We're always hearing about Intel and Microsoft working with system vendors to promote cheaper systems, but what about AMD? Well, if the chatty heads entrenched in the upstream supply chain know what they're talking about, then AMD and Asus are fast becoming BFFs in the desktop space. AMD is even said to be using the name "Zen" for its next-generation desktop APU platform.
New PSUs from Fractal Design range in wattage from 450W to 750W
Fractal Design is perhaps best known for its line of cases, like the Define XL or Core 3000. However, that's not all the company is into. Fractal Design just rolled out a new family of modular power supplies dubbed Edison M. They're available in a variety of wattages, including 450W, 550W, 650W, and 750W, each with modular cables and 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification.
Avoid the pitfalls and upgrade your computer like a pro
Building a new PC is a relatively easy task—you pick your budget and build around it. It’s not the same with upgrading a PC. No, upgrading an older box can be as dangerous as dancing Footloose-style through a minefield. Should you really put $500 into this machine, or just buy a new one? Will that new CPU really be faster than your old one in the real world? Are you CPU-limited or GPU-limited?
Note: This article was originally featured in the June 2014 issue of the magazine.
With the recent launch of Nvidia's Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and 980 graphics cards, the pressure is on AMD to respond, especially since we haven't heard much about its Tonga XT architecture as of late. One alternative to releasing a new graphics card that's proved popular is giving away free games, and rumor has it AMD is getting ready to announce a new Never Settle bundle.
"The transition from PCs to tablets has faded..." - Gartner
People are fickle creatures, and if you need proof of this, just turn your attention to the technology sector. Remember when netbooks were red hot? You couldn't go more than a couple of days without seeing a new netbook announcement. They've since disappeared (and arguably returned in the form of Chromebooks), and now tablets are the hot item. Or, they used to be. According to Gartner, the tablet market is showing signs of saturation, causing consumers to fall in love with traditional PCs all over again.
You'd be surprised at how many OEM motherboards in pre-built systems come from ECS, but be that as it may, it still isn't a company most would associate with high-end computing. ECS appears to want to change that perception, hence the creation of its "L337 Gaming" high-end gaming motherboard series. The latest addition to the L337 Gaming line is the ECS Z97I-Drone, which is essentially a mini-ITX version of the company's Z97-Machine.
Why's Ashton Kutcher hanging around Lenovo, you ask? The short answer, quite simply, is marketing. But the longer answer is that he joined Lenovo as a product engineer a year ago and purportedly helped develop the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, one of three new products Lenovo just rolled out. The other two are the non-pro version of the Yoga Tablet and the Yoga 3 Pro, an ultraslim convertible.
News of the Surface Pro 3's demise have been greatly exaggerated
It's not too often that Microsoft addresses rumors and speculation floating through cyberspace, so the fact that it stood up in defense of its Surface Pro 3 tablet amid talk that it's planning to cancel the product line is telling. Straight and to the point, Microsoft took to its Surface blog to reiterate to businesses (and anyone else) that it's not planning to discontinue the Surface Pro 3. Period.
Built for PC gaming and entertainment, but don't call it a PC
Valve kind of dropped the ball on the whole Steam Machine initiative when it decided to delay the platform's official launch until next year so that it could have additional time to tweak the controller. The fallout from that decision is that third-party hardware partners are left holding Steam Machine designs that are ready to go now. What's a company to do? Drop the Steam Machine nomenclature and roll with what you have. For iBuyPower, that means announcing the SBX Entertainment System.
The numbers are in and according to International Data Corporation (IDC), Lenovo is still the top supplier of PCs in the world with a 20 percent share of the market in the third quarter of 2014, up from 17.17 percent in the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, Apple managed to claw its way into the top five chart by overtaking Asus for fifth place with a 6.3 percent share of the market, up from 5.7 percent a year ago.