We never thought we’d see a sub-$100 case with tinted windows, but lo and behold, Sigma’s Unicorn has lived up to its name and shown us the impossible by “blinging up” the exterior of an otherwise stale case. Like spinning rims on a minivan, however, not all of Sigma’s design decisions are well thought out.
To see what hobbles this unicorn, hit the jump. And believe.
According to a DigiTimes report, Gainward, a longtime Nvidia add-in-board (AIB) partner, is cozying up with ATI in preparation to launch Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 series videocards, with HD 3800 series to follow soon afterward. If true, Gainward's decision to play the field could set the tone for other exclusive Nvidia partners to do the same, and there's never been a better time to consider making the jump.
AMD left themselves open to much criticism when it acquired ATI, and with good reason. With Intel taking back the reigns in the CPU war and AMD struggling with increased debt, jumping head first into graphics may have seemed a curious decision at the time. It didn't help matters when the suits in Santa Clara all but surrendered the high end market to Nvidia, and for a long time, many wondered if not only AMD would fall, but if it would take ATI down with them. Now it appears the tides are finally turning.
Click through the jump to see why Gainward's reported decision could be such an important one.
With today's widescreen monitors and laptop panels providing 16:10 ratios, but tomorrow's monitors and laptop panels switching to the HDTV 16:9 standard, it's time to prepare for the future - now, warns market research company DisplaySearch. In the next 4 years, 16:9 panels will almost completely replace both conventional 4:3 and current 16:10 widescreen displays in both desktop and laptop applications. To learn more, see the report summary.
Researchers at Purdue University are working on a miniature refrigeration system small enough to fit inside laptops and personal computers. Their research focuses on how to design miniature compressors and evaporators, which are needed for refrigeration systems. Depending on how effective and reliable these systems can be made will determine their actual usability. They could very well suffer from the same trouble as Peltier coolers, which is price and condensation.
We’ll have to stick with conventional PC cooling techniques for awhile. The findings will be detailed in two papers being presented during the 12th International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference and the 19th International Compressor Engineering Conference on July 14-17 at Purdue. It has to be better than spraying your PC with upside-down canned air.
Set up a swank RAID 0 array and you'll still find situations in which your hard drives remain the bottleneck. Higher areal densities, fast spindle speeds, and beefy cache have kept hard drives from being pokey, but the future appears headed for Solid State Drives (SSDs). And with companies like OCZ pushing higher performing SSDs at increasingly lower price points, the future may be closer than you think.
Lest we get too excited, SSD technology still trails considerably behind traditional hard drives in the cost-per-gigabyte arena, but helping to shrink the gap, OCZ today announced its Core Series SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drives. OCZ dubs the new lineup as the "world's first truly affordable high-performance SSD for consumers," and while still out of mainstream reach, this is as close to that goal as high performing SSDs have come. The three new models include:
32GB - $169
64GB - $259
128GB - $479
OCZ's aggressive pricing trumps even Super Talent's recently announced MasterDrive MX series, but is the time right to jump on SSD technology? Find out after the jump.
Netgear may have found a winner with it’s newly announced WGR614L wireless-G router that provides open source developers with an appliance platform that can be customized. Linksys has been enjoying a certain amount of popularity from the open source community since it released its original Linux based WRT54G router back in 2003. Since then a number of projects to change the firmware on the WRT line have come about like Tomato and OpenWRT. Of course flashing the firmware to anything other than the Linksys designed firmware voids your warranty. Netgear has chosen to embrace this community with their new WGR614L, rather than fight it.
Perhaps no other country takes gaming as seriously as China, and no other company pushes gaming peripherals as hard as Razer, who arguably drove the once niche market into the mainstream sector with the introduction of its Boomslang mouse back in 2000. It seems only natural for the two to court each other, no matter what Paula Abdul sang about back before she, well, never mind.
For its part, Razer's making its interests known and will play suitor to Chinese gamers with the announcement of the Aurantia keyboard. Built exclusively for Chinese gamers and co-developed with XioFeng "Sky" Li from China's Team World Elite, the entry-level keyboard offers a bevy of customizable options, including:
104 programmable keys with macro capabilities
Three additional keys for 'gaming mode,' 'profile switching,' and 'mute' functions
10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
A detachable non-slip wrist rest and backlit keys round out the feature-set. Sound familiar? It should, because glossing over the spec sheet and available pics, the Aurantia bears more than a just a striking resemblance to the Razer Lycosa; save for what appears to be a slightly lowered keyset on the Lycosa, the two keyboards seem to share much of the same DNA and could pass as peripheral twins. Quick, what's the Chinese term for déjà vu?
Buying an OEM computer used to mean being tied down to proprietary parts, paying too much for too little, and having to find a place to hide an unsightly beige box so as not to offend guests. Or scare the cat. And while proprietary restrictions are still the norm rather than the exception, OEM systems continue to drop in price and look good doing it. We can now add Lenovo to the list of system builders following this trend of affordable sex appeal.
Lenovo, who feels comfortable concentrating on the Chinese market, first began having global inspirations with its IdeaPad series of notebooks released earlier this year. Sensing the grass might very well be greener on the other side, or at least pull in more green, the once sheltered OEM now looks to march into the global consumer desktop market with its newly announced IdeaCentre K210. And the timing couldn't be better. As Lenovo points out in its press release, demand for worldwide consumer PCs is up, and according to the IDC, will show a 10 percent increase from 2007 to 2011. Even still, the global market remains crowded, and Lenovo hopes a few key technologies will separate itself from the pack.
To see what interesting twists Lenovo brings to the table, including one that will have hyperchondriacs jumping for joy, you'll first have to click through the jump.
Goodbye, next-generation systems: Thermaltake’s M9 chassis is a step up from the bottom rung of simplicity, but it’s nowhere near a top-of-the-line design.
The case is structured as if Thermaltake took a plain-Jane chassis, improved a few features—like making the PCI and 5.25-inch bay holders screwless—stuck in a front-panel blue LED fan to appease gaming audiences, and called it a day. That might not sound so bad, but in actuality, the screwless PCI holders become this case’s Achilles’ heel. And the arrow?
The specs on the power-efficient desktop remain similar to the Wind laptop: a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, up to 2 GB DRAM, 160 GB hard disk storage, and WiFi 802.11b/g to keep you connected. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP. Unlike the Wind mini-laptop it has an in-built DVD drive. But just like its portable cognate from the MSI stable, it is highly power-efficient and consumes 7 times less power than other desktops.
The top-end version is priced $299 and the base model has a $199 price tag.The commercial launch of the small desktop will not happen until August and only business users will be able to lay their hands on this slender desktop in July, as MSI expects them to be set its cash registers ringing.