Samsung caught cheating in benchmarks with the Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the company's best-selling smartphones of all time, and one of the hottest devices on the market right now. This all comes down to how it is perceived in the market, and how reviewers (like myself) and users, talk about the phone.

Well, it looks like AnandTech have donned their detective outfit, and found that Samsung have been tweaking the Galaxy S4 to perform better in benchmarks than it does anything else. AnandTech found that the Galaxy S4 has its GPU limited to 480MHz in most apps and games, but when it comes to benchmark tests such as AnTuTu, GLBenchmark 2.5.1 and Quadrant, it overclocks to 533MHz, giving it a huge advantage.

You'd think the funny business would stop there, but it doesn't. Samsung have also souped up the CPU clock speed in certain benchmarks, where in GLBenchmark 2.5.1, the CPU clock speed is at 1.2GHz, and never drops below that. But in GFXBench 2.7, the GPU clocks between 500Mhz and higher. AnandTech even found a string that shows the Galaxy S4 is hardcoded to specifically perform better in specific applications for benchmark testing with "Quadrant standard, advanced, and professional, linpack (free, not paid), Benchmark Pi, and AnTuTu" being mentioned.

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Sub-$5000 4K-capable TVs are making their way Down Under

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Jul 30, 2013 9:50 PM CDT

Not even two days ago, TCL announced their new 50-inch 4K-capable TV for the US market, costing only $999. Australian's are usually the last market that most companies cater for, but TCL have decided to go Down Under early.

The company have announced the TCL E5691, which is a 65-inch edge-lit LED 4K/UHD TV, for $4999. Expensive, but considering high-end 65-inch 1080p HDTVs are around that price in Australia, you can't complain too much. TCL will be cramming in SMS on Demand, SMH.TV, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other apps into the TV. As for inputs, we have three HDMI inputs, 3D-support, and a USB port that supports Time Shift PVR settings.

The TCL T5691 provides a 4096x2160 resolution, and will upscale HD content to 4K, meaning that your Blu-ray movies will look a little nicer than they usually do. TCL will be releasing other sizes, which has my interest more. We start with the 40-inch for $899, a 46-inch model for $1199, a 50-inch version for $1399 and a non-3D version that comes in 32-inch for $549.

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iBUYPOWER's Valkyrie and Revolt are now available with AMD CPUs

Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems | Jul 30, 2013 9:29 PM CDT

Earlier today iBUYPOWER unveil their new competition-grade gaming systems that involved a partnership with Computer Logic Gaming, and now they're just announced a partnership with AMD that sees their Valkyrie and Revolt systems powered by AMD CPUs.

First up, the Valkyrie is available with AMD's high-end A10 quad-core CPU and a Radeon HD 8970M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The AMD-based Valkyrie systems can be configured with both an SSD and a HDD for the best of both worlds, super-speed and huge storage. iBUYPOWER also decided to offer an AMD option on their Revolt system, where customers can choose an AMD A10-6800K quad-core CPU. This means that the Revolt remains "the industry's leading benchmark in compact, high-performance gaming systems" according to iBUYPOWER.

Darren Su, Vice President of iBUYPOWER has said: "At iBUYPOWER, one of our core strengths is being able to offer customers a wide selection of configurations for any of our systems. Yes, we're about producing the best performing systems, but we also want to answer the call for choice. With new Revolts and Valkryies featuring AMD components, we cater to our customer's needs."

Continue reading: iBUYPOWER's Valkyrie and Revolt are now available with AMD CPUs (full post)

iBUYPOWER & Computer Logic Gaming unveil competition gaming systems

Charles Gantt | Computer Systems | Jul 30, 2013 5:33 PM CDT

Today, iBUYPOWER and Computer Logic Gaming (CLG) have teamed up to launch several new custom-designed, high-performance gaming systems that are sure to give any gamer the advantage needed when competing in competition level events. iBUYPOWER says that the systems were designed from the ground up and built around the needs of a hardcore competition gamer and that all of the new systems have been tested by teams from iBUYPOWER and CLG to ensure that every aspect of the systems were tweaked to perfection.

The new systems come in three unique configurations and are encased in a "Custom Laser-Etched Chassis" which bears the CLG logo on the case's side panel window. "We've stayed true to our mission since day one of committing to the eSports scene. We want to support and give back to the community," said Darren Su, VP of iBUYPOWER. "CLG told us that fans demanded something competitive and we listened."

Available with up to an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 graphics, 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD, and sealed-loop liquid-cooling, each of the CLG systems will most definitely plow through any game you chose to throw at it. "I'm a computer enthusiast, and as the owner of CLG, I care a lot about what we put our brand on. The specs to price ratio on the CLG edition iBUYPOWER computers are great, which makes me happy to be working with them," said HotshotGG, Owner of CLG. "Plus, have you seen the custom case designs?"

Continue reading: iBUYPOWER & Computer Logic Gaming unveil competition gaming systems (full post)

Mach Xtreme unveils LX USB 3.0 affordable flash drives

Charles Gantt | Storage | Jul 30, 2013 5:05 PM CDT

Today, Mach Xtreme announced the launch of its new LX series of USB 3.0 compatible flash drives. The MX-LX series is aimed at those who are looking for a fast USB 3.0 thumb drive but still want high-capacity and affordability. Mach Xtreme says that the new flash drives are based on a native USB 3.0 controller chip and implement advanced dual-channel technology.

There is a wide range of high-end USB 3.0 flash drives available on the market. These thumb drives typically carry a relatively high price tag compared to traditional USB 2.0 flash drives. MX-LX series utilizes the latest USB 3.0 specification and delivers blazing fast performance at an extremely competitive and affordable price. MX-LX USB 3.0 flash drive is fully backward compatible with USB 2.0 ports, at USB 2.0 speeds. Its dual-chip design and compact size makes it easy to carry virtually anywhere. The aluminum housing is also extremely durable, making it an ideal upgrade flash drive for users with busy and active lifestyles.

Mach Xtreme says that the LX flash drives reach up to 190MB/s read and 85MB/s write performance and are available in capacities of 8GB all the way up to 64GB. No information on pricing or availability were given at the time of writing, but you can head over to the company's product page (Source #2) for more information on pricing as it becomes available.

Continue reading: Mach Xtreme unveils LX USB 3.0 affordable flash drives (full post)

Phanteks unveils PH-F140XP and PH-F140SP series PC cooling fans

Charles Gantt | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jul 30, 2013 4:04 PM CDT

Today, Phanteks introduced two new lines of PC cooling fans, the PH-F140SP and PH-F140XP series of premium case and radiator fans. The PH-F140SP includes two models, the PH-F140SP_BK and the PH-F140SP_BK_LED, while the PH-F140XP series features a single unit that is designed to work with PWM control for those who want the most out of their system.

The PH-F140XP features a unique Maelstrom concept and PWM functionality for those who need fast speed for performance but wish to turn things down when a more silent approach is justified. This 140mm fan is designed to be used in both stand-alone PC case cooling setups as well as the primary radiator fans on PC liquid cooling setups. The fans are designed to overcome high static pressure, blade deflection, and noise challenges.

The PH-F140SP series is also designed to overcome high static pressure, blade deflection, and noise challenges, but does not feature the PWM functionality that the PH-F140XP series does. The PH-F140SP_BK_LED model features 4 LEDs to help illuminate your high performance machine. Both series feature UFB bearings, pre-installed rubber vibration dampening rubber pads, and the MVB 9-blade design. MSRP on the PH-F140XP is $17.99, while the PH-F140SP_BK and the PH-F140SP_BK_LED run $14.99 and $15.99, respectively. Each fan comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Continue reading: Phanteks unveils PH-F140XP and PH-F140SP series PC cooling fans (full post)

Marvel shows ARMADA 1500 Mini SoC, the chip that powers Chromecast

Charles Gantt | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jul 30, 2013 3:03 PM CDT

Today, Marvel unveiled the new ARMADA 1500 Mini SoC that Google used in its hugely popular Chromecast. Being billed as "Game-Changing," the ARMADA 1500 Mini has been optimized for low-power applications such as TV Dongles like the Google Chromecast. Marvel says that the new chip has been "designed to provide instantaneous and seamless access to applications such as YouTube, Netflix and other cloud-based content, and deliver a ground-breaking multi-screen experience across smart mobile devices, laptops and HDTVs transforming any big screen into a smart and immersive entertainment device."

Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell:

I am very excited to see the brilliance of the tiny and beautiful Chromecast. I believe this is truly a game-changing solution to drive the new era of the 'Connected Lifestyle' by enabling easy access to online entertainment for an immersive, interactive multi-screen experience across any smartphone, tablet, laptop and big screen. I am very proud of Google's leadership in driving the ecosystem partners to deliver more powerful and very affordable solutions to serve the world of consumers for better lives. 2013 has been a phenomenal year for bringing online entertainment to TV. I am so thankful for and proud of the joint hard work and innovation by the Marvell team, the Google team and other partners in the ecosystem.

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Nintendo confirms Black 3DS XL American launch on August 11

Charles Gantt | Gaming | Jul 30, 2013 2:05 PM CDT

Last week, speculation arose that Nintendo would launch the black edition of its 3DS XL handheld console over this past weekend. The weekend came and went with no black 3DS XL showing up online or in retail stores, and we are sure this was a big letdown for some. Those who were bummed out about the no show will be excited to learn that Nintendo has officially released a launch date for the device.

Sunday, August 11, will be the magical day when we finally see the black 3DS XL arrive in stores and online for retail sales. Coincidentally, that is the same day that the new Mario & Luigi: Dream Team game arrives. No pricing info was released on the 3DS XL Black Edition, but with other colors retailing for around $200, we expect it to be priced in the same range.

In a statement, Nintendo said:

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Vimeo, Redbox Instant, and Plex announce plans to support Chromecast

Charles Gantt | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Jul 30, 2013 10:04 AM CDT

Google's Chromecast is making huge waves in the home theater market, and with the device completely selling out everywhere in less than 1 week, other companies are taking notice in a big way. This morning, we are hearing world that three of the biggest names in video streaming are voicing their interest in the device.

On Monday, GigaOM reported that Vimeo, the HD video streaming giant, has tossed its hat into the ring with the company's VP of mobile, Nick Alt, confirming interest in Chromcast. "We're excited about the emerging opportunities bridging mobile to Connected TV and we look forward to offering Chromecast support in our products." he said. Additionally, Redbox Instant says that they would love to bring their service to Chromecast. My favorite media server / media client Plex has also voiced its intentions to develop an app for the device.

Google has said that Pandora, AOL, and The Washington Post are all working on dedicated apps for Chromecast and that HBO is also looking into bringing its HBO Go service onto the device. Currently, Google's Chromecast streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Webpages, but if today's news is any indication, things are about to explode for Chromecast!

Continue reading: Vimeo, Redbox Instant, and Plex announce plans to support Chromecast (full post)

Samsung releases official hands-on video of Galaxy S4 Zoom

Charles Gantt | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Jul 30, 2013 9:05 AM CDT

This morning, Samsung has released an official hands-on video of its Galaxy S4 Zoom camera phone. In the video, we see the phone in both Black Mist and White Frost trim. The host also shows off the low light flash-less performance as well as how nice the Xenon flash is over traditional smartphone LED-based flashes. Also featured is the Galaxy S4 Zoom's "Zoom Ring" which lets you navigate the phone's features, as well as rotating it to zoom in on photos. The video is about 10 minutes long, but almost every new feature is covered by the host.

A quote from the Samsung page said:

The GALAXY S4 Zoom lets you talk, shoot, and share with your loved ones wherever you are. It functions as a smartphone, so you can make calls and send texts, plus it offers 10x optical zoom along with all of the added benefits of a Samsung SMART CAMERA (macro mode, night mode--no problem!). The zoom ring lets you move seamlessly between phone and camera without having to hang up. It's the device that will keep you connected in more ways than one.

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