Open air test benches aren't for everyone. Your mom and pop? They're probably not candidates. In fact, we'd venture to guess that the vast majority would prefer a traditional closed case. That's not to say there isn't a market for test benches -- reviewers, frequent upgraders, and those who are always tinkering will see the value in such a design. There aren't a ton to choose from, though the market for open air test benches did just grow by one with the introduction of Lian Li's PC-T80.
Today's a big day for Google and its Android platform. In addition to launching the big-size Nexus 6 handset built by Motorola, Google today also unveiled the Nexus 9 tablet built by HTC. Like the Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus 9 rocks the newest build of Google's mobile operating system, Android 5.0, otherwise now known as Lollipop. Unlike the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9 sports a 64-bit Nvidia Tegra K1 processor clocked at 2.3GHz inside.
After all the rumors and speculation, the Nexus 6 is now a real device. Motorola and Google unveiled the Nexus 6, the largest Nexus phone Google has ever offered, and the first to run the company's Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system (sorry Lemon Meringue Pie fans, it just wasn't meant to be this time around). The Nexus 6 is being built by Motorola and offered by Google in the Play Store.
Intel's Q3 revenue jumped by $1.1 billion year-over-year
Go back a couple of years and you could criticize Intel for being slow to respond to the mobile shift in the market place. However, don't fret about any long-term repercussions -- for the first time ever, Intel shipped more than 100 million microprocessors in a single quarter. Those shipments led to Intel posting a record $14.6 billion in revenue for the third quarter, along with operating income of $4.5 billion and net income of $3.3 billion.
Tablets are starting to look like that popular kid from high school who fizzled in his later years. After seeing a surge in sales, including a whopping 55 percent growth rate in 2013, market research firm Gartner predicts that tablet sales will only grow by 11 percent in 2014. By Gartner's estimate, worldwide tablet sales are on pace to hit 229 million units this year, representing 9.5 percent of total device sales (including smartphones, hybrids, traditional PCs, and ultramobile premium devices).
We're always hearing about Intel and Microsoft working with system vendors to promote cheaper systems, but what about AMD? Well, if the chatty heads entrenched in the upstream supply chain know what they're talking about, then AMD and Asus are fast becoming BFFs in the desktop space. AMD is even said to be using the name "Zen" for its next-generation desktop APU platform.
New PSUs from Fractal Design range in wattage from 450W to 750W
Fractal Design is perhaps best known for its line of cases, like the Define XL or Core 3000. However, that's not all the company is into. Fractal Design just rolled out a new family of modular power supplies dubbed Edison M. They're available in a variety of wattages, including 450W, 550W, 650W, and 750W, each with modular cables and 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification.
Avoid the pitfalls and upgrade your computer like a pro
Building a new PC is a relatively easy task—you pick your budget and build around it. It’s not the same with upgrading a PC. No, upgrading an older box can be as dangerous as dancing Footloose-style through a minefield. Should you really put $500 into this machine, or just buy a new one? Will that new CPU really be faster than your old one in the real world? Are you CPU-limited or GPU-limited?
Note: This article was originally featured in the June 2014 issue of the magazine.
With the recent launch of Nvidia's Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and 980 graphics cards, the pressure is on AMD to respond, especially since we haven't heard much about its Tonga XT architecture as of late. One alternative to releasing a new graphics card that's proved popular is giving away free games, and rumor has it AMD is getting ready to announce a new Never Settle bundle.
"The transition from PCs to tablets has faded..." - Gartner
People are fickle creatures, and if you need proof of this, just turn your attention to the technology sector. Remember when netbooks were red hot? You couldn't go more than a couple of days without seeing a new netbook announcement. They've since disappeared (and arguably returned in the form of Chromebooks), and now tablets are the hot item. Or, they used to be. According to Gartner, the tablet market is showing signs of saturation, causing consumers to fall in love with traditional PCs all over again.