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.
Eurocom on Thursday added to its mobile lineup by announcing the Shark 3, a 15.6-inch laptop intended for users looking for an upgradeable and secure system with high performance parts. The Shark 3 comes stock with an Intel Core i5 4200M processor based on Haswell, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, and a 500GB hard drive (7200 RPM), though you can expand its storage well beyond that.
Boutique builder Maingear is now letting users configure desktops with Nvidia's dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card. The GPU option is available across Maingear's entire line of desktops, including the SHIFT, F131, Vybe, Rush, and Force. Not for the faint of wallet, pricing starts at just under $4,300 for a Vybe H81 equipped with a Titan Z, though if you're going that route, we suggest making a few upgrades.
Customize a gaming laptop just like you would a desktop
Boutique builder iBuyPower is introducing OptiBoost, a fancy name for a customization program that will offer many of the same configuration options when shopping for a gaming laptop as you'll find when customizing a desktop PC. iBuyPower isn't really breaking new ground here, but presumably you'll have more options to choose from than when typically shopping a laptop PC. And to kick things off, iBuyPower will offer its OptiBoost program on select Gigabyte gaming notebooks.
Dell is up to the challenge of pushing Steam Machines through its Alienware arm
After much hype, the hoopla surrounding Valve's Steam Machine initiative seems to have died down, though it's only the calm before the storm. They're coming, and though Valve won't receive royalties from PC makers who build Steam Machines around its Linux-based Steam OS, there is sufficient pressure to keep pricing on the level of traditional game consoles. This is something Alienware admits will be a challenge, though it's one the company is more than happy to tackle.
Boutique builder stretches beyond its gaming roots
CyberPowerPC is probably best known for its line of gaming systems comprised of off-the-shelf parts that you could otherwise buy yourself at places like Newegg and Amazon. However, don't cast the company as a one-trick pony. The boutique builder actually offers a variety of systems, and today CyberPowerPC introduced its new Power Mega Pro Series of workstation systems with professional graphics card options and choice of AMD or Intel inside.