We love Pure PC Power, and hate noise, so we set out to satisfy both primal desires with a hand-built and almost totally silent gaming PC
The Mission Powerful computer components often run hot, which requires loud fans or expensive liquid to cool them, bringing us to a central conundrum of the PC Power lifestyle—we want a big, powerful PC, but we want it to make as little noise as possible. Not only do noisy computers make it more difficult to relax, but there’s a principle at work here—you should be the master of the space where you put your PC; you must bend it to your will, not the other way around.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Intel's rallying vendors to promote 2-in-1 PCs in 2014
Within the last year or so, the all-in-one (AIO) form factor finally started gaining ground, in large part because prices came down to more affordable levels. With the advent of touchscreen computing and, by extension, Windows 8/8.1, the time may be ripe for AIO vendors to lure customers over, and that's what they're going to try to do in 2014, though they won't be pushing just ordinary AIO systems.
Best Buy becomes first U.S. retailer to sell Razer systems
Computer savvy users have little fear about shopping online, especially if doing so translates into a lower price, but there's something to be said for being able to try something out before you commit. If you happen to live close to a Best Buy (and/or are willing to make the trip), you may be able to sneak a peek at the Razer Blade 14-inch gaming laptop and Razer Blade tablet for gamers, as both are now available in approximately 100 Best Buy locations nationwide.
It seems like we're always saying it's a great time to be a PC gamer, and certainly that holds true today. Part of what makes that true right now is a series of price cuts by Nvidia on a handful of graphics cards, including the company's GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB, GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB, and GeForce GTX 660. Many Boost cards come with a $75 in-game credit voucher, and most 660s come with a voucher for a free copy of Batman Arkham Origins, while supplies last.
Like Photoshop and Word, CyberLink’s PowerDVD has the ability to give users upgrade fatigue. Sure, the new features are nice, but is the latest version really worth it? For many, the answer has been no, thus you find a lot of folks still rolling Word 2003, Photoshop 7, and, well, PowerDVD 9.
Note: This review was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Well now, here's an interesting development. We received a note from Kevin Wasielewski, co-founder and CEO of boutique system builder Origin PC, alerting us that his company is no longer offering customers an option to configure rigs with AMD graphics cards. All traces of AMD brand GPUs are being removed from the website, and from here on out, Origin PC is dealing exclusively with Nvidia for graphics. Supposedly this isn't a marketing ploy, but a decision that was made for a number of reasons.
Steve Ballmer's final year at Microsoft is one that's been wrought with challenges and a few missteps, such as the $900 million charge the Redmond outfit took on unsold Surface inventory. In addition, Windows 8 sales haven't been as high as Microsoft hoped, which is largely the result of a slumping PC market in the wake of consumers turning their attention to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, or at least for some outside the box thinking. Microsoft, for example, is struggling to promote its Windows Phone platform as a viable alternative to Android and iOS, but so far its market share (3.7 percent) is barely a blip on the radar (though Windows Phone did surpass BlackBerry for third place). Meanwhile, HTC just posted its first quarterly loss and there's little reason to think it will reverse course. Maybe the two can help each other out.
A person could argue that not nearly enough attention is paid to the computer desk, the one piece of equipment that you're apt to hold onto for years and years. David Wrobel set out to change that and so he came up with the Paradise Desk, supposedly the first desk designed from head to toe for the computer enthusiast. This thing is loaded with features, and thanks to Kickstarter, it's going to be a reality.
Show off your goods with an oversized acrylic window
Enermax dropped us a line to give us a heads up about its new iVektor mid-tower computer case that will be available later this month in three color options: Silver (ECA3310A-W), Red (ECA3310B-R), and Black (ECA3310A-B). Featuring stylish lines and angled fan grills along the top and front of the chassis, iVektor is an attention grabber designed to show off your components, which is made possible with a large side window.