News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en Microsoft Tops 20 Percent of Desktop Search Market for First Time http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tops_20_percent_desktop_search_market_first_time_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bing.jpg" alt="Bing" title="Bing" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Search rankings</h3> <p>Have you used Bing lately? An increasing number of people are, and perhaps one day it will earn verb status the way Google has. In the meantime, <strong>Microsoft can celebrate snagging a 20.1 percent share of the search market</strong> as of the end of March, up from 19.8 percent at the end of February. It's also the first time that Microsoft has crossed over the 20 percent mark, according to data provided by comScore.</p> <p>That's still not enough to touch Google, which remained virtually flat at 64.4 percent (down just a sliver from 64.5 percent), though it's a good bit ahead of Yahoo Sites (12.7 percent) Ask Network (1.8 percent), and AOL (1.1 percent). Out of all of them, Microsoft was the only to increase its share -- the rest either didn't budge or dropped by a hair.</p> <p>These numbers don't take into consideration searches conducted from mobile devices, and it's not clear if they include consoles, either. They're <a href="http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Market-Rankings/comScore-Releases-March-2015-US-Desktop-Search-Engine-Rankings" target="_blank">listed by comScore</a> as being "Desktop Only" from both home and work locations.</p> <p>As far as desktop searches goes, there were 18.9 billion explicit core searches conducted in March, with Google Sites taking the lion's share of them (12.1 billion, up 11 percent), followed by Microsoft (3.8 billion, up 12 percent).</p> <p>It's worth pointing out that Microsoft and Yahoo <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_and_yahoo_revise_10-year_search_agreement_2015">recently amended</a> their 10-year search agreement. It's not yet clear how exactly the revised arrangement will affect search shares of both entities, though if it favors Microsoft, Google may have reason to sweat (just a little).</p> <p>What's <em>YOUR</em> search engine of choice these days? Sound off in the comments section below!</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/microsoft_tops_20_percent_desktop_search_market_first_time_2015#comments aol Ask Bing Google microsoft search Yahoo News Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:55:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 29749 at http://www.maximumpc.com Origin PC Plans to Live Stream Build Process for a Millennium Desktop Rig http://www.maximumpc.com/origin_pc_plans_live_stream_build_process_millennium_desktop_rig_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/origin_pc_millennium_0.jpg" alt="Origin PC Millennium" title="Origin PC Millennium" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" />How boutique builders do it</h3> <p>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 <strong>Origin PC is going to live stream the construction of a Millennium desktop PC</strong> later this month.</p> <p>Mark your calendars for April 24th. With the help of popular Twitch streamer Towelliee, Origin PC will showcase a custom build on its Twitch channel from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern.</p> <p>"Origin PC and Towelliee will also be chatting with fans live during the stream for anyone who may have questions regarding the PC build. If you ever wondered how Origin PC builds their award-winning custom high-performance desktops, now’s your chance to experience it live for the very first time!," Origin said.</p> <p>The Millennium is Origin PC's mid-size gaming desktop. As this will be a custom configuration, we don't know yet what components will get shoved inside or what the foundation will be. There are three to choose from on Origin PC's website -- an Intel Z97 build starting at $1,785, an AMD 990FX build starting at $1,847, and an Intel X99 configuration starting at $2,322.</p> <p>Origin PC's Twitter channel can be found <a href="http://www.twitch.tv/originpc" target="_blank">here</a>, in case you want to bookmark it ahead of time.</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/origin_pc_plans_live_stream_build_process_millennium_desktop_rig_2015#comments Hardware millennium OEM origin pc rigs Towelliee twitch News Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:31:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29748 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft and Yahoo Revise 10-Year Search Agreement http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_and_yahoo_revise_10-year_search_agreement_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/yahoo_0.jpg" alt="Yahoo" title="Yahoo" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Amended search partnership gives Yahoo more flexibility</h3> <p>Yahoo search is changing, though you won't notice it right away. As is stands now, Yahoo search is powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine. For the majority, that won't change, though for others, it might. As part of the <strong>new search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft, Yahoo will be allowed to display its own search results and ads for up to half the searches</strong> performed by visitors to its sites and applications.</p> <p>Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer says her and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella have been working together for the past several months to revise the original search agreement, which was put into place in 2009.</p> <p>"This renewed agreement opens up significant opportunities in our partnership that I'm very excited about to explore," Mayer said in a <a href="https://investor.yahoo.net/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=906942" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>As Mayer explains it, Yahoo will have more flexibility to enhance the search experience on any platform, since the partnership is non-exclusive for both desktop and mobile. She claims that Yahoo will still serve Bing ads and search results for the majority of its desktop traffic.</p> <p>In addition, Microsoft will be in full control of the salesforce for ads delivered by Microsoft's Bing Ads platform, and likewise, Yahoo will remain the exclusive salesforce for its Gemini ads platform. In other words, Yahoo now has the ability to sell search ads to advertisers through Gemini, while Microsoft will begin taking over sales of all ads for Bing search.</p> <p>That's all the companies were willing to share at this time, so we'll have to wait and see how this revised arrangement affects real-world search results.</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/microsoft_and_yahoo_revise_10-year_search_agreement_2015#comments Bing microsoft search Yahoo News Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:56:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29746 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ROG Unveils Sleek and Slim GR6 PC Game Console http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_unveils_sleek_and_slim_gr6_pc_game_console_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_gr6.jpg" alt="Asus ROG GR6" title="Asus ROG GR6" width="225" height="220" style="float: right;" />Small in size, quiet in operation</h3> <p>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 <strong>Asus ROG GR6, the newest PC game box</strong> that's sure to grab attention from your entertainment center.</p> <p>It's an ultra-compact system built inside a 2.5-liter chassis that measures all of 238mm by 245mm by 60mm and weighing 1.28kg. Asus says it's also whisper-quiet, producing 20dB when idle and 28dB at full load.</p> <p>The GR6 features a 5th Generation Intel Core i5 5200U processor, 8GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM (supports up to 16GB), HDD and SSD storage options, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, GbE LAN, two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, audio jacks, and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>It also has Steam installed and will boot into Steam Big Picture mode with the tap of a button. In addition, Asus says it's working with Valve to ensure the GR6 works "perfectly" with Steam OS and Steam Controller down the line. For now, an optional ROG Gladius mouse and M801 keyboard or ORG Sica mouse and RA01 keyboard comes bundled with the system.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability.</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/asus_rog_unveils_sleek_and_slim_gr6_pc_game_console_2015#comments asus GR6 Hardware OEM pc pc console Republic of Gamers rigs ROG News Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:04:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29745 at http://www.maximumpc.com Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma Keyboard is Now Available http://www.maximumpc.com/razer_blackwidow_tournament_edition_chroma_keyboard_now_available_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackwidow_tournament_editon_chroma.jpg" alt="Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma" title="Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />Look at the colors!</h3> <p>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 <strong>Razer's BlackWidow Tournament Edition keyboard, a mechanical plank with lots of LED backlighting options that's now available to purchase</strong>.</p> <p>The Tournament Edition here is a tenkeyless (TKL) plank, meaning it doesn't have a number pad. So, if you're an accountant by day and a gamer by night, this wouldn't be the best option, unless you already have a separate number pad and/or don't mind swapping out keyboards.</p> <p>In addition to myriad color options, you can also configure the keyboard to light up in a number of different ways, including Wave, Spectrum Cycling, Breathing, Reactive, and more.</p> <p>This is a mechanical keyboard that uses Razer Green switches, which are tactile and audible. Razer claims they've been designed from the ground-up for gamers, though I suspect they're based on Cherry MX Blue switches. When I played with a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard, also with Green switches, I felt the type action was very similar to my Das Keyboard 4 Professional. In any event, you can read more about the <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/razer-mechanical-switches" target="_blank">Green switches here</a>.</p> <p>If you're sold on the Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma, you can pick one up <a href="http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-blackwidow-tournament-edition-chroma" target="_blank">direct from Razer for $140</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/razer_blackwidow_tournament_edition_chroma_keyboard_now_available_2015#comments BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma Hardware mechanical keyboard Peripherals razer News Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:59:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 29744 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Gushes Over the Latest Thunderbolt 2 Products at NAB 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_gushes_over_latest_thunderbolt_2_products_nab_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lg_tv.jpg" alt="LG Monitor" title="LG Monitor" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />LG is first to release a Thunderbolt 2 compatible 4K monitor</h3> <p><strong>Intel is currently at NAB 2015 talking up the latest products that are compatible with Thunderbolt 2</strong>, including the first 4K display with Thunderbolt 2 ports. LG earns honors for that one by introducing the 31MU97Z, a 4K display that boasts two Thunderbolt 2 ports. However, only one is needed to display 4K content, whereas previously you'd need to connect a Thunderbolt cable through an adapter or Thunderbolt 2 dock with a DisplayPort or HDMI connection to achieve 4K.</p> <p>"For LG Electronics, Thunderbolt is a key feature across many of our display products, especially those targeted at the content creation industry," said In-kyu Lee, Sr. Vice President and head of the TV and Monitor Division at LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company. "With the 31MU97Z, we are pleased to introduce the first 4K display with Thunderbolt 2. The 31MU97 is a truly a no-compromise display that offers the best viewing and performance for any 4K video workflow environment."</p> <p>Thunderbolt 2 isn't just about 4k displays. QNAP brought along its first Thunderbolt 2 Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliance, also with dual Thunderbolt 2 ports, while companies like LaCie are showing off external storage solutions, including a Rugged 1TB SSD backup device.</p> <p>The neat thing about Thunderbolt 2 is that it enables channel aggregation, meaning two separate 10Gbit/s channels can combine for a single 20Gbit/s channel. This makes it possible to transfer/write 4K video while looking at the content on a discrete monitor at the same time.</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/intel_gushes_over_latest_thunderbolt_2_products_nab_2015#comments intel NAB 2015 thunderbolt 2 News Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:22:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29742 at http://www.maximumpc.com Corsair Adds 960GB and 480GB Capacity Options to Force LS SSD Family http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_adds_960gb_and_480gb_capacity_options_force_ls_ssd_family <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/corsair_force_ls.jpg" alt="Corsair Force LS" title="Corsair Force LS" width="228" height="195" style="float: right;" />Big capacity without the ginormous price tag</h3> <p>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 -- <strong>Corsair just added 480GB and 960GB capacity drives to its Force LS line</strong>.</p> <p>They join existing 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB drives, and like those drives, the new capacities come in 7mm high enclosures that can be installed into pretty much any desktop or notebook PC with a standard 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive bay (an adapter is needed for the latter).</p> <p>Performance specs are the same for both new capacities:</p> <ul> <li>Up to 560MB/s sequential read</li> <li>Up to 540MB/s sequential write</li> <li>Up to 84,000 random read IOPS</li> <li>Up to 88,000 random write IOPS</li> </ul> <p>The Force Series LS <a href="http://www.corsair.com/en-us/force-series-ls-960gb-sata-3-6gb-s-ssd-b" target="_blank">960GB</a> and <a href="http://www.corsair.com/en-us/force-series-ls-480gb-sata-3-6gb-s-ssd-b" target="_blank">480GB</a> SSDs should be available soon and priced at $380 and $190, respectively.</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/corsair_adds_960gb_and_480gb_capacity_options_force_ls_ssd_family#comments Build a PC corsair force ls Hardware solid state drive ssd News Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:50:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29741 at http://www.maximumpc.com Kingston Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Business Users, Announces 960GB Enterprise SSD http://www.maximumpc.com/kingston_rolls_out_red_carpet_business_users_announces_960gb_enterprise_ssd <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kingston_kc310.jpg" alt="Kingston KC310" title="Kingston KC310" width="228" height="159" style="float: right;" />Getting down to business</h3> <p><strong>Kingston this week announced its largest business-class solid state drive to date, the 960GB KC310</strong>. 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.</p> <p>The drive offers end-to-end data protection via flash error correction and Advanced SmartECC, the latter of which reconstructs defective pages when they're found to be faulty and flash ECC protection fails to recover the uncorrectable errors.</p> <p>As to performance, the KC310 is no slouch -- <a href="http://www.kingston.com/us/company/press/article/7717?Article-Title=Kingston-Digital-Ships-960GB-Business-Class-SSD" target="_blank">Kingston rates</a> its sequential read and write transfers at up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively, along with up to 99,000/96,000 maximum/random 4K read IOPS and up to 89,000/88,000 maximum/random 4K read IOPS. The takeaway from those figures is that Kingston isn't trading performance for enterprise-grade reliability, and claims to offer the best of both worlds.</p> <p>No word yet on when the KC310 will be available or for how much.</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/kingston_rolls_out_red_carpet_business_users_announces_960gb_enterprise_ssd#comments Build a PC Hardware KC310 Kingston solid state drive ssd ssdnow storage News Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:22:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29740 at http://www.maximumpc.com Grand Theft Auto V Joins AMD's Gaming Evolved Program, Realistic Shadows Ensue http://www.maximumpc.com/grand_theft_auto_v_joins_amds_gaming_evolved_program_realistic_shadows_ensue_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gtav_screen.jpg" alt="GTA V Screen" title="GTA V Screen" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />Say hello to Contact Hardening Shadows</h3> <p>So what's the verdict, was Grand Theft Auto V for the PC worth the wait? It's a question that can spark a debate, and if you're in the "Yes!" camp, one piece of evidence to support your claim is GTA V's inclusion into AMD's Gaming Evolved program. As part of that, <strong>GTA V supports a feature that's called Contact Hardening Shadows (CHS) for rendering more realistic soft shadows</strong>.</p> <p>You'll find the feature by heading into the Settings menu and selecting Graphics &gt; Soft Shadows. One of the options is "AMD CHS," and what it does is either harden or soften a shadow depending on the distance of the shadow from the light source. It also takes into consideration the object casting the shadow.</p> <p>"This means softer shadows that diffuse more realistically," AMD says.</p> <p>If you're rocking a GeForce graphics card, fear not, similar effects are provided by what Nvidia calls "Percentage Closer Soft Shadows" (PCSS).</p> <p>"PCSS, if you're unaware, introduces shadows that progressively and smoothly soften as the distance from the casting object increases, as in real life," Nvidia explains in a <a href="http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=3769X629479&amp;site=dvhardware.net&amp;xs=1&amp;isjs=1&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.geforce.com%2Fwhats-new%2Farticles%2Fgrand-theft-auto-v-nvidia-gameworks-and-technology&amp;xguid=caefac69b80641f50471f76ca346bb68&amp;xuuid=87bba66542bd88fd1d128f6c30671db7&amp;xsessid=9f2017d1e68299774d84d875397a46e2&amp;xcreo=0&amp;xed=0&amp;sref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dvhardware.net%2Farticle62292.html&amp;pref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&amp;xtz=240&amp;abp=1" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "For example, the shadow from the trunk of a tree will be sharp, and the shadows on the leaves seen some distance away will be soft."</p> <h3>Drivers</h3> <p>We already told you about Nvidia's Game Ready <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_releases_game_ready_35012_whql_driver_grand_theft_auto_v" target="_blank">350.12 WHQL driver</a> for GTA V. What about AMD? While the Omega 14.12 is still the most recent stable release (12/9/2014), AMD does have available a beta driver, version 15.4, that's been optimized for GTA V. It also includes Crossfire profiles for GTA V, Dying Light, Galactic Civilization III, Meta Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Mortal Combat X, and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, along with updated Crossfire profiles for Battlefield Hardline, Far Cry 4, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Sniper Elite 3.</p> <p>You can read the <a href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/latest-catalyst-windows-beta.aspx" target="_blank">release notes here</a> and download the <a href="http://support.amd.com/en-us/download" target="_blank">beta driver here</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/grand_theft_auto_v_joins_amds_gaming_evolved_program_realistic_shadows_ensue_2015#comments amd Contact Hardening Shadows games gaming evolved Grand Theft Auto V gta v rockstar games Software News Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:46:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 29739 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Revenue Falls Flat as Desktop Sales Decline, IoT Picks Up the Slack http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_revenue_falls_flat_desktop_sales_decline_iot_picks_slack_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_stone.jpg" alt="Intel Stone" title="Intel Stone" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Where does Intel go from here?</h3> <p>Let's get one thing straight before the doomsday sayers come out of the woodwork -- the desktop isn't dead. However, desktop sales did decline to the tune of 6.7 percent last year, according to data provided by International Data Corporation, and <strong>with Intel so heavily vested in the desktop segment, the company's year-over-year revenue fell flat</strong>. Time to hit the panic button? Not quite.</p> <p>First, a look at the figures. Intel today reported first-quarter revenue of $12.8 billion, operating income of $2.6 billion, net income of $2 billion, and EPS of 41 cents. The company generated around $4.4 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.1 billion, and spent $750 million repurchasing 21 shares of stock.</p> <p>By <a href="http://www.intc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=906520" target="_blank">Intel's own admission</a>, revenues were flat "with double-digit revenue growth in the data center, IoT, and memory businesses offsetting lower-than-expected demand for business desktop PCs." Looking at the results, Intel said they "reinforce the importance of continuing to execute our growth strategy."</p> <p>In other words, reduce its reliance on desktops and focus on growing trends, like mobile and the emerging IoT market. With regards to desktops, Intel may have expected more businesses to upgrade their PCs after Microsoft finally pulled the plug from Windows XP, but depending on where you source your data, XP's share of the desktop market could be as high as 17 percent still.</p> <p>That might change once Windows 10 ships, which will bring back a focus to the desktop environment rather than force feed the modern UI on users, but in the meantime, Intel sees a need to expand into other areas. While its PC division was down 16 percent sequentially and 8 percent year-over-year, its Data Center Group raked in $3.7 billion, up 19 percent compared to last year, while the IoT segment added another $533 million to the pile, up 11 percent year-over-year.</p> <p>Along with mobile, these are areas where Intel will look to grow, just don't expect the company to turn its back on desktops. Even though its Client Computing Group saw sequential and annual declines in revenue, it still pulled in more money ($7.4 billion) than the Data Center Group, Internet of Things Group. and Software and Services segment combined. So no, let's not hit the panic button, especially since an uptick in desktop sales could be around the corner.</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/intel_revenue_falls_flat_desktop_sales_decline_iot_picks_slack_2015#comments Desktops intel internet of things iot revenue News Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:40:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29737 at http://www.maximumpc.com Here’s What GTA V Looks Like Maxed-Out on 3 Titan Xs http://www.maximumpc.com/here%E2%80%99s_what_gta_v_looks_maxed-out_3_titan_xs <!--paging_filter--><h3>Benchmark info and 4K pictures galore</h3> <p>GTA V finally launched for the PC yesterday. Given that GTA IV was a resource hog of a port coupled with <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/rockstar_game_announces_gta_v_release_has_been_delayed_again_2015" target="_blank">Rockstar's numerous delays of the PC version</a>, we thought we would run the game through its paces using the beefiest rig we had in the Lab. We opted for Origin PC’s new Millenimum Genesis PC, which is equipped with not one or two GeForce Titan Xs, but three of those water-cooled bad boys in SLI. The system also has Intel’s 4960X CPU. Suffice it to say that, on paper, it’s a beast of a machine (Look for the full review of the rig soon).</p> <h3><img src="/files/u154082/gta5_2015-04-14_12-21-42-37.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></h3> <p>Rockstar says you should be able to run the game at <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/can_your_pc_handle_grand_theft_auto_v_4k_2015" target="_blank">4K with modest setting using a reasonable graphics card</a>, which seemed like a bit of a challenge to us. So, we decided to not only run the game at 4K, but also turn up all the bells and whistles. Yep, we turned every dial up to 11.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Settings used:&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <ul> <li>Resolution 3840x2160&nbsp;</li> <li>FXAA: On</li> <li>MSAA: X4</li> <li>Nvidia TXAA: On</li> <li>Pause Game on Focus Loss: On</li> <li>Population Density: Max</li> <li>Population Variety: Max</li> <li>Distance Scaling: Max</li> <li>Texture Quality: Very High</li> <li>Shader Quality: Very High</li> <li>Shadow Quality: Very High</li> <li>Reflection Quality: Very High</li> <li>Water Quality: Very High</li> <li>Particles Quality: Very High</li> <li>Grass Quality: Very High</li> <li>Soft Shadows: Nvidia PCSS</li> <li>Post FX: Very High</li> <li>Motion Blur Strength: Off</li> <li>In-Game Depth of Field Effects: On</li> <li>Anistropic Filtering: X16</li> <li>Ambient Occlusion: High</li> <li>Tessellation: High</li> <li>Long Shaodws: On</li> <li>High Resolution Shadows: On</li> <li>High Detail Streaming While Flying: On</li> <li>Extended Distance Scaling: Max</li> <li>Extended Shadows Distance: Max</li> </ul> <p>As you may expect, the game looks gorgeous. The character models are average, but it’s the vast cityscapes, water, and god-rays that really shine (pardon the pun). With everything cranked up, there’s tons of depth-of-field effects, textures look sharp, and shadows blur out realistically. When it comes to sheer fidelity, this isn’t a bad port at all, and looks noticeably better than the game’s console counterparts. In some instances, the landscape looks real. You can check out the visuals for yourself with our screens below. (Please pardon the compression that our CMS inflicts on the images).</p> <p>But how does the game run with everything cranked up? There's room for improvement. We played the game with Fraps turned on and also ran the game’s somewhat hidden benchmark. Under the benchmark, the frame counter displayed framerates fluctuating wildly from the low 50s to the low 30s. When we played Franklin's first mission using Fraps, the frame counter recorded average framerates in the low 40s. And yes, these are with the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_releases_game_ready_35012_whql_driver_grand_theft_auto_v" target="_blank">latest graphics drivers</a> tuned for GTA V. There is a possibility that Rockstar will release patches that will increase performance, and there’s also the same possibility that Nvidia might improve its drivers for GTA V/GTA V SLI scaling in the future, but at this point in time, it runs a little sluggish with 3 Titan X GPUs. While it's playable, if you have a comparable setup, we’d advise turning down the knobs a bit to get better framerates.&nbsp;</p> <p>Are you playing GTA V on PC? If so, what do you think of Rockstar’s port? Let us know in the comments below.&nbsp;</p> <p><em><strong>UPDATE:</strong> Due to a driver update issue, SLI was originally disabled when we first ran this story. We have since re-ran the benchmark with SLI enabled and the frame rates have improved noticeably.&nbsp;</em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/here%E2%80%99s_what_gta_v_looks_maxed-out_3_titan_xs#comments 4k benchmark gta v maxed out pc pictures screenshots Titan X News Features Tue, 14 Apr 2015 21:34:23 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29736 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cheap PC case review roundup http://www.maximumpc.com/pc_roundup_low-rent_rides_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3 style="text-align: left;">Budget doesn't have to mean junk</h3> <p style="text-align: left;">Cheap cases. They’re not as scary as the phrase implies, even though we acknowledge that the lower end of the case spectrum can deliver some real clunkers. Thankfully, none of the cases in our roundup this month fit that profile. In fact, we’re seeing a number of features previously reserved for pricier cases start to grace more inexpensive models.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.opener.jpg" width="620" height="350" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Think about it: Cases, under $100, designed specifically for liquid cooling? We’ve always felt that someone willing to plunk down hundreds of bucks for top-quality liquid-cooling parts—and suffer the hours of setup (and soggy components) that can come from one’s adventures in liquid-cooling land—would want to pick up a more expensive case to accommodate their build. Not anymore! One of the cases in our roundup practically screams “stash a radiator in me.”</p> <p>Of course, not all is perfect in the world of computer chassis. It’s tough to find that diamond in the rough—a case that comes with all the features we think you should have, and only a few (or no) annoyances. None of the cases in our roundup fit that profile, but a few come quite close. Give them a read; perhaps you’ll find that you can deal with their imperfections for their oh-so-low prices.</p> <h2>What Makes a Great (Cheap) Case</h2> <p style="text-align: left;">We teased the concept of “a diamond in the rough,” so it’s time to shine a light on all the facets that make a cheap chassis sparkle. There’s not that much, but you’d be surprised at the little details that make for a more pleasurable building experience when cases get them right, versus when they don’t.</p> <p>First up, we’re big fans of cases that use as few normal screws as possible. We don’t like having to bust out the screwdriver to install parts and pieces if we can avoid it. Fewer screws also usually means fewer parts to lose once the build is done. Thumbscrews are much preferred if screws have to be used at all, but we love cases that use simple locking mechanisms for add-in cards, the case’s side panels, and 5.25-inch devices (preferably, 5.25-inch bay locking mechanisms that you can remove, as some two-bay devices won’t play nicely in these situations).</p> <p>As for hard drives, we like either trays or rails. We’re slightly biased toward the former, especially if they allow one to mount 3.5-inch hard drives or 2.5-inch SSDs in a typical 3.5-inch bay. That said, we’re not opposed to cases that do things a little differently—like, say, building in a combination mount that allows you to switch a chunk of bays between supporting 2.5-inch or 3.5- inch drives.</p> <p>The popularity of SSDs and price drops have meant that even cheaper cases are starting to include “hidden mounts” for 2.5-inch drives behind one’s motherboard tray. The more the merrier, we say; you can never have enough secret storage. Ample cable mounting holes are a key part of today’s cases. We need to see at least two big chunks taken out of the motherboard tray to the right of the motherboard itself, as well as one near the power supply. Up top, we’d really prefer a tiny, easy-to-access hole to string our 12V through.</p> <p>We have no opinion on a case’s materials per se, so long as the case has been designed so that there aren’t any pokey, sharp edges—bleeding on one’s PC is never fun, as this writer learned from his time in the Maximum PC Lab. Aluminum or steel is fine. Even a case with all sorts of plastic trappings on the outside is OK, so long as it looks good. What we find ugly, you might love (and vice versa).</p> <p>Fans play greatly into a case’s cooling and a esthetics. W here p ossible, we prefer larger fans (less noise, more air), or at least ample opportunities to stash 12cm or 14cm fans in the same mounting spot—in case you only have the former, but want to upgrade to the latter later. Fan controllers are starting to creep into cheaper chassis; where possible, we’d like the ability to control more fans than just what a case typically comes with (two, in most bare-bones setups). Dials are great, but we’ll accept a “low, medium, high” switch—or even just a two-speed setting.</p> <p>Chassis can come with all sorts of unique little twists on conventional building—sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. In general, these are the kinds of things we look for in an awesome case (but we definitely don’t say no to crazy extras, like hotswap mounts for one’s hard drives). A good computer case is kind of like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography: You’ll know it when you see it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.gut_.jpg" width="590" height="443" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The Cooler Master N600 isn’t perfect, but it has a number of the features we look for in a standout budget case.</em></p> <h2>Zalman Z12 Plus</h2> <p><em><strong>More SSDs! More fan control!</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Simple. Easy. Effective. We’re big fans of most of what Zalman does with its Z12 Plus chassis. Its price feels a bit high for what it offers but, on the plus side, there’s nothing about the chassis that’s a deal-breaker.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.zalman.jpg" width="550" height="333" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The plastic-and-steel mid-tower case comes in at just around 15.5 pounds in weight, making it a pleasant but not overbearing foot-and-a-half-tall chassis for stuffing under (or on) your desk. We had no issues removing its windowed side panel (thumbscrews) and throwing in a motherboard, save for the curious omission of three of the bottom standoffs (which you have to install yourself).</p> <p>Our test video card, an (aging) Nvidia Geforce GTX 480, fit without issue in the Z12 Plus. While it did cover a bit of one of the Z12 Plus’s four cable management holes, Zalman’s design offers a little breathing room between the 10.5-inch card’s edge and the start of the 5.25-inch bays.</p> <p>Installing hard drives into the case’s five standard 3.5-inch bays (and one 2.5/3.5/5.25-inch conversion bay) isn’t a screwless process, but it’s still simple: Four screws and four rubber anti-vibration rubber grommets go directly into your&nbsp; hard drive’s mounting holes. Slide the drive into one of the bays, and a preinstalled locking mechanism catches the screws and holds your drive in place.</p> <p>Any 5.25-inch devices you want to stash into the case’s four standard bays require the normal screw treatment; you also have to pop off the case’s front panel, which features a small amount of sound-dampening foam over all its mesh sections. Curiously, the thin bay covers that one normally just twists off of a case are actually screwed into the Z12 Plus. We’re not quite sure why that’s necessary, and it does add an extra step to an otherwise easy installation.</p> <p>The case comes with three fans preinstalled: a 12cm front blue LED fan, a similarly sized (and colored) top LED fan, and a 12cm rear fan (no lights). Presumably, Zalman wants you to hook the two LED fans into the provided connectors for the case’s high/low fan controller. If you’re big on looks, know that adjusting the voltage of the fans is also going to adjust the brightness of the LEDs.</p> <p>Rounding out the Z12 Plus’s attributes are four USB ports (two USB 3.0 on top; two 2.0 on the lower-right of the case’s front), a hidden installation point on the rear of the motherboard tray for one 2.5-inch drive, and two rubberized holes for water-cooling tubes on the case’s rear.</p> <p>The Z12 Plus is a no-nonsense kind of a case. While we wish we had more room for 2.5-inch drives, and want to hook up more fans to its built-in controller than it allows by default, these issues don’t significantly detract from the case’s quality. Unless, of course, you’re looking to stash a ton of SSDs in your new system.</p> <h3>Verdict: 7</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>(+)</em> Good amount of space; great cable management; ample 3.5-inch slots.<br /><em>(-)</em> Limited SSD support; would prefer drive rails over screws; a few too many 5.25-inch bays for our liking.</p> <p>Price: $90, street</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Cooler Master N600</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>Great for liquids, not for air (or SSDs)</strong></em>.</p> <p>We appreciate the sheer versatility of Cooler Master’s N600 chassis. It’s not a case we’d give to beginners, but those of you who don’t mind rolling up your shirt sleeves when installing your mid-level system will mostly enjoy your time spent.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.coolermaster.jpg" width="550" height="310" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Our major dissatisfactions with the case were cosmetic, though you’ll want to focus on fixing them up given the giant, acrylic window on the case’s side panel. The case’s cooling is adequate, but not overly impressive: a single, non-LED 12cm fan on the rear, and a single, white LED 12cm fan preinstalled on the case’s front. A built-in fan controller allows you to run the two fans at a low or a high setting; doing so affects the brightness of the front LED fan. (You can also switch the LED fan’s light on and off via a hard-to-push switch on the case’s front). The front LED fan doesn’t provide nearly as much light as we’d hoped for. A rear LED fan to boost the lighting would have been much preferred. Our front LED fan was also a bit loud on its high setting, more than we’d want to hear under our desk.</p> <p>The case’s three 5.25-inch drive bays are entirely screwless—we like. The case also comes with three 3.5-inch drive bays built into the chassis, but supports an additional four more, depending on how you set up an additional 3.5/2.5-inch “combo cage.” You can’t have both, however; set the cage up for SSDs, and you’re limiting yourself to just three 3.5-inch hard drives. Go for seven 3.5-inch drives, and the only other place you can install an SSD is via a two-screw fixture on the rear of the motherboard tray.</p> <p>The combo cage, which faces front-toback, can be completely removed if you value cooling over storage. Do that, and you can attach a 24cm radiator to the case’s right side (there’s also space for a 24cm radiator on the case’s inside-top, and room for a smaller 12cm radiator on the rear). However, we do wish that Cooler Master carved out more room for SSDs; you can’t convert the existing 3.5-inch bays into 2.5-inch bays, and we’d hate to be stuck with one SSD slot if we liquid-cooled.</p> <p>We also wish Cooler Master had carved an additional rubberized hole in the motherboard tray for cable stringing, as our GTX 480 video card blocks the top half of the tray’s middle hole (of three total). On the plus side, the cables to the front-panel connectors (including its two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports) are nice and long, which helps cable management a bit.</p> <p>We wouldn’t try to stuff our top-shelf system into this case, but the N600 makes for a good middle-of-the-road chassis; we love the support for liquid cooling, just not the built-in air.</p> <h3>Verdict: 8</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>(+)</em> Plenty of space for 3.5- and 2.5-inch hard drives; very liquid cooling–friendly; lots of USB ports.<br /><em>(-)</em> Poor case lighting; a bit loud when fans cranked up to “high;” could use another “hidden” SSD mount or two.</p> <p>Price: $80, street</p> <h2>Rosewill Blackhawk</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>Let’s play whack-a-Molex</strong></em>.</p> <p>We enjoy most of what Rosewill has done with its $100 Blackhawk case. Many of the design features are what you’d likely see in more expensive chassis, but there are a few areas where Rosewill appears to cut corners—or just misunderstand solid case design. At the price you’re paying, you could do better.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.rosewill.jpg" width="550" height="355" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The case’s tinted, arrow-shaped side panel window looks lovely; it’s a refreshing change of pace from the simple clear acrylic we often see. On the inside, we love that Rosewill includes a Velcro strap to secure your power supply to the case (and reduce noise and vibration). Standoffs come preinstalled for an ATX motherboard, and the tray itself has five rubber holes for cable management.</p> <p>When you put a motherboard in, however, it mostly covers the tiny hole Rosewill sticks in the tray’s upper-left corner— presumably designed to stuff a 4- or 8-pin ATX12V connector through. You’ll either have to really wedge that cable around your motherboard or you’ll have to shoot it across your motherboard from one of the right-most rubber holes, which is hardly a good-looking solution. The case’s three drive bays (two drive trays each, which support 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives) can be removed in various configurations, should you be sporting an extralong video card or want to try and slap a 24cm radiator in the front of the chassis (occupied by two 12cm blue LED fans). A 14cm blue LED fan sits on the case’s top, joined by a 12cm fan on the case’s rear and side (both non-LED). If that sounds like a lot of cooling, it is; the case is at about a medium level of noise when they’re all fired up, though the blue glow looks great through the case’s side window.</p> <p>Unfortunately, only one of the fans uses a three-pin connector. The rest all use Molex connectors for power, which means that you have no way of actually controlling their speed without an adapter of your own. In a system that runs five fans out of the box, a fan controller (or some way to control volume/speed) would be much preferred.</p> <p>Installing a 5.25-inch device is seemingly easy, though we had trouble getting our optical drive into the top of the case’s&nbsp; four free bays. The wiring for the Blackhawk’s (awesome) front-panel connectors—four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and a hotswap SATA connection—got in the way of our optical drive, and it took a lot of wedging to get the wires into the case’s top and our optical drive into place. Locking it in was easy.</p> <p>Rosewill’s Blackhawk offers plenty of space for building, and installing a system into the case isn’t that problematic. Added together, however, this case’s minor flaws start to make its price look all the larger.</p> <h3>Verdict: 6</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>(+)</em> Lovely tinted window; plenty of air cooling; SATA hotswap; great aesthetic.<br /><em>(-)</em> Decent amount of noise; no fan controller; most fans use Molex; top 5.25-inch bay difficult to work with.</p> <p>Price: $100, street</p> <h2>Enermax iVektor</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>Stylish and low cost, to boot.</strong></em></p> <p>Enermax’s iVektor might get the company sued by Apple. In the meantime, you owe it to yourself to give this svelte, smooth midtower chassis a try. Minus a little airflow, which we’re happy to upgrade, this inexpensive chassis offers much.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.feat_case.ivector.jpg" width="550" height="355" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">After popping off the tinted, windowed side panel (thumbscrews), we first noticed just how roomy the seemingly small&nbsp; Vektor actually is. Motherboard standoffs come preinstalled, and the case’s right-most combination drive bracket is preconfigured to support four 2.5-inch drives. Unscrew its left-most support and move it to the 3.5-inch configuration, and Enermax says you can stuff three 3.5-inch drives in the space. We installed four, and the entire configuration still gave us a smidge of room between the bracket and a 10.5-inch long video card. Three fixed drive bays below the aforementioned bracket support 3.5-inch drives only, and there’s no other place to stash an SSD unless you configure said bracket into 2.5-inch bays. Spring-loaded covers on the front panel can be removed without popping the panel off, which makes installing devices into the case’s three 5.25-inch bays a breeze.</p> <p>A very tiny cable-management hole in the motherboard tray’s upper-left corner doesn’t leave much to work with for your system’s 4- or 8-pin ATX12V connector. Two holes to the right of the motherboard are much larger, as is the giant hole to the right of where one stashes the power supply. The space between the rear of the tray and the motherboard’s side panel is ample, more so than most cases we’ve looked at—happy cable stuffing!</p> <p>The case’s add-in card brackets use real screws, not thumbscrews, so get ready to bust out the tools to install your add-on cards. It’s a mild letdown, but Enermax’s insistence on providing rails for both one’s 3.5- and 2.5-inch drives makes up for it. A bigger annoyance is the system’s cooling: a single 12cm blue LED fan in the front and a 12cm fan in the rear. They’re both wired to a “high, nothing, or low” fan controller whose switch sits on the top of the case near its two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>Thanks to foam padding that covers the case’s mesh parts, the iVektor is very, very quiet when the fans are on “low.” You’ll give up airflow on low, though. Kick the fans up to high, and you’re increasing the volume to a slightly more noticeable amount. It makes us wish Enermax opted for 14cm fan mounts instead—the price one pays for a smaller-sized chassis.</p> <p>Enermax’s iVektor might not be perfect, but it’s smooth—literally. A lovely external aesthetic, spacious interior, and ample drive support almost makes us forget a few of its tiny flaws.</p> <h3>Verdict: 8</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>(+)</em> Lots of space on the inside; ample USB connectivity; good cable management; plenty of drive bays.<br /><em>(-)</em> Cooling so-so; lacks motherboard-tray mounts for SSDs; normal screws (not thumbscrews) for PCI slot covers.</p> <p>Price: $80, street</p> <h2>Enermax Coenus ECA3190A</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><em><strong>More than meets the eye? No, not really.</strong></em></p> <p>Enermax’s Coenus chassis (specifically, the ECA3290A) copies a number of features from the company’s iVektor lineup (reviewed on previous page). Or perhaps the iVektor was an upgrade from the Coenus. Regardless, the things we liked about the iVektor continue to work in the Coenus’s favor. However, a few less-than-ideal differences allow the iVektor cases to leave their Coenus peers in the dust.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u187432/mpc103.54.feat_case.jpg" width="550" height="310" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we’re not big fans of the chunky, gray plastic paneling that Enermax slaps all over the front and top of the ECA3290A. It looks a bit like a child’s toy enlarged to extreme proportions; the case’s front reminds us of a Transformer logo, and it makes the whole aesthetic look a bit juvenile. It’s the kind of look we’d go for if we were building a system for a middle-schooler (or a lateblooming college student).</p> <p>The case’s insides are great to build in: Motherboard standoffs come preinstalled, all drive bays come with rails for easy installation (three 3.5-inch, and a combo bracket that fits four 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives), and the case’s 5.25-inch bays use a handy locking mechanism to secure your devices. You get two cable-routing holes on the side of the motherboard tray and one larger one to the right of where the power supply goes. More importantly, there’s a ton of room behind the motherboard tray for your cables; stash away!</p> <p>The tiny cable-management hole in the tray’s upper-left corner for your 4- or 8-pin ATX12V connector can be a little tricky to work with, but it’s manageable. The case’s add-in card slots all use screws, not thumbscrews, so you’ll definitely need a screwdriver on hand to complete your system build. Unfortunately, the ECA3290A doesn’t use the fun spring-locking 5.25-inch bay covers found on its iVektor cases, so you’ll have to pop off the front paneling completely just to install your optical drive (or what-have-you).</p> <p>The ECA3290A only comes with two USB 3.0 ports; the iVektor has those and two extra front-panel USB 2.0 ports. It also has more foam covering its mesh areas on the case’s front and top, which helps reduce the noise of its front and rear 12cm fans a bit. The ECA3290A comes with the same fan configuration, sans the iVektor’s fan controller, so there’s no way to quiet them via the case itself. That said, we’re talking about fairly minor acoustic differences—nothing that made us want to cover our ears.</p> <p>All in all, the Coenus and iVektor cases hover right around the same price point (depending on where you’re shopping). We’d rather take our money to the betterlooking, better-performing iVektor chassis. Leave this little Coenus cousin behind.</p> <h3>Verdict: 6</h3> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>(+)</em> Lots of space on the inside; good cable management; plenty of drive bays.<br /><em>(-)</em> Only two USB ports; horrible external look; no fan controller; must remove front panel to install 5.25-inch devices.</p> <p>Price: $70, street</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/pc_roundup_low-rent_rides_2015#comments Cooler Master N600 Enermax Coenus ECA3190A Enermax iVektor pc Review rosewill blackhawk Zalman Z12 Plus News From the Magazine Features Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:37:26 +0000 David Murphy 29519 at http://www.maximumpc.com Tt eSports Ventus X Gaming Mouse Targets Gamers with Sweaty Palms http://www.maximumpc.com/tt_esports_ventus_x_gaming_mouse_targets_gamers_sweaty_palms_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tt_esports_ventus_x.jpg" alt="Tt eSports Ventus X" title="Tt eSports Ventus X" width="228" height="139" style="float: right;" />Don't sweat it, playa'!</h3> <p><strong>Thermaltake's Tt eSports division has concocted a mouse that fights back against sweaty palms with a vented top side</strong> that should help you keep your cool during those intense fire fights. Or so that's the theory behind the hexagonal patterned ventilation on the Ventus X, which also boasts hexagonal side grips. Oh, and Tt eSports is also pitching aerodynamics by way of the rodent's unique overall design.</p> <p>"The honeycomb design provides breathability by keeping your hand cool, allowing you to manage airflow while increasing the flexibility of movement. This concept boosts ventilation by helping to ease sweaty palms during intense gameplay, bringing performance to a new level," Tt eSports explains.</p> <p>The air-through ventilation system is continued from the company's Level 10 M series. Whether or not it will actually thwart sweaty palms without active cooling remains to be seen, though we'll grant Tt eSports that it's certainly an interesting concept.</p> <p>Looking at the other specs, the Ventus X sports a 5,700 DPI laser sensor with on-the-fly DPI adjustment (400, 800, 1600, and 3200), half a dozen programmable buttons, five profiles for storing up to 30 macros, up to 1,000Hz polling, an adjustable weight system, and 128KB of onboard memory to store your settings.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ttesports.com/productPage.aspx?p=191&amp;g=ftr#.VS1xGfnF_wA" target="_blank">Ventus X gaming mouse</a> is priced at $50 MSRP and should be available soon.</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/tt_esports_ventus_x_gaming_mouse_targets_gamers_sweaty_palms_2015#comments Peripherals tt esports Ventus X News Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:18:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29735 at http://www.maximumpc.com Net Neutrality Faces Political Opposition in Congress and Legal Challenge in Court http://www.maximumpc.com/net_neutrality_faces_political_opposition_congress_and_legal_challenge_court_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gavel_1.jpg" alt="Gavel" title="Gavel" width="228" height="161" style="float: right;" />And so it begins</h3> <p><strong>Official opposition to the net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission published yesterday to the Federal Register has already begun</strong>. The rules, as laid out by the FCC under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 face attacks from multiple angles, including an effort by Republicans in Congress to outright cancel the rules under the Congressional Review Act.</p> <p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/04/republicans-seek-fast-track-repeal-of-net-neutrality/" target="_blank">According to <em>ArsTechnica</em></a>, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and 14 other Republican cosponsors introduced the "Resolution of Disapproval," which would only require a Senate majority to pass under special procedural rules of the Congressional Review Act. <a href="http://dougcollins.house.gov/press-releases/rep-doug-collins-introduces-measure-to-cancel-fcc-regulations/" target="_blank">Collins called it</a> "the quickest way to stop heavy-handed agency regulations that would slow Internet speeds, increase consumer prices, and hamper infrastructure development."</p> <p>This is a way for Republicans to bypass Democratic opposition in the Senate as it just requires a majority instead of 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. However, it will likely amount to political posturing in the end, as President Obama would still be able to (and most likely would) veto the measure.</p> <p>In addition to political opposition, the net neutrality rules face a lawsuit filed by the CTIA, the trade association that represents the wireless industry, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/14/8411033/ctia-wireless-cable-sue-lawsuit-fcc-net-neutrality" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em> reports</a>. The suit was filed in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge "the FCC's decision to impose sweeping new net neutrality rules and reclassifying mobile broadband as a common carrier utility," the CTIA stated in a <a href="http://blog.ctia.org/2015/04/14/ctia-lawsuit-challenge-fcc-open-internet-order/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>Sit tight, things are starting to get interesting.</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/net_neutrality_faces_political_opposition_congress_and_legal_challenge_court_2015#comments broadband CTIA fcc Internet NCTA net neutrality News Tue, 14 Apr 2015 19:31:08 +0000 Paul Lilly 29734 at http://www.maximumpc.com Valve Offers Refunds for Grand Theft Auto V Installation Woes http://www.maximumpc.com/valve_offers_refunds_grand_theft_auto_v_installation_woes_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gta_v_screenie.jpg" alt="Grand Theft Auto V Screenie" title="Grand Theft Auto V Screenie" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Valve, we have a problem</h3> <p>Some patient PC gamers who waited this long to finally experience Grand Theft Auto V on their platform of choice (Windows PCs) are being asked to wait a little longer, jump through some installation hoops, or receive a refund and move on. At issue is a <strong>bug that's preventing GTA V from installing on some Windows PCs</strong>. The issue has been confirmed by Valve, and you may have seen a message when firing up Steam.</p> <p>According to Valve, the issue pops up when players with Windows usernames that include non-alphanumeric characters try to download, install, and play GTA V. The game wigs out, leaving gamers lamenting the long wait, only to run into a hurdle on launch day.</p> <p>The good news is, there's an official fix in the works, though no time frame has been given for its release. And the better news is, you needn't wait for the patch. There's a workaround available.</p> <p>"If you do not want to wait for a fix, you need to create a new Administrator User Account for your Windows system that only includes letters A to Z, a to Z, or numbers 0-9 from the basic Roman alphabet," Valve explains. "Please note that simply renaming your current User Account not correct the issue."</p> <p>It's a bit of a hassle, but creating a new Administrator account as outlined above should fix the issue. Alternately, if you don't want to do that and don't want to wait for a fix, Valve is making available a self refund tool that will be live until a fix is released.</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/valve_offers_refunds_grand_theft_auto_v_installation_woes_2015#comments games Grand Theft Auto V gta v rockstar games Steam Valve News Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:38:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29732 at http://www.maximumpc.com