Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en AMD Brings Out the Shears, Cuts Prices on A-Series APUs http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_brings_out_shears_cuts_prices_-series_apus_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_building_3.jpg" alt="AMD Building" title="AMD Building" width="228" height="148" style="float: right;" />New build, anyone?</h3> <p><strong>AMD has been putting the word out that it recently slashed prices for select A-Series desktop Accelerated Processor Units (APUs)</strong>. Some of them are fairly significant reductions in price, and they're not just for Kaveri-based APUs, either -- they also include savings for a few Richland and Trinity chips. While Intel's Haswell architecture might have the upper hand in performance, the price cuts combined with superior integrated graphics help AMD stay in the game. Let's have a look.</p> <p>Starting with Kaveri, here's a peek at the price cuts:</p> <ul> <li>A10-7850 (3.7GHz/4GHz, dual-core, 4MB L2 cache, 8 graphics CUs): $143, down from $180</li> <li>A10-7800 (3.5GHz/3.9GHz, dual-core, 4MB L2 cache, 8 graphics CUs): $133, down from $166</li> <li>A10-7700K (3.4GHz/3.8GHz, dual-core, 4MB L2 cache, 6 graphics CUs): $123, down from $160</li> <li>A8-7600 (3.3GHz/3.8GHz, dual-core, 4MB L2 cache, 6 graphics CUs): $92, down from $110</li> <li>A6-7400K (3.5GHz/3.9Ghz, single-core, 1MB L2 cache, 4 graphics CUs): $58, down from $85</li> </ul> <p>As for Richland and Trinity, AMD slashed prices on another five APUs. They include the A10-6800K ($112, down from $140), A8-6600K ($92, down from $100), A4-6300 ($34, down from $48), A4-5300 ($31, not currently listed as retail boxed chips),and A4-4400 ($27, not currently listed as retail boxed chips), according to <a href="http://techreport.com/news/27246/amd-cuts-a-series-desktop-processor-prices" target="_blank"><em>The Tech Report</em></a>.</p> <p>These aren't temporary price cuts, but permanent ones that should be appear in retail e-tail stores soon, if not already.</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/amd_brings_out_shears_cuts_prices_-series_apus_2014#comments a-series amd apu Build a PC cpu Hardware price cut processor News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:07:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 28779 at http://www.maximumpc.com CyberPowerPC Offers Up Affordable Fangbook III HX6 Laptop for Gamers http://www.maximumpc.com/cyberpowerpc_offers_affordable_fangbook_iii_hx6_laptop_gamers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/fangbook_iii.jpg" alt="CyberPowerPC Fangbook III" title="CyberPowerPC Fangbook III" width="228" height="225" style="float: right;" />Fangbook III HX6 packs a bite</h3> <p>Gone are the days when the only gaming laptops on the block are the ones that carry ultra-premium price tags. These days you can get gaming goodness on the go for relatively cheap, at least compared to what these systems used to cost. Such is underscored by <strong>CyberPowerPC's new Fangbook III HX6, a 15.6-inch laptop for gamers</strong> equipped with an Intel Core i7 4700MQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, and starting price of $1,100.</p> <p>CyberPowerPC says its latest Fangbook comes with some features of special interest to gamers. These include an automatic kickstand that deploys when the notebook is opened to prop up the rear edge of the laptop to allow air to flow freely through the intakes, and shortcut keys to adjust cooling, backlight settings, and to underclock the CPU.</p> <p>In addition to the Core i7 4700MQ CPU and GeForce GTX 860M GPU, the new Fangbook model sports 8GB of RAM (expandable to 16GB), 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1. A few upgrade options are available, including SSD solutions and faster CPU choices.</p> <p>CyberPowerPC's Fangbook III HX6 is <a href="http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/FANGBOOK_III_HX6-100_Gaming_Notebook/" target="_blank">available now</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/cyberpowerpc_offers_affordable_fangbook_iii_hx6_laptop_gamers_2014#comments cyberpowerpc fangbook iii hx6 Gaming Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:42:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 28777 at http://www.maximumpc.com Activision Recommends Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 or Higher to Play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare http://www.maximumpc.com/activision_recommends_nvidia_geforce_gtx_760_or_higher_play_call_duty_advanced_warfare_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cod_advancedwarfare.jpg" alt="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" title="Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Is your system up to snuff?</h3> <p>Activision caught a few gamers off guard when it posted <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_posts_minimum_system_requirements_call_duty_advanced_warfare_2014">minimum system requirements</a> on Steam for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Specifically, the 6GB of RAM and 55GB of hard drive space seemed like steep requirements just to meet the minimum. Ready for some good news? You won't need any additional storage space to meet <strong>Activision's recommended system requirements for CoD: Advanced Warfare</strong>. However, you will need a well equipped machine.</p> <p>As a refresher, here's a look at the minimum requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Windows 7 64-bit / Windows 8 64-bit / Windows 8.1 64-bit</li> <li>Intel Core i3 530 @ 2.93GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.6GHz</li> <li>6GB RAM</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1GB</li> <li>DirectX Version 11</li> <li>Broadband Internet connection</li> <li>55GB available space</li> <li>DirectX compatible sound card</li> </ul> <p>And here's a look at the <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/209650/" target="_blank">newly posted</a> recommended requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Windows 7 64-bit / Windows 8 64-bit / Windows 8.1 64-bit</li> <li>Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.3GHz</li> <li>8GB RAM</li> <li>Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 @ 4GB</li> <li>DirectX Version 11</li> <li>Broadband Internet connection</li> <li>55GB available space</li> <li>100 percent DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card</li> </ul> <p>While the storage space didn't change, there's a bump in RAM to 8GB, along with the recommendations for a faster CPU and GPU combination.</p> <p>This could be where newer games are trending. <a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=917377" target="_blank">According to <em>Neogaf</em></a>, the Korean distributor of Ubisoft Korea listed minimum and recommended specs for Assassin's Creed: Unity, and they're pretty burly. More specifically, you'll need an Intel Core i5 2500K or AMD FX-8350, 6GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970, and 50GB of storage space to meet the minimum, and an Intel Core i7 3770 or AMD FX-8350, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 780 or Radeon R9 290X to meet the recommended requirements.</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/activision_recommends_nvidia_geforce_gtx_760_or_higher_play_call_duty_advanced_warfare_2014#comments activision call of duty: advanced warfare Gaming Hardware Software News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:01:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28774 at http://www.maximumpc.com Samsung's New Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 for Barnes and Noble is $300 for a Limited Time http://www.maximumpc.com/samsungs_new_galaxy_tab_4_nook_101_barnes_and_noble_300_limited_time <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_galaxy_tab_4_nook_101.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1" title="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1" width="228" height="167" style="float: right;" />The biggest Nook device ever</h3> <p>With some help from Samsung, Barnes and Noble this week introduced the biggest size Nook ever at a special introductory price. <strong>For a limited time, you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab Nook 10.1 tablet for $300</strong> (B&amp;N members save an additional 10 percent), which comes with more than $200 of free content from the Nook store, including an assortment of bestselling books, popular TV shows, top magazines, and apps, B&amp;N says.</p> <p>The newest Galaxy Tab 4 Nook boasts a 10.1-inch HD display with a 1280x800 resolution and 149 ppi density. It has a 1.2GHz Qualcommm APQ 8026 processor with an Adreno 305 GPU, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage (around 12GB available to the user), microSD card slot, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 6,800mAh battery.</p> <p>While relatively affordable for a 10.1-inch slate, some will undoubtedly be turned off (and away) by the underwhelming resolution at a time when competing tablets are pushing forward with increasingly higher resolutions and more densely packed pixels.</p> <p>The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 will come with new Nook software that offers a cleaner visual design and user interface, new navigation tools, support for both portrait and landscape mode throughout the Nook experience, and a few other upgrades.</p> <p>Though the new tablet is <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/samsung-galaxy-tab-4-nook-10-inch-tablet/379004300" target="_blank">available now for $300</a>, B&amp;N didn't say how long the introductory price would remain in effect.</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/samsungs_new_galaxy_tab_4_nook_101_barnes_and_noble_300_limited_time#comments barnes and noble galaxy tab 4 nook 10.1 Hardware mobile samsung slate tablet News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:06:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 28772 at http://www.maximumpc.com AOC Rolls Out 17-inch USB Companion Monitor http://www.maximumpc.com/aoc_rolls_out_17-inch_usb_companion_monitor_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/aoc_e1759fwu.jpg" alt="AOC e1759Fwu" title="AOC e1759Fwu" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Pair with your desktop or laptop</h3> <p>If you rock a dual-display setup at home, it can be difficult to adjust the single panel setup of your laptop when out and about on business trips. The solution? <strong>One way to restore that dual-display goodness is with AOC's 17-inch USB Monitor (E1759FWU)</strong> powered by built-in DisplayLink technology. This newest model from AOC is thinner, lighter, and larger than the company's previous USB offerings.</p> <p>There's no power cord or VGA cable to muck around with, just plug the panel into a USB 3.0 port and you're good to go. It comes with a foldable stand that goes from landscape to portrait model with auto-pivot, along with a carrying case since one of the most likely uses is as a travel companion to your laptop. Once connected to your laptop (or desktop), the integrated DisplayLink graphics allow it to function as a secondary display.</p> <p>The specs are decent, though not outstanding -- it boasts a 1600x900 resolution rather than Full HD 1080p. It also has a 10ms rated response time (GTG), 650:1 contrast ratio, 220 cd/m2 brightness, and 90 degrees horizontal / 65 degrees vertical viewing angles.</p> <p>Should you want a more permanent placement, it's VESA 75mm x 75mm wall-mount compliant.</p> <p>The <a href="http://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/e1759fwu" target="_blank">AOC 17-inch USB Monitor</a> is available now on <a href="http://www.amazon.com/AOC-E1759fwu-17-Inch-Powered-Portable/dp/B00LPC3U8Q" target="_blank">Amazon for $200</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/aoc_rolls_out_17-inch_usb_companion_monitor_2014#comments aoc display e1759fwu Hardware monitor panel usb News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:56:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28771 at http://www.maximumpc.com Lian Li's PC-Q26 is a NAS-Centric Mini ITX Chassis http://www.maximumpc.com/lian_lis_pc-q26_nas-centric_mini_itx_chassis_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lian_li_pc-q26.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-Q26" title="Lian Li PC-Q26" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />A case for little boards and lots of storage</h3> <p><strong>Lian Li just introduced its new PC-Q26 case</strong>. It's a mini ITX enclosure for users who want to roll their own NAS box with support for up to 11 hard drives, including 10 3.5-inch drives and a single 2.5-inch drive. A hot-swap backplane for two 3.5-inch drives included, and you have the ability to "easily" add more backplanes as needed, Lian Li says. All that potential storage capacity comes wrapped in a small and lightweight brushed aluminum case.</p> <p>Like a traditional case, the side-panels pop off for easy access to the system's guts and storage. Drives can be tool-lessly installed using thumbscrews with rubber suspensions. You'll also find thumbscrews holding the expansion slots in place.</p> <p>Cooling duties are handled by three 120mm fans up front to bring cool air in and a 120mm fan up to top to expel hot air. You an also mount an optional 80mm fan on the rear and another 120mm on the side, for a total of six fans.</p> <p>The case supports expansion cards up to 190mm (7.4 inches), CPU coolers up to 150mm (5.9 inches), PSUs up to 190mm (7.4 inches).</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpr.com.tw/press-room/lian-li/press-releases/article/lian-li/lian-li-announces-the-brushed-aluminum-pc-q26-mini-itx-chassis-1/" target="_blank">Lian Li says</a> the <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-q26/" target="_blank">PC-Q26</a> is available now in the U.S. for $189 MSRP.</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/lian_lis_pc-q26_nas-centric_mini_itx_chassis_2014#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li mini itx pc-q26 News Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:20:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 28769 at http://www.maximumpc.com Gigabyte Aims Shrink Ray at Maxwell, Ends Up with a Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970 http://www.maximumpc.com/gigabyte_aims_shrink_ray_maxwell_ends_mini_itx_geforce_gtx_970_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_gtx_970_mini_itx.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970" title="Gigabyte Mini ITX GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Tiny graphics card packs a Maxwell-sized bite</h3> <p>It's not the size of the graphics card that matters, but the potency of the GPU inside, right? We'll find out when we get our hands on <strong>Gigabyte's mini ITX variant of the GeForce GTX 970</strong> (GV-N970IXOC-4GD). Though it's tiny by comparison to a full size GeForce GTX 970 video card, Gigabyte's mini ITX version is actually overclocked to run at a base clockspeed of 1076MHz and a boost clockspeed of 1216MHz.</p> <p>Nvidia's reference design calls for a 1051MHz base clockspeed and 1178MHz boost clockspeed. Granted, Gigabyte's overclock isn't anything crazy, but considering the size of the card, even just running at stock clocks would have been noteworthy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-mini-itx-gtx970-oc,27915.html" target="_blank">According to <em>TomsHardware</em></a>, the cooler is likely based on Gigabyte's WindForce 3X design, except that it only has one fan instead of three. There's an aluminum fin arry underneath, along with a Triangle Cool design to manipulate airflow more effectively.</p> <p>Apparently it works -- Gigabyte claims the card ran at 62C during a Metro Last Light benchmark, compared to a reference card running at 76C in the same test. That kind of cooling potential bodes well for a mini ITX system that's short on space with limited airflow.</p> <p>Gigabyte has priced the card at $330 and will start shipping it next month.</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/gigabyte_aims_shrink_ray_maxwell_ends_mini_itx_geforce_gtx_970_2014#comments Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 970 gigabyte graphics card Hardware mini itx Video Card News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:27:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28768 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cooler Master Updates Liquid Cooling Line with Nepton 120XL and 240M Coolers http://www.maximumpc.com/cooler_master_updates_liquid_cooling_line_nepton_120xl_and_240m_coolers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nepton_240m.jpg" alt="Cooler Master 240M" title="Cooler Master 240M" width="300" height="195" style="float: right;" />Two new closed-loop water coolers</h3> <p><strong>Cooler Master's been hard at work updating its liquid cooling line</strong>, and what the company came up with is the <strong>Nepton 120XL and Nepton 240M</strong>. These are the newest additions to the Nepton family of closed-loop water coolers, and what they bring to the table are new fan designs. They use Silencio FP 120 fans to deliver high-pressure performance at lower noise levels than their predecessors.</p> <p>The radiator block sizes are also different. Whereas the Nepton 280L and 140XL use 280mm and 140mm radiators, respectively, the new <a href="http://www.coolermaster.com/cooling/cpu-liquid-cooler/nepton-240m/" target="_blank">Nepton 240M</a> and <a href="http://www.coolermaster.com/cooling/cpu-liquid-cooler/nepton-120xl/" target="_blank">120XL</a> use 240mm and 120mm radiators, respectively.</p> <p>Other features include a microchannel waterblock along with thicker and more durable FEP tubing that Cooler Master claims has a lower coolant evaporation rate than before. Like the previous models, these are pre-filled at the factory and pressure tested so that you don't have to worry about maintenance.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability, though as a point of reference, the previous generation Nepton 280L streets for around $120 and the 140XL for $100.</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/cooler_master_updates_liquid_cooling_line_nepton_120xl_and_240m_coolers_2014#comments cm Cooler Master Hardware liquid cooling nepton 140xl nepton 240m News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:57:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28767 at http://www.maximumpc.com G.Skill's Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD Sports Quad Controllers in RAID 0 http://www.maximumpc.com/gskills_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_sports_quad_controllers_raid_0_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gskill_phoenix_blade.jpg" alt="G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD" title="G.Skill Phoenix Blade 480GB PCIe SSD" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />This SSD can give your data whiplash</h3> <p>Today's high performance SATA 6Gbps solid state drives top out at around 590MB/s for read and write transfers. If you need something faster, you can slap a pair in a RAID 0 configuration, or switch over to PCI-Express. G.Skill chose both with its new Phoenix Blaze Series. Kicking off <strong>G.Skill's Phoenix Blade line is a 480GB PCIe SSD</strong> equipped with four LSI SF-2281 SSD controllers in a RAID 0 setup.</p> <p>It's designed with a PCIe Gen 2.0 x8 interface and is capable of up to 2,000MB/s maximum read and write speeds. Sustained read and write transfers are rated at 1,900MB/s and 1,050MB/s, respectively, along with up to 90,000 4KB random read and up to 245,000 4K random write IOPS.</p> <p>"By introducing extreme read and write performance, the potential of today’s multi-core processors can be unleashed, resulting in higher productivity and performance, whether you are in extreme gaming or professional design," G.Skill says.</p> <p>Unfortunately G.Skill didn't announce a price for its latest SSD, though we spotted a <a href="http://www.ncixus.com/products/index.php?sku=103038&amp;vpn=FM-PCx8G2R4-480G&amp;manufacture=G.Skill" target="_blank">product page</a> on NCIXUS that's asking $800 for it. PCIe SSDs typically cost more than SATA-based drives, the latter of which have fallen below $0.50 per gigabyte, though we'll wait until the <a href="http://www.gskill.com/en/product/fm-pcx8g2r4-480g" target="_blank">Phoenix Blade</a> stabs through to more vendors before commenting on price.</p> <p><strong>EDIT:</strong></p> <p>G.Skill tells <em>Maximum PC</em> that the Phoenix Blade will be available on Newegg next week for $699.</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/gskills_phoenix_blade_480gb_pcie_ssd_sports_quad_controllers_raid_0_2014#comments g.skill Hardware Phoenix Blade solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:23:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 28764 at http://www.maximumpc.com Satechi Announces Ultra Affordable Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse http://www.maximumpc.com/satechi_announces_ultra_affordable_edge_wireless_gaming_mouse_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satechi_edge.jpg" alt="Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse" title="Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />A gaming rodent without the premium price tag</h3> <p>Want to increase the value of your product? Call it a "gaming" device and it's suddenly worth much more than your original asking price. Or so it seems when shopping for peripherals like keyboards, headsets, and mice. However, not all so-called gaming products carry top-shelf price tags<strong> -- Satechi just announced the immediate availability of its Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse</strong> for $20 MSRP.</p> <p>The Edge sports a "Gaming Mode" that allows users to press the "Turbo Button" to double-click with just one keystroke, in case that's of use in the games you play. There's also a "Video Control Mode" that might come in handy when not playing games. What it does is change the functions into play/pause, fast forward/backtrack, and the clear screen buttons with a single click, while the scroll wheel adjusts the volume.</p> <p>There are 7 buttons in all. Other features include an optical sensor with an on-the-fly adjustable DPI (800, 1600, 2400, or 4000), up to 500Hz polling rate, 20G of acceleration, a grooved grip, four LED colors depending on the DPI selected (red, green, purple, or blue), and up to 36 months of battery life (via two AA batteries).</p> <p>The Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse can be found and purchased today on <a href="http://www.satechi.net/index.php/computer-accessories/satechi-edge-gaming-mouse" target="_blank">Satechi's website</a> and through <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Satechi%C2%AE-Wireless-Gaming-Mouse-Return/dp/B00O5E1NYE" target="_blank">Amazon</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/satechi_announces_ultra_affordable_edge_wireless_gaming_mouse_2014#comments edge Gaming Hardware mouse Peripherals satechi News Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28763 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best Free Hardware Monitoring Tools http://www.maximumpc.com/best_free_hardware_monitoring_tools_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Apps that regulate your rig’s internals</h3> <p>Making sure your rig’s temperatures, hardware, and clock speeds are running correctly is a good way to monitor your PC’s health. We always recommend stress-testing your shiny-new rig, or checking your hardware if you experience any stability issues that occur out of the blue. We’ve gathered up a list of the best free utilities you can use to make sure you have a healthy PC.</p> <p>Know of any other free monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments section below!</p> <p><strong><a title="CPU-Z" href="http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html" target="_blank">CPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/cpuid_cpu_z.png" alt="CPU-Z" title="CPU-Z" /></p> <p>CPU-Z tells you what’s going on with your CPU by giving you readouts of your Core Speed, Multiplier, Bus Speed, and your different cache levels. It also tells you the make and model of your motherboard and video card, along with your RAM speed and capacity.&nbsp;</p> <p>We recommend using this tool if you have a preconfigured system from an OEM like Lenovo, HP, or Dell and need to find out your motherboard’s model number (if it isn’t printed on the board). The tool can also be used to monitor your CPU’s voltage, so it's overclocker friendly.</p> <p><strong><a title="GPU-Z" href="http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/" target="_blank">GPU-Z:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/gpu_z.png" alt="GPU-Z" title="GPU-Z" width="560" height="637" /></p> <p>GPU-Z gives you detailed readouts of your GPU’s clock speeds and memory size. You can use this tool to make sure that your video card is running at PCIe 3.0, as some boards run in 2.0 instead of 3.0 by default. You’ll look at the Bus Interface box to check out your video card's PCIe configuration.</p> <p><strong><a title="Furmark" href="http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/" target="_blank">Furmark:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/furmark.png" alt="Furmark" title="Furmark" width="600" height="453" /></strong></p> <p>Got GPU problems? Furmark is a fantastic tool if you’re getting blue screens during games and want to find out if your video card is the culprit. The utility gives your GPU a workload to max-out your video card. You’ll also see a temperature read from it, so you can see if your card is running hot.</p> <p><strong><a title="FRAPS" href="http://www.fraps.com/download.php" target="_blank">FRAPS:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/fraps.png" alt="FRAPS" title="FRAPS" width="600" height="370" /></strong></p> <p>Getting weird frame rate issues after freshly installing BF4 or Assassins Creed Black Flag? FRAPS will give you readouts of your real-time frame rate in-game, so you can see when and where you rig is starting to stutter. We like using this utility when a game is running poorly, so we can keep an eye on our frame rate during gameplay. We also use this tool to capture average frame rates of games that don’t come with benchmarking tools like BF4, Far Cry 3, and Crysis 3.</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="Core Temp" href=" http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/" target="_blank">Core Temp:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/core_temp.png" alt="Core Temp" title="Core Temp" width="351" height="388" /></strong></p> <p>Unlike other utilities in this round-up of free apps, Core Temp tells you the individual temperatures of each of your CPU’s cores. We use this tool to make sure our processor isn’t running too hot. Core Temp also tells you the TDP, voltage, and power consumption of your&nbsp; CPU.</p> <p><strong><a title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows+7+-+64" target="_blank">AMD Catalyst Control Center:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/amd_overdrive.png" alt="AMD Catalyst Control Center" title="AMD Catalyst Control Center" width="600" height="573" /></strong></p> <p>AMD video card users can use AMD’s Catalyst Control center to monitor their video card’s performance. You’ll be able to change your GPU’s core and memory clock speeds by using AMD’s Overdrive utility, which is found in the performance tab of AMD’s Catalyst driver. You can also adjust your video card’s fan speed here.</p> <p><strong><a title="Prime 95" href="http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=205" target="_blank">Prime 95:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/prime_95_running.png" alt="Prime 95" title="Prime 95" width="600" height="378" /></strong></p> <p>Prime 95 puts your CPU through its paces by giving it a workload that will max-out your processor’s cores. We suggest using this utility if you’re having blue screen errors or freezing issues to make sure that your CPU isn’t the offender behind those infuriating messages.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="3DMark" href=" http://store.steampowered.com/app/223850/" target="_blank">3DMark:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/3dmark_demo.png" alt="3DMark" title="3DMark" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>3DMark is great for benchmarking your system’s overall performance, and the free demo version also shows you where your rig stacks up with other systems that have similar hardware. The paid version lets you run the Extreme benchmarks, which run in 1080p instead of the demo’s 720p default.</p> <p><strong><a title="Rainmeter" href="http://rainmeter.net/" target="_blank">Rainmeter:</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/rainmeter.png" alt="Rainmeter" title="Rainmeter" width="600" /></strong></p> <p>Rainmeter is a simple widget that displays your CPU and RAM usage and also tells you how full your hard drive and/or SSD are.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a title="EVGA Precision X" href=" http://www.evga.com/precision/" target="_blank">EVGA Precision X:&nbsp;</a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/evga_precision_x.png" alt="EVGA Precision X" title="EVGA Precision X" width="600" height="471" /></strong></p> <p>Precision X is made by EVGA exclusively for Nvidia video cards. The tool allows you to check out your GPU clock speed and temperatures, and adjust your fan speeds, too. You can also overclock your GPU with the sliders, seen above. This tool displays your GPU's load, which we find quite handy.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/best_free_hardware_monitoring_tools_2014#comments apps benchmark components cpu id free furmark gpu z Hardware Hardware monitoring tools overclock pc monitor heat Software News Features Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:41:16 +0000 Chris Zele 27117 at http://www.maximumpc.com Amazon's Kindle Voyage Exits Pre-Order Status, Sets Sail for Homes Today Starting at $199 http://www.maximumpc.com/amazons_kindle_voyage_exits_pre-order_status_sets_sail_homes_today_starting_199_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kindle_voyage.jpg" alt="Kindle Voyage" title="Kindle Voyage" width="228" height="223" style="float: right;" />Amazon's latest e-reader sports a next-generation paperwhite display</h3> <p>Though we haven't evaluated Amazon's recently announced Kindle Voyage for ourselves just yet, a peek around the web shows that it's getting generally favorable reviews, some of which are calling it the best e-reader yet. That's high praise at this stage of the game. If you want to check it out for yourself, here's a heads up that the <strong>Kindle Voyage is now in stock and shipping to homes</strong> starting at $199 (Wi-Fi with Special Offers).</p> <p>"Kindle Voyage is designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in a story," <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1979814" target="_blank">said Dave Limp</a>, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices. "This is the most advanced Kindle we’ve ever built. Customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re working to build more as fast as we can. We can’t wait to get Kindle Voyage into the hands of readers starting today."</p> <p>The Kindle Voyage sports a high-resolution 300 ppi display that's supposed to read more like a printed page than ever before. It also comes with 4GB of internal storage to hold thousands of books, 802.11n Wi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity, free cloud storage for all Amazon content, pressure-based page turn sensors with haptic feedback, a built-in light that shines on the page, light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness, and a flush front bezel.</p> <p>It's a bit pricey, which is the consistent knock against the device, though the built-in light and high-resolution display might make the cost easier to swallow. Speaking of which, here's a price breakdown:</p> <ul> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/ Special Offers: $199</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi w/o Special Offers: $219</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/ Special Offers: $269</li> <li>Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi + 3G w/o Special Offers: $289</li> </ul> <p>If you're interested in one, head over to the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IOY8XWQ" target="_blank">Kindle Voyage's product page</a> on Amazon.</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/amazons_kindle_voyage_exits_pre-order_status_sets_sail_homes_today_starting_199_2014#comments amazon e-reader ebook reader Hardware kindle voyage mobile News Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:54:35 +0000 Paul Lilly 28757 at http://www.maximumpc.com Mozilla Approved Matchstick Dongle Nearly Quadruples Funding Goal, New Features in Sight http://www.maximumpc.com/mozillas_matchstick_dongle_nearly_quadruples_funding_goal_new_features_sight_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/matchstick_0.jpg" alt="Matchstick" title="Matchstick" width="228" height="140" style="float: right;" />Local Play and Ad Hoc Mode are next</h3> <p>It only took 24 hours for <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/mozillas_25_matchstick_dongle_running_firefox_os_hits_kickstarter_2014">Mozilla's Matchstick HDMI dongle</a> to reach its targeted $100,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, and since then, the project has skyrocketed to more than $390,000 with 9 days still to go. However, this is where things interesting, as they often do on these crowdfunded sites. <strong>If Matchstick hits $500,000 in pledges, the developers will implement two frequently requested stretch goals -- Local Play and Ad Hoc mode</strong>.</p> <p>To quickly recap, Matchstick is the first HDMI stick based on Firefox OS. You plug it into your TV, connect to it via Wi-Fi, and stream and interact with the web. It's similar to Google's Chromecast dongle, except that Matchstick is a completely open hardware and software platform with no approval or oversight system in place.</p> <p>There are hundreds of apps in the Mozilla app store, and as the developer program ramps up, many of those existing ones (and lots of new ones) will become available on the Matchstick app store. At launch, the Matchstick team promises to deliver a core set of content through apps like YouTube, HBO Go, Pandora, and others.</p> <p>Should the project raise another $110,000 within the next 9 days, Local Play and Ad Hoc will join the party. Local Play will allow Matchstick to stream content from your own local media servers (located on the same LAN).</p> <p>"We will provide an app for you to access content on your local media servers (NAS, SAMBA, NFS) in a list view so you can navigate to the exact content you want to fling. Of course, APIs are available for those of you who want to develop your own apps to access you local content," <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matchstick/matchstick-the-streaming-stick-built-on-firefox-os/posts" target="_blank">Matchstick explains</a>.</p> <p>Local Play is one of the most requested features, though not as much as Ad Hoc mode, or peer to peer playback. This will allow you to play any content you have local, on your device, without a connection to the cloud -- just connect your phone or tablet directly to Matchstick and start streaming.</p> <p>If this sounds like something you want to support, or if you simply want to learn more, hit up the project's <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matchstick/matchstick-the-streaming-stick-built-on-firefox-os" target="_blank">Kickstarter page</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/mozillas_matchstick_dongle_nearly_quadruples_funding_goal_new_features_sight_2014#comments Dongle firefox os Hardware HDMI matchstick Mozilla News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:17:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28750 at http://www.maximumpc.com This HDMI Stick Rocks a Bay Trail Chip, Supports Windows 8.1 http://www.maximumpc.com/hdmi_stick_rocks_bay_trail_chip_supports_windows_817 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/windows-81-intel-usb.jpg" alt="HDMI Stick with Intel Inside" title="HDMI Stick with Intel Inside" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>A thumb drive-sized PC powered by a quad-core Bay Trail Atom SoC</h3> <p>ARM clearly has the PC-on-a-stick niche cornered. What’s more, it has enjoyed a near unmolested run at the top in this category. But this might be set to change. Some Chinese suppliers have begun selling a <a href="http://liliputing.com/2014/10/windows-compatible-hdmi-tv-stick-intel-bay-trail-cpu.html" target="_blank">diminutive Bay Trail-powered PC the size of a USB stick. </a></p> <p>The device in question packs a quad-core <a href="http://ark.intel.com/products/80274/Intel-Atom-Processor-Z3735F-2M-Cache-up-to-1_83-GHz" target="_blank">Intel Atom Z3735F/G</a> chip with a clock speed of 1.3GHz (up to 1.83GHz burst frequency). Capable of running a wide variety of operating systems including Windows 8.1 and Android, this <a href="http://cew.en.alibaba.com/product/60038541335-800254009/2014_latest_Meegopad_Intel_Quad_Core_Z3735F_windows8_1_mini_pc_dongle_TV_dongle_windows_Android_Linux_Ubantu_set_top_box.html" target="_blank">thumb drive-sized PC</a> comes with up to 2GB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI out port.</p> <p>A Chinese seller on Aliexpress is selling this <a href="http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sell-Mini-PC-with-both-Android-Windows-8-system/2044898752.html" target="_blank">mini PC for $110 a pop (shipping extra)</a>. However, it’s not clear whether this price is for the the basic version or the best configuration. The former has a Z3735G chip, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/hdmi_stick_rocks_bay_trail_chip_supports_windows_817#comments android bay trail Hardware HDMI intel pc-on-a-stick windows 8.1 News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:42:24 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28745 at http://www.maximumpc.com Apple Starts Accepting Pre-Orders for iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 http://www.maximumpc.com/apple_starts_accepting_pre-orders_ipad_air_2_and_ipad_mini_3_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ipad_air_2.jpg" alt="iPad Air 2" title="iPad Air 2" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />New tablets all around</h3> <p>Market research firms like Gartner report that <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gartner_blames_slowdown_tablet_growth_hybrid_2--1_devices_2014" target="_blank">tablet growth is slowing</a> as consumers are <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gartner_tablet_adoption_peaked_consumers_going_back_pc_purchases_2014" target="_blank">reluctant to upgrade</a>, but be that as it may, it hasn't stopped Google and Apple from releasing new models. Google earlier this week unveiled it's <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_unveils_nexus_9_tablet_64-bit_tegra_k1_inside_2014">HTC-built Nexus 9 tablet</a> with a 64-bit Tegra K1 SoC inside, and following yesterday's press event, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_unveils_nexus_9_tablet_64-bit_tegra_k1_inside_2014" target="_blank">Apple is now taking pre-orders for its iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 slates</a>.</p> <p>The iPad Air 2 is thinner than its predecessor at 6.1mm and faster courtesy of its custom A8X processor. It also features a Touch ID sensor, improved FaceTime HD camera that's better equipped to take those all-important selfies, and a superior 8MP rear camera that can take burst photos, timelapse videos, and record in slo-mode.</p> <p>Apple also upgraded the Wi-Fi to 802.11ac MIMO supporting data rates up to 866Mbps, along with faster LTE connectivity (up to 150Mbps).</p> <p>As for the iPad mini 3, not much is different, other than it too has a Touch ID sensor and comes with a gold color option.</p> <p>The iPad Air 2 runs $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, $599 for 64GB, and $699 for 128GB. LTE versions of each one carry a $130 premium. Meanwhile, the iPad mini 3 costs $399 and up.</p> <p>You can place your <a href="http://store.apple.com/us/ipad" target="_blank">pre-order on Apple's website</a>. Incidentally, Google's Nexus 9 will also be up for <a href="http://www.google.com/nexus/9/" target="_blank">pre-order sometime today</a> (scroll down) through Google Play, Best Buy, Amazon, and GameStop.</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/apple_starts_accepting_pre-orders_ipad_air_2_and_ipad_mini_3_2014#comments apple Hardware ipad air 2 ipad mini 3 mobile slate tablet News Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:00:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28743 at http://www.maximumpc.com