Deals for December 17th - Dell XPS 14 900p Core i5 Ultrabook w/ Free $200 Gift Card $999

Subject: General Tech | December 17, 2012 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Dell XPS 14 900p Core i5 Ultrabook w/ Free $200 Gift Card for $999.99 with free shipping (normally $1,200 - Use coupon code NZHP8BCT7TFK10).

deal1217.png

Laptops

HP ENVY dv7t-7200 17.3" Quad Edition Core i7 Ivy Bridge Laptop w/ Blu-ray for $759.99 with free shipping (normally $980 - Use coupon code NB7845).

Alienware m14x r2 14" Core i5 Gaming Laptop w/ GeForce GT 650M, 32GB SSD & $100 Gift Card for $999.00 with free shipping (normally $1,075.00).

Desktops

Dell Inspiron One 2020 20" Core i3 All-in-one PC w/ Windows 8 for $449.99 with Free Shipping(normally $630).

Alienware X51 Compact Core i3 Gaming PC + $100 Gift card for $649.00 (normally $1,300).

Computer Components

Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SATA 6Gb/s 7mm 2.5" SSD for $145 with free shipping (normally $190).

Crucial v4 256GB 2.5" SSD (CT256V4SSD2) for $165 plus free shipping (normally $190).

TDK Life on Record 77000015410 Sound Cube Audio System for $100 with free shipping (normally $200 - Use coupon code LIFEONRECORD).

Entertainment

TDK Life on Record 77000015410 Sound Cube Audio System for $100 with free shipping (normally $200 - Use coupon code LIFEONRECORD).

60" Sharp AQUOS LC-60LE745U 1080p 3D 120Hz LED HDTV + $100 Restaurant Gift Card for $1,374.18 with free shipping (normally $1,800 - use coupon code: LOGICBUY15).

60" Samsung UN60EH6003 240Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $1,097.99 with Free Shipping (normally $2,000).

40" Samsung UN40EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $100 Dell Gift Card for $547.99 with free shipping (normally $700).

Portables

Olympus E-P3 PEN 12.3MP Digital Camera w/ 14-42mm Zoom Lens for $499 plus free shipping (normally $599).

Source: LogicBuy

Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 Coming Soon and Will Be Sold Directly to Consumers

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 14, 2012 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: virtu MVP, virtu, lucid, ces 2013, CES

In preparation for the upcoming CES 2013 show in January we have started having some pre-meeting discussions with various companies, one of which was Lucid.  While speaking with them we learned some interesting news about the upcoming v2.0 release of their Virtu MVP software including new features and a new availability option.

Lucid's Virtu MVP software is the technology that allows DIY PC builders and notebook vendors to easily accommodate utilization of both integrated and discrete graphics in a single system without the need to adjust settings or to move monitor cables around.  With Virtu MVP you can take advantage of the QuickSync technology of your Ivy Bridge processor but still utilize the performance of a discrete graphics card for gaming.  This can all be managed and handled on a single display with a single cable. 

Other additions like Virtual Vsync and HyperFormance were added in MVP and aim to improve the gaming experience in the same way that Virtu enhances the overall user experience.  And while Matt Smith liked the results from the software in his recent testing with an Origin laptop, there were a couple things that bugged us: the interface and the inability to get the software on your own.

mvp1.jpg

Next month Lucid will be launching the new version 2.0 of its software that should increase the responsiveness of the interface while also drastically improving the visuals and style.  Also included will be native Windows 8 support.

mvp2.jpg

Perhaps the most interesting news is that Lucid will soon start offering the software directly to consumers as a download instead of requiring that you get it from your motherboard or system vendor.  This is great news for users that have purchased motherboards without Virtu software and those of you that might want to buy a really low cost board that would lack those features as well.  You will apparently be able to buy it in Q1 from www.lucidlogix.com and the price should be "under $30" which likely indicates a $29.99 starting offer. 

What we don't know is how this will affect Lucid's motherboard partners - will they stop carrying the software as a bundle going forward or will they still offer it on select SKUs?  Lucid wouldn't divulge any of that yet but I assume we'll find out more at CES next month.

You can't protect your PIN from a hacked POS machine

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2012 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: Malware, dexter

Just in time for last minute Christmas shopping comes malware designed to infect POS machines and record any PIN and credit card information stored on the machine.  The US, the UK, and Canada are all affected with the US accounting for almost a third of the current infections.  Instead of using RDP vulnerabilities this particular piece of malware will install its self on any networked machine that is running POS software and it copies the memory of that machine to a server which then parses the information and gives the crooks the ability to clone any credit cards that were used on that machine recently.  Scare yourself by reading more about Dexter at The Register.

Dexter_TV_Series_Title_Card.jpg

"You could be getting more than you bargained for when you swipe your credit card this holiday shopping season, thanks to new malware that can skim credit card info from compromised point-of-sale (POS) systems.

First spotted by security firm Seculert, the malware dubbed "Dexter" is believed to have infected hundreds of POS systems in 40 countries worldwide in recent months. Companies targeted include retailers, hotel chains, restaurants, and private parking provider"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Enter the 'Ultimate Overclockers Dream Xmas Giveaway' - GIGABYTE, KINGPIN Cooling and G.SKILL

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2012 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: contest, overclocking, prizes, facebook, gigabyte, G.Skill, Kingpin

uOC.jpg

Running from December 13th to 27th 2012, the ‘Ultimate OverClockers Dream Xmas Giveaway’ is a prize draw open to all Facebook users. Participation couldn’t be easier; simply ‘Like’ the GIGABYTE, KINGPIN and G.SKILL Facebook fanpages, share the event with your friends, and you could win a range of prizes including a GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H motherboard.

The Ultimate Overclockers Dream Giveaway - Prizes:

Ultimate Prize:

  • Intel® Core™ i7 3770K Processor
  • GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H Motherboard
  • G.SKILL Trident 2600MHz Cl10 8GB Memory Kit
  • KINGPIN Memory Cooler
  • GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards

Runner-Up Prize

  • GIGABYTE Z77-HD4 Motherboard
  • G.SKILL RipjawsX 2133MHz CL9 8GB Memory Kit
  • KINGPIN Memory Cooler
  • GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards

3rd, 4th and 5th Places

  • KINGPIN Memory Cooler
  • GIGABYTE Key Chain and G.SKILL Lanyards

How to Enter
To take part in the ‘Ultimate OverClockers Dream Xmas Giveaway’ follow these two simple steps:

1. Show that You ‘Like’ Us

Make sure that you ‘Like’ the GIGABYTE Motherboard, KINGPIN Cooling and G.SKILL Facebook fanpages. See the links below.

2. Invite your friends.
There are three simple ways to invite your friends to take part. Simply select invite, publish on your Facebook wall or send a recommendation message.

For more details, and full Terms and Conditions, please go to: https://www.facebook.com/kingpincooling?v=app_154581087931912

Z77X_UD4HGIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H Motherboard – World Class Memory Performance

The new Z77X-UD4H motherboard features a broad range of exclusive GIGABYTE features including GIGABYTE All Digital Power Engine, GIGABYTE 3D BIOS, UEFI DualBIOS™ and Ultra Durable™4 technology, which includes a range of exclusive technologies that guarantee DIY PC builders the absolute best protection for their PC.

uocmonbo.png

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H is a world class performer when it comes to high speed memory, with a record submission pushing past the 4GHz barrier using a G.SKILL TridentX CL11 8GB kit.

Source: Gigabyte

Deals for December 14th - Sony 9.4" Xperia Tablet S 16GB with $65 of free movies, music $349

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2012 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Sony 9.4" Xperia Tablet S 16GB w/Free Bond-themed Skyfall skin & $65 of free movies, music for $349.99 with free shipping (normally $400).

deal1214.png

Laptops

HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15t-b000 Core i3 Laptop w/ Windows 8 for $479.99 with free shipping (normally $580 - Use coupon code NB6329).

15.6" Lenovo G580 15.6" Dual-core Laptop for $369.00 with free shipping (normally $550).

Tablets

Nexus 7 32GB Android 4.2 Tablet + $40 in Gift Cards for $249.99 (Use coupon code VMESAVES20).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 270s Core i3 3.3GHz Slim Tower w/500GB HDD, 4GB RAM for $379.00(normally $410).

HP ENVY 23-d060qd TouchSmart 23" 1080p Core i7 Quad-Core All-in-one PC for $974.99 (normally $1,300 - Use coupon code DT1261).

Computer Components

Crucial v4 256GB 2.5" SSD (CT256V4SSD2) for $165 plus free shipping (normally $190).

WD My Book Essential 3TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $120 with free shipping (normally $150 - Use coupon code VMESAVES20).

Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $65 plus free shipping (normally $100).

Entertainment

42" Sharp AQUOS LC-42LE540U 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $800).

46" Samsung UN46EH6000 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + Free $100 Restaurant Gift Card for $754.18 with free shipping (normally $1,070 - use coupon code: LOGICBUY15).

Yamaha RX-V373BL 5.1ch 3D Receiver + $50 Newegg Gift Card for $249.99 with Free Shipping (normally $330).

Portables

Olympus E-P3 PEN 12.3MP Digital Camera w/ 14-42mm Zoom Lens for $499 plus free shipping (normally $599).

Canon PowerShot A2300 16MP Digital Camera for $80 plus shipping (normally $110).

Brookstone Wireless TV Headphones for $49.99(normally $64.99).

Halex Striker Dartboard for $7.00(normally $9.86).

Source: LogicBuy

ASUS Partners with VIA for Tablet SoCs

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | December 13, 2012 - 04:37 PM |
Tagged: asus, VIA

We have not heard too much about VIA Technologies developing CPUs in recent history. They still hold an x86 license until at least some time in 2013. VIA also develops ARM SoCs, apparently, and have recently struck a deal to get in multiple 7-inch tablets by Asustek. These models will be exclusively sold to China.

ASUS set a goal of 12 million sales for tablet PCs for 2013 and one way to accomplish that milestone is to provide cheap but decent devices. This goal is firmly in the same order of magnitude as iPad sales. Still, ASUS already has a fairly big presence in the tablet market with its strong Transformer line and more notably Google’s Nexus 7.

VIA will provide ARM Cortex A9 processors for the lower end of ASUS’ product line. The model which they will be embedded in will retail for somewhere between $99-$149 USD. These devices will be available in China for the Lunar New Year season of 2013.

500px-Via_logo.svg_.png

Interestingly Asustek has not contracted out Pegatron to manufacture the device, opting instead for Wistron Corp. to fulfill the order. The two companies, Pegatron and Asustek, were once one-in-the-same; founded by a businessman with a fascination for the Greek mythological Pegasus. The company changed with the climate like any other and Pegatron was spun off into its own independent entity. Since then, Pegatron has been hard at work developing laptops and tablets for ASUS as well as picking up orders from Apple and others.

The first shipment of 2-3 million manufactured devices is rumored to be delivered to Asus by the end of December. Perhaps these sales can help bolster VIA and their ability to develop CPUs once more?

Source: CENS

Podcast #230 - EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini ITX board, Our Holiday Gift Guide, Steam Box and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2012 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: Z77, valve, stinger, Steam Box, steam, podcast, pcper, itx, i7-4770k, haswell, gift guide, evga, Crysis 3, 4770k, video

PC Perspective Podcast #230 - 12/13/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini ITX board, Our Holiday Gift Guide, Steam Box 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:29:11

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. We are going to try Planetside 2 after the podcast!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:30 EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini-ITX Motherboard
    2. 0:06:45 Cutting the Cord Series
      1. Part 3 - Windows 7 Install and Setup
      2. Part 4 - Media Center Configuration
    3. 0:09:00 Seasonic G Series 360 watt PSU
    4. 0:11:30 PC Perspective Holiday Gift Guide!
  3. 0:40:15 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:41:30 Transporter Private Storage
    2. 0:47:00 Intel will support sockets into foreseeable future as well
    3. 0:51:00 Crysis 3 will have advanced PC options
    4. 0:53:30 Valve Confirms the Steam Box is coming
    5. 1:06:15 Low power Atom chips for servers
    6. 1:10:20 ASRock Board with pass through for Thunderbolt
    7. 1:13:00 Haswell 4000 series CPUs will be 84 watt
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:16:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Lenovo X230 + Slice Battery
      2. Jeremy: ASUS VS229H-P Same in the US and Canada, though we get free shipping
      3. Josh: Intel 335 SSD for Cheap
      4. Allyn: iStarUSA BPU-126-SA
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

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

 

Deals for December 13th - Powerbag Gadget-Charging BackPack for $45

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2012 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Powerbag with Built-in Battery System (6 options) for $45.00 with free shipping (normally $130).

deal1213.png

Laptops

15.6" Dell Vostro 3560 Core i7 Quad-core 1080p Laptop w/500GB HDD + 32GB SSD, 6GB RAM for $774.00 with free shipping (normally $1,300 - Use coupon code PRS9BRHPHNDT01).

14" Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Core i5 Laptop w/ NVIDIA Optimus for $806.65 with free shipping (normally $950 - Use coupon code BIGSAVINGS).

Desktops

Dell Inspiron 660s Core i5 Quad-core Slim Desktop w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 8 for $449.99 (normally $650).

Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 Quad-Core Desktop w/ 8GB RAM, Win 8, 1TB Hard Drive, Radeon HD 7570 for $749.99 (normally $900 - Use coupon code 1BBBZLJSCTPSS3).

Computer Components

27" Planar Helium 1080p Touchscreen LED-Backlit LCD Display (PCT2785) for $699.99 with free shipping (normally $900).

Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SATA 6Gb/s 7mm 2.5" SSD (MZ-7PD128BW) for $144.99 (normally $190).

Buffalo LinkStation Live 2TB NAS Network Hard Drive for $109.99 plus free shipping (normally $180 - Use coupon code H$2F24V8MB?WMS).

Entertainment

WD TV Live Streaming WiFi Media Player for $89.99 with free shipping (normally $100).

Samsung BD-E5300 Blu-ray Player for $72.99 with free shipping (normally $90).

46" Samsung UN46ES8000 3D 1080p 240Hz LED HDTV + $100 Restaurant Gift Card for $1,554.18 with free shipping (normally $2,200 - use coupon code:LOGICBUY15).

46" Sharp LC-46SV50U 1080p LCD HDTV for $549.99 with Free Shipping (normally $600).

60" Sharp AQUOS LC60LE600U 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $999.99 (normally $1,100).

Portables

Sony MDRX10 Red X Headphones w/ 50mm Drivers for $249.99 plus free shipping (normally $300).

Bose Bluetooth Headset w/ Noise Rejecting Microphone for $109.99 plus free shipping (normally $150).

Sony 9.4" Xperia Tablet S 16GB w/Free Bond-themed Skyfall skin & $65 of free movies, music for $349.99 plus free shipping (normally $400).

TDK Life on Record 77000015410 Sound Cube Audio System for $119.99 plus free shipping (normally $2000 - use coupon code: LIFEONRECORD).

Source: LogicBuy

... but will it play Far Cry 3?

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2012 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: gaming, far cry

[H]ard|OCP took the GTX 680 and HD 7970, both alone and in pairs, to see how they performed in the newest game to come with an extra serving of eye candy, Far Cry 3.  At 2560x1600 with NO AA and Ultra settings the game looks spectacular but in order to get to that resolution you will need CrossFire or SLI as the frame rates are quite low on a single card.  For single card players 4X MSAA at 1080p is a much better target if you want the Ultra settings.  As for a winner it is hard to say, while the Radeon peaked higher than the GTX 680 the NVIDIA card provided much more consistent frame rates.

H_FC3_settings.gif

"Find out what to expect in Far Cry 3 with a GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and also with SLI and CrossFireX performance. We look at several comparisons of quality settings, and let you know about the important graphics eye candy to get you going in your Far Cry 3 gaming experience. "

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

STT-MRAM may first appear in Toshiba's phone chips

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2012 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, STT-MRAM, SRAM

Static random-access memory has been the standard memory used in cell phones and other hardware where having low power consumption is more important than speed.  It may be on its way out as Toshiba has announced that they have developed prototype magentoresistive RAM which is more efficient that SRAM thanks to the fact that it is non-volatile and can essentially remain in a powered off state until it is accessed for a read or write command.  They also feel that this new type of RAM will allow increased performance as well as a way to continue to reduce the process size below 30nm.  The information they passed on to DigiTimes is based on a model as opposed to working silicon, so we are a ways away from seeing MRAM in cell phones, however Toshiba is quite confident in the accuracy of their simulation.

Toshiba-perpendicular-STT-MRAM-memory-element.jpg

"Toshiba has announced the development of a prototype memory element for a spin transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM). The new MRAM element achieves what the company claims is the world's lowest power consumption yet reported, indicating that it has the potential to surpass the power consumption efficiency of SRAM as cache memory."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Deals for December 12th - Monster Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphone $263

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2012 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Monster Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphone for $263.96 with free shipping (normally $300).

deal1212.jpeg

Laptops

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R (5520) Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop w/ 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Windows 8 for $499.99 with free shipping (normally $688).

15.6" Lenovo Ideapad Y500 Core i7 1080p Gaming Laptop for $849.00 with free shipping (normally $640 - Use coupon code DOORBUSTERBF).

Desktops

Dell Inspiron 660 Core i5 Quad-core Mini Tower w/ 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $499.99 (normally $650).

Computer Components

PNY Prevail 2.5" 120GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD (SSD9SC120GCDA-PB) for $107.99 with free shipping (normally $120 - Use coupon code B7J4DTN?81NR2V ).

Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Keyboard for $44.43 (normally $60).

Two (2) Dell UltraSharp U2212HM 21.5" 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitors with Horizontal Desk Stand for $459.90 plus free shipping (normally $720 - Use coupon code GXGR7B6RJP354G).

Entertainment

50" Samsung UN50EH6000 120Hz 1080p LED HDTV for $899.99 with free shipping (normally $1,150).

47" LG 47LS4500 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV for $579.99 with free shipping (normally $700).

73" Mitsubishi WD-73C12 73" 1080p 3D DLP HDTV for $949.99 with free shipping (normally $1,400).

82" Mitsubishi WD-82C12 1080p 3D DLP HDTV for $1,449.00 with free shipping (normally $2,000).

55" Quantum View QTE5511F 1080p LED HDTV for $599.98 with free shipping (normally $900).

Portables

Sony XBA-3IP 3 Drivers Balanced Armature In-ear Headphones for Apple for $129.00 plus free shipping (normally $300).

Powerbag with Built-in Battery System (6 options) for $45.00 plus free shipping (normally $130).

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS 16.0 MP Digital Camera w/ 30x Zoom for $249.99 plus free shipping (normally $330).

Source: LogicBuy

The Atom ain't dead yet! New ultra low power Avoton chips for servers

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2012 - 07:48 PM |
Tagged: 32nm, 22nm, tri-gate, Intel, atom, Avoton

Intel's Atom S1200 line of chips are obviously designed to compete with ARM's upcoming 64bit chips in the server room.  The family of processors will all be under 10W TDP, with the top chip, the Atom S1260, which is a dual core 2GHz part that produces 8.5W.  The three chips they have released are on the older 32nm process but according to EETimes you can expect new models using the 22nm tri-gate processors in the near future.  From what The Register could find out Intel has not yet ruled out LGA models as well as the embedded chips you will be seeing first.  They did pin down some more stats, with the new Atoms supporting DDR3 1333MHz and support  eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0, what they will not be able to support on chip is network connectivity, these chips will still be at least partially dependent on other chips for some of their features so they are not truly an SoC, yet.

EET_intel2.jpg

"CHIPMAKER Intel has released its Atom S1200 series aimed at low power single socket servers.

Intel's race to meet ARM in the low power server market has seen the firm push its Atom branded chips into sub-10W territory while supporting 64-bit memory addressing and ECC memory. Now the firm has released three dual-core chips that make up its Atom S1200 series, all sporting sub-10W TDP."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Deals for December 11th - 27-in Dell U2713HM 2560 x 1440 LED LCD Monitor $629

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2012 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

27" Dell U2713HM UltraSharp 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $629.99 with free shipping (normally $800 - Use coupon code GXGR7B6RJP354G ).

deal1211.png

Laptops

13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i3 Ultra-thin Laptop for $449.99 with free shipping (normally $600).

14" Dell Inspiron 14z thin Core i3 Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/ Windows 8 for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $640 - Use coupon code 1BBBZLJSCTPSS3).

15.6" Lenovo Ideapad Y500 Core i7 1080p Gaming Laptop for $849.00 with free shipping (normally $1,300).

Desktops

HP ENVY Phoenix h9-1340t Core i7 Unlocked Quad-core Desktop w/ Blu-ray, GeForce GTX 660 & Liquid Cooling for $1,249.99 (normally $1,600 - Use coupon code DT1261).

Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 Quad-Core Desktop w/ 24" UltraSharp LCD Monitor for $913.09 (normally $1,243.99 - Use coupon code 1BBBZLJSCTPSS3 and 2501D84$TJ5SMV).

Computer Components

OCZ Agility 4 256GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD for $129.99 with free shipping (normally $200 - Use mail-in rebate OCZ Agility 4 256GB SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" SSD).

24" Dell S2440L 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $197.99 plus free shipping (normally $260 - Use coupon code 2501D84$TJ5SMV).

WD My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (WDBY8L0020BBK-NESN) for $139.000 plus free shipping (normally $200).

21" Dell U2212HM UltraSharp 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitor with DisplayPort for $197.99 plus free shipping (normally $260 - Use coupon code 2501D84$TJ5SMV).

Refurbished Linksys Dual-Band N900 4-Port Gigabit Router (EA4500) for $94.99 plus free shipping (normally $200 - Use coupon code HSDISH5).

Western Digital My Book 6TB External Hard Drive (WDH2Q60000N) for $349.00 plus free shipping (normally $400).

Entertainment

Assassin's Creed 3 (Xbox 360/PS3) + Free Amazon Credits for $33.00 with Free Shipping (normally $60).

Energy RC Micro 5 Pack 5ch Home Theater System for $127.99 plus free shipping (normally $400).

40" Samsung UN40EH5300 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV + $100 Dell Gift Card for $547.99 with free shipping (normally $700).

Portables

LG Optimus Slider Smartphone Contract Free [Virgin Mobile] for $19.99 plus free shipping (normally $130 - Use coupon code digholiday5).

Source: LogicBuy

Valve and Gabe Newell Confirm Steam Box for Living Room PC Gaming

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2012 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: valve, steambox, Steam Box, steam, htpc, gaben, Gabe Newell, big picture mode

Well it finally happened this week - Gabe Newell confirmed what we all assumed was going to happen - a Valve software branded and controlled PC for gaming and computing in the living room.  We first started grumbling about the "Steam Box" back in March at GDC when Valve announced the Big Picture Mode for Steam and rumors of the hardware platform first began.   The next moth, Valve's Doug Lombardi denied the rumors but fell short of saying it wouldn't happen in the future.  In September the Big Picture Mode for Steam went into beta bringing the Steam interface into the world of TVs and 10-ft design, followed this year with the full release. 

And let's not forget the Linux client beta currently on-going as well as the capability to buy non-gaming software on Steam.  Valve has been a busy PC company.

valve1.jpg

Big Picture Mode was the first necessary step

Based on an interview with Gabe at Kotaku, there are a surprising amount of details about the hardware goals that Valve will set for the "Steam Box" in addition to the simple confirmation that it is a currently running project. 

He also expects companies to start selling PC packages for living rooms next year—setups that could consist of computers designed to be hooked up to your TV and run Steam right out of the gate.

valve4.jpg

HTPC builders have been making "Steam Box" computers for some time...

Interestingly, Valve is saying its contribution will be more tightly controlled than we might have thought:

"Well certainly our hardware will be a very controlled environment," he said. "If you want more flexibility, you can always buy a more general purpose PC. For people who want a more turnkey solution, that's what some people are really gonna want for their living room.

No time tables were discussed and we are left once again with just a hint of what is to come.  I think its pretty obvious based on the direction Valve is going that we are going to see a Linux-based small form factor PC with Steam pre-installed available for consumers in 2013.  If Valve starts pushing Linux support as hard as we expect it could mean quite a bit of trauma is ahead for Microsoft in the enthusiast community, one that is already reeling from the problems with Windows 8.

valve3.jpg

If you were to potentially add to the "Steam Box" a pre-configuration tool like NVIDIA's GeForce Experience that sets game options based on your hardware for you, the PC could easily turn into a solution that is nearly as simple as the console for gamers.  And because Steam is already accepting non-games, it won't take much for there to be Netflix and Amazon apps in addition to anything else you currently have running on HTPCs or tablets. 

Source: Kotaku

Deals for December 10th - Kindle Fire HD 16GB 8.9-in 1920x1200 Tablet $249

Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2012 - 12:46 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Kindle Fire HD 16GB 8.9" 1920x1200 Tablet (w/Special Offers) for $249.00 with free shipping (normally $300 – use coupon code FIREHD89).

deal1210.jpg

Laptops

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R (5520) Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop w/ 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Windows 8 for $499.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $688.99).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 270s 2.9GHz Dual-core Slim Tower w/ 20" Dell LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $327.99 @ Dell (normally $650 - Use coupon code GXGR7B6RJP354G).

Computer Components

27" Dell U2713HM UltraSharp 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $629.99 with free shipping (normally $800 - Use coupon code GXGR7B6RJP354G).

30" Dell UltraSharp U3011 2560 x 1600 IPS-panel LCD Monitor for $999.00 plus free shipping (normally $1,400).

24" Dell UltraSharp U2412M 1920 x 1200 LED-backlit IPS LCD Monitor for $319.00 plus free shipping (normally $370).

Two (2) Dell UltraSharp U2212HM 21.5" 1080p IPS-panel LCD Monitors with Horizontal Desk Stand for $495.90 plus free shipping (normally $720 - Use coupon code GXGR7B6RJP354G).

Logitech G400 Wired Optical Gaming Mouse w/ 3600DPI for $27.99 plus free shipping (normally $40).

Entertainment

42" LG 42LM3700 3D 1080p LED HDTV + Sound Bar System + (4) Pairs of 3D Glasses for $579.99 with Free Shipping (normally $700).

iLive 3.1 Channel 37-Inch Bar Speaker System with FM Radio and Charging Dock for iPhone and iPod for $69.99 with free shipping (normally $100).

Netgear Push2TV HD Wireless Display PC to TV Adapter (PTV2000) for $69.99 plus free shipping (normally $100 - Use mail-in rebate: http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/rebates/A4924350.pdf).

Portables

LG Optimus Slider Smartphone Contract Free [Virgin Mobile] for $19.99 plus free shipping (normally $130).

Source: LogicBuy

MSI cuts the fluff of their Z77 MPower board but keeps the good parts

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2012 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: msi, z77 mpower, lga1155

At $200 the MSI Z77 MPower board is neither the most expensive nor the least expensive Z77 board on the market, which makes sense when you consider the board.  With three PCIe 3.0 16x slots (16x, 8x 8x, 8x 4x 4x) you get flexibility in the cards you can install, even before you start to populate the four PCIe 1x slots.  On the other hand the SATA count is a little lower than others as there is no second controller, though many users could be satisfied with four SATA2 and two SATA 6Gbps ports.  On the other hand, seven USB 3.0 ports is quite impressive as is the HDMI and DisplayPort connections thanks to the lack of a DSub port.  [H]ard|OCP enjoyed overclocking this board, as there were a lot of fine controls available in the UEFI BIOS though it is apparent that MSI now belongs to the so called "Turbo Cheaters" club.  Read more here.

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"Too often you have to buy an insanely expensive board, packed with features you probably won't use in order to get high end performance and overclocking oriented features. MSI is changing that with the Z77 MPower. This board has all the performance without the unnecessary fluff."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Get a Tricorder for $150 sometime in the New Year

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2012 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: tricorder, Scanadu, SCOUT

At $150 the Scanadu Scout sits at a very tempting price point for gadget lovers, which is only going to become more attractive as you learn about what it can do from Gizmodo.  Aimed more at health nuts, there is still a lot of fun a geek who is less concerned about their health than the tech inside the SCOUT.  In 10 seconds of you attaching the sensor to your temple, your Android or iPhone will receive data on your pulse transit time, heart rate, electrical heart activity, temperature, heart rate variability and blood oxygenation.  Check out more about the SCOUT, the ScanaFlo and the ScanaFlu right here.

livedsc037362.jpg

"The device you're looking at is called the Scanadu SCOUT and, basically, it's a medical tricorder that will give you precise vital information about any human being within seconds, just on contact."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Gizmodo

Deals for December 7th - Aeron Chair by Herman Miller $534

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2012 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

Aeron Chair by Herman Miller for $534.65 with free shipping (normally $630).

deal1207.png

Laptops

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R (5520) Core i5 Ivy Bridge Laptop w/ 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD & Windows 8 for $499.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $688.99).

Desktops

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 Dual-core Small Form Factor Desktop for $335.20 @ Lenovo (normally $450 – use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2).

Lenovo H520s Compact Core i3 Desktop for $423.20 @ Lenovo (normally $549.00 – use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2).

Computer Components

22" Dell S2240L 1080p IPS panel LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $149.99 with free shipping (normally $200).

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 2TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $108 plus free shipping (normally $120 - Use coupon code B7J4DTN?81NR2V).

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500 Full-Size Open-Air Dynamic Headphones for $40 plus free shipping (normally $90).

Entertainment

42" LG 42LM3400 1080p 3D LED HDTV for $499.99 with Free Shipping (normally $600).

46" Samsung LN46E550 1080p LCD HDTV for $597.00 with free shipping (normally $850).

Energy RC Micro 5 Pack 5ch Home Theater System for $127.99 plus free shipping (normally $500).

Sony SA-40SE1 All-In-One Soundbar for $89.99 with free shipping (normally $120).

Portables

Nikon D3200 24MP Digital SLR Camera Bundle with 18-55mm Lens for $605 plus free shipping (normally $760).

Sauder Beginnings Computer Desk for $70 plus free shipping(normally $107).

Source: LogicBuy

Nintendo Sells 425,000 Wii U Consoles, 1.75 Million Hardware Units In November

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2012 - 04:42 AM |
Tagged: Wii U, Nintendo, gaming, engadget, console

Nintendo recently unveiled its next generation console with the Wii U. While Ryan managed to get his hands on a couple of consoles, I still have not been able to get a hold of the elusive 32GB black SKU because they have been sold out at the retail stores in my area since launch day. Specifically, new data uncovered by the NPD Group puts into perspective just how popular Nintendo's new hardware is by the sheer number of units purchased in the first week of sales alone!

According to a press release by the NPD Group (available here), Nintendo managed to sell 1.75 million units of hardware in the US from October 28th to November 24th. The 1.75 million total units is further broken down between mobile and console hardware. For mobile, Nintendo sold an impressive 910,000 mobile gaming handhelds. On the console side of things, the results are not record breaking but still notable. Nintendo sold 845,000 consoles during the entire month of november.

Nintendo Wii U Game Console Black.jpg

Surprisingly, the majority of those 845,000 sales are comprised of Wii U sales over a one week period. During the first week of the Wii U being launched, Nintendo sold 425,000 consoles.  That is in comparison to the original Wii’s 475,000 consoles sold in its first week. Another interesting console number is that Nintendo has managed to sell 40 million total consoles since its launch, so the new Wii U still has a long way to go before it can topple the original motion-controlled console.

The NPD Group attributes the successful sale of 1.75 million units of gaming hardware to Black Friday sales and the initial launch excitement surrounding the new Wii U. It will be interesting to see if the Wii U will surpass its predecessor in popularity, and how long it will take to do so.

IMG_8529.JPG

I'm sure he broke the warranty on this torn apart Wii U so it is a good thing he didn't brick it with a failed firmware update! (heh)

Overall, it does appear to be a decent system with DRM, a 2GB firmware update, and retail (un)availability being the only major gripes from the Internet that I’ve picked up on. I look forward to getting my hands on some games to see how well the asynchronous gameplay works with the new gamepad in particular.

Are you excited about he Wii U?

See a full tear down of the Wii U with photos, video, and leftover screws at PC Perspective.

Source: Engadget

Crysis 3 PC to Ship with High Resolution Textures and Advanced Graphics Options

Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2012 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, Crysis 3, crysis, CryENGINE 3

Crysis 3, the third major installment in EA’s popular sandbox nanosuit-toting FPS is just over two months away. And unlike Crysis 2, this iteration is one that PC gamers should look forward to as much as the original. In an interview with Crysis 3’s Technical Director Marco Corbetta, PC Gamer was told that Crytek has made several optimizations and improvements to CryENGINE 3 that take full advantage of the horsepower offered by today’s high-end gaming PCs. Reportedly, with Crysis 2, there was a focus on delivering a console title, but with Crysis 3 PC gamers will get advanced graphics options and the high resolution textures on launch day that they deserve (my opinion there).

PC Gamer quoted Corbetta in stating that Crysis 3 improves upon the “AI navigation system, animation system, water, fog volumes, cloud shadows, POM, AA, cloths, vegetation, particles, lens flares, and grass.” Basically all of the little details that PC gaming is known for. On the topic of grass, the technical director expanded in saying that Crysis 3 is able to model each blade of grass which the player and NPCs will interact with, allowing movement to be spotted in the brush (and now I’m having flashbacks of Jurassic Park and it’s tall grass...). In essence, Crysis 3 is reportedly returning to its PC roots with a vengeance.

Crysis 3 explosion.png

As far as advanced graphics, users will be able to adjust a number of features to tweak the graphics details to get the most out of their hardware (or at least make the game playable until the next generation of cards?). From the top down, the advanced graphics menu has the following options: Game Effects, Objects, Particles, Post Processing, Shading, Shadows, Water, Anisotropic Filtering (AF), Texture Resolution, Motion Blur Amount, and Lens Flares. There are no sliders, but you will be able to choose from low, medium, high, and very high (for most settings). And if the previously announced PC system requirements are any indication, you will need a rather beefy multi-GPU system in order to crank these settings to the maximum.

You can find more details and the full interview over at PC Gamer. If you’re interested in the upcoming Crysis title, it’s worth a read.

Source: PC Gamer