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ASRock at CES 2017

ASRock was at CES this year in a suite so they could meet with press, buyers and marketing people without yelling over top of the crowds. They also did this as there were trying to show off a couple of new products they have been working on that are still working on Intel certification. ASRock is most known for their motherboards and they certainly had quite a lineup of new Kaby Lake Intel boards as well as some new boards for AMDs Ryzen CPU. Some of their high-end Intel boards now come with 5GbE networking. Of course 10GbE is already available in the commercial space for servers and large companies, but for the general consumer, 5GbE is the gap-filler that ASRock is hoping will take off.

ASRock

 

It's purely cosmetic, but ASRock has taken to putting themes on their motherboards and the PCB, slots, cooling solutions and more reflex different designs. As more PCs have windows and RGB lighting, ASRock wants to make sure you keep your theme going - and take it a step above the competition. It's pretty nifty.

ASRock is jumping back into network as well, but the piece they are excited about is the new Micro-STX platform. If you've heard about it before CES, you're a lot more connected than me (and probably are), but this was the first time that I'd seen this form factor. The boards are rectangular like a standard motherboard, but they are much, much smaller. The amazing thing is that ASRock is working with the 7th-Gen Intel Kaby Lake platform here as well and the board uses DDR4 SODIMMs. 

Micro-STX

Micro-STX Front

Micro-STX

Micro-STX Back

 

You'll notice that there aren't a lot of traditional SATA connectors or graphics card slots. ASRock is moving to M.2 for storage and has included four slots on the back. For graphics card upgrades, they are working with NVIDIA primarily to produce MXM form factor cards to be used on this system. As you can see, there are a few bottlenecks remaining, but ASRock is betting big on this new platform. Why not? You could easily populate the M.2 with 3TB of ultra-fast storage, an 802.11ac module, Kaby Lake CPU at crazy speeds and a new MXM GTX 1080 graphics card.

Micro-STX

 

The system they had running was very quiet and performed like a champ. It's a brave new world and ASRock is hoping they get to help pave the road to the future with the Micro-STX system they had on display.

For more images from our ASRock visit, please check the gallery here. Also, you can view our entire CES coverage over here.

 

Nintendo Switch Pulls off 10 Million Sales in 9 Months

Nintendo has struggled with a couple of their recent consoles - both handheld and set-top. Their last success was probably the DS Lite and Wii. Since then, things have been mediocre at best - until the Switch. That particular unit has been a run away success. They've mananged to move over a million units a month and have broken through the 10 million barrier. Things are looking brighter in the future as well as they are ramping up production again and are set to crush through 20 million by mid-2018.

Nintendo hasn't had to do much to spur those numbers. Black Friday and holiday sales by the company reflected only minimal discounts, and few other retailers have gone much below the $299.99 MSRP. The console is expected to be on a lot of holiday wish lists, and "we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season," Fils-Aimé said.

Source: Neowin

New Chrome Beta Mutes Autoplay Videos

One of my biggest pet peeves is autoplay videos and ads on different sites. The real problem is when I'm trying to record a podcast and things start playing wide-open. I've had to take different measures, but the latest beta version of Chrome will mute autoplay vides. I love it and am willing to switch back to Chrome for this reason alone.

Other bonuses in Chrome 64, as noted by 9to5Google, include an improved pop-up blocker, additional security measures that prevent malicious auto-redirects, and support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode. On Chrome OS, there is also a new “split view” feature that allows for easier multitasking with multiple windows.

Source: TheVerge

Amazon Shipped over 5 Billion Items with Prime in 2017

Amazon had a good year last year and Prime did pretty well for them, although it cost them a pile in free shipping through Amazon Prime. Prime shipments totalled over 5 billion items. That's a lot of shipping, and is absolutely incredible when you think about it. A huge chunk of those shipments were Amazon's own products such as the Fire TV stick and the Echo Dot as well. They topped the list in the USA. Incredible stuff and that just shows why Jeff is doing okay.

Amazon spent 2017 building out Prime's non-shipping features, too, like reserving early film screenings for members. It also added more content to its video service, which has at least won some critical notice, snagging three Golden Globe nominations at this weekend's awards ceremony. But shipping products will always be Amazon's bread and butter; Hence the company's move in October to let college kids subscribe to Prime on a month-to-month basis.

Source: Engadget

Weekly Tech Update #418 - Apple Isn't Sorry Enough

We have just posted up Episode #418 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we'll be discussing Apple deliberately slows down older phones, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and everyone else doesn’t, as well as some of the best and worst from 2017. We have those stories and more at the links below...

WTU

Download Episode #418
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