CES 2014

CES 2014 finished recently, and although I’m a few weeks late, I thought I’d write about the stuff I found interesting.

Corsair Graphite 760T

Computer cases have had windows in side panels for years. However, something I’ve been wanting to see for a while is a case with a glass side panel. No matter how big that window is, if it is surrounded by metal, it just ruins the aesthetic. Luckily, Corsair seem to agree with me on this, so they made the Graphite 760T.

Of all the manufacturers to make a computer case with an acrylic side panel, I’m glad it was Corsair. Their cases have a clean aesthetic, while prioritising function over design. The side panel on the 760T is on a hinge and can easily be lifted off when it is open. There are tool-free mounts for optical drives, hard drives and SSDs.

ADATA 2TB SSDs

Talking about SSDs, ADATA have announced a 2TB SSD in a 2.5″ form factor. 2.5″ 2TB SSDs have been manufactured before, but none of them have been commercially available. However, the ADATA drive will be available to buy later this year. As always, it will cost a fortune at first, but competitors will release their 2TB SSDs and that will bring the prices down in just over a year.

SSDs are the future of computer storage. They are much faster than hard drives, and they are less prone to failure due to shock. Today, they cost about 10 times as much as regular hard drives, but prices are continuing to go down and it won’t be long before all computers have SSDs out the box.

Intel Edison

Intel announced a computer the size of an SD card. It has an Intel Quark CPU with “Pentium grade” performance. This raises a question – Why are computers still the size of a house?

The Intel Edison is intended to be a development board for experimentation with the Internet of Things. However, I think it has an other purpose. The Intel Quark CPU in there is currently a dual-core processor and will only run at 400MHz, but if they can overclock it, I think it could be used in smartphones, tablets and even some Ultrabooks.

Dell 4K Monitors

In the next few years, many people will be replacing their HD TVs and monitors with 4K screens. Unfortunately, anything with 4K resolution seems to cost the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. The price of 4K screens will go down over time, but Dell, being a company who make their business keeping things cheap, have released 4K monitors at prices starting at $699.

Dell had to cut some corners to make such a cheap 4K monitor. Their 4K monitor uses cheaper display technology with lower quality colour and narrower viewing angles. Frame rate is also limited to 30Hz at its native resolution. However, it is still the cheapest 4K display, and it will push other manufacturers to bring their prices down.

Project Christine

I think we can agree that Project Christine was the best product at CES this year. It is basically a new kind of modular PC, including a large chunk in the middle which you could call the motherboard, and liquid cooled modules, including CPUs, SSDs, RAM and graphics cards, that will plug into PCIe-based connectors on the motherboard.

Project Christine will be good for people who want to build a computer, but aren’t comfortable with handling circuit boards or simply don’t know where all the cables go inside the computer. Project Christine is still in its prototype stages, but it’s a great idea and I hope it happens.

Friday 14th February 2014 - Leave a comment

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