The Daily VR Zone News Summary   11 Feb 2011

In today's daily news roundup:

– MSI presents its absolute high-end motherboard, the Big Bang Marshal P67,  for Intel's latest Sandy Bridge platform;
– CSR announces CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform for embedded platforms;
– Rumour has it that the successor to the iPhone 4 will be smaller than its predecessor by at least a third, and
– Halo Reach appears to be receiving a follow-up add-on bundle to the previously released 'Noble' map pack.

Hardware News:

ASUS GeForce ENGTX560 Ti DirectCU II Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: The ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DirectXU II Top edition video card proved itself to be faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX560 Ti reference design in our testing, but that was expected since it operates at a 900MHz versus the standard 823MHz clock speeds. We also found that it ran cooler at full load and was able to overclock better than the reference design thanks to the voltage adjustment feature (VoltageTweak) in the SmartDoctor utility. Being able to reach 1GHz on the GeForce GTX 560 when overclocking was nice…

CSR announces CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform
Description: Wireless chip firm CSR has announced the CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform, which it claims will offer superior high-fidelity audio quality for integrated system-on-chip devices.

Zalman N-Series Sandforce SSD Tests @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: Zalman is best known for their very quiet coolers, stylish computer cases, and power supply units. Now they're adding high-speed storage devices to their product stack, begining with a SandForce-driven Zalman N-Series SSD. The Zalman N-Series solid state drive is capable of 50,000 IOPS, with read bandwidth topping 280 MB/s while maximum write speeds reach up to 270 MB/s. In this article, Benchmark Reviews demonstrates that 4K IOPS performance is more important than speed for high-power computer users tests, and tests the 128GB Zalman SSD0128N1 SSD against some of the most popular storage devices available.

MSI Big Bang Marshal P67 – Layout and Design @ ocaholic
Description: With the Big Bang Marshal, MSI presents its absolute high-end motherboard for Intels latest Sandy Bridge processors. Therefore it comes for example with a truly sophisticated power design as well as eight PCI-Express x16 slots and numerous other features.

GIGABYTE HD6970 2GB Review @ Vortez
Description: Back in December, AMD released their much awaited Cayman based HD69XX series of cards. It represented a transition to a revised architecture that was more catered towards compute performance with new features such as Morphological Anti-Aliasing and enhanced tessellation performance to meet the requirements of newer DX10/11 titles. For the most part, the HD6970 was a success despite its specifications appearing subtly different to the highly popular but ageing HD5870…

AMD May Axe Microprocessor Brand-Names
Description: Advanced Micro Devices may can specific brand-names of its microprocessors in order to emphasize its corporate AMD Vision trademark and attract attention to its corporate brand. As a result of the move, Athlon, Phenom and Sempron will vanish into oblivion.

Enermax presents two new high-end cases
Description: In January, Enermax introduced its new flagship midi tower for gamers, Hoplite. However this is just the beginning of the new generation of Enermax cases, which will be presented on CeBIT in Hannover for the first time.


Consumer Electronics and Software News:

LG G-Slate, Roll Out! Video Shows What Honeycomb Will Do With iOS
Description: With all the talk of Playbooks and TouchPads these days, it’s sad that poor old LG hasn’t had much traction with their 10-inch G-Slate aka The Optimus Pad.

ChoiiX Power Fort 5.5whrs Review – XSReviews
Description: With the ever expanding use of smartphones and other clever little electronic gadgets, one problem the world is starting to come to terms with is that there is just never enough power to go around. Lugging around chargers can be a real pain, especially if you need a different one for each device. However, Coolermaster have produced what a few others have done, a backup power supply. However, this isn't its first iteration, this new version of the Power Fort comes with a simple USB interface hoping to standardise backup charging. Let's see if it's as effective without the myriad of charge heads.

Brows furrowed on Apple universal phone charger stance
Description: The universal mobile phone charger that was agreed in Europe is nearing completion, with a sample already in production, but Apple could be an obstacle to its deployment.

Could the Next iPhone Really Be A Third Smaller Than iPhone 4?
Description: According to Bloomberg, the next iPhone is going to be two-thirds the size of the already (very) petite iPhone 4. That's crazy small. But will it happen?

Tablets of 2011: What to Look For
Description: We've compiled a comparative table with what we consider are the hottest tablets either currently available or announced so far. Rivals such as Motorola and LG are coming on strong with the first Android "Honeycomb" tablets, while Research In Motion is launching the PlayBook using a completely reworked operating system based on QNX Neutrino. HP will start to see the fruits of its Palm acquisition when it launches the TouchPad, the first webOS-based tablet, this summer.

Installing Linux on a Netbook from a USB Thumbdrive @ Computing on Demand
Description: In my household, netbooks fly around like curse words. I have had more Acer's come through my home office than I would like and for some reason, they either come with Windows XP or Windows 7 Starter; both are worthless in my opinion. So when my friend asked me help him install Ubuntu on his Aspire One, I obliged. Remember, netbooks do not come equipped with CDROM/DVD drives and unless you have an external drive or converter, your only option is to use USB.


Gaming News:

Halo: Reach 'Defiant Map Pack' unveiled?
Description: Low resolution images of follow-up to the Noble Map Pack surface; new add-on bundle will reportedly include three new multiplayer environments.

Duke Nukem Forever Video Preview
Description: After 14 years, Duke Nukem Forever is finally coming out. We've played the first-person shooter. So, come get some.