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Mar 19, 2012

AMD FX-8120 WOX-Series Liquid Cooler CPU Now Available for Pre-Order

Besides the FX-8150 WOX that we spotted earlier this year, AMD is also preparing the release of a liquid cooled version of the FX-8120, which has recently been made available for pre-order by an online store in the US.

This bundle was dubbed the FX-8120 WOX by the chip maker, the WOX suffix at the end of its name pointing out that the processor is shipped together with an AMD-branded water cooler.

Besides the new bundle, the CPU sports the same specs as the regular FX-8120 according to CPU-World, meaning that it includes four Bulldozer modules to deliver a total of eight cores.

These are paired with 8MB of shared Level 3 cache memory and are clocked at 3.1 GHz, but thanks to the addition of the Turbo Core technology the CPU can reach speeds as high as 4GHz when not all cores are active.

The regular version of the FX-8120 comes bundled with an air-cooled fan/heatsink combo and has an MSRP of $205 (about 156 EUR).

In comparison, the new WOX edition FX-8120 CPU retails for $310 US (roughly 236 EUR), which makes it $105 more expensive than its air cooled version. Sadly, the availability date of the FX-8120 WOX is not yet known.

This is the second WOX-series Bulldozer processors to be spotted after the FX-8150, which we reported about at the beginning of February.

Both processors are bundled with the same AMD liquid cooling solution that was developed by Asetek and sports a 120mm radiator and two fans, the latter configured to work in a push-pull mode.

The FX-8150 WOX liquid cooling bundle has an MSRP of $375 (roughly 285 EUR) and is available from various retailers, including Amazon.

Asus Officially Launches Eee PC 1025 Flare Series Netbooks

More than three months after being spotted for the first time, Asus’ Eee PC 1025 Flare series notebooks have finally been made official by the Taiwanese company, which has already started shipping them to various retailers around the world.

Asus’ Eee PC 1025C series actually comprises two netbook models, dubbed the 1025C and 1025CE, both of them featuring about the same specs.

The only difference is that the 1025CE comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports  and one regular USB 2.0 
port with charging support, while the 1025C is limited to USB 2.0 connectivity.

The rest of the features list includes support for up to 2GB of DDR3 system memory (the standard version will feature only 1GB), a SATA hard drive with capacities ranging between 250GB and 500GB, and a 10.1-inch LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 1024x600.

Connectivity options include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 (the latter only on selected models), and an HDMI output, but also support for the WiFi Direct technology that enables users to share data between devices without the need of a wireless access point.

When equipped with a 6-cell battery pack, the Asus Eee PC 1025C laptops weighs only 1.25kg (2.75 pounds) and should be able to deliver up to 12 hours of running time.

Asus’ 1025-series also includes a couple of proprietary technologies, such as Super Hybrid Engine II with Instant On, which enables the netbooks to resume from sleep in just two seconds.

Pricing will start at $299 (about 233 EUR), but the netbooks will be available in various colors, eight for the Eee PC 1025C and three for the CE-version.

 Users who want a more powerful configuration can also go for the Eee PC 1225B that comes in a similar configuration as the 1025CE, but swaps the 1.8GHz Cedar Trail Atom CPU for an E-450 Brazos APU, and also packs a 12.1-inch higher-res (1366 x 768) screen.

Nokia Is Working on New, Revolutionary Smartphone

Finnish mobile phone Nokia is expected to unveil to the world a new, revolutionary smartphone in the not too far future, some of the latest reports on the matter suggest. 

In a recent interview with Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, Nokia’s design chief, Marko Ahtisaari, confirmed to the world that the handset vendor was working on new hardware that would change the manner in which users took advantage of their devices. 

According to him, with the new device in their hands, “users do not need to look down to use it and poke their finger at the screen.” 

The first thing that comes to our mind is that users will be able to control the new device using their voice, something that has been done before. 

If this is so, then Nokia will pack the phone with some sort of a rival for Apple’s Siri, though taken to a totally new level. 

On the other hand, there is also the possibility that users will enjoy a completely new design coming from Nokia, or some other capabilities that will make the device stand out in a crowd. 

Clearly, Nokia has already proven that it is capable of delivering change, especially after the launch of no less than four Windows Phone devices in only five month. 

However, it remains to be seen what exactly Nokia’s Marko Ahtisaari wanted to say when naming this device revolutionary. Apparently, the smartphone is ready now, and might be launched soon.

At the moment, Nokia is said to be working both on new Windows Phone devices, as well as on a tablet PC that would run under Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 platform. The mystery phone from the vendor could run under Microsoft’s mobile operating system as well.

Until more details on either the new smartphone or on Nokia’s tablet emerge, you can learn more on what Ahtisaari said during the aforementioned interview from this article on TNW.

AMD A6-4400M Trinity APU Shows Up in HP g4 Laptops

One of AMD’s upcoming notebook APUs based on the company’s next-gen Trinity architecture, the A6-4400M, was recently spotted in the specifications list of two HP g4-series laptops.

HP’s g4-2002ax and g4-2003ax specs pages are light when it comes to revealing details about this APU, but they did state that the A6-4400M has two CPU cores.

Furthermore, the listing also revealed that the integrated GPU utilized in the A6-4400M is called the Radeon HD 7520G, and that the two computing cores have a 2.6GHz base frequency and 3GHz maximum Turbo Core speed.

These frequencies are 18%, and respectively 15%, higher than those of the fastest AMD dual-core Llano mobile APU in production, the A4-3330MX.

However, since the Bulldozer CPU cores that the A6-4400 utilizes in its construction are less efficient than the company’s previous K10 architecture, which stands at the heart of the Llano APUs, CPU World doesn’t expect the A6-4400 to perform much better than its current counterpart.

That being said, AMD’s new APU should provide a better gaming experience than the A4-3330MX, while also offering a nice performance boost in applications that support its new AES and AVX instruction sets.

In the two HP notebooks, the A6-4400M will be paired together with the AMD A70M chipset and can use DDR3 memory with speeds of up to 1600MHz.

Based on its clock frequency, CPU-World expects the A6-4400M to fit inside a 35 Watt thermal envelope. 

AMD’s next-generation Trinity accelerated processing units are expected to be made official at the start of this summer, rumors suggesting a June or July launch.

According to a recently revealed AMD presentation slide, Trinity is said to deliver up to 56 percent better graphics performance than Llano, while its general application performance was increased by 29 percent.

Galaxy S III to Sport 8MP Camera, Test Photo Unveils

Samsung’s Galaxy S III smartphone is expected to arrive on shelves with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, the latest rumors around the web suggest. 

The handset has been also rumored to pack a 12MP camera on the back, but what appears to be a leaked test photo taken with it shows that it will actually pack a lower-quality camera. 

The said photo, taken with a smartphone that features model number GT-I9300, was spotted on Picasa, a recent post on AllAboutSamsung notes.

The resolution of the said image is 3264 × 2448, which might suggest an 8.1 megapixel camera.

Since the image might have been snapped with the resolution set lower than maximum, it is still uncertain whether the upcoming flagship device from Samsung will arrive on shelves with an 8MP or a 12MP camera on the back. Hopefully, it will be the latter.

Script: LotusCMS

LotusCMS is one of the fastest, complete and most visually appealing flat-file CMSs you can find on the Internet these days.

Specifically designed on a flat-file access principle, the CMS can be installed on any web server in which a database connection is not available, or even blocked.

Useful features include user administration, automatic updates installer, module manager, custom SEO settings, pages, styles and template management.

LotusCMS is a good fit for small to medium projects, coming with plenty of self-included modules for blogging, menu management, WYSIWYG editing, file browsing, handling site backups and much, much more.

A graphic installer is also provided for easily installing the system on your server.

The LotusCMS website seems to be down for the moment, but most of the development and bug fixing is done via their SourceForge page anyway. Just install it on your web server and take it for a spin.

Download LotusCMS here.

Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich Source Code Released

Today, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics made available for download the source code for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware for its Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone

The leading handset vendor started to deliver the update to its users last week, and is expected to make it available for most of them in the not-too-distant future. 

Before that, however, it appears that modders and developers have the possibility to come up with custom ROMs for the mobile phone, now that the source code for it is available for download. 

The files and libraries included in the release will provide enthusiasts with the option to improve aspects of the device, including battery life, processor overclocking and more. 

The source code for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform for the Samsung Galaxy S II GT-i9100 is available for download from the Samsung Open Source Resource Center.

Kaspersky Solves Duqu Framework Mystery

On March 7, Kaspersky Lab experts revealed that after analyzing Duqu’s framework they were unable to precisely determine what programming language had been used to develop it. Now they think they have the answer and they say that it’s most likely a custom object oriented C called “OO C”.

Kaspersky security researchers asked the community for help in finding out the name of the programming language and the most popular suggestions were variants of LISP, Forth, Erlang, Google Go, Delphi, OO C, and old compilers for C++.

Based on the community’s responses, they concluded that the input code was pure C and it was compiled with Microsoft Visual Studio Compiler 2008 with the options /O1, to minimize its size, and /Ob1, which ensures that it expands only inline.

There are two main possibilities. The code was either written using a custom OO C framework, or it was entirely written in OO C manually, without any language extensions. 

“No matter which of these two variants is true, the implications are impressive. The Payload DLL contains 95 Kbytes of event-driven code written with OO C, a language that has no automatic memory management or safe pointers,” Kaspersky’s Igor Soumenkov wrote.

“This kind of programming is more commonly found in complex ‘civil’ software projects, rather than contemporary malware. Additionally, the whole event-driven architecture must have been developed as a part of the Duqu code or its OOC extension.”

It’s believed that the developers are old school that don’t trust C++ and that’s probably why they relied on C. Another reason for using OO C is because back in the good old days it was more portable than C++.

The bottom line is that Duqu was created by a professional team that wrote the framework based on old code. Since this type of code is not used in newly developed malware, it makes Duqu one-of-a-kind.

SLI Performance of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680

After spotting pre-orders and photos of the Kepler, we finally get to see some benchmarking results for when two cards are set up in SLI. 

As far as the card alone goes, benchmarks have already illustrated its apparent superiority to the AMD Radeon HD 7970. 

That said, two GeForce GTX 680 cards in SLI were reportedly put through 3DMark 11 in Entry, Performance, and eXtreme presets. 

The Entry preset led to a score of E22878, while the Performance test scored P16860 and the eXtreme test left behind X6243. 

The GTX 680 were clocked at 1,150 MHz for the GPU and 7.20 GHz for the GDDR5 VRAM, while the rest of the system was made up of a six-core Intel Core i7-3930K CPU (at 5 GHz) and 16 GB of quad-channel DDR3-2133 MHz on an ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. 

In other words, there was liberal tinkering with the performance numbers, but it is still perfectly possible to play games in 2560x1440/1600 resolution even without such overclocking.

AMD Radeon HD 7870, HD 7850 Graphics Cards Reach Retail

Unveiled two weeks ago, AMD’s HD 7870 and HD 7850 graphics card released into the Radeon HD 7000 product family have now become available in the retail space with prices starting at $250 US (about 190 EUR).

The two Radeon HD designs are based on the company’s 28nm Pitcairn graphics core and come equipped with 2GB of GDDR5 video memory buffer.

In the more powerful HD 7870, this will be accompanied by the Pitcairn XT GPU which includes 1408 streaming processors, 88 texture units and 24 ROP units, all of these connected to the memory via a 256-bit wide bus.

Thanks to the 1.2GHz (4.8GHz data rate) VRAM operating clock, this configuration should be able to deliver 153GB/s worth of memory bandwidth.

As far as the GPU is concerned, this works at 1000MHz, making it the second AMD graphics core to reach this frequency after the HD 7770.

For the Radeon HD 7850, AMD will decrease this frequency to 860MHz, while the memory works at the same 1,200MHz frequency (4.8GHz data rate). 

Other changes brought to the Pitcairn Pro core include a reduction in stream processors count, from 1408 to 1280, the number of texture units available also being lowered to 80 from 88 in the Pitcairn XT. 

“Bringing the first 28nm graphics cards to market in December spurred us to continue pushing the boundaries, product after product, culminating with today’s product availability,” said Zvika Greenstein, director of product management, GPU Division, AMD. 

“Look at our feature set: Graphics Core Next, AMD Eyefinity 2.0, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore Power technologies and of course our GHz Edition graphics cards – it is without doubt that AMD stands alone in the graphics industry,” concluded the company’s rep.

The recommended prices of the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 are set at $350 and $250 (266 and 190 EUR), respectively.

Samsung Galaxy S III to Be Powered by Exynos Quad-Core / LTE All-in-One Chip

Rumors on the Galaxy S II successor continue to pour in as Samsung is still mum on the smartphone’s hardware and software configuration.

We don’t even have a certain timeframe for the smartphone’s launch date, though the latest hearsay point to a possible April announcement.

Until then, we’re left with speculations and assumptions that could be more or less accurate. A few images allegedly showing the Galaxy S III were also leaked online in the last few days.

Today we have more accurate, hopefully, information about the upcoming Galaxy S II successor. It appears that an unnamed Samsung exec confirmed for Korea Times that the Galaxy S III would be shipped with the company’s own Exynos chipset.

However, Samsung is working on an all-in-one chipset solution, which means that Galaxy S III will feature a quad-core processor and LTE support on the same chipset.

“Samsung’s single-chip solution is a combination of long-term evolution (LTE), telecommunications and W-CDMA functions,” said a high-ranking company executive for Korea Times.

Although Samsung has yet to announce this powerful chipset, it is rumored to be based on the 32-nanometer process and will pack four A9 cores. 

We were expecting Samsung to be able to include the more powerful A15 cores on this chipset, but rumor has it that these are not stable enough for an all-in-one solution.

According to Samsung, the new chip that will be included within the Galaxy S III will be 26% more powerful than the current single-chip solution, which is based on the 45-nanometer process.

The reason behind Samsung’s decision seems to have marketing connotations rather than performance-related ones, as the company is trying to lower its dependence on Qualcomm.

Word is that Samsung is paying lots of money to Qualcomm for using its single-chip solutions, which is why the South-Korean company wants to develop its own chipset.

OSC 154 Teraflops Supercomputer Uses Intel Xeon CPUs and Nvidia Tesla GPUs

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) has announced a short while ago that researcher’s using its computing resources can now access a new HPC system that utilizes GPU acceleration to deliver a total peak performance of 154 teraflops.

Already available for general use, OSC's supercomputer was built by HP and is based on Intel’s Xeon processors and Nvidia Tesla graphic processing units (GPUs).

Dubbed the Oakley Cluster, the machine features more cores (8,328) on half as many nodes (694) as the center's most recent flagship system, the IBM Opteron 1350 Glenn Cluster.

Furthermore, the new system provides nearly twice the memory per core (namely 4GB) and three times the number of graphic processing units (128 to be exact). 

The Oakley Cluster also promises to deliver one and a half times the performance of the Glenn Cluster at just 60 percent of Glenn's power consumption and will expand OSC storage to nearly two petabytes with the addition of 600 terabytes of new DataDirect Lustre storage.

OSC is a state-funded high performance computing center that provides Ohio's universities, industries and other clients with computation, software, storage and support services.

"This strategic investment in a powerful, state-of-the-art computational system will boost the vital research being conducted at industrial facilities and in university laboratories across Ohio," said Chancellor Jim Petro of the Ohio Board of Regents. 

"The Oakley Cluster also will help Ohio colleges and universities in their development of a highly skilled workforce by invigorating the state's innovative computational science education programs," concluded Mr. Petro.

The new supercomputer arrived on December 28 on the west campus of The Ohio State University, where engineers had been working to assemble the complex system, install various software packages and test-run the system by allowing access to a few selected "power users."

Samsung Galaxy S III Possibly Featured in VISA Video Ad

The hype around Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S III smartphone is high, and it is expected to grow further before the mobile phone becomes officially available, and even after that. 

Officially confirmed for the first half of this year, the handset is nowhere to be seen for the time being, but it should not be too long before it is formally introduced. 

In the meantime, all we have to do with are leaks and rumors, including one that places the upcoming device in a new video ad from VISA. 

In the said video ad, the smartphone is touted with support for Near Field Communications (NFC) and for wireless mobile payments, although it is not named as the Galaxy S III. 

However, its outer design appears to confirm the fact that we’re indeed looking at the upcoming flagship Android device from Samsung. 

There is no homescreen button visible on the handset’s front, and the screen appears to be larger than on previous models when put in relation with the entire body. 

The video ad is supposedly meant for the Olympic Games 2012 edition that will take place in London this year. Both VISA and Samsung are official sponsors for the event. 

On the other hand, the device in this video ad could turn out to be a totally different mobile phone, and sammobile suggests that the I9100P could prove a possibility. 

The Galaxy S III should become official in the near future, rumor has it. Samsung confirmed it for the first six months of this year, but did not offer a specific launch date for it. 

The phone should include a quad-core CPU when released, along with a large 4.8 inch 720p screen, an 8MP camera on the back (some suggest it might be a 12MP camera), LTE, NFC, and Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS on top.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Card Spotted

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card, powered by the Kepler GPU, may not have been released yet, but that doesn't mean no one in the world has it yet. 

In fact, the Gigabyte version somehow made its way to someone's home. That someone is the Overclock.net forum member "ironman86." 

The model number is GV-N680D5-2GD-B and the clock speeds are the reference numbers. 

If you want to know what they are, you're better off going here and reading everything about the card. 

NVIDIA plans to launch Kepler on March 23, last we heard, which means that shipments will start soon. 

Gigabyte's card gets power from two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors, which means the others probably do too. 

Speaking of which, pre-orders can already be set for some versions of the adapter, like the one from Zotac.

Panasonic Lumix GF5 ILC Camera Leaked Online

Panasonic’s upcoming Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera, the Lumix GF5, was leaked early by one of the company’s spokespersons who recently posted online a picture of the not yet official compact snapper.

The image popped up on Instagram, of all places, where it was uploaded by a Hong Kong celebrity who goes by the name of Angelababy and just happens to be the brand’s ambassador for this region.

Initially spotted by 43 Rumors, the picture has been removed from Angelababy’s account, but the direct image link still works.

On the outside, the camera looks surprisingly similar to the current GF3, but it appears that the internals were updated in order to improve its low-light picture taking capabilities.

According to engadget, who cites a Chinese website that goes by the name of Nphoto, the GF5 will feature a 12MP image sensor similar to the one installed in the GF3.

The signal-to-noise ratio of the sensor was however improved, which, together with the higher ISO topping at 12800, will enable users to capture better pictures in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Changes will also be brought to the AF system used in the GF5, which will require just 0,09 seconds to focus, as well as to the rear LCD which had its resolution increased from 460K-dots in the GF3 to 920K-dots in the GF5.

The rest of the camera features are expected to be carried over from the GF3, so Panasonic’s new creation will most probably include the revised touch-sensitive user interface introduced with its predecessor and 1080i AVCHD video recording.

The body will most probably be made out of aluminum and will lack an external flash hot shoe or a viewfinder.

No information regarding the availability, or the pricing, of the Lumix GF5 was leaked, but from the picture provided it certainly looks like the camera is ready for launch.

The New iPad Overheats

Early adopters of Apple’s new iPad are complaining on forums (including the company’s own discussions board) about overheating issues.

Apple devices tend to get hot when the user connects to the Internet, especially via a cellular connection.

The iPad 3 seems to continue this trend. However, there are many more users reporting this than there were when the iPad 1 and iPad 2 came out.

One user writes on Apple’s forums: “Just got my new iPad. I'm loving the screen and speed but there's something weird about it. It gets rather warm/hot after 30minutes of usage. It has never happened on my iPad 2. Do you think it's harmless or .... ?”

Another chimed in with a similar story: “Does it get "hot" or simply warmer than you expected?  Mine is a new 64 gig wifi model and, yes, it gets warmer than my previous iPad 2.  I was surprised by this, which led me to google it and that's how I found your question here...  My new iPad is warm, but it's definitely not in any way hot.”

One user says his iPad 3 becomes “very very hot on the bottom left,” adding that “it's uncomfortable to hold on that side.”

Asked about the problem, an Apple staffer reportedly said it has something to do with the larger battery. Indeed, the third-generation iPad has a 70 percent larger battery than its predecessor.

Some iPad 3 owners are saying their tablet gets so hot it eventually pops up the overheating message saying the iPad needs to cool down before it can be used again.

The technical specifications page for Apple’s new iPad states that the tablet’s normal operating temperature is somewhere between 32 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius).

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