At first glance, the Noctua NH-U12P is nearly identical to another tower-of-power CPU cooler: Thermalright’s Ultra-120 eXtreme (reviewed July). Like that cooler, the NH-U12P consists of a copper heat exchanger and four dual-heat pipes, topped with a tall stack of aluminum cooling fins with a front-mounted fan. At 6.2 inches high, 5 inches wide, and 2.8 inches deep, the NH-U12P is nearly the same height as the Thermalright, not quite as wide, but quite a bit deeper.
Noctua ships its cooler with a top-of-the-line brown-and-beige NH-P12 fan with nine slightly beveled blades, which is held onto the cooling fin stack by a set of rather flimsy wire clips. The fan itself comes with three 3-pin power options: regular, low-noise, and ultra-low noise, which set the fan to spin at 1,300rpm, 1,100rpm, and 900rpm, respectively. The fan is impressively quiet even at top speed.
Say you’re a content creator—video, graphic design, whatever. You want a computer that’s quiet, functional, and hopefully doesn’t look like it was designed by a candy raver, or worse, Apple. That’s what Thermaltake is betting on with its Element S, an understated black midtower case with restrained red accents and plenty of drive space that’s marketed toward content creators.
The Element S is built from steel, painted black inside and out, and decked with black plastic trim on the top and a red-rimmed, black-plastic front-panel door. It weighs close to 18 pounds, and measures 21.3x9.1x20 inches. The model we tested included three fans: a 12cm, 1,300rpm front intake fan, a 14cm 1,000rpm rear output fan, and a 23cm 800rpm red LED fan on top. The case also includes rear mounts for two 6cm VGA exhaust fans, which is rare, but makes sense if you’re encoding video using a high-end graphics card. The Element S also has two holes for water-cooling tubes, but doesn’t include rubber grommets in them—they’re just bare metal punchouts in the case that could puncture the tubing over time.
In the past several months, NZXT has been aggressively targeting gamers looking to get a lot of case for a little scratch (see here, here, and here), and continuing that trend, the company has just announced the low-priced Lexa S.
Priced at a penny under $70 MSRP, the Lexa S purports to offer exceptional cooling performance with 5 case fans (2x120mm front intake, 140mm top, 120mm LED side, 120mm rear), in addition to a fan controller that gives users independent control over the dual intakes and exhausts.
"We really wanted to offer gamers a solution for under $70 that offers optimal performance without compromise," said Johnny Hou, chief designer at NZXT. "With Lexa S you get enhanced airflow, sleek aesthetics, superior cable management, and added features like an SSD bracket."
Other features include an all black interior. front-facing HDD cage, punched holes in the mobo tray to allow for easier cable management, and mounting holes at the top to accommodate a radiator.
Running a pair of dual-GPU GTX 295 videocards gives gamers quad-SLI bragging rights, but if you're really serious about driving Crysis cranked up on your swank 30-inch display, EVGA's new 4-way motherboard might be just what you're looking for.
EVGA's X58 Classified 4-Way SLI board supports up to four videocards and coincides with the company's 4-way compatible GTX 285 Classified videocard. Currently the fastest single-GPU videocard on the planet, four GTX 285 cards should trump two GTX 295 cards in just about any situation.
All that design decadence comes at the cost of case real estate and you'll need a chassis that supports the XL-ATX form factor. Measuring 13.5 inches by 10.3 inches, EVGA warns you'll need a case with 9 or more expansion slots, or handy modding skills.
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.
Netgear’s MOCA (short for Multimedia over Coax Alliance) adapter is the can solution to the can’t. If you can’t get a reliable Wi-Fi signal throughout your home and you can’t make an Ethernet cable run and you can’t tap your home’s electrical grid with a HomePlug Powerline adapter, than MOCA is the can.
Using existing standard cable coax wires, the Netgear MOCA adapter lets you turn your cable TV runs into a “home entertainment network.” What the hell is that? Since the adapter is built around passing data through your cable TV, it’s no surprise that MOCA wants to push its adoption as an easy way to get Internet connectivity to your set top box, game console, or media center PC.
Setup is Joe-six-pack friendly: Just unplug the coax cable from your TV set and plug it into the Netgear MOCA adapter. Run a second coax cable from the adapter to the TV. TV signals are passed through transparently, so your American Idol viewing won’t be disturbed. And if the signal is degraded you can actually change the frequency the adapter operates on.
Case manufacturer HD Plex looks to make noisy HTPC enclosures a thing of the past, as the company just announced a new HTPC case devoid of any fans. Instead, the all-aluminum chassis relies on heatpipes to get the cooling job done.
"We set out to create a family of products that look good when combined with high-end A/V equipment, and are silent and affordable," said Larry Liu, CEO of HD Plex. "We ended up accomplishing our goals. Our new line of H-series HTPC enclosures combine skillful engineering with an eye for minimalism design, heatpipe cooling for silent operation, and all at a price piont competitive with the current market."
HD Plex says its fanless case comes in three different sizes and variations, including mATX (H10), mini-ITX (H5), and the H3, which the company claims is the "smallest ever heatpipe cooled enclosure." All three models include an LGA775 heatsink and heatpipe kit and an anti-vibration mounting kit for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives, along with an optional chipset cooling kit sold separately.
In most cases, it's still cheaper to purchase DDR2 DIMMs than it is to invest in DDR3 memory, albeit not by very much in some cases. Citing un-named market sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes says the price gap between the two types of RAM is expected to disappear completely very soon.
As it currently stands, spot pricing for 1Gb DDR2 chips has climbed above $1.60, still lower than 1Gb DDR3 pricing, which has settled in at $1.90 and isn't moving very much. But market sources say the two segments will crossover, and do so at a price point below $2 per 1Gb chip.
If the price difference does go by the wayside, memory makers are likely to shift their focus to DDR3, where demand will be higher. This would also trickle down to PC vendors, some of which have been using DDR2 parts to cut back on costs.
Common sense dictates that most displays don't fare well under water, and that includes OLED technology. Or at least it used to. According to Kodak, OLEDs "are notoriously moisture-sensitive," so kudos to Kodak for demonstrating its flexible display under water.
The quirky demonstration consisted of a small flexible OLED screen submerged in a cup of water surrounded by Playmobil people. A fish (what else?) swam across the display just under the water line. Aside from the gee-whiz factor, a flexible underwater display opens the door to some innovative designs.
"Fleixble OLEDs have the potential to be a game-changer for the display world, realizing a unique form factor at lower cost," Kodak said. "They also have broad applications in the lighting industry."
Western Digital today starting shipping its new desktop 7200 RPM 2TB hard drive to OEMs and becomes the second manufacturer to offer the high spindle speed and capacity combination (Hitachi being the first).
As part of the WD Caviar Black series, the 2TB model is based on the company's 500GB-per-platter technology. Other features include a heaping 64MB of cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 3Gb/s, an integrated dual processor, and NoTouch ramp load technology, which ensures the recording head never touches the disk media and, according to WD, results in significantly less wear and tear on the drive.
Western Digital's speedy 2TB drive is available now with an MSRP of $299.