Home > News > The Daily VR-Zone News Summary – 20 April 2011

The Daily VR-Zone News Summary – 20 April 2011

In today's news roundup:

  • A critical desaign flaw recently discovered in Western Digital's Caviar Green hard disks could result in the storage unit suffering from premature failures of its seeking heads;
  • Crucial's new Ballistix Smart tracer DDR3-1600 modules get reviewed;
  • Intel promises to serve up Google's Gingerbread in the form of a native x86 port now that the chip giant has managed to obtain a copy of the Android code from Google;
  • Google has announced at all videos that are uploaded to YouTube will now be transcoded in the free and open video format known as WebM;
  • Sony has officially declared that the PSP Go is now a dead product and will no longer be produced, and
  • Rockstar Games has been rumoured to be offering support to Nintendo's upcoming Wii sucessor in the form of new titles for the console.

Hardware news

Critical Design Flaw Found in WD Caviar Green HDDs @ NGOHQ.com
Description: It has come to our attention that Western Digital's Caviar Green HDDs suffer from a critical design flaw caused by an aggressive power-saving feature. Western Digital has developed a new technology called Intellipark (aka Idle 3 mode) and it is designed to reduce power consumption, in part by positioning the HDD's heads in a park position and turning off unnecessary electronics after 8 seconds of inactivity. According to an in-house investigation and user reports', some software and operating systems are incompatible with the Intellipark feature causing endless head parking movement as the HDD continuously goes in/out of idle mode. This abnormal behavior creates stress on the HDD and that could lead to issues.

RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-326StUSE2 3.5'' HDD Enclosure Review @ Real World Labs
Description: With excellent performance, plenty of interfaces, great build quality and SmartGuider HDD tray which allows for swift HDD swapping you just can't go wrong with the Icy Box IB-326StUSE2 3.5’’ External HDD enclosure by Raidsonic.

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3-1600 4GB Kit BL2KIT25664ST1608RG Review
Description: This time the new Crucial Ballistix Smart tracer DDR3-1600 modules are tested, which offers fast timings, high frequencies and a special highlight, in the truest sense of the word. We already know activity LEDs in different colors on the top of the modules and near the pins from several Crucial Ballistix Tracer reviews. But these new Smart Tracer RAM LEDs can be programmed with a special BallistixUtility and additionally the software can show the temperature of the DDR3 memory modules and write it into a log file.

Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced Review @ Madshrimps
Description: Time to throw another case into the mix. Today we are introducing an evolution of one of coolermasters biggest sellers of the last years. The Coolermaster CM 690 II Advanced. By listening to the end users input, the CM engineers have refined the 690 series case. Adding a removable HD bay (to support up to 3GPUs easily), a hot swappable HD docking station, baptised X-docking station, are just a few of the new features or updates as you want. The 690 II advanced is available in a window and non windowed version. Let's see what this beauty has got in store for you.

Intel Sandy Bridge Overclocking Guide @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: With the launch of the new Sandy Bridge processors we feel the necessity to prepare an Overclocking analysis mainly because Intel completely changed the rules. Overclocking is now 99% limited to unlocked processors, and to mid-high platforms, while low-mid platforms and non-unlocked processors can't simply be overclocked more than some extra MHz. Follow us while we p! ut into test both the Core i5 2500K and the Core i7 2600K paired with the P67 Express platform and discover how they work against voltage, heat and power consumption.

Xigmatek Elysium Super Tower Exclusive Review
Description: The Elysium is that rare product that has a value that far outperforms its price. With a 200 USD MSRP, this review could be published with the price, a specifications / features list and a handful of pictures and no one would complain (other than the competition). It's going to be fairly difficult to keep this article on the Elysium's features and not dedicate eight pages to the price point that is insanely low for what you are getting. While doing my final check in with Xigmatek, I asked them to raise the price to 300 USD and send me the extra 100 Dollars, because I know you would spend that kind of money on what I have to show you today.

Antec HCG-750 High Current Gamer Series Power Supply Review @Hi Tech Legion
Description: The Antec HCG-750 Power Supply is but one in the new line of High Current Gamer Series PSUs. The HCG-750 advertises a delivery of 750 Watts of continuous power. The HCG-750 comes with many features, the first being four high current +12V rails. These rails have a high over current protection set point for high end GPU compatibility. The HCG-750 is constructed of all Japanese-brand capacitors for excellent reliability. There is a 135mm double ball bearing fan for quiet operation and high air flow. The 750 is 80 Plus Bronze certified and boasts up to 88% efficiency. There are 4 gold plated 8-pin (6+2) PCI-E connectors and gold-plated High Current terminals.

Intel picks up a second foundry customer, Tabula
Description: It looks like Intel (INTC) is getting in to the foundry business, SemiAccurate has just found out that they are making chips for a second startup. Just like Achronix late last year, Intel will be fabbing FPGAs for Tabula as well.

Consumer Electronics and Software news

Apple to Start Shipping the Next iPhone in September
Description: After the rumor that Apple won’t announce the next-generation of iPhone in June or July (which was the case with all previous iPhone announcements), comes a report that the new iPhone is actually coming in the fall. While Apple’s suppliers will begin production in July this year, the finished product is likely to begin shipping in September, Reuters reports citing sources familiar with the matter.

RockMelt Goes Mobile with iPhone Offering
Description: RockMelt is set to launch a mobile version of its browser, which integrates social media tools. RockMelt’s move into mobile this week comes just one month after the public debut of its desktop browser.

Coolermaster Storm SF-19 Strike Force battles high notebook temperatures @ Madshrimps
Description: If you're even half the nerd that I am you might eventually have wondered what's inside your notebook, where the irritating noise of a fan suddenly came from when watching Youtube vids, and very maybe you might have wondered why your notebook sometimes gets so hot! I'm a bit being sarcastic here as I perfectly know most of our readers indeed do understand what's going on inside the metal or plastic housing, yet still what's there to do when temps keep on rising? Notebook coolers to the rescue! Todays we'll be having a look at one of the more performant notebook coolers you'll stumble against upon your search for the perfect solution, or did we just find it four you? Read on!

Arctic NC Laptop Cooler Review at Overclockers Online
Description: The Arctic NC is no doubt a nice product as you’d expect from Arctic. It does a decent job at cooling down a hot laptop. Its lightweight construction allows it to be portable which is always a plus. However, I am not a fan of the ergonomics of how it works. The need to rest just part of your laptop on it makes for a very unstable set-up; it has to be used on a flat surface and with care to prevent disaster.

Intel promises Android 3.0 on x86 for this year
Description: Intel chief Paul Otellini has revealed that Intel is developing a port of Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) designed to run on its x86 architecture. "We've received the Android code – the Honeycomb version of Android source code – from Google, and we're actively doing the port on that," Otellini said during Intel's conference call on Tuesday.

YouTube videos now served in WebM
Description: All new videos uploaded to YouTube are now transcoded into WebM. WebM is an open media file format for video and audio on the web. Its openness allows anyone to improve the format and its integrations, resulting in a better experience for you in the long-term. As we work to transcode more videos into WebM, we hope to reduce the technical incompatibilities that prevent you from accessing video while improving the overall online video landscape.

Acer Aspire One 722 being prepped for release
Description: Acer Aspire One 722 will ship with an 11.6″ 1366 x 768 pixel resolution display and a 1GHz AMD C-50 dual core processor, accompanied by an AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics chipset. Stereo speakers are there for you to blast your favorite tunes (or rather, torture those around you with boy band pop music) while a higher capacity battery compared ot the Aspire One 522 ought to give is slightly more legs in the open and away from a power outlet.

Gaming news

Michael Jackson: The Experience @ Computing on Demand
Description: It’s finally here; Michael Jackson: The Experience has been released for the Xbox 360’s Kinect, and it does not disappoint. Grab your fedora and your sequined glove, and get ready as we bring you a first glance at this title.

PSP Go is Dead
Description: Sony Japan confirmed it has ceased production of the PSP Go and that all future sales will be limited to current stock.

GTA Developer Rumored to be on Board with Wii Successor
Description: Following last week's rumors about Nintendo's alleged new console, a new report suggests that Rockstar Games will be developing titles for the system.

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