The latest happenings from around the web - September 16th, 2010
- ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 AMD 890GX Socket AM3 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers
- Asus P7F7-E WS SuperComputer motherboard @ Overclockers
- Asus Rampage III Gene Motherboard @ itshootout
- ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 Socket AM3 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
- MSI 890FXA-G70 Motherboard @ PC Perspective
- Biostar TA890FXE Motherboard @ ixbtlabs
- Intel Core i5-670 @ Hardware-Mag
- AMD Zecate APU Performance Preview @ PC Perspective
New benchmark results are back online for our MAINGEAR F131 P55 SLI Custom Gaming PC review which comprise the system's synthetic (3DMark Vantage) and Real World Gaming tests. We apologise for the downtime with these results, but wanted to ensure that the system was configured optimally to give the best performance possible. For this we needed to adjust a setting that falls under "Multiple Display/Mixed-GPU Acceleration mode" in the drivers from "Compatibility Performance" to "Single Display".
It is important to note that this is how MAINGEAR configures the system as delivered for the purposes of optimal compatibility between users and differing types of display setups. However, for optimal SLI performance on a single display, one needs to adjust the aforementioned setting which as we have learned from our second run of tests, enhances performance considerably.
It looks like OnStar is not just for notifying the authorities of an accident or getting your car unlocked anymore. OnStar's ninth generation hardware will reportedly support audio Facebook statuses and SMS messages. It seems there's no way to get away from social networking anymore.
The OnStar social networking service works over audio. Facebook and SMS messages are read to drivers and drivers respond verbally with voice transcription typing the responses. This is being launched as a part of OnStar's "responsible connectivity" initiative that is hoping to keep driver attention on the road instead of mobile devices.
Were you one of the thousands who waited up until midnight to pick up Halo Reach for the Xbox 360? Well, some of you may have gotten a nasty little surprise when you got home if you own the 4GB model of the Xbox 360 Slim. According to reports, multiplayer doesn't work on these consoles due to the 4GB model having a "Memory Unit" instead of a hard drive.
Apparently Halo Reach will give you a "hard drive is required" message if you attempt to play any co-op modes like campaign or firefight. Although it is not listed on the packaging, Microsoft has been quoted on the issue stating "some multiplayer aspects of Halo: Reach require an Xbox 360 certified hard drive." Seriously? The only fix at this point is to buy a $130 USD Xbox 360 Slim hard disk. So much for getting a deal on the $199 Slim console.
HTC officially unveiled the Desire HD smartphone today to the world, which will bring a 4.3" LCD to Android lovers who have been cursing EVO 4G owners in the U.S. Sporting a 1GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor, 4.3" LCD, 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video recording, and Wireless N capability, it definitely looks quite similar to the EVO 4G in a little bit different skin. This will also be one of the first device with the newly enhanced HTC Sense and HTCsense.com services. Europe and Asia can expect this to hit stores sometime in October.
AMD and Valve are teaming up to make the most current video card drivers available through the Steam platform. Gamers will be able to detect, download, and install Catalyst drivers directly through Steam instead of having to go to AMD's site.
With Steam being one of the biggest online gaming platforms with over 25 million accounts, this was a nice decision on both teams parts to keep gamers up to date not only on their games but with their video card drivers as well. The first update that will be available will be Catalyst 10.9, and updates will only require a single click to get going.
AMD has just released its ATI Catalyst 10.9 drivers and they are available for download on its AMD Game website over here for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Linux.
Besides the usual bug fixes and game performance increases, the big news with this driver release is that 10.9 comes with support for the Internet Explorer 9 beta that was released today.
IE9 includes not only HTML5 support, but also hardware GPU graphics acceleration. AMD has a HTML5 game called AMD Space Command to demonstration how a GPU in a browser can help accelerate and improve visuals using Direct2D. Give it a try over here and compare the difference with GPU acceleration on and off.
Update 14:18 US PST: Not only will the 10.9's provide GPU acceleration to IE9, but all browsers with HTML5 / Direct2D support. Such as Chrome and that is evident as Chrome v6 also saw an improvement in performance under AMD Space Command. It performs much better than IE9 in my opinion, but that is probably because IE9 is still in beta.
Years ago, most of the Kmart stores in my part of Texas went out of business and I haven't missed them until today. An interesting new netbook has turned up at Kmart from a company called Augen that is very cheap and runs the Android operating system. If you have been dying to get a netbook with Android, this may be the cheapest way to do that.
The little rig sells for $189.99 and has a 10.2-inch TFT LCD with a resolution of 1024 x 600. The operating system is Android 2.1 and the CPU inside the little rig is an ARM11 at 800MHz. Augen crams 256MB of RAM into the machine and storage is to 2GB of internal flash with a SD card slot for expansion.
It's time for developers (and jailbreakers) to get ready for the latest build of iOS to hit the internet. The beta builds for iOS 4.2 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are now available for download if you've got super-duper developer access.
New features hinted at in the new beta are multitasking for the iPad, as well as a new "printing experience" for iOS devices dubbed "AirPrint." AirPrint is set up to automatically find local printers over WiFi and print text, photos and graphics without the need to install drivers or software. AirPrint will work over PC or Mac devices, although HP's ePrint enabled devices will be the only printers able to take advantage of this technology initially. AirPrint and iOS 4.2 are expected to be released to the public in November.
External storage drives are available in all sorts of configurations. If you need a mobile storage device, you are generally limited to a single drive with no RAID functionality due to the size of most systems. NewerTech has launched a very cool new mobile storage device that offers RAID and quad interface tech called the Guardian Maximus mini.
The new storage solution has a pair of storage drives inside and supports RAID 1 or RAID 0 functionality. The mini can be had with normal HDDs inside or for those needing more performance SSD versions are offered as well. The mini has FireWire 800/400, USB 2.0, and eSATA connectivity for Mac and PC use.