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Sep 1, 2014

New Leaked Moto X+1 Photos Emerge Ahead of Official Launch

Mobile phone maker Motorola has been long rumored to plan the release of a successor to the Moto X handset in the not-too-distant future, and leaked images with the device are now available for your viewing pleasure.

The leaked photos with the smartphone have made it online courtesy of tktechnews.com, which has already revealed a great deal of details on Motorola’s upcoming device. The new images with the phone offer us a better look at its back screen and at its back plate (which is made out of wood in this case). Moreover, the news site notes that the big Motorola logo on the back of the device is actually a Power Button, and that it can also be used to perform various actions within applications. The same as Moto X, the upcoming handset will provide users with the possibility of selecting from a variety of materials when it comes to the phone’s back cover. Apparently, the device will land on shelves with an Aluminum frame, but will also be built using Wood, Plastic, Leather, and Denim.

A future version of the device will be designed completely out of carbon fiber, it seems. However, this model is expected to be a Verizon exclusive for the holiday season. The aforementioned news site also notes that Moto X+1 will bring back the Moto App to the home screen, which means that the handset will feature Moto Aware. One other thing that they note is the fact that the handset will feature 4 sensors on the front, though their exact functionality is not known for the time being. Apparently, these sensors could be related to Moto Aware and Moto 360, but some sources suggest that they might be 3D sensors, designed to ensure a great viewing experience on the phone’s screen regardless of the viewing angle.

Motorola has already announced plans to host a press event on September 4, and the new Moto X+1 is expected to debut there, along with the Moto G2 smartphone. However, the mobile phone maker hasn’t provided an official confirmation on the matter as of now, and the hardware specs of both devices remain only in the rumor stage as of now. The actual name for the new Moto X+1 hasn’t been confirmed yet either, and it remains to be seen whether it will indeed be called this way, especially with some other reports claiming that it will arrive on shelves as “the new Moto X.” According to a leaked screenshot that emerged on Phandroid, the phone will be sold via the Moto Maker portal, the same as its predecessor, and will arrive at both AT&T and Verizon right from the beginning.

Leaked Moto X+1 photos
Images credits to TKtechNews

MSI Building GeForce GTX 980/970 Graphics Card with Twin Frozr V Cooler

A 3D model of a certain graphics card has made its way to the Internet, along with some hands-on photos of the cooler adorning it.

The video card is none other than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, or perhaps it's the GTX 970? Either way, it's an NVIDIA next-generation adapter based on the Maxwell GPU architecture. This basically confirms the previous rumor about GeForce 800 video boards being skipped, and the naming scheme jumping straight from GeForce 700 to 900. The render shows a pair of 6-pin power connectors and a pair of DVI ports, plus two DisplayPorts (apparently). I assume some sort of HDMI adapter is bundled with the card, unless one of the two ports is actually of that type.

Anyway, the other photos attached to this post show the Twin Frozr V cooler that Micro-Star International is working on. There appear to be three nickel-plated heatpipes, or perhaps they're made of aluminum. It's hard to tell. As for the fans, they are radax spinners not dissimilar from those occasionally spotted on MSI mini-ITX video boards. There is still no word on the specs of the card itself (whichever it is). Hopefully there won't be any delays and the cards really do come out on September 19.

MSI GeForce GTX 970/980
Images credits to VideoCardz

Lenovo IdeaTab S8: 8-Inch Display, Intel Bay Trail and Android 4.4 KitKat

IFA 2014 is approaching us at a fast pace and we expect to see a lot of interesting things from a lot of the key players in the industry.

One of the device makers expected to make a splash at the event with a host of new products is Lenovo. For example, last week the first images of the upcoming IdeaTab S8 tablet have surfaced online, showing us a colorful tab running on the Intel chip platform. But apart from that, we couldn’t really tell you much about the device’s specs, so we speculated. But now the folks of TabTech are providing us with a more consistent look regarding the tablet. A few days ago we didn’t even know if this was an Android tab or a Windows one. Well, it appears we’re going to be dealing with the former scenario. For the time being, Lenovo uses Intel processor to power its Windows lineup of products, while the Android family is taken care of by MediaTek. But this scenario will change soon as Lenovo is extending its partnership with Intel to include Android devices, as well.

The Lenovo IdeaTab S8 arrives with an 8-inch display, but we don’t know the resolution yet. Hopefully, Lenovo will give users the choice between HD and FHD (or even more). Operating things under the hood is an Intel quad-core Bay Trail Z3745 processor clocked at 1.86GHz supported by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable). Other specifications include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and LTE. It might be possible that the new Lenovo tablet will come with phone calling capabilities, but we can’t tell you for sure whether this is the case or not. We’ll have to wait a few days before we can confirm or infirm this information. Moving along, the Lenovo IdeaTab S8 has an 8MP main camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash, so you should be covered in the photography department.

The new slate arrives with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, so you won’t have to wait for any updates (at least until Android Lemon Merengue Pie shows up). We should note that the presence of the IdeaTab S8 hasn't yet been confirmed for IFA 2014, but one thing is certain, the IdeaTab S8 is certainly in the pipeline and if we are not to see it this week, we will certainly do so in the upcoming few months. In the meanwhile, you should still keep an eye on Lenovo, because the company will surely have some interesting stuff to show you.

Lenovo IdeaTab S8 specs detailed
Images credits toNotebook Italia

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Leaks in Live Picture, Camouflaged in a Security Case

With just a few days left until its official release, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 seems to be the subject of more and more leaks. The upcoming phablet was caught on camera earlier this week when it appeared in a very short video.

However, the device starring in the video was disguised in a strange case, so there wasn't too much to see in term of design. Today, a picture of the alleged Galaxy Note 4 was published online by the folks over at AndroidCentral. Just like in the video, the Galaxy Note 4 seems to be inside a case that prevents us to observe to much in regards with how it looks. This might be in fact a special security case that has been especially created to hide the phablet's actual design. This means that the phone can't be pulled from within the case, but testers that have been offered prototypes can do their job and test the software that powers the Galaxy Note 4, as well as some of the hardware. Aside from the picture of the alleged Galaxy Note 4, the same source also leaked a screenshot taken from the phone's “About device” screen, which shows the handset will ship with Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box.

The information appearing in this screenshot also confirms the smartphone is also codenamed Samsung SM-N910T, but we are certain there will be multiple versions of the Galaxy Note 4 launched on the market. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is expected to boast a stunning 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that would support an amazing QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. This should be the company's first smartphone to offer such a high resolution. On the inside, the smartphone will be equipped with a variation of chipsets. One of the models will be powered by Samsung's own Exynos 5433 system-on-chip, which will pack a 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and another quad-core Cortex-A57 CPU. Another Galaxy Note 4 variation is expected to come with a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor inside. Still, take these data with a grain of salt, as they are not provided by Samsung.

The phablet may also come with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM, as well as 16GB of internal memory. Obviously, the Galaxy Note 4 will also feature microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 128GB) and S Pen stylus. Another selling point of the Galaxy Note 4 will be the impressive 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with dual-LED flash, autofocus and 4K video recording at 30fps. Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone will also offer advanced fingerprint features, but also new camera modes and enhanced imaging processing software for better quality of the captured photos.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 "About device" screenshot
Images credits to AndroidCentral

Corsair's Dominator Platinum Is the Fastest DDR4 Released So Far

DDR random access memory may technically be rated at 2,133 MHz, but many modules and kits go far higher than that, since it would be awkward to have them all be slower than DDR3. Corsair decided it wanted to have the prestige of providing the fastest models yet.

So, without further ado, behold the Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory kits, which probably have up to 64 GB capacities. The company doesn't go into detail in the press release, but it makes sense for the RAM to have up to 8 GB capacity per module, and thus, 64 GB for sets of eight. Although no more than four modules at a time will be able to truly cooperate, since the technology “only” supports quad-channel configurations. Which is still leagues ahead of dual-channel found in DDR3. The new Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory kits have frequencies of 3,000 MHz, 3,200 MHz and 3,300 MHz. We saw some 3 GHz DDR4 in the recent past, but nothing above that. Corsair really has this bit of prestige in the bag it seems.

Given this information, we wouldn't be surprised if Corsair established some sort of record in terms of memory overclocking in the near future. Especially with its motherboard/CPU “alliances.” You see, the Dominator DDR4 memory kits have been tested on the ASUS X99 Deluxe and Rampage V Extreme motherboards, driven by Intel Core i7 Haswell-E CPUs. With that kind of hardware working together, anything can be done, so to speak. Alas, at present, the overclocking record for DDR4 actually belongs to G.Skill. While Corsair focused on having the fastest desktop DDR4 available at launch, G.Skill put together a test bench and pushed one of its RAM kits as high as it dared. The clock attained was of 4,004 MHz. Back to Corsair's Dominator Platinum DDR4 Memory though. The RAM has a DHX cooler with user-swappable light pipes, allowing you to match the downwash lighting to whatever LEDs your CPU and case fans use.

You might eventually be able to find the top-speed DDR4 RAM under the Vengeance LPX brand eventually, but for now, only the Dominator Platinum line is available in 3.3 GHz. Now we just have to wait and see what other memory makers, if any, match this unspoken challenge that Corsair has put forth. Then again, it's equally possible they won't bother. The number of people expected to buy DDR4 is pretty small compared to the bulk of the consumer market, and 3.3 GHz DDR4 will probably be overkill even five years from now. In the end, this product release is more for bragging right than anything else. We can't question the quality and performance though.

Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4
Image credits to Corsair

DDR4 Memory Record Established at 4,004 MHz by G.Skill

We've been hearing about various DDR4 products for weeks, but only now will sales begin in earnest, because the motherboards and CPUs capable of using it have just been launched. That doesn't mean that people are too shy to test boundaries though.

Indeed, G.Skill has already taken the liberty of overclocking the stuffing out of its Ripjaws 4 Series of DDR4 memory modules, with liberal use of liquid nitrogen. Overclocking can mean many things, you see. Many motherboard makers have come up with a way to instantly push a system beyond normal boundaries, just by activating a BIOS function. That's just a safe option for people who don't actually know how overclocking works though. For people who do know the ins and outs, there are other options. Indeed, some may argue that top-tier hardware like Intel's new Core i7 Extreme Edition CPUs are specifically meant for overclocking sessions. This, but extension, means that the X99-based motherboards and DDR4 memory compatible with them are, likewise, meant for enthusiast overclockers.

The feature sets of these products have so far corroborated this point of view, even though, technically speaking, Extreme Edition Haswell-E CPUs are supposed to power high-end professional workstations more than gaming systems. You know, computers used for high-graphics design and simulations. Alas, gaming-centric systems get a lot more publicity, as do overclocking test benches, which is what led G.Skill to the decision to try and set a new OC record. Case in point, the company is not responsible for the highest frequency ever achieved by a DDR4 module: 4,004 MHz. Sure, this isn't saying much when the technology has only been (officially) available for merely a few days, but that's still a high performance level. After all, DDR4 is rated at 2,133 MHz, even though it has shown up in up to 3 GHz options.

The computer used to push the G.Skill Ripjaws 4 Series to 4,004 MHz was equipped with an ASUS ROG X99 Rampage V Extreme Motherboard and Intel's Core i7-5930K CPU (140W six-core unit with 12 threads, 3.5 GHz base clock, 3.7 GHz top clock and 15 MB cache memory). Lots of LN2 were used to keep heat low. Liquid nitrogen has been for a long time the preferred method for chilling hot hardware during crazy, manual OC tweaking. The next few days, weeks or months may or may not bring with them yet another overclocking record in this area. Now if only we knew the timings of the RAM, we'd at least be content.

G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4 test bench

G.Skill Ripjaws 4 DDR4 OC Validation
Images credits to G.Skill

Intel Officially Launches the Core i7-5000X Extreme Edition CPUs

Extreme Edition central processing units from Intel are always one level of magnitude, so to speak, faster than even the best consumer-centric, gaming chips. The latest processors from Intel definitely preserve this trend.

Intel has finally made the formal introduction of the Core i7-5960X 8C/16HT, Intel Core i7-5930K 6C/12HT, and Intel Core i7-5820K 6C/12HT central processing units. It was about time really. The company made the formal introduction at PAX 2014, a gaming-centric trade show taking place in Seattle, Washington, between August 29 and September 1. The press release brought with it the official product pages of all three processors, which are now accessible through their own section on Intel's website. The previously leaked specifications have been confirmed. The new Core i7 CPUs are definitely just as overkill as all reports said. Take the Core i7-5960X for example, it has eight cores, 16 threads, a base clock of 3 GHz, a Turbo Boost maximum frequency of 3.5 GHz, 20 MB Intel Smart Cache and a TDP of 140W. The selling price will be in the vicinity of $1,000 / €1,000.

The Core i7-5930K is a six-core unit with 12 threads, 3.5 GHz base clock, 3.7 GHz top clock, 15 MB cache memory and, again, 140W TDP. Its recommended price is of $594 / €594. The third chip in the series, called Core i7-5820X, is also a six-core unit with 12 threads and 15 MB cache, but it runs at 3.3 GHz / 3.6 GHz. Its TDP is 140W and the price is of $396 / €396. Those are the “average prices” as it were. When sold standalone, the prices go up by $10-$50 / €10-€50, while tray (bulk) shipments will shear off the same amount. Be sure to buy one of the new motherboards based on the X99 chipset that Intel's many OEMs have released and continue to launch even now. Look for the LGA 2011-3 socket.

In addition to the three new super-CPUs, Intel has released the Core i7-4930MX CPU, for laptops. It is powered by the Haswell architecture, not Haswell-E, and has four cores, eight threads, 3 GHz base clock, 3.9 GHz top clock, 8 MB cache memory and a TDP of 57W. The price is of $1,050 / €1,050 or so. Given the ludicrous performance of Haswell-E central processing units and their associated thermal design power, the architecture is not likely to be adapted for mobile PC use any time soon, if ever. Hence the release of a high-grade processor that is, instead, designed on the tried and true Haswell generation.

Intel launches Haswell-E CPUs
Image credits to Intel

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