Hardware

NZXT Switch 810 Case Released

By Published February 05, 2012 at 10:57 pm

We've recommended NZXT on occasion in our budget PC guides, but there's something different about this one: It's large, has room for up to 6 fans (almost all of which are 140mm), and is $170 MSRP. The NZXT Switch 810 follows a new trend in gaming case design (like the Thermaltake Snow) that brings a slick, white/black combination as an alternative to an otherwise dark selection of cases.

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NZXT's Switch 810 feels like it's straight out of a Clone Trooper's bedroom -- it's clean-cut and very straightforward. You get what you see (there is a black variation, though). Here's the spec break-down:

If there's anyone that can come up with a product that's part eccentric, part excessive, it's Japan. Of course, if there's anyone to buy that product, it's Americans. Hey, we're all good at something.

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Bit Trade One recently contacted us about their new USB paddle horizontal controller, a device that's been in production for some time in Japan but is just now moving to US markets. The somewhat-modular device is meant more as a general purpose control interface than a gaming controller, it does, however, target some old and retro games directly. In a world that aims on delivering very specific, niche-targeted products, it's exciting to see "MacGyver" style, geeky tools gaining popularity. If you haven't already installed some of our aesthetic PC improvements, you may want to consider giving this half-toy, half-productivity booster a look.

CES 2012 Gaming Case Line-up

By Published January 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

CES exploded with way more gaming hardware than we expected, which is good news, because a few of the classiest chassis-makers have put out word that they're working on several new lines of gaming towers and cases. A great companion guide to the below gaming PC cases is our 2012 Hardware Release Timeline, so go view that if you haven't already. Check out the photos and specs of some of our favorite, new gaming cases (so far) below.

ces-2012-cases

Steam Uses One Billion GB of Bandwidth in 2011

By Published January 06, 2012 at 6:39 pm

steam-logoWith the days of physical retail hanging on by a strand, this news shouldn't come as much of a surprise to many of you: Steam's digital distribution service reached an all-time high in 2011, securing 14.5 million game registrations and 40 million accounts.

Steam now has 1,800 games listed in its distribution database with a mere 18 of those being free-to-play, but the company promises many more FTP titles in 2012. Valve has consistently reported a 100% sales increase each year.

 

Star Wars: The Old Republic has certainly captured our attention, and although beta glitches and gameplay redundancies had us worried for a brief period, most of those have been addressed to some extent now that the game is rolling in full-force.

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Skyrim Save Game Manager Mod

By Published January 05, 2012 at 2:42 am

skyrim-savegameManaging games in Skyrim can be unnecessarily complex when juggling multiple characters or if others use your computer, and while save game managers are no new concept, we thought we'd provide a brief guide on how to make your life easier by using Skyrim save game manager mods.

This is by no means a new mod -- it came out back in November -- but with the recent questions coming in to us via comments, forums, and email, it's time to publish a guide for everyone. Note: If you're looking for how to change your character's individual stats, items, or appearance, this is the article you want. It's simple, here's how it works:

Kill Everyone in Skyrim - No Essential NPCs

By Published December 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm

If you haven't done it yet, you've thought about doing it: making all NPCs killable in Skyrim, as was possible in Morrowind ("A thread of the prophecy, blah blah blah"), is now easily done through the installation of this simple mod.

skyrim-npcTime to return the favor, bitches.

The "No Essential NPCs" mod by Trira removes the 'essential' characteristic of all (or nearly-all) NPCs in Skyrim, making them killable - including that Brynjolf jerk in Riften and the Imperial generals.

Play Skyrim in Retro Graphics Mode

By Published December 18, 2011 at 3:17 am

Even with our struggle to make Skyrim evermore graphically pleasing, nostalgia still gets the best of us and hearkens back to a simpler time of blocky, spiky, pixelated graphics. If you've wanted to play Minecraft in Skyrim (or Skyrim in Minecraft, for that matter), Astal's "Skyrim Retro Project" arcade-style graphics mod certainly brews a bizarre amalgamation of highly contrasting and seemingly low-res textures to re-imagine Skyrim as a game of yore.

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Bulldozer Successor "Piledriver" Due for Q3 2012

By Published December 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

The Bulldozer's lackluster launch left us all wanting more from AMD, especially given the momentum that Intel has picked up with its Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge series -- that wish may be answered soon. AMD has announced to its partners that the processor codenamed Vishera, using the overcompensating "Piledriver" cores, should hit production queues in Q3 of 2012, with prototypes projected for Q2 2012 alongside the new Volan platform (utilizing AM3+ as Bulldozer does). We don't expect to see any noticeable impact on CPU development as a result of the 28% decay in PC market growth.

28% Slow in PC Sales Growth Predicted for 2012

By Published December 10, 2011 at 2:29 am

Computer hardware market analysis firm IHS iSuppli has informed us that it expects 23 million fewer computers to ship in 2012 than it had originally forecast, currently projected at 376 million shipments down from 399 million shipments. The decay in PC sales growth will drop the industry from a 9.5% global spurt to 6.8%.

ihs-2012-forecast

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