Here's another TweakTown hardware round-up

Hello TechEye viewers, this is TweakTown’s Content Editor reporting back once again with another weekly update of the highlights over at TweakTown recently.

Heading into the week we wrapped up our look at the remastered Star Wars blu-rays and checked out the final of the six episodes, Return of the Jedi which was arguably the fan favorite in the series despite the guiding hand of Gary Kurtz gone and George Lucas recruiting several yes men who failed to challenge Lucas to create a better product.

The teddy bear Ewok creatures coupled with a move away from the darker elements of The Empire Strikes Back ensured the film would appeal to the wider masses and generate more merchandising revenue, which at this point had taken on a life of its own.

Many of you may have noticed sky rocketing prices on mechanical HDDs recently and no doubt some of you are already well aware of the reasons why. It’s because of this terrible tragedy occuring over in Thailand at the moment.

Thailand is one of the world’s leading manufacturing countries and many products and components of products are built there. In a recent article from our storage guru, Chris Ramseyer, the main produc being talked about is of course hard drives and their associated components. Nearly all of the major HDD manufacturers have manufacturing factories in Thailand and all of these factories are either directly or indirectly seeing shutdowns due to the flood or shutdowns due to component shortage.

All of these critical component shortages will lead to the largest HDD drought the industry has seen and at a time when supply lines are typically tested, going into the holiday season.

Getting into some hardware goodies, we played with a really nice looking motherboard from GIGABYTE earlier this week catering to the AMD FX (Bulldozer) platform.

The GA-990FXA-UD5 from GIGABYTE sports that very schmick looking black color scheme GIGABYTE is opting for more often these days and gives a fantastic array of features considering the price it can be had for. We were also really impressed with its overclocking capabilities, clocking out FX-8150 sample up to 4.73GHz using just 1.45v.

We also checked out another 990FX based offering a little later in the week from ASRock that’s aimed more toward the gaming crowd with its Fatal1ty branding.

The Fatal1ty 990FX Professional is another fantastic option for loyal AMD fans wishing to do down the cheaper Bulldozer path and in our testing showed no real shortcomings at all with a strong feature set, good stability, good overclocking and a terrific looking red and black color scheme going on.

Have you ever tinkered with Apple’s Magic Mouse on a running Mac and wished they had something like that for Windows PCs? – Wait no longer, for Microsoft delivers in spades with the Touch Mouse.

The top of it is a capacitive, multitouch sensor. It is hands-down the best touch experience on Windows yet. This is mainly thanks to Microsoft as they designed the Touch Mouse’s drivers and software. Gesture wise, it works just like the Apple Magic Mouse, having multiple touch-based and finger-based gestures such as one finger scrolling. Our peripherals reviewer Anthony Garreffa was super impressed with it overall, stating :-

I found this to be quite amazing. I’m used to it on my Mac and having it on my Windows PC allowed me to sit back and swipe through news, RSS feeds or websites/forums like a boss. It was just bliss.

How does it feel? Much better than the Magic Mouse, that’s for sure. Ergonomics on the Touch Mouse are nearly perfect. It has a much fatter back so the palm of your hand really sits comfortably on it, without feeling like you’re hand is either too high, or too low.

In closing, if you’re confined to a strict budget with your next build we checked out a fantastic budget mid tower toward the end of the week that gives a ton of useful features and clever design cues throughout.

While not looking like anything special upon first glance, BitFenix packs a real lot into the sub-$50 Outlaw mid tower chassis and does it all in the subtlest ways. Our reviewer Chad had this to say about it in conclusion :-

BitFenix is the first to deliver us this sort of sleek and elegant look outside, with an inverted layout that will make a standard ATX chassis pale in comparison at this price point. Even with a couple of limitations, the final product is the best concept and aesthetic appeal combination for the price!

That wraps up the major happenings from our neck of the woods over this past week. Until next, adios folks!