This weekend's hardware sales round-up focuses on CPU and motherboard sales, with Intel's mainstream flagship i7-4770K on sale alongside AMD's 220W FX-9370; motherboards were also located on sale, ensuring you'll be able to put these powerful CPUs to use immediately.

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It seems like this is the year of mini-ITX form factors -- between the obsession over small cases at CES and the impending Steam Machine launches (and Kaveri), small form factor systems are being driven hard by the industry. This hardware sales round-up includes deals on mini-ITX boards, a Kaveri bundle, an Intel SSD, and a cheap full-tower case.

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With CES coming to a close (though content is still being posted), we've got a ton of new gaming hardware in mind for sales round-ups. In this sales round-up, we look at Antec's new Nineteen Hundred gaming case (nearly $100 off MSRP), AMD's FX-9590 highest-end CPU for $300, and more.

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We bring you good news from the Intel booth at CES – except instead of pure Intel content, it’s actually an update from Gigabyte in relation to Steam machines. Exhibited at Intel’s booth at CES 2014, Gigabyte’s new Steam machine is the next step in the evolution of what Intel references as the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) – which we first broke news on at PAX East 2012. Intel Product Marketing Engineer Mark Chang explained the relationship between Intel and its partners like this: Intel builds reference board designs like the NUC and then the manufacturers take the models and get creative. While this Gigabyte product, dubbed the “Brix Pro,” isn’t brand new, seeing it running SteamOS and DotA2 flawlessly was new to us.

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Intel's desktop CPU lineup is split between its mainstream processors, mid-range i-Series units, and high-end *-E series "Extreme" microprocessors. The current relevant models are, as many of you already know, Haswell (i5-4670K, 4770K, others) on the 8-series Lynx Point chipset (1150-pin socket) and Ivy Bridge-E (i7-4930K, 4960X, others) on the X-class X79 Patsburg chipset (2011 pins).

haswell-e4Image source: VR-Zone's June, 2013 leak of HW-E's initial specs.

Rolling into 2013, Haswell was ramping up for its Performance (i-series) product launch with Ivy Bridge-E in tow; the previous generation always launches its extreme series CPU just after the mainstream launch of the impending generation, in a somewhat opposite fashion from the GPU industry. Now, with 2014 effectively here, we'll see Haswell-E launch with DDR4 support in roughly Q3 2014.

It's our final weekend hardware sales round-up before Xmas arrives, so now's a good time to start planning what you're spending upgrade money on. In this quick sales round-up, we've got a couple of CPU combos with other items (motherboards, RAM), a 1000W 80 Plus Gold power supply, a video card, and a gaming case.

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We recently posted about an alleged slide leak from AMD that, if real, seemed to suggest the end of the line for FX-series CPUs and the AM3+ socket. The slide stirred a great deal of concern throughout major social networks and enthusiast websites, and so I attempted to bring things back down to earth in our original analysis. I reached out to AMD for comment prior to publication, but we weren't able to speak with the company until yesterday.

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AMD Manager of APU/CPU Product Reviews James Prior was quick to negate the slide's legitimacy: "I've never seen that slide before, I don't know where that came from," he told me in our call, and quickly followed-up by stating that "it's not real. FX is not end-of-life." Prior pointed-out that it's rare to ever see more than a year into the future with roadmaps, and that the real AMD roadmap looks like this:

If you recall our coverage of the indie game "Forced" back when it was still in beta/alpha stages, the game is focused on fast-paced-yet-tactical action combat in an arena-like setting.

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Built around gladiatorial co-operative 4-player combat, teams of players (or solo acts) venture into an arena, slay hordes of monstrosities, and utilize a unique "spirit mentor" object to trigger interactive objects. The Spirit Mentor follows players around with a tap of the space bar, but can be firmly planted in one place with another tap; this can be used to set up triggers, like planting the Spirit Mentor in one region, then tapping space to have it fly through objects on the map (like healing statues).

Intro to Forced aside, Beta Dwarf—the team behind the game—has announced its partnership with Alienware, SteelSeries, and Intel to host a tournament featuring more than $10,000 in prizes. The prizes include SSDs, keyboards, mice, and other hardware.

We previously published an article that gave a top-level overview of motherboard selection for new PC builds. In this year's revised edition, we'll approach the topic with a bit more depth than previously and will account for Intel's Haswell CPUs and AMD's FX line of CPUs.

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Selecting the best motherboard for your gaming PC build is important to ensure upgradability going forward, access to Haswell/AMD overclocking features, and overall system stability. Chipset selection is tied-at-the-hip with motherboard selection, but if you need help finding the right chipset, check out these previous two articles (Intel - Haswell; AMD - FX).

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