Archive for December, 2011

Live fast and play hard. That’s the sort of motto you’ll find exemplified in old school water cooling circles, the ones where wielding a pre-built kit or self-contained liquid cooler might earn you a wedgie. There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from building your own water cooling setup, just as there is with building your own PC, and it’s a market still being served by folks like Danger Den, which just announced the release of its highest performing CPU waterblock to date, the DD-M6 CPU Block.

“Danger Den released a CPU block that we are proud of. Improved performance, built like a tank, and almost 100 percent produced in the US. The Top Plate, Mid Plate, Hold Down Plate, Hold Down parts are all machined in our facility or within 50 miles of Danger Den,” said Jeremy Burnett, Danger Den’s President. “The hold down package has been significantly improved for the LGA 2011 socket and previous socket versions. It looks great and makes the mounting process simple for the consumer.”

The DD-M6 CPU Block replaces the MC-TDX, a long running favorite that now takes a backseat to a newer, better performing, and more reliable model, according to Danger Den. It also sports a new and improved mounting system.

Pricing starts at $75 for the non-plated brass version and $80 for the nickel-plated model. Both will be available for LGA2011 sockets beginning January 2, 2012, with AMD versions to follow in two weeks.

Image Credit: Danger Den

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Newegg, the second largest online-only retailer in the U.S. (Amazon is No. 1) and the go-to vendor for many do-it-yourself (DIY) system builders, provided a bit of rare insight into its operations by announcing its best-selling computer components and consumer electronics products this holiday shopping season. The list is broken down by category and includes sales starting on Black Friday on November 23, 2011 and continuing through December.

The top selling notebook was a 15.6-inch A53E-EH91 from Asus, a rather pedestrian machine with an Intel Pentium B950 processor, 4GB of memory, and a 320GB hard drive spinning at 5400 RPM. Other top selling products include:

  • Televisions: Sceptre 32-inch 720p LCD HDTV
  • Videogames: Microsoft Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle with Halo Reach and Fable 3
  • Digital Cameras: Panasonic Lumic DMC-FZ47K 12.1MP
  • Software: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
  • Monitors: Acer G235HAbd 23-inch LCD
  • CPUs/Processors: Intel Core i5 2500K
  • Motherboards: Asus P8Z68-V PRO
  • Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 3.5-inch HDD
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL 8GB (2x4GB)
  • Videocards: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti

Newegg called it a “strong” holiday shopping season with “year-over-year growth in both Web traffic and sales,” but declined to offer any specific figures.

“The increase in spending is a positive sign that the economy is slowly but surely improving and we look forward to this trend continuing in 2012,” said Dr. S.C. Lee, CEO of Newegg North America.

According to comScore, online holiday spending in the U.S. reached $35.3 billion this year, up 15 percent versus 2010. U.S. consumers spent $2.8 billion online in the week leading up to Christmas day alone, which itself is a 16 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

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Another edition of the Consumer Electronics Show is nearly upon us. You can look forward to seeing all sorts of products at the event. Not all of these products will be from established names, but there will also be a few first timers trying to wow attendees with their products. San Jose-based NajmTek is one such startup. The company plans to showcase a dual-screen laptop at the event.

The U-Book, as it is called, features a second, multi-touch screen in addition to the regular display. Even though virtual keyboards usually don’t make for the greatest typing experience in the world, NajmTek is hoping that the numerous customization options associated with the “keyboard” screen will be enough to convince prospective buyers. The second screen can be used to display a number of keyboard layouts (supports a number of languages) and can also accommodate a virtual trackpad if the user wants. What’s more, the multi-touch screen can even be customized to act as something other than a keyboard (like a virtual piano or mixing console).

All we know about the device at this stage is that it runs Windows 7. We will obviously have to wait until the official unveiling of the actual product at CES for more details.

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Intel has now begun shipping third-generation Atom mobile chips, the company announced today. Codenamed Cedar Trail-M, this new crop of Atom processors was originally expected to arrive in the third quarter, only for their release to be pushed back twice due to driver issues. Though there was no official word on it, the possibility of a late December release was hinted at in a report last month. Hit the jump for more.

The Cedar Trail-M launch lineup includes two dual-core chips, namely the 1.6GHz N2600 and 1.8GHz N2800. The former has an integrated graphics core clocked at 400MHz, but the N2800 is clearly the more capable chip of the two in this department as well with a 640MHz graphics core. The table below not only lists all the vital stats of the two Cedar Trail-M chips, but also  provides a comparison between them and their Pine Trail-M predecessors.

Intel is claiming a 28-percent increase in CPU performance over the last generation. While the graphics performance is said to be twice as good as Pine Trail-M, DirectX 9 remains a common denominator across both generations, with Intel deciding not to develop DirectX 10.1 drivers.

The first products based on these chips will be available in early 2012 from the likes of Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba.

From the press release: “The new design’s dedicated media engine enables full 1080p high-definition playback of videos and Blu-Ray content and includes additional digital display and output options including HDMI and DisplayPort. The integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 combined with the integrated memory controller provides enhanced performance and system responsiveness, including an improvement in graphics performance up to 2X compared to the previous generation platform.

“Based on Intel’s leading-edge 32nm process technology, Intel incorporated several new features into the platform such as Intel Wireless Display and Intel Wireless Music. With these new features and wireless enabled devices, people can share videos or photos wirelessly from their netbooks to a television, or stream music through their home stereo speakers.”

Image Credit: Intel

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Many people on Wednesday received an email claiming to be from the venerable New York Times. It requested them to reconsider their recent decision to “cancel your home delivery subscription.” But after being contacted by a number of puzzled people regarding the email, the paper said it appeared to be spam. However, as it later turned out, the paper had no idea of what was going on.

“It appears to be spam,” was NYT spokesperson Robert H. Christie’s terse explanation on Twitter for those surprised by the e-mail. He then said that the issue was being investigated. But the paper retracted that explanation once it became clear that the said message wasn’t the handiwork of spammers after all.

Eileen Murphy, another spokesperson for the paper, told GigaOm in an email: “An email was sent earlier today from The New York Times in error. This email should have been sent to a very small number of subscribers [300], but instead was sent to a vast distribution list made up of people who had previously provided their email address to the New York Times. We regret the error.”

She also confirmed that the error occurred at the New York Time’s end, and no third party was to blame for it.

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