Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near and more
Posted on: 01/23/2013 01:15 PM
Here a roundup of the latest articles, including Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near, Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB SSD Review, Dell XPS One 27 Touch Review, Thermaltake Level 10 Mouse Review, and Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review
Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near @ Benchmark Reviews
Back on August 2010, I made a prediction: desktop PCs have an expiration date, and that time may not be far off. I followed-up that article with several more editorials, arguing on both sides of the position that enthusiast desktop PCs would be killed by unnecessary overclocking products, but might later possibly be saved by enthusiast-level overclocking products. Both had their points, and both contained plenty of truth, but when I published the statistical obituary a few weeks later our readers commented in revolt. Even some of my industry peers said I was pessimistic, and that the enthusiast desktop PC industry would continue to thrive and grow. We disagreed, even as mounting evidence supported my claims.
Intel's launch of Sandy Bridge processors around January 2011 really put a chill in the air, which made it tough for heatsink manufacturers to turn a profit. With no money involved, the aftermarket cooling industry evaporated and only a few major players with other cross-platform products would survive. I would later publish The State of Intel Desktop Motherboards, and in that article written two years ago I predicted key points that would prove themselves essential for Intel to sustain desktop motherboard development:
"For Intel to win this segment, they must successfully complete three difficult tasks: 1) convince consumers that they're as good or better than the competition, 2) continue to offer aggressively priced motherboards, 3) deliver features not available from their partners. Without taking a firm position with their business partners, they will have no choice but to continue accepting defeat in the motherboard market."
Read more: Desktop PC: Intel Says the End is Near @ Benchmark ReviewsSamsung 840 Pro Series 512GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
As we outlined previously, the 840 Pro is the enthusiast level drive in the 840 Series line of drives from Samsung with the more vanilla (in name anyway) 840 hitting the more budget oriented demographic. The former is rocking Toggle 2.0 MLC NAND while the latter being the first consumer drive to roll out with the TLC NAND. Each share the same controller but between the NAND and firmware differences, the end performance is quite different. Continuing on with our summation of the overall performance, we can't say enough good things about this drive. Clearly this is one of the fastest consumer SSDs you can buy right now in terms of raw speed with its only real peer being the OCZ Vector drive powered by the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. Regardless of the test or benchmark we threw at it, the 840 Pro ended up with the best or second best scores more often than not. Honestly, on the SATA III interface, we probably will not see any drives performing appreciably better...
Read more: Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB SSD Review @ Legit ReviewsAntec AMP SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ThinkComputers.org
I'm sure when you hear the name Antec you think of cases and power supplies, I know I do. Well Antec has a new division called Antec Mobile Products (A.M.P.) which creates unique products for your mobile devices. Today we are taking a look at their flagship product the SP1 which is a Bluetooth speaker that allows you to take phone calls as well. Antec is not new to audio products as their Soundscience Rockus speakers were a huge hit in 2011. Can their new AMP SP1 Bluetooth speaker compete against all of the other Bluetooth speakers out there? Read on as we take a look
Read more: Antec AMP SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ThinkComputers.orgASUS PA248Q ProArt Monitor Review @ t-break
The ASUS PA248Q is a monitor designed for professionals and enthusiasts whose primary purpose is editing films or pictures, where color grading and precise measurements are the first priority for a satisfactory experience.
To that end, ASUS has a done a remarkable job of providing a pre-calibrated screen with a host of options to tweak the color settings as per your requirements. Beyond that, though, the ASUS PA248Q also provides some very useful connectivity options which make it great for daily usage by non-professionals as well.
Read more: ASUS PA248Q ProArt Monitor Review @ t-break4ipnet HSG260-WTG2 Wi-Fi Hotspot Kit @ TechwareLabs
Today we have the hotspot and custom web access solution from 4ipnet. This is a three part solution that consists of a HSG260 Wireless Hotspot Gateway , SDS200W Device Server and PRT200 POS Printer. The 4ipnet HSG260-WTG2 Wi-Fi Hotspot Kit is a one stop shop solution offering businesses a way to offer wireless with a customized portal and in a futureproof manner.
Read more: 4ipnet HSG260-WTG2 Wi-Fi Hotspot Kit @ TechwareLabsDell XPS One 27 Touch Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Dell XPS One 27 Touch is a high-end all-in-one desktop PC that gets Windows 8 right. It starts off by helping you learn how to use the new operating system; plus its touch interface makes sense in the new tiled Start screen environment. Add a speedy Core i7 processor and feature set that lets you run faster and farther than other all-in-one PCs.
Read more: Dell XPS One 27 Touch Review @ TechReviewSource.comMyDigitalSSD SMART & BP3 mSATA SSD Review @ Anandtech
Every now and then we receive a request from a smaller SSD manufacturer to review their products. We rarely say no to such a request and we try to treat all manufacturers equally regardless of how big they are. MyDigitalSSD is one of the lesser known SSD manufacturers, although that's not a surprise as they rely on their own distribution channel instead of selling at NewEgg or other major online retailers. MyDigitalSSD sent us two of their mSATA SSDs for review, the SMART and BP3. The SMART is a typical SandForce SF-2281 based SSD but in mSATA form factor while the BP3 is a more interesting drive. It's based on Phison's first SATA 6Gbps controller, which is something we haven't reviewed before. Read on to find out how the drives perform!
Read more: MyDigitalSSD SMART & BP3 mSATA SSD Review @ AnandtechDell XPS 10 Tablet (Windows RT / 64GB) Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
So we know the concept of a tablet with keyboard dock has potential but mobile operating systems are not necessarily the perfect solution. Well, until Windows 8 and Windows RT began offering a different experience with the release of the Microsoft Surface recently. Now Dell are looking to take on the Surface, and existing tablets with the XPS 10 running Windows RT and we have one to test today.
Read more: Dell XPS 10 Tablet (Windows RT / 64GB) Review @ HardwareHeaven.comSteelSeries CS: GO Siberia V2 Headset, Kana Mouse and QcK Pad Review @ Techgage
Before setting out on this mini-review, a bit of a confession: Techgage actually received this trio of SteelSeries goodies in early September, but a bit of force majeur forced your reviewer to push this article to the back-burner. Now, a couple of months later, we’ve finally had a chance to live with – and play with – SteelSeries’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive-themed Siberia V2 headset, Kana mouse, and QcK mousepad.
Let’s have a look at each of these in turn, shall we?
Read more: SteelSeries CS: GO Siberia V2 Headset, Kana Mouse and QcK Pad Review @ TechgageAntec One Budget Gaming Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
What does less than $100 get you among today’s selection of cases? Believe it or not, there are quite a few options like Corsair's Carbide 200R and BitFenix's Raider come immediately to mind. Antec’s One is their newest entry into the low cost market but its price of just $60 makes this one of the least expensive entry level enclosures around.
By building upon successes that can be traced back to the original Sonata line (an enclosure which literally defined a while generation of products), Antec is hoping the One will appeal to entry level gamers who would rather spend their money on higher performance components instead of a larger options.
When shopping for a case, not everyone is looking for unlimited water cooling options, tons of interior space or space-age materials. Many of us tend to shop for a good balance of features, durability, looks and price so there’s a huge cross-section of the market that should greet the One with open arms.
Read more: Antec One Budget Gaming Case Review @ Hardware CanucksNikon D600 24MP Digital SLR Camera @ MEGATech Reviews
When the Nikon D600 was announced back in September, it took the world by storm. It was the first affordable, full frame DSLR on the market. The 24MP sensor combined with its semi-pro build quality and 5.5 fps shooting capability was the answer many advanced amateurs and professionals were looking for. Nikon was kind enough to lend me a review body along with the new AF-S VR 24-85mm f/3.5~4.5G lens.
I will preface this review by stating I’m a long time Nikon user and former NPS member. Once the eagerly anticipated camera arrived, I quickly acquainted myself with the camera, and was ready to go out take some pictures. As I go though this review, I won’t bore you with specs, test charts, or noise profiles. While I understand these details perfectly, and have even taught photography workshops, I feel they’re not relevant to the real world reviews I present. All images are shot in RAW, processed and converted in Adobe Lightroom 4, which has recently become my default image editor.
Read more: Nikon D600 24MP Digital SLR Camera @ MEGATech ReviewsThermaltake Level 10 Mouse Review @ OCC
For the price, this "elite" mouse definitely needs to impress at every angle. Thermaltake does a fair job with the upgrade from the basics. The USB end looks much like a thumb drive with a cap and everything. The cap is on a dongle of its own and can't be lost when plugged into the computer. As for most of you, it will be plugged in the majority of the time, but if you are always on the go, it has the ability to keep dirt and crumbs from your bag out of the contacts. It's a neat feature that adds to the elite-ness of the design. At this point the braided cable is an essential feature of most peripheral items, and this one comes with a nice Tt Velcro cable tie for portability as well.
Read more: Thermaltake Level 10 Mouse Review @ OCCFractal Design Define XL R2 Full Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
The crews are going to require more skill and more stamina then past races simply because of the massive size of the entire boat. The eleven crew members will need to be in tip top shape and work perfectly in sync so that they don’t flip their boat considering how much wind a sail of that size can catch. Not only will they be competing with the wind and the ocean, but they will be competing with how much they can push their bodies. Fractal design to some degree has that same mentality about their designs. They are constantly trying to push themselves further and create the best of the best with their products.
The Fractal Design Define XL R2 is built to be one tough case. The design behind the Define XL R2 is performance, silence, and with the option for more airflow and water cooling. Fractal is one of the only manufacturers to include high density matting in their system builds to reduce the vibration and noise, all unused fan mounting locations are also filled with their ModuVent system so the user can decide between more airflow or silence. The motherboard tray features support for ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX, E-ATX, and XL-ATX form factors. Plenty of cable management options are available on the Fractal Define XL R2, with rubber grommets all over the motherboard tray and tie downs on the back of the tray. The stock cooling system consists of three 140mm fans and four additional 120mm/140mm fans can be installed, along with plenty of mounting locations for water cooling using 240mm and 120mm radiators.
Read more: Fractal Design Define XL R2 Full Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech LegionFractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review @ KitGuru
Today we are going to look at the Fractal Design Node 304, one of the companies first attempts at a small-form factor case. It boasts an impressive feature set which includes support for six hard drives and an ATX power supply There is also a fair amount of headroom for CPU coolers, making the Node 304 an ideal candidate for those looking to build a compact gaming system or powerful home-theatre PC.
Read more: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX Case Review @ KitGuruCorsair AX760 PSU review @ Guru3D
In this review we test the Corsair AX760 PSU, as abundantly clear a 760 Watt Power Supply grand in performance and efficiency. It's originating froM Corsairs most excellent line of power supplies, the AX series. The one massive 12-volts says it all really. Excellent for multi-GPU solutions and hardcore overclockers. Being slightly more 'regular' non AXi model these power supplies are a bit more affordable, yet remain to be extremely high quality and high performance and an 80 Plus Platinum certification. Yeah, Corsair now offers 760W and 860W versions of the new line of AX power supplies. You may consider these to be the non-digital models based on the Seasonic platforms.
Being based on an Seasonic (excellent) design they are completely different PSUs to the AXi models, though they are still 80 Plus Platinum and fully-modular. The 760W is also fanless up-to 70% load (the 860W to 60%) at 25C ambient, which is pretty impressive (impressive seems to be the word I am using predominantly here). Being Platinum certified this PSU delivers energy efficiency as high as 92%, or better. This results in minimal waste heat, compared to PSUs with lower efficiency, leading to a cooler and quieter PC, in addition to lower electricity utilities bills.
A welcomed side-effect of that design allows the PSU to operate with minimal cooling, and as a side-effect from that .. very low noise levels. In fact the AX760’s hybrid fan controller technology offers a zero RPM mode at up to about 70% PSU load That is up-to give or take 532W when operating at room temperature (25°C). Noise levels still remain low even when fan speeds start to climb thanks to a quality 120mm San Ace fan from industry-leader, Sanyo Denki.
Read more: Corsair AX760 PSU review @ Guru3DMad Catz STRIKE 7 Gaming Keyboard Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com
Kaeyi Dream takes a look at the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Gaming Keyboard from Mad Catz.
Read more: Mad Catz STRIKE 7 Gaming Keyboard Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com