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Creative Announces the Draco Junior Gaming Headset

Wrapping up the week (and the month), Creative Technology has sent out word about the upcoming arrival of a new gaming headset, the Draco Junior (model HS-430). Targeting users with an 'active lifestyle', Creative's headphones weight just 81 grams and have a behind-the-ear design, 30 mm Neodymium drivers, leatherette ear cups, a removable noise canceling microphone, a 2.5 meter cable with volume controls and a mute switch, and a gold-plated 3.5 mm connector.

The Draco Junior has a recommended price tag of 27.99 Euro and is expected to become available in mid-April.

ASRock X79 Extreme11 New Iteration Pictured, Packs Stronger VRM

At CeBIT, ASRock already grabbed a lot of attention with its unveiling of the X79 Extreme11 motherboard. The motherboard was detailed to great lengths then. It appears like the design was still a work-in-progress, and the company has an even newer iteration. Pictured below is this latest iteration. You will notice how ASRock redid the CPU VRM. While the one shown at CeBIT packed a 16-phase VRM, this one steps it up to 24. On the obverse side of the PCB, it squeezed in chokes for all 24-phases, and compact Driver-MOSFET (DrMOS) chips for 12 (probably the other 12 are located on the reverse side of the PCB). The first iteration shown at CeBIT used LFPAK MOSFET design. A DrMOS combines up/down FETs and driver IC into a single, space-efficient package. Companies like Renesas have held interest in innovating with DrMOS chips, even compacting them further. The rest of the board is identical to the one pictured at CeBIT, except that the Creative Sound Core3D chip has the signature plastic cover over it, which can be found on Creative's Sound Core3D discrete sound cards.

Source: TweakTown

Gigabyte's First Micro-ATX G1.Killer Motherboard Pictured

A little earlier, we were treated to pictures and details of the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 motherboard based on Intel Z77 chipset, supporting LGA1155 "Ivy Bridge" and "Sandy Bridge" processors. Presenting, Gigabyte's first G1.Killer series motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, the G1.Sniper M3. This new board is based on the same Z77 chipset, and is backed by a fairly exhaustive feature-set that makes it a formidable high-end micro-ATX gaming desktop choice (good for LAN party rigs). The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 9-phase VRM, which draws power from a 4-pin ATX connector (instead of 8-pin EPS). The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel memory.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Z77 Motherboard Pictured

How time flies. It's been just a little over an year since Gigabyte unveiled its G1.Killer series of gamer-overclocker oriented motherboards, including the G1.Sniper, and now it's already at G1.Sniper 3. While the original G1.Sniper was based on the X58 chipset supporting LGA1366 processors, the the Sniper 2 based on Z68 chipset, supporting LGA1155 processors, the Sniper 3 stays put on the LGA1155 platform, but makes use of the brand-new Z77 chipset. The motherboard is designed to drive up to four graphics cards in 4-way CrossFire/SLI configurations. It takes advantage of a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip, which takes in one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link, giving out two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 links, it even has a native multiplex that splits its second downstream x16 link to two x8 links. This way, the G1.Sniper 3 is ready for 4-way action with the latest PCIe Gen. 3.0 graphics cards.

Creative Sues Huawei Over Failed Contract

Singapore's Creative filed a lawsuit against Chinese company Huawei for US $9.3 million, for the latter's failure to honour a WiMAX broadband project for which it was paid. Creative's subsidiary QMax Communications paid Huawei the amount ($9.3 million) in 2010, for setting up WiMAX infrastructure in Singapore. Creative's Q2 FY'12 financial statement, released earlier this month, stated "QMax has suspended the wireless broadband project as the vendor for the equipment has failed to deliver on the key network performance requirements set out in the relevant supply contract."

Sources: StraitsTimes, VR-Zone

ASRock Introduces Fantastic Scout Mode in its Top Gaming Sound Card - Game Blaster!

World's top 3 motherboard manufacturer, ASRock Inc., specially partners with Creative Technology Ltd, the worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for the personal computer, to introduce the most trusted sound card in mobo industry - Game Blaster!

Gamers need so much more from their rigs. ASRock Game Blaster was designed to exceed the expectations of even the most dedicated gamer. It is the first sound card coming with both Creative 7.1 CH HD Sound Core3D Audio and Broadcom Gigabit LAN in the world.

Creative Launches the HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2 Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the new Creative HN-900 headphones, which utilize active noise cancellation to reduce ambient noise by up to 85 percent. The Creative HN-900 headphones also feature an in-line microphone and switch for convenient one-click voice communication on the iPhone, and 40 mm Neodymium drivers and gold-plated plugs for outstanding audio playback. Dual-mode usage allows active noise-cancellation for up to 40 hours by a single AAA alkaline battery or in passive mode without power.

Creative today also introduced the Aurvana X-Fi 2 Noise-Canceling Headphones, which utilize active noise cancellation to reduce ambient noise by up to 90 percent, and feature X-Fi audio technology for improved sound quality and a virtual surround sound effect that is ideal for watching in-flight entertainment.

Creative ZiiLabs Announces 100 Core CPU

ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd), today unveiled its ground-breaking 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media processor optimized for Android. The ZMS-40 combines 96 of ZiiLABS' StemCell media processing cores with four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs to deliver stunning multi-tasking application and media processing performance.

By doubling the number of StemCell Media processors compared to the previous ZMS-20, the ZMS-40 delivers twice the peak media performance, while running the larger array at lower clock speeds to achieve the same performance leads to greater energy efficiency and a reduction in power consumption of up to 50 percent. With 2X the performance and 2X the power efficiency, the ZMS-40 delivers ground-breaking media capabilities to handheld devices such as tablets, including ultra-high-resolution H.264 HP decoding of up to 3840x1080 for true 1080p 3D stereo, a rich and interactive desktop browsing experience, 2560x1600 (WQXGA) display resolution support, higher-quality video encoding and immersive OpenGL ES graphics and future support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

ASRock Readies X79 Extreme6/GB Motherboard with 8 DIMM Slots

ASRock kicked off its "Sandy Bridge-E" compatible motherboard series with one of the most complete lineups, including a micro-ATX model. It did include some oddities, such as the X79 Extreme7, with its six DIMM slot arrangement. Socket LGA2011 Core i7 processors embed a quad-channel integrated memory controller, and so it's only logical to either have one DIMM slot per channel (four DIMM slots in all), or two DIMM slots per channel (eight in all).

ASRock unveiled its latest addition to its X79 Extreme family, the X79 Extreme6/GB, which sets this oddity straight, while creating another. This model is supposed to be a notch inferior to the X79 Extreme7, yet it provides eight DIMM slots (two per channel). Other features, however, are consistent with those of the cheaper X79 Extreme4. So it's safe to call this ASRock's answer to MSI's recently-launched X79A-GD45 8D, a relatively cheaper X79 motherboard with eight DDR3 DIMM slots. 8 DIMM slots stopped being a thing of the "premium" (again, relatively), the moment Intel launched a $210 X79 motherboard that features it, the DX79TO.

Creative Announces HN-900 Noise-Canceling Headset

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the new Creative HN-900 noise-canceling headphones, a set of full-size active noise-canceling headphones that can reduce ambient noise by up to 85% and comes with a detachable cable with in-line microphone for voice communication on the iPhone.

Shut out the din in the air cabin or make clear voice calls on the iPhone with the Creative HN-900 noise-canceling headphones. The concealed microphones in the ear-cups pick up surrounding noises and these are electronically negated, effectively reducing the noise by up to 85%. With the absence of unwanted sound, the finely-tuned 40mm Neodymium drivers allow details of music or entertainment to be revealed.

GIGABYTE Launches X79 Series Motherboards

GIGABYTE TECHNOLGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the launch of their latest X79 series enthusiast motherboard range. Supporting the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor family for high-end desktops, these new X79 Express Chipset motherboards unite unrivalled desktop PC performance with a new level of hardware flexibility and control. GIGABYTE 3D Power and its all new 3-way Digital Power Engine offers ultimate control of your PC's power delivery, while GIGABYTE 3D BIOS provides a wholly more intuitive and graphical UEFI BIOS environment.

"This new GIGABYTE X79 series range of boards are all about giving enthusiasts and professionals unprecedented control over their PC's hardware," commented Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at GIGABYTE. "GIGABYTE 3D Power and 3D BIOS give hardcore gamers, extreme overclockers and cutting-edge content creators absolute mastery over every aspect of their PC."

ASRock X79 Motherboard Headed by Feature-Rich Extreme9 Model

ASRock's socket LGA2011 motherboard lineup doesn't end with X79 Extreme7 as thought before, the company thinks there's scope for an even more loaded model that's literally bursting with connectivity and expansion features. Enter the X79 Extreme9. This board uses high-grade digital PWM circuitry to power the CPU. It draws power for the CPU VRM from two 8-pin EPS connectors. Unlike the X79 Extreme7, this board features eight DDR3 DIMM slots, two per memory channel. Expansion slots include five PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and a PCIe x1.

Since it completely ran out of room on the main PCB, ASRock put two important connectivity features on a separate (included) addon card, called the ASRock "Game Blaster". This card occupies the PCIe x1 slot, it packs a next-generation Creative SoundCore3D audio processor (more advanced than X-Fi), and a low-overhead/low-latency gigabit Ethernet connection. It's not exactly known if this connection is driven by a Killer 2100 or a more common PCIe GbE PHY backed by ASRock's proprietary packet prioritization software (XLAN).

Gigabyte Teases with G1.Assasin 2 LGA2011 Motherboard Pictures

Gigabyte teased us with pictures of its high-end socket LGA2011 motherboard featured in its G1.Killer series of motherboards designed for the gamer-overclocker market. The G1.Assassin 2, as it’s called, is based on the Intel X79 chipset. We don’t have landscape pictures of the board, yet, but whatever little bits of pictures we do have, reveal quite a bit. To begin with, this board will retain the black+green “weapon” styling of predecessors in the series. The LGA2011 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, in sets of two, on either sides of the socket. Each DIMM slot has its own memory channel.

From the CPU VRM heatsink, a heat pipe is finding its way to a stylized X79 PCH heatsink. This heatsink is designed to look like a handgun. Since it’s so small, it isn’t looking as realistic as the clip design featured on other G1.Killer motherboards. There are just six internal SATA ports we can find from the picture, two 6 Gb/s, and four 3 Gb/s. In terms of expansion slots, we could spot three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, these could be arranged in the x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8 lane configuration.

Gigabyte Displays its X79 High-End Motherboard Lineup at IDF

At IDF, motherboard vendors got to show off their near-complete socket LGA2011 motherboards based on the X79 chipset. Many of these were half-built and straight out of R&D at this year's Computex event, back in June. Gigabyte showed off its first X79 motherboards, the GA-X79-UD5, GA-X79-UD7, and G1.Assassin 2. Unlike previous generations of high-end Gigabyte motherboards, the UD7 isn't a beefed-up UD5 with added features and better cooling. The two are entirely different right from the PCB, to the features they offer.

The UD5 targets premium users, with eight DDR3 DIMM slots, geared for 3-card SLI/CrossFire, while the UD7 is bleeding-edge with just four DDR3 DIMM slots, but a wealth of overclocking features and support for 4-card SLI/Crossfire. Then there's the G1.Assassin 2, which targets the gamer-overclocker market with neat features such as hardware-accelerated Creative X-Fi audio and Bigfoot Killer NIC, with support for 3-card SLI/Crossfire.

Creative Announces a Game Changer with Sound Blaster Recon3D for PC/Mac, Xbox360, PS3

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Sound Blaster Recon3D, the USB audio device that provides unprecedented cross-platform audio immersion and realism and voice clarity for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac.

The Sound Blaster Recon3D comes in a compact size similar to a gaming mouse and easily connects to an Xbox 360, PS3, PC or Mac via USB. It dramatically improves the audio playback quality and experience with THX TruStudio Pro, a suite of audio enhancements developed by the collaborative expertise of Creative and THX audio engineers. The Sound Blaster Recon3D features Dolby Digital enabled via the optical input to provide full 5.1 surround decoding, which combines with THX TruStudio Pro Surround to deliver stunning accuracy and positional audio playback over a gaming headset and an amazing virtual multi-speaker movie listening experience over headphones. In addition, for voice communications, the Sound Blaster Recon3D improves voice quality with CrystalVoice processing, which implements innovative technologies that are specially designed to deliver crystal clear vocal fidelity in multiplayer games, online chats and video conferencing.

Gigabyte G1.Killer Series Meets Sandy Bridge with New G1.Sniper 2 Motherboard

Gigabyte released pictures of G1.Sniper 2, the company's first socket LGA1155 motherboard in the G1.Killer series of motherboards designed for gamers with overclocker alter-egos (the same market ASUS Republic of Gamers targets). The board is based on the Intel Z68 Express chipset without any additional PCI-E bridge chip such as NVIDIA nForce 200. The board supports 2nd generation Core "Sandy Bridge" LGA1155 processors. The first G1.Sniper was a LGA1366 motherboard based on Intel X58 chipset.

Apart from being yet another high-end 2-way SLI/CrossFire Z68 motherboard, which Gigabyte's mainline Z68X series motherboards already achieve, the G1.Sniper 2 packs two extremely gamer-specific onboard devices: the Bigfoot Killer E2100 low-latency, high-offload PCI-Express network controller with its of dedicated memory; and Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi hardware audio with CA20K2 PCIe processor and 64 MB XRAM, backed by a high-grade Cirrus Logic DAC and OPAMP circuit, driving signal-noise ratio easily above 105 dBA with punchy bass.

ASUS ROG Launches Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 Networking With New AMD Motherboard

Bigfoot Networks, the technology company behind the Killer line of high-performance networking products, today at Computex announced that ASUS has expanded its line of Killer E2100-based motherboards with their new ROG Crosshair V Formula/ThunderBolt Motherboard.

The new ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula/ThunderBolt Motherboard supports AMD FX Series CPUs with up to 8-cores, DDR3 Memory with overclocking speeds up to 2133 MHz, multi-GPU technology for CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI, 8-ch HD, SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio from Creative Labs and more. Powered by Bigfoot Networks' Killer E2100 networking platform and a host of other gaming-centric features, this AMD FX-based motherboard combines innovative design and technical intelligence to make the PC gaming experience more rewarding and accessible. This is the second motherboard offering from ASUS to incorporate Killer E2100 gaming network capabilities, preceded by the ROG Rampage III Black Edition.

Creative Labs Announces Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega Gaming Headset

Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the new Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega wireless gaming headset, the first wireless, cross-platform gaming headset to work with the PS3, Xbox 360, Mac and PC which is fully integrated. With the unique integration of Creative's wireless technology into the headset itself, the Creative Sound Blaster Tactic3D Omega wireless gaming headset does not require any extra attachments to function with gaming consoles wirelessly. The headset has volume, mute and connection controls fully integrated into the headset itself, eliminating the need for any additional connectivity components. Creative's robust wireless technology is designed to eliminate static interference, which affects other headsets, and delivers game audio with ultra-low latency, a critical feature for competitive game play.

Creative Announces ZiiSound T6 Wireless Speaker System

Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the Creative ZiiSound T6 – the latest addition to its extensive Pure Wireless speaker family. The all new speaker system assumes the position of the flagship Surround Sound wireless speaker in the Pure Wireless speaker range.

The ZiiSound T6 personifies everything the Pure Wireless speaker range is, where speakers have been engineered for wireless audio perfection, based on Creative's in-house wireless technology reference system – an engineering optimisation that brings out the best wireless audio performance in Bluetooth and apt-X technologies for speakers.

Creative Labs Announces Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Series Gaming Headsets

Creative today announced a new line of gaming headsets that create a completely 360-degree, 3D audio experience, surpassing even 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound headsets. The new gaming headsets, called the Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Alpha and Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma, are the first Sound Blaster headsets to feature a unique 360-degree audio system, which is also fully customizable. Using THX TruStudio technology created by sound engineers at Creative Labs in conjunction with THX, the Tactic 3D headsets can create audio above, below and all around the wearer.

Wearers can completely customize their audio experience through the software included with the headsets. The headsets will also ship with pre-made audio profiles created by professional gamers such as Johnathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel, as well as members from international professional gaming teams compLexity and Dignitas.

Creative Announces Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 Software Suite

Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software suite - a powerful audio platform equipped with cutting-edge audio technologies designed to enhance ordinary PC systems limited by only basic onboard audio. The Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software suite builds on the success of the original Sound Blaster X-Fi MB, bringing enhancement of onboard PC audio to even greater echelons. Through THX TruStudio Pro audio technology and the latest Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0, users get to enjoy premium audio quality, effects and features on their PC systems.

Gamers can anticipate being blown away by the amazing realism from the unrivalled headphone surround and gaming sound enhancement technologies delivered by the Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2. Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 features state-of-the-art multi-environment rendering and reverb modelling, delivering an ultra-realistic and incredibly immersive 3D gaming experience for powering the next generation of cutting-edge PC games. The additional audio cues provided by EAX can also give gamers a competitive advantage in early detection of enemies.

Creative Announces Availability of Sound Blaster Rock Wireless Outdoor Speaker

Creative, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announced availability of the Sound Blaster Wireless Rock Speaker, the latest addition to the Sound Blaster Wireless family of products, designed to be placed outside bringing the music playing from a Creative whole-home wireless audio system outside. The Sound Blaster Wireless Rock Speaker is a high-quality stereo speaker encased in a granite-rock like exterior, which complements any landscape. The Sound Blaster Wireless Rock Speaker is designed to withstand moderate weather conditions so it doesn’t have to be brought in every time it rains.

“I’ve set the Sound Blaster Wireless Rock Speaker up at my home and my friends can’t believe that such great-sounding music is coming from a speaker that they thought was a rock,” said Steve Erickson, VP and GM of audio at Creative. “It’s such a fun addition to the party because the music is playing from right outside by the pool and patio and it’s totally wireless, so I haven’t had to install any systems in my yard to get music.”

NVIDIA Reports Financial Results for First Quarter Fiscal 2011

NVIDIA reported revenue of $1.0 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended May 2, 2010, up 2 percent from the prior quarter and up 51 percent from $664.2 million in the same period a year earlier. On a GAAP basis, the company recorded net income of $137.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. That compares with $131.1 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the previous quarter and a net loss of $201.3 million, or $0.37 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Gross margin increased to 45.6 percent for the first quarter fiscal 2011 from 44.7 percent in the previous quarter and 28.6 percent in the same period a year earlier.
  • Revenue grew 2 percent quarter-on-quarter to $1.0 billion
  • GAAP net income increased to $137.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share
  • GAAP gross margin improved to 45.6 percent

Creative Announces Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset

Creative Labs, Inc. today announced the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is now available at AAFES, Amazon.com, Apple.com, BestBuy.com, Blizzard.com, Creative.com, Dell.com, Frys.com, Newegg.com and Tiger Direct for $159.99. “As the leading innovator in precision audio for PC gaming we were well positioned to develop a headset that could live up to the high standards set forth by Blizzard Entertainment games," said Steve Erickson, VP and GM for audio and video at Creative. "The Sound Blaster World of Warcraft Wireless Headset is a result of this, providing an unprecedented combination of wireless technology, THX TruStudio PC technology for enriched audio performance and a unique design that stands out from anything else available to gamers.”

Creative Announces Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD and USB Sound Blaster X-Fi HD Audio

Creative Technology Ltd. today announced the PCI-E Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD and USB Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD, setting the gold standard for PC audio with the first discrete audio card and USB digital audio system to include THX TruStudio PC audio technology.

"The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD and Sound Blaster X-Fi HD provide the highest quality audio playback of any sound products we have ever introduced, over a period of time where we have sold more than 400 million Sound Blaster cards," said Steve Erickson, Vice President and General Manager of Audio and Video at Creative. "We are thrilled to announce that our newest additions to the Sound Blaster line include THX TruStudio PC audio technology, bringing together two of the most respected names in sound quality to provide an unparalleled audio experience on the PC."
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