Posts Tagged ‘ Electronics ’

MOTHERBOARD – MSI BIG BANG-FUZION

SPECIFICATION

Rs 25,000

http://www.msi.com

Chipset: Intel P55;

Memory: DDR3-1333 (16 GB Max);

SATA: 6 ports by Intel P55,

4 ports by two JMicron JMB322 controllers and 2xeSATA,

USB: 14 (4 via on-board headers);

Expansion slots: 3x PCIe x16, 2x PCIe x1 and 2x PCI;

LAN: Dual gigabit.

Contact  MSI computer India Pvt Ltd

Phone      011-41758808

EMAIL       sanyam@msi.com

MSI has come out with some good high-end boards in the past, like the Intel X58-based Eclipse Plus, which was SLI-ready and came with a discrete X-Fi sound card, and the quad-CrossFireX-ready 790FX-GD70. MSI’s current focus is on their Big Bang series of super-high end motherboards targeted at enthusiasts and gamers. The latest addition to the series is the Big Bang-Fuzion, which has loads of interesting features to offer, the most interesting of them being cross-vendor multi-GPU support courtesy  Lucid Hydra 200 chip.

Features

The motherboard is built around the Intel P55 chipset and supports Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs that come in the socket LGA 1156 package. The chipset supports up to 16 GB DDR3 memory and offers six SATA 3 Gb/s ports and 12 USB 2.0 ports. In addition to this, there are two pairs of SATA 3 Gb/s ports, each supported by a JMicron JMP322 controller. Instead, MSI should have added support for SATA 6 Gb/s. We were surprised to find even USB 3.0 ports missing from the feature set, which are nowadays common to nearly all high-end and many mainstream motherboards.

The rear panel is quite elaborate; there are 10 USB ports (two USB/eSATA combo ports), dual gigabit Ethernet ports, PS/2 ports, a FireWire port, and a connector for the bundled overclocking device called OC Dashboard. It serves two purposes. Firstly, it displays the initialization status of the subsystems during POST, which helps in diagnosing faulty hardware or inappropriate BIOS settings. The debug codes and detailed instructions for using the OC Dashboard are given in a separate user guide. Secondly, you can overclock the CPU and memory and tweak the voltages (CPU, memory and chipset) from Windows. The values are displayed on the device’s OLED screen. You can also use CPU-Z to check the effective CPU and memory speeds. A small array of connectors and four dip switches are present near the RAM slots. The connectors are designed to check the voltages using a multimeter, and the dip switches boost the voltages (CPU, CPU_VTT, memory and chipset) and increase the voltage adjustment range in the BIOS.

MSI has also bundled a utility called MSI Control Center that displays system information and lets you overclock by simply dragging sliders for various parameters. Additionally, there are three overclocking presets – cooling, cinema and gaming. To make overclocking easy, the board features an automatic overclocking mechanism called OC Genie, which comprises a switch and an OC processor. On activating the switch, the OC processor calculates the optimum overclocked speeds and voltages and applies the values in the BIOS. OC Genie overclocked the Intel Core i7-870 from 2.93 GHz to 4.0 GHz without any issues. The package includes separate user guides for MSI Control Center, OC Genie and Overclocking.

Lucid Hydra 200

The MSI Big Bang-Fuzion is the first motherboard to support cross-vendor multi-GPU configurations using the Lucid Hydra 200 chip. It works in conjunction with the CPU and functions as a load-balancer between two or three GPUs. It fetches DirectX API calls, divides and assigns workload between the GPUs, and combines the final output to be displayed on the monitor.

Lucid Hydra works in three modes:

N-mode: Up to three Nvidia G90/G200 cards

A-mode: Up to three Radeon HD 4000/5000 series cards

X-mode: One/two supported Nvidia cards and one/two supported ATI cards.

To configure cards in Hydra, you first have to install graphics drivers for your cards, then install the Lucid Hydra driver, and activate Hydra from the control panel that resides in the system tray.

It sounds simple, but you’ll need to keep these points in mind:

The graphics cards configured in Hydra need to be more or less equally powerful. For example, Radeon HD 5850 + GeForce GTX 285 or GeForce 9600 GT + Radeon HD 5670. You won’t see any scaling with one powerful and one weak GPU. We tried using a GT 240 with a Radeon HD 5850, and the overall performance dropped slightly.

You’ll need Windows Vista or 7 to use Hydra. The X-mode works only under Windows 7, and not under Windows Vista.

For games to works smoothly, the driver needs to have game profiles. Profiles for newer games are included in newer driver releases. The latest driver (version 1.5.107) currently lists 102 games.

Hydra doesn’t work with the latest Nvidia Fermi series or dual-GPU cards, such as the GTX 295, Radeon HD 5970 and HD 4870 X2.

Graphics cards in two-way setup run in x16 mode each, and cards in three-way setup run in x8 mode.

Not all games run in all modes. In fact relatively few scale well in X-mode, so check the Lucid website before spending money on a Hydra setup.

Verdict

Thumbs up to MSI for being the first to implement Lucid Hydra. It gives you the freedom to configure multi-GPU setups using graphics cards of your choice and it also provides an excellent upgrade path. If you have an older graphics card that’s discontinued and you want to upgrade at a low cost, you can buy one modern midrange graphics card, configure the two in Hydra, and you’re all set. We really liked the incredible feature set of this motherboard and the bundled contents, which includes a discrete PCIe x1 soundcard (QuantumWave), overclocking device and an eSATA bracket, but the lack of USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s support was disappointing.

On the whole however, the package and performance completely justify the price tag. In fact, this board offers a lot more than some of the other high-end ones that are more expensive.

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Apple Tablet to Hit Market in March

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The frenzied speculation around Apple’s highly anticipated Apple tablet device—if it exists, that is—was ratcheted up another level after The Wall Street Journal reported that the tablet will ship in March, quoting sources briefed by Apple. Previous reports suggest Apple is planning to announce the touch screen device at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco sometime between Jan. 25 and 27. The tablet, which hasn’t been officially named yet, is likely to measure about 10 inches and offer Wi-Fi connectivity. The paper also reported Apple is working on two different finishes for the tablet.

One component of the launch that is keeping analysts guessing is the price of the tablet; Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Yair Reiner wrote a December research note predicting a price point of around $1,000—the price of Apple’s least expensive notebook. In comparison, semiconductor manufacturer Freescale Semiconductor recently announced its plans for entering the tablet market with a $200 device.

Regardless of price and final design, the impending product launch, which sources say company CEO Steve Jobs has made a top priority since his return to Apple, spurred a massive amount of speculation from analysts and the technology community, including a former Google China executive reportedly wrote in his blog that Apple expects to sell 10 million tablet PCs in its first year out. Lee Kai-fu, former president of Google Inc. Greater China, claimed on his blog that Apple will release the device in January, for less than $1,000 and that it will feature a 10.1-inch multitouch screen with 3G graphics.

The day before Christmas, a report by the Financial Times’ blog quoted unnamed inside sources that said Apple rented the stage for several days toward the end of January, in preparation for “a major product announcement” on Jan. 26, a Tuesday. Other recent reports, including a research note by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who said there is a 75 percent likelihood that Apple will have an event in January and a 50 percent chance that it would be held to launch the Apple Tablet.

Earlier this year, Munster issued a report suggesting that the tablet would feature a 7- to 10-inch screen and retail for between $500 and $700, effectively filling a strategic gap for Apple between the iPod Touch and its low-end Mac desktops. Munster wrote, “We believe an Apple tablet would be priced 30 to 50 percent below the $999 MacBook, and would offer best-in-class Web, e-mail and media software. In other words, we believe Apple’s tablet would compete well in the netbook category even though it would not be a netbook.”

From:- Eweek

Honda Technology Connects Brain with Robotics

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A new device developed in Japan by Honda Motor Company can analyze thought patterns and actually relays them as wireless commands.

Straight out of a science fiction tale, now opening a car trunk or even controlling a home air-conditioner becomes merely a thought.

Honda’s robot is known as Asimo. Shaped like a human, it receives wireless commands via electric currents on a person’s scalp. Asimo can also decipher changes in cerebral blood flow whenever a person thinks about four movements; namely, moving the right hand, moving the left hand, running and eating.

According to Honda, a leader in the field of robotics, the technology is not quite ready for a live demonstration and is still in research stages for a number of reasons. Distractions in a person’s thinking could offset Asimo, and brain patterns differ greatly among individuals, which means advance study of at least two years is required in order for the technology to function. Also, the reading device needs to be smaller so it can be portable.

A recent video reveals a man wearing a helmet that is seated and thinking about moving his right hand. His thought is transmitted to the robot by cords attached to his head inside the helmet. It took a few seconds, but then Asimo, dutifully programmed to respond to brain signals, lifted its right arm.

Yasuhisa Arai, executive at Honda Research Institute had this to say regarding the project:

“I’m talking about dreams today. Practical uses are still way into the future. Our products are for people to use. It is important for us to understand human behavior. We think this is the ultimate in making machines move.”

Deciphering brain patterns represents an important breakthrough in medical research. All over the world, scientists are attempting to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, but Honda believes its research in the field is among the most advanced and least invasive anywhere.

Embedding the necessary sensors under the skin is a painless procedure that is easily tolerated. The Japanese government is encouraging this robotic research as it sees the industry as a path to growth.

Asimo is a Honda celebrity, appearing in television ads and at various public events. He fascinates all who view him, but as of yet, he cannot sign autographs. Hopefully that day will some soon.

Ethiopian Review

4 Home’s Smart Meter Software- Saves Energy in the Home

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The term “Smart Grid”- Meaning as integration of the electric power infrastructure with information and communication technologies (ICT)- is echoing throughout the US energy industry. The major goal of the smart grid is to provide a communication path between the electric users, utilizing information exchange to reduce electricity consumption in the home. The key technology is the Home Energy Management System(HEMS), and i the last few years HEMS-related companies in the US have been spring up like mushrooms after rain.

4Home Inc of the US is one such high-tech start-up aiming at the HEMS mark. The company has been attracting considerable attention in the industry as a home automation software developer. Nate Williams and Jim Hunter of 4 Home speak here about the company’s plan for HEMS Market.

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