector and of course two Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)antenna points for the Wi-Fi card. What’s missing is aneSATA port, which isn’t a major omission.Apparently Zotac isn’t planning on selling the ZT-Z77 Epic Games confirms newCrown-U1D outside of China for the time being and it’s notclear when the board will be available, or what it’ll sell for. PC-exclusive title is comingThen again, the company did announce a couple of new ITX Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/epic-games-confirms-new-pc-motherboard which will cover in a separate news post and exclusive-title-is-coming/15506.htmlthey will be available worldwide. 16
  • 81. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 11th, 2012 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 Piledriver- generation cores, a pair of dual core modules, integratedThis piece of news may be quick to get your fingers with support for AVX and AES instruction extensions. Thetingling with excitement if you were a big fan of the Unreal bad ones state concerns about TDP vs Ivy Bridge, sinceTournament series from Epic. It has been confirmed that the Trinity is still on a 32 nm process, as well as possibly slowergame developer is going back to their roots in developing a overall CPU performance than Trinitys currently shippingnew PC-only title. 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. 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(Image Credit: Video Games Blogger) some of the weak points of Bulldozer before this, would also ensure higher level system performance despite sharing theThis piece of news may be quick to get your fingers same socket as Llano.tingling with excitement if you were a big fan of the UnrealTournament series from Epic. It has been confirmed that thegame developer is going back to their roots in developing a Second, the overall CPU and GPU performance boost overnew PC-only title. We know this isnt a rumour as Epics own Llano in most actual game usage models will be nearlingPresident Mike Capps directly spoke with Joystiq in which half extra FPS, again not bad knowing we are still in thethe following statement was made :- same semicon process. This would particularly affect Nvidia"Epic Games prez Mike Capps told us after the panel that attempts to sell extra (therefore extra cost and extra TDPthe unannounced PC project is currently underway, and too) GPUs for entry level 3-D mobile systems based on Ivythat the current plans are to keep the game exclusive to the Bridge too, as for such systems, an integrated APU may makePC platform." more cost and design simplicity sense than adding a GPU to a CPU.Certainly, this is a big shift of focus back to the old dayswith recent years seeing a wave of cross-platform titles and /or console exclusives such as the Gears of War series. We Third, with improved power management on both CPU andhave no other info to go off at this early stage, but are in GPU sides, the overall TDP, according to the sources, will notanticipation of whether or not the game will be more or less pose the problem despite the massive increase in the GPUa singular casual affair or a new blockbuster that aims to reel portion of the processor and the internal buses linking theback in a lot of old-school multiplayer FPS fanatics who miss CPU and GPU.what Epic once did best.Can we smell the faint woft of UT 2013? Well be sure to keepyou posted on this one! Most importantly, there will nearly certainly be a low- power ultrathin (i.e. UltraBook in Intel speak) 17W TDP grade Trinity APU with two dual-core modules and properAMD Trinity - Quad core GPU. Now, depending on the actual CPU and GPU clockUltrathin notebook speeds delivered in this case, there would be a very interesting outcome here: an AMD based ultrathin couldprocessing within 17W limit? have somewhat higher performance, both CPU and GPU,Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-trinity--quad-core-ultrathin- than an Ivy Bridge dual core 4 thread ultrathin at thenotebook-processing-within-17w-limit-/15511.html same time. Coupled with the likelihood of Intel Ivy BridgeApril 11th, 2012 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.As AMD prepares to launch its third and critical Fusion APU,Trinity, later this spring, there are quite a few speculations 17
  • 82. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneFinally, while AMD still has lots of ground to cover in Biggest challenge for the R&D department is lack of room forthe CPU department, the eventual success of Trinity - and Kinect cameras on smartphones: "Kinect has three cameras,AMD seems confident they can make enough of them to one of which his infrared. We cant put an IR camera on asetify the demand - is a serious warning to Nvidia that smartphone, and without it, NUI wont work in dark." Eventhey got to gain ground in the CPU department somehow, though weve seen 3rd party motion detection camera videosboth in the PC and ultramobile segment. On the PC side, in which regular camera can see objects in dark. However,they simply got nothing. On the ARM side, Qualcomm and after contacting those companies, we learned that productHuawei now have higher performing CPUs, and pretty nasty videos are just that - videos.GPUs (Adreno, anagram of Radeon) too - as witnessed by Kinect NUI is being closely tied to Microsoft TellMe, sinceAsus eee Transformer Full HD version Qualcomm design Kinect allegedly captured more voice patterns than Applewin. Interesting times ahead... Siri - again, according to sources in the know. However, even if Microsoft would release a daylight onlyMicrosoft to Bring Kinect UI version of Kinect NUI on the smartphone, you can imaginewith Windows Phone 8? how much attention would Microsoft receive. Furthermore, the only competitor they might have is Sony Mobile forSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-bring-kinect-ui-with- Android OS - no other competitor has enough IP or simplywindows-phone-8-/15500.html development teams that could react on this innovation.April 11th, 2012 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, inWhile touch is pervasive way of communicating with the way which Microsoft invested more than a few cents.we communicate with the mobile devices of today, Microsoftis working on a different interface for tomorrow. Founder of Commodore, Jack Tramiel dies aged 83 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/founder-of-commodore-jack- tramiel-dies-aged-83/15507.html April 11th, 2012 One of the major pioneers in the PC industry, Jack Tramiel"We (Microsoft) know we dont have anything to lose. who was perhaps best known for being the founder ofBut, our competitors have a whole lot (to lose)." This is Commodore has died at 83 years of age on Sunday. Jacksapproximately how a drunken conversation at 2AM starts. history prior to and beyond Commodores inception is quiteIf the location for the conversation is west coast of United an inspiring one. He was born in Poland in 1928 to a JewishStates, in a valley which sees more innovation than any other family and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp afterplace on Earth - chances are that person actually knows what which he then immigrated to the U.S. in 1947.he or she is talking about. One of the major pioneers in the PC industry, Jack TramielAfter checking with several sober sources which proved who was perhaps best known for being the founder ofreliable in the past, Microsoft is currently working on Commodore has died at 83 years of age on Sunday. Jacksintegrating the Kinect NUI (Natural User Interface) with its history prior to and beyond Commodores inception is quitemobile platform using upcoming Windows Phone 8. While an inspiring one. He was born in Poland in 1928 to a Jewishthis is currently purely a development effort, we have been family and survived the Auschwitz concentration camp afterhearing that Microsoft decided to dedicate more and more which he then immigrated to the U.S. in 1947.resources on building the Kinect NUI to become a featurewith either a launch or first or second update to its upcomingWindows Mobile 8 operating system.Will the tech make it in Apollo or come later, that questionis open - as the technology is showing to be more maturethan the company thought - but there are still caveatsto be solved before the technology can hit mainstreamaudience. However, we were told that the company execswere encouraged by the success of no other than Apple Siri,which in beta status received a lot of praise from Applefanboys, but also regular users who like the idea of talkingto the phone. 18
  • 83. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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 aftersurviving the Holocaust he could survive just about anythingand this certainly held true after being ousted as chiefexecutive officer (CEO) of his own established computerenterprise, Commodore Business Machines which was The Paradigm Shift E1, E2m and E3m earphones areformed in 1953. designed for portable personal audio, PC and gaming. Available in black and white finishes with air tight seal forJack Tramiels most successful endeavour following the superb noise isolation, the earphones were built for comfortbirth of Commodore was in 1982 when the legendary and boasts superb audio performance that would pleaseCommodore 64 was released to the masses and went on to audiophiles. They come with three sizes of tips for ears ofpopularize the idea of home computing. Jack knew there was all sizes, a tangle-resistant 1.2 meter cord and a travel case/a lot of potential for it to be highly successful when interest pouch. The E2m and E3m models also feature an in-linein an affordable home computer was gained via previously remote and microphone that allows users to pause and playouted models including the VIC-20 and Commodore 16. music as well as answer and disconnect telephone calls withWith clever marketing (such a shame this eventually fell just one click of a button.through the floor) and improved capabilities, Commodore The Paradigm headphones is available at Audio House, Farlenever looked so good and while a disagreement between Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, Nubox and all StereoTramiel and a stockholder eventuated in his dismissal from Electronics outlets, and available in black and white, E1,the company, Commodore continued to dominate the home E2m and E3m.computing world with the amazing Amiga range that wereby far ahead of their time.Meanwhile, Jack Tramiel went on to purchase Atari in 1984, Raspberry Pi gains CEalthough as it turned out its highest points of success werefrom devices already behind it and Tramiel eventually went mark without the need foron to sell the troubled company off to JTS (a disk drive hardware modsmanufacturer) in 1996 and then he retired that year with his Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/raspberry-pi-gains-ce-mark-without-wife in Monte Sereno, California. the-need-for-hardware-mods/15505.html April 11th, 2012Jack Tramiel is survived by his wife and three sons, as wellas the indented mark he has left on the computing industry.Paradigm Shift E1, E2m andE3m earphones arrive in Following last weeks update on the Raspberry Pi shippingSingapore holdup due to a requirement by European distributors forSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/paradigm-shift-e1-e2m-and-e3m- the device to undergo CE quality mark testing, its all goodearphones-arrive-in-singapore/15508.html news from here with the following statement having justApril 11th, 2012 been given by Raspberry Pi foundation spokesperson Liz Upton on the official blog. Following last weeks update on the Raspberry Pi shipping holdup due to a requirement by European distributors for the device to undergo CE quality mark testing, its all good news from here with the following statement having just been given by Raspberry Pi foundation spokesperson LizCanadian-based Paradigm Electronics Inc is renowned for Upton on the official blog.their speaker design and manufacturing, and the company "We just received confirmation that the Raspberry Pihas launched three new earphones - E1, E2m and E3m - has passed EMC testing without requiring any hardware modifications. 19
  • 84. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThere is still a mountain of paperwork for us to sign, The Philips LightFrame Moda 248X3LFHSB sports aand that then has to be looked over by RS Components 23.6-inch screen and features an aluminum die-cast baseand element14/Premier Farnell; but that’s a piece of cake with two-toned glossy finish. Incorporating the proprietarycompared to what we’ve been doing all week. LightFrame technology, the monitor emits a gentle blue light that soothes and refreshes the eye, hence reducingGiven that we’ve had the chamber for the whole week, eye fatique and improving concentration. The Moda alsowe’ve used the time to make sure that alongside the CE features dual HDMI ports and a VGA connectors that allowrequirements, the Raspberry Pi also complies with FCC you to connect to multiple devices. Other features includeregulations (USA) as well as CTick (Australia) and what SmartColor that extends visual color range for rich andwe’ve been calling “that Canadian thing”." vibrant images; SmartTxt which can improve clarity of text- based 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 Oct12 launch forAfter a rocky road of manufacturing woes followed by EMC GTA V Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-employee-cv-indicates-concerns it should be smooth sailing here on out and with oct-12-launch-for-gta-v/15504.htmlone less thing to worry about when the mass produced April 11th, 2012educational bundle release is ready for schools, colleges anduniversities later in the year.Philips launches new Moda Exposed in a resume (CV) from one of Rockstar Gamesmonitor with LightFrame employees, we now have reason to believe when the fifthtechnology in Singapore iteration of Grand Theft Auto will be released to the masses. It was confirmed a number of months ago that developmentSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-launches-new-moda- was well and truly underway but we were yet to hear of anymonitor-with-lightframe-technology-in-singapore/15503.html sort of timeframe for completion, leaving us still wonderingApril 11th, 2012 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 anyIf youre looking for a new LCD monitor for your home sort of timeframe for completion, leaving us still wonderingPC, check out this new Philips 23-inch Moda that features if it would see light of day before some time next year.a stylish design with LightFrame technology that claims to It seems we will be seeing it earlier than next year with newlyreduce eye fatigue and improves concentration. discovered evidence via Rockstar North Character Animator Alex ODwyers 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. Were yet to hear any comment from Rockstar themselves about the leak, but its unlikely we will given the companys tendancy to ignore any rumors/speculation.MMD, the brand license partner for Philips monitors, hasannounced their new Moda monitor, the latest additionto the companys X-Line of consumer monitors whichare designed to offer healthier visual experience to users. 20
  • 85. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneCanon Singapore revealsprice and availability of IXUS510 HS and 500 HSSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-reveals-price-and-availability-of-ixus-510-hs-and-500-hs/15502.htmlApril 11th, 2012Canon Singapore has announced the IXUS 510 HS and 500 The PlayBook OS 2.0 was released in February andHS compact digital cameras early last month, and today, the new operating system allows BlackBerry PlayBookthe manufacturer has unveiled the pricing and availability of owners to download and install Android apps from theboth cameras. 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 HongThe 10.1-megapixel IXUS 510 HS and IXUS 500 HS feature Kong12x optical zoom and new 28mm lens, and are equipped Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pink-samsung-galaxy-note-shows-with the new Face ID and Intelligent IS (Image Stabiliser) up-in-korea-and-hong-kong/15497.htmlfunctions. The Intelligent IS can automatically adjust April 11th, 2012brightness levels and select an appropriate form of imagestabilisation for clearer pictures. The new Face ID functionallows users to register up to twelve faces, with five differentprofiles for each face. Both the IXUS 510 HS and IXUS500 HS can also record full high definition (HD) video at1080p, and with the Movie Digest feature, which can beused while recording in 720p resolution, allowing audio and Samsung has the habit of introducing a classic pink flavormovements to be recorded simultaneously with stills in a for its popular smartphone models, probably to appeal to thesingle press of the shutter. 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 countriesRIM plans to block Android including Hong Kong, China.app sideloading to stoppiracySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-plans-to-block-android-app-sideloading-to-stop-piracy/15498.htmlApril 11th, 2012The PlayBook OS 2.0 was launched not too long ago,which enables BlackBerry PlayBook owners to downloadand install Android apps onto their tablet. Butwith unofficial Android apps made available for PlayBook,Research in Motion is planning to deter such piracy. 21
  • 86. April 11th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThe pink Samsung GALAXY Note will be retailing in Hong to release the Frio Extreme, a completely redesignedKong at HK$5998 (approximately US$772), and comes with CPU cooler, teeming with features and boasting ultimatethe original protective case. The Samsung GALAXY Note performance. The company has supplied us with a samplewas introduced in October last year, though consumers which is going to be thoroughly examined and tested in thishad mixed feelings about the size of the phone, especially review.when the mainstream ones are between 4- to 4.5-inch.Would the 5.3-inch GALAXY Note gain acceptance fromthe market? It has been six months since the smartphone Manufacturer features and specificationsmade its appearance and with sales of over five millionunits, the GALAXY Note has proven to be quite a success.Incorporating a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and Ultimate Over-clocking Design Structure, support up to16GB (or 32GB) storage, the GALAXY Note features a 2- 250Wmegapixel front and 8-megapixel rear cameras. With the S • Dual tower heat-sink with 0.4mm aluminum finsPen stylus, you can write and draw conveniently if you do provide large surface for heat dissipation.not want to use your fingers. Theres no word as to whetherthis pink version of the Samsung GALAXY Note will come to • 6 x Ø6 mm-U-shape copper heat pipes accelerate heatSingapore though. 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. • Universal Socket Compatibility & Accessory PackageThermaltake Frio Extreme All-in-one back-plate design, support all Intel and AMDCPU Cooler Review platformSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-frio-extreme-cpu-cooler-review/15496.html • Universal socket support :April 11th, 2012 • Intel: LGA 2011, 1366, 1155, 1156, 775 • AMD: FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2 It has been 9 months since we had the opportunity P/N CLP0587to examine and review one of Thermaltake’s best CPU Dimension 148.2(L) x 151(W) x 160(H)coolers, the Frio, which was one of the best air coolers mm (2 Fans)available at that time. Thermaltake has been a company Material Aluminum Finswhich traditionally tries to satisfy even the most hardcore Aluminum & Copper Baseof enthusiasts and they almost never are bewildered by high Heatpipe 6mm x 6 PCSperformance alone. That and the heavy competition at the Fan Dimension 140(L) x 140(H) x 25(W) mmtop segment of the CPU cooler market led Thermaltake Rated Voltage 12 Vto release the Frio Extreme, a completely redesigned Rated Current 0.5 ACPU cooler, teeming with features and boasting ultimateperformance. The company has supplied us with a sample Power Input 7.2 Wwhich is going to be thoroughly examined and tested in this Fan Speed 1200 ~ 1800 RPMreview. Max. Air Flow 106.2 CFMIt has been 9 months since we had the opportunity to Max. Air Pressure 2.34 mmH2Oexamine and review one of Thermaltake’s best CPU coolers, Noise 39 dBA (Max)the Frio, which was one of the best air coolers available Life Expectancy 50,000 Hoursat that time. Thermaltake has been a company which Connector 4 Pintraditionally tries to satisfy even the most hardcore of Power Input 250Wenthusiasts and they almost never are bewildered by highperformance alone. That and the heavy competition at the Weight 1,230gtop segment of the CPU cooler market led Thermaltake 22
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  • 88. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! The acquisition comes only days after Facebook bought VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly Instagram for $1 billion, suggesting the company is on a publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the spending spree before its initial public offering (IPO) in May. geeks. Whether or not this increases investor interest or scares off some who think its spending wildly remains to be seen.Facebook buys check-in firm The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.TagtileSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-buys-check-in-firm-tagtile/15559.html Sharp is ready for Intels 3840x2160 displaysApril 13th, 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-is-ready-for-intel- s-3840x2160-displays/15560.html April 13th, 2012Facebook has bought Tagtile, an unusual marketing firmthat employs a little box that users can tap with theirsmartphone to “tag” themselves in order to benefit fromrewards. Although we wrote about it all the way back in January, IntelFacebook has bought Tagtile, an unusual marketing firm reiterated the fact that the company wants to push up thethat employs a little box that users can tap with their resolution of the displays were using, no matter the device.smartphone to “tag” themselves in order to benefit from Now it appears that Sharp might be the first display makerrewards. to actually meet Intels 2013 target resolution of 3840x2160 thanks to its new indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO LCD panels.Tagtile is effectively a check-in service, with users tappingthe Tagtile cube with their phone rather than clicking a Although we wrote about it all the way back in January, Intelcheck-in button on their device when theyre inside a shop. reiterated the fact that the company wants to push up theThis makes the process of checking in a lot easier and resolution of the displays were using, no matter the device.smoother. Now it appears that Sharp might be the first display maker to actually meet Intels 2013 target resolution of 3840x2160 thanks to its new indium gallium zinc oxide, or IGZO LCDTagtile will no longer be accepting new customers, but the panels.service will remain available for existing customers “for Rather than using traditional thin-film transistor technologynow.” Interestingly, the company said that “Tagtile as it in its LCD displays, Sharp has found a way to useexists today wont be part of what we do at Facebook,” but indium gallium zinc oxide semiconductors which enabledit did not elaborate on what exactly it might be working on the company not only to build higher resolution displays,under the auspices of its new management. 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. 1
  • 89. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone 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-alignmenttechnology" on these displays, the same technology thecompany uses for its Aquos LCD TVs and its meant to offerhigher image quality. Sharp is clearly on the same pageas Intel here though, as in the press release the companystates that it "will encourage the application of its new high-resolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs andLCD monitors as well as to mobile devices ."For LCD monitors, Sharp claims to be able to produce panelsup to 32-inches in size with a resolution of 3840x2160, The military application of this is designed to allowwhereas for the notebook market – albeit it would have to be soldiers to see information displayed on the HUD whilea very small notebook – the company has a 10-inch model not detracting from their awareness of their surroundingwith a resolution of 2560x1600 and finally for the handheld terrain. This could be extended to the growing field ofmarket, the company has a 7-inch model with a resolution of augmented reality, an area that Google is hoping to expand1280x800. We have a feeling that these displays will come into, and could address the potential issue of people gettingin at a very steep price premium to start with, as not only into an accident while paying attention to what is displayedis it a brand new technology, but the panels are also being on a HUD rather than their environment.made in Japan and with the current exchange rate, that isntnecessarily a good thing. The Pentagon previously provided funding for Innovegas research and development on the project and has now signedPentagon orders prototype a contract to enable the first prototype of the technology,dual-focus contact lenses for which Innovega said will help it demonstrate how it works in reality.enhancing visionSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentagon-orders-prototype-dual-focus-contact-lenses-for-enhancing-vision/15558.html Critics of the breakthrough suggest that it could causeApril 13th, 2012 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 users vision. That said, 3D glasses have been criticised for similar reasons and have still proven to be a popular technology.The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens thatprovides users with a wider field of vision, potentiallyrevolutionising the way we see the world. Do You Trust Facebook?The Pentagon has ordered a prototype contact lens that Company Signs CISPA, Newprovides users with a wider field of vision, potentiallyrevolutionising the way we see the world. Internet Police Bill Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/do-you-trust-facebook-company- signs-cispa-new-internet-police-bill/15555.htmlInnovega developed what it is called the iOptik system, acontact lens that is multi-focal, allowing users to focus ontwo different things simultaneously. 2
  • 90. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 13th, 2012 How should you react? Visit Demand Progress and sign the petition. You can also spread the message on Facebook and Twitter. Intel cuts desktop Ivy BridgeWhile Facebook was all at rage when it comes to SOPA and CPU pricing ahead of launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-cuts-desktop-ivy-bridge-cpu-PIPA, with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of the social pricing-ahead-of-launch/15557.htmlnetwork releasing a public attack, the reality changed with April 13th, 2012the new, more dangerous CISPA. 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. Weve seen recent pricing details with the older prices still mentioned and although the price cuts arent huge, any saving is a saving, right? 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 justBack in January of this year, information freedom ahead of the actual launch, Intel has decided to sell the neworganizations such as DemandProgress, Electronic Frontier processors for less than initially expected. Weve seen recentFoundation (EFF) organized an all-out attack on U.S. Senate pricing details with the older prices still mentioned andwhich resulted in SOPA and PIPA failing to pass. SOPA was although the price cuts arent huge, any saving is a saving,for instance, attacked by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and right?CEO of Facebook. As you can see in the chart below, the average price cuts endThe content control lobby consisting out of RIAA and up somewhere between US$7-8, not a massive amount, butMPAA and openly bribed politicians (the congressmen that considering that early price estimates were even higher, thisdesigned SOPA actually stole an image for his blog, MPAA is all good news. Do note that this is Intels recommendedlobbyist openly discussed the politicians which were paid to customer pricing for 1,000 units and not the actual retaillobby for the bill, not against it), but there was a warning that pricing.they will pass another bill at another name. The cost of the Core i7-3770K was expected to be in line withIo and behold, meet CISPA - Cyber Information Sharing the US$332 Core i7-2700K, but now it looks like well see aand Protection Act. You can read more about the bill on price point thats US$19 cheaper than this. The same goes forthe link we have provided for you, but what is surprising the other models with the Core i7-3770 having an expectedis that content control lobbyists focused on tech companies price of US$294, the same as the Core i7-2600, but insteadinstead. And seeing Facebook on the list of CISPA signees were now looking at a price some US$16 cheaper.and supporters is surprising.The Center for Democracy and Technology issued thefollowing damning verdict on the bill:“ CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of theinformation that can be shared with government agenciesand it supersedes all other privacy laws.”The bill was also attacked by the group which is synonymouswith the protection against cyber bullying and control, bethat Apple attacking a blogger, or revealing which politicianswere on content-control lobby’s take. We’re talking aboutElectronic Frontier Foundation, which said the following:“ An ISP could even interpret this bill as allowing themto block accounts believed to be infringing,block access towebsites like The Pirate Bay believed to carry infringingcontent, or take other measures provided they claimed itwas motivated by cybersecurity concerns.” As for the Core i5-3570K were looking at a price thats 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
  • 91. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonelaunched Core i5-2550K which makes it US$13 cheaper than stores for S$39 for 1 year support and S$79 for 3 yearsfirst thought. The lower-end Core i5 parts are priced lower support. Web purchases will be possible in the future,than their equivalent models as well, but here were looking but right now, do it the old fashion way.at roughly $10-11 lower pricing than expected. • Go to Intels Anti-Theft service website to activate yourAs to how these prices transform into retail pricing is a accountdifferent matter and whatever pricing is floating around on • Create an account and authorise your laptop. Setthe web for pre-orders are in many cases up to 50 percent some options like auto lock down after one hour, buthigher than Intels pricing. We found one UK online retailer this could be annoying as you need to enter a passclaiming to have some 580 Core i5-3570Ks in stock, but for every hour. Its all about security versus ease of use,a massive US$293 a pop. Without VAT (UK sales tax) at a the choice is yours.rate of 20 percent, thats roughly US$235 which is closer towhat wed expect these CPUs to retail for. We also found a • Slap the big yellow sticker on your laptop so theUS company listing the same CPU for a massive US$256 and bad guys will leave it alone, as they would essentially bethe Core i7-3770K for no less than US$369, so a word to the stealing a brick. That said, the would-be thieves needwise, dont pre-order these CPUs, as youll most likely end to be educated as to what Intel Anti-Theft technologyup getting ripped off. is so they will be deterred.Intel wants its Anti-Theftservice in every IvybridgeUltrabookSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-wants-its-anti-theft-service-in-every-ivybridge-ultrabook/15556.htmlApril 13th, 2012With millions of laptops out there, tens of thousands ofcareless people and a handful of dishonest people, thingstend to get lost easily. Imagine the moment you realize thatyou have lost your laptop with precious/confidential/private So what does Intels Anti-Theft technology actually in thedata in it; it is definitely worrisome that your data might land event of an accidental loss or theft?into the wrong hands. Therefore, Intel wants to address this • First of all, you need to realise that your laptop hasissue by introducing a service called Anti-Theft and what it been lost or stolen. Some people leave their stuff atdoes is that it uses a hardware security feature built-in to places like airports or cafes for hours without realisingevery Sandy Bridge processors to lock down your laptop in that they have lost something. So if you belong to thiscase it got lost. Of course, before you can do that, you need category, you better make sure you set the auto lockto know and do a few things. down timer to a few hours at least.With millions of laptops out there, tens of thousands of • Upon realising that you have lost your laptop, there arecareless people and a handful of dishonest people, things two options you can take:tend to get lost easily. Imagine the moment you realize thatyou have lost your laptop with precious/confidential/private 1. Call the customer service hotline - of course youdata in it; it is definitely worrisome that your data might land need to know the number first so store it in yourinto the wrong hands. Therefore, Intel wants to address this phone.issue by introducing a service called Anti-Theft and what it 2. Find another computer quickly or use yourdoes is that it uses a hardware security feature built-in to smartphone( with an internet connection), log onevery Sandy Bridge processors to lock down your laptop in to the Intel Anti-Theft service website and lockcase it got lost. Of course, before you can do that, you need down your laptopto know and do a few things: • Doing this will prevent the laptop from booting. Its all • A laptop which is Intel Anti-Theft (Intel AT) supported. done on hardware level (CPU/Chipset/BIOS/Drivers) You can check if your current laptop is supported and the data is also encrypted on your HDD/SSD. by accessing this PDF - One suggestion to Intel is make a simple search field to allow users to sort by What is the worst case scenario that can happen where even brands and models etc. The good news is that all Intels Anti-Theft technology cant help? Ivybridge based laptops - excluding those using the • If your laptop isnt turned on or there is no internet entry level HM70 chipset, but including Ultrabooks - connection, you cant lock down your laptop manually. will support Intel Anti-Theft Technology. You have to depend on the auto lockdown timer set • Buy an activation scratch card from the nearest when you first configured your account. retailers. For Singapore, you can get it from Challenger 4
  • 92. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThis is a great initiative by Intel that makes adding a remote calls "Power Optimizer" which should be some kind ofkill switch on a hardware level to your notebook a breeze. improved solution for handling bus powered devices asThe service is also affordable, even though it seems to lack far as we can tell. The other new addition is support forfeatures like tracking etc. that some competing solutions DisplayPort 1.2, but its limited to allowing the signal outoffer. We should also point out that the lockdown prevents directly through the Thunderbolt/DisplayPort connector onthe notebook from working even if the BIOS is re-flashed or the host device, rather than allowing for DisplayPort 1.2the hard drive is exchanged for a new unit. The only way to support over Thunderbolt. This would still allow for thingsre-active a laptop locked down with Intels Anti-Theft service like daisy chaining of DisplayPort 1.2 compatible monitors,is by re-entering the correct password. a feature that is currently not available for Thunderbolt devices unless you use two of Apples Thunderbolt displays.Thunderbolt roadmap As for 2014, well, weve got Intels Broadwell CPUs and Crescent Bay chipsets and the new platform will have newunveiled, new features Thunderbolt controllers to go alongside it. We cant revealcoming to Apple et al the name as yet or a lot of details for matter, but if youve been keeping track of Thunderbolt youll know that Intel hasSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thunderbolt-roadmap-unveiled-new- spoken about increased performance and this will happenfeatures-coming-to-apple-et-al/15554.html in 2014, not any sooner. Well bring you more informationApril 13th, 2012 about Intels 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.We already know what Intel has planned for this year when Scientists Create Firstit comes to its Thunderbolt chips, but VR-Zone has managed Working Quantum Networkto get hold of an updated roadmap covering what to expect Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-create-first-working-for 2013 and well even give you glimpse at what Intel has quantum-network/15553.htmlplanned for 2014. Intel is set to continue its strategy with April 13th, 2012two different solutions, but the company has decided to adda few new features and we should be able to expect lower costfor Thunderbolt in the future as well.We already know what Intel has planned for this year whenit comes to its Thunderbolt chips, but VR-Zone has managedto get hold of an updated roadmap covering what to expectfor 2013 and well even give you glimpse at what Intel has Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Quantum Opticsplanned for 2014. Intel is set to continue its strategy with have engineered the first working quantum network. Whiletwo different solutions, but the company has decided to add the entire system is primitive, consisting of two entangleda few new features and we should be able to expect lower cost atoms that communicate using single photons, it is a big stepfor Thunderbolt in the future as well. forward into the future of computing.Intel is as we said planning two chips for 2013 to go with itsHaswell processors and Lynx Point chipsets, also known asthe Shark Bay platform. The two new models are currentlyknown as Redwood Ridge 4C and 2C for the four and twochannel models respectively. If we were to guess on finalproduct names wed expect Intel to go with L4510 and L4310if 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 ofwhich the most important one is likely to be what Intel 5
  • 93. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneAs traditional silicon computers advance, they are getting than roughly four years that DDR2 and DDR1 each lastednearer and nearer to their physical limit, beyond which respectively as the dominant memory types before that.they will be unable to advance any further. This is amajor problem not only to science, but to industries whichdepend on a constant consumer demand for faster and One reason for its long time success is that, with the semiconmore powerful machines. The answer to this problem, many process improvements, it was - and seemingly still is -scientists think, is quantum computing. 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 orThe development of a quantum network is the fruit of years’ higher module speeds - in fact, Ivy Bridge seems having nowork, headed by Professor Gerhard Rempe. Many complex problems to handle DDR3-3000 speed grade well.obstacles had to be overcome in order to gain “perfectcontrol” over all the components of the system, which worksby using individual atoms as nodes, which transmit and Also, if even that bandwidth improvement isnt enough,receive information using single photons as data packets. the CPU and packaging technology evolved enough to allow quite affordable quad-channel memory in each socket, providing more than sufficient throughput for almost anyThe use of the network might seem less than impressive: case.two separate labs sixty feet apart were connected with a onehundred-eighty foot fiber optic cable. But, Professor Rempetold Scientific Computing “This approach to quantumnetworking is particularly promising because it providesa clear perspective for scalability.” Thus, the laboratoryexercises were simply for the purposes of testing the concept,while scaling the system up to be used for more practicalpurposes may occur in the future.A quantum network has advantages over a network basedon classical technology, especially in its rate of transfer.The same property which gives quantum computers theirincredible power also gives the network a powerful punch inits transfer speed. A quantum internet doesn’t sound like abad idea.DDR4 to start replacing DDR3 Anyway, the successor is on the horizon, after the long wait.in 2014 - whats in store for The DDR4 standard is being finalised, and, even though it is expected to take two years still till we see it in majorus? mainstream products, there are some key pointers that showSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ddr4-to-start-replacing-ddr3- the upcoming memory benefits.in-2014--what-s-in-store-for-us-/15552.htmlApril 13th, 2012 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, DDR3 memory seems to last quite long now as the on each die, so that more open pages at the same time canunchallenged memory standard. As DDR4 finally makes the result in lower average latency.inroads in 2014, what should we expect from it?Now, in Spring 2012, as Intel launches their initial Ivy Bridge Then, the power saving. With 1.2v being the standardprocessor parts, and AMD follows with Trinity APU, you can voltage, and options for all the way down to 1.05 voltscount how many generations of CPUs succeeded each other DDR4L, expect cooler DIMMs as well. Since the powerover the past, say, six years. reduction is the square of voltage reduction, there is an obvious benefit there.Remember the Core 2 Quad in 65 nm and 45 nm generations, then followed by the Nehalem Core i7, then Westmere,then Sandy Bridge and now Ivy Bridge? Well, these six After that, design changes expected at the module and boardprocessor generations, just like their Athlon and Phenom level. DDR4 may have a similarity with Rambus memorycounterparts at AMD, depend on DDR3 as the memory as it is more of a point-to-point interface, with less loadstandard for these six years or so, and looks like itll continue expected per each memory channel. That would help boththis way for another two years. This is quite a bit longer achievable bandwidth and latency - a helpful move since the 6
  • 94. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneinitial DDR4 parts are expected to all have double-digit CLlatency figure... how about CL15 at DDR4-3200?Finally, there are error connection and management benefitstoo. DDR4 has better ways of handling parity and ECCerrors than previous memory types, and it can providerecovery from both command and parity errors withoutcrashing the system. This is particularly useful for the serverimplementation, like the ones expected in Haswell EX sometwo years from now, for instance.In summary, DDR4 will bring along even higher bandwidth, Judging by a five second video clip posted by Intel onbut accompanied with higher latency settings. This problem YouTube – which you can find below – the Letexo ismight impact the desktop and workstation benchmarks at constructed in such a manner that when its in tablet mode,the early stage, however, just as with DDR3, more optimised the screen is flush with the rest of the design. Due to thedies should appear over time. 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.On the other hand, its further power savings should help The main difference here is that you actually get a full-in the adoption. Companies like Samsung and Hynix are size keyboard and the screen sits at the rear of the notebookexpecting samples of higher speed DDR4 chips this year, chassis when in notebook mode, rather than half-way up thewith high density 4 Gbit dies following next year. But, again, chassis. This allows for a more traditional notebook usageany real deployment has to wait till 2014, when at least some scenario when a keyboard is required.Intel and AMD platforms are expected to support the newmemory.Intel shows off hybridUltrabook with sliding designat IDF BeijingSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-shows-off-hybrid-ultrabook-with-sliding-design-at-idf-beijing/15551.htmlApril 13th, 2012 The only thing we know for a fact is that the Letexo is based on Intels Ivy Bridge Ultrabook platform. Judging byWhen it comes to inventing new and at least sometimes a presentation slide posted over on Ultrabook News, theinnovative designs, Intel isnt shy to try new things and at Letexo design also incorporates at least a pair of USB portsIDF Beijing that just finished, the company was showing off and what appears to be an HDMI port. What we dont knowa hybrid Ultrabook known as the Letexo. What is a Hybrid is if Intel will have any takers for this design and even if theyUltrabook you ask? Click on through and well tell you. do, the final product might end up looking very different.When it comes to inventing new and at least sometimes The Letexo is being shown off 1:10 into the videoinnovative designs, Intel isnt shy to try new things and atIDF Beijing that just finished, the company was showing offa hybrid Ultrabook known as the Letexo. What is a Hybrid Livestream announces theUltrabook you ask? Click on through and well tell you. Livestream BroadcasterThe Letexo might have an awkward name, but its a really Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/livestream-announces-the-cool piece of technology and if it can be manufactured livestream-broadcaster/15550.htmlto a high quality level, then this could potentially turning April 13th, 2012Ultrabooks into a huge hit with consumers. Rather than justbeing a notebook, the Letexo features a sliding screen whichallows it to be used in a few different modes. You can eitheruse it as a regular notebook, or you can slide the screenforward and use it sort of like a touch-screen all-in-one PC,or – and this is where we think the real killer consumerappeal is – you can fold the screen flat so it rests on top of Beyond the fact that people are uploading a lot of videothe keyboard which allows you to use it as a tablet. 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
  • 95. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonestreaming services is Livestream and the company has justmade streaming video to its service a lot easier, albeit quitea lot more expensive with the introduction of the LivestreamBroadcaster.Beyond the fact that people are uploading a lot of videocontent to YouTube, Vimeo and all the other video streamingservices, another big trend that is still only just starting totake off is live streaming of video. One of the major livestreaming services is Livestream and the company has justmade streaming video to its service a lot easier, albeit quitea lot more expensive with the introduction of the LivestreamBroadcaster.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 forchanging the settings via the display. It can be poweredeither by an external power adapter, or via three AAbatteries. Without batteries the Livestream Broadcasterweighs in at 142g, but chuck in a set of batteries and thatweight goes up to 221g. 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 muchAround the back of the Livestream Broadcaster is an as your average consumer camcorder costs, although thisHDMI port, a 3.5mm line-input jack, a USB port, a power does include three months access to Livestreams premiumconnector, a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port and a power switch. service. That said, there arent many competing solutions inThe bottom houses a tripod mount and the Livestream the market and the only one were aware of, Teradeks Cube,Broadcaster is supplied with a cold (hot)shoe adapter that starts at over twice the price if you want HDMI input.can be attached here. The USB port can be combined with arange of yet unannounced 3G and 4G modems, but theresalso built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, presumably supporting Zynga says social games arespeeds of up to 150Mbps. not really social Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zynga-says-social-games-are-not- really-social/15549.html April 13th, 2012 Social game developer Zynga claims that social games areThe neat thing with the Livestream Broadcaster is that it not really social, but it is working on ways to make futureallows you to stream video without a PC, but it has a few games more of a multiplayer experience.limitations. For one, the HDMI port is limited to 1080i, 720pand 480i video and Livestream has not supplied any data as Social game developer Zynga claims that social games areto which frame rates are supported. It will encode video in not really social, but it is working on ways to make futureH.264 with AAC audio, but the highest resolution supported games more of a multiplayer experience.is 720p at 2.3Mbps. This should be plenty for most users of adevice like this, but keep in mind that it also only works with Bob Bates, CCO of Zynga, told GamesIndustry that thethe Livestream service. company is “still in the infancy of understanding” about what is possible to do and what makes a game truly social. “Right now were viral, but true social, where you feel like youre actually playing with your friends, not Im playing here, hes playing there is still ahead.” 8
  • 96. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneThis is an interesting perspective, as Zynga is one of the 5mm tall, or as Intel put it, 28 percent smaller in terms ofcompanies people think of when they hear the words “social volume.gaming,” but the company clearly sees things differently. If you thought Western Digitals 7mm slim, 500GB Scorpio Blue was an achievement, then we can tell you its only the start of whats 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 SSDs being popular in Ultrabooks, for many people 128 or 256GB is simply not enough space and its 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 Facebookand sharing some unlocks and achievements as statusupdates is not exactly a truly social experience, particularlywhen many people ignore game invites and see game statusupdates as bordering on spam.Bates wants Zynga to introduce real social gaming in thesense of friends playing together, but that raises the questionof whether or not this is simply multiplayer and if socialgaming does not really go beyond tacking a normal gameexperience onto social networks. As you can see from the picture, the new SATA interface will be less than a quarter of the size of todays SATARegardless, it looks like Zyngas next move will be to interface and will be moved from a fairly central positionmake true multiplayer online games, where users get to on the drive, onto one of the corners. Coming up with newplay simultaneously rather than taking turns or waiting for implementations of the SATA interface will take time thoughcertain time restrictions to elapse. This would make social and Intel isnt expecting the SATA-IO to be ready until Q4 ofgaming closer to an MMO, albeit on a much smaller scale, this year at best when it comes to finalizing the standard.but this true multiplayer experience could entice a lot more There are of course some drawbacks too, as a slimmer hardcasual gamers to the studios successful titles. 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 well see 1TB 5mm drives in 15mm thin Ultrabooks by 2015Intel is pushing for 5mm thin which sounds like a fairly realistic goal.hard drives, intended forUltrabooks BBB accuses BioWare ofSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-pushing-for-5mm-thin-hard- false advertising over Mass Effect 3drives-intended-for-ultrabooks/15546.htmlApril 13th, 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bbb-accuses-bioware-of-false- advertising-over-mass-effect-3/15548.html April 13th, 2012If you thought Western Digitals 7mm slim, 500GB ScorpioBlue was an achievement, then we can tell you its only thestart of whats to come. At IDF Beijing Intel was pushing for The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accused Electronicsan even slimmer hard drive standard which will stand a mere Arts (EA) and BioWare of misleading customers with 9
  • 97. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zoneadvertising for Mass Effect 3, claiming the retail game does The global PC market saw a return to growth for the first timenot provide all it was supposed to. in years, with shipments increasing by 2.3 percent, defying analyst expectations.The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has accused ElectronicsArts (EA) and BioWare of misleading customers with The global PC market saw a return to growth for the first timeadvertising for Mass Effect 3, claiming the retail game does in years, with shipments increasing by 2.3 percent, defyingnot provide all it was supposed to. analyst expectations.The game publisher and developer are in hot water over An International Data Corporation (IDC) report shows thatadvertising lingo that suggested that players would have shipments in the first quarter of this year were up by 2.3full control over the outcome of the game, only to find percent compared to the same quarter in 2011, higher thanthat this is not the case. Widespread player criticism led to the 0.9 percent decline expected.BioWare agreeing to address the disappointing ending withan update, but while that might calm some customers, it doesnot necessarily address the issue of false advertising. 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 arent 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 gamesoutcome by the choices your character made and thenactually had no control over the games outcome, wouldntyou be disappointed?" said Marjorie Stephens, Director ofCommunications at the Northern Indiana branch of theBBB."The issue at stake here is, did BioWare falsely advertise?Technically, yes, they did. In the first bullet point, whereit states the decisions you make completely shape your Lenovo pushed Dell out of second position with massive 43.7experience, there is no indecision in that statement. It is an percent growth. Shipments were up from 8.1 million to 11.7absolute.” million, while its market share increased from 9.6 percent to 13.4 percent.Some players have been calling for refunds, which couldbecome a reality now that the BBB has voiced its concerns. Dells 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.PC market returns to growthSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pc-market-returns-to- Acer also saw a decline of 3.7 percent thanks to shipmentgrowth/15547.html drops from 8.9 million units to 8.6 million. Its market shareApril 13th, 2012 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. 10
  • 98. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone"PC market growth remained limited in the first quarter asHDD supply and other factors limited demand," said Loren Point of View outs ICSLoverde, VP of Worldwide Consumer Device Trackers at running ProTab 2 9.7-inchIDC. "Nevertheless, history has shown that periods of slowergrowth are followed by recovery as improving technologies tabletmake replacements as well as new purchases increasingly Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/point-of-view-outs-ics-running-compelling. As a result, we expect PC shipments to pick protab-2-9.7-inch-tablet/15544.htmlup significantly by the fourth quarter and beyond as HDD April 13th, 2012supply and pricing are normalized, Windows 8 is launched,and replacements pick up.”Intel Medfield-poweredLenovo K800 Smartphone to Point of View (POV) has just added a new tablet to itslaunch in May lineup dubbed the ProTab 2 IPS. Its a 9.7-inch model withSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-medfield-powered-lenovo- a 4:3 1024x768 capacitive touch screen. Dimensions of thek800-smartphone-to-launch-in-may/15545.html tablet are a reasonable 242x189x9mm given the use of anApril 13th, 2012 aluminum outer shell. Point of View (POV) has just added a new tablet to its lineup dubbed the ProTab 2 IPS. Its 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 Packed inside the Android 4.0 (ICS) running ProTab 2 IPSnow have a date for the launch of Lenovos Intel Medfield- is a Cortex A8 CPU running at up to 1.2GHz. The CPUpowered K800 smartphone. is paired with a MALI-400 GPU which which give decent performance in graphics and HD multimedia playback typeFollowing its unveiling at CES at the start of the year, we tasks.now have a date for the launch of Lenovos Intel Medfield-powered K800 smartphone.The phone has been confirmed to arrive through carrierChina Unicom in late May via a message on Weibo by IntelsChina chief Sean Maloney, in which he also said it will sportthe companys new "Avatar Technology". We have no detailson that to share just yet; inevitably Intel will provide us withmore information closer to the launch.Running back over the previously reported anddemonstrated specs of Lenovos K800, the phone has a tasty Looking over the remaining specs, the tablet has 1GB of4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen and an 8-megapixel rear DDR3 based memory with 8GB of internal storage andshooter. It features support for HSPA+ and uses a single- also a microSD card slot for further storage expansioncore Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz along with a (up to 32GB). Theres a 0.3MP front facing camera andPowerVR SGX 540 GPU. a 2MP shooter the rear. The tablet also has a G-sensorSupposedly the K800 is shipping with Android 2.3 implemented.Gingerbread and a coating of Lenovos LeOS UI. The new ProTab 2 IPS from POV is now listed in a couple of European re/etail outlets at a little under €300 ($393 USD). 11
  • 99. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zone priced at US $80 and US $100 respectively. Shipping isWD releases 7mm thickness expected to commence as of today.500GB Scorpio Blue HDDSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-releases-7mm-thickness-500gb-scorpio-blue-hdd/15543.html Google adds tabApril 13th, 2012 synchronization through Chrome Beta channel Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-adds-tab-synchronization- through-chrome-beta-channel/15542.html April 13th, 2012A new 2.5-inch HDD that is of particular appeal to theUltrabook segment has been outed by WD today underits Scorpio family of mechanical drives. The company hasreleased a new Scorpio Blue model that comes in capacitiesof up to 500GB while being just 7mm thick. Google is working towards rolling in a new feature forA new 2.5-inch HDD that is of particular appeal to the Chrome that will be of benefit to many of todays users. InUltrabook segment has been outed by WD today under arguably the best addition yet to its recent shift of focusits Scorpio family of mechanical drives. The company has in providing an extensive set of synchronization features,released a new Scorpio Blue model that comes in capacities Google is about to put a cherry on top for us with anof up to 500GB while being just 7mm thick. announcement on the official Chrome blog yesterday that it is going to start gradually rolling out a new "Tab Sync" feature to Chromes 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 todays 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 Chromes Beta channel over the coming week.The internals of the new drive are said to make the drivelower on power consumption with claim that it is "the mostefficient" spinner on the market at this time. Thanks to being Tab synchronization across multiple systems/platforms isable to squeeze 500GB onto a single platter, this has not only definitely a feature that will be useful to a lot of people. Atallowed WD to slim down the drives thickness to just 7mm, this stage it doesnt have the tabs physically opened acrossbut in turn also helps reduce noise output. all of your devices, but what it does do is provide you with an "Other devices" menu to the new tab page, whereby clickingSupposedly the drive is also capable of withstanding up to on it will call up tabs that they have open on other devices400Gs in terms of shock resistance, but thats a spec you (yes, including Android).probably dont want to test for yourself. The other nice touch with this tab synchronization featureWD is primarily positioning the drive at the ultrabook is that it doesnt just show the latest page displayed whenmarket segment for those who prefer higher capacity vs. you open up a tab from another device; it retains that tabsspeed (as well as being inevitably cheaper), WD has also full history allowing you to click back through previous pageschosen to make the drive available as an aftermarket part to you may have been to on that tab.the masses as well. While we now know its coming for sure, if you dont want toAt this point there are two capacities on offer in the new be left hanging out for it any longer, you can always join theScorpio Blue 7mm range, 320GB and 500GB which are Chrome Beta channel via this page. 12
  • 100. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-ZoneBuffalo readies up three new April 13th, 2012USB 3.0 external SSDsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buffalo-readies-up-three-new-usb-3.0-external-ssds/15530.htmlApril 13th, 2012 With Mothers 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 speakersBuffalo has just announced a new family of external SSDsusing the USB 3.0 interface. There are three models in thenew SSD-PEU3 series with two color versions available in aglossy finish - "Black Crystal" and "Ruby Red".Buffalo has just announced a new family of external SSDsusing the USB 3.0 interface. There are three models in thenew SSD-PEU3 series with two color versions available in aglossy finish - "Black Crystal" and "Ruby Red". With the Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS111, Mum canMeasurements of the SSD-PEU3 drives come in at 98 x 57 x enjoy her favourite music from her Android phone with great13 mm with a weight of 70 grams. quality, pure balanced sound. The docking speaker will alsoBuffalo states transfer rates of up to 266.7MB/s via USB 3.0 charge the phone at the same time, so she won’t have towith these drives. There are three capacity options available; worry about the battery going flat overnight. Its soft glow64GB (about US $105), 128GB (about US $168) and 256GB night light will add to the cosy ambiance in the bedroom(US $392). 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 HX8111The SSD-PEU3 series will become available near the end ofthe month and are backed by a 1 year warranty.Philips Gift Ideas for MothersDaySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-gift-ideas-for-mother-s-day/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
  • 101. April 13th, 2012 Published by: VR-Zonewater droplets to thoroughly fill up the area between teeth, April 13th, 2012forcing plaque and bacteria out. An easy-to-use system thatminimises mess and hassle, this is the best gift for your mumthis Mother’s Day to get her started on the path to cleanerand healthier teeth.Retail price: S$199 How small can a desktop PC be without losing any features? Well, that’s a question that Zotac might be able to help usIvy Bridge desktop Core i3 answer, as its new ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus manages toCPUs wont arrive until Q3 squeeze in an impressive amount of technology into the almost pocket friendly 106x106x37mm (WxDxH) computer.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-desktop-core-i3-cpus-won-t-arrive-until-q3/15541.html How small can a desktop PC be without losing any features?April 13th, 2012 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 newIvy Bridge processors for as long as possible throughoutthe year, or at least so it seems as details have reached usindicating that its Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors wont arriveuntil Q3. Some had hoped for an introduction in June, butits now guaranteed not to happen until July at the earliest.Intel is doing its best to stretch the introduction of newIvy Bridge processors for as long as possible throughoutthe year, or at least so it seems as details have reached usindicating that its Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors wont arriveuntil Q3. Some had hoped for an introduction in June, butits now guaranteed not to happen until July at the earliest. The 1.65GHz AMD E-450 APU with integrated Radeon HDIntel will have a handful of Core i3 desktop models when 6320 graphics is hardly going to be suitable for playing thethe company decides its time to launch them. Top to bottom latest games, but think of the ZBOX nano XS AD11 Plus aswe have the 3.4GHz Core i3-3240, the 3GHz Core i3-3240T, a second computer or as the brains of your smart TV andthe 3.3GHz Core i3-3225, the 3.3GHz Core i3-3220 and the it’s still pretty decent. Zotac will ship the ZBOX nano XS2.8GHz Core i3-3220T. All five models sport 3MB of shared AD11 Plus with 2GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory – whichL3 cache, two cores and hyper threading. is upgradeable to 4GB – and a 64GB mSATA SSD whichThe standard models are rated at a 55W TDP with the T is apparently a Kingston mS100 based around a Phisonmodels being intended for all-in-one systems and as such are controller which offers read speeds of up to 255MB/s andrated at 35W TDP. With the exception for the Core i3-3225 write speeds of up to 170MB/s.which sports Intel HD graphics 4000, the other four modelsall features Intel HD graphics 2500. I