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Mar 19, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 to Receive No Love from CyanogenMod Collaborators

Samsung Galaxy S4, the latest Android-based flagship smartphone from the South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung, will receive no love from the some CyanogenMod collaborators, and the same applies to other modders as well.

Team Hacksung, the handful of people behind official CyanogenMod ports for Samsung’s devices, has already confirmed that there are no plans to offer support for the new device. In fact, neither of the members of the team is looking to purchase the device or develop software for it, it seems, mainly due to the various bugs that it is expected to arrive with. “There are two variants which will be a pain to maintain, [and] the bugs we have on the S3 will probably be there on S4, too (camera), and we all know Samsung ability to release sources while staying in line with mainline,” the team notes in a post on XDA-Developers. “Yes Qualcomm releases sources, but Exynos sources we had were far from [working on] actual Galaxy products. I'm pretty sure the same will happen for this one.”

Apparently, other developers feel the same, and this post on Andrew Dodd’s Google+ account confirms that. Apparently, Samsung does not provide the needed source code to enable an easier development of custom ROMs for its devices, nor does it offer direct support to those who build such software. Other mobile phone makers, on the other hand, do offer this kind of support, making it easier for those who do this out of passion to continue doing it. Undoubtedly, the lack of interest from Team Hacksung in the new Galaxy smartphone won’t affect sales too much, since only a small number of users are actually interested in tweaking the phone, as Android Central notes.

Enthusiasts will certainly find other custom ROMs to modify the software on their handsets, yet it remains to be seen whether Samsung won’t decide to get involved a bit more in the modding process of its devices as well. Moreover, the CyanogenMod Team announced in a post on Google+ that the opinions of Team Hacksung do not reflect the position of CM towards the GALAXY S 4, especially since it hasn't been released commercially as of yet. They will announce plans to support the phone or not when it becomes available next month.

Samsung Galaxy S4
Image credits to Samsung

Oppo Find 5 in Black Going on Sale in China on April 1

Oppo Find 5 is available for purchase in China for more than a month, but the smartphone was launched only in white color version.

However, beginning April 1, Android fans will have more color options to choose from when it comes to Oppo Find 5. According to GSMInsider, a black version of the smartphone is in the works and will go on sale in China starting April 1. No word on price yet, but is likely to be available for the same amount as the white version.

For those out of the loop, Oppo Find 5 has been priced at 2,998 Yuan ($481 / €358) for the 16GB model, whereas the 32GB version of the phone costs 3,298 Yuan ($530 / €394). Keep in mind that both white and black versions of Oppo Find 5 come with the same specs.

Black Oppo Find 5
Image credits to CNMO

MSI Wind Box DC110, Runs on Just 40W

Nettops didn't start out as elegant, good-looking pieces of technology, but have they definitely evolved in that direction, as the newest model from Micro-Star International more than clearly shows.

Granted, it falls to each person to decide for themselves what they feel is aesthetically pleasing, but few can say that the look of the MSI Wind Box DC110 is as unappealing as, or uglier than, the dull, blocky critters that nettops started out as, years ago. The Wind Box DC110 looks like a smooth, white box on a foot, a stand really, shaped like a very thin shoe, of sorts. That smooth shell hides a very power-efficient system configuration, based on an Intel Celeron 847 central processing unit (1.1 GHz ULV). A low-power dual-core chip with integrated graphics, it is backed by 2 GB of DDR3-1333 memory, although it is possible to use 4 GB too. A hard disk drive with a rotary speed of 5,400 RPM (rotations per minute) is used, and provides 320 GB of storage space. In addition to those components, the mini PC somehow includes Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 ports on the front (two), a card reader (also on the front), audio jacks (headphones, mic), a VGA output (back), HDMI (back), LAN, line-out, S/PDIF, and two more USB ports.

Everything above fits inside a frame of 191.8 mm (W) x 150.93 mm (H) x 34.94 mm (D) / 7.55 x 5.94 x 1.37 inches. The total weight of the machine is 830 grams / 1.82 pounds. All in all, the specifications aren't bad for something capable of working on just 40W of electrical energy, less than half of a standard light bulb. Sales will start next week, for 279 Euro / $279-361. “The mini-PC is the space-saving solution for all computing tasks such as internet, email and office applications as well as TV, music, video and photo playback. The DC110 will be generally available in Europe before end of March,” the company says.

MSI Wind Box DC110
Images credits to MSI

AMD Releases A8-Series 4557M and A10-Series 4657M APUs

Advanced Micro Devices has a certain list on its website, where it shows all the processors for notebooks in its portfolio.

That list has welcomed two accelerated processing units, one from the A8 line and one of the A10 series.  Neither is based on the Richland architecture, sadly, even though the chips were finally released last week.  They are still decent choices for laptops, with their TDPs (thermal design power) of 35W, 4 MB cache memory, and four cores (each).

The A8-4557M has 1.9 GHz / 2.8 GHz clock speed (base, Turbo Core) and integrated Radeon HD GPUs working at 497 MHz / 655 MHz (256 stream processors). The A10-4657M is also a quad core, but runs at 2.3 / 3.2 GHz, and has a 497 / 686 MHz GPU (384 cores).

Image credits to AMD

New Samsung Galaxy S4 Benchmark Result Shows More Impressive Performance

Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 smartphone has already been benchmarked a few times before, mainly during the official launch event, and it seems that the device can indeed perform much better than the competition.

A new benchmark result for the device, this time coming from the cross-platform tool called Geekbench, shows that the phone can easily best other Android devices, and that it delivers about two times the performance of an iPhone 5.

The handset was tested with a 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor packed inside, and managed to leave all current flagship handsets behind by quite a good margin, a chart coming from primatelabs shows (the test on Galaxy S 4 was performed by Android Authority, the video above shows).  What remains to be seen, however, is how well the 8-core flavor of the device can fare in these benchmarks.

While BlackBerry is struggling, Samsung is enjoying a wave of success, so why not compare two of their new and upcoming devices?
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Video credits to AndroidAuthority

This is What NVIDIA Doesn't Want You to Know: Turn GeForce Cards Into Quadro or Tesla

Depending on what kind of social circles you are part of, it can be a well-known or little-known fact that gaming and professional graphics cards use much of the same hardware.

NVIDIA did its best to make it impossible to “persuade” a system that a GeForce GTX card is actually a Quadro, or vice versa. The same with the more recent Tesla series. Nevertheless, where there is a will, there is a way, and EEVblog forum member “gnif” has the way. Long story short, by changing a pair of tiny components on the PCB (called SMDs), you can turn, say, a GeForce GTX 690 into a Quadro K5000.  This is convenient because the GTX 690 is almost $1,000 / 1,000 Euro cheaper than Quadro K5000, and yet Quadro K5000 has just one GPU and runs 25-30% slower than the gaming card. Which is somewhat ridiculous.

Quadro K5000 only has Mosaic support as an advantage: allows up to 3 screens in 2d to run well under OSes besides Windows (Linux is popular with businesses). Follow the link above to see how to transform a GTX 690 into a dual-GPU, stronger version of Quadro K5000.

Turn NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 to Quadro/Tesla
Images credits to gnif on EEVBlog Forums

Second NVIDIA GK110 Graphics Card Planned for the Summer

NVIDIA's GeForce Titan will hold the position of flagship single-GPU video adapter for months and months, but very few people will afford to get it.

Because of that, NVIDIA is preparing a second adapter powered by the GK110 graphics processing unit, SweClockers reports. It will have 13 out of 15 streaming multiprocessors, meaning 2,496 CUDA cores enabled. It should also get 208 texture units, 5 GB GDDR5 VRAM, a 320-bit interface, and 40 ROPs. All in all, the board will be similar, to an extent, to the Quadro K6000 professional video adapter that came out this very month (March 2013).

We don't know what price the newcomer will sport, but we suspect it will be somewhere between the $450 / 450 Euro of GTX 680 and the $1,000 / 1,000 Euro of the GTX Titan.

NVIDIA GeForce GK110 video card
Image credits to SweClockers

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