Now that Core i7 has carved out an enthusiast following and Core i5 just around the corner, it would seem that the days of LGA775-based platforms are numbered. Don't go ringing the death knell just yet.
DFI today adds another LGA775 board under its belt with the release of the LanParty BI G41-T33 motherboard. As the name suggests, the mobo is built around Intel's G41 chipset and offers up support for Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, dual-channel DDR3-800/1066 memory, and up to a 1333MHz frontside bus. The board also sports DFI's ABS II technology, which the company claims "will automatically detect the CPU installed and upgrade the efficiency of the CPU."
No word yet on price or availability, nor could we spot a product page. However, DFI says it's aiming for "a quite reasonable price." Your guess is as good as ours.
Clickfree’s Transformer may look like an overweight USB key, but it is—forgive us, Optimus Prime—more than meets the eye.
Plug any generic external USB hard drive into the Transformer, then plug the Transformer into a USB port on your PC, and a backup app auto-launches and starts a countdown to begin an automatic file backup of common file extensions. You can interrupt the countdown and add more file extensions that the app doesn’t recognize by default. The document formats it grabs are fairly extensive, but if you want it to also copy that comic book archive in .cbr format, you’ll need to add the extension first.
Logitech this week announced four new multimedia speaker sets, each one touting 360-Degree Sound, otherwise known as omnidirectional acoustics. These include the Logitech Z320, Z323, Z520, and Z523.
Unlike standard speakers with forward-firing drivers, all four sets boast both forward- and backward-firing drivers in each satellite. According to Logitech, this creates a substantially wider sweet spot and comes as a boon to anyone who struts around their office.
"Many PC speakers focus sound in one direction, which is fine if you're always sitting in the same spot," said Mark Schneider, vice president and general manager of Logitech's audio business unit. "But now with 360-Degree Sound, whether you're listening to your favorite song on iTunes, watching a video on YouTube, or playing your favorite game, you can enjoy rich sound and minimal distortion throughout your room."
The Z523 and Z323 are 2.1 speaker sets with a 6.5-inch down-firing subwoofer, with the former pushing 40W of power and the latter pushing 30W. The Z520 and Z320 take it down a notch by discarding the subwoofer and pushing 26W (Z520) and 10W (Z320).
Interestingly, Logitech has priced both the Z320 and Z323 at $70. These will be available starting in August (Z320) and September (Z323). Equally interesting, the Z532 is expected to be available this month for $100, while the sub-less Z520 will be available this month for $130.
MSI has unfurled a couple of AMD-based products. One of those two products is its 760GTM-P33 motherboard based on the AMD 760G chipset. The motherboard features an integrated ATI Radeon HD 3000 graphics core and supports DirectX 10 and Hybrid CrossFireX. To boot, MSI has packed the motherboard with some proprietary technologies: Active Phase Switching (APS) for managing power usage, Easy OC Switch technology for one-click overclocking and TPM for data encryption and storage. The other AMD-based product that MSI introduced is the R4890 Cyclone series graphics card – the fastest clocked HD 4890 hitherto, which was covered in a previous article.
At five inches high, 6.14 inches square at the top, and weighing a few ounces shy of two pounds, the Thermaltake BigTyp 14 Pro is among the biggest and heaviest coolers we’ve tested—although it’s not as big as Cooler Master’s V10, reviewed last month.
The BigTyp 14 Pro contains six heat pipes routed through aluminum fins mounted perpendicular to the motherboard and is topped with a plastic shroud and 14cm variable-speed fan, which blows hot air straight down instead of through the back of the case, like with most performance coolers. Two retention clips screw into the base and are fastened with nuts on the underside of the motherboard, just like with the Cooler Master V10. Installing the BigTyp 14 Pro is easier than the V10—it’s smaller and lighter, it won’t bump up against crucial components like RAM, and the nuts can be screwed in with a Phillips screwdriver as opposed to a hex wrench. But there’s no room for a 12cm rear fan with the BigTyp installed.
MSI this week announced the R4890 Cyclone series graphics card. Like other HD 4890 videocards, the Cyclone comes equipped with 800 stream processors and 1GB of GDDR5 with a 256-bit memory bus, but what separates this card from the pack is its cooling solution.
According to MSI, the Cyclone is the only HD 4890 to sport a 10cm PWM fan. The cooling solution also packs four 8mm heatpipes, which the company says is 60 percent thicker than traditional heatpipes and offers up to 90 percent better cooling efficiency. The end result is a 1GHz core clockspeed, making the Cyclone the fastest clocked HD 4890 yet.
Taking the marketing blitz to another level, MSI boasts "Military Class Components." These include Hi-c capacitors made of Tantalum, an all-in-one solid chock, and all solid caps.
Netbooks might not be getting bigger (or else they'd be called notebooks), but according to Slashgear, the average screen resolution in systems using Intel's Atom N-series chipsets is going up, and with the chip maker's blessing.
"According to HKEPC, Intel has increased the maximum allowed resolution from 1024 x 600 to 1366 x 768, as seen on the recently-announced Sony VAIO W," Slashgear wrote.
As it stands right now, in order to use the higher resolution panels, companies must choose from Intel's Z-series Atom chips, or else forgo the preferential N-series pricing. Intel's reasoning for doing this has been to clearly distinguish between a netbook and notebook, but perhaps the company is now content to let the physical screen size separate the two segments.
According to a report in the Apple Daily, a Chinese newspaper, Acer plans to launch the dual-OS netbook in August. Acer chairman JT Wang believes a dual-OS netbook is a much safer way of throwing Android at the deep end as compared to an Android-only netbook.
Asus recently announced the Xtreme Design motherboard series, a new designation the company claims denotes "ground-breaking design innovations." The P6TD Deluxe will be one of Asus' existing boards to receive the Xtreme makeover.
One of those "innovations" comes in the form of improved cooling. Dubbed "Stack Cool3," Asus says it re-engineered the original copper cooling solution found on the P5E64 WS motherboard with an enhanced PCB layer, a move Asus claims will result in substantially improved heat dissipation.
Also traits of the Xtreme Design series, designated boards will feature an improved phase design, Turbo V overclocking for "an overwhelming boost of up to 51 percent in processing throughput," and more stringent Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing.
Last month, we reviewed Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 295, a dual-GPU GT200-based board that benefited from a die-shrink from 65 nanometers to 55 nanometers. This month, we’re testing the GTX 285, which uses the same silicon as the GTX 295, in a clocked-up single-GPU design. Unfortunately, the paltry clock-speed improvements that the die shrink allowed don’t deliver enough of a performance boost to make this board worth recommending, especially for folks who already own a GTX 280 board.
When you compare the GTX 285 to the GTX 280, you can see what the problem is. The GTX 285’s GT200 core is clocked at 648MHz, up from 602MHz for a stock GTX 280. The 1GB of GDDR3 memory runs at just 621MHz on a 512-bit bus—the GTX 280’s memory runs at 550MHz. The upshot is that this new card delivers less than a 10 percent performance increase over the GTX 280 parts in most benchmarks. The only big gains over the 280 are at lower resolutions with very high antialiasing and anisotropic filtering levels. The big gain is in power consumption. The 285 features a TDP of about 183W, while the 280 drew a massive 236W. That means that the 285 will actually run in a system that’s equipped with just a pair of 6-pin PCI-E video connectors—you don’t need the 6-pin and 8-pin combo that’s been de rigueur for the last few months.