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MSI Z77A-GD65 "Ivy Bridge" Motherboard Video Unboxing

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 9:50 am

Intel's third-generation Core processor platform is almost ready to begin selling and that of course means we are starting to get new Intel ZZ Express based motherboards in for testing. MSI told us to say third-generation Core, but we all know that of course means Ivy Bridge and we know many of you are really excited about this platform.



MSI were one of the first to ship us a Z77 board to our Taipei Test Lab and in something new here at TweakTown which we are starting today, we are giving you an unboxing of it as an early preview before our full review gets posted later on. We hope to do several of these unboxing each week as long as everything goes to plan.




MSI sent us its Z77A-GD65 which is their mid-range Z77 board, but still comes packed with plenty of great features including PCI-Express gen 3 support, Military Class II, OC Genie II, Click BIOS II and much more. The motherboard itself looks brilliant with its stylish black and blue theme. It features passive cooling, but looks to be a rather solid cooling setup with impressive heatsinks, that also looks just great.


Check out the video above as we give you a full unboxing of the MSI Z77A-GD65. You can look forward to our full review in the future once the Intel Ivy Bridge platform goes on sale.

Battlefield 3 to get three downloadable expansions, first one 'Close Quarters' drops in June

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 9:37 am

Battlefield 3 is set to receive some themed downloadable expansions, with the first one 'Close Quarters' arriving in June. The new expansions will feature new weapons, and vehicles that can be used across the entire game, as well as new multiplayer maps.




Console players are set to receive something quite new, with a rent-a-server programme, allowing them to run dedicated game servers that can be customized to their own rules and preferences, just like the PC players know and love. This is a first for any console shooter.


Close Quarters is as it sounds, focused on up-close-and-personal indoor infantry combat with verticality to the map designs. It drops on the PS3 one week early, includes 10 new weapons and four new maps. It has been described as "hectic and intense". The map was shown off at EA's GDC event, and featured a "swish-looking" office block called Ziba Tower, according to Eurogamer, with, my favorite: lots of glass to shatter.


The next add-on after Close Quarters will be called Armored Kill. This pack focuses on tank-based combat, and will offer the Battlefield series' biggest map ever and includes one new drivable vehicle for use in the game. No release date has been stated. The final add-on will be called End Game, where nothing is known about it, this is being kept top secret by DICE.

Continue reading 'Battlefield 3 to get three downloadable expansions, first one 'Close Quarters' drops in June' (full post)

SetCPU gets a dab of Ice Cream Sandwich's UI

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 8:32 am

SetCPU has received a very, very nice update, where the user interface has been updated to rock along with Ice Cream Sandwich's look. The version 2.3.0 update also sports a frequency slider, which is a lot easier for your finger, and device.




Also included is a governor menu for adjusting processor scaling, added support for multi-core devices, as well as the usual bug fixes. All of it works on rooted Android devices, including Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Motorola Droid, Nexus One, G1, G2, Samsung Galaxy S II, myTouch 4G, and Motorola Xoom.


Overclocking your device would be great, but underclocking is also a good start to more battery life. SetCPU can also make good use of profiles, and change CPU speeds when certain conditions arise. This is great for when the phone is asleep, or charging, when the battery level drops below a certain point, when the phone's temperature reaches a certain point, or during specific times of the day.


I just might root my GS II and try this myself!

Future Samsung smartphones to have flexible displays, could turn your smartphone into a tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 7:29 am

Now this is something I want, now. Late last month, Samsung confirmed that they would start mass production of flexible displays later this year, with the first of the screens to come out of Samsung's monitor ovens, baked and ready to go, in Q2-Q3 of 2012.




The second batch would be built in the second quarter of 2013. Samsung have toyed with contoured displays in the past, but a flexible display would allow a device to be fully folded and unfolded like a book. Samsung have even said that the displays are capable of decreasing power consumption by cutting the supply of operating power to a display based on the degree to which the display is bent.


In a recent patent filing, Samsung have stated that the flexible displays are bendable, can be made to appear crooked, and can be folded and rolled up like a magazine. All of this while maintaining the visibility and other features found on flat displays. The way I see it, is we could have stretchy displays, that could eventually be rolled out into a tablet-sized display. Imagine that. You could rock along with a normal smartphone-sized screen, but when needed, it stretches out to say, 7-inches.

Skype 5.6 for Mac is here, includes improved UI and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 6:32 am

Skype have just released Skype 5.6 for Mac, and includes a few new features and improvements, such as:




Automatic Updates

Improved UI for group video calling

New full screen mode in OS X Lion

Ability to delete conversations

Ability to disable Audio Gain Control


Skype now pushes through automatic updates, so when new versions or minor (and critical) updates are released, Skype will continue to keep you up-to-date. Group video calling gets its user interface lifted, where there's now dynamic and non-dynamic mode in group video calls with 5 or more users. With dynamic mode on, the person who is speaking is automatically moved to the top of the screen.


Full-screen mode is now supported by Skype for Mac in OS X Lion, where it eliminates the Dock and Menu bars totally. Included is also the ability to delete messages within a conversation, as well as remove conversations from the sidebar, and history.


You can download Skype 5.6 for Mac, here.

GIGABYTE claims the world No. 1 spot for motherboard durability, should pat themselves on the back

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Motherboards | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 6:07 am

GIGABYTE motherboards kick ass, we all know this, but just how much? Well, enough for them to claim the No. 1 spot in the world for motherboard durability. A lot of this comes from GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable technology, which has now spread its tentacles into Ultra Durable 4 on their upcoming 7-series motherboards.




GIGABYTE's industry-leading Ultra Durable 4 technology, is coming on their 7-series motherboards, and helps safe-guard GIGABYTE motherboards from common everyday threats such as humidity and moisture, electro-static discharge, sudden power loss and high operating temperatures.


Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit says:


With the launch of the first Ultra Durable motherboard in 2006, GIGABYTE revolutionized the motherboard industry by making quality the number one focus in our motherboard design. Five and a half years later, GIGABYTE maintains our leadership in quality design by equipping our upcoming 7 series motherboards with even more lifespan enhancing technologies in the form of Ultra DurableĀ™ 4.


GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 4 is some seriously slick stuff, read up more on it here.

Continue reading 'GIGABYTE claims the world No. 1 spot for motherboard durability, should pat themselves on the back' (full post)

Roccat app lets you use your smartphone to monitor and control your PC while gaming

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 5:36 am

Roccat have just released a new piece of software, "Power-Grid", which seems pretty damn cool, if you ask me. The app is also free, with Roccat accepting beta testers at the moment. The app is split into two, one for smartphones, one for the PC.




They communicate to each other through Wi-Fi, with the PC application allowing users to customize the controls that are available on the smartphone. Users should be able to do all sorts of things, like adjusting volume levels, monitor system variables, track incoming messages, and execute game-specific functions.


The beta is currently only available for iPhone and iPod touch users, but Android and touch-specific versions are said to be coming soon. Roccat are also developing "complementary" hardware, with the below-pictured "Phobo" keyboard replacing the traditional numpad with a smartphone dock! Yes! The Apuri 2.0 appears to be little more than a bare docking station, we should expect both of these devices "early next year", unfortunately.



New iPad roundup, what you need to know

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Roundups | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 5:30 am

Today marked the day of the announcement of Apple's next-generation iPad, not named iPad 3, or iPad 2S, but just iPad. Cameron covered it perfectly, with multiple posts covering things such as the name of the new iPad, 4G LTE support, the 2048x1536-pixel Retina Display, and finally, 1080p for Apple TV.




Now, let's compare the new iPad to other tablets, as well as the iPad 2, shall we? The new iPad is the third-generation iPad from Apple, which keeps its usual 9.7-inch display, but ramps up the resolution from the older, crappier 1024x768 to 2048x1536. This is an Anthony-approved resolution, I love high-res stuff.

Continue reading 'New iPad roundup, what you need to know' (full post)

DriverTT: AMD Catalyst 12.2 WHQL

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 4:45 am

AMD released their pre-release drivers last month, but have now jumped up to Catalyst 12.2 WHQL drivers, approved by Microsoft. You can download them right here, if you want to dive into it now. For those who want to read a little before they get into the middle of it, then read on.




These drivers include support for the Radeon HD 7900- and HD 7700-series of GPUs in both Windows 7, and Vista. On top of this, is support for super-sampling anti-aliasing on those same cards, as well as Eyefinity 2.1 enhancements, which include the option to set custom resolutions, resize and move the taskbar, and dynamically switch between different profiles.


These drivers don't support the just-announced, and soon-to-be-released Radeon HD 7800-series, with the HD 7850 and HD 7870 due to drop on the 19th of this month, we should expect some fresh pre-release drivers around that time, and a couple of weeks after, some new WHQL-certified drivers.

Sapphire want to bring their famous Vapor-X cooler to the CPU cooling market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 8, 2012 3:36 am

Sapphire's Vapor-X coolers are somewhat of a huge deal in the GPU community, reviewers and users love them, because of their great performance, and noise levels. It seems Sapphire want to see CPU coolers sporting the Vapor-X technology, and have now shown off a new cooler at CeBIT, which should hit mass production in the near future.




The Vapor-X cooler, at first glance, does not look different from many other big CPU coolers we see from Cooler Master or Thermaltake. It features four heatpipes running from the base of the cooler to the fins on the heatsinks, as well as sporting two 120mm fans and various bits of plastic shrouding to make the cooler look, well, cool.




So far, this is no different to most other coolers, except the vapor chamber. Rather than use a standard metal plat for the base of the cooler itself, Sapphire have chosen to use a vapor chamber, to which the heatpipes are attached. Again, this itself isn't unique, as Asetek have been here before a few years ago, but in their case, the vapor chamber was directly connected to the heatpipes, and thus, too sensitive to how to the cooler was installed.

Continue reading 'Sapphire want to bring their famous Vapor-X cooler to the CPU cooling market' (full post)

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