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.



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 Front


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.



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.


Ataribox delayed

If you were patiently waiting for pre-orders to open up for the Ataribox, you'll just have to wait a bit longer. The Ataribox is Atari's that'll give you your fix of retro gaming but also splatter in some indie titles as well. The Ataribox will have a somewhat current AMD CPU and will be running Linux and is going to set you back somewhere around $250-300 USD (when it's finally available). Today was supposed to be the day when you could get your pre-orders in but it has now been delayed with no word on when they'll start pre-orders.

Hard to say how this one will do, the Atari name has a pretty loyal following, however, for $250+ it'll be interesting to see if people can play old Atari games long enough to justify the purchase. Engadget has the story.

Preorders for the Ataribox were scheduled to start today, December 14th, but it appears that plan has hit a snag. Atari sent out an email today that said it's taking longer than expected "to create the platform and ecosystem the Atari community deserves."

The company wants to make sure its product lives up to expectations, so it's delaying the preorders and until it can figure out whatever issues the Ataribox is facing. An updated launch plan is going to be announced in the next few weeks, and the Ataribox team will keep supporters in the loop about what's going on.

LG at CES 2018

Over the years, LG has really impressed us with their latest and greatest and this year their "OLED Canyon" was pretty impressive indeed. Last year they had a full tunnel of OLED panels, and this year they had a full canyon to walk through that showcased their ability to bend their panels both concave (traditional) and convex (outward). This looked very impressive and shows that LG is thinking about practical applications for large displays as well as showing off some pretty tight curves that they can do with their displays as well. The results are almost breathtaking and while some may argue that VR gives you the same effect, the fact is that this canyon experience is a bit better than 4K - closer to 800K worth of craziness makes it incredible.


LG was also showing off their very nice Thunderbolt 3 displays that are capable of daisy-chaining multiple 4K displays. The 32UK950 pictured below is capable of the HDR600 specification - making it far superior to many companies HDR10 spec that just meets minimum requirements. While the image below looks pretty vivid and incredible, you really have to see it first-hand to appreciate the beauty that is the 32UK950 series.



LG also showcased their gaming displays capable of 240Hz, but without the full HDR600 specification. LG does support both Freesync and G-Sync in their gaming displays. 

There was much more to see and take in at LG, but these are the main highlights I think you'll enjoy!

Windows 10 on ARM is Half-Baked

Windows 10 for ARM was announced a while back and while it sounds great to have Windows on a device that can easily get all day battery life, there are some limitations - other than the slower processor performance. Microsoft has released the entire list and there are some areas of concern. While it's obvious that x64 applications aren't supported, things like the "Windows Experience, Anti-Cheat for games, OpenGL 1.1 or newer and more is an issue that will probably affect how your PC works and how you use it. While it'a a great idea, it seems like it's still not ready for prime-time.

Apps that assume that all ARM-based devices are running a mobile version of Windows may not work correctly. Some apps that have been coded for Windows Phone won’t work correctly and could appear in the wrong orientation or have UI layout problems. This won’t be a huge amount of apps, though.

Source: TheVerge

Coinbase sends info to the IRS

Coinbase is one of the larger cryptocurrency exchange sites and has been making news thanks to a legal battle with the IRS. The IRS is wanting information on people using their service and may not be paying tax on their cryptocurrency and Coinbase took the stance that it wasn't up to them to share that information. Long story short, the IRS has prevailed and Coinbase was forced to turn over tax information on 13,000 people who have been trading cryptocurrency all the way back to 2013. Even longer story even shorter, some people are going to be getting a tax bill for their "anonymous" cryptocurrency. ArsTechnica has the details.

After over a year of legal wrangling, Coinbase has now formally notified its customers that it will be complying with a court order and handing over the user data for about 13,000 of its customers to the Internal Revenue Service. The company, which is one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges, sent out an email to the affected users on Friday, February 23.

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