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PCs - PC Components

FSP Launches Twins Series PSUs

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FSP Launches Twins Series PSUs

FSP announces the Twins series-- PSUs featuring dual hot-swappable power supply modules, making them ideal for home, mail and small company servers benefiting from the security of having two independent PSU modules in one.

The two Twin Series modules differ in one wattage output, as one unit is rated at 500W and the other at 700W. Each contains two independent power modules with an own power adapter. During regular operation the two modules share the load for maximum efficiency and stability, but should one fail the other automatically takes over as "a clean fail safe." Hot-swap functionality allows the easy swapping of PSU modules without any downtime.

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MSI's Smallest "VR Ready" Gaming PC

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MSI's Smallest

The Trident is described by MSI as "the world's smallest VR-ready gaming PC," being a console-size (34.6 x 23.2 x 7.2cm) machine packing all required components plus a Silent Storm 2 cooling system.

Customers can customise the internal specifications, but MSI offers a choice of either Intel Skylake Core i7-6700 or i5-6400 CPU, 3/6GB GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, up to 32GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM (via x2 SODIMM slots) and both an M.2 and 2.5-inch SATA storage device. On the connectivity side, the chassis offers x1 USB-C, x2 USB 3.1 and x1 HDMI ports in the front, plus x1 ethernet, x1 USB 3.1, X4 USB 2.0, x1 HDMI and x1 VR-Link ports.

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JPR: GPUs See Q-o-Q Growth on Q3 2016

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JPR: GPUs See Q-o-Q Growth on Q3 2016

Overall GPU shipments show 20.4% Q-o-Q growth on Q3 2016, even if seen on a Y-o-Y basis shipments remain essentially flat (with a 0.3% increase), Jon Peddie Research reports, a reflection of the PC market during the same period.

GPUs make for a good indicator of the state of the PC market, since a GPU goes in every system before shipment. In fact, JPR says Q3 2016 PC shipments are up by 8.09% Q-o-Q and down by -5.37% Y-o-Y.

Driving the Q-o-Q growth are gaming desktops and notebooks, as well as datacentres. The analyst hopes gaming machines, being high ASP systems, will help offset the slowdown in overall PC shipments. However such systems only contribute "a few million unit shipments" on an annual basis, less than the decline of the total PC market.

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EVGA Updates SuperNOVA PSUs

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EVGA Updates SuperNOVA PSUs

EVGA announces the SuperNOVA G3-- a PSU range promising to build on the previous versions of the PSU series with performance both better and quieter from a smaller form factor.

SuperNOVA G series PSUs are over 90% efficient, with improved efficiency and lower ripple compared to previous series. The G3 is also smaller being 150mm long (G2 PSUs are around 165mm), making them "some of the smallest power supplies on the market" according to the company. While small, G3 PSUs carry a 140mm hydraulic dynamic bearing fan offering "whisper silent" operation reaching just 25dBA (550, 650 and 750W models) or 35dBA (850 and 1000W models) of noise during full operation.

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Intel Shows "Miraculous" Photonics Chips

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Intel Shows

An analyst report on the Barron's tech trading blog claims Intel might have chipmaking "game changer"-- miniaturised on-die silicon photonics technology allowing for the faster transmission of data between chip components.

As the Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland puts it, such technology can "mitigate Moore's Law," the semiconductor design rule the likes of Intel have been grinding against in recent years. He also describes the "chips with frickin' lasers" as "nothing short of miraculous" and "a potential game changer for Intel and the semiconductor industry."

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Zotac Presents VR GO Backpack PC

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Zotac Presents VR GO Backpack PC

Zotac offers a variety of miniature gaming PCs, but only one comes ready with straps-- the VR GO, a PC users can strap on their backs straight out of the box for more mobile VR experiences.

The straps are removable, meaning customers can use the PC as a regular desktop machine. It carries fairly decent hardware, with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics, quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, M.2 SSD and a hot-swappable battery in a form factor the company says still includes proprietary cooling system and properly positioned I/O ports.

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Researchers Break Multi-Core CPU Bottleneck

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Researchers Break Multi-Core CPU Bottleneck

Intel and North Carolina State University researchers claim to have a solution to one of the more persistent problems hitting modern CPUs-- the communications between multiple processor cores.

How is this a problem, when all, dual- and quad-core chips have shown great improvements over single-core options? Scaling beyond 8, 10, 16 or more cores actually shows diminishing returns, and the issue gets even worse with poorly optimised software.

A possible solution lies in what the researchers call the Queue Management Device (QMD), a dedicated set of logic circuits handling the software queue. This turns three multistep software-queue operations into three simple instructions-- add data to the queue, take data from the queue and put data close to where it is needed next.

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Dell Teases Own Studio-Style PC

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Dell Teases Own Studio-Style PC

Dell refuses to be left out of the fancy AIO PC game-- following Microsoft announcement of the Surface Studio, the Adobe Max conference has the company announces it will be revealing a similar machine at CES 2017.

Little is known about the mystery machine, but Dell says it has been "envisioned in 2014." A spot of detective work brings a concept design seen back at Dell World 2014, a PC replacing the regular keyboard and mouse combo with a large horizontal touchscreen named the "Smart Desk." This machine fits the teaser perfectly, since it also involves a touchscreen-equipped offering.

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Microsoft Takes on AIO PCs With Surface Studio

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Microsoft Takes on AIO PCs With Surface Studio

The Microsoft 2016 Surface Event 2016 was, predictably, all about the Surface line-- with the headliner being the Surface Studio, an AIO PC with a four-point hinge turning the display into a tabletop touchscreen.

The Studio is an impressive machine, with a 28-inch 4500 x 3000 resolution display within a minimalist design. Inside are an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 quad-core CPU, Nvidia GeForce dGPU, up to 32GB RAM and 2.1 surround sound system. A single cable provides power, while cabled connectivity comes through x4 USB 3.0 sockets, ethernet and a headphone jack. The included peripherals, namely the keyboard and mouse, are wireless.

One can also pair the Studio with the same stylus used by other Surface devices, the Surface Pen-- which is where tilting the display back makes most sense, since it turns the machine into a virtual arts canvas. Microsoft also offers the "Surface Dial," a curious hardware jog wheel able to handle a variety of context-based tasks.

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