MSI Announces The Aegis Gaming Desktop

MSI is one of the leading hardware companies around and manufactures an enormous range of products including graphics cards, motherboards, mouse mats, gaming laptops and much more. Their latest creation entitled, the Aegis, is a gaming desktop opting for a usual yet compact design. Furthermore, there’s a carrying handle to easily take the system to another person’s house or compete in a LAN event. The system supports a number of high-end graphics cards up to the GTX 980 Ti.

Ready for Excellent Graphics
Play the latest games in all their glory with MSI Aegis. It can be equipped with the latest high-end graphics cards. The compact case is future proof, as it has enough space for a full-size graphics card to bring all the power that real gamers need.

Silent Storm Cooling 2
To get outstanding performance Aegis is equipped with a powerful cooling system, Silent Storm Cooling 2. Embracing three separate air flow streams that individually take care of the cooling of different components within Aegis. The unique Silent Storm Cooling 2 design makes sure the system’s temperature stays perfectly under control, ensuring a cool and silent operation.

Easy Access to Upgradable Components
For gamers who always want to get the best out of their system, the components of the Aegis are easily accessible and ready to be upgraded at any time. Whether the user wants to expand storage, switch to another CPU or upgrade the graphics card, he can always keep the MSI Aegis gaming rig up to date with the latest hardware.

Mystic Light
Make your build look like it’s on fire or as cold as ice. Choose a style with Mystic Light RGB LED built into the front of the case and select any of the colors from the palette to match and give Aegis its own gaming look. Or use breathe, gradient or Gaming & music modes.

Hear Beyond the Limits
Delivering the crispest sound signal to gamers’ ears with special hard- and software amplifiers built in. Audio Boost 3 is integrated into the Aegis motherboard and produces the best sound, especially benefiting gamers using a gaming headset. Nahimic Sound Technology software is used to boost the audio performance to the next level. Get immersed with high definition virtual 7.1 sound using advanced sound enhancement effects and unique features for gamers.

Knights Landing Supercomputing Chipset Featured in Ninja Desktops

Whenever new hardware is released, they always come with cool names and Intel’s latest Xeon Phi chip’s don’t disappoint with the name Knights Landing (any Game of Thrones fan spot the possible reference?). While not designed for desktops the next step of Colfax’s Ninja desktops will make sure of these supercomputing chips.

The new Knights Landing chips from Intel feature 72-cores, remember when you were excited to get a dual core processor? Intel is open in saying that only a limited number of workstations with the chip will become available this year, having originally been designed to help boost servers and supercomputers around the world but now could be powering your full gaming experience.

Be warned the extra power will come at a cost, with costs from Colfax’s website starting at $4,983 (around £3,508) for the base configuration. Featuring a 240GB SSD, a 4TB hard drive and a staggering 96GB of DDR4 memory the computer could easily let you get on with your daily YouTube and emailing while loading up the computer with two 1.6TB SSDs and two 6TB hard drives will jump the price to $7,577. With everything liquid cooled and two-gigabit ethernet ports, you don’t need to worry about overheating or slow network traffic.

Workstations are typically used for graphically intense operations such as film editing, graphics manipulation or engineering applications but with process heavy software coming out with the likes of virtual and augmented reality, people are looking at getting greater computing power like those offered by workstations for everyday use.

Welcome The First Ubuntu Tablet

When it comes to tablets people are often faced with the decisions between Windows and iOS operating systems, but that could soon be coming to an end with the first official Ubuntu tablet coming soon.

The Aquarius M10 is the first official tablet that will run Ubuntu, the open source Linux-based operating system. Costing you €259 (around £203) for the HD version of the tablet or for a mere extra 40 euros at €299 (around £235) you can grab the full HD variation of the tablet. Featuring a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and 1,280 x 800 display for the HD model or a 1.5GHz processor and 1,920 x 1,200 on the Full HD model, the tablets contain relatively common numbers for the modern market.

With 2GB of Ram, 16GB of expandable storage and 8-megapixel and 5-megapixels on the back and front of the tablet respectively it is a perfect little starter for tablets. The key point is that using Canonical’s open source software, the device will switch to a desktop PC when connected to a mouse, keyboard and external screen. Carry round computer anyone?

The device is slated for release in the second week of April and we are sure that some people reading will be more than interested in these tablets.

GIGABYTE Launches 5 New Greenlow-Based HEDT Motherboards

GIGABYTE launched a complete new series of High-End Desktop (HEDT) motherboards with the new X170 and X150 series motherboards that are based on Intel’s C236 and C232 chipsets and with support for Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors as well as ECC memory. Besides the Xeon compatibility, you can also use 6th generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors in these new boards.

The Xeon CPUs come with quite a bit more power than the ordinary desktop CPUs and they are perfect for photographers, designers, and video editors where the software can take a real advantage of the underlying architecture. GIGABYTE is so sure of these products that Henry Kao, the Vice President of GIGABYTE’s motherboard business commented it as “the best HEDT experience” [sic]. The new Intel generation brings some great improvements. Not only are the new Skylake based Xeon’s built on the 14nm technology, the new C230 series chipsets bring along support for faster, better, and more memory. The boards support up to 64GB DDR4 memory with 2133MHz compared to the max of 32GB at 1866MHz on the previous generation. There are also the added bonuses of improved manageability, increased I/O bandwidth, and enhanced processor graphics to name a few.

In the new GIGABYTE series are boards with ECC support and some without, depending on what you need. The X170-Extreme ECC, X150-PRO ECC, and X150M-PRO ECC boards all support it and it can be a useful feature as it can eliminate small data discrepancies and prevent data corruption to ensure reliability for critical applications while also helping to reduce system crashes. Another thing that can help your productivity a lot is how GIGABYTE designed the motherboard. The first PCIe lane on these motherboards is a direct x16 Gen.3 lane to the processor that offers 128Gb/s unrestricted bandwidth to your graphics card.

The new boards also come with all other modern features such as USB 3.1, M.2, and PCI-Express connections. U.2 drives can also be used through an M.2 adapter to give you the fastest possible storage solutions available. On the flagship X170-Extreme ECC motherboard, you’ll also find the Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller which is classified as the world’s most advanced networking detection and prioritization technology for consumer and enthusiast users. The adapter delivers industry-leading latency performance, offering more powerful network control, improved latency, reduced jitter and virtually eliminates video freezes so users can play, watch and stream games all at the same time. At least on the paper.

At the time of writing, not all product pages have gone online yet, so we can’t provide details on all of the boards. The X170-Extreme ECC and X150-PRO ECC are still missing. The X150-Plus WS, X150M-Plus WS, and X150M-PRO ECC are online and you can find the highlights for those below.

X150-Plus WS

  • Supports the Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processor and 6th Gen. Intel® Core i3/ Pentium®/ Celeron® Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • 2-Way Graphics with Premium PCIe Lane
  • PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe & SATA SSD support)
  • SATA Express Connector for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • 8-channel HD Audio with High-Quality Audio Capacitors
  • Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • Intel® GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS Technology

X150M-PRO ECC

  • Supports Intel® Xeon E3-1200 v5 and 6th Generation Intel® Core i3 Processors
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs with ECC support
  • 2-Way Graphics with Premium PCIe Lane
  • PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support)
  • SATA Express Connectors for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
  • Intel® GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • 8-channel HD Audio with High Quality Audio Capacitors
  • Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS Technology

X150M-PLUS WS

  • Supports the Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processor and 6th Gen. Intel® Core i3/ Pentium®/ Celeron® Processor
  • Dual Channel DDR4, 2 DIMMs
  • 8-channel HD Audio with High Quality Audio Capacitors
  • Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
  • Realtek® GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
  • Support Intel® Small Business Basics

AMD Unifies Desktop Zen CPU and APU Sockets

In the days before AMD launched their APUs, all of their consumer CPUs largely used the socket across their lineup. When AMD launched their Llano series of APUs in 2011, they used the an incompatible FM1 socket instead of the AM3/3+ due to the need to integrate the iGPU. With the subsequent Trinity and Richland APUs, AMD kept a different socket in FM2. This year AMD is finally moving to a unified socket.

Officially confirmed as AM4, this new socket will combine the CPU and APU lineups for AMD. This means users will no longer have to decide which platform as well as chip they want, simplifying the decision to between a CPU or APU. This means users can purchase an APU on a budget and upgrade to a dedicated CPU and GPU later on without having to buy a new motherboard. This should help drive sales of AMD chips since it simplifies choice and offers more flexibility.

In bringing the two platforms together, we can finally expect to see Zen CPUs become a SoC. This is because the APU lineup already has the PCIe lanes tied to the CPU directly which bring along power savings and better performance, something the CPU lineup will finally pick up. Zen is expected to bring DDR4 support along as well. The biggest questions will be AMD have another socket meant for higher end chips like Intel does, whether or not the Zen CPUs will have some form of on-die graphics like Intel does and if AM4 will still be PGA.

DXT Mouse 2 Wireless Ergonomic Vertical Mouse Review

Introduction


We see a lot of mice here at eTeknix, and they certainly come in all shapes and sizes, but the DXT Mouse 2 is by far one of the most unique. While we love a great gaming mouse, packed with programmable buttons, RGB lighting and other crazy features, sometimes practicality wins out. The DXT is a vertical mouse, with the buttons on the side to provide your hand and wrist with a more natural resting position, helping eliminate stress and wrist pain, a common issue for a lot of people who use computers for many hours a day.

There are two models available, wired and wireless, and we have the wireless model at our disposal today. As you can see, it’s quite a compact unit, with an ambidextrous design and for those who like an easy setup, it’s plug and play ready.

There may not be a lot of features here, but all the basics are covered and there’s even a four level DPI adjuster for the optical sensor, giving you 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 DPI options.

  • Read the launch story for this product.
  • The world’s first ambidextrous ergo mouse.
  • Can be used right- or left-handed (instantly switchable).
  • Compact (ideal for laptop users).
  • High-precision vertical mouse design, well suited to detailed work.
  • Fits most hand sizes.
  • Designed by UK ergonomist/physiotherapist team.
  • The wireless version now features an on/off switch to prolong battery life.
  • Now with enhanced finish and quality.
  • New zinc base plate to increase weight and stability.
  • Maximum resolution increased. Options are now 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 dpi.

The packaging is nice and compact, with a few simple details on the front. Most notable, this is the light touch version, with lighter use switches.

There’s a few pictures on the box, but otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward, so let’s get it out the box and take a look.

In the box, you’ll find a collection of documentation, a USB charging cable, USB dongle for the wireless connectivity and a protective soft carry pouch.

As you can see, this really is no ordinary mouse, the left and right mouse buttons, as well as the scroll wheel are almost 90-degrees compared to most desktop mice. There’s a nice mixture of well finished plastics on DXT, giving it a nice weighted and premium feel. Despite looking completely sideways, it’s actually quite nice looking and well designed.

The scroll wheel is nice and large, set into the body of the mouse and it’s got a light tactile bump when rotated, as well as a soft rubber grip for added control.

The back of the mouse is scooped out, giving it a nice ergonomic thumb rest, while the base of the mouse is wider, giving it excellent stability.

At the rear, you’ll find a small switch for moving from left to right-handed mode, as having it the wrong way would result in inverted mouse Y axis.

There’s also a micro-USB charging port here, so no need to worry about replacing the batteries. I gave it a full charge when I opened the box and a week later, with a few hours use each day and its still going strong.

On the base, you’ll find four small slipmats, which provide a really good amount of glide, it works well on harder cloth surfaces, but just as well on soft mouse mats too. There’s an optical sensor in the middle, a master power switch to save battery and a small button to toggle the DPI level.

The mouse is surprisingly small, but since you don’t need to rest your palm on it, it doesn’t need to be as big as most mice. You’ll also notice it’s symmetrical, so it’s just as comfortable to use in either your left or right hand.

The mouse supports a fingertip grip, similar in feel to a claw or fingertip grip on most other mice, giving you light and nimble control that is great for small hand movements and precision work.

Having your wrist at this angle certainly takes a lot of strain off your hand and if you suffer from CTS and many other arm/wrist/hand pain conditions, while also acting as a preventative tool for those who would like to avoid similar issues.

The optical sensor in the DXT is quite good, I wasn’t expecting much from it if I’m honest, but as you can see, the readout is pretty clean and smooth. There’s certainly a slight dose of angle snapping and/or straight line correction going on, but it’s quite acceptable on a mouse that isn’t designed for gaming and can be beneficial when working in CAD, office and image editing software.

There’s no doubt that the mouse is comfortable to use, but it certainly takes some getting used to.  Drawing these charts did prove a little difficult, especially since I was using a normal desktop mouse for most of the day before it, and many years before that. However, after a bit of practice, it starts getting a lot easier and damn is it comfortable! I personally suffer from wrist pain and have to take regular breaks to prevent it getting too bad, and while this mouse won’t cure that for me, it does allow me to work a lot longer before the pain becomes an issue and it has been slowly improved over a few days of use.

The left and right mode switch is great too, as I am an ambidextrous user and being able to quickly switch between left and right is simply awesome for me. Of course, not everyone is comfortable using both left and right handed modes, but it’s nice that lefties aren’t left out of day-to-day use of the DXT

The sensor DPI mode switch on the bottom can be a little fiddly to reach and does involve you lifting the mouse to change, but since this isn’t a gaming mouse, there’s rarely a need to make rapid changes between DPI modes. Overall, the DXT is a joy to use, even if it does have a little bit of a learning curve to get use to effectively click and scrolling sideways.

Sony Officially Bringing PS4 Streaming to PC and Mac

That PlayStation 4 has been gaining a lot of interest this week, with one developer working hard to create his own PS4 to PC streaming app, allowing desktop remote play similar to that of how the Xbox One can stream to Windows 10. Now it seems that Sony is to take the wind out of the sails of this developer, as they’ve revealed they’re officially working on a remote play function for both PC and Mac.

This is great news for me personally, as I love using my Xbox One via the streaming function, it frees up the living room TV, but allows me to play games from my comfortable gaming chair. Being able to do the same thing from the PlayStation 4 is going to be great, as it never hurts to have more options on how and when you can play your games.

Remote play is nothing new for Sony of course, the Vita can take streamed PS4 games, as can a range of Xperia devices and the PlayStation TV mini-console, so hopefully it won’t take too long for Sony to catch up and get the functionality to desktop systems. There’s no official timeline just now, but I would expect this to be launched sometime in the new year.

Nvidia Shield Android TV Review

Introduction


The Nvidia Shield TV is here at last, the much-anticipated successor to the already feature packed and exciting line of Android-powered Nvidia gaming devices. The original Shield is a great little hand-held, and we’ve tested it extensively since it was released, pushing the limits of what can be done with it, just check out the links below to see more. Then we have the Shield Tablet, a mini powerhouse of mobile gaming that still dominates the mobile gaming market for Android, in my opinion at least. Now we’ve got the Shield TV, a set-top box packed with some of the latest and greatest Nvidia mobile hardware, promising greater performance than any previous Shield devices, and more than any other competing devices on the market.

 

“NVIDIA SHIELD is an amazing Ultra HD streaming media player, delivering incredible resolution in favorite apps like Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K, YouTube, KODI (XBMC), and PLEX. Vivid 10-bit color and rich Dolby 7.1 surround sound make this a true home theater experience. Or plug your headphones into your SHIELD controller or SHIELD remote for a private listening experience.” said Nvidia

Equipped with the powerful new Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, which features an impressive 256-core GPU and 3GB of RAM, offers up 4K capability, support for a huge range of video and audio formats, 16GB of storage, high-speed networking and so much more; I’m amazed this little box only costs £149.99!

“Explore a world of entertainment, powered by Android TV. Tap into Google Play for a huge, dynamic selection of movies, TV shows, and apps. Say “Oscar-winning movies” or “launch Netflix” and let Google’s advanced voice commands do the work for you. Get personalized recommendations on your home screen. Even cast a show or pictures to your TV from your PC, Android, or iOS device with built-in Google Cast. SHIELD makes it fast and easy.” Said Nvidia

Equipped with a range of cool apps as standard, you’ll also find Shield Hub, Nvidia GRID and more, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be a multimedia powerhouse right out of the box.

The packaging is nice and tidy, with a good image of the Shield on the front, as well as the main spec; such as this being the 16GB model.

Around the back, we can see it’s powered by Android TV, supports voice search, 4K and gaming.

As a nice bonus, we also have the Shield remote, an optional £39.99 accessory.

The remote is super sleek, with a nice mixture of brushed aluminium finishes and a few simple buttons. The microphone button lights up in green when pressed and theirs a microphone at the top for voice controls.

At the base, a small micro-USB recharging port and a 3.5mm jack for headsets/headphones.

And finally, a brushed aluminium back.

It fits nicely in your hand and the control buttons are simple enough, a directional D-pad with a central select button, as well as a back and ok button below that.

Opening up the box, everything is very nicely packaged.

There’s a modular plug for international users, HDMI cable, micro USB cable, Shield controller and a support guide.

Microsoft Previews New Windows 10 Feature

In an understated announcement, Microsoft revealed and released an early preview build of Windows 10, featuring functional nested virtualization. Or in simpler terms, Windows running on Windows, running on Windows, like a matryoshka doll of computers. And while this may seem simple and silly at first glance, think about all the components that make your PC work. For even a single virtual machine, your PC has to fool a copy of Windows (or any other operating system) into thinking it has access to those things, not to mention the resources the physical machine has to surrender to the virtual machine. So to allow a virtual machine to properly share all of these things to a virtual machine of its own is no small feat.

What does this mean for Windows 10? For one, it makes Windows 10 more attractive to developers. When fully implemented, the nested virtualization could allow a developer to run and test their application on different versions of Windows or how their application runs in a virtual environment while keeping it entirely isolated from their own machine inside of a main test virtual machine. The feature also works as a proof-of-concept of the feature that could be including in the upcoming Windows Server 2016, where businesses could run multiple sub-servers or use it to test the usage of their virtual machine configurations without having to risk a host system, which would require far more effort to recover. On a less serious note, there are certainly people out there who would just get a kick out of seeing what they could do with the ability to use these features.

Of course, this is currently a very early preview, complete with the limitations and bugs of such a release, the details of these, including how you try it yourself using the preview build can be found on Microsoft’s own Virtualization Blog.

As a regular user of virtual machines, I’m eager to see how this feature is implemented and whether it helps Windows 10’s adoption in the professional world. Does this feature appeal to you, from a tinkering or professional perspective, or does this seem unnecessary while the storm of discussion over Windows 10s current state rages on?

PC Sales Continue to Decline Despite Windows 10 Launch

The uptake of Windows 10 has been extraordinary thanks to the free-upgrade promotion and already been installed on more than 110 million devices. This was achieved within a 2-month period and exceeded Microsoft’s most-optimistic expectations. However, this resounding success story doesn’t indicate a sudden upturn in PC sales figures. According to data from Gartner, PC sales declined 7.7 percent during the third quarter.

This isn’t a shocking revelation as PCs are more than powerful enough for the average end-user to last a considerable amount of time. Additionally, the Windows 10 figures relate to existing computers being upgraded. Unlike other operating system launches, consumers don’t feel the need to purchase a new system just to access Microsoft’s latest software. Whatever the case, it seems the declining PC trend will continue for some time as vendors try to make other sectors more profitable.

On another note, Windows 10 is being used on more than traditional PCs. The operating system is being embedded into mobile devices and even the Xbox One. It’s interesting to see the impact of tablets and discussion regarding their usefulness. Can they replace PCs, or only act a supplementary device?

Do you think the future of traditional PCs is very bleak?

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information. 

Hp Envy 34 – A Curved All-In-One Pc

More often than not the reveals regarding PC’s are most exciting when they involve things like the Surface Book Microsoft revealed yesterday. Today I can happily say that may not be the case. HP have just unveiled their new 34-inch desktop PC and it has caught my eye for several reasons. Behold the HP Envy 34!

The first thing you may notice about the image above is the lack of the giant tower, normally hidden under a table or to the side. That’s because the Envy 34 is an all-in-one PC, this means that your tower and screen are built together into a single item to sit on your desktop. The screen it features it’s not just for show either, as well as being a curved display to help comfort you as you scan from one side of the 3440×1400 resolution screen to another, you’ll be viewing approximately 4.9 million pixels.

HP are proud of the display, citing it offers 99 percent of the SRGB colour gamut. What this means is the colour is pretty close to what it is actually meant to be, a patch of silvery snow colour will appear as silver snow, not white.

Featuring an i5 or i7 Skylake graphics card the PC is set to pack some processing power too, with the option to add a GTX 960A if you want some extra graphics force in your machine. Supporting either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 ram, and anything from a 128GB SSD to a 2TB hard drive you are going to be happy with the memory it comes with, all of which start at $1,800 (Approximately £1175).

All I see when I look at it is the transparent screens from the Minority Report control room, but are you interested in the device? Do you tend to shy away from all-in-one PC’s or are you up for anything that fills the spec?

Thank you PC World for the information and images.

AMD Introduces PRO A-Series Processors

AMD introduced its most powerful line of AMD PRO A-Series mobile and desktop processors to date, formerly codenamed Carrizo PRO and Godavari PRO. Along with the new APUs, AMD also introduced the AMD PRO Control Center that features easy-to-use tools such as AMD Energy Saver, PC Health Center, USB Blocker, and Wireless Display.

Mobile users can now utilize even more AMD power than ever before as AMD is introducing the first AMD PRO A12 processor, the fastest to date. It comes with 4 CPU cores with a clock up to 3.4GHz and 8 GPU Radeon R7 cores with up to 800MHz and 512 graphics compute cores. The new APUs also feature a hardware level ARM TrustZone where sensible tasks can be run in a secure environment and it is the first commercial processor in the industry designed to be compliant with the Heterogenous Systems Architecture 1.0 (HSA).

Key features of the new AMD PRO mobile processor include:

  • First commercial processor in the industry designed to be compliant with the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 specification to make programming accelerators such as the GPU far simpler, leading to greater application performance at low power consumption.
  • First ARM TrustZone capable commercial performance APU with a dedicated AMD Secure Processor. ARM TrustZone runs on top of the hardware enabling sensitive tasks to run on the AMD Secure Processor – in the “secure world” – while other tasks are run in “standard operation.”
  • First commercial performance APU with a true System-on-Chip (SoC) design to provide substantial gains in CPU, graphics and multimedia performance.
  • First commercial processor with High-Efficiency Video Compression (HEVC) decoder capability for mainstream notebooks to stream HD and Ultra HD content.

The AMD PRO desktop chips retain the same socket as the previous APUs but come with enhanced performance. AMD didn’t reveal what the exact model names are or what they are called, but they should be available in HP products starting yesterday and recognizable through the AMD PRO label.

GTX 980 Desktop GPU is Coming to Select Notebooks

NVIDIA has made a rather surprising announcement which could signify a new era of mobile notebooks with the level of graphical prowess usually consigned to Desktop PCs. The power efficiency and extraordinary heat dissipation on Maxwell GPUs has allowed NVIDIA’s engineers to incorporate the full Desktop chip into notebooks. In theory, this means other desktop GPUs could follow and produce magnificent performance across a wide price range. As a result, supported notebooks will adopt a no compromise approach and features an unlocked core. Therefore, the integrated GPU is designed to be overclocked and shouldn’t encounter any thermal throttling.

This also means the notebook models will be fully VR-compliant and contain the required horsepower to run 90 FPS, low-latency gaming experiences. NVIDIA has already listed a number of manufacturing partners which include:

Along with Aorus, ASUS, MSI and  Clevo, they’ll be available from a number of local gaming brands such as Origin PC, Maingear, Falcon NW, Digital Storm , Sager, XMG, PC Specialist, LDLC, Hyperbook, G-Tune, AfterShock, BossMonster, Metabox, ThunderRobot and Terrans Force.”

Gaming notebooks traditionally included mobile versions of their desktop counterparts and involved higher temperatures, louder operating and reduced performance. According to NVIDIA, the manufacturers have constructed each notebook completely around the GTX 980 full-chip design. Perhaps, this could make people ditch their desktop PCs for a very capable notebook system. However, the pricing and lack of upgradability could be a deal breaker for some.

Intel Regrets Skipping Broadwell for Desktop PCs

Intel has admitted that skipping desktop PC iterations of its Broadwell processors last year was a mistake following a massive dip in sales for the company over the last twelve months. Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, confessed during this year’s Citi 2015 Global Technology Conference in New York that not releasing Broadwell for PC – instead, opting for the Haswell Refresh – was “a mistake”.

“I mentioned desktop’s more than a $10 billion business for Intel,” Skaugen told attendees of Citi GTC 2015. “We didn’t build a next generation core product our last product for Towers. We made an experiment and we said maybe we are putting technology in to the market too fast, but let’s not build a chip for the mainstream Tower business, more than a $10 billion business. Turns out that was a mistake. It saved us some R&D, but XP end of life and then there was no reason to buy a PC this year.”

One upside of the decision, though, is that demand for new Intel desktop processors has never been higher, with Skaugen conceding that Intel is now “expecting a slightly better than seasonal or high-end to seasonal for the second half [0f 2015] now”.

Thank you Seeking Alpha for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WCCF Tech.

Dell Predicts 80% Market Share For Top Three PC Makers by 2020

Dell has predicted 80% of the dedicated PC market will be dominated by the top three hardware companies in the world. This includes Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard Co. Currently, Lenovo controls 20.3% of PC shipments, followed by HP with 18.5% and Dell attained a figure of 14.5%. During a round-table with journalists in Bengaluru, India, Michael Dell claimed:

“In the first half of this year, we outgrew the two in notebooks and we have grown now 10 quarters in a row,”

“Being a private company has certainly allowed us to focus our future more on 3 years, 5 years, 10 years out and get away from the short-term orientation that public companies often find themselves in,”

“We have been able to grow even though the (PC) market is shrinking and of course our business goes well beyond the device into data center, software, services and security,”

“I think there are maybe only one or two companies who make a profit in the smartphone business today and there are quite a few companies that lose substantial sums of money in the smartphone business,”

“So, no thank you! I do not want to be in the smartphone business.”

The theory revolves around consolidating each company’s current market position as the competition struggles to extend their foothold in a very difficult sector. PC sales are dwindling, and at an alarming rate. Therefore, you need a significant market share to remain near the top. Dell is suggesting other companies with a reduced focus on the PC market will eventually give up and leave space for Dell to enhance their profile.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information. 

Acer Demonstrates ‘Building Block’ Revo PC

The Acer Revo is an extraordinary small form-factor PC which features a wealth of upgradability through LEGO-inspired hardware tiers. Each expansion block magnetically clips into position after removing a plastic cover. Once unclipped, a discrete connector is unveiled which allows you to neatly connect cables between various tiers. Subsequently, this makes the cabling surprisingly easy and provides a clear, professional look. Currently, Acer’s range of optional tiers includes an external GPU, mini-speaker and headphone amplifier with more modules expected in the future.

In terms of performance, the Revo has the potential to be a small but powerful beast and incorporates either an Intel Celeron or Skylake CPU. Furthermore, the device allows up to 32GB of flash storage and 8GB RAM. Coupled with the dedicated GPU module, this could become the perfect LAN rig or Steam Box. It’s unknown what grade of GPU will be offered but I expect Acer to utilize the GTX 965M, GTX 970M and GTX 980M at different price tiers.

Connectivity-wise, the Revo features HDMI, full-sized DisplayPort, 3 USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The device is scheduled for an October release within the UK and priced around £200. Personally, I think the Revo is a marvellous concept and demonstrates how powerful tiny PCs can be. However, how much of a premium will there be to purchase Acer modules? To be a successful venture, Acer must be careful when it comes to pricing and the premium over traditional upgrades. For example, if a Blu-Ray reader costs £100, when you can purchase one yourself for £50, it could deter many people from investing in the Revo’s closed upgrade path.

Thank you Alphr for providing us with this information.

Google Could Begin Searching Your Desktop’s Local Files

Google has recently filed a patent listing with the USPTO entitled, “Computer Application Data in Search Results” which catalogues search results across the internet, cloud and local storage. This means Google will be able to search through your data and act as a unified search engine. The patent is engineered to replace Windows’ built-in search tool and offer a wide range of results. However, privacy advocates and many consumers will feel quite uneasy if this policy ever comes to fruition.

While users are accepting of Google’s data policy for online searches, I’m not convinced they will allow access to local files so easily. Evidently, people are opting for cloud-storage more and operating systems are eventually going to be a service. Despite this, Google’s reputation around privacy and how it handles sensitive data is quite poor and you have to wonder how an individual’s data will be processed. It’s important to reiterate that, patents are design ideas and not a guarantee that something will be implemented in the future.

Nevertheless, it seems companies are trying to increase user convenience at the expense of privacy. Do you feel comfortable having bank documents, childhood photos and other information as part of a global search and assessable by Google?

Thank you SlashGear for providing us with this information.

Fusion Qi Wireless Charger With Apple Add-on Review

Introduction


We see all kinds of weird and wonderful products here at eTeknix HQ and while I’m no stranger to mobile devices or even wireless charging devices, this one is marketed with a twist that really caught my attention. The Qi Wireless Charger from Fusion is technically like any other Qi wireless charging system, so if you have a Qi compatible device, you can pop it on the base it provides, charge it and you’re good to go, review done, see you later.

OK, so there’s a lot more to it than that, a few add-ons that offer extra functionality, as well as some swish marketing that make the Fusion suitable for the visually impaired. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a fair few fights trying to line up either end of a USB cable, I doubt I would fare much better if I had impaired vision; we’ll get to how it helps with this in a moment.

Features

  • Dynamic Power Limiting (DPL) for USB and Limited Source Operation
  • Foreign Object Detection (FOD) in WPC mode
  • Fusion OTR technology
  • Ultralight weight & slim design only 55*78*6.5 mm
  • Ti (Texas Instruments) smart dynamic & overcharge detection

The packaging is pretty straight forward, and with that bright pink cover it certainly stands out! You’ll also notice the packaging comes with braille print on the front, as well as a sticker which reads “official sponsor – Taiwan guide dog association.”

In the box, you’ll find a cut-out guide to aid with installation although anyone who’s half adept at sticking something to a flat surface likely won’t need it. There’s a large white sticker with high-vis pink letting and braille on the top, a 3M sticky pad, USB cable, two cable routing fittings with sticky backs and two screws; everything you need to install the system in a wide range of configurations.

The main power delivery unit is slim and nicely designed, so much so that it’ll look nice and tidy on your desktop as a direct “put your phone/tablet on this” style device. However, using the 3M pad you can mount it on the underside of a desk or table surface. Again, taking note that there is a little braille on the edge to show where there Micro-USB port it.

On the underside, there’s a nice flat surface, so it should be nice and easy to mount under a desk or table using that 3M pad. There’s also two screw holes, perfect for those that prefer a more permanent mounting solution.

The previously mentioned Micro-USB port on the end. This is for the main power input, you can connect the included USB cable to a USB plug, computer or any other compatible output.

A nice bonus is the Qi add-on, which can make any device wireless charging compatible. Of course, the grand irony here is that it comes with a cable, which seems silly, but there’s merit to be found here and I’ll get to that in a moment.

On the underside, you’ll find a gel-like surface which is tactile and will stick to glossy surfaces such as the back of a phone, SatNat, tablet, etc.

If the Micro-USB connector isn’t much good to you, a dual connector Apple adaptor is also included!

Naive Man Upgrades PC To Windows 10 And Has A Photo Problem

By photo problem you are probably imagining the upgrade to Windows 10 has deleted some unlucky person’s valuable images of life’s memories. Oh no, this is much less captured family time and more caught out with NSFW pics.

A Reddit user which goes by the username FalloutBoS, started the process of upgrading his PC to the shiny new Windows 10 OS, he went to bed satisfied in the knowledge that he would have a pleasant surprise the next morning. He had a surprise all right, when he was abruptly woken by his slightly confused wife who questioned why there were blue images rotating on his desktop.

Imagine that, the love of your life walks past the PC for only to then see nude images, this man is unlucky. So how did this happen? It looks as if yet another controversial feature has befallen him, which is Win 10 fetches images from a users default pictures gallery before playing them on repeat on the screen.

The gentleman stated the following

“Woke up to wife asking why I set it to rotate all my adult images right on the desktop view. I have no idea how to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do.”

Let this tale be a lesson to any individuals who may have NSFW images in their default picture folder, if you don’t want your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband to confront you about it, then move them, FalloutBos wife apparently understood, your other half might not be so sympathetic, if he/she is, then you will in all probability be together forever.

Thank You Reddit for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of slashgear

Google Tests Tab Suspension in Desktop Chrome

For those that are always up to a lot, having many browser tabs open is pretty common. Right now for instance, I have 61 open in Chrome right now, eating up about 6GB of my precious ram. Doubtless there are days where I have more those with less but even with my low of 40ish tabs, Chrome is my main memory hog. I’m not using all the tabs at once, but Chrome currently sees fit to have everything running at 100% whether or not I am on it or not. That is all set to change as the nightly builds of Chrome seem set on adding a feature known as Tab Discarding and Reloading.

Tab Discarding and Reloading will let Chrome unload what it deems less necessary and important tabs. Don’t worry about your tabs constantly reloading as you switch back and forth like on mobile as Chrome will only discard a tab when it is in a memory constraint scenario. The tabs are not moved to swap so each time you do reload a tab, you will require an internet connection. On the plus side, your position in the tab and any text you have does appear to be saved.

In order to try out the feature, you can get onto the nightly build of Chrome and enable the flag under chrome://flags/#enable-tab-discarding. To check out the order your tabs would drop, you can visit chrome://discards. If the Chrome feature is anything like the Chromium OS implementation, the drop order should be the same as below. What do you think about Chrome trying to use less memory by discarding tabs or do you think actually using less memory be a better solution?

  1. Internal pages like new tab page, bookmarks, etc.
  2. Tabs selected a long time ago
  3. Tabs selected recently
  4. Tabs playing audio
  5. Apps running in a window
  6. Pinned tabs
  7. The selected tab

Intel Faces Severe Supply Issues for Skylake Launch

Despite a much-anticipated launch for Skylake within the next two weeks, Intel looks to be in trouble on the supply side. According to multiple sources, supply for the i7 6700K and i5 6600K is severely limited and the initial stock is not expected to last long. Several unnamed Taiwanese firms also have had issues in supplying reviewers with Skylake chips to pair with their launch motherboard reviews.

Marketing director Anton Nilsson for Swedish retailer Webhallen had this to say on the supply situation:

We have a small number of processors and motherboards coming. They confirmed deliveries will not be enough for a whole week, rather a few days. Unfortunately, it also seems that those of our PC series most interesting motherboard is further delayed about a month.

So basically, even though Intel is only launching two chips at first, supply might as well be so limited, Intel may have well delayed the launch by a month. The fact that Intel is only launching two chips first also suggests that Intel knew this going in and was already trying to mitigate the issue. It’s important to note that while Intel may have low supply relative to demand, it doesn’t mean they aren’t producing a ton of chips, just that it’s not able to satisfy demand.

Of all the recent process nodes, 14nm has given Intel the most trouble, causing desktop Broadwell to be delayed by nearly a year and even then, the chips were vaporware for quite a while after launch. If Skylake continues this trend despite 14nm production already being ramped up for more than a year, yields must have been really bad when Intel first started it. With delays for 10nm also being built into Intel’s roadmap, we can only hope that Skylake will be worth the wait.

Thank you Sweclockers for providing us with this information 

SilverStone SST-MR01 Aluminium Monitor Riser Review

Introduction


SilverStone may be well-known for their power supplies, chassis and coolers, but that’s certainly not all they product. SilverStone have won my heart in recent years with their high-end audio equipment such as the EB03 AMD and the EB01 DAC, as well as their premium grade headphone stand, so when I found out they had a monitor riser that kept in theme with the design of those other products, I leapt at the chance to take a look at it and complete the SilverStone set that I’ve acquired over the years.

“The MR01 is a high-quality monitor riser designed with SilverStone’s famed unibody aluminum construction. This enables it to support monitors or all-in-one PCs up to 27” or 10kg (22lbs). Its modest elevation returns valuable space back to the desktop for keyboard/mouse storage or other uses without negatively impacting ergonomics of the devices on top. Finished with sand-blasted and anodized surface, the MR01 has a premium look and feel that matches high-end monitors or all-in-one PCs. It also looks and works great with iMacs!”

  • Raises your monitor to an ergonomic height
  • Increases valuable desktop space
  • Beautiful single-piece aluminum unibody construction
  • Supports 27” monitors up to 10kg (22lbs)

The Box is pretty straight forward, not as fancy as some of the SilverStone range, but at the end of the day, a box is just a box.

The design of this product is remarkably simple, featuring an aluminum unibody design. The single piece of aluminium gives the SST-MR01 incredible strength and an ultra-smooth appearance that is going to look fantastic on your desktop.

There’s a super wide cut-out towards the back of the top panel, this means that your monitor cables has a little clearance at the back and this is especially important if your desk it installed against a wall as you’ll likely want the SST-MR01 pushed right to the back of your desk.

The clearance isn’t huge here, but there’s just enough room underneath for your average keyboard or any other bits and bobs you want tucked a little out of the way, such as USB hubs, memory card readers etc.

The whole thing has been treated to a silky smooth black coating, giving it a premium look and feel from every angle.

The SST-MR01 is cut from very thick aluminium, there’s absolutely no bend or flex to the unit and it’s actually pretty heavy too, I wouldn’t suggest dropping it on your foot any time soon, that’s for sure!

Say Goodbye to Metro Skype App

Microsoft says that the Metro version of Skype is not that popular and it won’t continue with it. All users will be moved over to the Desktop version next month, having the Metro service close on the 7th of July. That’s in less than a month now, so wouldn’t an earlier heads up be nice?

Even so, Microsoft says that it wouldn’t make sense to have two apps delivering the same service on its latest operating system, namely Windows 10, since both Desktop and Metro apps will now open and interact in the same way. They say that while Skype for desktop is made for keyboard and mouse use, it does very well with touch input too.

While Metro Skype will redirect everyone to download the Desktop version of Skype after the 7th of July, Windows RT users will still be able to use the Metro version until upgrading to Windows 10.

We heard that Microsoft is planning on integrating the Skype feature in the latest Windows build, but we don’t know what it will include exactly. ZDNet states that Microsoft is also planning on releasing a dedicated Skype bundle. This means a new and improved Skype Messaging, Phone and Video service will be rolling out in the near future.

The exact release date of the new Skype bundle is not yet clear, but rumour has it that Microsoft plans to make it available to existing Windows 10 users sometime this fall. So what do you want to see in the new version of Skype? Let us know!

Thank you ZDNet for providing us with this information

Intel Launches Broadwell Desktop At Last

Delayed so long that rumors were spreading that there would never be a desktop launch, Intel has at last launched Broadwell for the desktop. The meant to follow the Haswell Tock, Broadwell was aimed at improving efficiency, quite minor tweaks and a move to the 14nm process. The complexity of 14nm production caused Broadwell to be severely delayed, with only Core-M, a mobile variant, being released last year. Desktop users had to make do with Haswell-Refresh but no more.

While there are mobile Broadwell chips launching today, the focus is on the 5 desktop CPUs. There are the i5-5575R, i5-5675R, i5-5675C, i7-5775R, and i7-5775C. All 5 processors are compatible with Z97 and H97 motherboards. However, with the exception of the C processors, they are all BGA chips, meaning they come soldered directly onto the motherboard. This means the R chips, like the 4770R before, will likely only be sold by OEMs or as part of a motherboard bundle. The C chips being unlocked (C is the new K), are LGA and the standard BIOS update for your motherboard should suffice.

The biggest change is for the frist time, Intel’s Iris Pro graphics, in this case, HD6200, are being sold with an LGA and overclockable SKU. While most users getting an unlocked chip tend to use dGPU, the addition of a strong iGPU is good for cases where you need to do an RMA or the dGPU croaks. More importantly, Iris Pro graphics means the chip comes with Crystal well, a 128MB eDRAM that acts like L4 cache. This fast low latency memory can provide a boost to single threaded performance that many might be interested in.

Broadwell on desktop, despite being unlocked and with an eDRAM cache, may face a cold reception. Skylake, Intel’s next Tock with a new architecture, is set to release later this year. With its replacement on its way o soon, Broadwell may have a tough time convincing consumers it’s a viable choice. Maybe Intel may ver well surprise us by holding Skylake desktop back, or maybe it’ll refrain from offering eDRAM on the i7 6700K? The issue becomes dicier as Broadwell desktop is only set for public availability near the end of the month.

Screentendo Turns Your Desktop Into a Playable Mario Level

A London-based software developer has released an application that turns your desktop into a playable level of NES classic Super Mario Bros. Aaron Randall used Cocoa and Sprite Kit to create Screentendo, a free app that turns whatever is on your computer screen into a playground for Mario.

In the “How does it work?” section of Randall’s blog, he explains, “When Screentendo is launched, a semi-transparent window appears which can be moved and resized over other application windows. After placing the Screentendo window over an area of the screen, clicking inside the window will cause the app to render a game level based on the content beneath it.”

Screentendo is designed to be a bit of fun or, as Randall describes it, “a proof-of-concept hack.” He admits that, as such, it “has a few shortcomings. Image processing is currently really (really) slow – sub-blocking the image takes a long time (each sub-block is an NSImage, which is a pretty inefficient way of solving this problem, but quick to implement).”

“The current implementation also requires a reasonably distinct contrast in the underlying image for the block detection to work. Finally, the physics is a little screwy – I didn’t set out to write a Super Mario Bros emulator, just something that would work “well enough” – and as such, there are some issues with ghost vertices (particularly with vertical walls) that I didn’t get round to resolving.”

Still, if you’ve got important work to do and need even more distractions with which to procrastinate, Screentendo is worth a play, and is available for download via GitHub.

Antec ISK 110 90w Mini-ITX VESA Compatible Chassis Review

Introduction


The Antec ISK series has long been a favorite of mine. Sure we sometimes need high-end full towers, capable of housing epic gaming systems, but there’s a high demand for compact and efficient systems in the home and the office; something the ISK series is well suited to. The model we’re looking at today certainly is targeted more at the professional market, with many applications from digital signage and office systems, but there’s certainly no reason why you wouldn’t find a use for a chassis like this as a HTPC, space-saving system or more.

As you can see, the ISK110 comes equipped with a nice little bundle of screws, but more importantly, an external power supply adaptor. The ISK110 is capable of powering a system of up to 90w, which may not sound a lot, but given the low power requirements of 2.5″ drives and modern processors such as Haswell, it’s a lot more than it sounds; this is especially true given that this chassis will not house a graphics card.

Given the compact nature of the chassis, this is all the power cables you’ll need on the interior. A single cable attached to the PSU PCB on the interior of the chassis, as has your standard motherboard and CPU power cables, as well as a couple of SATA connectors and a single MOLEX.

Also included in the box, you’ll find this metal VESA mount, giving you the option to fit the entire chassis onto the back of a VESA-compatible display; this could save you a lot of space on your desktop.

Further mounting options are provided via this lovely vertical mount, which provides a stable base for the chassis should you want to stand it upright on its side.

It’s got a few rubber grips on the base and just like the VESA mount, it simply clips onto the base of the chassis.

The chassis its self is nice and compact. Overall, it’s not much bigger than a mini-ITX motherboard and not that much thicker either; there should be just enough room for a low-profile CPU cooler in here.

There’s loads of ventilation in the top section and a little extra on the base to help keep things cool.

The front panel is nicely equipped with four USB 2.0 ports, HD audio jacks, two LED indicators and, of course, the power button.

Around the back, there’s a snap-off mini-ITX cover and a small power port. You’ll also notice two screws in the top panel and two more in the bottom, these are all that is needed to remove either panel.

The base and top section of the chassis, or the left and right side depending on your chosen orientation, has a little more ventilation. There’s also some holes to mount the VESA or vertical mount on the left/bottom side.