Today AMD is launching the Radeon R9 290, which is the second card in its all-new Hawaii series of GPUs designed to take on Nvidia's GK110-based super GPUs. This particular card is extremely similar to its big brother, the R9 290X, but has slightly lower clock speeds and fewer stream processors, allowing it to come in at a slightly lower price point of $400. Though it was originally designed to take on the formerly $400 GTX 770, AMD is now positioning it to compete with the GTX 780 due to Nvidia's recent price drops on both cards to $500 and $329, respectively. Read on to see how it handles the heat, both literally and figuratively.
For a gaming mouse, the Func MS-3 (revision 2) looks rather unassuming and unpretentious. It is pretty big as mice go, but that doesn't get in the way of its performance too much. The MS-3 also brings features that you'd see in more expensive mice.
If you were to tell us three years ago that Razer was going to make a Bluetooth speaker, we would have been interested, but now that we’re inundated with Bluetooth speakers everywhere, it’s pretty hard to get excited. But while Razer’s Leviathan sound system is far from perfect, it’s also more than just a pair of Bluetooth speakers.
A new hero descends from the heights of Mount GeForce
In ancient Greek mythology, the Titans are the immediate descendants of the primordial gods. So it is with the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, descended from the company's top-shelf professional workstation GPUs. First debuting in March 2013, the original Titan was nearly the most powerful video card that the company could offer. They sealed off a couple items that would be of little interest to gamers, which also prevented professionals from using these much less expensive gamer variants for workstation duties.
In the two years since, the company has iterated on this design, adding more shader processors (or "CUDA cores," as Nvidia likes to call them), and even adding a second GPU core on the same card. Now the time has come for it to deliver the Maxwell generation of super-premium GPUs, this time dubbed the GTX Titan X. And it's a beast. Despite being stuck on the 28nm process node for several years now, the company continues to extract more and more performance from its silicon. Interestingly, the card goes up for sale today, but only at Nvidia's own online storefront. There is currently a limit of two per order. The company tells us that you'll be able to buy it from other stores and in pre-built systems "over the next few weeks." First-world problems, right?
Intel’s quasi-barebones NUC PC is back for round three, with the sexy-named “NUC5i5RYK” SKU leading the charge. Equipped with Intel’s i5-5250U dual-core CPU, clocked at 1.6GHz, the processor still comes soldered to the NUC’s motherboard. And once again, owners will have to bring their own OS to the party.
Much like what Alienware did with its Alpha console, CyberPower PC is transforming its Steam Machine into a Windows box (you can thank Valve’s delay of its hardware initiative for that). CyberPower PC is branding its new line of PCs under its Syber Vapor line, which is an obvious nod to Valve’s “Steam” nomenclature. Unlike the Alienware Alpha, however, there is no proprietary 10-foot UI here. Rather, the Vapor boots directly into Steam’s Big Picture Mode. CyberPower PC is billing the Vapor as “the ultimate PC gaming console,” and with some minor quibbles aside, we think the company makes a pretty compelling argument.
As great as PC gaming is, let’s face it, when it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles have the PC beat. Alienware and the Steam Machines were supposed to change that, but considering Valve delayed its hardware initiative, Alienware decided to releases its box early as a small Windows 8.1 PC, dubbed the Alienware Alpha. While the PC does an admirable job of attacking the PC’s problem areas in the living room, as the name implies, it’s still (unfortunately) in a bit of an alpha stage.
With the US still lagging behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to the availability of high-speed Internet, there's still a lot of need for high-capacity external storage. It's also a good idea to have local system backups. A few years ago, your choices were mostly clunky 3.5-inch drive enclosures that needed external power. We've since graduated to sleek 2.5-inch units that get their juice straight from USB 3.0 cables that shuttle bits between the drive and your PC. Today, Samsung is taking it a step further with the Portable T1, which is an external SSD that can operate in the neighborhood of SATA III speeds.
The word “omen” generally connotes bad juju for most people. For some longtime PC enthusiasts, however, it evokes fond memories of Voodoo PC’s old beautiful and powerful desktops. While HP isn’t bringing Voodoo PC back from the grave, it hopes to pay homage to the Omen namesake by rebirthing it as a modern gaming notebook.
People don’t just buy desktop keyboards, they have long-term monogamous relationships with them that last years. Hell, some editors we know just celebrated their fifth-year anniversary with their desktop keyboard (the traditional gift is wood, by the way).