Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 31, 2011 - 02:41 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, asus, GTX 580, mars, matrix, ROG
While also announcing a set of new motherboard at Computex 2011, ASUS was also showcasing two new graphics cards in the Republic of Gamers line based on NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 580 GPU. The MATRIX GTX580 and MARS II cards will offer a unique take on performance and engineering that haven’t been seen in the enthusiast graphics markets before.
The MATRIX GTX580 will offer support for TweakIt, ProbeIt and SafeMode overclocking capabilities at the hardware level while the GPU Tweak software will allow the user to adjust setting and monitor the card in the OS. The card is built with a 19-phase construction (!!) which should offer very impressive power efficiency as well as stability during overclocking. The cooler on the MATRIX card also promises to be 20% improved on the NVIDIA reference design.
The MARS II goes a step further by including a PAIR of GTX 580 GPUs on a single PCB offering what will likely be the fastest graphics card on the planet. The same hardware features like TweakIt and ProbeIt as well as the GPU Tweak software and the 19-phase power construction.
It looks like if you want the fastest graphics solutions available ASUS will have you covered with either the MATRIX GTX580 or the MARS II, depending on your wallet capacity.
Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | May 31, 2011 - 02:35 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, ROG, asus, crosshair, z68, maximus
On the first day of Computex 2011, ASUS held an event in Taipei to announce a host of new ROG (Republic of Gamers) branded devices including motherboards, displays, headphones, notebooks and even a desktop system.
For the Intel Sandy Bridge platform ASUS is releasing the Maximus IV GENE-Z and Maximus IV Extreme-Z that will both obviously use the Intel Z68 chipset and support the host of new features it introduces including Smart Response Technology and dual-graphics capability with Lucid Virtu. The GENE model is the micro-ATX variant that that supports SLI and CrossFire in addition to the Sandy Bridge graphics technology. For a full size solution the Maximus IV Extreme-Z offers four full-size PCIe x16 slots and support for 3-Way SLI and CrossFireX.
For the AMD platform the Crosshair V Formula is the first ROG board to use the new AMD 990FX chipset as well as the first AMD board in a LONG time with support SLI in addition to CrossFire graphics scaling. Not only that, but this board will be the first ASUS option to offer the innovative UEFI BIOS that users on the Intel front have had access to for some time. While the Crosshair V Formula will work with current Phenom processors the big selling point is that it will support the upcoming AMD Bulldozer-based processors with the AM3+ socket due later in 2011.
A slightly more expensive Crosshair V Formula/Thunderbolt SKU will be available as well that will include an ASUS Thunderbolt card that combines ASUS Xonar audio capability (and built-in headphone amplifier) with the BigFoot Networks Killer NIC E2100 NPU. We can debate the value of Killer NIC addition to your system all day, but if you want it, that option will be available from ASUS in July.
All three boards will include the overclocking and performance features that users of the ROG brand have come to expect and will be available this month. Be sure to check out PC Perspective for reviews of all the new ROG offerings!
Today, Corsair announces new additions to its Professional and Professional Gold series, with the HX1050 and AX650 respectively.
The HX1050 is 80 PLUS Silver certified, and is rated to deliver 88% efficiency or more at 50% load. Further, it is capable of outputting up to 1,050 continuous watts of power. The Professional Series model includes a fixed ATX 12V connector as well as modular cables for the remaining connectors.
The Professional Series Gold addition; however, is capable of 650 watts of continuous power. The AX650 is 80 PLUS Gold certified, and can deliver more than 90% energy efficiency at 50% load. Utilizing a fully modular, flat cable design, the AX650 eases cable management issues, and delivers “unflinching voltage stability,” according to Corsair.
The HX1050 is available for purchase now from authorized retailers worldwide for a MSRP of $239 USD. On the other hand, the AX650 will become available for purchase in June worldwide, and will carry an MSRP of $169 USD. You can read more about the power supply lines here.
Subject: Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 31, 2011 - 02:01 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ultrabook, Medfield, Ivy Bridge, Intel, haswell, computex, atom
With the release of the Intel Z68 chipset behind us by several weeks, Intel spent the opening keynote at Computex 2011 creating quite a buzz in the mobility section of the computing world. Intel’s Executive Vice President Sean Maloney took the stage on Tuesday and announced what Intel is calling a completely new category of mobile computer, the “Ultrabook”. A term coined by Intel directly, the Ultrabook will “marry the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops with tablet-like features and deliver a highly responsive and secure experience, in a thin, light and elegant design.”
If this photo looks familiar...see the similarity?
Intel is so confident in this new segment of the market that will fall between the tablet and notebook that they are predicting that by the time we reach the end of 2012 it will represent 40% of Intel’s processor shipments. That is an incredibly bold claim considering how massive and how dominate Intel is in the processor field. Intel plans to reach this 40% goal by addressing the Ultrabook market in three phases, the first of which will begin with ultra-low-power versions of today’s Sandy Bridge processors. Using this technology Maloney says we will see notebooks less than 0.8 inches thin and for under $1,000.
Make sure you "Read More" for the full story!!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 31, 2011 - 01:44 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, mid-tower, corsair, carbide
Corsair today launched a new series of mid-tower ATX computer cases aimed at budget gaming rigs. The 400R and 500R respectively, are the first of the Carbide series and will be available from Corsair and various online retailers starting in July.
The 400R is a dark gray steel structured, molded ABS plastic mid-tower enclosure that carries an MSRP of $99 USD. The case supports a 240mm radiator on the top of the case- which conveniently supports Corsair’s new Hydro coolers (LINKY)- as well as 4 120mm fan mounts and 6 120 or 140mm mounting points.
The 500R features the same construction materials; however, it differs in it’s configurations. The case features removable hard drive cages, multi-channel fan controller, 200mm side-mounted fan in addition to the aforementioned 400R’s fan options. The 500R has an MSRP of $129 USD.
The Carbide 400R's internals
Both cases include eight PCI-E slots for multi-graphics card setups. The 400R can fit GPUs up to 316mm long, whereas the 500R can accommodate graphics cards up to 452mm in length when one of the two hard drive cages are removed. Further, both cases feature a native SSD 2.5” drive bay, as well as two USB 3, one Firewire, one headphone and one microphone ports.
What do you think of the new Carbide cases? Will these become popular in budget DIY rigs?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 31, 2011 - 01:02 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: computex, water cooling, hydro, h80, h100, corsair
The new Hydro series sealed-loop water coolers from Corsair that we got a sneak peek of earlier this month have now been officially announced by Corsair. The H80 is a double-thick 120mm radiator, and will be compatible with the majority of standard ATX cases on the market. In contrast, the H100 uses a dual 120mm radiator and will require modding or a case that supports mounting holes for standard 240mm radiators.
Both sealed loop water coolers feature a low profile water block and digital fan control, which will allow enthusiasts the choice between maximum performance and quiet operation. Further, the coolers include Corsair’s Link technology, which provides a “system for monitoring and control.” Systems that have Corsair Link Commander hardware, which is a hardware monitoring kit that mounts in a 3.5” drive bay and connects to software on the PC via USB, will be afforded even more control over sound levels and performance. The H80 includes headers for two fans while the H100 includes headers for four fans.
The H80's fan connectors
Ruben Mookerjee, the VP and GM for Components at Corsair stated that with the H80 and H100 coolers, the company focused on what made the earlier Hydro series so successful; “closed-loop reliability, straightforward installation, and, of course, the best CPU cooling technology available.” The Hydro H80 and H100 will be available from authorized retailers beginning in June, and carry a MSRP of $109 USD and $119 USD respectively.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | May 31, 2011 - 12:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ultraportable, padfone, meego, computex, asus, Android
Asus is starting their Computex 2011 showing off strong with a bevy of product announcements. Most of their new products fall into their mobile lineup. The new mobile devices include a thin MeeGo OS powered Netbook, an ultralight Core i7 laptop, a new 3D Eee Pad, the MeMO 3D, and a phone-docking tablet dubbed the “Padfone.” Beyond the mobile market, the company has further announced a home entertainment media hub, and an All-In-One ET2700XVT desktop computer.
On the mobile front, and notebooks specifically, Asus has announced new N and UX series notebooks. The N series notebooks focus on incorporating higher fidelity speakers into a laptop chassis than is standard. The latest N models include a dedicated and external subwoofer to bring “deep bass extension that would otherwise be possible,” according to Asus. The audio technology in question has been developed by Asus and David Lewis has been dubbed SonicMaster. This same audio technology is also integrated into their new AIO desktop, which you can read about below.
The UX series is Asus’ ultraportable laptop lineup. Measuring 17mm at its thickest point, 2.4 pound aluminum ally body houses a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 processor and a SATA 6 Gb/s SSD. Asus further claims that the laptop features an “Instant On” feature that is capable of resuming the laptop from sleep states in seconds. The newest UX21 model is a silver colored aluminum body housing a glossy display, large track pad, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and likely a non-user replaceable battery. The device is very slim and appears to be very competitive against Apple’s MacBook Air.
The last addition to their mobile lineup is a MeeGo powered Eee PC X101 netbook. Powered by an Intel Atom N435 at 1.33GHz, the 10.1” netbook comes equipped with the Intel-backed MeeGo operating system. The Eee PC X101H is another such model with the option for MeeGo or Microsoft Windows 7 operating system in addition to the choice between a hybrid hard drive or solid state drive. At 17.6mm thick, and weighing under 950g, the netbook is fairly small. IO (input/output) on the device(s) include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, USB, and a headphone jack.
Aside from notebooks, Asus showed off a tablet-docking concept phone and a 3D tablet. The Padfone is basically a larger screen and extra battery for your smartphone. Once your smartphone is connected inside the case and hidden, the tablet becomes a larger display and battery charger. The phone in turn, is able to share its 3G and Wi-Fi connections with the tablet.
The MeMO 3D tablet, on the other hand, is a 7” tablet with a 3D display at a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The portrait device supports both multi-touch and capacitive stylus input. Android Honeycomb is the operating system of choice that powers the glasses-free 3D IPS display.
Asus has also announced a desktop All-In-One computer called the ET2700XVT which is 27” display coupled with a PC. Capabilities of the AIO include a digital TV tuner, HDMI-in, SyncMaster audio speakers, and optional 10-point multi-touch input.
In addition, the WAVI Xtion is 3D motion sensing technology much like that of Microsoft's Kinect. Asus hopes to combine this technology with computers and media centers. The Xtion Portal is a wireless home entertainment center for the living room. The device functions as a media playback box, web browser, app store, and game console. The game bundle includes MayaFit, Beat Booster, and DanceWall. Both the games and the interface is controlled via Kinect-like gestures.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2011 - 11:35 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mobile gaming, gtx 560m, graphics, computex
At Computex 2011, NVIDIA plans to showcase the latest addition to its mobile graphics lineup, the GTX 560M GPU. Powered by a mobile version of the 500 series desktop GPU, the graphics card will bring support for NVIDIA's Optimus, 3D Vision, and PhysX technologies. On launch, there will be two notebooks from Asus and Toshiba, the G74sx and a Qosmio gaming laptop respectively, with many more to follow.
The Asus G74sx and Toshiba Gaming Notebook
From a performance aspect, the GTX 560M purports to deliver twice the performance of the current latest 540M mobile chip. According to GeForce.com, in Crysis: Warhead the GTX 560M pulls a respectable 30-40 FPS at 1080p resolution with “Gamer” detail settings. This is in contrast to the older GTX 540M, which can only maintain 30-40 frames per second at 1080p at the lowest detail settings. In 3DMark Vantage, the GTX 560M scored 10,000 points whereas the older 540M only pulled off approximately 4,200 points. Andrew Coonrad, of NVIDIA’s Technical Marketing department further stated that the graphics card would play both the Witcher 2 and Duke Nukem: Forever at approximately 50 frames per second.
GeForce states that if you are a mobile gamer looking for an easy to carry gaming notebook that can offer Optimus’ battery saving technology and 3D Visions gaming features, laptops with the GTX 560 are the way to go as the older GTX 480M is not nearly as power efficient (and thus less portable). Laptops with the new graphics card are in stock now at several online retailers.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Shows and Expos | May 29, 2011 - 06:08 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pcper, computex 2011, computex
It is that time of year again where the staff at PC Perspective wades through the moist air of Taipei, Taiwan to bring you the latest news, videos and updates from the world of technology and computing hardware. This marks my 10th appearance on the island of Taiwan, but Ken's first so it should be an interesting experience for both of us.
Yes, this scary girl is here again too.
This year we have a surprising amount of expected hardware to investigate starting with an onslaught of AMD-based technology. The AMD 990FX chipset will be out and about in force from the likes of ASUS, MSI, ECS and others while the Fusion APUs will be flaunted in notebooks and likely even some "surprise" Llano designs. Intel's Z68 chipset, though already launched, will still be a focus but the company will surprise many with a dramatic move into the world of mobile computing with the Atom line.
Temperatures are high but so is the excitement!!
Subject: Motherboards, Systems, Mobile | May 21, 2011 - 03:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hardware, ECS, computex
ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) will be attending this years Computex 2011 convention, and they plan to unveil a slew of new hardware. During the week, they will be showing off new motherboards, a new graphics card, four All-In-One PCs, two tablets, two notebooks, and an eBook reader of all things.
For the DIY enthusiasts, ECS will be showing off a AMD 990FX chipset motherboard, which will support AMD's Bulldozer processors, as well as a new series of motherboards "for cloud computing, home server, (and) work station." While they were not willing to give out details at this time, they will have live high end gaming setups for attendees to demo at the show. Further, ECS is releasing a NVIDIA GeForce 560 graphics card. Again, they did not share any specifications, they claim that their card is 40% faster than its 460 predecessor.
All-In-One PCs will also be receiving a large showing at the ECS booth, with three SKUs of their "PC—G11" touch screen computer with wireless connectivity. The DS110, MS300, and MS150 specifically will provide different levels of performance thanks to three differing levels of hardware (they mention CPUs and chipsets).
On the mobile front, ECS is unveiling two tablets. The S10 is a 10.1" Atom Z670 tablet with a resolution of 1366x768 and HDMI out along with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and "3G or GPS." The V07 is a 7" tablet based on similar specifications that will be released in August 2011. The MB40 and MB50 are 14" and 15" Sandy Bridge powered notebooks with LED displays at 1366x768 and featuring a 6-in-1 card reader. Further, ECS is debuting a 6" and 8" touch screen eBook reader with WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G. The eBook reader will feature either a monochrome or multicolor display, and will run the Android mobile operating system.