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News of the day (January 14, 2010)


 New cooler from Scythe
  Posted on 1263472829 by Benoit

Although there are no longer as many innovations in the world of coolers now as there were a few years ago, this doesn’t mean that manufacturers aren’t coming out with anything new at all. As usual, one of the main ways of improving the performance/noise ratio is to increase the size of the fan. From 60 mm to 120 mm now, they are continually increasing in size.

Today, Scythe have brought out a new cooler with a 140mm fan, the Grand Kama Cross. Other than the size of the fan, there are four heatpipes crossed in a way that is reminiscent of the Zalman 9xxxs, the old reference in terms of coolers. The heatpipes are combined with two aluminium fin arrays. Measuring 177x140x137 mm, Scythe’s latest baby should fit into most current casings. The fan has a maximum sound output of 24.7 dBA @ 1300 rpm.

Compatible with Intel 478, LGA 775/1156/1366 and AMD 754, 939, AM2, AM2+ and AM3, the Grand Kama Cross will be able to cool an old Pentium 4 as well as a current Phenom II. It should be available soon at around €30. If performance is satisfactory, it should be an affordable alternative to the fans from Intel and AMD.




 AM3 Socket USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s
  Posted on 1263466588 by Benoit

USB 3.0 and SATA 3 have been implemented in motherboards by the main manufacturers for some time now. Gigabyte, Asus, MSI and others (to mention just the main players) have all got at least one model with this connectivity. Nevertheless, only Socket LGA1156 models were available up till now.

Owners and future buyers of Socket AM3 processors are now also catered for as the GA-790XTA-UD4, announced by Gigabyte in November, is available as of today. In practice, it’s a clone of the GA-790XT-UD4 but with USB 3 and SATA 3 in addition. We’re therefore looking at an ATX format motherboard, based on the 790X chipset, which in practice translates to a 2 PCI-E 2.0 x 16 interface with CrossFireX support. The two USB 3 ports are, as expected, handled by the now standard Nec µPD720200. The two SATA rev3 ports are linked to a no less standard Marvell controller.

This model is no doubt the first in a list that will grow until these two interfaces are supported natively by card chipsets. In the meantime, you’ll have to shell out a little over €120 to buy this first model.




 AMD launch the ATI Radeon HD 5670
  Posted on 1263461191 by Marc

Today AMD launched the Radeon HD 5670, based on the 3rd GPU in the Evergreen family, the Redwood. Engraved at 40nm like Cypress and Juniper, this particular DirectX 11 chip has 627 transistors. It has half as many processing and texturing units and ROPs as Juniper, but still a 128-bit memory bus.


Compared to the HD 4770, the HD 5670 is smaller in terms of processing power – the 4770 is between 54 and 83% faster but the 5670 has 25% extra memory bandwidth. Bandwidth has been doubled compared to the HD 4670, for a similar fillrate and processing power up by 29%. Filtering performance is however 54% higher on the HD 4670.

In practice, the first tests show that the HD 5670 is between 40 and 50% faster than the HD 4670. The 5750 remains of course a long way ahead (50% faster). With pricing at around €80 announced for the 512 MB version, this card seems very nicely positioned, with AMD setting it up against NVIDIA’s GT 240.


The only problem is, who is the card really aimed at? Those who want to do some proper gaming would be better off spending another €30 or so for the much faster 5750. Those who won’t be dealing much in 3D performance but are interested in HTPC would be better off waiting for the forthcoming Radeon HD 5500 and 5450, which will be based on a smaller GPU (Cedar) but with the same functionality.

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