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News Archives for April 2017

Cross-platform Play Coming to Blizzard's Overwatch

Posted: April 1, 2017 @ time: 09:38AM
Author: ClayMeow

Blizzard has announced that cross-platform play will be coming to its critically acclaimed, award-winning, mega-hit Overwatch by the end of the month, allowing PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One gamers to play together for the first time. In order to not disrupt the current competitive season, cross-platform play will only exist for Quick Play, Arcade, and Custom games when it launches, but will come to competitive mode when Season 5 kicks off.

"Blizzard Entertainment has always been a PC games company first and foremost," explained Game Director Jeff Kaplan. "By implementing cross-platform play, our console players will see first-hand just how inferior they are to their PC counterparts. There will be no aim-assist for controller users; no handicaps." It's generally known that keyboard-and-mouse provides greater accuracy and response times compared to gamepads, which is why developers tend to shy away from cross-platform play in competitive shooters, but it sounds like Blizzard no longer cares about hurting the egos of console gamers.

To go alongside the launch of cross-platform play, Competitive Season 5 will introduce a new rank below Bronze called 'Scrub', which Kaplan "fully expect[s] will be the majority of console gamers."

Overwatch will be celebrating its one-year anniversary next month.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, April 3, 2017, Edition

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

A new week and a new month have arrived, with several items along the way to help start it right. We have a review of the Deepcool Captain 240 EX White Liquid CPU cooler, which looks good while keeping processors cool, including ones on the new AMD AM4 platform. For those after a mouse, perhaps the Cougar Minos X3, with its optical sensor and eight buttons, is the one for you. However, if it isn't, then there's the EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse, which lets you swap the switches, sensors, weights, and exterior shell for a truly custom device. We have a look at the best headphones you can buy based on whatever you're after, from gaming to noise-canceling to in-ears and beyond. Wrapping things up is a guide on how you can get sponsors for your big LAN event.

CPU Cooling
Deepcool Captain 240 EX White Liquid CPU Cooler @ Madshrimps

Mice/Keyboards
Cougar Minos X3 Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker
EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Speakers/Headphones
The Best Headphones @ TechSpot

Miscellany
How to get LAN Sponsors @ LanOC Reviews


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Agents of Mayhem Releasing August 14

Posted: April 3, 2017 @ time: 10:02AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Agents of Mayhem, the next game from Volition, will be releasing on August 15, 2017 to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. In this title, the player will be battling against the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations (L.E.G.I.O.N.) as the agents of the Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds (M.A.Y.H.E.M.). The thing is these agents are not exactly heroes but a group of unstable misfits with a collection of crazy weapons. There are twelve agents that can be interchanged, though each has their own personality, weapons, and skillset, and you assemble them into squads of three. You can have Daisy's mini-gun out there with Rama's energy-arrow firing bow as you explore the open-world of Seoul.

 

 

Source: Deep Silver


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 07:41AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with a couple of items to help you out today. We have a look at the ASUS Strix Z270E Gaming motherboard, featuring plenty of options and a solid style to make your new build stand out. Our other item for the day is a review on the Sennheiser GSP 300 headset, which is a more budget-friendly model than some others in its lineup.

Motherboards
ASUS Strix Z270E Gaming @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Sennheiser GSP 300 @ LanOC Reviews


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Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Marks 5th Birthday with v1.9 Update

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 10:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was five years ago that the real time 4X Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion released, so to mark the occasion, Stardock and Ironclad Games have released the version 1.9 update. This update brings with it several optimizations, such as doubling the amount of memory the game can access, which will have performance impacts across the board and help with mods, and improved rendering for 4K systems with extreme textures, shadows, and the ability to scale the UI for that higher resolution. The AI has also been refined to make them even more challenging, so all around the update is to improve the player's experience.

Current owners of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion will get the v1.9 update for free and for anyone without a copy yet, it is on sale at 75% off from now until April 6.

 

 

Source: Stardock and Press Release


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Serious Sam VR Encounters Release on Steam

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 11:22AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in December Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter entered Early-Access on Steam and today Croteam has officially launched it, but because the company could, Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter has also launched today. Both titles are on sale at 25% off during their launch window, so for those of you with HTC Vives or Oculus Rifts, you can visit ancient Egypt, South America, medieval Europe, and Mesopotamia as Sam ' Serious' Stone, trying to stop the forces of Mental. You will have a variety of weapons to use, including the Chainsaw, Cannon, and Minigun, and you can dual-wield them if you wish (and why would you not?).

If you are looking for a Serious multiplayer experience, you can play with up to 15 friends, so 16 total players can be together in cooperative and competitive modes. As both VR games are also coming to the Serious Sam Fusion 2017 (beta), VR and 'flat' players will be able to play together as well, for some cross-platform fights. Fusion 2017 also brings with it Steam Workshop support.

 

 

Source: Croteam and Press Release


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Mad Catz Voluntarily Enters Bankruptcy

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 11:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On March 30, 2017, Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. voluntarily entered bankruptcy, with all of the directors and officers of the company resigning and the subsidiary Mad Catz, Inc. ceasing operations. This follows efforts by a special committee within the company to find strategic alternatives, such as selling part or all of the company. It appears none of these strategies would have satisfactorily solved the company's cash liquidity problems. Just a week before this announcement the process to delist the company from the New York Stock Exchange started after NYSE staff notified the company that stocks were at an "abnormally low trading price." Also, last year the Saitek brand of simulation game controllers was sold off to Logitech for $13 million, but apparently that infusion of cash was not enough.

Source: GlobalNewswire


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Two Cumulative Updates Added to Windows 10 Creators Update

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 03:49PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Microsoft has added a pair of cumulative updates to it's upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10, expected to be publicly available on April 11. Build 15063.13 is already available for Windows Insiders in the Slow and Release Preview rings while build 15063.14 is also available for those in the Fast ring. The updates address issues with printer connections, Surface Pro 3 CPU usage, and process suspension. Microsoft also promised to make the Creators Update available tomorrow by manually downloading it through the Update Assistant if you can't wait until April 11.

Source: WCCF Tech


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Nintendo Switch Warping When Left in Docked Mode

Posted: April 4, 2017 @ time: 03:59PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Users of the Nintendo Switch are beginning to report that after leaving their consoles in docked mode for extended periods of time the device begins to warp from heat. The damage is rather noticeable and could be an indication of a design flaw, although it may still be too early to tell and Nintendo hasn't yet said that was the case. Some users have reported that they were able to get Nintendo "to send a pre-paid shipping label, with the company stating that they would either repair the unit or transfer all of its data to a new console and then ship it back." If you have a Switch, be sure to keep an eye on your console to check if you are having this problem.

Source: BGR


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Marvel Heroes Omega Coming to Consoles

Posted: April 5, 2017 @ time: 01:12PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in 2013 I was first introduced to Marvel Heroes while reviewing the games featured in the second NVIDIA Free-to-Play bundle and it is now my most played game according to Steam (and by a rather large margin). The game is a free to play MMOARPG with access to the Marvel Comics Universe, so you can play as a variety of heroes, including Daredevil, Captain America, and Deadpool, and fight a number of villains, such as Kingpin, Loki, and Dr. Doom. Today it was announced that the game will be coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Spring as Marvel Heroes Omega. The releases for the two consoles will be staggered with the PlayStation 4 closed beta starting soon.

Naturally there are going to be some differences between this and the current Marvel Heroes 2016 PC experience, including the interface, items, and heroes, at least initially. Currently just 38 heroes will be available at launch, while the PC has 62 heroes, but regular additions and updates are planned. A good chunk of the content will be in Omega though, including chapters 1-9 of the campaign, the Midtown Patrol mode, and the Danger Room. Console and PC players will not be able to play together though, and there are no plans for any transfers from PC to console either.

 

 

Source: Marvel Heroes [1] and [2]


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Microsoft Discloses What Data is Collected by Windows 10

Posted: April 5, 2017 @ time: 03:45PM
Author: CheeseMan42

As part of ongoing efforts to ease privacy concerns, Microsoft "is updating its privacy statement and publishing information about the data it collects as part of Windows 10." The Creators Update will allow users to switch between basic and full levels of collection. The company added that "we have published a complete list of the diagnostic data collected at the Basic level. We are also providing a detailed summary of the data we collect from users at both Basic and Full levels of diagnostics." Microsoft is continuing to update what it deems necessary to collect at the basic level.

Source: The Verge


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, April 6, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 6, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is here, with several items to help get you through the day. We have a review of the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, which uses the AMD X370 chipset so you can pair it and all its features with a new Ryzen CPU. Speaking of Ryzen, there's an article examining whether or not the CPUs perform better with an AMD video card. For some workstation cards, we have a roundup of some NVIDIA Quadro video cards using the Pascal core. For those looking to house all their gear, maybe the Corsair Crystal 460X RGB Compact ATX case is the one for you. The Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum Gaming Keyboard gets reviewed to see if it should be the one controlling your games. We wrap things up with a new project build log, with a Ryzen CPU at its heart.

Cases
Corsair Crystal 460X RGB Compact @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero @ ThinkComputers

CPUs
Does Ryzen Perform Better with AMD GPUs? @ TechSpot

Video Cards
NVIDIA Pascal Quadro Roundup - P2000, P3000, P5000 Tested @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Project Build: Carmine - Part 1 @ LanOC Reviews


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Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation v2.2 Released

Posted: April 6, 2017 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The v2.2 update for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation has already been available to players comfortable using Steam's beta feature for games (the Beta tab when you bring up a game's Properties in the Steam Library) but today it has released for everyone. This update brings with it some requested features and a good amount of rebalancing. On the feature side, players are finally able to keep Replays of game to review later. Replays will remove the fog of war, so you can see what everyone was up to as you try to refine your strategies. Modders have also gotten some attention as they can now mod game files, add maps and scenarios, and enable or disable mods.

To help with the game rebalances, Callum McCole of General's Gentlemen joined the team, and the overview video below is from that YouTube channel. The balance changes include refining the counter system, opening up late game tach, making the Substrate less radioactives-intensive, and weakening 'cheese' strategies. Increasing strategic diversity and improving game flow were also focuses of this patch. You can find more information on these changes in a Dev Journal from mid-March.

This patch also adds three new maps: Manannan for 12 players; Aenghus for 10 players; and Brighid for eight players.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, April 7, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 7, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

The first week of April is nearly in the books, but not before we have a few items to close it out. We have a look at the Rosewill RK-9300 mechanical keyboard, featuring Cherry MX switches, backlighting, and a floating key design that's more similar to something you'd find with Corsair than Rosewill. For those needing some audio help, the HyperX Cloud Revolver S Headset might do the trick, since it's been upgraded for extra comfort and Dolby Surround 7.1. We wrap things up with a case mod that looks nothing like a case at all, as it's a PC in the shape of a minigun.

Keyboards/Mice
Rosewill RK-9300 @ LanOC Reviews

Speakers/Headphones
HyperX Cloud Revolver S Headset @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Custom Minigun Gaming PC @ ThinkComputers.org


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More Trident Z RGB DDR4 RAM Announced by G.SKILL

Posted: April 7, 2017 @ time: 01:00PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In December of last year, G.SKILL announced its Trident Z RGB series of DDR4 RAM, which features full-length light bars, so you can completely illuminate your RAM with different colors and effects. Today the company has announced new additions to this series, targeting Intel X99 and Z270 platforms with ultra-high capacity kits. If you need a lot of memory, you can get a 16 GB x8 kit for 128 GB of DDR4 RAM, though the frequency on that configuration caps out at 3333 MHz. The 64 GB, 8 GB x8 kits can reach 3466 MHz though, something G.SKILL is sharing a validation screenshot of from an X99 platform.

If you are more interested in high speed than ultra-high capacity, G.SKILL pushed a pair of its 16 GB modules (so 32 GB total) to 3866 MHz on the Z270 chipset, and again we have a screenshot of that validation.

These new kits will be released in May, will be backed by G.SKILL's limited lifetime warranty, and support XMP 2.0.

 

 

Source: G.Skill


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, April 10, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 10, 2017 @ time: 07:48AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with plenty of items to kick it off. There's a review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC2 Gaming iCX video card, featuring a custom cooler and factory overclock to keep you gaming for a long time. We have a look at the Lian Li PC-Q17 WX Mini-ITX all-aluminum case, which is capable of holding a full-size video card despite being a small case. If you're after something a bit bigger, perhaps the Cooler Master MasterBox 5t is the case for you. To keep things cool, maybe the Corsair Hydro Series H110i 280mm AIO cooler is for you, or perhaps it's the Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU waterblock you need instead. There are several other things to get to, too, including an ADATA SSD and an ASUS gaming monitor, so be sure to hit them all up below to find out.

Cases
Cooler Master MasterBox 5t @ Bjorn3D
Lian Li PC-Q17 WX Mini-ITX @ PC Perspective

Video Cards
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC2 Gaming iCX @ Bjorn3D

CPU Cooling
Corsair Hydro Series H110i 280mm Liquid Cooler @ Madshrimps
Alphacool Eisblock XPX CPU Waterblock @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
ADATA XPG SX8000 PCIe M.2 Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair Gaming K63 Compact Mechanical Keyboard @ Bjorn3D

Monitors
ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Podcast #444 @ PC Perspective


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AMD Acquires 60 GHz Wireless IP and Talent from Nitero

Posted: April 10, 2017 @ time: 10:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Possibly not the kind of news most people would expect, but today it was announced that AMD has acquired intellectual property of engineering talent from Nitero. Nitero is an Austin based company that has been creating millimeter wave solutions for use in wireless VR and AR headsets. Most of us are certainly familiar with the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum used in wireless technologies today. Millimeter waves, with their much shorter wavelengths, reach 60 GHz allowing for low-latency multi-gigabit transmission. Combined with beamforming and the line-of-sight requirement for previous mm-wave systems is solved. The ultimate hope is to use this technology to remove the cables from modern headsets, opening up room-scale VR and making but VR and AR more comfortable to use. Co-founder of Nitero, Pat Kelly, is also joining AMD as corporate vice president, Wireless IP.

Source: AMD


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Trailer Leaks Ahead of Upcoming Overwatch Event

Posted: April 10, 2017 @ time: 04:06PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A trailer was leaked to the French PlayStation YouTube channel, before being taken down, that gave a preview of the Overwatch event that was hinted at with the release of the latest comic last week. The event is called Insurrection and will allow players to "take control of four of Overwatch's early members—Reinhardt, Tracer, Torbjörn, and Mercy—and battle the Omnic insurgency known as Null Sector on the streets of King's Row." The event is also expected to bring a number of new skins and other unlocks with it. Insurrection will run from tomorrow until May 1.

Source: PC Gamer


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Hardware Roundup: AMD Ryzen 5 Edition

Posted: April 11, 2017 @ time: 07:36AM
Author: bp9801

AMD's new Ryzen 5 CPUs have arrived, with the 1600X and 1500X getting tested to see what these processors can do. The Ryzen 5 1600X features a six-core design with 12 threads, while the 1500X is a quad-core with eight threads. Both offer the potential for a ton of performance without breaking the bank, especially when combined with a B350 motherboard for around $100. We have a bunch of reviews for you to check out, so be sure to hit them up below to see where these Ryzen 5 parts fall on the spectrum.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X @ OCC
The Ryzen 5 Review: 1600X and 1500X Take on Core i5 @ PC Perspective
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X @ TechSpot
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X @ Madshrimps
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X @ Neoseeker
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X @ Madshrimps
AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs @ LanOC Reviews


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Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Announced for Summer

Posted: April 11, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Recently we have seen Serious Sam news featuring VR versions releasing and the new Serious Sam Fusion 2017 platform for enjoying these Croteam games, and this latest announcement is a bit different. Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is a retro-styled take on the first-person series developed by Crackshell, the developer of Hammerwatch. It will allow players to dominate, or detonate as the case me be, Mediterranean locations, biological weapons labs, and high-tech moon bases alone or in four-player online co-op. If the campaign is not enough for you, there will be Survival and Versus modes, and if those cannot satisfy your Serious tastes, the included game editor can be used to make new mods, modes, and total conversions. It is expected to release early this Summer.

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is the latest in the Serious Sam Indie Series that already includes Serious Sam: The Random Encounter from Vlambeer, and Serious Sam Double D from Mommy's Best Games. The Indie Series lets the franchise return to its and Croteam's indie roots, as Serious Sam came from a tech demo built by childhood friends in a garage.

 

 

Source: Croteam


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 11, 2017 @ time: 07:40AM
Author: bp9801

Not everything is about the AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs today, as we do have some other items for you to check out. To start, the AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs get reviewed to see what they have to offer compared to past models and the Intel side of the coin. If you're after better control for your games, maybe the Corsair Sabre RGB Gaming Mouse, with its 10,000 DPI and lightweight design, is what you need. Or for another type of control, the Corsair Gaming K63 Compact Mechanical Keyboard gets reviewed to show if the tenkeyless design is one to get.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 7 Trifecta @ Bjorn3D

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair Sabre RGB Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
Corsair Gaming K63 Compact Mechanical Keyboard @ Bjorn3D


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Unigine Announces New GPU Benchmark

Posted: April 11, 2017 @ time: 03:42PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Unigine has announced the Superposition benchmark, "a non-synthetic, accurate, and unbiased stress-test for the latest GPUs already on the market and for those that are still in the earliest design stages." The benchmark is based on SSRTGI technology, which was designed for use with the UNIGINE 2 engine, a ray tracing algorithm that makes "real-time light and shadow look as realistic as possible." Superposition provides a test suite that is comparable to workloads you would see in the latest games, making the performance more relevant than "synthetic" benchmarks. The benchmark is also compatible with multiple VR devices including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with modes for resolutions up to 8K.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 12, 2017 @ time: 07:40AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with several items to get you through the day. We have a look at the Ryzen stock coolers and which one you should use on your new CPU. The Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3200 16GB Memory Kit gets reviewed to see what kind of performance potential it can offer a system. For some keyboard options, we have a look at the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, as well as the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to give you two different options to consider for stepping up your game. Wrapping things up is an article looking at the best mice you can get right now.

CPU Cooling
Ryzen Stock Coolers @ LanOC Reviews

Memory
Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3200 16GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Madshrimps
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Bjorn3D
The Best Mice @ TechSpot


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Jupiter's Forge Expansion Announced for Offworld Trading Company

Posted: April 12, 2017 @ time: 09:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Offworld Trading Company, the strategy game based on achieving economic dominance instead of military dominance, has had its first major expansion announced, titled Jupiter's Forge. With this expansion players will be able to leave Mars and Ceres for Io, one of Jupiter's moons, where you will face new challenges, find new resources, and encounter new competition. Radiations storms, sulfur frosts, landslides, and tremors are new map events you will need to deal with as you try to outcompete the Penrose Collective and the Diadem Trust, but with the resources of Io being finite, you can expect the fight to be all the more difficult.

Also coming with Jupiter's Forge is the 1000 map challenge, for those players wanting to place on leaderboards. As you beat a map, the next one becomes harder and an overall score will show you where you stand, but each map also has its own leaderboard. The expansion will release in late Spring 2017.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Cooler Master Announces MasterCase Pro 6

Posted: April 12, 2017 @ time: 04:01PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced the addition of the MasterCase Pro 6 to its modular MasterCase line of products, described as "the discreetly designed mid-tower cousin of the award-winning Pro 5 case." The case is once again based around the FreeForm Modular System "that allows multiple exterior and interior layouts," but differentiates itself with the use of dark metallic grey top, bottom, and side panels that fit together flush. The panels have a number of vents to help optimize airflow and there is space on top or in the front of the case for a radiator. The MasterCase Pro 6 will be available this month at an MSRP of $159.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, April 13, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 13, 2017 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, with just a couple of items for you to check out today. We have a review on the Cougar Attack X3 RGB Keyboard, a mechanical model with Cherry MX RGB switches and customizable macro support, among others. There's also a look at 20 of the worst PC setups seen during the month of March, offering some real head scratching moments.

Keyboards/Mice
Cougar Attack X3 RGB Keyboard @ Neoseeker

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


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, April 14, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 14, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week has arrived, with several items for you to check out before the weekend hits. We have a look at whether you should go with the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X or 1600 as your new CPU. On the Intel side of things, we have a review of the ASUS Strix H270F Gaming motherboard, which still has plenty of features at its disposal, even if you can't overclock. There's a look at the OBT Open Benchtable, an open air case for quick swapping of components, especially the motherboard since it secures with push pins. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

CPUs
Ryzen 5 1600X vs. 1600: Which should you buy? @ TechSpot

Motherboards
ASUS Strix H270F Gaming @ LanOC Reviews

Cases
OBT Open Benchtable @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Podcast #445 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 RAM Reaches 4333 MHz

Posted: April 14, 2017 @ time: 10:30AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

G.SKILL is working hard on its DDR4 RAM offerings and has announced today its Trident Z series has received a DDR4 kit running at 4333 MHz with CL 19-19-19-39 timings. This is a 16 GB (8 GB x2) kit running at 1.40 V and was stress tested on an ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex motherboard with an Intel Core i5-7600K CPU. You can see the image the company has shared below of those results, but there is more news than that. G.SKILL also pushed another 8 GB x2 kit to DDR4-4500 MHz, with the same timings and on a similar MB/CPU combination.

While the DDR4-4500 MHz run was just a proof-of-concept, DDR4-4400 MHz is being stress tested, and a sneak-peek of that has been shared as well. The specifications for a kit at 4400 MHz are still under development, so it will be a while before they could reach market production, but clearly G.SKILL is intent on pushing the envelope.

Source: G.SKILL


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Material Made That Draws Moisture From Dry Air

Posted: April 14, 2017 @ time: 11:07AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Water is a compound necessary for human life but is not always accessible. To help with that, researchers at MIT have created a device using a metal-organic framework originally invented at Berkeley Lab that can collect moisture from even dry air and use sunlight to then release it.

A metal-organic framework (MOF) is exactly what it sounds like as it combines metal with organic molecules to create porous, rigid structures. These structures can be used to hold gases and liquids. In this case zirconium metal is used with adipic acid and the result is a MOF that loves water and can pull it out of air as dry as a desert, just 20-30% humidity. The solar-powered harvester that was built uses just one kilogram of the MOF, but is able to generate 2.8 liters of water from that arid air after just 12 hours.

Obviously this invention is very significant as it can bring water to so many people who need it, but we may see something even better coming in the future. This particular MOF is only able to absorb 20% of its weight in water, but there are others that may be able to reach 40%, and it should also be possible to tune the material for specific humidities.

 

 

Source: Berkeley Lab


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Star Wars Battlefront II Announced with November 17 Release

Posted: April 15, 2017 @ time: 06:08PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Earlier today EA and Lucasfilm announced Star Wars Battlefront II is coming with a release date of November 17, 2017. DICE, Motive, and Criterion are teaming up to develop this game that will span all three Star Wars eras and allow us to play as ground troops, get into dog fights in First Order TIE Fighters, as well as heroes and villains like Yoda and Darth Maul. Motive has been working with the story group at Lucasfilm and the result is a new story for its single plyer campaign, following an Imperial elite special forces soldier. Galactic-scale space combat is also coming to Battlefront II, and Criterion is behind it so you can fly between asteroid fields and imperial dockyards in some of the universe's most iconic ships, all with refined handling, weapons, and customization options.

While the release is still months away, pre-order bonuses are already being described as content inspired by the upcoming film, including Kylo Ren and Rey themed looks, epic ability upgrades in multiplayer, and players will be able to upgrade to the Star Wars: The Last Jedia Millennium Falcon and a new First Order ship. Those who purchase the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition will also get upgrades for your trooper classes.

Star Wars Battlefront II is releasing November 17, 2017 on PC (via Origin), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

 

Source: EA


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, April 17, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 17, 2017 @ time: 07:42AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items to kick it off. We have a review of the MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard, an AM4 model for the new Ryzen CPUs that offers a ton of features. There's a look at the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, offering custom switches and RGB lighting to make things stand out. The HTC U Ultra gets reviewed to see if HTC can return to its former glory, although things do not look good with this smartphone. If you're interested in a standing desk, perhaps the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 is the one for you. Wrapping things up is a wallpaper collection, with today being the first of five days of a new selection.

Motherboards
MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium @ Madshrimps

Keyboards/Mice
Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Madshrimps

Mobile
HTC U Ultra @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Autonomous SmartDesk 2 @ ThinkComputers
5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Geometric Wallpapers @ TechSpot


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Apple Looking Into Investment in Toshiba

Posted: April 17, 2017 @ time: 03:39PM
Author: CheeseMan42

According to public broadcaster NHK, Apple is considering teaming up with partner Foxconn for an investment in the semiconductor unit of Toshiba. The multi-billion dollar deal would grant the partnership more than 20% of the Toshiba unit. Toshiba isn't looking to sell outright in order to ease "the Japanese government's concerns over any transfer of sensitive technology to investors it deems a risk to national security." Apple and Foxconn join three other entities submitting bids for the Toshiba unit which includes Broadcom, SK Hynix, and Western Digital.

Source: CNBC


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Intel Cancels Intel Developer Forum Going Forward

Posted: April 17, 2017 @ time: 03:51PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel has announced that it is canceling the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) after nearly 20 years, including IDF17 which was previously announced and expected to take place in San Francisco in mid August. Intel issued an announcement on the IDF website, stating "Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions." The company further elaborated when contacted by Anandtech, stating "With the rise of AI, FPGAs, Optane, IoT, wireless comms, automotive, and the other new areas that Intel is moving into, Intel felt that IDF no longer fills the need when it comes to giving out information."

Source: Anandtech


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Edition

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

Tuesday is upon us, Tax Day in the US, with several items to help you survive the day. We have a couple of looks at the new AMD RX 580 video card, a refresh with plenty of improvements to make it a strong contender for your new card. For those after a new build, the GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboard gets put to the test to see what it can do as the heart of your system. There's a review of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, an ultraportable laptop that has an Intel Kaby Lake CPU and a larger battery for a better life, while still delivering a ton of performance in an easy-to-carry design. Wrapping things up is the next part of the wallpaper showcase, this time on nature photography and other stunning shots.

Video Cards
Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 8GB LE @ LanOC Reviews
Radeon RX 580 8GB @ PC Perspective

Motherboards
GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming 8 @ PC Perspective

Laptops/Tablets
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon @ TechSpot

Miscellany
5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Nature Photography and Amazing Scenes @ TechSpot


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Coating Developed for Improving Lithium Ion Batteries

Posted: April 18, 2017 @ time: 12:44PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The invention of lithium-ion batteries has made many other technologies possible, thanks to the high energy density they give us. However, we are always looking for more and the current battery design has limits, as do possible alternatives. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found a possible way to break one of those alternative's limits with an inexpensive coating.

Inside of every battery is a cathode and anode, the electrodes for the positive and negative charged sides respectively. Graphite and other carbon materials are currently used in lithium-ion batteries for the anode, because it works well and is rather resilient. A lithium metal anode would be far superior though, providing up two ten times the energy density, but lacks that resiliency as dendrites form from the anode, cutting its lifespan short. What the researchers discovered is that by adding methyl viologen to the electrolyte, the ion-containing fluid between the electrodes, a coating would form over the lithium metal as the organic molecules touch the metal, preventing dendrite growth.

The researchers have already found that the methyl viologen can triple the cycling lifetime of the battery, which is truly significant and could be increased with further investigation. It is also worth noting that methyl viologen is very low in cost and is already compatible with manufacturing lithium ion batteries.

Source: University of California, Riverside


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Win a Custom Mass Effect: Andromeda PC from NVIDIA

Posted: April 18, 2017 @ time: 03:49PM
Author: CheeseMan42

NVIDIA has announced the Shot With GeForce GTX contest, giving users the chance to win a custom Mass Effect: Andromeda PC. Entries can be made by taking a screenshot using NVIDIA Ansel and sharing it on Facebook or Twitter and tagging @NVIDIAGeForce with hashtags #SHOTWITHGEFORCEGTX and #MASSEFFECT. The grand prize features an Intel i7-7700, ASUS Strix Z270G, and GeForce GTX 1080. Full contest rules can be found here.

Source: NVIDIA


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 19, 2017 @ time: 07:39AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with more items for you to check out. There's another look at the AMD RX 580 video card, this time the Sapphire Nitro+ model that sports a high factory overclock and a custom cooler. We have a review on the RIOTORO CR480 case, a budget-friendly mid-tower that just might be able to house all your gear. If you need something even smaller, then maybe the DAN Cases A4-SFX Crowdfunded Mini-ITX case, funded through Kickstarter, is the one for you. For some audio needs, the TUNAI CLIP gets tested to see what the ability to turn wired headphones into wireless Bluetooth models is like. We end things with more wallpapers, this time of retro styles.

Video Cards
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 8GB @ Neoseeker

Cases
RIOTORO CR480 @ Benchmark Reviews
DAN Cases A4-SFX Crowdfunded Mini-ITX @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
TUNAI CLIP @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Retro Wallpapers @ TechSpot


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Micro Machines World Series Gets First Gameplay Trailer

Posted: April 19, 2017 @ time: 10:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in January it was announced that the Micro Machines franchise is coming back with Micro Machines World Series. Today we have gotten the first gameplay trailer, showing off the kind of mayhem these tiny cars can create with their collection of weapons in the new Battle Arenas. Up to 12 players can face off in the competitive games, fighting for territory or flags, or have a 6v6 deathmatch in the 15 battle arenas. These arenas include The Laser Lab, Buzzsaw Battle and a Hungry Hungry Hippos board. At your disposal will be NERF Blasters, a Dynamite Launcher, Tidal Wave, and Cobra Turret.

Micro Machines World Series is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on June 23.

 

 

Source: Codemasters


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Phanteks Announces Enthoo Evolv MATX Tempered Glass Edition

Posted: April 19, 2017 @ time: 03:44PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Phanteks has announced the Enthoo Evolv MATX Tempered Glass Edition, the successor to its original Enthoo Evolv. The new version of the case boasts "luxurious hinged glass doors, RGB illumination, and easy access to front I/O." The hinged doors are built with tempered glass and are kept in place with magnets. Enhancements to the interior of the case offer support for long GPUs and two mounting locations for radiators, up to 360mm in front or 280mm on top. The RGB illumination can by synced with other Phanteks RGB products and cable management considerations include velcro cable ties. The case is available in Satin Black, Anthracite Grey, and Galaxy Silver at an MSRP of $129.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, April 20, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 20, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, with several items to get you through the day. We have a review on the XFX RX 580 8GB GTS video card, offering a new cooler design that should keep the card running the latest games without going up in flames. If you're planning a new build, we have a roundup of the best CPUs based on your budget, whatever it might be. The Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Gaming Mouse gets reviewed to see if the typically audio-centric company can deliver in the world of mice. Wrapping things up is another wallpaper bundle, this time with a minimalist design.

Video Cards
XFX RX 580 8GB GTS @ LanOC Reviews

CPUs
The Best CPUs @ TechSpot

Mice/Keyboards
Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Minimalist Wallpapers @ TechSpot


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Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti Launched by Corsair

Posted: April 20, 2017 @ time: 10:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Heat is the bane of high performance components, which is why for some particularly dedicated people turn to liquid cooling, but making a custom loop can be more challenging and intimidating than many may be willing to accept. For those people, all-in-one coolers exist and now Corsair has launched the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti from MSI combined with Corsair's Hydro Series liquid cooling.

The Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti uses a Hydro Series H55 liquid cooler with a micro-fin copper base and 120 mm radiator, which Corsair says can result in up to 50% lower temperatures. Lower temperatures can result in better performance as the GPU will be able to stay at its boost clocks when you need it most. The cooling fan is one of Corsair's ML120 LED, which uses a magnetic levitation bearing that suspends the fan rotor away from the motor, reducing friction and noise. With a range of 400 – 2400 RPM, it can be tuned to your needs.

The Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti is available immediately from the Corsair official webstore for those in the US, UK, and Germany.

Source: Corsair


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Native Ad-Blocking Coming to Chrome

Posted: April 20, 2017 @ time: 03:36PM
Author: CheeseMan42

It may seem counter-intuitive for a company that makes a large portion of its revenue from ads to develop ad-blocking software, but that is just what Google appears to be doing. Users would be able to enable ad-blocking within Chrome on the desktop and mobile versions of the browser, but further information on exactly how the feature would work are not known at this time. It is believed that Google would focus on blocking ads deemed unacceptable by the Coalition for Better Ads which include "pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and 'prestitial' ads with countdown timers are deemed to be 'beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.'" Doing this could provide Google with more control over what ads are blocked rather than relying on third-party applications such as Adblock Plus.

Source: Wall Street Journal


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, April 21, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 21, 2017 @ time: 07:42AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week has arrived, with several items for you to check out. We have a look at the MSI GTX 1080 11Gbps Gaming X+ 8G video card, sporting the faster memory to help give the card a bit of a boost over the model that originally launched. There's a review on the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X 375GB, offering some incredibly performance right now that will be outmatched when the connection standard goes from PCIe to DIMM. The Roccat Kone EMP Gaming Mouse gets reviewed to check out what the improved design and enhanced optical sensor have to offer over the older Kone model. The last day of new wallpapers has arrived, with various tech brands represented. Wrapping up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

Video Cards
MSI GTX 1080 11Gbps Gaming X+ 8G @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X 375GB @ PC Perspective

Mice/Keyboards
Roccat Kone EMP Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
5 Days of Awesome Wallpapers: Tech Brands and Fanboyism @ TechSpot
Podcast #446 @ PC Perspective


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, April 24, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 24, 2017 @ time: 07:35AM
Author: bp9801

The final week of April is upon us, with a few items to kick off the week. There's a review on the MSI Z270 SLI PLUS motherboard, offering a ton of performance without all the flash of a higher end gaming model. We have a look at the Riotoro Onyx Series power supply to see if it can bring plenty of reliable power from a company mainly known for its cases. Wrapping things up is a three way battle of mechanical RGB keyboards to see which one coms out on top.

Motherboards
MSI Z270 SLI PLUS @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies
Riotoro Onyx Series @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
3-Way Mechanical RGB Keyboard Battle @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Avalanche Studios Partners with Nordisk Film

Posted: April 24, 2017 @ time: 08:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Avalanche Studios, the developer behind the Just Cause franchise (Just Cause 2 and Just Cause 3 reviews) and the Mad Max game released in 2015, has partnered with Nordisk Film, a leading Nordic entertainment company. As part of this partnership, Nordisk Film will invest $10 million dollars into the game developer for a minority ownership share.

Nordisk Film is a film producer, distributor, and cinema operator in the Nordic region and has founded Nordisk Film Games to invest in Nordic gaming studios, such as Avalanche. With this investment, the hope is for Avalanche Studio to accelerate its growth in the international gaming market by developing and self-publishing more high quality games.

Source: Nordisk Film


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Scanner Sombre Announced by Introversion Software, Releasing April 26

Posted: April 24, 2017 @ time: 09:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On Wednesday Introversion Software, the BAFTA-winning developer behind Prison Architect, is releasing its next game, Scanner Sombre. It is a "total departure" for the studio, in times of visual style and tone, according to Chris Delay, Introversion's Creative Director, while Mark Morris, Managing Director, describes it as being "a more involved, claustrophobic game distilling a deep sense of unease into a single play session." In the game you use a LIDAR scanner to explore the dark cave you have found yourself in, with the neon lights the scanner produces being your guide as you try to find your way around. Introversion lists Gone Home, Dead Esther, and Proteus as inspiration for this latest title.

For anyone curious about the game, it will be launching April 26, as in two days from now. It will cost $11.99, but have a 20% launch discount on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

 

 

Source: Scanner Sombre


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AMD Announces Dual Polaris Radeon Pro Duo Video Card

Posted: April 24, 2017 @ time: 03:28PM
Author: CheeseMan42

AMD has announced the Radeon Pro Duo video card, packing two Polaris 10 cores onto a single card. The card is aimed at professionals that could use the card for tasks "such as broadcast, entertainment, media, design and manufacturing workloads." Each core has 2304 stream processors and 36 compute units with a clock speed of 1243MHz, offering compute power up to 11.5 TFLOPS. The card has enough processing power to handle four 4K monitors at 60Hz or a single 8K monitor at 60Hz. Also included is 32GB of GDDR5 memory with total bandwidth of 448GB/s. The latest Pro Duo falls short of the performance of last years model with dual Fiji XT cores with 4096 stream processors, 64 compute units, up to 16.38 TFLOPS of computer power, 8GB HBM2, and 1 TB/s memory bandwidth. The new Pro Duo has an MSRP of $999 while the previous iteration has an MSRP of $1500. General manager of the professional graphics division at AMD Ogi Brkic described the new card stating, "Today’s professional workflows continue to increase in complexity, often demanding that creators switch between a wide variety of applications to progress their work, pausing efforts in one application while computing resources are focused on another. We designed the Radeon Pro Duo to eliminate those constraints, empowering professionals to multi-task without compromise, dedicating GPU resources where and how they need them. It’s a continuation of our promise for Radeon Pro: to provide greater choice in how professionals practice their craft, enabling superior multi-tasking, accelerated applications, and powerful solutions for advanced workloads like VR."

Source: WCCF Tech


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 25, 2017 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with several items to get you through the day. We have a review on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX Technology, featuring a unique custom cooler and a factory overclock to get you gaming at higher settings for longer. On the AMD side of things, there's a look at how a couple of RX 580 video cards do in CrossFire to see if it's something you should consider when buying a new card. To continue with AMD, the BIOSTAR RACING X370GT7 AM4 motherboard gets reviewed to showcase if it should be the home for your new Ryzen CPU. Wrapping things up is a look at a system with 32GB of Intel Optane Memory to see just how fast it truly is.

Video Cards
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 with iCX Technology @ PC Perspective
RX 580 CrossFire Testing @ LanOC Reviews

Motherboards
BIOSTAR RACING X370GT7 @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel Optane Memory 32GB @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


GDDR6 Wielding GPU Coming by Early 2018

Posted: April 25, 2017 @ time: 09:57AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

SK Hynix recently introduced the world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb GDDR6 DRAM, which has an I/O data rate of 16 Gbps per pin. The GDDR6 standard is to be twice as fast as GDDR5 while operating at 10% less voltage, making it a very desirable product. What else makes this GDDR6 announcement interesting though is that the company also states it will be used in a "forthcoming high-end graphics card" and that it is working with a client to produce enough for a release by early 2018. While this client is not identified, it is still a clear indication that GDDR6 GPUs are coming possibly in less than a calendar year.

The press release provides some other information, including that the graphics card will have 384-bit I/Os, with the DRAM processing up to 768 GBps. SK Hynix is also working with the client to ensure timely mass production of GDDR6 for upcoming market demands.

Source: SK Hynix


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Edition

Posted: April 26, 2017 @ time: 07:41AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week has arrived, with several items along for the ride. We have a look at the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, offering plenty of performance (and four cores) for under $200. The Geil EVO Forza DDR4-2400 32GB memory kit gets reviewed to see what kind of an increase it can bring to your system. If you're in need of a new chair for your desk, perhaps the COUGAR Armor Gaming Chair, with its black and orange design, is the comfortable solution for you. We end things with the next part of a build log for a Ryzen machine.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ TechSpot

Memory
Geil EVO Forza DDR4-2400 32GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
COUGAR Armor Gaming Chair @ Benchmark Reviews
Project Build: Carmine - Part 2 @ LanOC Reviews


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