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Zalman CNPS-10X Quiet Cooler Detailed

Zalman is readying another CPU cooler in its 10 series, a successor to CNPS-9900. The company broke away from the trademark copper-fin ring design it used for CNPS-9300, 9500, 9700, and until lately, 9900. After the introduction of the CNPS-10X Extreme, the company disclosed the CNPS-10X Quiet. The differences between the two lie in the construction. The CNPS-10X Quiet uses lesser number of aluminum fins, a good 33% of which are anodized with the Zalman blue theme colour, and holds a simpler PWM controlled fan. The cooler measures 135 x 100 x 160 mm, and weighs 750 g. The 120 mm fan attached to it uses a simpler clip-based retention mechanism, it spins at speeds between 700 and 1400 rpm, with a maximum noise level of 26 dBA. The cooler constuction involves a pre-lapped copper CPU contact block, from which five copper heatpipes convey heat to a vertical aluminum fin array - the design standard of today. Its retention module consists of a bolt-through kit. The package includes a tube of Zalman's ZM-STG2 thermal compound. The cooler is compatible with all standard desktop sockets of today, including Intel LGA-1366, LGA-1156, LGA-775, AMD AM3/AM2+/AM2, and 939. The cooler will hit stores at an estimated price of under 50 Euro.

MSI Intros 760GTM-P33 Motherboard

MSI launched a new AMD AM2+ socket micro-ATX motherboard targeting the value and SME markets. The 760GTM-P33 is based on the AMD 760G + SB710 chipset, and supports DDR2 memory from two DIMM slots. It extends compatibility to AM3-socket processors along the way. The CPU is powered by a 4+1 phase circuit, with support for MSI's APS (active phase switching) feature. The SB710 chipset connects to six SATA II ports internally, and one standard IDE connector. The 760G chipset embeds an ATI Radeon HD 3200 class IGP, with slightly lower clock speeds and higher energy efficiency compared to the 780G. Display connectivity includes DVI and D-Sub ports. 8-channel audio, and gigabit connectors, a PCI-E x16, x1, and two PCI slots make for the rest of the package. The MSI 760GTM-P33 will arrive at stores soon, at an expected price under $100.

Scythe Makes Big Shuriken Official

Scythe Europe hereby announces the availability of the new compact-size BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler. This new product enriches the series of compact and silent CPU Coolers for computes with very limited height and weight restrictions. Due to its height of only 58 mm and the weight of 405 g, the BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler is perfectly qualified for such PC Systems.

Compared to normal Shuriken CPU Cooler which comes with a Kaze Jyu 100 mm Slim fan, the BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler is equipped with the brand new Slip Stream 120 mm Slim case fan with 12 mm thickness. Despite the name "BIG" Shuriken, the total height shrank by 6 mm (0.236 in) to 58 mm (2.28 in). Whereas the Shuriken CPU Cooler was equipped with 3 copper heatpipes the BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler received an additional copper heatpipe to further increase the performance. Yet, both of the models support the PWM feature (pulse-width modulation) for flexible fan by the motherboard. The specified fan speed varies from 650 (+300) to 1600rpm (±10%) whereas the generated airflow varies from 15.77 to 38.05 CFM (27 to 65 m³/h) at a noise level of 12.91 to 28.89 dBA.

Shuttle Introduces Versatile Mini-PC Barebone, supports AMD processors for socket AM3

Shuttle Inc., the market leader in the area of mini-PCs and the manufacturer of multi-form-factor solutions, is now offering another barebone for modern AMD processors. The SA76G2 hits the market with a style not unlike its predecessor, the SN68SG2: classic black G2 design in polished aluminium.

Even at only 30 x 20 x 18.5 cm (DxWxH), the compact device is the first mini-PC barebone from Shuttle to support AMD processors for socket AM3. Processors with AM2 and AM2+ sockets can also be used, ensuring maximum compatibility and long-term upgrade options. This versatility comes thanks to the AMD RS760/SB710 chipset inside.

Thermaltake Displays Frio and SpinQ VT

Thermaltake showed off some of its upcoming CPU coolers at the ongoing Computex event. A star attraction was the Thermaltake Frio (pictured below, first to the left). The design is of the popular perpendicular aluminum fin array type. The cooler ships with one 120 mm fan, although it can hold one fan on either side. It measures 130mm x 92mm x 160 mm. The cooler packs retention modules to support almost every current CPU socket type: LGA-1366, LGA-1156, LGA-775, AM3/AM2+/AM2, s939, etc. Another cooler spotted was the SpinQ VT. This cooler is near-identical to the SpinQ in terms of its features, except for that the aluminum fins propagate perpendicular to the plane of the motherboard, while the fan blows air on to the motherboard.

ASUS M4A785-M EVO Motherboard Pictured, Another One to the RS880 League

Days after releasing its high-end Crosshair III Formula, ASUS is readying another motherboard, this time based on AMD's new 785G + SB710 chipset. This AM2+ micro-ATX board offers a fairly standard feature-set. The AM2+ socket supports nearly every AM2, AM2+, AM3 socket CPU ever made, while the four DDR2 DIMMs support up to 1200 MHz DDR2 by overclocking, while DDR2-1066 is a standard for AM2+/AM3 CPUs. The southbridge provides five SATA II ports, with a sixth one positioned as eSATA on the rear-panel. Display connectivity options include DVI, D-Sub and HDMI. The motherboard may be released during the upcoming Computed 2009 event.

The source also revealed a bit about the AMD 785G chipset, confirming our earlier assumption that it was based on the RS880 core. The chip embeds an RV620 graphics processor, which will be named as the Radeon HD 4200 IGP. It features UVD 2.0 video hardware decoder, and supports DirectX 10.1. It also supports SidePort auxiliary memory, apart from the usual UMA. AMD notes that the IGP will be slightly faster than the RS780, while being significantly faster than Intel G45 and NVIDIA's GeForce 8200 (although NVIDIA's fasted IGP for the AMD platform is GeForce 8300).

DFI Announces LANParty DK 790X-M2RS

DFI LANParty AMD series motherboards, including the highest end 790FXB family and multi-media 790GX family, have proved excellent performance on Phenom II overclocking. Now, LANParty team is focusing on "Main stream Overclocking", DK 790X-M2RS is the first product that aims this segment.

Compared with the high-end 790FXB family, the DK 790X-M2RS has the equivalent overclocking BIOS settings and also retains exclusive overclocking features such as "debug LED", "built-in power/reset button", and "six fan connectors". Therefore, the DK 790X-M2RS is really a cost-effective overclocking motherboard.

Koolance Releases its First LN2 Evaporator

Water-cooling specialist Koolance released its first liquid-nitrogen evaporator. An LN2 evaporator, sometimes called "LN2 pot" is a metal flask that makes direct contact with a heat source, and conveys its heat to liquid nitrogen that the user pours into the flask. The heat instantly evaporates nitrogen, and some extremely low temperatures are brought about. Koolance CPU-LN2 measures 6cm x 20 cm x 6 cm (WxHxD) without the support bracket, and weighs in at 1.58 kg (around 3.5 lbs). It is built using nickel-plated copper, with acetal to shroud its upper portion. It supports the entire range of current CPU sockets, that include Intel sockets LGA-1366, LGA-775, LGA-771, s603/4, s478, and AMD sockets AM3/AM2+/AM2, s939/940, and s754. It is available at the company website for US $144.99.

Fleets of New AMD Processors Closing in

After launching its 45 nm desktop CPU with its high-end CPUs such as Phenom II X4 940 and 955 Black Edition, AMD is preparing two distinct lines of mainstream and value processors: the energy-efficient line denoted by an "e" next to the model number, and the standard variant. Close to a decade into using the "Athlon" CPU brand name, the company finally chose to place a "II" next to it to denote a generation bump. The Athlon II keeps up with the Phenom II line, to make it slightly easier for consumers to discern which generation the processors belong to. The lower-end variants of the K10.5 "stars" core, that lacks L3 cache will be using this brand-name.

Taking advantage of the 45 nm core, Phenom II 900e series processors will operate in clock-speeds between 2.50 and 2.40 GHz, with complete 6 MB L3 cache. The rated TDP for the chips is 65 W. The triple-core Phenom II X3 700e series processors models 700e and 705e will operate in the same clock-speeds, with the same rated TDP. The Athlon II X4 600e and Athlon II X3 400e series processors in the making, 605e, 600e, 405e, and 400e, operate at speeds between 2.20 and 2.30 GHz. With no L3 cache to address and lower clock-speeds by the notch, the rated TDP is even lower, at 45 W.

AMD Introduces New Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Processor

AMD announced a platform refresh today for Dragon platform technology, including the new AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor. As AMD's fastest ever quad-core processor, it brings all the capabilities gamers, enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers have come to expect from AMD, including world record setting performance, high-speed DDR3 memory support and AMD OverDrive 3.0 technology, giving users more control over their computing experience.

The Dragon technology refresh consists of the new AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor, AMD 7-Series chipsets and award winning ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics. With this platform refresh, AMD is combining its fastest processor with the massive graphics processing muscle of its most powerful GPU to deliver high definition video entertainment and "beyond HD" resolutions3 that allow gamers to take the latest games to the extreme.

Jetway Releases XBLUE Series Motherboards

Jetway announced its newest line of mainstream motherboards for the AMD processor platform: XBLUE series. The two models currently part of the lineup include XBLUE-78GA3 (AMD 780G) and XBLUE-77A3 (AMD 770). Jetway used an identical PCB design for the two, with a few components' presence determined by the chipset. The core idea is to provide support for the entire range of processors right from AM2 to AM3. The board features two DDR2 (supports up to DDR2-1066 standard) and two DDR3 slots (supports up to DDR3-1333). For AM3 processors, either kind of memory can be used, while for AM2 and AM2+ ones the DDR2 slots have to be used.

On both the boards, Jetway implemented ATI Crossfire, not by using external PCI-E switching for the PCI-E x16 slot, but rather providing a PCI-E x4 slot powered by the SB700 southbridge. The XBLUE-78GA3 even packs SidePort memory for the IGP. Its output options include DVI, D-Sub and HDMI. The XBLUE-77A3 relies on discrete graphics. Other features include six SATA II ports, and six-channel HD audio. The company is yet to announce pricing and availability.

Scythe Announces Zipang 2 CPU Cooler

Japanese PC cooling specialist Scythe has a new CPU cooler up its shelves: Zipang 2. The cooler-design comes across as an evolution of that of Scythe Kabuto, and consists of a base that doubles up as a heatsink. From here, arise six 6 mm copper heatpipes, that convey heat to six blocks of aluminum fins. It measures 145x149x106 mm, and weighs 715 g (around 1.57 lbs). The 140 mm fan spins at around 1000 rpm, and pushes 51.43 CFM of air, with a noise output of 22.74 dBA. The cooler supports all current sockets from Intel and AMD, including Intel LGA-1366, and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3. Its pricing and availability are yet to be disclosed.

Phenom II X4 955 Inches Toward April 20 Launch

AMD is attempting to set its record straight with the Phenom II series of 45 nm desktop processors. The company had started off its Dragon desktop platform with the introduction of its flagship CPU, the Phenom II X4 940. This processor however, is not compliant with the AM3 socket, and will not support DDR3 memory, unless an AM3 socket motherboard can provide DDR2 memory support. Come April 20, and AMD will have released its newest processor: Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition. Based on the 45 nm Deneb core, this processor supports AM3 socket motherboards, and DDR3 memory. It features a core clock speed of 3.20 GHz (16.0 x 200 MHz), 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 6 MB of L3 cache. It is overclocker-friendly thanks to its unlocked bus multiplier, and the "massive headroom" AMD has been brandishing lately.

One of our sources from Hong Kong was able to make an early-purchase this processor in its retail "processor in a box" (PIB) package (marked with the OPN HDZ955FBGIBOX), from the Golden Computer Parts Center, who took a few snaps of the package. It could be bought for around HKD 2170 (US $280).

NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI Reference Platform Motherboard Pictured

Pursuing legal action against Intel for bringing its Intel-compatible platform development to a grinding halt due to legal complications, NVIDIA has kept its platform development for AMD on track. The company has made the nForce 980a SLI platform official, that supports the latest Phenom II series processors from AMD. The company published the product page on its website, and has pictured its reference design motherboard based on the chipset. The motherboard carries the "designed by NVIDIA" marking, which makes it a design that several of its AIC partners such as EVGA, XFX, Zotac, etc., can use simultaneously.

The motherboard sports the nForce 980a SLI chipset, paired with the nForce 200 PCI-Express bridge chip. The motherboard features a GeForce 8300-class IGP, with DVI-D and D-Sub outputs. It supports NVIDIA 3-way SLI and Quad-SLI. As an AMD platform, the chipset supports AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket processors, with DDR3 and DDR2 memory support (depending on the processor). A 5-phase digital PWM circuit powers the processor. The nForce 980a SLI and nForce 200 chips are located adjacent to each other, and are cooled actively by a fan-heatsink. The product design looks production-grade and may attract partners to sell it.

Scythe Unveils Kabuto CPU Cooler

The Japanese saying "Fasten the strap of your Kabuto after a victory" is comparable to English "Do not rest on your laurels" and can be told as a motto for the new Scythe Kabuto CPU cooler. The new Top-Flow CPU Cooler of the Japanese cooling specialist Scythe Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) is named after the famous Japanese samurai helmet, and has high performance paired with low noise.

Slip Stream 120 mm PWM fan mounted Scythe Kabuto on top of the CPU cooler is already known by Mugen 2. Due to its mounting on top of the cooler, the fan not only dissipates the heat of the cooling fins effectively but is cooling down sensitive components on the motherboard additionally.

ECS Showcases First AMD 880G Motherboard

During the ongoing CeBIT event, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) showcased the first motherboard seen based on AMD's upcoming 8-series chipset. The ECS A880GM-M is based on the RS880-derived AMD 880G chipset. The chipset succeeds the existing AMD 780G, in providing a high performance mainstream chipset with a strong integrated graphics processor. The RS880 chipset is known to feature an RV620 class IGP with an expanded feature-set. Learn more about the RS880 here.

The ECS A880GM-M targets the next-generation mainstream AMD motherboard segment that features support for DDR3 memory. AMD as we know, is releasing an entire range of quad-core, triple-core and dual-core CPU lineup that is based on the DDR3-supportive AM3 socket package. By mid-2010 one can expect DDR3 supportive AMD processors that are backwards compatible with DDR2-supportive AM2+/AM2 motherboards, in any given value thru mainstream price-point. A880GM-M is based on the micro-ATX form factor. Its release will be in-sync with AMD's release of the chipset, which as older reports suggest, is sometime in H2 2009.

MSI Makes More Motherboards AM3 Ready

Global motherboard and graphics card producer Micro-Star International (MSI) announced today that thirty one of its Socket AM2/AM2+ ready motherboards are now fully compatible with AMD's latest AM3 processors. These motherboards are based on both AMD and NVIDIA chipsets. Customers of the listed models only need to update their BIOS with the latest version, and don't have to purchase any new hardware. For more information about suitable motherboard SKUs and BIOS versions click here, or read the full story.

AMD Launches Five More AM2+ and AM3 Phenom II Processors

AMD today extended its Phenom II line-up with five new processors, including the industry's only 45nm triple-core CPUs and three new AMD Phenom II quad-core processors. Part of the fire breathing AMD Dragon platform, these new Phenom II chips fit in either AM2+ or AM3 sockets and support DDR2 or next generation DDR3 memory. The new triple-core and quad-core AMD Phenom II processors are available immediately with the following model numbers:
  • AMD Phenom II X4 910 2.6GHz, 6MB of L3 cache
  • AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz, 4MB of L3 cache - $175
  • AMD Phenom II X4 805 2.5GHz, 4MB of L3 cache
  • AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition 2.8GHz, 6MB of L3 cache - $145
  • AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6GHz, 6MB of L3 cache - $125
All five Phenom II chips have the same 95W TDP.

AMD To Crank Up Phenom II Clock-Speeds Upto 3.50 GHz, Planning New Models

Beating its chest on the "massive headroom" (read: clock speed increment potential) its newest line of processors, the Phenom II have, it was about time the company utilized the said headroom to carve out new SKUs. With the AM2+ exclusive Phenom II X4 940 already showing impressive overclocking potential, while shipping with a clock speed of 3.00 GHz, the company is planning to increase stock clock speeds in increments of 100 MHz (0.5x multiplier) with a string of SKUs post Phenom II X4 950. This according to the insider sources a German website called AMD News caught up with.

All the upcoming processors will be built on the AM3 package, making them compatible with DDR3 and DDR2 memory standards. With the Phenom II X4 950 being clocked at 3.10 GHz, succeeding SKUs take 100 MHz steps, starting from a Phenom II X4 960 at 3.20 GHz to a Phenom II X4 990 at 3.50 GHz. Despite the high clock speeds, the chips will continue to maintain rated TDPs of 125W. At some point within the succession, AMD will crank up the HyperTransport interconnect speed from 1,800 MHz to 2,000 MHz. The launch-schedule for these processors will be spread throughout 2009.

Scythe Prepares KillerWhale CPU Cooler

After introducing some of the most efficient CPU coolers, the Japanese cooling specialist, Scythe, is now planning to launch a new cooler named KillerWhale, designed and manufactured originally by DeepCool, distributed by Scythe. This cooler is specifically designed keeping the Intel LGA-1366 socket in mind, where a slightly bigger, rectangular base serves the application better.

The most characteristic feature of this cooler is its large, rather thick fan and sweep area. Its construction seems fairly simple: six heatpipes arise from a rectangular copper CPU contact block, which convey heat to an aluminum fin array that propagates along the plane of the motherboard. The entire cooler measures 54.5 x 143 x 143.5 mm, and weighs 900g (around 2 lbs). The 120mm fan rotates at speeds between 800 and 1800 rpm to dole out up to 78.32 CFM of air. The KillerWhale supports Intel LGA-1366, LGA-775, AMD AM3, AM2+, AM2, 940 and 939 sockets. It will hit stores soon.

Zalman VF2000 LED in Pretty Pixels

First spotted at the recent CES 2009 event, the Zalman VF2000 LED is incing towards launch. The Korean cooling specialist added a smart bit of innovation to this GPU cooler: it can also be used to cool a CPU. The VF2000 LED is a simplistic looking GPU cooler that is compatible with most GPUs such as the NVIDIA G9x and ATI RV700 series. Designed primarily for graphics cards, the VF2000 LED maintains a short profile. It measures 126x110x45 mm and weighs 290 g. Its construction is fairly simple, consisting of a contact block from which four heatpipes emerge, conveying heat to a dense aluminum fin array. The 90mm PWM-controlled, blue LED-lit fan is embedded into a circular cavity atop the array.

The provision of additional retention modules makes this cooler compatible with the Intel LGA-775 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3 sockets. However, the catch is that this cooler is recommended only for CPUs with rated TDPs below 110W, and hence can't be used for overclocking adventures on air-cooling, however, its slim construction sets it up as an ideal cooler for low-profile PCs. For the same reasons, this cooler is not provided with support for the LGA-1366. Matbe sourced some pictures from the cooler's official photo shoot. For more pictures, visit this page.

Jetway Working on DDR2 and DDR3 Supportive ''Combo'' AM3 Motherboard

After AMD embraced the DDR3 memory standard, the eventuality always existed where motherboard vendors could release motherboards that supported both DDR2 and DDR3 memory standards, to support the complete spectrum of processors built for the AM2, AM2+ and AM3 sockets with appropriate memory modules installed. The Jetway MA3-79GDG COMBO will be one of the first in its kind.

Based on the AMD 790GX + SB750 chipset, the MA3-79GDG COMBO holds two DDR2 DIMM slots for DDR2-1066 MHz memory, and two slots to support DDR3-1066 MHz memory. Memory support is subject to the processor being used. The motherboard comes in the micro-ATX form-factor and goes ahead with providing support for the ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU standard apart from its Radeon HD 3300-class IGP. The rest of this motherboard consists of a standard feature-set, with single PCI and PCI-Express x1 slots, 8-channel audio with optical and co-axial SPDIF audio connectivity, IGP video output through DVI, HDMI and D-Sub connectors, gigabit Ethernet and eSATA. This motherboard will reach stores next month and hopes to cash-in on its biggest USP: upgrade-friendliness. Its price isn't known at this point.

Biostar Rolls-Out First AMD 760G Motherboards

Following the launch of AMD's newest value northbridge, the AMD 760G, and the SB710 southbridge, Biostar prepared its first offerings based on the 760G + SB710 chipset: the TA760G M2+ and A760G M2+. Both motherboards are built in the Micro-ATX form factor, measuring 24.4cm X 20cm. Both models are essentially the same, except for the TA760G M2+ featuring four DDR2 DIMM slots, instead of two on the A760G M2+.

The motherboards feature AM2+ sockets, supporting Athlon, and Phenom series processors with TDP ratings of up to 95W. For the Phenom and Athlon X2 7000 series chips, the DDR2-1066 memory standard is supported. Featuring the new SB710 southbridge, up to six SATA II drives are supported. The rest of the feature set takes care of the essentials, with the onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200-class IGP running at 350 MHz, supporting Hybrid CrossFire, with dual-head outputs that include a DVI connector. A gigabit LAN and six-channel audio makes for the rest of it. Prelimnary reviews of the AMD 760G show it to outclass the Intel G41 chipset (priced in the same range) both in IGP performance and video acceleration. These motherboards will be priced well under US $100 to cater to its segment.

Phenom II X4 950 On The Cards

In all past roadmaps, AMD told us that its DDR3-supportive CPU lineup would begin with the Phenom II X4 945. Evidently that is not the case. From a recent DigiTimes report, there was hint given that all's not well with AMD's DDR3 plans, with the company toiling hard to get DDR3 memory run smooth and stable on AM3 socket CPUs, with integrated DDR3 memory controllers. The same report also highlighted the larger issue of both AMD and Intel being reluctant in orchestrating an industry-wide transition to the newer DDR3 memory standard across all market-segments. Amidst all this, AMD seems to have a small change of plans with its entire Phenom II lineup, with several processors earlier thought to be based on AM2+, emerging now as DDR3-supportive AM3. Also, it is known that AMD's first DDR3-supportive flagship quad-core chip will be the Phenom II X4 925, which arrives before the 945 and the newer SKU that has come to light.

Gigabyte's AMD 790X-Based MA790X-UD4 Pictured, Detailed

Gigabyte has a complete range of AM2+/AM2 socket-based motherboard range lined up for launch, based on the company's Ultra-Durable 3 construction. Among its range, Gigabyte has resurrected the AMD 790X chipset and given it a go with in its upcoming GA-MA790X-UD4 motherboard. The AMD 790X is a scaled-down version of the AMD 790FX, based on the RD780 core. While lacking integrated graphics, it provides ATI CrossFireX support, with a maximum of 16 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes to spare for graphics, which usually split into electrically dual PCI-Express 2.0 x8 when used with CrossFire setups. The 790X chipset was largely unpopular when it launched along with the 790FX and 770. It couldn't stand firm as the middle-ground between performance and value. This, along with competition from NVIDIA's nForce 750a SLI forced AMD to work on the 790GX chipset that offers all the features of the 790X, plus the integrated graphics.

In Gigabyte's latest work, the 790X is accompanied by the overclocker-friendly SB750 southbridge chip. The motherboard supports all AM2/AM2+ processors including the latest AM2+ Phenom II series. It advertises DDR2-1200 as its memory standard. In the mix, are two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots that operate electrically (x8, x8) in CrossFire, a high-grade onboard audio CODEC, Firewire, and a single gigabit Ethernet connection. It is expected to release in February, with a price-tag of 135€.
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