A potential candidate for a home brewed Steam Machine
It appears Powercolor is getting ready to launch a passively cooled version of AMD's Radeon R9 270 graphics card. Powercolor has yet to formally introduce what it's calling the R9 270 SCS3 edition, but if you look around the web, you'll discover some overseas retailers listing the SKU, including one that managed to get its hands on a press photo of the upcoming card.
If you're on the fence about which subscription-based streaming music service to cozy up with, Microsoft has an offer it hopes you'll find too good to refuse. That offer is a free Nokia Lumia 520 or 521 handset when you purchase a 12-month pass to Xbox Music. That's not a bad deal on a couple of levels, the first being that you're essentially receiving two months free by paying for a year in advance -- Xbox Music typically runs $9.99 per month.
Rumor has it Lenovo is interested in Sony's Vaio PC business
Reports emerged over the weekend claiming Lenovo, the world's No. 1 PC maker in terms of shipments, has been in talks with Sony about a possible joint venture involving the sale of Sony's Vaio PC business. Considering that Sony's Vaio PC division is operating at a loss, not to mention Lenovo having just announced plans to purchase Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion, investors are spooked.
One of the things that helped drive down the price of Android tablets is the proliferation of smaller size displays in the 7-inch range. This is partially what allowed companies like Amazon and Google to undercut the competition at a time when the market was flooded with 10-inch tablets for $500 and up. This correlation in price also works in reverse, as evidenced by Samsung's 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro commanding $850 at Office Depot.
High performance Ultrabooks from Acer boast WQHD IPS displays
It took some time for Ultrabooks to come down in price after they were first introduced, and now that affordable models are fairly commonplace, let's not forget that there are still high-end features waiting for anyone willing to spend a premium. Acer's new S7 line with Wide Quad High-Definition (WQHD) displays are prime examples. Priced at $1,500 (S7-392-6425) and $1,800 (S7-392-9430), Acer's S7 Ultrabooks boasts some top shelf components, including a 2560x1440 display.
It doesn't take a monster system to run Microsoft Office or surf the web, hence why we're starting to see so many small form factor (SFF) PCs as of late. One of the newest SFF rigs to emerge is the Asus Eee Box EB1037, which is a mini-desktop system that looks like a router but is a full-fledged PC build around Intel's Bay Trail platform with a Celeron J1900 quad-core processor clocked at 2GHz.
It hasn't even been a full year since Microsoft launched its first generation Surface Pro for $900, a price tag that undoubtedly scared off more than a few buyers. When we tested the Surface Pro, we came to the conclusion that it has "more than enough power for any casual computing need," though cheaper and lighter solutions made it a tough sell. If pricing is all that held you back, take note that Best Buy is currently selling the original Surface Pro for $500, which is $400 off its original retail price.
We first learned about Roccat's Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Gaming Headset back in August of last year. At the time, Roccat said it hoped to ship the peripheral in November for $170 MSRP. Roccat got the price right, but not the release date, as November came and went without any sign of the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital. Now a month into the new year, Roccat today says its flagship headset is available to purchase.
We talk to Mnpctech owner and modder extraordinaire Bill Owen about his path to possessing the ultimate geek dream job
Bill Owen isn’t your run-of-the-mill case modder. Twelve years ago, he founded Mnpctech (www.mnpctech.com) and his life changed forever. Now he’s one of the most prolific pro modders in the industry. What started as a hobby evolved into a full-time business that he runs with his wife, completing mod projects for companies like AMD, FrozenCPU, and even Maximum PC. Mnpctech is also a thriving parts business, selling products aimed at the DIY enthusiast market: milled-aluminum fan grills, custom side panels, vinyl appliques, case handles, Modder’s Mesh, and even something they like to call the Modder Reference Tool. We sat down with Bill to learn how he went from dabbling in fan grills and case windows to being the king of modders.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
An energy efficient storage system for infrequently accessed data
It's a bit early to write the obituary for optical discs. Though many desktop users have made the transition to the cloud, Facebook found a use for Blu-ray discs -- 10,000 of them, in fact -- as part of an energy efficient storage system capable of holding a petabyte of data. Facebook showed the prototype system at the Open Compute Project summit meeting in San Jose, California, noting that it's intended to store data that rarely needs to be accessed.