The company that discontinued its range of Mac clones earlier this month has now “voluntarily suspended the sale of our Rebel EFI software product.” It has temporarily discontinued Rebel EFI – a boot loader that helps install OS X on any generic PC – as it first wants the court's “clarification on the legality” of the software. “In the coming days, we will again be offering complete systems but at discounted prices as they will be bundled with your choice of Linux operating system,” the company announced on its website.
The company is trying hard to garner some much needed public support. From the face of it, Psystar wants to be seen as a champion of open computing. “It's your software, you should be able to use it where you want to,” Psystar wrote on its site. “If you purchase an off-the-shelf copy of OS X Snow Leopard, its your right to use that software.”
In many respects, it’s more difficult to build a great cheap PC than it is to build a more expensive one. In fact, the less money you have to spend, the more vital it is that every dollar delivers measurable value. With that in mind, we sat down with one simple goal: to build the best inexpensive, multipurpose PC that we would want to use ourselves. We didn’t start with any particular budget, but at every turn we shaved as much from the cost as we could—trimming the fancy case, ditching an unnecessary 800W PSU, and scuttling the spendy Core i5 CPU.
The result is an incredibly lean, but still powerful machine featuring a quad-core CPU, a GPU capable of playing anything on a 22-inch panel, and… well, you’ll have to hit the jump to see the rest. Rest assured, though, this is a machine that would be welcome in any of our homes, whether we’re playing games, editing video, touching up photos, ripping movies, or simply surfing the Internet. Oh yeah, we’ll also show you how to assemble the components like a pro, one easy-to-follow step at a time.
And just to keep the whole thing good and honest, we stopped by our local Best Buy and bought the best comparably priced system they had, which we pitted against our ultra-budget machine in a steel-cage match to the death. Want to see who wins? Read on to find out.
Intel earlier today announced its next-generation Atom platform, and no sooner had the press release hit the news waves, Dell followed suit by being the first to announce a refreshed Mini 10 netbook lineup sporting the newly minted Atom N450 CPU.
Other updates to the Mini 10 include a new design with a choice between "a broad range of optional colors or hundreds of optional custom artwork designs," as well as a smudge-resistant palm rest and sculpted keys, and longer battery life with up to 9.5 hours of run time (with optional 6-cell battery).
Other specs include a 10.1-inch display with standard (1024 x 600) or HD (1366 x 768) resolution, 1GB of memory, choice between 160GB or 250GB hard drive, and choice between Windows 7 Starter, Windows XP Home, or Ubuntu.
Dell says you can expect the redesigned Mini 10 to be available in early January starting out at $299.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Dell plans to slash 16 percent of its 4,500 workforce in Malaysia, which breaks down to 700 pink slips by the end of June 2010. About the same time the job cuts were announced, several price mistakes began appearing on Dell's website. Coincidence? Perhaps, but as a modern day Spock would say, that s**t ain't logical (NSFW - language).
The pricing SNAFUs inevitably ended up on deal sites like SlickDeals.net, including a 3.2GHz dual-core Xeon 5060 processor for $10.99, Xeon E3110 for $16.99, Xeon E5450 for $39.99, and a Xeon L5340 for $12.99. We'd go with the Xeon 5060, or maybe one of each at those prices.
Not all of the pricing mistakes worked to the consumers advantage. For example, Dell's website listed a 120GB SATA HDD for a Dell Studio 1735 at $21,000, a laser mouse at $4,000, and an Inspiron AC adapter for $710. Not a big deal if you've ever shopped at an Apple Store.
So what do you think, an honest mistake (several of them), or scorned employees? Hit the jump and sound off!
A few months ago Intel launched the Intel Core i7 Custom Challenge, in which modders were encouraged to submit their best case mods to a panel of judges at Intel in hopes of winning up to $10k in prizes.
Well, the results are in. You can check out pictures of the winning mods at the contest site. One particular standout was the Best for Mod Creativity winner that modded a boombox to house his i7 Extreme PC.
Intel launched the contest to generate more hype around the i5 and i7 processors and the flexibility of their components.
Which ones do you like best, and which ones could have been done better?
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.
Bigger isn't always better, at least not when you're trying to save space. Such is the theme for Dell's updated commercial line of small form factor (SFF) OptiPlex desktops the company announced today.
"The death of the commercial desktop has been greatly overstated," said Mike Basore, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dell Business Client Product Group. "We are seeing customers look to deploy small form factor systems in ways never before imagined. These new desktop systems provide a rock solid foundation which Dell is known for while providing long-lifecycle and secure capabilities in key areas such as client virtualization and systems management."
Not only are the new OptiPlex PCs small, but Dell says its new OptiPlex 780 USFF is the smallest fully functional commercial desktop PC with an integrated PSU and Intel vPro technology. The versatile system comes built around Intel's Core 2 Duo technology and offers up support for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Ubuntu "in select countries." Other features include advanced systems management options, full disk encryption, and up to a 90 percent efficient power supply, which Dell boasts is better than HP's Compaq dc7900 Ultra-slim and Lenovo's ThinkCentre M58p Ultra SFF business class machine.
Dell also announced the OptiPlex 380, which is being aimed at customers in emerging countries and businesses looking for a budget-friendly solution with room to grow. It too supports the same OSes as the 780 USFF, and comes with an "easy to service chassis" with DirectDetect LED diagnostic lights.
Both new models are available now direct through Dell starting at $629 (OptiPlex 780 USFF) and $349 (OptiPlex 380 SFF).
In the future that Acer chairman JT Wang envisions, ultra-thin notebooks with exceptional battery life will rule the mobile PC market, and to help get there, he's been urging Intel to focus more heavily on the ultra-thin segment. And Wang may be right, but why aren't we there already?
According to Wang, HP and Dell are to blame for holding the ultra-thin market back from its true potential. The reason, he says, is because both companies have dropped their mainstream notebook prices to $399 to compete, even though lightweight and skinny laptops are what consumers really want.
That's a bit of a curious statement coming from Acer, the same company notorious for low-priced parts, including notebooks. But Wang holds firm in his stance, saying that since HP and Dell haven't been pushing the ultra-thin market in the U.S., Intel has been misled into thinking there just isn't much demand.
Going forward, Wang predicts Acer's ultra-thin notebooks will account for about 30 percent of its total notebook shipments in 2010.
What a difference $500 makes. With $1500, building a gaming PC means being as lean as possible, sacrificing a little here and there to bump the important components to the next tier. But with $2000, your options really open up. The extra dough means you can start considering a solid-state drive or dual-GPU solution. Getting the most bang for your buck is always a consideration, but two grand means you can splurge for cutting-edge components that are priced for early adopters. It also means you have to think about your system's upgrade path, since you don't want to spend so much on a rig with nowhere to go in two years. Lynnfield or Bloomfield? SSD or high-capacity storage? Nvidia or ATI? There are a few no-brainers in our $2000 parts pick, but also a few surprises as well.
So, what's the best gaming system you can get for $2000?
What sets a boutique builder apart from a huge OEM? Taking risks with hardware, that’s what.
Unfortunately, taking risks doesn’t always pan out. Take AVADirect’s Custom PC. Hot on the heels of numerous Core i7 rigs tipping the 4GHz and 4.2GHz range, AVADirect went a step further by clocking its Custom PC gaming rig at 4.4GHz. The company even goes so far as to include a custom profile for 4.7GHz—a speed the company had originally promised it would hit out of box, until cooler heads prevailed.
The bad news is that even at 4.4GHz, we were able to break the AVADirect machine with our stress test. The good news is that the machine remained stable in our benchmarking runs. Still, if we could stress it enough to reboot in two hours, someone else could, too. Working with AVADirect, we were able to get the machine to rock-solid levels at 4.4GHz, but it took several days of testing and more than 25 different BIOS combinations—which somewhat tarnishes the feat.