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VR-Zone Technology News | Stuff for the Geeks! Issue #24 

 

 
 
Tags:  apple ipad  android  intel  facebook  pc  microsoft  apple  hardware  google 
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Published:  November 12, 2011
 
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Slide 1: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone VR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. were added, but the expansion slots offered and connector placements are unchanged. The Firewire and Super I/O controllers are now placed near the front of the board. The MOSFET heatsinks for the processor's voltage regulation module (VRM) have been slightly re-designed as well. First Looks: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO (Intel Z68 Express) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-asus-p8z68-v-pro-intel-z68express-/11972.html April 26th, 2011 We had a visitor to our labs yesterday evening, the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO motherboard. The P8Z68-V PRO uses Intel's upcoming Z68 Express chipset, which primarily combines features present in the current P67 Express and H67 Express chipsets. While the media is not allowed to publish reviews (of any Z68-based product) just yet, we can still share some details of this new board. We had a visitor to our labs yesterday evening, the ASUS P8Z68-V PRO motherboard. The P8Z68-V PRO uses Intel's upcoming Z68 Express chipset, which primarily combines features present in the current P67 Express and H67 Express chipsets. In this short preview, we take a look at what this new board has to offer. Two switches at the right corner enable ASUS' Energy Processing Unit (EPU) and TurboV Processing Unit (TPU). The EPU is a real-time power saving and monitoring chip that can detect workloads and intelligently moderate power consumption, while the TPU will overclock the system for you by raising the BCLK and processor multiplier automatically. Memory power supply is regulated via a 2-phase VRM. There are two pairs of DIMM slots for dual-channel memory configuration. Compared to the P8P67 PRO, some components may have moved about printed circuit board (PCB) and a few more The four light blue and two grey SATA ports are linked to the Intel Z68 Express chipset. The light blue ones support SATA 1
Slide 2: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 3Gbps and the grey ones SATA 6Gbps. The two dark blue SATA ports are also SATA 6Gbps-capable, but they are connected to a third-party Marvell controller. A USB 3.0 front panel header, linked to an ASMedia ASM1042 SuperSpeed USB Host Controller, can be found to the right of the eight SATA ports. As ASMedia is a subsidary of ASUS, it comes as no surprise that there are quite a number of ASMedia components on the P8Z68-V PRO. ASRock's Z68 Extreme4 motherboard smiles for the camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-s-z68-extreme4-motherboardsmiles-for-the-camera/11976.html April 26th, 2011 We're getting very close to the launch of Z68 chipset based motherboards now and details of the first boards are already starting to arrive en masse. A picture of ASRock's Z68 Extreme4 motherboard has turned up over at TechPowerUp and we're looking at a pretty feature packed board that has a couple of interesting things of note. Apart from the USB 3.0 front panel header, there are another three sets of (blue) headers for six USB 2.0 ports and two (black) ones for two Firewire ports. Just right behind the row of headers, there are three chips. The ASMedia ASM1083 (partially hidden) is a PCI Express x1 to 32-bit PCI bridge, Firewire is provided by VIA's VT6308P 2-port IEEE 1394 host controller and the last one is a Nuvoton NCT6776F LPC Super I/O IC. We're getting very close to the launch of Z68 chipset based motherboards now and details of the first boards are already starting to arrive en masse. A picture of ASRock's Z68 Extreme4 motherboard has turned up over at TechPowerUp and we're looking at a pretty feature packed board that has a couple of interesting things of note. The base configuration is actually quite similar to that of Asus' P8Z68-V Pro as both boards have three x16 PCI Express slots in a dual x8 and one x4 configuration, as well as two x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots. Both boards also feature a pair of additional SATA 6Gbps ports as well as on-board power and reset buttons. However, things start to look up for ASRock once we take a look at the rear I/O as the Z68 Extreme4 is loaded to the brim with features here. For starters and maybe most importantly to a Z68 board is the fact that we have a DisplayPort, an HDMI port, a DVI port and a D-sub connector here, although only two of them can be used simultaneously. Then we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, and eSATA port, a FireWire port, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and even a clear CMOS button. The only thing potentially missing here would be a Bluetooth dongle, but we can manage without it. A total of seven expansion slots here: three PCI Express x16 slots, two PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI slots. Only the first PCI Express x16 slot in dark blue is capable of the full x16 link.; the grey colored one can provide only an x8 link while the black one a maximum of x4. However, as PCI Express bandwidth from the Z68 Express chipset is limited, the default setting in the BIOS is an x1 configuration for the black slot. (First two PCI Express x16 slots are connected directly to the processor.) Alternatively, the user can force 'x4 mode' on the black slot but that will result in the USB 3.0 front header, eSATA ports and both PCI Express x1 slots to be disabled. 2
Slide 3: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone ASRock has also added support for a pair of front USB 3.0 ports, just like Asus, but ASRock has gone for host controllers from Etron rather than ASMedia if it makes any difference. The rest of the front connectors include three headers for six USB 2.0 ports (one designed to work with ASRock's Smart Remote), a FireWire header and for some reason a parallel and serial port header which we don't really think is of much use on a board like this. We're also curios about the inclusion of a PLX bridge chip as ASRock is using an ASMedia PCI Express to PCI bridge, so the PLX bridge is intended for something to do with the PCI Express peripherals. Overall so far this looks like one of the better Z68 boards for anyone that's looking at taking advantage of the video out options on offer as ASRock hasn't cut any corners here. It's not hard to see why ASRock has gained the number three spot in the motherboard market space, as the company is starting to make some really appealing motherboards with overall good features. Seedonk's website and after that you can access it easily via the simple app without any need of entering IP addresses or any other kind of hassle. Compro shows off new, easy to use home security IP cameras Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/compro-shows-off-new-easy-to-usehome-security-ip-cameras/11975.html April 26th, 2011 You have full camera control via the Seedonk app and it works with Compro's PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) cameras as well. On top of that you can share your video feeds with anyone that uses the Seedonk app so you could actually use your IP camera as a high-end webcam as well, as the Seedonk Windows app also doubles as an IM client. There are of course also mobile apps available for both iOS and Android based devices which mean that you can easily access your IP camera on devices that generally don't work with well with most IP cameras. Seedonk also offers a cloud based DVR service where you can have your surveillance videos stored for you. If you're concerned about your home security, or just want to be able to check in at home from time to time over the web, an IP camera is a good way of doing this. However, most of them aren't that easy to use unless you're tech savvy, or at least that used to be the case. Compro was showing off its new range of IP cameras for home use at Secutech and it has partnered up with a new service that makes it as easy to access your IP cameras as it is to use an online messaging service. If you're concerned about your home security, or just want to be able to check in at home from time to time over the web, an IP camera is a good way of doing this. However, most of them aren't that easy to use unless you're tech savvy, or at least that used to be the case. Compro was showing off its new range of IP cameras for home use at Secutech and it has partnered up with a new service that makes it as easy to access your IP cameras as it is to use an online messaging service. Normally using an IP camera involves accessing it remotely via an IP address to watch the video stream, but Compro has teamed up with Seedonk to use its very simple utility to access its cameras. The Seedonk software looks by an online messaging app by all intents and purposes, although it's tied in with Seedonk's online service which is also required for it all to work. The idea here is that you sign up to Seedonk's online service which offers a free basic service and a paid for premium service. You then set up your camera once via Compro was also showing off a new model called the IP55G which supports 3G dongles for places where a wired or wireless internet connections isn't available. The 3G connection isn't intended to be used in lieu of an always on broadband connection, but rather as a means of accessing the camera feed remotely when needed. As such the IP55G doesn't stream video constantly over the 3G connection as you'd normally do with an IP camera; instead it keeps the 3G connection live and only streams video when accessed. The trick here is that the IP55G has a built in micro SD card slot like many of Compro's other cameras and you can use this as the recording media if there's a need to constantly record video on an offsite location that lacks a broadband connection. 3
Slide 4: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Description: The factory-overclocked 6870 IceQ X Turbo X and HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo have upgraded coolers and are meant to be the fastest 6850 and 6870 graphics cards available out of the box -- albeit at a premium price. The 6870 IceQ X Turbo X is currently retailing for $250, while the 6850 IceQ X Turbo costs $190. Being the inquisitive type, we're determined to see if the extra fee is worthwhile. Sentey Arvina GS-6400B Full Tower Case Review @Hi Tech Legion Description: The Sentey Arvina is a feature packed full-tower gaming case. The Arvina full-tower case is part of Sentey’s Extreme Division line and comes in red, blue or black. The Sentey Arvina supports the latest dual-GPU video cards and the largest aftermarket heatsinks. To keep system components in optimal thermal condition, the Sentey Arvina comes out of the box with six fans pre-installed, which can be turned off through a fan controller at the top. Users can also connect an eSATA enclosure or a SATA HDD through an external extension on the top I/O module of the Sentey Arvina. Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB DDR5 DX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion Description: The Radeon HD 6670 looks to take over its predecessor's, the 5670, position in the market. With the 6670, we get an increase in architecture that boosts computing performance. The core clock is set to 800 MHz and the memory 1GHz, 4GHz effective. Onboard memory for the HD 6670 equals 1GB of 128-bit GDDR5. There is an increased SIMD core, giving a total of 480 stream processors and 24 texture units. Similar to the previous generation, there are 32 Z/Stencil ROP units and 8 color ROP units. The 6670 has support for DX11, Eyefinity, and AMD App Acceleration. Kingston sees stable DRAM prices, slight NAND supply constraints Description: Contract prices for DRAM chips are set to be flat in the current second quarter of 2011, and will likely trend upward in the third and fourth quarters, according to Kingston Technology. Kingston said it has so far seen little impact on the worldwide DRAM industry supply chain from the recent disasters in Japan. There are rumors of shortages of manufacturing-use raw materials, such as silicon wafers, circulating in the market. ARM jumps in to OpenCL with both CPU and GPUs Description: It looks like ARM is jumping aboard the OpenCL train, meaning all the major players are now behind the standard. It may not sound like all that big a deal, but it is, OpenCL is now officially supported top to bottom. AMD Hints at Possible ARM Partnership Description: AMD will be holding its first software developers conference, the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, from June 13 to 16. The purpose of the event is, we were told, to educate developers how to take advantage of AMD's hardware, which would be primarily its APUs. However, AMD also said that it would be releasing some information about its next-gen GPUs and how they can interact with software. The really interesting part of this conference is the fact that AMD sends out announcements highlight one of the big keynote speakers, ARM's Jem Davies. Corsair Obsidian 650D review 4 Compro offers a wide range of rather compelling consumer oriented IP cameras, of which most have features such as twoway audio (for building access usage), motion detection, micro SD card video recording and simple Wi-Fi upgradability via a USB dongle. Some of the higher-end models also support IR LEDs for night usage, power over Ethernet, H.264 video and of course PTZ, although only its top of the range model has optical zoom. Now if we could just think of a reason why we'd need one of these… The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 26 April 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--26april-2011/11971.html April 26th, 2011 In today's news roundup: ARM is reportedly next in line to support OpenCL, which means that the standard is now being officially backed by all major CPU and GPU manufacturers; AMD hints at what might eventually be a partnership with the likes of ARM in its upcoming software developers conference; Sony has announced two "Sony Tablet' that will reportedly be optimized for multimedia and productivity and will run off Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system; The Samsung Galaxy S II tablet gets reviewed; Nintendo has finally announced its Wii successor that will be unveiled in 2012, and A new demo of Star Ocean showing off the game's "out of this world" graphics engine has been released. Hardware news ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Motherboard Review @ Vortez Description: That drive to produce excellence no matter what the product has helped them to secure an enviable reputation as one of the PC world's top manufacturers. Even the HTPC market is in their sights with ASUS aiming squarely at the compact home cinema market with their brand new E35M1I Deluxe. Using the ultra compact ITX form factor the board packs a truck load of current features like USB 3.0, SATA 6.0Gbps (courtesy of AMD's Hudson M1 chipset) and AMD's low power Zacate E350 dual core processor. HIS Radeon HD 6850 & 6870 IceQ X Turbo Crossfire Review
Slide 5: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Description: We review the Corsair Obsidian 650D. And yeah, they stripped away the removable front drive bays, made the chassis smaller and boom, the Obsidian 650D was born. A chassis that is just as impressive as its bigger brother the 800D really. Consumer Electronics and Software news Creative Labs Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma Headset Review Description: Today we are looking at the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma, which most notably uses the company's famous Sound Blaster name in order to swing attention away from competition and towards this product. Nothing really exiting with regards to the specifications list except that Creative has chosen to use a large 50mm driver like much of the competition. This large driver allows for greater mid range extension and clarity while providing an overall bigger sound from the headset. Google Gmail Speeds Up with Background Sending Description: The concept is fairly straightforward: rather than clicking send and waiting for a message to shoot off to the intended recipient, you can click send and move on right away while Google worries about getting your message through the wires. If any issues arise with sending the message, a notification will appear at the top of the screen, prompting the Gmail user to pop back and resolve the problem (e.g., wrong email address, internet connection timed out, etc.). Otherwise, the user will get a notification once the message has officially been sent. Sony Announces Optimally Designed “Sony Tablet” with Android 3.0 that Complements Network Services for an Immersive Entertainment Experience Description: Sony Corporation (“Sony”), announces “Sony Tablet” that delivers the perfect combination of hardware, content and network with seamless usability for a highquality, engaging entertainment experience. Based on decades of engineering heritage, Sony is developing two tablets with unprecedented design, including S1 (codename) which is optimized for rich media entertainment and S2 (codename) which is ideal for mobile communication and entertainment. “Sony Tablet” will become available in the global market starting in fall 2011. Samsung Galaxy S II - Thin @ Computing on Demand Description: Samsung is doing a good job at hyping us up for their Galaxy S II Android powered smart phone. The Galaxy S II is impossibly thin at just 8.49 mm and still manages to pack a 4.3" Super AMOLED screen. Meanwhile, the thin design doesn't look like it will inhibit processing power as the phone comes with a Dual Core processor accompanied by 16/32GB of memory. With all the excitement surrounding the second iteration of the Galaxy phone, I can only hope that the cell phone carriers will not cripple this as they did with the first series... Open Office and Libre Office duel over versioning Description: During all of the fuss over Oracle’s (NASDAQ: ORCL) announcement that it intends to move OpenOffice to a community based project, the release of OpenOffice 3.4 Beta 1 flew under most people’s radar. This is the first beta release since The Document Foundation split from the OpenOffice project, and released the competing Libre Office suite by forking the OpenOffice code base. Conflicts in the version numbering is causing confusion. Dell's New Mobile Workstations: These Are The Laptops You're Looking For Description: Having had the chance to check out Toshiba's and HP's impending enterprise-class notebooks, more and more I'm convinced spending up is the way to go when it comes to buying a notebook that both looks and feels like quality. While Dell's Precision notebooks are still a little boxy and aren't quite the ladykillers the new HP EliteBooks are, there's still something very austere and functional about them that puts consumer-grade laptops from any manufacturer to shame. If you're one of the people that didn't much care for Dell's new XPS line, these may be for you. Android 2.3.4 rumored adding GTalk video chat support Description: The next update for Google’s Android 2.3.4 for smartphones is rumored to be adding Google Talk with video chat support. An alleged Samsung employee with the Twitter profile @MAFiA303 has tweeted that they have used the feature on the Nexus S, equipped with the yet to be released Gingerbread 2.3.4. The features is expected to be officially unveiled at Google’s I/O developer conference scheduled in the next two weeks. Gaming news Nintendo Sees Profit Falling 66%, Announces Wii Successor For 2012 Description: Nintendo posted a new financial report today, and in a nutshell, things aren’t looking too good. The company’s net profit dropped a whopping 66% to $944 million in the fiscal year that ended March 31, compared with $2.78 billion in the same period a year earlier. Revenue in the same time frame fell 29.3% to $12.2 billion. Five Things That Will Surprise You About Prey 2 Description: Bethesda Softworks recently invited members of the gaming press to Park City, Utah, where the publisher revealed some of the games it plans to release in the coming year. Among those games was Prey 2 -- a follow-up to the longdelayed 2006 shooter Prey, from developer Human Head. But Prey 2 isn't quite the game any of us expected. Here are the five biggest surprises that Prey 2 has in store for fans. Star Ocean developer's real-time graphics demo is out of this world Description: This video shows off the new graphics engine created by Star Ocean dev tri-Ace to great effect. While not based on any existing game (or future title), it does feature clever cameos by a couple recognizable characters -- and looks absolutely stunning... Targus new 360-degree rotating case/stand for the Apple iPad 2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-new-360-degree-rotatingcasestand-for-the-apple-ipad-2/11973.html 5
Slide 6: April 26th, 2011 April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 6.Inforcom Technologies - Funan Ctr #04-20 7.istudio - Change Alley, Changi T3, Novena, Orchard Central, Paragon, Plaza Singapura 8.Multimedia Integrated – Funan Ctr #05-06/08 9.PK Computer - Funan Ctr #04-07 10.South Asia Computer - Funan Ctr #03-01 11.Sprint-Cass - Changi T1 to T3 Targus has launched their complete and unique range of Apple iPad 2 accessories including the first-of-its-kind 360-degree rotating case/stand (THZ045AP) . The THZ045AP is a unique stand that can be used in portrait and landscape orientations. HTC Flyer coming to Singapore in May Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-flyer-coming-to-singapore-inmay/11968.html April 26th, 2011 Targus has launched their extensive and innovative range of iPad2 products. The company claims to offer an enhanced and advanced range of products for the Apple iPad 2 that comes in a gamut of silhouettes, colors, materials, functionalities. Part of the range includes the 360-degree rotating stand/case (THZ045AP). A unique dual function 360-degree rotating case and stand. As a case, the form-fitting design securely holds iPad2. The hard-shell exterior provides a sturdy, protective cover, while the microfiber faux suede interior stylishly lines and protects the iPad 2 against scratches. It is also a unique stand that allows presentation or use in both portrait and landscape orientations. The two-in-one case/ stand creatively frames the Apple logo and allow users to rotate the iPad 2 vertically and horizontally inside the case. The case/stand features three different viewing angles, and the easily accessible ports and buttons to ensure optimal handsfree viewing comfort and convenience. Suggested Retail Price: S$99.90 Available at 1.Targus® Boutique - Funan Ctr #05-09 2.Apple Shop @ Best Denki - Century Sq, City Sq, Compass Pt, Great World City, IMM, Junction 8, Parkway Parade, Plaza Singapura, Takashimaya, Vivo City 3.Challenger - Ang Mo Kio Hub, Bedok Pt, Clementi Mall, Eastpoint, Funan Ctr, Hougang Mall, IMM, Jurong Pt, Nex, Parkway Parade, Plaza Singapura, Sembawang, Tampines 1, Thomson Plaza, Tiong Bahru Plaza, United Square, Vivo City, White Sands 4.EpiCentre - 313 Somerset, Bugis, ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands, Suntec City, Wheelock Place 5.Infinite - Millenia Walk #01-108, Vivo City #02-11 HTC held a media event today to unveil their highly anticipated Android tablet, the HTC Flyer. The HTC Flyer is scheduled to be available in May. Read on for the coverage. Wayne Tang, product manager of HTC Singapore, says that the company did well in 2010 with sales of 25 million handsets, which is double the figure shipped the year before, and revenue grew 93% while the global brand awareness grew more than 50% as compared to 18 months ago whereby the number was 15%. Tang also introduced the new HTC Flyer, the manufacturer's first Android tablet with HTC Sense. "One thing that really sets HTC devices from other devices on the market today, is the great experience you get with HTC Sense. Today, we are expanding the experience of HTC Sense from smartphone, to tablet. And with the new Sense, the HTC Flyer features an immersive 3D user experience that brings to life, all your favorite content - weather, email and even ebooks." Tang then introduced the HTC Scribe technology that is incorporated the tablet which lets users take notes, draw pictures, or scribble using a special Magic pen, and you can save or share with friends. In addition, the HTC Flyer will come with HTC Watch that allows users to watch Hollywood movies on the fly and the 6
Slide 7: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone service is scheduled to be available in Q4 this year. Good news is, the tablet which is selling next month, will come with HTC Watch Lite that enables you to watch movie trailers. The company is still negotiating with OnLive gaming, to offer cloud-based gaming in Singapore. OnLive gaming is currently available in the US. The HTC Flyer comes with the magic pen that lets you write or draw on the display, even on the home page. According to HTC, the pen uses a single 4A battery. So how much is the HTC Flyer? It is priced at S$1,068 before telco subsidies. Quite expensive compared to the Motorola Xoom which run Android 3.0 and with a retail price of S $888. However, the company says that the HTC Flyer will be upgradeable to Android 3.0 with the HTC Sense UI, though no word as to when the upgrade will be available. The HTC Flyer has a aluminium unibody and feels solid. It is a 7-inch tablet which is similar size to the Samsung Galaxy Tab that was launched in November last year. NVIDIA Quadro Success Stories Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-quadro-successstories/11970.html April 26th, 2011 There aren't many physical buttons on the HTC Flyer. On the right are the volume controls. The power button and 3.5mm audio jack are at the top, while the 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus and capable of capturing 720p high definition videos is at the rear. There is also a 1.3-megapixel front camera for video conferencing. NVIDIA has a very successful Quadro line-up based on Fermi architecture from the very high end like Quadro 6000, 5000 and all the way down to their value solutions like Quadro 600 and 400. Today, we bring you two of the many success stories of NVIDIA Quadro and they are Mars-500 and Bandito Brothers. Mars-500 is an international virtual space expedition that simulates a manned flight to Mars. The main aims of the project are to study medical, biological, psychological, technical and organizational aspects of an actual, planned long-run interplanetary expedition, as well as train the crew. With the help of NVIDIA Quadro, they are able to simultaneously render complex landscapes, various special effects (dust storms, meteorite showers) and correctly manage moving objects like the Mars-rovers. As for Bandito Brothers, it is a L.A. based filmaker who specializes in using technology to create authentic action/adventure content. With the help of NVIDIA Quadro, Bandito Brothers is able to edit its work in real-time and at full-scale resolution. The future is now with NVIDIA Quadro NVIDIA technology delivers real-time, virtual reality for the interplanetary expedition crew of “Mars-500” 7
Slide 8: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone In order to fulfill take off and landing, and model the cosmonauts’ and astronauts’ activity on the Mars surface, JCSI created a 3D, interactive, 10x10 km virtual model of the Red planet’s surface, equipping one of the modules of the terrestrial experimental suite with a virtual reality modeling system. The international virtual space expedition, “Mars-500,” composed of 6 cosmonauts and astronauts from Russia, the European Union and China, started on June 3, 2010, and has just reached a new milestone this month (February 2011). Last June, the state research center of the Institute of the Medical and Biological Problems of RAS (IMPB) started a 520-day international experiment, simulating a manned flight to Mars. The main aims of the project are to study medical, biological, psychological, technical and organizational aspects of an actual, planned long-run interplanetary expedition, as well as train the crew. This powerful system utilizes a professional workstation equipped with a pair of NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics processing units (GPUs), which render real-time complex interactive graphics scenes on two 26”, highresolution monitors (running at 1920?1200). Depending on the application* these monitors display control panels of moving objects, including: the takeoff and landing suite; automatic and manned Mars-rovers; 3D animated models of spacemen, and more. In addition, the display also shows information on the external environment, which reflects the main features of the Mars landscape—low natural illumination, dust storms and other atmospheric phenomena unique to Mars. “NVIDIA’s Quadro professional graphics were chosen to solve the complex problems of real-time processing and visualization of the 3D environment,” said Evgeny Chernyakov, CEO of JCSI. “The model we created is intended to simultaneously render complex landscapes, various special effects (dust storms, meteorite showers) and correctly manage moving objects like the Mars-rovers. Chernyakov concludes, “Such problems can be solved only with a top visualization solution, such as NVIDIA Quadro. We achieved great results, pushing the limits of visualization.” In addition to utilizing NVIDIA Quadro pro graphics, the workstation is connected to a full-color helmet display system with a ‘head attitude position sensor,’ which lets the user feel like he’s inside a spacesuit. Various interactive tasks are done with two multifunctional joysticks, including: choosing required tools, selecting soil samples, and placing scientific instruments on the field. The cosmonauts and astronauts in orbit also took part in the project’s Mars landing with NVIDIA 3D Vision stereoscopic viewing technology. A part of the content prepared for the 3D virtual reality model was copied to their notebook PCs. This is useful in providing high quality, 3D stereoscopic images to 8 To achieve these goals, NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions, with their massively parallel processing capabilities, have become an important component of modeling and displaying the virtual reality of the flight to the ‘red planet.’ The landing portion of the virtual expedition, which started 240 days after the flight began last June, is one of the key aspects of the project. When the expedition reached the nearMars orbit on February 12th, three crewmen moved to the take-off and landing suite, where they carried out the landing to the Mars surface, and will be conducting research studies on the planet the rest of this month. Helping with the project is JCSI Group, Russia’s largest provider of broadcast automation, computer graphics and digital movie services, which also develops and deploys real-time, 3D visualization technologies, virtual reality and industrial design.
Slide 9: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone deliver the required level of psychophysiological stress as part of the research study. *3D models of virtual reality, natural effects, spacemen, rovers and others were created using software from Presagis, DI-Guy, CMLabs Vortex, and DiSTI. MARS-500 Virtual Reality (photos and video) – http:// mars500.jcsi.ru/gallery.html Other useful links: the machine, as the system automatically recognizes faster memory speed with no further BIOS settings required. Users will notice performance gains as overclocking is automatic with the HyperX Plug and Play modules. In addition, the modules are backwards compatible with previously released DDR3 systems on the market. “The HyperX engineering team has been thoroughly innovative in designing a memory module that automatically raises performance with no overclocking steps required,” said Ann Bai, DRAM Memory Sales Director, APAC Region, Kingston. “By using JEDEC-compliant settings to create performance timings, enthusiasts can max out native frequencies on current Sandy Bridge systems and older DDR3 machines.” HyperX Plug and Play is available through Kingston’s channel of authorized distributors, resellers, and retailers. Kingston HyperX memory is backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support. For more detailed product information please visit the Kingston Web site at www.kingston.com/asia. Kingston HyperX Plug and Play (PnP) Series Announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-hyperx-plug-and-play-pnpseries-announced/11969.html April 26th, 2011 Kingston today announced the new HyperX Plug and Play (PnP) series of high-performance enthusiast memory specially for Sandy Bridge chipset in both desktop and notebooks. The memory SPD is pre-programmed with faster frequencies of either 1600MHz or 1866MHz so when 'plugged' in, it will automatically 'play' at that speeds without the need to overclock or tune from the BIOS. Xbox 360: Portal 2 Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-360-portal-2-review/11955.html April 26th, 2011 Hsinchu, Taiwan -- April 26, 2011 -- Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the new HyperX Plug and Play (PnP) series of high-performance enthusiast memory. HyperX PnP are the first modules to scale the higher memory heights that are a part of the second generation Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The memory is programmed with faster frequencies and when ‘plugged’ into a system using the Sandy Bridge chipset, will automatically ‘play’ at either 1600MHz or 1866MHz in both desktop and notebook PCs. The modules are programmed using JEDEC-compliant settings, allowing 1600MHz and 1866MHz frequency support. It is as simple as plugging in the memory and turning on Portal 2 is the sequel to its acclaimed predecessor back in 2007. The first-person action puzzle game has grown from a single-player campaign to include a co-operative gameplay which is equally, if not, more challenging than the singleplayer campaign. How good is this game ? Let us make the jump into the portal to find out 9
Slide 10: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone wakes you up and tries to be friendly and at most occasions, wacky. Returning to the facility will be filled with many surprises, the area is in a wreck and you will eventually run into GlaDOS, the 'female' anatagonist in Portal 1. She calls you a monster for ruining her life but she will be put the past behind her in the name of science. The usual tests will continue with growing intensity since you had returned to be her test subject once again. Very often, she will throw junvenile insults at you using her signature malevonlent tone. She bitches quite a lot as an AI but she is more complex than you think and you will learn to love her during the course of your game. From the story standpoint, Portal 2 is a remarkable achievement, packed with brillaint voice acting and characters (or robots) with depth. Gameplay-wise, Portal 2 puts you back in Aperature Laboratories again with a twist. Many things have changed, from a squeaking clean facility to a ruined surroudings beyond repair with crumbling walls and overgrown fauna. The Portal Gun is still your trusty companion which you will learn to use in the current dynamic environment. You don't need complicated puzzles to ramp up the difficulty, the dynamic changes in the puzzle will often leave you stumped and pressed for time to make desperatre choices. Having said that, the new mechanics added to Portal 2 makes the entire puzzle solving session more fun and mind-boggling as well. There are mirror cubes which can be used for redirecting lasers to unlock doors or trigger certain mechanisms. Light bridges are also the new tools of the game that can be redirected using your portal gun to reach different places. Portal 2 is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles and PC (via retail copy and Steam) The console versions are published by Electronic Arts (EA) The original Portal came with 19 missions, each filled with various puzzles to solve before you make your escape from GLaDOS, an AI existance that administrates the Aperature Laboratories who is pretty much "omni-potent". Well, that is untill you tear her piece by piece and throwing them into the incinerator. Many questions were left unanswered in the ending until now The sequel sets you in perspective with events taking place after the original story, your name is Chell and returning to Aperature Laboratories will not be a walk in the park. Your journey will be accompanied by Wheatley, a metal sphere who Later in the game, there is yet another but an interesting tool which you will use. They are gels or blobs of different colours that splatter onto the floor that produce different effects. 10
Slide 11: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone April 26th, 2011 There are three colours: blue, orange and white. The white gel is the most basic; it paints the surface white which allows you to create a portal. The blue gel creates a surface you can bounce off, while orange gel grants you an acceleration boost when you run on it. After much anticipated wait, Nikon D5100 is real and official. Product availability and prices will be announced at a later date but let us look at the official specs. Update: The Nikon D5100 is available from today, at S$1,199 with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. The Excursion Funnel defies gravity Another feature is the Excursion Funnel, glowing tunnels that transports you on a straight path. They defy laws of physics in their path so imagine the possibilites when you create a portal with the funnel running through it. The explorable surroundings have grown larger, some of the environments are filled with various environmental obstacles, forcing you to look around for a solution. It is amazing that Valve has created incredibly made surroundings that focus on thinking while making a well-paced story with plenty of humour. No thanks to GlaDOS and her new dose of sarcarstic quotes. You will come to understand the events in Portal and the eventual happenings in Portal 2 that brings about a surprise ending. A tip to our gamers is to observe the surroundings and objects carefully which gives you hints on what happened in Aperature Laboratories and also the unseen character's (Rat man) doings. You will want to try the "Zoom" function to observe the far surroundings. The single player campaign should clock an estimated eight to nine hours of gameplay, a huge leap than the original classic but what happens after that ? Cooperative gameplay comes into play Update: The Nikon D5100 is available from today, at S$1,199 with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. Nikon announces the D5100 Digital SLR camera, introducing new features and upgraded specifications as compared to its predecessor. The D5100 will come with Nikon’s latest CMOS image sensor and the new EXPEED 2 image-processing engine. The updated sensor will bump the effective megapixel count to 16.1, the same that was found in Nikon D7000. The camera adds a new High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature that captures two shots of varying exposure each time the shutter-release button is pressed, and then combines the two shots into a single image with a broad dynamic range. The D5100 another new feature known as the "Effects mode" found on the Mode selection dial which is essentially special effects applied on images and videos. A total of seven special effects, including Selective Color and Color Sketch are included. Night Vision is another feature which ramps up the ISO to 102400 which enables shooting under conditions of darkness while verifying the subject and composition in the monitor (this feature shoots in JPEG format and in black and white. RAW recording is not possible) Visibility has been increased with the large 3-inch display found on the D5100 that has approximately 921k-dot highresolution that supports viewing on various angles. Nikon D5100 Digital SLR Camera Announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-d5100-digital-slr-cameraannounced/11802.html 11
Slide 12: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Nikon adopts a side hinge for the vari-angle monitor that prevents the monitor from hitting the tripod when it is opened while the camera is mounted on a tripod. The vari-angle monitor opens from 0 to180° to the side, and can be rotated up to 90°clockwise and up to 180° counterclockwise when it is open. Say yes to self-portraits. Specification Chart Type Lens mount Effective pixels Image sensor mage size (pixels) Single-lens reflex digital camera Nikon F mount (with AF contacts) 16.2 million 23.6 X 15.6 mm CMOS sensor • 4,928 X 3,264 (L) • 3,696 X 2,448 (M) File format Media • 2,464 X 1,632 (S) 1) NEF(RAW), 2)JPEG, 3)NEF(RAW)+JPEG SD (Secure Digital) memory cards *1 SDHC, and SDXC memory cards Up to 4 fps *2 ISO 100 – 6400 in steps of 1/3 EV. Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400; auto ISO sensitivity control available Frame size (pixels) and frame rate : • 1,920 X 1,080, 30 p/25 p/24 p, high/normal • 1,280 X 720, 30 p/25 p/24 p, high/normal • 640 X 424, 30 p/25 p, high/normal A frame rate of 30 p (actual frame rate 29.97 fps) is available when NTSC is selected for video mode. 25 p is available when PAL is selected for video mode. Actual frame rate when 24 p is selected is 23.976 fps. File format/Video compression: MOV, H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding Audio recording device: Built-in monaural or external stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable 3-in., approx. 921k-dot (VGA), vari-angle low12 Frame advance rate ISO sensitivity Additional Features and Functions - High-speed continuous shooting at up to approximately 4 fps and a very precise and durable shutter unit that has passed testing for 100,000 cycles - Equipped with Quiet shutter-release mode for shooting in situations in which quieter shutter operation is desired. Infrared receivers for remote control operation on the front and back of the camera enable wireless control over the shutter from both in front of and behind the camera (optional ML-L3 wireless remote control supported). - Equipped with 16 scene modes that enable the simple capture of beautiful photos of the desired scene with automatic optimization of camera settings - Built-in HDMI-CEC compatibility enables control over playback of still images and movies using the television's remote control when the camera is connected to a high-definition TV via the HDMI connector. - HD movie recording and editing 1Manual focus, M or S mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values Movie Monitor
Slide 13: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Power source Dimensions (approx.) (W×H × D) Weight (approx.) temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with 170° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness adjustment Battery : One rechargeable Liion EN-EL14 battery AC adapter : EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5A power connector (available separately) 128 X 97 X 79 mm 510 g without battery, memory card, or body cap 560 g with battery and memory card but without body cap EN-EL14 rechargeable Liion battery, MH-24 battery charger, AN-DC3 strap, EGCP14 audio/video cable, UCE6 USB cable, DK-5 eyepiece cap, BS-1 accessory shoe cover, DK-20 rubber eyecup, BF-1B body cap, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM The Android-powered HTC Incredible S that has made waves since its recent inception for its superb design and mobile experience now looks set to turn the heat up on the competition draped in a striking new red finish. The HTC Incredible S brings the HTC Sense experience and cutting-edge innovation to its users in a simple and natural way. The red edition features the same stunning body contours as its sleek black counterpart that highlights the internal hardware makeup of the device and at the same time, provide better grip in-hand. The HTC Incredible S also features an 8-megapixel camera (with dual flash) that can capture highdefinition videos and crystal clear 4-inch display that brings images to life. Pricing and Availability The red edition of the HTC Incredible is available now at all authorized resellers at a suggested retail price of S$758 (before operator subsidies). Major supplied accessories • *1Not applied to Multi Media Card • *2Manual focus, mode M or S, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values • Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a camera with a fully-charged battery operating at an ambient temperature of 20° C (68° F). Logitech launches Wireless Keyboard K270 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-launches-wireless-keyboardk270/11966.html April 26th, 2011 HTC Incredible S red edition. Now in stores Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-incredible-s-red-edition.-now-instores/11967.html April 26th, 2011 Looking for a new keyboard? Check out the new Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270. The sleek and stylish peripheral incorporates Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity and features battery life of up to two years. The HTC Incredible S was on the shelves in Singapore since early March, and today, the company has come up with a red edition of the popular Android smartphone. 13
Slide 14: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Logitech has introduced their Wireless Keyboard K270, a sleek keyboard that delivers Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity and up to two years of battery life. With the Logitech Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity, you will enjoy virtually no signal loss from up to 10 meters away. The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 also delivers up to 24 months of battery life as well as auto-standby, which helps you save energy when you are not using the keyboard. The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 also features the tiny USB receiver, which is small enough to stay in your laptop. Plus, you can easily add another compatible mouse or keyboard — without the hassle of multiple USB receivers. The sleek, compact keyboard saves space without sacrificing comfort while having full-size keys and a wide-curved space bar. And Logitech’s newest keyboard offers hot keys that give you instant access to your favorite websites, e-mail, play/ pause, volume and more. Pricing and Availability The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K270 is now available for a suggested retail price of S$32. a vivid 1.5 metre image from as little as 0.75 metres away. With the projector placed close to the wall, shadows caused by tabletop objects or presenters are virtually eliminated. The short throw of the IN146, combined with its small size, low profile design and 2,700 lumens brightness, offers an extremely versatile and portable display solution that will work beautifully in a variety of environments and lighting conditions. Built for Long-Life at a Low Cost The IN146 is future-ready with 3D capability and an HDMI input. It can be turned into a wireless and networked display with the optional InFocus LiteShow III wireless adapter,and the RS232 port allows connection to Creston, AMX or any other room control system. The IN146 offers years of worryfree operation with a long lamp life ofup to 6,000 hours, filterfree DLP technology, and 5-year limited warranty. Pricing and Availability The IN146 (WXGA, 1280 x 800) model is available now with a list price of S$1,399. InFocus unveils low cost short throw projector IN146 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/infocus-unveils-low-cost-short-throwprojector-in146/11965.html April 26th, 2011 The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 25 April 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--25april-2011/11961.html April 26th, 2011 InFocus has introduced their latest IN146 short throw projector that boasts widescreen resolution,HDMI connectivity and 3D at affordable price. If you are looking for a projector like this one, the InFocus IN 146 is available now. In today's news roundup: Hitachi DeskStar 7K3000 3TB HDD reviewed; Commander PC gets benchmarked ; Nook Color gets Froyo update and app store; Dell readies 10-Inch tablets to fend off the Apple iPad, and Nintendo says successor to Wii coming in 2012 Hardware news Description: Another thing that sets the Lian Li PC-A04 apart from the norm is that it's limited to micro-ATX motherboards. Two or three years ago, this would have been a showstopper, but in recent times there have been some excellent uATX boards hitting the market. Description: The DeskStar 7K3000 3TB model by Hitachi GST is a real star since not only does it combine excellent single/ Raid0 performance with low temperatures and noise levels but it also comes at a bargain price. Description: The NZXT Sentry LXE is not your standard runof-the-mill fan controller. Combining the ease of a touchscreen and the flexibility of having an external controller add to its appeal - and not having to bend down under the desk to change a setting is nice. Description: As we treat the Commander PC as a system, we will take a slightly different approach to it than we normally would when reviewing a video card; instead we'll add some system benchmarks into the mix. Description: Microstar's latest Hawk video card is here, packing a highly overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti. 14 InFocus has announced their InFocus IN146 short throw projector is available in Singapore. With native WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution to project today’s widescreen notebooks and high definition video without scaling, the IN146 offers big, beautiful images in tight spaces at an exceptionally low price. Short Throw Capabilities Offer Great Flexibility The short throw and wide resolution makes the IN146 ideal for use with interactive whiteboards. It can be easily installed on a wall or ceiling or placed on a tabletop or media cart, projecting
Slide 15: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Can its enhanced PCB and cooler fend off the Radeon HD 6950's falling prices? Consumer Electronics and Software news Description: Barnes & Noble on Monday announced a major update to its Nook Color tablet that includes access to a new app store and a built-in email system for organizing Web mail accounts. Description: That's the period during which the company's online Firefox 4 download tracker climbed into the nine-digit territory. The milestone achievement happened in just a little over a month after the software was made available on March 22. Description: A leaked roadmap suggests Dell has in store two Windows 7 tablets and a 10-inch Android Honeycomb tablet for release later this year, as the company aims to grab tablet market share. Description: Low Carbon PC aims to take this one step further by putting together eco-friendly systems that use little power but deliver big on performance, while looking rather stylish at the same time. Description: These earphones are designed for both stereo playback and as a hands free device for cell phones. The inline remote helps the user control music playback and volume without having to handle one’s cell phone or mp3 player. Gaming news Description: Nintendo says the successor to the hit Wii console will arrive next year, but isn't saying anything about what the new system will do. Description: Sony has yet to determine the full scope of an attack on its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services that has left more than 75 million people without access for more than four days. designed to offer great electrical performance at the best possible price to performance ratio. Today we are going to have a have a look at a power supply from their updated version of the TX series, the TX850 V2 unit. • Conforms to the latest ATX12V v2.31 and EPS 2.92 standards, and is backward compatible with the ATX12V 2.2 and ATX12V 2.01 standards • A dedicated single +12V rail offers simple configuration and maximum compatibility with the latest graphics cards and other components • An ultra-quiet, 140mm double ball-bearing fan delivers excellent airflow with exceptionally low noise levels by varying fan speed in response to temperature • Complies with the European Union ErP Directive (2009/125/EC) so the power consumption of the whole system, in either standby or off mode, can be less than 1W when used with a properly configured, ErP-compliant motherboard • 80 PLUS® Bronze certified, delivering up to 85% energy efficiency under real-world load conditions • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) with PF value of 0.99 • Universal AC input from 90~264V • Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety for your critical system components • High-quality Japanese capacitors uncompromised performance and reliability provide • A five year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's legendary technical support and customer service • Safety Approvals: cTUVus, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TÜV, CCC, C-tick PSU Review - Corsair TX850 V2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/psu-review--corsair-tx850v2/11964.html April 26th, 2011 Asrock released "real AM3+" motherboards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-released-real-am3-motherboards/11963.html April 26th, 2011 Corsair owes much of that reputation to their TX power supply series, which were designed to offer great electrical performance at the best possible price to performance ratio. Today we are going to have a have a look at a power supply from their updated version of the TX series, the TX850 V2 unit. Not too long ago Corsair subtly diversified towards the PSU market by releasing a handful of products, yet their reputation grew so rapidly that today their company is one of the most respected brands in the PSU market and has tens of power-related products available. Corsair owes much of that reputation to their TX power supply series, which were Most motherboard manufacturers claim that their latest AM3 motherboards are AM3+ capable after a mere BIOS update. ASRock claims that this is not the case and claims that there are no less than six reasons to buy an ASRock "real AM3+ motherboard". The company makes the 6 following claims regarding their new motherboards: 1. The new "black" AM3b CPU socket make you recognize the new AM3+ motherboard at the first sight! With the 11% bigger pin hole size, it can get rid of the possible mechanical mismatch when installing the CPU, and avoid the CPU pinbent problem. 15
Slide 16: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 2. Thanks for the AM3+ MB 3.4 MHz Serial VID support, it provides faster link between CPU and power controller. Compare to the old AM3 MB 400 KHz link, the new AM3+ MB can support better power management & Power saving. 3. Not only meet AMD's requirements, the new AM3+ MB design provides efficient power supply up to 11.8% better CPU power saving. An added bonus will be its environment-friendly feature. 4. As we know, the lower CPU noise, the better system stability. When the system is at the same loading, the new AM3+ MB design improves the Vcore variation and reduces the CPU power noise up to 22%! 5. Compare to the old AM3 CPU only needs 110A current, the new AM3+ CPU needs higher 145A current! The New AM3+ MB can satisfy the demand of 32% higher current and get rid of any power shortage issue. 6. With the new C.C.R. (Combo Cooler Retention Module) design, the ASRock new AM3+ MB can get better cooling effect for CPU, memory and power components. According to our test result, it makes the CPU power choke 5.4 °C cooler! Besides, the C.C.R. is backward compatible with the old AM3 / AM2+ CPU cooler as well. The main screen consists of nine main icons as well as five that represent what appears to be a power button, a reset button, an adjustment up/down button, a snapshot button and one icon we can't quite figure out what it stands for, but we'd guess it's a save button of some kind. The nine main icons as far as we can make sense of it are for quick boot, hard drive settings, Q-Flash (BIOS flashing), system settings, @BIOS (second BIOS flashing option?), USB, power settings, download and security. That said, it's just us making guesses here based on Gigabyte's current technology, so some of this is likely to be wrong. Gigabyte shows off first Touch BIOS screenshots Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-shows-off-first-touch-biosscreenshots/11962.html April 26th, 2011 Pictures of Gigabyte's upcoming Touch BIOS have been posted on the unofficial Gigabyte blog as well as Gigabyte's Facebook page and they're detailing what appears to be a Windows utility rather than an actual graphics UEFI. In fact, if anything these new screenshots bring more questions with them than they answer. Pictures of Gigabyte's upcoming Touch BIOS have been posted on the unofficial Gigabyte blog as well as Gigabyte's Facebook page and they're detailing what appears to be a Windows utility rather than an actual graphics UEFI. In fact, if anything these new screenshots bring more questions with them than they answer. The logo itself is suggesting that Gigabyte is still sticking to its guns by using the Award BIOS, as so far the additions of GPT boot and support for 2.2TB+ hard drives are the biggest changes that UEFI has brought with it and Gigabyte has implemented both of these in their BIOS and simply called it Hybrid EFI technology. The subtitle to the logo is just that, Hybrid EFI technology and as such we're thinking that we're looking at a Windows utility for adjusting the BIOS settings here rather than a graphics UEFI interface. Moving on we can see that Gigabyte has put its overclocking settings in the Touch BIOS, although the screenshot doesn't give away too many details. However, it appears that you have the option to change the colours here via an icon that wasn't on the main screen. 16
Slide 17: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The fourth and final screen shot shows the Boot Disk settings which actually seem to be general boot settings and not just related to the boot disk. The other three menu options are fairly self-explanatory as well and aren't likely to hold any great secrets. The G.Skill kit comes in an easy-to-open blister pack and the memory modules can be comfortably popped away from the packaging. Below the main screen is a Save CMOS button, a close icon, a help icon, an @ icon which Gigabyte in general tends to assign for internet updates and finally an exclamation mark which we're not sure what it's for. It should hopefully not be too long until all is revealed and we'll be pestering Gigabyte for some hands on time with whatever it is that they're working on. G.Skill RipjawsX 1600MHz CL7 4GB DDR3 Kit Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-ripjawsx-1600mhz-cl7-4gbddr3-kit-review/11890.html April 26th, 2011 Nothing much to see on the other side; we have a short introduction about the RipjawsX series and a label affixed at the bottom right corner for you to make sure the right memory kit is in there. Here is a quick run through of the G.Skill kit's specifications before we proceed further. Type Designed for Capacity Speed Latency Voltage Registered / Unbuffered Error checking Warranty 240-pin DDR3 Intel P67 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-12800 (1600MHz) CL7-8-7-24-2N 1.5V Unbuffered Non-ECC Lifetime Having just a fast processor isn't really enough these days; a high-speed memory kit can provide quite a bit of performance boost to your bandwidth-hungry Intel 'Sandy Bridge' platform gaming rig. VR-Zone.com finds out how much an improvement there can be with the F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM kit from G.Skill. Overclocking included. G.Skill, a leading manufacturer of high performance memory, was one of the first to introduce new memory kits designed for the 'Sandy Bridge' platform. Known as the RipjawsX, there are over twenty different configurations available for enthusiasts and gamers to choose from for their new rig. This weekend, VR-Zone.com tries out the F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM. Well, that is the SKU code, and we shall call it the RipjawsX 1600MHz CL7 4GB DDR3 kit for simplicity's sake. This particular kit is a matched pair of two 2GB double-sided memory modules, programmed and tested for 1.5V operation at 1600MHz CL7-8-7-24-2N. Offering impressive specifications and excellent pricing as its predecessors, it would be interesting to see if this new kit can perform in the overclocking department. Rumour: NVIDIA releasing GeForce GTX 560 on May 17th Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-nvidia-releasing-geforcegtx-560-on-may-17th/11959.html 17
Slide 18: April 26th, 2011 April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone speeds of 330MB/s and write speeds of 160MB/s which is up there with full-size 2.5-inch SSDs. The GeForce GTX 560 we first heard about 4 weeks ago, is now rumoured to release on May 17th. Not to be confused with the GTX 560 Ti, the GTX 560 will be a direct replacement to the GTX 460. The specifications are expected to be remarkably similar to the outgoing GTX 460 1GB - 7 SM enabled for 336 SP, 56 TMU, a 256-bit memory interface tied to 1GB GDDR5. However, the main difference would be the core frequency, up from 675 MHz to over 800 MHz. Needless to say, the GTX 560 is aimed straight at the Radeon HD 6870. A majority of stock-clocked HD 6870s are now selling in the $200-$210 range and it would thus make sense for the GTX 560 to release at around the $199 price point. Other details are still sketchy and there's still four weeks to go to May 17th so things could change. The company also offers mSATA SSDs, but these have much lower speeds of 120MB/s for reads and 110MB/s for writes, but at least the write speed compares favourably to that of Intel's 310 series of mSATA SSD's which top out at 70MB/s, although Intel does offer much better read performance at up to 200MB/s depending on model. Other peculiarities that we spotted at innoDisk's booth included their new EverGreen Plus series of MLC SSDs which comes with a six year warranty. However, innoDisk suggests that this series of SSDs' are best for usage scenarios where files of 128KB or smaller are written to the SSD which seems to be a very limited market. The performance figures aren't impressive either with read speeds of 180MB/s and write speeds of a mere 55MB/s, but it's not always about speed everywhere an SSD is used and we're sure that there are plenty of vertical markets where this SSD would find a comfortable home. innoDisk shows off new SSD products at Composec Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/innodisk-shows-off-new-ssd-productsat-composec/11960.html April 26th, 2011 You don't have to worry if you've never heard of innoDisk before, as the company mostly makes solutions for the embedded market rather than the consumer market and as such it's not a company you'd come in contact with regularly. During Composec last week, innoDisk was showing off some of its new storage products, including what is currently the world's fastest mini PCIe DOM as well as some other interesting products. You don't have to worry if you've never heard of innoDisk before, as the company mostly makes solutions for the embedded market rather than the consumer market and as such it's not a company you'd come in contact with regularly. During Composec last week, innoDisk was showing off some of its new storage products, including what is currently the world's fastest mini PCIe DOM as well as some other interesting products. Although a mini PCIe DOM (Disk on Module) looks identical to an mSATA SSD, the mini PCIe DOM uses the PCI Express interface as the name implies, rather than the SATA interface. The downside of a PCI Express connected SSD is of course that most computers won't boot from it and that's pretty much how the mSATA standard came up. That said, innoDisk is offering some impressive performance figures from its second generation mini PCIe DOM as the company is promising read Next up we have an SSD with a SAS 6Gbps (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, although it seems like innoDisk needs to get their hands on some much faster NAND Flash here as this drive offer read speeds of 190MB/s but unless it's a typo on the little sign, write speeds of a mere 30MB/s. That said, this is an interesting product if you take into account that Intel will offer native SAS support on its high-end LGA-2011 consumer platform later this year and it's likely that we'll be seeing a lot more SAS SSD's as we get closer to that launch. 18
Slide 19: April 26th, 2011 April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Search engine giant Google has been ordered by the court to pay US$5 million for infringing a Linux patent. The Linux software is used by the company for its server platforms and extends to the Android mobile platform. Finally innoDisk was showing off its CFast cards, yet again a standard that hasn't really taken off outside of the embedded market. CFast cards are meant to replace the Compact Flash standard at some stage and rely on the SATA interface instead of the almost defunct IDE interface which CF cards use. innoDisk's CFast cards offer read speeds of 120MB/s and write speeds of 100MB/s and are of course SATA 3Gbps compliant. The only downside is that due to their relative small size, CFast cards require a passive adaptor to be attached to a computer; much like CF cards do, although of course a USB card reader would work as well. Google has been found guilty of infringing patents related to Linux kernel and was ordered to pay US$5 million in fine. The company has been using Linux software on its server platforms and even on its Android mobile platform. With the victory against Google, it could mean trouble for Yahoo, MySpace, Amazon, Paypal, Match.com and AOL who have all been sued by Bedrock Computer Technologies. While the amount may not be a huge sum, it just serves as a reminder to Linux users who are required to pay royalties. More of such law suits could be expected against companies who rely on Linux open source software. innoDisk might not be target the consumer market space directly, but many of the products the company showed off at Composec do have consumer applications and we suggested that they'd consider the consumer upgrade market with some of its more exotic products. The representative we talked to said that innoDisk will be launching faster mSATA SSD products with performance similar to that of its second generation mini PCI DOM and if the price is right, we can see a reasonable demand from performance hungry consumers that want a faster mSATA SSD in their notebook. "Gears of War 3" multiplayer beta kicks off today Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-gears-of-war-3-multiplayer-betakicks-off-today/11954.html April 26th, 2011 Google ordered to pay $5 million over infringement of Linux patent Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-ordered-to-pay-5-million-overinfringement-of-linux-patent/11957.html It has been over two years when Gears of War 2 was launched. Well, the wait is over. If you have preordered your Gears of War 3, you can get into the multiplayer beta that launches today. Full news release inside. 19
Slide 20: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone which make “Gears of War 3” deeper and more accessible than ever before, allowing anyone to instantly jump into the action. Developed by acclaimed studio Epic Games, “Gears of War 3” is available for preorder today in three distinct editions – Standard (US$59.99), Limited (S$84.90) and Epic (US $149.99). For additional details on the game and the beta, please visit gearsofwar.xbox.com. MacBook clone running Android OS selling at US$76 Singapore, 25 April 2011 - The multiplayer beta for this year’s most anticipated blockbuster, “Gears of War 3,” officially launches today on Xbox LIVE. Die-hard fans who have preordered “Gears of War 3” from Funzcentre, Cyberactive, Challenger and Comics Connection, can now jump into the action and help perfect the multiplayer experience in the epic finale to one of gaming’s most celebrated sagas. Over the next three weeks, players will have the opportunity to get an early taste of three brand new competitive modes on four breathtaking maps: Beta Content Schedule · April 25 – May 1 - The beta kicks off with the new Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill modes on three explosive battlegrounds: Thrashball, Checkout and Trenches. · May 2 – May 8 - The action amps up with the addition of Capture the Leader and a fan-picked map from the Facebook voting contest, Old Town. · May 9 – May 15 - The mayhem continues with Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill and Capture the Leader on all four maps. Additionally, fans can look forward to special events and surprises throughout the beta, and unlock exclusive medals, weapon skins and character variants, which they can carry over to their retail copy of "Gears of War 3" when it launches on 20 Sep. For example, players can complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock Thrashball Cole during the beta. Completing 10 matches as the Thrashball athlete during the beta period will permanently unlock the character variant for the retail version of "Gears of War 3". For additional details on the unlockables and the beta, please refer to the official Epic Games FAQ. Powered by dedicated servers, “Gears of War 3” offers the series’ most feature-packed versus multiplayer experience yet, and raises the bar with new game types, weapons, visceral executions, playable characters, squad communication tools, a deep player rewards system, and more. New players will enjoy the finely balanced gameplay and streamlined game types, Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/macbook-clone-running-android-osselling-at-us-76/11956.html April 26th, 2011 A Macbook Air clone has been spotted in China, and it looks to be running Android operating system. But the most appealing factor is not the design or the OS; it is selling at an affordable US$76. Read on for the details. Netbooks are still very much in demand, despite the growing market for tablet devices. It seems that a Macbook Air clone has been spotted online with a black finish instead of the usual Apple's aluminium body. It looks very similar to the previous generation Macbook Air and features a 10-inch display, front facing camera, 4GB flash memory and runs on AMLogic Cortex A9 processor. This one also runs Android operating system instead of Mac OS or Windows, and claims to be able to handle web browsing, flash content and high definition videos without much issues. No details on the version of the Android OS version though. The Macbook Air clone will also comes with a 12000mAH battery which touts a battery life of about 20 hours.However, with a price tag of just 500 yuan (or US$76), it may well be using a 1200mAh battery instead that gives three to four hours of usage. 20
Slide 21: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Intel SSD Caching Feature for Z68 Chipset Explored Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-ssd-caching-feature-for-z68chipset-explored/11953.html April 26th, 2011 System Requirements: • Z68 chipset • Intel Core processor • BIOS with the RST Smart Storage caching enabled • BIOS with SATA mode set to RAID enabled • BIOS that is PCI 3.0 and PMM (POST Memory Management) compliant to allow the OROM to handle dirty shutdowns of Accelerated disks/volumes Intel plans to officially launch Z68 Express chipset on May 18th but you will be able to see reviews online from 12th onwards. Of course, those who can't wait for the official launch can already purchase the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 board from the retail market, first available in Taiwan and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Other brands like ASUS and ASRock are set to hit the retail next. Those enthusiasts hoping they can overclock their Sandy Bridge better on Z68 than the P67 will probably be disappointed but there is one important feature of Z68 that matters, and that is the SSD caching. • PMM must be able to allocate a minimum of 130MB of temporary, nonaligned, extended memory to the Legacy OROM • Intel RST 10.5 version release or later • “Cache SSD” must have 18.6GB minimum capacity. The max. cache size is 64GB so any capacity over 64GB will be used for user data • Only one ”Cache SSD” is allowed per computer system. Feature Limitations: • A total of only one pass-through disk (RAID Ready system) or RAID volume can be 'Accelerated’ per computer system • Accelerated Volume criteria: o Accelerated RAID volumes are limited to 31.5TB or less RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10 (No RRT volumes allowed to be accelerated) All array member disks must be HDDs (No arrays with SSD member disks allowed to be accelerated) o o Intel plans to officially launch Z68 Express chipset on May 18th but you will be able to see reviews online from 12th onwards. Of course, those who can't wait for the official launch can already purchase the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 board from the retail market, first available in Taiwan and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Other brands like ASUS and ASRock are set to hit the retail next. Those enthusiasts hoping they can overclock their Sandy Bridge better on Z68 than the P67 will probably be disappointed but there is one important feature of Z68 that matters, and that is the SSD caching. The SSD caching feature on the Z68 Express chipset is to be officially known as Intel Smart Response Technology which is one of the new feature of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) 10.5. This feature is unique only to Z68 which makes it stands out among the rest of the Cougar Point chipsets like P67 and H67. Intel Smart Response Technology basically allows you to use a SSD as a cache between the hard drive and memory. It provides a SSD-like system performance while having maximum storage capacity from the hard drives (single or RAID). Intel Smart Response Technology is implemented as a single drive letter solution so no additional drive letter is needed for the SSD. Let's take a closer look at this neat feature, the requirements and its limitations. • No Acceleration of a RAID volume that is one of the volumes of a Matrix array (multiple volumes on a single array) • The SSD to be used as the “Cache SSD” must be attached to an internal SATA port of the computer There are 3 Acceleration modes : Mode Off Enhanced (Default) Performance Dual Boot Safe Data Caching No N/A N/A Acceleration Boot-time Yes WriteThrough Runtime reads Maximized Paging Boot-time Runtime reads Run-time writes Paging Enhanced mode is the default acceleration mode as it offers data protection in the case of disk failure. It uses write21 No Write-Back
Slide 22: April 26th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone April 26th, 2011 through data caching method to write data to the SSD and hard drive simultaneously. For user who wants maximum disk performance, you can choose the maximized mode but there is a high risk of data loss during disk failure. It uses the writeback cache method where data is written from the Cache SSD to the disk at intervals. For even better disk performance, you can first stripe your hard drives then choose maximized mode. User can change acceleration mode at any time as long as the SSD and hard drive are working normally. The former president and chairman of Sony and father of CD's, dies aged 81. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-former-president-and-chairmanof-sony-and-father-of-cd-s-dies-aged-81./11952.html April 26th, 2011 NVIDIA plans to launch their Desktop Optimus a.k.a Synergy at COMPUTEX Taipei this coming June and the best thing is that it is available freely and no license agreement is needed. This technology works pretty much similar to LucidLogix's Virtu where it allows dynamically swap between iGPU and dGPU based on nature of application and also uses Intel Sandy Bridge Quick Sync technology while doing video transcoding jobs. The former president and chairman of Sony, Norio Ohga, who was credited with developing the compact disc, has died aged 81, the company has said. Ohga was still a senior adviser to the company at the time of his death. In 1953, Sony's co-founders recruited Ohga while he was still studying at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and hoping to pursue a career as an opera singer. They sensed his knowledge of sound and electrical engineering would benefit the firm. During the development of the CD, it was Ohga who pushed for a disc that was 12cm (4.8in) in diameter, because it provided sufficient capacity at 75 minutes to store all of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Sony sold the world's first CD in 1982 and CDs overtook LP record sales in Japan five years later. Ohga's specifications are still used today, and have shaped formats developed since, including MiniDisc and DVD. Ohga also presided over the launch of Sony's game business, which went on to develop the successful "PlayStation" console. Ohga stepped down as Sony's president in 1995 and continued to serve as chairman and representative director until 2000. He was also the chairman of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. NVIDIA plans to launch their Desktop Optimus a.k.a Synergy at COMPUTEX Taipei this coming June and the best thing is that it is available freely and no license agreement is needed. This technology works pretty much similar to LucidLogix's Virtu where it allows dynamically swap between iGPU and dGPU based on nature of application and also uses Intel Sandy Bridge Quick Sync technology while doing video transcoding jobs. Desktop Optimus a.k.a Synergy seems to work with any NVIDIA discrete graphics cards on H67/H61 and Z68 boards with updated BIOSes and graphics drivers. It is not known who's implementation is actually better but NVIDIA solution is available for free while LucidLogix's solution requires licensing fee. NVIDIA To Launch Desktop Optimus / Synergy at Computex Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-to-launch-desktop-optimussynergy-at-computex/11946.html 22

   
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