Hard drive shortage or not, the Christmas PC builds are here

Subject: Systems | December 13, 2011 - 08:20 PM |
Tagged: htpc, econobox, sweet spot

The Tech Report has risen to the challenge of building systems for Christmas in the wake of the HDD shortages.  This tends to either bring up the price of the system or to shrink the available amount of storage space in the systems.  Regardless a refresh of their system build is timely as many of us dream of a new PC or parts awaiting us under a tree.  Their Double Stuff workstation features the same i7-3930k recommended on the Hardware Leaderboard here, but they also have some different styles of system recommendation like their i3-2100T powered Couch Potato build for use as an HTPC.  You can also see a few recommended laptops and other peripherals, all you have to do is click the link.

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"With our latest system guide, we've attempted to weather the surge in hard-drive prices while taking advantage of some of the latest hardware releases. To spice things up, we've also concocted a home-theater PC build."

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The firmware is a little soft but Patriot's Javelin S4 serves up media quite nicely

Subject: Systems | December 7, 2011 - 10:12 PM |
Tagged: squeezebox, Patriot Javelin S4 Media Server, patriot, itunes, htpc, DLNA

Media servers are becoming a hot item on the market, offering nearly all of the flexibility of a full HTPC with nearly none of the required setup.  The Patriot Javelin S4 Media Server is no exception, with the ability to interface with iTunes and Squeezebox as well as being compatible with DNLA and UPnP.  With a possible 12TB of storage possible, the actual product ships empty which does keep the entry price down.  Powered by a PowerPC based AMCC 800MHz 431EXr and with the proprietary OS installed on 128MB of flash memory it can accept up to four HDDs formatted as FAT32, EXT2, EXT3 or NTFS, in a variety of RAID flavours.  Check out X-bit Labs for the full breakdown of this devices capabilities.

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"If you have a lot of digital media, such as music, videos and photos, then Patriot claims they have a perfect solution for you. With room to accommodate four 3.5-inch hard drives and additional external expansion via USB 2.0 and eSATA ports, the Javelin S4 can pack up to 12TB of storage capacity into a small form factor chassis. Integrated DLNA-compatible streaming, Apple iTunes server, Squeezebox Server and UPnP capabilities allow seamless connection to PC, Mac and home electronics devices."

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Source: X-Bit Labs

Puget Systems will build you a Sandy Bridge E system

Subject: Systems | December 6, 2011 - 10:37 PM |
Tagged: x79, Sandy Bridge E, puget systems, i7-3960x, GTX580, sli

If you want to get your hands on a pre-built Sandy Bridge E system you could do worse than the Puget Systems Deluge.  You get the Core i7-3960X on an ASUS Sabertooth X79 with 32GB of 1500MHz Patriot Viper Xtreme DDR3, a pair of EVGA GTX580s and both an Intel 510 250GB SSD and a 2TB WD Caviar Black for storage.  The whole system is cooled with a custom watercooler with a 360mm radiator and will only cost $7,254.  The system does give you enough power to game in NVIDIA Surround with decent frame rates, but AnandTech is of the opinion that this system is perhaps a bit too powerful.  So much of the capability of this system is not utilized by even the most demanding of games, and what is needed can be duplicated with parts that have a much smaller price tag.  However if you need the bragging rights then this system is for you.

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"It's been a little while since we've had a Puget Systems desktop in, and so far we haven't yet tested any of their big dog gaming machines. Everything else we've tested, we've liked, but what happens when the fine folks over at Puget Systems pull out all the stops and put together a high end gaming machine? The answer: the Deluge, an X79-based rig in a modified Antec P183, employing a custom liquid-cooling loop. It's big, powerful, and expensive. Did Puget Systems hit another custom out of the park, and is Sandy Bridge-E the enthusiast platform we were waiting for?"

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Source: AnandTech

Video Perspective: CyberPower Gamer Ultra 2098 System

Subject: Systems | November 23, 2011 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: HD 6670, fx-4100, Cyberpower

Most of the time, when we are sent systems for review, they are some of the highest-end and most expensive gaming rigs available.  Companies tend to want to showcase a "flagship" product, one that will impress anyone that gazes upon it.  And while CyberPower definitely builds systems like that, for this review, we are looking at something much more modest - the pre-built Gamer Ultra 2098.

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The specifications for the system are pretty straight forward:

  • AMD FX-4100 Quad-core Bulldozer processor with a stock cooler
  • Gigabyte M68MT-S2 NVIDIA 7025 chipset motherboard
  • 8GB DDR3-1333 MHz memory
  • AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB graphics card
  • 500 GB SATA III 6 Gb/s HDD
  • DVD Burner optical drive
  • 500 watt power supply
  • Azza Black Orion Red case
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

These aren't parts that are going to "wow" you by any stretch but the price might: Newegg is selling this complete system for $599 (as of this writing) while purchasing all of these components individually, on the same website, our total was $596.  Considering that someone has already built the machine (in a very clean and neat fashion) and you get basic support and a warranty, the cost of this machine is very compelling.

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Performance of the Gamer Ultra 2098 isn't going to blow our benchmark suite out of the water, but the quad-core AMD FX-4100 processor is able to keep pace with the lowest end Sandy Bridge CPUs and the Radeon HD 6670 1GB graphics card can play the majority of the current PC titles at 1080p with medium-ish image quality settings.

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This system isn't going to be for everyone, but for users that want a low-cost system that has some limited expansion capability, check out this CyberPower PC (and our video review below)!

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Sub-compact HD media streamer from Sitecom

Subject: Systems | November 22, 2011 - 06:54 PM |
Tagged: htpc, sitecom media player 2TB MD-272

The second generation of Sitecom's Media Player sports improved software and upgraded hardware, in addition to the 2TB of storage for your multimedia.  In addition it is certified by the Digital Living Network Alliance, which means that not only is it uPnP compatible it is capable of interfacing with other uPnP devices as well as your PC.  Head to Guru3D to see the long list of audio and video formats that the device is compatible with as well as the variety of outputs which are provided.  For around $100 without a drive this device offers a very easy, if a little limited, way to stream all your HD content to your TV.

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"The new Sitecom Media Player comes standard with a new improved GUI, but also hardware wise harbor the latest Realtek 1185 chipset, and that changes a thing or two as pretty much any of the performance issues we had noticed in 1080P content playback (with very high bit-rate) on the previous chipset now are a thing of the past.

That Realtek 1185 chipset has an increased clock frequency, 500 MHz coming from 400 MHz on the original version. And as little as it sounds, it makes a serious difference. The HDD TV Media Player 2TB allows you to play digital films, music and photos directly on your TV with High Definition quality (1080p)."

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Source: Guru3D

VIA Launches ARTiGO A1150 PC Kit

Subject: Systems | November 22, 2011 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: DIY, VIA, ARTiGO

Packs VIA Eden X2 processor, HD video, HDMI connectivity and 64-bit computing in a palm sized chassis
Taipei, Taiwan, 22 November 2011 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the launch of the VIA ARTiGO A1150 a sub-liter dual core DIY PC kit for enthusiasts who want to taste the next generation of ultra-compact desktop computing.

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The new way to measure PC size

The VIA ARTiGO A1150 is one of the smallest full featured DIY PC kits available today, squeezing an impressive range of features that include a 1.0GHz dual core VIA Eden X2 processor, HD video support, HDMI and VGA display connectivity, Gigabit networking, Wi-Fi Support and five USB ports, all into a palm-sized PC chassis. The VIA ARTiGO A1150 is ideal for a variety of applications in the home or office, including home server, media streaming and surveillance applications or great as a regular desktop PC, using only a fraction of the physical real estate.

"VIA redefines dual core low power compact computing, bringing all the features of a regular desktop PC into a form factor that needs to be seen to be believed," said Epan Wu, Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "VIA has a long history in creating leading edge form factor systems, and the VIA ARTiGO A1150 pushes the bounds for ultra-compact desktop computing."

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VIA ARTiGO A1150: Compact Computing Redefined
The mere 5.7" x 3.9" x 2" (14.6 cm x 9.9 cm x 5.2 cm) VIA ARTiGO A1150 is powered by a dual core 1.0GHz VIA Eden X2 processor, offering a high performance native 64-bit computing experience while remaining within a low power thermal envelope. The VIA Eden X2 processor is joined by the VIA VX900H media system processor, a fully integrated all-in-one chipset that brings exceptional multimedia experience to small form factor devices including hardware acceleration for the latest HD video codecs including H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2/4 at screen resolutions of up to 1080p.

Front and back panel I/O includes HDMI and VGA ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, five USB ports including one USB device port, three audio jacks with optional wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n and SD card reader modules.

To watch a short introductory video about the VIA ARTiGO A1150, please go to: http://youtu.be/qkQtymQdbgg

The mineral oil in this Aquarium will be hard on the fish but not your components

Subject: Systems | November 10, 2011 - 04:47 PM |
Tagged: puget systems, mineral oil, DIY, Aquarium

If you have an urge for switching your PC 's' cooling to full immersion in mineral oil you could do worse than looking to Puget Systems and their DIY Aquarium kit.  For four years they have been perfecting one of the most unique PC designs on the market, mimicking the look of an aquarium right down to the overhead light and gravel at the bottom.  By ordering a complete system, or picking up the parts from their parts store to build your own, you will end up with a well cooled conversation peice that you should proudly display in a prominent place.  Plus it is still a working PC, even if you will be distracted from the screen by your case.

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In House Manufacturing
We have seen so much demand for our aquarium kits that we have purchased our own laser cutting machine! This allows us to manufacture these kits entirely on our own, which carries a number of advantages.

  • Our costs are lower, which helps lower the price to you.
  • We are in full control of quality.
  • We know what is needed much better that an outsourced machine shop.
  • We can make MUCH more frequent design tweaks and improvements.

Embracing Simplicity
Up to this point, our aquarium kits have been getting bigger and more complicated with each release. The V4 kits take a step back. The size and capacity is the same as our V3 kits, but with the advantage of rapid prototyping though on-site manufacturing, we are able to create a much more finely tuned product. Instead of large bulky bracing, we cut it down to only what is necessary. Instead of dual pumps with complicated interconnects, we run a single more powerful pump. This leads to a dramatic decrease in complication, assembly, and number of parts needed. This results in less points of possible failure, and much lower overall unit price.

Project History
For those interested in the full history of this project, Puget Systems has chronicled our timeline over the last 4 years, sharing our thoughts, testing, benchmarks, and results.

Our full V4 aquarium kits, including tank, motherboard tray, pump, radiator, and all necessary wiring and tubing, are available for immediate purchase on our website. Alternately, for those looking for parts for their own DIY projects, each component of our V4 kit can be purchased separately on our parts store.

A new season, a new system guide

Subject: Systems | November 8, 2011 - 04:08 PM |
Tagged: system build

The PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard is not the only system build guide to recently have been updated; The Tech Report have just finished their Fall Systems guide.  The Econobox now sports a Core i3 2100 now that Phenom X4 840s have gone extinct which requires a new H67 motherboard.  The Utility Player sports 8GB of RAM and graphical muscle in the form of a GTX 560.  The Sweeter Spot sports an improved CPU and motherboard in comparison to the Utility Player and the Doublestuff Workstation is even more impressive.  You can even catch some notebook recommendations, so head on over and take a peek.

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"Join us as we reveal the latest updates and additions we've made to our four classic builds: the $600 Econobox, $900 Utility Player, $1500 Sweeter Spot, and cheaper-than-before-but-still-quite-expensive Double-Stuff Workstation."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

 

Cryo PC proves there is still a market for pre-built HTPC systems

Subject: Systems | October 31, 2011 - 04:13 PM |
Tagged: htpc, cryo pc

Cryo PC offers a nice alternative for those who want a multi-functional HTPC system without having to build it themselves.  The Alto offers some nice features, a Core-i3 2100T on a GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 with 4GB of DDR3-1600 and a GT430 give a fairly typical base for an HTPC; it is the 40GB Corsair F40 SSD which makes things a little more interesting.  You get a full terabyte of storage from the platter drive, so the dual TV tuners will have plenty of space to write to.  In part 1 of their review XSReviews examines the physical system and several benchmarks while in part 2 they see what gaming performance you can expect.

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"Media PCs and media centres are becoming more and more common, especially with people losing a little faith in their stalwart desktop system. Today I’m looking at a rig from Cryo PC that looks to bridge the gap between traditional desktop and media centre, offering decent performance in a lounge setting, with some media features thrown in for good measure. I give you the Alto.

Because testing a system can take quite a while, this review is being split into two parts. This first one will focus on raw performance and synthetic testing, while Part 2 will be more gaming and subjective in nature. Shame about the price though."

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Source: XSReviews

Good things come in small ZBOXes; a tiny present from Zotac

Subject: Systems | October 21, 2011 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: zotac, ZBox Nano AD10, SFF, llano

The mini PC has been growing in popularity as its capabilities grow from barely being able to play back standard definition streamed flash to smoothly displaying HD content from a Blu-Ray drive.  One of the long standing members of this market, Zotac, fired off a ZBOX Nano AD10 Mini PC to Think Computers so that they could test it out.  At only 5"x5"x1.77" it is tiny and inside hides an AMD E350, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 7.1 channel audio, and a 320GB HDD, external USB 3.0 and eSATA plus both 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.  At $300 fully loaded Think Computers highly recommends this box for those needing a tiny PC.

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“We have seen quite a few different Mini PC’s lately. They make great Internet surfing and media machines for home theater setups. Not that long ago we took a look at Zotac’s ZBOX HD-AD02 mini PC, which proved to be a great and very function mini PC, but was a little on the large side. Today we have the ZBOX Nano AD10, which has to be one of the best-looking and smallest mini pc’s we have looked at. I know you are going to say it so we will say it now, it looks like a Mac Mini only smaller! Inside this small design you have an AMD E350 CPU, AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2GB of DDR 3 and a 320GB hard drive. Let’s check out the ZBOX Nano and see if performs as well as it looks!"

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

 

Western Digital has gone far beyond external drives; WD TV Live: The Next Generation

Subject: Systems | October 14, 2011 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: western digital, WD TV Live, htpc

The HTPC market has grown from a niche filled mostly by custom built machines running Windows Media Centre Edition to a wide variety of devices that can only manage simple tasks like streaming media to multifunctional SFF PCs.  Western Digital has has their WD TV Live on the market for a while now, capable of streaming online content to a TV as well as local HD content.  They've introduced a second generation of the WD TV Live, with expanded streaming options as well as a sleeker body and wireless connectivity.  Head over to Legit Reviews to see how well Western Digital's new generation of stream machine.

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"Today, Western Digital is launching their new WD TV Live Streaming Media Player. The first thing you notice with this new generation is that Western Digital has changed the form factor rather dramatically making the new player more sleek than the original WD TV. Along with the form factor chance, Western Digital has integrated Wi-Fi directly into the box. With the built in wireless-N, you no longer have to worry about getting a compatible dongle or placing the player near access to an Ethernet cable..."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

HTPC

 

A general purpose Llano powered HTPC

Subject: Systems | October 4, 2011 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: A8-3800, gigabyte, A75M-UD2H, mATX

When you take an A8-3800 and pair it with a Gigabyte A75M-UD2H you end up with more than just an HTPC.  The flexibility built into the Llano series will give you far more than an Intel Atom or an AMD Neo could ever dream of.  The connectors range from new USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D along with older style D-SUB, serial and parallel ports as well as audio, ensuring this system build will meet the needs of a variety of users.  Visit Missing Remote if you are looking to build an inexpensive AMD based PC.

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"New platforms are particularly interesting to us as home theater PC (HTPC) enthusiasts because it gives us a chance to clearly see how a generation of progress can be transformed into tangible benefits. Not long ago, integrated graphics processors (IGP) were strictly the choice of budget-minded consumers, but the recent relocation of the graphics processing unit (GPU) from the chipset to the processor made it a “first-class” citizen and brought new life to the solution while birthing a new concept – integrated processor graphics (IPG). AMD was not the first to release an IPG, or APU (accelerated processing unit) as they refer to it, but with the introduction of the Brazos/Zacate line earlier this year, a glimpse of Lynx/Llano’s promise became available."

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The ASUS WAVI means you can wave goodbye to wires

Subject: Systems | September 27, 2011 - 09:17 PM |
Tagged: htpc, wireless hdmi, wireless video

The ASUS WAVI is wireless HDMI extender kit that will allow you to stream audio and video from the transmitter to receiver as though there was an HDMI cord between the two devices.   Legit Reviews had fun testing it out, the latency when you are within range is low enough that you can game over this device.  However they could not get their USB mouse and keyboard to work though the device which does limit the usefulness in some cases.  If you get too far away you will lose some fidelity, but as long as you are in range this is a great way to avoid wires running all over your living room.

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"ASUS has launched and released what they are calling the world’s first wireless HDMI extender kit. What this is designed to do is take an existing audio video signal from your PC computer, and play on your HDMI-powered big-screen TV… Wirelessly. The Wireless Audio Video Interaction system – or WAVI – is designed not only to play your audio video content remotely, but via a two-way wireless USB, the WAVI will allow you to sit in your living room and control your PC as you pick the best video to show the family..."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

HTPC

ASUS Unveils a New Series of Innovative and Powerful All-in-One PCs

Subject: Systems | September 26, 2011 - 04:11 PM |
Tagged: asus, all-in-one, AIO, ET2410 Series

Fremont, California (September 26, 2011) — Designed to offer versatile performance for a wide variety of users, ASUS is excited to unveil three new All-in-One (AIO) models featuring the 21.5” ET2210, 23.6” ET2410, and 27” ET2700. All three models feature vibrant 1080P LED backlit touchscreens, 2nd generation Intel Core processors, USB 3.0 and e-SATA connectivity, 802.11 N wireless LAN, Digital camera, SonicMaster Audio and VESA-mount points. Options including hard drive storage capabilities up to 1TB, Blu-ray combo optical drive, 8GB of DDR3 memory and more — are all housed inside an elegant yet modern designed enclosure.

All-in-One Form Factor is the latest trend in PC technology
The popularity of the All-in-One form factor continues to grow in both the consumer and business markets as they deliver a smaller, more efficient footprint with a similar level of performance as traditional desktops yet with expanded multimedia and collaborative work features. “The new ASUS All-in-One PC series is the perfect technology tool to meet this increased market demand. ASUS continues to be an innovation leader with the release of these all-new AIOs, which offer premium features, stylish design, immersive multi-touch technology, and affordability in an energy efficient platform,” said Margaret Chen, President of Open Platform Business (OPBG) Group for ASUS Computer International.

Convenient and rich in usability
The first to market ET2410 Series comes with a multitude of convenient features including the touch-optimized ASUS Cinema software, making it easier and more comfortable to surf the web, browse through movies and music, or edit photos. The power of Intel’s 2nd generation Core Processor technology ensures that creating media content or handling demanding workloads is smoother and quicker than ever. The touchscreen models feature multi-touch controls for an intuitive and immersive touch experience in addition to the standard wireless keyboard/mouse inputs.

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Connectivity is not a problem with two USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, a 3-in-1 card reader, e-SATA port and 802.11 N wireless capabilities. A HDMI input port turns the ET2410 into a brilliant 23.6” display for gaming consoles or for use as a second monitor with a desktop or notebook computer. Engineered by audio experts, SonicMaster technology delivers crystal-clear, immersive audio that is perfect for music, movies or presentations. DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC further enhances audio enjoyment by offering incredible surround sound options. Its VESA mount allows the slim (2.36”) all-in-one PC to be placed almost anywhere, making it ideal for small living areas or professional offices where space is at a premium.

The ASUS ET2410 is available now through leading resellers with prices starting at $899 (MSRP). The 21.5” ET2210 will be available in October and the 27” ET2700 in November. To learn more about the ET2410 or other ASUS products, visit http://usa.asus.com/ for further details. Pricing, availability and specifications are subject to change.

Source: ASUS

IDF 2011: Live Blog of Keynotes, Technical Discussions

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors, Chipsets, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | September 15, 2011 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: live blog, Intel, idf 2011, idf

PC Perspective is all over the 2011 Intel Developer Forum and we'll be covering it LIVE here all week.  Expect to hear news about Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge-E, SSDs, X79 chipsets, 22nm tri-gate transistors and more!  We will have specific news posts about the major topics but if you want to keep up with our information to the minute, then you'll want to migrate to this page throughout Tuesday, Wednesay and Thursday morning.  

You can also hit up http://www.pcper.com/category/tags/idf to see all of the posts relating to and coming from IDF this week!

Feel free to leave comments for me on what exactly you want to know and I will do my best to address your questions as the day progresses. 

Source: PCPer

Have you met the CableCARD yet?

Subject: Systems | September 9, 2011 - 05:54 PM |
Tagged: htpc, cablecard

One of the HTPC builders best friends is the CableCARD, something that was supposed to be available a long time ago and is finally hitting the market.  It is a replacement or addition to the set top box or cable box that subscribers to cable TV are familiar with and once you install it and register a CableCARD with your cable provider it will receive the proper signal from them and allow you to view your cable channels.  Some CARDSs now support multiple streams, allowing you to record a program while watching a different one or recording multiple streams simultaneously.  Missing Remote breaks down the current market, describing the features and limitations of the various models available today as well as offering guidance on setting up your CableCARD.

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"At a higher level, the technology was developed to protect consumers from being forced into having to rent set top boxes (STB) at increasing fees from cable companies (or MSOs) without an alternative. From a home theater PC (HTPC) perspective, it meant the ability to natively tune high definition programming from a cable provider (previously the options were only analog cable, or digital over the air broadcasts)."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

HTPC

Zotac really does offer you a hand held PC with their ZBox Nano AD10

Subject: Systems | September 8, 2011 - 06:15 PM |
Tagged: ZBox Nano AD10, zotac, SFF

Zotac really takes small form factor PCs seriously.  The new ZBox Nano AD10 that you can see below costs $320 fully loaded and hides an AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 on a Hudson M1 motherboard with 2GB DDR3-1066 and a 5,400 RPM 320GB HDD.  As Josh mentioned on the podcast it also has a proper antenna to make sure you get a solid WiFi signal, thought there is a gigabit ethernet port if you need it.  It might not produce incredible benchmarks but its video playback is perfect.  The Tech Report loves this Nano, it is an OS away from being a complete machine and is available for a very reasonable price.

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"Zotac's Zbox Nano AD10 puts AMD's Brazos platform quite literally in the palm of your hand. Join us for a closer look at the new standard in enthusiast-friendly ultra-mini PC."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

 

Hauppauge's new inexpensive external dual TV tuner

Subject: Systems | August 25, 2011 - 05:17 PM |
Tagged: htpc, cable card, tv tuner, external tv tuner, dual tv tuner, Hauppauge, WinTV-DCR-2650

The Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 is an external box which has two seperate TV tuners which connects to your PC over USB.  With a CableCARD you will be able to connect directly to your cable hook up, and ClearQAM can be received without one as Missing Remote proved in their preview.  At only $149 it even sounds a better deal than many of the PVR devices cable companies hawk to their subscribers.  Keep an eye out for them to finish the review once their CableCARD arrives.

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"Getting our hands on a new product is always exciting so we thought we would share it with you! We've been anxiously awaiting the Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 ever since we first saw the prototype of the CableCARD product at CES. If you haven't heard by now, the WinTV-DCR-2650 is a dual-cable tuner that connects to a PC via USB--a great option for small form factors or a situation where there's no free PCIe slot available. It also happens to be the most inexpensive way to gain access to the entire subscription package from a cable provider on a PC with a retail price of $149. Enough about what it is, let's take a look at it after the break!"

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

HTPC

Back to school with a new system

Subject: Systems | August 22, 2011 - 04:55 PM |
Tagged: system build, back to school

The Tech Report thought it would be nice to remind everyone that the beginning of the school year is imminent, by updating their system guide and including a new Dorm PC.  The Dorm PC is focused on saving space as opposed to saving every possible dollar, so that you end up with a usable PC that easily fits into even the most cramped dorm room.  At an estimated $647 the build won't destroy your bank account and the Core i3-2100 will ensure you have more power than a netbook at your fingers.  They also updated their other builds, the Double Stuff workstation, the Econobox, the Utility Player and the Sweet Spot.

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"The back-to-school season is upon us, and we've cooked up a new system guide for the occasion. Read on for the details on the Dorm PC, a small-form-factor rig perfect for students, in addition to updates to our usual system configurations."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

HP conference call this afternoon, could a major division drop?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | August 18, 2011 - 07:55 PM |
Tagged: webOS, hp, Compaq

HP’s third fiscal quarter has entered on the last day of July and today HP will hold their conference call to announce the state of their company in the present as well as some of their plans for the future. We typically do not report on HP’s earnings as they tend to be uninteresting. This quarter is slightly different; HP has announced that they are considering spinning or selling off their PC hardware division. Along with the potential of seeing HP and Compaq computers no longer be HP one thing we do know for sure is that webOS, including Touchpads, will not be their saving grace as they are definitely dead.

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At least we know they’re not betting their future in Palm.

It certainly seems a little brash for HP to all-of-a-sudden pull out of PCs altogether and I do not expect such a harsh event to occur. While it is possible that at some point HP might stretch and ultimately break ties with their PC division I do not see them just changing the locks on the doors and sending in the repo men. As for webOS it was pretty easy to see that there was not enough room in the market for them as an actual contender in the mobile space. We shall see if HP is capable of reusing their technology in another application or simply selling off webOS, potentially in pieces, to other players.

Update, Aug 18/2011 @ 6:28PM: The conference call has now ended and we have a little bit more information about the process. HP made it clear that for now PSG, the division responsible for HP and Compaq computers, tablets, and other consumer but non-printer devices, is still an operating division and will be for the forseeable future. However, over the next 12-18 months they have been authorized by the board to explore their options with spinning off or selling the division. The conference call also seemed to heavily emphasize their desire to shut down or spin off low margin divisions. To me, that sounds akin to a parent telling their misbehaving kid that someone's going to get a slap when they get home -- it is pretty clearly not the neighbors. One or two years down the road, we still may very well see HP do what IBM did with Lenovo.

In other news: WebOS' hardware division is dead and buried but they are still looking to utilize the software either internally, by licensing it to third parties, or selling it.

Source: HP