Cooler Master shrinks the HAF X and introduces the HAF XM

Chad Sebring | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 12, 2012 5:33 AM CST

CES 2012 - From the front of this mid tower version of the HAF X, Cooler Master wanted to offer all of the things that made the HAF X a success, but wanted to offer mid-tower buyers a similar offering. The front the HAF XM keeps a lot of the styling cues that the HAF X offered such as the full mesh front, three optical drive bays, and two hot swap drive bays just below it.

The HAF XM will ship with a trio of 200mm fans, one in the front and two in the top. The top two can be removed to allow for a slim triple 120mm radiator, but does offer more room in the top cover for those who don't mind a little modding for the fittings to pass through the top of this chassis if a thicker radiator is a must. You also will find removable hard drive bays which can hold an addition six storage drives, and the back, under the 120mm exhaust fan, offers eight expansion slots for those Quad-Fire or Quad-SLI users.

One feature that users raved about in the original HAF X was the PSU wiring cover to keep a clean look on the inside as the mass of PSU wiring gets routed into the back side of the motherboard tray. That handy little cover is also going to be in the HAF XM to offer users the same cleanliness that the HAF X owners already enjoy having.

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Cooler Master is offering a couple of new air coolers very soon

Chad Sebring | Cases, Cooling & PSU | Jan 12, 2012 5:27 AM CST

CES 2012 - As I started my tour through the CM suite during my meeting with them Cameron led me to the air coolers and started introductions. Down along the front are a trio of the X6 soon to be on the market. This cooler has an unusual fin shape and orientation once installed onto a board. This cooler is twisted on a slight angle, so once installed it will actually blow warmed air from the cooler toward the back of the chassis still, but it will also be angled to blow out the top of the chassis as well. This four pipe cooler will also come with an option of either the red fan or the traditional black fan that we have seen on many of their coolers to date.

The X6 also uses a very unusual fin design to add as much surface area to this cooler to attain the best performance possible from this design. Here Cooler Master uses a honey comb arrangement to maximize the amount of aluminum that the fan on the front can cool. The X6 will be hitting the market very soon, and I will be putting it through its paces for you as soon as possible.

Placed behind the X6 on a taller platform, almost denoting its dominance I had the new TPC-812 cooler explained to me. Looking at the top of the cooler tips you off to the use of something I have not seen in CPU cooling. CM is using dual vertical vapor chambers that are specified to handle 120W each. On top of the 240W of vapor chamber cooling, these heave gauge fins also sport six heat pipes in the cooler for a rating of 300W+ in total cooling power in this cooler.

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Cooler Master brings forth new charging options for mobile devices

Chad Sebring | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Jan 12, 2012 5:25 AM CST

CES 2012 - There once was a day when phones shipped with a wall charger that was USB with a plug on the end, and car chargers were all sold separately, and were specific for each device. Here CM is offering a single USB and dual USB charging solution that derives it power from the cigarette lighter of any vehicle. Just plug in either of the Car chargers while you are traveling and keep those batteries topped off so you don't kill the battery at the worst time possible.

Also on the table is a pair of Power Fort chargers for mobile devices. Both the 5600mA and the 6600mA on the go chargers are themselves charge up via USB. Once the unit it at a full change you can simply unplug it and throw it in your backpack, laptop bag, or for the ladies, in your purse. These are designed to be used out and about when you mobile device is losing its charge. If I remember the numbers correctly, with the 6600mA version, when fully charged it will recharge up to three tablets or five phones.

This is a great companion for those constantly on the go, or even offers a few days worth of charges for those who may be in a primitive environment with no available power, such as camping, or at tens of thousands of feet over the earth.

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Asus is soon to offer even more Windows overclocking and audio controls to your desktop

Chad Sebring | Motherboards | Jan 12, 2012 5:21 AM CST

CES 2012 - As any ASUS user will tell you, on the ROG series there is already a pretty full gamut of offerings for software overclocking and control of various features that come with their motherboards and add-on devices. As seen in this screen shot, there are now seven windows of opportunity. We all know there is a version of CPU-Z and GPU-z, along with the GPU Tweak program, as well as others, but there is a couple of hidden gems in this image.

The first offering I am going to cover is the new ROG Exchange program. What this offers is the ability to go to a database on ASUS' web site and pick from a multitude of pre-clocked configurations saved into a file that users can download. You simple pick through a list of offering with your board and processor and find the file you think fits your needs and let the software load it into the bios for you. Also with this software, you can be in the driver's seat and load bios files that you have found to work well and share it with everyone else. This should make overclocking much easier for those who don't have the time to learn everything in the bios, and let the professionals do all the tedious testing for you.

Anyone remember MEMSet? Well for me personally, it has been broken since the release of the P55 chipset, and has been rendered pretty much useless. Asus picked up that burnt out torch, lit it, and is now running full speed to its users for a functional version of an on the fly Windows environment memory timing adjustment application called Mem TweakIt. Now ASUS users will have the option to do a bit of tinkering with their memory on the screen before you go into bios and apply new stable timings.

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RumorTT: Pegatron, Foxconn reportedly begin assembly of next-gen iPad

Macotakara, a Japanese blog, reports that Apple's contract manufacturers, Foxconn Electronics and Pegatron Technology, have both been issued orders to start assembly of next-generation iPads, set for an early-March launch. This comes after reports from an iLounge story where editor Jeremy Horwitz said he had hands-on experience with a next-gen iPad prototype.

Horwitz said:

The new iPad's body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We've heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2's back. [...] Switch, button, speaker, and other elements located on the side edges are all the same, as are the headphone and Dock Connector ports. In other words, last year's accessories should generally work properly with the new model, which is great.

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Microsoft have (for now) halted plans for Web TV subscription

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 12, 2012 2:25 AM CST

Microsoft has clamped down its plans to launch an online subscription service for TV shows and movies, according to a report from Reuters. Microsoft were deep in discussion with potential programming partners for over 12 months now, and were, up until recently, planning to launch the service in the upcoming months.

They have done a 180-degree turn on that decision, after deciding that the licensing costs were too high for the business model they envisaged, according to people "familiar with the discussions". One senior media executive who was involved in these talks, said:

They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said 'ooh ah, that's expensive.'

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Dell looks to a late-2012 launch for consumer tablets

CES 2012: Dell have plans to launch their first consumer tablet late this year, where it will face not only strong competition, but will go head-to-head with releases between now and then, too. With Apple and Samsung playing the David and Goliath battle in the consumer tablet market, how can Dell do something different to make customers not just want, but need their tablet.

Dell have had a successful lead in the boxed PC/notebook build-to-order market, but even now, they face slim profits and a market that doesn't quite want desktops or notebooks, as much, anymore. The enterprise-focused Streak tablet from Dell was just a test, and now they want some of that consumer tablet pie.

Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Felice, said at CES this week:

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Bulldozer patches now available for Windows 7, offers 10% improvement

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jan 12, 2012 12:30 AM CST

Microsoft have shuffled their feet a little bit and released two patches for AMD's Bulldozer platform according to the AMD Blog. AMD note that the AMD FX processors sport a unique dual-core module architecture codenamed "Bulldozer", which current versions of Windows 7 were not specifically architected to utilize.

In AMD's initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, they've seen performance improvements of up to 10-percent in some applications when compared to Windows 7. This comes down to the fact that the system correctly recognizes the AMD FX processor architecture, and cores. AMD put this down to a close collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, where Microsoft completed back-porting of some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors and baked it into a hotfix, now available, for Windows 7.

If you're an owner of an AMD FX-based processor, here's some instructions to update Windows 7 and enjoy the extra performance:

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Mad Catz Pro Circuit Game controller, mod your own controller

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Jan 11, 2012 11:25 PM CST

CES 2012: Mad Catz have just introduced a very interesting looking console controller. Enter the Mad Catz officially-licensed Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit controller for the Xbox 360. How is this different to any other controllers, you ask? Well, Mad Catz teamed up with Major League Gaming for one, and second, they engineered a high-end Xbox 360 gaming controller that must be not just seen, but used in order to appreciate.

It sports slip-deterring rubberized grips, a robust braided cable, and just looks beautiful. One thing that Mad Catz have changed up is that the directional pad and thumb sticks are, wait for it, modular. You can rip these puppies out and swap them around! If you like your Xbox 360-style controller, keep it as is. If you like the PlayStation 3-style (where the thumb sticks are side-by-side), then pull them out and change it. Feel like a cool kid? Well, keep it custom and do it your own way.

Not only are the ProModule components swappable, but Mad Catz sell ProModule kits (sold seperately) which provide all sorts of different colors, tensions, lengths and textures. As well as that, removable top and side faceplates are available in both matte and glossy finishes, right out of the box. Additionally, the MLG Pro Circuit Controller even comes with a ProCase, so you can throw you controller, accessories, cover and cable all into the bag and run out the door to your pro-gaming competition, or just a friends house.

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ioSafe get all crazy trying to electrify media and new Thunderbolt drive with Tesla coil

Cameron Wilmot | Storage | Jan 11, 2012 9:17 PM CST

CES 2012 - This morning we ventured out to the Las Vegas Country Club where the folks over at ioSafe held one of their now famous CES demo-lition events. In previous years they've done things like take media to a shooting arrange to blast the hell out of their drives and have done other things like run over the drive with massive earth movers and such.

This year Robb Moore and his team at ioSafe decided to do something new and setup a "Cage of Death" with a near enough to one million volt Tesla coil operated by Telsa expert Doctor Megavolt. Media were put into a nearby cage at a fairly safe distance from the proceeding bolts of lightning and inside the main cage the brand new ioSafe Thunderbolt drive was put to the test to see how it could with standard an extreme amount of electricity coming right at the device.

After the demo CEO Robb Moore of ioSafe reconnected the drive back to the system and it ended up working just fine. There were a few other little "magic tricks" during the show but we cannot reveal that at this stage since other media are still going to be attending the event tomorrow. The main message was that ioSafe is very serious about protecting your data and will go to big lengths to make that happen.

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