News en Yes, VIA's Eight-Screen Video Wall Can Display Crysis <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/via_video_wall.jpg" alt="VIA Video Wall" title="VIA Video Wall" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />Stale jokes leads to an awesome new demonstration</h3> <p>It doesn't matter if you're showing off a new 1,000-core processor armed with 100 gaming-grade graphics cards or a fancy new toaster with an LCD display, some yahoo is always going to ask, "Yes, but can it run Crysis?" It's an old joke, one that was again recycled recently when <strong>VIA was giving a demonstration of its 8-panel video wall</strong>, and VIA decided to answer it. Spoiler alert: the answer is yes, and we have the video to prove it.</p> <p>VIA's "Video Wall" solution is unique not just because of the multiple displays, but also due to the ways the screens can be arranged. According to VIA, they can be arranged in any required geometry, two of which it has on display in its labs -- one is a 15-panel video wall and the other is an 8-panel video wall in a fishbone design.</p> <p>"VIA MagicView software is used to lay out how available video content is shown across the screens, through an easy to use drag-and-drop interface. Besides playing back pre-recorded videos, the wall can show live recordings, or screen capture from an external computer. All it takes is connecting the video source with an HDMI-in cable to the VIA MW Video Wall Controller server," <a href="" target="_blank">VIA explains</a>.</p> <p>That includes the ability to run Crysis, provided the source is up to the task. Check it out:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>It was <em>TweakTown</em> that <a href="" target="_blank">posed the question</a> at the end of its write-up on the video wall technology. You can see additional pics of the setup by showing them aome love and clicking through.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Crysis display Gaming Hardware VIA video wall News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:22:12 +0000 Paul Lilly 27689 at Intel Quietly Rolls Out Updated Bay Trail NUC, Stomps Out USB 3.0 Bug <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_nuc.jpg" alt="Intel NUC" title="Intel NUC" width="228" height="129" style="float: right;" />A new revision NUC works out a few kinks</h3> <p>Intel's attempt at infiltrating the mini PC market with its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) device has been met with some growing pains, one of the first of which is it had a tendency to lock up unless you removed the internal Wi-Fi card. That's long been fixed, though there have been reports of other issues, such as a USB 3.0 bug. <strong>A new revision NUC is supposed to squash the USB 3.0 bug</strong>, along with a few other issues.</p> <p>The folks at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>FanlessTech</em></a> alerted us to Intel's <a href="" target="_blank">Product Change Notification (PDF)</a>. What is says is that Intel is replacing the original Celeron N2820 with a Celeron N2830. The newer chip has a new stepping (C0), faster clockspeed (2.1GHz to 2.41GHz), and adds support for DDR3L-1333 memory.</p> <p>Apparently users had reported several minor driver and USB issues with NUCs based on the original Celeron. The latest revision DN2820FYKH should address those issues,</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> bay trail Hardware intel mini pc nuc rigs sff Small Form Factor News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:39:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 27688 at Dell's Entry Level Precision M2800 Mobile Workstation is Now Available to Purchase <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/precision_m2800.jpg" alt="Dell Precision M2800" title="Dell Precision M2800" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Dell is taking aim at design professionals on-the-go and students</h3> <p>Workstations aren't typically inexpensive, nor are they often portable (there are exceptions). Dell set out to tackle both barriers by introducing the Precision M2800 Mobile Workstation last month, though at the time the OEM wasn't able to share pricing information or an exact release date. Now we have both -- <strong>the Dell Precision M2800 Mobile Workstation is available to purchase today</strong> starting at $1,199 on the nose.</p> <p>The Precision M2800 is a 15.6-inch laptop that comes standard with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1020) anti-glare display, Intel Core i5 4200M processor (dual-core 2.5GHz, 3.1GHz Turbo, 3MB cache), 8GB of single-channel DDR3L-1600, 500GB solid state hybrid drive, AMD FirePro M4170 discrete graphics with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, DVD burner, Wi-Fi, GbE LAN, Bluetooth 4.0, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA output, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, ISV certification, and a few other odds and ends.</p> <p>"The 15.6-inch mobile workstation is ISV-certified for leading applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit, Solidworks and PTC Creo, among many others. The M2800 has a choice of fourth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors to have the battery and power to compliment handling massive amounts of data and an AMD FirePro W4170M graphics card to do the rendering to keep up with requirements on the go," Dell stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a></p> <p>Higher end configurations are available. There are four baseline systems to start from, the most expensive of which starts at $1,629. It and the others are configurable.</p> <p>You can order a Precision M2800 <a href="" target="_blank">direct from Dell</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> dell Hardware laptop mobile notebook precision m2800 workstation News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:52:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 27687 at OCZ Skips Over SATA, Announces PCIe-Based RevoDrive 350 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/revodrive_350.jpg" alt="OCZ RevoDrive 350" title="OCZ RevoDrive 350" width="228" height="179" style="float: right;" />Super fast drive offers up to 1.8GB/s of sequential speeds, according to OCZ</h3> <p>It wasn't all that long ago when it seemed silly to think we'd ever saturate the SATA interface. Solid state drives have made that possible, which is why OCZ decided to tap into the PCI Express Gen. 2 x8 interface for its latest storage product. <strong>According to OCZ, it's RevoDrive 350 can hit up to 1.8GB/s in sequential performance</strong>, along with up to 140,000 4K random write IOPS.</p> <p>Toshiba's OCZ Storage Solutions division built the RevoDrive 350 for professional content creation, multimedia, and extreme gaming applications. It uses Toshiba's 19nm NAND flash memory paired with up to four LSI SF-2282 processors to deliver blazing fast RAID performance in an easy-to-deploy, single card solution.</p> <p>"The new RevoDrive 350 is built using proven technology with the added benefit of utilizing in-house premium Toshiba flash and OCZ’s proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0 to deliver highly efficient performance aggregation while reducing the burden on host resources," said Daryl Lang, Senior Vice President of Product Management for OCZ Storage Solutions."This next generation PCIe SSD is the ideal solution for performance-minded users looking to maximize both bandwidth and density for the complete gamut of gaming, content creation and workstation applications."</p> <p>In terms of longevity, OCZ claims its RevoDrive 350 can withstand up ot 50GB of host writes per day for 3 years, which is the length of the warranty.</p> <p>The RevoDrive 350 is available 240GB ($530), 480GB ($830), and 960GB ($1,300) capacities with support for both Linux and Windows.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Hardware ocz revodrive 350 solid state drive ssd storage toshiba News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:52:48 +0000 Paul Lilly 27686 at Sayonara, Net Neutrality: FCC Proposes Premium Priced Internet Fast Lanes <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/internet_open.jpg" alt="Internet Open" title="Internet Open" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />FCC proposes rules that would allow broadband providers to charge companies for faster Internet service</h3> <p>Net neutrality activists are up in arms over a <strong>set of proposed rules that would give broadband providers the green light to charge companies a premium for access to faster Internet access</strong>. The proposal was developed by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler as a compromise between keeping the Internet an open environment while preventing ISPs like Comcast from blocking or throttling certain types of traffic.</p> <p>You may recall the recent spat between Netflix and Comcast in which subscribers of both services were caught in the middle. Since Netflix consumes so much bandwidth and accounts for a large portion of Internet traffic, it was believed by many that Comcast began throttling Netflix streams, especially during peak hours (Comcast denies this). Comcast wanted Netflix to pay a premium for unfettered access into homes, and while the two were caught in a standoff, Comcast subscribers logging into Netflix experienced frequent buffering, a degradation in video quality, and even service dropouts.</p> <p>Netflix eventually agreed to pay <a href="" target="_blank">what it considers an Internet toll</a> and inked a multi-year agreement with Comcast to ensure its traffic has direct access into homes. In essence, the FCC's proposed rules sides with Comcast and says this practice is perfectly acceptable.</p> <p>According to a report in <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a>, ISPs could give preferential treatment to traffic from some content providers if the arrangements are available on "commercially reasonable" terms for all parties involved. That's a bit vague, perhaps on purpose, as the FCC would decide these things on a case-by-case basis.</p> <p>"The FCC is inviting ISPs to pick winners and losers online," Michael Weinberg, a vice president at Public Knowledge, <a href="" target="_blank">stated in an email to <em>PCWorld</em></a>. "The very essence of a 'commercial reasonableness' standard is discrimination. And the core of net neutrality is nondiscrimination. This is not net neutrality."</p> <p>Similar sentiments are shared by net neutrality activists far and wide. Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron told <em>PCWorld</em> "the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet." To be fair, that's not the FCC's intent, but one thing the proposal fails to touch on is how the costs of dedicated pipes gets passed on to the consumer. Is it any coincidence that <a href="">Netflix is raising its prices</a> for new members by $1 to $2 following its multi-year agreement with Comcast? Probably not.</p> <h3>You Have a Voice</h3> <p>If the FCC's proposal ticks you off, you'll have a chance to voice your concern. The FCC will circulate the propose on Thursday followed by a vote to move forward with the proposal at its May 15 meeting. In the meantime, you can write, call, or email your local representatives to let them know how you feel about the proposal. You can also add your name to a <a href="" target="_blank">petition that's already over 1 million signatures</a> long.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Blaise Alleyne)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> broadband fcc Internet net neutrality News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:08:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 27685 at Amazon Pries Loose Select HBO Programming for Prime Instant Video Streaming <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hbo_prime.jpg" alt="HBO Prime" title="HBO Prime" width="228" height="112" style="float: right;" />Sopranos, Band of Brothers, and other HBO originals are coming to Amazon Prime Instant Video</h3> <p>Color us impressed with Amazon's negotiating skills. HBO has kept a tight grip on its content and doesn't care to have its shows streamed outside of its HBO Go application, which is only available to HBO subscribers, but for the first time, that's about to change. <strong>Amazon today announced it inked a content licensing agreement with HBO</strong> that will make Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.</p> <p>Before you start jumping up and down thinking you'll finally get to see what all the fuss is about with Game of Thrones, the hit original series isn't part of the package -- drats! However, if you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you will have access to some older award-winning shows -- Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound &amp; Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, Band of Brothers, John Adams, and more.</p> <p>Make no mistake, this is a huge win for Amazon in the streaming wars, and it comes right on the heels of its Fire TV set-top box launch (side note: HBO Go is coming to Fire TV).</p> <p><a href=";p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1921211&amp;highlight=" target="_blank">Amazon says</a> the first wave of content will arrive on Prime Instant Video May 21. As time goes on, more shows will be added to the mix -- Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep to name a few -- along with comedy specials featuring Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK, and Bill Maher.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amazon hbo prime instant video streaming News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:04:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 27681 at Samsung's Trio of Galaxy Tab 4 Tablets Land in the U.S. Next Week <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/galaxy_tab_4_tablets.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Tablets" title="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Tablets" width="228" height="189" style="float: right;" />Mark your calendars for May 1 (if you want one)</h3> <p><strong>Samsung on Wednesday announced that it's Galaxy Tab 4 family of tablets will be available in the U.S. beginning May 1</strong> starting at $200. There are three different size options -- 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10.1-inch, all three of which will be available to pre-order tomorrow. Though each of the three tablets features a different size display, each one has the same resolution (1280x800).</p> <p>That's a bit of a buzz kill when tablet makers are pushing the envelope with densely packed pixels, though none of these carry a premium price tag. The Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 will retail for $200, the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 for $270, and the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 for $350.</p> <p>A 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM power the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 model. It also features 16GB of onboard storage, microSD card slot, 3MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, stereo speaker, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, 6,800mAh battery, and Android 4.4 KitKat.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u69/galaxy_tab_4.jpg" alt="Galaxy Tab 4" title="Galaxy Tab 4" width="545" height="393" /></p> <p>You'll find the same specs on the 8-inch and 7-inch models, except the 8-inch version has a 4,450mAh battery and the 7-inch is equipped with a 4,000mAh battery. There's also an 8GB storage option for the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> galaxy tab 4 mobile samsung slate tablet News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:21:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 27680 at AnTuTu Benchmark Supposedly Spills the Beans on Nvidia's Shield 2 Console <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/shield_2.jpg" alt="Shield" title="Shield" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>What could be Nvidia's second generation Shield console makes a benchmark run on AnTuTu</h3> <p>It's been a little less than nine months since Nvidia released its <a href="">Shield handheld game console</a> to the public, and while there have been software updates since then, there's already talk of a second generation model with improved hardware. While this hasn't been confirmed as the real deal, news of a <strong>Shield 2 making a benchmarking run at AnTuTu</strong> is making the rounds. Care to venture a guess about its hardware?</p> <p>According to the <a href="" target="_blank">benchmark stats</a>, which was first noticed by <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a>, the supposed Shield 2 wields an Nvidia Tegra K1 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz with a Kepler GPU comprised of 192 CUDA cores. The System-on-Chip (SOC) is flanked by 4GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage.</p> <p>The screen resolution is listed at 1440x810, which could indicate that 90 pixels in height are taken up by the on-screen navigation bar. Rounding out the spec sheet is a 0.3MP front-facing camera and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The device scored 44,500 points in the AnTuTu benchmark.</p> <p>A typo in the spec sheet on AnTuTu gets our BS meter tingling, so take this one with a dash of salt.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> antutu console Gaming handheld Hardware mobile nvidia shield shield 2 News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:53:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 27679 at ARM Extends Reach in First Quarter, Posts 38 Percent Jump in Licensing Revenue <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/arm_0.jpg" alt="ARM Scrabble" title="ARM Scrabble" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />ARM-based chip shipments totaled 2.9 billion in Q1</h3> <p>AMD and Intel have their work cut out for them as both companies try to wrestle mobile market share away from ARM. <strong>To kick off the first quarter of 2014, ARM Holdings reported total revenues of $305.2 million</strong>, up 16 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. That includes a 38 percent year-on-year increase in processor licensing revenue derived from 2.9 billion ARM-based chip shipments in Q1, which itself is up 11 percent compared to last year.</p> <p>It's not just smartphones and tablets that are driving ARM-based processor shipments, but also servers, supercomputers, and other segments.</p> <p>"Q1 was a good start to the year for ARM, with more customers choosing to license ARM technology for their future products, which helped drive ARM’s revenues. Licenses are a precursor to future royalty revenues. Our customers are signing licenses with a view to designing ARM technology into an increasingly wide range of markets from servers and supercomputers to embedded sensors and enterprise networking applications and thereby underpinning ARM's future royalty opportunity," <a href="" target="_blank">noted ARM CEO Simon Segars</a>.</p> <p>Licensing is a big part of ARM's business strategy. Out of the $305.2 million in total revenues it collected in Q1, $129.9 million come from licensing its technologies to companies like Nvidia and Qualcomm. However, ARM isn't immune to market conditions and was affected by lower than expected sales of high-end smartphones running chips based on its IP. As a result, ARM's royalty revenue was $5 million lower than it was in the same quarter a year ago.</p> <p>"ARM’s royalty revenues in Q1 2014 were impacted by an inventory correction which particularly affected mobile and consumer electronics. As a result, both the year-on-year growth in ARM’s royalty revenues and the outperformance compared to overall industry growth are lower this quarter than seen in most recent periods," Segars added. "Inventory corrections of this type occur in the industry from time to time, the last one occurring in H1 2012."</p> <p>Another explanation is that the high-end smartphone market is starting to become saturated, though ARM is firm in its belief that the drop in royalty revenue is a temporary blip.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr (Simon Cunningham)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> ARM financial report mobile processor revenue News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:16:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 27678 at AMD Catalyst 14.4 Release Candidate Adds Support for Radeon R9 295X2 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/295x2.jpg" alt="Radeon R9 295X2" title="Radeon R9 295X2" width="228" height="111" style="float: right;" />Say goodbye to flickering in Titanfall when running CrossFire</h3> <p><strong>AMD this week made available to download its Catalyst 14.4 driver in Release Candidate (RC) form</strong>. The release follows the launch of AMD's dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card, which the Catalyst 14.4 RC drivers support. It also boasts full support for OpenGL 4.4, Mantle beta driver improvements, CrossFire fixes and enhancements, and a spattering of bug fixes, including the resolution of game flickering in Titanfall when CrossFire is enabled.</p> <p>According to the release notes, the latest RC offers frame racing improvements in Crysis 3, better performance in Far Cry when running three or four GPUs at high quality settings and high resolution, improved CrossFire scaling in Anno 2070 by up to 34 percent, improved CrossFire scaling in Metro Last Light by up to 10 percent, improved Eyefinity 3x1 support with three 4K panels, and a few other odds and ends.</p> <p>You can check out the full list of fixes and download the RC drivers <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd catalyst 14.4 Drivers radeon r9 295x2 Release Candidate Software News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:33:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 27677 at NZXT Phantom 240 Case Floats an Affordable $70 Price Tag <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nzxt_phantom_240.jpg" alt="NZXT Phantom 240" title="NZXT Phantom 240" width="228" height="242" style="float: right;" />The least expensive Phantom to date</h3> <p>If you're a fan of NZXT's Phantom case line but tend to gravitate towards less expensive enclosures, you might be interested in the company's newest offering, the Phantom 240. <strong>NZXT's newly released Phantom 240 carries a $70 MSRP</strong>, making it the most affordable Phantom yet. It also sports a new design with a full-view window while maintaining its asymmetrical shape and comes with two FN V2 120mm case fans.</p> <p>Need more cooling? There's room for an additional 120mm fan up front, another on the bottom, and two more on top (or you can opt for 140mm fans on top). Once you've got your airflow scheme figured out, you can route cables out of the way using the 17mm of cable management space behind the right-side panel that NZXT provides. You'll also find seven routing holes and over 20 zip tie points to help with cable management.</p> <p>There's a removable drive cage to make room for extra long graphics cards (up to 400mm without the cage, versus 290mm with the cage). All tallied, the Phantom 240 features three optical bays, six 2.5-inch drive bays, and six 3.5-inc drive bays. On the outside, the I/O panel features audio inputs and two USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Phantom 240</a> will be available soon.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware mid-tower nzxt p240 phantom 240 News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:46:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 27676 at Benq Starts Shipping XL-Z Series Monitors Aimed at FPS Gamers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/benq_monitor.jpg" alt="Benq XL-Z Monitor" title="Benq XL-Z Monitor" width="228" height="219" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Benq's XL-Z monitors are specifically intended for FPS gamers</h3> <p>Holy buzzwords, Batman -- Benq is pulling out all kinds of fancy pants terms to describe its new XL-Z series of first-person shooter (FPS) purpose-built gaming monitors. <strong>Benq says its XL-Z series monitors have begun shipping</strong>, and if you're a gamer -- particularly an FPS gamer -- the company has several reasons why you might be interested in one of its displays, starting with RevolutionEyes technology.</p> <p>What exactly is it? Good question, so we looked it up. Revolution Eyes is essentially what Benq is calling its collection of technologies that makes its XL-Z series the bees knees. Things like Motion Blur Reduction, Low Blue Light, ZeroFlicker, gaming refresh rate optimization management (GROM), and a 1ms GTG response time are among them. Here, have yourself a look at Benq's YouTube video for a bit more detail:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>"The design of our gaming monitors reflects our overall philosophy of delivering market-first features that give gamers an opportunity to conquer the game. That's why we design all of our gaming products in close collaboration with professional gamers," said Bob Wudeck, Associate Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at BenQ America Corp. "With the latest release of our XL-Z series, we've pushed the limits of performance once again by becoming the first major brand to provide Motion Blur Reduction technology for smoother game play. Add in our other exclusive features, and the XL-Z series gives players fully loaded monitors made to turn opponents on their heads."</p> <p>There are three XL-Z series monitors too choose from. They include the <a href="" target="_blank">XL2720Z</a> ($529), XL2420Z ($500), and $XL2411Z ($329).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> BenQ Build a PC display FPS Gaming Hardware monitor xl-z News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:59:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 27675 at Netflix Posts $1 Billion in Quarterly Streaming, Subscription Price Hike is Coming <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/netflix_oitnb.jpg" alt="Netflix OITNB" title="Netflix OITNB" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Netflix is planning to bump up its subscription price by up to $2 for new subscribers</h3> <p>On hindsight, going nearly all-in with streaming was definitely the right choice for Netflix. While the company's DVD-by-mail generated $98 million during the first quarter of 2014, Netflix's streaming revenue topped $1 billion. That's a pretty big disparity and Netflix expects the gap to widen even more each quarter. At the same time, the cost of doing business isn't getting cheaper these days, and <strong>if you're thinking about joining Netflix, do it before the price goes up</strong>.</p> <p>In a <a href="" target="_blank">letter to shareholders (PDF)</a>, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells announced that a price hike is likely to occur later this quarter, however it will only apply to new members initially.</p> <p>"In the U.S. we have greatly improved our content selection since we introduced our streaming plan in 2010 at $7.99 per month. Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only," Hastings and Wells said.</p> <p>As for existing subscribers, they'll stay at their current pricing, which will remain in effect "for a generous time period." The money generated from raising the price for new subscribers will help Netflix acquire more content and improve its streaming service.</p> <p>Though Hastings and Wells don't come right out and say it, another reason for the price hike could be to cover costs associated with ensuring its traffic is delivered to subscribers unabated. Netflix recently inked a multi-year agreement with Comcast that guarantees the ISP won't throttle its traffic, which means far less buffering and higher quality feeds, especially during peak hours.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> NetFlix revenue streaming News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:22:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 27674 at Heads Up: EVGA Now Offers Individually Sleeved Cables for G2 and P2 Power Supply Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sleeved_cable.jpg" alt="EVGA Sleeved Cable" title="EVGA Sleeved Cable" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />No visible heat shrink tubing</h3> <p>There are at least a million and one different ways to trick out your PC. One of those ways is to individually sleeve all the wiring for your power supply. The end result looks pretty sweet, assuming you don't drive yourself insane before completing the tedious task. Like most anything else, there's an alternate path to the same end -- toss money at it. If you're willing to pay for the luxury, <strong>EVGA will now sell you individually sleeved cable sets</strong> that support all SuperNova G2 and P2 power supply series.</p> <p>The cable sets are available in red, black, white, and blue. Each kit consists of individually sleeved cables with no visible heat shrink tubing. They come with:</p> <ul> <li>1 x 24-pin ATX cable</li> <li>2 x 4+4 pin EPS12V CPU cable</li> <li>4 x 6+2 pin PCI-E VGA cables</li> <li>2 x 6+2 pin + 6-pin PCI E VGA cables</li> <li>4 x 3 SATA cables</li> <li>1 x 3 Molex cable</li> <li>1 x 2 Molex cable + 1 floppy connector</li> </ul> <p><img src="/files/u69/blue_sleeved_cable.jpg" alt="EVGA Blue Sleeved Cable" title="EVGA Blue Sleeved Cable" width="620" height="488" /></p> <p>Each sleeved cable set runs $90; they're available to <a href=";family=Power+Supplies&amp;chipset=+Power+Supply+Cable+Set+(Individually+Sleeved)" target="_blank">purchase now</a> direct from EVGA.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC evga g2 Hardware p2 power supply PSU sleeved cables supernova News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:53:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 27673 at Microsoft Clears Regulatory Hurdles, Will Close Nokia Deal April 25 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nokia_windows_phone_0.jpg" alt="Nokia Windows Phone" title="Nokia Windows Phone" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Only a few days remain before Microsoft closes its acquisition of Nokia's mobile business</h3> <p>If things had gone exactly to plan, Microsoft would have tied the knot with Nokia by now. However, red tape is sometimes sticky business, especially when it's coming from all directions. Regardless, <strong>Microsoft today announced that it's completed all the necessary steps to finalize its acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business </strong>(mobile handsets and such, in other words). The transaction will be complete on Friday, April 25.</p> <p>The delay gave Microsoft and Nokia time to hammer out some additional specifics. For example, the original deal didn't make any mention of online asset management, but the two sides have since agreed that Microsoft will manage the domain and social media sites for up to a year.</p> <p>Microsoft also convinced Nokia to transfer its 21 employees in China working on mobile phones to join the Redmond outfit, whereas previously all workers in Nokia's Chief Technology Office would continue employment at Nokia.</p> <p>"The completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration. This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones," Microsoft stated in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>Timing of the finalized deal comes just as Microsoft has begun rolling out its <a href="" target="_blank">Windows Phone 8.1 update</a> with Cortana voice assistant software.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (Janitors)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> acquisition microsoft mobile Nokia News Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:06:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 27671 at