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Antec Announces the One Enclosure

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Antec one_sMANILA, PhilippinesAugust 15, 2012 – Antec, Inc., the global leader in high-performance computer components, announces the One enclosure, the latest addition to their Gaming Series. The One enclosure is an excellent option for mainstream gamers, new PC builders and seasoned system integrators alike as it provides user-friendly cooling and convenient features at an affordable price.

Performance Cooling Advantages- The One’s cooling system includes top & rear 120 mm exhaust fans with four additional 120 mm fan mounts. Perforated mesh construction yields additional airflow through the front of the chassis.

Extensive Compatibility and Expandability- The One is equipped with three 5.25” and five 3.5” tool-less drive bays, a bottom-mounted PSU intake with a removable air filter and a large CPU cutout. The enclosure makes it easy for users to install all the necessary parts and upgrade their PC component by component.

“The One enclosure is for anyone who has thought about building a PC or for anyone looking for a wallet-friendly, long-lasting case,” said Peter Liu, APAC Marketing Manager at Antec. “It’s a great option for system integrators because it has tool-less drive bays and makes it blend well in a home.”

Antec one_1Antec one_s1

Features of the One enclosure include:

l 10 drive bays:

l 3 x 5.25” tool-less drive bays

l 2 x 2.5” drive bays (dedicated)

l 5 x 3.5” tool-less drive bays

l Motherboards: Standard ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX

l 7 expansion slots

l Maximum graphics card size: 10.5” (266 mm)

l Maximum CPU cooler height: 6.1” (155 mm)

l Cooling System:

- 1 x 120 mm top exhaust fan (included)

- 1 x 120 mm rear exhaust fan (included)

- 1 x 120 mm side intake fan (optional)

- 1 x 120 mm front intake fan (optional)

- 1 x 120 mm / 140 mm bottom fan (optional)

l Perforated front bezel for maximum air intake

l Water cooling support: rear water cooling grommets (support ½-inch tubes)

l Maximum-sized CPU cutout

l Bottom-mounted power supply with intake filter

l Front I/O ports:

- 2 x USB 3.0 with included USB 2.0 adapter

- Audio In/Out

l No power supply included

l Unit Dimensions:

- 17.2” (H) x 8.2” (W) x 19.2” (D)

- [438 mm (H) x 208 mm (W) x 488 mm (D)]

l Package Dimensions:

- 18.2” (H) x 9.5” (W) x 20.9” (D)

- [463 mm (H) x 241 mm (W) x 530 mm (D)]

l Net Weight: 12.5 lbs (5.6 kg)

Antec one_b

Availability

The One enclosure now available at select distributor, resellers, e-tailers and Iontech Technologies Inc., and come with a three-year limited warranty. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the One enclosure is PHP2,689. Antec will also bring the One S3 enclosure with PHP2, 473 to the Philippine market.

For more information One and One S3 enclosures, please visit the product page at http://www.antec.com/global/product.php?Family=NA== .

Follow the official Antec Philippines Facebook page www.facebook.com/AntecPh and Antec YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/watchAntecTV for up-to-date information and product videos.

Antec one_rAntec one_2 Antec One S3_s

Categories: Enclosures Tags:

Gigabyte Launches Flagship Z77X-UP7 Motherboard

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Here’s the official press release of the new flagship motherboard by Gigabyte for the Intel Processor Range:

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Taipei, Taiwan, August 27, 2012 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today launched their latest overclocking powerhouse Z77X-UP7 motherboard, featuring the industry’s most robust 32+3+2 power design with Ultra Durable 5 high current capable components including 60A rated IR3550 PowIRstages® chips from IR.

“With the Z77X-UP7 and its 32+3+2 power phase designoc featuring Ultra Durable 5 technology, we have created the very best CPU power design of any motherboard available today,” commented HiCookie, GIGABYTE In-house Overclocking Expert. “Not only does this help extreme overclockers to reach 7GHz+ on their Intel® Core i7-3770K CPUs and take down benchmark records, but it also provides System Integrators with a platform cool and stable enough to withstand the rigors of an always-on, overclocked water cooled system for their customers.”

Industry Leading 32+3+2 Phase CPU Power Design

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 motherboard delivers a serious amount of power through its 32+3+2 power phase design (32 CPU phases, 3 Intel® HD Graphics, 2 VTT phases). With the industry’s highest phase count, the Z77X-UP7 motherboard is able to share the workload between 32 phases, ensuring lower working temperatures and maximum CPU power delivery.

32phase

Ultra Durable™ 5

Featuring the award winning GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 technology with high current capable components including 60A rated PowIRstages® from IR, the Z77X-UP7 is able to deliver an astonishing 2,000W of power and at the same time, operate at remarkably low temperatures. This means that even overclocked, water cooled Z77X-UP7 systems are able to provide remarkable levels of performance.

best

coolest

True All Digital PWM Design

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 motherboard takes advantage of an exclusive All Digital Engine to deliver maximum power to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. Using entirely digital controllers means that more precise power delivery to the motherboard’s most power hungry and energy sensitive components is possible.

pwm1     pwm2

 

4-way Graphics4way

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 delivers the industry’s most scalable graphics platform, with support for both 4-way ATI CrossfireX™ and Nvidia SLI™. Providing PCI Express 3.0 x8 connectivity on 4 slots, the Z77X-UP7 delivers ultra smooth 3D rendering, blazing-fast frame rates and enhanced graphics capabilities for users wanting to get the highest levels of graphics performance from their system.

 

Native PCIe Gen. 3 x16 Direct Link to CPU

The Single black PCI Express x16 slot provides a direct link to the CPU, enabling it to bypass the PLX chip. This provides the fastest possible connection for single graphics card benching.

pcie3

OC BIOS Featuring 3D BIOS

3dbiosGIGABYTE has completely re-drawn the traditional BIOS experience, providing mainstream and enthusiast users with an exclusive in-house designed UEFI BIOS. Featuring a superior graphical interface capable of 32-bit color imaging and fluid user-friendly mouse navigation, GIGABYTE 3D mode allows novice or casual users to more clearly understand the areas of the motherboard that are being affected through the BIOS settings, gaining a clearer understanding of the BIOS functionality. Advanced Mode provides a more comprehensive UEFI BIOS environment that is designed specifically for overclockers and power users who want maximum control over their PC’s hardware.

3dbios-2    3dbios-3

Dual UEFI BIOS™

dualbiosAt the heart of this exciting 3D BIOS™ technology is a pair of physical BIOS ROMs containing GIGABYTE’s exclusive in-house designed Dual UEFI BIOS™ technology, featuring the patented GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when main BIOS has crashed or failed.

 

BIOS Switcher

With onboard BIOS Switcher, users can manually select which BIOS chip to use (Main BIOS or Backup BIOS), allowing them to select one BIOS for normal use, and the other specifically for overclocking. Users can also easily compare two different BIOS versions, a very useful feature when users want to update to a new BIOS, but don’t want to lose their original settings.

DualBIOS™ Disable Switch

Using the onboard DualBIOS™ Disable Switch, users can disable the DualBIOS™ recovery feature, helping to save time between failed overclocks.

OC Touch

OC-Touch enables overclockers to quickly and easily get the best performance from their system. Onboard OC-Touch buttons allow overclockers to manually adjust the CPU ratio, BCLK settings as well as adjustments to the BCLK stepping ratio, to either 1MHz or 0.3MHz increments. These changes can be made in real-time, whether in BIOS, DOS, or Windows® without the need for rebooting, so that users can quickly fine-tune their system and find their CPU’s maximum frequency. Onboard voltage measurement modules are also included to help users to conveniently monitor individual component voltages and onboard LN2 Mode switch allows users to quickly drop CPU frequency to x16 multiplier during extreme overclocking so that opening benching applications such as CPU-Z will not cause the overclock to fail.

octouch

Thin Fin Cooling Design

GIGABYTE has created a new “Thin Fin” heatsink design featuring the GIGABTYE signature OC Orange look and feel. Featuring ultra thin metal fins, the heatsink provides greater surface area so that quicker heat exchange can occur.

thinfin1   thinfin2

 

More information about GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 motherboard, please visit:

Features Page and Gigabyte Blog

To see the Z77X-UP7 provide 2,000W power delivery, please watch:

2000W CPU Power Delivery

 

To see the TweakTown video of GIGABYTE resident overclocker HiCookie use the Z77X-UP7 to set a new CPU frequency record, please visit Tweaktown.

To Download the GIGABYTE TweakLauncher overclocking utility, please visit:

Tweak Launcher Download

Takeaways:

Having used a Flagship Motherboard from a different company, the following features are important to an overclocker: The Power Design for the ability to handle power management, use of the best possible materials for building, the use of partners’ (AMD and NVIDIA) technology to the maximum (4-way SLI/Crossfire), dual bios, and of course an efficient and effective way in managing the motherboard without a case when performing an OC (OC Touch).

Categories: Motherboards Tags:

Current Gigabyte Boards are now Windows 8 Ready

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

A few weeks after posting my review on the Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 board and its lack of driver support on Windows 8, Gigabyte has now announced its support for the new OS with its release of updated drivers for it. Here’s the official word:

Includes All Current Intel and AMD Platform Models

image016

 

Taipei, Taiwan, August 21, 2012 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced that the entire range of currently available GIGABYTE motherboards is ready for Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. This readiness includes driver and BIOS support that will ensure the absolute smoothest transition to the new OS.

 

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ motherboards are known for their reliable longevity, as was recently demonstrated in the GIGABYTE Hidden Gems competition where 74% of the submissions featured GIGABYTE motherboards that were 5 years or older, and one outstanding entry used a 21 year old GIGABYTE motherboard that is still operational today! With this caliber of Ultra Durability in mind, GIGABYTE engineers have been working tirelessly to ensure that current motherboards will be able to handle the demands of the next gen OS.

 

For more information about Windows 8 optimized motherboards from GIGABYTE, please visit the GIGABYTE Windows 8 web page:http://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/314/windows8.html.

 

Note: Some advanced Windows 8 features require optimized specifications such as a touch screen monitor, a UEFI BIOS, and an SSD that may not be available in every legacy and entry-level system.

Western Digital Service Center in the Philippines

August 18, 2012 1 comment

WD has officially opened its Service Center in the Philippines as of August 1, 2012.

“Located in 2111 Chino Roces avenue corner Urban Avenue, Makati City, WD Service Center will be opened from 8 am to 5 pm on Monday, 8 am to 6 pm Tuesday to Friday, and 8 am to 12 noon on Saturday. The WD Service Center will be closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Beginning August 1, 2012, customers will be able to bring their in-warranty drives to WD Service Center and receive their replacement drive immediately. If the required model is not available, WD Service Center representatives will contact customers for collection of their replacement drives once ready. This warranty service is available on all WD products sold through WD authorized distribution channels in the Philippines.”

Also do note that the WD Store in SM North EDSA would no longer be accepting drives for repair/RMA. We would need to go to the main service center in Makati.

Categories: Uncategorized

Dell releases New Ultrabooks

August 13, 2012 1 comment

Dell released several more Ultrabooks last August 2 to media at Shangri-La Makati. The XPS14 Ultrabook and Inspiron 14z Ultrabook (not to be mistaken for the regular Inspiron 14z model) were introduced in an afternoon presented by both people from Dell and Intel.

Here’s a quick word on the new ultrabooks by Dell:

XPS 14: Exceptional Features

XPS 14 - 2Designed for mobile users, the XPS 14 Ultrabook features a design that goes beyond beauty. It has a highly-durable machined aluminum chassis with innovative silicone base in a compact, thin, 20.7mm design. It comes with a powerful 3rd Gent Intel® Core™ i5 or i7 processors and delivers an exceptionally long battery life. XPS 14 also includes a backlit keyboard and optional performance graphics to keep pace with your busy life. Customers can also enjoy the ample storage of a traditional hard drive with the responsiveness of a solid state drive with a 500GB hard drive and 32GB mSATA card, including Intel Rapid Start and Smart Response technology. Rapid Start delivers fast boot-up and hibernate response times, while Smart Response quickly recognizes and caches the most frequently used files and applications, allowing customers to access critical information quickly and easily.

Inspiron 14z: Outstanding Performance

Inspiron 14z Ultrabook - 2The newest Inspiron 14z Ultrabook is more than just a typical laptop. It’s an Ultrabook with a superpowerful long battery life and a built-in DVD drive which makes Inspiron 14z a fully featured Ultrabook. It is also made with a premium brushed aluminum finish in two color choices of Moon Silver, and coming later this year, Fire Red. Customers can expect ultraportable entertainment of music and movies on the go while indulging in the experience of a 14” HD display, and built-in Skullcandy™ stereo speakers.

Pricing and Availability:

Retail price for the Dell XPS 14 and Inspiron 14z will retail at a starting price of Php 68,990 and Php 44,990 respectively. Both ultrabooks are available at Dell concept stores and authorized retailers nationwide.

Personal Notes:

One thing I find fantastic with the XPS14 is that it, unlike the XPS13 released last April now sport Ivy Bridge processors as well as NVIDIA’s GT630M Mobile GPU, which is in terms of power, better than the smaller model. However, it now lacks the nice Carbon Fiber finish of the XPS13 and uses a Silicone base instead. The XPS14z also differs by running a combo of SSD and standard HDD for performance and storage. Unfortunately, it does not have touch screen technology so using Windows 8 on it will be limited to mouse and keyboard operations.  While I couldn’t provide any more reviews other than my observations while holding the demo unit, I’d recommend looking the review over at notebookcheck.net. However, note that for the Philippine Market, the storage used is a combination of hdd and ssd. Also noteworthy is that getting the higher specc’ed model is actually a better proposition as one would be getting 96GB more SSD space, an Intel Core i7 Mobile CPU and twice the RAM.

The Inspiron 14z is targeted to the more budget conscious crowd, it runs with an Intel i5 Processor, a same combination of SSD and HDD storage as the XPS14 and is kitted with an AMD 7570M graphics processor, which is a bit slower than the NVIDIA GT630M, but is still a mid-range model, offering better graphics performance from even most of the other Ultrabooks in the market (except for some that run with the GT630M and the GT640M). The build from what I could summarize is similar to Dell’s current Latitude line of enterprise laptops (I know since I used to work with one). Sure it’s a bit thicker than the intended build for an Ultrabook, but it looks like compromises had to be made in order to keep costs down. Right now the color option is limited to Moon Silver and a Red version would be released soon. I can’t say how the sound is like with Skull Candy speakers on the laptop, though, I’ve been using Skull Candy Ink’d in-ear headphones for roughly 4 years I can say it may lack performance with Bass sound quality but overall sound would be quite clear. A written review can be found online at laptopmag.com (And I am pretty dead spot on with the Skull Candy finding they have)

Here’s some photos I have from the launch:

IMG_0450IMG_0456

IMG_0455IMG_0452IMG_0457IMG_0458IMG_0465IMG_0475

Categories: Laptops Tags:

Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 Performance Review

August 2, 2012 5 comments

WP_000152I borrowed an IB Core i5 3570k (specs here) to test out its performance on the Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 board I have. As soon as I’ve plugged the processor to the motherboard and started up the computer. The detection is automatic and the board detected the processor as an Ivy Bridge processor and immediately overclocked it to its maximum of 3.8GHz (note I am running on a stock Core i3 cooling fan which is the only thing I have spare to cool it at the moment). Temperature is kept at 50 degrees Celsius (note it’s quite normal for an Ivy Bridge to run this hot, articles are posted around the net that inform us of a hotter processor than Sandy Bridge) at peak it runs around at 70 to 80 with the cooler running on max. I am running this on the Release Preview of Windows 8 (as of this time, it is currently in production, scheduled to be release in 2 weeks time).

Here are the CPU-Z Details I got:

IBi5-3570-1IBi5-3570-2IBi5-3570-3 

Benchmarking, I got some of the games to work in Windows 8. Right now, playing Battlefield 3 on Windows 8 release preview will result in running it offline (and I mean offline, no internet) to trigger the Campaign mode directly, as the Battlelog site suffers some bugs with the plug-ins that need to be installed. Another title would be Modern Warfare 3 (FPS glitch was found in my version and fixed), and Medal of Honor 2010. I’m comparing this one with my Core i7 950 processor overclocked to 3.4GHz (it’s maximum) and using the same video card and OS.

Specs for test machine and Test:

Intel Core i5 3570k @ 3.8GHz

Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 Z77

G.Skill DDRIII 1333 4GBx2

Seagate 320GB HDD

Asus 560GTX 1GB

Thermaltake LitePower 500W

 

Battlefield 3 (High Settings, 1920×1080, Vsync off)

Core i5 3570k: 47fps average

Core i7 950: 43fps average

Medal of Honor (Maximum Settings, 1920×1080, Vsync on)

Core i5 3570k: 60fps average

Core i7 950: 59fps average

Modern Warfare 3 (Maximum Settings. 1920×1080, Vsync off)

Core i5 3570k: 170fps average (max 220fps)

Core i7 950: 120fps average (max 160fps)

And there you have it, the newer Intel series trounces the first generation. The difference between the 2nd and 3rd would lie on the processor manufacturing size and some improvements on the transistors to increase the efficiency. 2nd gen and 3rd gen Intel Core processors run on the same socket 1155 so one can use a 2nd Gen processor provided it is supported.

Drivers… they need to be updated for Windows 8

Now onto Windows 8 compatibility with the motherboard’s collection of drivers. Based on what I found out, majority of them are not compatible as the drivers are Intel’s releases they block my progress in installation due to incomplete requirements. However some drivers did permit me to install like the LAN, Creative Recon, IGP, Smart Connect and Virtu MVP driver. Though whenever I restart the PC, the Recon driver gets messed up and breaks the sound coming out of my computer. And while the Virtu MVP driver is running, video card switching doesn’t work. Luckily there are Microsoft Drivers that work seamlessly with the motherboard enabling its use. The bundled Gigabyte apps are working, though in a limited capacity as some of the Intel drivers that suppose to work with it aren’t installed. On the bright side however, Windows 7 has full driver support when I switched to it. It’s just a matter of time to wait for updated drivers to appear for Windows 8.

3D_PowerEZSetupintegratedgraphics_virtusb_reconSmartConnect

While I got the Recon 3D working for a bit, the sound’s quite amazing even on 2.1 channel speakers, better sounds would result if a 5.1 channel speaker system would be used of course.

Conclusion

Smaller, Faster, more Energy Efficient, these are improvements made on the latest Intel Processors and Gigabyte Motherboards. Priced competitively Php 8340.00 locally, it’s worth the investment for those building a high quality gaming machine without breaking the bank over some other brands’ mATX gaming boards. It carries a full suite of features and functions found in bigger boards, and while the SLI has been downgraded from its bigger sibling (from 4 way to 2 way), it doesn’t impact much as the newer NVIDIA video cards are able to produce higher FPS than what I’ve been using in this test. The board sips power while managing to pull out increased performance, even while using a power hungry GPU (560GTX) it didn’t shutdown due to overloading the Power Supply, this would probably happen to my Core i7 machine if it were using the same power supply on it. The IGP of the Core i5 is a neat back-up graphics card if in case the primary discrete card goes down. I managed to still clock around 130fps (max) on Modern Warfare 3, it’s quite an improvement from the previous generation.

While there’s a slight driver issue with Windows 8 but still workable with the Microsoft driver set, there’ll be updated drivers in time for the release. And if you’re a Battlefield 3 gamer, I would recommend holding onto Windows 7 for a bit, until EA and DICE release a new plug in for IE10.

 NWP_120723_0000

Rating: 10/10

Max Payne 3 Review

August 1, 2012 1 comment

A couple of years since the last release (Max Payne 2), a new developer and publisher and an older Max Payne is introduced in this third installment of the title by Rockstar Vancouver.

MaxPayne3 2012-06-24 18-03-54-31MaxPayne3 2012-06-24 18-06-11-44

Max has by then retired from the police, and has sunk to a life of alcoholism and pain killer abuse. However an opportunity arose  when he was offered a job in Sao Paolo Brazil, which Max had to take after killing a mobster’s son. His job in Brazil was to protect the family of Rodrigo Branco, a wealthy businessman and here he mixes it up in a conspiracy in the family and its problems with the local gangbangers, corrupt cops and mercenaries.

Rockstar utilizes an updated RAGE engine (the same one used in Grand Theft Auto IV) with higher texture resolution giving it a better look than Grand Theft Auto IV had four years ago. This treatment, enables Max Payne 3 to be detailed as it could be.

MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-34-55-47MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-35-05-46

The game continues to carry the trademarked Bullet Time mechanics and have some added/changed features: Bullet time increases as long as Max is under fire/stressful situations enabling him to perform more of his moves. The last guy in the room taken out would be given a slow motion finishing scene. While performing a bullet dodge maneuver is now possible even if the Bullet Time gauge is empty, but will immediately end if Max hits the ground. Another nice touch by Rockstar is that Max almost/always carry only a pistol, and that one can’t particularly carry multiple weapons that are big. He will always carry only one long arm (full sized rifles/sniper rifles/full sized shotguns/grenade launchers) and two small arms (a combination of pistols/uzis/sawed off shotguns and the like). There are parts where Max would need to choose his weapons well as well as manage his bullet inventory as some guns share ammo.

MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-49-25-49MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-49-35-50

Other game features include a collectibles sheet for collecting golden gun parts of weapons found in the game. Collecting while not necessarily part of the story can be a lifesaver in some occasions as the benefits a completed weapon can mean an easier time for Max to take down his enemies (hint: infinite ammo).

MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-54-55-50MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-55-15-51MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-55-25-51MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-56-05-48MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-57-25-46MaxPayne3 2012-07-29 23-59-35-51MaxPayne3 2012-07-30 00-00-35-45MaxPayne3 2012-07-30 00-02-05-46

I haven’t had time to play around the Multiplayer feature of the game but from what I heard it’s pretty good. And that the stats could be carried over to Grand Theft Auto V once it is out by next year.

Max Payne 3 returns well and impresses me both visually and narration is at its finest. Firefights can turn from easy to difficult if bullet time is not utilized properly, which issue a challenge.

Categories: Games Tags: ,
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