The PC Gaming Alliance, a non-profit group composed of influential hardware and software developers such as Intel and Epic, revealed today its Game United Contest and asked for entrants to record a video or write a wiki entry on the value and future of PC gaming for an Intel Ultrabook grand prize.
Hands up if you've ever bought a DisplayPort connector? Thought not, because while the monitor adaptor of tomorrow (still) is clearly a very elegantly designed piece of kit, everyone knows the future of everything is wireless.
Hence a bit of excitement about today's announcement from industry steering group WiFi Alliance. It's launched a new standard, known as Miracast, which should theoretically make it simple to get moving pictures from one PC, laptop or phone to any screen on your house using nothing but the power of 802.11x.
I wasn't at Intel's Developer Forum (IDF) this year, so forgive the tardiness of this round up of the announcements from said conference. The big news is, of course, more details on its next CPU, codenamed Haswell. This chip will be the fourth in the 'Core' line-up, replacing current Ivy Bridge processors some time early next year.
The good news, for PC gamers at least, is that you can probably upgrade your CPU now (if you need to) safe in the knowledge that Haswell isn't likely to make any current desktop quad core obsolete within a year or so.
It's laptops and tablets that Intel has its eye on for the future (doesn't everyone?)
Did you read about the details of Intel's Ivy Bridge launch a few weeks ago and wonder what happened to the dual core and ultra mobile chips that have proved so popular in Sandy Bridge variants? Don't worry, they haven't been retired – just held back until today, that's all.
There are 14 new processors launched today, nine of which are duallies. They join the quad core Core i5 3xxx and Core i7 3xxx CPUs we've already seen and reviewed in PCG 241, and with them promises of ultra cheap or ultra thin gaming systems, and touch screen Ultrabooks too.
Just 15 months after the technology first appeared in a commercial form, ASUS and MSI have finally announced the first PC motherboards that will ship with built in Thunderbolt ports.
Thunderbolt, if you're aware of it all, may sound like a tedious hard drive technology, but it's got an enormous amount of potential for PC gaming. With these two boards, we may finally be in the era of the modular PC – which doesn't have to be opened up for upgrades.
It means, potentially, external hard drives that are as quick as internal SSDs and plug in graphics cards that really work. Much as I like to tinker inside my PC's case, this is big.
Chin up CPU fans, Intel has launched its latest batch of processors out into the world today. On this fine anniversary of Shakespeare's birthday an infinite number of monkeys has been hard at work producing a replacement for the entire Core i7 and Core i5 range - not that they needed it - and Intel have crossed over Sandy Bridge and are onto a new Ivy Bridge design.
And we've had one of these new chips in the office to play with for a couple of weeks. Want to know what we think? Read on.
Intel and Plextor have both announced new additions to their SSD line up this week, hitting low price points for fast solid state drives. While they're timed to arrive at the peak of current generation SSD technology, though, it's what comes next that's really interesting.
Easter Sunday. Depending on your ethical proclivities it was a day for church, chocolate or just chilling out playing some games safe in the knowledge that you don't have to work tomorrow. Or, if you're Intel, it's a day for launching your new range of motherboard chipsets and a swanky example of their kind to go with it.
Nope, timing beats me too. Still, I've had one of their new Z77-type boards in the office for a few days now, which is long enough to be suitably impressed with it.
Market analysts at Jon Peddie Research have published their latest quarterly figures for graphics card shipments, and concluded that sales of discrete add-in graphics cards were down 3.5% in the last three months of 2011 compared to the same period of 2010.
It's not all bad news though. Overall sales of graphics processors, including Intel's Sandy Bridge hybrid CPUs and AMD's Fusion APUs, were up by 8.9% to 124million units compared to the previous year, apparently. Sales of PCs in general rose by around 1.8% by the same metric.
Fancy trying your hand at overclocking a CPU but don't want to risk your precious silicon? Intel may have just the thing for you. The chip giant has announced a new optional insurance policy for Core i-thingumy owners who want to protect their processors.
The new warranty is good for three years and covers a one time replacement of a processor damaged by overclocking. It goes by the name of Performance Tuning Plan, and costs between $20 and $35 depending on which chip you own.
Memory meisters at Intel and Micron have announced a new addition to their joint range of NAND flash modules, capable of storing a terabit of data (128GB) on a chip the size of your finger tip.
Physically, that's between eight and sixteen times smaller than the chips commonly used in SSDs today. If the costs are right, it's big news for the little drives.
How powerful does a laptop need to be? It’s a pertinent question. Last week Razer unveiled a laptop it proclaimed the “saviour of PC gaming”. But the big laptop news is that we’re about to be deluged by ‘ultrabooks’ - thin and light MacBook Air clones which weigh just over a kilo, but pack powerful Core i5/i7 processors.
Want to overclock your CPU? Why bother with all those tedious BIOS tweaks when Intel can effortlessly turbo charge your chip on your behalf? The company has updated its Intel Upgrade Service to cover three chips from the new Sandy Bridge family, allowing owners of the low end Core i3-2312M, Core i3-2102 or Pentium G622 to transmogrify them into something else. Something a little more powerful.
A good solid state hard-drive is a bona fide hardware luxury. SSD drives can shift buckets of data at tremendous speeds, leading to lightning fast load times and improved responsiveness. The Intel Solid State Drive 510 Series' 6GB/s SATA interface can shovel information at a steamy 310 MB/s. Solid State hard drives are more reliable, resilient and faster than their standard counterparts and Intel now offer a new five year warranty on mainstream drives like the Intel SSD 320 series should anything happen to your drive.
How would you like to win one? We've got five Intel 320 series 120GB SSDs (complete with desktop installation kits and migration software) to give away to our European readers. Read on to find out how to enter.
Can you connect a PC to your TV without wires? There's enough interesting display technologies around now that stream video directly from a graphics card onto a TV screen over the air, and when Alienware's new M18x appeared in the office armed with the latest version of Intel's Wireless Display technology (WiDi), we had to give it a go.
When Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs arrived in the PC Gamer labs a few months ago, one of the things that really surprised me was the size of the retail heatsink supplied with the top end Core i7 2600K. I could be wrong, but I don't remember seeing one as small as this since the days of the Pentium 3. It's pictured above, and as you can see, is barely higher than the RAM modules.
Aha, I thought, that must just be a cost saving trick for Intel that's good for running the chip at stock speeds. For extra performance you'll surely need something a bit more frosty.
When it came to testing the overclocking potential of the chip for the review, I added a watercooler that I was also testing at the time - a Corsair H60. As expected, the chip flew, racing up to 4.5GHz and beyond without any issue. How far would the chip overclock and for how long, I wondered, using just the tiny supplied cooler.
What do you mean you haven't got a brand new Sandy Bridge processor yet? Intel's second gen Core processors are pretty much the only choice for building or upgrading a gaming system right now. As if to prove the superiority of its chip du jour, the big I has just launched another motherboard chipset to support it: the Z68 Express.
Aimed at high performance machines, the first wave of Z68 boards from ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte are around the same price as the outgoing P67 chipset. And there are a lot of other similarities between the two. For example, there's the Z68 gives you full access to overclocking controls in the BIOS, with switches that aren't available on the most keenly priced H67 and H61 boards, even if you have an unlocked CPU.
Epic's Mark Rein has admitted that even though he has been "beating them up for 11 years," Intel's latest HD graphics "don't suck."
Read on for more from Epic's vice president at GDC.
UPDATE: the winners have been selected and will be contacted shortly. Thanks to everybody who entered!
Disclaimer: for everyone that didn't read the headline, we're sorry to say that this contest is for US citizens only. We blame The Man.
You guys want to win contests, and we want to please you any way we can. Intel just unveiled their latest processor, the Intel® Core™ i7-950, and we want to bestow upon your computer the kind of blazing speed that only 8-way multitask processing can provide. But why not enter to win an Intel Core™ i5 laptop while you're at it? Double the contest, double the chances of winning.