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Apr 18, 2012

Share or Embed a YouTube Video Starting at a Specific Time




Users have had the option of sharing a video that starts straight from the time they wanted to for a while now, but it's not the most user friendly of features. It's not overly complicated, you just have to add a parameter to the video's URL. There's also a way of making sure embedded videos start at a certain point as well.

Now though, the feature is available in the sharing options section below any YouTube video. If you Click on share, you get a short URL starting with "youtu.be" and containing the video code as the short link.

If you click on Options though, you get a few more features, the ability to share the HD version of a video, if available, to use a long link instead of the shortened one, but also the option of starting the video at a certain point.

"Did you know you can change a link so a video will start at a certain point? Just click Share > Options on a video page or add #t= and the number of minutes and seconds at the end of the URL. For example, if I wanted to start at 4 minutes and 7 seconds, I'd add #t=4m7s and I'm done!," YouTube explained on Google+.

This ability has been around for some four years now, but it wasn't widely known and few people used it.

Nevertheless, it was a useful feature, so having it in the sharing options is a good decision, even though the sharing options aren't all that easy to get to. An alternative is to right-click on the video and choose "Copy video URL at current time."

You can also make sure embedded videos start where you want them to start and it's easy to do so, just modify the <iframe> code provided by YouTube by adding the #t= parameter at the end of the video URL.


Samsung GALAXY S III Caught on Camera




Shortly after Samsung indirectly revealed that it will announce its next-generation Galaxy S III smartphone on May 3, new photos of the alleged device have leaked online.

It looks like the folks over at Gizmodo Brazil were able score some photos of the Galaxy S III. Although the pictures seems to have been taken with some kind of tablet (iPad?) the device shown looks similar to the one that was spotted a several days ago via GSM Helpdesk Netherlands.

In addition, these photos confirm the recent statements coming from sources close to the matter saying that the Galaxy S III would be an “incremental update” rather than a revolutionary device in terms of design.

According to Gizomod Brazil's trusted source, Samsung Galaxy S III is thinner than the Galaxy S II, but heavier due to its ceramic case possibly. On the back, the smartphone packs a 12-megapixel camera with LED flash.

On the other hand, the serial number (Samsung GT-I9300) that has been blurred in the picture is in line with a certain Samsung Galaxy M device that has yet to be announced by the South Korean company.

Even though the person that took these pictures insists that this is indeed the long awaited Samsung Galaxy S III, we can't really tell for certain.

Specs-wise, we already know a little bit about Galaxy S III's hardware configuration, though nothing has been confirmed yet.

There's a high chance that the smarpthone will come with a 4.6-inch Super AMOLED HD Plus (1280 x 720 pixels) capacitive touchscreen display, as well as a quad-core processor.

Rumor has it that Galaxy S III will be equipped with Samsung's Exynos 4412 SoC, which packs four Cortex A9 CPUs clocked at 1.5 GHz.

Samsung Galaxy S III will be the official device of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Two versions will be launched on the market, a 16GB model and a 32GB variant. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.


BlackBerry Curve 9220 Officially Introduced in India




Research In Motion (RIM) revealed the full specs of the BlackBerry Curve 9220 about three weeks ago, though the smartphone was not even officially announced.

Today, the Canadian company confirmed the upcoming availability of the smartphone in India. It appears that the BlackBerry Curve 9220 will be available for purchase from April 19 via leading retailers across the country.

However, we have just checked with Letsbuy and found out that the Curve 9220 is now available for purchase for only Rs 10,999 (215 USD or 160 EUR) off-contract, which is the same suggested retail price confirmed by RIM earlier today.

There’s more to it as RIM announced that customers who purchased the BlackBerry Curve 9220 would be able to download a range of apps from App World worth Rs 2,500 (50 USD or 35 EUR) for free.

According to RIM, this offer is only available until June 30 and includes apps and games that will be rolled out in stages, including Pencil Camera, Photo Studio Pro, Horoscope Oracle - Follow Your Lucky Stars, Drive Safely Pro and Ultimate Cricket.

“India is a very important market for RIM and we are extremely proud and excited to officially unveil and launch the new BlackBerry Curve 9220 for the first time here in India,” said Mr. Carlo Chiarello, SVP, Smartphone Business at Research In Motion.

The Curve 9220 is one of the cheapest BlackBerry 7.1 smartphones available on the market and comes in four color options: Black, Fuchsia Pink, Pure White and Teal Blue.

The smartphone embeds 512MB of ROM, 512 MB of RAM, microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB) and 2-megapixel rear camera.

There’s also a small 2.44-inch standard display that supports 320 x 240 pixels resolution, Wi-Fi, built-in FM radio, and a 1450 mAh Li-Ion battery.

“The new BlackBerry Curve 9220 offers a unique mobile experience that young Indians will love thanks to its affordable pricing and unmatched messaging and social connectivity features,” said Mr. Sunil Dutt, managing director for India at RIM.


I-O Data DVR HDD AVHD-PxU Revealed




Hard drives specifically made for DVRs, and products with similar purpose, aren't all that common, but they aren't unheard of either. 

In fact, I-O Data recently introduced this very sort of storage device, called AVHD-PxU. 

With a capacity of 500 GB or 1 TB, it is meant to serve DVRs and smart TVs. 

After all, those items may be able to record and play files, but they can't store it in thin air. 

The newcomer uses the USB 2.0 interface to connect to host machines and can be installed behind TVs and such, thanks to its mounting holes. 

Finally, I-O Data's creation measures 79 x 23 x 134 mm (3.11 x 0.90 x 5.27 inches) and weighs 200 grams. 

The prices are of 13,125 JPY ($161 / 123 Euro) and 17,640 JPY ($216 / 165 Euro) for 500 GB and 1 TB, respectively.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) Production Stopped to Be Refitted with a Quad-Core CPU




It looks like Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 won’t be the only one to receive a CPU speed bump, as the South Korean company decided to do the same thing with the upcoming Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1).

According to NetbookNews, Samsung has recently stopped production of the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) in order to change its specs ahead of the official launch.

Apparently, the current hardware configuration makes it less competitive on the tablet market, so the company is trying to add some last minute changes.

In this regard, Samsung reportedly plans to replace the dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1 GHz with a quad-core CPU on unknown model. 

According to the latest hearsay, the handset maker wants to put its own Exynos 4412 SoC inside Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), though this has yet to be confirmed by Samsung.

In the same piece of news, it seems that Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) has been codenamed Samsung Espresso, the slate that we reported on last week. 

This means that there won’t be other Samsung Espresso tablets launched on the market. Instead we’re expecting the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) and (7.0) to hit shelves in June.

Still, we’re not sure that Samsung will be able to release the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) on schedule, but Android enthusiasts who are waiting to the 7-incher will surely be able to get it on time.

That’s because Samsung does not plan to improve the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) as well, so this one will be out with the 1 GHz dual-core processor that was previously announced.

Other highlights of the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) include: 10.1-inch PLS capacitive touchscreen (800 x 1280 pixels) with Corning Gorilla Glass coating, 1GB of RAM, 3-megapixel rear camera, secondary VGA front-facing camera and 8/16/32GB of internal memory.

It is also worth mentioning that the slate is expected to be shipped with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system out of the box.


Blogger Adds Affiliate Links




Blogger is introducing a new monetization scheme, affiliate ads. These ads enable bloggers to get paid every time one of their readers buys a product mentioned in one of their posts.

"When you share your words, thoughts and photos on Blogger, you are sharing your passions with the world. Sometimes, you’re passionate about brands or products," Blogger explained.

"Starting today, you can make money by promoting relevant products in your posts, gaining income for each new customer you introduce to your favorite brands," it announced.

"This is a new way for you to monetize your blog, giving you control over the advertisers and products you promote, and better connecting your readers with the things you love," it added.

You can enable affiliate ads on your blog the same way you enable any monetization option, via the Earnings Tab. If you haven't used AdSense before, you'll have to click Get Started to set up your AdSense account and link it to your blog.

You'll then be able to add affiliate ads to your posts, as long as you blog about one of the companies or brands included in the offer, i.e. a "featured advertisers." When this happens, the Advertise Products gadget will be displayed in the Post Settings section.

You can select from several types of affiliate links, a simple text link, an image or even a banner.

Then, when a reader buys something via your links you'll get paid. The money will be sent your way via your AdSense account so you don't have to set up anything else if you already have one.

This goes without saying, but you should disclose to your readers that you get paid for these links. It's not only the ethical thing to do, it may also be a legal requirement in your country.



Script: ColorBox




ColorBox is an established jQuery plugin for creating multi-functional modal popup windows (also known as lightboxes).

With years of development behind it, ColorBox is now perfectly fitted for creating and animating any kind of modal popup window needed in a web project.

It can be used for showcasing a single image, an entire photo album, Flash content, remote videos, iframes, content acquired from inline code or even via AJAX calls.

Statistics service Builtwith.com even has it in its Top 10 Most Used jQuery Plugins on the Web.

If ColorBox sparks your interest, check out some ColorBox demos here, or go to its GitHub page and request wanted features.

Download ColorBox here.


Volume Shipments in Full Swing for Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs




During the recent conference call with financial analysts, Intel made it clear that Ivy Bridge processor volume shipments had begun. 

This means that Intel is steadily building up supply of 22nm Core i 3000-series chips, like the Core i7-3770K that reached 6.616 GHz not long ago. 

“We have begun high-volume shipments of Ivy Bridge products, and you will soon see system availability,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel. 

“Ivy Bridge will be our fastest ramping product ever, comprising nearly 25% of our microprocessor volume in Q2 alone and crossing over 50% of our microprocessor shipments this fall.” 

The Santa Clara Giant will start making 22nm units at two other factories by the end of the second quarter. 

“As we move into the second quarter, we will be ramping up our Ivy Bridge production in three new 22nm factories,” said Stacy Smith, chief financial officer of Intel. 

We'll be up in arms as soon as the CPUs are finally made public on April 23.


iPhone 5 Ditches Glass for Liquidmetal, Says Korean Paper




Apple and Samsung Electronics are doing away with the materials used to manufacture their current smartphones, switching to liquidmetal and ceramics respectively, according to industry sources quoted by a Korean paper.

Korea’s IT News source, etnews.com claims to have heard from unnamed industry sources that “Samsung Electronics and Apple, the two leaders of the global smart phone industry, [are shifting] the focus of their competition to new materials.”

The report specifically outlines (emphasis ours) that “the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts.”

Since the report doesn’t get any more specific about the sources leaking this information, it’s safe to take all this with a grain of salt before jumping to any conclusions.

It continues, noting that the Galaxy S3 is known to have a ceramic main body, and that it is scheduled to be unveiled in London on May 3.

“In the meantime, iPhone5 is likely to take liquid metal, an alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper and so forth having an outer surface smooth like liquid,” reads the piece.

On the launch date, the Korean source cites old rumors saying that “the new iPhone is expected to make its debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco in June.”

Indeed, Apple has released every new iPhone iteration during its annual WWDC events - all with the exception of the iPhone 4S, which debuted in October 2011.

There are just as many pundits who believe the next iPhone will be unveiled at WWDC 12, as there are analysts and market researchers who strongly uphold that Apple has abandoned its summer refresh cycle for the iPhone.


J&W Launches Mini-ITX Atom Cedar Trail Motherboards




There will soon be some new mini-ITX motherboards for sale, straight from J&W's development center.

There are two of them on the way, to be more precise, called Minix D2700-HD and Minix D2500-HD.

True to their names, they bear the Intel Atom D2700 and the Atom D2500 CPUs, respectively.

In addition to the chips, the platforms have HDMI, two SO-DIMM memory slots (up to 4 GB single-channel RAM), a PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, dual Gigabit Ethernet, two SATA ports (3 Gbps), 6-channel HD audio and D-Sub.

The only difference between the two mainboards, besides their choice of CPU, is that the Minix D2700-HD has USB 3.0 support and the other doesn't.

No prices exist yet, but you can go here and read more about the products, as well as the other mainboards that J&W has.


ASUS Ivy Bridge Motherboards Come With Thunderbolt




More and more reports showing a special header on the new Z77 and H77 models from ASUS have emerged. It’s designated as “TB_HEADER” and seems to be the method ASUS has chosen to provide Thunderbolt connectivity for its new mainboards.

This header most likely transmits the motherboard's DisplayPort link (short for Flexible Display Interface) to the Thunderbolt I/O card.

There will most likely be an Add On card that will connect to the “TB_HEADER” and it will probably be powered by Intel’s own 2-channel "Cactus Ridge" Thunderbolt controller.

The design of Intel’s 2-channel "Cactus Ridge" Thunderbolt chip has a 4x PCI-Express 2.0 connection.

The models that will include support for the Add On card are: Maximus V Gene, P8Z77-V Deluxe, P8Z77-V Pro, P8Z77-V, Sabertooth Z77, P8H77-V, and the P8H77-M Pro and availability is slated for 27th of April 2012.




Patriot Memory Intros New Performance EP SD Cards




Fremont, CA.-based American memory manufacturer Patriot Memory, has sent out a press release presenting its new Extreme Performance SDHC/SDXC UHS-I flash storage line of products.

The Patriot Memory EP Series SDHC/SDXC cards feature ultra-fast transfer rates and expanded storage capacities. They need SDHC/SDXH capable devices, but once these requirements are met, they’ll deliver top-of-the-line data recording performance.

The problem with most of the HD video recording devices is the fact that the writing speed of most of the SD cards on the market is well below the required specifications for HD filming. The average buyer tends to enjoy the HD sticker on his/her new digital photo or video camera and will most likely buy the cheapest SD card available.

More knowledgeable buyers will probably search for the best price/capacity ratio, but the majority of them won’t take into account the write speed certifications of the SD card they’re buying.

By introducing the “class” parameter, characterizing the write speed certification of an SD card, SD card manufacturers are still able to get away with selling cards with lackluster performance, and also charge more for models that meet or exceed higher “class” certifications. But now we, at least, have the right specification detailed on the box.

Back in the 2000s, when the first SD cards were launched, the speed rating of the card was measured in multiples of “x”, x being the standard CD-ROM drive speed of about 150 KB/s.

There were cards rated anywhere between 6x and 600x, while the manufacturers were free to report anything they’d like: the best case read speed, the average read speed, the write speed etc.

Some well-known companies such as Transcend or Kingston were reporting the card’s write speed as that’s the most important aspect in the speed equation: you can wait one hour to slowly copy the contents of your SD card on your computer, but you can’t film a 720p video if the card’s writing speed is not at least 5.5 MB/s.

Now, the “class” rating exclusively refers to the write speed of the card.

Patriot’s new SD cards are designed to provide two times the transfer speeds of previous Class 10 solutions, when used with UHS-I compatible devices. At the 128 GB capacity, the Patriot Memory EP Series SDHC/SDXC card is capable of storing up to 2,560 minutes of 1080p video and more than 26,000 high definition photos.

The official specifications state a maximum of 50 MB/s read speed and a 35 MB/s write speed and the cards come with a 5-year warranty.

Pricing information has not yet been revealed.


Windows 8 Will Manage Physical Memory More Efficiently




Windows 8 will arrive with a new system aimed at managing the resources available on a machine for applications to take advantage of. 

Metro apps built using the new Windows Runtime are being suspended when in the background, so as to consume fewer resources and improve battery life

On top of that, Windows 8 will also manage memory allocated to these applications so as to make use of it more effectively than before, especially when it comes to suspended processes. 

“Starting with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, whenever Windows detects memory pressure on the system, it will repurpose nearly all the memory that suspended Metro style apps would otherwise hold onto,” group program manager Bill Karagounis on Microsoft’s Fundamentals team explains in a blog post.

He notes that Windows 8 is capable of reclaiming this memory without having to terminate an app.

In fact, Windows will try to regulate physical memory allocations for all applications, be they Metro or desktop apps, no matter the memory requests that specific application has made. 

“Windows is careful to only allocate physical memory to an app when the app tries to touch it, even if the app had “allocated” it earlier. Windows will also page out or repurpose parts of memory from an app if the pages of memory haven’t been touched in a long time,” Bill Karagounis notes. 

This approach is meant to ensure that the available amount of memory is not eaten up, especially since apps have the tendency to over-budget.

“When the system starts to run low on available memory, the OS will look in all processes for pages of physical memory that it can repurpose to satisfy other needs in the system, even by paging out memory when necessary,” Bill Karagounis explains. 

When desktop applications are involved, Windows will work on keeping the most important of pages of memory in the app’s working set (physical memory given to a process at any point in time) so that it could run code at any time, even in the background.

“It’s a fine balance though: if too many pages of memory were to be removed from a desktop app, it could affect the app’s responsiveness due to additional disk I/O (as the app tries to touch memory that has been paged to disk under the covers),” Karagounis continues. 

Metro apps, however, although have memory allocated to them even when in the background, are not touching it in suspension mode. 

Thus, starting with Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the whole (private) working set of a suspended Metro style app can be written to disk, so that memory is freed up when the system needs it. 

“This process is analogous to hibernating a specific app, and then resuming it when the user switches back to the app. We’re taking advantage of the suspend/resume mechanism of Metro style apps to empty or re-populate an app’s working set,” Karagounis details. 

When switching back to a suspended app, the pages will be added into app’s process immediately when they are still in physical memory, or are being read from the disk in an optimized manner when they are no longer available. 

One thing that should be noted though is the fact that Windows 8 will still close Metro apps when memory gets into the critical range, though the system will be able to run multiple apps before reaching this point. 





First Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K Box Pictures Surface, Worse Overclocking Than Sandy Bridge




The first pictures of retail boxes of the Intel's Core i7-3770K “Ivy Bridge” processors in the LGA1155 package have reportedly been revealed.

We can see that the boxes come from a Chinese distributor. The box-art illustration hasn't changed from that of the 2nd Generation Core processor family, even the die-shot CGI in on the center of the box is the same.

There’s not much on the box to help the buyer tell them apart from Sandy Bridge CPUs. The box simply marks the model number “3770K” and socket as “LGA1155” on the sticker.

The side sticker is the only element that comes with some useful information. We know from many earlier reports, that the TDP rating of “Ivy Bridge” quad-core parts, including the i7-3770K, was expected to be at the 77W level.

However, the sticker on retail i7-3770K comes with different and surprising information. The TDP is rated at 95W, and that’s no different from Sand Bridge based i7-2700K. The S-spec number is “SR0PL” in this case.

The ones that got their hands on some of these retail versions have experienced higher than expected temperatures and did not achieve the overclocking results they were hoping for.

Even with a good aftermarket cooler, the 4.8 ~ 5.0 GHz overclocking results obtained with a i7-2600K Sandy Bridge were unattainable. The best results were lower than 4.6 GHz, that is the frequency at which the i7-3770K CPU reached a high temperature of over 90 degrees Celsius and started throttling.

The problem seems to reside in the tight packaging of the Tri-gate transistors, which are so dense that they cannot be cooled fast enough with normal air or water cooling. Practically, if the heat would be removed fast enough, the chip might work at a higher frequency.

There is a chance that this TDP rating is a typo on the packaging but the low overclocking results experienced by the enthusiasts that tested the new CPU are a sign that the chance is slim.




Microsoft to Enable OEM Customizations in Windows Phone 8




Windows Phone 8, the next flavor of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, is expected to be detailed at an upcoming summit in the UK, recent reports on the matter suggest. 

Codenamed Apollo, the platform is rumored to provide OEMs with the possibility to add some customizations on top of what Microsoft already packed inside the platform. 

In addition to discussing new Windows Phone 8 application development capabilities, the Redmond-based company will also offer details on customization and differentiation at the summit, while providing details on the new features the platform will include.

The software giant is expected to offer an insight into how deep the customization capabilities that OEMs will benefit from will go, marking a change from the approach it took with the previous flavors of the platform. 

Nokia was the first manufacturer to benefit from the option to deliver a customized experience to its Windows Phone users.


Windows Server “8” Officially Named Windows Server 2012




On April 17th, 2012, Microsoft unveiled during the Microsoft Management Summit 2012 in Las Vegas that the upcoming Windows Server product codenamed “8” will be released under the name of Windows Sever 2012. 

Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson spoke to nearly 5,000 IT professionals about company’s plans for cloud computing moving forward, and also confirmed the official name for the new product. 

Moreover, he explained that Microsoft is focused on private cloud and that it plans on enhancing it with the release of the new Windows Server 2012 later this year. 

“Microsoft’s private cloud solutions help IT professionals become cloud innovators for their companies, managing and delivering the applications people need to be productive across private, hybrid and public clouds,” Anderson said.

Windows Server 2012 will become commercially available along with Windows 8, the next generation client from Microsoft, in a move expected to take place in the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year. 

The Redmond-based software giant is still mum on the possible release date for the platforms, but it would make sense for them to arrive together.

Microsoft’s choice to call the new server product Windows Server 2012 should not come as a surprise, especially since it is in line with the naming scheme the company used for the previous platforms. 

At the moment, Microsoft is offering Windows Server 2012 in a beta flavor, the same as Windows 8 (known better as Windows 8 Consumer Preview). 

The software company is expected to move both products to the next development milestone – Release Candidate – in the next several weeks, most probably in late May or early June. 

What’s still uncertain is when the two will be released to manufacturing, though previous reports suggested that late summer could be the targeted timeframe. General availability should follow shortly after. 

Windows Server 2012 Beta is available for download from Microsoft’s website.

AMD Cuts Radeon HD 7900 Prices by More Than Expected




We said, last week, that the Radeon HD 7900 graphics series from Advanced Micro Devices was in for some cuts in prices and, sure enough, here they are. 

Then again, we might say that the previous rumors didn't exactly pan out, but that is actually a good thing in this instance. 

That is to say, AMD actually lowered the prices by more than previous leaks suggested. 

For those in need of a reminder, the HD 7970, HD 7950 and HD 7770 are the ones that were said to be in for a higher affordability. 

HD 7970 would have gone down by $60 / 45 Euro, to $489 / 372 Euro, give or take. 

The HD 7950 was supposed to get a cut of $55 / 42 Euro, to $394 / 300 Euro. 

The HD 7770 was supposed to see its tag lowered by $15 / 11.43 Euro, to $155 / 118 Euro. 

What really happened was that, barring the HD 7950, the adapters got even cheaper. VR-Zone reports so anyway. 

To follow the same order as above, the HD 7970 is $70 / 50 Euro cheaper, which means that its tag is $479 (450-455 Euro, since exchange rates matter little here). Secondly, the HD 7950 went down by $50, but it still got the tag below $400. Finally, the HD 7770 got $20 sheared off its price, leaving it at $139 (130 Euro, according to online listings). 

As a bonus, the Radeon HD 7870 should be found cheaper too, even though it wasn't part of the plan: $330 / 320 Euro. 

Consumers with lower budgets might be saddened to hear that no HD 7800 board is going to be more affordable. Alas. Nevertheless, this much is definitely better than nothing and further price reductions may take place later in the year, as soon as even newer video cards appear.


Specs Leaked for Dell Alienware M18X R2 Laptop




Dell probably didn't mean for this to happen, but it really is no surprise that it did, knowing just how thoroughly the web is looking to uncover every scrap of info regarding the next Intel CPU series. 

What we mean by this is that, since the next Alienware notebook will get an Ivy Bridge CPU, its specs have been uncovered early due to the zeal exhibited by impatient people. 

The notebook detailed on dell-lab.posterous.com is called Alienware M18X R2 and uses a quad-core CPU. 

There are several chips to choose from in fact: the 2.3 GHz Core i7-3610QM, the 2.6 GHz i7-3720QM and the 2.7 GHz i7-3820QM. 

Whichever chip happens to be selected will get up to 8 GB of RAM as backup (random access memory). 

Of course, no gaming computer is complete without capable enough graphics, and the CPU integrated GPU definitely isn't up to scratch. 

Sure, the GMA HD 4000 will have triple-display support and good multitasking, but that is not the same as supporting every graphical feature of games. 

Thus, Dell has selected AMD Radeon HD 7970M in CrossFire and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M or 675M in SLI as potential specs. 

Furthermore, storage space is provided by a hard disk drive (up to 750 GB capacity) and/or a solid-state drive of up to 512 GB. 

Needless to say, getting an SSD will take the price well beyond the already huge base one (whatever it is). 

The spec sheet goes on with all the ports and I/O one could possible need (down to an optional Wireless HD card). 

Finally, the LED-backlit display of the Dell Alienware m18X R2 has a diagonal of 18.4 inches and a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (Full HD). 

Dell will sell the machine in red or black colors and bundled with an AC adapter of 240W or 330 W.


AMD Racing Against Google to Buy MIPS




While some might have never heard of it, MIPS stands for “Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages” and is a RISC type of processor architecture, just like AMD’s or Intel’s x86 CPUs are. It is not something radically different and hard to develop and to develop for, like Intel’s Itanium using the company’s failed EPIC architecture.

Having used TSMC to build modularized APUs with separate designs of general purpose processing unit and a graphics processing unit on the same die, AMD said, through the voice of its CEO, Rory Read, that it is thinking about using 3rd party IP next to its own IP into the company’s APUs.

However, due to AMD’s hard financial battles from the last four years, it has also lost a lot of design talent and the Texas-based CPU designer may be looking to get some of its old friends back, and even some new, with the acquisition of California-based MIPS Technologies. 

MIPS is a very popular technology in the processor business. While lately they’ve been a little more discrete, during the 80s and 90s, almost 33% of the RISC processors produced in the entire world (those include AMD and Intel CPUs) were MIPS based.

In 1992, server maker SGI acquires MIPS to secure the supply of MIPS processors for its company’s servers and workstations. Later, in 1998, SGI decided to migrate towards Intel’s Itanium architecture. This was the move that put MIPS out of SGI’s focus and deprived the company’s projects of vital R&D funds.

Subsequently, the Itanium switch also led to SGI’s downfall until they’ve filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

MIPS was completely spun off by SGI in 2000 and became an IP and design company licensing to others the different MIPS instruction sets.

For those who don’t know, many of you have been using MIPS processors without even being aware of it, as many of their designs are used by Broadcom in router chipsets;SONY’s PlayStation Portable has a MIPS processor powering it and the famous PlayStation 2 was built around a MIPS CPU also etc.

MIPS designs are characterized by being very customizable and server suitable. They were used by SGI, one of world’s greatest server makes, for more than a decade and, while ARM’s 64 Bit implementation is still some time away from servers, MIPS 64 Bit server CPU have been around since 1991.

While being very power efficient, MIPS are currently working to build the world’s first $99 Android table, while they already have an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available. ARM is the current king of the tablet world but they don’t have a 64 Bit design ready yet.

In short, MIPS already has what ARM has, but also has more than two decades of server experience that ARM is completely lacking.

Back in 2008, MIPS was losing money and the new CEO started streamlining the company and steering it towards a buyout that will ensure the much needed funds for R&D. The company’s numbers dropped from 500 to around 150 during the last 4 years and now MIPS has hired Goldman Sachs to purse the potential buyout.

AMD is already a MIPS 64 Bit licensee, but the Texas CPU manufacturer might also want the engineers that designed the IP.

Some of these guys are not strangers to AMD, as two members of MIPS’ Board of Directors are now Mr. Ravi Krisha and Fred Weber.

Back in the days of K7 and K8, Ravi Krisha was with AMD, building the Iron Gate chipset and Fred Weber worked on K8, the first x86 64 Bit processor.

Sure, AMD might not have the funds to buy MIPS or it might be outbid by the likes of Google, Nvidia or Qualcomm, but right now, the second largest x86 CPU designer in the world would be a perfect buyer for MIPS.


Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K Reaches 6.616 GHz




As some may or may not have expected, a new overclocking feat has been achieved using the still unannounced Ivy Bridge central processing units from Intel. 

Intel's next-generation central processing units won't be officially out until April 23, but that doesn't mean that samples aren't circulating. 

In fact, some chips made it into the hands of testers and overclockers quite some time ago. 

This has led to the repeated emergence of benchmarking and clock tweaking results. 

What we are looking at now is the latter sort of occurrence, courtesy of a Chinese overclocker that didn't shy away from strapping his test bench with a liquid nitrogen cup. 

The Core i7-3770K was put on a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H motherboard and backed by 4 GB of DDR3-2133 MHz memory (two modules of 2 GB each). 

Meanwhile, a high-end Corsair AX1200W power supply unit (PSU) provided the necessary energy. 

When using a clock multiplier value of 63.0x, the i7-3770K managed to claw its way all the way up to 6.616 GHz, while clock speed of 6584.86 MHz was attained on a 104.52 x 63 test. 

Not only that, but when left at 6.511 GHz, the clock frequency was found to be stable after being subjected to the SuperPi benchmark. More precisely, the 1M timing was of 5.585s. 

What does this say for the average customer? Not all that much but, then again, it isn't like average customers are going to get the top-tier CPUs either. 

If nothing else, the test shows that the chip can take a lot and will exhibit a good overclocking potential and stability even when only air-cooling or water-cooling is present. 

Of course, 6.616 GHz isn't really a record by any means. The top spot belongs to the AMD FX-8150 after all (8.58GHz). 

On the flip side, the base performance is supposed to be higher than that of all potential competitors and even the prices got cut ahead of the unveiling.





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