Zotac, a company that's best known for its line of mini PCs, just fleshed out its Zbox family with a new model. The newly introduced Zbox ID45 comes to town wielding a 3rd Generation Intel Core i3 processor (Ivy Bridge) paired with Nvidia GeForce GT 640 graphics. It's a bit of a blast to the past to see a new system rocking a last generation foundation, though Zotac claims this combination offers plenty of performance while remaing energy efficient.
There's no shame in rocking integrated graphics, especially if you only occasionally play games or don't typically gravitate towards demanding titles that push the envelope. If that's the category of gamer (or non-gamer, as it were) that you fall into, be advised that Intel recently released new graphics drivers for its family of 3rd and 4th Generation of Core processors, otherwise known as Ivy Bridge and Haswell, respectively.
We’ve always said that building on a budget takes far more skill and savvy than building without financial constraints. Every single component choice has to be carefully weighed for its potential benefits and drawbacks. As if that weren’t enough, budget builders have to decide between three prospective platforms: Intel’s LGA1155, and AMD’s AM3+ and FM2. With so many permutations possible, and so much room for error, a cash-strapped builder’s got to wonder which thrifty path offers the best all-around performance. We can think of no better way to answer this important question than with a down-and-dirty DIY dust-up.
Note: This review was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
Small form factor systems are vogue, and that's just fine by Zotac, which has been cashing in on the craze for palm-sized systems with its Zbox Nano line. These aren't wimpy little systems, either, especially now that some of them have been upgraded with Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. These include Intel's Core i3 3227U, Core i5 3337U, and Core i7 3537U processors.
Update: Leaked Intel Roadmap Reveals New Batch of Haswell Chips
Faster hardware shouldn’t be this somber. Yet we can’t help but furrow our brow in concern over Intel’s fourth-generation Core i7 CPU. Yes, in typical Intel fashion, it’s a tour de force of technical achievement and features that’s the envy of the free world. It’s also, by the way, quite fast.
How fast? *Spoiler alert* Let’s just say that the new Core i7-4770K easily unseats the previous midrange sweetheart, the Core i7-3770K, as the best all-around performer, and even gives the high-end hexa-core part a hard time.
We show you how to build an affordable Linux gaming PC
The free Linux operating system has been around for ages, but its inherent complexity and limited support has always relegated its use to extreme enthusiasts, programmers, and other hardcore types. That might be changing, though, as a lot of loyal PC enthusiasts are less than pleased with Windows 8, and gaming juggernaut Valve has thrown its hat into the ring by launching a Linux version of Steam, its popular online content delivery service. Given the lackluster reception of Windows 8 and the renewed popularity of Linux, we decided to build a Linux gaming box to see for ourselves whether the OS, at this time, could be a reasonable alternative to Windows for gaming.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
Never Heard of Inhon? Don’t be embarrassed, neither had we.
Inhon might not be a household name when it comes to Notebooks, but they sure have pulled off something impressive. This small Taiwanese based computer maker is officially announcing the Blade 13 Carbon laptop, and its form factor propels Apple Macbook Air well into the chubby category. The even better news? It does it all at a similar price point, and with more impressive internal components.
New graphics drivers for Ivy Bridge will add Ultra HD support.
If you're using the integrated graphics embedded into your 3rd generation Core processor (Ivy Bridge) from Intel, get ready for a driver update that's supposed to improve power and performance, as well as add new features. Intel HD Graphics driver 15.31 will be the seventh update since the introduction of 2nd generation Core processors (Sandy Bridge), and though it was built for 4th gen chips (Haswell), it will work on Ivy Bridge too.
Boutique system builder CyberPowerPC opened up its armory and grabbed a handful of new weapons to hand out to its LAN Gaming Series. Gamers can now build a small form factor (SFF) LAN III system based on Intel's flagship X79 platform with 3rd generation Core i5/i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor options, or opt for an AMD 990FX foundation topped with up to an 8-core Vishera CPU, both of which are flanked by the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
New Pentium processors based on Ivy Bridge are on the way from Intel.
It seems hard to fathom, but at the end of next week, Intel's Pentium brand will turn 20 years old. Despite two decades of service, don't look for Intel to push its Pentium nomenclature into retirement. What you can expect, however, are new dual-core Pentium parts based on Ivy Bridge, which are scheduled to be released in the second quarter of this year, just ahead of Haswell.