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Origin PC Chronos review: A 4K gaming monster in a petite package – CNET

There’s lots of wide-open space in the Chronos, but no extra slots, typical of these small-form-factor desktops. The black box next to the CPU is the power supply. Lori Grunin/CNET The new Origin PC Chronos is one of those systems you feel the need to invent a performance metric for, like frames per second per…

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Origin PC Chronos review: A 4K gaming monster in a petite package     – CNET

There’s lots of wide-open space in the Chronos, but no extra slots, typical of these small-form-factor desktops. The black box next to the CPU is the power supply.
Lori Grunin/CNET
The new Origin PC Chronos is one of those systems you feel the need to invent a performance metric for, like frames per second per cubic inch. Capable of housing up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 and overclocked Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i9 processors, this small-form-factor gaming PC punches well above its weight. It’s not the most gracefully proportioned system, though, squat and chunky with minimalist illumination. And unlike the tall, slim MSI MEG Trident X, which uses the same motherboard, it looks like it should be able to accommodate more than just a single card.

LikeFits a lot of power in a small spaceRelatively quiet given its powerSurfaces don’t get hot

Don’t LikeReally need to use the external Wi-Fi antennaLike most mini-ITX motherboards, there’s only one slot, occupied by the graphics card

This case is new for Origin PC, and it’s actually a bit smaller than before. We’ll be seeing a lot more of these small desktops with 3080 and 3090 cards — it’s amazing how much power you can cram onto a corner of your desk these days — and they’re a perfect size for weekday-work-from-home-game-on-weekends people in a cramped space.Like all Origin PC systems, you can pay extra to jazz it up with a custom paint or etching job. In this case, that’s extra above the $3,225 of our test configuration (directly converted, about £2,530 and AU$4,585), equipped with a 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K, EVGA XC3 GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, a total of 1.5GB SSD and 16GB 3.2GHz DDR4 memory.  If you opt for the aluminum mesh side panels instead of the tempered glass we got, you can get a bigger CPU cooler and custom overclocking. The Chronos can be configured starting as low as $1,449 (about £1,135 and AU$2,060).

Origin PC Chronos

Price as reviewed

$3,225

Size

Mini ITX (11 x 7 x 15.5 in/27.9 x 17.8 x 39.4 cm)

Motherboard

MSI MEG Z490I Unify and Corsair SFX 750 watt PSU

CPU

3.7GHz Intel Core i9-10900K

Memory

16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz (2 slots)

Graphics

10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA XC3)

Storage

500GB SSD (1 NVMe slot), 1 x 1TB SATA SSD; 1 open bay for 3.5-inch storage

Ports

6 x USB-A, 2 x USB-C (1 x Thunderbolt 3); on GPU 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b, on motherboard 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI)

Networking

1 x 2.5Gb Ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (802.11ax)

Operating system

Windows 10 Home (2004)

There’s a lot of empty space in the case and, of the Mini ITX systems I’ve seen recently, it’s one of the easier to open and upgrade: there are thumbscrews on the back, the sides slide out, there’s a pressure plate with outside screws holding the graphics card in place and there’s a bottom slide-out filter tray. Everything’s easily within reach, visible and accessible. The liquid cooling systems are pretty, too, but they can make quick swaps and upgrades a pain.

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The Chronos has a Thunderbolt port in the back — a nice motherboard feature since the RTX 30-series cards don’t have USB-C connections like the 20-series did. I wish it had more connections in the front like the Trident X rather than the single USB-A, USB-C and audio jack, but at least you have a USB-C connector to hang a hub off of.As with a lot of desktops, the Wi-Fi can be a bit sketchy — the antenna locations frequently don’t handle 5GHz signals very well — and you’ll definitely have to use the bundled external one. The antenna’s base is magnetized, though, and it attaches more sensibly to the base than other’s I’ve seen.

The i9-10900K processor in the Chronos isn’t the fastest I’ve tested in a small form factor, though it does take the single-core-speed crown, if only by a slim margin in some cases. The Ryzen 9 3900XT in the Maingear Turbo outperforms it for multicore speed, which is in part attributable to the Ryzen’s 12 processing cores compared to the i9’s 10. (You can see how it measures up in the benchmark results at the end of this review.)The lip on the bottom is a pull-out filter.
Sarah Tew/CNET
Surprisingly, the RTX 3080 isn’t unambiguously faster than the 2080 Ti; it’s plenty fast, but it looks like it’s (unsurprisingly) optimized for Nvidia’s own CUDA programming interface and Windows DirectX rather than Vulkan. That’s likely temporary, though, since the 30-series cards have some new algorithms and architectural changes that software needs to catch up with.  For many games, though, it generally seems to be about 10-20% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, its spiritual predecessor, and about 30-40% faster than the RTX 2080 Super, it’s price-equivalent predecessor. Perhaps more important, though, those gaps increase significantly when playing games in 4K using DLSS (Nvidia’s upscaling technology) in a way they never did in the 20-series cards, as well as 4K without it.All this speed doesn’t heat up the system’s surfaces or overheat its components, but the hot air venting out the top does seem to raise the temperature in my room by about two degrees. Still, it’s small enough that I might actually be able to squish a third monitor on my desk and fast enough to make it worth putting up with the heat.Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 5 (single-core)

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 5 (Vulkan)

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 5 (CUDA)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R20 CPU (multicore)

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Falcon North West Talon 20th AE

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

Falcon North West Talon 20th AE

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming test

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Falcon North West Talon 20th AE

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

3DMark Port Royal (RTX)

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Note:
Longer bars indicate better performance

System configurations

Corsair One Pro

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1909); 3.3GHz Intel Core i9-10940X; 64GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 11GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 2TB SSD

Falcon Northwest Talon 20th Anniversary Edition

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1909); 3.8GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3900X; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super; 2TB SSD RAID 0

Maingear Turbo

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); 3.8GHz Ryzen 9 3900XT; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,600; 11GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti; 1TB SSD + 4TB HDD

MSI Trident X

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); (oc) 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,932; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super; 1TB SSD

Origin PC Big O (PS4 Edition)

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3900X; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super; 1.5TB SSD (2TB SSD for console)

Origin PC Chronos

Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); Intel Core i9-10900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA); 1TB SSD + 500GB SSD

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Computers

Microsoft Is Bringing a Skype Meet Now Button to Your Windows 10 Taskbar for Quick Video Calls

Microsoft is bringing a “Meet Now” icon to the taskbar of the latest Windows 10 version to let users quickly set up a video call and invite their friends and colleagues to discuss things virtually. The new development comes over six months after the Redmond company introduced the Meet Now feature on Skype to let…

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Microsoft Is Bringing a Skype Meet Now Button to Your Windows 10 Taskbar for Quick Video Calls

Microsoft is bringing a “Meet Now” icon to the taskbar of the latest Windows 10 version to let users quickly set up a video call and invite their friends and colleagues to discuss things virtually. The new development comes over six months after the Redmond company introduced the Meet Now feature on Skype to let people start a virtual group conversation without requiring any app or sign up. Emerging players including Zoom have seen a significant increase in their adoption during the pandemic. However, Skype hasn’t received any major growth. Microsoft’s latest move is, thus, a strategy to boost Skype usage.Initially, Microsoft is providing Meet Now on the taskbar of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19042.608 (KB4580364). The new Windows 10 release is also available in the Beta channel for initial testing. Nevertheless, if everything works well, Microsoft seems to be in plans to bring the new experience to all Windows 10 users in the coming future.“In the coming weeks, you will be able to easily set up a video call and reach friends and family in an instant by clicking the Meet Now icon in the taskbar notification area,” Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post announcing the new Windows 10 update.Last month, Microsoft rolled out the Meet Now button to Windows Insiders on the Dev channel. That testing has supposedly helped the Windows maker to now bring the same experience to beta testers.As per a support page on the Microsoft site, the Meet Now icon on the taskbar is already available on Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 through the KB4580386 release. Users on the latest Windows 10 version are, however, yet to receive the new feature.Skype received the Meet Now feature in April to let users quickly make a video call and invite their contacts directly through a link — without requiring any specific app or sign up. The experience is similar to how you invite someone for a virtual meeting on Zoom. The recipients of the invites can join a call through their Web browser using Skype for Web or can even disallow their microphone and camera and just hear or see the video on their systems.Alongside making way for the Meet Now icon, Microsoft has provided an enormous number of fixes and improvements through the latest Windows 10 build that is available for the Insiders who are on 20H2 or Windows 10 October 2020 Update.The Windows 10 update fixes issues using Group Policy Preferences to configure the homepage in Internet Explorer. It also addresses the problem with untrusted URL navigation from Internet Explorer by opening them in Microsoft Defender Application Guard using Microsoft Edge. Similarly, the update fixes the issue that was affecting developer tools in Microsoft Edge for remote debugging on a Windows 10 machine.Microsoft has also given admins the ability to use a Group Policy to enable Save Target As for users in Microsoft Edge IE Mode. The update also includes fixes for displaying incorrect CPU frequency and DDE apps. Further, there is a fix for the issue with starting Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) on ARM64 devices. A deadlock in the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCPIP) driver that limits the performance of the operating system has also been fixed.Is Mi Notebook 14 series the best affordable laptop range for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Western Digital My Passport SSD Refresh With Storage Capacities Up to 2TB Launched in India

Western Digital has introduced the latest version of its compact portable solid state drive – the My Passport SSD – with read speeds up to 1050MBps. The latest product by Western Digital has a durable metal design and is powered by Nvme technology. My Passport SSD is available in capacities up to 2TB, and is…

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Western Digital My Passport SSD Refresh With Storage Capacities Up to 2TB Launched in India

Western Digital has introduced the latest version of its compact portable solid state drive – the My Passport SSD – with read speeds up to 1050MBps. The latest product by Western Digital has a durable metal design and is powered by Nvme technology. My Passport SSD is available in capacities up to 2TB, and is aimed at everyday creators looking to enhance their productivity. It is shock and vibration resistant, has a password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption, and is compatible with Mac and PCs.Western Digital My Passport SSD price, availabilityThe new My Passport SSD by Western Digital is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. The product is offered in a range of colours including Grey, Blue, and Gold. It is currently available for purchase on Amazon, and is being offered at a lower price as part of the on-going Amazon Great India Festival. During this period, the My Passport SSD is priced at Rs. 6,999 for the 500GB base variant, Rs. 12,999 for the 1TB variant, and at Rs. 24,999 for the 2TB variant, till October 30.Starting November 13, the My Passport SSD will be available in retail shops as well. The 500GB variant will be priced at Rs. 8,999, the 1TB variant at Rs. 15,999, and the 2TB variant at Rs. 28,999. The My Passport SSD has a five-year limited warranty.Western Digital My Passport SSD specificationsWestern Digital’s new My Passport SSD delivers sequential read speeds of up to 1050MBps and sequential write speeds of up to 1000MBps. It has a password enabled 256-bit AES hardware encryption which can help protect content. As per Western Digital, it is the fastest My Passport drive to date.It has a USB 3.2 Gen-2 technology, with a USB Type-C cable and USB Type-A adapter. The new Passport SSD is ready to use out of the box and is compatible with both macOS (v10.13 and above) and Windows (v8.1 and above). It has a durable metal design and is portable. As per the company, creators will be able to move and edit content nearly twice as fast with this product, as compared to the previous version.Flipkart, Amazon have excellent iPhone 11, Galaxy S20+ sale offers, but will they have enough stock? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

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Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: A sound fit for small spaces – CNET

When I used to review more TVs than I used to now, readers would ask me “Which TV should I get to fit inside my media cabinet?” I was reminded of this question by the tiny Yamaha SR-C20A ($180 at Amazon). If your main criteria for choosing a soundbar is its ability to shoehorn inside a…

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Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: A sound fit for small spaces     – CNET

When I used to review more TVs than I used to now, readers would ask me “Which TV should I get to fit inside my media cabinet?” I was reminded of this question by the tiny Yamaha SR-C20A ($180 at Amazon). If your main criteria for choosing a soundbar is its ability to shoehorn inside a particular space, then this compact speaker could be for you.

LikeEasy to set up and useSound great with movies and musicPlenty of connection options

Don’t LikeNo ability to add a subwoofer or rearsNo DTS playback limits DVD watching optionsVizio V21 beats it for home theater use

The C20 is the smallest soundbar I’ve seen from Yamaha at just 23 inches wide. Its sonic chops are still decent, however, and it sounds better than the even-smaller Roku Streambar ($130 at Amazon) ($130) with more prominent bass and a smoother high end. While it lacks the Roku’s streaming capability, the Yamaha does offer more connection options.The problem is that the Yamaha C20 is just too expensive for what you get. If you’re not constrained by size then there are plenty of great-sounding options available for the same money, starting with the Vizio V21 ($180 at Best Buy). The C20 needs a price drop to become recommendable to a larger group of people.

Small size, solid build
Ty Pendlebury/CNET
As I’ve found with past Yamaha products, from the spiffy-looking RX-V6 to its mini systems to its soundbars, the build quality of the C20A is solid. The speaker measures just 23.6 inches wide by 2.5 inches high and 3.75 inches deep, and it’s covered in an attractive fabric grille in keeping with the range’s bigger speakers. Yamaha made some usability improvements those larger models don’t have. For example the input display is now on the front of the unit facing you rather than facing upwards, making it easier to read. While on the top the controls include an input selector, volume and power.The C20 offers a pair of 1.8-inch cone drivers, a built-in 3-inch subwoofer: and two passive radiators. While I haven’t heard the B20 that speaker offers a larger cabinet with bigger drivers and dedicated tweeters. Plus it offers most of the features of the C20 while adding a subwoofer output. The B20 does lose the 3.5mm input, though.  

Ty Pendlebury/CNET
For such a compact sound bar it’s still well specified with an HDMI ARC port, two optical connections, 3.5mm analog and Bluetooth. This will enable you to connect a set-top box and even a turntable via a preamp if you like. When I spoke to Yamaha representatives they suggested you could hook the soundbar up your computer as well, as long as the bar’s 3.75 inch depth isn’t an issue.Like all Yamaha audio products since time immemorial the C20 comes with some excellent sound modes including Stereo, Game, Movie and Clear Voice. The C20 supports Dolby Digital but sadly not DTS which is weird as it include DTS Virtual:X surround sound emulation. 
Ty Pendlebury/CNET
Meanwhile, the chunky remote is pleasingly tactile and offers a great deal of control over the soundbar’s functions. Want to boost the intelligibility of the dialog? Press the Clear Voice button. All of the functions you could need are laid out clearly, without looking like a scientific calculator. How does it sound?The Yamaha may be small but it was able to offer a wide, involving sound which was especially suited to action movies and gaming. Meanwhile its ability to render dialog made it great for just watching the news as well. It may lack the physical side-firing speakers of the Roku Streambar but the Yamaha makes up the difference with ingenious software. DTS Virtual:X offers a huge soundstage and I was able to track sounds as they moved around the room and to the sides of my listening position.  When watching action movies the Yamaha had a clear advantage over the Roku. Both were excellent at pulling dialogue out of the background but the Yamaha bolstered the performance with better bass. The Roku delivers almost no bass (sans the optional sub) but the Yamaha offers just enough that you don’t really need one. When Max Rockatansky spins up his Charger’s engines at the start of Mad Max Fury Road, for example, it sounded like a real car over the Yamaha, while the Roku’s tiny cabinet lacked the oomph to sound believable.Compared to a bigger speaker like the Vizio V21 the C20 is not going to rock your next party, but at maximum volume the Yamaha was loud enough that my child asked me to turn it down from the next room (not an Elbow fan, obviously). But tunes sounded pleasant when streamed over Bluetooth and experimenting with the sound modes helped even further. For example, rock sounded best in stereo mode while the choral leanings of Dead Can Dance benefitted from the room-wide presentation of Music mode.When I compared the C20 to the V21 directly, the advantages of the Vizio’s larger cabinet and separate subwoofer were immediately apparent. In the default movie mode the Vizio sounded more natural and at ease during the Thanator Chase scene from Avatar. The jungle sounded more alive and less “hyped” than on the C20, and when the elephant-like animals are smashing up trees and trumpeting in disgust, there was simply no contest when it came to bass response. The Yamaha couldn’t compete with the Vizio’s visceral home theater thump. I noticed one Yamaha advantage on this scene, however: when I applied the Vizio’s voice mode it made dialog recede as though it were in a tunnel, while the Yamaha’s Clear Voice made it as crisp as you would expect.Should you buy it?While it’s easy to see the attraction in the adorable Roku Streambar – – it’s cheap, it offers advanced streaming capabilities and it sounds big – – the more expensive Yamaha is a tougher sell. The C20 performs better than the Roku, with richer bass and a more refined treble, but it’s not worth  50 dollars more. Unless you really are dictated to by size constraints, the larger Yamaha B20 or Vizio V21 with its separate subwoofer both make more sense at this price.

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