Custom PC at a non-custom price

Subject: Systems | October 27, 2008 - 11:28 AM |
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AVADirect is a custom system builder that uses a lot of the tricks you find in boutique systems, without the insane prices.  The system that Ryan tried has a C2Quad Q9450 pumped up to 3.40 GHz and 4GB OCZ Platinum EB Edition PC3-12800, giving you some serious power.  The 9800GTX+ is a little odd to include; it is still a solid card but will have great difficulties keeping up with the speed of the CPU and RAM.  At $2450 it is has rather impressive stats and you can always customize your build to beef up the graphics subsystem.
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Sending a clear signal

Subject: Systems | October 22, 2008 - 03:13 PM |
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Snbeamtech's UFO case will give you a very unique looking system, the clear acrylic lets people see every component you chose in clear detail.  They've expanded their lineup with an HTPC model, keeping the clear acrylic but reducing the size to fit in with stereo components.  Four 80mm fans keep the air moving and your components cool, though you should not expect too much, the acrylic sides do not radiate any heat as metal would.  See right through it in the review on Hardware Secrets.

See Crysis for under $1000 a system

Subject: Systems | October 14, 2008 - 02:27 PM |
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Legion Hardware set themselves a rather difficult task, building a gaming PC for $900 that can handle todays games at a full 1680x1050 resolution.  4GBs of RAM, an Intel Core2 Duo and an HD4850 later and they were playing Crysis Warhead on Gamer settings and seeing an average of 28fps.  A few tweaks or some reduction in quality to Mainstream and you can expect the game to play even more smoothly. 

Remote HTPCing

Subject: Systems | October 6, 2008 - 02:07 PM |
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An HTPC can really add a lot of functionality to your current TV and stereo system, but the cases aren't always the perfect shape for your current home theatre stand.  If you have a snazzy HTPC that doesn't fit, or are not particularly interested in picking up a purpose built HTPC case, consider the SageTV HD Media Extender.  I4U took a look at this device which supports inputs including MPEG1, 2, 4, H.264 up to 1080p, and many more.  It outputs via HDMI, component, composite and S-Video and it's audio include

Source: I4U News

Good things come in micro packages

Subject: Systems | September 24, 2008 - 01:40 PM |
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Checking out the GMC Noblesse AVC-S1 HTPC case is a great idea if you are looking for a case that doesn't take up much room, and can still manage to show HD content.  On the other hand, if you are looking for an HTPC that can fit normal sized components and heatsinks, you may not want to go this route.  Drop by R&B Mods to see why.

Ryan goes 4x4-ing

Subject: Systems | September 18, 2008 - 08:48 AM |
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The Hardware Leaderboard has undergone an update, especially the dream machine.  It is now worth about $3761, which gets you a Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and the ability to run a pair of Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB cards, though the official system only has one.  You could also upgrade to a QX9770 if you so wished.  Check out the other components in the dream machine and the other four systems here.

Let someone else do the work

Subject: Systems | September 3, 2008 - 10:39 AM |
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The Cyberpower Gaming Infinity Quad Elite system offers you a lot of power without much work, though it will take a good chunk of your money.  You do get what you pay for from Cyberpower; the full review at DriverHeaven certainly proves that.  The list of components read like most gamers wish list and the Anubis case is the icing on the cake.  Go take a look, but be prepared to feel envious.

Source:

There is inexpensive, and then there is cheap

Subject: Systems | August 25, 2008 - 10:31 AM |
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mCubed has just released an HFX Mini HTPC case, which promises a cheap alternative to other passively cooled HTPC cases.  Unfortunately, from bit-tech's testing it looks like they managed to get both meanings of the word cheap to apply.  While certainly less expensive that other similar cases, the use of riser cards and the inconveniently tight design mean you should read through the article carefully before running out and buying one.

Source: bit-tech

So smooth they're almost frictionless

Subject: Systems | August 22, 2008 - 11:05 AM |
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Smooth Creations is making a huge splash in the enthusiast market, and an equally large dent in the wallets of those that pick them up.  It's not just the stellar job they do in setting up extremely powerful systems; it is the incredible paint jobs on the cases.  Every one is a unique airbrushing, with a finish that would not look out of place on a high end car.  Neoseeker were lucky enough to get a hold of the Neptune, a water-cooled system with a very appropriate paint job.

Source: Neoseeker

Intel Introduces First IA System on Chip for Consumer Electronics, Expands Internet to TV Experience

Subject: Systems | August 20, 2008 - 11:54 AM |
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INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, San Francisco, Aug. 20, 2008 - At the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Corporation introduced the Intel Media Processor CE 3100, the first in a new family of purpose-built System on Chips (SoCs) for Consumer Electronics devices based on the company's popular Intel architecture (IA) blueprint.

Executives on Wednesday also provided updates on the Mobile Internet Device (MID) category and Intel Atom processor, unveiled a brand with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

VIA Announces First Nano-ITX Board with VIA VX800

Subject: Systems | August 15, 2008 - 08:22 AM |
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Taipei, Taiwan, 15 August 2008 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA N700 Nano-ITX board, designed as a complete solution for compact industrial PC and embedded automation devices.

Source: VIA Arena

Water on the brain

Subject: Systems | August 12, 2008 - 02:59 PM |
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What could be better than a Skulltrail system?  bit-tech answers that question with their work log of a Cosmos Sword-S modified to accept watercooling for all of the parts that make up this Skulltrail system.  The final result is impressive, both in it's aesthetics and the power of the components within.

Source: bit-tech

A miniature war

Subject: Systems | July 29, 2008 - 10:08 AM |
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On one side is Intel's Atom processor, which can handle multi-threading but systems that use it can only have PCI cards.  In the other is VIA's nano, which can only handle a single thread, but has a faster FSB and can handle PCIe 16x quite handily.  Either system needs less power to run than the majority of graphics cards.  Drop by [H]ard|OCP for a look at what these chips are designed to do as well as who [H] picks as the winner.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Summer time, the perfect time to replay all your games at higher resolution

Subject: Systems | July 23, 2008 - 10:34 AM |
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Ars Technica has new advice on those looking to pick up a killer gaming rig this summer.  Their all inclusive budget gaming rig comes in at $1,210.39, including a 22" widescreen LCD.  Their performance box will run you $2,739.20, and has a lot of power behind it.  You can also get a second opinion from Ryan on our own Hardware Leaderboard.

Source: Ars Technica

Classy chameleon acoustic chassis

Subject: Systems | July 17, 2008 - 09:07 AM |
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Thermaltake's DH102 Home Theater PC Case offers a front panel that will fit in with any stereo system, thanks to the brushed aluminium, analog dial and
the LCD display.  Of course, it had better do it's job well at $500 for an empty case.  As long as the price hasn't scared you off, try checking out [OC]ModShop's full review.

Source: OCMODSHOP

Summer's recommended systems

Subject: Systems | July 10, 2008 - 03:26 PM |
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The Tech Report has made some major revisions to their recommended systems for this summer, thanks to the effort being made by manufacturers to speed up their releases this year.  With four recommended builds to choose from, there is something interesting, no matter what you plan to do with your PC.

Return of TV Wonder

Subject: Systems | July 3, 2008 - 11:57 AM |
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techPowerUp has snagged one of the new AMD PCIe TV Wonder 600s, which along with its' 650 brother are the first AIW products we have seen in quite some time.  The is the less expensive model, so it is missing some of the features of the higher end model such as a slim profile and HD support.  It does handle digital cable, so you don't have to worry about the death of analog TV. 

Source: techPowerUp!

You load sixteen cores, and what do you get ...

Subject: Systems | June 27, 2008 - 09:23 AM |
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Serious multi-threaded processing power and a tight race between Intel and AMD in the server market.  AnandTech, with a little help, tested quad socket, quad core server setups to see if AMD can climb back into what used to be their strongest market.  Take a look at how the server market is right now, just before the release of Dunnington.

Source: AnandTech

VIA Pico-ITX Goes Low Profile, Integrates Power Supply

Subject: Systems | June 27, 2008 - 08:08 AM |
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Taipei, Taiwan, 27 June 2008 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA P700 Pico-ITX board that couples more features within a streamlined, ultra compact footprint designed for low profile systems, with extended I/O port options through two companion boards.

 

An HTPC case for the exhibitionist

Subject: Systems | June 17, 2008 - 09:37 AM |
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Madshrimps examines the Sunbeamtech Acrylic HTPC-style ATX Case, a case that will really let you show off your components.  The addition of blue LED fans to provide cooling and a unique look will make it even more attractive to those wanting an HTPC that stands out rather than blending in.  It is a full sized ATX case, even with it's uncommon shape, so you can use it to house a more robust PC as well.

Source: Madshrimps