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Jul 3, 2012

AMD Unlocked Dual Core Trinity A6 5400K

AMD seems keen on satisfying even the most financially challenged overclockers and is apparently preparing an unlocked dual core Trinity processor called A6 5400K.

How many times did you buy a rather expensive motherboard that would allow you good overclocks and ensure compatibility with future and more powerful processors? This happened to us a lot and, to make the initial financial effort for a new platform easier, we usually got one of the cheapest CPUs available for the new platform. The plan was to overclock the processor until more funds became available to buy a powerful processor with higher frequency, more cores and a bigger cache.

As reported by Fudzilla, AMD’s A6 5400K Trinity unlocked processor runs at a default 3600 MHz frequency and has a Turbo Core boost of 200 extra Mhz. The A6 5400K has a modest 65 watts TDP and comes with Radeon HD 7540D graphics core featuring 192 shaders running at 760MHz.

AMD Fusion APU
Image credits to AMD

AMD Trinity Performance Summary
Image credits to AMD

MSI S20 Slider UltraBook Coming with Ivy Bridge and Windows8 in October 2012

MSI’s innovative convertible UltraBook called S20 is apparently coming on the market this autumn. The S20 features a 11.6” touchscreen with 10-point multi-touch support.

The small and versatile wonder from the well-known mainboard manufacturer is powered by Intel’s powerful Ivy Bridge processor and reportedly only weighs about 1.2 Kg. That’s about 2.64 pounds and, at just 20 millimeters (0.65”) thick, the S20 Slider will certainly find its way in many clients’ shopping bags. Mobile enthusiasts dreaming to buy MSI’s new convertible UltraBook/Tablet should likely put aside about $800 if they live on the New Continent or €800 if they are in Europe.

The price may be a little higher than that, considering that it will ship with the bran new Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, but we think it’s worth the money. MSI’s S20 Slider also comes with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM memory, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, HDMI, and the obvious QWERTY-keyboard shown in the picture.

MSI S20 Slider convertible UltraBook/Tablet
Image credits to MSI

Microsoft Details the Photos App for Windows 8

Windows 8 will come to the market with a series of applications that appear to be essential to any platform designed for mobile use out there.

Among them, we can count the Contacts app, the Messaging app, a Calendar app and other similar software, along with a Photos app, all designed under the same Metro-style principles as the entire platform. The first thing that strikes about the application is the fact that it can bring all of your photos in a single place, regardless of their location. Of course, the application will also provide users with the possibility to keep track of where these photos come from, but it will deliver a simplified view of their memories, Microsoft notes. The company offers support those who will connect with a Microsoft account to Facebook, Flickr, or other services, and also for SkyDrive, while being capable of keeping users connected with their Windows Phone devices at all times. The application was built to fit greatly with Windows 8 devices, and features a landscape design, so that users could enjoy a better experience when it comes to their photos.

“Our storyline view shows a photo just big enough to enjoy, but small enough to see more than one at a time. If you want to see more of your pictures at once, just pinch to zoom out, and you’ll see a thumbnail view of your collection,” Brad Weed, group program manager in the Windows Live team, explains“But notice: the thumbnail view isn’t just all of your photos cropped and displayed as square thumbnails. We show your thumbnails in the way that best represents the orientation of the photo.” The app will also display photos in full screen, the same as any Metro app can deliver content to users. It also features a slide show, and can even send the photo stream to a home TV or a larger monitor through the Devices charm. Through SkyDrive, users can have photos from all of their devices in a single place, for fast and easy access at all times. They will also be able to import photos on the Windows 8 PC they want to set as primary device.

The Photos app comes with a new homescreen in Windows 8 Release Preview, and was also enhanced to make it easier for users to share their memories with friends and family. “Over the years we’ve all imported, shared, and saved photos to myriad SD cards, hard drives, and Internet services. It’s rare that we ever go back and relive those memories, because they’re in so many places that it’s become too onerous,” Brad Weed notes. “The Photos app lets you see the last photo you took on your Windows Phone, or the very first photo you shot with your very first digital camera. We’ve taken a lot of photos and videos in our lives and we’re only going to take more. The Photos app not only brings all of those memories back, but it puts them in the palm of your hand.”

Windows 8's Photo app
Image credits to Microsoft

Windows 8's Photo app
Image credits to Microsoft

Built-in PDF Editing Coming to Office 2013

The upcoming Office 2013 productivity suite from Microsoft is set to deliver an upgraded user experience through more than just visual changes.

We already learned that the Redmond-based software giant is set to pack the new application version with a series of graphical changes that would bring it in line with the Metro UI in Windows 8, but there’s more to it.  The functionality of the suite will be improved as well, through the addition of new features to its various components. One of them is the Word 2013 application, which is now said to be en-route to receive full-blown support for PDF files. The app was already capable of saving documents in PDF format in Office 2010, and could also allow for this feature through a plug-in available for Office 2007. However, users could not edit PDF files in Office unless they grabbed and used a third-party application, something that should change in the next release of the suite.

According to a recent article on LiveSide, Microsoft will pack native support for PDF editing in Office 2013. All that users would need to do is to click File > Open > Browse, and select the wanted document. Word 2013 will also come to the market with support for PDF file viewing, Paul Thurrott suggests, adding that the application will automatically reflow text in a columnar view for a better experience. It will also enable users to mark a spot on the document and return to it immediately as they reopen it. Chances are that the feature will be visible in the Beta release of Office 2013, which Microsoft said would land sometime this summer. However, rumor has it that it could be released as soon as next week. Office 2013 is expected to become commercially available in the beginning of the next year, following the release of Windows 8, pegged for mid-October 2012.

Office 2013 logo
Image credits to LiveSide.net

HP Pavilion G6 with AMD A4-3305M Just for $399

HP seems to be heavily discounting its AMD Llano-based offerings to make room for newer and more powerful Trinity-based products. The company’s Pavilion G6 15.6” notebook is already available on HP’s official website for just $399 after rebate.

That’s about €316 for European AMD APU fans and that’s a very affordable price point for a notebook that offers AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Discrete-Class Graphics with both HDMI and VGA outputs and a free upgrade to 6 GB DDR3 system memory using DIMMs. That’s likely a 2+4 memory configuration and that’s not optimum for performance, but since it is free, we can’t argue with HP’s offer.

The top configuration would be powered by AMD’s dual-core A4-3305M APU running at 2.5GHz with 1MB of level 2 cache. The maximum memory capacity supported by HP’s Pavilion G6 is 8 GB of DDR3 in two DIMMs and the 6-Cell Lithium-Ion standard battery is rated up to 6.5 hours of battery life.

HP Pavilion G6 with AMD's A4-3305M APU Running at 2.5GHz
Images credits to HP

Nokia N9 PR1.3 Update Now Available for Download

Finnish company officially has confirmed the update as being available for download.

According to Nokia, the new update for N9 to 40.2012.21-3 is now rolling out OTA (over the air) in waves during the next few weeks. Those who currently own a Nokia N9 smartphone and did not receive a notification update will have to wait a bit longer until it becomes available in their country. “The update will be released in waves during the next few weeks, firstly to non-branded variants and later on for other variants as well. When an update is available a notification with the icon is shown in the Events view. Select the notification to view and install the update.” Nokia’s employee kerttu mentioned on the company’s support site that the new update brings more than 1,000 improvements, along with lots of new features and applications.

“As you might have noted already, we have now started rolling out a new update for N9 to 40.2012.21-3. This software release brings you over 1000 quality improvements, including Mail, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as several small network and connectivity improvements.” It appears that the changes included in this major update, which has around 205MB in size are too many for Nokia to detail them in a changelog. Instead, the Finnish company advises all Nokia N9 owners who want to find out more details on the PR1.3 update to head over to http://swipe.nokia.com/.

Given the fact that Nokia did not offer information on the release schedule, Nokia N9 users should keep an eye out for the notification update, which should pop up in the next few weeks. On a side note, rumor has it that Nokia N9 might receive another major software update in the future, which is dubbed PR1.4. However, the information has yet to be confirmed by the handset maker. via MyNokiaBlog

Nokia N9
Image credits to Nokia

Windows Phone 8 Will Pack More Features than Unveiled

Windows Phone 8, the next-generation mobile operating system from Microsoft, was made official only a few weeks ago, yet the hype around it is already growing.

Apparently, there’s a good reason for that, as Microsoft didn’t reveal all the features and capabilities of the platform during the unveiling event in San Francisco the other week. In fact, the company seems to have showed only a minor set of new features that will make it inside the Windows Phone 8 platform when it becomes official, Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for the OS, says. In a recent interview with Pocket-lint, he confirmed that most of what was unveiled at said event was meant for developers and IT pros, and not for end-users. “We showed a lot at the Sneak Peek event, in San Francisco, if you were a developer or an IT pro. Of the end-user consumer visible features and capabilities, we showed a minority of features at the event,” he stated. While he wouldn’t provide info on what was not unveiled, he did say that Windows Phone 8 was bound to set the ground for Microsoft’s future development in the mobile area without the need of major changes as before.

This applies both to developers, who will find it easier to come up with applications for the platform, and to consumers, who will receive a much better experience that before. "This release has a significant amount of new functionality for developers and IT pros in particular, and because of the planning cycles involved in getting them the information they need to take advantage of the release when it hits," Sullivan said. "We (Microsoft) provide a general-purpose platform that provides a choice of manufacturers and a choice of folks building on it, and that really makes it difficult for us to launch hours after we announce it."

Windows Phone 8 was announced to arrive on shelves with support for better hardware, including multi-core processors, microSD cards, and the like, as well as with a series of visual changes and new features throughout the OS. Windows Phone 8 also comes with a shared core with Windows 8, which allows for more capabilities to be included into the mix, while also simplifying the work of devs and OEMs, as Sullivan said. Microsoft hasn’t provided a specific release date for the first devices powered by Windows Phone 8, but rumor has it that it should be released sometime in October.

Windows Phone 8
Image credits to Microsoft

Samsung Shows World’s First 16 GB DDR4 RDIMM Memory

Memory expert manufacturer, Korean giant company Samsung has just announced that it is already sampling DDR4 server modules with high densities of up to 16 GB. The module announced today is a RDIMM 16 GB DDR4 server memory.

Samsung has been on the forefront of the DDR4 development since December 2010 when it first showed industry's first 30nm-class 2 GB DDR4 module. Today’s 16 GB hero is also built in 30nm manufacturing technology, but Samsung has pledged that it would start manufacturing memory chips in 20nm technology starting next year. Once the 20nm production line starts making DDR4 memories, densities will reach an amazing 32 GB per module. One of the advantages DDR4 memory brings overall is the fact that it works using a modest 1.2V voltage and compared with DDR3’s standard voltage of 1.35V, it will consume up to 40 percent less energy. The company has already sampled new 8 GB and 16 GB DDR4 modules in June and then sent them over to CPU and controller makers for testing and development. DDR4 will double the performance achieved by today’s DDR3 memory standard, as it will double the 1600 MBits/s data rate of the DDR3 memory modules.

Samsung is the first company to ever introduce DDR memory back in 1997. RDIMMs, or Registered DIMMs are server grade memory modules. They costume just a bit more energy than normal or UDIMM modules because they contain additional circuitry and components needed for a register. Registered Dual Inline Memory Modules are needed for applications requiring stability and scalability as, by using RDIMMs, some motherboards can support higher memory densities and an overall higher amount of RAM. RDIMMs can be ECC or nonECC, as there are both, Registered ECC memory and non-Registered ECC memory, as well as just Registered or Unregistered memory.

Samsung 16 GB DDR4 RDIMM Memory Module
Image credits to Samsung

Mushkin Redline DDR3-1600 Quad Channel Kit with Very Low Latency

Well-known computer memory manufacturer, American company Mushkin has introduced the new quad-channel memory kit of four DDR3-1600 MHz memory modules with very low latencies for DDR3 memory.

Mushkin’s new memory set is called “Redline Ridgeback” and is comprised of four 4 GB DDR3-1600 memory modules rated at 7-7-7-24 latencies. These latencies are amazingly low for DDR3-1600 memory modules, and probably the lowest we’ve seen on a certified quad-channel memory kit. Mushkin’s Redline Ridgeback 16 GB quad-channel memory kit needs a 1.65V voltage for default frequencies and is covered by a full lifetime warranty by the Colorado-based manufacturer. The modules come with orange metallic heatsinks that are probably made of aluminum. The guys at HiTechLegion managed to test the new kit and they were very impressed with the results.

Mushkin’s Redline Ridgeback 16 GB quad-channel memory kit managed to hit a frequency of 1702MHz with the default latencies and voltage. Once the latencies were relaxed at 8-8-8-24, Mushkin’s Redline Ridgeback 16 GB quad-channel memory kit was able to reach a high 1969 MHz working frequency. Online pricing currently stands at $170, which is about €134 for the European buyers.

Mushkin Redline Ridgeback 16 GB Quad Channel DDR3-1600 Memory Kit with 7-7-7-24 Latencies
Image credits to hitechlegion

Mushkin Redline Ridgeback 16 GB Quad Channel DDR3-1600 Memory Kit with 7-7-7-24 Latencies
Image credits to hitechlegion

RIM 2013 Roadmap, Shows Four BlackBerry 10 Handsets

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion unveiled last week during the discussion on its first quarter fiscal 2013 earnings that it wouldn’t be able to deliver the first Blackberry 10 smartphones before the end of this calendar year.

The leading handset vendor confirmed the possibility for its first such devices to arrive on shelves only in the first quarter of the calendar year 2013, but it did not offer specific info on the matter. However, some additional details on the matter are now available, courtesy of a leaked roadmap that emerged over at blackberryos.comThere is no telling on whether the info is real or not, but it comes in line with what RIM has already announced, and it might actually pan out in the end. According to the leaked document, the Canadian handset vendor will manage to bring two BlackBerry 10 smartphones on the market in early 2013.

These devices feature the codenames of London and Nevada, and are expected to become available in Europe at first, while being set to reach North America only three or four weeks after. Also during the first quarter of the next year, or in the next three-month period, RIM should push the BlackBerry 10 OS upgrade to its PlayBook users, the leaked docs unveiled. Two other BlackBerry 10 smartphones should arrive on shelves in the remaining of the year, namely Nashville in the Q2-Q3 timeframe, and Naples sometime in Q3-Q4. Also in the third quarter of next year, RIM should bring to the market its 10-inch PlayBook tablet PC codenamed Blackforest. While missing the initially announced launch window for its BlackBerry 10 smartphones, RIM is said to be on track to launch a 4G-enabled PlayBook flavor in the fourth quarter of the current year. As mentioned above, we should take these details with a grain of salt for the time being. However, we’ll keep an eye out for additional info on the matter, so stay tuned.

BlackBerry Logo
Image credits to RIM

Leaked roadmap shows four BlackBerry 10 smartphones for next year
Image credits to blackberryos.com

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