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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2101

MSI's Z77A-GD80 Ivy Bridge mobo includes Thunderbolt connectivity, we go hands-on

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:29 am

It's been a fairly busy day for the TweakTown Taipei team with a visit to GEIL and then we headed on over to MSI who were nearby.

 

 

We were shown a few products during our meeting, but the one that stood out to us the most was their upcoming Z77A-GD80 motherboard, which you can get up close and personal with in the video we embedded above. This board supports the upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge processors which if you have been reading TweakTown this past week, you know quite a bit about now.

 

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What's probably the most interesting feature of this motherboard is that it comes with a Thunderbolt connector. It's the first time we've seen a Z77 board with Thunderbolt onboard and that's pretty impressive. We have heard rumours around Taipei of more boards including Thunderbolt, but at this stage of the game, MSI is out in front in this department...

Continue reading 'MSI's Z77A-GD80 Ivy Bridge mobo includes Thunderbolt connectivity, we go hands-on' (full post)

Microsoft's XBLA 'Arcade NEXT' sports Minecraft, drops on May 9 - possible hint of the next-generation Xbox NEXT?

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:24 am

Microsoft have celebrated gaming with "House Party", which was followed by "Summer of Arcade", but what follows this? Well, "Arcade NEXT", does. You're sitting there thinking "yeah, so what, Arcade NEXT", well did you know it includes Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition? Yeah, didn't think so!

 

 

The promotion starts on April 18 with Trials Evolution, April 25 brings Bloodforge, May 2 gives us Fable Heroes and then Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition drops on May 9. Minecraft will set you back 1600 Microsoft Points, Fable Heroes will set you back 800, while the rest are 1200 each ($15). All of them come with the new 400 Gamerscore ceiling.

 

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You know what this does? Fuel rumors of the next-generation Xbox being called Xbox NEXT. It would truly make sense, wouldn't it? Arcade NEXT, in caps... Xbox NEXT in caps... I can see it now. The dots are being connected, Microsoft.

DriverTT: NVIDIA release new GeForce 301.10 WHQL driver, designed for the GTX 680 and includes some truly kick-arse features

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 10:09 am

NVIDIA released their latest Kepler-based GEFORCE GTX 680 only hours ago now, with TweakTown super star and VGA Editor, Shane Baxtor being the first in the world to release a review on the new card. I heard NVIDIA weren't really mad and started making blue-colored cocktails to match the TweakTown colors, in celebration that they knew it really amplified the buzz for the card (kidding).

 

Anyway, NVIDIA have released the new GeForce 301.10 WHQL-certified drivers designed for use with the newly-released GEFORCE GTX 680 GPU. The new driver throws in some new features, and enhancements, but are are GTX 680-exclusive.

 

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I'll skim over some of the new features, and let you read the rest at the source. First up we have NVIDIA Control Panel FXAA, which is a high-speed, shader-based anti-aliasing technique that can be enabled directly through the NVIDIA control panel. Called FXAA, this new technique is up to 60-percent faster than 4xMSAA, and can produce results equal to MSAA at minimum, and in some cases, provide better-than MSAA quality.

 

Another stand-out feature is the three monitor surround plus accessory display. The GEFORCE GTX 680 cards sport four monitor connectors, where you can use a 3D (or non-3D) Vision Surround setup, with the fourth monitor connected NVIDIA use this as an "Accessory Display". Very cool new feature.

Continue reading 'DriverTT: NVIDIA release new GeForce 301.10 WHQL driver, designed for the GTX 680 and includes some truly kick-arse features' (full post)

Detailed hands-on with EPIC GEAR's Meduza HDST dual sensor gaming mouse

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Peripherals | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 9:55 am

We have already seen a little of EPIC GEAR's Meduza HDST dual sensor gaming mouse here at TweakTown, but today when we visited GEIL's office here in Taipei, the parent company of EPIC GEAR, we were given a more detailed look at the Meduza, compared to the last time we checked it out on video.

 

 

Ashley from GEIL (pictured above) gives us a good introduction to the Meduza and the reasoning behind the decision to include dual laser and optical sensors in the HDST mouse.

 

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Check out the video above for a detailed hands-on with the Meduza or you can read our full review right here which as written by Chad.

Continue reading 'Detailed hands-on with EPIC GEAR's Meduza HDST dual sensor gaming mouse' (full post)

RumorTT: Samsung's GT-i9300 photo leaks, could be the GALAXY S III, but is probably the GALAXY S II Advance

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 9:24 am

I'm getting to boiling point over these Samsung leaks, I really wish Samsung would just turn up at my house for an interview, GALAXY S III in hand (a few of them) and say "have at it". But, for now, we'll rely on leaks. PhoneArena is reporting they've just received a photo claiming to be the Samsung GT-i9300.

 

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It sports the usual Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich UI, but right now, we don't know what phone this is, or what it could even be. Considering the GALAXY S II is the GT-i9100, the GALAXY Nexus is the GT-i9250, the GT-i9300 should slot right into the GALAXY S III spot, but does it?

 

It definitely looks like a GALAXY S handset, sans buttons, which is an ICS-based thing, really. So we should expect the leak to be right with the UI and look of the device itself. We see TouchWiz-sporting ICS with Samsung's Music and Video Hubs, the S Memo, S Planner, and S Suggest apps. The screen looks to be between 4.6- and 4.7-inch, too. But there's nothing to compare it against, so this is just a "it looks like", and not "it is" statement.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Samsung's GT-i9300 photo leaks, could be the GALAXY S III, but is probably the GALAXY S II Advance' (full post)

Windows 8 will be quad-XGA-ready, supports 11.6-inch screens with resolutions of 2560x1440

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 9:09 am

The new iPad's screen does look pretty, but most non-tech savvy users most likely thought that before Apple released the 2048x1536-powered Retina Display on the new iPad, that Full HD was as high as screen resolutions went, but they would be very, very wrong. 30-inch screens have maxed out (for consumers) at 2560x1600, and they are beautiful.

 

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Microsoft knows the new tablets, and more importantly, Windows 8, needs to usher in something to combat against the unstoppable iPad. Enter, resolutions and pixel-dense displays. The Building Windows 8 blog has covered it quite well, where Microsoft have identified a sort of "Goldilocks Zone" for three general classes of resolutions: standard, HD, and quad-XGA. Within this zone, text and UI elements aren't blown up to stupid-looking proportions, nor are they shrunk down to something so small its hard to touch.

 

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In the first case, buttons and text will be shown without scaling. In the second, they'll be at 140-percent normal size, and in the third, 180-percent of normal size. The author of the most on Building Windows 8, Microsoft US team member David Washington, admits that high-density screens will make many familiar UI elements such as pulldown menus and small close boxes, "increasingly burdensome". Metro should hopefully solve this.

Facebook introduces new tool which filters content that has not been posted by close friends

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 8:28 am

Ah, Facebook. You constantly-evolving entity of a social networking site. Facebook only just rolled out their updated photo viewer which sports higher-resolution photos, up to four times the size of before, but have also just thrown in a new tool that enables users to quickly filter out content that hasn't been posted by close friends.

 

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Facebook's web-based portal is now capable of suggesting friends based on interaction frequency, reducing the need for users to manually peruse their entire friends list. This new tool is an extension of Facebook's Close Friends and Acquaintances feature, where it helps users focus on status updates from their closest, and dearest friends.

 

The new tool is available right now, which you can access from the Friends page under the Acquaintances list as "See All Suggestions".

One small step for man, one giant sling for bird-kind, Angry Birds Space is now available!

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 7:31 am

I was a huge Angry Birds fan, I played it at the dinner table on the iPad, at my day job, in bed, on the lounge, on the beanbag, on the toilet (I admit it), I played it everywhere. I was obsessed. I had to give up, but now that Angry Birds Space is here... well, I'm so tempted to swing back into things again.

 

 

Angry Birds Space is now available for a bunch of platforms: iOS-based devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Android devices, PC and Mac-based systems. The new version brings a bunch of changes, the biggest change of all: gravity. This allows players to use nearby planets to perform trick shots on those nasty pigs.

 

Angry Birds Space sports 60 brand new levels, with more content available through in-app purchases, which is limited to the iOS variants of the game for now. Space also includes hidden goodies and secret levels, with Rovio promising regular free updates in the future.

 

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Best of all, Apple's latest Retina Display-powered iPad gets full support with Angry Birds Space, so it should look super pretty and that has just confirmed a purchase from yours truly. Let's do this!

Jen-Hsun's email to NVIDIA employees regarding Kepler launch

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 6:59 am

Kepler truly was a make-or-break launch for NVIDIA. With their competiton, AMD, squeezing out a full top to bottom line up before NVIDIA could even manage one launch, they had to have something wonderful and able to compete with AMD's offerings. Enter Kepler. This card has been roughly four years in the making. Rumors have been flying rampant regarding its projected performance.

 

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Finally, launch day arrived (today). We were the first to publish a comprehensive review of the new card, and what a card it is. It's faster and more efficient than AMD's top card, the 7970, and it even overclocks better, at least with extreme cooling solutions. The launch was a little bit messy, what, with us not getting a card and stuff, but overall, NVIDIA had a successful launch of the GTX 680. So much of a great launch, that the CEO sent out an email company wide. You can see the email below the line.

Continue reading 'Jen-Hsun's email to NVIDIA employees regarding Kepler launch' (full post)

Facebook photos get upgraded, now sports high-resolution that's four times larger

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Mar 23, 2012 6:08 am

Facebook have just rolled out its best photo update to-date, where they'll now display photos in high-resolution and allow the feature of full-screen viewing of images. The pictures will of course be much clearer, crisper, and higher quality than ever before.

 

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The latest version of Firefox, as well as Chrome users, can view the full-screen photos by clicking the arrow in the top right corner. The last time Facebook updated its photo viewer was back in February, where the photo interface appears in a pop-out box with the caption information and ads displayed in the right sidebar.

 

Facebook knew that the photos weren't in good enough quality, where Facebook engineer Ryan Mack said in a blog post that he started working on the photo updates as soon as he noticed the coloring was off in his photos. Mack said:

 

Inside the Sydney Opera house I took a photo that I just couldn't wait to share with my friends. But when I uploaded it to Facebook the seats ended up looking way too red. It was a subtle change, but it bothered me enough to investigate.

 

I've long wondered why Facebook haven't increased the resolution support of their photo viewer, with so many people slinging around DSLR-based cameras, then uploading their snaps to Facebook, where it becomes kind of pointless. There should be a meme for that.

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