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News Archives for December 2017

Hardware Roundup: Friday, December 1, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 1, 2017 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: bp9801

Friday is upon us, as is the first day of December, bringing with it plenty for you to read before the weekend begins. We have a review of the Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 CPU cooler, which has a single tower design and support for the AMD Ryzen processors on the AM4 socket. If you're after a new means of controlling your games, then perhaps the Patriot Viper V770 Gaming Keyboard, with its mechanical switches and per-key RGB lighting, is the one for you. Or maybe you're after something a little different, such as the Gamdias Hermes M3 RGB Mechanical Keyboard with its 87 key low-profile design. There's a quick look at the Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro capture card to give an idea of what it can do. We wrap things up with a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the week.

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4 CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
Patriot Viper V770 Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers
Gamdias Hermes M3 RGB Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Quick Look: Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro @ PC Perspective
Podcast #477 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Crossing Souls Launching on PC and PS4 February 13

Posted: December 1, 2017 @ time: 01:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Come February 13, there will be a new indie, retro game to play, for those of you who enjoy the genre. This new title is Crossing Souls and has being developed by Fourattic and published by Devolver Digital. Crossing Souls is the story of a group of friends in 1986 who find an artifact during the summer. It turns out this artifact allows the friends to interact with two planes of reality, life and death, and their curiosity leads to an adventure involve secret government conspiracies. Inspirations for game include Stand By Me, E.T., and Ghostbusters.

If you are going to be PlayStation Experience 2017, you can have the chance to play a demo and meet the development team.

 

 

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, December 4, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 4, 2017 @ time: 06:41AM
Author: bp9801

Monday is here, bringing us the first full week of December, as well as several items for you to check out. There is a review of the Cooler Master MasterWatt 550W power supply to see what this new model, with its 80 Plus Bronze and modular cable design, brings to your computer. For something a little different, there's a look at the VertDesk v3 Electric Sit Stand Desk, which can raise itself up with a press of a button to keep you from having to sit for so long. We have a CPU test for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to see what performance is like on it now after going through so many updates. There's a guide covering the best tips for smartphone photography, while you also have a chance at winning a REEVEN OKEANOS RC-1402 CPU cooler.

Power Supplies
Cooler Master MasterWatt 550W @ PC Perspective

Gaming
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) CPU Test @ TechSpot

Mobile
10 Tips for Good Smartphone Photography @ TechSpot

Miscellany
VertDesk v3 Electric Sit Stand Desk @ ThinkComputers
REEVEN OKEANOS RC-1402 CPU Cooler Giveaway! @ Benchmark Reviews


Complete Story


Anonymous Cellular Network, Sopranica, Being Developed

Posted: December 4, 2017 @ time: 09:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For many people a substantial part of their lives runs through their smartphones, and as amazing of tools they are for the user, some dislike their potential for tracking us. To combat that, a programmer in New York City, Denver Gingerich, decided to work on an open source, DIY cell network that offers anonymity. This network is called Sopranica and it was in January when Gingerich published the first code called JMP. This is what allows the network to use XMPP, a secure instant messaging protocol better known as Jabber so users can enjoy voice and text from an anonymous phone number. All of the data is also encrypted, so it is not possible for someone to listen in, but currently it also means an Internet connection is required. The next phase of Sopranica, called WOM, is meant to tackle this requirement by allowing people to attach a small and inexpensive radio to their routers, providing Sopranica access in the area. None of the process involved with setting up Sopranica requires any identifying information, so if someone tried to find you from your JMP phone number or the Jabber ID you are using, the search will stop there.

After the writer at Vice set up his own phone to use Sopranica, he used it to call Denver Gingerich and got an interview you can read at the source. If you are interested in Sopranica and its future, hit the link and read some more about its future and the challenges it is facing.

Source: Vice


Complete Story


AMD Working on GDDR6 Memory Controller

Posted: December 4, 2017 @ time: 10:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This might not be surprising to anyone, but it is still nice to see it confirmed that AMD is working on a GDDR6 memory controller for future GPUs. Initially this leak came from an image of a LinkedIn page for an AMD technical engineer listing the work in his portfolio, but finding the LinkedIn profile has proven difficult, at least for Wccftech. Instead of stopping there, Wccftech reached out to its sources and was able to confirm AMD is working on the necessary controller for bringing the next generation memory to future GPUs.

Currently AMD uses HBM2 in its Vega GPUs, and it is very likely HBM will continue to be the company's preferred memory for its high-end GPUs in the future. This will leave GDDR6 for the mid-range and lower GPUs, which go into less expensive graphics cards. Since the launch of the Fiji-based Fury cards, it has appeared the use of HBM 1 and 2 increases the cost of the parts, as it not only requires HBM but special packaging onto an interposer with the GPU itself. While prices will likely be high at first, like any technology when it is new, GDDR6 may come to be a better fit for less expensive graphics cards, while still offering much higher bandwidth at lower voltages than GDDR5. It was just a couple weeks ago Samsung revealed it has GDDR6 memory capable of 16 Gbps with 64 GB/s I/O bandwidth, while using just 1.35 V.

Source: Wccftech


Complete Story


To Test Atari Dragster Record, Ben Heck Builds RAM Analyzer

Posted: December 4, 2017 @ time: 10:48AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In September 1982 a record of 5.51 seconds was set on the Atari 2600 version of the game Dragster, an Activision title released in 1980. In the decades since, this record has yet to be beaten, or even matched, so many wonder if Todd Rogers, the record holder actually cheated. To determine if this time was even possible, some in the spreedrunning community decided to analyze an emulator of the game, and came away with the best possible time being 5.57 seconds. This has led to a dispute being field with Twin Galaxies, the video game racing organization, for the record to be removed, but software analysis based on an emulator is not necessarily ideal. To provide third-party, independent analysis on actual Atari 2600 hardware, Twin Galaxies turned to Ben Heck who at last has an excuse to build a RAM analyzer for an Atari 2600.

The RAM analyzer is the featured build on a recent episode, embedded below, of the Ben Heck Show, and is fairly interesting to watch as quirks of the old hardware are discovered. It does not include if the 5.51 seconds record is possible, but that is the next step. With the RAM analyzer it will be possible to have the game play itself, making decisions at the best possible time. Will the record stand, or will this expose a decades-long fraud? It seems we will have to wait to find out.

 

 

Source: Element 14 [1] and [2]


Complete Story


Microsoft Azure Deploys AMD Epyc Processors for Upcoming Lv2-Series Virtual Machines

Posted: December 5, 2017 @ time: 11:28AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When AMD launched its Ryzen processors in the beginning of the year, many praised the CPUs and the company for returning competition to the industry. It was later that AMD released its Epyc processors to challenge Intel in datacenters and other professional settings, where it has been successfully gaining clients. The most recently announced client is Microsoft for it Azure Lv2-Series virtual machines.

Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, and its L-Series VMs are specifically optimized for storage. Microsoft chose to use Epyc 7551 processors because of the high I/O bandwidth they provide and 128 PCIe lanes each CPU offers, which surpasses available two-socket solutions. The Lv2 VMs Azure will offer will span from 8 to 64 vCPU sizes, with the largest offering direct access to 4 TB of memory.

Source: AMD and Microsoft


Complete Story


Epic Games Settles One Lawsuit and Partially Addresses Suing of Minor

Posted: December 5, 2017 @ time: 11:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Recently there were a number of headlines covering the news that Epic Games has been suing some Fortnite cheaters and among them was a 14 year old, whose mother decided to write a letter to the court about this lawsuit. There are now updates on that specific lawsuit and another, as reported by TorrentFreak. This other lawsuit, against Charles 'Joreallean' Vraspir, has reached a settlement. This requires Joreallean to never infringe on Epic's copyrights again, which means he cannot create or write a cheat, use a cheat, promote or advertise a cheat, or distribute a cheat again, or face a minimum fine of $5000.

In regards to the minor Epic Games filed a lawsuit against, the company has now replied to the letter the minor's mother sent the court, addressing a specific portion, which was the naming of the minor. Epic states it was not aware of the age of the defendant in this lawsuit, and the rules protecting a minor's name do require such knowledge for one to violate it. Going forward it will only include the defendant's initials when the name cannot be redacted, in accordance with the rules. Though it is not making the argument, the company did point out that the letter from the mother identified her son by his full name, so an argument could be made she has waived this protection for her son. Still, Epic will keep to just the initials when necessary.

As far as the already filed documents that include the defendant's full name, Epic has requested guidance from the court for if it should file for the papers to be sealed, if new versions should be re-filed with the name redacted, or if any other remedial action should be taken. Epic also stated it does not plan to file a substantive response to the mother's letter at this time, unless the court requests it to.

Source: TorrentFreak


Complete Story


Celebrating Two 10th Anniversaries, Ubisoft Giving Away Two Games

Posted: December 5, 2017 @ time: 01:26PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Ten years ago World in Conflict launched, as did Assassin's Creed, the title that started the previously yearly franchise. To celebrate both of these anniversaries, Ubisoft is giving away two PC games. Until December 11, World in Conflict can be added to your Uplay PC library for free, and provide you download it, you get to keep it. Next week, from December 12 to December 18, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be free to download and keep as well. Black Flag is one of the best in the franchise, so you will probably want to take advantage of this offer when it starts.

Source: Ubisoft


Complete Story


The Division Receives Update 1.8 and Free Weekend

Posted: December 5, 2017 @ time: 01:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Though it launched early last year, Tom Clancy's The Division has continued to see support and updates from Ubisoft, including the release today of Update 1.8 "Resistance." Though free, this update adds the West Side Pier, a new area to the map for everyone to enjoy. This new area will be home to the activities already available across the game's map and two new game modes. Resistance is a PvE mode that has the different factions team up against Division agents, who have to survive wave after wave of enemies. Skirmish is a PvP mode in which two competing four-player teams see which can score the higher number of kills within the time limit. Other changes the update brings with it include a new social hub, improvements to the Underground DLC, rogue mechanics being revamped, and an optimization to the gear system, allowing players to upgrade equipment.

If you are interested in The Division, from December 7 to December 10, it is free to play on all platforms. Those who already own the game are getting some attention too, as from today to December 10 the expansions from the Season Pass, Underground, Survival, and Last Stand, will be available to play. Those enjoying the free weekend will also have access to these expansions.

Source: Ubisoft


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 6, 2017 @ time: 06:36AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with several items for your viewing pleasure to get you over the hump. We have a look at the HP SSD M700, an entry-level model featuring fast speeds and plenty of capacity for whatever you need. If you prefer something else, then the Crucial BX300 240GB SSD, with its entry-level price, might be the one for you. For those wanting a new means of control for your PC, perhaps the SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, featuring QX2 switches, is one to get. We also have a look at the best keyboards you can buy, so you can customize your search based on different criteria to find the exact one for you. We finish off with 20 of the worst PC setups seen during November.

Storage/Hard Drives
HP SSD M700 @ Benchmark Reviews
Crucial BX300 240GB SSD @ ThinkComputers

Keyboards/Mice
SteelSeries Apex M750 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Madshrimps
The Best Keyboards @ TechSpot

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


Complete Story


Rainbow Six Siege Crosses 25 Million Players

Posted: December 6, 2017 @ time: 09:53AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This week has seen a couple developments for Rainbow Six Siege. One of these was the release of the Operation White Noise expansion, that adds a new map and three new operators to play as, but the other is a pretty impressive feat. The game now has over 25 million registered players. Undoubtedly this confirms for Ubisoft its plan to continue supporting and developing for the game was the right decision.

Next week the Year 3 Pass goes on sale.

Source: Ubisoft


Complete Story


AMD and Qualcomm Partnering for Always Connected PCs

Posted: December 6, 2017 @ time: 10:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was back in October AMD launched its Ryzen Mobile APUs that combine four Zen CPU cores with Vega compute units, and we are finally starting to see it in new laptops, but if connectivity is important for you, you might want to wait to see what is coming. AMD and Qualcomm are working together to connect Ryzen Mobile processors with Snapdragon LTE modem solutions, to create premium platforms with Always Connected, Gigabit LTE speeds. With Ryzen Mobile offering a powerful CPU and GPU in a package small and efficient enough to fit in ultrathin notebooks, and Snapdragon LTE modem solutions offering some of the latest wireless technologies and fast download speeds without draining your battery, the Always Connected devices this partnership will produce could be an interesting option for those that always need to be online.

Source: AMD


Complete Story


Canadian Media Companies and ISPs Apparently Developing Plan for Blocking Pirate Sites

Posted: December 6, 2017 @ time: 10:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Piracy is an issue many want to address, which is why there are many laws and methods in many countries to stop it and prosecute those guilty of it. Documents obtained by Canadaland indicate some Canadian companies, both media companies and ISPs, are developing a proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to develop a blacklist of pirate sites the ISPs must then block. This blacklist would be maintained by a non-profit organization called Internet Piracy Review Agency, which would be formed as a result of this plan, and enforcement would come from the CTRC. If you notice something missing there, that is because the judicial system is not involved in this process, at least not until after a site has already been blocked. Blocking pirate sites is not a new tactic to counter piracy, but it has involved the judicial process previously, and at least this draft does not appear to involve that kind of oversight.

While there might be a number of companies willing to sign on in support of this plan, there are reasons to believe the CRTC and Canadian government would not be willing to enact and enforce it. Only time will tell where this will go, but it seems unlikely it will be this draft that would be adopted, if proposed in its current form.

Source: Canadaland


Complete Story


Ubisoft Holding Assassin's Creed Origin Photo Mode Contest

Posted: December 6, 2017 @ time: 12:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Photo modes are becoming somewhat popular features in various games today, no doubt to the enjoyment of those who previously needed to mod games to craft such images. Assassin's Creed Origins is one of the newer AAA titles to have a photo mode and already over 20 million pictures have been taken with it. To celebrate this, Ubisoft has started a Photo Mode contest that will start later today and run to January 10. Each week will have a theme for the photos, with this first week being about wildlife. Once you have the photo you want to submit, you can visit the EasyPromos App portal to send it in to the dev team to judge.

Each week will have five winners, with the four runner-ups getting a season pass code or an official Assassin's Creed shirt, if they already have the season pass. The grand prize winners will naturally receive the same award along with their photography being on display at Ubisoft Montreal and a printed version from Cook & Becker. Here is a link to a PDF with the official rules: Assassin's Creed Origins Photo Mode Contest Official Rules.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 7, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 7, 2017 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday has arrived, with a couple of items for you to check out today. We have a review of the Cougar Minos X5 Gaming Mouse, which features a 2000Hz polling rate that's twice as fast as the competition to provide for an even smoother experience while you're running through your favorite games. If instead you just need a new surface for your mouse, perhaps the Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris Gaming Mouse Pad, complete with a large surface area and a USB port, is the solution for you.

Mice/Keyboards
Cougar Minos X5 Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker

Mouse Pads
Corsair MM800 RGB Polaris Gaming Mouse Pad @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


GTA Online Getting New Heist Next Week

Posted: December 7, 2017 @ time: 10:01AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On December 12 GTA Online, the online side to Grand Theft Auto V, will be getting a new heist, the first in years. The Doomsday Heist brings a number of unusual characters together to protect San Andreas from total annihilation. Revealing the mystery involved will take you from the streets of Los Santos to the ocean floor and inside Mount Chiliad. Naturally a host of new vehicles are coming with this heist, and you can see them on display in the trailer embedded below.

 

 

Source: Rockstar Games


Complete Story


Far Cry 5 And The Crew 2 Both Having Launches Delayed

Posted: December 7, 2017 @ time: 06:26PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Delays are hardly a surprising event in the modern games industry and both Far Cry 5 and The Crew 2 are going to be later to launch than planned, Ubisoft announced today. In the case of Far Cry 5, the new launch date is March 27, so a month later than the originally given date, while The Crew 2 has slipped to the non-specific first half of next year.

For both games, the delays are described as giving time for continued improvements. Interestingly the delay for Far Cry 5 is also being described as allowing the developers to bring it closer to "the team's original vision." Regardless, tomorrow we are supposed to get a new look at the game.

Source: Ubisoft


Complete Story


Absolver Receives 3v3 Overtake Mode and More in Latest Patch

Posted: December 7, 2017 @ time: 07:08PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Absolver got its biggest update to date with version 1.11 adding several new features, including the new 3v3 Overtake mode. In this mode, two teams compete to capture and hold areas of the battlefield for you clan. Players are able to enter solo and will be paired with others or enter in a group to fight on one of the three Overtake maps. It should be noted Overtake is currently a beta though, so there are issues that will be fixed.

Additional changes include a new private 1v1 mode and the ability to rematch from the post-match Combat Trial screen for both 1v1 and 3v3 matches. Equipment color dyes, a new shop for equipment, weapons, and emotes, and full 21:9 monitor support have also arrived.

If Absolver and this new content sounds interesting to you, the game is currently among Steam's Weekend Deals, so you can pick it up at 50% off.

 

 

Source: Absolver Website


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, December 8, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 8, 2017 @ time: 06:40AM
Author: bp9801

Friday has arrived, with a couple of items for you to check out before the weekend adventures begin. We have a review of the SilverStone Primera PM01-RGB Tempered Glass case, which has a large tempered glass side panel for showing off your build and plenty of RGB options to look cool while you game. Our other item for today is the AOC Agon AG322QCX monitor, a 32" screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and a curved display to really set your experience on a new level.

Cases
SilverStone Primera PM01-RGB Tempered Glass @ PC Perspective

Monitors
AOC Agon AG322QCX @ TechSpot


Complete Story


NVIDIA Announces TITAN V GPU with Volta and 12 GB HBM2

Posted: December 8, 2017 @ time: 11:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

NVIDIA has announced a new GPU based on its Volta architecture targeting those working in AI, deep learning, and high performance computing; the TITAN V. The TITAN V can reach 110 Tflops, nine times that of the its predecessor, and part of that is thanks to the its new Tensor Cores. The GPU also features independent paths for integer and floating-point data, improving efficiency when the workload involves a mix of computation and addressing calculations. A combined L1 data cache and shared memory unit also boost performance while simplifying programming. The GPU is fabricated on TSMC's new 12 nm FFN process and is fed by 12 GB of HBM2 memory with a tuned memory subsystem for improved bandwidth utilization.

If you need this kind of power for the work you do, the TITAN V is available now for $2999 in the NVIDIA, in participating countries.

 

 

Source: NVIDIA


Complete Story


Devil May Cry HD Collection Coming to PC March 13, 2018

Posted: December 8, 2017 @ time: 11:27AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was in 2001 when the first Devil May Cry game introduced us to Dante, and in a few months gamers will get to meet him all over again as Capcom is releasing the Devil May Cry HD Collection March 13, 2018. The collection is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and will include Devil May Cry, Devil May Cry 2, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition.

The announcement does not appear to give much information on what we can expect, except the three games and "silky smooth 60 FPS gameplay," which is always nice to see. Hopefully we will see more details in the near future for what kind of features and improvements might be coming to these classics.

Source: Capcom


Complete Story


Kaspersky Labs Closing Washington DC Office

Posted: December 8, 2017 @ time: 11:55AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Kaspersky Labs Inc., the company behind products the U.S. Department of Homeland Security banned, is closing its Washington D.C. office, which was selling it software to the government. The company is not pulling out of the country though, as it intends to open up new offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto next year. To counter claims its products can be used for espionage, the company is also going to open its source code up for third-party review. To help facilitate audits of its code, the Kaspersky is also going to open Transparency Centers with SCIF-class (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) facilities for independent experts to analyze the code and question Kaspersky employees.

Source: Bloomberg


Complete Story


Metro Exodus Coming Autumn 2018

Posted: December 8, 2017 @ time: 12:56PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was back in June that Metro Exodus was announced as coming next year, and now the release window has been focused down to Autumn 2018. Metro Exodus continues the story of Artyom as he leads a group of Spartan Rangers on a journey across Russia and through a calendar year, searching for new life in the East.

Along with this announcement came a new trailer, but it is age-restricted so you will need to log in on YouTube to watch The Aurora: Metro Exodus – The Aurora. Metro Exodus is coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday, December 11, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 11, 2017 @ time: 06:40AM
Author: bp9801

A new week is upon us, with several items along the way to start it off. We have a look at the Zalman Z-Machine X7 Full Tower case, featuring a massive design to house all the gear you could possibly want inside. There's an article covering exactly how much RAM you need for gaming and what the perfect amount could be for you. There's a review on the ROCCAT Suora FX Gaming Keyboard, which has RGB lighting and mechanical switches in a compact design without any extra clutter around the edges. We wrap things up with a look at the Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset that has 50mm drivers to help deliver the best audio for you in any situation.

Cases
Zalman Z-Machine X7 Full Tower @ Benchmark Reviews

Memory
RAM Matters: How Much Do You Need for Gaming? @ TechSpot

Keyboards/Mice
ROCCAT Suora FX Gaming Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset @ Madshrimps


Complete Story


AMD Ryzen 2 Updates and Hoax Exposed

Posted: December 11, 2017 @ time: 10:03AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As the end of the year comes, the expectations for what next year will bring are only growing, including for AMD's second generation Ryzen processors. While a fake product slide recently made its way around, another image has been found and it seems a bit more reliable. The image originally came from moepc.net and appears to be a picture from a conference or press event, with AMD showing its full Ryzen roll out to Q2 2018. One of the products it shows is second generation Ryzen, and its position seems to suggest it may launch in Q1. This would align with other rumors and leaks giving a February or March launch. More premium mobile processors are also shown, including Ryzen 3 Mobile APU, Ryzen 5 and 7 marked for gaming, and Ryzen Mobile APU Pro.

The fake slide I mentioned before looked official but the specs made it somewhat suspicious. According the slide, the next round of consumer Ryzen processors would sport up to 12 cores and base clock speeds from 4.0 GHz to 4.6 GHz, boosting to as much as 5.1 GHz. The highest of these, the 2800X, was supposed to cost just $449. Wccftech reached out to its contacts about the slide, studied it closely, and tried to find an original source for it and all of these efforts pointed to it being fake.

More realistically, second generation Ryzen is expected to have some amount of IPC uplift, but what performance boost it offers is more likely to come from moving to a more refined and optimized 12 nm process node. The current 14 nm node used to create current Ryzen products was originally designed for more energy efficient and slower processors, which contributes to why most seem to top out at 4 GHz. The new node could allow for higher clock speeds, but until we see actual products, or product slides, it is impossible to know.

Source: Wccftech [1] and [2]


Complete Story


MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Getting 4 Player Co-op and Full Mod Support

Posted: December 11, 2017 @ time: 02:00PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is slated to launch late next year, so it is still a distance away, but that hardly stopped Piranha Games from making some announcements at Mech_Con. In addition to the trailer below, showcasing gameplay of various mechs and locations, it was also announced the game will have four-player co-op and mod support. The game's PvE experience follows a career-based Mercenary campaign that the player's decisions will shape, but if you want, you can host up to three friends to join you in your campaign, under your banner. Also MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will have full mod support through powerful toolsets, allowing fans to create new missions, contracts, planetary systems, biomes, and more. There will also be Steam Workshop support, making it even easier to share your mods and download others.

 

 

Source: Press Release


Complete Story


China Allegedly Using LinkedIn to Recruit German Informants

Posted: December 11, 2017 @ time: 02:37PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The German intelligence agency (BfV) has recently claimed Chinese intelligence is attempting to use the networking site LinkedIn to target thousands of Germans. Supposedly a minimum of 10,000 people were targeted by fake profiles, possibly with the intent to recruit them, in an effort to subvert German politics.

According to BfV, the plan involves making fake LinkedIn accounts for Chinese professionals that then make contact with German users. This contact could ultimately lead to them becoming informants and has apparently been targeting high-ranking politicians, in an attempt to infiltrate government bodies and agencies.

Source: BBC


Complete Story


OCC's 2017 Christmas Contest is Here!

Posted: December 11, 2017 @ time: 10:18PM
Author: bp9801

Yes, OCC, there is a Christmas contest. The Official OCC 2017 Christmas Contest is back and it is now live! We're back with plenty of prizes for you to win, including two grand prize computer systems to get you up and gaming right away. The two systems feature an AMD Ryzen CPU and a case, power supply, and cooler from be quiet!, with more on the way! We'll keep you updated on what exactly you can expect to be gaming on in your new PC, if you win, that is. There are plenty of other prizes too, but before we get to that, we better tell you how to enter, right?

In order to enter the OCC Christmas Contest, you just need to be a member of OCC. The contest is open worldwide, so be sure to enter regardless of where you are! Simply send an email with the subject of "OCC 2017 Christmas Contest" to [email protected] with your name, forum name, shipping address, and phone number, since Bosco does need a means to contact you if you happen to win one of the grand prizes.

Also included in your email will be answers to the following two questions:

What is your next planned upgrade for 2018?

What hardware news got you most excited in 2017?

You must include everything in your email, as failure to do so will result in it being deleted.

The grand prizes will be drawn on Christmas Day, December 25, with Bosco calling in the morning to the two happy winners. Don't have your phone on silent and miss the call! The rest of the prize winners will be announced on December 27. More prizes are still being added in, but we have items from Noctua, ID-Cooling, Corsair, and Cooler Master, along with a selection of hardware from our reviewers and some massive gaming bundles.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, December 12, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 12, 2017 @ time: 06:43AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with a couple of items for your viewing pleasure. We have a look at the new Corsair Gaming PBT Double-shot Keycaps, offering a different typing experience than what you might already have on your preferred mechanical keyboard of choice. If you're in the market for a new chair for your PC, perhaps the OPSEAT Master Series Gaming Chair, with its racing-inspired design and variety of colors, is the best one for you.

Keyboards/Mice
Quick Look: Corsair Gaming PBT Double-shot Keycaps @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
OPSEAT Master Series Gaming Chair @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


AMD Adrenalin Edition Drivers Launched with AMD Link Mobile App, Many New Features

Posted: December 12, 2017 @ time: 07:57AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A couple weeks ago AMD teased Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, this year's significant driver update, similar to the Crimson ReLive Edition drivers released a year ago. Along with Adrenalin came the AMD Link app, which allows you to monitor various performance statistics from your mobile device and record and share ReLive captures. The drivers also have a performance overlay, so this information can be put up on your screen.

While the performance monitoring capabilities are definitely cool, the Adrenalin brings a lot for than that with it. Radeon ReLive has been optimized to reduce its overhead, added Chroma Key for removing backgrounds in webcam video, separate audio tracks for microphone and game audio, expanded social platforms, and support for Vulkan, Eyefinity, borderless window region capture, and mouse button hotkeys. Enhanced Sync, essentially driver-side triple buffering, is now supported by all GCN-based GPUs, supports Vulkan, Multi-GPU systems, and Eyefinity. Radeon Chill, the feature that will lower framerate when there is less action to reduce power consumption, has also been expanded to support "most game titles." The built-in overclocking feature, Radeon WattMan can now save and load profiles to the storage disk. Frame Rate Target Control now supports Vulkan and FreeSync has been support for HDR10 titles on FreeSync2 displays along with per-application FreeSync support.

There have also been a number of fixed issues, including an OverWatch hang that has been frustrating a number of people for months.

While the list of additions and fixes are pretty long and impressive, none of the special RX Vega features appear to be among them. Still, there is a lot to be happy about (personally I like Radeon Chill being available in every game I have tried launching so far, especially when I can see clocks reduce in the AMD Link app).

Source: AMD


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Killing Floor 2 Christmas Update Brings New Map, Weapons, Gear, and Krampus

Posted: December 12, 2017 @ time: 10:24AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With the holidays approaching, we can expect a variety of themed updates to several games, and today Killing Floor 2 got its Christmas update, featuring Krampus. This lord of the dark side of Christmas is a new boss and it is up to you to rescue Christmas and the naughty list from him and his holiday themed minions.

This update brings more than just the Krampus boss and his map, but also new objectives rewards, and two new weapons. The SWAT perk gets the new UMP SMG while Survivalists get the Freezethrower.

If you do not have a copy of Killing Floor 2 but want to take on Krampus, you can starting today as it is having an extended free weekend on Steam, beginning 1 PM EDT and it will continue until December 18. If you want to add it to your library, the game will also be 50% off.

 

 

Source: Tripwire Interactive


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VESA Announces Fully Open HDR Standard for Displays

Posted: December 12, 2017 @ time: 12:49PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When purchasing a new display today, there are a variety of specifications to consider, such as resolution, refresh rate, and more recently if it supports high dynamic range (HDR). While HDR displays have been available for some time now, there has been no actual agreement within the display industry for what counts as HDR, which can cover increased color gamuts, brightness, and supported bit-depth. To adres the confusion, VESA has announced DisplayHDR, a fully open standard with three levels of HDR support for testing the quality of current and upcoming displays.

The three levels within DisplayHDR are DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, and DisplayHDR 1000. DisplayHDR 400 is the lowest, requiring luminance can reach 400 nits, which is as much as 50% more than standard dynamic range (SDR) displays, limits on the amount of light that can escape when the screen is black, and a minimum color gamut of 95% of ITU-R BT.709. DisplayHDR 600 bumps the peak brightness up to 600 nits, has even tighter limits of how much light can leak out, requires a minimum color gamut of 99% BT.709 and 90% DCI-P3 65, and actual support for 10-bit image processing and 8-bit pixel drivers. Most SDR panels do not use 8-bit color signals but 6-bit with dithering used to simulate 8-bit video. DisplayHDR 1000 has much the same requirements as DisplayHDR 600, but with a peak brightness requirement of 1000 nits and still tighter black level performance.

According to the VESA press release, we can expect to see DisplayHDR compliant products at CES next month. There are over two dozen active member companies that contributed to developing these standards, including AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, LG, and Samsung.

Source: VESA and DisplayHDR


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RUINER Gets Winter Cringe Update, Figurines, and Vinyl Records

Posted: December 12, 2017 @ time: 01:24PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Killing Floor 2 is not the only game to receive a holiday update today, as cyberpunk shooter RUINER has gotten its Winter Cringe Update. This update arms you with candy cane weapons as you kill Grinch-themed Creep enemies dressed in Santa outfits with festive lighting. The world of RUINER has even been transformed into a winter wonderland for the occasion.

If in-game changes are not enough for you, you can get a custom 7 inch figure of the RUINER hero from Special Reserve Games, but there are only 250 of these. Each figure also comes with a 56 page art book and a Steam code for the game. If that is still not enough for you, Devolver Digital, the publisher of the game, has partnered with Laced Records for a two-disc collector's edition vinyl set of the game's soundtrack. These 180 gram black and red vinyl records hold 16 hand-picked tracks from the game.

To further mark the occasion, RUINER is 33% off on Steam until December 14.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 13, 2017 @ time: 06:47AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is here, with several items for you to check out. We have another look at the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 case, featuring a massive design with a modular motherboard tray and plenty of cooling potential. There's a review on the Roccat Kone AIMO Gaming Mouse, which has a unique style and a host of features to set it apart from other mice on the market. If you're curious how the new AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin improves your gaming experience, you're in luck, as we have a preview checking out all the things it has to offer. We wrap up with a look at five different technologies that are starting to grow and become big, and maybe even something we have and use in the future soon.

Cases
be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 @ ThinkComputers

Mice/Keyboards
Roccat Kone AIMO Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

Software
AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin adds in-game overlay, mobile app, wider API support @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
The Last Mile to Civilization 2.0: Technologies From Our Not Too Distant Future @ TechSpot


Complete Story


President Trump Signs Law Banning Kaspersky Lab Software from Government Use

Posted: December 13, 2017 @ time: 12:33PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

On Tuesday President Trump signed a defense policy spending bill that included a provision banning the use of Kaspersky Lab software on government computers. This follows a directive from September to remove the software within 90 days, and since then most have. This all stems from a concern Kaspersky Lab software can and has been used by Russian intelligence for cyber-espionage purposes. Kaspersky has repeatedly denied these claims and has even offered to have its source code audited, but has thus far failed to assuage the government's concerns.

Recently it was announced Kaspersky Labs would be closing its Washington D.C. office, which sold software to the U.S. government, but it is still opening new offices across North America. It will also be opening Transparency Centers for independent experts to analyze and verify Kaspersky code.

Source: Reuters


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Broadband Achieved Over Wet String

Posted: December 13, 2017 @ time: 12:49PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Physics is an amazing thing, especially when you turn it to something kind of silly. An employee at a British IP did just this by demonstrating a broadband, ADSL signal can be carried by wet string. To be more specific, it was two meters of string soaked in salt water because fresh water would not do the trick. After connecting the string, its speed was measured at 3.5 Mbps for download, proving it works.

Why does this work? Because the physics involved with the signal does not solely rely on an electric current, which the string would resist. Instead the cable acts as a waveguide for electromagnetic waves of such high frequency, the material does not matter much.

It is safe to say string is not going to become a part of broadband connections, but this still demonstrates an interesting and amusing quirk to the technologies so many of us use every day.

Source: RevK's Rants Blog


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CORSAIR Launches Fastest DDR4 SODIMM 32 GB RAM Kit at 4000 MHz

Posted: December 13, 2017 @ time: 02:59PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Sometimes the place you want a computer just does not have room for a desktop, like in an entertainment center, but small form factor PCs may be able to fit. Typically one does not expect to find powerful and fast components in a mini-ITX build, but now CORSAIR has launched a 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) SODIMM DDR4 RAM kit that can reach 4000 MHz; the CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4 x 8 GB 4000 MHz. This makes it the fastest SODIMM DDR4 kit in the world, and it achieves this speed with CL19-23-23-45 timings at 1.35 V, and XMP 2.0 makes it easy to achieve.

This kit is available immediately from CORSAIR's worldwide network of retailers, or directly from the company's website. It is backed by a lifetime limited warranty as well.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 14, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 14, 2017 @ time: 06:47AM
Author: bp9801

Thursday is here, with a couple of items to check out to get you closer to the weekend. We have a review of the Creative Halo Portable Bluetooth Speaker, letting you stream your music from your phone, tablet, or even PC if you so choose. Our other item is actually a giveaway, where you have the chance to win a Cooler Master MasterKeys MK750 Keyboard, which has RGB backlighting, Cherry MX switches, and far more.

Speakers/Headphones
Creative Halo Portable Bluetooth Speaker @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Cooler Master MasterKeys MK750 Keyboard Giveaway @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Disney Purchasing Significant Portion of 21st Century Fox

Posted: December 14, 2017 @ time: 08:14AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There have been rumors of this possibility of late, but now it is official that The Walt Disney Company is purchasing a significant amount of 21st Century Fox's media assets, including film and television studios, Fox's stake in Hulu, and intellectual properties such as Avatar, National Geographic, Fantastic Four, and X-Men. This deal comes to approximately $52.4 billion in stock, though the value is subject to adjustment and Disney is assuming about $13.7 billion of Fox's debt. Disney is not acquiring all of Fox's properties though, and prior to the acquisition completing Fox Broadcasting networks and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, and Big Ten Network will be spun off to a new company. It is anticipated that Fox will try to finish its acquisition of Sky, which will then go to Disney as part of this deal

Of course this deal will need to survive the scrutiny of regulatory bodies meant to prevent monopolies before it can close. According to Bloomberg, Disney expects the deal to close in 12 to 18 months.

Source: Bloomberg, The Walt Disney Company, and 21st Century Fox


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Leaked Slide Show AMD Ryzen APUs with Higher TDP and More Powerful GPU

Posted: December 14, 2017 @ time: 08:39AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At the end of October, AMD finally revealed its Ryzen Mobile APUs, the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500 U, which have already started appearing in products. With the 'U' at the end, many considered these to be the low power parts, which meant parts with higher TDP and higher performance were still to come, and these parts are what the latest leaked slides show. Naturally this is all still rumor and purportedly leaked slides cannot always be trusted.

According to the slide, there will be new Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G processors, both sporting a 65 W TDP, though 35 W versions will be available. The 2400G will have 4 cores/8 threads and Vega 11 graphics (11 Vega compute units) while the 2200 G will have 4 cores/4 threads and Vega 8 graphics. Another APU identified on the slides was the Ryzen 3 2300U, which would come in under the already out APUs and only has Vega 6 graphics.

Also discovered recently, but from the SiSoft database and not a leaked slide, was what appears to be a desktop-targeting APU with 28 Vega compute units. VideoCardz identifies this specific chip as a 4 core/8 thread APU with the codename 2G11SRD1P4MF6_30_N.

Source: VideoCardz


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Galactic Civilizations III Receives Triumph of the Fans v2.7 Update

Posted: December 15, 2017 @ time: 01:23PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Stardock has put out version 2.7 for Galactic Civilizations III and its Crusade expansion, and the company is referring to this update as 'Triumph of the Fans' as it address multiple fan requests. Among the changes is an overhaul to data management that should speed up the data manager and remove a potential issue with some anti-virus software. Previously the manager was an external, single-threaded process, but now it has been pulled into the game and made multi-threaded. The AI has also been improved, so it should do a better job of building up its planets, based on the state of its empire and the galaxy. Other changes include the ability to toggle between turn number and date and various balance changes.

Source: Stardock


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Hitman Holiday Pack with Paris Mission Free for Limited Time

Posted: December 15, 2017 @ time: 01:34PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This is one way to celebrate the season. The Hitman Holiday Pack is going to be free for everyone to download starting today and going until January 5. This pack includes the first chapter of the recent Hitman game, which is set in Paris, all of its associated Escalation Challenges, Challenge Packs, and the 'Holiday Hoarders' mission.

If you want the chance to play as Agent 47 dressed as Santa, this is your chance. But whatever you do, try to stay off of his naughty list.

Source: Steam


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, December 18, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 18, 2017 @ time: 06:45AM
Author: bp9801

Monday is upon us, with several items to kick off the week. We have a review of the NVIDIA TITAN V video card, covering the compute performance you can get when you drop the cash on this massive beast. If you're instead looking for a new processor to upgrade to, we have a look at the best ones to get based on your budget and PC needs. For those going the AMD Ryzen route, there's an article covering the five best AMD B350 motherboards to get right now. There's a review of the Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset to see what kind of performance and comfort you get when you pick one up for your audio needs. We wrap things up with a review on the Nitro Concepts S300 Gaming Chair to see how it stacks up to the competition.

Video Cards
NVIDIA TITAN V Review Part 2: Compute Performance @ PC Perspective

CPUs
The Best CPUs: This is what you should get @ TechSpot

Motherboards
Top 5 AMD B350 Motherboards @ TechSpot

Speakers/Headphones
Corsair HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews

Miscellany
Nitro Concepts S300 Gaming Chair @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Mozilla Pushed Add-on to Firefox and Now Pulled It Into Add-on Store

Posted: December 18, 2017 @ time: 11:16AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last week Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox web browser, pushed an extension out to the popular browser, without informing its users or requesting permission. The extension was named Looking Glass and had the cryptic description of "MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT THAN YOURS," which left many users to found it confused and concerned a piece of spyware was on their computer.

As it turns out this extension is part of a marketing promotion for the TV show Mr. Robot and not a danger to anyone's computers. It is for an ARG connected to the show and needed to be explicitly enabled to play the game, but this was not communicated to users when it appeared on their systems. Now the extension has been moved to the Firefox Add-on store and is no long being pushed on users. If you are a fan of the show and want to play the ARG, you can follow the store link.

Along with the move to the add-on store, there is also a Firefox support page concerning Looking Glass, which states the television series centers around online privacy and security, which are among the ten guiding principles of Mozilla as, "individuals' security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional."

Along with the number of user comments concerning this event, Gizmodo has also shared some public comments of a Mozilla software developer, who is equally dismayed by this.

Source: Gizmodo


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, December 19, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 19, 2017 @ time: 06:46AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is upon us, with a few items to help you get through the day. We have a review of the ViewSonic VP3268-4K monitor, featuring a 32" 3840x2160 IPS panel to give you the biggest screen and resolution possible for your desk. If you're after something more portable, the Dell XPS 13, featuring a quad-core Intel Kaby Lake-R CPU, just might be the laptop for you. We wrap things up today with a look at affordable smart home devices to provide different levels of control to your house.

Monitors
ViewSonic VP3268-4K @ TechSpot

Laptops/Tablets
Dell XPS 13 @ TechSpot

Gadgets
Affordable Smart Home Devices Under $40 @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


Kaspersky Requesting Court Overturn Ban on Software

Posted: December 19, 2017 @ time: 09:06AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last week President Trump signed into law a spending bill that also banned the use of Kaspersky Lab software on government computers, something the Department of Homeland Security already issued a directive concerning in September. Now the Russian software company has asked a federal court to overturn this ban, claiming it was not afforded due process.

According to Kaspersky Labs, there is no evidence its software has been used by the Russian government for espionage purposes, and the government mostly relied on uncorroborated news media reports. While the loss of US government business is actually somewhat minor, not even amounting to $54,000 or 0.03% of its US subsidiary's sales, this has been a much more significant blow to its reputation. Some retailers have even dropped Kaspersky products, including Best Buy, as a result of the claims against the company.

In addition to overturning the ban, the company also wants the court to declare its products are not a security threat to government computers.

Source: Reuters


Complete Story


G.Skill Launches 4000 MHz 32 GB DDR4 SODIMM Kit, Challenging Corsair

Posted: December 20, 2017 @ time: 10:17AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was just last week Corsair launched its 4000 MHz 32 GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM kit, bringing speed and capacity to small form factor computers, and now G.Skill has responded with its own that manages to take the title of world's fastest. While both kits offer the same 4000 MHz frequency, G.Skill has managed tighter timings at CL18-18-18-38 for its 4 x 8 GB kit at 1.35 V.

Naturally this G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4 SODIMM kit uses XMP 2.0, so achieving this speed and timings will be easy for end users, when the RAM is available QA 2018.

Source: G.SKILL


Complete Story


Samsung Announces Mass Production for 2nd Generation Process for 10 nm DRAM

Posted: December 20, 2017 @ time: 10:29AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Samsung announced it has begun mass production of its second generation 10 nm class 8 Gb DDR4 DRAM. These new DRAM chips feature better performance and efficiency than current chips, such as up to 3600 Mbps connections per pin, compared to the maximum 3200 Mbps for the previous generation from Samsung. This is combined with a 10-15% increase to energy efficiency, thanks to the use of advanced circuit design technologies, which have been applied without the use of a EUV process. An example would be an air spacer scheme that decreases parasitic capacitance between the bit lines.

Following this work, Samsung is accelerating its plans for introducing next generation DRAM technologies, including DDR4, HBM3, LPDDR5, and GDDR6.

Source: Samsung


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 21, 2017, Edition

Posted: December 21, 2017 @ time: 06:39AM
Author: bp9801

The first day of winter is officially here, with a few items to help welcome it in. We have a review of the first available AMD Ryzen mobile CPU, as the Ryzen 5 2500U gets tested to see just what it can bring your laptop when you're using it for all manner of tasks. There's a look at the Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass case to show off its unique look and your hardware running inside. Wrapping things up today is a review of the WD My Passport SSD 1TB, offering a ton of space and plenty of speed you can bring with you.

CPUs
Ryzen Mobile Finally Arrives: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U @ TechSpot

Cases
Fractal Design Define R6 Tempered Glass @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
WD My Passport SSD 1TB @ ThinkComputers


Complete Story


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