It's been a busy day here at TweakTown today with loads of company visits. While Cam was out visiting with Abit and ECS, I spent some time with DFI. What we got to see and find out some more about are the upcoming X38 and RD790 based Lanparty boards. It also looks like DFI is about to expand its Lanparty series of motherboards with some slightly more affordable boards that lacks some of the hardcore overclocking features, but will still be premium boards.
Let's start with the Lanparty X38, which has gone through some changes since Computex earlier this year. First of all the colours of the slots have changed from orange to green and yellow, just like the P35-T2R. The board we saw was still in development and some changes might still be done before the final board is ready. The chipset cooling wasn't decided upon as yet, although it will use a cooling solution similar to the one on the P35-T2R.
During our visit to the ABIT HQ today, we managed to snap photos of their upcoming Intel X38 chipset based motherboards. These shots are of boards which are almost ready for mass production.
First up is the IX38-MAX Tiger Force which is the high-end motherboard fully loaded with some impressive features - this one is DDR3 only. Besides the options offered by the X38 chipset, ABIT have included 100% Japanese solid capacitors, Dolby Digital Live and DTS sound via optical connection, improved digital PWM, external clear CMOS button, two eSATA ports along with very impressive copper cooling.
In similar style to Corsair's Survivor series of flash drives, OCZ have announced today some very rugged well-built offerings of their own in the ATV and ATV Turbo series.
These flash drives will cop a real beating as they are both shock and water-proof, the Turbo series has extremely quick memory chips in it which allow for read rates of up to 35MB/sec and write rates of 30MB/sec, of course they are Windows ReadyBoost ready as well.
The external casing features a durable and colorful rubber 'tread' pattern which will keep the internals very safe even when submerged in water.
Ooooh looky here! Though the launch of X38 is only a short time away now, Intel have managed to keep the wraps on it pretty darn tight with very little leaking onto the net about its characteristics.
However! - Thanks to the lads over at HardSpell today, they've managed to get their grubby mits on some images of a public version of Intel's own X38 based motherboard. The first and foremost feature to capture one's attention on this board is the three residing PCIe x16 slots.. yummy!
Furthermore, HardSpell have also posted up a series of white papers specific to the characteristics of the X38 Express chipset.
Toshiba has announced the availability of two new 1.8-inch drives and you can already find both of them in the new iPod classic. We're talking tiny drives here and they're not exactly speed monsters, but the 160GB model is the largest capacity 1.8-inch drive to date.
It's only one small problem, the 160GB model is using two 80GB platters which make it quite fat at 8mm thick compared to only 5mm for the 80GB single platter version.
HP has launched a dedicated site for its upcoming Blackbird 002 high-end gaming PC and it looks like one sweet machine. A lot of the technology in the Blackbird 002 comes from HP's Voodoo PC purchase and the brains of Rahul Sood. The Blackbird 002 even features a Voodoo DNA logo inside the chassis to show that this system is something special.
Not only is it gorgeously designed, but it's also really tidy inside, something we can't say about some HP PC's we've seen in the past. It's possibly the cleanest build we've ever seen. It's also got a lot of interesting design features such as water cooling by Danish Asetek, a special airflow system and a unique stand that the whole case rests on.
If you haven't already noticed it, Apple has launched a range of new iPod's and updated some older products. There's a new range of colour option for the iPod shuffle, which otherwise didn't receive any updates and the price is still US$79. The iPod nano on the other hand got a real overhaul.
If you saw the early spy-shots, then you'll know what we're talking about. It looks somewhat like an iPod cut in half now and gone are the slim, sleek lines of the previous nano's. It has a 2in QVGA display now, that's 320x240 resolution, it can play videos and it has a new user interface. The new nano comes in 4 and 8GB flavours and it's available in five different colours, although the 4GB model only comes in silver/grey. The 4GB model is priced at $149 with the 8GB coming in at $199.
Last night we had the opportunity to experience in person just how easy it is to hack and modify an Apple iPhone to work on networks other than AT&T in the United States.
The whole process took 20 minutes to complete - we will walk you through the process we saw from the undisclosed location hidden in the back streets of somewhere. I was blind folded during transportation to the location, I swear!!
First of all, let me say I am quite aware there are already three methods of iPhone enabling, hacking, modifying or however you would like to put it. The first to surface was the soldering trick but this seems a little impractical for most consumers. The second was software modding the iPhone and paying a fee to do so but it seems AT&T has already shut that down or is in the process of doing so. The third which surfaced recently is similar to what we are going to show here but a little different - it involved modding your SIM with a special module adapter but we are unsure of all the details on the procedure of that mod... until now.
A Taiwanese forum has got their hands of several high-quality pictures of the upcoming Asus Republic of Gamers, Maximus Formula motherboard. It's got a massive heatsink covering the chipset and it's connected to another heatsink that vents the heat out of the case via the I/O panel. There are several heatpipes connecting the various heatsinks on the motherboard, but it looks like Asus has gone for a traditional PWM design instead of using a digital PWM design like DFI, which takes up a lot less space on the board.
The board itself doesn't look that amazing though, it's got two x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots, two x1 slots and a third black slot for Asus audio riser card, as well as two PCI slots. Around the back are six USB ports, a FireWire port, a PS/2 port for a keyboard, two Ethernet connectors and S/PDIF out connectors, but no eSATA which is a real bummer.
Some information as well as a couple of pictures of Logitech's upcoming MX 5500 Revolution Cordless Desktop has appeared online. It will replace the Cordless Desktop MX 5000 Laser and has been given a fair few upgrades in terms of features. First of all the mouse has been upgraded from the MX 1000 to the MX Revolution, which is a great addition on its own.
Although the MX5500 keeps the Bluetooth connectivity of the MX 5000, they keyboard is an entirely new design which looks somewhat similar to the updated G15 gaming keyboard. It's got a much nicer looking LCD display with bigger lettering. The display can be used for time, calculator functions, incoming messages and for media playback information.