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PCs - PC Components

Phanteks Intros Enthoo Evolv Shift, Shift X Cases

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Phanteks Intros Enthoo Evolv Shift, Shift X Cases

PC component specialist Phanteks announces a pair of Mini ITX motherboard-compatible cases-- the Enthoo Evolv Shift and Shift X, both featuring a minimalist design with a sleek and slim stature.

The Evolv Shift measures 170 x 470 x 274mm, while the Shift X is the taller option at 170 x 650 x 274mm. Both are designed for use in either desktop case or tower orientations, and promise to look "clean from every angle." Construction features anodised aluminium panels within a powder-coated steel structure, with top and bottom cooling fins and tempered smoked glass panels on the right and left sides.

Being the bigger case, the Shift X allows for more storage options, with two 3.5-inch drives and four 2.5-inch drives (whereas the Shift holds one 3.5-inch/three 2.5-inch drives). It also allows for more cooling fans and larger graphics cards (529mm, as opposed to 350mm). Both chassis also have space for an 82mm CPU cooler.

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USB Gets 3.2 Update

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USB Gets 3.2 Update

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group announces the USB 3.2 specification-- an incremental update defining multi-lane operation for USB 3.2 hosts and devices, allowing for faster communications over USB-C cables.

The update allows USB 3.2 devices to handle up to two traffic lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps operation. As a result, a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device is capable of data transfers reaching over 2GB/s over an existing USB-C cable certified for Super Speed USB 10Gbps.

In addition, USB 3.2 continues to use existing SuperSpeed USB physical layer data rates and encoding techniques, while a minor hub specification update addresses the increase in performance for seamless transition between single and two-lane operation.

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RGB Monoblocks for MSI X299 Motherboards

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RGB Monoblocks for MSI X299 Motherboards

Slovenian liquid cooling specialist EKWB prepares a monoblock for MSI X299 motherboards-- the EK-FB MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon RGB Monoblock, an all-in-one cooling solution complete with integrated RGB LED strip.

The cooling solution is compatible with the three Intel X299-based motherboards supporting the X-Series LGA-2066 processors, namely the MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, Gaming Pro Carbon and Gaming M7 ACK. The monoblock uses an EK-Supremacy EVO engine to directly cool the CPU and MOSFET module, with liquid flowing directly over all critical areas.

EK says customers can use the monoblock with systems using a weaker water pump, since the efficient VRM cooling on X2999 platforms allows for cooler CPU temperatures compared to traditional CPU water block and stock VRM heatsink solutions. In addition, the cold plate is redesigned to ensure better mechanical contact with the IHS of LGA-2066 socked-based processors, ensuring better thermal transfer.

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Gartner: Q2 EMEA PC Market Down -3.5% Y-o-Y

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Gartner: Q2 EMEA PC Market Down -3.5% Y-o-Y

According to Gartner EMEA PC shipments total 17 million units in Q2 2017-- a -3.5% Y-o-Y decline, with mixed results across different countries, as some are confident while others are not.

For instance, uncertainty around the UK elections lead to some UK businesses delaying purchases, especially in the public sector. On the other hand, France sees a "more than expected" surge in consumer confidence after the electoral win of Emmanual Macron, even if spending on PCs remains "sluggish." German businesses are spending more on PCs as they invest in new Windows 10-based hardware, while the Russian market sees improvement thanks to economic stabilisation.

In global terms, Q2 2017 PC shipments are also down-- specifically by -4.3% Y-o-Y, reaching 61.1m units. Gartner says the industry is in the midst of a 5-year slump, making an 11th straight quarter of shipment declines and, when it comes to Q2 2017, the lowest quarter volume since 2007.

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EVGA Intros GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid

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EVGA Intros GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid

EVGA presents another, curious take on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti-- the FTW3 Hybrid, a version combining the Nvidia graphics card with an AiO Cooler and iCX technology for "water cooled domination."

The FTW3 Hybrid promises the fasest out of the box clockspeed of all GTX 1080 Ti variants, as the built-in hybrid cooler allows for 1569MHz base clock and 1683MHz boost clock. In addition, iCX technology offers a full card temperature monitoring system, with 9 sensors allowing the cooling to react according to different conditions and stresses to provide "targeted cooling," at least according to EVGA.

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Researchers Combine Computing, Storage in 3D Chip

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Researchers Combine Computing, Storage in 3D Chip

Scientists at Stanford and MIT take on the communications bottleneck separating the storage and processing of data-- bringing about a 3D chip combining processing and storage through breakthrough nanotechnologies.

As the researchers put it, current computers waste a lot of time and energy shuffling data between storage and processing. The amount of data produced by the modern world is increasing at a rapid rate, while we are reaching the physical limit as to by how much silicon transistors can be improved.

Enter the Stanford-MIT 3D chip. It is built using carbon nanotubes, sheets of 2D graphite formed into nanocylinders, and resistive random-access memory (RRAM), a type of memory built using a "solid dielectric material." The actual prototype stacks 1 million RRAM cells on 2 million carbon nanotube transistors, making a "dense 3D computer architecture with interleaving layers of logic and memory." Bringing the layers together are ultradense wires, resolving the communication bottleneck.

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EKWB Intros M.2 NVMe Heatsink

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EKWB Intros M.2 NVMe Heatsink

Slovenia-based liquid cooling specialist EKWB announces an M.2 NVMe heatsink solution designed for next generation SSD storage promising to make an 8-11 degree Celsius difference, or "even more with sufficient airflow."

Available in black or nickel colour options, the heatsink features a simple design reliant on airflow coming from the front. The fins run parallel lengthwise, picking up heat by passing airflow before it exits at the back.

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Gigabyte Intros AB350N-Gaming Wifi Motherboard

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Gigabyte Intros AB350N-Gaming Wifi Motherboard

Gigabyte announces the AMD AB350N-Gaming Wifi-- a mini-ITX motherboard based on the AMD B350 chipset featuring a built-in Smart-Fan hybrid fan pin heater and "server-class" components.

The board is designed to support the AMD Wraith Max CPU cooler, a high-performance cooling solution for the latest AMD CPUs, including Ryzen 7 processors. The Wraith Max has larger dimensions and weight, and to support it the AB3650N-Gaming Wifi motherboard features larger zones between the CPU socket and DIMM slots. As a result, it also allows users to install memory modules with larger coolers without any interference.

“Gigabyte has been building strong relationships with AMD. When AMD published the latest Wraith Max, we released a corresponding model to meet the demand,” the company says. “Even more so, Gigabyte’s R&D put great efforts on re-arranging the components on the board in order to make mini motherboards achieve optimal compatibility for larger thermal cooling solutions.”

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Lenovo Concepts Bendy Laptop

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Lenovo Concepts Bendy Laptop

The Lenovo Transform 2017 event was mainly focused on enterprise, but it did have the company reveal what it think is the future of personal computer-- a bendable laptop with a flexible display.

Described as the "ThinkPad of the future," the concept laptop would be built using unspecified "advanced materials" and "new screen technologies." These would allow for a device one can roll up or fold, without need for a hinge. The presentation also had Lenovo SMP and GM Christian Teismann state how it can be an always-connected device able to handle natural speech and handwriting, with anticipator AI as a major feature.

Interestingly the concept design even includes that ThinkPad trademark stuck in the keyboard, the orange mouse nub.

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