Release roundup: Bits, pieces, and whole PCs


— 2:09 PM on April 18, 2014

Almost no week passes without some new PC hardware products being announced. This week, we have a handful of newcomers that may be worthy of note.

  • Spire intros Ridge series ATX case line - The first two members of the RIDGE Ridge series are the 6601 and 6602, both low-priced, smallish mid-tower cases with a suggested retail price of just $32.95. Because $33 would seem like highway robbery by comparison. The 6601 is sleekly elegant, while the 6602 has more of a butch look, like so:

 

  • Eurocom Electra 2 laptop packs GeForce GTX 850M graphics - The folks at Eurocom have uncorked a new Electra 2 15.6" laptop that looks reasonably desirable. They call it "thin" and "light," but such terms are pretty much relative. This system weighs 5.28 lbs and is just over an inch thick—and last I checked, it was 2014. Still, the Electra 2 packs a 15.6" IPS panel with 1920x1080 resolution and nicely matched Nvidia Maxwell graphics in the form of the GeForce GTX 850M, so it should be quite good for luggable gaming. Eurocom says the 62Wh battery can last for "up to 300 minutes." Just not while gaming, I'd suspect.

  • Kingston's HyperX gets angry, vents Fury on unsuspecting DRAM market - The most distinguishing feature of Kingston's HyperX Fury is not, strangely enough, white-hot rage. It's asymmetrical metal shrouds, also known hopefully as heat spreaders. The Fury lineup replaces the HyperX blu memory line, which apparently couldn't cut it without the "e." These modules are available in 4GB and 8GB sizes at speeds of 1333MHz, 1600MHz, and 1866MHz, all at 1.5V. Thanks a lifetime warranty, HyperX's Fury is guaranteed to burn for ages.

  • Biostar motherboards sprout dual GigE ports - I reviewed a Biostar SFF system once that kept crashing whenever I ran a memory benchmark. After several weeks of back-and-forth with Biostar PR about the issue, I got a surreal call on my cell phone while in a supermarket checkout line. On the call was a Biostar engineer, across the globe in Taiwan, who frankly and carefully explained to me that he'd isolated the problem: Biostar had cut corners on some key components on the motherboard, and the board would overheat when stressed and crash. What was the fix, I asked, expecting news of a recall or the like. He offered the solution of not running memory benchmarks, I believe, and said they'd have to avoid cutting corners so closely next time. Anyhow, if you'd still like to buy their stuff, you can now get three different Biostar motherboards with dual Gigabit LAN ports, which might both work at the same time.

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