A longtime reader of Maximum PC discovered his passion for building computers from reading our magazine, and now several years later, he's on Kickstarter trying to raise funds for Neutron. What is Neutron, exactly? Neutron is a NUC-like mini PC that's designed to offer the same performance as found in desktop towers, but in a form factor that can literally fit in the palm of your hand.
If you're looking for a business laptop to bring into the boardroom and take notes with, there's nothing for you to see here (unless you want to make a splash in front of your colleagues and bosses). However, if it's an aggressive design and affordable price tag you're after, Xotic PC may have something of interest. Meet the Phantom X1, Xotic PC's latest 15.6-inch gaming laptop starting at $1,159.
Taiwan-headquartered Shuttle is at it again, doing what it does best. The company, which specializes in small form factor (SFF) computers and barebones, has announced two new diminutive barebones. The new XH81 and XH81V are, per the company, “compact 3L media players” that are ideal for kiosks, vending machines, digital signage and POS applications.
Intel today announced its new Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families designed to crunch through diverse workloads and the growing needs of data centers. These new processors sport several enhancements that Intel claims will result in up to a three-fold increase in performance compared to the previous generation (Xeon E5 v2 family). Among those enhancements are more processing cores and an upgrade from Ivy Bridge to Intel's Haswell architecture.
New graphics driver also supports the new Intel Core M chip with Intel HD 5300 graphics
In a week that saw a whirlwind of product announcements, including the arrival of the first processors based on the chipmaker’s Broadwell architecture, Intel released a major graphics driver update for 4th generation Intel Core processors. The new driver, the release of which went almost unnoticed, is significant not only because of the up to 30 percent improvement in performance that it is supposed to deliver to those rocking Haswell chips, but also because it is also the first to support the new Intel Core M processor with Intel HD graphics 5300.
Broadwell is the next “tick” in Intel’s “tick-tock” chip release cadence
Around a fortnight back, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich all but ruled out the possibility of the company’s next-generation Broadwell processors shipping in time for the back-to-school season, saying that the first devices built around the 14nm die shrink of Intel’s Haswell microarchitecture were more likely to be available sometime around the holidays. In the meantime, you can look forward to Intel demoing a 2-in-1 device prototype powered by a 5th generation Core processor.
Will reportedly be based on a new power-efficient Haswell part
Ever since Microsoft sent out press invites for a Surface-related event scheduled for May 20, 2014, in New York, the tech media has been busy speculating about the event’s agenda. Many in the tech commentariat expect the long-rumored “Surface Mini” to finally step into the realm of reality to take center stage at the upcoming event. But with the hitherto fabled Microsoft tablet widely rumored to pack an ARM-based SoC from Qualcomm, the question is: What about Intel?
This board is prepped and primed to break world records
MSI is throwing extreme overclockers a mighty big bone in the form of a motherboard. The company's upcoming Z97 XPower AC mobo will feature a "Delid Die Guard" that's measured to specification and designed to protect the CPU core on processors that no longer have an integrated heat spreader (IHS). In case you're unfamiliar, the IHS is that giant metal slab that covers the top of your processor. It's there to pull heat off of the CPU core, which is then transferred to a heatsink with a bit of thermal goo in between to fill in the microscopic nooks and crannies.
We all know AMD makes damned-fine budget parts, but can Intel compete? This month, we build a $650 Core i5 Haswell rig to find out how it stacks up
It seems like whenever we build a high-end system it’s powered by an Intel CPU, and budget systems always run AMD parts. This month, we’re flipping the script and building a budget-oriented Intel system to see how it compares to AMD’s offerings, and to give people a glimpse of what a $650 Intel rig can throw down. For comparison’s sake, we recently built budget rigs using AMD’s new Richland APU (October 2013) as well as one with a $120 Vishera FX-6300 CPU (“Battle of the Budget Builds,” June 2013), and found that both chips serve their niche quite well. For this Intel build, we knew we’d go withHaswell, and wanted to run a Core i3 CPU, which typically comes with two cores and Hyper-Threading (HT), but those haven’t been released yet. Note: This article was originally featured in our December 2013 issue of the magazine. So, the next-best CPU we could get was the Core i5-4430— a quad-core CPU without HT for $180. That's a third of our budget on the CPU, which forced us to be frugal elsewhere. We also took this opportunity to try out a new microATX case from Cooler Master that retails for $50, which we felt was perfect for a budget build.
Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine.
Intel's Haswell refresh for the desktop is presumably only weeks away at this point -- rumor has it the new parts will show up in retail in the second quarter of 2014 -- and while we'll have to wait until then for the full scoop, an online store is already posting pre-order prices and specs of 10 upcoming Haswell CPUs. Most of them boast minor speed bumps of 100MHz over their predecessors.