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Apple are rumored to be refreshing their entire Mac lineup in the very near future, with more details arriving during the company's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC). 9to5Mac reports the Cupertino-based company are looking to update "at least four" of the five Mac families.
The MacBook Pro looks like the most obvious choice for an upgrade given the injection of Ultrabook's at Computex. We should see a slimmer MacBook Pro sans the DVDRW, and hopefully that Retina-powered high-res display. The MacBook Air would most likely receive the same treatment, with the iMac getting a good injection of extras, too.
I'm expecting to see the MBPs getting upgraded to third-generation Core processors from Intel, 8GB minimum RAM, SSD by default, Retina display and of course, Thunderbolt. It will be interesting to see what is announced at WWDC... not long to go now, folks!
Look over the pictures in this post and then go to our update on Facebook and vote for your favorite booth babe!
I've been taking my time and thinking these awards over carefully. You can't just run around tossing out Best of Show awards everywhere or they start to mean nothing. With that said, I've put much consideration into these and will only be giving them out in a few key categories.
Best upcoming game of E3 has to be given to Crysis 3. I know I have awarded them other awards this E3 and that is because it is such an amazing game. Period. Feel free to argue, but I was there and saw with my own eyes the beauty and quality that Crysis 3 is already sporting, and it doesn't even release until February 2013.
Most innovative game of E3 needs to be awarded to an IndieCade game called Tickleplane. It may not have the best graphics or the most in-depth story line, in fact it has none, but the controls of the game are so different that it wins the award. They take a while to get used to, but once you do, the game is a great time waster.
Best new piece of hardware has no other option but to go to Nintendo. The WiiU, as opposed to my original thoughts, is a great new console, albeit probably more suited for younger and older (read: kids and 40+) audiences. While it seems as though it won't win much favor with hardcore FPS players, it certainly innovates console gameplay yet again.
I could write plenty more about why the WiiU should win this award, but the shorter version is that no one really offered any competition to it on the hardware front.
Computex 2012 - A good friend of mine asked me to check out the Clevo stand, so we stopped by and they were surprisingly quiet, which was good for us to walk around and snap a bunch of pictures. Clevo's P270WM had some insane specs, sporting a third-generation Core i7 Extreme Edition, X79 chipset, NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 675M (in SLI!!) GPU, 16GB memory support, 17.3-inch Full HD display, 3 x HDD support, and more. No wonder this beast was so heavy.
Clevo's P370EM was specced nearly as good, same processor, but Intel's HM77 chipset, an option of AMD's Radeon HD 7970M GPU, or GTX 675M SLI, the same Full HD display, but just two HDD support, but ca be cranked up to support 32GB of RAM.
Computex 2012 - Here I was thinking Sparkle weren't really making VGA cards, but the Sparkle stand featured a bunch of cards, with a Calibre GEFORCE GTX 680. It looks quite good and was something I'd love to have in my rig.
Below we have a shot of some of the lower-end GeForce GT610 and GT620, as well as Sparkle's GeForce GTX 570. Pictures tell the story, and Sparkle had a PC build rocking a 3-monitor Surround system.
E3, while crazy, was mostly uneventful. There weren't really any surprises and we knew basically everything that would be shown there. The biggest event for E3 would have to be Nintendo announcing and allowing hands-on tests with their new WiiU console. Sony and Microsoft were still pushing the same stuff, so it was pretty quiet from them.
There were a few smaller games being developed that I got a chance to look at and comment on. These pre-alpha games didn't have the fit and finish of a studio game, but were good nonetheless. Most of the game studios were allowing hands-on demonstrations of their new games, although most weren't allowing any pictures or videos.
On the hardware front, there were a few smaller companies showing new products off, but there were no major releases from the major companies. Razer released the Taipan mouse, Raptorfire.com was showing off a new USB module which would allow Xbox controllers on PS3 and PS3 controller on Xbox, along with game mods.
On the gaming front, Borderlands 2 was shown off along with Crysis 3, The Sims, and pretty much every other major game that will be coming out anytime soon. I played Crysis 3 and Defiance and was extremely pleased with both. Defiance is a TV show turned game. Err, I mean game turned TV show. Err, I mean both.
Kingston was at ShowStoppers, an event that runs at the same time as E3, demoing their RAM and the fact that 64GB is needed and, in some instances, not enough. They were running an Adobe program on a 2011 Intel platform with all 8 slots loaded with 8GB sticks of HyperX RAM. CPU usage was around 12%, while RAM usage was at 94% when I grabbed a picture.
The real news from Kingston, however, was the launching of their new RAM to compliment the Ivy Bridge platform. Kingston is now shipping dual-channel RAM kits specifically designed for the third-generation Core line of products. Kingston HyperX memory is available in 16GB and 8GB kits of two at 1600MHz, 2133MHz, 2400MHz and soon to be speedy 2666MHz frequencies.
"The new 22nm architecture of this processor allows significant performance gains for benchmarkers, enthusiasts and overclockers," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston. "Enthusiasts who want to push the performance boundaries of the new processors will want to pair it with Kingston HyperX memory. Our 2666MHz kit combined with the top CPU in the Ivy Bridge family will allow unparalleled performance."
An exciting new technology to expand network connectivity in older homes was shown at E3. Entropic demoed a technology that is similar in function to Ethernet-over-power, but higher performance and more reliable. The technology involves using the existing Coaxial cable (common TV, cable wire) that is in almost every house.
Most people don't have the luxury of having Cat5e wired throughout their house, so this allows them to obtain higher, more reliable speeds than wireless without having to run new wire. "MoCA is the universal standard for home entertainment networking and can support multiple streams of HD video content while delivering up to 175 Mbps net throughput at less than 4.5ms of average network latency. MoCA has more than 100 certified products, which can give gamers:"
- Low latency, lag-free, Internet gaming across any platform
- HD-quality entertainment for over-the-top video streaming services
- Maximized high-speed broadband access from the cloud
The technology is already in use in cable modems and other adapters on the market, so it isn't exactly new technology. At the same time, however, it isn't exactly well known. I can see the promise in this technology and wouldn't hesitate to use it in my own home if the need arose.
NVIDIA was showing off their upcoming GRID technology which streams games to your television. GRID eliminates the need for high performance PCs or even consoles. Samsung is NVIDIA's launch partner and the technology requires the users have a Samsung SMART TV, but more companies could be added in the future.
I got a chance to mess around with the technology at E3 and have to say I am impressed. The games were streaming from a data center about 5 miles away and I didn't feel like I was lagging. That's my biggest worry with the technology: how will they guarantee no lag? Furthermore, the technology requires a pretty big internet pipe, something that not all of us have the luxury of having.
The minimum spec for the internet is 5Mbps, something unavailable where I live. This means that it would be impossible for me to use NVIDIA GRID technology. Additionally, they haven't decided if it is going to be a subscription based model or something else, so pricing and information like that is still up in the air.
But, the main point to take away from this is that it works, seemingly without lag, and looks great while doing it. The graphics shown were better than any console that I have played on and they were coming from a data center 5 miles away. This truly seems to be "a game changer."
The first night, I attended WeMade's press conference at ICON Ultra Lounge. The press conference was good, but I wasn't so impressed by the games shown. Not to say they were bad games, they just weren't something I would play. However, this is probably due to me not exactly being a mobile gamer.
The lineup included Chaos and Defense, Viking Island, Pet Island, Goblin Mobile, Friend Fighter, Rhythm Scandal, and Hero Square. Since the first night, I have been waiting patiently for screenshots and information about the games so I could tell you, the reader. Finally, the information has arrived.