Spotlight Back On PhysX
Since the official release of AGEIA's "PhysX" (dedicated physics) card for games, we haven't seen anything exciting happening with it at all. Following its release, of the VERY few games that were able to make use of it (namely Cellfactor, GRAW and a few others), these titles were discovered to work just fine without this card, not only that but the difference in physics effects with and without it were quite minimal, certainly not enough to warrant forking out for one.
To help draw a bit of attention to it again, a video posted up on YouTube shows off a new level in GRAW 2 called "AGEIA Island" with the PhysX in action, and after checking it out for myself it definitely wowed me more than anything i've seen from the card before.
Seagate Announces Two 1TB Drives
Seagate have today announced not one, but two new hard drives with 1TB capacities. The new Barracuda 7200.11 is aimed at the consumer level whilst the Barracuda ES.2 model is an enterprise drive.
Both drives have 32MBs worth of L2 cache onboard, 3.0Gbps SATA and NCQ. The main difference between the 7200.11 and the ES.2 series drives is that the ES.2 uses a serial attached SCSI (or SAS) interface. the ES.2's MTBF rating has also been raised to 1.2 million hours, which is 200,000 hours more than the previous Barracuda ES series drives.
Both drives should become available anytime during this quarter with the Barracuda 7200.11 carrying an MSRP of $399. Both drives are also backed up by Seagate's 5 year warranty.
Continue reading: Seagate Announces Two 1TB Drives (full post)
Dell launches new XPS notebook
Dell has just launched a new 13.3-inch XPS notebook, which will be available in one of three colours, red, black or white. Well, the lid will be at least, since the rest of the system is either grey, silver or black, depending on what part of it you're looking at.
It's rather nice looking for a Dell design tough and it packs quite a lot of features. It will come with a choice of Core 2 Duo processors up to 2.2GHz, all but one at 800MHz bus, up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz memory, a choice of integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics or a GeForce Go 8400M with 128MB of GDDR3.
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Integrated + discrete = Hybrid SLI
It seems like Nvidia is working on a new technology called Hybrid SLI and it will enable you to use a combination of integrated and discrete graphics. It will not only allow for increased performance during 3D, as it is also a power saving technology.
When the discrete GPU isn't needed, say for example when you're doing mundane Windows tasks, the discrete solution will be powered down and the integrated GPU will take over, thus reducing the power drawn by the system.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you'll be glad to know that AMD actually announced its PowerXPress technology a little while back for its next mobile platform. Nvidia isn't specifically talking about notebooks here though, as it works just as well on a desktop system.
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ATI Issues Out Catalyst 7.6 Drivers
AMD/ATI have pushed out a new revision of their CATALYST drivers for the month, the 7.6s. One of the main areas improved upon with this driver is even better HD 2900 XT CrossFire performance, with huge gains of up to 42% seen in Half-Life 2: Episode One with HDR+AA enabled. Dark Messiah: Might and Magic also sees around a 16% performance increase with HDR enabled.
There's also a stack of resolved issues and bug fixes across various game titles etc, As listed in AMD/ATI's release notes.
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Eight new HTC handsets revealed
Information about eight new devices from HTC has made its way onto the web and it's looking like HTC is packing some serious hardware if this information proves to be correct. First up we have the Kaiser or the P4550 which we wrote about here, although it seems like it has been delayed until August now.
This model will replace the TyTN in the current range and will feature a 400MHz Qualcomm CPU, 256MB ROM, 64MB RAM, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, a 2 or 3Mega pixel camera, a semi-automatic sliding keyboard (no, this has nothing to do with guns), but sadly it only has USB 1.1 interface for syncing it with your PC.
Next up we have Nike, or the P5500 which is a more classic looking slider with a 2.6-inch QVGA touch screen, 128MB ROM, 64MB RAM, the same 400MHz Qualcomm CPU, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, a 2Mega pixel camera and again only USB 1.1. This is the first slider without a keyboard from HTC and it looks like an interesting model.
Continue reading: Eight new HTC handsets revealed (full post)
HP expands camera line with 9 new models
HP launched no less than nine new compact digital cameras today, an extensive new line up to say the least. The one that looks the most striking is the new Photosmart R937, as it has a rather odd looking centre mounted lens and a 3.6-inch touch screen display. It also features an 8Mega pixel sensor, anti-shake mode, 32MB of built in memory and 3x optical zoom. It's expected to cost around US$300 when it arrives in August.
Next up is the Photosmart R847 which shares the 3x optical zoom 8Mega pixel sensor, 32MB of built in memory and the anti-shake mode, but doesn't have a touch screen. It should retail for around $230, also in August.
Then we have the entry level Photosmart E337 which is a basic 5 Mega pixel point and shoot model with a 1.5-inch display and 16MB of internal memory. At $80 this is quite a bargain, but don't expect too much from it. It will be available from next month.
Continue reading: HP expands camera line with 9 new models (full post)
Free image hosting from bayimg
The people behind The Piratebay have launched a new image hosting service, bayimg and it is meant to be complete free from censoring. If this is a good or a bad thing is a matter of how you look at it, but it also means it will be hard for any big corporate pressure to remove content. However, they do reserve the right to remove illegal images.
The bayimg hosting service supports 140 different image file formats as well as ZIP and RAR archives. File size is limited to 100MB per file, but if you upload an archive, an album is automatically created for it and you get a URL for the whole album.
There are also options for automatic resizing of your pictures to a wide range of standard resolutions.
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Zen Stone Plus launches
Creative has added another MP3 player to its range of products, the Zen Stone Plus. The main differences between it and the original Zen Stone are the addition of a tiny round OLED display, an FM radio and an extra Gigabyte of memory.
The OLED display features a blue backlight and has a resolution of 64 x 64 pixels, enough for basic track info, but not much more. The 2GB of memory should be able to fit around 500 MP3's or 1,000 WMA's according to Creative.
The battery life is rated at around 9.5h, which isn't bad considering the original Zen Stone is rated at 10h. Somehow Creative has also managed to decrease the weight by 4 grams, not a bad feat at something that only weighs 21 grams to start with.
Transcend Unveils Dual Channel JetFlash
Transcend have announced some new Ultra-Speed models to their "JetFlash" range of USB flash drives this week, these being the JetFlash 160, 168, 110 and 2A series.
All of these new models use quality dual Hi-Speed SLC NAND Flash chips which are capable of a max read and write speed of 30MB/s and 25MB/s respectively. As such, they are also suited to the Windows ReadyBoost feature in Vista.
Each of the models can be had in 2, 4 and 8GB capacities, with a 16GB capacity also available with the JetFlash 2A variant.
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