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Aug 21, 2014

Sony Xperia C3 “Selfie Phone”, Finally Goes on Sale

Back in July, Sony Mobile announced a “selfie-focused” mid-range smartphone that was supposed to go on sale sometime this month, the Xperia C3.

Well, it looks like the smartphone has just made its debut on the market, but for the time being it’s only available in Russia. Potential customers should know that they will have to come up with no less than 13,990 rubles ($385 / €290) upfront, Hi-Tech.mail.ru reports. The price may seem a bit high, but keep in mind that most devices launched in Russia are more expensive than usually. Anyway, let’s see what Russian customers get if they decide to go for the Xperia C3. First of all, the smartphone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box and packs a decent 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. Sony Xperia C3 is equipped with an Adreno 305 graphics processing unit, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD card slot.

But the phone’s main selling point is the 5-megapixel front-facing camera that’s perfect for selfies and can also capture HD (720p) videos. The handset comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera as well, along with a large 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. The Xperia C3 is expected to go on sale in other countries as well and the price may vary, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Sony Xperia C3
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Intel Core i7-5820K CPU Is Nerfed, Has Crippled PCI Express Support

You would think that hardcore CPUs like the upcoming Haswell-E collection from Intel would have no trouble running a full quad-SLI or Crossfire NVIDIA/AMD multi-GPU configuration, and you'd be right. Unfortunately, there is an exception.

Specifically, one of the upcoming extreme-performance Core i7 central processing units has a crippled PCI Express support structure. Essentially, it possesses only 28 PCI Express lanes, instead of the full complement of 40 that the other two, as well as the “normal” Haswell high-end chip offer. Thus, the Core i7-5820K will actually have a poorer multi-GPU support than the Core i7-4960X Haswell central processing unit. To elaborate, the 28 PCI Express lanes have to divide bandwidth between all the populated PCI Express slots they are connected with. Because of that, not even PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots will run at full power. One will manage x16 performance, but the other will be limited to x8 mode. Also, the third slot will top at x4, while the four will not muster any bandwidth if you do install something in it while the other three are occupied.

It's a pretty far drop from the ability of the Core i7-5930K and i7-5960X to have two PCI Express x16 slots running full throttle while alongside a third slot with x8 mode. It's not exactly clear what Intel was thinking when it added this bizarre limitation to what, for all intents and purposes, should be the most overpowered platform available to consumers. Maybe the chips come out of the assembly line with a specific defect that affects the PCI Express root complex. Either way, keep this in mind if you're in the market for a Haswell-E CPU. At least you still get the six CPU cores and 12 MB L3 cache. It’s twelve logical CPUs, thanks to the HyperThreading technology. Needless to say, DDR4 memory is supported as well. And in the end, two video cards are more than enough for any setup, especially if they happen to be dual-GPU models.

Besides, the Core i7-5820K is pretty cheap compared to the other two, set to sell for $400 / €400 instead of the others' $1,000 / €1,000 and $600 / €600. A downside was to be expected. Last we heard, the Haswell-E line of central processing units was scheduled for launch on September 14, but we may see the things earlier, at IDF 2014 (September 9-11). Motherboards based on the X99 chipset and featuring the LGA 2011-3 socket are the only ones that can support the things.

Third best Haswell-E CPU ha crippled PCIe support
Image credits to Intel

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Will Be a Powerful Beast, Benchmarks Confirm

With less than a month left until IFA 2014 is set to kick off, more and more leaks hinting at various devices that are likely to be unveiled during the trade fair emerge online.

The latest from the flow of such leaks concerns Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, which is expected to be officially unveiled on September 3, in Berlin, Germany. Even though most of the phone’s specs leaked a few days ago, we still don’t have any confirmations regarding the final version of Galaxy Note 4, so take the following with a grain of salt until early next month, when Samsung is set to officially introduce the phablet. It looks like BGR has spotted the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in some AnTuTu benchmarks, along with some of the phone’s insides. If these prove to be accurate, then the Galaxy Note 4 will surely be one of the most powerful Android smartphones available on the market.

At least one of the Galaxy Note 4 models Samsung is likely to announce next month will be monstrous when it comes to performance. Apparently, the South Korean company will be launching at least two Galaxy Note 4 variants, and one of them will be packed with the powerful Exynos 5433 chipset. Now for those unware, Samsung’s Exynos 5433 system on chip is only second to Nvidia’s new Tegra K1 chipset. It’s even more powerful than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset, as shown in the benchmarks. Another Galaxy Note 4 model will be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset that packs a quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, as well as an Adreno 420 graphics processing unit. In comparison, the Exynos 5433 chipset accommodates two quad-core processors (Cortex A57 and Cortex A53), along with an impressive Mali-T760 graphics processing unit.

Aside from that, both Galaxy Note 4 models seem to pack similar specs, including 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory and 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras. It’s also worth mentioning that the Exynos-based Galaxy Note 4 is known as Samsung SM-N910C, while the Qualcomm-based model is codenamed SM-N910S. According to these benchmarks, both phablets will boast QHD capacitive touchscreen displays that support 2560 x 1440 pixels resolutions. The only mystery seems to be the front-facing camera, which is listed as having 3.68 megapixels, which is likely to be a mistake. We also know that the Galaxy Note 4 will be launched with Android 4.4.3 KitKat operating system out of the box. However, we can safely assume that it will be among the first to receive Android L update. What do you think about Galaxy Note 4’s powerful hardware configuration?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 AnTuTu benchmarking score
Image credits to rbmen

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