Lian Li has long had a reputation for crafting excellent cases at exorbitant prices, and the Tyr PC-X1000 upholds both standards. Like the PC-X2000 (rebadged as the ABS Canyon 695 and reviewed in December 2008), the PC-X1000 swaps depth for height, measuring more than 26 inches tall but less than 18 inches wide and 9 inches deep. The Tyr PC-X1000 offers a lot of compelling features, from five 14cm fans to thermally isolated compartments to 2.5-inch hard drive mounts. It’s visually striking, packed with amenities, and (of course) expensive. Is it worth it?
Thanks to its height, the Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000 looks much thinner than it actually is. The black brushed-aluminum design is minimalist but attractive, eschewing LED fans and internal lighting altogether—fine by us, especially as the side panels lack windows. The X1000 has plenty of front connectors: four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, eSATA, and audio.
What it lacks in flash, the PC-X1000 makes up for in features: Like its predecessor, the X1000 is divided into three thermal zones. The bottom zone holds the PSU, a three-slot removable hard drive bay, and a 14cm intake fan. The main compartment has two dust-filtered 14cm intake fans and one 14cm exhaust fan, a removable motherboard tray, two toolless 2.5-inch hard drive brackets, a toolless PCI retention bracket, and the same useless retention bar that we removed from the X2000. The top compartment holds two stealthed 5.25-inch optical drive slots, one 5.25-inch/3.5-inch combo slot, and another three-slot removable hard drive cage, as well as an additional 14cm exhaust fan.
Hackers set their sights on cracking a new video game console just as soon as it arrives. Their tenacity can usually bear fruits within months of the console's release unless the machine happens to be the PlayStation 3, which has remained unconquered for more than 3 years.
But finally, a hacker claims to have sneaked past the PS3's supposedly inviolable defenses. The PS3's ramparts may have successfully fended against hackers and the prospect of unsigned code for “3 years, 2 months, 11 days” but it took an eminent hacker just 5 weeks to come up with a hack. The man behind the crack, George Hotz, aka Geohot, has a penchant for hacking impregnable gadgets. A couple of years ago, a 17-year-old Geohot became the first person to jailbreak the iPhone.
Hotz revealed on his blog that he cracked the PS3 using a combination of hardware and software hacks. Although he claims to have gained full read/write access and the power to “make the system do whatever I want,” Geohot is in no hurry to release his hack, which is avowedly quite unstable and needs some fine-tuning. "If I posted what I have now, people would get fed up with it," he told El Reg in an interview.
Attention bargain shoppers, AMD has just released a handful of new CPUs starting at only $74 and finishing at a still budget-friendly $169 price point.
These are all desktop chips aimed at the mainstream market, and it starts with the Phenom II X2 255. This one comes clocked at 3.1GHz with a 65W TDP. Also of note is the sub-$100 (by a buck) Phenom II X2 555. Clocked at 3.2Ghz, this is now AMD's fastest dual-core chip available.
Upping the core ante, AMD also introduced the tri-core Athlon X3 440. This one comes clocked at 3GHz with a 95W TPD and runs $84.
On the quad-core front, there's the Athlon II X4 635 clocked at 3GHz with a 95W TDP and $119 price tag. Finally, there's the quad-core Phenom II X4 910e. This $169 chip scoots along at 2.6GHz and features a reduced TDP of 65W.
According to Fudzilla, AMD will also soon introduce the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition (3.6GHz) and Phenom II X4 820 (2.8GHz), as well as a new 800 series chipset in a few months.
Have you heard of XBMC, the open-source, multi-platform media frontend? If not, you soon will as we put the finishing touches on a related how-to guide with plenty of advanced tips and tricks, but in the meantime, check out what resourceful modder Richard Wileman managed to do with his old Xbox.
We're talking about the original Xbox here, the little black box that most of us have long since retired. But rather than toss his up on Ebay or Craigslist, Wileman pretty much redesigned the unit from the ground up, sticking the Xbox's guts into an aluminum chassis and giving it a few other upgrades.
There's a full size 2.5-inch hard drive, a new DVD drive, an IR port, and even a little LCD to help keep tabs on the playlist.
Never mind complaints about high prices for low capacities, some early stuttering problems, questions about life expectancy, and other concerns--the SSD market grew by 14 percent in 2009, shipping over 11 million units, according to IDC. And that's just the beginning. You can expect to see solid growth in 2010, and by 2013, SSD's compound growth rate (CAGR) over 2008-2013 will reach 54 percent.
"Despite lingering uncertainties around the economy, IDC remains positive on the outlook for SSDs and believes the trajectories for shipment and revenue growth are a source of optimism moving forward," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manger, Hard Disk Drive Components and Solid State Drives at IDC.
IDC acknowledges that pricing remains a concern and will ultimately determine SSD adoption, but notes that as NAND memory continues to cost less, so too will SSDs. This will prove instrumental in the home PC SSD market, a segment where users aren't as willing as notebook users to pay more for SSDs, IDC said.
Don't try yelling out a string of obscenities at your Nexus One, because if you do, all you're going to see are a bunch of pound signs. And do you really want to try and figure out later on what you meant when you said '####### #######, #### you!'?
This foul-mouth filter is a feature of the Nexus One's built-in voice recognition, and according to a Google spokeswoman, replacing curse words with # symbols has little to do with teaching manners and everything to do with making sure offending terms don't appear in transcriptions.
"We filter potentially offensive or inappropriate results because we want to avoid situations whereby we might misrecognize a spoken query and return profanity when, in fact, the user said something completely innocent," Google explained. "Ultimately our goal is return results that show exactly what you said, and we're constantly working to improve the technology to better fit our users' needs.
So there you have it--blame the current state of voice recognition technology, and not the the smartphone. Don't like it, little Johnny? Too ####### bad.
It's a apparently a good time to be in the HDD business. Just as strong hard drive sales helped Seagate post healthy revenue numbers, the same holds true for Western Digital, which reported revenue of $2.6 billion for its second fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2010.
"We are very pleased with WD's strong financial performance in our second fiscal quarter," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "For the third consecutive quarter, we increased output in a supply constrained environment, providing strong support of our customers' growth opportunities, primarily in the consumer segment but, notably, with some emerging strength in the commercial sector."
WD said it shipped 49.5 million hard drives during its fiscal second quarter, which helped result in net income of $429 million, or $1.85 per share. The company also generated a record $557 million in cash from operations, ending with total cash and cash equivalents of $2.4 billion, WD said.
Super Talent has the high-end enterprise and database server markets squarely in its sights with the unveiling of the company's new TeraDrive SSD series.
"Super Talent has a solid track record of developing leading edge SSDs. Their new TeraDrive series, incorporating SandForce technology, is an impressive advance in enterprise storage," said Thad Omura, VP Marketing at SandForce, Inc.
The TeraDrive series is being offered in capacities from 50GB to 200GB and boast support for SATA 3Gbps. Speed shouldn't be an issue, not on paper, anyway. According to Super Talent, its TeraDrive series come capable of of up to 250MB/s read and write speeds "that will not degrade over time," as well as up to 30,000 IOPS.
Here at Maximum PC, we love Windows 7. Its snappy, riddled with handy new features, and is the most stable version of the OS to ever come out of Redmond. Regardless of how much fame and positive press it racks up however, we know it will take years for the majority of consumers and businesses to fully make the switch. Overall market share numbers pegged the OS at around 3.6% in November, with a slow but steady climb to around 6% in December.
We know these numbers will continue their march upwards over the next few years at a fairly health rate, but one demographic is breaking the adoption mold, that group is PC Gamers. According to the December Steam hardware survey, Windows 7 accounts for nearly 23% of all Steam users when you add up both the 32 & 64 bit varieties. Vista by comparison sits at around 31%, but that gap is pretty small when you consider that it has a three year head start over Windows 7. As for trusty ole Windows XP, it continues to hold the lead with a commanding 45% share, but is losing ground even faster than Vista.
If you haven't checked out the Steam hardware stats before, it gives a really interesting insight into the PC Gaming hardware landscape, and is definitely worth checking out. For example, a quick glance at the spread shows the average processer speed is 2.5Ghz, and despite ATI's commanding price/performance lead, Nvidia holds over 65% of the market share compared to ATI's 30%. Its a quick and easy way to see where your system ranks against your fellow gamers.
3D is in its infancy, and we can expect a bit of snake oil to be peddled as it matures. How’s one to know the good from the bad if manufacturers are all selling good? Luckily, there’s the Internet, where it’s not uncommon to find a resourceful person or two willing to provide us with information producers aren’t. In this case it’s the 3D-savvy editors of the 3D Vision Blog.
Their concern is this: how much light actually reaches your eyes when using 3D glasses? This is important for at least two reasons: (1) your eyes strain to see when there’s too little light, making the viewing experience uncomfortable; and (2) it helps to determine how bright your 3D light source has to be. Their test set-up is a simple one: a dark room, a monitor, a light meter (measuring lux), and a handful of 3D glasses.