Gaming PC builders get behind Nvidia's new GPU launches
If you were worried that Nvidia's newly announced graphics cards would amount to a paper launch, don't be. Boutique system builders have already armed themselves with the new GPUs -- GeForce GTX 750, GeForce GTX 750 Ti, and GeForce GTX Titan Black -- and are chomping (or "champing," if you prefer) at the bit to build your next gaming PC using Nvidia's newest hardware.
The Steam Machines may not be here yet, but these small form factor PCs may be the next best thing
Ask a civvie what a gaming PC is and they’ll say it's a machine slightly smaller than an HVAC system that breathes fire. That, gentle readers, is no longer the case. Alienware planted the seeds of a revolution with its first X51 by shoehorning a real GPU into a machine the size of a VCR. And in the year-and-change since then, interest in micro-towers has exploded (partly due to the looming Steam Machines, no doubt).
Note: This Article was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
Gordon gets up close and personal with the Bolt II
Digital Storm's original Bolt introduced gamers to a console-like box filled with PC hardware. It was essentially a Steam Machine before such a thing existed, minus Valve's Steam OS. This time around, Digital Storm's Bolt II is a bona fide Steam Machine that once again comes in a small form factor (SFF) chassis, only now it runs both Windows and Steam OS, and is liquid cooled to boot.
Updated: Now with specs and even more Steam Machine pictures!
Note: We have since updated the gallery below with more pictures and specs following Valve's CES Steam Machine unveiling.
Up until now, most of the images you've seen of the Steam Machines have been leaked images or renders. With CES 2014 now under way, we decided to round up official Steam Machine pictures and everything we know about the Steam Machines so far. So make sure to peruse the gallery below and let us know what your favorite Steam Machine is so far.
A boutique built Steam Machine with a 'take no prisoners' approach
Let's get one thing straight -- even though Valve is making a push for PC gamers to plop their rumps in the living room where console gaming has traditional ruled the roost, there's no mandate that says a Steam Machine has to be only as powerful as an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 (or Nintendo Wii). Taking that to heart, boutique builder Digital Storm makes no bones about the fact that it's upcoming Steam Machine won't compete with consoles on price, but in return for a higher price tag, gamers will receive a premium set of components that send consoles cowering in the corner.
You are what you are, and Digital Storm is a boutique system builder focused on power users and hardcore gaming rigs. That doesn't mean Digital Storm isn't capable of piecing together a system for work, just don't expect its penchant for liquid cooling and overclocking to suddenly disappear. Hence it should come as no surprise that both are touted features of Digital Storm's new Pro line of custom workstations.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm today introduced its HydroLux desktop cooling solution that combines liquid and air with fully customizable control software. The specialized software monitors your setup for heat fluctuations and adjusts itself accordingly in real time, though you can always take manual control of the situation if you need additional cooling or want to run quiet.
Whether you want to consider Digital Storm's new Veloce an Ultrabook with a gaming punch or a gaming notebook with Ultrabook-like dimensions is up to you. What we can tell you is that it's a 13.3-inch laptop that measures just 1.26 inches thick and weighs 4.6 pounds, putting it in a thin and light class of laptops. Unlike most other systems with these kinds of dimensions, however, the Veloce has game.
Digital Storm made it a point to show off its liquid cooled Aventum II system at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, and was super delighted to showcase its nickel-plated copper piping, steel and copper construction (no plastic whatsoever, the boutique builder says), and room for 22 case fans. It's a custom system in every sense of the word, and having tweaked the design the last few months, Digital Storm is ready to launch its latest gaming PC line.
Brushed aluminum on the outside, gaming grade components on the inside.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm doesn't believe the mid-tower form factor is getting its due as a viable option for high-end gaming. In order to change that perception, the company announced a new line of PCs called Virtue with the tagline, "A higher standard in PC gaming." The mid-tower case Digital Storm is using for these new PCs sports a brushed aluminum finish and steel exterior.