intelsemiconductor The Daily VR Zone News Summary   27 June 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • Intel has released some details about its upcoming Haswell microarchitecture, while claiming that its upcoming chips that are based off this architecture will feature new instruction sets that will see it being capable of accelerating a greater variety of "applications and workloads";
  • Elpida Memory Inc. has just announced a new memory module which boasts a four-layer PCB that is reportedly "only 0.8mm thick, is based on PoP (Package on Package) technology and consists of 4 low power DDR2 chips that each has a capacity of 2Gb, thus giving the module a total capacity of 1GB";
  • Jabra has announced today that they will be launching two new Bluetooth headsets – the EASYCAL, which is designed for users who have no experience in dealing with such devices, and the CRUISER2 in-car speaker phone for users who prefer to hear their telephone conversions through a proper speaker;
  • Word has it that Nokia is planning to update its smartphone lineup with at least three more Symbian Anna-based devices, and they will come in the form of the Nokia N5, Nokia N6 and Nokia N7;
  • Our sister site SGCafe has just published a review on the Xbox 360 version of Ubisoft's recently-published rhythmic action game, Child of Eden, and
  • Bethesda has announced that the first downloadable content pack for the Brink video game will be made available for free to players for a limited time as a form of gift to players who have had to deal with the severe lag found in game's multiplayer mode prior to the flaw being fixed in a recent patch.

Hardware news

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Mid-Tower Case Review @ Bigbruin.com
Description: Cooler Master has always made a good impression with their cases, and the Storm Enforcer mid-tower case continues this tradition. Some of the things that would-be buyers might be most pleased to see include tool-less drive installation, water cooling grommets, support for long video cards, good cable management features, and support for solid state drives.

OCZ Agility 3 240 GByte Review @ ocaholic
Description: With the Agility 3, OCZ has a Solid State Drive in its portfolio which is based on the latest SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor. The drive also features SATA-III support and OCZ claims that the drive can reach throughput rates of more than 500 MByte. Also for the IOPS the manufacturer promises sky-high numbers. When writing 4 KByte blocks the drive should be able to hit a whopoing 85'000 IOPS. With the Agility 3 OCZ uses asynchronous NAND Flash and we're really curious if one can spot this from benchmark results.

Crucial m4 128GB SATA 6G Solid State Drive Review
Description: Last year Crucial was the only major SSD manufacturer to offer a SATA III (6Gb) SSD, the RealSSD C300. When the C300 was first launched you only had two options to get the most out of the drive; use an expensive RAID controller capable of SATA 6G speeds or use a motherboard with a Marvell SATA 6G controller. Looking back, the Marvell SATA 6G chip was terrible and plagued with several problems at launch. Over time the SATA bridge chip became better, but even after several updates the X58 / Marvell combination still can't deliver the same performance as a native chipset solution.

MSI R6850 Cyclone PE / OC Graphics Card Review @ OCIA.net
Description: Discrete computer graphics are one of the toughest markets to keep current with. New graphics cores are released on a pretty frequent basis from both ATI and NVIDIA and with naming schemes that change nearly as often, it can be difficult to determine where each card stands in relation to others in the same price range. Today we will be taking a look at the MSI R6850 PE / OC graphics card, a mid-range GPU that was launched at the end of last year. Codenamed Barts, this GPU is built on a 40nm process with support for DirectX 11 & Open GL 4.0. Other notable features include HDMI 1.4a & DisplayPort 1.2 support as well as AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology and CrossfireX support.

AMD Radeon HD6850 & HD6950 CrossFire Performance @ BmR
Description: To run today's PC games at high resolutions with all the settings maxed out you need a high end video Card, or two mid/high end video cards in CrossFire/SLI. The best thing about CrossFire/SLI is that you don't need to buy both cards at once, meaning you can spread out the cost of a system build, or simply wait until prices drop before you make your second purchase. Dual video card scaling has come a long way since its conception, in the early days Crossfire performance wasn't always what it was made out to be. However, our setups show near 90% scaling in most of our tests, this is great news for us budget enthusiasts out there as not all of us can afford to fork out $600 up front for the latest highest end equipment. In this article Benchmark Reviews will provide you with our performance and cost analysis of a HD6850 CrossFire setup and a HD6950 CrossFire setup.

ASUS RoG Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 1.5GB DX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
Description: The ASUS Matrix GTX580 Platinum is part of the Republic of Gamers line, designed for enthusiasts and hardcore overclockers. The ASUS Matrix GTX580 Platinum is outfitted with a custom cooling solution and equipped with a 19-phase Super Alloy Power technology. Similar to RoG motherboards, the ASUS Matrix GTX 580 Platinum has onboard voltage readout and volt-modding features as well as LED load indicators for the voltage adjustment and GPU load. In case an overclock is unstable, a handy “safe mode” BIOS reset switch can be found at the back that will restore the Matrix GTX 580 Platinum to its factory settings

Intel Haswell on Track for Release in 2013, Will Sport New Instructions to Boost Wide Range of Apps
Description: Intel Corp. earlier this month published the first details about its next-generation micro-architecture code-named Haswell. The forthcoming chips will feature new instructions that accelerate a wide number of applications and workloads.

Elpida does 4 layer DRAM
Description: The Japanese memory manufacturer Elpida Memory Inc. (TYO:6665) has just announced a new interesting mobile memory module. The module is a 4 layer module that is only 0.8mm thick. It is based on PoP (Package on Package) technology and consists of 4 low power DDR2 chips that each has a capacity of 2Gb, thus giving the module a total capacity of 1GB.


Consumer Electronics and Software News

New VAIO L Series All-in-One desktop PC with 3D display from Sony
Description: Sony's new VAIO L Series All-in-One desktop with 3D touchscreen display benefits from a full 1080p high definition 24-inch LED backlit multi-touch screen, packs a second generation Quad Core Intel Core i7-2720QM processor running at 2.2 GHz supported by 8GB of DDR3 system memory and is provided with 1TB of 7200RPM HDD storage. There's dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics with 1GB of video memory, S-FORCE 3D Front Surround Sound technology, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 and a 1280 x 1024 resolution HD webcam which includes an Exmor CMOS image sensor and face tracking technology.

A better Xbox Live to help Microsoft Windows Phone 7
Description: With the third major mobile platform up for grabs, Microsoft continues to improve its Windows Phone 7 platform, which has seen a lukewarm response so far against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems. Microsoft is betting on something it has and rivals don’t however: a thriving Xbox Live game community that boasts 35 million members who average 60 hours per month each on the service. In the upcoming Mango software update, Microsoft is expanding and improving the Xbox Live gaming integration in an effort to attract more consumers to its mobile handset platform.

HTC EVO 3D Coming to Europe in July
Description: One of the most powerful Android-based smartphones around, the HTC EVO 3D, is coming to Europe this July, HTC has announced. The HTC EVO 3D runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and packs some mighty hardware: a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1 GB of RAM memory, and a 1.3-megapixel front camera for video chats as well as dual 5-megapixel cameras for capturing 3D images and videos.

Arctic Sound P531 5.1 Surround Headset Review @ Real World Labs
Description: Although the overall finish of the P531 Surround Headset by Arctic Sound is certainly not on par with the rest of the unit still it combines a very good in-game surround sound along with a somewhat attractive price tag.

Slim ASUS Eee PC X101 to hit shelves next month
Description: That super thin Eee PC X101 that we manhandled back at Computex is just about ready to make its retail debut. Starting in July you'll be able to pick up one of these MeeGo-running crimson clamshells for $199 or, if you're a fan of desktop apps, Windows 7 versions (X101H) starting at $310. Inside the base model you'll find a 1.33GHz, single-core Atom N435, a six-cell battery, and a small SSD (probably of the 16GB variety). Unfortunately, the two most important details — can it cut a cake and will it blend — remain unanswered.

Jabra Announces CRUISER2 And EASYCALL Bluetooth Headsets
Description: Jabra has announced today that they will be launching two new Bluetooth headsets, and will both be available exclusively at AT&T stores. Their first offering will be the EASYCALL Bluetooth headset, which they claim was designed for users who have not previously used Bluetooth headsets before. The EASYCALL headset features the ability for two devices to be paired with the headset, so if you had a phone for work, and another for your private life, you will be able to receive calls from either devices on the headset. This is definitely more convenient than having to pair the headset up with another device when you want to use it.

Nokia N5 with Symbian Anna leaks, N6 and N7 on the way
Description: Nokia is planning one of its first more entry-level Symbian Anna phones. A new leak Monday has shown the N5 using a now relatively small touchscreen and a five-megapixel camera but with a current and even possibly newer interface. The OS seen by GSMArena now has a very MeeGo-like app grid that's likely to help keep consistency between all of the non-Windows phone platforms.


Gaming news

Child of Eden Review – Xbox 360
Description: Child of Eden is a rhythmic based shooter game. It combines the best of shooters and music to formulate by far one of the best rhythm games I’ve played so far. You have the choice of either using the controller OR Kinect. For mind-blowing results, I reccomend the Kinect.

New AKB48 Game Puts You Dating in Guam
Description: Last year, AKB48 fans were thrilled with the release of a AKB48 fan by Namco Bandai for the PlayStation Portable (PSP); they will be thrilled again. Namco Bandai has confirmed the sequel and will be titled “AKB1/48: I fell in love in Guam”

Brink to Offer its DLC Free for Two Weeks
Description: Brink has faced an uphill battle since release. Regardless of how you feel about its merits as a game, online play — a major attraction for a shooter like Brink — has faced serious issues with lag. A patch was released last month to fix them and another is on the way that will further address those problems, improve bot AI, and tweak weapon balance. As a gift to players, Bethesda has announced that the first downloadable content pack will be made available for free to players for a limited time.