The Steam Machine delay into 2015 imposed a set-back for hardware manufacturers hoping to license Valve's official branding and software, but hasn't stopped the release of systems under new names. With to-be Steam Machines like Gigabyte's Brix, Alienware's now-renamed Alpha, and Zotac's now-renamed mini-PC, hardware vendors have already invested resources heavily into HTPC platforms for gaming. The companies were originally expecting a holiday 2014 release, but recent delays by Valve pushed that into 2015; with resources tied-up in platform development, a few of these vendors have decided to release ahead of time with new names and Windows.
Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell, announced the "Alpha Console" at $550 starting, with various configuration and upgrade options for purchasers.
We're back with another mouse review, this time from a manufacturer not usually (or ever, really) known for their gaming mice: Rosewill. Admittedly, this review comes in part because of an urgently needed mouse replacement caused by the mechanical failure of a certain Genius Deathtaker, so anything that can left-click is a definite improvement, but we'll try to give some honest pros and cons.
This weekend's sales round-up features a 256GB SSD for $105, the new i7-4790 for $295, a Z97 board that comes with a free mouse for $110, and a full-size case for only $60. Next weekend is Father's Day, so grab some good discounts now and watch our Twitter and Facebook feeds for additional savings throughout the week.
It is little wonder to anyone who’s watched any eSports that the entertainment medium is growing. Twitch.tv just recently announced that it now streams 12 billion minutes of video content per month to 45 million unique monthly viewers, a 2x growth over 2012’s year-end stats. Those metrics measure streaming as a whole, but the competitive gaming scene has grown its own niche and is clinging on tight.
SSDs are surrounded by terminology that generally isn't understood beyond a relative level. There's this top-level concept that one type of NAND is superior to another, that synchronous is preferable to asynchronous, that endurance is tied to P/E cycles, but a lot of the knowledge halts there. We've worked closely with several SSD and controller engineers over the past year to educate ourselves on the inner workings of the storage world's biggest recent advancement; now it's time to start organizing that education in article form. Over the next weeks, we'll be releasing several "SSD Architecture" postings (so be sure to like / follow / subscribe) that focus on different aspects of solid-state drives, controllers, and NAND.
This installment includes a video component. The video showcases a discussion with LSI's Kent Smith and spoils the basics of what we'll cover throughout this series. I highly recommend watching the video, especially for those who benefit from visual aids. We covered SSD questions pertaining to varying voltage levels on evolving NAND types (SLC, MLC, TLC), cell decay when an SSD goes unused, P/E cycles and endurance, and "what's next" after TLC for Flash types. That's a lot of stuff. Each item is complex in its own way -- hence the chronicle-like release of in-depth article components.
Today we're talking about top-level SSD anatomy and architecture, defining what "NAND Flash" actually is, evolving NAND types (MLC vs. TLC, what's after TLC), capacity calculations, and providing an "SSD primer" of other basic elements. This is what will lay the foundation for our more advanced articles.
With Computex now over, we’ve had a full look at what all the major hardware manufacturers have had up their sleeves. One of the more electrically complex items released by EVGA, Corsair, and Be Quiet! are their newest power supplies.
Rounding-up all the newest power supplies from Computex reveals a cluster of 1600W PSUs, a 600W SFX PSU that we’ve covered before, and a renewed focus on power efficiency.
With A fair amount of the new Z97 motherboards being shown already, fans of Intel's X99 enthusiast chipset may feel a bit cheated being left with nothing interesting to look at. As of Computex 2014, that's finally changed. ASrock recently showed their latest X99 board to press at Taipei's electronics and hardware tradeshow.
FreeSync was first announced as a variable refresh rate technology at CES 2014, legitimately taking nVidia by surprise on the show floor. Immediately after the technology was unveiled, we happened to be scheduled for a meeting with nVidia's Tom Peterson and Vijay Sharma to discuss G-Sync. I'd slipped in a question about the technology, announced an hour beforehand, and Peterson told us: "I don't know. We just heard about that today. I haven't read about it yet - ask me after the show."
With Star Citizen's "Arena Commander" module now at full bore, we popped in last night for a quick gameplay session to showcase the dog-fighting module's mechanics. Things are pretty simple right now, given their rather slimmed-down state and use of placeholder graphics assets, but it's a solid start for the ambitious title.
The module saw a rocky launch over the last week. During this time, it was announced, then revoked, and then announced again -- and the final release didn't include the maps, which delayed players from flight by another hour or two. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of a game's launch, but the internet might have you believe otherwise.
"Hicookie" isn't an easily-forgotten name. The RAM overclocker last made a major appearance using G.Skill's TridentX RAM, which he pushed to nearly 4GHz. Just a couple of days ago, Gigabyte and