In some ways, it's like the wild west all over again when prospecting for gold hit a fever pitch. Apple recently discovered gold by announcing it as one of three color choices on its flagship iPhone 5S, and not to be outdone, Samsung apparently has plans to offer a couple of gold colored Galaxy S4 devices, too. Is gold the new white (or black or whatever color is trending is electronics these days)?
We get it. You have many leather bound books, your apartment smells of rich mahogany, and you're friends with Merlin Olson. All that's left is to show off your golden vocal chords with Samson's new Meteor Mic. The 22k gold-plated mic comes with a braided, gold-flashed USB cable and ships in a numbered, mahogany wood case.
OCZ's decision to exit the DRAM market means it can spend more time and resources on the rest of its product portfolio, and if the new ZX power supply series is any indication, OCZ made the right move. On paper, the ZX series is the most ambitious PSU line OCZ has yet released, and that's saying something for a company that owns PC Power & Cooling.
Geared towards enthusiasts, the lowest wattage ZX unit is a beefy 850W. If that's not enough, there's also a 1,000W model and a 1,250W unit to choose from. Despite all that power, all three remarkably received the coveted 80+ Gold Certification and offer 92 percent efficiency on a typical load and 89 percent at full bore.
Other features include a 140mm ball-bearing fan, a single +12V rail, and a fully-modular design which is a first for OCZ. No world on price or availability.
What would be really great is if a single Microsoft Live Gold subscription covered an entire household rather than just one console and/or account. That's wishful thinking, we know, but if you own multiple accounts, Microsoft's new Live Gold Family Pack, available now, should help take some of the sting out of getting everyone online.
The Family Pack subscription costs $100 and covers four 12-month memberships. At that price, you're basically paying for two memberships and receiving two for free, so while it won't help households with 'just' two Xbox 360 Live subscriptions, it's an okay deal for those with three and a pretty good bargain for those with four.
In addition to the discounted price, the special four-pack also includes a few exclusive benefits, such as access to the new Family Center for family account and online settings management; activity monitoring reports; the ability to purchase and gift Microsoft Points Allowances to your children; and family-friendly content and discounts.
After antennae-gate and glass-gate, we didn't think there was anything that could make the iPhone 4 more absurd, Boy were we wrong. British designer Stuart Hughes was commissioned to turn two regular iPhone 4s into ultra-fancy devices with gold and diamond trim, and what he ended up with were two of the most expensive handsets on the planet.
Hughes wrapped each device in more than 500 individual diamonds, all of which were flawless cut. All told, the diamonds came out to 100 carats. Two interchangeable diamonds fit over the Home button, including a single cut 7.4ct pink diamond and an 8ct single cut flawless diamond. These two pieces alone are worth over $4 million.
"It was a fantastic challenge and I am really pleased with the end result -- the phones look superb," Hughes said. "It was amazing that someone is prepared to spend £4 (just shy of $8 million) on a phone, I doubt it will get used because it is worth so much money. It would be a disaster if it was ever lost."
How's that saying go about a fool and his money? Ah yes, they buy Apple products -- ZING!
Corsair today announced the general retail availability of its Professional Series Gold line of power supplies, including the AX1200, AX850, and AX750.
"The response of early users and reviewers to the Professional Series Gold PSUs has been phenomenal," sated Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of Components at Corsair. "We have been working overtime to meet the demand for this ultra-efficient, fully modular PSU, and are thrilled to announce that these highly anticipated products are now widely available from Corsair's retailers."
In addition to being modular, all three units feature 80 PLUS Gold certification, which means they should deliver over 90 percent efficiency at 50 percent load. Corsair claims this was made possible by "utilizing server-grade power train architectures designed for mission-critical levels of voltage stability and reliability."
Other features include a single +12V rail rated at up to 100.4A (AX1200), individual DC-DC regulation for 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails, and a whole bunch of other technologies that makes us wish we took an electrical engineering class. Get all the geeky details here.
A quick glance at Newegg shows street pricing hovering at $300 (AX1200), $190 (AX850), and $170 (AX750).
Later today, NZXT will officially announce its HALE90 power supply line, which the company says it built from the ground up specifically for gamers and enthusiasts.
"HALE90 offers the unparalleled combination of efficiency, ease of use, premium components, and silent operation," said Johnny Hou, Founder and Product Manager at NZXT. "Gamers and enthusiasts can rely on this lineup to deliver the most efficient power on the market through premium components that will ensure system longevity."
More than just hyped up marketing speak, NZXT seems intent on backing up its claims, at least from a paper spec perspective. Sporting a modular design, the HALE90 series is 80+ Gold certified, it comes equipped with high-quality, 100 percent Japanese capacitors, and utilizes a single +12V rail, a stable of the venerable PC Power & Cooling line.
The HALE90 series is available now in a variety of wattages, including 550W ($120), 650W ($140), 750W ($160), 850W ($180), and 1000W ($210).
The American Dream, which calls for a wife, 2.5 kids, and a white picket fence, never took into consideration the mounting cost of Xbox Live Gold memberships for the entire family, which adds up rather quickly. To help address this, come November Microsoft will begin selling Xbox Live Gold Family Packs for $100, which will offer up to four individual Gold memberships for the price of two.
More than just four Live Gold accounts, the Family Pack also opens up a few additional perks, including a new Family Center accessible through the Xbox dashboard. As Microsoft explains it, you can expect easier family management, access to activity monitoring reports, and the ability to purchase and give away Microsoft Points to little Johnny rather than pay him an allowance.
There will also be exclusive family content and discounts, though Microsoft didn't outline exactly what these would entail. For more info, check out the full press release here.
Corsair, a company best known for its range of memory products, has also built a reputation for high quality power supplies, namely the TX and HX series released a couple of years ago. On paper, Corsair's newly introduced Professional Series Gold units are even better.
The new line features a fully modular low-profile cable set and come rated at 750W (AX750), 850W (AX850), and 1200W (AX1200W). As the naming scheme suggests, these are all 80 Plus Gold certified, meaning they deliver over 90 percent efficiency at 50 percent load.
No easy task, Corsair said it incorporated a number of "sophisticated server-level technologies" to reach 80 Plus Gold status, including Zero Voltage Switching and Zero Current Switching tecnology to eliminate switching losses and reduce EMI, as well as individual DC-to-DC voltage regulation for the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails. In addition, Corsair claims its secondary-side synchronous rectification and 4-layer PCB design results in low levels of ripple and noise.
All three power supplies come with a single 20/24-pin ATX connector, two 8-pin CPU connectors, and a single floppy connector. The AX750 adds two 6+2-pin PCI-E, 12 SATA, and eight 4-pin connectors, while the AX850 ups the ante to four 6+2 pin connectors. The flagship AX1200 features six 6+2-pin, 16 SATA, and 12 4-pin connectors.
Each PSU also boasts a single +12V rail with 62A (744W), 70A (840W), and 100.4A (1204.8W) available on the AX750, AX850, and AX1200, respectively.
We've already posted one of the coolest case mods you'll ever see (check it out here), and moving to the complete opposite end of the spectrum (who are we kidding, this one's not even on the spectrum), is the tackiest mouse you'll never own. Or at least we hope you never do.
The Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse has so much wrong with it, it's tough knowing where to start. Should we point out that it's not real gold? How about we start by talking about the horrific rectangular design which, while meant to resemble a gold bullion, screams in the face of ergonomics and usability? Maybe we should point out the lack of additional buttons beyond the standard right and left click. Or we could go for the obvious and discuss how absurdly tacky it is, right down to its description as a "great big bling thing!" Screw it, you're on your own in deciding where to start faulting this peripheral.
Of absolutely no interest to anyone, anywhere, the Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse is available for pre-order through www.iwantoneofthose.com (how's that for irony?) for around $35.