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News Archives for October 2017

Hardware Roundup: Monday, October 2, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 2, 2017 @ time: 10:22AM
Author: bp9801

Monday is here, as is the second day of October, with several items kicking both off. We have a look at Intel's VROC technology, the company's take on NVMe RAID, and what kind of performance it has to offer over other implementations. There's a review of the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB Mechanical Keyboard, which is a tenkeyless design featuring Cherry MX switches and RGB backlighting in that more compact style. For a full-size keyboard, perhaps the Cherry MX Board 3.0, loaded with Cherry MX Brown switches, is the one for you to get all your tasks done before you start gaming. We finish off today with a look at various computer tips and tricks everyone should know.

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel VROC Tested @ PC Perspective

Keyboards/Mice
Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S RGB Mechanical Keyboard @ Madshrimps
Cherry MX Board 3.0 Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Computer Tips & Tricks Everyone Should Know @ TechSpot


Complete Story


AMD Releases NVMe RAID Driver for Threadripper X399 Platform

Posted: October 2, 2017 @ time: 10:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today AMD has released the driver and management software needed for its Threadripper X399 platform to create an NVMe RAID. This is for those HEDT users that need the resilience, speed, or both that RAID 0, 1, and 10 can offer. There are no activation keys, license fees, or SSD restrictions, so if you have the hardware, you can just download and install the latest AMD DRAIDXpert2 package, update your BIOS, and build a very fast RAID.

To show off what is possible with this driver on its platform, AMD had its performance lab test up to six 512 GB Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSDs. Without adapters, the platform only supports up to seven simultaneous PCIe devices, which is why they tested up to six drives, assuming the seventh PCIe device would be a GPU. With a six of the drives in RAID 0, AMD reached 21.2 GB/s for read (6x scaling) and 11.5 GB/s write (5.38x scaling). You can see the results in the chart below.

Source: AMD


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Samsung HMD Odyssey Announced for Windows Mixed Reality Platform

Posted: October 3, 2017 @ time: 11:32AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Currently VR is dominated by Oculus and HTC Vive headsets, but thanks to Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform, we should be seeing many more headsets in the near future. Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo are all working on WMR headsets and now Samsung has joined the list with its HMD Odyssey. This headset differs from the others by having AKG headphones built in and it also features dual 3.5 in AMOLED displays. Like the other headsets though, it has inside-out tracking, so special tracking devices are not needed.

Pre-orders for the US are to begin today with the headset being available later this year.

Source: Samsung


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 3, 2017 @ time: 11:50AM
Author: bp9801

Another Tuesday is here, with a few items for you to check out to get through the day. We have a look at the possibility of bottlenecking your computer depending on what CPU and video card you have, and just what exactly can happen with different pairings. The ROMOSS Mobile Power Banks get put to the test to see what model would suit you best based on your need. We wrap up with the next part of a PC upgrade, taking a look at what hardware the winner of the contest is getting to play with now.

CPUs
Pairing CPUs and GPUs: PC Upgrades and Bottlenecking @ TechSpot

Miscellany
ROMOSS Mobile Power Banks @ ThinkComputers
Upgrade My PC Please! Ep 5: Dem Tings Wit Graphics @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Intel Core i7 8700K and Core i5 8400 Edition

Posted: October 5, 2017 @ time: 11:36AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, which means it's time for a new Intel CPU launch. This time it's part of the 8th Generation Core Series, as Coffee Lake officially arrives in the CPU world. We have the Core i7 8700K and Core i5 8400 launches today, but pretty much the entire lineup will be available for you to check out, based on what you need and your budget. That is, of course, if these new chips perform how they should, which is why we have plenty of reviews for you to check out to see for sure. The 8700K features six cores and 12 threads, as well as an unlocked multiple for overclocking, while the 8400 just has six cores and six threads (and a locked multiplier). They're all impressive, but hit up the reviews below to see just how impressive they are.

Intel 8th Generation Core i7 8700K & Core i5 8400 @ OCC
The Coffee Lake Story: Intel Core i7-8700K and Core i5-8400 @ PC Perspective
Intel Core i7-8700K @ TechSpot
Intel Core i7-8700K Processor @ ThinkComputers
Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs – Coffee Lake @ LanOC Reviews


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New Trident Z RAM Announced Targeting Intel Coffee Lake CPUs

Posted: October 5, 2017 @ time: 12:19PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If after reading our review of the Core i7 8700K and Core i5 8400 you have decided to upgrade and want to get some new RAM to go with the new CPU, G.SKILL has some kits you may want to consider. The company has announced new Trident Z and Trident Z RGB kits that have been tested at speeds from DDR4 3733 MHz to DDR4 4600 MHz. It is the 64 GB (4x16 GB) Trident Z RGB kit at the slower DDR4 3733 MHz speed, with the other Trident Z RGB kit being only 32 GB (4x8 GB) coming in at DDR4 4000 MHz.

The Trident Z non-RGB kits come in 16 GB and 32 GB kits with all of their speeds at or above DDR4 4000 MHz. The tested voltage needed to be increased from 1.35 V for the higher frequencies, but if you really need or want 4200 MHz to 4600 MHz, going 1.40 V to 1.50 V is just what you going to need to do.

These kits are to be available through distribution parties in November 2017.

Source: G.SKILL


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, October 6, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 6, 2017 @ time: 10:33AM
Author: bp9801

The end of the week is here, with a couple of items for you to consider before the weekend hits. There's a review of the Fractal Design Focus G case, which comes with massive cooling potential and a variety of colors to choose from to have a case that looks exactly how you want. Our other item is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Cases
Fractal Design Focus G @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Podcast #470 @ PC Perspective


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Viper V570 RGB Gaming Mouse Launched by Patriot

Posted: October 9, 2017 @ time: 10:08AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The mouse is a particularly vital peripheral for many games, which would probably be why there are specialized gaming mice out there. Now Patriot has launched the Viper V570 RGB Blackout Edition Laser Gaming Mouse that combines features seen on MMO and FPS targeting gaming mice, along with the performance, versatility, and customization found with other gaming mice.

The Viper V570 has a total of thirteen programmable buttons, including a thumb-button meant as an FPS sniper button. Such buttons can be used to temporarily change the DPI of mouse to enable greater precision when aiming. The mouse's Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor supports a DPI of 8000, but with the Viper Software you can reach to 12000 DPI. The ceramic foot pads should also prove helpful for hitting your target with the smooth movements they enable. The mouse also features Omron switches rated for 10 million clicks and up to 34.2 grams can be added if you want the extra mass. As the RGB suggests in the Viper V570 full name, it also has RGB lights so you can have the color or colors you want.

The Viper V570 RGB Blackout Edition has a two-year warranty and has an MSRP $69.99.

 

 

Source: Press Release and Product Page


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, October 9, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 9, 2017 @ time: 11:44AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items for you to check out today. We have a look at the Intel Core i3 8100 and i3 8350K, offering four cores and plenty of performance at some pretty affordable prices. If you're moving up to one of these new Coffee Lake CPUs, you'll need a new motherboard, such as one of the two Z370 ones shown today. There's the ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard, which is an affordable model that's still packed to the brim with features (including dual M.2 slots), while the ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming ramps things up even further while also providing plenty of ways to keep things cool during your overclocking or gaming time. We wrap things up today with a look at the SteelSeries Rival 310 Ergonomic Gaming Mouse, which is a lightweight mouse that can go all the way up to 12,000 CPI.

CPUs
Intel Core i3 8100 and i3 8350K @ TechSpot

Motherboards
ASUS Prime Z370-A @ ThinkComputers
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming @ LanOC Reviews

Mice/Keyboards
SteelSeries Rival 310 Ergonomic Gaming Mouse @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Offworld Trading Company Receives Conspicuous Consumption DLC

Posted: October 10, 2017 @ time: 07:46AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Offworld Trading Company has an unusual take on real-time strategy games as instead of seeking military domination, players try for economic victories. Now, to let players add some "flare" to their game, the Conspicuous Consumption DLC has been released that offers new art, animations, and audio for select buildings. The Hacker Array, Offworld Market, Optimization Center, Patent Lab, and Pleasure Dome are the select buildings that can be given a new Retro or Fun Time appearance. The Offworld Market can be turned in a retro rocket or a giant popsicle, for example, and the Patent Lab can become a giant Rubik's cube, because what better location is there to do research?

The Conspicuous Consumption DLC is $2.99 and Offworld Trading Company is $19.99.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Assassin's Creed Origins Post-Launch Plan Detailed

Posted: October 10, 2017 @ time: 10:12AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On October 27 Assassin's Creed Origins launches, but like many AAA games, there will be more to come and now Ubisoft is sharing its post-launch plan. We already know about one post-launch addition, the Discovery Tour mode, which will be coming early 2018 and will be free for all players. Also free for everyone will be the Horde Mode, setting players in a gladiator arena (early 2018), and The Trials of the Gods that let you fight against Egyptian gods during special timed events (starts 15 days after launch). Coming at launch though will be the Photo Mode and the Nomad's Bazaar, which features daily quests for earning exotic rewards.

The season pass, which is included with the Gold Edition or $39.99 separately, will give you 500 Helix Credits and the exclusive Calamity Blade at launch. In November the Roman Centurion and Horus Packs will add a new outfit, weapons, shield, and mount. The story content starts arriving in January 2018 with The Hidden Ones. This expansion is set years after the events of Assassin's Creed Origins as players travel to a new region to fight an occupying Roman force. This DLC will also raise the level cap. The second DLC will follow in March and is called The Curse of the Pharaohs and it focuses on Egyptian mythology. You will get to explore a mystical realm where you will combat beasts like Anubis warriors, scorpios, undead pharaohs, and more as you try to discover what resurrected the dead pharaoh. His DLC will raise the level cap again and add new abilities to the game.

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, October 10, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 10, 2017 @ time: 11:41AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with a few items for you to check out. We have a look at the Intel Core i7 8550U processor, a quad-core chip designed to give Ultrabooks a ton of performance while keeping power usage to a minimum. If you're after a means to power your system, perhaps the FSP Hydro 750W Platinum PSU is what you need. We wrap things up today with a look at 20 of the worst PC setups seen during September.

CPUs
Four Cores for Ultrabooks: Core i7-8550U @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
FSP Hydro 750W Platinum @ PC Perspective

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


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 11, 2017 @ time: 10:09AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items for you to check out today. We have a look at the MSI X299 SLI Plus motherboard, which has a budget-friendly price to get you into the high-end Intel socket. Our other item for the day is a giveaway of the Corsair TX750M PSU, giving you a great chance to win a strong power supply to give new life to your system.

Motherboards
MSI X299 SLI Plus @ Neoseeker

Miscellany
Corsair TX750M Power Supply Giveaway @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Futuremark Adds Time Spy Extreme to 3DMark

Posted: October 11, 2017 @ time: 10:33AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If any of you have noticed 3DMark wants to update today, that is because Futuremark has added a new benchmark to its suite; the Time Spy Extreme benchmark. It is the first 4K Direct 12 benchmark test, and was developed with input from the company's Benchmark Development Program, which includes AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA.

Along with being a more intense test for the latest GPUs, its CPU test has been designed to push processors with 8 or more cores. Compared to the original Time Spy benchmark, Extreme is three times more demanding, and it can also take advantage of advanced instruction sets up to AVX2, when they are supported. The update also comes with the Time Spy Extreme Stress Test, for when you want to check your system's stability.

Time Spy Extreme is a free update for anyone who purchased 3DMark Advanced Edition or 3DMark Professional Edition after July 14, 2016. For those with licenses prior to that date, you would need to purchase the Time Spy upgrade and add it to 3DMark.

Source: Futuremark


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, October 12, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 12, 2017 @ time: 10:15AM
Author: bp9801

The weekend is drawing closer, but we still have a bit of time before it does, giving us the chance to check out some items. There's a look at the Reeven Naia 240 AIO Water Cooler, which is the company's first self-contained liquid CPU cooler and just may be keeping your system cool. Our other item for today is a trip down memory lane, as six different generations of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs get compared to see just where the performance spectrum now lies for them all.

CPU Cooling
Reeven Naia 240 AIO Water Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews

Video Cards
Then and Now: 6 Generations of GeForce Graphics Compared @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Steep Road to the Olympics Announced by Ubisoft

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

Late last year Ubisoft released the open world action-sports game Steep and today the publisher has announced Steep: Road to the Olympics, and expansion that will feature a story mode following the journey of a young athlete in training. This athlete is trying for three freestyle events, Big Air, Half Pipe, and Slopestyle, with the goal of being the first to win gold in these three events. As the real Olympic Winter Games of 2018 are going to be held in PyeongChang, Steep: Road to the Olympics will take players to South Korean mountains, but they will also get to explore the Japanese mountains. Also part of the expansion will be various tips and insights from actual Olympians, and new Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, and Freestyle Skiing events.

If you already have Steep, the expansion will cost $30, but if you need the base game as well, Steep Winter Games Edition has both and will cost $60. Steep: Winter Games Gold Edition comes in at $80 but includes the base game, expansion, and the Year 1 Season Pass, so you will get the three already available DLC packs as well.

 

 

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, October 13, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 13, 2017 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: bp9801

Friday the 13th is upon us, but all we have for today are a few items for you to check out. We have a look at the Intel Core i5 8400 that shows how it just might be the CPU to get if you're looking to game on a budget. For those on the X299 side of things and want a high-end motherboard, perhaps the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex is the one for you, especially if you plan to overclock and reach new heights. We wrap things up with a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

CPUs
Intel Core i5 8400 @ TechSpot

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex @ LanOC Reviews

Miscellany
Podcast #471 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Humble Bundle Joins with IGN

Posted: October 14, 2017 @ time: 06:34AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is news I doubt many people were expecting, but yesterday Humble Bundle co-founder and CRO Jeffery Rosen shared that his company would be joining the IGN family. The CEO's post goes on to explain that the decision was made because Humble Bundle believes IGN understands the vision and passion of the company, and that IGN will help continue the mission of promoting digital content while also helping charity. Also the CEO states Humble Bundle will be keeping its own office, culture, and team, with IGN helping with future plans.

Source: Humble Bundle


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, October 16, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 16, 2017 @ time: 09:48AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with several items to kick things off. We have a review of the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, a high-end model for your new Ryzen build that's packed to the brim with features. If you're after some fast storage, then perhaps the Crucial BX300 240GB SSD is for you, especially considering it doesn't use TLC NAND flash. For a little bit of a unique take on the mechanical keyboard design, the HAVIT HV-KB378L Gaming Keyboard review shows off exactly what you can expect from it as your next keyboard. We wrap things up with a list of the best PC games you should be playing right now.

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero @ PC Perspective

Storage/Hard Drives
Crucial BX300 240GB SSD @ Madshrimps

Keyboards/Mice
HAVIT HV-KB378L Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
The Best PC Games (You Should Be Playing) @ TechSpot


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Western Digital Predicts 40 TB HDD by 2025 with New Technology

Posted: October 16, 2017 @ time: 10:51AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Big Data has become big business in recent years, as the ability to process massive amounts of information enables many other technologies. All of that data has to be stored somewhere though, so various technologies to increase data storage are being worked on, and recently Western Digital demonstrated one of its innovations. Microwave-Assisted Magnetic Recording (MAMR) can be integrated into future hard drives to increase capacity to as much as 40 TB by 2025.

For years the company has been working on two energy-assisted technologies, with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) being the other, but it is only MAMR of the two that has demonstrated the desired reliability and cost profile. It works by using a device called the spin torque oscillator to generate a microwave field, which allows data to be recorded at ultra-high density without a loss in reliability. Eventually the technology is expected to allow over 4 terabits-per-square-inch and that 40 TB capacity by 2025, with continued expansion still possible.

Western Digital expects to start shipping the first ultra-high capacity MAMR HDD in 2019, targeting data centers used for Big Data applications.

Source: Western Digital


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South Park: The Fractured But Whole Season Pass Details Revealed

Posted: October 16, 2017 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

South Park: The Fractured But Whole has recently had its season pass details revealed, just in time for its launch tomorrow. The season pass will add costumes and perks from the South Park: The Stick of Truth game released in 2014, Towelie tips, new combat challenges, story missions, combat buddies, and new superhero costumes and perks. The "Relics of Zaron," a costume and perks pack, and "Towelie: Your Gaming Bud" will be day one content, but those who do not purchase the season pass will be able to acquire both for $4.99 and $1.99, respectively, when they become available on October 17 and October 24, respectively.

The "Danger Deck," "From Dusk till Casa Bonita," and "Bring the Crunch" DLC will be launching later. "Danger Deck" challenges players with Doctor Timothy's Danger Deck, where the can unlock exclusive costumes and artifacts. It will be available for $5.99 in December. "From Dusk till Casa Bonita" and "Bring the Crunch" are both new story DLC and will be available in 2018 for $11.99 each.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole launches tomorrow, October 17, on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. In it you will get to fight the rise of crime in South Park by assuming the role of The New Kid, who assumes the role of a superhero.

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 17, 2017 @ time: 09:22AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with a few items to get you going today. There's a look at the ECS Z270H4-I motherboard, a mini-ITX model that offers plenty of ways to keep you connected and might just be ideal for an HTPC build. If you're after a new home for your PC and need something budget-friendly, perhaps the Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 RGB case is for you, as it's packed to the brim with features yet remains highly affordable. We wrap up today with a PC buying guide featuring an update of all the new processors recently released by Intel and AMD.

Motherboards
ECS Z270H4-I @ Neoseeker

Cases
Cooler Master MasterBox Lite 5 RGB @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
TechSpot PC Buying Guide: A quick CPU/platform update for late 2017 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


F1 2017 Receives Patch 1.9 with LAN Mode and Updated Car Liveries

Posted: October 17, 2017 @ time: 10:21AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

F1 2017 has had its Patch 1.9 released today across PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. This patch adds a number of features, such as Photo Mode to the consoles, enabling those players to create, save, and share action shots, and LAN mode for PC and PlayStation 4. The car liveries have been updated for everyone, and a new spectator UI has been deployed, giving everyone access to enhanced eSports-related features such as displaying various statistics like gap to race leader, car ahead, car behind, fastest lap time, and more. This information can be enabled and disabled as desired. Source: Codemasters


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Visceral Games Studio Shutting Down

Posted: October 17, 2017 @ time: 06:15PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space series and several other recognizable titles, is going to be closing down, according to a recent update by EA on the studio's in-development Star Wars title. This was to be an action-adventure title that was coming to be a story-based, linear experience but after reviewing feedback and shifts in the marketplace, EA has decided to pivot on the design. Along with this pivot, the timeframe for release will be changing and the lead development studio will be EA Vancouver. With this project going to another studio, Visceral Games is going to be ramping down and closing, so EA is now working to move as many of the employees over to other EA projects and teams.

Source: EA


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, October 18, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 18, 2017 @ time: 09:09AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items to keep you going. We have a look at the Fabriq Riff Smart Speaker, which connects over WiFi and lets you control it remotely that way, giving more options for your music experience. If you're after a drone to add to your arsenal or simply try out, maybe the SwiftStream Z-9 Camera Drone, which has a WiFi camera and easy-to-fly controls, is the one for you.

Speakers/Headphones
Fabriq Riff Smart Speaker @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
SwiftStream Z-9 Camera Drone @ Benchmark Reviews


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The Talos Principle VR Now Available

Posted: October 18, 2017 @ time: 10:31AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Croteam is continuing to release VR content as today The Talos Principle VR is available on Steam. While the developer might be best known for the action-FPS Serious Sam series of games, The Talos Principle is a sci-fi puzzler originally released in 2014. This VR release required a ground-up redesign to achieve though, but it now supports HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and features roomscale VR, multiple movement modes, and customizable VR controls.

The Talos Principle VR costs $39.99 and comes with the Road to Gehenna VR expansion. If you own the original 'flat' game though, you get 25% off this VR version.

 

 

Source: Croteam


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, October 19, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 19, 2017 @ time: 08:52AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is upon us, with a couple of items for your viewing pleasure today. We have a look at the Intel Core i7 8700K, i5 8500K, and i5 8400 against the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 5 1600X, and 5 1500X to see what each one does in a head-to-head matchup. If you're on the high-end side of Intel, there's also a review of the ASRock X299 Taichi motherboard, offering a ton of features for an affordable price.

CPUs
Intel Core i7-8700K, i5-8600K, 8400 versus AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, R5 1600X, 1500X @ TechSpot

Motherboards
ASRock X299 Taichi @ ThinkComputers


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Star Control: Origins Pre-Orders Now Available

Posted: October 19, 2017 @ time: 11:07AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A year ago Stardock announced it would be adding a new title to the Star Control franchise, and today Star Control: Origins can now be pre-ordered. The game is set in the year 2086 and tasks the player to explore the galaxy, encounter alien civilizations, and discover new worlds, while trying to save humanity from imminent annihilation.

Star Control: Origins will not release until next year, but those who pre-order will get access to the Super-Melee beta coming next month. In this players will make fleets of ship, and each can have its own powers, abilities, and equipment and players can also customize their appearance. These fleets then go to battle against the computer or against other humans in ranked or unranked multiplayer.

The Star Control: Origins pre-order is available on Steam, GOG, and Stardock for just $24.99, but the bundle that includes Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters and Star Control: Kessari Quadrant is $29.99.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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Z270 Platform Could Support Coffee Lake CPUs if Allowed

Posted: October 20, 2017 @ time: 11:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is a fairly interesting piece of news coming from a Bit-Tech interview with Asus, though Tweak Town has pulled out the more interesting points. This year both AMD and Intel have launched new CPUs and new platforms for them, but while AMD has gone to a completely new design for its processors, requiring a new socket, Intel's Z270 and Z370 platforms both use an LGA 1151 socket. One would somewhat expect then that the Z270 platform could support the newer Coffee Lake CPUs, but these are instead confined to the Z370 platform.

What Bit-Tech learned from its Asus interview is that this incompatibility is a decision of Intel's, and not a physical limitation. The Management Engine (ME) and BIOS would need to be updated, but if this were done, Z270 would be able to support Coffee Lake. The Asus representative also states the power delivery for the CPUs does make a "little bit of different, but not much." There were approximately 20 pins unused on Z270, which are now used for power control, but the representative suspects they are needed for future high-core count processors.

Following these answers, the Bit-Tech interview asks about who Z370 is targeting, and the representative says it is logical that those "on Z270 don't need to upgrade." Those with older systems looking for improvements to power efficiency, clock speeds, core counts, and storage could benefit from the upgrade. The target for the Z370 platform is "anyone that wants or needs to buy a new system."

Source: Bit-Tech and Tweak Town


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, October 23, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 23, 2017 @ time: 06:57AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, with several items kicking it off. We have a look at the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor, providing six cores at a mid-range price that's sure to be appealing to those in the market for a new build. If storage is what you're after, then maybe the Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS HDD is for you, as it'll work just fine in your NAS and as a storage drive in your own system. For those needing more control in their games, the Razer Basilisk gaming mouse offers a ton of DPI and precision for FPS games, especially considering it has a button to immediately drop the DPI whenever pressed. We wrap things up with the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 laptop review, which has a new 8th Gen Intel Core processor and that sweet convertible design.

CPUs
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS HDD @ Madshrimps

Mice/Keyboards
Razer Basilisk @ TechSpot

Laptops/Tablets
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 @ TechSpot


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Improved Memory Management Developed for On-chip DRAM

Posted: October 23, 2017 @ time: 11:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As processors have become faster and faster, the time it takes to go off-chip to access data has become more and an issue. This is where on-chip high-bandwidth caches come in, and even why some have been adding DRAM to a chip's packaging. The problem is DRAM is significantly different from the SRAM typically used for on-chip caches, which is why MIT researchers have developed a new cache management system.

The critical difference between SRAM and DRAM concerns how the two memory technologies store data and the impact this has on locating specific data. All data is tagged with a piece of metadata identifying where it is also located in the system's main memory and these tags are run through a hash function. The purpose of this hashing is to produce very different values for actually similar pieces of information, as this will prevent bottlenecking at specific locations. The outputs of the hash function is stored in a hash table, and sometimes multiple data items are referenced by one entry, if they all share the same hash output, but checking these few items is still more efficient than going through the entire tag list. This is where the difference between SRAM and DRAM comes out though, as SRAM uses six transistors for each bit of data while DRAM uses only one. This does give DRAM an advantage in space efficiency, but SRAM has some processing capability, allowing it to search the hash table for the desired information, while the processor needs to do this for DRAM-stored data, which takes time and bandwidth.

The solution from MIT, which has been dubbed Banshee, adds three bits to each entry in the hash table, with one identifying if it can be found in the DRAM cache, and the other two giving a location relative to the other data items sharing the same hash index. As the entry in the table is already around 100 bits, this is not much overhead especially as it can increase the data rate of on-chip DRAM by 33 to 50%. Banshee also adds a tag buffer to address issues of one processor core not knowing when another has data put in the DRAM cache. The buffer is only 5 KB, so it does not take up much, and when it is full all of the cores have their virtual-memory tables updated, allowing the buffer to clear and start fresh.

Source: MIT


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 24, 2017 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: bp9801

A new day is here, with a couple of items for you to check out. We have a look at some Noctua fans and accessories to see what can help keep your system cool the most, with a variety of fans covered in it. There's also another PC upgrade in store for a lucky winner, as the machine is now sporting some pretty stout hardware to give a much-needed boost.

Cooling
Noctua Fans and Accessories Roundup @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
Upgrade My PC Please! Episode 8: Just Random PCs! @ TechSpot


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Newegg Sued Over Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Posted: October 24, 2017 @ time: 10:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Newegg Inc., the company behind the online computer parts and accessories store of the same name, has been accused along with ASI Corp., a computer wholesaler, of having been part a Ponzi scheme put together by Moneual, a Korean hardware manufacturer. Four South Korean banks have filed a lawsuit against the Newegg and ASI, claiming they were a part of the scheme to defraud them of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The alleged design of the Ponzi scheme was that Newegg and ASI produced fraudulent purchase order for Moneual hardware, which Moneual could then use to secure over $3 billion in loans from ten Korean banks. Moneual eventually defaulted on these loans, still owing about half a billion dollars, and its chief executive was has been sentenced to 15 years for financial fraud two years ago. According to the banks, Newegg and ASI were in on this scheme because the purchase orders were for computers at 300 times their market value.

Source: Los Angeles Times


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Middle-earth: Shadow of War Expansion Pass Detailed

Posted: October 25, 2017 @ time: 06:49AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Middle-earth: Shadow of War released at the beginning of the month and now we are getting details on what is coming as part of its Expansion Pass. It includes two new orc tribes; Slaughter and Outlaw. The Slaughter tribe is the most bloodthirsty of orcs in Mordor and will ambush you at any point, so that is what you can look forward to in November, when it becomes available. The Outlaw tribe consists of rebellious orcs who have contempt for their masters, regardless of who they are, and you can expect them in December.

The Expansion Pass also contains story DLC, with the first releasing in February 2018 and titled Blade of Galadriel. In it you will play as Eltariel, an assassin known as the Blade of Galadriel. You will get to wield her dual Eleven blades and the Light of Galadriel as you challenge the Nazgûl with new abilities, skills, and gear. Eight unique Legendary Orcs will be able to join you in the main campaign and will bring new abilities to the Nemesis System. In Desolation of Mordor, the second story DLC, you play as Baranor, the captain of Minas Ithil, and will get to reunite with Torvin, a Dwarven hunter from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and create new gear with him. The new desert region of Lithlad will also be added and you can hire mercenaries for a human army to conquer it. This DLC will also have a new rogue-like campaign mode, as you are without a Ring of Power or the power of a wraith to defy death. Desolation of Mordor will be available in May 2018.

The Expansion Pass costs $39.99 and is included in the Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition that comes in at $99.99. The Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion, Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion and Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion can be purchased separately for $14.99 while the Desolation of Mordor will cost $19.99 on its own. There will also be free content updates for all players.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 25, 2017 @ time: 07:28AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items for your viewing pleasure. We have a look at the Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 M.2 Cooler, which is essentially a PCIe card with an M.2 slot and a heat sink on it to help keep those fast drives from burning up during heavy use. Our other item for the day is the Bloody P85 Gaming Mouse, which offers an eight-button layout and some pretty unique lighting options.

Cooling
Alphacool Eisblock HDX-2 M.2 Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Mice/Keyboards
Bloody P85 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


High Hell Launches on Steam with Special Promotion

Posted: October 25, 2017 @ time: 10:19AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Released on Monday, High Hell is an FPS and "door-kicking simulator" that brings you classic shooter gameplay as you bring lethal salvation to those who have fallen from the light. In the game you will be fighting brainwashed chimps, defacing corporate effigies, and bringing an end to the dealings of an unrepentant cartel.

The game is currently enjoying a 10% discount from its base price of $9.99, which ends on November 2. If you purchase it before the sale ends though, publisher Devolver Digital will also give you a copy of Heavy Bullets on Steam as well, which is the debut game of Terri Vellmann and Doseone, the minds behind High Hell.

Source: Press Release and Steam Store Page


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AMD Introduces Ryzen + Vega APUs for Ultrathins

Posted: October 26, 2017 @ time: 08:21AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is something some of us may have been looking forward to for some months now, and that is AMD finally showing off new APUs based on Ryzen and Vega. The code name for these products had been Raven Ridge, but now they are officially AMD Ryzen mobile processors. Only two APUs have been announced today, both with 4 cores/8 threads and a nominal 15 W TDP. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700U has a max clock of 3.8 GHz on the CPU, 1300 MHz on the GPU, and 10 Vega compute units while the Ryzen 5 2500U has a max clock of 3.6 GHz on the CPU, 1100 MHz on the GPU, and only 8 compute units. These APUs will also feature Precision Boost 2, for accelerating performance depending on workload, and mobile Extended Frequency Range (mXFR) to raise performance when the cooling allows it.

Compared to the previous generation of AMD APUs, these give up to three times, the CPU performance, 2.3 times the GPU performance, while using as much as 58% less power. AMD also compared the Ryzen 7 2700U against the competition, with some of the results shown in the video below (along with the system configurations at the end), and claim up to 44% better multi-threaded CPU performance and up to 161% more graphics power.

AMD has also announced that systems using Ryzen mobile processors will be available in the coming weeks from Acer, HP, and Lenovo with more news coming from Dell and other OEMs in early 2018.

 

 

Source: AMD


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, October 26, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 26, 2017 @ time: 08:31AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is upon us, with the week starting to wind down. There are a few items to check out, such as a look at the launch of AMD Ryzen and Radeon Vega for laptops and what exactly those bring to the portable landscape. If you're instead looking for a new home for your desktop PC, maybe the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass case is the one for you. Wrapping things up today is a guide on how to get Linux running on a Chromebook.

Cases
Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass @ ThinkComputers

Laptops/Tablets
AMD Ryzen Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics Launch - Ryzen and Vega hit notebooks @ PC Perspective
Running Linux on a Chromebook @ TechSpot


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AMID EVIL, Medieval Fantasy Retro FPS Announced

Posted: October 26, 2017 @ time: 11:46AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you remember playing the 1994 game Heretic, you might be interested in this recently announced game. AMID EVIL is meant to be a Heretic-styled FPS, and if you happen to be at PAX Australia in Melbourne, you can try it out at the PAX Rising Booth. It is expected to release next year and will feature seven episodes you can get through with magical weapons charged with the souls of the dead. You may need those souls too as there will be an adaptive enemy AI hunting you done. While it may have a retro appearance, it is actually being built in Unreal Engine 4, so it is cutting edge retro visuals. There will also be an original and dynamic soundtrack to go with it.

If you cannot make it to PAX Australia, the reveal trailer is embedded below along with screenshots.

 

 

Source: Press Release and Steam Store Page


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Kingdom Come: Deliverance Now Up for Pre-Order

Posted: October 26, 2017 @ time: 12:06PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With its release date set for February 13, 2018, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is up for digital pre-order on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game is a story-drive, open-world RPG set in the era of the Holy Roman Empire. Fight invading faces, go on game-changing quests, and make influential choices on your path to avenging your parents' death. Its non-linear story will allow you to complete quests in different ways, but you will also face the consequences of your decisions and actions.

Naturally combat is going to be very important to the game, as you will have access to a variety of weapons and armor. Marking the first opportunity to pre-order the game, the developer has put out a video focusing on the combat system of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. You can see below how they are working to make this the most realistic depiction of medieval martial arts without comprising the fun-to-play factor.

 

 

Source: Press Release and Steam Sore Page


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, October 27, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 27, 2017 @ time: 09:13AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us, with a few items for you to check out today. We have a look at the Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB and 280GB NVMe HHHL, offering plenty of 3D XPoint memory to really give your system a boost and show off what Optane memory can do as a primary drive. There's a review of the Corsair Carbide Series SPEC-04 Tempered Glass, but a different type of review, as it is instead a budget build to show off what can be done inside the case. Wrapping things up is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Cases
Corsair Spec-04 TG Budget Build @ LanOC Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Intel Optane SSD 900P 480GB and 280GB NVMe HHHL @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
Podcast #473 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, October 30, 2017, Edition

Posted: October 30, 2017 @ time: 06:21AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is here, as are the final days of October, with several items winding it all down. We have a review of the AZZA Inferno 310 case to see what this mid-tower with a tempered glass side can bring when housing your system. If you're in the market for more control in your games, then perhaps the Gamdias Hermes P2 keyboard, with its optical switches and RGB lighting, is for you. For a different level of control, the Corsair Commander PRO can do just that, as it lets you connect RGB fans and LED light strips to it and control them all through your PC. We wrap things up today with a look at the Acer Predator Helios 300 laptop, which packs an Intel Core i7 CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 inside its 15" frame.

Cases
AZZA Inferno 310 @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Gamdias Hermes P2 Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Laptops/Tablets
Acer Predator Helios 300 @ TechSpot

Gadgets
Corsair Commander PRO @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


Far Cry 5 Co-op Trailer Released

Posted: October 30, 2017 @ time: 09:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today we got a new trailer for Far Cry 5 showing off some co-op gameplay, along with some details on how it will work. Once you complete the game's tutorial you will be free to call in a friend to play with you at any point in the campaign. This friend will take the place of one of your two 'Guns for Hire' or 'Fangs for Hire' buddies.

While you and a friend can play through the game together, only the host player will get to keep their story progress. Also any quest-given loot will only be unlocked for the host player, but everything else, including cash, loot, guns, and perks will be kept by the friend. Co-op will be restricted to your friends list, so there will not be an random matchmaking, and you can disable the feature if you want to a solo experience.

Far Cry 5 is set to release February 27, 2018 for PC, and all versions of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

 

 

Source: Ubisoft


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