Western Digital tries out the home theatre

Subject: Systems | March 17, 2009 - 01:13 PM |
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Western Digital has made a foray into HTPCs with their WD TV HD Media Player.  Strangely for a storage company there is no onboard storage to capture your favourite TV shows, though that decision has allowed them to make the entire box half as tall as a DVD caseand just over twice as thick.  On the back you can see plugs for USB, HDMI 1.2, TOSLINK and Composite video out.  What seems to be missing is a network connector, but as far as the video playback quality, The Tech Report was quite happy.  Perhaps so

It's the net connection that makes it great

Subject: Systems | March 5, 2009 - 12:05 PM |
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Personal Video Recorders are not that expensive compared to a year ago and most cable companies support them and are more than happy to give you a layaway plan on your monthly bill to get you to pick one up.  That has left the HTPC in a little bit of a bind, seeing as how there is a pre-assembled alternative that can do most of what the HTPC was for.  ExtremeTech is looking for the remaining advantages the HTPC has over the PVR, including the obvious benefit of being able to pick your hard drive s

Source: Extremetech

AMD returns to The Tech Report

Subject: Systems | March 3, 2009 - 06:09 PM |
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It has been a little while since The Tech Report has placed an AMD processor in anything but their value machine, but the Phenom II X3 720 BE was just too irresistible a
bargain to leave out.  It now has a place of honour in their Utility Player, a machine that will let you play all the new games without even breaking $1000.  Another new feature is the kitchen PC, design to "let you look up recipes, run instant messaging softwar

Apple releases new iMacs, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, proves PCPer right!

Subject: Systems | March 3, 2009 - 10:04 AM |
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Okay, so we were exactly two months early on the news, but just about everything I predicted would happen for the Mac line in 2009 basically came true today.

It really is a PC, honest

Subject: Systems | February 20, 2009 - 02:18 PM |
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Glacialtech seems well at home designing HTPC cases, as you can see from the Altair A381 Media Center PC Case.  It looks very much like a stereo receiver and will be at home sitting with any kind of stereo system.  The included remote control is a nice touch as is the LCD display.  Techware Labs feels that this is the best HTPC case they have run into as of yet.

Inventing yet another form factor

Subject: Systems | February 19, 2009 - 04:16 PM |
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Even grouping any ATX/BTX types, you are still left with full sized desktops, laptops, notebooks, netbooks and now we have nettops.  You could point out a strange little beast called the iMac, but as far as ASUS is concered their Eee Top ET1602 is the first nettop available.  The most noticeable
feature, and really the only part to the nettop is the 5.6in touchscreen LCD with a 1,366x768 resolution which also happens to house the entire system.  An Intel Atom N270 + 945 GSE and 1GB of DDR2 provide the processing power, which may be why HEXUS feels a little sceptical about the

Source: Hexus

Four fives and an i7

Subject: Systems | February 12, 2009 - 03:11 PM |
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For just about $5555 you can build the Core i7 dream system that AnandTech assembled in their recent Core i7 System guide, or for a mere $1400 you can pick up an entry level system that should handle anything you feel like running.  They also assembled a system designed for overclocking, which includes a very large cooler that is essentia

Source: AnandTech

NVIDIA Collaborates with Microsoft on ION platform

Subject: Systems | February 11, 2009 - 01:22 PM |
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SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 11, 2009 - In an effort to deliver an outstanding computing experience on small, low power PCs, NVIDIA announced today that NVIDIA ION has been Certified for Windows Vista. With NVIDIA ION and premium versions of Microsoft Windows, small form factor notebook and desktop PCs will have rich media capabilities and full graphics support for the first time.

Microsoft Corp. has validated NVIDIA ION with certified Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) drivers for Windows Vista Home Premium.

Source: NVIDIA

Not your regular systems guide

Subject: Systems | February 5, 2009 - 06:13 PM |
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By now you are likely used to system build recommendations on hardware review sites, like our own Hardware Leaderboard, with several suggested builds at various price points.  bit-tech has put together a guide that is similar, with one significant difference, the three builds they recommend are all intended to be used as HTPCs.  They range from a design meant to take up as little space as possible, to an affordable system to an HTPC that can handle gaming. 

Source: bit-tech

It's the little guys you have to watch out for

Subject: Systems | February 3, 2009 - 12:17 PM |
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nVIDIA's ION platform is here, or at least on Ryan's test bench.  Roughly the same size as a well made sandwich, it is capable of some impressive feats like, DX10 gaming support, HD video decode acceleration, 7.1 channel HD audio support, Vista Premium support, 2560x1600 resolution, CUDA and PhysX.  Read on to get the full ION experience, and see why Atom may be in deep trouble, especially for those enthusiasts willing to pay a little more for a lot more performance.

A little room for improvements

Subject: Systems | January 23, 2009 - 02:55 PM |
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Building an HTPC can lead to frustration as you realize a mATX board might not offer all of the connections you desire, or when the video card you want to use is a 1/2" inch too long to fit inside the HTPC case you picked.  The nMEDIA HTPC 2000B can solve any spacial difficulties, it will fit a full ATX board in it's 17" x 6.3" x 15.4" casing, though you should still think small for your heatsink.  Think Computers like this casing a lot and recommend that anyone buyig the case should spend the extr

Form and function from your HTPC case

Subject: Systems | January 20, 2009 - 04:14 PM |
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For just over $200 you can get your hands on the Thermaltake DH-101 VF7001BNS, an HTPC case with the styling you would expect from Thermaltake.   Not only is it pretty on the outside, there was plenty of room inside to fit a HD 2900XT.  Motherboards.org takes you through their whole experience, from unboxing to final assembly in their review.

The Ion is mightier than the pen, and only slightly larger

Subject: Systems | January 14, 2009 - 03:47 PM |
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nVIDIA's Ion is a 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor and a GeForce 9400M MCP with 16 integrated GeForce graphics cores.  This lets you handle DX10 graphics, NVIDIA CUDA and HD video on a 3" x 4" motherboard, or a complete system about the size of a good sandwich.  Not only did Legit Reveiws get to see a full working Ion, they were also able to benchmark it.

BFG TECHNOLOGIES UNVEILS PHOBOS

Subject: Systems | January 6, 2009 - 03:40 PM |
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Lake Forest, IL - January 5, 2009 - BFG Technologies, known as a leading supplier of premium power supplies and 3D graphics cards, is excited to announce its first line of complete gaming and multimedia PCs, called Phobos. These sleek hand-built, high performance machines were designed with the "Graduated Gamer" in mind. This audience is looking for all the performance associated with a high-end gaming system, but none of the hassle related to building and servicing such a system.

HP puts the Firebird 803 on my Christmas list

Subject: Systems | December 23, 2008 - 11:50 PM |
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If you were on the look out for a tiny new computer, maybe something along the lines of the ASUS Eee Box, then perhaps you should take a gander at what HP has just announced: the Firebird 803 infused with "Voodoo DNA" or something like that.  What in fact we are seeing is a tiny replica of the HP Blackbird 002 chassis infused with a small form factor PC that is has impressive specs and is damn sexy to look at. 

Source: engadget

iMacs and Mac Minis likely to get NVIDIA chispets next month

Subject: Systems | December 23, 2008 - 02:42 AM |
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After our correct assertion that Apple would adopt the NVIDIA GeForce 9400/9300 chipsets in the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro, it seems more and more likely that NVIDIA will dig itself further into the world of Apple.  This time around it looks like the Mac Mini and the iMacs are the most likely rumored products to transition to NVIDIA-based chipsets.

Source: Ars Technica

BFG Full System Rumors Persist

Subject: Systems | December 18, 2008 - 05:09 PM |
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Kyle over at HardOCP has posted a couple of different spy shots of what looks to be a new custom-built PC and PC brand from BFG Tech.  Today, the screenshot depicts a touch screen on the front of the machine and what appears to be the optical drive slot on the TOP of the machine. 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Cool and quiet in Vancouver

Subject: Systems | December 11, 2008 - 02:38 PM |
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If you are looking for a quiet PC, Canadian retailer Anitec has a system for sale that is certified by SPCR as conforming to their acoustic requirements.  At it's heart is a Core 2 Duo E7300 and 2GB of Kingson DDR2 800MHz, along with a 9400GT 512MB, so it isn't a gaming powerhouse.  It is a quiet and cool running PC perfect for environments where those are the major requirements.  If you aren't in Vancouver and cannot visit their brick and mortar store, you can easily find them on the web for delivery.

Get more from your HTPC

Subject: Systems | December 4, 2008 - 02:23 PM |
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Setting up the perfect HTPC can be easier that figuring out exactly how to use it.  Sure there are fancy universal remotes, or full sized wireless keyboards but they are about as elegant a solution as getting up and walking over to it to control it.  ExtremeMhz has found a solution they like, the 262x112x23mm (10x4.5x1") Brando Wireless Tiny Multimedia Keyboard.  Read on to find out what impressed them so much.

Source: ExtremeMhz

The Guru's picks

Subject: Systems | December 3, 2008 - 06:36 PM |
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Head to the Guru of 3D to see their picks for the perfect Christmas system
Three tiers are covered, from the budget gamer to the powerhouse, and the prices you will pay for the systems vary accordingly.  As a handy bonus, each build has a target resolution to play games at, so you can also match your monitor to your system.  No point in building a system that plays best at 2560x1600 if your monitor can only manage 1680x1050!

Source: Guru of 3D