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ASUS Also Working on the $800+ UX32A and UX32Vd Zenbooks

In addition to bringing the UX21A and UX31A, the upcoming Zenbook series update is set to see the arrival of two more ultrabooks, the UX32A and UX32Vd. Set to cost between $800 and $1,100, these 'budget-minded' ultrabooks are 18.3 mm thick, they weight 1.45 kg, and feature a 13.3-inch (HD or optionally, Full HD IPS), display, 2/4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive backed by a 24 GB SSD (for some caching fun), and a low-voltage Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge (1.8 GHz Core i3-3217U, 2.4 GHz Core i5-3317U or 2.8 GHz Core i7-3517U) processor.

The UX32A comes with integrated graphics, while the UX32Vd will come equipped with a GeForce GT620M 1 GB card. Both models will have WiFi, Bluetooth, optional WiDi, and offer up to seven hours of battery life.

ASUS Readies the Zenbook UX21A and UX31A Ultrabooks

As soon as Intel rolls out its Ivy Bridge mobile processors ASUS' ultrabook offering will be updated through the release of two Zenbooks, the 11.6-inch UX21A and the 13.3-inch UX31A. Design-wise, these upcoming models are expected to resemble their predecessors (the UX21 and UX31) but they'll feature more juicy specs like (optional) Full HD IPS screens (the UX21A will have a 1366 x 768 display by default, whereas the 'base' UX31A comes with a 1600 x 900 panel), and one of three Ivy Bridge CPUs - the 1.8 GHz Core i3-3217U, 2.4 GHz Core i5-3317U or 2.8 GHz Core i7-3517U, with a 17 W TDP.

More Alienware M17x R4 Details Leak

Building on the information already revealed in January, a new Dell-flavored scoop says that the upcoming Alienware M17x R4 (17.4-inch) laptop will offer three display options, one HD+ (1600 x 900), one Full HD (1920 x 1080) and one Full HD 3D. Moreover, this gaming-ready machine is claimed to utilize eDP for LCD communication.

The Alienware M17x R4 will be powered by Ivy Bridge processors, feature both AMD (Radeon HD 7970M) and NVIDIA (GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 675M) discrete graphics, and will be available in two color schemes - black and red. Still no word on its release but it should arrive in Q2.

EVGA Offers Quick Peek at 7 Series (LGA 1155) Motherboard

While rival manufacturers flooded CeBIT with their Z77 motherboards, EVGA has been rather low key and only today decided to give us a look at what it's preparing for next's month's Ivy Bridge launch. Seen below is one high-end LGA 1155 board EVGA is currently working on. There's no name to go with the image (best guess is Z77 FTW) but plenty of specs can be identified like, well, the Ivy-ready LGA 1155 socket, four DDR3 memory slots, 10-phase power, two 8-pin power connectors to 'feed' the processor plus two 6-pin PCIe plugs catering to graphics cards, a PCIe bridge chip (likely made by PLX), and five PCI-Express x16 slots (at least two should be PCIe 3.0) providing SLI and CrossFireX capabilities.

EVGA's incoming motherboard also includes PCIe disable switches, a debug LED, an angled 24-pin ATX power connector, four SATA 6.0 Gbps and four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an undetermined number of USB 3.0 ports, Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, 7.1 channel audio, and it seems even a Thunderbolt port. Now where's that 'Like' button?

Acer VA40 Combines Core i7-3612QM and GeForce GT 640M

NVIDIA's Kepler and Intel's Ivy Bridge architectures are a match made in Acer's upcoming VA40 notebook. The notebook combines Intel Core i7-3612QM quad-core processor with NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M discrete graphics, and with NVIDIA Optimus technology, performs dynamic-switching between the GT 640M and Intel HD 4000 graphics embedded into the processor. A Chinese forum user "yknyong1" posted screenshots of the two components using available diagnostic software. We know that CPU-Z 1.6 adds reliable support for Ivy Bridge CPUs, but GPU-Z 0.5.9 has preliminary support for Kepler GPUs, too. At least it knows how to count CUDA cores, ROPs, clock-speeds, and other basic information, even if it gets a few other details inaccurate. Kepler support will be refined and made reliable days ahead of NVIDIA's big launch day, later this month.

The Core i7-3612QM is a quad-core chip clocked at 2.10 GHz, featuring 6 MB L3 cache of the Ivy Bridge silicon, and HyperThreading, which enables 8 logical CPUs. The GeForce GT 640M, on the other hand, is known to be based on NVIDIA's new 28 nm GK107 silicon. It is detected with 384 CUDA cores, 2 GB of DDR3 memory over a 128-bit wide memory interface, 16 ROPs, core clock speed of 405 MHz, and 900 MHz memory. The chip carries a device ID of 10DE-0FD2, and is compliant with PCI-Express 3.0 bus interface. When on light load (desktop), the clock speeds of this GPU were turned down to 135 MHz core with 405 MHz memory. Find more barely-legible screenshots at the source.

14-inch Lenovo Ivy Bridge Laptop Up for Pre-Order

Providing more proof that Ivy Bridge is closing in fast, Amazon has put up for pre-order a Lenovo laptop which is powered by an Intel 3rd generation Core processor. The laptop in question is named IdeaPad Y480 (20934FU) and it features a 1.3-inch thick chassis, a 14-inch display, a 2.3 GHz Core i7-3610QM CPU, 8 GB of RAM, a 750 GB hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M 1 GB graphics card.

The Y480 also packs two 1.5 W JBL speakers, it runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and apparently has a battery life of only 3.5 hours. The price tag of this new IdeaPad is $999.99.

Definitive Retail Launch Date for Ivy Bridge Core Processors Surfaces

While we're fairly certain about the launch-schedule of Intel's "Ivy Bridge" Core processor family and 7-series chipset from an older article, which pin-points at April 29 to be the day full-fledged reviews (including overclocking performance, and benchmarks that cover new features) can be published, there's still a looming doubt over that day being the one on which you could buy say, a Core i7-3770K off Newegg.com. A latest slide, probably sourced from Intel's Retailedge, lays that doubt to rest. April 29 is indeed the day you will be able to buy most significant "Ivy Bridge" Core i7 and Core i5 models. Certain other models are slated for June 3. Dual-core Core i3 and Pentium processors based on Ivy Bridge silicon are slated for "Holiday". As on April 29, you also be able to buy motherboards based on 7-series chipset, which support Ivy Bridge processors out of the box.

ECS Z77H2-AX and Z77H2-A2X Go Black and Gold

At CeBIT, ECS unveiled the Z77H2-AX and Z77-H2-A2X, its top two motherboards based on the Intel Z77 chipset, supporting "Ivy Bridge" Core processors in the LGA1155 package. But what ECS didn't reveal on the CeBIT floor, was that the drab-looking gray+white on black PCB color-scheme wasn't going on to the retail version. The retail versions of these two motherboards, pictured below, will employ a new black and gold color scheme.

Basically, all metallic parts of the motherboards, be it the sheaths around the conductive polymer capacitors, the sheaths around the chokes, the PCH and VRM heatsinks, the CPU socket frame, and even the rear-panel port clusters, will have golden-colored finish that lends the motherboard a pimped out appearance. The contacts in the CPU socket have 15 μm-thick real-gold plating, to improve conductivity. The PCB is jet-black, and so are all the expansion and DRAM slots, the gray and white colored slots are replaced. Most other plastic parts, such as SATA ports, ATX/EPS power connectors, are colored black. The two motherboards were extensively detailed in the older article. Sam Sparro will be proud.

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.

Second-Gen. ASUS Zenbook Ivy Bridge and Kepler Driven

ASUS Zenbook is perhaps the closest the Ultrabook has gone to Apple's MacBook Air in terms of features and aesthetics. Its makers are saving its successor for the Computex spotlight. It is reported that the second-generation Zenbook will be driven by Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core processor, its compatible 7-series platform, and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M discrete graphics. It will feature NVIDIA Optimus technology that marshals graphics loads between the discrete GPU and Intel HD 4000 graphics, to minimize power draw when on light graphics loads.

Taiwanese Notebook Vendors Offer Ultrabook-like PCs in Q2

With the new Ultrabook specification being governed by Intel, and compatible Ivy Bridge Core processors facing delays, Taiwan-based notebook vendors are finding incentives in launching "Ultrabook-like" PCs, notebooks that are about as compact as Ultrabooks, but with vendors' own hardware specifications. Such PCs are also said to be designed keeping in mind lower price-points, such as $600. These notebooks will do away with expensive metal unibody chassis, hollow hinges, and SSDs, and replace them with more cost-effective ones. For example, 7 mm-thick HDDs are already announced. Those could make viable alternatives for SSDs. Such Ultrabook-alternatives could be launched as early as in Q2-2012, sources note.

Revised Acer Aspire S3 Pictured

Acer ironed out a lot of issues of its flagship Ultrabook, the Aspire S3, with the revised Aspire S3-391. The revised S3 was shown to public at CeBIT. To begin with, it is based on Intel's revised, more mature Ultrabook platform specification, driven by "Ivy Bridge" Core processor, and 7-series chipset, which gives it up to four USB 3.0 ports driven by the PCH. CompuBase found the new Ultrabook to be more responsive thanks to its newer processor. Slated for the middle of Q2-2012, the Aspire S3-391 is expected to be priced at 899 €.

Toshiba Qosmio X870 Detailed

Here's a picture of Toshiba's its newest gaming notebook in the works, the Qosmio X870. Although unveiled, it will be a little while before we can see this 17.3-incher in stores. That's because it's said to powered by "next-generation" Core processors (Ivy Bridge), and "next-generation" NVIDIA GeForce GPU (Kepler), with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Its 17.3-inch TruBrite display packs 1920x1080 pixels resolution. Other notable specifications of this brute includes 2TB SSD+HDD hybrid, Bluetooth 4.0, four USB 3.0 ports, Harman-Kardon speakers, Blu-ray drive, and wired Ethernet. According to the source, the Qosmio X870 is headed for a Q2-2012 launch.

Shuttle's Z77-based XPC Z77R5 Pictured

Shuttle unveiled the XPC Z77R5 mini-PC barebone at CeBIT. It is built into a familiar-looking XPC chassis, but with a new motherboard based on the Intel Z77 chipset, which lends it support for "Ivy Bridge" Core i7/i5/i3 processors out of the box, apart from support for LGA1155 "Sandy Bridge" processors. Connectors include six USB 2.0, four USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI, RJ-45 (gigabit Ethernet), 2x SATA 6 Gb/s, eSATA, and 8-ch HD audio. There are four expansion slots, one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, one PCI-Express 2.0 x4, and two mini-PCIe.

The chassis includes drive bays for 1 5.25" drive (such as optical drives), two internal+exposed 3.5" bays, for gadgets such as card readers. The power supply is rated at 500W, with 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating. The XPC Z77R5 chassis measures 32.5 x 21.5 x 19.8 cm (DxWxH). Pricing and availability information was not given out.

ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene Detailed, Too

Perhaps the most exciting micro-ATX motherboard based on Intel 7-series chipset, supporting "Ivy Bridge" Core processors, is the ROG Maximus V Gene, from ASUS. This board gives you nearly all the connectivity of larger ATX motherboards, by making use of what little PCB real-estate it has. The board uses a 12-phase VRM to power the LGA1155 CPU, just like the Maximus V Formula. The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include two PCI-E 3.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated), and one open-ended PCI-E 2.0 x4. Connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s, four SATA 3 Gb/s internal ports, six USB 3.0 ports (four rear, two front), SupremeFX III audio with ground-layer isolation from the rest of the motherboard, and a mini-PCIe riser card that packs a dual-band wireless networking adapter. Expect this board to be out in April.

ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula Unveiled

ASUS unveiled the Republic of Gamers Maximus V Formula motherboard, at CeBIT. Its latest bad boy is based on Intel Z77 chipset, and supports "Ivy Bridge" and "Sandy Bridge" Core processors in the LGA1155 package. The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 12-phase Digi+ VRM, which takes power from one 8-pin EPS, and one 4-pin ATX, apart from the 24-pin ATX, and an optional 4-pin Molex. The VRM area of this motherboard is cooled by a heatsink that is embedded with a liquid-cooling channel that lets you plug it to your water-cooling loop. With the Ivy Bridge platform motherboards, it's really just the CPU and CPU VRM that need liquid cooling for extreme overclocking, since the Z77 PCH is just a glorified southbridge that doesn't get hot enough to break your OC.

The CPU is wired to four DDR3-DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2600+ (by OC). Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x8/x8 when both are populated), one open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4 (wired to the PCH), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, also wired to the PCH), and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1. ASUS deployed a PLX PCIe 2.0 bridge chip to create more PCIe lanes for onboard devices. The board features ThunderFX audio, which consists of high-grade DAC and AMP circuitry that's ground-isolated from the rest of the motherboard. On the connectivity side, there's gigabit Ethernet and a dual-band WiFi module. Several ROG-exclusive features can also be found.

Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V Detailed

Here are the first pictures of the GA-B75M-D3V up close. This micro-ATX form-factor board is designed for business desktops (small-businesses, home-offices), and is based on Intel's B75 chipset. The board supports "Ivy Bridge" and "Sandy Bridge" Core processors in the LGA1155 package. Its component loadout doesn't stretch too far beyond what the chipset offers. The LGA1155 CPU is powered by a simple 5-phase VRM, it is wired to just two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR3 memory.

Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, two PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and one legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s, and four SATA 3 Gb/s, all internal. The 6 Gb/s ports are angled. Display connectivity includes one each of DVI and D-Sub. There are four USB 3.0 ports, two on the rear-panel, two via front-panel header, all wired to the PCH. 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, Parallel/LPT, and PS/2 combo connector top it all off. Expect the GA-B75M-D3V to be hovering around the $100 mark.

MSI QM77, the Flagship mini-ITX IPC Board

MSI IPC unveiled the cutting-edge QM77 mini-ITX board, designed for the high performance Intel Ivy Bridge / Sandy Bridge Mobile CPU with integrated graphic processor for multiple displays and Intel QM77 Express chipset, featuring the optional PCIe 2.0 / 3.0 slot, Dual-channel DDR3 SO-DIMMs for up to 16 GB memory capacity and various I/O connectors for all kinds of peripherals. The fanless MSI QM77, power-saving, dust-free and noise-less, is durable under extreme environments and suitable to be applied in every industrial field, such as digital signage, kiosk, gaming, industrial control automation and POS.

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.

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.

17.3-inch Ivy Bridge-Based Samsung Notebook Found on Pre-Order

US store J&R seem to be quite excited about Ivy Bridge because it jumped the gun and simply listed on its website a yet-unannounced Samsung notebook based around Intel's 22 nm platform. Dubbed NP700Z7C-S01US Nike, the laptop in question runs Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and features a 17.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit display, a 2.3 GHz Core i7-3615QM processor, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 8 GB of RAM, a DVD writer and a 1 TB hard drive backed by 8 GB of NAND Express Cache.

The NP700Z7C-S01US also packs a multi-in-one card reader, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and an 8-cell battery. This whole package is priced at $1,499.99 and is labeled as 'coming soon'.

CPU-Z 1.60 Released, Brings Ivy Bridge Support, Knows Some Trinity Too

A fresh (and funky?) new version of CPU-Z has today been released and it brings support for Intel's incoming Ivy Bridge processors, as well as for the Core i5 2550K, 2450P and 2380P, the Xeon E3, the Z77 platform, and for AMD's FX-8140, FX-4150 Bulldozers. Moreover, there's Windows 32/64-bit info in the About tab, and preliminary support for the Piledriver-powered Trinity APUs (from AMD).

To get CPU-Z 1.60 check out this page.

Thanks to stasio for the heads up.

Intel Confirms Ivy Bridge Core Processor Specifications

Intel confirmed specifications of what could be its entire 3rd Generation Core processor family, based on the "Ivy Bridge" silicon, slated for Q1~Q2, 2012. These include details of its desktop Core i7, Core i5 processor models, notebook Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and their corresponding ULV variants, and so on. Specifications include model numbers, clock speeds, Turbo Boost 2.0 speeds, and basic features such as Built-in Visuals (integrated graphics), caches, HyperThreading, and fab process. These details are meant for retailers and distributors to update them on the upcoming product lineups, so they could fine-tune their inventories.

Notebook lineup details follow.

Three New Ivy Bridge ULV Processor Models Surface

With slimmer notebooks thanks to the Ultrabook platform, the demand for low-power ULV processors is expected to go up, so will Intel's need to stratify the lineup to capture more price-points. Details of three new Core "Ivy Bridge" models were scored by VR-Zone, which reports them to be Core i3-3217U, Core i5-3317U, and Core i7-3517U. The i3-3217U is Intel's cheapest Core ULV processor in the next generation, clocked at 1.80 GHz. It lacks CPU Turbo Boost, and so the TDP limit stays at 17W, which can be lowered to 14W, when the CPU is on low loads, and when it's clocked all the way down to 800 MHz.

Next up there's the Core i5-3317U, with a native clock speed of 1.7 GHz, which has no option to increase the TDP, but which can be lowered to 14W. It supports Turbo Boost speeds of up to 2.40 GHz for both its cores, and 2.60 GHz for one of its cores. Lastly, there's the Core i7-3517U. Clocked at 1.90 GHz, this chip supports increasing its TDP from 17W all the way up to 25W to accommodate higher Turbo bins. At its native TDP, the chip supports Turbo speeds of 2.40 GHz, but with the bump in TDP, it supports Turbo bins as high as 2.80 GHz for two cores, and 3.00 GHz for single-core. This model differs from the other Core i5 ULV models in having 4 MB L3 cache (vs. 3 MB). We will be hearing more about these chips only after Intel kickstarts the mobile Ivy Bridge lineup in mid-2012.
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