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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #991

    Anandtech: The Intel SSD 710 (200GB) Review

    When Intel entered the SSD market one of its declared goals was to bring the technology into the mainstream. The goal was so important to Intel that its consumer drive was branded X25-M, with the M standing for mainstream. Intel's desire for SSD ubiquity wasn't entirely altruistic however. Mechanical storage acted as a potential gate to increasing CPU performance. Eventually, without significant improvements in IO performance, CPU improvements would be less visible to most users. SSDs would help alleviate this bottleneck.
    It wouldn't be untrue to say that Intel accomplished its mission. The client SSD market was in a state of disarray before Intel arrived on the scene. Although we still have problems today, there are a number of affordable options for end users and lots of competition. Samsung, Marvell, Indilinx, JMicron and even SanDisk are now vying for control of the market.
    With healthy competition, significant performance improvements and (hopefully) improved reliability in the consumer SSD space, Intel will actually begin defocusing itself from this market over the coming years. Intel needs to keep margins as high as possible to appease shareholders, and the consumer SSD business is in a race to the bottom. Dollars per GB are all that matter here once you deliver a certain level of performance and reliability.
    Intel won't abandon the consumer SSD market completely, it will still compete in the high end space but there's a good reason that the mainstream moniker has been dropped from Intel's product names. Intel will shift more of its attention to the enterprise space, bringing that technology to the high end desktop/workstation users where it can (e.g. Cherryville will be focused on both enterprise and enthusiast desktop users). But as you have already seen, I wouldn't expect Intel to actively compete in driving mainstream SSD pricing down further. That market now belongs to the players I mentioned above.
    What better way to kick off the shift in focus than with a new enterprise drive: Intel's SSD 710, the long awaited successor to the X25-E. Read on for our full review!


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    #992

    Anandtech: ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe Review – Llano and Mini-ITX

    In a world where space is at a premium, the smaller motherboards get, and yet still retain full functionality, never ceases to amaze me. With desktop Llano processors taking the integrated graphics crown, an all-in-one mini Llano system becomes ever more appealing. To support this, ASUS have sent us their premium mini-ITX motherboard for review, which I have put through the bench suite. Read on for the full review!


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    #993

    Anandtech: Alienware's M18x, Part 1: NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 580M in SLI

    Historically, whenever NVIDIA or AMD launched a new mobile powerhouse GPU, AVADirect and Clevo were ready to ship us a high-end notebook to show us what the latest mobile GPUs could do. The problem is that NVIDIA and AMD have been playing a rapid game of oneupsmanship lately, while Clevo has been content with their dual-GPU + desktop CPU X7200. We've already looked at that notebook twice, so we wanted to see if we could find the high-end hardware elsewhere. Thankfully, Alienware was ready to step up to the plate with their M18x.
    Perhaps even more interesting, we were able to pull some strings and get Alienware to agree to send us two M18x units back-to-back. Today we present to you the first of a two-part series where we begin with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 580M (tested in both single GPU and SLI modes), and we'll also given a thorough overview of Alienware's M18x. We'll follow up in the near future with a second look at the M18x, but with AMD's Radeon HD 6990M (again tested in single GPU and CrossFire modes), at which point we'll be able to give a full rundown on how these two top-of-the-line mobile graphics solutions stack up.
    Read on for the first part of our Alienware M18x coverage, with dual 580Ms and enough performance to put many a desktop to shame.


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    #994

    Anandtech: Modded Battlefield 3 Beta Servers Could Result in Bans


    Intrepid players of the Battlefield 3 beta (which began last week) have taken to hacking servers to boost the player count from 32 up to 128. Joining such a server, however unwittingly, may result in your EA account being banned.
    An official post from developer DICE on the game’s forum (screen-capped and posted on Rock, Paper, Shotgun) asserts that playing on a hacked server can compromise your account and “may lead to having your account banned by EA.” A follow-up post states, “If your account gets banned it does mean any EA game you have on your account would also be unavailable.”
    While reports of any actual bans have yet to surface, this is still troublesome for beta players. The hacked servers appear in the official Battlefield 3 Battlelog, the game’s browser-based server selection site, and as such are relatively easy to join – thereby making it quite easy to get banned and locked out of other EA titles you’ve purchased.
    Hopefully rather than issue scores of bans, DICE/EA will use this as an opportunity to test and bolster the security of their servers. In the meantime, beta players should tread carefully and avoid servers running any extra game modes or player counts higher than 32.
    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun



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    #995

    Anandtech: Dell XPS 14z Launches in China, US Launch Coming Soon

    The Dell XPS 14z, the 14-inch counterpart to the XPS 15z that we praised in our review last month, is rolling out in China this week with a US launch soon to follow.
    We (and others) noted the XPS 15z's resemblance to the MacBook Pro, and the 14z continues in the same vein: the laptop is less than an inch thick and weighs 4.4 pounds, but still includes dual-core Sandy Bridge processors, an optional Optimus-capable NVIDIA GT 520M GPU, USB 3.0 ports, and an optical drive. The screen resolution is reported to be an unexciting 1366x768, though it isn't mentioned whether the 14z will share the 15z's 1080p upgrade option.
    For my part, I find 14" laptops to be a good deal: you can usually get the same amount of power as a bulkier 15" laptop in a package that's not as cramped as smaller laptops can sometimes be. I'm always excited to see PC makers put some thought into their products' designs - hopefully the 14z impresses when it comes to other territories in the coming weeks.
    Source: Social Barrel



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    #996

    Anandtech: AVADirect Compact Gaming PC: Small Case, Big System

    It's easy to build a powerful desktop if you take a big, beefy enclosure like SilverStone's FT-02 or the Thermaltake Level 10 GT and just fill it with the highest performance parts on the market, overclock them, and call it a day—and certainly we've seen our share of those. Taking all of that raw performance and shrinking it into a MicroATX case can be a little more difficult, though, especially when you're dissipating a cumulative TDP of at least 730 watts. Yet when we saw that AVADirect had produced another compact but incredibly high performance gaming desktop, we had to take a look. Gulftown may be on its way to bed soon with the advent of Sandy Bridge-E, but let's see if we can't give it one last hurrah in the process.

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    #997

    Anandtech: AMD Releases Catalyst Preview Driver For Rage

    With the release of id Software's Rage this morning, AMD has pushed out a new preview driver specifically for the game. Unlike last week's 11.10 preview driver, AMD has not assigned a version number to this driver as it's based on an earlier fork than 11.10, making it both newer and older than the 11.10 preview. As a result AMD is reccomending users only install this driver for playing Rage, and stick to 11.10 otherwise.
    Source: AMD



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    #998

    Anandtech: Adobe Announces New Tablet Apps

    Adobe has announced a new suite of apps for Android and iOS tablets designed both to enable image and photo editing for tablet users, as well as provide additional functionality for users of the company's desktop applications.
    There are five new apps that make up the package, each with a different function:

    • Adobe Photoshop Touch is a standalone product that allows for basic image manipulation and sharing - it should be more capable than the current Photoshop Express, but less so than the desktop versions of the software.
    • Adobe Carousel syncs photos between Macs and iOS devices (Android and Windows versions are said to be "coming soon").
    • Adobe Eazel ($2.99 in the App Store) allows you to use your tablet as an input device in the desktop version of Photoshop CS5.
    • Adobe Color Lava ($2.99 in the App Store) allows you to use your tablet as a sort of paint palette/color selector - you can select and mix colors on the screen until you've got the shade you want.
    • Adobe Nav ($1.99 in the App Store) will allow you to replace Photoshop CS5's toolbar with one on your tablet's screen, freeing up screen space and ostensibly simplifying some workflows.

    The apps that connect with Photoshop CS5 will do so with the Mac and Windows versions of the software. Users can sign up to receive notifications about when Photoshop Touch and Carousel are released.
    Source: Adobe



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    #999

    Anandtech: Stephen Elop: Nokia's First Windows Phones Coming in a few Weeks

    While we are all excited about today's iPhone event, Nokia has shed some light to their Windows Phone schedule as well. Nokia's CEO, Stephen Elop, held a speech yesterday at ECT Forum in Helsinki, Finland, where he revealed that Nokia's first Windows Phone 7-based devices will be revealed within a few weeks. This isn't a surprise since Nokia will be holding the annual Nokia World Trade show on October 26th in London. However, this hints that Nokia has not experienced any further delays, although it's not clear when Nokia will actually be shipping these phones.
    How many and what kind of phones Nokia will announce, is the question. Some reports have suggested three models at the beginning, but there are no concrete proofs to support that. What is certain is that these phones will pretty much dictate Nokia's future in the smartphone market.
    Source: Reuters



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    #1000

    Anandtech: iOS 5 Releases on October 12

    Apple has announced that the newest version of its mobile operating system will be released on October 12.

    Apple first discussed iOS 5 in depth at WWDC 2011 (read our coverage here), and the features discussed there still constitute the bulk of iOS 5. Most prominent among them: a new less disruptive notifications system and the Notification Center, PC-free capabilities for syncing with iTunes and performing software updates, iCloud sync and backup capability, and a new iMessage protocol that allows for free SMS-style messaging between all iOS 5 devices.

    In addition to the new iPhone, iOS 5 is supported on all current iOS devices: the iPhone 3GS, the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4, the iPad and iPad 2, and the third and fourth-generation iPod Touch. You should expect a full review from us soon.



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