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Viva the LIVA sale; ECS' barebone HTPC

Subject: Systems | August 22, 2014 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: SFF, sale, LIVA, htpc, fanless, ECS

The ECS LIVA is currently on sale at NewEgg for $165 after instant rebate and you can knock another $33 of that price until August 31st with the code LIVADISC. 

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This tiny little machine contains a Bay Trail-M N2807 @ 1.58GHz, 2GB of DDR3L and 32GB eMMC storage with 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 thanks to the NGFF card installed in the M.2 slot.   As you can see below it has both HDMI and D-Sub ports which can be used simultaneously and has onboard stereo audio thanks to the Realtek ALC282.  It only draws 15W and is completely fanless, making it a perfect HTPC.  You can get the full specs from ECS here.

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Source: NewEgg

Podcast Listeners and Viewers: Win One of Two EVGA Torq X10 Mice!

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2014 - 07:35 PM |
Tagged: x10, Torq, podcast, giveaway, evga, contest

A big THANK YOU goes to our friends at EVGA for hooking us up with a couple of hardware items to give away for our podcast listeners and viewers this week. First, if you watch tonight's LIVE recording of Podcast #314 (10pm ET / 7pm PT at http://pcper.com/live) you'll be able to win an EVGA Torq X10 mouse! (See our review of the mouse here.)

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For everyone that can't make the live version of the show, you'll have a week to enter to win another EVGA EVGA Torq X10 mouse!

How do you enter? Well, on the live stream (or in the downloaded version) we'll give out a special keyword during our discussion of the contest for you to input in the form below. That's it! 

We'll draw a random winner next week, anyone can enter from anywhere in the world - we'll cover the shipping. We'll draw a winner on August 27th and announce it on the next episode of the podcast! Good luck, and once again, thanks goes out to EVGA for supplying the prizes!

Seagate Ships World’s First 8TB Hard Drives

Subject: Storage | August 26, 2014 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, hdd, 8TB, Cleversafe

Sometime in the next quarter you will be able to pick up a 3.5" Seagate HDD with 8TB of storage on it.  These are aimed at data centres so they will have reduced power usage and are likely to have an impressive warranty attached, though that along with the high storage density will cost you a bit to purchase.  They do not offer much in the way of specifics, no platter count or cache size are listed in the PR but you can expect to find out more about them in the very near future. 

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CUPERTINO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX), a world leader in storage solutions, today announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive. An important step forward in storage, the 8TB hard disk drive provides scale-out data infrastructures with supersized-capacity, energy-efficiency and the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the industry for cloud content, object storage and back-up disaster recovery storage.

“As our world becomes more mobile, the number of devices we use to create and consume data is driving an explosive growth in unstructured data. This places increased pressure on cloud builders to look for innovative ways to build cost-effective, high capacity storage for both private and cloud-based data centers,” said Scott Horn, Seagate vice president of marketing. “Seagate is poised to address this challenge by offering the world’s first 8TB HDD, a ground-breaking new solution for meeting the increased capacities needed to support the demand for high capacity storage in a world bursting with digital creation, consumption and long-term storage.”

A cornerstone for growing capacities in multiple applications, the 8TB hard drive delivers bulk data storage solutions for online content storage providing customers with the highest capacity density needed to address an ever increasing amount of unstructured data in an industry-standard 3.5-inch HDD. Providing up to 8TB in a single drive slot, the drive delivers maximum rack density, within an existing footprint, for the most efficient data center floor space usage possible.

“Public and private data centers are grappling with efficiently storing massive amounts of unstructured digital content,” said John Rydning, IDC’s research vice president for hard disk drives. “Seagate’s new 8TB HDD provides IT managers with a new option for improving storage density in the data center, thus helping them to tackle one of the largest and fastest growing data categories within enterprise storage economically.”

The 8TB hard disk drive increases system capacity using fewer components for increased system and staffing efficiencies while lowering power costs. With its low operating power consumption, the drive reliably conserves energy thereby reducing overall operating costs. Helping customers economically store data, it boasts the best Watts/GB for enterprise bulk data storage in the industry.

“Cleversafe is excited to once again partner with Seagate to deliver to our customers what is truly an innovative storage solution. Delivering absolute lowest cost/TB along with the performance and reliability required for massive scale applications, the new 8TB hard disk drive is ideal for meeting the needs of our enterprise and service provider customers who demand optimized hardware and the cost structure needed for massive scale out,” said Tom Shirley, senior vice president of research and development, Cleversafe.

Outfitted with enterprise-class reliability and support for archive workloads, it features multi-drive RV tolerance for consistent enterprise-class performance in high density environments. The drive also incorporates a proven SATA 6Gb/s interface for cost-effective, easy system integration in both private and public data centers.

Source: Seagate

Run Windows on Intel's Galileo

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2014 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: galileo, Intel, windows, SoC

Intel's first generation low powered SoC which goes by the name of Galileo and is powered by a 400MHz Quark X1000 is now capable of running Windows with the help of the latest firmware update.  Therefore if you are familiar enough with their tweaked Arduino IDE you should be able to build a testbed for low powered machines that will be running Windows.  You will want to have some time on hand, loading Windows to the microSD card can take up to two hours and those used to SSDs will be less than impressed with the boot times.  For developers this is not an issue and well worth the wait as it gives them a brand new tool to work with.  Pop by The Register for the full details of the firmware upgrade and installation process.

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"Windows fans can run their OS of choice on Intel’s counter to Raspberry Pi, courtesy of an Intel firmware update."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Scratching the Surface 2 (in the Price Tag). $100 Off.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | August 26, 2014 - 09:10 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, surface, Surface 2

While the Surface Pro 3 has just been released, the latest Windows RT version is still the Surface 2. It is powered by Tegra 4 and contains 2GB of RAM. It also cannot run anything, unless it comes from Windows Store, it is a Windows Update, or it is a website that runs in Internet Explorer 11. If what you are looking for is Microsoft Office 2013 RT (included), Netflix, Halo: Spartan Assault, and so forth, then all Surface 2 models are currently reduced in price by $100 at the Microsoft Store.

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Of course, the launch of the Surface Pro 3 without a corresponding Surface 3 suggests that this sale is a way to clear up-to year-old stock for a product refresh. In January, there were rumors circulating that a Surface 3 would appear with a Tegra K1 processor. Of course, with the first two RT-based Surface tablets containing Tegra SoCs, that could just be pattern recognition (rather than concrete information). Other rumors claim that Microsoft is interested in Qualcomm's chips, if only for a "mini" variant.

Either way, you can get a Tegra 4-powered tablet for $349 USD (32 GB), $449 USD (64 GB), or $579 USD (64 GB with LTE from AT&T). Previously, they were $449, $549, and $679, respectively.

A Windows 9 teaser for the end of September

Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2014 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: win9, microsoft

Windows 8.1 has not quite been kicked to the curb yet but it has been told to start packing its bags and to look for a job.  On September 30th the rumour is that we will see a teaser of a work in progress version of the new OS.  The build is nowhere near complete and The Register expects changes from the reveal at the BUILD Conference and even more changes before the RTM version arrives.  We can be fairly certain of a less charming desktop which should have something resembling the familiar Start button, although it is quite likely to be somewhat different from the previous incarnations.  Win 8.1 will continue to receive small updates as opposed to a Service Pack, hopefully with less BSoD's than the last batch produced.

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"MICROSOFT WILL REPORTEDLY REVEAL the successor to its Windows 8 operating system on 30 September."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Hack your Chromecast for extras and protection

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2014 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: chromecast, root, streaming, hulu, Netflix

Chromecast and some of its alternatives have been covered previously on PC Perspective, not just their capabilities but also ways to gain more control over your content stream. The market is quite saturated making it hard for a new user to pick which peice of hardware to pick up though thankfully many are inexpensive and you can actually afford to try more than one.  The news from Hack a Day this morning makes Chromecast a little more attractive, especially for those with a technical inclination and a love of rooting devices.  With a Teensy 2 or 2++ dev board, a USB OTG cable, a USB flash drive and just a few minutes you will be able to modify your DNS settings so you can watch geographically locked programming as well as load custom apps which might protect your ears from a certain type of torture.

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"Now the Chromecast has been rooted, allowing anyone to change the DNS settings (Netflix and Hulu users that want to watch content not available in their country rejoice), and loading custom apps for the Chromecast."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Son of Gamer Xtreme; the Cooler Master 650W GXII

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 25, 2014 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, GXII, PSU, 650W, 80 Plus Bronze

[H]ard|OCP was a little leery about the reappearance of Cooler Master's Game Xtreme series PSU after the first generations poor performance and even more so when they read the labelling on the new 650W model.  While it claims that its single 12V rail will power "the most demanding SLI/CF configurations", the 624W @ 52A maximum power rating is not up to handling multiple Titans nor does it help that there are only two 6+2 PCIe power connectors.  However it is not the PR that matters but how well it can compete against other PSUs with similar power ratings.  Once [H] hooked it up in their torture chamber it became clear that this PSU was not up to the job, about the only good thing they could spot was that it failed less tests than the first generation which does not count as a hearty recommendation.

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"Cooler Master is a name synonymous with enthusiast computer desktop builds. You have likely purchased one if not more of its products in the past if you build your own boxes. The GXII line popped up on our radar recently, as we were seeing it on many brick and mortar computer store shelves, so we bought one to see what it is made of."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PNY's Customized OC series, decent value for great performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 25, 2014 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: pny, gtx 780, gtx 780 ti, Customized OC, factory overclocked

PNY is not as heavily marketed as some GPU resellers in North America but that doesn't mean they are not hard at work designing custom cards.  Hardware Canucks tried out the Customized OC GTX 780 and 780 Ti recently with the factory overclock as well as pushing the cards to the limit by manual overclocking.  Using EVGA's Precision overclocking tools they pushed the GTX 780 to 1120MHz Core, 6684MHz RAM and the Ti to an impressive 1162MHz Core, 7800MHz RAM.  Read on to see how effective the custom cooler proved to be as it is also a major part of the Customized series.

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"PNY's latest Customized series will be rolling through their GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti lineups, bringing high end cooling and increased performance."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

ASUS Z97-A offers amazing bang for your buck

Subject: Motherboards | August 22, 2014 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: Z97-A, lga 1150, Intel, asus

At $145 the ASUS Z97-A is an inexpensive base for a system and yet it still offers quite a few higher end features.  Three PCIe 3.0 16x slots that support Crossfire and SLI along with a pair of both PCIe 2.0 1x and legacy PCI slots allow for a variety of configurations. The half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports are simply expected now but the addition of an M.2 port is a welcome enhancement.  When [H]ard|OCP overclocked their 4790K in this board they could almost hit 4.8GHz but ended up with 4.7GHz as the best overclock which makes it perfect for the price conscious consumer.  Read their full review of this Gold winning motherboard here.

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"While ASUS is usually known for motherboards like the Maximus and Rampage Extreme series’ or even feature rich solutions like the Z97-Deluxe it is motherboards like the Z97-A that are ASUS’ bread and butter. Shopping for an inexpensive motherboard doesn’t have to mean accepting poor quality feature stripped solutions."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Tune in this Saturday! Celebrate 30 Years of Graphics and Gaming

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | August 22, 2014 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: richard huddy, kick ass, amd

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Join AMD’s Chief Gaming Scientist, Richard Huddy on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM EDT/7:00 AM PDT to celebrate 30 Years of Graphics and Gaming.  The event will feature interviews with Raja Koduri, AMD’s Corporate VP, Visual Computing; John Byrne, AMD’s Senior VP and General Manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group; and several special guests.   You can also expect new product announcements along with stories covering the history of AMD.  You can watch the twitch.tv livestream below once the festivities kick off!

Watch live video from AMD on www.twitch.tv

There is also a contest for those who follow @AMDRadeon and retweet their tweet of "Follow @AMDRadeon Tune into #AMD30Live 8/23/14 at 9AM CT www.amd.com/AMD30Live – Follow & Retweet for a chance to win! www.amd.com/AMD30Live"

Source: AMD

Colorful New BitFenix Prodigy M Cases With Optional Side Windows Coming Soon

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 22, 2014 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: prodigy m, mATX, bitfenix

In response to customer feedback, BitFenix has announced new color options and optional windowed side panels for its Prodigy M chassis. New versions of the Micro ATX case will be available later this month in Fire Red, Atomic Orange, Vivid Green, and Cobalt Blue with or without a case window (which can also be available separately). The new color choices join the existing Arctic White and Midnight Black Prodigy M cases.

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The Prodigy M (including the new color versions) is essentially a larger version of the Prodigy chassis intended to support Micro ATX motherboards and dual graphics cards. BitFenix's steel and plastic Prodigy M chassis measures 250mm x 404mm x 359mm (~9.8"x15.9"x14.1") and features the company's "FyberFlex" flexible carrying handles on the top and bottom (the bottom handles do double duty as case feet) and SofTouch exterior finish. Two audio jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single externally-accessible 5.25" drive bay round out the external I/O.

The case comes bundled with two 120mm Spectre fans installed in the rear and bottom fan mounts. Beyond that, users can add a slim 240mm radiator (27mm thick with a single GPU installed) up top and swap out the included rear fan for a larger 140mm model.

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The Prodigy M supports Mini ITX and Micro ATX motherboards, a bottom mounted power supply up to 160mm long, CPU coolers up to 160mm tall (with the storage rack installed), and graphics cards as long as 320mm (there are five PCI slots in total). Using the bottom case mounts, users can have two 3.5" drives and two 2.5" drives. Additionally, users can install the removable storage rack (which mounts above the motherboard for an extra two 3.5" drives and three 2.5" drives. There is also a 5.25" drive bay which could house additional storage drives with the right adapter.

BitFenix also announced the availability of windowed side panels that come in each of the six case colors. The windowed side panels will be sold along with windowed versions of the Prodigy M case or as a separate purchase that customers can add to their existing black or white Prodigy M.

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The new Prodigy M Color cases will be available later this month for around $100. There is no word on pricing for the individual windowed side panels, however. 

It is nice to see BitFenix responding to customer feedback, and the new colorful cases seem to be a welcome update to the series.

Source: BitFenix

Cooler Master Elite 110; a small case for a small price

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 21, 2014 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, Elite 110, Casewarmer, mini-itx

A few months ago Lee reviewed the $40 Cooler Master Elite 110 and with the recent resurgence of mini-ITX systems it is worth revisiting this case.  Measuring 8.2" x 10.3" x 11.1" (208 x 260 x 280 mm) it is a rather small enclosure which will lead to a crowded interior but a stylish looking and easy to place system.  As you are limited to a 3" tall heatsink The Tech Report opted to go with watercooling as you can just squeeze a 120mm radiator in; in this case the Seidon 120V.  The A10-7850K based "Casewarmer" was installed and with some tweaking The Tech Report managed to keep temperature and sound levels within a decent range but you should consider your cooling components with the knowledge that this case can get warm and loud without the right fans and heatsink.

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"Cooler Master's Elite 110 is a tiny case with a price to match. Is it a good value? We loaded it up with parts and ran it through our testing gauntlet to find out."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Rooting your Android in the name of security

Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2014 - 01:30 PM |
Tagged: byod, security, Android

In the new BYOD corporate crapshoot Android devices are frequently connecting to secure resources which raises security concerns for many IT workers.  The OS is not as secure as many would like it to be; good enough for home use but not for those who truly want to keep their data secure.  The majority of the exploits come from insecure apps as opposed to an inherent problem with the OS which has lead to a group proposing an Android Security Module Framework.  Root the phone once to add these to Android and enable the ability to restrict the capability of apps to share unnecessarily while not preventing the apps from running.  The example offered to The Register was the ability to stop Whatsapp from uploading contact information without preventing the app from functioning.  This could also allow you to configure a phone in a way similar to Blackberry's Balance feature, segregating work data from personal.

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"An international group of researchers believes Android needs more extensible security, and is offering up a framework they hope either Google or mobe-makers will take for a spin."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register