Tech News

  • The desktop PC needs a makeover @ TR

    Cyril Kowaliski is at it again and this time attacking how large his PC is. 

    My PC is full of air and unoccupied slots and bays. I have four 5.25" optical drive bays that I don't use. The top one houses a DVD burner, but I can't remember the last time I stuck a disc in it. I moved to Canada over three years ago, and I'm positive that I've never purchased a blank DVD in this country.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and simply agree with Cyril's views. (most of them)  Yes, the modern PC is too large and the modern case has too many drive bays, too many expansion slots and often come with external hot-swap docks.  None of this stuff we need however there was that one guy in some "other" country, lets say China, that claimed it was needed.  

    Looking back at my Antec SX635 (that I still use) you will see the epitome of the perfect mid-tower chassis.  it is compact, fits a full sized motherboard and comes with 5 drive bays.  The problem is the case doesn't cool well so to solve the problem I added some larger fans.  92mm was the biggest that would fit and sadly the blowhole fan had to be removed because my Corsair HX850 was too long.  At idle the case is quiet however when I game the fans have to activate because my GTX 670 and Core i7 980X generate too much heat.

    Heat is the main reason computer cases have gotten big.  People complain that their PC's are too loud and the only way to solve that is to increase the airspace and install large slow moving fans.  Cases like the Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E Evolution are a perfect example of how this can be done but they don't sell well in high volume regions that are more concerned with what you get than what you really need.

  • Gamers May Save the PC Market

    The TechReport crew talked about this article on their latest podcast and it really got me thinking.  If you think about the US PC Market the trend is moving towards mobile and tablet devices which is causing the of PCs and Laptops to dwindle.  Hardware Enthusiasts and Gamers often strive to have the latest and greatest hardware which is something that Laptops and Tablets cannot deliver.

    Knowing that and factoring in that hardware makers often make no profit ($0 dollars over R&D costs) on flagship and high-end hardware.  You have to wonder if the sale of high-end gaming gear and custom PCs is really a long term solution or just a stop gap before the Microsoft and Intel driven mobile world takes over.

    IDC Insights Research dropped some doom and gloom earlier this year, reporting that Q1 2013 PC shipments were down a drastic 13.9% globally, compared to the same period in 2012. This represented the worst decline in the US since 2006, despite Windows 8 and some inspired hardware to accompany it from the likes of Lenovo, ASUS, and Dell DELL Apparently no one told PC gamers about this decline, as a new report from Jon Peddie Research illustrates.

    I had a "over drinks" discussion during CES about the future of hardware review sites and flat out said there is no future for hardware review as we know it.  Simply put we all need to adapt or die.  The reason being that mid and low end hardware is what makes money and the high-end flagship products are only built for marketing.  So, without mid level sales there are no high-end products, and if high-end products remain the prices will go thru the roof.

    I really hope the market doesn't come this that and its up to the consumers to demand change.  Sadly everyone with this power has their heads buried in their ipads.

  • All Android-created Bitcoin wallets Are Belong to Us

    This seems like a bad thing and given that I have distaste for Java I can safely say that this is a problem created by Java developers lazy in their coding standards or done on purpose to rule the world and take advantage of non-elitists who know not better.  Which would be just as bad. released a security advisory over the weekend warning the Bitcoin community that any Bitcoin wallet generated on any Android device is insecure and open to theft. The insecurity appears to stem from a flaw in the Android Java SecureRandom class, which under certain circumstances can produce numbers that aren't truly nondeterministic. This can allow an attacker to work out a victim's cryptographic private key. Private keys are used to sign Bitcoin transactions; if an attacker has a victim's private key, the attacker can execute Bitcoin transactions as if he were that person.

    So far, it appears that the vulnerability has been used to steal at least 55 BTC (approximately $5,720 as of this morning).

    The first paragraph in the Ars article tells all and is one reason why Open Source software is good but can also be bad.  I'm sure by now the company has issued a security update but, if memory serves, once the Bitcoint wallet has been created the only way to change it would be to create a new one and move the money. 

    Seems the thieves have beat them to the punch.  Or, maybe this is a Superman 3 sort of scam, either way.  Go Java! 

  • MSI Product Launch - GTX 760 Hawk

    This news launched a few days ago but there seems to be a new video card on the loose, the MSI GTX 760 Hawk.  Strangely enough I thought all the Hawk edition cards went away with the new MSI.

    Seems I was wrong, and all on the day rumored to be the GTX 780 Lightning launch which will forever be known for the EVGA GTX 780 Classified.

    Web Review
    - MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK review
    - MSI GTX 760 HAWK @ PureOverclock
    - MSI GTX 760 Hawk @ LanOC Reviews

    Sadly in the old days I might have gotten one of these cards for launch,  Seems I traded video cards for motherboards with the MSI camp.

  • G.SKILL TridentX - DDR3 4400MHz Reached!

    Congratulations to professional overclocker “YoungPro” from TeamAU, setting a new milestone for DDR3 memory frequency, officially the new “King of Memory!”

    Taipei, Taiwan - 9th August 2013 - G.SKILL International Co. Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and superior solid-state storage, tops the memory frequency world record chart once again with “G.SKILL TridentX” overclocked to an amazing DDR3 4400MHz! 

    1st Global rank validation on

    Using 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 4770K, ASUS Maximus 6 Impact and a steady flow of LN2, professional overclocker James “YoungPro” Trevaskis from TeamAU were able to push the factory spec G.SKILL TridentX DDR3 3000MHz C12 4GB stick to the world’s fastest DDR3 4400MHz CL13!

    About G.SKILL
    Established in 1989 by computer hardware enthusiasts, G.SKILL is a leading memory & Solid State Drive manufacturer based in Taipei, Taiwan. The company's top priority is quality. All of the products undergo a series of the most rigorous tests and strict quality control processes. In addition to a committed, qualified IC testing house to examine the products, all G.SKILL products are 100% tested to ensure the highest yield, reliability and quality.

  • SilverStone Air Penetrator SST-AP123 Cooling Fan Review @ APH Networks

    These are some of the best fans, hands down, feet down, air down, it doesn't matter they are the best.

    Is it an improvement from the past even if the specs don't say so? Let's see how the testing goes.

    In checking out the review I rather like the tissue paper test which helps to show directionality.  At Computex several years ago Silverstone levitated a balloon with an Air Penetrator fan using the Bernoulli Effect.  (the same one that allows planes to fly)

    Most case fans exhaust air in a cone which is why you always position fans to pull air thru a radiator when you are watercoolig.  With the Air Penetrator you no longer need to do that however, the fans tend to work best cooling cases rather than heatsinks.

  • Oculus Rift hires FPS Developer John Carmack to be CTO

    For some reason this doesn't surprise me and I think it will be extremely good for both parties involved.

    Carmack said in a prepared statement that the first time he wrote code for Oculus, it stood up to many firsts he's experienced in modern gaming: "the intensity of the first-person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods and so on." Additionally, he believes VR "will have a huge impact in the coming years" -- Carmack is the first announced big new hire at Oculus. 

    The key word in the above snippet is "coming years".  We all know that VR exists and that past versions of the technology were limited by the very technology that created it.  Of course the Oculus implementation is considerably better there are still issues with the technology.

    Sadly enough, those issues are with the 2D content that is digitally converted to 3D and then displayed on the screen.  Movies recorded in 3D are usually pretty good but games where the pictures are generated in real time often suffer from motion sync issues and just poor 3D implementation.

    Let's hope that Carmack can make a difference.  Given his track record in the FPS world, I'm sure he can.

  • Microsoft Drops $100 from Surface Pro Price

    Who saw this one coming?

    Following the drastic price cuts on Surface RT tablets the Redmond giant has slashed $100 from the Surface Pro price in hopes of selling a few.

    Microsoft is discounting its Surface Pro tablet this weekend, following heavy reductions to its Surface RT costs recently. The 10 percent price cut to Surface Pro reduces the cost of the 64GB and 128GB models by $100 each in the US. Not all regions appear to have Surface Pro price cuts just yet, but the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are all showing price cuts on both models.

    I am not surprised it came to this, assuming Surface Pro is a failure.  Microsoft is accustomed to meeting expectations but in terms of selling computer hardware they have a lot to learn.  The first lesson: "just because you build it doesn't mean people will buy it".  Most content creators don't like Windows 8 and hardware reviewers still compare Slate style tablets to the iPad and those things aren't good for selling powerful tablet devices. 

    Of course some have speculated that Surface Pro 2 might be coming out which would explain the price drop.  Still, i'm not holding my breath, Haswell is a great processor and should help with battery life issue but when it comes down to actually using the tablet you're going to be faced with "meh" performance and a butthurt wallet.

  • Corsair Carbide Air 540 Case Review on Technic3D

    Most cases you can buy are designed to conform to a variety of different situations such as that single person who wants to run ten hard drives at once, or another person with a fan fetish wanting the largest fans possible because large fans equal less noise right?  (The answer is "No" in case you were wondering).

    Most normal people don't need these things in a mainstream chassis, especially when you have to sacrifice stuff like cable routing or cooling performance.  Thankfully Corsair has revived an old server design based on the cube format.  The Cube allows you to separate components for better cooling and cleaner lines.

    The Corsair Carbide Air 540 is the next PC-Case in the Technic3D Editorship. The Air 540 Cube supports E-ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ATX motherboards and have place for five 120mm Cooling-Fans or five 140mm Fans. We will check this and many more in the following Review.

    No telling what this case can do provided you are logical in your component choices.

  • PowerColor HD 7870 Devil 2048 MB @ techPowerUp

    Some people may be wondering what AMD is thinking by not releasing a new GPU this year.  However, had they gone ahead with a new chip launch companies like Power Color couldn't pump out "Devil" cards at an alarming rate.

    The PowerColor HD 7870 Devil is a highly overclocked custom design that comes with a triple fan cooler and software voltage control. Priced at $240, it sits right in the sweet-spot segment of cards that provide a decent gaming performance without breaking the bank.

    If HWBot is any indication of current GPU power you'll find many record holders still running the MSI HD 7970 Lightning.  Seems that after you disable tessalation the vast number of stream processors really does make a difference.