ASUS PB278Q 27-inch WQHD Monitor Review

A growing number of graphics professionals, gamers, and all-around power users are turning to WQHD (Wide Quad High-Definition) monitors as cost-conscious alternatives to pricey 30-inch panels, and ASUS is all too happy to oblige. The PB278Q we're looking at here slips into ASUS' Professional lineup and brings with it a 27-inch PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching) panel with a 2560x1440 display and LED backlighting. At around $700 street, it's one of the least expensive 27-inch WQHD monitors available, yet it boasts some posh features, like swivel support, the ability to rotate into portrait mode, and...

Crysis 3 Multiplayer Preview Shines, Even In Alpha

Normally we don't cover games that are still in alpha. While beta coverage is typically a good example of how final gameplay is shaping up, alpha is a time when major design elements are still in flux. We're making an exception for Crysis 3's recent multiplayer test, however, to highlight just how gorgeous the game already is. Hi there! Last week, Crytek held a closed alpha test for Crysis 3. Players were limited to DX11 video cards and just one map, Crash Site, though 16-player support was implemented. Crytek sternly advised everyone that all of the maps and scenery were placeholders and not indicative...

Gigabyte Osmium Keyboard: Great Design, Poor Accuracy

After 25 years of typing on keyboards, I've field-tested everything from IBM's legendary Mode M to the sort of $4.99 specials that were, as far as I could tell, constructed from styrofoam, packing peanuts, and pocket lint. About a year ago, I made the jump to a pair of mechanical keyboards and haven't looked back since. Marco wrote an excellent explanation on the various types of keyboard switches and capabilities that I'd recommend reading for more background info. The board on the table today is Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium, and it's an impressive beauty. The Osmium includes a USB 2 port, USB 3 port,...

Head Out Of The Clouds: Why Local Storage Matters

Smartphones, tablets and computers are constantly consuming and creating more and more content. And with that comes massive amounts of data consumption. The amount of sharing that takes place on today's smartphones and tablets is astounding, and every instance of that requires data -- and storage. Lately, it seems as if companies are dealing with these new realities by leaning heavily on the cloud. But trusting your precious data solely to the cloud can be a risky bet. Looking specifically at the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S III, the new iPad and pretty much every flagship mobile device that...

Black Mesa: Half-Life's Amazing Source Remake

It takes serious guts to try and remake Half-Life. Valve's 1998 first-person shooter didn't change FPS gaming, it redefined it. Before Half-Life, blockbusters like Quake and Quake II were lone gunman affairs with little to no interaction with non-hostile NPCs (Non-Player Character). Half-Life took that entire model, and blew it apart. The train ride into Black Mesa gave players a glimpse of a vibrant, functional world. Scientists and security guards roamed the halls, interacted with panels and equipment, joked with each other, and expressed nervousness about the upcoming experiment. Inbound, To...

IDF Rattner Keynote: Digital Radios and Spring Meadow

Last winter, Intel made waves by demonstrating a number of cutting-edge technologies it believed could drive the next-generation of lower power devices. In addition to its pioneering work with Near Threshold Voltages, the company showed off Rosepoint -- a prototype SoC that combined a dual-core 32nm Atom with an all-digital radio. As we covered at the time, current radios use a mixture of analog and digital circuitry, with the analog side of the equation consuming disproportionately more power and board real estate. Today, Intel demo'd Rosepoint in functional hardware. While the company still hasn't...

Why Linux Will Never Suffer From Viruses Like Windows

There seems to be a recurring phenomenon in the technology press, where any trojan that affects Linux or Macs becomes front page news. On the other hand, trojans that affect Windows are mostly ignored, perhaps because this is considered to be the normal state of affairs.   There are two common statements made in the discussions of these rare events: No operating system will ever be secure from Trojans. Linux/Mac only have fewer viruses because no one uses them.   The first statement is almost correct, whereas the second one is a flat out myth in my opinion. Let me explain,...

HotHardware's 2012 Back To School Shopping Guide

It's that time again. The time of year when students and parents frantically hit e-tailers with fast shipping in order to get that all-important back-to-school technology into a dorm room or backpack before classes begins. It's back-to-school season, and whether you've started classes recently or are awaiting (dreading?) that first 8AM lecture, there may be a few bits of techno-shopping that need to be taken care of before you can be on your way to that straight-A report card.          Credit: Seton Hall University Whether...

NVIDIA TXAA Brings Movie CGI Rendering To PC Games

Nvidia's Kepler packs a number of efficiency and performance improvements, but one of the GPU's major features has been locked away until now. When the company launched their new GPU core earlier this year, Nvidia debuted a new type of anti-aliasing it dubbed TXAA. Unlike other types of AA, which can often be forced on in the driver and applied to any game, TXAA required specific application support. Funcom's new MMO, The Secret World, was patched last week to add TXAA and we took the game out for a spin to see what it looks like. What is TXAA? Click to embiggen Nvidia is still keeping most of...

Under The Hood with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean

Google claims Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. When we took a look at the first Jelly Bean-equipped tablet a couple of weeks back, the Nexus 7, we felt Jelly Bean had a lot to offer users, both in terms of performance enhancements as well as new functionality. Here, we'll take a closer look at some of the new and improved features that come with Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean is Inherently Faster - One of the goals Google had while creating Android 4.1 was to improve upon the user experience by making the mobile OS feel fast and smooth. In this regard, Jelly...

Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply Preview

Corsair is one of the few companies in the PC enthusiast space that has been able to expand their product offerings, while also maintaining or even bolstering their solid reputation in the community. All too often, a company will attempt to build upon some initial success by entering a new market with a “me too” or re-badged product and end up losing credibility with enthusiasts along the way. Corsair seems to take a different approach, however. Instead of simply re-branding a product just to quickly gain a presence in a new or fledgling market, Corsair, more often than not, seems...

Apple OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) Review

Apple's Mountain Lion operating system has been a long time coming. Apple first teased the "200 new features" represented in OS X 10.8 back in June, and here we are in August with well over three million copies already downloaded. According to Apple, the launch of Mountain Lion is its most successful OS X launch ever. It's also interesting for another reason: it's the first Mac desktop OS ever to not ship on a disc or USB flash drive from the start. It's only available as a ~4.34GB download, which you could argue alienates OS X users who don't have access to a reliable broadband connection,...

ASRock Vision 3D 252B HTPC Review

When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics...

Open Source: Incredible Apps For Every OS

As the resident open source zealot, I thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform available to our readers.  Experienced users may find fault with me for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones I’ve picked here are deserving of recognition.  I especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel I did miss an important app, please...

WD My Net N900 HD Dual-Band Router Review

Quick! What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Western Digital? If you're like most people, you immediately thought of hard drives and other storage products, which have been WD's bread and butter for several decades now. But the times, they are a changin', and in case you haven't noticed, Western Digital is no longer content to simply take residence in your PC. That became evident when Western Digital dove into the media player market with its WD TV line-up of set-top boxes, but why stop at owning the living room when you can lord over the entire manor? Unable to come up...

Game-Changer: TSMC May Build Dedicated Apple Fab

Trusted sources we've spoken to in the semiconductor industry have implied that TSMC is considering a partnership with Apple that would realign the manufacturer's technology roadmap and fundamentally alter the balance of power between the foundry and its other customers. Morris Chang, TSMC's CEO, spoke about the possibility of closer collaboration with its customers in general terms last Friday, but at the time we thought the likelihood of an Apple alliance was unlikely. We've since been given reason to think otherwise. A dedicated alliance with Apple that gives the company first access to...

Asus Turbocharges USB 3.0 With SCSI Technology

When Asus asked us if we'd be interested in a reviewing their new, high-end USB 3 implementation that offered better performance than anything available elsewhere, we were skeptical. Historically, USB performance has been a function of which controller (Intel, AMD, NEC, Texas Instruments, VIA, etc.) was used. Similarly, other types of products, like WiFi routers, have exceeded specified standard performance by using custom hardware. Companies like Linksys and D-Link for example, have offered enhanced operational modes, but only if you bought specific routers and wireless cards. But...

Intel Announces MIC Xeon Phi For Exascale Computing

At the International Supercomputing Conference today, Intel announced that Knights corner, the company's first commercial Many Integrated Core (MIC) product will ship commercially in 2012. The Descendent of the processor formerly known as Larrabee also gets a new brand name -- Xeon Phi. The idea behind Intel's new push is that the highly efficient Xeon E5 architecture (eight-core Sandy Bridge on 32nm) fuels the basic x86 cluster, while the Many Integrated Core CPUs that grew out of the failed Larrabee GPU offer unparalleled performance scaling and break new ground. The challenges Intel...

Max Payne 3: Gorgeous, Gritty, And Dumb

Let's cut right to the chase. The first and most important thing you need to know about Max Payne 3 is this:  It's not a happy game. In the first Max Payne, you assumed the role of a deep undercover DEA agent tasked with breaking a massive drug ring. On the night of the worst snowstorm in New York's history, Payne finally breaks the case and avenges the murder of his wife and daughter three years earlier. Max Payne 2 was more morally ambiguous, but there was still a sense of being one of the good guys. Bringing the Payne - In Max Payne 3, you play a bitter, middle-aged drunk. Max remains unnaturally...

AMD Fusion Developers Summit Day 1 Keynote

Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units, opened up this year’s AMD Fusion Developers Summit by reiterating AMD’s commitment to heterogeneous computing. She began her talk by saying that AMD is firmly committed to heterogeneous computing because the company has literally bet its future on the technology.   Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units on stage at AFDS '12 She continued by talking about the ongoing shift in computing to lower power and mobile form factors, convergence, and how AMD is focused on aligning...

Thunderbolt on Windows with Asus, Intel and Promise

We have been talking about Intel's Thunderbolt technology here at HotHardware since well before it received its official name. Way back in the day, Thunderbolt went by the Intel codename "Light Peak". We had discussed Intel’s Light Peak technology on a number of occasions over the last few years and caught glimpses of the technology at work at past Intel Developers Forums. Light Peak eventually matured into what now is known in the market as Thunderbolt technology, which debuted initially as an Apple I/O exclusive last year. As we mentioned in our IDF coverage...

Quad-Channel DDR3 Memory Round-Up

To coincide with the release of Intel's current flagship Sandy Bridge-E processor and companion X79 chipset, a number of Intel’s memory partners released new quad-channel memory kits optimized for the platform. Previous Intel platforms were designed to offer optimal performance with two or three-channel memory configurations; Sandy Bridge-E and the X79 Express, however, perform best with a quad-channel setup. Around the same time, Intel had also defined a new Extreme Memory Profile (XMP 1.3) specification, for easy optimization and overclocking. As such, we thought it...

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