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News Archives for February 2017

Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 1, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 1, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

February has arrived, with the first month of the new year in the books. We have a few items to kick off the month, starting with a review of the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 and Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 motherboards, giving us a take on two different styles to fit whatever you're building. There's a review on the Micron 5100 MAX 960GB and the ECO 1920GB Enterprise SSDs, with plenty of space for your system. We wrap up with the second part of a build log that looks at most of the major components.

Motherboards
ASRock Z270 Extreme4 and Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
Micron 5100 MAX 960GB and the ECO 1920GB Enterprise SSD @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Project Build: Crush – Part 2 @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Madden NFL 17 Predicts New England Patriots Victory in Super Bowl LI

Posted: February 1, 2017 @ time: 11:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today the Madden NFL 17 prediction for Super Bowl LI has been released and it says the New England Patriots will defeat the Atlanta Falcons with a score of 27-24. The details of the game can be read at the source, and if it turns out to be true, this should be a very entertaining game as initially Atlanta's offense will be dominate but in the second half New England will start exploiting a weakness in their opponent's defense. With four minutes left in the game, Atlanta had a 24-20 lead, but then Tom Brady was able to get that need touchdown in the end, which you can see in the embedded video below.

Of course we will have to wait until Sunday to see how accurate this prediction ends up being, but the last time the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl it was especially correct. At that time it got the final score correct, that New England would overcome a 10-point deficit, and was within three yards of one player's final receiving yardage total.

 

 

Source: EA


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 2, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 2, 2017 @ time: 07:52AM
Author: bp9801

Groundhog Day is here, and if you need help staying warm after seeing your shadow, we have you covered. There's a look at the MSI Z270 XPower Titanium motherboard, which is a high end model perfect for gamers and extreme overclockers. If you desire a new mouse, perhaps the Corsair Scimitar PRO RGB Gaming Mouse is for you, especially since it has so many button options to control your games. Wrapping things up is a look at Gigabit LTE and what it would take to get mobile 5G.

Motherboards
MSI Z270 XPower Titanium @ Neoseeker

Mice/Keyboards
Corsair Scimitar PRO RGB Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Gigabit LTE - The Path to 5G with Qualcomm, Ericsson, Netgear and Telstra @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Galactic Civilization III Getting Crusade Expansion

Posted: February 2, 2017 @ time: 02:15PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Just last week Stardock released the v2.0 update for Galactic Civilization III and now today they are announcing the "biggest expansion pack" yet made for any of its games: Crusade. This expansion will bring with it an updated graphics engine and some highly requested features, including Interactive Planetary Invasions and Espionage. There will also be a new Citizens mechanic that will allow you to train scientists, engineers, soldiers, diplomats, and merchants.

Every several turns a player will get a citizen, but this is not like the normal population of your worlds. These citizens can be specialized to provide boosts to your civilization, to enhance a planet, or to be spies for manipulating your adversary through sabotage, theft, and assassination.

Another addition is the Civilization Builder, which will allow players to design their own civilization, including all of it ships, from the main menu. These ships can be your own custom design or come from those in the Steam Workshop. By leveraging this feature, players will be able to create the fantasy or sci-fi civilization they want.

Finally, Galactic Civilization III will be getting a new single-player campaign meant to introduce players to the new alien civilizations Crusade will bring with it, along with a story-driven narrative for why the "pink hominids of Sol 3" are not push-overs. Galactic Civilization III: Crusade should be releasing this Spring.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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For Honor Post-Launch Plans Revealed Including Season Pass

Posted: February 2, 2017 @ time: 02:48PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In one week the For Honor open beta will be starting and shortly after it will release, so naturally we are getting more information about the game. Today details about the game's post-launch plans have been revealed, including what the Season Pass will include. For those of you who purchase the pass, you will be getting six new heroes, with six elite outfits, and have access to these heroes a week before other players. You will also get the Day One War Pack on release-day which has an exclusive sunbeam effect on emotes for all heroes, three exclusive emblem outlines, three scavenger crates, and 30 days of Champion Status that boost XP to friends, gives more XP from crafting, and more end-match loot.

There is also going to be free content for everyone to enjoy, including new maps, modes, and gear. This content will release every three months, in alignment with the new seasons for the Faction Wars. The hero releases will be released in pairs on this same schedule, and some of this content will come to Season Pass holders first.

For Honor releases for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on February 14.

Source: Ubisoft


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Noctua Announces Three Coolers for AMD Ryzen

Posted: February 2, 2017 @ time: 05:04PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Noctua has announced a trio of special edition coolers designed for the newest AMD Ryzen architecture. The three coolers are designed with different applications in mind. The NH-L9x65 targets compact systems, the NH-U12S provides an "excellent balance of performance and compatibility," and the NH-D15 "provides maximum cooling performance for overclockers and silent enthusiasts." The NH-D15 is the largest of the three and the NH-L9x65 the smallest with the NH-U12S offering something in the middle. Included fans offer PWM with automatic speed control and Low-Noise Adaptors to provide quiet cooling. Noctua CEO Roland Mossig described the new coolers stating, "AMD’s Ryzen architecture promises exciting possibilities for various applications and the NH-D15, NH-U12S and NH-L9x65 are some of our most popular models, so it was a natural choice to create dedicated special editions for the new platform." The NH-L9x65 has an MSRP of $52.90, the NH-U12S has an MSRP of $64.90, and the NH-D15 will cost $99.90.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, February 3, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 3, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us, with a few items to help you welcome in the weekend. There is a review on the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1050 OC 2GB video card that has a mild factory overclock and a powerful cooler to keep things running during whatever game you're playing. We have a new case mod that celebrates 10 years of ASUS' ROG line with a custom case and paint job. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Video Cards
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1050 OC 2GB @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Project ASUS ROG 10th Anniversary @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #435 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


be quiet! Updates Entry Level Power Supplies With Pure Power 10

Posted: February 3, 2017 @ time: 12:23PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Pure Power series represents the entry level power supply offerings from German manufacturer be quiet! and the company has announced the latest addition to this line, the Pure Power 10. Ten models will be available ranging in capacity from 400W to 700W for cable-managed versions and 300W to 700W for fixed-cable versions. The Pure Power 10 includes DC-to-DC technology previously found in the Straight Power and Dark Power Pro offerings, "significantly improving voltage quality for 3.3V and 5V as well as crossload stability." Models above 400W are 80PLUS Silver certified for efficiency while models less than 300W are 80PLUS Bronze certified. The cable managed versions will range in price from $72-$115 and the fixed cable models will cost between $50 and $105.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 6, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 6, 2017 @ time: 07:55AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with the first full week of February ready to get under way. There's a review of the In Win 805 Infinity case, which takes the regular 805 model and adds an infinity mirror and RGB LED light strip for a truly unique look. We have a look at the Silicon Power S57 240GB TLC SSD, offering a boost to speed for mainstream users. If you want to be heard and keep using your preferred headphones, the Antlion Audio ModMic 5 is just what you might need. For those wanting to step up their chair game, the Arrozi Mezzo has you covered. Wrapping things up is a review of the Moto Z Battery Beast, a battery mod for the phone that offers some incredible battery life.

Cases
In Win 805 Infinity @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Silicon Power S57 240GB TLC SSD @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
Antlion Audio ModMic 5 @ LanOC Reviews

Mobile
Moto Z Battery Beast @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Arrozi Mezzo @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Ghost Recon Wildlands: War Within the Cartel Gets a Trailer

Posted: February 6, 2017 @ time: 01:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last month it was announced that Ubisoft was working with Amazon, Twitch, and Legion of Creatives to create a live-action promotional video set in the world of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands. Titled War Within the Cartel, the video will be streamed on Ubisoft's Twitch channel on February 16 and tells the story of a traitor within the Santa Blanca drug cartel, and how the cartel deals with them. Today it has gotten a trailer ahead of its release next week.

Ghost Recon Wildlands is set shortly after the events of War Within the Cartel and will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on March 7. If you miss the February 16 stream, War Within the Cartel will be put up on Amazon Prime Video for you to watch on demand.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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HyperX Announces Two Mechanical Gaming Keyboards

Posted: February 6, 2017 @ time: 04:40PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Kingston has announced the availability of a pair of new models for the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, with options for either Cherry MX Red or Brown switches. The two new options add to the already available HyperX Alloy with Cherry MX Blue switches. The keyboards are created with a "minimalistic, compact design that’s ideal for CS:GO and FPS gameplay," and includes a mesh travel pouch to make it even easier to take with you. The keys utilize red LED backlighting with six operating modes with anti-ghosting, full N-Key rollover, and a USB port to attach additional devices. Senior business manager Marcus Hermann described the addition of two new switch types, stating "Gamers who play FPS classics like CS:GO or Overwatch can now choose from a variety of Alloy FPS gaming keyboards including a linear switch, a tactile switch or something in between." The new Alloy keyboards are available immediately at an MSRP of $99.99.

Source: Press Release


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Lenovo Adds Android Based Yoga Book

Posted: February 6, 2017 @ time: 04:50PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Lenovo has added a new Android based Yoga Book, the A12, targeted at price conscious users with a starting MSRP of $299. Like other Yoga Books, the A12 can operate as a laptop or a tablet and utilizes a touch-based Halo keyboard that "will learn your typing habits as you use it." The A12 has a 12.2" screen with an Intel Atom x5, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It will be available on February 8 in gunmetal grey or rose gold color options.

Source: The Verge


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 7, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with several items along the way. We have a look at the Intel Pentium G4560, a budget processor that just might be the real winner of the Kaby Lake line. There's a preview of the upcoming NVIDIA Quadro cards, such as one with a GP100 core and 16GB of HBM2 memory. If you're after a small build, perhaps a mini-STX case might do the trick, such as one in the SilverStone VT01 case with the ECS H110S-2P motherboard. We end things with a look at 20 of the worst PC setups seen during January.

CPUs
Intel Pentium G4560: Kaby Lake's Real Gift @ TechSpot

Motherboards
Mini-STX Build: ECS H110S-2P and SilverStone VT01 @ PC Perspective

Video Cards
New NVIDIA Quadro offerings include GP100 with 16GB HBM2 @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
20 of the Worst PC Setups – January 2017 @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Intel Atom C2000 CPUs Hit With Fatal Clock Flaw

Posted: February 7, 2017 @ time: 04:54PM
Author: CheeseMan42

There are a number of indications that the Intel Atom C2000 family of system-on-chips have the potential to brick devices that use the chips. Intel CFO Robert Swan indicated in the Q4 2016 earnings call that "a product issue limited profitability during the quarter, forcing the biz to set aside a pot of cash to deal with the problem." Intel updated the documentation for the C2000 family last month with a description of a clock flaw characterized by Intel as "a degradation of a circuit element under high use conditions at a rate higher than Intel’s quality goals after multiple years of service." Last week, Cisco warned that a number of its products sold prior to November 16, 2016 "contain a faulty clock component that is likely to fail at an accelerated rate after 18 months of operation," and the affected systems utilize the C2000 family. A number of other manufacturers also utilize the chips, so be on the lookout if any of your devices that contain an Atom C2000 start acting up or stop working entirely.

Source: The Register


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 8, 2017 @ time: 07:41AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week has arrived, with a couple of items along the way. There's a review of the Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L Gaming Mouse, which features swappable top and side covers for a custom fit and a 12,000 DPI optical sensor. We also have the third part of a build log, this time focusing on the power supply and cooling solution.

Mice/Keyboards
Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Project Build: Crush – Part 3 @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Cosmic Photons Used to Test Quantum Entanglement

Posted: February 8, 2017 @ time: 02:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Many of the concepts in quantum mechanics seem impossible, such as entanglement where particles can have their states strongly correlated despite being separated by any arbitrary distance, so there has naturally been a lot of skepticism about their accuracy. To determine if entanglement is the result of quantum mechanics or some other local correlation, physicist John Bell developed what is called Bell's inequality a half a century ago, which allows researchers to determine if quantum mechanics can explain a strong correlation or if a loophole is a better explanation. Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have recently conducted an experiment that goes to a literal cosmic-extreme to all-but remove the possibility of a loophole in a quantum entanglement measurement.

The loophole that was specifically targeted is the freedom-of-choice loophole, which states that an experiment may have a bias in its setup, and that bias is what creates a correlation. There are many parts to an experiment trying to measure quantum entanglement, from the source that emits a pair of photons to the detectors that measure their properties to determine if they are correlated. One solution that has been used before is to use a random number generator to determine what properties of the photons are measured, based on a number generated in the time between the photons being produced and the detectors making the measurement. This latest experiment replaced the random number generators at the detectors with telescopes that were aimed at a star some 600 light years away. The particular star was picked because it provides a consistent stream of photons that were produced those 600 years ago and have traveled through the void and dust of space on their way to Earth all of that time.

Comparing 600 years to the microseconds involved in the experiments using random number generators results in a reduction of some 16 orders of magnitude to the loophole still being in play.

Source: MIT


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MSI Adds Four Motherboards to ARCTIC GAMING Series

Posted: February 8, 2017 @ time: 04:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

MSI has announced the addition of the Z270 and H270 TOMAHAWK and H270M and B250M MORTAR to its ARCTIC GAMING line of motherboards. The two TOMAHAWK boards offer support for Twin Turbo M.2 SSDs with easy RAID setup using the M.2 GENIE tool, USB 3.1 with MSI X-Boost to increase performance up to 20%, and support for Intel Optane Memory technology. The MORTAR series packs some of the same features into a Micro-ATX form factor rather than a full size ATX. All four boards feature a white color scheme.

Source: Press Release


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Stardock Releases Expansion for Offworld Trading Company Crafted By Top-Tier Player

Posted: February 9, 2017 @ time: 11:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For a third week in a row, Stardock has announced major changes or additions to one of its titles, but this time Offworld Trading Company is the game, instead of Galactic Civilizations III. Offworld Trading Company is an unusual RTS that challenges the player to achieve economic dominance with their company and not military dominance, as we so often see from the genre. Today it has received the Blue Chip Ventures expansion that adds 17 single-player scenarios to test even the most veteran players.

The challenges in this expansion actually come from one of the game's top-tier players, Blues, who took inspiration from the game's Daily Challenges. Each scenario focuses on specific skills in the game, but some also require building on what you learned in the previous scenarios, if you want to win. The scenarios fall into three categories: Supply & Demand, where you will be monopolizing resources to stay ahead of your competition; Play Well with Others, where you will need to handle opponents and work well with a team; and Long-term Planning, which requires careful planning to turn a losing game around with debt strategies.

Blue Chip Ventures is available on Steam and through Stardock for $4.99.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Switching to NVIDIA Top Priority for Nintendo Switch

Posted: February 9, 2017 @ time: 04:43PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Nintendo technology head Genyo Takeda described the decision to switch to NVIDIA for the Nintendo Switch after using ATI graphics in its previous three systems as a "top priority." NVIDIA has been leading the market in PC graphics for some time, and Nintendo is hoping that it can replicate that success on the Switch. Takeda further elaborated on the decision, stating "The PC has been a major gaming device, especially outside of Japan, and my top priority in the development of the Nintendo Switch hardware was to bring NVIDIA?s GeForce, which has played a key role in realizing high-performance graphics for PC gaming, to our hardware with low power consumption." The Switch will be powered by a custom-made Tegra chip.

Source: Nintendo Today


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, February 10, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 10, 2017 @ time: 07:53AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us, with several items along the way to help welcome in the weekend. The ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming motherboard gets reviewed to see what this high-end STRIX model has to offer when pushed to the limit. If you're after a new keyboard and mouse, then maybe the Gamdias Hermes E1 and Demeter E2 combo is for you, which even adds in a NYX E1 mouse pad. For those desiring better audio bliss, the Tesoro Tuned In-Ear Pro Headphones get put to the test to hear if they're the ones for you. There's a review on the ECS Liva Z Mini-PC, which comes in a range of styles based on your desired use. We have an article explaining what Gigabit LTE really is, and another highlighting a case mod that took the Corsair Crystal 570X case and turned it into something even more impressive. Everything wraps up with a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Motherboards
ASUS STRIX Z270E Gaming @ LanOC Reviews

Mice/Keyboards
Gamdias Hermes E1 & Demeter E2 @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Tesoro Tuned In-Ear Pro Headphones @ Madshrimps

Prebuilts
ECS Liva Z Mini-PC @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Explainer: What is Gigabit LTE? @ TechSpot
Case Mod Friday: Project CrystaliZed 570X @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #436 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Steam Direct Replacing Greenlight

Posted: February 10, 2017 @ time: 01:37PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For those of you who enjoy looking for new games in the Greenlight section of Steam, Valve has announced it is going to be changing things up in Spring 2017. Greenlight will be going away and replaced with Steam Direct, a direct sign-up system to allow developers to put their games onto Steam, after taking care of some digital paperwork. This move is to make Steam more of a direct distribution system, which Greenlight was also meant to do, but did not quite make it to that goal. It did prove the success of the concept though, especially as there have been over 100 Greenlight titles to have made over $1 million, each. Without Greenlight, many of these likely would not have entered the old, curated Steam store. To keep the noise low with this new system, there is going to be a recoupable application fee for each title, but Valve has not settled on the amount yet. When asking various developers and studios some said $100 and others said $5000. With advantages and disadvantages at either end, Valve is continuing to gather feedback before deciding.

Source: Steam Community


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 13, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 13, 2017 @ time: 07:50AM
Author: bp9801

A new week dawns, with a few items along the way to kick it off. There's a look at the Razer Blade Stealth laptop, a small yet powerful model that just might be one to get. If you're after plenty of storage you can access anywhere, then the QNAP TS-1635 should be of interest, as this NAS has 16 bays for you to utilize. Wrapping things up is a look at a new method of monitoring and cooling a video card in the form of EVGA's iCX technology.

Laptops/Tablets
Razer Blade Stealth @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-1635 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
EVGA iCX Technology - Adding Thermal Sensors and Improved Cooling @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Researchers Image Atoms and Bonds Within Silicon

Posted: February 13, 2017 @ time: 12:45PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a rather extreme form of microscopy as it moves a probe with a single-atom tip over a surface to make measurements. The forces between materials cause the probe to be deflected by the atoms it moves over, and this deflection can be recorded and analyzed to visualize the sample with tremendous detail. Now researchers at the University of Alberta have applied AFM to study a silicon surface and to even fabricate patterns in the silicon.

While AFM has existed for quite some time now, it is not often used with silicon, and has never been used like this before because it can potentially damage the silicon, but the researchers decided to take the risk because of what success could offer. Eventually the researchers discovered ways to minimize these challenges, allowing them to move around individual silicon atoms. With this capability, atomically designed structures can be built, providing a new level of control over the electrons that will be flowing through them. The researchers were also able to use AFM to measure the electronic bonds between the silicon atoms, another first that allows new insight into how electrons behave as they travel across silicon structures.

The vision at least one of the researchers has is to see this work used to create ultra-fast and ultra-low-power silicon circuits that could potentially use ten thousand times less power than what is available today. It may take a while before we get there, but this step has now been made and it will not just be electronic computers that may benefit from this, but future quantum computers as well.

Source: EurekAlert!


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AMD Ryzen 3DMark Scores Compare Favorably to Intel Counterparts

Posted: February 13, 2017 @ time: 04:24PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The latest 3DMark benchmark leaks for the upcoming AMD Ryzen CPUs show that the chips can hold up against many of the latest Intel chips, despite being far cheaper. In the initial comparison, Videocardz compared the four, six, and eight core Ryzen models with numbers taken from Toms Hardware. The four core model held the lowest position on the chart with the six core just a few thousand points behind several Intel chips. The eight core model beat out all but the best Intel chips at a stock speed of 3.4 GHz, and fell just short of the Core i7 6950X when overclocked to 4.0 GHz. When compared to the official Futuremark score database, the overclocked eight core Ryzen beat the i7 6950X by about 500 points. On a per core basis, the eight core Ryzen outperforms the i7 6950X and the six and four core Ryzen perform even better. A number of Intel chips were able to convincingly beat the Ryzen chips on a per core basis, with the i7 7700K overclocked to 4.8 GHz reigning supreme. At a cost of $389 for the eight core Ryzen and $1700 for the i7 6950X, AMD can certainly offer a tremendous amount of bang for your buck.

Source: Videocardz via WCCF Tech


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Razer Blade Updates to Intel Kaby Lake

Posted: February 13, 2017 @ time: 04:35PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Razer Blade is a desktop replacement gaming laptop filled with the latest components to facilitate your gaming on the go. The current iteration of the laptop is powered by a 2.6 GHz Intel Skylake CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1060, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD storage, and a 14" 1080p screen at a cost of $1799. Razer is now offering an $1899 model that swaps out the CPU for a 2.8 GHz Kaby Lake CPU with plans for a 4K touchscreen variant later this year.

Source: The Verge


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 14, 2017 @ time: 07:52AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with several items to help you get through the day. There's a look at the Intel Core i3-7350K versus the Core i5-7400, which sees if a dual-core or quad-core for just a bit more cash is the better deal. If you want to to hear some about AMD Zen's architecture, there is an interview doing just that. We have a review of the ECS Z170-Lightsaber motherboard to see how all the extra features and abilities help it out. GeIL's Super Luce DDR4-3000 16GB Memory Kit gets reviewed to check out if it should find a home in your new system. The EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Keyboard Set gets reviewed to see if the improvements made, along with all the different options it has, help it stand out. A couple more items are along for the ride, too, such as a review on the Razer Gigantus mouse pad and a long-term look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1 laptop.

CPUs
Intel Core i3-7350K vs. Core i5-7400 @ TechSpot
Dissecting AMD Zen Architecture - Interview with David Kanter @ PC Perspective

Motherboards
ECS Z170-Lightsaber @ PC Perspective

Memory
GeIL Super Luce DDR4-3000 16GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Mice/Keyboards
EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Keyboard Set @ LanOC Reviews

Mouse Pad
Razer Gigantus - Black Edition Mouse Pad @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Long-Term Review - OLED is AMAZING! @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 15, 2017 @ time: 07:56AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with several items to help get you through it. We have a look at whether or not the Radeon Fury X and GeForce GTX 980 Ti are still worth a purchase. There's a review on the Crucial MX300 525GB SSD, offering a ton of storage and speed for a pretty affordable price. If you're after a new typing experience, maybe the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is the one for you, with plenty of improvements to enhance its abilities. We wrap up with the Fnatic Gear Duel Modular Gaming Headset, which can be broken down to such a level that anyone should find an arrangement they're comfortable with.

Video Cards
Radeon Fury X vs. GeForce GTX 980 Ti: Are They Still Worth Buying? @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
Crucial MX300 525GB SSD @ Neoseeker

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair K95 RGB Platinum @ Benchmark Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
Fnatic Gear Duel Modular Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Researchers Demonstrate Teaching Via Video Games

Posted: February 15, 2017 @ time: 12:13PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

To some people, video games only represent a waste of time that distracts players from more important and valuable ventures. Thankfully not everyone believes this and now researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have even demonstrated some of the potential games have to do more than waste time. By adding realistic chemistry to Minecraft, the researchers found the student test-subjects were able to learn the science involved, without an in-class science instruction.

The name of the mod is Polycraft World and thanks to the chemistry professors that worked on the project as well, thousands of methods exist in it to produce over one hundred polymers from the thousands of chemicals available. Natural rubber can be used to make pogo sticks while crude oil can be processed with other materials to make a jetpack. A Wiki was also created for the students to look to, helping to find the right difficulty balance as making the game too easy will lead to players losing interest and being too hard will just frustrate them. Among the results were non-chemists building factories to build polyether ether ketones, which are very difficult to synthesize.

What the researchers want to see is the development of games that players can learn advanced subjects from, but can be played without accompanying any classroom learning. Right now though Polycraft World is also impacting classroom learning as it can monitor how players interact with it and how often they have to turn to a guide. This information on learning methods can be used to improve teaching methods to better help students.

Next the researchers want to add an economics portion to the Minecraft mod, and they are already working with economists to achieve this. Eventually players will be able to form governments and companies so a currency can be minted and distributed, with goods propping up the currency, hopefully forming a sustainable economy.

Source: University of Texas at Dallas


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Verizon Looks to Lower Offer for Yahoo

Posted: February 15, 2017 @ time: 04:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It was reported late last year that Verizon might be having some second thoughts about its acquisition of Yahoo after the latest hacking scandal compromised up to one billion Yahoo accounts. Verizon isn't looking to abandon the deal altogether, but is reported to be close to a new deal that would knock $250 million off the initial offer of $4.8 billion. As part of the new agreement, the two companies will share responsibility for any damages related to the hack rather than having Yahoo absorb the majority of the impact.

Source: Bloomberg


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 16, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 16, 2017 @ time: 07:58AM
Author: bp9801

February is past the halfway mark, with today bringing in several items for you to check out. There's a look at the Intel Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake processor, a dual-core model with HyperThreading to give you four effective threads during use. We have the Huawei Mate 9 smartphone review, which takes a look at the massive 6" device to see what it has to offer. The new fighting game For Honor has dropped, with a graphics and CPU performance article giving you an idea of what to expect with your hardware. We wrap up with another part of a project build that focuses on performance testing.

CPUs
Intel Core i3-7350K Kaby Lake @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Huawei Mate 9 @ PC Perspective

Gaming
For Honor: Graphics & CPU Performance @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Project Build: Crush – Part 4 - Performance Testing @ LanOC Reviews


Complete Story


Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta Announced

Posted: February 16, 2017 @ time: 09:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For anyone interested in Ghost Recon Wildlands, Ubisoft has announced that it will have an open beta starting February 23 and running through February 27. If you were in the closed beta held not too long ago, the open beta will have all of the same content and more, including a new province to explore, Montuyoc. Be ready before heading there though, as it is where the Santa Blanca cartel trains its soldiers so it has heavily defended strongholds there.

The minimum and recommended PC specs for the open beta and the final release have also be revealed:

Minimum (720p Resolution on Low Video Preset):

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400S @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX-4320 @ 4 GHz or equivalent
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, GTX 750 Ti, GTX 950, GTX 1050 or AMD HD 7870, R9 270X, R9 370X, RX 460
  • System RAM: 6 GB

Recommended (1080p Resolution on High Video Preset):

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4 GHz
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, GTX 1060 or AMD R9 290X, R9 390, RX 480
  • System RAM: 8 GB

A more complete breakdown of the supported GPUs can be found at the source link.

Ghost Recon Wildlands releases on March 7 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Anyone who plays in either the closer or open beta and then plays the retail version before March 31 on the same Ubisoft account will get the Unidad Conspiracy reward. This adds three exclusive missions featuring the conflict between the local Unidad military and the Santa Blanca cartel.

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, February 17, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 17, 2017 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with several items to get you ready for the weekend. We have a review on the Logitech G533 Wireless Headset, which features some improvements and enhancements over past wireless models to help make it the best one yet. If you're after a new laptop, perhaps the MSI GE62 7RD Apache, with its entry-level price and big gaming potential, is the one for you. A new case mod gets highlighted, as the HEXGEAR R80 The Force offers a stunning look and ultra-clean design for a truly spectacular style. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

Speakers/Headphones
Logitech G533 Wireless Headset @ LanOC Reviews

Laptops/Tablets
MSI GE62 7RD Apache @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: HEXGEAR R80 The Force @ ThinkComputers
Podcast #437 @ PC Perspective


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Ashes of the Singularity and Escalation Expansion To Be Merged

Posted: February 17, 2017 @ time: 11:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last year Ashes of the Singularity was released by Stardock. It was an RTS unlike others before it thanks to the Nitrous engine that can simulate tens of thousands of units at the same time. To handle this in DirectX 11, the API available at the time Nitrous was first being developed, requires a powerful machine, which worried Stardock as the company wanted AOTS to appeal to as much of the RTS audience as possible, so some features were left out to avoid making the game too niche. These more hard-core features were put into the standalone expansion Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, with the intent being for this to target the niche. The original game surpassed sale's expectation (doubling them actually) and the expansion has also done very well, but the two versions of the game split the community and some players were displeased over having to purchase "the game they wanted in the first place."

To address these issues, Stardock has decided to merge the games, discontinuing Ashes of the Singularity, making Escalation the only version of the game available. Owners of the base game will receive a copy of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and those who already upgraded to Escalation will automatically receive the season pass for its DLC. The base game can still be played and enjoyed by those who have it, and in the future Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation will receive a "simplified rules" option for newcomers. (Vulkan support is also coming, so not only will Ashes of the Singularity be the first game to support DirectX 12, but Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation will be the first to support DX12 and Vulkan simultaneously.)

Source: Stardock


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Cities: Skylines is Coming to Xbox One

Posted: February 17, 2017 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It has been announced by Paradox Interactive and Deep Silver that in Spring of this year, Cities: Skylines will be released on the Xbox One, so console players will get to enjoy this award-winning management game. The Xbox One Edition has been optimized for controllers by Tantalus Media and will include the After Dark expansion that adds tourism and nightlife to the game.

Source: Cities: Skylines Website


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, February 20, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 20, 2017 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: bp9801

The final week of February is upon us, with several items kicking it off. There's a review of the Logitech G213 Prodigy RGB Gaming Keyboard, which uses mech-dome keys for a unique take on switches. For a mechanical keyboard, the Cherry MX Board 6.0, the company's flagship model, gets reviewd to see how it compares to other gaming-centric keyboards. We have a review on the Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Speaker System, an entry-level sound solution that should provide just enough power to fill the room. For a different take on WiFi, the eero Home WiFi System makes use of WiFi mesh to boost coverage and speed over traditional routers. Wrapping things up is a way to remove ads, Office offers, and more in Windows 10.

Keyboards/Mice
Logitech G213 Prodigy RGB Gaming Keyboard @ PC Perspective
Cherry MX Board 6.0 @ ThinkComputers

Speakers/Headphones
Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Speaker System @ Madshrimps

Networking
The eero Home WiFi System: Get Meshed @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Get Rid of Windows 10 Ads, Office Offers and Other Annoyances @ TechSpot


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 21, 2017 @ time: 08:02AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with several items giving you plenty to check out today. There's a review of the RIOTORO CR1080 Compact Case, offering plenty of potential in a small build. If you want an even more unique take on a case, then perhaps the Corsair Bulldog, an HTPC case built for 4K living room gaming, is the one to get. For those after storage, the ADATA SU800 256GB SSD offers plenty of speed and an affordable price, to boot. We wrap things up with seven free apps you can install on a new Windows build to help improve functionality.

Cases
RIOTORO CR1080 Compact @ Hypothermia
Video Perspective: Corsair Bulldog @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
ADATA SU800 256GB SSD @ LanOC Reviews

Miscellany
7 Free Apps to Install on a New Windows PC @ TechSpot


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Four-Stroke Engine Made Into Modular Reforming Reactor

Posted: February 21, 2017 @ time: 11:42AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Hydrogen can be a potent fuel but one issue that has been deviling the adoption of it and the technology that can use it has been transporting the gas. In order to move the gas around like conventional fuels are would practically require a whole new infrastructure, but researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a solution. Instead of producing the hydrogen in one place and then transporting to where it will be used, they have created a reforming reactor that can be deploy at the point of use, and it just so happens to be related to the internal combustion engine.

Modern means of creating hydrogen for use in fuel cells involves temperatures of around 900 ºC, takes three water molecules to create one hydrogen molecule, and the resulting gas is low density. Wanting to design a better reactor, the researchers started thinking about the features it needed, and these included the ability to change the size of reactor vessel. Looking at existing mechanical systems, the researchers realized the internal combustion engine, with its over one hundred years of development, provides this feature, so they figured out how to make a four stroke engine into the CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor.

In the first stroke, with the piston moving down, natural gas (methane) and stream are pulled into the cylinder, and once the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder, the valve closes. Next the piston starts moving up, compressing the steam and methane, and the cylinder is also heated so that at 400 ºC a catalytic reaction is started, creating hydrogen and carbon dioxide. A selective membrane allows the hydrogen to exit the cylinder while the CO2 is pulled into a sorbent material mixed with the catalyst. Now when the piston lowers, reducing pressure as well, the CO2 escapes the sorbent so it can be expelled when the piston starts moving up again. While the process does produce carbon dioxide, it, like the hydrogen, can be captured for later use or long term storage.

Though the CHAMP reactor does resemble a four-stroke engine, it operates much more slowly, completing few cycles per minute, compared to conventional engines that run in the thousands of RPMs. This speed and other factors of the modular design can be altered, so the supply of hydrogen can match the immediate demand, at the source of the demand. Combined with the existing natural gas infrastructure and this system can be used to get as much hydrogen as is needed almost wherever it is needed, whether that is fuel cells for houses, refueling stations for fuel cell vehicles, or even larger systems for powering neighborhoods.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 22, 2017 @ time: 07:50AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week has arrived, with several items in tow. We have a review of the Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Case, offering a stunning style and visual appeal to boost whatever kind of build you have planned. The Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard gets put to the test to see how Gigabyte's high-end gaming line stacks up to the competition. If you need a new HTPC, perhaps the Shuttle XPC Slim DX30 Barebone kit will let you get things up and running easier. Or for something more portable, the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop might do the trick, considering its redesign features a thinner and lighter style you can bring along anywhere.

Cases
Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
Shuttle XPC Slim DX30 Barebone @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
HP Spectre x360 @ TechSpot


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AMD Launches Ryzen 7 CPUs with March 2 Worldwide Availability

Posted: February 22, 2017 @ time: 10:26AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The day has finally come and AMD has launched its Ryzen 7 CPUs, based on the Zen microarchitecture that has been the focus of demoes, leaks, and rumors for quite a while now. Pre-orders are starting today at over 180 global etailers and boutique OEMs, with worldwide availability being March 2.

The Ryzen 7 line includes three processors: the 1800X; 1700X; and 1700. All three are 8-core, 16-thread CPUs. With higher numbers come higher specs and prices, with the Ryzen 7 1800X having a base clock of 3.6 GHz and boost clock of 4.0 GHz, but a TDP of 95 W and a price of $499. On the lower end, the Ryzen 7 1700 has a base clock of 3.0 GHz, a boost of 3.7 GHz, a TDP of 65 W, and a suggested price of $329. The Ryzen 7 1700X falls between these two, with a base clock of 3.4 GHz, boost of 3.8 GHz, TDP of 95 W, and a suggested price of $399.

Of these three, only the Ryzen 7 1700 comes with a cooler, the Wraith Spire, which should keep your CPU cool while only producing 32 dB of noise. AMD has also created the Wraith Stealth cooler, but it is not listed with the CPUs.

Along with these new CPUs are some 82 new motherboards based on the X370 and B350 chipsets from AMD. ASRock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI are among the companies who designed these motherboards, and they are also expected to be widely available on March 2.

Now, here is the AMD Ryzen 7 Release video up on AMD's YouTube's channel:

 

 

Source: AMD


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NASA Announces 7 Earth-Size Planets Found Around Single Star, with Some in Habitable Zone

Posted: February 22, 2017 @ time: 03:02PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last year three planets were discovered in the TRAPPIST-1 system and today it has been announced that, with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope, four more planets have been found there, bringing the total to seven. Using Spitzer's data the sizes of these planets have been measured and first estimates of the inner-six's masses have also been made. Based on that information, these planets are most likely rocky planets, like Earth, and also Earth-like in size. While it will take more observations, it is possible all seven of these worlds possess liquid water on their surfaces, though only three of them are actually within the host-star's habitable zone. The seventh planet, which has not yet had its mass estimated, could be an icy, "snowball-like" world.

While these planets may have some similarities to Earth, the TRAPPIST-1 system is very different. The star is considered an ultra-cool dwarf, which means it is cool enough for even the nearest planet to have liquid water on its surface. In fact, all of these planets are closer to this star than Mercury is to the Sun. The orbits are also so close together that if someone were to stand on the surface of one planet, they may be able to make out geological features and even clouds on another. Being so close to the host star, it is possible the planets are tidally locked, meaning one side is always facing the star, just like how one side of the Moon always faces Earth.

For now we can expect at least NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and the Kepler observatory, specifically designed for planet-hunting, to continue studying TRAPPIST-1, which is named for the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope in Chile that originally found the system. This new information will be used to help plan the missions for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, launching next year with the capability to detect the fingerprints of water, methane, oxygen, ozone, and other chemicals in the planets' atmosphere.

 

 

Source: NASA


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Valve Brings Linux Support to SteamVR

Posted: February 22, 2017 @ time: 05:13PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Linux support has finally been added to SteamVR nearly a year after the initial release of the software through a development build. To start getting their hands dirty, developers will need the "latest Steam Beta Client and a Vulkan-friendly beta driver from Nvidia or AMD." As this is a development build of the software, it may not be as stable and full featured as the Windows version, but it will still be interesting to see what users can come up with. Valve also announced that it will no longer charge $3,000 for a training course for SteamVR hardware development, opting to give away the courses for free.

Source: PC World


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Adesso Announces AKB-636 Mechanical Keyboard

Posted: February 22, 2017 @ time: 05:25PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Adesso AKB-636 is a mechanical keyboard with a "retro" design, looking similar to old school typewriters. The keyboard also features N-key rollover and multi-function hotkeys to "give you quick access to your media player tools." The switches have an actuation force of 45-50g and are rated at up to 50 million keystrokes. At an MSRP of $99.99, the AKB-636 provides "a conversation piece with a look from yesteryear," while offering "the durability, and precision of the technology of today."

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, February 23, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 23, 2017 @ time: 07:57AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, with a few items for you to check out today. There's a review on the GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 5 motherboard, part of the company's AORUS line, is a high-end model that should provide plenty of enhancements to your new Intel build. If you need to keep things charged while on the go, then perhaps the ADATA A10050QC Power Bank is what you're after, especially since it provides 10,050mAh of power. Things wrap up with the next part of the project build, where the video cards get painted to better match each other.

Motherboards
GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 5 @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
ADATA A10050QC Power Bank @ ThinkComputers
Project Build: Crush – Part 5 – Painting a GTX 1080 FE @ LanOC Reviews


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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation v2.1 Launches

Posted: February 23, 2017 @ time: 01:17PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last week it was announced that Stardock was merging the two versions of Ashes of the Singularity into Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation and today this merged game has received its version 2.1 update, which is bringing with it some interesting features. One of these is a single-player observer mode so you can watch as the AI fights it out. Players can also change the Supply Lines option now, so that regions do not need to be connected to your Nexus to grant resources, and you can start unranked 1-v-1 online matches, so you can play without risking your ranking. Additionally three maps have been added and many others have been rebalanced.

Coinciding with this update is a 50% off sale on Steam, for anyone interested that has not yet gotten a copy. Here are links to our reviews of both the original Ashes of the Singularity and the Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation expansion. Remember, if you had a copy of the original game prior to the merge last week, you were automatically given a copy of Escalation to unify the community to a single platform.

Source: Stardock [1] and [2]


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AMD Ryzen Overclocking Utility Pictured

Posted: February 23, 2017 @ time: 02:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Yesterday AMD launched the new Ryzen R7 CPUs and since then the pre-orders have already placed all three R7 processors on Amazon's Best Sellers list for CPUs. Naturally more information than was officially shown off is coming out now, including a look at the AMD Ryzen Master overclocking utility from The Tech Chap.

First up, it appears each core can have its clock speed set individually, so if you want to dig in and optimize speeds on that level, it looks like you can. Curiously it appears the minimum speed the user can set is 3 GHz, apparently leaving lower speeds for when the CPU throttles down. The maximum speed is 6.375 GHz, which will probably take some extreme cooling. The user can also disable cores, with the image showing options of 0 (all cores being used), 2, 4, and 6. Just beneath that part of the UI we see the Voltage Control area where CPU Voltage, MEMO VDDIO, MEM VTT, and VDDCR SOC can all be set. Beneath that is where you can control the Memory settings, including the clock speed and the timings. Along the bottom of this page we see we can save profiles, with four already there and one marked 'C.'

My guess is that there is an entire other page of options to explore, as above where the cores are listed it says "Speed" and "Temperature." This is only my guessing, but I would expect that this is the Speed page and if you clocked on "Temperature" you would get another page with settings related to that. We will have to wait for embargoes to lift or the software to ship to know for sure though. In any case, I am sure many of us are interested in diving into these settings to see how far these new CPUs can be pushed.

Source: WCCFtech


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Benchmarks Leak for AMD Radeon RX 580

Posted: February 23, 2017 @ time: 04:27PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A series of benchmarks from Ashes of the Singularity for the upcoming AMD Radeon RX 580 paired with an eight core Intel i7 5820k running at 3.3GHz have leaked. In a single card configuration running the 1080p version of the benchmark, the RX 580 managed to hit 72.3 fps. This marks a significant improvement over the card it will be replacing, the RX 480, and puts in on par with the GeForce GTX 1070. In another test, an engineering sample of the upcoming eight core Ryzen CPU was paired with two RX 580 in CrossFire in the 4K resolution test, and the Ryzen managed to hold its own against its Intel counterpart with an average frame rate of 82.5 fps. These numbers are a great sign for users looking to get high end performance while minimizin the damage to their wallets. The RX 560 was also tested in the 1080p benchmark, where it managed an average of 34.3 fps.

Source: WCCF Tech


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Sony Announces World's Fastest SD Card

Posted: February 23, 2017 @ time: 04:40PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Sony has announced a new line of SD cards, the SF-G Series UHS-II SDXC cards, which it claims are the fastest SD cards available. The cards will be available in capacities of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB with read and write speeds up to 300MB/s and 299MB/s, respectively. Sony is targeting the new cards at photographers, stating that the cards are "ideal for hi-speed continuous shooting of high-resolution images for UHS-II supporting cameras and 4K video." Sony will also release a new UHS-II card reader in the Spring that utilizes USB 3.1 for connection. Pricing information was not available for either product.

Source: PC World


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, February 24, 2017, Edition

Posted: February 24, 2017 @ time: 07:49AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us, with a couple of items for your viewing pleasure today. We have a review of the Azio Armato Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which has a single color backlighting and plenty of higher end features, like a magnetic wrist rest, metal construction, and the ability to store everything on the keyboard itself without the need for software. Our other item for the day showcases a variety of ways you can take screenshots in Windows 10, some that might be far better than just hitting Print Screen.

Keyboards/Mice
Azio Armato Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
7 Ways to Screenshot in Windows 10 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


First SHA-1 Collision Produced by Google

Posted: February 24, 2017 @ time: 12:52PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There are many systems out there used to secure digital systems and content, and one of them has just been dealt a significant blow. The cryptographic hash function SHA-1 has been dealt its first collision, thanks to Google, effectively confirming it is no longer secure. Luckily there are better versions of the function out there already (SHA-256 and SHA-3, for example), but now it seems even more important for security professionals to move away from the 20 year old standard.

Cryptographic hashes are an important part of securing data on the Internet as the algorithms produce what should be unique message digests. If you want to check the authenticity of a file you download, and the source provides the digest, you can compare what the source provided against the digest your computer can make from what you downloaded, and if they match, you know you got what you wanted, and it was not compromised by some third-party. What Google has down is produced the first collision for Secure Hash Algorithm 1, which means it has generated two files, in this case two PDFs, that have different content but the same SHA-1 message digest. Google started from a paper published in 2013 that described a theoretical approach to creating the collision, and work started on creating a PDF prefix that would do the job. It took a lot of computation, but the collision has been produced.

For years it has been known and recognized that SHA-1 is not very secure, but it is still in use today to confirm website security certificates. However, Chrome 56 and newer will not consider any website with a SHA-1 certificate secured, and reacting to the news of the collision, Mozilla has accelerated its phase-in of depreciating SHA-1 to all Firefox 51 users.

You can find even more information about the collision and its potential impact at the second source link below.

Source: Google Security Blog and SHAttered.it


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Zenimax Requests Injunction Against Oculus

Posted: February 24, 2017 @ time: 01:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Like almost anytime there is a lawsuit between two large companies, things are not over yet. The suit between ZeniMax and Oculus over whether ZeniMax proprietary code was illegally used in creating the Oculus Rift VR headset ended not too long ago. ZeniMax won a $500 million judgement and the jury said that while trade secrets were not stolen, Oculus uses copyrighted code without permission and an NDA was violated. While $500 million is a fraction of the billions ZeniMax had sought in damage, it opened the door for requesting an injunction against the code being used, and now the company has done just that. As this code has already been made available to developers to use by Oculus, such an injunction could have a significant impact on the whole of VR.

There is some speculation that ZeniMax might actually be trying to use the pressure of such an injunction, if it is granted, to force Oculus, and its owner Facebook, to reach a settlement. Only time will tell what will come of this, but for now we know the story and legal battle will continue.

Source: Reuters


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