In today's news roundup:

  • Techspot draws up a list of what it has identified as the "best budget and mainstream processors" which casual enthusiasts should look out for when assembing their own DIY PC;
  • USB 3.0 may soon be given a huge boost in market adoption, thanks to the introduction of a new standard which will see the interface being used as an internal connection to provide "a standardized way of connecting chips inside a smartphone or computer";
  • Rumour has it that RIM is working on a 10-inch variant of its PlayBook tablet;
  • LG has reportedly declined an invitation to join an independent licensing and patent group for Blu Ray technology due to its intentions of pursuing litigation on the matter;
  • Nintendo has confirmed that the Wii will indeed be given a price cut which will take effect later this month on May 15, and
  • EA claims that the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG should be ready for an official launch any time between July and December this year.

Hardware news

The Best Budget & Mainstream Processors
Description: Choosing a CPU platform is usually the first thing you do when building your own computer. If you've been following our reviews and always-fresh desktop PC buying guide you probably already have a good idea of the current landscape: Intel introduced their Sandy Bridge processors at the beginning of the year, bringing unparalleled performance and improved power consumption, while AMD has little to compete with above the $125 mark — though that might change soon.

OCZ Technology Vertex 3 120GB Retail Solid State Drive Review
Description: We plan to see a huge number of SandForce 2000 Series SSDs this year. SandForce has added even more partners in 2011, Intel being one of them. Even though Big Blue will take a shot at fame with a SandForce 2000 Series product, the Vertex 3 will still be the benchmark in which all others are compared. OCZ has dominated the consumer SSD market for the last several years and transitioned from a company making several products into a company whose primary role is solid state drives.

AMD Radeon HD 6770/6750 Rebranding @ Rage3D.com
Description: April 28 saw the Retail launch of the AMD Radeon HD 6770 and 6750, using the Juniper GPU core from the HD 5770 and 5750. Yep, it is a 'technology update' using rebranded cards for that ever-so important Blu-ray 3D compatibility. We have some thoughts on the why's and wherefore's on such a move, and try to find a ray of light in this dark, foreboding move.

Xigmatek Pantheon Mid Tower Chassis Review
Description: The history of the continual burning and damage to the building play into this review in an odd way, so I will continue on the path that the Pantheon name might still be guarded by these Roman gods. The package I received from Xigmatek looks like it had the wrath of something inflicted on it during shipping; I can only hope at this point that the chassis inside is in fair enough condition to show you what the chassis offers…

Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 8GB Kit Review
Description: We've got a few kits we'll be looking at over the coming weeks, but the first one comes from Crucial today and is part of the much loved Ballistix series. This one's a little different, though. Within the Ballistix series we've seen other series start up like the Tracer one. Today we're looking at the new Ballistix Sport series and it will be interesting to see what exactly is on offer from the kit here today.

USB 3.0 to Debut as Chip Interconnect
Description: USB, which is the most popular standard for connecting peripherals to PCs is now also going inside the box. A brand new specification, still under development, will, by the end of the year, allow USB 3.0 to be used a a standardized way of connecting chips inside a smartphone or computer.

ADATA Launches New BN Series Energy Efficient Power Supply
Description: ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today announced the launch of its latest series of power supply for personal computers. The BN Series is targeted towards consumer and professional users who are looking for economical solutions in energy efficient power.

Corsair Updates its Builder Series Power Supplies
Description: Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced it has updated the Builder Series with new CX V2 models.


Consumer Electronics and Software news

RIM Working on a 10-Inch Version of PlayBook Tablet [RUMOR]
Description: RIM plans to release a 10-inch version of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet at the end of 2011, Boy Genius Report claims quoting multiple anonymous sources. No further details are known about the upcoming tablet, except for the increased screen size compared to the original PlayBook’s screen, which measures 7 inches.

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Sigma Gaming Headset Review
Description: It was really only a matter of time before Creative, the creators of the legendary Sound Blaster line of soundcards, designed and manufactured a THX certified gaming headset capable of competing with units far surpassing its price tag.

Ultimate Ears 100 In-Ear Headphones Review @ Tweak.dk
Description: Ultimate Ears specializes exclusively in producing headphones. They have in their chosen everything from cheap headphones for 30 dollars, and almost luxurious versions in price ranges up to and even above 800 dollars. Today we look at one of their cheap versions and see how much sound you can get out of a set of in-ear headphones for under 60 dollars. In-ear does as its name says that you have the headphones inside the ear like earplugs. Series called Ultimate Ears 100, where Logitech has been involved in over and develop. It is also possible to buy Ultimate Ears 100 on Logitech's website, but much more on this later. Now let's jump into it and look at these little headphones.

LG dodges Blu Ray patent group because it still wants to litigate
Description: It seems LG is dodging joining an independent licensing company for patents essential to Blu-ray Disc products because it wants to keep litigating. Cyberlink announced that it had joined forces with Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and LG arch-rival Sony to form One-Blue, LLC. The idea of the consortium is to help companies in the industry with a patent licensing service. Under the "one-stop shop" banner, potential licensees won't have to handle problems or approach respective patent owners individually. That is, unless they want to work with LG, which is noticeably absent from the gang.

Plantronics Gamecom X95 Xbox Review – XSReviews
Description: Plantronics are perhaps known for their more professional line of audio equipment, bluetooth headsets and other business orientated gadgets that make the suits feel like they’re anything but the uncool people that they are. However, recently Plantronics have decided to do away with this image and branch out into the gaming sector. We saw their first outing in our recent review of the x40 headset which did very well indeed.

F-Browser brings Flash to iOS
Description: Right now, if you want to watch Flash videos on your iOS device, you look for an alternative website that contains iOS-friendly video, you use an alternative browser such as Skyfire, or you jailbreak your iPhone and install apps that let it happen. Retina Software has just announced the launch of their new web browser – called F-Browser (we assume the F in its name is supposed to mean Flash).

Acer 7-inch Iconia A100, A101 to arrive May 14
Description: Acer’s 7-inch Iconia A100 and A101 Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets are set to arrive May 14. The devices, which are already up for pre-order in the UK, come with either a 3G + Wi-Fi (A101) or Wi-Fi-only (A100) configurations. Both devices run the Tegra 250 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1GHz matched with 512MB of RAM and incorporate 8GB of memory expandable with microSDs.


Gaming news

Nintendo Will Slash Wii Price to $150 This Month
Description: Nintendo will officially drop the price of its Wii game console from $199.99 to $149.99, effective May 15. Details of the price drop — including the effective date — leaked online last month and retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and Toys R Us lowered the price on the console to $169.99 two weeks ago.

Section 8: Prejudice review by PC Game Examiner
Description: TimeGate Studios’ Section 8: Prejudice (released May 4th) is an outstanding follow up to the original game and well worth a spot on your roster of favorite multiplayer FPS (first person shooter) games. Best of all, it's only $15.

Star Wars: The Old Republic should launch this year – EA
Description: BioWare's sci-fi MMORPG should launch between July and December, says EA Games president; EA CFO says there's an "outside" chance for further delay.