CES 2015: Intel Compute Stick Runs Windows for $149

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2015 - 05:56 AM |
Tagged: x86, Raspberry Pi, Intel, compute stick, chromecast, ces 2015, CES, atom

The Chromecast (and its open siblings) and the Raspberry Pi are interesting devices because they shrunk our concept of a compute device, which put them into new roles. Whether it is streaming media to your TV or controlling electronics on a high altitude balloon, you can use a full computer to do it. Full computers in new roles sound exactly like something Intel wants to research into lately.

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The Intel Compute Stick, aptly named, seems to fit somewhere between these two devices. It is an HDMI dongle enclosing an x86, quad-core, computer with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Intel eventually plans to have the device powered by the HDMI port, but it currently requires power over micro USB. Besides power, it also has a standard USB (Type A-Female) port and a micro SD card slot. It also has 802.11n wireless networking inside it. Being a full Windows device, you can stream media, browse the web, and use many other applications on it.

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The Intel Compute Stick with Windows will cost $149, which is significantly more than either a Chromecast or a Raspberry Pi. A Linux version, with 1GB of RAM (half of the Windows version) and 8GB of storage (a quarter of the Windows version), but at a significantly lower price of $89.

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Source: Intel

CES 2015: EVGA Teases New NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 with AIO Liquid Cooling

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 7, 2015 - 04:30 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, liquid cooler, GTX 980, gpu cooler, gpu, evga, ces 2015, CES, AIO

EVGA has posted a photo on Twitter of a new GTX 980 with an integrated AIO liquid cooler.

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The pic is captioned "GTX 980 HC AIO", which indicates that it will join the EVGA GTX 980 Hydro Copper (which carries an MSRP as $799) as a liquid-cooled option in their lineup. The big advantage here, however, is that AIO setup dangling off the back of the card. One free (120mm?) fan opening is all you'd need to be up and running without any extra work.

Of course, you could always buy yourself a suitcase full of AIO liquid-cooled GTX 980's for a cool $2999 if you don't want to wait for this EVGA option.

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Triple SLI + AIO liquid cooling = suitcase?

We'll post news of this (seemingly) upcoming EVGA product once details are revealed.

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Source: Twitter

CES 2015: Intel Introduces NUC Hardware with 5th Generation Processors - Broadwell Arrives

Subject: Systems | January 7, 2015 - 01:09 AM |
Tagged: nuc, intel core, Intel, ces 2015, CES, Broadwell

Intel has announced new NUC units with 5th generation Intel Core processors and a dizzying array of complex model names.

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It comes as no surprise that Intel's NUC lineup hs been upgraded to their newest 5th generation Core architecture, and these new units are powered by Core i3 and i5 Broadwell CPUs. The move to Broadwell will enable these new NUCs to operate with greater efficiency and lower power consumption, an especially vital advantage for systems housed in enclosures as small as 115mm x 111mm x 48.7mm (4.53" x 4.37" x 1.92"). There are a variety of new models to choose from, and Intel is highlighting specific usage examples to aid in the buying decision.

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The featured NUC, memorably named NUC5i5RYH, is powered by the Core i5 5250U CPU which offers dual-core, 4-thread performance up to 2.7 GHz and supports 2.5" hard drives. Graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD 6000 GPU which offers multi-display support via Mini DisplayPort (1.2) and Mini HDMI (1.4a). This model supports up to 16GB dual-channel DDR3L memory via two SoDIMM slots, with connectivity provided by Intel PRO Gigabit Ethernet and Intel Wireless-AC 7265.

Storage options for the NUC5i5RYH include M.2 (x4) and SATA 6.0 Gb/s for a SSD/HDD up to 9.5mm thick.

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The NUC5i5RYH is joined by the NUC5i5RYK, NUC5i3RYH, NUC5i3RYK... Actually, just follow the link to see a comparison of the new Broadwell NUCs.

The new Broadwell NUCs will be shipping in February and March, depending on model.

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Source: Intel

CES 2015: Calyx Audio PaT USB DAC and Headphone Amp for PC and Mobile

Subject: General Tech | January 6, 2015 - 11:51 PM |
Tagged: mobile, headphone amplifier, DAP, DAC, ces 2015, CES, audiophile, audio

For the audio enthusiasts at CES this year Calyx Audio (Korean maker of audiophile-grade audio components) has a new prototype to show along with last year's Calyx M music player, and for an audiophile product the pricing is very aggressive.

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Render of the Calyx PaT (dimensions in mm)

The PaT is a similar product in some ways as Calyx Audio's existing $199 USB DAC called the "Coffee", but this unit will be much smaller and will cost half as much at $99. And the reduction in price and size is only half of the story as the PaT also works with mobile devices as an outboard DAC/headphone amp. Apple iPhones and iPads will be supported, and Android devices with USB audio-out support as well (probably via USB OTG).

The PaT supports up to 16-bit, 48kHz files (AIF, M4A, PCM, OGG, and MP3) and will also control track playback and volume via hardware control buttons on the unit. The PaT requires no external power or battery, taking what little juice it needs directly from the connection to your mobile device. As for amplification, in typical Calyx fashion even this miniature board is using a discrete class A/B headphone amplifier. Since the PaT relies only on the power passed through the USB connection it is only capable of outputting 0.8 V, which by comparison is slightly lower than an iPhone 5 which outputs about 0.9 - 1.0 V.

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The tiny prototype PaT in action

The PaT may be just a working board at this point, but the company has scheduled the release for February 2015, when the devices will be available in various colors of thin aluminum enclosures.

In the world of computer audio much more attention has been focused lately on advancements in sound, with special shielding and isolation on motherboards, special gold-plated USB ports for DACs, and customizable op-amps a trend. While the market for dedicated sound cards isn't what it once was, high-end PCI-E and USB cards from Creative (Sound Blaster) and ASUS (Xonar) are still widely available. Most of these products are for desktop users, but there is a growing number of portable devices that allow mobile users to experience great sound, too. For myself, great sound means faithful reproduction of 2-channel music, and it's nice to see attention paid to that area without the added effects of digital signal processing (DSP). Calyx seems interested only in engineering products that play back music as close to the source as possible, and I can't argue with that!

The Calyx PaT is scheduled to launch in February for $99, but like most high-end audio components it will take a little research to track it down. The USA distributor of the Calyx brand has a website with product and contact information here.

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Source: Calyx

CES 2015: Velocity Micro Announces New Lineup of Custom Built Laptops

Subject: Systems | January 6, 2015 - 10:23 PM |
Tagged: velocity micro, gaming notebook, gaming laptop, customized, ces 2015, CES

Velocity Micro is announcing a new line of custom-configurable laptops with three versions.

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The first is the Raptor MX70, a 17.3" gaming laptop with a matte finish 1080p screen. Like the other notebooks in this lineup, the buyer can choose their preferred CPU (in this case Intel Haswell Core i7 chips are available) and GPU.

Raptor MX70 Specifications:

  • 17.3” Full HD LED-Backlit Display, Matte Finish Screen
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M graphics options
  • Haswell-based Intel Core i7 processor options
  • Integrated camera, fingerprint scanner, backlit keyboard
  • Starting at $1999

Next we have the Raptor MX50, a smaller 15.6" design with the option of either 1080p IPS or a full 4K (probably not IPS) panel.

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Raptor MX50 Specifications:

  • 15.6” 1920x1080 IPS screen, upgradeable to 3840x2160
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M graphics options
  • Haswell-based Intel Core i7 processor options
  • Integrated camera, fingerprint scanner, backlit keyboard
  • Starting at $1899

Finally we have the NoteMagix M17, a more affordable option that still has a large 17.3" screen and Core i7 processors.

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NoteMagix M17 Specifications:

  • 17.3” Full HD LED-Backlit Display, Matte Finish Screen
  • NVIDIA GTX 850M options with Optimus technology
  • Haswell-based Intel Core i7 processor options
  • Integrated camera, fingerprint scanner

Units will begin shipping later this month.

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CES 2015: Razer OSVR Dev Kit, Forge TV Android Gaming Streamer, and Nabu X Fitness Band

Subject: General Tech | January 6, 2015 - 08:04 PM |
Tagged: OCVR, VR, virtual reality, razer, google tv, fitness band, ces 2015, CES, nabu x, Forge TV, Android 5.0, lollipop

Razer, maker of gaming peripherals and components, has some announcements today that are a big departure from their previous products.

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First we have the announcement of an open VR standard, the Open-Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) ecosystem. Razer is contributing to this with the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit, "a virtual reality device and open-source software that enables programming for any variety of VR technology". The kit will be shipping in June for $199. There's a lot more information about this new VR platform on the Razer's OSVR page.

Next we have Forge TV, an Android gaming device for the living room that Razer says is "powered by a quad-core processor and gaming-grade graphics", which doesn't sound like your usual streamer.

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Essentially a high-powered tablet in a box, the Razer Forge TV has impressive specs for an Android device:

  • OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 - Quad-Core Krait 450 CPU (2.5GHz per core), Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Connectivity: Wireless 802.11ac 2X2, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.1 + HS
  • Ports: HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0
  • Dimensions: 105mm X 105mm X 17mm

There is a product page up for the Forge TV on Razer's site, but no word on pricing or availability yet.

Finally we have Razer's entry into the popular fitness wearable market, the Nabu X.

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This is compatible with Android and iOS devices and promises "5 to 7 days" battery life per charge. More info from Razer here.

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Source: Razer

CES 2015: Dell XPS 13 Notebook is Slim, Sleek and Nearly Bezel-less

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2015 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: XPS 13, dell, ces 2015, CES, broadwell-u, Broadwell

Honestly, it takes something pretty special to get us excited about a laptop in today's market. Sure, the MSI GT80 Titan was able to do it but it required a full-travel Cherry MX Brown keyboard to do it! The new Dell XPS 13 was able to as well, but for a very different reason.

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This laptop takes up the physical space of a standard 11-in laptop but is able to showcase a 13-in screen with incredibly minuscule 5.7mm bezels. That screen will be available in both 3200x1800 (WQHD+) and 1920x1080 (with a matte finish) resolutions, the lower of which will have models starting at the $1299 price tag. The higher resolution screen options will reach as high as $1699 with SSD capacity of 512GB. The system is powered by Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors using the new Broadwell-U architecture so you are absolutely not sacrificing any performance for the sake of the form factor.

I still have to get my hands on several other notebooks that have upgraded chassis designs for Broadwell-U, but for now, the Dell XPS 13 is easily the most impressive candidate at CES.

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CES 2015: Dell Venue 8 7000 8-in Atom Tablet

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2015 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: z3580, video, venue 8 7000, Intel, dell, ces 2015, CES, atom

Dell's Venue 8 7000-series Android tablet has been previewed for some time with my first hands on coming at the Intel Developer Forum this past September. The specifications are pretty straight forward.

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  • Intel Atom Z3580 Quad-Core processor (Burst clock of 2.33 GHz)
  • 2GB of LP-DDR3
  • 16GB of on board storage (expandable to 64GB via SD)
  • 8.4-in 2560x1600 OLED screen
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Android 4.4.4
  • Intel RealSense 3D Camera

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But the appeal of the tablet is in the beauty of the design. The screen resolution makes images and text crisp and clear and the bezel is incredibly small, giving the appearance of an edge-to-edge screen design. It weighs less than 11 oz (305g) and is 6mm thick.

The Venue 8 7000 will be shipping today (and is already showing up for sale at some retailers) for $399. We are working with Dell to get a sample unit of this engineering showcase.

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CES 2015: Corsair USB Flash Drives - Voyager Slider X1, Voyager Slider X2, Voyager GS, and Voyager GTX

Subject: General Tech, Storage | January 6, 2015 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: voyager, usb 3.0, flash voyager gtx, corsair, ces 2015, CES

Corsair has just announced sixteen (!!) USB 3.0 flash drives, across four product lines. The Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X1 is the cheapest per gigabyte and supports read speeds of up to 130MB/s. The Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X2 increases the cost per gigabyte by about 25 to 33 percent (depending on the capacity) and boosts maximum read speeds to about 200MB/s.

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The next pair of product lines are even more high-end. Once again, the cost per gigabyte increases with the Corsair Flash Voyager GS, which has maximum read speeds of about 260MB/s and maximum write speeds of 105MB/s. Finally, the Corsair Flash Voyager GTX is the top model, with read speeds of up to 450MB/s and write speeds up to 200MB/s. The Voyager GTX contains an on-device SSD controller, as did the 2014 model that Allyn reviewed earlier this year.

The product details are as follows (all prices are MSRP in US dollars):

Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X1: 16GB – 256GB at $15 - $150 (0.93 $/GB – 0.59 $/GB)
Corsair Flash Voyager Slider X2: 16GB – 256GB at $20 - $190 (1.25 $/GB – 0.74 $/GB)
Corsair Flash Voyager GS: 64GB – 512 GB at $90 - $400 (1.41 $/GB – 0.78 $/GB)
Corsair Flash Voyager GTX: 128GB & 256GB at $130 & $250 (1.01 $/GB & 0.98 $/GB)

Each of these flash drives are backed by a five year warranty and are available immediately.

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Source: Corsair

CES 2015: Corsair Announces Hydro Series H110i GT 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 6, 2015 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: liquid cooling, liquid cooler, cpu cooler, corsair, ces 2015, CES, AIO, 280mm, 140mm

Corsair has announced their newest Hydro Series all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU cooler, the H110i GT. This new model has a 140x322 mm radiator and dual 140mm SP140L fans.

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Corsair points out the "striking new look with logo inserts on the block and radiator" which add style, but more importantly part of the design changes with the H110i include a new cooling block to make potential performance gains over existing designs an interesting possibility. Certainly the larger radiator surface area and 140mm fans suggest lower noise.

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Corsair Link support is also provided to allow "monitoring and customization of built-in logo lighting, fan speed, pump speed". 


Specifications:

  • 140mm x 322mm x 27mm aluminum radiator 
  • Two SP140L 140mm high static pressure fans 
  • Corsair Link support for customization and monitoring 
  • Sleeved wide diameter, low evaporation rubber tubing
  • Support for Intel LGA 115x, 1366, 2011 and AMD AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • MSRP: $129.99

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The H100i GT Liquid CPU Cooler will carry a $129.99 MSRP and availablity is set for a February release.

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Source: Corsair