Tech

This SSD plugs into a spare PCIe slot, but is it faster?

Dave James at

That thing in the above picture is an SSD, and a hoofing big one too. The Plextor M6e is the first M.2 SSD I’ve had arrive in the office, and it’s a 512GB drive that aims to circumvent the limitations of current SATA connections by using the same PCI Express bus that's been providing oodles of bandwidth to graphics cards for years.


Steelseries talk mouse design, sensors, weight and the wireless future

Wes Fenlon at

A good mouse is instantly forgotten. Whether you prefer a finger-grip or a flat-palm stance, once you've found a good mouse it seems to vanish from consideration the moment you touch it. It's just an extension of your will. A lot of work goes into the design and construction of the modern mouse to achieve this effect, so we asked Steelseries' chief technical officer, Tino Soelberg, what constructors consider when creating new designs, and to speculate a little on the future of these vital peripherals.


Is silicon doomed? IBM invests billions in quest to find alternative

Dave James at

The days of silicon sitting inside our CPUs and GPUs are numbered, according to a recent announcement by chip giant, IBM. They’re betting a cool $3 billion dollars on being able to find a decent alternative before silicon starts to hinder hardware progress.


Octo-core Intel chips incoming this Autumn, priced at $999

Dave James at

Intel is widely expected to be dropping the octo-core Haswell-E bomb in September. The smart money places launch sometime around their Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, but only the most committed enthusiasts will want to put down $999 for Intel's new tech.


Samsung unveil their latest SSD with 3D memory

Dave James at

Over in Seoul Samsung have announced their latest SSD, the 850 Pro. It may just be a standard SATA drive, but it contains an innovative approach to scaling that stacks memory vertically to fit more GBs into the same space.


New AMD GPUs rumoured for next month

Dave James at

AMD’s R9 280 is one of the best-value graphics cards out there, but it’s still running on old Tahitii GPU hardware from the last generation. The rumour mill is grinding away at the moment, and we're hearing suggestions that AMD are working on a replacement for that old chip, code-named Tonga.


AMD re-release their 5GHz FX processor with bonus watercooling

Dave James at

To try and counter all the excited enthusiast processor chat generated by Intel’s Devil’s Canyon CPUs AMD have decided to re-release their top-end FX-9590, but this time with a Cooler Master liquid chip-chiller in the box.


Gigabyte's BRIX mini-PC promises desktop gaming performance in a small package

Dave James at

Gigabyte have announced yet another version of their increasingly impressive BRIX range of mini PCs: the BRIX Gaming. Contrary to the way mini PCs have traditionally been configured, Gigabyte’s latest actually stands a chance of delivering playable frame rates without sacrificing texture quality or post-processing.


AMD's FX chips return, in mobile APU form

Dave James at

If you’d been hoping for AMD to stick the new Steamroller cores into a new line of dedicated gaming CPUs you might well be sorely disappointed to find the new FX silicon is actually just another APU. When I say "just another APU," I am talking about the brand new mobile version of the Kaveri architecture.


Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition G3258 review

Dave James at

Ah, now this takes me back. A budget-priced, low-end Intel Pentium chip with serious overclocking headroom. This is what overclocking PC hardware used to be about—not pushing the latest $1,000 CPU to see what extra few numbers you could squeeze out of a synthetic benchmark, but cooking the clocks on a cheapo chip to get your games to actually run faster. It is a bit of a shame that it’s taken the celebration of 20 years of Pentiums to get Intel to relax it’s iron grip on the clockspeeds of any CPU outside the K-series.

The fact you can’t actually buy a K-series i3 is still a bit of a disappointment to me. But forget the politics and the marketing shenanigans, this is an awesome little budget gaming CPU that’s got a really good chance of wresting the budget market away from AMD’s bargain FX range.


Alienware Alpha: impressions of the $550 Windows 8.1 Steam Machine

Wes Fenlon at

I met with Alienware at E3 2014 to look at the only prominent PC at the show: the Alienware Alpha, a miniature Steam Machine going on sale around the end of the year. This Steam Machine won't be running Valve's Linux-based SteamOS, or ship with a Steam Controller, though—when Valve delayed final releases of both to next year, Alienware decided to switch to Windows 8.1 with a custom UI and boot sequence that launches straight into Steam Big Picture. What I saw was an early, rough version of that UI, but Alienware made it clear that you shouldn't ever have to see Windows when you boot up the box. Unless, of course, you want to.


Razer expands into PC cases with custom-designed NZXT H440

Wes Fenlon at

First Razer built mice and headsets and PC accessories. Then Razer built its own computers—the Razer Blade laptop and the modular Project Christine. Now the inevitable has happened: Razer's built a PC case. The company's big product reveal for E3 2014 is a custom Razer-designed NZXT H440 case, a sleek black obelisk with the usual neon green highlighting.


The NZXT H440 is part of Razer's "Designed by Razer" initiative, which means they didn't actually manufacture the case. Instead, they took a mid-tower case design from NZXT and ran it through Razer's design team in San Francisco, tweaking the materials and aesthetics to meet Razer's specifications.

Razer CEO shows off E3 gear: Kraken Neon headset, NZXT H440 case

Tyler Wilde at

Our friends at Techradar joined Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan at the company's E3 booth for a video interview showing off the new NZXT H440 case and the Kraken Neon Pros. We also get a look at the Junglecat, a mobile phone gamepad, but we expect you'll skip ahead to the new hyper-colored new Krakens.


SteelSeries announce Sentry Eye Tracker device, say its designed and optimised for gaming

Phil Savage at

I don't think it would be controversial for me to state that robots are cool, human flesh is weak, and the sooner we can transcend our consciousness into non-corporeal clouds of data, the better off we'll be. (On a related note: I have a cold right now, and may be angrier at biology than usual.) Even so, I'm not sure I've ever heard a phrase as distinctly chilling as "Sentry Eye Tracker," which is the name of a commercial product that, hopefully, doesn't harvest and catalogue your eyes. Instead, makers SteelSeries say, it's designed to "analyse, train and improve competitive gameplay".


The hidden problem with 4K monitors: display scaling

Dave James at

I’ve ditched Google’s Chrome browser and actively chosen to have Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as my default browser. Yes, you read that right, I’ve made the move back to Internet Explorer, the browser I always replace with Google Chrome the instant I install a new operating system onto a PC. And the reason is simple, I’ve been testing Asus’ latest 4K monitor, the PB287Q, and the only way I can keep using it as my main monitor is to ditch Chrome.


How to buy a graphics card—Six things you must know about GPUs

PC Gamer at

In a perfect world, the hardware experts at PC Gamer would accompany you on a shopping trip to pick up your next graphics card. We'd happily share our experience and tell you what to watch out for, what to avoid, and what you need from a GPU to squeeze the highest number of frames per second out of your gaming rig. Then again, would you really want to spend an afternoon with our posse of hardware-obsessed game addicts? The good news is you can receive the same benefit by reading our new buyer's guide below. When you're done, you don't even have to shake our clammy, mouse-worn hands.


Overclocker's Vesuvius PC tested: 4K gaming, powered by quadfire Radeon cards

Dave James at

The Infinity Vesuvius is a monster concocted by AMD and Overclockers, powered by a quadfire-tastic Radeon R9 295X2 pairing inside. Those four GPUs, housed in a sturdy Corsair chassis, will let you play at 4K resolutions without having to sacrifice top-end graphics settings, but you'll pay £4K / $6k for the privilege.


The keyboard of the Large Pixel Collider

Wes Fenlon at

We've picked a keyboard that can handle the gaming demands of our supercomputing overlord, the Large Pixel Collider.


CryEngine development kit subscription available on Steam

Omri Petitte at

Sitting all pretty-like at the top of Steam's software roster is the new addition of the CryEngine toolkit and source code. For a $10/£6 monthly subscription, developers can license one of the beefiest and feature-rich graphics generators out there for technical boosts such as "perspective-correct volumetric soft shadows" or "procedural object deformation" or "ooh, shiny."


Broadwell to complete a year of chip launches for Intel

Dave James at

Intel are set to release a slew of new processors in the second half of this year, culminating in the release of the next-generation 14nm Broadwell chips. Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, spoke at the Maker Faire in California to guarantee that after last year's delay (due to a "defect density issue"), Broadwell CPUs would be released in time for the holidays, “and not the last second of holiday” either.