The show floor presence was much more vibrant for Intel at this year’s PAX Prime. When we visited the company at East, presentation was largely devoted to a few 700-series SSDs, some (very large) gaming notebooks, and that was about it. This event’s booth came equipped with Intel-branded lamp shades over the ceiling lights – a clear indication of the company’s technological progress.

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Impressive light diffusion aside, Intel did have fairly exciting lineup of hardware to look at: The i7-5960X had its embargo officially lifted at 9AM PST and made an appearance at the show, ASUS has its new X99-Deluxe boards powering the booth, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Maingear, and other shops have systems present, and there’s a clear push toward the DIY PC consumer. A huge step in the direction we all want to move.

Scott's taking a break this weekend for vacation, so I'll be filling-in for the regularly-scheduled hardware sales round-up. This weekend, we spotted an ASRock Z97 Extreme4 board marked down to $130, 27" Acer IPS panel for $195, and Tt eSports Poseidon Z keyboard for $70.

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Flashing firmware used to be a sort-of haphazard process that often resulted in bricked motherboards. At least, that was my experience when working with pre-UEFI motherboards in a lab environment. The widespread adoption of UEFI in modern motherboards means that usability has been substantially improved, and with that in mind, flashing no longer requires a bootable CD with command prompt loaded.

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This quick tutorial shows how to flash your firmware (update BIOS) using any modern ASUS board. We used an ASUS Crosshair V in this guide, but the steps apply to any other E-Z Flash-equipped board. Note that some modern board manufacturers (MSI and ASRock both included) will also allow BIOS flashing over ethernet or wireless connection, though USB is still the easiest and safest method.

To celebrate the middle of Summer (also known as "oh no, its almost time to start the back to school count-down clock"), we take a look at some items to make “homework” much more enjoyable. Our weekend sales round-up features the G710 mechanical keyboard for $120, a case from NZXT for only $55, the last-gen MSI Z87-G41 for $70, and a Mushkin 480GB SSD at $210. Keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts for all of our articles and additional sales throughout the week (and if you don't, we will hunt you down and force you to watch Killer Clowns From Outer Space -- you have been warned).

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Component and systems manufacturer ASUStek has just announced the availability of its next ROG ( Republic of Gamers ) motherboard, the Maximus VII Formula. ASUS has a somewhat mystifying naming convention, though we've defined the company's board names in the past. The Maximus Formula series of motherboards is considered ASUS' flagship -- the highest of the high-end -- and is iterated with Roman numerals. The Z97 family is indicated by the VII numeral.

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The weekend sales roundup features an i5-4690K for $220, a Z97 motherboard at $125, a Mini-ITX case around $71, and the G700s gaming mouse for only $60. This next week should have more sales as the US gets closer to the 4th of July, commonly known as the holiday celebrating how to influence politics by hiding behind trees and shooting people. Our Twitter and Facebook pages will provide sales as we find them, and stay subscribed to our YouTube account for how-to videos and reviews of components.

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Asustek (NASDAQ: ASUUY) Chairman Jonney Shih predicted in ASUS' Tuesday shareholder meeting that traditional desktop PC shipments would increase substantially in 2H14. The company believes that XP's expiration will be cause for a boon in desktop shipments in the business-client sector, but also noted that demand for tablets has died down in the consumer market.

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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.

asrock-extreme-x99ASRock Extreme6 (Left) & Extreme4 (Right) X99 motherboards. Image source: VR-Zone.

This weekend's sales roundup features a low profile CPU cooler for $20, a Cherry MX Red keyboard at $107, 8GB of 2400MHz RAM for $80, and a high-end AMD AM3+ board for $200. Keep your eyes glued to our Twitter and Facebook feeds for more deals during the week.

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As the embargoes are lifted across the web for Z97-equipped motherboards, we see prices and tentative release dates emerging for new platforms. ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, and ASRock have all put out some sort of Z97 board teaser, but thus far ASUS is the first to supply hard pricing data.

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