OCC TECH NEWS
We here at OverclockersClub love to give things away to our members, and today we have a new contest for you. Noctua, purveyors of exceptional CPU coolers, has three heat sinks to give away. If you want a chance to win either the NH-D15, the NH-U14S, or the NH-U12S, then you are in luck! Any one of these CPU coolers can help keep your system from going thermal, and just may help you get to that next level of overclocking. The rules for this contest are fairly simple: take a picture of your current heat sink in your computer and post it in the contest thread. As these are all desktop coolers, only users with desktop computers are able to enter. However, the contest is open world wide, so there are no restrictions other than the type of computer you have.
The Noctua giveaway will last for two weeks (until November 2), so there is plenty of time to enter. All entrants can have the picture either attached in their post or hosted on a file sharing website (like Imgur). If you are one of the lucky winners, you have 48 hours to respond, or else it will go to someone else. Good luck to all who enter!
October 21, 2014
After a little break to reveal the PC requirements and an Official Trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Electronic Arts and BioWare are back with another entry in the "Gameplay Features" video series. Entitled "The Inquisitor & Followers", I'm sure you can imagine what it discusses. As "The Hero of Thedas", you can make your Inquisitor into a deadly warrior, stealthy rogue, or powerful mage, each one with unique and deadly specializations as you progress. Along your travels, you'll get to recruit nine potential followers, three of which are highlighted in the video: The Iron Bull, a powerful warrior who relishes close-quarters combat; Sera, a chaotic elven archer who can dish out deadly ranged attacks; and Dorian, a gifted mage who uses arcane magic to protect the party.
Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The Standard Edition costs $59.99 for all platforms, while a Deluxe Edition is available for $69.99 and includes the following bonus content: Flames of the Inquisition Armor, Flames of the Inquisition Armored Mount, Skyhold Throne, Red Hart Halla, Bog Unicorn, and the digital soundtrack. Pre-ordering either version grants you some nice fiery weapons from the Flames of the Inquisition Arsenal.
Ubisoft is back with the fourth "Focus" video for Toy Soldiers: War Chest, this time covering the game's Wave System. While largely similar to previous Toy Soldiers games, some battles culminate in boss fights. In addition, community manager Jason "Paradise" Kuntz confirmed that there will be both online and split-screen co-op.
Toy Soldiers: War Chest is scheduled to arrive early 2015 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Satechi, a company headquartered in San Diego that focuses on camera, computer, smartphone, and tablet accessories, has just released the Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse. This latest product from Satechi is tailored to hardcore gamers, as it features an optical sensor, a 98-foot wireless range, up to 4000 DPI, up to 500Hz polling rate, 20G of acceleration, seven buttons, four different LED colors, and a grooved grip for maximum comfort. While the Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse does run on two AA batteries, an energy efficient chip is built-in that puts the mouse into a sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity, allowing the mouse to be used for up to 36 months without the batteries needing changed. The mouse also includes a dedicated gaming mode and video control mode, which change the behavior of the seven buttons located on the mouse that enable users to interact with games and media more efficiently.
The Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse comes with a one-year warranty and is currently available for $19.99 from Satechi and Amazon.com.
Cooler Master has announced a pair of additions to the Nepton line of all-in-one liquid coolers. The new 120mm and 240mm models join the previously released 140mm and 280mm models and have been enhanced with the addition of the new Silencio FP 120 fans. The new Silencio fans boast high air pressure, low noise output, and low power consumption. The use of 120mm and 240mm radiators should also help the radiators fit into more cases. The all-in-one design is rounded out by a pump capable of moving 120 liters of liquid per hour.
Source: Press Release
The Pure Rock is the latest CPU cooler offering from German company be quiet! and it is compatible with all current Intel and AMD sockets. The cooler has four 6mm heat pipes to help dissipate heat through the numerous fins. The included fan spins at 1500 RPM and has a lifetime greater than 80,000 hours. The cooler has dimensions of 155 x 121 x 87.5mm and should fit into a variety of cases. The Pure Rock is available immediately at an MSRP of €32.90.
Source: Press Release
Many believe that there will be a new renaissance of sorts in the near future, thanks to 3D printing. Additive manufacturing in general opens up some interesting doors at it allows for the precise construction of objects, with potentially little waste. Now researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a way to control the crystal structure of a material using an additive manufacturing system.
To achieve this control, the researchers had to precisely manage the electron beam from an ARCAM electron beam melting system. This system works by fusing layers of metal powder together using an electron beam. In this case, it was a nickel-based part they were creating.
Many properties of a material are influenced by its microstructure, so this work could have some very powerful implications. Microelectronics to jet engine components could all have their characteristics tailored to achieve the performance desired.
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
A new day is upon us, with some new items for you to check out on this Tuesday. We have a review on a rather interesting case from Deepcool, the Steam Castle, which is a micro-ATX model with some Steampunk qualities to its appearance. For anyone wanting to jump into water cooling, there is a look at the Cooler Master Nepton 240M all-in-one model that should keep your CPU at a low temperature. If you need to upgrade your phone, then perhaps the review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is for you. Lastly there is an article covering MSI's Master Overclocking Arena 2014 and which person came away with the win.
Deepcool Steam Castle @ ThinkComputers
Cooler Master Neptom 240M @ Benchmark Reviews
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 @ TechSpot
Vivi Wins MSI MOA 2014 Grand Final @ Madshrimps
Though perhaps not as lauded as some science fiction technologies, tractor beams are still somewhat common in the genre. They are also among the sci-fi technologies that can or do exist, in one form or another. Researchers at the Australian National University have recently developed a laser tractor beam that operates on a different principle than most, allowing it to actually reverse its effects.
Normally a laser-based tractor beam uses the momentum of photons to move the particles they target. This design however uses the laser beam to selectively heat the target particle. That heat then causes air molecules to warm and move away from the surface, forcing the particle to recoil. By moving the hotspot on the particle, the researchers are able to change how the particle moves, potentially having to reverse direction.
As this design uses only a single laser, it is somewhat versatile and could find some interesting applications. These include capturing particles, including pollution, from the air or retrieving other particles for sampling purposes.
Source: Australian National University
Google has updated its Google Play Music application for Android and iOS, which now has over 30 million songs to choose from. The newly updated application features a refined “Listen Now” page that allows users to easily discover new music. The latest version also features Songza integration, a streaming service that Google acquired earlier this year. Users can select music based on the time of day, their mood, or specific activity, with songs being sourced from stations that were compiled from music experts at Google. Google’s material design is present within the updated Google Play Music application too, which showcases bigger images, bolder colors, and slicker transitions, all of which make Android Lollipop more refined and polished.
Source: Official Android Blog
Thermaltake, a leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has officially released a new mid-tower case, the Core V31. The Core V31 falls right in line with the other Core Series offerings from Thermaltake, such as the Core V1, Core V51, and Core V71, as it includes premium components and a wealth of features. Some of these features include a perforated top and bottom panel with magnetic dust filters, advanced cable management options, superior cooling performance with liquid cooling support, and 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch tool-free drive bays with a fully customizable concept. The Core V31 is compatible with ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX motherboards and is also Tt LCS Certified, an exclusive certification from Thermaltake that ensures that chassis have been tested to be extremely compatible with extreme liquid cooling configurations.
Source: Press Release
Due to a contract dispute with Turner Broadcasting, which licenses various channels for distribution to subscription services, Dish Network customers have lost access to seven channels. Dish customers can no longer access Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Espanol, Headline News, truTV, and Turner Classic Movies. MSNBC content replaced CNN and Headline News programming, while Turner Class Movies programming was replaced by FXM Retro.
Dish Senior Vice President of Programming, Warren Schlichting, noted that the company has offered an enticing deal to Turner Broadcasting that would successfully renew its agreement with the content provider. Turner Broadcasting countered, however, stating that it has attempted for months to come to an agreement that it deems fair for both parties, and that Dish is continuing to operate in a disruptive manner. Time will tell if both companies will be able to reach an agreement in the near future, which will result in the renewal of the contract that controls the seven aforementioned channels.
For many of us, the Internet is likely always available, except during an outage. To better understand the Internet and recognize outages, researchers at the University of Southern California tracked Internet usage across the planet for two months. From this data, they created a map that shows the Internet sleeping, as it were.
To collect the data, the research pinged 3.7 million IP address blocks, which would be around 950 million individual addresses, every 11 minutes for two months. This allowed them to establish a baseline for Internet usage and then track its use through the day. In the most developed areas, such as the United States and Europe, usage appeared constant as the routers we use to connect are always on. In less developed and wealthy nations however, usage will fluctuate.
The plan for this research is to help scientists and policymakers understand the normal operation of the Internet. With this information, normal downtimes may not be misidentified as outages and be able to predict how networking policies can influence network usage.
Source: University of Southern California
Samsung has revealed that it is now mass producing the industry's first, and most-advanced, 8Gb DDR4 memory, with a 32GB module for enterprise environments. The new memory and module, which are targeted at enterprise servers, are being manufactured based on Samsung's 20nm process. Jeeho Baek, the Vice President of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics, noted that "Our new 20nm 8Gb DDR4 DRAM more than meets the high performance, high density and energy efficiency needs that are driving the proliferation of next-generation enterprise servers." Thanks to the 8Gb DDR4 memory and the application of 3D through silicon via (TSV) technology, server modules up to 128GB will be possible to produce in the near future.
Jade Raymond, who worked at Ubisoft the last 10 years as a producer, has officially left the video game developer and publisher. Raymond helped to produce stellar video game titles such as Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, and Splinter Cell, and also opened the Ubisoft Toronto studio and served as its managing director since 2009. "I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games," Raymond said within the Ubisoft press release surrounding her departure from the company.
The announcement of Raymond leaving Ubisoft is likely due to the 30 FPS stance that the company has taken lately, in which it believes that games should be capped at 30 FPS to look more cinematic.
October 20, 2014
Despite being over two weeks away from the funding deadline, Uber Entertainment has decided to put the kibosh on the Human Resources Kickstarter Campaign. According to today's update post, Uber stated that every Kickstarter prediction model showed the studio coming up "woefully short" of the campaign goal, making it not worth the costs to maintain the campaign any longer. "One thing is for sure, Human Resources, as pitched in this Kickstarter, is over. But we adore the world of Human Resources and will endeavor to do what we can to bring it to life in some form."
Human Resources sounded and looked quite intriguing, so hopefully this isn't the last we've seen of it.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare doesn't launch for another two weeks, but Activision decided to publish the official Launch Trailer anyway. Along with the trailer, the publisher also updated the game's Steam page with some minimum system requirements:
OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
Processor: Intel® CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD PhenomTM II X4 810 @ 2.60 GHz or better
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 @ 1GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 55 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX-compatible
Additional Notes: Field of View ranges from 65°-90°
Unfortunately, recommended specs have not been posted at this time.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is launching on November 4 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Purchasing the PlayStation 3 digital version grants a free upgrade to the PlayStation 4 version, while purchasing the Xbox 360 digital version grants you a free upgrade to the Xbox One version.
Source: Press Release and Steam
Dreadnought is a game about massive spaceships, being developed by Yager Development, the German studio behind the story-driven, third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line and the upcoming Dead Island 2. It was a big hit during E3, but if you haven't heard about it until now, you're in luck – Yager has released a "New Gameplay Commentary Video" narrated by Game Director Peter Holzapfel and Game Designer Eino Joas. The video looks at the 5v5 Team Deathmatch multiplayer mode.
Dreadnought is coming exclusively to PC in 2015 and planned a free-to-play title.
Source: Press Release
After the reveal of the Fitbit Surge earlier today, the fitness wearable market looks to get even more crowded as Microsoft is reportedly working on a device of its own. Microsoft would join a market that has grown to include offerings from several companies including Samsung, LG, Jawbone, and Fitbit. The Microsoft device will track heart rate and will work multiple mobile platforms including Windows Phones, iOS devices, and Android devices. The major challenge for Microsoft will likely be whether it is capable of standing out from the crowd to get users to choose it over other offerings. No information on pricing is available yet, but further announcements are expected in the coming weeks with a potential holiday release on the horizon.
Source: Toms Guide
The PANGU SW-RD is the latest case from manufacturer DEEPCOOL with expected availability of November 2014. The case is compatible with motherboards of the ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX form factors. Users can install up to six 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives and two 5.25" drives. Graphics cards up to 310mm in length can be installed with extra drive bays installed or 400mm with the bays removed, as well as a 165mm tall CPU cooler. A single 120mm fan is pre-installed in the case with an additional seven slots available including support for liquid cooling. The case is rounded out with two remote control LED light strips that provide 16 colors and four modes of operation. The PANGU SW-RD will have an MSRP of $89.99.
Source: Press Release
It was recently reported that Apple has interests in reducing the cost of Beats Music, a music subscription service that currently costs $10 per month and rivals Rhapsody, Spotify, and others. Apparently, the interests that surround a cheaper plan for subscribers is even larger now thanks to Spotify announcing its family subscription option, which reduces the cost of the service substantially for families. At the time of this writing, Apple observes roughly $60 of revenue a year from some of its best iTunes buyers, which equates to $5 per month. According to individuals that are familiar with the future plans of Beats Music, the music subscription service may be lowered to $5 per month in order to bring those who currently download music from iTunes onto the streaming model that Beats Music is founded on. This would provide the same amount of revenue for music labels and also usher in the possibility of an expanded subscriber base for Apple's music subscription service.
Gmail has long been available to smartphone users, allowing them to access their Gmail accounts quickly and easily through an intuitive user interface. Unfortunately, the application has only supported Gmail accounts and failed to offer support for third-party email services. That is all changing with version 5.0 of Gmail, however, as a newly leaked video shows that the latest version of the Gmail client, which will ship with Android Lollipop, adds support for Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com, and more. Besides adding support for third-party email accounts, Gmail 5.0 is overhauled with Google’s material design which provides a sleeker and more refined user experience than ever before.
Source: Android Police
Superconductivity is an interesting phenomenon that could have many applications from power lines to computer circuits. Exactly how a superconducting circuit would take shape though is still being determined. Researchers at MIT have recently developed and tested one circuit design that could make superconducting circuits cheaper and easier to produce.
Josephon junctions are a kind of superconducting circuit that have been able to reach 770 GHz, but while they do have great potential, they are hard to make and hard to work with. The new design from MIT is called a nanocryotron, or nTron, and would be much simpler to create as it consists of nanowires forming a T shape. Where the base meets the crossbar though, the base tapers down to a point. When an electrical current is applied to the base, the point causes electrons to bounce off of each other, producing enough heat to warm the crossbar past its critical temperature. This ends the conductivity of the crossbar, until it is cooled again, and thus acts as an electrical switch. This design does have limitations though, such as likely never surpassing 1 GHz, but being simpler to create, working with currents similar to those in other hardware, and an impedance that matches that of mRAM may still make it very useful.
As superconductors can carry a current without resistance, they can work with a percent the energy needed by modern electronics. Of course the liquid-helium cooling system would cut into some of that savings, but it could still be a net improvement.
Ubisoft has unveiled the Season Pass contents for Far Cry 4, and while it doesn't offer up the insane variety seen in Assassin's Creed Unity's Season Pass, it does allow you to hunt yetis; so you know, it does have that going for it. The Season Pass is broken up into five parts:
- The Syringe – The day-one Season Pass exclusive mission will have you preventing Pagan Min from retrieving a rare recipe and using it against the rebellion. Take on The Syringe in either single-player or co-op.
- Escape from Durgesh Prison – Team up with a friend to escape Yuma’s prison after being locked up and tortured. Fun stuff.
- Hurk Deluxe Pack – More harpooning. More explosions. More Hurk. More awesome. Get access to five new missions starring Hurk, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s Redemption. We just love this crazy country boy so much.
- Overrun – Play as either the Rakshasa or the Golden Path in this new PvP multiplayer mode. Capture territory around Kyrat and stop that territory from being taken by your enemies.
- Valley of the Yetis – A crash landing on a Himalayan ridge finds Ajay fighting for his life in a strange new frozen landscape. Scavenge for tools and upgrade your campsite, while fending off deadly nighttime attacks from a mysterious cult. Explore caves in the area, but watch out for what lurks within. Valley of the Yetis has both single-player and co-op options, so it might be wise to bring a friend along to watch your back.
The Far Cry 4 Season Pass is priced at $29.99, but a Far Cry 4 Gold Edition that contains the base game and Season Pass together is also available for $89.99, which doesn't actually provide a further discount since the base game is priced at $59.99. Far Cry 4 is set to release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 18.
Source: Press Release and UbiBlog
Light emitting diodes for home lighting have been growing in popularity of late, thanks to their efficiency and long lives. One problem they possess though is cost, and that problem may get worse in the future. Rare earth elements are needed for LEDs and many other technologies, and as the supply shrinks, costs will increase, unless someone does something about it.
As reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers have developed an alternative to the rare earth elements in LEDs that is instead based on copper iodide. This material is much more abundant and can still be tuned to produce a variety of colors, including white. The white light the researchers were able to make was also warmer than that typical white LEDs emit.
Source: American Chemical Society
Spotify has announced that it will soon offer its members a family plan subscription. Dubbed Spotify Family, the new plan is one of the most asked for features from the Spotify audience according to the Chief Content Officer for the company, Ken Parks. Spotify Family will offer household members with independent Spotify Premium accounts that feature separate listening histories, playlists, and recommendations. According to Spotify, the new subscription option will offer a 50 percent savings for each additional member, meaning that new members under the plan will only cost $5 each. The plan does feature a five person maximum, though that should not be an issue for most families access the music streaming service under Spotify Family.
Spotify Family is set to roll out globally in the coming weeks.
Fitbit, a company that specializes in wearable devices that track personal health activities, is set to lunch the Fitbit Surge in the coming weeks, according to leaked marketing materials. The new watch, which is being marketed as a "superwatch," includes technology dedicated to serious athletes that are looking to track activities and monitor various health metrics. The Fitbit Surge features built-in GPS tracking, PurePulse heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, smart notifications, sleep tracking capabilities, and wireless syncing. While the leaked Fitbit Surge is not technically a smartwatch, it does offer phone call and text notifications along with music playback support.
The Fitbit Surge is expected to retail for $249 and will come in three color options that include black, slate, and tangerine.
It can be weird to think of the number of technologies that future generations may never encounter, and one of these will likely be the typewriter. With computers and word processors, it would seem like typewriters no longer serve a purpose. With some imagination and creativity though, a student at the University of Plymouth has resurrected a typewriter and connected it to the Internet.
It was not an easy task, as some parts had to be built and supplied by a German company, but it was a fun project, according to the 22-year-old student. The typewriter, called Dico, can tell when someone is approaching it using ultrasound, and will then connect to a random person on an Internet chat service. Using micro-controllers and solenoids, messages can be received and typed onto the paper to be read, though sometimes it will be encrypted. This was intentional, to cause the user to think about online security.
The student would like to refine Dico some more and may even build another, so the pair can talk to each other. This is not the only time he has converted older technology into something new and interesting, as he gave the 1950s short wave radio the ability to create small poems from people's brain activity.
Source: University of Plymouth
A new week is upon us, which means some new reviews for you to check out. There is a look at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M and how it performs, so those wanting a gaming laptop can see just how powerful the new part truly is. For those needing a small yet powerful computer, there is a review on the ECS LIVA Mini PC kit. In a world of privacy concerns, we have an article examining some alternatives to Gmail and Dropbox that should offer more security for those desiring it. If you just simply need a new phone yet cannot decide on which to get, we have an article comparing the LG G3 to the Samsung Galaxy S5 to see which is the better option. Wrapping things up for today is a case mod featuring the Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Snow case.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M Performance Testing @ PC Perspective
ECS LIVA Mini PC Kit @ Madshrimps
LG G3 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 @ LanOC Reviews
Case Mod Friday: Armor Revo Spartan Edition @ ThinkComputers
Secure, Private Email and Cloud Storage Alternatives to Gmail and Dropbox @ TechSpot
October 19, 2014
ACE Team's side-scrolling fighting game Abyss Odyssey launched in July and received a fairly good reception. The combat takes some getting used to, but the art style and soundtrack are simply amazing. While the game is available on consoles, the PC is the preeminent version with its inclusion of Versus Mode. Now Versus Mode is even better with the introduction of the much anticipated Online Versus Mode for up to four players. The new update also adds mid-combo transformation for even more complex combat techniques, a new enemy called the White Phantom, and Zeno Class II's Golem as a new boss. As a bonus, Golem is playable in Versus for owners of Zeno Clash II or the Abyss Odyssey Soundtrack on Steam.
Source: Press Release