Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 21, 2012 - 08:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: murderbox mkii, murderbox, modding, custom case, atx
The Canadian moddding duo behind Hardwood Studios Inc has unveiled its latest custom PC case called the Murderbox MKII. The Muderbox MKII represents a completly overhauled design that has its roots in the Silverstone TJ07 and is nearly ready for release after two years of development. The custom PC chassis gets you an all-alluminum chassis that offers better cable management, a water cooling friendly design, custom drive bays, and a custom black anodized textured surface. What will this cost you? A cool $1200 for the base model, and the price goes up from there if you add extras. The Murderbox MKII is a limited edition custom case with only 499 cases produced in total.
The Murderbox MKII features a unibody aluminum chassis that has acylic side panel windows that are mounted to be flush with case metal on the outside. The front includes a red backlit logo, power and reset buttons, and a single externally accessible 5.25" drive bay. The top of the case features an etched fan grill, or a set of two fans should you upgrade to the fan accessory for $150.
The dual fan accessory.
The back of the case is part of the removable motherboard tray and features plenty of vents and PCI slot covers. There is also space for a bottom mounted power supply. Internally, the Murderbox MKII features a spot to hold a watercooling resorvoir on the motherboard tray (that slides into the case on nylon-coated rails), space for a 480mm watercooling radiator in the bottom, and drive bays that are pre-wired. You put the storage drives onto sleds and slot them into the bays where they connect to already-mounted/wired SATA power and data connectors. The custom case can hold three 3.5" hard drives, three 2.5" SSDs, and a single 5.25" drive. On the top of the case is a slot loading DVD drive as well.
Overall it is a really slick PC case that appears to have received quite a bit of TLC to get the perfect enthusiast case. However, with a limited run of 499 cases and a price tag that is more than most entire computer builds [My first DIY PC build actually cost just under 1200 in 2007, for example.. and I think the case was under $100 heh], the Murderbox MKII is going to be more of a spectacle than a stomach-able purchase (just imagine trying to get the 'significant other approval factor' passed on this thing!).
On the other hand, this is a piece of finely crafted hardware that is sure to turn heads and is nice to gaze upon, so if you want to check out more pictures you can find the gallery on the Murderbox website!
See what parts we recommend for your next build on the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard.
Introduction, Virtual Insanity and Game of Making Games panels
Our second day at Quakecon 2012 started bright and early with expert panel discussions led by some of the gaming industry's elite game designers and programmers from around the globe. These panel discussions focused primary around the process different game studios go through to produce triple AAA titles and current developments in virtual reality headset technology. There was also more discussions about creating mods for games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and utilizing modding communities as resources to produce higher quality games.
In between panel discussions, Quakecon hosted the first round of their annual Bawls chugging competition. BYOC gamers and event attendees were also able to try out a few game demos of Smite, Rise of the Triad, Dishonored, and Doom 3 BFG Edition. There were also several "quick draw" Quake Live matches to give out raffle tickets for a chance to win a new 2012 Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe.
Subject: Storage | January 6, 2012 - 06:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Barracuda, VelociRaptor, hdd, modding
In the Hardware Leaderboard you will occasionally see a recommendation to partition a 1.5TB HDD into a 300GB partition for your OS and programs, leaving the remainder for storage. This is because doing so on that size of drive will put the 300GB partition onto the 'sweet spot' of the drive which is functionally faster than the remainder. Many have been doing this long before the advice was offered on the HWLB and not even thought to recommend it to friends as it has become an ingrained habit that they do not even think of consciously anymore. Not so TechARP who assembled a guide on how to do this and an explanation of why it is that you gain so much speed from a simple partitioning. They've recently updated the article so it seems an appropriate time to remind readers about this trick and to perhaps introduce the trick to some who are unaware of it. Sooner or later 1.5TB drives will fall in price to the point where they are easily affordable again.
"That's a really catchy title, isn't it? Who wouldn't want to turn a "slow" 7,200 RPM hard disk drive into a super-fast 10,000 RPM Western Digital VelociRaptor? After all, the 300 GB model of the much-vaunted HDD speed king retails for US$ 199.99, while a 1.5 TB Barracuda 7200.11 only costs US$ 109.99. Imagine getting the performance of the VelociRaptor with the capacity and price of the Seagate Barracuda!"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Performance Series Pro 256GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- Corsair 240GB Force GT RAID0 @ OC3D
- Verbatim's 128 GB SSD @ Metku
- RunCore RCP V mSATA T50 SATA III 120GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Super Talent Tera Nova 120GB SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB PCI-E @ Real World Labs
- Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Solid State Hybrid Drive @ SSD Review
- Seagate 3TB Barracuda XT 6Gb/s SATA III @ PCSTATS
- Synology Diskstation DS212 @ Bjorn3D
- Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-VL Network Attached Storage Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB 3.0 Hard Drive Review @ TechwareLabs
- RunCore Pro IV USB 3.0 MoonDrive @ Tweaktown
- IcyDock MB994SP-4S Four-bay 2.5-inch SATA/SAS Hard Drive Rack @ PCStats
Subject: Mobile | December 21, 2011 - 02:51 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: update, tablet, root, nook tablet, modding, kindle fire
Both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet have been given recent software updates. These updates were stated to improve performance and squash minor bugs. Unfortunately, in addition to these improvements, the automatic updates contained a “fix” that removed the ability to gain root access to the tablets. Specifically, the updates in question were 6.2.1 for the Amazon Kindle Fire and 1.4.1 for the Barnes and Noble Nook tablet. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that these updates are pushed to the devices automatically. The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet will update as soon as they are connected to a WiFi hotspot, for example.
The Nook Tablet gets an even worse deal, however. In addition to the removal of root access, users will not be able to side-load other Android applications. The ability to side-load other Android apps was likely a deciding factor for many when comparing the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire, as well as Nook eReaders traditionally being more hackable and mod-friendly.
Currently, the only way to keep root access on both tablets is to stay off of WiFi connections or disable automatic updates in the case of the Nook Tablet. If your Nook has already been updated, XDA has somewhat of a solution. While you will not be able to use the 1.4.1 update, you will at least be able to have root access, mod, and side-load applications to your hearts content. Their fix involves rolling back the 1.4.1 update to the previous 1.4.0 update and is detailed here.
Kindle Fire users will need to either stay off of WiFi hotspots or in the case of an already updated tablet wait for a workaround from the modding community.
The restrictions placed on both tablets are not likely to please users, especially buyers of Nook tablets as Barnes and Noble's eReaders have traditionally been friendly to modders. On one hand, users want options and the ability to install third party applications. On the other hand are Amazon and Barnes and Noble selling their tablets at a loss and needing to make up money by convincing people to buy into their software and services (their applications, bookstore, et al). For aspiring modders, patience is key as workarounds are likely to emerge soon. Until then, getting a tablet for cheap will have to suffice ;).
Where do you stand on the issue, do you think removing root access was the right move for Amazon and B&N? Let us know in the comments!