A PC/gaming console that boots directly into Steam Big Picture mode
Let's just come out and say it -- Valve dropped the ball with its Steam Machine initiative. Rather than let its hardware vendors run with their own brand Steam Machines that they've been developing for the past year, Valve decided to delay things until next year while it tweaks its Steam Controller, an integral component of any machine that might use the "Steam Machine" designation. That decision left OEMs and boutique system builders in an awkward place, but rather than let their hardware designs collect dust, we're seeing them reborn as Windows-based PC consoles that boot right into Steam Big Picture mode. The newest PC console to take this approach is CyberPowerPC's Syber system. Let's have a look.
Valve didn't do its hardware partners any favors by delaying the availability of its in-house developed Steam Controller, which by extension means everyone else has to push back the launch of their respective Steam Machine systems until next year. Bummer, right? Well, yes, but Alienware isn't letting the delay mess up its mojo. Instead, Alienware took its Steam Machine design and ran with a configuration that runs Windows, plus a custom 10-foot UI during boot for accessing music and movies. We took a closer look at the Alienware Alpha Console at E3.
This mini PC comes standard with an Intel Core i7 4800MQ processor
Stealth specializes in small PCs that offer up big performance, and it's newest model -- LPC-681 mini PC -- looks to be no exception. Measuring just a little bigger than a NUC, Stealth's new LPC-681 mini PC brings an Intel Core i7 4800MQ (Haswell) mobile processor to the tiny PC party, along with support for up to 16GB of DDR3L RAM (4GB included in the base configuration) and a 120GB solid state drive that comes standard.
Boutique system builder Origin PC yesterday announced the availability of Nvidia's mighty GeForce GTX Titan Z inside its Chronos line of small form factor and micro tower PCs, which the company is promoting as the world's smallest 4K gaming system. We had to take a look for ourselves, so Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang made his way to Origin PC's booth at E3 for a video interview. Take a look.
Big time gaming performance from a small form factor system
Give credit to Origin PC for never letting its lineup of gaming PCs grow stagnant, including its small form factor Chronos option. In the past few months alone, the boutique builder added a micro tower option to Chronos and upgraded its internals with Intel 9 Series Z97 motherboard options. What's next? Try 4K gaming. Origin PC today announced the availability of Nvidia's dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z in its Chronos micro tower, which it now bills as the world's smallest 4K gaming PC.
Dell isn't letting Valve's Steam Machine delay ruin its plans to invade the living room
By now you've likely heard that official Steam Machines won't launch until sometime next year when Valve is finished tweaking its Steam Controller prototype (and if you haven't heard, you should bookmark Maximum PC!). That's a bit of a pisser, though it isn't stopping OEM system builders from forging ahead with plans to release console-like PC systems. Case in point, Alienware just announced its Alpha Console starting at $549.
We've seen our share of suitcases over the years, but they're usually packed full of clothes and other essentials for travel. What if your destination is a LAN party in the next town over? If that's where you're traveling, it's not a traditional suitcase you need, but perhaps one that's filled with gaming hardware. Such a thing exists -- CyberPowerPC's Fang Battlebox is now available in a variety of configuration options.
Liquid cooling-obsessed boutique builder thinks inside the small box
Setting up a liquid cooled rig is challenging enough on its own. But liquid cooling a small factor PC? That's taking things to whole new level. In fact, Maingear says its Epic Torq gaming system is the first small form factor PC in the world to feature liquid cooling for both the CPU and GPU. We'll take Maingear's word for it, but either way, the Torq is an intriguing system that can outfitted with some seriously powerful hardware.
Dell comes to Computex packing a bevy of product announcements
Michael Dell is now in full control of the company he founded (along with the investment groups that backed him), and while he was quick to take the world's third largest PC maker private, that doesn't mean there will be any shortage of public announcements. Just the opposite, Dell today announced no less than eight products spanning four different categories at Computex, including a pair of Android tablets.
These all-in-one machines don't rely on wimpy integrated graphics for gaming
Whether it's little Billy headed off to college or dad needing a new rig for his office, space saving designs seem to be the popular choice these days. The all-in-one (AIO) form factor is especially popular right now, and luckily there are companies that are focused on delivering high-end hardware inside these machines. Meet MSI, which just unveiled three different size AIO machines for gamers, starting with the 21.5-inch AG220.