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News Archives for May 2017

Hardware Roundup: Monday, May 1, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 1, 2017 @ time: 07:40AM
Author: bp9801

The first day of May has arrived, bringing with it a few items to start off the new month. We have a review of the Primochill Praxis Wetbench, an open air case with a testbench style that changes it up by angling the piece where the motherboard sits to give a unique take on it. For those after more storage for their home or business, the QNAP TS-453Bmini Vertical NAS with an Intel quad-core CPU and 4K support takes up less space than other models, while still offering four HDD bays and a 4K HDMI port. The last item for today is a look at the ASUS ROG GR8 II Mini Gaming PC, a living room PC that takes up about as much space as a console, yet with plenty more horsepower at its disposal.

Cases
Primochill Praxis Wetbench @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
QNAP TS-453Bmini Vertical NAS with Intel Quad-Core CPU and 4K @ Madshrimp

Prebuilts
ASUS ROG GR8 II Mini Gaming PC @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Water Interlayer Found to Improve New Energy Storage Device

Posted: May 1, 2017 @ time: 09:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When it comes to storing electrical energy the two dominant choices are batteries and capacitors. Batteries can store a great deal of energy but capacitors can charge and discharge significantly faster, so there has been a lot of effort to create a device that combines their properties. Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a proof-of-concept material that may help lead to exactly that.

For their work, the researchers were using crystalline tungsten oxide and a layered, crystalline tungsten oxide hydrate, which is almost identical except for atomically thin layers of water between the tungsten oxide layers. When the researchers charged the two materials for ten minutes, they found the regular tungsten oxide stored more energy than the hydrate, but after charging for just 12 seconds, the hydrate stored more. The hydrate also was more efficient at storing this energy, losing less to heat.

Currently this is just a proof-of-concept for the idea of adding layers of solvents, like water, to materials to tune the ability for a material to transport ions between layers. Potentially this could be used to create thinner batteries, increased acceleration for electric vehicles, and faster storage for power grids using renewable energy sources. The researchers are now moving forward with National Science Foundation-funded work to tune the interlayer and hopefully improve their understanding of these materials.

Source: North Carolina State University


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, May 2, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 2, 2017 @ time: 07:39AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, with several items along the way. We have a look at the PrimoChill Praxis WetBench, an open air test case that changes up the usual style typically associated with one of these models. For some audio needs, there's a review on the Sound BlasterX Katana, a soundbar that can fit under your monitor to deliver an experience without taking up too much space. If you're after a bit more personal audio, then maybe the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB gaming headset, which can simulate 7.1 surround sound, is for you. Wrapping things up is a look at several Mesh WiFi products and their performance in the real world.

Cases
PrimoChill Praxis WetBench @ ThinkComputers

Speakers/Headphones
Sound BlasterX Katana @ LanOC Reviews
SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps

Networking
Mesh Wi-Fi Performance Benchmarks: eero vs. Google Wifi vs. Amplifi HD @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Darksiders III Announced for 2018

Posted: May 2, 2017 @ time: 11:43AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Following an accidental leak, THQ Nordic has officially announced Darksiders III is coming next year to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This game will continue the story of the first two games as Fury, the rider of the black horse, is sent by the Charred Council to destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. Fury differs from previously playable brothers, War and Death, in that she wields magic and a whip to balance of good and evil. She also strives to prove she is the most powerful of the four.

Since the first two games, Darksiders and Darksiders II, released there have been some significant changes, including the collapse of THQ and new ownership of the IP by THQ Nordic, formerly Nordic Games. While that may not seem to bode well for consistency between these games, and the conspiracies and plots revealed already revealed, THQ Nordic is working with Gunfire Games, which is largely comprised of the original Darksiders creators. The IP may be under a new owner, but at least some of the original talent behind the games is still involved in the development. Here's the reveal trailer from IGN and a link to the website: Darksiders.com.

 

 

Source: THQ Nordic


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Intel Fixes Remote Vulnerability That Goes Back to 2008

Posted: May 2, 2017 @ time: 04:11PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Intel has fixed a vulnerability in the Active Management Technology (AMT), Standard Manageability (ISM), and Small Business Technology (SBT) firmware versions 6 to 11.6, impacting processors going back to the Nehalem based Core i7. This allows attackers "to gain control of the manageability features provided by these products," which "means it is possible for hackers to log into a vulnerable computer's hardware – right under the nose of the operating system – and silently tamper with the machine, install virtually undetectable malware, and so on." AMT has direct access to the networking features of your computer, allowing this to be exploited remotely. It is believed that business and server systems will feel the most pain from this as these systems commonly have the impacted features enabled. Intel has published instructions on how to determine if you system has the features enabled, and you should be sure to check your system.

Source: The Register


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 3, 2017 @ time: 07:37AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of another week has arrived, with several items along the way. We have a review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING video card, which sports a massive cooler and factory overclock to get the most out of your games right away. To house your gear, perhaps the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV mATX Tempered Glass case is for you, with its glass side panel to show off the internals. We have an article looking at the best monitors you can get, from 4K panels to the best ones for gaming or on a budget. Wrapping things up is a look at 20 of the worst setups seen during the month of April.

Video Cards
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING @ Bjorn3D

Cases
Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV mATX Tempered Glass @ Benchmark Reviews

Monitors
The Best Monitors @ TechSpot

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


Complete Story


Mid-Tower Carbide Series SPEC-04 Cases Launched by Corsair

Posted: May 3, 2017 @ time: 12:11PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Corsair has launched a new set of mid-tower cases, the Carbide Series SPEC-04 cases that comes in red, yellow, or gray combined with black. The cases have an asymmetrical design to their exteriors and along with providing a large vent area to the front of the case, this design places the front panel, with its USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, on the side. The case comes with a 120 mm LED lit fan already installed and has room for up to five more: two 120 mm or one 140 mm in the front; two 120 mm in the roof; and one 120 mm in the rear. The 120 mm placements also support any 120 mm Corsair Hydro Series liquid cooler. Both the front intake and PSU have dust filters, to help keep your system clean.

Being a mid-tower the SPEC-04 cases support ATX, M-ATX, and mini-ITX motherboards but also feature seven expansion slots and enough room for GPUs 370 mm long. The storage mounts also support up to three 3.5 in drives and two 2.5 in drives with multiple cable routing cutouts and tie downs for easier cable management.

The Carbide Series SPEC-04 is available immediately from Corsair approved retailers and distributors, and is backed with a two year warranty. It looks like price may vary by region, but looking at Corsair's shop shows a price of $49.99 (USD).

Source: Corsair


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Microsoft Plans to Add Office to Windows Store

Posted: May 3, 2017 @ time: 03:22PM
Author: CheeseMan42

At the Microsoft EDU event yesterday, the company announced plans to bring the full version of Microsoft Office to the Windows Store, with an expected release date sometime in June. The move may be related to the recent announcement of Windows 10 S, seen as a response to Google Chrome OS. By using the Windows Store, users will be able to access the fully capability of the software without an Internet connection.

Source: Venture Beat


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, May 4, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 4, 2017 @ time: 07:35AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is here, with a couple of items to keep you going. We have a review of the Corsair ONE PRO, the company's prebuilt gaming PC that doesn't really look like a PC at all. It manages to pack a hefty punch with that unique styling, however. Our other item for today is another Corsair product, as the Glaive RGB Gaming Mouse gets tested to see what the FPS and MOBA-focused design means in the long run.

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair Glaive RGB Gaming Mouse @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
Corsair ONE PRO @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


GLAIVE RGB Mouse Released by Corsair

Posted: May 4, 2017 @ time: 10:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Corsair has today launched its new GLAIVE RGB gaming mouse that features a precision optical sensor and interchangeable magnetic thumb grips. As the RGB part of the name suggests, it also sports lighting zones you can configure with the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE), which is also where macros can be configured, though the mouse's 8 MG of storage can keep your profiles with you. It also comes in both black and aluminum versions, as you can see in the images below.

The sensor is a custom PMW3367 optical sensor that has a range from 100 DPI to 16,000 DPI, and you can step through that range in single DPI increments. Five custom DPI settings can be saved on the mouse and with the dynamic CPI display you can quickly see which it is you are using. The OMRON switches are rated for up to 50 million clicks and provide ultra-fast response while the mouse itself has a 1000 Hz/1 ms refresh rate. The interchangeable magnetic grips allow you to change out the shape of the mouse to fit your use style. You can have a smooth thumb grip, a rubberized textured grip, or even a wide thumb rest, depending on what you want.

The GLAIVE RGB is available immediately from authorized retailers and distributors, and is backed by a two-year warranty. The Corsair Shop shows a price of $69.99 USD for me.

 

 

Source: Corsair


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Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Expansion Released

Posted: May 4, 2017 @ time: 01:02PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today marks the release of the Crusade expansion for Galactic Civilizations III. This expansion adds several new systems to the game, and adjusts several existing ones to address the late-game grind 4X games can suffer from. Galactic Citizens are a new way to enhance your entire civilization or specific colonies while the espionage system allows you to spy on your opponents and even cripple their planetary enhancements. The invasion system has also been changed to require strategic thinking. New civilizations have been added as well, but if the Terran Resistance, Onyx Hive, Slyne, or any of the older factions are not what you are looking for, the Civilization Builder will let you create one of your own and even allow for custom conversation dialog. These new factions and the ships you can build in the Ship Designer can all be shared via the Steam Workshop.

For owners of the base game, Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade costs just $19.99, or $39.99 with the base game.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, May 5, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 5, 2017 @ time: 07:43AM
Author: bp9801

The first week of May is nearly in the books, with several articles to help end it on a high note. We have a massive battle between the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 to see which one comes out on top in order to be worthy of your dollar. There's a review of the Anidees AI Crystal Cube Lite case, featuring thick tempered glass panels and support for plenty of air and water cooling. For some power needs, the Zalman Acrux Series 1000W Platinum PSU gets tested to show what it can bring to your system. Wrapping things up is a new case mod with a Gears of War 4 focus that looks pretty dang sweet.

Video Cards
Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060: 27 Game Battle @ TechSpot

Cases
Anidees AI Crystal Cube Lite @ Benchmark Reviews

Power Supplies
Zalman Acrux Series 1000W Platinum @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Case Mod Friday: Gears of War 4 @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Taiwan Semiconductor Engineer Accused of Selling Trade Secrets

Posted: May 5, 2017 @ time: 01:22PM
Author: CheeseMan42

A former Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) engineer referred to as Hsu has been "accused of stealing proprietary information and other materials related to the foundry's 28nm process technology and passing them to China-based Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC)." The technology in question is believed to be designs for NVIDIA and AMD chips, as the 28nm process is used for GPUs of the two companies. Hsu was on his way to a new job with HLMC but was arrested before he could make it to China.

Source: Digi Times and PCGamesN


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, May 8, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 8, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items kicking it off. We have a review of the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AM4 motherboard, a high-end model sporting a wealth of features and USB ports. For some fast storage, there's a look at the Patriot Hellfire PCIe M.2 SSD, featuring a Phison E7 NVMe controller and read/write speeds up to 3000/2400 MB/s. To keep things cool, the Alphacool NexXxos Cool Answer 360 D5/UT Water Cooling Kit gets put to the test to showcase everything it can do for your rig. Wrapping things up is an article looking at the best PC speakers you can buy for whatever you're after.

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero @ Madshrimps

Storage/Hard Drives
Patriot Hellfire PCIe M.2 SSD @ ThinkComputers

CPU Cooling
Alphacool NexXxos Cool Answer 360 D5/UT Water Cooling Kit @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
The Best PC Speakers @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Transparent Semiconductor Thin Film with Record Conductivity Discovered

Posted: May 8, 2017 @ time: 11:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

You might not realize it, but a lot of the devices you rely on everyday probably include some amount of the material indium. This is because indium tin oxide (ITO) is a transparent conductor, making it ideal for use in flat-panel displays and solar cells, but indium is also rather rare, which is why so many have been looking for a viable replacement. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have recently discovered a transparent semiconductor that has the highest-ever conductivity of a thin film oxide semiconductor.

This new material is barium stannate (BaSnO3), a combination of barium, tin, and oxygen. It is a semiconductor with a wide band gap, which is important as this allows it to be transparent. The bandgap is the amount of energy it takes for an electron to enter the conduction band of a material, where it can move about freely. Typically semiconductors with wide bandgaps have low conductivity, but this is an exception, meaning the conducting film could be used in various electronic devices in the future. With barium and tin both being much cheaper than indium, there will certainly be a great interest in it.

The next step is to reduce the defects that form in the material, further improving its conductivity.

Source: University of Minnesota


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, May 9, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 9, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: bp9801

Another day is here, with several items along the way. We have a review of the Radeon RX 550 and the Pentium G4560 to see how the two do together and whether it has the potential to be a winning combo for the eSports crowd. The EVGA CLC 280 water cooler gets reviewed to see what it can do for your CPU when you start to push it. If you're after more control for your games, then maybe the Corsair GLAIVE RGB Gaming Mouse is the solution, with its high DPI and customizable side panels. For audio, the Bloody M660P Gaming Headset is reviewed to hear what the addition of an inline mic has to offer over the typical boom mic. Wrapping things up is a look at the Tesoro Zone Balance Gaming Chair, the company's first chair that looks to hit all the right spots.

CPUs/Video Cards
Radeon RX 550 + Pentium G4560: The Ultimate eSports Combo? @ TechSpot

CPU Cooling
EVGA CLC 280 Water Cooling @ LanOC Reviews

Mice/Keyboards
Corsair GLAIVE RGB Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps

Speakers/Headphones
Bloody M660P Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Tesoro Zone Balance Gaming Chair @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 10, 2017 @ time: 07:36AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with several items along the way. We have a review of the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU, one of the company's mid-range models that should be quite appealing to those wanting a powerful build without dropping a huge investment on it. If you're on the Intel side of things, the ASUS Prime Z270-A motherboard gets reviewed to see what it can do. There are a couple looks at the Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid CPU cooler, sporting a 240mm radiator and a new design offering solid performance with minimal noise. Wrapping things up is the AOC Agon AG251FZ monitor, which has a 240Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ Madshrimps

Motherboards
ASUS Prime Z270-A @ PC Perspective

CPU Cooling
Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid @ ThinkComputers
Fractal Design Celsius S24 Liquid @ PC Perspective

Monitors
AOC Agon AG251FZ @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Absolver Gets Combat Trailer and August 29 Release Date

Posted: May 10, 2017 @ time: 10:11AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Absolver is an upcoming online melee action game and its release date has finally been announced as August 29 for the PC and PlayStation 4. In Absolver the player takes on the role of a Prospect, one who has taken a vow to join the elite Absolvers, combatants that fight to maintain stability in the world. You will get to choose a combat style, which each having its own special abilities, and create a Combat Deck to match your fighting style. As the trailer below shows, you can learn new moves as you play or by taking on a mentor to spar with and learn from. You can also choose to explore the game alone or with friends.

The game's three combat styles are the Kahlt Method, Forsaken, and Windfall. With the Kahlt Method, players can absorbs hits without being stunned or pushed back, and if one successfully counter attacks, they will regain some health. The Forsaken is a more balanced style, offering power and the ability to parry attacks and stun opponents. Windfall has greater dexterity and will, allowing Prospects to avoid attacks, setting up opponents for counters.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Block'hood Exits Early Access

Posted: May 11, 2017 @ time: 10:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The neighborhood building simulator from Devolver Digital and Plethora Project, Block'hood has final reached its 1.0 release, officially launching on Steam and GOG for PC and Mac. The game was announced for the Early Access program back in 2015, and at the time only had 90 blocks for players to work with. There are now over 200 building blocks and additional resources are needed to unlock new blocks, configurations, and combinations. Block'hood also now has a five-episode story mode that follows a boy, his pet, and their neighborhood, but players can always try the Challenge, Sandbox, or Education modes.

With its 1.0 release, Block'hood has seen a an increase to price to $14.99, though both Steam and GOG appear to have it on sale currently.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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AMD Engineering Samples with 16 Cores/32 Threads Possibly Found

Posted: May 11, 2017 @ time: 10:51AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is definitely in the 'rumor' column as someone appears to have found engineering samples of some as-yet unannounced AMD CPUs. Among them are two CPUs with 16 cores/32 threads with base clocks of 3.1 GHz and boost clocks of 3.6 GHz. These are labeled as the AMD Whitehaven platform and as they are first and second generation engineering samples, those clock speeds could increase by the time they release. There are a number of other CPUs mentioned, including some with just four cores and one with only two cores, but each supports SMT and therefore sports double the threads.

As the Videocardz source points out when it breaks down the numbering system for these CPUs, the two 16 core/32 thread chips are using a different socket than AM4 or SP3 (a server socket). There have been rumors previously that AMD is planning a separate X399 chipset targeting high end desktops (HEDT) that would also have a different socket. Allowing these rumors to have some truth to them, these may be CPU destined for that platform, and with a better-than 3 GHz clock speed, these could be some fairly powerful components. Only time will tell though.

Source: Videocardz


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, May 12, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 12, 2017 @ time: 07:36AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is here, with a few items along the way to help welcome in the weekend. We have a review of the XFX RX 570 RS 4GB XXX Edition video card, featuring a custom cooler and a factory overclock to get you gaming at higher settings right from the start. There's an article taking a look at the different color options for the Mionix Castor mouse, where it isn't just RGB lighting, but the entire mouse getting a new color. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Video Cards
XFX RX 570 RS 4GB XXX Edition @ Neoseeker

Mice/Keyboards
A look at Mionix’s new Castor options @ LanOC Reviews

Miscellany
Podcast #449 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Alan Wake Disappearing from Steam Store and Xbox Store Soon

Posted: May 12, 2017 @ time: 09:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you do not already own Alan Wake on Steam or the Xbox Store but want a copy, you will have to act soon. The licensing deal developer Remedy Entertainment had for the game's music is expiring soon, so without successfully negotiating a new deal, the game cannot be sold after May 15. Luckily, for those who want to purchase it while they still can, Alan Wake's Sunset Sale 90% Discount starts May 13 at 10 AM PST and will include the game, its DLC, and Alan Wake's American Nightmare, though the last is not effected by the license expiring.

If you already own a copy of the game and its DLC, your copy will remain valid and functional after May 15. You will also still be able to download it after the licensing expires, it is only new sales that will be prevented.

Source: Steam Forum and Twitter


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DiRT 4 Trailer Features Rally Drivers and Being Fearless

Posted: May 12, 2017 @ time: 09:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Codemasters and Deep Silver released a new trailer for DiRT 4, featuring professional rally and rallycross drivers talking about how they deal with fear and yet still push to go faster. The drivers include Kris Meeke, double world champion Petter Solberg, and the Hansen brothers.

The game will feature two different handling models, Gamer and Simulation, making it accessible to gamers both already familiar with the franchise and newcomers. DiRT 4 also features the Your Stage system that can generate millions of different tracks based on the characteristics you want. It releases on Jun 6 in North America for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

 

 

Source: Codemasters


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, May 15, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 15, 2017 @ time: 07:40AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items kicking things off. We have a review on the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, a budget-friendly model that just might be the heart of your next PC. On the Intel side of things, there's an article looking at the best memory options for the high-end Intel LGA 2011-v3 socket. If you're after a new mouse, perhaps the Corsair Glaive RGB, with its customizable side attachments, is the one for you. For keyboards, the Cherry MX Board Silent, sporting the new MX Silent switches, gets reviewed to see just how quiet it is. We wrap things up with a look at how to access a locked Windows account.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ Madshrimps

Memory
Intel X99 Benchers Memory Battle @ Madshrimps

Mice/Keyboards
Corsair Glaive RGB @ LanOC Reviews
Cherry MX Board Silent @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
5 Ways to Access a Locked Windows Account @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Leak for AMD RX Vega Lineup Names and Pricing

Posted: May 15, 2017 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As with any rumors, this information may turn out to not be true, but at least we are quickly approaching the actual announcement. According to Digiworthy, sources within AMD's Headquarters have indicated AMD will be announcing three RX Vega GPUs on May 31 at Computex, with the actual release following on June 5. Yes, three GPUs and they will supposedly be named the RX Vega Core, RX Vega Eclipse, and RX Vega Nova. The Core is supposed to have a $399 price on it and is meant to target or surpass GTX 1070 performance. The Eclipse will be at $499 and targets the GTX 1080, while the Nova at $599 would be against the GTX 1080 Ti.

All of this information is rumor, of course, so only time will tell exactly how AMD re-enters the high-end GPU market.

Source: Digiworthy


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 16, 2017 @ time: 07:36AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, with a few items along for the ride. There's a look at the impact on 1080p gaming that Ryzen's memory latency has to see what it helps, or hinders. The Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 memory kit gets put to the test to show just what that blistering fast speed can do for your system. Ending things for today is a review on the ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS gaming laptop, sporting a 15.6" G-Sync panel and a GeForce GTX 1070 to power your games.

CPUs
Ryzen Memory Latency's Impact on Weak 1080p Gaming @ PC Perspective

Memory
Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-3466 Memory Kit @ Benchmark Reviews

Laptops/Tablets
ASUS ROG Strix GL502VS Gaming Laptop @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Corsair Launches T1 RACE Gaming Chair

Posted: May 16, 2017 @ time: 09:35AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Expanding past PC components and typical peripherals, Corsair has launched the T1 RACE gaming chair. The design is inspired by racing to give people the desired comfort and lasting build quality, with a solid steel skeleton and dense foam cushions. It also has 4D-movement armrests that can raise, lower, shift, and swivel to one's desire. The T1 RACE is upholstered in PU leather with five colors available for the trim: yellow, white, red, blue, and black. The stitching is also color-matched, as are some accents on the base. The chairs use Nylon caster wheels, a steel construction Class 4 gas lift, and feature neck and lumbar pillows. It also has the ability to tilt the seat up to 10º and recline the seat back between 90º and 180º.

T1 RACE gaming chairs are available immediately and come backed with a two-year warranty. The Corsair shop has them listed at $349.99 USD for me currently.

Source: Corsair


Complete Story


AMD Announces Threadripper 16 Core/32 Thread HEDT CPUs and More

Posted: May 17, 2017 @ time: 06:50AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Yesterday, May 16, AMD held its Financial Analyst Day where the company talked about its long-term strategy for delivering products and technologies to various compute markets. It also announced made some product announcements, such as revealing the Zen-based Naples CPUs for the server market are going to be named EPYC and Radeon Vega Frontier Edition GPU for machine learning and advanced visualization. Little was said about the gaming version of Vega, but consumers were not forgotten as both the high and low-end of the CPU market, and the mobile APU market had announcements.

On the high-end, AMD formally announced its Ryzen Threadripper Zen-based CPU with up to 16 cores and 32 threads targeting the HEDT market. We have been seeing some information on what appears to be these chips leak for a bit now, including some engineering samples last week. The Threadripper CPUs will have expanded memory and I/O bandwidth to satisfy the needs of the HEDT market and will be coming this Summer. There will also be Ryzen PRO desktop CPUs targeting commercial, enterprise, and the public sector launching in H2 2017, with Ryzen PRO mobile CPUs coming H1 2018.

On the lower end, AMD announced the Ryzen 3 desktop CPUs are scheduled for Q3 of this year. For mobile, AMD confirmed its Ryzen Mobile APUs (the Raven Ridge APUs) will combine a 4 core/8 thread Zen CPU with Vega GPU cores to deliver 50% improved CPU performance and 40% improved graphics performance at half the power. These APUs will be launched in the second half of 2017 and should be found in premium 2-in-1s, ultraportables, and gaming form factors.

One last thing probably worth mentioning is that while 14 nm only just seemed to arrive, AMD revealed its intent to go to 7 nm with the Zen 2 CPU architecture and the Navi GPU architecture, which follows Vega.

 

 

Source: AMD


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, May 17, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 17, 2017 @ time: 07:32AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with a couple of items to welcome in the day. We have a review of the Corsair VENGEANCE LED DDR4-3200 32GB Memory Kit, sporting an LED bar on top of the sticks that you can control to add a new element of style to your rig. Our other item is a look at the Lexar JumpDrive S75 USB 3.0 Flash Drive, which comes with EncryptStick Lite to help keep your data nice and safe.

Memory
Corsair VENGEANCE LED DDR4-3200 32GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Lexar JumpDrive S75 USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


F1 2017 Releasing August 25

Posted: May 17, 2017 @ time: 10:09AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On August 25, 2017, Codemasters and Deep Silver will be launching F1 2017 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This entry in the series will feature a deeper career mode, multiplayer enhancement, a new 'Championships' game mode, and the return of some classic F1 cars. The 1988 McLaren MP4/4 as driven by Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, the 1992 Williams FW14B that was raced by Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese, and the 2002 Ferrari F2002 of Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher are all returning, with more classics to be revealed. Players will be able to take these classic out as part of the career mode as well, thanks to invitational races putting the classics on modern tracks.

There will be twelve classic cars in total with eleven of them included with all editions of the game. The 1988 McLaren MP4/4 however will be a pre-order/Day-One purchase exclusive at first though, until it is made available for purchase at a later date.

 

 

Source: Codemasters


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South Park: The Fractured But Whole Finally Releasing October 17, 2017

Posted: May 18, 2017 @ time: 12:04PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The sequel to 2014's South Park: The Stick of Truth is finally releasing on October 17, 2017. South Park: The Fractured But Whole is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on that day, across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In this title, players will be fighting against the rise of crime in South Park as superheroes. The New Kid, the playable character, will get to discover the backstory of their superhero identity, assemble their costumes, and harness fart-based powers. The game also features a new combat system and a revamped looting and crafting system.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole will come in four editions: Standard, Gold, Steelbook Gold, and Collector's. All purchases before January 31, 2018 will also come with The Stick of Truth, and some partners will grant this immediately if you pre-purchase. Pre-orders will also receive an exclusive in-game assistant, Towelie: Your Gaming Bud. At key locations, Towelie: Your Gaming Bud will provide advice and commentary.

Source: Ubisoft


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Offworld Trading Company: Jupiter’s Forge Releases

Posted: May 18, 2017 @ time: 12:22PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

About a month ago, Stardock announced the Jupiter's Forge expansion for Offworld Trading Company. The base game is a strategy title that has players trying for economic dominance on Mars by leveraging the available markets. With Jupiter's Forge players venture to Io, Jupiter's volcanic moon where there is a new resources system, new buildings, new factions, and a new campaign to enjoy. The expansion also brings with it a new Infinite Map Challenge mode, where successive maps grow in difficulty, testing players to see how far they can get.

The expansion costs $14.99 but newcomers can get it and Offworld Trading Company together for just $29.73 at Stardock or Steam.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Noctua Adds Fans to A-Series

Posted: May 18, 2017 @ time: 03:06PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Noctua has announced the addition of fans with sizes of 200mm, 120mm, and 40mm to its A-series, with "signature features such as Flow Acceleration Channels and AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) frames." The new model numbers of the fans are NF-A20, NF-A12x15, and NF-A4x20, respectively. The 200mm model represents the largest fan Noctua has made, with the large size presenting a new array of design challenges. The reduced thickness of the new 120mm fan presented its own set of challenges, which Noctua was also able to solve with a bit of engineering. The new 40mm fan doubles the thickness of the current offering, making it a good choice for systems that require higher air pressure. The NF-A20 and NF-A12x15 will be available with PWM or FLX with Low-Noise and Ultra-Low-Noise options, providing users with a balance between cooling and acoustic performance. The NF-A4x20 will also have PWM and FLX configurations, but also adds a 5V connector for use in switches, routers, DVRs, and other devices.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, May 19, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 19, 2017 @ time: 07:35AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with several items to get you going before the weekend hits. There's a review on the Gigabyte Z270X AORUS Gaming 7 motherboard, a high-end model that should compete quite nicely with the ASUS ROG line. If you need plenty of power for your system, then maybe the Seasonic PRIME 1200W Gold PSU is the one for you. We have a look at the Gigabyte Aero 15 laptop that comes with some robust hardware to keep you gaming or completing work from wherever you are. We end things for the week with a podcast covering all the news and reviews of the past week.

Motherboards
Gigabyte Z270X AORUS Gaming 7 @ Madshrimps

Power Supplies
Seasonic PRIME 1200W Gold @ PC Perspective

Laptops/Tablets
Gigabyte Aero 15 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Podcast #450 @ PC Perspective


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Lithium Batteries Improved by Graphene-Nanotube Hybrid

Posted: May 19, 2017 @ time: 12:01PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It is beyond any doubt that lithium-ion batteries have significantly impacted the world with their high energy density and ability to be recharged. Unfortunately they are also fairly near their current limits, without the development of new technology. Many researchers and institutions are working such technologies and those at Rice University have recently created a battery with three times the capacity of what we see today.

What makes this new battery special is that its anode is not made of graphite, but a hybrid of graphene and carbon nanotubes. This hybrid is actually a metal and can hold more lithium ions than modern batteries, but most importantly it overcomes an issue common with other lithium-metal batteries. Dendrites are lithium structures that can grow inside of a battery, crossing the electrolyte possible connecting the two electrodes, causing a short circuit. Such a short circuit could cause the battery to fail, catch on fire, or explode. The hybrid materials has a high surface area and a low density, which is a valuable combination as it means the lithium particles are free to move in and out as the battery charges and discharges. This also allows the lithium to evenly distribute itself, which suppresses dendrite growth.

The prototype batteries the researchers have built have their capacity limited by the cathode, but this anode material is still able to hold near the theoretical limit of 10 times more energy than traditional lithium-ion batteries. When tested, the full batteries also were able to retain 80% of their capacity after some 500 charge-discharge cycles and were free of dendrites when examined with an electron microscope.

Source: Rice University


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, May 22, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 22, 2017 @ time: 07:38AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with several items to start it off. We have a review of the AMD Ryzen 5 1400 and 1600 CPUs, offering plenty of power and overclocking potential without breaking the bank. There's a look at the ICY DOCK FlexiDOCK MB522SP-B, a two-bay hot-swap device for your computer that will let you clone, recover, or any other tasks where you need to move HDDs around often. The 2017 edition of the Razer Blade laptop gets put to the test to see what the new additions have to offer. We have an article looking at various useful or little known Android features to help you get the most out of your device. Wrapping things up is a way to win some Corsair Vengeance LED DDR4-3200 32GB memory, so hit up the link to see how!

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 & 1600 @ Neoseeker

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY DOCK FlexiDOCK MB522SP-B @ Madshrimps

Laptops/Tablets
Razer Blade (2017) @ TechSpot

Mobile
Useful or Little Known Android Features @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Win A Corsair VENGEANCE LED DDR4-3200 32GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers


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Study Suggests Network Traffic Can Help Stop Malware Attack

Posted: May 22, 2017 @ time: 11:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before large malware attacks, systems need to be infected by the malware, where it can linger undetected for weeks or months. Until a sample of the malware is discovered, traditional anti-virus software cannot remove it, but researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, with collaboration from EURECOM and the IMDEA Software Institute, have found a way to help catch malware before it is activated. The key is monitoring network traffic.

For many pieces of malware, it needs to communicate with command and control computers, and this communication naturally involves network traffic. The researchers looked at over five billion network events from five years of ISP data and the DNS requests made by 27 million malware samples, and then compared them to the re-registration of expired domains. Such domains are often used as the launch sites for malware attacks and certain networks are more prone to abuse than others. Interestingly though, there were often months of lag time between a domain name being re-registered and attacks starting. To help with this work, the researchers created a filtering system to distinguish between benign and malicious traffic, which also involved the largest malware classification to date, differentiating malware from potentially unwanted programs.

In the end the researchers found there were signals of malware infection weeks to months before the malware was found. For this defense strategy to work though, network administrators will need to learn what normal behavior is for their networks so that bad activity can be identified, but it still indicates how the next generation of defense mechanisms can be designed.

Source: Georgia Institute of Technology


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Red Dead Redemption 2 Delayed Until Spring 2018

Posted: May 22, 2017 @ time: 01:25PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was back in October that Rockstar announced the coming of Red Dead Redemption 2 but as seems to be the case for many AAA titles, it is being delayed. Instead of launching in Fall 2017, its launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is now slated for Spring 2018. This will be the first Rockstar title to be developed from the ground up for the latest consoles, and it is this reason the company cites for the delay.

While this may be disappointing news for many, we can still expect to see details of it released this Summer and along with this announcement is a new batch of screenshots. There is still no word on a PC version of the game.

Source: Rockstar


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Kiran RGB Fan Announced by Reeven

Posted: May 22, 2017 @ time: 08:35PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Reeven, a company known for its PC cooling products, has recently announced its first RGB fan, the KIRAN. It is a 120 mm PWM fan designed for high airflow and long lifespan, and features seven colors and three lighting modes. It will be on display at Computex 2017, which starts the end of this month, and has an MSRP of $16.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 23, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with several items along the way. We have a review of the Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 CPU cooler, one of a few special edition coolers built for the new AMD AM4 socket and the Ryzen CPUs. There's a review of the Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum keyboard with its optical switch technology for some fast response and long keystroke life to see how it compares versus other mechanical switches. If you're after some storage to take with you, maybe the Lexar JumpDrive Tough USB 3.1 Flash Drive, with its durable exterior, is for you. Or for another storage possibility, the Toshiba EXCERIA PRO M402 MicroSDXC Card is put to the test to show what kind of 4K performance it offers when recording. There are a few other items for you to check out, too, such as a gaming PC from Origin, the performance difference when you upgrade your PS4 Pro with an SSD, and what Windows is like on a MacBook Pro.

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Lexar JumpDrive Tough USB 3.1 Flash Drive @ Madshrimps
Toshiba EXCERIA PRO M402 MicroSDXC Card @ Madshrimps

Prebuilts
Origin Chronos Small Form Factor Gaming PC @ TechSpot

Miscellany
PS4 Pro SSD Upgrade: Does SATA III Make a Difference? @ PC Perspective
A Quick Look at Windows on the MacBook Pro (2016) @ PC Perspective


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Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Coming to PC

Posted: May 23, 2017 @ time: 11:17AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Already released on the three current consoles, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is coming to PC on June 8. It will be available on both steam and GOG for $19.99. A remake of a 1989 game, this release lets you play as Wonder Boy, who has been cursed by the Meka-Dragon, turning him into a half-human, half-lizard monstrosity. As you search for a cure in this action platformer you will explore the interconnected world of Monster Land and undergo other transformations.

Published by DotEmu and developed by Lizardcube, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap has Wonder Girl as a playable character, new secrets to discover, and difficulty modes for new players and those that remember the original series.

 

 

Source: Press Release and The Dragon's Trap Website


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Noctua Announces AM4 Upgrade Kit for NH-L9a and NH-L9i Coolers

Posted: May 23, 2017 @ time: 04:25PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Noctua has been designing upgrade kits for its older coolers when new sockets come out, going as far as offering them for free to users with proof of purchase for an "AM4 motherboard or AM4 CPU as well as a Noctua NH-L9a or NH-L9i CPU cooler." The company had previously released the NM-AM4-UxS and the NM-AM4 upgrade kits that covered a large number of its coolers, while the NM-AM4-L9x upgrade kit is targeted at these two low profile coolers. CEO Roland Mossig described the upgrade kits, stating "We’ve been offering the free NM-AM4 and NM-AM4-UxS upgrade kits for our larger cooler models for several months now and the response has been overwhelming – we’re proud to have so many customers who want to keep using their trusted Noctua heatsinks on the new AM4 platform. Just in time for the first AM4 mini-ITX motherboards, we’re now also offering an upgrade kit for our popular NH-L9a and NH-L9i low-profile coolers." The free upgrades have an expected ship time of 1-4 weeks and users that don't want to wait can buy one for $7.90 at retailers such as Amazon.

Source: Press Release


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Micro Machines World Series Gets New Gameplay Trailer

Posted: May 24, 2017 @ time: 01:50PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Codemasters and Deep Silver have released a new gameplay trailer of the upcoming Micro Machines World Series. It shows off some of the chaos players can expect when it releases on June 23 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Each of the cars you can play with have their own personality and arsenal too, giving players different ways to enjoy and experience the game. Once you find one car you like, you can spend the time to master it, collecting its 25+ customizations until you decide to work on mastering the next car. With 12 distinct vehicles having their own feel and sound, from the twitchy-but-agile El Incendio to the monster truck Hank N. Stein, there will be plenty to do across the classic and new locations.

 

Source: Codemasters


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Phanteks Announces Glacier C350a Waterblock

Posted: May 24, 2017 @ time: 03:02PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Phanteks has announced its next waterblock for AMD CPUs, the Glacier C350a, described as "a true enthusiasts and high performance watercooling product." It is compatible with AM4, FM1, FM2(+), AM3(+), and AM2(+) sockets. The waterblock is manufactured with a copper base with integrated cooling fins, magnetic anodized aluminum plates, a polished acrylic surface, and nickel finish in satin black or mirror chrome color options. Integrated RGB lighting is compatible with Phanteks RGB-equipped cases, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASUS Aura Sync, and Gigabyte RGB Fusion.

Source: Press Release


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Cooler Master Launches 25th Anniversary Edition of Cosmos II Case

Posted: May 24, 2017 @ time: 03:31PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Cooler Master has announced an updated version of the Cosmos II case to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the case, "a tribute to Cooler Master’s original and iconic COSMOS case." The case includes two curved tempered glass side panels that "unlock and swing open like luxury car doors." Cooler Master plans to make the side panels available in the third quarter for current Cosmos II owners. Integrated blue lighting is included in a 200mm LED fan and a magnetic LED strip, both of which can be controlled using the top mounted Advanced Control Panel. The Cosmos II 25th Anniversary Edition will be available June 6 with an MSRP of $349.99.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, May 25, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 25, 2017 @ time: 07:42AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to draw to a close, but not before there are several items for you to check out. There are a couple looks at the AMD RX 570 video card, with the ASUS Strix and XFX RS models being put to the test. For something a bit older, the GeForce GTX 970 and Radeon R9 390 are tested to see what kind of potential they still have when faced with recent games. The Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and 280 liquid CPU coolers are reviewed to show what they can do to keep your processor nice and cool. If you're after some audio, perhaps the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset is the solution for you. Gaming chairs are getting more and more popular, with the EwinRacing Champion Series Gaming Chair reviewed to see if it should make its home at your desk. Wrapping things up is a follow-up on OpenCL and Vulkan's roadmap that could see the two merging together.

Video Cards
XFX RX 570 4GB RS @ LanOC Reviews
ASUS Strix RX 570 @ LanOC Reviews
GeForce GTX 970 & Radeon R9 390: Are They Still Game? @ TechSpot

CPU Cooling
Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and 280 Liquid CPU Cooler @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
EwinRacing Champion Series Gaming Chair @ ThinkComputers
Follow-up: Neil Trevett and Tom Olson from Khronos Group Discuss OpenCL and Vulkan Roadmap @ PC Perspective


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Microsoft Streaming Service Beam Renamed to Mixer

Posted: May 25, 2017 @ time: 12:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It might not be as popular as Twitch or YouTube is for livestreaming video games, but the Microsoft-owned streaming service Beam has gotten a fairly significant update today, including a name change to Mixer. One of the key features of Beam has been its ultra-low latency design, so there is very little lag between when the streamer does something and when a viewer sees it. There are even systems to allow the audience to interact with the streamer and directly influence the game, and this is why the name Mixer was decided on, as the service is meant to bring people together.

Beyond the name change, Beam/Mixer has received some new features, including Co-Streaming and the Mixer Create beta app for Android and iOS. With co-streaming up to four streamers can have their streams combined into one viewer experience, with a single chat. For example, this would mean a party of four in Left 4 Dead could all stream their gameplay and the audience could watch all of them from a single page, with a centralized chat. There is no requirement that the four streamers are playing the same game though. The Mixer Create beta app allows people to broadcast from their smartphone, but it will be in a later update that streaming gameplay from your device will be added.

In addition to these changes there is also the start of Channel One, a moderated channel that is always streaming, addition of the Mixer Page to the Xbox One dashboard, the Mixer NYC studio at the flagship Microsoft Store, and a Mixer celebration going on today with an interactive fireworks show at the end.

 

 

Source: Mixer (Beam)


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NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Revealed Through HP Envy 13

Posted: May 25, 2017 @ time: 03:17PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The NVIDIA MX150 is the latest mobile GPU from the company, released without much fanfare as part of the new HP Envy 13 ultrabook, with more devices expected at Computex. The MX150 "is a discrete graphics card for multimedia-oriented ultrabooks to ensure low power requirements," but it "was never officially introduced by NVIDIA." There aren't many concrete details known about the card, but it is believed to be a mobile version of the GeForce GT 1030 with 2GB of GDDR5.

Source: Videocardz


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, May 26, 2017, Edition

Posted: May 26, 2017 @ time: 07:44AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is here, with just two items for you to check out before the weekend arrives. We have an article looking at some performance tips and tweaks you can make for your Android device to help get it working at its full potential. If your phone is starting to drag a little bit, there might be some things you can do before you decide to hand the phone in for a replacement. Our other item is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

Mobile
Android Performance Tips and Tweaks @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Podcast #451 @ PC Perspective


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Far Cry 5 Announced with February 27 Release Date

Posted: May 26, 2017 @ time: 12:59PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On February 27, 2018 for the first time in the franchise, players will get to visit America in Far Cry 5 on PC, Xbox One (including Project Scorpio), and PlayStation 4. More specifically, the game is set in Montana, in the fictional Hope County where you will be playing as the new junior deputy. Your arrival has accelerated the plans of the Project at Eden's Gate, a fanatical doomsday cult that is now trying to violently take over the county.

To fight back against the cult you will join the residents of Hope County to form the Resistance and use various vehicles and weapons. These vehicles include airplanes as you will engage in aerial dogfights with the cultists across Big Sky Country. There will also be American muscle cars, big rigs, ATVs, and boats to use, especially when you are trying to escape the cult or the wild animals. Making a return is the map editor, allowing players to create new playgrounds.

There are a number of Far Cry 5 videos up on YouTube, and you can find them all at the linked source below.

Source: Ubisoft and Press Release


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