During the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas, iBUYPOWER showed off some GPU coin mining systems that were powered by AMD's Radeon R9 290X GPUs. These systems are used purely to mine digital coins, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin.
iBUYPOWER's Vice President and co-founder, Darren Su, talks about the new GPU coin mining PCs from his company: "iBUYPOWER prides itself for being on the edge of technology, and as the world changes, we want to be at the forefront. Coin mining and high-compute systems are one of the few new areas that we have interest in. We're thrilled to be part of revolutions, and crypto-currencies are definitely on the hot-list."
The new GPU coin mining systems from iBUYPOWER start from $999, and can be configured in many different ways, depending on what you want to spend. The new coin mining PCs can be configured with up to three AMD Radeon R9 290X for some serious compute power.
Global PC shipments continued to slide during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to research group Gartner, as the industry continues to look for stability. Overall, the market shrank 10 percent, as expected, though still shipped 315.9 million units in the 12-month period.
Lenovo remained the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, shipping 18.1 percent of all PC shipments in the last quarter. Ironically, China remains a tough battleground for Lenovo, though showed strong growth results in all other regions.
"Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner Principal Analyst, in a statement.
PC OEMs continue to dabble with lower-cost products, while also introducing dual-boot systems with Microsoft Windows-Google Android - or Windows-Linux machines - and shows manufacturers trying to diversify.
CES 2014 - Valve announced its partners for the Steam Machines at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas, but now we're seeing AMD and Intel publicly announce built-in driver support for their integrated GPUs.
AMD has confirmed that SteamOS was running Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.9 drivers, and that the company would soon offer a standalone package for people to download. There are issues associated with this drive, which "include tearing and poor overlay performance in-game". Previously, we only saw builds of SteamOS shipping with NVIDIA drivers as a default, with all of the 300 early Steam Machine prototypes sent out featuring NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.
CES 2014 - AMD is using CES 2014 to show off its new Nano PC, which is powered by the company's Mullins APU. AMD's Nano PC is a super small PC that sits on, or under your TV, and is capable of running Windows 8.1.
The Nano PC, even at its tiny size, features a camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and DockPort connectivity, as well as a 256GB SSD for storage. The Mullins APU is capable of driving the Nano PC without a problem, with reports stating that the tiny PC can play FIFA 14 at 1080p without a problem. We have a mini breakout box that provides USB and HDMI so that it can push the Nano PC's output to your TV.
Unfortunately, AMD won't be selling these Nano PCs direct, but instead will be offering them as a prototype to other manufacturers as a new HTPC/thin PC device.
CES 2014 - This morning we got a chance to stop by the Digital Storm suite and check out their new Bolt II hybrid Steam Machine. Robert Wall, senior technician for Digital Storm gave us a full rundown of the new hybrid Windows and Steam OS system in the video below.
The Bolt 2 Steam Machine that was demoed featured an purpose-built custom case that is able to pack everything into a nice and tidy small form factor footprint. Processing power is handled by an Intel i7 4770k CPU along with 16GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM. An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780Ti handles the GPU duties while a Corsair H100i dual fan unit keeps the CPU running nice and cool. Air flow and lighting are controlled via Digital Storm's proprietary lighting and cooling module, and further adds to the uniqueness of this unit.
Power is handled by a normal ATX PSU up to 700W in size, and a pair of 30mm fans are installed to ensure no stagnant pockets of hot air form inside the chassis. Surprisingly the Bolt II is about as silent as a PC can get. While in the suite, I was unable to notice any noise at all coming from the device that was running under the flat-screen TV. Digital Storm says that the Bolt II will be priced from $1500 up to $2500 depending on component choices and features.
CES 2014 - Origin has just changed things up in the pre-configured PC space with its newly unravelled Genesis and Millennium PCs at this year's Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas.
Where Origin has changed things up, is by offering the motherboard mount in 4 possible ways: standard ATX, inverted ATX, rotated 90 degrees or rotated 90 degrees, and inverted. Where this comes into benefit, is that the new Origin PCs can handle pretty much any GPU configuration, and the longest GPUs on the market, without a problem. Origin will also be offering an expansion kit that will see the mid-tower Millennium PC into the full-tower Genesis PC.
This will allow you to add a massive radiator for water cooling, or an additional 24 hard drives - yes, an additional twenty four HDDs! The Millennium PC will start at $1,629, while the Genesis begins at $1,849.
Gaming company Razer unveiled a rather surprising modular desktop computer concept, dubbed Project Christine, making it extremely easy for PC owners to build and customize a gaming machine. The modular design makes it possible to easily swap CPUs, GPUs, memory and storage drives inside the machine - and each individual module is sealed and is supports the PCI-Express architecture. The touchscreen LED display makes it easier to view and control hardware and software configurations in a fast, convenient manner.
"Project Christine is a new concept design that will revolutionize the way users view the traditional PC. This is the first gaming system that is able to keep pace with technology and could allow consumers to never buy another PC, or gaming system, again," said Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, in a statement. "We have a history of bringing incredibly innovative concept systems to market and it's fair to say that Project Christine is a very exciting new prospect for future development."
Razer hasn't publicly disclosed a release date or pricing for Project Christine, though should set the bar fairly high for competitors.
Boutique PC maker Digital Storm launched a small form factor hybrid PC that will dual boot Microsoft Windows and Valve's Steam OS, in a liquid cooled SFF cooling system. The GPU, storage drives, optical drive, and cooling system can be easily removed and upgraded, and provides optimal cooling in a small space.
The Digital Storm Bolt will be available later in January with a starting MSRP of $1,899 - not a surprising high price point, as Digital Storm makes high-quality products for a very niche market.
"We are not looking to compete with console pricing," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm Director of Product Development, in a press statement. "We're taking aim at the high-end of the market, targeting consumers that demand the best possible gaming experience and who are looking for a PC capable of playing any title on their new 4K display."
Meanwhile, Steam OS is helping bring PC use to an entirely new level, as the price of computer hardware remains friendly for consumers. CES 2014 will feature a slew of different Steam OS-powered devices, with a dozen companies planning to implement the custom platform.
CES 2014 - Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced Edison, a super tiny PC that is the size of an SD card - yes, those things you install into your camera. An entire PC.
Intel is leveraging its 22nm process here, with the Edison PC running Linux, and features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. Intel's Edison, even at the size of an SD card, still connects to its own app store, which should create an entire new market for developers. Where this will end up leading Intel will be an adventure, but it's something that is exciting, that's for sure.
CES 2014 - Valve has just hosted its CES 2014 event, where details on its 13 third-party Steam Machines have been unveiled. Each machine has basic specs, with even the cheapest offerings kicking dust into the next-gen consoles' eyes.
We've already heard about some of these Steam Machines, including the iBUYPOWER SBX Steam Machine, but we have some amazing looking machines here to drool over for the rest of the year.
CES 2014 - iBUYPOWER has just unveiled its sleek new SBX Steam Machine, something it collaborated with Valve on. The new iBUYPOWER SBX Steam Machine is capable of delivering 60FPS gaming to the world, which will be a nice change with these not-so-great 'next-gen' consoles.
There will be two models on offer, providing gamers with the choice between AMD and Intel CPUs. Darren Su, co-founder and VP of iBUYPOWER says: "What we really wanted to do was make an impact in the living room. We wanted to really show the world that the power of desktop gaming machine can be experienced in the living room in a totally seamless way."
Each iBUYPOWER SBX Steam Machine will come with an included Steam Controller, with all aspects of the SBX machien optimized for the gaming experience on Steam OS - so don't consider this a small, cheaper PC. iBUYPOWER's SBX Steam Machine will be available later this year, starting for $499 including a Steam Controller.
PC manufacturer CyberPower has unveiled its Steam Machine PC, opening up access to Valve's Steam gaming library directly from the living room. The entry-level Steam Machine A, powered by an AMD A6-6400K 3.90GHz and AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5 GPU for $499, while the Steam Machine B starts with an Intel Core i3-4330 3.50GHz CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX760 2GB GDDR5 for $699.
The Steam OS won't suddenly take over the PC market, but is highly appealing for OEMs trying to cater directly to gamers. Everyone from CyberPower and Alienware to iBuyPower and GIGABYTE are chomping at the bit to release Steam OS machines, with around one dozen companies expected to launch products in early 2014.
Both systems include high-density storage, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, and ship with the Steam Controller.
CES 2014 - Lenovo has just finished taking the wrapping off its new ThinkVision Pro2840m 4K-capable display, but now we're hearing about the new N308 all-in-one PC, and a new 4K display with Google's mobile OS, Android, on-board.
The Lenovo ThinkVision 28 is the first 4K monitor to feature Android, but is being pushed as a professional 4K display first, with the Android desktop when required. The new ThinkVision 28 display features three HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and five USB 3.0 ports for connectivity. Matt Bereda, Lenovo's Marketing Director, said: "Now you get a very high resolution display that you can use for work situations, as well as being able to have an Android interface that can access applications."
Inside of the ThinkVision 28 is an NVIDIA Tegra processor, and stock version of Android. One of the standout features here is that there is no Lenovo UI being splashed over the stock Android OS - which is a nice surprise. Bereda added: "There are base Android apps installed, similar to what you'd get with your phone. You can expect a similar interface. Kind of the baseline video, camera type of apps, but then you will also be able to download others."
CES 2014 - 2014 is destined to become the year of the Steam Machine, but it looks like we now know 12 of the companies that Valve is working with to build these new PCs.
We have: Alienware, Falcon Northwest, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, GIGABYTE, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac and Scan Computers and of course, iBuyPower (pictured above). We should expect all of these Steam Machines to be on display at CES 2014 this week, so expect a slew of pictures from us as we see them.
Hewlett-Packard started the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by launching the company's first Google Android-powered all-in-one desktop PC for businesses. The Slate 21 Pro has a $399 price tag and includes a 21.5" HD touchscreen (1920x1080), NVIDIA Tegra 4 quad-core CPU, Bluetooth 4.0, 2GB RAM, and a 16GB solid state drive. It runs Android 4.3. Cloud-based apps are used to provide business productivity, and an auto-sync feature to Android smartphones and tables makes it easier to share files.
All apps can be viewed in landscape and portrait mode, thanks to clever back-end changes provided by the No. 2 global PC manufacturer.
Microsoft has plenty to cheer about with PC OEMs showing off Windows 8/8.1 devices, but Android's rise in the mobile and desktop market is concerning. The Google Chrome OS is seeing wider adoption, while OEMs also dabbles bringing Android to the desktop. Meanwhile, AIOs are continuing to increase in popularity among consumers, but there is much work to be done to increase adoption in the business sector.
Ifixit is back with yet another teardown of a high-end electronic device. This week they take on Apple's new Mac Pro, and unlike any other Apple product iFixit has torn down this year, the company praises the repairibility of the Mac Pro.
iFixit says that the Mac Pro uses no proprietary screws, and many of the units hardware can be accessed without the use of any tools whatsoever. One very unique feature of the new Mac Pro is its completely modular design. Each GPU is custom designed to fit in the enclosure and one of the GPU cards even houses the systems SSD Storage. It appears that the only issues iFixit has with the Mac Pro is the lack of expandable external storage, and users must rely on expensive Thunderbolt 2 external devices.
Apple's new, sleek Mac Pro will begin shipping just before the end of the year, on December 30 to be precise. Many people have already slapped down their cards for the new Mac Pro, with some of their cards begin charged, and order statuses changed to "Preparing for Shipment".
Preparing for Shipment would lead us to believe that nothing can be changed now, as it is being prepped to be delivered. There are some users reporting that their delivery dates are stating December 27, so we could see people receiving their new Mac Pro machines a little earlier than December 30, and as a nice, slightly late Christmas present.
Apple is set to release its long awaited next-generation Mac Pro tomorrow, after passing previous release deadlines twice for the new models. The new Mac Pro's have been highly anticipated for quite some time now, and the company's current Mac Pro model is beginning to age.
The new Mac Pro's feature a round cylinder design that is clearly a nod to the company's new "space ship" campus it is building in Cupertino, California. The device will ship with Intel Xeon E5 processors, up to 64GB of RAM and dual AMD Fire Pro video cards. 1TB of storage is provided thanks to a PCIe SSD, and optional HDD-based storage is available. You can own a new Mac Pro as early as tomorrow, for $2,999, just remember not to mistake it for a trash can.
LG will unveil its all-in-one, Google Chrome OS-powered Chromebase, at CES 2014 next month. The LG Chromebase features Google's Chrome OS, a 21.5-inch Full HD IPS-based screen, and much more.
We have an Intel Celeron CPU inside, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB iSSD for storage, HDMI-in, three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, LAN, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing webcam. There's some built-in speakers, coming in at a whopping 5W. It looks like the Chromebase will be enough for most casual users, but it won't be forming any performance world records.
We'll be hands-on with this Chromebase at CES 2014 in just a few weeks time.
We've just received word that Digital Storm will be unveiling its first Steam Machine at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Digital Storm is going to be releasing its Steam Machine as a high-end system, as the first liquid-cooled Steam Machine.
It will be a small form factor PC, with a full-sized liquid cooling system, where you can opt the PSU right up to 700W for some serious performance. Both Steam OS and Windows will be on-board, which means you can play virtually any PC game on the market from this new machine. The new Digital Storm Steam Machine will start at $1469, and can be configured with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan.
Something that hasn't been updated for quite sometime was our System Builders Guide, but over the next couple of weeks, we're going to revamp all three of our systems. Today, we've started with our ~$1000 'Sub-lieutenant' PC.
We've decided to add an SSD in by default (which will be featured in all of our PCs), a better CPU, GPU, 16GB of RAM, and much more. This is the first edit we'll do, and we'll continue to keep them more up-to-date going into the future. If you have any suggestions, do let us know, and we'll get them baked into the system specs!