Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en VESA Announces DisplayPort 1.3 Standard, Pushes Bandwidth to 32.4Gbps for 5K Displays http://www.maximumpc.com/vesa_announces_displayport_13_standard_pushes_bandwidth_324gbps_5k_displays_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/displayport.jpg" alt="DisplayPort" title="DisplayPort" width="228" height="137" style="float: right;" />Bring on the 5K monitors!</h3> <p>Just when we were beginning to get used to the idea of 4K resolution TVs and monitors, Dell went and teased us with a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/dells_5k_monitor_pre_reviewed_2014" target="_blank">32-inch 5K panel</a> that it plans on releasing later this year for $2,499.99. With a resolution of 5120x2880, that's 70 percent more pixels than 4K, and to drive that many pixels you'd need to utilize two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. We don't expect 5K to be a mainstream thing anytime soon, but for those who plan on playing with that many pixels, you'll be happy to know that the <strong>Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the release of the DisplayPort 1.3 standard</strong>, which supports 5K monitors.</p> <p>DisplayPort 1.3 increases the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4Gbps by way of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1 Gbps each. That's a 50 percent bump from DisplayPort 1.2a, and once you account for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.92Gbps of uncompressed video data, VESA says.</p> <p>"While becoming a mainstream video standard, DisplayPort continues to be at the cutting edge of A/V transport," <a href="http://www.displayport.org/pr/vesa-releases-displayport-1-3-standard/" target="_blank">said VESA Board of Directors Chair Alan Kobayashi</a>, Fellow &amp; Executive R&amp;D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. "These new enhancements to DisplayPort will facilitate both higher resolution displays, as well as easier integration of DisplayPort into multi-protocol data transports, which will satisfy consumer’s desire for simplicity and ease-of-use."</p> <p>The new standard will allow users to run 5K monitors using a single DisplayPort cable without the use of compression. It will also allow for higher resolutions when running multiple monitors through a single connection using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature, such as running a pair of 4K monitors.</p> <p>DisplayPort also adds support for the 4:2:0 pixel structure, a video format used on consumer digital television interfaces, which enables support for future 8K x 4K displays, VESA says.</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/vesa_announces_displayport_13_standard_pushes_bandwidth_324gbps_5k_displays_2014#comments 5k display displayport 1.3 Hardware vesa News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:13:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 28539 at http://www.maximumpc.com Shuttle XH Series: 3-Liter Barebones With Enough Room for Core i7, Up to Three Drives http://www.maximumpc.com/shuttle_xh_series_3-liter_barebones_enough_room_core_i7_three_drives696 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/shuttle_xh.jpg" alt="Shuttle XH81V" title="Shuttle XH81V" width="228" height="112" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>New barebone PCs measure just&nbsp; 240 x 200 x 72 mm</h3> <p>Taiwan-headquartered Shuttle is at it again, doing what it does best. The company, which specializes in small form factor (SFF) computers and barebones, has announced <a href="http://liliputing.com/2014/09/shuttle-xh81-slim-pc-support-core-i7-haswell.html" target="_blank">two new diminutive barebones</a>. <strong>The new XH81 and XH81V are, per the company, “compact 3L media players” that are ideal for kiosks, vending machines, digital signage and POS applications.</strong></p> <p>In terms of <a href="http://global.shuttle.com/products/productsSpec?productId=1823" target="_blank">specs</a>, both models are nearly identical. Looks-wise, the only real difference is the fact that the XH81V has its front ports hidden behind a removable panel, whereas on the XH81 they are all fully exposed.</p> <p>Both models support Haswell processors — right from Celeron to Core i7 — and up to 16GB of RAM (2 DDR3 SODIMM slots). Other specs include two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, two Mini-PCIe slots, and up to five COM ports (only two on XH81V). Further, both come with a 90W external power supply and heatpipe cooling with two 60mm fans.</p> <p>“Both systems support 4K and are designed to operate in a range of ambient temperatures, from 0-50 ⁰C. The XH series is based on an Intel H81 express chipset and designed for current Intel processors with an LGA 1150 socket and up to a TDP of 65W,” Shuttle said in a press release Thursday.<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Y3_9iW9aTbk" width="620" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>“The XH series is highly customizable for either workplace or home environments as users can configure the systems with up to three storage drives. There are installation options for three 2.5" HDD/SSD drives or alternatively two 2.5" HDD/SSD drives plus an optical slimline drive. A 3.5" drive can also be installed using a PHD4 accessory which is sold separately.”</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/shuttle_xh_series_3-liter_barebones_enough_room_core_i7_three_drives696#comments barebones Hardware haswell Shuttle xh series xh81 xh81v News Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:41:26 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28532 at http://www.maximumpc.com NFL Announcers Slip on $400 Million Surface Deal, Calls Microsoft's Tablets iPads http://www.maximumpc.com/nfL_announcers_slip_400_million_surface_deal_calls_microsofts_tablets_ipads_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_3.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="122" style="float: right;" />Can the NFL get anything right these days?</h3> <p>Not only did the NFL mishandle a major situation with Ray Rice's domestic abuse incident, but even comparatively minor tasks are turning into fumbles. Before the season began, Microsoft inked a $400 million deal with the NFL to make its Surface the official tablet of the league for the next five years. Under normal circumstances, that would be a sound (and even savvy) advertising deal on Microsoft's part, except for one little thing -- <strong>NFL announcers couldn't help but to refer to the Surface tablets as iPads</strong>.</p> <p>Something like that should draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but if you're Apple, you'll take the free exposure. As for Microsoft, it had to endure at least two television announcers making the same mistake during the first week of the season, including one that occurred during Monday Night Football.</p> <p><a href="http://www.businessinsider.in/Microsoft-Paid-The-NFL-400-Million-To-Use-Its-Tablets-But-Announcers-Are-Calling-Them-iPads/articleshow/42196769.cms" target="_blank">According to <em>Business Inside</em>r</a>, ESPN's Trent Dilfer cracked a joke saying he wondered how long it took Arizona Cardinals assistant head coach Tom Moore to "learn how to use the iPad to scroll through pictures."</p> <p>The other known incident happened when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was seen by Fox commentator John Lynch using the Surface on the sideline. Lynch joked that Brees was "not watching movies on his iPad."</p> <p>Funny stuff, though Microsoft would undoubtedly prefer if NFL announcers would spend less time cracking jokes and more time learning the difference between a Surface and an iPad.</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/nfL_announcers_slip_400_million_surface_deal_calls_microsofts_tablets_ipads_2014#comments Hardware iPad microsoft mobile NFL slate Surface tablet News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 18:02:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 28529 at http://www.maximumpc.com Leaked Press Photo of GeForce GTX 970 Suggests Nvidia is Skipping 800 Series http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_press_photo_geforce_gtx_970_suggests_nvidia_skipping_800_series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/zotac_geforce_gtx_970.jpg" alt="Zotac GeForce GTX 970" title="Zotac GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Thank you Zotac for the confirmation!</h3> <p>Supposed benchmarks of Nvidia's forthcoming GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M GPUs were <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980_gtx_970_and_gtx_980m_benchmarks_purportedly_leaked" target="_blank">leaked to the web</a> earlier this week, and presuming they were real, it would seem that Nvidia is planning to skip right over the 800 Series and jump right into the 900s. Lest there be any lingering doubt, what looks to be <strong>an official press image of Zotac's GeForce GTX 970 graphics card is making its way through cyberspace</strong>.</p> <p>We spotted the image over at <a href="http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/35737-nvidia-aic-partner-gtx-970-pictured-with-the-box" target="_blank"><em>Fudzilla</em></a>, which led us over to <a href="http://videocardz.com/52282/zotac-geforce-gtx-970-pictured-the-ultimate-proof-there-are-no-800-series" target="_blank"><em>VideoCardz.com</em></a>. The site says the image was leaked by a Philippine store called PCHUB that was content to consider it a "sneak peek," though we're sure Zotac (and Nvidia) aren't super thrilled about it.</p> <p>In any event, the GeForce GTX 970 is rumored to feature 1,664 CUDA cores, 138 TMUs, and 32 ROPs with a 1051MHz GPU base clockspeed and 1178MHz GPU boost clockspeed. The Zotac card will have 4GB of GDDR5 memory, presumably clocked at 7012MHz on a 256-bit bus.</p> <p>We can also see that Zotac is deviating from the reference cooler in favor of its own custom solution. Since all we have is a photo to go on, there's no word yet of a price or release date, though it's rumored the 900 Series will launch on September 19.</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/leaked_press_photo_geforce_gtx_970_suggests_nvidia_skipping_800_series#comments Build a PC geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware nvidia Video Card zotac News Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:13:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28527 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best Keyboard http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/best_keyboard_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3>UPDATE: We've added six more keyboards to our best keyboard roundup</h3> <p>If you’re a gamer, you can probably identify a few points in time when you realized something important about your control setup that made you better at the game. When you discovered that putting your left hand on WASD gives you more options than putting it on the arrow keys, for instance, or when you realized that your crappy optical mouse was actually holding you back in shooters. These kinds of peripheral epiphanies don’t happen every day, but it might be just about time for you to have a new one. It might be time for you to realize that your keyboard is holding you back.</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u152332/keyboard_opener13195_small_1.jpg" alt="best keyboard" title="best keyboard" width="620" height="480" /></h3> <p>We’re giving you some credit here—we’re not talking about making the upgrade from a $6 keyboard you got at the grocery store. No, we’re talking about making the upgrade from a gaming keyboard to an amazing gaming keyboard. Going from entry level or midrange to top-of-the-line.</p> <p>We looked around and picked out some of the <strong>best keyboards</strong> we could find. To compare them, we put them through our usual battery of real-world testing, including gaming and typing, and compared their features and overall feel. Because these keyboards come attached to some pretty heavy price tags, we made sure to give them extra scrutiny. We know that minor inconveniences that might fly on a cheap keyboard become a lot more galling when you’ve paid $150 for the privilege of suffering them, and our verdicts reflect this.</p> <p>Ready to make the upgrade to serious typing hardware? Then let’s go!</p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">CMStorm Mech</h4> <p><strong>CMStorm looks to get a handle on the high-end mechanical keyboard market<br /></strong></p> <p>The CMStorm Mech is, first of all, a great-looking keyboard. Most of the top of the keyboard is wrapped in a subtly etched aluminum plate, and the board’s geometric, asymmetrical silhouette is more imaginative than most. The aluminum plate can be removed for easy cleaning, which is a nice feature, but the seven hex screws that make removal possible mar the Mech’s otherwise-excellent aesthetics.</p> <p>Despite the Mech’s metal-clad looks, it’s not the sturdiest keyboard in this roundup. The back side of the board, and particularly the wrist rest, are made of hollow plastic that sometimes flexes and creaks under pressure. It also features a large handle on one side, and a detachable USB cable. These would be handy features for someone who takes their keyboard on the road frequently, but it’s not otherwise an especially portable keyboard. It would be nice if the handle were removable or retractable, because it adds an extra two or three inches to the Mech’s already substantial width.</p> <p>The software support is simple and easy to use. It allows you to customize the five dedicated macro keys, or to rebind any other key on the board, and includes a flexible macro editor.</p> <p>Actual typing and gaming performance is top-notch and virtually identical to the other mechanical gaming keyboards on the market. Fans of any variety of Cherry MX switch will be able to find a Mech that’s right for them—CMStorm offers the keyboard with Red, Blue, or Brown switches.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13204_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13204_small.jpg" alt="The Mech is a big mechanical keyboard, but isn't quite as sturdy as it looks." title="CMStorm Mech" width="620" height="425" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Mech is a big mechanical keyboard, but isn't quite as sturdy as it looks.</strong></p> <p>In all, the Mech is a solid gaming keyboard, but doesn’t quite live up to its top-of-the-line $160 price tag.</p> <p><strong>CMStorm Mech</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_8.jpg" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$160,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cmstorm.com/ " target="_blank">www.cmstorm.com</a></strong></p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Mad Catz STRIKE 3</h4> <p><strong>Is a less-extravagant Strike a better deal?</strong></p> <p>The Strike 3 is the least expensive in Mad Catz’s line of high-end gaming keyboards, but it’s by no means a piece of budget hardware. If the $100 price tag doesn’t convince you of that, seeing the Strike 3 in person will.</p> <p>It’s designed to look like the higher-end Strike boards, which can be split into two parts and rearranged, but this one doesn’t actually come apart. Build quality is good overall, with a removable wrist-rest and a pair of USB passthroughs. The board comes in glossy black, red, and white, and features customizable backlighting.</p> <p>The Strike 3 isn’t mechanical, which weakens the credibility of this $100 keyboard, but Mad Catz hasn’t ignored key quality altogether. The dome switches on the Strike 3 are some of the best we’ve felt, with a crisp actuation that feels almost, but not quite, as good as a mechanical model. They definitely feel better than any of the other non-mechanical boards we tested for this roundup.</p> <p>The Strike 3 features five dedicated macro keys on the right side of the board, and seven macro buttons at the top-left. The left-side buttons, unfortunately, are pretty abysmal. They’re tiny, far away from the home row, and strangely wiggly in their sockets—we found it virtually impossible to hit a particular one without looking.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13217_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13217_small.jpg" alt="The seam down the middle of the Strike 3 is just for show—this keyboard's only one piece." title="Mad Catz STRIKE 3" width="620" height="461" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The seam down the middle of the Strike 3 is just for show—this keyboard's only one piece.</strong></p> <p>The Strike 3 is a good keyboard, but we would generally recommend a mechanical board if you’re looking to spend this much. If you personally prefer non-mechanical switches, however, this would be an excellent choice.</p> <p><strong>Mad Catz Strike 3</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_8.jpg" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$100,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lacie.com/ " target="_blank">www.lacie.com</a></strong></p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Click the next page for more keyboard reviews.</h4> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;"> <hr />SteelSeries Apex</h4> <p><strong>All the keys you could want, and then some</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, more is more. That seems to be the guiding principle behind the SteelSeries Apex keyboard, which comes with about as many keys as we’ve ever seen on a gaming keyboard. In addition to the standard full QWERTY layout with number pad, the Apex includes 10 macro keys and four layer keys down the left side, 12 more macro keys above the function row, and six dedicated media buttons along the right side. Even the arrow pad gets two extra diagonal keys. SteelSeries doesn’t advertise the Apex as an MMO keyboard specifically, but it’s hard to imagine what other application could make use of this abundance.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13209_small_2.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13209_small_1.jpg" alt="You can prop the Apex up in the back by replacing two of it's rubber feet." title="SteelSeries Apex" width="620" height="448" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>You can prop the Apex up in the back by replacing two of it's rubber feet.</strong></p> <p>Despite its absurd inventory of keys, the Apex doesn’t feel cluttered at all, and in fact looks quite nice. With its built-in wrist rest the board is pretty enormous, but the low-profile keys and customizable sectioned backlighting keep it looking sleek. The build quality is good, though not quite as hardy as SteelSeries’s mechanical keyboards. The Apex includes a pair of USB passthroughs, and allows for some angle customization with a pair of swappable rear feet.</p> <p>Our only real issue with the Apex is that it doesn’t use mechanical keys, and even compared to other dome-switch keyboards in this roundup, like the Strike 3, the Apex’s keys feel distinctly mushy. If it had better key performance, it would be a strong contender for best keyboard in this price range. As it is, we’d recommend it highly to those who prioritize lots of macro keys and great design over maximum key responsiveness.</p> <p><strong>SteelSeries Apex</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_8.jpg" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$100,&nbsp;<a href="http://steelseries.com/ " target="_blank">www.steelseries.com</a></strong></p> <h3>What We Look for in a Keyboard</h3> <p>When we review a keyboard, we look at it on three levels. The first and most important level is basic user experience—how the board feels when you use it. This includes factors like key quality and responsiveness, layout, and build quality. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the way you use your keyboard comes down to those standard QWERTY keys, so we’ll take a great-feeling keyboard over a flimsy one with a zillion features any day. We would also consider a keyboard without enough anti-ghosting/rollover for gaming usage to have failed on this basic level.</p> <p>Second, we examine the board on the level of practical, value-adding features. These are what make a gaming keyboard different from a more standard keyboard, and include things like macro keys, profiles, USB/audio passthroughs, the ability to rebind any key, and media controls. Of course, there’s no standard rule for what’s “practical” and what’s not, and we take into consideration that, for instance, the first five macro keys add a lot more value to the keyboard than macro keys number 15-20. This is also the level where we consider the keyboard’s software support.</p> <p>Finally, we look at the keyboard’s less-essential features, and what they bring to the table. Here you’ll see us talk about things like backlighting, interchangeable keycaps, and paint jobs. These are frequently surface features, designed more for showing off to other gamers than for your own use.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/81173948_copy_small_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/81173948_copy_small.jpg" width="620" height="412" /></a></p> <p>All of this isn’t to say that we think keyboards should be boring, just that it’s important they have their priorities straight. Awesome backlighting can be a great addition to a gaming keyboard, but boards with tons of bells and whistles built into a crappy or just mediocre foundation are distressingly common.</p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Roccat Ryos Mk Pro</h4> <p><strong>This flashy keyboard is more than just looks</strong></p> <p>Build quality on the Ryos MK Pro is outstanding. It’s all plastic, as far as we can see, but is incredibly weighty and rugged-feeling. The surface is treated with a glossy dot-matrix pattern that gives the Ryos a high-class look without leaving it as vulnerable to fingerprints as a pure-gloss keyboard. Like the last Roccat keyboard we tested, the Ryos has a non-removable integrated wrist rest. It’s comfortable (particularly with the back of the board elevated on sturdy-feeling supports), but makes the keyboard take up an absolutely massive amount of desk space.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13210_smalll_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13210_smalll.jpg" alt="LEDs in each key in the Roccat MK Pro can light up and blink independently." title="Roccat Ryos Mk Pro" width="620" height="451" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>LEDs in each key in the Roccat MK Pro can light up and blink independently.</strong></p> <p>The software support for the Ryos is fine, though not outstanding. The interface is a little cluttered and at times unresponsive, but it gets the job done, allowing you to customize lighting, macros, and key binding for each profile.</p> <p>A lot of keyboards have backlighting these days, but this is the first one we’ve tested that has completely independent lights behind every key. The color can’t be changed, but you can choose which keys should light up and which shouldn’t for each profile. Better still, the Ryos MK Pro comes with a few special lighting effects, which can cause pressed keys to briefly light up, or even to send out a ripple of light across the whole keyboard. It’s simultaneously the most superfluous and most fun new feature we’ve seen in a keyboard in years.</p> <p>It’s hard to say that the Ryos Mk Pro completely justifies the $170 asking price—that’s quite a bit more money than other very good mechanical keyboards—but it at least comes close.</p> <p><strong>Roccat Ryos MK Pro</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_9.jpg" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$170,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roccat.org/ " target="_blank">www.roccat.org</a></strong></p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Click the next page to read about the Gigabyte K7 review and more.</h4> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;"> <hr />Gigabyte Force K7</h4> <p><strong>A budget-friendly board that’s light on features</strong></p> <p>With a $50 MSRP, the Force K7 targets the budget-minded consumer, but still hovers comfortably above the bottom of the barrel. Any keyboard involves compromises, but with the K7, there just might be too many.</p> <p>The K7 advertises “extreme short actuation distance” for its keys, which are built on laptop-style scissor switches. Keyboard feel is a matter of personal preference, of course, but for gaming we’ve never been very fond of scissor switches, which offer almost no tactile feedback. The key layout on the K7 is standard, though it uses the half-width backspace key and double-decker enter key configuration that’s less commonly seen in gaming keyboards and makes touch typing a bit more difficult.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13214_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13214_small.jpg" alt="LEDs in each key in the Roccat MK Pro can light up and blink independently." title="Gigabyte Force K7" width="620" height="454" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Force K7 has a low profile, with laptop-style scissor-switch keys.</strong></p> <p>Build quality on the K7 is generally good—it’s sturdy and feels heavy on the desk. Our review unit did, however, come with an extra 0 key instead of the hyphen key, which raises some questions about quality assurance.</p> <p>If anything, the K7 is notable for its lack of gaming-specific features. It has no macro keys, no profiles, no ability to rebind keys, no USB passthroughs—none of the things that identify a keyboard as made especially for gaming. The only extra features the board does include are underwhelming three-color backlighting and a pair of thumbwheels, which can only be used to control volume and backlight intensity.</p> <p>There are no glaring problems with the K7, but without a clear performance advantage, there’s nothing to recommend this board over one of the low-end Logitech or Microsoft keyboards, which are similarly priced and offer a better set of features.</p> <p><strong>Gigabyte Force K7</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_7.jpg" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$50,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigabyte.us/ " target="_blank">www.gigabyte.us</a></strong></p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Corsair Raptor K50</h4> <p><strong>The Cadillac of non-mechanical keyboards</strong></p> <p>The Corsair Raptor K50 is a beautifully designed board, borrowing the floating-keys design of the more expensive Vengeance boards, with just a hint of brushed aluminum along the top edge. The look is rounded out with high-quality customizable key lighting that shines through the keycaps, without leaking out around the edges of the keys. Build quality is second-to-none, and as usual, the raised-key design makes it easy to keep crumbs from accumulating under the keycaps.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>The K50 is nicely feature-packed, with a USB passthrough, media keys, a large metal volume wheel, and, oh yeah, like a million macro keys. Well, 18, anyway, all in one huge bank at the left, along with dedicated buttons for switching between three macro layers and recording them on the fly. That number might be bordering on the too-many-to-actually-use zone, but some gamers might find a use for them all, and on-the-fly recording is a feature we wish more boards had. The software for the K50 works well, and onboard storage allows you to use your profiles on any computer.&nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-13212_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-13212_small.jpg" alt="If you're the kind of gamer who needs an unhealthy number of macro keys, the Raptor K50 is for you." title="Corsair Raptor K50" width="620" height="413" /></a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>If you're the kind of gamer who needs an unhealthy number of macro keys, the Raptor K50 is for you.<br /></strong></p> <p>We like the K50 a lot, but—at the risk of sounding like a broken record—for most users we wouldn’t recommend a non-mechanical $100 board. Our recommendation at this price range would be to get a mechanical board with slightly fewer features, or to jump up an extra $30 and get a similarly feature-packed mechanical board, such as Corsair’s own Vengeance K70 or K90.</p> <p><strong>Corsair Raptor K50</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_9.jpg" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$100,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.corsair.com/ " target="_blank">www.corsair.com</a></strong></p> <p>Click the next page to read about some of the older mechanical keyboards we've reviewed such as the Razer Deathstalker Ultimate and more.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Razer Deathstalker Ultimate</h4> <p><strong>Fun to look at, less fun to use</strong></p> <p>The Razer Deathstalker is really a thing to behold. The gaming keyboard is thin, sleek, and nicely designed with tri-color glowing keys, but nothing draws your attention like the “Switchblade” user interface, borrowed from the <a title="razer blade" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/razer_blade_review2012" target="_blank">Razer Blade</a> gaming laptop.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227183_small_3.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227183_small_2.jpg" alt="Instead of a number pad, the Deathstalker Ultimate features a touchscreen, along with 10 contextual keys." title="Razer Deathstalker Ultimate" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Instead of a number pad, the Deathstalker Ultimate features a touchscreen, along with 10 contextual keys.</strong></p> <p>The Switchblade UI consists of a responsive multitouch 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen and 10 context-sensitive dynamic keys. The screen can act as a trackpad, or can play host to a number of applications including a web browser, Twitter client, YouTube viewer, and plenty of others, such as game-specific apps for a handful of popular titles. Additionally, the keyboard has plenty of on-the-fly macro keys, and the software suite that manages it is polished and very powerful. In other words, the Razer Deathstalker is clearly the most sophisticated gaming keyboard around. The question is, do the Deathstalker’s technical flourishes justify its massive $250 price tag.</p> <p>At that kind of price, we expect every element of a keyboard to be top-notch; unfortunately, that’s not the case with the <a title="deathstalker" href="http://www.razerzone.com/deathstalker" target="_blank">Razer Deathstalker</a>. The problem is the keyboard itself, which uses widely spaced chiclet-style keys, familiar to anyone who’s used a MacBook or most Ultrabooks. They look nice, but it’s not clear why a large, high-end gaming keyboard would opt to use them over mechanical switches or even rubber-dome membrane keys. The chiclet keys simply don’t feel very good to use—they float around inside their tracks and have miniscule travel when pressed. They’re not awful, but we’d expect a lot better from a $250 keyboard.</p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Razer Deathstalker Ultimate</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">Juicy Fruit<br /></span> <p>Super-cool Switchblade UI; good software support.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Chiclets<br /></span> <p>Key quality is subpar for typing and game play; very expensive.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_7.jpg" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$150, <a href="http://www.razerzone.com " target="_blank">www.razerzone.com</a></strong></p> <h4>Cyborg S.T.R.I.K.E. 7</h4> <p><strong>Plenty of novel features, but look at that price</strong></p> <p>Probably the most interesting thing about the <a title="strike 7" href="http://www.cyborggaming.com/strike7/" target="_blank">S.T.R.I.K.E. 7</a> is that it’s modular and customizable. When you first take it out of the box, the keyboard is in seven pieces, which can be screwed together in a number of different configurations. One of the pieces is a large touchscreen, which can be affixed to either the left or right side of the keyboard, as can an extra bank of macro keys and the adjustable “active palm rest,” which features a thumb wheel and button. The two halves of the keyboard can be used separately, though both must be connected to the touchscreen, and the kit comes with a set of 16 replacement key caps, so you can make sure your S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 doesn’t look like anyone else’s.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227_small.jpg" alt="The S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 is modular, and can be assembled in several different configurations." title="Cyborg S.T.R.I.K.E. 7" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 is modular, and can be assembled in several different configurations.</strong></p> <p>On the other hand, you probably won’t meet anyone else with a S.T.R.I.K.E. 7, unless you regularly attend LAN parties down at the yacht club. At $300, this is the most expensive keyboard we can remember reviewing, and some of the features just don’t rise to the level of expectations set by the price. The touchscreen, for instance, is resistive and not nearly as responsive as the screen on the Razer Deathstalker Ultimate. And like the Deathstalker, the S.T.R.I.K.E. opts for non-mechanical keys. Though the dome-style membrane keys are better than the Deathstalker’s chiclet keys, we firmly believe that a keyboard that costs three times as much as most of its competition ought to have the best keys available.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3AbwJON7ECk" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Cyborg S.T.R.I.K.E. 7</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">Home Run<br /></span> <p>The most customizable keyboard around; tons of room for macros on keyboard and touchscreen.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Strike Out<br /></span> <p>Super pricey; non-mechanical keyboard feels so-so; touchscreen responsiveness is lacking.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_7.jpg" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$300, <a href="http://www.cyborggaming.com " target="_blank">www.cyborggaming.com</a></strong></p> <h4>Logitech G710+</h4> <p><strong>Logitech brings it back to basics</strong></p> <p>Logitech has finally decided that the recent trend toward mechanical gaming keyboards isn’t a passing fad, and has thrown its own hat into the ring with the G710+. At $150, the <a title="logitech g710+" href="http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g710plus-mechanical-gaming-keyboard" target="_blank">G710+</a> is one of the company’s most expensive boards, but it forgoes the LCD screens and raft of macro buttons usually found on Logitech’s highest-end products. Instead, the G710+ is a relatively straightforward keyboard built around a sturdy base of mechanical keys.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-5227187_small_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-5227187_small_0.jpg" alt="The backlight for the Logitech G710+’s arrow and WASD keys is separate from the rest of the board, so you can make them glow brighter than their surroundings." title="Logitech G710+" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The backlight for the Logitech G710+’s arrow&nbsp; and WASD keys is separate from the rest of the board, so you can make them glow brighter than their surroundings.</strong></p> <p>The G710+ uses MX Cherry Brown switches, which are a sort of compromise between the hyper-sensitive Reds and the tactile (and loud) Blues. They’re a nice middle-ground switch, excellent for both gaming and typing, though not completely ideal for either. Logitech has augmented the Cherry Browns with noise-dampening rings inside each key, for a quieter gaming session. The keys are mounted into a heavy board, with a clean black-and-gray aesthetic with orange accents. When connected via USB, the G710+’s laser-etched keycaps glow white—you can’t change the color, but the brightness is adjustable. In a nice, novel feature, the brightness of the WASD and arrow keys can be adjusted independently, to make them stand out more.</p> <p>Beyond the mechanical keys, the G710+ doesn’t have a lot of flashy features—just a set of macro keys (programmable on-the-fly), some media controls, and a standard-issue software suite with pre-made macro profiles for most modern games. It comes with a removable wrist rest, and includes a single USB pass-through. In all, it’s a nice, well-constructed keyboard, though its feature set is just a tiny bit smaller than some similarly priced mechanical boards from other brands.</p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Logitech G710+</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">O.G.<br /></span> <p>Excellent typing and gaming feel; dual-zone lighting;noise-dampened keys.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Oh No<br /></span> <p>On the pricier side; few pass-throughs.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_9.jpg" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$150, <a href="http://www.logitech.com " target="_blank">www.logitech.com</a></strong></p> <h3>The Art of Cherrypicking</h3> <p>If you’re the pattern-recognizing sort, you may notice that every mechanical keyboard in this roundup uses Cherry MX switches for their key mechanisms. That’s because virtually all mechanical gaming keyboards today use some variety of Cherry MX switch, such as Brown or Blue. The names indicate both the actual color of the switch (pry a keycap up and you’ll be able to tell by sight which switch is underneath), and the switch’s mechanical characteristics, in terms of tactility and resistance.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/k60_d_install_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/k60_d_install_small.jpg" width="620" height="403" /></a></p> <p>A switch that is highly tactile has a noticeable “bump” that you overcome as you press it down, and tends to make a click noise as it passes that bump. A switch with high resistance requires more force to depress. Here are the four most common varieties of Cherry MX switch:</p> <p>Red: A non-tactile switch with low resistance. The pressing action is smooth, with no bump, and because of its low resistance it is very responsive. Good for action gamers.</p> <p>Black: A non-tactile switch, like the Red, with higher resistance.</p> <p>Blue: A highly tactile switch, with a dramatic (and loud) click. Considered the best switch for typing, but they can be slightly harder to double-tap quickly for gaming.</p> <p>Brown: A middle-ground switch, with a light tactile click and medium resistance. Functions well for both typing and gaming.</p> <p>Click <a title="mechanical keyboard guide" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/mechanical_keyboard_guide_2013" target="_blank">here</a> to read our in-depth mechanical keyboard guide.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>Corsair Vengeance K90</h4> <p><strong>All the macro keys money can buy</strong></p> <p>The <a title="K90" href="http://www.corsair.com/gaming-peripherals/gaming-keyboards/vengeance-k90-performance-mmo-mechanical-gaming-keyboard.html" target="_blank">Corsair Vengeance K90</a> launched early last year alongside the Vengeance K60. It is, at heart, an expanded version of that board, fitted with a vast bank of customizable macro keys at the far left, and a detachable rubberized wrist rest. The extra functionality is mostly aimed at MMO players, who may have need for the truly staggering number of macro keys—18 keys, arranged into three banks of six, with three profile buttons for a total of 54 programmable actions. We’re a bit skeptical about the utility of so many macro buttons, as it becomes difficult to remember which key does what, and to hit them without looking, as the button count increases. Still, you should be able to imagine whether you’d be able to put the buttons to good use or not.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboards-5227181_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboards-5227181_0.jpg" alt="With the K90, Corsair goes deep on macro keys. Unfortunately, only the main QWERTY keyboard and arrow keys are mechanical." title="Corsair Vengeance K90" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>With the K90, Corsair goes deep on macro keys. Unfortunately, only the main QWERTY keyboard and arrow keys are mechanical.</strong></p> <p>Beyond those extra keys, the K90 features the strong points of the K60, including a rugged all-aluminum body and responsive Cherry MX Red switches. The fantastic-looking low-profile aluminum design is even snazzier in the K90, thanks to blue backlighting that shines through the laser-etched keycaps. One of the strangest and worst features of the K90 is that it uses membrane-style switches for a small subset of the keys on the board (the 18 macro keys, the function keys, as well as the block above the arrow keys), which feel noticeably worse than the mechanical keys that make up the rest of the board. Especially for keys that are meant to be used in the heat of the moment, the transition to non-mechanical keys is very jarring.</p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Corsair Vengeance K90</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">Macro<br /></span> <p>Tons of macro keys; nice build quality and design; mechanical.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Micro<br /></span> <p>Not all keys are mechanical; giant block of macro keys is difficult to use efficiently.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_8.jpg" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$130, <a href="http://www.corsair.com " target="_blank">www.corsair.com</a></strong></p> <h4>Rosewill RK-9100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard</h4> <p><strong>A solid board, low on features</strong></p> <p>Sometimes it’s nice when a company comes along and boils down a product category to just the features that are important. With the <a title="rk-9100" href="http://www.rosewill.com/products/2320/ProductDetail_Overview.htm" target="_blank">RK-9100</a>, Rosewill does just that, offering a solid mechanical gaming keyboard with few flourishes.</p> <p>The RK-9100 is a compact design with no wrist rest and a minimal lip around the outside of the board. It’s heavy, and feels quite sturdy. It uses mechanical keys—once again, Cherry MX switches, though with the RK-9100 you have a choice of the typing-friendly Blue switches, or the in-between Browns. We tend to prefer the Browns as a nice compromise between gaming and typing, which makes it a bit frustrating that the Brown-switch version of the RK-9100 retails for $130, $20 more than the Blue version.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227185_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227185_small.jpg" alt="The Rosewill RK-9100 isn’t the fanciest-looking keyboard, but it feels great to use." title="Rosewill RK-9100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard" width="620" height="321" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Rosewill RK-9100 isn’t the fanciest-looking keyboard, but it feels great to use.</strong></p> <p>The keyboard has a nice blue backlight, except for the scroll-, num-, and caps-lock keys, which glow green while active. It’s a good idea, but for some reason the green light is incredibly bright, and angled to shine right into your eyes while active. It’s distracting, and unfortunately can’t be turned off—we wouldn’t be surprised if most RK-9100 owners end up fixing the problem with electrical tape. That’s the only significant problem we noticed while using Rosewill’s keyboard, but we couldn’t shake the feeling that $130 is a bit too much to ask for this board. The Logitech G710+ features the same MX Brown switches, and with street a price that’s currently only about $10 more than RK-9100, includes significantly more features that set it apart as a gaming keyboard.</p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Rosewill RK-9100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">Rose water<br /></span> <p>No-nonsense design; selection of different Cherry MX switches.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Hose water<br /></span> <p>No macro keys; no software support.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_7.jpg" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$130, <a href="http://www.rosewill.com " target="_blank">www.rosewill.com</a></strong></p> <h4>Roccat Isku</h4> <p><strong>Membrane plank makes strong impression</strong></p> <p>If you’re not ready to make the jump to a mechanical keyboard, and aren’t interested in touchscreens or scalp massagers or whatever other luxury features are going into the $200-plus planks, your money will go a lot farther. Specifically, it’ll go all the way to the <a title="roccat" href="http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gaming-Keyboards/ROCCAT-Isku/" target="_blank">Roccat Isku</a>, a handsome and feature-rich keyboard from German newcomer Roccat.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227184_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/wwkeyboards-5227184_small.jpg" alt="The Isku is thin but takes up a lot of room, thanks to its broad wrist rest and bezel." title="Roccat Isku" width="620" height="413" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Isku is thin but takes up a lot of room, thanks to its broad wrist rest and bezel.</strong></p> <p>The Isku is wide and flat, with an oversized wrist rest and a wide bezel all around the board, taking up plenty of desk real estate. It’s got a grippy textured-plastic frame and recessed contoured keys that make the whole thing seem flatter and lower to the desk than normal. The dome keys are good (as far as they go) with a fairly crisp and responsive activation.</p> <p>Where the Isku really shines is in its expansive set of features. It has eight macro buttons (including three “thumbster” keys under the spacebar), with on-the-fly recording, and profile switching. It gets further mileage out of the bindable keys and macros with an “EasyShift” button where the caps-lock key would normally be, which temporarily switches the functions of all right-hand-accessible keys while held down. There’s a lot to customize, and the included software suite is intuitive and up to the task.</p> <p>Also, the Isku is part of the “Roccat Talk” ecosystem, which allows button presses on the keyboard to affect the behavior of a Roccat gaming mouse, and vice versa. At this price, we’d strongly recommend buying a mechanical board, but if you can’t or don’t want to, the Isku is an excellent choice.</p> <div class="lowdown"> <div class="module orange-module article-module verdict-block"><span class="module-name-header" style="font-size: 14px; border-bottom: 1px solid #000;">Roccat Isku</span><br /> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="product-verdict"> <div class="positive"><span class="header">Rose water<br /></span> <p>No-nonsense design; selection of different Cherry MX switches.</p> </div> <div class="negative"><span class="header">Hose water<br /></span> <p>No macro keys; no software support.</p> </div> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/maximumpc.com/themes/maximumpc/i/mxpc_9.jpg" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$90, <a href="http://www.roccat.org" target="_blank">www.roccat.org</a></strong></p> <h3>A Keyboard for Clean Freaks</h3> <p>One of the keyboards we received while preparing this roundup was the <a title="logitech washable keyboard" href="http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/washable-keyboard-k310" target="_blank">Logitech Washable Keyboard K310</a>. Somehow it didn’t seem quite fair to pit the $40 K310 against the likes of the Razer Deathstalker in a straight head-to-head, but we couldn’t resist the chance to see if this washable keyboard really works.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/keyboard_before_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/keyboard_before_small.jpg" width="620" height="415" /></a></p> <p>The K310 has a standard full-size layout with flat, thick plastic keys. Despite the very plastic-y construction and non-standard keys, the keyboard actually feels pretty decent to use.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/dirtykeyboard_small_1.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/dirtykeyboard_small_0.jpg" width="620" height="415" /></a></p> <p>We don’t actually have a standard testing procedure worked out for washable keyboards, so we improvised. We took a quick trip to the corner store for a bag of Cheetohs—bane of all keyboards. We then used a mortar and pestle to mash them into a fine, delicious powder, and applied it liberally to the keyboard (and surrounding table).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/washingkeyboard_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/washingkeyboard_small.jpg" width="620" height="415" /></a></p> <p>We were originally going to stick the K310 in the dishwasher, but a label on its back specifically warns against doing so. Instead, we gave it a thorough hand-washing in the sink.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/clean_keyboard_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/clean_keyboard_small.jpg" width="620" height="347" /></a></p> <p>What’s the verdict? The keyboard looks like new, and works just fine. Not bad!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/best_keyboard_2013#comments March 2013 2013 best keyboard Cyborg strike 7 Hardware Hardware Logitech G710+ maximum pc Razer Deathstalker Ultimate reviews Keyboards Reviews Features Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:44:05 +0000 Alex Castle 25598 at http://www.maximumpc.com Twice as Nice: Asus Unveils Z10PE-D8 WS Workstation Board with Dual CPU Sockets http://www.maximumpc.com/twice_nice_asus_unveils_z10pe-d8_ws_workstation_board_dual_cpu_sockets_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/asus_z10pe-d8_ws.jpg" alt="Asus Z10PE-D8 WS" title="Asus Z10PE-D8 WS" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Two is better than one</h3> <p>We're not at the point where we need to worry about running multiple processors for gaming and daily computing chores, though if you're piecing together a workstation for some heavy lifting, that second socket might be more of a necessity than a luxury. If that's what you're after, be advised that <strong>Asus just announced its Z10PE-D8 WS motherboard</strong>, a dual-CPU socket mobo based on Intel's C612 chipset.</p> <p>The dual sockets support Intel's recently announced Xeon E5-2600 v3 processor family based on the company's Haswell architecture. Intel's product family tops out at 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache, so with two flagship chips plopped into the Z10PE-D8 WS, you could be rocking 36 physical cores - yeah, we just wet ourselves a little bit, too.</p> <p>You can also run up to four dual-slot graphics cards with support for 4-way SLI or CrossFireX, along with RAID cards, PCIe-based SSDs, video capture cards, and other high-speed components (the board is equipped with seven PCIe 3.0 slots).</p> <p>Since reliability is key in a workstation, Asus gave the board its high quality component treatment. It has integrated Driver-MOSFETs (Dr. MOS), Asus-exclusive Beat Thermal Chokes II (supposed to deliver up to 94 percent poer efficiency and lower temps), and 12K solid capacitors, which Asus says is a first on a server board.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.asus.com/Commercial_Servers_Workstations/Z10PED8_WS/" target="_blank">Z10PE-D8 WS</a> will be available soon for $599 MSRP.</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/twice_nice_asus_unveils_z10pe-d8_ws_workstation_board_dual_cpu_sockets_2014#comments asus Build a PC Hardware motherboard workstation z10pe-d8 ws News Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:31:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28515 at http://www.maximumpc.com Thermaltake Announces Fully Modular Core V51 Mid Tower Chassis http://www.maximumpc.com/thermaltake_announces_fully_modular_core_v51_mid_tower_chassis_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/core_v51.jpg" alt="Thermaltake Core V51" title="Thermaltake Core V51" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />The Core V1's bigger brother</h3> <p>It looks like Thermaltake is concentrating on fleshing out its Core Series of computer cases. It already has the Core V1, a cube-shaped case for mini ITX motherboards, and the Core V71, a full-tower enclosure with support for E-ATX motherboards. Now <strong>Thermaltake is releasing its Core V51</strong>, a windowed mid-tower chassis that sits in between the other two with "unprecedented space" for your high-end parts.</p> <p>Aimed at enthusiasts, the Core V51 can also accommodate E-ATX motherboards, as well as standard ATX and micro ATX. It's a modular case, so if you need more space for your liquid cooling setup or other parts, you can remove the 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drive bays.</p> <p>Cooling potential is high on the Core V51. Up front, your fan options include up to three 120mm fans, two 140mm fans, or a single 200mm fans. On the top panel, you can install up to three 120mm or 140mm fans, or up to two 200mm fans. The rear allows for a single 120mm or 140mm fan, while the bottom can hold two more 120mm fans (the case comes with three fans -- two up front and one in the rear).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/core_v51_inside_0.jpg" alt="Thermaltake Core V51 Inside" title="Thermaltake Core V51 Inside" width="600" height="448" /></p> <p>The Core V51 is available now for around $130 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/thermaltake_announces_fully_modular_core_v51_mid_tower_chassis_2014#comments buld a pc case chassis core v51 enclosure Hardware mid tower thermaltake News Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:18:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 28512 at http://www.maximumpc.com HGST Takes Capacity Crown with 10TB Helium Filled Hard Drive http://www.maximumpc.com/hgst_takes_capacity_crown_10tb_helium_filled_hard_drive_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/10tb_market_applications_hr.jpg" alt="HGST 10TB" title="HGST 10TB" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />The world's first 10TB hard disk drive</h3> <p>It's been a long time since we measured hard drive storage in megabytes, let alone gigabytes. This is the terabyte era, and though it's been overshadowed a bit by the cloud, hard drive makers are still pushing ahead with increasing capacities. Forget about that 4TB or even 6TB HDD that seemed massive just a short while ago -- <strong>Western Digital's HGST subsidiary announced the world's first 10TB HDD</strong>!</p> <p>HGST's 10TB drive is a data center class storage device and is intended for cloud and cold storage applications. According to HGST, its new drive will set the bar with the lowest price-per-terabyte and watt-per-terabyte, though the company didn't reveal any specific metrics.</p> <p>What we do know about the drive is that it's a hermetically sealed, helium-filled HDD as part of HGST's HelioSeal platform. This allows for higher capacities while significantly lowering power and cooling requirements, and improving storage densities.</p> <p><a href="http://www.hgst.com/press-room/press-releases/HGST-unveils-intelligent-dynamic-storage-solutions-to-transform-the-data-center" target="_blank">HGST said</a> it's currently sampling 10TB HDDs to customers.</p> <p>The company also announced that it's shipping its 8TB Ultrastar He8 helium-filled HDD. It delivers 33 percent more capacity and 23 percent lower power than HGST's 6TB drive, and like the 10TB model, it's intended for data center applications.</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/hgst_takes_capacity_crown_10tb_helium_filled_hard_drive_2014#comments 10tb 8tb Build a PC Hard Drive Hardware HDD helium hgst storage News Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:16:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28510 at http://www.maximumpc.com Apple Announces Bigger and Faster iPhone 6 Models http://www.maximumpc.com/apple_announces_bigger_and_faster_iphone_6_models_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/iphone_6.jpg" alt="iPhone 6" title="iPhone 6" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />Look who's getting tall</h3> <p>For those of you who had better things to do today than watch an Apple press event -- you know, like work, play games, sleep, etc. -- we have your recap. Short and to the point, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is real, and yes, <strong>Apple also unveiled an even bigger model, the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display</strong>. According to Apple, these new releases are "the biggest advancements in iPhone history."</p> <p>Gordon Mah Ung may have thrown up in his mouth a little bit at that claim, had he not been in full fanboy character for the event -- if you happen to have some free time to spare, check out <em>Maximum PC's</em> no-longer-live <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/maximum_pc_will_be_doing_live_streaming_reactions_apples_big_event">streaming reactions</a> to Apple's big event.</p> <p>In any event, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 sports a Retina HD display with a 1334x750 resolution (38 percent more viewing area than the iPhone 5s, which is now garbage, right?) and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 1920x1080 resolution (88 percent more viewing area than the iPhone 5s).</p> <p>Both models feature a 64-bit custom A8 System-on-Chip with a new Apple-designed image signal processor for advanced camera and video features, such as slow motion video. The new phones also have an M8 coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and new barometer to sense air pressure and provide relative elevation.</p> <p>As for the cameras, the iSight camera features faster autofocus. On the iPhone 6 Plus, you'll have the benefit of an optical image stabilizer.</p> <p>The iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver, or space gray and will be available for $199 (16GB), $299 (64GB) and $399 (128GB) with a two-year service agreement; the iPhone 6 Plus will come in the save color options and cost $100 more at each capacity point. If interested, you can place your pre-order on September 12; the phones will ship on September 19.</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/apple_announces_bigger_and_faster_iphone_6_models_2014#comments apple Hardware iphone 6 iphone 6 plus mobile smartphone Wearable News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:46:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 28509 at http://www.maximumpc.com Watch Today's Teenagers Experience the Original Nintendo (NES) for the First Time http://www.maximumpc.com/watch_todays_teenagers_experience_original_nintendo_nes_first_time_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/teen_nintendo.jpg" alt="Teen NES" title="Teen NES" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Caution: Watching this video will make you feel old</h3> <p>We don't know whether to laugh or cry at the collective reactions of a group of a teenagers who were presented an original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to play with, so we did a little of both. <strong>The Fine Brothers, producers of the "Kids React to..." web series, posted a 9-minute video titled "Teens React To Nintendo (NES)"</strong> in which they group of teens first take guesses as to what the contraption is.</p> <p>Several recognized it as an NES, others did not, with one of the teens asking if it's a projector. Another said it looked like a brick. They then had to figure out how to get it working and were taught the age-old technique of blowing into a cartridge when it would fail to load.</p> <p>"This controller sucks, this is the least comfortable controller ever," one of the teens proclaims after losing a life in Super Mario Bros. Another teen disagreed and said she likes that there's just two buttons "because I get really confused with the big controllers with A, B, X, Y."</p> <p>Check it out below:</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/bDOZbvE01Fk" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></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/watch_todays_teenagers_experience_original_nintendo_nes_first_time_2014#comments console games Hardware NES nintendo News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:15:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28508 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Reportedly Slashing Motherboard Prices to Maintain Market Share http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_reportedly_slashing_motherboard_prices_maintain_market_share_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_x99_deluxe.jpg" alt="Asus X99 Deluxe" title="Asus X99 Deluxe" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />It's your move, Gigabyte</h3> <p>We've heard time and again that things are getting super competitive in the motherboard business. In terms of the top spot, there are really just two top-tier players, those being Asus and Gigabyte, and last we heard, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_edges_out_gigabyte_first_quarter_motherboard_shipments_2014">Asus held a slight lead</a> in shipments as the two companies head towards a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_gigabyte_headed_photo_finish_motherboard_shipments_2014">photo finish</a>. Not looking to leave anything to chance, it's being reported that <strong>Asus cut its motherboard pricing by up to 10 percent</strong> in order to keep its global market share.</p> <p>That info traces back through <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140909PB200.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a>, which itself is citing a Chinese-language <em>Economic Daily News</em> (EDN) report. According to the report, these are retail prices of Asus' own-brand boards that have been cut anywhere from 5-10 percent, so you should be seeing lower prices on store shelves.</p> <p>It's estimated that Asus has shipped 10.4 million of its own-brand boards in the first half of 2014; the company's goal is to ship 22.1 million motherboards by the end of the year.</p> <p>This price cut play by Asus could get the company there. If so, it will come at the expense of Gigabyte, which may now see its motherboard shipments fall below its goal of 5.5-6 million units. According to the report, Gigabyte is now likely to end the year with 20 million motherboard shipments rather than 21.5 million as originally predicted.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/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_reportedly_slashing_motherboard_prices_maintain_market_share_2014#comments asus Build a PC Hardware motherboard News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:12:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28506 at http://www.maximumpc.com Crucial Brings Ballistix Sport Memory into the DDR4 Era http://www.maximumpc.com/crucial_brings_ballistix_sport_memory_ddr4_era_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/crucial_ballistix_sport_ddr4.jpg" alt="Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4" title="Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />More DDR4 options</h3> <p>The selection of DDR4 modules is growing by the day. In fact, it almost feels like the old days -- you know, back when memory makers would launch new kits at a near non-stop pace. In continuing with the recent trend, <strong>Crucial today announced the availability of Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 memory and Crucial DDR4 desktop memory</strong>, both designed for Intel's X99 chipset.</p> <p>In case you're not familiar, Crucial is a division of Micron, a major player in the memory chip business. That allows Ballistix memory to be manufactured completely in-house. There's an interesting video showing how Ballistix memory is made -- we've posted it before and also embedded it below.</p> <p>DDR4 memory is up to 40 percent more energy efficient than DDR3, offers more bandwidth, and runs faster. In addition, select Ballistix Sport DDR4 modules are plug-and-lay with XMP 2.0 profiles.</p> <p>Both Crucial DDR4 and Crucial Ballistix Sport <a href="http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/memory-ddr4-info" target="_blank">DDR4 memory</a> modules are available in densities up to 8GB and kits up to 32GB.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dFsSxtJpm3w" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></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/crucial_brings_ballistix_sport_memory_ddr4_era_2014#comments ballistix sport Build a PC Crucial ddr4 Hardware Memory ram News Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:26:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28504 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M Benchmarks Purportedly Leaked http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980_gtx_970_and_gtx_980m_benchmarks_purportedly_leaked <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_card_0.jpg" alt="Nvidia Card" title="Nvidia Card" width="330" height="241" style="float: right;" />Here's a look at how Nvidia's next batch of graphics cards might perform</h3> <p>How about we kick off the work week with some rumors, speculation, and purportedly leaked info, shall we? Sure, why not! What we have tumbling out of the rumor mill today is the notion that Nvidia is going to launch its GeForce 900 Series cards based on its Maxwell architecture on September 19. Specifications are hard to come by, but in the meantime, <strong>some supposed benchmark scores of Nvidia's forthcoming GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M are making the rounds in cyberspace</strong>.</p> <p>The folks at <a href="http://videocardz.com/52166/nvidia-geforce-gtx-980-gtx-970-gtx-980m-gtx-970m-3dmark-performance" target="_blank"><em>Videocardsz.com</em></a> posted what they claim are benchmarks of the aforementioned cards, which they then assembled into a neat chart fleshed out with several existing graphics cards. In 3DMark Fire Strike, the GeForce GTX 980 sits pretty high with a score of 13,005 and is only trumped by dual GPU configurations. As a point of reference, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti posted a score of 12.702.There are three different clockspeeds posted for the GTX 980, and that's because <em>Videocardz.com</em> was unable to confirm which is the actual reference clock. The 13,005 score represents the fastest clocked version (1190MHz core). It's surmised that the card sports 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus and a 7GHz memory clock.</p> <div>As for the GTX 970, it scored slightly above a GTX 780 (10,282 versus 10,008, respectively).</div> <div>What's most impressive, however, is the purported performance gain of the GTX 980M. In 3DMark Fire Strike, the 980M scored 9,364, about twice as high as the 870M (4,697) and well above the 880M (5,980). <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> </div> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980_gtx_970_and_gtx_980m_benchmarks_purportedly_leaked#comments Build a PC geforce gpu graphics card GTX 970 GTX 980 GTX 980M Hardware nvidia Video Card News Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:58:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28497 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel's Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 CPUs Bring Haswell to the Server Space http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_xeon_e5-26001600_v3_cpus_bring_haswell_server_space <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_xeon_e5-2600_v3.jpg" alt="Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3" title="Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />A big boost for Xeon</h3> <p><strong>Intel today announced its new Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families</strong> designed to crunch through diverse workloads and the growing needs of data centers. These new processors sport several enhancements that Intel claims will result in up to a three-fold increase in performance compared to the previous generation (Xeon E5 v2 family). Among those enhancements are more processing cores and an upgrade from Ivy Bridge to Intel's Haswell architecture.</p> <p>While the core count ceiling for Intel's previous generation Xeon X5 v2 CPUs was set at 12, the new Xeon E5-2600 v3 product family tops out at up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache. On top of this, an extension to Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel AVX2) doubles the width of vector integer instructions to 256 bits per clock cycle for integer sensitive workloads and delivers up to 1.9x higher performance gains, Intel says.</p> <p>These new chips will find homes in servers, workstations, storage, and networking infrastructure for a broad range of tasks such as data analytics, high performance computing (HPC), telecommunications, and cloud-based services. They'll also be used for back-end processing for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) category.</p> <p>"The digital services economy imposes new requirements on the data center, requirements for automated, dynamic and scalable service delivery," <a href="http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/09/08/latest-intel-xeon-processors-accelerate-data-center-transformation-for-the-digital-services-era" target="_blank">said Diane Bryant</a>, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. "Our new Intel processors deliver unmatched performance, energy efficiency and security, as well as provide visibility into the hardware resources required to enable software defined infrastructure. By enabling the re-architecture of the data center, Intel is helping companies fully exploit the benefits of cloud-based services."</p> <p>On the high end, the Xeon E5-2600 v3 family increases virtualization density with support for up to 70 percent more VMs per server compared to the previous generation. They'll also deliver a boost in memory bandwidth constrained workloads with the support of DDR4 memory.</p> <p>Intel plans to offer its E5-2600 v3 product family with 26 different parts ranging in price from $213 to $2,702. It's E5-1600 workstations will be offered in six different parts in prices ranging from $295 to $1,723.</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/intels_xeon_e5-26001600_v3_cpus_bring_haswell_server_space#comments Build a PC cpu Hardware haswell intel processor server xeon e5 v3 News Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:33:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28494 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ROG Rolls Out Ares III Dual R9 290X Graphics Card http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_rolls_out_ares_iii_dual_r9_290x_graphics_card <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_ares_iii.jpg" alt="Asus Ares III" title="Asus Ares III" width="228" height="175" style="float: right;" />You know it's a serious card when it comes in a briefcase</h3> <p>See that image of the Ares III? <strong>According to Asus, the Ares III is the world's fastest water-cooled dual R9 290X graphics card on the planet</strong>, and we won't argue that claim. After all, who knows what that thing's lugging inside its metal briefcase. What we do know, however, is that this impressive graphics card is wielding dual AMD Radeon Hawaii XT R9 290X GPUs, both factory overclocked to 1030MHz.</p> <p>It's flanked by 8GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 5000MHz and, according to Asus, is 15 percent faster than a GeForce GTX Titan Z when gaming at a 4K resolution</p> <p>Despite the presence of two GPUs, this is a single-slot graphics card. It features a hand-carved EK water block for a precision fit, and when hooked up, the card runs 25 percent cooler than the reference R9 295X2, <a href="http://rog.asus.com/357422014/gaming-graphics-cards-2/press-release-republic-of-gamers-announces-ares-iii/" target="_blank">Asus says</a>.</p> <p>If you need even more speed, Asus points out that the Ares III features Digi+ VRM technology with a 16-phase concrete-core power design and Japanese made 10K black metallic capacitors, which reduces power noise by 30 percent and enhances energy efficiency by 15 percent without generating whines or buzzes. Translation? You can overclock this sucker.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/ares_iii.jpg" alt="Asus Ares III Card" title="Asus Ares III Card" width="620" height="597" /></p> <p>Asus is only making 500 of these cards, which will be available this month. No word yet on price.</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_rog_rolls_out_ares_iii_dual_r9_290x_graphics_card#comments amd ares iii asus Build a PC Gaming graphics card Hardware r9 290x radeon Republic of Gamers ROG Video Card News Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:52:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 28487 at http://www.maximumpc.com