kombat The Daily VR Zone News Update   17 Mar 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • ASUS has announced that selected models of its current socket AM3 motherboards will be capable of supporting AMD's upcoming FX-series CPUs after performing a certain BIOS update;
  • AMD shows off 3D display capabilities with new HD3D technology which appears to support more 3D HDTVs than monitors;
  • Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Player is reportedly the real threat to Apple's iPod Touch;
  • The world's first LTE phone, the HTC Thunderbolt, is now officially available from Verizon;
  • Analysts are predicting that the announcement of a HD Wii 2 may be all that is needed to turn Nintendo's fortunes around, and
  • Our sister site SGCafe tries out the Mortal Kombat demo currently available for download on the PlayStation Network

Hardware news:

The Ultimate Graphics Cards Round-up: Spring 2011 @ InsideHW
Description: If you were attentive during the past few months, you’re bound to have noticed just how many new graphics card models have been presented in the past few months. To say that the market situation is confusing would be an understatement, since not only have there been plenty of new models making their appearance on the market, but an entire graphics card generation has shifted. Besides, NVIDIA seems to have made a full recovery and got back into the game as an entirely respectable competitor…

Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990 @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: The Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990 is a dual-Cayman GPU product capable of powering five monitors at once, or produce the fastest video game frame rates possible of any graphics card to one monitor. Using a new VLIW4 shader core architecture and equipped with 4GB GDDR5 256-bit video frame buffer and 3072 stream processors. While the Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990 can accomplish the performance of two Radeon HD 6970's in CrossFireX, it can do so with less power and heat. The Sapphire 100310SR utilizes several new MSAA modes including Enhanced Quality Anti-Aliasing (EQAA), which Benchmark Reviews tests in some of the most popular DirectX-11 video games available…

Xigmatek Asgard II computer case @ TweakPC.de (German)
Description: (Machine translation) With Xigmatek the world is upside down. This at least allows the naming of the suspect case series. Here one does that is back to Norse mythology and identifies its case at the three levels of the World Tree. At the bottom is therefore Utgard, who represents the underworld, with Xigmatek but represents the upper class. And above shows the Asgard, the heavenly home of the gods, with Xigmatek but reflects the lower low-budget class. Midgard is only the golden mean and thus of its name.

Market for combined CPUs and GPUs on the rise
Description: Graphics-enabled microprocessors are expected to reach record highs this year with GEM penetration in notebook PCs set to reach 50 percent, and 45 percent for desktops. This represents an impressive 11 percent increase for notebooks in the use of chips which incorporate both the CPU and graphics processing in one place.

ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP Review
Description: The ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP has moved away from the NVIDIA reference design chosen by some manufacturers. The first change was the mini-HDMI connector, replaced by a full-sized HDMI, and the addition of a VGA connection, replacing the second DVI connector seen in reference design cards. As with the GTS 450 and GTX 460 it features bitstreaming support for both Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, handy for home theatre PC use.

Asustek to Support Future AMD FX "Bulldozer" Chips on Current Mainboards.
Description: Asustek Computer, the world's largest maker of mainboards, announced on Wednesday that select current mainboards with AM3 socket will also support next-generation AMD FX-series "Bulldozer" microprocessors after a BIOS upgrade. A similar move will likely be made by other motherboard suppliers, which will prove that current platforms can technically support Bulldozer chips.

Eyes-on: AMD Shows 3D Capabilities With HD3D
Description: While Nvidia's been playing in the 3D space for quite some time now with its proprietary 3D Vision technology, AMD's been holding off in what it feels is in the best interest of the industry and ultimately the consumer. AMD's 3D technology for its Radeon HD products conform to industry standards – most notably right now is HDMI 1.4a. Sadly, this doesn't include a lot of desktop monitors on the market today, but it does include essentially every new 3D HDTV in existence today.

Crucial does BoM control on DDR3
Description: Crucial is dropping a BoM on enterprise server memory customers with their new BoM-controlled RDIMM line. It may not seem like much if you don’t need it, but to those that do, it is worth more than gold.


Consumer Electronics and Software news::

Why Samsung’s Galaxy Player Rivals Apple’s iPod Touch
Description: Leveraging the success of its Galaxy S smartphone line, Samsung today introduced two models of Galaxy Player handhelds, expected to launch later this spring in the U.S. At first glance, the 4- and 5-inch devices appear to be Android-powered Samsung smartphones, complete with front and rear cameras, touch screens, and Adobe Flash support, but these don’t include a cellular radio. Instead, the new Galaxy Player line uses Wi-Fi for connectivity, just like Apple’s iPod touch. But why would Samsung ever attempt to take on Apple’s iPod, which holds an imposing majority share in the digital audio player market?

ROCCAT Alumic Review @ Vortez
Description: It was just 2 weeks ago that we got our first 'hands-on' look at ROCCAT's latest and greatest at CeBIT 2011. The first item that ROCCAT showed us at that event is the item under review today. A double sided gaming mouse pad with an anodized aluminium core providing ultimate stability and durability, whilst accommodating both low and high-sensitivity gamers by way of 2 completely different surface textures.

Corsair HS1A Gaming Headset Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: Corsair has hit the PC audio market with a slew of new products in the last year. And all of them appear to be strong performers. The Corsair HS1A Headset is no different. It is made with the highest quality materials and adheres to Corsair's tight specifications to let your games immerse you into their fantasy world. Today we are looking at the HS1A'a in the Legit Reviews Labs, and what we found might just surprise you. Did we like them or not? Read on to find out.

HTC Thunderbolt Now Available from Verizon
Description: The world’s first LTE phone, HTC Thunderbolt, is now available from Verizon for $249.99 with a two-year contract or $599.99 if you want the contract-free, unlocked version.

Samsung PN58C8000 58 Inch Plasma TV Review @ Tweaknews
Description: The Samsung PN58C8000 is targeted towards the buyer that wants the best Samsung Plasma TV that money can buy and have every possible feature other than integrated Wifi. No corners have been cut for this model and everything from the upgraded remote control to the brushed exterior bezel and finish look as good as the TV performs.

New Catalyst Application Profile for 6 titles, incl. Crysis 2 Exclusively @ Rage3D
Description: AMD Catalyst Application Profile 11.2 #4 is here! This week's new Catalyst Application Profile, exclusively at Rage3D before anywhere else, includes updates for six titles.

Sandberg USB 5.1 Surround headset Review – XSReviews.co.uk
Description: Our subject today is the Sandberg 5.1 USB Surround headset which is specifically designed for gamers and PC-multimedia enthusiasts. Sandberg is a well over 20-years old Danish company that produces computer-related products such as audio periphials, keyboards, mice, cables and much more. Altough the brand doesn’t specifically pop up when we are talking audio periphials, I have good hopes for this gamer-oriented product.


Gaming news:

Can An HD Wii 2 Turn Around Nintendo’s Video Fortunes?
Description: Nintendo could announce the next generation of its Wii gaming console soon, according to comments made by EA Games Label President Frank Gibeau. Analysts believe that the company will announce the Wii2 at this year’s E3 conference in June, which could mean that it goes on sale early next year.

Quick Review: Mortal Kombat Demo
Description: Forget those cheesy finishes in previous Mortal Kombat games or those petty looking finishes in MK vs DC universe because the upcoming Mortal Kombat is here to break some bone and gut. Simply titled Mortal Kombat, this new real deal is heading for retail on April 22 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the demo is available on PlayStation Network now (not sure for Xbox Live yet)

Operation Flashpoint: Red River preview: With a little help from my friends
Description: The first time we saw Operation Flashpoint: Red River in action, it was clear that the game was trying to expand the appeal of this traditionally "realistic" military shooter series. Played alone, as we did in December, the game still requires a fair amount of tactical squad micromanagement, but Codemasters encourages players to experience the ten-stage campaign, along with the separate co-op mode called "Fireteam Engagements," with a group of three friends…