Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en Potential Steam Controller Design Leaks to Web http://www.maximumpc.com/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_controller_2.jpg" alt="Steam Controller" title="Steam Controller" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Welcome back, D-pad</h3> <p>Had things gone to plan, official Steam Machines would have already begun flooding the market by now, though those plans got put on hold when Valve decided to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/controller_tweaks_prompt_valve_delay_steam_machines_until_2015" target="_blank">delay the initiative</a> so that it could have extra time to tweak its Steam Controller. Valve dropped the bombshell just shy of seven months ago, and while there's <strong>still no completed Steam Controller in sight, there is a new design that's been leaked to the web</strong>.</p> <p>A staff member at <a href="http://www.valvetime.net/threads/steam-client-beta-update-reveals-latest-steam-controller-design.245634/" target="_blank"><em>ValveTime.net</em></a> who goes by the nick "Omnomnick" posted the updated design, noting that the most recent appearance of the delayed devices was plucked from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. It looks fairly similar to the previous version except what appears to be a D-pad has returned to the left-hand side.</p> <p>"The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion," Omnomnick said.</p> <p>Unfortunately we still won't see the controller at CES next month. That's because Valve won't be there, a tidbit the company confirmed to our sister site <a href="http://www.techradar.com/us/news/gaming/consoles/valve-won-t-be-at-ces-2015-large-steam-machine-presence-planned-for-gdc-1273542" target="_blank"><em>TechRadar</em></a>. Valve is instead planning a big Steam Machine presence at GDC 2015, which takes place March 2-6.</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/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014#comments games Hardware Peripherals steam controller Valve News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29114 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Marks Down HP Pavilion x2 Hybrid PC to $199 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_pavilion_x2.jpg" alt="HP Pavilion x2" title="HP Pavilion x2" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Another solid gift idea</h3> <p>You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an <strong>HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199</strong> from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.</p> <p>The Pavilion x2 sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with an LED backlight, 1280x800 resolution, and 10-finger multi-touch support. It's powered by an Intel Atom Z3736F processor (1.33GHz to 2.16GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L-RS 1333MHz RAM. Other features include 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, headphone/microphone combo, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit).</p> <p>Those aren't the kind of specs that will knock your socks off, though respectable for the money. It also comes with a detachable keyboard and a year of Office 356 Personal, the latter of which is a $70 value.</p> <p>Interested? <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/HP-Pavilion-x2-10-k077nr-Signature-Edition-2-in-1-PC/productID.309725500?icid=12Days_ModA_Day11_HP2" target="_blank">Go here</a> to pick one up. And if not, here's a heads up that tomorrow's deal -- the last of the promotion -- is going to be half off a <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/12-Month-Xbox-Music-Pass/productID.258412400?icid=12Days_D12_XMusic" target="_blank">12-month Xbox Music Pass</a> ($49.90 instead of $99.90).</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/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014#comments 12 days of deals 2-in-1 Hardware hp pavilion x2 laptop microsoft notebook tablet News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29113 at http://www.maximumpc.com Forget the Picture Frame, Use Lian Li's O Series Chassis to Hang a PC on Your Wall http://www.maximumpc.com/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lian_li_pc-o7s.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-O7S" title="Lian Li PC-O7S" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />An open air wall-mountable chassis</h3> <p>Have you ever thought about hanging your PC components on a wall? Admittedly I have a time or three, though I've never attempted it because, quite frankly, it'd be a lot of work to secure each and every component on a bare wall, and then make it all look nice to boot. It looks like <strong>Lian Li read my mind -- the company's new O Series open-air cases are wall-mountable</strong> (and also a work in progress).</p> <p>There are four different models: the mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5/" target="_blank">PC-O5</a>, mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5s/" target="_blank">PC-O5S</a>, micro-ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o6s/" target="_blank">PC-O6S</a>, and the ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o7s/" target="_blank">PC-O7S</a>. All of them are in the prototype stage, as Lian Li looks for user feedback from the DIY community as it fleshes out and tweaks a final design.</p> <p>Though they're built for different form factors, each case is similar in overall design. They all feature an oversized tempered glass window so that visitors can spy the entire build. And to keep it slim, graphics cards are installed parallel to the motherboard through a PCI riser card and extension.</p> <p>Cases with an "S" suffix denote water cooling compatibility, with the PC-O5S supporting radiators up to 240mm; the PC-O6S and PC-O7S support radiators up to 360mm.</p> <p>Wall mounting any of the O Series cases is optional (you'll probably want a wireless mouse and keyboard if going that route), as they can also be placed on a desk in the vertical position using an included aluminum stand with rubber grip, or horizontally on four attachable feet with rubber padding.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ucNne8-yc5w" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No word on when Lian Li might bring these case to market or what the MSRPs will be.</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/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li o series News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:08:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29112 at http://www.maximumpc.com Look for More Business-Class Laptops Pairing SSDs with HDDs in 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_ssd.jpg" alt="SSD and HDD" title="SSD and HDD" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs</h3> <p>Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, <strong>laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141216PD213.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, the proportion of hybrid business-use notebooks -- laptops equipped with an SSD for the OS and HDD for storage -- currently sits at around 10 percent, though looking ahead to next year, those in the notebook supply chain say they expect that number to double to 20 percent.</p> <p>This is based on the expectation that the price for a 128GB SSD will drop to $60 in the first quarter of 2015, which would be equal to the cost of a 1TB HDD, <em>Digitimes</em> says. So what's likely to happen is there will be a bunch of business notebooks that pair a 128GB SDD with a 500GB HDD.</p> <p>Why the prominence in business-class laptops? These tend to be more expensive than consumer notebooks, which makes it easier to squeeze in upgrades like this. And with cloud-based storage taking off the way it has, vendors don't need to worry so much about equipping laptops with increasingly capacious HDDs, or so the theory goes.</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/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD laptop notebook solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:44:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29107 at http://www.maximumpc.com BlackBerry Classic Tips Hat to the Past, Kicks Off Comeback Strategy http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_classic_0.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Classic" title="BlackBerry Classic" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Old school philosophy with new school hardware</h3> <p>Well, it's official -- <strong>BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research In Motion, or RIM) launched its BlackBerry Classic today</strong>, a "no-nonsense" phone that harkens back to the Canadian handset maker's glory days with a physical QWERTY keyboard and built-in trackpad. It also sports several modern amenities and upgrades to go along with its keyboard, like a browser that's three times faster compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9900.</p> <p>The 3.5-inch touchscreen offers 60 percent more screen space while the phone as a whole offers 50 percent longer battery life, BlackBerry claims. Other features include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 128GB via microSD), 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear facing camera with enhanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors, and BlackBerry 10 OS (10.3.1).</p> <p>"We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," <a href="http://press.blackberry.com/press/2014/blackberry-classic--familiar-qwerty-design-packs-high-performanc.html" target="_blank">said John Chen</a>, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world."</p> <p>With the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry is hoping to attract fans of physical keyboards, both loyal and new, as it attempts to regain a level of relevancy in the mobile space that it hasn't seen since Android and iOS skyrocketed to the top. According to data provided by IDC, BlackBerry OS is clinging to a meager 0.5 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market, compared to Windows Phone at 2.9 percent, iOS at 11.7 percent, and Android at 84.4 percent.</p> <p>The unlocked BlackBerry Classic runs <a href="http://shop.blackberry.com/store/bbrryus/en_US/pd/productID.310234500/Currency.USD" target="_blank">$449 on BlackBerry's website</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B00OYZZ3VS/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=bbclassic-20&amp;linkId=2UVALKBYIDNGYW3M" target="_blank">$499.99 on Amazon</a>. AT&amp;T and Verizon have also confirmed plans to sell the device beginning sometime next year.</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/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014#comments BlackBerry blackberry classic Hardware keyboard mobile smartphone News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:58:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29105 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best of the Best: Now Updated! http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/best.jpg" alt="Best" title="Best" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Maximum PC's "Best of the Best" List Gets Updated</h3> <p>The holiday shopping is in full swing, and though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, deals and savings are all over the place. If you're going to shop for computer hardware, this is one of the best times of the year to do it. And as an added bonus, you can write some of this stuff off on your taxes if you're building a new system for work chores.</p> <p>Deciding to buy new hardware is the easy part. Where it gets difficult is in deciding <em>which</em> hardware to purchase. To help make things easier for you, we've gone and updated our "Best of the Best" list one last time for 2014. We have refreshed entries for graphics cards, CPUs, motherboards, and storage.</p> <p>You can check out all of our new pics in the gallery below, though keep in mind this is a small sample of the complete list, which you can <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/best-of-the-best" target="_blank">view here</a>. And hey, we know these things tend to stir up controversy, so if have a different pick in any given category, feel free to post it in the comments section along with a note as to why you think it's the best.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014#comments best of the best Build a PC features gallery Hardware maximum pc Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:32:27 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff and Paul Lilly 29010 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Lets You Choose Air or Water Cooling for $640 http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_lets_you_choose_air_or_water_cooling_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_0.jpg" alt="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" title="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Choose your own adventure (in cooling)</h3> <p><strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Poseidon GTX 980 with DirectCU H2O</strong>, a hybrid thermal solution that lets users choose between air or water cooling. The cooler sports a custom vapor chamber that comes in direct contact with the card's GPU for better heat dispersal, while copper heat pipes and extended cooling fins help whisk heat out and away from the card.</p> <p>Using water cooling, Asus ROG says the Poseidon GTX 980 can achieve temperatures that are up to 27C lower compared to reference, which the company claims will translate into up to 10 percent faster performance in Watch Dogs and 7 percent in Battlefield 4 (through less throttling, presumably).</p> <p>Asus said it used high end components for longevity -- things like black metallic solid state capacitors, 10-phase Super Alloy Power chokes, hardened MOSFETs, and Digi+ VRM for clean and stable voltage. There's also a tough backplate made of aluminum alloy and a die-cast thermal armor with thermal pads to prevent bending.</p> <p>The Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 will be available soon for $640 MSRP.</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_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_lets_you_choose_air_or_water_cooling_2014#comments air cooling asus Build a PC games graphics card Hardware poseidon gtx 980 Republic of Gamers ROG Video Card water cooling News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 29103 at http://www.maximumpc.com Lite-On to Unveil Zeta Solid State Drive for Consumers at CES http://www.maximumpc.com/lite-_unveil_zeta_solid_state_drive_consumers_ces_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lite-on_zeta.jpg" alt="Lite-On Zeta" title="Lite-On Zeta" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />Look for Lite-On to light up the SSD scene</h3> <p>Tired of seeing the same old players participate in the solid state drive wars? If so, you'll be glad to know another warrior is entering the battlefield. That warrior is <strong>Lite-On</strong>, and come CES, the company that's perhaps best known for manufacturing affordable optical drives (dating back to when optical drives weren't necessarily affordable) <strong>will try its hand at making consumer grade SSDs</strong>.</p> <p>The company partially spilled the beans in a <a href="http://us.liteonit.com/us/news/news-n-events/340-ces-2012-lite-on-unveils-solid-states-drives-and-mydisk-software-suite-" target="_blank">press release</a> on its website, saying it will unveil "ultra high-speed" SSDs featuring True Speed Technology.</p> <p>"TrueSpeed is a technology that works to prevent the drastic write speed degradation that can occur with SSDs and delivers highly stabilized long-term performance, which provides enterprise, corporate, and OEM customers with a real-world performance advantage," Lite-On explained.</p> <p>Chinese-language website <a href="https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.expreview.com%2F37760.html&amp;edit-text=&amp;act=url" target="_blank"><em>expreview.com</em></a> tipped the can all the way over and spilled the rest of the beans. If the site's information proves accurate, Lite-On's first consumer SSD will be called Zeta. It will use Hynix 16nm MLC flash memory and come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. All three will offer up to 520MB/s read transfers, while write speeds will be rated at up to 150MB/s for the 128GB model, 290MB/s for the 256GB model, and 430MB/s for the 512MB model.</p> <p>Lite-On isn't going after the speed crown obviously, and instead is focusing on price. While it's early, pricing at the moment looks to convert to around $71 (128GB), $129 (256GB) and $258 (512GB) -- respectable, though not spectacular by any means. Here's crossing our fingers that domestic and street pricing end up a bit lower.</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/lite-_unveil_zeta_solid_state_drive_consumers_ces_2014#comments Build a PC CES consumer electronics show Hardware Lite-on solid state drive ssd storage zeta News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:11:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29100 at http://www.maximumpc.com First Images of Broadwell-based Intel NUC Kits Emerge http://www.maximumpc.com/first_images_broadwell-based_intel_nuc_kits_emerge690 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Official announcement likely at CES 2015</h3> <p>The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just around the corner and, if some recent reports are to be believed, so is the <strong>announcement of a new generation of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range of pint-sized PC kits and boards</strong>. A <a href="http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html" target="_blank">bunch of images</a> said to show next-generation NUC units quietly appeared on Intel’s own website <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/overview.html" target="_blank">late last month</a>, where they sat unnoticed until the folks over at ComputerBase.de stumbled on them a few days back.</p> <p><img src="/files/u46168/intel-nuc-broadwell.jpg" alt="NUC Maple Canyon Kit Flanked by Rock Canyon Systems" title="NUC Rock Canyon and Maple Canyon Systems" width="620" height="272" /></p> <p>These new NUC systems are said to be built around the chipmaker’s 14nm Broadwell chips. According to reporting by <a href="http://www.computerbase.de/2014-12/mini-pc-nuc-mit-broadwell-auf-intel-webseite-entdeckt/" target="_blank">ComputerBase.de</a> and <a href="http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-nuc-2-0-rock-canyon-broadwell-system-images-posted-intel_155157" target="_blank">LegitReviews</a>,&nbsp; the two models seen occupying the flanks in the above pic are both “Rock Canyon” (codename) systems aimed at the consumer market, whereas the one in the middle is a “Maple Canyon” (codename) thin client meant for business users. Further, a second image is said to show a Rock Canyon board.</p> <h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/intel-rock-canyon.png" alt="NUC ROCK CANYON" title="NUC ROCK CANYON" width="620" height="349" /></h3> <p>The two Rock Canyon models seen in the first picture are said to measure 115mm x 111mm, with the one on the left reportedly having a height of 29.8mm and the taller one on the left about 48.55mm. Based on the images, we are looking at mini PCs with enough room for four USB 3.0 ports (including one with charging support), M.2 SSD slot, SATA III 6Gbps slot, mini HDMI, mini DisplayPort,&nbsp; Ethernet (Maple Canyon only), 802.11ac WiFi support (Rock Canyon) and dual-channel memory slots.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/first_images_broadwell-based_intel_nuc_kits_emerge690#comments Barebone broadwell CES ces 2015 Hardware htpc intel maple canyon mini pc motherboard nuc rock canyon News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:11:47 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29086 at http://www.maximumpc.com Corsair Coughs Up Pricing Details for Neutron XT SSD Series http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_coughs_pricing_details_neutron_xt_ssd_series_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/corsair_building_0.jpg" alt="Corsair Building" title="Corsair Building" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />High performance drives at mid-range price points</h3> <p>It's been about a month since Corsair first began showing off its Neutron XT solid state drive family, and at the time, the company wasn't ready to talk about pricing details. That's a secret Corsair can't keep forever -- the drives are reportedly supposed to launch to public in the coming weeks -- so last night, <strong>Corsair spilled the beans on how much its Neutron XT SSD line will street for</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.legitreviews.com/corsair-releases-neutron-xt-ssd-series-pricing_155147" target="_blank">According to <em>Legit Reviews</em></a>, Corsair let it be known that the Neutron XT 240GB will go for $150, which breaks down to about $0.62 percent gigabyte. The 480GB and 960GB capacities will go for $270 and $540, respectively, both of which check in at around $0.56 per gigabyte.</p> <p>The prices compare favorably to Samsung's new 850 Pro SSD line available in 1TB ($.60 per gigabyte), 512GB ($0.66 per gigabyte), and 256GB ($0.68 per gigabyte) capacities, and offer similar performance metrics.</p> <p>Corsair's Neutron XT line uses a new Phison PS-3110-S10 controller paired with Toshiba A19nm MLC NAND flash memory. The combination results in up to 560MB/s read and 540MB/s write performance, along with 100,000 IOPS read an 90,000 IOPs write.</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_coughs_pricing_details_neutron_xt_ssd_series_2014#comments Build a PC corsair Hardware neutron xt solid state drive ssd storage News Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:53:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 29082 at http://www.maximumpc.com Seagate Preps 8TB Hard Drive for Shipment, Bargain Priced at $260 http://www.maximumpc.com/seagate_preps_8tb_hard_drive_shipment_bargain_priced_260_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/seagate_8tb_archive_hdd.jpg" alt="Seagate 8TB Archive HDD" title="Seagate 8TB Archive HDD" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Mass storage at just 3 cents per gigabyte</h3> <p>Solid state drives (SSD) are where it's at in terms of performance, but the reason they can't shove mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs) out of the market is because of price. Even after NAND flash memory took a nose dive, the price-per-gigabyte of an HDD is far superior to that of an SDD, and when <strong>Seagate's 8TB ships</strong>, that fact will be will be underscored, highlighted, bolded, and everything else.</p> <p><a href="http://www.extremetech.com/computing/195543-seagates-first-shingled-hard-drives-now-shipping-8tb-for-just-260" target="_blank">According to <em>ExtremeTech</em></a>, the <a href="http://www.seagate.com/products/enterprise-servers-storage/nearline-storage/archive-hdd/" target="_blank">8TB drive</a> will launch with a price of $260, presumably MSRP. Folks, that breaks down to mere pennies per gigabyte -- just over 3 cents to be exact. On top of that, you get a three-year warranty, low power consumption, NCQ support, self-encryption, and other goodies.</p> <p>The drive is really intended for cloud storage chores. It uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology, has a SATA 6Gbps interface, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring, 128MB of cache, and a 5,900 RPM spindle speed. It's being billed as an "Archive Hard Drive," which essentially trades performance for reliable and cheap storage.</p> <p>Though they're intended for cloud chores, retailers will soon offer them to home consumers. As it stands, it looks like they'll be available to purchase next month.</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/seagate_preps_8tb_hard_drive_shipment_bargain_priced_260_2014#comments 8tb Build a PC Hard Drive Hardware HDD seagate storage News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:12:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 29077 at http://www.maximumpc.com Razer's Seirēn Microphone Promises Studio Grade Recording for Podcasts http://www.maximumpc.com/razers_seir%C4%93n_microphone_promises_studio_grade_recording_podcasts_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_seiren.jpg" alt="Razer Seiren" title="Razer Seiren" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />A plug-and-play digital microphone for superior recordings</h3> <p>It's been interesting to see Razer evolve over the years, branching out into new product categories rather than getting too comfortable in a singular category. Of course, gaming mice are still the company's bread and butter, but its product line has grown in multiple different directions. The <strong>latest product from Razer is the Seirēn, a plug-and-play digital microphone</strong> that's supposed to offer studio-grade recordings.</p> <p>The microphone features a multi-pattern USB digital connection that's capable of four different recording pattern configurations with three custom-tuned 14mm condenser capsules. According to Razer, this is what makes the Seirēn a perfect fit for professional musicians, streamers, and YouTube stars who need superior recording quality than what they're getting from the chintzy microphones picked up on a blue-light special in K-Mart.</p> <p>By rotating the main control knob, users can switch between four different recording patterns -- Cardoid, Stereo, Bidirectional, and Omnidirectional. There's also a built-in headphone amplifier for zero latency, real-time accurate monitoring of recordings to ensure things sound the way you want them to.</p> <p>In terms of the technical details, here you go:</p> <ul> <li>Power required / consumption: 5 V / 500 mA (USB)</li> <li>Sample rate: 192 kHz</li> <li>Bit rate: 24 bit</li> <li>Capsules: 3 x 14 mm condenser capsules</li> <li>Polar patterns: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, bi-directional</li> <li>Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz</li> <li>Sensitivity: 4.5 mV / Pa (1 kHz)</li> <li>Max SPL: 120 dB (THD: 0.5% 1 kHz)</li> <li>Headphone amplifier</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Impedance: &gt; 16 Ω</li> <li>Power output (RMS): 130 mW THD: 0.009%</li> <li>Frequency response: 15 Hz – 22 kHz</li> <li>Signal-to-noise ratio: 114 dB</li> </ul> <p>The Razer Seirēn is available to <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-seiren" target="_blank">pre-order for $180</a> and ships December 19th. You can also purchase a stock mount accessory ($50) and pop filter accessory ($50), both of which are Razer Store exclusives. Alternately, Razer is selling a <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-seiren-bundle" target="_blank">professional bundle</a> for $230.</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/razers_seir%C4%93n_microphone_promises_studio_grade_recording_podcasts_2014#comments Hardware microphone Peripherals razer recording Seirēn News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:06:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 29076 at http://www.maximumpc.com Digital Storm 'Eclipse' Shines Light on Slim Form Factor Gaming PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/digital_storm_eclipse_shines_light_slim_form_factor_gaming_pcs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/digital_storm_eclipse.jpg" alt="Digital Storm Eclipse" title="Digital Storm Eclipse" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />A toned down version of the Bolt II</h3> <p>Boutique system builder <strong>Digital Storm today unveiled its new Eclipse small form factor (SFF) gaming PC</strong>. It's essentially the poor man's Bolt II. Checking in at about half the price of a Bolt II, the Eclipse is intended to "offer a premium gaming experience at an affordable price," and to accomplish that, Digital Storm took a more value-oriented approach to the system's component selection.</p> <p>"Eclipse fills a gap in the PC gaming market," said Harjit Chana, Chief Brand Officer, Digital Storm. "There are multiple high-end SFF systems like our own Bolt II, but fewer mainstream options focused on an affordable HD gaming experience."</p> <p>Pre-built Eclipse systems start at $699, which gets you a Level 1 (Good) configuration consisting of an Intel Pentium CPU that's unlocked, H97 chipset motherboard, 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R7 260X graphics card, 1TB HDD (7200 RPM), and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>A Level 2 (Better) system runs $899 and upgrades the CPU and GPU to an Intel Core i3 4350 and AMD Radeon R9 270X, respectively, while the Level 3 (Best) system bumps both up to an Intel Core i5 4590 and Nvidia GTX 760 for $999.</p> <p>Final, the Level 4 (Ultimate) configuration runs $1,299 and kicks things up a notch in nearly every area, including an upgrade to a Z97 chipset motherboard. It also features an Intel Core i5 4690K CPU, GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, 120GB Samsung Evo SSD, 1TB HDD, and DVD burner.</p> <p>The Digital Storm Eclipse is <a href="http://www.digitalstormonline.com/eclipse.asp" target="_blank">available now</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/digital_storm_eclipse_shines_light_slim_form_factor_gaming_pcs_2014#comments Digital Storm eclipse Gaming Hardware OEM rigs News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:00:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29074 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cougar 500K Gaming Keyboard Takes Swipe at Membrane Market http://www.maximumpc.com/cougar_500k_gaming_keyboard_takes_swipe_membrane_market_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cougar_500k.jpg" alt="Cougar 500K" title="Cougar 500K" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Pro gamer functions of the Cougar 700K at a lower price</h3> <p><strong>Cougar today announced its 500K Gaming Keyboard</strong>. In doing so, the company piled on the hype pretty high as to why its new membrane plank is roughly on par with mechanical keyboards that have become so popular today, but at a lower cost. One of the reasons Cougar makes that claim is because the 500K is supposedly "one of the extremely few real N-Key Rollover membrane keyboards" available.</p> <p>"When it comes to features and functionality, the 500K is the best membrane keyboard currently available. For a start, being an N-Key Rollover membrane keyboard it outclasses all the non-NKRO keyboards and competes directly with high end mechanical keyboards. Apart from doing away with the precision gap between membrane and mechanical keyboards, the 500K also includes a whole set of premium gaming-oriented features," Cougar explains.</p> <p>I'm pretty big on mechanical keyboards myself, though I'm not ready to dismiss Cougar's claims outright. While few and far between, there do exist higher end membrane planks that rival the feel of mechanical key switches. Whether or not this is one of them is something only a hands-on evaluation can determine.</p> <p>In any event, the 500K sports the same layout as Cougar's 700K, which includes 6 fully customizable G-keys and dedicated keys for recording macros. Other features include profile switching, backlight control, Windows key lock, and a detachable palm rest.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability.</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/cougar_500k_gaming_keyboard_takes_swipe_membrane_market_2014#comments 500k cougar Gaming Hardware keyboard Peripherals News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:35:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 29073 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Pairs GeForce GTX 750 Graphics Card with Passive Cooler http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_pairs_geforce_gtx_750_graphics_card_passive_cooler_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_geforce_gtx_750_passive.jpg" alt="Asus GeForce GTX 750 Passive" title="Asus GeForce GTX 750 Passive" width="228" height="207" style="float: right;" />Keep it hush</h3> <p>Do you know what's a great sound when you pass by a home theater PC, or really any type of system for that matter? Trick question -- the answer is nothing, which is what you expect to hear from a silently configured computer. To help you build one, <strong>Asus has released a passively cooled version of the GeForce GTX 750</strong> (GTX750-DCSL-2GD5), or at least it's going to. There's a product page for the card on the company's website, just no press release or domestic retailer listing (yet) that we can find.</p> <p>We stumbled upon the card over at <a href="http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/36517-asus-silently-introduces-new-passive-gtx-750" target="_blank"><em>Fudzilla</em></a>, a news and rumor site that itself credits Chinese-language website <a href="http://www.expreview.com/37601.html" target="_blank"><em>Expreview.com</em></a> for first spotting the card. Between the three of us, we've been unable to locate the card selling online in the U.S., though we expect that to change in the near-term considering there exists an official product page and at least one overseas listing.</p> <p>The GeForce GTX 750 is essentially a somewhat gimped version of the Nvidia's Maxwell GM107 GPU with 512 CUDA cores. Asus stuck with Nvidia's reference parameters by keeping the base and boost clocks at 1020MHz and 1085MHz, respectively. The card also boasts <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">1GB</span> 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 5010MHz on a 128-bit bus, resulting in 80Gbps of memory bandwidth.</p> <p>So it's a standard GTX 750, in other words, but with a fanless DirectCU Silent cooler that Asus claims lowers temps by 16 percent compared to "conventional passive cards," though there's no mention of how it compares to Nvidia's reference cooler. Cooling is also aided by "exclusively formulated" premium alloys in power delivery components, Asus says.</p> <p>No word on price in the U.S., though the non-passive version from Asus streets for around $115 to $125.</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_pairs_geforce_gtx_750_graphics_card_passive_cooler_2014#comments asus Build a PC cooling directcu ii geforce gtx 750 graphics card Hardware silent computing Video Card News Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:36:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 29068 at http://www.maximumpc.com