We’ve never—ever—seen a PC like Hardcore Computer’s Reactor. Who the hell, after all, would dunk a CPU, GPUs, SSDs, a proprietary motherboard, and a power supply in non-conductive oil? We’ve seen submerged PC projects since as early as 1998, but they’ve always looked like a PC that ran Titanic-style into an iceberg, with half the components sinking to the bottom of the tank.
The Reactor, however, feels solid. It’s made of fabricated heavy-duty aluminum and is so stunningly gorgeous that it could easily be dropped onto a movie set as a nuclear-powered PC from 2112.
Heck, there are even some hardware exclusives here. The Reactor is the first machine to have a full, real EAX5-capable X-Fi chip in it. And in another first, Hardcore somehow managed to use three of Samsung’s new 256GB SSD drives—that’s 768GB of fast solid state storage, kiddies. In graphics, we didn’t get Nvidia’s latest GTX 295s, but Hardcore does manage to stuff in three GTX 280 cards. All this was fitted to the custom nForce 790i SLI board with Intel’s pre-viously top-of-the-line 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme Edition at 4GHz. And, of course, almost all of it was sunk in heat-conductive oil.
If you have kids, make sure they're out of the room before looking any further. That is, unless you want to devote the next 18 days to building a kick-ass case mod that will appeal to just about any age. According to EnglishRussia.com, that's how long it took "this Russian guy" to build his Wall-E inspired case mod.
After watching the movie, the Russian modder thought to himself, "I want to build such a thing and hold my computer stuff in it." And that he did, using Swiss precision homemade heavy metal.
This ranks as one of the coolest case mods we've ever seen, and even better, the modder offered up a worklog so you can replicate the design at home. See you in 18 days.
Palit Microsystems began offering a custom-built GTX 285 with 2GB memory in February. From the face of it, Sparkle’s entire staff was probably marooned on a remote island – or away on an intergalactic excursion, and therefore had no idea what was going around.
The GTX 285 runs at a core clock frequency of 648MHz. Sparkle has also promised its card will deliver “30% faster performance than competing single GPU graphic card solutions.” But the company is mum on pricing.
Last week, it was rumored that Acer would unveil the very first Ion-based nettop this week. That rumor has been vindicated by Acer. The AspireRevo, as the diminutive nettop is called, was unveiled on Tuesday by Acer and Nvidia.
The nettop features up to 4GB of RAM, a maximum of 250GB hard drive, HDMI/VGA outputs and six USB 2.0 ports. To put the stats into perspective, the nettop measures 7.1 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches (about the same size as a hardcover book). Its pricing and release date are still awaited.
Netbooks and Linux were supposed to be a match made in heaven. However, Linux has failed to capture the imagination of netbook users. Microsoft is elated to have made short work of Linux’s challenge in the netbook segment. Brandon LeBlanc, who earns his bread blogging on the official Windowsteamblog, reviewed the past year that saw Windows become the most popular netbook OS.
He imputed Windows emphatic surge on netbooks in the past year to its ease of use and people’s familiarity with the OS besides a host of other factors. Since the time Windows first appeared on netbooks, it has nearly wiped out all competition and now sits pretty with more than 90% market share.
“Looking forward, we can confidently say that no matter how netbook PC hardware evolves, we’re gearing up to ensure that Windows 7 will run great on them,” a sanguine LeBlanc wrote on the Windowsteamblog.
Before someone asks, the answer is 'yes,' we don't doubt the Atlas Folder can handle Crysis. But despite outfitting his server with 23 -- TWENTY EFFING THREE! -- gual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 videocards, Jason Farqué, who goes by the username Atlas Folding, has a more important goal in mind:
"The reason that my father in enrolled in [a clinical trial] is the same as the reason I run my folding farm. To fight back, to do something," Farqué wrote on his blog. "To help science overcoming Huntington's Disease so that people as yet unborn wont' have as hard a time as he and others do. Because my father wants the human race to succeed, to get better, to overcome our bodies' inherent frailties by using our minds."
Farqué's father suffers from Huntington's Disease, and if Stanford's Folding@Home distributed computing project leads to a cure, then it will be hard to imagine a better use for such a gluttony of high powered videocards. Among the setup are 9 MSI-brand 295s, 14 EVGA-brand 295s, and and a single GTX 260 and 9800GT thrown in for good measure.
And if you think that's impressive, Farqué has been mulling a similar setup with Nvidia's 300 series once it launches.
Check out a video of the super Folding server here, a Maximum PC forum post on how Farqué handled the configuration here, and see how you can both help the cause and lead Maximum PC to victory in this year's Chimp Challenge here.
Any long-time Maximum PC reader should be familiar with PC Power & Cooling, whose power supplies have been chosen for use in a number of Dream Machine configurations. PC Power & Cooling arguably stands in a class of its own, and so it makes sense that the company would venture into the world of Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS), which it has done with the introduction of its Pro-Source 1500VA UPS.
"“PC Power & Cooling has a long history of delivering premium power management solutions to enthusiast and commercial customers, and the Pro-Source continues that tradition by addressing customers needs for superior UPS," commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for the Group. "The Pro-Source protects your investment by delivering a pure sine wave output for uninterrupted power to even the most demanding pc configurations in the event of an extended power disruption."
PCP&C claims its Pro-Source UPS will keep your rig powered for 10 minutes during a power outage, assuming a "typical load (600W)." The company also says its new UPS utilizes a pure sine wave as opposed to the "step" sine wave found in some lower quality units, making it the first pure sine wave, high output UPS retailing under $300. End-users can keep tabs on input/output voltage, frequency, load, backup time, and temperature with the included software, which can also send remote alerts.
The Pro-Source UPS is available now direct from PCP&P for a penny under $300.
Going for a new look, Intel has rolled out redesigned chip logos for it's Core i7, Core 2, Centrino, Celeron, and Pentium processors. Intel's Xeon brand may also get a new logo at a later date, Intel said. Sporting a shorter frame than before, the new badges show a die shot in the upper right corner.
Effective immediately, Intel chip series also now include a star rating, with one star denoting the lowest performance and five stars the highest.
"So now when a consumer goes into a Best Buy store they can distinguish between Centrino, Core, Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad," said Intel spokesman Bill Calder
Calder also said Intel is in the process of shifting to a "pretty aggressive brand simplification plan," one which will put the chip maker closer ot its goal of moving to a single primary client brand in Core i7.
Are you digging the new logos? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
When Zalman told us its new CNPS9900 LED was the best CPU air cooler ever, we took the news with a grain of salt. For more than a year, the company’s CNPS9700 LED had been our top air cooler, until Thermaltake’s DuOrb usurped Zalman’s place at the top of the heap in our July 2008 issue. Can the CNPS9900 retake the cooling throne for Zalman?
In a word, yes. This copper-finned monster outperforms the Thermaltake DuOrb across the board, keeping our test bed’s CPU an average of three degrees cooler than the DuOrb was able to at both idle and full burn, making it the best CPU air cooler we’ve ever tested.
It all started while we were researching an article on future user interfaces. Touch interfaces are hardly futuristic at this point, but multi-touch hardware like the Microsoft Surface or the iPhone is just starting to become a big deal, and we decided to see what big things are going on in that field. What we found that surprised us the most wasn’t anything about the future of multitouch; it was about something that people are doing right now.
There is, it turns out, a whole community of very smart folks out there on the internet perfecting the art of building DIY multi-touch surfaces. The process isn’t exactly simple, but the results we saw were stunning: multitouch surfaces with responsiveness rivaling Microsoft’s $12,000 offering, built in a garage on a shoestring budget. “Future UI article be damned,” we thought, “we’ve gotta build one of these for ourselves.”
And so we did. We documented the whole process, from start to finish, so that you can try building one of your own, if you’re so inspired. We’re not going to claim to have done everything perfectly the first time, so think of this article as more of a build log than a definitive how-to. Still, we’re very pleased with how the table turned out. We’re so pleased, in fact, that we put together a video showing the table in motion.
Read on to see the video and find out how we made it!