Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en Intel Plans to Spend $6 Billion Upgrading Chip Plant in Israel http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_plans_spend_6_billion_upgrading_chip_plant_israel_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_fab_28.jpg" alt="Intel Fab 28" title="Intel Fab 28" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />The deal calls for an Israeli grant of $300 million over five years</h3> <p><strong>Intel has hammered out a deal with Israel's finance and economy ministries to invest $6 billion towards upgrading its chip manufacturing plant in the region</strong>. That figure qualifies as the largest single investment by a foreign company in Israel, and in return, Intel will receive a government grant of $300 million over five years. The chip maker will also be eligible for a corporate tax rate of just 5 percent for the next 10 years.</p> <p>"Intel's investment is a strategic asset for Israel's industry," Finance Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/22/us-israel-intel-plant-idUSKCN0HH1F720140922" target="_blank">according to <em>Reuters</em></a>. "This is the biggest investment by a foreign company ever in Israel and is further proof that Israel is at the forefront of technology and innovation."</p> <p>After upgrades, Intel's chip plant is expected to be the most advanced fab in the world. It will also result in 1,000 more workers being hired at the plant by 2023, in addition to the 2,500 currently employed there.</p> <p>Intel collected $3.8 billion in export revenue from the plant in 2013, and $4.6 billion the year prior.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="http://blogs.intel.com/policy/2010/10/27/intel_participates_in_israels_privacy_week/" target="_blank">Intel</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_plans_spend_6_billion_upgrading_chip_plant_israel_2014#comments Hardware intel Israel manufacturing News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:37:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28583 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus and Gigabyte May Lower Motherboard Prices to Reach Shipment Goals http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_and_gigabyte_may_lower_motherboard_prices_reach_shipment_goals_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_g1_gaming_motherboard.jpg" alt="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" title="Gigabyte G1 Gaming Motherboard" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />Watch for lower priced motherboards in Q4</h3> <p>We've already mentioned that Asus and Gigabyte may engage each other in a price of war of sorts as each one attempts to ship more motherboards than the other. However, weaker than expected demand in China combined with soft retail channel orders ahead of the country's National Day holidays are likely to cause both companies to fall short of their shipment goals. As a result, <strong>Asus and Gigabyte might be even more aggressive with motherboard price cuts than previously anticipated</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140922PD205.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, Asus and Gigabyte are both expected to ship around 5.6 million motherboards in the third quarter. That figure is below what each company was expecting, as the two firms hoped that Intel's new Haswell-E processor launch and 9 Series chipsets would spark a replacement trend among consumers.</p> <p>Even with Haswell-E on the table, motherboard sales are falling a bit short. In order for Asus and Gigabyte to reach their stated 20-22 million motherboard shipment goal by the end of the year, the companies will need a strong fourth quarter. Sources tell<em> Digitimes</em> that price competition among the two is expected to "grow even fiercer."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_and_gigabyte_may_lower_motherboard_prices_reach_shipment_goals_2014#comments asus Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboard News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 18:09:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 28582 at http://www.maximumpc.com Biostar Tries Going High-End with Hi-Fi Z97Z7 Motherboard http://www.maximumpc.com/biostar_tries_going_high-end_hi-fi_z97z7_motherboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/biostar_hi-fi_z97z7.jpg" alt="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" title="Biostar Hi-Fi Z97Z7" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />How do you like the view up here, Biostar?</h3> <p>Quick, blurt our the first brand that comes to mind when you think about high-end motherboards. Did you say Biostar? Lies! We would have accepted several brand names, though Biostar isn't one that's typically associated with premium boards (to be fair, the company has released a few top dwellers). We don't know if that's going to change, and apparently neither does Biostar, which "launched the first development of what might become a possible series of high-end gaming boards." That's how <strong>Biostar describes its new Hi-Fi Z97Z7 motherboard</strong>. Might? Possible? C'mon Biostar, if you're going to play with the big boys, you need to bring a barrel of confidence with you!</p> <p>Biostar's hesitation aside, the company's newest board is based on Intel's Z97 chipset with support for Intel socket 1150 CPUs (hello Haswell, but not Haswell-E). It's a full size ATX mobo with four DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of DDR3-2800 (OC) RAM, a single PCI-E x16 3.0 slot, a single PCI-E x16 2.0 slot, two PCI-E x1 2.0 slots, two standard PCI slots, four SATA 6Gbps connectors, a SATA Express connector, four USB 3.0 ports plus a header, two USB 2.0 ports plus a header, GbE LAN, HDMI and DVI connectors, and various other odds and ends.</p> <p>It's not the most feature-rich board on the planet, though it does have some higher end goodies, such as "super durable solid caps," a "super durable Ferrite choke," a "super durable box header," 8-phase power design, moisture proof PCB, ESD protection, Hi-Fi audio with a built-in amp and 110dB+ rating, "Super Rapid Debug 3" for providing POST code information, and more, all of which you can read about on the board's <a href="http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=755#ov" target="_blank">product page</a>.</p> <p>And then there's the price -- Biostar says its Hi-Fi Z97H7 has an MSRP of $120, which seems reasonable to us. No word yet on when it will be available.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/biostar_tries_going_high-end_hi-fi_z97z7_motherboard#comments Biostar Build a PC Hardware hi-fi z97z7 motherboard z97 News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:44:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28580 at http://www.maximumpc.com Corsair Gaming: A New Brand Designation for Gamer-Centric Peripherals http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_gaming_new_brand_designation_gamer-centric_peripherals_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/k95_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming K95 RGB" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />Watch out Razer, here comes Corsair Gaming</h3> <p>Call it a marketing play if you will, but <strong>Corsair is determined to demonstrate its commitment to PC gamers by creating a new division called Corsair Gaming</strong>. It's under this new title that Corsair will release new and rebranded peripherals for gamers, starting with three RGB keyboards (K95 RGB, K70 RGB, and K65 RGB), two RGB mice (M65 RGB in black or white color options), and a pair of headsets (H1500 and H1500).</p> <p>"For 20 years, Corsair has equipped gamers with high performance, precision hardware to build their dream PCs. Corsair Gaming now introduces new ways for PC gamers to optimize how they play," said Andy Paul, Corsair President and CEO. "We’ve brought together our engineering expertise and our passion for gaming to build a line of products that delivers performance, customized for however you play."</p> <p>The RGB keyboards headline the new Corsair Gaming brand. All three use only German-made Cherry MX RGB mechanical key switches available in red, blue, or brown (K65 RGB only comes with Cherry MX red key switches). They also sport aircraft-grade aluminum baseplates. So, what's the difference between the three? The K65 RGB features a standard keyboard layout and media keys; the K70 RGB sports a compact design with the number pad removed and media keys removed; and the flagship K95 RGB offers an additional arry of 18 dedicated macro keys and dedicated media keys.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/m65_rgb.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" title="Corsair Gaming M65 RGB" width="620" height="271" /></p> <p>Corsair's M65 RGB mice come housed in a durable aluminum unibody chassis and feature an 8,200 DPI, Omron switches rated for 20 million clicks, and adjustable weight system, and eight "strategically" placed buttons, including a sniper button.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/corsair_gaming_headsets.jpg" alt="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" title="Corsair Gaming H2100 and H1500" width="620" height="377" /></p> <p>As for the headsets, the H2100 is a wireless solution and the H1500 comes with a cord. Otherwise, both purport to offer Dolby 7.1 surround sound and have 50mm neodymium drivers, micro-fiber wrapped memory foam earpads, and unidirectional noise-cancelling microphones.</p> <p>Pricing breaks down as follows (MSRP shown):</p> <ul> <li>K95 RGB: $190</li> <li>K70 RGB: $170</li> <li>K65 RGB: $150 (available only at Best Buy in the U.S.; other retailers worldwide)</li> <li>M65 RGB (white or black): $70</li> <li>H2100: 100</li> <li>H1500: $80</li> </ul> <p>You can find out more at <a href="http://www.corsairgaming.com/" target="_blank">Corsair Gaming's website</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_gaming_new_brand_designation_gamer-centric_peripherals_2014#comments corsair gaming h1500 h2100 Hardware headset k65 rgb k70 rgb k95 rgb keyboard m65 rgb mouse Peripherals News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:12:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28579 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer’s XB280HK 4K G-Sync Display Arriving Next Month for $800 (Updated) http://www.maximumpc.com/acer%E2%80%99s_xb280hk_4k_g-sync_display_now_available_north_america764 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u69/acer_monitor_2.jpg" alt="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" title="Acer 4K G-Sync Display" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>First 4K UHD display with G-Sync</h3> <p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly claimed that the Acer XB280HK was already up for sale in North America when, in fact, it's the full HD <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009657" target="_blank">XB270H</a> ($599) and not the 4K XB280HK that has gone on sale. The error is regretted.</em></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_rolls_out_worlds_first_4k_display_nvidia_g-sync_technology_2014">28-inch 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) computer monitor Acer announced back in May</a> will be available in the United States and Canada sometime next month, the company announced in a <a href="http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/press/2014/82208" target="_blank">press release</a> Friday. The <strong>Acer XB280HK is the first 4K monitor to come with an Nvidia G-Sync module.</strong></p> <p>The XB280HK is a TN (twisted nematic) display with a 60Hz refresh rate. Of course, support for Nvidia’s G-Sync technology means that this refresh rate can be adjusted automatically to match that of the GPU (<a href="http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/g-sync/system-requirements" target="_blank">see eligible models</a>), thereby obviating any screen tearing and keeping both stutter and input lag in check.</p> <p>“The incredibly sharp and smooth images provided by NVIDIA G-SYNC technology are sure to thrill the most avid gamers. Combined with Acer’s highly flexibly ergonomic stand, non-glare ComfyView panel and low dimming technology, users are assured long hours of both comfortable and visually stunning game play,” Ronald Lau, Acer America business manager, said in the press release.</p> <p>The US$799 ($849.99 CAD) XB280HK delivers 170/170 viewing angles (horizontal and vertical), 1.07 billion colors, 1000:1 native contrast ratio, 300 nits brightness, and 72 percent NTSC color saturation. Further, it is equipped with DisplayPort and as many as four USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/acer%E2%80%99s_xb280hk_4k_g-sync_display_now_available_north_america764#comments Acer display Gaming Hardware monitor nvidia g-sync tn XB280HK News Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:51:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28576 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Rolls Out Overclocked and Custom Cooled Strix GTX 980 and GTX 970 Cards http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rolls_out_overclocked_and_custom_cooled_strix_gtx_980_and_gtx_970_cards <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_strix_gtx_980.jpg" alt="Asus Strix GTX 980" title="Asus Strix GTX 980" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />Cooler and quieter than reference</h3> <p>Are you of the opinion that speed limits are more like suggestions than enforced rules? Do you believe reference designs are for suckers? If you answered yes to one or both questions, you might be interested in the new <strong>Strix GTX 980 and Strix GTX 970 graphics cards from Asus</strong>. Both of these <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980_review2014">Maxwell-powered</a> parts sport factory overclocks and custom cooling solutions that are supposedly 30 percent quieter than Nvidia's reference cooler.</p> <p>As Asus is prone to do, it outfitted its new cards with its Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) technology and Super Alloy Power components -- fancy terms for higher end components intended to increase durability and cooling. Both cards also feature a DisplayPort interface to support gaming at up to 4K Ultra HD.</p> <p>The Strix GTX 980 is overclocked to 1279MHz, up from 1126MHz, and the Strix GTX 970 is goosed to 1253MHz, up from 1050MHz. Both sport 4GB of GDDR5 memory that runs at boosted speeds of up to 7010MHz, which is essentially reference.</p> <p>With regards to cooling, the cards use Asus' DirectCU II cooling technology that consists of 10mm heat pipes capable of transporting 40 percent more heat away from the GPU. The design also offers 220 percent more heat dissipation. <a href="http://rog.asus.com/362672014/gaming-graphics-cards-2/press-release-asus-announces-strix-gtx-980-and-strix-gtx-970/" target="_blank">According to Asus</a>, the cards run 30 percent cooler and 3x quieter than reference.</p> <p>Both cards should be available today. At the time of this writing, Newegg shows the Strix 970 as out of stock and priced at $340 (plus $6.31 shipping); there's no listing yet for the Strix 980.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rolls_out_overclocked_and_custom_cooled_strix_gtx_980_and_gtx_970_cards#comments asus Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware strix gtx 970 strix gtx 980 Video Card News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:58:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28572 at http://www.maximumpc.com Turtle Beach Launches Ear Force Z60, Claims First PC Gaming Headset with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_launches_ear_force_z60_claims_first_pc_gaming_headset_dts_headphonex_71 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/turtle_beach_ear_force_z60.jpg" alt="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" title="Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Now available in stores</h3> <p>Turtle Beach hasn't forgotten about PC gamers. In fact, <strong>Turtle Beach just announced the availability of its Ear Force Z60 PC gaming headset</strong> that was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year in Las Vegas. According to Turtle Beach, the Ear Force Z60 is the first and only PC gaming headset to utilize the new DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound.</p> <p>DTS Headphone:X is supposed to make games, movies, and music sound better over headphones by enabling discrete control over speaker position and angles. Turtle Beach said it created audio presets using DTS Headphone:X for more realistic sound. How so?</p> <p>"Most surround sound mixes put the center channel about eight feet in front of the listener perceptually, which is the default for TV and film because the dialogue is coming from the screen," <a href="http://www.turtlebeach.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&amp;t=20850" target="_blank">Turtle Beach explains</a>. "With a first person shooter and many other game genres, much of the center channel audio comes from the player's character for example the sound of the player’s feet walking in the snow, their inbound radio, and the sound of spent cartridges being ejected from their gun. Using DTS Headphone:X, the audio engineers at Turtle Beach created gaming presets that pull the center channel in towards the players' midsection to make the placement of those sounds more realistic."</p> <p>The Ear Force Z60 boasts large 60mm speakers. It also features an inline control unit to adjust chat and game audio individually, surround sound modes, and microphone mute.</p> <p>You can purchase the Ear Force Z60 now for <a href="http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/pc-headsets/ear-force-z60/496" target="_blank">$120 MSRP</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/turtle_beach_launches_ear_force_z60_claims_first_pc_gaming_headset_dts_headphonex_71#comments audio ear force z60 Gaming Hardware headphone:x 7.1 Peripherals Sound turtle beach News Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:16:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28571 at http://www.maximumpc.com BitFenix Pandora Case Supports Custom Images on Front LCD http://www.maximumpc.com/bitfenix_pandora_case_supports_custom_images_front_lcd_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bitfenix_pandora.jpg" alt="BitFenix Pandora" title="BitFenix Pandora" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />Slap your mug on BitFenix's Pandora chassis</h3> <p><strong>BitFenix today announced the release of its Pandora, a stylish and relative compact case</strong> made of brushed aluminum. In addition to its unique looks, the Pandora sports an integrated LCD panel (TFT) that measures 2.4 inches and is hidden discreetly behind the front panel. You can download software from BitFenix that allows you to upload your own images using a drag-and-drop interface.</p> <p>"Simply connect the USB cable to your motherboard, download the software from the BitFenix website, and drag your picture file onto the software. In seconds, your image file will be displayed in full color – an easy and novel new way to add your own personal touch to your PC," <a href="http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/news/show/115,bitfenix-pandora-%EF%BF%BD-style-without-limits/" target="_blank">BitFenix explains</a>.</p> <p>The design of the Pandora is inspired by the fact that an increasing number of PC users are plopping their rigs in the living room. To accommodate this trend, BitFenix wanted Pandora to look more like a modern entertainment appliance than a traditional PC. Mission accomplished, though it doesn't come at the expense of DIY amenities.</p> <p>Pandora sports an optional side window. It has three 2.5-inch drive bays, two 3.5-inch bays, a 120mm top cooling fan, 120mm front cooling fan (with an optional mount for one more), five PCI slots, USB 3.0 and 2.0 support, and cable management cutouts. The case supports micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/pandora-core-window/" target="_blank">Pandora</a> should be available soon; no word yet on price.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7RA3oIMGGwA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/bitfenix_pandora_case_supports_custom_images_front_lcd_2014#comments BitFenix Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware lcd Pandora News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:18:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28562 at http://www.maximumpc.com Tesoro Injects Shrike Laser Gaming Mouse with a Higher DPI, More Color Options http://www.maximumpc.com/tesoro_injects_shrike_laser_gaming_mouse_higher_dpi_more_color_options_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/shrike.jpg" alt="Shrike" title="Shrike" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Upgraded rodent now features an 8200 DPI laser sensor</h3> <p>Gaming peripheral maker <strong>Tesoro went back and updated its Shrike Laser Gaming Mouse with a few improvements</strong>, including an upgraded 8200 DPI sensor (up from 5600 DPI). The updated Shrike also features an updated programmable software UI, improved RGB LED lighting, and new color options. There are now five color choices for the Shrike to match your setup -- black, orange, white, yellow, and brushed silver.</p> <p>Never heard of the Shrike? It's a rodent designed mostly for first person shooter fans. It has 128kb of built-in memory, an adjustable weight system, 8 fully programmable and independent buttons, high-speed motion detection and acceleration, 1,000Hz Ultrapolling, shooting speed control, rubberized thumb grip, and an adjustable full color LED.</p> <p>With the updated software, Tesoro says its easier than before the customize and program the Shrike, both in terms of its LED lighting and creating macros.</p> <p>No word on price or availability, though as a point of reference, the original Shrike (H2L) goes for about $50 street. If searching for the newer model, look for model number <a href="http://www.tesorotec.com/gaming-mice/tesoro-shrike-h2lv2-laser-gaming-mouse.html" target="_blank">TS-H2LV2</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/tesoro_injects_shrike_laser_gaming_mouse_higher_dpi_more_color_options_2014#comments Hardware mouse Peripherals shrike tesoro News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:45:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28559 at http://www.maximumpc.com Samsung's 20nm 6Gb LPDDR3 RAM Promises Longer Battery Life for Mobile Devices http://www.maximumpc.com/samsungs_20nm_6gb_lpddr3_ram_promises_longer_battery_life_mobile_devices <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_6gb.jpg" alt="Samsung 20nm 6Gb" title="Samsung 20nm 6Gb" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />Look for thinner, longer lasting mobile gadgets</h3> <p><strong>Samsung said it has begun mass producing its 6-gigabit (Gb) low-power double data rate 3 (LPDDR3) mobile DRAM based on its 20-nanometer process technology</strong> (not to be confused with 20nm-class, which could mean anywhere from 20nm to 29nm). Why should you care? The new mobile memory chip is more efficient, which in turn will enable longer battery life in mobile devices. It could also lead to slimmer, less expensive mobile products.</p> <p>The new 6Gb LPDDR3 has a per-pin data transfer rate of up to 2,133 megabits per second (Mbps). It takes four of them to comprise a 3GB package, which Samsung says is more than 20 percent smaller and consumes 10 percent less energy than the currently available 3GB package using the company's previously lowest process technology. The end product is an improvement in every way -- mobile memory based on Samsung's 20nm process is smaller, thinner, faster, and more power efficient.</p> <p>"Our new 20nm 6Gb LPDDR3 DRAM provides the most advanced mobile memory solution for the rapidly expanding high-performance mobile DRAM market," <a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140917006467/en/Samsung-Mass-Producing-Industry%E2%80%99s-20-Nanometer-6Gb-LPDDR3#.VBr_pfldVCg" target="_blank">said Jeeho Baek</a>, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We are working closely with our global customers to offer next-generation mobile memory solutions that can be applied to a more extensive range of markets ranging from the premium to standard segments."</p> <p>Samsung says its new 20nm process brings about more than a 30 percent productivity gain. With that being the case, they should be cheaper to produce and could ultimately lead to price savings for the end user.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/samsungs_20nm_6gb_lpddr3_ram_promises_longer_battery_life_mobile_devices#comments 6Gb Hardware lpddr3 Memory mobile ram samsung 20nm News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:56:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 28558 at http://www.maximumpc.com Amazon Unloads Seven New Fire HD Tablets and E-Readers http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_unloads_seven_new_fire_hd_tablets_and_e-readers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kindle_fire_7.jpg" alt="Kindle Fire" title="Kindle Fire" width="228" height="168" style="float: right;" />Look who's ready for the holiday shopping season</h3> <p><strong>Amazon decided that releasing a new Kindle Fire HD tablet wouldn't be enough, so the e-tailer went and added more than half a dozen new slates and e-readers</strong>. It begins with the introduction of two brand new Kindles starting at $79 (Kindle) and $199 (Kindle Voyage). The Kindle Voyage ups the ante with the thinnest design yet for a Kindle device (0.30 inches) and a next generation paperwhite display.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I15SB16" target="_blank">$79 Kindle</a> ($99 without Special Offers) is upgraded with a 20 percent faster processor, twice the amount of storage, and a touch interface. And starting at $199 (or $219 without Special Offers) for the Wi-Fi version and $269 for the Wi-Fi + 3G (or $289 without Special Offers), the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IOY8XWQ" target="_blank">Kindle Voyage</a> comes with a built-in light with adaptive light sensor, 300 pixels per inch display (versus 167 on the standard Kindle), and PagePress sensor that makes it easier to turn pages.</p> <p>Moving on, Amazon also released a pair of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LOR524M" target="_blank">Fire HD Kids Edition</a> tablets backed by 2-year "worry-free" guarantees -- if little Billy breaks his tablet, Amazon will replace it, no questions asked. The Fire HD Kids Edition comes in 6-inch ($149) and 7-inch ($189) models with choice of a blue, green, or pink kid-proof case.</p> <p>Billed as a real tablet and not a toy, the Fire HD Kids Edition wields a quad-core processor, HD display, front- and rear-facing cameras, Dolby Digital audio, and access to Amazon's content ecosystem.</p> <p>If you're keeping count, we're up to four new devices with three more to go. Two of them belong to the all-new Fire HD category. These are also available in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KC6I06S" target="_blank">6-inch</a> (starting at $99) and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKPYKWG/ref=fs_fas" target="_blank">7-inch</a> (starting at $139, available in October) models with 8GB and 16GB capacity options. <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1969156&amp;highlight=" target="_blank">According to Amazon</a>, the 1.5GHz quad-core processor stuffed inside these slates has 3x the graphics performance of the Samsung Tab 4.</p> <p>Finally, there's the all new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HCNHDN0" target="_blank">Fire HDX 8.9</a> powered by the latest generation quad-core 2.5GHz processor with a 70 percent faster graphics engine than the previous version. Amazon says it's 20 percent lighter than the iPad Air, and it's the first tablet with Dolby Atmos, which creates a new mobile headphone experience with multidimensional sound that flows above and around you, the company says. Pricing starts at $379.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_unloads_seven_new_fire_hd_tablets_and_e-readers_2014#comments amazon Hardware hdx kindle fire hd mobile slate tablet News Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:33:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28557 at http://www.maximumpc.com GammaTech Announces Durabook R11 Tablet http://www.maximumpc.com/gammatech_announces_durabook_r11_tablet_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/durabook_r11.jpg" alt="GammaTech Durabook R11" title="GammaTech Durabook R11" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />The lightest 11.6-inch rugged tablet in its class, GammaTech says</h3> <p>Tablets aren't exactly known for their durability. Can you image dropping your Android slate or iPad down a flight of stairs? If the stairs are carpeted, you might get away with it (we don't recommend testing this out), otherwise there's a good chance the screen will end up busted. <strong>GammaTech's new Durabook R11 is a rugged slate</strong> that would probably survive such a tumble, as well as other harsh situations.</p> <p>According to GammaTech, the Durabook R11 is the lightest 11.6-inch rugged tablet in its class. The slate weighs 2.73 pounds (with battery) and measures 11.4 inches (W) by 7.48 inches (D) by 0.78 inches (H), or 290mm (W) by 190mm (D) by 20mm (H) if you prefer metric.</p> <p>It boasts Military Standard 810G and IP65 certifications for drop, shock, dust, and water resistance, and is MIL-STD 461F certified for operation in hazardous locations. According to GammaTech, it can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -14F to around 131F degrees.</p> <p>As to the hardware, the Durabook R11 features an Intel Haswell Y Series CPU, up to 8GB of DDR3L 1600 RAM, 64GB or 128GB M.2 SATA SSD, 5MP rear-facing camera, 1080p front-facing camera, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, SDXC card reader, SIM card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and various other odds and ends. On the software side, there are various options, including Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>Those interested can create an account at <a href="https://www.gammatechusa.com/products/tablets/durabook-r11" target="_blank">GammaTech's website</a> to get pricing and customization options.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/gammatech_announces_durabook_r11_tablet_2014#comments durabook r11 gammatech Hardware mobile rugged slate tablet News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:16:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 28555 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus May Sue X99 Motherboard Competitors Over OC Socket Design http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_may_sue_x99_motherboard_competitors_over_oc_socket_design_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rampage_v_extreme_socket.jpg" alt="Asus Rampage V Extreme Socket" title="Asus Rampage V Extreme Socket" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />A suppy chain leak may have led to patent infringement</h3> <p>It's said that all is fair in love and war, but in the motherboard war that's currently taking place, some companies may have went too far. That's the reported opinion of Asus, anyway, <strong>Apparently Asus thinks competing motherboard makers infringed on pending patents related to its OC Socket technology</strong> found in boards based on Intel's X99 chipset for Haswell-E. Asus developed its OC Socket technology in-house.</p> <p>What is OC Socket? It has more pins than a standard LGA 2011 socket. The six additional pins are strategically spread out around the socket and allow you to tap into additional Haswell-E voltage lanes to enable higher and more stable overclocks.</p> <p>"Designed to break performance barriers, Asus OC Socket utilizes extra pins to connect a proprietary circuit to contacts found on Haswell-E's land grid array (LGA). Combined with our customized UEFI, this exclusive feature enables higher DDR4 memory frequencies, lower latencies, and enhanced stability while overclocking, extending all the way to extreme overclocking conditions, such as Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). OC Socket is 100 percent compatible with new Haswell-E LGA 2011-v3 CPUs, ensuring the ideal combination of overclocking performance and compatibility," Asus explains.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140917PD204.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, an investigation by Asus has lead the company to believe that supply chain makers leaked confidential OC Socket designs to competitors. As a result, Asus is considering legal action against competing motherboard makers, including ASRock, MSI, and Gigabyte.</p> <p>Stay tuned, as we'll be watching to see how this develops.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_may_sue_x99_motherboard_competitors_over_oc_socket_design_2014#comments asus Build a PC Hardware legal motherboard oc socket Patent Infringement x99 News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:09:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 28554 at http://www.maximumpc.com Xotic PC's Aggressive Looking Phantom X1 Laptop Takes Flight with Haswell http://www.maximumpc.com/xotic_pcs_aggressive_looking_phantom_x1_laptop_takes_flight_haswell_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/phantom_x1.jpg" alt="Xotic PC Phantom X1" title="Xotix PC Phantom X1" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Not a laptop for boardroom meetings</h3> <p>If you're looking for a business laptop to bring into the boardroom and take notes with, there's nothing for you to see here (unless you want to make a splash in front of your colleagues and bosses). However, if it's an aggressive design and affordable price tag you're after, Xotic PC may have something of interest. <strong>Meet the Phantom X1, Xotic PC's latest 15.6-inch gaming laptop</strong> starting at $1,159.</p> <p>From the available press images we've seen, the overall aesthetic reminds us of a few Asus ROG laptops -- it's sort of a stealth fighter jet theme.</p> <p>On the inside, things are a bit more standard fare. The Phantom X1 comes stock with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080 IPS display powered by an Intel Core i7 4710HQ processor (Haswell), 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, 1TB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, memory card reader, webcam, backlit keyboard and a few other tidbits. Not included is an operating system, which you can add starting at $105.</p> <p>The Phantom X1 is <a href="http://www.xoticpc.com/phantom-x1-p-7527.html" target="_blank">available now</a> to configure and order.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/xotic_pcs_aggressive_looking_phantom_x1_laptop_takes_flight_haswell_2014#comments Hardware haswell laptop notebook OEM phantom x1 rigs xotic pc News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:41:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28553 at http://www.maximumpc.com Logitech Develops Custom Romer-G Switches for G910 Orion Spark Mechanical Keyboard http://www.maximumpc.com/logitech_develops_custom_romer-g_switches_g910_orion_spark_mechanical_keyboard_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/logitech_g910_orion_spark.jpg" alt="Logitech G910 Orion Spark" title="Logitech G910 Orion Spark" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />A feature rich mechanical keyboard with one-of-a-kind key switches</h3> <p><strong>Logitech just announced the G910 Orion Spark RGB, a mechanical keyboard</strong> and successor to the G710. Unlike its predecessor, however, the G910 boasts Logitech's exclusive new Romer-G mechanical key switches, offering 25 percent faster actuation than any other mechanical switch out there with an actuation point of 1.5mm, Logitech says. It's also supposedly a more durable plank -- Logitech claims it can withstand 70 million keystrokes.</p> <p>"This keyboard is the culmination of years of ongoing development by our engineering team, incorporating feedback from gamers and eSports athletes to develop a next-generation mechanical key," <a href="http://news.logitech.com/press-release/consumer-products/logitech-engineers-most-advanced-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-world" target="_blank">said Vincent Tucker</a>, director of Logitech gaming. "Our team was charged with developing a keyboard that truly improves the gaming experience, and Orion Spark delivers."</p> <p>Each key of the Orion Spark can be individually customized from a selection of 16.8 million colors. This opens up the possibility of marking keys by color to keep track of spells and other commands, or you can simply change the color to match your overall setup.</p> <p>There are nine programmable G-keys on the Orion Spark, and when spread across three profiles, there's the potential to create up to 27 macros using the Logitech Gaming Software.</p> <p>The Orion Spark can also communicate with your mobile device using a new app called Arx Control. This allows your mobile device to display in-game intelligence, system performance stats, media controls, and more. To make such a thing feasible, the Orion Spark features a pull-out tray that supports most iOS and Android devices.</p> <p>Logitech says the Orion Spark will be available in November for $180; you can <a href="http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/rgb-gaming-keyboard-g910?wt.mc_id=global_g910" target="_blank">place a pre-order</a> now.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/logitech_develops_custom_romer-g_switches_g910_orion_spark_mechanical_keyboard_2014#comments g910 orion spark Hardware logitech mechanical keyboard Peripherals romer-g News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:03:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28552 at http://www.maximumpc.com