LGA2011 boards have always occupied the luxury side of town, whereas LGA1155 has been pretty blue collar. Not anymore. Asus’s new P8Z77-V Premium pretty much shatters the idea that LGA1155 boards are low rent.
The Asus P8Z77-V Premium comes fully loaded with features, including Wi-Fi antennas.
It’s commonly understood that if you can run Thunderbolt, you probably also snack on Beluga caviar, wear a Patek Philippe watch, and vacation in a country only rich people know about: Grenyarnia.
Not so, actually. Thunderbolt apparently doesn’t require you to smash the piggy. This is no more apparent than with Gigabyte’s Z77X-UP4 TH. What the TH stands for we don’t know for sure, but we’re guessing it has some relation to Thunderbolt, which the Z77X-UP4 TH has in spades.
It’s hard to believe you can get a board with not one, but two Thunderbolt ports for under $200.
It’s hard to review ViewSonic’s new Smart Display VSD220 without thinking back to another of the company’s unusual products that we reviewed almost a decade ago: the Air Panel V110.
The Air Panel used Microsoft’s “Smart Display” technology to essentially let you remotely control your PC over Wi-Fi for browsing and MP3 streaming. Not to rehash ancient history, but Smart Display was just another charred carcass on the long road to a successful consumer tablet computer.
Besides functioning as a desktop-size Android device, the VSD220 can serve as a stand-alone touchscreen monitor for a full-fledged PC.
Installing the Zalman CNPS14X CPU cooler is sort of like doing P90X exercises—there’s a possibility of extreme discomfort, but if you’re tough enough to bear the burden, you will ultimately see good results. The reason the installation is so painful is not so much the size of the cooler—we’ve installed coolers larger than this before without resorting to profanity—it’s the construction of the cooler and fan, which dictates the installation process.
Unlike many an Ultrabook, there’s no mistaking this one for a MacBook Air, or even an Air wannabe. Staying true to the venerable ThinkPad brand, the X1 Carbon is matte-black through and through, and clad in that distinct rubberized coating that feels nice to the touch, won’t easily slip from your grip, and remains blessedly free of fingerprints. It looks every bit the business companion it’s intended to be. In fact, the X1 Carbon looks a lot like the ThinkPad X1 we reviewed last year (bit.ly/lEdkj4). But it’s grown from 13 inches to 14 inches, and its body has been flattened to Ultrabook standards, measuring just .71 inches at its thickest. Its lap weight, by the way, comes in just under three pounds.
Can a ThinkPad be sexy? When you’re talking about the slender and sleek X1 Carbon, it sure can.
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.