OCZ may have gotten caught up in glitz and glamor of owning a boutique system building business. After all, all the cool kids were doing it, including Dell (Alienware) and HP (Voodoo). Or maybe it was a case of wanting to run with the big dogs. Either way, less than three years after acquiring Hypersonic PC, OCZ has had its fill and is ready to move on.
As we inch closer to Friday's supposed Fermi release date, new spy shots were bound to emerge. We still don't know clock speeds, performance, or price, but damn this thing is shiny! If you're as easily distracted by sexy silicon as we are, hit the jump to check out the pictures posted by Chinese rumor site Experview.
The heat sync on this design is pretty elaborate, but then again, given the heat it has to dissipate, we expected as much. The rumor mill is suggesting that the GTX 470 will offer performance better or on par with the Radeon 5850, while the GTX 480 will offer a 5-10% jump over the 5870. Of course these are all still just rumors, and only time and testing will tell the true story. Stay tuned to Max PC for the latest on the Fermi launch.
Anyone out there still think Nvidia will pull a rabbit out of the hat?
Boutique system builders have been all over Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip ever since it officially launched, and that includes iBuyPower, who just announced four new "high overclockable" Paladin systems rocking the 6-core part.
"Gamers looking to get the most out of their new six core systems can take advantage of the iBuyPower Labs' Power Drive Overclocking Service, which overclocks th CPU by as much as 30 percent and comes standard on the Paladin XLC V3," iBuyPower said in a statement. "Other innovative iBuyPower exclusive products and services include the Harmony Sound Reduction System, the Internal USB Expansion System, and iBuyPower's Specialized Advanced packaging System with Expanding foam inserts to prevent damage during shipping."
Surprisingly affordable, pricing on the refreshed Paladins starts at $2,159 (Paladin F890), which is the lowest we've seen for a system that includes Intel's 6-core chip. Other baseline specs include Cooler Master's HAF 922 chassis, Asetek self-contained liquid cooler, 6GB of DDR3-1333, ATI Radeon 5830, Asus P6T motherboard, 1TB hard drive, 22X DVD burner, Windows Home 7 Premium, and a 700W power supply. For a couple hundred bucks, you could upgrade to an HD 5870 videocard and end up with a pretty monstrous system for under $2,500.
Even as early as this morning, industry sources were quoting March 22 as the release date for Acer's revamped Timeline notebooks. Coming in ahead of schedule, however, Acer today officially unveiled its Aspire TimelineX 1830T thin and light laptop, as well as a handful of other models.
Built around Intel's Calpella platform, the TimelineX 1830T sports an 11.6-inch display and weighs 3 pounds. Acer didn't get too specific with the processor, saying only that it feature an Intel Core 2 Solo chip, but reports suggest it will come outfitted with Intel's Core i5 520UM CPU clocked at 1.06GHz.
Other accouterments include Wi-Fi, a pair of memory card slots, HDMI port, optical audio, three USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 2.1, and up to 8-hours of run time on the 9-cell battery (a step up from the 6-cell battery found on previous Timeline models).
Other specs are so far unknown, including RAM and hard drive capacity. So too is the price.
Another day, another Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor announcement, this time coming from Maingear. The boutique system vendor says it has updated its Shift "everyday supercomputer" with Intel's flagship part, along with a few other upgrades.
"Our all new 2010 Shift is taking the pole position in the high performance consumer desktop market," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of Maingear. "By intelligently integrating best-of-breed hardware and supporting it with top-tier, in-house technical support by the same guys who built your system, we're delivering the best PC experience money can buy."
To equip the Shift with Intel's 6-core part, pricing starts out at $3,290 and includes an Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 memory, 750GB hard drive, Radeon HD5770 graphics card, DVD burner, 750W power supply, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and a few other bullet points. Where you go from there is up to you, and your bank account.
Digital Storm becomes the latest boutique OEM to dance with Intel's 6-core Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor. It's available in the company's high-end Black|OPS machine, which starts off at $5,642.
"The introduction of a six-core processor hyper threading capabilities is a momentous occasion for gaming enthusiasts," remarked Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "With our TwisterBoost overclocking package, we can overclock the i7-980X to a record breaking 4.4GHz. The results we've recorded on our test bench have been nothing short of astounding. I can honestly say that our Black OPS machines with this new CPU resulted in the most impressive gaming experience I've ever had."
So what else do you get for that kind of hefty investment? The other baseline specs include a 500GB hard drive with 16MB of cache, DVD burner, a pair of HD 5970 videocards, 6GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, EVGA X58 Classified motherboard, a 1200W PSU, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Kind of a quirky mix, though you're free to custom tailor the parts, assuming you have the wallet to accommodate and a penchant for buying pre-built.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts aren't the only ones stoked about Intel's latest 6-core monster, boutique system builders want in on the action too. Among them is CyberPower, who today announced that all of its high-end gaming rigs are getting the Gulftown treatment.
"Intel's Gulftown will enable you to crush the most intense 3D games and applications with ease," CyberPower said. "CyberPower's top of the line Black Pearl, Gamer Xtreme 3D, and Fang Series Black Mamba gaming systems will all be powered by Intel's 6-core monster. Additionally, CyberPower will integrate the Core i7-980X option across its entire X58 line of systems giving you the power of the Gulftown processor with your dream configuration."
As a refresher, Intel's Core i7-980X Extreme Edition chips bring to the table six processing cores clocked at 3.33GHz, and 12 threads when enabling HyperThreading. The chip runs about $1,000 retail, or a $720 upgrade over the Core i7-930 when configuring a gaming system through CyberPower.
Ever since Dell acquired Alienware almost four years ago to the day, power users have had a penchant for calling into question the boutique system builder's geek cred. Fair assessment or not, you have to credit Alienware for living on the bleeding edge of hardware, like being one of the first (if not the first) to offer a gaming PC built around Intel's recently unveiled 6-core Gulftown chip.
While you're at it, credit HotHardware for pulling whatever strings it took to land Alienware's new 6-core Area-51 and snapping a few pics. Details are sparse at the moment, but HH site owner Dave Altavilla tells us Alienware should be officially launching its newest Area-51 perhaps as early as tomorrow, which means you should be able to order one this week.
Those looking for high-end amenities will find them, including a hot-swap drive cage, a motorized side panel, and illuminated vent system. On the inside you'll find as much hardware as your wallet can accommodate. The one HotHardware abducted boasts a pair of Radeon HD 5970s (four GPUs!), a self-contained water cooler, and even a backup battery of sorts.
"So, when you open the side panel, even if the system is powered down and unplugged, you're still able to admire its build quality with a little mood lighting to warm you up like Barry White," Dave Altavilla explained.
Sounds groovy, and expensive. Unfortunately, no word yet on price.
MSI is best known for its line of motherboards and Wind netbook series, but as 2010 marches on, the company plans to more than triple its all-in-one PC shipments compared to last year, says Shao-ling Lin, president of system unit sales at MSI.
More specifically, MSI plans to ship at least 600,000 all-in-one PCs, and up to 1 million if all goes right. The company is already the most active all-in-one PC vendor in Taiwan and ranks No. 6 globally. If MSI reaches its shipment goal, however, it will leapfrog ahead of Acer to become the fifth largest all-in-one PC vendor. The other top four vendors include, in order, Apple, HP, Sony, and NEC.
MSI also has big plans for its desktop shipments. According to Shao-ling Lin, the company expects to increase its desktop shipments from 400,000 in 2009 to at least 1 million units in 2010, positioning the company as a global top 10 desktop vendor in the process.
Remember Packard Bell? Believe it or not, the company is still around, though in quite a different fashion than those beige rigs you probably remember fixing over a decade ago. Packard Bell, now a subsidiary of Acer, maintains a presence in Europe where it recently announced its Studio ST home entertainment media player.
"If you are looking for an external drive to carry your personal music, videos, and photos and play them back on a TV set, the new multimedia storage Packard Bell Studio ST is the perfect partner," Packard Bell said in a press release. "With its distinctive angular shape, its black glossy finish, its compact and stylish design, it perfectly fits any home interior."
Aesthetics aside, the Studio ST supports playback of 1080p video over HDMI with Dolby Digital and comes with 500GB to 2TB of disk space. Playing the part of the artful dodger, Packard Bell doesn't list out specific codec support, saying only that the Studio ST "plays all version of the most common videos, pictures, and audio files."
The Studio ST comes with a USB port, and in a move we wish other manufacturers would follow, Packard Bell includes all the cables you'll need, including composite A/V, YPbPr, HDMI, and USB.