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A few years ago, it was unlikely you could find a top of the range PC build in your local computer store, likely having to purchase and install your AGP video cards and Athlon processors yourself - either the store wouldn't support the option or you didn't trust them to complete the task.
Looking at brick-and-mortar and online retail shops as of late, you'll begin to notice a massive trend toward 'gamer' PC's and overclocked systems. There are large retailers now who fully specialize in these kinds of builds, seeing companies like CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower reach massive popularity in the wider gaming market.
But what about the 'general' PC store retailer, or those looking to do a little more than just build and ship gaming products. Australian retailer MWave claims to the be biggest in the business and after a quick search around their website, I stumbled across their beast system simply titled as the "Mwave Intel OverClocked 10.1 Gaming PC."
CES 2015 - Steiger Dynamics has just taken off the wraps of its impressive new LEET Studio and LEET Pro PCs, both of which are workstation versions of their award-winning LEET Living Room PC.
The two new PCs can be configured with the full range of Intel's Core processors, right up to the Xeon processor with up to 18 cores. There can be triple workstation-class AMD FirePro or NVIDIA Quadro GPUs installed, super-fast SSDs, and ECC memory. This brings Steiger Dynamics machines up to the quality, specifications and style of Apple's popular Mac Pro range.
Steiger Dynamics are pricing their LEET Studio and LEET Pro Pcs from $1999 and $2999 respectively, and are available starting January 6.
CES 2015 - Steiger Dynamics has announced its latest Era home theater PC lineup, with the latest addition joining its growing line of custom-made HTPCs. Inside of the new Era SFF PC we have some serious power, something that includes a Blu-ray player in its small footprint.
The new Era PC features Intel's latest processors, an SSD, DDR3 RAM, and more. We have up to 6TB of storage inside of the Era PC, 4K support, Blu-ray playback in Dolby TrueHD, and more. We also have support for the use of wired controls through the use of your smartphone, tablet, touchpad, mouse and keyboard, or even an Xbox controllers.
Steiger Dynamics' new Era PC starts from $899 and is available right now.
CES 2015 - We had a chance to take a sneak peak at Intel's widely anticipated computing stick here at CES 2015. The tiny dongle-like computer will feature a quad-core Atom-based CPU, and come in two versions; one supporting Windows and the other supporting Linux. The Windows-based stick will feature 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage while the Linux version will have only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Storage can be expanded through the microSD slot.
The stick features HDMI as its video output and features both micro USB and full-size USB connectors, however one will have to be used for powering the device as it will not be powered through HDMI like some other dongles. Intel said as more and more TVs start supporting the new power-over-HDMI standard, future versions of the NUC will feature this technology. While the stick is very small, it is a full-blown PC with its own mini fan. The stick will cost $149 and $89 for the Windows and Linux versions respectively.
Intel is also launching a new series of Broadwell-U based NUCs. These NUCs will feature M.2 for storage as well as a special USB connector able to provide 1.8A of current for fast charging. They will also have replaceable lids, which can be used for customization. You could have a lid featuring a picture of your significant other and give the NUC as a gift. The replaceable lid also hints at the possibility of customized versions featuring add-ons like a TV tuner, which I saw in its infant stages.
CES 2015 - Fully optioned with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a Quad-Core Krait 450 CPU, a fast Adreno 420 GPU and 2GB of RAM coupled with 16GB of storage, Razer's new Forge TV platform doesn't mess around.
This Android-powered gaming console is set for release at a bargain price of $100 and measures up at only 4x4 inches in size. Designed for PC gaming, Android gaming and Android-based entertainment services via Google Play, this product is set for release some time in Q1, 2015.
The Forge TV can be played by up to 4 simultaneous players and has various connection options including wireless and Bluetooth 4.1. It's going to connect to your television through a HDMI 1.4 output and features speedy gigabit Ethernet capabilities.
CES 2015 - CyberPowerPC's new brand-offshoot is named Syber and they've just announced their new range of Windows-Based PC gaming consoles, set function in Steam's Big Picture mode and through a Windows 8.1 OS.
Soon-to-be-released Steam machines will run SteamOS, based on the Ubuntu Linux platform produced by Valve themselves - enabling gamers to play games only with Linux support and downloaded directly through SteamOS. Syber have set out to jump the gun, releasing their Steambox system before their competition by adding Windows 8.1 into the mix and launching games in Steam's Big Picture Mode.
What is the point of these products? Eric Cheung, CyberPowerPC's CEO commented in their latest press release, "for gamers who want to break out of the bedroom and into the comfort of the living room, the Syber Vapor PC gaming console series offers the best performance at an affordable price," followed by a statement from their VP of Product, Eddie Vong, who commented "we created the Syber Vapor PC gaming console to give gamers more power and more customization than the standard video game consoles like Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox."
CES 2015 - Other World Computing (OWC) has just announced the release of their Aura SSD upgrade for any 2013 Mac Pro and a self-made OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock system.
As one of the very few companies offering upgrades, advanced technology and support for Apple products, OWC's Aura SSD upgrade has been custom-engineered to deliver consumers a much higher capacity and performance than seen with the production release models. Available in 1TB and 2TB packages, expect the 1TB to set you back $899 and its big brother will cost you a whopping $1479.
It's certainly not cheap, but that's what you get when you go down the Apple Mac route - so you should expect it by now. These kits come with all tools needed for a DIY upgrade, with a step-by-step installation video provided alongside U.S-based 24/7 technical support. If you are to compare this price to a general PC offering, you can expect a 1TB SSD to set you back around $470 when purchased through Amazon.
CES 2015 - Acer is on a roll today, unveiling its new Revo One RL85 entertainment PC, which is a "stylish personal computer designed to become the entire family's entertainment center."
Acer's new PC is built for entertainment, content streaming and much more, with the ability to be powered by an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor. We have dual display support, with one HDMI and one mini DisplayPort output, which supports up to 4K monitors or TVs. There are three HDD storage spots, each capable of taking a 2TB drive for 6TB of total drive space in Raid 0/1/5. Wi-Fi 802.11ac is also here, which will provide wireless freedom throughout the house.
Where the Revo One RL85 shines is in its design, with Acer crafting a PC that can be placed anywhere and not look out of place. It comes in both black and white, with a nice polished glossy look with "aesthetic curved lines and rounded corners." We have an SD card slot, four LED smart indicators, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and miniDP. Acer is shipping the Revo One with an optional multi-use remote control, which will make placing the PC in your lounge room even better.
If you're a fan of extremely well-built systems and don't have the patience, skill or time to do it yourself - pre-built computers from retailers and specialist companies is certainly a viable option.
MSI has teamed up with XOTIC PC to provide to the public this insane system, boasting components including SLI-980's, a water cooled Intel i7 5960X and an inclusion of a monstrous 32GB of RAM.
The press release issued doesn't have any quoted retail price and a quick search of the website comes up empty, but you can expect this system to come a quite a hefty cost.
Digital Storm has just taken the wraps off of its new Eclipse PC, a new small form factor PC that is "designed to offer a premium gaming experience at an affordable price" with its $699 starting price.
The new Eclipse PC has a small footprint of just 15 x 4 x 14 inches, so it can be used on most shelves either laying down or standing up. The chassis that Digital Storm have used is constructed of reinforced plastic with a steel body. Every pre-built Eclipse comes with a full-sized video card and Intel processor.
There are four levels of system to choose from, with each level including 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM and Windows 8.1 as its operating system, with the first three systems including a 1TB 7200RPM HDD and optional optical drive. Starting at $699 we have an Intel Pentium processor, AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB GPU and H97 chipset motherboard. For $200 more you can upgrade to the R9 270X 2GB and Intel Core i3 4350 processor. For $999 you get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB and Core i5 4590 processor, while the $1299 option bumps it up to the GTX 970 and Core i5 4690K while offering a Z97 chipset, 120GB Samsung EVO SSD, 1TB 7200RPM HDD and a DVDRW drive.
The new Digital Storm Eclipse is available starting at $699, directly from their website.