Today, be quiet!, Germany’s top PSU manufacturer, announced that they are entering the lower-end CPU cooler market with their new Pure Rock cooler. This compact CPU cooler (only 155x121x87.5 mm) uses 4x6mm copper heatpipes to join the cold plate to the cooling fins and 120mm Pure Wings 2 fan. According to their internal testing, this fan, using 9 high-air flow blades (for low noise), only generates 26.8 decibels even under its full 1500 RPM load.

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AMD's combinatory APUs (CPU + IGP) just received a price drop, according to an email we received from the company today. In a press release, AMD noted that its flagship A10-7850K APU – equipped with R7 graphics – would be dropping to $143 MSRP from roughly $180. Other price drops include the A10-7700K at $123.

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The new prices in AMD's Kaveri-generation APUs are as follows:

The Zotac GTX 980 Extreme ($610) is the most disappointing, saddening attempt at a high-end overclocking device I've ever seen. I've never been so resonantly disheartened by a review product. I've also never seen an aftermarket product perform worse than the reference model while being priced more than 10% higher. The added cost is justified – on paper – by several factors, including a better cooler and higher bin (better GM204).

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Testing Zotac's GTX 980 Extreme overclocking card began with excitement and anticipation, rapidly decaying as despair and uncertainty took hold. When the card failed to overclock higher than my reference GTX 980 ($550), I first suspected error on my end – and proved that suspicion wrong – and then went to Zotac with strong emphasis that the BIOS needed a serious overhaul. A BIOS update should have been quick and easy if no hidden problems existed in the hardware, as other video card manufacturers have proven in the past. We published all of this about a week ago, firmly stating that no one buy the GTX 980 Extreme until we could revisit the topic.

We're revisiting it.

A lot of enthusiasts have been buying off-brand Korean monitors lately. Now, this alone is hardly newsworthy, but these monitors are a little bit different than the average off-brand product. The QNIX 2710 ($333) is an LED-backlit, 27” PLS -- Samsung's version of IPS -- monitor at 1440p resolution. The QNIX 2710 is abnormal due to its lack of a scaler, which does require you to use DVI-D input, but allows the screen to be overclocked to 96Hz+. Yes -- these monitors can be overclocked. In fact, most users can overclock their QNIX 2710 to 96Hz, and some lucky people reach 120hz (though very rarely).

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Due to the lack of a scaler, the QNIX does require DVI-D as the input source, adapters won't work, and consoles are not compatible with this monitor. The QNIX uses Samsung PLS panels, so the colors are quite vibrant and color-banding (inaccurate color presentation) isn’t common. These monitors do use cheaper casings, stands, and packaging to help decrease the cost. The standard QNIX 2710 comes in at $300 with a maximum of 5 stuck/dead pixels, and the “Pixel Perfect" version comes it at $345 with up to 3 stuck/dead pixels -- not quite pixel perfect, eh?

Welcome to another edition of our weekend hardware sales roundup. This weekend, we decided to get back to our low budget-minded roots. With the ongoing Great GM204 shortage of 2014 in full swing, I decided to focus on the best deals on low-budget video cards. We found three NVIDIA GPUs and one AMD GPU, as well as a great deal on an Intel upgrade bundle.

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After what seems like an interminable amount of agony and suffering (also known as a work/school week), it is time to grasp at the safe refuge that the weekend offers. To celebrate such a momentous journey and the survival of those of us who made it, and a fond memorial to those who didn’t, let’s grab some games on sale.

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