A few months ago Intel launched the Intel Core i7 Custom Challenge, in which modders were encouraged to submit their best case mods to a panel of judges at Intel in hopes of winning up to $10k in prizes.
Well, the results are in. You can check out pictures of the winning mods at the contest site. One particular standout was the Best for Mod Creativity winner that modded a boombox to house his i7 Extreme PC.
Intel launched the contest to generate more hype around the i5 and i7 processors and the flexibility of their components.
Which ones do you like best, and which ones could have been done better?
What a difference $500 makes. With $1500, building a gaming PC means being as lean as possible, sacrificing a little here and there to bump the important components to the next tier. But with $2000, your options really open up. The extra dough means you can start considering a solid-state drive or dual-GPU solution. Getting the most bang for your buck is always a consideration, but two grand means you can splurge for cutting-edge components that are priced for early adopters. It also means you have to think about your system's upgrade path, since you don't want to spend so much on a rig with nowhere to go in two years. Lynnfield or Bloomfield? SSD or high-capacity storage? Nvidia or ATI? There are a few no-brainers in our $2000 parts pick, but also a few surprises as well.
So, what's the best gaming system you can get for $2000?
Borderlands is an undeniably fun game with a killer concept, innovative game mechanics, a gorgeous art style, and kick-ass cooperative gameplay, but it also includes some frustrating design choices that require the player to bend to the limitations of the game. If you can do that, and you enjoy shooters and Diablo-esque action RPGs, you’re going to love this game.
The sales pitch for Borderlands is simple: It’s first-person Diablo… with guns. While exploring a large, open, post-apocalyptic world, you complete quests, collect loot, and go on adventures with up to three of your pals. While it may sound like Fallout 3, Borderland’s shooter heritage is obvious—the combat is fast and furious without the maddening influence of a random-number generator to take your shots off target. The game feels more like Quake than any RPG.
It's been a little while since anyone has pronounced the PC a dead platform for gaming, and the next time someone does, you can help that person remove their cranium from their hind quarters with some hard figures. Not only is the PC doing well, it's doing exceptionally well, suggests data put together by Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
JPR's latest report predicts that PC gaming hardware sales will reach $21.26 billion by the end of the year, which is an increase of nearly $1.2 billion over 2008. But that's nothing compared to how much hardware the research firm predicts will fly off the shelves in 2010. According to JPR, PC gamers will spend $27.62 billion next year investing in gaming systems, accessories, and upgrades.
"The largest influence on the high forecasted growth rate is due to purchasing delays for systems and upgrades in 2008/2009 as consumers circled the wagons and took a conservative position on discretionary spending. A recovering economy, processing advancements, and higher quality gaming offerings will all contribute to a healthy year for PC gaming hardware in 2010."
What's even more remarkable about the increased spending is that PC hardware has never been cheaper. For the most part, gone are the days where a high-end videocard commanded $600, and it's now possible to piece together a respectable gaming rig for well under a grand.
Going forward, JPR says hardware sales will continue to climb, reaching $32.75 billion in 2010, and $34.76 billion in 2012.
At first glance, Logitech’s new G500 mouse looks like yesterday’s model. Its chassis is almost identical to the classic G5, which was in turn a slight redesign of the MX510/518 series. The G500 takes the classic hump design of the MX510/518 and updates the sensor with one similar to the sensor used in the newer G9x line of mice. That’s very nice.
When we say the same laser sensor as the G9x, we really mean that Logitech included an ever-so-slightly upgraded version of the G9x’s sensor. The G500’s adjustable sensor lets you select a setting from 200–5,700dpi, while the G9x limits you to 200–5,000dpi. This isn’t really a significant upgrade, as even the 5,000dpi setting is unplayable outside the small subset of games that let you set an incredibly low sensitivity. Still, we love the silky-smooth action of this mouse.
It looks like Walmart is gearing up for Black Friday a little early this year. How so? The mega-chain has begun advertising several one-day in-store specials slated for this Saturday November 7th at 8AM.
Among the sale items is an Xbox 360 Arcade console for $199, which will be accompanied by a $100 gift card. That essentially brings the price down to just $99, provided you can make use of the gift card.
Other sale items on tap for the one-day special include a 15.6-inch HP notebook with an Intel Celeron processor for a shade under $300, a Blu-ray player for $150, a 42-inch 1080p Sharp LCD TV for $498, and a few more items.
According to Fudzilla, this is just the first of ongoing Saturday specials that will continue until Black Friday.
Here at Maximum PC, we love the Nintendo DS and its two suave screens just as much as the next tech publication, but now, we think we’re finally coming down with a case of DSitus. Let’s have a look through the recently updated DS family photo album, shall we? There’s DS phat, DS Lite, DSi, and – now introducing – the DSi XL.
So, what makes next year’s model so special? Well, for one, there are bigger screens, and then, well… pretty much just the bigger screens. More specifically, the DSi XL sports two 4.2 inch displays – as opposed to the DSi’s formerly formidable 3.25 inch displays, and the DS Lite’s pint-sized 3 inchers.
The latest heir to Nintendo’s portable dynasty – which also includes a bigger stylus, if you’re into that sort of thing – is expanding into America during quarter one of 2010. So far, there’s been no word on price other than that it’s "expected to be higher than that of the Nintendo DSi."
So, are you interested in nabbing a DSi XL, or is your portable game system fund still tapped after 2009’s DSi-PSP Go double-whammy?
Lately motherboard manufacturers have been looking to make a splash with their naming schemes, and MSI is no exception. The company's first gaming oriented mobos built around Intel's P55 platform will be dubbed the "Big Bang" series, MSI announced today.
"Unique and innovative, the all-new Big Bang series will deliver the shock and awe of unprecedented experience and expand into its own collection of galaxies," MSI stated in a press release.
Sounds ambitious, and the first galactic board created from the Big Bang series is the Trinergy. Goofy marketing aside, the Trinergy looks promising on paper and comes with 100 percent Hi-c capacitors, a discrete Quantum Wave soundcard, 3-way SLI support, MSI's OC Genie, an external dashboard for on-the-fly overclocking, and some other goodies.
MSI said it plans to follow up the Trinergy with its upcoming Big Bang Fuzion, which will support different GPUs in a single system. Look for Fuzion to land on our home planet sometime before the end of 2009.
We've stopped counting the number of rumors suggesting Blu-ray hardware would somehow integrate with the Xbox 360 gaming console, whether as a built-in drive in a revised edition, or as an add-on accessory. The details would vary, but all the rumors shared one thing in common: They were all bogus. So why are we paying it any attention now? Because this time, the rumor's coming straight from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
During a video interview with Gizmodo, Ballmer spent a couple minutes talking candidly about the Xbox 360 and project Natal, but he appeared to be caught off guard when asked if Microsoft would adopt Blu-ray in a bid to take over the home theater.
"Well I don't know if we need to put Blu-ray in there," Ballmer began as he wiped his eye. "You'll be able to get Blu-ray drives, and Blu-ray drives as accessories."
Does this mean a Blu-ray add-on is in the works, or did Ballmer simply not word his answer carefully enough? We don't know, but when Gizmodo pinged Xbox spokespeople about Ballmer's answer, more fuel to the speculative fire was added.
"Our immediate solution for Blu-ray quality video on the Xbox 360 is coming this fall with Zune Video and 1080p instant-on HD streaming. As far as our future plans are concerned, we're not ready to comment."
In the past, Microsoft made it a point to quickly squash Blu-ray rumors, but that isn't the case this time around. Draw your own conclusion on what that could mean.
The G110 personalization starts with backlit keys, in your choice of red, blue, or any combination of red and blue (which makes purple!). There are 12 programmable “G-keys” and three “M-keys” which allow you to assign up to 26 single keystrokes, multi-key macros, or complex LUA scripts for each game you play. Logitech’s contribution to the keyboard arms race is the inclusion of integrated USB audio, simplifying the hook-ups for in-game chatter.
Logitech expects to have the G110 in the stores in November for a suggested retail price of $79.99.