You may know what the inside of a PC looks like, but what about the parts which make up your PC components? Over the past few years, we've dissected hard drives, keyboards, soundcards, and a plethora of other PC hardware, just to see what makes them tick. Here, we've picked out 22 of these autopsies to showcase. If you've ever wanted to see the guts of a netbook or the silicon that makes a network router work, read on!
Intel has appeared reluctant to talk about its Core i5 processors ever since the new series was discovered last March by a motherboard spec sheet, and the chip maker still isn't saying much. No matter, as the new parts have started showing up on at least two computer hardware e-tailer sites, offering up some insight on what to expect.
According to FadFusion, the Core i5 570 processor will run at 2.66GHz and include 8MB of cache. The vendor lists a retail price of $250, but plans to sell it for $233.
Computer Connection, a campus computer store at the University of Maine, is also carrying the Core i5 570 CPU with the same listed specs and at a similar price point ($244).
Intel isn't commenting on the existence of the chip, but if the two above vendors are any indication, Core i5 will likely appear soon, with the 570 part priced in the $250 range.
Less than a month ago, NZXT released the funky looking M59, a $60 chassis aimed at attention-seeking gamers. If the aesthetics weren't your style but the price point was, NZXT's latest case, the Beta EVO, might be more your style.
Part of NZXT's Classic Series, the Beta EVO mid-tower sports a more subdued look, but there is more here than meets the eye. The major focus is on airflow, and to that end, the Beta EVO accommodates up to six 120mm fans with the option of dual 140mm at the top.
Other amenities include support for 10.5-inch graphics cards, screwless installation for hard drives and external 5.25-inch drives, front-facing HDD rack, external dual radiator support, a sleek all-black internal finish, CPU cutout for easier third-party heatsink installation, and a handful of wire management cutouts.
That's a pretty robust feature-set for NZXT's $50 asking price. Look for the Beta EVO to be made available in September.
Setting up and maintaining a liquid-cooling setup isn't for everyone, and it's this crowd BFG is targeting with a pair of maintenance-free, self-contained liquid-cooled GeForce graphics cards, the GTX 285 H2O+ and the GTX 295 H2OC.
Both new cards sport BFG's new ThermoIntelligence Advanced Cooling Solution, which when you take away the fancy title means you can enjoy the benefits of water cooling your videocard(s) without all the fuss. According to BFG, the cards are easy to install right out of the box and never need refilling or additional components. The benefit, says BFG, is up to 30C cooler temps under load when pitted against standard air cooled models.
"We're very excited to be the first company to bring this type of professional grade advanced cooling solution to PC enthusiasts," said John Malley, senior director of marketing for BFG.
BFG's GTX 295 H2OC will sport a 675MHz core clockspeed, 2214MHz memory data rate, and 1458MHz shader clockspeed. The GTX 285 H2O+ will run at 691MHz, 2592MHz, and 1566MHz core, memory, and shader clockspeeds, respectively.
The GTX 295 H2OC will be available in limited quantities starting August 5th, while the GTX 285 H2O+ will also be available in limited quantities, starting August 12th. No word on price.
Getting bored with Core i7 already? That's okay, because word on the web is that Intel plans to release its six-core Gulftown processor sometime in the first half of 2010, and possibly by Q1.
What's believed to be the first product shots of the six-core part have been leaked to the web. Likely to be called Core i9, the pictures show off the new chips in a dual-socket motherboard that's either an existing Xeon-based socket LGA1366 mobo or a next-gen Skulltrail platform. Either way, that's 12 cores of processing power, and 24 cores with hyperthreading enabled.
According the alleged screen grabs, the engineering sample spied in the photos comes clocked at 2.4GHz courtesy of a 133MHz bus speed and 18X multiplier, along with 12MB of L3 cache.
Adding to its growing power supply line, OCZ this week announced the immediate availability of its new Z-Series Gold power supply line. Each new model boasts 80+ Gold certification, which means they must remain at least 90 percent efficient at 50 percent load, and never drop below 87 percent efficiency at any load level.
The new models are available in 850W and 1000W in either modular or non-modular form. Taking a page from PC Power & Cooling, which was acquired by OCZ in 2007, the Z-Series sports a single, beefy +12V rail (83A on the 1000W and 71A on the 850W) rather than spreading the amperage through multiple +12V rails.
All the other standard essentials are accounted for, including active PFC, a large cooling fan (135mm), oodles of SATA connectors, and SLI certification.
The Z-Series is available now for $300 (Z1000M), $290 (Z1000), $240 (Z850M), and $220 (Z850).
Showing AMD owners some love, Corsair adds to its Dominator series with the Dominator GT, a line of "ultra-high performance" DDR3 kits the company says have been designed specifically for Phenom II-based platforms using socket AM3 motherboards.
"The new Dominator GT family for platforms with AM3-based AMD Phenom II processors delivers even greater levels of performance, as well as enhanced cooling options, making it the perfect memory for anyone looking for the fastest possible performance from their AM3 AMD Phenom II-based system," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing at Corsair.
The new 4GB (2x2GB) Dominator GT kit races along at 1600MHz with 6-6-6-18 latency settings and a 1T command rate. It also supports AMD's Black Edition Memory Profiles (B.E.M.P.), which allows for the aggressive latency settings to be automatically configured in Windows using the AMD OverDrive software utility.
Corsair indicated it would later add to the Dominator GT line by "offering very limited quantities of hand-screen, hand-tuned, extreme performance modules in both lower speed grades and latencies."
Sometimes, you just have to keep things real. Last year, our Dream Machine was a paean to excess, a chrome-plated $17,000 wünder-rig. While we’re still quite fond of that machine, this year we decided to take a different tack and see if we could build a more reasonably priced, but still lust-worthy Dream Machine. Well, actually, we built three of them. While the combined cost of these three machines is about half the price of last year’s rig, we packed a lot of awesome into our relatively tight budgets. The lesson is simple: Dream Machine isn’t about spending a ludicrous amount of cash on a PC, it’s about getting the best rig you can for the money you spend. I think you’ll agree that these three machines pack a ton of power and are all great values.
Without further ado, we give you this year’s crop of Dream Machines.
It's hard to imagine anyone being stoked about losing $611 million in a quarter, unless you're part of a group of DRAM makers who were expecting to lose much more.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Taiwan's major DRAM chip makers -- Inotera Memories, Nanya Technology, Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC), and ProMOS Technologies -- will post combined losses of more than NT$20 billion, or roughly $611 million USD, for the second quarter of 2009. As bad as that sounds, market watchers were anticipating losses adding up to NT$30.7 billion, or about $938 million USD.
And it hasn't been all losses for memory chip makers. Both A-Data Technology and Transcend Information continue to see profits for the second quarter, perhaps indicating that the worst might finally be over.
Solid state drives continue to go through growing pains, and not even Intel can avoid having to beat back bugs in this relatively new market. After some customers reported slowdowns following extended use with the first generation of X25-M SSDs, Intel pushed out a firmware update to fix the problem. Now it appears the company's new 34nm X25-M G2 SSDs are also in need of a firmware update, but for a different problem.
According to OEM system builder Puget Systems, a defect exists in the new drives which causes data corruption if a password is set on the drive in the system BIOS and then is changed or disabled later.
"There was a lot of confusion, but it was clear that something was wrong with these first units - enough so that Newegg and other online vendors had also pulled them entirely from their sites," Puget wrote in a blog. "We too stopped listing them, and began contacting our customers who were expecting us to ship them out this afternoon."
Puget says Intel was able to work out a firmware fix for the problem rather than rework the drives, however the updated firmware won't be available for another two weeks. In the meantime, Intel has stopped shipping the new drives until the fix is fully implemented.