Release roundup: Overclockable mobos, pre-built HTPCs, and low-end graphics
In this edition of our (usually) weekly look at miscellaneous product releases and announcements, we've gathered news from Biostar, CyberPowerPC, and Sapphire.
- Biostar announces the K series CPU overclocking by all Intel 8 series chipset MB. Well, ASRock and ECS already did it, and now, it's Biostar's turn. The firm has announced that its entire lineup of 8-series motherboards now allows K-series Haswell processors to be overclocked via multiplier adjustments. That includes Biostar's H87, B85, and H81-based mobos. According to Biostar, users running K-series chips on those mobos "just need to simply adjust the CPU ratio from BIOS setting."
- New CyberPowerPC Zeus HTPC series lets you build the ultimate home theater system. Ooh, a pre-built HTPC. This one is made by CyberPowerPC, and it comes in a slick 17.1" x 15.4" x 2.8" chassis that's passively cooled. It's supposed to be able to double as your primary PC, as well. There are two base configs: a $699 model with an AMD A8-6400K and a 1TB hard drive, and a pricier $895 offering with Core i5-4430 and a 2TB hard drive. Both include 8GB of RAM, a slot-loading DVD burner, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a Media Center remote, and a Logitech K400 wireless keyboard (which has a touchpad built in). CyberPowerPC offers an optional InfiniTV cable tuner, too, and the press release mentions Blu-ray in passing, so I assume that's also an option.
- Sapphire adds new models to HD 7700 Series. I'm not seeing the Radeon HD 7730 listed anywhere on AMD's website, but Sapphire has released two graphics card under that moniker. They both feature a pared-down version of the Cape Verde chip that powers the Radeon HD 7750 and 7770. Four of the chip's 10 compute units are disabled, yielding 384 ALUs and 24 texture units. Also, two of the four ROP partitions are switched off, which leaves 8 color ROP units and 32 Z/stencil ROP units. Both versions of Sapphire's Radeon HD 7730 are clocked at 800MHz, the same speed as the stock 7750. One ships with 1GB of GDDR5 memory running at 4.5GT/s, and the other has 2GB of DDR3 clocked at 1.8GT/s. Both cards have the same physical design and cooler, as pictured below.
That CyberPowerPC system really does look nice, especially given the passive cooling and the fairly reasonable asking price on the AMD variant. It's probably more fun to put something like that together, but either way, nothing beats the convenience of having a full-fledged PC under your HDTV.