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.
Yes, it's true, Commodore is still around and making computers. Just today, they have released a new computer called the AMIGA mini. They are billing the computer as a "tiny powerhouse" that's "slick and eye-catching in appearance." It certainly is "eye-catching," but is it in the way they want it to be? Take a look for yourself:
The new AMIGA mini is powered by an Intel i7-2700k inside a petite 7.8" x 7.8" x 3" enclosure. It features 16GB of DDR3-1333 RAM and this is about where the "powerhouse" portion stops. It features only a GT 430 graphics card which is pretty weak. They say the computer can be used as a home-theater system, a workstation, or a gaming machine, but with only a GT 430, I don't see the gaming machine portion working out too well.
Today's Deal of the Day is Dell Small Business - 20-Inch Dell E2011H LCD Monitor equipped Dell Vostro 260 Desktop with Intel Pentium G630, 2GB Memory, 250GB HD, DVD Burner, for $399 with FREE Shipping!
$399 with FREE shipping after $169 instant discount buys a Dell Vostro 260 mini tower desktop with 2.7Ghz Intel Pentium dual-core G630, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB hard drive, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, 15-month antivirus, and 1 year warranty, plus a 20" Dell E2011H LCD monitor. You can upgrade to a 22" Dell E2211H 1080p LCD monitor for $20. Unknown expiration date, may expire at any time.
Our Deal of the Day is Dell Small Business - TWO Dell Vostro 260 Mini Tower Desktop with 2nd Gen Intel Core i5, 4GB Memory, 500GB HD, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Media Card Reader and More for $399 Each with FREE Shipping!
Great deal for those of you who want two computers (or want to split the order with a friend) and already have a monitor. $798 total ($399 each) thanks to $550 worth of instant discounts and $100 worth of coupon discounts buys you TWO Dell Vostro 260 Mini Tower desktop with 2nd Gen 3.1Ghz Intel Core i5-2400 (with Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.4Ghz), 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, Dell Wireless 1502 802.11b/b/g/n wireless, 19-in-1 media card reader, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, 15-month antivirus, and a 1 year warranty.
Start here for this configuration: DELL VOSTRO 260 MINI TOWER DESKTOP DEAL
When you finish configuring it like you want, your cart, change the Qty from 1 to 2, or, if you want a slightly different config for the second unit, hit the back button on your browser and make the changes. When you get back to your cart, it'll have both.
Manli, one of a bunch of companies who are part of the PC Partner group from Hong Kong have shown off some seriously slick looking gear at CeBIT. The hardware in question is Manli's latest mini PC, dubbed Manli Elite. Manli Elite is similar to Zotac's ZBOX systems, but features upgraded hardware, and a different design.
Manli Elite has the same motherboard as Zotac's ZBOX mini AD10, but the Elite sports an upgraded AMD E450 APU, versus the ZBOX's older E350. On top of this, the Elite features two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort out, HDMI out, an eSATA port, GbE, a memory card reader, audio jacks, and built-in 802.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi.
Inside the Elite itself, is room for an internal 2.5-inch HDD, and a single SO-DIMM slot for memory. The Manli Elite does look very nice, featuring a simple, yet nice design. Manli are also offering an optional media center remote with the Elite and pre-configured models with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD are to be made available in selected markets.
Our Deal of the Day is Dell Home - XPS 8300 Desktop with 24" Flat Panel Display, 12GB Memory, Core i7, Nvidia, 1.5TB HDD, Blu-ray and More for $1149 with FREE Shipping
A loaded system with a 24" flat panel display that gets an extra $50 off on top of the huge $603 limited time savings thanks to coupon code:
LM?BF7P$FR9KCK (expire 3/14/12 - please copy and use coupon code carefully)
Dell ST2420L 24" Flat Panel HD Monitor
12GB DDR3 1333 MHz Memory
1.5TB SATA II 3Gb/s Hard Drive
Nvidia GeForce GT 530
Blu-ray Comboe Drive with Double Layer DVD+/-RW Drive
Dell 1501 Wireless-N
Intel Core i7-2600 Processor
McAfee 15 Months
1 Year Warranty
Use coupon code: LM?BF7P$FR9KCK (expires 3/14/12) DELL XPS 8300
Our Deal of the Day is HP Home & Home Office Store - HP Pavilion h8xt Desktop PC w/ Intel Core i7-2600, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 2TB HDD, Blu-Ray Player - $874.99 Shipped Free!
HP has discounted its HP Pavilion h8xt Desktop PC to just $899.99 shipped free! Use the $25 STACKABLE coupon code for an additional discount.
2nd Gen Intel Core i7-2600 Quad Core Processor
8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs]
2TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
1GB DDR3 AMD Radeon HD 7570 [HDMI, DVI, VGA via adapter]
Wireless-N LAN card (1x1)
15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB 2.0 (front), audio, 2 USB (top rear-facing)
Premium HP keyboard and optical mouse
Nice price for this high end desktop PC! Use coupon code: SAVE25HP for the STACKABLE $25 discount. Expires 05/07/2012.
HP have just unleashed their new 'Z1 Workstation', which is a 27-inch all-in-one desktop, and boasts some seriously powerful hardware inside. Much better than previous all-in-one solutions I've seen before.
The Z1 will hit in April, with a starting price of $1,899. The stock model will include a Core i3-2120, integrated HD 2000 graphics, 250GB of storage and a DVD writer. The unit can scale all the way up to the quad-core Xeon E3-1245 or E3-1280, various NVIDIA Quadro GPUs including the Q4000M, up to a 2TB 7200RPM HDD, 600GB 10,000RPM HDD or 300GB SSD, depending on what you like, and a Blu-ray writer.
All configurations do share these specs:
A 27-inch 2560x1440 LED-backlit IPS display
Up to 32GB of 1600MHz DDR3 ECC RAM
An HD 1080p 2.0-megapixel webcam
Four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports
Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0
DisplayPort in/out, SPDIF and audio jacks
Memory card reader
SRS Premium Sound w/ dual-cone speakers
One PCIe x16 slot, three miniPCIe slots
A choice of wired/wireless keyboard and mouse
A selection of various Windows/Linux OSes
Dimensions of 23" (H) x 26" (W) x 16.5" (D)
NASA have just ended an era with the flick of a switch, where they powered down NASA's last mainframe, the IBM Z9 Mainframe, at their Marshall Space Flight Center.
Of course, mainframes were a cornerstone of NASA's history. They could be attributed to getting the U.S. to land on the Moon, or to calculate many other things that the public is allowed to know, and more interestingly, the things we don't know. Which I'm sure NASA have a lot of.
Back when NASA were installing older mainframes, they used to be absolutely gigantic. Now we can have them down to the size of a decently-sized refrigerator (if that makes you feel any better about NASA's power bills or the state of "global warming"). It's a sad day, but it was an eventuality.
Deal of the Day: Dell Small Business - Dual 20" Dell LCD Monitor equipped Dell Vostro 260ST Desktop with 2nd Gen Intel Core i3, 4GB Memory, 500GB HD, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Media Card Reader, Win 7 Pro, and More for $599 with FREE Shipping!
Our Deal of the Day is Dell Small Business - Dual 20" Dell LCD Monitor equipped Dell Vostro 260ST Desktop with 2nd Gen Intel Core i3, 4GB Memory, 500GB HD, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Media Card Reader, Win 7 Pro, and More for $599 with FREE Shipping!
Deeper discount and upgraded configuration! $599 after a massive $472.99 instant discount buys this originally $1049 Dell Vostro 260 slim tower desktop with TWO 20" Dell E2011H LCD monitors. This computer also comes with a 2nd gen 3.3Ghz Intel Core i3-2120 processor, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, 16x DVD+/-RW DL, Dell Wireless 1501 802.11n card, 8-in-1 media card reader, Windows 7 Professional x64, 15-month antivirus, and a 1 year warranty, plus a TrippLite HDMI to DVI gold video cable. Shipping is FREE. Unknown expiration date, may expire at any time (original expiration was 2/3/12 at 7AM CT).
CyberpowerPC, a leading manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, gaming notebooks, and performance workstations has just announced that they are the first U.S. computer manufacturer to offer Intel's Performance Turning Protection Plan, which covers you under warranty in case you damage your CPU from overclocking.
This means you can push your CyberpowerPC system even further, without having to worry about "what if it fails," or "what if I push it too far?" CyberpowerPC have also teamed up with Gigabyte and are offering the Protection Plan for free, when you purchase a second-generation K-series CPU along with a Gigabyte Z68-based motherboard.
Eric Cheung, CEO of CyberpowerPC says:
We're very excited to partner up with Intel and Gigabyte to provide this service for our enthusiast customers. We're inviting our hardcore gaming customers to push their systems to the limit because CyberpowerPC and Intel have your back.
On top of this, it's great to know that every CyberpowerPC is assembled in the U.S. and each system is meticulously built including precise cable routing to "ensure optimal airflow and a clean aesthetic appearance." All CyberpowerPC gaming systems include a 3-year limited warranty and free lifetime phone support.
Raspberry Pi is shaping up to be a great thing for modders and the hobbyist community. The latest tease is the $25 unit running popular home-theater PC software, XMBC. Considering the Raspberry Pi is more-or-less the size of a credit card, this is an amazing feat.
It was recently demoed showing off XMBC, and for the cost of less than a thumb drive, it offers an ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2835 processor with a built-in multimedia engine. The chip is capable of decoding high-profile H.264 content at 1080p, and XMBC seems to take advantage of that very nicely.
It also sports a 3.5-mm audio jack, onboard SD slot, built-in HDMI and USB ports and the base of Raspberry Pi has the necessary ingredients for a basic home-theater PC. There is a second model available which includes an extra USB port, 10/100 Ethernet, and double the onboard memory for an additional $10.
Alienware have started 2012 by letting lose their X51 desktop. The X51 is a slim gaming PC that is designed to orient itself vertically, or horizontally on the desktop. Even the Alienware logo properly rotates depending on the positioning, nice touch!
The Alienware X51 sports a Core 13 or Core i5, a slot-loading optical drive and an option for Blu-ray. The X51 can be configured to take 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. GPU wise, it sports a full-size NVIDIA GeForce GT 545, upgradeable to the GTX 555, an external power supply in both 240W and 330W versions.
Connectivity on the Alienware X51 includes HDMI 1.4, on-board Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, and digital 7.1 surround sound. Additionally, the computer's accent colors can be modified with the Alienware Command Center software. Customers can place orders right now, starting at just $699.