The Steam Starts Rising – Valve Set to Release the Steam Box this Year!

steam_powered1If you play computer games, you’ve more than likely know of Steam, and the impact it’s had on the gaming world over the last few years. Steam, developed by Valve, is a digital distribution platform. It is used for distributing games and other related media online. The games vary from small independent developers to larger software houses. With Valve’s share of the gaming market constantly rising, it was only a matter of time before they would release their own games console. At CES 2013, Valve showcased prototypes of what will be known as the “Steam Box”. Following is everything you need to know about Valve’s steam box.
What is Steam Box?

 
The Steam Box is primarily designed to play PC games, specifically it’s designed to play games downloaded from Steam. The early prototypes of the Steam Box seem much smaller than a PC, but it is a PC – even though it might not be running windows. What Prototypes are Under Development? Several prototypes are currently under development. This includes the Xi3 Piston and Nvidia’s Project Shield. The Xi3 piston has received investment from Valve to continue developing the Piston, which is based on it’s existing X7A series. The Piston is reportedly set to be optimized for Steam’s big picture mode.Nvidia’s Project Shield is set to take the handheld gaming world by storm. Featuring a new Tegra 4 chip, the device contains, what looks like, a large Xbox 360 controller, along with a 5-inch 720p display screen. The device will run on Android and is Nvidia’s first project outside of the graphics card world.

What Operating System will be Supported by Steam Box?

The Steam Box is rumored to run with a Linux-based architecture, and will have the ability to run all the games currently available on Valve’s Steam platform. Although according to CEO Gabe Newell, the Steam Box won’t be limited to a single operating system. This means that although the unit will be shipped with Linux installed, the user could easily install another operating system, such as Windows.

Steambox

What Hardware Configuration will be Featured?

Rumours are still circulating about the features of the Steam Box, but at this time it seems that the console is modelled around the existing X7A line of miniature computers. Reports have surfaced that the console will contain up to 1TB of internal storage, with other options available to purchase faster CPUs and RAM. The prototype at CES 2013 contained four eSATAp ports, four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet as well as one full-sized Display Port and two Mini Display Ports. What Input Device Will it Feature?Newell has reported that the input device for the Steam Box, will be unique, potentially utilising biometrics and gaze tracking. Newell also stated that he has no intention of making Wii-like or Kinect-like controllers.

When Will it be Available?

It’s likely that the Steam Box will be released this year, although no precise date has currently been released. The console is set to be tested around July, so it’s likely that any release date would be nearer the end of the year – perhaps just in time for Christmas.

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Create “film quality” images and 3D graphics with NVIDIA Gelato

Gelato was a program designed by US tech company NVIDIA, most noted for their work on graphic processing units (GPUs). First released in 2008, Gelato is a high quality rendering software designed for creating stunning “film quality” images and 3D graphics.

Gelato runs quite fast. You can render your images with great ease and simplicity, making it an ideal image rendering program for everyone from graphic designers to students, or even if you just like toying around with images.

As NVIDIA themselves put it, the software is “fully featured” including their own Sorbetto interactive relighting technology as well as Network Parallel Rendering.

What may be of particular interest to students and freelance designers is that NVIDIA’s Gelato is free of charge, so unlike some of its counterparts, you’re getting a high quality program for nothing.

Gelato is a little outdated now however. NVIDIA have removed it from their site and released Optix instead . As a result, NVIDIA haven’t released any updates for the program and will not be issuing any new updates to the Gelato software in the future. Since then, there have been various new image rendering programs that have emerged.

Gelato has a number of system requirements needed in order to get started, including two other NVIDIA products – the workstation GPU Quadro FX and NVIDIA’s GPU GeForce 5200, or a GPU of a higher standard, are both needed.

NVIDIA’s Gelato is a solid piece of software, built for the purpose, but with it no longer being available through NVIDIA and no longer being updated, it can easily be left behind by some of the more recent image rendering programs that are out there, free or otherwise.

download NVIDIA Gelato

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NVIDIA CEO says that Android tablets based on Honeycomb will overtake iPad in 30 months

Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive of chip designer Nvidia declared that Android tablets will overtake Apple’s iPad in 30 months.

As Android for tablets improves and more apps hit the Android Market, Jen believes the platform will pass the iPad just like it did with the iPhone.

“The Android phone took only two and a half years to achieve the momentum that we’re talking about. I would expect the same thing on Honeycomb tablets. As a result of so many different parties working together, the first versions tend to be a bit clumsy to roll out.

However, as is the nature of these organic industries with very, very large players, you have continuous improvement at a very rapid pace. Everyone recognized the shortcomings of Honeycomb 3.0, jumped in working on Honeycomb 3.1, and if you haven’t had a chance to play with it – it’s just delightful.”

Source: Reuters

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Danger Den intros full-coverage water block for one of the world’s fastest graphics card – NVIDIA GTX 590

Danger Den is the next water cooling specialist out with a full-coverage water block for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 graphics card, the Danger Den GPU-6940. The block has contact points with all heat-producing components on the obverse side of the PCB, including the two GPUs, the PCIe bridge, memory, and VRM MOSFETs. Its primary material is exposed copper, topped off with black translucent acrylic. The block weighs about 1.6 kg (3.2 lbs), and includes pre-assembled gaskets. The Danger Den GPU-6940 for the GeForce GTX 590 is priced at US $119.95.

Note: GeForce GTX 590 is  one of the fastest dual graphics card available today which also happens to be very quiet too. Below you can find some specs too. As a matter, this video card combines 1024 NVIDIA CUDA architecture cores, 3GB of GDDR5 memory, 6 billion transistors and over 2200 individual components all packed into an 11 inch dual slot card 🙂

Nvidia Geforce GTX 590 specs:

CUDA Cores: 1024 (512 Per GPU)
Gfx/Processor Clock: 607/1215 MHz
Memory Config 3072MB GDDR5 (1536MB Per GPU)
Memory Speed: 3414MHz
Power Connectors : 2 x 8-pin
Power : 635 Watts
SLI: 2-way
Length: 11 Inches
Thermal: Dual-Slot Fansink
Outputs: DL-DVI, DL-DVI, Mini-DP

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V3 Gaming PCs available now with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Graphics

V3 Gaming, manufacturer of high-end computer systems, has announced the availability of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 graphics card in its high-end Convoy and Avenger desktop computers. The GTX 590 is the most powerful DirectX 11 graphics card ever built, delivers high-end performance in an excellent physical design, and uses cutting-edge technology to provide a cooler and quieter gaming experience.

The new GeForce GTX 590 graphics card features dual 512-core GTX 500 GPUs and an extended vapor chamber cooler that harnesses the incredible power of the NVIDIA Fermi architecture efficiently and quietly. With a total of 1024 CUDA cores, 3GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, and three dual-link DVI ports as well as a mini display-port connector, the GTX 590 is the single most capable graphics card in existence.

“The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 is truly a marvel of engineering and design. NVIDIA has managed to shoehorn two extremely powerful GPUs into a single high-performance graphics card that runs relatively cool and quiet.” said Steven Chien, CEO of V3 Gaming PC.

As in the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 cards before it, NVIDIA utilizes a vapor chamber heatsink design on the GTX 590, which improves thermal efficiency and allows the fan to run significantly slower, producing a dramatic reduction in noise. The physical shape of the graphics card and placement of the fan in the center provides improved air circulation over competing dual GPU graphics card designs.

Like all recent NVIDIA graphics cards, the GeForce GTX 590 supports Microsoft DirectX 11 technology, which makes it perfect for playing all of the latest games. What separates the GTX 590 from the rest of the pack, however, is its three dual-link DVI ports, making it the first product to support NVIDIA 3D VisionTM Surround technology on a single graphics card.

V3 Gaming PC desktops equipped with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 590 graphics cards also support NVIDIA CUDA and PhysX technologies for the best computing experience possible. The GTX 590 can also be configured in Quad SLI mode for the ultimate PC gaming experience. V3 Gaming PC recommends pairing this new graphics card with a capable processor to ensure an optimized gaming experience. All V3 Gaming PCs are backed by industry-leading lifetime labor and technical support services, as well as a 3-year limited warranty on parts.

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V3 Gaming PC Partners with NVIDIA to Offer $599 Salvo Desktop with GeForce GTX 550 Ti

V3 Gaming, manufacturer of high-end computer systems, has partnered with NVIDIA to offer the Salvo Desktop Computer for $599. The V3 Salvo features the brand new GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics card and the 2nd Generation Intel Core family of processors. The system itself is geared towards bringing a custom gaming computer experience to a larger audience of gamers.

Thanks to the GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics card from NVIDIA, the V3 Salvo has plenty of gaming chops. The GTX 550 Ti is a compact yet powerful DirectX 11 GPU that is great for small form factor and budget computer systems. It supports NVIDIA’s CUDA, PhysX, and 3D Vision technologies for the most realistic gaming experience possible. The card has 1GB of GDDR5 memory and packs in 192 CUDA cores for efficient gaming performance in the latest game titles.

The V3 Salvo also supports 2nd Generation Intel Core series processors, which offer unmatched gaming performance for a low cost. Rounding out the Salvo is 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory, the MSI H61MU-E35 motherboard that supports USB 3.0, a 500W power supply, 500GB 7200RPM SATA II hard drive and, like all V3 Gaming desktop computers, liquid cooling by Asetek. “We feel that the Salvo is a perfect entry point for any gamer looking to step up the next level of computer performance.” said Thomas Gribble, Product Manager at V3.

To satiate the curiosity of gamers, V3 states the Salvo in its stock configuration can pump out an average of 40 frames per second in Crysis 2, the graphically demanding first person shooter game title that hits store shelves today. Of course, the Salvo is highly upgradeable for even better performance. All of this gaming muscle can be purchased direct from V3 Gaming PC starting at $599.

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QLogic TrueScale InfiniBand integrates with Nvidia Tesla GPUs to drive new levels of power efficiency in high performance computing

QLogic has announced that a cluster using NVIDIA Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs), QLogic InfiniBand switches and adapters and operated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) achieved a number three ranking for MFlops/watt on the Green500 list of the world’s top supercomputers.

Launched in 2006, the Green500 ranks the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world using performance-per-watt to encourage HPC vendors and users to deploy more cost-effective computing systems. The NCSA’s hybrid cluster incorporated Intel Core i3 2.93Ghz dual core processors with NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPUs and QLogic TrueScale InfiniBand solutions, producing a score of 933.06 MFlops/watt – nearly four times more efficient than average supercomputers.

“We wanted to expand the frontiers of computational science, and the combination of NVIDIA Tesla GPUs with QLogic TrueScale InfiniBand fabrics is enabling this exploration,” said Professor Wen-mei Hwu of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “In collaboration with NCSA’s Innovative Systems Laboratory, the scaling and power efficiency from this combination of technologies has helped to place us near the top of the Green500 list.”

“The high performance per watt of Tesla GPUs has made them the architecture of choice for modern supercomputing, as evidenced by the presence of several GPU supercomputers in the Top 10 of the Green500,” said Sumit Gupta, product line manager, Tesla business at NVIDIA. “QLogic’s TrueScale InfiniBand architecture, coupled with Tesla GPUs, is key to helping increase overall system performance and efficiency of the NCSA cluster.”

QLogic’s newest TrueScale InfiniBand software release does not require Linux kernel patches or special InfiniBand drivers to integrate with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, making it very easy to install and maintain GPUs for HPC applications.

“Our interoperability with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs is another demonstration of how easily QLogic TrueScale InfiniBand fabrics support the most advanced cluster performance technologies,” said Joe Yaworski, director of global alliances and solution marketing for QLogic. “These results show how our development teams are continually pushing the envelope to create the easiest, most efficient, and most scalable integration of technologies to make real-world differences in cluster scaling and efficiency.”

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New line of Dell products for 2011

Dell introduced an expanded consumer portfolio featuring next-generation 4G capable devices and high-definition 3D-capable laptops that deliver the ultimate in mobility, entertainment and gaming experiences for just about everyone.

The new products include:

  • Streak 7, Dell’s first 4G tablet on T-Mobile’s blazing fast new 4G network;
  • Venue, Dell’s new unlocked GSM Google Android 2.2 smartphone;
  • A new XPS-branded laptop with full-resolution 3D screen; and
  • New Alienware 3D capable gaming systems

In addition to the distinctive new solutions, Dell today announced it is extending its innovative Dell Stage software interface across its entire consumer product portfolio. The move provides a unified experience across Dell’s consumer PC mobile devices and makes it easier to access and share music, movies and photos. Dell also announced it is significantly expanding its popular Mobility Hub on Dell.com, which lets people find the perfect mobile product for their lifestyle.

Dell Streak 7: Gather Around the Family Tablet
The new Dell Streak 7 with Android 2.2 is Dell’s first 4G tablet to take full advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G network, the nation’s largest. With T-Mobile’s 4G connectivity and the Dell Stage user experience, the Streak 7 is the ultimate social-networking and entertainment hub for families with kids and students, putting your favorite friends, music and movies front and center.

Venue: Your Personal Express Lane to, Well, Everything
The Venue with Android 2.2 is the perfect one-touch, unlocked GSM smartphone providing instant access to everything you love. With its pre-loaded Stage software and 8-megapixel camera, on-the-go students, mobile professionals and active social networkers can quickly capture and share life’s moments with just about anyone.

Dell.com Mobility Hub: Your Mobile Super Store
Adding to its ever-expanding selection of mobility products, services and accessories, Dell today also announced its popular Dell.com Mobility Hub now offers a wide array of mobility products from popular manufacturers, including Dell’s own solutions. The enhanced hub – redesigned to offer a better shopping and activation experience – offers Microsoft Windows Phone 7, Android and Blackberry products. All devices from the store now arrive ‘ready to use.’

XPS Laptop with HD 3D: Unrivaled Dimensions in Entertainment
Dell is taking the XPS brand and mobile entertainment to new heights with a new 17-inch laptop featuring an eye-popping, adrenaline-producing, high-definition 3D display (3D viewing requires NVIDIA NVision 3D glasses, sold separately). The new 3D capable XPS 17 joins Dell’s recently introduced line of XPS laptops featuring booming JBL sound, an integrated subwoofer and crystal clear high-definition screens and, of course, HD video streaming with Skype for the ultimate in HD camming.

For Every ‘Stage’ of Your Life: Instant Access to Content across All Devices
Recognizing that PCs, tablets and smartphones are rapidly becoming the platform of choice for entertainment, Dell today announced it is extending its popular Dell Stage software across the company’s consumer portfolio. The move gives people simpler, faster access to their favorite content – from music, to movies to TV shows. Dell Stage also makes it easier to access and share photos, home movies and more across social communities like Flickr and Facebook.

Extreme Gaming that Pushes the Limits
Alienware, Dell’s premium high-performance PC gaming brand, is continuing its universal domination with sizzling new additions that take extreme gaming to new heights and ratchet up the hottest gaming system lineup in the industry.

The new M17x is Alienware’s first 3D-capable gaming laptop, offering a realistic, lifelike, mobile gaming experience in a 17-inch display (3D capability requires optional 120Hz w/3D Bundle WideFHD WLED LCD display and NVIDIA graphics card). With its available full HD 120Hz 3D display, the new M17x offers eye-popping stereoscopic viewing for today’s most realistic gaming and mind-blowing 3D Blu-ray movie experiences.

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