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You’ve undoubtedly heard about the craze of “green” hard drives from companies like Western Digital and Seagate. They promise that these drives will consume less power and cost less (since they only run at 5400RPM or 5900RPM), but from what Ars Technica reports, these “green” drives don’t differ all that much from regular drives.

“In terms of cost, using a green hard drive compared to a normal one makes very little difference. Assuming your drive spends 4 hours reading and writing and 20 hours idle per day, switching from the WD Black to Green saves you only 45 kilowatt-hours per year. The national average cost of a kilowatt-hour is 11.93 cents, netting you a whopping $5.38 per year for your sacrifice of 1800 RPM. For comparison, changing one 60-watt lightbulb used 4 hours a day to a 7-watt fluorescent one saves you more, about $9.23 per year.”

They’re obviously not completely useless since they’re still relatively quieter and stay cooler than regular drives, making them ideal for HTPCs and backup storage.

[Ars Technica]

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Turn Your Netbook Into An Arcade Cabinet

We’d obviously love to have our own full-size arcade cabinet sitting right next to us, but we just don’t have the real estate to make room for it. However, with a little know-how and a few tools, it’s now possible to turn your netbook into a miniature arcade MAME cabinet. A dedicated fellow is heading up Project MAME, and he created a DIY kit that gets the conversion job done. While it does take your old netbook and turns it into a mini arcade, it will actually accept any 10-inch display and a mini-ITX motherboard. Mind you, the kit alone is $350, so be prepared to spend just as much as you would buying a brand new netbook.

[Nanocade via Engadget]

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Intel made the announcement today that they have discovered quite a major design flaw in their new Sandy Bridge 6 Series chipsets. This affects all P67 and H67 motherboards that were sold since release and ones that are currently stocked. Intel says that the issue is related to the SATA degradation of the motherboard and that throughout the lifespan of the board, there is potential of a big decrease in performance and even non-recognition of attached devices. For now, Intel has stopped its chip manufacturing to find a way to fix the issue and is working with OEMs and motherboard manufacturers on customer support procedures and it’s very possible that recalls will be implemented.

Intel estimates the cost of repair and replacing the chipsets will be over $700 million, but they do think that new and updated chipsets should begin shipping by late February.

Thanks, Daz

[Hardware Canucks]

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Maybe hell froze over or something, but it’s straight out of Chipzilla’s mouth that the frontman of the Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am, is now the “director of creative innovations” at Intel. As far as his duties are concerned, it’s all pretty foggy at this point. Intel only had this to say about what he’ll be doing:

“In his unique role, will.i.am will collaborate with Intel on many creative and technology endeavors across the “compute continuum” that may include such devices as laptops, smart phones and tablets. Complementing his visionary role as the front man for The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am is also already working on music expressly for Intel.”

Intel, what have you done?

[Intel via LA Times]

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Always finding new things that we never knew we needed, Razer has announced their newest product: a small speaker system for portable devices. The Ferox is an omni-directional speaker that features a 12-hour battery life and pocket-sized design that promises full-size sound quality and coverage. The product is shipping now for a price of $59.99

[Info Page, Store Page]

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Wow, it seems like yesterday when Nvidia released its first-generation Fermi cards, and now a year later, here we are admiring the second coming of Fermi in the form of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. This hunk of a beast boasts 384 CUDA processing cores, 822 MHz graphics clock, 1.6 GHz processor clock, 4.0 GHz memory clock, and a full gig of GDDR5 memory. Prices will start at $250 at numerous online retailers. Coincidentally, AMD lowered the price of their HD 6870 to $220 and the HD 6950 down to as low as $270. AMD also outed a new, different model of the HD 6950 to directly compete with the GTX 560. The price on that card will start at $260.

Hot Hardware has an in-depth, 12-page review of the new GTX 560 here. It’s worth the read if you’re considering such a card, but if you’re pressed for time, here’s their no-nonsense summary:

“The GeForce GTX 560 Ti, whether in its stock or overclocked configurations, performed very well throughout out testing. In comparison to its closely related cousin, the GeForce GTX 460, it’s no contest—the GeForce GTX 560 Ti smokes the GeForce GTX 460 across the board. It’s harder to summarize the 560 Ti’s performance versus competing cards from AMD, however. In some circumstances, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti is actually faster than the more expensive Radeon HD 6970 (Far Cry 2, Lost Planet 2). Other times the GTX 560 Ti hangs right alongside the new Radeon HD 6950 1GB (Unigine, Just Cause 2). In the rest of the games and apps we tested, the Radeons came out on top. Suffice it to say, the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti is a strong competitor to similarly positioned graphics cards from AMD.”

[Press Release]

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Hot on the heels of Intel‘s release of newer-gen Core processors, Asus says that they’re set to raise quotes on their motherboards. Chewei Lin, general manager of the motherboard division at Asus, said the increase isn’t due to greed or taking advantage of the new Sandy Bridge CPUs, but rather to cope with the labor shortage in China, the NT dollar’s appreciation and higher material costs (copper mostly). However, Lin continued on saying that this will hardly affect everyday consumers and DIY system builders since prices have already been on the rise recently. It mostly affect OEMs and their contracts with motherboard makers like Asus.

via [DigiTimes]

Image Credit: jepuy

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27 years ago today, Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh 128K computer. It was Apple’s first computer to run on Mac OS, which was called System 1.0 back then. This revolutionary machine featured a 9-inch black and white monitor, an 8 MHz processor, 128 KB of RAM, and used a 400 KB 3.5-inch floppy disk as storage space. All of this could have been yours for only $2,495.

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I suppose we could have saw this coming back in November and Microsoft’s head hancho Steve Ballmer even said it himself that Kinect would be arriving on Windows at some point, but we had no idea when. According to WinRumors, Microsoft is currently working on an SDK and official drivers of Kinect for Windows and will both be released in the next few months in beta form. It’s also said that the next version of Windows (i.e. Windows 8) will include full Kinect support out of the box, which will focus on gesture-based controls.

via [WinRumors]

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We see a lot of computer case mods nowadays. Aquariums, robots, you name ‘em. They’re nothing new by any means, but this one is quite creative to say the least. A New Zealand resident took an old Apple G4 tower, gutted its internals and used the case to turn it into his very own mailbox, complete with the little vented door and address numbers.

My only question: how weather-proof are Apple G4 cases? I guess we’ll wait and see.

[WeLoveApple]

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