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News Archives for January 2017

Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 2, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 2, 2017 @ time: 09:26AM
Author: bp9801

The New Year is upon us, with plenty of items to help kick things off right. We have a review on the ASUS Maximus VIII Impact motherboard, a mini-ITX member of the ROG family that brings a host of features to the small size. If you're desiring more storage, maybe the Corsair Force MP500 480GB NVMe SSD and its fast speed is for you. For those wanting more control, the Razer Deathadder Elite, which updates the classic model to contain plenty of new features, might be the one to get. Sound is key, and perhaps the Cougar IMMERSA Stereo Gaming Headset, with its 40mm drivers and comfortable ear cups, will help you hear that person trying to get the jump on you in your games. We end things for today with a look back at some of the worst PC setups seen throughout 2016, as well as a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the final week of the year.

Motherboards
ASUS Maximus VIII Impact @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair Force MP500 480GB @ TechSpot

Mice/Keyboards
Razer Deathadder Elite @ LanOC Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Cougar IMMERSA Stereo Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
The Worst PC Setups of 2016 @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #431 @ PC Perspective


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Thermaltake Bringing The Tower 900 Series, New PSUs, and a New Keyboard to CES 2017

Posted: January 3, 2017 @ time: 09:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in May, Thermaltake had announced that they were working with Watermod France to bring to production an entry in the 2015 Thermaltake CaseMOD Invitational. At the time it was referred to simply as Project The Tower, but now it has the name The Tower 900 E-ATX Vertical Super Tower Chassis. A bit long, but it will be Thermaltakes first TT Premium modder edition chassis series case and is going to be shown off at CES 2017. For those who will not be at the trade show, you can check out the appropriate source link, video, and pictures below of this behemoth with tempered glass panes meant to show off your components with uncompromising liquid cooling potential. It is available in both a black and snow white version.

 

 

Also at CES 2017, Thermaltake will be showing off two new series of power supplies; the Toughpower Grand RGB Gold Series and the Smart Pro RGB Bronze Series. Both series have 650 W, 750 W, and 850 W options in them and by using the Riing 14 RGB fan offer five lighting modes (256 color cycle, solid red, green, blue, white, and off). They are also all fully modular. The Toughpower Grand series has a 10-year warranty while the Smart Pro has a 7-year warranty.

 

 

Finally, from Tt eSPORTS the new MEKA Pro Cherry MX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is going to be shown at the show. The keyboard comes with Red, Brown, or Blue Cherry MX switches, so you can get the simplistic keyboard with the tactile experience you prefer. For features the keyboard has 100% anti-ghosting support, on-the-fly macro recording, per-key red backlights with multiple lighting effects to choose from. The keyboard with Brown and Blue switches will cost $99.99 while the version with Red switches will be either $99.99 or $109.99. (The latter is given in the press release while the former appears on the product page.)

Source: Thermaltake (The Tower 900), Thermaltake (Toughpower Grand RGB Gold Series & Smart Pro RGB Bronze Series PSUs), and Tt eSPORTS (MEKA PRO Cherry MX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard)


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AMD Announces Radeon FreeSync 2 for HDR Monitors

Posted: January 3, 2017 @ time: 12:52PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Later this week at CES 2017 AMD is expected to reveal more information about its upcoming Ryzen CPUs and Vega-based GPUs, which have not been formally announced yet, but today a new technology has been announced by the company. This technology is Radeon FreeSync 2, but it is not necessarily what you expect. FreeSync allows the refresh rate of a supporting monitor to match the framerate a supporting GPU is providing, thereby preventing screen tearing without introducing input lag. Just as recently as the Crimson ReLive drivers released last month, FreeSync received a significant update by allowing games run in a borderless window to benefit from the technology. FreeSync 2 builds on this base, keeping the rates aligned, but is actually targeting HDR monitors and games.

High dynamic range, or HDR is a technology that has been seeing interest grow of late as it presents a wider color gamut and greater range of brightness to the user. Basically whenever you look at an image on a modern monitor, the image can only contain so many colors and the contrast between white and black can only be so great, but HDR monitors support more colors and more contrast. However, there is still going to be some tone mapping from an HDR source to match what the monitor can show and this is where FreeSync 2 steps in. This new API is able to send the information from the monitor about what it is capable of to the GPU, where it can leverage its power to map the luminance, contrast, and colors, to those capabilities, instead of leaving the display's hardware to do the work. This accelerates the process, thereby allowing users, especially gamers, to enjoy HDR gameplay with low-latency.

All Radeon GPUs that currently support FreeSync will also support FreeSync 2, and FreeSync 2 monitors are expected to be available in this first half of 2017. These monitors will support HDR, FreeSync, and Low Framerate Compensation. Since a Samsung vice president is quoted in the AMD press release, we can probably expect to see at least one of these monitors from them and I would not be surprised if others are present at CES 2017.

 

 

Source: AMD and Radeon.com


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HyperX Adds to Line of Gaming Accessories

Posted: January 3, 2017 @ time: 05:03PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston is showing off the addition of several new products to its HyperX line of gaming peripherals at CES this week. The new items include the Revolver S headset, Pulsefire Gaming Mouse, three ALLOY keyboards, and a set of DDR4 memory. The Revolver S is the first headset to feature plug and play Dolby 7.1 Surround and is "designed for comfort and competitive performance with crisp sound and wide soundstage." The Pulsefire mouse utilizes an optical sensor with four DPI settings ranging from 400 to 3200. The ALLOY RGB keyboard offers up to 16 million colors with dynamic lighting profiles and media keys. The ALLOY FPS keyboards offer the option of Cherry MX Red or Brown switches in a full size frame. The HyperX Predator DDR4 LED memory is the first set of memory with RGB lighting from HyperX and can take full advantage of motherboards that have RGB lighting controls such as Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light Sync.

Source: Press Release


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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GPUs Now Available in Laptops

Posted: January 3, 2017 @ time: 05:19PM
Author: CheeseMan42

NVIDIA has let the cat out of the bag a day ahead of its CES kickoff on Wednesday, revealing that the GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GPUs are now available in laptop systems. The new mobile versions use the "same silicon and cutting-edge features as found on its Pascal desktop brethren," delivering "great gaming experiences to laptops." The GPUs include NVIDIA BatteryBoost for longer unplugged gaming, up to three times the performance of previous offerings, and G-SYNC support on selected models. There are at least 30 offerings in development from OEM partners, some of which will be unveiled this week at CES, with prices starting at $699.

Source: Press Release


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Patriot Introduces New Gaming Mice, Keyboards, and Headsets

Posted: January 3, 2017 @ time: 09:39PM
Author: bp9801

CES is rolling along, with plenty of new hardware to check out and feast your eyes upon. It isn't always about internal components, but external ones, too, like Patriot and its line of mice, keyboards, and headsets. Patriot may be known more for its memory, but the new peripherals are sure to turn some heads. The Patriot Viper V570 RGB and V530 LED gaming mice are packed with plenty of features, such as an Avago 9800 laser sensor in the V570 RGB and an Avago 3050 optical sensor in the V530 LED.

The V570 RGB features a staggering 12,000 DPI, but you can adjust it with a button press all the way down to 400, or anything in between, if you so choose. You can also use the Auto-Speed feature in the software to let the mouse automatically adjust the DPI within a range you specify, based on how you game. There's also a quick access sniper button on the left side, while the 13 programmable buttons let you assign any number of commands to them. There are five of them on the left side that have no default value, so you can really customize things to your liking. For the RGB side of things, you get multi-zone LEDs that can be adjusted to any one of 16.8 million colors, with the software letting you assign different colors to five profiles. The V570 RGB also has 35g of adjustable weight and ceramic footpads for smooth gliding.

On the V530 LED, the optical sensor features a maximum DPI of 4,000, giving you precise control in games. You can adjust the DPI, too, so you can find just what you like. It has seven programmable buttons and six different profiles, each one with a unique LED color to distinguish them. Download the software and you can customize each profile to your specific demands. PTFE pads on the bottom let it move easily across surfaces, while both it and the V570 RGB feature a soft rubber texture for maximum comfort.

Moving on to keyboards, Patriot has the V770 RGB and V730 LED mechanical gaming keyboards for you to check out. The V770 RGB includes Kailh Red switches to give a tactile feel and quiet sound, along with a 2mm actuation force for easy typing. Per-key RGB lighting lets you assign a different color to every key if you want, or just get your preferred layout lit during games, thanks to the software. There are even five profiles you can alternate between with a flick of a switch, while the software lets you tailor everything, right down to key assignments and the aforementioned lighting. All the keys are programmable, so just because it says one thing doesn't mean it has to do that in a game. Audio and USB passthroughs let you plug all your peripherals into the keyboard, while the dedicated media keys let you control your tunes without needing to hit anything else. The wrist rest on the V770 RGB attaches via a magnet, with the Viper logo and LED strip featuring the same glow as the keys.

The V730 LED keyboard sports Kailh Brown switches for a different kind of feel, but one that is quite popular. It has red LED lighting with five different settings you can cycle between, and eight dedicated multimedia keys. Its wrist rest is attached, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of it at LAN parties. Both the V770 RGB and V730 LED support full N-key rollover, which lets you hit any number of keys at once and have them all register. Handy to have during intense matches.

We end with the headsets, where Patriot has three models to choose from: the V370 RGB, V361 LED, and V330. The V370 RGB and V361 LED offer 7.1 virtual surround sound, while the V330 comes in stereo, with all three packing 40mm drivers for the best sound possible. The V370 RGB and V361 LED also include a separate 30mm sub-driver for the Ultra Bass Response system, letting you feel every bit of the action. The V370 RGB has a V on each earcup that you can customize with full RGB lighting, while the V361 LED's V is lit with red LEDs. Both connect through a USB port, with downloadable software offering sound and lighting adjustments. The V330 connects through the standard 3.5mm audio jacks, but you can use a Y splitter to pair it with your preferred mobile device.

The Patriot Viper V570 RGB gaming mouse arrives at the end of the first quarter this year (after March 31) for $59.99, while the V530 LED is available at the end of this month for $29.99. The V770 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard launches in April for $149.99, with the V730 LED mechanical gaming keyboard hitting in February for $79.99. The V370 RGB, V361 LED, and V330 headsets all arrive in February, with the V370 at $69.99, the V361 at $49.99, and the V330 for $39.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, January 4, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 07:49AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with plenty of items for you to check out. We have several different looks at the Intel Core i7 7700K processor, as well as one look at the Core i5 7600K for those not wanting the high end Kaby Lake part. To house the new chips, there's a review on the MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard, an enthusiast-level part that contains a host of features. For a different Z270 motherboard, the GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 5 gets previewed to see what the AORUS line, the company's new high performance line, has to offer. There's a review of the Roccat Skeltr Smart Communication RGB Gaming Keyboard, which has Bluetooth capabilities and a switch to let you respond to messages on your smartphone and even answer calls. We have a look at the new AMD FreeSync 2 system it plans on rolling out before long. Finishing things up is a preview of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, providing a look at just what to expect from the new chip.

CPUs
Intel Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” Processor @ ThinkComputers
Intel Core i7-7700K & Core i5-7600K @ TechSpot
Intel Core i7-7700K @ PC Perspective

Motherboards
GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 5 Launch Preview @ PC Perspective
MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon @ Neoseeker

Keyboards/Mice
Roccat Skeltr Smart Communication RGB Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Preview @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
AMD FreeSync 2 Brings Latency, LFC and Color Space Requirements @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


OLED Electrodes Made From Graphene

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 10:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There have been a number of miracle materials throughout history and one of the latest examples is graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon. It earned this title because it is exceptionally strong and hard while still being flexible, transparent, and highly conductive. These are desirable properties for a number of applications and for the first time, researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the GLADIATOR project have successfully made functional OLED electrodes from the material.

Ever since its discovery, one of the challenges with graphene has been discovering ways to make it into a product because it is often difficult to manufacturer. The solution in this case is to heat a wafer of high-purity copper in a vacuum chamber and then add a mixture of methane and hydrogen. A chemical reaction starts between these gases and the copper, causing the methane to dissolve into the copper, leaving a sheet of carbon on the surface. After it is cooled and a carrier polymer is applied, the copper plate is etched away, leaving the graphene behind.

The researchers believe the first products that might uses these graphene electrodes will be able to launch in two to three years, and as both OLEDs and graphene are flexible, these products would be more resilient than those you find today. These graphene electrodes will likely be combined with more than OLEDs too as other technologies, such as photovoltaics, smart windows, and wearable devices could all benefit from them.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft


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Kingston Announces 2 TB USB Flash Drive

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 10:40AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Depending on what you do, the storage capacity of your various drives could be very important. Personally I have had weeks where I have generated about a full terabyte of data, and if that sounds like one of your weeks too, then Kingston may have just announced a product for you. The new DataTraveler Ultimate GT USB drive offers up to 2 TB of flash memory in its 72 mm x 26.94 mm x 21 mm zinc-alloy shell. At 2 TB, this is the world's largest USB flash drive. Connecting it to a computer is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, so you will have the benefit of USB 3 speeds as you fill it up with as much as 70 hours of 4K video.

The DataTraveler Ultimate GT ships in February and will be available in both 1 TB and the record-setting 2 TB capacities. It is also backed by a 5-year warranty.

Source: Press Release


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New microSDXC and Type-C USB Drives from Patriot

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 11:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like many other companies at CES time, Patriot has been announcing a number of products, including a new entry to its LX Series of microSDXC cards and two Type-C USB drivers to its Stellar Line. The 256 GB LX microSDXC card uses 3D NAND technology to pack all of that storage in the form factor many action cameras, phones, and Android devices use. It is a Class 10 U3 card, with sequential read speeds of up to 90 MB/s and 80 MB/s write, so you can capture a host of high quality stills or hours of 4K video, depending on your purpose. This card is available today and has an MSRP of $199.99.

The two new members of the Stellar Line both uses the new Type-C USB port that is becoming more popular. The STC-Vi drive is a vertically positioned drive, allowing you to plug it into your device and leave it there without obstruction. Its speeds are up to 225 MB/s read and 25 MB/s write. It will be available in capacities from 64 GB to 128 GB in the second quarter of this year, and at an MSRP of $24.99 to $64.99.

The second new Stellar drive is the STC-Ti that actually features a pass-through Type-C port on it. As some devices use a single Type-C port for connecting drives and charging, this pass-through design means you can use the drive while still powering your device. Its speeds are up to 130 MB/s read and 20 MB/s write. It will also be available in the second quarter and in 64 GB to 128 GB capacities, but with an MSRP from $34.99 to $74.99.

Source: Press Release


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G.SKILL Announces DDR4 Memory Targeted at Intel Kaby Lake Platform

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 04:45PM
Author: CheeseMan42

G.SKILL is adding to the "extreme performance" Trident Z series of DDR4 memory to support the latest Intel Kaby Lake platform and Z270 motherboards. Two new sets of memory will be available with higher frequencies and tight timings. A 16GB set will operate at 4266MHz with timings of CL19-19-19-39 and a 32GB set will operate at 4133MHz with timings of CL19-21-21-41. Both kits are composed of 8GB sticks with the 16GB set operating at 1.4V and the 32GB set at 1.35V.

Source: Press Release


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Tt eSPORTS Adds Ventus X Optical Mouse to Lineup

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 05:06PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Tt eSPORTS will be showing off its latest offering, the Ventus X Optical RGB Gaming Mouse, at CES starting tomorrow. It is powered by a PIXART PMW-3360 optical engine, capable of up to 12,000 DPI. RGB lighting is provided in a two zone configuration with static and pulse operating modes. It was created with an aerodynamic honeycomb design which "enables the smooth passage of airflow from hand-to- mouse during gameplay." An onboard 32-bit ARM microcontroller provides the necessary processing power and 256kb of onboard memory allows for storage of up to five profiles. OMRON switches are rated at a 20 million click lifecycle, ensuring that you will be gaming years to come.

Source: Press Release


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Mass Effect: Andromeda Arrives March 21, 2017; NVIDIA Shows Off Gameplay During CES

Posted: January 4, 2017 @ time: 08:42PM
Author: bp9801

BioWare's next entry in its epic Mass Effect series has been teased for a while, but lately we've been getting more and more news on Mass Effect: Andromeda. We got a story reveal during N7 Day, some gameplay during the Video Game Awards on December 1, and now today we got a release date. Mass Effect: Andromeda arrives on March 21 in North America and March 23 in Europe. You might want to schedule some time off now as you look forward to a solid date. Our journey to Andromeda kicks off at the end of March, but that's not the only bit of news we have today. During NVIDIA's CES Keynote, among all the news NVIDIA had, was another gameplay reveal for ME:A. We get a nice glimpse of one of the environments on the planet, along with just some stunning visuals in general. Oh, and combat, because we need some action, too.

We get a glimpse at the different profiles we can select while playing, which we can swap dynamically to better suit the mission at hand. We see a large amount of skills in the tech tree, along with the upgrade path for flamethrower. There's also something in there called Remnant VI, which is intriguing in just how mysterious it is. The Remnant are what left the vaults we can uncover, so somewhere along the way we must get access to a VI program to better interface with it or some other aspect. The only bad thing about the gameplay footage is just how short it all was during the Keynote. It's not the longest video in the world, but it'll definitely leave you wanting more. Hopefully we get that soon, but at any rate, we don't have too much longer to go before we can all explore the Andromeda Galaxy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda arrives on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 21.

Sources: Twitch Livestream and ME:A Website


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, January 5, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 5, 2017 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is upon us, with just a couple of items for you to check out today. We have another look at the Intel Core i7 7700K, the first Kaby Lake part to arrive that should bring plenty of performance your way for a new build. There's also a review on the QNAP TS-531X High-performance 5-bay NAS, which gives plenty of storage space for your home network or business.

CPUs
Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-531X High-performance 5-bay NAS @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Corsair Announces New Mouse, Keyboard, PSUs, and Bulldog 2.0 at CES 2017

Posted: January 5, 2017 @ time: 11:13AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Corsair has announced a number of new products today, so we should just jump into it. First up is a new SCIMITAR PRO RGB gaming mouse. This builds on success of the CORSAIR SCIMITAR RGB by adding a new native 16,000 DPI PMW3367 sensor developed with PIXART and onboard profile storage. A defining feature of the SCIMITAR mice from Corsair is the panel of twelve mechanical side macro buttons, which can be slid up to 8 mm to put them where you want them. With the onboard memory, the macros you set in the CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) can go with you to use on any system, as can the RGB lighting settings you select. You can also finely adjust the sensor's DPI to fit your preference from CUE. It is available immediately in both yellow and black finishes.

 

 

Also announced today is the K95 RGB Platinum mechanical keyboard. It has an aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame and uses Cherry MX switches, with your chase of the RGB Speed switch, for high-speed, low-travel action or the tactile RGB Brown switch. On the left side of the keyboard are six dedicated macro keys that also have a special texture, to stand out from the others. With 8 MB of onboard memory, the macros you assign in CUE can go with you as can the multi-layer lighting profiles, so you can game as you wish, where you wish without the need of special software. The keyboard supports both per-key RGB lighting but also a new LightEdge, a 19-zone light bar that can be lit separately or with the rest of the keyboard. There is also a USB pass-through, detachable dual-sided soft-touch wrist rest, media control keys, and it comes with replacement textured keycaps for you to use in your favorite FPS and MOBA games. The K95 RGB Platinum will be available later this month in both black and gunmetal finishes.

 

 

Next we have new HX and TX-M series PSUs. The new HX PSUs offer 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, which means 94% efficient operation. They also have a 135 mm cooling fan and Zero RPM mode to keep it quiet and cool, and are fully modular. The TX-M series achieves 80 Plus Gold efficiency and is semi-modular. Both series of PSUs are available immediately.

Finally the company has announced the Bulldog 2.0 case, which keeps the look and small form factor of the original case, but has been upgraded to come with the latest MSI Intel Z270 mini-ITX motherboard, so you can overclock the new 7th Intel CPUs. The case also includes the new, low-profile H6SF liquid CPU cooler, SF600 SFX PSU, and two low-noise 92 mm PWM cooling fans from Corsair's ML Series. It is available immediately

Corsair (SCIMITAR PRO RGB), (K95 RGB Platinum), and (PSUs and Bulldog 2.0)


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DEEPCOOL Shows Off Several New Products at CES

Posted: January 5, 2017 @ time: 05:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

DEEPCOOL is using CES as an introduction for four new computer cases and multiple cooling products. The four cases are the Quadstellar, New Ark 90, Earlkase Liquid, and Baronkase Liquid. The Quadstellar is split into four separate compartments for the graphics card, motherboard, power supply, and hard drives to provide for excellent cooling performance. An automatic air intake system helps to further improve performance through intelligent temperature sensors. The New Ark 90 has tempered glass top and side panels and a preinstalled Captain 280EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Earlkase Liquid has a tempered glass side panel with integrated RGB lighting and a preinstalled Captain 140EX AIO liquid cooling system. The Baronkase Liquid has similar features to the Earlkase in a slightly smaller frame with a preinstalled Captain 120EX AIO liquid cooling system.

The MF120GT case fan is built with a "specially optimized aluminum alloy" to provide "excellent vibration damping capability." The fan incorporates RGB lighting and can vary RPM from 500-2200. The MF120 has the same features as the MF120GT with the exception of using a frameless design. Both fans allow for lighting control through an app. The Captain 120EX RGB and Captain 240EX RGB retain all of the features of the non-RGB versions, with the addition of a variable RGB lighting system, providing pump and LED strip lighting.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, January 6, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 6, 2017 @ time: 07:39AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with a couple of items for you to check out before the weekend kicks off. We have a look at the AMD Vega GPU Architecture, which provides some ideas of what we can expect from the memory side of things when the new products officially arrive. Our other item is a look at some of the best case mods seen during the course of 2016, with a little bit of everything represented in this selection.

Video Cards
AMD Vega GPU Architecture Preview: Redesigned Memory Architecture @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
The Best Case Mods of 2016 @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


HDMI 2.1 Spec Announced

Posted: January 6, 2017 @ time: 10:10AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before any of the advanced technologies we use today could enter consumer products, their specifications had to be set first, and in many cases these specs have been improved and updated over time, adding new features and capabilities. The High Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI is no exception to this and version 2.1 of the spec has been announced with a number of forward-looking goodies.

First up of these new features is support for 8K resolutions at 60 Hz and 4K and 120 Hz, so viewers can enjoy both great detail and smooth action. There is also support for Dynamic HDR, which means that in addition to support more values for color, contrast, and brightness, these values can change from scene to scene, or even frame to frame, if the image calls for it. All of these features so far require a lot of information, so HDMI 2.1 also has a new 48 Gbps cable for uncompressed data transmission. The spec maintains backwards compatibility with previous versions though, so those cables can be used with older devices and an HDMI 2.1 port may still work with older cables as well, but likely not with all of the features enabled.

Two more features coming with HDMI 2.1 is eARC support and Game Mode VRR. With eARC advanced audio formats can be used, including object-based audio which allows sounds to be placed in a virtual space and then recreated by the appropriate speakers, instead of relying on fixed audio channels requiring properly placed speakers. Game Mode VRR allows variable refresh rates to be used, reducing lag, stutter, and frame tearing like what PC gamers can enjoy with FreeSync and G-Sync, with the appropriate hardware.

The HDMI 2.1 spec should be released early Q2 2017 and all HDMI 2.0 Adopters will be notified when this happens, so they can start finding ways to add it to devices.

Source: HDMI


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AMD Shows Off Some Aspects of Vega GPUs at CES 2017

Posted: January 6, 2017 @ time: 10:40AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Yesterday AMD showed off some more information about its upcoming Vega GPU architecture. While many were hoping for a paper launch or something telling us when we will get our hands on it, there was still some interesting information presented. Some of the information was already known from previous announcements, such as the use of HBM2 and its speeds, and from leaks, like the improvements to the compute engines, but there is feature one I at least do not recall coming up before and it has to do with the cache.

I am not an expert in how graphics cards work but part of their operation involves loading the various graphical assets of a game into the local VRAM, so the GPU can rapidly call on it for one purpose or another. The results of this processing, such as the finished frame, will then be stored in the VRAM. Vega will change this up some by apparently abstracting this cache system using the High-Bandwidth Controller, as AMD calls it. This controller can use the local High Bandwidth Cache, like HBM2 or possibly GDDR5 if that is present, but it can also use system RAM, non-volatile RAM such as SSDs, and based on what it shows in the video, even network storage. That last location I am guessing is more for professional compute applications than gamers, but it is still stated that Vega will have the capability to work with assets that are streamed in directly from these other caches, without having to wait for it to be placed in the local cache. In total the controller can build a 512 TB virtual address space it can pull from, which is a lot to manage, especially with different memory technologies having different speeds and latencies. Selecting where information is stored, in the local cache or in another location, can also be decided automatically instead of putting on the developers to decide. We will have to wait for reviews to see how well this performs.

Along with this new approach to the cache/memory system, Vega will also use a new geometry pipeline, enabling more than double throughput per clock, and a new computer engine that supports higher clock speeds and has a better IPC than previous AMD GPUs. Vega is still expected to launch H1 2017.

 

 

Source: Ve.ga


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Steam Beta Adds More Controller Support

Posted: January 6, 2017 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Stepping back from CES 2017 news for a bit, earlier this year Valve revealed they were adding support for the PlayStation 4 controller to the Steam Controller Configurator. This means that the same API used to interface with and customize the Steam Controller could be used with the PS4 controller, easing PC support issues for the device. At the time Valve did say other controllers would also be added and now they have in the latest Steam Beta client. Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Generic X-Input controllers are supported now, but it is a beta, so if you give it a try, remember there is no guarantee everything is going to work perfectly. For example, because X-Input lacks a means to uniquely identify controllers, all of these controllers will share personalization and configuration settings. This means Xbox 360/One/Generic controller configuration will all be seen together when browsing, but automatic conversion will be attempted when loading these configurations.

Having a USB Xbox 360 controller, I have switched to the beta client and plugged it in to give it a try. It took a little time for the controller to be added and the configurations converted, but once that I was done it worked exactly as I would have hoped. I put together a custom configuration for my Steam Controller in Rocket League, so I launched that to have a look and the configuration was almost perfectly translated to the 360 controller. (It only lacked having the individual buttons of the D-pad mapped properly, but that is not a big deal and easily corrected.) I entered the free-play training map and was driving around using the 360 controller without issue, using my previously created configuration.

This is not all as additional support for third party PS4 controllers has also been added, so some HORI, MadCatz, Armor pads and flight sticks should now work with the controller API.

Source: Steam Client Beta Group


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Thermaltake Announces New Gaming Headset and Tempered Glass Cases

Posted: January 6, 2017 @ time: 11:52AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Thermaltake has apparently been busy preparing for CES 2017 as it has announced even more products. First up of this latest batch I have here is the new CRONOS Riing RGB 7.1 Gaming Headset under its Tt eSPORTS brand. As you can guess from the name, this headset supports 7.1 virtual surround sound and uses RGB illumination to provide 16.8 million colors. The headset has two light zones and users can select from eight different lighting effects, which are shown in the video below. Delivering the sound are 50 mm oversized neodymium drivers that have been tilted to better aim the sound at your ears. The internal digital sound tech allows the user to enjoy 96 KHz/24-bit audio to provide clear sounds while you play your favorite games. The headset uses new software for managing its capabilities but also has an in-line control for easy access to some of these options. The ear cushions are also 25 mm thick for your comfort. The CRONOS Riing RGB 7.1 Gaming Headset has an MSRP of $84.99.

 

 

Next up we have the new View 31 TG and View 31 TG RGB tempered glasses ATX cases. Naturally the difference between these is the inclusion of three Riing 14 RGB LED fans with the TG RGB case, while the plain TG case only comes with two Riing 14 Blue LED fans. Both cases feature a fully modular, tool-free design with fine fan filters at the top and bottom to keep out dust and support for liquid cooling solutions.

 

 

If you are looking for something smaller, Thermaltake has added to its Core P series of miniITX cases with the Core P1 TG. It is also a tempered-glass case like those above, but in the compact miniITX form factor. It is actually small enough that the case can be mounted to the wall, if that is how you want to show off your hardware behind the 5 mm thick tempered glass panel. You can also place it vertically or horizontally, if that is your preference. Despite being small though, it supports AIO and DIY liquid cooling solutions and has room for a single 280 mm radiator and two 120 mm or 140 mm fans on the side. You can even 3D print liquid cooling components for the case, if you are interested in doing so. The case has an open frame design, so you can build it up as you wish, with the modular panels, racks, and brackets available to you. It has 1+3 drive trays that can be hidden in the back panel and a special design bracket, with a riser cable, if you want change the orientation of your GPU.

Source: Tt eSPORTS (Cronos Riing RGB 7.1 Headset), Thermaltake (View 31 TG ATX cases) and Thermaltake (Core P1 TG miniITX Case)


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 9, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 9, 2017 @ time: 07:40AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with several items to check out as the week begins. We have a look at the upcoming AMD AM4 chipsets and motherboards, including just what we can expect when the new parts become available. There's a review of the AKRacing Overture Gaming Chair, an extremely comfortable chair that would be right at home in your car, but prefers to help you at your desk. We wrap things up with an article taking a look at the best of CES 2017, and another that looks at the 10 most anticipated PC games of 2017.

Motherboards
AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
AKRacing Overture Gaming Chair @ Madshrimps
TechSpot Best of CES 2017 @ TechSpot
The 10 Most Anticipated PC Games of 2017 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Room-Scale Wireless Charging Could Be Coming

Posted: January 9, 2017 @ time: 01:10PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With so many of the devices we use every day being powered by batteries, it is very important to keep them all charged. Typically this involves finding a cable and then keeping the device tethered to it and the wall, which is one of the reasons wireless charging has become popular, but the technology used has limited range. Researchers at Duke University, the University of Washing, and Intellectual Ventures' Invention Science Fund have come up with a new solution though that could charge devices up to 10 meters away.

Currently wireless charging technology uses magnetic fields to induce a current, but this can require large coils and the range of the magnetic field is limited. The new solution is to use focused microwave beams to transmit the energy across a room. This would normally involve using an antenna dish and aiming it at the target devices, but that is hardly ideal, so instead the researchers propose using a phased array, which is collection of small antennas that can all be adjusted and tuned independently, allowing the signal produced by the array to be directed. That converts the dish into a flat antenna, but this is still not an ideal solution because of their cost and amount of energy used, so the researchers have turned to metamaterials. These synthetic materials allow the microwave wave front to be controlled, aiming the beams exactly where you want them, and the best part is this technology already exists.

Actually, all of this technology already exists and is already being used in other applications, and the antennas could be produced at the same plants LCD televisions are manufactured. According to the calculations involved, one of these antennas about the size of a typical flat-screen TV could focus microwaves down to about the size of a cellphone within a 10 m distance. However, while this technology exists today there is still more work to be done before a consumer device could be made. For one thing, the charging system needs to be able to identify when a person or pet crosses the microwave beam, shutting it off. This and the other challenges that remain can be overcome though, so it is more a question of when then if.

Source: Duke University


Complete Story


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Expected Early March

Posted: January 9, 2017 @ time: 04:57PM
Author: CheeseMan42

According to an NVIDIA board partner, the next iteration of the GeForce GTX 1080, the GTX 1080 Ti, will be officially revealed around the time of PAX East, which occurs from March 10-12. The delay in the announcement appears to be related to the expected June reveal of AMD Vega, as NVIDIA has no reason to further upgrade its offerings with no real competition. It is also expected that all NVIDIA AIB partners will have an offering from the get go, giving users the chance to pick from their favorite manufacturer. Rumored specifications for the GTX 1080 Ti include a GP102 GPU core, 10GB GDDR5X, and a power draw of 250W. It will boast more transistors and CUDA cores than the GTX 1080, but will likely fall short of the GTX TITAN-X.

Source: WCCF Tech


Complete Story


Razer Prototypes Stolen From CES Booth

Posted: January 9, 2017 @ time: 05:36PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan revealed in a post on his personal Facebook page that two prototypes of the Project Valeria three screen laptop were stolen from the company booth at CES at around 4PM on Sunday. Tan added that all of the necessary forms were filed and the company is offering a $25,000 reward for "original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect." While it is possible that the thieves just wanted to get their hands on the latest technology, Tan is open to the possibility of industrial espionage. Tan added that the latter possibility "is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart."

Source: Min-Liang Tan Facebook via PC Magazine


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 10, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: bp9801

The week keeps rolling along, with a couple of items for you today. There's a preview of the upcoming ASUS Prime Z270-A motherboard, one of the company's initial offerings for the Kaby Lake processors, to see just what kind of features it has for its rather competitive price. Our other item for the day is a review on the Samsung 960 PRO NVMe SSD, a small yet blistering fast model to give your system a boost to speed and capacity.

Motherboards
ASUS Prime Z270-A Launch Preview @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Samsung 960 PRO NVMe SSD @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Cooling Nano-Chimneys Made of Graphene and Nanotubes

Posted: January 10, 2017 @ time: 01:51PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The ability to quickly move the heat generated by integrated circuits cannot be overvalued as too much heat can cause critical errors. Two materials that could be very useful in getting heat away from circuits are graphene and carbon nanotubes, but combining them to any great effect has proven difficult thus far. Researchers at Rice University though appear to have solved the problem by creating nano-chimneys.

Both graphene and nanotubes are made of pure carbon and consist of hexagonal rings, like chicken wire, and both are able to transmit heat very quickly. Combining these materials stunts that transmission though, with pillared graphene being 20% less conductive than free-standing nanotubes. This is because when the nanotubes are grown from graphene, heptagonal, seven-member rings form to connect the two structures. These rings, however, scatter phonons carrying thermal energy, preventing the heat from escaping. What the researchers discovered is that by selectively removing atoms from the graphene base a cone will be formed to connect the graphene and nanotubes, and these cones allow the heat to move up the nanotubes and away from the graphene. The cones do not reduce the number of heptagons but make them sparser, leaving paths for the phonons to take.

The researchers simulated nano-chimneys with cone radii of 2 nm and 4 nm to compare them to free-standing nanotubes and pillared graphene. The 2 nm-base chimneys were as conductive as the free-standing nanotubes while the 4 nm-base chimneys were 20% more conductive, which indicates there is a mechanism to tune the conductivity of these structures.

Source: Rice University


Complete Story


Microsoft Cancels Scalebound

Posted: January 10, 2017 @ time: 04:48PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Scalebound is "an action-RPG featuring dragons and online co-op," for the Xbox One and PC and seemed to be a big hit at E3 this past year. Unfortunately, Microsoft has decided to cancel the game after several years in development. A Microsoft spokesperson addressed the issue stating, "After careful deliberation, Microsoft Studios has come to the decision to end production for Scalebound. We’re working hard to deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year, including Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and other great experiences." The news seems like a bummer for anyone that was looking forward to the game, but hopefully the increased focus on other games will turn into a net positive in the end for gamers.

Source: Gamespot


Complete Story


AMD Possibly Launching Ryzen CPUs Before or During GDC

Posted: January 11, 2017 @ time: 12:20PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This technically counts as a rumor currently, but it is possible AMD accidently let slip a release window for the upcoming Ryzen CPUs. Starting February 27 and going to March 3 is this year's Game Developer Conference (GDC) and naturally the event schedule is being put up online for attendees to make plans. One of the session being held at GDC is labeled "Optimizing for AMD Ryzen CPU," and in its original description it said "Join AMD Game Engineering team members for an introduction to the recently-launched AMD Ryzen CPU…" The description has since been revised if you look at the GDC webpage, but not before several people noticed and took screenshots of the original text.

If we assume the original version of the description was posted in error, but was not itself incorrect, that means we can expect the new line of CPUs to launch by the end of February, assuming they do not launch during GDC. If this leak is incorrect, then the latest information I have seen still is that Ryzen is still on schedule for a Q1 release, so we do not have too long to wait, either way.

Source: AnandTech


Complete Story


Cooler Master Announces Community Platform for Modders

Posted: January 11, 2017 @ time: 04:28PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced MASTERBUILD, "a new PC building community platform," designed to "discover, share and collaborate with PC builders and Modders from around the world." The available content will appeal to all skill levels, ranging from picture galleries of other users' builds to modding articles and tutorials to help you with your own builds. Users can share their content either through the MASTERBUILD site or by tagging social media posts using #MASTERBUILD. Cooler Master plans to hold regular campaigns, contests, and promotions to interact with and encourage users.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday, January 12, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 12, 2017 @ time: 07:53AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, but not before there are some items for you to check out. We have a review of the XFX RX 480 8GB Hard Swap XXX video card, which features swappable LED fans and possibly better performance now than when it launched, thanks to the drivers. There's a look at the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon, an affordable solution that packs in a ton of features for the price. If you're after a new CPU cooler, maybe the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Maker 92, with its small size yet impressive performance, is for you. For those needing a new mouse, perhaps the Corsair Scimitar PRO RGB Optical MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse, with its array of buttons and RGB lighting, is the one you're after. Wrapping things up is a look at the successful NES Classic Edition and what Nintendo should do for an SNES version.

Video Cards
XFX RX 480 8GB Hard Swap XXX @ LanOC Reviews

Motherboards
MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon @ Neoseeker

CPU Cooling
Cooler Master MasterLiquid Maker 92 @ PC Perspective

Mice/Keyboards
Corsair Scimitar PRO RGB Optical MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Gaming
The NES Classic was my favorite holiday gift. Now here's what Nintendo should improve for the SNES version @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Ghost Recon Wildlands Getting 30-Minute Live-Action Promotional Video

Posted: January 12, 2017 @ time: 11:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ubisoft is working with Amazon, Twitch, and Legion of Creatives, it has been announced, to create a 30-minute, live-action promotional video set in the world of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. This video is titled War Within The Cartel and looks at the Santa Blanca cartel after an attack on its compound. The cartel leadership responds by seeking out the traitor to exact their revenge and at the end of the story will be the events that lead to the Ghosts being called in, thus the beginning of the game.

War Within The Cartel is scheduled to premiere on February 16 by streaming on Ubisoft's Twitch channel but for anyone who misses it, it will also be up on Amazon Prime Video following the stream. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands is scheduled to release on March 7 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, and if you want there will be an Amazon-exclusive Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within The Cartel bundle that includes a Steelbook featuring artwork by Ken Taylor, the Gold Edition of the game, and a 10.5 inch Santa Muerte figurine.

 

 

Source: UbiBlog


Complete Story


Stolen Razer Laptops for Sale in China

Posted: January 12, 2017 @ time: 04:46PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan reported earlier this week that two of its Project Valerie prototype three screen laptops were stolen from its CES booth. The good news is that they appear to have been found, but the bad news is that they are currently for sale in China for the low price of $21,733. Razer was offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to criminal charges, but the fact that the laptops are in China make it seem unlikely that any charges might be brought against the offender. At least the company can save a bit of money if it instead chose to buy the laptops back from the thieves.

Source: WCCF Tech


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday, January 13, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 13, 2017 @ time: 07:51AM
Author: bp9801

Friday the 13th is here, but we just have a couple of items without any frights for you today. Our first article takes a look at the different case mods and builds seend during the recent CES 2017 event, with some real lookers on the show floor. The other article looks at the different team communication apps available and exactly what you get for free as opposed to paying.

Miscellany
The Case Mods and Builds of CES 2017 @ ThinkComputers
Comparing Team Communication Apps: What Do You Get for Free? @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 16, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 16, 2017 @ time: 07:46AM
Author: bp9801

A new week begins, with a few items to check out today. There's a review of the XFX RX 460 4GB Slim, a single slot video card that doesn't require an extra power connector to get some added oomph to your games. If you want a switch to some fast storage on the go, then the KingFast P600 120GB Portable SSD just might do the trick. We end things for today with the Cooler Master MasterNotepal Maker Cooling Pad review, which explores all the different elements of this laptop cooling pad.

Video Cards
XFX RX 460 4GB Slim @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
KingFast P600 120GB Portable SSD @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Cooler Master MasterNotepal Maker Cooling Pad @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Arrest Warrant Sought for Samsung Vice Chairman

Posted: January 16, 2017 @ time: 09:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For those of you not aware, South Korea is in the middle of a large political corruption scandal that has led to the impeachment of the country's president. Now it appears Samsung is involved in this scandal, as prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for the Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jar-yong. The alleged connection between the company and the scandal relates to a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015, which strengthened Lee's position in the company. Supposedly Lee and Samsung attempted to bribe a confidante of the South Korean president to secure government support for the merger by giving millions to certain organizations. Also the former National Pension Service chief Moon Hyung-pyo has been accused of pressuring the pension fund to support the merger, and it is a major shareholder in one of the Samsung affiliates.

Samsung disputes the allegations, stating that it "did not make contributions in order to receive favors."

Source: CNN


Complete Story


Microsoft to Cease Security Bulletins Next Month

Posted: January 16, 2017 @ time: 04:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Microsoft has been issuing security bulletins detailing patches and vulnerabilities for 20 years, a practice the company plans to end next month. Users won't be left entirely out in the cold as the company is merely switching its procedure to a searchable database that will provide the same information as the security bulletins. A preview of the database has been operational since November, when the decision to move away from bulletins was first announced. Microsoft described the motivation to make the switch, stating "Our customers have asked for better access to update information, as well as easier ways to customize their view to serve a diverse set of needs."

Source: Computer World


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, January 17, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 17, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, with several items to help you get through the day. We have a review on the SeaSonic PRIME Titanium Series power supplies to see if the review from last year still holds up when compared with recent models. If you're after some new fans for your video card, maybe the XFX Hard Swap LED Fans will do the trick. There's an article covering how you can remotely sign out of Gmail across multiple devices to help protect your identity, while another article examines the venerable Intel Q6600 to see how it stacks up after all these years.

CPUs
A Decade Later: Does the Q6600 Still Have Game in 2017? @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
SeaSonic PRIME Titanium Series @ PC Perspective

Cooling
XFX Hard Swap LED Fans @ LanOC Reviews

Miscellany
How to Remotely Sign Out of Gmail on Multiple Devices @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Oculus-ZeniMax Lawsuit Heating Up and Zuckerberg to Testify

Posted: January 17, 2017 @ time: 01:33PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A lot of lawsuits come and go without most people hearing about them, but the current one between ZeniMax and Oculus has recently had good reason to pop up on news sites. The lawsuit alleges that when John Carmack left Id Software, which is owned by ZeniMax Media (as is Bethesda Softworks) he brought with him technology and computer code owned by ZeniMax that Oculus then used. The reason this news may be popping up again is that ZeniMax is now claiming Oculus has destroyed evidence to cover-up their wrongdoing and because Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook which now owns Oculus, is to testify.

In Carmack's testimony he stated there were talks in which ZeniMax was originally going to share this code with Oculus, but these negotiations broke down over how much ownership stake ZeniMax would get in Oculus. Following this Carmack was told to stop working on VR, which is what eventually led to him leaving for Oculus. Once there, Carmack says he rewrote the code used in the Oculus and Gear VR headsets from scratch.

ZeniMax wants to get $2 billion in damages, which happens to match the amount Facebook paid for Oculus when it purchased the company in 2014.

Source: Ars Technica


Complete Story


Raspberry Pi Upgrades Compute Module

Posted: January 17, 2017 @ time: 05:26PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has upgraded the CM3 Compute Module, a device "designed for embedded computing and industrial users wanting to produce customized products powered by the microprocessor." The CM3 is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 with a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Users will be able to choose from two models, one with 4GB eMMC onboard storage and one that requires the user to add their own storage. It has the same pin layout as the previous Compute Module and allows users to easily port programs that run on the Raspberry Pi 3. The CM3 with included storage has an MSRP of $30 while the version without storage costs $25.

Source: Tech Crunch


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 18, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week has arrived, along with several items for you to check out. There's a look at the Corsair Scimitar Pro Gaming Mouse, which features high DPI, customizable RGB lighting, and a number pad on the side for any number of commands for your games. If you're instead after some audio bliss, then maybe the ROCCAT Cross Multi-platform Over-ear Stero Gaming Headset is for you, especially since it has two different cables for use with game consoles, mobile devices, or computers. There's an article covering the benefits to so many RGB devices coming out and what it means for us as consumers. Another article explains how you can master searching in Gmail.

Mice/Keyboards
Corsair Scimitar Pro Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
ROCCAT Cross Multi-platform Over-ear Stero Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Sick of hearing about RGB, here’s an article about RGB @ LanOC Reviews
Mastering Gmail Search @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Micro Machines World Series Announced by Codemasters and Deep Silver

Posted: January 19, 2017 @ time: 10:30AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Do you remember the Micro Machines games that let the player drive around household settings? Well, it is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in April with the release of Micro Machines World Series. The game is meant to retain the social and manic gameplay that made originals classics to many, while upgrading the familiar locations for this HD world. It will have the classic Race and Elimination game modes and will also add new Battle Arenas, where you will be tasked with wreaking destruction, and Team Play that requires leveraging the vehicles' skills in Capture the Flag and King of the Hill challenges.

When Micro Machines World Series launches in April it will support up to 12 players online and four plays on the same screen. Thanks to the support of Hasbro, brands such as Hungry Hungry Hippos, G.I. Joe, Ouija, and Nerf will be also represented, but at launch players will have access to a massive range of customization options. The 12 vehicles also have their own unique load-out of weapons and abilities to play around with.

 

 

Source: Codemasters


Complete Story


Blizzard Teasing Year of the Rooster Event for Overwatch

Posted: January 19, 2017 @ time: 04:32PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Winter Wonderland event recently ended in Overwatch, the team-based FPS from Blizzard, and the company is now teasing the next event, Year of the Rooster, on its Twitter accounts. The event starts on January 24, just four days ahead of Chinese New Year on January 28. The only thing known at the moment is that Mei and D.Va will be getting new skins to match the event, but if previous events are any indication, we can expect more skins, a new map, and even a new game mode.

Source: Polygon


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Friday, January 20, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 20, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with a couple of items to help kick the weekend off. There's a look at the SuperMicro C7Z270-CG Z270 motherboard, a new model that just might help you hit a higher overclock on your CPU, while also looking quite good in your case. Our other item for the day is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Motherboards
SuperMicro C7Z270-CG Z270 @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Podcast #433 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 23, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 23, 2017 @ time: 07:49AM
Author: bp9801

The final full week of January is upon us, with several items to kick things off. There's a look at the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum mechanical keyboard, which has a macro key section and a new RGB light bar for a unique look. If you're after a new mouse, then maybe the Fnatic Gear Clutch G1, with its 5000 CPI optical sensor and no frills approach, is the one for you. For those needing storage, the TerraMaster F2-220 2-Bay NAS gets reviewed to see if it will find a home in yours. We have a review of the Meizu Pro 6 Plus smartphone, a flagship model that doesn't pack a flagship price. We wrap things up with a look at some of the smartphones available to see what is the best fit, and another article that provides some insight into Gmail keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum @ LanOC Reviews
Fnatic Gear Clutch G1 @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
TerraMaster F2-220 2-Bay NAS @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Meizu Pro 6 Plus @ TechSpot
The Ideal Smartphone for 2017 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Getting Started with Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Apple Suing Qualcomm Seeking $1 Billion

Posted: January 23, 2017 @ time: 11:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On Saturday Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming it has been charging royalties for technologies the company does not have a connection to and is seeking $1 billion. This follows the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming unfair patent licensing practices and back in December Korean regulators fined the company $854 million for unfair trade practices.

According to Apple it pays Qualcomm five times more than it pays all the other cellular patent licensors it has agreements with combined. Qualcomm is one of the many companies that developed basic cellular standards and many other technologies. Apple is also claiming that Qualcomm is withholding almost $1 billion as retaliation for Apple answering questions in the Korean investigation.

Qualcomm's has not finished reviewing the complaint, but feels Apple's claims are baseless and that it has "intentionally mischaracterized" the agreements, negotiations, and the value of Qualcomm's inventions. The company even says it welcomes these claims being heard in court, where Apple's practices will be up for robust examination as well.

Source: CNBC


Complete Story


Hyptothermia Holding Xbox One S Giveaway

Posted: January 23, 2017 @ time: 04:56PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Tech news and review site Hypothermia is holding an Xbox One S giveaway until January 27, with the prize being a 500GB version of the console. Entry is as simple as sending an email as the site believes users "shouldn't have to jump through a bunch of hoops to have the chance to win something." The site is also planning future weekly giveaways for prizes including a Call of Duty Black Ops 3 PS4 bundle, CPU/motherboard combos, and a "Killer Gaming Rig." Head to the site for full details.

Source: Hypothermia


Complete Story


NVIDIA Volta Rumored to Release This Year

Posted: January 23, 2017 @ time: 05:07PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest rumors are pointing to a 2017 release for the next generation of NVIDIA GPUs, Volta, built by Taiwan Semiconductor using the 12nm FinFET manufacturing process. The new GPUs are seen as a replacement for Pascal in the "GPGPU supercomputing, machine learning and artificial intelligence spaces." It is believed that it will take until 2018 for consumers to get their hands on Volta for applications like gaming. NVIDIA is expected to release a refresh of the GTX 20 Pascal GPUs at some point this year to hold users over until it brings Volta to consumers.

Source: WCCF Tech


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Edition

Posted: January 24, 2017 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with a few items along the way. We have a review on the Lian Li PC-K6S case, a silent model that can hold plenty of hard drives while giving you a stylish exterior. There's a look at the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Keyboard, which has improved lighting and quick actuation on its keys. We end things with another keyboard, as the Cougar ATTACK X3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, with Cherry MX RGB switches and light weight, gets put to the test.

Cases
Lian Li PC-K6S @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Keyboard @ TechSpot
Cougar ATTACK X3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Metamaterial Design Allows Hardness to Change

Posted: January 24, 2017 @ time: 01:48PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For natural materials, their characteristics typically cannot be changed after being produced, so hard materials will remain hard and soft materials will remain soft. Metamaterials, however, are materials designed with special structures that can allow them to possess properties not possible in Nature, such as a negative index of refraction, which can allow for invisibility cloaks. In this case though, researchers at the University of Michigan have designed a metamaterial that can transition between hard and soft states.

When an object comes in contact with the metamaterial's surface it can change its structure, altering how the edge reacts to stress. The properties of the metamaterial are topologically protected as well, so the inside bulk of the material will not be damaged despite repeated transitions between the hard and soft states.

Possible applications for such a metamaterials include cars and reusable rockets. In a car the material could shift from a stiff state for supporting loads to a soft state that can absorb the energy of a crash. Reusable rockets could be made more damage-resistant as well and bicycle tires could self-adjust depending on the terrain.

Source: University of Michigan


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