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Aug 6, 2012

Gumstix Fanless ARM Computer Powered by Ubuntu Linux

Once Linux’s popularity rises and its multimedia capabilities are better extended and easier to use, we're starting to see more ARM-based computers competing for the low-end market against x86 systems. Such a computer is the Waysmall Silverlode Computer which is powered by a Texas Instruments Sitara AM3703 processor.

The system is made by a privately owned California based company called Gumstix and it comes with multiple connectivity and multimedia options, FanLessTech reported. The Waysmall Silverlode Computer is targeting industrial applications, but can be used for a lot of tasks. The processor powering it, is built by Texas Instruments and uses a classic ARM Cortex A8 architecture. To help the user access and enjoy the features with more ease, the Waysmall Silverlode Computer comes preloaded with a Gumstix customized distribution of Unbuntu Linux.

On the connectivity side, the Waysmall Silverlode Computer is well endowed and comes with a HDMI (DVI-D) connector, an RJ45 LAN port, a USB host port, a USB outgoing port, a USB console port, the usual stereo audio jacks and a microSD card slot that’s accessible by removing a small panel. The computer ships together with a 8GB microSD card, but larger cards can be used to augment the storage capacity. System RAM memory is 512 MB in size and the operating system sits on a 512 MB NAND. The performance might be modest, but it’s likely enough for browsing the Internet, office applications and enjoying some multimedia content.

You could set up a whole internet cafĂ© with these things and get a considerably lower power bill considering the minuscule current consumption and the modest heat dissipation. Integrating it into your car is another idea, but the reality is that possibilities are quite diverse.

Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode Computer Powered by TI ARM Cortex A8 Processor
Images credits to Gumstix

Samsung Galaxy S Duos Pictures Leaks Again

Samsung Galaxy S Duos leaked several days ago along with most of its specs. Today, new photos of the device emerged courtesy to the Chinese telecommunication certification site.

The handset strongly resembles the highly-acclaimed Galaxy S III, but comes with less impressive hardware. In this regard, the Galaxy S Duos is powered by a 1 GHz processor and packs a 5-megapixel rear photo snapper. As expected, the smartphone will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system out of the box.

Other highlights of the Galaxy S Duos include: 4-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. It is also worth mentioning the Galaxy S Duos (S7562) has already been approved by the Chinese regulatory commission, so we expect Samsung to go official with this one in the next few weeks.

Samsung Galaxy S Duos
Image credits to SammyHub

ELSA GeForce GT 640 2GB Video Card

Well-known Japanese video card company Elsa, a traditional Nvidia graphics adapter manufacturing partner, is apparently preparing a new affordable Nvidia GeForce GT 640 video card. The new card comes with double the default memory quantity and sports a modest single-slot cooling system.

Elsa is better known for making the high-quality professional Quadro adapters using Nvidia GPUs, but today the company wants to address the lucrative low-end video card market. The default GPU frequency is 900 MHz and the DDR3 memory is set to work at 1780 MHz, TechPowerUp reported.

Elsa has used Nvidia’s Kepler-based GK107 GPU for the new card and this one packs 384 CUDA cores but, unfortunately, we’re dealing with a low-end model and the memory bandwidth is just 128-bit wide. There is no official information on pricing yet, but the official launch is slated for this month.

ELSA GeForce GT 640 2GB Video Card
Image credits to TechPowerUp

Nokia 909 Concept, MeeGo-Based with Two Full Touchscreens

Nokia might have decided to kill the MeeGo operating system and to remove it from its future plans, but enthusiasts are still attracted to the platform and continue on dreaming of what handsets it could have been loaded on.

Among them, there is the Nokia 909 concept phone coming from Moody Caplan (via MyNokiaBlog), a retrofitted Nokia N9 that sports two touchscreen displays instead of one. First of all, we should note that the new device would run under a more refined flavor of the MeeGo platform, while packing Swipe 2.0 on top, so as to provide users with a wider range of swipe features than before. Second, there are the aforementioned two screens that add more functionality to the device, allowing users to enjoy better multitasking features on it. Inside, the Nokia 909 concept phone would sport a 1.4GHz application processor, single-core, complemented by 1GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.

Today’s smartphones might pack multi-core CPUs, but the designer of this handset believes that a single core would be enough to carry out tasks. The smartphone also features an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, placed just above the second screen and complemented by Scalado’s Creative studio and Camera extras. Having two touchscreens means that the device also packs two proximity sensors, along with 3-Axis Accelerometer and Gyroscope. The smartphone would also feature Hydrophobic & Oleophobic nano-coatings, making it resistant to water and oil spills, as well as fingerprint-resistive. Of course, there is also the updated Swipe (version 2.0), which has to provide support for both screens.

One thing that would have to be sorted out for such a concept to prove successful is the battery life. Powering two large touchscreens at the same time would certainly drain the battery fast, though this does not mean that there are no solutions to the issue.

Nokia 909 concept phone
Images credits to MyNokiaBlog

Thermalright Macho 120 CPU Cooler

The famous cooling company has decided to launch a new cooler belonging to the well-known Macho series. The new device is called Macho 120 and is the official successor to the popular HR-02 Macho.

Thermalright is showing care for the users with smaller cases and the Macho 120 is actually 12 millimeters shorter than the HR-02 and, thus, fits easily in such cases. The official dimensions of the new cooling system are 120 by 130 by 150 millimeters. In imperial, that’s 4.72 by 5.11 by 5.9 inch. This shows that the new cooler is significantly easier to fit but, unfortunately, there is no info on the weight of the new device.

The cooler comes with five copper heatpipes and 30 aluminum fins and a 12mm fan spinning between 600RPM and 1500RPM. The rotational speed is controlled in PWM manner and the official noise rating stands at 28db. The cooler is priced at €35 for the European market, and that makes it $44 for the American buyers, IXBT reported. Macho 120 is perfectly compatible with Intel motherboards sporting the LGA 775, 1366, 1156, 1155 and 2011 sockets and AMD mainboards using an AM2, AM2 +, AM3 or AM3 + socket.

Thermalright Macho 120 Cooler
Images credits to hartware

HTC Plans 5’’ Full HD Smartphone for September

Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC is reportedly gearing up for the launch of a new flagship smartphone as soon as next month.

Rumor has it that the new device would sport a large 5-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 1794 by 1080 pixel resolution, the highest on such devices. Expected to make an official appearance either in September or October, the new device would compete against Samsung’s large Galaxy Note, which sports a 5.3-inch screen.

No other details on the new device were made available, but chances are that HTC would also aim at packing a quad-core CPU inside it. Before the end of this month, Samsung is expected to launch Galaxy Note II, the successor of its largest smartphone. LG has been also rumored to plan an LG Vu 2 handset, also with a 5.x-inch screen.

HTC logo
Image credits to HTC

MSI Interceptor Barricade Mid-Tower Case

Micro-Star International may not be the first company that pops into people’s minds when they start looking for a case, but this may change if the Interceptor Barricade starts a trend.

Interceptor Barricade is an enthusiast-oriented case with a price of $79.99 on Amazon, or 65 Euro according to exchange rates. That's really not that high, especially with free shipping, and there is even a chance to score a $20 rebate. It also bears noting that the case is fairly lightweight for its type, implying that it could be a great fit for people who move a lot, or who go to LAN parties often. That said, the product measures 450 (L) x 185 (W) x 412 (H) mm, or 17.71 x 7,28 x 16.22 inches, and weighs 7.8 kilograms (17.91 pounds). Colored black, it uses a mesh front panel, three 5.25-inch drive bays (just right for an ODD plus the Swiftech Maelstron 5/4 reservoir), four 3.5-inch internal bays and seven expansion slots.

Also, MSI outfitted its creation with a front/top I/O panel, where two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port and HD/97 Audio ports are found. What's more, the hardware maker tossed in an SD card reader, three 120mm fans (one at the back, two LED models at the front) and two optional fans. All in all, the enclosure is designed to hold most mid-range and high-end pieces of hardware while keeping the PC interior well ventilated. The blue LEDs on the front fans are purely cosmetic, but the fans themselves are not. They draw air through the perforated front and leave it to the back spinner, and/or the two top fans if present, to pull it out. Finally, for customers who want something cheaper but still useful for high-performance system configurations, MSI's Interceptor Raptor might fit the bill. It has been up for order since back in January (2012).

MSI Interceptor Barricade mid-tower case
Image credits to MSI

HP Slate 8 Tablet

The first time we saw the new device was in this video from HP, back in July. The tablet seems to be targeting professionals, as we can see it held by people working in labs and corporate buildings at the 0:33 mark and by a man wearing a shirt and tie at 0:56.

These may seem unimportant, but there’s no suggestion that the tablet should be used for gaming, drawing, multimedia activities or anything similar. Today, the novel device is featured on HP’s official website in a marketing shot that depicts a doctor holding the tablet. This could be another subliminal suggestion about who the likely targeted user is. Intel-based Windows 8 tablets are capable of running all the x86 software available today and many computer makers are trying hard to get a foothold into the business/enterprise market.

The ARM-based tablets couldn’t be advertised to such markets, as they can’t use the software that’s usually required by many corporations. That’s likely x86 software running on Microsoft devices. We can’t wait to get more details on HP’s new mobile device, as all we know now is that Slate 8 is an Intel-based 10.1” tablet running Microsoft’s Windows 8 Professional operating system.

HP Alleged Slate 8 10.1" Windows 8 Professional Tablet
Image credits to HP

Gigabyte Radeon 1100Mhz HD 7970 GHz Edition

Well-known mainboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company Gigabyte has finally started shipping its own AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition video card flagship. The new card is powered by AMD’s famous “Tahiti 2” GPU, but it doesn’t come clocked at reference 1 GHz like it was previously thought, but at a high 1100 MHz.

Thus, we can see that the well-built WindForce3X cooling system has allowed the manufacturer to ship the new GV-R797TO-3GD video card with a 10% higher default GPU frequency when compared with AMD’s reference Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. The WindForce3X cooling system features three 80-millimeter fans and it’s a little quieter than the reference design from AMD itself. The card comes with the same 3 GB GDDR5 video memory that we can find on any HD 7970 video card, but this time, the new GHz Edition BIOS is clocking the memory at 1500 MHz or 6 GHz effective frequency.

The “Tahiti 2” GPU is based on the company’s new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and includes 32 Compute Units, for a total of 2048 stream processors that are joined by 128 texture units, 32 ROP units and a 384-bit wide memory bus. The GCN architecture has proved to be very good in GPU compute applications and, surprisingly, it comes with more than 1 TFLOP of double-precision floating point performance. This is more than ten times the DP FP64 performance of Nvidia’s Kepler. Gigabyte’s new offering has just appeared in shops halfway around the world in the Land of the Rising Sun, Akiba-PC reported.

The price is set quite high at $634 (€511), but novelties are always a little bit overpriced in Japan. The card is backed by Gigabyte’s standard 3-year warranty and comes with various overclocking features.

Gigabyte GV-R797TO-3GD AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition Video Card
Images credits to Gigabyte

Gigabyte GV-R797TO-3GD AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition Video Card
Images credits to akiba-pc.watch.impress.co.jp

MSI GTX 660 Ti Hawk with New Twin Frozr IV Cooler and 3GB GDDR5

New information on Nvidia’s GTX 660 series has apparently come to light. It seems that there will be some 3GB GeForce GTX 660 Ti cards coming our way soon, and MSI GTX 660 Ti Hawk is one of them.

The new card from MSI shows us the new and revised Twin Frozr IV cooling system from MSI. In this implementation, MSI has decided to use 3GB of GDDR5 video memory to set itself apart from other GTX 660 Ti makers on the market, VideoCardz reported. Moreover, if that wasn’t enough, the new card comes with a new cooling system part of the famous MSI Twin Frozr series. This is a fourth-generation Twin Frozr cooler and not much information is available on it. The bit on the 3GB GDDR5 specification is apparently based on a GPU-Z screenshot, but this may also be an error when reading the amount of memory available on the card.

The card comes pre-overclocked at an impressive 1020 MHz default speed for the GPU, with an even higher 1098 Mhz Boost option. Unfortunately, the same standard 6008 MHz effective memory frequency is used for the 3GB of GDR5 VRAM, but the card also comes with dual 6-pin power connectors, thus implying that more than 150 watts could be required. The cards pictured were mounted in a triple SLI setup and we’re wondering if seating those so close to each other is healthy, considering the cooling issues posed by the lack of proper air intake for the first and second cards.

MSI's GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB with Twin Forzr IV Cooling
Images credits to VideoCardz

XFX One Edition Graphics Card Series

New AMD video card manufacturing partner XFX has just launched a new series of graphic cards officially called XFX “One Edition.”

Although the company’s motto is “play hard,” these cards are likely not targeting the hardcore gamers. There are three members in the new series and the company actually says that each card targets a certain group of users. The motto of the new series is “One Graphics Card To Do Everything,” but the reality is that XFX has three different cards in the “One Edition” series. First of the three members is officially denominated as XFX One Edition – GAMING EDITION 1GB DDR5 and comes with HDMI, DVI and VGA connectors. The model name likely is ON-XFX1-GAMC. This card features a simple cooling system but, unfortunately, it occupies two adjacent slots. The GPU is AMD’s Radeon HD 7750 featuring 512 Stream processing units. The default clock is 800 Mhz and the memory is set at the reference 4500 MHz effective frequency.

Our favorite of the new series is the XFX One R-Series – MULTIMEDIA STUDIO EDITION 2GB DDR3 fanless video card. This one comes fitted with HDMI, DVI and VGA connectors and the model name is likely ON-XFX1-MMAC. We’re glad to see 2GB of video memory on the new card, but we must caution fanless fans that this is DDR3 memory. Although XFX doesn’t say what GPU sits underneath that big heatsink, the DDR3 memory makes us suspect a “Turks Pro” GPU like a normal Radeon HD 7570 video card or a HD 6570 from last year.

The last one on the list is another fanless design called XFX One R-Series – OFFICE & INTERNET EDITION 1GB DDR3 that has the same HDMI, DVI and VGA connectors on the I/O shield and the model is ON-XFX1-OPIC. This one is a very modest video card and there is a number of GPUs that might sit under the small heatsink, but the manufacturer doesn’t specify anything on its official product page.

Images credits to XFX

Images credits to XFX

Images credits to XFX

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Reference Card Looks Exactly Like a GTX 670

It seems quite logical that if Nvidia uses the same GK104 GPU for the new GTX 660 Ti cards, the same PCB and cooling design will be used as well. But the company is doing its best to cut costs and many expected the reference design to be a little more modest on the PCB and cooling side.

That doesn’t seem to be the case here, and the new GeForce GTX 660 Ti video card from PNY shows that the reference design sticks to the GTX 670 specifications. Although many expected to see the GTX 660 to GTX 660 Ti differentiation to be made based on the memory interface, it’s now quite clear that the GeForce GTX 660 will come with a 192-bit memory BUS also, VideoCardz reported.

The Ti card has 1344 CUDA cores, a 915 MHz default GPU frequency, 980 MHz GPU Boost option and the standard 6008 MHz effective GDDR5 memory frequency, PNY GeForce GTX Ti video card are listed at $285 (€230) online.

PNY GeForce GTX 660 Ti Video Card
Images credits to VideoCardz

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