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Tag Archives: Hardware

Noise Canceling PC Fan

By David Ponce

Did you know you could create a speaker from the spinning blades of a fan? Simply rotate the fins and modulate the rotating speed. It’s actually the basis for the world’s largest subwoofer, which we wrote about back in 2005. Using this principle, Noctua’s NF-F12 integrated noise cancellation fan is able to reduce the racket inside your case by 20 dB, “utilizing a patented RotoSub ANC technology to emit anti-noise directly from the fan’s own blades.” They hope to achieve 1,500RPM noise levels from a fan running at 2,500. Of course this doesn’t beat liquid cooling solutions, but these can get unwieldy. There’s no word on price, though availability seems to be set for somewhere in the latter half of 2013.

[ Brochure (PDF, from page 20) ] VIA [ Enadget ]

Nerdgasm Alert: New NVidia Dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 Is Spec-alicious, Fastest On Market

By David Ponce

Graphic cards are usually the flashier components on any PC build. Where the CPU would be an overachieving Asian student (please forgive the stereotype), the graphic card would be the weightlifter on steroids. Wearing fur. With a (potential) twin. And the new NVidia GeForce 690 takes things to a new level with the kind of nerdtastic specs that make serious gamers’ heads spin. Featuring two 28nm Kepler GPUs, the 690 packs a blistering 3,072 Cuda cores, effectively delivering double the framerates of its predecessor, the 680. And… it can be run in SLI mode, meaning if you have the cash, two of them can sit in your case.

But aside from processing power, there’s some serious mettalurgy going on:

An exterior frame made from trivalent chromium-plated aluminum, providing excellent strength and durability. A fan housing made from a thixomolded magnesium alloy, which offers excellent heat dissipation and vibration dampening. High-efficiency power delivery with less resistance, lower power and less heat generated using a 10-phase, heavy-duty power supply with a 10-layer, two-ounce copper printed circuit board.

This is some serious business so of course, the price is pretty darn serious too: $1,000. Expect it in limited quantities starting May 3, 2012, with wider availability by May 7, 2012.

P.S.: “For Crysis 2 Ultra, the GTX 690 scored 57.8 fps while the GTX 680 scored 32.3 fps. ”

VIA [ Engadget ]

NOFAN CR-95C Uses No Fan, No Liquid For CPU Cooling

By David Ponce

Keeping a CPU cool is typically the job of the fan. It’s noisy and the standard ones do an average job of things. More serious gamers and over clockers typically go the liquid-cooling way, which is quieter and much more efficient. But it’s also an intricate setup, requiring some plumbing and a pump. Nothing the average geek can’t handle, but it doesn’t even come close to the elegance and quietness of a fanless, passive design, like the NOFAN CR-95C. Made entirely out of copper and looking rather bling, it “is rated to cool CPUs of up to 100W TDP without the need for a fan. Judging from all the Intel and AMD leaks, that level efficiency ought to have you covered regardless of whether you opt for Ivy Bridge or Trinity”, which are the next generation processors to come out of the big two. The NOFAN CR-95C weighs in at a rather hefty 1,020g, putting it slightly over a kilo and measures 180mm by 148mm. it comes out sometime in June for an undisclosed price.

[ Manufacturer Website ] VIA [ Engadget ]

ModMyPi Offers Case For Raspberry Pi, 5% Kickback To Foundation

By David Ponce

So you might have heard about the Raspberry Pi, that deck-of-cards-sized $35 computer that runs Linux and has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 Megabytes of RAM. It’s supposed to promote the use of computers in schools, but at that price point, people are grabbing it for all sorts of reasons. We hear it runs HD video just fine, even if it has to be stored on a separate SD card. Anyway, for $35 what you get is a pretty bare bones system, with no case. ModMyPi is selling just such a case, which comes in 5 different colour combinations. They’re made out of perforated ABS plastic, which should keep your Pi cool while keeping the dust out. They cost “£7.99 ($12.70) for the black or white versions. The other colors will cost an extra £1.99 ($3.15), as will international shipping. So the price ranges from $12.70 up to $18.99 depending on your selection and location. To sweeten the deal, ModMyPi will donate 5% of their profits to the Raspberry foundation.

Hit the jump for a couple more pics and links.

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Elgato Thunderbolt SSD Puts That Connector To Some Use

By David Ponce

We’re a bit peeved at companies that refuse to follow standards. Sony for example, with their refusal to use SD for storage, instead opting for their much more expensive MemorySticks. Or Apple and their refusal to go with USB 3.0, instead decking their hardware with Thunderbolt. Do you know of many Thunderbolt enabled devices? Didn’t think so. But at least now you can add Elgato’s Thunderbolt SSD drives. Coming in 120GB and 240GB capacities, they feature 270MB/s data read speeds. This is fast, especially when compared to USB 2.0’s typical 35MB/s speeds. And it is indeed theoretically about twice as fast as USB 3.0 could be, but it’s also super expensive. The 120GB model retails for $430 while the larger 240GB unit goes for $700. People who work with large files, like HD video or RAW photos would definitely enjoy the extra storage room, especially if they’re working off a MacBook Air, with their limited 128GB/256GB drives. And of course, like any SSD, the drives are whisper quiet. However they feature only one port, which means that they’d have to be at the end of any daisy chain you might have created.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

Roccat Power Grid And Phobos Keyboard Could Revolutionize Gaming

By David Ponce

Well, that’s a hyperbole. Maybe “positively impact” is more like it, but makes for a shitty headline…

Anyway, there are a bunch of products on the market aiming to improve on the interface between man and gaming machine. For example, we’ve recently seen the Razer Blade, a $2,800 laptop that features a touchscreen beneath the keypad whose job it is to let you access vital game functions. But the Roccat Phobos keyboard combined with the free Power Grid application could ditch the expensive laptop altogether and bring similar functionality to your current gaming rig. The idea is that you’d dock the iPhone into the keyboard and it would become an accessory gaming hub. You’d have access to a bunch of shortcuts arranged in grids (hence the name), with a view into your machine’s vitals, macro keys, social networking pings, volume control, etc. You can edit these grids and include whatever you want into them, and then share your configuration with your friends. It’s pretty cool.

The application in under development at the moment, and Beta testers are being sought. We don’t know when the keyboard itself would come out, nor for how much. But something tells us it should be way south of $2,800.

Hit the jump for a few more pictures of the UI and links.

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OhGizmo! Review – Dyson DC41 Animal

By Chris Scott Barr

Vacuuming is a normal, everyday chore that needs to be done to prevent your house from looking like slobs live there. The only problem is, it takes forever to get the regular junk off the floor, let alone all of that teeny tiny debris that has been ground into your carpet for who knows how long. Which is why having a good quality vacuum will make things that much easier on you and your household.

If you hear Dyson, and vacuum being used in the same sentence, there’s a good chance the topic is about how well they work, and that whole, “never losing suction” thing. As a cleaning aficionado (aka neat freak), I was certainly intrigued by all this talk of fancy vacuums, and wanted to see if they were up to par. Lo and behold, a Dyson DC41 Animal arrived on my doorstep, and the results were astonishing.

This vacuum is appropriately named “Animal” as it simply amazing at picking up animal hair. It’s suction powers have the capabilities to pick up the normal stuff, and even somewhat remove what one might think were stains. It can easily move from carpet to hardwood floors without sucking up the carpet, and it has kept its word of not losing suction.

Any old regular vacuum can only move back and forth, but with the ball design, you can flawlessly roll and pivot around any obstacles you may face. The ball does make it a bit bigger than other vacuum heads, which makes it difficult to vacuum under things, unless you get an additional attachment. However, it still does it’s job quite well, so that’s not as much of an issue.

Assembly is super quick, with only three main pieces to put together. The canister for this vacuum is rather large at 0.55 cu. ft., the hose can go to the top of the stairs, so there is no lugging involved, and it’s rather lightweight at only 17.4lbs. Not to mention the cord is exceptionally long, which is great for anyone who lives in a larger home. You’ll only need one outlet per floor, which is a pleasant thing, as you would normally have to hunt to find optimally placed plugs in the wall so you don’t have to spend time plugging and unplugging the cord.

It does make a bit of a racket, but it’s no worse than any other type of vacuum. Although it is pretty energy efficient, keep in mind that this is pretty heavy duty vacuum, so having multiple appliances still plugged in is not the best of ideas. Unless of course you want to blow a fuse.

Having experienced both bagged and bag less vacuums in the past, it was nice to know that the canister was going to be a mess to clean out or smell after multiple usages. The canister empties out at the bottom, which although very convenient, was not apparent to me in the beginning. (oops!) Overall, this is a great vacuum, and has very few flaws. It’s weight, although very light, may be a bit much if you can’t lift more than 10 or 15 pounds, but I would definitely recommend it to others, provided you’re willing to dish out $600. However, I’d much rather spend that, than buying and replacing cheaper ones that won’t last, or perform nearly as well.

[ Dyson ]

Almond Router Features LCD Screen

By David Ponce

Routers are an indispensable piece of equipment in the home, but they’re often one of the most feared. Think about it. When was the las time you changed your WiFi password? Or changed any of the settings? When did you last type 192.168.0.1 or something like that in your browser bar? “Never” is the answer many of you will give, and that’s just because routers aren’t that easy to use. The Almond router from Securifi hopes to change all that with the inclusion of an LCD touchscreen on its body. Hardware wise, we’re looking at a typical router: 802.11b/g/n, 300Mbps MIMO, 100m range, etc. But it’s the touchscreen UI that makes the Almond stand out; it’ll allow you to configure everything right on your device with a few simple finger presses.

The Almond should hit the market in the spring of this year for under $70.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gadget Review ]

Buffalo’s USB Hub Likes To Go Both Ways

By David Ponce

Even though in theory there is a 50/50 chance that you will insert a USB plug into its socket in the correct orientation, in practice things are much different. We’d rate the odds at 1/10, while the likelihood of having a rage-induced USB-connecting coronary much, much higher. Buffalo’s latest 4-port USB hub fixes this small but annoying issue by accepting a USB cable both ways. It doesn’t do USB 3.0 (yup, USB 2.0 here) or do anything else interesting for that matter. But it’s sometimes the small things that go a long way to making our lives just a bit more pleasant. It’s going to set you back $23 and comes in four colours. We’re just not sure exactly when it’s available.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Fark ]