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IDF 2010 - Ray Tracing with 80 threads

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 4:55 pm

Nicole Scott of Netbook News is on the ground for us at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco and she has a few nuggets of great video coverage for us to share with you all.


Next up we get a demonstration of the raw power of the Xeon platform in the form of four Intel Westmere EX processors. Each CPU has 10 cores per chip with Hyper-Threading enabled giving us an insane total of 80 processing threads to work with on a single system. If you don't know, that is an insane amount of processing power. What do you do with all that power? You show off some amazing fully CPU-powered ray tracing in the form of a program called KeyShot by the folks over at Luxion.


We get a look at KeyShot which is real-time racing tracing software that only uses the CPU to do its work. What is displayed it the production of photo realistic images. And when we say that, we mean it. The chap from Luxion adjusted settings such as the index of refraction (Ior) of glass on a chess piece and it impacted its immediate vicinity according. There are a couple other neat demos in the video below, too.



Pretty amazing, huh?

Intel Sandy Bridge performance at IDF 2010 - Video Conversation

By: Cameron Wilmot | More News: CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 4:01 pm

Nicole Scott of Netbook News is on the ground for us at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco and she has a few nuggets of great video coverage for us to share with you all.


First up is an interview with an Intel chap from the EMEA who gives us an early look at Intel Sandy Bridge, which is the upcoming second generation Core CPU architecture for 2011, and how it performs under intensive video conversation. Setup on the test system is an advanced copy of Movavi Video Converter and the test is designed to showcase the power of Sandy Bridge's integrated hardware video encoder, which is said to dramatically speed up the performance of video encoding.




As you can see in the video above, with Sandy Bridge's encoder hardware acceleration (aka Intel Media SDK) enabled, the same H.264 video takes around 20 seconds compared to the 40 - 50 seconds with the hardware acceleration turned off. That will give you a pretty close comparison to modern day Core processors and what you can expect from tomorrow's Intel processors next year.


More coming up soon on Sandy Bridge performance. Stay tuned!

Mophie launches new juice pack powerstation for USB devices

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 3:20 pm

We will all agree that when it comes to our phones and other portable devices and gadgets we want more battery life. The battery in my devices like the iPhone and iPod never seem to last as long as I want them too. For my iPhone have a Mophie Juice Pack that helps to keep the thing going longer.




Mophie has announced a new universal battery pack for the iPhone, iPad, and any other device that can charge via a USB port. The device is called the juice pack powerstation. It has two USB ports on the bottom and to connect any device to it you need the device's charge cable. The battery pack supports iPad charging with 2.1A output and it can also automatically change to other settings depending on what the device needs.

Continue reading 'Mophie launches new juice pack powerstation for USB devices' (full post)

Altec Lansing offers new earphones for iPhone audiophiles

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 2:34 pm

The biggest problem for iPhone users that want to listen to their music on earphones, but want to be able to make and receive calls if needed as well is that many of the best earphones lack support for making and receiving calls. Altec Lansing has announced a new set of earphones that are aimed at the audiophile that uses an iPhone or iPod. The earphones are called the Muzx Ultra MZX606.




The earphones are designed to block sounds from outside to make the music clearer. The maker claims that they can block up to 26dB of noise. That should mean that you could use them in an airplane, car, or bus to block the noise that can drive you up the wall on a long trip. The earphones use a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Continue reading 'Altec Lansing offers new earphones for iPhone audiophiles' (full post)

Download of the Day: SuperAntiSpyware 4.43.1000

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Software | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 9:42 am

Our Download of the Day today is SuperAntiSpyware 4.43.1000.


SUPERAntiSpyware Professional features our highly advanced Real-Time Protection to ensure protection from installation or re-installation of potential threats as you surf the Internet. Used in conjunction with our First Chance Prevention and Registry Protection, your computer is protected from thousands of threats that attempt to infect and infiltrate your system at startup or while shutting down your system.


Advanced Detection and Removal


• Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware, Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.

• Light on System Resources and won't slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won't conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution!


Real-Time Protection


• Real-Time Blocking of threats! Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing!

• First Chance Prevention examines over 50 critical points of your system each time your system starts up and shuts down to eliminate threats before they have a chance to infect and infiltrate your system.

• Schedule either Quick, Complete or Custom Scans Daily or Weekly to ensure your computer is free from harmful software.



Continue reading 'Download of the Day: SuperAntiSpyware 4.43.1000' (full post)

Deal of the Day: Dell UltraSharp 21.5" IPS Flat Panel Monitor for $209.25 after Coupon with Free Shipping

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Displays & Projectors | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 9:10 am

Our Deal of the Day today is the Dell Small Business - UltraSharp 21.5" IPS Flat Panel Monitor for $209.25 after Coupon with Free Shipping!.


Offer: Features include 1920x1080 resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 10000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 250cd/m2 brightness, DVI-D, the UltraSharp guarantee and a 3 year warranty! Use coupon code: L0C?QB9$865114 (expires 9/20/10)




Check our TweakTown Daily Deals page for more tech bargains!

Thursday Morning Roundup for September 16, 2010

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Roundups | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 8:44 am

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

Continue reading 'Thursday Morning Roundup for September 16, 2010' (full post)

New benchmark results online for MAINGEAR's F131 P55 SLI Custom Gaming PC Review

By: Steve Dougherty | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 8:27 am

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.




Once again, we apologise for the mixup. Head over here and here for the updated, super impressive results!

Facebook integration coming to OnStar

By: Don Lynn | More News: Mobile Devices | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 4:17 am

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.

Halo Reach multiplayer not accessible on some XBox 360 systems

By: Don Lynn | More News: Gaming | Posted: Sep 16, 2010 3:56 am

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.