OCC Week in Review: April 1 - 5
If you've been gone from OCC for a while or just want to catch the latest news, here is your chance to do just that. There's a fair amount happening at OCC this week, starting with a slightly different review that's sure to make graphics card testing a lot more in-depth. NVIDIA's new Frame Capture and Analysis Tools are a combination of hardware and software components to accurately measure video game framerates. Software tools to accomplish the task have existed for a while, but they lack the ability to precisely record the gameplay experience. That's where NVIDIA's FCAT comes into play to provide a clearer picture of what to expect with your new graphics card.
If you need some more cooling for your computer, it's hard to pass up any fans made by Noctua. Luckily we have a roundup covering three Noctua fans in 140 and 150mm sizes that should fit into your system. Whether it's for an air cooler, a watercooler radiator, or just a spot on your case, the fans reviewed in the Noctua roundup could be just what you're after.
Switching over to the news, NVIDIA launched its new mobile GPU line that consists of five models in the 700M series. Three of them, the GT 750M, GT 745M, and GT 740M, are for the performance crowd, while the GT 735M and GT 720M are perfect for mainstream users. Some intrepid Linux users have discovered some possible ways Valve is going to expand Steam on the open source OS, potentially for a Steam Box. An NVIDIA Linux graphics driver and new boot splash screen were discovered, so we'll just have to see what this means for Steam. Perhaps the biggest gaming news from the week was the unfortunate demise of LucasArts. Disney acquired LucasFilm and LucasArts last year, but things were not meant to be for one of the most well-known and longest running gaming studios.
Thermaltake added a new case to its Urban series, the S71 full tower. It offers sound-dampening foam, room for two 200mm and two 120mm fans, space for three 5.25" devices and six 3.5/2.5" drives, plus an optional window. Mushkin launched a new line of 1.8" solid-state drives, the Chronos GO series. Each drive runs on SATA III and comes in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities.
Quantum computing is going to be a huge factor in the future, but there's still plenty of things to perfect before that happens. A new mechanical qubit design was proposed that works in a totally different way than past versions, as it's based on a vibrating carbon nanotube to protect the data from interference. It also allows for viability with current technology, which would bring quantum computers closer to reality. Graphene is a super strong yet fantastically thin product, yet even it appears to have a weakness. It appears the seven-atom rings at the domain borders of polycrystalline graphene can fracture with enough applied force. The good thing from the discovery is that the weakness can be circumvented with monocrystalline graphene, or polycrystalline graphene with smaller domain borders.
One final thing to take away from this week is that voting for the OCC forum awards is now open. There are a multitude of categories and members to vote for in each one, so head on over to the voting threads and choose who you think is more deserving.