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First look at Valve's Steam powered console at CES 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 1:59 pm

CES 2013 - Yesterday I reported that we would be seeing Valve's entry into the console gaming world this year, and now we have our first look at the new Linux based console.

 

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Dubbed the Piston, Valve's console is manufactured by Xi3 and is not a traditional console. The Piston is a little modular PC featuring a quad core CPU of unknown origin or specifications, and it supports storage up to 1TB. It is low power too, said to consume just 40w, but that is unknown if that is under load or at idle.

 

The coolest feature is that the whole unit is modular like a traditional PC. The motherboard can be swapped out if the official hardware is updated, and we think the GPU is upgrade-able as well. No images of the controller design have surfaced yet, but we are sure that it will be as sleek and awesome as the Piston itself.

IDT displays NVMe hardware

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 12:35 pm

CES 2013 - IDT revealed new hardware today that is focused on impending NVMe products. IDT is leading the charge to provide controllers powering the first wave of NVMe equipped SSDs.

 

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First up we noticed the IDT reference SSD board. This is a 2.5" form factor SSD which can be used in numerous applications. This reference board is provided as a template for resellers to manufacture and pattern their own devices after. This SSD will be used in enterprise applications, and actually connects via the PCIe interface.

 

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We were allowed to pop off the cover of the SSD, and it is a very heavy milled chassis. There are also thermal pads that shed heat into the heavy milled chassis. The thickness of the case and the thermal pads point to a processor that while powerful, probably creates a bit of heat. Heat typically correlates directly to power draw, and unfortunately we do not have power draw figures for this controller.

Continue reading 'IDT displays NVMe hardware' (full post)

Gigabyte show off dual Thunderbolt motherboard, bust out 4K resolution to four standard displays without a sweat

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 9:42 am

CES 2013 - This is something a little different, but we've heard about it last year and now there's finally some proper teasing from Gigabyte regarding their new dual Thunderbolt motherboards. The boards use just Intel HD4000 graphics which comes baked into any third-generation Intel Core processor features.

 

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With just any third-gen Core i5 or Core i7 CPU and a Gigabyte dual Thunderbolt motherboard, you can take advantage of the new 4K Collage Graphics driver to push out the Ultra HD 4K resolution video stream across four normal displays. Two Thunderbolt ports can be used to split to two displays per Thunderbolt port, giving you four-display support and reaching a combined resolution of 3840x2400.

 

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This might not sound like a lot, but offering 4K resolution support from a motherboard without a dedicated GPU is a pretty darn good feature. The new graphics driver should be available from Gigabyte's website toward the end of the month.

Continue reading 'Gigabyte show off dual Thunderbolt motherboard, bust out 4K resolution to four standard displays without a sweat' (full post)

Intel confirms 7w Ivy Bridge Core chip at CES press conference, avoids giving any sort of detail

By: Trace Hagan | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 8:55 am

CES 2013 - Intel, at their press conference, confirmed the existence of 7 watt TDP Ivy Bridge Core chips, as we previously reported they would. The chips are shipping and Lenovo and others have agreed to use them in upcoming designs.

 

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Intel really provided no other details than the fact that they were aiming for a 10 watt TDP and managed to get down to 7 watts instead.

MSI's S20 tablet slider shown at CES 2013, hands-on impressions

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 8:16 am

CES 2013 - I got a chance to go hands on with MSI's newly announced S20 slider and I'm pretty impressed. It's light, yet it is supposed to get at least 5 hours of battery life, all while featuring a full Intel Core experience. I do have one qualm with it though.

 

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It features a keyboard when the screen is slid back. It's great and would be exactly what I'm looking for in a tablet. However, if you touch into a text box while the screen is slid back, meaning the keyboard is exposed and usable, the on-screen keyboard pops up. It's minor, but would definitely annoy me.

 

Otherwise, the thing is pretty awesome.

3M shows off huge 84-inch 4K-capable multi-touch tabletop, sports 100-point input

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 7:40 am

CES 2013 - I know I've said it a few times in the last few hours - but wow, are we seeing a push with 4K. Now we have 3M showing off their 84-inch multi-touch table that sports an Ultra HD 4K-capable panel.

 

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Last year we saw the 46-inch 1080p-capable model, but this year we're seeing a near double in size and huge jump in resolution. The new 84-inch screen sports the ability to handle simultaneous inputs - up to 40 at once. This is double the amount of concurrent touch inputs that the old model was capable off. The Verge reports that 3M expects to increase this number to 100 though before it hits the production stage later in the year.

 

3M have also switched from the ITO-based sensors to a new "wire-based" solution which the company says has allowed them to reach a huge size all without "degrading touch performance". Usually large screens have bad input lag, which we're slowly seeing companies fix.

4K vs 1080p: why you should be impressed but not care

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 7:27 am

CES 2013 - Check out the following picture. It was taken by a camera about a half-inch from the screen. As you can see, text on 1080p at 55"+ is somewhat blurry.

 

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Now, check out the following. Different TV, same picture and roughly same screen size. Only difference? 4K resolution.

 

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That's pretty impressive, right? You can clearly see the difference between the two and how 1080p, when stretched to a large screen size, becomes blurry. But why should you care? Why should you buy a 4K TV? The simple answer: you shouldn't. Now, you're probably saying "Why not?!?!" and the answer is simple.

 

There really is no 4K content available, no 4K player, or other way to get it to your TV, other than streaming very limited selections from the internet. The problem with that is it will take about a day to buffer and you better hope you don't have a data cap. The only reason to use a 4K TV is if you're gaming on a PC or otherwise pushing pixels with your PC.

 

All of the content right now is just upscaled 1080p. This will likely be when 1080p first came out and there was about one movie made for the first several years. And think about this: what will the new 4K cameras cost and who will be buying them for a limited audience of 4K viewers?

Sony tease world's first at CES - 4K OLED TV

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 6:37 am

CES 2013 - Sony really are loving their 4K gear at CES, as we talked about earlier, but they also had a huge announcement for this years' CES. That announcement is 4K and OLED in one, gorgeous TV.

 

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Sony's new 56-inch 4K-capable OLED TV sports a native 3840x2160 OLED panel, with a prototype on display in the CES halls. Sony are showing off their own "oxide semiconductor TFTs" and "Super Top Emission" technologies, but aren't talking much else about what cranks along inside the set.

 

There's no mentions of contrast ratios, refresh ratio, thickness, power draw or any of the other things that number whores like myself love. We shouldn't be too surprised by this announcement - but the 4K and OLED world are moving along quicker a lot quicker than I thought it would twelve months ago.

CES 2013 - Day One roundup

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Trade Shows | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 6:00 am

CES 2013 - This year's Consumer Electronics Show has started off with a bang, which we began our coverage with NVIDIA's CES 2013 Special Event.

 

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NVIDIA started off with a limp, but began to gain steam as the night went on. We heard about how powerful the PC industry is, and how cloud computing is the current, and next big thing. NVIDIA GRID was shown off, which sports more than 200 TFLOPS of power thanks to the 240 NVIDIA GPUs inside, where CEO of NVIDIA stated that it had the power of around 720 x Xbox 360s. NVIDIA also showed off their new Tegra 4 SoC which is seriously powerful - sporting a quad-core processor and 72 GPU cores. Lastly, we also heard something that came out of the blue - Project Shield, a portable gaming device. You can read more on our coverage from the NVIDIA CES 2013 Special Event right here.

Continue reading 'CES 2013 - Day One roundup' (full post)

Qualcomm's CES unveilings include Snapdragon 800 and 600, provides up to 2.3GHz quad-core, 4K video - due mid-2013

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 8, 2013 4:26 am

CES 2013 - Alright, Qualcomm - settle down, you're blowing me away here, ok? Most people expected Qualcomm to release the Snapdragon S5 at CES, but it looks like that won't be happening.

 

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Don't be upset, though, because we still have some new chips to get all hot and bothered over - with the new SoCs arriving as the Snapdragon 600 and 800. These new SoCs will be baked into future high-end smart devices, such as Smart TVs, smartphones and tablets. We should expect the new Snapdragon 600 and 800 SoCs in the next three-to-six months, with both of the new chips sporting some pretty incredible specifications.

 

The Snapdragon 800 is claiming that it is 75% faster than the Snapdragon S4 Pro, which is quite the claim. If we do see these types of performance gains, it'll be thanks to a shift to 28nm HPm (High Performance for mobile) fabrication process, an upgraded Hexagon V5 digital signal processor, a shift over to 800MHz LPDDR3 memory which should compete against the PC-like bandwidth that Samsung will enjoy with Exynos 5, an all-new Krait 400 architecture which will offer clock speeds ramping up to 2.3GHz and an all-new Adreno 330 GPU that will sport double the computer power.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm's CES unveilings include Snapdragon 800 and 600, provides up to 2.3GHz quad-core, 4K video - due mid-2013' (full post)

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