12 The Daily VR Zone News Summary   10 Mar 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • Advances made to MRAM technology might see it rivaling performance of DRAM and SRAM soon;
  • Sparkle's Calibre X580 graphics card gets reviewed;
  • Microsoft's Patch Tuesday does little to secure Internet Explorer from a known security hole;
  • HP drops a bombshell on Microsoft by announcing its plans to preload its desktop PCs with Palm's webOS;
  • A new patch to Catherine unlocks access to a 'Super Easy mode', and
  • Sony seems to have scored a victory against hackers by issuing a new firmware that is reportedly capable of blocking the master key hack

Hardware News:

MRAM chip connection manages high speed data storage
Description: Scientists have managed to significantly speed up the data transfer of Magnetic Random Access Memories (MRAM), meaning that the spintronics based memory could soon rival DRAM and SRAM.

Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler Review @Hi Tech Legion
Description: The Antec Kuhler H2O 620 CPU Cooler is one of the newest offerings in self contained liquid CPU cooling with zero maintenance. The technologies of the Antec Kuhler H2O 620 would have been available only in the highest priced enthusiast coolers a short time ago, but Antec is now delivering them in an affordable, easy to install and maintain unit. The Kuhler H2O 620 offers all of the benefits of liquid cooling, including lowered CPU and component temperatures without the complications typically associated with liquid cooling.

Thermaltake Level 10 GT Modular Case @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: Thermaltake set the computer case world on its ear in 2009, when it introduced the amazing Level 10 computer case. Designed in collaboration with BMW, the Level 10's unique design, with separate compartments hung from the side of a central "spine", was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. But so was its price, at $800.00. The high price kept it out of retail stores and also kept sales low. The Level 10 GT attempts to incorporate some of the features and style of the original Level 10 at a lower price that's still at the high end of the mainstream case market. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at this latest salvo in the "case wars."

Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler Review @ Tweaknews
Description: Noctua's NH-C14 is a huge cooler, both in physical size and performance. The build quality is excellent and the mounting solutions are very robust and easily installed. I particularly like the fan clip design and implementation. With two included fans, a feature rich accessory package including LNA and ULNA fan speed reducers, a screwdriver and an enameled metal case badge, the NH-C14 would seem to be a dream product for the enthusiast/overclockers among us.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 Review: Sumptuous Dual-GPU Power
Description: The high-end Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 also arrived late last year, while the dual-GPU version of AMD's last generation graphics series code-named Antilles was expected to arrive shortly after. Coincidentally (or not) both AMD and Nvidia took a few months longer than expected to show its hardcore dual-GPU graphics cards, with the former making the first move to finally unveil the Radeon HD 6990.

ASUS EAH6870 1GB Radeon HD6870 Thermal Image Analysis @ Bigbruin.com
Description: The PCB behind the Radeon HD6870's GPU did get to over 72C, and it washed over a large area of the card with temperatures exceeding 60C. These numbers themselves aren't of much concern, but it does imply that the actual GPU is even higher. An aftermarket cooler may not be necessary, but it should lower those readings by a fair amount.

Fractal Design Define XL Computer Case @ TweakPC.de (German)
Description: (Machine translation) Fractal Design is well known for midi-tower computer cases. The Define XL is the first big-tower. We took a look.

Sparkle Calibre X580 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
Description: The Calibre X580 graphics card offers impressive performance in most games and synthetic benchmarks, comes with a beefy but very efficient (and silent enough) air cooling solution from Arctic Cooling and if that wasn't enough, it is overclocked from the factory (810MHz GPU/ 2016MHz memory)!


Consumer Electronics and Software News:

Video: Hands-On With An Engineering Prototype 64GB iPhone
Description: The backstory isn’t exactly detailed, but somehow M.I.C. Gadget got their hands on what seems to be an unreleased 64GB iPhone. All they’re stating is that the phone is not for sale and it was “definitely leaked from Foxconn’s factory in Shenzhen.” True? We don’t know, but it at least seems like the real deal.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday leaves Internet Explorer vulnerable
Description: The firm’s Patch Tuesday neglected to include the patch for Exploit-CVE2011-0096, meaning that users will be forced to wait until next month to acquire full protection.

Planar's SA2311W 23" 3D monitor now shipping for $600
Description: The SA2311W is a 23" 3D (active-shutter) monitor that features 120hz refresh rate, Full-HD, 2ms response time and VGA/dual-link-DVI/HDMI inputs. If you want 3D, you'll need to get Nvidia's 3D Vision system.

iDisplay for Android @ TestFreaks
Description: I love having more than one monitor, once you try more than one you can never really go back. Monitors though can be expensive and you have to think do you really need or have the space for another monitor on your desk? What about using what you already have readily available, something like your phone…

Firefox 4 Moves Out of Beta, New Downloads Available Now
Description: The last beta version, Firefox 4 Beta 10, was released just six weeks ago. Current Firefox 4 beta users will be automatically upgraded to the RC version of the browser, and RC users will be automatically updated to the final release of Firefox 4 when it is available.

Apple Opening Temporary iPad 2 Store to Handle SXSW Demand
Description: South by Southwest (SXSW) starts on Friday March 11, and the iPad 2 goes on sale on the same day. Apple has two stores in Austin, where SXSW is held, but when you’re hosting thousands of gadget-hungry geeks, two stores is not enough. That’s why Apple is opening a temporary store (via The Statesman) that will exist for only two weeks, beginning March 11.

HP's shot across Microsoft's bow: webOS to ship on all HP PCs
Description: HP CEO Leo Apotheker has said that next year, all PCs sold by Hewlett-Packard will include webOS, the mobile operating system acquired by HP when it bought Palm last year. The operating system will ship alongside, not instead of, Microsoft's Windows.


Gaming News:

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II — Retribution Review
Description: Even the biggest fans of the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will admit it: The game was too hard. Bosses were unforgiving to the point of frustration, and the punishment for dying or missing an objective reminded one of the auto-da-fe. Thankfully, the designers at Relic Entertainment have heard the pleas of all us sinners, and have loosened up their latest standalone expansion, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II — Retribution. This time around, your units are more survivable, the odds are fairer, and those gnarly bosses go down just a bit easier

Catherine patch makes game easier
Description: According to Atlus' official Catherine homepage (translated by Siliconera), the PlayStation 3 patch is live and will make gamer's lives easier with a new difficulty mode called Super Easy mode.

Report: Firmware 3.60 Re-secures PS3
Description: The PS3's latest firmware does more than bring cloud saves to Sony's console, if reports are to be believed; it also re-secures the PS3 against the hacks that have blighted it in recent months.