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.
In the small form factor graphics market, Nvidia’s Ion has been stealing the headlines lately, but it turns out VIA might be gearing up to give them a run for their money. Built on a new standard known as “Pico-ITXe”, the company has released their EPIA-P710, which claims to be capable of full 1080p video playback using nothing more than passive cooling. Of course we were skeptical at first, but they have finally backed up their claims by posting a short clip on YouTube showing the board in action.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this new part is how full featured it is given the size. It sports 3 USB 2.0 ports, has both SATA and IDE, as well as Gigabit Ethernet support. As you might expect, the current build is pared up with a VIA C7 1.0 GHz processor, but apparently this is still more than enough to handle anything the VX855 Media System Processor can’t handle video wise.
iBuyPower on Wednesday announced its new Paladin E-series Gaming PC built around Intel's "Lynnfield" processors and new P55 chipset. Three rigs in all -- Paladin E720, E780, and E870 -- come equipped with one of Intel's new socket 1156-based Core i7 800 series or Core i5 processors, but what iBuyPower really hopes will give it an edge over the competition is an optional "Power Drive" overclocking service.
iBuyPower will overclock your processor up to 10 percent for free (Power Drive Level 1), up to 20 percent for $49 (Level 2), and up to 30 percent for a dollar shy of a C-note (Level 3). Depending on which level you choose, you'll also need to configure compatible components iBuyPower says are certified for a particular OC (Gigabyte's GA-P55-UD6 is certified for a level 3 OC, whereas the GA-P55-UD3R is certified for level 1, for example).
The recession may be coming to an end, but desktop PC sales may never get back to where they were, according to Ray Chen of Compal Electronics. The company expects to see a 20 percent and 10 percent rise in PC shipments, in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Notebook sales remained strong throughout the recession. This may mean that notebook sales will only continue to grow, as desktop sales remain comparatively stagnant.
Even Apple, whose sales have remained strong, saw a 20 percent decline in desktop sales volume. Some questions remain as businesses may have been holding off on new PC orders during the recession. The corporate world has traditionally chosen desktops over laptops. However, Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli, contends that businesses will choose mobility over performance as they place new orders.
One way to intimidate your opponents right off the bat is to show up at your next LAN party lugging around a water-cooled rig, but in a SFF enclosure.
Now you can do that, thanks to CyberPower's new LAN Mini H20. Measuring just 11.25 (L) x 8.75 (W) x 7 (H) inches and weighing about 10 pounds, the OEM managed to cram an Asetek water cooling solution into the cramped confines of a Silverstone SST-SG05 Mini-ITX enclosure that integrates both the CPU and GPU into a closed loop.
Also included in the sub-$1000 base configuration is an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 12MB L2 cache), Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX motherboard, 4GB of DDR2-800 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 videocard, 8X DVD burner, and Windows Home Premium 64-bit.
Acer's overhauled Aspire Revo 3600 nettop picks up where its predecessor left off. Like the original Aspire Revo, the new 3600 model supports HD video courtesy of Nvidia's Ion platform, but the latest iteration trades in the comparatively anemic single-core 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor for a 1.6GHz dual-core Atom 330.
Right off the bat, doubling up on cores will come as a boon to anyone, um, aspiring to do more than basic tasks with the Aspire Revo. Other specs include 4GB of DDR2-533 memory, an HDMI port, and VESA mount compatibility.
They demonstrated Windows 7’s frugal power management by running a DVD on two identically configured ThinkPad T400s. The T400 running Windows 7 only consumed 15.4 watts, while its Vista-toting twin hogged 20.2 watts. The executives claimed that this translates into an additional battery life of 1.4 hours.
It’s become a cliché in hardware reviews to call a PC “the fastest machine we’ve ever seen,” but there are no better words to describe Maingear’s ePhex.
It truly is the fastest machine we’ve ever seen. And you would expect that from a parts list that looks like someone just checked the “bestest” box before clicking the buy button.
Peep these specs: Intel’s new Core i7-975 Extreme Edition CPU. This new CPU may seem like it’s just 133MHz faster than the Core i7-965 Extreme Edition CPU, but it’s actually a new stepping of the core that enhances overclocking. Maingear overclocks the chip from 3.33GHz to a very stable 4GHz. To the new i7, Maingear adds 12GB of Kingston DDR3/1600 on the Asus Rampage II Extreme board, a 2TB Western Digital drive, two Intel 80GB X25-M SSDs in RAID 0, and not two, but three GeForce GTX 285 cards in tri-SLI. To keep it all running, Maingear water cools all three GPUs and the CPU, and then tosses in a 1,200 watt PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool PSU.
First announced at CeBIT earlier this year, MSI today officially launched its new Wind Top all-in-one AE2010 PC with a 20-inch, 1600 x 900 touchscreen display.
Similar in style to the company's previous AE1900, the new AE2010 beefs up the hardware with an AMD Athlon X2 dual-core 3250e processor, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, 4GB of DDR2-533 memory, a 320GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM, a tray-load DVD burner, 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, 1.3MP webcam, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and an eSATA port.
According to MSI, noise never ramps up to more than 26 decibels thanks to an "ultra-silent, state-of-the-art cooling system." And on the energy front, MSI claims its all-in-one sips 75 percent less juice than traditional desktop PCs.
Look for the AE2010 to start selling next month starting at $650.
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.