Wednesday, April 16th 2014

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD

NuForce Releases the Primo 8 In-Ear Headphones

NuForce Inc., a leader in professional and consumer audio gear, announces the release of Primo 8, its flagship audiophile-quality in-ear headphones. The Primo 8 unites the coherence and seamlessness of one-driver earphones with the detail and transient speed of balanced armature drivers delivering an extraordinarily natural, lifelike sound. The Primo 8 excels in its ability to reproduce vocals unlike any other in-ear headphone on the market, today.

In-Ear Audiophile-Quality Speaker System
NuForce has outfitted each Primo 8 earpiece with four proprietary balanced armature speakers to form a unique 3-way design. The four balanced-armature drivers located in each earphone deliver smooth, extended response, explosive dynamic realism and fatigue-free sound. Two of the speakers operate as one for bass frequencies, with one speaker for midrange and one speaker for treble.

Super Flower Leadex Platinum 850W PSU Starts Shipping

Super Flower began shipping an 850W variant of its 80 Plus Platinum-brandishing Leadex Platinum series power supplies. Slotted between the 750W and 1000W variants, the 850W variant offers enough juice for triple graphics card setups using today's performance-segment graphics cards, or two high-end Amp-guzzlers. Featuring fully-modular cabling, the PSU offers two 8-pin EPS connectors, from which one breaks up into 4+4 pins; besides the 20+4 pin ATX connector. There are a total of six 6+2 pin PCI-Express power connectors on offer. Ten SATA power, seven Molex, and one Berg make for the rest of its connectivity. Under the hood, the Leadex Platinum 850W features a single +12V rail design, with a single 70.8A rail. The unit supports low-power Core "Haswell" C-states. Most common electrical and thermal protections are available. Backed by a 5-year warranty, the Leadex Platinum 850W from Super Flower is expected to go for around US $220.

Aerocool Introduces the QS-101 and QS-102 Slim PC Cases

Aerocool Advanced Technologies, one of world's leading manufacturers of excellent gaming PC gear, presents two new members of the PGS-Q chassis series. Unlike the other PGS-Q models, both the QS-101 and QS-102 are slim desktop PC cases, which can be used for modern office computers or compact home theatre PCs (HTPC). Depending on the individual taste and environment, both chassis can be placed either horizontal or vertical, thanks to the supplied stand.

Aerocool is known for offering its chassis in many colors. This applies for the QS-101 and QS-102 as well, as users have the choice between a classic Black Edition, a fresh Red Edition and even a White Edition. Although it might seem, that such a small desktop chassis would come with big limitation, the opposite is the case! Users are given much free room for choosing the right components for their system, as both Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX motherboards are supported. The chassis with 100 x 300 x 415 millimeter dimensions offer space for CPU Coolers with a maximum height of 8 centimeters. Furthermore, up to four Low-Profile expansion cards with a maximum length of 24 centimeters can be installed.

Getac Announces the Pentium-Powered T800 8.1-Inch Rugged Tablet

Getac Inc., a leading manufacturer of rugged computers, is introducing the T800 fully rugged tablet. At less than 9x6 inches in size and boasting a brilliant 8.1-inch display, the T800 is the ideal compact rugged tablet for today's mobile workforce. Combining the latest in processor and wireless technology with an ultra-rugged exterior and Getac's unique SnapBack add-on accessories, the Getac T800 is the perfect fit for use in extreme working environments including those found in the utilities, military, field service, public safety and transportation sectors. The new T800 runs Windows 8.1 Professional.

"Interest in rugged tablets has never been higher," said Rowina Lee, president of Getac. "We designed the new compact T800 rugged tablet with the mobile worker in mind, combining every bit of know-how we've gained building rugged computers over the past 25 years. We're excited to get it into the hands of our customers."

Corning Announces Availability of USB 3.Optical Cables

Corning Incorporated today announced the availability of its USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning, capable of sending up to 5 gigabits per second of data at distances up to 30 meters. Compatible with most USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices, USB 3.Optical Cables by Corning quickly and easily extend data transmission beyond the 3-meter limitation of comparable copper cable.

Optical Cables by Corning were introduced in January 2013 and are now available for sale through select consumer electronic retail channels.

Windows XP EOL Helping PC Sales in Q1: Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.6 million units in the first quarter of 2014, a 1.7 percent decline from the first quarter of 2013, according to preliminary results by Gartner. The severity of the decline eased compared with the past seven quarters. "The end of XP support by Microsoft on April 8 has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. Among key countries, Japan was greatly affected by the end of XP support, registering a 35 percent year-over-year increase in PC shipments. The growth was also boosted by sales tax change. We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014."

"While the PC market remains weak, it is showing signs of improvement compared to last year. The PC professional market generally improved in regions such as EMEA. The U.S. saw the gradual recovery of PC spending as the impact of tablets faded." Ms. Kitagawa said. The PC market continued to be tough for many vendors. Economies of scale matter tremendously in this high-volume, low-profit market, which is forcing some vendors, such as Sony, out of the market. In contrast, all of the top five vendors, except Acer, registered year-over-year shipment growth. The top thee vendors - Lenovo, HP and Dell - have all confirmed the importance of the PC business as part of their overall business strategies.

Lenovo Also Unveils the A540 AIO Desktop and New B, G and Z Series Laptops

Lenovo today introduced several new PCs starting with the Lenovo A Series A540 AIO desktop built for families and equipped with the latest audio and video features for enjoying digital content. Lenovo also introduced the B50 laptop for small businesses with a balance of essential technologies and affordability; the essential G50 laptop for general computing; and the Z40 and Z50 entertainment-focused laptops.

The sleek A540 AIO includes a super bright 23.8-in FHD 1920X1080 IPS display in an aluminum shell just four millimeters thin at its edge. Users can adjust the screen from -5° to 90° to position it for however they like to use it. Running Windows 8.1 and supporting 10-finger touch, the A540 lets users experience touch functionality with its collection of 20 pre-loaded games and education apps. Users can even go hands-free with Lenovo Motion Control, which supports up to 12 gestures to complete actions like muting the volume, advancing photos or playing videos.

Lenovo Announces the FLEX 2 Dua-Mode Laptops

Lenovo today introduced two new additions to its FLEX family of dual mode laptops with the new FLEX 2 laptops available in 14 and 15.6-in models. Not only do the laptops give users 300° flexibility with two great modes, Laptop and Stand, they improve upon the original models in compelling new ways with an enhanced visual experience offering full HD screen and discrete graphics models.

Shaping Higher Performance
Available in either a 14 or 15.6-in screen, the laptops take Lenovo's family of dual mode devices to the next level with new design and performance features. The black or silver FLEX 2 laptops catch attention for their 300° rotation and their optional backlit keyboard, which finishes the look on this beautiful device.

AMD Demoes its Next-Gen x86 APU Running Fedora Linux

Red Hat Summit 2014 -- AMD today announced another major milestone in the development of its enterprise software ecosystem with the first public demonstration of its second-generation AMD Opteron X-Series APU, codenamed "Berlin," running a Linux environment based on the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is a Red Hat-sponsored, community-driven Linux distribution, providing a familiar, enterprise class operating environment to developers and IT administrators worldwide. This is important to companies looking to transition to x86 APU servers but who are reluctant to introduce new tools and software platforms to their IT environments. This demonstration also represents a significant step forward in expanding the footprint of x86 APU accelerated performance within the data center.

AMD's premiere demonstration of "Berlin" will showcase the world's first Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) featured server APU ahead of its official launch later this year. The demonstration features advancements incorporated in "Project Sumatra" that enable Java applications to take advantage of graphics processing units (GPUs) within AMD server APUs. The combination of Linux and Java on AMD APU platforms provides an ideal platform for server-based multimedia workloads and general purpose GPU compute that will help drive new levels of workload efficiency in the data center. AMD also will demonstrate software-based on OpenCL and OpenGL on "Berlin."

Scythe Unveils Tatsumi 1000B CPU Cooler

Scythe unveiled the Tatsumi 1000B entry-level CPU cooler. Measuring 102 mm x 83 mm x 146 mm (WxDxH), and weighing in at 450 g, Tatsumi features a tower-type heatsink with three 6 mm thick copper heat pipes conveying heat drawn from a nickel-plated copper base, to an aluminium fin stack; and ventilated by a 92 mm PWM controllable fan. The fan spins at speeds ranging between 200 and 2,500 RPM, pushing between 6.7 and 55.55 CFM of air, with noise output ranging between 7.2 and 31.07 dBA. Among the CPU socket types supported are LGA2011, LGA115x, LGA1366, AM3(+), and FM2(+). Scythe is expected to begin shipping the Tatsumi in early-May.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Plextor M6S Solid State Drive Launched in Europe

Plextor has now announced the European release of the M6S, its newest SATA solid state drive which makes use of Marvell's SS9188 dual-core controller and Toshiba 19 nm Toggle-Mode MLC NAND memory. The SSD comes in a 2.5-inch form factor (7 mm tall) and has a SATA 6.0 Gbps interface and is capable of read/write speeds of up to 520/440 MB/s.

Plextor's M6S is backed by a three-year warranty and comes in 128 GB (82 Euro), 256 GB (145 Euro) and 512 GB (306 Euro) capacities.

Thecus NAS to Support New Seagate 5TB HDD

With their recent 5 TB breakthrough, Seagate Enterprise Capacity drives are among the highest-capacity drives available for enterprise-class purposes. This, along with offering impeccable reliability and power/performance standards, makes them ideal for business-critical, multi-drive server and storage environments - such as Thecus NAS systems. "Reaching the milestone of 5TB hard drive capacity is tremendous news for the storage industry. Seagate's reliability paired with Thecus's trusted technology is an undeniable edge for enterprises in need of large pools of data in energy efficient, high performance storage." - Florence Shih, Chairperson at Thecus Technology Corp.

Early, hands-on access to these high-capacity HDDs was made possible through Thecus's continued, close relationship with Seagate. After many hours of hard work with multiple devices in various environments, Thecus is happy to announce that the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5" 5TB HDD is confirmed compatible with the entire Thecus NAS line. The new capacity limit is a game changer for enterprises which require a large pool of data. For example, if a 16-bay Thecus N16000PRO is fully loaded with 5TB disks, it can by itself store up to 80TB of data. Daisy Chaining technology furthermore allows you to connect an additional 4 Thecus D16000s (each with 16 bays) to a master N16000PRO. This results in a total of 400 TB worth of storage capacity.

Aim Launches SC808 7.1-channel PCIe Sound Card

Taiwanese PC audio hardware manufacturer Aim launched its flagship consumer sound card, the SC808. This full-height dual-slot (with daughterboard) sound card features PCI-Express x1 bus interface, and offers 7.1-channel analog and digital outputs. At its heart is C-Media's CMI8888, which is a native PCIe HDA controller, giving external DACs the task of handling analog outputs. The primary 2-channel headphones output is driven by a Wolfson WM8741 DAC, which offers a stellar SNR of 128 dBA. Other analog channels (center/sub, rear, sides), are handled by a C-Media CMI9882A CODEC, which offers a reasonable 100 dBA.

At the downstream of the WM8741 is the card's headphones amp circuit, featuring socketed Texas Instruments LM4562 OPAMP chips, metalized polypropylene capacitors, and a swappable pre-amp stage. The main PCB of the card holds a 6.3 mm stereo headphones jack, left and right RCA line-outs, 7.1-channel coaxial, and optical/TOSLINK SPDIF outputs. The other multi-channel analog outs are wired out by a header and ribbon cable to the daughterboard, which holds color-coded 3.5 mm jacks to all the channels. All audio portions of the card feature electrolytic capacitors (except the OPAMP stages, which feature MP caps), only the electrical/VRM portion of the card features conductive polymer (solid-state) capacitors. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex power connector. On the software side of things, the driver provider is C-Media, with its reference Xear3D control panel. The card supports Windows 8. Slated for an April 24th launch in Japan, it's expected to be priced at 12,000¥ (US $112). Given its hardware, that's a reasonable price.


Source: Hermitage Akihabara
Tuesday, April 15th 2014

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Networking
Processors
Speakers
SSD
Storage

OCZ Storage Solutions' PCIe-Based Z-Drive SSD Series Certified As DataCore Ready

OCZ Storage Solutions - a Toshiba Group Company and leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced that its entire PCIe-based enterprise-class Z-Drive SSD Series are now certified as DataCore Ready. Through this certification program, OCZ's Z-Drive SSD Series has demonstrated product compatibility with DataCore's SANsymphony-V software platform by meeting the verification criteria set by DataCore through the successful execution of planned functional tests.

SANsymphony-V is DataCore's ninth-generation storage virtualization solution and is currently being used in more than 10,000 customer sites worldwide. The software is designed to maximize IT infrastructure performance, availability and utilization by virtualizing storage assets. Once deployed, it seamlessly manages and scales data storage architectures, combines all available storage into a single storage pool and virtualizes it delivering large performance gains through a hardware-agnostic model.
"We are pleased that OCZ's Z-Drive SSD Series is now DataCore Ready certified as this enables our joint customers to confidently utilize one of the fastest PCIe-based SSD products to further optimize application performance on software-defined architectures," said Carlos M. Carreras, Vice President of Alliances and Business Development at DataCore. "In the software-defined data center, virtualization, automation and system efficiencies must be driven through software, requiring a cost-effective approach to managing storage growth while getting the most out of hardware investments."

Intel Reports First-Quarter Revenue of $12.8 Billion

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter revenue of $12.8 billion, operating income of $2.5 billion, net income of $1.9 billion and EPS of 38 cents. The company generated approximately $3.5 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.1 billion, and used $545 million to repurchase 22 million shares of stock.

"In the first quarter we saw solid growth in the data center, signs of improvement in the PC business, and we shipped 5 million tablet processors, making strong progress on our goal of 40 million tablets for 2014," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. "Additionally, we demonstrated our further commitment to grow in the enterprise with a strategic technology and business collaboration with Cloudera, we introduced our second-generation LTE platform with CAT6 and other advanced features, and we shipped our first Quark products for the Internet of Things."

Toshiba Also Unveils New Satellite C and L Series Laptops

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced that it is refreshing its popular Satellite C and L Series laptops, right in time for the 2014 Back-to-School season. Offering a number of new features and enhancements, these laptops are ideal for consumers looking for everyday productivity and entertainment without breaking the bank. The new laptops also mark the start of Toshiba's strategic relationship with audio expert Skullcandy, adding more robust sound capabilities for greater overall value.

"Our 2014 Satellite C and L Series laptops deliver stronger price-to-performance in the entry-level and mainstream categories, especially as the market moves toward more aggressive pricing," said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "We focused on reinvigorating these product lines by infusing more value than one would typically expect at these prices with slimmer, more modern designs, branded audio, quality keyboards and touchscreen options."

LG Starts Shipping the TONE PRO Mobile Headset

Bringing more choice to smartphone owners considering premium, mobile stereo headsets, LG Electronics - the makers of the acclaimed LG G2 smartphone, LG G Pad 8.3 LTE tablet and innovative curved LG G Flex - is shipping LG TONE PRO to retailers and mobile network providers nationwide.

"The premium headset market is defined by fashion as much as it is by sound quality," said Bruce Tripido, director of accessories, LG MobileComm USA. "That is exactly what consumers find in the LG TONE PRO, a well-designed headset that threads together style, comfort and quality."

JBL Portable Audio Products Debut in Verizon Wireless Stores Nationwide

ARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, the award-winning maker of outstanding audio and entertainment solutions, announced today that products from its award-winning JBL portable audio product lineup will now be available for sale through all Verizon Wireless stores nationwide.

With long-lasting battery life, JBL portable wireless speakers are the best way to enjoy your music away from home. And since each JBL portable wireless speaker features Bluetooth connectivity, they make the perfect audio companion to a variety of Verizon's selection of wireless devices. As an increasing number of people using their mobile phones to listen to streaming music services through their device, portable speakers from JBL make it easier than ever to share your music wherever you go.

ViewSonic Smart Display Virtualization Products First to Earn Citrix Ready–HDX

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solution products, announces that its SD-A225 and SD-A245 Virtualization Smart Displays are the first Android-based displays to earn Citrix Ready-HDX Verified status from Citrix Systems, Inc. These award-winning, next-generation ViewSonic multi-touch smart displays come with the Citrix XenMobile enterprise mobility management solution pre-installed, to allow administrators to remotely configure and manage the Smart Displays.

ViewSonic has one of the most diverse lines of VDI products, and is a pioneer of VDI-enabled smart displays. With Citrix bestowing its Citrix Ready-HDX Verified status to the ViewSonic SD-A225 and SD-A245 Smart Display Clients, it indicates that these products have set the bar for multimedia capabilities from Android-based devices in a VDI environment. The Citrix Ready program makes it easy for customers to identify complementary products and solutions that can enhance Citrix environments.

Broadcom Doubles Wi-Fi Speeds with First Six Stream 802.11ac MIMO Platform

Broadcom Corporation, a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the industry's first six stream 802.11ac MIMO platform for home networks. Broadcom's 5G WiFi XStream is up to 50 percent faster than MU-MIMO routers and gateways. The new platform has twice the bandwidth of existing 802.11ac routers and gateways, and provides advanced software to double performance of today's best-selling Wi-Fi devices for high-definition (HD) streaming and data consumption. By offering Wi-Fi data rates up to 3.2 Gbps, Broadcom's 5G WiFi XStream delivers an ideal experience for users who are simultaneously consuming more data, connecting Internet of Things devices and streaming HD content to multiple screens.

Broadcom's Intelligent Quality of Service (iQoS) advanced software identifies incoming traffic and allocates bandwidth so that applications like Netflix or YouTube get the highest priority while other applications, like file downloads, run at a lower priority. Broadcom's SmartConnect software automatically ensures that 802.11ac devices in the home are not sharing airtime with slower Wi-Fi devices. This process doubles the performance of all devices in the network.

Toshiba Announces Completely Redesigned Performance Laptops

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced its completely redesigned line of its all-purpose performance laptops - the ultra-slim 15.6-inch Satellite S55, desktop replacement 17.3-inch Satellite S75 and highly mobile 14-inch Satellite E45. The laptops deliver powerful capabilities in a premium design built to increase productivity and provide an excellent entertainment experience.

"These new laptops are designed to give power users and entertainment enthusiasts the power and versatility to do more with their laptop," said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Full-featured, completely customizable with an all-new stunning design, these laptops provide the ultimate audio and visual experience for movies, games and more."

Toshiba Unveils New 4K Ultra HD Laptop

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today unveiled its new Satellite P55t, featuring one of the world's first 4K Ultra HD display in a laptop and the world's first to earn Technicolor Color Certification. Ideal for visual creative professionals and multimedia enthusiasts, the Satellite P55t is designed to take on the most intensive computing demands and display unprecedented imagery.

"Creative professionals are embracing 4K Ultra HD as it enables a whole new level of media creation that draws viewers in with amazing detail and clarity," said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Until now, media creators have been unable to have this combination of performance and display capabilities in a mobile solution and we applied years of experience and engineering resources to make it a reality."

ASUStor Announces Compatibility for ASUS Xonar Series USB DAC Devices

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, announced today that it has added support for USB digital-to-analog audio converters (DAC) giving ASUSTOR users the ability to use a USB DAC to increase the quality of audio output from their NAS devices. A USB DAC can be conveniently used in concert with ASUSTOR's SoundsGood music player App to provide users with a heightened listening experience featuring fuller and deeper sound. Featured in this integration of USB DAC devices are four models from ASUS. These models include the Xonar Essence III, Xonar Essence One, Xonar Essence STU and Xonar U3.

"Today's NAS applications have evolved from the traditional storage and backup functions as demand for multimedia functionality has taken off," said Steve Huang, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. "ASUSTOR has made great efforts to support the increasing multimedia demands of NAS users by providing compatibility for a wide range of peripherals. With this integration of USB DAC devices, ASUSTOR users will be able to savor a fully enhanced hi-fi listening experience when playing music from their NAS."

Quantenna Developing World's First 10G Wi-Fi Chip

Quantenna Communications, Inc., the leader in ultra-high-performance Wi-Fi, today announced that it is developing the world's first 10G Wi-Fi chipset for a new generation of access points in the home, the enterprise and public spaces. With a novel architecture enabling MIMO configurations up to an unprecedented 8x8, speeds up to 10Gbps and universal support for MU-MIMO clients, Quantenna's 10G Wi-Fi will deliver unparalleled performance, range and stability.

10G Wi-Fi is the latest in a string of breakthroughs for the Silicon Valley Wi-Fi specialist. Quantenna was the first to deliver 4x4 chipsets for the 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, and the first to support MU-MIMO, an ingenious technology for transmitting data to multiple devices at once. With those innovations and others such as adaptive beamforming and channel monitoring and optimization, Quantenna's Wi-Fi reaches farther and transmits faster and more reliably than any other.

IBM Creates Big Data & Business Analytics Center of Competence in Greece

IBM has announced that it will establish a new Big Data and Business Analytics Center of Competence in Athens, Greece advancing its ability to deliver Big Data and Business Analytics technical and consulting capabilities in the region, drawing on an emerging generation of highly skilled local expertise.
The new center will help companies to better leverage analytics and cognitive computing capabilities, improving business operations and enhancing their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

The new Center will lead Big Data and Business Analytics client engagements in the region, working closely with IBM's global network of Business Analytics Centers in Berlin, Beijing, Dallas, London, New York, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich.

Micron Technology and Wave Systems Collaborate to Secure Connected Devices

Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, and Wave Systems Corp., a leading provider of endpoint security, today announced they are expanding their relationship to develop solutions designed to strengthen user protection against current and emerging threats to compute and embedded platforms.

Given the pervasive connectivity associated with cloud computing and data/asset management models, it is becoming even more critical to architect comprehensive security solutions that leverage close integration of software and hardware components. This collaboration is focused on the detection and remediation of advanced persistent threats (APTs), the most advanced forms of malware capable of infecting a wide array of IP-connected devices.

Genius Announces Ergo 8800 Ergonomic Mouse

Genius is pleased to launch the Ergo 8800, an ergonomic wireless mouse that allows users to fully utilize Windows 8 and 8.1 with the ability to easily switch between Windows 8 and traditional mousing modes.

Seamlessly activate Windows 8 mode by simply holding down the right, left and scroll buttons simultaneously. Once activated, Windows 8 and 8.1 users can easily switch between active apps and open up the Charms bar with a single click. Additionally, users can toggle between Windows' Modern UI and last app used. The Ergo 8800 also has four hot keys to access Previous Page, Next Page, Flying Scroll and dpi adjustment (800, 1200 and 1600 dpi).

ACME Portable Announces First Ever Portable Workstation with 4K Resolution

ACME Portable, the manufacturer of high-performance portable computers, is showcasing at NAB Show 2014, Booth# SL8827 the first ever portable workstation with Ultra HD 4K display. This portable workstation, called the MegaPAC L2, is ideal for many professional works that involve 4K display, including but not limited to 3D rendering, post-production processes, and professional photography.

A powerful portable workstation for the most visually intensive tasks, the MegaPAC L2 features two 24" vertical monitors with one display at Full HD 1080p and the other at ULTRA HD 4K resolution. James Cheng, ACME Portable's CEO, has stated: "With our significant investment in research, development and innovation, ACME Portable is able to offer solutions that empower its customers to produce professional and demanding content at 4K resolution anywhere in the world!"

Lian Li Previews the PC-V2130 Full-Tower Chassis

Lian Li previewed its next flagship ATX full-tower chassis, the PC-V2130. The latest aluminium monstrosity from Lian Li features a ridged and brushed aluminium front door, and anti-acoustic padded panels all around. It's wheeled at the base. Measuring 237 mm x 640 mm x 625 mm (WxHxD), and weighing in at 9.8 kg, the case comes in three trims - all silvery aluminium, black aluminium exteriors with silvery aluminium interiors; and black aluminium exteriors with black aluminium interiors. The motherboard tray can seat XL-ATX, apart from standard ATX form-factors. It offers 10 expansion slot bays.

Storage areas of the PC-V2130 includes five 5.25-inch drive bays, eight 3.5-inch bays spread across individual trays;four 2.5-inch bays along the back side of the cage, and three 3.5-inch bays behind the motherboard tray. Ventilation includes two 140 mm front intakes, two 140 mm top exhausts, a 140 mm bottom intake, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Front panel connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports (standard headers), an eSATA port, and HD audio jacks. The case offers room for graphics cards as long as 36 cm (up to 48 cm if you pull out the drive trays), PSUs as long as 20 cm, and CPU coolers as tall as 18 cm. Lian Li didn't reveal pricing or availability details.

Eurocom Equips M4 with Core i7-4940MX, GeForce GTX 880M, 3200x1800 Display

Eurocom has benchmarked the M4, the world's most powerful 13.3" QHD+ notebook. It is equipped with a breathtaking 3200x1800 QHD+ display, an Intel Core i7 Extreme Processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics. Eurocom has benchmarked and stress tested the M4 to exemplify the performance that is squeezed into its ultra portable chassis. The 5,760,000 pixels of the 13.3" 3200x1800 QHD+ display are powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics with 2GB DDR5 VRAM, 640 CUDA Cores, with a GPU core able to run at up to 1029MHz +boost.

Powered by a full line of 4th Generation Intel Core i7 processors utilizing the Intel HM87 Express Chipset including the Intel Core i7-4940MX Processor Extreme with 4 cores and 8 threads running at 3.1 GHz (up to 4 GHz max turbo frequency) with 8 MB L3 cache. The integrated Trusted Platform Module 1.2 from Infineon Technologies ensures that digital certificates, passwords and keys are made more secure from software attacks and physical theft. TPM provides the ability for a computing system to run applications more secure and allows secured remote access to perform electronic transactions and communication more safely. The increased security, brought on by the TPM 1.2 can save organizations in IT management costs.
Monday, April 14th 2014

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Intel Starts Shipping 'Haswell Refresh' Processors

Without any real fanfare Intel has now kicked off sales and shipments of processors part of 'Haswell Refresh' line. An official launch for the updated Haswell offering, complete with motherboards based on the 9 Series LGA1150 chipsets, is reportedly planned for next month but since the CPUs got the go-ahead you can expect them to reach stores shortly.

A total of 44 chips have been introduced by Intel, 27 of which are for desktops while the rest are for mobile devices. There's nothing really new about the CPUs as they are still based on the Haswell architecture (which debuted last year) but they do have slightly higher (100 MHz in most cases) frequencies than the models they aim to replace (speed bump at no added cost).

Panasonic Announces Pricing, Availability Of New 2014 Headphone Models

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company today announced pricing and availability of new 2014 headphone models. The new RP-HC800 Noise Cancelling Headphones, RP-BTD10 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, RP-HS34 Sport Clip Headphones and the much-anticipated RP-BTGS10 Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones are all available now on www.shop.panasonic.com.

The Panasonic RP-HC800 Noise Cancelling Headphones utilize a high performance Active Noise Cancelling System with improved Feed-back Noise Cancelling Technology for a wide-range noise cancellation effect. Expertly crafted with a sophisticated design that fuses durable plastic with metal finishes, the RP-HC800 Headphones feature a wide padded headband and cushioned ear cups for a comfortable fit even after hours of wear. The detachable cord features a microphone and controller for the iPhone/iPad/iPod so users can quickly switch between music and phone calls with the touch of a button.

Kanguru Debuts FlashBlu30 USB 3.0 With Physical Write Protect Switch

The Kanguru FlashBlu series, a popular flash drive line sold by Kanguru with a physical write protect switch, has recently been upgraded with new USB 3.0 technology, putting the "flash" in "flash drive" and making it one of the most cost-effective flash drives on the market. The new Kanguru FlashBlu30 USB 3.0 Flash Drive is first rate when it comes to low cost and convenience. Well-recognized for its durability, physical write protect switch, great price and high storage capacities, the new USB 3.0 interface provides high-speed data transfers.

"People love the physical write protect switch," says Don Brown, President and CEO of Kanguru. "It's a convenient and easy way to protect files from being accidentally overwritten, and now with the USB3.0 FlashBlu30 model, users can transfer their files back and forth faster than ever."

AOC Announces i2473Pwm 24-inch Monitor

AOC rolled out the i2473Pwm, a 24-inch monitor with flicker-free LED backlit illumination. Featuring an IPS LCD panel, the display offers full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) native resolution, with 5 ms refresh rate, 250 cd/m² maximum brightness, 1000:1 contrast-ratio with dynamic mega-contrast. The display is framed by an extremely narrow metallic bezel, most of its electronics is located in its base. Connectivity includes MHL (mobile high-definition link), HDMI, and D-Sub (VGA). Other features include 14W stereo speakers, and Eco Mode, which dials down display settings to minimize power draw. Measuring 547.1 x 408.6 x 182.6 mm, it weighs about 4.12 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.7.8 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular PC graphics diagnostic and monitoring utility, which gives you up to date information of the GPUs installed in your system, and lets you monitor their clock speeds, temperatures, fan-speeds, voltages, dedicated memory usage, among other things. Version 0.7.8 introduces a few handy user-interface features, beginning with the ability to resize the app's window, when the "Sensors" tab is being viewed. With modern graphics cards giving us dozens of sensors to track, throwing in a scroll-bar is making the tab cluttered, and so we decided to give it resizing. The window returns to the normal size when other tabs, such as the main "Graphics Card" tabs are clicked, and remembers your window size preference when you select the "Sensors" tab again. At this time, this feature is available only on our main (non-skinned) version.

Apart from the resizeable window for "Sensors" tab, GPU-Z 0.7.8 adds tested support for AMD Radeon R9 295X2 "Vesuvius," R9 M275, HD 7500G, and FirePro W9000. It also adds support for NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN-Z, GTX 745, GTX 880M, GTX 870M, GTX 860M, GTX 850M, GTX 775M, and Quadro NVS 510. Release dates have been fixed for GTX 780 Ti, and GTX TITAN Black.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.7.8, GPU-Z 0.7.8 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.

BIOSTAR Released Dual Gigabit LAN Motherboards With The 6+ Experience

BIOSTAR is releasing three boards with dual Gigabit LAN on-board that are going to make networking and gaming even better with the 6+ Experience. To achieve this, the "Hi-Fi B85S2G", "Hi-Fi A88S2G", and "Hi-Fi B85N 3D" have Gigabit LAN connections on the board that allow simultaneous LAN connections.

The primary advantage is the doubling bandwidth which allows the network bandwidth, it also allows for Full-duplex transmission. Two networks can be simultaneously transmitted to upload and download at the same time. In addition, there is zero packet delay with two high-speed gigabit networks, giving super high data transmission efficiency.

XFX Rolls Out R9 295X2 Core Edition Graphics Card

XFX rolled out its Radeon R9 295X2 Core Edition graphics card. A branding reserved by XFX for "reference design," the R9 295X2 Core Edition is every bit AMD's creation, barring just XFX stickers. It ships in a paperboard box. Codenamed "Vesuvius," the R9 295X2 is a dual-GPU graphics card based on a pair of 28 nm "Hawaii" GPUs, with all 2,816 stream processors, 176 TMUs, and 64 ROPs enabled on each chip; and with two 512-bit wide GDDR5 memory interfaces, holding a total of 8 GB of memory. XFX is expected to sell this card at AMD's MSRP of US $1,499.
Sunday, April 13th 2014

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Supports AMD Mantle

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, a turn-based strategy game based in the interstellar age, in which you travel to and colonize habitable planets by realpolitik, was announced last weekend, with support for AMD's Mantle API, besides DirectX 11. Mantle should make the game increasingly playable on AMD "Kaveri" APUs with eye-candy cranked up, and at reasonable mainstream resolutions such as 1080p. Mantle reduces the CPU's role in graphics processing, and should benefit APUs. Developer Firaxis announced the game for three PC platforms, Windows, OS X, and Linux (over Steam). Don't add it to your summer bucket-list just yet. It's slated for this fall.
A trailer video follows.

Micron Technology Licenses Avago Technologies' 30G SerDes for Hybrid Memory Cube

Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for wireless, wireline, and industrial applications, today announced that Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) has licensed Avago's 28nm Low Power 30Gbps Serializer/Deserializer (SerDes) IP for use in Micron's next generation Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) devices.

"Avago is an established leader in the development and delivery of high-speed SerDes cores with an offering that is very well suited for integration into our HMC product line," said Tom Eby, vice president of Micron's Compute and Networking Business Unit. "Based on its advanced performance and low power, we are confident that our customers will benefit from the presence of the Avago SerDes on both sides of the memory channel."
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