In today's news roundup:

  • Reviews of AMD's latest dual-GPU graphics card, the Radeon HD 6990, have started flooding the Internet;
  • Intel announces the launch of its new Core vPro processors;
  • a leaked Blackberry roadmap reveals plans for an OS 7 sometime in November this year;
  • Adobe hopes to bypass Apple's 'no Flash' stance with a new tool that features the capability to covert basic Flash files into code recognizable by iOS;
  • Japanese fighting game ?gon Mus?kyoku has been confirmed to be receiving a sequel, hopefully in time for Comiket, and 
  • Angry Birds continues to top the PSN charts for the month of February. 

Hardware News:

Intel launches Core vPro processors
Description: Intel has announced its 2nd generation Intel Core vPro processors, which it says will do great things for technologies such as cloud computing and virtualisation.

Plextor M2 Series 128GB SATA 6Gbps Marvell SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: Plextor is probably best known for their optical drives so it may come as a surprise to some that they also offer SSDs in their product line. Their most recent line is the M2 series which features a Marvell controller and a 6Gbps interface. We've got our hands on the 128GB version and we'll see how it stacks up against the other drives we have tested. At first blush, the specifications for read and write, 420 MB/s and 210 MB/s respectively, don't seem all that amazing compared to the newest SandForce drives emerging that hit above 500 MB/s on both fronts. However, as we have seen with SandForce controllers, they rely on data compression to boost speed so depending on the type of data being transferred, the data rate may vary dramatically. The benchmarks will paint this picture a little better…

Lite-On eNAU608 Slim External DVD/CD Writer Review at Overclockers Online
Description: Overall, I’m very pleased with the eNAU608. With netbooks not coming equipped with optical drives by default the eNAU608 provides a great alternative. It is slim and easy to carry around and gives you reasonable performance. It is not nearly the fastest or most advanced drive out on the market, but if you don’t need Blu-Ray than this has it all.

Evercool Buffalo CPU Cooler @ TestFreaks
Description: We haven’t done many CPU cooler reviews here on TestFreaks, but I hope to change that, at least add some more from time to time. Evercool sent me two for review recently and that first I’ve got for you is the Buffalo that’s compatible with LGA1156 and LGA1136 platforms. The Buffalo is a rather small aluminum and heatpipe style cooler with a bright red fan on it, and for its size it performs admirably well.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 Antilles Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: If you're an enthusiast gamer who demands only the highest level of performance that far surpasses mainstream standards, then it's your lucky day because the AMD Radeon HD 6990, code named Antilles, was designed to do exactly that. Using a new VLIW4 shader core architecture and equipped with 4GB GDDR5 256-bit video frame buffer, dual Cayman GPUs offer a total of 3072 stream processors. While the Radeon HD 6990 accomplishes the performance of two Radeon HD 6970's in CrossFireX, AMD also adds accelerated multimedia playback and transcoding, AMD HD3D stereoscopic technology, and support for the 3D Blu-ray multi-view CODEC (MVC). The AMD Radeon HD 6990 utilizes several new MSAA modes including Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA), which Benchmark Reviews tests in some of the most popular DirectX-11 video games.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 Launch Preview @ Rage3D.com
Description: AMD launches the Radeon HD 6990 graphics card, a monstrous behemoth of power and performance from Team Red. Two Cayman XT GPU cores, 4GB of RAM, 5 TFLOPs of compute performance, out-of-the box Eyefinity 5 capabilities and stonking BIOS Overclock mode give all the signs that AMD is not happy to settle for second best – they earned the performance crown with the HD 5970, and they plan to keep it.

Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom Review @ TweakPC.de (German)
Description: (Machine translation) There is a new series at Gainward: Phantom. Big, strong and black! We took a look at the Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom.

MSI GeForce N570GTX Twin Frozr II Review (German)
Description: (Machine translation) Along with the Radeon HD 6950 and 6970 of the GeForce GTX 570 is currently probably the most interesting high-end graphics card. The performance is extremely high, but the price still tolerable and significantly lower than the current top model of the fastest GeForce GTX 580th This can already deliver the reference design of the GTX 570 from NVIDIA in terms of volume consumption and very good values.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB Dual GPU Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: The AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB lived up to AMD's marketing hype and proved itself to be the fastest graphics card in the world. It easily beat out the Radeon HD 5970 2GB, the previous dual-GPU video card by AMD, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 single-GPU video card. With a massive 4GB of memory and two Cayman-class GPUs on a single PCB we aren't surprised by the performance numbers we are seeing from the Radeon HD 6990.


Consumer Electronics and Software news:

Kazaa Disses Apple, Debuts Web-Based Music Streaming Service For iOS, Android
Description: Atrinsic, the direct and online search marketing agency that acquired the assets of former P2P sharing tool Kazaa a couple of months ago, is trying to drum up some attention for the digital music subscription service this morning. In a press release, the company posits that there’s been a ‘breakthrough’ for iPhone and iPad (and Android) users because its service is now ‘accessible on iOS devices’ simply by visiting Kazaa.com.

Blackberry roadmap leaked including OS 7 in November
Description: Blackberry is an outfit with more leaks than Wales. Last year there were shedloads of leaks and roadmaps which ended up in the press.

Asus RT-N56U Gigabit Router Review @ Tweaknews
Description: Asus' RT-N56U router has unique, elegant styling with an impressive feature set to go along with it. The slim, antenna-free design allows the unit to be tucked away just about anywhere, while the simultaneous dual-band connectivity is ready for the most demanding of home networks.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Performance Analysis @ TestFreaks
Description: Windows 7 is the best Windows yet, at least that’s my opinion of it. Think what you like, you’re entitled to your own opinion of course. I’m not going to get into an arguing match with you about Win 7 and XP, Vista, OSX etc, this is not what this article is for, take it elsewhere please. If you want to know more about how Windows 7 Service Pack 1 might affect your computer then this is where you want to be. I’ve taken quite a bit of time to run many test on three separate computers with Windows 7 installed, both 32bit and 64bit versions. From my experience I’ve learned a bit and I thought I’d share that with you today, so read on to learn what I learned about how the new Service Pack affects your system.

You’ve got better things to do than wait in traffic – Google Mobile Blog
Description: Ever been stuck in traffic, only to find out you’d have been better off going a bit out of your way to take a less congested route? If you’re like me, you probably hear the traffic report telling you what you already know: traffic is bad on the road you’re currently on, and you should have taken another. It doesn’t need to be this way, and we want to help. So we’re happy to announce that Google Maps Navigation (Beta) will now automatically route you around traffic. With more than 35 million miles driven by Navigation users every day, this should add up to quite a bit of time saved!

Adobe Hopes Wallaby Can Vault Apple’s Flash Blockade
Description: Adobe appears to be switching its strategy and launching new products that can cope with Apple’s restrictions. The first major example: Wallaby, a system it is launching today to convert basic Flash files — such as animations and banner ads — into code that will work on iOS.

Android Hit Hard by Malware, Google Fights Back
Description: It seems that I’m here reporting about a major problem with Android at least once every few weeks – whether it’s their painful text bug or their microSD security issue. While these issues have been far from minor, they nevertheless pale in comparison to the most recent hole in the Anroid system. That hole is made up of a simple security issue . . . that happened to let 260,000 users download malware via 58 different malicious applications.


Gaming news

Umineko Fighting Game Gets Sequel
Description: Ryukishi07, the creator for Umineko no Naku Koro Ni had announced that a sequel for its fighting game spinoff: Ougon Musoukyoku 2 has been green-lit for production.

Open Fire on the Homefront Multiplayer Trailer
Description: Home is where the war is in THQ's upcoming military FPS, and in the latest trailer for Homefront, developer Kaos Studios provides a peek at the CoD-meets-Battlefield mayhem that awaits in the game's multiplayer. Flank the jump for the video

Angry Birds continues PSN domination in February
Description: The PlayStation Store had some noteworthy releases in February: Explodemon, Stacking, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2. But none of these new releases managed to chart in PSN's monthly sales numbers. Instead, you'll see some familiar names on the top 5 list, including Angry Birds, which continues its second month of bestselling sales.