Every now and then, we report on breaking hardware news from some of the largest players in the industry, but there have been so many interesting and noteworthy developments in the PC hardware space that we feel you should know about more regularly.
Starting today, we’ll be recapping relevant PC hardware news on a weekly basis, so you can stay informed on the hardware components that could improve your overall PC experience. After all, this is the stuff you’re going to be running Windows 10 on, so the more you know, the better choices you make when you’re out choosing (or building) your next PC.
Starting at the very heart of a PC, there have been a couple of significant processor announcements this week. Intel finally announced the desktop versions of its 5th generation ‘Broadwell’ Core i series processors, going from the Core i5-5575R all the way up to the Core i7-5950HQ. This comes after a long delay following the release of the mobile SKUs. There was some speculation that Intel would skip ‘Broadwell’ desktop chips entirely in favor of the 6th generation ‘Skylake’ chips due later this year, but evidently, that isn’t the case.
Arch rival AMD also recently unveiled its 6th generation A-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) codename ‘Carrizo’. These are a special kind of processor as they consist of both CPU and GPU cores embedded on a single die. The new Carrizo chips supposedly introduce a new level of performance that makes for a better gaming and multimedia experience compared to Intel processors and the integrated graphics in them while at the same time being very power efficient as well. Check out the full overview of the chip over at Anandtech.
On the graphics card side, AMD has been reportedly preparing to launch a new beast of a graphics card. The new chip, codenamed ‘Fiji XT’ is so powerful, that AMD will make an exception, and drop its branding system this time around. Instead of progressing numerically as it has always done, going from the Radeon R9 290X to the R9 390X, rumors suggest that the ‘Fiji XT’ card may simply be called the AMD Fury.
The semiconductor giant has also teased the card recently. It showed off the GPU itself which is physically a lot larger than normal because for the first time, it embeds the graphics memory within the GPU package itself, allowing the graphics board to be smaller instead. The company also released a video hinting at an imminent release, possibly during E3 2015.
NVIDIA on the other hand will not succumb to AMDs fury (pun very much intended), so it released a beast of its own in the form of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti before AMD even has a chance. NVIDIA’s new card is positioned between its GTX 980 and the GTX Titan X, all of which are based on the latest Maxwell 2 architecture. Recent benchmarks reveal that the GTX 980 Ti is almost as powerful as the $999 Titan X – which is expected since it shares the same, yet slightly limited GM200 GPU – but will sell for only $649.
Motherboard makers like MSI have recently started releasing the first “Windows 10-certified” motherboards, which really only means that they support UEFI and will have drivers designed for Windows 10 available at launch.
They’ve also taken to Computex to show off some of the first Intel Skylake-ready motherboards based on the new high-performance Z170 chipset. These motherboards should be available starting August according to PC Gamer.
DDR3 is the go-to modern memory type these days, but high speed DDR4 is about to hit the mainstream. New sticks from Crucial, G.Skill, Patriot, and other have been unveiled, probably in anticipation of Intel Skylake processors and motherboards, which will support DDR4 memory.
In Other News
There has been no shortage of outrageous PC case designs over the years. This year brought us the hexagonal Alienware Area-51, the Tristellar by Deepcool, and others. But earlier this week, Taiwanese PC case maker In Win unveiled something… else. It’s best if you just see it for yourself:
Insane, badass, overkill? That’s for you to decide. The case will go on sale later this year, so if you have extravagant tastes, you may want to keep a lookout for the In Win H-Tower PC case.
Last but certainly not least is a large, yet tiny announcement from SanDisk. The storage manufacturer released what it claims is the world’s smallest USB 3.0 drive. It’s practically a full-size USB connector and a grip, and somewhere in there is 128GB of storage. Other products it announced was a 256GB flash drive, a portable USB Type-C SSD, and a 2TB SSD aimed at cloud service providers – probably because one look at its price tag will give consumers heart attacks.
That concludes this week’s recap, let us know in the comments section below what type of PC hardware you’re most interested in, and if you’re looking to buy new hardware components this year. Lots of exciting hardware and software news to look forward to in the near future, so stay tuned for more, and have a nice weekend!