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Subject: General Tech | September 5, 2013 - 12:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There are several Haswell based notebooks on sale today, running from the $1200 base model up to one worth over $2800. This Alienware 14 sports a i7-4700MQ with a top speed of 3.4GHz, 8GB DDR3-1600 and a GT750M to power the 1366x768 screen with a 750GB HDD for storage. It also has a Killer NIC to help you out during fast paced gaming online either wired or on WiFi.
Upgrades such as a 1080p screen, Bluray, SSD storage and upgraded components are available.
- Toshiba Satellite L70-ABT2N22 17.3" Core i3 Laptop w/6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Case (Customizable) for $499.99 with free shipping (normally $824.99).
- LG 60PN6300 60" 1080p Plasma HDTV + $150 Dell eGift Card for $799.99 with free shipping (normally $999.99).
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (PC/Mac DL) for $119.99 with free shipping (normally $149.99).
- Motorola Elite Flip HZ-720 Wireless Bluetooth Headset w/ NFC for $29.95 only (normally $99.00).
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 05:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: total war, rome, gaming, creative assembly
The Total War series has come a long way, from campaign maps that played like a Risk game and cloned troopers in the battlefield to gorgeous landscapes with much more realistic movements and incredibly detailed units in battles. On the other hand the long awaited next installation of Rome: Total War might have gone a bit too far. It is not necessarily the obscene amount of time it takes to process the AI's turns nor the inevitable bugs that crept through the QA process; the ability to easily distribute 100MB patches has degraded every publishers QA process to a joke when you compare it to the days of dial-up. Instead it is the realization that the niggling feeling as you push the End Turn button that you have left something undone is caused by the fact that you did nothing that turn at all. The campaign map in Total War has never been fast paced nor is it meant to be, instead there had always been a million micromanagement tasks to be completed every turn whereas in this new Rome you often have nothing to do but bash on the end turn button for a few seasons.
It is as Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN comment "I feel that Total War should be a coiled armadillo rather than Rome IIs jellyfish."
"So then. I am usually in the Total War apologist camp, but not this time. I am not sure if it’s because I had a better experience with Shogun 2, or whether there’s some kind of allergy due to over-exposure going on, but Rome II rubbed me up the wrong druid."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist Review @ OCC
- Xbox One to be launched on Friday 22nd November @ HEXUS
- Mega Man creator’s Mighty No.9 smashes past Kickstarter goal @ HEXUS
- Wot I Think: Outlast @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- New Metro: Last Light DLC Crawls Rapidly Toward You @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Genetically Modified Ops: XCOM – Enemy Within @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Saints Row IV Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 02:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Dell's UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS claims a 6ms response time which makes it suitable for gaming, as well as offering superior colour support. As it is a new model it supports HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, DVI-D and mini DisplayPort inputs as well as acting as a 4-port USB 3.0 hub.
- Dell UltraSharp U2413 1920 x 1200 24" IPS Monitor (2013 model) for $499.99 with free shipping (normally $599.99).
- Western Digital 1TB Elements SE Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive for $66.99 with free shipping (normally $99.95).
- Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced Mini-ITX Tower for $34.99 with free shipping (normally $49.99 - use coupon code: EMCXLXT227).
- NZXT Phantom ATX Full Tower Computer Case for $79.99 with free shipping (normally $139.99 - use coupon code: COMPNTSEP8).
- Logitech Wireless Wave Mouse/Keyboard MK550for $59.49 only (normally $69.99 - use coupon code: QG3G$33HH3QP0?).
- LG 23" 1080p IPS LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $139.99 only (normally $199.99 - use coupon code: EMCXLXT49).
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Avoton, Intel, atom, server, silvermont, 22nm
The new Silvermont based 22nm Avoton chips are officially available as of today as Intel attempts to outmaneuver ARM's attempts to enter the server market. These chips are not the Atom you have grown to know and despise, this is a brand new architecture which Intel claims will be vastly superior in performance while using much less power. They are billed as true SOCs and reflect the changing server market which is now more focused on modular systems of relatively low performance which can be networked together to provide just as much processing power as is needed. The Register did not get any performance numbers yet, hopefully we will see these chips in action soon so we can judge for ourselves if they have what it takes to make it in the server room.
"If you were expecting Chipzilla to keep its server-chip powder dry until its Intel Developer Forum next week, surprise! It looks like Intel is going to jump the gun and get its "Avoton" Atom server chips into the field this Wednesday, as you can see from this announcement preview that Intel sent out to press and analysts over the Labor Day holiday in the States."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected @ The Register
- Kodak exits bankruptcy as Kodak Alaris with focus on digital and personal imaging @ The Inquirer
- Globalfoundries growing its 28nm customer base, says CEO @ DigiTimes
- HDMI 2.0 is here with support for 4K at 60fps @ The Inquirer
- Hynix FABs on fire after chemical explosion @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 12:48 PM | Scott Michaud
After taking over IBM's line of personal computers, Lenovo climbed to first place amongst PC manufacturers. They spite the declining market with growth year-over-year and record shipments of devices. Over half of their revenue comes from PC sales.
Now, for the second consecutive year, CEO Yang Tuanqing (pictured above) is congratulating many of his employees by sharing his bonus with them. A total $3.25 million USD will be distributed amongst 10,000 employees who otherwise are ineligible for bonuses or commissions. Manufacturing workers are the focus with 85% of recipients located in China. For those employees, this would be equivalent to receiving an extra month's pay.
This move was very generous and humble; it is nowhere to be seen on their official press sites. It became public when Bloomberg received a leaked HR memo and confirmed it with a company spokesperson.
Good on you, Lenovo.
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Shows and Expos | September 4, 2013 - 12:11 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zenbook, ifa 2013, asus
How about some Ultrabooks? We got Ultrabooks. Thin, light, and metal brushed with their characteristic circular pattern. They are proud of that design, proud enough to cover it, the top of the lid, with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it from scratches and gouges. It feels a little absurd to say, but covering metal in glass for increased durability seems to make sense and could help your premium laptop look new for longer.
These 13.3-inch laptops come in two resolutions: 1920x1080 Full HD is the lower offering, with 2560x1440 for higher-end tastes. Both monitors are IPS-based with 10-point multi-touch capabilities.
The raw specifications for the UX301 are:
- Intel Core i5-4200U or i7-4500U or i7-4558U
- 4GB or 8GB DDR3L
- Intel HD 5100 Graphics
- SATA 3 SSD (up to 512GB RAID0)
- 13.3-inch 2560 x 1440 WQHD or 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS multitouch
- 802.11ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0
- Mini DisplayPort, Micro-HDMI 1.4
- 2x USB3.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic, SD card reader
- Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
For the UX302:
- Intel Core i5-4200U or i7-4500U
- 4GB DDR3L
- Intel HD 4400 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M (2GB)
- Up to a 750GB HDD with 16 GB SSD cache
- 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS multitouch
- 802.11ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 4.0
- Mini Displayport, HDMI 1.4
- 3x USB 3.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic, SD card reader
- Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
The UX301 seems to be the more-premium device with obviously higher specs, at least for options, despite being almost 2mm thinner (15.5mm vs 17.2 for the UX302) and a quarter of a pound lighter (1.38kg vs 1.5 kg for the UX302). Both models are listed as a 50W battery, which I assume means 50Wh since watts are not a unit of electrical storage, but I am not entirely sure.
No information about pricing and availability has been released.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | September 4, 2013 - 11:34 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TF701T, ifa 2013, asus
Among the ASUS announcements is their new Transformer Pad TF701T. Being a Transformer Pad, the TF701T is an Android Tablet which can be used alone or docked in a keyboard for extra battery life and USB 3.0 support -- or, of course, for a keyboard. The touch display is IPS-based, 10.1", and with a native resolution of 2560x1600.
The other raw specifications include:
- NVIDIA Tegra 4 T40X quad-core SoC.
- 2GB DDR3L RAM
- WiFi B/G/N (dual-band) with Miracast support
- Bluetooth 3.0+EDR
- Speaker with ASUS "SonicMaster" technology
- 32GB and 64GB options
- MicroSDXC port on tablet if you need more storage.
- SDXC port on the dock if you need even more storage or, of course, to load pictures from a camera
- USB 3.0 (on dock).
- 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack.
I find it somewhat interesting that ASUS listed the Tegra 4 "T40X". It seems odd to declare a specific model if, unless I completely missed something, Tegra 4 is not announced to be binned in to multiple SKUs. This might suggest Tegra 4 will have more options than simply, "Get Tegra 4 or wait for Tegra 4i with the built-in Icera modem". Then again, it could be another case of over-description. Either way, it is something we will watch closely and report further on.
Pricing and availability information has not yet been released.
Subject: General Tech | September 4, 2013 - 01:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ultrabook, Thinkpad, t440s, t440, Lenovo
In addition to the high-end X240 ultraportable, Lenovo has launched the T440 and T440S to its ThinkPad lineup. Both machines are 14” notebooks with larger trackpads, HD displays, optional dedicated graphics, Intel Haswell processors, and up to 17 hours of rated battery life. The T440 and T440S notebooks can also be outfitted with NVIDIA GT 720M or 730M dedicated GPUs respectively. Unfortunately, the SKUs with NVIDIA graphics will not be available in North America. The T440S is the higher-specced unit of the two, and both notebooks will be available in October.
The Lenovo T440 is a four pound, 21mm thick 14” ultrabook. It can be configured with an HD+ touchscreen display, Intel Haswell i5 CPU with HD 4400 graphics, up to 12GB of DDR3L memory, and a 1TB hard drive or a 512GB SSD. Other features include a 720p webcam, Dolby Digital Plus with Advanced Audio 2 technology, Intel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and 4G LTE ratios. IO includes mini Display Port, VGA, two USB 3.0, one SD card reader, and a RJ45 Ethernet jack.
The T440 will be available at the end of October with a starting price of $899.
Stepping up from the T440 to the T440S gets you some extra features and a lighter laptop thanks to a carbon fiber chassis. The ThinkPad T440S is a 14” notebook that is 20.45mm thick and weighs 3.5 pounds. The notebook can be configured with an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, a 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display, three USB 3.0 ports (instead of the two on the T440), and Dolby Digital Plus with Home Theater 4 audio technology.
The faster and lighter ThinkPad T440S will also be available at the end of October with a starting MSRP of $1,149.
Subject: General Tech | September 3, 2013 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
For $600 you can get your hands on an decent gaming laptop from Dell, the Inspiron 15R Special Edition. This 15.6" 1080p laptop is powered by an Intel i5-3230M @ 2.2GHz, 6GB DDR3-1600 and a 1TB HDD with a 2GB Radeon 7730M for graphics. With Waves MaxxAudio 4 and Skullcandy speakers. With HDMI out and 4 USB 3.0 ports this machine will also function as a desktop replacement in case you need to make some sort of justification for spending your money on a gaming laptop.
- Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition 15.6" Core i5 1080p Laptop w/ 2GB Radeon HD 7730M, Backlit Keyboard for $599.99 with free shipping (normally $899.99 - use 3J836$$3GHW127).
- Logitech G105 Gaming Keyboard for $47.36 with free shipping (normally $59.99).
- Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $89.00 with free shipping (normally $109.99).
- VIZIO E500I-A1 50" 1080p 120Hz Smart LED HDTV for $649.99 with free shipping (normally $699.99).
- Creative Inspire T6160 5.1 Speaker System for $71.99 only (normally $99.99).
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 3, 2013 - 02:29 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x240, ultrabook, Thinkpad, Lenovo, ifa
Lenovo recently launched a new high end business ultrabook called the ThinkPad X240. The 12” ultrabook is aimed at road warriors and business professionals that want high end hardware in a portable form factor.
The ThinkPad X240 is a 12-inch, 20.3mm (0.79”) thick, notebook that weighs less than three pounds (1.34kg). It has large trackpad, backlit keyboard, 720p webcam, Dolby Home Theater Advanced Audio 2 technology, up to a 1080p display, and full size ports. External IO includes VGA, Ethernet, a combo headphone/mic jack, SD card reader, HDMI out, and two USB 3.0 ports.
Internal specifications include Intel Haswell processors with HD 4400 graphics, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, and up to a 1TB hard drive. The system comes with a TPM chip and finger print reader and can be further configured with a 3G/4G LTE cellular radio, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and NFC radios.
The X240 also features Lenovo's Power Bridge technology which allows users to hot swap batteries while a 3-cell internal battery keeps the system powered up. When the 3-cell internal battery is paired with a removable 6-cell battery, Lenovo rates the X240 at 10 hours of battery life.
The new ThinkPad X240 is portable and fairly powerful with battery life that business professionals value. Should the reviews hold up, it looks like a solid machine. It will be available around the end of October with a starting price of $1,099.
Subject: General Tech | September 3, 2013 - 12:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows xp, windows, security, microsoft, legacy, enterprise, custom support
Windows XP seems to be the OS that simply will not die, and it seems that Microsoft has given in slightly on its plans to no longer support the aging operating system. For those customers willing to pay, Microsoft will continue patching Windows XP through its Custom Support program.
Custom Support is mainly aimed at large enterprise and industrial customers who, for legacy or other reasons, have yet to move on to newer OS versions from XP. The program will pick up from where Microsoft ends its public extended support for Windows XP (Service Pack 3) on April 8, 2014.
Businesses that elect to go the Custom Support route and stick with XP will pay approximately $200 per PC for the first year alone. The systems in the program will continue to receive patches for vulnerabilities rated as “Critical” with optional patches for “Important” security issues available for additional fees, according to Gregg Keizer writing for PCWorld. Security issues classed by Microsoft as being of low or moderate importance will not be patched at all.
Microsoft will reportedly be delivering these patches through a secure channel other than the standard Windows Update in an attempt to keep non-paying Windows XP users from getting their hands on the patches.
For now, it seems that Windows XP is still here to stay in a big way, at least in the enterprise space where it is likely cheaper to keep XP in circulation than to upgrade PCs, retrain employees, and re-code legacy applications. It will cost a pretty penny to keep the old OS up to date and (mostly) secure, however.
Subject: General Tech | September 2, 2013 - 05:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: skydog, powercloud systems, gigabit router, 802.11n
PowerCloud Systems announced last week that it has begun shipping the Skydog router and software to the more than 1,000 Kickstarter backers. Also, the home networking hardware will be available to the general public in October from the Skydog.com website.
Skydog is a router for home networks that is paired with a web interface and smartphone app to enable real time monitoring, guest access control, quality of service (QoS), and parental controls. The router itself has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (four LAN, one WAN), a single USB port, and a reset button. The hardware is in an all black case with vents around the top edges, blue indicator lights on the front edge, and a large Skydog logo in the center.
The Skydog router uses an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio that operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. PowerCloud Systems rates the router at 300 Mbps on each band.
Users will be able to pick up the Skydog router in October for $149 plus shipping. The $149 price buys the Skydog router itself, the mobile application, and three years of the Skydog subscription service (tied to the management interface). The Kickstarter also mentioned a $199 option for the router, app, and five years of the subscription service, but that SKU does not appear to be available on the Skydog site at time of publication.
It's not a router that will appeal to everyone, especially with the need to pair it with a cloud service for management features, but it could be the ideal device for families with kids or people that just want a simple UI to manage their home network and do things like allow people access to the Wi-Fi when guests come over, for example.
You can find the full press release below.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 1, 2013 - 09:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: html5, app
Write once and run everywhere. Web developers, just a few years ago, would scoff and make some offhand comment about several versions of a major browser. The last couple of versions are adhering to standards even better than some other vendors. Applications which can reasonably ignore legacy versions, such as mobile apps embedding the rendering engine of their host OS, are able to reuse large chunks of code. Likewise, browsers have since refocused on performance and feature-parity with native platforms.
Forrester Research, as reported by ZDNet, conducted a survey of 478 North American and European mobile developers. Across all responders, 41% of man-hours are on average spent on native applications. 46% of man-hours are split fairly evenly between web apps and hybrid apps which contain both native and web components.
As such, more time is spent developing applications which take advantage of web standards, to some extent, than apps which do not.
The report finds enterprise applications are more likely to shift towards web technologies than consumer apps. This makes sense in two ways: enterprise software use default user interface elements and, to some extent, less tolerance for the platform owner unilaterally managing compatibility. I would also expect developers of consumer apps to be more concerned about performance and snappy response.
But web technologies are still getting better. Even Epic Games expects many Unreal Engine 4 titles to be handled directly by web browser -- even fully offline experiences. I mean, if you have ever designed a website, you have probably tested it within some random directory in your hard drive. Just because it runs in a web browser, does not mean it requires an internet connection.
It should, however, imply compatibility with other browsers. The curse and the blessing for web developers.
Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2013 - 09:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: corsair, raptor gaming, gaming keyboard, mm200, mm400, pax prime
In addition to new headsets, Corsair launched a new Raptor K30 gaming keyboard and two new mouse pads: the MM200 and MM400. The new peripherals will be available in September.
The Raptor K30 is a RED LED backlit gaming keyboard with rubber dome keys and anti-ghosting circuitry. The keyboard has six programmable macro keys, multimedia playback controls, and a full QWERTY with separate number pad layout. The K30 further has a Windows lock key to prevent accidental key presses which would take you out of a full screen game.
Corsair's Raptor K30 will be available in September for $59.99.
The Corsair MM200 and MM400 are two new mouse mats for enthusiasts running either optical or laser gaming mice. The MM200 is the larger of the two, at 930mm x 300mm (approximately 37” x 12”). It reportedly has a microtexture surface optimized to allow mice to easily glide across the mat. It has a non-slip rubber base to keep the mat in place.
The MM200 mouse mat has an MSRP of $34.99 and will be available in September.
The Corsair MM400 is a 310mm x 235mm (~12" x 9") mouse mat with a low friction polymer surface and rubber base. Corsair stated in a press release that the reflective surface has been tweaked to work well with gaming mice.
User will be able to purchase the MM400 in September for around $19.99 (MSRP).
PAX Prime attendees can check out the new gaming gear at the Corsair booth #1246 at the show in Seattle, WA.
Subject: General Tech | September 1, 2013 - 02:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vengeance 1500 v2, vengeance 1400 vengeance 2100, vengeance, gaming headset, dolby 7.1, corsair
Corsair launched five new gaming headsets at PAX Prime this week in Seattle. The new headset lineup includes three Vengeance and two Raptor series headsets. Specifically, Corsair is launching the Vengeance 2100, Vengeance 1500 v2 (updated model), Vengeance 1400, Raptor HS40, and Raptor HS30. All of the new Corsair gaming cans will be available in September.
The new Vengeance series headsets are updates to the existing 2000, 1500, and 1300. The new Vengeance 2100 is the top-end model with wireless connectivity on the 2.4GHz band, Dolby 7.1 surround sound over new 50mm drivers, a noise cancelling microphone, microfiber covered memory foam over-the-ear padded ear cups and a padded headband. It has a rated battery life of 10 hours and wireless range of 40 feet.
The Corsair Vengeance 2100 Headset, the new series flagship.
The Vengeance 2100 will be available in September for $149.99.
Similarly, the Corsair Vengeance 1500 v2 is an updated model of the existing Vengeance 1500 that I reviewed extensively back in July of last year. This new headset is essentially the wired version of the Vengeance 2100. It includes padded headband and circumaural ear cups, 50mm drives, Dolby 7.1 virtual surround sound support, and connects over USB using a braided cloth-wrapped cable with inline remote.
The update to the Vengeance 1500: The Vengeance 1500 v2.
The wired USB Vengeance 1500 v2 has an MSRP of $99.99 and will be available in September.
The final addition to the Vengeance lineup is the Vengeance 1400. The successor to the Vengeance 1300, the 1400 gaming headset is an analog model with 50mm drivers, padded headband and microfiber covered around-the-ear ear cups, a noise cancelling microphone, and a long cloth-covered braided cable with inline remote. The Vengeance 1400 is stated to be an improvement over the 1300, and if so that should mean that the Vengeance 1400 delivers good stereo sound for the price when paired with a dedicated sound card.
The new, and only, analog Vengeance series headset from the new lineup.
Like the other upcoming headsets, it will be available in September with an MSRP of $89.99. (The price difference between the 1500 v2 and 1400 is interesting as it is much tighter than the previous generation had.)
In addition to the Vengeance series, Corsair also has its Raptor gaming series and it is launching two new headsets under that brand. The Raptor HS40 delivers 7.1 virtual surround sound via two 40mm Neodynmium drivers inside padded closed circumaural ear cups. It features a wired USB connection and noise cancelling microphone.
The new Raptor HS40 gaming headset.
You miss out on some of the extra features and materials of the Vengeance series, but it is cheaper as a result at $59.99 MSRP in September.
The Raptor HS30 is the analog, well, analog to the digital HS40 and similar in spec differences to the Vengeance 1400/1500. The gaming headset has two 40mm Neodymium drivers for stereo sound. Padded circumaural ear cups block out outside noise and deliver strong sound. The headset comes with a microphone, and the headset and mic connect via two standard 3.5mm analog audio connectors.
The Raptor HS30, the new entry-level, analog, gaming headset option from Corsair.
The Raptor HS30 is a mere $49.99 and will be available for purchase in September.
You can find more information on all of these new headsets on the Corsair website by navigating to Products > Gaming > Gaming Headsets from the top nav bar (or the link above) and selecting the respective series (Vengeance or Raptor) and specific model you are interested in.
(My personal thoughts and opinions below:)
Granted, I have not tested these headsets personally, but in all it looks like Corsair has a nice lineup of updated audio products to show off at PAX Prime this year. If you are in the area, you should try to check them out at the Corsair booth (booth #1246). If the Vengeance 1500 and 1300 of last year are any indication, the new headsets should be solidly built and offer decent sound quality for the money--I look forward to seeing reviews and discovering what tweaks the company has made to improve upon last year’s models.
Also, from the photos, I find it aesthetically interesting that Corsair eschewed the brushed aluminum look of the old 1500 in favor of making the 1500 v2 look more like the all black plastic 1400 and 1300 headsets. On the other hand, the blue colored ear cups are a welcome tweak!
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2013 - 11:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: stackable, mini ITX, haf stacker, HAF, full tower, cooler master
Cooler Master recently took the wraps off of its new HAF Stacker series which the company has been teasing for a few weeks now. The new series of computer cases was unveiled at PAX Prime 2013 and is currently on display at booth number 3446 in Seattle, WA.
The new Cooler Master HAF Stacker series includes the full tower HAF 925, and the Mini-ITX HAF 915R and HAF 915F cases. Cooler Master also offers the HAF 935 which includes two cases stacked: the full tower HAF 925 and Mini-ITX HAF 915R. Currently, it appears as though users will not be able to buy the full tower HAF 925 itself. I have reached out to Cooler Master for comment and will update the article if the company responds.
Users can use the HAF Stacker series cases as standalone cases or in a stacked configuration. The various cases are able to stack on top of each other using a patent-pending Cooler Master designed rail system that is reportedly inspired by military picatinny rails. Cooler Master stated in the press release that the cases securely connect in a simple two step process.
The Cooler Master HAF 925 is a full tower case with three optical drive bays, six 3.5” hard drives, a mesh front panel, bottom mounted PSU, eight PCI slots, a large 140mm exhaust fan below three water cooling grommets, and a large side panel window with fan. Front IO includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio jacks.
Interestingly, the HAF Stacker cases, including the 925 have rubber grommets in the floor and top of the case to allow users to pass cables and/or water cooling tubes to the other stacked cases. This should allow for some fun compartmentalization and water cooling options!
The Mini ITX HAF Stacker 915R and HAF STacker 915F are variants of the same case and have the power supply mounted in either the front or rear of the case respectively. It is similar in design to the full tower HAF 925 but smaller. It has a mesh front panel, a single 5.25” drive, two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks on the front panel, and two PCI slots. There are large vents on the side panel to allow for a water cooling radiator or 120mm fans. The small Mini ITX cases can be stacked on top of or below the other HAF Stacker cases.
Cooler Master has stated that the entire HAF Stacker chassis series will be available in Q4 of this year with pricing that will “vary by region.” You can follow the progress of the cases and get more information on this Cooler Master micro-site.
The press release from Cooler Master is included after the break.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 31, 2013 - 04:30 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: geforce, F2P, bundle
If you read Jeremy's post, yesterday, and actually were a fan of in game currency then how about a new bundle? If you pick up a GeForce GTX 650 or participating GTX 700M-based notebooks, you will receive a total $75 split between three Free-to-Play (F2P) titles. One of the titles, Warframe, is also optimized for NVIDIA hardware with the inclusion of PhysX support primarily for particle effects, it would seem.
The bundle includes:
- Warframe - 465 Platinum (Normally $25)
- Dungeons and Dragons: NeverWinter - 1,000,000 Astral Diamonds (Normally $25)
- Marvel Heroes - 2600 Gold (Normally $25)
NVIDIA stresses that you must make your purchase (be it a system containing a GTX 650, a discrete add-in GTX 650, or a laptop containing a GTX 700M) from one of the participating merchants. Codes will not be provided if the retailer, or 'e-tailer', is not a partner for this program.
Subject: General Tech, Displays, Systems | August 31, 2013 - 03:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: LG, AIO, 21:9
HDTVs have an aspect ratio, the proportion between width and height, of 16:9. This, more noticeably rectangular, format was seen as a suitable compromise between 4:3 tradition and the many widths of theatrical releases. Computers, high resolution since the 90s (give-or-take) to fit more stuff on screen, first adopted many HD innovations.
Widescreen, however, was firmly resisted. Internet video was not popular or even known to the general public. Vista, with its sidebar optimizations, was expected to make 16:10 tolerable. 16:9 was too wide to even be considered an effective option for documents and websites.
I must say: I don't know how I'd live without Sidebar making my monitor feel wastefully narrow and...
Now that the public is comfortable with 16:9, because at some point it ceased to be scary for display manufacturers, some are experimenting with even wider niches. 2560x1080 has about a third more width than a "FullHD" panel to add another side-by-side-by-side document to edit or snapped website to refer to. At this point, if people want to buy it, do it.
LG, at IFA 2013, unveiled their V960 all-in-one (AIO) desktop. This computer is housed inside a 29" 21:9 (technically 64:27, but those numbers are big and scary) IPS display. Despite lacking a touchscreen, and despite OSX screenshots for its also announced plain monitors in its promo image, the AIO comes with Windows 8 pre-installed. It houses a mobile GeForce GT 640M GPU and... well that is about all we know of its internals.
The company believes that you might use some screen width for picture-in-picture TV browsing. LG is not too clear on what functionality will be available to the V960. Other monitors in the line contain a TV tuner, but they never specified whether the AIO would have a tuner or just an HDMI input. Also unclear, whether video inputs are accessible to the computer for DVR functionality or whether it is delivered straight to the display.
The LG V960 was on display at IFA 2013. No pricing and availability information has been announced by LG.
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2013 - 12:27 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thinkcentre, Lenovo, desktop, business, all in one
Lenovo recently launched new ThinkCentre business PCs. The new systems include All In One and tower form factors and span the new E93z, E73z, M73z, and M73 series. All models come with Intel Haswell processors and will be available later this year.
The E93z, E73z, and M73z series are All In One desktops. They feature optional multi-touch screens, improved cable management, and the ability to tilt, rotate, adjust height, and lay flat thanks to the ThinkCentre UltraFlex stand. The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z is the highest-end model and is a mere 48mm thick. The AIO comes with a 10-point multi-touch display, an Intel Haswell Core i7 processor, optional 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 720 discrete graphics, and a Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). The E93z’s display is a 21.5” screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Additionally, the system has both HDMI In and HDMI Out ports, allowing users to use the AIO as a display for another computer and/or connect the AIO PC to an additional display.
Further, Lenovo is also launching the ThinkCentre E73z and M73z All In One systems. Both PCs feature Intel Haswell Core i7 processors, SSHDs, a 20” display, 720p webcam with mic, and stereo speakers. The AIOs also come with TPM chips and self encrypting hard drive options.
Lenovo is also launching traditional desktop systems in a mini “one liter tiny” and tower form factors. Users will need to pair these with a separate display, though the systems do support remote power up with compatible keyboards. The smallest M73 comes in a box slightly bigger than a consumer router and can be mounted to the back of a desktop monitor or to the wall. The M73 also comes in mini-tower and Small Form Factor (SFF) form factors which provide a single optical drive, two USB, and two audio jacks. The SFF is a tower slightly shorter and skinnier than the mini-tower but larger than the Tiny variant. The desktop systems come with Intel Haswell processors, SSHDs, USB 3.0, and Wi-Fi support (including WiDi).
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny desktop PC.
For example of the IO provided by the M73 series, the M73 Tiny includes a single eSATA, three USB 2.0, one VGA, one RJ45, two USB 3.0, two audio jacks, and a Wi-Fi antenna connector.
All of the new ThinkCentre models will be available later this year. The Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z will be available in September for a starting price of $699. The ThinkCentre E73z is also coming in September starting at $599. Further, the M73z AIO and M73 desktop series will both be available in October starting at $599 and $439 respectively.
More photos of the new enterprise machines can be found over at AnandTech.
Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2013 - 09:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Diablo 3
The Auction House for Diablo 3 is not going anywhere but an upcoming patch at least intends to limit its appeal. On August 21st, Blizzard announced the game's first expansion pack, "Reaper of Souls", along with a free patch for the base game to accompany its release. The most noted feature, at least for both Diablo III and its expansion, is the so-called "Loot 2.0". Blizzard hopes acquiring new items within the game will, once again, be more rewarding than trading.
Trading items, especially for real money, was designed as a last resort. Unofficial stores can be found scattered throughout the internet for other persistent multiplayer titles. These vendors could be shady, both for customers as well as their employees. A canonized auction house helps limits these outlets
A new mode, "Loot Run", will be included with the expansion. A randomly generated dungeon is created to provide about 15-20 minutes of pure treasure hunting. Each experience will be complete with an end boss which, too, will be entirely random for that instance. It does not seem like it will make it into the vanilla Diablo 3 patch.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is expected to launch some time in 2014 following the free update to the base game.
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