News http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/4/ en Nvidia Will Help Disgruntled GTX 970 Owners Get a Refund, Says a Driver Update is Coming http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gtx_970.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Upcoming driver could improve GTX 970's memory performance</h3> <p>Nvidia really stepped in a pile of PR poo when it was discovered that there was an internal communication gaffe over the way the GeForce GTX 970 handles its 4GB of onboard memory and the resulting specs. In short, the GTX 970 has 56 ROPs and 1,792KB of L2 cache instead of matching the GTX 980's 64 ROPs and 2,048KB of L2 cache as originally advertised. However, <strong>Nvidia wants to make things right and has offered to help GTX 970 owners obtain a refund</strong>, if need be. Should you go that route?</p> <p>In most cases, probably not. Before reading any further, however, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the situation by <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015" target="_blank">reading this</a>. Don't worry, we won't go anywhere -- we'll be right here when you get back.</p> <p>Finished? Great, now here's the deal. Nvidia stated on its forum that it's working on a driver update that will do a better job managing the memory scheme on the GTX 970, and expects to improve performance. Granted there's only so much that can be done on the software side to address a physical design, but given that Nvidia built the card the way it did, it stands to reason that it also knows how to properly tune it. We'll see.</p> <p>If you ultimately decide that you don't want the card, however, that's your choice, and Nvidia says it will help you obtain a refund if you're unable to do so on your own. Here's the <a href="https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/803518/geforce-900-series/gtx-970-3-5gb-vram-issue/post/4438090/#4438090" target="_blank">full statement</a>.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">"Hey,</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">First, I want you to know that I'm not just a mod, I work for Nvidia in Santa Clara</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I totally get why so many people are upset. We messed up some of the stats on the reviewer kit and we didn't properly explain the memory architecture. I realize a lot of you guys rely on product reviews to make purchase decisions and we let you down.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">It sucks because we're really proud of this thing. The GTX 970 is an amazing card and I genuinely believe it's the best card for the money that you can buy. We're working on a driver update that will tune what's allocated where in memory to further improve performance.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Having said that, I understand that this whole experience might have turned you off to the card. If you don't want the card anymore you should return it and get a refund or exchange. If you have any problems getting that done, let me know and I'll do my best to help.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">--Peter"</p> <p>It's important to note that Peter says he'll do his best to help, which is different than saying Nvidia will take care of things. In other words, if you're having trouble getting a refund, there's a chance you'll be stuck with it anyway. However, given the PR hit Nvidia's already taken on this one, we suspect those scenarios will be few and far between, if at all.</p> <p>For most people, what this boils down to is that your GTX 970 is going to get even faster courtesy of some forthcoming optimizations.&nbsp; And for the few that are truly affected by the way the GTX 970 handles memory above 3.5GB, you now have someone at Nvidia that's willing to help you obtain a refund.</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/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015#comments Build a PC driver geforce gtx 970 gpu graphics card Hardware nvidia Video Card News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:13:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29330 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Sticks a Fork in Surface 2 and Windows RT http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_sticks_fork_surface_2_and_windows_rt_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_2_4.jpg" alt="Surface 2" title="Surface 2" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" />Windows RT becomes a footnote</h3> <p>Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. <strong>Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets</strong>, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.</p> <p>Microsoft has moved on, with the Surface Pro 3 contributing heavily to $1.1 billion in Surface revenue during Microsoft's most recent quarter, up 24 percent year-over-year. Surface Pro 3 tablets outsold Surface 2 during the quarter by a ratio of three to one, making it an easy decision for Microsoft to focus on its newest hardware and leave the old behind.</p> <p>"We are no longer manufacturing Surface 2; however, those still eager to buy Surface should visit Microsoft Retail Stores, MicrosoftStore.com, third-party retailers, and resellers for the latest availability," <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/27/7918209/microsoft-is-no-longer-manufacturing-the-surface-2" target="_blank">Microsoft told <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>Windows RT has been a dead OS walking almost from the moment it arrived. Microsoft already had the challenge of convincing users to adopt a brand new interface in Windows 8, but to also pile on a gimped version that couldn't run x86 programs was too much to ask. As a result, Microsoft ended up taking a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_failed_surface_rt_strategy_leads_900_million_charge_unsold_inventory">$900 million charge</a> on unsold Surface RT inventory a year and a half ago.</p> <p>Manufactures could still build devices running Windows RT if they really want to, but with even Microsoft giving up on the OS, there wouldn't be much point.</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_sticks_fork_surface_2_and_windows_rt_2015#comments Hardware laptop microsoft notebook operating system OS Software surface 2 tablet windows rt News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:27:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29329 at http://www.maximumpc.com Former Opera Boss Just Built a New Browser Called Vivaldi http://www.maximumpc.com/former_opera_boss_just_built_new_browser_called_vivaldi_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/vivaldi.jpg" alt="Vivaldi" title="Vivaldi" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />New browser seeks feedback from power users</h3> <p>Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, is back in the browser game with a new startup. It's called Vivaldi Technologies, of which Tetzchner is also the co-founder and CEO of, and <strong>he's just made a technical preview of his Vivaldi browser available</strong> to the public. While still early in development, it's already fleshed out with features that may attract Opera fans, like mouse gestures and a speed dial interface for displaying your favorite tabs on the new tabs page.</p> <p>Why build a new browser? Tetzchner explains that he's disappointed with the direction Opera has taken in recent years, noting that it's no longer serving its community of users and contributors who helped build it.</p> <p>"So we came to a natural conclusion: We must make a new browser. A browser for ourselves and a browser for our friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is made for you," Tetzchner explains.</p> <p>The build that's available is the first technical preview, and it's intended to show the direction the browser is headed towards. It's missing some key features and needs a lot more optimizing, though even in its early form, there's quite a bit to play with. You'll even find some new goodies, like being able to combine multiple sites into a single tab -- a feature that could come in handy if you're looking to organize similar sites.</p> <p>You can take notes, too, leaving yourself reminders of why you thought a site was worth bookmarking, or for any other reason.</p> <p>As this is a work in progress, the Vivaldi team is seeking feedback. If you're interested in kicking the browser's tires and (optionally) offering up your thoughts, <a href="https://vivaldi.com/" target="_blank">head here</a> and give it a download.</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/former_opera_boss_just_built_new_browser_called_vivaldi_2015#comments browser Internet jon von tetzchner Opera Software Vivaldi News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:53:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29328 at http://www.maximumpc.com YouTube Punts Adobe Flash in Favor of HTML5 http://www.maximumpc.com/youtube_punts_adobe_flash_favor_html5_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/html5.jpg" alt="HTML5" title="HTML5" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />A major win for open standards</h3> <p>Thanks to the continued advancements into HTML5, <strong>YouTube has decided to kick Adobe Flash to the curb</strong> and default to the open standard instead for playing videos. YouTube would have made the move earlier, but said there were limitations that prevented HTML5 from becoming its preferred platform -- most notable was the lack of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that allows the streaming site to show more videos with less buffering.</p> <p>"Adaptive Bitrate streaming is critical for providing a quality video experience for viewers - allowing us to quickly and seamlessly adjust resolution and bitrate in the face of changing network conditions," YouTube explained in a <a href="http://youtube-eng.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/youtube-now-defaults-to-html5_27.html" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "ABR has reduced buffering by more than 50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily-congested networks. MediaSource Extensions also enable live streaming in game consoles like Xbox and PS4, on devices like Chromecast and in web browsers."</p> <p>YouTube said it's been working with browser vendors over the last four years, along with the broader community to close the gaps and get to this point. Now satisfied with the state of HTML5, YouTube now uses the HTML5 &lt;video&gt; tag by default in Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8, and in beta version of Firefox, the Google-owned streaming site said.</p> <p>"We're also deprecating the 'old style' of Flash &lt;object&gt; embeds and our Flash API," YouTube added. "We encourage all embedders to use the &lt;iframe&gt; API, which can intelligently use whichever technology the client supports."</p> <p>By making the switch the HTML5 for video, YouTube joins content providers like Netlifx and Vimeo, along with companies such as Microsoft and Apple, that have backed the open standard.</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/youtube_punts_adobe_flash_favor_html5_2015#comments Adobe flash html5 streaming video youtube News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:24:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 29327 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ET2040 All-in-One PC Stays Running if You Trip Over the Power Cord http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_et2040_all--one_pc_stays_running_if_you_trip_over_power_cord_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_et2040.jpg" alt="Asus All-in-One ET2040" title="Asus All-in-One ET2040" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />An all-in-one with a built-in battery backup</h3> <p>As far as we're concerned, every all-in-one PC should have a built-in battery backup, especially now that they're becoming thin and light enough to move from room to room with relative ease. <strong>Battery backup is one of the features found on Asus' ET2040 AIO</strong> (stays running on battery for up to an hour), though that's not the only thing unique about this system. It also ventures off the beaten path by recognizing gestures without having to touch the screen.</p> <p>Using the Hand-Gesture Recognition Software (HGSR) in conjunction with the built-in camera, you can perform gestures in front of the AIO and do things like play songs, adjust player settings, zoom or rotate photos, and more without leaving behind finger smudges on the display (which is non-touch, by the way).</p> <p>Those are some neat amenities on what's otherwise a mostly underwhelming AIO, albeit one that's sufficiently spec'd for a secondary PC or a general purpose machine.</p> <p>The ET2040 comes with a 19-inch HD (1366x768) non-touch display, Intel Pentium J2900 quad-core processor clocked at 2.41GHz to 2.66Ghz, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive (5400 RPM), 802.11n Wi-Fi, 1MP webcam, three USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, 3-in-1 card reader, Windows 8.1 with Bing, and a few other basics.</p> <p>For the time being, this one's only available in India for 25,000 Rupees (about $407 in U.S. currency). Asus didn't say when or if it plans to make the <a href="http://www.amazon.in/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=5731179031" target="_blank">ET2040</a> available stateside.</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_et2040_all--one_pc_stays_running_if_you_trip_over_power_cord_2015#comments all-in-one asus ET2040 Hardware OEM rigs News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:37:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29326 at http://www.maximumpc.com Gamers Petition for GeForce GTX 970 Refund Over Error in Specs http://www.maximumpc.com/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_geforce_gtx_970.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="184" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Internal miscommunication at Nvidia led to confusion over the GTX 970's specs</h3> <p>Sometimes the tech world can be like a geek version of a soap opera, and this is one of those times. The main characters in this case are Nvidia and the GeForce GTX 970. If you're looking for a quick summary of events, it's this: Gamers noticed a slowdown in performance when games tried to access more than 3.5GB of memory on the GTX 970. This in turn led to Nvidia explaining a new memory architecture in the GTX 970, along with clarification of specs that were different than originally reported. In light of all this, <strong>there's a petition floating around demanding a refund for anyone who purchased a GTX 970</strong>, but to really understand what's going on, a deeper explanation is necessary.</p> <p>This all began a week ago when users on various forums began investigation a memory issue with the GTX 970. At a glance, it seemed that the card was only using 3.5GB of its 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Upon closer look, it was discovered that a serious performance drop could occur when accessing that final .5GB of VRAM, which isn't an issue on the GTX 980.</p> <p>To clarify what was happening, Nvidia issued the following statement:</p> <p>"The GeForce GTX 970 is equipped with 4GB of dedicated graphics memory. However the 970 has a different configuration of SMs than the 980, and fewer crossbar resources to the memory system," Nvidia said. "To optimally manage memory traffic in this configuration, we segment graphics memory into a 3.5GB section and a 0.5GB section. The GPU has higher priority access to the 3.5GB section. When a game needs less than 3.5GB of video memory per draw command then it will only access the first partition, and 3rd party applications that measure memory usage will report 3.5GB of memory in use on GTX 970, but may report more for GTX 980 if there is more memory used by other commands. When a game requires more than 3.5GB of memory then we use both segments.</p> <p>"We understand there have been some questions about how the GTX 970 will perform when it accesses the 0.5GB memory segment. The best way to test that is to look at game performance. Compare a GTX 980 to a 970 on a game that uses less than 3.5GB. Then turn up the settings so the game needs more than 3.5GB and compare 980 and 970 performance again."</p> <p>Nvidia Senior VP of GPU Engineering, Jonah Alben, <a href="http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-Discloses-Full-Memory-Structure-and-Limitations-GTX-970" target="_blank">spoke with <em>PC Perspective</em></a> and broke things down even further with a quite a few technical details. He also offered a helpful diagram, seen below.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/gtx_970_diagram.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" width="620" height="479" /></p> <p>As you can see in the graph, there are 13 enabled SMMs, each with 128 CUDA cores for a total of 1,664. There are also three that are grayed out -- they've been disabled from the full GM204 found on the GTX 980. But what's really important is the memory system, which is connected to the SMMs through a crossbar interface.</p> <p>"That interface has 8 total ports to connect to collections of L2 cache and memory controllers, all of which are utilized in a GTX 980. With a GTX 970 though, only 7 of those ports are enabled, taking one of the combination L2 cache / ROP units along with it. However, the 32-bit memory controller segment remains," <em>PC Perspective</em> writes.</p> <p>There are a couple of takeaways there. First is the GTX 970 has less ROPs and L2 cache than the GTX 980 even though it was reported otherwise. Why? Nvidia blames the gaffe on an error in the reviewer's guide, which is usually a PDF (or actual paper) containing detailed info on a product prior to its launch that manufacturers send out to reviewers, and a misunderstanding between the engineering team and the technical PR team on how the architecture actually functioned.</p> <p>Bottom line is, the GTX 970 has 56 ROPs and 1,792KB of L2 cache instead of 64 ROPs and 2,048KB of L2 cache like the GTX 980.</p> <p>That's actually not as big of a deal as it sounds, as the SMMs are the true bottleneck, not the ROPs.</p> <p>"A quick note about the GTX 980 here: it uses a 1KB memory access stride to walk across the memory bus from left to right, able to hit all 4GB in this capacity," <em>PC Perspective</em> writes. "But the GTX 970 and its altered design has to do things differently. If you walked across the memory interface in the exact same way, over the same 4GB capacity, the 7th crossbar port would tend to always get twice as many requests as the other port (because it has two memories attached). In the short term that could be ok due to queuing in the memory path. But in the long term if the 7th port is fully busy, and is getting twice as many requests as the other port, then the other six must be only half busy, to match with the 2:1 ratio. So the overall bandwidth would be roughly half of peak. This would cause dramatic underutilization and would prevent optimal performance and efficiency for the GPU."</p> <p>There are a LOT more details to digest, and rather than continue to quote bits and pieces, we suggest you read <em>PC Perspective's</em> <a href="http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-Discloses-Full-Memory-Structure-and-Limitations-GTX-970" target="_blank">detailed report</a>. If after doing so you come to the conclusion that it's much ado about nothing, great, there's nothing more to see here. However, if you fall on the other side of the fence and feel duped, you can check out and sign the <a href="https://www.change.org/p/nvidia-refund-for-gtx-970" target="_blank">petition at Change.org</a>.</p> <p>Our take? It's an unfortunate situation Nvidia created for itself, and gamers have a right to be angry over the misreported specs. At the same time, it appears that the impact on real-world performance is negligible, at least for now -- this could be a bigger issue as higher resolution game play becomes more common. Even still, it remains a great card for the price.</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/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015#comments Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware petition Video Card News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:07:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29322 at http://www.maximumpc.com An Inside Look at How Logitech Designs Its Gaming Mice http://www.maximumpc.com/inside_look_how_logitech_designs_its_gaming_mice2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/dsc01600.jpg" alt="logitech gaming mouse" title="logitech gaming mouse" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" />The science and testing behind Logitech’s gaming mice</h3> <p><em>This is part two of our in-depth tour of Logitech’s facilities in Switzerland. This article focuses on how Logitech designs and develops its gaming mice. For an inside look at how the company is attempting to reinvent the mechanical keyboard, click <a title="logitech mechanical keyboard" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/how_logitech_reinventing_mechanical_keyboard2014" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p> <p>While Logitech is generally viewed as a peripheral manufacturer, the company views itself as a technology company. In an attempt to show PC gamers that it uses cutting-edge design methodologies, Logitech invited us to its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to show us how the company designs and tests it gaming mice.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I-Aq-KBMPEs" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Logitech explains how its G402 mouse uses two sensors</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><img src="/files/u154082/g402_hyperion_fury.jpg" alt="logitech g402 hyperion fury" title="logitech g402 hyperion fury" width="200" height="214" style="float: left; margin: 5px;" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury<br /></strong>The company’s most interesting mouse today is arguably the G402 Hyperion Fury, which it claims to be “the world’s fastest gaming mouse.” Logitech boasts that the G402 can move a blistering 12.5 meters a second. To achieve this, Logitech says it uses a combination of two sensors. At slow-to-moderate speeds, the mouse uses a traditional optical sensor. Optical sensors are arguably the most common sensors used in gaming mice and use high-speed cameras to take blazing-fast images of the surface it rests upon. From here, the sensor then overlaps the images to create a movement map. While the cameras used in Logitech’s optical sensors are magnitudes faster than the traditional point-and-shoot cameras you find at your camera store (think about 12,000 shots a second), the company says that even they have detectable lag when you’re trying to move a mouse at 12.5 meters a second. Therefore, beyond a certain speed threshold, the G402 switches over to an accelerometer/gyroscope solution. It uses a small ARM processor that can switch on the fly, and Logitech claims less than a millisecond of delay results from the switch. While a gyroscope solution isn’t the most accurate sensor at low speeds, Logitech says they excel when there is a quick burst of movement, thus the G402 uses a hybrid solution that aims to leverage both sensor’s strengths to achieve its speed.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/63jEXIwiFHk" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>An indepth interview with Logitech's mouse expert Chris Pate</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/logitech_g302.jpg" alt="Logitech G302 Daedalus Prime" title="Logitech G302 Daedalus Prime" width="200" height="166" style="float: left; margin: 5px;" /></p> <p><strong>Logitech G302 Daedalus Prime<br /></strong>While this hybrid sensor seems advantageous for the end user, we were surprised to hear that the company’s even newer G302 Daedalus Prime mouse opts instead to support a more traditional optical solution. Logitech told us the reason the hybrid solution wasn’t included was because the G302 was designed to be a smaller, lighter MOBA mouse, and trying to house two sensors along with the G402’s ARM processor wasn’t ideal to achieve this compact form factor. This isn’t to say the G302 doesn’t have its element of uniqueness, however.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1JgJyTegDqc" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Logitech says its mice are good for at least 20 million clicks</strong></p> <p>Because MOBAs like League of Legends and DOTA 2 feature tons of clicking, the Daedalus Prime is largely focused on eliminating the travel between the mouse’s buttons and its microswitches that activate commands. The G302 is able to do this by separating the left and right mouse buttons from the body of the mouse (Logitech says most mice use a monolithic design), and having them rest directly on top of the microswitch. This means that there is no air travel between the button and the switch at all. In the absence of air travel, Logitech designed a new metal spring tensioning system that rests between the button and the switch. When we asked Logitech if this could potentially add unwanted tension, which could theoretically create microscopic amounts of lag in and of itself, the company assured us that it didn’t, but rather aided in a consistent clicking experience.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VKmfG_Wv14Q" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>A Logitech contraption that measures mouse accuracy</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u152332/buildit-12387_small.jpg" alt="logitech g602" title="logitech g602" width="200" height="165" style="float: left; margin: 5px;" /></p> <p><strong>Logitech G602<br /></strong>One of the best-selling mice that Logitech currently offers is its G602 wireless mouse. According to Logitech, when you look at the mouse industry as a whole, wireless mice outsell wired ones. This might not be true for gaming, but with the G602, Logitech worked to overcome many of gamers’ fears.</p> <p>The most obvious concern for gamers is lag. According to Logitech, lag on the G602 is imperceptible. The company ran an experiment where it asked a group of gamers if they could detect any noticeable lag using its wireless gaming mouse. People said they believed it felt laggier than a traditional wired mouse. When Logitech plugged in a faux wired cable (that did nothing), the same users said it felt much more responsive. Essentially, Logitech asserts that it was merely the placebo effect at play. According to Logitech, the G602 is capable of delivering a two millisecond response time. The company says that most people can only detect latency at four milliseconds and beyond. According to its own studies, some people can’t even perceive 40 milliseconds of lag.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GcFGIFAhAqg" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Logitech has a special room that removes all wireless signals to detect wireless dead zones for its wireless mice.</strong></p> <p>Logitech claims it could have gotten the G602’s response time under two milliseconds, but at the cost of battery life, which is actually the true obstacle of a wireless gaming mouse. By scaling it back to two milliseconds, Logitech says it was able to get much more battery life out of the G602, which it asserts is able to get 250 hours of use out of a single charge. How is the company able to achieve those figures? Logitech says that it designed the G602 with battery in mind and created a sensor specifically for gaming wirelessly. The G602 also uses Logitech’s proprietary USB interface. When we asked them why it didn’t use Bluetooth, the company informed us that the response rate of Bluetooth devices are at the mercy of the host (computer) device. The G602, in particular, uses a 1,000Hz polling rate through USB.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/V3Aro0DNpGk" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Logitech proving that there is no added acceleration to its mice.</strong></p> <p>Other interesting things we learned about mice from Logitech is that no sensor is 100 percent accurate. You might see that terminology used to market mice from other vendors, but Logitech asserts that these claims are simply false.</p> <p>Another question we had pertained to laser mice. Several years ago, laser mice were quite popular because they tracked on a wider range of surfaces compared to optical. While laser mice aren’t terrible, optical mice have one key advantage over them, and that comes down to accuracy variance, more commonly referred to as “mouse acceleration.” Mouse acceleration is undesired for gaming and generally equates to an inconsistent movement experience. According to Logitech, with laser mice, you get about a five to six percent variance, making for an inconsistent experience, compared to and optical sensor’s one percent equivalent.</p> <p>One final interesting tidbit that we learned is that many gamers prefer braided cables on their mice, but Logitech’s data shows that more pros actually prefer plastic cables as they tend to offer more flexibility. So if you want to play like a pro, you might want to consider ditching the braided cable.</p> <p>For more pictures and information from the event, check out our image gallery below.&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/inside_look_how_logitech_designs_its_gaming_mice2015#comments Daedalus Prime esports G302 G402 g602 gaming mice Hardware hyperion fury logitech moba mouse shooter wireless Gaming News Mice Features Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:35:46 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29321 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Teases First NUC Desktop with Core i7 Broadwell CPU http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_teases_first_nuc_desktop_core_i7_broadwell_cpu_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nuc_broadwell.jpg" alt="NUC Meets Broadwell" title="NUC Meets Broadwell" width="228" height="140" style="float: right;" />New frontier for the NUC</h3> <p>We were intrigued with the potential of the NUC when it first came out -- here was this tiny box with fairly respectable hardware inside powerful enough to serve as a secondary PC or, for the right person, a primary system. There have been several follow-up models since then, but the best is yet to come. <strong>Intel has gone and updated its NUC product page with a new model that will be the first to feature a Core i7 processor inside</strong>.</p> <p>Not a lot of details are available on the Core i7 model (NUC5i7RYH), which is one of several new NUCs based on the chip maker's 5th Generation Core processor (14nm Broadwell) line. According to the listing, it will feature a Core i7 part, 2.5-inch drive support, and mosey into retail sometime in the second quarter of this year.</p> <p>The updated NUC site also lists six other Broadwell-based systems, half of them sporting Core i5 processors (one with a Core i5 5300U vPro chip and two with Core i5 5250U CPUs) while the other half come equipped with Core i3 chips (Core i3-5010U).</p> <p>What they all have in common is support for up to 16GB of RAM, 2.5-inch and M.2 SSD storage support, four USB 3.0 ports, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. If you need HDMI output, only the Core i5 models will oblige (and potentially the forthcoming Core i7 model).</p> <p>You can find out more details on each one <a href="http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html" target="_blank">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/intel_teases_first_nuc_desktop_core_i7_broadwell_cpu_2015#comments broadwell core i7 Hardware intel mini pc nuc rigs News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:49:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 29320 at http://www.maximumpc.com Crucial Ballistix Elite RAM Now Available in DDR4 Memory Kits http://www.maximumpc.com/crucial_ballistix_elite_ram_now_available_ddr4_memory_kits_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ballistix_ddr4.jpg" alt="Crucial Ballistix DDR4" title="Crucial Ballistix DDR4" width="228" height="124" style="float: right;" />Another memory option for Intel X99 platforms</h3> <p>The number of DDR4 memory kits is growing and will continue to do so as more people build (or buy) systems based on Intel's X99 chipset. One of the newest is <strong>Crucial's Ballistix Elite line, now available in DDR4 form</strong> as a single 4GB module and in 8GB (2x4GB) and 16GB (4x4GB) kits (Crucial says a 32GB kit is also available, though it's not listed on the company's web store yet). As both kits use essentially the same 4GB module, the performance ratings are the same across the board.</p> <p>Crucial's 4GB DDR4 Ballistix Elite module is rated at DDR4-2666 (PC4-2133), which Crucial calls an "introductory" speed -- we take that to mean there should be some overclocking headroom, especially since the Ballistix Elite series is aimed at "extreme enthusiasts, gamers, and overclockers." The sticks also support Intel XMP 2.0 profiles, feature a custom-designed baclk PCB with anodized aluminum heat spreaders, and sport 16-17-17 timings at 1.2V.</p> <p>If you do plan to overclock, you might want to take advantage of Crucial's exclusive Ballistic Memory Overview Display utility, otherwise known as M.O.D. You can use M.O.D. to read information from the modules, including real-time temperatures from the integrated thermal sensor, voltages, and more.</p> <p>Pricing on <a href="http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/memory/ballistix%20elite" target="_blank">Crucial's website</a> breaks down as follows:</p> <ul> <li>4GB Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $95</li> <li>8GB (2x4GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $190</li> <li>16GB (4x4GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $380</li> </ul> <p>Newegg also carries the kits, though they're in <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&amp;IsNodeId=1&amp;N=100006519%2050001455%2040000147%20600531811&amp;Manufactory=1455" target="_blank">pre-order form</a>. Pricing looks like this:</p> <ul> <li>4GB Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $100 (out of stock)</li> <li>8GB (single stick) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $220 (releases March 10, 2015)</li> <li>8GB (2x4GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $200 (releases February 6, 2015)</li> <li>16GB (2x8GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $352 (releases March 10, 2015)</li> <li>16GB (4x4GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $380 (releases February 6, 2015)</li> <li>32GB (4x8GB) Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666: $704 (releases March 10, 2015)</li> </ul> <p>Shipping charges range from $1 to $3, depending on the kit.</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/crucial_ballistix_elite_ram_now_available_ddr4_memory_kits_2015#comments ballistix elite Build a PC Crucial ddr4 Hardware Memory ram News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:01:16 +0000 Paul Lilly 29319 at http://www.maximumpc.com EVGA Breeds New Torq X5 and X3 Mice for Gamers http://www.maximumpc.com/evga_breeds_new_torq_x5_and_x3_mice_gamers_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/evga_x5.jpg" alt="EVGA Torq X5" title="EVGA Torq X5" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />Built from the ground up for gaming</h3> <p>Quick, what's the first thing you think of when you hear "EVGA?" Most people would probably say graphics cards, followed by power supplies (or vice versa). Motherboards would have also been an acceptable answer, as would have Shield. But gaming mice? That's the type of last place answer that goes unanswered on Family Feud, yet it also represents EVGA's newest products. Specifically, <strong>EVGA just announced two new Torq series rodents, the X5 and X3</strong>, both designed from scratch for "hardcore gamers."</p> <p>There are actually four different models -- Torq X3, X3L, X5, and X5L. The "L" denotes a laser sensor, while the other two both use optical. Here's a better look at how they break down:</p> <ul> <li>Torq X5L: Laser 8200 dpi, RGB LED, Omron 20m switches, 1000Hz polling rate</li> <li>Torq X5: Optical 6400 dpi, RGB LED, Omron 20m switches, 1000Hz polling rate</li> <li>Torq X3L: Laser 5000 dpi, RGB LED, Omron 10m switches, 1000Hz polling rate</li> <li>Torq X3: Optical 4000 dpi, red LED, Omron 10m switches, 1000Hz polling rate</li> </ul> <p>All four variants have access to five profiles and eight buttons, and are ambidextrous in design, measuring 1.53 (H) by 4.64 (L) by 2.59 (W) inches. They also sport on-the-fly adjustable DPIs and work with EVGA's Unleash software.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.evga.com/products/Product.aspx?pn=901-X1-1051-KR" target="_blank">Torq X5L</a> ($60), <a href="http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=902-X2-1052-KR" target="_blank">Torq X5</a> ($50), and <a href="http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=902-X2-1032-KR" target="_blank">Torq X3</a> ($40) are all available now direct from EVGA; the <a href="http://www.evga.com/mice/TORQ-X3-Laser/" target="_blank">Torq X3L</a> ($40) is a Best Buy exclusive, and also available 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/evga_breeds_new_torq_x5_and_x3_mice_gamers_2015#comments evga Gaming Hardware mouse Peripherals torq x3 torq x5 News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:17:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 29318 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nifty Infographic Explains Inner Workings of a Hard Drive http://www.maximumpc.com/nifty_infographic_explains_inner_workings_hard_drive_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_infographic.jpg" alt="HDD Infographic" title="HDD Infographic" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Virtual autopsy of a hard disk drive</h3> <p>You probably already have at least a basic understanding of how a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) works, but have you ever tried to explain it someone less savvy? It's a little more difficult than it seems -- there's a lot going on inside a hard drive. <strong>This is where infographics can come in handy, and eBuyer just sent us a rather neat one that takes a look at the various parts inside your typical HDD</strong>.</p> <p>Compared to more complex parts like CPUs and GPUs, hard drives are relatively easy to understand and there might not be anything new for you in the infographic. However, if you've taken someone under your wing and recently introduced them to the wonderful world of PCs, this is one of those things you'll want to share with them.</p> <p>The infographic covers the various internal bits, such as the printed circuit board (PCB), shock mount, actuator, read/write heads, spindle, and so forth. There's also a history lesson sprinkled in.</p> <p>"They may be getting smaller, thinner, and lighter every year, but that's certainly not how hard disks started out. Back in 1956, IBM's RAMAC 305 system used 50 platters, originally called 'fixed disks' or 'Winchesters', that were 61cm wide and housed in a unit bigger than a pair of fridges!," the infographic explains. "All this just to store a trifling 5MB of data for the inconceivable cost of more than $400,000 in modern dollars."</p> <p>It also offers up some definitions, such as seek time being the time between the CPU's request for a file and the point at which the first byte is delivered.</p> <p>Give it a look, and if you know someone that's new to PCs, pass it along.</p> <p><a href="http://goo.gl/pTrfRh" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u69/small_hdd_infographic_0.jpg" alt="Small HDD Infographic" title="Small HDD Infographic" width="620" height="528" /></a><strong><br />Click for the full infographic<br /></strong></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/nifty_infographic_explains_inner_workings_hard_drive_2015#comments Build a PC Hard Drive Hardware HDD infographic storage teardown News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29317 at http://www.maximumpc.com Alienware Alpha Review http://www.maximumpc.com/alienware_alpha_review2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3>A great console-sized PC stuck in the alpha stage</h3> <p>As great as PC gaming is, let’s face it, when it comes to gaming in the living room, consoles have the PC beat. Alienware and the Steam Machines were supposed to change that, but considering <a title="steam machine delayed" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/controller_tweaks_prompt_valve_delay_steam_machines_until_2015" target="_blank">Valve delayed its hardware initiative</a>, Alienware decided to releases its box early as a small Windows 8.1 PC, dubbed the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/alienware_alpha_console_invasion_scheduled_holiday_2014"><strong>Alienware Alpha</strong></a>. While the PC does an admirable job of attacking the PC’s problem areas in the living room, as the name implies, it’s still (unfortunately) in a bit of an alpha stage.</p> <p>The chassis is black and small. Measuring 2.1x7.8x7.8 inches, the Alpha is closest in size to Nintendo’s Wii U console. At 4.5 pounds, Alienware’s little PC is also extremely portable. We had an easy time lugging it around to friends’ apartments with four controllers inside a backpack. Speaking of controllers, the unit comes with a black wireless Xbox 360 controller.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alienware-alpha-1920.jpg" alt="alienware alpha review" title="alienware alpha review" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>Ports on the Alpha include two USB 3.0, three USB 2.0, one S/PDIF, and two HDMI (one for output and another for input). It is a little disappointing that there isn’t an analog headset port, but Alienware told us it was one concession it had to make to produce such a small form factor.</p> <p>The box’s aesthetics aren’t very flashy. It’s got some sharp angles, akin to Alienware’s gaming laptops, a glowing triangular LED, and a glowing Alienware power button. You can also customize the LEDs through Alienware’s UI. Overall, it will look nice sitting next to your TV.</p> <p>Inside the box, the Alpha is running a mobile GPU based on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 860M, which was the same graphics card used in the <a title="hp omen" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/hp_omen_review_2014" target="_blank">HP Omen</a> gaming laptop we reviewed last month. Since this box has such a unique setup, the Omen seemed like the fairest candidate for a zero point to test against. Its GPU runs at 1,020MHz and has 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 1,253MHz. Compared to our ZP, however, the Alpha’s performance was a disappointing 11 percent slower in our Metro: Last Light and 3DMark 11 benchmarks. It did perform 7 percent better in BioShock Infinite, however. Overall, the Alpha is nowhere near the most powerful gaming PC out there, but it should be able to run most AAA games on medium to high settings. It will, at the very least, be competitive with the next-gen consoles.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alpha_tv.jpg" alt="alpha tv" title="alpha tv" width="620" height="342" /></p> <p>One aspect of the Alpha that we feel isn’t up to snuff is system RAM; our unit only offered what we feel is a minimal 4GB. Sure, the majority of games should run fine on 4GB, but that’s beginning to change with newer titles. We think Alienware should up the Alpha’s base RAM to 8GB. Luckily, you can upgrade the RAM to 8GB, though you’ll need laptop RAM to do so.</p> <p>You can also upgrade the storage with any 2.5-inch drive. If you’re like us, you’ll really want to do this. Our unit came with a 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive, which was embarrassingly slow. It took the Alpha one minute and 35 seconds to boot up, and then another 35 seconds to boot up into Steam Big Picture Mode. If you’re loading a really big game, it’s only going to lengthen the wait.</p> <p>At the heart of the console is the Alpha’s i3-4310QT CPU. Despite the box’s size, it’s actually a quad-core desktop CPU running at 2.9GHz. You can upgrade this to a quad-core i7, too. And you may want to, considering this i3 gets beat up by 30–54 percent compared to the HP Omen’s mobile i7-4710HQ processor. While dual-core CPUs are fine for the majority of games, for a little more future-proofing, we would have preferred at least a quad-core i5 chip.</p> <p>Of course, the hardware means very little if the software isn’t properly optimized to take over the living room. While the Alpha is running Windows 8.1 underneath, Alienware has wrapped its own user interface around it, which you can navigate with a controller. The Alpha UI also allows you to launch directly into Steam Big Picture Mode, which comes pre-installed. Because some Steam games only offer partial controller support, Alienware has done some super-nifty software tweaks to allow you to use an Xbox controller like a mouse in a pinch. You can do this by pressing down on all four shoulder buttons and pressing down on the left stick. This will allow you to navigate past any pop-up window boxes.</p> <p>The Alpha isn’t perfect, however. One of the taglines Alienware is using for the Alpha is that it “combines the freedom of PC gaming with the ease of a console,” but the slogan doesn’t always ring true. We encountered some resolution issues. For instance, in Shadow of Mordor, it defaulted to 1280x1024 resolution on our 1080p TV and had no in-game option to adjust it to 1080p. Some games that allowed us to adjust the resolution ended up blacking out the screen when we cranked it up to 1080p. Meanwhile, some games would open up off-center in a windowed mode by default. When we tried to boot up Skyrim, it gave us an error message that read, “Failed to initialize renderer. Your display doesn’t support the selected resolution.”</p> <p>The consoles also allow you to watch Netflix, and the only real good way to do that on the Alpha at the moment is to boot it up to the desktop mode, but here you’ll need to have a keyboard/mouse plugged in. Because of that, we really recommend getting something like <a title="k400" href="http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400r" target="_blank">Logitech’s wireless K400 keyboard</a>, which pairs well with the Alpha.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/alpha_010.png" alt="alpha review" title="alpha review" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>Another area in which the consoles have at a little easier than PC gaming is that console gamers don’t have to tweak their settings. Nvidia has a solid workaround to this problem with its GeForce Experience, but unfortunately the Alpha does not support GeForce optimal playable settings, which is a shame considering many console noobs might not know which graphical knobs to twist.</p> <p>At $550, the Alpha certainly isn’t cheap, especially when you look at its specs and compare it to the consoles. And the Alpha has a bunch of little software hiccups to overcome. Despite these problems, however, when the Alpha works, it’s awesome. Steam has a surprising number of fun local co-op games like Broforce, SpeedRunners, and more. Alienware’s box does a great job of bringing PC games to the living room. Sure, you could build a cheaper, more powerful system, but Alienware has spent a decent amount of R&amp;D trying to solve the software/UI issues. Yes, the box is in a bit of an alpha stage right now and isn’t the console-killer it set out to be, but we hope that Alienware continues to make future iterations of the Alpha. As it stands, the Alpha is a good machine for the PC vet, but not a perfect solution for the console noob.</p> <p><strong>Alienware Alpha Specs</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/alienware_alpha_benchmarks.png" alt="alienware alpha benchmarks" title="alienware alpha benchmarks" width="620" height="373" /></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/new_spec_chart.png" alt="alienware alpha specs" title="alienware alpha specs" width="615" height="249" /></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/alienware_alpha_review2015#comments alienware alpha review console Hardware small gaming pc steam machine Valve Windows Gaming News Reviews Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:21:34 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29316 at http://www.maximumpc.com Reinvigorated Monitor Makers See Opportunities in Niche Markets http://www.maximumpc.com/reinvigorated_monitor_makers_see_opportunities_niche_markets_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lg_ultrawide_monitor_0.jpg" alt="LG UltraWide Monitor" title="LG UltraWide Monitor" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />Monitor market is transforming</h3> <p>For the longest time, it seemed as though the monitor market was frozen in time. While CPUs and graphics cards became increasingly advanced and faster with each new generation, monitor makers were content to stick with Full HD 1080p panels of varying sizes for mainstream users, and 30-inch panels checking in at 2560x1600. Ah, but the landscape is changing, so <strong>don't be shocked if monitor makers test the market with bigger size and higher resolution displays</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20150122PD212.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a> and whatever "industry sources" it spoke with, panel makers (including those that make touchscreens) are seeing opportunities in the 34-inch WQHD (2560x1440) UltraWide category to be the new high-end option. At present, high-end solutions still consist of 30-inch panels at 2560x1600 and, more recently, 32-inch 4K displays. There are less pixels in a WQHD display, though it's still visually appealing, easier on the GPU for pixel-intensive tasks (primarily gaming), and offers tons of horizontal screen space for those who like that sort of thing.</p> <p>However, that's not the only segment monitor makers will toy with. They will also experiment in niche categories with high-resolution and curved displays taking center stage. These panels will feature wide color gamuts and, in some cases, 10-point touch features.</p> <p>Finally, monitor makers will also push out 24-inch, 27-inch, and 28-inch models with 4K Ultra HD and even 5K resolutions in 2015.</p> <p>In short, it's going to be a wild year for monitors, versus what's mostly been a stagnant market up until recently.</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/reinvigorated_monitor_makers_see_opportunities_niche_markets_2015#comments 4k display Hardware monitor wqhd News Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:14:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 29315 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Refutes "Ridiculous" Rumor of Heavy Handed Layoffs http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_refutes_ridiculous_rumor_heavy_handed_layoffs_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_1.jpg" alt="IBM" title="IBM" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Setting the record straight</h3> <p>A <em>Forbes</em> report last week indicated that IBM was preparing for a "bloodbath," one that would see the dismissal of about 26 percent of its workforce, or as many as 112,000 employees. That would indeed be a bloodbath, expect that the actual number of pink slips IBM plans to hand out will be much lower. Instead of 112,000 employees being shown the door, <strong>IBM said layoffs will number in the several thousands, or a "small fraction" of what <em>Forbes</em> reported</strong>.</p> <p>By its own admission, IBM doesn't address rumors, a policy that's common in the tech industry. But even with that being the case, the company couldn't help but, well, address the rumor, taking a jab at the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertcringely/2015/01/22/next-weeks-bloodbath-at-ibm-wont-fix-the-real-problem/" target="_blank">initial report</a> in the process while offering up a clarification.</p> <p>"IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones," <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/26/us-ibm-restructuring-forbes-idUSKBN0KZ1WF20150126" target="_blank">IBM told <em>Reuters</em></a> in an email. "If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what's been reported."</p> <p>The "rebalancing" effort IBM references is intended to make room for incoming employees with new skill-sets. In addition, an IBM spokesperson <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-dismisses-report-of-massive-layoffs-1422289059" target="_blank">told <em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a> that it currently has around 15,000 job openings as part of the rebalancing process. Areas it's looking for new blood include cloud, analytics, security, and social and mobile technologies.</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/ibm_refutes_ridiculous_rumor_heavy_handed_layoffs_2015#comments ibm jobs layoffs News Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:36:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 29314 at http://www.maximumpc.com Logitech's $500 ConferenceCam Connect is a Portable All-in-One Solution http://www.maximumpc.com/logitechs_500_conferencecam_connect_portable_all--one_solution_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/logitech_conferencecam_connect.jpg" alt="Logitech ConferenceCam Connect" title="Logitech ConferenceCam Connect" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Built for small groups</h3> <p><strong>Logitech today announced its new ConferenceCam Connect</strong>, a portable all-in-one videoconferencing solution with a cylindrical design and flexible compatibility that slips in between the company's entry-level BCC950 ($250) and high-end ConferenceCam CC3000e ($1,000). It works with any computing device with a USB port (PC, Mac, Chromebook) and plays nice with just about every videoconferencing software, such as Microsoft Lync and Skype, Cisco Jabber and WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, and more.</p> <p>The cylindrical design is aimed at making the device more portable and is intended for small groups consisting of 1-6 people. It's more affordable (and flexible) compared to high-end videoconferencing systems built for large rooms, and much more practical for smaller groups than trying to cram everyone in front of a webcam, thus revealing who forgot to put on deodorant - awkward!</p> <p>Logitech's ConferenceCam Connect sports a 90-degree field of view with digital pan and tilt, along with 4x digital Full HD zoom. It also features Zeiss optics with autofocus, a speakerphone with support for both mobile and USB audio calling, Bluetooth, NFC, 360-degree full-duplex sound, and acoustic echo and noise-cancelling technology. Plus it comes with fancy remote.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/logitech_conferencecam_connect_group.jpg" alt="Logitech ConferenceCam Connect Group" title="Logitech ConferenceCam Connect Group" width="620" height="405" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.logitech.com/product/conferencecam-connect-business?crid=1545&amp;wt.mc_id=global_news_connect_012015" target="_blank">Logitech ConferenceCam Connect</a> will be available in March for $500 MSRP, or "about the cost of an office chair," <a href="http://news.logitech.com/press-release/corporate/logitech-introduces-first-anytime-anywhere-portable-videoconferencing-soluti" target="_blank">the company says</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/logitechs_500_conferencecam_connect_portable_all--one_solution_2015#comments conferencecam connect logitech video video conference News Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:03:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29313 at http://www.maximumpc.com