VR-Zone Technology News | Stuff for the Geeks! Issue #21
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VR-Zone Technology News | Stuff for the Geeks! Issue #21

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A weekly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, hardware, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, iphone, android

A weekly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, hardware, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, iphone, android

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  • 1. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! • Friendly installation. VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.Xigmatek Aegir CPU CoolerSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xigmatek-aegir-cpu-cooler/11887.htmlApril 16th, 2011 Samsung Nexus S Review: Second "Google Phone", but first with Android 2.3High performance coolers are an essential part for the systemsof enthusiasts, especially those which delve into overclocking. GingerbreadToday we are going to take a look on a product from Xigmatek, Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-nexus-s-review-second-an European manufacturer, the Aegir SD128264 CPU cooler. google-phone--but-first-with-android-2.3-gingerbread/11823.html April 16th, 2011High performance coolers are an essential part for the systemsof enthusiasts, especially those which delve into overclocking.Today we are going to take a look on a product from Xigmatek,an European manufacturer, the Aegir SD128264 CPU cooler.Xigmatek fancies naming their products after old gods andother mythological figures; Aegir was the Norse god of theseas. What the long model number stands for, we will never The Samsung Nexus S has landed in Singapore. If you didntknow. Xigmatek makes some interesting claims about the have the chance to purchase online in December last year, well,performance and technology of this cooler which will soon be the good news is that you dont have to look for it online. Theput to the test. phone is available at all mobile phone retailers here. We at VR- Zone managed to get one in for this review.Manufacturer features and specifications • H.D.T. (Heat-pipe direct touch) technology. • Support for LGA775/1156/1366; AM2/AM2+/AM3. • Dual fan installed option and Anti-vibration rubbers attached. • Double layer HDT & Double performance. • 2pcs Φ8mm & 4pcs Φ6mm high performance heat-pipes. • PWM fan to adjust the power of the fan efficiently. • Anti-vibration rubbers prevent vibration and absorb noise. In early 2010, Google caught everyone by surprise when it announced its own branded Nexus One Android smartphone. • Mounting system, Spring-Screw and consolidate back Dubbed "the Google phone", the Nexus One was manufactured plate. by Taiwanese company HTC and was preloaded with Android 1
  • 2. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone2.1 (Eclair) mobile operating system. To date, the smartphone Description: AMD is reportedly already preparing its nexthas received updates to the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread. series of Radeon HD 7000-series GPUs, and planning to start mass production of the new chips in May this year.While Google had said that it will not come up with anothersmartphone, the search engine giant launched the Nexus S, the Description: The keyboard is a vital piece of equipment to anysuccessor to the Nexus One, in December 2010. Manufactured gamer looking for that certain edge. Thermaltake’s Challengerby Samsung, the Google Nexus S features the latest Android Pro has a few unique features to set itself apart from the rest2.3 Gingerbread and it was available for online purchase in US of the field.and UK. No luck for those of us here in Singapore then. Description: The DH67BL has all the necessary features thatThankfully, in mid March, Samsung officially announced a HTPC or anyone needing a small powerful computer wouldthat the Nexus S is selling here. However, note that it is called need. The DH67BL has the LGA1155 socket that supports thethe Samsung Nexus S rather than Google Nexus S and theres newest Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Sandy Bridge processors.a slight difference: the Samsung Nexus S uses the Super LCD Description: The latest mid-range card to greet us comes fromscreen, while the Google Nexus S is equipped with Super ASUS and is part of the new NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti series. TheAMOLED. model were looking at today is part of both the DirectCU andFor those into the full specifications, here you go:- TOP series and carries with it both a healthy overclock and upgraded cooling system. Samsung Nexus SCPU 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird Description: ASUS’ WS series, which is shortened for S5PC110 Workstation, targets users who find quality and stability to beMemory Internal phone: 512MB the key features to any PC, while enabling the same PC to use its performance to the max on said motherboard.Storage 16GB internalScreen 4-inches (WVGA) Super LCD Consumer Electronics and Software newsGraphics 800 x 480 Description: Ten months after the iPhone 4 was announced,Display Resolution 5-MP camera w/ auto focus, Apple is still reassuring us that the white model is on its way- LED flash possibly. After Bloomberg reported the white iPhone 4 shouldConnectivity 3.5mm audio, micro-USB, be on sale by the end of the month. 802.11b/g/n Description: The BlackBerry PlayBook isnt just the third Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, A-GPS major tablet platform to launch, or the first one to deeply pokeExpansion Slot n/a at figuring out why 7-inch tablets should exist—its literally the future of BlackBerry, since the QNX-based OS is going to beBattery life 1500mAh rechargeable the gooey software heart of BlackBerry phones in the next year Lithium-ion or so.Talk time Up to 427 hour standby time; Up to 402 min talk time Description: Microsofts new browser, Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), will not run on Windows Vista, either now in itsPlatform Android 2.3 Gingerbread developer preview form or when the software ships, theDimensions 123.9 x 63 x 10.8mm company confirmed today.Weight 129g Description: A major security flaw has been discovered in the Skype for Android app, one which could put the sum total of a users private data in danger of being accessed by others.The Daily VR-Zone News Description: Spotify AB said it is cutting back on its free music-Summary - 15 April 2011 streaming service, as the European start-up tries to boost the number of paying subscribers and attempts to expand into theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--15- U.S.april-2011/11451.htmlApril 16th, 2011 Description: Build quality, easy swappable 3.5 HDD tray, dual OS, built-in WiFi and 7.1 analog audio outputs are just some of the many features that place the S800 Ultra by Egreat next to the best network media players the market has to offer today. Gaming news In todays news roundup: AMD Radeon HD 7000-series Description: Its not officially E3 season until the first bigrumoured for May production ; ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti rumors start swirling. And theres a big one making the roundsDirectCU TOP overclocked video card review; Apple: White related to Nintendo and a potential successor to the populariPhone 4 is real (and late) ; Review of the BlackBerry PlayBook; Wii console.Sony PlayStation 3 sales hit 50 million , and Gears of War 3 Description: Sony announced today that the PlayStation 3 hasbeta impressions . sold 50 million units worldwide as of March 29. Not only that,Hardware news but PlayStation Move has been enjoying some success too, with 8 million units sold worldwide as of April 3. 2
  • 3. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDescription: We here at IGN have had a few days to get our feetwet in the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta before anyone else. Mionix Zibal 60 MechanicalBut we arent here to brag (well, maybe a little), were here to Keyboard Unveiledlet you know what we think. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mionix-zibal-60-mechanical-keyboard- unveiled/11885.htmlTaiwan Excellence Awards April 16th, 2011Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/taiwan-excellence-awards/11886.htmlApril 16th, 2011 Mionix has unveiled the Zibal 60, a mechanical keyboard developed for the gamer. It comes with non-tactile,Today the Gold and Silver awards in the Taiwan Excellence mechanical, black cherry MX switche, multi-level backlightAwards were announced and VR-Zone was on location in illumination paired with six key rollover as well as twoTaipei. The awards are very prestigious in Taiwan and this year port usb 2.0 hub, audio/mic extensions and media controlwas the 19th year that TAITRA arranged the awards. All the big keys. Mionix™ Zibal 60 will be available worldwide to pre-names like Asus, D-Link, Gigabyte, MSI and VIA were in the order today and delivery in June 2011. Suggested retail price:running for the top Gold and Silver awards, although we have $149.99 / €149.99to say that we were somewhat surprised at the judges choices.Today the Gold and Silver awards in the Taiwan ExcellenceAwards were announced and VR-Zone was on location inTaipei. The awards are very prestigious in Taiwan and this yearwas the 19th year that TAITRA arranged the awards. All the bignames like Asus, D-Link, Gigabyte, MSI and VIA were in therunning for the top Gold and Silver awards, although we haveto say that we were somewhat surprised at the judges choices.There are of course several categories outside of theIT industry for the Taiwan Excellence Awards and theproducts competing for the awards included an SUV forlocal car company Luxgen, CNC machines, cook tops, waterpurification systems and even a high-end toilet from HCG witha wireless remote control. You’ll find pictures of some of theseproducts on the last page, as not all were actually displayed at Vaxjo, Sweden – April 14th, 2011 - Mionix™, the Swedishthe event due to their sheer size. A total of 974 products were manufacturer of professional high-end gaming accessoriessubmitted for the awards of which 459 were selected of which today unveiled the Mionix™ Zibal 60, a mechanical keyboardonly the top 30 products were represented at today’s awards developed for the gamer that deserves the best.ceremony. Also on site was Taiwan’s Vice President VincentV. Siew and he presented the Gold award winners with theirawards. "I believe it is an artform to building keyboards, that are not just for gaming but also compromise free and simple in design. The high attention to detail and subtle features are going to be loved by our loyal users”, says Carl Conradsson, Mionix. WHEN INNOVATION MEETS PERFORMANCE The Mionix Zibal 60 is a fusion of the best keyboard components together with great gaming features that gives your game the edge you have been searching for. Engineered with non-tactile, mechanical, black cherry MX switches that deliver the best feel to every keystroke. Multi-level backlight illumination paired with six key rollover that allows you to perform up to six simultaneous keystrokes with all keys, make the Zibal 60 standout from the crowd. in addition to the performance features, the Zibal 60 offers smart functions that 3
  • 4. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneinclude a two port usb 2.0 hub, audio/mic extensions andmedia control keys for full integration with your desktop setup.FEATURES • Black Cherry MX Mechanical key switches • Detachable wrist rest • Green backlit key illumination • Three lighting modes On, Off and WASD • Multi-level brightness control • Mionix action key to access light/media controls • Six key rollover • Rage proof durability • Connect-through ports for audio/mic • full speed uSb 2.0 hub • Plug n PlayAVAILABILITY & PRICINGMionix™ Zibal 60 will be available worldwide to pre-ordertoday and delivery in June 2011Suggested retail price: $149.99 / €149.99 Mozilla announces new "Aurora" rapid release for Firefox Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mozilla-announces-new-aurora-rapid- release-for-firefox/11884.html April 16th, 2011 Most tech-savvy PC users do not have a problem with testing out pre-release and development builds of popular software, especially if the popular software in question happens to be the all-important application known as the web browser. Of course, most users will also attempt to draw a line between getting the latest, most bleeding-edge software and having to deal with unstable applications that seemingly are engineered to break something, and leave it to Mozilla to attempt to bridge the gap with its new rapid release channel of Firefox known as Aurora. 4
  • 5. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone have gone through substantial amounts of testing from the developers and are deemed stable enough for use by most PC users barring a few bugs every here and there. However, there is still a long gap between the time taken for suitable nightly build to be pushed up into the Beta channel, and this is where the new Aurora release comes in to fill that gap.Most tech-savvy PC users are usually adventurous enoughenough to test out pre-release software that are made freelyavailable for download, and for good reason. After all, itis always important to have the latest and the greatest Unlike the Minefield nightly builds, the Aurora releasesversion of any software one is currently using for a wide are aimed more towards software enthusiasts who crave anvariety of reasons, such as increased stability, performance experimental browser that comes with some semblance ofimprovements and the introduction of new user-centric stability. Instead of daily releases, Aurora builds have a slightlyfeatures. longer release cycle of approximately six weeks, but will come with some degree of testing from the Mozilla developers. ThisThat being said, most sane adventurous users will attempt helps to ensure that there is a minimum level of stabilityto draw the line between highly experimental software present in Aurora builds of the Firefox web browser.applications that have gone through little to no quality testingby the programs developers, and pre-release software that are The Aurora builds of Firefox are already available for users toproclaimed to feature stability levels close to that of what will download and install, but we would like to remind users thateventually be the final build. And because real-world statistics the Aurora channel is not meant for anybody to download.are so important to developers of any software application, This is due to the fact that the Aurora channel is still no whereMozilla is attempting to reach out to a wider audience for as stable as a beta build, which in turn pales to the final releaseits Firefox web browser by reaching a compromise between where stability is concerned. Get it if you want, but keep inits highly unstable testing branches and more stable beta mind that there is a distinct possibility of having to deal withchannels, and it comes in the form of the new Aurora rapid- the browser breaking at the most unexpected moment due torelease channel. its unstable nature.As most people who are familiar with Mozillas developmentschedules are fully aware, Firefox development can be brokendown into three broad categories. The first category isknown as Minefield, and as its name suggests, it is in this ASUS Announces Worlds Firststage of development where developers introduce variousexperimental features into the web browser. However, the Two-Way HDMI Streaming Kitnightly builds generated daily by the Minefield channel are Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-announces-world-s-first-two-way-also considered off limits to all but the most adventurous PC hdmi-streaming-kit/11883.htmluser, as these builds are churned out by an automated build April 16th, 2011server with no quality tests performed on them.The second category is known as the Beta release channel, andthis is the channel which most of the average adventurous PCusers are familiar with. Unlike the nightly builds, beta builds 5
  • 6. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneASUS has launched WAVI, the world’s first wireless HDMI kit Hardware specifications:to feature innovative two-way wireless USB control designed Model Name WAVIto stream PC content to the big screen TV. WAVI (WirelessAudio Video Interaction) is offered as a pair of devices Wireless standard AMIMON WHDI Technologythat bridges the gap between the home office and living Antenna 4 x 5 MIMOroom. Watch movies, play the latest PC games, enjoy social Operation Channel 5 GHznetworking or even do online shopping, all on the big screen Power Supply Transmitter andTV from the comfort of a couch. Read on to view the full press Receiver:12V, 2A 24Wrelease, along with the WAVIs hardware specifications. adapters Power consumption 24W Resolution TV:1080p, 1080i , 720p, 576p, 480p 3D Videos: 1080p@24Hz Dimension 241mm x 171mm x 290mm Adapter and Cables AC adapter x2ASUS has launched WAVI, the world’s first wireless HDMI kit HDMI cable x2to feature innovative two-way wireless USB control designedto stream PC content to the big screen TV. WAVI (Wireless USB cable x1Audio Video Interaction) is offered as a pair of devices That being said, no information about the WAVIs officialthat bridges the gap between the home office and living release date and pricing has been released by ASUS yet, soroom. Watch movies, play the latest PC games, enjoy social do remember to check back this page for updates about thesenetworking or even do online shopping, all on the big screen missing details.TV from the comfort of a couch. Samsung announces new line of external hard disks with USB3.0 support Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-new-line-of- external-hard-disks-with-usb3.0-support/11882.html April 16th, 2011 With the need to be mobile being greater than ever before,Control the PC on the living room TV via two-way streaming most of us have taken to storing our important data onThe WAVI HDMI streaming kit consists of a transmitter removable storage devices such as external hard disks andand receiver for two-way input and streaming. Unlike other flash drives, and for good reason. However, what happenswireless HDMI kits, the WAVI allows users to control the PC what users start demanding even greater speeds in the processcontent in the living room with a wireless keyboard and mouse, of transfering data from ones PC to an external storage device?thanks to wireless USB support. The WAVI operates at the The answer is simple: go the way of USB3.0. And this is exactlywireless 5GHz band and provides up to 25 meters* of coverage. what Samsung has done for its latest M-series line of externalAdditionally, under the Extend Mode, users can continue hard disksworking on the PC screen while streaming multimedia contentto the living room TV – maximizing the use of a single homePC while also providing home entertainment experiences.PC fun made easy on the big screen TVThe WAVI is easy to set up, with only an HDMI connectionneeded on each unit. Plug the transmitter end to the PC andthe receiver end to a TV with an HDMI connection for wirelessentertainment. Anything that can be enjoyed on the PC cannow be enjoyed on the living room TV — stream high qualityBlu-ray movies, play PC games lag-free, listen to music, keepup with friends on social networks like Facebook or Twitter ordo some online shopping, all from the comfort of the couch. When it comes to PC accessories and pheripherals, the one*Subject to room settings thing which virtually all PC users cannot afford to go without 6
  • 7. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonetoday are the humble but vital tools known as external storage The new M-series of external hard disk are reportedly availabledevices such as external hard disks and USB flash disks, and for sale already; that being said, no information about the hardfor good reason. After all, external storage devices such as disks prices has been revealed, so we will probably have to waitthe examples mentioned above are essential for transfering for that bit of information to be publicly announced once thesedata from place to place in the absence of a wireless data hard disks show up for sale in sunny Singapore.connection, and the ability to always have a physical copy ofones digital content can mean the difference between meetingor missing a deadline for the busy professional. MSI launches nine new high-With that in mind, the rapid advancements taking place in the performance notebookstechnological field today also means that access to ultra high- Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-launches-nine-new-high-speed data interfaces is no longer a luxury, but a neccessity. performance-notebooks/11881.htmlSo how does one make the humble external storage device April 16th, 2011perform faster in order to keep up with the demands of todaysdigital worker? For Samsung (and many other manufacturersas well), the answer is simple; outfit those devices withthe latest, fastest data connection interface possible. And inthis case, the interface in question is USB3.0, which is nowsupported in Samsungs new line of M-series external harddisks. Need a new notebook for the year 2011? Well, leave it to MSI to flood the retail shelves with a new wave of offerings which seemingly appear to be capable of catering to a wide variety of demands put forth by the ever-so-choosy consumer. With up to nine new models being announced by the Taiwanese OEM, it seems that 2011 is going to be yet another rather interesting and competitive year for the notebook PC market. Smartphones and tablet PC devices may be all the rage where mobile computing is concerned today, but many professionals will still swear by their trusty, full-sized notebook when it comes to serious data crunching, and for good reason. After all, the puny ARM processors used in mobile devices are just not powerful enough to handle some of the more resource-According to the official press release issued by the Korean intensive applications used by many professionals in their lineelectronics giant, the new line of M-series hard disks will be of work today. That, and the fact that the ARM architectureavailable in both 2.5-inch and desktop-sized 3.5-inch form is simply not capable running the worlds most popular PCfactors to cater to both the mobile and deskbound users who operating system means that one still needs a proper deviceneed a means of expanding the maximum storage capacity of running of a decent x86 processor in order to even starttheir current machines. thinking about being productive while on the move.The 2.5-inch versions of the new external hard disks, which Naturally, if you are gravitating towards an x86-poweredwill be sold under the M2 Portable branding, will feature what notebook for your mobile computing tool of choice, chancesSamsung calls a simple and modern Scandinavian design are you will have to take a pick between mobility andwith a coating that is reportedly stain and fingerprint resistant. raw performance. And the good news is that MSI has justIn addition, Samsung has confirmed in its press release that announced nine new notebooks which appear to be capable ofthe M2 Portable hard disks will be sold in two capacities only satisfying a wide variety of consumers.(500GB and 1TB) and will come in four different colours forconsumers to choose from, namely Brown Black, Noble beige, MSI X370Grey Mist and Clay Orange.On the other hand, the larger 3.5-inch external hard disks,otherwise known as the M3 Station, will be sold in two coloursonly (Brown Black and Moble Beige), and are said to come inonly one capacity, which is that of a hulking 2TB.In addition to the hardware, Samsung also claims that thenew M-series line of external hard disks comes bundled withvarious tools such as a disk management program, AutoBackup programs and a Secret Zone application which issupposedly tied to the management of the hardware-basedSecure Erase function found in most hard disks today (butdisabled at the BIOS level). 7
  • 8. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe latest entrant to MSIs ultraslim X-series product line, the April 16th, 2011MSI X370 ultraportable notebook drops the typical Intel ULVprocessors used in such classes of notebooks in favor of one ofAMDs Fusion APUs instead. Powering the MSI X370 is one ofAMDs low-power E-series processor, the dual-core, Bobcat-based E-320, which is clocked at 1.6GHz, and an integratedAMD Radeon HD 6310 GPU which is built into the processor.MSIs press release makes no mention of any further hardware Sure, most Meizu M8 users were already preparing themselvesspecifications, but we have gotten word that the X370 will for the day where the company responsible for the productioncome bundled with up to 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard and marketing of their iPhone-lookalike handsets ceases alldisk, along with the standard VGA-out and HDMI-out ports, a development for their device, but nothing beats an officialcard reader and a webcam, all for the price of US$599. announcement to announce the inevitable. And this wasMSI FX620DX/FX420 precisely what M8 users were treated to in an announcement posted on a Meizu forum not too long ago. Meizus new smartphones always seem to grab the headlines whenever they are released, and it is usually due to all the wrong reasons such as bearing uncanny similarities to a certain OEMs devices, right down to the very way their own WinCE-based OS is designed. However, that is mostly history, and the Meizu we are all familiar with today are now one of the more popular smartphone OEMs in China for their sleek- looking smartphones that run off the open Android operating system. However, where does that leave the older Meizu M8 smartphone which still runs off a heavilly skinned version of WindowsCE and features much more limitted hardwareMSI has also updated its high-performance FX series of specifications as compared to the current Meizu M9notebooks with two new additions to its product line, and they smartphone based off the Android operating system? Well, itcome in the form of the FX620DX (shown above) and the appears that M8 users will have to deal with the fact that theirslightly smaller FX420 notebooks. smartphone has reached the end of its upgrade path, for the OEMs CEO, J. Wong, has seemingly made an announcementThat being said, high-performance notebooks are usually on the companys official forum that the development teammade to look impressive to complement their high-end will cease all efforts on maintaining and updating the Meizuhardware specifications, and the newly-announced FX M8s firmware.notebooks are no exceptions. According to the official pressrelease, the new notebooks are "sheathed in MSIs exclusiveraised totem seal coating and color film print which exude asophisticated air and provide the added bonus of making theseNBs resistant to scratches and wear."Unfortunately, MSI has not released any information aboutthe FX620DX and FX420s hardware specifications. However,a quick look at MSIs product page reveals that the FX620DXwill sport either an Intel Core i5-2410M or i7-2630QMprocessor, an NVIDIA GeForce GT540M graphics card, a harddisk with up to 720GB of storage capacitiy and up to 8GBof memory. And while the FX420 is still not listed on MSIsproduct page, we have got word that the FX420 will drop theGT540M in favor of an AMD Radeon HD 6470 graphics card.Meizu to cease all For some reason, we not able to find the alleged officialdevelopment for M8 announcement anywhere on Meizus official BBS, althoughSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/meizu-to-cease-all-development-for- another forum set up by Meizu fans, known as Meizu Me,m8/11880.html have claimed that J. Wong did indeed break the news in their official forums. On top of that, the Meizu Me forums claim that J. Wongs justification for dropping all development efforts for the Meizu M8 and its underlying WinCE-based OS stems from the fact that the company simply could not afford to keep maintaining two operating systems, especially when the M8 8
  • 9. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonehas not been sold for quite some time already due to legal April 16th, 2011threats from the likes of a certain fruit-named OEM.Instead, the main focus for Meizus development team willnow be the Meizu M9 and the companys upcoming productwhich Meizu Me dubs the M9 II, both of which are based offGoogles Android operating system. In other words, it lookslike the curtain has officially fallen for the M8, whose time on So far there havent been all to many third party SATA 6Gbpsstage is now at its end. controllers in the market, although ASMedia, a subsidiary to Asus announced its ASM106x series of SATA 6Gbps controller back in December last year, but its only now that werePersonalize your Gmail with a starting to see products based on it. So far the only optionnew background picture has been Marvells family of SATA 6Gbps controllers which is continually growing, but we have a feeling that ASMediasSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/personalize-your-gmail-with-a-new-background-picture/11879.html solution will be far more cost effective.April 16th, 2011 So far there havent been all to many third party SATA 6Gbps controllers in the market, although ASMedia, a subsidiary to Asus announced its ASM106x series of SATA 6Gbps controller back in December last year, but its only now that were starting to see products based on it. So far the only optionGoogle has included a theme feature in Gmail that allows users has been Marvells family of SATA 6Gbps controllers whichto have a personalized look. Aside from the various color and is continually growing, but we have a feeling that ASMediastheme selections, you can now customize Gmail with your own solution will be far more cost effective.background picture too. Read on for more details. Were somewhat surprised that ASMedia is only listing the ASM1061 on its website, as the company has three more models, the ASM1060, ASM1062 and ASM1062R where the latter supports RAID. The ASM1060, ASM1062 and ASM1062R are all pin to pin compatible, whereas the ASM1061 is not. The ASM1060 only supports SATA 3Gbps which is a bit confusing as its model name is so similar to the SATA 6Gbps products. The ASM1060, ASM1062 and ASM1062R all support IDE, while the smaller ASM1061 doesnt.Yes, you can now have a personalize Gmail account, the wayyou want it. Previously, you can only select from the differentcolor and themes available in the settings.Simply go to the "Options", the gear icon at the upper right ofthe screen, choose "Mail Settings", "Themes" and to the option,"Create Your Own Theme". Select a Picasa photo or upload We have to apologize for the fact that we dont know whichyour picture, as well as customize text and background colors. controllers are being used in the products weve spotted, but we have a feeling that the both products are using oIn addition to this theme customization, Google has also the ASM1061, as its the smallest of the four SATA 6Gbpsmentioned that it will be making ads relevant according to controllers and the chips used in both cases are tiny, in fact theyour emails. chip is so small that its dwarfed by other components on the PCB.ASMedias SATA 6Gbps The add-in card comes from Taiwanese eMegatech, although we didnt manage to track it down on the manufacturerscontroller hits retail website, but it retails for NT$1090 (S$47) in Taiwan whichSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asmedia-s-sata-6gbps-controller-hits- seems a bit on the expensive side.The second product weveretail/11878.html sporting an ASMedia SATA 6Gbps is an upcoming H61 motherboard from MSI called the PH61A-P35. This board also incorporates an ASMedia USB 3.0 host controller and an ASMedia PCI Express to PCI bridge. 9
  • 10. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneWed expect to see a lot more products with ASMedia solutions IMFT claims that we can expect similar performance andat Computex as well as some new announcements by the more importantly, endurance as its current 25nm NAND Flashcompany itself whom well make sure to visit at the show. products. If you take a look at the picture provided by IMFTHopefully there will be some benchmarks of ASMedias SATA youll see the significance in terms of size that the die shrink6Gbps controllers cropping up, as performance matters when offer, even from 25nm. Do note that the 34nm parts are twoit comes to SATA 6Gbps and ASMedia is going to have to 4GB devices, whereas the 25nm and 20nm parts are 8GB. Theoffer similar performance to that of Marvells products to gain 25nm parts measure 167 square mm while the new 20nm partsgeneral acceptance by motherboard and add-in card makers. measure a mere 118 square mm. This can be used to reduce the board space on a PCB of an SSD by somewhere between 30 to 40 percent, or the other way to look at it you could fit 30 to 40Intel and Micro announces percent more NAND Flash chips to an SSD.20nm NAND Flash Right now were of course looking at pre-production siliconSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-and-micro-announces-20nm- and actual production isnt intended to start until sometimenand-flash/11877.html in the second half of this year. However, by then IMFT isApril 16th, 2011 expecting to have 16GB samples ready which the company claims will allow for 128GB single chip SSD the size of a postage stamp. As for cost reduction over current 25nm parts, well, it wont that massive, but expect to see even more affordable SSDs towards the end of this year or early next year, especially as the price of the SSD controllers for 2xnm NAND Flash are expected to have come down by then as well.If things go as planned for Intel and Microns joint venture inNAND Flash, we might be seeing a second iteration of SSDslater this year, as the two companies have announced that The Daily VR-Zone Newstheyre the first NAND Flash manufacturer to create 20nm8GB MLC NAND Flash memory. Its unclear exactly how Summary - 14 April 2011significant this additional die shrink is, although beyond being Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--14-a cost saving measure; it also means smaller memory chips. april-2011/11875.html April 16th, 2011If things go as planned for Intel and Microns joint venture inNAND Flash, we might be seeing a second iteration of SSDslater this year, as the two companies have announced thattheyre the first NAND Flash manufacturer to create 20nm8GB MLC NAND Flash memory. Its unclear exactly howsignificant this additional die shrink is, although beyond being In todays news roundup: Thermaltakes dual 120mm towera cost saving measure; it also means smaller memory chips. cooling fan, the Thermaltake Jing Silent CPU cooler, getsAlthough some companies are already manufacturing sub reviewed; EVGAs dual-GPU GeForce GTX590 Classified gets25nm NAND Flash memory, IMFT just overtook all of its the quad-SLI treatment for a performance review by Hi Techcompetitors with its 20nm NAND Flash. The company is Legion; Red Hat is reportedly planning to create a newexpecting to transition all of its Fabs from 25nm to 20nm this programming language that will kill off the use of Java in theyear with its Fab in Utah, USA being the first one, followed by enterprise space; Lenovo denies the existance of plans for aits Virginia, USA and Singapore plants at a later stage. This is 23-inch tablet computing device; Sony unveils a fresh wavea very quick transition, although its likely to be a somewhat of games for its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable videoeasier transition than what is normally the case, at least if the game consoles, and Nintendo is reportedly considering a pricequick time scale is anything to go by. cut for its existing Wii consoles for the month of May. Hardware news 10
  • 11. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThermaltake Jing Silent CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews games smoothly in 2560x1600 with all the eye-candy turnedDescription: Today we are taking a look at the Thermaltake up to the max, including an anti-aliasing mode that can be setJing silent CPU cooler. The Jing is a dual 120mm fan tower to 64x? A single EVGA GTX 590 Classified can do that. Twocooler with being quiet and performing well as its goal. Join GTX 590 in Quad-SLI means you’ll be ready for anything.us as we stack the Jing up against a dozen other coolers on Fractal Design Define XL PC Case Review @ Real World Labsour Intel Core i7 test bench and also see how quiet the Jing is Description: Not only does the latest Define XL by Fractalcompared to the kings of quiet, Noctua. Design packs the same high build quality and number ofOCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD Review features as its smaller siblings but it is also the largest towerDescription: The performance oriented controller used by the case currently in their production line.Vertex 3 known as the SandForce SF-2281 includes support Consumer Electronics and Software newsfor the SATA 6Gb/s interface, while boasting read and writespeeds of 500MB/s+, a mind blowing figure when compared ROCCAT Kulo Stereo Headset Review @ Vortezto previous generation chips. Description: It is today that we look in anticipation to a product that we first cast our eyes on at CeBIT someNZXT Blue Sleeved LED Kit Review @ Bigbruin.com weeks ago now. ROCCAT Kulo is an extremely lightweightDescription: What you get from NZXT is a two meter long gaming headset designed for those on the move, with theirstring of LED lights with a controller and mounting hardware compact design they are sure to feature at the yearly LANthat lets you customize the lighting effect seen through a cases party. ROCCAT claim that this headset will offer great audioside window. Available in lengths of either one or two meters performance and has a robust construction thus allowing it to- and with color choices of blue, green, orange, red, or white withstand the knocks and bashes, twists and pulls that some- there is bound to be a combination to suit just about any peripherals have to endure whilst in transit.system. Windows Phone 7, You Were Supposed to be Great. So WhatOWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 120GB Solid State Drive Happened?Review Description: "Windows Phone 7 is the most aggressivelyDescription: Its now 2011 and weve started a new season for different, fresh approach to a phone interface since thesolid state drives. Take me out to the ball game; OWC is in iPhone." We published those words half a year ago, hopingthe batters box. OWC has kept their SandForce partnership WP7 would be a radical firebrand in phone land. But itsand once again amazed us with their ability to get a product stalled. Were disappointed.to market so quickly. To date only OCZ Technology has beenable to sample us with a SandForce 2000 Series product and Red Hat wants to knife Java with Ceylon Projectthat was an engineering sample that cant use the same mass Description: Open source distributor Red Hat has beenproduction firmware found in the retail drives. Weve already secretly working on a new language, which it wants to use tocovered the SandForce 2000 Series lineup in detail. For a full kill off Java in the enterprise and stick its own Java-basedbreak down of whats to come, be sure to check out that article." successor in its place.Thermaltake Level 10 GT Case Review @ Tweaknews HTC Sense 3.0 will only support Sensation, EVO 3D, Flyer andDescription: Level 10 for the masses? Im sure thats what newer devices; older hardware left behindThermaltake had in mind when designing the Level 10 GT Description: Unfortunate news for anyone who saw HTCschassis. Available now for a bit less than $300 US, the Level 10 Sense 3.0 UI and started dreaming about seeing it on theirGT has a much more attractive price, but only when compared Desire HD, Incredible S or any other handset that doesnt shipto the original Level 10 chassis. with it preloaded. HTC has said that because of the hardware requirements of the fancier new Android skin, only the dual-Intel DP67BG Review @ ocaholic core Sensation 4G and EVO 3D smartphones and the 1.5GHzDescription: With the DP67BG Intel presents its Sandy Bridge Flyer tablet will be benefiting from it for now.motherboard which has been designed for overclockers andgamers. The board therefore comes with decent overclocking Lenovo denies plans for 23″ tabletfeatures in the BIOS as well as attractive performance. Description: There won’t be a 23″ tablet coming from LenovoRegarding features the list isnt very long but never the less this year. According to the latest reports online, the Chinesethere still is the backlit skull which one could also find on the OEM has denied the existence or plans to introduce a tabletprevious board. later this year.EVGA GeForce GTX 590 Classified Quad-SLI Performance Gigabytes S1080 dual-core Windows tablet ships to TaiwanReview @Hi Tech Legion Description: Gigabyte has started taking orders for its S108Description: The EVGA GTX 590 Classified video card consists dual-core 1.66Ghz Atom-powered Windows 7 tablet in Taiwan.of two GF110 GPUs on a single PCB. The EVGA GTX 590 The device has a has a 10.1-inch LED capacitive multi-touchClassified has 3,072MB of GDDR5 memory on a 768-bit panel with a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. It comes standardmemory interface equipped with 1,024 CUDA cores. Clocked with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and utilizes Intel’s GMA 3150higher than the stock GTX 590, the EVGA GeForce GTX integrated graphics, while it features one USB 3.0 port in its590 Classified edition carries a core clock of 630 MHz and array to deliver high-speed connectivity.a memory clock of 3456 MHz. A pair of EVGA GTX 590 Wi-Fi only Dell Streak 7 released in the U.K.Classified in SLI provides astonishing performance, unlikeanything NVIDIA has ever produced. Ever wanted to play 11
  • 12. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDescription: The Dell Streak 7 hasnt been met with much HELSINKI, FINLAND – APRIL 14, 2011 – Futuremark®praise stateside, but maybe it will have better luck now that the today confirmed that PCMark® 7, a new benchmark offeringWi-Fi only version is being launched in the United Kingdom. complete PC performance testing for Windows 7, will be released on May 3, 2011. PCMark 7 will be available in 3Gaming news editions: the Basic Edition, a free download offering unlimitedSony Computer Entertainment Unveils New Games In Media runs of the main PCMark test, the Advanced Edition whichEvent includes all 7 PC tests and the Professional Edition whichDescription: Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong unlocks all features and is the only edition licensed forKong (SCEH) held a media preview on their latest upcoming commercial use. The Advanced and Professional Editions canPlayStation 3 (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) game titles be pre-ordered now from http://www.pcmark.com.which includes Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls, SOCOM 4,BRINK, Thor: God of Thunder and Dissidia 012 [duodecim]Final Fantasy (Chinese/English version). PCMARK 7 BASIC EDITION – Free, available from May 3, 2011Nintendo To Cut Wii Price To $150 In MayDescription: A year and a half has passed since Nintendo last • Free PC test offering unlimited runs of the main PCMarkcut the price of the Wii, to $200. And it might almost be time test suitefor another price slashing for the popular gaming console. • Browse, search and compare results onlineFEAR 3 multiplayer preview: Corrupting influenceDescription: FEAR 3 will feature four multiplayer gametypes, • Store one result onlineeach an isolated mode largely dissimilar to the others. Wealready got a look at the aptly named "F**king Run!" scenario PCMARK 7 ADVANCED EDITION - $39.95 – PRE-ORDERduring PAX East, and at a recent preview event I got my hands NOWon the three other modes, as well as a second take of F**king • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individualRun. workloads • Browse, search and compare results onlinePCMark 7 Slated For May 3rd • Unlimited online results storageRelease, Pre-Ordering Now • Hide results from public viewSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pcmark-7-slated-for-may-3rd-release-pre-ordering-now/11876.html • Offline result managementApril 16th, 2011 • Advert-free online service PCMARK 7 PROFESSIONAL EDITION - $995.00 – PRE- ORDER NOW • Licensed for commercial PC system testing • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual Futuremark today confirmed that PCMark 7 will be released workloadson May 3, 2011. PCMark 7 will be available in 3 editions: • Command line automationthe Basic Edition, a free download offering unlimited runs ofthe main PCMark test, the Advanced Edition ($39.95) which • Browse, search and compare results onlineincludes all 7 PC tests and the Professional Edition (S$995) • Unlimited online results storagewhich unlocks all features and is the only edition licensed for • Hide results from public viewcommercial use. The Advanced and Professional Editions canbe pre-ordered now from http://www.pcmark.com. • Offline result management • Advert-free online service • Priority support PCMark 7 provides a set of 7 PC tests for measuring different aspects of PC performance with a high degree of accuracy. Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark test. The Lightweight test measures the capabilities of entry level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the full PCMark test. Common use performance is measured by the Entertainment, Creativity and Productivity tests. Component performance is measured by the Computation and Storage hardware tests. The Storage test is ideal for testing SSDs and external hard drives in addition to the system drive. 12
  • 13. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone dedicated to the development of "innovative, breakthrough products" which utilize its proprietary PicoP laser projectionPCMark 7 will be released on May 3, 2011. PCMark 7 Advanced technology.and Professional Editions can be pre-ordered now fromhttp://www.pcmark.com. Visit the official website for more In his opening address, NTUs president-designate andinformation or follow Futuremark on Facebook. provost, Professor Bertil Andersson likened the relationship between the University and MicroVision to that of a marriage which had experienced its fair share of suitors aiming toMicroVision announces court the other party.opening of research anddevelopment facility at NTUSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microvision-announces-opening-of-research-and-development-facility-at-ntu/11873.htmlApril 16th, 2011Think lasers are only good for making industrial cutting tools,light shows and flashy, lightsaber-lookalike that are capable ofbursting balloons with their heat output? Well, think again. A "NTU is proud to partner with MicroVision in their firstcompany known as MicroVision which specializes in laser R&D centre outside of the US. With MicroVisions specialityand ultra-miniature display technologies is out to show the in areas such as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMs),world how lasers can be used to actually make something laser physics and augmented reality, there will be manypractical for the needs of the consumer, military, industrial opportuniteis to work with both the faculty and students fromand healthcare segments. And to that end, MicroVision has the engineering, physics and new media fields," he said.announced its first ever global R&D centre at Nanyang According to Andersson, the new research facility wil not onlyTechnological University. focus on developing new products capable of taking advantage of MicroVisions PicoP technology, but also "carry out advanced research in MEMs and laser physics". MicroVisions PicoP technology is currently being used in a wide variety of devices, such as heads-on displays found in medical and military-grade equipment and even laser projectors designed for use with smartphones. He also added that it was the large amount of synergy between the University and MicroVision which has made this partnernship possible. "In fact, the rate our relationship progressed was so fast, we did not even have the time to declare our engagement," he quipped. Also present at the ceremony was MicroVisions president andLasers make great toys, do they not? After all, most of CEO, Alexander Tokman, who spoke about the significance ofus would have at one point of time been infatuated with the partnership with NTU.those little laser pointers that seemingly need so little energyto project a coherent beam of red light that is capable ofmaintaining its integrity for what is easily a hundred metreswithout pettering out, unlike a regular torchlight. Then camethe introduction of more powerful, lighsaber-lookalike laserpointers that featured more powerful laser diodes with coloursaside than red, and geeks were instantly in heaven with theirnew toys.MicroVisions latest announcement will probably serve as aneye-opener, especially for those who have not been keepingup with laser technology development. This is because thecompany has just announced the establishment of a newresearch and development centre in the campus of SingaporesNanyang Technological University (NTU) which will be 13
  • 14. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone"The breadth of the technological expertise in the Universityis second to none; MicroVision looks forward to working withNTUs commendable faculties and student body on furtheringits world-winning IP portfolio," he said.Tokman also affirmed MicroVisions commitment to thepartnership in his speech, claiming that the company plans tohave up to 25 people working in its R&D facilities within a yearand half, and NTU staff will make up apprximately 30% of theresearch team.This was followed by the signing of the Memorandum ofUnderstanding between NTU and MicroVision by Anderssonand Tokman.Last but not least, MicroVisions vice president of globalR&D and advanced applications, Sid Madhavan wrapped upthe presentation with a quick explaination of the companys Sony Computer Entertainmenttechnological breakthroughs and areas of collaboration with announces new PlayStation 3NTU. and PSP titles for 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-computer-entertainment- announces-new-playstation-3-and-psp-titles-for-2011/11874.html April 16th, 2011 Earlier today, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong held a media event in Singapore to announce their upcoming PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP) game titles for 2011. The games that were showcased include DISSIDIA Final Fantasy Chinese/English version, Socom 4 (Asia English 14
  • 15. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonevesion), Thor: God of Thunder, Brink and Man vs Wild with If you a fan of Bear Grylls, from Man vs. Wild on the DiscoveryBear Grylls. Channel, you can now try the game on the Sony PlayStation console. You go through each environment or stages and try to meet your in-game objective - from finding food, battling rattlesnakes to building shelters. The game will be in retail from 18 Apr 2011.The DISSIDIA 012 [duodecim] Final Fantast Chinese/Englishversion is developed from the North America edition, andthe main difference is that the voice will be in Japanesewhile subtitles are in traditional Chinese for event scenes andEnglish for all menus and system messages. Sony Computer Brink is a first-person shooter that offers team-basedEntertainment Hong Kong has collaborated with SQUARE multiplayer missions which can be played online as well asENIX to launch the bundle pack of PSP DISSIDIA 012 offline single player mode. If you enjoy such first-person[duodecim] Final Fantasy Chaos & Cosmos Limited which shooting games, Brink is scheduled to be available on 18 Mayconsists of a special edition PSP, software game and tradition 2011.arts (selected one from 10 characters randomly in Vol.1 orVol.2 series). The bundle pack will be available on 10 Mayat S$344 in pearl white with original "Chaos & Cosmosdesign, while the game itself is selling at S$39.90. Marvel fans are all waiting for the highly anticipated movie, Thor, which is going to be in cinemas here on 28 April this month. Coincidentally, the game is also scheduled to launch on 29 April. If you enjoy playing the mighty God of ThunderSocom 4 is a tactical third-person shooter game set in Asia, and and fighting the enemies with the legendary hammer, checkis playable with the PlayStation Move controller. The game is this out.scheduled for release on 19 Apr 2011. Monster introduces Mobile Jamz high performance in-ear headphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/monster-introduces-mobile-jamz-high- performance-in-ear-headphones/11872.html April 16th, 2011 15
  • 16. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneToday, Monster has introduced their new Mobile Jamz high watercooling enthusiasts. This thing sure weighs a ton andperformance in-ear headphones that features 2GB Monster expect availability in early May. Pricing and specs are notMobile Media Drive and Monster Mobile Media Manager finalized at this point of time. Next, we have the HD 6950software, and "ControlTalk Universal" which claims to work Vortex Edition that comprises of dual 92mm adjustable fanswith any music phone, including BlackBerry, and others. where users can manually adjust the fan height to achieve better cooling performance. It costs some USD10-20 higher than its standard version. PowerColor LCS HD 6990Monster has announced Mobile Jamz, the newest additionto the acclaimed Jamz family of in-ear headphones. Made ofstylish solid metal, the Mobile Jamz is virtually indestructibleand claims to offer deep, powerful bass and crystal clear high We are greeted with some of the upcoming PowerColorfrequency response. graphics cards in their Taipei office. First, we have LCSThe Mobile Jamz features a host of innovative features such as HD 6990 graphics card fitted with EK waterblock for thethe Monster Mobile Media Drive with 2GB microSD card and watercooling enthusiasts. This thing sure weighs a ton andUSB adaptor for managing and transferring music and photos expect availability in early May. Pricing and specs are notfrom PC to phone. Preloaded with Monsters Mobile Media finalized at this point of time.Manager software, the process is simple, quick and intuitiveand delivers an iTunes-like music management experience. PowerColor PCS+ HD 6950 Vortex EditionThe in-ear headphones also comes with ControlTalk Universalfor hands-free calling with microphone and answer button.Users can take incoming calls conveniently on most musicphones with a 3.5 mm headphone port or a 2.5 mm headphoneport with an adaptor. With the included Y-Cable "ChatAdapter," Mobile Jamz can also be used to make calls andvideo chats on Skype, as well as other online voice and videochat applications.The Monster Mobile Jamz retails at S$239 and is availableat Audio House, Alpha Audio, Best Denki, Epicentre, HarveyNorman, HMV, i Studio, Stereo and Nubox outlets.PowerColor LCS HD6990,HD6950 Vortex and SCS3 Next, we have the HD 6950 Vortex Edition that comprises of dual 92mm adjustable fans where users can manually adjustHD6850 the fan height to achieve better cooling performance. It costsSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/powercolor-lcs-hd6990-hd6950- some USD10-20 higher than its standard version.vortex-and-scs3-hd6850/11870.html Heres the official press release from TUL :April 16th, 2011 Taipei, Taiwan –April 14th, 2011 -- TUL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of AMD graphic cards, today introduced an innovative cooling technology into the HD6950 series: the PCS+ HD6950 Vortex II Edition. Featuring the PCS+ series characteristic, the latest edition has superior overclockingWe are greeted with some of the upcoming PowerColor ability which clocks in at 850MHz core speed and 1300MHzgraphics cards in their Taipei office. First, we have LCS memory speed, easily accelerating gaming machines withHD 6990 graphics card fitted with EK waterblock for the nearly 2.39 teraFLOPs of computing power and offering the surprising gaming experience 16
  • 17. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe PCS+ HD6950 Vortex II Edition enables users tomanually adjust the fan and its physical attributes. By liftingthe fan, it optimizes the air flow and taking advantage of thecooler air from the bottom of the case, balancing the ambienttemperature. Furthermore, with the exclusive perforated fandesign and anti-turbulence ability, enhancing the coolingefficiency and resulting in cooling down the temperature up to20% compare to reference design.Also, the latest solution utilizes “Gold Power Kit” which iscomposed of the select components: Ferrite Core Choke, Dr.Mos and solid capacitor, allows the stable and more efficient We have seen this card last November and apparently it hasoverclocking entertaining environment. undergone numerous revisions and the most notable is the components layout on the PCB.Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®2 Game Bundle: A RecordSetting AAA Title for True Gamers Texas Instruments joins theTo bring more benefits for gamers, PowerColor includes the USB-IF certified crowdmost-anticipated game of the year, Modern Warfare 2, into Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/texas-instruments-joins-the-usb-if-the PCS+ HD6950 Vortex II Edition. Continuing the gripping certified-crowd/11871.htmland heart-racing action against a new threat dedicated to April 16th, 2011bringing the world to the brink of collapse, the ModernWarfare 2 delivers the most realistic and immersive FPSgaming experience with PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 Vortex IIEdition to all gamers, enabling the most exhilarating gamingexperience like never before. It seems like this week is a good week for getting certified by the USB-IF, as following AMDs and Fresco Logics announcements earlier this week, its now Texas Instruments time to get no less than two USB 3.0 host controllers certified. TI is also the first company to get a four port USB 3.0 host controller certified and this means that we can look forward to motherboards with even more USB 3.0 ports. It seems like this week is a good week for getting certified by the USB-IF, as following AMDs and Fresco Logics announcements earlier this week, its now Texas Instruments time to get no less than two USB 3.0 host controllers certified. TI is also the first company to get a four port USB 3.0 host controller certified and this means that we can look forward to motherboards with even more USB 3.0 ports. The two products in question are the TUSB7320 and TUSB7340, the first is a two port host controller and the second is a four port host controller. TI claims to offer a lower BOM (Bill Of Materials) cost than its competitors thanks to no need for an external EEPROM or some type of Flash memory, although at a mere five percent saving this doesnt sound like a huge savingbut on a few million products, itll surely add up. That said, it looks like TI is set to be very price competitive, at least compared to what Renesas have been asking for its hostPowerColor SCS3 HD 6850 controllers to date. 17
  • 18. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone cardboard with the most important data in five languages, including German are printed. Description: With the latest Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD the people over at Creative have managed not only to surpass themselves but also the competition and have once again proven that they have been and still are the best at what they do. Description: With the Survivor of the relatively new manufacturer Bitfenix are now presented on the second housing market. The first work, Collossus, leaving competitors sit up and showed a 16 kilo monster in innovative LED technology.The two port TUSB7320 is said to have a SRP of US$3.50 while Description: Today CM Storm launch a new mid-tower casethe four port TUSB7340 seems to be the much more affordable called Enforcer. Seen at CES 2011 and CeBIT 2011 this newoption at US$4.50, both in quantities of 1,000 units and wed case has much more subtle styling compared to the Scout andexpect motherboard, notebook and add-in card makers to Sniper cases currently residing in CM Storms product range.get even better pricing than this in higher volumes. This will Description: The Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2200 2.1 PCpotentially have a huge impact in the uptake of the USB 3.0 speaker system is designed for gamers looking for high-qualitystandard, as the Renesas host controller that so far has been 2.1 audio solution at a price point below $100.the most widely used one, due to it being the only USB-IFcertified two port solution has had an SRP of about US$4.50-5 Consumer Electronics and Software news:and this is part of the reason that weve been stuck with two Description: In many respects, Echo is an ordinary 3GUSB 3.0 ports on most motherboards. smartphone, capable of running the usual library of Android apps, and with a set of features that includes a 5-megapixel Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) camera with flash, stereo Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. It comes with 1 gigabyte of on-board memory and an expandable 8-GBTI recons it should kick off its volume production by the end microSD memory card.of this month and hopefully we should be seeing the firstmotherboards with TIs new host controllers come Computex. Description: The company has officially announced some ofIts been slow progress so far, but with two new USB-IF its plans for Internet Explorer 10 at the annual Mix event, acertified host controller makers in the market, it looks like Microsoft-led conference about online development.were finally starting to see some real competition and on top Description: HTC has officially outed the Sensation, anof that we can look forward to either more affordable USB 3.0 upcoming Android handset with impressive hardwareproducts, or more ports for the same money. specifications and Sense 3.0, the new version of HTCs custom software environment.The Daily VR-Zone News Description: Apple previewed Final Cut Pro X, the newest version of the companys professional non-linear editing TheSummary - 13 April 2011 announcement came at the Final Cut Pro User Group NetworkSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--13- Supermeet, being held in Las Vegas during the 2011 Nationalapril-2011/11453.html Association of Broadcasters Show.April 16th, 2011 Description: The first one were looking at comes from MSI and is labelled the CX640, and on the specifications front it does indeed look the goods with an Intel i5-2410M clocked at 2.3GHz on the H65 chipset. Gaming news Description: When I sat down a couple of weeks ago to playIn todays news roundup: Corsair CMPSU-TX750V2 750W F.E.A.R. 3s four multiplayer modes, I was immediately struckPSU Review; Review of the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi by one thing in particular. Every mode is a focused four-playerTitanium HD; HTC Sensation 4G unveiled with new version affair.of Sense ; Apple Announces Final Cut Pro X ; The FranticMultiplayer of F.E.A.R. 3 , and a feature on Women in Games. Description: Many warriors prepare to battle the oncoming storm in Rift on PC, but should you join the fight?Hardware news Description: One of the biggest points of contention in theDescription: The Corsair CMPSU-750TXV2 with an output discussion surrounding women in video games is the phrasepower of 750W with the 80 Plus Bronze certification and must "women in video games." This implies that women are specialtherefore have at 20%, 50% and 100% load efficiency of 82%, in a way that requires them to be singled out85% and 82%. On the predominantly yellow-black-colored 18
  • 19. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone “This is the first time three of the biggest technology brandsRazer and Intel Tie Up on in China have come together,” said Min-Liang Tan, CEO andSwitchblade for Chinese Creative Director, Razer, “we’re united by a common goal to deliver the best portable gaming experience to as manyGamers gamers as possible. With the Razer Switchblade’s adaptiveSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/razer-and-intel-tie-up-on-switchblade- tactile keyboard, Intel’s range of processors, and Tencent’sfor-chinese-gamers/11869.html popular games, this is no lofty goal – it’s happening right now.”April 16th, 2011 The Razer Switchblade concept was created from the ground up by Razer designers and engineers, focused on enhancing the entire user experience of playing PC games on a handheld device. It features an ultra-sensitive multi-touch screen, adaptive tactile keyboard, and an intelligent user interface that Razer with Tencent, China’s leading provider of games and adjusts the configuration and key layout on-the-fly based oninternet services, and Intel announce a strategic partnership game content and user requirements. And at the heart of theaimed at expanding the entertainment possibilities for concept device is an Intel Atom processor designed for nextChinese gamers. All Chinese gamers can rejoice, as their generation small form factor computing.favorite Tencent titles like Dungeon and Fighter, Crossfire,League of Legends, QQ Speed and many more are optimizedfor portable play on the Razer Switchblade. The Razer "Intel is committed to creating and extending the personalSwitchblade concept was created from the ground up by Razer computing experience for end-users together with ourdesigners and engineers, focused on enhancing the entire user ecosystem partners," said Ian Yang, President, Intel China.experience of playing PC games on a handheld device. "The collaboration with Razer, Tencent and Intel will provide optimized experiences for the rapidly growing gaming community in China." “Like Razer, we want gamers to have just as much fun playing our games on-the-go as they would at home or at a PC café,” said Mark Ren, SEVP, Tencent. “We’re really excited to bring the revolutionary Razer Switchblade to millions gamers connected to our games, allowing them to experience our world of fun anytime, anywhere”, said Steven Ma, VP of Tencent. Razer, Intel, and Tencent are committed to growing China’s PC gaming market, and will be announcing exciting updates to this strategic partnership in the months to come.APAC – April 13th, 2011 – Razer, the world’s leading high- About the Razer Switchblade Conceptend precision gaming brand, with Tencent, China’s leading The Razer Switchblade concept is a revolutionary mobile PCprovider of games and internet services, and Intel, world gaming device that allows gamers to play on-the-go withoutleader in computing innovation are proud to announce a giving up the precision and control normally associated withstrategic partnership aimed at expanding the entertainment a desktop gaming system. Integrating a multi-touch seven-possibilities for Chinese gamers. The Razer Switchblade inch screen, an innovative adaptive tactile keyboard andconcept has been designated as the flagship concept to lead housing the next generation Intel Atom processor, the Razerthis mobile PC gaming revolution. Switchblade concept delivers the full desktop experience in a netbook-sized solution.All Chinese gamers can rejoice, as their favorite Tencent titleslike Dungeon and Fighter, Crossfire, League of Legends, QQSpeed and many more are optimized for portable play onthe Razer Switchblade. You can now fight, shoot, cast spells,race or just socialize with friends while on-the-go, as Tencentstrives to ensure their software delivers the best gamingexperience through perfect synergy with Razer and Intel’shardware. 19
  • 20. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone to certain common usage situations. So what happens when an OEM takes a bunch of smart hardware and assemble them together in the form of a notebook or desktop PC? Answer: you get Lenovos latest line of "Work-and-Street Smart" PCs, all of which were launched in a media event held at the RedDot Brew House at Boat Quay today. VR-Zone brings you the coverage. With so much talk about smart consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart media players and even smart television sets, it should probably be an open secret that the average consumer is in greater need of smart devices that are capable of bringing the best user experience to the consumer than ever before. Gone are the days where users got a kick out of fiddling around with their electronic toys to fully customize them to their individual needs; today, the gadget is supposed to cater to an individuals needs right out of the box without the need to even touch an instruction manual, much less actually read it. Of course, there will always exist a group of die-hard enthusiasts who will claim that they have allocated enough intelligence points to their personal statistics to forgo the new breed of smart devices that are now rapidly gaining acceptance in the consumer space. However, for the average consumer who does not belong to that special group, smart devices that are seemingly capable of delivering an enhanced user experience while actually looking good are definitely welcome. And this is what Lenovo is claiming to be capable of delivering with its new line of Think and Idea line of PCs that was launched today at the RedDot Brew House at Boat Quay today. Speaking at the launch event was Lenovos country generalLenovo launches Sandy manager for Singapore, Lee Chown How, who described theBridge-powered PCs, brings new features that users can expect to come standard in its new line of AIOs and notebook PCs.the smarts to PC usersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-launches-sandy-bridge-powered-pcs-brings-the-smarts-to-pc-users/11867.htmlApril 16th, 2011We all know that the hardware used to power our PCs todayare getting smarter as technology advances, since they nowcome with various automated features which allow it to react 20
  • 21. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIn his address, Lee described how the companys strategic April 16th, 2011collaboration with Intel has resulted in the company being ina position to deliver greater performance on its PCs that willresult in enhanced user experiences for the consumer."We have worked with Intel to bundle this program knownas ThinkSmart on our products. ThinkSmart will enableusers, especially business users, to experience increases in Cooler Master is set to place more emphasis on their gamingproductivity by bringing more efficient power management brand, CM Storm this year and we can expect more micesand longer battery lives on our products," he said. and cases as well as keyboards and headsets to complete theirIn addition, Lee also spoke about how users of the new Lenovo gaming gear lineup. They took the first step by revampingnotebook and AIO PCs can benefit from the upgraded user their CM Storm website with spanking new look and neatexperience known as the Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 features such as products comparison and beefed-up supportfor Windows 7, which is a result of a partnership with none page.other than the Redmond giant responsible for delivering theoperating system which is used by over 80% of the worlds PCusers - Microsoft. Cooler Master is set to place more emphasis on their gaming brand, CM Storm this year and we can expect more mices and cases as well as keyboards and headsets to complete their gaming gear lineup. They took the first step by revamping their CM Storm website with spanking new look and neat features such as products comparison and beefed-up support page."Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 helps to improve manyaspects of the Windows 7 operating system. For example,it can offer better power management from within theWindows operating system, and also has the ability toincrease both a users productivity and efficiency. On theconsumer side, Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 can helpto improve the digital audio and graphics experience whenthe device is used as a multimedia entertainment machine,as well as significantly shorten boot-up and shutdown times.For commercial customers, Lenovo Enhanced Experience2.0 delivers robust security and superior web conferencingcapabilities," he added."Simply put, there are lots of benefits users can look forward to A recent visit to their office revealed some interestingwith the new Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0," he quipped. developments such as a new Inferno mouse, Sirus 5.1 surround gaming headset, Enforcer case and also a mechanicalAnd needless to say, we will definitely be looking forward to keyboard. It is clear that Cooler Master is trying to provide anit...once we actually manage to get our hands on a review unit, entire range of gaming gear to the gamers and not just casesof course. Until then, feel free to hit on the link to the next page and mices.to know more about the machines launched by Lenovo today. The Gooapple iPhone 4: nowCooler Master Charged Up CM available in ChinaStorm, Site Revamped Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-gooapple-iphone-4-now-available-Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-charged-up-cm-storm- in-china/11866.htmlsite-revamped/11868.html 21
  • 22. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 16th, 2011 touchscreen display is only capable of a native 480 x 320 resolution. That being said, it should be of little surprise that the Gooapple iPhone 4 does not run off Apples iOS operating system. Rather, GizChina is reporting that the Gooapple will come bundled with a vanilla copy of version 2.2 (aka Froyo) of Googles Android operating system. Oh well, that is probablyJust the name alone will be a dead giveaway about the nature why it was called the Gooapple to begin with.of this posting, but since we are such nice people, we will spillthe beans either way. Apparently, a new iPhone 4 clone has The Gooapple iPhone 4 is reportedly available for pre-orderstarted making its rounds around the Chinese market, and now at the discounted price of 999 yuan or US$152, althoughsuffice to say the developers of this clone have decided to throw we should point out that this phone is unlikely to ever see theout all notion of any possible copyright infringement out of light of day outside of Chinas domestic market.the window for the release of this smartphone. Cue copyrightinfringement lawsuits from the big Apple in three...two...one... MSI releases low-profileLets face it: everybody knew that something like this wouldeventually take place, and that it was only a matter of time N520GT-MD1GD3/LP graphicsbefore some enterprising manufacturer from China would card with video-capturejump on the whole cloning bandwagon. After all, there is bigmoney to be made in the cloning business, if one takes into capabilitiesconsideration that there exist users out there who only want Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-releases-low-profile-n520gt-their devices to look like the real thing, but only at a fraction md1gd3lp-graphics-card-with-video-capture-capabilities/11865.htmlof the real deals cost. April 16th, 2011That being said, most Chinese clone manufacturers usuallyattempt to toe the line where outright copyright infringementis involved, such as the use of protected logos or mascots.However, it appears that the manufacturer of this particularsmartphone clone has decided to dump all notion of copyrightinfringement into the dustbin in a bid to make the clone asrealistic looking as possible. Ladies and gentlemen, we present Just a few days back, it was MSI launching a low-profile,to you...the Gooapple iPhone 4 smartphone: AMD-based graphics card that boasted superior overclocking capabilities, as well as support for in-game video capture. Today, MSI is back with the same thing, except that this low-profile, overclocker-friendly and in-game video capture supporting graphics card is powered by NVIDIAs GeForce GT520 GPU instead of the AMD Radeon HD 6790 GPU we talked about that time. Read on to find out more about this graphics card.According to the GizChina website, the Gooapple iPhone4 smartphone is an almost picture-perfect clone of Applesbestselling iPhone 4. And the similarities between the MSI has released the low-profile, GT520-based N520GT-Gooapple and the real iPhone 4 also extends to the hardware MD1GD3/LP graphics card for entry-level gamers andspecifications; just like the original iPhone 4, the Gooapple overclocking enthusiasts. According to MSI, the new N520GT-clone features two cameras at resolutions of both five MD1GD3/LP is capable of devivering "double the fun" to usersmegapixels (rear) and 1.3 megapixels (front). Of course, due to its combination of both gamer and overclocker-friendlyusers should not expect it to come with the same processor features.or display found in the real deal: the Gooapple utilizes aweaker MTK5616 processor clocked at 480MHz, while the 22
  • 23. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone GPU Features Microsoft DirectX 11 Support NVIDIA CUDA Technology NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Ready NVIDIA 3D Vision Ready 32x Anti-aliasing Technology Dual-link DVI Support HDMI 1.4a Support NVIDIA PureVideo HD TechnologyAccording to the official press release issued by MSI, the PCI Express 2.0 SupportN520GT-MD1GD3/LP graphics card will be bundled with the OpenGL 4.1 Optimization andlatest copy of the MSI Afterburner (version 2.1.0) overclocking Supportsoftware; this will reportedly allow users to tweak theperformance of their graphics card to get the most out of their OpenCL Supportpurchase. Also included in the software bundle is a copy of DirectCompute SupportMSIs Predator, an application which allows users to easilyrecord in-game videos. Dual-stream Hardware AccelerationIn addition, the N520GT-MD1GD3/LPs low-profiledesignsupposedly allows users to easily install the card into Dynamic Contrastmore compact chassis designs favoured by not-so-tech-savvy Enhancement & Color Stretchhome users. MSI claims that such a form factor, along with Dual-link HDCP Capablethe cards single-slot design will make the N520GT-MD1GD3/ High-Quality ScalingLP ideal for a variety of smaller PC casings where chassis andmotherboard real estate is scarce. Hardware Decode AccelerationLast but definitely not least, MSI claims that the N520GT-MD1GD3/LP is capable of supporting NVIDIAs 3DVision NVIDIA GeForce Unifiedtechnology; this will allow users to enjoy 3D movie playback Driver Architecture (UDA)on their PCs fitted with the N520GT-MD1GD3/LP graphics Microsoft Windows 7 Supportcard. Of course, you will still need a 3D-capable monitor and acompatible set of 3D glasses to fully enjoy 3D movie playbackon such a PC.Full specifications of MSIs N520GT-MD1GD3/LP graphicscard are as follow: Opera 11.10 launched for all Graphics Engine GeForce GT 520 major operating systems Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/opera-11.10-launched-for-all-major- Bus interface PCI Express x16 2.0 operating-systems/11864.html Memory Type DDR3 April 16th, 2011 Memory capacity (MB) 1024 Memory Interface 64bits Core Clock (MHz) 810 Memory Clock (MHz) 1800 DVI output 1 D-SUB output 1 Another day, another web browser-related news. And this HDMI-Output 1 time, the vendor of focus is Opera Software, which has publicly HDCP Support Y released the latest version of their web browser, Opera 11.10, HDMI Support Y for download on all three major operating systems. So what Dual-link DVI output Y new features does Opera 11.10 have that its predecessor lacks? Display output 2560x1600 Lets take a look. (maximum resolution) RAMDACs 400 DirectX Version Support 11 OpenGL support 4.1 Display card size (mm) 144 x 69 x 20 mm 23
  • 24. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Another Opera feature that has been updated in Opera 11.10 is the Speed Dial, which now support greater degress of customization:Looks like Microsofts days of being the de facto web browserprovider for the world is well and truly behind them, especially That being said, we were somehow able to consistently triggerwith the large variety of competing browsers being made graphical corruptions when using Opera 11.10 to post this newsavailable for users at an alarming rate. With Google now update. However, this might not be so much of a browser faultoffering background updates for its Chrome web browser as opposed to poor Linux drivers, as it is understood that theand other browser providers such as Mozilla shrinking their older version AMDs fglrx driver used in our machine is ratherdevelopment cycles for upcoming versions of their own buggy, and has been known to cause graphical corruptions forbrowser, it will seem that Microsoft has indeed got its work cut X window system. Considering that the Windows and OS Xout for its Internet Explorer web browser. drivers a much better mantained, we do not expect users to see such corruptions on the Windows and OS X versions of OperaAnd today, it seems that yet another competitor has stepped 11.10.up its game against Microsoft in the web browser market.Apparently, Opera Software has recently released the latestversion of its Opera web browser, and the changelogs appearto be boasting some performance-related enhancements toOpera 11.10. But before that, here is a screenshot of the 64-bitbinary of Opera 11.10, running on an x64 build of OpenSUSELinux. If that has got you interested, Opera 11.10 can be downloaded directly off Operas website. And dont worry about our usual disclaimer about downloaded software mucking up your PC; this is because OPera 11.10 is every bit a stable release, or at least that is what Opera Software claims. So if you are unfortunate enough to have your precious data destroyed orAccording to the chagelogs, one of the major enhancements wiped out from the installation of this release, you know whichto Opera 11.10s performance comes in the form of a more party to direct your wrath at (Hint: not Microsoft).powerful Turbo mode. Now, Turbo mode in Opera is not a Alternatively, you can hit up the full changelog here to find outnew feature; Ars Technica claims that the feature had already about additional changes and features included in Opera 11.10.existed in builds of Opera stretching back for several yearsalready. However, what distinguishes Opera 11.10s Turbomode is the fact that the browser will make use of Googles Microsoft releases firstWebP image compression to further reduce image sizes, thusallowing users with slow network connections to retrieve the Platform Preview for Internetimage data at reduced times. Explorer 10 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-releases-first-platform- preview-for-internet-explorer-10/11863.html 24
  • 25. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneApril 16th, 2011If you would remember, Microsoft had only recently launchedits latest version of its Internet Explorer web browser a monthago, and it was probably one of the few Internet Explorerreleases to gain favourable reviews among the global mediafor various advancements in performance and support for webstandards.And it seems that Microsoft is not about to standstill and let the competition catch up to it, for the Redmond Of course, being the curious people that we all are, wegiant has just released yet a new version of its Internet proceeded to download the Platform Preview, if only just to seeExplorer web browser for public testing. Fancy having a go what additional features it may boast over the current Internetat the first ever platform preview of what will eventually be Explorer 9. That being said, expect the Platform Preview toknown as Internet Explorer 10 (aka IE10)? be little more than a heavilly stripped-down version of a web browser with near-zero UI elements like those for Internet Explorer 9 back then: this is due to the fact that platform preview releases are mostly designed for developers to test for compatibility and standards support.So you have bitten the bullet and downloaded the latest,brand-spanking new version of Microsofts web browser, alsoknown as Internet Explorer 9, into your Windows Vista (orWindows 7-based) PC. That is great and all: after all, InternetExplorer 9 has been receiving favourable reviews from themedia about the significant advancements it boasts over itspredecessors, such as the utilization of Direct2D for hardware- Same old Platform Preview window which we all know andaccelerated browsing, along with much more robust support love since the days of IE9s previewsfor the draft specifications of HTML5. That being said, we did not notice any significant differencesIndeed, with such performance gains over its predecessors, between the Platform Preview of Internet Explorer 10 and ouryou may be forgiven if you thought that the IE team would copy of Internet Explorer 9 during the short hands-on, at leastbe busy on their next project, which is to take a well-deserved in terms of HTML5 support and performance. This is probablybreak from Internet Explorers development and chill out due to the fact that the first platform preview is unlikely tofor a month or so. However, this does not appear to be feature any major changes (if any) from older versions ofthe case, for the IE team has seemingly been hard at work Microsofts web browser. However, we also noticed somethingon the next version of Internet Explorer. And the results of rather interesting when we used the Platform Preview totheir dedication: a downladable Platform Preview of what will navigate to YouTubes page: apparently, the online videoeventually be known as Internet Explorer 10. streaming site was flagging IE10 out as an ancient version of Internet Explorer that is no longer supported. Indeed, this message kept popping up even after we made sure the Platform Preview was identifying itself as IE10 and not any other older version. 25
  • 26. April 16th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneOf course, it also goes without saying that Platform Previewsare not meant to be function as regular web browsers, andshould not be used as such. But if that does not deter you fromgetting your hands on one to give it a little spin, the currentPlatform Preview of Internet Explorer 10 can be downloadedfrom the Internet Explorer Test Drive page. And as a littlepublic service, we should point out that the download isrelatively small (slightly below 19MB in size), but is availableonly in the form of a 32-bit binary. Yep, thats right; there areno 64-bit versions of the Platform Preview for download.Finally, we have also receieved word that the .MSI filecontaining the Platform Preview will only work on Windows7 (and not Windows Vista). Unfortunately, we do not haveany Vista machines to test this claim out, so you are on yourown if you do attempt to load the Platform Preview of InternetExplorer 10 in your Vista-powered PC. 26