There are several ways to reconcile why PowerColor named its dual Radeon HD 7970 monstrosity the Devil 13. On the one hand, the card probably got its name from the fact that it’s an unholy abomination of GPU horsepower, combining two already-hot-running GPUs into one massive, inferno-producing card that gets as hot as Hades. On the other hand, perhaps its sinister moniker is due to the fact that this video card shouldn’t really exist, as AMD never produced one (even though we all expected it last summer.) PowerColor must have said, “Screw it, we’ll make it ourselves!” And thus the Card of Darkness was born; a rare, one-off, fire-breathing $1,000 concoction that flies in the face of power, heat, and cost concerns. And since this is Maximum PC, all we can say is, “Hell yes.”
We’ve been so inundated with Ultrabooks these days that we almost forgot how powerful, and hulking, a full-on gaming notebook can be. MSI’s GT60 arrived in our Lab to remind us. At 15.6 inches, the GT60 is not the biggest of the big, but it’s a beast nonetheless with a 15.5x10.5x2-inch body and a 10-pound carry weight.
The keyboard’s multicolored backlighting is customizable via a software control panel.
Lenovo has introduced the most exciting all-in-one computer design since HP reinvigorated the market with its TouchSmart series in 2008. The IdeaCentre A720 is a pizza-box design, much like the original TouchSmart; but modern ingredients enabled Lenovo to produce a thin-crust form factor that HP could never have dreamed of.
Lenovo’s IdeaCentre A720 is one gorgeous piece of industrial design.
The movie Die Hard was so awesome it spawned a wave of imitators that all had just one distinguishing difference—Die Hard on a plane, Die Hard on a boat, Die Hard in a nursing home, etc. And so it is in the world of air coolers: We have dozens of skyscraper aluminum coolers with just one standout feature, and on the Silverstone Heligon HE01 the standout feature is its super-thick 14cm fan. It’s so big that Silverstone had to shave off a sliver of the cooler’s right appendage to make room for it, giving the cooler an asymmetrical look that resembles a tennis player’s arms.
You may not have heard about PC builder Stealth Machines, but apparently that’s the way the company likes it. In fact, the company’s web page proclaims that it’s the “underground computer company of the hardcore gamer.” We’d guess that’s the “stealth” part of the name.
We’re not fans of the LED strips on the power cables, but you might like the colorful addition.
PCIe SSDs, which combine a RAID chip with several SSD controllers and plenty of NAND flash onto one convenient and speedy package, are not a new idea. We’ve reviewed several, most recently the OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 in December 2011. They can be handy for people who want the speed of modern SSDs but don’t have free 6Gb/s SATA ports (this means you, X58). OWC’s Mercury Accelsior comes in sizes up to 960GB; we tested the 480GB version.
The Accelsior’s blades can be replaced with higher-capacity ones in the future, but will anyone actually do that?
Oh me-oh, oh my-oh, look at the price of this VAIO!
Sony introduces a number of cool innovations with its latest generation of VAIO L-Series all-in-ones, but the company exacts a hefty premium from those who want the best the company has to offer. This model SVL24116FXB costs $200 more than the Asus, but is outfitted with a slower CPU, a smaller display, a lesser videocard, and a smaller hard drive.
Sony declined to say if its 24-inch touchscreen panel is based on TN or IPS technology, but we can tell you it isn’t nearly as bright and vibrant as either the Asus or the Dell.
We used to get excited when HP would send us its latest all-in-one. Each new model seemed to add some cool innovation or new feature that no other manufacturer had. The Omni 27-1015T has us wondering if the all-in-one pioneer has tired of pushing the envelope.
HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it’s too easy to accidently turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display.
Gateway lists no fewer than 13 all-in-one models on its website, and this model with a dual-core CPU, integrated graphics, and twisted nematic LCD is its top offering. If the PCs in this roundup were playing football, the Gateway would be the water boy. But if all you need in a family PC is a machine for web browsing, email, productivity, and watching DVDs, this might be all you need.
Gateway’s ZX6970-UR10P is a very basic touchscreen PC with a price tag that won’t induce sticker shock