iceq The Daily VR Zone News Summary   10 June 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • HIS's new factory overclocked graphics card, the Radeon HD6950 IceQ-X Turbo-X, which boasts clocks speeds of 880MHz for the GPU and 1300MHz for its memory, has been taken out for a review over at Benchmark Reviews;
  • AMD's final quad-core Phenom II X4 that was released before the company overhauls its entire high-end desktop processor lineup,  the Phenom II X4 980, gets reviewed;
  • Logitech has released a new addition to its Lapdesk product line, the Lapdesk N600, that  features a retractable touchpad;
  • Samsung is reportedly having some issues in marketing itrs upcoming 8,9-inch Galaxt Tab tablet device due to low yields of the 8.9's G1F touch-panel, which uses one less film layer than conventional GFF (glass fiber filter) panels;
  • Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer expects that support for Kinect will be incorporated into all first-party Microsoft titles in the forseeable future, and
  • Game producer Takashi Iizuka has revealed that the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS versions of Sonic Generations will feature completely different levels for the entire game save for the starting zone, which has been confirmed to be Green Hill Zone.

Hardware news

G.Skill Ripjaws-X Series PC3-14900 8GB Kit Review
Description: We have a look at a lot of RAM, but so often we see them sit at one end of the scale or the other. What I mean by that is, we see these really high end kits or these more budget orientated ones. Speaking to G.Skill the other day, we wanted to organise something that was in between them; a kit for people who were happy to spend a bit more than a more budget 1600MHz DDR kit, but didn't want to go too crazy moving to something like 2133MHz DDR. What we ended up with was the F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL kit. It looks to have everything for someone who is after a great mid-range kit for their Z68 or P67 platform. Being part of the Ripjaws X kit, we have that great looking cooler that G.Skill has been using.

HIS Radeon HD6950 IceQ-X Turbo-X @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: HIS first introduced its IceQ coolers in 2003 to its Radeon 9800PRO series of video cards, eight years later HIS return with the IceQ X cooler, which thankfully performs much better than it looks. In this review the IceQ X cooler is strapped onto a HIS HD6950 Turbo X video card which comes factory overclocked at 880MHz GPU and 1300MHz Memory. Pushing clocks this far on a factory overclocked video card takes some guts, but HIS know that they have nothing to worry about, their IceQ cooler is up to the job. Benchmark Reviews aims to provide you with an unbiased review of the HIS HD6950 IceQ X Turbo X model H695QNX2G2M and report back our findings, keeping you informed on the latest technologies available on the market today.


Description: The Toledo 301 is Azza's answer to budget combined with a bit of performance. The Azza Toledo 301 uses a semi tool free design. Installing any components into the 5.25" bays or any 3.5" HDD's will be completely tool free. Expansion bays and 2.5" HDDs will still need screws. The Toledo 301 comes with a 120mm intake and exhaust fan. There is also a giant 250mm fan on the side panel for overall system cooling. The 301 supports water cooling radiators up to 240mm and VGA cards up to 340mm. Front connectivity includes two USB 2.0 connection and HD audio 3.5mm inputs.

Corsair Obsidian 650D Mid-tower Chassis Review @ OCIA.net
Description: Corsair has since released two follow-up cases in the Obsidian line, the 700D and the 650D. The 700D is essentially identical to the 800D, but removes the hot-swap drive bays and windowed side panel. The 650D, on the other hand, is a mid-tower offering that heavily resembles the 800D in fit and function. There are some changes that had to be made given the smaller footprint, but it's largely a shrunken 800D. Today we will be going over the smaller 650D to see if it truly lives up to the stellar reputation the 800D holds.

Lian Li PC-U6 Cowry Review @ Vortez
Description: We first got a glimpse of today’s product review at CeBIT 2011 earlier in the year. Being one of the biggest head turners on the Lian Li booth, the PC-U6 Cowry Edition will divide enthusiasts into different camps – the lovers and the haters. Unique looks certainly separate the PC-U6 from anything else but it also demonstrates that Lian Li have the skill and prowess to diversify with eye-catching chassis. Lian Li have launched Cowry to celebrate the company’s 4 year anniversary – featuring USB3.0 functionality, 2.5” drive support, fan control and a host of other elements the PC-U6 Cowry Edition is one of the most interesting case reviews I have come to publish.

AMD Radeon 6950/6970 Water Cooler Roundup 05/2011 (German)
Description: (Machine translation) Modern high-end graphics cards offer tremendous performance, including the latest AMD flagship of the 6900er series. But although the efficiency, ie, has increased the performance per power consumed continues to produce these power packs a lot of waste heat that has to be removed, usually by using the reference cooler – and not just inaudible. For many, the not insignificant decibels are unacceptable to the performance you want, but not without. Remedy here, just a cooler of a third party. This water cooling systems are by their performance as the undisputed ago still unrivaled. We test three current cooler full of well-known manufacturers.

AMD vs Intel: Phenom II X4 980 and X6 1100T Take on Core i5
Description: AMD is getting ready to launch a full replacement of their high end desktop lineup soon, but that didn’t stop them from releasing one final quad-core Phenom II X4. And that’s what we’re going to look at today – the Phenom II X4 980.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

Logitech's new Lapdesk N600 features retractable touchpad
Description: Anyone who regularly works on a laptop will testify to that its name is somewhat misleading. These mobile computing power-houses can generate an awful lot of heat and make it very uncomfortable – and even painful – to lay one across your legs. What you need is something that's placed between your thighs and your laptop to help keep the heat away. Logitech has unveiled a new addition to its Lapdesk range that features a retractable multi-touch surface for those who like to swipe or scroll their way around the screen.

Ricoh introduces rugged PX compact digital camera
Description: Ricoh has announced the first in a new PX Series of compact digital cameras. Benefiting from some rugged, go-anywhere qualities, the new camera also features technology capable of doubling the available optical zoom, is quick to start up, and has a good selection of scene-based setting optimization options. If you're not happy with the choice of three colors, Ricoh has also created some brightly colored protective jackets to slip over the top.

HP TouchPad launches July 1, but when do apps arrive?
Description: Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad tablet launches July 1 using the same pricing scheme as Apple’s iPad. HP announced availability of the two Wi-Fi slates Thursday, priced at $499 for a 16 GB version and $599 for 32 GB of storage. The tablets will launch first in the U.S., followed by the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany and Canada in the first half of July. Pre-orders for HP’s TouchPad begin June 19 in North America and Europe.

Samsung Galaxy SII: The King is Dead, Long Live the King! @ InsideHW
Description: In the IT world, seeing an absolutely top-notch product from a company trying to show itself in the best possible way and prove itself to the market isn’t such a rare occasion. However, experience has shown us that the heir to such a product rarely matches up to the original one. The reasons for this are many, ranging from high expectations from the end users to the manufacturer losing focus. With all the hype surrounding the announcement of Galaxy S II, we’ve been very interested in whether Samsung will be able to break this rule and make a phone that would surpass the best-sold Android device ever…

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 troubled by screen issues, chubbier version the result?
Description: Everyone 'round here knows that Samsung has a lusty 10.1- and premature 7-inch version of its Galaxy Tab tablet. But we've heard nary a peep from Samsung about that $469 8.9-incher announced alongside its bigger, just-as-thin sibling back in March. We might know why. According to Korean news site Etnews, Samsung is having trouble getting it to market due to low yields of the 8.9's G1F touch-panel which uses one less film layer than conventional GFF (glass fiber filter) panels. This G1F architecture is behind Samsung's Super Clear LCD which you'll find on Sammy's own Galaxy Player, (Russian) Nexus S, and Wave II handsets. Etnews claims that Samsung will offset the G1F shortfall with GFF-type touch panels that are 30 – 40 percent thicker and dimmer, thanks to the extra layer. If true then we have one question: which regions will get the chunkier Galaxy Tab 8.9 when if finally does launch this summer?

SteelSeries puts out Diablo III-themed headset, mouse
Description: Steelseries has announced two new game-themed accessories, the Diablo III mouse and Diablo III headset. Game-specific design features include Diablo III artwork and "demon red" LEDs that can be set to pulse at different rates. On the practical side of things, they use double-braided nylon cord to reduce tangling and gold-plated connectors. The headset has 50mm drivers and a retractable boom mic. The ambidextrous mouse has seven programmable buttons and a CION laser sensor that can be set up to 5,000 CPI.


Gaming news

Future First-Party Games Will Support Kinect
Description: Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer expects that Kinect will be incorporated into all first-party Microsoft titles going forward. Spencer said that while "it's not a mandate that everything we do in first-party has to support Kinect right now […] I would guess the answer will be yes in the end, that you'll see all first-party games using some form of Kinect functionality."

All Sonic Generations 3DS levels to be platform-exclusive (save for Green Hill Zone)
Description: After showing E3 attendees a new level in Sonic Generations, game producer Takashi Iizuka highlighted some of the extra content that can only be found in the 3DS version. "One important thing to say about the Nintendo 3DS version is that besides Green Hill Zone, which is the starting zone on all versions, all the stages on the Nintendo 3DS version will be different from the stages that are seen in the PS3 and 360," Iizuka said.