Tech 10: Hot Components For 2013

Under The Hood

From CPUs and GPUs to solid state drives, it's what's under the hood that powers the system. Each month, CRN highlights 10 innovative technologies that are pushing the limits and capabilities of today's systems.

Here we look at 10 components, from likely suspects like AMD and Intel, as well as up-and-comers such as Deepcool and TelyHD, which are sure to heat up 2013.

Nvidia Quadro K4000

This new high-end graphics card from Nvidia is more than impressive. The Quadro K4000 provides top-speed performance and superb graphics visuals. Designed to use less power, there is 3 GB of GPU memory, 768 CUDA parallel-processing cores and a single-slot configuration. There also is four-monitor active display support to help with productivity. The Quadro K4000 costs $1,269.

AMD Sapphire Radeon HD 7850

The Radeon HD 7850 is a midrange graphics card that is affordable and efficient. This graphics card combines strong performance with low power consumption. Its ZeroCore Power feature provides a 16 percent reduction in energy consumption when idle. With an updated version of AMD's Eyefinity technology, as many as six screens can be connected with mini-DisplayPort 1.2 sockets. It is available for $179.

Deepcool IceMatrix 400

Deepcool IceMatrix 400 is an elaborately designed, lightweight thermal solution. Inexpensive and very quiet, this cooling system is made up of nickel-plated aluminum fins, copper heat pipes and a copper base plate. A 120mm rubberized PWM fan with TPE cover encases the fan's frame and aids in absorbing the vibration and noise, keeping it at a minimum when in use. It is available for $39.99.

Asus Maximus V Formula

Asus' Maximus V Formula motherboard comes equipped with the world's first hybrid air and water cooling thermal design, the Fusion Thermo system, which utilizes a heat pipe and water channel. Besides the efficient air and water cooling solution, its onboard graphics are high quality as well. It costs $299.99.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ AM

This entry-level motherboard is an affordable and worthy component. It is a stable platform that delivers high-speed data transfer and performance. Ten times faster than USB 2.0, this motherboard's USB 3.0 support offers a super-speedy USB transfer rate of 5 Gbps. Equipped with a 3X USB power surge with on/off charge USB ports, the Gigabyte motherboard is available for $155.

Corsair Obsidian 550D

Corsair's Obsidian 550D PC tower case is made from stamped steel and brushed aluminum, offering the best kind of silent treatment when operating. While the front and side panels are entirely lined with sound-reducing material, the top and side panels are equipped with sound-insulated vent covers to prevent noise leakage from cooling fans. The Corsair Obsidian 550D is available for $139.99.

Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Processor

Intel's latest microprocessor boasts extremely quick speed and delivers high performance for demanding applications. The Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Processor has a four processor cores with a fast 3.33GHz, efficient for multitasking. It employs thermal performance for lower power consumption and noise, and shares 8 MB of L3 cache.

Intel Solid State Drive 335 Series

Intel's SSD 335 Series is an affordable hard-drive alternative that enhances the storage and performance of a computer. This minimally designed SSD has 240 GB of capacity, a 2.5-inch form factor and utilizes 20-nanometer NAND flash memory multi-level cell to create a more responsive PC. Combining quality and reliability, SD 335 Series' $184 price tag can't be beat.

Kingston SSD Now E100

Memory giant Kingston's new SSD Now E100 models are designed for use in data centers and other continuously operating environments. Kingston rates its SATA 3.0 E100 drives at 500 MBps for sequential writes and 535 MBps for sequential reads, which is on par with most other drives in this class. E100 has several capacities for various storage sizes and for 100 GB, it is available for $466.99.

Intel Haswell Chip

Intel has unveiled the fourth generation of its award-winning processors, code-named Haswell, which are slated to be available in June 2013. The Haswell processor initially should ship using the 22nm process, the same process as Intel's current Ivy Bridge chipset. With improved energy management, its performance per clock and lower power consumption is well anticipated and expected to run on as little as 10 watts. Pricing is expected to be announced soon.