Boutique PC Vendor Xidax Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 9, 2014 - 03:10 AM |
Tagged: xidax, gaming pc, bitcoin

Xidax Performance PC, a new boutique PC vendor founded in early 2013 has announced that it is now accepting Bitcoin for payment of its custom-built gaming computers. Reportedly in response to customer demand, Xidax has added bitcoin to its payment options, which are available upon configuring a PC on the website.

Xidax.jpg

Xidax Executive Operations Officer Zack Shutt has stated the following in a press release:

“We will do whatever it takes to make custom PC buying easier and give Xidax customers more options,” said Shutt. “We’re intrigued by the growing bitcoin phenomenon and we are happy to provide bitcoin users an easy, secure way to order a custom built PC.”

The bitcoins are handled through a bitcoin payment processor where it can then be converted back to USD (as Xidax is a US-based company). It is interesting to see a PC vendor accepting Bitcoin as it is now possible to purchase an entire, custom built, PC from a major company using funds gathered from mining on a PC (albeit alt-coins converted to BTC or a stockpile of BTC from when GPU mining was still effective). More options are nice, and bitcoin does offer a secure way to pay free of high fees from the likes of Paypal and credit card processors.

What do you think about Xidax accepting bitcoin? Will it add more credibility and/or usefulness to the digital cryptocurrency?

Read more about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining @ PC Perspective.

Source: Xidax

CES 2014 Podcast Day 4 - EVGA, Origin, Native PCI-E SSDs and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2014 - 02:28 AM |
Tagged: video, sandforce, podcast, plextor, pci-e ssd, origin, Marvell, kingston, evga, adata

CES 2014 Podcast Day 4 - 01/08/14

It's time for podcast fun at CES!  Join us as we talk about the fourth day of the show including exciting announcements from EVGA, Origin, PCI-E SSDs from Kingston, Plextor, and ADATA and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison

Program length: 48:41

 

CES 2014: Kyle Orland (Ars Technica) Tries Steam Controller

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2014 - 02:21 AM |
Tagged: CES 2014, CES, valve, Steam Controller

Valve has garnered a lot of hype leading up to this CES. This event was the launch of Steam Machines from their OEM partners. The line-up for their keynote speech was intense, Ryan tweeting in the crowd a whole half of an hour before the speech. Finally, at 7:59 pm EST, Gabe begun to speak... and taking questions by 8:02. Included below is a dramatization of the event.

Yes, I know, "Simpsons did it..."

... South Park probably did it too.

As previously reported, thirteen OEM designs were presented and available to discuss their product. Steam controllers came up during the question period and brought out a pretty big detail: while Valve will be making the Steam Controller, other manufacturers will be allowed to make their own. Currently release date and expected price are still unknown.

Some journalists actually got their hands on the official Steam Controller and they, naturally, shared their thoughts. Kyle Orland of Ars Technica was one of them and his opinion was quite literally split down the middle. On the one hand, pun fully intended, aiming felt about as comfortable and effective as a mouse. On the other hand, movement in legacy mode was aggravating without any tactile feedback signaling where any of the eight directions (up, down, left, right, and the diagonals) start and end.

steam-controller_bindings.jpg

Again, this opinion only stands for shooter-style games in "Legacy Mode". Developers can use the controller more effectively when they design their title for the actual API. Legacy mode maps controller input to mouse and keyboard events and signals.

He also had other comments (positive and negative) about the button layout and other aspects of the controller. It might be worth checking out if you keep in mind: it is early times and he only had a few minutes to base his opinion.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Ars Technica

CES 2014: Corsair Launches Graphite Series 760T and 730T Full Tower Gaming Cases

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2014 - 02:18 AM |
Tagged: graphite series, full tower, corsair, CES 2014, CES

In addition to the Mini-ITX Obsidian 250D, Corsair is launching two full tower gaming cases under its Graphite series. The Graphite 760T and 730T are full tower cases constructed of steel and aluminum that incorporate many enthusiast-friendly features. The 760T and 730T share the same form factor and general design including two hinged side panels, tool-less drive bays, and support for air and water cooling options. Note that the 730T has metal side panels while the 760T has two windowed side panels and adds a fan controller. Further, the 760T comes in two color options (black and arctic white) while the 730T is only available in black.

760T_three_quarter_hero_low.png

The pair of full tower cases join the existing mid-tower 230T in the Graphite Series. The 760T and 730T are large 22.4" x 9.7" x 22.2" cases that offer up lots of cooling, expansion, storage, cable management, and motherboard support options. The case has a large mesh front panel that has two LED-lit AF140L 140mm  fans and three 5.25" drive bays. On the top edge of the case is the front IO panel which includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two audio jacks, and power and reset buttons. The two side panels are hinged at the back and open using a handle at the front. The left side panel is transparent to show off your hardware while the opposite side panel is opaque. In all, the Graphite 760T and 730T are attractive cases with straight lines and roughly octagonal shape. The case is lifted above the ground using large case feet.

Internally, the case supports 9 PCI slots, three 5.25" drive bays, six 3.5" (or 2.5") hard drives in two modular (and removable) drive cages, four side-mounted 2.5" SSDs, seven cooling fans, ATX motherboards, and ATX power supplies. Users should have no problem fitting a beefy multi-GPU setup into the new Graphite cases.

760T_side_view_opened.png

When it comes to cooling, the Graphite 760T and 730T support up to seven fans. Corsair includes two LED-lit AF140L 140mm fans in the front and a single AF140L fan in the rear that come pre-installed. From there users can add three 140mm or 120mm fans to the top and a single 120mm fan to the bottom of the case. Users that opt for water cooling can instead install a 360mm radiator in the top of the case and a 280mm radiator to the bottom of the case. The 760T includes a fan speed switch that switches between 12V and 7V power to control the speed (and noise) of the cooling fans. The cheaper 730T does not include this integrated fan controller, however.

Both the 760T and 730T will be available in February from Corsair's authorized distributors and will include a 2 year warranty. The Graphite 760T has an MSRP of $179.99 for the black version and $189.99 for the arctic white SKU. On the other hand, if you can live without windowed side panels, a fan controller, and only one color choice, the black Graphite 730T has an MSRP of $139.99.

Personally, I find it to be a neat looking case that I am considering for my next build assuming the reviews hold up on the build quality. What do you think about the newest entrants to Corsair's Graphite Series?

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

Fool me once, shame on you ... fool me twice; oh hey the new Aliens game isn't from Gearbox

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2014 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: gaming, alien: isolation

We've been burned by Aliens games in the past, most recently by Gearbox's Colonial Marines and many are not willing to trust any new games using this IP.   Those who still have fond memories of the sound of the motion tracker did get some good news recently as Creative Assembly will be releasing Alien: Isolation which will not be a horrible shooter but instead will be a survival horror game in which you play Ripley's daughter.  The trailer shows promise, with the only flames coming from tools and not military grade hardware.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN had a chance to get their hands on the game, check it out here.

"We have all been burned by past Alien games and I would like us to maintain a healthy scepticism about Creative Assembly’s recently unveiled Alien: Isolation, which I went to see and play just before the turn of the year. With this in mind, I believe it an obligation, before we begin discussing this new threat, to observe a moment of silence in which we can all remember the brave souls we lost to the Colonial Marines disaster."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

NVIDIA's take on AMD's under documented free sync

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2014 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: tom petersen, nvidia, g-sync, free sync, CES 2014, amd

AMD's free sync has been getting a lot of well deserved attention at this years CES, Ryan had a chance to see it in action if you haven't checked out his look at AMD's under reported and under utilized feature.  AMD missed an opportunity with this technology which NVIDIA picked up on with their G-Sync.  NVIDIA has responded to The Tech Report's comments from yesterday, Tom Petersen stated that while free sync may be an alternative on laptops, desktop displays are a different beast.  They utilize different connections and there is generally a scaler chip between the GPU and the display.  Read his full comments here.

gsync.jpg

"AMD demoed its "free sync" alternative to G-Sync on laptops. Desktop displays are different, Nvidia says, and they may not support the variable refresh rate tech behind AMD's solution—at least not yet."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

CES 2014: Firefox OS to Power Panasonic Smart TVs

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 04:18 AM |
Tagged: Panasonic, mozilla, Firefox OS, CES 2014, CES

Firefox OS is a thin Linux layer which immediately loads Gecko, the rendering engine behind Firefox and other Mozilla products, to handle everything else. The entire OS interface is developed in HTML5, CSS, Javascript, and other web standards. It suffices to say that it can handle web apps very easily (it is one).

22-mozilla-2.jpg

Panasonic and Mozilla have entered into a partnership, announced at CES, for future smart TVs to be powered by Firefox OS. This can be very useful for Panasonic. Provided they keep up with certifying new releases, performance should be about the only other barrier preventing their product from running the popular apps as they arise. It also lifts the burden away for developer support.

On the other hand, this could also be good for Firefox OS and the web itself. Mozilla is not a stupid organization and, while they certainly like their products adopted, I would not be surprised if they hope this effort brings content out to play. Netflix and other content providers who want to be on Panasonic's platform would need to support their flavor of Firefox OS. Netflix, in particular, has already made inroads with HTML5 albeit with certain encryption extensions.

Atwood's Law applies to televisions, too!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Panasonic

CES 2014: Razer Project Christine & Nabu... Because CES.

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2014 - 03:30 AM |
Tagged: razer, Project Christine, Nabu, CES 2014, CES

Razer has a long history of announcing odd products at any given CES. Some of those products win prestigious awards such as Best of Show. A few of them also never see the light of day. This year, the company has two major announcements: a wristband computer called "Razer Nabu" and a modular computer concept called "Project Christine". The last one feels more like their April 1st announcements.

razernabu.jpg

First: the wristband. The Razer Nabu (isn't it ironic that the god of wisdom and writing is a homonym of JarJar's home planet) is said to be somewhere between a Nike+ FuelBand and a smartwatch. Track the number of steps you take, calories you burned, floors you climbed by stairs, distance you traveled, hours you slept, and do some stuff with location data. They can sense one another, if someone nearby is also wearing theirs, and optionally share information. It is also expected to connect to Razer Comms at some point. It is unclear how many of these applications can be done directly with the device and how many require an Android or iOS smartphone nearby.

Razer is currently accepting requests from developers looking to purchase the device for $49 USD. That may or may not be the final consumer price for whenever it makes a real launch.

The other product is a little less, concrete.

razer-project-christine.jpg

Project Christine reminds me of that period where the tech world went nuts over the thought that Apple would design a modular Mac Pro. The thought is that you could swap modules in and out for upgrading purposes with peace of mind that you never need to open anything. Everything is external connections to black boxes. Razer seems to have taken that idea and run with it. Suffices to say, I am highly skeptical. I can think of about a dozen complications ranging from bandwidth to inventory to relative need compared to other solutions.

Sure, it looks cool, but just think about it (if it ends up being a legitimate project rather than a CES talking point). Are you really going to have Razer versions of every possible upgrade SKU? Would you really save anything over a custom solution or paying someone to do the technical work?

Interesting thought experiment, if nothing else, but I would be fairly shocked if we even see this mentioned again more than 8 months from now.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Razer

CES 2014 Podcast Day 3 - Corsair, Coolermaster, NVIDIA, and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2014 - 12:30 AM |
Tagged: video, podcast, corsair, coolermaster, nvidia, Samsung, exynos, Allwinner, AX1500i

CES 2014 Podcast Day 3 - 01/07/14

It's time for podcast fun at CES!  Join us as we talk about the third day of the show including exciting announcements from Corsair, Coolermaster, NVIDIA, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison

Program length: 49:24

 

EVGA TORQ X10 Carbon Gaming Mouse

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 11:09 PM |
Tagged: TORQ X10, mouse, evga, CES 2014, CES

02-TORQ_X10_header.jpg

Courtesy of EVGA

The latest product release from EVGA adds to their gaming peripheral arsenal - the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse. This mouse features a mix of high end components with the looks and features to match.

03-Slide5.jpg

Courtesy of EVGA

04-Slide6.jpg

Courtesy of EVGA

EVGA designed the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse with an Avago 9800 series laser spec'd at a maximum DPI of 8200 with up to a 1000MHz polling frequency and with Omron switches, touting a 20 million click lifespan, so that you are never caught unawares during those life and death gaming sessions. The mouse is ambidextrous to appeal to any gamer with a carbon fiber coating for the sleek look and comfortable feel.

 

05-Slide10.jpg

Courtesy of EVGA

06-Slide12.jpg

Courtesy of EVGA

Additionally, EVGA includes their custom driver control panel, allowing you to optimize the look, feel, and function of the mouse with both profile setting and macro support. The mouse has a multiple LEDs that are color configurable via the driver control panel as well.

Features and specs

  • Ambidextrous grip supporting left and right handed gamers.
  • Moveable mechanism allows for proper support of various hand sizes.
  • Avago 9800 laser provides up to 8200 DPI with up to 1000Hz polling rate.
  • Highest quality Omron switches with a lifespan of over 20 million clicks.
  • Supports up to 9 programmable buttons.
  • Fully customizable RGB LED.
  • Built in 512KB memory for profile storage.
  • Metal base provides solid construction.
  • Weight control system allowing you to customize the weight to your liking.
  • 6ft silver coated USB cable with braided surface.
  • Driver control panel
    • Allows full control of the EVGA TORQ X10.
    • Designed with usability in mind.
    • Heads up display shows key settings at a glance.
    • Flexible macro and profiling system.
    • Adjustable LED color and brightness.

EVGA has not yet released pricing information or retail availability information for the TORQ X10 Carbon gaming mouse at this time. Please go here for additional information.

Additional information after the break.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: EVGA

AMD's under reported dynamic refresh rates

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 12:45 PM |
Tagged: g-sync, free sync, dynamic refresh rate, amd

The Tech Report learned yesterday of a feature that AMD has been offering over the past three generations of GPU called dynamic refresh rate, which they billed as a power saving feature.  Skipping an unnecessary vertical screen refresh would certainly save you a bit of power but really isn't that attractive a feature.  NVIDIA looked at this feature in the opposite way, not to save power but to refresh your screen as quickly as it is capable of to provide much smoother graphics and that marketing has had G-SYNC on everyone's lips.  Assuming AMD can get the word out, their variable refresh rate technology should be compatible with most new mobile/laptop products based on the EDP specification, no additional costs or equipment required. 

600x.jpg

"During an impromptu meeting in a hotel ballroom this morning, we got an eye-opening demo of a dynamic refresh rate capability that's been a part of Radeon GPUs for several generations. AMD thinks this feature can be combined with triple buffering to deliver G-Sync-like animation smoothness without the cost associated with specialized display hardware."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

CES 2014: Corsair Raptor K40 RGB LED & Raptor M45

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: membrane keyboards, corsair, CES 2014, CES

The headline is, "Corsair Unleashes Raptors in Las Vegas". We do not have any footage of the disaster so, in its place, we will post stock footage of a similar calamity in Chicago from over three years ago.

Thank you, Team Coco.

So many dead bees. They... only sting once.

Actually, the Raptors at CES are keyboards (with RGB LED backlighting) and mice. This line is a step below their mechanical offerings so these do not include the newly announced Cherry MX RGB switches. The Corsair K40 is based on typical membrane switches but, unlike the vast majority of keyboards based on that cheaper technology, is said to be "full-key rollover on USB". This typically means that each key is unique (rather than grouped into a matrix) and the USB limitations are circumvented by registering as multiple keyboards.

corsair-K40_US_B_RED.png

This keyboard is advertised as "anti-ghosting" although, like NKRO keyboards, it does not block ghost inputs... it simply cannot ghost in the first place. Ghosting occurs when the user presses three (or more) specific keys which sends the same signal as maybe a half dozen other keys on the same segment of the matrix. If each segment is basically a single key? No problem can exist. Higher-end keyboard manufacturers advertise anti-ghosting because it is a marketing term despite actually being above the problem in its entirety.

corsair-M45c.jpg

The M45 optical gaming mouse is 5000 DPI and has 7 programmable buttons.

The Raptor K40 gaming keyboard will be available this month for $79.99. The Raptor M45 will also be available in January for a list price of $59.99. Both products have a two year manufacturer warranty.

Press release after the break!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair AX1500i Announcement

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: PSU, corsair, CES 2014, CES, Arc Welding, 1500W PSU

Yadda yadda arc welding yadda Allyn yadda yadda podcast bingo.

For the last seven or eight years, Corsair has released a boatload of power supplies, running the whole gamut of potential customers, since their initial HX620W release in 2006. Their current line-up is broken into eight distinct series. Some are modular, some are fully modular, and others are not. Several models hold the lowercase "i" suffix which signify USB connectivity to monitor and adjust the unit from their Corsair Link utility.

corsair-AX1500i_FPO.png

Today, Corsair is announcing the AX1500i fully modular power supply. At 1500 watts, this should be an effective upper limit on desktop power consumption. The real news is its efficiency: 94% efficient at half load on 115V input (North America). The PSU exceeds the specification set out for 80 PLUS Platinum and falls within the current draft of 80 PLUS Titanium (consumer).

It is also designed to be quiet and even fanless when drawing under 450 watts.

The suffix on the AX1500i signifies that it also integrates with Corsair Link through USB. Temperature, draw, loads, fan speed adjustments, and power efficiency are exposed to the user who wants to see a few more graphs in their secondary monitors... because if you have a single 1080p panel then you are doing something wrong somewhere.

The AX1500i is expected to retail for $449.99 in Q2 2014 and is backed by a 7-year warranty.

Press blast after the break!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Flash Voyager GO is On-The-Go (OTG)

Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: OTG, On-The-Go, Flash Voyager GO, corsair, CES 2014, CES

So this makes sense, finally. USB On-The-Go is a specification which allows for devices to perform as either a USB Host or a USB Slave at will. In other words, your can plug your phone into your PC via its MicroUSB 3.0 (Update: It looks like I'm wrong and it's Micro USB 2.0) connection to synchronize files and charge it and then, later, have that same port accept USB thumb drives. Of course, that requires a USB storage device with a MicroUSB 3.0 2.0 plug.

corsair-voyager_go_3D_64GB.jpg

The Corsair Flash Voyager GO USB OTG is one such thumb drive. It has the ability to plug into MicroUSB 3.0 2.0 ports on Android OTG-compatible phones and tablets. For convenience, it also has the ability to plug into full-sized USB 3.0 making it useful for both phone and laptop or desktop. USB 2.0 is also supported. It registers as a standard USB Mass Storage Device so no special software is required for Windows, Mac OSX, or Linux.

I find this very interesting albeit I am not a mobile user. I do wonder when we will see large capacity harddrives using this standard. It seems like a natural progression as demand for phones with video-out increases. Flash memory is nice but, when compared to microSD cards which are not vulnerable and hanging out of the USB port, I am not sure if there is enough capacity. Again, I am not a mobile user. I know that someone out there already has their credit card out.

The Flash Voyager GO will be available in 16 GB ($19.99 USD), 32 GB ($29.99 USD), and 64 GB ($49.99 USD) variants. It is rated to transfer at up to 135 MB/s over USB 3.0.

Press release after the break.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

CES 2014: Corsair Launches the Obsidian 250D Mini ITX Case

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2014 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: obsidian 250d, corsair, CES 2014, CES

Do you like the design of Corsair's Obsidian Series PC cases, but don't have room for a mid-tower or full tower form factor? Well, Corsair may have a solution for you with the release of its new Obsidian 250D, which is the company's first Mini ITX chassis. The Obsidian 250D brings the aesthetics and many of the builder-friendly features of its larger brethren in a small sub-$100 brushed aluminum and steel case.

Specifically, the Obsidian 250D measures 11.4" x 10.9" x 13.81". The cube-like case is all black with a basic brushed aluminum texture. Corsair branding, a single 5.25" drive bay, two USB 3.0 ports, and two audio jacks adorn the front while vents sit on the left, right, and rear sides of the case. Further, the top panel of the case is removable and is how you get to the internal hardware. The case is propped up on integrated feet as well.

250D_hero_down_from_left.png

Corsair's new Mini ITX case supports both air and water cooling. The case comes pre-installed with one AF140L and one AF120L fan, and users can install a total of 5 fans (including the bundled fans). On the water cooling front, users can install a 120mm or 140mm radiator in the front of the case as well as a 120mm or 240mm radiator on the side of the case. One nice feature on the cooling front is that Corsair has included removable dust filters on the front, side, and PSU vents.

250D_Close_up_hydro_series_install.png

Despite the Mini ITX form factor, the case actually allows users to cram a fair amount of hardware into it. In all, the Obsidian Series 250D supports two PCI slots, four hard drives, a single optical drive, a full size power supply, and Mini ITX motherboards. Users can install a graphics card up to 290mm in length, which is most cards on the market at a bit over 11-inches. The case supports ATX power supplies up to 200mm. When it comes to storage options, users can install up to two 2.5" drives and two 3.5" drives (or four total 2.5" drives) which is not bad. Additionally, this Obsidian case features cable management tie down points and tool-less drive bays.

250D_back_view.png

The Obsidian 250D has an MSRP of $89.99 and will be available for purchase later this month in the US. The mini ITX chassis comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty. It looks like a decent case, and I'm interested to see what reviewers have to say about it when it comes to ease of working with and installing hardware into.

Please stay tuned to PC Perspective for more CES 2014 coverage!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

CES 2014 Podcast Day 2 - ASUS, Lucid, Valve, Seagate and more!!

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 05:21 AM |
Tagged: video, valve, SteamOS, Seagate, podcast, lucid, LaCie, iosafe, CES 2014, CES, asus

CES 2014 Podcast Day 2 - 01/06/14

It's time for podcast fun at CES!  Join us as we talk about the second day of the show including new products from ASUS, Lucid, Valve, Seagate and more!!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison

Program length: 57:03

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2014: Valve And 13 Launch Partners Unveil Slew of Steam Machines

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | January 7, 2014 - 02:25 AM |
Tagged: valve, SteamOS, steambox, opinion, Gabe Newell, CES 2014, CES

Valve Co-Founder Gabe Newell took the stage at a press conference in Las Vegas last night to introduce SteamOS powered Steam Machines and the company's hardware partners for the initial 2014 launch. And it has been quite the launch thus far, with as many as 13 companies launching at least one Steambox PC.

The majority of Steam Machines are living room friendly Mini-ITX (or smaller) form factors, but that has not stopped other vendors from going all out with full-tower builds. The 13 hardware partners have all put their own spin on a SteamOS-powered PC, and by the second half of 2014, users will be able to choose from $500 SFF cubes to ~$1000 Mini-ITX builds with dedicated graphics, to powerhouse desktop PCs that have MSRPs up to $6,000 and multiple GPUs. In fact, aside from SteamOS and support for the Steam Controller, the systems do not share much else, offering up unique options–which is a great thing. 

For the curious, the 13 Steam Machine hardware vendors are listed below.

  1. Alienware
  2. Alternate
  3. CyberPowerPC
  4. Digital Storm
  5. Falcon Northwest
  6. Gigabyte
  7. iBuyPower
  8. Materiel.net
  9. Next
  10. Origin PC
  11. Scan Computers
  12. Webhallen
  13. Zotac

As luck would have it for those eager to compare all of the available options, the crew over at Ars Technica have put together a handy table of the currently-known specifications and pricing of each company's Steam Machines! Some interesting takeaways from the chart include the almost even division between AMD and NVIDIA dedicated graphics while Intel has a single hardware win with it's Iris Pro 5200 (Gigabyte BRIX Pro). On the other hand, on the CPU side of things, Intel has the most design wins with AMD having as many as 3 design wins versus Intel's 10 (in the best case scenario). The pricing is also interesting. While there are outliers that offer up very expensive and affordable models, the majority of Steam Machines tend to be closer to the $1000 mark than either the $500 or $2000+ price points. In other words, about the same amount of money for a mid-range DIY PC. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as users are getting decent hardware for their money, a free OS, and OEM warranty/support (and there is nothing stopping the DIYers from making their own Steamboxes).

A SFF Steambox (left) from Zotac and a full-tower SteamOS gaming desktop from Falcon Nothwest (right).

So far, I have to say that I'm more impressed than not with the Steam Machine launch which has gone off better than I had expected. Here's hoping the hardware vendors are able to come through at the announced price points and Valve is able to continue wrangling developer support (and to improve the planned game streaming functionality from a Windows box). If so, I think Valve and it's partners will have a hit on their hands that will help bring PC gaming into the living room and (hopefully) on par (at least) in the mainstream perspective with the ever-popular game consoles (which are now using x86 PC architectures).

What do you think about the upcoming crop of Steam Machines? Does SteamOS have a future? Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Ars Technica

CES 2014: CyberPowerPC Steam Machine Series Coming In 2H 2014

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 6, 2014 - 11:53 PM |
Tagged: steambox, steam os, Steam Machine, Cyberpower, CES 2014, CES

Today, CyberPowerPC announced its series of SteamOS-powered Steam Machines. Set to be available in the second half of this year, the Steam Machine series will come in several customizable models ranging in price from $499 to $699.

All models share a custom Steam Machine gaming case, a 500GB 7200RPM mechanical hard drive, 8GB of DDR3 memory clocked at 1600MHz, Valve's Steam OS, and a bundled Steam Controller. From there, the systems differ by processor, graphics, and networking hardware.

CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine.JPG

On the low end, the $499 CyberPowerPC Steambox is powered by a dual core AMD A6-6400K Richland APU clocked at 3.9GHz, a Radeon R9 270 graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and a Mini-ITX motherboard with 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

Stepping up to the $699 mark gets you Intel and NVIDIA hardware in the form of a dual core/quad threaded Intel Core i3-4330 CPU clocked at 3.5GHz and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The networking is also upgraded to 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

CyberPowerPC Steam Machine Specification List.png

The chassis is a white case with black front panel and green LEDs. A Valve logo is on the top of the case. It certainly has a gaming console look that should sit well in your entertainment center. The front of the case has three USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks. Personally, I look at the case and am reminded of classic cartridge-loading game consoles due to the cutout/depressed gray accent.

As always, stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information as it becomes available!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: CyberPower

CES 2014: Gigabyte's New SFF BRIX Pro Comes With Iris Pro 5200 Graphics

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 6, 2014 - 10:59 PM |
Tagged: SFF, iris pro, Intel, gigabyte, CES 2014, CES, brix pro, brix

Gigabyte is showing off a new small form factor BRIX-series PC at CES this week. This new BRIX Pro computer offers up desktop-level performance in a tiny form factor (approximately 4.2” width x 4.5” length x 2” height).

The BRIX Pro is available as a DIY kit that comes with a black or red chassis, choice of either Intel i7 4770R or Intel i5 4570R processor, mini PCI-E Wi-Fi card, and power adapter/cable. In addition to the CPU performance offered by the Haswell processor, the big news here is that the BRIX Pro ships with the processor-integrated Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200. This GPU is the high-end model that comes with 64MB of eDRAM. Considering how rare the Iris Pro GPU with embedded DRAM has been in desktop PCs, having it available in the BRIX platform is good news for enthusiasts!

Gigabyte BRIX Pro with Intel Iris 5200 Graphics.png.png

Gigabyte claims that the BRIX Pro is capable of 3D gaming and is compatible with content creation/production applications. Additionally, it can output 4K resolutions over HDMI thanks to the Iris Pro 5200 GPU (at least the desktop and video, most gaming is out at 4K).

From there, users can add their own memory, mSATA SSD, and 2.5” SATA III drive. There is a mPCIe slot as well, but it is used by the 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.0 card.

Gigabyte BRIX Pro Internals.png

Photo courtesy Allyn Malventano (PC Perspective).

External IO on the BRIX Pro includes two USB 3.0 ports and a combination analog headphone/digital S/PDIF jack on the front. On the back of the SFF PC, users have two USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet jack, one Mini DisplayPort output, one HDMI video output, a DC power input, and a Kensington lock.

Gigabyte has not revealed pricing or availability information, but it should be coming out sooner rather than later in 2014. When it does become available, there will be two models: the GB-BXi7-4770R and the GB-BXi5-4570R.

Gigabyte BRIX Pro SFF PC.png

Photo courtesy Allyn Malventano (PC Perspective).

The BRIX Pro looks to be a powerhouse for its size, though I am curious about the noise levels produced by the cooling fan needed to keep the high end processor cool. Overall though, the BRIX Pro looks to be a nice addition to the compact BRIX PC lineup, and I am looking forward to reviews of it. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information as it becomes available. 

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Gigabyte

CES 2014: Corsair Unveils Cherry MX RGB Keyboard

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2014 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: CES 2014, CES

While most of the information has already been discussed, Corsair and Cherry have now officially debut their first MX RGB keyboard. These special switches allow for 16.8 million colors to be selected for any individual key. Corsair provided us with a video of several effects in action from a wavy rainbow to shock waves emanating from specific points - even more practical configurations such as alternate colors for the WSAD and the arrow keys.

Keyboards containing three of the four main switches (Red, Blue, and Brown) will be available in the second half of this year. There is the curious omission of the Black switches, essentially Reds with a tougher spring, but I was honestly not expecting anything but the Reds.

The initiative is called the "MX RGB Project" (which is a suitable name albeit a little bland). The models shown at CES are based upon the Vengeance K70. There is currently no word, yet, about which models will be presented at launch later in the year.

The main point of this announcement, however, is to note that the keyboards will be on display from now until the evening of January 9th.

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Cherry