Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en EVGA Bundles Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight with GeForce GTX 980 and 970 http://www.maximumpc.com/evga_bundles_witcher_3_and_arkham_knight_geforce_gtx_980_and_970 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/witcher_batman.jpg" alt="Witcher and Batman" title="Witcher and Batman" width="228" height="183" style="float: right;" />Free games, anyone?</h3> <p>We have to hand it to graphics cards players -- they've been pretty good about bundling high-end titles with their cards over the last couple of years. That doesn't just apply to Nvidia and AMD, but their hardware partners as well. Case in point, <strong>EVGA today announced that for a limited time, qualifying GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce 970 graphics cards will be eligible to receive The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Batman: Arkham Knight</strong>.</p> <p>As always with these sorts of promotions, they apply to specific SKUs. You also must make your purchase either direct from EVGA's website or a participating etailer. You can find a list of qualifying cards <a href="http://www.evga.com/articles/00931/The-Witcher-3-and-Batman-Arkham-Knight/" target="_blank">here</a>, along with instructions on how to obtain and redeem your free game codes. Additionally, you can find a list of <a href="http://www.geforce.com/games-applications/pc-games/the-witcher-3-wild-hunt/bundle" target="_blank">participating etailers here</a>, just make sure to double check the model number.</p> <p>The offer is good for purchases made on or after today, May 5th, and while supplies last. And if you're not looking to jump up to a GTX 980 or GTX 970, you can still score The Witcher 3 with the purchase of a GeForce GTX 960, details of which can be found <a href="http://www.evga.com/articles/00915/The-Witcher-3/#collect" target="_blank">here</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/evga_bundles_witcher_3_and_arkham_knight_geforce_gtx_980_and_970#comments Batman: Arkham Knight Build a PC evga games geforce gtx 970 geforce gtx 980 graphics card Hardware the witcher 3: wild hunt Video Card News Tue, 05 May 2015 20:35:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29829 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Releases Surface 3 Tablet, Offers Up to $150 Trade-In for Older Models http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_releases_surface_3_tablet_offers_150_trade-_older_models_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_3_1.jpg" alt="Surface 3" title="Surface 3" width="228" height="116" style="float: right;" />A shiney new Surface</h3> <p><strong>Surface 3 (non-Pro) is Microsoft's thinnest and lightest Surface tablet ever, and it's now available to purchase in the U.S.</strong> and several other territories, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. Pricing starts at $499, though you can knock up to $150 off the cost by trading in your Surface 2 or Surface RT, so long as it's in working order.</p> <p>The amount you get in trade-in depends on which model you're trading in. All working Surface RT slates command $100 in trade-in value, regardless of whether they're equipped with 32GB or 64GB of storage. And all Surface RT models go for $150. Microsoft's offer doesn't increase if you include a Type Cover or Type Keyboard, so you're better off hawking those on eBay or Craigslist.</p> <p>Surface 3 is a toned down version of the Surface 3 Pro. It's more tablet than laptop, whereas you could argue the reverse for the latter (at least when pairing it with a keyboard). The models that are available now include:</p> <ul> <li>Surface 3 w/ 2GB RAM, 64GB storage, Wi-Fi ($499)</li> <li>Surface 3 w/ 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, Wi-Fi ($599)</li> </ul> <p>Surface 3 features a 10.8-inch display with a Full HD 1080p resolution, 3-position kickstand, quad-core Intel Atom processor, full-size USB 3.0 port, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader, headset jack, cover port, micro USB charging port, and Windows 8.1. Models with 4G LTE connectivity baked in are "coming soon," with no mention of price just yet.</p> <p>For the sake of comparison, the Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display with a 2160x1440 resolution, multi-position kickstand, Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor options, the same collection of inputs/outputs (save for the micro USB charging port), and Windows 8.1 pro. Battery life is slightly less at 9 hours versus 10 hours.</p> <p>If you're a student, parent of a student, or faculty member, you can save 10 percent by shopping through Microsoft's <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/edu?redirect=/store/msusa%2Fen_US%2Fpdp%2FSurface-3%2FproductID.314885500&amp;Icid=EDU_pdp_offer%20text_082214" target="_blank">Education Store</a>. For everyone else, you can <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/products/surface-3" target="_blank">go here</a> to order a Surface 3 at regular pricing. Trade-in site is <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/All-Surface/categoryID.69758400" target="_blank">found here</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/microsoft_releases_surface_3_tablet_offers_150_trade-_older_models_2015#comments Hardware microsoft slate Surface 3 tablet News Tue, 05 May 2015 16:22:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 29828 at http://www.maximumpc.com Mushkin Expands Reactor Series SSD Capacity Options http://www.maximumpc.com/mushkin_expands_reactor_series_ssd_capacity_options_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/mushkin_reactor_0.jpg" alt="Mushkin Reactor" title="Mushkin Reactor" width="228" height="101" style="float: right;" />New capacities and a new contest</h3> <p><strong>Mushkin seems awfully excited about the expansion of its Reactor Series solid state drive line</strong>, which in addition to its existing 1TB capacity option, will soon be made available in 256GB and 512GB capacities. To celebrate the new SKUs and perhaps earn some street cred in the crowded SSD market, Mushkin is also holding a contest where the main prize is a Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC.</p> <p>First let's talk about the drives. The Reactor SSD family uses Silicon Motion's SM2246EN controller and is equipped with a SATA 6Gbps interface. Rated sequential read and write speeds are up to 560MB/s and 460MB/s, respectively, along with up to 74,000 IOPS for random 4K reads and up to 76,000 IOPS for random 4K writes. Note that those are the performance figures for the 1TB capacity -- Mushkin hasn't said whether the 256GB and 512GB drives will boast the same metrics.</p> <p>As far as the 1TB drive goes, it's reasonably priced on <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&amp;DEPA=0&amp;Order=BESTMATCH&amp;Description=mushkin+REACTOR&amp;N=-1&amp;isNodeId=1" target="_blank">Newegg at $340</a>, or 34 cents per gigabyte. Pricing for the lower capacity drives hasn't yet been announced.</p> <p>Now, about that contest.</p> <p>"To celebrate the expansion of our very popular Reactor SSD starting May 1, 2015, gaming fans can enter our Ghost Recon Phantoms Sweepstakes for a chance to win up a custom built Mushkin Extreme Gaming PC and much more," said Nicolas Villalobos, Director of Global Marketing at Mushkin Inc. "As part of the celebration fans who purchase select Mushkin products through Newegg.com will also receive a Ghost Recon Phantoms $30 Value game code – free"</p> <p>There are several prizes up for grabs, including various gaming gear from Razer and DXRACER. You can read the <a href="http://poweredbymushkin.com/GhostReconPhantoms/index.php/extensions" target="_blank">official rules here</a> and enter for a <a href="http://poweredbymushkin.com/GhostReconPhantoms/index.php/enter-now" target="_blank">chance to win here</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/mushkin_expands_reactor_series_ssd_capacity_options_2015#comments Build a PC Hardware mushkin Reactor solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 05 May 2015 15:51:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29827 at http://www.maximumpc.com Falcon Northwest's Tiny Tiki PC Feasts on 18-Core Xeon E5-2699 V3 CPU http://www.maximumpc.com/falcon_northwests_tiny_tiki_pc_feasts_18-core_xeon_e5-2699_v3_cpu <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tiki_pc.jpg" alt="Falcon Northwest Tiki PC" title="Falcon Northwest Tiki PC" width="228" height="194" style="float: right;" />Small form factor PC gets new 6-core and 8-core CPU options</h3> <p>There was a day when the size of your desktop was a pretty good indicator of the performance inside, or at least potential performance. That's all gone out the window lately with the emergence of high performance small form factor (SFF) PCs, some of which are specifically intended for living room gaming. Enter <strong>Falcon Northwest and its 4-inch wide Tiki PC, an SFF that can now be configured with Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition and Xeon E5-2699 V3 processor options</strong> for up to 18 cores of computing muscle.</p> <p>Support for Intel's Core i7 5000 Series and mighty Xeon processor come courtesy of an option to configure a Tiki PC around the Santa Clara chip maker's X99 chipset, though a top-end CPU is only the beginning. If your pockets are overflowing with cash and weighing you down (a problem we'd all like to have), you can configure a Tiki PC with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and a fast graphics card like Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan X.</p> <p>"Tiki is proving once more that the micro-tower is the size and shape of PCs of the future," said Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest. "While Tiki has remained unchanged at 4 inches wide and 13 inches tall, its power-per-cubic inch has skyrocketed. This latest leap has doubled its maximum memory capacity, and more than quadrupled its CPU core count. With 8 Terabytes of internal drive storage capacity and 4K-capable graphics, there are now very few scenarios when a system larger than a Tiki is actually necessary for most users."</p> <p>Configuring a Tiki PC based on Intel's X97 chipset starts at $1,858 while an X99 foundation begins at $2,490. We went a little crazy and spec'd out a loaded system consisting of the aforementioned Xeon chip and 32GB of DDR4 RAM, plus a painted case, Titan X graphics card, 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD (RAID), 6TB Western Digital Red HDD, Blu-ray burner, SilverStone 600W modular PSU, and Windows 8.1 Professional. The finally tally? Almost ten grand ($9,830). Dream big, right?</p> <p>There are also Quadro graphics card options if you're looking to be a small but potent workstation (the Tiki PC has dual LAN ports, eSATA, USB 3.1 connectivity, and Ultra M.2 PCI Express x4 storage support). And come this fall, Falcon Northwest will offer the Tiki in official Steam Machine variants.</p> <p>In the meantime, upgraded Tiki PC options based on Intel's X99 chipset are <a href="http://www.falcon-nw.com/configure-falcon" 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/falcon_northwests_tiny_tiki_pc_feasts_18-core_xeon_e5-2699_v3_cpu#comments Core i7-5960X Extreme falcon northwest Hardware micro tower rigs sff Small Form Factor tiki Xeon E5-2699 V3 News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:59:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29813 at http://www.maximumpc.com MSI Dangles Prestige Series Laptops in Front of Creative Professionals http://www.maximumpc.com/msi_dangles_prestige_series_laptops_front_creative_professionals_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_prestige.jpg" alt="MSI Prestige" title="MSI Prestige" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />Look at the colors!</h3> <p>If your livelihood depends on a display with accurate color reproduction, then not just any old monitor will do. The same applies to laptops, and <strong>according to MSI, it's new Prestige Series with True Color Technology offers more lifelike and balanced images than you'll see on other laptop panels</strong>. That's because it goes through a calibration processor that adjusts the screen's color temperature, visible color range, and gray level stage.</p> <p>We're weary of such claims, especially when taking into account the $1,200 starting price. That's for the 15.6-inch model with a Full HD 1080p resolution, Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 12GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM), Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Killer Gaming Network, DVD burner, memory card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, 720p HD webcam, four 2W speakers, and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>There's also a 17.3-inch model that's spec'd nearly the same, save for more RAM (16GB), that costs $1,300. Both are decent configurations for the money, which makes us question if the panel is truly professional grade.</p> <p>"MSI’s Prestige Series laptops showcases 6 different color profiles to maximize performance; sRGB default mode for optimum graphics, Gamer to increase brightness, Designer with increased clarity for ultra-clear lines, Anti-Blue to reduce harmful blue light, Movie to optimize contrast for even more vivid graphics, and Office to minimizes eye strain after long term use," MSI says.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/msi_prestige_angle.jpg" alt="MSI Prestige Angled" title="MSI Prestige Angled" width="620" height="381" /></p> <p>Alternatively, you can connect up to three external monitors simultaneously at 4K resolution via mini DisplayPort and HDMI.</p> <p>Both the PE70 2QD-062US (17.3-inch) and PE60 2QD-060US (15.6-inch) Prestige laptops are supposed to be available now. The ones we found online were out of stock, though that should change soon.</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/msi_dangles_prestige_series_laptops_front_creative_professionals_2015#comments Hardware laptop msi notebook OEM Prestige rigs News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:33:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 29810 at http://www.maximumpc.com NZXT Noctis 450 Adds a Glow to Mid-Tower Case Market http://www.maximumpc.com/nzxt_noctis_450_adds_glow_mid-tower_case_market_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nzxt_noctis_450.jpg" alt="NZXT Noctis 450" title="NZXT Noctis 450" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Bringing the bling</h3> <p>When NZXT partnered with Razer to build a special version of the H440, one of the standout characteristics was that it had a green underglow. Turns out you're going to see more of that, at least from <strong>NZXT, which added an underglow to its newly announced Noctis 450 mid-tower case</strong>. This is in addition to NZXT's "signature" I/O LEDs, and to accommodate the additional lighting, NZXT updated the lighting switch to allow for multi-step adjustments.</p> <p>Beyond the LED bling, NZXT focused its efforts on cooling. So-called floating panels on the top of the case purportedly offer 10 times more ventilation surface area compared to the H440. It also has a built-in PWM fan hub that supports up to 8 case fans. Users can connect the PWM fan hub to their motherboard or to a Kraken product and adjust fan profiles.</p> <p>NZXT starts you off with three 120mm fans in the front and a 140mm in the rear. You can add more from there, or slap up to a 360mm radiator for liquid cooling.</p> <p>Other features found in the Noctis 450 include a fully modular hard drive system, SSD mounts, and a power supply shroud that's supposed to make hiding unsightly cables as easy as it was shoving toys under your bed as a kid.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.nzxt.com/product/detail/154-n450-noctis-gaming-mid-tower.html" target="_blank">NZXT Noctis 450</a> is available now for $140 MSRP in black and red or white and black color 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/nzxt_noctis_450_adds_glow_mid-tower_case_market_2015#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware mid-tower Noctis 450 nzxt News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 13:08:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29808 at http://www.maximumpc.com HyperX Releases Mean Looking Savage SSD Line Into the Wild http://www.maximumpc.com/hyperx_releases_mean_looking_savage_ssd_line_wild_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hyperx_savage_ssd.jpg" alt="HyperX Savage SSD" title="HyperX Savage SSD" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />A Savage solution to storage</h3> <p><strong>Kingston's HyperX division has begun selling its Savage line of solid state drives</strong> that we first spied at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. These drives combine a SATA 6Gbps interface with the Phison S10 quad-core, eight-channel controller for high read and write speeds, though clearly HyperX is also hoping to win consumers over with aesthetics.</p> <p>The drives sport a red steel and aluminum case that looks somewhat aggressive, though unless you have a case that's capable of showing off SSDs, it becomes a see-it-once-and-forget-it kind of deal. Nevertheless, maybe blinged out SSDs are the future -- remember <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_730_series_ssd_480gb_review" target="_blank">Intel's 730 Series</a> with a skull graphic?</p> <p>Getting to what matters most, here's a look at capacity and performance options:</p> <ul> <li>120GB: 520MB/s read, 350MB/s write (100,000 random 4K read IOPS, 84,000 random 4K write IOPS)</li> <li>240GB: 520MB/s read, 510MB/s write (100,000 random 4K read IOPS, 89,000 random 4K write IOPS)</li> <li>480GB: 520MB/s read, 500MB/s write (100,000 random 4K read IOPS, 88,000 random 4K write IOPS)</li> <li>960GB: 520MB/s read, 490MB/s write (99,000 random 4K read IOPS, 89,000 random 4K write IOPS)</li> </ul> <p>Not the fastest we've ever seen in SATA 6Gbps territory, though still peppy.</p> <p>The 7mm-high drives are available now, both as standalone offerings and in upgrade bundle kits. Pricing on Kingston's website is set at $130 (120GB), $219 (240GB), $444 (480GB), and $929 (960GB). Word to the wise -- prices are significantly cheaper on the street</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/hyperx_releases_mean_looking_savage_ssd_line_wild_2015#comments Build a PC Hardware hyperX Kingston savage solid state drive ssd storage News Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:13:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 29805 at http://www.maximumpc.com LG Makes Fashion Statement with Leather Clad G4 Smartphone http://www.maximumpc.com/lg_makes_fashion_statement_leather_clad_g4_smartphone_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lg_g4.jpg" alt="LG G4" title="LG G4" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />LG's new flagship phone</h3> <p>It's been an interesting past few months in mobile as handset makers come out with new flagship devices, each with unique features. There was Apple with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the largest iPhone models to date; Samsung with its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the latter with a curved edge display; and now the <strong>LG G4 is official, complete with a curved display and leather backside</strong>.</p> <p>After months of leaked photos and speculation, LG finally unveiled its much anticipated G4 smartphone today at events in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Istanbul, and Seoul. As such, we can finally confirm the specs, which include a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display (2560x1440, 538ppi), Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of LPDDDR3 RAM, 32GB of internal storage + microSD card slot, 8-megapixel front camera, 16-megapixel rear camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Blueooth 4.1LE, NFC support, USB 2.0, 3,000mAh removable battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop.</p> <p>The handset measures 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3-9.8mm and features a Slim Arc design that runs along its entire body, adding a subtle curve to the display. Over on the backside what LG says is handcrafted, genuine full grain leather available in half a dozen color options.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/lg_g4_phones.jpg" alt="LG G4 Phones" title="LG G4 Phones" width="620" height="163" /></p> <p>As with many smartphone makers these days, LG is really emphasizing the rear camera. It features a wide f1.3 aperture lens that allows 80 percent more light to reach the sensor. It also benefits from second generation Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) technology that expands the range of image stabilization from one degree to two degrees on the X and Y axis, while also adding a third axis. And if you really know what you're doing, there's a new manual mode that allows owners to adjust the focus, shutter speed, ISO, exposure, and white balance, and save photos in RAW format.</p> <p>LG plans to launch the G4 on all major carriers in the U.S. at the end of May or early June. No word yet on pricing.</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/lg_makes_fashion_statement_leather_clad_g4_smartphone_2015#comments android G4 Hardware LG mobile smartphone News Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:45:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 29804 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Starts Shipping Fancy Zenbook Pro UX501 Ultrabook with 4K Display http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_starts_shipping_fancy_zenbook_pro_ux501_ultrabook_4k_display <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_zenbook_pro_ux501.jpg" alt="Asus Zenbook Pro UX501" title="Asus Zenbook Pro UX501" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />May cause MacBook Pro owners to have buyer's remorse</h3> <p>Asus last month announced its Zenbook Pro UX501, a sexy looking laptop that many are comparing to the MacBook Pro. Of course, the Zenbook Pro UX501 runs Windows 8.1, but that's not the only difference. Arguably the highlight of the laptop is its 4K Ultra HD (3,840x2,160) In-Plane Switching (IPS) display that boasts 100 percent sRGB color coverage. There's a bit more to drool over, and most important of all, <strong>Asus has begun shipping the <a href="http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ZenBook_Pro_UX501" target="_blank">Zenbook Pro UX501</a> in the U.S. today</strong>.</p> <p>This is a 15.6-inch Ultrabook measuring just 0.81 inches thick. The model that should appear on store shelves soon boasts an Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 512GB PCIe solid state drive, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 720p webcam, three USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt port, HDMI output, 2-in-1 memory card reader, and backlit keyboard.</p> <p>From the pictures we've seen, it's a nice looking notebook with a spun-metal finish that's supposed to echo the spirit of Zen. It also has diamond-cut highlights and brushed-metal surfaces with a ripple-effect pattern that's laser engraved on the lid.</p> <p>Hopefully we can get this one in for evaluation soon, as the collection of hardware seems solid. Speaking of which, that PCIe SSD? It's rated to deliver read and write speeds of up to 1,400MB/s -- snazzy!</p> <p>As the price, world on the web is it will go for $1,799</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_starts_shipping_fancy_zenbook_pro_ux501_ultrabook_4k_display#comments asus Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs ultrabook Zenbook Pro UX501 News Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:14:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 29803 at http://www.maximumpc.com Lenovo's ThinkCentre Chromebox Targets Education and Small Businesses http://www.maximumpc.com/lenovos_thinkcentre_chromebox_targets_education_and_small_businesses_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/thinkcentre_chromebox_monitor.jpg" alt="Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox and Tiny-in-One" title="Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox and Tiny-in-One" width="228" height="202" style="float: right;" />First Chromebox to support to Lenovo's Tiny-in-One display</h3> <p>Is there room for Google's Chrome OS in the mini PC market? <strong>Lenovo aims to find out by launching its ThinkCentre Chromebox</strong>, a system purposely designed for education and small business users looking to live high in the cloud. For those users, the ThinkCentre Chrombox offers a compact and relatively affordable system that's ready to rock in Google's ecosystem.</p> <p>One thing that's unique about the ThinkCentre Chromebox is that it's the only Chromebox in the world that can hook up to Lenovo's <a href="http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/thinkcentre/m-series-tiny/m223l/#tab-features" target="_blank">ThinkCentre Tiny-in-One</a>, which is essentially a 23-inch monitor with a Full HD 1080p resolution. It features a 5ms response time, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 250 cd/m2 brightness, Kensington Lock Slot, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a mini USB 2.0 port, audio output, and a few other bullet points.</p> <p>The pitch from Lenovo is that you can attach the two devices together for an instant 23-inch all-in-one solution. Otherwise, you can use the Chromebox on its own. The device measures 7 inches (H) by 1.4 inches (W) by 7.2 inches (D). It has four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, microphone/headphone combo jack, and Ethernet connectivity.</p> <p>Oddly enough, there's no mention of the hardware and features in the <a href="http://news.lenovo.com/article_display.cfm?instance_code=Lenovo&amp;article_id=1967" target="_blank">press release</a> or on the <a href="http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/desktops/thinkcentre/m-series-tiny/chromebox/" target="_blank">product page</a>, just that it will be available in June starting at $199; the Tiny-in-One is available now for $279.</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/lenovos_thinkcentre_chromebox_targets_education_and_small_businesses_2015#comments chrome os Hardware lenovo OEM rigs ThinkCentre Chromebox News Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:30:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 29799 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer to Attack Gaming Market with Predator Line of PC Products http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_attack_gaming_market_predator_line_pc_products <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_building.jpg" alt="Acer" title="Acer" width="228" height="161" style="float: right;" />Laptops and desktops and monitors, oh my!</h3> <p>The last Predator product I remember seeing from Acer was the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/adopt_acer_predator_ag3_series_desktop_starting_1000">Predator AG3 Series desktop</a>, a configurable machine that entered the U.S. market a couple of years ago with a starting price of $1,000. I don't think the line gained much traction, though Acer isn't giving up on the brand. Instead, <strong>Acer's getting ready to release several Predator brand products</strong>, including a laptop, desktop, monitor, and even a tablet.</p> <p>According to <em>Digitimes</em>, Acer put together a task force to develop related products and also support professional gamers. Presumably the idea is to build brand exposure for its Predator line, which apparently will also include motherboards. This will be an ongoing thing for Acer, with product updates every two to three months.</p> <p>Some of these products have already been captured on camera. If you head over to <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/23/8482765/acer-predator-gaming-desktop-laptop-tablet-announced-photos" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a>, you'll spy several pics of new Predator systems, all of which are clearly aimed at gamers with aggressive angles and loud styling. The desktop especially stands out with a design that you'll either love or hate (I doubt there will be much middle ground there).</p> <p>As for the laptops, which will come in both 15-inch and 17-inch form factors, you can see some gaming features, such as a red border around the WASD and arrow keys. Also visible are USB 3.0 ports, gold plated audio jacks, what could be dedicated macro keys (they're blurry), and sizable vents that comprise what Acer calls a "massive" cooling system.</p> <p>There's also a funky looking Predator tablet that appears to have traded thinness for a mean aesthetic. It has four front-facing speakers, and haptic feedback that will shake in your hands while playing games.</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/acer_attack_gaming_market_predator_line_pc_products#comments Acer Desktops display Hardware laptops monitors notebooks OEM predator rigs tablets News Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:41:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 29797 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel's Skylake-S Lineup Reportedly Leaked http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_skylake-s_lineup_reportedly_leaked200 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/skylake_engineering_sample.jpg" alt="Skylake Engineering Sample" title="Skylake Engineering Sample" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Ten Skylake desktop CPUs supposedly outed</h3> <p>It may only have been a few months since the first Broadwell CPUs (finally) hit the market, but Intel is already looking set to move on from the Haswell's troubled 14nm die shrink. Media reports in February suggested that the <strong>chip maker could showcase its 6th generation Skylake-S desktop chips at its IDF conference in August</strong>, a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_rumored_delay_skylake_until_late_august_2015" target="_blank">little later than previously expected</a>. A Chinese website believes it knows which SKUs await us.</p> <p>As previously rumored, the various Skylake-S SKUs supposedly outed by Chinese site <a href="http://benchlife.info/will-support-ddr4-and-ddr3l-10-skylake-model-confirm-and-hand-on-04232015/" target="_blank">Benchlife</a> fall into three broad categories in terms of power consumption: 35W, 65W and 95W. There are 10 SKUs in all, ranging from the power-efficient T series chips to the powerful, unlocked K series CPUs. </p> <p>As you can see in the table below, these are all Core i5 and Core i7 parts with support for DDR4. And as you may be aware, Intel is moving to the new LGA 1151 socket with Skylake; the socket has an extra pin compared to its predecessor, the LGA 1150.</p> <p>Skylake is a "tock" in Intel's tick-tock processor release cadence. In other words, it is a whole new microarchitecture and thus a more substantial upgrade over Haswell than Broadwell, which is simply the latter's 14nm die shrink, or a "tick" in company parlance. If purportedly leaked benchmarks are to be believed, we <a href="http://www.pcfrm.com/intel-i7-6700k-vs-i7-4790k/" target="_blank">could see a 15-percent bump in performance</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/skylake.jpg" width="620" height="226" /></p> <p><em>Image Credit: Benchlife</em></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/intels_skylake-s_lineup_reportedly_leaked200#comments build a rig chip core i5 core i7 Hardware intel k series processor rumor sku skylake t series News Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:33:10 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29793 at http://www.maximumpc.com Thermaltake Rolls Out Line of Radiators for Hardcore Enthusiasts http://www.maximumpc.com/thermaltake_rolls_out_line_radiators_hardcore_enthusiasts_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/thermaltake_radiators.jpg" alt="Thermaltake Radiators" title="Thermaltake Radiators" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Not your average rads</h3> <p><strong>Thermaltake today debuted a full range of radiators</strong> that it claims are all designed for the most demanding and hardcore enthusiasts around. Not to be confused with your run-of-the-mill radiator, Thermaltake's new Pacific RL (over 50mm thickness) and R Series (under 50mm thickness) radiators are designed from high-quality German aerospace-grade materials and constructed with zinc to prevent corrosion, the company says.</p> <p>Are they all that and a bag of sea salt and vinegar kettle potato chips? We're not sure, though Thermaltake's hype machine is certainly in overdrive.</p> <p>"An exceptional manufacturing process using high temperature brazing at 1022℉/550℃ sets Pacific Radiators in a class of their own," Thermaltake explains. "Integrated G1/4-inch threads make it easy to install, while rigid connections ensure they are leak-resistant. With an ideal mounting, fitting and flow set-up, the Thermaltake Pacific Radiator Series is guaranteed to go above and beyond your current cooling standards."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/thermaltake_rad_flow.jpg" alt="Thermaltake Rad Flow" title="Thermaltake Rad Flow" width="620" height="300" /></p> <p>Thermaltake's Pacific RL rads use a dual-row 13-set flat tube design. Water flows down one side and then passes through the bottom chamber en route to the other side. They're available in 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm, 420mm, 480mm, and 560mm radiator lengths.</p> <p>The Pacific R is a bit slimmer than the RL and uses a single 13-set flat tube design. It's available in 120mm, 180mm, 240mm, 360mm, and 540mm sizes.</p> <p>Instead of soldering these rads, Thermaltake says it bakes them through a controlled-atmosphere brazing line. This causes the material to melt into each other, leading to optimal thermal transfer from the tubes to the fins.</p> <p>Here's an interesting look at how they're made:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X2Ad64jBSWM" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No word yet on when they'll be available or for how much.</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/thermaltake_rolls_out_line_radiators_hardcore_enthusiasts_2015#comments Hardware liquid cooling Pacific RL Peripherals R Series Radiator thermaltake water cooling News Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:47:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29784 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer Unveils Curvaceous 34-inch QHD Monitor with Nvidia G-Sync http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_unveils_curvaceous_34-inch_qhd_monitor_nvidia_g-sync_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_xr341cka.jpg" alt="Acer XR341CKA" title="Acer XR341CKA" width="228" height="213" style="float: right;" />Meet the only curved display with G-Sync support</h3> <p>Curved monitors aren't new. Monitor's supporting Nvidia's G-Sync technology aren't new, either. But what is new and so far <strong>exclusive to Acer is a curved monitor with G-Sync baked in, the XR341CKA</strong>. We have to deduct 250 geek points from Acer for not coming up with a better name than that, but otherwise, kudos to the company for venturing into new territory, and in a big way. Literally.</p> <p>By that we mean the XR341CKA is a 34-inch ultra-wide (21:9) curved monitor. It sports an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel and boasts a 3440x1440 (WQHD) resolution with a 178-degree viewing angle. We haven't seen one in person yet, but because it's not a TN panel, you can expect higher quality visuals -- according to Acer, the XR341CKA covers 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is good news for professionals who need a high level of color accuracy.</p> <p>Should you care about a curved display? To each their own, but the pitch is this -- a curved screen puts both sides and all corners of the display at roughly the same distance from the viewer's eyes for a more uniform and immersive viewing experience. It's also supposed to create a wider field of view with an increased perceived area of peripheral vision compared to a flat display.</p> <p>Is it true? Some will say yes, others will say no. The best way you can answer that is to head to your local Best Buy, Sam's Club, or whatever is close by and stand in front of a curved display. Did it change your life and make you soil your shorts with excitement? Gross, but question answered. And if not, well, then for you, it's much ado about nothing.</p> <p>Getting back to the XR341CKA, what we can say is that G-Sync does make a noticeable difference when gaming, in certain situations. So, there's that, plus the benefit of a large, ultra-wide display.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/acer_xr341cka_back.jpg" alt="Acer XR341CKA Back" title="Acer XR341CKA Back" width="620" height="558" /></p> <p>Other features include an ergonomic design with tilt (-5 to 35 degrees) and height controls, DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, and a built-in USB 3.0 hub that supports high-speed charging of mobile devices.</p> <p>The Acer XR341CKA will be available in September for $1,299.</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/acer_unveils_curvaceous_34-inch_qhd_monitor_nvidia_g-sync_2015#comments Acer curved display g-sync Hardware monitor nvidia XR341CKA News Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:12:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29774 at http://www.maximumpc.com Benq Begins Shipping XL2730Z FreeSync Gaming Monitor http://www.maximumpc.com/benq_begins_shipping_xl2730z_freesync_gaming_monitor <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/benq_xl2730z_0.jpg" alt="BenQ XL2730Z" title="BenQ XL2730Z" width="228" height="205" style="float: right;" />Supports AMD FreeSync</h3> <p>AMD last month announced a handful of monitors supporting its FreeSync technology, the company's answer to Nvidia's G-Sync solution for ensuring smoother game play. One of those monitors was <strong>Benq's XL2730Z, a 27-inch display</strong> that's big on buzzwords and hype. It's also now shipping and avaiable to order online for $599 MSRP, slightly lower than we've seen it on virtual store shelves before Benq declared its as being officially available.</p> <p>The 27-inch panel features a 2560x1440 WQHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and 1ms GTG response time. And of course it supports FreeSync, along with a number of advertised technologies such as RevolutionEyes (supposed to protect eyes during extended periods of use), ZeroFlicker (eliminates flickering at all brightness levels to reduce eye strain), built-in Low Blue Light modes (supposed to filter the exposure of emitted blue light spectrum light), Benq's own MOtion Blur Reduction 2.0 (render fast moving images fluidly without tearing or ghosting), and a few other fun terms.</p> <p>Other features and rated specs include a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 12,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 72 percent coverage of the NTSC color gamut, all built-in USB 3.0 hub.</p> <p>All the marketing fluff aside, the real appeal here is a large size monitor with a 2560x1440 resolution supporting FreeSync. We've yet to review the monitor ourselves, but if you put any stock into user reviews, it's worth noting that out of <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824014451&amp;cm_re=XL2730Z-_-24-014-451-_-Product" target="_blank">19 votes on Newegg</a>, it has a 4/5 rating.</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/benq_begins_shipping_xl2730z_freesync_gaming_monitor#comments amd BenQ display FreeSync Hardware monitor XL2730Z News Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:29:16 +0000 Paul Lilly 29773 at http://www.maximumpc.com