Release roundup: Bits, pieces, and whole PCs

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 1920×1080 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.

Comments closed
    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Put the Biostar board in the Ridge Racer case and make a cheap ugly PC. Actually don’t do that.

    • merrymarian
    • 6 years ago

    Wow! so much cynicism! i like it.

      • ALiLPinkMonster
      • 6 years ago

      Wouldn’t be a TR article without some sass.

    • homerdog
    • 6 years ago

    That laptop apparently runs DDR3 on the 850M so there’s that.

      • Chrispy_
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, but the DDR3 versions use far less power and they ramp up the core clocks to compensate somewhat.

      Well, I haven’t checked that for this model actually, but that’s what Clevo have been doing for years…

    • Ninjitsu
    • 6 years ago

    They cut corners so close that a trace got cut off too.

    • crabjokeman
    • 6 years ago

    I’ve used some Biostar mobos in their “TForce” line and I’ve always liked them. I consider them a worthy successor to Epox in terms of bang/buck ratio.

    Just stay away from Biostar’s bargain basement stuff. Sometimes, you really do get what you do(n’t) pay for…

      • Pez
      • 5 years ago

      I miss EPoX 🙁

      The Epox 8RDA3+ was one of the best motherboards I’ve ever had.

    • UberGerbil
    • 6 years ago

    That Biostar anecdote makes this the greatest “Release Roundup” TR has ever done (and I think I’ve read all of them). I hope there will be more!

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    I’ve never seen a working Biostar motherboard.

    That’s not as bad as it sounds, because I’d never buy one, and I’ve only come across them when diagnosing broken computers with faulty Biostar motherboards.

    It’s also hardly a glowing endorsement.

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      Well in all fairness, they are not big sellers and if you’re just running across them when diagnosing broken systems that skews the results a lot. I’ve seen plenty of Biostar systems still kicking just fine. Still wouldn’t buy one due to their really crappy BIOS however.

    • indeego
    • 6 years ago

    Biostar, Kingston, and (yes, why not!) ECS should all get together to make a huge flaming object that can be used as weaponry.

      • hbarnwheeler
      • 6 years ago

      It would flame out well before impact.

    • nanoflower
    • 6 years ago

    Wow.. I can’t believe he actually called up to give you that information. I knew that Biostar wasn’t considered one of the better motherboards but I didn’t realize they cut cornersso close that even running benchmarks at stock speeds can cause some systems to crash. Ack!

    • zenlessyank
    • 6 years ago

    Hate your boss?? Build’em a Biostar PC!!!!!!

    *good for those ‘special’ family members too!!

    coal subscriber.

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      Problem is, who do they call when it fails? Yep, you.

        • zenlessyank
        • 6 years ago

        I should have clarified ‘special’….

        It means they are e’special’ially far away from me!!!!

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      If you really hate them, build them an ECS PC.

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        For people I really don’t want to help, I tell them to buy a Mac. When they call with problems I can just say “Sorry, I don’t own a Mac, I can’t help. Did you read the manual?” The punchline is that there never is a manual.

          • Deanjo
          • 6 years ago

          Heh, sad part is that is far easier to diagnose and fix OS X then any version of windows. Got a problem, try a new user account. Works? Yes, then dump the prefs file for the application that isn’t working right on the other account. No, issue is system wide. First try rolling back with time machine, if all else fail, refresh your install from the image on the system and enjoy the fact that you are not forced to have to reinstall all your apps like you are with a windows reinstall.

          The average support call to Apples Applecare is 18 minutes long and has a 95% first call resolution.

            • zenlessyank
            • 6 years ago

            OK, Count Trollulah.

            Stay on topic.

            We are ragging BioTurd.

            We will rag on Crapple at a later date when we have the thread about rubiks cubes, consoles and other toys.

            coal subscriber.

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            Who mentioned Apple first? He brought it up, I replied.

        • mesyn191
        • 6 years ago

        PCChips was pro-skil hatin’ back in the day.

          • Deanjo
          • 6 years ago

          Lol, oh man I forgot about them and their beautiful SiS chipsets…

            • mesyn191
            • 6 years ago

            Janky SiS or ULi chipsets were aaaalways good for some rage inducing but it was the capacitors and MOSFETs they used that were truly the best thing about them.

            The capacitors did such a good job of blowing up they’d sometimes look like balloons soldered to the mobo. And those MOSFETs always did release the biggest puffs of smoke when they finally gave up.

            • oldDummy
            • 6 years ago

            Think SiS made the first chipset that could run at 100Mhz FSB.
            Not for long, to be sure.

            • mesyn191
            • 6 years ago

            I wanna say it was Intel but I can’t remember for sure either. I do know the old 440BX chipset was king shit for a long time when it came to FSB OC’ing back then.

            • oldDummy
            • 6 years ago

            Yes, quite a while ago. The LX couldn’t do it BX was king. Think it was the ABIT 440 BX that bore the brunt of my wrath.
            EDIT: thinking about it believe the SiS was Socket 7 ; handled AMD’s Intel clones.

          • LoneWolf15
          • 6 years ago

          PCChips = ECS (EliteGroup). Explains a lot. [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCChips[/url<]

            • mesyn191
            • 6 years ago

            ECS is generally higher quality than PCChips ever was though. That doesn’t mean they’re good mind you, just less crappy.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 6 years ago

    Doctor, it hurts when I do this… OW!

    Stop doing that!

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