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TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 Released, Announcing New PowerColor GPU-Z Giveaway

TechPowerUp today announced GPU-Z 0.6.1, and with it, a new graphics card giveaway in partnership with PowerColor, in which you could win some of the fastest and coolest Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards in the industry. Version 0.6.1 of GPU-Z adds support for some new GPUs on the horizon, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GT 640 (desktop), GeForce GT 630, GeForce 605, GeForce GTX 675M (mobile), and GeForce GTX 670M; AMD Radeon HD 7970M (mobile), and Radeon HD 7450 (desktop); Intel HD 4000 and HD 2500 "Ivy Bridge". GPU-Z 0.6.1 improves NVIDIA GPU Boost clock speed detection. A host of other stability and reliability changes were made (refer to the change-log below).

With GPU-Z 0.6.1, TechPowerUp is teaming up with PowerColor to present to you this year's first GPU-Z Giveaway, in which you could win some great graphics hardware. Up for grabs are PowerColor HD 7970 PCS+ Vortex II, PowerColor HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II, and the yet-unannounced PowerColor HD 7770 PCS+ Vortex II. To participate in the Giveaway, simply run GPU-Z 0.6.1 (main version), click on the "PowerColor Giveaway" tab, and follow the instructions. Entries are open till June 01, 2012; multiple entries may lead to elimination. Good Luck!

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 | TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 ASUS ROG Edition

The complete change-log follows.

Intel Unveils NUC Mini Computer

Although at a much "smaller" scale, Raspberry Pi did to mini computers what iPad did to tablets (wake up a nearly dead product segment), and now a section of the market likes computers to be as small and potent as the ARM-driven Raspberry Pi. Although at a different end of the price and performance spectrum from the Raspberry Pi, Intel has reason to believe its NUC mini computer could achieve market success. NUC (Next Unit of Computing) is a mini box computer for the retail channel, which is roughly the size of a modern wireless router, but as powerful as a mainstream laptop.

The NUC owes its computing power to Intel Core i3/i5 "Sandy Bridge" dual-core processors (probably in the BGA-1023 package), with Intel HD 3000 graphics, and dual-channel DDR3 memory (SO-DIMMs). The logic board measures 100 x 100 mm, and has all the essential connectivity crammed into it, including umm...10 Gb/s Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n, and HDMI with multi-channel HD audio. This board is smaller than VIA's NANO-ITX (120 x 120 mm) form-factor. The rest of the ABS plastic enclosure's volume is spent housing the cooling assembly. Informed sources predict that while the NUC won't be priced in the hundereds or thousands of Dollars, it most certainly won't be priced at $25. A starting price of $100 seems realistic.

Sources: SweClockers, ExtremeTech

AVADirect Introduces Desktops and Notebooks Featuring Intel's Ivy Bridge Processors

AVADirect, a leading custom computer manufacturer, announces newly added desktops and notebooks featuring the new Ivy Bridge architecture by Intel. What does this mean for AVADirect? The world-renowned custom computer manufacturer has strived on the ability to create truly customizable options at their customer’s disposal. As opposed to a 32nm process, the Ivy Bridge processors are designed off of a 22nm process. The Ivy Bridge processors also have a lower power consumption rating of 77w, compared to the Sandy Bridge's 95w on average. Those interested in AVADirect’s slim or compact custom computers, AVADirect Ivy Bridge solutions will allow end-users to have high-end systems with a smaller footprint. Ivy Bridge chipsets were designed behind the motivation of mobile solutions. This is great news for AVADirect considering they offer some of the best mobile solutions available within the custom computer industry. Ivy Bridge solutions designed by AVADirect will provide superior performance with very little or unnoticeable impact to pricing.

Intel Cuts Prices of Core i7-2600K and i7-2700K

With the obvious intention of clearing out inventories of previous-generation Core i7-2600K and Core i7-2700K "Sandy Bridge" processors, Intel decided to cut prices of these chips. The cuts aren't exactly significant, but just enough to restore the two models' price-performance ratios post-Ivy Bridge. The Core i7-2600K gets a price cut of around 10€, sending it down to 255-260€. The Core i7-2700K, on the other hand, got a price cut of 15€, sending its price down to around 275€.

Source: Cowcotland

Giada Also Intros HM65 Tiny System Board

Giada also introduced a tiny nano-ITX system board based on Intel HM65 mobile-on-desktop platform, featuring a low-power "Sandy Bridge" Celeron/Core processor. The board is designed to run off external DC power input. The board can be used as a micro-server. Apart from a standard SATA 6 Gb/s port, it has two slots, a mini PCI-Express (for WLAN+Bluetooth cards), and an mSATA (to hold its OS SSD). SO-DIMM memory slots, we imagine, are on the reverse side of the PCB. The system can be programmed to run headless, or there is a host of connectivity options along the top of the board, including USB, HDMI, D-Sub, Ethernet, and stereo line-out. The PCI-Express interface below is for an additional PCB that expands connectivity.

Giada Intros MI-HM65T Mini ITX Motherboard

The versatile new MI-HM65T Mini ITX motherboard from Giada is at home in all environments, including the factory floor, tough monitoring and control applications, embedded computing, office desks, and the home. Built around Intel's HM65 chipset and the Sandy Bridge platform, this motherboard brings users high performance and almost unlimited connectivity, with economical power consumption. It offers all the industry-standard features of a desktop PC in a tiny package, to support a wide range of applications.

Powered by Intel's fast Core i7, i5, i3 or Celeron 867 CPUs, supported by up to 4GB of memory, with onboard integrated graphics and video support, the Giada MI-HM65T can easily take care of almost any task you throw at it. This tough but tiny powerhouse handles industrial control, monitoring and automation applications as well as office and productivity, or home entertainment.

Ivy Bridge Temperatures Could Be Linked To TIM Inside Integrated Heatspreader: Report

PC enthusiasts with Ivy Bridge engineering samples, and reviewers at large have come to the consensus that Ivy Bridge is a slightly warmer chip than it should be. An investigation by Overclockers.com revealed a possible contributing factor to that. Upon carefully removing the integrated heatspreader (IHS) of an Ivy Bridge Core processor (that nickel-plated copper plate on top of the processor which makes contact with the cooler), the investigator found common thermal paste between the CPU die and the IHS, and along the sides of the die.

In comparison, Intel used flux-less solder to bind the IHS to the die on previous-generation Sandy Bridge Core processors in the LGA1155 package. Attempting to remove IHS off a chip with flux-less solder won't end well, as it could rip the die off the package. On the other hand, the idea behind use of flux-less solder in CPU packages is to improve heat transfer between the die and the IHS. Using thermal paste to do the job results in slightly inferior heat transfer, but removing IHS is safer. One can be sure that making it safe for IHS removal couldn't have been the issue behind switching back to conventional thermal paste, as everything under the IHS isn't user-serviceable anyway, and off limits for them. Perhaps Intel kept extreme overclockers in mind.

Source: Overclockers.com

CyberpowerPC Announces New Desktop Gaming PCs Paired with "Ivy Bridge"

CyberpowerPC Inc., a global leader in custom gaming machines, today announced new desktop gaming systems based on 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3770K (3.50 GHz), Core i5-3570K (3.40 GHz) and other 3000 Series Ivy Bridge processors.

CyberpowerPC customers can configure the ultimate gaming platform based on the new Ivy Bridge CPUs paired with recently released Intel Z77 chipset motherboards. The combination provides a 10-15% performance boost over Sandy Bridge 2000 series CPUs and offers advanced overclocking; native USB 3.0 and PCI-Express Gen 3.0 support; Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0; and next gen DirectX 11 ready Intel HD 4000 graphics along with quick sync technology.

Intel Announces 3rd Generation Core "Ivy Bridge" Processor Family

Intel finally got the ball rolling on its third generation Core processor family codenamed "Ivy Bridge", which will go into making most of the company's client processor portfolio for 2012. These chips are characterized as being the world's first microprocessors built on the 22 nanometer silicon fabrication process. Intel aided miniaturization of circuits to such tiny scale thanks to 3D Transistor technology, a space-efficient nano-scale transistor design that enables chip-designers to achieve higher transistor densities, and come up with ever more powerful chips.

The third-generation Core processor family is based around a single die design (pictured below), from which it will carve out numerous SKUs in the client market in May-June, and enterprise market (under its Xeon brand, towards the end of June). These SKUs will be carved out by toggling the various parallel components (such as x86 cores, cache banks, processor graphics cores, and of course clock-speeds). The new Core processor family is expected to feature higher performance per clock-speed, and higher efficiency. Intel's Kirk Skaugen has been quoted by the BBC as saying "This is the world's first 22 nm product and we'll be delivering about 20% more processor performance using 20% less average power."

Shuttle Launches X79 and Z77-based Barebones

Barebones mini PCs expert Shuttle Computer launched its first barebones featuring Intel Z77 Express chipset, ready for 3rd generation "Ivy Bridge" Core processors in the LGA1155 package, while retaining support for every LGA1155 "Sandy Bridge" processor launched till date. Shuttle also launched an Intel X79-based mini PC barebone, which supports Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" processors.

Called the SZ77R5, the Z77 barebone features four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1600 MHz memory, expansion slots that include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, one PCI-Express 2.0 x4 and one mPCIe; two SATA 6 Gb/s, two SATA 3 Gb/s ports, one eSATA 3 Gb/s, and one mSATA; four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel HD audio. Its chassis features two 5.25" and one 3.5" drive bays, front-panel that includes two of the four USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port with "fast charging" (high current), and front-panel HD audio. To power the machine, a 500W 80 Plus-compliant PSU is included. The SZ77R5 measures 332 x 216 x 198 mm (WxDxH). It will be priced around 32,800 JPY (US $404).

Intel Xeon E3 "Ivy Bridge" Processors Start Shipping in June

Intel is expected to start shipping Xeon E3 processors based on 22 nm "Ivy Bridge" silicon within June, according to a DigiTimes report. A key feature of the new Xeon chips driving its advent is support for PCI-Express 3.0, which could greatly increase bandwidth for compatible add-on cards and controllers. Ivy Bridge allows PCI-Express lanes from the processor root complex to be split into x16, x8, and even x4 links, which greatly increase bandwidth from previous-generation PCI-Express 2.0 bus. Built in the LGA1155 package, the new Xeon chips will be compatible with existing platforms that run Xeon Sandy Bridge processors, as well as new lines of server/workstation motherboards that feature PCI-Express 3.0 expansion. We know from a slightly older report that Intel will launch low-voltage Xeon processors around this time.

Source: DigiTimes

Core i7-3770K Retail Boxes Pictured, TDP 95W, Overclocks Worse Than Sandy Bridge?

Here are the first pictures of retail boxes of Intel's Core i7-3770K "Ivy Bridge" processors in the LGA1155 package. Pictured below are boxes sourced from a Chinese distributor. Regional branding aside, the box-art hasn't changed from that of the 2nd Generation Core processor family, even the die-shot CGI in the center hasn't changed, which is a missed opportunity. Intel could have used art inspired by the Ivy Bridge silicon, which could have helped identify the new chips easier. The box simply marks the model number "3770K" and socket type "LGA1155" on the key sticker.

The side sticker is where the action is. We know from countless earlier reports, including Intel's RetailEdge marketing material that the TDP rating of "Ivy Bridge" quad-core parts, including the i7-3770K, was rated to be 77W. The sticker on retail i7-3770K, however, tells a different story. The TDP is rated at 95W, on par with previous-generation parts such as i7-2700K. The S-spec number is revealed to be "SR0PL". Before such an important CPU launch as "Ivy Bridge", it's hard to control pre-launch proliferation of retail parts to people who are not NDA signatories. Such people have put the i7-3770K through overclocking, and voices are getting louder that the i7-3770K is a worse overclocker than previous-generation "Sandy Bridge". The chip was found to get too hot, too soon, when overclocking.

Sources: Semi Accurate (forums), NordicHardware

Core i7-3770K Cracks 6.616 GHz Utilizing 63.0x Multiplier

Intel's upcoming Core "Ivy Bridge" processors for overclockers, namely the Core i7-3770K, and Core i5-3570K, feature multiplier values previously unavailable for Core "Sandy Bridge" series. Chinese proverclocker x-powerx800pro scraped 6.616 GHz utilizing a base clock multiplier value of 63.0x, a clock speed of 6584.86 MHz (104.52 x 63) was validated using the same setup. These clock speeds were backed by core voltages such as 1.056V, and cooled by extreme cooling. The test-bench included a GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H, 2x 2 GB G.Skill DDR3-2133 MHz memory, and Corsair AX1200W PSU. These clock speeds were found to be Pi-stable, with 6.511 GHz yielding SuperPi 1M timing of 5.585s.

Source: Expreview

14 nm "Broadwell" A True System-on-Chip (SoC)

With the 14 nm "Broadwell" architecture, Intel will take a new step towards integration of the platform-controller hub (PCH) with the CPU, by designing it to be a multi-chip module (with the CPU+northbridge in one die, and PCH on the other). This would make "Broadwell" a true System-on-chip (SoC), which allows over 90 percent of the system's I/O to be routed to the processor socket, including memory, PCI-Express, SATA, USB, etc. Although not the first to the industry with single-chip chipsets and integrated memory controllers, Intel rapidly reshaped the arrangement between CPU and core-logic, over the past four years.

It began with transfer of memory controller from northbridge to CPU die (45 nm "Bloomfield"), and transfer of the entire northbridge to the CPU die (45 nm "Lynnfield"). The graphics northbridge transferred a little more gradually, first as multi-chip module with a separate CPU die (32 nm "Clarkdale"), then complete integration with the CPU die (32 nm "Sandy Bridge"). All through, the southbridge, or I/O controller hub (ICH) remained outside the CPU package, with the addition of a display output logic, it transformed into a "platform controller hub" (PCH), which is still just a glorified southbridge. Naturally then, such a drastic relocation of system components will warrant a socket change.

Source: ComputerBase.de

Japanese BTO Co's Jump The Gun, Launch Z77+Sandy Bridge Desktops

After last weekend's launch of Z77 chipset-based motherboards, several Japanese BTO (built to order) desktop PC makers jumped the gun, and announced new desktops that use Z77 chipset motherboards, but driven by current generation Core i5/i7 "Sandy Bridge" LGA1155 processors. Third-generation Core i5/i7 "Ivy Bridge" processors, at least to the retail channel, aren't too far away. They are slated for the end of this month. Yet, many of these desktops launched today offer processors such as the Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2700K as standard options.

Pictured below (in order), are machines by Mouse Computer (Core i5-2500K comes standard), SHG Galleria (Core i7-2700K and GeForce GTX 680 graphics come standard), G-Gear, and EX Computer AeroStream (Core i7-2700K and Radeon HD 7970 come standard). It is noted that Z77 chipset motherboards haven't significantly altered prices from Z68-based models.

Source: PCWatch

Stealth.com Intros New Mini PC Featuring 2nd Generation Intel Core Mobile Processors

Stealth.com Inc. (Stealth Computer) a leading ISO 9001 manufacturer of industrial rugged computers and peripherals has released their most powerful and advanced mini pc yet, the LPC-680 LittlePC. The new Stealth LPC-680 small form factor PC offers tremendous power in a tiny package that measures 6.5" x 6" and less than 2" in height. The diminutive machine is about the size of a hard cover novel yet it surpasses the performance of computers many times its physical size.

"The Stealth Model: LPC-680 is the most powerful and advanced small form PC we have offered to date. Our full featured machine utilizes the new second generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7/i5/i3 mobile processor family and we believe it competes for the most processing power per square inch of any personal computer available today. It is also our first small PC with USB 3.0 connectivity" stated Ed Boutilier CEO of Stealth.com Inc.

Ivy Bridge, G.Skill, and GIGABYTE Make DDR3-3000 MHz Possible

Armed with an Intel Core i7-3770K "Ivy Bridge" processor, a G.Skill-made memory kit, and GIGABYTE Z77X-UD5H, proverclocker Sin0822 managed to run a test bench with all four of the motherboard's DDR3 DIMM slots populated, at a DRAM clock speed of 3003 MHz DDR (1501.5 MHz actual). At this clock speed, the test bench was just about stable for its CPU-Z Validation. Sin0822 took advantage of the 29.33 divider for memory, which is exclusive for Ivy Bridge, that Sandy Bridge lacked. The remainder of the clock speed target was met by a gentle bump in the base clock, to 102.37 MHz (from 100 MHz). To achieve a more stable setting in which stress tests can be run, the memory clock had to fall back to 1416 MHz. What makes this feat impressive is the fact that all four DIMM slots were populated.

Source: Overclock.net Forums

Colorful Announces Its First Mini-ITX Barebone for Gaming

Colorful is well-known for its highly innovative graphics card designs, it is one of China's leading graphics card brands. Some of its graphics card designs have captured our imagination. Its latest creation is a DIY mini-ITX barebones system for gaming, called Desert Eagle. The package consists of Colorful's own-design slim-form-factor (SFF) chassis, which bears a swanky combination of red and black, with ample perforations and and top handles; a custom-design, low-profile Colorfire AMD Radeon HD 6750 graphics card (Colorfire is Colorful's Radeon-selling brand); a mini-ITX socket LGA1155 motherboard based on the Intel H67 chipset (model: i-H67HD U3); and a 300W PSU.

SMART Modular Technologies Announces 64GB DDR3 Load-Reduced DIMM

SMART Modular Technologies ("SMART Modular"), a leading independent manufacturer of memory modules and embedded flash products announces its 64GB DDR3 load-reduced DIMM (LRDIMM). SMART Modular's 64GB LRDIMM is optimized for high-end servers and will be launching in Q2'12 to serve scientific, engineering, and financial computing applications that require high memory capacity and performance. Specifically, this product targets next-generation Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge server platforms for high-performance computing applications.

The new LRDIMM combines innovative module packaging technology leveraging off-the-shelf commodity DRAMs to provide the industry's highest density LRDIMM at the lowest possible cost. Highlighting SMART Modular's design expertise, the new 64GB LRDIMM utilizes a single JEDEC-compliant memory buffer chip, a dual PCB structure and a leading edge interconnect technology to provide maximum performance and density while achieving server-grade quality and reliability.

NVIDIA GPUs Bring High Performance GPU Computing To New Dell PowerEdge Servers

NVIDIA today announced that its NVIDIA Tesla GPUs will be featured, for the first time, on two Dell PowerEdge 12th generation rack and tower servers.

Dell designed the new GPU-enabled PowerEdge R720 and PowerEdge T620 servers to accelerate a wide range of computationally intensive, industry standard applications, including Mathworks MATLAB (for computational research) and SIMULIA Abaqus (for computer-aided engineering). In addition, the new servers combine the 512-core NVIDIA Tesla M2090 GPUs with the latest Intel Xeon E5/R CPUs based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture to accelerate a range of scientific applications in fields such as life sciences, engineering, weather and climate, and others.

Singapore Retailers Begin Quoting Prices for Ivy Bridge + 7series Motherboard Bundles

A prominent retailer started quoting prices for bundles of next-generation "Ivy Bridge" Core processors and motherboards based on Intel 7-series chipset. The table below reveals prices in Singapore Dollars (SGD) of a large number of board+processor combinations. The table includes current-generation "Sandy Bridge" Core processors and 6-series chipset motherboards, too, as the platforms are inter-compatible (you can run Ivy Bridge processors on 6-series chipset motherboards, and Sandy Bridge processors on 7-series chipset motherboards).

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H and Z77X-UD5H Pictured, Too

Here are the Z77X-UD5H and Z77X-UD3H pictured up-close. The two form Gigabyte's upper-mid range and mid range offerings based on the Intel Z77 chipset, supporting socket LGA1155 "Ivy Bridge" and "Sandy Bridge" Core processors. The Z77X-UD5H is an extremely feature-rich offering, in some aspects a more complete package than even the G1.Sniper 3. It provides a 15-phase CPU and 2-phase memory VRM. Expansion slots on this board include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), three PCIe 2.0 x1, and one legacy PCI.

Giada Readies the Uni-box Intel-Based Mini PC

Continuing its push in the SFF (small form factor) segment, Giada is set to release a new Mini PC based around an Intel platform, the Uni-box. Seen below, the Uni-box makes use of a somewhat Apple-inspired aluminum chassis and boasts an Intel HM65 Express motherboard providing support for mobile Sandy Bridge processors, 4 GB of RAM, a 16 GB mSATA solid state drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a multi-in-1 card reader, and both D-Sub and HDMI outputs.

Giada's Mini PC is said to consume as little as 30 W while delivering 1080p playback capabilities. No word on pricing yet but more info should come at CeBIT next week.

ASRock Brings RapidStart, SmartConnect to H61 Platform

Lincredible phenomenon spreads around the world! Miracles did not only happen on the new basketball star Jeremy Lin, but also ASRock, the global top3 motherboard manufacturer! By updating the latest ME8 BIOS & Driver, ASRock today proudly announced their entire Intel H61 motherboard series now support Intel Rapid Start and Smart Connect Technologies! These new technologies are targeted to be supported with Intel next gen motherboard platforms, but ASRock offers an early chance to let users to experience new techniques on current H61 motherboard with 2nd Gen Intel Core Processor (Sandy Bridge).

"High-performance functions are not exclusive for high-end motherboards. ASRock's strength is to apply premium function on budget-level motherboards, making the function available by most of the users." commented James Lee, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at ASRock. "This time, miracles do happen at ASRock! Thanks to the excellent R&D team, ASRock is the first motherboard company to apply these two Intel new functions on H61 series motherboard in the world!"

Intel Ivy Bridge Revised Launch-Schedule Revealed

Citing issues with the 22 nm manufacturing process, Intel postponed the release of its 22 nm "Ivy Bridge" Core processor family by as much as 10 weeks. There still seems to exist some confusion surrounding this launch, which SweClockers sought to clear with its latest article containing important dates related to the launch.
  • 8 April, 2012: This was supposed to be the day "everything" (all CPU models slated for April, compatible motherboards) launched. Instead on this day, motherboard vendors will launch their products based on Intel Z77, Z75, H77, and B75 chipsets. System builders (you) will have to use existing "Sandy Bridge" processors, which are very much compatible with those motherboards. You will not be able to buy "Ivy Bridge" processors from anywhere on this day.
  • 29 April, 2012: This is when Intel will launch quad-core Core i5, Core i7 "Ivy Bridge". On this day, the media will be able to post reviews of the new processor platform. It's not clear if you'll be able to buy these chips on this day, either. Perhaps you might.
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