The Daily VR-Zone News Summary – 23 May 2011

b3 The Daily VR Zone News Summary   23 May 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • In spite of the x86 and x86_64 processor architectures making great strides into the server hardware ecosystem, HP has announced that it has little confidence in Intel's Xeon line of server-grade processors for mission critical systems, prefering instead to cast its lot with the Itanium architecture and its own proprietaty technologies for such situations;
  • MyDigitalSSD's new MSATA-totting, PCIe bus-totting SSD, the 50mm Bullet Proof, gets taken out for a review;
  • Word has it that Google's online music streaming service, which is currently available in beta form as Google Music Beta, is now ready to start accepting invitations to the service and will reportedly allow users to store up to 20,000 music tracks as opposed to utilizing an actual size limit;
  • Apple's upcoming iPhone, also known as the iPhone 5, will reportedly feature a curved glass display, although the jury is still out on whether this curved surface will e convex or concave in nature;
  • Sony has unveiled a new program where they will be converting select PSP titles into HD versions exclusive for the PS3 console, and Moster Hunter Portable 3 has been confirmed to be one of the first games to be getting the PSP-to-PS3 treatment, and
  • A limited edition of the upcoming Battlefield 3 first person shooter game known as the Physical Warfare version will feature some unique in-game premiums not found in the regular version of the game, but will be priced at the same level as the regular version of the game.

Hardware news

Sony shows a 13.3" Organic-TFT bendable E Ink prototype
Description: Sony is showing a new OTFT driven E Ink prototype. The 13.3" panel offers 1200×1600 (150ppi) resolution, 10:1 contrast ratio, 16 shades of gray and can be bent to a curvature radius of at least 5mm. Indeed had a cool demo showing how the panel bends. This panel is monochrome (they also had a color 13.3" flexible e-paper prototype on show):

HP Considers x86 Mission Critical Systems Incomplete.
Description: Although Intel Corp.'s Xeon microprocessors have gained a number of capabilities that traditionally were only found on central processing units (CPUs) for mission-critical servers and now are no less reliable than Itanium, according to Intel, HP believes that its servers powered by its operating system, its proprietary technologies, Itanium and other solutions still represent the best solutions for business-critical computing.

Westmere-EX: Intel's Flagship Benchmarked
Description: A month ago, Intel introduced its newest quad Xeon E7 series, the successor of the Xeon 7500. We gave you an overview of the Xeon's E7 lineup, but we didn't have benchmark results yet. According to Intel, the new Xeon established 16 new world records, beating similarily configured IBM POWER servers in some workloads and SPARC servers that are twice as expensive by a wide margin in almost any workload.

AMD Preps Fusion-based Quad-core A8-3530MX
Description: A Fusion chip bound for notebooks is coded A8-3530MX, which is supposedly built on the Sabine platform and will pack 4MB of L2 cache. The fastest variant will run at 1.9 GHz but can TurboCore up to 2.6 GHz. Memory support will be in place for 1333MHz and 1600 MHz dual-channel DDR3.

XFX Eyefinity-ready Monitor Stand Hits Retail
Description: AMD Radeon board partner XFX designed its triple-head monitor stand to make life easy for AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA 3DVision Surround users. The stand holds up to three flat-panel displays in perfect alignment, and gives you control over the viewing angle, tilt, and panning of each display. This is handled by three VESA mount standard-compliant joints along the two arms and a central beam. The arms and trunk of the stand are made of durable steel, and a space-age base holds it all, to sustain balance. The base, along with the hollow trunk and arms facilitate better cable management, the base even acts as a USB 2.0 and audio hub.

PowerColor PCS+ AX6950 Vortex II @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: It's a predictable progression: NVIDIA or AMD release a new GPU, along with a "reference design" video card built around it. All of the marketing partners introduce new video cards that are the reference design card with a vendor label or graphic affixed to it. And while some vendors leave it at that, others aim for the enthusiast market by designing their own video cards around the new GPUs, adding their own features and capabilities. PowerColor is one of the latter, and they have several variants of the AMD Radeon HD6950 video card ranging from plain reference designs to, well, this one: the PowerColor PCS+ Radeon HD6950 Vortex II Edition. It's a mouthful of a product name, to be sure, and Benchmark Reviews puts it to the test in this review.

MyDigitalSSD 50mm Bullet Proof mSATA PCIe 64GB SSD Review
Description: Just recently we previewed the Patriot Torqx and introduced you to the new Phison PS3105-S5 SSD controller. This new product from Phison has been talked about quite a bit around the virtual water cooler and is a contender for the mainstream budget minded consumer SSD crown for 2011. The controller packs some impressive specifications for its price range and target market. More impressive, though, is that manufacturers are already starting to get creative with the controller and MyDigitalSSD has taken this controller to mSATA land.

Akasa Venom CPU Cooler Review @ Real World Labs
Description: The latest CPU Cooler by Akasa called the Venom may not be at the forefront in terms of raw performance and it does tend to get quite noisy when the 120mm Viper Fan operates at full speed but it does offer a very good value for money.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

Next iPhone to Have Curved Glass Screen?
Description: The next iPhone will have a curved glass display, according to DigiTimes, which learned the information from sources in the supply chain. Apple is said to have acquired between 200 and 300 glass cutting machines for glass making partners in order to produce the displays.

Scosche freeKEY BTKB Bluetooth Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: The Scosche freeKEY combines wireless freedom and complete functionality into the essential tool for getting the most out of any iPad, iPhone, Android or other Bluetooth supported device. Read on to see what this Bluetooth keyboard is all about and we try it out on several devices to see how this sub $50 keyboard works and performs!

Google Music Beta invites now available
Description: It's been a good while coming but Google's music streaming service has finally arrived. Called Music Beta, it's available by invitation only and restricted to U.S. users ahead of rollout elsewhere. The service appears to be very similar to Amazon's Cloud Storage and Player, although no music is on sale directly from Google. Rather than measure the size of your collection by the gigabyte, however, Google will allow users to store up to 20,000 music tracks from their personal collection in an online vault, with no restrictions on bitrate. Music Beta offers users instant sync across devices, the ability to play selected music offline and intuitive playlist creation based on the mood of a selected track.

Warpia StreamHD Wireless PC to TV 1080p Display Adapter SWP120A Review @ DragonSteelMods
Description: I remember when wireless video was a thing of the future, well it’s here and it’s in HD! Today for review I’ve got the StreamHD SWP120A Wireless PC to TV Display Adapter. This product allows you to Stream high definition content from your computer to your TV over the air via an HDMI connection to your HDTV. It works wirelessly of course by using an adapter and a receiver that resemble USB thumbdrives to get the signal to your TV.

Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch 2011 Edition Review
Description: The 2011 Edition Apple MacBook Pro's are some seriously beautiful pieces of technology. Thin, unbelievably fast, amazing screen and finally, not so expensive. Spec-wise, Apple throw some decent tech into their 17-inch MacBook Pro. The 17-inch model contains; an Intel Core i7 2.2GHz processor (6MB shared L3 cache), 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory (upgradeable to 8GB), 750GB 5400-rpm SATA HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU with 1GB GDDR5 memory, Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 shared with main memory, and a 17-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a resolution of 1920×1200.

soundscience rockus 3D | 2.1 Speaker System
Description: Speakers are typically one of the most ignored pieces of equipment. To the average user the 2.1 system they got for $20 after rebate is good enough but until once you’ve heard the different you’re going to want the rockus! This 2.1 system is not like any another. Drawing 150W in total, you’ll be amazed what the rockus can do.


Gaming news

PSP Remaster and Monster Hunter Portable 3 HD Version Announced
Description: Sony has unveiled a new program where they will be converting select PSP titles into HD versions exclusive for the PS3 console. These games will have new features in the form of exclusive content, Dualshock 3 support, HD visuals, 3D support and more.

Brink Lag Issues Being Addressed in Patch Next Week
Description: One of the problems that's been plaguing Brink is severe lag in multiplayer games. Developer Splash Damage promised it would try to address the problem, and it now says that a forthcoming patch will "improve network performance."

Battlefield 3 gets 'physical' in UK with Limited Edition
Description: Like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 before it, Battlefield 3 will be arriving at retail in a regularly priced "Limited Edition," encouraging folks to pre-order the game before its planned fall launch. The UK will get the "Physical Warfare" version for the same price as the regular edition, which includes a small arsenal of weaponry, as well as access to the "Back to Karkand" multiplayer expansion — four remade maps from Battlefield 2.

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