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The power of Facebook has allowed a disgruntled Apple fan to start a petition for the company to pay more focus to its Mac Pro line of systems. The maker of the page, Lou Borella, wants Apple to refresh its professional-level desktops, or at least be vocal with Mac Pro fans to let them know something is at least coming soon.
The maker of the page is said to be a professional editor and graphic animator in the New York City area, and initially posted a lengthy plea to Apple to update everyone on their Mac Pro plans, claiming that he didn't want to go to "the Dark side" by buying a Windows-based machine, and that hacked models combining more modern equipment with Apple's OS X operating system were insufficient to meet professional needs.
The page has more than 4,200 likes, and over 2,270 people talking about it. You know what, I love this idea. I have to hand it to Lou, this is one of the best ways to get attention from a usually secretive company. Apple has been concentrating more on slightly updating their iOS-based devices, than they have on their Mac Pro line. But, we can see the changes within OS X, and the upcoming Mountain Lion, where it's going more toward iOS. Maybe this is why Apple are being hush-hush when it comes to refreshing their Mac Pro.
Earlier on today we were invited down to the VIA headquarters where we met up with marketing director Richard Brown who introduced us to its new APC computer system.
The APC computer is a $49 Android system based on the brand new Neo-ITX form factor which measures in at roughly half the size of standard Mini-ITX based motherboards. It features an 800MHz ARM SOC (VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 SoC) with 512MB of DDR3 memory and 2GB of onboard flash memory for storage. A modified version of Google Android 2.3 uses up most of that 2GB of flash storage, but there are external storage options. On the back I/O is a microSD slot and of course you could hook in an external USB 2.0 drive. VIA spent a lot of time customizing Android to enable keyboard and mouse support which natively it does not support. The system also comes with the modified apps such as a YouTube player, Angry Birds, a file manager, web browser and more.
However, the VIA APC is not designed to be about local storage. It is designed to stream your content from the cloud and does so at an amazing price and within a very tiny footprint. The APC will fit in normal Mini-ITX cases with room to spare for something like a 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch hard drive. On the I/O panel you get VGA output, HDMI output (up to 720p playback with hardware acceleration), four USB 2.0 ports, gigabit LAN and audio out and microphone in...
Cyberpower has announced a new option to allow customers to configure new gaming systems around the newly released GTX 690. Systems in which the card can be used include the enthusiast Fang III series, Zeus series, and Gamer Xtreme and Ultra series. The GTX 690 is based on two GTX 680 cards and provides similar performance to them in SLI.
The entry-level system based around the GTX 690 starts under $1700, which with a $1000 card inside, isn't too bad of a price. Cyberpower has also optimized their liquid cooling system for the dual-GPU GTX 690. The computers, in addition to the GTX 690, can be customized with a wide range of features. The full text of the press release is below:
So, Intel just got done releasing its latest round of new PC products recently and of course we're talking about the Intel Ivy Bridge platform which consists of new processors and Z77 Express based motherboards. Not only that though, but shortly before that AMD launched its range of new Radeon HD 7000 series video cards.
That means it was time to update our SBG systems to reflect the latest in required hardware changes. Starting off with the TweakTown Sub-lieutenant PC ($1000 USD), it got its video card upgraded to the new AMD Radeon HD 7770 and in this case we selected the Sapphire GHz Edition 1GB version, as we had some good success overclocking it during our testing.
The top-dog TweakTown Admiral PC (Unlimited Cost) didn't require any changes, but we did spend time updating the TweakTown Commander PC ($2000 USD). It gets the new Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 Quad-Core processor based on Ivy Bridge and a new motherboard was required because of that change. We selected the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe as it is one of the best Z77 mobos we have tested so far...
Digital Storm integrates Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs into their award-winning line of gaming PCs and Laptops
Digital Storm have just let the world know they've baked Intel's 22nm-built Ivy Bridge CPUs into their entire line of gaming PCs and laptops. This means that Digital Storm future customers (as of now) will receive systems with the world's most advanced processor in their machine.
With the help of Ivy Bridge, Digital Storm's systems just get, well, better. Because Intel's latest chip runs cooler and delivers higher performance when compared to Sandy Bridge CPUs. Digital Storm's Director of Product Development, Rajeev Kuruppu says:
We've tested Ivy Bridge in every one of our systems and we've measured extraordinary overclocks at 4.8GHz at unbelievably low temperatures across the board. With the addition of Intel's latest chipset, our entire line of gaming PCs and laptops offer customers the utmost in computing power.
Ok, ok, sit back down. Intel's Ivy Bridge is here, and so far it has been ho-hum for everything I've read. Intel don't really need to try that much when the competition needs to pick up a dictionary and find out what the word 'competition' actually means. But, this isn't stopping the Ivy Bridge train from gaining some serious steam and where it's perfections lie is in its new 22nm design.
HP are now baking Ivy Bridge-based processors into their new desktop line-up which has been refreshed. The new line-up sports six quad-core models that will be made available directly from HP as of the 29th of April. Three of these offerings will be all-in-one systems, including the Omni 220qd which sports Beats Audio and a cantilever design that starts from $999.
On top of this, the Omni 27qd which features a 27-inch display and a $1,199 price tag. The third all-in-one model will be a refresh to the TouchSmart 520xt, which sports a 23-inch touch-enabled display and retails for $999. Not bad.
Our Deal of the Day is 27" Dell UltraSharp U2711 LCD Monitor Equipped Dell XPS 8300 with 2nd Gen Intel Core i7, 8GB Memory, 1TB HD for $1299.99 with FREE Shipping!
Dell Home has a huge $887 off coupon on this configuration, taking the price from $2186.99 clear down to $1299.99 with FREE shipping. It includes the normally $999 27" Dell UltraSharp U2711 IPS based LCD monitor, with huge WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440), 80,000:1 dynamic contrast, 350 cd/m2 brightness, 6ms response, 110% color gamut, built-in 4-port USB 2.0 hub, 8-in-1 media card reader, and 3 year warranty). The Dell XPS 83000 computer also comes quite stacked with 2nd Gen 3.4Ghz Intel Core i7-2600 (with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.8Ghz), 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, AMD Radeon HD 6770, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, 2 USB 3.0 ports, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, and a 1 year warranty.
Start here for this configuration:
Use coupon code: SFG4N?06$23$29 for the $887 discount on this computer, expiring 4/16/12.
The $35 education PC that is dubbed "Raspberry Pi" has gained the Conformite Europeenne (CE) quality-control mark without needing any modification. This CE mark was required after there was a disagreement about whether or not it qualified as a finished product or not. The distributors disagreed and wouldn't sell it without a CE mark.
"We just received confirmation that the Raspberry Pi has passed EMC testing without requiring any hardware modifications," Liz Upton wrote on Raspberry Pi's official blog. "There is still a mountain of paperwork for us to sign, and that then has to be looked over by RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell; but that's a piece of cake compared to what we've been doing all week."
The Foundation has also completed similar FCC testing and the equivalents for Australia and Canada. When asked how long before they were in the hands of people who had pre-ordered he said, "at my most pessimistic, and bearing in mind that it's a Bank Holiday, I'd say 7-10 days." With it now cleared for shopping, they should be arriving shortly.
The $25 Raspberry Pi system has had yet another delay, with the first one revolving around the wrong type of networking jack soldered onto the circuit boards, and now we have this delay because of the distributors Element14 and RS Components requiring that the device be given a Conformite Europeenne (CE) mark that indicates compliance with electronics emissions guidelines before they will have anything to do with it.
The Raspberry Pi team hoped they didn't need it, but the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed it's a requirement. The company said in a blog:
On the basis of preliminary measurements, we expect emissions from the uncased product to meet category A requirements comfortably without modification, and possibly to meet the more stringent category B requirements which we had originally expected would require a metalised case.
For those who have pre-ordered the $25 Raspberry Pi, you'll have to wait that little bit longer. Let's hope its worth it.
Last week, I had the pleasure of being involved in a conference call with Digital Storm, and their chief marketing officer Harjit Chana where I found out some delicious news on their new custom high-performance PC, the Aventum.
Aventum is a high-performance PC gamers wet dream, literally, its liquid cooled, so that wasn't a joke. The Aventum is a built-from-the-ground-up beast of a machine, where everything seems to have gotten the same insane amount of love done to it. From the new custom chassis, the design itself, exhaust chambers, right down to the software that can control various parts of the machine, the Aventum truly is a machine of kings.
Digital Storm have spent considerable amounts of time ensuring this machine is enthusiast-ready, where they even used thermal imaging cameras to make 3D models of the machine, making sure that heat dissipation was perfect. The Aventum sports something quite unique: the Cryo-TEC cooling system.