The Daily VR-Zone News Summary – 26 May 2011

bb The Daily VR Zone News Summary   26 May 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • Intel is reportedly thinking of implementing significant price cuts for its Atom processors, with various sources claiming that the chip giant may lower the prices of its upcoming Cedar Trail platform by as much as 30 to 50 percent of its existing Pine Trail platform'
  • Silicon Power's 120GB V20 SandForce SF-1200 SSD gets reviewed;
  • Youtube has teamed up with Mozilla and NVIDIA to bring 3D Vision support to Firefox 4 users, although prerequisites needed to enjoy 3D internet video from the largest video streaming site are anything but straightforward;
  • A startup company known as BlueStacks has reportedly developed a working Android runtime environment which allows users to fun their favourite Android apps from the comfort of a typical Windows-powered PC;
  • Asiasoft is slated to oficially launch the biggest expansion to MapleSEA to date, Big Bang, on the 3-day License 2 Play event that is to be held at the Suntec Exhibition and Convention Centre, and
  • THQ has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Turtle Rock Studios to publish the latter's next first-person shooter game.

Hardware news

Cedar Trail should cost less than current Atoms
Description: It might be slow sales, pressure from tablets or competition from AMD’s Brazos platform, but in any case Intel seems to think it is high time to slash Atom pricing. We already reported some Cedar Trail prices and now Digitimes has confirmed them and revealed some new details as well. Intel will price Cedar Trail parts between $42 and $47, depending on the SKU, which is some 30 to 50 percent less than existing N500 series Atoms, which sell for $64 to $86.

AMD Officially Denies Bulldozer Delay, But.
Description: In the recent days, numerous motherboard makers from Taiwan started to leak a lot of information about motherboards using the upcoming AMD 9-series chipsets which are meant to complement upcoming AMD FX CPUs based on the Bulldozer core. In order to create a halo effect, high-end 990FX based products are highlighted. Earlier NVIDIA spilled the beans on the upcoming chipsets from AMD stating that they'll support SLI on the upcoming 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets.

Silicon Power V20 120GB SandForce SF-1200 SSD Review
Description: "If you follow my State of Solid State Series of articles then you already know the SandForce SF-1200 controller isn't going away anytime soon. The SF-1200 will go down in history as the fastest SATA 3G SSD controller ever developed. With its 285MB/s read and 275MB/s write speeds, the SF-1200 pushed SATA 3G to the limits and taught us what solid state performance should feel like. What was last year's enthusiast standard is making a comeback, this time as a mainstream and decaf power user product. With a majority of users still clinging onto their SATA 3G desktops and notebooks, it's no surprise to see companies like Silicon Power introducing new SF-1200 products.

Taiwan DRAM makers to ramp 30nm-class production in 2H11
Description: Inotera Memories, Nanya Technology and Rexchip Electronics are all scheduled to kick off volume production using 30nm-class processes sometime in the second half of 2011, closing the technology gap relative to industry leaders.

Gainward GeForce GTX 590 3GB Premium Edition Review @ Real World Labs
Description: With a combined total of 6 Billion transistors, 1024 CUDA cores and 3GB of DDR5 memory the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 is simply put the fastest mGPU graphics card money can buy today.

Fractal Design Arc Review @ Vortez
Description: Today we will be taking a look at Fractal Design’s Arc Mid Tower case. This burly enclosure promises to combine rich looking aesthetics, good thermal performance and plenty of features to ensure installation processes are complete without a hitch.

PQI S535 256GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: PQI has harnessed the power of the trusty SandForce SF-1200 controller with their line of S535 drives. In an already crowded SATA 3Gbps SSD market, have they managed to eke out more performance to make the drives stand out from their peers? PQI says this drive will reach 250MB/s in both read and write tests in the ATTO Benchmark, so we'll have a look to see how it performs on our test system to see if we can also hit those numbers.

GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H-B3 (Intel Z68) Motherboard Review
Description: Just before the launch of the Intel Z68 chipset, we had the opportunity to preview the Z68X-UD7-B3 and Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboards in Taiwan. Earlier this week we did a full review on the GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3 Motherboard and if you're interested in a really top end Z68 board, I'd highly recommend checking that review out, especially if you're interested in a multi GPU setup. The extremely feature packed Z68X-UD7-B3 does come at a cost, though, that's higher than other Z68 boards on the market currently and if you don't need all the bells and whistles that are associated with the model, then we might have exactly what you need today.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

Millions of eyes cross as YouTube adds 3D Vision support
Description: If you have an Nvidia 3D Vision-capable setup and would like to see such classics as "Charlie bit me" or the double-rainbow dude in stereoscopic 3D, today is your lucky day. The folks at YouTube, Nvidia, and Mozilla have conspired to make 3D videos possible over YouTube via the Firefox 4 browser. You'll need to have a number of things in order to take advantage of the full experience, including the proper glasses and emitter, display, video card, GPU drivers, web browser, web site, video source, and HTML 5 video mode, but inside of that narrow valley lies a wonderland of two-eyed madness.

Court orders Samsung to turn over prototype phones, tablets to Apple
Description: As part of the on-going patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, a court has ruled that Samsung must comply with Apple’s request for prototypes of its new and unreleased mobile devices to review. Apple wants their lawyers to review the devices to determine whether or not their patents have been infringed upon in the new models.

Nokia E7: A Swansong @ InsideHW
Description: It’s been well over seven months since Nokia’s E7 was first announced. In the world of today, using the PC analogy, it would be the same as if someone had just presented a PC with a 1 GHz CPU and 256 MB RAM. The rhythm imposed by Android phone manufacturers themselves is so relentless and unforgiving that you’ll have a very hard time staying on the road unless you’re holding onto the latest trends. Even if you manage to present an all-around perfect phone, it’ll only get a week or so of glory, as newer, faster, larger, better ones will follow suite immediately…

QNAP TS-119P+ Single Bay HOME/SOHO NAS Review @ Tweaknews
Description: The TS-119P+ continues QNAP's reputation of making fast, reliable NAS units for all types of environments. This little one-bay offering is perfect for a home or small office with simple storage and backup needs. And as your network grows, you can rest easy knowing the NAS will be able to keep up thanks to impressive hardware specs and support for external drives and cloud storage.

Some Lenovo ThinkPad X220 owners report downthrottling, reduced performance
Description: No matter how much time we spend with a laptop while we review it, there are some things that are just harder to gauge — namely, what happens once you've owned the thing for a while and the Sandy Bridge-fueled honeymoon comes to an end. That couldn't be more true of the Lenovo ThinkPad X220, one of our favorite ultraportables at the moment. We're seeing assorted reports from folks whose machines keep downthrottling to 800MHz, even when they're plugged in, set to the maximum performance profile, and not overheating. The result, they say, is slower HDD and SDD performance and reduced random read / write speeds, among other pernicious side effects. Worse, the only reliable solution so far seems to be shutting down the system and performing a cold boot…

Native x86 Android runtime will enable Android apps on Windows
Description: A startup called BlueStacks has developed an Android runtime environment for the Windows operating system. It will enable users to run Android applications alongside conventional Windows software on Microsoft's operating system. The technology impressed some major investors who have supplied $7.6 million in Series A funding so that BlueStacks can turn its software into a business.

Sony Alpha A850 bows out
Description: Sony has likely discontinued its flagship Alpha A850 SLR camera. B&H Photo has posted a notice alongside the camera that "this item has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available." The A850 is also no longer for sale on the SonyStyle site.


Gaming news

MapleSEA Big Bang To Launch in License 2 Play
Description: Asiasoft will be launching their next MapleSEA episode, titled The Big Bang. The launch event will happen on License 2 Play, a 3-day event held in Suntec Convention Hall 401.

THQ to Publish Turtle Rock's Next FPS
Description: THQ just added another big name to its growing stable of talent. After inking a deal for Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki's next game, stealing Assassin's Creed lead designer Patrice Desilets from Ubisoft, and signing Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro, the publisher announced today it has come to terms with Turtle Rock, the studio best known for co-op zombie survival horror classic Left 4 Dead.

End of Nations preview: Real-time synergy
Description: A few years ago around this time, Trion was suggesting to gamers that despite the overwhelming domination of World of Warcraft, there definitely was room for more than just Blizzard's opus in the MMO market, though the suggestion didn't raise much more than an eyebrow among those interested at the time. A few years later, Rift is out and stealing both players and mindshare, even getting hinted at on a conference call as one reason for WoW's numbers being slightly down.

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