News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en HP Pushes Windows 7 PCs for Back to School Season with Instant Discounts http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_pushes_windows_7_pcs_back_school_season_instant_discounts_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_envy_0.jpg" alt="HP Envy" title="HP Envy" width="228" height="166" style="float: right;" />Save money on a Windows 7 system</h3> <p>With Windows 9 (Threshold) rumored for an introduction next month along with a Release Preview for consumers and developers alike, it's safe to say that the Windows 8 era is winding down, though some would argue it never truly began (market share figures would back that argument). So, what do you do if you're an OEM looking to pick up sales for the back to school season? Well, <strong>if you're HP, you promote Windows 7 and offer shoppers an enticing discount</strong>.</p> <p>HP has been sending out a newsletter to customers with the heading, "Windows 7 PCs on sale, just in time for school." That's an interesting sales pitch some two years after Windows 8 has been on the market. Nevertheless, consumers just haven't reacted to Windows 8/8.1 the way Microsoft hoped they would, so this isn't a terrible move by HP.</p> <p>If you head over to HP's "<a href="http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/Laptops" target="_blank">Laptops &amp; hybrids</a>" section, you'll see HP pushing Windows 7 laptops with instant savings of up to $170. You can save up to 20 percent off of Windows 7 laptops in certain cases, such as the HP Pavilion 15t-n200 -- it normally sells for $750 but is currently marked down to $600. The HP Envy 15t-j100 Quad Edition is close behind with a 19 percent reduction to $730, down from $900.</p> <p>Time is running out for Microsoft's hardware partners to sell Windows 7 PCs to consumers. After October 31, they'll no longer be able to sell systems with Windows 7 as a standard option.</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/hp_pushes_windows_7_pcs_back_school_season_instant_discounts_2014#comments back to school Hardware hewlett-packard hp OEM operating system OS rigs Software windows 7 News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:55:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 28401 at http://www.maximumpc.com Study Shows Near Equal Split Between Female and Male Gamers http://www.maximumpc.com/study_shows_near_equal_split_between_female_and_male_gamers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/girl_gamer_0.jpg" alt="Girl Gamer" title="Girl Gamer" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Fun facts about the video game industry</h3> <p><strong>The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released a report titled "Essential Facts About the Computer and Video game Industry"</strong> that's filled with sales, demographic, and usage data. According to the report, 59 percent of Americans play video games with an average of two gamers in each game playing U.S. household. Some 51 percent of U.S. households own a dedicated game console, and of those that do, most own two. As for the gender breakdown, 52 percent of gamers are male and 48 percent are female. However, things get interesting when you examine the breakdown by age.</p> <p>"Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game playing population (36 percent) than boys age 18 or younger (17 percent)," ESA states in its <a href="http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2014.pdf" target="_blank">report (PDF).</a></p> <p>Also interesting is that the number of female gamers age 50 and older increased by 32 percent from 2012 to 2013. ESA didn't provide any reasons for the rise, but we'd guess it has to do with accessibility, such as playing games on tablets and smartphones.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, casual and social game play on mobile devices and online went up "significantly" as well. Among the most frequent gamers, social games are now the most popular, increasing in popularity by 55 percent from 2012 to 2013.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wlodi/2279211019" target="_blank">Flickr (włodi)</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/study_shows_near_equal_split_between_female_and_male_gamers_2014#comments Consoles games Software study News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:32:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 28400 at http://www.maximumpc.com EVGA Posts Teaser Shot of Classified X99 Micro ATX Motherboard on Instagram http://www.maximumpc.com/evga_posts_teaser_shot_classified_x99_micro_atx_motherboard_instagram_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/evga_x99_micro.jpg" alt="EVGA X99 Micro" title="EVGA X99 Micro" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />Haswell-E can't come quick enough</h3> <p>Hoping to build a small form factor (SFF) system around Intel's upcoming Haswell-E and X99 chipset launches? That seems to be the trendy thing these days, and you can bet motherboard vendors will step to the plate with smaller size motherboard options. These won't be chintzy slabs, either. EVGA posted a picture to Instagram showing off a small board built around the X99 chipset.</p> <p>The <a href="http://instagram.com/p/r-UeBQuIc3/" target="_blank">EVGA X99 Micro</a> is an mATX board ready for Haswell-E. <a href="http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/35562-evga-teases-its-upcoming-x99-based-matx-motherboard" target="_blank">According to <em>Fudzilla</em></a>, it sports a 10-phase VRM design. You can also see four DDR4 memory slots (two on each side of the CPU socket), six SATA 6Gbps ports, three PCI-Express 3.0 slots, mSATA slot, USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectivity, on-board power and reset buttons, and LED POST.</p> <p>It's rumored the board will sell for about $250, which is a bit high for an mATX motherboard, though keep in mind it's part of EVGA's Classified family aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts.</p> <p>As for Haswell-E, there's no official launch date, though recent chatter now has it pegged for August 29th. All Haswell-E chips will require a new X99 motherboard with the revised Socket 2011-3 layout. These boards will also support DDR4 memory.</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/evga_posts_teaser_shot_classified_x99_micro_atx_motherboard_instagram_2014#comments classified evga instagram matx micro atx motherboard x99 News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:02:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 28399 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Rumored to Cut FX Processor Pricing on September 1, 2014 http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumored_cut_fx_processor_pricing_september_1_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_fx_8-core.jpg" alt="AMD FX 8-Core" title="AMD FX 8-Core" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />Big savings might be just around the corner</h3> <p>Save for a stint during the socket 939 era when Athlon 64 X2 chips carried premium price tags, AMD has mostly been about delivering competitive pricing compared to Intel. In keeping with that trend, <strong>AMD is reportedly getting ready to slash prices of its FX-9000 "Centurion" processors</strong>, as well as trim prices less aggressively on select FX Series parts and discontinue certain older models.</p> <p><a href="http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20140820105340_AMD_to_Cut_Prices_on_FX_9000_Other_FX_Processors_New_Prices_Revealed.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Xbit Labs</em></a> and a few other sources on the web, AMD will roll out its new prices on September 1, 2014. One of the biggest cuts is purportedly coming to the FX-9590, which will go down to $215 when purchased in mass quantities supplied in trays -- you can expect retail pricing to be a bit higher. At present, the chip sells for $299, though <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_ocz_vector_150_series_120gb_ssd_amd_fx-9590_vishera_8-core_and_more">Newegg has a coupon code</a> that cuts the cost to $260.</p> <p>Other price reductions include the following:</p> <ul> <li>FX-9370: $199 (down from $219)</li> <li>FX-8350: $169 (down from $189)</li> <li>FX-8320: $139 (down from $149)</li> <li>FX-6350: $119 (down from $129)</li> <li>FX-6300: $99 (down from $109)</li> <li>FX-4350: $95 (down from $119)</li> <li>FX-4300: $95 (down from $99)</li> </ul> <p>On top of the above, AMD is reportedly planning to either discontinue or keep the present pricing on its FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-6200, FX-6100, FX-4170, FX-4130, and FX-4100 processors.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumored_cut_fx_processor_pricing_september_1_2014#comments amd Build a PC cpu fx-9000 Hardware processor rumor News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:56:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28398 at http://www.maximumpc.com G.Skill Unveils Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory Kits with Redesigned Heatspreaders http://www.maximumpc.com/gskill_unveils_ripjaws_4_series_ddr4_memory_kits_redesigned_heatspreaders_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ripjaws4.jpg" alt="G.Skill Ripjaws 4" title="G.Skill Ripjaws 4" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />More parts in preparation for Haswell-E</h3> <p>One thing you won't have to worry about when Intel rolls out its Haswell-E processors is finding supplementary components to accommodate the new parts. That includes DDR4 memory. <strong>G.Skill is the latest to jump on the DDR4 bandwagon</strong>, and it brought along its familiar Ripjaws branding. The new Ripjaws 4 Series of DDR4 memory kits represent the fourth generation of Ripjaws, and with it comes a redesigned heatspreader.</p> <p>The aggressive looking heatspreaders come in red, blue, and black. Though the heatspreaders on these kits are reflective of a brand new design, G.Skill says each module still measures 40mm high, the same as previous generation Ripjaws RAM.</p> <p>G.Skill is releasing a whole bunch of Ripjaws 4 Series kits ranging in frequency from 2133MHz to 3200MHz. They include:</p> <ul> <li>2133MHz; 15-15-15-15; 1.2V; 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8), 64GB (8GBx8)</li> <li>2400MHz; 15-15-15-15; 1.2V; 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8), 64GB (8GBx8)</li> <li>2666MHz; 15-15-15-35; 1.2V; 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8), 64GB (8GBx8)</li> <li>2800MHz; 16-16-16-36; 1.2V; 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8), 64GB (8GBx8)</li> <li>3000MHz; 15-15-15-35; 1.35V; 16GB (4GBx4), 32GB (8GBx4 / 4GBx8)</li> <li>3000MHz; 16-16-16-36; 1.35V; 32GB (8GBx4)</li> <li>3200MHz; 16-16-16-36; 1.35V; 16GB (4GBx4)</li> </ul> <p>Memory kits above 2400MHz support Intel XMP 2.0 for easy tuning, and all Ripjaws 4 kits have been validated for compatibility with "most X99 motherboards," <a href="http://www.gskill.com/en/press/view/g-skill-announces--ripjaws-4-series-ddr4-memory-kits" target="_blank">G.Skill says</a>.</p> <p>The Ripjaws 4 kits in capacities up to 32GB are available now ranging in price (street) from around $260 to $530.</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/gskill_unveils_ripjaws_4_series_ddr4_memory_kits_redesigned_heatspreaders_2014#comments Build a PC ddr4 g.skill Hardware Memory ram ripjaws 4 News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:47:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 28397 at http://www.maximumpc.com CyberPowerPC's Raven X6 Gaming Laptop Takes Flight Starting at $1,199 http://www.maximumpc.com/cyberpowerpcs_raven_x6_gaming_laptop_takes_flight_starting_1199 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/raven_laptop.jpg" alt="Raven X6" title="Raven X6" width="228" height="180" style="float: right;" />A sleek and stylish laptop</h3> <p><strong>CyberPowerPC today uncaged its new Raven X6 laptop for gamers</strong>. The Raven X6 sports a 15.6-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) display with a 1920x1080 resolution powered by an Intel Core i7 4710HQ mobile processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics. It all comes wrapped in an aggressive looking chassis with sleek angles and subtle aesthetic enhancements and accents.</p> <p>Pricing starts at $1,199. In addition to the components listed above, the Raven X6 also features 8GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM), two USB 3.0 ports, HD webcam with dual digital microphones, backlit keyboard, HDMI output, 4-in-1 media card reader, and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>There are a few upgrade options, such as bigger and faster storage choices, more RAM, and a bunch of accessories (mice, keyboards, headsets), though you can't hog wild pimping this thing out with more powerful components -- the options just aren't there.</p> <p>You can order a <a href="http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/LandingPages/RAVEN/" target="_blank">CyberPowerPC Raven X6</a> right now.</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/cyberpowerpcs_raven_x6_gaming_laptop_takes_flight_starting_1199#comments cyberpowerpc Gaming Hardware laptop notebook OEM raven x6 rigs News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:36:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28393 at http://www.maximumpc.com HP Turnaround Effort on Track as Quarterly Sales Top Expectations http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_turnaround_effort_track_quarterly_sales_top_expectations_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_systems.jpg" alt="HP Systems" title="HP Systems" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Rise in desktop and laptop sales helped HP beat Wall Street estimates</h3> <p>Though HP didn't reclaim its spot as the number one supplier of PCs, the second-place OEM surprised analysts with a strong third quarter. <strong>HP's net revenue in the third quarter came to $27.6 billion, up 1 percent compared to the same period a year ago</strong>, while earnings per share came to $0.89, up 3 percent year-over-year. That's slightly better than Wall Street's estimate of a drop in revenue to $27.01 billion.</p> <p>HP has been working hard to turn things around as it restructures its operations. Unfortunately, doing so entailed making significant job cuts in the tens of thousands, though on the bright side those efforts seem to be paying off.</p> <p>"Overall, I'm very pleased with the progress we've made," <a href="http://h30261.www3.hp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71087&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1959911&amp;highlight=" target="_blank">said Meg Whitman</a>, chairman, president and chief executive officer, HP. "When I look at the way the business is performing, the pipeline of innovation and the daily feedback that I receive from our customers and partners, my confidence in the turnaround grows stronger."</p> <p>HP's revenue from its PC division rose 12 percent year-over-year, with a 9 percent uptick in desktop sales and an 18 percent jump in notebook sales. This helped offset declines in printing, software, and enterprise revenue.</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/hp_turnaround_effort_track_quarterly_sales_top_expectations_2014#comments hewlett-packard hp revenue News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:51:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28392 at http://www.maximumpc.com Facebook Extends Bug Bounty Program to Oculus Rift http://www.maximumpc.com/facebook_extends_bug_bounty_program_oculus_rift_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/oculus_rift_4.jpg" alt="Oculus Rift" title="Oculus Rift" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Get paid to root out bugs in Oculus Rift</h3> <p>The concept of a bug bounty program is nothing new, and even Facebook will line your pockets with cash if you discover a qualifying security vulnerability in the social network or select acquisitions it's made. Until now, however Oculus Rift was exempt. <strong>Facebook has now extended its bug bounty program to Oculus Rift</strong>, which joins other Facebook acquisitions such as Instagram, Parse, Onavo, and Moves.</p> <p>Bounties are awarded at the discretion of Facebook's bug bounty team. Should yours qualify, the minimum reward you're receive is $500. On the flip side, there is no maximum reward, and the more severe and creative the bug, the higher the bounty will be, according to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/whitehat" target="_blank">Facebook's bug bounty page</a>.</p> <p>Though this is Facebook's first hardware device, Facebook security engineer Neal Poole tells <em>The Verge</em> that at present, the majority of bugs related to Oculus Rift are in the message system for Oculus developers and parts of the website. As a result, the bugs are similar to the ones found in the social network.</p> <p>"A lot of the issues that come up with Oculus are not necessarily in the hardware yet," <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/20/6004113/facebook-will-now-pay-you-money-to-find-bugs-in-the-oculus-rift" target="_blank">Poole says</a>. "Potentially in the future, if people were to go explore and find issues in the SDK or the hardware, that is definitely of interest to us."</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/9084799176" target="_blank">Flickr (Sergey Galyonkin)</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/facebook_extends_bug_bounty_program_oculus_rift_2014#comments bugs facebook oculus rift Security Social Networking Software virtual reality vr wearables News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:32:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28391 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer Announces Compact Chromebox CXI Series Starting at $180 http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_announces_compact_chromebox_cxi_series_starting_180_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_chromebox_cxi.jpg" alt="Acer Chromebox CXI" title="Acer Chromebox CXI" width="228" height="203" style="float: right;" />Acer's first desktop PC running Google's Chrome OS</h3> <p>Does Google's Chrome OS have the legs to stretch beyond Chromebooks and into the mini PC category? Looks like we'll find out, as <strong>Acer just announced its new Chromebox CXI line for customers in North America</strong>. Acer isn't taking aim at just one category of users -- instead, the company says the CXI series is an appropriate solution for education, small to medium businesses, and budget-conscious shoppers who don't need a mobile platform.</p> <p>Housed in a compact 0.6 liter (6.41 x 5.12 x 1.3 inches) chassis that stands upright and is VESA mountable, the Chromebox CXI makes the most out of its space by offering fast boot up times in around 8 seconds and near-instant resume from sleep mode.</p> <p>Acer <a href="http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/press/2014/80860" target="_blank">plans to launch </a>two Chromebox CXI models, the first of which is the CXI-2GKM with an Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2GB of DDR3-1600 RAM (supports up to 8GB), 16GB solid state drive, SD card reader, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GbE LAN, four USB 3.0 ports (including one with power off charging for smartphones and tablets), DisplayPort and HDMI output, and of course Google's Chrome OS.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/acer_chromebox_cxi_vesa.jpg" alt="Acer Chromebox CXI VESA" title="Acer Chromebox CXI VESA" width="620" height="493" /></p> <p>The second model is the CXI-4GKM. It boasts the same specs, save for the RAM, which gets doubled to 4GB.</p> <p>Both the CXI-2GKM and CXI-4GKM will be available next month for $180 and $220, 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/acer_announces_compact_chromebox_cxi_series_starting_180_2014#comments Acer chromebox cxi Hardware nettop oem rigs News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:01:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 28390 at http://www.maximumpc.com Velocity Micro Adds Custom Designed MX3 Case to System Configuration Options http://www.maximumpc.com/velocity_micro_adds_custom_designed_mx3_case_system_configuration_options_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/velocity_micro_mx3.jpg" alt="Velocity Micro MX3" title="Velocity Micro MX3" width="228" height="224" style="float: right;" />Micro in size, big in expandability</h3> <p>In days gone by, deciding between high end components and a space saving configuration was a delicate balancing act with compromises made along the way. Things are different today. Hardware has evolved, and it's now possible to build a potent system inside a smaller size case. <strong>Velocity Micro's custom designed MX3 chassis is one such example of a compact case that can handle full size components</strong>, and it's now available from the boutique builder as a configuration option.</p> <p>The MX3 is a microATX case that can handle up to two high-end graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti, a 240mm liquid CPU radiator, and up to half a dozen hard drives. As far as Velocity Micro is concerned, it's the most power-capable and upgradeable mATX case available in the custom PC industry.</p> <p>"This latest chassis is the culmination of nearly six months of research, design, and development," said Randy Copeland, President and CEO of Velocity Micro. "We believe its unique combination of design, power capabilities, and outstanding thermals will make it extremely popular with our enthusiast audience. It’s a significant leap forward both for us and for the industry."</p> <p>Velocity Micro's MX3 case option is <a href="http://www.velocitymicro.com/mx3-chassis.php" target="_blank">available now </a>in configurations starting at $1,099 (Edge Z40). For that price, you get a Gigabyte H97M-D3H motherboard, Intel Core i5 4460 processor, 8GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 graphics card, 1TB hard drive, 24X Asus DVD burner, 500W EVGA power supply, and Windows 7 Home Premium.</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/velocity_micro_adds_custom_designed_mx3_case_system_configuration_options_2014#comments Hardware matx mx3 sff Small Form Factor velocity micro News Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:07:36 +0000 Paul Lilly 28389 at http://www.maximumpc.com DFC Intelligence: Nearly All PC Game Sales are Digital Downloads http://www.maximumpc.com/dfc_intelligence_nearly_all_pc_game_sales_are_digital_downloads_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_games.jpg" alt="Steam Games" title="Steam Games" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Physical media in the PC gaming sector is nearly dead</h3> <p>Think for a moment about the last 10 PC games you purchased. If the statistics presented by analyst DFC Intelligence are correct, than at least nine of those games were digitally downloaded as opposed to physical copies. Long gone are the days when you'd walk into Software Etc. and emerge with a bag full of game boxes containing floppy disks, and later CDs. <strong>According to DFI Intelligence, 92 percent of all PC game sales around the world in 2013 were digital</strong>.</p> <p>DFC Intelligence provided that tidbit to <a href="http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/digital-sales-make-up-92-of-global-game-revenues/034551" target="_blank"><em>PCR</em></a>, though it didn't say what the outlook for 2014 looks like. However, there's no reason to believe that trend is reversing, especially if you've walked into a GameStop lately -- the PC section has been reduced in most stores to a sad little rack that would normally hold a few accessories.</p> <p>Going digital isn't a bad thing, nor has it hurt developers and publishers. DFC said earlier this year that the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/%E2%80%9Cpc_games_have_surpassed_console_games%E2%80%9D_says_dfc_intelligence_owner_2014" target="_blank">PC games market leapfrogged console gaming</a> in revenue for the first time.</p> <p>"Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC. The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience," DFI Intelligence owner David Cole explained at the time.</p> <p>It's not hard to believe. As our sister site <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/08/19/analyst-says-digital-sales-made-up-92-percent-of-pc-game-market-in-2013/" target="_blank"><em>PC Gamer</em> points out</a>, EA <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/08/01/ea-financial-results-revealed/" target="_blank">announced</a> in its Q1 financial results for fiscal year 2013 that it made more money from PC sales than PlayStation 3, and it credited digital sales as the reason why.</p> <p>Welcome to the future.</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/dfc_intelligence_nearly_all_pc_game_sales_are_digital_downloads_2014#comments DFC Intelligence digital downloads games Software News Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:15:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28387 at http://www.maximumpc.com Barnes and Noble Rolls Out Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook for $179 http://www.maximumpc.com/barnes_and_noble_rolls_out_samsung_galaxy_tab_4_nook_179 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_galaxy_tab_4_nook_0.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook" title="Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />Welcome back to the tablet scene, Barnes and Noble</h3> <p>After failing to compete in sales with the likes of Amazon and its Kindle Fire line, <strong>Barnes and Noble is officially invested in tablets again with the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook</strong>. The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is essentially a combination of the Android-based Nook platform baked into the Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 hardware and billed as the first ever full-featured Android slate.</p> <p>The device measures 7.36 (H) x 4.25 (W) x 0.35 (D) inches and weighs 9.74 ounces. It has a 7-inch display with a 1280x800 resolution (216 ppi), 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage (expandable via microSD card slot), 802.11n Wi-Fi, micro-USB 2.0 port, 3.5mm headset jack, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 3MP rear-facing camera, GPS, and Android 4.4 KitKat.</p> <p>"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the most advanced Nook ever, delivering the great Nook experience our customers have come to love, with the high-performance tablet features they’ve asked for," <a href="http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/8_20_14_samsung_galaxy_tab_4_nook.html" target="_blank">said Michael P. Huseby</a>, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes &amp; Noble, Inc. "We invite reading and entertainment fans to visit their local Barnes &amp; Noble store to experience the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Once they do, we’re certain they will make this innovative device part of their daily routine."</p> <p>B&amp;N says the new Nook is geared towards reading, and to get users started, it comes bundled with $200 of free Nook reading and entertainment content, including three bestselling e-books -- Freakonomics, The Wanderer, and I Am Number Four.</p> <p>You can grab an ad-free <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/samsung-galaxy-tab-4-nook-tablet/379004262" target="_blank">Galaxy Tab 4 Nook</a> right away for $179 after a $20 instant rebate. The device is available black and white color options.</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/barnes_and_noble_rolls_out_samsung_galaxy_tab_4_nook_179#comments barnes and noble ebook reader galaxy tab 4 nook mobile samsung slate tablet News Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:42:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 28386 at http://www.maximumpc.com Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board to Focus Energy on Los Angeles Clippers http://www.maximumpc.com/steve_ballmer_leaves_microsofts_board_focus_energy_los_angeles_clippers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ballmer_clipper.jpg" alt="Steve Ballmer at Clipper Rally" title="Steve Ballmer at Clipper Rally" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />Ex-Microsoft chief cuts last remaining tie to go all-in with the Clippers</h3> <p>Admit it, you miss Steve Ballmer, even if just a little bit, right? Okay, so maybe some of you don't -- perhaps you're still holding a grudge over Windows 8, or perhaps Ballmer's slow play into mobile has you shaking your head. He hasn't always made the right decisions during his time at Microsoft, but nobody can question his passion. Now it's the Los Angeles Clippers organization and fan base that will get to see his antics on a consistent basis. In an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, <strong>Ballmer announced he's stepping down as a board member at Microsoft</strong>, thus truly marking the end of a 34-year run with the company.</p> <p>It's been nearly six months since Ballmer relinquished his role as CEO of Microsoft, and now that he's no longer on the board of directors, his only remaining tie with the organization is that of a shareholder, which anyone can become with a $45 investment. Ballmer said it would be "impractical" to remain on the board as he takes on teaching responsibilities and the constant demands of owning an NBA franchise after acquiring the Clippers for $2 billion.</p> <p>He offered some parting advice for Nadella, telling him that "Microsoft will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment." Ballmer believes the future success of Microsoft lies in part with enterprise subscriptions, hardware, and advertising revenues. He also imparted plenty of optimism and said Nadella is free to bounce ideas off of him.</p> <p>"I bleed Microsoft — have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company," Ballmer wrote in his letter to Nadella. "Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can."</p> <p>As for Ballmer's future, he's already made his presence and style know to Clipper nation during a fan rally in which he brought his usual high energy and fervor. You can watch the fan rally below.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/4U10FUI7W78" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0"></iframe></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/steve_ballmer_leaves_microsofts_board_focus_energy_los_angeles_clippers_2014#comments basketball clippers microsoft nba steve ballmer News Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:54:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 28385 at http://www.maximumpc.com Acer Introduces a Pair of Space Saving Veriton Desktop PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/acer_introduces_pair_space_saving_veriton_desktop_pcs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_veriton_monitor.jpg" alt="Acer Veriton Monitor" title="Acer Veriton Monitor" width="228" height="206" style="float: right;" />Mini desktop systems take aim at businesses and education</h3> <p><strong>Acer today announced its new Veriton N4630G series of commercial mini desktops</strong> for businesses and educational institutions in the U.S. There are two models in the new series -- Veriton N4630G-i54570X and Veriton N4530G-i34150X -- both of which offer security features in a space saving, one-liter chassis. They're also fairly affordable, with the former selling for $649 and the latter going for $549.</p> <p>In terms of simplifying routine IT tasks, both rigs come with various software tools for managing system images and protecting intellectual assets. These include Acer Officer Manager (AOM), which allows IT workers to remotely configure system settings and deploy usage limits, and Acer ProShield, which wraps various security features (encryption, file shredding, BIOS import and export tool) within a unified interface.</p> <p>As for the hardware, the <a href="http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/professional-model/DT.VKMAA.002" target="_blank">i34150X sports </a>an Intel Core i3 4150T processor, 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GbE port, two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, SD card reader, VGA and DisplayPort output, mini PCI Express slot, and choice between Windows 7 Professional 64-bit or Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit. The <a href="http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/professional-model/DT.VKMAA.006" target="_blank">i54570X</a> is nearly identically spec'd, save for the processor, which is bumped up to an Intel Core i5 4570T.</p> <p>Both systems are available now.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/acer_veriton_nettop.jpg" alt="Acer Veriton Nettop" title="Acer Veriton Nettop" width="620" height="278" /></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/acer_introduces_pair_space_saving_veriton_desktop_pcs#comments Acer Desktop Hardware n4630g OEM rigs veriton News Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:14:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28384 at http://www.maximumpc.com Lenovo Adds Three Business Class Desktop PCs to ThinkCentre Line http://www.maximumpc.com/lenovo_adds_three_business_class_desktop_pcs_thinkcentre_line_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lenovo_e63z.jpg" alt="Lenovo E63z" title="Lenovo E63z" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />Latest systems from Lenovo are all business</h3> <p>After <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/lenovo_reports_104_billion_quarterly_revenue_reaches_record_high_pc_market_share_2014">five straight quarters</a> of being on top, Lenovo shows no signs of relinquishing its position as the world's largest supplier of PCs (in terms of sales and volume). The number one PC maker is also determined to outpace the industry average in desktop PC growth, hence <strong>Lenovo just announced three new additions to its ThinkCentre desktop PC line</strong> designed for business users as companies look to leave Windows XP in the dust.</p> <p>The first of the new systems is the ThinkCentre E63z, a space saving all-in-one machine with a 19.5-inch HD+ display. It's decked out with business-friendly features such as smart USB protection, CompuTrace support, and a Kensington slot that doubles a chassis lock. Models powered by Intel Core i3 processors also include HDMI output, a card reader, and a Rapid Charge USB port to keep those mobile devices juiced up.</p> <p>Second up is the ThinkCentre M53. It comes in the same "Tiny" form factor as its high powered siblings, the M73 and M93p, but with a lower price tag. It includes a remote power up option with a supported keyboard and flexible mounting options to help make the most out of your desk space.</p> <p>Finally we have the ThinkCentre M79 with AMD A-Series APU options inside. It offers up to 50 percent superior graphics performance compared to its predecessors and comes with SSD and SSHD options. These mini towers can also support three independent displays with the optional DisplayPort connector.</p> <p>The ThinkCentre E63z is available now starting at $479 with Intel Core i3 models coming later this year. Lenovo's ThinkCentre M79 is also available now, starting at $49, and the ThinkCentre M53 tiny desktop will be available soon starting at $439.</p> <p>See pics of all three rigs in our gallery 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/lenovo_adds_three_business_class_desktop_pcs_thinkcentre_line_2014#comments business e63z Hardware lenovo m53 m79 OEM rigs thinkcentre News Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:00:31 +0000 Paul Lilly 28381 at http://www.maximumpc.com