Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en Will Windows 10 Spur PC Replacement Demand? http://www.maximumpc.com/will_windows_10_spur_pc_replacement_demand_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10_pcs.jpg" alt="Windows 10 PCs" title="Windows 10 PCs" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />PC vendors are not sure what to expect from Windows 10</h3> <p>Trying to predict the PC market is like to trying to forecast the weather a month in advance -- it's a crapshoot, basically. So, we're taking it with several grains of salt that <strong>PC vendors are reportedly doubtful that the Windows 10 launch next year will stimulate demand for replacement systems</strong>. One reason they feel that way is because of the lingering rumor that Microsoft may make Windows 10 a free update.</p> <p>We haven't heard much on that front lately, but with Microsoft making such a big deal about the changes in Windows 10 and even skipping a number due to the massive overhaul, we'd be mildy surprised (not downright shocked) if Redmond doled it out as a free update to Windows 8.1.</p> <p>Players within the Taiwan-based supply chain point out to <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141224PD211.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a> that brand vendors usually launch new notebook models to pair with a new OS release, though they don't know if that will be the case if Microsoft does indeed make Windows 10 a free update.</p> <p>Market research firm Gartner is a bit more optimistic, or at least it was earlier in the year. Back in July, Gartner predicted that PC shipments could reach 317 million units in 2015, up from 308 million units expected to ship this year. The reason? A "revival" of the PC market due to business PC upgrades, especially as more companies replace their XP systems.</p> <p>What effect do you think Windows 10 will have on PC sales? Sound off in the comments section below!</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/will_windows_10_spur_pc_replacement_demand_2014#comments Hardware microsoft operating system OS pc Software windows 10 News Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:59:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29147 at http://www.maximumpc.com EVGA Announces Beastly SuperNova 1600W Titanium PSU http://www.maximumpc.com/evga_announces_beastly_supernova_1600w_titanium_psu <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/evga_1600_t2.jpg" alt="EVGA SuperNova 1600 T2 PSU" title="EVGA SuperNova 1600 T2 PSU" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />The definition of overkill</h3> <p>Looking for a power supply that can handle your monster build with juice to spare? Well, <strong>EVGA's new SuperNova 1600 T2 PSU </strong>is a good start. Rated at 1600W, EVGA's new PSU also boasts 80 Plus Titanium certification for 94 percent efficiency. It's also the highest 80 Plus certification available, the others being Platinum (92 percent), Gold (90 percent), Silver (88 percent), Bronze (85 percent), and simply Plus (80 percent), all of which represent efficiency at 50 percent load levels.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.evga.com/products/Product.aspx?pn=220-T2-1600-X1" target="_blank">SuperNova 1600 T2</a> is really a PSU for the 1 percenters, in terms of the relatively few people who have the hardware that might need anything remotely close to what this unit can offer. If you're running anything less than quad-SLI/CrossFire, this is probably too much power supply.</p> <p>Assuming you can make use of it, the SuperNova 1600 T2 sports bundles of modular cables that are braided, including nine 8-pin (6+2), five 6-pin PCIe connectors, and 16 SATA connectors. It's fully modular, meaning even the 24-pin ATX and dual 8-pin (4+4) EPS cables are detachable.</p> <p>Brace yourself, as this is where we reveal the price -- it's set at $450 MSRP. To help soften the blow, EVGA includes a generous 10-year warranty.</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/evga_announces_beastly_supernova_1600w_titanium_psu#comments Build a PC evga Hardware power supply PSU supernova 1600 t2 News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:46:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29143 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Tries Poaching MacBook Users with Surface Pro 3 Website http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tries_poaching_macbook_users_surface_pro_3_website_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/macbook_surface.jpg" alt="MacBook and Surface Pro 3" title="MacBook and Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="131" style="float: right;" />New site helps MacBook users make the switch to Surface</h3> <p>Microsoft wasn't so brazen as to post a website trying to lure MacBook users to its original Surface products, including the Surface RT, a particularly forgettable product. But with the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has hit a groove and come out with a product that, for some, is a tablet that can truly replace their laptop. With its new-found confidence, <strong>Microsoft has gone gunning for MacBook users with a new website to help them make the switch to Surface Pro 3</strong>.</p> <p>"Computers, and the memories you keep within them, are incredibly personal. We know moving these memories from one platform to another can be nerve-racking and learning new software can seem daunting. We want to make the transition as easy as possible. If you currently have a Mac and have questions about switching to Surface Pro 3 and Windows, we designed this site to help get you started," Microsoft explains on its <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/switch/mac-surface" target="_blank">new site</a>.</p> <p>Will it work? Time will tell, though the answer will depend in part on how MacBook users (and the populace in general) views the site. <a href="http://www.modernreaders.com/microsoft-guns-for-macbook-deserters-with-new-surface-pro-3-site/16731/ed-jones" target="_blank"><em>Modern Readers</em></a> referred to the site as "teeth-clenchingly annoying" and "not patronizing at all...nope...not a bit," the latter an obviously sarcastic observation.</p> <p>There are four sections:</p> <ol> <li>Getting started with Windows</li> <li>Surface Pro 3 for MacBook users</li> <li>Moving your content to Surface Pro 3</li> <li>Using Surface Pro 3 with iPhone, iCloud, and iTunes</li> </ol> <p>The second section might be the most helpful for a Mac users who isn't familiar with Windows, as it lays out a bunch of "how-to" tasks.</p> <p>Microsoft stated in its most recent earnings report that sales of its Surface tablets more than doubled year-over-year and also sequentially to $908 million. According to Microsoft, the reason for the surge in sales is due to "strong interest from students, professionals, and increasingly enterprises for Surface Pro 3." That's a far cry from the Surface RT days when Microsoft was stuck holding onto <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_failed_surface_rt_strategy_leads_900_million_charge_unsold_inventory">$900 million</a> worth of unsold inventory.</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/microsoft_tries_poaching_macbook_users_surface_pro_3_website_2014#comments Hardware laptop macbook microsoft notebook surface pro 3 tablet News Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:45:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 29141 at http://www.maximumpc.com Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Talks Surface Pro 2 and Microsoft's Ecosystem http://www.maximumpc.com/seahawks_quarterback_russell_wilson_talks_surface_pro_2_and_microsofts_ecosystem <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_2_3.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 2" title="Surface Pro 2" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Russell Wilson is no longer an Apple guy</h3> <p>Microsoft's deal with the National Football League to showcase Surface Pro 2 hardware during games got off to a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nfL_announcers_slip_400_million_surface_deal_calls_microsofts_tablets_ipads_2014">rocky start</a> when TV commentators and players alike <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nfl_tv_announcers_still_referring_microsoft_surface_tablets_ipads_2014">repeatedly referred</a> to the devices as iPads. That amounted to free advertising for the competition, for which Microsoft paid good money ($400 million), but that's all in the past. Furthermore, <strong>Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL is winning over players, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson</strong>, who revealed a dark secret.</p> <p>The folks at <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/22/seahawks-qb-russell-wilson-interview/" target="_blank"><em>Engadget</em> met up with Wilson</a> at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, which is where the Seahawks practice. While speaking with him, Wilson revealed that he used to be an Apple guy -- an APPLE GUY! It's a shame he's willing to admit, though he doesn't tell people about it all that often.</p> <p>These days, he's a fan of Microsoft's ecosystem. He told <em>Engadget</em> that the Surface Pro 2 tablets Microsoft has been providing to teams has helped improve productivity for himself and the rest of the Seahawks as well.</p> <p>"Regardless of his previous interest in Cupertino products, he's now fully invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. Seriously, he <em>really</em> loves all things Microsoft," <em>Engadget</em> 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/seahawks_quarterback_russell_wilson_talks_surface_pro_2_and_microsofts_ecosystem#comments Hardware laptop microsoft NFL notebook russell wilson seahawks surface pro 2 tablet News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:06:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29136 at http://www.maximumpc.com Score an Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Tablet for $299 (Today Only) http://www.maximumpc.com/score_amazon_kindle_fire_hdx_89_tablet_299_today_only_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amazon_fire_hdx_89.jpg" alt="Amazon Fire HDX 8.9" title="Amazon Fire HDX 8.9" width="228" height="159" style="float: right;" />Save 30 percent today on Amazon's flagship tablet</h3> <p>Kudos to you if you can make it to the end of the year without anything but a bare wallet and depleted PayPal account. Anything else is a tall order with all the holiday sales -- it started with <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/black_friday_ads_2014_round" target="_blank">Black Friday and Cyber Monday</a>, both of which were extended by most retailers, and continued with things like Microsoft's <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_kicks_12_days_deals_79_toshiba_encore_mini_tablet_2014">12 Days of Deals</a>, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gogcom_kicks_autumn_sales_free_games_2014">GOG Autumn sale</a>, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_holiday_sale_kicks_runs_until_january_2_2015">Steam Holiday sale</a>, and so forth. And just when you thought the madness was over, Amazon has come out swinging with some tantalizing daily deals of its own -- <strong>today Amazon is offering is flagship Fire HDX 8.9 tablet starting at $299</strong>, a 30 percent savings over its regular selling price.</p> <p>That's a nice chunk off the tablet's list price of $429. I've played with one of these extensively, and for the most part, it's a very nice slate, especially at the reduced rate. You'll have to keep in mind that access to Google Play is out of the question (there are ways around that, like side-loading apps) and the highly modified version of Android (Fire OS) is tailored for Amazon's ecosystem. But beyond those things, it's a solid effort and much better than the company's Fire HD 7, which I think feels cheap and feature-poor by comparison.</p> <p>The Fire HDX 8.9 sports a 2560x1600 resolution (339 ppi), 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 720p HD front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and electronic image stabilization, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and 16GB, 32GB, 64GB of built-in storage (choose wisely, as there's no expandable storage option).</p> <p>Amazon has marked down the 32GB (starting at $299 with Special Offers, otherwise known as ads) and 64GB (starting at $334) SKUs, which you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=lp_10401554011_gb1h_tit_c-3_1182_26c91d56?rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Cn%3A10401554011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;node=10401554011&amp;smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER" target="_blank">find here</a>.</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/score_amazon_kindle_fire_hdx_89_tablet_299_today_only_2014#comments amazon Hardware kindle fire hdx 8.9 mobile slate tablet News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:54:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 29134 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Taps Overclocking Community to Test External Power Card http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_taps_overclocking_community_test_external_power_card_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_external_card.jpg" alt="Asus External Power Card" title="Asus External Power Card" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />External card helps to regulate voltages</h3> <p>One reason to get into the hardcore overclocking scene is because you get to play with the latest gear. If you're particularly good at your craft, companies will stumble over themselves trying to hook you up with high-end hardware as you chase world overclocking and benchmark records, as they all want their brands associated with such feats. So, it's not surprising that <strong>Asus has sent out a handful of external power card prototypes to the overclocking community</strong>.</p> <p>HWBOT forum user "elmor" <a href="http://forum.hwbot.org/showthread.php?t=122457" target="_blank">posted a photo</a> of the card, which at this stage is part of an experimental project. Only a few test samples have been sent out -- Asus wants to gain some feedback from overclockers regarding features, functions, and performance.</p> <p>The card offers a single 8-phase output with an output voltage of 0-2.5V and output current of up to 500A. It has on-board voltage controls and monitoring, along with half a dozen hotwire connectors for auxillary VRMs. It's also firmware upgradable -- Asus intends to add profiles (save/load) to the mix along with a <a href="http://forum.hwbot.org/showpost.php?p=350620&amp;postcount=12" target="_blank">few other tweaks</a>.</p> <p>This isn't uncharted territory. EVGA offers a similar tool in its <a href="http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=100-UC-0400-BR" target="_blank">EPower Board 2.0</a> ($100 MSRP) and there's also <a href="https://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTE/posts/10152495454521948" target="_blank">Gigabyte's G-Powerboard</a> that it showed off at Computex.</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_taps_overclocking_community_test_external_power_card_2014#comments asus external power card Hardware overclocking News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:11:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29133 at http://www.maximumpc.com Biostar Motherboards to Incorporate Built-in LAN Protection from Lightning Strikes http://www.maximumpc.com/biostar_motherboards_incorporate_built-_lan_protection_lightning_strikes_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/super_lan_surge_protection.jpg" alt="Super LAN Surge Protection" title="Super LAN Surge Protection" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Motherboard maker takes lightning storms seriously</h3> <p>Here's the thing, folks -- if you want to protect your PC from lightning strikes and other electrical surges, plug it into a UPS backup power supply with built-in surge protection. For added caution, shut down and unplug your PC during lightning storms. And <strong>if you're super paranoid about your LAN port giving up the ghost, well, you'll be happy to know that Biostar has your back and will begin integrating a chip into its motherboards to strengthen electrical stability</strong>.</p> <p>Biostar is calling the feature "SUPER LAN Surge Protection," and you know it's good stuff because they emphasized "super" with all-caps. Going forward, all Biostar products will incorporate the technology, offering four times greater protection against lightning strikes and electrical surges than the competition.</p> <p>It's not clear if USB ports are also protected, as the company's infographic would make it appear. Either way, this isn't really the sort of thing that's going to make Biostar more appealing to power users. For the most part, anyway -- we suppose if you've had a bad string of luck with LAN ports getting fried, this is right up your alley. And before you scoff at the idea, we can think of at least one persion who would be all over this kind of thing:</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OGR6Wk3Kboo" width="620" height="465" 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/biostar_motherboards_incorporate_built-_lan_protection_lightning_strikes_2014#comments Biostar Build a PC Hardware lan motherboard surge protection News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:21:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 29132 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Wants to Tap Your PC and Android Devices to Cure Ebola http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_wants_tap_your_pc_and_android_devices_cure_ebola <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ebola_research.jpg" alt="Ebola Research" title="Ebola Research" width="228" height="165" style="float: right;" />Free app puts your Android device to work crunching data when it would otherwise be idle</h3> <p>Scientists are hard at work looking for a definitive cure to Ebola, and you can help. More precisely, if you're willing to donate idle time power from your PC and/or Android device, you can help the cause. How? <strong>The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered up with IBM and its World Community Grid to form a volunteer computing project called "Outsmart Ebola Together," </strong>and all you need to do is install a free app.</p> <p>Once installed, your PC and/or Android phone or tablet will crunch data at times then they would otherwise be idle. Small computational assignments are sent out to participating devices, which the software then completes and returns to scientists. It's essentially another distributed computing project, like Folding@Home, and so far almost 3 million PCs and mobile devices used by more than 680,000 people and 460 institutions from 80 countries have contributed virtual supercomputing power this this and other WCG projects over the past 10 years.</p> <p>"Our molecular images of the Ebola virus are like enemy reconnaissance," <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/45594.wss" target="_blank">said Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire</a> of TSRI, one of the largest private biomedical research institutes in the United States. "These images show us where the virus is vulnerable and the targets we need to hit. In the Outsmart Ebola Together project, we will be able to harness World Community Grid’s virtual supercomputing power to find the drugs we need to aim at these targets."</p> <p>It took just one week on the grid for the Ebola project to complete what it would have taken a single PC with a single processor around 35 year to complete, <a href="http://time.com/3634732/ibm-ebola-cure/" target="_blank"><em>Time</em> reports</a>. Speed is critical in this case as Ebola continues to spread and mutate.</p> <p>The caveat? One would presume lower battery life since idle time is now being put to work, however the software only does its thing when your device is pugged in and connected to Wi-Fi (to avoid data charges). Unfortunately there's no iOS version of the free app yet, though IBM is working on it.</p> <p>For more information, <a href="http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/" target="_blank">go here</a>.</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/ibm_wants_tap_your_pc_and_android_devices_cure_ebola#comments android distributed computing ebola Hardware ibm scripps research institute world community grid News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:55:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 29124 at http://www.maximumpc.com Western Digital Expects Storage Market to Grow by Billions of Dollars http://www.maximumpc.com/western_digital_expects_storage_market_grow_billions_dollars_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_5.jpg" alt="HDD" title="HDD" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Cloud computing and IoT are pushing demand for more storage</h3> <p>Don't feel too bad for storage players as the prices of hard drives and solid state drives continue to come down -- there's still money to be made. Lots of it. By <strong>Western Digital's estimation, the global storage market will reach $38 billion by the end of this year</strong>, up from $36 billion a year ago. And that's not all -- WD sees the growth continuing into next year and beyond, with 2015 seeing $42 billion in storage sales.</p> <p>Home computers and PC storage applications account for nearly half of all storage sales, though WD sees enterprise customers becoming bigger buyers in the not-too-distant future, <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141218PD217.html"><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a>. This is due to a rise in popularity among cloud-based services and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) trend.</p> <p>As it stands, the overall demand for storage reached 4.4 zettabytes in 2013, or 4.4 billion terabytes. A drop in the bucket compared to where things are headed over the next several years -- by 2020, that figure is expected to balloon to 44 zettabytes.</p> <p>WD expects enterprise demand to outpace that of PCs next by either next year or 2016. To ensure it capitalizes on however the market shakes out, WD is planning a series of product lines in varying categories, including new opportunities in cloud compouting, IoT, NAS, and personal cloud applications.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/downhilldom1984/6034381675" target="_blank">Flickr (Dominik Bartsch)</a></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/western_digital_expects_storage_market_grow_billions_dollars_2014#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD solid state drive ssd storage wd Western Digital News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 29123 at http://www.maximumpc.com Potential Steam Controller Design Leaks to Web http://www.maximumpc.com/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_controller_2.jpg" alt="Steam Controller" title="Steam Controller" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Welcome back, D-pad</h3> <p>Had things gone to plan, official Steam Machines would have already begun flooding the market by now, though those plans got put on hold when Valve decided to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/controller_tweaks_prompt_valve_delay_steam_machines_until_2015" target="_blank">delay the initiative</a> so that it could have extra time to tweak its Steam Controller. Valve dropped the bombshell just shy of seven months ago, and while there's <strong>still no completed Steam Controller in sight, there is a new design that's been leaked to the web</strong>.</p> <p>A staff member at <a href="http://www.valvetime.net/threads/steam-client-beta-update-reveals-latest-steam-controller-design.245634/" target="_blank"><em>ValveTime.net</em></a> who goes by the nick "Omnomnick" posted the updated design, noting that the most recent appearance of the delayed devices was plucked from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. It looks fairly similar to the previous version except what appears to be a D-pad has returned to the left-hand side.</p> <p>"The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion," Omnomnick said.</p> <p>Unfortunately we still won't see the controller at CES next month. That's because Valve won't be there, a tidbit the company confirmed to our sister site <a href="http://www.techradar.com/us/news/gaming/consoles/valve-won-t-be-at-ces-2015-large-steam-machine-presence-planned-for-gdc-1273542" target="_blank"><em>TechRadar</em></a>. Valve is instead planning a big Steam Machine presence at GDC 2015, which takes place March 2-6.</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/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014#comments games Hardware Peripherals steam controller Valve News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29114 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Marks Down HP Pavilion x2 Hybrid PC to $199 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_pavilion_x2.jpg" alt="HP Pavilion x2" title="HP Pavilion x2" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Another solid gift idea</h3> <p>You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an <strong>HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199</strong> from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.</p> <p>The Pavilion x2 sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with an LED backlight, 1280x800 resolution, and 10-finger multi-touch support. It's powered by an Intel Atom Z3736F processor (1.33GHz to 2.16GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L-RS 1333MHz RAM. Other features include 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, headphone/microphone combo, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit).</p> <p>Those aren't the kind of specs that will knock your socks off, though respectable for the money. It also comes with a detachable keyboard and a year of Office 356 Personal, the latter of which is a $70 value.</p> <p>Interested? <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/HP-Pavilion-x2-10-k077nr-Signature-Edition-2-in-1-PC/productID.309725500?icid=12Days_ModA_Day11_HP2" target="_blank">Go here</a> to pick one up. And if not, here's a heads up that tomorrow's deal -- the last of the promotion -- is going to be half off a <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/12-Month-Xbox-Music-Pass/productID.258412400?icid=12Days_D12_XMusic" target="_blank">12-month Xbox Music Pass</a> ($49.90 instead of $99.90).</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/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014#comments 12 days of deals 2-in-1 Hardware hp pavilion x2 laptop microsoft notebook tablet News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29113 at http://www.maximumpc.com Forget the Picture Frame, Use Lian Li's O Series Chassis to Hang a PC on Your Wall http://www.maximumpc.com/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lian_li_pc-o7s.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-O7S" title="Lian Li PC-O7S" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />An open air wall-mountable chassis</h3> <p>Have you ever thought about hanging your PC components on a wall? Admittedly I have a time or three, though I've never attempted it because, quite frankly, it'd be a lot of work to secure each and every component on a bare wall, and then make it all look nice to boot. It looks like <strong>Lian Li read my mind -- the company's new O Series open-air cases are wall-mountable</strong> (and also a work in progress).</p> <p>There are four different models: the mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5/" target="_blank">PC-O5</a>, mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5s/" target="_blank">PC-O5S</a>, micro-ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o6s/" target="_blank">PC-O6S</a>, and the ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o7s/" target="_blank">PC-O7S</a>. All of them are in the prototype stage, as Lian Li looks for user feedback from the DIY community as it fleshes out and tweaks a final design.</p> <p>Though they're built for different form factors, each case is similar in overall design. They all feature an oversized tempered glass window so that visitors can spy the entire build. And to keep it slim, graphics cards are installed parallel to the motherboard through a PCI riser card and extension.</p> <p>Cases with an "S" suffix denote water cooling compatibility, with the PC-O5S supporting radiators up to 240mm; the PC-O6S and PC-O7S support radiators up to 360mm.</p> <p>Wall mounting any of the O Series cases is optional (you'll probably want a wireless mouse and keyboard if going that route), as they can also be placed on a desk in the vertical position using an included aluminum stand with rubber grip, or horizontally on four attachable feet with rubber padding.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ucNne8-yc5w" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No word on when Lian Li might bring these case to market or what the MSRPs will be.</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/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li o series News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:08:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29112 at http://www.maximumpc.com Look for More Business-Class Laptops Pairing SSDs with HDDs in 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_ssd.jpg" alt="SSD and HDD" title="SSD and HDD" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs</h3> <p>Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, <strong>laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141216PD213.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, the proportion of hybrid business-use notebooks -- laptops equipped with an SSD for the OS and HDD for storage -- currently sits at around 10 percent, though looking ahead to next year, those in the notebook supply chain say they expect that number to double to 20 percent.</p> <p>This is based on the expectation that the price for a 128GB SSD will drop to $60 in the first quarter of 2015, which would be equal to the cost of a 1TB HDD, <em>Digitimes</em> says. So what's likely to happen is there will be a bunch of business notebooks that pair a 128GB SDD with a 500GB HDD.</p> <p>Why the prominence in business-class laptops? These tend to be more expensive than consumer notebooks, which makes it easier to squeeze in upgrades like this. And with cloud-based storage taking off the way it has, vendors don't need to worry so much about equipping laptops with increasingly capacious HDDs, or so the theory goes.</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/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD laptop notebook solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:44:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29107 at http://www.maximumpc.com BlackBerry Classic Tips Hat to the Past, Kicks Off Comeback Strategy http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_classic_0.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Classic" title="BlackBerry Classic" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Old school philosophy with new school hardware</h3> <p>Well, it's official -- <strong>BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research In Motion, or RIM) launched its BlackBerry Classic today</strong>, a "no-nonsense" phone that harkens back to the Canadian handset maker's glory days with a physical QWERTY keyboard and built-in trackpad. It also sports several modern amenities and upgrades to go along with its keyboard, like a browser that's three times faster compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9900.</p> <p>The 3.5-inch touchscreen offers 60 percent more screen space while the phone as a whole offers 50 percent longer battery life, BlackBerry claims. Other features include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 128GB via microSD), 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear facing camera with enhanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors, and BlackBerry 10 OS (10.3.1).</p> <p>"We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," <a href="http://press.blackberry.com/press/2014/blackberry-classic--familiar-qwerty-design-packs-high-performanc.html" target="_blank">said John Chen</a>, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world."</p> <p>With the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry is hoping to attract fans of physical keyboards, both loyal and new, as it attempts to regain a level of relevancy in the mobile space that it hasn't seen since Android and iOS skyrocketed to the top. According to data provided by IDC, BlackBerry OS is clinging to a meager 0.5 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market, compared to Windows Phone at 2.9 percent, iOS at 11.7 percent, and Android at 84.4 percent.</p> <p>The unlocked BlackBerry Classic runs <a href="http://shop.blackberry.com/store/bbrryus/en_US/pd/productID.310234500/Currency.USD" target="_blank">$449 on BlackBerry's website</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B00OYZZ3VS/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=bbclassic-20&amp;linkId=2UVALKBYIDNGYW3M" target="_blank">$499.99 on Amazon</a>. AT&amp;T and Verizon have also confirmed plans to sell the device beginning sometime next year.</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/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014#comments BlackBerry blackberry classic Hardware keyboard mobile smartphone News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:58:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29105 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best of the Best: Now Updated! http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/best.jpg" alt="Best" title="Best" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Maximum PC's "Best of the Best" List Gets Updated</h3> <p>The holiday shopping is in full swing, and though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, deals and savings are all over the place. If you're going to shop for computer hardware, this is one of the best times of the year to do it. And as an added bonus, you can write some of this stuff off on your taxes if you're building a new system for work chores.</p> <p>Deciding to buy new hardware is the easy part. Where it gets difficult is in deciding <em>which</em> hardware to purchase. To help make things easier for you, we've gone and updated our "Best of the Best" list one last time for 2014. We have refreshed entries for graphics cards, CPUs, motherboards, and storage.</p> <p>You can check out all of our new pics in the gallery below, though keep in mind this is a small sample of the complete list, which you can <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/best-of-the-best" target="_blank">view here</a>. And hey, we know these things tend to stir up controversy, so if have a different pick in any given category, feel free to post it in the comments section along with a note as to why you think it's the best.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014#comments best of the best Build a PC features gallery Hardware maximum pc Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:32:27 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff and Paul Lilly 29010 at http://www.maximumpc.com