Fractal Design rightfully assumes that there's a userbase no longer interested in optical drive bays. That's not to say everyone falls into that category, but with Valve's Steam platform dominating game sales and companies like Microsoft and Adobe moving services to the cloud, the need for an optical drive lessens by the day. So, some will find Fractal Design's decision to omit optical drive bays in its new Define S to be a good one, especially since it purportedly means a better focus on airflow and silence.
Patriot Memory on Monday fleshed out its solid state drive lineup with the introduction of the Ignite Series. The Ignite is a line of M.2 SATA SSDs that Patriot says is intended for portable devices such as ultrabooks, notebooks, and ultra-compact PCs, or mini PCs as they're also called (think along the lines of Intel's NUC and Zotac's Zbox systems). The obvious benefit here is faster boot times from a piece of hardware that's about the size of a stick of bubble gum.
Nvidia’s latest and greatest GPUs remain unchallenged
Advanced Micro Devices will talk about its much-awaited (and long overdue) next-gen graphics cards later in this quarter, the company’s CEO Lisa Su said in an earnings call earlier this week. This is significant because if there was ever a need for a graphics card refresh, it’s right now.
Building a computer isn't all that difficult. Though it may seem like a daunting proposition to anyone who's never assembled a PC before, it's really just a matter of preparation and patience. Where things tend to get a little more challenging is when you aim for a professional looking build like the boutique vendors offer. How do they do it? See for yourself -- boutique builder Origin PC is going to live stream the construction of a Millennium desktop PC later this month.
We still have a few months to go before official Steam Machine systems enter the market, but in the meantime, OEMs, boutique builders, and hardware players continue to get a jump start on the category with PC gaming consoles built around Windows 8.1 and Steam's Big Picture mode. One such model is the Asus ROG GR6, the newest PC game box that's sure to grab attention from your entertainment center.
Can't decide on whether you want a blue or red LED backlight on the your keyboard? The neat thing about the current crop of RGB keyboards is that you don't have to decide -- you have around 16.8 million colors at your disposal, so you can change your mind on a whim, or combine different colors for different parts of the keyboard. So it goes with Razer's BlackWidow Tournament Edition keyboard, a mechanical plank with lots of LED backlighting options that's now available to purchase.
Small capacity solid state drives are becoming a thing of the past, and we couldn't be happier about it. It's high time SSD makers started focusing on big capacities, which should in turn drive prices down while making more room for programs and games on primary storage drives. Credit Corsair for receiving the memo -- Corsair just added 480GB and 960GB capacity drives to its Force LS line.
Kingston this week announced its largest business-class solid state drive to date, the 960GB KC310. Billed as a true hard drive replacement, the capacious KC310 is powered by a Phison S10 quad-core, eight-channel controller and features a SATA 6Gbps interface. It also comes with firmware-based power loss protection to help maintain data integrity, one of several traits that make it suitable for entry-level servers and datacenter deployments.
If it looks like a duck but barks like a dog, what is it?
We were really impressed with Hewlett-Packard's Omen laptop when we reviewed it last year. With a design that paid homage to its Voodoo PC namesake, the model we received proved a capable gaming machine wrapped in a sexy chassis with a beautiful touchscreen panel. Well, there's a new version available, though HP's Omen Pro is classified as a mobile workstation, perhaps making it more suitable for game developers than gamers.
Ever heard of the ErgoDox? It's a mechanical keyboard kit that's available to purchase every so often, and if you're lucky to get one, your reward is an ergonomic plank with mechanical key switches. Well, after you assemble it, that is. And by assemble, we mean there's a fair bit of soldering involved, not just plugging in pieces like Legos. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, meet ErgoDox EZ, a pre-assembled ErgoDox that's damn near close to meeting its funding goal on Indiegogo.