At first glance, the Hyper 212 Plus seems like Cooler Master’s original Hyper 212 with a different fan mounting system and support for sockets 1156 and 1366. But while the original had two sets of heat dissipation fins, one set for each end of the heat pipes, the 212 Plus adopts a more straightforward tower design, with the heatsink fins connected to both ends of each heat pipe. It’s the same basic and effective design seen in all of today’s top-performing air coolers. And unlike most coolers, the 212 Plus’s heat pipes contact the CPU directly. So, how do the Hyper 212 Plus’s stacks stack up against the competition?
The Hyper 212 Plus is one of the smaller air coolers we’ve tested recently—a big relief after last month’s monstrous Scythe Mugen 2. At 4.7 inches wide, 3.1 inches deep, and 6.2 inches high, the Hyper 212 is shorter than our champion, Thermalright’s U120, though it’s about an inch deeper. It’s also about a pound lighter, at 1.4 pounds to the Thermalright’s 2-plus pounds. Despite its relative lack of bulk, though, it managed to bump right up against the north-bridge heat spreaders on our EVGA 680i SLI board—a problem that would be avoided if the cooler’s fins started a half-inch higher up the pipes. To install the 212 Plus, we had to insert four standoff pegs into the motherboard and tighten them by bolting them to the backplate. An x-shaped bracket with spring screws at the corners holds the cooler to the CPU. We like this approach because it makes the cooler easy to install without having to worry about the backplate falling off, and the standoffs allow the use of shorter screws for the mounting bracket. Once the cooler was secure, we mounted the included 12cm fan using common wire retention clips—a simple task made difficult by the close proximity of the cooler to the north bridge’s cooling fins.
Intel made a surprise announcement recently when the chip maker said it was canceling its much hyped Larrabee graphics chip, saying the GPU would exist only as a software development platform until further notice. Given all the attention Larrabee has received and now the sudden turn of events, we wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia used the situation as ammunition in its ongoing verbal warfare with Intel. So what did Nvidia have to say?
"The fact that a company with Intel's technical prowess and financial resources has struggled so hard to succeed with parallel computing shows just how exceptionally difficult a challenge this is," Igor Stanek, Nvidia Product PR Manager, told Fudzilla when asked to comment on the situation.
That's quite a bit more tame than we would have expected from Nvidia, but then again, the verbal volleys usually come from Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who once declared the CPU a dead business and promised to open up a can of whoop-ass on the competition.
Barnes & Noble has been criticized for seemingly rushing to market its Nook e-book reader before manufacturing could churn out enough units to satisfy demand, and already B&N has pushed back its anticipated preorder ship date several times. According to The New York Times, however, availability is the least of the Nook's problems.
The media behemoth posted a review of the Nook on Wednesday and summarily ripped it apart. Speaking of which, the review starts out by accusing the Nook of being "ripped right out of the Kindle's master playbook," noting the same price tag, same off-white plastic frame, the same screen saver, and other similarities. Given the popularity of Amazon's Kindle, this wouldn't be a bad thing, but NYT goes on to thrash the differences between the two units as pointed out by the Nook website.
"Unfortunately, we, the salivating public, might be afflicted with a little holiday disease of our own: Sucker Syndrome," NYT writes. "Every one of the Nook's vaunted distinctions comes fraught with buzz kill footnotes."
For example, NYT points out tht the color touchscreen is just a horizontal strip that, at times, "feels completely, awkwardly disconnected from what it's supposed to control on the big screen above." And of the over one million titles B&N advertises, NYT claims that "well over half of those are junky Google scans" of out of copyright books filled with typos. Then there's the slow performance, quirky Wi-Fi, and unfinished features. Ouch.
And all that's just part of what NYT had to say. Read the entire unflattering review here.
Is NYT's review being too harsh on the Nook, or will it make you think twice about which e-book reader to buy? Hit the jump and sound off.
Who knows how much artificially inflated LCD panel pricing ended up costing consumers in the long run, but for Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), the company's alleged involvement in the antitrust case brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice will cost it $220 million, the amount of the plea agreement.
Under terms of the agreement, CMO will pay the fine in installments over a period of five years. In addition to forking over $220 million, the panel maker has also agreed to cooperate with the DOJ's ongoing investigation
Allegations of price fixing in the LCD industry have received a fair amount of attention the past couple of years. In 2008, several LCD makers were charged with artificially inflating panel prices, which ultimately led to LG, Sharp, and Chungwa agreeing to plead guilty and pay a total of $585 million in fines. And more recently, Nokia called shenanigans on Samsung, LG, AU Optronics, and other LCD manufacturers, all of which Nokia is suing for allegedly colluding to fix prices.
Attribute it to falling prices or more powerful parts, but not matter how you slice it, we're living in an increasingly mobile world. Notebook sales are booming, and the netbook craze is in full force. Perhaps poised to take advantaged of this mobile make up, Targus has announced a new dock called the Targus USB 2.0 Docking Station with Video.
The docking station "provides an ergonomic tilt for a comfortable typing angle and also keeps the laptop elevated, providing ventilation while in use." In terms of functionality, the dock includes four USB 2.0 ports (two of which can be used for charging devices), a DVI port for connecting to a monitor at up to a 2048 x 1152 resolution, an Ethernet port, and a speaker-out and a microphone-in port.
The whole thing connects to your laptop via USB and is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Not a bad little add-on for the $160 asking price.
Bigger isn't always better, at least not when you're trying to save space. Such is the theme for Dell's updated commercial line of small form factor (SFF) OptiPlex desktops the company announced today.
"The death of the commercial desktop has been greatly overstated," said Mike Basore, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dell Business Client Product Group. "We are seeing customers look to deploy small form factor systems in ways never before imagined. These new desktop systems provide a rock solid foundation which Dell is known for while providing long-lifecycle and secure capabilities in key areas such as client virtualization and systems management."
Not only are the new OptiPlex PCs small, but Dell says its new OptiPlex 780 USFF is the smallest fully functional commercial desktop PC with an integrated PSU and Intel vPro technology. The versatile system comes built around Intel's Core 2 Duo technology and offers up support for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Ubuntu "in select countries." Other features include advanced systems management options, full disk encryption, and up to a 90 percent efficient power supply, which Dell boasts is better than HP's Compaq dc7900 Ultra-slim and Lenovo's ThinkCentre M58p Ultra SFF business class machine.
Dell also announced the OptiPlex 380, which is being aimed at customers in emerging countries and businesses looking for a budget-friendly solution with room to grow. It too supports the same OSes as the 780 USFF, and comes with an "easy to service chassis" with DirectDetect LED diagnostic lights.
Both new models are available now direct through Dell starting at $629 (OptiPlex 780 USFF) and $349 (OptiPlex 380 SFF).
If even the concept for a product exists, a modder out there will try and build it. That’s what’s happened with the vaporware Microsoft Courier. A wily user has managed to ditch the keyboard and attach a USB touchscreen display to his Dell Mini 9. The USB powered display is used for typing and writing on, and the original Dell Mini display is used for reading.
Windows 7 makes the whole affair moderately useful with its integrated handwriting and voice recognition. The mod is still unpolished and incomplete though. There’s not really a hinge attaching the two halves at this time. But still, you don’t see Microsoft showing an actual Courier around.
The folks over at Boxee released some great information and pictures about the "soon to be released" Boxee box. Boxee has partnered with networking giant D-Link to build and develop the new set-top box.
On the Boxee blog, Andrew Kippen posted some nice pictures of the new hardware. Astro Studios created the design of the box, the same folks who worked on the Xbox 360. They hope to keep the cost of the box sub-$200 and it features a slew of ports (HDMI, SPDIF, USB, 802.11n/Ethernet, to name the biggies). It also seems to be quite petite (see pictures after the jump using soda can for scale).
They expect the box to be released in quarter two of 2010. They also plan to announce more details at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Intel continues to keep quiet about its upcoming budget Core i3 chip that everyone knows is coming, but that's okay, because we don't need an official statement from Santa Clara to tell you more about this part.
The chip is already available for preorder at Canadian retailer A-Power. According to A-Power's listing, the dual-core Core i3 530 will come clocked at 2.93GHz.. It will also sport 512KB of L2 cache and 4MB of L3 cache, and comes priced at around $150 in U.S. currency.
Intel's upcoming 32nm Core i3 is part of the chip maker's Westmere architecture. The company has previously said that Westmere chips should deliver performance and power benefits that trump the company's current 45nm lineup.
We imagine it won't be long before Intel officially introduces its 32nm Core i3 lineup.
It gets better. Qisada sent the contraption to the FCC, and according to the filing, the router comes with an odd mix of features. We can justify the touchscreen, but a speaker? Apparently it will come in handy when you're watching YouTube videos or tuning into FM radio stations on a device we've traditionally relied on to keep quiet and push our packets to the right PC.
As a router, it boasts 802.11n Wi-Fi, but only one spare Ethernet port. It also includes a USB port and mini USB port.
Check out the FCC page with plenty of related PDF docs and pics here.