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Jan 19, 2012

Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K Overclocking Potential Explored




With three more months to go until Intel makes official its first Ivy Bridge processors, a Taiwanese overclocker has entered into the possession of an engineering sample Core i7-3770K CPU, which he put through all sort of tests to reveal a bit more about this chip and its overclocking potential.

The tests run by TOPPC covered both the stock and overclocked performance of the Ivy Bridge CPU and while no exact numbers were specified it seems like, on average, the ES i7-3770K was 10% faster than the current Core i7-2600K.

Overclocking wise, the chip also had a similar performance with that of its Sandy Bridge counterparts, the highest frequency achieved with all cores active being set at 4.8GHz.

TOPPC expects these results to improve when the CPU hits retail, with 5GHz being possible with all cores active, as Lenzfire reports.

Despite the not so impressive overclocking frequency achieved, the Core i7-3770K does allow for higher DDR3 speeds to be achieved as the maximum available memory option is now 2800MHz.

The Core i7-3770K will include four computing cores with Hyper-Threading support running at a base frequency of 3.5GHz, and also support Intel’s Turbo Boost technology which can increase its operating speed to 3.9GHz when not all cores are loaded.

Much like the current Sandy Bridge-based Core i7 parts, the chip will also sport 8MB of shared L3 cache, but its integrated GPU has been updated to the new HD 4000 which packs 30% more EUs.

The TDP of the processor was also modified as the new 22nm Tri-Gate process technology used for Ivy Bridge helps decrease the power consumption of the CPU.

The end result is a chip that works at the same frequencies as the Core i7-3700K and sports a faster graphics core, but has a 19% lower TDP (77W vs 95W).

Just like all the other K-series processors launched by Intel until now, the Core i7-3770K also features an unlocked multiplier which means overclockers will be able to push its operating frequencies further than Intel's specifications. According to Taiwan PC makers, Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor will debut on April 8.


‘OPPO Find 3’ Android Phone with Dual-Core CPU Gets Launched in China




Although there’s plenty of room for everyone in the Chinese smartphone market, the competition is fierce, especially that more regional handset manufacturers are trying to best other well-known brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Motorola. 

‘OPPO Find 3’ is the latest Android-powered smartphone released on the Chinese market. The device is meant to compete with Meizu MX and Xiaomi M1, but with other smartphone in its price range as well.

One of the most important aspects of this competition is design. If you manage to offer an appealing smartphone, people will start asking about its hardware and software configuration.

That being said, it appears that ‘OPPO Find 3’is quite the looker. The handset manufacturer borrowed iPhone 4’s bar form factor, but made the Android device much slimmer. And with the iPhone 4S launch delayed, this is a great opportunity to try this one out.

As for the price, the ‘OPPO Find 3’ will probably be priced at around $450, but might prove cheaper at launch, which is set to happen within the next few days.

Even though ‘OPPO Find 3’ is powered by Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, the manufacturer also included its own user interface, which makes the phone look different than other Android smartphones.

Although we doubt that it will happen anytime soon, it won’t come as a surprise if ‘OPPO Find 3’ will get an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade sometime this year.

On the inside, the smartphone is equipped with a powerful dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260 processor, which is clocked at 1.5 GHz. There’s also an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash that is made by Sony, the manufacturer claims.

Furthermore, the smartphone packs a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM. It also sports a large 4.0-inch WVGA IPS capacitive touchscreen.


Troubled Company Kodak Sues Samsung over Galaxy Tab




Looks like the turmoil of patent infringement lawsuits is not even in the least bit over for Samsung, as its Galaxy Tab was targeted again, by Kodak this time. 

Kodak has definitely stopped playing nice now that its financial position and existence as a brand is being threatened more than ever before. 

What it did not long ago was begin a legal action against Samsung, over alleged patent infringement. 

As some may have suspected, the Galaxy Tab tablets are the ones supposedly infringing Kodak's intellectual property. 

Like all patent lawsuits before it, it will take months, perhaps years, for the dispute to be settled, one way or another. 

If Kodak brings enough weight to its claims, it may receive royalty payments, perhaps even a constant cash flow should a licensing agreement be established. 

This would definitely help the company, now that it found itself forced to file for bankruptcy. 

Meanwhile, Samsung can add this latest move to the ever growing list of companies that have gone and/or are going after its tablets for one reason or another other (with varying degrees of success).

The photo camera brand has named five patents that, it believes, are being used by Samsung without a license. As taken from the official announcement, they are as follows: 

U.S. Patent No. 6,292,218 - “Electronic Camera For Initiating Capture of Still Images While Previewing Motion Images”
  
U.S. Patent No. 7,210,161 - “Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Camera to a Service Provider Using a Network Configuration File” 

U.S. Patent No. 7,742,084 - “Network Configuration File for Automatically Transmitting Images from an Electronic Still Camera” 

U.S. Patent No. 7,453,605 - “Capturing Digital Images to be Transferred to an E-Mail Address” 

U.S. Patent No. 7,936,391 - “Digital Camera with Communications Interface for Selectively Transmitting Images over a Cellular Phone Network and a Wireless LAN Network to a Destination”

Firefox to Get a 'Reset' Button




Mozilla is planning to add a 'reset' button to Firefox. The idea is to enable users to repair their Firefox install or revert to a default state, while also retaining their data, bookmarks, history and so on. Work is underway on implementing the feature, which will be accessible in several ways.

"There are a number of serious Firefox issues (not starting, crashing, unexpected behavior, lost toolbars and more) that can be solved by creating a new profile," the Mozilla wiki page dedicated to the new feature reads.

"The problem is, creating a new profile (which is an incredibly difficult task) is not enough. A user will almost always want to also migrate their data to the new profile which is another difficult task," it says.

Firefox, just like any other software, can run into problems that can't be fixed, or can't be fixed easily enough, without starting with a clean slate.

The problem is, unless users also delete their profile folders manually, if they even know they exists, simply reinstalling Firefox doesn't really fix things.

What is needed is a way of wiping all of the settings data, add-on settings and so on, while still enabling users to retain their personal data. There is still some discussion on what to keep and what to delete.

"Many users try to reinstall Firefox to solve these issues but reinstallation doesn't do anything to the profile folder. Providing this option upon reinstallation and, in addition, offering this after consecutive start-up crashes and on the Troubleshooting Information page will make this feature both intuitive and discoverable," Mozilla explains.

The solution is to provide a 'reset' option. Mozilla is working on building it into the installer. This way, when users want to reinstall Firefox, they'll also get the option to delete all data, except their personal one. But this only works on Windows, there is no installer on Mac OS X or Linux.

The second method would be built into Firefox. The browser would detect consecutive startup crashes and, after three attempts, offer users the option of resetting the preferences and so on. Finally, there will also be a Reset Firefox button in the browser's Troubleshooting information page.

The Reset Firefox feature is still under development and no clear Firefox version target has been set, so it may be a while before you see it working.


Asus Readies HD 7970 DirectCU II Top for February Release




Asus’ DirectCU II graphics cards have long been among the best in the industry, so many will rejoice when hearing that the Taiwanese company is getting ready a highly customized version of the Radeon HD 7970 for being released into this series.

The card in question will be called the HD 7970 DirectCU II Top and just like its predecessors it features a massive tri-slot cooler, a highly customized PCB and a series of other overclocking optimizations.

These include a series of voltage measurement points, a 12-phase VRM circuitry with supper alloy caps and chocks as well as a special SAP capacitor added to maximize overclocking headroom according to Asus.

The tri-slot cooling system is also just as impressive since it uses two 100mm fans sitting on top of a massive aluminum heatsink, while most of the PCB is covered with an aluminum heatspreader.

Asus says its design keeps the core 20% cooler than AMD’s reference design, which allowed the company to push the Radeon HD 7970 over its reference frequencies so the GPU will be clocked at an impressive 1GHz while the memory will work at 1400MHz (5.6Gbps data rate). 

The video connector configuration of the HD 7970 DirectCU II Top was also modified by Asus, its graphics card coming with two DVI outputs (one DVI-I and one DVI-D) as well as with four DisplayPort connectors.

This design change allows for up to six displays to be connected in Eyefinity mode, Asus also providing its users with a DVI to HDMI adapter, according to the info provided by SweClockers.

Asus’ HD 7970 DirectCU II Top is expected to arrive sometime during next month and in Sweden it will retail for 5,500 Kronor, which translates into about 500 EUR or $644 US after excluding VAT. 

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT core, which includes 32 Compute Units for a total of 2048 stream processors that are joined by 128 texture units, 32 ROP units and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

This is linked to 3GB of DDR5 video memory and the GPU is manufactured using TSMC’s advanced 28nm node which enables it to be one of the coolest and most energy efficient high-end graphics card around.







Samsung Joy and Samsung Fresh Trademarks Emerge




Two of the new handsets that the South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung is set to make available this year could arrive on shelves as the Samsung Joy and Samsung Fresh. 

The names have just popped up at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO), both of them being registered there on January 13th, 2012 in the ‘Telephones; smart phones; mobile phones; computer software for mobile phones, portable media players and handheld computers’ section. 

For the time being, no specific info on what these devices could be all about has emerged, but we would not be too surprised if they turned out to be two new Android-based smartphones from the company. 

Samsung might offer some more details on these devices as soon as next month during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, so keep an eye on this space for more on the matter. 

On the USPTO website, Samsung Joy sports serial number 85515853, while Samsung Fresh features serial number: 85515850.


Casio Readies Android 4.0 ICS Smartphone with Quad-Core CPU and 4G LTE




There’s no telling how much success Casio’s G’Zone Commando Android phone has at Verizon Wireless, but we’ve just received word that the company plans to release a top-notch smartphone sooner than expected. 

The information comes from a DroidLife reader who was fortunate enough to play with Casio’s prototype while attending to a focus group session a few days ago. In fact, it appears that the company plans to launch more than one device, most of them headed to Verizon Wireless.

According to DroidLife the unannounced Casio device is big. Even though it does not have a name yet, the smartphone is said to feature a large 4.5-inch or 4.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive display and a quad-core processor of unknown type and speed.

In addition, the phone is said to feature dual cameras, an impressive 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing photo snapper for video calls. NFC (Near Field Communications) and 4G LTE support was included as well.

Last but not least, Casio’s quad-core smartphone will be powered by a large 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery and will feature the usual range of ports, such as microSD card slot for memory expansion, microUSB and 3.5mm audio jack.

Furthermore, Casio states that the phone will run the “latest Android” version, so we can safely assume that this one will be delivered with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onboard.

Design-wise, the phone is very slim, possibly thinner than 8mm, and comes with only a few external keys, such as the volume button and lock switch. The tipster also said that the prototype phone looks “beautifully simplistic” and strongly resembles the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The person responsible for this leak also saw four Casio clamshell devices and a new G’Zone smartphone, which was as big as the quad-core prototype unit. Most of these devices were already branded with Verizon’s logo, so we should expect them to be exclusively available at the Big Red.


Conurus Smart Adapter Lets You Mount Canon EF Lenses on a Sony NEX Camera




If you are a longtime Canon EOS camera owner, but consider buying a Sony NEX from travelling a bit lighter from now on, Conurus has prepared an accessory that will sure capture your interest.

Called the Smart Adapter by the outfit, this is basically a Canon EF to Sony NEX lens adapter, which will let you mount EOS lenses on your new NEX interchangeable lens camera.

Conurus says that the adapter allows for the electronic aperture to be directly controlled via the camera body without losing any of the exposure modes available.

Furthermore, the Smart Adapter supports image stabilization, if the Canon lens has this feature, along with EXIF.

The only downside is that while using the Smart Adapter autofocus no longer works, which is definitely going to disappoint some potential users. 

Pricing for the Conurus gadget is set at $399, which is a bit too much if you ask me, but right now no stock is available.


Humongous Yeston Radeon HD 7970 Takes Up Four Expansion Slots




You'd think that Gigabyte's triple-fan AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics card qualifies as a big and bad beast, but that's nothing compared to what Yeston came up with.

For some reason or other, Yeston decided that a dual-slot cooler was not big enough, so it added a quad-slot one. 

Yes, you read it right: the new design has a heatskin so massive that, when you add the two fans on top of it, it takes up four expansion slots. 

The fans measure 120mm in diameter and use 18 impeller-style blades each. 

Unfortunately, the card's performance specifications are a mystery, the same as the reason for actually inventing such a massive cooler. 

We'd be sorely disappointed if Yeston left the stock clock speeds as they were, although we suppose stranger things have happened.



Deepcool Dracula VGA Heatsink Gets Ready for the Radeon HD 7970




The number of third-party cooling solutions available for AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 keeps growing, Deepcool being the latest to join the party with a special version of its Dracula VGA cooler redesigned for the HD 7900-series.

The new Dracula heatsink will be released by the company into the same Gamers Storm series as its predecessor and targets gamers and computer enthusiasts alike.

Compared to the other VGA cooling solutions launched before by Deepcool, the Dracula uses an entirely new design which relies on two separate heatsinks. 

Heat is driven form the GPU and into the two separate fin stacks by no less than six U-shaped heatpipes. 

Just like the heatsink, these are also silver nickel plated in order to protect the cooler from erosion or oxidation and prolong its service life.

On top of the massive heatsink, users can install up to three 140mm, or four 120mm fans, but have also the option of using low-speed 92mm fans, if they so desire.

Deepcool doesn't mention how will the fan choice affect the cooling capacity of the Dracula VGA heatsink, but the guys from Expreview have tested it with a pair of 92mm fans and the results are pretty impressive.

Compared to the standard cooler used for the Radeon HD 7970, the Dracula managed to keep the graphcis card a good 35 degrees Celsius lower (55 vs 99 degrees), with the two fans spinning at 1800RPM.

In fact, its maker says that the Dracula can dissipate up to 250W of heat which should be more than enough for handling an overclocked Radeon HD 7970.

Deepcool hasn't provided us with any information regarding the price or the release date of the Dracula, but this monster of a VGA cooler is expected to cost quite a pretty penny. Fortunately, performance also seems to be on-par.





CyanogenMod 9 Ported to Original Motorola DROID




Motorola DROID got an unofficial Ice Cream Sandwich port last month, which was said to be based on an earlier version of CyanogenMod 9.

However, the folks over at XDA Developers have just released a CyanogendMod 9 alpha build for the original Motorola DROID.

While this is still a work in progress, there are some things that are fully functional so users can flash this in case they want a glimpse of what ICS has to offer.

For the time being, the camera and the accelerated video decoding are not functional. The person responsible for this release, XDA forum user kabaldan, also says that a fix for these missing features will not be available any time soon.

For more details on this CyanogenMod 9 alpha build for Motorola DROID  head over to the original thread.


Gigabyte Officially Intros Triple-Fan AMD Radeon HD 7970




It would appear that Gigabyte didn't want to wait too long before launching a customized version of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics adapter. 

Like most every other AMD partner out there, Gigabyte released a stock-clocked Radeon HD 7970 when AMD formally launched it. 

Now, the company has had enough of waiting, so it has revealed the GV-R797OC-3GD

Overclocking enthusiasts will probably like this newcomer quite a bit once they get their hands on it (no price known yet, unfortunately). 

The GV-R797OC-3GD is not only factory-overclocked, but it also has special components and cooling that allow for further clock tweaking. 

The GPU (graphics processing unit), was set at 1,000 MHz instead of the reference 925 MHz. 

On the flip side, the memory was not forced to work at a different setting, meaning that the 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM operate at 5,500 MHz. 

Of course, owners will have free reign on how much higher they want to drive frequencies. 

If nothing else, the special components used for the creation of the GV-R797OC-3GD will allow for higher overclocking headroom than usual, as will the cooler. 

As part of the Ultra Durable VGA construction, Gigabyte chose a 2oz copper PCB (printed circuit board), Tier 1 memory, Japanese Solid Capacitors, Low RDS (on) MOSFET and Ferrite Core Chokes. 

Meanwhile, the dual-slot cooler has three fans, as opposed to one on the stock card. 

Other specifications include a 384-bit memory interface, dual Mini DisplayPort outputs, CrossFireX support, DVI and HDMI connectors. 

The Radeon HD 7970 is the latest and greatest graphics card made by Advanced Micro Devices, based on the 28nm process technology. 

Unleashed back in December, it has no competition from NVIDIA and will probably continue to reign alone until February at the earliest, assuming NVIDIA really did move up the launch date of the GeForce GTX 680 Kepler.


Gigabyte Adds Dual-UEFI BIOS to H61MA-D3V Entry-Level Motherboard




Gigabyte has just introduced in Japan its first entry-level motherboard to use the company’s Dual-UEFI technology, the GA-H61MA-D3V (rev. 2.0), which is expected to arrive in other parts of the world starting with May of this year.

Gigabyte’s Dual-UEFI technology was designed to replace the BIOS found in many pre-2010 motherboards with a more capable software interface between the operating system and platform firmware.

The Taiwanese motherboard maker was actually one of the last in the industry to adopt this technology, but it now seems like it plans to transition it to more board models.

Moving to the GA-H61MA-D3V rev 2.0 spotted by TechPowerUp, this LGA 1155 solution is built around the Intel H61 chipset which was paired together with a series of third party chipsets for adding USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps connectivity.

In addition, the board features five phase CPU power, two DIMM sockets that can support up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, and four SATA 3Gbps ports paired together with another two 6Gbps ports driven by a Marvell 88SE9172 controller.

Graphics wise, users can opt for the Sandy Bridge built-in graphics or can add a dedicated GPU thanks to the PCI Express x16 slot.

This is also accompanied by three PCI-E x1 slots, which is quite a decent number for a micro-ATX board.

Moving to the board's I/O panel, we get all the basic ports and connectors that one would expect from such a motherboard, including DVI and VGA video outputs, four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a pair of PS/2 ports and 5.1-channel audio thanks to the high-grade Realtek ALC889 HD audio codec.

An HDMI output isn’t provided, so users interested in building an HTPC system need to look elsewhere if DVI isn’t enough for them. No information regarding pricing was provided by Gigabyte.



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