Thursday, April 12, 2012

Samsung galaxy s3

Launch date April or May 22?

Samsung galaxy sIII coming soon with:

Display: The Galaxy S3 version is expected to have a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Plus HD screen, with 1280 x 720 pixels of resolutions with a pixel density of 313 PPI. The smartphone is also assumed to feature a spectacular 3D screen.
Ice Cream Sandwich OS: According to GSM Helpdesk, S3 will definitely come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and the device looks to have Samsung’s latest version of TouchWiz software atop the user interface.

Processor: At the same time, the new phone is expected to be powered by Samsung’s 1.5 GHz Exynos quad-core chip accompanied by 2GB RAM to keep the things running smoothly. Further it is also rumoured to feature an expandable memory option up to 32 GB.

12 MP Camera: The camera upgrade is expected to be a big one with 12-megapixels with a 1080p video at 60 frames per second and video chatting with a front-facing 2 megapixel camera.

Battery Upgrade: Rumour has it that the S3 will be loaded with a 2250 mAh battery. Also, it would measure 131 x 64 x 8 mm and weigh around 125grams.

4G LTE and NFC: Rumours are intense that the successor of S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, will be backed by the 4G LTE capability and also the latest, Near Field Communication (NFC) feature.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Logitech MX1100 Cordless Laser Mouse

The Logitech MX1100 Cordless Laser Mouse, the newest addition to the MX line of performance mice, is bulky, heavy (5.55 ounces with two AA batteries)—and comfortable. Although tailored to general-purpose computing, it's versatile enough for gaming. Rubber-like material on both sides assures a good grip, and the large, contoured body lets you rest your hand and move your wrist or use your fingertips for more precise control. The shape, however, suits righties more than lefties.

Combining the highly customizable mouse with the best-in-class SetPoint software (included), lets you set vertical scrolling to be clicky and line-by-line or hyperspeed (sideways pressure causes horizontal movement), switch dpi settings on the fly, and remap eight of ten buttons under Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, Windows XP, and Vista. The 2.4-GHz wireless provides a strong, reliable connection, even in busy wireless environments. 

The laser sensor allows settings from 400dpi to 1,600. While $79.99 is hefty for a mouse that's not gaming-specific, the comfort and solid performance even over non-smooth surfaces justifies the price.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S II Smartphone (T-Mobile) Review


Like many of today's latest smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S II sports an all-black front face dominated by a huge touchscreen. The size of the display is even more impressive considering the phone's extremely thin profile (5.1 x 2.7 x 0.4 inches). The Galaxy S II's flat, slab-like shape has smoothly rounded edges which make for a comfortable grip.
Users with small hands, though, will find it difficult to reach the far side of the device. Despite being plastic, the phone's gray faux-metal styling creates a sophisticated look. Turning the Galaxy S II over reveals a textured black plastic cover that repels fingerprints. An 8-MP camera and LED flash is here too, along with a gently curved chin on the phone's bottom edge.
At just 4.8 ounces, the Galaxy S II is lighter than the HTC Amaze 4G (6.1 ounces) and the HTC Sensation 4G (5.2 ounces). Both the HTC Amaze 4G (0.5 inches) and the HTC Sensation 4G (0.4 inches) are thicker too, making them less pocket-friendly.


Fun third-party apps include Netflix for streaming movies and TV shows, Slacker Internet radio, and the Asphalt 6 racing game. Watching movies over Netflix was enjoyable--with our entire queue at our fingertips--but in order to play Asphalt 6, we had to download a 455MB file, which took 35 minutes over Wi-Fi.

Samsung also bundles apps of its own, such as Media Hub (offering movies and music for purchase and download) and Social Hub, which pulls e-mail, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter updates into a central location. The AllShare App streams media on the phone to a DLNA-enabled HDTV, provided it's connected to the same network. Similarly, Kies Air lets you access the phone's files from a networked PC.
T-Mobile also mixes in its own apps, such as T-Mobile TV, T-Mobile Name ID, and VIP Bonus Apps. Business-minded apps include Polaris Office for viewing business documents and a trial version of Lookout mobile security. In case you'd like to hide any of these apps, you can place shortcuts into folders on the home screen.


Equipped with a powerful 8-MP main camera, the Samsung Galaxy S II provided a fun photo-taking experience. The phone cycles between shots in under a second, and its autofocus locked onto subjects with no perceptible lag. Daylight images of autumn tree leaves and bright blue skies had pleasing color. The sensor also did a good job at compensating between light and dark conditions, and when the flash needed to fire, subjects were evenly exposed. Though there are no fancy features such as the panorama mode found on the HTC Amaze 4G, we liked the anti-shake, auto contrast functions, and effects such as grayscale and Sepia.

Video quality was also good, with footage taken at the camera's maximum resolution of 1080p on an NYC street corner showing sharp details of brick and concrete surfaces as well as the bright yellow of taxi cabs.

Call Quality

Calls made on the Samsung Galaxy S II were clear, and callers reported that our voice was easy to hear even on crowded city streets filled with traffic noise. Speakerphone performance was just as pleasant; people on the other end couldn't tell that we were using the phone hands-free.

Battery Life

Despite its super-thin profile, the Samsung Galaxy S II packs in a 1850 mAh battery that lasted a long 7 hours and 38 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test (web surfing over 4G). That's almost two hours longer than the current average for Android devices. It also outlasted the Epic 4G Touch (5:48, 1800 mAh), HTC Amaze 4G (5:40, 1730 mAh), HTC Sensation 4G (7:12, 1520 mAh), and myTouch 4G (6:09, 1520 mAh).


Of the new crop of superphones on T-Mobile's network, the $229 Samsung Galaxy S II is the most compelling. Not only does it serve up bleeding-edge performance and feature a lovely Super AMOLED Plus display, it also offers incredible endurance. Another high-octane option on T-Mobile is the $259 HTC Amaze 4G, which features fast 4G, dual-core power, and an even better camera. However, many will fall in love with the Galaxy S II's slim size, eye-catching screen, and swift 4G speeds--and we can't blame them.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

21.5- and 27-inch iMacs

Apple releases Thunderbolt-equipped iMac line
Apple unveils new iMac, including quad-core model
The latest iMac models introduced by Apple this month benefit greatly from new Intel processors and greater device connectivity. Both changes offer users unprecedented speed from the iMac lineup.

Apple offers four standard configuration models. The new entry-level $1199 21.5-inch iMac has a 2.5GHz Core i5 quad core processor, a 500GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics with 512MB of video memory. The $1499 21.5-inch iMac has a 2.7GHz Core i5 quad core processor, a 1TB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics with 512MB of video memory. The $1699 27-inch iMac has the same processor, memory, and graphics as the $1499 iMac. At the top of the line sits a $1999 27-inch iMac with a 3.1GHz Core i5 quad core processor, a 1TB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics with 1GB of video memory.

All iMacs include an Apple Wireless Keyboard () and Magic Mouse (). If you buy an iMac through the Apple Online Store, you can swap the Magic Mouse for a Magic Trackpad () at no additional cost. If you think that the Magic Trackpad is a better input device, that’s good news.

Inside the iMac
Each new standard-configuration iMac features a Core i5 quad-core processor. Based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, the processors integrate the CPU, cache, and memory controller on one chip, allowing for fast data access over fewer buses. Each iMac has 6MB of shared L3 cache and support for Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0, which allows the processor to automatically speed up cores when needed.

However, the Core i5 processors in the standard-configuration iMacs do not have Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, which creates two virtual cores for each physical core present in the processor, improving performance. To get an iMac with a processor that has both Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading, you’ll have to select the $200 Core i7 upgrade option for the $1499 21.5-inch iMac or $1999 27-inch iMac. (The standard-configuration Mac Pros and MacBook Pros have both Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost.)

All iMacs come standard with 4GB of memory, installed as a pair of 2GB modules. When you order an iMac through the Apple Online Store, you have the option to upgrade the memory to 8GB (a pair of 4GB modules) on all iMac models for $200, or to 16GB (four 4GB modules) on the 27-inch models for $600. The iMac has four memory slots located at the bottom of the iMac that are user-accessible. Since two slots are empty when you buy an standard-configuration iMac, you can easily add more memory. The 21.5 inch iMac has support for up to 16GB of memory; third party companies are offering 32GB memory upgrades for the new 27-inch iMac.

The $1199 21.5-inch iMac has a 500GB, 7200-rpm hard drive and no upgrade options. The three other iMac models each have a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive and options to upgrade to a 2TB hard drive for $150, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) for $500, or a combination of a 256GB SSD and either a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive ($600) or a 2TB 7200-rpm hard drive ($750). Do-it-yourself storage upgrades are possible with the new iMac, but it requires a good amount of skill and intestinal fortitude on the user’s part—opening up the case involves using suction cups to remove the front pane of glass that is held in place by magnets. Such upgrades void your warranty, which may also be a deterrent from performing the surgery.

The new iMacs have support for Serial ATA-3 (SATA-3) drives capable of 6GBps speed, but the drives Apple installs and the BTO storage options conform to the SATA-2 specification and are capable of 3GBps speed. SATA-3 drives are becoming more common, however, and it's possible that Apple could offer SATA-3 drives in the future. Some companies, such as OWC, offer iMac upgrade services that can be used to install a SATA-3 drive. [Editor's note: OWC is reporting that the new iMacs use a proprietary cable that restricts the ability to upgrade the storage devices yourself.]

The new iMacs have a slot-loading, 8X SuperDrive that can burn dual-layer DVDs at 4X speeds, and a SDXD card slot for easy transfer of photo and video files from SD cards used in cameras and camcorders.


The 27-inch iMac has two Thunderbolt ports. They are indicated by the lightning-bolt icons and are located between the FireWire 800 and ethernet ports.A new external connection called Thunderbolt can be used to attach Mini DisplayPort monitors. Introduced earlier this year with the latest MacBook Pros, Thunderbolt can also be used with Thunderbolt-equipped storage devices. Thunderbolt offers data transfer speeds up of 10Gbit per second, which is 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and 20 times faster than USB 2.0. The 21.5-inch iMacs have one Thunderbolt port, while the 27-inch iMacs have two.

The catch is that at the time of the iMac’s release, Thunderbolt cables, drives, or adapters were not available, and it may be a while before Thunderbolt peripherals hit the market. When Thunderbolt was introduced with the MacBook Pro earlier this year, several companies said they had Thunderbolt products in the works, but many did not provide a solid timeline as to when products will be available to the public. So right now, Thunderbolt isn't the sole reason you should buy a new iMac, and fortunately, the iMac didn't lose any ports to make room for Thunderbolt. The iMac has four USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire 800 port to connect external hard drives, printers, and other devices.

The 2010 27-inch iMac allowed for external HDMI-based video sources (such as a Blu-ray player or game console) if you had an HDMI-to-Mini DisplayPort adapter—those adapters won’t work with the new iMacs, which require an HDMI-to-Thunderbolt adapter that isn’t available yet. If you have a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro, you can use the new iMac’s Target Display Mode feature, which allows you to use the iMac as a second display for the MacBook Pro. But again, the Thunderbolt cable that’s required to use the Target Display Mode feature wasn’t available during this review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

About Cisco Academy

As the popularity of technology and the Internet increases, more individuals are becoming aware of the considerable benefits of pursuing a career within technology.  Cisco, one of the world’s largest consumer communications technology manufacturers has implemented a program that is designed to meet the specific needs of individuals who are interested in embarking on a technology career.  With the help of the  Cisco Academy, individuals from all over the world are given the opportunity to follow a career of their dreams.

The Cisco Academy is a specially designed program that works with both private and public organizations to provide resources to people who are interested in ICT (Information and Communications Technology).  The Academy provides these individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance their careers, whether it be for college-ready students or those who are simply looking to expand their knowledge base.  The program courses are available at a wide range of high schools, universities, and community colleges across the United States and Canada.
The courses are designed to help diversify the knowledge that the average student has within the field of ICT to prepare them for acquiring their desired qualifications.  It will also explain all the necessary steps towards acquiring qualifications that are accepted and recognized by industry leaders all over the world.  Many individuals take these courses to develop their computer skills or to simply understand the inner workings of communication technologies.  This program is offered for free in some cases (by non-profit schools) and provides the necessary support to meet industry standards such as STEM, Common Core Standards and FIT.
The world has become a technologically advanced society, and having the necessary technology skills is now exponentially beneficial.  The Cisco Academy provides cost-effective coursework and curriculums designed to teach the required skills that businesses all over the world have high on their priority lists.
The program has a wide variety of course levels, which are appropriate for different types of students, from kindergarten, through grade 12, to college and university students.
The program features include:
  •  Cisco Packet Tracer: a lab simulation that can be used alongside the coursework
  • Interactive teaching guides
  • Online tests and assessments
  • Grading books
  • Educational games
  • Interactive case studies
  • Support communities for students and teachers to help better understand the material provided
Students can choose to cover the full range of program course, which would give them the opportunity to broaden their knowledge across a variety of different aspects of ICT.  Alternatively they can opt to study only the topics which are appropriate to them.  The courses include:

1. IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software
In this course student learn about the fundamentals of computers and receive an introduction to advanced computing concepts.  Successful students will receive a CompTIA A+ certificate.

2. CCNA Discovery 1-2
In this course students learn about general networking theories, as well as having opportunities for experience, career exploring, and soft-skills development.  Successful students will receive a CCENT certification.

3. CCNA Discovery 1-4 and CCNA Exploration 1-4
This course focuses on the foundations of advanced networking, including both theory and practical application.  Successful students will receive a CCNA certification.

4. CCNA Security
This course covers core security aspects and students will be given the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to troubleshoot, install, and monitor networks in order to prevent intrusions.  Successful students will receive a CCNA Security certification.

5. CCNP 1-4
In this course students will learn the skills required to install, monitor, configure and troubleshoot large-scale networks, as well as learning how to manage wireless, voice applications and security applications. Successful students will receive a CCNP certification.
Whether you are a high school student looking to find the perfect career or if you are simply looking for a way to expand your general knowledge of communications technology, enrolling in the Cisco Academy could prove to be extremely beneficial.  With an abundance of materials and innovative teaching techniques, Cisco has presented individuals all over North America with the opportunity to pursue the career of their dreams.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 OC

Gigabyte has a lovely product to offer you with the Radeon HD 7970 OC (WindForce edition). Admittedly it is hard to go wrong with it anyway as the default aka reference R7970 is already a product with a very high 'like' factor for sure. It performs well and within all parameters like heat and noise it's already doing a terrific job. The customization that Gigabyte applied to this R7970 OC WindForce edition raises the bar once again. Obviously the overall looks are nice, the WindForce cooler stays within the dual-slot form factor and brings in much better cooling at roughly the same noise levels as the reference design.
Gigabyte R7970 OC

The overall board design works out well with their Ultra Durable VGA construction, Gigabyte chose a 2oz copper PCB (printed circuit board), Tier 1 memory, Japanese Solid Capacitors, Low RDS (on) MOSFET and Ferrite Core Chokes. Admittedly, that Ultra Durable design has become a norm there days as all manufacturers have improved the build quality over the past two years, and with a lot of success.
Quite impressive is of course the power consumption of this product. The board is rated with a 210~215 Watt TDP, that means when you completely stress it, that's the power consumption. Our measurements showed that the board TDP is actually consuming 15 Watts lower than the reference specification. But give or take roughly 200 Watt for this kind of performance is very good. Even more impressive is the boards IDLE power state, in desktop mode when not in use it can throttle down and disable huge segments of the GPU allowing it to draw 10 Watt only. Once your monitor jumps into energy saving / sleep mode then the power draw of this 7970 drops towards 2.7 Watt.

When you look at the R7970 overall, performance, the new Eyefinity updates, PCIe gen 3 compatibility and all other stuff then we can only conclude that we like the Radeon HD 7970 in the enthusiast graphics card arena. For those that embrace multi-monitor gaming, it's for you guys that AMD decided to go for that massive 3GB framebuffer / graphics memory. They could have opted for the 1.5 GB route but with extreme resolutions graphics memory starts to really matter. So it might seem a little excessive, but we are very happy that in terms of graphics memory no compromises have been made.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

About Microsoft Certifications

Microsoft is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions to organizations worldwide. It is one of the companies in the forefront offering certification programs. It has introduced a wide range of Microsoft Certification exams for entry level to experienced professionals and for domains ranging from networking, system administration, database management to programming, web development and other advanced technologies. The Microsoft certification test ensure whether or not information technology professionals have the necessary skills to successfully implement business solutions using Microsoft Technology.

MTA Certifications
Microsoft Technology Associate or MTA certification is an entry-level Microsoft certification in Microsoft Certification Path. MTA certification is designed for the candidates who want to validate their fundamental technology knowledge, for enhancing their career. The fundamental includes web development, software development, networking fundamentals, etc. Learn more about MTA Certifications
MCTS Certifications

Microsoft’s MCTS certifications are designed to validate your skills on the features and functionality of key technologies. You can show your depth of knowledge in one specific technology, earn multiple MCTS certifications to show breadth across different products, or build on the MCTS to earn a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) credential. Learn more about MCTS Certifications.
MCITP Certifications

Microsoft’s MCTS certifications validates that a professional has the knowledge and skills to support and troubleshoot the latest Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. The MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician credential also certifies that the professional has the knowledge and skills to diagnose and resolve all types of desktop support issues, including mobile and personal devices.
The MCITP certification is also available on Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Learn more about MCITP Certifications.
MCITP SQL Server Certifications

MCITP SQL Server certification ensures professional’s competence, expertise and intelligence in Microsoft SQL Server techonlogy. Professionals must have real-world skills to maintain, manage, troubleshoot, and implement solutions. Microsoft provides various SQL Server certifications and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is the latest. Learn more about MCITP SQL Server Certifications
MCPD Certifications

When you earn the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential, you demonstrate your ability to use Microsoft Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework to excel in a specific, real-world job role. An MCPD credential validates a comprehensive set of skills required to be successful on the job, and gives hiring managers and potential customers a reliable indicator of your job performance. This credential offers a simple, targeted framework that makes the certification paths easier to understand and allows you to stand out from the crowd. Learn more about MCPD Certifications.
MCTS .NET 4.0 Certifications

Microsoft’s MCTS: .NET Framework 4 is designed for professionals who have competence and expertise in .NET Framework 4. There are five different certifications in .NET Framework 4 technology, namely MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications, MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Web Applications, MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications, MCTS: .NET Framework 4, Data Access, MCTS: Silverlight 4, Development. Lear more about MCTS .NET 4.0 Certifications and MCTS .NET 3.5 Certifications.
MOS Certifications

Microsoft’s Office Specialist Certifications are designed to validate skills in using the 2007 Microsoft Office system and the Windows Vista operating system, meeting the demand for the most advanced skills on the latest Microsoft technologies. This certification can help you differentiate yourself in today’s competitive job market, broaden your employment opportunities by displaying your advanced skills, and result in higher earning potential. Learn more about MOS Certifications.
MCSE Certification

Microsoft’s MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certification on Windows Server 2003 is one of the most popular Microsoft certifications today. The MCSE 2003 certification has been designed for professionals who analyze the business requirements and design and implement the infrastructure solutions for business based on the Microsoft Windows OS clients and Windows 2003 Server operating systems. Learn more about MCSE Certification.
MCSA Certification

The MCSA 2003 certification is for professionals who implement, manage, and troubleshoot existing network and system environments based on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Operating System. These individuals typically do not deploy new networks and systems as part of their job function as is expected of individuals holding the MCSE certification. Unlike MCSEs, MCSAs are not expected to acquire design skills. Learn more about MCSA Certification.
MCTS Windows 7

Microsoft Windows 7 certification is one of the most popular certifications of Microsoft. Professionals are examined and are expected to have sound knowledge in installing, managing and configuring Windows 7 including new features such as security, network, and applications. Learn more about MCTS Windows 7.
MCTS Windows Server 2008

Microsoft MCTS Windows Server 2008 certification tests the professional’s sound knowledge and skills in Windows Server 2008 technology. It provides three types of Windows 2008 certification. Learn more about MCTS Windows Server 2008
MCITP Sharepoint 2010 Administrator

MCITP Sharepoint 2010 Administrator has the intelligence and is able to design and deploy Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 infrastructures. It is based on Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 technology. Learn more about MCITP Sharepoint 2010 Administrator
Career Options for Microsoft Certified Professionals

Microsoft certification exams prepare you for different job roles in the IT and networking field. Some of the job roles that are suitable for Microsoft Certified Professionals are:
For Networking and System Administration: systems engineer, systems administrator, network administrator, information systems administrator, technical support engineers, systems analysts, network analysts and technical consultants. Related certification are MCSA and MCSE.
For Database Administration: database administrators, analysts, and developers. Related certification are MCDBA, MCTS and MCITP.
For Help Desk and Customer Support: technical support specialists, PC support specialists, help desk technician and customer support representatives. Related certification is MCDST.
For Programming and Web Development: programmer, software developer, software engineer, web developer or systems analyst, application developer, enterprise applications developer, software architect, consultant and senior systems analyst. Related certification are MCAD, MCSD .NET, MCTS and MCPD.
Benefits of Microsoft certifications

Microsoft certification test provides an increased understanding of the planning, design, and maintenance of Microsoft products and technologies.
Microsoft certified professionals are more efficient and productive in the workplace.
A Microsoft certification exam provides higher morale and self-confidence, besides handsome salaries and better opportunities for promotions.
Microsoft certification get your skills and knowledge recognized by the industry.
Microsoft certified professionals have access to technical and product information from the Microsoft MCP site. They also get a 50% rebate or discount on a one-year subscription to Microsoft TechNet or TechNet Plus for the first year of certification.
Microsoft certified professionals get exclusive discounts on products and services from selected companies.
An MCP also gets invitations to Microsoft conferences, technical training sessions, and special events.
Microsoft certified professionals can use the MCP logo on their business cards, resumes, and literature to identify themselves among clients and colleagues.
Preparing for Microsoft certifications

Each Microsoft certification has a series of specialized certification exam related to a specific Microsoft product, and so, choosing the right training product is very important. The easiest way to prepare for the Microsoft certification exam is to take practice tests on the Microsoft certification exam pattern and understand the correct as well as incorrect answer explanations to clear your doubts. You should also read relevant technical articles to be adept in the related technology. Study notes, tutorials, ‘how tos’ and relevant exam tips and tricks pave your way to become a Microsoft certified professional.
Prepare and Pass Microsoft Certifications the uCertify way!

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 Motherboard

The G1.Assassin 2 motherboard is designed with one purpose; to equip you with the most potent technology available today including the very latest Intel® X79 enthusiast processor platform, ruthless multiple discrete graphics card support and dedicated onboard audio and network processing that will take your 3D gaming experience to entirely new heights.
The G1.Assassin 2 is the newest member of the GIGABYTE G1-Killer series of gaming motherboards which have been designed from the ground up to provide the edge in a close 3D gaming contest. Precision is the watch word in all areas of the motherboard’s design, with as much attention to detail paid to the motherboards aesthetic qualities as to its technical prowess.

Super Sight

3-way CrossFireX™ and 3-way SLI™ Support
The GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 is equipped to help extreme gamers see the enemy from distance, regardless of how bloody the battlefield, offering the utmost graphics flexibility and upgradeability with multiple GPU support, that includes three PCI Express slots for both AMD CrossFire™ X and Nvidia SLI™ technologies in 3-way discrete card configurations. The GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 motherboard delivers maximum FPS (frames per second), allowing gamers to see more clearly, aim faster, and move more quickly.

PCI Express Gen. 3 Support

The GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 is fully configured to provide gamers with the latest Gen.3 PCI Express technology, delivering maximum data bandwidth for forthcoming discrete graphics cards.
* PCIe Gen. 3 is dependent on CPU and expansion card compatibility.
Super Shield

GIGABYTE Signature 'Locked and Loaded' Heatpipe Design

The GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 features a redesigned distinctive signature heatpipe design that identifies all GIGABYTE G1-Killer series motherboards. You'll soon find that it is as deadly to heat as it looks.
By effectively spreading the heat from the critical areas of the motherboard such as the CPU VRM zone and quickly dissipating it, the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 motherboard remains cool, even when the battle heats up. Modeled after common firearms issued to soldiers deployed to a warzone, including pistol and machine gun, the Locked and Loaded heatpipe design utilizes a unique fluting technology similar to a machine gun barrel fluting, which allows for maximum heat dispersion.

5 Smart Fan Connectors
To further help eliminate heat in the field of war, five Smart Fan pin headers which allow for precise cooling fan control, have been strategically placed around the board. Each fan can take advantage of its own thermal sensor and can also be controlled by via GIGABYTE's EasyTune 6 utility as well as within the UEFI BIOS.
Super Hearing

Onboard Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Digital Audio Processor (20K2)
It's important to be able to hear where your enemy is located before you see him, and it also means you'll be able exploit a crucial edge in today's virtual realistic audio environments. That is why GIGABYTE has rigged the G1.Assassin 2 motherboard with the industry's most advanced audio solutions to give you the highest caliber audio experience. The G1.Assassin 2 motherboard, as a member of the GIGABYTE G1-Killer series, is one of the world's only gaming motherboards to feature Creative's top-of-the-line Soundblaster Digital Audio Processor (20K2) onboard with X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies, allowing you to experience sound in your gaming world exactly as you would in real life.

Built-in Front Audio Headphone Amplifier
Specially designed for gamers, the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 motherboard utilizes a high capacity amplifier which is able to drive 150Ω loads, allowing gamers to enjoy a fuller range of dynamic, crisp sound when using high quality professional headphones.

Nichicon High-end Audio Capacitors
The G1.Assassin 2 motherboard utilizes the highest quality Nichicon MUSE ES series and MW series Bi-Polarized audio capacitors at each channel layout. These professional audio capacitors deliver the highest quality sound resolution and sound expansion to create the most realistic sound effects for professional gamers.

EMI and Power Interference Shielding

100% copper shielding around the audio components improves EMI shielding and protects against other power interference, providing the highest quality sound resolution for a distortion-free audio listening experience.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Review

While not as minimalist as Google's pilot-program Cr-48 (which was done up in all black), the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 also takes a less-is-more approach. The plastic lid is done in solid Arctic White (it's also available in Titan Silver), with a chrome Samsung logo and the colorful Google Chrome insignia. The rest of the system is a matte black. It's elegant, but we wish it had the soft-touch rubber of the Cr-48. The corners of the Series 5 are also more rounded than the Cr-48, which is a design touch we also like.

Measuring 8.6 x 11.6 x 0.8 inches, the Series 5 easily slid into our shoulder bag. We really appreciated its light 3.2-pound weight after having to stand on a subway train for an hour and a half.

Keyboard and Clickpad
Like the Cr-48, the Series 5 has a chiclet keyboard, not unlike one you'd find on a MacBook, but with a few key differences. Instead of function keys, the top row has a set of keys specifically designed for web browsing. To the right of the Esc key are Forward, Back, Refresh, Full screen, and Window swap buttons, as well as display brightness and volume controls. To further enhance the web surfing experience, Samsung has eliminated Caps Lock and replaced it with a web search key.

Typing on the Series 5 is comfortable, and its large flat keys felt good under our fingertips. During the Ten Thumbs Typing Test, we reached our normal speed of 50 words per minute. 

The 3.8 x 2.6-inch smudge-proof clickpad on the Series 5 offers a lot of real estate, perfect for multitouch gestures. Two-finger scrolling and drag and drop were fast and responsive, However, we had to swipe repeatedly to move the cursor where we wanted it.
Boot Up
Click to enlargeOwing to its lightweight operating system and high-speed Solid State Drive, Samsung trumpets a boot time of less than 10 seconds and instant resume from sleep as one of the Chromebook's biggest selling points. On our tests, the Series 5 booted up in 14 seconds; it took 8 seconds to reach the login screen, and another 6 seconds to load the browser. For the record, that's on a par with the MacBook Air (15 seconds) and about 10 seconds faster than the Samsung Series 9.

Resuming from sleep took about 1 second, even with several tabs open. That's faster than both the Series 9 (4 seconds) and the MacBook Air (3 seconds).
Click to enlargeShooting for start speed rather than processing power, the Chromebook is powered by a 1.66-GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD hard drive, and integrated graphics. As a result, the notebook boots up in a zippy 14 seconds, but can't handle more than a few tasks at a time. A streaming 720p video began skipping and buffering after we opened seven tabs, a Gchat window, and started playing an MP3. By comparison, the AMD-Fusion powered ASUS Eee PC 1215B was able to stream video in 1080p with Firefox open to seven tabs, Chrome opened with eight tabs, and an MP3 playing at the same time.

With nothing else running, the Series 5's Intel integrated GPU can stream 720p video at a decent rate, but don't expect to play any graphically demanding games. The Series 5 scored a dismal frame rate of 4 frames per second (fps) on WebGL Aquarium, and that was with the test at its lowest setting, (one fish, no background or sunlight). The 1215B made the Series 5 look like a fish out of water, scoring 35 fps with one fish at maximum setting. Even with 1,000 fish at maximum setting, the 1215B managed 15 fps.
3G Connectivity
Our configuration of the Series 5 came with built-in EV-DO Rev. A from Verizon Wireless. Using, the Series 5 had an average download speed of 1.1 Mbps and an average upload rate of 0.69 Mbps. Surfing the web was reasonably quick, too: loaded in 2.5 seconds, loaded in 6.3 seconds, and The New York Times loaded in 2.7 seconds. We could also stream video smoothly using 3G. However, 1080p trailers were choppy, regardless of the connection.

With the Series 5, Verizon Wireless offers 100MB of free monthly data for two years. For those who need a larger plan, a 1GB monthly data plan costs $20, 3GB costs $35, and 5GB costs $50, all without a contract. Verizon also offers a one-day $10 unlimited option. We were able to check our data consumption by clicking on the wireless icon in the top nav bar. After a day of heavy use (which entailed a lot of streaming video), we were down to 50MB.