When it comes to technology and tanks, we often think of one of two extremes. Firstly the original tanks from years ago, with the large cannons mounted to tracks and then we think to our idea of the future, with giant floating armoured platforms. It would seem the marines are looking to go somewhere inbetween, but not with flying tanks but ones equipped with more systems to help protect tanks from their enemies.
The U.S. Marine Corps is looking at using technology, not additional armour, to help protect their vehicles. First up on the list of technologies is the use of electronic anti-missile systems, or active protective systems, that will detect and intercept anything from a guided anti-tank rocket to the likes of a rocket propelled grenade (such as those used in RPG’s). The system in place would be the Israli Trophy Active Protection System (APS), with four systems being mounted to both Stryker combat vehicles and M1A2 tanks.
With jammers and missile interception components working together the hardware is commonly designed to protect ships or airplanes, but with threats changing the military wants to be one step ahead. That isn’t all, with the Marines also looking at “unmanned aerial systems” (Drones) to help spot enemies before they can even launch the attack.
Combining knowledge about threats before they happen with active and passive defence systems is a nice way to protect soldiers from unwanted threats at a moments notice.
FreshTech Solutions is one of the leading system integrators in the UK and forged an impressive reputation for their huge range of pre-configured PCs. Whether you’re on a tight budget looking to try out PC gaming for the first time, or a content creator seeking the absolute best performance, there’s something to suit your requirements. Each PC is backed by generous warranty period and it’s even possible to purchase additional cover for further peace-of-mind. For example, on systems costing £1000 and above, you can increase the warranty length from 3 years to 5 years for £25. If you’re opting for a cheaper rig under the £1000 mark, then it’s possible to select three years cover for £25 and five years support at a cost of £50. This level of flexibility allows you to protect your investment for a period which you expect to use the system for.
When selecting a custom PC, the number of configurations and pricing variation means it’s extraordinarily difficult for novices to judge which model to go for. It’s not always a sensible approach to spend more if you’re unlikely to reap the benefits. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of custom PCs from FreshTech Solutions that we are happy to recommend at various price points. Hopefully, our readers will find this useful and those without technical knowledge can make an informed decision about which unit suits their usage scenario.
1 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 1 Year Parts, 1 Year Labour)
The first machine we’re taking a look at targets consumers on a very tight budget who want to enter into the Intel ecosystem. While you could compile a cheaper build using an AMD CPU and AM3+ motherboard, it doesn’t offer much headroom in the future if you suddenly demand additional horsepower. The majority of games are GPU bound but there’s some examples including ARMA III and more recently, Black Desert Online which rely heavily on a system’s CPU performance. This particular build features a large enough capacity boot SSD to install the operating system and enjoy a snappier feel in Windows.
Also, the GTX 950 2GB graphics card is a great choice for 1080P gaming providing you turn down a few settings. On another note, the lack of overclocking isn’t an issue at this price and won’t impact on the user experience during graphically intensive games. Ideally, I’d recommend paying extra for the next tier, but this is a great choice for beginners moving away from consoles for the very first time.
1 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 1 Year Parts, 1 Year Labour )
The next system which retails for £699.00 offers overclocking functionality due to the unlocked K processor and Z170 chipset. Furthermore, the Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 contains an illuminated LED strip on the PCB to create a more ostentatious appearance. This higher end model includes the GTX 960 2GB GPU to maintain improved frame-rates at higher settings. It’s a significant boost over the GTX 950 and worth considering given the constant influx of modern titles requiring additional graphical grunt. Of course, it’ s still a budget option and pales in comparison to higher end graphics cards, but it should provide an enjoyable user-experience with a 1920×1080 display. Also, the boot SSD’s higher capacity allows you to store your favourites games and benefit from faster load times.
1 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 1 Year Parts, 1 Year Labour )
The next tier’s system costs £899.99 and has a number of key improvements including a secondary mechanical hard disk, 16GB RAM and GTX 970 graphics card. When discussing the previous systems it’s important to remember that I’d recommend adding a mechanical drive to store large sums of data. This allows you to easily install various games while ensuring the boot SSD doesn’t fill up rather quickly. Thankfully, this doesn’t increase the asking price by an exponential amount. On another note, the 16GB memory is useful when working with video, photo editing and other complex workloads. It’s not really necessary in games just yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if 16GB becomes the standard in the next few years.
NVIDIA’s GTX 970 offers absolutely stunning performance even with a 2560×1440 monitor and can exceed 60 frames-per-second in various titles including the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. It’s unquestionably one of the best price to performance GPUs on the market and a suitable choice for a powerful gaming system.
3 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 2 Years Parts, 3 Years Labour )
Moving towards the higher end market is a system which retails for £1049.00. This model contains a higher wattage power supply and Corsair water cooling unit to attain better temperatures. Furthermore, FreshTech Solutions guarantees the system will reach 4.6GHz and tests each overclock extremely carefully. This will be incredibly useful to consumers who feel apprehensive about overclocking their CPU and haven’t got any experience in this field. They really shouldn’t be concerned because the process is ridiculous simple. However, whenever anything goes awry, it’s important to have an excellent level of after-care support.
3 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 2 Years Parts, 3 Years Labour )
The £1599.00 system swaps out the i5 6600K for Intel’s enthusiast flagship i7-6700K on the LGA1151 chipset. Once again, FreshTech Solutions guarantees an impressive minimum overclock to reach significant gains compared to stock values. Also, the 500GB SSD is a great addition which allows you to install various applications without constantly checking on the remaining capacity. The system is housed in the highly regard Fractal Design R5 chassis which creates a more premium feel. Clearly, the main improvement revolves around the GTX 980Ti and is a major step up when compared to the GTX 970.
Even though the GPU isn’t capable of running games at maximum details on a 4K display, it’s able to really reach high figures on a 2560×1440 or 3440×1440 monitor. If you want to improve the performance even further, it’s possible to add a second GTX 980Ti due to the power supply’s 750 watts rating. The Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 motherboard supports USB 3.1, SATA Express, multi-GPU configurations and opts for a superb audio solution. Once combined, this offers an absolutely staggering user-experience.
3 Year Collect and Return Warranty ( 1 Year Collect, 2 Years Parts, 3 Years Labour )
Up to this point, we’ve focussed on the consumer LGA1151 chipset which offers great value for typical desktop tasks. Unfortunately, the platform only supports up to a 4-core 8-thread CPU. This severely limits the computational power during multi-threaded workloads. As a result, many professionals opt for 2011-v3 powered systems because they can leverage extra performance using 6-core or even 8-core processors. The next system totalling £1938.00 utilises a hex core processor with 40 PCI-E lanes and a 2TB hard disk.
Not only that, the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe boot drive is capable of an astounding maximum read of 2500MB/s and maximum write reaching 1500MB/s. This allows games to load faster and helps to process huge 4K video projects in a more efficient manner. Of course, this elite-grade PC opts for the best possible hardware including the GTX 980Ti and Gigabyte X99-SLI motherboard. This means you can have a powerful workstation and play demanding games in your leisure time.
If you’d like us to review any of the systems mentioned above, please let us know in the comments section below.
Overclockers UK is one of the leading online hardware retailers and stocks a huge supply of components from niche water cooling products to affordable pre-configured systems. The company’s customer service and active forum community makes it stand out compared to the competition and ensures each customer’s needs are attended to. Recently, Overclockers UK entered a partnership with HTC, and launch a brand new Virtual Reality section on their website. Here you can find a description about VR, and easily navigate to VR ready hardware. For example, only VR capable graphics cards are listed to help the end-user make a suitable purchasing decision without having to perform extensive research.
On another note, Overclockers UK will also sell VR headsets, peripherals and software and has everything you need to get started! This means it’s possible to create a stunning setup for immersive racing games, or build your own flight simulator. Virtual Reality is here to stay and the new big revolution in gaming. Currently, VR devices are expensive which makes being an early adopter a difficult proposition. However, prices should reduce in time and make the technology more accessible. In addition to an extensive component line-up, the company is also offering an impressive range of custom-made PCs.
The new ‘VR Ready’ range utilizes the SteamVR performance test to gauge a system’s performance. Clearly, VR has some fairly hefty requirements and this can be quite overwhelming for certain customers. Thankfully, Overclockers UK has employed this tool to provide a simple rating system and outline the performance benefits across various price points. For example, the Titan Virtual Raid VR includes an Intel Core i5 6600K, and high-end AMD Radeon R9 Fury 4GB. This PC is described as ‘VR Ready’ with an average fidelity of 8.9 (Very High). If this particular machine is out of your budget, then there’s cheaper alternatives like the Kinect VR small-form factor PC. This unit sports an Intel Core i5 6500 and GTX 970. Despite its weaker specification, the PC is still ‘VR Ready’ with an average fidelity of 6.6 (High).
It’s great to see the VR buying process made simpler, and I cannot wait to try some of these new systems from Overclockers UK.
Aria is one of the leading technology retailers in the UK and stocks a huge range of components from luxury 21:9 3440×1440 monitors to extremely affordable pre-assembled gaming PCs. Their custom PC range falls under the GLADIATOR brand and aims to provide an enthralling gaming experience while offering superb customer satisfaction. Clearly, any system is a considered purchase, and it’s vital to have your initial investment backed by a comprehensive warranty. Thankfully, Gladiator supports their builds with a 4-year labour and 1-year parts guarantee. This level of service is often a key selling point for consumers without any hardware experience and feel overwhelmed by the almost endless combination of component choices.
Today, we’re taking a look at the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE which targets a very reasonable price of £749.99. I’d describe this as a mid-range system and caters to someone with expectations of a fluid framerate at 1920×1080. Around the £800 mark, it’s essential to prioritize the graphics card and make concessions on the CPU without it becoming a bottleneck. This is because the majority of modern game engines are GPU bound, and the benefits from enhanced CPU performance is fairly minimal in comparison. NVIDIA’s GTX 970 is currently the most popular graphics card among Steam users, and for good reasons. For example, the GPU offers a fantastic price to performance ratio and remains exceptionally cool under extreme load. As a result, I’m pleased to see this particular graphics card in the GLADIATOR APOCALYPSE and expect it to perform superbly on a 1080P display.
Processor: Intel i5-6400 2.70GHz Quad Core Skylake CPU
Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 Evo
System Memory: 8GB DDR4 3000MHz – Corsair Vengeance LPX
Main Boot Drive: 1TB Seagate Barracuda SATA III Hard Drive
Additional Storage Drive(s): N/A
Graphics card: ASUS STRIX NVIDIA GTX 970 4GB GDDR5
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 Challenger 600W 80+ Certified
Optical Drive: 24x LiteOn DVD Re-Writer
OS: Not Included
Warranty: 4 Years Labour, 1 Year Parts
Packing and Accessories
The system is delivered in a humongous outer box which offers outstanding protection against accidental damage. On the top, some durable fragile tape is used to instruct the courier to adopt a gentle approach when handling the item. One slight area for improvement revolves around the lack of side handles. This makes it quite difficult to lift especially in tight spaces.
Once opened, there’s an ample supply of packing peanuts to cushion the chassis box and prevent it from moving around during shipment. I was thoroughly impressed with the quantity of packaging materials, as it emphasizes the company’s attentive approach.
Here we can see the main chassis box containing a plastic cover and two thick polystyrene supports. As a result, the chance of cosmetic damage occurring is exponentially reduced.
The secure foam insert surrounds key components and keeps them firmly in position. I cannot emphasize enough how important these foam packs are because without them it’s possible for cables to become dislodged. Furthermore, it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities that a heavy GPU could droop and snap during transit. Thankfully, the foam pack holds up it upright and adds a great deal of structural support.
In terms of accessories, the system comes with the original packaging and documentation for each component. There’s also driver disks, a setup leaflet, attractive lanyard and UK power cable. The setup leaflet is fantastic and instructs beginners to remove the supportive foam before connecting the power cord.
That’s not all though because the package includes a CPU installation tool, spare parts, and screws to connect an M.2 SSD.
I will only pick out the most noteworthy Steam Survey Hardware and Software results for November 2015; otherwise, I might be here until New Years day 2017. So, what do we have? Below are the Steam monthly survey stats, starting with the most common type of OS (Operating System) that is being used amongst Steam gamers.
As you can see below, Windows is the most dominant Operating system with 95.26% usage, Windows 7 64 bit is the most popular with 35.63% usage, this is down slightly (-1.04%). Windows 10 64 bit has risen slightly by 2.39% with current usage at 28.81%. These stats hide an interesting point, with many reports noting that back in August 2015, only 17% of users were running Windows 10, therefore, this is around a 59% increase in the last three months. Of course, there are many factors including the persistent attempts by Microsoft to push at all costs their latest OS onto consumers.
Unsurprisingly, Steam users are not in favour of Mac or Linux’s operating systems considering only 3.64% and 0.98% of users respectively implement these operating systems when utilizing steam to play games.
When it comes to preferred CPUs for all formats, Intel is unsurprisingly the big winner, 76.31% Windows Steam users own an Intel CPU for November 2015, while Windows users of an AMD CPU is at 23.69%, this is down ever so slightly (- 0.28%) compared to October 2015.
Other noteworthy stats for the CPU section include 47.93% of Steam users owning a dual-core CPU, while 45.12% own a quad-core CPU.
Ram stats are quite interesting, and yes I am a geek, the most popular configuration of Ram is 8GB and is being used by 32.06%, this has risen slightly by 0.36%, although 12GB and higher is at a healthy 16.04%.
By all means check out the full in-depth list of stats, it’s certainly revealing and conveys Steam users preferences and also how well manufacturers are placing their products within the market.
PC Specialist has an illustrious reputation for creating some of the most reliable and thought-provoking builds in the custom PC industry. Their latest creation, code-named Azure, is based on Intel’s brand new Z170 chipset and includes the flagship, i7-6700K Skylake processor (review here). While the CPU has a stock clock of 4.0GHz, there is ample headroom for a hefty overclock with assistance from the Corsair 240mm liquid-cooling solution. PC Specialist opted for the Asus Z170-A motherboard (review here) which offers excellent voltage regulation, dynamic fan control and an intuitive BIOS interface. Only the best components are used throughout, such as NVIDIA’s top-tier GTX 980Ti graphics card and Kingston’s HyperX Predator 3000MHz DDR4 memory.
In terms of storage, the Azure is bundled with a 480GB SSD boot drive and 2TB mechanical for data storage purposes. The PC is powered by an 850W Corsair RM power supply and neatly presented in the Corsair 780T case. Previously, we reviewed the X99-based Vortex 440 which performed superbly and exceeded our expectations. Therefore, I’m hoping the Azure will be cool, quiet and leading the benchmark figures whilst retailing at a respectable £1499 price point.
The chassis arrived in a gargantuan box and contains precautionary labels to prevent the courier from adopting a haphazard approach. I was genuinely surprised with the box’s size which provides superb protection during transit. The packaging itself also utilizes a thick grade of cardboard and encompasses the case to withstand any sudden impact.
Once opened, the case is revealed and cushioned by a cloth cover to stop accidental scratches from occurring. If the case was packaged without any padding, the chassis could rub against the box and become damaged. This is especially true with delicate windowed side panels.
From another angle, we can see the flexible foam supports which add a great deal of rigidity and keeps the case perfectly aligned. I have to commend PC Specialist for using some of the strongest foam inserts I’ve ever seen. For example, I intentionally bent the inserts to see if they would snap under pressure, but they withstood this rigorous testing procedure rather well.
The accessories are bundled in a lovely Welcome Pack which evokes a professional feel from the presentation alone.
Included in the Welcome Pack is a setup guide, component documentation, driver disks, extra SSD mounts, power cables, and much more! Everything is separated into segments which makes it easier to find specific parts.
The accessories can be easily stored away in the original packaging and has enough room to house future purchases such as a DisplayPort cable. While the box is too large to fit in a small drawer, it does prevent you from losing any accessories and keeps everything in a neat package.
Pre-built computer systems have to be revamped now and then, bring in the new hardware and create an up-to-date product. After all, no one wants to buy an outdated system. Overclockers UK is in the process of doing that and we’ve already seen the Atomic range compact systems and the Project Cars themed Forcebox systems, but it doesn’t stop there.
Overclockers UK’s newest range is the Blade series and it is a new range of high-performance gaming PCs packed with enough power to cut through games with ease. The systems span from mid to full tower cases in size and the internals are customizable, to a point.
You can easy tailor the Blade system by upgrading the storage, memory, graphics cards, and more. You can change cases and interior LED lighting as well and get a system that is just like you want it, only you save yourself the trouble of putting it together. The Blade range is perfect for those who want an out of the box solution that just works and without having to go through the task of putting it together yourself.
You can find more photos of the different Blade systems at the Overclockers UK’s Blade Mini-site and check them out yourself, configure your dream system, and perhaps even order it.
Computex 2015: Liva is quickly becoming one of the coolest SFF computer companies in the world, offering sleek systems that looks great, offer impressive performance and a wide range of features to suit many different markets. As you can see in the pictures below, they’ve got some great looking systems with impressive specs, especially so given their tiny form factors. The feature that most caught our eye was the built-in microphone, allowing the use of the Windows 10 feature “Cortana”. These are great options for HTPC users, or for creating an advanced smart TV, but they could be just as handy in the office.
Which one would you like to have in your home of office?
It has been an exciting few months for PC enthusiasts. We’ve seen the arrival of Intel’s new flagship Haswell-E CPUs, high-performance DDR4 memory and Nvidia’s Maxwell GTX 980. Those three things combined have the potential to produce one hell of a system and that’s exactly what we have on our hands today with PC Specialist’s Vortex 440. The basis for this custom PC is Intel’s X99 platform paired up with some truly enthusiast-grade Kingston 3000MHz DDR4 memory, Intel’s six-core i7 5820K with a hefty overclock and Nvidia’s flagship GTX 980 graphics card. NZXT’s H440, which gives this system part of its name, keeps everything looking sleek and tidy. Corsair are in charge of power delivery with their new RM series 850W power supply, and cooling, with their tried-and-trusted H100i liquid CPU cooler. To appeal to gamers and speed-demons alike an SSD and HDD combination provides a good balance between system responsiveness and storage for games and other media. As you might expect the price you have to pay for all that hardware is fairly steep, £1599 to be exact, but as we’ll see later on this is surprisingly good value for money and gives you a lot of performance.
Warranty: 3 Year Labour, 1 Year Parts and 1 Month Collect & Return (upgrades available)
Price: £1599 as configured
Packaging & Accessories
Packaging may be an after-thought to many buyers but the packaging a system integrator chooses is crucial to the end user experience. Bad packaging equals a broken PC – not something you want to be faced with when buying a new PC. With that said I am pleased to report that PC Specialist’s Vortex 440 comes excellently packaged with soft cell foam and an adequately sized box.
Inside the system expanding foam ensures that the internal components aren’t dislodged during transit. In the past we have been sent a PC (from a system integrator I won’t name) who learnt the hard way that internal expanding foam is essential. When the system arrived the graphics card had ripped the PCIe slot off the motherboard , killing both the motherboard and the graphics card in the process.
The accessory box includes all of the documentation and manuals for all of the system components as well as motherboard, graphics card and PSU accessories. To inform users about their purchase PC Specialist provide a guide with their systems.
A Closer Look
The aesthetic characteristics of the Vortex 440 are dominated by the NZXT H440 which comes in red and black. PC Specialist put their own logo at the top of the front panel to give the case a bit of sneaky customisation.
The entire case is coated in a soft-touch black, the top I/O offers dual USB 2.0 and 3.0, audio ports and power/reset buttons.
The side reveals a beautiful window showing off the internal components. One thing that I noticed was that PC Specialist use a white motherboard when the case is red and black – strange huh? Especially considering the default NZXT H440 comes in black and white – the same colour scheme as the ASUS X99-S motherboard used. Personally I would like to see PC Specialist ship the system with the white H440 or use a red motherboard instead.
The back reveals the plentiful I/O of the ASUS X99-S and the Nvidia GTX 980. The rather large blank space on the rear I/O derives from the fact the ASUS X99-S is a cut-down version of the ASUS X99-A which has a WiFi antennae at that particular location.
The obverse side of the case is plain black lined with the red trim and some ventilation for the front fans.
The bottom of the case helpfully uses four non-slip rubber feet and a removable dust filter for easy system maintenance. Despite being one of the cheapest parts of the build, the case is probably the most important for determining the user-experience.
NZXT’s H440 was praised for its ability to make tidy builds thanks to the bottom PSU shroud and the PC Specialist Vortex 440 makes great use of this. Corsair’s RM850, which has all-black cables, and PC Specialist’s exemplary cable-management job results in a tidy build.
Earlier in the year, HP announced the imminent arrival of their ChromeBox, the desktop answer to the popular Chromebook line of systems that a number of manufacturers are offering. As a part of their product design and advertising, HP have stated (as can see in a shot of their website below) that users will get “The silent operation of the fanless design prevents dust from being funneled through computer case.” Well it appears that HP never got the memo to say that in order to qualify as a ‘fanless’ product, you can’t put a fan inside the chassis. To me this sounds like a simple concept to grasp but apparently I’d be wrong about that.
Following a video review on the system, YouTuber Lon Seidman discovered that HP have been sneaky placed a fan inside the chassis to keep things cool under the collar. This would therefore indicate to us that HP may have had a couple of problems during development to keep their Chromebox cool. The fact that there is a grill on the back of the chassis to ventilate heat through is also a bit of a give-away that there is some forced cooling going on. Placing the fan inside the chassis not only means that the Chromebox doesn’t qualify for the fanless tag, but their claim that dust is not being sucked into the case is also false – this is actually false advertising and can lead HP into a lot of trouble on the legal side of things.
As for the end-user, what does is mean to them? Well it simply means that the $10 premium that you would be paying to have a ‘silent and fanless’ unit over that of Asus’ offering is actually not worth the paper that it is written on. Simply put, save your money and get the cheaper unit that is (bar aesthetic design) identical. For such a big and well know vendor such as HP, this is to be perfectly honest a bit of a shameful discovery and we look forward to hearing their response on the subject.
The Toshiba Tecra W50 is not for their faint of heart, its specifications are immense and the price is crazy enough to make your heart skip a beat. Created by Toshiba’s DPD division or Toshiba America information Systems Inc, the Tecra W50 is the worlds first mobile workstation t feature an Ultra HD 4K display and prices will be starting from $2,249 for the basic model.
Workstations need to be powerful, especially given they’re often tasked with visual rendering, engineering tasks, scientific applications and more. To complete such tasks, the Tecra has been fitted with a precision colour calibrated 15.6″ Ultra HD IGZO panel that runs at 3840 x 2160, with a 282 PPI pixel density.
“4K Ultra HD extends the possibilities of content creation, engineering and design and enables healthcare providers to offer higher-precision care by giving doctors amazing visibility into diagnostic imagery anywhere the laptop can be carried,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “We have applied years of experience and engineering resources developing Ultra HD 4K TVs to help engineers and 3D designers bring their creations to life like never before and enable better.”
Powered by a full-voltage 4th Gen Intel Core i7 Quad-Core CPU, four high-speed memory slots that can hold up to 32GB, 2GB GDDR5 Nvidia Quadro K2100M graphics, the Tecra W50 is a powerful weapon for tasks like SolidWorks and AutoCAD. Yet with all it’s size and power, it clocks in at just under six pounds, making it one of the thinnest and lightest designs in its class.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Now when it comes to tech products that grab my attention, Captherm Systems have done more than just grab my attention. To kick things off, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they have placed a large image of an explosion on the back of their booth with the tagline of ‘The birthplace of the MP1120… Where it all begins’. Now at this point, like you I’m a little baffled as to what this is all about. After all at this point, all I’ve got to go on is what I can see in front of me on the stand.
So what is all this fuss about? Well as it happens this explosive shot is more than integral to the production of what I think is a revolution in CPU cooling technology. Captherm Systems have been busy working away over the last eight years to create the cooler that we have before us and what makes this unit so special is the fact that it is a water based cooler that does not require any form of pump to transfer the heat away from the CPU block to the radiator. To do this, Captherm have worked on the principle that as the relative air pressure is lowered, the boiling point of water is greatly reduced, so much so in the case of the MP1120 that if you were to place the block on your hand, the water that can be seen through the hermetically sealed window will start to boil and rise up to the radiator as steam, where it then condenses and flows back down to the block. A 140mm fan on top of the radiator then helps to transfer the heat away from the unit and thus the cycle is repeated.
What’s more, Captherm state this this cooler has 500x the cooling efficiency of a traditional closed loop water cooling system, and because there is no pump required and that it can potentially run passively, the unit is virtually silent.
Where the explosives come into the mix of this sci-fi creation is with the metal base that is placed on top of the CPU to transfer heat to the system. Captherm place 1x1m square plates of copper, titanium, various grades of aluminium and stainless steel on top of each other and then place on top of that ~500lb of high explosives. The explosion causes the metal plates to bond together into a single hermetically sealed lump and the sample below is what is left after the explosion. This mixture of metals is what gives this remarkable cooler its high level of efficiency and revolutionary cooling capability.
To be honest this product has more than blown me away – even though ~500lb of explosives are used. If I had to give any product from this years show an award for tech innovation, with out I would have to hand it over to the guys at Captherm Systems. Timo Minx gives us a personal insight in to this coolers history in our video interview below:
CyberpowerPC are taking this years show by the horns and are giving us a whole heap of toys to look at and play around with. We’ve already seen their Steam Box offering but there is yet another system in their suite that has caught my eye. Tucked away to the side of the room is a system that looks somewhat like a took box or flight case, but with LEDs inside. This is the coveted Fang Battle Box.
Packed inside this mighty little box is a whole LAN gaming system with more than enough grunt to pwn those n00bs with ease. After going to many LAN events, it’s apparent that some people could do with a more robust system to carry from home to the gaming halls and this is exactly the design path that CyberpowerPC have gone down with the Battle Box.
Obviously with a system of this sort, having an easy way to transport it is paramount and on the top a chunky handle is provided – as one would expect with a flight case design and next to this we find two USB3.0 ports, power and reset buttons and the case latch to open the system up,
The underside of the case features some large rubber feet on one end of the system is a full arrray of I/O ports so as soon as you arrive at LAN, all you need to do is plug it in and play!
Opening the case up we find that this is more than just a LAN ready chassis, Alongside a GTX 780 Ti and a 4770k topped with a Corsair closed loop water cooling unit is a 120GB SSD paired with a 1TB mechanical drive, 16GB Dual-Channel memory, cooler master fans and a 500W power supply from Corsair.
The Fang Battle Box is due for release around now and I am certainly looking forward to getting this rather unique system in for review, after all it’s not everyday you see a system in a flight case available to buy off the shelf.
Early last month, Overclockers UK became home to a new breed of high-end systems that have taken the process of hand-picking components for sale-able systems to a whole new level. The ultra high-end systems have certainly rustled up the extreme performance community and whilst some regard them as having a steep price tag, it has to be considered that each system is painstakingly put together after each major component is hand-picked and binned based in its out of the box performance.
Following on from 8Pack’s launch of three ultra high-end systems, there has been a second line of systems in development that offer up the same essence of the ultra high-end systems, but with a lighter price point, that for many will make them more within reach of purchase. With inspiration coming from the essence of 8Pack’s dedication to quality and performance, the Infinity line consists of six systems with three water-cooled systems known as the Tesseract, Quasar and Eclipse.
The cheapest system of the three, the ‘Tesseract’ comes with a baseline price tag of £3071.99 (inc VAT) and is based around an overclocked 4770k and twin GTX780’s in SLI on a Gigabyte Z87X-OC with 8GB or RAM and housed in Corsair’s Carbide 540 High Flow Cube chassis. Taking a move up the performance ladder, the ‘Quasar’, like the Tesseract has an overclocked 4770k, but is built on an Asus Z87 Maximus VI Formula with 16GB of RAM and twin GTX Titan’s in SLI, this step up in performance will set you back just over £1000 extra.
At the top of the new range is the £4967.99 ‘Eclipse’. Built around a high performance 4930k overclocked CPU on an Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, this system also comes with 16GB of 2133Mz RAM and twin GTX Titans, again all water-cooled and this time built into the huge Corsair Obsidian 900D chassis that has recently come to market.
All the systems come with a minimum of a 24 month return and collect warranty and are available to buy now at Overclockers.co.uk
Overclocker 8Pack Introduces His Three New Custom Overclocked Systems
It’s been a busy week for pro overclocker Ian ‘8Pack’ Parry. Following his achievement of breaking a benchmarking world record first thing Tuesday morning, followed by his appearance at the O2 arena in London to take part in an overclocking workshop he has now launched a line of three systems that are custom built to his own specifications with selected components specifically for these systems.
We’ve already shown you what these three systems entail here, and whilst some people have regarded them as being expensive, what has to be taken into account is that you are also paying for an after care service that is not like any after sales service program at the moment.
Following the unveiling of the three systems in Stoke-On-Trent, Ian was kind enough to give us an overview of his new systems and what each has to offer:
When it comes to impressive system builds, PC Specialist don’t disapoint, which is exactly why we stopped by their booth here at Insomnia i48, as the PC Specialist team were on hand displaying some epic system builds, running gaming competitions and letting you try out some of the products the produce.
Lets get straight to the good stuff, here we can see an ultra spec gaming system, the Vanquish TITAN PC fitted into the InWin Dragon Rider chassis, of course this isn’t your average budget build but its a great demonstration of the kind of systems PC Specialist can build for you.
the specification on the Vanquish TITAN PC are simply mind blowing and the performance is bound to blow anything else out of the water, with not one, not two, but THREE of the worlds fastest graphics cards, each of which alone retails as around £900, put simply, I want one.
Good things really can come in small packages and with just 11.6″ screen real estate, one can expect some serious gaming performance from the i7 CPU and GT 650M GPU, if you want to game on the move, you may want to stop by their booth and have a go on this amazing little system.
If portability isn’t a problem for you and your laptop, then how about a 17.3″ monster? Again this laptop is way more powerful than most peoples home desktops and this is a true desktop replacement, perfect for the pro gamer who needs to travel, or those who want a million FPS when playing solitaire.
On a more budget friendly, yet by no means lacking in power side of the PC Specialist range is the Vanquish GT1 PC. The GT1 is InWins brand new chassis and its the perfect house for a GTX 670 and i5-3570K.
The best thing (other than the Titan system) is the more obtainable side of the PC Specialist booth, where they’re letting you game on some more high end gaming systems or theirs, fitted in InWin GR-One chassis and various gaming challenges with a chance to win a big range of InWin products such as cases, PSUs and coolers.
Of course don’t forget that eTeknix and PC Specialist are currently holding a competition where you can win a high end gaming PC worth around £1000 which you can enter HERE.
While its hard to get an idea on how these systems perform, especially given that PC Specialist have a full range customization options for their systems, but we are looking forward to having some of their pre-built systems in for review soon and will be bringing you a detailed look at the builds, performance and of course their value for money.
Apple may not be everyone’s number one choice for a computer, or even a phone, but you can’t knock them for their unwavering goal of having some of the finest technology on the market in their devices. Now it seems that Apple may have placed a massive order for even more massive solid state hard drives (SSD).
As many of you will know, the performance offered up by an SSD drive is colossal when compared to the performance of even a high speed 10,000RPM mechanical drive, yet the one issue that has often been a problem for SSD hard drives is their price. Sure the devices are coming down in price quite nicely, but not when your talking about data capacities of 2TB.
According to BrightSideOfNews the new drives are already in test production, featuring a 3.5″ form factor, which as you may have noticed is bigger than the common 2.5″ size for most SSD drives, SATA connector and storage up to 2TB, a big leap over the current 750GB capable SSDs featured in the current MacBook Pro.
It will be interesting to see what else Apple bring to the Mac Pro system, given that it hasn’t been top of the line for a while now and its not exactly the best selling product range for Apple either. That being said there is still no doubt that the system offers high performance, yet its still not as popular as the Mac Book Pro.
No other details have really leaked yet, but it seems likely that Apple will be using the upcoming Xeon E and W series CPU’s from Intel (Ivy Bridge-EP architecture). Of course the Apple camp has remained tightlipped on all of this, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.