MakerBot's $1,375 3D printer has begun shipping to customers
Perhaps one day in the future, 3D printers will be as common as any other appliance in the household, like a toaster or microwave. In the meantime, it's all about small victories as the technology inches closer to the mainstream. Taking a step in that direction, MakerBot today announced that its 'MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer' has begun shipping out to customers.
Dell is up to the challenge of pushing Steam Machines through its Alienware arm
After much hype, the hoopla surrounding Valve's Steam Machine initiative seems to have died down, though it's only the calm before the storm. They're coming, and though Valve won't receive royalties from PC makers who build Steam Machines around its Linux-based Steam OS, there is sufficient pressure to keep pricing on the level of traditional game consoles. This is something Alienware admits will be a challenge, though it's one the company is more than happy to tackle.
We know the Radeon R9 290X can go head-to-head with a GTX Titan, but can this extra-long, hot-running GPU hang in a small form factor chassis like a Titan can?
For a while now, we’ve considered doing another Build It with a "shoebox" case like the Silverstone Sugo SG08 we used in the June 2013 issue. If you recall, we wedged Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan into a mini-ITX system, and it provided a surprising amount of firepower to a system that was remarkably small. The Titan is able to hang in a tiny chassis due to Kepler’s efficiency, making it highly effective in close quarters. Fast forward to the present, and AMD has released the Radeon R9 290X, which performs about as well as a Titan but costs around $550—nearly half the price. However, the R9 290X runs a bit hot under the collar, typically at 94 C, and is a half-inch longer than the Titan, as well. Though it’s certainly competitive with Titan in benchmarks, we wondered whether the R9 290X can withstand the rigors of a small form factor build. To find out, we stuffed it into a new shoebox chassis from Cooler Master, and added a new Corsair closed-loop cooler designed specifically for small enclosures. We added a modular power supply from Seasonic that is also designed for SFF builds, so this should be one badass box
Note: This article was originally featured in the February 2014 issue of the magazine.
Expect Intel's Broadwell release in time for the holiday shopping season
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has gone on record saying his company's next-generation Broadwell processors will definitely ship in time to be put in PCs for the holiday shopping season, however, they're not likely to be available for the back-to-school shopping rush that will take place in late summer. Broadwell is the codename for Intel's 14nm die shrink of its Haswell microarchitecture.
If leaked information turn out to be true, the highest end Surface Pro 3 will cost $1,949
Microsoft is holding a press event tomorrow afternoon in New York City in which it's believed the company will unveil at least one new Surface product line. Speculation up to this point has been that a Surface Mini category to compete with similar sized tablets and slates in the Android and iOS space is imminent, though there's also been chatter of a Surface Pro 3 line. One site even claims to have learned specification and pricing information for Microsoft upcoming Surface Pro 3.
Boutique builder stretches beyond its gaming roots
CyberPowerPC is probably best known for its line of gaming systems comprised of off-the-shelf parts that you could otherwise buy yourself at places like Newegg and Amazon. However, don't cast the company as a one-trick pony. The boutique builder actually offers a variety of systems, and today CyberPowerPC introduced its new Power Mega Pro Series of workstation systems with professional graphics card options and choice of AMD or Intel inside.
Have you put off upgrading your graphics card because you're interested in AMD's R9 series but didn't like the inflated price points (compared to MSRP)? Well, good news, folks -- apparently that's no longer going to be a concern. AMD is reportedly putting the word out that its entire line of R9 video cards is available, in stock, and with street prices back down to where they should be.
A value minded case line that comes in four color options
Looking to express yourself with your PC? Maybe you just want to run with a color theme. Either way, BitFenix's new Neos case line gives budget buyers several color options, along with uncluttered styling, upgradeability, and an "affordable" price tag. Buyers also have the choice of picking up a Neos with or without a side panel window -- both versions come with a colored mesh front panel available in black, blue, red, or silver.
New Wi-Fi routers from D-Link come in four different color options
Some of D-Link's newer Wi-Fi routers already sport a distinct aesthetic with a cylindrical design that's somewhat reminiscent of Apple's Mac Pro (but smaller). Someone decided D-Link's routers still needed more flair, so the company released a new and colorful line of AC750 routers. D-Link's new DIR-818LW model is available in red, teal, black, and white, each of which features the familiar cylinder design and AC750 Wi-Fi connectivity.
Here's another chance to join the Explorer Program
Google's Explorer Program is once again open to the public, just as it was last month. Like before, cost of entry is $1,500, which in return makes you an "Explorer," which is Google's clever way of avoiding the term "beta tester." Not that there's anything wrong with being a beta tester, especially when the product is fairly refined, but Explorer sure does sound a whole lot better when you're being asked to plunk down one and a half large to join the party.