Typically when a graphics company announces a new GPU, as Nvidia did yesterday with its GeForce GTX 960M and 950M additions, hardware partners follow suit with systems build around the parts. And so it goes, as today Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) unveiled the G501, a thin and light 15.6-inch gaming laptop with a 4K Ultra High Definition resolution powered by the GTX 960M.
Rumor has it Intel will finally release its 14nm Broadwell desktop processors in the middle of next quarter (think somewhere around mid-May), so you still have some time to prepare for an upgrade or overhaul, if going that route. Wondering if your motherboard will support Broadwell? At least one company is making it easy -- Asus on Tuesday announced that all of its 9 Series motherboards support Intel's 5th Generation Core lineup.
When's the last time you fired up a monitor and thought, "Wow, the speakers in this thing are amazing!"? Probably never. The best you can really hope for from the tinny cans that manufactures shove inside of monitors is serviceable audio, but more often than not, they simply suck. Granted, nobody goes shopping for a monitor and puts audio quality at the top of their list, but c'mon, is this the best the industry can do? Maybe not. Asus promises a better audio experience with its new Designo MX27AQ, a 27-inch WQHD (2560x1440) monitorwith embedded ICEpower Bang & Olufsen technology.
One thing I've noticed over the last few months is an increased focus on mini ITX builds. New cases like In Win's funky D-Frame Mini and Corsair's LAN-friendly Graphite Series 380T underscore a growing desire to build high-end systems with smaller footprints, but what about the parts that go inside them? It's mostly an issue with graphics cards, and while some mini ITX cases can accept full-length cards, others don't have the space. For those that fall into the latter category, Asus just expanded its mini ITX graphics card line with a shortened version of the GeForce GTX 960.
The newly available Asus Zenbook UX305 might be the sexiest 13.3-inch Ultrabook you can buy for $699. According to Asus, it's certainly the slimmest -- measuring just 0.48 inches thin weighing a mere 2.6 pounds, we won't argue that claim. But getting back to the price tag, Asus manages to cram a surprising amount of amenities into this svelte laptop without breaking the bank, including an In-Plane Switching (IPS) Full HD 1080p display.
As far as we're concerned, every all-in-one PC should have a built-in battery backup, especially now that they're becoming thin and light enough to move from room to room with relative ease. Battery backup is one of the features found on Asus' ET2040 AIO (stays running on battery for up to an hour), though that's not the only thing unique about this system. It also ventures off the beaten path by recognizing gestures without having to touch the screen.
Asus and Gigabyte dominated the motherboard market in 2014, with Asus coming out slightly ahead of its rival for bragging rights. However, there's more at stake than bragging rights for second tier players. ASRock, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), and Micro-Star International (MSI) all have new strategies for 2015 to help better compete with the big boys, though not all may survive.
CyberPower Trinity PC, tiny PC on an HDMI stick, and more
While CES 2015 was more of an evolutionary year as opposed to a revolutionary one, there were some interesting devices in the PC space. If you’ve read our CES 2015 prediction piece, nearly all of that came true. We saw a bunch of VR headsets, assisted driving cars, and more. We’ve highlighted our favorite hardware from the show below.
Did you have a favorite piece of hardware from CES this year? Let us know in the comments below!
You don't have to sell us on the merits of building a PC from scratch -- it's what we've been doing for decades, and it's one of the core principles of our brand. Heck, the desire to roll your own rig may have even been what prompted you to pick up your very first issue of Maximum PC (or Boot). Well, we're embarking on a new year, and already there's evidence that this passion of ours is yet again in great shape -- the numbers are in from Asus, which shipped 5.6 million DIY motherboards in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone.