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Even though the PC industry is undergoing change, trying to fight off a shift to mobile devices, manufacturers must increase prices to balance international currency devaluation, according to the Gartner research group. This will lead to price increases up to 10 percent in 2015, with a 4 percent end-user spending increase year-over-year.
Small business will choose consumer PCs, as large organizations reduce PC unit purchases by up to 20 percent because of increasing prices, Gartner notes.
"We are currently seeing the sharp appreciation of the dollar against most other currencies reflected in companies' earnings results," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "PC vendors selling to Europe and Japan, where local currencies have fallen up to 20 percent since the start of 2015, have little choice than to raise prices to preserve profits."
Ever wished you could have a build that not only trumps all of your friends in the performance department but also looks pretty damn awesome at the same time? Well Hardwired PC is starting to build some systems with Custom Automotive Finishes and the one we've got to show off here features their metallic gunmetal grey finish.
Featuring a Corsair 900D with the custom finish, this system doesn't miss a beat thanks to the NVIDIA GTX 980's in Quad SLI and an Intel i7 5690X running at 3.0GHz.
The total bill for this build will set you back a massive $9,496 AU ($7,595 US) from Hardwired PC themselves, with custom case painting said to cost around $599 AU ($479 US) for a case of this nature. You do get certain measures of quality with this investment however, Hardwired PC will ship your system in a custom wooden case and provide some neat cable management.
AVADirect has been on top of custom PCs for a while, but with the Omni VR desktop announced last month, the custom PC maker is adding to that with the new Sixense VR desktop.
The new Sixense VR desktop is a custom PC that has seen the company partner up with Sixense, so that their PC is ready for the STEM system when it launches. We had a play with Sixense's STEM system back at CES 2015 and thought it was revolutionary, but now AVADirect has taken it a step further with a custom PC ready for the STEM.
AVADirect has deployed an EVGA GeForce GTX 980 SuperClocked VGA card, with the option to upgrade to the GeForce GTX Titan X to handle everything you throw at it. This has ensured gamers that they can run games at 1080p at 75FPS minimum. The stock system rocks a Core i5-4460, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB mechanical HDD, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The AVA Sixense VR Ultimate Desktop cranks it up to the Core i7-4790 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 500GB 850 EVO SSD from Samsung, and Windows 7 Professional. Both systems are housed in EVGA's Hadron Air Black Mini Tower, with a Sixense etched side panel.
The AVA Sixense VR Desktop starts at $1800, while the Sixense VR Ultimate Desktop starts at $2300. The Sixense STEM system isn't included, and isn't ready until later this year.
ZOTAC has just unveiled its latest ZBOX mini-PCs which feature Intel's latest Broadwell processors, with two new models in the ZBOX MI522 nano and the ZBOX MI542 nano.
The new ZOTAC MI522 nano features a Broadwell-based Core i3 processor, making it an easy upgrade path for those who are looking for desktop class performance in a small footprint. The MI542 nano bumps the Broadwell goodness up to the Core i5, with both of the new ZBOX mini-PCs being dual-core parts.
Both of the new ZBOX mini-PCs have HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 out with DisplayPort enabling 4K at 60Hz output. We have dual gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for network connectivity. Both of the new ZBOX mini-PCs also come with two DIMMs providing dual-channel memory support. Both of the new Broadwell-powered ZBOX mini-PCs include 4GB of memory and 500GB of storage out of the box.
Acer has just taken the wraps off of its Chrome OS-powered Chromebase, which features a 21.5-inch touchscreen-capable Full HD display. Inside, it is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra K1 processor.
We have USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity, as well as an HDMI out. There's also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, with a front-facing camera on the front for those Google Hangouts chats on Chrome OS.
Acer will be launching the Chrome OS-powered Chromebase in the US and Asia Pacific markets in Q2 2015.
For those out there looking to partake in their first PC building project, where exactly should you begin? There's a myriad of technology forums, YouTube channels and Facebook pages alongside specific component Facebook groups to help you on your way.
If you're a fan of the video side of things you may have come across MSI's marketing video titled "How to build a MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING PC". This film features a a scantily-clad technology enthusiast partaking in an educational journey of computer building for the benefit of the audience.
It's sitting at a massive 1.8 million views at the time of writing this article, but the feedback isn't all positive. With 8,687 thumbs down compared to 8,311 thumbs up, the comments section is filled with criticisms of the advice at hand.
GDC 2015 - ZOTAC was one of the first companies to unveil its Steam Machine at the Game Developers Conference, with its weirdly named, but very powerful 'SN970' making an appearance.
ZOTAC's SN970 gets its named from the GPU powering it, the GeForce GTX 970M, the mobile Maxwell GPU from NVIDIA. We have four HDMI 2.0 ports (yes, four!), an unspecified sixth-generation Intel processor, dual GbE, two USB 2.0 ports (with another two on the front) and two USB 3.0 ports. There's also an HDMI in port, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
Inside, we have 8GB of DDR3 SO-DIMM RAM, a 64GB M.2-based SSD and a 3.5-inch 1TB mechanical HDD. There's an SD card reader on the front, as well as a microphone and headphone port for audio. We'll see SteamOS preloaded onto the SN970, while the HDMI 2.0 ports can handle a huge 4K at 60Hz for those with the display or TV chops to handle it.
GDC 2015 - The Steam Machine flood is here, with MAINGEAR joining the party at GDC 2015 with its new 4K-capable DRIFT. The MAINGEAR DRIFT can be configured with some seriously delicious specifications, including the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 or AMD's Radeon R9 290X.
MAINGEAR has crafted the DRIFT in a beautiful Formula 1-like chassis, with a beautiful unibody that is "whisper quiet" thanks to the inclusion of an Epic 120 Liquid Cooling system and "superbly design airflow". MAINGEAR's CEO and founder, Wallace Santos, explains: "The DRIFT packs the muscle and performance of larger gaming desktop systems into a beautiful compact design that fits on your desk or coffee table. Valve's STEAM OS will bring PC quality gaming to any location and the DRIFT is the perfect way to deliver that experience".
Inside of the DRIFT we have up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 2TB of SSDs, and a 6TB mechanical HDD, and fully customized for everything in between. This includes up to Intel's Core i7-4790K CPU, and the latest and greatest in GPUs. The MAINGEAR DRIFT will start at $849, come pre-loaded with SteamOS, with the DRIFT Super Stock Edition arriving in an amazing bodyshell travel case that you can see above.
GDC 2015 - With all of the news of VR headsets and games, one can get lost in the reality of it all when it comes to purchasing a new PC that is ready for all things VR. This is where AVADirect's new Omni VR desktop comes into play.
AVADirect has announced the new Omni VR desktop, which is built from the ground up for the full virtual reality gaming experience. For those in the know, the Virtuix Omni is a VR treadmill that has you more in the game than ever before, with an AVA Omni VR Desktop Series PC powering it all. Thanks to AVADirect's "standard testing analyses" you can ensure that this system will meet any requirements you have for the virtual, and real worlds.
The new AVA Omni VR Desktop has been "engineered and designed specifically for the Virtuix Omni Gaming Platform", but that doesn't mean it's not one of the best systems you can buy for VR gaming. AVADirect has specifically chosen parts in the system that ensures you can play games at 1080p at a minimum of 75FPS thanks to the inclusion of an EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SuperSC ACX2.0+ video card.
GDC 2015 - Valve has unleashed the Steam Link, Steam Controller pricing and availability as well as the Source 2 engine at GDC 2015. But the company has also teased that Steam Machines will be made available in November.
Valve said in a press release: "Steam Machines will start at the same price point as game consoles, with higher performance". Valve will also be launching the new Steam Controller at the same time, as well as Steam Link which will extend Steam throughout your house over your current network.
The company is currently showing off over a dozen Steam Machines from partners like Alienware and Falcon Northwest, where they added: "Steam Machines will start at the same price point as game consoles, with higher performance. Customers interested in the best possible gaming experience can choose whichever components meet their needs".