CES 2013 Video: ASUS RAIDR Express PCIe SSD and ARES II Dual HD 7970 Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards, Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2013 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: raidr express, ces 2013, CES, ASUS ROG, asus, ARES II

No stop at the ASUS suite at CES is complete without talking to JJ and learning about what is new in the world of PC components.  Not only did we talk with him about the upcoming ARES II limited edition dual Radeon HD 7970 graphics card (that Chris has already written about earlier in the day) but also we learned that ASUS plans to enter the PCIe solid state market with the ROG RAIDR Express. 

Yeah, you read that right!

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CES 2013 Day 2: Samsung

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 09:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, ces 2013, CES

 

I attended the Samsung press conference today, where several new products were announced. Among these was the 2013 line of Smart TV's:

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The 2013 series is just a minor cosmetic redesign with a thinner (1/4") bezel. The real difference was in the SmartTV functionality, which has a facelift and now runs on a quad core processor. Samsung also announced the first round of the Evolution Kit - an upgrade module that brings the quad core and new UI to the 2012 SmartTV series. The evolution kit is pricey at nearly $500, but that's still way cheaper than buying a whole new set.

Samsung showed some new Series 7 Laptops, with displays upgraded to HD resolution and 10-point multitouch capability. They also showed a new compact camera series boasting interchangeable lenses, one of which Samsung claims can shoot 3D through a single f/1.8 unit:

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They also annunced some appliances, the one catching everyone's ear being a refridgerator called the T9000 (no, I'm not kidding).

The coolest visual was the showing of an 85" 4k OLED TV. Pictures simply do not do this set any justice, but here is one for posterity:

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More to follow as we continue to lap Vegas...

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CES 2013: Kingston Lets You Buy Big Expensive USB Drives

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 06:26 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, kingston, thumb drive

Typical USB and SD-style memory card storage scale pretty effectively to the $1 per GB except for the really small drives which cost proportionally more due to non-negligible packaging and distribution costs. This ratio puts 16 and 32GB removable memory in the hands of just about anyone who even remotely desires it. However, for your really large storage needs, a removal hard drive is pretty much your only choice.

If you were to extend the $1/GB ratio up to drive sizes of 512GB or a terabyte then you are looking at $500-1000 worth of silicon in your pocket. Still, Kingston believes that if you desire a full terabyte of storage that you should be able to give them money to provide it to you.

Unfortunately it does not quite scale at the $1/GB ratio.

The Kingston DataTraveler HyperX Predator 3.0 has four unique names and about a four-fold increase in price-per-Gigabyte compared to standard USB flash memory. The 512GB version is set to retail for $1750 per stick. For some reason Kingston would not comment on the expected retail price of the 1TB version? I guess it is a case of if you need to ask…

If you are still interested in purchasing this thumb-drive -- then for one it must mean something to you -- but it does have 240MB/s read speeds and 160MB/s write speeds over USB3.0. If you are looking to actually use your 512GB drive then you would be able to fill it up in about an hour. Then again, if it does mean that much to you, Kingston apparently is happy to provide.

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Source: WebProNews

CES 2013: Haswell Ultrabooks Have New Requirements

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 05:05 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, haswell, Intel

Oh certification, how I loathe thee.

At the Intel CES 2013 keynote, Intel announced a few new requirements for OEMs to manufacture Haswell-based ultrabooks. Intel clearly wants to push OEMs to utilize several of their more cherished features and as such they will not allow products to be released without these features.

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Threat detected.

A fourth-generation ultrabook must contain the following features:

  • Touch interaction support
  • Intel WiDi support
  • Installed Antivirus and Anti-Malware, Intel-owned McAfee will have an announcement soon.

These three certification requirements lead to two major points of contention with me: non-Windows 8 operating systems as well as Intel potentially strong-arming McAfee into your machine. When Intel requires touch support for Haswell-based ultrabooks, they basically declare that Windows 7 and Linux will not be around.

That requirement could seem minor depending on what Intel McAfee will soon announce after Intel’s announcement that Antivirus and Anti-Malware will be required on ultrabooks. Windows 8 already comes with Microsoft Security Essentials pre-installed and as such Intel might strong-arm vendors into using McAfee. It would not be a stretch to speculate that McAfee will have some deep attachment to the Haswell architecture. Unfortunately we will need to wait until Intel makes their announcement.

Intel also claims that ultrabooks will have touch-based products in the $599 price points very soon.

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CES 2013 Tidbits: PaperTab Tablet

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, PaperTab, Intel, Plastic Logic, Queen's University

It is not just the big companies who have a presence at CES. Sometimes there are smaller products that are worth looking into. For that, we have CES 2013 Tidbits.

human media lab, a center at Queen’s University which I should preface is my Alma Mater, brought their thin and flexible tablet to the trade show. Input is performed by touching its screen, manipulating the flexible chassis, touching tablets together, or arranging them on the desk.

Technically speaking, the tablet is based on a 10.7” high resolution flexible touchscreen developed by Plastic Logic. The logic behind the plastic is controlled by an Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor although no other technical specs have been released.

The tablet was developed as a collaborative effort between human media lab and their partners, Intel and Plastic Logic. The crux of their user interface envisions tablets as a multi-monitor experience and then imagines what forms of interactions are possible as a result.

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CES 2013: ZOTAC Has a New ZBOX mini-PC

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: zotac, nuc, ces 2013, CES

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If you were interested in the Intel NUC review from mid-December then you might be interested in its competitors.

ZOTAC has been making small form factor PCs for three years at this point. This, 3rd, iteration contains the NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 graphics cart with a 2nd Generation Intel Core processor. With the ZBOX you can stream video and other content using dual Gigabit Ethernet or dual external Wi-Fi antennas. Unlike Intel, ZOTAC is making a big deal about its cooling capabilities of its new chassis.

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They will also be keeping their 2nd generation ZBOX chassis available, presumably for those who would be upset about a 7mm increase in size, with an Intel HD 4000 GPU. No discussion that I could find about price or release date however.

Press release after the break.

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Source: ZOTAC

CES 2013: Tegra 4, the Vision of Windows RT?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, nvidia, windows rt

It is the day after the NVIDIA keynote and the Tegra 4 floodgates are open. Sure, the rumors were fairly accurate, but I guess speculation waits for a solid basis to be believable.

The Tegra 4 marries 72 of the expected GPU cores with four… “plus one” as the bonus core is present although 4+1 branding does not seem to be… ARM Cortex-A15 cores. This push to an A15-based design provides a significant performance increase over Tegra 3. Another interesting feature is the ability to transmit 4K video should you have a suitable source or the rendered application can support 4K at a suitable framerate. You can then add in Icera’s LTE modem which is interesting in its own right to see a compelling product.

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Jen-Hsun spent about as much time justifying the need for speed as he did hyping its performance. Photographers, particularly those who wish to dabble with HDR, are able to use the Tegra 4 to vastly increase the speed of image processing at the time of taking the shot. Tonal mapping for an HDR image will take just 200ms of processing which allows HDR to be used along with burst mode and a flash.

Paul Thurrott over at the Supersite for Windows ponders whether this was Microsoft’s vision for Windows RT. He wonders whether Microsoft will try to take a mulligan on the first generation similar to Windows Phone 7-based devices led us to Windows Phone 8. At the same point, the weight which the Surface was designed to bare is pretty immense if it was just designed to buckle to Tegra 4. I would not put it past Microsoft although the Surface does not strike me as a product designed to have a doughy half-baked middle -- despite what actually shipped.

PC World also notes how Qualcomm continues to improve their products and have just recently transitioned to a 28nm process for the Snapdragon S4. Qualcomm is a giant and even then there is also Samsung to contend with in the ARM space -- then you consider x86 brings at least Intel to the game with its massive advantage in legacy software that are usually not abstracted by a platform-independent runtime layer.

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Source: NVIDIA

CES 2013: NVIDIA Grid to Fight Gaikai and OnLive?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, nvidia

The second act of the NVIDIA keynote speech re-announced their Grid cloud-based gaming product first mentioned back in May during GTC. You have probably heard of its competitors, Gaikai and OnLive. The mission of these services is to have all of the gaming computation done in a server somewhere and allow the gamer to log in and just play.

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The NVIDIA Grid is their product top-to-bottom. Even the interface was created by NVIDIA and, as they laud, rendered server-side using the Grid. It was demonstrated to stream to an LG smart TV directly or Android tablets. A rack will contain 20 servers with 240 GPUs with a total of 200 Teraflops of computational power. Each server will initially be able to support 24 players, which is interesting, given the last year of NVIDIA announcements.

Last year, during the GK110 announcement, Kepler was announced to support hundreds of clients to access a single server for professional applications. It seems only natural that Grid would benefit from that advancement: but it apparently does not. With a limit of 24 players per box, equating to a maximum of two players per GPU, it seems odd that a limit would be in place. The benefit of stacking multiple players per GPU is that you can achieve better-than-linear scaling in the long-tail of games.

Then again, all they need to do is solve the scaling problem before they have a problem with scaling their service.

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CES 2013: Seagate Wireless Plus - All the Mobiles!

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2013 - 10:11 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, ces 2013, CES

Certain mobile device manufacturers do not include a standard powered USB type A port for your removable storage? There’s an app for a peripheral for that!

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The Seagate Wireless Plus basically amounts to a 1TB external drive duct taped to a battery with a wireless dongle overly attached to it. The manufacturer claims that there is enough charge to power your storage for 10 hours to remain powered for as long as your mobile device. Seagate programmed compatibility with iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire HD as well as extra functionality for Airplay, SLNA, and a Samsung app for Smart TVs and BluRay players. In other words, at the very least this drive was designed for compatibility with a lot of devices.

The device is currently available online at Amazon and BestBuy. It is expected to cost $199.99 MSRP. Press blast after the break.

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Source: Seagate

Storage Visions - The Panasonic DataArchiver - 108TB of Blu-Ray Archival Storage in a 6U Chassis

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2013 - 09:59 PM |
Tagged: Panasonic, ces 2013, CES, bluray

At Storage Visions I came across a clever device from Panasonic. The DataArchiver:

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This is a 6U rack-mount chasses, capable of being filled with 108TB of Blu-Ray discs. Several stacks of 12-disc cartridges load into two drawers. A handler rides between the two drawers, fetching cartridges as needed, and loading the discs into the 12 installed Blu-Ray drives:

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This system provides excellent long-term archival storage of Blu-Ray discs (when handled properly - as it does), and for the extra cautious, the system can even mount and access the discs as RAID-5 or 6 volumes, allowing for single or double protection from faulty discs / disc sectors. The DataArchiver also implements AES256 across all discs in the array. Certainly an interesting piece of archival technology.

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Source: