GIVEAWAY: Netac Shadow Series RGB DDR5-4800 (16GB x 2) dual-channel memory kits

ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills

Steve Dougherty | Motherboards | Jul 26, 2011 9:42 AM CDT

ASRock seem to be pumping out an astonishing number of feature packed motherboards these days, with most of them looking quite respectable indeed and select models even getting some additional support from Mr. Fatal1ty these days. Gone are the days when everyone was so fast to think ASRock was all about budget level 'dodgey' offerings any enthusiast wouldn't go near.

If you're not up to date on the type of quality assurance and attention to detail ASRock has peaked at these days, just check out the large batch of ASRock motherboard reviews here at TweakTown over the past few months. Our picky motherboard reviewing extraordinaire Shane generally finds they're leaps and bounds ahead compared to years past.

ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills 04

Having said that, ASRock has just dished up another very attractive board for those looking to build a compact high performance system or HTPC. Their new Z68M-ITX/HT was revealed to the world today which is a mini-ITX motherboard using the Intel Z68 chipset. As far as we're aware, only two other Z68 based mini-ITX offerings are currently on the market, both of which are from ZOTAC.

Continue reading: ASRock wedges Z68 into mini-ITX and adds some HTPC frills (full post)

Cooler Master intros Hyper 612 S/PWM and GeminiII S524 CPU Coolers

Steve Dougherty | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jul 26, 2011 7:34 AM CDT

Cooler Master has added three new CPU coolers to its lineup today, with two high performance models being only mildly different to each other in the Hyper 612 PWM and Hyper 612S, along with the release of the GeminiII S524.

Cooler Master intros Hyper 612 S/PWM and GeminiII S524 CPU Coolers 08

The Hyper 612S/PWM models are based around the traditional tower design, measuring 140 x 128 x 163 mm with a weight topping about 910g. They sport a copper base with six uniquely oriented heatpipes that are said to help the heatsink give maximized heat dissipation at lower fan speeds. The all-copper pipes pass through the base then along the length of the airflow optimized fin stack.

Continue reading: Cooler Master intros Hyper 612 S/PWM and GeminiII S524 CPU Coolers (full post)

Kingston HyperX SSD fastest SATA III SSD? New firmware says probably (updated)

Cameron Wilmot | Storage | Jul 26, 2011 4:43 AM CDT

So, I just got off the phone with the folks at Kingston who had some very interesting news to share about their first HyperX SSD.

Kingston HyperX SSD fastest SATA III SSD? New firmware says probably (updated) | TweakTown.com

They recently took delivery of the latest SandForce firmware and after some tinkering around on their drive they managed to boost performance even further over the originally claimed numbers. The drives are already packed up and ready to ship this week and they will come with the old firmware that provides the SSD with a 525MB/s read and 480MB/s write.

The new firmware which will be on the Kingston website soon for download improves things even more and gives the HyperX SSD a read speed of 555MB/s and a write speed of 510MB/s. This makes it a smidgen faster than the best 2.5-inch SATA III drive from OCZ and others who have drives that operate at 550MB/s.

Our storage guru Chris has a drive on the way and of course he will update to the latest firmware for his testing. Once he does, he could well be testing the fastest 2.5-inch SATA III SDD on the planet.

UPDATE - Okay, so there was some confusion yesterday. It turns out all drives will operate at the new speeds of 555 / 510, it just might be the case that some retail boxes may have the older speeds printed.

Continue reading: Kingston HyperX SSD fastest SATA III SSD? New firmware says probably (updated) (full post)

Patriot unleash Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive

Anthony Garreffa | Storage | Jul 25, 2011 8:31 PM CDT

Patriot has today announced the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive that is meant to combine portability and a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface for maximum performance at an affordable price. The Patriot Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive sports a stylish cap-less design that hides the USB 3.0 connector when it's not in use, all that is required is to push the drive like a pen which then reveals the connector.

Patriot unleash Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive | TweakTown.com

Patriot Memory's Flash Product Manager, William Lai talks about the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive:

We reached the perfect balance of performance and portability with the Patriot Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive. The cap-less design lets users carry the drive with them while never having to worry about losing the cap. The USB 3.0 interface enables maximum performance when connected via USB 3.0 as well as backwards compatibility via USB 2.0.

The Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive packs a 2-channel memory controller capable of delivering read/write speeds of 60MB/sec and 25MB/sec on the 32GB flavor, whilst the 8GB and 16GB variants will achieve 50MB/sec and 20MB/sec for read/write speeds respectively. The availability of the Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drives should be later this month and are backed by a 2-year warranty.

Continue reading: Patriot unleash Supersonic Xpress USB 3.0 flash drive (full post)

New AMD roadmap reveals 10-core desktop CPUs coming in 2012.

Steve Dougherty | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jul 25, 2011 9:46 AM CDT

While we're yet to get our hands on some octo-core processors in the form of the upcoming FX series from AMD to battle it out against their thriving competitor, a freshly leaked roadmap today reveals that AMD has even bigger plans already in the works, with some beefy 10-core desktop CPUs scheduled for release next year.

New AMD roadmap reveals 10-core desktop CPUs coming in 2012. | TweakTown.com

These 10-core chips (codenamed Komodo) will be the successor of the upcoming (Zambezi) FX-Series models. Word of Komodo was out as far back as last year, but at the time was said to have up to eight cores.

Continue reading: New AMD roadmap reveals 10-core desktop CPUs coming in 2012. (full post)

Internode announce NBN package prices, 100MB speeds with 1TB downloads, $189.95 per month

Anthony Garreffa | Networking | Jul 21, 2011 9:18 PM CDT

Internode have announced their retail pricing for the NBN-based phone and broadband bundles packages, with prices ranging between $59.95 and $189.95. If you'd like the 100MB speeds, it will cost you a minimum of $100 per month. Internode were quick to say that the pricing for broadband could easily escalate, this is because of the flaws in NBNCo's wholesale charging model, compounded by the ACCC's "121 points of interconnect" decision.

Internode announce NBN package prices, 100MB speeds with 1TB downloads, $189.95 per month | TweakTown.com

Managing director of Internode, Simon Hackett, has criticised the NBNCo's wholesale fee of $20 per megabit per month, which is charged at the point where retail service providers physically connect to the NBN. He says:

This charge has simply been chosen to fill in an otherwise huge hole in the Federal Government policy requirement that the network return funds to the Commonwealth at a commercial rate and in a short time frame (relative to the expected lifetime of the network).

Continue reading: Internode announce NBN package prices, 100MB speeds with 1TB downloads, $189.95 per month (full post)

Microsoft reports record fourth-quarter and full-year results

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jul 21, 2011 8:28 PM CDT

Another huge tech company has posted record profits and this time it's Microsoft. Microsoft have just announced a record fourth-quarter revenue of $17.37 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 and 8-percent increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.17 billion, $5.87 billion and $0.69 per share, which represents increase of 4, 30 and 35-percent respectively when compared with the prior year period.

Microsoft reports record fourth-quarter and full-year results | TweakTown.com

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, Microsoft reported record revenue of $69.94 billion, a 12-percent increase from last year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the year were $27.16 billion, $23.15 billion and $2.69, which represented 13, 23 and 28-percent increases when compared to last year.

Continue reading: Microsoft reports record fourth-quarter and full-year results (full post)

Apple's OS X Lion downloaded 1 million times on launch day

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Jul 21, 2011 8:12 PM CDT

Apple's OS X Lion was downloaded 1 million times yesterday. Apple made the announcement just as Microsoft announced their earnings results for the fiscal fourth quarter, another swipe of the claw from Apple. If every one of those million downloads were paid, that means Apple grossed $30 million yesterday just from Lion, within 24 hours. Phil Schiller, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing said in a statement:

Apple's OS X Lion downloaded 1 million times on launch day | TweakTown.com

Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic. Lion is a huge step forward, it's not only packed with innovative features but it's incredibly easy for users to update their Macs to the best OS we've ever made.

Continue reading: Apple's OS X Lion downloaded 1 million times on launch day (full post)

VTX3D intro HD 6670 and HD6570s with built-in DVB-T tuners

Steve Dougherty | Video Cards & GPUs | Jul 21, 2011 9:44 AM CDT

The folks behind the PowerColor lineup of graphics cards, Tul Corp, have just released a couple interesting new cards under their VTX3D (Vertex 3D) branding. The two cards are based on the HD 6670 and HD 6570 mid-range models from AMD, but sport a rather unique inclusion that helps them stand out amongst the pack and its not just the aftermarket onboard.

VTX3D intro HD 6670 and HD6570s with built-in DVB-T tuners 04

These cards have built-in DVB-T tuners to allow users to watch digital TV on their PC, doing away with the need to use up another slot on the motherboard for a standalone DVB-T card.

Continue reading: VTX3D intro HD 6670 and HD6570s with built-in DVB-T tuners (full post)

Fake Apple Store found in China, yes, an entire FAKE STORE

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jul 20, 2011 10:03 PM CDT

They seriously can't be doing this for the LOLs, but a 27-year-old blogger "BirdAbroad" has posted on his blog about an Apple Store he found in China. It looks liked an Apple store, the winding staircase with a sitting area upstairs, employees wearing the blue t-shirts with the clunky Apple name tag around their necks. But this Apple store in Kunming is actually a complete rip-off. As BirdAbroad says "China warps your mind into believing anything is possible". He says that it is the best rip off store they've ever seen, but some things were out of place. The stairs were poorly made, walls were not painted properly.

Fake Apple Store found in China, yes, an entire FAKE STORE 13

Even the sign itself, Apple never displays "Apple Store" on its signs, it just displays the gloriously delicious looking fruit symbol. The name tags on the staff did not actually list a name, just "staff" and an Apple logo. The funniest thing about this all is the employees actually think they're working directly for Apple. As the blogger took photos, multiple salespeople and security guys (plain clothed) outside came in and told him to stop. It was not allowed. Why wasn't it allowed? Their boss told them so. He did tell them that he was an American Apple employee visiting China checking out the local stores, this was the golden ticket.

Continue reading: Fake Apple Store found in China, yes, an entire FAKE STORE (full post)

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