If you're a regular reader of Maximum PC, then a name you're likely to remember is Backblaze, a cloud-based backup firm that routinely shares its data about hard drive failures and various operations. The level of openness is pretty rare, as not too many companies offer the same level of transparency -- Puget Systems comes to mind -- and even fewer would splash the Internet with raw data. Well, that's what Backblaze just did, offering up raw data collected from more than 41,000 disk drives in its data center.
If nobody ever bothered to reinvent the wheel, we'd all be riding around on four semi-circular stones with uneven surfaces and poor braking performance. Keeping that in mind, we won't necessarily dismiss a startup's attempt to reinvent Wi-Fi as we know it. In short, startup Eero wants to blanket your home in fast, reliable Wi-Fi that doesn't suffer from annoying issues like dead spots, buffering, and complicated passwords.
Out with the old and in with the new, or in this case, MSI is anxious to bid a fond farewell to the Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) and get cooking with Non-Volatile Media Express (NVMe). To get the party started, MSI issued a round of BIOS updates for a whole bunch of motherboards based on Intel's X99, Z97, and H97 chipsets, making the company the first motherboard maker to fully support NVMe.
Razer's original Blade laptop is officially old news. That's because Razer today introduced a pair of refreshed Blade gaming notebooks, one with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) IPS display and the other with a touch-enabled QHD+ 3K IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panel. Both models feature updated internals, including a faster CPU and GPU, though no Broadwell inside.
Leaked slide shows next generation chipsets with more PCIe lanes
It's been several years since we've seen a meaningful upgrade to PCI Express in Intel's chipsets. For the most part, budget on up to high-end motherboards have been limited to eight lanes at Gen2 speeds, though it appears that's going to change once Skylake arrives. A leaked slide posted to a Chinese-language website indicates that Intel's forthcoming 100 Series chipset for Skylake will ditch PCIe's eight Gen2 lanes for up to 20 lanes running at Gen3 speeds.
If you've been on the fence about purchasing a Surface Pro 3 tablet, perhaps a price cut might help make up your mind, or so Microsoft hopes. From today until February 7 (Saturday), U.S. customers can grab a Surface Pro 3 tablet from the Microsoft Store (online or retail) for $100 off MSRP. In addition, Microsoft is throwing in a protective sleeve valued at $40 at no extra cost -- you can choose from a dozen different styles.
Faster components get baked into Raspberry Pi 2 for the same price
Sequels are rarely as good as or better than the original, though that isn't the case with the Raspberry Pi 2, a faster version of the original with the same tantalizing $35 price tag. This time around, it's been upgraded with a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU (Broadcom BCM2836 SoC) offering roughly six times better performance compared to the 700MHz ARM11 part (Broadcom BCM2835 SoC) found in the Raspberry Pi Model B+.
Renowned overclocker K|NGP|N (or Kingpin, from here on out) has endorsed EVGA's latest GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, which has been "meticulously designed for the extreme overclocker." More than just lip service, this card packs a 14+3 power phase design, a new digitally controlled VRM capable of delivering up to a whopping 600A of current, and three power inputs (two 8-pin and a single 6-pin).
What do you do when you see your enemy twisting in the wind? You strike, of course, and that's exactly what AMD predictably decided to do as rival Nvidia goes into damage control concerning the memory controversy on its GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. AMD and its partners have lowered the price of their Radeon R9 290X graphics cards to as low as $280 after rebate, or $300 without.
Sapphire was the first company to release an 8GB version of AMD's Radeon R9 290X graphics card, though it's no longer the only one -- a handful of other graphics card players jumped on board after AMD gave them a reference design to play with. Be that as it may, Sapphire is intent on standing out from the crowd, so it went and retooled its 8GB R9 290X with a triple fan cooler and some other changes.