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There have already been sightings of various motherboards this week, some of which were developed by Gigabyte, but it looks like yet another one, of the socket FM1 variety, has stood to attention. As end-users know, the Computex 2011 trade show is coming in fast, so it stands to reason that previews and leaks would reach the web. Gigabyte appears to be preparing quite the sizable collection of PC components, even outright launching some, like the 990FX AMD Bulldozer Motherboards. Now, it is revealed that the outfit has another couple of boards in store, based on the AMD socket FM1 chipset. Dubbed GA-A75-UD4H and GA-A75M-UD2H, they resemble each other a fair deal as far as feature set goes, although the layout differs. Both have four memory slots and two PCI express x16 slots, plus heatsinks on the more important and heat-generating parts. The GA-A75-UD4H has one SATA 6.0 Gbps port, plus an I/O panel with four USB 3.0 connectors, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA port. What’s more, the same rear panel boasts D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outputs, plus a DisplayPort, 7.1 channel audio with optical S/PDIF, FireWire and, of course, Gigabit Ethernet. The GA-A75M-UD2H has five SATA 6.0 Gbps ports and an I/O panel with two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 connectors, an eSATA port, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio with optical S/PDIF and three video connectors (DVI, D-Sub and HDMI). What’s more, there are two USB pin headers on the mainboard proper, for two USB 3.0 and four USB extra connections, respectively. The folks over at VR-Zone are the ones that managed to get a hold of the photos of both models, but it is unclear if the company will launch both or just one (and, if the latter, which will be selected). Either way, Computex 2011 is bound to provide some answers.

There have already been sightings of various motherboards this week, some of which were developed by Gigabyte, but it looks like yet another one, of the socket FM1 variety, has stood to attention. As end-users know, the Computex 2011 trade show is coming in fast, so it stands to reason that previews and leaks would reach the web. Gigabyte appears to be preparing quite the sizable collection of PC components, even outright launching some, like the 990FX AMD Bulldozer Motherboards. Now, it is revealed that the outfit has another couple of boards in store, based on the AMD socket FM1 chipset. Dubbed GA-A75-UD4H and GA-A75M-UD2H, they resemble each other a fair deal as far as feature set goes, although the layout differs. Both have four memory slots and two PCI express x16 slots, plus heatsinks on the more important and heat-generating parts. The GA-A75-UD4H has one SATA 6.0 Gbps port, plus an I/O panel with four USB 3.0 connectors, a pair of USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA port. What’s more, the same rear panel boasts D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outputs, plus a DisplayPort, 7.1 channel audio with optical S/PDIF, FireWire and, of course, Gigabit Ethernet. The GA-A75M-UD2H has five SATA 6.0 Gbps ports and an I/O panel with two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 connectors, an eSATA port, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio with optical S/PDIF and three video connectors (DVI, D-Sub and HDMI). What’s more, there are two USB pin headers on the mainboard proper, for two USB 3.0 and four USB extra connections, respectively. The folks over at VR-Zone are the ones that managed to get a hold of the photos of both models, but it is unclear if the company will launch both or just one (and, if the latter, which will be selected). Either way, Computex 2011 is bound to provide some answers.

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Atx Vs Eatx Motherboard Differences Explained

If you’re planning to custom-build a gaming computer, you should consider two types of motherboards – ATX and EATX. They are similar on the surface, but quite different in more ways than one.

Choosing one over the other depends on the type of PC you’re building, and what you plan to use it for. You see, purchasing the wrong motherboard could lead to compatibility issues, and the same goes for space if it can’t fit inside the tower.

With this in mind, you must have all the necessary information at hand before moving forward with choosing a motherboard for your new computer.

What is ATX

ATX stands for Advanced Technology eXtended, and it is a popular specification used to plan motherboard configurations along with dimensions that will improve standardization. This technology was first released back in July 1995 by Intel, and since then, the ATX platform has seen several revisions.

Now, it took a year after release for ATX boards to really push forward into the market. Soon after they would replace Baby-AT motherboards. As it stands right now, ATX motherboards are the most used around the world, and that’s because it satisfies the needs of most computer users.

What is EATX

EATX stands for Extended Advanced Technology eXtended, or just Extended ATX for short. So, in many ways, EATX is the same as ATX but with added length and features for those who want to create custom computers with that extra power.

With the extended size, EATX motherboards tend to come with more ATA ports, M.2 slots, PCI-E slots, and more RAM slots. Quite impressive if you ask us, but only a small percentage of PC users will choose to custom-build a system with this standard due to cost.

ATX vs EATX motherboards: Main differences

The differences between ATX and EATX are basically the cost, features, and the overall size. Potential users must consider these before jumping in.

The Size

The Functions

The Price

1] The Size

One of the first things you should consider when planning to buy an EATX or ATX motherboard is the size. In fact, the size is the first differentiator you will notice when looking at these motherboards for the first time.

You see, the EATX motherboard is noticeably larger than the ATX. In most cases, a standard ATX motherboard will measure around 12 by 9.5 inches, while an EATX motherboard measures 12 by 13 inches. So, as it stands, a specialized case will be needed if you plan on investing in an EATX motherboard because it will not be able to fit inside a standard case.

An EATX motherboard is great for those planning to build a computer for professional or enthusiastic reasons. A great option for a computer that demands power, which in turn means a need for greater airflow. The large case would definitely aid in that regard, and there is no way for an ATX build to compare.

Now, we should take nothing away from ATX because it is the most popular motherboard format since 2023. We are not surprised because it provides a good balance between expandability and affordability.

2] The Functions

ATX motherboards can do a lot, some will even say everything that a person needs from a typical computer. However, the EATX motherboard takes this a step further due to its larger size. Users will have access to around 8 RAM slots, more AIO liquid headers and fan headers, and more USB headers.

EATX is clearly designed for those who want to build the ultimate machine or have enough room for many upgrades in the future. ATX motherboards, on the other hand, are a Jack of all Trades, and perfect for most situations.

3] The Price

Based on what we have discussed above, it is clear that ATX will come out as the most affordable when compared to EATX. This is because ATX boards use fewer materials than their EATX counterparts, and manufacturers are willing to price EATX boards higher because they are more targeted by professionals and enthusiasts.

Additionally, EATX boards are more feature-packed when compared to ATX motherboards, so no matter how you spin it, there will always be a wide price margin between the two motherboards, and that’s not going to change for a long time, if ever.

READ: Motherboard is not getting Power

How many RAM slots does an ATX motherboard have?

Most ATX motherboards tend to come with a maximum of 4 RAM slots, and around 3 to 4 PCIe slots. If you want more than what’s on offer here, then you’ll need to invest in an EATX motherboard, just expect to spend more.

Is EATX better than ATX?

Yes, an EATX motherboard will always be better than its ATX counterpart, and that’s due to the larger size and additional hardware features. The only downside is the price, but if that’s not a problem, then we suggest choosing an EATX board for the best possible gaming computer build.

The Beginner’s Guide To Smartphone Camera

But Why Not Get a Good Standalone Camera Instead?

The whole “smartphone vs. camera” debate has been raging ever since high-end back-lit CMOS cameras started appearing on regular phones. So, what’s better?

The answer is: It really doesn’t matter. All of it depends on the reasons you might want to get a phone with a good camera as opposed to a piece of hardware completely dedicated to taking photographs. People who are serious about photography might get a decent DSLR camera, but still might want to dump some cash on a smartphone with good optics simply because it’s less bulky. You might not be carrying your bulky rig with all its attachable lens around when a great photo opportunity presents itself. In those cases, it’s very useful to have a powerful camera in your pocket.

You just can’t drag all of this around every time you walk out of your house:

What Makes a Phone’s Camera “Good?”

If a phone doesn’t give you any information about its aperture or focal length, you have no way of telling whether it has a camera that meets your liking. Usually, phones that don’t show any indication in their specs other than the resolution are not putting any priority on their cameras.

Since you’re limited to whatever optical specifications the manufacturer provides for your lens, it’s not a bad idea to try to find something that suits your liking and provides the optical experience you are accustomed to taking pictures with.

For people who are not experienced with cameras, here are a few pointers:

A bigger focal length means that you’ll cover less area in the picture. The simplest way to describe focal length is by comparing it to zoom. The higher the focal length, the more “zoomed” the camera is. Smaller focal lengths mean you’ll have wider angles. Nikon has a decent guide on this if you’d like to know more in-depth information. Focal lengths are measured in millimeters. The typical optics on a phone have somewhere between 20 and 30 mm of focal length.

The aperture (focal ratio) determines how much light enters the camera. This ratio is notated with a fancy-looking italic lowercase “F”, known as an “f-number”. A higher f-number represents a smaller aperture, which captures more light. This is important for special shots that put objects in focus. For example, compare the two images below:

The top image is taken using a small aperture, and the bottom image is taken using a large one. On some phone cameras, the shutter will take care of this by moving ever so slightly just before taking a picture to modify the aperture. Similarly, focal length is also adjusted through optical zoom.

Ultimately, a good smartphone camera will have all these things. It will have the ability to zoom by moving the optics (adjusting the focal length) and change the aperture with a mechanical shutter. Since the cameras are digital, there has to be a decent on-board backlit CMOS sensor to construct these images with great accuracy. After all that, you can worry about resolution. But, anyway, a good camera will also have a decent resolution, althoug you shouldn’t make a big fuss about anything more than 5 megapixels.

Examples of Good Smartphone Cameras

The first thing that comes to mind as far as cameras are concerned is the Nokia Lumia 1020, with its brilliant 41-megapixel camera, its special software, and its spectacular CMOS and optics. There’s also the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom (a phone with an integrated full-blown PAS – point-and-shoot – camera), and the regular S4. The HTC One and iPhone 5S are close runners up.

Let’s Continue This Discussion!

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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Gigabyte Adds 3Tb+ Hdd Support To Its Motherboards

Gigabyte has just announced the release of a new utility which allows all the company’s motherboards that don’t feature the Hybrid EFI technology to recognize and use unallocated space on new 3TB and larger hard disc drives, a feat that wasn’t previously possible. The utility adds support for the drives at the OS level and allows even older operating systems, like the 32bit version of Windows XP, to use HDDs that exceed 2.19TB in capacity. In order to achieve this, the Gigabyte 3TB+ Unlock application allows the user to create virtual drives that can hold up to 128 partitions, as long as there is additional unallocated space on the HDD. Furthermore, 3TB+ Unlock supports both GPT (GUID Partition Table) and MBR (Master Boot Record) partition styles, although, with MBR, the number of partitions are limited to 8. 3TB+ Unlock currently supports new high-end motherboard models based on the Intel X58, Intel 6-series and AMD 800-series chipsets, and is in the process of being ported to older chipset models so that it will support all motherboards that Gigabyte is currently shipping. A list with all the supported models is available here, and includes such models as the company’s recently launched G1-Assassin rage, the GA-P67A-UD7-B3 and GA-P67A-UD5-B3 models as well as the soon-to-be-released GA-880G-USB3 (rev. 3.1) AMD Bulldozer motherboard. Gigabyte’s utility is available for download from the company’s website by following this link. The compatibility problems of the 3TB, and larger, hard drives are caused by a combination of limiting factors found inside the BIOS, master boot record and older 32-bit operating systems and make it impossible for the system to recognize and use more than 2.19TB of the total disk space available. One of the solutions of surpassing this problems is to use GUID partition tables (GPT) instead of master boot record (MBR) tables, and this is exactly what the UEFI BIOS has done. Unfortunately, Gigabyte hasn’t introduced UEFI yet in its boards so the company is forced to resort to hacks, such as the 3TB+ utility, in order to enable its users to pair their systems with high-capacity HDDs.

Gigabyte has just announced the release of a new utility which allows all the company’s motherboards that don’t feature the Hybrid EFI technology to recognize and use unallocated space on new 3TB and larger hard disc drives, a feat that wasn’t previously possible. The utility adds support for the drives at the OS level and allows even older operating systems, like the 32bit version of Windows XP, to use HDDs that exceed 2.19TB in capacity. In order to achieve this, the Gigabyte 3TB+ Unlock application allows the user to create virtual drives that can hold up to 128 partitions, as long as there is additional unallocated space on the HDD. Furthermore, 3TB+ Unlock supports both GPT (GUID Partition Table) and MBR (Master Boot Record) partition styles, although, with MBR, the number of partitions are limited to 8. 3TB+ Unlock currently supports new high-end motherboard models based on the Intel X58, Intel 6-series and AMD 800-series chipsets, and is in the process of being ported to older chipset models so that it will support all motherboards that Gigabyte is currently shipping. A list with all the supported models is available here, and includes such models as the company’s recently launched G1-Assassin rage, the GA-P67A-UD7-B3 and GA-P67A-UD5-B3 models as well as the soon-to-be-released GA-880G-USB3 (rev. 3.1) AMD Bulldozer motherboard. Gigabyte’s utility is available for download from the company’s website by following this link. The compatibility problems of the 3TB, and larger, hard drives are caused by a combination of limiting factors found inside the BIOS, master boot record and older 32-bit operating systems and make it impossible for the system to recognize and use more than 2.19TB of the total disk space available. One of the solutions of surpassing this problems is to use GUID partition tables (GPT) instead of master boot record (MBR) tables, and this is exactly what the UEFI BIOS has done. Unfortunately, Gigabyte hasn’t introduced UEFI yet in its boards so the company is forced to resort to hacks, such as the 3TB+ utility, in order to enable its users to pair their systems with high-capacity HDDs.

Testing The Goods: Vicon Revue, A Wearable Lifeblogging Camera

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Any sentimentalist knows why we carry cameras: to capture memories. And a memory captured is one you don’t need to remember yourself. That’s more or less the idea behind the new Vicon Revue. The device, which is based on a Microsoft Research project, is a three-ounce camera that automatically snaps away all day long, remembering events so you don’t have to. We took it out for a test drive.

What’s New

Worn around your neck, the camera takes the pictures as you move around and enter new environments with their different levels of light, temperatures or even wind speeds. It has built-in sensors, including an infrared eye and an accelerometer, to register these changes and tell it to shoot at a rapid-fire speed of one picture per second until conditions settle.

The camera also comes with software that creates video flipbooks of the images — basically visual memory logs. The applications of the log are very practical: Think a recall aid for people with Alzheimer’s or memory loss. But for our purposes, it was an automatic life blogger. Nifty, right?

The Good

For a person like myself, with a criminally bad memory, the camera did help me remember finer details from a Mets-Yankees Subway Series game in mid-June. For instance, I’d forgotten that I’d eaten a (quite bland) BBQ chicken sandwich, subsequently washed it down with a bubble tea, and lamented my poor-sandwich choice when I spied some pulled pork during a tour of the other stadium food vendors.

The sensors, for the most part, picked up on faces I saw when I was moving around. When I walked through Times Square the Thursday before the baseball game, the camera rapidly shot pictures as I slowed down, jerked from side to side and sped up to evade ongoing foot traffic.

As for its manual-control side buttons, I have mixed feelings. Its privacy button, which when pressed prevents the camera from shooting for two minutes, helped me out when I used the bathroom. The other button, a manual shutter, did not seem to work so well; I tried to take a shot of two yoginis in the middle of Times Square, but because the camera does not have a preview screen, I couldn’t tell whether I had taken the shot. I later learned that I didn’t.

The Bad

Even though the camera’s fisheye lens is tilted slightly upward to see what your eyes do, wearing it around your neck misses a vital detail: you can turn your head without turning your whole body. At the baseball game, for example, when I leaned to the side to say something to my friends, the camera continued to point forward at the field, rather than capture the face of the person I was talking to.

On the whole, the Revue’s pictures were quite low-res and blurry, but given that it can store several days’ worth of activity, that’s a mixed bag. And, when you view them as a quick-moving slideshow, you’ll hardly have time to notice.

And forget about getting a photo of anything if you wear the camera in the dark. Take, for instance, my trip to New Haven, Conn., to attend a friend’s birthday party. All I see in the picture is darkness and the blinding glare of the streetlights, even though I remember passing by several people on way to my friend’s house.

I had planned to take shots of various other events too, such as a visit to the Guggenheim in New York. But because the camera’s battery meter was not very intuitive (a blinking green light telling that sometime within the next three hours, the camera will shut off, rather than a battery meter traditionally found on digital cameras), I did not charge the camera and thus lost the opportunity to preserve a memory.

The Price

$730 (est. import).

The Verdict

Still, the camera ultimately gets its job done—-if it takes shots before sundown, that is. With it, I remember the small details: those cues, those sandwiches that help me recall other details and complete my experiences.

Review: Analog Camera, A Fun And Fast Camera App With Personality

As promised, Analog Camera for iPhone and iPod touch has hit the App Store to fulfill your filtered photo taking needs. I had a chance to spend some time with the app over the Memorial Day weekend and quickly decided it’s a keeper.

Analog Camera is a seriously fun and fast camera app with personality, as we would expect from the makers of Clear for iPhone and Mac (and soon iPad), that features eight different photo filters and all the social network sharing you could ever need.

Analog Camera’s easy sharing features allow you to open photos you shoot or edit within the app in other apps including Instagram. This feature is especially cool if you’re feeling spunky and want to experiment with double filters or blurring features offered with Instagram.

As previously mentioned in our Analog Camera preview, the app features prominent share buttons for Facebook and Twitter. We’ve learned that these buttons are connected to your iOS settings and will disappear if these accounts are set up. This is a nice feature as it doesn’t shove Facebook or Twitter in your face if you don’t use either of the services.

Tapping the action button allows you to open your photo in other apps that are willing to accept it. This included apps ranging from Camera+ and Instagram to Tumblr, Dropbox, and Google Drive in my experience, but you may see different apps including Evernote and Instashare depending on what apps you have installed.

This is a smart and popular method because it builds support for a plethora of third party apps without overcomplicating the app itself, but I found myself wanting Copy and Messages here as well. Maybe in a future update? In the meantime, saving a processed photo to Camera Roll and jumping over to Messages or Photos is the fastest way to share an Analog Camera photo over iMessage. No big deal.

Taking photos in Analog Camera is as much of a pleasure as I expected, especially with its whimsical, progressive chime borrowed from Clear (that tone progression always makes me smile; maybe my brain associates it with accomplishing tasks?), but its quick access to Camera Roll and Photo Stream makes it particularly useful. The photo in my screenshot was taken with my Nikon 1 camera (I’m a completely amateur camera user; photographer is too strong a word to describe me) and imported to iPhoto on my Mac, but Photo Stream automatically moved the photos over iCloud making it available in Analog Camera for processing and sharing.

While Analog Camera delivers on simplicity and avoids packing in an abundance of features found it other apps, its camera does include a handy feature set including a dashed line for lining up a horizon and manual controls for focus and exposure.

Tapping with a single finger allows for controlling focus and exposure, and tapping with two fingers enables separate controls for the two settings. Anytime you want to return to autofocus and autoexposure, which is of course the default photo taking mode, simply double tap with a single finger.

Analog Camera’s counterpart for the Mac known simply as Analog will be updated next month to include the eight filters from Analog Camera which include Camden, Superior, Marble Arch, Pavilion, Inky, 1978, Honeycomb, and Brunswick.

Just like Tapbots created its own signature style with apps like Tweetbot and Calcbot, the folks at Realmac Software exhibit a proven ability to create fun and useful iOS apps with a balance of playfulness and simplicity. Following the success of Clear and my time spent with Analog Camera, I’m left curiously wondering what the team’s approach to a Twitter client would be like. Hmm…

While I found Analog Camera to offer a more than satisfactory experience, it could pick up front-facing camera support for even more fun (we all love selfies, admit it!). The team says it looks forward to hearing about feature requests to build into Analog Camera for future updates, but emphasizes its respect for the simplicity of the gesture-based app.

As I mentioned in my preview of the app, Analog Camera isn’t a clone of Instagram centered around its own social network, but rather a standalone camera and filtering app with spunk that can enhance Instagram or any other photo sharing platform for that matter.

I highly recommend picking up Analog Camera if you enjoy experimenting with iPhone photography and appreciate well designed, upbeat apps. It’s a lot of fun for just a buck.

Analog Camera for iPhone and iPod touch is now available for $0.99 in the App Store.

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