The latest happenings from around the web - March 15th, 2011
NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti Launch Coverage
- Palit GeForce GTX 550 Ti Sonic 1 GB @ Techpowerup
- MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II 1 GB @ Techpowerup
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Roundup: ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte & MSI @ Hardware Canucks
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition @ Techpowerup
- ASUS GeForce GTX 550 Ti Direct CU 1 GB @ Techpowerup
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Launch Review (Palit and Zotac) @ Hardware Heaven
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
Apple has reportedly informed their European iPhone carriers that the next-gen iPhone will not include NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Apple is said to have been reluctant to include the NFC tech and introduce a new "wave and pay" system due to a "lack of clear standard across the industry".
The iPhone 5 not having NFC tech does not mean Apple are not worrying about NFC altogether, as they could be working on their own NFC service set for a 2012 launch.
Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.
AMD did not impress their fans by denying warranty if the performance "OC" bios switch was used on their Radeon HD 6990, but XFX have stepped up to the plate and are now saying that they will be fulfilling their warranty even if AMD won't.
XFX told Kitguru that they'd be offering it, with a statement saying:
XFX will warranty the 880Mhz OC Usage as per our usual RMA terms, as long as there is no Consumer Induced Damage etc, as per our usual terms and process for RMA's
XFX strongly believe that if you add a performance enhancing switch which allows the end user to ENHANCE THE CARDS PERFORMANCE, WE Believe it is only right to warranty this benefit,
Further to this, if you wish to guarantee total stability of overclocked product, XFX recommend that consumers use our performance range of XFX range of Power supplies, offering our true wattage guarantee, and easyrail technology, with the best pairing being 750w onwards both core and Modular editions.
This is great of XFX to do this and I would expect other AMD partners to step up and follow the same path - if AMD aren't showing love, then partners will only look better by doing so.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX550 Ti has launched today and should be the GPU of choice for the launch of Crysis 2 in one weeks time. For users of resolutions up to 1080p, you should get some decent bang-for-buck performance in the latest and greatest games.
The card features the usual outputs, in combinations of D-SUB, DVI and HDMI. Some offer dual-DVI, while some offer one of each. It's a dual-slot card and doesn't stray too far from the look and feel of NVIDIA's tasty as hell, GTX460. The GTX560 is being offered right now from virtually all NVIDIA partners, Asus, EVGA, Gainward, GALAXY, Gainward, KFA, Palit, PNY and ZOTAC.
The GeForce GTX550 Ti would be a great addition in most PC's as it has low power requirements but great performance. Yes, it's not a GTX580 or a HD6990, but for most people, this card offers great bang for buck. Not only that, but it uses the Ti-moniker, which is great to see on more cards.
The first wave of AMD's FX-series processors based on a Bulldozer micro-architecture will include four different models with eight, six or four cores and a TDP of either 95W or 125W. The first batch of AMD FX8000, FX6000 and FX4000 chips currently known as codename Zacate will completely support all of the advantages that the Bulldozer architecture has to offer.
This includes the new Flex FP floating point processing unit. The new chips (including the eight-core) are projected - by AMD's internal documents - to offer roughly 50-percent performance improvement over the Phenom II-series of microprocessors in multimedia applications.
The main family of AMD FX-series CPUs will feature two eight-core models, a single six-core model as well as a quad-core model. The FX-series chips will support dual-channel DDR3 1866MHz memory, it will also support Turbo Core dynamic acceleration technology and will come in AM3+ form-factor which will have a 95 and 125W TDP.
All FX-series chips will fit into an AM3+ socket, they will all feature an unlocked multiplier (Black Editions) and Turbo Core 2. The FX-series is being fabricated at Globalfoundaries on a 32nm SOI process.
These FX-series processors are not a direct competition for Intel's Sandy Bridge-based i7's, but it will show a change for AMD. Something to finally combat against the constant tick tocking of Intel's lineup instead of trying to compete with the Phenom II-based offerings.
Microsoft just released the "final" version of Internet Explorer 9, the Browser That Started It All. Sort of.
Though there are bound to be bugs nonetheless, Microsoft is touting some pretty impressive features. Though the browser comparison on their website is a bit outdated, here are some of the options that a user just won't be able to find in Firefox 4 or Chrome 9 (Betas):
- Full hardware acceleration for text, graphics, and video provided by default
(IE9 utilizes your computer's CPU and GPU to optimize performance)
-Notification when add-ons slow browser performance
(this would be very useful with all the plug-ins and add-ons available for any browser
-Visual search suggestions as you type
(don't Google and Bing just..already do this, in any browser?)
-Jump Lists and thumbnail preview controls for pinned sites
(Mirrors Firefox's Panorama in function, re: a better bookmarking/tabbing system. Also the added feature that you can set the "pinned" sites to notify you when content changes- sort of like an RSS feed, but controlled by the Browser rather than the host site. Pretty cool)
-Accelerators for quick access to web services without leaving the page
-Most protection against socially engineered malware
OCZ have just shaken the storage world by acquiring fabless SSD controller provider, Indilinx. The purchase is being financed with $32 million in OCZ common stock. OCZ gains substantial IP from Indilinx, including approximately 20 patents and patent applications related exclusively to the business as part of the transaction.
Ryan Peterson, CEO of OCZ Technology Group has said:
NVIDIA is expected to launch the dual-Fermi based GeForce GTX 590 later this month (rumor has it, March 22nd to go side-by-side with Crysis 2) and another bit of info has leaked out. The GTX 590 is known to include two GF110 cores with all CUDA cores enabled (512 per GPU, 1024 total).
It will include 3GB of GDDR5 memory and is powered via dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors with a TDP rated at 365W. Mentioned in the above slide is that the GTX 590 includes a 12layer, 2oz copper PCB, a 10-phase GPU power system and an on-board PCIe bridge chip. Cooling wise, the GeForce GTX 590 is expected to use something similar to the Radeon HD 6990.
The first video of Samsungs upcoming iPad 2 competition, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is out and is titled "One day with The New Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1," has been posted on YouTube. It's 12 minutes of hands-on footage and is bought to you by AndroidHD. This is not an official video, with that being discovered subtly by the video's description.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1-inch WXGA TFT LCD display with a 1280x800 resolution, 1GHz dual-core processor, weighs in at 1.23 pounds (599 grams), features a SIM slot, 3.5mm jack, BlueTooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11. It uses Samsung's proprietary charging cable and doesn't have a USB or HDMI port. Galaxy Tab 10.1 does however feature dual surround-sound speakers, an 8MP rear-racing camera with Auto Focus which is capable of capturing 1080p video, a 2MP front-facing camera and is set to become available in 16 and 32GB versions.
Futuremark have surprisingly released a new version of 3DMark Vantage, v1.1.0 - included in the update are some significant changes. The Basic Edition, which used to cost $6.95 is now free. Users are open to put their GPUs through all four of the main tests, view their scores online and compare their scores with others on the ORB.
Other changes include display scaling which has been added to improve display compatibility. By default a PhysX processor won't accelerate Cpu tests. The Futuremark SystemInfo component has been updated to detect the latest hardware - be it, CPUs, GPUs, etc.