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PCs - PC Components

IDC: Notebooks Help EMEA PC Market

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IDC: Notebooks Help EMEA PC Market

EMEA PC shipments stabilise in Q4 2016, IDC reports, reaching 20.7 million units with a close-to-zero (-0.2%) Y-o-Y decline in good part thanks to relatively strong shipment notebook growth of 2.9% Y-o-Y.

Notebook performance is good across all EMEA regions in Q4 2016-- W. Europe sees 2.7% Y-o-Y growth, while CEMA sees 3.3%. Driving such demand is the commercial market, where shipments are up by 10.1% in W. Europe and 1.2% in CEMA. The consumer markets in CEMA and MEA also want notebook (leading to respective shipment growth of 4.4% and 5.8%), while W. Europe sees a decline of -2.4%, less than what IDC was expecting.

However desktop PCs continue to fall during the quarter, with an EMEA decline of 6.9% due to weak consumer demand.

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Asus Rivals Raspberry With Tinker Board

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Asus Rivals Raspberry With Tinker Board

Asus is the next company to take on barebones micro-PCs as it reveals the Tinker Board-- a small machine similar to the popular Raspberry Pi, if with a more powerful processor capable of 4K video playback.

Officially dubbed the "Asus 90MB0QY1-M0EAY0," the Tinker Board measures 8.5 x 5.3cm and carries a quad-core 1.8GHz ARM Cortex A17 CPU, ARM Mali-T764 GPU and 2GB DDR3 RAM. The combination, according to the company, allows 4K video and 24-bit audio support through H.265 4K decoding, and should also allow for better 3D graphics performance.

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Zotac Presents VR-Capable Zbox Magnus EN1070K

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Zotac Presents VR-Capable Zbox Magnus EN1070K

The Zotac Zbox line of miniature desktop PCs gets an upgrade to Intel Kaby Lake processors-- bringing about the Magnus EN1070K, a machine capable of powering a VR headset despite being a little bigger than a Mac Mini.

The ultra-compact PC runs on a Kaby Lake Core i5 CPU together with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and up to 35GB RAM. Internal storage comes through M.2 SSD slot and 2.5-inch SATA drive bay, while connectivity includes x2 USB 2.0, x2 USB 3.0, x1 USB 3.1 Type-A, x1 USB-C, x1 SD card slot, x2 ethernet, x2 HDMI and x2 DisplayPorts.

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PC Shipments At Their Lowest Yet!

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PC Shipments At Their Lowest Yet!

The PC market is not exactly one for good news, but according to Gartner 2016 was the worst yet-- shipments are down by -6% to 269.7 million, a 5th straight annual decline and the lowest total since 2006.

For the curious, 2006 shipments totalled 240 million.

IDC has similar results for the 2016 PC market-- shipments reach 260 million, a -5.7% decline. The analyst says Q1 2016 was particularly constrained by high inventory, free Windows 10 upgrades and difficult comparisons to 2014, but by H2 and Q4 2016 the market stabilised through commercial demand.

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Intel Presents Credit Card-Size Compute Card

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Intel Presents Credit Card-Size Compute Card

Intel reveals a PC small enough to fit in a wallet at CES 2017-- the Compute Card, a device measuring 95 x 55 x 5mm the company claims brings computing power "to virtually any product, anywhere."

The compact Compute Card frame fits an Intel system-on-chip, memory, storage and wifi/Bluetooth connectivity. Chipzilla does not reveal the actual specifications as yet, but it promises a modular design customers will be able to configure with a range of processors, including 7th gen Intel Core CPUs with vPro.

Connecting a Compute Card to a device demands a new standard connector-- one described as "USB-C plus extension." The connector handles USB, PCIe, HDMI, DP and additional signals running between the card and devices, and Intel says it can be used by a wide variety of things, such as interactive fridges, smart kiosks, security cameras, smart TVs and IoT gateways.

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Gigabyte Intros Low Profile Graphics Cards

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Gigabyte Intros Low Profile Graphics Cards

Gigabyte announces a pair of low profile graphics cards ideal for customers wanting to build smaller, low-power PCs-- the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 OC Low Profile 2G and GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4G.

Based on the Nvidia GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GPUs, the cards feature a design 167mm long. The 2G model has 2GB GDDR5 RAM and runs at base 1392MHz, with a boost to 1506MHz in OC mode, while the 4G model has 4GB RAM and a 1328MHz base clock with a 1506MHz boost in OC mode. Power requirements clock at 75W, meaning no additional power connectors are required and one can slot the cards in any PCIe x16 slot.

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HP Unveils Sprout Pro G2

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HP Unveils Sprout Pro G2

HP presents the 2nd generation of Sprout all-in-one PC at CES 2017-- the Sprout Pro G2, featuring a ultrawide 20-point capacitive "Touch Mat" display aimed at more than just the creative segment.

If one needs a refresher, the Sprout is a "blended reality" PC designed mainly for creative professionals. It looks like a regular AiO PC, if one with projector protruding from the main display. The projector has multiple uses, since it not only projects the aforementioned Touch Mat surface, it also acts as a scanner for both 2D and 3D objects.

The upgraded Sprout Pro G2 has a larger 23.8-inch display (up from 23-inch in the original), while the Touch Mat measures 21.3-inch. It comes in a fancy black paintjob and is powered by a 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7700T CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M mobile GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 RAM and either 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD.

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Cooler Master Intros MasterCase Maker 5t

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Cooler Master Intros MasterCase Maker 5t

Cooler Master adds dual tempered glass panels to the MasterCase Maker PC chassis series with the 5t, a mid-tower case featuring what the company describes as "a sharper, bolder look, like a sports car."

Designed for gamer customers wanting to do a bit of travel, the 5t has an interesting addition in the shape of a built-in carrying handle. Built in steel and wrapped in rubber, the handle accommodates builds weighing up to 28.5kg. Also relevant to gamers' interests is a graphics card holder on the motherboard panel easing any excess weight from the card, protecting the motherboard from bending or damage.

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Gigabyte Intros Xtreme Gaming XC700W Tower Case

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Gigabyte Intros Xtreme Gaming XC700W Tower Case

Gigabyte announces the Xtreme Gaming XC700W-- a full tower ATX PC case designed, as the brand name might suggest, for gaming enthusiasts with features such as RGB LED lighting and a full-view black tempered glass side panel.

The XC700W measures 593.5 x 240.5 x 546.6mm and weighs 15.4kg before the addition of any components. Described by the company as a "perfect solution for a liquid cooling build," it has room for radiators up to 360mm in size or up to x3 120mm (or x2 140mm) fans if the user goes for air cooling. The chassis includes a 140mm rear fan fitted.

The front face lacks any 5.25- or 3.5-inch bays, and the chassis does not support E-ATX motherboards, even if it does fit mini-ITX/m-ATX boards. It offers x8 expansion slots, and can hold either x3 2.5- or 3.5-inch drives, while the front offers acces to x2 USB 3.0, x2 USB 2.0 and HD Audio I/O beneath the power/reset button and activity LEDs.

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