Release roundup: GPU-toting nettops and cheap gamer keyboards

Every week, we gather press releases that slipped through the net of our daily coverage, and we post them in the release roundup. Here’s this week’s selection:

  • Genius Imperator gaming keyboard now available in the US and Canada. Strange—a "professional" gaming keyboard announcement that doesn’t say a peep about the type of key switches used. Considering the $49 price tag, I’d guess this is a rubber-dome specimen. Still, the thing is packed with gamer-friendly features, including six macro keys with three customizable profiles, a "gaming mode" that disables the Windows key, a 1,000-Hz report rate, and a 1-ms response time. Genius also touts the keyboard’s "easy access" media keys, braided USB cord, and gold-plated jack. I suppose a little bling never hurt.

  • Lian Li announces the PC-V650 ATX chassis. This new aluminum enclosure accommodates full-sized ATX motherboards, but at 16.8" x 14.2" x 9.9", it’s pudgier than your typical chassis. That’s because the power supply emplacement sits parallel to the motherboard, next to the expansion slots. PSUs as long as 9" are supported, but I expect installing a new PCIe card (or swapping out your video card) entails removing the PSU. Beside its quirky internal layout, the PC-V650 has room for up to seven 3.5" hard drives, four 2.5" drives, and one 5.25" drive. The bottom 3.5" drive bay can be removed to make room for extra-long graphics cards. Cooling-wise, the chassis features three 140-mm fans (two at the front and one at the top) plus a rear 120-mm rear spinner. There are holes to accommodate a liquid cooling setup, as well. Look for this puppy in either black or silver with a $199 price tag.

  • Zotac delivers new Zbox with Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics. Remember nettops? Zotac’s new ID84 fits that description, with an Atom D2550 dual-core processor and a tiny enclosure without space for an optical drive. It ought to fare better in games than your average Atom-powered machine, thanks to the built-in GeForce GT 520M graphics processor with 512MB of DDR3 memory. Zotac offers the machine either as a barebones config or pre-configured with 2GB of system memory and a 320GB 5,400-RPM mechanical hard drive. Both offerings have the same connectivity features, including dual USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and a USB IR receiver (for the bundled remote). Zotac ships the system with a VESA mount, as well, so you can fasten it to the back of a monitor to make a ghetto iMac.

The ID84 looks an awful lot like some of Zotac’s older nettops, like the HD-ND22 and HD-ID11. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—it’s a nice, slim chassis that’s easy to pop open, and it’s small enough to tuck behind a monitor without looking like an unslightly growth.

Comments closed
    • UltimateImperative
    • 7 years ago

    That case is a bit like the NZXT [url=<]Panzerbox[/url<].

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      nah, lian li has way better build quality, and is alot shorter.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    The popular and well-reviewed [url=<]128GB Samsung 830[/url<] is on sale (72 hrs) at Newegg again for $89.99. Promo code: [b<]EMCNBJN47[/b<] (This is the barebones one with no mounting kit or extra software.) And the [url=<]2GB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000[/url<] is $109.99 Promo code: [b<]EMCNBJN23[/b<] Free shipping on both.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      Cool, but this is the release roundup thread, not the deal of the week thread.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      1993 called, it wants its 2GB hard drive back.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    i’d still rather a amd apu than an atom and geforce. call me crazy.

    also, do people actually use macro keys? if so, what for? i always see keyboards with them, but can’t think of a game i play that they’d have use in. what do you people use them for?

    and first, of course.

      • puppetworx
      • 7 years ago

      The only macro I’ve ever used is one to run constantly in DayZ (the map is huge). Macros are most commonly used in fantasy MMORPGs where complex tactics and a combination of different attacks are used, I believe. I’ve seen macros used on mice for providing a slower rate of fire in automatic weapons also (preventing muzzle rise) but never tried this myself.

      • gamerguy76
      • 7 years ago

      Yes I use macro, otherwise I would get carpal tunnel on my wrist. I use for Rift and WoW. In these games you have to spam your attack abilities every sec.

        • eofpi
        • 7 years ago

        Or, you know, you could get a split board. That stops carpal tunnel too.

      • Kurotetsu
      • 7 years ago

      Zotac has a model using a Sandy Bridge-based dual-core Celeron and another packing a Core i3-2330M, so you’re not limited to Atom with them. The only problem is that they both use Intel graphics, which is a disappointment. I’m actually surprised they haven’t bothered pairing a Geforce with them instead of continuing to produce Atom-based systems.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        i’d be satisfied with IB graphics. they’re pretty much the same as SB, but whatev’s.

        • phileasfogg
        • 7 years ago

        The D2550 and associated chipset don’t have anything close to x16 PCIe lanes. So Zotac’s design is probably limited to using x4 or worse yet, only x1 PCIe lane. Also, since quite a few games these days are CPU-bound, there isn’t much point pairing a GT540 with an Atom-class GPU for gaming. Video decoding with a GT540M will help with very high bit-rate BluRay.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago


      • Washer
      • 7 years ago

      I used macros in WoW when I played once upon a time. However those were macros created in game that I activated with traditional keyboard keys. Macro keys like on this Genius Imperator, and my own gaming keyboard for that matter, are not in position I find useful while gaming.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, I use macros like that often in WoW, but I have not made use of my macro keys. I could see games where it might be useful for simple macros, though. SC2 comes to mind.

        You could also make more complicated macros if you have to enter console commands in a game, but I cnanot think of any games that do such a thing off the top of my head.

      • Johnny5
      • 7 years ago

      I use one to put my computer to sleep (win, right, right, enter). I’ve also used it when I copy an internet list into my word processor (something like IMDB top 250), and had to use 4 or so keystrokes for each entry to get it looking how I wanted it. Never for gaming, then again when I tried playing Warcraft 3 I was using the mouse for just about everything. I didn’t go so well.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Depends on the use. For example if I were looking to setup an XBMC/openelec/mythtv/boxee/plex rig to mount on the back of the TV the atom/520M would offer a far better experience if using linux for the OS.

      As far as the macro keys go, yes I still use them on the G15 keyboard but I use them for templates on productivity apps.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        XBMC works about equally well with Nvidia or AMD if the Radeon is at least an HD2000+

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