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Photo Of The Day: Sapphire Pure Innovation Motherboard In Our Lab

Toshiba Announces DynaBook SS L11, M11 and SS 1620

ULPI Working Group Publishes Interface Specifications For Standalone Hi-Speed USB Transceivers

Creative Introduces Sound Blaster X-Fi

Info-Tek Introduces RADEON X800GT Based Graphics Card



Photo Of The Day: Sapphire Pure Innovation Motherboard In Our Lab

We are now testing the Pure Innovation motherboard from Sapphire that comes in a rather original box:

The motherboard itself resembles a large bar of milk chocolate:

And the back panel:

Sapphire Pure Innovation specs:

CPU Athlon 64, Socket 939
Chipset ATI RX480 Northbridge
ATI SB450 Southbridge
FSB 200440 MHz, 1MHz increments
Memory DDR 200, 266, 333, 366, 400 (433, 466, 500, 533 with Rev. E AMD)
Up to 4GB
Expansion slots 1 x PCIe x16, 2 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI
2 x SATA II drives (Sil 3132)
PCIe, PCI/AGP 100-200 MHz
PCI/AGP ratio fixed at 33/66MHz
Core voltage Auto, 0.8-1.55 V, 0.025V increments
Max. vCore 2.15V
Multiplier 4X-25.5X, 0.5X increments
HyperTransport Clock rate: 1000MHz
Multiplier: Auto, 1X-5X
Voltage: 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
DRAM voltage Auto, 2.54.0 V, 0.05V increments
Xpress 200 voltage 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
PCIe 1.2 voltage 1.22V, 1.29V, 1.39V, 1.5V
PCIe 1.8 voltage 1.8V, 1.9V
Ports 8 x USB2.0 in SB450, 2 x IEEE1394 Firewire (VIA VT6307)
Networking LAN Gigabit PCIe Ethernet (Marvel 88E8052)
Audio Azalia HD Audio (Realtek ALC880)
BIOS Award BIOS, Revision of 7/28/2005

Toshiba Announces DynaBook SS L11, M11 and SS 1620

Toshiba announced DynaBook SS L11, M11 and SS 1620 notebooks, all with 5400 rpm hard drives. DynaBook SS L11 also features a TPM chip.

DynaBook SS L11 bases on Pentium M 740 1.73GHz and Intel 915PM Express. It has 256MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM (up to 1,536MB), NVIDIA GeForce Go 6200 TE, 40GB HDD, DVD-ROM/CD-RW, IEEE 802.11b/g adapter. The 14.1" display has resolution of 1024x768.

Interfaces include PCMCIA Type 2 and Secure Digital, 2 x USB 2.0, IEEE1394, Gigabit Ethernet and 56K modem. Sized 319x269x22.8-31.2mm, it weighs 2.1kg. The battery operation time is up to 3.7 hours.


DynaBook SS M11 bases on Pentium M 753 1.2GHz ULV or Celeron M 383 1GHz and Intel 855GME. It features 256MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM (up to 1,280MB), 40GB HDD, DVD-ROM/CD-RW, IEEE 802.11b/g adapter and 12.1" XGA display.

Interfaces include PCMCIA Type 2, CompactFlash, Secure Digital, 3 x USB2.0, IEEE1394, Ethernet and 56K modem. Sized 286x233x28.9-32.9mm, it weighs 1.68kg and works up to 7.1 hours with a fully charged battery.

Finally, the DynaBook SS 1620 does not have a built-in optical drive, bases on Pentium M 753 or Celeron M 383 and Intel 855GME, has 256MB of PC2100 DDR SDRAM and 12.1" display. Sized 268x210x27.8-34.6mm, it weighs 1.1kg. Its battery operation time is 4.7 hours.

Source: PC Watch

ULPI Working Group Publishes Interface Specifications For Standalone Hi-Speed USB Transceivers

The ULPI Working Group announced the first public availability of the UTMI+ low-pin interface (ULPI) industry specification for Hi-Speed USB and USB On-the-Go (OTG) transceiver chips. This specification enables designers of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), systems-on-chip (SoCs) and flash-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to incorporate an industry-standard interface to connect off-the-shelf Hi-Speed USB transceivers into their designs. This saves design development time, simplifies verification and production testing, and helps to ensure interoperability between embedded USB core logic and Hi-Speed USB transceivers.

The ULPI Working Group is made up of USB industry leaders, including Conexant, Mentor Graphics, Philips, SMSC and TransDimension Inc. The ULPI specification is royalty-free and the final version (revision 1.1) of the ULPI specification can be accessed on www.ulpi.org.

Until today, the ULPI specification has only been made available to third-party companies that signed the ULPI Adopters Agreement. With the public release of the ULPI specification, engineers are now able to obtain and review the ULPI specification without any restrictions. The companies that subsequently utilize the ULPI interface in their ASICs, SoCs or FPGAs will have the option to sign the Adopters Agreement to obtain the royalty-free ULPI license.

Source: Philips

Creative Introduces Sound Blaster X-Fi

Creative announced its new Sound Blaster X-Fi line of sound cards based on the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor introduced as far back as in May.

The completely redesigned X-Fi processor realizes the idea to offload CPU that, in other situations, spends up to 70% of its time for resampling. The sound is processed with 24-bit precision (backward conversion to 16-bit is possible when needed). The new audio processor features 51 million transistors and operates at 400MHz without active cooling. X-Fi also features Crystalizer quality enhancement and CMSS-3D Headphone Expander technologies.

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Series includes:

Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro features professional-quality digital-to-analog converters (DACs) with 116dB SNR, plus an I/O module for audio creation with easy-to-use control knobs for the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS- 3D (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround), 3DMIDI, and EAX. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro also features 64MB of on-board X-RAM dedicated to higher gaming audio quality and performance, in addition to a built-in pre-amp for direct recording, and high-impedance inputs for electric guitars. The "top of the line" Sound Blaster X-Fi solution, the Elite Pro includes all of the standard features, application software, power and performance capabilities of the entire family of Sound Blaster X-Fi cards, in one solution.

Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS marked with a nickname of a well-known professional gamer Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS sound card provides 109dB SNR audio quality, accelerates gaming performance and also includes 64MB of on-board X-RAM for high performance gaming. Supports EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0, the latest version of the EAX Environmental Audio standard, and utilizes X-Fi CMSS 3D technology. This series features a convenient front-facing internal drive bay for easy connectivity, plus the X-Fi IR remote for easy access and controls, including X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS 3D, 3DMIDI and EAX. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS includes all of the standard features, application software of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum and Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music series.

Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum sound card includes an internal drive bay with additional, convenient front-facing input/output connectivity for headphone listening, PC gaming and audio creation. Delivering 109dB SNR audio quality, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum includes the X-Fi IR remote, for easy access to the Entertainment Center software console. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum also includes all of the standard features, application software of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music.

Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic harnesses the power of the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to upgrade any existing library of MP3 or any music files to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard. With the included Creative MediaSource 3 software suite, users can "SuperRip" all their digital music to Xtreme Fidelity. The SNR of Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card is also 109dB.

Now let´s mention "Optimized Modes" available for the new sound cards. Each Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card can work in any of three modes that are optimized for experiences with music and movie playback, PC gaming or music creation. Each mode is configured to dynamically dedicate the processor´s power to deliver only the features, quality and capabilities that the user requires.

Entertainment Mode accesses the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, which is driven by the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor. The processor converts audio to 24-bit/96kHz quality using its 136dB virtually transparent SRC (Sample Rate Converter) engine. Then it re-masters and selectively enhances the audio by analyzing and identifying which parts of the audio stream have been restricted or damaged during the dynamic compression stages to 16-bit and then the data compression stage to MP3 or WMA formats. For music, low and high frequencies are enhanced while dynamics are improved, for cleaner, richer sound. For movies, explosions, gunshots and high-impact audio sequences sound more realistic. In the Entertainment Mode, X-Fi CMSS-3D technology upmixes audio into surround sound. It also uses advanced techniques to extract specific audio elements, like voice to the center channel and ambience to the surrounding channels.

Gaming Mode accelerates PC game play. A completely re-engineered game audio processing engine utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor enables the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards to deliver performance boost of up to 40% (in some cases). The Creative X-Fi CMSS-3D is also used in this mode. And EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 supports 128 voices using the X-Fi processor´s hardware, utilizing EAX MacroFX, EAX PurePath and Environment FlexiFX technologies. The X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer automatically upgrades existing games to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard.

Audio Creation Mode the Sound Blaster X-Fi utilizes the transparent SRC engine in the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to convert to and from any resolution at 136dB THD+N. It also provides digital-matched recording capabilities in resolutions from 44.1kHz to 96kHz. ASIO recording is available with latency of one millisecond with no CPU load as well as with up to eight different 24-bit hardware effects, 24-bit SoundFont sampling, and 3DMIDI.

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro, priced at US$399.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS, priced at US$279.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum, priced at US$199.99 and the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, priced at US$129.99, will be available this month at major retail outlets.

Info-Tek Introduces RADEON X800GT Based Graphics Card

Info-Tek Corporation, the owner of GECUBE brand, introduced GECUBE RADEON X800GT PCI Express graphics card on ATI X800GT.

There will be models with 128MB and 256MB of memory with respective price tags of $179 and $219.

In the nearest future GECUBE plans to release DDR, DDR2 and GDDR3 based models, all with a proprietary silent Uni-Wise cooling system. The GC-RX800GT3-D3 Limited Edition, as the model name implies, will be released in limited quantities with 500MHz GPU and will be intended for gamers/overclockers.

GECUBE X800GT specs:

Model GC-RX800GT3-D3 Limited Edition GC-RX800GT2-D3 GC-RX800GT2-D3
GPU X800GT
Pipelines 8
Core clock, MHz 475
Memory 256MB GDDR3 256MB DDR2 128MB DDR
Bus width, bit 256 128 256
D-Sub Dual CRT via DVI Dongle
TV-Out S/HDTV-out
DVI Present
HDTV Present
Cooling Uni-Wise, with fan control

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