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Mar 5, 2012

ASRock Readies New LGA 2011 Flasgship Motherboard, the X79 Extreme 11

Not content to play second fiddle to other motherboard makers out there, ASRock is working on releasing a new Intel X79 motherboard for LGA 2011 processors, dubbed the X79 Extreme 11. This greatly improves the specs of the company’s current flagship, the Extreme 9.

The board, which was recently uncovered by Tweak Town, uses an extended form factor as well as a series of third-party controllers in order to augment the functionality of the Intel X79 PCH.

This enabled the company to add to the X79 Extreme 11 a series of features that enthusiasts will surely appreciate, such as the support for five PCI Express x16 slots.

Compatible with both SLI and CrossFireX 4-way GPU setups, these slots were designed to run at their full x16 speed even when populated with four graphics cards, thanks to the addition of a pair of GEN3 PLX 8747 chips.

Furthermore, these are accompanied by a total of eight DDR3 memory sockets to support a maximum of 64GB system memory when 8GB modules are being used.

Two legacy 32-bit PCI slots round up the list of expansion options available to Extreme 11 users.

As far as storage is concerned, ASRock decided that the usual SATA connectivity provided by the Intel X79 PCH is not enough for its flagship motherboard, so it installed a third-party LSI SAS2308 controller.

This adds eight SAS 6Gbps, or eight SATA III, ports to the board thus raising the number of storage devices that can be connected to the X79 Extreme 11 to 14 (10 of these will be able to work at 6Gbps speeds).

Other features include Creative Core3D audio, dual USB 3.0 on-board headers, two 8-pin CPU power connectors, on-board Power and Reset buttons, as well as a BIOS debug display.

No details regarding the release date or the price of the ASRock X79 Extreme 11 have been made official so far, but the motherboard is expected to be showcased during this year’s CeBIT fair.

Intel Quietly Intros Atom D2550 Cedarview CPU

A little bit more than two months after the introduction of its first 32nm Atom processors based on the Cedarview architecture, Intel updated its product portfolio to include another such chip, dubbed the Atom D2550.

The processor, which was first spotted at the beginning of this year, was recently added by the chip maker to its ARK product database, indicating that this SKU is now launched.

According to CPU-World, the newly introduced Atom D2550 comes as a hybrid between the Atom D2500 and the D2700.

This means that the CPU works at the same 1.86GHz clock speed as the D2500, but unlike its less powerful sibling it also includes support for Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology and a more powerful on-board GPU clocked at 640MHz.

All these, together with 1MB of Level 2 cache memory, fit inside a 10 Watt TDP.

Despite detailing its specifications, Intel still hasn’t listed the price of the Atom D2550, but this should be placed somewhere between the $42 (about 32 EUR) Atom D2500 and the $52 (39 EUR) Atom D2700.

Intel Cedarview processors are the first Atom chips to be built using the 32nm fabrication process and feature a unified architecture that packs both the computing cores and the graphics core on the same die.

The computing cores use the same design as their predecessors, but the operating frequencies have been increased in order to allow for better performance.

More important changes were brought on the graphics front, where the CPUs have gained hardware decoding support for MPEG2, VC1, AVC, and H.264 Full HD content, as well as other formats.

The first low-power devices based on Intel’s Atom D2550 processor are expected to arrive in retail in the coming months.

How to Install iOS 5.1 on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Apple this week is poised to unveil not only the iPad 3, but also the next incremental release of iOS 5. Tested by Apple developers worldwide for the past few months, iOS 5.1 is ready to be set loose, likely even before the iPad 3 becomes physically available. So here’s how to download and install the software when it's released.

If the past is any indication, the iOS 5.1 software update may well be released to the masses this week. The update should deliver numerous new features, tweaks, as well as fixes for some recently discovered security flaws, and other types of bugs.

Starting with the initial release of iOS 5, there have been two ways to update the software on your iDevice. One is the traditional method - through iTunes; the other is over-the-air (OTA). Here’s the first set of instructions (according to Apple’s own Support site):

Update your device using iTunes

First off, make sure that your device is backed up to iCloud or back up with iTunes. If you plan to update using the Mac or PC with which you normally sync, all your iTunes content will be synced automatically after updating and restoring from backup.

However, if you update using a computer that you don’t normally use to sync your iDevice, only the content that is stored in the backup will be restored back to the device.

With that out of the way, here are the actual steps:

  1. Ensure that you're using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer using the included USB cable.
  3. After iTunes opens, select your device when it appears in iTunes under Devices.
  4. Click "Check for Update" in the Summary pane to check for available updates.
  5. If an update is available, iTunes prompts you to download and install the update. Do not disconnect your device until the update has finished.

Update your device wirelessly / over the air (OTA) - available in iOS 5 and later

  1. Ensure your device is connected to a power source. To avoid potential data costs connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Software Update. iOS will automatically check for available updates.
  3. If an update is available you can tap Download to download the update.
  4. After the download has completed tap Install to update your iOS.
  5. If you leave the update to download in the background, once the download has finished you will receive a notification saying an update is available for your device. Tapping Details will take you to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap Install Now to install the iOS update. If you decide to leave the installation for later Settings will display notification badge until the update has been installed.

MSI Outs QM77 Fanless Mini-ITX Motherboard for Mobile Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs

MSI’s industrial PC division has recently unveiled a new motherboard based on the Intel QM77 7-series chipset, which was specially designed to be used together with the chipmaker’s mobile Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge processors.

The motherboard adopts the mini-ITX form factor and, according to MSI, is destined to be used for digital signage, kiosk, gaming, industrial control automation and POS applications.

Just like its Intel Z77 desktop counterparts, the QM77 chipset includes the FDI interface required for utilizing the on-die GPU included in the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, but sports a more flexible display output configuration.

This means that besides the usual D-sub, DVI, and HDMI ports, the MSI board also comes sporting LVDS and eDP interfaces for connecting integrated displays.

Since the QM77 is an industrial motherboard designed for fanless operation, MSI also decided to drop support for regular DIMM memory and go with two SO-DIMM DDR3 slots instead.

These support a maximum of 16GB of system memory with speeds up to DDR3-1600, as long as the built-in CPU memory controller can also work at this frequency (otherwise it drops at 1333 or 1066 MHz).

The rest of the expansion options available in the QM77 provide support for a PCI Express 3.0 or 2.0 add-on card, an mSATA SSD, a miniPCIe device (such as a WiFi card) and for a maximum of two SATA 6Gbps drives.

Taking a look at the rear I/O header of the card we get to see that the MSI QM77 packs dual Gigabit Ethernet ports (driven by Intel 82579LM and 82583V controllers), HD audio thanks to a Realtek ALC887 codec, as well as RS-232/422/485 serial ports for commercial applications.

No details regarding the release date or the pricing of this motherboard were offered by MSI, but we keep our fingers crossed for the QM77 to make it into retail, since this could be a perfect choice for building a low-power HTPC system.

Windows Phone 8 Mentions Found in Windows 8 Kernel

Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 have been long rumored to be closely related, and some more proof that things are indeed so has just emerged online. 

In the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview, WPDang reportedly found mentions of Windows Phone 8 that have been missing from the previously released Windows 8 Developer Preview. 

The news site claims that the new evidence proves that Windows Phone 8 will have, in fact, an NT kernel. 

Codenamed Apollo, Windows Phone 8 has been long rumored to have the same kernel as Windows 8, but no solid proof to sustain thins has been spotted before. 

At the moment, Windows Phone 8 is supposedly under heavy development, as Microsoft is gearing up to release it in fall, along with the new Windows client for desktops. The company has yet to confirm any plans on the matter.

MSI B75A-GD43 Is an Entry-Level Ivy Bridge Motherboard

Besides its consumer motherboards based on the Intel Z77 chipset, MSI also plans to build a series of business oriented Ivy Bridge LGA 1155 solutions powered by the Intel B75 chipset.

One such board is the B75A-GD43 that the company has just showcased during the CeBIT 2012 fair.

Built around the Intel B75 PCH, MSI’s creation is one of the most lackluster 7-series Ivy Bridge motherboards we have seen to date since it sports a single SATA 6Gbps port and no overclocking support.

The good news however is that users do get four USB 3.0 ports (two via an on-board header) and a PCI Express x16 Gen 3.0 add-on slot, which can be considered an update when coming from other business motherboards.

No info regarding pricing is available so far, but MSI’s B75-powered creation should definitely be taken into consideration if you plan on building an entry-level Ivy Bridge PC.

LG F160L with Android 4.0 and Qualcomm S4 CPU Spotted in Benchmark

LG announced quite a range of Android phones at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, it appears that the company won’t stop here and will continue to expand its lineup of Android phones.

A certain LG F160L has just been spotted by the folks over at ameblo.jp in a benchmark database. It appears that the phone was benchmarked recently and the results were published online at glbenchmark.com.

It looks like the LG F160L will be shipped with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich on board and will boast a capacitive touchscreen display of unknown size that will support HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution.

In addition, the smartphone is equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. No other details are available for the moment, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Gigabyte's GA-B75M-D3V Motherboard Exposed

Gigabyte is determined to cover the entire spectrum of motherboard customers, so it has prepared the B75M-D3V, a microATX model.

The newcomer was not so much revealed through an official announcement as it was exposed through a report by VR-Zone. The press release should come at some point down the line.

It is powered by the B75 chipset and, though it can serve anyone well enough, it comes with something called Intel's Small Business Advantage software.

The mainboard has support for Ivy Bridge central processing units and a price of $80, or 60.52 Euro.

In other words, even though it is one of the most affordable 7-Series chipset-based motherboards known, it is not a sign that platforms are getting cheaper.

As VR-Zone points out, the IT segment has become somewhat of a paradox, since motherboards haven't been getting any less expensive even though many of their features are gone, being part of CPUs now.

At any rate, the CPU socket is wired to a pair of DIMM slots, and there is also a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot there.

A pair of PCI Express x1 slots are present as well, as are two SATA 6.0 Gbps connectors and four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports.

Moving along, Gigabyte tossed in headers for two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports.

As for the I/O panel at the back, it offers four USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports and a parallel port, plus 5.1-channel audio, Gigabit Ethernet and video outputs (D-Sub and DVI).

The exact time of arrival of the Gigabyte B75M-D3V was not specified, but we assume it will be soon, since the price and more or less everything else has been exposed.

Now we just have to wait and see if anything turns up about this mysterious Small Business Advantage software.

PowerColor Launches Overclocked Radeon HD 7870, Reference Cards Too

Like more or less all of its peers, PowerColor, or TUL Corporation as the Taiwanese company is otherwise known, has released some Radeon HD 7800 Series graphics cards. 

Unlike HIS, PowerColor did play around with the clock frequencies a little bit, even if only on one of three video cards. 

For those unsure of what that means, HIS has also launched three HD 7800 boards, equipped with IceQ cooler or even a new IceQ iTurbo fansink, but chose not to change the GPU or memory clocks at all for some reason. 

PowerColor also has three boards ready, one of which, the PowerColor PCS+ HD7870 GHz Edition, takes the graphics processor from 1 GHz to 1.1 GHz (1100 MHz). 

Meanwhile, the 2 GB of GDDR5 memory also step things up, from 4.8 GHz to 4.9 GHz. 

The rest of the specs are unchanged: a memory interface of 256 bits, Eyefinity support, DirectX 11.1, CrossFireX, DVI and HDMI and dual mini DisplayPort. 

The other two video boards are the PowerColor HD7850 and the PowerColor HD7870 GHz edition

As we wrote when covering AMD's announcement, the former operates at 860 MHz (for the graphics chips) and 4.8 GHz for the VRAM. The other one, as its name makes it quite clear, held the GPU at 1 GHz. 

The connectivity options and everything else are identical to that of the PCS+ card. 

The official press release did not say what each of the models would cost when they finally went up for sale on March 19 (2012). 

The base AMD Radeon HD 7850 carries a price of $249 / 188.72 Euro, while the 7870 is tagged with $349 / 264.51 Euro, but this won't necessarily hold true for PowerColor. 

At the very least, the PowerColor PCS+ HD7870 GHz Edition will have prospective buyers pay a little extra.

ASUS's Dual-CPU, Tri-Antenna Wireless 2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi Router

ASUS has announced a new wireless router, one that has two processors and support for just as many wireless bands.

The 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands are both supported, and three antennas can transfer data at 300 Mbps on each.

That leads to 600 Mbps total, which is none too shabby.

In other words, it is more than fast enough for power users, gamers and people who frequently stream HD video (DLNA compatibility is assured).

Furthermore, as a bonus, ASUS tossed in a pair of USB ports, letting the router act as a media, printer and file server.

Finally, in April, a firmware upgrade will add multiple SSIDs, IPv6, 3G sharing, and the Download Master web-based interface to the spec list.

Unfortunately, the formal press release had no information as to where or when the DSL-N55U will start selling, nor on the price.

Sapphire Intros Radeon HD 7870 GHz OC Edition Graphics Card

Sapphire has recently announced that it has updated its product portfolio with the introduction of two new graphics cards based on AMD’s Radeon HD 7870 design, one of these coming with a factory overclocked GPU.

Both of these cards use a cooling system developed in-house by Sapphire, which relies on two high-airflow fans for dissipating the heat produced by the graphics cards while running.

Right beneath these two fans, Sapphire has placed a large aluminum fin array that draws the heat away from the Radeon HD 7870 GPU, via four large copper heatpipes.

This powerful cooling assembly enabled Sapphire to increase the operating frequency of the HD 7870 GHz OC Edition to 1050MHz, 50MHz more than AMD’s recommended clock for the HD 7870, while the memory speed was also increased to reach 1,250MHz (5GHz data rate).

Users who require even more performance can also overclock the card beyond these frequencies using the TriXX utility that comes bundled with Sapphire’s creation.

Apart from the GPU and memory clocks, Sapphire’s tool also allows for the GPU voltage to be modified over its stock settings.

Pricing for the HD 7870 GHz OC Edition hasn’t been announced yet, but this is expected to surpass AMD’s $350 (265 EUR) MSRP. 

Made official earlier today, the Radeon HD 7870 uses the Pitcairn XT GPU, which includes a total of 1280 stream processors, 80 texture units, 32 ROP units and a 256-bit wide memory bus that is connected to 2GB of video buffer.

The stock operating clocks of the video card are set at 1GHz for the GPU, while the GDDR5 memory is running at 1.20GHz (4.8GHz data rate), which are also the frequencies used by the non-OC Sapphire HD 7870 GHz Edition.

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 Sport WindForce 3X Coolers

Alongside all the other AMD board partners, Gigabyte has also announced today two new graphics cards based on AMD’s recently launched Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 designs, which utilize the company’s proprietary WindForce cooling system.

The more powerful of the two solutions announced today is dubbed the GV-R787OC-2GD and, as its name suggests, this is based on the more powerful AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics card.

Much like other high-end Gigabyte creations, the GV-R787OC-2GD also sports the company’s proprietary WindForce 3x cooling system, which relies on three angled fans to dissipate heat produced by the card.

The advanced cooling system is also accompanied by a special Ultra Durable PCB that utilizes only high-end components in order to improve the reliability and overclocking potential of the card.

According to TechPowerUp, this design enabled Gigabyte to raise the clock of the Pitcairn XT GPU to about 1,100MHz.

The second video card to be announced by Gigabyte today is the GV-R785OC-2GD, which is built around AMD’s Pitcairn Pro graphics core.

Compared to its older sibling, this card uses a much simpler cooling solution dubbed the WindForce 2x by Gigabyte. Despite this change, the installed GPU is also said to come factory overclocked by about 5%.

Both cards include a 256-bit memory bus that is connected to 2GB of GDDR5 video buffer working at 1.2GHz (4,800MHz data rate).

As far as pricing goes, WccfTech suggests that Gigabyte has chosen to respect AMD’s MSRP for the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850, meaning that the two solutions cost $349 and $249 (265 and 190 EUR), respectively.

Both AMD Radeon HD 7800-series graphics cards have been made official by AMD earlier today and are based on the company’s new Graphics Core Next (GSCN) architecture, which made its debut in the Radeon HD 7970.

XFX Reveals AMD Radeon HD 7870 Double Dissipation

XFX is joining the ranks of those who've launched their own versions of AMD's latest graphics adapters, the Radeon HD 7800 series. 

For those who missed it, AMD made the official introduction of the Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 not long ago. 

As such, XFX is getting into the fun with the Radeon HD 7870 Double Dissipation graphics card, one that has the, you guessed it, Double Dissipation cooler. 

XFX made this thing specifically so that overclockers could let loose more than the reference boards would allow. 

Strangely enough, though, there was no factory overclocking involved in the product's design. 

That means that the company felt the 1 GHz frequency of the graphics processing unit (GPU) was already enough. 

The same goes for the memory: the 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM work at 4.8 GHz. 

There are several display outputs: one DL-DVI-I, an HDMI port, mini DisplayPort, one SL-DVI-D, Dual link support and DisplayPort 1.2. 

Needless to say, AMD's CrossFireX, Eyefinity and HD3D technologies are fully supported as well, along with DirectX 11.1 and HDMI 1.4a streaming. 

As for the cooler, it relies on an aluminum fin stack, which gets the heat via several copper heatpipes that directly connect to the GPU die. Two “GHOST” fans then disperse it. 

Alas, the XFX R7870 DD will not be available right away. Like all of its peers, it will be put up for sale on March 19 this year (2012). HIS and PowerColor are just two of the IT players rivaling XFX. 

The cooler will no doubt demand a slightly higher price, but the final tag should not be too far beyond the $349 / 264.51 Euro of the original. 

Until shipments begin, prospective buyers can drop by the official XFX product page or read about the other assets of AMD's latest 7000 series cards, including the 7850.

Virtuous S4X, Unofficial Android 4.0 ROM with Sense 4.0 UI

Last week, HTC made a new family of mobile phones running under the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and featuring the new Sense 4.0 UI official, the “One” series. 

Apparently, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0 UI pair will be delivered only to these smartphones, while older devices won’t get a taste of the fully-flavored new user interface release. 

Unofficially, however, things are different, and the first ROM to provide users of older HTC devices with the possibility to get a taste of Sense 4.0 has already made it online. 

The new Virtuous S4X ROM brings along all the goodies that 4.0.3 ICS and Sense 4.0 have to offer, though it is available only for the HTC Sensation and GSM HTC EVO 3D smartphones at the moment. 

The new ROM was built starting from a leaked RUU (0.96.401.2) for HTC Endeavor (HTC One X), and still packs a series of bugs inside. 

However, it appears that the software is capable of offering support for essential tasks, which makes it quite usable. 

To learn a bit more on what the ROM is all about, you should have a look at the video embedded below, courtesy of MobileSyrup. 

Since HTC has already confirmed that it won’t pack the full Sense 4.0 UI inside Sensation devices when upgrading them to Android 4.0, many users would find the unofficial ROM a great option. 

However, they should keep in mind that it requires rooting, and that this will void the warranty of their handset. Moreover, they should remember that custom ROMs often affect the functionality of the devices.

Users should also bear in mind that this specific ROM still has some flaws, and that the experience they have after installing it on their devices might not be the expected one. Some additional details on the Virtuous S4X ROM can be found over at XDA-Developers.

HIS Radeon HD 7800 IceQ Series Cards Appear

Since Advanced Micro Devices has officially launched its graphics adapter based on the Pitcairn graphics processing unit (GPU), HIS offered its own two cents, so to speak.

HIS has announced the Radeon HD 7850 IceQ X, the HIS HD 7870 IceQ X and the HD 7870 IceQ iTurbo.

Given the special coolers and the propensity HIS has shown, in the past, towards the utmost high in terms of performance, one would expect there to be some factory overclocking involved.

Strangely, though, that is not the case at all, for neither member of the trio.

Even the HIS HD 7870 IceQ iTurbo leaves the 1 GHz clock of the GPU and the 4.80 GHz of the memory as they are.

With the large new cooling solution, we would have expected at least some tinkering, but nothing of the sort happened in the end.

Not even the huge aluminum heatsink and the four 8mm copper heatpipes were able to entice the company enough to play with the voltage.

We guess that HIS will meddle with the settings in the future, but right now it must feel that the parameters are more than enough.

For those that haven't read about AMD's original models, the HD 7850 features a GPU speed of 860 MHz and the same memory frequency as above.

Of course, there will be nothing to stop buyers from embarking on their own overclocking operations, assuming they are willing to take the risk.

It also bears noting that there shouldn't be many games out there, if any, capable of putting much strain on the Pitcairn devices, except maybe in multi-monitor setups.

We don't have the prices of these three PC parts, but they should not exceed overmuch the ones given by AMD: $249 / 188.72 Euro for the 7850 and $349 / 264.51 for HD 7870. Sales start on March 19, 2012.

Yeston GeForce GTX 560 SE GameMaster Packs 336 CUDA Cores

Yeston, a brand that is well known to Asian computer enthusiasts, has just announced the introduction of the company’s first graphics card based on the GTX 560 SE core, which is part of the company’s GameMaster product series.

Even though the new Yeston graphics card is labeled as a GeForce GTX 560 SE, it actually comes as a hybrid between this GPU and the more powerful Nvidia GTX 560 (non-Ti).

What this means is that Yeston’s latest GameMaster solution includes the same 336 CUDA cores as the vanilla GTX 560, which are paired with a 192-bit wide memory bus characteristic to the GTX 560 SE.

This is linked to 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 1,002MHz (4,008MHz data rate), while the GPU comes clocked at 820MHz.

Power to the board is delivered via a 7-phase VRM, which makes use of NEC-TOKIN Proadlizer capacitors to deliver clean power to the graphics core.

For cooling duties, Yeston has decided to go with Arctic’s popular Accelero TwinTurbo Pro VGA heatsink, which has a good reputation among enthusiasts thanks to its high performance cooling and noise-free operation.

The display output configuration includes two DVI ports and a mini-HDMI connector. The Yeston GeForce GTX 560 SE GameMaster can also work with a secondary Nvidia GTX 560 SE graphics card as part of an SLI setup.

In China, Yeston’s latest creation is priced at 999 RMB (about $158.45 US or 120 EUR), according to Expreview. Sadly, we don’t know if the GeForce GTX 560 SE GameMaster will be released in other parts of the world.

The standard version of the GTX 560 SE should feature 288 stream processors and a 192-bit memory bus, while its GPU and memory are rumored to be clocked at 736MHz and 957MHz (3828MHz data rate), respectively.

AMD “Tenerife” GPU Will Succeed Tahiti, HD 7990 Possibly Scrapped

Advanced Micro Devices has only just made the official launch of the Pitcairn-based Radeon HD 7850 and HD 7870 graphics cards and, apparently, it could be changing its future plans as well. 

OBR-Hardware has posted a slide whose legitimacy is questionable, but which still discloses some interesting information. 

Apparently, the successor to the Tahiti graphics processing unit will be something called Tenerife, after the largest of the Canary Islands in the Spanish offshore territory. 

It will be designed on the "Enhanced Graphics CoreNext" architecture, which could be a boosted version of the GCN used in the HD 7000 series. 

The specs of the graphics cards based on it are 2,304 stream processors, a memory bus of 384 bits and 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM working at 6 GHz. 

The thermal design power is 250W, quite a bit lower than the 300W which NVIDIA's allegedly unbeatable Kepler is rumored to sport. 

The stream processor count is quite relevant, since it more or less fits with the “actual” count that Tahiti is supposed to exhibit. 

Nevertheless, “Tenerife” is still a new GPU, which gives way to two possibilities: either AMD will use it in the Radeon HD 8000 series, or it will make a high-end Radeon HD 7000 model out of it. 

OBR-Hardware mentions that the dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 has been lost in limbo (it has disappeared from the Q1 and Q2 2012 roadmaps, despite being initially expected in Q1) due to inadequate cooling. 

As such, the Sunnyvale, California-based IT player may design a board with an all-new GPU (the overall performance increase is said to be of 20% over the current architecture) instead of putting unnecessary effort into a dual-chip model. 

It would not be the first time a new GPU was added to an existing series, regardless of how disruptive such a maneuver is. At any rate, we will know it in either the third quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013.

One iPhone 5 Technical Specification Confirmed

We’re still a long way from seeing Apple confirm the iPhone 5. Some say it’s going to be unveiled this summer at WWDC 12, while others are convinced the launch will occur at a special event in fall, just like the iPhone 4S.

And while the second scenario is indeed more probable, there’s one thing about the iPhone 5 we now know for sure - Corning Gorilla Glass 2.

According to a new report by Apple last week, Analysis Group conducted a study to reveal that the Cupertino-based computer company has directly or indirectly created 304,000 jobs in the United States of America.

An additional 210,000 iOS app economy jobs are also mentioned. In total, Apple has created and helped create over half a million jobs stateside.

“These jobs — spread across all 50 states — include thousands of jobs in numerous industries, from the people who create components for our products to the people who build the planes and trucks that carry them to our customers,” the Mac maker elaborates.

The report continues with Apple saying (emphasis ours), “For example, this figure also includes workers in Texas who manufacture processors for iOS products, Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone, and FedEx and UPS employees. Together with the 210,000 iOS jobs generated by the app economy, these 304,000 jobs make a total of 514,000 U.S. jobs created or supported by Apple.”

Leaving those boring numbers aside (not that they're not a big deal), Apple has just confirmed its ongoing support of Corning’s Gorilla glass which is currently found on two iPhone models - the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

The interesting bit is that Corning has also recently unveiled its Gorilla Glass 2. Since Apple continues to list Corning as a supplier, it’s easy to connect the dots and confirm that the next iPhone will boast the toughened glass showcased at CES earlier this year.

Gorilla Glass 2 is not only thinner and lighter than the current iteration, but also stronger by up to 20%, Corning confirmed in January.

MSI Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 TwinFrozr III Graphics Cards Announced

Together with Asus, Gigabyte, HIS, Sapphire and other AMD AIB partners, MSI also announced the launch of two new graphics cards based on the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 designs, both of these new solutions coming with an improved cooler and higher than stock frequencies.

The more powerful of the two MSI video cards launched today is the R7870 TwinFrozr III, which is based on the Pitcairn XT GPU.

Just as its name implies, the graphics card utilizes MSI’s proprietary TwinFrozr III cooling system that packs 8mm thick nickel-plated copper heatpipes to convey heat drawn directly from the GPU to a large aluminum fin array, ventilated by two 80 mm fans.

According to MSI, this makes its creation 15 degrees Celsius cooler and 9dB quieter than AMD’s reference design, and also allows for the GPU to be overclocked to 1050MHz from its standard 1GHz clock speed.

Moving on to its smaller sibling, the R7850 TwinFrozr III, this is built using a shorter PCB and leaner version of the TwinFrozr III cooler.

Unlike the R7870 TwinFrozr III, the R7850 relies on just three heatpipes for drawing the heat produced by the AMD Pitcairn Pro graphics core installed, but this hasn’t stopped MSI from increasing the GPU clock of the card over AMD’s specifications.

As a result, the R7850 TwinFrozr III runs at 900MHz, which is 40MHz higher than AMD’s 860MHz reference clock.

MSI hasn’t specified the prices of any of these two Radeon HD 7800-series solutions, but this was to be expected since the cards won’t go into retail until March 19.

However, these shouldn’t be much more expensive than AMD’s recommended pricing of the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850, which is set at $350 and $250 (265 and 190 EUR), respectively.

Both AMD Radeon HD 7800-series graphics cards were made official by AMD earlier today and are based on the company’s new Graphics Core Next (GSCN) architecture, which made its debut in the Radeon HD 7970.

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