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GIGABYTE Shows Off G-Power Accessory for GeForce GTX TITAN

With NVIDIA clamping restrictions on graphics card makers' ability to make custom design PCBs for its flagship GeForce GTX TITAN GPU, the likes of GIGABYTE are opting for the next best thing - creating accessories that enthusiasts can mod their GTX TITAN graphics cards with, at the cost of product warranties. A little earlier this month, the company unveiled its WindForce 450W VGA cooler, which is capable of handling GTX TITAN. At a more recent event, it showed of G-Power, a supplementary voltage regulation module, which is similar in principle to EVGA EPower and ASUS Matrix PWM.

The device is a small PCB with high-capacity power leads on one-end, which need to be soldered on to the reference GeForce GTX TITAN PCB, and a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors on the other. Between them is a 6+1 phase VRM, with components that appear similar to the ones used on GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 5 motherboards, consisting of 60A ferrite core chokes, International Rectifier PowIRstage IR3550 driver-MOSFETs, and International Rectifier IR3563A controller. The G-Power module stabilizes power on the GTX TITAN PCB, preventing voltage droop from breaking the overclock. There's no word on how GIGABYTE plans to sell these.


Source: Expreview

MSI Launches the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt Motherboard

MSI, the Thunderbolt mainboard pioneer, is pleased to announce the availability of the new MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt. The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt is a unique aproach to a Thunderbolt equipped mainboard by breaking the current limits of Thunderbolt, the price.

Breaking the mold, the MSI Z77A-G45 is a full-featured Z77 mainboard with Thunderbolt at a new pricepoint that makes Thunderbolt accessible for everyone looking to upgrade to the Z77 platform. Of course, the renowned Military Class III components are again available to deliver the highest quality and most stable components. OC Genie II boosts your overall CPU, Memory, Disk and Graphics performance and thank to its power saving hardware features such as Active Phase Switching (APS), the MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt can combine its performance with best in class power saving.

Apple Patents Game Controller and Console Remote

Apple might be diving into the world of console gaming yet again according to Shacknews and GI.biz The patent application shows a staggering similarity to Sony's DualShock controller and what seems to be an iPhone interacting with a Microsoft Xbox360. This might be an Apple style preemptive attack against future endeavors to create apps that interface with current generation consoles or it could be something new that Apple has in the works. With the current growth in Apples market share and the growing popularity of Apple TV it shouldn't come as a surprise it would want a piece of the console pie. Whether the big three (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) give any leeway to Apple has yet to be seen.

Source: Shacknews

ITC Issues Notice of Final Determination in Rambus Matter

Rambus Inc. (RMBS), one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, today announced that the International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued its notice of final determination in the action brought by Rambus against LSI Logic, ST Microelectronics and other Respondents. In its notice, the ITC affirmed the initial determination of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Theodore R. Essex that there was no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 with respect to the asserted patents. The Commission also reversed the ALJ’s determinations that Rambus demonstrated the existence of a domestic industry, that certain asserted Dally claims were invalid, and that those claims were infringed. The action is Investigation Number 337-TA-753.

Rambus has not yet received the full opinion by the Commission. A copy of today’s summary is available here.

OUYA: A Hacker-Friendly Android Console

A new Kickstarter project is making waves, by proposing an open-source, hacker-friendly platform using Android as its backbone. "OUYA" merges the "satisfying" experience of a console with the developer-friendly nature of the Android marketplace. The project is seeking nearly a million dollars in funds, but it's already managed to reach more than half its lofty goal within just a day. The project's goal is $950,000, a figure it's likely to hit. It's been less than a day, and it's hit more than $590,000. That's no doubt because the higher dollar amounts, $95 and $99, offer the console itself as a reward. So far, the project hasn't outlined any stretch goals, but they seem likely. The funding will go towards converting the prototype to production models with approvals from regulatory agencies, development kits, production orders, and possibly some first-party game development. It also claims that games will be required to offer a free element, be it a demo or the full game with microtransactions. OUYA has already specified its technical specs, including a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of flash storage, an HDMI connection, and Android 4.0. The controller looks fairly standard for consoles, with eight action buttons, two analog sticks, a D-pad, and the addition of a touch pad.

Source: Shacknews

Antec Announces Availability of High Current Pro Platinum 1000W PSU

Antec, Inc., the global leader in high-performance computer components, announces the High Current Pro 1000 Platinum power supply, the first kilowatt-class PSU offered by Antec certified for 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency.

Delivering a minimum of 1000 watts of Continuous Power, the HCP-1000 raises the bar for PSUs by offering enthusiasts and overclockers full modularity, maximum efficiency and future-proof compatibility.

Microsoft Patents Pressure-Sensitive Controller

Since Nintendo pushed the envelope, hardware manufacturers seem intent on making new controller types. Now that each of the big gaming companies have at least dabbled with motion controls, biometric feedback seems to be the next big thing. Sony is looking into biometric controllers to measure factors like sweat and heart rate. Not to be outdone, Microsoft is apparently considering a pressure-sensitive controller. The company has registered a US Patent (8,172,675) for a controller with a "pressure-sensitive exterior surface." The patent suggests that device memory could store the output signatures to identify users simply by how they grip the controller. And confirming that these plans relate to gaming, the patent also mentions the device as "a game controller that interacts with a game console service."

The patent makes repeated mention of the controller being used for identification, but doesn't go much deeper than that. Microsoft could potentially find gaming utilities, but doesn't seem to be going in that direction with the initial patent application. As always, a patent doesn't mean a product will ever come to market.

Source: Shacknews

ASRock Unveils Jaw-Dropping X79 Extreme11 Motherboard

A serious player in the PC motherboard industry, the world's 3rd biggest (in terms of volumes) at that, ASRock is one brand that has accumulated the engineering potential to make anything. It's far from finished with its LGA2011 motherboard lineup, and made sure visitors at its CeBIT booth had their jaws on the floor. Enter, the ASRock X79 Extreme11. This motherboard is designed for not just extremely-overclocked PCs, but battlestations holding their own huge storage arrays. This monster is built in the EATX form-factor.

The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 16+2 phase DigiPower VRM, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors. It is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR3 memory with speeds of over DDR3-2400 MHz by overclocking. The memory areas are powered by 4+4 phase VRM. Apart from the 24-pin ATX connector, and the two EPS connectors, the board also draws power from two 4-pin Molex connectors. The board makes use of Japanese-made solid-state capacitors almost throughout.

ITC Administrative Judge Issues Initial Determination in Rambus Matter

Rambus Inc. (Nasdaq:RMBS), one of the world's premier technology licensing companies, today announced it received notice that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for its U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) action against LSI Logic, MediaTek, ST Microelectronics and other Respondents has issued an Initial Determination. According to the notice, ALJ Theodore R. Essex found there to be no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for the patents in question. The action is Investigation Number 337-TA-753.

Rambus may request a full Commission review of the ALJ’s Initial Determination. If the Commission grants a petition for review, it may affirm, modify, reverse, set aside, or remand all or part of the ALJ’s decision in developing the ITC’s final determination.

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012 (UPDATED)

Word has been flying round the internet about Intel's dodgy Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo'. Intel's Mooly Eden, VP, PC Client Group was attempting to demonstrate a racing game on a prototype laptop – 'ultrabook' - fitted with an upcoming 22 nm Ivy Bridge processor with a racing wheel attached and allegedly rendering DX11 graphics. However, as is very apparent at the start, it's actually a video, because the control panel for the free VLC video player pops up for a few seconds. Eden then 'drives' a car and after a few seconds puts up one hand and then the other, because as he says "they are driving it from backstage". However, there was no one driving the game "backstage", as it was just a video and Eden doesn't say anything about this at any point in the presentation.

This gives conspiracy theorists lots of ammunition, as perhaps the game was actually played on a high powered desktop PC with NVIDIA or AMD discrete graphics cards? What game was it? Eden doesn't say. "IB can't really do these graphics!" they cry and so on. Sure, man 'didn't' go to the moon, either... However, we believe that while yes, there was a bit of deception going on, it was nothing more than a white(ish) lie. Why? Because Ivy Bridge comes out in April and people aren't going to forget this demo. They will immediately put IBs DX11 graphics to the test with similar games and if it doesn't deliver, Intel will have a lot of egg on its face. Here's what Intel had to say about this demo in an official statement:
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