NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z leaked review: slower than Radeon R9 295X2

Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards & GPUs | May 13, 2014 10:08 PM CDT

NVIDIA was all set to unleash its GeForce GTX Titan Z on April 29, but missed the launch. It was then meant to launch on May 8, but missed that launch date, too. Now we're seeing a leaked review of the dual GK110 beast, which seems to be slower than the much cheaper Radeon R9 295X2 from AMD.

The leaked goodness comes from Videocardz, which reports that the Titan Z is a triple-slot card - but air-cooled. This is compared to the liquid cooler on the Radeon R9 295X2, which requires mounting in your case. There's dual 8-pin PCIe power, so we're looking at a total TDP of 375W on NVIDIA's dual GK110 product. But what about performance? The Titan Z doesn't beat the R9 295X2 in everything, but it comes close. When compared to GTX 780s in SLI, the Titan Z loses, with a much bigger gap.

The problem here is, even if it comes close to the R9 295X2, but doesn't beat it - the Titan Z is at least $3000 (without taxes). You can go and buy a SAPPHIRE R9 295X2 on Amazon for $1536 - half the cost of the Titan Z.

Continue reading: NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z leaked review: slower than Radeon R9 295X2 (full post)

Microsoft will sell Xbox One with no Kinect for $399 on June 9

Michael Hatamoto | Gaming | May 13, 2014 3:16 PM CDT

Microsoft is set to release the Xbox One without the Kindle bundled in, available on June 9 with a $399 price tag. The company also is shaking things up so Live Gold subscription will no longer be necessary for access to Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Hulu Plus - and also won't be necessary for OneGuide, Internet Explorer, or other premium services.

Microsoft still believes the Xbox One game console bundled with Kinect offers gamers "the best experience," though understands that a cheaper solution must be made available to customers. However, the $399 price point puts it on the same level of the Sony PlayStation 4 game console, which continues to outsell the Xbox One worldwide.

Just a few days ago, research group IDC predicted Microsoft would unbundle the Xbox One and Kinect by 2015, as Microsoft continues to try and compete with Sony.

Continue reading: Microsoft will sell Xbox One with no Kinect for $399 on June 9 (full post)

SanDisk announces the launch of the X300s, a self-encrypting SSD

Charles Gantt | Storage | May 13, 2014 2:51 PM CDT

Today SanDisk unveiled the all new X300s, its first self-encrypting solid state drive. The X300s utilizes CG Opal 2.0 and Microsoft Encrypted Hard Drive hardware-based encryption, as well as a new SSD administration dashboard that allows for easier audit and compliance management. These new features allow the X300s to deliver maximum data protection performance that in-turn gives IT managers peace of mind.

"Businesses of all sizes want computers that are reliable, secure, built to last and are easy to support remotely," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager, client storage solutions at SanDisk. "For the enterprises that deploy hundreds or even thousands of laptops, it's essential that their IT departments be able to centrally and securely manage these devices. The X300s, designed with SanDisk's world-class flash, helps corporate IT leaders not only deliver the heightened performance and lower TCO that flash is known for, but also addresses data protection and security needs, without business disruption."

The SanDisk X300s provides CIOs and IT decision makers with a reliable storage solution that addresses the reduced TCO, data loss prevention, compliance and higher business productivity needs of today's corporate environments. The drive utilizes an AES 256-bit FIPS 197 certified hardware crypto engine to enable full-disk encryption without the performance penalty experienced by the use of software-based encryption. It is built to be compatible with TCG Opal 2.0 and Microsoft Encrypted Hard Drive and is compliant with industry-standard security specifications including IEEE 1667. Additionally, it features advanced power management with DEVSLP low-power mode, enabling Microsoft InstantGo.

Continue reading: SanDisk announces the launch of the X300s, a self-encrypting SSD (full post)

Intel's Devil Canyon CPU will bring the "air-cooled 5GHz era back"

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | May 13, 2014 1:05 AM CDT

According to an Intel PDF that Chinese tech site EXP Review got its hands-on, Intel's upcoming "Devil's Canyon" CPUs could easily do 5GHz on air-cooling. The new Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K CPUs will be more than just a clock speed increase when compared to the upcoming Haswell refresh chips.

The new Core i7-4790K CPU will have a Base clock of 4GHz, boosting up to 4.4GHz - this chip will have 8 threads (4 physical cores, 4 x Hyper-Threaded cores), 8MB of cache and a TDP of 88W. Its little brother, the Core i5-4690K will have a Base clock of 3.5GHz, with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. It will not feature Hyper-Threading, so we're stuck with four cores. It will chip the cache down to 6MB, but contain the same 88W TDP.

Both of the new Devil's Canyon-based chips will support 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, too. The biggest thing to take away here is that the new Devil's Canyon CPUs will be the first CPUs from Intel that will have a huge off-the-shelf clock speed - 4GHz. With a Turbo Boost of 4.4GHz, EXP Review and now myself, will bring the "air-cooled 5GHz era back". 5GHz shouldn't be a problem on air-cooling, but if you were to use an aftermarket cooler - such as a Corsair H110i for example, 5GHz and beyond shouldn't be a problem. We should expect Intel to better unveil its Devil's Canyon chips at Computex, which kicks off in just a couple of weeks time.

Continue reading: Intel's Devil Canyon CPU will bring the "air-cooled 5GHz era back" (full post)

Crysis 3 has been hacked to play at 8K, a massive 8000x3333 resolution

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | May 12, 2014 11:58 PM CDT

Most gamers don't even have 4K yet, but we know how the industry works - give them one set of technology, while pushing another, but work on an even better technology behind closed doors.

Well, 8K is beginning to show up, with a new Crysis 3 hack that allows the first-person shooter to be run at 8000x3333 pixels, or 8K. The screenshots don't really do it justice, while they do look pretty, I think the effect of 8K would be better seen in person, on the display itself. Even if you ran 8K, you would need some serious, serious GPU horsepower to get there. You can see more of the screenshots of Crysis 3 running at 8K right here.

But, 8K? Is that all you've got? Keep an eye here at TweakTown for even higher resolutions in the coming months.

Continue reading: Crysis 3 has been hacked to play at 8K, a massive 8000x3333 resolution (full post)

Daredevil coming to Netflix with 13 episodes, considered one big movie

Anthony Garreffa | Celebrities & Entertainment | May 12, 2014 11:27 PM CDT

Netflix is really owning TV right now, with smash hits like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, but today the streaming content provider announced it is bringing a 13-episode run of Daredevil to consumers.

The first series of Daredevil will reportedly lead up to The Defenders, which should air sometime next year. Drew Goddard is on-board to write and direct, with Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada teasing that the show will be basically one huge movie, split into 13 one-hour episodes. When he sat down with CBR, Quesada said: "One of the advantages is really from the planning stage - obviously it's much easier to work with a smaller number of episodes than it is with a larger number of episodes. We can sit there and look at 13 episodes and plan it out as a very large movie". He continued:

It makes seeing the bigger picture a little bit easier... You can't deny that there will be binge-viewing. You know that there are going to be some Marvel fans that when this show premieres, they are going to go on to Netflix, and they are going to sit there for 12 to 13-plus hours, and watch the entire thing all the way through. It's going to happen. The Netflix model offers us the advantage of being able to construct the show in a manner that is very different than a weekly network TV show... With weekly TV, you sit there and go, "The audience may not want to wait two or three weeks to get this particular bit of information." Whereas with Netflix, we might be able to hold onto a particular piece of information, because they may just watch it two hours later.

Continue reading: Daredevil coming to Netflix with 13 episodes, considered one big movie (full post)

DDR4 arrives at the TweakTown Enterprise Test Lab

William Harmon | RAM | May 12, 2014 8:21 PM CDT

New DDR4 memory might not be available for a while yet, but the first samples of DDR4 memory have made it to the TweakTown Enterprise test lab today, fresh from the fabrication labs.

"Crucial DDR4 Memory Technology Process data faster. Reduce power expenses. Extend battery life. Double a system's memory capacity as module densities mature. Crucial DDR4 memory technology is up to twice as fast and delivers 50% more bandwidth and 40% more energy efficiency than DDR3 technology when it was introduced. Designed to enable the next generation of enterprise and consumer products, Crucial DDR4 memory works with next generation processors and makes everything you do on a computer or server faster and more efficient than ever before."

" Servers are constrained by memory bandwidth, capacity, and ever-increasing power costs. With the increased performance and efficiency of Crucial DDR4 server memory, boost bandwidth by up to 50%, and reduce power consumption and the need for cooling. Enable up to twice the installed memory capacity and process data faster."

Continue reading: DDR4 arrives at the TweakTown Enterprise Test Lab (full post)

Black+Decker's new Autosense cordless drill ends stripped screw heads

Charles Gantt | Modding | May 12, 2014 3:49 PM CDT

Every DIYer in the world has at one point or another owned a cordless drill. Since their inception, cordless drills have made life much easier, but they have also resulted in many more stripped screw heads and "oversunken" screws. Black+Decker has just released a new cordless drill / driver with some innovative technology designed to prevent both of these forever.

The new Autosense Drill has been designed to automatically stop when a screw has become flush with the working surface. In the past, the utilization of a clutch system also prevented this, but it relied heavily on the operator knowing the perfect clutch setting for the type of screw and wood that was being used. The new Autosense drill is intuitive and all the user needs to do is select drive mode. This will tell the drill to begin sensing the required torque levels needed and when a rise in torque is sensed, the drill slows down and stops just as the head of the screw reaches the surface of the wood.

In the event that the screw needs to be sunken a little below the surface, the operator can simply pull the trigger again, and the Autosense Drill / Driver will sink the screw further into the wood 1/4 turn at a time. The new Black+Decker Autosense Drill / Driver is set to retail at $80 and will release to the public in Early June. I hope to get my hands-on one before then and will post a full review if I do.

Continue reading: Black+Decker's new Autosense cordless drill ends stripped screw heads (full post)

ASRock unveils the Ultra M.2 Socket, fastest in the world

Charles Gantt | Motherboards | May 12, 2014 3:04 PM CDT

ASRock has just unveiled its new Ultra M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 connection interface that is said to double its transfer speed bandwidth, and blow SATA 3 6GB/s out of the water. The new Ulra M.2 interface is much faster due to a direct connection to the CPU, whereas older M.2 interfaces passed through the chipset before being routed to the CPU. This means that the latency is much lower and faster transfer speeds are the result.

"The theoretical speed of Ultra M.2 is 32Gb/s, which is 6X faster than PCIe x1 M.2, and 3X faster than PCIe x2 M.2. As for Ultra M.2 vs. normal M.2 comparison, we tested the read speed of Samsung XP941 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket and reached 1.16GB/s, 46% faster than PCIe x2 M.2 socket. We also tested a PCIe x2 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket. Benefited from the direct linkage between Ultra M.2 interface and CPU, the PCIe x2 M.2 SSD read speed on Ultra M.2 socket is 8.8% faster than on normal M.2 socket. As shown in Chart 3, the lower latency of Ultra M.2 design does matter," ASRock said in a release.

ASRock says that for now, the new Ultra M.2 interface will only be available on the new ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 motherboard which features other high-end features such as; ASRock Super Alloy technology, 12 Phase Power Design, Purity Sound 2, Dual LAN, SATA Express interface, and ASRock Cloud.

Continue reading: ASRock unveils the Ultra M.2 Socket, fastest in the world (full post)

DIABLO III: Ultimate Evil Edition will arrive on consoles in August

Charles Gantt | Gaming | May 12, 2014 2:13 PM CDT

This morning Blizzard announced the console launch date of its Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition title. The game will launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles later this year on August 19th, and is expected to retail in the $60 price range for next-gen consoles and $40 price range for the older consoles.

"The Ultimate Evil Edition brings Reaper of Souls to console gamers for the first time, and wraps all of the content, features, and updates we've released for Diablo III into one epic package," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Whether you're a veteran of the crusade against the forces of evil on PC or are just stepping foot into Sanctuary for the first time, there's never been a better time to experience Diablo III from the comfort of your couch."

Continue reading: DIABLO III: Ultimate Evil Edition will arrive on consoles in August (full post)