The Daily VR-Zone News Summary – 19 April 2011

cards The Daily VR Zone News Summary   19 April 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • Intel and AMD are reportecly making plans to go head-on against ARM in the lucrative smartphone and tablet market;
  • Reviews of AMD's recently launched graphics cards, the Radeon HD 6570 and HD 6670, are starting to surface online;
  • Apple is reportedly rejecting Apps with Pay-per-install campaigns;
  • Alienware has announced two new gaming laptops, the M14x and M18x, along with an updated M11x that now features more powerful, up-to-date hardware;
  • Final Fantasy IV's creator Takashi Tokita gives his take on the ever-popular Final Fantasy franchise, and
  • The latest Mortal Kombat installation has finally been launched in North America.

Hardware news

Intel, AMD Will Challenge ARM in Tablets, Smartphones
Description: As the PC market slows, Intel and AMD are gearing up to take on ARM in the burgeoning tablet and smartphone spaces, and one analyst says Intel has a strong shot at gaining traction starting in 2012.

Noctua NH-D14 CPU "Monster" Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
Description: Today we test the most high-end heatsink from Noctua. It comes with two fans pre-equipped and will fill up all but the largest eATX cases. Dubbed the NH-D14 this beast comes with a 120mm AND 140mm fan which are spec'ed for low noise operation. Can it handle the heat of an overclocked Core i7? Time to find out.

Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100 Review @ Vortez
Description: The latest model, the Killer 2100 is their most streamlined product yet, focussing directly on delivering the core feature, unrivalled gaming network performance. The wheat has been sorted from the chaff, leaving us with Bigfoot Network’s lowest priced Killer NIC thus far. An SRP of £69.99 and a market price of around £55 if you shop around; this card is now much more of an upgrade prospect for a large number of enthusiasts. How has it changed?

Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 Video Cards Review
Description: I hate these low to mid-range cards; it's nothing against them directly, but they're always just so slow. Sure, they might be great for the price etc. – but testing them is still an absolute pain as they're always so much slower than the stuff I'm used to testing. The whole situation is made only worse by AMD releasing three models today, albeit we're only looking at the two higher end ones of these three new models. The good news for me is that we tend to only ever look at one or two of these new models and then continue looking at the fun stuff and what people wish they could afford, but can't.

AMD Radeon HD 6570 & HD 6670 Launch Review, Featuring Sapphire's HD 6670 @ Rage3D.com
Description: AMD launches the final discrete GPU in the Northern Islands line, codenamed Turks. Fitting into two product lines, and two price points, we investigate how the HD 6570 and HD 6670 move things on from last year's Redwood cards, including a look at a nice Sapphire HD 6670 with Artic Cooling heatsink as standard.

Cooler Master Elite 343 mATX Case @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: The enthusiast case market is replete with fancy cases brimming with exotic materials and features. It's not unusual for builders to buy "more case than they need", investing extra money in a case their system can grow into. But sometimes all you need is a basic case: a good-quality enclosure that will serve as a home for your components in a business, "grandma computer", or other non-enthusiast setting. Although Benchmark Reviews does not often look at cases like this, they make up the bulk of the case market. While Cooler Master's best known for its enthusiast cases (such as the HAF series), they serve this market as well with cases like the Elite 343 mATX computer case.

AMD Radeon HD 6450 & 6570: The Line-up is Complete @ InsideHW
Description: Presenting the lowest segment in the product gamma is usually the last step in presenting the new generation, at least in the usual scenario. In accordance with this, AMD announced their low-end chips, Caicos and Turks, for the second quarter of the current year. These chips are reserved for the weakest models from the Radeon HD 6000 series, which is probably the last thing that is going to be presented in the following months as well, with the possible exception of HD 6670. These cards are intended for non-heavy duty users, and are mostly low-profile, so that they fit not only into regular office PCs, but also HTPCs. We got two visually similar models for testing; these two small Radeons, however, turned out to be packing major differences under their coolers

Gainward GeForce GTX 550 Ti Golden/Good Sample Review @ Real World Labs
Description: Thanks to a nice boost in clocks right from the factory the latest Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti Golden Sample by Gainward offers an excellent value/performance ratio at near silent levels.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

Razer Onza review: an excellent PC gaming companion
Description: Razer’s newly released Onza Tournament Edition gamepad is an excellent companion for your gaming PC, perfect for those games that a mouse and keyboard just aren’t the best tools for playing.

Undo certain Gmail actions in your mobile browser
Description: Sometimes when I’m using Gmail on my phone, I delete a message by mistake or label it incorrectly. Sure I can fish the message out of my Trash or remove the label and apply the correct one, but that takes several steps. Even just a few seconds is usually enough time to catch those annoying mistakes. Now when you use the Gmail mobile web app, you’ll have a small window of opportunity to undo four key actions: archive, delete, add or remove a label, or move a message/conversation.

Apple Reportely Rejecting Apps with Pay-per-install Campaigns
Description: Apple isn’t just tweaking its App Store rankings to include more than download numbers and possibly lessening the impact of incentivized pay-per-install marketing campaigns. It’s actually banning apps that use pay-per-install, according to one of the leading providers Tapjoy.

LG Optimus Pad / T-Mobile G-Slate Tablet Review
Description: The G-Slate features a slightly smaller display than the Apple's iPad and Motorola's Xoom, which makes it lighter and thereby easier to hold to a certain extent. It also sports a great industrial design and can record 3D 720p HD videos with its dual-5 megapixel cameras. All of this is powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor that hums along at 1GHz, making sure that even 3D games run smoothly on its high-res touchscreen display.

Alienware kicks out M14x and M18x, revamped M11x
Description: Alienware as it teased last week has brought out three new gaming notebooks, including its first 14-inch model. The M14x has the special lighting and customization in a smaller if 6.45-pound frame. Every version comes with very high-end performance for the size with a quad Core i7 and a GeForce GT 555M with either 1.5GB or 3GB of memory.

iPhone radiation dock – yet another Japan-inspired device
Description: We’ve seen the DIY Arduino Geiger counter yesterday, but here is yet another Japan-inspired device, an iPhone radiation dock. This is part of the efforts involved to cleverly leverage the use of technology in order to help Japan with their ongoing nuclear crisis.

For paranoid Androids, Guardian Project offers smartphone security
Description: The Guardian Project is an open source initiative which aims to take advantage of Google's Android operating system to bring smartphones the same sort of security and privacy that savvy users have come to expect from laptops and desktops. Featuring capabilities like full-disk encryption, secure instant messaging, and anonymous Web browsing, the project hopes to give people better control of their personal information on mobile devices.


Gaming news

Telltale Wants Gamers to Solve Crimes in Law & Order: L.A. the Game
Description: If you thought developer Telltale Games' plate was full with Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead, Fables, and King's Quest games on its schedule… you were right. That's a heaping helping of design work. But the studio is hungry for even more and has announced it will give the episodic game treatment to yet another big name franchise: TV cop drama Law & Order. Read More »

A Conversation With the Creator of Final Fantasy IV
Description: You can't help but like Takashi Tokita. Despite being a long-time veteran of the Final Fantasy series (he made his debut with the 8-bit Final Fantasy III back in 1990), he's remained down-to-earth. Tokita is still with Square, and he still works in the trenches of game design, so to speak, bringing both new games and old to mobile and portable systems. As the original story director for the revolutionary Final Fantasy IV for Super NES, he's also the main man behind that game's sequel The After Years, originally released for Japanese mobile phones before being ported to WiiWare and now PSP.

Mortal Kombat released in North America
Description: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces Mortal Kombat is now available at retailers in North America on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Mortal Kombat, developed by NetherRealm Studios and led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon, is the newest chapter of the legendary franchise, marking a triumphant return to the series' roots in the most epic installment to date.

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