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.
Can you remember the last time Lenovo unveiled a high-end tower system aimed at the performance crowd? It's a bit of a trick question, because up until now, that's been new territory for Lenovo. Not anymore, starting with the just-unveiled IdeaCentre K320.
The K320's base configuration screams of modesty with its Core i3 processor, but fully decked out, you can piece together a beast of a system with an Intel Core i7 860 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 5970 videocard, and a Blu-ray burner, among other options. These and other amenities will jack up the starting price from $600 to $2,000 when it launches on January 31st.
Switching gears, Lenovo also plans to launch the IdeaCentre C315 nettop down the road on March 1st. It will come configured with an Intel Atom 330 processor, up to 640GB of storage space, optional ATI Radeon 4530 graphics, and a DVD burner. Seems a bit pricey at $650 though.
iBuyPower this week announced it is the only system builder to offer Thermaltake's new and unique Level 10 enclosure, which was designed in partnership with the BMWGroup and scored an 8 verdict in our recent evaluation.
"We are constantly searching for the best components, cases, and peripherals to use in our systems," said Darren Su, Vice President of iBuyPower. "The Level 10 system is just another example of our drive to offer gaming rigs that can deliver the performance and aesthetics our customers demand."
iBuyPower decked out the Level 10 with a respectable assortment of components, including an Intel Core i7 920 processor, 6GB of DDR3 memory, a GeForce GTX 285 videocard, a 128GB SSD for the OS and 1TB hard drive for storage duties, and optional Killer Xeno Gaming Network Card, NZXT Sentry LCD, or Blu-ray drive.
Let's be realistic for a moment. Few would classify Maingear's new Shift series as supercomputers for the homestead, but we'll give Maingear this much: these new PCs pack a punch.
"The Shift bucks the trend of plastic, bloated, commodity PCs. It's a statement of our commitment to performance, reliability, and support," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of Maingear. "Featuring vertical airflow, all the cooling necessary for today's high performance, and backed by the best technical support team in the business, Maingear is committed to maintaining our lead in the market."
The configurable PCs come built around your choice of Intel's P55 or X58 platform and come with a Core i7 800 series or 900 series CPU. DDR3 memory options include up to 8GB on the P55 platform, or up to 24GB in the X58 setup. You can choose from a plethora of videocards culminating in a pair of dual-GPU GTX 295s, and for storage duties, Maingear will slap up to 6 mechanical or 12 SSD drives into your rig. Other options include Blu-ray, liquid cooling, Razer peripherals, Killer NIC Xeno Pro card, and of course Windows 7.
Maingear promises each Shift system will ship with no bloatware, and they've all been tuned to take advantage of GPGPU computing.
The new PCs are available now starting at $2,200 (P55) and $2,600 (X58). In Q4, Maingear says it will add a Xeon-based setup with Nvidia's Quadro graphics to the lineup.
Most gamers wouldn't think twice about buying an all-in-one PC, but that's okay, because all-in-ones are selling just fine without them. According to a previous report in China's Commercial Times, global all-in-one PC shipments are expected to reach 6.5 million units by the end of the year, accounting for 9 percent of all PCs.
Now it's looking like that number may have been a little conservative. Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes says Quanta Computer has received roughly 2 million all-in-one PC orders from Fujitsu, Acer, and MSI and will start shipping products soon, ending the year with a bang. Most of those will measure 20 to 23 inches.
HP, another client of Quanta and maker of the popular TouchSmart series, will also receive more all-in-one shipments starting in October.
AMD is back in the high-end graphics game with the release of its ATI HD Radeon 5870, the fastest single-GPU videocard anywhere on the planet (see our review and benchmarks here). And now that it's been released, we expect no shortage of system vendors to step up to the plate with new rigs build around the potent GPU.
One of the first to announce immediate availability of the new cards is Maingear. The boutique system vendor says the HD 5870 can be configured with the company's Ephex, F131, Prelude, and X-Cube (SFF) systems.
"We're proud to feature the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics processor in our award-winning custom PCs," says Wallace Santos, CEO and found of Maingear. "It's only fitting that the world's fastest GPU find its way into what has been hailed by editors all over America as the fastest gaming computers on the market."
For those of you needing to push pixels at ultra-high resolutions with all the eye candy cranked up, Maingear says its ePhex supports up to three HD 5870 cards in CrossFireX, and up to two in the Prelude and X-Cube.
It took some time for Lenovo to jump on the netbook bandwagon, but now that it has, the OEM is next looking to dive into the nettop sector. As such, the company announced plans to release a trio of new models designed for home users.
First up is the Lenovo IdeaCenter D400 home server. The cubish rig boasts support for up 8TB of storage with the ability to mix and match different brands and capacities of hard drives. According to Lenovo, they can also be added or removed while the D400 remains running. It will come with five USB 2.0 ports, including one that is front-mounted, and an eSATA port.
Next up are the Q100 and Q110. Both PCs measure just 0.7 inches thick, which according to Lenovo makes them the thinnest nettops yet. The Q100 comes with an Atom N230 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP, while the Q110 ups the ante with Nvidia's Ion platform, 2GB or RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows Vista.
Look for the D400, Q110, and Q100 to all start shipping in September for $$500, $350, and $250 respectively.
Acer's refreshed Aspire G, otherwise known as the Predator, sports the same funky orange chassis as the original version, but once you peel back the orange, the hardware gets a bit juicier this time around.
The new Aspire G now sports an Intel Core i7 950 processor (3.06GHz), a ton of RAM (12GB of DDR3 to be exact), 1TB of hard drive storage, two Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 videocards in SLI with 4 DVI-D ports, a Blu-ray reader, Gigabit Ethernet, and other goodies.
There's no mention of the system cooling in the refreshed version, but hopefully Acer has learned its lesson from the first Predator. In March of this year, Acer issued a voluntary recall of the Predator after two owners reported that their systems got so hot, the external casing melted. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the recall affected about 215 Predator desktops sold between May and December 2008.
No word yet on price or availability on the refreshed units.
First spied at CES earlier this year, ViewSonic has begun shipping its VPC100 All-in-One PC in the U.S. Billed as being eco-friendly, ViewSonic says the VPC100 uses about 50 percent less plastics and requires roughly 45 percent less power than a traditional computer.
The spec sheet screams nettop and consists of an 18.5-inch LCD display with a 1366x768 resolution, Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus), 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 160GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Super Multi DVD writer, and Windows XP.
The VPC100 is available now with an MSRP set to $599, an street pricing hovering around $550.
Can your PC withstand a torrential downpour? Stealth Computer's new WPC-500F can, along with all kinds of other extreme situations in which we hope to never find ourselves in.
"The WPC-500F provides the most environmental protection of any PC that we have offered to date. The machine is completely sealed on all six sides and can withstand the harshest of environments," stated Ed Boutilier, President and CEO of Stealth.com Inc.
Protected by a rugged, fanless aluminum chassis that pulls double duty as a heatsink, Stealth says its new PC can survive liquids, chemicals, dust, and dirt intrusion and meets IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications.
On the inside sits a netbook-like configuration with the base model sporting an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor (1.6GHz, 512KB cache, 533MHz frontside bus), 2GB of DDR2-667 memory, and an 80GB high temp and high shock HDD (SDD options available).