It looks like NVIDIA is preparing the GeForce GTX 900 series, with the company to reportedly skip the 800 series, according to VideoCards.com. The site is reporting that NVIDIA will launch the new second-generation Maxwell-based GPUs on September 9-10 at a press event, with the NDA lifting on the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 on September 19.
There's not much known on the new GeForce GTX 980 (if that's what it arrives as) other than the fact that it should arrive with a 256-bit memory bus, and 4GB of RAM by default - up from the 3GB on the current GTX 780. With AMD only just announcing its Radeon R9 285 and R9 285X last week, the new GTX 970 could fight it in the mid-range, or NVIDIA could drop the price of its current GTX 770 and GTX 760 to better fight Red Team off.
Then we have the fact of AMD sitting on the unannounced Radeon R9 295X, something that the company should announce or unveil as soon as NVIDIA is done pulling the curtain off of its new Maxwell-based video cards.
Alienware has just unveiled its new Area 51 gaming PC, something that is making a comeback. The original design rewinds back to 2006, but there's now a new design, and it looks quite slick.
From top to bottom, the new Area 51 chassis has been redesigned, featuring a unique body which Alienware calls its "triad case." It's not just for good looks, but it's designed to better vent warm air upwards, and out of the case, when it's backed right up against a wall. When the Area 51 system is sitting flat, the sloped front bezel makes getting to the USB ports much easier.
There's also some LEDs to help you find the rear panel in the dark, which is good to see from Alienware - an actual useful reason for having LEDs instead of just vanity. There are built-in handles on each corner that make taking the Area 51 gaming PC a great case for lugging around to LANs, especially with its 45 pounds of heft to tote around - and while that's heavy, handles will at least make it easier. What about specs? We have Intel's latest Haswell-E CPUs, DDR4 support, 1500W PSU, and much more.
Cyanogen is definitely doing alright for themselves at the moment, with the company meeting with some of the biggest companies in the world recently. Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, Yahoo and more have met with the company "to see whether it becomes a potential partner or acquisition target."
Microsoft's CEO, Satya Nadella, recently sat down with Cyanogen, which could be interesting for the company. Given that Cyanogen is a modified version of Android, which is owned by Google, Microsoft acquiring the guys and girls at Cyanogen could be something interesting for the future of Windows Phone.
Cyanogen is currently in search for a "big" Series C funding round, and with recent staff movements from EA and Facebook, it could get quite serious, quite quick for Cyanogen.
Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, previously known as MSN Messenger, will officially end later this year. The software giant is pulling the plug in October for Chinese users, ending 15 years of service to users. Microsoft's service will remain active until October 31, with Chinese users shifting to Skype later this year.
Microsoft purchased Skype and Windows Live was switched off to most of the world's users following the acquisition. Just five years ago Windows Live had more than 330 million users, but the user base fell as Skype became the go-to chat program - and had more than 300 million users in 2012.
MSN Messenger was launched in 1999 as a rival to ICQ and AOL's AIM chat services - with video calls, games, photo delivery, and other features added later. It didn't reach China until 2005, and faced challenges from QQ messenger and other rival domestic chat services.
Memory manufacturer G.SKILL has announced it reached 4004MHz frequency using its Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 RAM on an ASUS ROG X99 Rampage V Extreme motherboard powered with the Intel Core i7-5930K CPU. The speed was verified by CPU-Z freeware system and hardware benchmarking software.
G.SKILL officially announced Ripjaws 4 just a week ago, with 32GB RAM kits available running at 2133, 2400, 2800, 3000MHz - 64GB kits include 2133, 2400, 2666 and 2800MHz. A separate 3200MHz kit will be available in 16GB only.
The launch of Intel X99 paired with DDR4 memory has excited PC enthusiasts and hardware manufacturers - as several gaming companies announced new PCs pushing impressive benchmarks. Expect RAM manufacturers to continue pushing DDR4 speeds even higher moving forward, while hardware will remain rather pricey in the foreseeable future.
Boutique gaming PC company Digital Storm has rolled out the Intel X99 chipset to its high performance gaming systems, such as the Aventum II. PC enthusiasts look forward to using X99 to push their hardware benchmarks, as Digital Storm and OEMs roll out X99-related product announcements.
The Intel Core i7 5960X will be introduced into Digital Storm Level 3 and Level 4 builds, with the Core i7 5960X overclocked to 4.6GHz - an impressive 150 percent faster than the Core i7 4960X. In addition, gamers can look forward to seeing X99 support DD4 RAM, which will increase bandwidth so applications run faster and can more easily handle data-intensive video games.
"The goal with all our systems is to maximize performance," said Harjit Chana, Digital Storm Chief Brand Officer, in a press statement. "That means arming each Digital Storm system with the bleeding edge technology needed to dominate the competition."
Sprint and SoftBank will reportedly launch the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone, with the smartphone set to be unveiled during IFA next week. However, the company - which attracted just 2.1 percent smartphone market share in 2013 - will face stiff competition from Samsung and Apple. However, this would be the first time Sony smartphones would be available for SoftBank, and could provide a roadmap to increased market share.
The Xperia Z3 is a Google Android (v4.4.4 KitKat) device running a quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU, with 3GB RAM and 16GB internal storage capacity.
"I can't see this making much of a difference," said Yasuo Nakane, Deutsche Bank analyst, when explaining the proposed deal. "Even if they put out a phone on Sprint, Verizon is the priority any way you think about it."
A labor rights organization has accused Samsung and Lenovo of working with a Chinese supplier that uses child labor in its factory. The China Labor Watch sent in an undercover investigator that found child labor, overtime and pay abuse of younger employees in the HEG Technology factory. HEG reportedly uses facial recognition software to ensure no underage workers are hired at its facility, and an outsourcing company is used to hire students.
Child Labor Watch previously found a different Samsung supplier using child labor in its factories earlier in the summer, as Korean and western companies receive criticism when these types of reports surface. Samsung is no longer working with that supplier.
Samsung said it would like to do a joint investigation "for more precise verification," also saying: We find it regrettable that CLW issued the allegations today without any mention of our statement."
Hardware companies Corsair and ASUS have teamed up to create the fastest production DDR4 memory kit for use with the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition CPUs. The new Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory kits are available in 3000MHz, 3200MHz and 3300MhZ speeds. The new RAM kits work especially well using the ASUS X99 Deluxe and Rampage V Extreme motherboards for Intel Core i7 CPU fans.
This is a significant collaboration, as DDR3 speeds increased from 800MHz up to 1600-1866MHz, but the DDR4 modules introduced by Corsair should immediately provide impressive benchmarks. The Corsair DDR4 memory kits are available now for the Vengeance LPX and Dominator Platinum lines - and the ASUS X99-Deluxe and Rampage and V Extreme motherboards are available now.
"Our rigorous validation with ASUS has enabled us to make Dominator Platinum 3300MHz the fastest desktop DDR4 memory available at launch," said Thi La, Corsair COO, in a press statement. "Our OC team and engineers are excited to see such performance headroom the new Intel platform and are looking forward to releasing even faster kits in the near future."
Electronics maker Archos has unveiled the Archos 80 Cesium tablet, a device running Microsoft Windows 8.1 and uses an Intel quad-core CPU with a 1200 x 800 resolution. The 8" tablet's hardware specifications haven't been released, but for $149, the price point might attract consumers.
Archos has released multiple Google Android tablets, but hopes a low-price Windows 8.1 tablet will help draw users in - most Windows 8.1 tablets, from Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo and other OEMs, are still rather expensive.
The company also introduced the Archos 40 Cesium, a 4-inch Qualcomm Snapdragon 200-powered smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1. It will be released in Europe next month for around $130.